Author: Vanessa Patrice Goodar
Growing up as the product of Chicago teenage parents, I had one of those ‘Mama Side/Daddy Side’ blended families that gave me a bunch of siblings on each side.
On ‘Mama’s Side’, I have all brothers, so my 1st cousins are more like my sisters. We model our sisterhood after our 3 mothers and their close relationship being born back-to-back to back. Now that all of us are in our 30’s and beyond, we started sharing those intergenerational life lessons that benefit our collective wellness.
The “classroom” where these lessons take place could be in the group chat, via zoom, at the lakefront, in my auntie’s backyard or in somebody’s basement!
The self-care sisterhood (along with my therapist) has helped me transition from merely accepting to survive to demanding to thrive.
But sisterhood is not limited to just family. I have amazing sisters in education and sorors who protect and guide me through life with their experiences. These are just a few of the gems they dropped recently about sisterhood, self-care and the BLK+GRN products they love!
- “Sisterhood is very special and only women can have this bond. I've learned that as a woman, self-care sometimes is neglected due to careers, family, goals, etc. Sometimes a fellow sister (who either is or has experienced what I am going through) is the only one that can see that I've neglected myself and that I need to take a break or move on. You can be oblivious to it. Sisterhood is a big part of self-care and when you have that, appreciate it.”
- “We are more alike than we realize. Despite our life paths, we share values, successes, concerns, and fears that link our hearts. I rely on my sisters and nieces to a large degree for support. You listen, understand, encourage and hold me accountable, loving me through it all.”
- “You always have a support system, whether it’s coming to a celebration, helping through a tough situation, or going to beat someone up (lol). Genuine sisterhood relationships tell you the things you need to hear, even when it's hard.”
- “A soror recently told me ‘Just go back to God’. Dedicate more time to Him and work on responding to people differently. I also enjoy spending time on beauty and trying different body products. I like this apricot body butter because it’s whipped and creamy. It’s a great product but I wish it was bigger. Mine was gone in 3 days!”
- “Don’t waste your FINITE time trying to convince people that YOU have value. They will miss it completely. Share your path with those who recognize and appreciate YOUR gifts. You might not be everyone’s cup of tea but you’re somebody’s double shot of whiskey!”
- “Helping another sister rise does NOT mean she is taking your spot. There is room for us all at the top. Expand our sisterhood.”
- “No matter how private you are, having respect, unconditional love, unconditional trust and non-bias talks with my girls is everything.”
- “When I think about self-care I think about peace. You can love someone, but you must protect your peace. Create comfort, distance, and boundaries so as not to disrupt that peace. Listen to yourself and your intuition.”
- No matter what I have going on in my life, I MUST STOP and do something for myself! Whether it’s sitting somewhere quietly reflecting on things, a bubble bath with a nice lit candle or exercising, I’ve learned how important self-care is to ME!
- “No matter the age difference we can all connect and have a good time no matter if we are out and about or at the kitchen bar!”
- “We can’t participate in self-care from only one generation’s perspective. Different age groups will deal with their own peace differently. My self-care means I appreciate what goes in and on my body. I love all kinds of shea butter, but I really like this lemongrass shea butter because it’s from the Earth and indigenous to Africa.”
- Self-care is loving the skin you're in, staying on high vibrations, knowing what healthy love looks like and allowing yourself to grow daily. But I also LOVE the pampering that comes along with self-care like the face masks, steaming and foot soaks. Treat yourself!”
- “Sisterhood reminds me of the importance of paying attention to what I’m feeling and why in every moment. It’s important for me to express myself. For example, my Freeform locs are an extension of my lifestyle. I use only simple products in my hair like water, natural oils and aloe vera juice. Freeform locs are completely against modern standards of beauty. The Freeform loc process pushes me to stay connected to my roots both literally and metaphorically. They serve as a constant reminder that we can flourish in our most natural state. I think this aloe vera shampoo is special because it's great for my locs and represents proper hygiene and care.”
These are my sisters, and our self-care is sacred. If you don’t have a self-care sisterhood, or if your self-care sisterhood is not benefitting your health and wellness, challenging you to love and accept yourself and holding you accountable (in love) to your goals, build a new one! As Black women, we have to get savvy with our self-care due to time, resource and responsibility constraints. Focused support is a strength for Black women and a self-care community can significantly reduce our stress to benefit our physical and mental health. Make sure your self-care community is a safe and brave space for action, change and growth. Take a break when you need to and come back whenever you’re ready. Take some time to think. How does your self-care sisterhood benefit you and others? Let me know in the comments and take care, Sis!