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.
Black people were taken out of their natural environment by colonizers and their slave ships, thus disconnecting black people from their original home and essence. Forcing Africans on to plantations created an entire American economic system that relied on the enslavement of black people to fund the banks, railroad companies, insurance companies, and the United States government. This method of control and abuse also meant that black people were no longer allowed to connect with their natural habitats. Today, black people are still affected by the slave system through systemic racism, which continues to disconnect them from their own nature in a variety of harmful ways.
Nature is the foundation of Black/African life. There are lots of stories and cultural anecdotes about the healing power of nature. Additionally, there are also centuries of scientific proof supporting and affirming nature’s ability to heal. Everything in nature has a healing and/or energetic healing property. Nature is not man made-- it was not created in any laboratory. It is completely organic, which is why it is one of the strongest healing powers for humanity. Nature reminds us to allow life to flow; it reminds us that death is only the beginning of new life. Nature teaches us discipline. The sun must rise and fall every single day, and the earth must rotate: this is the definition of natural discipline. Nature reminds us that without discipline and consistency, nothing can be achieved. Nature also teaches us to sit still with our emotions and thoughts. Nature reminds us that man is not more powerful than the earth. We see these reminders in seasonal storms, hurricanes, and other forces of nature that no man can control. Nature also teaches us about birth and creating, for nature brings life every single day.
Black people must get back to nature. In this, they will experience the many benefits and healing powers that the ancestors used. Once black people can re-envision themselves in nature, there is no misunderstanding that they, too, are Gods.
Here are 5 ways to connect ourselves back to nature:
There are infinite ways to find yourself in nature’s embrace: enjoy your journey to self and share it with friends and loved ones so that they can experience their own journey as well. Returning to our nature is the first step to an incredible lifestyle with beautiful benefits for our minds, bodies, and spirits, as well as our families, our communities, and our world.