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Hibernation ☥ Winter Solstice Wisdom

Updated: May 12

A hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action. ☥ Ralph Ellison ☥

Black community leaders clapping hands

Here comes Dr. Phyllis ... I wish I could do what you did; I'm so proud of you ... It's the REAL Dr. Phyl! The accolades that I received from family, friends, colleagues and associates when I became a Doctor of Naturopathy were a bit ironic. On one hand, I was pleased that people acknowledged the fruits of my hard work. On the other hand, I was perplexed by their responses because during my five years of study, most of them had an entirely different set of messages:

Call me! Where you at?

Oh, she can't come because she's studying ... AGAIN!

Please, she doesn't even bother to call anyone back anymore.

How much longer are you going to be in that program? It's been too long. We have to get together!

It's not like you to ignore my messages. What's going on? Nobody studies that much. You have to get out sometime. It's not healthy.

I know you said you'd be unavailable, but ...

Come on, take a little break! You're so hardcore!

Did I do something wrong? We have to talk!

These messages were generally accompanied by behaviors such as:

☥ Calling, texting, emailing, instant messaging, then repeating the process until I would


☥ Complaining about my absence and repeating at least one of the messages above

whenever they saw me at a grocery store, etc.

☥ Calling me out on social media if I don't respond

Footsteps over boundaries

Then, once I became "Dr. Phyllis SHU," there was the fishing for my new identity and pushing boundaries:

What's up doc? You got time for me now?

Oh she's a doctor now ...

You know I've got this pain ...

Take a look at my arm, what are these bumps?

My doctor told me to take these pills, what do you think about them?

What are açaí berries? Are they really healthy?

I struggled a lot in the early days, because I was so passionate about my work, and I wanted everyone around me to be healthy. But I was overwhelmed with people who wanted free advice. It became clear to me that indigenous healing practices were not respected and thought of as something one is forced to consider when nothing else has worked. In fact, the first people who put real skin in the game to support my work were family members I had never met. I offered a weekend workshop in Washington, D.C. and was surprised during the ice breaker activity in which I asked each person to state their name, where they were from and what they hoped to gain from the session:

My name is Linda Hubbard, and ...

"Wow, a Hubbard! We might be related."

We are (she smiles).

And just like that, I was introduced to Linda and Cathy Hubbard, two sisters who are cousins that I had never met. They learned about me on social media and had been following me. They wanted to meet me and decided to support my workshop. They have been consistent supporters of my work ever since. However, with most people, I had to figure out how to create and enforce an entirely new set of boundaries. It couldn't be just me. Didn't other people know how much work it takes to get educated and figure out how to pay the bills while launching a business from scratch? During my "Let's Talk About Black Men And Therapy" healing conversation with Dr. Okey Enyia, he said, "There's always a story behind the glory." He spoke eloquently about how we tend to be focused on the end product/result but we don't think about the work that has to be put in to create the product/result. I've gotten much better over the years, but even when I'm on sabbatical, there is an expectation for me to immediately respond. I've even heard professionals say, "Black People don't go on sabbatical!" Yet, these same people marvel over how I'm able to access deep insights, level up my education, complete a high number of projects and maintain a high level of energy while looking vibrant, rested and healthy.

Hibernation during the winter solstice allows us to put in the work in a relaxed ☥ focused environment so that we can hear innovative wisdom coming to us from our innate intelligence and take actions that evolve us without neglecting self-care.

Bear hibernating

Hibernation is an extremely important part of our personal ☥ professional development strategy. When we take the time to rest and assess, we:

☥ Critique and self-correct

☥ Clear clutter

☥ Give ourselves space to download fresh new ideas from Spirit

☥ Cleanse ☥ prepare our mind ☥ body ☥ emotions for new challenges ☥ opportunities

☥ Sharpen our senses

So many of us resist hibernation because we are running through life and dragging our bodies behind us. It is as if every aspect of life is a line item to be checked off a list. We get married, check. Have children, check. Get the job, check. Get the promotion, check. Get the house, cars, expensive toys, nails done, best outfit for the cocktail party, check. It never ends, because no matter how much we get, someone else has more. So, we keep getting. When we got married, we didn't take the time to get to know or cultivate intimacy with our spouse and so now we're not happy. In fact, America has seen the highest levels of STDs since 1991, which indicates that we are seeking distractions in order to "feel something" instead of connecting with the truest part of ourselves.

Because we haven't cultivated honesty in our relationships, there has also been an uptick in spouses/partners infecting each other. We can transmit disease without showing symptoms, but discussing temptations or other challenges in our relationship is not something that makes our checklist. Our kids are acting up because our minds have run amok, we don't know who we are or how to demystify ☥ heal our emotions, so they lack a solid foundation. We got the promotions, but now we're not satisfied because we went for the job to earn enough money to impress people, but we are not working in our purpose. When we are working in our purpose, we lack healthy boundaries and neglect self-care which causes us to overextend ourselves, neglecting our families and health. So here we are, at the cocktail party, with our hair and nails done, wearing our best outfit and fake smile, looking like we have it all together, but feeling inside like we are falling apart. We can't talk to anyone about it because we have to keep up the appearance of success. We can't figure out how to get off the gerbil's wheel because we don't realize that we're emotionally addicted to the instant gratification of crossing something off of our checklist (even if it causes harm or doesn't serve our highest good).

Black man's hand holding a boomerang

We don't see what we're doing because we are too busy doing it. We won't self-correct because we think that we must keep accomplishing something. It's not socially acceptable to "rest," so we make sure that we attend the events and meetings, even if our presence isn't required. We work so hard that it takes the first five days of our vacation before we can settle down, and as soon as we start to relax, we begin to think about going back to work. We get back from vacation on Sunday night at midnight and jump right into work on Monday morning. Every one of my clients has protested my insistence that they take extra vacation time and give themselves at least three days after their vacation to re-acclimate to their home life, do laundry, relax and ease back into work. They rarely recognize their unhealthy behaviors as root causes for the reasons why they came to me for help. They are often surprised at the manifestation of a health issue, believing that it somehow fell out of the sky and into their bodies. Imagine how they respond when I ask them to hibernate.

The Winter Solstice generally occurs December 20th, 21st or 22nd of each year in the Northern Hemisphere and June 20th, 21st or 22nd in the Southern Hemisphere. So, when the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing the Winter Solstice, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing the Summer Solstice and vice versa. During the Winter Solstice, the cold and wet season, one of the earth’s poles is tilted as far as possible away from the sun, creating the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. It is the perfect time to hibernate and, because seeds grow best in complete darkness, the best time to plant the mental ☥ emotional ☥ physical ☥ professional seeds for what we want to manifest in the coming year.

Black female warrior with sword of light

I was the Executive Producer for a series of podcasts that I created with WolfHawkJaguar. He immediately stood out to me because he is a filmmaker and his music was more than positive, it was grounded in African Spirituality. I was grappling with how to share strategies that heal ☥ decolonize our minds. I was especially concerned about Black People and our history of psychological manipulation which has resulted in our learned/programmed fear of just about anything African ☥ Spiritual. WolfHawkJaguar invited me to an event so that I could experience his music, and I noticed that he had his entire family on stage, including his incredibly talented wife Osunfemi Wanbi Njeri (who often performed with their baby wrapped African style), their young children and "in-laws." They embodied my vision for the empowered Black family. WolfHawkJaguar was like my twin, doing the type of work that I'm doing but through music and film. I was determined to work with him and was thrilled that he agreed to help me develop the concept for and produce the podcast.

Our focus was Black men and boys and community leaders who work on their behalf, so I wanted WolfHawkJaguar to be the only host of the show. However, the organization that I worked with insisted that I be a co-host as well, so I insisted that he take the lead role. We used to have our meetings at United Roots in Oakland, CA and asked some of the members of the DetermiNation Black Men's Group about the name Journey To Radiance. It was their favorite option, so we ran with it. We worked diligently on the shows, producing ultra-rich content, but we were at the bottom of the totem pole at the organization and the podcasts had to get in line behind a litany of content to be promoted. Though we struggled righteously, we were unable to promote the podcasts properly which still haunts me because its content is so needed by our community.

I'm determined to share this valuable content, so the Journey and Rise TV pages of this website will be a curation of health and healing content from community collaborations into open-source wellness resources for Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities to use and share.

Journey To Radiance: End Of Year Health And Healing Strategies is an example of a powerful podcast that we were not able to promote. As a Health Warrior, I understand that I will lose some battles, but I refuse to lose the war. I promised myself that I would find a way to give this podcast series the launch it deserves to prevent the disenfranchisement of wellness information and continue to promote it until it effectively reaches Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities.

Detroit Michigan sign

Although the root cause of the disenfranchisement of wellness information is directly connected to colonization, the ripple effect has created a rather unique set of challenges for nonprofit organizations that we must face and overcome.

Whatever white people do not know about Negroes reveals, precisely and inexorably, what they do not know about themselves. ☥ James Baldwin ☥

I was on a flight to Detroit to launch a Transformational Leadership From The Inside Out Fellowship at a local high school. I was thrilled to have finally received some funding to do the Fellowship my way: with parents, students and school personnel participating as equals. The flight was sold out, and I was in the bulkhead window seat. Seated next to me was a white woman who was in the mood to talk. As she was in the middle seat between me and an Indigenous man (who happened to be a King and therefore uninterested in her advances), I was "it" for the flight. I had work to complete, so I gave myself a 15-minute limit for engaging her before I put on my headphones. When she found out that I worked with a nonprofit organization, she excitedly talked about an educational system, that she was promoting, with a "quantifiably proven success rate with minority communities across the nation." However, she was dismayed by the lack of participation of the parents and students at the school. I wasn't in the mood for a teaching moment, but since she was in the middle seat and couldn't escape me, I went all-in. The conversation went something like this:

"Let me ask you this. Did you include members of the community during the inception, conception, development and launch of the program, or did you get the contract, descend upon the school, and just expect the families to recognize the value of yet another great way to save their struggling children?"

Well, the program has been tested and launched across the country with great success. The founder has received teaching awards for her work and has the data to substantiate its effectiveness with urban students.

"I'll let you in on some truths that really ought to be obvious by now. Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People have absolutely no reason to trust white people. Every single time that we have given our trust, we have been manipulated. white people have a track record, that goes back to Kamit (Ancient Egypt) of coming into our communities, causing harm, making money off of us and disappearing to pursue other interests while we're left to clean up the mess." I literally could feel the Indigenous man holding back a smile. "If you truly want to be an ally and help Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities to thrive:

☥ Fund Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People to build their own programs. At this point

in our evolution, white people haven't healed from their superiority complexes and are

not culturally competent enough to know the needs of our communities. In fact, many

white people don't make the connection that colonization is at the root cause of the

disenfranchisement and the lack of resources and support systems to begin with.

☥ Help us find funding that allows us to use a mixed methods approach to evaluate the

success of the program, understand that most of the data we acquire will be

qualitative in nature and ensure that the funding allows for the leaders to attend

leadership retreats ☥ take periodic sabbaticals.

☥ Provide leaders with culturally responsive continuing education in the areas of

business development, financial management, business ethics ☥ social responsibility,

health ☥ wellness and healing centered engagement.

☥ Be a true ally by connecting us with funders who can support the long-term

sustainability of our work and lobbying for operational grants for healers to sustain

their work. This is essential because we will not be able to reverse the exorbitant

negative consequences of our shameful legacy of oppression with a program that lasts

a few years.

☥ Heal from your own trauma and tap into the truest part of yourself so that you can

help others from a place of love and a desire to empower people to fulfill their


I could have gone on, but I had a lot of work to do, and I didn't want to waste any more of my time. She was quiet for the rest of the flight, but I could tell that she was disturbed. I hoped that my words would at the very least, humble her into some level of contemplation. I share this story because the behavior of people like her have contributed to our unique set of challenges. Her forcefulness, arrogance and insistence that her way was the right way and would work if only these "stupid minorities" would get with the program has to be called out and reckoned with if we are to create real change. People like her are also responsible for writing request for grant proposals that:

☥ Cause Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People to compete for the same money to

improve their communities, which pits us against each other

☥ Include requirements that force Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People to focus more

on documenting failure in their communities, than actually solving the problem

☥ Require program leaders to substantiate the validity of their work by using quantifiable

research methods for work that is mostly qualitative in nature

Bait hooks over community leaders

I was so naïve about the nonprofit world. I never imagined that I would witness more ego games, manipulation, back-biting and competition in the nonprofit world than I experienced in the corporate world. Why would people, who want to make the world a better place, engage in self-sabotaging behavior?

It took a lot of detective work for me to put the puzzle pieces together and accept that racism and oppression is woven into the fabric of all that we do.

Why wasn't it obvious to me that it would show up to sabotage nonprofits that were created to dismantle/reverse the effects of racism? In my mental health blog, I talked about the fact that, when it first emerged, the motion picture industry did not intend to include Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People at all. I had to accept that funding for social programs were originally designed to steal community service ideas from organizations such as the Black Panther Party For Self-Defense (while simultaneously dismantling them) but with a twist that prevents progress and sustainability: offer funding that forces leaders to focus on and market the problems without solving them. I found that people who create grant requirements are often the type of white people who can do the most harm because they believe themselves to be culturally aware.

Black community coming together, growing and healing

To make matters worse, social and professional dynamics are put in place to bait community leaders into scrambling for dollars, cause them to navigate through red tape (which weeds out many smaller programs) and subjugate themselves in some way to keep their organizations afloat. I once attended a white fundraising event for the homeless that was so lavish that I was convinced that the organization could have fed and sheltered all the homeless people in the city with the money they spent on the frills. During that event, I did not hear one person mention what they would do to solve the problem. The leaders who don't take the bait often find that they've been thrown into a sea of sharks. I was relieved to find that most Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant leaders didn't take the bait, but the pressure to conform and compete surrounds them like an invisible fog with an open invitation to acquiescence and causes unnecessary stress that taxes their time and energy.

Black woman stressed in her car

I will digress here briefly to share a personal story about an unnecessary stressor that taxed my time and energy. I was driving to work as usual when I suddenly felt that I needed to be more aware of my surroundings. I looked into my rear view mirror and noticed that a police car was behind me. I was in college at the time and was listening to my recorded study notes, but I wasn't distracted. I went through the checklist in my mind: Was I speeding? No. Is my insurance/registration up to date? Yes. Any damage to my taillights? No. I kept driving, figuring that I was being a bit paranoid. The police car remained behind me. Then he drove up beside me and looked into my window. Once he saw me, he dropped back behind me and put on his police lights. My heart started to race. I didn't know about Qigong back then, so I didn't know how to breathe deeply to calm myself down. By the time the officer approached me, I was shaking and breathing shallowly. There was absolutely no reason for him to pull me over. He was a large, intimidating looking white man - too big for me to overpower in a struggle. He rudely asked me for my license and registration. I found my license, but I was so nervous that it was difficult for me to locate my registration. Once I found it, my hands were shaking so intensely that I could barely hold on to them as I handed them to the officer.

He was gone for quite some time. I started to panic. The road was somewhat isolated, so he could just take me somewhere, rape/kill me. I felt so vulnerable, and I couldn't stop shaking. Did I look like someone suspected of committing a crime? What was taking him so long? He finally returned to see that I was a complete mess. My shaking hands were at the sides of my face. Something about my behavior caused a change in the officer. Somehow, my response shamed him. He softened his tone, gave me my ID and said that I was free to go. He never told me why he pulled me over, and I didn't care. I was so relieved to be released. I don't remember the drive to work. I just remember sitting in the parking lot and trying to calm myself down so that I could get through the rest of the day.

"Be Prepared" road sign

The police officer approached his work with a sense of entitlement that placed him above the law and confident enough in our social structure to be manipulative. In retrospect, I realize how naïve and unprepared I was for many situations in real life. I didn't understand:

☥ The reality of the social conditions of my life as a Black woman

☥ The law or what my rights were

How to stay calm in the midst of trauma so that I could think clearly

☥ How to seek support from social justice organizations

☥ What information I needed to gather to file a complaint against the officer

☥ How to properly process ☥ heal ☥ learn from the experience

Many white people function within organizations with a similar sense of entitlement in the foreground, while developing systems and structures in the background that prevents the progress of Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant (BII) People. The stress and trauma of getting through each day keeps many BII nonprofits from going through the process of holding organizations accountable to higher standards, cultivating trust and dismantling hidden racist policies and practices (such as intimidation/feeling unsafe to challenge regulations).

All I've ever wanted to do is tell that I'm not trying to solve anybody's problems, not even my own. I'm just trying to outline what the problems are. ☥ James Baldwin ☥

Indigenous community leaders connected to their ancestors

Indigenous nonprofits were shinning stars to me because they seemed to have a deeper understanding of the psychosis embedded within the strategy of colonization. Connection to Spirit ☥ their ancestry ☥ culture ☥ cleansing ☥ healing rituals and historical education were an essential part of their convenings. Indigenous People have also been a source of a wealth of information as they have helped me to understand:

☥ The history and tragedy of the boarding schools

☥ That my education did not include reading the Declaration of Independence in its

entirety, partially because it refers to Indigenous People as "merciless Indian savages"

☥ Indigenous struggles to prevent large companies from destroying/taking their land

☥ The strategy to make them invisible by manipulating Spanish speaking populations in

the US, Mexico, Central/South America and the Caribbean that were inhabited by

Indigenous People and invaded by Spain

They remain solutions-based and focused on educating the public, resisting the pressure to drop their heritage ☥ language and collaborating with Spirit ☥ the land to help them solve challenges as well as evolve (though I did uncover a lack of understanding ☥ utilization of holistic nutrition/stress management/wellness strategies as a growth area). I found that most Black nonprofits were deficient in these areas, and did my best to suggest that we look at the areas where we need to grow and adjust our strategy. During my first presentation for a Black nonprofit, I noticed all kinds of unhealthy food/beverages which negated the effectiveness of my nutritional wellness strategies, and the jam packed sessions often kept participants sitting for too long. During planning sessions, I would continually share ways to infuse wellness into the convening. However, they tended to view me as being either too idealistic, not focused on the real challenges or as a tree hugging hippie. Although I collaborated with many Black nonprofits that were doing exemplar work in their communities, they were too often so overwhelmed with the pain inflicted on our communities, that the idea of caring for themselves induced unhealthy feelings of guilt.

We have to be strong and anchored in the truest part of ourselves in order to lift up others. In order to give to others, we must first have something to give, and we must give it from a place of completion not exhaustion. We too often believe that we must carry a very heavy weight which causes us to neglect self-care and miss solutions-based strategies because we are not collaborating with Spirit.

Leaders would often bring me in to do a wellness session with their staff and would then leave the room during the Yoga ☥ Qigong exercises to take phone calls. I could tell that they didn't see the value of Yoga (which means union with God) or Qigong (which is the cultivation of our energy ☥ life force). I found this practice to be unacceptable and would require that the leaders stay, put their phones down and participate in the healing sessions. When I left the nonprofit world, the Black organizations were still tacking on wellness to their agendas instead of making healing the foundation of their programs. The tragedy of oppression runs so deep that we don't turn to healing even though our mind, body and emotions are under constant attack. Unless we identify and remove the root cause, the dis-ease will persist in our personal and professional lives.

True yoga is not about the shape of your body, but the shape of your life. Yoga is not to be performed; yoga is to be lived. Yoga doesn’t care about what you have been; yoga cares about the person you are becoming. Yoga is designed for a vast and profound purpose, and for it to be truly called yoga, its essence must be embodied. ☥ Aadil Palkhivala ☥

Man pushing his past up a mountain

This context is important to understand because nonprofits would make me jump through all kinds of hoops to justify why my "wellness" presentation was worthy of a plenary session (and would then offer me a breakout session). In fact, one of the very few times that I got a major plenary session at a nonprofit organization was when the keynote speaker backed out and the organization had to scramble to fill the slot. That session was hugely successful, but I could tell that we still suffered from an emotional addiction, which was reinforced by grant requirements, to focusing on the problem. Would we want a surgeon to operate on us if they had diarrhea? Would we take diving lessons from a person who was easily distracted and didn't pay attention to details? Our mental ☥ emotional ☥ physical state of being must be healthy ☥ balanced in order for us to solve challenges.

Often times, Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant nonprofits were swimming in so many manifestations of racism, oppression and disenfranchisement that focusing on mental ☥ emotional ☥ physical health seemed like a luxury to them instead of the primary strategy for transcending their challenges.

To make matters worse, some leaders would casually mention that they would be out of a job if the organization fulfilled their mission:

☥ An unfortunate example of fear-based thinking that emerges when we don't connect

with Spirit ☥ question our thoughts to protect our mind from psychological

manipulation/social conditioning from colonization; and,

☥ Which makes us participants in our own disenfranchisement through the fallacy that

the only opportunity to sustain community work is to capitalize on our suffering.

The greatest tragedy of oppression is our inability to vision beyond it. ☥ Dr. Shawn Ginwright ☥

I kept experimenting with different ways to say, "Without a balanced mind ☥ emotions, we will not be able to solve the challenges that we face in our communities."

So, when we launched our podcast and lobbied for a website, social media platform, promotion, etc. we hit a series of brick walls even though our requests were within our allocated budget. I have never worked so hard to attempt to get wellness information disseminated to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities, and our sustainability funding opportunities were and remain abysmal. My work is not often funded because:

☥ Grants are awarded for work that can be evaluated through quantitative actions, such

as test scores, that can be evaluated over a short period of time (making it very

difficult for nonprofits to justify the need for intangible work such as balancing

emotions, mental health and healing centered engagement). Healing from the trauma

of ongoing racism and oppression is not a short term endeavor.

☥ Grant makers reject healing work because there is a line item in the budget for health

insurance costs for the nonprofit.

☥ Because there is no place for healing work in the grant requirements or budget, and

many nonprofits are struggling for funding, healers are often asked to volunteer their

services as an optional session for occasional convenings. Yet, the healers spend the

most amount of time answering questions during the event. During my very first

Transformational Leadership presentation, the participants were so engaged that

the presenter who followed me gave up his time so that I could continue my

presentation. After my presentation was over one of the leaders followed me into the

bathroom and stood outside the stall asking questions. I had to hide out in my room in

between sessions in order to recover from being overwhelmed with questions/the

amount of Black leaders suffering from many forms of trauma, one of whom was

struggling with suicidal ideation. The need is clearly evident, but grant

requirements make the need almost impossible to fund.

Though we were only able to produce 13 podcasts, our guests offered perspectives that are timeless ☥ evolves with you each time you interact with the content. Our dissemination challenges inspired me to become a curator of the wealth of content that I have developed over the years (some of which has never been released to the public) as a counterstrategy to the incessant assault against the mind ☥ body ☥ emotions of Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People.

Self-care is the greatest act of social justice. ☥ Dr. Shawn Ginwright ☥

Psychological warfare has no power in the light. I'm thrilled to finally share the Journey To Radiance podcast series with you. Journey To Radiance: End Of Year Health And Healing Strategies features our special guest Sunni Patterson. There is so much to say about her, but words cannot describe her way, her Spirit, her grace or gift of healing. In every word ☥ sound she utters, you hear the grit and grime, hope ☥ love, problem and solution, optimism ☥ faith. She is a mouthpiece for our Ancestors, a vessel used to promote goodness in a world where oppression and injustice seems the order of the day.

Sunni Patterson is more than a poet, more than a singer, more than an emcee--it's not just what she says, it's how she says it. Emerging from the musical womb that is New Orleans, artist and visionary Sunni Patterson combines the heritage and tradition of her Native town with an enlightened modern world view to create music and poetry that is timeless in its groove.

Sunni Patterson has established herself has an internationally known artist and activist, using her gift to reach, teach and learn and heal all who can be in her presence. She has been a featured performer at many of Nation's premier spoken word venues and has had the privilege of speaking at the Panafest in Ghana, West Africa. She has worked with several well-known artists and performers including Hannibal Lokumbe - singing lead vocals for his score, "King and the Crescent City Moon," Kalamu Ya Salaam, Sonia Sanchez, HBO Def Poet Amir Sulaiman, Wanda Coleman, Amiri Baraka, Laini Kuumba Afrikan Dance Company, dead prez, Cee-Lo and many more.

An Aborisha (Omo Oshun) and advocate of Holistic Health, Sunni has trained under such greats as Oluwo Afolabi Epega, Dr. Ndugu Khan (Babalawo Ifa Kayode, ) Queen Malikah Sabah (Iyanifa Faadisi Olaolu Olabisi, ) Dr. Morris F.X.Jeff, Jr., Nana Anoa Nantambo, Mama Jean Taiwo, Nana Kwabena Faheem Ashanti, PhD and several others. She is a certified instructor of Qigong ☥ Tai Chi.

Sunni has performed her art for a plethora of organizations such as the Children's Defense Fund, Southern Rural Black Women Initiative for Economics and Social Justice, Essence Music Festival, The National Black United Front (NBUF)—Houston Chapter and New Orleans Women's Artist Collective (NOWAC). She has been recognized by Cornell University, Western Carolina University, Dillard University, Xavier University and Southern University at New Orleans to perform and facilitate workshops.

Because of her vested interest in the community and commitment to its positive change for social justice and equality, she has facilitated workshops on holistic Spiritual healing and activism or what she calls "brain cleansing" for organizations like Blackout Arts Collective, Akoben Words –N-Action Festival, National Association for the Advancement of Color People (NAACP) and Ashe' Cultural Center.

Sunni has been featured on numerous radio and TV spots both locally and nationwide, including an ad promoting the importance of healthy eating. She will be featured on Sundance film, and BET's Lyric Café, and has been a guest spoken word artist on HBO's Def Poetry. What a blessing it is to feel her warm and nourishing rays shine light on our souls.

Journey To Radiance ☥ End Of Year Healing Strategies ☥ Sunni Patterson ☥ Chapter I ☥ Solitude

Check out our Journey page to download and share the combined chapters as a MP3 file.

Journey To Radiance ☥ End Of Year Healing Strategies ☥ Sunni Patterson ☥ Chapter I ☥ Solitude

Journey To Radiance ☥ End Of Year Healing Strategies ☥ Sunni Patterson ☥ Chapter II ☥ Remember

Journey To Radiance ☥ End Of Year Healing Strategies ☥ Sunni Patterson ☥ Chapter II ☥ Remember

Journey To Radiance ☥ End Of Year Healing Strategies ☥ Sunni Patterson ☥ Chapter III ☥ Faith ☥ Trust ☥ Power (be sure to check out our podcast series preview at the end of this video)

Journey To Radiance ☥ End Of Year Healing Strategies ☥ Sunni Patterson ☥ Chapter III ☥ Faith ☥ Trust ☥ Power

We were the seeds that grew, so how powerful are we? Why would we be scared to call on ... and believe in that power that is already us? ☥ WolfHawkJaguar ☥

Spiritual Healing Practices For The Winter Solstice

We take the time to cleanse our body ☥ mind ☥ emotions so that we can think clearly and hear the wisdom coming to us from our intuition. It is imperative that we cultivate our ability to allow our inner wisdom to drive our outer actions. Although I will provide you with a detailed list of options, please keep your cleansing process simple and intuitive as you learn new strategies. Even small, intentional actions will be well worth your efforts. Be gentle with yourself and enjoy your time of hibernation. An easy way to get started is to eat in-season fruits and veggies, order vegan soups from Asian restaurants, put curry powder on your foods, groom yourself in super slow-motion (showering, giving yourself a pedicure, combing your hair, shaving, etc.) and spend the majority of your time in silence, meditation, contemplation and journaling.

☥ Create or extend your morning routine.

☥ Take long walks in nature.

☥ Increase the amount of oxygen that you breathe into your body through

breath/movement exercises such as Qigong.

☥ Take a warm bath of Epsom Salt + Baking Soda + Sea Salt (add at least 1 cup of each)

for at least 30 minutes each day.

☥ Take the time to moisturize your body with castor oil or shea butter. Castor oil is

especially useful when rubbed into the breast, abdomen and feet because it breaks

down excess fibrous tissue (especially when you also apply heat). Shea butter is an

anti-inflammatory healing moisturizer that is especially useful for skin exposed to the

sun/cold weather. The thickness and consistency of castor oil and shea butter will

help you to slow down ☥ connect with your intuition as you give your body a much

needed deep tissue self-massage. Be sure to rub the oil into your skin until completely


☥ Spend time in silent contemplation. Learn to transcend thoughts.

☥ Journal your thoughts on the following:

☥ Have I been engaging in restless activities? If so, what are they and what inner need

have I been avoiding/suppressing? What actions am I willing to take to fulfill my

inner needs?

☥ What interests/hobbies, etc. have I put on the back burner of my life? How can I

rearrange my priorities to make time for what I truly enjoy?

☥ Are there any circumstances, people, etc. that are draining my time and energy? If

so, how will I establish and enforce healthy boundaries to bring balance back to my


☥ Have the people in my personal and professional lives consistently demonstrated

honesty, integrity, benevolence and competence? Name these people and keep

them in your inner circle. Remove everyone else from your inner circle, and revise

your schedule to include allocating time for pursuing interests that fulfill you. If you

discover that no one currently belongs in your inner circle, understand that

we may need to spend some alone time in the void to clear the clutter in our lives ☥ self-correct behaviors so that SPIRIT can heal past traumas ☥ bring the right people to us who are like minded souls ☥ thought partners ☥ able to reciprocate the mutual love ☥ respect ☥ professionalism that we deserve.

Physical Healing Practices For The Winter Solstice

☥ Beginning on the 15th of the month (preferably earlier), eliminate all breads (including

gluten free), flours, pastas, alcohol, nuts, caffeine, nightshades (eggplant, peppers,

tomatoes, paprika), chocolate, dairy, baked goods and saturated fats. This is to prep for

the cleanse by beginning to take the pressure off of the liver/gallbladder.

☥ Practice some form of breathing and movement exercises such as Qigong.

☥ Eat a serving of melons for breakfast with a pinch of cayenne. Prepare one melon

chopped, and add 1 tablespoon of cayenne, stir and store in the refrigerator (omit the

cayenne if pregnant). Eat one cup of melons first thing in the morning and at least 20

minutes before eating any other fruit or food. Any melon is fine. Melons contain

superoxide dismutase, a powerful anti-inflammatory agent which defends the body

against free radicals.

☥ Prepare a nourishing kichadi stew and eat it throughout the day. Eat it for lunch and

dinner as often as you'd like. It takes three days for your body to realize it is cleansing,

so make and eat kichadi for at least five days (preferably a few days before, during and

after the winter solstice, but anytime you feel compelled to cleanse is the right time for

you). Make different variations to avoid boredom (keep in mind that boredom comes

from a lack of present awareness - when we are in the present moment, we are never


☥ Add a healthy serving of Kamitic Kultured Kraut to your kichadi for added flavor and to

promote a healthy microbiome.

Indian man meditating

☥ Drink 1/4 to 1/2 cup of inner fillet aloe vera juice (organic, low/aloin free) each morning

and evening. Lily of the Desert in the glass bottle is the cleanest that I've found, but

always check ingredients as sometimes great products are sold to larger companies

with lower standards. Start first with 1/4 cup. If bowels are not too soft, work up to 1/2


☥ Take a food-based probiotic each morning or evening (feel free to take more if you are

not making at least one large bowel movement per day).

Forgiveness is: I'm for giving up an old notion of myself in order to gain a new perspective ... creating new belief systems, new patterns, new thoughts so that we're able to move through this life literally anew. ☥ Sunni Patterson ☥

Mental And Emotional Healing Practices

Be still – practice silence (no speaking at all) for at least two days during the solstice.

☥ Practice deep breathing exercises.

☥ Practice healing movements to assist in the removal of toxic emotions.

☥ Read ☥ study ☥ reread ☥ restudy How To Outsmart Our Monkey Mind.

Surrender to the excellence within you. Review what is NOT working in your life and

☥ Order and download The Chakra Emotions Energy Wisdom Quick Start Toolkit to help you

identify and heal feelings as they arise.

Our solutions existed before they appeared to us in an "ah-ha" moment. Every challenge that we face has a solution, but our mental/emotional angst caused by focusing on the problem drains our energy and prevents us from accessing our innate wisdom. Hibernation allows us to recognize the solutions that are already available to us. ☥ Dr. Phyllis SHU Hubbard ☥

How to use the gua sha

Your Soul Is Calling ☥ Hibernate ☥ Be Well ☥ Be Radiant

Mother and daughter with map

Epilogue ☥ Your Treasure Map For Self-Care

Thank you for taking the time to actively engage in your own self-care. If you have ever spent time at a hammam ☥ steam room ☥ sauna, you will notice that it is a comfortable space because you are wearing minimal or no clothing and you can just be yourself. However, after a short time, it starts to get hot, and you begin to sweat. This is a good thing because you are helping your body to eliminate toxins. If you want to detoxify your body correctly you will:

☥ Breathe slowly and deeply to help your body adjust to the intensity of the heat.

☥ Sip water every 15 minutes to stay hydrated.

☥ Have a piece of fruit ☥ pumpkin seeds ☥ favorite healthy snack available.

☥ Take a shower after excessive sweating.

☥ Go into a cold room/take a cold plunge/cold water rinse off to cool down before doing

another sweat and to stimulate your lymphatic system.

☥ Go for a walk in nature, spend time in meditation ☥ contemplation, have a healthy meal

and give your body some time to complete the healing process (which could include

sending you messages through your intuition about your next steps).

As you journey through ☥ interact with the blogs ☥ other content on, you might have an insight that causes you to suddenly feel mentally ☥ emotionally “hot” -- which could show up as:

☥ “Ah-ha” moments

☥ A hop-in-the-bed-and-cry-yourself-to-sleep or fetal position crying time of intensive


☥ Intense feelings of anger/regret about something in your past

☥ Disorientation caused by the realization of truth

Strong reactions such as heightened senses, vomiting; an urge to release emotions

such as yelling/screaming, going outside for fresh air/to take a walk, punching a

boxing bag/pillow; a feeling of tightness in the chest, etc.

Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations

If you find yourself having a strong reaction, I encourage you to flow with it while helping your body to release mental ☥ emotional toxins by using the same five self-care strategies listed above for releasing physical toxins. Your body talks to you all the time, but unconscious adherence to social conditioning can mute its messages.

Strong reactions are your body’s way of letting you know that there is a deeper issue requiring your attention.

Keep revisiting the content ☥ utilizing the five self-care strategies until you no longer experience the strong reaction, release fears and have identified ☥ transformed ☥ removed the root cause of the issue. You will find additional strategies throughout this website that you can add to your mental health self-care toolkit.

Self-Care Sustainability Suggestions

A Cross-Cultural Healing Haven – read this blog to understand the purpose of and the meaning behind its organization ☥ symbols.

☥ Revisit the content periodically and make a note of if/how your perceptions have


☥ Check out the other pages on

Home - Watch the videos. Click on the images in the Spiritual Guidance section.

Each image has a story that might assist your self-care journey. Learn about

other spiritual practices.

About - Learn about my background ☥ reasons for co-creating with Spirit. Explore healing through the image carousel and


Shop Kamitology - Purchase and download vital tools for your personal growth

☥ development.

Reclaiming Our Humanity - Help us develop and disseminate video courses.

Rise TV - Practice breathing and movement exercises and deepen your

understanding of healing through the experiences of community members.

Check back periodically to discover new/re-experience the content.

Journey - This is your invitation to own the journey to radiance. Experience the

journey and download healing resources to share with your friends, family and


When you share healing, healing comes back to and flows through you.

About Sharing ...

During my first presentation to an all-Black audience, I introduced 20-year-old research on the hazards of sitting. I presented the research because I noticed that people sat for way too long at convenings and realized that the information was not disseminated to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities. I was determined to intentionally include this research, often surprising participants by getting people up to stretch. After more than 13 years of intentional work, Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant People are just barely beginning to normalize conscious movement. We still have a long way to go, and it is important that we share what we know as much as we can to prevent the disenfranchisement of wellness information to Black ☥ Indigenous ☥ Immigrant communities.

Please do not keep to yourself. We will not co-create a better world until we heal our current, past/childhood traumas. We will not love others until we learn to love ourselves.


Giving in any amount is an affirmation of engagement of self-care for ourselves and others. Every dollar matters and your $3/$10/$25 pledge on Patreon helps us to stay online. Please donate or purchase items from our shop page to help us heal our communities.






About Dr. Phyllis SHU Hubbard's work as a Health Warrior


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