My name is: Zee Clarke.
I’m known for being: A breathwork expert and creator of the course, Breathing Through Microaggressions & Racism.
I'm talking about: How mindfulness and breathwork are powerful tools for people of color to not only survive, but thrive, in a world where microaggressions and racism are a daily occurrence.
Before I began teaching these practices, I was: A Harvard MBA who led teams at Fortune 500 companies and startups in Silicon Valley.
My interest was sparked when: I experienced a level of burnout so severe that it was affecting both my mental and physical health. I wasn’t eating, I wasn’t sleeping, I had nonstop anxiety and my doctors told me that something had to change or it would just get worse! So, I quit my job and went to India to learn powerful tools to reduce my stress levels and finally find some peace!
The idea behind it is: What I realized is that mindfulness and breathwork are much more powerful outside of the yoga studio and in the context of everyday life. In my book, Black People Breathe, I share situations that most Black people can relate to—from microaggressions in the workplace to racial profiling in stores—and specific breathing practices that we can use when we are in these situations. Medical research shows that these experiences are the direct cause of the higher rates of high blood pressure in African Americans. They cause chronic stress which leads to a number of health issues from a weakened immune system, to diabetes, to accelerated aging! These practices are critical to the survival of the Black community!
What “goddess manifestation” means to me personally is: I used to think that life happened to me. “Goddess manifestation” is the idea that we have the power to create our own reality. While we can’t control the world around us, we can control how we feel inside. And, when we feel our best, we are capable of anything!
One tip for manifesting your strength is: Visualization. Visualization has been a powerful tool for me. Research shows that when Olympic athletes visualize their performance in an event versus when they actually do the event, it stimulates the same region in the brain. I invite you to visualize exactly what you want. Imagine it’s already happened, and live and breathe what that feels like. Do this every day, either right when you wake up in the morning or right before you go to sleep, and wait to see what unfolds!
The root of our strength and power is: Our intuition. I went through so much of my life looking externally for answers, asking others what they thought rather than trusting my gut. Of course, it’s helpful to gather information to guide you, but ultimately your intuition is your ultimate guide and knows exactly what you need to do.
The words I live by are: Today, I choose me.
It’s so easy to put other people first—family, work, etc. However, they say on an airplane, “Put your mask on first, before helping others.” The same goes for life. If you don't prioritize your own self-care, you won’t be able to be there for others. So choose you. Take care of you!
One truth that is so important, but people don’t always realize is: In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz shares, “Don’t take anything personally.” What people don’t realize is that when others do or say terrible things, it has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. They are likely taking it out on you when you had nothing to do with the root cause. So, don’t take it personally, and focus on what you have control over—which is you!