Thoughtful Thursday: Reclaiming My Time

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By now you’ve likely heard about Congresswoman Maxine Waters famously and appropriately interrupting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during last week’s House Financial Services Committee meeting. If you haven’t seen the video, I’ve linked it here, but essentially Maxine (we’re now on a first name basis) asks a very clear and direct question that Mnuchin “responds” to with a roundabout statement. In an attempt to redirect him and hold him accountable, Mnuchin’s vague non-answers are repeatedly met with “reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time…” As entertaining as this moment is, there’s honestly something much deeper and more meaningful at play. Here, Maxine not only informs us that her time is valuable and should not be wasted but also, and more importantly, reminds us of our own value and gives us permission to identify and remove the time-wasters within our own lives.

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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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Kermit Says: You Should Go & Love Yourself

 

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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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Motivational Monday: Whale You Be Your Valentine?

 

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Happy Motivational Monday, friends! Oh, to be in love! The flowers, the candles, the chocolates, and heartfelt notes of adoration and appreciation, and what better day to receive such gifts from your significant other or Galentine than on Valentine’s Day, right? Wrong! The problem isn’t necessarily Valentine’s Day, but the closer I get to this “holiday,” I can’t help but wonder 1) Why do we wait one day a year to go out of our way to do something special for the person or people we love most and 2) Why do we spend so much time and energy on someone else’s needs and then neglect our own? So, since we’re celebrating V-Day in the States tomorrow, I’m encouraging you to take this day (and every day thereafter) to do something to show yourself some love. Read on for tips on how to be your own Valentine!

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Tuesday Tunesday: Celebrating You

 

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Happy Tunesday, friends! I hope everyone had a productive and reflective Martin Luther King Day yesterday. Much of my day was spent thinking about my life, who I am, and who I hope to become. And so much of my identity is undoubtedly tied to and shaped by every person I’ve encountered and ounce of media I’ve consumed. The way I see myself and the way I have lived and continue to live my life is directly influenced by society, and thankfully I’ve managed to surround myself with positive influences. Whether they are television shows that tell a different narrative that more accurately reflects my own positive upbringing or songs that empower and encourage me to be the unique person I am, I have made (and I’d say my parents have, too) the intentional decision to be, well, me. In a world that constantly tries to put us in a box or force us to be someone we’re not, my hope is that we’ll (continue to) push against the grain, embrace who we are, and celebrate what makes us, us. Here are a few songs I’ve listened to over the years that have helped me do just that!

What songs have empowered you to celebrate your individuality? Comment below! 
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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? 

Kermit’s Cup of Tea: Five January Favorites

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January was one heck of a month. There were some tests and trials, yet through it all, despite it all, there were some beautiful moments of transformation that I am confident came to be only because of those few misadventures. While I’m thankful for the lessons, I’m also beyond glad January is over. Who needs a 2016 restart? I know I do! So, instead of focusing on the unfortunate moments, let’s look at the five things that made me smile, shall we?  Continue reading “Kermit’s Cup of Tea: Five January Favorites”

Kermit Says: Check In

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I’ve recently been obsessing over the British pop band One Direction. I just can’t stop listening to their music! Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t been living under a rock. I’ve known about 1D for some time now, but if I’m being completely honest, I previously only paid attention to their looks (mmm…Zayn), and since Zayn is no longer a member of the band (#7monthswithoutZayn), his departure has given me an opportunity to focus on what really matters: their musicianship and lyrics. From “Perfect” and “Steal My Girl” to “What Makes You Beautiful” and “Moments,” these five (now four) talented guys have devoted five studio albums to serenading their screaming, swooning fans and professing their deep, passionate love. While most of these songs describe a romantic, requited love, “Diana” explores another, more important kind of love—a selfless, unconditional love. A love that promotes self-love.

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Kermit Says: Step Out of the Darkness *Trigger Warning*

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When I was in high school, I used to cut myself. Sad. Angry. Bored. Blasting Brand New, The Used, My Chemical Romance, or another popular screamo band, I’d take the blade I kept hidden in a little tin box and press it firmly against my right wrist or thigh until streams of blood appeared. This was more than a call for attention or a bonding activity between me and my friends. This was an outward expression of some serious internal pain—a pain I could not quite understand, but certainly recognized. I didn’t know where this pain originated or why, but I knew what I felt was real, and I hated anyone who invalidated those feelings. No one understood: not my parents, not my sisters, and not even some of my best friends at the time. I felt lost. I felt alone. And that pain became more and more unbearable.

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