Beauty Breaks: Session 2 | Re-cap + Photos
Beauty Breaks: Session 2 marked another gathering to remember. It was clear that new friendships had been made during session 1, as conversations filled the room. Many people were pleased to see one another after a long week.
Aniysa Alexander pushed this connectivity further. She challenged us to be open with our feeling and one another as we paired off. We made a physical connection through touch. Some of us held hands while others supported one another through intertwining limbs, touching shoulders, but the most pivotal moment arrived with the support of listening. We listened to one another's feelings, thoughts, desires, goals. We listened to remedies on how to overcome day-to-day and long-term stressors. We listened to the present, the here and now. As Aniysa finished her workshop many participants showed their gratefulness to one another by hugging and with laughter
As we all gathered in anticipation of the next workshop we were introduced to Jacqueline Smith of GrowAsIs Urban Garden Consulting. Jacqueline, who goes by Jackie, was very generous in her introduction by teaching us and instilling in us the idea that we are more than capable of growing our own food. She let us know that "Everything that we need is already here, from The Earth." Her business began from growing food in a small studio apartment. She offered resourceful tips on sustainable food from how to grow seeds using toilet tissue rolls to using cinder blocks, how to use affordable lighting and methods of bartering with community members for vegetables, teas, and herbs. We were offered tips to escape the constraints of capitalism by using community and the earth to sustain black life.
Tesh Silver continued to teach us that what we need is already here by opening her workshop with a discussion on how to use food for medicinal purposes. She asked "What does that aunt always say that bananas are good for?" and a participant responded, "Cramps!" Tesh provided an array of ways in which food can be helpful in curing certain ailments, for preventative health, whole body maintenance, both physical and emotional and then began to teach us ways to use everyday items for skin and hair care. She went on to give a detailed demonstration on how to make a hair mask. Tesh explained the chemical process occurring between ingredients, benefits of the ingredients and traditional uses. Everyone was given a small container of hair mask to use at home.
After learning so much about how to be comfortable with our feelings from the first workshop with Aniysa, to becoming familiar with what the earth provides us through lessons from Tesh and Jackie, Rhonda Wheatley's workshop guided us within ourselves. Rhonda asked us to release limiting self-concepts through writing. We moved from inner work to deep contemplative writing to meditation, working towards self-value and acceptance. There was a familiar bond that occurred as we began to share our limiting self-concepts and relate to one another in building more accepting affirmations. The meditation further grounded us within patterns of positive thinking by overpowering limiting self-concepts through mantras and visualization. Rhonda then gifted us with tools to continue outshining the limits that we place on our thoughts with instructions on creating a "Self Celebration Journal," as a way to keep track of and becoming a leader within our own patterns of thinking.
As we all gathered ourselves and our thoughts we welcomed Tita Thomas' guidance to take a moment to welcome our own reflections. Tita opened her workshop by handing out mirrors and sketching materials to lead us into personal intimacy with our physical selves. Each participant was given a mirror, paper and pencil to begin to draw themselves. Tita led us carefully through this practice guiding us along with both accuracy and creativity. We all took time on each feature from eyes to earlobes, to see beauty in all parts of us. Even the parts that we may consider flaws.
*portraits from Tita's workshop will be featured in the Beauty Breaks workshop space at F4F for this upcoming session 3