Can you believe it? In just a few short weeks, we'll be into a new year—and decade. And while I know that this is the time when many folks decide to make resolutions, what I also know is 80 percent of resolutions are left by the wayside come Valentine's Day. That's why, I think it's far more effective to order a fresh journal and jot down some personal affirmations instead. Matter of fact, if you'd like to take positivity a step further, why not host a declarations party with some of your friends?
What exactly is a declarations party? It's simply a time for you and your buddies to get together, toast one another, discuss what you're leaving behind in the old year and what you are declaring will manifest in the new one. And why is doing this so important? Because, making verbal declarations gives us direction, increases our faith and also holds us accountable. Because once we put what we declare out into the atmosphere—especially when it's in front of an audience—we are responsible for what we said. We are compelled to do what we said we would do.
Since we're about to embark upon—whew!—2020, I thought it would be dope to come up with 20 sentences that we all can declare as it relates to four different areas of our lives. Feel free to tweak or amend any that you see. It's not about reciting them verbatim so much as having a guideline for what you want to speak into your life—in this season, stage and phase of it.
Are you ready to make some bold declarations before the New Year arrives? Let's do this then.
When It Comes to Your Job/Career
"Work to become, not to acquire."—Elbert Hubbard
If Sunday evenings send you into mini panic attacks, if you're not excited or productive at the place where you work, if you can't find one good reason to stay where you currently are other than it pays the bills—these are just a few clear signs that you need to spend some serious time at the top of the year to look for a new job…or career path.
Since you (probably) spend most of your waking hours working, it's important that you position yourself in such a way that you feel challenged, appreciated and inspired. If that means leaving a particular company, totally changing careers or starting a business of your own, so be it. Your time, talents and health and well-being are all far too valuable to remain where you feel dissatisfied and unfulfilled. And so, start aligning yourself with what is better for you by making the following promises to yourself so that you will get into the mental head space to not settle…any longer.
- "I will not keep working at a place where my gifts and talents aren't being utilized."
- "I will not invest so much into a job that I don't make time to invest in myself."
- "I will only remain where I am if it affirms my own personal definition of success."
- "I will ask for what I want because, closed mouths don't get fed, and all someone can say is 'no'."
- "I will not stay at a job or on a career path that doesn't make me excited to get out of the bed, at least three days a week. Life is too short and I am too awesome."
When It Comes to Your Relationships
"A healthy relationship is one where two independent people just make a deal that they will help make the other person the best version of themselves."—Unknown
Wanna know how I know when I'm in a relationship that is right for me, whether it's a personal or professional one? It's non-stressful. It's enjoyable. I learn and grow from it. I feel affirmed and respected. I don't have to second-guess anyone's motives or agendas. Most of all, I feel safe. Very safe. Although I didn't go into 2019 (or 45) thinking that it was going to be a year of so much introspectiveness, personal shifting and relational loss, as I was just telling someone today, the clarity and emotional peace that I now have as a direct result of the relational work that I've done is truly unmatched. I know who my tribe is and who my tribe isn't. I know who can't be trusted and who needs to be kept at arm's length. I also know that anyone who truly loves and appreciates me, they will honor my boundaries as I do the same for them. A lot of this relational self-improvement came from making declarations that are very similar to the ones below.
- "I will love myself enough to no longer settle for less than what I know I deserve. And if I'm not sure what that is yet, I will be single while I figure it out."
- "If the relationship, any kind of relationship, is not making me a better person, it's time to let it go."
- "I will not expect what I am not prepared to give. Also, I will not give out of my lack but out of my overflow. When it comes to others, I will expect the same."
- "Codependency, fear, control, resentment and unhealthy cyclic behaviors are all beneath me. If my motive is not based on self-love and self-respect, I will not proceed in a relationship—whether it is personal or professional."
- "In the future, I will not beg for mutuality; I will require it. What I bring to the table is too good to not expect reciprocity in return."
When It Comes to Your Goals
"If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things."—Albert Einstein
Recently, I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is prone to make unwise decisions when it comes to women. It's like so long as they are crazy and needy, he's all about 'em. As we sat down to discuss what the hell his problem is and how he can avoid going into yet another year of a self-made soap opera, I said to him, "You need to find some other ways to fill up your time." Yes, he has a job—a well-paying one, at that. But what he doesn't have enough of are personal and professional goals.
And just why are goals so important? They give you something to aim for. They keep you focused. They motivate you. They help you to develop healthy habits. Then, once your goals are reached, they strengthen your sense of self-worth while giving you the courage to set even bigger ones. That's why, sentences like the following are so important to speak out into the atmosphere. They help you to set goals and to make personal progress in your life.
- "I will stop overthinking. I will stop procrastinating. I will stop comparing myself and my path to others. All that these things do is hold me back. That's why, this coming year will be the one when I will move firmly forward with my ambitions and desires—without any reservations or apologies."
- "I will ask for help when I need it. I will extend a hand when others ask for it too. In both cases, I will make sure that gratitude is the energy that's felt. I will also convey that a sense of entitlement is not tolerated. Help is a gift; it is not a mandate."
- "I will not be a slave to anyone's blueprint, critique or doubts. These are my goals, my visions and my plans. And, because I am a unique individual, so are the things that I am setting out to do. I trailblaze without any fear because I will embrace rather than run from the new and unexpected."
- "I will not go into 2021 in the same space that I am entering into 2020. There will be at least 10 short and long-term goals that will be accomplished by this time next year."
- "I will not compare my goals to others. I will not allow others to belittle mine either. My achievements will be celebrated based on my own standards and expectations. No one else's."
When It Comes to Self-Care
"Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what's left of you."—Katie Reed
I really wish I had kept the tweet I saw that said something along the lines of, "Why do so many women expect a man to do for them what they don't even know how to do for themselves?" Only someone who applies to that statement would be offended by it because the author of that question is right. Back when I wasn't practicing self-care, there was more of a longing—sometimes to the point of desperation—within me to be taken out on dates, to be pampered and to feel cherished. Now? All that a man's attention can—and should—do is confirm what I already know about—and do for—myself.
Self-care hasn't taught me that I don't need a man; what it has done is reveal to me what I need a man for. I need a man to complement, support and protect all of this goodness that's over here; the goodness that existed well before a man's arrival. You know what taught me that? Self-care did. So did making the following promises to myself.
- "I will set aside a monthly budget to pamper myself. This goes beyond mani/pedis and hair appointments. This coming year, I will learn the difference between routine maintenance and sheer luxury. I will make it a priority that I have both."
- "There will be a 24-hour period, once a week, where I make sure to 'unplug' and rest. This is non-negotiable."
- "I will make sure that my thoughts and actions line up with the kind of love that I strive to have for myself. I will begin each day remembering that since there is only one 'me', that automatically makes me original, rare and incomparable—all qualities that make me a true force in this world."
- "I will set the standard for how others are to treat me, by how I treat myself. The standard will continue to rise over the next several months."
- "I will set aside enough money to go on a vacation by this time next year. I need the rest, the reflection and the self-wooing whether I go with a boo, some friends or with the most fabulous person I know—myself."
This right here is more than a self-help article. I can personally attest to the purpose and power that comes from making positive, focused and firm declarations over your life. Make 2020 one of the best ones yet by making some too. It's good seed in good ground. I declare it.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
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