Over the years of tending to my interior life, in all of its vastness, I realized that sustaining myself through the storms are less about rigid consistency, and more about being aware of myself and what I need in each given moment or season. I don’t have a strict or disciplined schedule that I faithfully follow to keep me centered or grounded. I’m not wired that way. Rather, I have tools, practices, and resources that I can access depending on what I need to thrive or flourish in and out of seasons. These resources coalesce to create my resiliency toolkit. I’ve developed, acquired and cultivated these support systems over the course of 10 years. What has been most helpful for me is not that I use them all at the same, but that I know that I have these inner and external resources to heal myself and my relationships. This is not an exhaustive toolkit but one that is evolving and growing as I evolve and grow. Through communion with God (prayer), reflection, introspection and dialogue, I am able to discern which tools I need to thrive and flourish through life’s up and downs.
- a sacred circle of chosen family. I have a handful of friends that I know will show up for me. We show up for each other. No one person can be anyone’s everything, so my sacred circle of chose family is diverse. I recognize the unique gifts they each hold, and I don’t burden them with unrealistic expectations of support.
- a sacred circle of elders, mentors and spiritual mothers. I have a handful of elders who impart wisdom, care and guidance that can only come from life experiences. I would not be who I am with out them.
- a sacred circle of comrades. We all need those handful of professional relationships that are founded on mutual and reciprocal trust. We provide sound feedback, support and genuine endorsement of each others success.
- a sacred circle of ancestors. Over the past couple of years, I have become more attuned to the great cloud of ancestors that came before me. This has been particularly helpful for me as I navigate and fully develop my racial identity, racial justice and social activism work. It grounds me, I feel less alone at times, and more connected to the wisdom and guidance of my ancestors
- a sacred circle of teachers. Learning from a community of writers, community healers and activist speaking on topics that range from race, gender, liberation theology, and spirituality have been instrumental to my identity formation. Folks like bell hooks, James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Christena Cleveland, Dominique DuBois Gilliard, Jemar Tisby, Jade T. Perry, Lama Rode Owns, Brittney Cooper, Joan Morgan and so many others are voices of wisdom and light. ( links and resources guide coming soon)
Tending to the mundane of daily tasks have become a spiritual practice. They are times for payer, reflection, introspection and even play. When my plate becomes full and I neglect tending to the day-to-day task that keep me whole and grounded, I feel it in my body. I become unbalanced and decentered.
- meal planning
- supplements, i.e., vitamins, herbs and minerals
- hobbies ( I am a plant parent)
- fitness and wellness (yoga, rowing and weight training are my go to physical actives)
- being organized
- honoring that my personal and professional boundaries are fluid. They shift as my internal and external capacities allow.
mind, body and spirit supports
This support system nurtured me though healing from the harmful ways I was shaped by race, gender, sexuality, religion, all the isms. Through these supports, I developed a more authentic identity and voice. And, I have developed the courage to name and claim my voice. Note: I have not always had it in my budget to afford these services. I was surprised at how many practitioners offer sledding scale rates. Do not let finances hinder you from exploring and accessing what you need to thrive.
- mindfulness practices (present in the moment), mediation (focusing my thoughts), yoga and breath work
- spiritual practices that open me to the presence of God such as contemplation, meditation and spiritual reading and writing/journaling, intuitive practices like tarot readings with Jade T. Perry, creative projects, and play.
- spiritual direction
- self-reflection and introspection
- life coaches and mentors
- journaling & blogging
- regular massages
- mothering practices that prioritize caring from myself
- baths as ritual
- giving myself permission to feel and experience beauty in my own skin
- learning something new
- wine and a good book
- play, laughing and body movement