Guest Contributor: Ajia Munns
Mindfulness Facilitator and Mental Health Professional
What does Black Mental Wellness mean to you?
I have a deep understanding of who we are, even before slavery in America, and a deep hope for who we can be. I actually don’t think anything, or anyone is standing in our way except for our own minds. This is why I am so passionate about black mental wellness. Taking care of ourselves and recovering from posttraumatic slave disorder should be a priority for example. I think we need the tender care, love, and forgiveness we give everyone else. It’s time to give it to ourselves.
How do you promote change and well-being in the Black community?
I promote change and well-being in the black community by how I move and have my being. I teach in schools all over LA County, I do partnerships and events as well and sometimes throughout the world with Mindfulness with Ajia. I always have the Black community at the top of my mind because that is who I am and that is who I speak to. The promotion doesn’t stop there I also promote across social media and partner with other nonprofit and organizations doing similar work.
What are some upcoming events you are leading, that promote mental health and wellness, that you would like for our Black Mental Wellness audience to know about?
Mindfulness with Ajia is partnering with a new company called The Lavender Lounge where they held a wellness brunch in December 2023.
Please follow us on Instagram @mindfulnesswithAjia for updates and details.
We also host meditation sessions each & every Saturday morning at 10am PST here is the link: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/62609267343
Tell us about your educational and/or professional training, and current area of expertise related to mental health and wellness?
I studied psychology at the University of Houston, and I received my meditation certification completing over 200 hours of meditation. As I am practicing in the field, I am also continuing my education with first responder training and courses at Cornell University.
What are some things that we should know about your area of expertise?
During my recent experience meditating at Apple in Culver City, California I learned mindfulness is not a niche market. It can be practiced by anyone at any time from any background or religion. From a corporate environment to a creative space, from third graders to my 84-year-old grandmother in my care, have all experience transforming the mine and experience the power of mental relief and ability.
How can we encourage more people to seek mental health treatment?
We can encourage more people to seek mental health treatment by modeling good behavior, providing resources, educating on the benefits, and getting rid of the stigmas.
What are your recommendations for ending stigma in the Black community?
With education and modeling behaviors. The more we see people not getting angry in traffic, properly handling their emotions, and maintaining a high emotional intelligence it will be clear that being mindful can only help and not harm.
What can potential clients expect during an initial session? Follow up sessions?
We help cultivate mindfulness moments. You will have the opportunity to learn various mindfulness techniques and practices that can be easily incorporated into your daily life, allowing you to reconnect with yourself and cultivate a sense of calm. Mindfulness moments have been known to result in resilience to stress and able to manage stress in a healthier manner. Session(s) are not offered as a treatment for any specific psychological or physical conditions and may not be suitable for people experiencing severe difficulties. It is important for us to create a safe space for mindfulness magic to happen.
Do you have an experience with seeking mental health treatment that you would like to share with the Black Mental Wellness audience?
I practice meditation in my daily life, and I have also sought therapy and it was extremely helpful.
How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?
I make time by simply breathing in the morning and then the evening before I wake & before I sleep. I also set aside time to focus on my well-being while I meditate. It is important for me to be intentional about how I hold space for myself.
What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?
My top five wellness and self-care strategies are:
Time alone to read or just be with my thought
Being in good conversation with good people
What resources do you find most helpful to encourage mental health and wellness?
There are resources that will pay for Black men and women to go to therapy I think that is most useful and helpful.
Ajia Munns, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, but raised in Dallas, Texas, has been actively involved in the mindfulness space for over a decade. She is a multi-talented individual, working as an actress, writer, artist, and a true force of nature. With her natural nurturing ability, she leverages her spiritual practice to uplift and connect with others. Furthermore, she collaborates with school programs to teach children how to incorporate mindfulness meditation into their daily lives. Ajia strongly believes in the merging of arts and mental wellness as the key to enhancing our communities.