Tag Archives: self-care

5 Ways To Do Better By Black Women by Sophia Ned-James

Sisters!

We all know that #BlackGirlMagic is real because we live it, breathe it, and manifest it every single day. We’re out here making strides and building legacies. We’re thriving and breaking down the same barriers that held our foremothers back for centuries.

Yet somehow, we Black women are still perhaps the most maligned, abused, and mistreated demographic in the world! We’re woefully underpaid and overworked. We’re constantly underestimated. We’re always expected to take whatever’s offered and do more with less. And on top of all that, we’re expected take care of every-damn-body.

Listen. It’s time to turn things around and change the narrative. We deserve better, so we must demand better. As the saying goes, we teach people how to treat us. Well, we need to start teaching people how to treat us with the awe, reverence, and respect we deserve. 

Here are FIVE THINGS we can all stop doing RIGHT NOW that will make the world a better place for all Black women:

1. STOP judging a Black woman’s beauty by European standards (skin color, hair texture, and body size/shape);
2. STOP judging a Black woman’s strength by how she copes with oppression and abuse;
3. STOP judging a Black woman’s worth by whether or not she’s in a romantic relationship;
4. STOP judging a Black woman’s womanhood by whether or not she has children; and
5. STOP judging the value of a Black woman’s emotional or physical labor by her willingness to provide that labor for less than it’s actually worth.

Let’s do it for the diaspora, for Black sisterhood, and for OURSELVES!

~Art is “Internal” by Mia Bergeron. Neither SuzyKnew! nor I own the rights to this artwork.

Sophia’s Sunday Uplift for June 9, 2019

Self Love Is Everything!
Stop letting the opinions of others determine your self-worth! You’ll always be “too much” for some or “not enough” for others. Instead, focus on embracing who you are right now and loving yourself unconditionally. That doesn’t mean you should stop trying to improve yourself, only that you should love yourself as you are now. 
When you learn to love who your are regardless of what others think about you, you’ll live a happier and more fulfilled life. Self love is everything!

~Art is “South African Woman” by an unknown artist and I don’t own the rights to this image

 

Sophia’s Sunday Uplift: April 7, 2019

It takes real courage to be different in a world where conformity is expected and valued. That’s why you’re so special: there’s truly no one else on this earth as unique as you! So take some time today to celebrate your bravery and your individuality. You are a refreshing break from so much sameness. Be you and love who you are!

(Artist is unknown. Neither SuzyKnew! nor Sophia Ned-James own the rights to this artwork.)

Sophia’s Sunday Uplift, March 23, 2019

The moment you stop looking elsewhere for love, acceptance, and validation is exactly the moment when you’ll find those things within yourself. Learn to love yourself as deeply and as fervently as you love those around you (especially the ones who don’t even deserve you). Trust me. When you begin to believe in your own beauty and brilliance, you won’t have any time for the naysayers or the negativity they bring.  You’ll be too busy basking in the warmth of your own light and truly living your best life! #SophiasSundayUplift #SundayUplift #SelfLove #Love #Acceptance #Validation #BelieveInYou

~Sophia Ned-James (Art is “Teenie Weenie Afro” by Melanoidlnk)

 

 

 

Healing – By Sophia Ned-James

I have to give credit where credit is due. Royce* has proven, once again, that settling down with him was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. Ladies, don’t fall for the Okey-Doke! Your man may be puttin’ it down in the bedroom, may be fun to hang with and may even be helping you out financially. But if he isn’t capable of using his love to heal you when you need it, then he isn’t getting the whole job done!

I recently went through a devastating, life-changing experience: the sudden death of a close friend. I mean, I was knocked flat on my ass with this one. I’m talking weeks of ugly crying, regular screaming fits and random acts of violence against whatever glassware was handy. Your girl embraced grieving like it was chocolate: I consumed it and it consumed me. This came close to breaking me.

Royce not only stayed with me during my darkest moments, but by really helping me to begin my healing process. He didn’t try to subdue my grief. On the contrary, when I shattered glass after glass in anguish, he just swept up the pieces and purchased new glasses. When I screamed until my throat was raw, he gave me tea with lemon & honey. He combed my hair when I hadn’t touched it for days. He fed me even after I swore I’d never eat again. He put up with my morning breath, uncombed hair, and snotty nose and called me beautiful in a way that made me believe him. And he knew exactly when, where and how I needed to be touched.

Y’all, that man’s touch was a soothing balm! It was better than the Benadryl I used to help me fall asleep! It was better than the whiskey he’d sometimes slip into my tea!

Whether it was his hand on the small of my back at the funeral, telling me he’d never leave my side; his tight grip on my hand right before I got up to eulogize my friend, reminding me to look at him when I felt lost or afraid while I spoke; or the gentle hands that held my face as he kissed my tears; Royce’s touch got me through the worst few weeks of my life.

And he knew exactly when I needed to be touched intimately, and to allow our bodies to do what they do best. He’d been so patient during my bereavement, never making any demands on me at all. But somehow he knew when the time was right.

We were at his place. It was nighttime. He was watching the game in his den. Exhausted, I took a long shower, turned off the lights and climbed into his bed. The television was on, but muted. Pandora was playing 90s R&B softly. I was emotionally and physically drained, but restless.

I must have dozed off, because the next thing I felt was Royce’s body behind mine. Actually, the first thing I felt was his big ol’ dick poking me in my back. I expected to be irritated because sex was the last thing on my mind since losing my friend. But then I felt his soft kisses on my neck, and his warm breath made me shiver. And for the first time in weeks, my body responded with something other than sadness or anger.

You’d think that Royce would be tentative with me, a little hesitant at least. But he wasn’t. He boldly kissed and stroked my body knowingly, as if he dared me to resist. How did he know I need this, I asked myself. How could he possibly know, when I didn’t even know myself?

He was patient, but persistent. I didn’t feel rushed, but there was no stopping the inevitable. And surprisingly, I was ready.

Fully aroused, I surprised Royce when I quickly flipped him onto his back. Before he could utter a word, I kissed him even harder than he’d kissed me. And then I climbed on top of him, rubbing myself shamelessly against his muscled thigh.

He got the hint and shifted us so that I was right on top of his throbbing cock. I moaned the moment my clit made contact with it. But I didn’t let him enter me. Instead, I roughly knocked his hands away and made my way up to his face. Carefully planting my knees on either side of his head, I paused. I don’t know. I guess I wanted his permission.
I watched his eyes, which seemed to sparkle in the television light. I didn’t have to wait long for my answer. He roughly grabbed my ass and pulled me onto his face. His attack on my re-awakened pussy was so fierce, I had to hold onto the headboard for support.

He didn’t waste any time with niceties and subtleties. He ate me like a starving man. For the first time in far too long, I gave into the intense pleasure of his mouth and tongue.

It felt exquisite! It felt sublime! It felt so good that in no time at all, I had a powerful orgasm that left me breathless. I was barely coherent when I slid off of his face and onto the bed beside him. He quickly pulled me into his arms for a tight embrace.

When I could finally speak, I whispered “How did you know I needed that?”

“I know you,” he answered, stroking my back.

I quickly recovered. Pulling him on top of me, I welcomed his weight. He felt whole and real and alive. I was almost desperate to touch every inch of him. So I rubbed and squeezed and grabbed every part of him I could reach.

When he finally entered me, I felt filled in a way that’s difficult to describe. It’s almost as if every stroke rubbed away some of my sadness. He was gentle, but his strokes were powerful. He pulled me into his rhythm effortlessly. And even though I wanted it to last forever, I was anxious to make him cum.

Sex is always great with Royce. But this was something different. It was more than pleasurable, it was healing. I didn’t just feel good, I felt better.

I can’t explain it, y’all. All I can tell you is that my man’s moves that night changed something inside me. It’s like his dick was a weapon knocking out the grief that had occupied my body and spirit. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true. Making love to Royce that night helped me begin to heal.

Now y’all know your girl Sophia is no stranger to the benefits of amazing sex. But until now, I’d never experienced healing sex. I highly recommend it, ladies. I hope that each and every one of you finds someone who will do for you what Royce did for me. Not just the sex, but all of it. Like I said, dude was my rock!

So seek ye a king who will slay your demons with his dick! But be careful. That’s the kind of shit that’ll get you sprung!

*Royce is my man’s internet name. I keep his government name between us for obvious reasons.
Photo Credits: sirsplayground.tumblr.com, 25.media.tumblr.com, haightashburyco.tumblr.com

Make Room For Your Inner Diva – By Lillian Ogbogoh

Sometimes we find ourselves being the bigger woman, the one who is agreeable, reasonable and compassionate to everyone she encounters. We notice that our default answer is yes to almost every request. Willing to help and being supportive to everyone in our circle and beyond. Now there is nothing wrong with this default mode. I have been there, as well as many other amazing women before and after me. The sticky point with this situation is that we risk not having our own needs met. We are so busy being of service to everyone we put our own priorities on the back burner – in another kitchen!

You want to be the agreeable one, who does not want to rock that proverbial boat, as you watch as that colleague (let’s call him Brad), whose work you cover most of the time, be promoted above you for the second time after taking credit for your work. Now the Brad issue is hypothetical. However, a variant of this plays out daily in the workplace all over the western hemisphere. Do you remember when the award-winning actress discovered that her male counterparts were on a 9% deal while she was on 7% for the same movie and she said in her own words that she did not want to appear spoilt or demanding. Now it is all good and well wearing the “nice one” badge, but not if the price you are paying for that badge is driving you to feel like your desires are not important and inconsequential.

Ladies, I say it is time to awaken the inner diva! For some the mere mention of the word Diva is met with judgement, disparaging guffaws and out-loud eye rolls. Others run for the hills screaming I don’t want to be that type of woman, as if the Diva comes with its own scarlet branding.

So, let’s put this in context. When people normally talk about being a Diva, usually the image of an over the top, over demanding, over bearing actress or singer, who is asking for the outrageous to the ridiculous with high expectations she will receive it all. You see the negative Diva stereotypes play out via reality shows like Bridezilla or any of the housewives of God knows where, and we gasp that we do not want to be that type of woman. Sadly, if only most of us knew that Diva originally meant Divine one….

There is nothing wrong with taping into the inner Diva that lives within, find her, your inner alt-ego, that one who walks into any room as a dazzling light, who knows how to work a room and make her presence felt without diminishing anyone else in the room. In fact a true Diva knows how to cast a light on others in such a way that it makes her the central focus in a well-lit room…. We all have that friend who walks in the room with such energy and power that she shares this with everyone in the room without diminishing her own power…. When you shine, and show up you give others the permission to do the same.

Your inner Diva is highly intuitive. She knows when to extend a helping hand and when to say no because helping at that point would not be good for you. Your diva knows that her energy and needs are important. And, she also knows it is right sometimes to say I am sorry, I can’t do this for you today without feeling guilty because she knows that her needs are important too.

The funny thing all these reality shows have in common is very vocal women demanding the ridiculous and we are shocked when they get it. If we took a step back from the TV show, over the top antics and saw the common factor here is that being vocal pays off, speaking up and asking for what you want. If you are not asking for what you want in your career and personal life you can’t be upset when those needs are not met. It is on you for not speaking out against the hypothetical Brad and his credit stealing ways ….  Let’s put this in context, you are not being ask to turn into one of these Bridezilla’s rather, being able to vocalize what it is you need, when you need it without getting to the point of frustration and boiling point that you unleash the assassin within who slashes everyone in path with her words…

Your inner Diva accepts help from others as well. She knows that everything in life has an ebb and flow. She knows that to give to others, we have to be willing to accept help from others as a way to avoid burn out. She knows that running on fumes is a one-way trip to martyrdom, which is a trip no one wants. So, ladies are you ready to make room for your inner Diva?

Show creator and host:

Shine Out Loud Show

www.shineoutloud.tv

www.twitter.com/lillianogbogoh

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