Mother, Father, Creator
Energies of the 5 directions.
Grant your blessings so that we all may be one with wisdom.
Grant your blessings that the confidence of basic goodness be eternal.
Grant your blessings so that all beings enjoy profound brilliant glory.
E Em HTPU (Greetings, May Peace Be Upon You).
Self-care is the slogan of this year as we continue to bear witness to COVID-19, a pandemic that has caused Black people more loss and grief in conjunction with what we already face: oppression. But what exactly is self-care? When starting self-care, most people consider nails, hair lining, working out, meditating, and eating healthy. During COVID, these traditional approaches may not be enough. In the past 18 months, all of us have found ourselves multitasking; we are teacher assistants to our children and stay-at-home chefs all while doing stay-at-home working and tending to loved ones who are ill or need extra support. Self-care can become a distant goal and challenging when we are trying to do it all – and when employment is impacted, venues are closed, and basic commodities are limited.
The statement “go towards the love” has been my personal mantra since taking Queen Esther’s course Light of the Moon. The moon has been around since before time. For women, the geomagnetism of the moon has become a symbol of connectivity to all who sees its light in the night. No matter where we are, we all see the moon and it provides a sense of calm to those who live by the phases of the moon. Prior to the Gregorian calendar, women followed her rotation and honored the phases through different rituals. The moon, especially for women, became a represented way to love The Self in a different aspect — through the unseen. It is important to share this view at this historical time, amidst a pandemic, when many are experiencing deep despair and loneliness. The love of our ancestors provides a sense of community and restoration during a time Black people have seen record losses, death, and grieving.
By contemplating our lineage and our heritage, it fosters gratitude, purpose and creating support in a different way.
Here are three ways to honor your ancestors:
- Place Pictures Around the Home. As you walk by the pictures, greet the images by looking at them and taking a moment to remember your loved one who has passed. By doing this, it reminds your mind, heart, and nervous system that you belong to a community. (Ssshhh…the nervous system knows no time. This indirectly settles your mind and heart, and it is this that allows you to feel grounded.)
- A Day of Remembrance! Create a happy day of ancestor remembrance for the family. Gather safely either by Zoom, FaceTime, or in an outdoor space. During this time, eat your family’s favorite food, and enjoy music and stories. Remember, the nervous system knows no time!
- Give Thanks and Praise!!! Upon rising in the morning and before retiring in the evening, thank your loved ones who have passed on for carrying the lineage before you. Studies have shown having a practice of gratitude boosts your feel-good hormones. The nervous system knows no time.
Dua NTR (Thank You)
Shem E Em Htpu (I Leave You in Peace)
Mudwymn is Toni Tavita Martinez, a Licensed Professional Counselor, Ancestral Ritualist, and Death Walker located in Milwaukee, WI. I serve youth and families of color — primarily American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) and Latinx familes experiencing grief, loss, and intergenerational trauma as a result of psycho-social economic oppression. I provide community and individual instruction in mindfulness/meditation, work-life stabilization, ancestral repair work, somatic experiencing (body-based techniques), ecotherapy (nature-based therapy) and trauma-centered therapies to bring individuals to a sense of Self. I aid in their personal repair journey.