golden lady writes!
golden lady writes!
As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close, I wanted to share some of my recent experiences surrounding motherhood.
Being a mother takes so much more than I would have ever imagined. This motherhood thing is hard work! It is exhausting yet rewarding to do what is necessary to provide for our children so they can strive and enjoy good lives.
To be at our best, we must put as much time and energy into our mental and physical well-being as we dedicate to caring for our children. We cannot be any good for those who are under our care if we are not good to ourselves. That goes for anyone who has placed themselves in a position to nurture or help improve the well-being of others.
My daughter, Tiffany Renee Johnson, a.k.a Tif, and I decided to do something this year that we have never done in celebration of Motherhood. We always do something unique, but we participated in activities that focused on mental and physical health this time around.
Pre-Mother’s Day Brunch
Tif and I attended the Chrysalis Program Pre-Mother’s Day Brunch Fundraiser the last Saturday in April at the Space Share Lab in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood. The event involved having a difficult conversation about healing the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters. We enjoyed great food, a powerful panel discussion, live performances, a raffle, and giveaways. Also, the DJ blessed us with music that pays tribute to mothers and womanhood.
After giving the welcome message, the event host asked for a volunteer to say a prayer. Tif answered the call, praying for a blessed event and thanking God for bringing us all together.
“You are beautiful! You are worth it! You are worthy!” the host proclaimed as she urged us to speak these words daily. It is an excellent idea to self-validate to remind yourself of these things.
When the panel moderator asked the audience to share our thoughts on improving mother-daughter relationships, I offered the following suggestions based on my personal experience: “Listen without interruption, don’t make excuses, and own your part in the situation.”
The panel of professionals had an in-depth discussion on topics that most of us rarely speak of in the Black community. They shared these words of wisdom in the process:
The event opened my eyes to different perspectives and empowered me to continue to grow.
Chrysalis offers the following programming for Black girls to heal, grow and learn together:
The purpose of Chrysalis is to interrupt the trauma by “fostering growth and transformation through encouraging self-love, integrity, and compassion to inspire success.” To learn more about the Chrysalis Program, visit https://www.chrysalisforgirls.org.
Mother’s Day and African Dance
To continue the celebration of Motherhood, Tif and I took a Mali dance class with Souleymane Solo Sana on Mother’s Day during Ayodele Drum & Dance’s African Dance Conference. The energy was non-stop, and we had a good workout. The process took a lot of work and was tiring, but the reward was worth it. I felt refreshed. Even though I was a beginner, I challenged myself to get through the difficult steps. I may not have mastered them all, but at least I tried, which is how I approach life.
Being well means feeling good overall. Physical health affects mental well-being, so we must include physical activity in our daily routine. Movement can be fun, strengthen you, help you stay mentally focused, and relieve stress, among other things.
You can learn more about Ayodele at https://www.ayodeledrumanddance.com.
Eros Bowie, AKA The Prince of Poetry
For those of us who may have self-doubt or fear on the journey through healing due to our past, I would like to leave you with these words that motivational speaker Stephanie A. Roberts recently said to me. "Be encouraged! Be inspired! Don't allow what your eyes show you to pull you into an area of defeat." Check out her book, The ABCs of Commanding Your Day.