Did you know that our mind needs rest and rejuvenation to function at its best like a muscle needs recovery after a workout? Well…I have a story to tell you about a time when my brain decided it was time for me to R-E-S-T.
So here’s how it went down… I was about to teach my students t a new topic, I went to open my mouth, and it was as dry as the Sahara. I drank water, but it felt as if not a single drop quenched my thirst. I made eye contact with my teaching assistant, and she gave a confused nod of understanding that I needed a moment. Thanks, girl! I jetted out of the school building, and as I walked outside, something shifted. I started noticing the beauty in nature around me–the greenery, flowers, and sunlight filtering through the trees.
This was when I realized my mental health, well-being, and ability to showcase my brilliance were all deeply connected. A wave of warmth started at the top of my head and flowed to my feet. Then, I remembered a dear friend telling me that I could call on the strength of my ancestors that were all around me, especially through a breeze.
Afro-mation: Breathe in their strength and resilience…breathe out all worry and fear…”
I took a breath in… out… in… out…
As I took a moment to catch my breath, it dawned on me that I had to embrace the power of creating space and rest in my life. I can call upon ancestors like Nat Turner, who understood the importance of taking a month to rest and prepare before his rebellion. To prepare for my revolution, rest is an essential ingredient that I can’t leave out.
How do you create space and rest in your life? I got you!
I started by building powerful habits and practices rooted in joy, rest, and rejuvenation. Doing so sparked a brilliance and momentum that I never thought possible. In my journey, I realized I must pass down rest practices to the next generation so that they inherit ease to create a new kind of freedom for themselves and others.
How can we teach our children to practice rest that can create the conditions for their brilliance?
Creating space and restful habits begins with the following:
- Discover how your brilliance means embracing your worthiness.
Real talk, we are taught to pursue perfection. We become more confident, resilient, and authentic when we focus inward and open ourselves to new possibilities, experiences, and connections. We can then bring ourselves into everything we do. We uncover our brilliance and shine bright, inspiring others.
Afro-mation: I am brilliant as I am. There is only one me. I am worthy.
- Embrace your wholeness and uniqueness to grow and change.
You are whole just as you are. You are also constantly evolving and growing. Both statements are true. Embrace your individuality, your quirks, your flaws, and your strengths, and let them shine!
When we stop comparing ourselves to others, we free ourselves from the pressure to be perfect and open ourselves up to a world where we are seen.
Afro-mation: I am Black. I am brilliant. I am me.
- Connect to the understanding that brilliance births more brilliance.
Your power, worth, and success are limitless. There is space for all of our brilliant lights to shine brightly. Just like stars, we all will shine differently and magnificently. Brilliance, like a radiant flame, can ignite and inspire further brilliance as we connect with each other and our experiences.
Afro-mation: I have all that I need and am deserving of all things, relationships, and experiences I desire.
Guess what happened to that room full of students waiting for me to teach me back in the classroom?
It might surprise you how many people will be at your side in support if you let them in, even children.
When I returned, students extended the warmest grace and kindness. Even though it was a few minutes of breathing and afro-mations, thanks to my ancestors showing up through the nature around me, the experience was one of the best days in the classroom I had ever had.
For once, I led with my humanity, which opened the door for an even deeper connection with my students. That day they inherited the practice of breathing in the power of strength, gratitude, and celebration of those who have come and gone.
Find space for moments of rest, to breathe, and remember our ancestors and family members for their incredible qualities, traits, and achievements. I encourage you to share these Black and brilliant stories with the kids you love so we pass that power to the next generation.
We are basking in our vibrant brilliance…one breath at a time…together.