If you read our articles often, you know that we are huge advocates of mental health, taking those breaks, and championing our self-care habits. But the fact of the matter is, doing so is damn near impossible with the continuous access to the reality of inequality, the death of our brothers and sisters at the hands of so many variants, and blatant disregard from those who are put in positions to have our best interest at heart.
Add these elements on top of our personal life's challenges, and we can find ourselves in a place where we all suffer from a string of PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, just from being black. According to the American Psychiatric Association, PTSD is defined as:
"...a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault."
Basically, every time we turn on the television, or open our social media accounts, or even while having conversation with friends, we are adding a little brick to our mental barrier.
a katz / Shutterstock.com
But what if instead, we root for as many positive turnarounds as we can and find joy in someone else's triumphs (including your own)? Maybe this means hitting the pavement to march for a cause, or maybe this means organizing a community initiative. Maybe contacting your local legislators and taking them head-on.
Or maybe, you donate.
In comes GoFundMe, the country's most trusted free online fundraising and donation platform that eliminates a third party, securing funds directly to a cause. Some of the most amazing stories rest here, a world where people just hope for the best, and people can directly provide some help for those in need.
So, whether you can donate $1 or $1000, here's a list of a few captivating campaigns that could use some attention during these unsure, but enouraging times.
Beneficiary: Zahalea Anderson
Cause: Rebuild Zahalea Anderson's Urban School of Self-Defense.
Since the time Zahalea Anderson was inducted into the Martial Arts Masters Hall of Fame and built her "dojo" (a Japanese word for a place of learning or meditation), she has been working to build upon the popular martial arts training center.
Unfortunately, Anderson's business was caught in the cross-hairs of the Long Beach, CA riots, and her business was burned down on May 31st, the day protests erupted. Her martial arts school, which was located at 120 W. 7th St., had been closed since March due to COVID-19, but was scheduled to re-open the very day it was burned down.
And although she can no longer stay in its original location, Anderson plans to relocate somewhere even bigger and better.
Beneficiary: Bianca Austin
Cause: Justice and support for Breonna Taylor's family, fight, and expenses because she still has no arrests made on her case.
Breonna Taylor was sleeping in her home when it was raided by three officers who barged in and shot her eight times.
Eight times. Eight times.
The officers were at the wrong home. She was killed immediately.
The backstory disgustingly gets worse, but the other real tragedy is that there has yet to be an arrest, or even a mere attempt at one, holding her killers accountable despite the internet's efforts to call for justice.
We will never give up on this one. Rest in peace, sweet girl.
Beneficiary: Debra Mahone
Cause: Support Jessica on her road to recovery.
On February 21, Jessica Mahone was driving with her son, Quest, when they were hit head-on by a drunk driver. Jessica suffered a spinal cord injury to her C-3, C-4 and C-5 vertebrae, which are part of the cervical spinal column that controls the central nervous system, which affects breathing, chest, arms and legs. Although it is miracle that Jessica is alive, she is paralyzed from her neck down.
She is now showing major progress, thanks to around-the-clock care, rehabbing, and the highly infectious spirit of her amazing mother, who hasn't left her side.
Jessica has a long road ahead, but we have no doubt that Jessica will conquer this whole-heartedly.
Beneficiary: The Brock Family, Shawnniece Brock
Cause: Help the Brock family find a new home and support their family.
During a time where we are suffering a pandemic, riots, and civil unrest, one thing that a family never hopes to deal with is an electrical fire taking everything they own.
Well, that's what happened to the Brock family of Birmingham, AL, when on June 4, they were awaken by screams and flames that engulfed their home and belongings.
The Brock Family is currently residing in a hotel until they can find new living arrangements. All proceeds are going towards continuing caring for their family's needs.
Beneficiary: Bridgette Brantley
Cause: Bri Confronts Racism Across America
After she wasn't offered a teaching contract for the 2020-2021 school year, Bridgette Brantley decided to hit the streets and answer the call for activism instead. And with the current state of the country, Brantley is looking to visit five cities across the United States (Richmond, VA; Washington D.C.; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle, WA; and Houston, TX) to examine racism and its aftermath in America.
Her campaign surpassed its goal FIVE TIMES in less than a week, which clearly makes a statement that she is both good at what she does, and the people want to hear what she has to say.
A true passion project from a queen who could use all the support we could offer.
Beneficiary: The Marcus Books Family
Cause: Support the oldest black-owned bookstore in America.
Marcus Books is the oldest independent Black-owned bookstore in the country.
Sixty years since its opening, the bookstore has become a literary and cultural hallmark, hosting an archive that is comprised of literary royalty and iconic authors such as Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, Angela Davis, Terry McMillan, Michael Eric Dyson, Iyanla Vanzant, Nikki Giovanni and so many more of our treasured voices. Just as important are the book clubs, intimate poetry readings, and countless customer conversations that unfold at Marcus.
The Marcus Books Fundraiser will go toward reclaiming a future where Marcus Books doesn't just survive but thrives, evolves, and gives back.
Beneficiary: Melba Ayco | Northwest Tap Connection
Cause: Support this team as they wait to reopen.
The Northwest Tap Connection is a close-knit creative space community of extremely talented black tap enthusiasts based in the south end of Seattle. Like so many, when COVID hit, they were forced to close and somehow sustain business operations to stay afloat.
Since closing, their campaign has raised half of its goal, which they are so adorably grateful for, but they still have a little bit more of a push to go. Regardless, their passionate, eager, and palpable energy will have this group in session for a long time.
Beneficiary: Danita Dani Constable
Cause: Create a farm community in Decatur.
We never received our 40 acres and mule, but our good sis, Danita, doesn't care. She's out here to take it.
Danita, of Decatur, GA is looking to quite literally create a farming community for black women, a skill so incredibly important considering the direction this country is going. Her plans include: purchasing land, buying livestock, farming her land, building housing for those seeking asylum, making a donation to the Farmer's Alliance of Black Farmers, and so. much. more.
Needless to say, she is on a mission--a beautiful mission--and could use our support. She plans to build out this project over the next two to three years.
Beneficiary: Tiffany Lee of Stewart Trial Attorneys on behalf of Roxie Washington
Cause: The support of Giana Floyd.
Yes he did, baby girl.
For the rest of her life, Gianna Floyd will have access to seeing the death of her father. She will always have access to how the country tried to villainize him for his own murder. Despite this, most of us have taken on a ring of protection to ensure that because of this, she will have the best opportunities afforded to her. It takes a village to take care of all of ours, and nothing is enough.
From Barbara Streisand making her a Disney shareholder, to Kanye West paying for her already competitive college education, hopefully these big gestures can size up to an ounce of the fact that her father was stolen from her.
But at least she knows her daddy changed the world.
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Featured image by stockelements / Shutterstock.com
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