In last month’s blog we talked about developing a “Mental Health Workout Plan” to build a stronger consciousness. We would have never imagined that on July 27, 2021 with bravery and courage, Simone Biles would put her Mental Health Workout Plan to the test. She went against the grain of pushing one’s body beyond the healthy boundaries it needs to be protected and supported. Protected from hurt, harm and danger. Supported by listening to what your body needs and providing. In today’s world, society places high demands on humans to ignore their needs and GET THE JOB DONE without question or compromise. Being aware of who you are and what you need can help you make the best choices for you to survive, thrive and evolve into your BEST self.
The simple action of advocating for yourself awakens your hero inside of you, as Mariah Carey sings. You showing up for YOU regardless of what others say or need you to be is a courageous act. I do want to clarify; I’m not saying not to help others, but encourage setting boundaries that help you take care of yourself as well. Although the practice takes work, introspection, and time you are deserving of the end result: to experience your greatest self in this lifetime. Some experience overshadowing feelings masked behind the expectations of others on a daily basis. Simone Biles was expected to continue to perform under the mask of competing as an award-winning gymnist (without fans to cheer her on), sexual abuse, her brother’s legal issues, and experiencing the “twisties” because of all of the mental and emotional pressure. Her mom, Nellie Biles, told her to “Be the best Simone.” We thank you Simone for being an example of advocating for self with so much at stake. If Simone Biles can do it, so can we. So can you. So can I.
If these overlapping pandemics haven’t taught us anything, I think it should have taught us that sometimes we need to “sit down and focus on ourselves” as Biles mentioned in an interview enlightening the world on why she withdrew from the Tokyo team finals. If we don’t take the time to sit with ourselves to figure out what we need, and how we feel we can’t make the progress we need. I can tell you this…sitting with yourself, no technology, and no one else may feel weird, painful, silly, or uncomfortable. BUT, if you listen to the thoughts that arise, and deal with them, releasing thoughts/feelings that are not taking you in the direction in which you want and need to go to be your best self, you have the power to do so. Remember you have tools. You are capable. Continue to use and revise your Mental Health Workout Plan to determine what it will take to BE THE BEST YOU!
If I’ve never said this before, know that you are supported and cared for. In the event that these words are not enough encouragement, the Minority Mental Health Project has professionals that are waiting to support you along this journey because you are NOT alone. Consider enrolling in our Voucher Program for individuals and families to seek therapeutic services free of charge. Visit our website: https://mmhplou.com/#voucher for more information.
By: Stephanie M. Jackson, M.Ed., M.A. of H.O.P.E. Eternally, LLC