With Donald Trump as our President, I find I have lost my appetite for mindless play. Even if a large percentage of the voting population missed the memo, tricks are still for kids. I’ve got no energy nor should any of us the generosity to offer up our precious lives to being governed like a television episode of The Apprentice.
This moment in history, to which we find ourselves connected, is – as my great-grandfather use to say – “grown folk’s business.” Unlike last January, this time the call for ladies to get in formation is real – as evidenced by the thousands of women who attended the Women’s March on Washington.
To whom and what will you give your energy?
For many of us, there has never been a more important time in the span of our lives than now to pause and consider who is it that we choose to be—show up as in the world? What will our contributions be? Mindful to boot that the disordered giving away of our light before first taking care of ourselves serves no one well in the end. You cannot get in formation with anybody else if you are not first in alignment with yourself.
Radical. Self. Care. I’m not talking just about the typical self-care rituals we all engage with renewed passion every New Year’s eve. I’m talking about the radical changes we employ like a Marine on the battlefield after we’ve been burned, heart-broken, screwed over or insulted one too many times. I’m talking about 1 cup of “Don’t Hurt Yourself” by Beyoncé, added to 1/2 cup of “B***h Betta Have My Money” by Rihanna, mixed to taste with “When They Go Low, We Go High’ Michelle Obama radical.
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Every woman who’s ever endeavored to master radical self-care, and consequently earned her badass wings, has learned somewhere along the way the importance of artfully expressing, (hand to the face, head-roll to the back) “who the f! do you think I is?” On Lemonade, Beyoncé distilled generations of Black women’s pain and indignation into one simple line that served as a question as much as it did a statement. A notification. A reminder that regardless of how off-center we sometimes get, that once we come back to our right minds, there are some things that will not be tolerated on our watches.
I think of Harriet, Sojourner, Rosa, my late grandmother Cora and declarations like “No,” “Not now,” “Not this time,” “Stop,” I suppose it is indeed true that the practice of radical self-care is a rigorous undertaking, requiring us at every turn to draw our lines in the sand and declare where the bucks will stop. It is a practice for the rebel-hearted.
Even though we sometimes have to fall deep into a dark and reckless abandoning of our self- care in order to wake up, the sloppy decent is very often jolting. For rock bottoms, when absorbed, serve as powerful reboots that rev us up and tune us into a full-throttle- remembering of our innate worthiness, and DNA-certified “badassness”.
In times like these, when we are faced with situations that call for us to take a stand—I stand on the side of no. No. No Trump, you can not just grab me by anything. I am a woman, and you will “put some respect on it” as will I by honoring my right and responsibility to care for myself first.
I encourage you to do the same. Take care of yourself, in order that our standing in formation with others be of the revolutionary quality that makes life better for everyone.
Self-care, by us, for us.