Born in the U.S. with Native American and Jamaican roots, Chenoa Maxwell has moved from being a Hollywood actress to a transformational coach and emotional intelligence expert. Her practice stretches between LA and NYC, working with many high ranking executives and celebrities.
Chenoa’s childhood was laced with trauma, physical and sexual abuse, and abandonment. By the age of 15 she tried to commit suicide and ended up being admitted to a mental institution. It was there, she says, she first learned about meditation and breathwork. That was the beginning of a journey to understanding that peace and healing reside within the self. Today, this is the message she imparts to her clients and the world.
Live Limitlessly is Chenoa’s coaching practice that equips its clients with the tools to dissolve barriers, shift points of view and cement success in every aspect of life.
An advocate as well, Chenoa also uses her platform to demand justice for victims of police brutality and inclusivity, while sharing countless tips on reducing coronavirus-related anxieties.
“Being a woman of color living in America, racism is not always bold and in your face. It’s often an experience of microaggressions. It’s the small things you’re always contending with every day of your life as a person of color.”
These microaggressions, Chenoa says, include having both your perspective and presence dismissed. Your integrity and worthiness are constantly in question, she notes. And, across all industries, you’re also almost always underpaid.
“You learn to be political in the way you speak. You watch your tone and your temperament. You have to be a little more educated and refined. You let a lot of things pass that are unacceptable, because that’s what you were taught to do. Your parents and grandparents did it too… And it becomes a cultural thread that feeds a feeling of unworthiness in your soul.”
Chenoa reasons that on a collective, cultural level, the black community is grappling with deep-seated, cellular trauma. She believes that, along with taking a stand for humanity at large, we each also have a responsibility to heal our own, individual trauma.
“We must be more mindful. Engage in less escapism. Be present to the emotions we are feeling, and essentially get inside our bodies. Otherwise, this trauma turns into sickness,” she explains.
Here are some wellness practices Chenoa encourages black men and women to use during these times…
A lot of us are not present to how we are feeling right now. Sit still. Take a moment and ask yourself how you are feeling. Ask yourself where you’re holding tension - in your shoulders; your temples? Wherever that tension is, consciously create circulation there. Bring more love and energy into the area. Bringing attention to how you are feeling is a simple, beautiful way of improving your health.
It’s especially important right now to get enough sleep, breathe if you are anxious, exercise, seek community and get help if you need it. Seek the tools you need to stop creating these generational cycles of trauma.
Breathe is underrated. It’s a powerful tool that brings you back to center if you’re struggling with anxiety, anger or any kind of intense emotion.
Always choose to love and honor yourself.