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  • shazimahmoudi

"Water in the jar and we are thirsty!"

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

"آب در کوزه و ما تشنه لبان می گردیم"

Being emotionally impacted by the racial uprising after the death of Gorge Floyd during a global pandemic on 2020; I’ve intentionally started to surround myself with de-colonizing conversations. Despite the stigma of seeking mental health services in my culture I realized how our ancestral and cultural ways of self-care were ingrained and integrated in our lifestyle.

I grew up watching my mom searching for meanings and signs in great Persian poets like Hafez and Rumi, and encouraging us to memorize prayers and poems, and listen to classical music as a way of coping and generating joy.

I would drink Borage tea with my grandma and aunt who both struggled with heart disease and anxieties to generate calmness. I would watch my dad engaging with mindfulness practices by gardening, taking care of our chickens, sharing secrets about nature and doing different arts and crafts. I started noticing how our afternoon teas are basically a definition of “support group” when we would pause, no matter how busy we would be. We would take our time to drink tea and would usually have some sweet delights, or dried sweet fruits like raisin or fig on the side. We would open up our hearts and minds to one another, as Iranian would say “dardodel kardan” which literally means, sharing the pain of heart.

I envisioned incorporating these elements into my office as an Iranian-American to decolonize the space that was hoping to invite a collaborative, warm and safe atmosphere.

I became interested in trying different, mostly non caffeinated herbal teas that are good for balance, anxiety and depression.

It’s such a delight when clients comment on these choices and try to guess the ingredients of the tea.

I wanted to present Iranian local and non-local artists to incorporate beauty, color and poems and bought a poem book of Omar_Khayam for my office to help those with anxiety.

I realized how connecting with nature to remind me of changing seasons was another way to stay regulated and grounded and thought of finding ways to use seasonal floral arrangements to generate that idea.

I just needed to look inward, within my culture, and family to find self-care!

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