The earth is abundant in healing tools for almost every modern woe. Even the ground we stand on has the ability to improve our mental health.
Growing up, I was always the quiet kid at the back of the classroom writing stories and song lyrics in the margins of my notebooks. Without anyone telling me to do so, I discovered that writing was my escape. No matter what was going on around me, I could create a world of my own through language and take refuge there for as long as I needed to.
Plants! What can I say about them? The value that they bring to the human experience is paramount, and their vitality is essential to the world we live in.
It’s funny to me that others always describe me as being so calm and at peace. I typically appear that way on the surface, but inside I’m actually hoping no one sees me flailing and trying not to capsize in my own ocean of emotions and anxieties.
I’m a therapist, so people who know me think I should not have any problems or issues. I must admit it has taken some 20 years for me to get to the point where I embrace the reality that situations in my life have been difficult to deal with. The problem is I chose to suffer in silence.
Watching Mercy move is a visceral, gut-wrenching experience. When you see her perform, it feels uncomfortable and all-at-once invigorating, kind of like the thrill you’d get from stealing and reading your big sister’s diary. That’s because Mercy, in many ways, uses movement to move her experiences out of her body, releasing them back into the world transformed. It’s like a moving memory.
Traveling down the stairs in a single file line as the school day was ending, my 7-year-old body was nervous. I knew that my mother was waiting for me at the bottom of the staircase with the other parents and I didn't want my friends to see her.
Coco Chanel famously said, “A woman who cuts her hair is ready to change her life.” Well, she wasn’t wrong. I was tired of fighting with my inner demons. I was tired of running on the treadmill, out of breath and exhausted by the unchanging scenery. I wanted something different.
Mental wellness is a topic that often gets ignored. As a culture we are quick to speak of the importance of our physical health, but when it comes to our mental state, as a collective, we have given it a back burner to everything else. This realization is unfortunate because depression is the most common mental health phenomenon affecting the post-industrial world.
As October comes to a close, I have truly realized is that setting a goal is not the same as setting an intention. For so long, I shaped my distinct goals as indicators of my success and well-being. In actuality, the ways in which we structure and visualize reality, our intentions, are just as important as the achievement itself.
Naturally powerful plants = naturally powerful you.
The Africa that is sold to us is not my Africa, the dry and desolate place filled with starving people and war lords is not my Africa. My Africa is filled with trees that are a heavenly green and the soil bleeds red. My Africa is beautiful so therefore, I am beautiful.
It seems like the companies decide to “gift” darker skinned people with one or two shades that are usually quite red and would make most people look like an oompa lompa.
For a long time, I did not believe I had a story to tell. What could be special about a Black girl from Queens? The separation between myself and my Caribbean heritage left me feeling adrift, the classic first generation dilemma.
"What are the words you do not yet have? What do you need to say?" Spoken like a sincere mother of sages, the questions Audre posed continues to bring life to the stories buried inside of me. What I now know is that the suppression of how you feel will hurt you: emotionally, mentally and physically.
I learned about good sex in my grandmother’s bookshelves. The summer of 2004 was spent reading on the sun-drenched, living room floor of her house in the suburbs of Chicago. At twelve years old, I read as easily as I breathed. Though the content was questionable, I could tear through a YA novel in a few hours and be bored again by lunchtime. What that often meant, was my selection of books considered to be “age appropriate,” ran out pretty quickly.
The holidays may have come and gone but winter is here to stay. This is a difficult season for many, considering that it’s freezing out, the days are short (if you work a 9-5, practically non-existent), and it’s impossible to ignore the toll that the dry air takes on the skin. Here are a few staples that keep me sane during this time...
My life purpose as a Lightworker and as a healer has not come without sacrifice, experiences or darkness. I hope to shed light on what it means to truly grow through darkness in order to glow through the light.
How did a woman’s strength go from a pillar of empowerment to a self-damaging anchor? I am not sure how we let strength morph into Wonder Woman Syndrome, but I let the idea of strength smother me. As women, we must care for everyone around us while balancing career aspirations with grace. We glorify being Wonder Woman while ignoring what the pressure is doing to our mental health.
Poetry from Zahura Akter
Poetry from Maggie Smith
Poetry from Jamica A. Whitaker
Poem from SBG Poetry editor Sherese Francis
Interview with Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie.
SBG Poetry Section’s debut post: a review of Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie’s collection of poetry, Strut!