a ritual for reading
to be read after blackgirl bluesoul, before pg. 34
introduction to ritual..
in this ritual, you will begin to return home to your body. the body houses the culmination of trauma we have held in our bones throughout the totality of our lives. this body, this flesh, has endured so much.
in order to protect ourselves from trauma, we literally left our bodies in an effort to prevent further harm. this mechanism of protection and self preservation, while noble and useful at the time, is not needed in this moment. in this moment, it is safe to return home to you. to breathe life into yourself, in the presence of yourself, grounded in the physicality of your flesh.
moving into the body invites us out of dissociation and into the present moment. our bodies allow us to arrive in the here and now. in this moment, your body needs you to remember that she is a safe space, that she is the safest home you will ever know, that in your process of returning to your body, you call forth all that is sacred inside you.
through our senses, we become aware of our feelings. we learn to lean into them and not run from them. we learn to reassure ourselves and our inner[blackgirl]child that it is safe to sit with yourself, in your body, in this moment.
how do we pour love into this flesh before, during and after our processes of uncovering the harm that has been done to our bodies? in this ritual, we will work to salve and soothe those sites of suffering etched into the fabric of our skin. we will learn to practice balance between excavation and release, rigorous honesty and honoring warmth, grief work and levity.
you will need..
-the mourning my inner[blackgirl]child book
-the quietest safest place you can arrive in this moment
-the most comfortable cozy outfit you can find at this moment
-a grounding object (anything you can hold in your hand that brings you into the present moment)
-something to write with
-a full length mirror
-markers/ colored pencils/ crayons
-a bath tub w/ bath salts
let us begin..
put on your comfiest, most coziest outfit. take a moment to notice how the fabric feels on your skin. let yourself settle into the warmth of these clothes.
take a moment to settle into your space. allow your body to transition into a position that feels most comfortable for you. notice how it feels to be in your body in this moment. do not judge or shame, rather, allow yourself to lean into acceptance for who you are and where you are in your body today. allow your body to relax. holding your grounding object, play this meditation.
use the following playlist as background music for the following activities.
write a love letter to your body. let your body know how much you love her. tell her why you appreciate her. what has she made possible for you? what has she endured?
write a love letter from your body. if your body could talk, what would she say? what does she need from you? how can you tend to her sacredly? what parts of your body need extra attention in this moment/ in this season?
take a moment to transition from your journal to your mirror. allow yourself to see yourself fully. scan your mirror with loving eyes and speak loving affirmations over each part of your body.
draw a picture of your body, with every curve accentuated and every blemish celebrated. get colorful and creative!
dance in the mirror to your favorite song and let your body feel free.
if you have the access to do so, run yourself a nice hot bath. adorn it with rose hips, bath balms, salts and scents. light candles. make yourself a cup of tea and a cup of water. play this playlist, and let yourself ease deeper into this feeling of getting free.
you are now ready to read embodied bruising. as you read this, pay attention to what comes up. each time you feel heavy/ triggered/ overwhelmed, take a break. breathe. journal about what is coming up. revisit any piece of this ritual that might bring you soothing. only continue when your spirit feels ready..
when you finish this section, take a moment to review the citations below. i write in communion with a legacy of blackwomxnhealing, whose works have given me so much in my own process. in your own time, at your own pace, listen to their songs, order their books, read their poetry..