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Fresh off a raggedy ass calendar year, where we witnessed Jada Pinkett Smith, Lizzo, Megan Thee Stallion and Meghan Markle dragged and flogged through these internet streets, it ain’t hard to tell that Black women are in need of respite. Abortion access was stripped from women residing in deeply religious and Republican regions, adding to the grim reality of Black maternal mortality. Sadly, we became engrossed by one of the most daunting acts of femicide after the brutal beating of Shanquella Robinson led to her death, reportedly, at the hands of a supposed friend. Last year was a lot.

So much so, wishing folks a Happy New Year almost feels shameless.

Though, I hope a life of harmlessness and happiness is the goal beyond the year of our Lord 2023. And if it isn’t, then it’s a damn good time to rectify that in fruitful ways.

Year over year, we tend to inundate ourselves with typical to-do lists and strategies to get our mind, body and spirit right, to be aligned with what we envision for ourselves. I can testify that old methods are sometimes a fail when trying to reach new heights.

Some of the approaches we have grown accustomed to—that we believe are tried and true—tend to dull and no longer transform our lives; mainly because we are showing up to the same fight with the same knife when what we actually need, now, is a machete to cut through whatever compromises our safety and serenity. 

The stakes are high for Black women.

We have everything to gain in protecting and trusting ourselves and our intuition. Shutting down defeatist voices and outside noise allows room for a mindful approach to our own ascension. We are entering the spirit of Big Zen Energy, where peace and possibilities are central, and leaning into our higher selves is both an exploration and experience.

MADAMENOIRE is introducing What Bell Said, a column that marries Black feminist theory to topical issues and pop culture. Psalms For Black Girls shares what the ascension to zen looks like in four parts: Zen In My Skin, Zen State Of Mind, Zen-full Flow Of Currency, Zen Shui.

Join us on a tantric journey that explores group masturbation. We discuss what can be learned through self repair, as we tap into Alex Elle’s How To Heal. MN Asks 15 Moms How They Carve Out Moments Of Zen.

We chop it up with Black interior designer Kiva Brent, who will speak to MN on how she creates zensational space. A Buddhist priestess takes us to school and we even explore a zen diet.

I’m sending y’all Big Zen Energy the whole month.

Tell ya friends to pull up.

Yours truly,

Ida Harris

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