Put It On Paper: Three Methods for Journaling Like a Pro

 
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To round out #SelfCareSeptember, I wanted to share one more method I use to check in with myself, journaling. Journaling works wonders for me because I spend a lot of time in my head and writing my thoughts down lets me connect the dots of feelings and ideas.

The best part about journaling is you can approach it in many different ways. Maybe you need to keep track of your emotions over a certain period, or perhaps you need to write down your goals to stay accountable. I journal in several ways, but these 3 methods are the ones I use most.

Prayer Journaling 

This might sound weird to my fellow saints, but sometimes, I feel a little weird saying my prayers out loud. I don't think I articulate myself as well in speech, so I prefer to write my prayer requests down.

This kind of journaling feels almost like writing a diary because this is where all my feelings spill out in a way that's incredibly cathartic.

I pray over my goals, ask for guidance concerning new ventures, and ask for help with the tough stuff. I don't care who you pray to or what you pray about, but I think prayer journaling is a great way to start or finish your day.

Scripting

Scripting is a super fun journaling style because it lets you create your own future. Think of it like an adult version of M.A.S.H. Basically, you pick a date in the future, maybe 5 or 10 years from now, and write about your day.

You can write about how your day went at your dream job, what you’re doing with your partner and kids, or how you spent your time on your luxurious vacation. It's totally up to you.

The bottom line is, scripting is a form of manifesting so you have to write it like it's happening and believe every word even if it sounds outlandish. After all, if you don't believe in your future who will?

Gratitude Journaling 

This is one of the most common forms of journaling and it's helped me greatly over the past year.

Gratitude journaling is exactly what it sounds like. You're writing down the things you're thankful for in that day, week, or month. The goal of this type of journaling is to give thanks for the good that's been so you can receive the good that's coming.

My therapist suggested gratitude journaling as a part of my Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. It's helped to change my perspective on my life and helps me keep track of all the wonderful things that are happening for me instead of focusing on the negative. If you could use a little help finding the silver lining, this method might be best for you.

As I said before, these are only a few ways you can make journaling work for you. The main goal here is to develop a consistent practice of monitoring your emotions. So, find yourself a nice journal, a pen, and a quiet space and get to writing!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE.

How I'm Holistically Healing Through Yoga

A few of the ladies after a session with Vee of Ori Lotus Yoga

A few of the ladies after a session with Vee of Ori Lotus Yoga

How often do you take time to listen to your body?

Do you think about your breathing throughout the day?

Most of us aren’t paying close attention to either of those things, but they’re so important. As a part of #SelfCareSeptember, I’ve started my yoga practice again, and it’s been really beneficial to my body and my spirit.

In college, I used to do yoga at least twice a week. Unfortunately, over the years, I’ve stopped going to yoga classes as often because I felt like I, “didn’t have the time.” But a part of taking care of yourself is taking the time to do the things you enjoy and make you feel good. The best part of my practice is having a black, female instructor, Vee of Ori Lotus Yoga.

I’ve started going to her weekly Relaxing Mind and Body classes because I’ve been looking for a class that challenges my body but also helps me get in touch with my spirit. Last week, I got the opportunity to experience her class all by myself, and I swear I was transported into a new dimension with her guidance.

For that session, we focused on unlocking each of the 7 chakras from root to crown. We spent about 7 to 10 minutes in a yoga pose that corresponds with a particular chakra and used visualization to bring power back into my body. Now, some of you may be reading this and thinking, “I’m not into that ‘woo woo’ shit," but hear me out. Yoga has been instrumental in bringing awareness to my body. If you’ve never done yoga before, it can help with the following:

Breathing

Breathing is something we do naturally but, that doesn’t mean we’re doing it well. How do you “breathe well?” I’m glad you asked! Yoga helps those who practice monitor their breath by breathing deeply and intentionally. Taking measured breaths can slow down your heart rate and help you to feel more relaxed. My favorite breathing technique is to breathe in for 3 seconds, hold that breath for 1 second, then breathe out for 3 more seconds. I do this throughout the session to help me focus and to keep myself centered.

Try monitoring your breaths throughout the day and see how many good, deep breaths you’re taking. Let as much oxygen in as you can!

A few accessories to help with certain poses

A few accessories to help with certain poses

Pain Management

I have the lower back of a 70-year-old. One wrong move and my shit could literally snap in half. Ok, maybe I'm being dramatic, but I do suffer from frequent lower back pain and yoga is perfect for a good lower-back stretch.

In my few classes, I've stretched my body more than I have in a very long time. I understand that a lot of people think that the practice of yoga means tying yourself into knots, but the most effective lower back stretches are extremely easy.

Whenever I feel like I just got tackled by a linebacker, my go-to poses are cat and cow pose, sphinx, and a supine twist. If you want to take it up a notch, I’d also suggest trying the thread the needle pose. If you need a visual of what each of these poses looks like, click here to take a look.

Connecting to Yourself

How often are you able to just be quiet? Probably not as often as you’d like to. We’re always searching for peace of mind, but it tends to elude us as we get lost in the daily shuffle. As I’ve been finding ways to better my self-care routine this month, I’ve realized that even when I’m alone and technically not doing anything, I’m never really silent. I’m usually on my phone, watching TV, or putting my mental energy towards a new project. Yoga has provided me with a way to unplug and get more in tune with myself.

There’s no peace like lying down on a mat and breathing. All you have to do is lay there and be present in the moment. There are no notifications, no emails, no texts, it’s just you, your thoughts, and your breath. As simple as that is, sometimes being alone with my thoughts is the hard part. I think those who don’t practice yoga tend to believe that your mind needs to be almost blank to experience relaxation, but that’s not true. Yoga takes a lot of focus, but the key is to focus on your affirmations and your energy. Even if your mind does start to wander, it's fine because your instructor will most likely lead you back to the present moment by reminding you to silently repeat your intention for the session.

Your intention is what you hope to gain from your practice that day and what you need to zoom in on. My intention is typically to draw my energy back into myself. I always feel like I'm being pulled in so many different directions and it's essential that I take my energy back from other sources so I can replenish my soul. Again, it all sounds very "woo woo" but if you let it work for you, it will.

If you’ve never tried yoga, I definitely suggest you do. There’s nothing like getting one-on-one with yourself and actually being quiet and in the moment for once. If you’re looking for a great beginner’s yoga class to check out (with a black, female instructor) click here!

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE.

What To Do When You're Ready for Medication

 
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"You can do this holistically or traditionally, but you have to do something."


That's what my therapist said to me as I sat before her. I had just gotten done telling her about how I'd spent the past week in a panic because the weight of all my responsibilities made me feel extremely overwhelmed. It didn't help that my session with her was delayed until the end of the week. After I told her about my week and how I'd spent most of it in an anxious fog, we revisited the medication conversation.

Although I've been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder, I've been reluctant to take medication for it. I've been trying to get by using holistic treatments and behavior adjustment through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but the truth is, I'm still struggling. I still feel like I'm on edge daily. My concentration is low, and that panicked feeling is always there just waiting to rise to the surface. 

Since, talking to my therapist and my primary care doctor, I'm back on medication and I feel like this is a huge step in my healing. Even as I write this post, I'm a little nervous about sharing my journey with medication. I understand that taking medicine is still stigmatized, but my goal with this post is to normalize medicines for mental disorders and to help those in need become empowered and informed if they're ready to talk about it with their doctor. Here's what I've learned through my experience so far.

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It May Take a Couple Tries to Find the Best Medication for You

Everyone who has Generalized Anxiety Disorder experiences it differently. Some symptoms might be present in some patients and not in others. That's why it's essential to monitor your symptoms so you can discuss them with your therapist/doctor and find out which type of treatment is best.

It's also super important to take note of the severity of your symptoms. The first time I tried meds, I ended up having a negative experience because the dosage was too high. The thing about these types of meds is that sometimes it takes a while to find the perfect dosage and the starting dosage varies by prescription.

For example, last year, I was prescribed 150mg of Wellbutrin. According to my doctor, that's the typical starting dose for that prescription, but it was too high for me. Now, I'm using 10mg of Lexapro and so far I haven't felt anything yet, but it typically takes a week or two for it to kick in.

This leads me to my next point…



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Don't Let the Side Effects Scare You

Like I said, taking Wellbutrin didn't go well for me. The high dose made me feel zombified. As soon as I took my first pill, I felt dull and foggy. That's not a feeling that I'm used to, so I knew it was the drug. After my second dose, I decided to call my doctor and tell her that the medicine made me feel strange. After I weaned myself off that prescription, I decided I would use only holistic treatments (meditation, journaling, crystal healing, etc.).

To be honest, I didn't give the traditional route a fair shot. I know no one wants to feel like a guinea pig while finding the perfect dosage with their doctor but it takes a little trial and error to see what's right for you.

If you're nervous about how a new prescription may affect you, you can do what I did this time around and ask for something with a very low starting dose. You can always increase it if necessary. I also had my therapist write my doctor a letter documenting my most active symptoms so we can find something that best treats them.

Please keep in mind that only psychiatrists can write prescriptions, but a psychologist can help you with your options.




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Don't Let Friends or Family Judge You for Taking Meds

This is the part I cannot stress enough. I know that taking meds is still taboo, unfortunately. Most people who take meds keep it a secret, and while that might be fine for them, I want to be 100% transparent about my anxiety. 

There's nothing wrong with getting the help you need. For a long time, I thought I could get rid of, or at least alleviate, my anxiety with meditation, journaling, and the like. And I'm not saying that hasn't helped because it certainly does. But I understand now that I need an extra push.

Keeping it 100, when my therapist and I discussed meds again, I felt slightly defeated. I felt like I'd taken a few steps back in my progress, but that's not the case at all. As a matter of fact, I might have been even further along if I hadn't been afraid of trying different prescriptions a year ago.

Taking meds doesn't mean you're "crazy" and there's nothing "wrong" with you. If you have a headache, you take aspirin. If you get the bubble guts, you take Pepto Bismol. So if you need help with improving your mood, why wouldn't you take something that's designed to help you?

Only you know what you need. And while friends and family may think they're supportive by encouraging you to "overcome" your illness with positive thinking or prayer, keep in mind that they're not in your shoes.


In conclusion, do what's best for you, boo. If you're curious about medication, do your research and talk to your healthcare providers. Remember to be patient with this process and don't let outside opinions delay your healing. Good luck to you on your journey and remember, there's nothing "wrong" with getting help.




Thanks for reading and don't forget to SUBSCRIBE!





Hot Girl SZN

 
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Ladies and gentlemen, it's officially the first day of summer!

I don't know about you, but I plan on living my best life and having all kinds of fun in this summer sun. With that being said, I'm excited to announce that I'll be back on the dating scene.

I know somebody just read that last sentence and thought, "I don't know what the fuck she's excited for. It's TRASH in these streets." And while that may be true for some, I've decided it won't be for me. My good sis Megan Thee Stallion told us it's a hot girl summer and I plan on having one!

You see, dating doesn't have to be hard. We (meaning men and women) make it harder than it has to be. If you want to get back in the game but aren't sure how, let me give you a hand.


Get clear on what you want

Before you dive into your hot girl/hot boy summer, you need to be 100% clear on what you want out of it. Not everyone is looking for a full-fledged relationship, and that's okay, but if you plan on dating you'll need to make that known upfront. No one likes being led on, and there are plenty of men and women who are down for a non-committal summer romance. To prevent heartbreak (including your own) express your expectations to your partner(s).

If you are looking for a relationship, express that too and steer clear of men or women who explicitly tell you they're not ready for one. They're not lying to you, and you most likely can't change their mind. Don't force it and end up hurting your own feelings.


Don’t be afraid to date more than one person

One of the reasons I’m such an advocate for a hot girl summer is because, truthfully, a lot of my sisters don’t know how to date (I’m sorry ladies, but it’s true). We women have this habit of putting all our eggs into one basket by dating one man at a time and getting too attached to an outcome that may not even happen.

Men have had the dating game on lock forever. They’re notoriously good at weighing their options and actively choosing who they decide to settle down with. Though we might disagree with their methods, they’re playing the game to win. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the sociology behind why men and women date the way they do, but I’m encouraging you girls to leave that fairy tale bullshit in the dust.

There are so many benefits to dating more than one person at a time. When you choose to have experiences with different people, you can begin to understand your needs. I think we women assume we’ve “wasted our time” when a potential situation doesn’t work out, but we neglect the lesson in the interaction. I don’t care if you go on just one date or several, it’s crucial that you take note of how you feel in people’s presence. You can discern good vibes, bad ones, and straight up red flags.

I want my girls to learn how to have fun, but be smart. “Dating with a purpose” doesn’t have to mean dating to marry. It just means that you’re taking the time to revise your list likes and dislikes to find the person who’s best for you, and that’s perfectly fine.

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And last, but not least….

Hot girl/hot boy summer is what you make it

Listen, just because my summer is dedicated to hitting the dating and social scene, doesn't mean yours has to. This season is about exploring your needs and reclaiming your freedom.

Let's face it, now that we're adults summer just ain't what it used to be. But I think it'd be beneficial for all of us to have the fun we want to have and focus our attention on what makes us feel good.

Maybe you’re working on yourself, a new business or creative venture, traveling, or whatever. The point of it all is to do it to the fullest and not let anyone get in your way.

No matter what you choose to do in this season, make sure you make time for fun— after all, it's good for your mental health!

So, here's to a happy, exciting, transformative summer. Have a good time, soak up the sun and all the good vibes, and above all else, let's make Meg proud ;)

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Daddy Lessons

 
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Hello loves, and Happy Father's Day to all the incredible father figures all over the country!

Father's Day is our once yearly reminder to give thanks for the men who raised us. I'm especially thankful for mine, but I understand that this day doesn't bring about the happiest emotions in some of us.

If we're honest, our society doesn't tend to celebrate Father's Day to the magnitude of Mother's Day. I feel like the reason for that is because a lot of men and women were left with emotional scars from their relationships (or lack thereof) with their fathers.

Not too long ago, I was one of those people. My father and I have always had a rocky relationship due to a lot of misunderstanding on both sides. After my mom and dad separated when I was just a baby, I always felt a way towards him for not being the man my mother needed at the time and therefore forcing her to raise me alone. He was never a deadbeat dad, but because he wasn't physically in the home, he missed me growing, living, and learning day-to-day. It wasn't until recently that I was able to resolve those issues and begin to see my dad in a brand new light. I'm glad to be able to say that we're in a much better place. I understand him more, and I've healed a lot of my father wounds.

So what exactly are "father wounds?" We usually refer to them as "daddy issues," a term that I despise because I feel it's dismissive of deep-seated issues-- plus the term seems to be unfairly thrown at women. But father wounds know no gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. Those with wounds have experienced inadequate fathering in some way. Maybe your dad wasn't there, physically or emotionally. Maybe they were very critical or even abusive. No matter which type of dad you had, the fact remains that you weren't able to receive the love and care you needed in your formative years and it's most likely carried into your adulthood.

Here's the thing, not everyone is going to be able to forgive their father for their transgressions. Some hurt runs too deep to address with the person that caused it, and it's best to try to forgive from a distance. However, if you're like me, maybe there's a way to make amends but it takes time, effort, listening, and a forgiving heart (that last part is the toughest). If it's been on your heart to forgive your father here's a few steps I took that might be able to help you on your journey.


Learn to see your father as a person

I think it's safe to say that we all have held our parents in high regard, especially as children. They were our caregivers and authoritative figures and we assumed that they knew exactly what was best at all times. Unfortunately, that's not always true.

Our parents are people, fallible humans who are bound to make mistakes in all things including parenting. Each mother, father, grandparent, aunt, or uncle has their own story and traumas that developed before we were even conceived. It's not something we ever think about and it's not something they always share but sometimes those traumas seep into the ways they parent us.

For me, it took the help of my therapist and a book called Healing the Father Wound by Kathy Rodriguez to help me grasp this concept. Once I was able to develop some understanding and empathy for my father, I was able to move on to the second step.

Learning to understand, not accuse

I've had many "talks" with my dad through the years. I put "talks" in quotes because what I was actually doing was airing my grievances. Even though my dad was always there to listen attentively (he did understand that he caused me pain) I realized I wasn't having a real conversation.

If you're like me, you probably need your father to know he fucked up. I get it. It feels good to unload years of hurt onto the person who caused it. But the best conversations require listening on both sides. Again, your father might have a story to tell, one that you've never heard before. In my case, my dad's story revealed something that made our entire situation make sense. I suppose he had to tell me at a time that he was ready and that's okay. Now that I know, I had to decide to forgive.

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Forgiveness (the hardest part)

One thing you need to know about me is that I'm not easy to forgive. It's a flaw, I know, and I'm working on that. But even I got tired of carrying around years of unresolved hurt, and I wanted to be able to let it go and stay gone.

Forgiving my dad was easier than expected, especially after our very productive healing conversation. Another factor at play here is the fact that my dad is battling colon cancer for the second time. Even though saying those words and writing them is still really hard for me, what wasn't hard was forgiving him for the sake of a happy relationship. I only have two parents, and I thank God for both of them. I never want my dad to leave this earth without us being on good terms. I felt it was best to put everything else to the side and cultivate a good father/daughter bond with the time we have.

I understand that this last step may never come for others. Some fathers are no longer with us, and some acts are unforgivable. I also know that some people may never get the chance to have a conversation with their father because he may not want to. The hardest thing to do in this life is to forgive without knowing the whole story, but forgiveness is for you, not the other person. Also, keep in mind that forgiveness does not erase or excuse your father's actions, it just gives you the space to heal.

If you're dwelling on your father wounds today I wish you peace. I know it can be difficult scrolling through social media feeds and looking at photos of the child/father relationship you long for. But keep in mind that you've survived and done well despite it all. Again, Happy Father's Day to all fathers and happy healing to those with complicated relationships.

Thank you for reading and don’t forget to subscribe!



Da Rules

If you can tell me where this book comes from you’re a real one and your childhood was lit.

If you can tell me where this book comes from you’re a real one and your childhood was lit.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably pretty familiar with the backlash Ayesha Curry has been receiving recently. If you’re not, let me fill you in.

Ayesha (along with the other women of the Curry family) was a guest on Jada Pinkett-Smith’s Red Table Talk . The women were there to discuss their experiences as the wives of NBA players, and the conversation came around to their thoughts on “groupies.” Ayesha confessed that her husband, Steph, receives a lot of attention from women, but she doesn’t receive the same amount of attention from men. Because of that, she sometimes questions her attractiveness.

Now, I and many others understood where our good sis was coming from. She’s a mother of three who has been attached to the same man since high school. It seems to me like she just wants to know if she’s still “got it.” Others weren’t so understanding and accused her of “attention seeking.” Although some of the hot takes on the opposing side were pretty shitty, I do understand why some were ready to criticize her. Curry has made comments in the past about modesty and, ironically, only wanting attention from her husband. Even though she was stating her opinion, the comments were interpreted as a little slut shame-y.

To me, it seems like Ms. Ayesha has fallen victim to “Da Rules” and they’re not working for her like they used to. What are “Da Rules?” I’m glad you asked.

Over the past couple of months, my therapist and I have been diving deeper into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In a nutshell, CBT helps patients change their limiting, destructive thought patterns and create new ones for a better life.

Here’s the thing, we all have a set of beliefs or “rules” that we abide by daily. Those rules are running like abandoned programs in the back of our minds, and we don’t even realize it. According to The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, we’ve been domesticated at an early age and taught by our parents, teachers, and society what is acceptable and what isn’t. The rules we create may be unique to our environment, cultural, or religious standards, and they might work for a time. However, as we get older, we start to realize that some of them may be hard or impossible to achieve and not being able to meet those standards leaves us feeling guilty and inadequate even when we shouldn’t. That feeling of inadequacy can bring about low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts.

In the case of Ayesha Curry, it’s possible that throughout her life, she was taught that a good woman is a virtuous, God-fearing one. And while I don’t disagree with that (I am a Christian after all) I also know that religion puts very strict boundaries on those of us who identify as women. Maybe a modest living has worked for her in the past but playing the role of a squeaky-clean wife and mother, especially in the public eye, has gotten old. Maybe she’s searching for an identity outside of being a family woman, but she realizes that her type of image doesn’t garner the male attention she’d like to have. I don’t know Ayesha but what I do know is that living by rigid rules can be recipe for disaster later on.

As for me, it turns out that I’ve been living by not one, not two, but eleven negative core beliefs. Each one of them was birthed from some type of trauma I’d experienced throughout my life. Even the smallest situations that I didn’t think had much of an effect on me had reinforced a few of my beliefs. My therapist and I have a long way to go to conquer each of them, but like Alcoholics Anonymous says, “the first step is admitting.”

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There’s been nothing harder than having my therapist pretty much tell me about all the ways I’ve made myself miserable over my lifetime. That the person who was causing the most grief in my life was my own damn self. The crazy thing is that even though she’s right and my rules do need to be amended, I’ve found myself fighting her on it because my rules are who I am. Like I said previously, our rules come from our collective experiences, and they shape our personalities. We all have a reason for why we are the way we are. If we dig deep enough, we can trace back to where certain behaviors come from. Those behaviors have been our way of survival all our lives. My therapist has done nothing but give me the tools to lead a healthier life, but when we dove into this part of my story, I felt like she was attacking my entire being. It’s been a very hard pill to swallow, finding out that most of my shortcomings, failures, and unhappiness are my own doing. Like I tell y’all all the time, healing ain’t easy, but it’s worth it.

Now that I’ve identified my negative core beliefs and where they stem from, the battle is replacing them with rules I can actually follow. Listen, there’s nothing wrong with setting standards for your behavior and the behavior of others but the point it for it to be attainable so that you’re not harming yourself in the process.I’m learning how to be more forgiving and lenient with myself (which is really hard when one of my beliefs is “I have to be perfect” *facepalm*). I’m also learning how to extend that leniency to others because I’ve been very hard on a few people in my life who have violated my rules. Some of them are easy to heal than others, and I’m thankful for this process because I’m more cognizant to the feelings and fears that hold me back from being totally happy. I pray for my mindset to change daily and I’m glad to report that I can already see some progress!

It’s going to be a long road for me and that’s okay. My hope for people like myself and Ayesha is that you quit holding yourself to unrealistic standards, even if you set them yourself. It’s okay to change your mind about who you used to be, especially if it leads to a healthier way of living.

Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe!



The Influencer Starter Pack...That I Don’t Have

No shade, it’s just….kinda true, right?

No shade, it’s just….kinda true, right?

Have you ever felt like an outsider in your craft? Like you don’t fit in with other people who do what you do?

Sometimes I don’t feel like a real blogger. I know that probably sounds absurd because I am a blogger but, sometimes I feel like I’m missing the critical pieces to be “successful.”

Think about your favorite Instagram blogger or “influencer,” what do they have?

A perfectly curated timeline

Professionally-shot videos

Editorial-style photos

Paid partnerships with beauty and clothing brands

Thousands of loyal followers

I have hardly any of these things.

I follow other bloggers because I believe it’s important to support my sisters but doing so has shown me that my approach is elementary as hell. I don’t have the skills or the following that others do and it makes me feel like a novice. It seems like everyone has their shit together and I’m struggling to make the simplest graphics in Canva *eye roll*. Sometimes, I get a little down on myself for not advancing as quickly as my peers.

The rational part of my mind knows that managing a brand is a learning process. I’ve never done any of this before so obviously I’m not ahead of the curve. I have to go through some trial and error before I figure out what’s right for my content. What I’m most proud of is the fact that I’m even sticking with all of this in the first place. But we’ve gotten so accustomed to glossy Instagram photos and videos that look like they were directed by Ava Duvernay that I fear we view people whose quality is lacking as unreliable. Think about it, Instagram is a visual platform and followers generate dollars but who are you more likely to engage with? Someone with Jackie Aina level videos and images or someone like me?

The feeling of not being “legit” really fucks with my inner perfectionist.  Usually, these feelings would cause me to put my creativity on hold because it doesn’t have the same production as other influencers, but I can’t put my purpose on hold. I have to write these posts; I have to record my videos. I feel led to say 100% what’s on my heart, unfiltered. I believe that’s what makes me authentic and that’s what helps build trust between myself and my audience.

On the days when my self-doubt is spiraling out of control, I remind myself that all of the bloggers I look up to started at the base level. For example, YouTube star Kid Fury began making videos in his bedroom. It was his humor that attracted viewers to his channel, and he gained a following. From there, he created The Read podcast with Crissle West and now they both will host a live show on Fuse. He will also be developing a series with Lena Waithe for HBO, not bad at all for a former YouTuber!

The moral of the story is, no brand is made in a day. It takes a certain amount of stamina to keep going and even when you think no one is watching your progression, they are. In the meantime, I’ll continue to enlist the help of people who know more than me to give me the direction that I need. I’ll keep creating my content even if it’s a raggedy Android video of me in the front seat of my car. I’ll collaborate with other creatives to bring my ideas to life and make my audience aware of other amazing creators in Jacksonville. I’m not where I want to be yet but damn it, I’m getting there and I’m extremely proud of myself. I have to tell my truth, and I can’t wait for top-of-the-line video equipment or an audience of 15,000 readers. Your purpose waits for no one, and when it’s time for you to step into it, the universe is going to push you head-first.

If you’ve ever felt like you can’t start because you don’t have everything you need, or if you’ve felt like your skills aren’t on par with your peers, I want you to know that I understand. But I hope you get to a point where you at least try. Don’t give up before you even give yourself a chance. The universe won’t let you anyway ;)


*Summer Body Loading....*

It’s here.

Swimsuit season is finally upon us.

As I browsed around Forever 21 the other day, I noticed that they had an entire section dedicated to neon swimsuits and bikinis. I looked at a few of them, picking up the separate pieces and uttering “that’s cute” before moving on to the next one. Usually, swimsuit season gives me anxiety, but not this year. What’s the difference between this year and previous ones? The way I choose to see my body.

I’ve always been a little thicker than average. When I was around seven or eight years old, I was noticeably bigger than the small-framed white girls I went to school with. Hell, I was bigger than a lot of my black girlfriends too. I never thought anything was wrong with that because I hadn’t developed any attitudes towards weight quite yet. It wasn’t until my parents scheduled an appointment with a nutritionist that I realized something might be “off.” Don’t get me wrong, my parents did the right thing. In my younger days, I was active with several different dance classes, cheerleading, and other extracurricular activities. But all the dancing in the world couldn’t melt away the pounds from the Happy Meals I frequently ate (we didn’t know how bad McDonald’s was in the 90s). After a few sessions with the nutritionist and changing some of my eating habits, I began to slim down year after year.

I was so adorable and chubby. I could do a split better then than I can now lol

I was so adorable and chubby. I could do a split better then than I can now lol

Of course, my weight fluctuated between childhood and college, but the most drastic change to my body came recently. After having to employ a much stricter budget, I had to break up with my personal trainer. She was great and so was my body at that time, but if you know anything about me, your girl loves to snack. And snack I did for two years. The pounds started to pack on, but I didn’t notice until, whoops, I can’t fit my jeans anymore.

Left: Middle school, Top Right: High school, Bottom Right: College. That college photo was the skinniest I’ve been in my adult life. I lost 11 pounds that summer with cardio and calorie counting

Left: Middle school, Top Right: High school, Bottom Right: College. That college photo was the skinniest I’ve been in my adult life. I lost 11 pounds that summer with cardio and calorie counting

Even though buttons got harder to fasten and t-shirts clung tighter, I didn’t do much about it. See, over the last few years, our society has made decent strides towards becoming more body positive. I was seeing the most stunning images of models like Tabria Majors and Ashley Graham and actress Danielle Brooks looking sexy with their fuller figures, and I felt like I could be just as fine with my growing frame. And while those women were holding it down for my plus sized ladies, I could scroll down my Instagram timeline and see a plethora of racially ambiguous girls (usually in Fashion Nova's finest) with round hips and voluptuous butts. Thick is in and we all know it. I could see my boobs and butt starting to plump up and I didn’t see an issue with that at all! I wasn't putting any pressure on myself to lose any weight because I still fit some of my clothes and what I couldn’t fit, I’d buy in a bigger size. Plus, my boyfriend at the time didn’t seem to mind and if I’m keeping it real, I hate the gym so I wasn’t about to go. What I failed to realize is that even though I had healthy self-esteem about my figure, I had a very unhealthy relationship with food.

Food tastes good, period. And unfortunately, the unhealthiest foods taste the best. Like I said, your girl isn’t ashamed to pull up to the table and get down. I was eating out often, and it was depleting my pockets and expanding my waistline. When I would eat dinner at home, I’d usually follow it with a snack or sweet treat. I was becoming a human garbage disposal, and I had to reel it in. I knew that my habits wouldn’t be sustainable over time and I had to break them so that I could live a longer, healthier life. Being “thick” isn’t worth hypertension or any other self-inflicted health issue. I knew I had to call in some reinforcements because old habits die hard.

It took me a while to find the perfect fit, but I found my personal trainer Russ (@Koachrussp2) in February after I decided to commit to a training regimen. Since then I’ve noticed changes in how my body looks and feels. There’s still a lot of work to be done to get myself to where I want to be, but I refuse to measure my progress by a number on a scale. Healthiness isn’t a number; it’s a feeling and a lifestyle. Even with the changes I’ve made to my diet (and shout out to Russ for making a meal plan with tasty foods because zucchini noodles ain’t it) I’ve noticed how my appetite has shifted and how I can take in fewer calories and still feel full.

What a difference a month makes, SHEESH! At least all the torture is worth it.

What a difference a month makes, SHEESH! At least all the torture is worth it.

Don’t get it twisted, none of this is as easy as I might be making it sound in this post. The workouts get gradually intense. I’ve almost died on the treadmill several times, and my ass hurts as I’m typing this (squats are life!). But as you can see from the pictures below, it’s more than worth it. When I think about how I’ll feel over the next few months, I feel so much pride in myself. I’m committing to a regimen and taking steps to make sure I’m on the earth for a long time. Now, I can’t wait to hit the pools and beaches this summer with the confidence that comes from knowing I have the willpower to improve my body and change my lifestyle. Y’all aren’t ready for the summer show out ;)

If you’re interested in personal training, follow Russ at @Koachrussp2 on Instagram!  

Things I Imagined: The Art of Manifesting

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“Speak it into existence”- Literally everyone

It’s a short phrase that’s often used but have you grasped the idea of speaking what you want into existence?

I used to think the idea of manifesting was a crock of shit. When the vision board party wave came about I wasn’t interested at all. I couldn’t understand how the hell cutting clips from magazines was going to make my dreams come true. To me, it looked like an ugly art project that I’d throw out in about six months. But, I’m glad to say that my opinion of them has changed because my life has changed. Once I realized I had the power to create what I need in my life I started to believe that there might be something to this “manifesting” stuff.

Our imagination is powerful AF. Just think about when you were a kid, I bet you dreamed up so many worlds and characters that seemed real, but it was all in your head. What you didn’t understand then is that you can apply those same concepts to dreaming up what you desire in your real life. We all have a vision of what we want our life to be, and we need to live as if that vision will come to fruition. The Bible says “life and death are in the power of the tongue” and those are the facts.

During my last therapy session, I expressed a ton of anxieties about a couple of different situations and my therapist dragged me in the kindest way. She reminded me that I spend too much time on what I don’t want but hardly any on what I do want. “You have to see yourself where you want to be,” she said and told me that I need to write my ideas down and make them lofty. She told me to think without limits and call forth everything I dream.  From that day to this, I’ve been taking the limits off my vision and speaking it into reality. If you’d like to learn how to use your imagination and words to change your life, here are a few of my favorite ways.

Meditation

I know it sounds very “hippie” to a lot of people, but I’d like to change your perception of what meditation is. You don’t have to sit on a yoga mat with your eyes closed humming “Om” (I mean you can, and there are benefits to doing that, but I digress). Meditation is just quiet thinking time. You, alone quietly letting your thoughts flow freely.

It’s the time to let your imagination soar and reflect on all that could be. Sometimes we’re unsure of where we’re going because we haven’t taken the time to even dream about it. The sad part is that a lot of people can’t see past their current roadblocks. They might have been stuck in a situation for too long and don’t know how to pull themselves out. Meditation helps you to get more in touch with your higher self who wants and needs more than maybe the present has to offer. Once you’ve tapped into that, then you can start developing a plan.

Journaling

This is my favorite way of manifesting because I believe in writing things down. Whenever I begin a blog post, I start with an outline and go from there, and I do the same for my goals. For me, it’s best to start with the big picture and get more detailed. Again, don’t start with a limited vision. You have to start big so that you know how much work you need to put in and how you need to break that work up into smaller goals. For example, let’s say you want to move out on your own --think about your dream apartment.

What does it look like?

How do you feel in your home?

Do you live in your hometown or another city?

Once you’ve got the idea in your mind, don’t narrow it because of what you think you can’t afford or what you don’t have. Set your goals to make it more achievable. Ask yourself some of the following questions:

How much do you need to save?

Does your credit need improvement? If so, how much debt do you need to pay down?

In need of furniture? Where do you plan on buying it? For how much?

Writing my plans down makes them feel less like a daydream and more like a concrete roadmap. Pick up a journal and start making plans to change your circumstances.

Prayer

Last but certainly not least, you need to pray over your dream. I know some people are atheist or agnostic and I respect it but for my folks who serve a god, pray over whatever you’re seeking. Faith without works is dead so in addition to “the work” I know I need guidance in making the right decisions to make sure I’m in alignment with my purpose. Whomever you serve knows what you need and want, and I believe that it’s available for you to have, but you have to try at least. But even in trying, make sure you’re open and flexible to changes in your plans and understand that if they change, everything eventually works out for the best.

March is about getting back on track with the goals that I set at the beginning of the year. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about areas I want to improve and coming up with smart ways on how to make those changes. If you’re interested in learning how to manifest your best life, follow me on Instagram at Authentically_ASB for more tips and journal prompts throughout the month!


The Principle of Pleasure

Photo: @bennierose/@myjunglerose on Instagram

Photo: @bennierose/@myjunglerose on Instagram

You thought I was going to have these love conversations without mentioning sex? That’s one of the most important forms of love that I cannot leave out! I know this is a mental health/wellness/lifestyle blog, but that doesn’t mean that I’m shy around the topic of sex. As a matter of fact, we need to be openly discussing sexual relationships and how they affect us because whew chillay some of us are misguided. Since that conversation is rarely had, I don’t mind being the one to start it.

DISCLAIMER: I know there are some family members who have discovered this blog. I would invite you now to please leave the site. I am a grown, bill-paying woman who has no problem discussing sex in appropriate and inappropriate ways. If you feel your fingers tingling to dial my mother or father’s phone, I would ask that you pump your brakes and hit the “X” located on the upper right-hand corner of your screen. Thank you. -Audreyonna Sequale

ALSO: For this post, I’m speaking mainly about heterosexual couples (the study I reference will explain why). Even if you’re a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, you still might find this information helpful.

Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

Ladies, we have a big problem. We’re not orgasming! *clutches pearls and gasps* According to Tonic, a study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior shows that heterosexual women aren’t climaxing at the rates of heterosexual men or gay, lesbian, and bisexual men and women. Upon first seeing this study, a wave of anger, sadness, and confusion came over me. I’m not surprised by these stats, but I wondered, “how did it get this bad?” After reflecting on my own experiences and hearing some depressing listener letters on two of my favorite podcasts, Whoreible Decisions and Cocktales: Dirty Discussions, I realized how women have ended up getting the short end of the stick-no pun intended. Our problem is we’re not speaking up!

When was the last time you laid down with someone and had a less than enjoyable experience? Did you tell them you didn’t climax or did you stay silent hoping the second or third time would be better? For my ladies who are more vocal, how many times have you provided constructive criticism to a partner only for them to retort, “well, I’ve never had any complaints before.” Here’s the thing, your silence and his denial are due in part to other women not voicing their displeasure.

As women, we’ve been trained repeatedly to not bruise men’s egos because they are oh so fragile and to be handled with care at all times. While I don’t advocate for hurting your partner’s feelings with harsh and demoralizing critiques, I do believe that it’s in your best interest and theirs to nudge them towards the behaviors and positions that would make you both happy. But to do so, it’s critical that you know your own body.

You've got to touch yourself, that goes for women and men. Like I said in my Blueprints post if you don’t understand you, how can you teach your partner to understand you? You have to get to know where you like to be touched, what pressure, what pace, for how long, etc. Do you know what you’d like to experience and, more importantly, what you don’t? Have you taken note of fantasies you’ve had and have you acted on any? More importantly, do you have any trauma surrounding sexual activity? There are plenty of women and men who have unresolved issues that prevent them from viewing sex as a positive, consensual act. The bottom line is to gather an understanding of your needs. Once you’ve got that understanding, you’re less apt to feel pressured into something that would make you unhappy, and you can tell your man exactly what they need to do to please you.

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Now fellas, when your woman has explicitly expressed to you what she needs, you need to do that thing! It’s true, a lot of women are not in touch with their bodies but a lot of men aren’t in touch with women’s bodies either, and it shows. It would be best for men to move away from their pornstar stick and drill routine and make women’s pleasure a priority. Every woman is different, so yes, you’ll need to make an effort to learn what each woman wants. If you’re not interested in doing that, then please leave us alone. Also, if you are frequently left unsatisfied, you have a right to speak up too. Pleasure is for everybody, and it takes consistent effort.

If this post is unintentionally dragging you by your scalp, here are a few tips on how to engage with new and consistent partners before, during, and after sex:

Before: YOU HAVE TO TALK ABOUT IT!

I know that a lot of ladies were trained to stray away from the topic of sex too soon in dating relationships because it might lead a man to believe you’re easy. Damn that. Ladies and gentlemen, open your mouth -again, no pun- and lightly discuss your experiences and preferences. It’s better to know if you’re sexually compatible or not before you lay down with each other and a little conversation can tell you that. You don’t have to go into deep details, but there’s a way to talk about your sexual history, STD status (IMPORTANT), and more in a way that makes you both feel comfortable and open to sharing.

During: A Nudge in the Right Direction

Have you ever been in the middle of sex and everything is going well, feeling right, and all of a sudden one person pulls a move that turns you all the way off? Yep, been there too. This situation is trickier to handle because you don’t want to say anything to disparage a person when they’re in their most vulnerable state. The best thing to do is whisper in your sexiest voice, “I love when you touch/lick/suck ___” to get them to do what you need. Positive reinforcement is a great tool in the bedroom so use it to your advantage.

After: The Wrap-Up Convo

Some people like a little post-sex conversation, some people don’t. If you and your mate like to pillow talk afterward, you can give them a little play by play of all the wonderful ways they pleased you. It also doesn’t hurt to ask what they liked during the session so that you both get the best of each other. It’s also a good time to voice some experiences you might want to have in the future.

The bottom line is, you need to be very clear on what you want and need in the bedroom. Being prudish won’t help and being quiet for the sake of peace is a detriment to both parties. There are too many people who are still having bad sex at our big age, and we have the power to stop it. If you need a little extra help in learning more about your desires, check our Melanin Milk’s brand new journal to document your sexual discovery, I know I’ll be making a purchase ASAP.

I wish you all a happy sexual experience and plenty of orgasms.

Blueprints: How Self-Love Becomes the Model for Your Best Relationship

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Hey loves!

As you well know, February is the month of love but talking about relationships is getting stale. It seems like, in the black community, we keep having the same conversations about love and sex over and over again. Even though some points bear repeating, I want to give a fresh take to these topics instead of beating a dead horse.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the way I’ve developed my views on love and relationships. What I’ve found is that my opinion of romantic relationships overall is negative. I don’t want that to be the case but it’s the truth. I realize a lot of my heartbreak revolves around unrealistic or unmet expectations. But where did I develop these expectations?

I’ve mostly learned what a partner is supposed to be from different facets of society. Whether it be media, the church, friends, or other family members, they’ve all played some part in my ideas of what I think a “good man” is supposed to be. My therapist and I are currently reading a book called Healing the Father Wound by Kathy Rodriguez. While the book is mostly about strained relationships with fathers and how to heal them, she wrote a very insightful passage that really made me think.

Women without adequate fathering can grow up searching, but making unrealistic demands for support, protection, and love from loved ones. They often cycle between idealizing their husbands and feeling disappointed when they perceive their husbands don’t meet their needs. The reason? She has no male standard with which to measure her partner’s love and affection. She has no idea how much or how little she needs. She’s working without a blueprint, if you will.

After I read that, all I could do is stop and ponder for a few minutes. I know that my strained (now resolved, thank God) relationship with my father is the cause of some of my love woes. What I believe a relationship to be based on my parents’ relationship, or lack thereof. Unfortunately, a lot of people can relate to that. My parents split up when I was just a baby, and because of that, I’ve never been able to watch my parents love each other. I don’t know what it looks like for them to express their love to each other, I’ve never really seen them resolve conflict together. I’ve never seen them meet a hardship, tackle it together, and come back stronger than before. I don’t blame them for that, and I’m not saying that they’ve somehow ruined my idea of love but it’s so interesting how some of us get to see healthy love early on and some of us have to draw from different examples.

But what I’ve realized recently is that even drawing love inpso from other sources hardly helps. Some people have grandparents who’ve been together for 50 years that give them hope. A lot of us admire celebrity couples that look flawless, but the fact is, we don’t know what goes on behind closed doors. Also, what works for them might not work for you. You might be searching for your own Russell Wilson only to get one and realize that some of your needs still aren’t getting met. Navigating love and relationships is much more difficult for women and men who don’t have a “blueprint,” but the best blueprint comes from within. That’s why knowing yourself fully is the key to having the relationship you desire.

The whole “self-love is the best love” saying used to sound like bullshit to me. I know that it’s important to love yourself, but I realize how important it is if you want to manifest the love of your dreams. Here’s the thing, only you know what you need. You know how you want to be treated and what “good treatment” from a partner looks like. No one can tell you what it is, there are no books you can read to figure it out, it’s an inherent need. If you haven’t yet figured out what you need in a partner to make your love feel special to you, it may be possible that you need to spend more time with yourself, and that’s okay. From there, you can form your realistic expectations and boundaries (boundaries are extremely important). Let me be clear, there will never be a time where you know yourself 100% because we’re always changing. Plus, there’s excitement in growing with a partner and learning what you’re like inside of a relationship. But before you involve yourself with anyone, you have to know what you need and want so you can share those things with your partner.

Lastly, when you feel like you’re in a better place with yourself, it’s important that you actually open your heart to love. As you spend time by yourself, you should be working on clearing out old, self-sabotaging patterns, and healing yourself from past hurt. Again, this process is ongoing, but you should be able to get to a place where you’re ready to receive the love you need. Be open, be fearless, accept love as it comes and don’t try to control it. You can have what you’ve dreamed of, but it takes time and knowledge of self.

In the meantime, I’ll be doing the inner work because I don’t think I’m ready for a relationship at the moment. But I can guarantee you that when it comes, I’ll be ready.

Style Profile: How to Create a "Lewk"

Hey loves! I did promise you guys more fun content right? So tonight, we’re diving right into one of my favorite things, fashion.

Listen, there are few things I love more in this world than putting together a “lewk.” Ever since I was a child, my parents, specifically my Nana, instilled in me how important it is to look my best. She knew that as a little black girl in this world, people were going to have certain perceptions of me as soon as they saw me. So, she made sure what they saw was a clean, stylish, confident black girl. To this day, that lesson has stayed with me.

My style has definitely changed through the years, but with each era, your girl remained on trend, okay! Even though I used to dress like this…

You couldn’t tell me I didn’t look good, okay! Get into the matching jewelry set LOL

You couldn’t tell me I didn’t look good, okay! Get into the matching jewelry set LOL

I was draped in Body Central’s finest which was every girl’s favorite store. The thing about fashion trends is that they’re often fleeting which is why you have to develop a strong sense of style. See, fashion is what you wear, but style is how you wear it.

As of today, my style depends on how I’m feeling that day. I have so many different sides to my personality, and they all show up in my clothing choices. Sometimes I feel tomboyish and casual. Other times I feel more feminine and might sport a pair of heels. Let’s get into my recent photo shoot with Ava Cloudz and dissect these outfits!


Vintage Chic + Street Style

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One of my favorite things about both of these outfits are the statement pieces. It’s super easy to create an outfit around one article of clothing because you can keep it as simple as you’d like!

Blazer:  Divaxpressvintage.com  (Sorry guys this is one-of-a-kind)  Jeans:  Fashion Nova   Clutch:  Forever 21   Heels:  Windsor  (They’re pretty old though)

Blazer: Divaxpressvintage.com (Sorry guys this is one-of-a-kind)

Jeans: Fashion Nova

Clutch: Forever 21

Heels: Windsor (They’re pretty old though)

I knew I had to have this double-breasted blazer from divaxpressvintage.com the moment I saw it. The bold stripes caught my eye, but the shoulder pads are what made me throw it in my cart. I love vintage pieces because they’re one of a kind and they force you to be creative. How do you make a 1980s blazer look attractive in 2019? By pairing it with what’s current-distressed jeans, a simple black clutch, and strappy heels.


If you notice, I’m wearing boyfriend-style jeans for each of these looks. Personally, I’m veering away from skinny jeans because they’re not the most flattering jeans for my body type. Plus, boyfriend jeans are much more comfortable.

Trench coat:  Forever 21   T-shirt:  Cotton On   Jeans:  Boohoo   Loafers:  Target

Trench coat: Forever 21

T-shirt: Cotton On

Jeans: Boohoo

Loafers: Target

If you notice, I’m wearing boyfriend-style jeans for each of these looks. Personally, I’m veering away from skinny jeans because they’re not the most flattering jeans for my body type. Plus, boyfriend jeans are much more comfortable.

I found my olive trench coat at Forever 21 and I adore it! In Florida, it doesn’t get cold enough to wear heavy trench coats, but this one is just lightweight enough to wear out and about on a cooler January day. Styled with a graphic tee (one with a great message btw) and these adorable backless loafers, this is one of my looks to date. It’s simple, but it serves!


On Trend

The tricky thing about fashion is that staying on trend can sometimes turn us into clones. I’m sure as you scroll through your social media feeds, you see both men and women looking the same. The key to setting yourself apart is learning how to stay on trend but make them your own.

Take this look for example.

Beret:  It’s Fashion Metro   Sweatshirt:  Forever 21   Bicycle Shorts:  It’s Fashion Metro   Heels:  Rue 21

Beret: It’s Fashion Metro

Sweatshirt: Forever 21

Bicycle Shorts: It’s Fashion Metro

Heels: Rue 21

The beret, a Marvel Comics graphic sweatshirt, and bicycle shorts are all very current but I made them pop!

I also like the colors I used in this look because my wardrobe is mostly comprised of earth tones. I think I’ll be stepping outside of that box more often.

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If you guys are interested in more of my outfits, stay close to my Instagram @Authentically_ASB to see more from my shoot with Ava Cloudz!











The Big Comfy Couch

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Hey there folks! It’s mid-January, and I hope each of you is still going strong with your goals for the year.

One of my biggest and toughest goals this year is to continue working through my trauma. It’s a daunting task, but therapy helps me so much! Ever since I started seeing a therapist in March, I’ve changed for the better. I know that I talk a lot about therapy, but I understand that a lot of you may not be sure if it’s right for you. Maybe you’ve never considered it, or you have but still have questions about it. I’d like to share my experience with you to put you at ease and demonstrate how helpful a great therapist can be.


Finding a Mental Health Professional

I hate to tell you this but, finding a good therapist or psychiatrist can be like finding a needle in a haystack. That’s not because they’re unqualified, but it takes a lot to find the one. Looking for an MHP is a lot like dating, it’s imperative that you find someone who you can connect with and who makes you comfortable. I know in the black community, sitting down and airing our dirty laundry with a “stranger” is already nerve-racking, but you can relieve a lot of that anxiety by making a list of characteristics that would make you feel safe to share your feelings.

Maybe you’d like for your MHP to be the same gender or race as you. Maybe you want them to be close in age to you, so you feel like you’re talking to your best friend or maybe you’d prefer them to be older like a mother or father figure. Whatever you choose, just make sure you’re 100% comfortable.

Sometimes, working through your problems can be ugly because it’s tough to say the truth out loud sometimes. But please keep in mind that a therapist should never make you feel ashamed for what you’re sharing. If you at any time feel as if they are making you feel “bad” you should let them know and also consider searching for someone new. The process can be hard, but it should never make you feel ill at ease with the person who is qualified to help.


What a Session is Really Like

Television and movies have played a huge role in depicting mental illness and its treatments. Most of the time, they’ve gotten it completely wrong. A patient is usually seen lying on their back on a gray couch, spilling their guts to a therapist/psychiatrist who only utters, “mhmm…” as they scribble on their notepad. FALSE. Therapy is nothing like that at all. I mean, yes, there is a couch (hence the name of this post), but a session is an active discussion between the two of you.

Here’s an example of a typical session for me:

-I come in, and my therapist asks me how my week has been going. (This is how they get you.)

-I respond, and depending on how my week went, I’ll mention something that made me angry or sad. Sometimes I’ve had a great week, so we’ll pick back up on an issue we've talked about before to see if I’ve made any progress in resolving it.

-If something has gone wrong that week, she and I talk through it to understand my feelings and come up with a solution.

You see, the point of it all is action. Any therapist/psychiatrist worth their degree helps their patients solve their problems. You should never, ever be seeing any mental health professional for an extended period and still be sitting in trauma. If you are, it means your MHP is milking you for money or, you haven’t been taking your homework seriously.


Homework

Yes, there’s homework. But it’s much more helpful than anything you’ve ever done in school. The goal of therapy is to make you an active participant in your healing. To participate, your mental health professional may assign you a weekly task to help you along your journey of recovery.

Trauma runs so deep, and it takes time to solve. Even with your homework, it’s not realistic to believe that a few months or even a year of therapy is sufficient. Honestly, my therapist and I just got to the root of my issues, and now we’ve developed a plan to help me work through them. Like Iyanla Vanzant and I always say, “you have to do the work.” There’s no use in spending your money or wasting your time. Besides, don’t you want to finally be free from whatever has you bound?

I say this all the time but, therapy has changed and saved my life. I’ve learned so much more about myself, and I’ve been able to monitor my feelings, analyze situations, and figure out what I need to do to make things work for me.

I know that seeking therapy/psychiatry is often very expensive and sometimes MHPs may not take your type of insurance. My ultimate goal is to find affordable mental health treatments for people of color because our need is the greatest. That’s why, for this month, I am giving one lucky subscriber a free 30-minute consultation with a therapist! On Thursday, January 31 (my birthday!) I will choose one subscriber at random to have a consultation with Terry Gartrell, MA, CPLC, CTC. I’m so excited to be able to offer this resource to you guys, and I sincerely hope that it benefits the lucky winner.


Follow this link to submit your information for the drawing!