A lot of people in this world have been relying on religious affiliations or self-help gurus and books to navigate life. For them, inner peace or direction is found through going to church, or absorbing materials that are meant to help guide you to happiness and joy.
Still however, many are left with unanswered questions about how to obtain true inner peace, balance, happiness, and purpose.
Despite gravitating towards resources that are believed to grant those things, some people wonder why their life is not where they always dreamt it would be. By embarking on a personal spiritual journey, I believe people could live and lead more fulfilling lives. This piece will help you get started.
First things first, you must learn how to love yourself from the inside out. It's crazy that self-love needs to be learned! It is meant to be instinctual. I'm not talking about vanity or ego, rather genuine love for the essence of what makes you complete, which is all within you.
No additives should ever be necessary.
Do you know how unnatural it is to look in the mirror and hate what you see? The dark things of the world have managed to separate us from the innate love of self by poisoning our minds with the beliefs of seeking validation externally. Dangling false sense of beauty and jaded ideals of what it means to be successful, or worthy; pushing every soul away from their truths.
Who are you when you take away your money and clothes? When you relinquish your job titles, political and/or religious affiliations, and Instagram pages? Who are you outside of Black, White, Male, Female, Gay, Straight, etc?
Describe your soul. What does your Spirit look like? Love the heck out of whatever that is. Once you do that, love for your physical vessel is a piece of cake!
Going inside of yourself and understanding what motivates you is an important step along your own personal spiritual journey. Allowing yourself to be alone, uninfluenced by the world around you is imperative to finding your truth.
Get still and be quiet about what you personally feel about any and everything that bothers you. Whether it's about yourself, about your friends, or family, or the world at large. Figure out who you are without the opinions of anything outside of yourself.
Understand your pet peeves and what irritates you. Figure out what makes you smile, and what makes you sad. Learn to monitor your thoughts as if they are separate from your body.
Introspection of self is the key to finding where it is you need to heal.
Once you get a handle on your mind, you open the door to get a handle on your emotions. Unpacking is the psychological term for realizing wherever you hold emotional baggage. This can stem from your childhood, to experiences with other people in platonic and romantic relationships, to how you have fared so far in your professional life.
Every emotion we feel is connected to another emotion. It's up to you to figure out where the negative ones come from. This is what unpacking means. It is not always going to be fun. Unpacking painful emotions and feelings can feel like picking at scabbed-over wounds.
You can't think that you are over something that you have repressed, put a big Band-Aid on it, and call that healed. The truth is, it is not healed until you get to the source or the root of the wound, and remove the origin of said pain. That is why a scab still hurts. It is not fully healed. A scar however, is physical proof of something that has been healed.
This will require you to be humble and dissolve your ego. It is definitely one of the hardest parts of a spiritual journey.
Release, Shedding, And Rebirth
Once you have gotten to the bottom of any pain within your spirit or your soul, it is time to release any hang-ups or resentments about it. This can come in the form of accepting apologies, or giving apologies. This can also represent cutting people off who no longer serve you, and have decided not to continue growing with you. This can also take the form of forgiveness.
Whether you have to forgive yourself for something you have done wrong, or forgive someone who has wronged you. Forgiveness is proof that you have healed what needed to be forgiven. This release, or shedding, can represent an old personality as well. If you have been known to be a hot head in the past, or mean, or envious, these are all low vibrational traits that dissolve with ego. If you have been impatient, you have to reverse that. Where you have been intolerant, or angry, you have to release that energy.
Emotions, characteristics, and toxic people aren't the only things that need to be released. Addictions, bad habits, and materialistic desires need to be balanced in order to remain on a spiritual journey.
You don't have to subscribe to any religious affiliations to be reborn. You need only truth.
Once you get through these initial steps of healing your soul, you can move on to finding your purpose. The truth is, all of these steps lead to purpose to begin with. This is the point of embarking on a spiritual journey. In actuality, every human being has been on a spiritual journey since they were born.
With this process comes true joy, happiness, inner peace, unconditional love, empathy, compassion, and an understanding of universal oneness.
Meditation, affirmations, self-care, and connecting with like-minded people help to keep you aligned along this journey.
As someone who has navigated the waters of this journey of truth-seeking, I have found that I literally exude a glow. I am not perfect, but I am happy, whole, worthy, and a survivor. I tattooed on my wrist the word, "healer", because my journey has healed me.
I mentioned in the very beginning of this article that you do not have to be affiliated with organized religion to start a spiritual journey. I personally believe that truth shouldn't be organized. As someone who has broken out of a very Christian upbringing, I can honestly say that I have never been more spiritual.
*Featured Image by Giphy
Fontaine Felisha Foxworth is a writer and creative entrepreneur from Brooklyn New York. She is currently on the West Coast working on creating a TV Pilot called "Finding Fontaine", that details the nomadic journey of her life so far. Keep up with her shenanigans @famoustaine on IG.
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.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Stephen Zeigler/Getty Images