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MeditationConnecting to Black Joy

Connecting to Black Joy

Even through struggle and sorrow, there is always joy to be found in our resiliency and strength. Practice nurturing joy in your everyday life.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace. Unrivaled expertise to make life feel a little easier, using guided meditations, mindfulness tips, focus tools, sleep support, and dedicated programs.

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Better mental health starts with Headspace

Audre Lorde, phenomenal black writer and activist shared: "If we feel deeply, as we encourage ourselves and others to feel deeply, we will. Within that feeling, once we recognize we can feel deeply, we can love deeply, we can feel joy. Then we will demand that all parts of our lives produce that kind of joy, and when they do not, you will ask why don't they? And it's the asking that will lead us inevitably toward change." Joy is our birthright. Joy is in our bloodlines. Joy is in our resiliency and strength. A part of our DNA and structure, just as much as struggle and sorrow may be. Joy is ours and joy is in the now. So in this practice, let's tend to and nurture what connects us and brings us joy deeply. Let's practice giving ourselves permission to feel joy and cultivate moment to moment awareness of joy so we can carry this with us into our everyday lives. And you may be thinking it's been a while since I've felt joy, and I see you and hear you. Between life's pressures, the paradox of wanting to provide, but also just exist. The heaviness that comes with being a human being in this world, a black human being in this world, it's normal if you find it hard to connect to joy. In mindfulness, joy is seen as an innate and intrinsic quality, which means it's always there nestled and buried beneath our struggles. Oftentimes it takes stillness, presence and perspective to unearth it. And if we can't call upon our own joy, there's a legacy of ancestral joy, a resilient reservoir that runs deep, that we can lean into and rely on, we just have to remember. Because how else did we get here? So, beginning with the eyes soft and open. Gently noticing your surroundings. What's there and what's present. You can be sitting upright or lying down, whatever feels right for you and your body. And now taking some deep breaths. Breathing in deeply through the nose, breathing out slowly through the mouth. Each inhale filling the body, and each exhale softening the body. Softening the eyebrows, unclenching the jaw, and relaxing the shoulders. On the next exhale, closing the eyes, if you'd like, and allowing the breath to return to its natural rhythm. And just noticing how the body sinks down and presses into the surface beneath you. Maybe noticing the gentle contact of your arms, back and legs with the ground or cushion. Feeling the body being supported and held as we find our way to the sensation of the breath in the body. Noticing that rising and falling of the breath in the chest or in the stomach. And gently resting the focus here. Watching each inhale and each exhale as they pass by. Now, I invite you to bring to mind something that brings you joy. Maybe it's a person, a place, a thing, or many things. Just noticing...


Duration12 min

About your teachers

  • A former Buddhist monk, Andy has guided people in meditation and mindfulness for 20 years. In his mission to make these practices accessible to all, he co-created the Headspace app in 2010.

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  • Eve is a mindfulness teacher, overseeing Headspace’s meditation curriculum. She is passionate about sharing meditation to help others feel less stressed and experience more compassion in their lives.

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  • As a meditation teacher, Dora encourages others to live, breathe, and be with the fullness of their experiences. She loves meditation’s power to create community and bring clarity to people’s minds.

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  • Kessonga has been an acupuncturists, therapist, and meditation teacher, working to bring mindfulness to the diverse populations of the world.

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  • Rosie Acosta has studied yoga and mindfulness for more than 20 years and taught for over a decade. Rosie’s mission is to help others overcome adversity and experience radical love.

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