For many of us, hurt oftentimes happens in relationships with other people. Therefore, healing needs to happen in community as well. For the halfway point of our healing series, I’m exploring a statement that was introduced to us in last week’s episode — that healing often happens in community.
In this solo episode, I’m examining why being in community is such a significant, effective healing modality, why we don’t need to be perfectly healed to be loved, and ways we can cultivate healing in our immediate and broader communities.
Episode 141 Topics:
- The Summer Solstice Journaling Reset, a 5-day journaling challenge.
- Why healing is not a prerequisite for receiving love or support.
- How being in a supportive community can be incredibly therapeutic.
- Why being in community is an effective healing modality.
- Ways we can cultivate healing in our relationships and communities.
Resources (contains affiliate links):
- Join the Summer Solstice Journaling Challenge beginning June 20, 2022
- Episode 111 Let People Show Up for You
- The Healing Power of Community and Connection (Psychology Today)
- The Importance of Community in Indigenous Peoples’ Healing (NAMI)
- Community Healing and Resistance Through Storytelling: A Framework to Address Racial Trauma in Africana Communities (Journal of Black Psychology)
- Connectedness and Health: The Science of Social Connection (Stanford)
- The Art of Showing Up by Rachel Miller
- How We Show Up by Mia Birdsong
- Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
- How to Be An Adult in Love by David Richo
- What Happened to You? by Dr. Pruce Perry and Oprah
- Arrowhead Mills | Use code ARROWHEADVIP for 15% off Arrowhead Mills baking goods and pantry products at vitacost.com That’s code ARROWHEADVIP for 15% Arrowhead Mills products at vitacost.com.
Episode 141 Transcript
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Mirror also coming up on the halfway point of the year.
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If you've been listening to the podcast for a while you may recall at the beginning of the year we had a series and challenge called reframing the reset to set the tone for the new year
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also side note the reframing reset series was the highest listen decide of episodes we've ever done on the podcast during that time y'all will really dial in and picking up what we were throwing down which was
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amazing and with it being halfway through the year I thought I think need every year maybe a year reset
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because life happens and it is so easy to lose track of the intentions that you set at the beginning of the year.
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You know where you could still be holding yourself to goals and intentions that maybe aren't serving you anymore and it's time to let them go and move in a different direction.
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So beginning June 20th we're going to be doing the summer solstice journaling reset which is a five-day journaling challenge designed to help you get focused and aligned for the second half of the year.
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So when you sign up I'll be sending you reflection prompts and exercises each day for five days to help you reflect from the first half of the year and map out where you want to go in the second half with prompts inspired by the summer solstice.
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Summer is the season of light energy youthfulness we can really tap into that to set some intentions that feel more aligned for where we want to go
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so you can go to the show notes or you can go to balance black girl.com is Solstice to sign up again that will be linked in the show notes or a balanced black girl.com
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Solstice and I will begin sending you the prompts on June 20th.
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And if you're listening to this episode later or at another time in the year you can still totally do it I'll set it up so that you can still get the prompts because they really will be good for any time so again that's balanced black girl.com solstice.
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So we've been embarking on a six-episode exploration of what it means to heal from the inside out and if you have not yet checked out the other episodes of the series I highly recommend you do so.
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We started by talking to sound healing therapist Ashley Curtis How Sound can help us heal and daily rituals we can do to promote healing.
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Then we spoke to dr. Asia Muhammad about gut health and how tending to our gut can help us heal from the inside out.
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Last week we had a powerful episode with dr. P samadhi about emotional healing and tending to our inner child so please make sure you check out all three of those episodes if you haven't because we cover so much
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Stuff we're not talking fluff we'll be investigating healing on a scientific and spiritual level but what I appreciate about all of our guests and just the way we've been able to converse and flow with one another is that.
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You don't walk away from those episodes feeling down and sometimes in conversations about healing.
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I can get really heavy and that's okay that's not a bad thing because healing can be a very ugly process it's not meant to be fluffy and cute.
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But sometimes you do just want to be like okay this is a little bit much for me right now and none of the episodes feel that way they're really inviting and informative
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so please please make sure you check those out but this week
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it's a solo episode with just mean because I wanted to continue exploring some of the things we started getting into in last week's episode with dr. piece that episode and conversation was largely inspired by the book what happened to you by dr. Bruce parry and Oprah and if you are on an emotional healing Journey,
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that book is a fantastic resource now unlike be some of the conversations on this podcast Oak is a very heavy.
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And it does discuss some deeply traumatic events for people so please be aware of that and going in I actually listened to the audiobook because it's easier for me to digest that way but it is a very informative,
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and like our conversation with dr. piece last week really the goal is instead of asking what's wrong with you and encourages us to ask what happened to you to ourselves and others.
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One of the key themes of the book is that for many people healing happens in community and that being in a supportive Community can be incredibly therapeutic.
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And then our episode last week these sentiments were really echoed by doctor peace she emphasized the importance of belonging when it comes to healing and something in particular she said last week really stopped me in my tracks
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it was along the lines that a lot of hurt happens in community a lot of hurt
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happens in relationship it happens from events that usually involve other people to some extent.
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Therefore healing needs to happen in community as well so if you have wounds that are in connection to your relationships with other people it's very challenging to overcome that in a vacuum like
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that healing also needs to come from relationships with other people.
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And sometimes the way it's all set up that healing is not going to come from relationships with the same people if you know Perpetual harm is being done but it's really hard to overcome that
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by yourself and until very recently when I thought about healing specifically emotional healing I thought well.
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The only way we can truly do that is therapy and we all just need to work on ourselves
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mainly because I was regurgitating a lot of what I heard other people say and on one hand yes working with licensed mental health professionals.
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Very beneficial very important something that I wish was more accessible to more people because everybody can benefit from it
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and yes the motivation to heal often does need to come from within however those are not the only ways people can heal and for many people we actually need healing to be an immersive experience and.
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Lots more immersive than our relationships and who we commune with
healing is also not a prerequisite for receiving lover support
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in fact I'm going to argue that when you're in a state of healing that's when you need love and support the most and yes some of that does need to come from within but support and Care from other people is part of that immersive healing experience.
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You're probably familiar with the common expression you are the average of The Five People You spend the most time with and in many instances feel like I heard that expression in the context of.
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Success or when it comes to Hobbies or when it comes to habits but now I'm beginning to understand it a little differently like what if we applied that to Healing as well.
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How much could we heal if the sum of the five people we spend the most time around we're all healing together
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what would that look like what would that feel like how much more humid could we all be if that were the case.
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So in this episode I'm going to be examining why healing and Community is such a significant effective healing modality why we don't need to be perfectly healed to be loved and ways we can cultivate healing and our immediate and broader communities.
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I also want to say I read,
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lat and in this episode I reference many things I've read that has supported my own journey and understanding well-being Community relationship love and I blink that in the show notes the Articles the books
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all of it so if you're listening and you're like oh wait what book was less talking about I got you.
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They're all Linked In the show notes and also on our blog at balanced black co.com to make it easy to reference.
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So first let's talk about why being in community is ineffective healing modality.
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Healthy relationships where we are seeing heard claimed and feel like we truly belong are able to help us heal.
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A landmark study found that lack of social connection can be more detrimental to health than smoking and high blood pressure and strong social connection
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need to have 50% increased chance of longevity stronger immune system and the potential to recover faster from
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disease that is incredible that is purely from healthy relationships and that's not dependent on physical or socioeconomic factors.
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Research has also indicated that high social connection may help lower rates of anxiety and depression
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increase self-esteem and empathy and help us better regulate our emotions this is because it creates a positive feedback loop which can positively impact our social emotional and physical well-being.
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If you're like me you might be like how how does that work how do relationships have these physical and emotional therapeutic effects.
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It really comes to the necessity of belonging humans are hard-wired to want to belong.
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Before modern society belonging and being accepted by our community was necessary for survival centuries ago you could not survive.
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Being alone you cannot have your basic needs right food clothing shelter.
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Those things could not happen without being a part of your community because all of our needs were met in community so even though now in modern society once you reach adulthood it technically is possible to have your basic needs met.
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In isolation our minds and bodies associate isolation with danger because for so long that is exactly what it meant.
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20/20 study published by the Journal of black psychology researchers presented a healing framework called C Hearts which stands for community
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healing and resistance through storytelling.
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And what they found through their research and the creation of this framework is that Community can be a powerful change agent for addressing trauma.
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A powerful quote from this study read when personal healing is embedded within a communal framework
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we argue that a greater transformational process will be facilitated by a shared Collective memory which can help shift bodies minds and Spirits from a status of suffering to repair and create opportunities to.
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Evolve so that means that we evolve in a unit.
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When we have this sense of belonging when I isolation we feel seen and heard and understood and supported and that is reciprocal
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from all angles it creates a sense of safety for our nervous system which is necessary to cultivate healing and drive necessary change.
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I will acknowledge that having a sense of belonging can be really hard.
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I have absolutely felt the debilitating effects of isolation and for many people in the past two years specifically have been more isolating than ever.
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And I want to acknowledge that and a little later in this episode we're going to discuss possible solutions and ways we can cultivate community.
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All of the studies that I referenced in linked are in the show notes as well as some books and resources that I've also found really really helpful.
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Basic level just understanding how Community helps us heal is incredible incredible knowledge to have.
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So I want to transition a bit to talk about why you don't need to be perfectly healed to be loved.
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Now over the past few years these social media Graphics out here and these.
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Tweet screenshots I'm really done a number on us especially if you've been like a single person any time in the last.
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Five or six years you know exactly which Graphics I'm talking about.
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How many people and brands have created entire platforms dedicated to convincing you that you need to be perfectly healed before you can enter into a healthy relationship or partnership or community.
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A lot of these beliefs are
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really centered around romantic relationships and preying on people's desires to be in romantic relationships so I would argue that the overall point that you don't need to be perfectly healed to be loved can apply to any relationship friends family romantic even professional
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so I really want to start off by saying you do not have to be.
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Or do anything to be loved and to be worthy of love you being Who You Are.
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Existing as you're fully embodied.
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Flawed because we all are so it's absolutely worthy and deserving of love and is giving and receiving,
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loved and they you do not need to become a sub mythical magical perfect version of yourself to give and receive love despite what social media tells us.
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That's because just as we discussed some of our most powerful healing comes from being in community it comes from being in relationship comes from how we interact and grow with other people
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community and relationship are catalysts for healing they're not rewards for being healed
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also as we learned in last week's episode there's no such thing as being healed nobody is healed we are all at different points in our healing journey and that is constantly shape-shifting as our lives shape-shift.
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So the first aha moment I had when I realized that relationships are healing I actually came across that when I read the book attached a few years ago
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attached is a popular book for understanding your attachment Style again it focuses on romantic relationships and can apply to any relationship.
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But the premise is that there are three main attachment Styles anxious attachment which can be categorized by,
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I need four kind of constant reassurance feeling like people are not going to stick around of waiting to which can be characterized by disassociation also feel like people aren't going to you know
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stick around so you rather detach yourself and then secure which is when people feel confident and trusting in their relationships now that was a.
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Very summarized version of each Style please read the book for better definitions I'd like to the show notes but essentially for people who have avoidant or anxious attachment styles.
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The moral of the story is that the way to become more secure was to be around in relationship with people who are secure because what happens is that.
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If someone who is anxiously attached and who really struggles to feel like people are going to stick around and has that need for constant reassurance is with somebody who is avoidant and who just wants to detach and kind of check out
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they are going to really ignite some of the
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not so ideal traits in one another but by having bonds with secure people
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that healing can kind of happen when you see what that healthy attachment looks like.
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And when I read that I was so irritated I wanted to throw the book.
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I wanted to slow my phone I wanted to flip a table at that time I was deeply in my single season I was dating.
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The song these apps and I was having not the best experiences with it.
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Even meeting someone remotely interesting who I actually wanted to talk to let alone feeling like I needed to meet somebody with a secure attachment.
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Felt impossible I was like clearly these authors had never been on hinge but now that I understand how important community and relationship already healing actually understand where the authors are coming from.
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It's because you can't have stronger bonds with people living in a vacuum like anything else in life you have to do it and be exposed to it to be better at it
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you don't become a better dancer by not dancing you don't become a better painter by not painting
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to the same effect you don't become a better friend partner Village member without having any experiences in those relationships to begin with.
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Also our attachment styles are created from our earliest relationships often involving how attentive our caregivers are to our needs so the level of support that we receive early on dictates how we experience attachment later
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later in life and with that in mind it totally makes sense that because our attachment is Created from relationships that healing our attachment styles
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also happens through healthy relationships.
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Now this is not to say that we shouldn't take time to be with ourselves or have periods but we may be doing our own thing and focusing on getting right with ourselves I'm actually a huge fan of that and I believe we should
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I'm of the belief that spending time with ourselves.
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Tending to our own Evolutions should really be about awareness and self-inquiry to get to know ourselves better
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to understand ourselves better to ask ourselves what happened to you in to really dig into it but not because it's a prerequisite to being accepted or if you put in a certain amount of time
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on your own doing your own thing that you will then be rewarded with having people kind of pop up in your life.
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That's not really how it works it's not to prerequisite to being accepted or cared for or that we have to completely shut people out in order to heal
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now that can absolutely be the case for unhealthy relationships that perpetuate harm but it doesn't have to be the case for everybody particular the people who want to have healthy bonds with you.
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To that point self-awareness is important for being in healthy relationships healing in relationship and Community doesn't mean that we can just walk around projecting on everybody all the time
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like some of that work and self-awareness and does need to happen within so that we can understand our reactions and our behaviors and our connections with other people can challenge us to help us grow so it can be a way to give and receive
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Port support so that the loads were carrying are not as heavy and we have the capacity to heal more.
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So another book that I read around that same time that was really helpful and that I found complimented attached very well was called how to be an adult in love again I will make sure it's Link in the show notes it's really about giving,
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and receiving love freely and healthy ways.
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That you can give and receive love that really apply to all types of relationships and what I love about that book is it has a lot of helpful exercises affirmations and questions you can ask yourself
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and to reflect on to understand the ways in which you give and receive love so attached was really good for understanding the what.
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And how to be an adult in love is really helpful for moving forward with the house so again both attached and how to be an adult in love I linked.
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In the show notes I'm not trying to give you homework,
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you also don't have to read any of these books at all but they've been really really helpful for me and I can't keep that to myself I want to share just in case you're interested as well.
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All right so let's Circle back to ways we can cultivate healing in our communities we've covered a lot of ground we talked about
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why being Community heals us we talked about how connection is not a reward for being healed
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quote on quote here because that's not a thing and with that I want to talk about connection and how we can connect to heal with one another because.
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Isolation is real and telling people isolation is bad for your health so go get some friends that's not helpful.
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I know how it feels to be isolated I too have struggled with and still navigate the devastating feelings of being isolated so I want to talk about ways that we can work through that together.
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First just giving a bit of cultural context so in the u.s. sense of connection for many people has been dropping steadily since the 1980s.
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In 1985 the average Americans that they had three people in their lives they felt close enough sharing personal information with or talking about a personal problem with,
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and in 2004 that number for the average person dropped from 320 25% of Americans said they don't have anyone to confide in at all.
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Now 2004 was a different time I'm not sure how social media and our online interconnectedness would impact the state of now I've actually really love to see how.
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People would respond to this question now I would imagine for many people they likely feel the same way.
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However I do think that the rise in parasocial relationships could be really interesting factor in this data like people don't feel like they have.
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People to necessarily confide in in a solid way however we also now have an element of our culture who we feel more comfortable sharing personal things on the internet
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been talking to people in our lives about it so I'm very very curious if in the coming years there will be a follow-up to these studies to see how social media has impacted these figures
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of how connected we feel to one another.
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Then of course we know the past two years have presented unique challenges to connection and belonging
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due to social distancing measures stemming from the pandemic it is important to know that the benefits of high social connection that we talked about earlier don't stand from having a lot of
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friends or people around it is far more.
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About quality over quantity so please don't put pressure on yourself to feel like you need 5011 friends or people that you talk to all the time and you can for my extroverted friends out there if that feels nourishing and if that's how your life is set up
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beautiful but it doesn't have to be if you internally feel connected to other people in your life then you're in a good position to heal in community.
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So if you do not have the connections you would like to have in your life which I hear you I see you I understand
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let's reflect on this together so maybe if you have a terminal handy I recommend getting that out and writing down what connection and belonging mean to you.
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How would it feel to be connected to other people what does being connected mean how you define connection.
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What are the characteristics of the bonds that you want to have and get really clear on the type of connection that you want to cultivate.
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Do you want friendships where you can go super deep with people and talk about anything and everything.
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Do you want friendships where you Bond over traveling and experiencing things together.
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Do you value Connection in groups or do you value one-on-one connection when you can go really deep on one with one person who's right in front of you.
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What is it that you're seeking from connection with others.
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Get really clear on that because I found that times when I felt especially isolated it's because I was seeking connections actually weren't.
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A very good fit for me I am someone who I love going deep with people small talk is like not my favorite I either want to.
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Good going all the way there or we can keep it on the playground and that's not to say that that's like the right or wrong way to be that's just how
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pride myself connecting the people and when I got really clear on realizing that that's the type of connection that I want with people from my life I started being able to identify ways that I could either cultivate that with people who are already in my life.
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Or I could see that as a value that was really important to me as I looked for establishing new friendships were by seeking out friendships with people who also like to connect in that way.
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If someone doesn't like to connect in that way or likes to connect in ways that don't resonate with me I mean it doesn't necessarily mean that we can't be cool or Viber be friends but
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might mean that that's probably not the connection that's going to be the most beneficial for the two of us so maybe reflect on the connections you currently have.
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Reflect on the connections you want and look for ways that you can initiate deepening or strengthening these connections that already exists for you
00:24:29.731 --> 00:24:39.501
what is one small step you can take to do that that often involves a little bit of vulnerability may be opening up to people a little bit more than usual or
00:24:39.300 --> 00:24:52.554
being one to initiate conversations and plans and there are ways to do this that just feel like baby steps towards taking you towards connection that can feel safe so don't feel like you need to go
00:24:52.335 --> 00:25:01.899
doing the absolute most but what is one conversation that you can initiate what is one step you can take towards connecting with people who are already in your life.
00:25:02.022 --> 00:25:10.910
So because this is a focus area for me currently and I found that also when I was struggling the most with isolation it's because.
00:25:11.537 --> 00:25:14.646
I felt really left out of a lot of things but I also was
00:25:14.571 --> 00:25:29.086
like never initiating plans with people I actually have connection on my daily habit tracker so I have a daily habit tracker with practices that I aim to do each day for a healthy life These are practices that are very specific to me.
00:25:29.173 --> 00:25:43.453
So when I prioritize such as hydration reading movement and I added connection and that just means did I connect with someone I loved today right did I FaceTime a friend and ask them questions about
00:25:43.342 --> 00:25:48.369
how they're doing did I reach out to somebody who I haven't caught up with in a while and did I
00:25:48.294 --> 00:26:02.061
make plans initiate plans to grab coffee with them that's not too me get prescriptive or that you know if I don't put it on the list it won't happen but it's to really prioritize connection as an important part of well-being just like getting a workout in
00:26:01.968 --> 00:26:11.333
just like drinking enough water or doing anything else so you definitely don't have to do that that's just kind of how my brain works and it's something that has been really really helpful
00:26:11.240 --> 00:26:20.542
for me not that I have to do those things every single day but it really helps me stay accountable for prioritizing connection more often than not.
00:26:21.692 --> 00:26:25.332
So another big part of healing and Community is asking for help and
00:26:25.293 --> 00:26:32.246
asking for support because part of being in community also means being open to giving and receiving
00:26:32.063 --> 00:26:41.500
giving people opportunities to show up for us while also not seeing it as an indication of our worth if they don't or if they're unable to in that exact
00:26:41.335 --> 00:26:55.516
so meant because that's not what it's an indication of someone's availability or capacity is not at all an indication of your worth but if you don't make yourself open to receiving help then it's never going to come.
00:26:55.811 --> 00:27:06.346
It's really a dance and It's tricky to kind of manage your own feelings in that in that scenario when I get it because humans are complicated so humans being humans with other humans,
00:27:06.370 --> 00:27:12.945
it gets complicated and it has Nuance but it's worth the Ali trying and initiating and being open
00:27:12.897 --> 00:27:16.528
to letting people in to be able to help you.
00:27:16.768 --> 00:27:26.268
Actually covered this in detail in episode 111 called let people show up for you which I also Link in the show notes.
00:27:27.949 --> 00:27:29.212
All right so I have.
00:27:29.398 --> 00:27:41.491
I have two more books for you two more books for you I told you in the beginning I have your reading list on lock in these episodes these next two books that I'm going to mention were written by black women which.
00:27:41.929 --> 00:27:51.222
Given the nature of this podcast is also lovely so the first book that really got my wheels turning about just communal living,
00:27:51.229 --> 00:28:04.789
chosen family strengthening relationships and seeking connection is called how we show up by Mia Birdsong so that book really dives into finding strength support and vulnerability in community.
00:28:04.840 --> 00:28:13.377
Has great advice for asking for help if that's something you have a hard time doing and it also just has some really interesting examples of.
00:28:13.419 --> 00:28:21.794
Chosen family and of communal living particularly when it comes to raising children and being a part of a village but I.
00:28:22.124 --> 00:28:29.806
I thought was really interesting and really really insightful so how we show up like a song book recommendation number one.
00:28:30.361 --> 00:28:42.427
Second book that's really helpful if you are looking to be a better friend and balance showing up for yourself while also being there for your people is called the art of showing up by Rachel Wilkerson Miller.
00:28:42.460 --> 00:28:51.421
Special shout out to that book and to Rachel because it was a book club pick in 2020 when we still did book club shout out to balance black or book club.
00:28:51.994 --> 00:29:03.213
R.i.p. to balance block or book club maybe it'll come back someday but the author Rachel joined us for our discussion and we had such a great conversation with her and one another actually think that was one of our
00:29:03.085 --> 00:29:08.930
biggest book clubs we've ever had but we had a really great conversation about.
00:29:09.107 --> 00:29:15.178
Showing up for each other and in that book she talks a lot about understanding what your needs are
00:29:15.157 --> 00:29:19.544
how to identify them and how to balance self-care and showing up for your people
00:29:19.478 --> 00:29:26.502
in a meaningful way because I think that's something that can be really challenging the tend to be very All or Nothing we tend to either put
00:29:26.419 --> 00:29:39.097
everybody else in front of ourselves and neglect our own needs or go to the other end of the spectrum and say one order for me to have my needs met it's all about me and I need to shut everybody out and it's it's me season
00:29:38.995 --> 00:29:53.383
all the time and I think that there's so much nuance and so much beautiful spacious delicious room in between that's actually probably a lot healthier and that book has really really great recommendations for.
00:29:53.758 --> 00:30:02.187
How to live a little bit more in between so it has everything from suggestions for ways to be there for your people during various stages of life
00:30:02.158 --> 00:30:12.396
Tina making new friends to navigating how challenging it can be when the Friendship sends is actually very tactical very specific
00:30:12.177 --> 00:30:19.148
and just a very very helpful guide book that's really great to have on your bookshelf and just go back and reference again and again.
00:30:19.199 --> 00:30:28.024
So two more great books that will be linked in the show notes again that one is the art of showing up I highly recommend checking.
00:30:28.255 --> 00:30:32.543
As you navigate in your community healing Journey.
00:30:33.404 --> 00:30:39.349
All right my friend we talked a lot in this episode we covered a lot of ground
00:30:39.211 --> 00:30:49.494
we got a lot of information but if there's anything I want you to take away from this episode is that you don't have to embark on your healing Journey alone.
00:30:49.581 --> 00:31:01.341
Yes you are responsible for your own healing and you should ultimately ignite your own healing but through connection with others is where the magic can really happen.
00:31:02.023 --> 00:31:06.725
Head to the show notes for all of the resources I mentioned in this episode all of the books,
00:31:06.740 --> 00:31:17.842
research articles the other episodes of balance black role that I mentioned to tune into if you enjoyed this conversation and don't forget to join us for the summer solstice journaling challenge starting June 20th.
00:31:18.056 --> 00:31:31.949
You can sign up at balanced black girl.com Solstice or from the link in the show notes so join us for a free five day journaling challenge to check in on your intentions and get refocused and realigned for the second half.
00:31:32.324 --> 00:31:32.921
00:31:33.900 --> 00:31:48.747
Thank you so much for listening today huge shout out to our sponsors who really keep things moving and shaking around here again I'll discount codes and special offers will be linked in our show notes so make sure you check those out because I'm supposed to be
00:31:48.645 --> 00:31:49.630
00:31:50.284 --> 00:31:58.875
So next week we're continuing our healing series talk about the outdoors and how connecting with nature and being community in nature and help us.
00:31:58.926 --> 00:32:05.338
He'll it's the perfect follow-up to this conversation so make sure you subscribe so that you can catch that episode.
00:32:05.200 --> 00:32:25.675
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