There’s nothing like women of color showing up and holding space for one another.
In a society that wasn’t built for us, it is a blessing to be living in a time where solidarity between women of color is at an all time high. While there’s more growth to be made, it’s safe to say that we have begun to evolve past the idea of pushing wellness and mental health to the back of our minds, putting others before ourselves and living a life that doesn’t bring us easeful and joyful moments.
For that I am grateful.
Collectively, we have begun to shift our perspective to that of true abundance – mind, body and soul.
We’ve also begun to realize that abundance doesn’t come through overworking and carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders.
Abundance; true abundance comes through taking moments to pause when needed and making an intentional decision to choose ourselves over and over again – thus making way for the things that we desire and deserve to show up for us with ease.
From therapy, meditation, yoga, community building, sharing/holding space, creating businesses for the community and doing the working internally, together we’ve begun to shift the way that we show up for ourselves and our sistars. That is powerful – beyond measure.
Below, hear from these powerhouses on what wellness and showing up for the community means to them. Each woman on this list has a platform that caters to the evolution and ascension of black and brown communities in some way. Upon reading, I urge you to support these women as they support you.
Sky Britnei of DE LA JIPI Apothecary
“Wellness is love. For me, wellness is all about living wholistically and aligning the mind, body and soul. It’s about reflection and then action – with consistency. It is asking yourself: How can I feed my mind? How can I feed my body? How can I feed my soul? Are the actions that I’ve been taking conducive to connecting with my highest self? What can I change? What can I expound on? What do I need to release? By consistently asking these questions and making these self check ins apart of your routine, you are loving on yourself while holding yourself accountable in a graceful way.
Wellness is making the art of taking care and holding space for yourself a daily practice.
Showing up for myself first and foremost has helped me create a space so that I can then show up for my community. Because I give myself the grace and space to journey through the ebbs and flows of my wellness and spiritual journey, I can now hold space and offer services/products for my community to help them do the same.”
Désirée of Desired Doulas
“As a person who has dedicated much of their time and thoughts to learning and understanding the many facets of wellness, I can say wellness is not easily defined but certainly felt. If I were to try, I would say wellness is the dedication to being and becoming one’s full self – whatever that may look like for each individual. At the core of it, wellness is simply health- physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, sexual, relational and mental health.
Wellness is the lightness one feels as they shift into a greater version of one’s self. Wellness is profoundly more than spa days, clear skin, and eating vegetables. Wellness is steadier breathing rhythms.
Wellness is hearing, listening, and honoring one’s intuition (inner voice). Wellness is asking for what you desire. Wellness is having the funds to follow your passions. Wellness is allowing yourself to relax enough to reach your peaks. Wellness is a walk towards removing shame.
While wellness can be beautiful in the traditional sense, we must honor the beauty in the “ugly” parts of wellness. Understanding and letting go of fears. Questioning your beliefs. Asking yourself why do you think the way you do. Unlearning. Re-learning. Wellness is the epitome of duality. Good and bad. Beautiful and Ugly. Joys and Pains. Vulnerability and Freedom. Wellness is the full embodiment of the human and spiritual experience. I advise you to please take the time to discover what wellness looks like to you!
My enthusiasm towards personal wellness brought me to a point where I was no longer interested in mindlessly liking photos on Instagram. I wanted to have open dialogues with my community, sans shame. I prefer human interactions beyond double taps. That is what led me to changing my Instagram to focus on topics that were important to me and helpful for my community- women’s health, Doula work, wellness, natural skin care, etc. This is one of the ways I use technology and social media to show up for my community. Teach as you learn. Be open for discussion. Spread the good word. I’m honored my wellness journey is continuing to help others on their own sacred journey.”
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EyeRene of Brown Girls Heal
“Wellness for me is my ability to carry an abundance of love for myself beyond my trauma or anything in life that was supposed to bring me down, kill me or stop me. Wellness is me learning what it means to really take care of myself, mind – body and soul. To love me, deeply, from the inside out. I think when we (women) really learn to love ourselves, really learn to forgive and heal ourselves, it makes it easier for us to deliver that love to others (women). It makes it easy to show up in spaces with love and love genuinely.
Living a life of wellness and balance (I might add) allows me to show up for my community by understanding although we may come from different places, have been through different things the one thing that connects us all is we’ve all been through “something” & there’s solidarity in that.
It allows me to come from a place where deep within my heart i want to understand, love and assist my community in their healing, learning and loving themselves and really taking care of themselves so their trauma doesn’t resurface in a traumatic way. It really allows me to remember that no matter what, love should always be at the forefront and love for self should always comes first & that is what i want my community to know, understand and believe.”
Ebony Of Queens Recognize Queens
“Wellness… wellness by definition is the active pursuit of a goal, so to me it’s something we should never stop striving to find balance in.
Wellness is a mind, body, soul balance that allows us to bask in the wholeness of who we really are.
Wellness is checking in with self to add more of what can serve your greater good, or subtract anything that does not pour into your light. Wellness is the activation of your right to walk into the Queen Goddess that you are.
This principle allows us to show up in our community in authenticity, transparency, and power. It’s helps us to remember the ebbs and flows of life, while leading as an example of what that can look like- remembering its indeed a pursuit. As we pursue, may we be gentle, kind, and wise as we grow, evolve and transcend our outer being to reflect our inner divinity. ”
Hanah of Open Apothecary
“I see wellness as being parts of us that we are consciously improving and working on that makes us whole and create whole wellness. Our mental, physical, social, sexual, spiritual health. I also see wellness as being necessary to consider the collective wellness of all people and the earth. We must also consider sending love, prayers and energy to the collective because we are all connected.
My empathy for others wellness as well as my own struggles with it have helped shape how I show up for my communities.
As an able bodied, cis, lighter skinned Brown Womxn I feel it is part of my duty to work and show up for others less able and or more marginalized than myself.
So I continue my mission that focuses on helping folx with their physical and mental pains. My wish is to bring bits of joy, healing, health and love to aid in the wellness of ones being and hopefully adding gently to the collective wellness in the process.”
Lotus La Loba of Lobaland Beauty
“Wellness means living an intentional lifestyle.
Consciously choosing what feels best for me physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, socially & financially. Those choices can either keep me in the limitless stream of well-being or show me what I no longer need. Either way I’m living my best life.
Wellness is foundational in my community, everything I create and give is centered on getting my wolves (community) to put themselves first unapologetically to fully experience joy in their life.
More joyful black and brown women is a act of revolution that I’m here for 🙌🏾”
Meghann of Leone Luna Tarot
“To me wellness means not only caring for yourself on the outside but caring for yourself from the inside out as well. I feel that we look at self care as a “treat” or a “fad” when it truly is something that we need to be functioning and clear headed people on this planet. I can go on and on about my veganism, how I have been sober for over 2 years, my supplement regiment, etc but none of those types of things matter without me showing up and also doing my own personal shadow work.
Maneuvering through my own emotional reflexes, recognizing and accepting the traumas I have lived though and how those incidents have shaped the way I think, function and react. The beauty of forgiveness and allowing yourself extra space and time to heal. Not feeling lack, not self sabotaging and not allowing others to tell me what I am capable of. That is what wellness is to me.
To me wellness is listening and hearing others, showing compassion, recognizing other peoples pain, respecting when other people tell me their truth even if it is something I don’t want to hear – these are all examples of things I have learned by doing my own inner work that I now share with my community on a daily basis.
The idea that it is okay to say what you need to say or feel what you feel is important because the wellness community can be so quick to tell you that speaking on your pain is the act of “manifesting negativity back toward yourself”. Understanding that everyones process for dealing with things for absorbing information and just for living is very different and it is not up to us to change people into versions of ourselves but to accept people for who they are. This is what wellness is to me and how I encourage my clients and people in my life to see the world and others – from someone Else’s perspective, so their perspective can evolve as well.”
Rowana of Spoken Black Girl
“When I think of the word wellness, I think, “How deeply am I able to connect with the life I envision for myself?” Is my body well enough to visit parks and gardens, travel, and host events? To pick up my daughter and embrace my family and friends. Is my body well? I think of my mind. Am I so distracted by low self-worth thoughts, overtaken by temporary feelings, reliving trauma, and feeling like a victim? I’ve learned to notice those thoughts and take them as a cue to snap into the present moment. That’s mindfulness right there. It’s as easy as that. It’s about catching yourself in your trauma and recognizing the steps you need to take to get back to center. That can mean anything from meditation and journaling to a therapy session or a nap. You have to ask yourself, “what do I need right now?” and listening to your inner knowing. I think of the spirit. How connected do I feel to God and source? Wellness is about being in a constant state of learning and healing so that your unique purpose and vision can shine through you.
I used to think of wellness as a whitewashed industry and I still think it is, but Black women have begun to rally around this industry in an unprecedented way.
We have always been about our healing, but there’s this new seriousness about getting our coins while we are at it and carving out our piece of the pie. I’m so blessed to be surrounded by thriving wellness entrepreneurs who are truly innovating in this industry. As a publisher focused on mental health and wellness, I can say I don’t know of another publishing company like Spoken Black Girl Publishing, especially not for Black women.
In every fresh, new, and exciting way possible, we are revolutionizing the wellness industry. We’re mixing industries as fluidly as we do our multilayered identities. We’re in tech, advertising, publishing, diversity & inclusion, and the list goes on. And so many of us are working toward the collective wellness of the planet and our local communities. It’s a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of.”
Rebekah of Organize For Love
“To me, wellness means that I have a deep emotional, spiritual, and physical connection with my wants and needs. I take consistent action working through and tending to my wants and needs.
When I want to be of service to my community, I feel an obligation to be diligent in taking care of myself. I believe that when I’m well, I can be of better service to my community.
I like to be extra prepared to support others by pulling from my “self-care toolbox”. This can look like getting up earlier, meditating or journaling longer, working through a tough issue with my therapist, or unplugging from social media in order to further ground myself so I can be 100% for my community”
Emelda of Women Creatives Chat
“Wellness, particularly for women, is a revolutionary act.
Each practice of caring for ourselves refutes centuries of messages which insist we place everyone else first. And so resting when our bodies and spirits are weary, breathing mindfully, eating nourishing foods, all these ways of flowing energetically are daily love letters to our whole selves. It’s also what grounds the work in our community, Women Creatives Chat.
It is one of my deepest intentions for us to realize we are worthy of care, love and dreams we carry within our hearts; our creative expressions can shift the narrative and culture around us. In order for us to do this work fully, we must take time to nurture the mind, spirit and body, because we cannot create from a place of blockage and force. Well being is liberation.”
Jesecca of In Grace Yoga Therapy
“These days, I’m learning that wellness is self-love. Before I can show up in my community to offer wellness programming or even provide tools, I realize that I must be loving on myself – my skin, my voice, my body, my eyes, my laughter, my peace etc – the wellness that I offer is only a reflection of the wellness I passionately give myself daily.
When I hear the term “wellness” I think about taking care of me and inadvertently helping folks to take care of themselves. This process includes my mental, physical, emotional, spiritual and sexual health.
Wellness also reminds me to be intentional with everything that I do – as my actions and decisions could either contribute to or deteriorate my health. I consider the idea of longevity- that in order to thrive for a sustained period of time, I must be well.
My work allows me to show up in my community on multiple fronts – as a mental health practitioner, a body worker and a wellness practitioner. A large part of this work is about honoring myself and voice by not giving when my cup is empty, taking time to replenish and heal, and moving and serving individuals from my heart.
Cat Lantigua of Goddess Council
“Being well and embracing the journey means different things at different times.
I’ve learned that looking at wellness through a fixed perspective can at times lead to disappointment, so wellness is doing whatever feels right in the moment. It means making decisions everyday that nourish my sense of peace, presence, and self.
As someone who does her best to contribute to building community I’ve come to realize I can’t show up for others unless I show up for myself and that’s what keeps me going. Ultimately, if I care about making a difference then I have to care just as intensely to preserve my wellbeing!”
Shandy Love of The Perfect Alignment
“Wellness to me means showing up and being authentic and owning my truth. It means allowing myself to feel my real feelings instead of suppressing them.
This definitely shapes the way I show up for my community because I am very transparent with my peers – I am intentional about not sugarcoating anything.
Quite often, I am reminded that my honesty is refreshing. I choose to be open, raw and honest because I don’t want people to feel as if they are alone. I am right there with you. That is how I show up for my community.”