January 2019–January 2020, Black with Plants will publish q and a on mental health + community building with botanists, college dropouts, horticulturalists, plant care specialists, natural hair experts, social justice advocates, sound therapists, etc. across the thirteen hardiness zones in the United States and African diaspora.
What do you want readers to know about Mindful Movement? #StayinYourMagic? Or a creative project that you are working on? and the role of community building, and its impact on mental health?
Mindful movement is a practice of listening to your body and moving in ways that feel pleasurable. When I returned to my identity as a fairy goddess and began to build a brand around #blackfairymagic it was this intentional effort to find the magic in the mundane. #StayInYourMagic became a mantra to live by that grounded me in my divinity. Magic is simply using tools (spells, crystals, sex, herbs, etc.) to intentionally shift your reality. When you look at it that way, you can find magic in every moment and reclaim the power we have to shape change and manifest the life of our dreams.
What about the opportunity to display foliage, etc. online (specifically via IG) first interested you in committing your time and energy to plant care-taking?
A big part of my purpose is helping people return to the natural rhythm of the earth. It’s about releasing this capitalistic drive to go, go, go – and replacing it with ease, rest, gentleness. Like Lao Tzu said, “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
We are of the earth and in resonance with its rhythms, and the more time we spend with plants, the more we remember; It’s like a practice of coming home. There’s been so much disconnect from humans and our relationship with the earth, only seeing nature as resources to take from. Caring for plants is an opportunity to give back to the earth and moment of gratitude for all that the earth has given us. Being surrounded by plants gives us a mirror to remember our oneness. What a divine reflection to foster and nurture.
What do you think are the five key characteristics of a successful place?
- Cleanliness and organization.
- Energetic warmth that makes you feel welcomed.
- Quality customer service (timeliness, attentive, helpful).
- Community receptivity and reciprocal support.
- Genuine passion for the work that you do.
Community engagement is a significant obligation of direct service. With that in mind, can you tell us about your experience in engaging with your contacts day-to-day? Do you notice services rendered positively affecting your contact’s psychological well-being?
A lot of my day to day interaction with folks is in the digital sphere. I’m vegan and share vegan tips, recipes, and resources each day on my Instagram story to help inspire people along their journey. It’s been really beautiful to support people shifting their health with a vegan lifestyle. When people see me eating rainbows every day it gets them excited to incorporate more plants into their diet. I hosted a 30 Day Vegan Challenge on Instagram and one of the participants shared that she healed virtually all of her symptoms of Crohn’s disease. She said it was the best she felt in 8 years, since she was first diagnosed with Crohn’s. When someone is able to reduce their doctor visits, suffer less from physical health issues, has more energy, etc – it has a huge impact on their psychological well-being. It’s a reminder of the power we have to heal ourselves – physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. You hold the keys to your healing – I simply provide the tools (mindful movement, vegan recipes, self-care resources).
Would you be willing to share a memorable moment from 2018?
At the start of 2018 I was living in a van after a summer of traveling the country. My partner and I were splitting up after four years together. I was in Los Angeles when we decided to part ways, I had no job or house at the time and no nearby family to lean on. I wasn’t ready to go back to Michigan and believed in my ability to figure things out in LA. I put out into the universe my intention to manifest a job in the wellness industry, find a mentor, and become a yoga instructor. Just a few days after we split, a prominent Black yoga instructor, Koya Webb, reached out to me to come to one of her classes for free. It was exactly the blessing I needed at the time and Koya and I really hit it off. When I first met her, I remember thinking “oh wow I want her to be my mentor!” Then I visited her oceanfront condo in Venice Beach, and I thought “damn, I want to live here!” We got together a few times that week to do yoga and our fourth time hanging out we were on our way to brunch and she was like, “I could really use a personal assistant who loves yoga, veganism, and social media that would live with me and help me out each day.” I said, “Well I need a job, a place to live, and love all of those things!” Lol it was perfect alignment that the universe connected us at the time. Fast forward to June 2018, I’m being trained by Koya alongside 14 other women (mostly women of color) to become a certified yoga instructor. Becoming a certified yoga instructor was definitely the highlight of 2018, it was a culmination of so much growth, deepened self-awareness, and stepping into my power as a facilitator of others’ healing. Fast forward to the present moment, I’ve just moved back to Detroit to bring all that I learned in California to my community and help my family heal. It’s all coming full circle.
Your perspective is invaluable. Thank you for distilling your talents, sharing your time, and contributing to the local economy. Can you tell readers a little bit about your perspective on securing space for psychological healing and/or wellness?
The journey towards holistic health & wellness begins with a conscious decision to heal. You have to want to heal, and then make space and time to begin that process.
For those of us in society that hold marginalized identities – black, indigenous, people of color, womxn, trans and non-binary folx, queer folx, disabled, poor, etc – we’ve had less space to dream and heal from our own wounds and the wounds of systemic oppression. When survival is your priority, wellness may feel out of reach. It’s imperative that we make spaces of healing and wellness accessible to those that need it most. Rest is necessary for resistance and healing is a radical act of defiance against cis-hetero-white supremacy and capitalism.
Final thoughts from Brialle Ringer (@blackfairymagicbrialle):
Stay in your magic. Prioritize play and pleasure. Remember your divinity. Reclaim your power to heal.