Over the next 5 days, we will be publishing stories that chronicle how Black mothers in Pittsburgh are experiencing and dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent quarantine. Follow us using #BrownMamas and #SHEQuarantines on social media.

Story One: Too Close for Quarantine

I went to bed mad as hell last Thursday.  I was pissed at my husband for a reason I can’t even remember. Likely the result of all these days we’ve spent in the house together with very little time apart.  

Still, I woke up the next morning ready to lash out.

“Who does he think he is?” , “Doesn’t he realize that I know more about this than he does?” and “Why isn’t he listening?”, were just a few of the negatively framed questions I asked myself as I slapped the wash rag around in the shower.

BUT, when I got in my room and sat on his side of the bed with my wet towel, purposely, a calm came over me.  Lately I’ve been feeling really chill. (30 days of consistent therapy and yoga will do that for you) I took a few deep breaths and decided instead of arguing with him,  I was gonna do ALL the laundry today.

In addition, I watched an entire season of WestWorld.

All day I sat in my pissivity.  I was angry, but I decided I was not going to react.  Instead, I allowed the negative thoughts to run their course and today, I don’t even remember what the hell I was mad about.

But, this is exactly how negative thinking patterns will have you caught all the way up.

Negative thoughts are like hookers and Honey Combs.  They’re literally screaming at you with their fishnet stockings and colorful branding to buy-in to their bull-ish.

Why, you might ask? 

It’s because the minute you are able to overcome their shiny packaging by ignoring them all together, they literally disappear.  They need you to believe that they are actually good for you in order for your mind to validate their existence.  Once you separate their perceived value from the reality of what is really happening in your life, ‘POOF!’ they run away faster than a gold-digger from a prenup.

shequarantines
Your thoughts are not facts. They are emotions that give you signs as to how life is affecting you. Don’t treat them like facts by accepting them blindly.

Negative thoughts (any thoughts that steal your joy, make you a hater and stop you from feeling whole) are dead without your attention.

Positive thoughts, like the ones that support you in becoming the best version of yourself, uplift those around you and make you feel whole,  don’t need your attention at all. They run seamlessly integrating into your life like Maxwell’s voice in Love Jones.

During this quarantine you’ve likely found yourself extremely privy to your own thoughts.  This slower pace of life has some of us alone with our thoughts for the very first time, or for the first time in a long time.

Up to this point, you may not have questioned your thoughts, assuming that you, of all people, would not be working against your best interest.  However, due to this several seat taking that we’re all doing at this moment, you may be realizing that your mind is your worst enemy.

So, how do you get rid of them?  How do you stop negative thoughts from interrupting your life and replace them with a melodic soundtrack of positivity.

Thought tracing.

It may sound a bit bi-polar, but the only way to stop paying attention to negative thoughts is to start paying negative thoughts. (That sounds crazy, I know.)

In essence, put a BIG spotlight on your negative thinking so that when it happens, you can:

  • Recognize how the thoughts make you feel
  • See the life patterns that might trigger these thoughts
  • Query the thought (ask it questions,i.e. Is this real?  Will this actually happen? Have I heard this thought before?)
  • Let the thought run its course

This might sound like a lot, but it’s necessary so that you can be your biggest champion and live your best life.  Need some help with thought tracing? The Mama Map Workbook and other links below are perfect in helping you recover the roots of your mind.

We look forward to telling you another story to get your through your #coronocation tomorrow.

Love, 

Muffy & Brown Mamas

Resources for Quarantine in Color. All businesses listed are black-owned. Please support.

Yoga Challenge with Amy Joy

The Brown Mama Mindset Book & Workbook

Tips on Distance Learning from theREnewedTeacher.com

Raising BoysSheQuarantines

Muffy MendozaAuthor posts

Muffy Mendoza is an author, speaker and founder of Pittsburgh Brown Mamas, a support group for nearly 4,000 African-American moms in the Pittsburgh region. To further fill the void Muffy has created a line of educational products focused on helping Black moms be the best moms, too. Her first book, The Brown Mama Mindset: A Blueprint for Black Moms on Life, Love & Home, was featured at the 2018 Essence Festival and is currently sold in various cities across the U.S. Muffy champions the beauty of Black motherhood everywhere she goes, even on the TEDx stage. Find out more about Muffy on muffymendoza.com.

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