Today we’d like to introduce you to Mackala Lacy.
Mackala, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up understanding that I intuitively provided the safety for people to be vulnerable. I have always been the friend you could call sobbing, blubbering, not even quite sure what you’re mad for, and still be listened to. The beauty of the work I do as a community-based healer is that there is no real “start.” I believe that in developing into my most authentic self I have found ways to pass along tools to help others heal into their fullest selves as well.
The genuine intention to support folks on their healing journey came from my yoga practice. I won’t even play “chicken or the egg,” but my sense of purposefulness and spirituality renewed alongside my relationship to yoga. What started as a relaxing workout soon became my entryway to a community of Black and women of color yogis. From them, I learned the heart of the practice. At the encouragement of my loved ones, I studied to become a teacher a few years later.
As I continued teaching yoga. I found the relationship to body, heart, and mind inseparable for both myself and my students. I followed the path to marriage and family psychotherapist especially to support the mental health of marginalized communities. I had already experienced the mental health field before multiple times as a youth and… let’s just say I wasn’t impressed. As a Black queer woman, I found myself unheard at best and even made the butt of sexual jokes at worse by far too many professionals. As a therapist, I am able to help provide cultural and gender-affirming mental health services that avoid additional traumatization of oppressed groups and celebrate our stories instead.
Whatever I am doing and who I am with, I try my best to integrate my knowledge as a hatha yoga teacher, therapist, and social justice advocate. These days, I spend a lot of my free time happily manifesting The Well, my offering to my community and the world. The Well is a culturally responsive resource that provides trauma-informed holistic health services like yoga, tarot and divination services, wellness education, and (soon!) counseling for communities and individuals experiencing marginalization. Stay tuned for some radical wellness in your area soon!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Has it been a smooth road? Definitely not. Don’t even get me started! If there’s one thing that I have learned (and continuously have to be reminded of), it is that the only thing I can control in this life is myself, and that’s the message I would pass along to others. If you truly believe this, that you can only control your thoughts, feelings, and actions, then knowing your voice is the most important action you can take to move through this world. This is especially true for young women, and particularly young Black women, who are most harshly subjected to the opinions and general foolishness of others around them. If you’re not living authentically, then you are acting out someone else’s dream. Stay you, stay real, stay soft, and stay loud.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I’m known for my passion for mindful living and social justice. If my mouth is open, something related to either or both is likely coming from me. I’m #BlackGirlMagic embodied, essentially. I consider it my responsibility to provide, fight for, and challenge how we, as a culture, understand and provide care in oppressive spaces. A lot of my daily work is spreading awareness of the intergenerational complexities of healing and self-acceptance. It is a labor of love. I’m really proud of the relationships I’ve built with individuals and organizations spanning from South Central Los Angeles, Atlanta, Costa Rica, and abroad. I’m honored that I’ve been allowed to witness and learn from so many people I’d otherwise never have the chance to connect with.
I’m also proud as hell of my small business, The Well. The services provided by The Well are unique because of the diverse sources of wisdom they come from. Through collaboration with teachers, clinicians, and healers of all sorts of backgrounds we create a living, breathing, life-sustaining resource for marginalized communities, who we call Wellness Warriors. Wellness Warriors are the community of Black, indigenous, LGBTQ+, undocumented, low-income, spiritually and culturally diverse, people of color communities The Well serves, celebrates, and honors.
It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
Podcasts: I always recommend the Therapy for Black Girls podcast. It is a wealth of mental health and wellness information whether you are a clinician or client (or both!). Side Hustle Pro is the podcast that helped me translate The Well from an idea on paper to a proper and profitable hustle. Also, I gotta give it up for Small Doses with Amanda Seales. She is education and humor in the best way.
Books: If you would like an accessible read to start your mental health journey, check out “The End of Stress” by Don Joseph Geowey. The book has a bunch of concrete tools to help assess and decrease the amount of stress in your life. It was really helpful for the start of my own mental health journey. For a more in-depth exploration of the connection between body, mind, and emotions, I’d recommend “The Body Keeps the Score” by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk. Finally, if you happen to be interested in learning more about the application of yoga psychotherapy, check out “Healing the Whole Person” by Swami Ajaya.
- The Well Shop ($1.00 – $24.00)
- The Well Offerings / Services (varies by event – contact for more information)
- Website: thewellhealing.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Personal: benditlikelacy ; The Well: thewellhealing
- Facebook: facebook.com/klcommunityhealer