Prioritizing Well-Being In the Black Community
Updated: Oct 21, 2021
By: Lianna Gardner
a.k.a. Lianna Empowers
A mindset focused on health, happiness, prosperity and wholeness is vital to creating a new way of being that will transform the trajectory of Black communities.
The concept of well-being is almost never talked about in the Black community, but it is vitally important to our ability to survive as well as shift into thrive in today's overstressed, fearful and increasingly oppressive world.
Well-Being is the experience of health, happiness, wholeness and prosperity. It includes enjoying good mental health, high life satisfaction, a sense of purpose and passion and an ability to manage stress. It also encompasses positivity, resilience, emotional intelligence and an ability to connect with others in social situations that affirm your self-esteem and self-worth. All of this taken together enhances your overall quality of life, and can even lengthen your life span.
You're probably thinking, when has well-being ever been part of our experience as Black people? There has been a worldwide campaign to destroy us for centuries. Case in point, in the Americas where we came to these foreign lands as slaves, disconnected from the origins of our Truth, stripped of our inner power, history, freedom, self-esteem, self-worth and dignity, and conditioned to believe we were 'less than' any other human being; that's a lot of generational trauma to overcome, especially when we are still in the throes of it today. No wonder we have the highest incidence of illnesses like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, heart attack and strokes in our communities, and die at disproportionately higher rates.
Positivity, purpose and good mental health are concepts we have a hard time wrapping ourselves around based on the Black experience. The silver lining in all of this is that we do not have to allow this negative, free-radical damage to our bodies-minds-spirits to continue. The only way we can change the status of well-being within ourselves and our communities is to create awareness of its importance and educate Black people as to the tremendous benefits that come from creating well-being. The road to well-being begins with an inner journey and getting reconnected to the parts of your being that history and programming have sought to render null and void. Nothing in your world will change, until you accept responsibility for yourself and become willing to make the changes necessary to enhance the quality of your life.
No one is coming to save you, you've got to save yourself.
Well-Being has to do with the collective wellness of the whole of you. First, understand that all human beings come into the world as whole and unique beings, with joy, a heart, a soul, and a purpose; this is our birthright. When we choose to see ourselves for the sacred beings we truly are, then we can begin to understand that each of us has the power to change ourselves and our circumstances, verses being controlled by them. It's not easy, but it can be done despite the fact that for centuries, we've been pummeled from so many different angles, disconnected from the whole of who we are, and in the process, disconnected from our truth. Every part of us has been laid bare, stripped of our true essence because in order to control, they must divide us. In this world, we've been programmed to believe that we must fight everyday just to survive. Survival instincts create fear and stress, and when we are constantly in fight or flight mode, it begins to take a toll on our entire being. We simply cannot sustain this negative and painful energy.
The most important thing to understand about creating well-being is that there is nothing wrong with you, and you don't need 'fixing', you just need to be reconnected to your truth. You must once and for all cut the cords of generational trauma that keep you trapped in your circumstances and begin the healing process.
Here are 7 Pillars of Well-Being that can help bring awareness to your truth, so that you can begin to free yourself from the negative false narrative that has been woven into your consciousness:
Historically: We are descendants of Africa. There is a powerful African ancestry and way of being that is engrained within our DNA. We can't connect to it if we don't know it. For example, in Africa, there were traditional African values that guided every member of society. Values like Hospitality, Chastity Before Marriage, Truth, Respect for Elders, Covenant Keeping, Hard Work and Good Character were part of who we were, and part of who we intrinsically are. Africans also held a unique worldview and spirituality. The world view was holistic and humanistic, focusing on interdependence, collective survival, harmony, an important role for the aged, the oral tradition, continuity of life and rhythm. Spiritually, there was a fundamental belief in a metaphysical connection between all that exists within the Universe through an all pervasive energy or "spirit" that is the essence of all things. Community consisted of the basic unit of the Tribe, not the INDIVIDUAL. Since the tribe sought collective survival, cooperation was valued over competition and individualism, which is dramatically different than what we embrace today. An awareness of these historical facts helps put together the missing puzzle pieces of who we are, and helps us understand the foundation of well-being that exists within us
Economically: Creating entrepreneurial and financially sound mindsets will help break generational curses and emphasize the importance of small business creation...shifting our focus from 'finding a job' to being the 'job' or job creator. Keeping our dollars in our communities is imperative to our economic well-being and freedom
Spiritually: Introducing our communities to the concept of WHOLENESS and the importance of balancing mind-body-spirit. Becoming aware of the damage done that has been so corrosive to our mental, physical and spiritual well-being, will help us begin to heal individually and collectively.
Physically: Rethinking and relearning the importance of health, creating new healthy habits, and placing a emphasis on self-care to enhance our physical well being
Socially: Education surrounding the importance of our interactions with each other, the importance of our relationship to ourselves and the world, and youth relationship and respect for elders to create generational cohesiveness. This will help bridge the gap between young and old and create a renewed appreciation for learning from each other
Morally: Taking inventory of and making shifts in our Value system. Emphasize respect for ourselves and others for the enhancement and uplifting of our community, and educating people about the importance of manners and etiquette as a way to maintain respect personally and professionally
Mentally: Developing a willingness to shift the mindset away from things that no longer serve you, in order to be able to see new possibilities and opportunities for your life, and providing coaching and mentoring to guide people in this process
Each one of these pillars works in concert with one another to contribute to the overall health and well-being of the individual and subsequently the community at large.
Prioritizing well-being in the Black community will allow us to shift from an existence of allowing our circumstances to dictate our lives, and instead, open people to new and exciting possibilities and opportunities for their lives. Transformation starts with each one of us taking responsibility for our own evolution, and taking action to create the life of health, happiness, positivity and prosperity that we so richly deserve.
Lianna Empowers is the personal brand of Lianna Gardner, highly sought after EmpowerMentor, Transformational Coach, Heart Guide, Speaker and forthcoming author of the book "GrownSexyWisdom: 5 Grown Ass Ways to Create A Life That Turns You On!" My gift is empowering audiences worldwide in the areas of Personal Development, Travel and Lifestyle, Law of Attraction and Health & Well-Being.
Check out Billy's podcast "Mental Enslavement Within the Black Community" linked in the YouTube video below. In this episode, Billy talks about how entities like the media and religion are used against us to conquer and divide.
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