Erika Totten on removing the word ‘lazy’ from her vocabulary

The minute you hear Erika Totten say ‘You have to work twice as hard’ plants a seed of unworthiness’, your thoughts begin to unravel and you begin to question everything you’ve been told about how you should work. 

Erika Totten is a spiritual life coach helping BIPOC folks process racial stress, break free from self-limiting beliefs, and create lives rooted in joy, authenticity and liberation.

Erika Totten lazy #blkcreatives
Erika will help you get your life together.

In a recent IG Live, she expressed how she’s had to remove the word ‘lazy’ from her vocabulary.

“If you grew up and people were calling you lazy as a teenager – knowing that puberty is fucking us up and our bodies are changing so rapidly – so of course, we’re tired. But if you had some adults in your life that were calling you lazy, then you started to embody that,” she cautioned

Erika further explained how the ‘lazy’ label is really inaccurate when it comes to Black people. 

“I have never in my life met a lazy Black person. Ever. I’ve met exhausted ones. I’ve met folks who are experiencing so much trauma that it’s exhausting their nervous system, that all they can do is sleep and rest. They aren’t able to do the most basic functions of taking care of themselves because they’re depressed. 

They’re not lazy. 

But they’re dealing with so much trauma, multi-generational trauma, psychological trauma, historical trauma, vicarious trauma, not one of us are lazy. 

We’re just holding a lot of shit.”

We hope that the next time you want to get down on yourself about being “lazy” you’ll refer back to this piece and this reminder she shared from The Nap Ministry:

“Rest is not a luxury. Or a privilege. It’s a right, period.”

“Rest is not a luxury. Or a privilege. It’s a right, period.” – @thenapministry via @blkcreatives Click To Tweet

Journal Questions


Who or what told me I was “lazy”?

What was the truth?

What are some small ways that I can take better care of myself?

Am I allowing myself to rest? If yes, how do you feel? If no, why not?

What can you give yourself credit for?

Learn more about Erika on her website, follow her on Twitter and Instagram

Erika was also a guest on our Twitter chat about Black joy, you can find the recap here.