Let go of “Riding the Busy” and connect to…Joy.

I recently went to one of my favorite meditation teachers, Kadam Morten, who led a meditation class on success.

“In New York City,” he began, “ our greeting card is success. The first question asked when most people first meet is often What do you do? We seem to focus on prestige, money, relationships, exterior things. Can any of us say we are successful at happiness?”

Having a connection to some kind of spiritual practice is a gateway to joy.

Kadam Morten spoke about how spiritual practice requires effort. Effort is a word that often makes us feel bad because it’s about gritting our teeth and working hard but according to Kadampa Buddhism, effort is a mind that delights in virtue.

It takes effort to learn how to delight in the the aspects of life that require effort to achieve. Mindfulness meditation has been my connection to happiness. Being able to look at my thoughts and process them before taking action has been my latest favorite tool. When I act without mindfulness, the result is consistently unpleasant.

Mindfulness meditation is not religious. As a Buddhist, Kadam Morten noted that, in his opinion, mindfulness meditation is maintenance.

As an agnostic, I’m actually okay with that right now.

Stress is the number one cause of more illnesses that I can name. Our bodies are shutting down because we run at such a high level, working to achieve happiness outside of ourselves, many of us are never aware that we are innately connected to joy, always.

Riding the busy. That’s what I call it. We pack our lives so full that we barely have space to breathe, then, turn around shocked that life is flying by. “Oh my god! It’s already June!!” Then the fear sets in. “Time is passing by so fast, and I’m not going to get it back!” My brother and sister in law have been married over 30 years now and every time I see her, if I ask her politely how she is doing her instant response is, “I am so tired.” Can you imagine, saying I am so tired to everyone you know for 30 years? What kind of a life is that?

Unfortunately when we run on all cylinders, riding the busy, our body unexpectedly shuts down. We get sick, our blood pressure rises, we develop cysts, cancers appear, our hearts become traumatized, we develop type 2 diabetes. The root cause of many of these physical illnesses is stress. Science is recognizing that the foundation to healing illness is learning how to manage and minimize stress.

Mindfulness meditation allows the space for us to slow down and get out of our fight or flight sympathetic nervous system, and ground down into our parasympathetic nervous system and is a vital tool for healing.

Kadam Morten compared starting a meditation practice to planting a seed. When you want to cultivate a garden, first you till the soil, clearing all of the rocks and thick roots creating a soft environment. Second, you work to nourish the soil. Using nutrients to make the land fertile for growth. I always think it’s interesting how we use compost and manure to cultivate and heal soil that has been worn out. Just think about that. The third and final steps are to take the action of planting that seed and nourishing it with water and warmth.

Using the seed analogy, Kadam Morten talked about cultivating the mind for meditation in three steps:

1. Remove whatever obstacles by purifying the mind.

2. Give strength and nourishment by filling the mind with positive energy.

3. Activate by receiving blessings which transform the mind and activate growth.

I think this formula is fantastic.

And….

I think about the diversity of seeds and environments that we have on our planet.

Some seeds will never have the opportunity to grow in spaces without obstacles.

Some seeds were designed to grow their roots deep and grow through concrete.

Other seeds live in the city and are constantly bombarded with dog pee, human pee, pollution yet STILL these seeds focus down and grow strong beyond the surface level reaching towards the heavens while grounding down into the earth.

Let go of “if only”, take a risk and just try. I loved Kadam Morten’s recommendations and I modify the teachings to fit my life.

Some folks have their basic needs met, so they have the resources to clear obstacles, nourish their soil, then plant the seed water it and grow.Some of us do not have that luxury.

Listen, you don’t have to have all of the obstacles in your life cleared in order to start a self care practice. I encourage you, whatever your circumstances, to begin the process of practicing Mindfulness. Be brave enough to be present. Listen, more than you talk.

Allow yourself space to just be instead of trying to be.

Ashe

J9

P.S. This summer I’m leading a virtual book club! The book for the summer is How to be Single and Happy: Science Based Strategies for Keeping your Sanity while Looking for a Soul Mate by Jennifer L. Taitz.

I read this book earlier this year after a year back in the dating world of NYC. It has been a lifeline to me being able to mindfully date while being unapologetically single, connected to happiness and joy. Join me…www.patreon.com/visableblackwoman

#rhythmtherapywellness #singlehappysane #virtualbookclub #summerreading #sciencebaseddating

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Attn: Black Women…Fill. Up. Your. Cup.

I’m noticing a trend on social media.

Young “woke” Black Women are going viral. Young Black Women are getting book deals and being featured on magazine covers. Young Black Women are getting paid to by white women to educate white women about race issues. Yet these same young Black Women carry their race based trauma on their bodies.

Ironically, many of the white women who are seeking this racial awakening are dating or married to Black Men while the You g Black Women who are doing the educating….are single and child free.

What does all of this mean?

I have no idea.

All I can say is…All Black Women are well served to fill up our cups…. first.

I see so many Black Women building up others and setting for less than, for themselves.

We black people, remember, America has always seen us, our bodies, our minds our creative force, our hair our skin our very existence, as a commodity. When our ancestors were enslaved they were literally commodities. During southern Jim Crow era and the post slavery period in the north, we were exploited as sharecroppers, union busters and low wage blue collar workers.

Traditionally we have worked three times as hard, in order to get into colleges and get higher levels of education, in order to get resources that the average middle class white person has access to because they fall higher on our skin color based caste system.

African American women (and men) focus on getting all of this education so we can get jobs where we must work at a high level in order to be paid less than our white co workers. With these jobs, we pay more to rent and buy houses and apartments in white neighborhoods for access to safety, better schools for our children, clean water, Green streets, access to real food, and get harassed in those very neighborhoods we pay top dollar to live in.

As we do all of this hard work we get health care where doctors treat us as if we feel no pain….

But wait …y’all know this already, so here’s my point.

As white Americans become more aware and about our collective racial trauma and more guilty about how white dominance is ubiquitous in our country, we, particularly we black women, must be mindful of our self care.

Ever notice how no one says follow Black Men?

Yep, it’s always on the woman to take care to educate to support…..everyone.

But strong women break.

Did you know 137 black women die every day of heart disease?

Did you know the average age of death for a black woman is down to age 60?

I just turned 49.

I see that a majority of the social media influencers who are making money educating “women” white women on racial inequality or are on the forefront of the body positive movements are in their 20’s and early 30’s are over 175 pounds.

Carrying a larger frame for a lifetime facilitates an even shorter lifespan. Add race based stress and the trauma of supporting everyone and that leads to an early death.

I think of all of the big beautiful black women in my personal life and in the public eye who left this planet in their 40’s.

All of the entertainers I loved who were big and beautiful died by the time they were 65 or younger.

Nell Carter- 54 from Gimme a Break

Mabel King – 66 from What’s Happening

Shirley Hemphill- 52 from what’s happening

And several other black women in the public eye who cared for others with their talents and died young not to mention the scores of black women in our own families who died young because they took care of everyone else first.

Yes educate others. Do good. Make that money. And take care of yourselves first. Future generations of black people need you to be alive to pass your wisdom on.

Step away from fad diets and everything out there that tells you you aren’t enough and at the same time that you are too much.

Move your body 30 minutes a day. Eat real food mostly veggies drink water and find love. Love yourself and allow yourself to be loved.

Find doctors of color to support you on elongating your lifespan.

Strengthen your hearts. Yes we all will die one day. But how will we live, today? How will we enjoy the quality of this living body right now?

Healthy Life is not to be lived only for the rich. There ARE resources for black women to care for themselves first.

Here are some of my favorite resources:

www.girltrek.org GirlTrek is the largest women’s health movement that centers black women’s self care.

www.patreon.com/VisAbleblackwoman – health coaching, self care and wellness resources that are assessable for spending levels.

Remember. As Audre Lorde said…”Self Care is a revolutionary act.”

Ashe

J9

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I love My family, and am so grateful for my smother.

I’m the youngest of 3. In the photo Mom holds me in her arms.

My parents were a team. Daddy worked and went to night school to get his degree when he retired from the military.

Ma managed the house worked part time jobs and she protected us kids.

My older brother and sister were 8 and 10 years older than me and when they were kids my parents were in the military overseas with a strong protective community. Even then, Ma was a lioness protecting her babies from racism bullies and creating a loving childhood.

During the Kavanaugh hearings Mom shared with me a story she’d never told me before. When my Mother was about 7 or 8 in the late 1930’s, after Sunday school, the Black Male Sunday school teacher ordered her brothers out of the room and tried to lift her skirt and touch her.

She kicked him screamed, and scrambled out of the room. Her brothers and her ran home. When she told her parents, they spanked her…for lying and spanked her brothers for supporting her.

She always remembered this injustice. That Sunday teacher was a pedophile and ended up abusing many young girls in the church and his daughters, one whom he impregnates and she bore a mentally challenged child.

The ENTIRE CONGREGATION KNEW what he was doing and no one said a word or did anything.

The community just talked about him behind his back.

Let that sink in.

This was the Jim Crow South. Black men and Women were being lynched for nothing. The police were not allies.

Black communities depended on solid family and community structures to survive. In order to protect the community, women and girls paid the price.

In the early 60’s Mom was married and in her 20’s, pregnant with my older brother visiting South Carolina with my dad on leave from the military she went to church with her family.

That pedophile Sunday School Teacher was still prominent in the church. Livid, she went up to him in front of the entire church and publicly named his attempted sexual assault. She named his years of abuse “Shame on you” she said. “And shame on this congregation for being silent.”

She never set foot in a Church again.

Her parents apologised to her for not believing her. After 10 years.

My Mother lived in a time where sexual violence towards black women not only happened at home, it happened by sexually deviant white men and boys in the south with power who would rape black women and girls and not ever be held accountable for their actions.

You see black women and girls in Amerikkka have always been sexualised.

Black girls with loving parents in the south were taught never to walk home alone because a white boy could catch them up rape them and get them pregnant.

Then that black girl would be sent north to avoid the shame and bear the child because of course the rape was her fault for being dumb. The child would be sent back south to be raised by the family while the girl stayed north worked and sent money home.

This is the climate my Mom grew up in. She chose sports, and as the eldest daughter she helped out with caring for her 12 sibling. And the family protected her and she protected them.

She got a basketball scholarship and left South Carolina when she was 18 and never lived there again.

As she raised us she gave us armor. I don’t ever remember having a big conversation about sex I just always knew about sex. When I had questions my parents told me the truth. They also told me that some men out there are dangerous and some want to hurt little girls. My parents did not sugar coat what would could to little black girls In the south. So they kept a protective eye on me and taught me to bite kick and scream talk back to adults and run if I ever was in a situation where a man tried to touch me.

But I was never on a situation where I was alone with a full grown man or boy. In fact I was rarely alone with grown women either.

My parents were strict and I was not allowed to play with anyone they did not know or had not vetted and was not a Jehovah’s Witness. My siblings and my Dad were also super protective of me…the baby.

I was the only black kid in my elementary school from k-4th grade in Northern VA so without me knowing my mother would stop into the school to check on me and watch the teachers. Mom made friends with the black female custodians and lunch ladies who were her eyes and kept an eye on me. She also was in touch with the librarian. You see we were Jehovah’s Witnesses and I spent a lot of time in the library during birthday parties and holidays. So the Librarian watched over me.

Women showed up who were my protectors. Even in middle school I’d be acting silly trying to make people laugh in The lunch line I’d turn around and my mom would be there in the cafeteria watching.

She was gps before there was gps.

At the time I hated her for it. I thought my life was boring that I was missing out. I was afraid of her. I thought she was stealing my youth.

I couldn’t wait to get out of the house I became an actor and went on tour.

The funny thing is when I was out on my own I knew how to protect myself. I had no problems saying no to men. I didn’t drink alcohol or do drugs because I did not trust anyone and I saw the effect of drugs and alcohol on the women around me. If I was out with friends I would always watch my soda or juice and keep an eye on everyone else’s drinks. I would leave early and would leave with another friend and make sure we called each other once we got home.

I taught my friends how to look out for one another.

I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 26. And when I did it was my full choice.

My smother gave me the greatest gift my emotional intelligence. My common sense. My knowing that as a black woman in a predatory world I can protect myself by being mindful enough to look out for danger and make choices to protect myself and listen to my intuition.

In my thirties I attracted a group of friends who partied and did coke and mushrooms. I never participated and left the parties early. I remember one time I met a guy at a club and we ended up talking for a long time. These friends left me in the club without checking on me. I turned around and they were gone.

These people are no longer my friends.

As of today, I’ve never been sexually abused, or assaulted. I am grateful to my smother and the community it took to protect me and grow me into the woman I am today.

Looking back here are the steps my parents took to protect their children in a world where children need protection.

1. Be present. My mom and sand literally showed up randomly at my school during school hours to keep an eye on me.

2. Be honest. As your child grows up and asks questions about sex be honest. Explain what the names of sexual organs are how they work and why they work the way they do. Use clear terms and only answer the questions the child asks.

3. Be authentic. Tell your child the truth about the dangers in our society and teach them how to protect themselves.

4. Be empowering. Allow your kid to say now to adults.

5. Trust your kids instincts. If a kid doesn’t want to talk to an adult or hug an adult DO NOT FORCE them to hug or talk to that adult. Kids are tuned into their intuition and we domesticate them out of their gut brain in order to conform.

6. Listen to your kids. Be aware. Notice any changes in behaviour. When I was going to swim class at dinner my parents would ask me how it was going. I was a talkative kid but when they asked me about swim I’d get quiet and give short answers. So my mom popped in one day randomly and saw the swim teacher had all the kids in the pool but left me the only black kid on the side of the pool on a bench. My mom went up to him and politely told him off and took me home. I never went to swim class again.

7. It takes a village. Have your community of caretakers and watch them like a hawk.

I had a friend who lived across the street. My parents liked her parents so she was one of the non Jehovah’s Witnesses I was allowed to play with. I came home after a sleepover my mom asked me how it was and I told her it was great. I told her all the things we did and then told her that the family took a shower together after we worked in the garden.

She asked if I went in too I said no. I waited til they were done cleaned the tub then took my shower. I never had a sleepover at that house again.

8. Lead with love and truth. Living life from a place of love provides so much guidance. We can protect sculpted by teaching them to trust their intuition and that yes they do have power no matter how young they are.

8. Allow your girls to be loud and speak their minds. Empower your girls to develop a bullshit meter. Don’t sugar coat the way many men have been raised in this society.

9. Educate yourself around technology. Look at the internet. Including porn. Know what’s out there and educate yourself around the impact what is portrayed on screen. Teach your kids what authentic love really is and the difference of what is portrayed on screen.

10. Always lead with love. I was given a blessing of parents who love me. No they aren’t perfect and I do have trust issues to this day when it comes to men and relationships. I do know that even now my parents who are in their eighties love me deeply. They STILL protect me. As do my sister and brother. My wisdom is grounded in love. And that love has enabled me to choose men who are not abusers. My exes were all men who treated women with respect and none of them ever abused me or cheated on me and I never abused or cheated on them. I am grateful I was raised with honor.

Having children is an honor and a responsibility . It’s okay to be a smother. Raise your kids…with honor.

Ashe

J9

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The Courage to Walk Away

(For clarity on identity, I am a cis- gendered straight woman. In this blog when I refer to “women” I’m referring to cis-gendered straight women dealing with cis-gendered straight men)

I’m not a fan of reality TV and don’t watch anything about “celebrities” and their faux personal/public lives. I use social media strictly to share joy and don’t look at much. But when searching for a yoga teacher I saw a post that one of the former members of Destiny’s Child had broken up with her fiancée of 9 months.

The post caught my eye so I clicked.

Looking at the comments section the women who were posted were beside themselves with grief.

In the 21st century, not having a husband seems to be the worst tragedy ever. God forbid you don’t have a husband AND you don’t have children!!! That’s a fate worse than death in America right now.

We don’t put any focus on men being husbands and fathers do we? Little boys aren’t given toys to model fatherhood. There are no magazines or websites for straight men who are planning weddings.

Men’s magazines and blogs focus on how to date as many women as possible, how to get a 6 pack of abs and guns galore, cars and how to have as many orgasms as possible, not how to be a husband or father. Men are taught they must have sex with as many women as possible to be great men with power and if they impregnate one of these conquests they blame the woman for not being careful. The responsibility is always with the woman.

I celebrate every woman and man who has the courage to end an engagement. I celebrate every man and woman who breaks up with someone BEFORE they bring children into the world.

Why?

Ending a relationship that isn’t working is the ULTIMATE act of self love and being a great citizen.

Here are some shocking statistics in 2018 regarding domestic violence in America according to the CDC and a blog http://www.socialsolutions.com/blog/domestic-violence-statistics-2018/:

Nearly 1 in 4 women have experienced severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime

Intimate partner violence accounts for 15% of all violent crime

In 15 states more than 40% of all homicides of women in each state involved intimate partner violence.

85% of domestic violence victims are women.

28% of families are homeless because of domestic violence.

81% of women who experienced rape, stalking or physical violence by an intimate partner reported significant short or long-term impact such as post traumatic stress disorder symptoms and injury.

4% of High School students report being hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriends in the last 12 months.

Most cases of domestic violence are never reported to police.

When we teach young women and girls that the main source of happiness is being married to a man, instead of creating a world where we focus on loving ourselves unconditionally OF COURSE we get these results.

It amazes me that men are not held accountable in our society.

Let’s face it, for a woman at any socio-economic level, marriage is a stepping stone for having a life with abundance and wealth. Yes we live in a society where women are working more, but ALL women make less money than men in the workforce. So if a woman is the main earner in a relationship that couple is making less money than a couple where a man is the main earner.

I celebrate the women who got out of relationships BEORE getting pregnant by men with issues. I celebrate the women who had the courage and mindfulness to terminate unwanted pregnancies. I celebrate the women who are able to make the hard choice of saying yes to truth and reality and letting go of inauthentic relationships.

I’ve not been in a committed relationship since 2014 and the last time I dated someone seriously was summer 2016. Summer 2016 the man I loved contacted me to reconnect and I dropped my life and went to another state to be with him.

He was older but still just as beautiful and just as fucked up as he was when we were together in 1997 and even I, with all of the work I’ve done on myself, bought into the illusion of “The American Love Story” which is grounded in attachment.

Ladies no it is NOT acceptable to be with any man in order not to be alone. I don’t care if your biological clock is ticking. I don’t care what society has ingrained into your head. I don’t care that all your friends are married and talking about how wonderful their men are and how lucky they have to have found them. Guess what… luck is relative. Talk to that woman on a day when her man has crossed the line then see how lucky they feel.

If you are a woman who refused to settle, I celebrate you and encourage you to use your freedom in joy. We have one life to live on this planet, and regret is a waste of time. And if you are feeling lonely, know that emotions are like the weather,they will pass. Oh and one last thing, living “in the meantime” , waiting for your life to begin is not living. Your life is in progress right now so what are you going to do with your time?

When a sister ends a relationship with a man who is not serving her…reach out and celebrate her courage. Honor her for her courage to live her life on her own terms and please just don’t say things that encourage co-dependence.

Women…our lives do not have to revolve around men with penises. Go out and make the world a better place to be in, from a place of radical self love.

Give yourself permission to view your breakup as a break through and the relationships you attract from a space of self love will make the quality of your life…golden.

Loving yourself…is the Greatest Revolution.

Ashe

J9

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Movie Review: A Star Is Born.

‘Tis the season for SAG/AFTRA members to vote for the SAG/AFTRA awards!

The first screener I watched was Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born. Bradley Cooper co-wrote, produced, directed and acted in the movie and, I must say he did a beautiful job of sharing the story of a cis gendered 40 something successful musician struggling with the disease of substance abuse. Bradley Cooper is the star of this movie.

As an actor, I absolutely love Cooper’s natural “slice of life” style of acting. It’s super difficult for recognizable A -list actors to disappear into the roles they are playing. Cooper changes his vocal quality and physicality to create the aging rock star Jackson Maine beautifully and I was able to willingly disbelieve that I was watching Bradley Cooper simple natural style of acting and thought I was watching rock star Jackson living his life on screen. It was so nice to be immersed in this story.

I’m impressed with the writing and the direction. I mean it’s a perfect example of how and why the white men in the film industry dominate and deftly seduce us into loving them. They are experts! You have the silver fox Sam Elliott, with that thick head of white hair, tall tan slim with that crooked grin the tilt of the head and sparkle in his eye that perfect “cowboy” persona that has been utilized to charm women and people of color out of our resources ever since this country was created. Then there’s Bradley Coopers personification of 21st century flawed American male masculinity in its prime. I just wanted to cover his bearded face with kisses and love him into sobriety. Jackson is an alcoholic drug addict but we get to know his back story. Since Jackson has money, power, is able to pluck a young talented singer songwriter waitress out of poverty and on the national stage and love her as is, we love and accept Jackson even though he’s a falling down passing out opioid addicted drunk.

The storytelling is good. I watched my screener on my I Pad while on the treadmill meaning to do 30 minutes and I ended up on that thing for an hour. There were moments of the film where I was so invested in what was going on on screen I had to turn away because I felt so bad for Jackson.

The real love story in A Star is Born is the one our society has for cis gendered straight white men. The movie telegraphs,” Yes we straight white men have power and we are flawed, our alcoholism and drug abuse is a disease. But you will love us because in this movie we will pick the white girl who isn’t the standard of beauty we actually promote in the real world, we will surround ourselves with men of color, cis gendered gay men and trans women that click all of the boxes progressives love, and we will act like black women are invisible. In this movie we will reiterate the fact that yes, white men have the power but with that power comes responsibility. Watching us manage that power as it slips away, and seeing us fall is devastating, compelling and humanizing.

It struck me as well that in A Star is Born, there is literally only one role for a cis gendered straight woman and that role is the female lead Ally, (we never even learn her last name) played effectively by Lady Gaga. At no point did I not think I was watching Lady Gaga. She’s got a great voice and of course pulls off the whole “I’m not a pretty girl, I’m scrappy” that will inspire young white women and girls to believe that with a gay ethnically ambiguous male bestie and a troupe of ethnic drag queens as her “girl squad” she can nab a hot bodied straight white guy who will get her out of her daddy’s house, marry her and take care of her as she grows her own business.

Ally has no cis gendered straight women in her circle of friends or family, I mean no one. None of the women in this movie are in relationship with one another. We think we’ve come a long way ladies, but have we? It’s fascinating that in 2018 Lady Gaga is naked in several scenes but Cooper is not. In the era of women ruling the world, faux liberal Hollywood is still churning out relationship propaganda movies that will keep women thinking that we are not enough unless we have a man who says we are beautiful in our lives.

Oh, and I should say “white women” because in the world of A Star is Born, the only woman of color in the film is a plus sized black woman in an Under 5 role as a grocery store check out girl. But of course, America is segregated and in the lives of many white people, the only black women they are around are the ones who work in service. In Hollywood every good white guy has a black guy friend so Jack’s black male friend played by Dave Chappelle has a wife who is not a black woman, and is the noble sage version of the “Magical Black Man” giving Jack the advice he needs to make a big change in his life.

Moving on.

It really bothers me that every person who moves Ally’s career forward…is a man. I’m not familiar with the music industry but from the little bit of research I’ve done, it seems like all of the major players in the music industry from the executives to the agents to the choreographers are men. Wow.

Then there’s the whole age thing. I can tell a Star is Born is a male driven narrative because you have an older guy who could never settle down finally, finding a young woman to take care of him when he’s middle aged and burnt out. I feel sorry for and at the same time happy for all of the women Jackson dated when he was younger who he probably used and threw away only to instantly fall in “love” with this pretty young thing he hears singing in a bar.

So I co-exist with loving Jack in this movie as black folks have always done as we watch really good movies where we do not see ourselves onscreen.

Movies have formulas that create an emotional attachment between the viewer and the content onscreen and allow us to empathize with people with issues. That’s what makes storytelling so important to bringing people together. A Star is Born sticks to Hollywood’s formula and is superficially progressive by adding in the gay male community. That being said… It made me cry and… Bradley Cooper rocked as an actor, writer, and producer and told that White Man’s story well.

J9.

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Healthy Thru the Holidays: 6 tools to Deal with Holiday Conflict

The Holidays are here. Here we go. Family and those who know us best are most likely to know exactly how to push our buttons. Here’s 5 tools to deal with holiday conflict.

1. Take responsibility.

The only person we can change in this life is our own sacred selves. We can be in integrity in how we choose to react to any situation that comes our way. Take responsibility. Be the “adult”. Choose to be peaceful.

2. Focus on interests not beliefs.

When in conversation, focus on what the family member is interested in, pets, hobbies etc. The old rule of stay away from religion and politics is super key this holiday season.

3. Silence is golden

Give yourself permission to be quiet. Listen more than you speak. You may just learn more about your family members.

4. Practice compassion.

We all have that gasbag relative who sucks the air out of the room. That relative who brags about their accomplishments, be the “know it all” of the family who strongly believes in “alternative facts” as their truth. There’s also the person who is always complaining and finally the relative who feels the need to constantly correct people, often times with incorrect information.

Practice radical compassion with all of these relatives. Just let it go. Choose peace. People’s insecurities are usually apparent to the entire group. Thanksgiving isn’t the time to put someone in their place.

5. Let go of seeking to gain approval.

Once I stared expecting letting go of my expectations, and my need to gain approval from people who really don’t understand me or agree with the way I live, I let in peace.

Letting go is really a practice radical self-care. Give yourself permission to say no and disengage peacefully. Take walks and if it gets really bad…go see a movie.

Ashe

J9

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Healthy Thru the Holidays 2018: Travel Balance

Believe it or not, the holidays are the PERFECT time of the year to practice mindful strength.

Okay I know you’re like… whaaaaat?!!? The holidays are the time for me to relax and let my hair down.

Here’s the thing, you can relax let your hair down while at the same time practice mindful strength and protect your heart.

The trick is, to do a little bit every day and don’t be a perfectionist. Yoga is a physical practice intended to be done daily for a lifetime. Living inside the poses is a metaphor for life. Simple yet complex.

And guess what… you don’t need yoga pants or a mat or a bolster or some skinny white woman in a sloppy bun guiding you through her vision of yoga to practice. Nah. All you need is your own sacred self and basic knowledge of the poses.

And Yoga is the PERFECT physical practice while on the road.

1. FOUNDATION

Imagine your feet and legs are the number 11. Standing parallel, equal support on each foot.

Inside your shoes, connect your heel and the pads of your upper feet… spread out through your 5 toe joints, lifting your toes and breathe life into your feet.

Start by counting to five relaxing and build up to counting breaths for as long as you are in line.

Allow your breath to be natural and notice the fullness of breath. Foundation.

2. BALANCE part 1

Keep that foundation grounded.

Start with whatever foot feels right and shift your weight to one side.

Then…lift your heal, notice how your knee bends, your hip turns out gently and allow your toe to kiss the ground.

Then breathe.

If you are new to yoga…or it’s just a long ass day, this is enough. Just do the same process on the other side and relax.

STEP 2

Slowly point your knee to one side allowing your hip to open

Lift your knee and place your foot on your standing leg’s inner calf.

Steps 1 and 2 are perfect for long lines at the airport where you need to practice patience. We give up control when we travel by air. So, the only thing we can control is our mind. How we react in the circumstances we happen to be thrust into is our only place of power. Practice grounding into that power.

Step 3- Tree Pose

If you feel ready and are willing to focus lift your foot and place near your inner thigh. Feel free to take off your shoe or boot and press that foot into your standing leg. You don’t have to lift your arms just standing in tree grounding down into the earth is great for practicing balance in any circumstance.

Step 4. Bring it HIGH!!! Extended Hand to Toe Pose with lifted Arm

If you feel it and don’t give a care… Do your full on standing pose and vibrate the radiance of life. Some poses just allow us to connect to joy in real time. This standing balancing pose strengthens your legs hips and helps to develop a keen sense of balance.

Stay Healthy Thru the Holidays with me on Instagram @rhythmtherapyj9 and for a deeper experience become a supporting member of VisAbleblackwoman Productions on Patreon http://www.patreon.com/VisAbleblackwoman

J9

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