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Meditations on Body Loving & Healthy Living

Hello Blogosphere! Well, it’s been a week of being on the W{Healthy} Living Plan and I can now actually evaluate and speak on my detox process. Re-wiring your body to treat yourself well is a process. We have to learn how to re-wire not only our bodies, but our minds as well. On an everyday basis, how many times do you think about the layers of yourself? I know, weird question right? But we as human beings have so many layers to who we are and on this Living Plan, I got to map out and dig into more of those layers. Let me explain, courtesy of my dear friend and business partner, Baja Marie, I have gifted her my body for the week. I only eat food that she prepares for 7 days as a detox process. It was challenging and illuminating, fun and delicious.

Hunger is a great motivator. When I’m full, satiated, I don’t feel as much, try as hard, breathe as deeply or even really challenge myself to question. Our world likes to keep us satiated. The abundance of junk foods that tricks us into feeling full, yet we keep eating is astounding when you think about it. We are feeding not only our physical body. We feed our spiritual selves, our physical selves, our inner child, our mental body, our emotional body, etc. One thing I learned that was most powerful is that all of that gets knowledge when I intake food, so it is imperative that I choose wisely. The early days of the Plan were mapped out by quiet, stillness, breathing and getting in touch with my soul, what’s passed my eyes and passed my immediate brain. Questions of: Who am I really? Who am I outside of a name? Who is this spirit that I seem to be? I personally find those things in moments of stillness, when all I have is myself to be present with. Something else that I realized in these early days was that I never learned how to really breathe. I’m a singer, dancer, actress and I never thought twice about how my breath filters in my original self! How is that?! Breathing gets me in touch with my emotions, with my body, with my spiritual awareness. To breathe is to engage. Maybe that’s why yoga classes focus so much on breathing. What is your individual breathing style? That was my main challenge. Yoga classes and vocal technique can teach me to breathe for my performance but when I’m walking down the block on a sunny day, how do I take in the oxygen around me? How do I thank my lungs for the work they do and indulge them? All of this had to be a main focus because I was so hungry! I ate all day! I had apples, almonds, a smoothie, a salad, and yet I was always hungry. I didn’t quite understand it! The beginning of the detox process insists that you embrace the hunger and let it fuel you.

I read somewhere in the search for some good memes, that in 2016, we as human beings are wired to think negatively about ourselves and everyone and everything around us. In re-wiring my brain for love and positivity, I realized just how difficult it is to challenge the world around you, but also that when you make a decision to love and take no prisoners as you do it, the Universe supports your endeavor. As I re-wired my brain, I ran across loving energy consistently, and when I didn’t, instead of taking the bait of negativity, I turned the energy given to me around in a positive manner. Most of the time, the result was love sent back! So, how powerful are our hearts when we give our minds a rest?

The end the Plan was characterized with music. I had lots of energy and spent time out in the gorgeous California sun but I also found time to play music that massaged my soul back to life. The two albums that stuck out the most were Jill Scott’s “Light of the Sun” and Kelis’ “Food”. Both relatively recent, but with an old flavor, I sank into my bed and let the chords and emotions wash over me. I felt solid, rested and ready to get back to me.

Damali Speaks Xx


The End & The Beginning

Wow! Hi! I’ve been overdosing on Lemonade (both Beyonce’s album and the beverage) so I thought it’d be cute to have a lil bit of lemonade, but then I realized that lemonade is nowhere on the internet. So Christian Scott came second.

Onto life. I bought my ticket to Los Angeles! One-Way in August. It’s so very strange to be leaving a place in which I’ve spent a good 6 years of my life. I became a young person here, where I am. But, even with sadness, there comes a great joy in asserting my will. In choosing my life in an active way. I read a book that was an introduction to directing and in it, Anne Bogart talks about directing as a violent series of choices. Whether or not I mean it to be, choosing my life is a violent choice. I’m actively choosing to save money, pack up my life as I have arranged it, say goodbye to family and friends and move all the way across the country. Are violent choices necessary for life to truly be lived?

I’m currently reading “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens” by Alice Walker. It’s about the 10th time that I’m reading it. The pages are worn and crinkled and turning brown and the cover lost it’s shine a long time ago. The significance of a well-loved book. I read it so often, mostly because I love hearing a brown woman’s voice. She’s speaking directly to young queer brown women artists. How often do I get that in my life? Mostly never. Anyway, in the book, there is a specific chapter, named after the book, in which, she speaks of black woman and artistry. It’s probably my favorite chapter. “What did it mean for a black woman to be an artist in our grandmothers’ time? In our great grandmothers’ day?” This is a question that has been plaguing my thoughts recently.

I just finished a project called The Doubleback. It was conceived by a dear friend of mine and focused on the very real lives of three women, buried together, enslaved by the same prominent New England family in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Very little is known about these women. With all the archival digging, what was found was relatively simple and short information. Phyllis, Rose and Fanny Chase. I don’t know what they looked like, sounded like, moved like, and yet I feel such a closeness with them. Fictive kinship at work once again. Fictive kinship is the relationship established between people, generally of the same ethnic or racial background, despite age, time and circumstance. These women, through fictive kinship, somehow take the place of ancestors that I can’t name. Even today, I go and sit next to their grave, talk to them, and look for that friendly tell-tale breeze that lets me know that I’m not alone but that I have nothing to fear. In what ways did they make art? Were they allowed to be artists? Were they artists? What did it mean for a black woman to be an artist and yet to not even own her personage?

Now that I carry on in their spirits, how will I use my artistry to pay them homage? It’s so very important to me that I continue to find myself as an artist at the same rate that I find myself as a human being. What does that mean? My tattoos, my hair, my piercings, my clothes, my makeup or lack therof, my sexuality, my heart, and my voice.  My journals, my poems, my pieces, my plays, my songs, my music, my words. I don’t think that artists find ourselves simply, nor do we find ourselves with relationships. Maybe it’s the in-between. The moments that didn’t quite last, although we maybe wish they did.

To loving breeze, Neo-Soul music and wonderful walks,

Cathy Xo