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Freedom By Any Means Necessary: Finding Your Personal Path To Get There

Exploring our need to be free as Black women and unique paths for letting go.

We know that Black women need to heal—we carry current and intergenerational wounds that need to be addressed, and to do so, we must explore many alternative forms of healing and seeking freedom. During the 2021 ESSENCE Festival Of Culture at the Virtual ESSENCE Wellness House, experts came together to teach us how to find our own unique paths to freedom.

For more of everything you missed during week 1 of Wellness House at the 20201 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, click HERE.

Moderator Olivia F. Scott, creator of Freedom At The Mat and the producer of the ESSENCE Wellness House, exploring alternative healing modalities and how they can help us feel freer with special guests Dr. Crystal Jones, an Atlanta based spiritual advisor, who specifically focuses on Black and queer people, and Evolyn Brooks, a Los Angeles based certified yoga teacher, reiki practitioner, wellness entrepreneur and the founder of In My Solitude LA, who specifically focuses on helping women manifest their intentions through mindful modality.

“I find that people want to remember freedom,” shared Dr. Jones. “They want to remember within their bodies that they can be free.”

It is after all, something we all deserve, right?

“They want to remember that freedom is their birthright, and that freedom is the very breathe that they breathe. That freedom is the truth of their existence. And sometimes there can be a fear in dropping into what that could feel like,” she continued.

Many of those women looking for alternative healing modalities often turn to reiki, a natural healing modality that was rediscovered in Japan but can be traced all the way back to ancient Egypt.

“The idea is that our bodies are made of energy and when we have trauma or we’re upset about things, we often store that energy in our bodies,” explains Brooks. “And so, through reiki, the process is helping us to kind of move through those energy blocks. Release them. Anything that we may be holding onto and then that way we are able to feel more rested. We are able to get some sleep. We are able to cry it out. Whatever it is. You’ll feel different changes depending on what your body needs in that moment, but most importantly, it’s a way to release stress and feel more relaxed.”

But why is it so challenging for many Black women to heal? What are some of the obstacles we face?

“I think the biggest thing that holds people back is not feeling safe,” shared Jones. “Not understanding, who is supporting me, where did they get this information from, what is someone doing to me? Sometimes the language is inaccessible and lots of times there isn’t always a brave space for the person to feel safe enough to even begin healing.”

Watch this empowering conversation in full above. For more of everything you missed during week 1 of Wellness House at the 20201 ESSENCE Festival of Culture, click HERE.


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