The summer after my freshman year at Spelman, I was my brother's social media marketing intern. Working with my brother as my boss was OK, but having my mother as the receptionist, my sister as a bookkeeper and my sister-in-law as the VP was just #teamtoomuch. There were so many personalities in the workplace that I was all too familiar with and whatever drama happened in the house was brought to the workplace. Needless to say, I was all the f*ck set after that.
While I may not have had the run-of-the-mill-working-with-family experience, I had the opportunity to speak to some dope siblings who work together creatively and have healthy relationships. We chatted about the importance of communication, the fine line between friends and siblings, being in business together and do's and don'ts of being siblings when working together.
Known for their charisma, confidence and all around cool vibes, Ceraadi is the perfect example of the sister-best friend combo package we all envy. Sisters Saiyr and Emaza collaboratively create dope concepts for YouTube videos, dance challenges and music - how can they do it all and not be bored, tired, or ready to swing on each other? For these two, it's all about positive vibes and open-mindedness. "We're both head strong and opinionated. We believe in our ideas and that can cause minor bumps," Saiyr admits, "but we always find a middle ground - fusing our great ideas together."
"I believe we have become more open-minded to each other's ideas," Emaza adds. "Let's say we don't agree, our mom will come through to help us figure it out." The dynamic duo has taken to the 'gram to show off their unbreakable bond, from exuding collective confidence in their Savage x Fenty to car covers of Ari Lennox's "BMO". Their in-sync musical abilities are just one way that they show their love and admiration for one another, and they're not shy about bouncing creative ideas off of one another to create an even stronger sisterhood - even if it means being painfully honest. "Always be honest if something doesn't sound good regardless if the other will feel a way. Be open to other ideas," says Saiyr about their creative process and rules of the studio.
As these two embark on a journey to "secure the bag", pun totally intended, they recognize each other's strengths and abilities to pick up where the other may need support. "Saiyr observes and analyzes everything in-depth. Saiyr's thoughts and style come from a genuine place, so you never know what crazy and fun element she'll bring to any project we're working on," Emaza observes about Saiyr, while Saiyr boasts about Emaza's ability to conceptualize ideas and put the pieces together.
"I feel as the oldest sibling, you can't vocally say your favorite, but I knew once Emaza was born that would be my best friend," Saiyr gushes about her younger Capricorn counterpart. When asked about what it's like to have her Taurus-born sister as a built-in bestie, Emaza responded, "Life is easier having a built-in best friend. You don't have to put them through trials and tests to prove loyalty. I know I can depend on Saiyr. Plus we live together so I don't have to wait to see her and chat it up."
"Life is easier having a built-in best friend. You don't have to put them through trials and tests to prove loyalty. I know I can depend on Saiyr."
For more of Ceraadi, follow them on Instagram @ceraadi.
Simone and Jade Kendle
As influencers, mothers and entrepreneurs, Jade and Simone Kendle have their hands full - so having a sister by your side is just what you need to handle the twists and turns of life. As CEO and advisor of Life is Content, a source of e-courses for content creation, Jade and Simone manage their business, friendship and sisterhood with grace, style and absolute boss-chick mode. "We treat business chats like any other professional obligation; shoot one another a meeting invite and correspond through our business emails. We are both super mindful of work-life balance, especially as sisters. You have to be hyper-aware of one another, especially when we are brainstorming or trying to troubleshoot a problem," Jade Kendle tells us.
"The biggest thing I appreciate about working with Simone is the amount of grace we give one another. I can literally sense when she's had a tough day and the business call we're having is being impacted by that," Jade explains about their creative process and conducting business. "It's the level of comfort and commitment that is so special and unique to how we do business together." However, when it comes to flipping the 'sister-switch', Simone admits that working beside one another can become complicated and pose some challenges. "It's super hard swapping from family mode to business mode, without some overlap," Simone Kendle, CMO of Cannection, chimes in.
Simone continues, "We struggled a bit initially because we were so close, we assumed things the other person would do or feel, without always communicating those assumptions. It became super apparent that we had to be very conscious of treating each other as business partners during business hours, and sisters outside of that - as much as we possibly could!" Though problems may have initially been present, Simone and Jade don't draw a line in the sand when it comes to dividing between their relationships as sisters and friends. "I think a sister is a friend you didn't have to search the world to find. If anything, I think it helps maintain a foundation even through our disagreements, you know I'll be here no matter what. That's the best kind of friend," Simone adds cheerfully.
"I think a sister is a friend you didn't have to search the world to find. If anything, I think it helps maintain a foundation even through our disagreements, you know I'll be here no matter what. That's the best kind of friend."
Monica and Juan Veloz
Los Angeles-based brother and sister creative duo Monica and Juan Veloz are a pair worth not only following on Instagram if you need a dope aesthetic to your feed, but a pair of siblings worth admiring for their open and honest relationship as business associates and best friends. "We share three different relationships. We are siblings, coworkers and roommates and we think it's important to know when to wear our hats accordingly," the Afro-Latina YouTuber shares with xoNecole. "So we never bring work into a heart-to-heart conversation or use it against each other."
When it comes to practicing effective communication between one another, Monica and Juan both agree that they never let their emotions get in the way. By taking accountability for their actions, they find that by doing so, their creative process becomes seamless and effortless. "My sister is a bit of a perfectionist, but I've learned to be patient and try to calm her down if she ever tends to panic. I've gotten pretty good at that," Monica's talented photographer brother jokes. "We resolve these obstacles by taking into consideration each other's suggestions and somehow, someway meeting in the middle."
Though they face great challenges together and may not always see eye-to-eye when it comes to sharing a vision, Monica and Juan bump heads about their passion for the high quality content they produce. "We are each other's hype man. We don't allow each other to speak negatively about one another," says Monica, "but we are extreme because the last thing we need is for either one of us to put out subpar work."
When asked about turning off the "brother/sister" switch, Monica acknowledges that the two find the beauty in their difference of opinions when operating as business partners. "We turn it off when we sit back and remember that we did move across the country to pursue these careers and we have no time to waste," she adds before boasting about the creative eye and talent of Juan. "I think it's important to incorporate my brother in everything I do because I value his honesty and his critical eye."
"We share three different relationships. We are siblings, coworkers and roommates and we think it's important to know when to wear our hats accordingly... We are each other's hype man. We don't allow each other to speak negatively about one another."
Coco & Breezy
What's better than having one dope, super talented melanated queen with a keen sense for style and swag? Two! Corianna and Brianna Dotson, known to the world as style icons Coco & Breezy, are the epitome of fashion forward female power duo. Founded in 2009, Coco & Breezy have taken over the world of fashion and entertainment world for their work with the late singer Prince and libation brand Ciroc while taking over the music world as DJs. "Being a sibling and a twin is a whole other connection," explains Coco as she hands the mic over to Breezy, who adds that she knew that Coco has been her best friend since her moment of realization and cognizance at two years old.
"I had a sister, a twin and a best friend who can be weird with me, who could learn with me and be creative with me. I learned that from jump," gushes Breezy about their young budding friendship which would later develop into worldwide domination in the entertainment and fashion world.
"Ever since we were little kids, our parents saw how close we were and they kind of taught us about always having each other's backs," Coco says. "I think what really got us to be so close is growing up. In growing up in Minnesota where we didn't really fit in with the other kids, [it] forced us to be even more of best friends than just sisters because with us going to school and not really having a group of friends to hang out with or a group of friends to have lunch with, we would be forced to do that with each other."
On conducting business together, Breezy shares that their creative processes are indeed different and that it took a while to reach a point of understanding one another's methods. "When we first started the company, we were stuck at the hip. I didn't know what I was great at, Coco didn't know what she was great at," Breezy starts. She explains their personality differences, from her sister's motherly, "super on it" demeanor, a personality that perfectly aligns with her strategic marketing and business development efforts. Breezy, as head of design and product development, self-describes as free-spirited and creative.
"We have our own responsibilities where we can hold each other accountable, which makes us a team and we're very aware of that," she continues. "I know her strengths are my weaknesses, and visa versa. There's no ego that is involved and we both allow each other to hold down what we're responsible for as opposed to arguing about something that I know Coco is great at."
"I know her strengths are my weaknesses, and visa versa. There's no ego that is involved and we both allow each other to hold down what we're responsible for as opposed to arguing about something that I know Coco is great at."
For more of Coco & Breezy, follow them on Instagram @cocoandbreezy.
Symphani and Nydiah Soto
If you haven't seen them on your Instagram explore page, which I'm sure you have, you've likely seen these sisters on YouTube with a bomb makeup tutorial or SoundCloud dropping melodic bars. Though the Soto sisters are miles away from living with one another, they still manage to keep the Instagram followers wanting more and their relationship healthy. "Symphani lives in LA and I live in Florida, so we definitely spend enough time apart, but I try my hardest to go out there for holidays and breaks between school just to keep her company. Living by yourself can get lonely, super lonely," Nydiah Soto shares about the distance between her and Symphani.
Not only are they states and timezones away from one another, they are also separated by seven years, but their sisterhood allows them to bond on a level not hindered by age differences. "When Nydiah was around 15 or 16 [years old], that is when we really looked at each as more than sisters, but as best friends. We are seven years apart - my being 27 and her 19 - but it doesn't feel like it most days!" the I Am artist shares about her younger half. "She feels like the older sister sometimes. It's amazing to have a tight bond with someone and it's forever; she will never not be my sister."
When it comes to creating dope, shareable Instagram content for one another's channels, Nydiah and Symphani have the natural instinct to get sh*t done and put on their boss babe hats. "I feel like we both bring different perspectives to things; whether it's where to pose, how to pose, or what ideas we can do for YouTube," shares Next Management Model Nydiah. "It happens organically. I push her to not be discouraged and she pushes me to get up and create content on the daily."
Symphani concurs that when it comes down to it, as content creators, she and Nydiah have a fun, loving business relationship in which they can rightfully hold each other accountable and push one another to do their best. "Nydiah goes hard! I've seen her outstand me at some points and it's super encouraging," Symphani gloats about Nydiah. "I am not afraid to try things and Nydiah doesn't give up easily. She's super determined and I really admire that about her. She makes me feel like I can and should do anything, and I make sure I give the same in return. We are a team."
"I am not afraid to try things and Nydiah doesn't give up easily. She's super determined and I really admire that about her. She makes me feel like I can and should do anything, and I make sure I give the same in return. We are a team."
Featured image via Life Is Content/Instagram
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