Note: There are minor spoilers in this review, but considering the movie reached over 1 billion across the globe, I’m sure you won’t mind.
Imagine a country ran by cutting-edge technology. Home to strong, precious metals that you cannot find anywhere. A place where Blacks are celebrated, seen, and are rulers, not ruled. A beautiful, egalitarian society, where women proudly wear their natural hair, are tech geniuses, and warriors. A negro Utopia.
Black people (around the world) have never seen Black Culture portrayed and celebrated like this.
Being an African American women myself, watching the film was like being transported to the country of my ancestral dreams. It was stated in the film, “Wakanda has Vibranium, one of the strongest metals in the world,” and I was filled with pride and wonder. It was as if I was discovering the motherland and its riches for the first time. I thought to myself, Black people (around the world) have never seen Black Culture portrayed and celebrated like this.
However, after further introspection, an interesting realization emerged about the relationship between Africans and African Americans.
It is no secret that Africans and African Americans have a complicated relationship here in the U.S. Immediately upon hearing that Vibranium existed in Wakanda, most African Americans I spoke with about the movie immediately questioned why “Wakandians” would hoard and hide something that could help not only the entire continent of Africa, but could help liberate African Americans across the Atlantic Pond Ocean?
We could not even fathom a “Wakanda.” However, it is important to note that Africans maybe cannot fathom a “Wakanda” either.
One could not help but identify with Killmonger, the US military trained cousin of Black panther, who assails to the throne to avenge his father’s death. Killmonger’s story is all African Americans story: our ancestors were the slaves brought to America in bondage. We can not even fathom a “Wakanda.”
However, it is important to note that Africans maybe cannot fathom a “Wakanda” either.
African countries have been war torn, ravished, and characterized by their former colonizers’ tyranny, just as African Americans were stripped of that same culture and identity. It makes no sense to compare and contrast our struggles as they are inherently tied to one another.
Hopefully, this film will be used as a tool for unity among Black and Brown peoples. The image of Wakanda should be an inspiration for the future country of magical Negros of our own making.
Did Black Panther live up to its hype? Did you feel the deep divide between Africans and African Americans in the film? Sound off in the comments below and let us know!
Why are we tolerating this, our American sickness?
A President and a Porn-Star are not condemned by the Evangelical Movement. Our religious, the self-proclaimed Right, these guardians of unborn life, seem un-enflamed, un-enraged… unashamed.
Ashamed of who “they” put into the Land’s highest office– Evangelicals supported Trump by a wide margin and still do a scandal riddled year later (by about 80%.) Ashamed that their candidate and now “our” President, the supposed paradigm of American virtue, the “Make- America-White-Great-Again” president, is caught paying hush money to his “honey-dip”, a four time Adult Video News (AVN) award winner. A Hall of Famer even!
Jimmy Swagger. Jim Bakker. Gary Heart. Names you do not recognize? If not, it is because they all fell from Evangelical grace for– in sequential order: a prostitute, an extra-marital affair with embezzlement to hush-up, and a mistress. Two tele-evangelists (the Jim-Jimmy’s) and a Presidential Candidate (Mr. Heart.)
“I do not care who my politicians diddle. I only care if they can represent me and mine, all of us diverse Americans.”
Maybe in this era a mega-churches, the Evangelicals have learned forgiveness. Money, lots and lots of it, from sinners seeking Joel Osteen divine abundance sermons will do that. Why did Rev. Osteen not open his 16,285 seat capacity Lakewood Church during the Texas Hurricane Harvey?
Maybe as a Liberal I’m being hypocritical. Because I do not care who my politicians diddle. I only care if they can represent me and mine, all of us diverse Americans.
America, what has happened? It’s as if a Kremlin gremlin has climbed into the machine of our psyche. Or it’s just a mirror reflecting back true morals. A fun mirror. As mirrors do, they reflect back ourselves as opposite. Liberals act as #metoo prudes; Conservatives act as the hear no evil, see no evil, do no evil monkeys… as libertines.
Hopefully by now, you have either seen Black Panther, or are planning to go see it because the movie is ranked as the Best Movie of All Time by movie critiquing site Rotten Tomatoes (with a 97% average to boot), and has grossed over 200 million dollars at the box office.
With the overwhelming success of the movie, one should know that it has an all star cast, both male and female.
However, specifically, the female cast is impeccable.
“Playing a queen was just unattainable, unavailable. Even in a fictitious world, a Black woman cannot be queen.’
Angela Bassett as Ramonda, Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye (of Walking Dead fame), and scene stealing Letitia Wright as Shuri, all bring a healthy dose of strong Black Woman to the film, along with their incredible acting chops. In Essence Magazine, they recall how it feels to play their respective characters. Sydney Scott writes,
“Explaining the importance of such strong Black women in the film, Boseman said, ‘We can have really strong Black women who don’t have to be damsels in distress, who are independent and powerful, who can also fall in love at the same time.’
Bassett, who has an envious career and numerous awards under her belt including a Golden Globe, says that despite the roles she’s had the opportunity to play, royalty is rare.
‘Just to have the opportunity to portray that, image—me, a little Black girl from the Florida projects,” she told ESSENCE. “Playing a queen was just unattainable, unavailable. Even in a fictitious world, a Black woman cannot be queen.’
She scoffs, “Why can’t I be?”
This isn’t our first time seeing these incredible women light up the big and small screens with their talents.
Don’t pretend you did not see What’s Love Got to Do With It or How Stella Got her Groove Back. Angela Bassett has a long string of big and small screen features and a Golden Globe to back it up. Lupita Nyong’o won an Academy award for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years a Slave, Danai Gurira is known for her outstanding portrayal of Michonne on The Walking Dead and Letitia Wright can be seen in Black Mirror episode “Black Museum.” (If you have not seen Black Mirror, check it out on Netflix, you will not be dissappointed).
If you didn’t know, now you know.
Did you see Black Panther? What did you think? Does the movie match its ratings? Also check out the March issue of Essence Magazine to learn more about the beautiful women of Wakanda and the amazing actresses behind them!
–It’s been several days since the unveiling of former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s portraits for the Smithsonian, and the reactions to the striking paintings could not be more brutal.
Especially, the reactions to Michelle Obama’s portrait.
Across all social media platforms, opinions of the portrait range from frustrations with Sherald’s use of gray-scale for the skin tone, to the questioning of Sherald’s ability to accurately portray the former first lady, prompting the question:
What is really wrong with the Portrait of Michelle Obama?
After the unveiling of the portrait, Michelle Obama’s reaction to her own immortalized image ironically gives insight to the inherent problems with the portrait. She states, “I’m also thinking about all the young people, particularly girls and girls of color, who in years ahead will come to this place and they will look up, and they will see an image of someone who looks like them hanging on the wall.” Mrs. Obama said.
The irony of this statement is that when black girls look up to the portrait, they will not see an image of themselves, with various shades of brown–but gray–a haunting reminder of the socio-political issues surrounding skin tone in and outside the black community.
“When given the opportunity to render our own image, whether conscious or unconscious, are we choosing to enhance or erase ourselves?”
Critics feel that the grayscale adds insult to injury because the portrait also does not have the former first lady’s striking Black features: her full, high check bones, prominent nose and striking eyes. This leads one to question: when given the opportunity to render our own image, whether conscious or unconscious, are we choosing to enhance or erase ourselves?
Former President, Barack Obama said, “Amy, I want to thank you for so spectacularly capturing the grace and beauty and intelligence and charm and hotness of the woman I love,” further prompting critiques of the painting.
Twitter users wrote:
“Michelle Obama said in a speech that she is proud that young girls of color will look at this portrait and say “that could be me”…which is true because it looks nothing like Michelle Obama.” Stevie G.B. (@Steviegeebee). February 13, 2018 (Excerpt from Twitter)
Love the photo, but the portrait of Michelle Obama lacks heart and soul and doesn’t even look like her. Such a shame. jcfred (@jcfclark1). February 14, 2018
“What do you think of Michelle Obama’s official portrait? Please vote and retweet.
06% It looks just like her
16% It sort of looks like her
78% It doesn’t look like her
Ben Owen (@hrkbenowen). February 12, 2018 (Excerpt from Twitter)
With more than 70% of voters in the individual tweet above stating that the portrait doesn’t look like the first lady, it’s easy to say that Amy Sherald’s take on the first lady has been discomforting for the general public.
However, maybe, that was the artist’s intention.
What do you think of the Obama portraits?
Sound off in the comments below and sign up for The Drive newsletter to get updates and more news.
On Friday, Trump said, “NFL owners who see players disrespecting the flag should say ‘get that son of a bitch off the field right now, he’s fired’”. When will someone tell that ‘son of a bitch Trump’ to get out of the White House, he’s fired? There is not enough time or space on this paper to list the countless disrespectful things Trump has said and done since announcing his intent to seek the presidency. At the onset of his presidential campaign, Trump attacked Mexicans and Muslims by calling them rapists and murderers and he even mocked a disabled reporter. How much more damage will Trump be allowed to commit before he’s removed from the office of President of the United States? Trump has no clue what it takes to be President of the United States.
There are so many things wrong with the statement he made on Friday. Trump has forgotten the foundation on which America was built. America was built on the backs of immigrants with sweat and calluses. Many have fought and died for African Americans to have the same rights as whites. Whatever laws are used to protect and defend whites, should also protect and defend blacks. However, Trump believes that certain laws are only for certain people. Trump believes he is above the law and that he is untouchable and can do whatever he wants with this country and that belief will be the death of his Presidency.
Trump should also take the time to understand the laws of the government he governs. It’s clear that Trump has no idea what the American Constitution stands for. The Constitution of America ensures that all Americans have the same rights. It did not specify that those rights are only for certain people, but rather for all Americans. It is actually illegal to fire someone for expressing their constitutional rights. Yet, Trump boasts proudly and loudly for the NFL owners to violate the players Constitutional rights by firing them.
A President is someone who protects and unites the citizens. Instead, Trump uses divisive rhetoric to exclude certain people. Trump’s moral compass has been stained by his white privilege. Trump is more upset that the NFL players are not standing during the National Anthem (which is their Constitutional right), while being supportive of the rights of white supremacist groups. The idea that a President supports the beliefs of any white supremacy group is despicable.
The main intent of white supremacy groups is to exterminate all non-white residents in America. How can anyone support the idea that whites are superior to all other races? That idea is what has this great country in its present state. There are loads of proof of the destruction due to the idea that whites are superior. It’s 2017 and America is still trying to find room for all of the immigrants who built this great country – America.
The answer to the question, “who will tell that son-of-a- bitch Trump he’s fired?,” is very simple. It will be Robert Mueller. As the investigation into what and how big of a part Russia played in the U. S. 2016 Presidential Election continues, Trump is beginning to feel the noose around his neck tighten. In response to this, Trump attacks everyone involved with the investigation, attracting more unwanted attention. The more Trump speaks and questions the process of the investigation, the more he reveals that he in fact knew of Russia’s intent and of the method in which they would interfere with America’s democratic process. The American people should be outraged that a presidential candidate would collude with anyone trying to topple this world revered American institution. Yet Trump participated and won the 2016 Presidential Election.
When will America invoke their Constitutional right and impeach Trump? Trump has proven time and time again that he is a habitual liar and that he is a racist. Trump is attempting to make America great again by eradicating all immigrants, people of color, and everyone who supports people of color from America. This is a shame particularly because Trump’s parents were also immigrants.
Each former President of America has attempted to unify the majority of the American people, but today Trump has only managed to unify the racist of America and today they make no attempt to hide their faces any more. A decade ago the Ku Klux Klan would have at least covered their faces when committing heinous crimes, but because of Trumps rhetoric the members no longer feel the need to cover their faces when committing these crimes. Everything all of the former Presidents worked for is on the verge of disappearing. All of the rights of the American people are on the verge of vanishing right before their eyes if Trump is not impeached.
Last week, the Stephen Paddock, shot and killed 58 individuals for no apparent reasons. First of all, extended condolences to all the families and friends of the victims in the Las Vegas massacre; the World mourns for your lost, at this horrific time. Everyone can relate to the pain and horror the families might be feeling at this time, yet there are no words to express the deep sadness the World collectively feels. May the Lord gives each some peace and comfort during this difficult time.
However, this is not the first incident of Americans turning their anger against the American public. In recent years, the America public has had to deal with many individuals whose sole intent was to commit havoc. The American people are all too familiar with the headlines, “49 killed, 58 injured in Orlando Nightclub shooting” (June, 2016), “14 killed 2 injured in California” (December 2015), or Sandy Hook, “12 killed 3 injured”. These are no longer isolated incidents on American soil but a harsh reality of life.
After the incident, it has been discovered that Paddock had an estimated 33 guns. Paddock had at least two semi-automatic weapons, which he then altered to become fully automatic weapon, giving him the ability to kill and injury as many as he can. The incident has left many to question how is it possible for Paddock to acquire all his weapons? What laws make is it legal for him to possess so many? This incident is rehashing the debate about gun control, about how best to handle the politics of Americans owning guns.
The American public has seen the failure of gun laws. For instance, Chicago has become the murder capital of America, due to its high murder rate which is a result of weak gun laws. Chicago is a war zone, more murders occur in Chicago than in the current war. Criminals in Chicago are not afraid of being caught with weapons. They understand that due to over crowed jail systems and weak laws; it is just a matter of time before they are release and free to continue with their behavior. They are not afraid of the consequences of their actions.
A part of the problem as to why the issue with gun control still lingers is due to republican’s firm belief in the 2nd Amendment – the right to bear arms (like Paddock’s right to own the weapons). The hope is that republican’s now understand what can happen when people are allowed to purchase 33 weapons. The irrefutable damage one can do in a matter of 10 – 12 minutes. Between Paddock’s 10 – 12 minutes rampage, he left 58 people dead and over 500 people injured.
Every week one of my tasks is to write an article about anything I would like to comment on. Every week I promise I will not write or comment about Trump. Unfortunately, every other day Trump does and says something I am usually at odds with. Perhaps, it is because he is from a wealthy background and I am what he would consider poor. At the end of each day, does is really matter that we are from different sides of the tracks? Being President of the United States, it is the responsibility of the Commander-in-Chief to bring the American people together and to support and protect them. Nowhere in America’s history does it stipulate that only white cultures are allowed to come together (white supremacy groups) and are the only ones who are to be supported and protected.
The situation in Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands is a disgrace to all Americans. The way Trump has handled both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands is equivalent to a mother neglecting to acknowledge and support any of her children. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are a part of the great United States of America? They are both to be protected and supported by the President and citizens of the United States. However, somewhere along the line Trump failed to read the Constitution.
When Houston and Florida were devastated by Hurricane Harvey and Irma, Trump wasted no time informing Congress and the House of Representatives to find the financial aid necessary to help the two states recover. However, when it came to Puerto Rico, Trump’s response was completely indifferent. First, Trump began stating that FEMA is doing a wonderful job on the hurricane ravaged Islands which turned out to be a lie. Then Trump informed Puerto Rico that they have put a deficit in his budget. The following week, Trump informed them that the military, FEMA and all the governmental assistance they were receiving will not be staying there much longer.
With over 80% of Puerto Rico without clean drinking water and electricity, the President is promising to remove aid from Puerto Rico. Trump mentioned that he had met with the President of the Virgin Islands neglecting to comprehend that he himself is also the President. This proves that Trump has no idea of the scope of American territories. Individuals trying to become an American citizen are required to know all, if not most of the American terrorizes.
So why is it that the person running for the highest office in the American government is not required to know all American territories are protected by the United States? Where is the outrage? All you Hispanic or Latinos were out shouting and supporting racist Trump, where are the outcries and outrages for your fellow Latinos? Trump has not even mentioned the state of the Virgin Islands. Why are you shouting for justice of them? How can you sit by the way side as your leader kills your fellow brothers and sisters, your mothers and fathers? Or are you so filled with hatred that you are unable to see that it’s just a matter of time before he attempts to do the same to you? Has everyone forgotten that Puerto Ricans are Americans? Are they not entitled to the same rights as the victims of Harvey and Irma? Are they not deserving of the same assistance? Why can’t they have the same benefits as the American victims of the hurricanes? Or are their deaths a consequence of being nonwhite Americans citizens?
Would that really be to far-fetched to imagine? Actually, with Trump as President it is no surprise. Trump has made his feelings about non-white American citizens very clear. Trump has no room for anyone with Hispanic or Latino heritage, with Islamic heritage, and much less for Black people. All of his decisions so far are based on exclusivity. Trump is attempting to create legislation that will exclude all non-white members of society such as the poor, the elderly, and everyone of color regardless of whether or not they were born on US soil.
I first heard mention of Robert Johnson in season two, episode eight, of the television series Supernatural, appropriately titled “Crossroad Blues.” The focus of the episode is on people that make deals with crossroad demons in pursuit of fame and fortune. The way the deal works on Supernatural is that a box has to be buried with certain items at the point of crossroads. Once the demon appears, if the terms are accepted, a ten year deal is made. Many believe that Johnson made a deal to be the best guitar player of his time. Apparently, in accordance with the episode, he made a deal for talent instead of fame and fortune. His death is still shrouded in mystery. I believe this is because he died so young.
Robert Johnson died at the age of 27. However, if you believe the stories about some of the great musicians that sold their souls to the devil, they all died at 27. Could all of this be coincidence or superstition? There are reports that attribute his death to the deal that he made (a la Supernatural), while others purport that he was poisoned. The theory that he was poisoned has two versions. In the first version, he was infatuated with the wife of his employer who subsequently sent a bottle of poisoned alcohol over. In the second version, Johnson was sleeping with a married woman and she poisoned him. Neither theory has conclusive evidence of who poisoned Johnson, but the general consensus is that he was poisoned. His existence is still clouded in mystery because there are only two verified pictures of the man.
Several songs that hint at the possibility that Johnson sold his soul are “Hellhound on My Trail,” “Me and The Devil Blues,” and “Crossroad Blues.” All three refer to or mention the devil in some way. In “Me and The Devil Blues,” Johnson sang “And I said hello Satan,/ I believe it’s time to go.” I do not think he could be more blatant than that. Although his cause of death has not been confirmed, one can only speculate whether he was actually poisoned or if his deal was up, the devil sent his hellhounds to collect Johnson’s soul. In the episode, George Darrow, a man who sold his soul escaped hellhounds by spreading around a special powder to stall the hellhounds and keep them at bay. However, he was only able to keep the hellhounds away until he decided to help other people that made the same deals. In the song “Hellhound on My Trail,” Robert Johnson sang, “You sprinkled hot foot powder, mmm, around my door/ All around my door/ Your sprinkled hot foot powder, all around your daddy’s door./ It keeps me with ramblin’ mind rider/ Every old place I go, every old place I go.” The powder is used to keep evil spirits away, whether in a person or the devil. In some cultures, protection against evil is very important. Otherwise, an individual is left susceptible to possession, hauntings, curses and possibly dying at the hands of evil. Whether this practice is rooted in superstition, old wives’ tales, or true occurrences, one can only imagine that something occurred to give this idea some validity at some point in time. In “Crossroad Blues,” Robert Johnson sang, “I went down to the crossroad/ fell down on my knees/ Asked the lord above “Have mercy now/ save poor Bob if you please.” I interpret the lines to say that Johnson regretted his deal and went back to the crossroads to ask the Lord to save him. Perhaps, his prayers were not answered or he was reminded of the deal he made. Those agreements are the deals that cannot be taken back for once they are made, they are binding.
I honestly believe that sometimes when these deals are made, the people that make them do not realize that these deals are irreversible. These deals are binding contracts with no allowances for modification. Instead of honing one’s desired craft, the fast track is taken. The medium of an artist should be dynamic not static. For example, the music of Michael Jackson and Ray Charles evolved with their growth over the years. They did not have the same sound in each song, album after album. The variety in their music was ever present. I believe the same can be said for Robert Johnson. Johnson’s music would have evolved into something far greater than the catalogue he left behind. It would be very interesting to listen to how his music would have evolved 10 and 20 years after his last recording.
In his music, Johnson talks about demons, the devil, and hellhounds. His music, when one really listens to the lyrics, can be troubling, but the way he sings and plays allows one to be sucked in so to speak. I can listen to Robert Johnson like I listen to Ray Charles and Sam Cooke. I listen to those two over and over for countless days in a row without fail sometimes. There is something haunting about Johnson’s music that continuously draws one in, at least for me. I do not know how to explain the feeling of listening to his music other than to say it is almost mesmerizing in a way. Johnson’s music is not saturated with synthesizers or false beats. It is just his voice and guitar. Perhaps, the reason I appreciate his music so much is because it tells a story, or maybe it is the raw sound of him and his guitar.
Today, a lot of people believe in the Illuminati and believe that many music artists sell their souls to the devil in order to become famous. There are pages and websites dedicated to artists who are a part of the Illuminati and detailed theories behind the Illuminati itself and the artists. It appears the trend for what people view as evil has changed. Now, it is considered acceptable to sell your soul to the devil to make it in today’s music scene. Whereas, two or three decades ago that was looked upon unfavorably. A lot of people view the music business itself as evil and warn others away from it because it is very challenging to make money as a new artist. For many that seek the fame and fortune of the music business, if a hit record happens with the release of the first album, the record company reaps the majority of the profits. It seems that only if the artist is exceptional and signs the right contract will he or she experience any longevity in the music industry. Perhaps the reason why some artists choose to sell their soul is because they feel that since the record company is going to attempt to rob them of their of money, they may as well make a deal to have the talent and keep the money.
Whether Robert Johnson sold his soul or not, his music lives on. His music, in my opinion, is timeless.
Being mindful is not the easy task people may make it out to be. However, it is the gateway to a more fulfilling life and worth every bit of effort. Practicing mindfulness encourages an improved outlook on life, because it stimulates parts of the brain that are responsible for self-regulation, emotional regulation, memory and learning, and more. Mindful individuals are conscious of their thoughts, feelings, and physical behaviors; they are aware that what they say or do can lead to either a better or worse outcome. Therefore, they are careful not to allow negativity to further transpire.
They know that troubles occur outside of their control but they do not allow themselves to be ruined by the fact. Instead, many incorporate positive thinking into their lives deliberately. They focus on the complication at hand and find the best solution for it. It’s easy to be negative. Naturally, the mind stores your insecurities, fears, and doubts and tries to use them against you. However, those who are awake and conscious of this cannot be fooled.
By using therapeutic techniques, you can generate positive energy and overcome intense, stressful, or overwhelming scenarios. The following are easy and effective ways to be mindful on a daily basis:
1. Know Yourself
What makes you tick? What makes you talk with all the fervor known to man? What leaves you in utter suspense? What are your motives in life? What are your dreams?
The more you know about yourself, the more control you can have over your mental, emotional, and physical state. For instance, say you feel so emotional that you want to cry but you do not know why. You will not come to the origin of such emotions until you stop and ask, “What is causing me to feel what I am feeling?” Once you know the source, it will be easier to find a positive solution. Only you can feel what you are experiencing and only you can choose to persevere it. This may seem like a redundant thing, but people often times forget that their well-being matters. It matters when you cry just as much as it matters when you see people you love cry. You must know and love yourself first.
2. Eat Mindfully
What you choose to feed your mind affects your lifestyle, what you ingest does too. Eating mindfully means to indulge in a healthy meal without distractions. It starts with being conscious of what and why you are eating. Be kind to your body and feed it nutritionally healthy foods. Stay clear of junk your body will reject or regret afterwards. It’s important to listen to your body’s signals, especially the one which prevents you from stuffing yourself. Moreover, be careful not to grub simply because you are bored or tired. Your body will not be pleased.
Do not make a race out of eating. Scarfing down your meal for show will only leave your body feeling uneasy or pained. Let your food have its own moment by admiring its presentation. Appreciating your meals will bring you joy with every bite. Also, eat slower to notice the texture, ingredients, and savor all the flavors in your food. When you are ready to scale to the next level, close your eyes while you chew your food. Trivial as it may seem, eating with your eyes closed will take your taste buds on a journey of their own. Let them wallow as well.
Have fun with eating! Eating can get old and uneventful only if you allow it. So, make it a pleasurable priority because it should be. Attempt to eat in ways you never did before. For instance, if you eat with your dominant hand then eat using the other only. Let’s say you’re ambidextrous. Kick it into overdrive by trying different eating utensils such as chopsticks or tongs.
Eating alone can become a bit of a downer. However, eating with others regularly is far more exciting. Make it a date kind of deal with people you enjoy being around such as friends and family. The company of loved ones paired with delicious fare will definitely make you appreciate this munch time.
3. Be Present
Being present means to bask in the present moment, take in your current circumstance. At times, it is easy to get carried away with upcoming tasks or events. When planning a vacation, for example, you hope to enjoy your temporary stay. The preparations are complete and you have everything on your travelling list ready to check off. Yet, you end up disappointed. This may be why. You are too caught up trying to visit every mark on schedule without enjoying what your surroundings have to offer.
Stop. Be there. Appreciate who you are with and what you are doing. Indulge in a taste of the good life while you can.
Many religions practice mindfulness through the form of meditation such as Hinduism and Buddhism. Meditators are able to release the tension they carry from school, work, internal and/or other external conflicts. They allow the body to return to a state of equilibrium and give the mind the opportunity to filter out negative thoughts that fester. Through meditation, you can also find the self-awareness that gets lost from time to time, making it possible for you to be less judgmental. With practice, mediation can even change the way you respond to pain.
A. If you are a beginner, guided-group meditations are a great start. Typically, there is someone to guide you through body, mind, and soul awareness. They also instruct you through breathing exercises.
B. If you run on a busier schedule, there are audio and video clips that can guide you through your meditation. Breathe is an iPhone application found in the App Store that provides those services for free. It has personalized meditation practices created on your time and based on your physical, mental, and emotional state.
C. If apps do not strike your fancy, then you can meditate on your own for an hour, half an hour, or even just five minutes. Here’s a generic step-by-step process.
1. Sit on a pillow with your legs crosses or on a chair.
2. Place your hands on your knees.
3. Sit in a comfortable position, so your back does not ache in the midst of the meditation.
4. Close your eyes and pay close attention to your breathing as your nostrils, chest, and stomach expand and contract.
5. Allow your body to relax as you inhale and exhale deeply.
6. Once your body is relaxed, breathe as you normally would .
7. If your thoughts begin to distract you from the awareness of your breath, then allow that positive or negative thought to come and pass.
8. Return back to the awareness of your breath by breathing normally.
9. Repeat steps as necessary for the amount of time desired.
5. Practice Deep-Breathing Exercises
Whether you’re angry at your boss or at the pizza guy for forgetting the cup of cheese, someday in some way, something is bound to upset you. It is the nature of living. Regardless, you always have a choice. You can choose to react negatively or positively. When you practice deep-breathing, you are more likely to react in a sane, calm or collected manner.
Deep-breathing gives you an opportunity to pause and redirect your approach to situations. In the event that you experience an anxiety or panic attack, which may paralyze your logical reasoning, remember the word “breathe.” Say “breathe” out loud if you must. Then, inhale deeply for four seconds, hold it for your four seconds, and exhale for four seconds. Repeat this step until you have regained awareness and control over your senses. You have agency over your breathing so please use it.
6. Use Positive Affirmations
Positive affirmations tap into one’s psyche just as speaking properly to a baby affects his or her motor, vocal, cognitive, and social development. You may not be able to control what others say to you, but you can decide what you say to yourself. You also have the power to decide how you feel about yourself. Implementing daily positive affirmations can gradually shift from a negative or uncertain perspective into a self-reflecting and motivating one.
There are multitudes of inspiring and wise statements about gratitude, love, happiness, and confidence meant to uplift and motivate you. You can start implementing them by writing a list of positive affirmations and reciting them every morning. It may seem odd at first, but the upright intention is there. With some time and dedication, you will fully believe in these affirmations, and embrace the new layers of growth with each passing day.
7. Partake in Art Expression
Artistic expression is not limited to any singular art form –painting, writing, acting, and producing music to name a few. There is something so liberating and rejuvenating about crafting a ceramic bowl from its raw form. By the token, there is nothing like playing the intense role of a contracted hitman, and then going back home to enjoy a sushi roll… or three. Or, how about the beautiful toils of writing out your script idea and watching it come to life.
Oh, you are not fond of these traditional art forms? Then try coloring books for adults. Coloring books have been around since the 1880s, but they have recently gained momentum. They do not require creative searching or skillset, which may provoke anxiety and/or stress in some people. Coloring these concrete and contained images helps you unwind and provides a sense of security. They also have mental health benefits such as self-awareness, tranquility, and stress-relief.
These artistic passions are therapeutic in that they soothe the soul. They envelop the parts of the soul that need tenderness, love, and care. Without these as the foundation to your life, you are likely to fall apart or grow cold.
8. Practice Yoga
Stretching has been known to release tension from the body. However, yoga goes beyond mere sketching exercises. Yoga practices have existed for approximately 4,000 years now and not just for the fun of it. Yoga taps into realms of physical, mental, and spiritual consciousness. It is meant to bring awareness and balance to you through simple meditation, breath control, and intricate bodily postures.
During its practice, your bones relax whilst you free the firm grip on your sorrows. The brain chatter you may have piled up is also silenced for the time being. Yoga truly is all about the present moment. It is designed to sharpen your concentration and soothe your three major muscles: Brain, body, and spirit.