Archive | Self Empowerment RSS feed for this section

4 Things You Didn’t Know About Pole Dancing

4 Apr
Pole dance 5

Entering the dance studio for the first time, I was introduced to an art form that required a full-body workout, which I do wearing 6+ inch heels. I eventually learned ways to use my muscles to perform gravity-defying tricks and put my jiggly thighs to good use with twerking techniques my instructor showed me.

Of course, when I tell people I pole dance, they typically think I’m working late nights in clubs with titles like ‘King of Diamonds’ or ‘Cheetahs.’ I have to explain that I’m just an amateur who dances for fun, while at the same time thinking to myself, “I wish I was on that level.”

Pole Dance 4

Like other types of dance that include a level of sensuality, people have several misconceptions about pole dancing. There a a few things some folks just don’t understand…Read more.

Hey fam,

This post was originally published on Blavity. Check out the rest there. Hope you enjoy!

Advertisements

Coming to Terms with My Sexual Orientation: An Ace’s Journey

23 Feb

Ace Flag 1

There’s something I’ve been meaning to share with my family, friends, and readers for a while now. But I needed some time to come to terms with it for myself. Then, I needed more time to procrastinate writing this blog post (y’all know I was slacking last year and didn’t post as much. But I’m back to posting regularly this year… so stay tuned).

Anyways, for a while, I’ve known that I’m not like everyone else. I used to think I was weird or that something was wrong with me. But now I know that I’m just different.

I am asexual.

No, that doesn’t mean that I can reproduce without a partner.

Asexual (aka “ace”) is a sexual orientation that includes people who experience little to no sexual attraction and/or desire. Asexual people make up approximately 1% of the population. We are the “A” in LBGTQIA+.

Basically, it means I don’t have a desire to have sex with anyone.

The concept of asexuality baffles a lot of people because sex is literally everywhere. On billboards, in the music we listen to, on every magazine stand, in our favorite TV shows, etc.

And while people who are not asexual cannot fathom living without sexual desire, I can’t even begin to guess what it means to live with it.

For the life of me, I couldn’t relate to Olivia and Fitz’s sexual tension. During every episode of Scandal I was like, “They’re having sex again?!! Didn’t they just do that?!” When friends tell me that they slept with someone because “it just sorta happened/ they couldn’t resist,” I wondered what that felt like. I NEVER “just have to have it.”

It took me a while to realize I was asexual. Three years ago, I’d had a feeling that I was, but I didn’t want to believe it. When I published “I Shouldn’t Need an Excuse to be a Virgin,” an article I wrote about virginity and feminism for XO Jane in 2013, a few aces tapped me on the shoulder in the comments section like, “Hey girl, you sound like one of us.” But I ignored them. I searched for alternative explanations for why I didn’t have desires that everyone else seemed to have. But after a long while, asexuality made a lot of sense.

My accepting of my asexuality was not an instant “sigh of relief.”  For a while, I pretty much balled my eyes out whenever I thought about it. I didn’t want to be asexual. I felt like I was missing out on something the rest of the world was enjoying. I was worried my 3-year relationship with my boyfriend would perish. I was scared I would never have a successful romantic relationship. I felt broken. To tell you the truth, sometimes I still have those feelings.

But after finally admitting it to myself, I was able to find a support system. Ace communities online post things like this:

 

This:

Ace2

And this:

Ace1

People shared their stories learning to cope with and become proud of their asexuality. And when I found a group of black asexual people, I started to feel a bit more at home (No offense to the white aces, but some of you all are ummm… very white).

Joining conversations with asexual communities online, reading more about my sexual orientation, journaling, and praying often, I came to terms with my asexuality.

To learn more about asexuality, visit the Asexual Visibility and Education Network. They provide a robust amount of info on asexuality.

P.S. Before commenting on this post, please read this list of myths about asexuality. I’m tired of people trying to fix my “problem.” Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not broken, I’m asexual.

How to Take Back Your Life from Your To-Do List

26 Oct

HustleBeing emotionally healthy while in 100% Hustle Mode

If you’re like me and tons of other millennials, you work hard. You have a main job, a side hustle, and maybe you’re still in school to advance your career. You refuse to live like many adults you know, who’ve hated their jobs their whole lives. One day—soon—you will turn your side hustle into your main career.

Because of this, and a few other factors in your life (kids, family members to take care of, etc.) your to-do list seems infinite and you never seem to have enough hours in the day.

Like you, I work hard—so hard that I often sacrifice my emotional and physical health to check things of my to-do lists. Last week, when I got into a car accident and I was freaking out about all of the things I had to add to my to-do list because of the accident, I knew I had a problem.

Constant busyness is not healthy. It skews our reality, making simple tasks seem more important than they are, which can cause rushing, anxiety, feelings of powerlessness and many unhealthy habits.

I needed to take my life back from my to-do lists before I completely lost my mind. Here are the 4 ways I’m doing it:

Avoiding conscious busyness

For as long as I can remember, I have lived by the principle that your consciousness determines your outcome— that your thinking determines your life experiences. This is why I am generally an optimistic person who tries to think positively so that I can experience positive outcomes. Usually, I find this to be successful.

Somehow, I forgot to apply that idea about consciousness to my grinding life. If I believe that I create the life I experience with my thoughts, then if I am constantly worrying about how busy I am, I will be perpetually busy. Conscious busyness leads to constant busyness. I have been living this cycle for the past 4 years, and I’m so over it.

A few days ago, I decided I would no longer use “busy” to describe myself. Also, I would no longer act like a busy person, meaning I stopped rushing, stopped driving fast, and decided to cook myself breakfast (can you believe I hadn’t cooked breakfast for myself in over a year because I always felt like I had more important things to do?!). In those few days, I’ve felt a more relaxed. I’m not stressing over small tasks. I go with the flow a little bit more.

Busyness is a choice—it shouldn’t be a lifestyle.

Slowing down

Sometimes I have to remind myself that everything is not an emergency. Rushing only adds to the feelings of stress and anxiety.

Renowned writer Annie Dillard said in one of her books, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” And though I’ve been doing it for years, I refuse to spend my entire life rushing around like a crazy person all of the time.

Lightening up my list

Choose wisely what goes on your daily to-do list. Like I said, not everything is an emergency. If I choose 3-5 more important things to do daily rather than 10 smaller things, I’ll feel like I can get a grip on your life. I still get the most important things done without feeling overwhelmed by the un-accomplishable lists I usually create.

 Enjoying being vs. doing

Often times, I have to remind myself to “enjoy the journey.” Though I have a list of things I want to check off, I try to do them consciously. When I sit down at the table, I put my phone out of arms reach so that I can truly enjoy my meal without the distractions. Sometimes, taking my time to do each task correctly and enjoying what I’m doing is more fulfilling than checking everything off of my list.

I constantly have to remind myself:
You have to decide what’s more important: your to-do list or your mental wellness.

%d bloggers like this: