“We might think that the confusion we experience in our daily life happens in isolation, but in reality, it has something to do with our lack of connection to our ancestors”.
My daughter said to me, “mom you are on it”. She was admiring how I was navigating life with such ease. We are out the house on time every morning. Her dinner favorites are prepared, the snacks she wants are on deck at the house, clothes ironed for the entire week. I am planning our weeks seemingly effortlessly. I said, “thank you baby”. What she doesn’t know is that I have an entire team helping me every moment of every day. I have assembled a team of our ancestors. Her Gigi (my grandmother), my great grandmothers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers. I am supported, loved, given guidance, ideas, taps on the shoulder to calm down, do this first, then that or that can wait until tomorrow. I am never alone. I have the helping hand of our ancestors.
My ancestress, the enslaved women whose blood runs through my veins have left the magical blueprint for me to follow. The women who gifted me both their pain and power. The women who did it all. The women who didn’t have the time to ask How. The women who just did. I remembered the supernatural strength and resilience they possessed. The inherent feminine power and intelligence they tapped into to be and do all they needed to be and do. If they could work the rice, cotton, and tobacco fields, run Massa’s household, and still nurture their husbands and children then I could do what I needed to do. Because compared to them, I have it so easy.
“My grandmothers were not queens. They didn’t need to be royalty to be respected”
I have learned to shift my thinking from asking how I would get everything done to the mindset that, “With God and the ancestors on my side, I’m going to do this. With pure love, grace, and wisdom”. I have learned to elevate my spirit and feel the life force began to rise within me.
The ancestors, your ancestors, are here to assist, guide, and offer the gift of hope, reassurance, and courage. When we win, they win. When we overcome, they overcome. What we end in this life, ends in all other lives. They have a vested interest in our happiness and healing. It is time for you to assemble your team, discard the fear and anxiety and begin to master your life. The helping hand of the ancestors is waiting for you to grab ahold.
“It is when we have mastered our internal reality that we will have become the masters of our lives”
“Fasting is the first principle of medicine; fast and see the strength of the spirit reveal itself”
One of the greatest perpetuating myths is that we need to eat six small meals a day, every 2-3 hours to be healthy, maintain a functioning metabolism and heal. But you know what happens when you do that? Your body becomes overburdened with toxins. Considering that most of the food we eat is processed, packaged, genetically modified, and laced with pesticide exposure and artificial colors and flavors, the digestion process becomes an unpleasant chore that takes a complete toll on the body. The result? Chronic disease, obesity, premature aging, and premature death.
Close your eyes and imagine your kitchen. Imagine that you cook breakfast and then leave. You come back to fix lunch and then leave. You come back again to make dinner and then leave. You do not wash a dish, clean up a crumb, wipe down the stove or the counter, take the garbage out or put anything away. Now, imagine you do this day after day, week after week, and year after year. What would your kitchen look like if you never cleaned it after cooking? It would be absolutely disgusting.
This is what happens to our bodies when we eat six small meals day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year. Our cells, tissues, organs, and systems become overburdened from digesting the food we eat. The body has no time to eliminate the waste and toxins from breakfast before we are stuffing our mouths with lunch. It takes a significant amount of energy and resources for the body to digest, process, transport, store and eliminate waste from the food we eat. The more time the body spends on digestion, the less time is spent on removing toxins from our bodies and healing.
Now imagine that you clean your kitchen. You wash the dishes, load the dishwasher, take out the trash, clean the oven, counters and sweep and mop the floor. Your kitchen looks pristine. It looks good and you feel good.
Fasting is the equivalent of cleaning your kitchen. When you fast, the body begins to remove toxins from your system and repair the defective and diseased parts of cells. The time not spent on eating, the body can devote to healing. When we begin to fast, every part of our bodies begins to heal. Intermittent fasting is one of the pillars of great health. Fasting is a way to honor and respect your body. Our bodies are so good to us, and it is easy to take for granted all the metabolic processes that are constantly occurring to keep us alive. When you fast, you are saying to your body, “Thank you for all you do, here’s a chance to heal, repair and renew”. When you fast, you heal. When is the last time you’ve cleaned your kitchen?
We live by the motto, “What doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”. But contrary to popular belief, just because you survived something, doesn’t necessarily make you strong. You aren’t stronger if what didn’t kill you made you bitter, resentful, jealous, spiteful, and angry. Are you really a strong woman if you make it through every day, but you do so wearing a mask, riddled with sickness, excess weight, a wounded womb and nonexistent smile? Did the nonkilling truly make you stronger?
We have placed such value on being strong, but we have made the grave mistake of equating strength with a mere survival from day to day, despite how haggard and unhealthy that survival looks. It is time we redefine what true survival and strength looks like. Being strong doesn’t mean suffering day in and day out after a survival. Being strong doesn’t mean dragging yourself through life with a deep and unending sadness in your heart. We all have war stories. Each of us has experienced inexplicable sorrows and undeserving traumas. And we have survived them. Because we are here. But that is not enough.
I don’t want to know what you have managed to survived. I want to know what you have transcended and what levels of self-mastery you have attained. I want to hear about the resulting triumph. I don’t want to know that you made it through. I want to know where you’ve gone and who you’ve become after you’ve made it through. Are you stuck in the in-between space of what you’ve gone through and where you can go next? Have you made a forever home in the survival stage of your journey, constantly attending to your wounds? Are you content with just knowing you survived what should have killed you, or are you ready to transcend and triumph over what should have killed you, master yourself and experience radical self-love and a peace no devil can destroy? These are tough questions to ask yourself. It’s a very hurting thing to take a look at where you are and admit that not only don’t you belong there, but it is only because of you that you remain right where you are. It is easy to convince ourselves that we are ok. That it could be worse. But nothing is worse than not loving who you are or where you are. Nothing is worse than denying yourself the experience of discovering your greatest truth and knowing true happiness.
We have to start somewhere, and I have the perfect place to begin. My e-book, The Black Girl’s Guide to Radical Self-Love is available for download and will provide a perfect blueprint to find your true strength and transcend survival to experience triumph. Click here to download today.
If you are wondering who you are or why you are here, I have a little bit of advice to offer you. This is from my own personal experience. You see, I’ve been through some things and seen some things. But most importantly I have transcended some things. Most people merely survive. They survive their childhood traumas, their pain, disappointments, rejections, and sickness. But only a few are able to transcend survival to experience personal transformation and mastery. This is definitely another topic for another day, but I have shared this to provide the proper context that you definitely want to pick up what I’m putting down. I know who I am and what I am here to do. All I had to do was ask myself two questions and listen for the answers. The two questions are:
If you didn’t have to get up and go to work every day…If you had no familial or societal obligations… If you didn’t have to worry about money…what would you spend your time doing?
2. Imagine the best version of yourself. What does it feel like to be him or her?
Asking these two questions will allow you to discover your purpose in life. You will unearth your greatest and highest truth. But I must warn you, the asking is the easy part. Listening for the answers have proven to be more difficult. It requires that you take an honest assessment of your current habits, beliefs, and mindset. It requires an intentional silencing of outside noise. It demands that some beliefs you’ve held all your life are discarded. It forces some people out of your life. It often times means preparation for some stormy weather.
There are many joys in life, but nothing compares to knowing the truth of who you are at the soul level and being able to live in and walk in that truth daily. Asking two simple questions and bracing yourself to receive the answers will be well worth it.
“I am trying to remember you and let you go at the same time”
In my first book of poetry, I wrote a poem titled, “Top Dolla Hoe”. It goes like a little something like this:
I’ve been fucked a thousand times
In a thousand ways
By the same man
With a different face
I was never loved
A thousand times
A thousand ways
Once you have sex with a man, his energetic imprint remains in the cellular memory of your womb. For a maximum of seven years. Whether you are physically or relationally with him or not, he is apart of you. If a man releases his sperm inside of you, his DNA becomes a part of your DNA. The essence of who you are encompasses the men you have allowed between your thighs.
All of who he is; physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and energetically is who you are. Depending on how many lovers you’ve had or how deeply a man has imprinted his essence into you, who YOU truly are can be buried, inaccessible, or lost by the men holding on to your womb. Not only do these energetic cords prevent you from connecting to your higher self, your inherent truth, and the true soul of your womb being, you will be unable to fully connect with and be in true relationship with a new lover.
It is important to clear, remove and release the energetic cords, attachments, and imprints of all the men you are no longer connected to. This will allow you to reactivate and reclaim the dormant DNA of your divine feminine essence and be in a loving, healthy relationship with the divine masculine man of your dreams.
Steps to remove past lovers from your womb
Make a list of all the men you’ve slept with over the past 7 years
Find a quiet place to sit or lay. Place your hands on your womb
Take 3 deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth, relaxing more with each breath.
Visualize the first man on your list. Where do you feel an energetic pull? The heart? Womb? Vagina?
Visualize the cord or his hands connecting to that spot.
Visualize the cord being cut. Visualize his hands being removed
Visualize him walking away or floating away from the area he triggered
Feel yourself being covered with a white light coming in through the crown of your head, cleansing you.
Repeat for every man on the list
Repeat daily or weekly as needed until all energies have been removed
No one has the right to overstay their welcome in your womb. You have the right to evict every unwanted energy and proclaim, NO VACANCY. It is time to reclaim our wombs and discover the hidden truth of who we are, who we’ve always been and who we’re fighting to be.
“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go”
Each year, I marvel as the leaves change color on the trees and fall to their death. Each year trees release and let go to survive the impending winter months. The trees understand that in order to live, some things must die.
During the fall, trees release their leaves to survive. Trees actively “push” their leaves off, allowing them to die. It is an inherent, intuitive choice to do what’s necessary in order to live and bring forth new life. Photosynthesis requires a lot of energy and water, and during winter there is simply not enough of either to sustain foliage. During winter, trees go through a process similar to hibernation called dormancy. Everything within trees slows down so they can conserve energy. This is what keeps them alive during winter and allows them to get ready for the Spring season. To survive, they let their leaves die.
The trees show us the beauty of letting things go for our own survival. More than that, the trees show us how beautiful this can be. We don’t have to go into our next season or cycle kicking and screaming. We can release people, relationships, jobs, friendships, and cities with the same grace and striking beauty trees release their leaves. We can let the thought patterns, mindsets, and habits die that hinder our survival with the same dignified brilliance and splendor that tress let go.
If trees didn’t let their leaves go, they would die. They understand the necessity to release in order to live. Black women have such a traumatic and dysfunctional relationship with “strength”. We define so much of our worth by our ability to endure pain, struggle and to HOLD ON. The trees teach us that there is no shame in letting go. The trees show us how beneficial it is to look at the bigger picture. How in the moment, pride can prevent you from surviving. Some things you have to let go of or it will kill you. If the trees did not let their leaves die, they wouldn’t survive the winter season. And we all know that if you don’t survive winter, there will be no spring.
I’m grateful for the valuable lesson nature provides that I have yet to fully learn. I’m grateful for the reminder to let go so that I can live.
My 5th grade daughter came to me and said she got a 70 on her science test. I asked her, “was that the very best you could do?” She thought for a moment and said, “yes”. I said, “well, it is what it is”. I then explained to her (as I do every year) that I do not care about grades. I only care that she’s done her very best each and every time. If she got a 90 and it wasn’t her best, then we”ll have to talk. If she got a 60 and she gave it her all, what can I say? And lets be honest, 30 years from now, no one is really going to give a shit how well she did in 5th grade science. But what the world will take note of is the spirit in which she performs.
I can hear my dad’s country Texas/Chicago drawl now, “if you ain’t gon do it with excellence, then don’t do it at all”. I was raised to do all things well. Not perfect. Not without error. Not without mistakes. But with excellence. He explained that most people will look for the easy route and will perform with minimal effort. When you do things with excellence, and with your whole heart, you will stand out, win or lose.
When I think of excellence, I think of passion, intensity, girt and going HAM! When I think of excellence, I also think of resilience, determination, and consistency. And lastly, when I think of excellence, I think of soul, and that “je ne sais quoi” that makes one so incredibly hard to forget.
The spirit of excellence will carry you far. The scripture, Mark 7:37 comes to my mind, “And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well”. Excellence is doing all things well. Striving toward perfection is exhausting, daunting and unattainable. It leaves you feeling stressed, overburdened and overextended. But excellence? When you adopt a spirit of excellence, with the intent to do all things well, when all is said and done, you can rest with the feeling of self-assurance knowing that no matter the outcome, you did your very best. And that’s more than a lot of people can say.
“The world class purposely ignores the small thinking, ego-based personality”
I’ve consistently made the mistake of giving an ear to, and heeding the advice of people who ultimately didn’t have a clue. I took relationship advice from single women. I took business advice from people who never ran a business. I took financial advice from people who lived paycheck to paycheck and were in debt. I took health and exercise advice from people who were overweight and didn’t have the physique I desired. I took spiritual advice from religious people who had no peace or joy.
There’s the saying that everyone is your teacher. And that you can learn from the mistakes of others. These statements have merit, but should never be taken out of context. If you are striving to be the best at something, look for experts in that field and follow their advice and teachings. It’s easy for just about anyone to give high-level, general advice but not produce specific results. I now look for those who have a proven track record in their field. If I’m going to listen to you, you’ve got to have receipts.
In an attempt to honor everyone’s voice and give credence to the belief that we all have something to contribute, I’ve made the big mistake of listening to people I should have silenced. Now I understand that I can acknowledge someone’s right to have an opinion without deeming their opinion to be worth listening to. One of my favorite quotes is, “the price of an opinion is evidence”. I look for those who have paid the price for their opinion. I look for the evidence.
I want to be a successful entrepreneur. That means I seek advice from successful entrepreneurs, not from those who think they have an idea of what it takes to run a successful business. I want to have a healthy, sustainable marriage. That means I follow the example of women who display powerful feminine energy and have healthy relationships, not perpetually single and lonely women who can’t get a man. I want to have the body of my dreams. That means I follow IG fitness freaks who devote massive amounts of time to building the body of their dreams instead of the pudgy individuals who claim you can get a better body in 30 minutes and a waist trainer.
I have this insane desire to be the woman I’ve always dreamed of. The woman who won’t leave me alone. The woman who keeps convincing me that if I just push a bit more, I can meet her face to face. In order for this to happen, I must completely ignore the opinions, musings, and advice of people who are comfortable living average, mediocre lives. I can’t listen to everyone, because everyone is not where I desire to be.
Listen to those who are where you want to be. Heed the advice of those who have accomplished what you desire to accomplish. Ignore everyone else. Respectfully of course. You are not like everyone, so you cannot listen to everyone.
“If we want to make significant quantum change, we need to work on our basic paradigms”
We live our lives based on long held beliefs that we have accepted as truth. That is a paradigm. The good news? Paradigms can shift. The bad news? It’s hard as hell for that shift to occur. The first step is realizing that a paradigm is no longer serving you…say what now? The way I’ve always viewed the world and myself is wrong? Yes. If it’s not producing the results you desire.
I’ve always been told how important it is to be humble. Humility was lumped into the group of admirable qualities I should strive to embody. Not only is it good to be humble, but it’s also living like a true Christian, with Jesus serving as the greatest example of humility. I was taught that being anything other than humble would ensure a fall from Grace and would all but guarantee a life filled with blessings. That was my paradigm.
But living a humble life wasn’t producing the results I desire. I wasn’t satisfied. I was internally conflicted about who I was. And these blessings? They were looking an awful lot like crumbs instead of the cake I desired to devour. I had to take a look at my paradigm. And my first step was to google the definition of humble.
Humble, by definition is “having or showing a modest or low estimate of one’s own importance”. No wonder I felt conflicted within and was at war with myself. I was trying to live a life where I willingly chose to have and show a low estimate of my importance. Some of the synonyms for humble are self-deprecating, self-effacing, and servile. Self-deprecating is the act of belittling or undervaluing oneself. Self-effacing is to act in such a way as to avoid drawing attention to oneself or making oneself noticeable. Servile is having or showing an excessive willingness to serve or please others.
In essence, by pure definition, when someone wants you to be humble, they want you to do the following:
Have a low estimate of your importance
Show a low estimate of your importance
Avoid making yourself noticeable
Avoid drawing attention to yourself
Have an excessive willingness to please others.
Why on earth would anyone want to be humble? Yet, that is how I was raised to be. My god, it sucks. Let me be the first to tell you. Just by teaching me to be humble, the world didn’t have to tear me down, because I willingly did it to myself.
Now, you’ll say, well no one likes an arrogant, haughty woman either. Let’s define arrogant. Arrogant means, “having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities”. Haughty means, “arrogantly superior or disdainful”. Disdainful means, “showing contempt or lack of respect”. But if I’m the shit and I’m not exaggerating it, then by definition, I’m not being arrogant. If I pretend to be good at something and I’m not, then I’m arrogant. If I act as if I’m better and I’m actually not, then I’m haughty. If I’m respectful, then I’m not filled with disdain.
I don’t want to be humble nor deemed to be humble EVER again. But I would like to be gracious and grateful. I would like to be self- empowered and self-confident. I want to love myself enough to NEVER have or show a low estimate of my importance or value. I also want to love myself enough to NEVER have to prove it either. I want to just BE me, in peace and gratitude. That’s my new paradigm. Those are my new beliefs, firm foundation and truth.
“Where there are preachers, there are also conjurers; where there are conversions, there are dreams and visions and where there is faith, there is and ever continues to be magic” .
Yvonne P. Chireau
October is Hoodoo Heritage Month. In honor of Hoodoo Heritage Month, I will be releasing a series of articles delving into Hoodoo. We begin with gaining some insight into what Hoodoo is. I hope you enjoy reading this article. Feel free to subscribe so you never miss an update.
Growing up I was taught to be black and proud. I was encouraged to learn my history and to be proud of my roots. My ancestoes hail from the slave quarters of the Alabama backwoods and the low country region inhabited by the Geechee. I was warned to have an innate mistrust of any and everything white, and to stand up to any outside force that would seek to keep me bound. I was also raised in the church. And not just any church, but the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). As a child I was in church at least 4 times a week. I was exposed to the Holiness movement, and everything it encompassed; the hand clapping, foot stomping, speaking in tongues, spirit filled dances, faints and the laying on of hands that resulted in unexplainable miracles. None of this seemed odd or strange to me. Ever. My great- grandmother, grandmothers, and great-aunt had gardens, visons, dreams, and the power to manifest healing, protection and money with fasting and prayer. They banished negative energy with brooms, healed wounds with spider webs and conjured love in the dishes they cooked. All these seemingly incompatible facets; black power, the black church, and black magic, are all part and parcel of black life in America and comprise the inimitable spiritual and supernatural tradition of the black slave; Hoodoo.
What is Hoodoo?
Hoodoo, also referred to as Conjure or Rootwork is African American folk magic. It is the cultural treasure of our people. It is not a religion, but rather the spiritual and supernatural tradition birthed in the belly of slavery by our enslaved black ancestors who refused to go down without a fight. It is the legacy of a people who tapped into the inherent power within their DNA, and the power within the tress, animals, roots, herbs, ancestors and cosmos to retain power and control over their lives in the face of the greatest atrocity inflicted upon mankind; MAAFA or the Black Holocaust.
Hoodoo is self-determination, self-mastery and personal power. It is protection, healing, luck in money and love and revenge on oppressors. Yvonne P. Chireau explains, “conjure is a magical tradition in which spiritual power is invoked for various purposes such as healing, protection and self-defense”. Again, Hoodoo is not a religion. There is no God or gods to worship, pray to or serve. It is a solitary practice, invoking the power in the supernatural realm. In fact, Hoodoo is almost always practiced within a religious context, beginning in the slave church, praise house, and then moving into the Pentecostal and Baptist denominations. Hoodoo is not witchcraft or associated with anything demonic or satanic. Hoodoo encompassed personal power in a time where one’s life was not one’s own. Hoodoo was the declaration that there was no massa or missus that would ever have complete control over one’s life. Hoodoo was resistance and rebellion against white supremacy, poverty, lack, and the hopelessness that one could easily drown in. Ishmael Reed explains, “Hoodoo is the forgotten faith of African American people”.
How Did Our Enslaved Ancestors Use Hoodoo?
On the slave plantations, there were Hoodoos, Rootworkers and Conjure practitioners. They were deemed to be some of the most powerful and meaningful individuals on the plantation. The threat of whippings, separation from loved ones, and the risks involved with escaping were constant thoughts in the minds of our ancestors. Hoodoo was utilized to combat the anxiety, fear, danger and depression of life on the plantation. Yvonne Chireau says, “Black Americans utilized conjuring traditions not only because they saw them as a valuable resource for resistance, but because they believed that the supernatural realm offered alternative possibilities for empowerment”. Conjure was used to protect, heal, and destroy. It was the dignity of rebellion. This was done through tradition and ancestral knowledge of roots, herbs, and ancient African spiritual traditions that survived the Middle Passage and the lies of white missionaries and white slave preachers. Maintaining a relationship with one’s ancestors, divination from dreams and the use of mojo bags or hands are the central figures of Hoodoo. Hoodoo was used to prevent a family member from being sold, avoid a whipping, poison or kill a slave master and escape the plantation unnoticed. Some of our most famous freedom fighters, including Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Denmark Vesey and Gabriel Prosser all utilized Hoodoo. Hoodoo was also used to navigate personal matters in love and money in the slave quarters.
Getting Back to Our Spiritual Roots
We have completely strayed from our spiritual roots, solely depending on the religious doctrines and dogma given to us by those who benefit from our continued spiritual powerlessness. The Christianity of today, the white- washed, evangelical, turn the other cheek, pray for your enemies Christianity is indeed the white man’s religion. There is no power, no authority and absolutely no magic. They have demonized the remaining remnants from home; Africa. Yvonne Chireau states, “cultural reformers, including blacks and whites from the northern states called for the repudiation of conjure and other slave traditions, identifying them with degradation, ignorance and the demoralizing experience of bondage”. And we’ve allowed them to do so while they continually oppress and murder us. Conjure is our power and Hoodoo has always been and will continue to be our hope.
“Like so many others in this century I found myself a displaced person shortly after birth and have been looking half my life for a place to take my stand. Now that I have found it, I must defend it”
As I heal, as I grow, and as I come home to myself, I find the need to continually establish stricter boundaries for the people in my life and those I encounter. I was subconsciously and unconsciously raised to be a people-pleaser. I was raised with the subconscious belief that others are more important than myself. I was raised with the understanding that I am obligated, and duty bound to share my bounty of beauty, love, intellect, peace, and abundance with others. In fact, not only should I give, but I should give to others before I give to myself. I have lived with that belief and mindset for a good 35 years.
And the result? I have allowed people to take advantage of me. I have allowed others to continually come to my well of sacred water to drink, satisfy their thirst and leave better than they came. I have poured and poured and poured into others. Even when there was nothing left to give, I gave. I have been empty for years, believing that I was doing the right thing and that I would be rewarded for it at a later date. I truly lived my life with the notion that it was better to give than to receive. Only, I was always on the giving end and never the receiving end from most people in my life.
But then something happened. I woke up. I realized that as Malcom X said:
Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had!
Ya been took!
Ya been hoodwinked!
I had been hoodwinked. I was not obligated to anyone. I don’t owe anyone shit! Just because I have it, doesn’t mean I must give it. Just because you don’t have it, doesn’t mean you are entitled to mine. We teach children that it is nice to share, and it is. But no one tells them they should only share if it doesn’t leave them empty, diminished and longing.
The spirit of entitlement is dangerous. There is a difference in wanting something from someone and feeling entitled to what they have. Entitlement has an aura of arrogance that allows the entitled person to overstep boundaries and disregard the needs of the person they feel owes them. They can become manipulative and conniving. Or even a bully. Entitled people lack personal responsibility. They are emotionally immature and underdeveloped. They are often lazy and sometimes so damaged they can become narcissistic.
As someone who is surrounded by entitled individuals, I have begun to establish boundaries. I have begun to say NO when asked for money, or other resources that I simply don’t want to give. And you know what happens? Others look at me as if I have done something wrong… And I have. What I have done is change the dynamic of the relationship. I have stopped giving, they have stopped receiving, and they don’t like that. Then I become the bad guy. Selfish, mean, acting funny. “you acting different” is what they say, Yes I am. I am acting in my own best interest. I am protecting what I have worked and sacrificed to get. I am protecting the treasure I have unearthed from having the courage to heal and set myself free. I am no longer sharing the spoils of the inner war I have fought with my demons and won. Yes, I’ve changed. I am taking back my personal power and doing what is best for me and not you.
Then the guilt trip begins. You are made to feel bad that you are who you are and have what you have. You are made to feel guilty for the blessings you have, the favor and grace that has been afforded to you. But I am here to tell you, healing is not a group project. It is every man for himself. And you are allowed to reap what you have sown alone. I don’t owe anyone anything. I don’t owe you a piece of my peace. I don’t owe you a share of my happiness. I don’t owe you a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear. I am not here to give you what you never had. I am not obligated to stand in the gap and be the mother, father, lover, or friend you have never had. I am not here to hold space for you. I am not here to be your crutch while you continually avoid the healing you must engage in. I am not here to be your punching back, the projector by which you replay every trauma, ache, and pain. I am not obligated to watch you self-destruct or participate in the drama that is your life.
My message to the entitled, “I don’t owe you shit”.
My message to those surrounded by entitled people; you don’t owe them shit. Please, find the strength to love yourself a little more. Take a stand and defend it for all its worth. Don’t be afraid to lose people who were never really a loss. Know that you are worthy and finally…
“Love yourself the way you loved them, and you will be healed”
“We should all be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it-because they do”
The Ketogenic diet has grown in popularity in recent years as an effective weight loss method. Despite its popularity, the Ketogenic diet is not a safe or healthy way to lose weight. In fact, it can be quite dangerous to one’s overall health and wellness in the long run.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The Keto diet is a very low carb, high fat diet. You drastically reduce your carb intake and replace carbs with fat such as meat and poultry, fish, eggs, and nuts. The two most popular keto diets are the Standard ketogenic diet (SKD):
70% fat, 20% protein, 10% carbs
And the high protein ketogenic diet:
60% fat, 35% protein, 5% carbs
The Purpose of Keto
The purpose of keto is to put your body into a metabolic state where it burns fat instead of carbohydrates. This is called ketosis and it occurs when the body uses ketone bodies that the liver produces from stored fat instead of carbohydrates. Ketosis can only occur by depriving your body of carbohydrates. This goal is to lose weight quickly and reduce cravings.
Why You Should Never Try Keto
Carbohydrates are not the enemy and not all carbs are created equal. Complex carbohydrates such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lentils are the preferred and most efficient energy source for the body. They are packed with vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals. The profound benefits of complex carbohydrates on the body are indispensable. Keto requires an almost complete elimination of complex carbs from your diet.
It also promotes the consumption of high amounts of fat. Fat from beef, pork, bacon, and eggs, which greatly increase the risk of hypertension, high cholesterol and heart disease are promoted with Keto.
Ultimately, the Keto diet encourages individuals to do the two things combined one should almost never do : consuming animals and animal by products and eliminate complex carbohydrates. The keto diet deprives the body of essential nutrients and to quote famed personal trainer Jillian Michaels when asked about keto, “why would anyone think this is a good idea”. A ketogenic diet has the following risks:
Nutrient deficiencies from not consuming a variety of complex carbohydrates (fruits and vegetables)
Increased risk of heart disease
The ketogenic diet is just another lose weight quick scheme and fad diet that will cause more harm than good in the long run. It is unsafe and unhealthy. Sure, you may lose weight initially, but the ketogenic diet is not a lifestyle that can be maintained indefinitely. Intermittent Fasting, eating food as close to its natural state as possible with minimal ingredients, and eating a wide variety of complex carbohydrates will ensure that not only will you maintain a healthy, desired weight, but that you will have longevity when it comes to your health.
To learn more about Intermittent Fasting, check out the blog article I’ve written
“Always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper”
I won’t lie, I can hold a grudge. Even worse, I sometimes desire vengeance or retribution. I’m working on it though…God ain’t through with me yet. BUT a recent situation showed me that he’s definitely making some progress.
I was presented with an opportunity to really do some good in the hood. To use my gifts, skills and talent to make a difference in the lives of my people. And get paid to do it. I excitedly accepted the offer and waited to hear back from them with more details. A week went by and nothing. On the day I was going to follow up with the contact, I happen to scroll through fb and see someone post they had accepted the position offered to me. TF!
Long story short, after I did my investigating, turns out there was definitely some shady, behind the scenes, mean girl stuff going on. Although I can’t prove it, a particular someone railroaded me. My initial reaction was to strike back, go off, act a fool.
But then I had a better idea. Just leave it alone and let it go. Me? Leave it alone and let it go. Wait, one minute. Nah, that is not how Kathleen gets down. The Kathleen I know leaves absolutely nothing alone lol. Remember I told y’all God had made some progress with me. So, that’s just what I did. And not only did I let it go, I blessed everyone involved. Ok, God, you just showing out now…But that’s what I did. I decided that I would cling to the belief that what’s meant for me will never miss me. That closed doors were blessings that I should also give thanks for. And as Queen B reminds us, “always stay gracious, best revenge is your paper”.
As fate would have it, I was offered 2 positions to be of service to my people. Not only are these positions a much better fit for me, but they are with better organizations. I attribute these opportunities to my gracious attitude and my courage to bless everyone involved. I didn’t seek revenge. I didn’t seek to state my case. I didn’t seek to expose people. I moved on. Beyoncé said best revenge is your paper. When we hear the word paper, we think money. But what is money? A form of currency. Currency by definition is simply medium of exchange, a form of energy.
Best revenge is your paper. Your medium of exchange, your energy. The best revenge is your peace, your joy, your gratitude, your ability to bless your enemies and wait patiently for the bigger and better blessings that are yours by divine right.
I love how life is providing me with ample opportunities to grow, to understand that not everything and everyone is worth the fight. I’m glad I see there are different forms of revenge and the best revenge is your paper, your currency, your energy. To end this blog, I’d like to share one of my favorite IG videos. And if you’d like to never miss my next article, please subscribe to the blog