‘Love Thyself’ encourages women to be intentional with self-care [photos + video]

Photo by Steve Floyd

Self-love means taking care of yourself. A lot of times, we as mothers, daughters and sisters, we tend to…leave out ourselves. Don’t ever feel guilty for taking care of you.”

The above remarks by life coach Trenella Ricks embodied the lessons of self-love and care found at Sister Spokesman’s recent “Love Thyself” gathering.

The Feb. 2 event found a captive audience, as attendees packed into a suite at Thor Companies in Minneapolis ready to glean words of wisdom from life coach and author Dr. Joi Lewis, therapist Brandon Jones, and Ricks.

The expert panelists encouraged attendees to take a simple, intentional approach to self-care, with the understanding that you cannot pour into others if there’s nothing in your own glass.

“There’s no growth in a comfort zone, and there’s no comfort in a growth zone,” said Jones in response to why people stay in toxic relationships and situations.

(l-r) Dr. Joi Lewis, Brandon Jones and Trenella Ricks // Photo by Steve Floyd

“Sometimes we’re in situations and we don’t even realize that they are hurtful to us,” he continued. “And one thing I’ve seen with a lot of Black women that I’ve come in contact with is…[they] have been conditioned to put their feelings last. And that’s a stressful place to be in.

“When I look at statistics of Black women’s health, just stress-related things, [they] are always number-one and two on the list. And I think that has to do with a lot of historical trauma that we’ve gone through.

“Black women have put, not just the community, but the existence of future generations on their backs,” added Jones. “But when do they have the opportunity to heal? Places like this offer that opportunity, but how many spaces do you have outside of Sister Spokesman? Not a lot. One of the solutions is to create more of these healing spaces.”

Dr. Lewis encouraged attendees to take better stock of their emotional health with simple healing measures. “When you think of meditation, sometimes it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s got to be quiet… But you can just take your right hand and put it over your heart,” said Lewis as she led attendees in an exercise.

Watch panel discussion video highlights below

“You have so much healing power in your own hand,” she continued. “If you’re feeling anxious or something has happened, you can take your hand and put it over your own heart…our whole central nervous system is going to calm down.”

The discussion closed on a feel-good vibe as moderator Tracey Williams-Dillard asked attendees to stand up and greet their neighbor with a hug.

Brandi Phillips of Wellife 360, in partnership with Sister Spokesman, also announced the official launch of the Get Fit Challenge to empower women to embark on a healthier lifestyle.

Next up, Sister Spokesman will offer resources and insight for reentry with “New Beginnings: Life After Incarceration” on March 2 at the Minneapolis Urban League. For more info on upcoming events, the Get Fit Challenge, and photos and video highlights from “Love Thyself,” go to Facebook.com/SisterSpokesman.

  • For more on Dr. Joi Lewis, visit her website or catch her every second Sunday of the month for “Self-Care Sunday” at Heritage Tea House.

  • For more on Trenella Ricks, connect with her on Facebook.

Arrow through below for more photos. All photos by Steve Floyd except where noted.