To See and Be Seen.

Most mornings I try to connect with Da Plantain (my daughter’s nickname) by having a family check in, but the last few days have been a bit hit and miss. Today, we focused on the feelings and needs chart I created to help with self awareness and emotional literacy.

She looked through the feelings list and picked irritated, angry and jealous. My initial feeling was shame before wanting to launch into trying to justify myself, but this was her time. Because of my own awareness, I was able to just observe my response without acting on it and focus on her.

Instead, I responded by saying that unusually when you feel these things, it usually means that a need is not being met at some level. So we turned over the laminate which has various categories of needs and how they manifest. She picked the connection category along with ‘to see and be seen.’

In that moment I was able to understand the impact of the stress I had been under in recent weeks finishing college and my dads death. She felt resentful because I had not considered the impact of these things on her because they were not happening directly to her. She knows I love Cleo (the cat) so was also jealous any time I pet her because she felt disconnected.

First, I thanked her for being honest about how she felt and apologised for not being as available as she needed. I was also intentional about looking at her as I spoke so she felt seen and would know that I meant it.

It’s not been easy these last few weeks trying juggle everything, but Da Plantain helped me understand how disconnected I’d become and to remember that we’re in this together. Not only did she need to be seen, but I realised that I also needed her to see me as an imperfect women as well as her imperfect mother. Do you relate?

Affirmation: Today, I will remember the power of we and ‘to see and be seen’.

The Power of Black Sistahood

In these times of intense stress, it’s easy to get trapped in compulsive problem solving. Our survival energy is ramped up so we use it’s charge for intense busyness to release anxiety and feelings of powerlessness.

When I began creating the mastermind, I was obsessed with making sure there was lots of rich content with tools to transform. Members would use the material to understand their pain and process it through using the worksheets, videos and resources  I’d created and banked over the years.

What I learned yesterday from a Sista member was, whilst the library of wellness was extremely important for self study, it was secondary to the power of being held in the live weekly circles.

The real joy for her came from being seen, having her story heard and witnessed with compassion, without judgement, from sista’s who look like her.

Shared identification, solution focused healing and mirroring the greatness in each other is a powerful catalyst for change.

Today, I will remember that heart centered healing is not always about what I need to do, but making sure I have a safe space to be.

Bashment or Lovers Rock?

Happy International Reggae Day Fam!

With both my parents from Jamaica, it makes sense for me to fly the flag hard for it’s amazing influence on reggae culture.

The first time I fell in love with reggae was hearing the soundtrack from the film The Harder they come with Jimmy Cliff and Toots and the Maytals.

So why does singing our favorite chunes feel so damn good?

The voice box is connected to your vagus nerve which is the body’s longest super highway which connects our thoughts to feelings from the base of the brain to the abdomen (Google it).

When stimulated, this powerful system of roots and cables turns off our stress fight or flight response to regain a sense of balance and calm.

With the constant stress of living under the system of racism, it makes sense why singing, music and dance has always been a central role in our culture.

So as we celebrate the eclectic genius of reggae, whether you choose to twerk, whine or ride pon di river, consciously choose songs that uplift, soothe and ignite your melanin pride!

Today, I will remember that music is also therapy and black chunes matter!

It Takes a Village?

#juneslovenotes
Last Sunday was my second guest appearance on Goddesses of the Round Table with 6 other black women.
The topic was The Mother Wound which brought up some difficult, but powerful conversations.
One of the sistas talked about the concept of healing through the African proverb, ‘it takes a village to raise a child.’ Whilst I love the idea of this in principle, it always makes me sad because the reality is that our village is deeply wounded.
A lot of elders in our community were (and still are) very abusive, and remain stuck in denial about their need to do the healing work or make any sort of amends to those they hurt. This means that what was once a valuable part of the village, has become unsafe and the consequences are clear in the faces of unhappy children now walking around in adult bodies.
When we’re denied the love and protection we deserve as children, it takes a lot to reach out for help as an adult. If we’re willing to trust the process, a rework of the original quote can give us hope as we build a family of choice. So instead of saying, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ we can move to,  ‘It takes a healing village to raise an adult child.’ This empowers us while we heal to be more discerning about trusting those who have earned our trust.
Today, I will remember that I have the right to choose peace and blood is not thicker than safety.

Don’t throw people away?

#juneslovenotes
Many of us experience pain in our families where denial has been the super glue bonding the dysfunction.
When you make the decision to do the inner work, enabling sick family patterns is no longer an option. Your shedding the mask that kept you ‘safe’ in honor of discovering your new, true authentic self. As we step into our truth, what do we do with those who choose to stay in the dysfunction and don’t support your growth? I’ve learned that we don’t have to throw them away, we can create a spiritual compost.
With a physical compost heap, you recycle kitchen and garden waste into rich organic matter to nourish your plants. In this instance, we hand the challenging people and their behaviors over to our Higher Power (as you understand it) and take the lessons from our experience of them to nurture our growth.
I have a wooden box on my alter where I write the names of people causing me pain, have always caused me pain and have no intention of doing this work. Sometimes, I have to hand them over through gritted teeth but there’s always a lesson, a gem, an incite we can take from that relationship. Maybe its setting new boundaries, learning to say no or redefining your values and needs? When we stay focused on doing our inner work, we transform our rubbish from the past into wisdom to nourish our future.
Affirmation: Today, I will remember that I am not responsible for fixing others. I will honor all that I am and take this wonderful opportunity to celebrate my truth and growth.

The Importance of Sistahood.

Last Sunday I was honored to be part of a new venture called Goddesses of the Round Table. This space was held by 7 light workers, healers and therapists to talk about current issues impacting our community. In the session we talk about the importance of sistahood and related topics around the mother wound, shame, learning to stand in your power and so much more. Check out this first episode and join us for the fortnightly show on Sunday evenings.

 

It’s My 10th Sobriety Birthday!10 Things I’ve Learned.

 

Greetings, the 2nd June is my 10 year sobriety birthday and I’m so grateful! It’s been a rollercoster of pain, incite, lessons, healing and growth and I wouldn’t change any of it! It’s made me proud of who I am today!

I this session, I’m sharing 10 lessons I’ve learned.

  1. Racism is an addiction to power. 
  2. White people are never going to rescue you.  
  3. You learn to trust by trusting.
  4. Compassion trumps positivity. 
  5. Sobriety requires softness. 
  6. You can’t heal alone.  
  7. Black only spaces are everything! 
  8. Educate yourself about black psychology. 
  9. Not all black folk want to heal but shaming them doesn’t work either.  
  10. Every baby step counts.

If you think you might be addicted or are in recovery looking for more information about racial sobriety, details can be found at www.theblacksteps.com

TOOLS FOR BETTER LOCK DOWN SLEEP.

Hey family, I hope you are well and keeping safe. I don’t know about you but my sleep has been all over the place since this pandemic started so in this live stream I share the tools I use to improve my zzzzzzeddds.

  1. Bedroom: Is it messy? Do you take work in there? Make sure your bedroom has the calm vibes for sleep.
  2. Deconstruct: Release the stress of the day with journalling or sharing with someone you trust.
  3. Meditation: Check out binaural beats Youtube which are great for reducing your anxious brain. I don’t know the science behind it, but it works!
  4. Movement: If anxiety is keeping you up, remember that its also energy trapped in the body so stretching, yoga, dancing, any sort of movement is great for releasing body tension. I love doing yoga sessions with an amazing black women called Faith Hunter on YouTube @spirituallyfly
  5. Essential Oil: Lavender oil is my primary go to for relaxation. Put a few drops on your pillow, mix with olive oil to rub on your body or drop into a warm bath. Mmmmmmm.