by Akanke Washington

As we settle into 2011 many of us are seeking to stay committed to our resolutions. Many of those resolutions are going to include promises to drop pounds and improve diets.  We also tend to include resolutions that address our financial health, like saving money and developing a budget. As we focus on slimming our bodies and our budgets I would also like to urge us to focus on improving ourselves mentally and spiritually too.

For a lot of legitimate reasons, mental health can be a touchy subject for people of color. However, we still need to take a proactive role in maintaining our mental health. The pendulum of mental wellness can swing from being in a state of complete calm and bliss to the other end of the spectrum which might include needing professional assistance. During the year we might find ourselves anywhere on this spectrum. To assist us in maintaining mental health, Ori needs to be placated to help us balance and make good decisions. The placating of Ori will help to keep our pendulum balanced, and in the event that we are not successful, Ori will lead us to get the proper help and guidance. Everyone is born with Ori, everyone can placate Ori. An excellent New Year’s Resolution would be to maintain a weekly ritual to placate Ori and pray for elevation.

As we address our mental health, we also need to build spiritual strength. An elder told me that our Egun offer us the greatest opportunity to heal unhealthy generational core beliefs. Many families suffer by passing on negative beliefs (e.g. “I can’t ever get ahead,”  “there are no good men,” “there are no good women”).  Our tradition has given us tools and resources that help us do better. They are more than worthy of a place on that New Year’s Resolution list! Placate Egun and pray for family advancement and healing. Pray that they heal the generational wounds.

Let’s dedicate this year to getting our minds, bodies and souls healthy and in alignment with our greater mission on this planet!