CENTERED & SASSY: THE 5-STEP “DIVA” GUIDE TO HEALING

The word “Diva” was originally defined as a female opera singer. Over the years, however, it has taken on a different connotation, particularly in contemporary urban culture. When Beyoncé sings about a Diva, she’s referring to “the female version of a hustler.” For others, it represents a “prima donna” or a person who acts overly entitled. In my circles, a diva is simply a woman who makes her presence felt. Whether it is her style or her attitude, you know when she is in the room! Engage in any casual conversation these days and you’ll likely find that the term is used pretty loosely to capture women who are fabulous, unforgettable and sassy – colorful personalities with a lot of spunk.

It’s a title my friends and I use often to address or describe one another. So, when I embarked on my healing journey, I must admit that I struggled with what that meant about my diva-ness. After all, popular culture paints enlightenment kind of blandly. Being centered is so often presented as meagerness, silence and stillness ONLY. I had to wonder if I could keep my diva-club membership while embarking on my spiritual path and if so, what would that look like for me.

It took some research, some practice, some creativity and some inspiration but I have found plenty of ways. Here is a little healing guide for divas with the top five ways that I like to stay centered and sassy:

1. Chant Hip Hop Lyrics as Part of Your Meditation

One of the most commonly used practices in meditation is the repetitive, rhythmic chanting of mantras. A mantra is a sound, syllable, word or group of words that helps you center and prevents negativity from entering your thoughts.[1] Mantras give a focal point to the mind.

So, the next time you’re trying to find a word or phrase to repeat consecutively to the point of unconscious ritual, you might want to consider a rap lyric. Here are a few examples, to get you started:

  • Lyric: “I am not fly, I am levitation”; Song: Fly; Artists: Nikki Minaj Featuring Rihanna[2]
  • Lyric: “The present is a gift and I just wanna be”; Song: Be; Artist: Common[3]
  • Lyric: “Angelic being cast to the earth, it's time for rebirth”; Song: Mystery of Iniquity; Artist: Lauryn Hill[4]
  • Lyric: “Talk only confuses, silence only explains”; Song: Our Way, The Way; Artist: Akala[5]

2: Wear Big Accessories Engraved With Positive Messages

Fun fashion accessories are certainly part of the “Diva” trademark. They’re a vehicle for expression and a way to catch people’s eyes. Let’s be honest, most divas are just not proponents of the “less is more” philosophy. We perfect the art of “excessorizing” (accessorizing to the point of excess).

Rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces provide great lengthy metallic surfaces upon which to place inspirational words, phrases and/or symbols. There’s just no ignoring their radiant exteriors. They captivate attention and also spread positivity.[6]

These days, it’s easy to find jewelry, bags and even belts that inspire you to “breathe,” prompt you to “live, laugh and love” or encourage you to “dance in the rain.” If not, there’s always engraving. So wear your growth and inspire others to do the same.

3. Try a Yoga Pose… In Your Stilettos

Developed over 5,000 years ago (some think as far back as 10k years), traditional yoga has been known to increase and promote clarity in folks. It focuses on the energy connection between mind, body, breath and spirit.[7] However, it is most popular in the West, as a body-centered activity that improves concentration and strengthens the physique. Most notable, are the poses that have come to symbolize the practice. They are typically done with bare feet, sometimes in socks and occasionally in sneakers. But I found that I needed yoga’s healing properties the most when I was sitting in my office chair, for long periods of time, stressed over projects, in my blazer, pencil-skirt and high heels. Sound familiar? If so, here are a few poses that you can try, in your stilettos.

  • Mountain Pose – “Mountain pose (Tadasana) is a foundational pose for all standing poses and inversions… Tadasana may not look like much, but keeping your body active and aligned is hard work.”[8]
  • Cactus Pose – “Cactus focuses on opening up the front of the body, the heart, lungs, diaphragm and chest by bringing the shoulder blades back toward each other and opening the arms out and back.”[9]
  • Eagle Pose – “Eagle looks like your stereotypical idea of a crazy, twisted-up-like-a-pretzel yoga pose, but it's really not so difficult if you break it down.” [10] Especially when you sit down to do it.
  • Cow Face Pose – This position “Stretches the hips, ankles, shoulders, arms, and chest.”[11]

Now, you want to consult a professional before you try any of these, but you can get more information on how to achieve each pose by clicking its name for a link.

4. Sip Water From Your Wine Glass

The healing benefits of drinking water are irrefutable. Not only does it help to maximize your energy and physical ability, it has major positive effects on brain function.[12] Alcohol, on the other hand, has detrimental effects on your mood and your physical health; not to mention that it’s not very good for your pocket either.[13] Yet, many people don’t get through a typical night out on the town or a fun Sunday brunch, without getting inebriated. In fact, the top 10% of American adults (24 million) consume an average of 74 drinks per week, or a little more than 10 drinks per month.[14] Why? You don’t have to sacrifice your well-being to have a good time.

So, the next time that you’re out, why not fill that sexy long-stem wine glass with some H2O instead? Not only will you keep that diva-feel intact, your body, mind and spirit will thank you for it.

5. Pray During Your Pedicures

Prayer does not need to be a religious activity. Whatever your denomination, you are likely to benefit from a little one-on-one with a higher power. Prayer has been proven to have extraordinary health benefits, including but not limited to improved self-control and the alleviation of stress.[15]

While some people address their prayers to the God of their understanding, many others may choose to address their prayers to the energy of the physical universe in which we live. I know atheists who offer prayers of gratitude to the sun and religious folks who recite scripture. To each his own. It’s simply about acknowledging and communicating with some larger than us. So it really doesn’t matter if you pray to God or to gravity, as long as you remain grounded.

Because we divas enjoy our pedicures so much, why not use them as a time for reflection and gratitude through prayer. It seems an appropriate time to capitalize on the stationary silence of a nice foot pampering.

Note: The author of this article does not dispense medical, psychological or psychiatric advice, nor prescribe the use of any technique as a form of treatment for physical or psychological problems without the advice of a physician or mental health specialist, either directly or indirectly. The intent of this work is only to offer information of a general nature to those looking to explore ways to feel better about themselves and their lives. In the event that you use any of the information in this blog for yourself or another, the author and the publisher assume no responsibility for your actions or feelings.

References:

[1] Mantra : 'Hearing the Divine In India and America, Harold G. Coward And David J. Goa, Motilal Banarsidass Publisher, 2008

[2] Nicki Minaj (Ft. Rihanna) – Fly. (2011, August 30). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://genius.com/Nicki-minaj-fly-lyrics

[3] Common – Be (Intro). (2005, May 24). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://genius.com/Common-be-intro-lyrics

[4] Lauryn Hill – The Mystery of Iniquity. (2002, May 07). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://genius.com/Lauryn-hill-the-mystery-of-iniquity-lyrics

[5] Akala (Ft. Ayanna Witter Johnson) – Our Way, The Way. (n.d.). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://genius.com/Akala-our-way-the-way-lyrics

[6] Trend Finder: Inspirational Accessories. (2016, January 29). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://www.accessoriesmagazine.com/129194/trend-finder-inspirational

[7] Burgin, T. (2014, April 14). History of Yoga. Retrieved August 10, 2017, from http://www.yogabasics.com/learn/history-of-yoga/

[8] Pizer, A. (n.d.). A Rock Solid Tadasana is the Key to Yoga Standing Poses. Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://www.verywell.com/mountain-pose-tadasana-3567127

[9] Yoga Pose of the Month: Cactus. (2014, April 09). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from http://www.cultivatingyourenergy.com/yoga-pose-of-the-month-cactus/

[10] Pizer, A. (n.d.). Work on Your Core and Hips (While Standing on One Leg) in Eagle Pose. Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://www.verywell.com/eagle-pose-garudasana-3567073

[11] Pizer, A. (n.d.). Cow Face Pose - Funny Name, Serious Stretch for Hips and Shoulders. Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://www.verywell.com/cow-face-pose-gomukhasana-3567069

[12] 7 Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water. (2015, February 16). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water#section2

[13] Fact Sheets - Alcohol Use and Your Health. (2016, July 25). Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

[14] Ingraham, C. (2014, September 25). Think you drink a lot? This chart will tell you. Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2014/09/25/think-you-drink-a-lot-this-chart-will-tell-you/?utm_term=.8b2168df7a3d

[15] Routledge, C. (2014, June 23). 5 Scientifically Supported Benefits of Prayer. Retrieved August 10, 2017, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/more-mortal/201406/5-scientifically-supported-benefits-prayer

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