“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an  act of political warfare”Audre Lorde

Self-care is the buzzword of the year. Think-piece, vlog, tutorial, etc. after another keeps being released but I don't think most people realize the full gamut of what it means to take care of themselves, and to do so with a genuine authenticity. Self-care in a world/society that demands you give the entirety of you and all that you are to others/your work is a bold stance in declaring that you, yourself matter. Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Self-care is about intentionality, and being purposeful in what you're doing. Wellness in and of itself has different realms that holistically contribute to our sense of well-being. Those are emotional, intellectual, physical, social, environmental, financial, and spiritual wellness (with some others depending on who you ask). As we are able, …


"Empowerment isn't a buzzword among leadership gurus. It's a proven technique where leaders give their teams the appropriate training, tools, resources, and guidance to succeed." John Rampton 

Every single person we meet gives us the opportunity to demonstrate kindness towards another human being. Each and every day we pass by droves of people, and the few we do interact with either get to be the beneficiaries of us at our best or experience us at our less than best. That opportunity to show empathy, compassion, and benevolence to another being though is one that we should not take for granted. Those fleeting moments where we have the chance to connect are what we all seek. It's in that minutiae that we have the opportunity to do something awe-inspiring. We get to do some empowerment. We get to deposit encouragement. We get to speak truth and power into the lives of other people. We get to validate, appreciate, and celebrate who other people are. We get to make mo…


"In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.” Chadwick Boseman 

I'm still processing through Black Panther but even so there is so much to unpack from it. This week I've spent substantial time talking about authentic self-care, narrative autonomy, and emotional labor. What I have come to see is that so many of the people I've interacted with recently have yet to realize what makes them both mundane and unique. It's this balance of self-actualization that you are in fact the only person who is you, and also that you are like other people. That duality matters. We want to be different but we also don't want to feel alone in the world. We yearn for human connection and yet want to retain our individuality. What if we treated ourselves - that is who we are, how we are, our stories, our gifts/talents, etc. as if they were the most valuable thing in the worl…


"Sometimes, how you ingest this idea of masculinity as projected onto you by the world could be the difference of life and death." Barry Jenkins

We're bad with emotions, well most people that is. We don't know what to do with them. We keep them bottled up. We let them out in messy ways, usually accidentally. We're all over the place. We are emotionally unstable. Why? You tell me. Maybe you don't know, or maybe you do and you're not willing to share that truth with yourself. We are socialized in a myriad of ways (family/upbringing, friends, school, religion, media, etc.) to act and to not act. That is the impact of being taught to suppress your emotions. It might not have been direct but all the times you were told to stop being sensitive, to grow a backbone, to be strong, to stop crying, to get it together, to be man up, and the list goes on and on were the negative reinforcements of an ideology that asked you to shut down a critical part of yourself. Men,…


"There's just some magic in truth and honesty and openness." Frank Ocean
People need people. People need people to need them. People want to be seen, heard, valued, wanted, and appreciated. Humanity is reliant on community, connection, and relationship. It's why we struggle with being alone but even more so feeling alone. That fear of isolation is one that is embedded in all of us. Managing that feeling takes practice, and no one completely excises it. It's there to remind us that regardless of who or where we are, we always require some kind of connection to another. Nothing hurts more than putting yourself out there and being shut down. There's such a visceral reaction of embarrassment, shame, and retreat into yourself. That's what happens when someone tries to connect with us but we don't open up to receive them. That's not to say that anyone and everyone who wants to commune with us can and should have access to us - no everyone deserves us or …


"I learned a lot about falling in love when I fell out of love. I learned a lot about being a friend when I was alone." Unknown 
Forging connections with new people is a challenge the older I get. Maybe it's because I'm stuck in my ways or I'm just cynical and closed off. Whatever it is, it makes my efforts to connect with others few and far between. When I do connect with people, I struggle to overcome my default behavior of comparing them to all the others who have come before them. I think I want familiarity but in reality, it just shows up as trying to replace one past or far away friend with someone who just isn't them. Whether it be in like, love, or friendship it's been a challenge to unlearn that woefully limiting behavior of comparing the new people in my life to those my people of the past. What I miss out on is the opportunity to get to know someone who they actually are, not who I imagine or want them to be. I want so badly for someone to be my…


"Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact" William James

Toxic. It's this new way to describe people and the malicious behaviors/words they spew. It's the go to word for how people are articulating their big moods, goals, and mindsets for this year - removing toxic people from their circle. Distancing yourself from people who bring you down, make you feel bad about yourself, and cause you nothing but hardship, anguish, or anger will never not be commendable. There does, however, come a point where branding anything or anyone who does not make you "happy" as "negativity" undermines the integrity of that duality. Especially in this political time and space that we find ourselves in, more and more people seem to be removing anyone who does not share their views from their lives both digitally or in reality.

 And that's not to say that letting go of people whose ideologies, opinions, and beliefs are dehumanizing (a…