Zen Day 2019: A day of community and wellness
“Each time a woman stands up for herself without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” —Maya Angelou
This past weekend I attended the Zen Day wellness conference with my friend Savonne ( IG: @simply.savonne) at the Weeksville Heritage Center. This conference was hosted by I SEE YOU WELLNESS (IG: @iseeyouwell) & GrillzandGranola (IG @grillzandgranola). It was such an amazing experience, it was so beautiful to see women of color from all walks of life forming community. This year’s theme was RISE. It encourages women that now is the time to rise to your purpose and work collectively with one another. Each speaker was very inspiring and authentic in sharing their stories. From start to finish my soul was fed.
We started the day with a welcome address and meditation guided by Mariam Mouna Guessius (IG: @iseeyouwell) where we each read out loud the affirmation on our cards, my affirmation was : I am eternal. Each of us embodies those affirmations so it was beautiful to hear everyone collectively shout it.
My favorite parts of the day were the ZEN TALKS where we listened to the inspiring stories of women who stepped up to their calling and purpose. The talks were hosted by Julee Wilson, Global Beauty Director of Essence (IG: @missjulee) and Lauren Ash of Black Girl in OM (IG: @blackgirlinom). At the end of every talk I was inspired to step out of my comfort zone and RISE to be my very best authentic self.
The zen rooms were just what the doctor ordered! Each guest could sign up for acupuncture and one other zen activity. I signed up for a massage. The acupuncture lasted 15 minutes, I didn’t really appreciate the effects of the session. However, this was just a small preview for me of what an actual acupuncture session is like and I would love to try it again. I was always hesitant because I thought it would hurt, but it wasn’t bad at all. I also learned that acupuncture is covered by most health plans, so I will definitely look into this to incorporate into my wellness practice. My massage felt great, I had a 15 minute chair massage she targeted all the right spots. My shoulders carry the most tension, and when she was finished I could feel my posture improve.
Each guest had the option of attending a movement class: TrapAerobics by GrillzandGranola or Yoga by HealHaus (IG: @healhaus). Savonne and I chose to take the yoga class with our amazing instructor Lauren from Healhaus. The class was open to beginners and the weather was perfect for some sun salutations and balancing poses. My favorite balancing pose is the Tree Pose (Vriksasana), each time I learn to be patient and forgiving because each side may feel different than the other and you must honor your body. That afternoon, both sides of my tree were strong and grounded.
Zen day lunch
I was thrilled to see that the lunch was vegan because otherwise I would have had to pack my lunch. The food was prepared by Courageous Kitchen (IG: courageouskitchen). They served spicy papaya salad, fresh spring rolls, and basil fried rice. It was delicious and not heavy, I was able to feel satiated and move along with the rest of the conference.
There were so many wonderful female owned businesses present at Zen Day, I love seeing women of color support each other’s businesses. My sister friend Mbali founded an activewear company called Lukafit (IG: @lukafit). Her leggings hug your curves in all the right places and are super comfortable to wear. The women on her apparel look like me and the colors always cheer me up when I wear them. I have a bright blue pair that gets compliments at every fitness class I attend! Another vendor that stood out to me was Cindy from Reclama (IG: @recla.ma). She hosts spiritual retreats for women of color helping them reclaim their space in nature with hiking and writing. I look forward to hearing more about future retreats!
There were breaks throughout the conference where you can recharge and meet someone new. I enjoyed those moments because you can always find a friendly face to chat with. There were also Zen Workshops where you can attend an Audio Vision Board Party hosted by TracyG or attend a Cannibis educational talk by Mary Pryor of Cannaclusive (IG: @cannaclusive). I did not catch these workshops ( I was at acupuncture and my massage) but I heard it was very good.
There were also some raffles at the end of the day (Savonne and I won!) and each guest received an awesome gift box complete with incense, loose leaf tea, an essential oil roll-on, and aura spray! The perfect items for an awesome self care sunday.
Zen Day was such a transformative day for me and I look forward to next year’s event! Will you be attending?