The source of our stress, anxiety, and suffering can most certainly be found in the past and in the unknown (the future). We spend so much of our time, and so much of our days on this planet, reliving the past or obsessing about the future. Both are moving unnecessarily in directions that do not exist. What exists is the present moment. In that moment.
When we say sacred shift, we’re referring to creating change that reverberates beyond the surface. A shift that not only deals with the exterior - what you are doing. But one that dwells in the internal - who are you being? A moment to pause and realign.
I’m all about manifesting what I want out of life, so consistently saying how poor you are isn’t going to lead to riches. Instead, using a word like budgeting and saving speaks to a higher purpose in your efforts and lessens your anxiety when discussing with those around you.
Is there any question as to why we default to a lack, poverty, and scarcity mindset? It’s what we’ve been taught. It’s what we know. It’s what we’ve been led to believe. Abundance always says there is more than enough; while scarcity says we must hold on and withhold because there is not enough. Abundance is based in love, while scarcity is based in fear.
That inner voice that once guided me, pointed me into the direction of myself; forcing me to redefine myself to myself, for, myself. I needed to understand who I truly was, beyond the goals and possessions; to understand my purpose, and why I am here on this earth.
Today as a devotee in the Yoruba tradition, I realize that the more I learn about myself as a woman, specifically a woman of color, the more I get to know who Oshun truly is, a deity who is just as sweet as she is fierce. The more I get to know who she truly is, the closer I feel that I become towards her.
We often discuss what it means to receive racism, but we shy away from conversations about how anti-Blackness has trickled down into our communities. We need to create more spaces where Black people can confront the pain we harbor within. Spaces where we can reflect on our feelings of hurt, betrayal, and self-deprecation. The more we have these honest discussions about what role we play in extending anti-Blackness, the more we can strategize around abolishing it.
Think about a world that exists only in your wildest dreams, where melanin is given its rightful respect and every part of the diaspora isn’t quite so...diasporic. Imagine a future where the disconnect between the identities of Africans and Black Americans and Black Latinxs isn’t as pertinent, a future in which we lift each other up as a collective and further our identities as a whole.
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.
Winter in the midwest is the ultimate scam. Native Midwesterners like me carry unique, er twisted, realities: we tell ourselves that six months of mostly sunny, warm weather justifies six months of nightmarish cold, harsh winds, and sidewalk situations that we can't even wear regular shoes in.
Think I'm being dramatic? Winter means shorter days, more layers that I don't enjoy peeling off, and a tendency to neglect my H20 game.
I love to do as many things as naturally as possible—my hair's been natural for a decade now, I enjoy getting real DIY when I clean my house, and I like to eat food that has 3 ingredients on the box, rather than 30.
My skincare game is no different. While I can admire a good contour, I can assure you I would look like a straight-up CLOWN if I tried to do that on my face. I embrace a natural look when it comes to my skincare, and make-up, and have been gravitating toward brands that understand this.
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...
Audre Lorde will tell us, “revolution is not a one time event;” healing is not a one time event; wellness is not a one time event; self-love is not a one time event. It is a journey we pledge ourselves to each day the morning calls our name. It’s here, in the commitment, that we are excited to begin our year at BGIO and with you too.
When I hear the word “celebrate” there’s a few things that come to mind; my mother making pancakes before work when I was a child because I did well on an exam, my father secretly telling my aunts about a small accomplishment (at least small to me) because he’s proud, or my best friend sharing a post on Facebook about one of my projects because she’s the best ride or die in the world. Celebration to me means love. Love for myself and what I’ve done or love for someone else and how proud I am to witness their work.
“I feel that women are thrust into this paradigm around hustling [hard] and around a more masculine way of approaching the world. We’re taught early on that if you want to succeed, if you want to scale the corporate ladder, if you want to have the life of your dreams that you have to do it a certain kind of way. Terms like ‘slaying’ and ‘killing it,’ these are the adjectives we use. ‘She’s killing it.’ But, no one is killing anything that is doing well in the world... because they’re probably nurturing it.”
My appreciation for Latham Thomas and her work has only deepened since I first met her in Manhattan on the High Line for a walk, ice cream, and casual chat about wellness as women of color three years ago. When she divulged inside-scoop details about her forthcoming release, Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within to me over brunch a couple of months ago during a visit to Chicago, I thought: there has to be some way to fold this obviously enriching read into Black Girl In Om!
One way we complicate relationships is by attracting and engaging with people based on our limiting beliefs on love. Limiting beliefs are any thoughts or emotional responses that hold you back and keep you from getting to the heart of love.
If you have to shift or change yourself to fit into a community or lifestyle there will never be truth to those friendships. They will never have the pleasure of enjoying your company! Be your full self! Those that are for you, will still be for you.
Like it or not, we mirror our surroundings. That doesn't mean that you aren't an individual with different perspectives, but it does mean that it's easy to fall into the pattern of your environment and upbringing. To be different, to think different, is a choice. Mental wounds can derive from anyone, not just our Mothers or Fathers. Anyone that you allow into your life can influence it, so protect it.
This past weekend marked the start of a new, thrilling chapter for me. Nike Chicago launched a new initiative: Air Society Chicago. I'm a founding member of this Nike Women driven collective that exists to ignite creativity, fuel ambition, and inspire greatness in all women of Chicago. In addition to being a founding member of this small group for incredible women who think and dream big and energize other women to do the same, I am also the newest addition to the Nike Training team! ... As I look back at the past year, I can identify distinct ways that I acted and moved in alignment with achieving this opportunity, although it was never a goal of mine, never a possibility that even crossed my mind.
Black women are the purveyors of heroism. We are always tapping into ourselves to uplift and save our communities, yet when it comes to tapping into the personal power that keeps us feeling good, there can be a lack of self-love. That reservoir that keeps us smiling and fighting is our personal supply of goodness that we must take care of.
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?