As a woman of color, black woman and a conscious Afro-Latina I find their are a lack of outlets devoted to mental and spiritual healing for our community. These resources are imperative to have access to. The process of self-healing is a useful tool to have in your life and for individuals who are interested in using this tactic we need platforms to help guide us.
A platform like Mi Vivaporu supports women of color on their journey with inner healing. As the creator of Vivaporu, Liner Nunez an Afro-Dominican Writer learns to reconnect with her own ” feelings and body “, she guides her powerful community of women on their own personal expedition too. Mi Vivaporu inspires , empowers and teaches our women of color how to cope with real life issues like racism and sexism. Mi Vivaporu is an outlet we can all grow together.
What does being Afro-Latina mean to you?
Being Afro-Latina means remembering my African roots. It means not neglecting or erasing the black people and their customs that shape my identity.
Has preserving your roots helped with shaping your identity?
Yes! By claiming my Afro-Latinidad I am reminded of all my ties to my ancestors. Identifying as AfroLatina I’ve been able to feel grounded. I am confident in who I am and where I come from. Identifying as Afro-Latina makes me aspire to be as creative, spiritual, and community oriented as our black indigenous cultures are.
Take me back to when you first identified as Afro-Latina. How was that experience? Did you face any challenges?
I faced many challenges when I first identified as Afro-Latina and still do today. I first began to identify as Afro Latina after I stopped relaxing my hair. Cutting your hair and allowing it to be natural forces you to claim your blackness, because whether we consciously wear it naturally for political reasons or not, black hair is always political; because natural hair is always defying European standards. After cutting my hair I felt liberated. At first I thought I was just liberating myself from the hell, pain, and time consuming relaxer, but it was more than that. I felt closer to who I wanted to be, to who I truly am.
As for the challenges I faced, there were many. You know the racist remarks from family, friends, and coworkers. Learning how to treat my hair was the easy part (even though I had no clue as to how to treat it). Learning to love myself with my natural hair and what it means to recognize African roots in both white and Latino culture was exhausting. It took a long time to feel confident with my pajon.
How do your Afro-Dominican roots tie into you as a writer/ healer?
My Afro-Dominican roots tie into my writing as it shows up through the characters in my stories. I am often inspired by African folklore and Dominican healing practices. I like to think that my writing is healing, not just for me, but also for the person reading. I want people to feel a sense of companionship and understanding after reading my writing.
How important is instilling self-healing practices into your readers?
Instilling self-healing practices into my readers is imperative, because we need to do more than just survive every day. We need to love ourselves and be able to hold each other up. We may not always know how to care for ourselves and our worth is always being questioned. That’s why self-care is so important, because we don’t have to prove our worth to anyone – we just know we are.
How do you practice self-love and self-care in your everyday life?
I practice self-love and self-care by attempting to listen to what my body is trying to tell me. In a more tangible sense, I try to write every day, even if it is just one word. It is like I am checking in with myself every day.
What was the creation behind your blog Mi Vivaporu? What do you want people to take away from it?
There are 3 major points I want people to take away from Mi Vivaporu:
- Listen to your inner child.
You are and should be 4, 5, 6, 7, etc. even if you are 30 years old. We perceive the world through the eyes of our inner child. When you learn to listen to 4 year old you it can be a liberating experience.
- There is no one way to heal.
Everyone has their own way of healing – the goal is to know that there are many different non- destructive ways to do so.
- You are not alone in your struggle.
Collective care is just as important as self-care and both depend on one another. You can’t heal yourself alone and our communities cannot heal without us.
Mi Vivaporu is testament to the progress of my healing process. Even in learning to reconnect with my feelings and my body, I still felt like something was missing. I realized healing survives only through the connection of self with community. Community supports our inner healing and inner healing supports our community.
I don’t see many blogs devoted to mental/self-healing especially for women of color. How essential is this platform for WOC?
A platform like Mi Vivaporu is essential for women of color, because as you mention there aren’t many blogs dedicated exclusively to WOC’s mental health. Mi Vivaporu also allows us to learn about how we can cope with the racism and sexism we face and about how to heal not only ourselves, but each other and together.
What advice could you give a young woman struggling with obtaining self-healing?
Healing is not a linear process. There are good days and bad days, but the bad days are helping you move forward. Also, always remember that you are being productive because processing our feelings takes a great amount of emotional labor that requires a lot of energy.
Keep up with Liner !
FB : Liner Nunez