Women empowerment isn't a game for Pauleanna Reid. As the co-founder of New Girl on the Block, a mentorship program that reaches over 200 women across 10 countries, the Toronto native ushers millennials into lives of their own creation. It's a mission that is deeply personal, especially when the senior contributor at Forbes and Business Insider retraces her steps to success.
As a target for bullies throughout her K-12 experience, Pauleanna once questioned her space in the world. "Since I can remember, I always felt misunderstood," she tells xoNecole. "I always felt like I did not fit in. I always felt like I was reaching for validation. I always felt like I had to prove something to somebody."
Courtesy of Pauleanna Reid
"I always felt like I was reaching for validation. I always felt like I had to prove something to somebody."
In the midst of isolation, she found solace in notebooks. Toting blank pages with her everywhere she went, Pauleanna discovered a love for words and dared to dream beyond the classroom. However, when she decided to articulate her desire to be a writer at the end of high school, her parents and guidance counselor were quick to point out that she failed English her junior and senior year. In their eyes, her choice didn't add up. "My philosophy is that your parents don't always know what's best for you. Sometimes they project their own fears and doubts on you, and they put you in a box and put a label on you because they were too afraid to pursue their dreams themselves," she points out. "My parents wanted me to play it safe."
Steered by opinions outside of her own, Pauleanna enrolled in a business administration program instead. "I absolutely hated it," she remembers. What should have been a launching pad for her dream career became a graveyard where her vision was laid to rest. The depression that loomed throughout her childhood crashed hard. She didn't socialize, turn in assignments, or attend class for weeks at a time. "The classroom was somewhere where I did not feel safe," Pauleanna reveals.
During her sophomore year, she attempted to commit suicide twice.
"When I recovered from both attempts, I took it very seriously," she reflects. "I believe that God was telling me that second chances do exist and that there was a purpose for my life, and that was the moment I decided that I was going to dedicate my life to figuring out what my purpose was. I immediately dropped out of school."
Courtesy of Pauleanna Reid
"I believe that God was telling me that second chances do exist and that there was a purpose for my life, and that was the moment I decided that I was going to dedicate my life to figuring out what my purpose was."
Pauleanna hid her decision from her parents for a little over a year. "I wanted to have receipts before I told them I dropped out of school," she says. "I wanted to have experience under my belt."
She made her next move with careful thought. "If I was not going to pursue a traditional education, that meant I had to turn the world into my classroom," she explains. "In addition to life experiences, I also knew that I needed to stand on the shoulders of giants. I knew that I had to acquire mentors."
In 2009, Pauleanna met sex educator Shannon Boodram and media professional Shannae Ingleton Smith. "They've been my big sisters for the last decade, and they really catapulted my writing career to be honest," she expresses with humility.
While Shannae encouraged Pauleanna to start her own blog, Shannon guided her through the process of penning her debut novel Everything I Couldn't Tell My Mother. The book, which mirrors 90 percent of Pauleanna's life, faced 22 rejections from publishers before she opted to cut out the middleman and self-publish. "I understood that I wasn't going to let someone in a corner office who had no idea who I was dictate the next steps of my career," she stresses.
Everything I Couldn't Tell My Mother went on to become an Amazon best-seller and 2014 Top Summer Read on the Queen Latifah Show. The personal tale, which tackles date rape, abusive relationships, and deep-seated insecurites, also gives way to reflection, growth, and self-love. "The one thing I really wanted to convey in this book is in order to achieve the success that you want, you have to either let go of resentment or anger or deal with the issues you've been bearing head on," Pauleanna says. "If you're carrying emotional baggage, you will not give yourself the opportunity to open your hands up and catch a blessing."
The full-time entrepreneur also notes that this process takes time. "The only way I know how to climb out of any hole that I'm in is gradually," she maintains. "I think you have to give yourself time. You can't put so much pressure on yourself to heal in a specific timeframe."
Since being diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2010, Pauleanna gave herself permission to try everything from medication to therapy. While implementing lifestyle changes were key to her progress, tuning into self and connecting with God reigned supreme on her road to wellness. "When it has been necessary, God has always shown up. It's been very evident. Whether it was a job opportunity, removing people from my life, or helping me recover from my suicide attempts, He has always shown up on time," she muses. "I want people to know that there is life after disappointment. Everything that we experience is for our greater good. It may not always make sense, but we have to understand that God is not obligated to tell us the details. He has a greater plan for our lives, and it doesn't include crying at night or believing that we're broken."
Courtesy of Pauleanna Reid
"Everything that we experience is for our greater good. It may not always make sense, but we have to understand that God is not obligated to tell us the details. He has a greater plan for our lives, and it doesn't include crying at night or believing that we're broken."
She is a testament to this thought. After dropping out of college, she fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming an author, launched the celebrity ghostwriting agency WritersBlok, and elevated to senior contributor at Forbes and Business Insider. In the process, she also collided with a deeper calling. "After looking at my career, many people would assume that my purpose is writing. My purpose is not writing," the public speaker says with clarity. "My purpose is I'm here to help people see beyond the limits of their circumstances."
As a mentor to millennials, Pauleanna encourages the hundreds in her program and the thousands tuning into her moves on social media to play it smart instead of throwing blind darts in hopes that they'll land on a goal. Before stepping into full-time entrepreneurship, she held down a corporate job for a decade and used her free time to sharpen her business acumen, build a proven track record of selling products and services, and slice her debt by $45,000. "Don't let the Internet rush you," she warns. "It took me 10 years to figure out the formula, and I was totally OK with that. I think the reason why my transition was so successful is because I'm very patient with myself and like Jay Z says, I play the long game."
And while she could hoard the gems she's accrued along the way, Pauleanna is completely fulfilled paying it forward, the same way her mentors continue to come through for her today. "They believed in me on days I didn't believe in myself. I can screenshot any conversation, and they always tell me I'm a bad b***h," she says. "They always tell me I can do anything."
For more of Pauleanna, follow her on Instagram.
Featured image courtesy of Pauleanna Reid
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