Refocusing My Intention

Refocusing My Intention

Before I left school for the summer, I made a promise to myself that I was on the verge of breaking until now. I had fallen into a dark place spring semester, and I hadn’t been to the gym, I hadn’t done yoga, and I hadn’t been myself since the semester before. I lost weight and fell to the lowest I’ve been since before high school. I made a promise to myself that over the summer, I would commit to all three meals a day (yes, even breakfast), I would resume my daily workouts, and I would start yoga again. When I made this promise to myself, my mother was still alive; someone I envisioned myself doing these things with. When she passed, I lost all motivation to better myself, and my yoga mat kept its place at the back of my closet. My mother and I had many things, but yoga was one of the most important that I shared with her, as she was the one who introduced me, and was the reason I fell in love with it.

I’ve been telling myself that before this summer is over, I need to fulfill my promise to myself, that I need to stop using my mother’s passing as an excuse, because she was worth so much more than that, and she would want me to continue to complete my goals in life–that’s just the kind of person she was. I also knew that getting back into my routine, and starting up yoga again would allow a smoother grieving process. Yoga is powerful in that way, especially for me.

Up until last night, I was entertaining a possible relationship with a man that I just recently realized is wrong for me. Even at two years older than me, he lacked a maturity that I found I needed from someone I wanted to be in a relationship with. Although, he made me learn a lot about myself, he couldn’t be there for me in the way I needed him to be. He was great at speaking sweet nothings, but that’s all they really were. He made me question myself, my appearance, my feelings, and my own way of thinking. I’ve always had self-esteem issues, but I envisioned being in a relationship with someone, was about being with someone who loved, or eventually would love, you for who you were. Someone who thought you were beautiful exactly the way you were, and never made you question if you were deserving of love. And really, all I’ve ever wanted is to reciprocate that kind of love. But I began to look in the mirror and dislike what I saw more than I had before I’d met him. We had been coasting for about 6 months, and the topic of an actual committed relationship never came to head unless I was the one bringing it up. Even at that, conversations were avoided, questions were deflected, and I began to ask myself why I wasn’t enough for him to commit to. I began to question my own self worth more than I ever had.

Yesterday, something in me finally clicked, something that hadn’t in a while. I realized who the fuck I was, and who I had forgotten I was striving to be. For the longest time, I hadn’t remembered that the most important opinion of yourself, should be from yourself, and that you cannot expect someone to love you, if don’t learn to fall in love with yourself. I had been thinking about this for quite sometime, but I ultimately decided that I needed to leave him behind to be able to take myself forward.

Even though my mind was made up, and I was going to break it off, a part of me still wanted to see if he would say anything that could possibly change that. A part of me still wanted to know if he truly saw a future with me. This was the same part of me that couldn’t help but remember the good that a happened in the last 6 months. But even at that, I still couldn’t ignore the bad, because it wasn’t something any healthy relationship, especially one that had never been established, could or should entertain. Not one that I wanted to be in, at least. After awhile of senseless conversation, and him avoiding the true issue at hand, I understood that he wasn’t going to say anything that would change my mind, even if he knew the true depth of what was on it, or the decision I had come to (he didn’t). It was almost as if him not saying anything, told me what I really needed to hear. I hung up on him mid-sentence, moped about it for a bit, and then began drafting what I’m now calling my goodbye letter. I won’t say what I put in it, but Lord was it long.

I sent it, deleted his number, every picture of us on my phone, and unfollowed him on all social media. As sad as this may sound, as soon as I accomplished all of this, it’s like this weight was lifted off of my chest. I felt freer than I had in a very long time, and I smiled.

I put on some music, and literally sang and danced around my room. I got the random urge to re-organize, so I ended up cleaning my room. Sometime during the process of putting everything back into my closet, I glanced at the yoga mat I still hadn’t touched. Something in me finally made me bring it out. I laid it down, found a 20 minute yoga instruction, and belatedly began the fulfillment of the promise I had made to myself a little over two months ago.

At the beginning of the instruction, the video instructor asked me to commit to an intention for the session, and at the end, they asked me to return my focus to that purpose.

My intention was to find, manifest, and believe in a better me. To tell myself I’m beautiful even when I feel ugly, to smile even when I feel sad, to write even when I feel uninspired, and to keep pushing forward even when I feel I can’t go any further. To keep promises to myself, because I deserve kept promises. To appreciate myself for all that I’m worth, and to never settle for anyone who treats me less than my immeasurable value. This summer, my objective to myself was to do what was best for me, and the people I love, and now, even though I still have a lot to rewrite and rebuild, I feel as if I’m on my way to accomplishing that.

I took a deep breath, exhaled, and said a silent “Namaste”. I thanked my mom, and I thanked myself, for giving me the strength to remove toxicity from my life, and to refocus my intention.

Today marks exactly two months since I lost my best friend, my rock: my mom. It also marks the day that I decided I deserved better than how I was being treated, and how I was treating myself. I want to be unconditionally loved for my authentic self, and I want to strive for being the best version of myself that I can be. Even though that will take quite some time, I’ve found that that’s worth the wait.

I’ve found that I’m worth the wait.

Sending my love,

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Femme Rewritten & 500 WordPress Followers

Femme Rewritten & 500 WordPress Followers

Hi all! I’m writing to you guys today about something that I am very proud to share.

I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time, and two days ago, I finally took the steps to officially change my blog’s name from Noire Rewritten to Femme Rewritten. I had get new domains, make new banners and visuals, change the blog around a bit, and make all new business cards. Despite all of this (it was a ton to accomplish in two days), I have to say that I am highly inspired about this transition and the growth of my blog’s brand.

Just for the sake of a little background, in French, Noire translates to “Black” or “Dark”. As an African American woman, I’ve always wanted to question and confront the chauvinistic and destructive theorem that has been ascribed to the Black narrative. Ergo the “Rewritten” half of my blog’s name. I wanted a name that was exclusive and yet inclusive, but still something that easily got my principle message across–Noire Rewritten did just that.

As my first year with this blog came to a close, I began to write about more than issues in just Black and Brown communities. I built up to writing about the false generalizations and toxic expectations for woman in historical and modern day society, and how to go about changing those restrictive normalizations day by day. Somewhere along those blurred lines, I began to write about fashion, beauty, self love, and self care.

While wholeheartedly accepting that the struggle of a Black Woman will always be the most arduous of every race, in this moment, I realize that my expansions on what it means to be a Black Woman, can partially transcend to what it means to be a woman altogether.

As my writing develops and the idea behind my blog deepens, I’ve found that I want to adopt a brand that embodies my entire vision for what I’ve always wanted my blog to be. I feel that now, Femme Rewritten not only encompasses me, a young Nigerian American woman, but also embraces all of the aspects that make me, and other women of color, women. 

This blog can now allow itself to be a more comprehensive environment, and yet still distinctive enough to focus on matters of Black, Brown, and Female communities that don’t receive enough positive scrutiny. Through all of this, know that this blog still remains a Pro-Black, Black Lives Matter, and Liberal space–I’ve now just officially declared it a Feminist one, if it wasn’t already apparent before.

With this new brand, I aspire to assist in rewriting what our bureaucracy stigmatizes all women of color to be.

I also want to utilize this post to thank you all for 500 WORDPRESS FOLLOWERS! It was only June 3rd that I was thanking you for 100. I can’t even begin to express how thrilled I am to be reaching more hearts, and more minds.

P.S: yesterday I was nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award, so I’ll be making a post about that, which will include my own nominees as well!

Thank you, stay tuned, and as usual, comment below what you’d like to see me post about next (or if you just want to say hi)!

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Until my next post, I leave you with this question:

What will you rewrite?

Sending my love,

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15 Ways to Practice the Art of Self-Love

15 Ways to Practice the Art of Self-Love

Since I’ve been dealing with my mother’s passing just last month, it’s made me appreciate the little things I subconsciously do, or used to do, to take care of myself–some of these even being things I did with her. I often think about how much better I could be, and how it’s hard to focus on striving to be that person, when I’m trying to figure out how to grieve and I’m constantly tied down by countless emotions. Then I realize, that sometimes, just like the version of myself I envision falling in love with, I’m not perfect… And that’s okay. People are allowed to go through things, and I mean really go through them. They are permitted to feel every ounce of pain, and sigh at every feeling of relief. I can’t blame my mom passing on a lack of a good relationship with myself, because to be clear, it was never really healthy even when she was still here. Because I have people to take care of, and because I have myself to take care of, I’ve been pretty determined to manifest this self-fulfilling friendship.

So I’ve been trying this out:

Make yourself your top priority at some point in the day, because sometimes, it’s selfless to be selfish. You can’t effectively help others unless you help yourself, and equally so, to be able to fully give or receive love, you need to be capable of loving your own vessel fist.

And when it all comes down to it, you deserve the same love you give to others.

There are plenty of ways to fall in love with yourself, and the relationship you have with yourself. While some are more direct, and involve self-affirmation, some take the back route, and distract you with things you can use to relax, and, as a result, you end up falling anyway.

So let’s explore some methods of self-care:

1. Be Positive

Start every morning by telling yourself that it’s going to be a good day, even if you think it won’t be (or you pulled an all-nighter and only got 3 hours of sleep before class or work). You woke up this morning, and I think that’s one reason, if not the most important reason to smile.

Try telling yourself something really positive–does that direct deposit come in today? Did you pull off an effortless top bun (even though it took more than enough effort)? Did you get the perfect winged eyeliner before a tenth try?

Tell yourself that, even if on a minuscule scale, you’re going to do something good in the world today. Whether that’s making someone laugh, or smiling at a stranger–tell yourself that you have more than enough power to affect someone, other than yourself, in a really beautiful way. You never know what people are going through, and how significant of a difference you can make with something seemingly small.

2. Take a Bubble Bath

And add a bath bomb! Some of my favorite bath bombs come from Lush Cosmetics. These include, but are by no means limited to,

  • Pink: a sweet candy smelling bath bomb that turns your water into a dream-like frothy pink with cute little biodegradable heart confetti. It’s featured ingredient is Tonka Absolute, but is also made with natural ingredients like Vanilla and Lavender Oil. It’s sure to create luscious escape. Price: $5.25
  • Twilight: this particular bath bomb is pink as well, but when it fizzles down, creates streaks of purple (think twilit sky), and finally turns into a deep indigo blue. This one’s featured ingredient is Lavender Oil, and you can never have enough of that. Note that if you have trouble falling asleep at night, essential oils like Lavender create a warm, fuzzy feeling, and help induce a more peaceful and restful sleep. So this one’s perfect for before bed! Price: $6.95
  • Butterball: This one is almost always my top choice. I keep these stocked for a rainy day, literally. This bath bomb’s featured ingredient is probably like my favorite thing ever, Cocoa Butter. Ugh, yes. When you pop it into your bath, it oozes this blissfully dreamy vanilla scent. Because of the organic Cocoa Butter, your skin will feel soft and hydrated (and you’ll smell amazing). Price: $4.95

Baths at the end, or even in the middle, of a stressful day tend to relax your mind, thereby de-stressing you, and making it easier to function for the rest of the day, or sleep better at night.

3. Read

Something that definitely helps me unwind is reading (something other than my Bio 102 textbook). This week’s picks are Jane Austen and this cute little book of poetry. I highly recommend taking a trip to your neighborhood Barnes & Noble. If you have a free day, spend the entire day in there, I promise you’ll feel lovely when you leave.

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4. Self-Reflect

As a writer, self-reflecting at the end of most days in a journal, is something that 1) clears my mind, and 2) creates avenue for more inspiration. Get yourself a little journal a ridiculous ink pen, and put something down in it every now and then. It doesn’t have to be every day, but studies show that writing things down, sometimes makes them easier to process and creates room for more information intake. Journalling can help manage anxiety, cope with depression, prioritize concerns, and improve your mood.

5. Put on a Face Mask… or 2

This act of self-love gives you triple rewards: glowing skin, being able to unwind, and calming your mind. You can also double this up with some other self-care acts like reading or writing while it’s drying, or putting it on then sinking into a luscious a bubble bath (exactly what I’m about to do after writing this). I have to represent one of my favorite cosmetic companies again, so here you go Lush:

  • Cup O’ Coffee: This is an exfoliating face (and body) mask that is perfect to wake you up in the morning. Because its featured ingredient is Coffee Infusion, it has the intoxicating aroma of a freshly brewed pot of coffee. It also contains Kaolin that cleanses the pores, and ground coffee that scrubs away dead skin to reveal your glow underneath. Price: $10.95
  • Mask of Magnaminty: Another face and body mask, Magnaminty is cleansing with out harsh exfoliation. It’s a bit more gentle than Cup O’ Coffee, so you can use it more frequently throughout the week. It’s made with Kaolin clay and infused with Peppermint Oil, Vanilla, and Honey which calm redness and moisturize. Price: $10.95
  • Rosy Cheeks: PSSST THIS ONE’S MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE. *Clears throat*, Rosy Cheeks is an uber soothing and uber softening fresh face mask. Made with Kaolin Clay, its featured ingredient is natural Rose Oil, which acts to nourish and tone your skin. It also includes fresh Rose Petal infusion, and Calamine Powder to remove dirt. This mask is perfect for people with oily skin (such as myself) because the Calamine Powder also tightens pores, and thereby* calming* your skin and leaving a smooth matte finish behind. Price: $12.95
  • BB Seaweed: This is Lush’s newest fresh face mask and I’m completely in love with it. Like Rosy Cheeks, it has Rose Absolute, but its featured ingredient is Bladderwrack Seaweed. 7 pounds of this natural nutrient-rich seaweed goes into each batch.It’s made specially for those of us with sensitive skin, and has finely ground almonds for gentle exfoliation. Price: $8.95

*Lush’s fresh face masks must be kept in the fridge as they are made with fresh ingredients and without preservatives!

6. Do Some Yoga

One way I decompress is through yoga. I started two years ago with my mom, and now, even when I’m in school, I go alone to yoga classes at least 4 times a week. Just think, calming music, stretching, no thinking, and no outside distractions for an hour of your day. I feel like everyone needs at least hour of every day to get away from everything; whether it be school, work, social distractions, and even feelings. Yoga is a very good way to re-center yourself, and re-focus on your goals for the day, the week, and even for your life. Re-instilling your life mantra for an hour every day can prove to be extremely motivating, and then it’s a workout!

7. Meditate

This one is very similar to yoga, just minus the stretching. Focused breathing, a focused mantra, or focusing on nothing at all. Take 15 minutes out of your day to sit down, close your eyes, and breathe. Focus on nothing but your breathing, and you’ll see how your stress just washes away, even if it’s only for 15 minutes.

8. Listen to Music

Because I am very fond of putting feelings into words, sometimes I tend to run out of words for said feelings. Sometimes music is a gateway to expressing those feelings you felt couldn’t really be expressed. Whether it’s making your own music, or listening to someone else’s, sometimes this is just as therapeutic as yoga, mediation, or a hot bath for me; and I can do this one while working as well!

9. Burn Some Candles

Here’s a list of essential oils with different uses and benefits:

  • Cinnamon. Cinnamon has stimulating attributes that help fight mental lethargy and work to improve focus and concentration. Try a cinnamon candle while you’re getting ready for class in the morning for a more productive and memorable lesson!
  • Jasmine. Jasmine can be used to calm nerves, but it is more so renowned for its uplifting capabilities such as confidence, optimism, and energy, making it a great antidepressant. Try some Jasmine oil, flowers, or natural Jasmine tea when you aren’t feeling quite like yourself.
  • Lavender. Lavender has an รผber soothing effect on nervous tension and can help to control emotional stress. It also works to treat headaches and migraines. Try a Lavender bath before bed to help promote more restful sleep!
  • Rosemary. Rosemary helps to improve memory recollection and combat physical exhaustion.
  • Vanilla. Vanilla is a very a warm and cozy scent, and there’s a reason why people describe it as such. In several studies, researchers have found that smelling natural vanilla bean elevated feelings of contentment and relaxation. When you’re relaxing after a tiring day, a little vanilla bean may go a long way. Ooh and try some Vanilla ice cream! It’s a bit of a reach, but it still tastes good!

10. Get a Mani/Pedi

It’s okay to treat yourself every now and then. Just like yoga or mediation, this can be another way you dedicate 30 minutes to an hour to yourself and only yourself. If you want, bring a friend along! Just remember, a mani-pedi never stressed anyone out more.

11. Take a Nature Break

If you’re feeling cornered, bottled up, stressed, or like you’re about to explode, drop everything, and just take a long walk outside. If you have to bring your phone, turn it on silent. Use this time to look at the simpler, more beautiful things about life, and then go back to work, to school, to family, and see how much more productive you can be.

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12. Watch Reruns of Your Fav Sitcoms

This one’s a definite fav. When I’m feeling stressed about school work, I make a productivity goal with myself. Once I’ve completed it, I shut every thing down, close all my textbooks, put on a sweatshirt and leggings, grab some yogurt or some ice cream, and watch re-runs of FriendsAmerica’s Next Top ModelThat’s So Raven, and even Proud Family. I don’t quite know how to explain it, but there’s something about watching or engaging in things from your past. It’s almost like a time capsule; it sucks you back into that age you were when your biggest fear was the boogie man, and your biggest responsibility was making sure you practiced your spelling words for the big 10-letter quiz the next day at school. So watch an episode, or 5, of Law & Order SVU re-runs; let Benson and Rollins take your mind off of life for at least a season

13. Plan Out Your Week

Get yourself a planner and some colored pens, and plan out your week! Yes, I’m talking Monday through Friday. Any big tests coming up? Due dates for that essay? A seminar you really want to attend? Maybe a social event with friends on Saturday. Write out a schedule for yourself, and a little to-do list. When you accomplish things, check them off. You’ll feel better, promise. Research actually shows that checking things off of a list of things-to-do causes your brain to release Serotonin, a chemical responsible for feelings of pleasure, accomplishment, and content.

14. Turn Off Electronics

Give yourself one hour, whether it be at the beginning of the day, or the end, where you turn off your computer, your laptop, your TV, your Apple Watch or your FitBit, and even your pager (if you still have one?) At the end of your hour, turn everything back on, and go back to your life, but just know that that one hour without all of those distractions, you’ve given your poor old brain a huge break. And during this hour, you could have done at least one thing from the list above!

15. Tell Yourself It’ll Get Better

Whenever you feel like you’ll never get everything done, you just can’t keep your eyes open in Business Law 102, or you can’t get rid of feelings of hopelessness, try telling yourself that it won’t always be like this. That all of the work you’re doing now will some day pay off. Say that you’re doing it for you, even if right now you’re doing something for somebody else. Because even if you are, you only started doing it, because of a vision you had or have for yourself down the line. Remind yourself why you’re doing something, and the contentment that it could possibly bring you, and I guarantee you’ll feel at least a little better about doing it. Know that at the end of the day, if you’re not making yourself happy by doing it, or you aren’t working to be happier as a result, then you shouldn’t be doing it at all. It’s a good feeling to be able to feel like the world is smaller than it really is… To feel like the weight of the world isn’t on your shoulders. Because to be quite honest, it isn’t.

You just have to try and remember that every now and then.

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Hopefully this can be a help to some of you, because I’m working on sticking to them to help myself.

Today, the moon is in full Sagittarius, aligning with its opposite in Gemini, so this Friday’s feeling pretty sweet for this little Sagittarius girl. 

Do you guys have any other methods of self-care that work for you? Or maybe do some of the ones I mentioned? If so, let me know down below! I love hearing from you โ˜บ๏ธ

P.S. thank you for 300 WordPress followers, and 2,000 overall!

Until next time,

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