By Timia Cobb
Web Content Contributor
For the past three years, the Womxn of Color organization at Texas State has held a Womxn of Color retreat. This year I decided to make the jump and attend.
The retreat was a two-day event from Feb. 15-16. According to the flyers around campus, the event promised to be a day full of relaxation, meditation, yoga and a safe place for discussions on issues that black women go through. What I got from this retreat was exactly that and more.
I would say that that the Womxn of Color had the most organized event that I have ever attended at Texas State. The retreat consisted of the three sessions, breakfast, lunch and a closing discussion . Even though the retreat only lasted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., I was having such a good time that the day seemed to breeze past.
The first session I attended was a group discussion with Dr. Carolyn West about women having to escape the Cape. The discussion really opened my eyes on not only what black women have to go through, but what women of color go through in general.
Because of that, we always think we have to be a superwoman, that we have to take care of everyone else to get things done and to be successful in life. However, this means we usually come in last. We neglect our own personal needs and push our emotions aside. We do this because we think showing emotions makes us weak or that we’ll be labeled as the ‘angry black woman,’ but it doesn’t mean that at all. Showing emotions allows us to cope. We have to take care of ourselves because know one else will. When we speak up for ourselves it encourages others to do the same and finally we can escape the superwoman persona we’ve created.
This session was very emotional for me and many of the other women who attended and I loved that. We were able to talk about issues that we generally needed to talk about so we can treat ourselves better.
The next session I attended was yoga. I always thought yoga was about relaxation of the body and mind but I was wrong–yoga is a real sweat-worthy workout. There are a lot of positions that require certain amounts of body strength that I sadly don’t have, but the group of women I was with made the session enjoyable even if I felt like I was dying. This retreat encouraged me to get more into yoga but maybe a more simple, less active kind.
The yoga instructor, Tierra Fisher, was amazing as well. I loved that every woman the organization invited was African American. To see black women leading their lives and in job positions you don’t normally see them in is inspiring to me. The planning committee really paid attention to every detail and I think they invited black women to show representations of the many different things black women can do which I respect.
“I didn’t have something like this for myself when I was in school,” Fisher said, when I asked her why she decided to teach at the retreat. “Just being able to be apart of this in any sort of way, I was like hell yeah.”
After yoga, the last session was meditation. I felt I was a little biased at the beginning of this session because I never thought meditation was actually helpful and kind of pointless. However, after this class my mind was somewhat changed.
I always thought meditation was about escaping and being in sync with yourself. This is why I never saw meditation as worth doing because I always felt that I was already in sync with myself but the instructor encouraged me try something else. She simply said go to a happy place, and I did. I thought about my future and what I was working towards in life. I meditated for five minutes, and for the rest of the time I couldn’t wipe the smile of my face. I realized that meditation isn’t used just to calm and relax yourself, but to motivate you.
This retreat was needed. It allowed me to open up to new ways that I can take care of myself not just physically but emotionally too. I feel that Texas State should be influenced to have more events like this because having one once a year isn’t enough. This retreat gave women of color the chance to be themselves and talk about the things they go through with fellow women of color.
I will be happily attending the retreat next year, and also will be going to the upcoming Womxn of Color meeting on March 7. You can keep up to date on Womxn of Color events and many other POC organizations by following the Womxn of Color Twitter.
Featured image by Timia Cobb.