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Transcending Survival: Are You Really the Strong Person You Believe?

woman in white off shoulder wedding dress sitting in brown fabric sofa chair

“It is better to conquer yourself than to win a thousand battles. Then the victory is yours. It cannot be taken from you, not by angels or by demons, heaven or hell”

Buddha

We live by the motto, “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”. But contrary to popular belief, just because you survived something, doesn’t necessarily make you strong. You aren’t stronger if what didn’t kill you made you bitter, resentful, jealous, spiteful, and angry. Are you really a strong woman if you make it through every day, but you do so wearing a mask, riddled with sickness, excess weight, a wounded womb and nonexistent smile? Did the nonkilling truly make you stronger?

We have placed such value on being strong, but we have made the grave mistake of equating strength with a mere survival from day to day, despite how haggard and unhealthy that survival looks. It is time we redefine what true survival and strength looks like. Being strong doesn’t mean suffering day in and day out after a survival. Being strong doesn’t mean dragging yourself through life with a deep and unending sadness in your heart. We all have war stories. Each of us has experienced inexplicable sorrows and undeserving traumas. And we have survived them. Because we are here. But that is not enough.

I don’t want to know what you have managed to survived. I want to know what you have transcended and what levels of self-mastery you have attained. I want to hear about the resulting triumph. I don’t want to know that you made it through. I want to know where you’ve gone and who you’ve become after you’ve made it through. Are you stuck in the in-between space of what you’ve gone through and where you can go next? Have you made a forever home in the survival stage of your journey, constantly attending to your wounds? Are you content with just knowing you survived what should have killed you, or are you ready to transcend and triumph over what should have killed you, master yourself and experience radical self-love and a peace no devil can destroy?  These are tough questions to ask yourself. It’s a very hurting thing to take a look at where you are and admit that not only don’t you belong there, but it is only because of you that you remain right where you are. It is easy to convince ourselves that we are ok. That it could be worse. But nothing is worse than not loving who you are or where you are. Nothing is worse than denying yourself the experience of discovering your greatest truth and knowing true happiness.

We have to start somewhere, and I have the perfect place to begin. My e-book, The Black Girl’s Guide to Radical Self-Love is available for download and will provide a perfect blueprint to find your true strength and transcend survival to experience triumph. Click here to download today.

Kathleen is the Owner of Melanin Rich Wellness, an African Holistic Health based company dedicated to optimizing the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the Black community. Kathleen holds several certifications in the fields of Holistic Nutrition, Womb wellness and Yoga. She is an Intermittent Fasting Guru and Self-Healing strategist. She relies on the wisdom and strength of the healers and warriors she lovingly calls ancestors. To learn more about Melanin Rich Wellness and Kathleen click here.

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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.

If this article resonated with your spirit, I have written a book which goes into detail of the process to radical self-love The Black Girl’s Guide to Radical Self-Love

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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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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.

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I’ve Been Here Before: My Discovery of Past Lives

“Your past lives may hold many clues to help you navigate your future”

As a child I felt like I’d been here before. I stand in front of the mirror and stare at myself. I’d say, “this is me; I am me”. I’d repeat this over and over until I felt almost dizzy and had to stop. I couldn’t believe that I was here, again. But in church I was taught that you live once and then you die. And you either go to heaven or hell for eternity. That always seemed so…boring

“Occasionally, I think of death. I can easily believe in the disintegration of the body, but cannot believe that all I have learned, experienced, accumulated can disappear and be wasted. Like a river, it must flow somewhere”

Anais Nin

I stopped doing that weird little exercise in the mirror and put the idea of past lives out of my head. I hadn’t given up on the idea. But life started coming at me fast and when life comes at you fast, you must brace yourself to live it, struggle through it and survive it.


And then my baby was born. When she was 4, she started saying things to me like, “You’re the best mom I’ve ever had”. “I’m so happy we are together again” (and here’s the kicker), “When they took me from you and put me on the wagon, I was so sad”. I was speechless.

“What cannot be said, will be wept”

Sappho

Was my baby telling me about her past lives? And the ones she had with me? This led me to researching everything I could on past lives, reincarnation and past life regression. I learned about soul contracts, past life lovers, ancestral assignments, the Akashic Records and how birth marks can be an indication of how one died in a past life. My mind was both blown and soothed at the same time.


I wasn’t as weird or crazy as I thought. In 2017, I connected with someone who could tell you about your past life/lives. When I tell you that past life reading was life changing, it’s an understatement. Oh, how this life made so much more sense to me after that reading. Turns out, I was a slave. Twice! In my second life as a slave, I tried to escape. I was betrayed. My children had been sold from me (hence my daughter’s memory of us being separated) and I lost the man I loved. I was an herbalist and healer. I died alone…broken…

“I see it all. I feel it all. My eyes fill with tears”

Virginia Woolf

This led me to learning about past life regression. This is a way in which your higher self can visit past lives. You can unlock people, places, events, and emotions of other lifetimes. It allows you to work through that karma, heal old wounds that you carry from life to life, and make some things right that went terribly wrong.


Oh, my heart swells at learning about my past lives. It’s given me so much insight into why I am the way I am. Lawd, I couldn’t understand why I hated white folks so much. It makes perfect sense now. Why I am an herbalist in this life, why my daughter was so clingy and why I have that oddly shaped birth mark on the left side of my forehead. I used to get teased about it as a child. They said it looked like a midget had slapped me lol (it’s shaped like a small hand). It all makes so much sense. Why I’ve searched for one particular man my whole life, looking for him in every man that came my way…pieces of a puzzle finally put together.


When I was a teenager I used to listen to the Quiet Storm every night on the radio. When I first heard Teena Marie’s song, Deja Vu I fell in love.  That too now makes perfect sense. She sang, “I’m young and I’m old. I’m rich and I’m poor. Feels like I’ve been on this earth many times before…I can feel this for sure, for sure. I’ve been here before” …

Have you been here before?