As I write this post, I am listening to UMI’s Introspection live show. It’s been a while since I’ve shared anything here, but it still feels like home: a place that will always be here for me (so long as I pay the hosting fees lol). I’ve always liked the idea of Monthly Favorites, and this is my version of that. But I wanted to find a way to make my monthly favorites more than just “Oh, I like this!” or “This thing is the best!” And I think I’ve finally found the balance between “I like this thing” and “This is how this thing left an impression on me.” So, without further adieu, welcome to my new series, “Meditations + Manifestations”!
February has always been one of my favorite months. And how could it not be? The month is literally Black History Month! (plus Valentine’s Day is thrown in there as well) And this year was no different. Actually, I might be even more in love with February this year, and I don’t even know how that’s possible. But, it is.
As the years go by, there’s always more and more Black history being brought to the light, and a few of the films that I enjoyed this month included the Criterion Channel’s Ruby Dee collection and Hulu’s original movie The United States vs. Billie Holiday. Out of all of the movies in the Ruby Dee collection, I enjoyed St. Louis Blues the most. And speaking of movies, I was also brought into contact with the work of Zeinabu irene Davis this month, and I must say, wow! The way that woman captures Black womanhood on film leaves me absolutely breathless. And while it’s not technically a movie, I also enjoyed Princess Weekes’ Harlem Renaissance video for the series ‘It’s Lit.’ It’s also a great segue into some of my favorite readings from the month.
I also got the chance to do a lot of reading this month, starting with Good Books’ book club and our reading of Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis. It’s a book that I’d been planning to read for quite some time, so it was nice to finally get a change to sit down with it and learn more about the struggles of intersectional feminism, especially as it pertains to working-class Black women. A forever timely read, it seems. In the spirit of February, I also continued reading bell hooks’ trilogy on Love with Salvation: Black People and Love. It’s amazing how far self-love can take you. (spoiler: it gets you EVERYWHERE!) Another book that left a strong impact on me this month was The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. While reading the book did not take me very long, I know that I will be using its teachings for an eternity. A book that I’m currently working my way through is Violet Flame: Alchemy for Personal Change by Elizabeth Clare Prophet, and it’s another text that I know I will be using for the rest of my life. February is typically a month associated with healing and spirituality, and I must say, I’ve had a very growth-oriented February! (also, if you’re looking for more Black booktubers to watch, check out this video by Tiana Tea)
It costs $0.00 to go on a spiritual journey, but I promise you, utilizing some metaphysical goods along the way also helps! This month, some of the best tools I had were tarot and oracle decks. A few decks that I am ABSOLUTELY in love with right now include the Cosmos Tarot & Oracle, the Modern Witch Tarot, and the Believe In Your Own Magic oracle deck. I also got back into journaling this month, and it always feels good to write your thoughts out. (hence this blog) I love how journaling can be used for any and everything. I’m really into journaling my gratitude and card pulls, but I definitely use it for other things as well. Some other tools that helped me spiritually this month include this sleep meditation by Deepak Chopra and this full moon video on shadow work by UMI.
I’m really big on watching YouTube videos. My philosophy is if I like something, I’m going to find a YouTube video about it. Some of my favorite channels this month centered around Black people getting out into nature and exploring all that the Earth has to offer. Some of my favorites include The Unpopular Black, Adventure Bandits, and The Black Camper. It’s thru-hiking season (for the Appalachian Trail, especially), and I’ve watched more thru-hiking videos than I’d care to admit, but I don’t care! I love the meditative and enriching process that is thru-hiking, so I won’t stop! And some of the other things that I enjoyed on YouTube this month include NCT 2020’s 24-hour relay cam and Twitch streamer HAchubby’s video on her journey to opening her very own convenience store, HAchuMart. (not going to lie, I cried)
I didn’t listen to much new music this month, but I did realize that I LOVE working and reading to bossa nova. What even is bossa nova? I don’t know, but my heart sure loves it! I found this out listening to one of CandyMusicRoom’s extended bossa nova playlists one day at work, and now it’s one of the first genres I search for when there’s work to be done. (or video game OSTs, of course!) Speaking of video game OSTs, I revisited the SaGa Frontier OST this month, and oh my…that game’s music is amazing! I’m so glad it’s being remastered and brought to the Switch next month. That game practically raised me! Some of the other music (with words) that I’ve been enjoying this month include NCT 127’s Gimme Gimme, SHINee’s Heart Attack (yes, SHINee came back this month after three years, and it was WELL worth the wait), Rin音’s Cherry Blossom, SuperM’s No Manners, and UMI’s Friend Zone. Maybe, I should consider doing playlists…I don’t know, but that’s some of the music that helped me get through the month.
anime + manga:
Speaking of music, I watched Carole & Tuesday for the first time this month (only the first season so far), and the music on that show is PHENOMENAL! It’s a yes for me always, dawg. It reminds of Steven Universe, in the way that its music could easily stand alone without the show. Always a sign of a good OST, if you ask me. And as far as manga goes, my Japanese reading skills have been improving bit-by-bit, so I’ve been finding joy in Share Fami(ly). It’s a manga about three single dads who decide to buy a house together to raise their kids. It’s extremely wholesome and extremely funny!
And while I love funny and wholesome things, I love their opposites, too. The Penthouse 2 started streaming this month on Viki, and that show is so BRU-TAL. The characters are absolutely ridiculous. The scenarios are wild AF. And it’s packed full of makjang, but I think that just makes me love it even more. I recently got back into Korean dramas, and I’m glad this was one of my first ones. The range of emotions I feel in a single episode are simply astounding. One minute, I’ll be howling with laughter. The next, I’ll be sobbing profusely, and then, I’ll be yelling at the TV for how ridiculous a character is acting. If you like drama and absolute nonsense, then this is DEFINITELY the show for you. One episode, and you’ll never be able to get Cheon Seo-Jin’s “Oh Yoon-Hee!” out of your head. I promise. This show is wild, and I’m over it and locked in, all at the same time. Make it make sense!
food + drink:
I didn’t eat too many things worth noting this month, but I fell in love with hojicha lattes again. Yes, moreso than matcha lattes. (GASP) And my favorite snack this month was by and far dried sweet potato. I ended up purchasing a 24-pack because I loved it so much! I also fell in love with basil again. I don’t think I’ve had fresh basil in almost a year, so having it in my kitchen this month was a welcomed addition. I also enjoyed several recipes, including delicious day’s stir-fried udon (I subbed tofu for the shrimp), Veggie Society’s zuppa toscana, and Doug McNish’s seitan bacon from The Classics Veganized. So yeah, maybe I did eat kind of good this month, now that I think about it.
I don’t have any set goals for March (yet), but I do welcome it with open arms. I want to continue preparing for my return to making YouTube videos and learning more about video production. I also want to continue my spiritual growth journey and keep enjoying all types of pop culture as it presents itself to me. Spring is coming, so I’m DEFINTELY going to indulge in some cherry blossom-flavored things and watch some spring-y anime. March also means Women’s History Month here in the United States, so I can’t wait to learn about more of the amazing women that made and are making our world the one that it is today. March will be all about movement for me, and I am thrilled!