I recommend women of color create and adopt an empowering morning routine that’s consistent. This will look different for many people, but what’s important is getting rid of all the initial negative chatter we hear when we first wake up in the morning and replacing it with mantras, setting intentions, affirmations, prayers, encouraging music
I love bringing a community of women of color together to share their stories and uplift each other. When I was younger, Black girls used to compete. “She’s lighter.” “She’s darker.” “I wish I had looser hair like her.” “I wish I was mixed,” were the comments I was surrounded by as a little girl and it stayed with me all the way through adulthood. Once I learned to love me and the color of my skin, I wanted to help other women of color embrace themselves flaws and all. I want our community to be less about competition and more about support and love for one another.
Abena Boamah: Look at yourself. Walk around your house naked, watch yourself dance, learn about your body and how you move. I think when you start to really look at your body and really take time to see how your body works it can cultivate inner beauty and definitely wellness. Also take time to do the simple stuff to take care of your skin. Long showers, baths, and moisturize.
Chetna Mehta: I am a tree spirit; I live to give shelter, share fruit, stay deeply rooted in the soils of mother earth and expand to the sky unbounded.
In this life, I’m a mixed media artist, mental wellness mystic and healer. I’m a grad student in counseling psychology and a cultivator of a business, mosaiceye, centered on visual art, affirmation and workshop. I love creative expression, ritualistic self-reflection, and the synchronicities of our universal interconnection.
I'm also really into speaking words of purpose, affirmation, intention and faith over my life. I tell myself regularly that I'm more than enough, loved deeply and am more than capable and worthy. I haven't always felt completely confident in being me and it's been hard navigating this world as a women of color, but I've found so much healing in facing the insecurities, fears and hurts, and turning them around with the loving power of my words.
So I get major inspiration from Wendy and Jessica of Food Heaven Made Easy. This duo makes healthy eating look gorgeous! They are registered dieticians and nutritionists who share their passion for mindful eating through their YouTube community, amazing recipes on their website, and, of course, the ‘gram.
Black Girl in Om for me represents women of color coming together in a safe space to honor their connection with each other and their own unique individual journeys. It’s about demolishing the idea that we are competitors and “don’t wish to see each other do well.” It functions as a platform where we can instead share ideas centered around wellness freely with the sincere hope that it enriches the path taken by our sisters.
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”.
Interview by Lauren Ash
I'm so thrilled to venture out to NYC this weekend and kick of my yoga and self-care for women of color tour! In addition, BGIO Art Director Deun Ivory and I are thrilled to be able to partner with Desiree Verdejo, founder of Vivrant Beauty, on Friday, February 3rd at 6 p.m. for BGIO Happy Hour! We invite our BGIO NYC community to come out and mingle with us for good vibes in a beautiful space curated with women of color in mind! Learn more about the BGIO Beauty behind this lovely place and be sure to say hello to Desiree online!
Who are you?
Hey, I'm Desiree, founder of Vivrant Beauty, a beauty boutique online and in NYC that caters to women of color. We curate natural haircare, clean skincare and premium makeup products to brown women and are proud of the fact that half of our product lines and growing are black-owned.
What does Black Girl In Om mean to you?
Black Girl In Om is a celebration of wellness, self-love and sisterhood.
How do you identify with Black Girl In Om's mission?
I am a Black Girl In Om—a woman who appreciates the balance that inclusiveness, peace and self-care brings to my life but also how much more magical they can be when practiced with other black women. These principals are also weaved into the fabric of Vivrant Beauty, our beauty boutique that exists in the premium beauty world and the green beauty space—arenas that are not always mindful of the unique needs of Black women.
What are your self-care and self-love practices?
I'm currently eight months pregnant and have never been more committed to my wellness practices than I am right now. Eating healthy colorful foods, stretching these hard-working limbs in prenatal yoga and committing to an indulgent beauty routine for my face and body (especially my growing belly) are all necessities.
Oh, congratulations! So happy for you and your family! What's one ritual you recommend more women of color adopt to cultivate inner beauty and wellness?
Society loves to portray images of black women arguing and attacking one another. For me its so empowering to find myself in a circle of likeminded black women whether its a church group, yoga circle or a bunch of fellow entrepreneurs or creatives. There is so much support and mental strength in finding a supportive sister circle and I encourage any woman of color without one to commit to seeking out such a network.
Absolutely, Desiree! So, what's one wellness product you can't live without?
I can't live without soy candles or natural face oils. I'm currently obsessed with a moisturizing facial oil by Yuli named Liquid Courage which leaves your skin so soft and glowy.
I'm going to have to try that out! How may we stay in touch with you?