To properly introduce our tribe to the concept of Ujima, it is impossible to do so without acknowledging the four pillars of health: proper breathing, drinking enough water, eating a culturally appropriate diet, and movement. When carefully considered and implemented together as equally important components, your tribe will better understand and live in harmony with one another. You will be able to operate in Ujima fully because you are healthy enough to serve your family, tribe, and wider community. Ujima, or the principle of collective work and responsibility, demands that each member of a tribe contributes to the greater good. This is a difficult notion for many modern day Americans because we are accustomed to receiving individual rewards for our labor; however, Ujima requires us to shift our focus from self-gain to the betterment of the entire community. Proper breathing, drinking enough water, eating a culturally appropriate diet, and movement are essential to living in Ujima because they can help you give your best to those around you.
What are the four pillars of Health? Let's start with a quick overview of what each one means:
Proper breathing: Respiration is the flow of air into and out of our bodies. If you are not breathing properly, your body will not be able to function optimally. When we breathe properly, we are taking in more oxygen than we would otherwise. This increases the amount of energy and vitality that we have on a daily basis. Proper breathing also reduces stress levels in our bodies.
Drinking enough water: We need to drink half our weight in ounces every day to stay hydrated and healthy. Water flushes toxins from our bodies, helps us lose weight and feel full, supports the muscles in our bodies, and much more!
Eating a culturally appropriate diet: Our tribe is mainly of African descent, and most of us have been in America for at least 5 generations, so what is culturally appropriate for us is a major question that we here at Gye-Nyame take very seriously and constantly research and experiment with. By eating a diet that is nutritionally dense for your body type, you will support your ability to perform physically, mentally, and emotionally every day.
Maintaining movement: Movement is one of many things that makes us human. We need to move our bodies every single day. Movement can take many forms including exercise or just taking walks around your neighborhood or city. You do not need to have a membership to a gym, you just have to be willing to move and work, and if you belong to the right tribe there should be plenty for you to do. here are some questions for those on the #NguzoSabaChallenge:
What is this pillar of health that you feel is most important to your tribe's health?
What is your relationship with the four pillars of health?
What is your biggest challenge in being healthy and or fit?
What are some of your self-care practices?
What are some of your Tribe-care practices?
If you learn these four pillars of health, you can serve every part of yourself and that knowledge will take you far. One of your greatest assets is your health. So, take care of it. If you do all of the things we have discussed here, your mind, body, and soul will operate in Ujima. You will be healthy so that you may live your life to its fullest capacity as a human being. As well as serve your tribe, and push them into prosperity. here are seven ways to improve your relationship with the 4 Pillars:
1. Accept your family and the culture you have grown up in.
2. Make time to consciously practice proper breathing techniques
3. Drink steady amounts of water throughout the day.
4. Evaluate your food intake according to a diet that serves your tribe
5. Commit to daily movement that are natural, and exploit your humanness
6. Eat deeply mindfully – nourishing yourself to serve others better
7. Engage in Tribe building activities
Here is your proverb of the day:
Ujima Toast Podcast
"You must die for your own sacred conviction."