By Chelcee Loraine. Photography by Deun Ivory.
The week is full of BBQ’s, beaches, time in the sun, with family, finding rooftops and refreshing drinks. We’re catching up with cousins, and friends, maybe a bit of traveling for the long weekend. While we, as people of color, don’t often celebrate the 4th of July in a traditional sense – for good reason, it is still a great time to pause. To reflect on freedom, and what it means to you in this season, even just to celebrate yourself and how far you’ve come this year.
We are officially in the second half of 2019 (time flies flies) and you’ve made it! You’ve grown, you’ve been through a few things but, you’re here, we’re here – brilliant and beautiful. The midpoint of the year, is the perfect time to assess your wins – we often don’t give ourselves enough credit. It is also the perfect time to “vision-cast” and realign for the second half of the year.
Take a moment in these extra few days to check-in on every part of your life. Your spirit, your mental health, your body, your finances, your relationships, your goals. What places in your life could benefit from a realignment?
I believe the first time I heard the term “alignment” was driving down the streets of Detroit in my mother’s Jeep. The wheels of course needed to aligned. While I’m typically not one for car metaphors, when we do some upkeep to the wheels in our lives it often allows us to have a smoother journey, a drive with less veering. The purpose of the wheel alignment was to reduce wear and tear and to make sure the jeep could travel “straight and true.”
Here at BGIO we’re looking at the month of July in similar fashion, our theme this month is “Align for Ascension.” In what ways may we take the midpoint of the year to align our own wheels - our minds, body and spirit - to make our journeys true and our drive clear, to propel into our best selves.
So much of our thoughts on ascension are typically tied to reaching the next level externally. When I began reflecting on what I wanted to achieve over the next six months it all dealt with producing fruit – writing, websites, brands, building up that savings account, etc. etc. All good, but all beyond me in a sense. It made me pause and think about ascension as a very internal aspiration as well. Ascending past selves that no longer serve me, ascending in my spiritual journey, ascending artistically. As we align to ascend for the second half of 2019, let’s make sure our goals cross every plane.
A Few Gems for Aligning the Spiritual, Mental and Physical:
1. Reboot Your Spirit with a Guide: I often find picking up an old faithful book on spirituality helps to reboot my practice. I commit to a chapter a day, and don’t just read, but interact with the text. A few of my old faithfuls are The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, a BGIO fav The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav, Sacred Woman by Queen Afua Opening to Spirit by Caroline Arewa and the Bible. Yup, meditating on scripture in the morning and maybe a gospel song you loved growing up. P.s. As Chance the Rapper would say, “talk to God in public.” Really, sometimes we think we’re too busy for quality spirit time. I recently started having prayer & chats with the big homie on the train to work. We have to align the internal before the external.
2. Meditate for the Season: Meditation overall is a beautiful practice, but it may be time to switch it up some. There are many popular modes to meditate: mindful meditation, transcendental meditation, mantra meditation (a fav when I’m trying to seep in a new belief about myself and my place in the world), visualization (a good one while focusing on ascension), and movement meditation. What do you need in this season? Try on a few different meditations to see what feels right to you. The Insight Timer app, Headspace app, and Calm app are great for accessibility.
3. Don’t be thirsty: Okay, I’m joking but not joking. A simple, necessary thing you can do for your body is up your water intake. I know, not rocket science. But I, and so many others that I know, forget to really drink water. I could talk about yoga in the am, going for a long walk in nature, taking a new fitness class, reassessing your food intake – all good, do those things. But, if nothing else, drink your H20! From your digestion, to weight to skin health - water can save lives.
4. Ascend Your Own Self: Honestly, sometimes the biggest thing we need to ascend are the limiting beliefs we have about ourselves. It isn’t our procrastination, or time management, or over-worked schedule – those are symptoms. It’s what we believe about the life we deserve. Once you believe in your mind, body and spirit that the life you desire is capable your actions will start to align too. Ascend fear and doubt, by listening to them, respecting them and letting them know you got it from here.
5. Empower Your Chart to Success: Once the internal work is done, it’s typically a bit easier to go after the external. We are just as excited about you getting that promotion, finishing that book, launching that passion brand. Create an incremental chart to success. Sometimes we give ourselves lofty goals and then we find ourselves disappointed when they aren’t achieved. Instead, break those big goals down month by month until we close 2019. We often underestimate what we can do in a little time and over estimate what we can do in a lot of time. Go after the work, business, relationship that makes you feel the most free, the most ascending – and do it in a way that is empowering not condemning.
We look forward to aligning for ascension with you this month!
Would you like to write for us this month? Share what practices help you align your goals, your finances, your self confidence. How are your ascending on the job and what did it take to do so with wellness? How about aligning for healthy relationships. We’d love to hear your pitch at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chelcee Loraine is a publishing professional, Detroit native, editor, and word & world-loving soul. Based in Harem, her passion for the power of the written word & highlighting often policed narratives has led her to work in publishing for the past decade with organizations such as Simon & Schuster, Moguldom Media Group, Serendipity Literary Agency, the New York Times and writing for the likes of Ebony. In a rupturing political climate and blooming social change, BGIO is the place Chelc is able to create a community of safe space in our collective stories as Publication Editor. She is empowered by the (inner)work! With that said, her self-care go to is journaling, prayer and meditation.