The Celebration Continues

Updated: May 11

"Niggas spend they last to fake it

when it's free to be real"

Megan Thee Stallion




I Do Not Own This Art Follow Da God Vitelo

I'm not going to do a long introduction for this, let's go ahead and get right back into it!



Soap Doesn’t Go Down There!: When I was a young girl, I was told that you had to wash up three times and to make sure to get your “important” parts. When I was questioned about my ritual by my Step Mom, instead of helping me, she laughed at me—leaving any questions in that department completely closed for discussion. One day while listening to Small Doses by Amanda Seales, she goes on this rant about how soap doesn’t go down there. At the time, I was suffering from a string of yeast infections. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong for the life of me after finally talking to a doctor and verifying that soap does not go down there. I stopped using it and ditched the tampons as well. Like magic, my issues down there completely went away! Years later, I am a wholly changed woman, and yeast infections are a thing of the past. Water Is The Ultimate Cheat Code: When I was younger, I proudly said water was nasty. I barely drank water, and it's no wonder I had so many skin issues growing up. My face was proof of my fight against water. It wasn't until I began to experience bad menstrual cramps that I took my relationship with water to the next level. At thirty-two, I had horrible cramps for the first time. (How some women have been dealing with this their whole lives is beyond me!) It was like as soon as I crossed the threshold, Mother Nature decided to punish me for not reproducing. Once it was so bad, I called off work and missed a few functions due to the pain. When people around me started talking about fibrosis and surgery, I rebuked that and refused to let their fears get the worst of me. Instead, I began to listen to my body. I challenged myself to drink a gallon of water a day. And guess what? The pain completely went away, and my periods went back to normal. Now I make it a habit to drink at least a half-gallon a day.



Prevention Is Better Than Correction: Word to Marjorie Harvey. I can't pinpoint when I became obsessed with skincare. Maybe it was hearing that Halle Berry never goes to sleep without washing her face. Or Pharrell's saying that "exfoliating is life ."Whatever it was, in the last two years, skincare has become a new habit of mine, and thanks to a Vogue video from Lori Harvey, I don't go to sleep without completing my nighttime ritual. Recently, I have realized that I only get this one face, and I'm going to take care of it. I am determined to become one of those fine black women that stopped aging in their twenties. To achieve that goal, I must stay on top of my skincare.


My Parents Are Only Human. I, like most kids, put my parents on a pedestal. I valued my Mother’s opinion above all, and I thought my Dad could do no wrong. So when I did my Inner Child Therapy and learned the truth about my parent’s actions. I wasn't just hurt. I felt betrayed. It took a long time for me to reconcile the image I had created of them in my head with the actual person. But when I allowed myself to see the truth, to feel the pain. I also realized how much my parents were failed in their childhood. I found myself constantly asking: who would have taught them this? My parents grew up in an era where the older siblings were the parent. While the parents were too busy surviving to parent. So while I understand them and forgive them for being human, I also recognize that we as humans have a choice. We can choose to keep living the same patterns as our parents. Or we try to do things differently. We cannot choose our parents, but we can choose not to become them.



You Don’t Know Until You Know. I would let a nigga break my heart and hurt my feelings multiply times! But let me make one mistake, and I am beating myself up for weeks on in! My years of therapy have taught me that no one is as hard as me as I am on myself. I used to beat myself up over past mistakes, which is crazy! Because there is nothing you can do about the past. What I know for sure is that life is nothing but an extensive trial and error exercise. You don’t know until you know! Now I know as long as I learn from my past mistake, it's not a mistake. It’s a lesson. Thanks to sleep hypnosis tracks, I no longer talk to myself crazy. When I do, I catch it immediately. Funny enough, when I stopped talking to myself that way, I could no longer tolerate disrespect from anyone else.


Slow and Steady Wins The Race. Quarantine has shown me that I don’t eat nearly as much as I think I do! The problem was that I waited too late to eat, and when I did eat, it wasn’t the best option. Eating breakfast kicks starts your metabolism, allowing your body to burn calories. If you wait, till say, lunch, you've been up for almost five hours, and now your body is in survival mode. When in survival mode, your body is storing fat versus burning it. To adopt a healthier lifestyle and lose weight for good, I realized that it wasn't about finding the proper diet. It was more along the lines of training myself how to eat properly. Then setting small goals for myself. When I accomplished them, it gave me the confidence to take the next step towards keeping it up. I was killing myself, trying to do everything at once. But when I did one small thing, like drinking more water. Then the next, like making sure I eat breakfast. It wasn't really a leap to go to no fast food during the week. My wellness journey has taught me that slow and steady wins the race.



Cooking Is a Spiritual Activity. In addition to my butter discovery. I had a cheese revelation and cabbage awakening. I realized that all the foods that I thought I “didn’t” like were really about how the food was prepared. (i.e., soupy ass cabbage) There is also a meditative component to cooking, and if you are open to it, a spiritual one as well. Not to get too deep, but I can feel my Granny and other spirits guiding me while cooking. They would say things like turn down the heat, stir, or put this seasoning in like this one time I made my cabbage stir fry. It was good, but it was missing something. So I stand in front of my seasoning cabinet and wait. Immediately I get an intuitive hit to go for the Adobe seasoning. I intended to add a little, but a lot came out, and it turned out perfect! Now I can’t wait for the day that I will have my own home and kitchen. My dream is to become that fancy lady who’s always housing Real Housewives-style dinner parties!

Love Isn’t Just About Love. I have this thing about me that no matter what happens in my life, I can find a way to look at the positive. Last summer, I found myself annoyed at this side of me. But then I realized it was a gift. It’s a sign that even when my body and hearts want to give up. My soul, my spirit, carries me forward. As I grow older, as I listen to interviews and podcasts, I hear one recurring theme: my parents were horrible at love, and I fear I may be too. Instead of trying, most people give up on love and put a wall around their hearts. I realized that it is a miracle that I still believe in love after all of my life experiences. I am proud to say that I am probably one of the few romantics still roaming this earthly plane. It’s a gift to believe in love in such a dark world. Because love is not just about love, it's about hope, possibility, happiness, and life itself. When you block your heart, you are blocking yourself from experiencing all those great things. I'm grateful that after everything, I still believe.



Never Chase Love (In Any Form). From the articles last year, I'm sure you can see that I spent a lot of my life chasing love, shrinking myself, and doing everything to "fit in." After reviewing my birth chart, I realized that it's natural for me to want love. (I'm ruled by Venus) But I also see how doing this unconsciously has gotten me into trouble. Now I will never give up on love. But in the same breath, I create a new rule for myself: no chasing love under any circumstances. If people make me shrink or give me that twist in the gut, I will listen and make the adjustments accordingly instead of doubting it. At my big age, relationships in all forms should be with ease and in complete alignment with who I am trying to be! In the words of Devi Brown, “I’m not available for anything that is not mutually beneficial.”


My Silence Will Not Save Me. Since a child, I have been prone to being in very toxic situations. My way of handling conflict is not to say anything until it becomes too much, and then I explode. One day, I listened to The Read, and Kid Fury went off talking about people who harbor their feelings. In the typical read fashion, he read me for filth and ended it with: How the hell am I supposed to read your mind? Grow the fuck up! After that day, the floodgates opened. While it has been painful and downright scary at times. It has also been very freeing. In the words of the great Audre Lorde, “Your silence will not protect you.” I learned that being silent and passive-aggressive is like being implicit in your torture. Speaking up is the only way to let people know your stance. It clears all the confusion and forces others to choose: stop doing the offensive act, or I will walk away. I will no longer smile and pretend when I'm dying on the inside.That is the definition of insanity.



My Body Is My Instrument. I have struggled with weight my whole life. I have tried diets, working out to death, and trying to act like it's not a problem at all. When I attended the actor's workshop, each instructor stressed that my body was my instrument. My voice, the way I look, the way I move. It's what I bring to the table, and it's my job as the actor to work this tool properly. I decided right then, and there I wanted to be the best in every way possible. Mind, body, spirit. Inside and out. To achieve that, I can no longer ignore my body. But instead of jumping into something that I can't maintain, I have taken a completely different approach. I'm not looking for what will help me lose weight the fastest. I’m looking for something that makes my body feel good. Losing weight is just a residual of that process.


Eleven more to go! See you in two weeks for the finale,

AM




JOURNAL PROMPT:

What is your relationship to growth?

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