Ok soooo 2020 eh? Wow. I've steadily oscillated between saying wtf about 20 million times a day in actual disbelief to what was happening, to being in a space where I understand and see just how important this time we are in truly is. It is life changing. There's no two ways about that. HOW you decide it will change your life though, is totally up to you.
I’ve had all the feels in the last few months, like, literally ALL.
To keep it all the way real with you, parts of this current phase of that what we call life is bloody hard to deal with. Watching a breaking down of systems that have only served particular groups of people for a very long time, has been overwhelming, triggering and just generally a lot. Realising that you are standing slap bang in the middle of a monumental part of history is pretty bloody intense!
The sheer weight of it all and the subsequent barrel of emotions that followed was a reaction that I was just not prepared for and resulted in things coming up in my consciousness that I had buried in the name of "getting on" with life.
It has, however, also really helped me to realise that some things that I just casually wondered about or only discussed with my fellow ladies of colour are real and totally valid.
One of them being the colour of wellness or rather the colonizing of wellness if we really want to go there 👀. As someone who thoroughly enjoys all things woo woo - yes I'm looking at you Tarot decks and random herbal potion I've concocted - it has often struck me why I never see anyone that looked like me in these seminars or classes, at all. Ever.
Like, what are other black people doing to stay well and elevate their spirit/mental health in this godforsaken world?!
I asked a few friends their thoughts on it and was told that primarily people are just trying to survive. Just living as a black person from day to day can bring about its own trials and tribulations, that then considering your wellness and mental health on top of that is a luxury. 😵Mind.Blown. It was something I hadn't considered before and in all honesty, made me check my own privilege.
Just look at something like the term Weathering, a theory that states the stress of racism has biological effects on black people. The constant stress of racism may lead to premature biological ageing and poor health outcomes for black people, like disproportionately high death rates from chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and most cancers.
Mental anguish and stress from “fighting against larger structures and systems can have an impact on your health,” Joia Crear-Perry, M.D., founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative.
Wellness has an opportunity to increase health equity for those who need it most, but instead, it's a $3.72trillion industry that does just the opposite.
So what has happened? How has wellness become so whitewashed and how have the people that probably need it the most ended up at the bottom of the pile to receive it?
Now I'm not saying that a few sun salutations a week is the cure to black peoples woes, but it definitely helps to develop the subconscious muscle, which is where limiting beliefs and ancestral traumas live.
By making wellness a fundamental and ritualistic part of your life, you experience a shift in perception and your reality moulds to your new outlook.
Wellness and more primarily, spiritual wellness, helps to feed new narratives into your subconscious as you begin to explore new and delicious facets of your personality, making you way better equipped to deal with outside stressors.
Believe me, it absolutely changed the game for me!
After coming back from India this year and having had the opportunity to be able to do a couple of 1:1 yoga class, it struck me; why is there no brown people teaching wellness, yoga etc in the same way back in London? It literally originates from there. Again - I was truly baffled.
The most hilarious - as in not funny at all - thing about this whole wellness colonising, is that if it did become an integral part of life for p.o.c, it would go along way in preventing illness, reducing crime rates and greatly improve mental health. Instead, we continue to perpetuate the notion that mental tranquillity and agile bodies are for able-bodied white millennial women only. WTF?!
Inclusivity MUST be part of our collective practice. The time needs to be taken to see who isn't in the room.
Take the time to ask the questions that uncover why they’re not, consider pricing structures to allow for certain groups to be able to participate. Upgrade and elevate your work out to include the opportunity for more people from all backgrounds and classes to have the same experience.
I must say though, in researching for this post and in the times that have followed since the BLM movement took over our feeds and conversations, I have had the pleasure of discovering a wealth of black wellness practitioners, magazines, blogs, insta accounts and it has been great! It's super affirming, really heartwarming and shows me that we ARE out there after all. You just apparently had to dig a little deeper or have hundred of thousands of people around the world hit the streets in collective outrage before anyone decided to take any notice!?! Again - 👀
At least the good thing about this shit show of a year, if nothing else, is the change I have seen permeate social media, adverts, the arts and in my yoga classes-ish.
A change that I feel is absolutely here to stay. Well, that's the intention I'm setting anyway.
Sending love, as always.