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“I’m so elevated, thank God that we made it

Manifested every dream and answered all my prayers

Every day, I, stay high

Say hi to my haters on my way up

Ain't no way that you could ever get me down

We ain't the same, I'm movin' different now

I'm in the midst of an ascension now

Lifted and I'm driftin' on a cloud” (Lyrics from Down Again by Jhene Aiko)

In continuing to build off the foundation of self-reflection and the main self-reflection question of this month’s blog: What does Being Black mean to you?, we realize that being Black is not a monolith, yet Being Black comes with this common, underlying experience of struggle, of trauma, whether it be mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually, relationally, physically, psychologically, and/or sexually.

Presently, we still very much carry the wounds of our ancestors and we still carry the experiences that are deeply rooted in the systems we call home or work, like sports, teams, and dynamics between team owners and administration and Black coaches and athletes.

Those experiences of trauma regardless of how loud or quiet the trauma is or was, regardless if the trauma was acknowledged and forgiven or swept under the rug, regardless if the trauma was normalized, the trauma is still present. There’s something about traumatic experiences and how they have embedded within them the complexities of loss and growth.

For at times, we rise and we elevate in accomplishing goals because of the fuel of the pain of our ancestors, previous generations, and those who have passed the torch of changing the trajectory of our family lineage to us. The opportunities to excel are abundant, yet they require a sense of disruption, a breakup with familiar, a shift in mentality, and a desire for healthy.

As the torch was passed to us to change and impact past, present, and future generations, we can also be tasked with managing guilt, impostor syndrome, self-doubt, worry and fear that sometimes comes attached with succeeding and excelling.

We can celebrate that we can move different to obtain goals and create a different life for ourselves and others and also grieve the familiarity and predictability that comes with the comfort of chaos and struggle and escape mechanisms that we became accustomed to.

Both celebration and grief can exist at the same time;

Create space for both cause if not, one can become a hindrance to the flow of the other.

The other side of excelling is releasing grief attached to old versions of you, old triggers, old mindsets, and old unhealthy habits. May that grief fuel you to attach yourself securely to the new version of you, new mindsets, new healthy habits, and new ways of managing triggers.

What does excelling mean to you?

Is it your present reality, and if not, what small change can you make to get on the right track to be Black and Excelling?

Written by Kheri A. Corbin,

For those who are creating space for excelling unapologetically,

For Those Black Athletes


The Ones Who Genuinely Love them

In the previous week, I challenged you to explore your own definition of your Blackness. I take this moment to add even more to that foundation of self-perception.

To be triggered is be activated in some way, to have a specific emotional button pressed, primarily by something or someone outside of you, yet can also be pressed by an internal thought as well.

To be triggered is to awaken a memory, an experience or experiences, and/or a moment that may have yet to be fully resolved.

To be triggered is for old stuff to be brought to the present-day through a strong emotion (ie. Being yelled at can bring up old experiences of racism and can cause one to feel angry).

In remembering what Being Black means to you (see previous post), can you now think of what being triggered is like for you? What does it look like when you are triggered? What comes up for you? How does Being Black impact your experience of being triggered?

Heavy questions to think about if you ask me…I mean, even as I read them, I think to myself of how to answer them in this moment, but I don’t think these answers require a rushed response. The answers may actually come to you as you self-reflect ( you know that is a healthy habit right).

The thing about triggers is that our heavy triggers can cause us to feel overwhelm. That overwhelming feeling is because we are attempting to respond to what is happening in the moment and what happened in the past at the same time. But because of the overwhelm and if we choose to not pause, we heighten the chance of reacting instead of responding. Triggers are often birthed from negative experiences and/or trauma. Although (if you think back to the initial definition) triggers can actually be related to desired emotions too (ie. getting a promotion can trigger excitement). We can feel overwhelm with desired emotions too. Triggers are mostly associated with negative experiences, which our brain is constantly working to protect us from by preparing us for them. Triggers give us an opportunity to learn more about what needs to be resolved: what past experiences and/or what emotional experiences we have avoided or just not fully dealt with (whether intentionally or unintentionally).

To get back to the main point, take your time to really think about and identify your triggers as you take your time to explore those heavy questions. Remember, self-exploration can be done in the safe context with a licensed mental health professional. Sometimes, triggers and experiences are heavy so that we don’t force ourselves to carry those experiences alone.

Written by Kheri A. Corbin,

For those who are intentionally healing and managing deep-seated triggers,

For Those Black Athletes


The Ones Who Genuinely Love them


Kheri A. Corbin, MMFT, LMFT
I believe that winning in all areas of our lives is possible.  Remaining undefeated means consistently using adverse and conflictual experiences as opportunities to triumph, grow, and thrive. Strategies used to win and maintain healthiness in one area can be transferred to multiple areas of our lives through intentionality. We each have our set of opponents that are tailored to us. On the other side of defeating those opponents are the healthier versions of ourselves that we need to become to align ourselves with greater. In investing seeds of hope, positivity, and strength, I value assisting individuals, couples, and families with tapping into their internal resources to win beyond the opponents of trauma, depression, insecurity, fear, dysfunction, anxiety, generational curses, and any other opponent or obstacle that threatens experiences of safety, security, and abundance.

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Columbia, SC 29205


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