Welcome to Wellness Weekly coming to you every Wednesday. This will be a weekly series, sort of like a Letter from the Editors that will rotate between Morgan, Lara, and Luigi with the occasional guest. We’ll hold space on the Dirt to check in on our Sixth Sense: the term we use to refer to our spirit, our intuition, our inner power. And because while we exist in the world alongside our other Five Senses, we’ll do a check-in of those, too.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Millions of Americans live with Mental Illness and I long for a world where we take better care of each other, a world with less stigma and shame. I was fortunate to be diagnosed fairly young with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder when I was about 8 years old. Having a name for what made me different gave me a compass for better understanding myself. I was able to research and ask questions and learn how to thrive. I long for a world where we celebrate people’s differences and talk about the strength of their differences versus just being disordered. I long for a world where we have yearly mental health examinations the same way that we have yearly physicals. This season has made many of us face our shadows and unpack our basements or attics while we loved on each other by staying inside. I definitely had to do my research a couple months ago to get back into therapy and I was surprised to find, especially after this last year, that for too many therapy sites, race was not even on the intake form. There are some spaces, especially after the last year that we’ve had, where Black and Brown people need to be able to safely unzip and process. If therapy becomes another place where you have to navigate microaggressions, then are you really being helped?
I entered into May on the water. I went to Turks & Caicos to teach yoga and help support the By Grace Retreat. We did extensive planning and testing to ensure everyone’s health and safety was protected. I did not realize how much I needed this break until I was floating in the salty blue green water soaking up the sun and imagining a new world for us all where breaks like this are included for everyone. It helped to reignite my Hope and my Joy. I watched a small group of women arrive exhausted and ready for something different. For a week, I led yoga every morning, followed by Swaady leading us in meditation. Our chef had breakfast ready when we finished to nourish us all. Everyday I witnessed people waking up with a little more joy, a little more light, and a whole lot more love. We all deserve Grace. We all deserve Joy. We all deserve Rest.
As I continue to choose Joy and make decisions for what is best in my life, I know everyone will not agree. As a team, we weighed a lot of pros and cons before executing this year’s retreat. We wanted to make sure that we were causing more healing with no harm if possible and I definitely feel that we succeeded in that. I am proud of the healing that we all experienced from our time in that space. Turks & Caicos is a magical place that I look forward to returning to. Shout out to Rakia for leading us on a safe and magical retreat and helping to heal us all.
Inspired By the 5 other Senses: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch
Sight: As we start to see more people get vaccinated and communities starting to reopen, I’m starting to see more people outside. DC is about a month away from fully reopening and I’m both nervous and excited. As my mother has taught me though, I am choosing Joy. Getting to see the beautiful blue green waters every morning while we saluted the sun was a much needed reminder about what life is all about. I also was excited to enjoy the beautiful gift that Smudge sent us, The I AM & CO intention deck, a Selenite Palm Stone and some Hello Goldie Tea.
Sound: During a couple of meditations, Swaady introduced me to this group called Beautiful Chorus and I am such a fan of their beautiful sound. If you need a good meditation track to practice, they are a new fave. I highly recommend I am Surrounded by Love, it is one of my favorite songs from them. I also took my Singing Bowls from The Ohm Store to close each of my yoga classes. I was pleasantly surprised how happily and easily they sang.
Smell: We closed out March with a Smudge Session where we got a Spring Cleanse Kit which was a six-pack of organic essential oils, two spray bottles (one travel-sized; one 4 ounce for at home), a crystal mix, and customizable labels. I actually took my mixes with me to use at the end of class and they were a big hit! It was a nice way to close out each session with a grounding scent that everyone enjoyed.
Taste: I have to give a huge shout out to Chef Cecil who feed us everyday with so much more than just food. He gave us a week of care and showed us his joy in every bite. If you need someone to inspire your tastebuds, check him out!
Touch: It took up a quarter of my carry on and I'd pack it again!! Next to my singing bowls and mannny crystals, rested my Theragun, ready to put in some work and touch on our bodies. Side note, when asked what's this in the airport, maybe don't say Theragun too loudly, gun is still not a word folks want to hear at Airport Security. I have the Theragun Pro and I wanted to bring it along to share with the group and I was so glad I did. The look on folks face as they discovered the different aches and pains in their body and then working them out was great. They have a few different models so I highly recommend checking them out.
Looking to amplify your power of Self? Smudge Wellness suggests the following:
Loving this collab with Underbelly because I definitely live by my gut so this gut check kit is right up my alley!
I've been doing a lot more tarot readings lately and have really been enjoying getting to know people through holding this space for them. My two favorite decks that I have been using are the Mystic Monday Deck and the Prism Oracle Deck.
I took my Tiger's Eye Crystal point with me that sat in our main space. Tiger's Eye is a stone of courage and bravery and as Smudge says served as "a reminder of the badass power we already possess". Sometimes we all just need a reminder.