Mental Health Check-In | Anas Munira

31 July 2018

As my calendar so promptly reminded me I had to upload a blog post today. I sighed! I realized I was exhausted physically and mentally. My brain has felt empty over the past few days and anytime I sat down to write something all I could think of was how exhausted I am
So I decided to write about that
To acknowledge all my feelings
I am tired.
I am exhausted.
I am frustrated.
I am angry.
And I feel guilty
I feel guilty because although I am stressing myself this is the life I prayed for. So why then am I complaining. I should just suck it up and be grateful right?
I am grateful. Truly. But that doesn't mean my other feelings aren't valid. So today I'm here to tell you that it's ok.
It's ok to complain and be grateful.
It's ok to take be tired.
And most importantly it's ok to take a break
It doesn't make you ungrateful, it makes you human
So take that 30 mins, or day or a weekend
Check in with yourself to make sure you are still ok.
Only then can you truly enjoy the life you work so hard for.
                                  Love, Neera.

LIME LIGHT : KESANDU NWOKOLO; CREATOR OF EPP APP; BY: SAMUELLA AMOAKO-BOATENG

30 July 2018

Women of today we can say have taken on and over career paths that were once considered as men only careers,  we have women today taking on high ranking positions in the military, climbing the corporate ladder one high heel at a time, with  all the  challenges they face as women , they are still on the rise  and fight for equality. Women are taking over the Technology Industry now in the United States of America and oh Black Women haven't been left out of this new margin. We have some very powerful Black Women who are taking the  Tech Industry by storm, and they are making history too. We have Ursula Burns, Angela Benton, Kimberly Bryant  and the likes. The older generation of tech gurus paved way for the new ones and today I feel privileged to blog about a very young and budding  black female  app developer and Winner of the 2016 Nigeria Innovation Summit; Kesandu Nwokolo.

 
   Tell me about yourself: My name is Kesandu Nwokolo I am 23 years of age; I was born Lagos Nigeria and I am a second child from a family of 4. Both my parents are medical doctors. I graduated Oral Roberts University Tulsa-Oklahoma with a degree Computer Information Technology with a Minor in Mathematics, I also start my Masters at  University of Maryland Baltimore County  this Fall for a Masters in Cyber-security.

Why Computer Information Technology: Well a lot of females tend to shy away from the Technology Industry but obviously that wasn't my case, I find Mathematics as a very interesting subject and thus my interest in  Computer Information Technology.. I personally like the subject Mathematics because it pushes me to think; which is never a bad thing to do. Mathematics as a subject has helped me tackle problems in different ways, so I am very grateful for that subject. 

What is your current job role: I work as an Automation Engineer for a Software Company in Columbia, Maryland USA.

How does it feel like being a woman in a Male Dominated Industry:  Being a woman in a male-dominated industry has isn't been a walk in the park, you are not given any  easy way out just because you are a woman and I have to basically go head-to head with men and basically fight for my right for equality in the job market and at the work place.

Tell me about your journey through the Tech World: I have had the opportunity to work in different aspects of Software Engineering but my favorite is Mobile App Development.

What is Mobile App Development: Mobile App Development is basically creating Applications for the Cell phone we all have in our hands; Like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Uber, Lyft, Snap chat and the likes.

Have you developed any applications?:  Yes I have a have an old one called Cradle Count Which I haven't updated in over two years due to me being occupied with this new one I have developed called The Epp App. Cradle Count was an App for expecting mothers calculate their expectancy dates and also leave pregnancy tips for other expecting mothers. 

Can you tell us about The Epp App?: The 'Epp App' is an App I developed which is currently only for the Nigerian market; the purpose of the app is to connect consumers and producers, the App was built with budding entrepreneurs like myself in mind. The App will serve as a bridge between the people who needs services and those offering the services needed. The App is to be a one 'Stop Shop'; Basically you can just go on the app and order everything you need from  makeup artistes, caterers, event planners, chauffeur services, legal services, logistics and many more. Also consumers are able rate and leave reviews for the producers and the services rendered unto them.

Is there plans of the App going beyond Nigeria?: Yes there are plans of the App going beyond Nigeria, it is my goal for the App to be accessible and used all over West Africa, eventually Africa and then Globally. I am starting in the African Market because I see a lot of the African Youth taking the entrepreneurship path due to the lack of readily and steady jobs right after they get their education; I started with Nigeria because it is my Home.

Is the Epp App ready for use?: Yes the Epp App is Ready for use. You Can Download it in the Goggle Play Store and the Apple Store.

How does the Future Look for Kesandu Nwokolo; The App Creator?:  I have more Ideas for Apps,up my sleeves, but I do have limited resources; but we will see.

What Advice do you have for Black girl who want to go the STEM route?: As a young lady, you have to know and understand your calling in life. If you are being called into the STEM world, do not hesitate to answer that calling. Take that leap of faith; yes it will be scary and you might seem like you are drowning but eventually, you will float and then you will learn to swim perfectly. Also once you really apply yourself to anything you are doing? You will be successful.

Social Media Accounts for the Epp App are: @theeppapp ; For Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook. You can Check it Out. The website is: 
                  






LIMELIGHT - Coffee with ABENA HAGAN, Founder of Curlsaunaturel | AKIDO WIJAYARATHNE

29 July 2018


She's quirky, she's fun, she's inspirational and she's a warm soul. Today on the very first session of Limelight, we feature Abena Hagan, the Founder and CEO of Curlsaunaturel, the largest black women Community in Britain with over 523k Instagram followers and an ever growing community on all social media platforms.

She's an entrepreneur, a business mogul, motivator, natural hair sensation and author.






01) Tell me about you.

My name is Abena Hagan and I'm the founder of Curlsaunaturel. I have a Master's degree in Creative Writing and Publishing and a Bachelor's degree in Public Health.
I'm a driven, passionate, stubborn (*grins*) and strong-willed woman, the very factors that advocated my self-exploration. I'm an yes woman that rarely finds self-induced or externally projected reasons and excuses to not keep up with my plans, my commitments, my rota and my schedule.

02) What brought about Curlsaunaturel?

I started Curlsaunaturel in 2014 to boost the natural hair Community in Britain, which wasn't as established as it was in the States and to generate a platform to promote self-love, empowerment and acceptance of black and mixed-race women.

03) Tell me about the brand, Curlsaunaturel.

The brand is all about self-embracement as I said. I'm the author to a kiddie book series.
I've got a line of Backpacks going designed specifically for Black and mixed-race children.
I host children building workshops and natural hair seminars. I travel out to speak at events and visit the States once a year for two of them. Our YouTubers educate the masses on managing and styling their curls, kinks and coils. Our Bloggers raise generic awareness and hype on the everyday woman's life. The Instagram page itself caters to social media marketing and promotion of other brands.

04) Tell me about the Curlsaunaturel Journey.

The merchandise, backpacks was a step to provide social representation to the black and mixed-race race children which honestly was scarce in the market. I aimed to provide storylines and characters, our children can relate with, in the book series. The first book, "I wanna look like me," aimed to foster satisfaction and contentment with their mirror selves, literally be comfortable in their own skins and ward off the society's misleading image of beauty standards. The second book, "No such thing as I can't," projected to encourage positivity and sky-limits in achieving the impossible.  The third book,  worked to break the unpopular myth of black people being not good with money. Oh how I disagree with that! (*laughs*)

05) What have been your major pitfalls?

At the starting of the merchandise, I got duped in the shipment of the stock from China and I had to part ways with a whole bunch of my savings. But instead of walowing in it, I looked past at the bigger picture and made lemonade out of my lemons. (*smiles*)
Another one was peer commentary, the "you-can't"s, the "you aren't making use of your Master's degree. You are just being lazy. You want to sit at home infront of your laptop and claim that you are working"s. I garbage-binned all of that and kept going.

06) What have been your best moments?

When children hug me and tell me they just love my stories and when parents tell me the stories have affected their kids positively. The greatest feeling is when people come up to me and tell me I've inspired them. It's an absolute joy knowing I am making a difference somewhere, touching lives and impacting them emphatically. I'm humbled and this pushes me to work even harder, to make a greater change.

07) What would be a fun day for you?

Having lots of good food around (*laughs*) and good vibes. Spending time with my family, watching my fav TV shows or occasionally going out with my friends. I'm a very private gal and love my indoor time, so even a day by myself- with good food- works.

08) What is your favourite recipe?

I'm not really a recipe person. I just mix, match and add my own twists to my self-discovered recipes and they turn out great!

09) What are your top beauty care tips?

I am minimal in makeup but I am very pro glowing skin. I moisturize extensively twice a day after my shower, morning and night. I also try to drink 1-3 litres of water daily, well as much as the distance between me and a toilet bowl permits. (laughs.)

10)  What would be your ideal generation?

The 90's. The pressure of the society and power of social media wasn't dominating as that of the present. Now you constantly feel like you are under a microscope, every action scrutinized and judged. It just makes it that much harder for people to be themselves. Back then, everybody kept to their business, well most did.

11) What are your immediate aspirations?

To be a light to as many as I can. I also want to publish more books. I hope to branch out to hold events in other countries apart from the States and London, where I currently host them.

12) What are your top goal digging tips?

Consistency, self-belief, hard work, patience and tunnel vision; focus on your journey and your journey alone.

13)  What is your message to our readers?

Continue to support us, we love and appreciate all of you and will continue to deliver our best to the community.  Love yourself just the way you are. If you don't love, believe in, respect and value yourself, nobody else will. How people see you treat yourself is how they will treat you in return. Be your top cheerleader. It all starts with you. Focus on your dreams and goals, whatever hurdles, come what may, your true belief in your work and your self will take you to your destination. Rome wasn't built in a day. Keep going!

She truly is a blessing by far to all women out there. It was an honest pleasure having a little chat over coffee with her. We just love her ๐Ÿ’–



Stay tuned with us as we bring you more behind-the-scenes time on Limelight with Inspirational celebrity figures from all over the world.

Don't forget to leave your comments expressing your love and support. ๐Ÿ’–

With all my love,
Akido.

I.G. @e.m.p.e.r.o.a.r.e.z





Are You The One? | Anas Munira

28 July 2018

And no I don't mean Mr. or Mrs. Right.
I mean that toxic person or the villian in someone's story.
The ex the other person wants nothing to do with or yet still the person someone is loving from a distance.
We are always focused on what others do to us and who we should cut off that I wonder, do we ever stop to think of the kind of roles we play or have played in the lives of others.
I get it we absolutely have to protect our energy and be careful of who we allow into our space but in the spirit of practicing self love and putting ourselves first let us also be careful of the kind of energy we bring into people's lives.
In as much as we protect ourselves let us also spread love into the lives of the people we meet.
Let us try as much as possible to give positive vibes to the people we encounter.
Let our relationship with others be full of love and light.
As we strive to be the best possible versions of ourselves, let that include our interactions with others.
Today I want us to begin to question ourselves. To question the kind of roles we play in the lives of others, the kind of energy we bring.
What kind of impact did we leave?
Are we the villian in their story?
Where we the terrible ex?
Are we that friend they are better off without?
Now this is not to say we can all be Angels. Yes sometimes we just don't connect with people and that's perfectly fine. It doesn't mean we are terrible people, we just didn't fit in their lives. I'm talking about being conscious of the kind of people we want to be and the kind of effect we want to have in each other's lives. I'm talking about putting in that effort to build the kind of world we want to be in.
Change really starts with each and everyone of us and so as we complain about the amount of hate in the world let's also be agents of love. Till next time sending y'all nothing but good vibes.

                                                   Love, Neera.

How to Deal After You Big Chop Shameika Armstead

27 July 2018

I started my natural hair journey in February of 2013, I had cut my hair again a few years later, and finally caved in October of 2017. I had succumbed to the creamy crack! I know, I know how could I, right? I mean after all almost 5 years of freedom, how could I? I began to get frustrated with my curls...curls all the time sometimes I wanted straight hair and didn’t want to pay for weaves all the time or wigs. I know what your thinking - why didn’t I just straighten my hair? I tried that and got heat damage some of my curls were never the same, which brought me to my second big chop (BC). So I decided after the second time that I just wasn’t going to go there again. I did the wigs and weave, and got really tired of it fast because I missed my curls a few days later LMBO!

What is scab hair?

When I cut my hair the first time, I was so prepared for what was to come..... or so I thought. Never mind the shock factor of cutting all of your hair off for the first time. No one warned me that not only would I be shocked but my hair would be too. It’s called scab hair, I don’t know if that is the correct term but that’s the term I found others use from what I could find about it.

Scab hair is your hairs way to let you know it is shocked and damaged from the relaxer. It is the new growth that tricks you into thinking you can BC because you see the curls popping, then it breaks your heart because you cut your hair and it is brittle and weird and hard. Not really I’m exaggerating...or am I? But seriously what is it? Scab hair is your natural hair that’s damaged from previous use of chemical relaxers.

Scab hair is not bad, so don’t fret if you have it. Your hair is literally as shocked as you are after you cut it. It’s confused on what’s happening, confused on what its supposed to do. It’s no longer being relaxed, so it has to learn how to just be. I promise it gets better, your curls will soon began to form and your true texture will shine through!

ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT SCAB HAIR IS TEMPORARY!

Trust me I totally get your frustration with it, but believe when I say it is TEMPORARY. It’s unwilling to cooperate and just retain some or any moisture. It’s so dry you’re afraid to stand next to a fire for fear of your hair lighting up. But there is light at the end of the tunnel.

How to Manage?

Eventually the hair will change and take its true form, but how do you get there? This hair will require lots of moisture, conditioning, and PATIENCE.

So this time around when I cut my hair I decided it was time to learn how to deal with “scab hair,” what I have found that works for my hair is CONDITION, and MOISTURE! I cut my hair a week ago, and the only time I used shampoo was after it got cut. Since then I have only been using coconut oil, shea butter, co-washing, and deep conditioning. Today I decided to deep condition, however a trick that has worked for me in the past (but may not for you) is deep conditioning all day. Eventually with time and patience your hair will adjust and reveal its true curl pattern.

Just LOVE your curls ladies!

Always,

Meika_tyree❣

'IN-CHARGE' Samuella Amoako-Boateng

25 July 2018

Life as we know it, isn't a walk in the park or a pot of beans, none of us came into Life with any form of experience; we have never 'lived' Life before. We are all on a journey of the unknown don't be too hard on yourself , You Only Live Once "YOLO" so make the best and most out of Life but don't break your back just trying to live a life that is unknown, take your time and enjoy every process; take it all in.. Don't let social media pressure you into thinking you are doing something wrong; no you are not, everything takes time and Life is Process; Laugh When you can, Cry when you have to, but don't enjoy a pity party; never show up to one.  ENJOY THE PROCESS AND LIVE.... Suicide is NEVER An Option... LOVE LIVE AND STAY IN CHARGE OF YOUR DESTINY... It gets Better because  you get STRONGER!!!! Never Give UP! You are the BOSS!!!! YES YOU ARE IN CHARGE
XOXO,
Sammi

MELANIN GOODNESS Samuella Amoako-Boateng

24 July 2018




There is a very common adage which I know we have all heard; "Love The Skin you are In". The Black Community have been under attack from the days of slavery and whether we choose to accept it or not, we are still in some type of slavery and we are in one way or the other still look up to 'massa" to approve our culture before we get comfortable with it. We modern day melanin goddess choose to stay woke and love our skin and also we want to educate our fellow "unwoke" no shade or pun intented sistas to love their skin. Your Melanin is God-given and God doesn't make mistakes, also you don't have to have a  lighter skin-tone, or be mixed race to be beautiful, don't let the "massa"  controlled media fool you. Break the unseen bondage you are in, you are beautiful the way you are, your skin tone is to die for, folks stay in the sun and sleep in man-made tanning beds just to look like you! HOW DARE YOU cry about how your skin look, Put those Bleaching Creams and Pills DOWN! You are Gorgeous in the skin you are in! 
    Look around you, your melanin sister are breaking barriers, Look at Naomi Campbell, Duckie Thot, Chanel Iman,  Eva Marcille  Tomiko Fraser, Tyra Banks et.al They made it work in the skin they are In; of-course they had limitations, they had challenges but they  never told themselves they cannot do it. They pushed through and overcame their so-called limitations and set the bar high. Your Fellow sistas are breaking barriers in a skin-tone they  were told made them look less attractive, so what is your excuse? Love yourself, Love your skin, afterall "Black they Say NEVER EVER CRACKS"  Rock your Crown Queen... Until next time 
                                  XOXO,
                            Sammi

"CORP-FRO" Samuella Amoako-Boateng

22 July 2018


Did my heading catch your attention? Well that was the purpose; I wanted to stair your curiosity; You might be wondering; "What in the world is corp-fro and is that even a word? Well yes and no; because it is a word i just came out with.  Cop-Fro is the shortened version of 'Corporate Afro' . I am going to take a dive into the acceptance of Black/African women rocking their natural hair in the corporate world.
      The United States Navy recently passed a policy  allowing Black/African women to wear their natural hair  i.e braids and  dread locs whiles serving as military personnel with the United States Navy.  This new policy really struck a cord with me and  got me thinking so from the time that Black Women were allowed to enroll and serve their country they weren't allowed to express themselves as much as they wanted. A hairstyle is a form of identity or feeling; we as women express ourselves through our hairstyles and to think the sistas who served in the United States Navy all this while weren't allowed to express their selves and  also were basically coerced  into hairstyles which they didn't identify with just to serve their beloved country
This is their basic human rights being infringed upon, makes me wonder; WHAT IS WRONG WITH WEARING YOUR NATURAL HAIR?  Most co- operations frown on black women wearing their own hair to work and deem it as unkempt, nappy, ugly, too short and other adjectives I don't like to use as a Black Woman with Natural hair.
  Do Black Women always have to bend towards the European standards of beauty to be deemed as beautiful? That is just barbaric, the thought of that makes my stomach turn, that is wrong and I am happy the United States Navy finally thought it through and passed this new policy allowing braids and locs to be worn as hairstyles whiles serving this beloved country. This new policy is a BIG WIN for all Naturalistas, it simply means the Natural Hair Movement is being taken serious and are voices are reaching into places we probably didn't think could reach, we are breaking barriers and we shouldn't stop there, we are BREAKING BARRIERS.... Until next time Stay "Braided and 'Loced' Up!
                                 XOXO, 
                                Sammi 

HOW DO YOU LIVE LIKE THERE IS NO TOMORROW | AKIDO WIJAYARATHNE

20 July 2018




Sunday night finds the buttery tones of Ne-Yo  blasting out through the downtown club's speakers, "for all we know, we might not get tomorrow..," but the three-glasses-of-champagne induced momentary euphoria buffers all sound, thought and sense apart from the feel of the deliciously masculine stranger's crotch grinding against your fraternising ass.

It was a loosening night but a major part of it was lost in a hazy cloud of smoke, which you could only guess was pot, and kept-on-coming-out-of-nowhere cocktails.

Binge drowning in the black manna to beat the bitchy hangover the next morning as your roommate whisks eggs, ever the neighborhood chattertin (how that girl streams talk over a hangover, you will never know), you almost flop out of your perch on the breakfast bar as you listen to an accidental recording of your oh-very-drunk self requesting (who are you kidding! Begging) your ex to take you back while Kesha is mercilessly howling, "...like it's the last night of our lives," somewhere in the vicinity of the background.

Your mind is still in garbled knots over the way-too-humiliating drunk-dialled phonecall to your lying, cheating ex whom you had dumped when you had caught him in bed with your assistant (wearing your shit expensive lace garters and stockings which you had had to use brand new kitchen tongs to dispose of!), while your sister is cheerfully rambling away on the other end of your iPhone about how she is "Living La Vida Loca," getting too cosy with an endless supply of alcohol, booty dancing with three guys who had long since swapped out their shirts for tattoos, waking up in a bearded guy's bed in a cheap motel and employing weed whenever "life's lows" need a backdoor,  as you hurry across the street to catch a taxi off to work when an approaching car comes to a squealing halt next to you. Horns trumpet, rude insults fly and definitely what looks like a bird flips in your face and you hurry to wrap your jittery, shaken hourglass frame into a nearby taxi to haul yourself off to work.

It's not until you've yelled at three different people, made two ego stroking phone calls and dropped out an advert for a new assistant (preferably one who doesn't steal brand-new Victoria Secret lingerie or boyfriends) , that you turn around to glare at your shiny chrome office as your mind puzzles over the real truth to, "living like there is no tomorrow."

Questions parent questions.

Is living the fast life, the bottom line of the popular phrase?
Are motorcycle backseats and too-pierced guys the ultimate conquest?
Do the aimless stunts get you high on anything else but a minute adrenaline rush?
Does the over-hyped adrenaline count for something?
If you were to bid buenos adiรณs to your life today, would your backstory do you proud? Would your mama be proud?
Is there an inkling of you supporting the greater good, that would be missed?

Fourty minutes later, you now are the proud owner of a medication-less headache, the onset symptom of obtuse regrets.

Where is that damn coffee? Gosh, you miss your assistant (Nah!)




Let's whip down the business.

Your life's work at your last hour chimes down to five crucial berries;
- Family
- Personal Goals
- Give backs
- My changes
- Impressions

 Nah, I wouldn't leave you hanging with no explanations offered (grin.)

Layman theory 101:

What did you contribute in the way of yourself, your time, attention and monetary benifits to each of the five inevitables.

Your neice's graduation that you missed because you haven't visited your sister and her kids in five years, your still sporty grandpa's decathlon you couldn't make it to that he so proudly insisted you attend, the consecutive karaoke Saturday nights you kept cancelling and making excuses for with the girls, your boyfriend's away game you didn't fly out to because it was "just too expensive" and the dinner at your parents' house, you never showed up at; they are all in the doggy bag you slid out of your priority dish packed away only to greet restless 3 am sweats.
Does a forgotten one man party singing offkey fight songs, slopping down wine as he struggles to lift the glass up in a toast to celebrate his managerial promotion ooze any appeal?

Goals are life's cheese cellar( the older, the finer, ahem, the smellier, the better.)
What and how much in the way of holdings,  prestige and profusion has your persona stockpiled over the years?
The corner office, the silver name plate, the tiny credentials kissing your name's rear, the gold cufflinks and the Fendi bag, they all reek of an affluent you, a life well lived out, worth that has caressed beauty and pain alike, untold stories of turmoil and finally flagpoles laid down on the moon. In simpler terms, the goals you ploughed, idolised your personality.

The genesis of time old exhibition of give and take. You receive, you pledge. The intern you took under your wing, the soup kitchen that entertains your culinary miracles every Sunday evening, the charity benifit you host every two months to feed starving kids in India, your secretary's daughter's college tuition that you buttress and the old ladies you charm at the retirement home with your wit and To Kill A Mockingbird once a fortnight; they are all in your big-hearted freebie giveaways.

Who and what did you make a comprehensive 180 out of? Where did you make a difference? What did you change for the best?
The little orphan girl you adopted, the women's rights movement you mortgaged your support, the house by the seaside you bestowed to the homeless family, the water supply you forked out to needy families and help you dispatched to flood victims; that's where your simple actions shone a brighter light in a grateful heart.

We all gotta leave our scratch mark behind in style. The Famous street artist, the dignitary philanthropist, the revolutionary entrepreneur, the take-no-for-an-answer motivational speaker, the trendsetter, the sponsor, the organ donor, the life saver, the mentor, the fashion icon. (Sugar Daddy? Argue with your wife.) Labels are big on impressions and how well you piggyback on your label authenticates your hotspot on the impressiondar.

Gotcha!  The sensational art of living like there is no tomorrow is sealed in five brilliant manoeuvres; treat your loved ones right, dig your goals, give back to the community, make a change , leave an impression.

2 o'clock arrives and you flip-shut your Gossip Girl Notebook, slip your feet into the six inch stilletoes and stretch out of your mahogany desk chair, to keep a date with a prospective client; making a mental note to adopt the phraseology of the last hour's self illumination, tone down the "limo life," quit soda and take up yoga at the community center.

We have two lives, you smile, the second one starts when we realise we've only got one to live the fuck out.

You and I both must, must get that latte now! (And maybe a bagel?)

Drop down your thoughts ๐Ÿ‘‡

With my love,
Akido

I.G. : e.m.p.e.r.o.a.r.e.z


























Breakups Are Hard to Do|Shameika Armstead

19 July 2018

When I was younger, someone said to me “I only hang with people who add value to my life.” At that point in my life, I wasn’t so sure what that meant, however those words echoed in my head often.

Have you ever had someone in your life that did literally nothing for you except cause you to have a headache after each encounter? It can be friends, co-workers, heck even family! I have, and it is ok if you have too, but how do you deal with that person or those people (cause let’s be honest, some of us have more than one)? For me the toxic person came in the form of my mother, of all people! When you’re a child, you mother treats you as such, and when you become an adult that relationship shifts a bit and your mother is supposed to become your best friend.

My mother was and has been combative all of my life, never acknowledging her behavior, but she made sure never to display the behavior in public. Some of my family (the ones I chose to share this with) had no idea I was being abused. My mother would tell me I had nobody to call because they were not my family. She was mentally, verbally, and physically abusive.  Don’t get me wrong I love my mother, however, she is not a person I can have in my space, so I love her from a distance. My relationship with her was combative, she never acknowledged her behavior, and now that I am an adult, married with two kids, she has become competitive. But enough about me….

Despite our best efforts, some relationships become unsalvageable or we just don’t want to fix it any more. Unless it is an abusive relationship (you should end those without hesitation), you should have a conversation for closure. It doesn’t have to be long and dramatic. Just something to let them know you acknowledge the relationship is unhealthy and you should part ways. Answer questions they have, BUT make sure they don’t rope you back into the relationship because that can happen (trust me). If they start to get defensive or argumentative, it’s clear they are not hearing you, so at that point it is best to just break away from the conversation, and end it there.

You may not have someone as close to you as I did, but did someone come to mind as you read this??
They can be someone you dread seeing, whose doesn’t respect your opinions or makes you feel bad about yourself in anyway. Now that you have that person locked in your head….answer this question:

DO THEY BRING VALUE TO MY LIFE?

If the answer is no, you have two options:

1. Go down the rabbit hole and continue in that relationship until you have had enough or
2. Decide today that you have to love that person from a distance.

If your unsure, answer these questions:

1. Is there abuse? (If there is seek help immediately)
2. Is it affecting other areas of your life
3. Are you interactions mostly negative
4. Do they make you sick (I.e headaches after every encounter)
5. The relationship is one-sided
6. It’s affecting your immediate family
7. There is substance abuse
                       

Always Shameika ❣


IG: Meika_Tyree

                       
                                                  

Sustainable Fashion for a Better Tomorrow | Eden Cabiness

18 July 2018

We all live on a planet where the environment and atmosphere are being destroyed by one of the most intelligent beings living on it. By making better choices, we can change that and begin making a positive impact on our world. The key to a better world and a better future lies in each of our hands. We have to break away from the factory mill of societal brainwashing and really take a look at what we're doing.

I am an aspiring designer. I love fashion and beauty, among many other things. The creative freedom, glamor, and influence are what sparked my interest in the industry. Fashion is exciting and people gravitate towards that. That's probably why it's one the biggest industries in the world. In 2015 it was reported to be a 1.2 trillion-dollar global industry, according to the United States Congress Joint Economic Committee.
Keeping Up With Fast Fashion

In recent decades our desire to have stuff has grown. We've been buying more, trying to keep up with "The Joneses". Clothing has become a representation of our status in life and it's causing more and more people to fall into the trap, that is fast fashion. Early on in the fashion industry, there were only 4 seasons. People bought quality clothing and wore them only until they no longer fit or were presentable. We now have about 52 fashion seasons. Fast fashion was designed to make you feel off the trend, almost every week. Companies work with marketers to make consumers buy a lot, as fast as possible. This causes a rippling of negative effects in the fashion industry.

To keep up with the demands of fast fashion companies resort to cheap labor and cheap materials. Resulting in a low-quality garment that won't last long. The garments usually get thrown away and end up in a landfill or the ocean. There have even been reports of large retail companies slashing and cutting out-of-season clothing and throwing them out on the curb. They destroyed the clothes so no one would be able to resell or wear them. Unfortunately, that’s just the tip of the unsustainable iceberg.

Laborers who make this cheap clothing work in extremely unethical conditions, sometimes only to be paid $1 - $3 a day. It's believed that the mass suicide that’s been happening in India since the mid 90's, is due to cotton farmers going into debt from buying genetically modified cotton seeds, to try to keep up with fiber demands. This epidemic has claimed over 250,000 lives. This irresponsible production and carelessness for human rights and our planet make this an extremely unsustainable industry.

Together We Can Cultivate Change

As a creator, their decisions hold heavy weight on the transformation of this hopefully soon to be sustainable fashion industry. As a consumer, the responsibility is just as great because you get to choose who stays in business. The way we change things is by demanding better, becoming more knowledgeable and using our money for good. Brands and companies will follow suit. We as a whole have to come together and speak up for the men and women in sweatshops working 10-hour shifts with no breaks for a measly 1 dollar a day. The only way things will change is if we ALL make better buying choices. We can change the world, but to do that we have to realize that every single one of us matters, every single dollar counts.

"A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

- Albert Einstein

By: Eden Cabiness

HOW YOUNG IS TOO YOUNG FOR A SEW-IN? | Maggie Stepherson


Is this the new back to school hairstyle for children? What happened to beads and bows? Ponytails and candy curls? Braids? Or possibly plats?

What are we teaching our young ladies this early on about self-appreciation and self-love? Are we not beautiful unless we have a head full of long hair? Are we not beautiful without weave?

Today’s society glorifies fair skin, long hair and figure eight frames. It’s as if you don’t have any of these elements than you are not considered beautiful to the majority. This is what our youth is growing up witnessing. I can recall, like it was yesterday, when my 10 year old niece came home crying. I said, “What’s the matter beautiful, why are you crying?” She said, “Titi the girls in class call me bald head and ugly because I don’t have long hair like them.” It hurt me because I knew what she was going through, so I told her “Hair doesn’t make you, YOU make the hair!” She didn’t understand so I had to break it down to her. We as African American women are trend setters all through out the world, the same things we are ridiculed about become the same trends that other races go out and spend thousands of dollars on to imitate. No matter if its our short 4c hair, our full lips, high cheek bones, big butts or corn row braids we set the tempo as to what is trendy and flavorful. Never let the opinion of a small mind dictate the opinion of your beauty. I pulled out a mirror and instructed her to show me where she is bald, because I see hair- she couldn’t. I went on to instruct her, now show me where you see ugly- she couldn’t do that either. Lastly, I instructed her, now show me where you see beautiful white teeth, short curly strands, and beautiful chocolate skin- she smiled and pointed to herself in the mirror.

Growing up I wasn’t allowed to wear any form of extensions. My first experience with weave was when I was 16 years old in high-school and that was in the form of braids. As my parents felt that wearing long extensions; such as the picture posted, makes me look too grown. They felt that appearance would attract the wrong type of attention and ultimately the wrong type of man. I too agree with their opinion because this look on a child is simply too much. Sadly, we live in a day and age where grow men would look at a little girl like this and distort her innocence with his perverted visions. I have been trying to convince myself that maybe this was for a wedding, or a pageant of some sort, but it still makes me uncomfortable to see a child look so grown regardless of the setting that the style is for.
Putting this type of styles on small children is an early form of beauty shaming. Young girls are growing up feeling insecure and inadequate for not looking like the majority. In an effort to embrace our natural beauty I feel that children should be free from enhancements; such as weaves, so that they can build the confidence to know that they are beautiful in the skin their in regardless of the length of their hair and the fairness of their skin. It’s simply a matter of learning to embrace who you are not run away from who you are.

The Planner|Anas Munira

17 July 2018

Is this you? You know one of those people who plan and plan, as in they can plan for the whole of Africa and when execution time comes, they freeze.
Don't worry I'm one too, Welcome to the club! There's absolutely nothing wrong with planning, in fact to execute well, you have to plan first. However we have the tendency to not execute, we get stuck in the planning stage, thinking and over thinking, coming up with a million things that could go wrong and then finding solutions to those million things which you guessed right, takes forever and so then we never actually go through with our plans.Today let's call ourselves out. For me I realized fear was at the very core of this behaviour, the fear of failing . I mean you can't fail at something you haven't done right?But not to worry there are ways around this thing.  I am no expert but one thing I do is to be impulsive, now for this to be effective, I literally just do it, no thinking about it or second guessing. 
Another thing is to get friends who will hold you accountable, friends who will make sure that you go through with your plans. You know those friends you don't share plans with because they will hound you till it's done? Yea get you one of those. These are however temporary solutions because eventually there's only soo much others can do and as person might not have that power anymore. So my goal for this year is to make that person me, to make the fear of disappointing myself greater than the fear of failure. Self motivation is the greatest motivation. That is the goal, to master the art of pushing myself past the planning stage, to force myself to execute, to be the person who holds me accountable when I don't go through with those impulsive decisions and most of all to be effective this.

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