This morning I was listening to Hiatus Kaiyote’s latest album, Choose Your Weapon, as I was choosing to get excited about the start of a new week. I thought, “What an interesting title for such a smooth, peaceful body of work.” As I got dressed, I realized that I had zoned out thinking about the title of the album and how it was a fitting idea, especially in the days that are upon us. It makes sense to think of choosing a literal weapon given the fact that we are having to defend ourselves and those we love from the terror right outside our doors. But in this case, my mind wandered to what proverbial weapon would I choose. What weapons do I already own? It occurred to me that I have many at my disposal and all I need to do is get organized so that I can access them quickly and easily. I started making a mental list of the things I currently have in my artillery, or at least the ones I want and can use. The list started to grow so I ended up writing them down. And now you all get to read a few from the list and maybe even take something from it 🙂
1. Phyiscal Health
Everything starts with health. My body is the container that carries my soul, mind, and it serves as the canvas that wears my clothes and any other decoration. I haven’t been the best at keeping up with a regular physical fitness routine in the past, but once I started taking my physical health seriously, I started better eating habits and exercise regimens, my endurance in every other area of my life has benefited. I not only have active sons that I need to keep with (and beat sometimes…they need to recognize girl power), I have a community of people I want to be present for and I can’t do that unless I’m vigilant over my body.
2. Mental Health & Prowess
A clear mind is a calm mind. When I meditate and clear out the clutter of my day, I make room for important information to neatly line itself along the walls of my mind. I’m able to sift through the millions of pounds of information I receive and decide, very quickly, what needs to stay and what needs to go. My choices are more calculated and strategic, and I’m capable of sharing the “right” information with my family, friends, and clients. Once I’ve organized my mental space, I consciously make the choice to read as much as I can. Reading constantly sharpens my gift of critical thinking and critical analysis and it keeps me, well, sharp. I have a finely tuned bullshit meter because of the constant practice of mental clarity and efficiency.
3. Spiritual Health & Prowess
I have constant faith in something bigger than myself. God, the Universe, or whatever you call it, I know and trust in my intuition because it’s being guided by the same God and his/her aspects. Ancestors, angels, Orisha, whoever. It’s not about the name, it’s about knowing that it exists. I go with the idea of Universal Law to make it easy to digest and avoid the distraction of labels. I know that if I follow the rules of being compassionate, honest, and open, I can receive what I want and need and ultimately have enough to share with others. This weapon, coupled with the first two, keeps me in the proverbial pocket at all times; if for some reason I’m knocked off my square, it doesn’t take long to get back. I pray all of the time and it works.
4. Outer Beauty
It’s easy to understand why people scoff at outer beauty being important but it is. In my opinion, it serves a number of purposes when building a repertoire of defense. One simple benefit is that it makes me feel good about myself when I feel pretty. Another is it makes me feel creative when I choose my outer decoration and I choose to share it with the world. On a deeper level, I see it like this: If you think me pretty or attractive, you might get close enough for me to teach you something. There’s a reason women (especially women of color) have been gifted with a different kind beauty AND hold wisdom that saves the world.
5. Creative Health and Prowess
Last one. I’m a woman who has a womb, which is the center of all creation. I’m not willing to debate this one because it’s true. A woman can give life in traditional terms and in not so traditional ways. Our bodies have the power of creating even in the midst of unhealthiness and hardship. And we can do it over and over again. I could go on and on about this one but I won’t because the evidence lies in your very existence and any gift given to the world by the magical, mystical being that is a woman.
I have a million more weapons but no one has time to read all of that in one post :).
What weapon will you choose? What weapons are in your back pocket?