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On My Way

On My Way
Mar 24, 2020 by Jemila Pratt
Saturday, February 4th, on my way to CrossFit...

My feet in a pair of new Nike shoes at a Run with Hart 5k

I’m probably ten steps away from my porch, a man calls out to gain my attention. “I like your colors,” complimenting my turquoise tights and heather grey work out tank. 

He starts talking about a Kobe memorial at the forum. Said it wasn’t great and had one cheap balloon. 

I politely engage with a short sigh and “oh”, but remain focused on getting to the gym. 

He turns around and walks toward me as I cross the alley, and he steps uncomfortably close asking for a hug. 

Normally I would freeze. Normally I would shrink and stand speechless. Being caught off guard...

Who Are You?

Dec 25, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
I've long asked myself "who are you? and where do you come from"? More often I've stared and stared at every pore, scarf, and mole on my body trying to understand myself.

When I look in the mirror, I see curvature in my lips, uneven eyes, and skin decorated in beauty marks and scars. Underneath is a woman.

Today I am happy. The process to get here has been sidetracked by woes of growing up, sexual trauma, yet overcoming these obstacles and pit stops to become my most authentic self.


Several times I have attempted to write about my identity. It is something with which I have struggled with since at least the 1st grade.

Watched Lacey's doc and empathized. There were parts...

Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) Yoga

Kemetic (Ancient Egyptian) Yoga
Nov 03, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
Alkemy Poses

 Kemetic Yoga (KY will be used as an abbreviation), which focuses on principals of the ancient Egyptian system of deep breathing, physical movement based on geometric postures, and mediation. It has begun to surge in popularity and interest again, but was developed in the 1970s.  KY is derived from sages of Ancient Kemet and has several principles that include the ideas of vibration, gender, and rhythm. The postures are based on different gods and goddesses. For example, Neteru represents cycles of nature, Auset is undconditional love, Maat symbolizes balance and compassion (Maat Ka sequence).

At the end of May this year, I attended a Maat Ka class at The Tree South LA. The instructor, Lauren (Anu) Wolley Ross, got her start in...

Working on Wellness

Working on Wellness
Aug 15, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
Unlearning Complex Trauma and Negative Experiences

I didn’t write much about how my emotions dipped from positive, hopeful, and content to doubtful and bleak during July. Some of that time I spent denying it, conversely questioning what the hell happened. There was fear that depression would gain hold and that felt even more disappointing.

The main changes I noted happened after the onset of my menses.  For several weeks, I hadn’t been drinking enough water each day nor taking ashwagandha regularly, which may have contributed to a lull and difficult cycle. This particular episode gifted me with days of pain and roller coaster emotions and easily claiming the title of “One of the Worst Periods I’ve Had in a Long Time.” Simultaneously, a...

Lavender + Lit: An afternoon of poetry in a garden 7/21/19

Lavender + Lit: An afternoon of poetry in a garden 7/21/19
Aug 01, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
July proved to be a tough emotional month and I’ve engaged in some light reflection as to why issues are cropping up.  Despite these low emotions, I encouraged-dragged myself to attend a poetry at Underground Museumon a Sunday afternoon. I’d missed several other events hosted by The Free Black Women’s Library (FBWL) and couldn’t bear yet another. If you are new to this cool library, it is a mobile trading library comprised of books written by Black women and it's free! Started by OlaRonke Akinmowo in 2015, the library celebrates Black women in literature.

A generously warm and beaming sun lit the day and helped brighten my perspective. Besides, I love poetry and the last reading I attended has long been forgotten.

With this...

Headed Home: A journey to Sierra Leone

Headed Home: A journey to Sierra Leone
Jul 22, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
River Number 2 Beach: JaneSCK

“Una kushe. [1] Kushe! Welcome. You done cam!” [2] Grama seemed very happy to see us, which helped to lift my grogginess. Giving her a great hug, I felt a rush of joy. We had waited much too long to experience this moment. As she clapped and danced in excitement, I understood what it meant to be home, in Sierra Leone. With the civil war having just ended two years before our arrival, I felt unsure of what our beloved country had to offer. What destruction would we see? Who might we encounter? Where can’t we go? These questions cycled the corners throughout my thoughts as I traveled nearly 7,000 miles from Los Angeles.

Before reaching the embrace of my...

Notably.

Notably.
Jul 19, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
Part of this season’s intentions is to clear my space of clutter. After selling my beloved condo much quicker than anticipated, I moved out without much thought to purging and prioritizing items. With a recommitment to getting rid of items that aren't being used or those that don't bring me joy, I decided to focus on my library. Although I’ve tried this before with little success, it was time to be realistic about downsizing. When an opportunity to move into a new space appears, I want to be mindful of keeping items that emphatically bring me joy.

My library, as are many of my belongings, is suffocating in a variety of plastic bins tucked away in the laundry room, coat closet,...

A Well-Read Black Girl: On Meeting Glory Edim

A Well-Read Black Girl: On Meeting Glory Edim
Jul 18, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
This past Sunday, I attended a meet and greet with Glory Edim.

If you don’t know already, she is the author of Well-Read Black Girl and founder of the book club with the same name. 

The event was held at Reparations Club, which just opened its doors one month ago.

It’s a beautiful concept shop + community space that feels like walking into your good friend’s swaggy apartment. This friend happens loves literature, art, crystals, photography, fashion, color, and black history. Please go visit, because you absolutely have to feel the vibe in person.



Art and clothing for sale in Reparations Club

Greeted by Nadia, I walked around taking pictures before the event began. Several titles got my attention ,CRWN Magazine, Reparations NOW, Magical Negro,...

Literary Life

Literary Life
Jul 10, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
Photo cred: Christina Morillo

This month, I will outline and begin writing the last few chapters of my novel. It seems like something that has been delayed, especially because my last class focused on travel writing. Once this draft is complete, I plan to have a few people provide me with feedback and continue this loop a few times before finishing my book proposal and contacting agents.

There are a few short story ideas bouncing around and a continuation of Gita's story as another novel or two is also a possibility.

One of the barriers to writing is how closely tied I am to this experience, so it often leaves me emotionally exhausted, because of the intense trauma. I've healed enough...

Summer, you have arrived!

Summer, you have arrived!
Jul 08, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
Photo cred: Jeremy Bishop

I particularly enjoy the warmer months of the year for obvious reasons. But also because I get cold easily if the temperature is not 72 degrees or more. 

A few weeks ago, I posted about my Summer Equinox intentions and wanting to share them. As always, my journal housed several notes on areas that needed focus; health, self-care, creativity, dating/social life. 

Setting intentions by the season is new, typically I would write a list for the year. Having different or renewed intentions for each season might prove more useful and manageable. I think that each season will allow me to adjust to achieved growth or improvement that needs to be accomplished. Hopefully this will be more effective than...

Touch.

Touch.
Jul 05, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
Touch. 

Affection. 

Photo Cred: @nappy.co @shademgmt

These are just words, but their actions weigh heavily. They connotate caring, a specific tenderness, and even love.

Before leaving for a recent trip, my mom surprised me with affection; she hugged me. It felt slightly awkward and this brief moment stayed in my mind for days. 

For context’s sake, affection did not take priority in our household as I grew up. Personal responsibility, academics, and completing chores were the norm. Loving touches, kisses, and hugs were definitely not commonplace, but were reserved for special occasions like birthdays, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, and departure to/arrival from travel. To add another layer, being states and continents apart from most of my family, there were less opportunities to make affection...

DateThem.com

DateThem.com
Jun 13, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
Photo Credit: Melody Jacobs

This photo represents continuously moving forward and living my life fully in order to manifest all that I want.

By the end of 2018, I realized the clarity about my emotional needs. Steeped in contentment, I felt ready to meet people and socialize more often. With my writing schedule, exercise, and work there didn’t seem like much energy to go out, so I created a new profile on a popular dating site. 

Before submitting myself to scrutiny by a sea of potential dates, I sought feedback from friends about my pictures and chose the six that got the most positive reviews. Optimism seemed like a four-letter word, but it made its presence known while I sifted through all that...

Who is Nadia Maddy?

Who is Nadia Maddy?
Jun 12, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
Spotlight on Nadia Maddy, author of The Palm Oil Stain and founder of Indie Book Show Africa.

Nadia Maddy Photo Credit: Unusuality Productions: What Does Free Mean to You? Campaign

If you’ve been following me on Instagram (pop over and follow), you may have seen my recent post about the Yulisa Amadu Maddy Award in Creative Writing.

Yulisa Amadu Maddy was a writer, playwright, director, poet, actor, dancer, and writer from Sierra Leone. Decorated with several awards, including Sierra Leone National Arts Festival Award. Mr. Maddy is one of 136 writers commemorated in a stained glass window in the Pride Library for outstanding contribution to literature. The creative writing competition is being sponsored by his daughter, Nadia Maddy and PEN Sierra Leone...

No Does NOT Mean Convince Me

No Does NOT Mean Convince Me
Mar 08, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
A Miseducation Episode in the Art of Persuasion

In an effort to make more space on my iPhone, I am always trying to find pictures, memes, and whatever else I don’t need, so it can be deleted. Scrolling through all saved, but forgotten posts on Instagram, there was a SlutWalk post with someone holding a sign that read “No does not mean convince me.”

Here's an idea...

do NOT try to convince me

Photo by Aiony Haust on Unsplash

When I first saw this, it struck me how powerful and true this statement is. It eventually reminded me of a recent situation where I wish I remembered to say it.

So I was spending time with a friend after returning from a healing...

Trauma Healing Circle with Zabie Yamasaki

Trauma Healing Circle with Zabie Yamasaki
Jan 27, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
I am whole and still discovering pieces of myselfI  AM resilient AND STILL sensitive I AM learning AND STILL making mistakes along the way I AM growing AND STILL walking through grief I AM healing AND STILL need support Alex Elle

Letting Go

I’m feeling very fortunate that my schedule has finally aligned with Zabie’s so I could meet her in person. Nearly two years ago, I saw a news clip about a woman who ran a trauma-informed yoga class. And of course, I knew immediately that this glorious woman had to be found.

Zabie teaches a yoga class and even has a self-paced online course. This Friday I attended her trauma healing circle and yoga class with several other women. Having a safe space...

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins
Jan 27, 2019 by Jemila Pratt
I simply decided to write.

The idea is to write it so that people hear it and it slides through the brain and goes straight to the heart ---- Maya Angelou

When I was 8 years old, my entire life as I grew to love and feel at-home in was gone. The divorce of my parents and a sudden move to Pasadena, California became the catalyst for me to become an author.
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