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  • Chalice Overy

Inserting Optimism

I've been reading Resmaa Menakem's, In My Grandmother's Hands. I've been reading it very slowly because he includes multiple body and breath practices that he asks you not to skip over. Menakem believes that we have to work out the trauma our bodies hold using our bodies. Now trauma impacts everyone differently, but he says that some of the resilience we see in black people is because,


they have developed a variety of body-centered responses to help settle their bodies and blunt the effects of racialized trauma. These include individual and collective humming, rocking, rhythmic clapping, drumming, singing, grounding touch, wailing circles, and call and response, to name just a few.

So we already have cultural access to healing practices, it's just that no one's ever talked about their healing properties. As a result, we may not look to them when we're grieving or anxious, or make a habit of engaging in them as regularly as we might take a pill that had been prescribed to us. But they work! They worked for our ancestors, and they'll work for us too.


So a few days after things started shutting down due to COVID-19, I turned on some music in my car and just started a dance party right there. I felt light, encouraged, unbothered, and right there in my car I decided that I was going to engage in dance as a regular spiritual practice to promote my well-being during this very unusual time. Join me or do you, but DO SOMETHING in your body!



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