I say 'no' so much, it sucks: Cannaclusive Co-Creator Mary Pryor on self-care & how cannabis helps her manage Crohn's disease

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On last week's installment, Miss Tina Knowles-Lawson shared why taking young Solange and Beyoncé to therapy made them better sisters and humans, plus the power of dance and movement as a tool for therapy, and much more. Check it out

THIS WEEK'S GOODNESS:

Each of us needs something different to keep our spirits moisturized. This week, we spoke to Cannaclusive co-founder Mary Pryor about her current self-care situation, how cannabis helps her keep Crohn's disease under control, and how her company Cannaclusive is helping Black and brown folks get into the Cannabis game.

How would you rate your self-care right now on a scale of 1-10?

16!

Oh, snap! Tell me about that 16, please.

Oh yeah, baby. It’s boxing. It’s dance. It’s fitness. It’s therapy. Jumping rope every day. Bike riding. Saying no to everyone and everything that doesn’t serve me. I say no so much it sucks, but I have to. For me. People think I’m widely available to them. But I’m not. I’m out in the public, but I’ve created a faux outgoingness for myself. I was raised an only child so I was raised doing my own thing.

For me, my self-care is very important. I don’t drink. So when people hit me up about going to some open bar, that’s not exciting for me. So, no, I’m not going out to the open bar. So it’s changed my social circle a bit, but I don’t mind. I don’t look 36, but my friends who do all those things do. It’s fine.

What are you doing well for you right now?

A good fitness regimen. Meditation. I smoke early in the morning as soon as I wake up. I go work out.

Tomorrow’s my Me Day. That’s going to Trader Joe’s. Going to a boxing class. Hanging out with people I wanna hang out with. And literally being very selfish about what I need to do for me.

What could you be doing better or differently?

I'm trying to build more of a community. I‘d like to find more people who care about the things I care about and to do things with.

How has your self-care changed since being diagnosed with Crohn's disease? Have you become more health- or fitness-minded?

 Photo: Black Enterprise

Photo: Black Enterprise

I’ve been in fitness for 12 years. I was competing for a show and got sick two weeks before stepping on stage in October 2012. I’ve had abs twice in my life and I want to get them again. It's gonna happen. I’ve been spiritually connected and have had a faith practice all my life.

I've been working through anxiety and too much work. I've had sick parents. I was working suicide hotline jobs for extra money. I was doing a deck for someone the day of my mama’s funeral. I’m not perfect but I've been good. It’s been better. I'm getting better.

You've mentioned that cannabis has kept you from being hospitalized and needing chemotherapy for quite some time. How does cannabis factor into your wellness situation?

It helps with inflammation, appetite, and pain. I no longer take any severe medication for it. I have been off severe medicines for Crohn's for almost a year. I hated it a lot and I tried to not do it anymore. I just went cold turkey because, I was like, "I can’t do it. I’m done."

I’m very much so a “I’m just doing it” kind of person. So it wasn't that hard of a change. I had friends that were sick and dying and know people with Crohn's. I made dietary changes the day I knew what I got. I went full gluten-free and am vegan as much as possible. It took some time of figuring out with what’s good for for me, but I just did it.

I encourage elders and people with Crohn's to make the same change. I was ready after five years of dealing with medication. You have to be ready. When I know that something works and it works, I don’t go back. I don’t backslide.

You have to be mindful that the medication is making you sick, not better, and just masking the problem. It takes a lot of self work and self realization to realize that. I’m not a conspiracy theorist but I just...I’m done. When your life in danger, everything should be just like that.

They told me, you need to smoke cannabis two or three times a day and go gluten-free and vegan, okay. So I did it.

Food doesn’t rule my life. 

Achieving or working towards some level of financial and professional stability is also an important piece of one's self-care. With weed becoming increasingly legal, how does Cannaclusive help folks harness the economic power of this magical plant and dive into this booming industry many of us are already part of?

We throw recreational events and education/investment meetings and just have conversations with people about the benefits of cannabis. We talk about how to get in the business and how they can use it to help themselves professionally and personally. We have an event in NY and LA in July. Follow us on Instagram for those updates.

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How has your move into the cannabis industry been thus far?

It’s been welcoming for us. I deal with ignorant people every day. The best thing to say is that there’s a lot of miseducation around cannabis, even around the way we talk about weed.  A lot of that was based off racist jurisdiction and legislature, but we're working to change that. Much of how we view and discuss cannabis came from attempts to to associate it with Black people and poor people back in the 1920s. There  are people that play into and believe those stereotypes.

But I don’t look like that. We're good.

How has your self-care changed as you move more into this entrepreneurial space?

I have more free time to be more self-care oriented. You can't really be self-care oriented working in corporate America. I don’t know those people who are. For people who make that balance, it’s more of the party life than self-care. I like how I have things set up for me right now.

Any last words?

Believe in yourself. Reach for your dreams. If you want us to come do things, we’ll come do them.

How can people help you and Cannaclusive be great(er)?

Email us. We are looking for investors in our events and brand so that we can support our community across the country and seeking bookings for our stock photo capabilities given our inclusive Cannabis photo project (here). If you want us to come do things, we’ll come do them.

More Mary Pryor: Twitter | Instagram 

Cannaclusive: Web | Instagram

How's your self-care today? Check in and join the conversation at SelfcareCheckin.com (by GetSomeJoy).