"Let a nigga be free. Free to do what they need. Free to go and come as they please. Let a nigga have peace. Peace to create the space they need to heal the decades of trauma that has taken place in their blood line. Let a nigga be free to explore, to open doors that have been closed them and those who came before them. Let a nigga live. Live the life that you have taken from us as forced us to fight for yours. Let a nigga have some land. Land to build on a foundation on land to stand. Land to plant our seeds and watch them grow. Land to hope. Land to flow. Let a nigga have joy. The joy that we VERY MUCH are owed; joy that we very rarely get to show. Let a nigga be free. This is my freedom flow."
The words above came from me as I sat down to prepare for the week. Today Monday June 20th 2022 America is recognizing Juneteenth as national holiday with some states giving a paid day off from work for the 2nd year since letting us know that we were free 2 months after the civil war in 1865. If you aren't familiar Juneteenth June 19th is the observance of the African American Emancipation Day. It's the day they told our freedom was released but we still didn't know about it until 2 months afterwards. Like DAMN. You set us free and we still didn't know. What kinds mess is that? The more and more I think about what it takes for people of color to be recognized for the works that we do, how much harder we have to work to be seen if we are doing something positive verse something negative... honestly it makes me kind of sad to call myself an American. To clam a country that doesn't really care about our wellbeing or our lively hood so long as we play our roles and help it build on the foundation of lies, stealing, crime, injustice, and unfair treatment to those who do not look like the "funding fathers" of this nation. Bro what the actual feezy?
If you are new here WELCOME, I'm Jin. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor, and certified Yoga and Mediation Instructor. In this blog, my focus is always on self-care as it pertains to your whole being. That's mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I share things that have worked for me, things that others have shared with me that have worked for them, and things I've learned or studied as a way to help those who may want or need it.
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What is freedom?
Google defines freedom as "the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint; absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government; the state of not being imprisoned". By these definitions I ask, when was the first or last time you felt free. I mean really free. A time you stopped fearing the consequences and tapped into the spirit of your ancestors? The ones that said "eff this ish I'm out" When was the last time you LIVED? The last time you weren't looking over your shoulders trying to make sure you wouldn't be arrested or gunned down for doing something as simple as taking a run in your neighborhood with your dog without being stopped and questioned about the Pitbull you are running with? When was the last time you got to "mind your bald-headed business" free from live your life free of judgement from anyone including yourself?
Speak/Live your truth
You may be thinking- Damn when was the last time I got to live life authentically? While Authenticity is a buzz word flying around the enters of net meaning of undisputed origin; genuine; when was the last time you allowed yourself to live in it? In my big age I can recall several times that I've lived in authenticity. Most recently telling the agency that I worked for during the day that the job I was hired for was no longer aligned with my goal or mission in life. Was I scared to tell my boss "Sis this ain't it and if you want me to stay on the team we need to find something that is in alignment or I will need to keep it moving." Hecky yes. Especially with only the formative stages of a new 5-10 year plan in place and faith that things would work out. 8 weeks ago I had this talk with my boss. I wasn't happy in my position. I felt misaligned and I told her "I don't know what you all have planned but I don't think I will be returning to this position. I am looking for opportunities outside of this organization that will help grow my skills both personally and professionally while providing me with a healthy work life balance." My boss said okay and walked away a little startled. 5 days ago I was released from that position with no plan in place just faith that things would work just as they had in the past. With tears in her eyes my boss informed me that they didn't have the funding to keep me on staff. She knew this information for about 6 weeks but had been trying to find funding and create a position what was more aligned with my personal and professional goals. An older version of me would have been a wreck. Trying to scramble to figure out what was next. This evolved version of me calmly looked at my emotional boss and said "Okay. Everything is going to work out and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to serve in this community." As I sat there watching the tears fill her eyes I knew that I'd done and said something that maybe she couldn't fathom. I was accepting what was with out attachment to what could be. I leaned into my freedom. Without hesitation or worry about what was to come. I was set free to enjoy my life. To enjoy my 104 days of summer vacation with no severance package and without panic or worry I accepted my fate knowing that this was just the beginning of one of the best summers yet. 104 days to do the things. Having those conversations wasn't easy for either of us however, they both needed to be had. There is no way I could get where I want to go doing something that I didn't feel free to be myself and show up in the ways I needed to show up for my community. I accepted my faith and rolled out playing "Summer 2020" by Jhene" Aiko
Often we only think of grief in one sense- the loss of a loved one. Rarely do we think of it as a loss of a way of life, a job, an opportunity etc. Know that people indeed grieve for many different reasons and the stages of grief are not linear. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance all come in waves. You experience them when you experience them. To be honest I'm used to this shit at the shit at this point. Is it normal? NO, but my body doesn't really know the difference. I've learned it's easier to go with what I'm feeling openly and honestly vs trying to go against it and deal with it alone. I will be transparent is saying that on Saturday my body started to show the score as reality started to set in so did depression but, the way I've rewired my brain... it didn't last long. I challenged my feeling by asking myself - "Isn't this what you wanted? Freedom to do what you want? I know this may not have been the way you saw it happening but it is what you wanted. Freedom. Freedom to be in flow, to create, to restore, to show up in ways that only you can show up in. Isn't this what you wanted?" The answer was Abso-freaking-lutely!
I could say that this all came at an inconvenient time of my life however, if I sat around waiting for things to be convenient in my life I would be waiting forever. If you know me you know that I am very much a person that shows gratitude as I continue working for the things I've prayed to God and nem for. I asked for freedom and got it. For that I am grateful. I'm grateful that I now have time to do things that are more aligned with who I genuinely am. I've noticed that I smiled, squeaked, smirked, and enjoyed waking up to another adventure more over the last 5 days then I have in the past 3 months. I don't feel so much pressure to be a full-time "serious" adult. I'm having fun again. I have space to create and enjoy the journey as the path continues to revel it's self. I'm really enjoying being serious, silly, kind, fun, loving, and curious all at the same time. I'm enjoying freedom and it feels good to feel free even if its just for a moment. It feels good to feel it.
As we close you know I'm good for some Homie-work. I want you to pick a day or a time this week where you allow yourself to show up as your full self. The weird you, the one you try to hide because you are worried about what other people will way about you. The one that is scared to do or say the things that make you feel free and note your experience. How did it make you feel? How can you do this more? What area of your life do you feel you need the most freedom in? You don't have to tell me if you don't want to but know that we all grow when we share our experiences. You may think that no one wants to hear or see what you have to say but trust me there is someone out there that will only hear and feel it from you. Because we've invested in YOU and we love to see you doing and being you FREELY, GENUINELY.
Until next time remember- Lean into the things that make your soul happy.
As you make you way out don't forget to schedule you next class in the Zen Den with Jin by clicking the link below. If you've wanted to try yoga but it hasn't been finically accessible to you click the link below and get into the Zen Den.