Eat Pray Love: Black & COVID Style
It has been a while since I wrote my last blog. It is not because I don’t have things to say but more so because I have been on a wellness journey. Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is a dynamic process of change and growth that is comprised of several dimensions: occupational, emotional, spiritual, environmental, financial, physical, social, and intellectual. (https://shcs.ucdavis.edu/wellness/what-is-wellness) When we breakdown our lives into these different areas, we may find that we are functioning pretty well in one aspect but then struggling in another section. For the most part, many of us can continue with our lives with little to no disruption, until the component that we are having difficulty in starts to negatively impact our other wellness elements. Some of us may be able to automatically identify our problem area and resolve the issue, whereas others know something is wrong but are not sure know what. The majority of people will never reach one hundred percent optimal level of functioning in all dimensions of their life at all times, but that does not mean that we can't work towards finding our ideal balance.
As a therapist, I am always encouraging my clients to try and find balance within their lives. I am not one to ask my clients to work on themselves without making sure that I am also putting in the effort to grow and progress in my own life. So, to figure out what areas of my life I needed to focus on, I completed a wellness wheel. (https://studentwellness.uci.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Assessing-Your-Life-Balance.pdf) This is a great activity for anyone who is a visual and/or kinesthetic learner or just loves to color. There are 36 questions in the activity that center around the dimensions mentioned above. It is also important to keep in mind your overall life vision – how happy are you with the direction your life is headed, how clear is your vision for your future, How satisfied are you with the steps that you are taking towards that vision. Additionally, are you enjoying life and making it fun, are you satisfied with the quality of relationships in your life, do you feel loved, and are you expressing love to others? (https://www.morningcoffeewithdee.com/life-balance-wheel/) These are just a few self-reflection questions.
After I was able to put my wellness into perspective, I then came up with a plan of action that focused on investing more time, energy, and effort in the elements that I struggle with as well as continue building upon the sections that bring me joy, strength, and support. All of this led me to start my own Eat Pray Love: Black and COVID style adventure. The film and read book center around a woman (played by Julia Roberts in the film) who is going through a life transition when she decides to embark on a quest of self-discovery that takes her to India, Bali, and Italy. Being that we are in the middle of a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, I decided that I would do my version of self-discovery and healing through food travel, prayer, and self-love. Anyone who knows me knows that I love to travel and eat. Not being able to go out of the country has been difficult for me, but who says that I can't be a tourist and partake in yummy cuisine in my city.
I will be traveling around South Florida and visiting the local art, history, cultural and science museums. It is funny how I have been halfway around the world but have yet not seen the sights in my backyard. Some of the places I already visited are the Bonnett House in Ft. Lauderdale, Morikami Gardens in Palm Beach, and Butterfly World in Coconut Creek. Next up will be the Frost Museum of Science in Downtown Miami. For the eating part of my journey, I will be patronizing local black owned restaurants and dessert spots. Thanks to social media influencers like the hungry black man (@thehungryblackman) and sites like black pepper food festival (@blackpepperfoodfest), I don’t need to search for places to dine at when they have taken the time to create a list of black-owned South Florida restaurants. Some of the places that I have already eaten at are Yum Yum Miami, Just Spoons Cafe, Lorna’s Caribbean and American Grill, Ice Cream Heaven, Drinking Pig BBQ, and Derry’s. Honestly, this is my favorite part of my journey. Next up is Fat Ronnie’s, Nelly’s Fried Ice Creamery, and Trindy Gourmet. The prayer portion of my journey consists of me working on my spirituality through watching religious sermons, engaging in meditation, journaling, and reading. The love segment explores how I can better appreciate myself through exercise, pampering myself, enjoying the outdoors, creating financial stability, completing puzzles and crosswords, and cultivate meaningful relationships. My goal is not to achieve one hundred percent in each dimension but to find a balance that allows me to live a happy, serene, and fulfilling life.
As I continue to work on myself and help my clients on their journey of healing and growth, I challenge you to look at the areas of your life where you may need to find balance.
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