Interview by Lauren Ash. Photos by Channing Hixon.
Lauren Ash: Who are you?
J. Chavae: I am a being who knows herself and her purpose in this lifetime, which is to spread as much light as I can, while I can. I am a light-working creator.
Lauren Ash: What does Black Girl In Om mean to you?
In my opinion, Black Girl In Om means a black woman vibrating at the same frequency of the universe and being aware of that superpower. Realizing that you are connected to everything and everyone around you, realizing that the same vibration that makes up the moon and the stars is also the same rhythm of who you are, realizing that you are tapped into “the Source”.
Lauren Ash: It's like you peeped into my soul with that statement. You hit the nail on the head with how I was conceptualizing Black Girl In Om from the beginning. I will always remember this. Thank you. And, how do you identify with Black Girl In Om’s mission?
J. Chavae: I identify with Black Girl In Om’s mission in the sense that holistic wellness, which helps you remember who you are, is what I am all about. By sharing what I do for self-care, self-love, and self-empowerment, I hold space and give other women ‘permission’ to do the same in their lives, however that may look.
Lauren Ash: What are your self-care & self-love practices?
J. Chavae: I have a very wide and eclectic range for self-care and self-love practices. My practices are, but are not limited to, yoga, dancing, writing, reading, crocheting, buying myself flowers, setting boundaries, pratyahara (withdrawing of the senses), sharing my story…the list could go on.
Lauren Ash: Oh I love that you mentioned one of the 8 limbs of yoga. Can you share more about how you practice pratyahara in our busy, noisy world?
J. Chavae: In regards to pratyahara, I simply unplug. I already do not watch television or listen to the radio. I do occasional social media fasts (which has lasted from 1 week to a little over two months). Sometimes I don't even play Spotify. I don't answer/check the phone or my emails. I just sit with myself. I meditate, I practice yoga, or simply hold space for myself. It is so easy for Ego to arise & for comparison (which leads to envy) to come up in the day & age that we live in. Pratyahara helps me remember who I am on a cellular level. It quiets the external chatter, the external opinions, so that the line of communication to/from my highest self is open. I have learned and re-learned quite a bit about myself & it has strengthened the bond & loyalty to myself.
Lauren Ash: What’s one ritual you recommend more women of color adopt to cultivate inner beauty and wellness?
J. Chavae: One ritual I would recommend that more women of color adopt is: honor yourself by making/creating time for yourself. In doing this, find the balance between mindfulness and constructive mindlessness. By this, I mean take the time out to do the work needed to better yourself (as often as you need to), take the time to do the things that make your spirit happy, but balance that out with ‘mindlessness’ such as creating or reading. As women of color, we get so focused on the work that we forget to give ourselves, and our minds, a break. We are very hard on ourselves and tend to concentrate on how much we can do within an allotted time period. We need to remember that every fiber of our being deserves to relax at one point or another; rest is where the real integrative healing happens.
Lauren Ash: What’s one wellness product you cannot live without?
J. Chavae: This question is hard as I am not a very big product person and at the same time, I do my best not to attach myself to physical things. The only thing that I can think of is coconut oil. Coconut oil is an amazing product externally, internally, and soulfully!
Lauren Ash: Spoken like a true member of our beautiful Black Girl In Om community! Coconut oil STAYS coming up in conversation over here. What do you use it for?
J. Chavae: I literally use it for EVERYTHING. It is the main oil I use to cook with. I use it every day on my face and skin. When I practice abhyanga massages (self-massages starting from the crown of your head to the souls of your feet, which is VERY grounding), I reach for my trusty jar! My hair adores coconut oil as well.