I have much to celebrate from the past week:
A female duo from North Philadelphia came on the music scene when I was an undergrad, and turned it upside down. For one, they had really short hair, which was almost unheard of for Black women in the 1990s. Back then, African American women began investing in expensive weaves to make their hair longer. These two singers did not. They wore their hair was shaved completely off. And they didn’t wear tight-fitting clothing or shake their butts in the air. Instead, they used their beautiful voices to create amazing harmonies and win many fans, including a young sophomore at Princeton University. Zhané rocketed their way to the top of the R&B charts with their first single, “Everything Happens for A Reason.” I fell in love with their sound, their look, and their utter fearlessness.
Over and over again, I hear and read about the benefits of gratitude. From Oprah to Brené Brown, from Valorie Burton to Arianna Huffington, folks keep talking about the joy, contentment, peace, serenity and happiness that come with acknowledging all the blessings that one has. They tout its benefits at all times, but especially during challenging times. I’ve tried the gratitude journal. I even did the 100 Happy Days Challenge last winter. But honestly, it’s nearly impossible for me to consistently be grateful during the winter months when my depression is at its worst. The chemical reactions happening in my brain that impact my mood, energy level and outlook are stronger than any positivity that accompanies saying thank you. For me, the practice of anticipation is a powerful happiness trigger during those times. Just thinking of something good that is coming can bring a smile to my face, lift my mood and make me feel more hopeful.
A few months ago one of the members of my book club found out that Toni Morrison was coming to DC to promote her new book, God Help the Child. She would be speaking at the Sixth & I synagogue downtown. My friend shared the date, and several of us expressed an interest in attending. I added it to my calendar to preserve the timeslot, and made sure I wouldn’t have to teach any yoga classes that evening.
Crystal Moore began her wellness quest in 2003 after being diagnosed with lupus. Her quest has led her to embrace yoga, faith, exercise, healthy eating, and relationships. Share her journey.