Genius Black:

Blessings and vibes from Black Owned Maine. Yo, got another episode for y’all, bringing it to you live. Not really. But what I did want to do is introduce to you a guest on our podcast. So I invite you to get into a comfortable place and a comfortable position. Sit down, stand up, lean back, do what you do because later in this episode, appropriately, will be a moment for you to share with us, a guided meditation. But upfront, I want to introduced, I want to introduce, excuse me, the guest that we have today, who is a nurse, a holistic healer, as well as a reiki practitioner. Welcome to Gaby Barboza.

Gaby Barboza:

Thank you.

Genius Black:

Right on. Thank you for being here with us today. We’re going to have a little conversation and like I said, we’re going to lead forward, later, to an actual meditation, that we really invite you all to share with us because we want to really improve your life by listening to this recording. But to get started, if it’s okay with you, Gaby, I would really like for you to talk a little bit about your personal story. And honestly, what drew you into and got you into holistic healing in general.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, so first thing I wanted to say, I always find it interesting when people in this space proclaim themselves as experts. Everything I say right now is kind of what I know at this point, to what the research that I’ve looked at has taught me and what my own body has taught me along the way. So I like to get that kind of out of the way. And just that the only thing that I can ever say for certain is that Black And Brown Lives Matter, basically. When I think about everything that I’m talking about, and so things might change. But at the end of the day, I always say that Black And Brown Lives Matter and racism exists.

Gaby Barboza:

So those are nonnegotiable to me. So my journey really started growing up, I grew up in a lower income household and although we didn’t really know that we were poor, we very much were. And my mom, she had an incredible way of raising us in a way that we really had everything that we thought to be true of what we needed. And so everything that I talk about, sometimes I feel bad because I don’t want it to sound like my mom wasn’t doing everything she could, because she truly was.

Genius Black:

I understand.

Gaby Barboza:

But yeah, so growing up, when I think about my access to quality nutrition, and preventative medicine as I know it now, I didn’t have. And so my mom was a single mom of three, pretty much doing it on her own and so we ate what we could eat. It wasn’t about what was going to fuel our bodies the best, or like a deep dive into nutrition. So I really see that as where my health issues that came later in life really started. I look back on when I really started doing a deep dive and not feeling like I could even digest proper nutrition. So feeling really bloated and just a caveat, there might be some things that I say, just because I am a nurse, that feel uncomfortable to some people.

Gaby Barboza:

But just symptoms, so bloating, and constipation, and things like that. I really attribute that back to my body never really knew how to digest foods like that. So when I was in 4th grade, I had my first grand mal seizure and so I developed epilepsy in the 4th grade. And we never knew what that was and I never knew a cause on that. And looking back, I can kind of see that I can do one plus one equals two, based on my nutrition and lack of preventative medicine, and just household toxins that I was surrounded by.

Gaby Barboza:

So in college it really came to a standstill. I went through some mental health issues in high school and never really understood them. And looking back, I can again attribute it back to the way I was eating, and living, and not sleeping well. And so in college I went to nursing school, so I am a nurse, now practicing in holistic medicine field. But in nursing school I just started seeing sicker and sicker people. And when we were in our clinicals, it felt like we were only treating the symptoms and we weren’t really looking at what caused all of this to be happening.

Genius Black:

Yeah, think there’s something to that, yeah. Yeah.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, so in the western world, we are very driven by money and very driven almost sometimes it feels like we need people to be sick because people that are sick make us more money. And I just couldn’t align with that. I was so frustrated in school because I felt like I just had this whole other part of me that was saying, there’s a better way. And so a lot of my journey is my own symptoms and needing to fix them on my own, and being my own advocate. So once I started, all these symptoms were manifesting in college, I really started researching and just went down a huge rabbit hole of naturopathic medicine and holistic healing. And although, there wasn’t a ton out there at that time, that was probably around like 2013, ’14.

Gaby Barboza:

It was extremely overwhelming and also extremely expensive to be able to see a naturopathic doctor. And so now my mission is really to bring that holistic healing to underprivileged communities and have it start from the ground up there. So we’re not just treating the symptoms later in life. So that’s really, I mean, in college I was on Vyvanse, an ADD medication, I was sleeping through my classes until I went to nursing school because I couldn’t, because I would have failed. But I was sleeping in my classes instead. And so I was exhausted and I knew there had to be a reason and I knew that it was going to go a lot deeper than where I was at and what I was learning in school at that point.

Genius Black:

Oh, right on. Wow, so you started to kind of see through… And I think this happens to a lot of people, through the reality. Like you’re tired, you’re feeling a certain way. But for you, you really started to peel back, do research, and figure out what’s the root? Where is it coming from? Why do I feel awful? Whatnot, yeah.

Gaby Barboza:

Absolutely, absolutely. I didn’t want a medication just to help me sleep. I didn’t want to be on Vyvanse, I didn’t want to be on antidepressants. So I took myself off antidepressants, which another thing I want to say, make sure you’re talking to your doctor if you ever take yourself off antidepressants, it’s really important not to just go cold turkey. But I didn’t want to be on all of these things that I was on to ‘help me feel better’. I wanted to know why I needed them in the first place.

Genius Black:

Right. Oh, I love that. And so for you, through the research and through realizations, I would imagine changing some of your behaviors, changing your kind of self nutrition, then you started to see results. So for you, I’m just trying to draw it together, that’s what led you towards the path of working into holistic healing.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, absolutely because I think growing up, we had this idea that I had incredible pediatricians, and I really, really look up to them. But I did have this idea that I could just go to my doctor and get a quick fix, be healed. No worries, it’s totally fine. And it’s great to have that attitude, like I can heal, that’s actually, we’ll talk about that later, is super important to believe you can heal because your body follows your thoughts. But at the same time, thinking that you can just rely on someone else, instead of being your own advocate, especially, especially within the black community, is so important.

Gaby Barboza:

And so when I went to my first naturopathic doctor, I kind of had the same idea, that I was just going to go to them and they were going to heal me, and I was going to be done. But when you heal holistically and you heal from a deep, deep cellar level, it takes a long time sometimes because you’re not just getting a medication that is obliterating your symptoms, you’re truly changing yourself from the inside out at a deep level. And so we have to have patience when we’re healing holistically.

Genius Black:

Wow. So one thing I just want to point out, you definitely just said, you just referenced healing yourself from the inside out, but at a cellar level.

Gaby Barboza:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Genius Black:

There’s a lot of cells in your body, right?

Gaby Barboza:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Genius Black:

And so I’m just thinking, as a listener right now, wrap your head around that. We’re not talking about fighting symptoms, we’re not talking about medication, we’re not talking about healing like your heart, or your left lung. We’re talking about, we were talking on a previous episode about what systemic means, right?

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah.

Genius Black:

That word comes up in a lot of these issues. We’re talking about a systemic level of healing, but internally.

Gaby Barboza:

Right, exactly, exactly.

Genius Black:

Yeah, okay, that’s awesome. Right on, right on. I wanted to also, because you referenced particularly for people that are black, and indigenous, and people of color, that self reliance on your healing, listening to your body, understanding your body, believing that you can heal your body. And of course healing your body, as opposed to relying on let’s say the people who are handed to you as the healers in your life. Because sometimes in our reality, I want to talk a little bit about some of these racial disparities in healing because this is real. And I think that-

Gaby Barboza:

So real.

Genius Black:

And then I noticed that when you were talking to me, you were talking about in terms of health, and then also in terms of yoga. So I want to hear a little bit about that. But I just think that as people of color we often talk about encountering racism, feeling, seeing, knowing, hearing. And there’s a lot of people who want to shut that down. Like, “You guys are just so addicted to always thinking. You’re always thinking about race, you always think it’s about color. Can you stop? If you stop focusing and talking on that, you will find that it gets better.” Right, okay. We know as black folks and as people of color, that shit’s just not real.

Genius Black:

However, I’m glad and I’m honored to have you here to talk about it from the inside out because again, I don’t know, I’m just going to be real. I feel like people just don’t believe us, they just literally don’t believe us when we say, “Yo, my doctor, my therapist, I was talking about how issues of race at my job affect me and they just want to give me a pill and tell me that I was bugging.” But I’m not because they’re not brown like me, and they’re not face… You know what I mean? They just don’t get it. They think that it’s an opinion thing instead of a reality thing. So I would really like to hear a little bit about both your experiences and your knowledge, but just whatever you would like to share about those racial disparities because I know that they are real.

Gaby Barboza:

Right. Yeah, so my first job out of nursing school, I began as a CNA at Maine Medical Center and I worked at Maine Med out of nursing school and finished in the emergency department. And so first of all, people don’t think racism exists in Maine. And as Black Owned Maine just had a post on for my friend, Ronny, his experience. But also, people don’t think that racism exists in Maine hospitals.

Genius Black:

Oh interesting.

Gaby Barboza:

And so I’ve actually had people tell me, “Oh, that would never happen at Maine Med. That would never happen here.” But it does. And so there’s this term called implicit bias, which is basically your subconscious, unconscious biases. So everyone had them, we all have biases, doesn’t matter, black, brown, white. But people have an implicit bias towards black and brown patients in general.

Gaby Barboza:

And so we see in the research that black women, and men, and those that aren’t gendered, anyone that is black, is given less pain medication because they are viewed as tougher. They are viewed as having a higher pain tolerance in the first place. So you’ll see that pain levels, pain ratings in black people is much higher than in white people because nurses, doctors just don’t even think about giving them more pain medication.

Genius Black:

Okay, so I got to say something here. And then I don’t want to throw you off, I want to continue. Please hold onto your train of thought.

Gaby Barboza:

Absolutely.

Genius Black:

But I’ve been in many conversations, I’ve been in debates, I’ve been in arguments. I’ve just even silently witnessed conversations where black and brown people bring, I’m not going to say bring up slavery, they bring up the effects of slavery, right? Which a lot of our America brothers and sisters don’t want to hear anything about slavery. It doesn’t even matter if what you’re saying is real. But I just want to point out that if you really track this back, this belief that black people are stronger, tougher, experience less pain, their bodies are more durable, it didn’t start yesterday.

Gaby Barboza:

Right?

Genius Black:

It didn’t start the week before that, okay? People always want these practical examples and they want to know, “Why do you guys keep bringing up slavery? Uh, just let it go.” Wait, are you telling me to let it go, or are you telling me that my doctor should let it go, in reality? Which one are you telling me? Because for instance, like you said, I went and pain in my chest and they wouldn’t even give me anything, while like legit, and I’m not trying to stereotype people. But there’s this happens who just happens to be addicted to opiates, and I can see that they’re a little worried about this person. They’re giving them meds, I’m just being real, right?

Gaby Barboza:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), totally.

Genius Black:

So I just think it’s interesting some of these examples where people, again, they have this gut reaction against black people always think about race. And they focus on it, and they won’t let it go. But are you actually paying attention to the direct tied in lines that go all the way back to slavery?

Gaby Barboza:

Right, and if we’re looking at the father, I believe he’s the father of gynecology, he experimented on black women without any pain relief, so-

Genius Black:

Wow.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. So I mean, it’s well documented.

Genius Black:

Well documented?

Gaby Barboza:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Genius Black:

So if you speak from ignorance, telling black folks that we need to forget about slavery, know that you are speaking from ignorance, not from knowledge. We’re not talking about your feelings and what you’re tired of hearing. We’re talking about facts and actual implications. Please continue.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. So I mean, on that note, that really is exactly what I’m saying. On that note, multi generational trauma is also very real. So I highly believe in what my ancestors endured in pain and emotions, if they weren’t able to completely heal from that, I am now carrying that until I heal from it. And I will now pass that along to my babies if I don’t heal from it, or at least work on it. And so when we’re looking at pain specifically, the pain and the lack of pain relief that my ancestors went through, I am now taking on. And so it could actually be that the pain tolerance is lower because we went through more pain. And so we need more pain medication than white people.

Genius Black:

Okay, I’m just saying, I’ve never thought about that. But realistically if you can track it back you can come to different conclusions than people automatically jumped to again, just because they’re tired of hearing about it or whatever.

Gaby Barboza:

Right because there’s a lot more trauma that their bodies went through.

Genius Black:

Yeah, I could narrow it down, just start talking about epigenetics and all this kind of stuff, right?

Gaby Barboza:

Right.

Genius Black:

And people don’t want to think about the details. They believe in science until you start scientifically saying, “Hey, we’re still going through some shit. Oh, oh, you don’t want to talk about it any more.” But sure.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, so I mean, just in stats alone and I’m going to make sure that I have them right. So black women are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth today.

Genius Black:

Three to four times more likely than?

Gaby Barboza:

Than white people.

Genius Black:

Okay.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, so black women have a higher chance of fibroids, which are often not cancerous. But also cause a myriad of symptoms. More likely to have fibroids and cervical cancer. And what this is due to is lack of access and lack of proper prevention, lack of treatment to black people.

Genius Black:

Right.

Gaby Barboza:

Well, I’ll say a couple more and then end on that one. So black children are more likely to die from surgery than white children, today. And if we’re looking at COVID right now, in Maine, as of June 21st, black people had the largest racial disparity gap for COVID. And black populations were 20 times more likely than white populations to have COVID in Maine.

Genius Black:

20 times more likely?

Gaby Barboza:

20 times, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Genius Black:

Wow.

Gaby Barboza:

So when people talk about racism and health disparity not happening in Maine, there’s data. There’s lots of it. Yeah.

Genius Black:

So let me say quickly because I understand sometimes when people listen, they go, “Well, what’s the cause of that?” You know what I mean? “Are you assuming it’s because of racism?” Well, we are inferring some things, and we are also observing, and we’re boiling down information. But again, when you’re willing to actually look at these things and break them down, which many people are not. I’m just going to be honest. They’re going to be ignorant and be reactive. They don’t even want to stop and think, what’s the other-

Gaby Barboza:

Like oh, maybe they’re not being responsible and yeah.

Genius Black:

Yeah. Yeah, obviously that’s a big part of it. Don’t we know that about black people, right? But they don’t think about like, okay, so your mom and grandmother had horrible experiences with white doctors. Oh, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, guys, you guys are listening, are there mad black doctors in Maine? Oh no? Okay, so shut up. So what I’m saying is that, if historically, you’ve been treated a certain way, rightfully so, you react by saying, “Well, those aren’t the people I can trust. Those people seem, I don’t know, like they don’t seem about me.”

Genius Black:

And yeah, sometimes you go to the doctor, I’m not going to make this about the police, but it’s the same thing. People always want to be like, “Oh well, who you going to call when it goes bad?” You do realize you’re asking a brown person, I’m probably not going to call the police when things are going bad. I know you feel safe, right? And I know that your doctor makes you feel okay and accepted. But have you ever considered how that same doctor maybe won’t vibe with me, right? And so over time, there’s nutritional issues, there are monetary issues, and financial things and where people live. All of that leads to, like you said, lack of care. It’s not just because of people being irresponsible with their health, right?

Gaby Barboza:

Right.

Genius Black:

If you were in the same shoes, you wouldn’t go to this person who doesn’t believe what you say when you’re in pain. Why would you keep paying your money or whatever it may be to go to that person who just doesn’t seem to respect you. And then when you go look for black and brown doctors, they’re just not to be found. People don’t consider that, right? But then they hear those stats about black folks and brown folks dying or being… You said it was-

Gaby Barboza:

Diagnosed.

Genius Black:

Diagnosed, not dying, excuse me, which is very different.

Gaby Barboza:

Black women dying three to four times more than white women in childbirth, so yeah.

Genius Black:

Right, which matters. So I’m just saying, I mean, thank you for the statistics. I just want to have people play with that in their mind a little bit. Like the why, it’s what we’re talking about. We’re not just talking about reflectively looking back at the statistics and then judging white people. That’s not the point, the point is what happened? Why is it that way? And you can very quickly come to understand, oh, there’s factors here besides how good the doctor is, or how much the brown person wouldn’t take care of themselves. Those are not the only two factors at play here.

Gaby Barboza:

Right, exactly.

Genius Black:

Right, at your local hospital, by the way.

Gaby Barboza:

Right. Right here.

Genius Black:

Not just far away, stop with that thinking that this is all far away. So I’m still listening.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. No, so that’s really where we’re at and the underlying cause that we always have to get back to, is the communities that are marginalized and oppressed, and that is black and brown communities. And so we have to look at why that is. And I mean, why black and brown communities are the ones living in the lower income areas, that are more heavily populated. So social distancing to them, I mean, come on. How are they going to-

Genius Black:

Distance, how?

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, how are they expected to do that. So we have to look really again, systemically and why this is happening. I think it’s also really important to point out, and get away from the stereotype that all black America people are poor. So for what we’re talking about, that is what we’re talking about, but there’s also so many prosperous black and brown people. But when we look at how they got there, they went through way more hurdles and really had to speak up. And at the end of the day, advocate, which is my biggest takeaway and I hope, is what people are hearing is advocating for yourself. And although you shouldn’t have to as much as we do, and that’s what we need to change, like right now you do.

Genius Black:

Yes, but you still have to, even if it’s unfair, even if it’s wrong, or else that’s when you end up with the short side of the stick.

Gaby Barboza:

You’re just on the system, yeah and it’s just happening.

Genius Black:

Can you mention, I mean and only because you had kind of mentioned it to me briefly to me before, you had talked about yoga?

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. So yoga as in the disparities within yoga?

Genius Black:

With the disparities, yeah.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. So, if we’re thinking about the history of yoga, it’s really interesting on how it got to the western world. So one of the people that brought it over to The United States, her name was Indra Devi. And she came over, she studied in India. She was a female and originally was denied to even study because yoga was a man’s world. Yoga started with 12-year-old little boys and that’s why a lot of the postures don’t take into account women’s hips in general. So she brought it over and she started teaching to white, wealthy women in Hollywood.

Gaby Barboza:

So basically housewives in Hollywood. And so it completely transformed from Indian culture and just the roots, it’s not just Indian, but just the roots of yoga in general, to white, wealthy women. And if we think about it now, if you look at… I mean, since June there’s a lot that’s changing in the yoga community. But if we look at who is doing yoga, especially on social media, you see a lot of thin, and I always like to say there’s nothing wrong with thin people. I think body shaming in all ways is wrong. But what you see is a lot of thin, white, young women.

Genius Black:

Yeah, we rock with thin, white women, whatever. I just want to be clear because again, I know how people take these things in. We are not speaking against white people, thin people, thin, white people. We’re simply observationally saying that when things were brought over from a foreign nation, and that’s what it was kind of this where it was planted here. And so you see culturally, those kind of vines, and roots, and things going out. And those communities are still central years, and years, and years later. That’s more observational. Yes, maybe we’re talking about some ways in which that is problematic, but keep your eyes and ears open, right? The point we’re making isn’t against any of those people. We’re keeping it real.

Gaby Barboza:

Right, and they’re some of our biggest allies. So there’s nothing wrong, I just always want to speak to that, to make sure it’s not feeling. So in the yoga community, over the years, something called spiritual bypassing started to happen. Basically what that means, I’m actually going to read the actual definition from a book. It’s called Toward a Psychology of Awakening. So spiritual bypassing is using spiritual ideas and practices to sidestep personal, emotional, unfinished business to store up a shaky sense of self or belittle basic needs, feelings, and developmental tasks with a goal of enlightenment.

Gaby Barboza:

So basically what that means is, I’m sorry that I did this or I said this, let’s just go on the topic of this racist comment. But you need to look within myself and see that I am an enlightened human, and it’s okay because I am still a good person. So it’s completely undermining an emotion, and an experience of a collective group of people and using yoga as a way to get out of the emotions and the feelings. Instead of using yoga to truly look at them. I can say that my greatest emotions and my greatest kind of epiphanies have come within my yoga practice, it’s not because I stopped thinking about my emotions.

Genius Black:

That’s actually really powerful. We were chatting earlier, just the folks at Black Owned Maine in general, about cultural appropriation and what does that mean? And what is not? And just some of the fringes, and edges, and like even something that we were all considering ourselves, like even something that we were all considering ourselves, like… Like should we do that? Because I think you got to have those talks, right?

Gaby Barboza:

Of course, yeah.

Genius Black:

That’s real. But part of what you’re saying is, and I’ve seen it, you’ve got these decent people or whatnot, or whatever, and they practice yoga, and they feel like they’re centered, and there’s these ways it helps your body, and your chakras, and all this. But it’s like, “Yo, you still fucked up. Like I hear what you be saying, right? I see who you talk to, who you’re real uncomfortable around. Like… I’m not sure the yoga’s doing for you what you think it is. But I’m sure it’s doing something.”

Gaby Barboza:

Of course. It’s become a very selfish practice.

Genius Black:

Wow.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah.

Genius Black:

I’m just saying, I never really thought about it. But now that you said, I’m like no, no, I’ve actually seen this for years.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah and when you think about it and you think about these people that are super just at peace with everything, everything’s fine.

Genius Black:

Everything’s good, yeah.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. Well, that’s extremely selfish because that’s actually not true. But it’s important to find peace within yourself, but it’s also important to keep a stance on social justice and realize that things are happening around you, and you have to stick up for it.

Genius Black:

So you just said two things I think are critical. Keep a stance, which means pick a side, right? And then you’re talking about acting, like doing something, standing up. And I just want to quickly say, I’ve been recently kind of chatting online with some people that I know from when I grew up in Texas. And one of them, my charges to them was like, “Yo, stop with your toxic positivity.” I know-

Gaby Barboza:

That’s spiritual bypassing. That’s literally, yeah. Exactly.

Genius Black:

I know that you think that being utmostly positive at all times is the key to love and life moving forward, getting over racism, sexism, everything, right? Wrong. And the example I gave was a black or brown person gets murdered in the street, two states over from you and everyone sees the video. And then when people are online talking about it, you jump in and say, “Stop being so negative, it’s not always about race, right? We need to focus on love and unity.”

Genius Black:

And you’re literally interrupting their mourning, and their grief, and the processes that have to happen for people to be okay in terms of mental health, and spiritual health. You’re jumping in and forcing positivity as that’s the fix. We don’t know what’s going on. Your level of positivity is actually what we need in the midst of mourning, that is toxic, that is painful, that is abusive. But they feel like they’re so grounded and they’re so positive, that they’re not going to let this bring them down.

Gaby Barboza:

It’s easier, it’s easier, you.

Genius Black:

It’s way easier, believe it or not, to stay adamantly positive no matter what happens. But it’s very disrespectful to the groups of people that it’s happening to.

Gaby Barboza:

Right.

Genius Black:

So toxic positivity is real, chill with that. It’s all right, we ain’t going to let it keep happening. Yeah, don’t worry. Don’t worry, we’ll help you chill with it. But anyway-

Gaby Barboza:

And when you think about it, so when you’re being positive all the time and everything is great, you’re really repressing those emotions. So I don’t know anyone that looked at that video of George Floyd’s murder and didn’t have an emotional response. I mean, if they did, we don’t have to talk about anyone that hadn’t-

Genius Black:

There’s something else going on, right? Yeah.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, that’s another conversation.

Genius Black:

Got you.

Gaby Barboza:

But when you’re repressing that and you’re not identifying like wow, this really charged something in me, you’re repressing it and then some time down the line whether it’s tomorrow or in 10 years, it’s going to come back up because it’s going to knock at your door and your body. And so that’s a huge thing, is when we talk about stress and all of that, is identifying those emotions and not saying that, “Oh, I’m not stressed, I’m fine. I just feel a little anxious.” You can say, “I have stress and this might be why.” And kind of writing that down and not repressing emotions. I don’t think that’s healing, yeah.

Genius Black:

I’m there with you. Okay. So, Gaby, what you were talking about that stuck with me, is realistically, kind of not just the reality of the racial disparities in healthcare, in the yoga community. We talked about kind of why they are there, where they came from, at least some of them. And kind of how it’s played out in some ways. Obviously part of what I get from that is that in black and brown communities there’s just an increased level of stress, probably anxiety surrounding these realities. And what I want to talk about for a second is some of the ways that you’ve mentioned to me, and that you know of, to kind of escape that place, right? To kind of take more control over your health and wellness, holistically.

Gaby Barboza:

Right. Yeah, so part of and what we were talking about is making sure your not identifying with the emotions, but recognizing them. And so it’s really important to name them and realize that all stress is bad. What ends up being, I mean, as humans, we are innately meant to have stress responses. But when we are stuck in that stress, fight or flight response, that’s when sickness and chronic illness happens.

Genius Black:

When you’re stuck in fight or flight?

Gaby Barboza:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), so if you think of like we’re always like wheels turning. In our society, we’re like, “Get up, okay, what are we doing today? What’s the agenda?” And then we have all of these things coming in, especially with our phones and just so many beautiful things of technology, but also how do we turn off from it a little bit? And so stress within black communities especially is important because we know that black and brown people, like we’ve been talking about, are at an increased risk of stress, anxiety, feelings of not feeling safe.

Gaby Barboza:

And so if you can view stress as separate from you. Like I am not stressed, I have stress. Stress is something that happens in my life, but I am not identifying with stress. So it doesn’t become part of your identity, basically. And so some things to get out of fight or flight, the very first step is believing that you can get out of it. And I do the same thing, when we’re in the current state of stress, we’re like, “How could I ever not feel this way? This is so normal. I’ve always felt this way.”

Genius Black:

Because you feel overwhelmed, and inundated.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah.

Genius Black:

Can you quickly just talk about what is, I understand fight or flight being your response, just describe that quickly because we’re talking about how to get out of it. I just want to make sure, maybe some people don’t know.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for saying that. And so basically where it starts, is in the nervous system we have a sympathetic nervous system and a parasympathetic nervous system. So your sympathetic nervous system is that fight or flight response. So back when we were hunting our food, basically, when we were approached, when we had to run and hunt, that was the sympathetic nervous system. And that’s usually, typically the only time that, that would engage. So, that’s when the cortisol is pumping. That’s when the adrenalin is pumping, that’s when we are just focused. Our digestion gets thrown to the wayside because we are focused on the task at hand.

Genius Black:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s a natural response. Certain hormones get flooded, your body stops digesting, you’re ready for something.

Gaby Barboza:

Right and there’s no sense of sleep in sight. You are not resting. On the other hand, the parasympathetic nervous system is the rest and digest, which is the body calming down. So that’s when we, usually, when we’re eating, we’re supposed to be in that state. But if you think about it, our society, we’re eating in the car, we’re eating on the go, we’re eating around our phone, we’re watching TV. So just those small activities are impeding our digestion. And so we always want, depending on your activity, you want to be in the state that we’re meant to be in. And so when you’re working out, you’re running, you want that adrenalin, it’s important.

Genius Black:

Right, get heightened.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, exactly. Like when you’re getting ready for a big performance, you want a little bit of that to get you-

Genius Black:

Right, that’s how you attune in awareness, you’re ready to go. You’re not worried about feeling hungry, you don’t feel that.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, definitely and that’s why when you think about it, when you get stage fright or something like that, the last you’re going to do is eat because you don’t-

Genius Black:

Correct because you’re going to throw up. But anyways, yeah-

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, exactly. And so it’s really important to distinguish the two, so I’m glad you asked that question and understand that neither are necessarily good or bad. It’s just that they have a time and a place.

Genius Black:

Yes and you were talking about, okay, so some of the ways to get out of fight of flight because people end up stuck there, it sounds like.

Gaby Barboza:

Right, absolutely. And that’s what leads to chronic illness. And so, one of the first things we can do and I would say, the most important thing is optimizing your sleep. And so sleep is really where we regenerate, it’s where our liver detoxes. It is so important to sleep, to rest your body. Not just to feel rested in the morning, but because your body goes through multiple again, deep cellar processes while you’re sleeping.

Gaby Barboza:

So if you’re not sleeping enough and you’re not getting deep sleep, I don’t know want to say you can count on, but you might feel good for the next day because you’re running on adrenalin. And so that’s why some people say, “Oh, I can go two hours sleeping and I’ll be fine, and the next day I’m fine.” But it’s because you’re running on adrenalin. And we don’t want to be running on adrenalin. And so, one of the big things that I do for my sleep and people think I’m crazy, is I tape my mouth shut at night. But yeah, it’s really weird when you think about it. But my sleep has deepened incredibly from it.

Genius Black:

Can you tell me a little bit about that because I mean, just beyond the image because I’m like yo, this is… Is this a scary movie, or yeah.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, for sure, for sure. When I first-

Genius Black:

What kind of tape? No, nevermind.

Gaby Barboza:

No, seriously, I can tell you what kind of tape, that’s important. It’s not duct tape. And so what you do is, you get a tiny piece of medical tape and you do it from top to bottom and that seals your lips shut. It basically is just training your body to breathe through your nose. And when you breathe through your nose you initiate, and you activate, and you perpetuate the parasympathetic, so the rest and digest system. So if you think about people that have sleep apnea, they’re breathing through their mouth, they’re drooling. Their sleep is horrible until they can figure out how to retrain that sleep.

Genius Black:

Yeah and it brings their life down overall.

Gaby Barboza:

Exactly, you’re exhausted.

Genius Black:

That’s interesting. Yeah, wow.

Gaby Barboza:

And so the mouth taping is free, I love free medicine. I mean, it’s a little bit of tape. So super cheap, super cheap.

Genius Black:

You got to buy the tape though, or borrow some tape, it’s good.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, borrow some tape. Honestly, look in your first aid kit, you probably have some. And so once you do that, you increase your nitric oxide, which you can look at the benefits of that. We could get all into nitric oxide, but there’s a ton of benefits of it. And it helps reduce snoring, if it’s originating in the mouth. Sometimes people have nasal snoring, which is different. And so it just gets you into the deep sleep. So sleep, I would say, is probably one of the most important things.

Gaby Barboza:

Other ways to help your sleep is to get early morning sun in your eyes. So morning sun, it doesn’t need to be 5:00 AM. I mean, it would be amazing if you were up at sunrise. But I try to be realistic. So early morning sun actually starts the production of melatonin. And so we always hear people taking melatonin, which can be really, really good for people. A lot of people need it at night. But if we can get ourselves, again, getting to that root cause, to produce our own melatonin. One of the things is getting the sun in your eyes in the morning, which is really interesting. Another thing is dimming your lights. So think about our ancestry before electricity.

Genius Black:

Sure.

Gaby Barboza:

They got up with the sunrise, went to bed with the sunset. It’s not as realistic in our society today. We’re not going to go to bed at 7:00 PM in the winter. But if you decrease your lights, it’s also not always realistic to not be on your phone, so I try not to tell people, “Oh, stop being on your phone at sunset.” Our society kind of dictates otherwise and so-

Genius Black:

See, this is the perfect time to post to IG, what do you mean?

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, exactly. So it’s like what? Google told me I’ll get the most responses.

Genius Black:

Because Google knows when you need sleep. Man.

Gaby Barboza:

For sure. And so something I do because just with past traumatic experiences, I feel a little anxious sometimes if I have my phone on silent and so I always check it. So I’m always like, “Okay, is there a text? Is there a call? Has something happened?” And so what you can do is just put your phone on loud, especially if you’re home, just put your ringer on. And then you won’t have to worry about checking it. If that speaks to you, if it doesn’t, put on silent and put it in the closet, it’s amazing.

Gaby Barboza:

Put it on airplane mode. Airplane mode at night is amazing because it’s not emitting any of the magnetic rays that are going to disrupt your sleep. So a lot of people sleep with their phone next to their head. There’s actually research that, that can lead to tumors. And so if you can, charge your phone either in another room or away from the head of the bed. That increases your sleep quality incredibly. And so that is on sleep. The other things-

Genius Black:

Can I just-

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, of course.

Genius Black:

I want to interject real quick because first of all, this is super dope. Yes, we’re talking about how certain people can be kind of shoved into this permanent fight or flight, we’re talking about black and brown people and what it’s like to kind of maneuver through western medicine and the doctors in this neighborhood, my neighborhood, your neighborhood, all the neighborhoods. But obviously if you’re paying attention, you recognize that this is advice for all y’all, everybody. Black, white, brown, everything, doesn’t matter size, shape. Literally, take this in for what it is. We’re talking about holistic healing. This deep cellular healing that we’re talking about. And humans benefit from this, just want to say that.

Gaby Barboza:

All humans, exactly. And so wherever you’re at, I always provide, not advice, but just pointers for anyone. No matter their income level or anything. So something, if you do want to spend money, is blue light blockers. So you can, for free, you can put your phone dark mode. But you can also get blue light blockers, which I always have on. They’re yellow at night and that’s if I am on my phone, it’s stopping the… If you notice, you’ll get a little sleepy, but then you look at your phone and you’re awake because that is just triggering the brain to be on.

Genius Black:

Yeah, so I have a question. You notice my glasses are blue?

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah.

Genius Black:

My glasses are always blue. People is always like, “Yo, are those shades?” I be like, “I’m not that cool. These are actually prescription glasses. I just like them to be blue.” And so I don’t know, everyone thinks that I just wear shades all day. But is it like killing my sleep by always having these blue lenses on?

Gaby Barboza:

No. I mean, I don’t know enough on the exact lenses. But I would say if anything, it’s darkening, does it feel darker?

Genius Black:

Oh yeah. They definitely work like shades.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. So if anything, in the morning you just want some time without them because you want to be exposed to the light in the daytime. But in the nighttime you don’t. So the yellow lenses are really, to my understanding, is blocking the blue light.

Genius Black:

Okay, sorry, that was definitely a very selfish question. I was just like, “I’m going to ask in case she knows.” Yeah-

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, we’ll have to look more on the blue specifically.

Genius Black:

Okay, we’ll research it. Cool, cool.

Gaby Barboza:

So yeah, so we talked about stress. The other thing is nutrition. And so if you think about food, there’s this old saying that you are what you eat. And I never am on a food shaming pathway. I think in my original journey, I had a lot of shame around food myself because I was like, “Well, I’m only going to eat this now and I’m never going to eat that.” And all of these things. But that again, is not realistic. And so never food shaming, I want that to be on the forefront. But if you think about the food you’re eating as what, again, is literally regenerating yourself.

Gaby Barboza:

So the things that you put in, the nutrition that you put in is what your body is responding to. So if it’s only eating sugar and processed foods, then that’s what your body is made of. No wonder I was exhausted growing up, I literally grew up on Ring Dings. That’s what I wanted to eat, no matter if my mom put a vegetable in front of me or not. I went home and I ate my frozen Devil Dog, and my pasta, and all these things. And so, if I think about why I was so exhausted and depressed, no wonder. I literally, that’s what I was eating. I was causing a blood sugar crash in my body. And it makes sense and so food. Sleep, stress, food.

Genius Black:

When you hear someone who understands, talk about it. You’re like, “Oh yeah, that right. I remember, that week it was rough. I didn’t feel good, but I just kept eating crap.”

Gaby Barboza:

And that’s a response, to keep eating it. Yeah. Yeah.

Genius Black:

Yeah. Yeah and you don’t feel any better. And you’re like… What do I do?

Gaby Barboza:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Genius Black:

Yeah. Yeah, no, it’s very real.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah and then when you start optimizing your nutrition, and you start eating vegetables, a lot of people get frustrated because they get bloated. And they’re like, “I can’t eat vegetables because I don’t feel good after.”

Genius Black:

What is my body doing?

Gaby Barboza:

Exactly and it’s because your body’s not used to that much fiber. So I urge people just to give it time. It took me a good amount of time, you can ask my family. I used to go to restaurants and eat like two things because I just wouldn’t feel good. And all my vegetables I would cook and I still usually do because cooked foods are easier to digest and so don’t get discouraged-

Genius Black:

But they do have less vitamins and stuff too though.

Gaby Barboza:

Stuff happens. Yeah, when you’re cooking there’s better ways than others. Like if you’re just searing it, like high temperature baking it, then it’s not as great as steaming, which won’t release as much… And then if you are boiling something, the water is actually super nutritious because it’s coming out into the water. Yeah.

Genius Black:

Get your knowledge up, okay.

Gaby Barboza:

So it’s really important in the holistic healing field to not get discouraged the first week you’re doing something because it just takes time again to have your body adapt and remember, “Oh wow, yeah. I know how to digest that. That’s what I want.”

Genius Black:

Well and because my mind goes back the kind of intercellular healing. We’re not talking about blowing your nose to get something out of your nasal cavity. I mean, for real, the cells that literally make up your body, right?

Gaby Barboza:

Right.

Genius Black:

You’re talking about a process that actually affects the inside of those as they already are. So obviously, a week of some gas or bloating might throw you off and it might feel weird. But you have to understand what you’re really going for, yeah. I dig that.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, and then in turn, that’s what is influencing your hormones. A lot of people have thyroid issues, but if you think about it, what are you feeding your thyroid? If you’re feeding it sugar every day all day, then it’s probably going to be a little sluggish. And so just empowering yourself to think about the free medicine, low cost medicine that we talk about and why. Not just because I think that our society is… Yeah, of course we shouldn’t eat sugar, but why? And so once you know the why, you can really implement it.

Genius Black:

Absolutely, absolutely. Do you have any other tips or focus points? Because I’m hella curious.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. So I think I have a bunch and I wrote them down, so I wouldn’t forget them. But I’m starting nutrition school in I think, in a week and a half. And so I’ll have a bunch more too, once I continue-

Genius Black:

No, we might have to have you back on, just because we’re talking about holistic, right? So for some people some things are going to make sense than others, just realistically, whether it be their life flow, they have kids, or they’re single, or they travel, or whatever. So I think that would be interesting, to have you back on, to like just kind of help expand it out a bit because at Black Owned Maine, hence anyone who’s been following us and the whole idea of don’t talk, act, it’s really about action. So if you can give people more actions, more behaviors they can change or examine, and give them awareness. I think that’s very valuable. So I’d say maybe we do like one or two more and then we can move on to the meditation.

Gaby Barboza:

The meditation, okay. Yeah.

Genius Black:

I’m excited for that.

Gaby Barboza:

Let me look. Okay, so I’ll do two more.

Genius Black:

Okay.

Gaby Barboza:

If people aren’t familiar with the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen, it’s a great way to figure out what you should buy organic.

Genius Black:

I love the name of it. Go ahead, because I don’t know about that.

Gaby Barboza:

Okay great. Yeah, so-

Genius Black:

The Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen?

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, so-

Genius Black:

It’s a movie or a band. Okay.

Gaby Barboza:

I believe it’s the Environmental Working Group and they put out every year, the Clean Fifteen, which is the vegetables that even when grown conventionally and not organically, they have the lowest amount of pesticides. And so typically, the fruits and vegetables with a thicker skin can withstand because you’re taking the skin off anyway. And so the pesticide might be on the skin, but you’re not ingesting as much. The Dirty Dozen is the fruits and vegetables that ideally, you’re always buying organic because they have a thin skin or you eat the skin, and so you’re ingesting those pesticides, which is a whole other podcast about what pesticides do to you.

Genius Black:

But there’s like a rule of thumb, what you’re saying is like these things can kind of be your go-tos or not.

Gaby Barboza:

Right and that helps the budget because you’re like, “Well, if I can’t buy all organic,” then you can kind of look at what is important and what necessarily could be better. Another thing you can do with those foods, is most people have baking soda in their house, you can put it in a wash of baking soda. So put your fruits and vegetables, you get home, put it in a huge bowl of baking soda. If you have apple cider vinegar, that’s amazing too. So both of those together, and it’s been shown to take off the pesticides. So yeah, those are two things you can do. And then another way to save money when you’re buying fruits and vegetables is buying frozen isn’t bad. So typically like organic frozen food is frozen at peak freshness, and so it’s actually super nutritious because they’re not going to freeze rotten vegetables. So you know that it was really good food at the time it was frozen.

Genius Black:

I actually was reading a book about self discipline. But this one guy, he said a lot of things where I was like, “Man, I don’t know about that, bro.” But he did say that he’s a big fan of buying like mad, fresh berries of different sorts, strawberries, blueberries. And then he just freezes most of them because then you can make smoothies for like weeks, like you said.

Gaby Barboza:

Right, freeze kale.

Genius Black:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and you get it at the perfect time and then you freeze it and it kind of gets well, frozen at that. And then when you go ahead and you mix it up, or use your food processor, or your blender, or whatever you’re using, because I mean, who cares if it’s frozen if you’re just going to… to it anyway, right?

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Genius Black:

So I just, I think that vibes with what you’re saying. You can buy the stuff frozen or you can buy it fresh and then freeze it yourself. Either way, be empowered, but know that you’re getting those vitamins and you know what I mean?

Gaby Barboza:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Genius Black:

And also, you’re not boiling it or cooking it, you’re just eating it as is.

Gaby Barboza:

Right.

Genius Black:

Yeah, that’s cool.

Gaby Barboza:

Right, yeah. Exactly, exactly. So yeah, I would say I have ton more, but those things that I would prioritize.

Genius Black:

Sweet. Okay, we’re going to have her back because I know y’all want to hear the ton more, but not right now. Right now what we’re going to do is move forward because we’re talking about holistic healing, and we’re talking about how just people in general can, I don’t know it can be tough to deal with our kind of medical industry, and all the drugs, and all the lobbyists. And just all the stuff that they make happen that don’t help us, honestly, or that I mean, keep us sick. But one of the things that we also were talking about is meditation. And we’re talking about how to get your mind out of fight or flight and how to get yourself into a good mental, and some people would say a spiritual space. So I’m going to let you take over and you can kind of introduce and do whatever you want. I’m trying to use my calmer voice because I’m always used to hype, so much hype. But I’m calm right now, and I’m going to get calmer.

Gaby Barboza:

Perfect. Okay. So I first just want to point out that meditation and deep breathing can be a little uncomfortable, and that’s a normal feeling. And so go into knowing that what comes up is normal, always. And so help yourself to be the most comfortable you can right now. We’re sitting up, but if you can, get into comfortable clothing, if you’re not already. I mean, unbutton your pants if you have to, just so you can be comfortable. Try not to be restricted, yeah.

Genius Black:

You can pause this too. You could pause this right now. That was a natural break I just gave you to pause and then you can come back with comfy clothes. You got comfy clothes on now, we’re good.

Gaby Barboza:

Super important. Okay, we’re here. And so lay down if that’s comfortable to you and just get in a quiet space. And if that’s not possible, that’s okay. Just maybe put some headphones in and just get in a comfortable spot. And so let’s just start by taking a really big, deep belly breath. Try not to start in the chest, start in the belly. And so let’s just do one right now. And you can decide to breathe out of your nose, or breathe out of your mouth, whichever is comfortable to you. But if you can, try to inhale through your nose. Let’s do another one, and exhale. So we’re going to do two more, inhale, exhale. One more, inhale. So really take up space with your breath. Don’t be ashamed of your breathing. The louder and deeper you can breathe, the better, often.

Gaby Barboza:

So just try to breathe, when we’re going through this, in a cyclical manner, so that there’s no end point. And so you’re not coming to a point in this specific meditation, to a point of breathlessness. You’re just always deep breathing, and exhaling, and deep breathing, and exhaling. And that can kind of keep you in that rhythm, instead of having an end point. So what we’ll do is, we’ll start to really tune into our surroundings, the things that you hear, the way that your body feels right now. If there’s any tension anywhere in your body, and if there isn’t, that’s great. Just really think about it.

Gaby Barboza:

Think about the emotions that are coming up. What are they attached to? And you don’t have to empty your mind, I think it’s really important to know you don’t have to empty your mind. You’re just observing at this point. You’re observing the emotions, you’re observing maybe where they came from. You’re not being super analytical, but you’re just kind of looking at them, like they’re kind of outside of your body. And so just start to do that. I’m going to give you some time, just kind of observe what’s coming up and maybe nothing’s coming up. Nothing has to come up. But just breathe into it. So you can inhale and exhale. Great and we’re going to do a body scan.

Gaby Barboza:

So start to think about your feet. We often forget about our feet, they carry us through life, they hold a lot of stress. When we massage our feet, we realize how much stress they actually hold. So start to think about them and if they feel tense at all, if they don’t feel tense, that’s fine. And kind of splay them out, so if you’re laying down, just splay them out, release the tension of keeping them in a straight line. And breathe in and release, and relax into them. Traveling up, start to think about your ankles.

Gaby Barboza:

So your left ankle, what’s your left ankle doing? Think about any tension that it might be holding and release it on your exhale. Think about your right ankle. You have two ankles and they’re different. So think about the right one now, inhale and exhale. And you’re welcome to stay at any point of your body that you feel like you need to focus on. And I’m going to move on, but don’t feel like you have to move on with me. And so think about your calves, your left calf, what is it doing? What is it feeling like? Release the tension, release the grip of the muscle, and release it as you exhale.

Gaby Barboza:

Think of the right calf, what’s the right calf doing? Any tension that it’s associated with? Release and exhale. Think about your knees. Your knees hold a lot of weight and they’re very strong, even though we tend to tell them that they’re not, they are. They hold a lot of our body weight and so breathe into the left knee and exhale any tension away. And breathe into your right knee and exhale any tension away. And again, you can stay there or you can move on with us. So we’re going to move to the left thigh.

Gaby Barboza:

So from the knee to the hip area, that’s what we’re focusing on, on the left side. Breathe into the left thigh, and exhale to release. Breathe into the right thigh, and exhale to release. And now we’ll move to the hips. And so you can just keep breathing that cyclical breath, it doesn’t need to be when I’m saying inhale and exhale, it’s just a cue. So we’ll think about the hips, we’ll think about the left side of the hip. And breathe into it and exhale. And you can touch this part of your body to really get connected with it.

Genius Black:

Yeah, I had that urge, but I was like, “Don’t just grab your hip, bro.”

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah, absolutely. Do it, please. Yeah. It helps see that mind body connection. Yeah, absolutely. So hold onto your hips, you can hold onto both of them or put both hands on your left side and breathe into it as you inhale and exhale, release any tension. So your hips actually store your emotion, so if you’re feeling tight in the hips, you might have some emotion that you need to come to face with-

Genius Black:

It’s getting real, yo. Yeah.

Gaby Barboza:

So breathe into the right hip, inhale and exhale. Again, you can choose to stay here or move with us. So we’re going to move to the abdomen. And so this is a big part of the body that holds some tension because of our society. So we’re taught to suck in our bellies and keep it tight. But I want you to make your belly as big as you’ve ever had it. And so when you breathe in, breathe into your belly and really expand it and then exhale, knowing that it’s okay to have a big belly. You don’t always have to keep it tight and toned. So let’s focus on the belly for a little while, just because I feel like that’s an area that we often don’t think about. So just keep breathing in and exhaling into it.

Gaby Barboza:

And some people are going to say, “Well, I think about it a lot because it’s uncomfortable for me.” And I can resonate with that, so that’s why you can focus on it. Breathe into your belly, exhale. Now, I’ll let you do two more on your own. All right, and if you’re ready, we’ll move onto the fingers and the hands. So just knowing that our hands do a lot for us too. So breathing into the left hand and each individual finger on that side. Then breathing into the right hand, each individual finger on that side. And then the left arm, you know what to do at this point, and the right arm.

Genius Black:

Gaby?

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah.

Genius Black:

As we’re going gently through the body, I want to remind people that if it feels weird, if there’s soreness in that part of your body, if there’s tension, focus on letting it go. If thoughts come into your mind, it’s okay if they come. Also, let them go. They’re passing through, just like the tension comes and goes. Nothing has to throw you off, it’s your body, let it be.

Gaby Barboza:

Normal for this to be uncomfortable sometimes and so you can just be the observer of that and not attach onto it. So let’s move to the chest, which is a huge area of constriction, if you think about our society. We’re often hunching over and if you think about the energetics of that, it’s kind of to protect yourself, and to protect your heart space and your chest. And so it’s really important to work, to opening up your chest. And so we’ll spend some time on the chest here. And just expand and still breathing into your belly, but focusing on your chest. I’ll let you do two more on your own here.

Gaby Barboza:

I’ll talk about the shoulders, and so the shoulders carry a lot of weight, especially if we have a lot on our minds and on our plate. The shoulders kind of take that weight and then in turn, connect to the chest and have us get into that slouching, protection mode. And so expand the shoulders and come into your power really. Shoulders are really powerful and they don’t have to be an area of burden. And so open them up again, and breathe into them and exhale. One more here, exhale. And then focus on your throat. So that’s where the throat chakra lies and I haven’t talked much about chakras here.

Gaby Barboza:

But I’ll introduce throat chakra as your communication, using your voice and so we’re often, especially in the black and brown community, taught to be small, and not use our voice, and not stick up for ourselves, and advocate. And so really come into that power of using your throat and using your voice, and unapologetically. And so breathe into your throat, like your exhale is just going to be a loud scream. And if you want to yell, you can. If you don’t, that’s totally fine. But just come into that and really focus on the throat as an area of power as well. So breathe into it and exhale. Breathe in again, and exhale.

Gaby Barboza:

Moving up to the jaw. The jaw holds a lot and if you relate it to when we were talking about sleep, a lot of people grind their teeth at night. And so let’s really sit and move the jaw around, and just allow it to sit in space. Clenching is a innate response and it’s normal. But we can also work to release that. So breathe into the jaw and exhale to release it. And then moving up to the cheeks, and the nose area, and even the eyes. And so just start to soften them. Many of us have this furrow, and I definitely do. But this furrow between our eyes, especially when we’re stressed.

Gaby Barboza:

And so if we can release that furrow, allow our eyes just to be within the sockets and our eyebrows to just be sitting on our face, instead of clenching in, then we can release that stress that we hold in our face. And so breathe into that and exhale, and then we’re just going to think of the top of our head. And so above our head is the crown chakra and just think of that space that your energy radiates beyond what your body is taking up. So we’re energetic beings in a physical world and so we’re actually much taller than we think we are. And that is just your guardian, and so think about that space above you, as always yours.

Gaby Barboza:

So again, you can take up more space than you usually think you need to because that is ultimately your space and so breathe into that and exhale. And as you exhale, it’s not getting smaller, it’s just getting more personal to you. And now I’ll invite you to either focus on one spot that you still feel that you could use some love too, or just think about your entire body as one. And you can start at that one spot and the next breath will be your whole body, but just whatever is calling to you, even a place that feels good.

Gaby Barboza:

So you don’t have to always focus on the tension. You can focus on somewhere that feels really relaxed and really dive into that. So breathe in and we’ll breathe out. Then either shift that focus or stay the same. Breathe in and breathe out. So you can just keep doing that cyclical breathing and start to move your fingers, and your feet, and just kind of awakening back up into the body. And then when you’re ready, you can open your eyes and if you feel called, you can journal on how you’re feeling and look back at it the next time you do a meditation. But that’s all, yeah.

Genius Black:

Thank you. I enjoyed that. I think, I’m sure that people listening, who chose to participate, feel aware of themselves right now. I really appreciated the point you were making about what people refer to as the crown chakra and how your energy, it’s taller than you are. And you reminded me of this moment during the craziest part of the lockdown, and different things we’re in, and I had been working with Rose, and Black Owned Maine was literally blowing up, like something that I had never witnessed. And I had been crying a lot and having a lot of emotions. And my kids saw me, like for real, this was a really intense time and all the support was overwhelming.

Genius Black:

And I remember at one point, I had been having some good stuff happen with my music and I think my friend, Karen Jerzyk, she’s this amazing artist photographer, she had just hit me up. And all these things, and I was just so happy and grateful. And I remember standing in this room and the only way I could explain to someone, is that I was taller than the actual building that I was in. I knew it to be true, was no faking, no frou-frou. I’m standing here and I’m aware of my body, I am literally, not taller than the room, taller than the building. I felt it, right? And there was all these things that were hidden from me at the same time. So kind of gave me goose bumps when you said that. I was like, “Oh, snap. That whole energy flow, you can become aware of it in a moment.” And I would imagine, the more you meditate and the more you pay attention, the more aware you are, we’ll say, of your actual height.

Gaby Barboza:

Right, exactly. And so you were taller than the building and so that is your energy field. And some people see colors in the energy field. And so when you can tap into that and realize this isn’t just my imagination, I actually am this tall. I actually am this powerful. That is super, it helps you feel, not only normalize it, but just show you.

Genius Black:

Yeah, wow. All right, I’m going to sit with that some more later.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah.

Genius Black:

So what we’re going to do is kind of wrap up. I’m not going to get hyped at the end like I always do. I’m going to stay calm. Could you let our listeners know where they can find you, for your social media, online, as well as anything they could do to support you and what you do for business. I think people might be interested in that.

Gaby Barboza:

Yeah. So my Instagram is livelyandwell1_ but if you just type in livelyandwell, or Gaby Barboza, it should come up. And so right now like I said, I’m going to nutrition school in a couple of weeks and starting and so I’ll be able to see people one-on-one. But right now my purpose and my passion, and it will always be, is to provide free education and have a really authentic following on my social media. And so just have it be like a community of people, rather than like thousands, and maybe one day I will have more. But I just want it to be a really authentic community, that can reach out to me.

Gaby Barboza:

So I just offer people to reach out over DM and just tell me things that they want to learn and I’m happy to make posts on anything like that. I do work for a naturopathic doctor in Portland. Her name is Dr. Corina Dunlap and so that is where my current practice is. And then once I graduate in July, I’ll be able to take on my clients, under her and under my own business. And so basically just supporting me by following my journey. I just also got my yoga certification, so I’ll be offering free yoga classes. And ultimately, I would love to start a fund that people can donate to, that I can offer reiki, and yoga, and different services to underprivileged people. And so that will be coming, there’s a lot coming down the line. I don’t have a website yet, but that’s coming as well.

Genius Black:

Yeah. Well and we’re always kind of like evolving and changing, so it’s awesome. Thank you for letting us know what’s coming, as well as kind of where people can find you now. Thank you also for taking the time to come here and just converse with us openly and freely. I really appreciate that and I know that the listeners do as well. I would say also, keep in mind, you are listening to an episode of the Black Owned Maine Podcast. I will share with you because I know you’re curious, that we are looking for sponsors.

Genius Black:

You have the ability to step into this spot, instead of me talking about us, I could be talking about you as one of our sponsors. We’re looking for people to sponsor the entire podcast as a whole, or you can actually sponsor just a single episode. That’s up to you, and we can talk about that. You can reach out to us at blackownedmaine@gmail.com. Also, know that you can find us on our Instagram, which blackownedmaine, you can find us on Facebook at blackownedmaine, as well as on Twitter at blackownedmaine. I think you got that. So we’re going to sign off and believe me, we’re going to bring you more vibes and blessings from Black Owned Maine.