Boundary building isn’t meant to trap us in a bubble of loneliness and isolation; it is meant to foster a culture of safety, support, and true love in a malicious and taxing world. Now, when I look toward the brightness of the future ahead, I carry my “no” with me in confidence, in hope, in love, and in full faith because I know my “yes” means so much more.
In this one life you have on earth, make a conscious decision to dive into your heart’s desires, embrace your uniqueness and simply create – whatever that looks like for you. You are a unique being and are here for a reason: to take up space and to grace the world with all the gifts you have to offer. Courageously and unapologetically.
Remember that your emotional state is rarely constant, but what can be is the inner voice of your womb, your sacred place of creation and power. When your womb speaks to you directly, is she sad and depressed? Or does she remind you that you are a goddess in the flesh, and that you are powerful beyond measure?
This month at Black Girl In Om, our theme is Creating Culture: We Got Next, We Got Now. We’ll be highlighting inspiring women who are creating, curating and safekeeping culture. We’ll dive deep into conversations around what it means to create the work you’re called to and how that work can go on to impact our community.
No matter how many times my knees scuff the ground, no matter how many mistakes I make, I realize that heaven still exists within me. Nothing can ever carry me away from such holiness unless I give it the power to do so.
Our purpose is not future decision, a tenure goal or vision we created to convince ourselves that we are only worthy if we work hard enough for it. It is none of that. Our purpose is simply to exist in love. We can shift the quality of our existence and the meaning of our existing as we navigate each season of our life, but it will always remain the same. LOVE.
Because I understand manifestation by way that thoughts become things, I make a habit of thinking positively and consciously – which has blessed my life in many ways. I now live a lifestyle I deserve and am worthy of.
To experience the body as a home for love means identifying your body as a dwelling place for God’s spirit. A dwelling place for joy and peace. A safe space where you’re able to express your true authentic self. It’s where you feel the most liberated, because you identify your body as yours.
The breath is the human body's first gateway into the conversations our physical body is trying to have. And once the language to this conversation is understood and practiced, we can begin to control when and where we experience this state of ease in our physical bodies.
I think of the women crossing the transatlantic, the women praying over her children at night, the black body holding her youth, the black woman’s body holding itself; finding voice and dance, and asanas and prayer as deliverance. The black woman’s body forgetting the world’s fetishism and becoming wholly in love with itself. Oh, the Black Body, the black woman’s body is a steeple, we glorify.
I often receive emails or Skype calls from friends and family saying “I have no idea where you are now!” and sometimes my response is “I’m not so sure myself.” Yet despite all the jet-setting and time zone changes, my health and sense of peace and centeredness have only increased.
In Jamaica, I felt connected to Mother Earth as I drank coconut water and wiped mango juice from my mouth. Every cup of bush tea and plate of vegan food reminded me that plants are God’s gift to us. Jamaica, my plant-based paradise, reminded me that being vegan doesn’t have to be a chore; it truly was an exploratory adventure of the offerings that the land constantly and lovingly produces for us.
Self-care isn’t only important for when you’re going through your daily life, working, etc. – It is also very important when traveling. You have to make sure that you maintain your peace when in a space that is foreign to you.
I desired a way to change being so drained. I wanted to protect my creativity while working extremely long hours. The challenges that I faced while searching for ways to get my creativity and peace back were me being too lazy to change. Once I realized my laziness was keeping me from living intentionally; I found my solution. I curated a nightly beauty routine and now I go to sleep relaxed and completely prepared for my following day.
The goal of self-preservation is not only to ensure that well does not run dry, but also to have a tool-kit to access, if or when it does. So that when they say, take care of yourself, we can trust that we will.
Our bodies are not separate from our mind, emotions, and soul. Your body hears and takens on every thought you think. Your body feels every emotion you feel (or choose not to feel). Your soul speaks to you through your body. Cultivating a better relationship with your body supports you on every level.
Food is totally comforting, but so is a phone call to a dear friend, a warm bath, or perhaps a ten-minute intentional savasana. Food is not the enemy, and in the case of an eating disorder, it’s not even the issue. The issue lies in the relationship with food. Does it nourish us or does our consumption and lack thereof provide a quick antidote for latent emotional discomfort and pain?
We forgive men for leading sexually because we’ve come to expect that as the opening to any expressed interest. We minimize ourselves to objects because we have been minimized. And how often do we scroll our timelines comparing our shapes to other women?
There is something to learn and grow from, and leave behind, every day. It’s a part of our evolution. Calling attention to this subtle physical process made me more attentive in how I care for my spiritual and emotional bodies on a daily basis.
Today we’re going to highlight 5 summer superfoods that will make your summer days that much brighter. These foods are satisfying, packed with nutrients, and can be obtained at the local farmers market! We’ll also be providing some fun pro-tips for eating these foods
As I meditatively twerk, I twerk to reject my mother’s classism and respectability politics, my white friends’ microaggressions, and all my self-doubt. I twerk because it makes me feel sexy and divinely feminine. I twerk to affirm that I deserve to take up space in this world.
Making peace with our bodies allows us to eat and exercise in healthier and more intuitive ways. It opens the doors to living a different way of life that is no longer defined by the size we think we must fit into or the food we convince ourselves we must eat to lose weight.
Metamorphosis embodies a transformative experience. For me, it emphasizes the commitment to and the pursuit of growth. Naturally, growth is central to establishing and maintaining any capacity of wellness.
One of the most loving acts of self-care is adapting a mindful, clean-eating regimen. I used to chemically induce the release of serotonin, spike my blood sugar, added a layer of starch, salt, and cheese, and provoke oxytocin. I ate until I was too full to do or feel anything else. It was this reactionary relationship with food that aided in my declining health. It was time to implement new, healthier coping skills.
Spring has sprung and it’s the perfect time to switch up your skincare routine. Why? Well skin shifts throughout the seasons, and since spring has landed in all her glory, it’s time for a shake up. I’m going to show you my homemade masks I whip up when spring arrives. They’re pretty simple to make at home with ingredients you can quickly find at your local market, or in your pantry/fridge.
For Women’s History Month, we’re focusing on the idea of the Rebel Woman. It’s a timely focus and, as our editor Chelcee Johns notes, “it’s these moments in the heat of our collective rebellion that sometimes demand an even stronger call to self-preservation, to self-care.” Do you connect with this idea? How do you embody this notion of being a Rebel Woman through your everyday life and experiences?
Intuitive eating is the practice of choosing the foods you want to eat from a place of love and alignment with your life. It is understanding yourself to such a deep level that you only choose the foods that coincide with who you are.
We’ve created an entire culture and economy around forcing folks to look outside of themselves for answers, leading them further, and further from the truth that lies within. While we can utilize our sisters as resources, we must understand that their journey is their own, and is no direct representation of what ours will look like.
Our mothers are our first experiences of God. Their wombs are the portals of our greatness — our entrance into this dimension and to our true purpose on the Earth. Give thanks. Here at Black Girl In Om, we want to honor the legacy of our founder Lauren Ash’s grandmother Lillian Lazenberry-Martin and her queen mother Patricia Miller. We give thanks for the powerful legacy that has ultimately led to our divine resource for black women’s wellness and healing — Black Girl In Om.
We do not have to like our mothers or have the best relationship with her, but we do need to heal this pain because it will fester and spill into other areas of our lives. Not healing this wound can even cause physical dis-ease in the body, particularly in the brain, the heart center, and the womb space. Healing the bond that exists between us and our mothers, whether she is in our lives or not, deceased or not, allows us to heal a very deep and critical part of ourselves.
The blessing of this hyperconnected era is that we can use the internet and social media to create digital villages and find support through each stage of our spiritual development. In the tradition of Cosmic Blackness, we can take pieces of the ancient ways and weave them into new strategies for empowering and sustaining ourselves.
I am already enough. I am enough because I can connect to my emotions and cry. I am enough because I am able to know when to call on my friends. And I am enough because no matter what opportunity tells me ‘no’, I will always say ‘yes’ to myself.
I urge you to take the time out to shift through the thoughts + beliefs you have about yourself and begin to challenge the things that you hold space for. You might be wondering how to do that, so here is some guidance on how to learn how to be rooted in your true self.
Rooting means taking back the power in your dirt. Reveling in the mess of your mud. Feeling bold in your blemishes. We have to explore our mud and dirt in order to rise; In order to plant any kind of seed worth growing. To explore our dirt means not only embracing our imperfections but being wildly creative with them. In order to get wildly creative with our imperfections, we need to develop a deep sense of trust in ourselves. Soon, those imperfections will become blessings, essential tools, or our greatest superpowers.
The willingness to turn inward, again and again; to separate the illusions from Truth and allow the Truth to rise and mindfully shift you forward in directions in alignment with divine intentions. As a vessel, I must always be open and willing to turn inward, root down, and tune out, in order for true expansion in alignment with my intentions to manifest.
A constant reminder to heal forward is the note I wrote to myself during those first few weeks of shifting, it sits over my writing desk, pinned to the wall with a piece of tape, it reads, “One of the things you miss in the wreckage is the shared fact of you.” Instructions to remind me that the story is always about sacrifice. Always about giving of the self. Always about finding and maintaining my pillars of strength, my emotional well-being, and my resilience to still glow up.
Collectively, we are now journeying inward. The outer world and things external to us are no longer of service to us the way we knew them to be in the past. Every day we are waking up to the fact that everything we ever needed is being found and sourced from within us, from our core and being. We are returning to the earth, the traditions of our ancestors, and ourselves in ways we have never done so before.
I am committed to rejecting the internal notion that I should fear love based on my personal traumas. I am not a victim. My declaration, my choice, is radical. I choose black love. I choose to do everything in my power to uplift, honor, envision, and support our black families. We will never die. We will commit to infinite love, and together, we will survive.
By channeling our ability to feel and express ourselves fully, black women can create paradise for ourselves and our communities. There is power in the androgynous space black women inhabit in the public imaginary. Unbound and unafraid, we are revolution.
When I was a new mom, I lost myself. I stopped writing (how could I when I wasn’t sleeping) and it took a deep look in the mirror to decide to stop beating myself up for it and prioritize coming back to myself outside of being a Mom… I had to realize that my child wanted what was best for me as well.
Really getting into the body, as this intelligent vessel that is speaking to us through sensations has been really big for me lately. I'm all about body awareness. You have to heal trauma through mind and body. That is something to keep in mind with this work. Are you feeling safe in your body? Are you honoring everything that is arising within you internally?
This month at Black Girl in Om, we are declaring a new narrative for women of color as well. We are proclaiming we are both Strong & Soft. We are honoring our duality. Shaking loose of an identity, of a world, that would tell us we can only be one thing and we are widening the definition of both our strength and our softness...
In 2015, after returning to Chicago from a two year stint of living abroad in China, I discovered my purpose in life. I realized that I chose to have my human experience as a highly melanated woman, with one hand, and with a purpose to empower people and build confidence by making prosthetic limbs accessible.
The ethos behind The Godyssey is the idea that we do not have to ask for a seat at any table, we are our own tables. And we have enough divine brilliance and creativity within to sustain ourselves without needing validation from any institution.
When I first sat down to write this piece, I thought I wanted to talk about finding safe space in the yoga studio, something that has definitely changed my life. However, I have been Divinely led to write a love letter to the woman I’m discovering daily and to my favorite space on the internet, Black Girl In Om.
As I began carving out who I was and how much power I inevitably had, I started tethering my character not to who or what culture/society mandates, but to what I could achieve by redefining my personal space.
I arrived to Thailand with my heart in my throat, and naive optimism. It had taken me a while to convince my family this was the right move, and ultimately I decided to do what I felt was best for my well-being. I took a leap of faith with my first solo trip abroad and the experience enriched my life in more ways than I could’ve ever predicted.
Bringing out the om in “business woman” is not always intuitive, but with a little foresight and planning, you may find yourself more centered and less stressed, freeing you to connect with your creativity and enjoy a sense of flow.
Once we can create an abundance of self-knowledge, self-acceptance, and self-love, we are unstoppable, and Astrology is one of the most ancient and long-standing tools we have used to achieve these enlightened states of being.
While you can’t change the lack of representation of Black people or avoid unwarranted fetish/sexualizing comments from ill-mannered men, you can still travel with ease without inflicting your well-being. After all, awareness of self surpasses well beyond mainstream positive affirmations; it’s begins with both self-protection and celebration.
We live in this really dark universe where hate is becoming more normalized and more ingrained into our country’s politics, so when I think of just myself going through that I feel very weak, but when I think of my whole community succeeding and persevering, it fills me with a lot of strength and pride by knowing that I can accomplish anything. I know as a united front we can accomplish anything, you know what I’m saying?
Every woman on the BGIO team pours herself fully into her role, and also juggles many other beautiful creative projects, many of which also center black women and other people who occupy identities that are too often marginalized. It's crucial for us to pour back into ourselves to continue to move forward in doing this work with integrity, vigor, and enthusiasm.
Each of us has the power to create a “red tent” of our own. It doesn’t have to be perfect or frequent. It doesn’t have to be expensive or expansive. It only has to be intentional. Ask yourself,“What do I want the women gathering here to gain from this space and time?”
While I believe wholeheartedly in protests, acts of resistance, and raising your voice, I have never felt comfortable at physical demonstrations. I often feel guilty about this—especially, when facing the question that’s all over Twitter right now: What would I have done during the Civil Rights Movement? Honestly, I’m not sure how many marches I would have attended. But I still would have taken action.
To be childlike is to be curious and eager, to be adventurous and full of wonder. Children are creative, playful and open to experience. I’ve had to be that way with myself, and to get back to having, and owning, that freedom.
It’s kind of like raising the bar a little for the things that surround you and focusing on the things you keep that bring you joy rather than thinking about how much you need to discard which is kind of a negative action, right? We’re shifting the perspective to: let me make sure the things that surround myself are things I love.
Growth is another word for abundance. And when we clear space of material things, --of relationships, of work, of tasks in our lives, we make room to be better versions of ourselves. We make space to have the things we want and desire.
Creating a space that supports both our work and wellness, is not always an easy feat. Nikisha’s journey of living with ADHD, depression and anxiety makes the need for a self-crafted space even more vital to her mental health and wellness. Dive into our conversation and prepare to expand your wellness tribe with this rebel woman.
Not only do we live on the Earth, but we are a part of it, and that means that we can’t care for ourselves without caring for it too. We’re all connected to and by it. The air I breathe, the water I drink, the ground I walk on and how I interact with each element affects and connects me to you. How then, can I say I love you and I love myself but not love the tree’s branches and roots that look like veins?