Breath Is A Form Of Resistance For The Founder Of EXHALE

As a result of being abandoned by her biological mother, being bi-racial, and growing up in a Black home, Katara McCarty realized early in life that the color of her skin mattered. After becoming a single mother at 19 and finding the courage to leave an abusive relationship, McCarty became an entrepreneur holding leadership positions in both non- and for-profit organizations. Today, she is a sought-after coach, author, and podcast host dedicated to cultivating brave spaces where all Black, Indigenous, Women of Color (BIWOC) belong. As a Black woman, she is committed to amplifying the richness of BIWOC and their stories, while also advocating for and providing emotional well-being resources for BIWOC, through her app EXHALE. Here's how McCarty finds her power.

I feel most powerful when...

I am grounded and centered in who I am.

Power to me means...

Being in tune with your truest, most authentic self. Being connected to who you really are, not a manufactured version of who you are.

What do you do when you feel powerless?

I will mediate and do breathing exercises to bring myself back to myself. This creates space for me to get centered and grounded.

What's your power anthem?

There is power in our breath. Some of George Floyd’s last words were, 'I can’t breathe.' My community, the Black community, has been holding our breath for 400 years, waiting for the next onslaught of harm due to racism. As we learn to pause and connect to our breath through breathing techniques, this is where our power lies. Connecting to our breath becomes a form of resistance against systemic racism.

Who's your power icon?

My grandmothers and great-grandmothers. I've recently met my biological father, and he shared with me that his dad's mother, my great-grandmother, fled Tennessee as a young girl because at seventeen years old she was next in line to go to the "big house." Going to the big house meant she had to sleep with the landowner that her family did sharecropping on or one of his sons, and she refused to do so. That would have taken a lot of grit, guts, and power to make that decision and to leave home at seventeen. That is one of many stories that make my grandmothers and great-grandmothers my power icons.

What do you wear when you want to feel powerful?

Red lipstick.

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