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Holidays or Bust!


Shadow Self: Here We Go this Shit Again

Written by Charlotte Banks, BWU Health and Wellness Director, founder of "Rituals Reclaimed"


Unbearably Positive Self: On Dasher?! On Dancer On Ujima! And Kuumba! Here we go! Dashing through the snow!

Written by Charlotte Banks, BWU Health and Wellness Director, founder of "Rituals Reclaimed"

I’m from the Oakland Bay Area, I’ve never dashed through no snow. I did wake up at 6am during the holiday season to my mama being damn near done with Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. The smells! Oh the yummy smells of herbs mingling with her pies, cakes and roasts! Right now, All I want to do is be comforted by the smell, the taste and/or feel myself enveloped by a warm concoction of star anise, ginger, peppermint, and eucalyptus. The nose knows what the body knows it needs. 

This time of year can be rough for me. Has been for, gosh, now, most of my life because my mom died when I was 18. Like many people, I miss my mama, not  so much her harmful ways, tho. I miss her for being my everything but I don’t miss how she had to be everything.

I tend to get through this time of year by making my own traditions. Balance is what I was hoping for. My favorite ways to find balance is by venting to those who I know understand and care about me sans judgement. Eucalyptus is great for supporting your throat chakra and self expression. When I haven’t had anyone that fits this I just vent online with my alternate social media account. *wink* Insulate yourself with social media accounts that show comforting landscapes. Or choose to participate in online groups who support culturally proficient mental health. 

Mmmm, can you smell the star anise? As digestion and movement slows in the cold months, adding star anise will activate your vital gastric juices. Circulation is key to detoxing and certain thoughts create toxins in your body.  Bringing attention to the Root Chakra, star anise can be helpful in grounding you, whereas the activation of the 3rd eye chakra can provide much needed insight. Mute some people, online and in real life. You can always unmute them whenever you choose. Pssst. *whispers* after muting some people, the people you forgot you followed will start to pop up in your social media feed! It’s like a whole new world!

Anxiety usually makes my stomach gurgle and drinking mint tea or inhaling mint vapors will cool that heat-inducing nervous tension sometimes manifesting as stomach pain. I really like adding ginger to my mint tea for abdominal cramps. Ginger corresponds with the Solar Plexus Chakra which, like the before mention herbs, aids in alleviating anxiety, depression, mental fatigue. 

70% of what we apply to our skin gets absorbed into our blood stream. I love to combine all of these herbs and utilize them in a bath. Steep the herbs using a reusable tea bag. That being said, don’t stress out, use what you have. Allow the herbs to infuse into hot water for 15 minutes. Shower and exfoliate. Rinse off then draw a bath. Pour herbal infusion into the warm water.  Add a cup of sea salt, epsom salt and or Himalayan salt to the bath.  Step in, sink down and feel cozily enveloped with your concoction.  Aaaah!


Written by Charlotte Banks, founder of "Rituals Reclaimed" and BWU Health and Wellness Director

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