Motivational Monday: Embrace the New Moon and Celebrate New Beginnings

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Happy Monday, friends! It has been exactly 101 days since my last post, and while I never intended to take a break, particularly one this long, I need you to know that it was needed in a way I didn’t realize or expect. And it’s probably no surprise that my return is one day after the new moon–a point where we leave behind the old and make way for the new. I don’t think this period of the month or my life could have come at a more perfect time! Now, the break was hard, as are most disruptions and endings. But when we let go of that which does not serve us, when we leave behind the pain and suffering, we make room for peace, love, and joy. I’m feeling empowered and renewed this morning, and I’m so happy to be back, so here’s to this new moon and new beginnings. May goodness abound. And before I share all the goodness and positive changes I’ve encountered over the last three months, I feel like I need to explain my absence. In short, I no longer felt like myself.

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Wellness Wednesday: Black Girl in Om

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My sister-friend and yogi inspiration, Deaundra Audrey Cash (@thesoulflowyogi), is an incredible yoga instructor at Core Power Yoga in Decatur, GA. Photo taken by @hboshotit.

A few weeks ago, I shared a list of my favorite podcasts and destination spots. Not too long after that post, a friend of mine pointed me towards another podcast, and I’ve been addicted ever since! Black Girl in Om is a new(ish) podcast and online publication dedicated to promoting wellness and building community and culture among women of color. Co-hosts Lauren Ash (Founder), Zakkiyyah Najeebah, and Deun Ivory (Art Director) post almost weekly episodes that both empower and inform women of color on various ways they can and should practice self-care. In a world that very rarely shows Black girls any love, each episode celebrates Black sisterhood and provides a safe space that encourages me (and I hope women and young girls who look like me) to not only be my true self, but also–and more importantly–to simply love who I am and the skin I’m in, and to do so unapologetically.

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Wellness Wednesday: Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Brown Sugar CookiesAfter nearly five months apart, my best friend and former college roommate and I reunited this weekend for an old-fashioned slumber party complete with movie-watching, binge-eating, and yummy baking (yes, I licked the spoon). After a quick visit to my local grocery store, we were ready to make what turned out to be the most delicious, chewy, soft, and perfectly sweet cookies I’ve ever eaten (thanks, Sally)! Each bite was filled with so much flavor, I couldn’t limit myself to just one. Obviously, today’s post isn’t exactly the healthiest recipe, but there’s something so comforting and relaxing about not only baking, but also indulging, and if you can do both with one of your closest friends, then I don’t think there’s anything sweeter.

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Wellness Wednesday: Mindful Gardening for a Healthy You

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I am not a gardening person. Digging through soil, swatting away insects, and baking in the boiling sun just don’t sound too appealing. It seems there’s far more that goes into growing and nurturing flowers, plants, and whatever else I’m hoping to grow than I really have the time or patience for. I’d rather just skip a few steps, head to my nearest grocery store, and buy pre-cut flowers. It’s so much easier to forgo the heavy lifting and hard work. I don’t want to go through the planting, fertilizing, watering, and waiting stages. It’s monotonous, time-consuming, and just plain unpredictable. What if I spend all of my energy on my garden, but nothing blooms? It feels like a waste, right?  Well, if we look a little closer, we oftentimes treat ourselves and our circumstances similarly.

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Kermit Says: You Should Go & Love Yourself

 

 

During my junior year of college, I took a course called “Representations of Women in the Media.” It was such a transformative experience that forever changed the way I interacted with what I watched and listened to daily. Like most twenty-year-olds, I merely consumed media, ingesting it in all of its forms without thinking twice. The problem here is that when we ingest it, we also internalize it, whether we realize it or not. Media plays such a huge role and shapes how we view ourselves, this world, and others. If we’re not careful, we can emerge with a limited and stereotypical worldview, pick up some destructive habits, and develop low self-esteem. Now, today’s post is starting to sound a lot like a sermon on media literacy, but that’s not the point, at least not entirely. Part of the point of this story is that after I learned to be more critical of what I was consuming in print and visual media, I decided to make a documentary as my final project for the course. I got a group of my closest friends together and asked them a series of questions about what they were seeing and how it was affecting them. The biggest point of this all, however, was what I learned in the end…

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Wellness Wednesday: Self-Care for Activists

In less than one week since the inauguration, Trump has taken action to repeal the Affordable Care Act, defund Planned Parenthood and sanctuary cities, build a wall along the US-Mexico border, and approve the controversial Dakota Access and Keystone Pipelines. In the wake of one of the largest protests in recent history, Trump’s decisions serve as a complete slap in the face to the millions who protested over the weekend, and further proves that he is not a man who stands up for the people. Directly or indirectly fighting against such impending tyranny is exhausting. Maybe you live in a household or attend a school filled with Trump supporters. Maybe you demonstrated this weekend. Or maybe you just feel the weight of injustice on your shoulders because you are fully aware of what’s going on in the world. My friends, wherever you find yourselves, know that this fight, this revolution, this stand is only the beginning. It will be long and it will be dirty, so please take care of yourselves. Here are a few tips:

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Dear Kermit: Know Yourself, Know Your Worth

Happy Tuesday, friends! You know what time it is: it’s time for another Dear Kermit… podcast (finally). Today’s post is not a response to anyone’s question, but perhaps a piece of advice from myself to myself. I’m sure today’s post will touch on topics we can all relate to at some point or another: heartbreak, fear, pain, trust, (dis)honesty, self-love, self-worth, self-doubt, and the terrifying idea of new beginnings and budding relationships (yikes). I hope this podcast speaks to someone in the same way I hope it will help me. What a great reminder that any external love has to first come from within. If you don’t love yourself, who will?