By Chante Dyson. Photography By Deun Ivory.
Oh, the irony of having to write a piece about Inner Convos and Mental Health Awareness, particularly on a day where my inner sun isn’t shining the brightest. As much as I advocate on mental health and wellness issues, the truth is that there are some days where I don’t want to leave my bed. Not because of exhaustion or sleep deprivation, but because of an unexplainable sadness that comes every now and then to remind me that I still haven’t fully figured this thing out. But maybe I have. My journey towards a healthy relationship with my mental health has come from working through the depression; knowing that I can and will get to the other side. It’s knowing that even my pain has a purpose. I must feel, experience, and endure as much as possible to have impactful stories to tell and to develop a strong sense of empathy, allowing me to hold space for all of my sisters all over the world.
What I’ve learned so far about my mental health journey is that it is not linear. There is no one particular destination that I’ve reached, but rather a gaining of great tools and practices that help me stay in balance and keep a perspective of hope even in the less favorable moments. I’ve relied on dance and sleep primarily, when the feeling of unexplainable sadness comes and doesn’t leave until I address it. Both dance and sleep allow me to make time for myself even when it hurts -- to let the energy move through and past me. I’ve found that identifying less with my fluctuating emotions and more with the voice of my womb and soul have blessed me with a great sense of clarity in regard to my mental health. It doesn’t mean I don’t go through my moments -- but it means that I am fully aware today that I have all of the tools I need to get back to my equilibrium, to restore my inner peace and reverence for life.
Something as simple as speaking words of truth and power can turn a depression spell into a self-care moment for you. Imagine looking at your emotional state as an observer only. Hmm, it’s interesting that I have no reason why I am so sad right now, is what I told myself last night. I followed up by saying, My body knows exactly what it needs to heal itself at all times. I will rest my body now and rise early to receive the messages from Spirit that I usually have the highest access to between 4am-6am. I went to bed. I woke early and received the message to spread my knowledge and experience with our community here at Black Girl In Om -- I want you to know that it all gets better with time. I want you to know that you can heal yourself from anything, you magnificent, glorious, melanated, woman. Develop your tools to fight back. You know exactly what you need and what makes you feel good and supported. For me that looks like sleep and dance -- two practices that offer me a re-charge, especially when my energy feels trapped and the flow just isn’t happening. 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? Have you talked to your womb to develop that relationship and guidance? She is always there for you and your healing.
My sisters, remember that you are not alone on this mental health journey. Remember that you have a community of powerful women all over the world who not only share these experiences with you, but have made themselves readily available to love and lift you up in those moments of misunderstanding. My hope is that the inner convos you have always redirect you to your place of greatness: your soul and your womb. In those places we are always divine, always powerful. In those places we are our highest selves. In the thought and emotional space, we are subject to infinite fluctuations and alternative states. Let them pass. Thank them for their time because they, too, serve a purpose. Now say it with me, out loud or in your head, I am never too far from my place of divinity. I have all of the tools needed to heal myself back to my original place of power and purpose. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being so very powerful on this Earth. The world needs you and all of your gifts. Remember to prioritize your mental health like it truly matters, because you do.
This May is National Mental Health Awareness month and with that, our theme is Inner Convos - having the taboo conversations we need to have aloud and with one another. Be it managing depression, or romance, or the money talks we need to be having to dealing with body issues and acceptance. Our inner voice is our guidance system and it is important to be very mindful of what and how this voice is speaking. We always have the ability to redirect that voice to a place of power and truth.
Want to share your work with us? Have gems on how your wellness practice has sustained your ability to impact culture? We want to see your poetry, your photography and the ways in which you are creating culture. How’d you build that brand or devote yourself to the work of social justice? What music do we need to be put up on? Who’s leading the wave? We want to hear from you. Send your pitch to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chante Dyson is a Los Angeles based creative and founder of The Godyssey. A passionate writer and storyteller at heart, she proudly serves as the Editorial Coordinator of Black Girl In Om. Her mission is to raise the collective consciousness of the planet through her work and multiple mediums. Follow her work more closely through her website and Instagram.