Since I’m not able to coordinate a cookout and yard games for friends and family to celebrate with me, I felt the need to give back. In this time of the MF coronavirus, I wanted to honor the people who have raised me, supported me, loved me, taught me, learned from me, and have helped me get to this place of constant love and healing that I’m in today.
So why a birthday giveaway?
My ancestors and our people have beautiful ways of celebrating different milestones. These have changed over the course of time. What we continue to do today that was done generations ago, are giveaways to honor the people around us for providing, teaching, uplifting, loving, and to celebrate with us. Oftentimes, giveaways are to honor someone for their accomplishments or contributions or to honor a milestone for the community.
Those hosting the giveaway put together gifts for all ages in mind. When we were able to be together in person, they would ask each age group and gender to come and choose an item from the gifts. Each person holds their gift, waiting for everyone else to choose one, and then, we’d jam! There’s always a dope drum group singing a beautiful song that gets your body into that two-step rhythm. Raising your gift into the air with gratitude and love for your community and life. By hosting the giveaway, it’s a reciprocal relationship of them giving back to their community, and their community continuing to give back to them. It’s beautiful. Here’s another perspective on giveaways from another Native blogger.
It’s in our nature, as indigenous people to come together in times of need for the community or individuals who need support. Now, as we have to physically distance from our elders, our parents (who are sometimes elderly), and other family members to keep everyone safe from this MF virus, it’s been hard at times to still feel emotionally, physically, and socially connected. Among the other things we’ve had to witness since January, like the uprising and riots in response to George Floyd, and the tragedy our community here in the Twin Cities has had to work through, there are still so many beautiful and strong actions taking place. This is how our love for our people and community as indigenous people, as people of color, is and we are finally in the spotlight with leverage to share it. As hard as it still is, these moments of community, compassion, and the purest of love, are what have kept me going.
Hosting a giveaway and sharing the stories of what the people I have surrounded myself with have taught me, is my way of celebrating life, my day of birth and entrance into this world, and giving back to them and the community. Catch some of those stories on my IG. My training in birthwork has taught me many things. The more I’ve learned in birthwork, the more I’ve thought about how we honor our sacred bundles when they come earthside, as they grow and age, and when it’s their time to return to the stars. I’ve thought a lot about how we celebrate the precious life of a baby entering the world, the 9-10 months of discomfort, growth, and exhaustion of the mother carrying the baby, and the immense amount of love that pours from a baby and their caregivers, needs to be just as beautiful and loving. This is why I’m more interested in giving back than receiving gifts for my birthday.
I also want to clarify that I’m supportive of how our people celebrate birthdays which looks different for each family. Some families, including those of my own, have everything from amazing feasts with a prayer for the food or cookouts to themed birthday parties complete with presents, cake, and decorations. I thoroughly enjoy birthday parties and I rarely turn down a piece of birthday cake. However, I want to challenge you to think more intentionally about how you celebrate a blessing in your life, especially when that blessing is someone you love and appreciate. Things I’ve thought about are my intentions behind what I buy, where I buy it from, if it’s going to be useful into the future, and how it is honoring and celebrating this person. Other birthday questions I’ve thought about since becoming a mom are:
How is this, celebrating the blessing and things my tiny human teaches me?
How is this celebration giving back to the people that helped me as a first time parent?
How is what I’m purchasing honoring my son’s gifts? Their love?
How can I celebrate them without buying something from the store or sugary treats?
How meaningful is my purchase to them? Will it provide them with temporary joy or long-lasting memories?
How can I send love to those who come to celebrate with him?
For those that have come to Animikii’s birthday parties, you probably noticed that you would always be met with a small gift. That’s because it came from these questions and thoughts of how my ancestors celebrated these milestones called birthdays. I co-created the gifts with him. I would let him pick out things that he enjoys (as affordable and meaningful as possible), and have them ready to give away as a way to show appreciation to those that came to celebrate, those that help us or company he enjoys, and those that love him. It’s not much, but it’s always done with intention to give back to the people that support you for their contributions, which have allowed you to contribute and provide as well. I believe it’s the reciprocity I mentioned earlier, that makes giveaways, no matter how large or small, beautiful.
I’m so happy to share some of my favorite items and products with you through this birthday giveaway. Unfortunately, I don’t have items for every single person that I would like to highlight. So, I’m doing this giveaway as a bundle with items that I often use or things that bring me joy. Here they are (also in the picture) and, if you haven’t seen my IG post, give them all a follow to #buynative!
Throw blanket from Heart Berry @heart_berry_by_sarah_howes . I use the darker version of this blanket like- everyday! I use it as a wrap for a makeshift skirt when I pray and don’t have a skirt or dress to wear, for napping, for lounging, for playing, building an indoor tent. It has so many uses in our home! Check out her blog and other products https://www.heartberry.com/
Soap, conditioner, and bath bomb from @Haipazaza . I use their soap daily. Multiple times a day! My favorite is Succulent Yucca Root for hand washing and Smoked cedar for my hair. I also LOVE the Smoked Cedar conditioner. It’s especially gentle and awesome for Animikii’s wavy hair. And for those days I need to de-stress or feel like a cold might be coming on, among other things, I use the Eucalyptus bath bomb. Sometimes it’s a battle between Animikii and me on who actually gets to have the bath bomb. Order their products, and you will not regret it! Order some for yourself or the fam here: https://www.haipazazaphezuta.com/shop
Notebook from 8th Gen @eighth_generation . From my previous posts, Archive, or if you work with me, you will know that I bullet journal and journal to reflect and process things. It’s quite therapeutic. My favorite thing about bullet journaling is that you can customize and change it to meet your needs. It’s very likely that I will have multiple journals or notebooks on hand, because you never know when you’re going to run out pages to write on. Check out their other notebooks and products here: https://eighthgeneration.com/
Stickers from Takuku by Nacole @nakky . If you haven’t figured it out yet, I like to decorate and organize my notebooks. And my awesome cousin, Nacole, makes customized stickers. What’s so awesome about her stickers is that they are just what we all need in the paper crafting world- representation. There are three sheets of custom made stickers from Nacole for you to enjoy. If you want to order your own, check out her website: https://takukubynacole.com
I might add in a couple other goodies to this later in the week. Keep an eye out for the IG posts @_constantmotion_ and @constantmotionpoetry. And sending love to all of my Cancer brothers and sisters!
How to enter
Like my IG post
Follow my poetry account @constantmotionpoetry
Fill out the form for the Constant Motion Giveaway (see linktree link in IG bio)
2 additional entries for tagging a friend
5 additional entries for subscribing to my blog constantmotion.online (see link in bio!)
Entries end at 6pm CST on July 17th. Winner announced at 10am CST on July 18th.