Turn The Page: Last Black Unicorn Review!

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Turn The Page: Last Black Unicorn Review!

For this third Friday of Blog writing, just days after Valentine’s Day, the focus is on none other than Tiffany Haddish’s The Last Black Unicorn, synopsis here. Like most Black folk, I was slightly pressed to read this book. Not only because I am “Rooting for everybody Black” but also because I am in a book club, and that was the assigned book. Let me tell y'all that it took FOREVER to track down a copy. Amazon was sold out. Barnes and Noble was sold out. And being the bougie princess that I can be, I wanted the physical book, not just an electronic version I don’t have anything against electronic books, FYI, my kindle account is popping! For some books though, I always want a physical hardcover copy. The for biggies, I usually  get a physical copy like the HP series, Awkward Black Girl, Freedom is a Constant Struggle, or the New Jim Crow---a girl may have no name, but she still likes what she likes.

In reading this book, which I honestly felt was stilted and not that great to read--I heard the audio book is better-- nothing stood out to me more than that Tiffany stifled her own inner voice and instincts and was consequently put in some rather shitty situations. But I digress. Allow me to really set up what I would like to say before we knock it down.

Valentine’s Day has passed and there are many people both happy and mad about what they got or didn’t get from a loved one, side piece, or boo-thang. But like I said last week, “...for this Black History Month, I want to focus on self love...” What better way to keep the focus alive than by talking about trust, one of the foundations people have identified as being fundamental in a relationship. Obviously, the relationship we are talking about is with numero uno, Y-O-U! Some people would say that if you don’t have a good relationship with yourself first, that all other relationships are doomed to fail. I personally don’t really believe that. I feel like you could have found a model of trusting and loving yourself, which may simply come with time, and that seems to have been the case to Tiffany Haddish.

In her book, the chapter entitled, "The Ex-Husband," Tiffany gets into how she met, fell in love with, and eventually broke up with her Ex-Husband. Don’t get in your feeling about spoilers, that sentence didn’t spoil anything..she said EX husband, not current husband. It’s kinda obvious from her title of him that they broke up...duh! Anyway, she got with this man, who was an officer, but not a gentleman--sorry, I couldn't resist, who turned out to be emotionally and physically abusive. He attempted to control her by moving her away from friends and family, gaslighting her, shaming her, and beating her. Sometimes, people don’t know what an abusive relationship is without someone putting their hands on you, but there is certainly more to it than that. In the resource of this blog, you can download the Wheel of Power and Control, which gives a few different ways that a relationship can be abusive.

Anyway, to get to the point of this writing, Tiffany, in retrospect, sees that there were signs that this man wasn’t quite right. From the cruise ship where is stalks her, to popping up at her house when she didn’t answer the phone. And while some people would sit on a high horse and judge her for ignoring those signs, lots of people ignore signs that the person they are trying to be with is NOT the one for them. We ignore that the person texts or calls us just a bit too often. We ignore or rationalize when they want the full timetable of our day--because they care, right? We ignore that we can never go to their house or that we can only call at specific times of day. We ignore a bunch of little things but we also ignore one of the biggest things of all. We ignore the hell out of ourselves. We ignore that feeling of intuition that strikes up and tries to tell us that something is off. We ignore that pit in our stomach and rationalize away the creeping anxiety we experience at night or throughout the day time. We know for ourselves that something feels wrong, but we allow friends and loved ones to talk us back into a situation, without giving voice to what we feel. And it’s understandable. People have been taught that emotions aren’t that important, especially men folk. We are taught that logic and reason alone should be how we base a choice, should be how we made decisions. But as a therapist whose basis is in Emotionally Focused Therapy, let me tell you, right here, right now, that Emotions Serve A Purpose! They are one of the barometers we have that try to protect us. Sometimes, yes, they can be hypervigilant, or otherwise distracted, but they are often ON THE MONEY! For example, anxiety helps to put you on alert to a possible threat--emotional, mental or physical. Feelings of sadness lets you know that you yearned for something or loved something, but it didn’t go your way. Which incidentally can help you prepare for how you will do better in the future!

Loving yourself and listening to your instincts can be hard, but let’s start with building trust. Trust yourself to pick a great outfit for wherever you are going, without being on 10 different consult calls with friends for approval. Trust yourself to pick where you want to eat, consequences of calories be damned. Trust yourself to know what you want, even if, at this time, you aren’t ready to voice it to others. From the small ways you trust yourself, you will eventually get to larger more grand ways of showing that trust in yourself. Like a budding relationship, but with yourself. Don’t forget that trusting yourself starts with acknowledging that self communication. That you have to listen to yourself. You have to make an effort to be in the moment, acknowledge what you are feelings, and try to figure out why. Sometimes that takes meditation. And for some it’s helpful to have a therapist.

The Doc’s Recommendation:

Read The Last Black Unicorn, if you haven’t already. Tiffany Haddish demonstrates the reasons WHY you should not ignore the signs. But to get good at it, your job is to build that self-trust by listening to what your emotions are trying to say.

Resources that can help:

1. Wheel of Power and Control

2. Here is a short video to help you settle into learning to listen to yourself

3. Here is a way to get on my calendar if you are looking for a Black therapist to help you Rock out on your journey of self-love and living authentically.

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The Black Panther: It's Black Y'all

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The Black Panther: It's Black Y'all

Typically, as Valentine's Day approaches, we talk about the type of love between one man and one woman. The type of love that can lead to engagement rings, marriages, and ultimately children. Very heteronormative and traditional, I know. While this love is lovely and held in high regard, I want to make sure that we’re also including other types of relationships. 1. The romantic relationship love of any type: Women with women, men with men, women with men, and people alone. 2. The love we have for family (chosen or blood). 3. The love we have for our friends. But for this special Valentine’s Day, we are not talking romantic or familial types of love. We are talking about the love of Black people. Because like Issa Rae said, "I’m rooting for everybody Black." What better time to root for everyone that’s Black, than right now in Black History Month!

Often times, self-love is seen as something that is ancillary or has no real purpose when we are talking about love in general. It is assumed that people are just supposed to love themselves, no question. We forget that self love and pride are HARD to do when you feel like you haven’t been given anything to shine on. MEANWHILE, we talk about earning the love of another person with whom we would like to spend our life as the only love worth considering. Like I said, that type of love has merit, but for this Black History Month, I want to focus on self love and the love of a people.

What I know and what I’ve researched, says that representation in media matters. When people see themselves in various roles on tv and in movies, they believe that they themselves can achieve something that is beyond what they know. OR at the very least feel a sense of pride that people who look like them are being considered and chosen for big roles. Think about it this way, before some folks saw Gabby Douglas Douglas, they figured gymnastics was for everyone who wasn’t Black. Before Michael Jackson, Black people felt like they could only be relegated to R&B, not pop. Before the Obamas, a Black child may have dreamed about one day being the President of the U.S., but most never really thought it was a possibility.

Black people have often been relegated to seeing our people on the news cast in the role of murderer, thief, vagrant, drug dealer, and with stunning regularity, murder victim. I am not saying we don’t have movies in which we are featured. I am saying those movies are often labeled “Black” Films and snubbed at the mostly white award shows. But I feel like we have been on a roll! Hidden Figures came to mind for me! And now this BLACK HISTORY MONTH we get our own Marvel movie: The Black Panther!! The best part is that this movie, that is not even out yet, seems to be Blackity Black Black! But the real BONUS is that It’s already outsold other Marvel films!

But ask yourself WHY? Why is THIS Marvel film already poised to outsell the others? What makes this one so special? I think it’s because of what I already said. Black people are starved to find themselves in fantastical roles where they can show a RANGE of emotions. To feel and display more than the anger that has often been ascribed to us. To see more than a few celebrated light-skinned African Americans gracing the screen, or to see white people who have been made up to look racially ambiguous, take roles that could have gone to people of color. Black people are proud to see not only a representation of them, but also to see that these people look like them. Black people of all shades are going to be in the Black Panther movie. People of all hair textures and styles. Both Black men and Black women, not a lone Black person (ahem, Will Smith).

This prose could easily be taken as something that is not inclusive of all people. To that I say Stop it. This is about celebrating young boys and girls, adults, and those in between, who are beyond excited to see The Black Panther. There is an excitement for a movie whose budget is finally somewhere useful, with producers and a cast that will make it something for the Black folk who will see it. It’s almost similar in feeling, but far surpassing, the frenzy of the latest Wonder Woman movie. Just like people (usually people who identify as ‘men’) in Hollywood thought that a woman in the lead couldn’t hold a role that would garner critical acclaim nor green money, Black movies have also been relegated to the back burner (granted, it is much harder if you are a Black woman movie, intersection matters). But Disney, who OWNS Marvel is using what some have called “white” dollars to make a movie with a Black writer and a Black Director with a Black cast. Isn’t that almost the definition of Blackity Black-Black?

And because most Marvel movies have a villain, we will have Black villains BUT we will have Black heroes. We will have brave people and we will have cowards. We will be able to see the full range of Black people. We will be able to see more than the negative perceptions that have often been foisted on all people, white and Black. Being able to see people in a different way, leads to open minds. Leads to people being able to consider that just because you saw one Black criminal in your life, does not hold that all Black people are criminals. We are many varied, and diverse.

But How is this related to mental health Doc? I don't get it!

Self esteem, self pride, and self love are important parts that make up a person's mental wellbeing and health. What it seems to mean for Black folk right now, is a bolster of pride, Black love, and self-love, as people re-examine what they know and add to their list of Black characters. I see more Black cosplayers shining bright, grinning, and happy to have more Black characters to choose from. I see pride in the faces of Black children who are excited to see this film. There is a re-examining of what is beautiful and an expansion of that definition as well. You can be dark, have extremely curly hair, short hair, full lips, dark eyes, and still be beautiful. I’m seeing it happen. It walks into my office. I hear people talking about it. I see people considering it. I see people comparing themselves to it and being happy with what they are seeing. We have so much pride in fact, that if it turns out this movie sucks, you won’t be hearing it from us.

 

From the Doc, a Reflective Question: What movies made you feel a sense of pride? Or changed the way you say yourself? Why?

 

 

 


Booking Dr. Donna for therapy to work on your self-esteem is EASY, click here to start the process that leads to loving you from the top of your head, to the soles of your feet!

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Take time to relax! Guided Imagery Video

Take time to relax! Guided Imagery Video

Photo Credit: @createdbyjarrod on Nappy

Hey Yall! Sometimes what we need is to take a moment (or five) relax. Here is a guided imagery video recorded just for you and set to some R&B. ENJOY!

Mental Health Myths: On being “Okay,” Broke, and Black

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Mental Health Myths: On being “Okay,” Broke, and Black

Photo by Clarke Sanders on Unsplash

 

It seems that with the start of the New Year, ALL the folk, especially Black Women, are more aware of their mental health. Even with all this supposed awareness, people aren’t sure what they are looking for or seem to be unclear on what “Mental Health” constitutes. Things people commonly say about therapy to me includes: “My problem isn’t important enough to speak to a therapist about” or “I don’t want to take up time from someone who *REALLY* needs therapy” or “I’m Black. Therapy is for white people.” This way of thinking and speaking allows people of color to talk themselves (and their loved ones) out of therapy before they have truly considered it. Let’s spend some time speaking about 3 Mental Health Myths. Then maybe we can have some honest discussion about our needs.

Myth/Thought 1: My problem isn’t important enough to speak to someone

So, you are “okay” or “fine.” Things are hard but not “I need therapy” hard. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?? All “problems” and issues are relative. We are constantly trying to check ourselves and one another for what we need/want help with. Think about it this way, would you tell someone with a toothache that occurs only when they eat that they don’t need to see a dentist? Is the person who has a constant toothache more in need than them? What about a person who had all their teeth knocked out? We can and do a great job of comparing our individual pain to the pain of others. The problem is we forget that it is still PAIN! Seeking help for your pain doesn’t mean that you are more or less important than someone else. It means that you are ALSO important and YOUR PAIN MATTERS! Of course you can go it alone, but there are lots of therapists, both of color and white, to see you. As long as you matter to yourself, even marginally, what you are experiencing will be important to a therapist/counselor as well.

No, I am not going to debrief the myth on “I don’t want to take up time from someone who may need therapy more than me” because it is really covered under the first myth. Your problem, issue, challenge, or pre-occupation is important. If it is important to you, it matters. All you need is the right therapist who also agrees. Think about this, compared to someone suffering from severe depression, some folks would say that sexuality or sex lives don’t matter. I would (not so) humbly disagree, as would a whole lot of other sex and relationship therapists and educators I know.

Myth/Thought 2: I can’t afford therapy

You can! The better question here is “do you want to afford therapy?” There are many therapists in private practice, including myself, who may not take insurance, but that doesn’t mean you can’t afford therapy. Therapy can cost up to $250 per session, and that can feel super expensive. But are you worth it? Is your peace of mind worth the price tag? Many therapists not only take insurance, which can help with the out of pocket costs, but also offer a superbill or sliding scale. A superbill is like a receipt you can submit to your insurance company to be reimbursed. A sliding scale means that you can get a whole new price just based on your income. If those don’t work, you can also go bi-weekly instead of every week to offset the cost. You can see if your therapist will give you half an hour at maybe half the cost. It’s gonna take some doing on your part to work out the money, but you can afford it (if it’s important to you).

Quick Tip: If you sign up for An Open Path, you can find therapists who offer therapy for between $30-$50! Yours truly is also listed on this website, though I max out at a certain number of participants.

Myth/Thought 3: I’m Black. Therapy is for White People.

If I had a dollar every time someone told me this, I could retire with frequent traveling to Nigeria to see my family. The idea that therapy is a “white people thing” is a lie! Should I type that again? BLACK FOLK NEED THERAPY TOO! Sometimes I wonder if white people live longer BECAUSE they seek therapy. We Black people talk about how “Black don’t crack” but fail to keep in mind that while we look lovely and whole on the outside, we are sick and breaking down on the inside. We have to take care of our mental health. Being born, growing up, or otherwise paying attention to these United States is HARD for people of color! Especially for Black people. Especially now, under President Cheeto! Dealing with racism, sexism, colorism, texturism, not to mention poverty, redlining, the prison industrial system, lack of representation, prejudice from other people of color, etc. is EXHAUSTING! Yes, you can go to church, but you can (and should) go to therapy, TOO! Services like Dr. Joy Harden’s Therapy for Black Girls, make it so much easier to find a therapist who may understand your experience, without necessarily having to come out of your African American Vernacular, or translate. For example, some Black therapists have spoken about how the Black folk they see are happy to have someone understand what a Becky is without further explanation.

I focus in on Black people, but specifically Black women in the Washington D.C. Metro area. WHY? Because intersectionality matters! Being Black is a difficult privilege, but being a woman too?! Sexualized prejudice and racism are literally killing Black women. Add into being Black and woman identifying yourself on the LGBTQIA spectrum, or having darker skin, or having curlier/coiler hair or anything else that takes you from the “ideal.” It gets that much harder. I am a Black Sex Therapist. I couldn’t even exist in a way that allows me to focus on Black people, if there were not Black people who were looking for Sex Therapists who are of color. Think about that!

The Doc’s Recommendation: Get the therapy or help you need. Dealing with depression, anxiety, relationship issues, sex(uality), family, self confidence, self acceptance, perinatal, financial, eating, sleeping, panic, hair and beauty, overspending, etc. is hard. Your mental wellbeing is ESSENTIAL. Let’s be the generation that ends the stigma on therapy, and allows Black folk, and PoC to finally  free themselves and  reclaim our mental health. It’s (past) time.

 

RESOURCES!

Want an appointment with yours truly? Hit this link to get on my calendar.

If you are thinking about getting yourself a therapist, here are a few other places to start your search Therapy for Black Girls, Psychology Today, Open Path, and/or Black Therapists ROCK!  

Click HERE for a free 15 minute phone consultation to see if we could be a good fit.

 

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Self Care LIFE! : Level 1

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Self Care LIFE! : Level 1

Photo Credit: @tamarcusbrown

I’m going to ask you a real question and I want you to think of a real answer. How are you? This is not a trick. I am literally asking how you are. I am willing to bet that you thought of Fine as your answer. But are you really? How much time and consideration do you give to yourself and how you are feeling on every level? Physical, Mental, and Emotional.

 

In America, especially in the Washington DC Metro Area, the home of politics and people who don’t necessarily have time for proper rest, we are constantly on the go. We are constantly considering what we say and to whom. We are constantly on our guard. If you are a person of color, chances are you are even more so on your guard. If you identify as a woman AND are of color, chances are you life has been, in some ways, hijacked by considering what you say, to whom, when, and weighing out the possible consequences. Considering and re-considering, all the time can be EXHAUSTING! Black women especially, are known for being Superwoman; constantly on the go with a whole heap of folks on the list to take care of, with the self being nowhere near the top.

 

How do you take care of yourself when times are hard and (for a lot of people) have felt hard for awhile? Take it back (but let’s not go too far), if you will. Some people have been upset and disappointed since the November presidential election, holding out small amounts of hope. Out there in the universe, there have been consistent issues, protests, and shenanigans stemming from the current President, then there are things like slavery in Syria, the water in Flint, police brutality, education reform, tax reform, net neutrality, and the recent 1 year anniversary of the Women’s March, which for many still didn’t adequately address PoC. There is a lot going on “out there” and then of course whatever you deal with on a daily basis: anxiety, depression, Sallie Mae, general health, friends and family, office politics, etc. It can be a lot. So, how do you take care of yourself?

I done took you back through the whole fog huh? Feeling a little up tight? Let’s take a deep breath together. Breath so deep and s-l-o-w, think 4 seconds breathing in, its like you want the air to hit your feet. Hold it for 3 seconds, now release that breath S L O W L Y for 6 seconds. Repeat as necessary.

Let’s get into what we are here to talk about: Self Care. It is a buzzword these days, but we are going to consider it anyway. Many people are under the false notion that self-care is that thing you do once a month by either taking a bubble bath or having a massage. While those things are great to do and can be part of your self care routine, they are not the end all, be all in taking care of yourself. Like most things, there are levels to this. We are going to start on Level one for this blog post. The next level will come up another time. For now, though, let’s focus on this level and see if you can help yourself to feel a bit better.

 

LEVEL 1: Physical Self Care

 

Self care can be suuuupppper basic, and yet still so hard. For this level of self care, its about making sure you take of your physical body. The body you wear is gonna be your home for a while. This ain’t GET OUT where you get to transfer your brain bits to someone else and use their body like a house. No ma’am. Taking care of your physical self can be as simple as getting enough sleep at night. Making sure that you are eating and snacking throughout the day. Or even staying hydrated. Self care, is not just the grandiose things we have to pay services for, but these small gestures that show we care about ourselves on some level.

 

Taking care of your basic needs is a great way to start a self care regimen, if you don’t already have one. For those of you who already make sure you get your sleep, eat, and drink; let's take it up a notch. Now that you have taken care of your body, maybe throw in some exercise, and upgraded your food game to include something other than pizza and chicken (of which I have been more than guilty of having day after day for a couple of weeks--HEY NO JUDGEMENT!!).

The easiest way to start is to create a routine. Think about what you do naturally when you wake up in the morning. What are some small changes you can  make to ensure you are taking care of yourself physically. For me, it was hard to drag my butt out the bed. I like my sheets, it’s too comfortable. I just didn’t want to get out right away. NOW, I wake up an hour earlier than I need to, take some time to roll in the sheets, check FB, IG, and my email. Read for 20 minutes and then get out to start the other physical portion of my routine. I brush my teeth, make my breakfast, and really set myself to work.

Now, for the evening routine! This is the time to pick a bedtime that helps you get up at your preferred time in the morning. Maybe you need to get to sleep earlier? Again, create a routine that works for you. Make tomorrow's lunch, brush your teeth, take a shower, and be in bed by 11, and lights out shortly thereafter. Find what works for you, try it out, and adjust until it is a streamlined routine.

HOMEWORK: Many of the people who work with me would tell you that I tend to give homework. You are no different. :)  Observe the routine you currently engage in and try to make it work for your morning and evening goals. How can you streamline your day to make sure you are eating, drinking, getting enough rest, are clean, etc.? Now that this is all at the forefront of your minds, try to make your day better by meeting those physical needs.

 

What are your plans to improve your physical self care?

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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Turn The Page: The Cruel Prince

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Turn The Page: The Cruel Prince

Welcome back to another Friday blog! By now, if you’ve been following, you’re probably guessing that I am doing my part to ensure there is a blog post here EVERY Friday. B**** you guessed it! You was right. B*****, you guessed it! Grah-Grah! Sorry, I got into my OG Maco Moment. I’m coming back out. Anyway, the point is that every Friday, for the year there will be a new blog post. And because I am a fairly avid reader, on the 3rd Friday of the month, there will be a book review. Now, it won’t all be fiction, but it will all be reviewed from my perspective as a sex(uality) educator and therapist.

The first book we are reviewing is The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. Here is the synopsis as borrowed from her website, feel free to click the synopsis to head on over to her site, if you think I don’t have the copy and paste functions down BTW: Don’t be judging me for borrowing! You ain’t think I was gonna summarize something that was already summarized, did you?:

    “Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.
And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.
  Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.
  To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.
  In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.”

 

Of all the things I liked about this book, that Holly Black made sure that not all of the characters were entirely likeable, not even the narrator, was probably the best part. Sometimes, in the pursuit of making a character unlikeable, some authors give unredeemable characteristics, but with this, it wasn’t the case. Same goes for the ones who seem likable. They can be so one dimensional and boring. Holly Black found and walked a steady line between “I like you, but you’re sorta f*cked up!"

This is only the first book in a trilogy. If I had known that, I probably would have waited until she was done. I hate waiting a whole year between books. I know, patience is a virtue, but it’s a bit much.

Now, It may not seem like it from the book synopsis, but this book speaks a lot to sexuality and to mental health in general. Without spoiling it too much for you, if you should choose to read it: Sexuality wise it talks about unwanted physical attraction, wanting to fit in, and basically asks the question of “How far will you go to get what you THINK you want?” These are important questions because people are asking or acting out these questions on a daily basis.

Sexuality Perspective

Think about it this way, Black people were stolen into a world that is not their own, then raised up in this world where the ONLY way to be considered beautiful is to be White. To have white skin, straight hair--long & blonde, light eyes, a slim figure, and the white person's disposition. With these attributes you are allowed upward financial and social mobility. You are allowed to traverse groups and be accepted as one of their own. Now, how many Black folk do you know are able to successfully traverse those lines? EXACTLY! Those who are white passing, can get a pass, because some White folk won’t even recognize that the person is Black. People with a lighter skin tone and a kink free hair texture may be able to reap some benefits as well. Don’t argue with me. There are studies that show that Black people who have more Eurocentric features have more social upward mobility AND are able to gain financial security BECAUSE some white people see them as more capable to doing work, more trustworthy, and essentially, more like them.

To reiterate the question: How far will you go to get what you THINK you want?

There are plenty of people who still employ the brown paper bag test, as a requisite for entry into their lives. There are still people who still look for those with “good” hair as possible partners because they don’t want to have a child who is dark with kinky hair. The sales of bleaching creams across the world should tell you something about how far people will go. You could even stick the use of relaxers in the category. Some people will only go one step, but others are willing to go all out! And that bring us back to the book at hand.

The question is: How far is Jude willing to go to be accepted into this new place she was stolen away to live?

The Answer: I guess you will know if you choose to read the book. No need to purchase, your local library is waiting for you to go in there and check out a book. :D

Mental Health Lesson Learned

When you meet someone and they are mean, or cruel, or nasty, or nice, lovely, trustworthy, etc. you basically start with that one piece of information. You have no background. However,  there is always more information! We tend to practice some level of moral relativism for ourselves. We think about our individual circumstances and what led us to where we are and why. We forgive ourselves based on this knowledge and try to move forward accordingly. What we often forget is that the same is true of other people. They don’t spring into being and make decisions right there completely untouched by other forces. I won’t spoil anything from the book, but one of the main characters, Cardon is cruel beyond measure. You get to a point where you dislike him based on the one perspective you get. BUT then you learn a little bit more about him, you start to fill him out as more than a one-dimensional character. The Same goes for the other characters. You will think are nice, you learn more about them, and your opinion might change. It’s like what Shrek said “Ogres are like onions.” Well, so are people. We have many layers. The top layer is what we show based on the layers inside.

The point is that no matter how likeable you want to seem or how others may seem, you don’t actually know their full story. You are privy to a small snapshot of their lives and think you know it all. This goes for the person who cuts you off on the road, or who is mean to you in the office. There is a story there. When you are the butthead, you know your story and may give yourself some grace. How could things be if we all remembered that people have stories, and decide to give them some grace, too?

The verdict: I recommend reading this book. I'd love to have a discussion about it :)

 

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On GOLDDIGGERS and Monogamy

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On GOLDDIGGERS and Monogamy

There has been a sixty second clip making its way around where a woman says that monogamy was made to be beneficial for men without uh..means....you know.. Money, Chedda, Green! Now before anyone gets on a high horse, the conversation seemed to be very heteronormative, but that doesn't mean it didn’t have value. Anyway, the conversation was on Golddiggers and I think  it’s time to talk more about THAT!

For the people who have not seen it, I am including the full conversation link right here. Beware! It is NOT short!  It should be qued to right before she says what she said

Now that you’ve watched it (and probably got interested in the whole conversation), for me what she said resonated. Exchanging money for beauty and vice versa is not a new concept! The fact is what the sister said about men not liking the idea of a golddigger because of their lack of financial means and because of their discomfort, is all too well and true. 

Men have been taught that it is okay and perfectly normal for them to choose their mates based on the attributes that they find desirable. They are allowed to feast from the plate and try out various forms of cuisine before attempting to make a purchase of any kind. When they are done sampling, they get to choose what they want based on their tastes. Please note we are NOT talking about how society helps to determine those tastes (though we could).

Pretend for a moment that there are 100 diverse women in a room. As if picking people from a menu, a man can say he only wants a woman with “good hair.” From that statement, assume that 50% of the women are now out of the running. If the chooser should also say that they don’t want anyone darker than a brown paper bag, then maybe 40 women are left in the room. Of the 40 women left, we  know they are all lighter than a brown paper bag, with hair that is a texture they find to be acceptable. From there he can say no one with kids or disabilities of any kind. Let’s say from there there are only 8 women left. From there this man will continue to scrutinize the options before him to find the woman that best meets his desires. Add in him wanting someone younger than him, shorter, etc. Now left with 2 options, he chooses the one who he thinks is prettier with the bigger ass, smarter brains, and (excuse my language) juicier pussy. She wins! And so does he! YAY!!

Having a preference is not necessarily a bad thing--though if you know me, you may see that I gave him preferences that are generally aligned with White supremacist standards of beauty--but that’s for another conversation. So where does the problem pop up? Money brings options and broke men are mad at their lack of Hallie Berry options with their thousandaire wallets. To have someone judge a person based on financial success, means that there are many folks not in the running, and usually not for the type of woman they covet. Monogamy is for the broke man who wants the best woman he can get and afford. Polyandry is for the woman who wants to deal with many man and be comfortable. Polygamy is for the rich man who can afford many beautiful and talented wives. Don’t be suckers, what shawty said in the video is true. Get out your feelings!

Now when a woman does this same thing to a man, to go on a shopping spree where men are for her consumption to pick and choose and discard accordingly, men have a hard time dealing with that. Why? Because this society is patriarchal and favors men being able to choose and scrutinize. Many men don’t understand what it is to be under that microscope and have someone discard them for the attributes that they don’t have. They have been told and believe that women only choose men based on love, not on looks, money or any other tangible attribute. But women are much like men with their 100 lined up in a room scrutinizing to get what they want. In this society, men do the choosing and women get chosen. Because it is seen as the "natural order," to have a woman choosing and discarding men, especially based on monetary means, makes many men uncomfortable. The idea, again, is to have a woman who is enamored with a dude so much that she is simply feeling lucky to have been “chosen” as marriage material. They want to be the consumer, not the consumed. To be the consumed is to know that if you aren’t chosen you lack something in the eye of the person you wish would look at you as a contender. To win is to know that you had some attribute, maybe financial, that they chose. This, in a way, can be diminishing because you may have been chosen for what you have, not who you are.

Many men do NOT have the emotional capacity to be under the microscope in that way. Women are used to it because their worth, in this American society, is based very much on how they look which usually precludes those who don’t adhere to the beauty standards as outlined by the Eurocentric Cis-Het male gaze. We can talk about how that gaze has informed how many men of various cultures see their women, but that’s besides the point. Men can’t handle the scrutiny because they don’t have a frame of reference for it. It is an uncomfortable place to be, especially when cognitive dissonance kicks in and they realize that they have been doing the same thing to others and their feelings are hurt.

As long as both people know what they are getting into, all should be fine. Be upfront, be honest (with yourself and your potential partner). Do you have a financial requirement prior to dating? 

My recommendation: Grow up! Everyone you look at is also looking at you to see if you are even on their level and if they might be able to upgrade on that ass. It’s not always personal, sometimes it’s financial.

 

 

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New Year, Same You: How 'bout those GOALS?

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New Year, Same You: How 'bout those GOALS?

Are you still without purpose and goals?

They say “time flies!” Living your life is both the slowest and the fastest thing you will probably ever do. Everyday brings a new challenge to overcome, and every year can bring a new theme. This year, I know I am about letting go of my fears and embracing my destiny. I know I am destined for greatness-- that may sound pretentious, because we all think we are great, but my greatness is planned out. My greatness is in goals, and my greatness will be in my follow through.

The start of 2018 gives you a chance to re-evaluate who you’ve been, what you’ve done, and what you achieved in 2017. If you are satisfied and want to go no further, have not more goals to achieve, are d-o-n-e, you also don’t need to keep reading. You can leave (click the “x” in the corner), because this post may not be for you. This post is for people who want. If you are dissatisfied with where you are and what you've achieved, read more. If you are hungry for more in your life, read more. 

People think I am talking out of my butt when I talk about goal planning and intention setting. I am not. I’ve done goal and intention setting with all types of folks, from children to adults.  I am able to move forward with intention and know greatness is coming because I don’t just wish; I plan, I create, I follow through, and I re-evaluate. No, I am not saying this is foolproof. I am saying that if you want something, you can probably get it with making the right steps. So let’s start!

GOAL PLANNING 101

Goal planning doesn’t have to be a harrowing process. BUT you do need to realize it's a process. Unless you win the lottery, you probably won’t have all you dreamed of overnight. You have to plan to learn, learn to plan, and put those feet to the beat! Here are 4 steps to moving into your greatness!

  1. Review: Yeah I said it. REVIEW!!! Look at the last 3 months of your life, the last 6 months, the last year. What have you done and not done. Though you may say you had "no focus" you were just "living your life," take a closer look. What did you do in the past months and year? What did you seem to focus on? What did you accomplish? What did you set out to do/get/achieve? Did you meet those goals? We have heard that saying before: You can’t know where you are going unless you know where you’ve been. This is your Sankofa moment. Look back, see where you’ve been. Accept it for what it is: good, bad, or ugly.

  2. Reflect: People have told tell me reflecting sounds a lot like reviewing. It aint! To review, you look at what actually was. To reflect, you look into yourself. Sit down in a quiet place (or the type of place that gets you thinking-- personally I like to listen to a little Beyonce, Sza, Rihanna; a playlist I call SizRihBey, to get me pumped and thinking. It gets me reflecting about what I think of me, my sex life, my joys, sorrows, needs and wants. MUSIC!! It’s a medicine for me-- find what works for you and do that. If walking gets you thinking, do it. If it's making pasta while dancing to Bruno Mars lights your inner fire, do it! Do what works, but remember the purpose is to reflect. Think about what you want in various life areas. Then think about WHY you want it. Purpose is important. You need real reasons that will make you want to do the work. You want a WHY that when you get tired and wonder what you’re doing, your WHY answers the questions and helps pick you back up.

  3. Write: If you think it and keep it in your head, it may never get done. Your wish/dream needs to be in your head and heart for you to want to do anything, but it needs to be on paper, in your phone, on your social media, wherever you can see it, to make it happen! You should see those goals DAILY! They should be your pre-breakfast and your post-dinner. When you write down what you want, you have already started to make yourself accountable. When you write down what you want, you naturally start to plan how to get there, start to recognize the steps you need to take. I promise y’all, I live what I preach. I write my goals out every year. I like to make some of them easy, so I feel like I got some momentum. BUT then I write some lofty goals that make me feel like I gots work-ta-do! My goals are on my bedroom wall by the door. I see them bad boys every single time I exit. I KNOW that means when I come back to my room, I want to make sure that I have done SOMETHING to move me in the right direction. Write 'em, see 'em, read 'em, live 'em.

  4. Do: This is is hardest part. If it was easy, everyone would be living their dreams. To DO your goals, you need to have written them properly. You need to know what the steps are toward your goal. Then you need to put your feet to the street. For me, "doing" is placing your goals and all their steps into a calendar (in pencil). This lets you know what you are doing each day, and allows you space to DO them, since they are already part of your to do list. Seriously, if I could write a whole dissertation in about 15 minutes a day, you can reach your goals in about the same time. 15 mins per goal though :)

These are my 4 tips for meeting your goals in 2018. This is what I do, this is how I help, this is my contribution back. I love goal planning and helping my friends and family achieve their dreams. The thing is though, none of this will work for you if you don’t wanna do the work. If you don’t reflect and truly know yourself, you can make all the goals you want and never get anywhere. Find a coach, if you need one. Get an accountability partner, if you want one. Whatever you know you need/want INVEST in yourself to make it happen. Otherwise it's you who will be looking 2019 in the face knowing you ain't did a damn thing in 2018. It’s you who won’t be reaping the seeds of what you could have sown with nothing to do but wait for the Game of Thrones series finale. If you want more, you have to work! Let's WORK!

What's one goal you have for 2018?

 

PRO TIP: Check back here soon. I will be doing a webinar on goal planning. You might even learn a little more than you expected :)

 

 

 

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She’s Gotta Have It: A Lesson in Black Womanhood

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She’s Gotta Have It: A Lesson in Black Womanhood

My watching of the 2017 She’s Gotta Have It is virginal and pure as the driven snow...well as pure as I am capable of, as a person who reads too much..not just books, but also into situations and people. BUT I come untainted and with no comparisons, eye rolling, or teeth sucking with the nostalgia of someone who has watched the original who can’t let go.

Just to be clear, this ain’t my brand of poly. I am not here to discuss her selfishness or other issues, but the lesson i gleaned in watching the first 4 episodes. That’s all :)

 

Watching tv is not a passive activity (at least not when I do it) especially not where it comes to the inclusion of people of color. I note who is included, how they are included, why they seem to be included, and the ways in which that inclusion plays out. This time around, because it seemed to be so Blackity Black Black, I simply focused on the narrative and how the story was conveyed, not so much on skin tone and hair texture. I must say, as someone who did NOT binge watch every episode (yet), I am very much drawn to the narrative! I am proud to see Black folk, as a person who is Black. I am excited to see a woman of color, as a Black woman. I am especially overjoyed at the No Fucks Given narrative in telling the pure unadulterated truth where it come to intersectional showing Black womanhood, love of self, finding one's way, daily life, and even seeking help with a Black therapist who doesn’t come off as unethical! I feel like I am #winning! Without further ado, here is the lesson I gleamed in watching the first 4 episodes.

 

Lesson: A Black woman will never just be a Woman.

 

A Black woman, no matter her position in life, can try to be herself in the moments when she is alone, but the instant anyone is welcome into her loving bed, she become fodder for societal expectations, often through the white cisgender heteronormative male gaze (cishet gaze). I say cishet white male gaze for many reasons. Male Gaze because she is looked at as the object for sexual gratification, as most women would say they are seen. Indeed, she is seen as an object to be worn on the arm as an adornment. As a thing to be used for sex. Cishet Gaze: because of the sex she should be having and the arms she should be adorning are male arms. Because there is a threat to male ego and manhood to see women fellowshipping together. Because women together, who are same gender loving, are still made to have their relationships compared to heteronormativity, because being lesbian, bi, pan, etc. sexual, doesn't save you from having people, with the cishet male gaze, wanting to see you have lesbian sex with another woman for their gratification. Because even in those moments, your sexuality and body still don’t belong to you. White Gaze because she is Black. Because there is an automatic juxtaposition on the Black body to be compared to White people, to be known as inferior and have to make up for it with the aspects of appearance that can be changed. To have to prove oneself better, because stereotypes flourish on bodies of color. So, again, being seen through the Cishet White Male Gaze, and all it means to be seen as inferior based in race and sex and to know that the cishet white male gaze is not relegated to white men alone.

All the messages of white womanhood imposed on black womanhood, while being given a few sexual tropes from which to choose-- mammy, jezebel, sapphire. A black woman is never just a woman. If she refuses to perform womanhood the way it has been packaged for her, she won’t win. She isn’t free to have the sex she wants, with whom she wants, when she wants without constantly being questioned, side eyed, or cajoled both by the lovers she takes and the friends she has. Policing how we express our sexuality is as much a part of Black culture as shea butter and coconut oil. When she is unyielding and won’t do what she has been taught; when she is obstinate and stubborn, refusing to play the role written for her, she is an object both of loathing and  of intense desire. Her simple refusal to commit to hetero-monogamy and be with the ONE person (read MALE) she is OBLIGED to be with, makes her questionable but also sparks an intense desire.  That refusal, attitude, expression, and freedom is seen as a threat, and the need to subdue her becomes stronger in those who want to possess, cage, and own her.

She is at the intersection of blackness and womaness. White people would deny her blackness, but so would black males. There is an idea that black men only want to be with black women in so far as the “dangerous curves” her body can offer. The desire to be with a black woman seems almost entirely sexual attributes that can be utilized for male pleasure, with either an ignoring or an exotification of her skin. The idea being that it's nearly impossible to be both black and attractive. So if you are attractive, you must not be entirely black OR you are some type of exotic exception to the rule. The second those attributes of sexuality and beauty may be hinted at as not being theirs to possess, she goes from an object of desire to a Black Bitch (re: sexual assault). This is the story of many Black women who are accosted and assaulted in the street and told they should be flattered by the approach. That she is a Black Bitch and not just a bitch is very much indicative of what else is really being said. The fact is that by racializing her bitchness due to her audacity to not watch for ashy assed fuck boys, the naming of what diminishes her value must occur. Calling her a Black Bitch is to say not only is her womanhood under attack because she won’t acquiesce but also to say she is less woman because she is Black, which is ironic, because is this not the same thing the slave master already did? In classifying the Black woman as an able body capable of the work of a man and labeling her sexuality as overdone to the point of masculinity, have black women not already been robbed of their womanhood, for which they have fought and continue fighting to get back or define in our own terms? What other reason is there for racializing her bitchness? The attempted devaluing is meant to put her in her place while establishing a hierarchy. Remind her of her inherent lack of desirability due to her race (re: Blackness) and sex, while re-establishing dominance over her by reminding her that her body is for the taking, and though Blackness may be a common denominator, the everpresent penis marks him as conqueror, not the conquered.


Gotta thought, opinion, or question? Let it be known in the comments below!

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5 Strategies to Prevent Murdering Your Family over the Holidays

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5 Strategies to Prevent Murdering Your Family over the Holidays

I know this may seem a bit late as one of the main food gathering holidays has just passed. But, I figure late rather than never is probably the best policy.

We all have a family, blood, chosen, or otherwise, to meet our need for meaningful connection. No matter if the family is self manufactured or imposed by blood, the fact remains that even if you love them to pieces and enjoy being around them, they will likely get on your nerves and you will get on theirs. That’s why I decided to give you my 5 tips to dealing with family situations over the holidays (so you don’t--figuratively-- kill each other).

  1. Pick a presentation strategy. My first bit of advice is to pick your strategy. This means sitting on your own and figuring out what works well for and resonates with you. Are you going to be truthful? Aloof? Agreeable? Confrontational? Whatever your desire, what ever fits your decision, try to pick how you want to go into various conversations that we all know will come up. For example, I am Nigerian American, first generation to the U.S. I know that I can expect family to ask me about when I will finally get married. It’s just the thing (I know lots of people across cultures experiences this, but there is something extra intense about Nigerians. There is a sense of entitlement to the information. More than that, there can be a complete disregard of what you want for yourself with the bullying/imposing nature. Not to mention that you can be held up in a 10 minute prayer focusing on getting you married and having that marriage be successful and child producing...but I digress. Let’s get back to the strategy at hand.). Since you undoubtedly have the best knowledge of your family and yourself, what strategy are you willing to use? Will you tell the truth and be okay with a long conversation offering explanations? Will you be agreeable to keep people out of your business or end uncomfortable conversations earlier? Or will you be so aloof and or confrontational that the question never has the chance to be asked? Picking what you want to do on various situations that you KNOW will come up can not only help you reduce feelings of anxiousness, but can also help you learn even more about yourself.

  2. Take breaks as necessary. This task requires you to be mindful of yourself and what you need. This means paying attention to yourself and not just the drama around you. Your lovely uncle may have asked one question too many, or your aunt may have thrown just a tad too much shade in your direction, LEAVE! If you aren’t ready, willing, or able to get into it with the family, you may need to take a breath and a break. In advance of seeing the folks, think up some strategies you already use that are helpful in helping you identify how you are feeling, calming down, and taking care of yourself. You need to be your number one priority. By taking care of yourself, you ensure that the holidays are what you want without having all the extra you wish would disappear for a year. Taking a break could be stuffing a little extra food/gum/water in your mouth to keep those shady ass daggers from being produced and distributed, or finding a reason to leave the house early. If you’re traveling a little further, it may also behoove you to consider if a hotel, Airbnb, or a friends couch may need to be part of your family gathering plan. Escape plans can be too necessary!

  3. Bringing someone or nah. Sometimes inviting a friend, lover, or whateva can help by adding a buffer to what could otherwise be too much. But really think on this, because depending on the gender presentation of who you bring and what that person means to you, it could also throw your ass in the deep end of those “When are you getting married?” conversations. Pro Tip: If you choose to bring someone with you, PREPARE THEM! Don’t have them walking into the family drama blind to what’s going on or to your needs. Give them all the info you feel they need to know to navigate those shark infested familial waters. Let them know why, other than for their lovely company, you are bringing them. If you are looking for a buffer, it's hard for them to act in that capacity if they spend all their time away from you.

  4. Knowing when not to even show up. Toxic families are real. Just like you may need to divest yourself of horrible romantic relationships, you may also need to chuck the deuces to toxic familial connections. I didn’t say it was easy, I said it may be necessary.

  5. Try tips 1-4 first. If all else fails, bring your own handcuffs and keep your hands off sharp objects!

But seriously, It’s important to recognize your level of safety with your family, not just physical but also mental and emotional. Do a self safety check. Notice if you can be you in all you glory, or if you feel the need to put a damper on certain aspects of yourself to guarantee physical, emotional, or mental safety in specific situations and conversations with the fam.

Sometimes our families of origin aren’t a haven of support and safety. That’s okay! Just recognize what you have, and make your choices accordingly.

What strategy will you be using this holiday season? Comment below!

 

 

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Was Everyone Born WOKE? Allowing Space for Forgiveness and Growth

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Was Everyone Born WOKE? Allowing Space for Forgiveness and Growth

Photo Credit: Anter Blackbird on Unsplash

Is there a point where we as people actually allow for forgiveness and growth? There are a bunch of people who talk about how “Woke” they are and how they won't entertain questions about how they reached their various levels of woke-ness. Referring people to Google who ask pretty simple questions and simply want more context. But I am concerned that in this age of instant information from yester-year, and social media draggings, we aren’t actually allowing people the opportunity to not only own the shit they said, but we aren’t allowing people to think, process, apologize, and make amends. Please understand, I am not saying that we forgive foolishness with no boundaries or that we don’t consider every facet before accepting an apology. What I am saying and seeing is that if someone we have agreed with on many points, says one thing we don’t agree with, without giving them time to explain their stance, or the happenstance around it, we publicly drag or humiliate them, then proceed to throw them away.

 

 

Maybe it isn’t seeming that harsh, so consider this. I had the luxury of growing along side technology without all the instant gratification. I had to know the Dewey Decimal system (never learned it though) and I had to get dirt on people the old fashioned way, note passing in class, and 3 way ambush phone calls. These days, someone says something in 1993 that was recorded and that shit is being brought up and thrown in their face in 2017 as if they said it yesterday! Can you imagine some of the things you said as a child or adolescent being thrown in your face now? As a child/teenager, I hadn’t achieved the level of growth, understanding, wisdom, or separation from my parents, that I have now. I was someone else with entirely different opinions. My thoughts were shaped by what my parents said and did, what I saw on tv (and took in as the truth), the world and time we were in, and my very limited view of the world. I was not “woke,” though if you asked me if I knew everything, I would have told you YES, unequivocally. Even now, with more growth, understanding of self, and presumed knowledge, I am still growing, still changing. I will probably hit a whole new level of being WOKE before 2018 arrives! To be done growing, to be done learning, is death. I am not dead and so I continue to change, learn, and evolve. You probably aren’t dead if you are reading this, so I give you the benefit that you are still changing, learning and growing—in whatever direction that may be.

 

So, I ask, think back to the person you were at age 16 (when we all thought we knew it all), 18 (when we were considered adults), 21 (when you knew or thought you were grown), 25 (when things kept changing and you realized the gravity of your actions for the first time--with a full prefrontal cortex), and now, at whatever age you may happen to be. Have you grown in the last 5 years? Have you grown in the last year? Really reflect. What about your worldview has changed or evolved? How do you feel about religion? Racism? Sexism? Rape culture? Colorism or texturim? How have you changed with regard to your thoughts on politics and families, on the foods you like and the combination of liquor to water to juice? Have those things changed for you? If so, then why do we crucify people and hang them out to dry because they aren’t as WOKE as we are? Why can’t we understand just like there are aspects of ourselves that we love and loathe, there will be aspects of others that we may agree and disagree with. I am all for being sensitive to the needs of others, but I am not for the dragging up of shit from many moons ago without evaluating who that person is today and what they may have or not have done to try and evolve from that person that they were.

 

Everything you say isn’t up for public consumption, with witch hunters out to condemn you and tie you to the stake. Consider that most people are likely to say some fucked up shit when they are nervous, angry, anxiety filled, depressed, etc. OR WHEN THEY DON’T HAVE ALL THE FACTS..like most people don’t. It doesn’t make it right for them to be linguistic assholes, ‘cause words can and do hurt. If you are smiting people left and right with your words, then you should have consequences, but also consider people’s actions before you light your torch. Remember that people grow and change and often regret both the things they say and don’t say. Allow people to grow, allow people to disagree with you and level up their WOKE-NESS factor. If you don’t allow folk to grow and change are you really growing into the person you want to be? Or are you just another person intolerant of people who don’t do what you would do, say what you would say, or believe how you would believe? Context is everything.

What to do instead:

  1. Know the facts, as much as you can gather

    1. What did the person say or do?

    2. When did it happen?

    3. In the past year, what have they done that may be different? Same?

  2. Reflect on what YOU think about all the stuff in #1?

    1. Think about how it impacts you personally

    2. How does it impact your work? worth? or the lives of your loved ones?

  3. Then, take whatever action you deem necessary.

I am only asking that we give a bit more consideration. In this day of internet gangster’s it feels like there are waaaaaay shorter moments between the words on the screen and the sharing with the world. I’m asking you to consider taking a mindful moment.

 

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Sexual Compatibility With Smell and NO SEX!

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Sexual Compatibility With Smell and NO SEX!

So this video up under these words is from September 26, 2017!

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 10.57.27 PM.png

 

This episode spoke about a lot of stuff including THIS article by Damon Young Straight Black Men are the White People of Black People! Now, you won't see mention in the short video below, but that's because I have heard the people, and they want a shorter video! So, sorry, but you missed it. Basically, misogynoir is B.S. that people participate in. Here is some more, in simplified terms

White men > White women > Black men > Black women

Got it? Basically the white man shits on the white woman, shits on the black man, shits on the black woman. Now forgetting the two at the front, basically the article and the discussion from the day spoke about how Black men enjoy the privilege of being men at the expense of the identified personhood of Black women. Saying things like "we are all Black" and asking Black women to focus on race over sex, because for them, sex doesn't matter. Black women are at the crossroads of racism and sexism, and the issue Black women have is that there are many Black men who refuse to acknowledge that there is an intersection, which can be fatal for Black women, even by the hands of Black men. 

Anyway, you missed it. Come to a LIVE taping on Instagram and you too can be part of the magic! Without further ado, here is the (condensed) video!

What was the QOTD: How can you determine sexual compatibility without having sex?

Resources!!

1. Does this make scents : Article about the power of scents

2. What does Bustle say about sexual compatibility? Find out Here

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Forgive me or Nah? #TalkToMeTuesday

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Forgive me or Nah? #TalkToMeTuesday

Hey, hey hey! So for your convince and save some time, I am making these videos much shorter. They will focus on the opening and the QOTD. 

 

Without further ado, or time wasting, here is the vid-yo! 

This #TalktomeTuesday's QOTD talks about the fake forgiveness that people give/get in relationships. So...do you forgive me..or Nah?
 

So, what type are you? Are you the keep it in and silently resent your partner type? Do you truly forgive and try to move on? Or will will forgive for a moment and throw it back in their face later? This isn't for you to answer for me, this is for you to answer for you. 

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Sexin You Up Time? #TalktomeTuesday 9.12.17

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Sexin You Up Time? #TalktomeTuesday 9.12.17

Okay My lovelies! Here is the video from last week's #TalktomeTuesday

What's in this video? Well many things! We go over benefits of having sex. I answer the Otha otha Questions, then we get into the Question of the Day! I know you don't have all day, so I am putting the highlights below:

1. Recap of the Question: 52 sec

2. Benefits of having Sex: 1 min 21 sec

3. Otha Otha Questions: 6 min 30 sec

---Instat Instagram Question: Are the benefits of sex transferred to the benefits of masturbation      7m 5s

---Yes no Maybe Chart: 9 min 59 sec

4. Question of the Day!!: 14min

-----Healthy amount of sex a couple SHOULD have? 18 min 10sec

5. All Questions Matter: 24 min 22 sec

---is Foreplay important?  

 

 


Resources!

1. Yes, No, Maybe Chart: this is what I was speaking about int he video. It's a chart that you and  your partner(s) fill out SEPARATELY! Then when you come together with your completed chart, have a blank one handy for you to do together. Here is the LINK!

2. Benefits of Sex: You can look this information up from almost ANYWHERE! BUT! Take a look at this website, it's reputable :) 

 

 

If you need something and you feel I forgot to include it, send me an email and I can add it. 

Love YA!

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be more ANAL #TalktomeTuesday 9.5.17

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be more ANAL #TalktomeTuesday 9.5.17

Chello!

Yet another #TalktomeTuesday has passed. This time the QOTD was: Anal Sex: It's cool to do, right? Can you have an orgasm from anal sex? Are those beads cool? Is it ok to do it and use a toy at the same time?

Also in this episode: 

  1. Insecure: revenge sex and does cheating negate all other relationship shit?
  2. Consent!!-- Rape aint never been cute
  3. Other Questions:Should you wear a bra around dudes? Is is disrespectful to be bra-less around someone else's man?
  4. #QOTD: BOOTY LOVE!!

 

How about some extra resources?

More Anal Talk: https://youtu.be/lKsBYu4zgE4

No Need to fear when it comes to the rear!  http://www.goddesscecilia.com/blog/bootybasics

Everything you need to know about anal sex (from Teen Vogue): http://www.teenvogue.com/.../anal-sex-what-you-need.../amp

If you want/need more information, but privately, consultation meetings are available! Click Here to get started!

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Golddigger? #TalktomeTuesday 8.29.17

So, I see you missed it again. Remember #TalktomeTuesday is EVERY Tuesday 7pm on Instagram. Follow me here

So this is what's covered in this week's video: 

1. Sex tricks for dudes with "little dicks" -- this is exactly what is sounds like. I give a few ways to have sex with a guy that has a smaller penis than what you may be used to. Most of it involves putting those legs together to create that friction. 

2.When a life coach needs a life coach-- So...yeah. Even helping professionals need helping professionals. So we discuss it only breifly.

THE Main Squeeze of the week: when someone you talking to requests entry to your wallet--why are they really there?Is this person a gold digger?

Finally, we talk about the latest episode of #Insecure! Was head etiquette broken or was Issa in her feelings when she got ejaculated on?

Video Below--let me know what you think in the comments. Ask more questions, too :)

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We Poly or Nah? #TalktomeTuesday 8.22.17

Here was the question for 8.22.17 #TalktomeTuesday   

Question: My dude told me recently that he is "poly." Sound like he basically wants to cheat. I don't get this poly sh*t. Can a man love two women?

VID-Yo answer below. Tell me whatcha think on instagram, twitter, or fb

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Foolishness : A long Time Coming (Whoopie! Pepsi and others UNITED in F*ckery)

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Foolishness : A long Time Coming (Whoopie! Pepsi and others UNITED in F*ckery)

So...it's been awhile since I have deemed it necessary to write in a blog I am not sure anyone read. But today, in my EXHAUSTION over the foolishness, I thought it was time I say SOMETHING. So this post covers a few different topics. In order of how they shall be addressed: Whoopie and Foolishness that Lifts Itself from her Lips, PEPSI: The great fuckery, and UNITED in the BS. 

WARNING: For Lent I gave up sugar...coating. I will be honest and not hold much back regarding my thoughts and the right direction for these three subjects. I will also relate mental health back to each one, so no one can say I have stepped out of my lane. :)

**Warning pt 2: this is LONG. I'd Pick a story/section and come back to the rest. 

***None of this is exhaustive, just FYI and For Your Edification 

WHOOPIE & The Foolishness that Lifts Itself From Her Lips: A commentary

 

In case you have not heard, Whoopie said, on TV, in front of millions of folks, that Black Women culturally appropriate from White folk because they use weaves and have blonde hair. Now, for those who are astute and aware, there was an immediate negative reaction, because she is so obviously WRONG. But, I understand that not all are versed in the hair universe as I am (since I wrote my dissertation on it). For those that don't know why this statement is wrong, allow me to divulge SOME of the reasons (this is by no means an exhaustive list).:

1. Whoopie is going under the false assumption that Black folk can't grow blonde hair naturally. There are a group of folk dark and beautiful as the night that do. 

2. Whoope is going under another FALSE assumption that there is only ONE group of people who wear weaves. Black folk on the continent have been doing it for a LONG time. Using a weave is  more of a people thing than any level of a White thing.

3. Researching even a LITTLE of history will tell you that Black folk sometimes conform to Eurocentric beauty standards for many reasons including personal safety and ensuring they are able to get and maintain a job. Natural hair that is wonderful and wild is not readily accepted and continues to be discriminated against. Check the stats, Black women with coiler/curlier/kinkier hair are less likely to get the job and more likely to experience discrimination on the job. I could school you further, but while I write this blog for free, I don't teach full lessons for free. Hit up my contact page to have me come and do a workshop/training, etc.  

NOW, for the final reason her ass is just wrong:

4. WHITE'S PEOPLES'S WHITENESS IS NOT BASED IN THEIR ABILITY TO HAVE BLONDE LONG HAIR ALONE!! Having blonde hair or have long tresses is not cultural to white people! Where  did she even get that stupid idea?

Watch this video for a  good overview

Mental Health Relation: Hair impacts Black mental and sexual health quite a lot. Feeling unattractive, or like you are less than the visual images viewed is a constant struggle. Black girls as young as 4 years are known to prefer lighter skin and straighter hair. Little girls have their hair pulled in all kinds of ways and even get chemical relaxers just so they can be considered acceptable in public. Downplaying the importance of hair in beauty image, and ultimately self image is a mistake. 

 

PEPSI: The Great Fuckery

On to the next one. I don't know what more to say other than they seriously got me and a bunch of people messed up! Like seriously? The cold refreshing chemical taste of Pepsi is supposed to lift spirits so much as to take away years of racism and civil unrest? Does it work on classism, sexism, heterosexism, and all general bigotry? They really tried it. 

If you don't now what I'm talking about, Pepsi made a commercial featuring Kendall Kardashian that had her as an uninformed model watching folk march for a protest. We don't know what they were protesting or why, but they wanted people to "join the conversation." Anyway, she takes off her blonde wig (which could be subtle hair politic way of saying her "dumb blonde" moment), and joins the protest. She gets a can of Pepsi, walks up to a cop, and gives it to him. He opens, take a sip, and all is right in the world as evidenced by the  celebration. 

I won't be wasting anymore time on this since number 1, I don't really drink soda, and #2 I prefer CocaCola. Obvs they are biting from a Black Lives Matter protest with no acknowledgement of the violence often encountered. 

Mental Health Relation: Being discriminated against takes an untold toll on your mind AND body. Mental health is often trivialized in media, but with the waking of a people, this was dumb. The struggle people experience shouldn't be used to sell a can of death. Furthermore, that Pepsi apologized to Kendall (an ADULT) and not to the others they offended with their tasteless commercial is astounding and insulting. 

UNITED in BS

For this one, there is even less to say than for the one above it.

For those in the dark: A man was dragged off a United flight, after being forcibly volunteered to give up his seat because they overbooked the flight. 

What's the problem, you ask? There are several! But here are my top 3

1. Volunteering is well...voluntary. He PAID for his ticket, his ass was in the seat HE PAID FOR, and he was removed AGAINST HIS WILL. Somewhere in there the word "voluntary" doesn't seem to fit. 

2. They overbooked a flight and needed ppl to get up so their more important crew could get to their next location. So, does that mean that dude was riding the plane for sh*ts and giggles? I am not sure. BUT even if he was, HE PAID FOR HIS TICKET AND AND HIS ASS WAS IN HIS SEAT! Don't let people board a plane when you know "volunteers" are needed. SMH

3. Overbooking a plane, though great for an airline, amounts to no more than acceptable fraud in my eyes. If I have one computer to sell, but I sell it to you and someone else in the HOPES that the other person doesn't come to claim it, but y'all both show up, one of y'all is fittin to be mad. You wouldn't accept that I "got you on the next one" No one should be allowed to sell more than they have. United should have planned better for their folks to be on that plane, if it was needed. Failure to plan is a plan to fail. 

Mental Health Relation: Imagine that you were that man being hit and dragged off. Filmed. Public fodder. How would you feel?  I imagine there would be physical pain, yes. But what about suddenly being a public sensation? Knowing everyone saw this embarrassingly painful display. Being the butt of some people's jokes. Maybe you'd be scared to fly ever again. Or scared/anxious around "authority." Maybe you'd also wonder "What if something else were ever to happen, would people be more interested in filming me than helping me." 

Now imagine yourself a passenger on that plane. Witnessing first hand a travesty. What would it feel like to feel helpless. To wonder if you were to intervene what could happen to you. Would that scenario replay itself in your mind long after it was over? The sound of his head being hit, his crying out, the way they DRAGGED his body off the plane. Might you be a little scared/anxious you would be volunteered to get off a future flight? Would you be scared/anxious around authority? Would you be worried someone might film your incident but not lend a helping hand?

 

Wanna know more about how these stories relate to mental health? Then ask you question. Comment or send your emails to Annodright@gmail.com Subject line: "Foolishness: A long time coming" and I will answer you either privately or publicly in a couple of days. 

Peace!

 

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YES WE CAN!

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YES WE CAN!

The New Year is no longer upon us, we are now more than 10 days in. And on the 10th day, we got the Farewell Address from President Barak Obama. I personally, could not watch that address live, as I have been dealing with my own farewell speeches, addresses, emails, and such at my soon to be place of former employment. The emotional turmoil I have been feeling the past few...months, if I'm honest, has been raw. From the election of Trump, for which I am not necessarily surprised as much as I am dismayed, the whirlwind of the holiday season, to the leaving of staff including self from my place of employment, to now, the farewell address from the first president I ever got to vote for..it has all culminated into this moment. 

I don't know what ya'll remember of what he said, but I heard the great calling out of foolishness that are some of the major -isms, sexism, racism, heterosexism, etc. The time is truly now. People are mad because of the person coming into office, without a view of what they did or didn't do to support this. So many ppl didn't vote but wanna be mad. I say eat that. I don't want to hear it. You cannot be complacent and then be mad. You, friend, make no sense. Some folk are mad because they feel they got duped. My question is: did you do your research boo boo? No? Then eat that. Some folk did their part and are mad...again...EAT THAT! We have work to do. Being mad should be the fuel. Eat it. Use it. Grow from it. 

BUT! The new question is after we have eaten, what do we all do now? How do we protect our bodies, our mental health, our rights, and our futures? What will you do today that will set you on the path you claim you want, but for which you do absolutely no work? I personally, as a therapist and educator, hope that your first step is true self reflection. Look at what you are doing and not doing. Look at who you are and think about what you would like to become. Get to work! The time is now. I know it's scary. We worry about failure, but know there are failsafes, at times. But what we are really scared of it so succeed. How will you step out of your own way and step into your glory? If therapy (individual or group) is it, go for it! If you think a retreat will do...GO FOR IT! Figure for yourself what you will do. This year could be the first step into your own greatness. 

Don't let not one person tell you differently. In the words of Obama..YES WE CAN!

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The New Year is Upon US! 2017, Getting it Together!

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The New Year is Upon US! 2017, Getting it Together!

It is important to call what you want into your life. Lots of folk are disgruntled and angry at 2016, like the year itself can do something TO you. Take back some of that power. You are in control of what you want to accomplish and only YOUR righteous mind can do the work you promise to yourself. But how do you move forward?

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