Mother you first. Yup I mean it sis…mother. you. first.
As women, we give and give and give then…hole up…there’s one more drop left in us, so we give that too. And 9 out of 10 times, that last drop is given to someone else, not yourself.
When we do that, we can be left feeling depleted and we start to run on auto-pilot instead of consciously living a joy-filled life.
So it’s time we care for ourselves what our mothers did for us and what we do for our own children. Here are three simple ways you can do just that:
1. Treat yourself like a newborn baby.
Yea you read that right. Tend to your needs as soon as they need to be done. When a baby cries because it’s hungry, what does a mother do? Feed her. When a baby needs soothing, what does a mother do? Massage her, coddle her, speak soft encouraging words to her. So take your cue from the babies, when you have a need that needs to be met, let it be known and then tend to it right away.
2. Like child, like mother.
Sleepless nights, baggy eyes, stained clothes, matted hair and just plain feeling like crap. This is the story for many mothers, new and seasoned. But guess how the babies and children are? Well-rested, bright eyed, fresh clothes, well-groomed and playful. And that’s because their mother made sure all of their needs were met BEFORE she took care of her own. So know I’m letting you know that is perfectly fine to do tend to your needs first sis.
The same way you will see that your child goes to sleep at a decent time so they’ll be rested, make sure you put yourself to bed at a decent time for your well-being and health. The same way you make sure your kids have fresh clean clothes on daily, make sure you go out looking your best beautiful self on the regular!
3. Mother knows best.
As mamas one thing we do is give advice. Why? Because we want the best for our children and life has shown us a thing or two and we want to impart that knowledge onto our kids. Another reason is because we have that innate feminine intuition where we just know that we know. Well follow that intuition sis, and heed your own advice. Most times our gut gives us signs when something is amazing for us and when we need stay far, far, far away from it. Listen to your inner voice. ‘Cause just like your mama, she knows what she’s talking about.
Talk to me sis! In what ways will you mother yourself this Mother’s Day?
Every year at this time people set their goals for the new year, especially heath-centered ones.We see a barrage of things like, “Lose 10 pounds” “Eat more Veggies” “Run a Marathon”
While I love the excitement that these resolutions bring, I’m not a fan of the short lifespan most of them have. A lot are made in January and forgotten by the middle of February.
I’m more of a fan of goals. Goals give you something to actually aspire to not just an idea of what you want to do. Goals are juicy!
Why so juicy, you may ask, well beacause instead of saying I want to lose 10 pounds, make a monthly goal to lose a 5 lbs. Then from that goal do the steps necessary to reach it (walk around your block 3x everyday, no sodas at lunch time. etc)
So in this new year let’s focus on goals not just words. Get a jump-start to your goal-setting at this year’s Vinyasa & Vision workshop. Surround yourself with beautiful people, flow through an inspiring yoga class here!
(revised from 2014)
Kwanzaa just passed and while many have put away the kinara for the year, put back the fruits and given the kids the zawadi (gifts), the principles of this past week stay with us.
Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa or not, the 7 principles of the Nguzo Saba are things we can incorporate into our lives all year long. As mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and friends we have tremendous influence in our homes.
When we are at peace, whether it’s through yoga, meditation, prayer or simple silence, our households are as well. Likewise, when we practice empowering principles such as the Nguzo Saba our communities are better for it.
Here are some simple ways we can practice the principles of Kwanzaa all year round and not just the last week of December:
To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race.
Year Round Practice: Have family game night at least one day a week. Eat dinner together. Attend a religious service weekly. Greet your neighbors.
To define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Year Round Practice: Be your own motivator FIRST! Then spread that motivation to others. Reaffirm your commitment to being your best self and being apart of the Black community. If you see a void somewhere and you have the skills and ability, fill it, don’t wait for someone else.
||Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
To build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together.
Year Round Practice: Volunteer one of your services in your community. If you know someone is in need, reach out to them. Bring food to a new mama. Help raise funds for a family in need
||Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit from them together.
Year Round Practice: SHOP BLACK! ‘Nuff said. Support your local and online black businesses. Seek them out and if you enjoyed the service, product or experience, share it with your tribe. Let’s keep our money growing.
To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
Year Round Practice: Meditate on what your own purpose and mission is and encourage others to do the same.
To do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.
Year Round Practice: Embrace your own amazing creativity. Join an art, dance, or drum class. Do crafts with your children. Paint a community mural. Plant a garden in your neighborhood.
To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.
Year Round Practice: Diligently practice your own faith with true meaning. Believe in the unseen and a higher power. Learn about your family’s legacy and honor that through your daily living.
Go on and share these practices with your own communities and incorporate them into your family life year round. Let me know what you’ve tried!
Pretty, girly, safe and yoga-ey. That’s what I thought my wellness brand had to be.
I would scour the websites of all kinds of yoga teachers and see if my marketing was as “yoga enough” as theirs. I made several versions of my site (one is below) but realized that with each iteration all I had to do was swap out the logo, a picture here and there and it coud be any Jane Yogi’s site or brand. Exhibit A below:
Which led me to some surrrrious mid-year refelection. Who the hell was I as a teacher? Was I saying what I really wanted to say? Who came to most of my classes? Which of my students were emailing me asking for more classes, more start dates, more videos, just more? Who supported me the most?
The answers came rushing to me in full, bright clarity. Knowing who my tribe was was simple, it was women like me. Women of color who were looking for stress relief, more peace, focus and a retreat from the bustle of the world.
Next came defining myself. I decided to step all up into my boldness and do one of the most daring but easiest things I could ever do which was to simply be ME.
No over-thinking about what I should be saying or teaching or doing, but simply leaning ALL the way into the only person I’ve been with every single day of my life, Nazaahah and sharing that with my tribe.
Hence the name change from Ama Wellness to Nazaahah Amin. I chose to use my own name in my brand because the preservation of it is of deep meaning to me.
Throughout my life, I’ve altered, shortened and chopped up my name to placate folk, from college professors who butchered it on the regular to co-workers and associates. I didn’t want to hurt their sensibilities with such an “ethnic sounding”name. But no mas. No mo’. No ma’am. Ya girl will no longer dim herself so others feel comfortable being around me. If the light the Creator gave me is too bright for you, then put on your RayBans or gets ta stepping. Cause I’m here to live out my Nia (purpose) and share it with the world.
So my name Nazaahah Amin…Na-Zaa-Haa Ah-Meen…is it. My mother named me over 30 years ago with the intention that I would live up to its meaning of ‘honesty and integrity’. That meaning of my Arabic name is something I try to embody daily. So in honoring that, I will proudly and boldly use it.
I know that me coming into my full self only makes me a better, more present, more focused, more purpose-driven teacher for my tribe.
Have you found yourself placating others but dimming your light? Have you changed who you were to fit a mold or be what others though you should be? Let me know in the comments below and how you decided to step into your true self. Haven’t done it yet, share when you will do it!