No doubt you have noticed the multitude of Black-women statistics that popular media regularly pumps out. Hardly a day passes by without news headlines such as:

Black women have a higher mortality rate than any other group. Black women find it hard to find a good man. Black women die in childbirth to a greater extent than any other group. Black women have the highest rates of unemployment. Black women account for the highest percentage of HIV infections. Black women show the highest rates of single motherhood. Black women who are successful are less likely to find love.

Black women yada yada yada . . .

I’m not disputing whether some of these facts are true or not, but being bombarded daily with negative press can overshadow the positive elements of being a Black woman today, of which there are many.

Black women make remarkable contributions to world science, economy, philosophy, literature, and development. In the UK, Black women earned more than White women in 2008 for example. In the US, Black-owned businesses are growing at a higher rate than any other group.

In order to continue to add value, we need to be able to tune out negative media messages and tune into our feelings of self-worth.

One way to foster such compassion for ourselves, and for each other, is to learn how to meditate. Through meditation we wake up our hearts and minds, which enables us to connect with our inner voice. As a result we feel more relaxed as we carry out our daily lives. We find it easier to manage anger, insecurity, stress, and depression and we become more capable of detaching ourselves from any negative perceptions cast upon us. Meditation can help Black women to build the confidence and awareness needed to become mentally successful.

Only if you know who you are, can you know who you are not.

Unfortunately, many of us are put off by the idea of meditation because we think it is something complicated or boring. The word meditation sounds clinical, which can make it feel like a chore. Instead, we can think of meditation as me-time; time that you dedicate to your mental well being on a daily basis.

During this me-time, do anything that you think is fun. The only criteria is that you connect with your inner self. For example you can draw, write, cook, or sit in your garden. If you choose to draw, sketch something that relates to how you are feeling. If you write, perhaps write a poem about yourself. If you cook, be observant of the senses and aromas and how they make you feel. If you choose to spend time outdoors, try to be aware and at one with nature.

If you decide to contemplate silently in a Buddha inspired position (which I suggest you try to do occasionally) then set your imagination free; be transported to a private beach where you are chilling out by the water shore, or a tropical garden where you are lying down in a bed of scented flowers, or to a stage in an empty room where you can dance freely.

Remember, all that matters is that you spend the time getting to know your true self.

In order to get the full effects of me-time, you should schedule it in every day, even if it’s short. It’s better to tune into your soul for five minutes every day than an hour once a week. After a while you will begin to look forward to that time of the day when you can exist without labels, restrictions or statistics. You will find that your new hobby will start to influence your everyday life connections. You will be able to identify your passions and pursue them without being negatively influenced by society and stereotypes.

There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who loves herself. No matter what height, shape, hair or skin type you have, or what your relationship or career history is, the beauty of a self-loving personality is ultimately reflected in your behaviour. Such a person will find it easier to find love, a dream job, and good health, and we can all have this, no matter what the statistics say.

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