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The Truth About Self-Love That No One Told You

“Self-love will save your soul”

r.h Sin

“Know thyself, accept thyself, love thyself, trust thyself, conquer and master thyself”

Kathleen Richardson


Everyone talks about self-love. What it is and what it looks like; its words, actions, habits, and deeds. But so many struggle with both grasping the concept of self- love and manifesting self-love into a working reality. The reason is that self-love has been separated from the fundamental truisms of Self. Self-love is not a solitary practice. “Love yourself”, they say. They remind us that Self-love is the best love. But they never quite tell us how to love ourselves. What many fail to reveal is that there is no self-love without first having a solid foundation of self-awareness, self-knowledge, and self- acceptance. And they never tell us that there will be no evidence or manifestation of self-love if there isn’t self-trust or self-mastery to follow.

In our microwave, I want it now, take the shortcut, cheat code society, we want maximum results with minimum effort. We want the glory without a story. We want the reward without the risk. We want the prize without the sacrifice. We want the change without the impending crisis.



Self-love has been cherry picked and isolated as something we should all strive to achieve, but it is time to place it back in its proper context of the internal, very personal process that encompasses so much more than cute Instagram hashtags of self-care Sunday’s (although they are necessary and fun). A quote that comes to mind is, “It is the process that activates the promise”. You don’t wake up one day and start loving yourself. You don’t simply use affirmations to love yourself. You must do the work and begin the process.



It starts with knowing thyself. Who are you? At your soul level? What makes you uniquely you? You must search and unearth your deepest truth. You must shed the layers of social and familial conditioning and socialization to arrive at the naked truth of your essence. You must cut the draining and toxic energetic cords with family and friends, sorting through to determine what belongs to you and the bullshit that belongs to others that has been projected onto you. As A Nichole explains, “And then I suddenly realized that I was not obligated to carry the suitcases that I didn’t pack and didn’t have my name on them”. You must unbecome to simply be. You must Know thyself…


Then you must accept thyself. Be at peace with who you are. Accept that your desires are your desires, and they are valid. Accept the life you have been purposed to live. Be at peace with the karmic soul contracts and work you must engage in. Accept your ancestral assignment with grace. You must accept that you may be different from everyone else. You must be ok with the path chosen for you. You accept responsibility for the energy you emit and the frequency you operate in. You must get comfortable with your inherent truth. You accept all of who you are and release all of who you are not. The acceptance leads to being at peace with who you are. And then you rock that shit out.



Once you know who you are and accept who you are, you can begin to love yourself. How do you love something or someone you don’t know. How can you deeply appreciate someone by only seeing the surface. What does self-love look like? Honoring who you are in every moment. Forgiving yourself when you fail to honor yourself in the moment. Commitment to yourself. Establishing healthy boundaries. Taking care of your spirit and body. Self-love is nurturing the relationship between you, your inner child, and your higher self. Your confidence increases. You begin to show up in the world boldly and authentically. That quiet, subtle power begins to ripple through the world.

Then comes the fun part! You begin to trust yourself and your highest truth above all else. You learn to follow your intuition and trust the promptings of your heart. Your spiritual hearing is increased, and you no longer doubt that what you know, feel, and hear is accurate. You no longer need the validation of others. Every answer lies within, easily accessible, and always on point. Any confusion, doubt or fear is cast aside by the simple reminder that you got you. And you know that you got you because God and the ancestors got you. You begin to know on a soul level, that you cannot fail.


Lastly, there is self-mastery. As Don Miguel Ruiz states, “Mastery is a way of thinking, a way of acting and a journey you experience”. You conquer yourself. You fight and win a thousand battles within. You realize that your greatest trauma was a gift. That everyone who broke you, berated you, and betrayed you was being used to build you. You understand they were pawns being used to manifest God’s glory in your life. That realization means that those who hurt you, no longer have power over you. You realize the fears that haunted you were only illusions. And you wonder why you spent so many years running from the mirror that would have reflected your true beauty with a simple clearing away of life’s debris. You understand that rock bottom is the only way to know God, that sorrow and suffering were the greatest companions and teachers. Self-mastery breeds a type of gratitude only the most resilient have. As Marianne Williamson says, “Having loved and lost, I now love more passionately. Having won and lost, I now win more soberly. Having tasted the bitter, I now savor the sweet”. That is self-mastery and that is where transformation both begins and ends.

Self-love is knowing the path. Self-love experienced with self-knowledge, self -acceptance and then manifested as self-trust and self-mastery is walking the path to enlightenment.

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Pity P****y and People Pleasing: I Lost Every Time

“If it is all burning and misery ahead, I hope the version of myself that is tired from rising from the ashes in the end shows up and keeps me from dancing into the fire to begin with”

Upile Chisala

I have been engaged in a deeper level of self-reflection and self-awareness lately. I mean, really, truly looking at the core and essence of who I am and delving into what has gotten me to where I am. I am peeling back the layers, going beyond my blind spots, and coming to some really insightful realizations. One of those, realizations is that I am a HUGE people pleaser. I do things that I don’t want to avoid hurting other’s feelings. I much rather endure discomfort than cause it. I fear that if I don’t do what others want or ask of me (particularly those close to me), they will withhold their love and affection and I don’t want that.

Because of the way I was socialized, and due to some aspects of my childhood trauma, I have held the false belief that others are more important than I am, and their feelings are more important than my own. I felt that I owed people what they wanted from me. I was worried about how others perceived me. I didn’t want to be seen as mean, rude, or stuck-up, so I would go along with whatever others wanted. Especially the men in my life.

The first experience I had with this was when I was 16. I was “dating” this guy. You can’t really call it dating because I only saw him at church, or at the YMCA for basketball tournaments and we talked on the phone. That hardly qualifies as dating but in my book, that was a full- blown relationship. He was OK, but he wasn’t what I really wanted. But he liked me, and I just went along with it.  Fast forward to Junior Prom. He told me that he never had a chance to go to his prom and he always wanted to go (he was 18). But my crush at school, who was super cute, smart, and sweet asked me to the prom. I was so happy, and I was going to say yes! But I thought of my “boyfriend” who I only sort of liked and never had a chance to go to his prom. So I made a decision, I told the guy who I REALLY liked and wanted to go with no. You see, I didn’t want to let my “boyfriend” down. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. I didn’t want to be mean. I thought I was doing the right thing because I had placed his desires above my own.

Let me tell y’all how that backfired! I told him I was wearing black, and I wanted him to get a black tux. Do you know he showed up at my door in a white suit and an orange hat?! Wait, it gets worse. The night of prom, he handed me a hand-written note telling me that he was breaking up with me. TF! Really? After I made his dream come true of going to the prom, this asshole dumps me! I took a major, major L that night. I promise you, to this day I think what may have happened if I put my feelings above my “boyfriend’s” and went to prom with my crush…

I didn’t learn my lesson because 10 years later, it happened again. I was a proud member of the 5:30 am gym squad and so was my soon to be baby daddy. He would always talk to me, bring me little trinkets, and ask if we could work out together. He was a short, light-skinned, dreaded, gold-tooth Rasta man straight from Trinidad, and I wasn’t the least bit interested. He kept asking. I kept saying no. He kept asking. One Saturday morning, he literally begged, “please can we workout at least once together”. I felt so bad for the guy. I thought, wow he must really be into me to go this hard. He wore me down and I agreed. But it was out of pity more than anything else. We started working out, then it was lunch dates, mall dates and dinner dates. Next thing I know, I’m face down, a** up giving him pity p***y. Because I mean that’s the normal part of dating right? I was never attracted to him, but I didn’t want to hurt his feelings because he was just so into me. Once again, I put the feelings and desires of others before my own.

“Honey, you are sacred land. Choose your travelers wisely”

Della Hicks-Wilson

But it didn’t end there because I became pregnant. Before you judge me, and ask why the hell I would have a baby with a man I wasn’t attracted to or even liked, we used protection every time. But one time, the condom broke. AND the very next morning I took the morning after or plan B pill. But you know what? I still became pregnant. I guess my daughter is just as stubborn and won’t take no for an answer just like her daddy, because she was like nope, I’m coming. F your plan B pill mom! Lol. I am so blessed to have my daughter and I wouldn’t change having her in my life for anything. But soon after I became pregnant, her father’s true colors showed. He was very abusive to me. He put my daughter and I through a lot. I can’t help but to think how differently my life would have been if I had just kept saying no. Or even had the courage to tell him to F off! But I didn’t want to be mean, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings.

I have learned the hard way, through much pain, heartache, and disappointment that I must ALWAYS honor myself and my desires. I must ALWAYS put myself first, even if it disappoints or hurts others. No one is more important than me. No one’s feelings are more valid and honorable than my own. Especially not a man. Being a people pleaser left me with a very unpleasant high school memory and the chance to experience a wonderful event with a great guy. Giving away pity pussy, caused me to become a single mother.

My father always told me that it is good to learn from your experiences, but it is even better to learn from the experiences of others. Learn from me. Choose you, always and forever. My dear, Choose you…

“I know my worth. I’ve paid dearly for every ounce of it”

Alfa

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You Ain’t Married Yet? The Question Everyone is Asking

“Think not that you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy directs your course”

Khalil Gibran

I’ve been hearing this question a lot lately. Mainly from other women. The question is always framed with equal amounts of surprise, pity, and the thought that maybe something is secretly wrong with me. I never take it personal though. I guess if I were them I too would wonder why I’m not married yet.

And to be honest, it is something that I have been thinking about a lot lately. Perhaps because I will be turning 37 this year. I had my first relationship right out of high school at 17. Twenty years later and I have NEVER been single for more than a year. I have literally gone from one relationship to the next. And not because I didn’t enjoy my time alone. Because I do. I can sit at home alone for hours and read or watch tv and enjoy my own company. I love to run alone, and I certainly don’t mind working out alone. I never used my relationships as an escape from myself. But there was always a man there. How could I resist?  I’ve had some rough relationships! And my heart has been broken more than I wanted to experience. But that never stopped me. I am a hopeless romantic, always willing, and ready for the next adventure in love. Both sets of my great-grandparents were married. Both sets of my grandparents were married. My parents have been together for 43 years and married 38. I’ve seen and experienced healthy love. I know what it looks like.

What I realized is that despite never being single in 20 years, always having an open heart to men, and seeing healthy love and marriages all my life, I never thought I was worthy of that kind of love, intimacy, loyalty, and security. I’ve spent most of my life fighting for my life, going from one struggle to the next, overcoming obstacles and trauma, making peace with who I am and learning the meaning of radical self-love.

But how do you explain this to people who ask, “you still ain’t married yet?”. How do you explain to people its not as simple as meeting a man, falling in love, and getting married. And no, it’s not because I’m secretly a raggedy hoe that no one wants lol. How do you explain that you are out here hustling for your own worthiness. And once you find it, you can finally accept the man out there who is gonna love the shit outta you and REST in that. My path this time around is requiring me to dig deeper than I ever have before, transcend certain karmas, and learn specific lessons. So nope, I ain’t married yet. You are free to ask, but are you ready to hear the real reason why?

“When others asked the truth of me, I was convinced it was not the truth they wanted, but an illusion they could bear to live with”

Anais Nin
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It’s Not Personal: It’s Just the Law of Energy

There are some people you simply cannot be around. It’s not personal, it’s just the law of energy. Imagine two energies, one being higher than the other. One would assume that the higher energy would bring the lower energy up to its level. But the opposite is true. One of the fundamental laws of energy is that when two energies are present, and one has a higher energy than the other, the lower vibrating energy will draw the higher energy down to its level. “The weak draws the strong down to itself”.

Have you ever been around someone and afterward you feel drained, tired, or even sad? Have you ever felt a heaviness or something you can’t quite shake off after talking with someone? Have you ever felt physically ill such as headache or nauseous after being in someone’s presence? You can be on cloud nine, in good spirits and then after hearing about their health issues, relationship woes and family drama, you don’t feel the same. If this is happening, then whoever you were around has drawn your energy level down to theirs.

“Pay attention to whom your energy increases and decreases around, because that’s the universe giving you a hint of who you should embrace or stray from”

When you have worked to elevate your consciousness and weed out the anger, bitterness, and resentment in your heart you are raising your energy vibration. When you have committed to doing the tough inner work to love yourself and be at peace with who you are, you are raising your energy vibration. When you confront the deepest darkest corners of your inner world and face your demons and shadows with compassion and love, you are raising your energy level. And then you must protect it for all its worth!

“It’s poor spiritual hygiene to give everyone access to you”

Some people are not interested in raising their energy vibration and that is ok. Some people have found a comfort and satisfaction in dysfunction and find it is easier to remain the same than to do the soul crushing work it takes to be better. And that is ok too! We are not here to judge anyone’s journey or what experiences they must navigate here on Earth. With that being said, we are not obligated to be around or be in relationship with anyone with a lower energy that will inevitably lower our energy. It’s not personal, it just energy.

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I’ve Been Intermittent Fasting for 961 Days: Here’s the #1 Reason Why

“A diet changes the way you look. A fast changes the way you see”

Lisa Bevere

I have been intermittent fasting for 961 days. I have an excel spreadsheet which lists the day, date, and number of hours fasted. I started my intermittent fasting journey on July 24, 2018. You know how Forrest Gump said he felt like running? Well, I felt like fasting and I never stopped. And I never will. I never want to go back to the days when I wasn’t fasting. Fasting opened a portal to an entire new world that I love living in.

I can talk for hours about the physical benefits of fasting. The regeneration of the immune system, the weight loss (without muscle mass loss), autophagy, regulation of high blood pressure, insulin levels, and the deep healing that occurs on the cellular level. I could rave about my enhanced performance at the gym, the mental clarity, and the increases in my production at work. I am sharper, I can process information faster. My critical thinking skills have expanded. I sleep better, I feel better and I look better because I intermittent fast.

“The discipline of fasting breaks you out of the world’s routine”

Jentenzen Franklin

But none of this compares to the spiritual leaps and bounds I’ve made due to fasting. Food is more than calories and grams of carbs, protein or fat. Food is information. It carries important instructions that tells your body what to do. The fast, fried, and low vibrational foods that we eat tell our body and cells to degenerate, produce dis-ease and die. The live, whole food, plant-based foods we eat send signals to our body to regenerate, regulate and heal. But what happens when you fast? There is no information being transmitted, good or bad to our body and cells. The only information being accessed is the information lying dormant in your DNA. When you fast, you reactivate dormant DNA. The pineal gland is activated on a deeper level. The opening of the third eye occurs. The secretion of your melanin increases. And we know that melanin is the biochemical substance that makes Black people Black. Fasting literally makes you more black. You begin to see and feel the world from an elevated and ascended state of being. You become a magical, spiritual force.  

You begin to access generations of information, strength, wisdom, and power embedded deep within the fabric of your DNA, previously inaccessible due to being deeply entrenched in American society. So much of who we are is buried beneath the varied and harried layers of white supremacy and the resulting transgenerational trauma that can sometimes define what it means to be Black in America. Fasting peels back the layers one by one until one day you look in the mirror and you see who you truly are. Cellular truths are revealed. And this only happens when you fast consistently and intentionally. You stop believing what you hear on the news. And you start believing the intuitive truths that soak you like a gentle rain.

“Fasting speeds up your spiritual progress”

Unknown

Yes, I love that I have lost weight, built muscle mass, reversed my high blood pressure, and regulated my cholesterol levels. I love that I have less anxiety and more concentration. But nothing compares to the reactivation of dormant DNA. Nothing compares to the opening of my third eye, and the information that has been revealed to me spiritually and esoterically. The increased knowledge and access of who I am, where I come from and why I am here. The expansion of my spiritual power. This is the #1 reason why I fast and the #1 reason why I’ll never stop.

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Black Woman Heal: The Racism in Gynecology

“History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again”

Maya Angelou

This is a special blog post because it includes excerpts from my latest book, “The Black Girl’s Guide to Healing: 10 Ways to Achieve a Healthy, Pain Free Period”.

The Black woman must take her rightful place as self-healer. She must master herself and her thoughts. She must begin to muster up the courage to trust her intuition when it comes to her body. As J. California Cooper (my favorite author) says, ““The only thing, no matter how long you live; that is truly yours, is your body”. Your body is all you have and there is no one beside you that knows what is best for your body. Especially not the white man and that is particularly true when it comes to our wombs.

The womb is the essence of your being. It is what makes you, uniquely you. It is where the wisdom and power of your entire being is held. The woman’s womb is the seat of her creativity. It holds the key to her magic, power, inherent beauty, and divinity.

When there is an imbalance or dis-ease in the womb, there will be imbalance and dis-ease in all areas of our life. It will manifest most readily in our physical health. But it can also manifest in our relationships, our finances, and careers. But a woman who heals her womb, heals her life. It is the center of your world. You must guard and protect it for all it’s worth.

There has been a seemingly unending assault on the Black woman’s womb.  Birth control, uterine fibroids, PCOS, cysts, excessive menstruation, endometriosis, infertility, and hysterectomies have become synonymous with black womanhood. It is as if we are born, we suffer, and then we die. Our wombs are not valued in the same way as white women.

J. Marion Sims is touted as being the Father of modern Gynecology. He invented the speculum, which is still used today for vaginal dilation and examinations. He also developed the surgical technique to repair vesicovaginal fistula, which is a severe complication resulting from childbirth. Many women were relieved of their suffering due to Sim’s medical breakthrough. Unfortunately, the only women who benefited were white.

J. Marion sims perfected his craft by experimenting on enslaved black women without any anesthesia. The widespread belief amongst white society at that time and even today is that blacks did not feel pain like whites. In her groundbreaking book, Medical Apartheid, Harriet Washington explains:

Medical journals and professional word of mouth had detailed the inhalation of ether as anesthesia since the early 1840s, and Sims knew of this, but he flatly refused to administer anesthesia to the slave women and girls. He claimed that his procedures were not painful enough to justify the trouble and risk attending the administration, but this claim rings hollow when one learns that Sims always administered anesthesia when he performed the perfected surgery to repair the vaginas of white women in Montgomery a few years later.

Sims experimented on 12 enslaved Black women. We know the names of three of those women; Lucy, Betsey and Anarcha. 18-year-old Lucy was the first woman he experimented on. She had just given birth a few months prior and could not control her bladder. 

The women were completely naked, positioned on their knees, bending on their elbows as their heads rested in their hands. Sims experimented on 17-year-old Anarcha 30 times over a period of 4 years before he finally perfected the fistula surgeries. I cannot begin to imagine what our ancestral mothers and sisters suffered. The torture, humiliation, and physical, emotional, and spiritual trauma is unfathomable, unforgivable, and unforgettable.

The US healthcare system is not a safe place for us to heal. There is a documented history of the black woman being deemed expendable and without inherent value. There is a documented history of experimentation and torture. Our wombs are not safe. We must become our own healers. We must love, respect, and trust ourselves enough to take complete control of our health and the health of our wombs. History has shown what can happen if we leave our healing in the hands of others, particularly our oppressors.

We do not have to relive the past. What Dr. Angelou said is worth repeating, “History, despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again”. We must face our history in this country with courage. We must face the systemic and institutional racism seeped in western modern medicine with courage. When we do this, we will gracefully snatch our wombs back from the very system that has destroyed it and begin to heal.

To read this chapter and more in The Black Girl’s Guide to Healing: 10 Ways to Achieve a Healthy, Pain Free Period click HERE

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Miss Celie’s Hoodoo: Return to Sender

“The words we use, use us”

Unknown

The Color Purple is my favorite movie of all time. There are so many scenes that resonate with me, but the one that touches me the most was the Easter dinner scene when Celie gave Mister more than just a piece of her mind! Whew! Sends chills down my spine. Finding all those letters and realizing that not only is her sister alive but her children are with her sister lit a fire in her heart. Ahh, just thinking of it makes me smile. All those years of experiencing the deep and profound loss of all she loved, now gone! Hope and joy now creeping into every crevice where pain and heartache once was.

“Something that is loved, is never lost”

Toni Morrison

Well, Mister being Mister wasn’t having none of that. He went to hit her, and Celie threw those three fingers up and he stopped mid swing. She told him, “𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘫𝘢𝘪𝘭 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘨𝘰𝘯𝘯𝘢 𝘳𝘰𝘵 𝘪𝘯…𝘜𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘰 𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘣𝘺 𝘮𝘦, 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘨𝘰𝘯 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘭” Then she ended it by saying, “𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘮𝘦, 𝘢𝘭𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺 𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘺𝘰𝘶”.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it”

Lena Horne

What she did was a spell called “Return to Sender”. She also hastened the karma that was already coming his way. Mister thought he was invincible. He thought he could do whatever to Celie with ZERO consequences. If you’ve seen the movie, you know Mister’s life quickly fell apart. Until he went and made it possible for her sister and children to return, he would continue to suffer. (“Until you do right by me, everything you even think about gon fail”).

Y’all better watch who ya knowingly mistreat, lie on, manipulate, sabotage, plot on, and disparage. You must watch who you bring hurt and harm to. Because the person on the other end might throw a Miss Celie root on ya and reverse and return that same energy you’re sending out right back to you. See, the irony is, the jail you planned for others will become your home. It’s not even a form of revenge. Because it’s your OWN energy (everything you done to me, already done to you) coming right back to you.  Miss Celie not only took her power back, but she returned to Mister the hatred, resentment, and envy he directed toward her back to him. We all have the power to do the same. As a traditional Hoodoo Root worker, return to sender is a staple ritual for me. At least once a month I gather all the negative energy, resentment, jealousy, envy, and hate sent to me by others and I return it right back to its sender. So generous right? Most times, Spirit will reveal who these people are to me. And I just shake my head, almost in pity for them. Please don’t bring no clouds round my way, because I will make it rain.