Through Mindfulness & Meditation
presented at the University of Memphis
Thanks to Courtney Williams, my dear friend, Artice, who connected me to Courtney, and the University of Memphis for having me today. Let me say how necessary this moment is for Black women and for those of us who have been taught that we were born to be strong, independent women. Allow me to speak on how imperative this moment is for those of us who have been conditioned to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. This space in time where we sit now, is necessary because we live, move, and operate in a world that is predominantly controlled by outside forces and obligations: school, jobs, careers, families. We are constantly performing or “putting on” for everybody and everything! Many of us have little to no say so over how these forces control our everyday lives, BUT we have TOTAL and complete say so over how we choose to treat ourselves, and “put on” for ourselves, right?
Today, we’re learning the many ways we can love on and take care of ourselves. I want to very briefly and specifically speak towards the idea of creating sacred space for honoring our minds, our thoughts and the one thing we cannot get back once it’s gone, our time😍. Allow me to begin by saying the world will not give you space, so you have to create it for yourself! Creating space and practicing these sacred rituals has assisted me in maintaining a vegan diet for over 14 months. This vegan diet has improved my skin, it has enhanced my clarity of thought, I’ve dropped from a size 18 to a 12/14, and I’ve learned that I can truly accomplish more than my mere mind can even begin to comprehend.
Let’s first talk a little about mindfulness. Mindfulness, which is a form of meditation, is the practice of being fully present in the current moment. Mindfulness can be practiced at any time. Even now!
I created some simple acronyms that don’t define, but rather demystify these practices. The acronym for mindfulness is S.E.L.F.
SEIZE THE MOMENT AND MAKE IT SACRED FOR YOU. Mindfulness can be practiced now, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. Call out the moment and honor it as sacred. Brushing your teeth, cleaning your house, spending time with friends, are all moments where mindfulness can be practiced.
ELEVATE AND OPEN YOUR MIND. Be in tune to everything positive this moment has to offer.
LEAN INTO YOUR SENSES that are activated at that moment :Taste, Touch, Smell, Sight, Hearing
FREE THE MOMENT- release your ideas of what you expect the moment to be, and let it do what it do. Let it flow, naturally. Let it ebb, naturally.
So let’s attach S.E.L.F. to mindfulness
MEDITATION is similar to mindfulness, except meditation is more focused and concentrated. The ultimate point of meditation in the traditional and historical sense is to completely empty out and quiet our thoughts and minds until we enter a state of pure silence and nothingness. I ain’t there yet! But I’m working to achieve it.
For those who are new to the practice, I’m going to share another acronym to help you begin this practice with ease. C.A.R.E.
CARRY NO EXPECTATIONS – otherwise you will disappoint yourself, and meditation is not a practice in perfection.
ASSUME THE POSITION – position your body comfortably. Criss cross applesauce, lying in your bed, sitting on your couch, or in the tub. Just get comfortable in that position.
ACCEPT YOUR THOUGHTS IN TOTALITY– the good and the bad.
REST IN THE MOMENT – allow the fullness of your thoughts to come and go as they please.
EASE INTO RELAXATION – relax in your thoughts.
Let’s assign CARE to meditation.
And there you have SELF CARE!
Allow no one to define your mindfulness, meditation, and sacred space, but you. The more you practice, the easier and more natural it becomes. You will begin to see and feel the results immediately. You will begin to seek opportunities to build in these personal moments throughout your day. The greatest benefit I’ve received has been the ability to detach myself from an ever present negative and heavy energy that is aimed at destroying my magic and starving my spirit. Through mindfulness, meditation, and sacred rituals, I’ve learned to attach myself to the glowing and bountiful energy that is present at every moment to feed and nourish my soul.
Y’all be well. Be open. Be aware. Be present. Create space to be still. Create space to be quiet. Create space to be wholly, unashamedly, and sacredly, you. Ok?