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15 Affirmations To Inspire A Happier, More Fulfilled Life

Inspiration

Cue "Good As Hell" by Lizzo. "I do my hair toss, / Check my nails, / Baby, how you feeling?"

Me: A little discouraged.

I know, as the first month of the year comes to an end, you — and most people have given up on annual commitments to yourselves. This would be a surprise if Strava, a social network for athletes, hadn't released research that showed many give up on their New Year's resolutions before the third week of the month has even kicked in.

Meaning, before February has even begun, you and others alike have given up on the "new year, new me" tradition and have settled with remaining who you were last year.

Which is fine.

But only if you're where you want to be.

Otherwise, I'm sure you feel like you have let yourself down before the year has even truly begun.

With heads filled with so much noise, so many tasks, errands, deadlines, emails, and appointments that are made and forgotten, life this 2019 can feel a little hectic; and adding resolutions onto it can feel downright overwhelming. Nevertheless, it is when the going gets tough, the tough finally gets going.

And you, my friend, are tough. You just need a little push is all. Some words of encouragement, if you will.

And that's where I come in.

Here are 15 positive affirmations to ensure that you are keeping your new year commitment to be a brighter, happier, more fulfilled version of yourself. With these affirmations, you can start to reclaim the time taken and start putting it towards becoming the "new you" you've always dreamed of.

1. I Am Enough.

Say it with me: I am enough. I am enough. I am enough.

Say it ten times. Say it a million.

Say it until the words wash away the doubt that taints your tongue. Because the truth is, out of the seven billion people of this world, nobody is better or more gifted than you.

You are capable of remarkable things and you are enough to brighten anyone's day. You are destined to leave a mark on this world.

So, let it be the biggest mark you can possibly create. Go ahead, look in that mirror and say "I am enough." Shout it to the high heavens if you must, because you, darling, are just that: you are enough.

2. I Am Worthy of Love, Happiness, and Fulfillment

Like I said before, shout it to the high heavens, if you must. You were born worthy of love, happiness, and fulfillment, sadly, somewhere along the way, life made you think you weren't. But I'm here to let you know that you are. How do I know? Well, because you're you.

3. I Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

Some people take life's small slights and setbacks with a shrug, while others freak out, blow up, or fly off the proverbial handle in a loud huff or with silent seething. If you're the latter, it's time to stop sweating the small stuff and let it roll off your back. You already have enough to carry. Instead of growing upset when there is a setback, consider every irritating incident as a chance to work out the reasoning area of your brain. Soon, you'll realize that what constitutes a stressor is subjective and that little setbacks will ruin your day if you let them.

Remember, you've only had a bad moment. Not a bad day. And if you've had a bad day, that doesn't mean you've had a bad life. Go ahead, sweat, it's only natural. But let the small stuff worry about itself. You have better things to do.

4. The Tools I Need to Succeed Are in My Possession

No one is going to appear with the tools you need to succeed in the life that you want. That is up to you. Whether you have to find the tools, buy the tools, or make them yourself, they are accessible, they are limitless, and they are there for the taking. If you want them in your possession, all you have to do is reach out.

5. My Strength Is Greater Than Any Struggle

Say it with me: "My strength is greater than my struggle. I'm fearless. I'm getting stronger every day. I can do this. I'm deserving of my dream. I was not made to give up. Broken bridges cannot stop me."

So, it said, and so it shall be.

6. Happiness is my Birthright. I Embrace Happiness as My Setpoint State of Being

You were born with a natural tendency to bounce back to a happy and joyous state in no time at all. However, as you started 'growing up', perhaps you began losing touch with your natural state of happiness; instead you faked a hybrid portrayal of happiness with the hope of rediscovering that natural happiness eventually.

It's possible that you kept finding ways and means to be happy through material gain, pleasurable stimuli, through social means and relationships. However, not always do external inputs created a lasting state of joy and happiness. When you searched for happiness in the world outside, you forgot that the world that you saw outside of you, was actually mirroring you. When you were in a happier state, you could manifest a happier world around you.

Embrace happiness as your setpoint state of being and accept nothing else, you'll see how quickly your world will shift.

7. I Complete Me. I Am Whole.

Don't worry. You'll find the person that completes you someday.

We hear it so often lately that it's ridiculous.

Which implies that I'm not already whole and need someone else to complete me. That's an issue because it creates the idea that people aren't whole on their own, and it makes people feel broken when they can't find someone they want to be with. There's no problem with people wanting to find the person they want to be with, but when it becomes a quest to be "complete," it's an issue. No one deserves to think they aren't complete on their own. You are. You don't need to search for the piece you think you're missing in the world. You already have it within yourself.

8. I Embrace Change and Acknowledge It as A Gift

Because change is inevitable, it's about time we stop fighting against it. "The only thing constant is change." We know this and we understand that our environment can't stay the same forever. All around us, there is change happening on a daily basis. We are forever growing, expanding, aging, and changing. So, what is it about the world that can seem so overbearing and scary when change happens? Why is it that many of us are instantly repelled by the thought of change?

If we could only learn to let change work for us and benefit us, we could be happier with our lives and the process of growth. Embracing change is key to your success and happiness. So instead of fighting change, acknowledge it as a gift.

9. I Am the Author of My Story. How It Ends Is Up to Me.

Take more agency over your life. Stop letting things happen to you and start taking control of the things that do. How your live ends is up to you. So, decide to make it everything you've want it to be. You're the author of your own story, it is never too late to change the ending.

10.  I Release My Attachment to Everything that No Longer Serves Me. I Refuse to Let Anything or Anyone Hold Me Back. 

Imagine life without holding onto negative attachments. Imagine a state of peaceful thoughts, which come and go like the ocean tides — without struggle, pain, or resistance. Letting go of attachments can be a difficult thing. You are so used to carrying them around that you're worried what you might feel like once you've let everything go.

Regardless, the truth is: these negative attachments that you're holding onto no longer serve you. And you holding onto them is like trying to swim with an anchor attached to your wrist. Let it go. It might be hard to, but still, let it go. You'll be surprised at what you can find on the surface when you do.

11.  I Am Not the Mistakes I’ve Made, and the Mistakes I’ve Made Will Not Be the End of Me

Mistakes are inevitable; and despite knowing this, many spend their time dwelling on them.

Nevertheless, I am going to let you in on a secret, one that many fail to notice: mistakes are proof that you tried. They are lessons that you can learn from. They are important for success. They are in the past and immutable. Holding onto past mistakes can hold you back in life, hurt your present, and ruin your future. Let go of the mistakes you've made so that you can be free. No matter how hard you try, you don't have the power to change it.

No one can change the past, the only thing you can do is accept it, learn from it, and move on.

12.  My Future Is My Own

Your future is simply that, your own. So, make it a damn good one filled with everything you want, need, and dream of.

13.  I Am Evolving

And no, you cannot switch the word "evolving" to say I am changing. The word "change" implies that there is something wrong with the person you are right now, which simply is not true. In addition, using the word "change" makes you become passive in your active mission of bettering your life and shifting negative thoughts. Change is inevitable. It will always happen to the best—and worst of us, regardless if we are actively participating in our lives.

But, evolving only happens to those who work for it. Evolving only happens to those who choose to develop gradually, evolving only happens to those who choose to make progress, move forward, and make waves. You are evolving, because simply changing is out of the question.

14.  I Love Myself Unconditionally

Even in your best forms and even on your worst days: love yourself. Unconditionally. Without limitations, without restrictions. Be kind to yourself. Accept yourself. Love yourself, with everything you've got.

15.  I Have Positive, Healthy, and Support Relationships with My Loved Ones

Reminding ourselves that we wish to have healthy and supportive relationships in our lives can remind us to treat others with kindness, compassion, and respect. It can also empower us to stand up for ourselves by creating healthy boundaries in our relationships.

Now that you have these positive affirmations, power to transform your life rests in your hands. I know you'll use it well.

Alexa, play Lizzo.

I do my hair toss,
Check my nails,
Baby, how you feelin'?
Feeling good as hell.

Featured image by Getty Images.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

Every day, Black women elevate the world. We are trendsetters and visionaries; the shapeshifters that lead by virtue of presence alone. In a world that sells our identities for consumption, we remind everyone that joy is our birthright and the grace we carry will always be authentic. Our existence is not a social experiment but a crafted emblem of perfection. And for that, we deserve everything good this world has to offer.

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Sometimes, when things are a little "off" when it comes to our health, there are simple steps that we can take to get ourselves back on track. For instance, did you know that around 92 percent of Americans are considered to be vitamin or mineral deficient in some way? And since there are core nutrients that all of us need in order to function properly, it's important that we're aware of what certain deficiencies are directly linked to.

Today, that is the focus. Here are eight health-related issues that, oftentimes, if we'd just add more of a vitamin or mineral into our system, we will start to feel better in no time (technically a couple of weeks but you get my drift).

1. Muscle Cramping

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Something that happens randomly to me sometimes is I'll have a muscle that cramps up, seemingly out of nowhere. Then I'll snack on a banana and start to feel better. You know why? It's because bananas are high in potassium and potassium is a nutrient that our system needs in order for our muscles to easily contract. If you sweat a lot or don't have enough fluids in your system, you can become a high candidate for being potassium deficient. As far as how much your body requires on a daily basis, it's somewhere between 3,000-4,000 mg a day. Foods that are a good source of this mineral (that is also an electrolyte) include mushrooms, zucchini, cucumbers, sweet potatoes and lentils.

2. Lip Cracking

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If your PMS is off the chain or you've been catching a lot of colds lately, it could be because you need some more Vitamin B6 in your life. However, a telling sign that this is almost definitely the case is if the corners of your lips are cracking or even if your tongue feels a bit swollen.

The main thing to keep in mind with this point is if you're noticing indications that you could stand to have more Vitamin B6, there's a pretty good chance that your system has gotten close to totally running out. And just how much does your body need of this vitamin on the daily? About 1.3 mg. Up it up to 1.5 mg if you're over the age of 50.

Foods that are loaded with Vitamin B6 are peanuts, poultry, oats, avocados and pistachios.

3. Brittle Nails

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If it seems like no matter how much pampering you do to your nails, they are brittle and breaking, that could be an indication that you are low in iron and/or Vitamin C. The reality is that just our periods alone can make us vulnerable to having lower iron levels. And just how much should you be getting into your system? A lot of healthcare professionals recommend somewhere around 14.8 mg each day. As far as the Vitamin C goes, not only can you have brittle nails when you're not getting enough of it, this is a nutrient that makes it easier for your body to absorb iron too. 75 mg per day of it is recommended (120 mg each day if you're pregnant or are breastfeeding). Foods that are high in iron include beef, dark leafy greens, quinoa, pumpkin seeds and broccoli. Foods that are a good source of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, peppers, potatoes, berries and Brussel sprouts.

4. Allergy Symptoms

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If you've got allergy symptoms that are driving you totally up the wall or you're someone who deals with asthma or eczema, these things can be so much worse for you if you are low in omega-3. Long story short, they're fatty acids that pretty much every part of our body needs from our skin and hair to our reproductive system and our heart. Matter of fact, I actually read once that if you tend to have an excessive amount of earwax, that can also be a heads up that omega-3 is lacking. As far as how much is good for you, 1.1 grams daily is enough. And as far as foods that have omega-3 in them, those would be walnuts, spinach, salmon, chia seeds and eggs.

5. Weakness

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Magnesium is both a mineral as well as an electrolyte that helps to regulate muscle and nerve functions and keep your blood sugar in balance. Well, when you don't have enough magnesium in you, it can cause you to experience extreme amounts of fatigue and weakness. A part of the reason why is because magnesium is what helps to keep your potassium levels where they should be. So, when your potassium levels are low, your muscles will not perform with as much strength as they should. Somewhere around 315 mg each day is what your system requires. Foods that are loaded with magnesium include whole grains, pumpkin seeds, halibut, bananas and dark chocolate.

6. Hair Loss

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One of the main things that all of us need in order for our hair to flourish is zinc. It's a mineral that assists with hair tissue growth and repair, fights dandruff and, it also helps your scalp to produce the sebum that it needs for your hair follicles to remain healthy. That's why it makes a lot of sense that if you're low in zinc, you could possibly suffer from some hair loss or, the very least, hair breakage. What can keep your tresses in good condition is if you consume around 8 mg of zinc daily. Foods that are high in it include Greek yogurt, cashews, black beans, sesame seeds and kale.

7. Sleepiness

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OK, if you're out here getting less than six hours a night on a consistent basis, that's probably not an indication that you are lacking a nutrient; what that probably means is you are sleep deprived.

However, if it seems like no matter how much sleep you get at night and/or naps you take during the day, you are still sleepy as all get out, what that could be telling you is that you are low in Vitamin B12. I can personally attest to this because I was sleepy a lot (and I get no less than six hours a night and sometimes a nap) until I started taking a B12 supplement. When you're low in this vitamin, it can trigger sleepiness or even sleeplessness because it plays a significant role in maintaining your energy levels.

It's kinda crazy that a lot of us are Vitamin B12 deficient when most of us only need .002 mg a day of it. Anyway, foods that are a good source of this nutrient include liver, fortified cereals, shellfish, nutritional yeast and milk alternatives (like almond or oat milk).

8. Food Cravings

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Last fall, I wrote an article about signs that you've got a sugar addiction going on (you can check it out here). One indication is if you're constantly wanting to eat sweets all of the time. Well, along these same lines, if you're experiencing food cravings, that too could mean that you've not some nutrient deficiencies happening. Sweets typically mean that you can stand to have more magnesium or tryptophan. Fatty foods mean you need more calcium. Red meat, caffeine or the desire to chew ice means you're low in iron. Salt is oftentimes connected to dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance.

Wanting to eat bread all of the time could also mean that you could use a tryptophan boost (because you are looking for something to make you feel better and bread is a comfort food. Tryptophan helps to produce the feel-good hormone serotonin so that you don't want bread as much). Foods that are high in tryptophan include tuna, cheese, turkey, milk and apples.

While I certainly wasn't able to tackle all of the nutrient deficient-related issues that exist, take this as a bit of an intro cheat sheet. Again, if you are currently experiencing any of these issues, try getting more vitamins and minerals into your system. You might be surprised just how big of an impact...a little bit of tweaking can make.

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Michelle Williams On Depression, Healing & Why It’s Important To Check In With Yourself

"Now, the only label I've got that matters is God's: God's creation. God's work. God's child."

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