Ah. I am so excited about this month! Pretty much because the one that follows it is my favorite one of the year—October. Although I've got some personal reason for why I like it so much (two of my favorite men, who are no longer with me, their birthdays are in October; my dad and my late fiancé), I think that it is the quintessential representation of fall—and the fall season is all kinds of dope. The weather is cooler. The leaves are changing into pretty and vibrant colors. I get to do more layering of my clothes. Yeah, there's not one single issue I have with fall. Not one.
Well, maybe just one. I'm not sure where y'all live, but I live in Nashville and it's the home of totally unpredictable weather; especially when spring and autumn roll around. Back when I wasn't as proactive about caring for my health as I should've been, if I caught a cold or my hair or lips got extra dry, I'd figure out what to do after the fact. These days, I'm a little more on top of things. These days, before the fall season officially hits, I know just what I need to do to get my health "fall ready". Here is what you can do to prepare beforehand as well.
1. Stop by Your Local Farmers Market
Broccoli. Cabbage. Carrots. Pears. Grapes. Eggplant. Kale. Zucchini. Pumpkin. Pomegranates. These are just some of the foods that are at their peak of freshness during the fall season. Since they're all really good for you, why not support your immune system, along with your community, by picking them up at your local farmers market? Also, since herbs like rosemary and thyme are also in season during autumn, there's no time like the present to amp up your vegan cooking skills too.
2. Up Your Vitamin D Intake
The sun does shine in colder temperatures, but between all of the rain and daylight savings time, you might not get as much as you're used to; this means that you might not get as much Vitamin D as you need either. That's why it's a good idea to be intentional about getting more Vitamin D into your system. You can take a D supplement, if you'd like. Or, if you'd prefer to eat more foods that are high in Vitamin D, some of those include eggs, salmon, mushrooms, orange juice and cheese.
3. Apply Some Frankincense and Myrrh to Your Skin
The fall season is weird in the sense that more inclement weather might result in more moisture in the air. But, at the same time, harsh and cold winds can dry your skin totally out. That's why another thing that I recommend is creating a blend of frankincense and myrrh oil.
Frankincense is an earthy-smelling essential oil that contains properties that not only fight acne but can prevent fine lines and wrinkles (skin-wise, a good read is Zoe Report's "Frankincense Oil Is Like 'Liquid Gold' For Your Face"). As a bonus, frankincense is able to relieve anxiety, reduce PMS symptoms, balance hormones, reduce stress and, if you're trying to make a baby this autumn, increase fertility too. Myrrh is a warm and spicy smelling oil that contains astringent properties that are great for treating eczema and itchy skin. It's perfect for fall because Myrrh is also able to moisturize your skin, relieve any cracking and fade blemishes too. Other benefits of myrrh oil is it boosts brain power, and it reduces bodily inflammation and cold-related symptoms like coughing and phlegm.
Because both oils are pretty potent, it's a good idea to mix them with a carrier oil before applying. Almond, grapeseed and jojoba are really great options.
4. Eat Healthy Comfort Foods
I always enjoy comfort foods, but I think fall may be the time when I crave them most. One article says that the reason why so many of us dig them is because they take us back to certain foods that we enjoyed as children and/or they're dishes that were made by someone we truly love(d).
If you've been trying to talk yourself out of having them this year because they aren't exactly the healthiest foods on the planet, there's some good news. Enjoying comfort food, guilt-free, is mostly about preparation more than anything else. "31 Healthy Comfort Foods for People Who Love to Eat" offers up some pretty healthy recipes. Or, if you're looking for some Black vegan inspiration, check out "15 Vegan Soul Food Dishes That'll Make You Rethink Meat".
5. Cook with “Warming” Spices
Speaking of eating, did you know that there are spices that can actually warm your body up? Once you start noticing frost on your car windows, that's a sign that there's more of a "bite" in the air. Something that can keep you from freezing is cooking meals with spices and herbs like black pepper (contains antioxidants and increases nutrient absorption); cinnamon (lowers blood sugar and has powerful medicinal properties); cayenne pepper (reduces blood pressure and improves psoriasis); ginger (boosts immunity and contains anti-inflammatory properties); and garlic (improves cholesterol levels and fights the common cold).
6. Drink Chamomile or Dandelion Tea
If sweet iced tea tends to be your summer drink jam, slightly switch things up by making your tea warm and going with an herbal kind like chamomile or dandelion. Chamomile is great because it reduces stress, lowers blood sugar, relieves cold symptoms, treats eczema and even soothes menstrual discomfort. Dandelion's a winner because it detoxes the liver, reduces bloating, helps to prevent urinary tract infections, fights inflammation and is loaded with antioxidants to boost your immune system.
Oh, and if you're wondering if it matters whether you go the loose leaf or traditional tea bag route, I recently read an article that's gonna have me taking the loose leaf route more often from here on out. If for no other reason than all of the dust that collects on the bags alone (yuck!).
7. Exercise Outdoors
The fresh air. The beautiful scenery. The wind resistance (because that can help you to burn more calories). Its ability to increase your mental health and boost your self-esteem. These are just some of the reasons why it's a good idea to exercise outdoors. Being that the fall season brings forth milder temperatures, you don't have to worry about burning up (summer) or freezing to death (winter).
So, why not use the fall season to take a hike, go canoeing or do something totally fall theme-related like playing in the leaves with your kids, walking through a fall harvest maze or going apple picking with some friends? Fall can be a fun time to do all sorts of things that will keep your body in shape.
8. Deep Condition and Oil Your Hair’s Ends
When it's cold outside, that can do a real number on your hair. Whether you decide to wear it out, put it up in a protective style, wrap it up in a scarf or put on a hat, make sure your hair is well-moisturized by deep conditioning your tresses no less than twice a month (something that I have become a huge fan of is chebe powder).
Speaking of hair care, something else that you should do (especially if you're gonna be rocking wool hats 'n such) is to oil your ends. Sweet almond oil seals and protects, lavender oil thickens and (extra virgin) olive oil provides shine and sheen while protecting your ends from heat damage in the process.
9. DIY a Lip Scrub
If your lips are always chapped during cooler weather and you've always wondered why, it's basically due to two things. First, you're probably dehydrated, so drinking more water is the first way to remedy the issue. Second, since your lips don't have any oil glands in them, when there is harsh weather (heat, wind, cold), that can cause them to dry out.
To get rid of the dead skin that may be on your lips, make your own lip scrub (you can get some easy recipes here). Then, after they are soft and smooth, protect them by applying some shea butter or making your own lip balm (you can learn how to do that here and here).
10. Get Some Flannel Bedding
Something that does kinda suck about the drop in temperature during the fall and winter is the rise in electric bills. Something that you can do to keep some extra money in your pocket is to put some flannel sheets on your bed. They're soft and cozy, they're able to keep your warm and they're also the kind of fabric that allows your skin to breathe. Since our skin is our largest organ, keeping it healthy is always a good thing.
Flannel sheets actually feel so good that it can be tempting to hit your snooze button five times and remain in bed. Yeah, try and avoid that, though. I recently read that sleeping 10 hours or longer can double your chance of having a heart attack. Geeze.
Oh, if you're wondering how the heck to care for flannel sheets, wash them in warm or cool water, then dry them like you would any other bedding. Just make sure to skip the whole fabric softener thing. For some reason, it makes the sheets stiff and can cause the material to "bead up" quicker. Happy (almost) fall, y'all!
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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 email@example.com. 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