The Brunch and Learn session was part of the Black and Good business skills programme for both the Starting up, Starting out, and Build, Hustle, Grow programme. The session takes place on weekends where we begin with a wellness/meditation session and then transition onto a 'speed dating' segment in which all participants have 5 minutes of 1-2-1s to connect. We then share brunch virtually together with the Deliveroo vouchers gifted to everyone on the programme and lastly, comes the learning, where we explore our brand story and what type of business we are building and why.
In a recent session, the two wellness segments of the programme were led by two alumni of the Black and Good business programme; Tamara, founder of FaithWellFit, and Priscilla, founder of Vivify Therapy. The main focus of this segment was wellness for Black women founders. During the session, we discussed mindfulness, permission to slow down, how our inner critic can hold us back in business, and where it stems from. Both sessions included a grounding meditation with Priscilla sharing with us a powerful quote by Audre Lorde:
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
During the session, we learned that the best way to practice mindfulness is to incorporate it into our daily habits, whether that be while walking, showering, or pouring a cup of tea. It calls on us to practice empathy, and self-compassion and connect to the awareness of our body sensations.
Mindfulness and self-compassion are incredibly important and almost absent within the community of Black women founders. Participants shared the feeling of constantly needing to be strong as Black women and the added weight of having to work harder than others which mean self-compassion and slowing down can be difficult to balance.
Priscilla shared that it is often our early experiences that can play into our present. For example, if we shared our hearts by singing happily in a room full of people and were received with praise and encouragement, this implements in our sense of self that it is safe to share our voice and we will be supported. Though, taken the other way, if in this instance as children we were scorned for singing and told to quieten down, this can begin a narrative in our mind that we should not speak up, to remain quiet, and that it is not safe to express ourselves. How many can relate to this? These beliefs we pick up can begin to impact our decision-making, confidence to make ourselves visible, and how we build relationships. These are all key factors to our overall well-being and business ventures.
To practice self-compassion is to give oneself grace, to mindfully recognize when the inner critic arises, and to respond from a place of support and understanding as opposed to holding onto painful thoughts. A practice of self-compassion can begin to gently ease some of the inner barriers that may be holding us back from showing up as our full selves and it is a powerful act of self-respect against anyone who ever made us feel otherwise.
Here's to all the Black female founders paving the way to success, practicing self-compassion, and honouring one's well-being. You are seen.
Below are some quotes from participants involved in this session:
“The brunch and learn session creates a safe space for everyone to share, connect, and inwardly reflect on the foundational elements within and around each individual that will influence their business journey. It helps the founders of our programme to honour that their well-being is a key influence and most important aspect for every step they take moving forward.” - Tilda
“Your mental well-being is just as important as your physical one, if not even more so.” - Tamara Wray
Applications are now open for our May 2023 cohort! If you would like to join us please sign up here. Follow us on social media and stay up to date via our newsletter as we have some very exciting events coming up for the wider community in 2023.
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