written by Jada Walton
In 2018, I started seeing a therapist and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. First, just know that therapy never gave me any miracle breakthrough moment like in the movies, that’s not real. It did provide numerous moments of clarity, good advice, and self-reflection. It also helped me better understand myself and why I do certain things (trauma that comes from years of being a giver and having too much pride to ask for help). Most importantly, it provided me with validation, reassuring me that I wasn't "crazy" when things got too intense for me to comprehend.
written by Black Women Healing Retreats
Rituals have been part of black culture since the beginning of time. Our ancestors worked with the elements, and connected with the sun, moon, and stars to bring forth manifestation, sustainability and healing. The Dagara Tribe in West Africa often used spiritual practices such as communing with nature and using rituals to tap into the spiritual realm. The Yoruba practices encouraged prayers, spiritual dances and connections with deities like Oshun and Ogun. Spirituality for black people has always been about connecting with the Earth. Today though, black people have been disconnected from rituals. During slavery Black people had their culture, original faith and spirituality taken away from them. They were conditioned to believe that their own spirituality that once healed them was a dark witch craft. Like many African traditions, Many things which were once positive are now presented as negative, this is why it is necessary to understand our history.
written by Anais Maseda
We are firm believers that the way black women are treated within society reflects the way we treat our precious home, the earth. This observation makes it essential that we formulate a clear image of how women are treated within society then compare it to the treatment of Mother Earth. The very ideology of women being viewed as just bodies; therefore, being exploited in countless ways entirely reflects how Mother Earth is viewed and treated as replaceable. Mother Earth is too seen as "just another body" or object that can be mined, drained, polluted, and exploited.
written by LeAndra Williams
For many years, Black Women have suffered through depression, anxiety, and PTSD, among other physical, mental, and emotional trauma. For years, Black Women have been taught to “pray” our hurt away, to sex our pain away, or to drink our pain away. Throughout history we’ve seen countless remedies from natural to pharmaceutical that claim to help alleviate these daily pains from our lives. Although there are countless of remedies out there, I have yet to find one full-proof way of eliminating these painful symptoms, until now. I am here to not only tell you how crystals changed my life, but also how these benefits could be the secret weapon to your freedom.
written by Leandra Williams
Inspirational speaker Iyanla Vanzant once said, “We are women. Everything we do matters. I am not my sister’s keeper. I am my sister.” With society disproportionately painting negative images of Black women interacting with one another, it’s no wonder that we continue to have issues with effectively communicating with each other and treating our sisters well. As a Black woman, I strongly feel we want a closer bond with our sisters, but with institutionalized classism, colorism, and ageism, society continues to dictate what we believe Black women should look and act like. Often, this stops us from making a genuine connection with other black women.
In my experience, some Black women will treat their sisters poorly be it in the workplace, being petty on social media, within educational institutions, or in other spaces. Some black women have negative interactions with other Black women because they perceive their sisters to be “less educated.” Although having an institutionalized education does not mean someone is smarter than someone who does not, this occurs. Negative interactions between Black women even happen in the workplace. For instance, a Black woman graduates, gets a great new job, only to find that her Black supervisor acts coldly toward her and may even be intimidated by her presence. And then, there’s the interactions between Black women on college campuses. I remember when I first began college at Northern Kentucky University in 2009 (a predominantly white institution, or PWI) and how excited I was to see other Black women on campus. One day before classes started, I intentionally walked around campus in order to speak to my sisters. Unfortunately, once I began saying “Hi, how are you doing?” I was met with strange looks, and no replies back. It hurt my feelings, because in my mind I didn’t see anything wrong with speaking to people, especially my sisters. However, I learned very quickly that all Black women don’t feel the same sense of urgency when it comes to speaking and being polite to other Black women.
A few observations came to mind after that experience and also after working with different Black women over the years. Some women are genuine and love being around other Black women; some are in competition with their fellow sister and others enjoy being the only Black person in a space; some Black women tend to stay to themselves, and while they aren’t rude to you, they don’t necessarily connect with you either. These experiences and observations led me to this question: Why is it that historically we’ve been able to fight, survive and love one another, but over the course of a few decades, we’ve turned our backs on our sisters?
Sociologist and author Katrina Bell McDonald wrote a piece back in 2009 titled “Black Women Behaving Badly,” and she dove deeply into the disconnection that Black women are facing today in society. She explains that not only is there a certain type of expectation the media wants the public to believe about Black women’s interactions with each other, but, this in turn causes Black women to struggle with our internal selves. Have you ever found yourself being snarky to your fellow sister? Did you ever question why and the reasoning behind your actions? Have you ever been envious of a black womans accomplishments and participated in trying to bring her down? Are you annoyed by other Black women in your space, or are you not sure how to interact with new sisters that come into your life? If you tend to have a high expectation of fellowship and warm relations when it comes to communicating with your sisters and you consistently aren’t met with the same kind of energy, this can lead to constant disappointment.
My question now is, how can we turn this around and start being there for our sisters? How can we reverse our own past actions and call out other Black women who don’t interact positively with our sisters? Not only do I believe we should first start to treat our sisters the way we want to be treated, but we can also go the extra mile to ensure our sisters feel comfortable and protected in our space. Sometimes we can’t change the world, but we can definitely change ourselves and watch the domino effect take place. Change begins with us. We can get on Twitter and Facebook to complain about our interactions all we want, but if we aren’t leading by example, are we really changing anything?
Let’s embrace our sisterhood, because let’s be honest…we are all we got out here. Yes, we have allies, but no one understands the pain and depths of a Black woman like our own sisters. With sisters we fight, we disagree and argue, but the main key is to always come back together and love one another. That’s my challenge to you: to reach out, get out of your comfort zone, and start being kinder to your sisters. We need to have conversations about this, whether it is within our school and academic systems, our work spaces or our everyday home lives. By doing this, we can start incorporating positive change and communication styles, and we can slowly change the “mean Black girl” narrative. Don’t get caught up in the media and hype. Examine your own personal relationships with other Black women outside of your circle and see how you may be acting toward them based on what the media has conditioned you to believe, then figure out what you truly believe. I’ll leave you with this quote from one of my favorite Black women:
“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all, be humble.” --Serena Williams
written by Black Women Healing Retreats
There is no battle against the common understanding that black people originated in Africa. Black people, in their most natural essence, lived in nature. Women’s bodies were viewed as holy-- women didn’t feel pressured to cover their naked breasts, because this was an acceptable sign of nurture and life. This was the understanding of nature before colonization was imposed upon black people, which created a society where a woman’s body was seen as something strictly sexual. Black people walked barefoot, and ate nutritious fruit from their surroundings. Tribes practiced tribal dances and spoke their own languages. They heard hymns from the trees and bathed in rivers: they were at one with nature, the ultimate healer of life.
written by Michele Alcime
It is important to find communities for black women and girls while we are on our personal development journey because the ultimate purpose of personal growth is to ripple through the collective and raise consciousness. We have all heard some version of the saying, “the more we take care of ourselves, the more we take care of each other.” It is more than just another feel good theory. It is proven that taking care of ourselves (whatever that means to you) influence our patience with our kids, understanding of our partners, and loyalty to ourselves.
written by Erika L Harper LPC
Strong Black Woman Syndrome (SBWS) is not a technical term but right away most of us are aware of the description. Over time it has morphed into an extremely damaging stereotype but it was originally created by us to protect ourselves from the horrors afflicted upon Black African families during American slavery. Many women today suffer from this syndrome due to our ancestors unknowingly and devastatingly passing down their trauma genetically into us. The trope of the strong Black woman is the reason why Black women have always been viewed as physically stronger, less prone to pain and more verbally aggressive compared to our white counterparts despite there being no evidence to support these claims. It is for these reasons that Strong Black Woman Syndrome is the perfect shield for masking persistent depressive disorder.
written by Black Women Healing Retreats
Tarot cards can sometimes cause controversy amongst black folks. Some think that tarot is evil, but did you know that tarot is part of African healing? Tarot cards are part of Black Culture, because tarot has roots in ancient Egypt. The Tablets of Aeth, found in the sacred scrolls of the Egpytian Book of the Dead, was one of the earliest examples. Today when we see tarot cards, the cards are usually eurocentric, showing different white faces, contributing to the erasure of african history and spirituality. This is also why black folks may not realize that they, too, can benefit from tarot.
written by Black Women Healing Retreats
Healing is an ongoing lifetime journey; the healing of Black people is especially necessary. As we know, Black people have endured traumatic circumstances due to slavery. Perhaps you are a person who believes slavery has had no affect on the Black psyche. To gain more education and perspective about the intergenerational impact of slavery, one must look at racism through facts. Racism isn't solely based on feelings, opinions or emotions. It is a system based on factual history of the past, present and can statistically predict the future. To understand systemic oppression, one must remove their personal opinions and view it through facts.