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Tia And Adrienne Bosh Get Real About Self-Care And Speaking Your Truth

Tia: So first of all, I just want to say how much I appreciate you and how much I adore you. I say this all the time. You're an incredible mother. You're an incredible wife, you're an incredible friend. So I just wanted to say welcome to Anser's blog. I'm so happy you are here.

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We share this same vision about creating this community to support one another. That was a goal for me with this blog. One of my goals in 2021 is to carve out space within the wellness community and to share experiences and voices from women of diversity and women of color. 

I wanted to talk to you today to get real about the issues that we face when we're talking about healthcare, we're talking about our views on wellness and self care. I also want to talk to you about what 2021 looks like for you and your family and about how 2020 has impacted us as women, our families but more importantly, our mental health.

You're so positive. I call you my angel, because you help guide me along the way. With that said, I want to share, our personal experiences and our stories so that we can inspire other other women. 

Adrienne: I don't think that the positivity lives without knowing that the reason I'm so positive is because I know what it's like to be on the other side of the coin. I don't want to mislead anybody to think that just because you see a perfect Instagram photo, or a perfect family photo, there's a lot of days and a lot of moments in between those photos that aren't always that gram. I choose to share a lot of positive moments, but I want to speak to the fact that I appreciate those moments. I cherish those moments. I think about those moments very tenderly because I know how precious they are. And especially after the past year that we've had, 2020 really made a lot of people feel like they have lost their access to support systems that they need to survive. 

Tia: I definitely want to dive into that a little deeper. I mean, 2021 couldn't come fast enough. What are your resolutions? And what do you think about New Year's Resolutions? Is it good to have them? Or is it not good to have them?

Adrienne: We always have to set intentions, and I don't think you only have to do it on New Year's. I think you can do it throughout your whole year, but it's good to have goals. Every year, no matter what, my family makes vision boards and we put all the things that we want to see more of in our lives. If we have certain goals, we put them on the boards and even my four year olds did these. We do it as a family, the first day of the year, every year, and now we kind of have multiple years built up where you can look back on it.

adrienne bosh quote being present mindfulness

I've really tried to start cutting out social media as much as possible during set timeframes. I like to share what I share, but not checking it like I'm opening the fridge to see and find if I can get hungry. I'm trying to be more intentional with my time, with my family, with my kids, with my projects, with my family, my passions. I'm trying to be more present because we're gifted with today, and today is this moment that we'll never get back again. We're not guaranteed tomorrows.

This year has brought the fragility of life into perspective. Being a 35 year old woman, it wasn't something I always thought about prior. I just want to be present as much as possible, and pour into those that I love and make sure I'm looking them in their eyes that they feel seen that they feel heard. 

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Tia: That is so amazing. Actually we do the same thing with our family. We have a vision board and every year at the beginning of the year, we'll write down everything that we want, and the kids are involved in that as well.

One thing that I loved about what you just said a was how you look at your New Year's resolutions with intention. And I feel like when you have that perspective, it leaves room for you not to be judgmental on yourself. There's more grace and forgiveness when you approach it that way. That's where you experience more success.

Adrienne: I think grace is so important. Grace was a focus word for me last year. I have different words for different years that I focus on, and grace was really one of them. You've got to find something that replaces that judgmental voice. I'm sure everybody has their own version of it.

I've just tried to find ways to replace that voice with a lot more graceful, understanding empathy, and just being aware that we're all on this journey, and we may not be perfect at it, but can we be consistent?

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Tia: What did you learn about yourself in 2020? And how has that shaped your outlook or goals for 2021?

Adrienne: There were moments that maybe I thought that I would crumble, or that I wouldn't be able to rise up to the occasion. And in those in those moments, I was able to do what I thought I wouldn't be able to do. I think that it gave me a little bit more resilience.

We've had to manage homeschooling and virtually schooling four kids at home. Then on top of it, we're trying to manage work and passions and supporting our husbands and our home with less of a support system than we're used to having. There's all these things that normally you would think you would crumble under that, but instead, some of us are finding ways to not necessarily do an amazing job. I wouldn't say that it means that we've excelled. I would just say that we've learned not to crumble when it doesn't go our way. How do you move forward? How do you pivot? How do you acclimate? How do you reset? Don't wait to get on empty to reset.

I'm being proactive with my mental health versus reactionary. I've learned the power of always, always, always being grateful. If you have someone that you want to say I love you to or that you're grateful for, give them their flowers now, tell them now. Those are the two big takeaways. I'm more resilient than I thought and I'm more grateful.

Tia: Your words remind me of the work that I was focusing on or meditating on during 2020: adjusting. I felt like when I allowed myself to not necessarily be perfect and I allowed myself to adjust and to pivot and say, okay, things aren't the way they used to be, but we're going to survive, and how you survive is by adjusting and changing. 

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I think that's why this blog is so important. That's why it's so important to have a community of girlfriends, of people that speak into your life and uplift you and encourage you. That's exactly what you did for me during this pandemic, just by checking in girl.

Adrienne: I think that this year [2020] was pretty eye opening for a lot of people.  

Tia: There is a really clear line with Anser when it comes to encouraging and inspiring people to take charge of their wellness and their health. And I'm so happy that here at the blog, we are creating this community where our voices can be heard.

I want to put a spotlight on mental health. I feel like especially our community, we don't tend to talk about our mental health as much as we should. I know that mental health is very important to you and I wanted to ask you some questions on that and dig deeper on that topic.

What has your mental health journey been? How has perfectionism or depression or anxiety played a role in your life?

Adrienne: It's definitely been a journey for me. I don't think I always had the correct support system or tribe or toolbox that I could pull on. I've had to do a lot of self work and I've had to seek out help and guidance. I think there can be a mixture of an holistic approach and also if you need to seek professional help, I think that therapy should be normalized. I think psychiatry should be normalized. I also think that acupuncturist and massage therapy and doing all the things that fill up your toolbox.

Postpartum, for me, there was a point that I needed to seek professional help. I needed an outside source and a sounding board to give me steps to try, to give me perspectives that I hadn't considered.

I don't think I was always as vocal as I could have been about those things as well. People aren't mind readers. Sometimes they don't even know, especially if you're somebody that always has it together. Especially if you're somebody that always is that person for everyone else.

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You have to normalize, yes, I can be this person for everybody else. But also I can have times where I'm not. My new favorite line is "I don't have the bandwidth right now." I'm trying to work on boundaries and trying to learn that I have to have daily rituals for myself so that I can nourish others.

If I'm running on empty, how am I going to nourish others? I don't want to do it begrudgingly, I want to do it from a space of love. And I don't want to do it from a space of where I'm filled. I need to make sure that I'm also getting filled so that I can continue fill others. And if you aren't working with team players, they shouldn't be in your huddle. You may be the person picking up people and being the encourager eight out of ten times. But when you need those people those other two times you should be able to vocalize that.

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Tia: People see me as someone that has it together, but a lot of people are shocked to know that I have anxiety. I have a lot of anxiety issues. You mentioned tribe, and that has been very beneficial for me in making sure that I am honest and that I have that safe space where I can express what I'm feeling at the moment.

For the people that are on this blog with A and myself: if you are experiencing depression, if you are experiencing anxiety or you're just not feeling yourself, don't be afraid to share your your experiences and share what you're what you're going through. The person on the other side should be able to understand and be forgiving. Hopefully that tribe that you have will be able to support you.

I love the way you mentioned psychology. Our culture tends to be pretty religious, which is great. Sometimes psychiatry and psychology are not always talked about being the go-to approach. It's okay to pray to God, it's okay to ask for God for help. But also, it's nice to have someone. I have a therapist that has really, really helped me, and I'm not ashamed to say it. So thank you for sharing your story.

So I definitely wanted to know, what are your favorite wellness, self care trends? And do you have a wellness routine that you swear by?

Adrienne: I absolutely adore meditation, free writing where you can empty yourself so that you have that moment of just presence where you are just clearing things away. Learning that everything isn't mine to carry all the time. I just need to have a time of stillness or free writing or meditation, where I'm deciding what's going to stay? And what am I putting down so that I can make space for myself? Oftentimes, the reason we don't have space is because we have it filled with so many things. We have it filled with distractions, we have other people's things.

I've done binaural beats or playlists.

Tia: Yeah. It's a lifesaver. Life changing!

Adrienne: I actually have Chris working on some binaural beats for me, because once he realized that it was really affecting me and changing my world, he was like, maybe I should make some music like that. We need more of that wellness component. What I'm listening to is centering me and grounding me and relaxing my brainwaves. 

I have incense or Palo Santo or sage, I have crystals. I have rituals.

Tia: Girl, I burned my incense last night!

Adrienne: It's a ritual. Because if it's the end of your day, that's a scent that's going to engage the part of that brain and lets you know that your day is done. You're setting the tone, you're setting your body down for the relaxation, maybe you're putting on a playlist or binaural beats at that moment. Maybe then you do your stretches or your free writing or your meditation. I think it's about finding those rituals. Also finding those mantras that work for you.

Tia: Binaural beats have really changed my life. You've been on set with me and it's a very demanding job. People are constantly knocking on your door, pulling at you saying, "Stand here. Smile. Say your line. No, don't say your line that way. Do it this way." And it's like if you're in that constant, emotional state of being, which could really cause a lot of stress. So binaural beats have really helped me. I'll go into my trailer, I'll lock out my room. I'll put my incense on. It'll only be for like five minutes. I'll close my eyes. I listen to my binaural beats. It's amazing how I feel more refreshed than ever just in those 5 to 10 minutes.

Adrienne: It refills your spirit. Sometimes it may take five or 10 minutes, but it's better to do that reset and refill moment than waiting until you've depleted it. Imagine if we all knew to do that since we were younger. 

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Tia: You mentioned mantras. And you guys, A is a huge believer, and very proactive about her mantras. Even if it's just one text, it's "You got this." So then you meditate on that every single day. And I want to know if if you have a mantra for us over here at Anser.

Adrienne: Absolutely! Mine are super simple. And this is one that I practice with my daughters. So I would just say that, and I can be used at any time and I do it consistently. If you ask my daughter, she'll recite it to you without even thinking. It's: You are safe. You are loved. You are protected. You are enough. You are worthy. And you are valued. And we repeat that every night before bed. So  if there's anything going to be filling my head or hers, instead of any type of negative or toxic or judging talk in our heads, I just want it to be You are safe. You are loved. You are protected. You are worthy. You are valued. You are enough.

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Tia: Man, I love you A. So so so very much. You're really vocal about issues surrounding black maternal health. What are some of those issues?

 With African American and BIPOC communities, a lot of times they're in institutions or hospitals or areas where they don't feel they don't feel safe, they don't feel supported. There's been studies done that literally show that doctors think that they can handle an immense amount of pain that would not be tolerated. Or they're not listening to them when they are speaking out for themselves. 

Having doulas, or midwives, or people in general that can help you learn to advocate for yourself to speak up when something feels wrong in your body. You know your body better than anyone else under the sun. I get that when the doctor comes in with their professional jacket, and sometimes it's a man and sometimes it's a man that's not your skin tone. Sometimes he may not be able to relate to your community or different things that you have going on. But what I will say is that speak up, it is essential to speak up. Make sure your voice is heard.

Tia: I've shared my story about this and my experiences. Unfortunately, I'm not alone. A lot of African American women will be affected by it, and they'll also be less likely to be diagnosed. That's exactly what happened with me. I was living in pain for years. It had to take an African American Harvard graduate doctor to basically give me the treatment that I needed.

I can name too many people. People who were misdiagnosed with breast cancer, who were diagnosed with pneumonia. A dear friend of mine actually lost her baby due to negligence within the health care system. I appreciate you for bringing awareness to you know these issues.

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I'll say this, this is one of the main reasons why I birthed Anser is because we aren't included or taken seriously when it comes to our symptoms, when it comes to health care, when it comes to our wellness, when it comes to self care. By us taking the reins ourselves and saying look, this is what's going on, having people like you to speak on topics such as this, we will create change.

Adrienne: Every Mom Counts founded by Christy Turlington put something in the New York Times, and it was how many Black, Brown, and Indigenous people have to die giving birth. It's a national call for justice and accountability. If you haven't read it, start there. You know your body and if you speak up, be heard, don't be silent about any of your symptoms. We need to start just being proactive as much as possible and making sure that our voices are heard and making sure that women feel supported and safe in environments that normally they wouldn't feel supported or safe in.

Even Serena Williams spoke out about her birth experience. I thought that was so beautiful to hear, and so brave. So I just hope that it inspires more women like you and Serena and everybody to come forward and speak up. This is something that needs to be paid attention to. We can continue to make a difference and make an impact in this world.

Tia: Thank you so much for just lending us your wisdom, your knowledge, your grace, your presence. Now everybody can see why you have a very special special place in my heart. You are my angel. You are my moon sister.

Adrienne: I love you my darling. In your corner whenever you need. 

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