Friday, August 19, 2016

Healed with Style & Grace


By: Angela Mayah Solstice

"I was healing and I didn't even know it. It was happening just by my wanting to feel of the reasons why many of us don't feel balanced and headed toward our soul purpose is because we are afraid of it."
from Healed with Style & Grace

If I could of written a book that related to what I call the “Love & Hip-Hop” generation, a new book I’ve read Healed with Style and Grace would’ve been it. If I could chronicle what growing up on the South side of Chicago was like for me, what Hip-Hop culture meant to me, what being associated to the entertainment industry was like, and give the story of my family dynamics, I would of tried with all my might to make it come out as this memoir did. My biggest block has always been my lack of memory. Every time I’ve come across a person who can story tell so vividly, I always think to myself, damn why can’t I seem to remember? When you’ve had trauma in your life such as mine, you sometimes chop up memory loss to a survival mechanism; not remembering helped me to cope. So how some can recall their experiences, it is clearly a gift. Instantly as I began to read the pages of Healed with Style and Grace, it took me to another world. I went with Jai and I went with my younger self. Numerous times I began to weep and sometimes just to take a breather, but I couldn’t run away from it, it kind of takes you captive and doesn’t let you go.  

“I always thought that if I let my emotions run free I might go mentally crazy. And I somehow started to attach feelings and emotions with being weak. Which is so far from the truth.”
From Healed with Style and Grace

I had the privilege of seeing the author of the book Jai Hudson recently after being away from New York the past four years. I had come over to reconnect and visit with friends when things quickly changed. Just to make conversation I mentioned to Jai that I saw she had written a book and asked her if she had a copy on hand so I could skim through the pages while I was there. As she readied the book for me I asked why had she written it, Jai instantly stopped, sat down next to me, stared me straight in the eye and said, “ I decided to forgive my mother". I caught on pretty quickly that I wasn’t going to simply skim through the pages; I was going to go home, buy it, and read it for myself. And here we are.

So many are ready to tell their story. Many are being called to do this and let me tell you, if you’ve been waiting for a sign, this is it. The world hasn’t taught others to deal with us. Us who know that things are not how they should be. That the life we endured was not how it was suppose to be. And how we choose to deal with it, which is to speak up, better ourselves in spite of, or to take the healing journey—we are thought of as outcasts. Our healing journey's looked upon as some alternative lifestyle, a hobby, an outlet—at it’s worse, someone needing mental health services.

“Unhealthy emotions I was experiencing were dimming my light big time. These emotions disabled my heart. I couldn’t be the light I was created to be because these heavy emotions I was holding on to darkened my light.”
From Healed with Style and Grace

Yet in the case of Jai’s story who came from the Brooklyn projects, had a stray bullet come through her living room window—and was in such a desolate place, wished it had hit her, had her head together more than the adults in her life. She went on to graduate high school and received a full college scholarship, and even spearheaded and successfully brought the AKA sorority back to Syracuse University. Jai traveled the world styling for some of the biggest entertainers in the industry. But that was the not the meat of the story. That was not her claim to fame, her biggest triumph that she self admitted, was healing herself. And that is what blew me away. No society conditioned messages of education being the key, or religious dogma, just straight up truth and healing. In a world where so many of us are searching for answers and feeling like outcasts because of it, I believe we are the answer we have been looking for. By sharing our stories we are healing each other and ourselves. Miss. Jai you healed with Style and Grace indeed, I thank you for answering your calling—I hope your story reaches all who are searching and needing answers right now. Job well done.

“In life no matter how many tricks you learn, or weapons you acquire, what brings you to victory is always YOU.”
From Healed with Style and Grace

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