“Where in Africa are you from?”

The following is excerpted from Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child: Years ago, when I was doing my residency in Chicago, I was making my way through the hospital cafeteria when a tall, slender, white attending physician approached. He looked me up and down, almost as though in resignation. “Where in Africa are you…

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No, Self-Love Won’t Make You a Narcissist

Show yourself some compassion. Show yourself some love. Every day we are encouraged to love ourselves and give ourselves grace, to make the practice of self-compassion part of our daily routine. But doesn’t all this talk of self-compassion and self-love place too much emphasis on the self—steering us away from developing compassion and empathy for…

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Under the Coconut Tree

The following is excerpted from Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child: One warm morning in La Rivière des Nègres, my dad took me to the northwest side of the house and showed me four coconut trees. Given their size, I thought they must have been planted about six to eight months earlier. “One of…

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One More Chance to Live

The following is excerpted from Twelve Unending Summers: Memoir of an Immigrant Child: I woke from a deep sleep in a frenzied panic, for a moment uncertain where I was. Cooking utensils flew across the cabin. Waves crashed over the deck and beat against the glass panel between me and the violent winds outdoors, and I…

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Time for Self-Care? Don’t Forget Self-Compassion!

It is true that we live in a fast-paced, constantly changing environment. It is true that we are busier, more stressed, and less connected than before. The good news is that we’re aware of it—and we’re taking steps to improve our brain health through practicing self-care. A massage. A scented bath. A hike out in…

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Mango Treasure Hunt

The glaring hot Caribbean sun is losing its lustrous heat, at least from where I am sitting on the mound of yellow dirt, tracking the movement of my shadow. Once my shadow is directly beneath me, I will know there is enough shade, but even now I feel the cool breeze drying my sweat. It…

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