(Unedited) I’ve been under the weather since Thursday. Left work early cause I just couldn’t “press my way.” I didn’t feel well and it took me aback. I just wanted to do xyz before I left work, but I could not. It was my interns last day, and we’d just ended our end-of-the-year celebration with our girls, who we’ve worked with doing a school-based counseling program for the whole school year. I was bothered because I just couldn’t will myself into being well long enough to wrap everything up in the “proper” way. I had to get over it though ,and be thankful that I got through the most important thing, the celebration.
The mind, body and spirit are amazing because I musta been running on adrenaline for the celebration. As soon as all the girls were gone and I was debriefing with my interns it hit me, “you r e a l l y are not well.” I hadn’t been feeling well the night before and had little sleep, but I thought I had prepared enough and had enough “willpower” and #blackgyrlmagic to get me through the day.
Also, there was money that would go to waste. Hundreds of dollars on catered food. They ate well! So yeah, I made it through the celebration part, but right before I was about to tell my interns that I needed to leave the school, one of my students brought down another student who was in crisis. I sent up a quick prayer asking for the strength and focus to de-escalate, support and stabilize this lil sista, and I did. But as sooooooon as she left the room, I slumped over and my goal became: make it back to my office, pack my bag, call an Uber and to get home safely.
As I’ve been recuperating and replenishing ova the last few days, I’ve been thinking about how much I still have the “just press my way” mentality. To just get through something that I committed myself to, no matter how painful it is. Which, is odd because as I’ve gotten older and have learned different and know better, I am not an advocate of overextending myself, or “they sleep we grind,” or “everything gots to be hard, for it to be worth it.” Fugg dat! I’m Black in these here americas. My ancestors done paid the price and I ain’t got to be “super Black girl.”
Your crown has been bought and paid for. All you have to do is put it on your head. James Baldwin
Well, I thought I’d retired my cloak and cape, but I realized on Thursday that I hadn’t, and I’d gone back to old habits of: pushing and pushing…pressing and pressing. I am a recovering overachiever. I’ve long dealt with the whys, but if I’m not conscious of it, I will find myself doing the most or thinking I have not done enough, when that’s a bald-faced lie.
My life is full. My calendar is full of to do’s.” I do plenta, I give plenta. In 2008, I had a “I surrender…” moment. I had an old back injury that flared up, and off and on for about two months, I was down for the count. At the height of immobility, and when I finally decided to go to the doctor, I’d spent about a week, in the only pain free position I could muster, on my belly hanging off the edge of my bed having watched ALL seventy-four episode of “Soul Food” the Showtime series.
When I was finally mobile, I started getting pedicures regularly and making it a very zen’d out ritual (the feet are so important. the energy they hold. the healing they possess if they are tended to). In addition, I started taking belly dancing lessons, practicing yoga more consistently, weekly going to acupuncture for a year, going to bed by 8-9pm, getting up in the morning during Nebt-Het (4am), meditating, eating healthy, detoxing, not watching TV, leaving work on time, not bringing work home, writing both in the morning and in the evening…the works. I was on it. I still carry some remnants of this practice, but not only do I lack the financial means, at this time to do much of this, my life is not what it was eight years ago.
Anyhoo, since Thursday’s life intervention, I am starting to get back to myself and feeling betta, but still recovering. Contrary to what some of my sista-friends thought, I wasn’t on no secret squirrel ish, I was not feeling well.
Sistas, practice self-care regardless of how much you have in your bank account, or not. I aint talmbout no colonized, privileged things you gotta do. I’m talmbout the basics. Here are 8 self-care suggestions. 8 cos if you tip it on its resting side, it’s the infinity sign, which in this case, represents ongoing health & wellness.
- Listen to your gut, body and spirit. Don’t ignore her. I had warning signs that I needed to slow down, but like I said I was on some “press my way” foolishness.
- Sit yo arse down when you need to. Sit on the couch, on the porch, stoop or in the grass to ground ya’self. Take a load off.
- Breathe deep and wide with every breathe. These breaths remind us of our worth. Inhale.Exhale. WE ARE WORTHY BY DEFAULT OF OUR BREATHS.
- Ask for help when you need to.
- Drink some tea, buy a cheap box and doctor it up, which on a budget doctoring it up can mean laying hands on the cup and offering positive vibes and raising the frequency, before taking a sip.
- Call a sista-friend who will support your wellness and encourage you to dial back and care for yourself.
- Unplug from social media.
- Go to the friggin doctor. See the ob/gyn and see a general practitioner. We need an annual exam. If you can’t afford it, take up a collection from your friends/family etc to see someone who provides services on a sliding scale. Even if you all earthy, holistic, natural and ish. Go to the doctor to get checked out and then go do your earthy healing stuff to make yourself well!
So, I love yah’ll while I’m loving on myself and recuperating. Be easy!