Black History: Exploring Toxic Positivity

Hello Tribe,

Happy Black History Month. 

If you're like us, then you honor your roots 365 days and on a leap year 366 days a year.

If you're new here welcome. Make sure you subscribe so you can stay connected with us all year long. If you're a member of the tribe, welcome back:)

In this blog, I'd like to explore the idea of toxic positivity which is heavily seeped in oppressive ideology.

First, let's begin with a definition of toxic positivity. Toxic positivity is defined as the belief that not matter how difficult a situation is, one should always maintain a positive mindset.

Let's explore why this is harmful and before I dive into this conversation I encourage each of you to breathe, and find truth in your journey.

Toxic positivity is harmful because it inserts the idea that difficult emotions must be minimized by rejecting one's truth.

As a black woman in the wellness industry, I have constantly grappled with how I was supposed to show up because for many yoga is equated with zen, peace or other emotions that bring comfortability.

I grappled with the idea of feeling the need to flow under the pre-established boundaries that were outlined for yoga instructors coupled with being a black woman in an industry that very much white woman centered in the western world.

This was disheartening because it felt like it was another space which reinforced the idea that I could not be my true and authentic self.

Could you imagine coming into a yoga class and seeing that your instructor was not only a black woman but she wasn't bubbling with joy?

Isn't zen about the absence of feeling uncomfortable emotions?

These are a few of the questions I asked myself.

As I deepened my practice I began to search for truth.

The wonderful thing about truth is that it is light. It will point into the direction of where you should go.

On my mat, I was reminded that yoga by definition means to yoke one's mind, body and spirit.

As I brought my truth onto my mat, it was easy for me to admit to myself that  my physical, mental and emotional experiences have not always pleasant or joyous. In fact, living in a country which is rooted in my oppression it would be virtually impossible to maintain a solely joyous spirit.

To be clear, I experience happiness and joy regularly and it is through honoring duality I can acknowledge the other vibrations are present as well.

I know that it would be easier to imagine me a joyous, happy go lucky yoga instructor but this assertion is dressed in covert racism and assimilation which finds comfort in my relationship with my joy rather than the acknowledgment of my full experiences.

My choice is to honor all of me and to encourage women and girls who join me in leading their practice to do the same.

In order to heal, and hold space for ourselves, we must step away from rejecting our emotions and lean in.

My life, the life of my ancestors and my legacy exist with complexity.

There is both joy and pain in that understanding.

Please continue to open yourself up to your truth.

I hope you find healing there,


Founder of Onesun3Flowers


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