Seriously, hardly a day passes by without sensational news articles claiming things such as:
Black women want to be fat
Black women are more likely to develop cervical cancer than any other group
Black women are the most likely to die of breast cancer
Black women are angry
Black women are the face of AIDS in Africa.
There are five times more black women living with HIV than previously thought
Black women show the highest rates of single motherhood
Black women are uglier than other women and less likely to find love.
Black women yada yada yada . . .
I'm not disputing for now whether these articles are true or not, but they are just too many and they shadow the positive stories of black womanhood, which are so seriously fucking many.
Women of African heritage have started new revolutionary movements, written some of the first feminist books, been freedom fighters to name just a few exciting contributions to world science, economy, philosophy, literature and development. Can we write more articles about black women's achievements? Please? How about a story on British black women in entrepreneurship earning more than white women or on female black-owned businesses growing at a higher rate than any other group in the US?
Why Meditation is Useful
In order to continue to add value, we need to be able to tune out the cacophony of negative media messages and tune into our feelings of self-worth.
One way to foster such compassion for ourselves and for each other is to learn how to meditate. Through meditation we wake up our hearts and minds, which enables us to connect with our inner voice. As a result we feel more relaxed as we carry out our daily lives. We find it easier to manage anger, insecurity, stress, and depression and we become more capable of detaching ourselves from any negative perceptions cast upon us. Meditation can help to build the confidence and awareness needed to become mentally successful.
Only if you know who you are, can you know who you are not.
Unfortunately, many people are put off by meditation because they think it is something complicated, or boring. The word meditation sounds clinical, which can make it feel like a chore. Instead, we can think of meditation as me-time; time that you dedicate to your mental well being on a daily basis.
During this me-time, do anything that you think is fun. The only criterion is that you connect with your inner self. For example you can draw, write, cook or sit in your garden. If you choose to draw, sketch something that relates to how you are feeling. If you write, perhaps write a poem about yourself. If you cook, be observant of the senses and aromas and how they make you feel. If you choose to spend time outdoors, be aware and at one with nature.
If you decide to contemplate silently in a Buddha inspired position, which I suggest you try to do occasionally, then set your imagination free; be transported to a private beach where you are chilling out by the water shore, or a tropical garden where you are lying down on a bed of scented flowers, or to a stage in an empty room where you can dance freely or just forget to think at all.
Remember, all that matters is that you spend the time getting to know your true self.
Self-love is Beautiful
In order to get the full effects of me-time, you should schedule it in every day, even if it's short. It's better to tune into your soul for five minutes every day than an hour once a week. After a while you will begin to look forward to that time of the day when you can exist without labels, restrictions or statistics and it is likely that your new hobby will start to influence your everyday life decisions. You will be better able to identify your passions and pursue them without being negatively influenced by society and stereotypes.
There is something magnetic about a woman who loves herself whatever her shape, hair texture or skin tone. Such a person will find it easier to find love, a dream job and good health, no matter what the statistics say.
This is a revised article
Follow Minna Salami on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MsAfropolitan