Practicing mindfulness can be uncomfortable. It brings awareness to systems we're part of or things inside of us that we're eager to shift. And that change is so, so possible, but not without the discomfort that comes with transformation.

Deep internal work will certainly cause difficult feelings to arise — let us welcome those as learning partners. If we address ourselves with curiosity instead of condemnation, we can move into action from a whole-hearted place rather than a fearful one (thank you, Brené Brown)!

As we've been learning and becoming more conscious of our own privilege and the lack of diversity within the wellness industry, we wanted to amplify a few BIPOC ladies in wellness that we hope will expand your vision:

1. Latham Thomas

Named one of Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul 100, Latham Thomas is a celebrity doula and maternal wellness maven. Latham is the founder of Mama Glow, a global women's health and education brand serving women along the childbearing continuum. Mama Glow supports women and families during the fertility period, pregnancy, birth as well as during postpartum offering hand-holding through their bespoke doula services. Her book, Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within (Hay House) released on paperback on June 16, 2020. We love she that identifies as a “self-care sorceress”!

Follow Latham and Mama Glow on Instagram for holistic motherhood wellness!

2. Chelsea Williams, MPH + CCPH

Chelsea Williams is a plant-based public health nutritionist, digital content creator, and wellness writer based in Los Angeles, CA. And let me tell you— her content is gorgeous and full of clean-eating inspiration! She serves as 1 of 6 Board of Advisors for The Well, a social brand by Samsung Mobile USA and POPSUGAR Fitness that focuses on wellness content and experiential events. Chelsea’s work has been featured on various media outlets such as TV One, Fox 45 News, ABC 7 News – WJLA, News Channel 8, ESSENCE, PR Newswire, and Beauty Independent — you name it. Chelsea possesses a Master of Public Health Nutrition (MPH) and is a Certified Communicator in Public Health (CCPH) through the National Public Health Information Coalition.

Follow Chelsea on Instagram for all things beauty, wellness, nutrition, and fitness!

3. Dr. Naika Apeakorang

Dr. Naika Apeakorang is a trailblazing naturopathic practitioner, acupuncturist, and herbalist currently practicing in New York City. As a graduate of Brown University and Bastyr University, Dr. Naika runs a successful private practice (in a very gorgeous plant and light-filled office) where she offers mindfulness-centered, culturally connected, and accessible care. Dr. Naika’s integrative approach includes modalities such as acupuncture, nutrition, lifestyle coaching, supplement therapy, and herbal medicine. Passionate about community health and education, Dr. Naika regularly facilitates immersive workshops, lectures, and community healing events around the globe. She has lectured at educational institutions and non-profits, partnered with premiere cultural establishments, and provided corporate wellness activations with global brands.

Follow Dr. Naika for all the natural healing vibes!

Summer is usually a time of rest and relaxation — taking family vacations, unplugging from the to-dos, spending time with loved ones in the sunshine. Seeing everyone’s images of their summer adventures on social media or hearing that poppy playlist curated for the perfect road trip can unintentionally make us believe that we’re always meant to be happy and upbeat during this time of the year.

Especially now, as we’re still in the middle of a pandemic and protests are bringing everyone’s attention to painful realities, this summer probably looks nothing like what you imagined it would when we were clinking champagne to bring in the new decade just a few months ago.

I’m here to tell you that it’s okay if your inner season doesn’t reflect the outer season. And, it’s also okay if it does! There’s a lot happening around the world and information overload is real — so taking some time to tune in to your emotional needs might be the exact summer plans you didn't know you needed.

Here are a few ways to embrace your emotional season and give room for feelings to rise up:

  • If you can, take a stay-cation. Whether it’s camping in your backyard, or renting an Airbnb near your home, this can be a great way to find some set-apart rest and relaxation. This week, I’m staying at the Griffintown Hotel in Montreal to be near my family and it’s been such a rejuvenating break.

  • Include an affirmation in your morning routine. How we speak to ourselves is powerful and can change our beliefs. At some point after you wake up, affirm yourself in whatever you’re feeling. Something like, “It’s okay to feel big feelings. I don’t need to compare myself. I honor the season I’m in.”

  • Try a free-writing journal session. Journaling can feel so intimidating sometimes, can’t it? Try sitting down for 5-10 minutes every day and just write for the entire time — no editing or planning. Just let everything out without judgment.

  • Be intentional about your language. Instead of calling certain emotions “bad” or “negative”, try calling them “difficult” or “uncomfortable”. Instead of trying to avoid harder emotions, get attuned to them. They’re trying to tell you something.

  • Try a breathwork or yoga session. There are so many great virtual breathwork events and videos. Pick one and give yourself space for it. Our bodies hold onto memory and store emotions, so breathwork and yoga can release certain emotional responses. If you’ve been disconnected lately, this could be a great way to get grounded in your body and let the feelings come as they may.

As we enter into another shift, whether it looks like moving into more social spaces or back into quarantine solitude — transitions offer us the opportunity to pause and conduct a life audit. One of the most important things to check in with are your relationships. Who are you surrounding yourself with? Are they bettering you or stirring up cynicism and doubt? Do you feel calm or relief in their absence?

Becoming more conscious of the people in your physical and emotional space is essential, especially when you’re building a dream. This is why I spent the path month, interviewing many people to find the right fit for the MM team. They say 'hire slow and fire fast' - right? When it comes to your deep passion, new project on the horizon or intimate relationships, surrounding yourself with the right people will make all the difference in the world.

If you’re unsure about how to begin reflecting on this, ask yourself these questions about the people you surround yourself with:

1. Do they live with integrity?

2. Do they encourage you towards freedom, creativity, and your best self?

3. Are they genuinely curious about themselves, others, and the world around them?

4. Do they say what they mean and mean what they say?

5. Do you mutually value and respect each other?

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