"Influencer" is a buzzword that has been iterated and reiterated time and time again as social media has altered the way we receive news, become put on to brands, and like what we like.
Alex Wolf is one of the many millennial influencers out there, and placing her stamp on the social media game one post at a time and with masterful creations like her book Resonate: For Anyone Who Wants To Build An Audience. What some of you might not know, the award-winning author has been on the internet for as long as she can remember, even before it developed into the beast it is today. Alex began her brand-building prowess with not-so-humble beginnings as the previous founder of Boss Babe, the well-known mecca for all things entrepreneurial (and with an incomparable female-focused following to match).
Alex WolfThe Culture Supplier
Shortly after the brand took off, Alex realized that it just wasn't something that she was passionate about anymore and opted to sell the business. She chose to focus on things that mattered to her, like human connection and how the advancements of technology affect it. In her book, Alex provides a detailed breakdown on how social media culture has contributed to the resounding feeling of loneliness and why authenticity will always be in. "If you use it (social media) the way we are conditioned to now, to only show off and follow people broadcasting the most flattering moments of life, the sensation of loneliness will crawl right over you like a demon," Alex tells xoNecole.
For her, one's power in the digital age will always lie in their ability to resonate.
No matter how advanced the algorithms of the Internet become, they just can't seem to master the science of resonating connection. Businesses like Snapchat create ads done in poor taste that actually appeal to none of our interests. And in attempts to compete with the big dogs we, the artists, the influencers, the people, curate perfect feeds to create magazine-worthy aesthetics and drop quotes from dead poets that pair perfectly with an artsy picture of oranges (swiped from Pinterest of course). I'm not judging, I've done it too. The corporate rat race has been replaced with a social media rat race of sorts.
We pine over likes and followers and attend webinars on "engagement"; but it seems the more we post and scroll, the lonelier we feel. Are we missing the whole point? "To be alive is to share together the experience of being human – we all get to feel what it's like to want, to wish, to have, to lose. The more we remember that, the less we'll panic when it feels like we're going through this alone," Alex shares.
Somehow we've allowed these screens and the images on them to isolate us into believing that everyone else is exempt from the daily human struggle to live, freely and happily. The most popular and influential of influencers are not those that portray an attitude of perfection, but rather the Luvvies and the Issa Raes of the world that trade in "perfection" for "authenticity." In her book Resonate, Alex notes that we can get away with skipping some of the most popular books on marketing if you replace them with ones on psychology and anthropology.
Artists like Cardi B built their fan bases simply by being themselves - unfiltered, omitting the need for marketing strategies and overly-produced social media accounts. They hop on a live with the babies running around in the background and do what they do. Their audiences connects with them simply because they can relate and see themselves in the stories they tell through their art.
Resonating connections are fostered and created from those "Oh, you too girl?" moments. The split second where you pause and nod in agreement, realizing that someone else gets it. The involuntary "mmmph" you let out when taking in the latest fire mixtape with punch lines so vivid that they literally punch you in the gut. It's that same resonating connection that created a stan out of Stan (think 2000 Eminem).
Alex reminds us that it's about being compassionate with ourselves about our truths, and to not just wear our truths on the inside, but outside as well. "It works as signage. Showing how accommodating you are with your humanness, which will attract others who will be accommodating with it as well."
Success happens when you give people no choice but to accept you as you are.
Creatives and Authenticity
The 26-year-old Brooklyn native has managed to navigate adulting thus far without a "real" job. For that, her inclination towards creativity receives all the blame. And by extension, as a creative, she believes that the concept of "professionalism" is beside the point when trying to change the world or be authentic. She's done her fair share of research, in combination with lived experience, and concludes that much of how the world runs has nothing to do with professionalism. While she isn't suggesting that we walk around cursing like a sailor, rocking your name chain and Jordans, she is asking that if that's who you are, please bring her into the room with you when you decide that you're ready to stake your claim in the world and find your tribe.
Speaking of our tribe, we all have that friend with the painfully dope work who refuses to put themselves out there and maximize their potential. In Resonate, Alex refers to this period in the creative career path as the Starving Artist Phase – you know the stage where you associate making money with being evil, as if there is some type of honor in struggling because you're surviving off your last gig for the next three months. As stated by philosopher Alan Watts, there's a paradigm shift that has to take place where we realize that "money is a system of 'cosmic bookkeeping'."
It's easy to see how and why this would confuse a creative whose sole mission is to simply make dope ish, but Alex wants us to remember that the more we realize what it actually is, the less intimidating it becomes. You can still create authentically and run a profitable business while remaining free.
"The way to build an audience will never change as long as the audience you're trying to build is made up of human beings." - Resonate, Alex Wolf
When we think of building an audience, whether for professional purposes or simply for enjoyment, Alex suggests we look at the last few screenshots in our phones - the memes and images we save simply because of how they made us feel. If we hope to create lasting connection, we should first ask ourselves, "Would anyone care to save this?"
We should create with passion and deliver so much value that whatever it is you create would never be easily disposed of. "It should be obvious through your effort that things like this are too nice. They were made deliberately, [not] to be thrown away or forgotten about."
Whatever it is that we put out into the world should cause our audiences to ask, "Who is this girl?" After all, we are the generation of the search engine. When you produce something meaningful, the people that like and buy our stuff feel compelled to share our work all on their own. We can omit the tacky marketing ploys and just create. Alex mentions that this approach may not automatically translate into followers and likes, but it will allow you to build a community that engages and genuinely enjoys what it is that you produce. "Don't underestimate the extent humans are willing to explore the massive complexities of the world just to find bits and pieces of them."
And now that you've built something for the people, you can sit back and watch that one follower grow to a clump of followers, and eventually develop into a cluster of followers that become a fully bloomed audience. The idea eventually becomes popular enough to exist as a separate entity and "ideas don't die," Alex emphasizes.
When we really find something that we absolutely love, we can't resist the urge to share and the internet as we know it has given us the tools to do so with the click of a button.
Alex's message as a branding afficianado is clear – stop panicking over followers. Follower counts and likes shouldn't be used as the new metric system to measure one's impact and significance. All you really need is a few people that feel you.
One resonating connection is still connection.
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Danielle Smith is a Toronto-based Personal Development Junkie on the gram @youbettaglowgirl. She keeps her hands full as a Writer, Speaker, Stylist & Non-Profit Founder, all while doing her most important job as a full-time mama of one. Marching to the beat of her own drum and a playlist of her favourite 90s R&B, she's blazed a path of her own.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
An author by the name of Alexandra Katehakis once said this about orgasms: “Great spiritual teachers throughout the ages have stated that orgasm is the closest some people come to a spiritual experience because of the momentary loss of self. Why is this true? Because with spiritual sex, you move beyond orgasm into a connection with yourself, your partner, and the divine — recognizing them all as one.”
If it’s counterintuitive to what you’ve ever thought about orgasms, believe it or not, there are even pastors who have said that climaxing is the closest comprehension of heaven on this side of it: it is an extreme kind of bliss that is indescribable and is best experienced between two people who share a sacrificial kind of love for one another.
Although this might seem like a heavy way to intro this particular topic, because the O Method is an orgasm-achieving technique that centers around housing energy, embracing the mental practice of manifestation, and the attempt to achieve the best climaxes ever — it all works together pretty well if you ask me. If you want to take your orgasms to the next level, it’s important that you get out of yourself (to a certain extent), that you see the spiritual role that manifestation plays, and that you are open to trying new things. No doubt about it.
So, let’s learn more about what the O Method is all about and how it very well could be just what you’ve been looking for…even if you didn’t know it.
What Is the “O Method” All About?Giphy
Question: When’s the last time you’ve had an orgasm? Not just any orgasm — I mean a really mind-blowing one (I’ll give you a second to think about it). Now, what if you could manifest that experience to the point where it wasn’t a rare occurrence but something that happened almost every time that you and your partner had sex with each other? How absolutely awesome would that be?
That is pretty much what the O Method is all about — helping you achieve the kind of orgasms (and sexual pleasure, in general) that you desire through the practice of manifestation. And since your biggest sex organ is your brain, it would make perfect sense that even with all of the tips and techniques that you might learn to do as far as your body is concerned, honing in on what you think about is super imperative to sexual fulfillment, too. And that’s just where manifestation comes in.
What If You’ve Never “Manifested” Anything Before?Giphy
Before we get into a quick lesson on manifestation, I think it’s important to mention two things. One, for the cynics, there is a lot of truth in the fact that it’s got some solid spiritual basis to it because even the Good Book says that as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7). At the same time, that same Good Book tells us that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). So, while it is always a good idea to focus on good, positive, and productive thoughts, just thinking about them isn’t enough — at some point, you’ve also gotta get out here and DO something (bookmark that).
Okay, with that mini-sermon out of the way, whether it’s in the bedroom or not, manifestation is basically about focusing on something tangible that you desire, harnessing your energy in such a way that your words and actions are directed towards that longing until what you want, well, manifests. For the record, aside from this having a spiritual backing to it, in many ways, science cosigns on manifesting, too. There is actually a scientific process known as neuroplasticity that consists of reframing your mind so that your actions ultimately end up aligning with your goals — and that is another way to look at manifestation.
So, what if you’re someone who has never set out to do a manifestation practice before? No worries. Something that’s awesome about it is there are several different approaches that you can take.
Some people manifest what they want in their lives via:
- Visualization/Creating vision boards
- Writing down their desires before going to bed (so that they can “download” them into their dream state)
- Creating mantras and affirmations
- Applying the 369 Manifestation Method (you can learn more about that here)
- Learning more about what you want to manifest (which brings forth clarity)
This is important to keep in mind because, when it comes to manifesting the types of orgasms that you want to have, as you can see, you can try different manifestation methods until you find one (or ones) that you are truly comfortable with. One that can ease you into the entire process rather smoothly is something known as sex journaling.
How Sex Journaling Can Actually Help You to Have an OrgasmGiphy
As a writer, I’m a big fan of journaling. Mostly because it’s a way to get out some of your deepest thoughts and feelings so that you’re able to really process what is happening inside of you in a private setting. And when it comes to sex journaling, specifically, it’s all about centering yourself on the things sexually that you want to “unpack,” get clarity on or come to some revelations about. For instance, if there’s only been one partner from your past who’s been able to help you achieve the type of orgasms that you wish to manifest, journaling about what makes him different from the other guys can provide you with some solid ah-ha moments.
Or if you need help getting as specific as possible about the sexual experiences that you’re after, journaling can help to make that happen for you — because one thing that manifesting reminds us all to do is be as specific as possible.
Yeah, simply saying, “I want to have better sex” isn’t detailed enough when you want to get your energy to match with your desires — instead, describe how all of your senses should feel in the experience, along with why, that can get you so much closer to achieving your goal. Once those things are documented, you can segue into creating mantras and/or meditation that are based on them. Yeah, sex journaling really is an underrated superpower on a lot of levels (check out “The Art Of Sex Journaling (And Why You Should Do It)”).
5 Tips for Making the O Method Work for YouGiphy
Now that you know more about what the O Method is and how manifestation plays a direct role in its process, let’s talk about five ways to make the O Method truly effective in your own (sex) life.
1. Focus, FULLY, on your feminine energy. What do rose quartz, amethyst, moonstone (which is a Gemini birthstone as well; yes, I’m a Gemini), selenite, and rhodonite all have in common? They’re crystals that help you to go deeper into your divine feminine energy. Traits that are associated with this include compassion, creativity, kindness, gentleness, and sensuality (feminine energy is also accepting and forgiving). If you were to study energy from a biological standpoint, it’s about producing change, responding to stimuli, and having the ability to do what needs to be done (work). So, when it comes to manifesting the kind of orgasms or sexual experiences that you want, using things like your creativity and gentleness in your thoughts and actions can play a role in bringing balance to your partner’s masculinity, which can create a profound sense of pleasure — after all, opposites do attract.
2. Don’t hold back on what it is that you desire. Whenever I interview sex therapists, something that they all say is, a huge mistake that people make as far as sexual satisfaction is concerned is, they have walls up — not just with their partners but even within themselves. Sometimes, there is intimidation, fear, or even shame around what they really want to happen during sex to the point where they aren’t able to channel their energy fully in those directions in order to manifest what they want. For the O Method to work, you can’t let those types of negative emotions hinder you; the more you are able to articulate what you want and how you want it, the better chance you have of making it happen. So yes, get graphic. As graphic as possible.
3. Make manifestation a daily practice. Repetition is important when it comes to manifestation. That’s because the more you declare what you desire (a mantra), get still and think on it (meditation), or look at the “art” that you’ve created surrounding it (visualization), the quicker it becomes a part of you. So yes, make manifestation a daily practice. For instance, if one of your mantras is, “I am going to have intensely passionate orgasms, one right after the other,” don’t just state that 15 minutes before sex is going to happen. Wake up and declare it. Then say it on your lunch break. And again before turning in. The more your thoughts are “streamlined” in this way, the easier it will be for your body to follow suit.
4. Share this practice with your partner. If you were to do even more research on the O Method, one thing that most of the articles will mention is it’s a practice that you can do alone or with your partner. Indeed. However, I just want to make sure that you get into your psyche that great sex is, in part, about good communication. And so, the more comfortable you are sharing with your partner what you are doing as far as the O Method is concerned and what you ultimately want to happen as a result of the practice, the easier it will be for him to “match your energy” — both in and out of the bedroom. And when your partner is on the same page as you? That definitely increases the chances of attaining your sexual desires — exponentially so.
5. Stay in the moment. While I was reading one article on manifestation, I really appreciated something that the author said: manifestation isn’t some supernatural power. In other words, while it can be beneficial, it’s not like you can just think of something, and it instantly appears out of nowhere. Manifesting is a discipline, and it must be accompanied by action, consistency, and patience — this means that you must also practice mindfulness. Meaning, now that you know better what you’re looking to achieve as far as sex is concerned, every time that it transpires, maintain a level of positive energy, remember what your end goal is, and then determine in your mind to enjoy the moments as they come. Remember, manifestation isn’t to add stress…it’s to cultivate clarity.
At the end of the day, the O Method is simply a way of reminding you that your mind plays a huge role in your sexual pleasure, and when you channel it and your energy exactly where you want them both to go, you’ll be amazed what your body is capable of doing…and accomplishing.
So, what kind of orgasm are you wanting to achieve? You’ve got a tool to get you there. USE IT.
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Featured image by Giphy