By Etecia Brown
In this time of overwhelmingly uncomfortable shifts and pruning we must remember that we too are someone's ancestor. In that remembering we must take the time to sit with our uncomfortability. In this time of transition we must not forget that this country was founded upon violence and genocide and yet still our ancestors persevered, remembering Us, their descendants, deep down in their hearts. They loved Us so much that they never stopped fighting for not only their liberation, but ours too. So today, pick up that same thought pattern. Ask yourself, "what tool am I going to sharpen everyday in this battle between lightness and darkness?" How will this tool empower you and others so that you continue flourishing? Why are YOU here? Reflecting on all the many many people who died in the middle passage, the many many people who died on the plantation, the many many people continue dying today at the hands of state sanctioned violence, you are still standing in spite of all the tragedy that is in our spiritual system. As a worthy Being apart of this web we must take up the work of our ancestors spreading light and love infectiously. This work is not easy but its necessary, and you are not alone.
When you open your eyes to this earthly plane, when you become aware of your body, when you are present, it is important for you to take time to love yourself from head to toe. Sure you can say, "but I do love myself!" But have you created a habit of it? That doesn't mean just acts of kindness, like indulging in your favorite sweets or going shopping. But rather, asking your spirit "how can I honor you?", "how can I do the work that I was meant to do?" There is ancient wisdom inside of you. The medicine you need to heal your sick self lines the fabric of your soul. We must take the time to pour into ourselves by asking these questions and then acting in response with good habits and spiritual practices that replenish us. Some people call this meditation.
Meditation is taking time for self care and discovery. Meditation is a practice that gets better the more you do it. Meditation doesn't come easy to even the most seasoned "traditional" meditators. The kind of meditation where you sit in a quiet room legs folded incense burning doesn't work for everyone. But no worries. Meditation is abut giving yourself what YOU need. Where do you most find yourself are in the "zone"? Where do you find the most peace? This may look like dancing, writing in a journal, drawing, jogging, chanting, bike riding, or singing. There is no wrong way to meditate. The most important thing to remember is that meditation is a practice that allows you to be mindful of your spirit. Turn inward. We are taught to ask for permission, ask for saving, ask for guidance from external sources. This is the opposite of ancient indigenous spirituality. For example, "chi" in both traditional Chinese medicine and Nigerian Igbo culture refers to the "god within you". Similar to the "Ka" in ancient Kemet (Egypt), chi is the force of creation and exist in everything. This force is your higher self and the balancing guide and protector for your Being. Let the "force be with you". Find what feels right, align with it, it's yours. According to the National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health, 8% of American adults (18 million) meditate. If it's so beneficial then why don't more people do it? Commonly, people give up before they are able to develop a habit of it. With anything that is important to you, time must be made for it. It is easy to go through your day on auto-pilot absorbing trauma and pain and chaos and never releasing. In western culture especially you often see people's "release" manifest in negative, counterproductive, and/or violent ways. Even the seemingly most simple form of release like crying is difficult for many people living in modern society to allow themselves to do. Crying often signifies vulnerability, weakness as perpetuated in the media. Allowing ourselves to let go of stigma or shame and release what no longer serves us is key to our healing.
Try for a moment to let go of all your judgement about meditation, or the things you have heard about mediation. Simply focus on what it is that brings you the most peace (not anything mind-numbing like watching TV, intoxicating, physical pleasure based, etc.). Allow yourself to relax, feel peace roll over your shoulders and warm your heart. Open yourself up to discovering the you inside you. Are you able to dedicate 5 minutes of your time daily to doing that? Try to meditate in a space that is quiet. If you hear noises don't fight it. Hear it and let it pass without judgement. Observe the thoughts that pass your mind without getting pulled down rabbit holes of emotion. Meditation is about observation. You are the person hearing the voice in your mind. You are not the voice. You can switch up your meditation practice and incorporate a combination of things that work for you. The key is to not stop. The goal is to master your mind and not let your thoughts and emotions consume you. Once you are able to meditate consistently and for longer periods of time you are able to better protect your spirit when you go out into the world faced with challenges. Regardless of what your mediation practice looks like, it feels the same to all those practicing mindful medication. It feels like honoring your spirit and taking time for yourself with yourself. When you are serving your highest self you are tapping into Source power and you are serving god. God that is all of us, that is the collective We, that is love and light.
Sometimes we get stressed out-we feel overwhelmed, we feel anxious, get angry, and we forget to stop and slow down. When we are rushing through life we forget our breathing, we forget to laugh, we forget to smile because the weight of the world is heavy heavy heavy on our hearts minds and shoulders. This weight often manifest in the physical and we notice that our back hurts or our neck hurts or our chest hurts. Don't wait until you are stressed to meditate. Meditate everyday, and certainly when you are feeling good. You can not wait for the "right" moment to come before you create a good habit of self-care. You will find yourself making excuses for why you can't meditate today. Just do it. Take a moment to sit with yourself. Hold yourself accountable for your own healing. Remind yourself of love. You are powerFull beyond measure. Your thoughts manifest your reality. Walk your path with intention. As long as there is breath in our lungs we can make conscious choices to nourish our minds bodies and spirits with righteous fruit. Set a reminder in your phone to meditate; stick post-it notes around your room with gentle reminders to mind your spirit. Do whatever it takes to reach deep into yourself and remind yourself that you are worthy. You are whole, perfect, and complete. Reach out to your support system so that all of us can practice collective healing.
We cannot let corporate media and propaganda influence our agency and urgency, we cannot be petrified. We must be militant about our love. Through healing we move in solidarity with purpose and profound vigor so that the change that we make is everlasting. Let the actions that you take mean something to you and be a commitment to sustainable liberation. Meditation will help you to find passion for your purpose and pursue it whole-heartedly. You are not your past, or the sorrows of yesteryears. You are the joy of your ancestors. You are the cause and the cure. You are important, valuable, and valid. You are the Alpha and the Omega. You are the sun and the water. You are the clay and the wind. Get up, get out, and heal something. Your voice is powerful. Have you heard it lately? Release...release...release. Let it go. What is for you is yours. We know media is meant to program us, cripple us. We are all on the cloud pretending as if Octavia Butler, Sophia Stewart or George Orwell didn't warn us of the potentials of darkness. You don't have to pretend anymore. Your life is not determined by how many likes you have on social media or the titles you hold. You are real. You are a change agent. So how can you be the (s)hero of your own story? How can you be the person who defeats the villain, whether that be external villains or internal? How can you thicken the lining necessary to protect your spirit, mind your spirit, so that you can do the work? Meditate. Keep trying.