I promote and practice what I call "Mental Massage" during the month of July to actively engage in Mental Health Awareness Month for People of Color. However, Mental Massage is always different for me on July 4th because I cannot ignore our country's history and legacy. To help me process this holiday, I have developed a ritual of restorative meditations to help me to heal myself and my ancestral line.
My ritual generally begins with my Qigong morning routine, a green smoothie and healthy breakfast. I read and listen to Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer's testimony which is both powerful and painful. I send her love and gratitude. I then read the Declaration of Independence which justified demanding freedom from the British while at the same time enslaving my ancestors and violently referring to my Beloved Native American Brothers and Sisters as "Indian Savages." This is the foundation upon which our country was founded. It must be addressed and healed. Finally, I read and listen to Frederick Douglass's "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? This ritual was inspired by a presentation I experienced during my Vanguard Social Determinants of Health Fellowship with BMe Community (an organization focused on narrative change). It helps me to connect in with our history and culture and remember the sacrifices my ancestors made so that I could sit in comfort and write this post. I send love and gratitude to Frederick Douglass and to all of our freedom promoting heroes and sheroes.
I highly recommend sharing this ritual (which ends with the Sky Meditation) with everyone, particularly our White Allies who are asking what they can do to cultivate healing and change. This ritual helps to destroy willful ignorance which must end before change can begin. We cannot skip steps in the healing process. We also cannot change systems and processes until we change ourselves, because systems and processes are created by us. The people in power or people we vote for are all still people who need to look at and heal the ugly within in order to make better decisions. Will we ... ALL of us actively engage in the ongoing process of owning and healing our ugly?
At this point in the ritual, my higher self kicks in to help me through the pain of what I've read and heard and reminds me that no problem can be solved at the level that it was created. I must elevate my consciousness and lift myself to the level of the answer. So after a good cry, doing some more Qigong and spending time sending love and gratitude to those who made sacrifices for me (while asking them for guidance), I step outside, hop into my lounge chair (or lie down on the grass or hop in a hammock), and practice the Sky Meditation for at least 30 minutes.
It is important that we NEVER expose our wounds without the inclusion of healing rituals to help us process and transform our pain.
I created a very unprofessional and modest video that was extremely short so that I could post it on social media and share with loved ones. My Sky Meditation video is meant to help you memorize the technique (which is simple) so that you'll do the practice consistently (which can be challenging). I go through the technique quickly in the video, but please slow down between transitions from clouds to sky (at least one minute on each focus area). In addition to teaching you to transcend thoughts so that you can make the best decisions for yourself and others, the Sky Meditation also improves mental focus and acuity. It calms and centers you and opens the door to gain wisdom from and heal your ancestral line. I hope you'll memorize the technique and practice the Sky Meditation often. Healing our world begins with healing ourselves. #BeWellAndRadiant #HealNourishRise #MasterYourLife #BMeAllIn #leaninwithlove