Horoscope Reading Needed

Not sure if my moons are aligned, if my suns are dislocated but whatever is going on up there… is affecting down here. I am sure of it.

I am in a place of semi- mental isolation I will call it.

I say mental isolation because it’s all in head. In actuality I am constantly surrounded by people. At work I deal with roughly 60 to 75 people a day not including my coworkers and when I’m home I am taking calls maybe from friends and family to maintain relationships or even business FaceTime calls.

I guess it’s just not the way I desire to be accompanied… 

However, I do know that this place which feels like seclusion to me is for the best. 

I know that if I had it my way in this moment it would be at the cost of all that I am working on achieving.

#distracted little lady

I have to stay focused on all of the projects I have my hand at right now because ultimately that is what I REALLY want. To accomplish these goals I have set for myself, to bring the ideas I have in my mind to life and I cannot do that with distractions.

I feel a shifting taking place… I’m not exactly sure what everything will look like on the other side of this but I am very optimistic. 

I have been feeling more so on my grown woman-ish: getting up in the morning even though my body is a little tired… to clean the house, and prepare for the day.

My daily routines have changed in this month of August. I am more intentional and particular about how I approach my day. I stay up late completing work when I am not super tired whereas I use to give into that lazy part of me that wanted to lay around and do something that probably wouldn’t add to anything I needed to accomplish.

I find myself standing firm in who I have grown into.. speaking up for the things I said I wouldn’t stand for and being honest with my emotions and present state. Both mental and physical.

I consciously dig deeper to find out why I feel that way and by doing so, it stops negative thoughts from creeping in trying to deceive me and pull me back to which I’ve grown from.

According to my general horoscope reading a Cancer like myself has been showing a lot of attention to others, and it suggested that I redirect that attention to self. It said to speak wealth and prosperity over myself and that as I release limiting beliefs I will find solutions to my past problems and continue to rise.

I am rising.

-Courtney B. 

Self Care, Self Check

As crazy and uncomfortable as “life” has been lately, the sun continues to shine, the birds continue to sing, the flowers continue to bloom, rain continues to fall and the world continues to turn.

The seemingly growing ever present concern for the safety and livelihood of my family has been riding shotgun while the responsibility to take better care of my whole self took a back seat. I am feeling the imbalance and it’s time to make the necessary self care adjustments to get back in-balance..

Mentally, I am always on the go. Overactive may be an understatement. There is always a question to answer, a plan to construct, a code to decipher, a problem to solve, and a dream to dream that requires more in depth planning. One way that I calm or gather my thoughts is by journaling, reading, and resting. I have a few books that I’m reading; now would be a great time to finish one. I also registered for a class that I’ve wanted to take but hadn’t made time to.

Socially, I’m forced to set new boundaries to minimize exposure to COVID19 and to maintain my sanity. People are showing true colors, masks are being removed, sheep clothing coming off and my heart and mind are too valuable to entertain fictitious interest, concern or emotions. I am craving some adult interaction, after months and months of quarentining and minimizing outings but I won’t complain because that may be a blessing in disguise. I enjoying writing and receiving letters in the mail so I have found myself sending letters, cards and care packages more, to stay connected. I have met and had conversations with people in my neighborhood since we’ve been home and outside of our houses more. Some of us have formed a support system to help each other in times of need. We share stories, concerns, ideas, supplies, time and fresh produce. With all that’s going on, that has been a nice reality to embrace.

Showing love to support black businesses is another social self care component. Mind Your Money Mondays have been uplifting to our tribe and empowering. I hope everyone is paying it forward. I wear my Support Black Colleges apparel with pride, I nourish my skin and lips with Urban Elite Beauty’s 24K serum and lip balm. I moisturize with Base Butter at night and purify my sacred space with smudge bundles from Gypsy Yoga Mama and meditate with energy infused Melanated Empath candles burning nearby. I hope everyone is paying it forward.

Spatially, I spend time in my garden planting, cultivating, propogating, pruning and harvesting. Inside of the house, I’ve been rearranging, sorting and organizing so I may be more productive and efficient.

Emotionally, being creative and sharing with the intentionality of improving someone’s day, outlook, quality of life, self-image or over all well being feeds my soul. I have been creating Ancestrally Waisted waist beads for all of those reasons. The energetically charged functional pieces of art allow me to be generous with my abilities to help and heal.

Spiritually, I have continued to pray and meditate, strengthening my relationship with myself and the Most High. This month I will focus on journaling more and yoga at least 3 times a week.

Physically, I have been making more of an effort than I ever have before to strengthen and tone this body that may look amazing for its age, but is not getting any younger. Nor is commiting to an excercise routine getting any easier.

Two months ago I began to workout regularly in the comfort of my home. I do not workout. I repeat, I do not work out but I wanted my children and I to stay active and to do more things together as a family. Well that didn’t happen like I hoped it would. May and June I managed to work out 4 days a week for 2-3 weeks (each month). Last month I didn’t work out at all. I do yoga sometimes, in spurts, but lately I haven’t. I’ve been feeling sluggish, bloated, and have been having frequent headaches and some body aches (back, shoulder, hips and knees).

Nutritionally, I’m going to eat cleaner, juice more, eat more raw meals (uncooked fruit, vegetables, sprouts) and increase my daily water intake. I am planning to cleanse my digestive system (along with my thoughts, my words) at the beginning of September. In preparation, I am starting, in August, to gradually eliminate toxins, undesirable and unhealthy elements from my life. I don’t want to send my body into shock by suddenly altering how I feed it.

As I analyze my eating habits I can’t overlook the fact that I do not drink enough water. I have to correct that and I may need your help. I like to infuse my water with cucumbers, lemon and mint. I would love to see what you add to your water (if anything).

I know I am not the only one who doesn’t drink enough water. Wouldn’t it be dope to encourage one another to hydrate adequately. I’m anxious to see what will change and/or improve if I fill up on an essential life force. Please join us August 3-31, for a 28 day water challenge.

How many ounces of water is the “right” amount to drink each day?

Your body weight divided by 2;

A 140 pound person would need to drink 70 ounces of water. This is only an approximate calculation. Keep in mind, if you’re physically active, sweating a lot, you may need to drink more water. This is how I am determining my daily intake. I have heard 8 glasses of water a day as a baseline and I have also seen a recommendation of 91 oz for women, 125 oz for men. Decide what is right for you and set your challenge goal.

Why is water important?

Maintain body temperatureTransports nutrients
Metabolize body fatAids in digestion (saliva)
Lubricates and cushions organsFacilitates cellular function
Removal of toxins/Transports wasteImproves skin and scalp function
Boosts immunityMaintain healthy nerve endings
Feeds hair rootHydrates hair follicles

Water Challenge

I will post pictures on my personal IG @TruthIzBeauty to remind and motivate others to drink “enough” water. It would be nice if those who participate post encouraging pictures or infusion suggestions with #TH2O and tag @thumpinthought and @truthizbeauty or send the pics, to ThumpInThought@gmail.com (#TH20 in subject).

Send us a message so we can see whose with us. Let’s discover what we can drink into existance!

Thump out!

             

             

Do you Know? No.

“Know your Rights” they say! I have heard this statement far too often, and finally I began to actually think on it instead of dismiss the idea.

I asked myself, “Do I know my rights?” “How many do I have?” “Where can I find this information?” “Do my rights change?” “…. I think they are the amendments, but then what are the Bill of Rights and how are they different from the Constitution?”

I … at 23, did not know my rights, so I began to wonder if my counter parts knew theirs and they didn’t. This fact inspired me to do my research, not just for myself but for my brothers and sisters. This information is needed more than ever and can not only save our lives but possibly some jail time.

If not us, then who? Me, I got you.

So to not take away from the purpose of this post, I am going to jump straight into it.

This is the MEAT. The Need To Know.

Your rights belong to you, not to the government, so essentially the amendments are to protect you from the government.

1st Amendment: Means that congress cannot establish an official state religion therefore we can exercise any belief we choose. It legally gives us our freedom of speech, freedom of press (the freedom to report news without being controlled by the government), the freedom to assembly (gather in groups for a common purpose) and the freedom to protest government actions that we do not agree with.

2nd Amendment: Gives citizens the right to keep and bear fire arms for the protection of our persons, property and individual liberty.

There are more specific laws that vary between each state. If you carry, KNOW YOUR SPECIFIC STATE LAWS.

3rd Amendment: Protects the right to not have the government force us to house soldiers in our home against our will during “peace time”. Our 3rd amendment only allows them to do so in times of war. This might be the least litigated law, however I didn’t want to skip over it.

JUICY STUFF FOLLOWS!

4th Amendment: protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. The government may not conduct any searches without a warrant, and such warrants must be issued by a judge and based on probable cause.

If you are pulled over and asked to be searched, it is YOUR RIGHT to respond “I do not consent to searches.” You cannot be penalized, I repeat you cannot be penalized for not consenting. It is YOUR RIGHT! If you say no, and they do so anyway, they (the police) must prove in court that they had probable cause (reason) and you and your attorney can fight against that claim.

Do not say aloud “fine go ahead and search me” but follow their instructions. By saying “fine go ahead and search me” and leaving it at that, you then legally have given permission.

It is best to say “I do not consent to searches” as a full statement because they (the police) may try to trip you up and ask “Do you mind if I search your car?” by responding “no” leaves room for misinterpretation.

No you don’t mind? Or No you don’t consent?

Say you forget this wording, and or get nervous and just respond “no” and they ask you to get out of the car so they can search you and it… You can withdraw consent at any time. It is never too late to say “I do not consent to searches” Again if they do continue, deal with it in court.

If you are a passenger in the car of someone who gets pulled over, and the driver consents to a search (which they shouldn’t) you can speak for yourself and say “ I do not consent to searches”. Never leave your personal bags in the car once you exit. Ladies take your purse with you, Men take your bookbag/ fanny pack with you. If he or she tries to stop you , say that the property is yours and you do not consent to be searched.

After doing my research, it was advised to never give consent to be searched, whether there is something to be found or not simply because it is YOUR RIGHT. We should never waive our rights, and the truth of the matter is…a search is done to incriminate you, not to help you be free.

This next statement is your 5th Amendment and 6th Amendment included in one.

“I am not answering any questions and I want to speak to an attorney.”

5th Amendment: provides that citizens not be subject to criminal prosecution and punishment without due process (fair treatment). Citizens may not be tried on the same set of facts twice, and are protected from self-incrimination (the right to remain silent). The amendment also establishes the power of eminent domain, ensuring that private property is not seized for public use without just compensation.

The right to remain silent.

6th Amendment: assures the right to a speedy trial by a jury of one’s peers, to be informed of the crimes with which they are charged, and to confront the witnesses brought by the government. The amendment also provides the accused the right to compel testimony from witnesses, and to legal representation.

The right to have a lawyer present.

Whenever you are asked “Do you know the reason you are being pulled over?” ALWAYS SAY NO. Never incriminate yourself. Legally all questioning is supposed to cease, however they may continue.

You can always exercise your right to be silent because if not you can dig yourself into a deeper hole. EXAMPLE: Getting caught with weed is a misdemeanor, but saying something as small as “I was just taking it to a friend, he or she left it in my car” now turns your charge into a felony because you are now found in possession with intent to distribute. You never tell the police that you have smoked marijuana, taken any prescription medication, drank any alcohol or used any other kind of drug any time in your life. It is not their business. They are not your therapist. It can and may be written in the police report in a manner that criminalizes you.

Exercise your right to remain silent.

Tell the truth, that you have nothing to say and want an attorney present. That is the truth.

Even if you have nothing to hide.

The last statement I’m going to cover for this post falls under our 4th Amendment.

“I do not agree to stay here with you for any reason. Are you detaining me or am I free to leave? . A police detention is a seizure of the person. If it is unreasonable, it violates the seized person’s Fourth Amendment rights. If it violates the Fourth Amendment, it is unlawful.

Remember YOUR 4th Amendment protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. The government may not conduct any searches without a warrant, and such warrants must be issued by a judge and based on probable cause

Do not voluntarily offer to stay around with the police for any reason. Not for them to get dogs to search, not for them to ask more questions, for no reason at all.

Unless you are being detained you don’t have to give an ID.

Always assert your rights. Do not waive your rights .

All of the statements suggested for use when interacting with police is supported by our constitutional rights. However use YOUR discernment in any situation.

Some answers to the questions I asked myself before doing research:

There are 27 amendments of the United States Constitution .

The US Constitution was written in 1787 and ratified (approved) in 1788.

On December 15, 1791 the Bill of Rights was also ratified with 10 amendments.

The first two amendments in the 12 that Congress proposed to the states were rejected: The first was concerning apportioning representation in the House of Representatives; the second prevented members of Congress from voting to change their pay until the next session of Congress. The original “Second Amendment” though rejected at first was finally added to the Constitution as the 27th Amendment, more than 200 years later. Originally proposed Sept.25th, 1789. Ratified May.7, 1992.

Study this information, be in the know. If you are interested in me going over the rest of our rights leave a comment!

Love yours, Courtney B.

https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution

https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-the-bill-of-rights-2#:~:text=The%20Bill%20of%20Rights%20has,integral%20part%20of%20the%20Constitution.

https://www.youtube.com/c/JayRameyLaw/videos

M.Y.M.M. (Mind Your Money Monday)

Thump In Thought is dedicated and determined to promote and support businesses owned by people of color. As a business owner and a woman of color, I want to be an example and mentor for other entrepreneurs. We’re in this thing called “life” together and together we are GREATER. Let’s put cooperative economics into daily practice and be conscious of where we spend (invest) our money. I hope you visit the websites of the businesses featured. You may find what you’re looking for or better yet, you may find something you didn’t even know you needed.

Shayola, The Artisan

Shayola, The Artisan is a Brooklyn native who’s called Richmond, VA home for the last 20 years.  Shayola is a former mental health professional and home-bound teacher for the private and public sectors in Richmond.  January of 2000, Shayola began to transition back to a natural living lifestyle both personally & professionally and in 2015, created Holistic Alayé pronounced (ah-lay-yay) and meaning (living).  Holistic Alayé LLC was created to share Shayola’s vegan culinary talents and vision with communities throughout the DMV area.  Today Holistic Alayé offers nourishment to mind, body, spirit and currency (economics).  Holistic Alayé is the parent company of Mermaids & Muffins, which offers fresh Yoni Steam Blends, A Yoni Diary (7 part womb workshop), Sacred Woman Treasure Chests & Wombman support tribe.  As well as Return to Your Royalty, a gold exchange company, where we share the art turning paper dollars into an appreciating asset, which is GOLD!  Shayola continues her journey as a Sacred Woman Practitioner, Womb Yoga Dance Practitioner, Yoni Steam Practitioner, an enthusiastic Vegan Chef,  Emerald Green Practitioner, author of 5D Prosperity, A guide to a Light body through DeProgrammimg, DeStressing, Detoxification, Discipline & Discernment and Wealth Builder & Gold Saver!

Website: http://www.holisticalaye.com

Instagram: shayola_the_artisan

Briana Young-Roane

Gypsy Yoga Mama Brand

Website: http://www.gypsyyogamama.com

Instagram: @thegypsyyogamama & @gypsyyogamamatribe

Mission:

At GYM we are a lifestyle brand dedicated to helping people of color find magic in their everyday lives. We are here for it all! Yoga, Movement & Meditation, Home Decor, Vegan Cooking, Gardening, and so much more. Gypsy Yoga Mama is the one stop shop for everyday magic.

Business Name: Breathe Yoga Studio

Website: http://www.breatheva.com

Email: questions@breatheva.com

Description: A boutique yoga studio dedicated to serve the community. 

Love, Light & Magic,

Briana Young-Roane

Isaiah Parham, Clean Cuts Landscaping

Services provided in Petersburg, Prince George and the surrounding areas. Prices vary depending on yard size.

Services offered: 

Mowing – starting at $25 (includes weed eating and edging) 

Mulch, shrub, flower, and border install 

Bush trimming 

Some tree limbing or cutting (based on the size) 

Call 804-898-2962 or email cleancutslandscaping15@gmail.com for a consultation or for more information.

HAIR STORY

Story time!

Back in college my freshman year I had an elective speech class, you know those mandatory classes before you get into the major courses.

I don’t remember exactly what the specific topic for this week was but of course I somehow found a way to write creatively for this assignment…

*Fun fact I strongly dislike formal writing, especially research papers.

While I still have no idea where this piece of work is at the moment I know I shared my relationship to those who were listening about my hair and I.

Growing up, my mother always did my hair or paid someone to style it: braids, twist, ect. I’m not sure at what age I first got a relaxer but after a while I was tired of it being a monthly activity, and having to deal with the rough in-between stage. I remember sitting there twitching in my seat as it burned my scalp but it was the price I had to pay… if I wanted my hair to be laid. A nick-name for a relaxer was crack, being that I needed a fix every month.

Before I decided I no longer wanted to get perms, I decided I wanted to style my own hair. My mother still assisted in the crack application but in 5th grade, I became the stylist. I had specialty hairstyles too! There was: The Low Pony Tail, The Mid-Way Pony Tail, The High Pony Tail  (there was no high pony tail because my kitchen would fall off the pony) The Banana Clip, Straightened with a part to the middle, and Straightened with a part to the side.

*Kitchen is defined as the tight coily hairs at the bottom of your hair line or the hairs that do not make it into the pony tail because they are too short.

I grew up in Prince George County Va, where there is land, neighborhoods, and big trucks with mufflers. Our school system is diverse in my opinion only because we are located near the military base, Fort Lee, however the longtime residents of Prince George County are predominately Caucasians. With that being said you can imagine the ethnical representation in the class rooms. It’s kind of weird to say, but it is my truth… there is one time I use to wish I was White and that was in 5th grade. It was because everyone at the time had cliques and their specified group of friends. I got along with basically everyone as I do now, but it was as if I didn’t fit in. I always had to insert myself rather than just automatically be included and because of the ethnical representation the groups I am referring to was mostly white children. I remember being on the swing by myself swinging and in my own thoughts… it was almost time for a fix, my relaxer. The girls next to me too were swinging and I remember being fixated on their hair. How their hair rose in the wind as they swung forward, and gracefully fell and spread across their back as they came back down. Beautiful I thought.

Then I centered my thoughts back on self… comparing at this point. Sometimes a dangerous thing but I guess a pivotal point for me.

I realized that my pony tail ( because I had been doing my own hair and only had 5 styles) too had rose with the wind when I swung forward. The difference was that it never came back down. She (miss pony) was stuck in a horizontal position and there was nothing graceful or beautiful about that.

I then thought there has to be another way. I don’t want to get burned by a perm any more, I don’t want to go through the stiff hair stage anymore, the dark before the dawn. I don’t want to continue to change, change something that’s naturally me, just to be more like someone else.

At the time my mom thought it was absurd but gave me the blessing to “go natural” resting assured that it would save her money and that I would be in this battle alone! I took the challenge and it was a challenge. Through my 6th and 8th grade year I was in transition attempting new hair styles the natural way with my straight permed ends trailing close behind. I chose not to do the big chop because I was not ready for all of that. One major change at a time.

I am so grateful I decided to do the transition  at a younger age because at the time it wasn’t a popular movement. I was literally the only one I know doing it and even though I looked crazy, people in school thought it was cool .. and different. By the time I hit 10th grade I had the hang of things and it was normal.. Courtney was natural. I then started having people approach me for tips on how to make their transition.

That speech I wrote eventually was extended and made into a poem. A poem I performed my senior year in college at an open mic. I remember saying something like my hair doesn’t need to be relaxed because everything about it in itself is cool. I remember explaining how it would take me 3 hours to do my hair every night only to undo it the next morning but those 3 hours were needed quality time. Time I needed to learn my hair, to learn myself and build that trust and love. I can now get her done at night within an hour and I’ve learned how to preserve my styles to last for days. My hair is my crown, no matter what style I wear it . The words beautiful and graceful can’t even begin to describe all that she, my crown, we embody.

Ultimately I wanted to be White to fit in to the environment I was in, and for my hair to flow as theirs do… but really all I needed was the right flat iron! Now I can do it all, straight, curling, kinky. One of my favorite things I love being asked when my hair is straight is “ I thought you were natural” Oh I am my love!

As far as fitting in… I was never made to, so I stopped trying and created my own lane.

-Courtney B.

Mind Your Money

The thoughts that I have been having lately all center around how to make this world better…mainly for my children, their children and so on.

The one thing I’d like to mention, in addition to praying for continued change and meditating on positive progress, is minding our money. Withholding money from businesses that are not black owned, that don’t support the movement toward equity, that are part of the big problem picture.

I don’t want to hear “my dollar won’t make a difference”, or “I had to buy it…it was on sale…I had a coupon”, “where do you expect me to eat”…are we in crisis or nah?

Are we concerned for our lives or the lives of our children, siblings, parents, loved ones? Do we want conditions to improve or are we content with statues being forcefully removed an Juneteenth being declared a holiday? Are we tired of discrimination or are you pleased enough with a few officers being charged for some form of wrong doing?

Understand that we are not expected to ban together for a financial boycott. The black community has proven to spend money more quickly and save less. The economy banks on that.

We must organize the conscious refusal to buy products from a certain companies and/or country if need be. We must sacrifice for the greater good and be creative. Now would be a good time to borrow that cup of sugar from your neighbor or relative, instead of running to Walmart. If you must buy, only buy the necessity not the extra that you don’t need. If you are aware of the large scale companies that support racism or benefit from racial inequities, definitely stay out of them.

I am not saying starve your family. I’m not saying there won’t be emergency situations when you may have to spend money. I acknowledge the shortage of black owned businesses and scarcity of black manufactured products but we can do this. Make it your business to find out where your money goes. Save more, invest more, educate more.

I commit to doing what I can. I have been keeping my money out of the before mentioned establishments. I pray that the spirits of those who boycotted the Montgomery, Alabama bus system guide us to victory. For a whole year they did what they had to do in order to stand up for their rights and protest segregation. Sacrifice, determination, will power, resilience and perseverance is what has been passed onto us by way of our ancestors. Mind your money, make them smile, and be prepared to do it whenever we need to. One day is not going win the war but every bit puts us a little closer…to freedom.

July 7, 2020 will be the next Blackout Day.

One day (7/7/20), solidarity, don’t spend one cent,

Anyone who is fighting on the side of equality and justice please stand with us. The more money withheld the better.

If you have or know of a black owned and/or operated business or product please share their information with Thump In Thought. We will be showcasing them during the month of July.

Be safe, be smart and be strong. Thump out!

Remain Mindful

For so long we have become use to a certain way of living. Believing that there is only one way to live life. However in today’s time, a lot of us are branching off and creating a new normal. How your parents or grandparents lived their lives, doesn’t apply to today’s world. Not just based on career, but also based on state of mind.

We are learning to cut ties with what or who doesn’t serve us. As in adding betterment to our peace and/or happiness. Doesn’t matter the length of a “ship”, relationship, friendship etc. If a person or situation isn’t allowing you to maintain your best self, then cut it free. Or you will indeed lose your mind. Metaphorically and literally speaking.

You also have to be mindful of the energy you put out yourself. Not everything is everyone else’s fault. Take accountability, learn from your mistakes and trials so that you can grow from them. We do not grow just to fall back into old habits that had us in a bad mental state to begin with.



Be mindful in how you treat others. Be mindful in what you absorb from people. That beings information, energy, even thoughts. Especially in a time where the majority of the population consumes. It is important to check yourself at the door. Literally! When you feel your spirit is uneasy and/or you don’t have control over your emotions, figure yourself out and see what is the source. The worst thing that can happen is you holding on to any negativity and it causing whatever kind of stress on your body and spirit. Too, you spewing that energy on others. Even if you believe they deserve it in your mind, it in turn will always revert back to you. Kinda goes along with the metaphor of you being a prisoner of your own anger.

Maybe you’ve already seen a different way of living. But now you’ve come to the realization that not everyone around you has “cracked the code” so to speak. They’re still comfortable in the mayhem of society. They’re still ok with not looking at themselves in order to find a way out of the confusion and stress. With that being said, you can’t force anyone to look at life through your lenses. You have to come to terms and expect that everyone’s chapter isn’t the same. Not everyone is necessarily meant to think the same. And that too is okay. We all go through changes at different points in our lives. Just always be mindful of how you maneuver.

Be good to yourself so that you are able to see through the smoke and mirrors and are able to think clearly and be mentally healthy. Especially in today with all of the riots. Yes change needs to come and I believe it soon will (we are strong people). With all of the outrage and anger generating through the media, be mindful of how you absorb all of that energy. Channel that anger into something more meaningful and put in the effort that you are able to provide in order to make a real change. Don’t sit in that anger, allow it to work for you as motivation to do your part no matter how big or small. Every action is necessary.

May justice be served to all the lives lost to police brutality and terrorist hate crimes. May all of your names be forever remembered and your spirits guide us. Ase’

-E ❤️💜💙

In My Bag

The month of May is filled with recognizing and bringing awareness to things like Star Wars, nurses, teachers, chocolate chips, masturbation. pets, endangered species, smiles, pizza parties, childhood poverty, mental health and much, much more. Some observances are for a day, some a week and some for a month. You can search the internet for corresponding dates and information related to each subject area that interests you.

Today is Red Nose Day (https://rednoseday.org). Last year my children and I purchased red noses from Walgreens in support of efforts to shine a light on and provide resources for children in need (https://www.walgreens.com/topic/promotion/rednoseday.jsp ).

This year…well you know: Coronavirus.

Mental Health America (mhanational.org) provides a toolbox and information related to COVID-19 and mental health. You can be screened online and take advantage of the Toolkit they have available. A section that I can relate to, because planning and being prepared gives me peace of mind, is Realize What You Can Control. During times of chaos and uncertainty I like to surround myself with things I feel I can rely on, and I tend to focus on what I can do to alleviate, or better yet, prevent what may cause me stress or anxiety. For this purpose, I keep certain essentials on hand as well as nourish my spirit, mind, and body to be ready for whateva..

I would like to share with you what’s currently in heavy rotation in my household and/or in my “bag”:

Plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables (raw, cooked or juiced)

Water (Spring or filtered, not distilled or purified)

A book. I’m always reading at least one book. Right now, I’m rereading parts of Queen Afua’s Sacred Woman: A Guide to Healing the Feminine Body, Mind, and Spirit.

Herbal supplements to boost and/or maintain immune health: VS-C, Trigger Immune, Defense Maintenance. (https//www.NaturesSunshine.com, using sponsor number 1049275, will allow you to create an account and be charged the discounted member price). My children and I take 2 of each, twice a day, for 12 days, twice a year. Feel free to contact me for information about how and why I take those.

Silver Shield, colloidal silver gel and liquid; better than hand sanitizer because it is not supposed to kill beneficial bacteria, which we need. Provides antiviral, antibacterial, immune support. I also use it for wound care (cuts, scrapes, burns, bites).

The other herbal supplements and essential oils pictured are used as needed for allergy related symptoms, nasal and chest congestion, insomnia, pain, headache, and muscle ache. I order from Nature’s Sunshine because I’ve used them for over 7 years, I like the promotions and discounts offered. When it comes to herbal supplements and essential oils, they are not all created equal. It’s important to know what you’re getting when you are using them topically or internally. Research the company; can you trace the origin of the products? Do you know other people that have a good history with them? Look at several reviews, from different sources.

I order my bulk herbs (for teas, rinses, herbal baths) from Mountain Rose Herbs. I’ve also purchased some of their essential oils.

I keep something to cover my head, never know when i’ll need it to add color or style, for protection (from sun, wind, debris, dust, pollen, energies) or for warmth, I can tie a head wrap but I love the convenience of being able to throw something up there like a Grace Eleyae, Ayana print Turban. (https://www.graceeleyae.com)

Masks, masks, and more masks. I have handmade by me and handmade by others masks, filtered and unfiltered masks, disposable and washable masks, adult and child sized masks, uncomfortable and not as uncomfortable masks. All masks are not created equal either. Familiarize yourself with the correct way to utilize masks and the risks of carbon dioxide toxicity from wearing them for prolonged periods of time.

My stones, of course

…and wine.

If you stay ready, you don’t need to get ready

-not me

Thump out!

Constructive or Destructive?

“This friendship is beginning to have an impact on my mental wellbeing, but that’s how true friendship is supposed to feel sometimes, right?”

“I feel negative energy around my friends and I am beginning to mimic their negative traits, but I can’t stop hanging out with them because we’ve been friends for so long.” 

“I am putting so much into ensuring that we maintain our relationship, but that same energy is not being reciprocated. Oh well, they are family and family is allowed to hurt me as many times as they want and still be forgiven.” 

“I can’t see myself marrying this person, but nobody else is going to put up with me?” 

“I have not been happy in this relationship for a while and my partner does not give me the love that I deserve, but I don’t want to start the dating process over again. I should just stick with it, right?”

 If you’ve ever had thoughts similar to these, chances are you’re in an unhealthy relationship.

Before we get started, I want to preface this post by stating that how I navigate, and my perceptions of healthy and unhealthy relationships are based on my personal experiences, and what has provided me the peace I need. This advice and perspective can be utilized when navigating many types of relationships, such as significant others, friends, family, and even friends you consider family. For the sake of time though, I would like to mainly focus on romantic relationships because I have a lot to say. So, let’s get into it. 

Romantic Relationships 

I would say this is probably the hardest relationship to navigate due to you basically having to “interview” various people throughout your life, for one, hopefully long-term, role. Yes, when I say interview, I mean dating. Once official, and sometimes before then, it starts with the honeymoon stage…I know yall have heard of this. It’s when everything in the relationship seems to be perfect, including your partner. There are minimal arguments and it seems like they have everything you have ever wanted in a person. Unfortunately, this is when red flags tend to be overlooked. This is when you only compare them to your Ex, and as long as they are an upgrade from that, you’re satisfied. Just because they do one thing that you like that your ex never did (like getting you flowers) doesn’t mean that cancels out all the things that they do that you would have never tolerated before (like being talked down to). You may want to ask yourself a few questions: 

“Am I altering myself to fit into what this person wants me to be?” 

“Am I losing sight of my goals and aspirations to fit into this box in order to not outshine my partner?”

“Am I genuinely happy in this relationship?” 

“Can I see myself married to this person?” (if that is a goal for you)

DO NOT SETTLE and recognize your worth. Evaluate your partner on what they bring to the table rather than the potential of whatever you’ve imagined. I firmly stand behind the saying, “actions speak louder than words.” It’s important to recognize that what you’ve been given, may not be what you deserve. 

However, you may have to re-evaluate your role in the relationship. Are you giving it 100%, or are you just taking from it. If the roles were reversed, are you someone that you would date? In my opinion when relationships do not succeed, it is for one of three reasons, y’all are not compatible, one individual is not ready to be in a committed relationship/commitment levels are not equivalent, or one of the two individuals are not presenting their best selves. If you find yourself questioning if you are at-fault for your failed relationships, you need to spend sometime working on yourself. That is not necessarily a bad thing, but I know for me, I had to spend some much needed time learning and loving myself, as well as improving the “not-so-delightful” qualities that I have developed along the way. 

I am still a work in progress, but let me just tell you from experience, when you present your best self to the world, good things are attracted to you. What you put out is what you receive, and I must be on the right path because I am very blessed.

Another strategy that led me to being in a healthy relationship now is recognizing those red flags and learning from my failed relationships, as well as those that I have observed throughout my life. If you are able to pinpoint things that you know you will not tolerate, qualities that you would like your future husband or wife to embody, and are able to communicate when you feel a relationship is heading in a negative direction, steps could be taken to change that direction or it will allow you to weed out those that don’t deserve you, leading you closer to, or to, your forever partner. I am no relationship expert, but this has seemed to work for me in incredible ways.

Other Relationships

Because of my ability to be able to recognize unhealthy relationships, and the realization that I’m in control of who I allow in my space, I now know and I am able to articulate the things I will not tolerate. I am able to communicate when I feel I am being taken advantage of, whether it be big or small; and I know my worth. I am also able to step away from friendships that are not aiding in my growth, or holding me back. I walk away from relationships that I do not believe are meant for me especially when there is an inequality in the distribution of give and take. However, I communicate my reason prior to that because sometimes communication is just what the relationship needs. Sometimes that leads to a stronger relationship, and sometimes that leads to a permanent removal, but I have become okay with that. I do not settle in any other aspects of my life, so the same remains for relationships. I ensure that I am surrounding myself with positive people for the sake of my mental wellbeing. For the friends that feel like family, I accept them for who they are, but continue to love them from a distance. 

“A healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down. It inspires you to be better”

Mandy Hale

LIVE.LAUGH.LOVE yourself first. Until next time. Mwauh 💋 -Alex

Okay, I’ll Admit…

I’ll keep it sweet and simple, for your sake and mine. Dating sucks! Yes, it can be fun and you’ll have funny memories to laugh with your friends about AFTER THE FACT!

But ultimately it seems like you are left with a hand full of let downs and possibly new triggers.

#Handlewithcaution

#treadlightly

#LITERALLY

Being a person that is extremely particular about a lot of things, it takes a lot for me to actually be interested and stay interested in someone. It definitely takes time but bay bay, when I’m there… I’m there. Even with my friends I would say I have deep connections with all of them (not my associates but my actual friends), to the point I consider them family. There is no in-between for me.

While it takes a moment for me to start caring for someone on that level nonetheless once I do my feelings are involved full throttle. The problem is, there are those individuals who do not know how or choose not to communicate because it makes them uncomfortable… or heck maybe they just don’t care to.

So when something changes on their end (their feelings, their outlook on you’alls situation) they just fall back and slowly disappear. #goghost.

Again it sucks but it happens to the best of us.

If this hasn’t happened to you. God bless you!

With time, life practice and overall growth as a person, I have become a fairly good communicator. I like to address issues sooner than later no matter how nervous they make me. Mostly because I know the alternative to this is to suppress it, possibly explode or continuously carry around unexpressed feelings. I know that if I don’t get it out, I will constantly think about it over and over again. When people decide to disappear the only options are the latter two.

So imagine how the magical act of guys going ghost affects/ed me. I hate it. Lol

After talking through my thoughts and feelings about my journey to a friend, I was given some good insight that I will leave you with.

Dating is not the same as being in a long-term relationship. Dating is the time frame in which you and the other person are getting to know each other –possibly going out to eat, going bowling, having a game night, going fishing ect.

During this period, two individuals are figuring out if they want to progress things into a long-term relationship.

And if we are being honest, he/she or both parties may be dating more than one person at a time being there is no commitment within the dating stage.

This must be kept in mind.

So if you are anything like the emotional zodiac sign of a cancer, this part is paramount. Again, dating is not the same as a long-term relationship. It is the transit ride to a long-term relationship and sometimes the transit runs out of gas before getting there. And sometimes, the tires go flat, or pop, or the engine blows- all kinds of crazy things. The point is, it’s important to approach dating as such…just dating. Therefore, it doesn’t feel like you are laying to rest your new puppy that somehow got ahold of chocolate every time the transit doesn’t make it to the “great destination.”

Talk to me in the comments below, I want to hear your thoughts. Until next time beautiful beings. –Courtney B.