Growing up, my family always celebrated holidays such as birthdays and Christmas, but my mom has always said, "Holidays are just another day." Now, she's usually saying this at times where we can't all be together to make us (well, me) feel less guilty. But she is right, holidays are just another day on our journey through life.
And that means we don't need to buy into "New Year, New Me" or "New Year, New Body" rhetoric. You are perfect just the way you are. Today is another day to make small choices that can better our experience along this journey. And today is also a great day to go experience all that life has to offer. Life's too short to waste time with beating ourselves up over what we wish we looked like instead of living fully in the body we have.
My new year's wish for you is that you love the body you are in, to use Pilates On Demand to keep you moving and to thank your body for all it can do.
This last month, I was in shock to learn of the passing of Stephen "Twitch" Boss, a famous dancer who committed suicide at the age of 40. As a young Black male dancer, he shined in a way I have never seen before. His smile, his movement, his joy, his warmth and kindness completely captured me and my heart and made me feel as if I knew him. This really shines a light on how dangerous social media can be. We publish only what we want others to know - we hardly ever share the messiness or the darkness that can be consuming us.
While it is important to check in on one another and make your community feel seen and heard, I am completely sure that he had a full community of loved ones doing just that. So work needs to be done beyond just being there for your community. It is important to amplify how valuable and necessary getting mental health care is for everyone.
With that, this month, 20% of our proceeds will go to Black Men Heal.
Black Men Heal was established in 2018. It was created as a solution to a broken inequitable mental health care system that does not center the needs of marginalized Black and brown communities.
Their focus centers on the mental health needs of Black Men because of the lack of resources attending solely to this population. Their mission is to provide mental health treatment, education, and resources to men of color. Their goals are to eliminate the barriers that contribute to health disparities and inequities that exist for BIPOC communities to seek treatment, and to help increase the likelihood that Black men will self-initiate treatment for mental health struggles. Aside from the health disparities that marginalized communities face when seeking quality and unbiased treatment, additional barriers that prevented BIPOC men from seeking therapy 1. affordability/cost, 2. lack of cultural competency in treatment provider selection, and 3. the stigma. Black Men Heal was created and developed to eliminate each of these three barriers.
Black Men Heal is a nonprofit that provides FREE mental health treatment-both individual and group therapy to men of color. Their offering to the community is a safe space that provides the opportunity to heal from intergenerational trauma and systemic racism. They pair the men with therapists of color who can attend to their unique cultural experiences.
75% of their men continue on with their therapists after the eight free sessions.
To learn more about their fantastic work, please visit their website.