What does self-care mean to you? It means a variety of things, really addressing the full spectrum of self, which means if you are enjoying something and your soul feels fed but you start to feel tired, maybe your body and mind and spirit are not aligned, so paying attention to where your mental, physical, spiritual body are, is self-care. Making sure you are nourished and taken care of by any means.
How did you get into self-care? I grew up in a very spiritual family, I started fasting at a young age like in elementary school, which set discipline and systems in place that helped me to take care of myself. Fasting teaches me how to feed my soul and be aware of how my mind, body and spirit feels.
What are challenges in maintaining self-care? Offering myself the same level of care to myself as I do to others is a challenge. It’s something I’m still figuring out.
How do you share self-care with others? I share my story, I share how I’ve gotten free and how I’ve reclaimed myself, survival tricks, and how I use nourishment. I ask friends how they are nourishing themselves on various levels. With Seed of Osun, it’s an intervention for Black and Indigenous people, not saying that white people don’t need healing but due to colonization we need a route to healing through the ways of our ancestors. I am a reiki master, aromatherapist, Thai masseuse, herbalist, spiritual and ancestral connector and in everything that I’ve learned I reclaim and make connection to ancient African traditions, ancient root work. I make it ours, and am particular about the words I use and the way I mix and add things. I explain what every herb does and use the African and Indigenous names. I use Gullah traditions and Chakras and Orishas and remedies, it’s not linear, it’s spiritual and physical and energetic. I don’t just make an oil, I’m singing, praying and dancing over it, and that’s important to me. It’s not just the item or oil or herb itself, there needs to be a connection to the spirit ancestral world. It’s not that I’m here to save, it’s about how can I open this door for you to go and discover your own path. We know it all, it’s just about tapping into who we are. Self-care is a privilege. White folks have the time to go do this but we have to make the time and make sacrifices to be able to do self-care. We have to address that there are many things that Black folks have normalized that’s fucked up and we need to change that. Like things we can or can’t have, like I can’t eat this healthy thing because that’s something white people do, which stems from generational trauma. We are still in the place of just surviving. It’s what my grandmother did to survive, but now it’s like okay we can go beyond survival mode and do something different and better. It’s a process of discovery. We are already great, we are gods, goddesses, the source - we are it. In the process of us being great, people have come to kill steal and destroy us. There is a process of reclaiming that greatness, and it takes a gutter and gully attitude to claim yourself and your people. There are a lot of oppressive practices in Black culture that came via white supremacy that we still do today.