Mbonde’s Musings

Welcome to my blog where I integrate the personal and the political, my academic and artistic self. As a Black feminist anthropologist-in-the-making, this is where I process how my lived experiences with motherhood and mental health intersect with my research interests and my professional identity as a writer and a scholar.

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Navigating Broken Relationships After a Manic Episode 

One of the most painful aspects of living with bipolar is the way in which it can wreak havoc in our personal relationships. During mania we are more likely to make social faux pas from making promises in moments of grandeur we can’t keep to tearing people down during our unbridled rage. When we emerge from these states, we may have mortifying flashbacks of those moments we took up too much space, we’re too loud,…

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Empathic Parenting: A Black Technology of Survival

I have grown accustomed to being a vessel — holding what is not mine: thoughts, emotions, sensations, energy. It’s required me to feel bravely, to go into the depths of discomfort without knowing why or what I’ll find. My relational world is visceral. On any given day, I carry experiences that are known and unknown to me — from friends and strangers alike. Without the equilibrium that comes from being fully rested, nourished, and content,…

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Personal Years in Numerology & Tarot

Studying my Personal Year in numerology and tarot has been one of the most illuminating aspects of my spiritual practice. In numerology, the Personal Year is a year-long cycle defined by the energy of a number from 1 to 9 running sequentially. To put it briefly, After a 9 Year, the cycle of energy starts back at 1. I have been incredibly blessed to have this tool in my arsenal to understand with various seasons…

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Raising an Afro-Latina: Unlearning My Preconceived Notions about Blackness

As a baby of the 90s, I did not have many dolls that looked like me except for the Bratz dolls Sasha (the African American) and Yasmin (the Latina). Even then, they did not have curly hair, let alone kinky afro hair like me. Instead, they had bone straight hair so long it passed their knees. Having gone to predominantly white international schools my whole life, I wanted nothing more than to fit with my…

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Happy Birth Day to Me

You can always count on a doula to remind a mother that her child’s birthday is her birth day too! Every year around my daughter’s birthday my doula friends remind me that as inspiring as it is to witness our little ones blossom, we need to acknowledge our own growth. Today is my birth day. It’s not the day I was born, but the day I brought two new lives into this world: my daughter’s…

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