Self Care

In ZORA. More on Medium.

A few months ago I suffered a cervical spine injury and had to undergo surgery to correct it. Scared out of my mind and absolutely terrified of being put to sleep and under a knife for the first time, I prepared my nerves to accept the fact that I needed to get through one of the hardest feats of my life. I was ready to be cut in a sensitive place. I was ready to deal with a long recovery. I was ready to heal. The only thing I forgot to prepare for was the scar it would leave behind.


This week, you have the power to say no to what is no longer serving you. Amber the Alchemist shows us how.

Stoicism tarot card. Deck by Akamara Tarot.

We are all due for a lesson in sovereignty, self-control, authority, and accountability this week.

Stoicism, or The Hanged Man’s energy typically arises during moments where the universe requires us to see things from a higher perspective; one that extends beyond the material into the spiritual. The divine often pushes us into a sacred pause, where areas of our life appear to be on hold so that we can address the transformations that are taking place.

Collectively, we are fully aware of the things that are not serving us in our lives, yet we’ve continued to repeat cycles, indulge, and…


Words matter, so use them wisely, advises Amber the Alchemist in a weekly oracle and tarot pull for the ZORA collective.

Mantra card. Awakened Soul Oracle Deck by Ethony.

Last week’s guidance of rest and meditation revealed the fundamental steps necessary before we face the upcoming cycles ahead. This time and space we’ve granted ourselves illuminated any negative beliefs or patterns (including impatience) that may have been preventing us from aligning with our highest potential.

The Mantra card that I pulled for this week invites us to bring our attention and focus to how we communicate with ourselves and others. The basic foundational belief of manifestation is that our words and thoughts hold the power to create our reality. …


A reading for the collective: Reflect on who you are and how far you’ve come.

Onija Cowrie. Akamara tarot.

This week we are guided to reflect on our individual journeys of the last few months and years. The Onija cowrie tarot card draws our attention to the slow and steady building blocks of our day-to-day lives paired with our devotion to the tasks at hand. This energy can be a humbling reminder that the things we want most require dedication, focus, consistency, and most importantly, patience.

These are sacrifices and choices that we make daily that contribute to the greater picture-at-large. For example, if you desire to be a best-selling writer, writing consistently is a task that comes with…

From mint to rooibos to matcha, take the time to pour into yourself

Pouring tea into a tea cup from a tea kettle.
Pouring tea into a tea cup from a tea kettle.
Photo: Erik Witsoe/EyeEm/Getty Images

I grew up on an island that remained a British colony until 1962, so of course tea was part of the ingrained routine of life. To break the fast in the morning? Tea. To calm your spirit after school or the workday? Tea. During the day as needed for a pick-me-up? You guessed it, tea! My mother is a born and raised tea fanatic, and she passed that energy along to me. There is no time of day that she won’t advise me to drink an “NCOT” as she calls it — a nice cup of tea.

“I don’t need…

Her new book, ‘Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual,’ is a guide to embracing your greatness

Photo illustration: Dennis Huynh/Medium

Luvvie Ajayi Jones is proof of what happens when you pair 18 years of blogging and writing with tenacity and synchronicity. She went from working for the man to being the woman, with a 14,000-member app, her own social network, a popular TED Talk, and now what is sure to be another New York Times bestselling book. Released today, Professional Troublemaker: The Fear-Fighter Manual is chock-full of the I’m Judging You writer’s step-by-step tips on how to face down fear, earn your worth, and big-up yourself in a world that wants to put us all down.

Yes, racism and sexism…

Black woman relaxing at home on her sofa.
Black woman relaxing at home on her sofa.
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Many of us are either caught up in multitasking a day’s worth of work (for both for the job and home) or frozen on our couches, trying to make sense of the stunning events of the last year. Our bodies are fatigued; our minds are fogged. And while we may already have an intimate (and unfortunate) relationship with exhaustion due to oppressive societal demands, the indefatigable enervation that we are experiencing is on a whole new level.

We need rest. But we’re always telling ourselves, even subconsciously, that we don’t have the time for it.

We must make time.


A flawless life should never have been the goal.

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Seeking perfection is rather inherent to being a Black woman in America. Like many others, my parents told me I had to be twice as good as White people from an early age. They programmed me to be the best at what I did to have any hope of being successful in life. Still, I didn’t realize I was a bit of a perfectionist until the dawn of Covid-19. One day deep into the pandemic, my husband stopped me and sternly said, “Everything doesn’t have to be perfect.” I don’t remember…

Photo courtesy of the author

I never considered myself much of a crafts person. I mean, like everyone else, I did art projects in grade school and tried my best to color within the lines. But I never felt an overwhelming desire to create in that way.

That is until now.

Over the last year, I have found my inner artisan, and it has transformed the way I think about the arts overall.

It started with a team-building virtual event that I organized for my staff. We all took a watercolor painting class, complete with a spectrum of hues to choose from. The act of…

Black woman hard at work on her computer, sitting on her couch.
Black woman hard at work on her computer, sitting on her couch.
Photo: 10'000 Hours/Getty Images

Happy New Year, ZORA fam. We hope you’re starting 2021 with the intention to put yourself and your needs first. But we know this does not always come easy. In her column, Five Things, Medium writer Ashley C. Ford expresses the difficulty in speaking up for yourself and what you want.

“Naming what I want, and actually following through, feels like I’ve gotten away with something,” Ford writes. “It’s fascinating how attempts at centering myself feel like stealing. I’m still getting used to getting my way sometimes, for asking for what I want and unburdening myself from what I don’t.”


Bold, yet refined. A publication from Medium for Black women.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store