What's the Disconnect? Struggles as a Black woman with my Self-care journey.
Dear My EWI Village,
Keeping to my word and despite numerous life distractions, I want to share with you how my soul-care/self-care practices are progressing.
My sincere intention is to move through each month of this year, much healthier and mindful than I have ever been.As I reflect on this past month, I was once again reminded of a question another EcoWomanist shared with me over a year ago; “What is the ‘disconnect’?” Like me, she also continues to struggle with staying consistent with her wellness practices.
She went on to share her frustration of not doing what she knows she needs to do to keep her mind, body, and spirit balanced and well.
The two of us must’ve talked on the phone and agonized over this question for at least an hour. I later wished that I had been on my stationary bike – which is collecting dust in my hallway – during that hour we both spoke. I pass that bike every day, as I head to my home office.
So what is the “disconnect”? Why have I pulled out my yoga mat only twice in weeks? Why did I abandon my Qigong class over a year ago nor return to my weekly class with my trainer? Why did I stop attending my aquacise class, which I TOTALLY enjoyed?
Well, my dear sistas, while I have not identified all my “disconnections”, I have realized several of them. So here goes:
I’m not as young as I used to be and I’m no longer able to manage my life and all the demanding responsibilities and social distractions that fill my plate daily.
I don’t go to bed at a decent hour and maintain a bedtime ritual. My previous ritual consisted of me watching CNN, my favorite TV dramas or having late-night phone calls with one of my Sista-friends!
I was not intentional about preparing for my self-care and soul-care practices. For instance, if I want to maintain a healthy diet, I must prepare my meals before the hunger alarm sounds. My stress foods of choice are salty carbs, laced with a bit of sweetness as a chaser!
I fell out of practice of maintaining and expressing gratitude which is very important to me.
I said “yes!” to everything which contributed to my increasing stress levels and putting a strain on my overall health.
To sum it up, I put a lot of other things before me which as Black women we’re taught to believe we have to do.
Admittedly, naming the “disconnect” that prevented me from developing self-care and soul-care practices, resonated with me, deep into my core.
It is my sincere belief that as a Black woman whose legacy in this country and most parts of the world, has been to carry the “yoke” of all things that represent hard work, pain, suffering, and caregiving, and being the healer of other people’s brokenness, taking care of myself is more than about health, feeling good and looking good. It is the ultimate form of resistance to counter the effects of systemic racism and gender oppression. We can no longer continue to allow ourselves to be broken down by the people around us and the system.
So you may want to know, how am I starting to combat my “disconnections”?
I added my annual physical exam to my calendar. I’ve already had my appointment this month, and so far, nothing major was discovered.
I have spent the past week writing in my journal and even sent a few gratitude notes to others in my village.
I am getting to bed earlier than usual. I won’t expound on the time, but it’s an improvement.
I am meditating and praying before going to sleep.
I burn my sage, candles, and incense weekly as the spirit moves me.
I continue to tune in to the weekly worship service held by my church.
I keep my affirmation calendar on my dining room calendar and read a new one each day. My nine-year-old granddaughter loves reading them to me when she comes over.
I have been clear with some of my late-night callers that unless it is an emergency then it can wait until daybreak. I no longer accept calls after 9pm! That was a hard one.
I got on the scale and didn’t believe that those numbers belonged to me! Damn you COVID!
I signed up for a weekly belly dancing class. Luckily, the instructor is a friend of mind. This will force me to be more accountable.
I have recommitted to taking a 20-30 minute walk each day now that the weather has warmed up a bit. I even pulled out my best walking shoes and will keep them by the front door.
I lay out my workout clothes and go to bed knowing what self-care practice I will engage in upon my awakening.
I’m learning to unapologetically say “no!” to invitations and opportunities, no matter how enticing, that will only add to my stress level.
Admit that I will ALWAYS be “tired” if I choose not to rest and continue to juggle more than my share of life’s issues.
Keep my gratitude journal on my nightstand to remind me that the last thing I want to do each night is to give thanks for any (and all) that I experienced that day.
I now want to hear from you my fellow EcoWomanists. Hop on our Facebook page and other social media platforms and share your self-care/soul-care practices, challenges, and triumphs.
Sending you nothing but healing soothing synergy.Stay safe and stay well.
–Veronica Kyle, Co-Founder & Co-Visionary at EWI