I’m going to keep it real with you. I spend a lot of time (maybe too much) on Instagram. When I’m tired of thinking or talking during the workday, getting lost in my phone for countless hours each day is something mindless I can do. A simple scroll, maybe a double-tap here and there, and if I’m zesty, I might leave a comment or two. Many people are opting into the social media fasts and limiting their screen time, but as someone who works in marketing communications, it’s a part of my job. So I learned a few years back that if I could not stop cold turkey, I had to figure out an alternative.
I decided to integrate mindfulness into my social media habits. I’m much more conscious these days of what I’m digesting. Like I don’t allow myself to feed into negativity, I can’t consciously follow social accounts that don’t pour into me with meaning or value. The content I strive to ingest these days aligns with my personal goals of being spiritually, emotionally, and physically interconnected, and curating the energy I need to be my best. Just like you, as someone trying to maneuver through the daily chaos of this pandemic, here are five feeds you should follow in your quest for enlightenment.
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When you make up your mind to be someone who goes to the gym regularly, you throw yourself onto a path that has some ups and a lot of downs. It’s hard. Periodt. Arran Arogundade is a UK-based trainer I found early in my fitness journey that makes everything look entirely too easy. His workouts went harder than mine, and his chicken and rice meal preps looked so much tastier than mine as well (there’s only so much you can do). Then around the same time that I started to embrace a spiritual journey, I noticed Arran and I were going down the same route. His posts focus on the path of inner peace and spiritual growth regularly sharing reminders to be more reflective and kind to others, but most importantly, to yourself. Never a negative thought, just serious workouts, disciplined meals, and uplifting stories. Oh yeah, and a dachshund. From his posts, I’ve learned that I should embrace my journey with joy for what is rather than resentment for what isn’t.
James Baldwin said it best, “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” The more you pay attention to the Black experience in America, the more enraged you become. Even now, as we watch COVID-19 disproportionately impact Black communities, it’s exhausting to see citizens of this country squint their eyes, look off to a corner, and try to figure out “why is that?”
As someone who aspires to use their liberation to not only liberate others but to celebrate the ancestors who hold us up daily, there’s no denying activism can take it out of you. However, Common has always embodied what it truly means to live your activism through both actions and words. He reminds me daily that while it’s important to fight for our existence, we must also make space to celebrate our life and the contributions our community has brought into this world.
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It has taken me a few years to stop taking myself so seriously because there was a certain way I wanted to be seen, and wanted my life to be. Anything divergent of that was sorted out and pushed to the side because I was making a way for the life I was meant to lead. Because of this I decided to choose the power of energy and make it my mission to put joy above anything else.
I’ve learned incredible things just by attending “Club Quarantine” and observing D-Nice’s posts alone. If you’ve never seen someone live in joy and purpose, you don’t know what you’re missing. It’s one thing to know you should be joyous, and it’s another to see it reflected in someone’s smile, laughter, kindness, and talents. Whenever I scroll past one of D-Nice’s posts, it’s guaranteed to be a complete vibe. Let’s continue to use our creative talents to uplift the moments of joy above the moments of pain, frustration, and sadness.
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One of my newer obsessions is an artist by the name of Adrian Michael. I’m a very visual person, so I enjoy what Instagram usually offers me, but now and again, it’s powerful to come across some piece of thought-provoking text. Always brief, it amazes me how someone can be incredibly profound with such little space. Just like many other things, self-love is not a switch you flip and walk away from. It’s an ongoing, daily practice in patience, gratitude, and reflection. Adrian has an incredible gift that stops my thumb mid-scroll. I start with the first line, and before I know it, I’ve read a small piece of poetry that forces me to stop and look at myself without expectations or a to-do list, and no sense of urgency, just all love. As an ongoing personal mental note, I should make time to restore myself and also remember the permanence of written words.
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There was a time I believed in the power of democracy and civic engagement. The women who came before me made it a point to protest and vote in every election to ensure we made forward progress. Somewhere along the way, things went from being very “West Wing” to very “American Horror Story.” Everton recently became the youngest and first Black school board member (yes, first) of the Gwinnett County School Board outside of Atlanta, GA.
He canvases for presidential candidates and then visits the classrooms of his tiniest constituents. Most importantly, he demonstrates that while we must build our own table, we must also demand room at existing tables to advocate for those who are vulnerable and can’t advocate for themselves. We should all make every effort to remember that liberation is a process, not an event, and the babies deserve to inherit a better world.
Think about your actions and your thought process, but also think about what’s impacting your well-being. There are millions of accounts across the world, you can blend together to create the perfect mix for your life and goals. Scroll with purpose, y’all.