For over a year now I have wanted to start a blog, specifically a food blog. I felt weird starting a blog about food when I have struggled with my weight my entire life. I kept putting the idea off until two things happened. First, my talented friend, Malika Ali Harding, approached me about doing a joint event with her gallery (On the Ground Floor) that would serve as a soft launch to my food blog. Afraid of a big stage for my blogging coming out, I hesitated committing myself to the event. However, if you haven’t met my friend Malika, she can be quite persuasive. I finally accepted that the universe was giving me a healthy push and I joined her efforts to create a farm-to-table event for the closing night of her show Roots, called Urban Farm-a-licious.
The second thing that happened is that I went to Spirit Rock in Northern California for a week long, people of color, silent meditation retreat. This was a very uncharacteristic decision for me. I had first heard about Spirit Rock from another good friend shortly after my mom passed five years ago. Seeing me struggle, she thought that meditation and mindfulness might assist me through the difficult time I was having. I wasn’t ready.
Well, I wasn’t ready until earlier this year. In February I was dealing with a particularly debilitating bout of depression. I had lost a sense of myself and had no clue how to pull myself out of a growing funk. I had dabbled with Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and yoga years ago, but neither took a strong hold. With nothing to lose, I tried again and it wasn’t long before I felt the fog I had been living in start to lift. When I first went to Yoga, I HATED it. In fact, I cried after every class in my car for at least 15 minutes before calming myself enough to make the drive home. But, I kept attending and after about two months I started to feel better. I committed to yoga, meditating on a daily basis, returned to talk therapy, and started reading Pema Chodron’s Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habit and Fears. I was actually looking forward to my days, feeling lighter and more focused, and decided that it was finally time to check out the meditation retreat that had been putting off since 2010.
Participants of the 2015 Annual People of Color Retreat-Deepen Your Dharma, Deepen Your Freedom
Photo Credit: Spirit Rock Facebook Page
The retreat was… transformative. I woke up at 5:00AM every morning. Then, starting at 6:30AM and going until 9:30PM, I would do sitting and walking meditation in complete silence with about 100 other people of color on the beautiful campus that Spirit Walk sits on. I’m sure I will refer to it many times over the coming weeks. However, while I was there, what I should do with the blog became crystal clear. It shouldn’t JUST be a food blog. I am not JUST one thing. It should explore the transformation that I’m currently experiencing and talk about all things that I am testing out as I learn how to live the most fulfilling life that I can. It is on that day, as I was doing my walking meditation, that I decided to do a wellness blog promoting a curiosity about life. This blog will explore everything from food to Buddhism and natural hair to mental health. This blog’s aim is to explore discoveries about life and ourselves that come from trying new things.
I’m excited about this new phase of my life. I’m excited about the growth that I have already seen within myself and can’t wait to hear from all of you about things you’ve tried that have been a success in your life! Thanks for joining me on this journey.
Onward and Inward,