There is no doubting that all humans need to find inner peace in order to function well in our world. This is exponentially true for black women. As wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, and any of the many other roles we fill, we face difficulties, setbacks, obstacles, and reroutes that require us to reflect and pause, but we can only do that if we have the inner peace to move us to do so. Our fast-paced culture will not implore us to take care of ourselves in this way, and so it is our responsibility to look after ourselves this way.
There are many ways to cultivate inner peace, but I have grouped many of the foundational principles into three categories.
Find Inner Peace Through Movement
Even if we do not enjoy it, exercise triggers the release of endorphins in the brain once we get moving. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to make sure you are somehow moving on a consistent basis. Walking, hiking, running, dancing, kick boxing, capoeira, yoga, pilates, the options are endless. And while you might not be an expert at it when you start, with practice you can soar. Progression through some form of movement such as a sport or style of dance provides an added boost to one’s self-esteem.
Find Inner Peace in Yourself
Our culture seems to frown upon the idea of isolation, but being alone is one of the greatest ways for us to get to know ourselves, which is important. Without stepping away from distractions and outside influences to check in with ourselves and really gauge how we are feeling, we cannot form clear ideas about what we enjoy or do not enjoy, what we can tolerate and what we cannot stand, and what makes us feel good.
Taking a walk by yourself (which is a clever way to work in some movement) is a way to grab some alone time. Meditation is another way. Keeping a journal and writing in it regularly is another way to organize our thoughts and make small, written snapshots of how our internal climate is on a given day. The release of feelings that journaling can provide also lends nicely to healing internal wounds.
Find Inner Peace Through Honesty
I subscribe to the philosophy John Spence was using when he stated, “If you tell the truth, it becomes a part of your past. If you lie, it becomes a part of your future.” And I cannot think of a place where this is more applicable than in the dialogue you have with yourself. Be honest with yourself about your flaws. The spot at which you confront your shortcomings this is the best one for you to begin working on them. Everyone has them, too, meaning you should not feel insecure because you are still trying to figure out which steps to take in your career or have not found anyone to date yet.
All that you are searching for and want will find its way to you if you can be still, and when it does reach you, it is best that you know yourself well enough to greet it fully. You cannot do that if you are believing things about yourself that are not true. You define you. Not some past coworker, an ex, or former acquaintance. Always be realistic with yourself about what you are good at, and the things you are not, while having clear systems in place to help you stay productive despite shortcomings.
Your inner peace is a great weapon against negativity, as well as a shield from it. As you continue to grow your inner peace, you will find that your happiness grows, too, and the world could use more beautiful, happy black women.
Antoinette is an online curriculum designer who moonlights as an author, editor, podcaster, and yogini. When she is not designing courses, authoring books, or recording episodes for her podcast, she is enjoying life with her husband and two children. Find her on Instagram @msantoinettechanel.