Journaling

The Summer Glow Up

I’m stuffing my face with a pack of Mrs. Freshley’s Mini powdered donuts. I’ve never heard of the brand, but their donuts satisfy my sugar craving. You see, this is the last time that I will be eating sugar for probably a very long time. This month has been littered with a lot of lasts. Last Saturday, that was the last time that I ate meat. I shivered as I ordered a Turkey Tom from Jimmy John’s (a place I will miss dearly). As I am studying for finals, I am envisioning a better me, and I want this summer to be time where I put my “glow up” in gear.

When I come home in a few days after finals, the first thing I’m going to do is rummage through all of my clothes and model them in my room; the ones that don’t fit I’m going to give away. After that, I’m going to usher in a new sense of style and replace the old with the new. I want to rearrange my room and decorate it. Your space is very important, so it shouldn’t look like just anything. I want to buy a plant and create a little station for the crystals that I bought last spring. I want to place at least two paintings on my walls too, and maybe a little figurine or sculpture somewhere.

I want to get my body in shape. I always want to workout, but then I think about it, and laying in bed, scrolling through my phone on Twitter filling my brain with mush sounds a lot better than potentially twisting my ankle on a treadmill. Working out is not my favorite thing to do, but it’s all about making it fun! Going out to get a gym membership just to lift some weights and do the stair climber for five minutes would be a waste of time for me. The Bar Method caught my attention recently. My friend in New York has been raving about this place, saying that it’s made her stronger and has “totally and completely changed her life.” After looking at a snippet of their workout online, I loved the ballet aspect, as well as what parts of the body I would be isolating in the workout. Looking at the people shaking from the many reps that they were doing was a little intimidating, but I am up for a challenge. And I can’t lie…I’m excited to buy the cute little socks.

I want to wake up earlier in the morning. If I don’t have work, you won’t be seeing me until 3:00 pm. I want to wake up at at least 7:00 am. I want to make a whole morning routine:

  • First I would stretch. This would mean that I would actually have to get out of bed. I have a yoga mat that is still wrapped in its plastic that needs some loving.
  • After that I would do a fifteen minute warmup for the day. I have The Bar Method online, and their fifteen minute workout was pretty refreshing. I will say, it would be a lot better if I had an actual bar installed in my room, but that’s too much money, and I have a chair that will suffice.
  • I’ll freshen up with a nice bath while playing my morning routine music. It’s full of Anthony Hamilton, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, and etcetera. It’s just a great way to set the mood in the morning. India Aire’s Video always puts a smile on this melanin girl’s face.
  • After putting on my clothes breakfast, I have breakfast. This goes into my next transformation…

To go off of what I mentioned earlier, I am cutting out meat, sugar, and gluten…I would say dairy, but like Oprah, I love bread. Cheese, milk, yogurt and things like that are a no-go, but I can’t let go of bread. Chronic illness is the main reason for this. I don’t plan to live with this forever, and I know the first step towards healing is what you put in your body. My friend and I are going to hop from health food store to health food store and buy a bunch of core healing edible things like sea moss and chickpea flour. I’m going to cook my meals and prep them for the week…vegan meals. I winced typing that. That is something I never thought I would ever type, say, think or fathom…me….vegan? I don’t know, I’ve heard so many people say that it made them feel better, and I want to see if I’ll be one of them at some point. I should eat to live, not live to eat. Besides, now I’ll learn to make more than a good bowl of cereal. Let’s see if I can actually follow a recipe, huh?

I want to reconnect with myself. I feel like I have days where I’m so in tune with who I am, and other days where I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself it seems like. I want to be whole. I want to continue going to therapy. I want to continue exercising these demons I call anxiety, depression, and insecurity. I did a group therapy session, but I would much rather be one on one with my therapist. Not to be selfish, but there were a lot of things I didn’t get a chance to mention. I will make sure I cover all those bases this summer.

I want to be closer to God more importantly. That is the main shift I need. I’ve always been the type of person to think I need to do things by myself. I am going to work on asking for help…more more importantly…I need to work on asking Him for more help. Not to get all churchy on you, but he deserves way more than I’ve been giving.

I have had many times to change, and I didn’t go all out with it. Now, I have to. I think my problem is thinking I have to do everything all at once and then it’ll fall into place. This is going to test my patience and my endurance; my will and my faith. I’ll be recording my process and keeping track. I begin as soon as I get home from school. It’s time for me to get my life together. It’s time.

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Journaling

Month Number One: A slight rant and 400 years

January is coming close to an end. The first day ushered in this new sense of hope and discovery for all of us. 2018 was a year of realization. It was like a gnat; buzzing around our ears and crowding our personal space. The lessons of 2018 are going to be the foundation of my 2019, and so far I am still going strong. Could it be because of the new year and its new wave of energy, or has nothing really changed? Maybe this new feeling of purpose and confidence is some sort of placebo. Am I still the same person now that I was in 2018? Some of the voices in my head (true Gemini lol) tell me these things off and on, and I try not to succumb. If I really think about it, all of my manifestations for the first month of the year are slowly but surely coming into fruition, and I think that has a lot to do with myself, as well as the beginning of a new year.
I wanted to briefly talk about an article on The Root that I happened to come across while scrolling through the internet one day. The first person of African descent set foot on America’s soil in the year 1619. Ever since then, black people have had a treacherous experience here. We are seen as foreign objects that do not belong; the “other.” Our skin is discriminated against, as well as our hair, body types, and culture…but it’s always copied. Like I stated in a Facebook post a few days ago, we are the culture, we just never get the credit. I just thought that is was kind of interesting. This 400 years of slavery (even though slavery was abolished in 1865) may have brought some sort of curse. We might not be picking cotton in fields and being beaten with whips, but we are still slaves to systematic oppression as well as archaic ideologies of how black people should be. Jim Crow kind of still exists you know? It just manifests itself in various ways throughout the years. The 400 years trope comes from the bible. In Genesis 15:13, it says, “Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there (New International Version).” Sounds familiar doesn’t it? If you add 400 to 1619, what do you get? I know I’m not an aficionado in mathematics, but if my calculator is correct, you get 2019!
2019 is the 400th year. Has the curse been lifted? I can say as a minority in America that my experiences here have not been peachy keen. I mean, a bit of my self loathing as a child came from the fact that I did not resemble my Caucasian counterparts. Going to college in a town that is more than 90% white lets me know some days that I am not accepted in some communities. This, however, has only made me stronger as an individual and prouder of my blackness. People are so pressed that I exist, like…keep hating boo. 2018 had made me come face to face with myself. People will not always like me just by looking at me, and I can’t let that affect me. We as people can work together as a collective to strengthen our community, but we must first acknowledge the beauty and power in ourselves individually…and there’s an abundance of it. Do you know how important you are? How much you’ve endured? How much your ancestors have gone through? Your looks are envied by others. Your history is rich and full. Black people…that is all in you! It’s in me! And 2018 has made me aware that I am a blessing and I should think of myself as such. That might sound a little vain, but you are a blessing. You could be six feet deep in the ground. Every day that you live is a blessing.
I have a tendency to get rather preachy with these posts when I’m passionate. My main focus for this post is to say that we must break the curse that we held in ourselves, and that’s with changing our habits and thoughts. I need to plan out my thoughts; my mind goes a mile a minute. This month I have made an effort to better myself, and I will continue to do the same in February. I prayed and manifested for more experience in the career that I want to be in, and I was promoted to a higher position. I’ve had people from my past come and contact me, trying to slither their way back into my life…and I ignored their advances. My worth is much more important than a brief stint of attention. I’ve accepted the fact that I cannot change what has happened in the past, and can only move forward. I’ve accepted my face and the way it kind of hangs to the right. I’ve accepted my little round nose and full cheeks, as well my gap teeth (which I’m proud of). I’ve practiced self-care by keeping to myself when I need to. It’s okay to say no to hanging out. It’s good to spend time with myself and get to know myself even more. She loves overly feminine stuff. She likes perfume and getting her nails done and fashion. She loves to read and write and engage in her own little world. She’s introverted…but nowhere near antisocial. She is delicate, but durable.
I have taken steps toward keeping my peace. I’ve moved mountains this past month. I’ve spoken my truth and expressed my feelings thoroughly. I’ve come to terms with past mistakes that I have made, as well as acknowledge what I did to get into that situation in the first place. The groundwork has been laid, and I need to follow what I’ve laid. I’ve learned not to be as trusting as I have been in the past, and not tolerate the things that I have previously. I just feel chains falling and my head lifting. I just have a good feeling about 2019, even though we have had some major mishaps happen already (thank you Trump). I can only control myself, and I am trying my very best to not fall back and remain the way I used to be. I am slowly evolving, and I can see the progress.
In a few hours it will be February, which is the perfect month to talk about self-love. I want to tie self love in the black community, because I know that us as people are conditioned to think that our beauty is lesser than. I am beautiful. I am beautiful because I am black. I am beautiful because of my history, good and bad. I am beautiful because I am continuously growing and changing. I’m beautiful because I am finally realizing my worth. I am just beautiful….PERIOD!

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Journaling

And I’m Holy…By My Own

Give me today my daily bread

Help to walk alone ahead

Though I walk through the darkest valley

I will fear no love 

Oh my smile, my mind reassure me

I don’t need no one

I’m not lonely…. I’m alone

And I’m holy, by my own 

Those are some of the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, Holy by Jamila Woods. I was thinking about this song recently after scrolling through my social media. Social media can be an escape from boredom, but it has plagued my life all too much, and I really need to cut back from it.  It’s great to get a good sense of reality. I glimpsed and spotted a Snapchat story from a man….excuse me…. boy I used to talk to. At the time, I had feelings for this person, and I guess after this little incident, some still linger. I saw his video; him angling his phone as if it was the prequel to the Blair Witch Project, making hand gestures to some G Herbo song, with a slim thick, pretty girl perched on his lap. He was kissing her neck; she was grinning from ear to ear, deepening the dimples in her cheeks. First off, I’m wondering why I am still following this person’s Snapchat. Why do I have his number? Why does this person have a way of accessing my life again? Anyways, I couldn’t help but ponder how he went about approaching this young lady. Was he a gentleman? Did he take her out on dates? Did he open her car door for her? Did he respect her from the beginning? I internally asked this because when I conversing with this guy, he didn’t do any of these actions. Every conversation that spurred resulted in a sexual conclusion. Initially, it was him practically begging me give him the goods like I was some X-rated grocery store (that was a lot more clever in my head). At this time, being the insecure and self-conscious sister that I was, I thought that this is how I deserved to be treated by a person. There was no respect in anything that he did for me. He saw me as this sex toy; an object of his personal desire. I was thankful at this time that he wanted to pay attention to me. I couldn’t fathom that someone would want to be with me in any type of way. Before I began my third year of college, I had a brief fling with him again (stupid….so stupid). I was holding on to a fantasy of him; what he could have been. If it isn’t a reality, you need to be moving on with your life. Don’t dream someone up a certain way when they’re doing the exact opposite….WAKE UP! Welcome to the real world. I should have paid more attention to his actions, but like I said, the fact that he wanted to be around me was enough at the time. He used me as his potential cheap thrill, meanwhile getting into a serious and meaningful relationship with someone else. It hurt my feelings, and when I expressed them to this person, he flat-out did not care. He didn’t even have the decency to really listen to me, and he sure as hell did not apologize. I wanted to blame him for everything; all the pain that he caused me, the lies he told me, and so on and so forth. However, at some point, I did have to take accountability. I let him do me that way. I didn’t think that I deserved to be respected and treated like the QUEEN that I am.

I feel that men have been walking all over me. I put up with too much and I settle for less. In my first and only relationship, I did everything for that kid. I paid for his movie tickets, his bus fare, his food, and catered to his needs (well, whatever needs a seventeen year old thought they required). Not to sound braggadocious, but I was the best girlfriend that he has had thus far. I’m going to be the better person and wish him the best of luck. This person was not faithful to me, he demanded quite a bit of me, and he was way too focused on having a sexual relationship with me instead of an emotional and spiritual one. This began the countless unfortunate events that I have had with the opposite sex. I’ve gotten lewd text messages from guys that had an interest in me and vice versa, starting off the conversation with sweet nothings until it melts down to the real thing that they are in it for. I had a friend that I have known ever since I was 11 (he was 19 when we first met) admit to me that he wanted to do some pretty provocative things with me…before I was of legal age to do it. Because this person had been in my life for so long, I didn’t really know how to go about the conversation. To be honest, I wanted to call Chris Hansen and ask if he could make a pit stop to his location. The messages became awkward, and I was hurt. I knew him for years. He was a mentor and a confidant, and he still saw me as this sexual opportunity.

Recently, I was talking to a “friend” that I had met on the social media platform Twitter. A few nights prior, I had Facetimed him and had a conversation with him. I was wearing a robe; a fuzzy, pink robe. Out of all the things to rev up a person’s engine, I wouldn’t think that a robe would do that, but hey, I do not know everything. He had let me know that I looked “delicious” on video, and that looking at me ensured that he would masturbate to the thought of me later on. I didn’t even know what to say. My mouth was agape. Did he really just say that? I had to read the message over and over again. That was the last straw. I couldn’t believe that a person thought that they could say that to me. I thought it was extraordinarily disrespectful. I was tired with putting up with this.

Since so many men were comfortable with treating me like a little play thing, obviously there’s something that I’m doing wrong. It’s apparent that I am doing something to attract this toxicity into my life. While evaluating the guys that I talked to, I also had to evaluate myself. When I’m with a person that I have feelings for, I will do anything for them. I remember walking across campus in twenty degree weather, late at night, in the snow, to go and visit someone in their dorm room. I bought a guy chicken noodle soup and orange juice when he was sick. I gave a guy medication when he had the sniffles. That same guy owes me a hundred dollars….why? Because I lent it to him like a dumbass. I was so afraid of this person leaving me, that I did whatever I could to make them stay. Sometimes they would ask me for these favors, but a lot of the time I would do it for them because I wanted to. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? They used me because they could. The saying is as old as Jesus Christ, but will always be the truth. They saw my niceness and they took this for granted. If I would confront them on how they were acting, they would gaslight me and tell me that I was out of my mind! That it was further from the truth. Oh really? Why are you trying to get into a serious relationship with someone else, but texting me to come over at one in the morning? Something just doesn’t seem right.

One thing that I learned about myself is that my self-esteem needed a total 360. A man would be happy to be with me. I have a big heart, I’m adventurous, loyal, and I’ll treat my partner with the utmost respect….but only if they reciprocate it. I’m tired of being “wifey” to men who only see me as the homie, or even worse, the girl that they can sleep with. I have had pieces of my heart stolen away from me, and I will never get them back, but I can fill them with the parts of my personality that I need to build on:

  • love for myself
  • respect for myself

I need to start putting my foot down more and set stricter boundaries. I need to stop being afraid of people leaving my life that don’t need to be there. At the time, I might want them to be present, but God is removing them for a reason. I need to stop being afraid of being….lonely.

Loneliness is crippling, but what I am is not lonely. I’m alone. Those last two lines of those lyrics to Jamila’s song are words of wisdom that I had to learn the hard way. I’m not lonely, I’m alone. I might not be in a room full of people, but I know whose got me, and I’ve got them. Loneliness and being alone I use to think was the same thing. Loneliness is a feeling; being alone is a state of being. I might be the only one here now, but I know that I have my friends, I have my family, and I have God. During the darker times in my life, I wrote off and forgot about them being there. Depression and sadness can plague a person and make them forget who’s in their corner. Even when there is no one in your corner, you’ve got yourself, and until you build that relationship between you and your soul, that’s all you’ll ever need.

Sometimes being alone can bring a lot of things to the forefront. When I was by myself, I was able to self reflect and cleanse myself of past pain that I have experienced. What did they do? How did it make me feel? Why did it hurt me? What did I deserve in that moment in time? How can I prevent myself from going through this again? Is having that companionship worth being disrespected? I had to ask myself those things. There was anger. There were tears, but this is all apart of the process when it comes to moving on. I’ve got to move on. A man is not going to guarantee my happiness, especially one that doesn’t do anything to benefit me. I am not going to be that person that is content with the fact that I have a man, and let him treat me like shit. A relationship would be nice, but it isn’t worth it if it’s going to be giving me heartache.

Help yourself first. Treat yourself first, take yourself out on dates! Learn to be respectful towards yourself. You know what you want for yourself, and if you don’t, take some one on one time to figure it out. It may take a while, so don’t grow impatient. It’s like a courtship. How can you have a wonderful relationship with someone else, but have a faulty one with yourself? You can’t.

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Journaling, Uncategorized

Three Podcasts for the Black Girl’s Soul

The internet can be a marvelous and intriguing place. The endless opportunities to be connected to one another bring about the sharing of different experiences, stories, and information; enlightening ourselves about the world around us and the people inhabiting it. There are so many modes of sharing on the world-wide web; video, print, and audio. It gives people who crave to express creativity an outlet.
Through different avenues of media, I was able to educate myself on the perils that come with mental health neglect, as well as how many people in the African diaspora fall victim to not getting the help that they deserve. I’ve read psychology journals about black mental health and read novels about one’s journey to find themselves and better their thinking. I’ve scoured the internet and watched countless YouTube videos on young women and men sharing their experiences with mental health and professionals trying to give their expertise on how to heal deep wounds. However, I never really ventured into media that was solely audio.
I hadn’t started getting into podcasts until earlier this year. A friend of mine and I were having one of our weekly conversations about working through certain issues. Although she is around the same age as me, I see her as a mentor of some sort. Our emotions sync up like a menstrual cycle (sorry for the comparison). We will feel the exact same thing around the exact same time. Past trauma? If I’m thinking it, she’s thinking it as well. Ex-boyfriend trouble? There she is feeling the same pain. As we sat and sipped hot chocolate, she asked me how I was doing. With some people if I’m asked the same question, I’ll just lie and say, “oh yeah, I’m good.” With this girl, I am able to tell her how I’m really feeling, and nine times out of ten, she’s felt the same way at some point. I was pouring out my heart to her, talking about all the feelings that were trapped in my head waiting to exhale. She told me that I needed some peace of mind; that sometimes it was okay to sit down, breathe, and listen. She then mentioned these podcasts that she had started listening to earlier in the week that had really given her food for thought.
Therapy for Black Girls
This podcast is hosted by Joy Harden Bradford, Ph.D. She’s a licensed psychologist and breakup coach. The fact that she is a black woman in the psychological field promotes representation in this community. There are black psychologists, and there are black women in the field. The first podcast I listened to of hers was on mindfulness. All of her topics are about a wide array of topics such as “slaying” your anxiety, setting boundaries, and healing intergenerational trauma. With each episode, I took out a pen and paper wrote down what really stood out to me. In the mindfulness episode, she was talking with Shawna Murray-Browne, a LCSWC, about her journey to mindfulness and how she teaches others about it as well. As a healing justice consultant and mind-body medicine practitioner, she is the best person to ask when trying to get some peace of mind. One thing that she said really resonated with me and my situation, and I’m pretty sure it would spark a nerve in anyone who listened. It was a powerful statement, yet so simple: focus on what you can change. Whew! That hit me like a ton of bricks. That made me re-evaluate the importance of my thoughts. She was saying how stress destroys the body and destroys are health, and I am pretty sure the thoughts that I was allowing to infiltrate my brain were slowly killing me. I need to listen to that one again, because the mind is a stubborn instrument. Another one that I enjoyed was her one on setting boundaries. Implementing the popular HBO show Insecure into her lesson caught my attention, and helped me envision a better mental picture because I love the show Insecure, and sometimes it’s hard to picture me in certain scenarios. Setting boundaries is something everyone could probably improve, including myself. Put yourself first is basically the point that she was making, as well as not going back on your word. Listening to this podcast has really put some of my problems into perspective. I have more power than I think. Healing starts with yourself. It starts with how you think. The mind is so powerful…I tend to forget that.
2. Inner Hoe Uprising
I love this podcast so much! It is so real, raw and unfiltered. Four black women talk about themselves, the news that they have seen, and their love lives. Sometimes it’s just a discussion amongst themselves, and other times they interview people who are experts in whatever topic that they’re talking about. This podcast is one of the most open podcasts I’ve heard. They are not shy when it comes to expressing sexuality. They do not shame anyone for the sexual practices that they enjoy (unless they are unethical). It gives four different perspectives about love and lust. They educate others on sex and sex workers, as well as reasons why we enjoy certain things that we do. This is the only podcast that I found on my own, and I am so glad I did. They say what people think, but are too bashful to speak out loud. As black women, I feel there are certain things that the community is taboo to talk about, and sex is definitely one of them. When women talk about sex in general, it is taken as a negative. The stereotype when it comes to sex and black people is that we are over-sexual, so talking about sex in the black community may seem taboo. Talking about sex, sexuality, and sexual behavior is normal and very healthy.
3. Shades of the Soul Meditation Series
After a poem, a quote, and daily mediation, I feel at peace and at ease. Her voice is therapy within itself. In Give thanks for the blessings, she almost made me cry with the words that she cast into the atmosphere. This podcast is perfect to do early in the morning as the sun just comes up (or whenever you decide to get out of bed). Faith Hunter’s demeanor is so calm and positive. In the most recent episode that I listened to, it detailed what I really needed to tackle in my daily life: my trauma is not my life. The unfortunate circumstances that I have gone through are not my sole defining factor. There is so much more to me. In this case, I was able to let my thoughts run wild and free. At first, some of them were scary and negative, but the more I listened to the podcast and meditated on her words, those thoughts slowly melted away. They were replaced with positive affirmations.
After listening to these podcasts for a few weeks, I came back together with my friend and discussed what I learned from them. Comparing notes and pinpointing lessons that we learned throughout the shows let me know that there is strength in numbers. Knowing that there are other people out there who have gone through what I’ve gone through, made it out alive, and are helping others get over their pain make me hopeful for the future. One day, I hope to be able to do the same

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Journaling

Bryant Giles is an alleged rapist and abuser

To not get accused of libel, I will add alleged in there. I have my opinion. I think he’s as guilty as they come, but I can not state anything true that has not been proven true in the court of law. So I will just post this here for anyone who cares to read it. I used to go to school with the both of them, and the fact that it hits so close to home makes me want to do whatever I can to help get the justice that the survivor deserves. I will write a more in depth post for Domestic Abuse Awareness Month, but I just needed to spread the message.

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Journaling

Manifestation…

This whole week has been stressful, but as a college student, what do you really expect? You’ve got homework to turn in, projects to create, course work to study, and extracurricular activities to partake in. Life…life is never set in stone. You might think you have a plan, but life has something else completely different in store, shifting your what could’ve been easy going week into a smorgasbord of chaos and confusion.

This week was one of those weeks. Of course I had the usual school work and homework assigned to me, but I had events to help assemble, work to attend, as well as just going through the psychological roller-coaster that is my emotions. I needed a break. I needed a small period of time in order to rejuvenate and come back to center.

I have just recently gotten into doing this earlier in the year. I’ve found that not only does it calm me down, but it gives me something to hope for in the future. I like to write down what I want to happen in my life down the road; my manifestations. Manifestations are events, actions, or objects that clearly show or embody something, especially a theory or abstract idea. In my case, I manifest by action. I express my dreams, goals, and aspirations through my writing. I love to write. As a child, if I was frustrated and had trouble getting my point across, I would pull out a notebook and pencil and scribble to my hearts content. It has followed me into my adulthood.

Writing isn’t the only way to bring your hopes into fruition. Some people like to verbally say them aloud. Others may enjoy meditating on their affirmations; whatever is more comfortable and more powerful for you. When I write them down, I am able to go back and re-read what I wrote and what I wanted to happen. When the manifestation actually comes true, reading over it makes it that much better! With writing, I remain focused and can actually map out a concrete way of how I would love my life to go. Since organization is something I struggle with at times, writing gives me the sense order that I need in my life (one of my manifestations is becoming more organized).

Today, I wrote out some bullet points of what I wanted to happen throughout my livelihood. Every day, I write these out. Some are persistent, while others may be written down because of something I want to happen within a smaller span of time. For instance, one of my life long goals is to win a Pulitzer one day. That is probably going to be one that I’m going to write down for a while, right? But the manifestation about the pimple I want gone off my cheek? Maybe I’ll only write that down for a few days.

Writing them down, saying them, or meditating on them every day might be tedious at first to some, but it becomes routine after awhile. If you really don’t feel like doing daily manifestations, do them at the beginning of each month! I also like to do that too. I ordered a new planner for the 2018-2019 year, and inside of it there’s a section to jot down notes. I wrote down what I want to see during the month of October. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be healthy. I wanted to stay focused and remain stress free. There were a few others, but some of those are pretty personal. I felt excited to see what the rest of the month could bring!

If you believe that it can happen, and you want it to happen, do what you can to make it possible. Of course, you have to put in some effort. Manifesting only does so much. You have to actually work towards your goals too. Manifesting is only one part of the equation. It keeps you focused on what you want to accomplish. Manifestations have really made me hopeful for my life. I know I have the ability to have a bright future. If I envision what I want to happen and work towards the goal, whose to say I can’t achieve it!?

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Journaling

Self Care Isn’t Just Pedicures and Bath Bombs

Disclaimer: these are my opinions, as well as my own personal experiences

Self care is an art form. Being able to find something that can make you forget about the worries that you were stressing about can be a major release and relief on someone’s mental, spiritual, and even physical self. Everyone goes through something, no matter how trivial and no matter how ridiculous.

Life interrupts people in many different ways, and most times we don’t have the time to prepare for them. During this week, almost all of my homework assignments deleted itself due to a malfunction that occurred on my computer. I had three projects due at 11:59 that night. As I searched through the countless files on my Dell, I began to cry. Actually no, it didn’t start off as crying. It began as laughter. I was laughing at the fact this would have to happen the day everything had to be due. Then, the laughter turned hysterical, as if someone had told me one of the funniest jokes that I had ever heard. Tears began to stream down my face as they rolled in between my computer keys. The laughs became muffled, and then they turned into sobs. All of my hard work was lost. It’s okay to cry; crying is self care by itself. But, at some point, you’re gonna have to wipe away your tears and move forward.

I ended up missing my classes, sitting down on my couch, and redoing all my homework to the best of my ability. For hours I typed. My fingers ached and my eyes began to fall, but eventually…I got my work done. On top of that, I had work to go to, and then a meeting right after that. I was a mess dragging myself back into my apartment. I threw my bags down and nearly sunk to the floor from the exhaustion that I felt. I needed to recharge. I needed to refuel. I ran a shower at around 8:30 pm, sat my phone down on the bathroom sink as it played Mama’s Gun, and sang to my hearts content. The walls were thin, so I’m pretty sure the people next to me could hear me tell the bag lady to pack lightly. After that, I read a chapter from a book I had bought the semester prior at a book store in town. I meditated, and then pulled out my notebook to manifest how I wanted the rest of the week to go. I needed that time to wind down and gather myself together. That helped me, but for that time being.

Various ways on how to indulge in self care:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.goodtherapy.org/blog/134-activities-to-add-to-your-self-care-plan/amp/

Meditation, yoga, cooking…all those things can be essential to your self care routine, but that’s not all self care is. Self care can be bubble baths with rose petals in the water or getting your nails painted or even just taking a nap, but this will only get you so far. Not to go into great detail, but my second semester my freshman year was probably one of the hardest times of my life. I’m not talking about slight fatigue or exhaustion…I didn’t know if I wanted to live anymore. It’s still touchy to talk about, so I’ll leave it at that, but just know that during that time, how I was coping was not the way I should have. Watching Netflix wasn’t going to save me from wanting to take my life (no matter how good the first season of Stranger Things was). I understand missing a day of class to calm yourself, but I would miss weeks! When the pain gets to be too much, buying yourself some Chick-fil-A isn’t going to just make all the trauma and suffering magically disappear. If it did, I’d be wolfing down waffle fries as we speak. You need to differentiate when self care is appropriate, and when self help needs to take the reigns.

Healing comes in many professional forms if you can afford them (a topic that I will discuss at a later date). There are mental health counselors, psychologists, social workers and so on and so forth. If need be, psychiatrists; they’re equipped to prescribe medication for more serious cases. If I had pinpointed my change in behavior and had actually gotten some help earlier on, I might have been able to avoid the turmoil that came afterwards, or at least deal with it better. There are things that I will never be able to forget, but there will always be a way to heal somehow.

I ended up going to therapy over the summer. I am not going to lie, I did not want to do it…at all! Thinking about it, it’s somewhat hypocritical. I want others to get the help they need and deserve, but I didn’t want it for myself. I was scared. I was scared of being told that there might actually be something wrong with me. It’s intimidating at first. It took me some getting used to. The counselors even told me that I engaged in a lot of self care, but that my actual healing process seemed to be lackluster. I didn’t put in any importance or effort on the progress I wanted to make in the long run, I kept relying on temporary fixes to numb me.

Every day, I would sit down and listen to people share their stories. I’d sit back and think about why I’m here and would ask myself if this was necessary. I would go through the CBT and DBT exercises and worksheets while reciting positive affirmation mantras. I would engage in conversation when the physicians wanted to go into one on one sessions. It seemed extraneous, but as each morning came, I grew to realize what the purpose of this was and why I needed to be here.

Am I fully healed? No. Will I ever stop partaking in the act of self care? Absolutely not. It’s become a vital part of me not dropping out of college. With what I have learned, I know that it’s okay to take some time and do something special for yourself, but you’re doing a real disservice if you ignore what’s really bothering you. Everyone deserves to heal.

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