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Common Wants Us to Put Self-Care into Action

Common Wants Us to Put Self-Care into Action

Self-care is a revolutionary idea for us. But in his latest book, award-winning artist Common explains why we should embrace it by starting with self-love, especially if wellness is one of our goals. “And Then We Rise: A Guide to Loving and Taking Care of Self”  (Harper One) offers a peek into Common’s personal path to self-love. Inspired by Dr. Maya Angelou’s seminal poem, the book’s title signals that we can become more powerful by taking better care of ourselves.

What makes this book a standout read is that he meets his readers where they are and doesn’t prescribe that they walk his exact path but instead find what works best for them. It is divided into four sections: The Food, The Body, The Mind, and the Soul, which represent dimensions of self-care—physical, mental, soul, and community. In each part, he gives us access to the experts who have been integral to his evolution—an integrative medical doctor, a chef, a personal trainer, a therapist, and a pastor.

In The Food section, for example, he writes about how our elders prepared our foods in certain ways because there weren’t many choices available. And we now have to unlearn the things that were passed down because they were a means of survival. We are surrounded by processed food, whereas our ancestors were closer to the land. And he reminds us, “Factory food is designed to make money, not create health.” But he cautions us not to expect overnight success. Real change can take years.

In The Body section, he advises us to approach fitness with the idea that improvement is possible instead of seeking perfection. And the importance of being present in our bodies, loving them as they change, and embracing their flaws.

In The Mind section, Common shares how Muhammad Ali’s theory of self-belief crystallized for him, helping him understand the difference between bragging and self-appreciation.

In The Soul section, he shares the spiritual practices that keep him grounded.

Peppered throughout are actionable tips that can start the reader on their path to wellness, including recipes, a workout plan (complete with a playlist), and a set of questions to ask ourselves.