And just like that it is the start of a new month. January made me really think about what I want for 2019. And one of the top things that keeps calling me is building on my faith and spirituality. I did not grow up going to church. I’ve never read the Bible. I did not do my first communion. I grew up understanding that there was a higher power, and that there was power in praying. My grandmother is Jehovah Witness, my cousin was a Mormon at one point. Most of my girl friends in High School would go to Catholic church on Sunday’s. I remember going to a church group because of my friend Gigi, and enjoying meeting other people my age. But when it came to speaking to the priest about certain questions, the answer was always just to have faith… I couldn’t trust something that I was not allowed to question.

But as I’ve gotten older, I have had moments that have tested me. Moments that have turned into months, where if it weren’t for faith and prayer I would still be lost and full of despair. This year, I want to figure out how to build that faith, I want to feel closer to God. I know that may sound super wild, but it is something I really need. I even listened to Gospel music recently, a genre I did not grow up with. And while I don’t fully know what this will look like, I hope that as my spirit seeks it, I am able to find something that works for me.

(this clip above from Living Single was how I discovered Cece Winans, don’t judge me)

I am happy, that we are in a moment in time where spirituality can take the form of many things, and that ‘church’ can be in your living room by the window as the sun gently hugs your face. I also know that many of our brothers and sisters are still persecuted for what they practice, and I pray that we as a society learn to be more understanding and welcoming of each other. When I do hear about other religions, I quickly reminded that they all have a lot in common.

Because of all this, this month we’re focusing on “THE INTERNAL GLOW UP”— where we’ll be discussing different denominations, faith, and how the exploration and or rejection of spirituality has helped you navigate the world as you see and experience it.

Additionally, I hope that you know that February is Black History Month. And while we always celebrate Blackness and Black Womanhood here at theGIRLMOB, we will also be partaking in these months celebrations! I personally was honored to be a part of a shoot that my good familia at TheCCNYC did with Squarespace called Thoughts Become Things.

The shoot was so beautiful. I looked around the room and thought ‘wow, I can’t believe I was asked to join all these powerful Black creatives’ — and then I remembered that while I was very grateful for that opportunity, I also must have something to offer otherwise I would not have been chosen to join. That my Afro-Latinidad and my Blackness are also important to the collective. A reminder to never question where God has put you.

May February bring you abundance, safety, stronger faith (in you), and a reminder that you’re not alone and that you have purpose even if you don’t yet understand what it is.

Peace & Light,

Yari B.