week 49 || 2016: 33 Morning Rituals

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excerpt from xoNECOLE.com 33 Morning Rituals to Start Your Day

What’s the first thing you did when you woke up this morning?

Did you roll over and check your smartphone? I knew it! Is this what the world has come to? Being a slave to Apple and Android? Come on, we have to do better…

Maintaining balance and growth in my life has always been very high on my list, so capturing ways to contribute to such lifestyle is of high importance to me. When I open my eyes I’m sure to open a window for some fresh air, do some light reading, make my bed, drink a glass of warm water or tea and jot down a few of my thoughts. Sounds peaceful doesn’t it?!?!?

Rituals and routines are wonderful, but I still make it point to switch things up a bit every now and then. Some morning I just don’t want to write or have a cup of tea. When I need to pull in some new inspiration this is the list I choose a replacement ritual from:

  1. Take a few deep breathes and take life in.
  2. Stretch for at least one minute
  3. Give thanks/pray/gratitude
  4. Make up the Bed [every single day]
  5. Eat breakfast [not too big though]
  6. Drink tea
  7. Read a chapter
  8. Write down your thoughts [on paper and not on your phone] or last nights dreams
  9. Take a teaspoon of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar
  10. Open your blinds or curtains
  11. Listen to music that speaks to your temperament
  12. Dance
  13. Verbalize a handful of personal affirmations
  14. Yoga
  15. Work out
  16. Do a steam treatment
  17. Paint your nails
  18. Take a swim
  19. Brisk walk around the block
  20. Write down your goals for the day, week, month and year
  21. Do a goal check up
  22. Practice mindfulness – meditate
  23. Drink lemon water
  24. Laugh
  25. Romp around [hubba hubba– I’m such a creep lol]
  26. Make your lunch
  27. Get some fresh air on your patio or porch
  28. Listen to your favorite podcast or audiobook
  29. Make a smoothie
  30. Smile in the mirror for 20 seconds
  31. Look at bright colors
  32. Straighten up around the house.
  33. MOST IMPORTANT: Tell yourself in the mirror how smart, beautiful and deserving you are!

spied on Politics & Fashion, excerpted from 33 Morning Rituals to Start Your Day on xoNECOLE.com | photo cred: pinterest

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Black Art Matters: Africa Forecast

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I’ve been super lazy with the photo sharing of all the beauty I’ve captured these last few months, but yesterday, my phone told me my storage was almost full.. so, you know why I’m here.

I visited Spelman for the second time this year. [It’s still dope.] I’m happy to say that the college frequently hosts interesting and thought provoking events and exhibitions not solely for students to enjoy, but the entire community. For free. Seriously, Black people, we are not lacking in the creative department! We have it on lock, actually. Whoop! And the arts are so necessary; they’re such a great outlet for self expression for the doer and a source of inspiration for the viewer. We need to foster and celebrate it.

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Contellations II, Constellations I, Constellations III – Lina Iris Viktor, 2016

The Spelman College Museum of Fine Art is proud to announce AFRICA FORECAST: Fashioning Contemporary Life, an original exhibition that will launch its 20th anniversary. The exhibition will position fashion through two overlapping perspectives: an ever-changing global marketplace and the unique ways that black women throughout the African Diaspora construct their lives. AFRICA FORECAST features work by black women artists and designers who shape, imagine, and redefine the impact of lifestyle in highly imaginative ways.
For the groundbreaking artists and designers in AFRICA FORECAST, style serves as endless inspiration for new approaches to dressing, social relationships, and activism. They stretch the boundaries of fashion’s influence in art and design, reflecting its ability to communicate complex social and cultural perspectives. As a result, the exhibition will encourage visitors to explore fashion’s changing shape in art and in their daily lives. AFRICA FORECAST will provide a dynamic snapshot of this global reflection on style through garments, photography, video, painting, and sculpture.
AFRICA FORECAST: Fashioning Contemporary Life is curated by Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, Ph.D. and Erika Dalya Massaquoi, Ph.D.

If you’re interested, click on any photo above + take the time to learn about the exhibition and the artists.

Oh and the soundtrack was that new Solange. Unedited! Perfectly fitting. I kick myself for not hearing about Africa Forecast until its last week! And then I didn’t make time to see it until the last day! It was really my cup of tea with all that brown skin, colorfulness, Solange and fashion. Knowing so many young Black ladies will see themselves in art-in a positive light-puts a smile on my face.

It really was beautiful. My camera phone doesn’t do it justice, but I hope you enjoyed. As always, thanks for stopping by.

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Meditation > Detention

We’ve all seen a “problem” child in action and know he can get out of hand; and if you’re an educator [bless you!], that’s just a day in the life. You may have even calculated how hard of a slap would send her flying across the room. But… jail. Really, you can’t even get mad at them because they’re children and, although some know better, behavior is a reflection of their environment and their parents’ parenting, or lack thereof. Kids just express their frustrations, anxiety, sadness and insecurities the best way kids know how. And in school, nobody is listening so they’re being conditioned to just be quiet and accept their punishment. You don’t have to be a psychology major to understand what that can do to a child’s spirit.

Meditation is an excellent tool to regain calmness and a sense of control; it should be used more frequently as such instead of just an alternative to detention.

article via thegrio.com Students at Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore aren’t sent to detention when they misbehave. Instead, they go to the Mindful Moment Room. Kids who are sent to the Mindful Moment Room are encouraged to practice deep breathing and meditation practices while surrounded by purple pillows, lamps and other decorations. What’s more, while they are there, […]

via Baltimore Elementary School Successfully Replaces Detention with Meditation — GOOD BLACK NEWS

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The Unhappy Wife: A Book Review

As you all know, I’m not the best at book reviews, but I had to do it for my fellow blogging sister, Dr. Garland. She is beautiful, intelligent, honest and inspiring. When reading her posts, I often come away with a handful of golden nuggets and a new perspective, so supporting her new book was kind of a no brainer. Although I’m not married, engaged and never have been, Katherin promised that I’d gain something from The Unhappy Wife. And I did. Absolutely.

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Twelve women share one thing in common – the quest for being happily married to the men they chose; however, each one finds herself in an unexpected marital predicament. Inspired by real events and told from each woman’s perspective, these short stories are firsthand accounts detailing the realities of marriage well after each woman said “I do.”

I read The Unhappy Wife in one sitting. It’s a page turner, one wife’s tale being a nail biting thriller. You’ll enjoy it too if you, like me, like to learn about relationships [with a little side of drama]. I found myself laughing, clutching my pearls and shaking my head, thinking this cannot be real life. But with my mother being a longtime fan of shows like Snapped, Forensic Files, Judge Mathis and Dateline, I know these kinds of relationships are not uncommon.

I’m still learning from my experiences, but I saw my [mentally] younger self in many of these wives, being silenced by and committed to selfish boys disguised as men who I knew deep down were not the best match for me. Second-guessing my standards. Thinking I can love him into changing. Or I made him cheat. And that is the commonality: we ignore our intuition, all in the name of what we define as love.

You don’t need anybody else to validate your choices. The answer is always inside you. It’s called conscience. – K E Garland

Whether you’re a man or woman – married or not – The Unhappy Wife will give you a fresh perspective on relationships. And not just marriages, but all relationships. What I took away from this read? Many reminders that you have to know yourself. This is vital for survival and before embarking on any kind of ‘ship.

Don’t try to save face; if it ain’t working, it ain’t working. And that’s ok. We’re all human.

Lowering your standards for someone who is incapable of loving you the ways you need to be loved is not love, nor will it become love if you stay.

Know when to seek help. If it feels wrong, it probably is.

Compromising your happiness and sanity is not love.

There aren’t necessarily “happy endings” for these wives, but rather forward motion and life beyond their toxic situations.

Great job, Dr. Garland. Thank you.

If it doesn’t make you feel fabulous, don’t do it. Don’t buy it. Don’t keep it. And above all, don’t marry it. – unknown

Order your own digital or paperback copy of The Unhappy Wife 

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gentle reminder for my sisters

I know it might be cold.. your bed might be lonely. You may even have a full roster of gentleman callers to temporarily fill that void + make you forget. But, please. Take a beat. Remember

you are a queen.

Don’t let no man half love you.

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P.S. I forgot where I read the last part but the first two lines are all me. I hate to see queens that truly desire ardent monogamy settle for part-time affection when a worthy king is somewhere preparing himself for the full-time duty of reminding you why it never worked out with the others.

week 48 || 2016: be present

All negativity is caused by an accumulation of psychological time + denial of the present.

Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry – all forms of fear – are caused by too much future and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgivingness are caused by too much past and not enough presence.

-Eckhart Tolle