The 3 Keys a Black Woman needs to get through life

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It makes me smile how far we have come; black women owning businesses, educated, with strong careers- we’ve done so much. But I think we all know that sometimes it can feel like a battle for us to get anywhere in life. Although we live in the well developed Western world , we are still pushing to move past invisible barriers -racism, sexism and being relegated in society.

It made me think about how we can build ourselves up and ensure we have a foundation that keeps us moving, even in the most difficult times. I can’t answer for all black women – we all have different ways of coping in tough times. You only have to speak to a few other black women to know that with the barriers other women face and our race, can make this life feel like a battle 24/7.

My thoughts about the three keys I feel we must have to survive, thrive and strive in today’s world for me are:

Peace

We often have a reputation of being ‘strong black women’. But this often comes with the image of the black woman who always wants to fight, scream, starts trouble, lacks vulnerability or the ability to show any femininity. One thing I always think about this image, is how it presents us black women as lacking in any peace- like we are always looking for a fight.

In our defence, we come from a culture and legacy of having to fight. Whether it’s our slave past or often coming from financially challenged families, we have had to fight. Fight for education, fight for the recognition we deserve at work and in the wider society.

I firmly believe that when us black women come to a place of accepting ourselves and knowing who we truly are (and not accepting the stereo-types applied to us), then yes we will be at peace.

Why is peace so important?

I think it teaches us which battles to fight – whether that’s to walk from the man who is never really there for you or the constant criticism of ‘well meaning’ friends and family. Yes our strength should never be a bad thing but we can use it in so many other ways – refusing to be drawn into battles that destroys our peace.

 

In our defence, we come from a culture and legacy of having to fight. Whether it’s our slave past or often coming from financially challenged families, we have had to fight. Fight for education, fight for the recognition we deserve at work and in the wider society.

Wellbeing

Mental, emotional, physical, spiritual – all areas that I believe we need to be in touch  with and develop at our inner core. I’ve written about making appointments for taking care of ourselves and doing what we need to give ourselves the best – before we give to anyone else. It’s taken me a while to know and accept it’s ok to prioritise my wellbeing. I still feel like our culture and legacy made struggle and pain a big part of black people’s lives; us black women have inherited that from our foremothers.

A new way of living for black women today

While our mothers and foremothers never had the luxury of massages or spa days or doing a yoga class, I feel like we are still fighting to claim the right to having including this type of wellbeing in our lives. No, this isn’t about being flashy or spending money your don’t have. I feel like this is about working on ourselves from the inside out. We know it’s hard to always feel ‘in balance’ – life is like a see-saw- one bit is up, while another part is down. But taking the steps to develop and nourish our wellbeing in every part of our life is a key to being the best you can be for you and your life.

Health

This overlaps with the points above; your health is the thing that makes so much possible. With good health being able to travel, start a business and even just getting through a day – with good health so much is possible.  Yes it’s more than being able to get into your size 10  jeans – this extends to your emotional and mental health too. Those negative thoughts or habits which really aren’t doing you any good. Work on those to give your health the best boost you can for now and the future.

Guard your Peace, Wellbeing and Health – treat them like they are gold because they really are the most valuable things we will ever own. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts – what’s key to you holding it all together and making it though this life?  Leave a comment below and let me know 🙂

 

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