Black Garden

Black is better, naturally. When you cultivate a lifestyle free of artificial ingredients, toxins, and harmful chemicals, true wellness is inevitable.

And happiness? Yeah, that's finally attainable.

WHY GOING GRN IS THE NEW BLK

by Tanya B. Drake

It's no secret that everything green is crowding space on your IG newsfeed. Whether it's Beyonce's post, of a sprouted toast, with vibrant slices of avocado piled high. Your best friend taking random selfies in front of a luscious palm backdrop, or Sunday inspirational photos curled up with a good read and a morning cup of warm matcha and coconut cream. Going green has become a conscious priority for the black and brown community.  

Going green has many benefits from reducing stress, unlocking doors to abundance, and even heightening your awareness for self-love and self-care. As some may say going green is something our ancestors only knew of to survive, millennials may gained inspiration from their local yoga studios or  new age spiritual mentors, like Russell Simmons. Some people may even go the extra mile, by cultivating a vegan lifestyle, after tuning into the Netflix Documentary, What the Health. No matter which route you've discovered the benefits of going green, the outcome is undeniable.

Simply adding greenhouse plants & decor in your office space can not only keep you alert, but eliminate the feelings of afternoon drowsiness and enhance your breathing. Like plants, we absorb oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, which makes expanding oxygen levels simple.  Incorporating long stem palms or bamboo can increase your happy mental state and productivity. Most people prefer to step out into nature or garden to maintain a tranquil mental state and reduce stress from an overworked brain. Even Erik Killmonger, in Black Panther, was attracted to the Heart shaped herb, to increase stamina, healing, and his kinesthetic senses to battle for his seat on the throne.

Adopting a green lifestyle has an unexpected return of even more green. However, this green doesn't need water and sunshine to grow, just a little mindfulness. When cultivating a green home, it reduces your carbon footprint for the environment, but you'll begin to experience more wiggle room for purchasing, investing, and savings. Requesting "for here" options at restaurants, using cloth bags at grocery stores, or purchasing bulk items, and using glass mason jars can become effortless choices to going green, says Hayley Higdon, in Ted Talk, Zero- Waste Lifestyle. Maximizing your knowledge for green living raises awareness for environmental waste and abundance.

Whether you're selecting cruelty-free beauty care essentials from local black artisans or taking a hike at your local state park, your self- love and self- care routine, stands at a perfect 10!  Benefits of using non toxic ingredients in your beauty care routine build confidence on your purchases, and the awareness of the ingredients/benefits on your skin. Utilizing cruelty free cosmetics takes a stand against animal cruelty and encourages other businesses to adopt cruelty free production methods. Adding plant based products to your self-care routine  draw in feel good vibes and also have a grounding effect.

So, now if you’re intrigued to take an herbalism class, fill your room a bunch of eucalyptus or go make your own green juice, the benefits are many and empowering. Many people within the black and brown community are making the conscious decision to jump on the bandwagon of the green movement. I believe it’s safe to say, Green is the new Black.

Read more

by Tanya B. Drake

It's no secret that everything green is crowding space on your IG newsfeed. Whether it's Beyonce's post, of a sprouted toast, with vibrant slices of avocado piled high. Your best friend taking random selfies in front of a luscious palm backdrop, or Sunday inspirational photos curled up with a good read and a morning cup of warm matcha and coconut cream. Going green has become a conscious priority for the black and brown community.  

Going green has many benefits from reducing stress, unlocking doors to abundance, and even heightening your awareness for self-love and self-care. As some may say going green is something our ancestors only knew of to survive, millennials may gained inspiration from their local yoga studios or  new age spiritual mentors, like Russell Simmons. Some people may even go the extra mile, by cultivating a vegan lifestyle, after tuning into the Netflix Documentary, What the Health. No matter which route you've discovered the benefits of going green, the outcome is undeniable.

Simply adding greenhouse plants & decor in your office space can not only keep you alert, but eliminate the feelings of afternoon drowsiness and enhance your breathing. Like plants, we absorb oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, which makes expanding oxygen levels simple.  Incorporating long stem palms or bamboo can increase your happy mental state and productivity. Most people prefer to step out into nature or garden to maintain a tranquil mental state and reduce stress from an overworked brain. Even Erik Killmonger, in Black Panther, was attracted to the Heart shaped herb, to increase stamina, healing, and his kinesthetic senses to battle for his seat on the throne.

Adopting a green lifestyle has an unexpected return of even more green. However, this green doesn't need water and sunshine to grow, just a little mindfulness. When cultivating a green home, it reduces your carbon footprint for the environment, but you'll begin to experience more wiggle room for purchasing, investing, and savings. Requesting "for here" options at restaurants, using cloth bags at grocery stores, or purchasing bulk items, and using glass mason jars can become effortless choices to going green, says Hayley Higdon, in Ted Talk, Zero- Waste Lifestyle. Maximizing your knowledge for green living raises awareness for environmental waste and abundance.

Whether you're selecting cruelty-free beauty care essentials from local black artisans or taking a hike at your local state park, your self- love and self- care routine, stands at a perfect 10!  Benefits of using non toxic ingredients in your beauty care routine build confidence on your purchases, and the awareness of the ingredients/benefits on your skin. Utilizing cruelty free cosmetics takes a stand against animal cruelty and encourages other businesses to adopt cruelty free production methods. Adding plant based products to your self-care routine  draw in feel good vibes and also have a grounding effect.

So, now if you’re intrigued to take an herbalism class, fill your room a bunch of eucalyptus or go make your own green juice, the benefits are many and empowering. Many people within the black and brown community are making the conscious decision to jump on the bandwagon of the green movement. I believe it’s safe to say, Green is the new Black.

Read more


It's Not a Game, It's a Lifestyle

By Raven Carey-James

Over the past year, I’ve been struggling to find happiness. I spend 8+ hours a day at a job I’m not passionate about, live in an apartment I can’t afford, and barely have time to look in the mirror before leaving the house, let alone for simple pleasures like getting my hair done, or finding a cute new outfit. With life’s everyday stresses, it becomes easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, so this month, I made the decision to do something for me.

Instead of turning to vices like binge eating and Netflix, I wanted to give myself a chance to reset my mind, body and spirit, naturally, while exploring what it meant to live a more holistic lifestyle.

HOLISTIC LIVING AND WHAT IT MEANS

Holistic living is conscious living. It’s about making smarter decisions regarding your physical, mental and emotional health. The goal of the holistic lifestyle is to become self-aware and to achieve balance between your external and internal self.

I view it as a way to take ownership of one’s life.  There are a lot of things we cannot control, believe me, I get it; but there are also many things we CAN control.  Life is a series of choices. You choose what you buy, what foods you eat, what activities you do, how you feel about yourself and how you treat others. It’s empowering to know you have a say in how you look and feel every day; but like everything else, nothing comes for free. If you’re thinking of embarking on a holistic journey, there are some things you need to know first.

STEP 1: ASSESSING YOUR “WHY”

When I was in pursuit of joining my sorority, they told me that my why should make me want to cry. This essentially meant that my reasons for joining the sisterhood had to be deep and meaningful. Now I’m not suggesting that you need to have a sob story, but what I am saying is that you should approach the holistic lifestyle with a sense of seriousness and commitment. The journey to becoming more health conscious takes discipline, and in order to stick with it, you have to do it for the right reasons. Trying to “get right” for the summer isn’t going to be enough when you’re faced with unlimited cookies at a work function, so keep your motives in check and plan accordingly.

STEP 2: DEVELOPING A PLAN

It’s helpful to set clear and frequent goals, for example, when I wake up every morning I pray, then I tell myself 3 “I am” statements. “I am going to go to the gym today, I am going to reach out to a friend I haven’t heard from, I am going to pack a salad for lunch.” This encourages accountability and helps prepare me for the day.  It also allows me to feel like I’ve accomplished things and made valuable use of my time, which is what this lifestyle requires.  It is an investment of time, money and energy to research the products you use before you buy them, spend a little more money on groceries and set time aside to meditate and reflect. It’s easy to fall off the wagon when you’re starting out, but remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Be patient, be reasonable with your expectations and challenge yourself to see it through by coming up with a detailed strategy.  

STEP 3: ASSEMBLING YOUR SQUAD

Support is everything. No one wants to feel like they’re going through a significant life change alone. There are wonderful communities of Black women who are willing to extend an olive branch and uplift others, take advantage of that. Join a targeted Facebook or Meetup group, reach out to contacts in your area or online network, who promote healthy living. Ask questions, trade recipes, go to yoga classes. Having a team of people in your corner will keep you motivated on the days you’re not really feeling it.

STEP 4: ACTION

Lastly…Ain’t nothin’ to it, but to do it. Set your start date and take the plunge. Once you’ve determined that this is the path for you, planned ahead and found a supportive team, it’s time to put your preparation into practice! Surrender yourself to the process and go at your own pace. Take ownership of your happiness and reclaim your mind, body, and spirit.

Read more

By Raven Carey-James

Over the past year, I’ve been struggling to find happiness. I spend 8+ hours a day at a job I’m not passionate about, live in an apartment I can’t afford, and barely have time to look in the mirror before leaving the house, let alone for simple pleasures like getting my hair done, or finding a cute new outfit. With life’s everyday stresses, it becomes easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, so this month, I made the decision to do something for me.

Instead of turning to vices like binge eating and Netflix, I wanted to give myself a chance to reset my mind, body and spirit, naturally, while exploring what it meant to live a more holistic lifestyle.

HOLISTIC LIVING AND WHAT IT MEANS

Holistic living is conscious living. It’s about making smarter decisions regarding your physical, mental and emotional health. The goal of the holistic lifestyle is to become self-aware and to achieve balance between your external and internal self.

I view it as a way to take ownership of one’s life.  There are a lot of things we cannot control, believe me, I get it; but there are also many things we CAN control.  Life is a series of choices. You choose what you buy, what foods you eat, what activities you do, how you feel about yourself and how you treat others. It’s empowering to know you have a say in how you look and feel every day; but like everything else, nothing comes for free. If you’re thinking of embarking on a holistic journey, there are some things you need to know first.

STEP 1: ASSESSING YOUR “WHY”

When I was in pursuit of joining my sorority, they told me that my why should make me want to cry. This essentially meant that my reasons for joining the sisterhood had to be deep and meaningful. Now I’m not suggesting that you need to have a sob story, but what I am saying is that you should approach the holistic lifestyle with a sense of seriousness and commitment. The journey to becoming more health conscious takes discipline, and in order to stick with it, you have to do it for the right reasons. Trying to “get right” for the summer isn’t going to be enough when you’re faced with unlimited cookies at a work function, so keep your motives in check and plan accordingly.

STEP 2: DEVELOPING A PLAN

It’s helpful to set clear and frequent goals, for example, when I wake up every morning I pray, then I tell myself 3 “I am” statements. “I am going to go to the gym today, I am going to reach out to a friend I haven’t heard from, I am going to pack a salad for lunch.” This encourages accountability and helps prepare me for the day.  It also allows me to feel like I’ve accomplished things and made valuable use of my time, which is what this lifestyle requires.  It is an investment of time, money and energy to research the products you use before you buy them, spend a little more money on groceries and set time aside to meditate and reflect. It’s easy to fall off the wagon when you’re starting out, but remember Rome wasn’t built in a day. Be patient, be reasonable with your expectations and challenge yourself to see it through by coming up with a detailed strategy.  

STEP 3: ASSEMBLING YOUR SQUAD

Support is everything. No one wants to feel like they’re going through a significant life change alone. There are wonderful communities of Black women who are willing to extend an olive branch and uplift others, take advantage of that. Join a targeted Facebook or Meetup group, reach out to contacts in your area or online network, who promote healthy living. Ask questions, trade recipes, go to yoga classes. Having a team of people in your corner will keep you motivated on the days you’re not really feeling it.

STEP 4: ACTION

Lastly…Ain’t nothin’ to it, but to do it. Set your start date and take the plunge. Once you’ve determined that this is the path for you, planned ahead and found a supportive team, it’s time to put your preparation into practice! Surrender yourself to the process and go at your own pace. Take ownership of your happiness and reclaim your mind, body, and spirit.

Read more