If manifestation was a person, she would look a lot like the CEO of Mielle Organics, Monique Rodiguez. The former RN-turned-CEO went from cooking up hair products in her kitchen to being on the shelves of more than 100K stores worldwide, and recently, the full-time mommy mogul sat down with xoNecole to talk about the fruits of her labor.
While Monique's day job as an RN helped pay the bills and support her family, the one-day beauty mogul felt unfulfilled and dissatisfied with her professional life overall. It wasn't until Monique was eight-months-pregnant with her third child that she was faced with an unfathomable tragedy that would act as the catalyst for change she didn't know she needed. Her son Milan was born brain-dead and after being placed on life support, he passed away six months later. She told xoNecole, "That was obviously a very tragic experience that I went through and I was in a very dark place in my life."
Through her loss, she found solace in sharing her story and eventually grew attached to the vision God gave her to make her passion her next venture. "Honestly, I didn't know how I was going to get through that. [But] you overcome by sharing your testimony," she continued. "It's something that's so powerful about your story because you're in control over the narrative. I want people to look at me [and] I want them to see themselves in me. And to see that, listen, this was a girl who was just from the Southside of Chicago that had a dream and she was able to accomplish her dream. She had a lot of faith and little experience, but look what she was able to accomplish."
It was through taking control of her own narrative and coping with her son's death that Monique reconnected with her entrepreneurial roots, founded Mielle Organics and ultimately took the world by storm. In our chat with her, Monique lets us in on how she knew it was time to spread her entreprenurial wings, navigating the retail world as a brand, and the legacy she's creating with her More Than a Strand campaign.
Building The Brand
After the death of her son, Monique was intentional about shifting her focus to her budding business and leveling up her faith, starting with writing a pre-dated resignation letter six months before she decided to leave her job. The CEO shared, "That first day, I sold one bottle of oil and that one bottle of oil sold like crazy. And I knew that day. I said, 'Oh, I'm going to have to quit my job because I want to give this 100 percent, because I know if I put 110 percent into what I'm doing, I can really grow this thing.' I had to choose between my career and my dreams. And I decided to choose what I love. And that was fulfilling for me every single day because when I got up to work on Mielle, it didn't feel like work."
"I knew that day. I said, 'Oh, I'm going to have to quit my job because I want to give this 100 percent, because I know if I put 110 percent into what I'm doing, I can really grow this thing.' I had to choose between my career and my dreams. And I decided to choose what I love. And that was fulfilling for me every single day because when I got up to work on Mielle, it didn't feel like work."
Eventually, Monique went from experimenting with basic ingredients found in her kitchen to working with a chemist to formulate compounds specifically catered to her client's needs. It wasn't long before she transformed from an entrepreneur into a professional problem-solver. "Every time my customers would send me products for suggestions or if they had problems with their hair, I would take their feedback and take it back to my team and say, 'OK, how can we create this?'" Monique continued, "'How can we use these ingredients to create this product to give them the benefits for their hair to solve their problem?' As an entrepreneur, you are a problem-solver."
Making Mogul Moves
Although going into retail was originally part of Monique's five-year plan, she managed to do it in one. Nearly 12 months after launching her business, she was approached by Sally's for a distribution deal that would later expand to more than 3,000 stores across the country. She told xoNecole, "When you build, they will follow. So, my focus was just building a great brand and formulating great products to increase the consumer demand. Your consumers are who dictate if you go global or not."
While being approached by big box brands may be every business owner's dream, Monique advised that product developers think twice before taking up shelf space. Monique explained, "You have to pay for your products to go on and come off the shelf. So, you really want to make sure that there is a demand for your brand because it's nice to be on Target's shelves. But if those products don't sell, that comes from your bottom line. So, if your company is not in a good financial position, I wouldn't recommend going into retail."
Breaking into an industry with thousands of competitors can be intimidating, but Monique had this advice for bosses that are looking to break into an over-saturated market: "When you go into the grocery store, you see thousands of water bottle companies, you see thousands of brand manufacturers, you see thousands of washing powder brands––you really have to just focus on your brand and what your brand has to offer and how you're different and how you can set yourself apart from everybody that's on the shelf. I always feel that as long as you are operating in your gifts and you're operating in your purpose and you're being authentically yourself, nobody can duplicate you."
"You really have to just focus on your brand and what your brand has to offer and how you're different and how you can set yourself apart from everybody that's on the shelf. I always feel that as long as you are operating in your gifts and you're operating in your purpose and you're being authentically yourself, nobody can duplicate you."
Leaving Her Legacy
As the mother of two young daughters, it's Monique's mission to equip her babygirls with all the tools they need to be successful. Momager to her eldest daughter, who one-day hopes of becoming a fashion designer, Monique told xoNecole that it's her hope that through efforts like Mielle Organics' "More Than A Strand" campaign, she can help mothers and daughters around the world gain access to entrepreneurial education.
The campaign, Monique says, is an opportunity for Black women to feel empowered as independent women who achieve their dreams and to then keep that same energy with their daughters. It's a desire that sparked in Monique as a young child, watching her mom provide for her own family. "For me, it's just [about] being that example again for my daughter to look up to so they can see that, you know? [They can say] 'my mom, she's married. She was able to still rise up and she was still able to accomplish her dreams. And because my mom was able to accomplish her dreams, it can give me the courage and the inspiration to know that I can do so as well.'"
"I just want the same thing for moms all across the country. Our purpose for teaching them about economic empowerment, education and entrepreneurship is to show that it can be done. You can be a mom, you can be a wife and you can also pursue your dreams as well."
For more Monique, follow her on Instagram @ExquisiteMo and to learn more about Mielle's More Than A Strand campaign, click here!
Featured image courtesy of Mielle Organics.
Taylor "Pretty" Honore is a spiritually centered and equally provocative rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana with a love for people and storytelling. You can probably find me planting herbs in your local community garden, blasting "Back That Thang Up" from my mini speaker. Let's get to know each other: @prettyhonore.
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