We had the good fortune of connecting with Nagiarry Porcena-Meneus and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nagiarry, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Living in a meditative flow is vital to me. It is a sacred practice that nurtures me home to the present moment, to the lifeline of my breath. Just as mother’s womb rooted for and embraced the seed of my growth, life is doing the same daily. I am supported by billions of organisms and interconnected with the multifaceted ways that creation, keeps on being. Just as you are. And so, we are. The practice of remembering that all is aligning as intended is freeing. There are webs of choices intermingling in each moment, visible and invisible. They can be from me, from us, earth, cosmos, and all in between. And so I gift my love by being in tune with this flow and my role within it. I trust in the journey, through the uncertainty, to experience the highest forms of love. River flows, so can I follow the course of my journey. The sun is, and so can I be in my own cycles too. Living is an experience, a daily teacher. It is about listening to the visions and messages that arrive, and applying them to the best of my ability each day. The principle of meditative flow gifts me light feathers as a pathway to dance, embody artistry, cry to express, laugh uncontrollably, create and do, imagine, breath in and out. It connects me deeper to my intuition and authenticity. I take risks and welcome adventures; see where intentional visions transport us. I write down my ideas because each one of them came to me for a conscious purpose. And so, it is. Navigating through past traumas and not giving them permission to define my vitality has freed me. Gratitude in essence is at the core of my flow. Life is as is. And so I exist, rest, create, thrive, change, become, fail, unlearn, feel, think, transform. I strive each day in giving myself permission to be in my multifaceted identities, while welcoming space for the rise of what may come next. On days when the horizon is blurry, I remember my breath, reflect on my emotions and thoughts, then give thanks. The wisdom is within each of us. Your path is a journey and so is mine. Meditative flow can be applied to all arenas of my life. The changes that we seek to see around us is outwardly expressed through how we connect with our own essence, perceptions and experiences. This flow is interconnected. So, my intentionality is to root for the people and ecosystems around me by also being in tune with my own creation. This dives deeper into the flow of how we root for each other, which to me, at the core thrives through loving intentionality including for the intersectional realities, cultures and systems that exist at the same time. My role is to do what I do for and with those around me by giving my wholehearted best. It is a daily love letter, devotion, passion and vow. From my words to my actions, being in tune with the larger and local purposes keep me in flow.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I believe that we are continuously creating, and so creativity is within each of us. That creativity can be within ourselves and with those around us. The vitality of finding resources and creating them is creative. We are resourceful. Life is. It is mine to embrace, just as yours shows up in its own ways. It is for us to then choose how we identity with ourselves, what terms fit or do not fit our perceptions. The webs within each of us compile then lead us to form a thought, idea, process. That’s beautiful and creative to me. We are influenced, recycling the creativity in thought and design from what is around us. That is, while birthing ways of being from what is within us. I am a creative being with multifaceted possibilities and visions. From all that I do and am, there is a creative process intertwining. I am a published writer who seeks to write many books throughout my lifetime, wherever words lead. I am currently writing a book that will be published in divine timing as related to my own childhood experiences and the teachings that rise from them. I am the author of a poetry book named Uphold Voices in Motherhood. Giving thanks to the storytellers who came before me and all those who are thriving in this lifetime with me. Writing has nourished me through the chaos and across bridges. We vow to walk through this life together. I am a poetic creatrix who seeks to nurture how words can birth from the depths of my womb. I am a meditation guide, hosting free meditative and journaling sessions twice a month online. You can join by emailing mindfulmorningsphilly@gmail.com or visiting my website for more information. Just as journaling helped me overcome Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from experiencing the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, I seek to be in community with people through this beautiful practice. The Alliance for Watershed Education of the Delaware River and The African-American Museum in Philadelphia previously invited me to host meditation sessions with them. Giving thanks. I am seeding visions as an archivist and podcaster. Uphold Voices in Family, is a lifelong endeavor which includes a podcast that honors the voices of past-present lineages, including my own. It is a vessel of remembrance for present and generations to come. Parent-child relationships are spaces that influence the holistic liberation that can be envisioned within each of us, around us locally and globally. The ability to listen and value each other’s voices, ways of transforming is vital. The Uphold Voices in Family podcast which started on May 31, 2020 honors the multidimensional and intersectional influences of family (parental figures and childhood) experiences through mindful storytelling. The four pillars are inner self, physical self, surrounding environments and intergenerational present histories. The first season centered around motherhood and was created to honor the multidimensional ways that mothers parent consciously, all while empowering their humanity, lived experiences, rooted insights, challenges, grief, joys, hopes, and dreams. It is about welcoming each guest as they are, where they are in their journeys. Motherhood is so important and valued in this life. This podcast is also my way of extending a resounding “your humanity matters and always will” to mothers across our collective, including my own mother and ancestor. The podcast which is available on all major networks including Spotify, iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts has released 12 episodes during the first season with love at its core. Mothers shared their stories from the importance of black maternal health, self-love activism, family roles, mental health advocacy, foster care awareness, immigrant journeys, holistic wellness. The garden grows. I wanted motherhood to start this lifelong journey of honoring our voices within the multifaceted layers of family relations. It is how each mother appreciated sharing their stories through the podcast that encourages me to keep going. Our stories are powerful. Our truths are worthy of breathing space. The second season is starting soon with wide-ranging voices from fatherhood, childhood experiences, ancestral histories, motherhood. It is about honoring my voice and yours. Uphold Voices in Family grew from a podcast to also including a thorough directory of resources on the website, sharing family photo archives and accepting writing submissions. To be a podcast guest, sponsorships, collaborations and more, please reach out hello@upholdvoicesinfamily.com. You can also visit the website: www.upholdvoicesinfamily.com I am also a second-generation human geography advocate currently working in the field of neighborhood economic development with previous work experiences in community organizing, program management and environmental education. My mothers inspires me every day through this work. How did I get to where I am today? I give thanks to every experience from learning English when moved to Philadelphia 11 years ago, to experiencing life every day, obtaining an academic education from Temple University, reading, listening, reflecting, failing, unlearning, being and enjoying the process. In addition to that, I opened myself to asking questions, seeking resources, and doing the research. It can be with an organization, a school counselor, friend. I start where I am, with what I have. It is about believing that there are resources around me, and us. There are also people who seek to give and receive support. That is beautiful. Giving thanks for the ways we can keep each other aware of opportunities. Support makes a difference, and believing that we are not a burden opens even more doors to receive. In terms of work experiences, what has helped me too is not limiting myself from where knowledge can be nurtured. I first started by working as a dental assistant for two years even though I knew this wasn’t going to be my long-term devotion. Wherever passionate contributions can be, I continue to follow and believe that even more will grow there. Wherever I am, I give my best and remember that it makes a difference. This experience taught me a lot in addition to volunteering and applying to as many jobs that align. The opportunities are usually published on LinkedIn and other job boards. Before each interview, I learn more about the organization’s values, intentionally prepare beforehand, remember my authenticity and the value of my experiences. All that is to align, will. When an organization does not choose me to work with them, it does not lessen my value and power. I would argue that I bloom even more. I can keep going, so can you. And so, I flow with trust. What is also important is not limiting myself to the jobs I apply by being in tune with my own capacities even if it goes beyond my previous work experiences. If I believe that I can do something, then so can I apply for the opportunity. The choice is mine in that first instance while the rest follows its course too. We learn, grow, become. I overcome challenges by believing that I can and affirming so. My passionate intentionality is to do my best. Love is in action through each endeavor, one day at a time. I create, give, support, believe, transform and be. Giving thanks to all the people who are reading this and being who they are. May my words serve as a reminder of their beauty and capacity too. It would be my pleasure to co-create, collaborate, share ideas with anyone who may be interested, in alignment. Let’s keep on being! I am most excited for the journey and all that will keep unfolding.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
That’s a fun one! Welcome to a week-long adventure in Philadelphia. I would create an itinerary based on what my friend enjoys, what we enjoy and add even more quality, fulfilling experiences in between. There is something special about walking around the City, without a specific plan; getting lost, finding our way, being fully present, laughing, sharing stories and exploring locations. It is as though we are both discovering and rediscovering the City together. I would be amazed, jumping around with joy while being somewhere that I have been many times before. That’s the excitement when sharing an experience with someone I love deeply. I might just transform into a first-time visitor myself. So, I think there would be a day of doing just that if my friend flows in the same thought process with me. Oh, and excited for a warm home with all the things that my friend enjoys. Some good hospitality and taking care of my friend! Ah, dreaming right now. On another day, we could get into some historical landmarks. We would visit the Independence Hall, where the United States Constitution was created. From there, the Liberty Bell Center, Independence Visitor Center, Belmont Mansion, Eastern State Penitentiary and the Johnson House Historic Site which holds a significant role in the Underground Railroad. On others days, we would explore the Philadelphia Magic Gardens, the Colored Girls Museum, the African-American Museum in Philadelphia, the National Marian Anderson Museum, Woodmere Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and relax by the Rocky Steps. As a post-pandemic experience, we would just flow and explore as many places as we can based on where we are gravitated towards. We would find many treasures along the way. I would love to go earthing with my friend! Be barefoot on the ground, feel the soil in a public park somewhere. That would be amazing. We would watch people pass by, relax, do some wellness practices and remind ourselves how deserving we are of feeling grounded. Some park, green spaces and hiking experiences would include Tacony Creek Park, Wissahickon Valley Park, Fairmount Park, Clark Park, Shofuso Japanese House and Garden, Bartrams Garden and of course time by the river at the Delaware River Waterfront. You would also see us at Love Park located in the John F. Kennedy Plaza and around the Philadelphia City Hall too. We would visit local small businesses, explore bookshops, wellness centers. Imagine a spa day?! Wow. As we explore places though, we would strive to remain mindful of each other’s pace, needs and preferences. For places to eat, Reading Terminal Market is a must. Every day, we would visit various cuisine in the Olney neighborhood, West Philadelphia, and wherever else the wind transports us. At night, you may find us at a rooftop or porch somewhere, watching the stars and nurturing ourselves with fresh air. It would be amazing to dance out loud, on streetscapes or in the comfort of our house. We would play games, create art, share stories, connect with whomever we can chat with, visit places spontaneously based on enjoyable events that draw our interests. As long as we are in each other’s company, we would find joy, create, take care of each other, dream wide and share a memorable experience! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to give a shoutout to my mother, dear ancestor who birthed me. Thank you for this gift of being alive in this lifetime. From from the root of her light, we are intertwining each day. I give thanks to all seen and unseen forces that are rooting for me each day, including my ancestors. Thank you for their love and devotion, the many ways that they fostered strategies of survival, thriving in their own powers. And so that I can thrive while being here too. I give thanks to the Most High, to this Earth, and all its aboriginal ways of existing. May the stories and truths that we embody amplify beyond our wildest imagination. I give thanks to all the people, since my birth and into this moment, for crossing paths with me, us with each other. Thank you for all the teachings, even from the pain that has taught me and freed me. Thank you for the memories, friendships, sisterhood, laughter, experiences. Thank you for leading me even deeper to my core. Thank you for the gift of seeing you in your own journeys, as you are and where you are. Thank you for the ability to experience you, in our own beauty and light. Memory is my teacher, always. I give thanks to my dear grandmother who uplifts valleys and teaches me the many ways that love is in action. Thank you for feeding my soul and stomach with delicious food beyond words can ever embody. Thank you for rooting for me, so that I can keep rooting for myself and all those around me. Thank you for this cycle and ripple effect. I give thanks to my dad who even though we had to be physically separated after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, continues to believe in my voice and my power. Thank you for showing me that love travels across ocean floors to meet me and us where we are. I am not a burden, nor too far from love to hold me. Thank you for your wisdom, intellectual guidance, support and understanding. I would not be where I am without this lineage and heritage. I would not be where I am without the land of Ayiti and Philadelphia, Lenni Lenape lands that have guided my steps ever since living here 11 years ago. Thank you to Lenni Lenape lands for welcoming the younger me, and teaching me so much that I strive to apply each day. Thank you to my dear aunt who opened her home to my little sister and I with a caring kindness that transcends. It is because of her generous love and heart that I too can thrive. Giving thanks for water, food, warmth during the cold weather, her presence. Thank you for believing in my success, and wanting the best for me. Giving thanks to my sister, Ryngi for being a vital companion with me in this lifetime every single day. She, alongside my niece, are as waterfalls, sunshine, flowers and a light of their own. We are of each other, rooting for each other. Giving thanks to Emeline Michel, a beautiful songstress from Ayiti who guides me to my own light ever since childhood, from the lips of my mother to my own. I am grateful for the amazing creatives who keep creating, each one of them. I give thanks for the organizations with whom I have worked with, and all those who are doing amazing, intentional work every day. In this moment, I give thanks to VoyageLA for this interview, for valuing our stories and my own. Giving thanks to the journey.

Website: www.nagiarry.co/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nagiarry/?hl=en

Image Credits
Main Photo by Ryan Powell

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