It's kinda crazy. "It" being that, while this year is showing out in a billion different ways, on many levels, I feel more peaceful than I ever have. One day, maybe I'll get into how I know a big part of that came from removing some people, places, things, and ideas (boundaries; boundaries are good, y'all) that were no longer serving me—and, more importantly, where I am headed. Yet, my inner peace goes even beyond that.
For about 12 years now, I've been on the tip of collecting things. Each year, it's something that symbolizes where I'm at and "what I'm on" at the moment. This past year, it was puzzle pieces. They symbolize that I am a puzzle piece that "fits" some places and doesn't fit others. My job isn't to try and force my "piece" into any picture (because that could damage the piece and pic, simultaneously) but to welcome where I fit and be at peace with where I don't. And you know what? Living like this has brought about inner tranquility that is unshakeable, no matter how chaotic things seem to be right through here. Or ever.
Just know that whatever is trying to shake you to your core, there is a way to maintain peace in the midst of it. Here are some suggestions that have worked for me.
Create Your Own “Bubble”
When I took my required birthing class (which was Hypnobabies) in order to become a doula, one of my favorite techniques, that I tend to recommend, even to women who aren't pregnant, is what is known as the "bubble of peace". Anyone who's been pregnant before knows that people tend to have an abundance of opinions, perspectives and information about what they think a new mother should and shouldn't do, both during her pregnancy and after she gives birth. By creating a bubble of peace, she is able to tune out anyone and anything that is triggering her or stressing her out.
At the end of the day, it's basically about meditating and centering in on thoughts that make you feel calm and peaceful. And I promise you that if you make it a priority to cultivate your own, it can help you to tune out life's background noise so that you can focus on what your mind, body and spirit are telling you that you need, at any given time—even if what they need is for you to simply chill out and do absolutely nothing.
Take News (and Phone) Breaks
Something that I've learned about myself throughout the years is that I have a really high threshold for information. What I mean by that is, it takes me a while—months even—to get to a point where I'm like, "OK, I've had enough" (although 2020 has definitely been testing me in this way!). But boy, when I first saw the footage of George Floyd being murdered by those cops, I broke. I cried. I had to shut the news cycle down for a minute. I had had enough.
You can read articles like TIME's "You Asked: Is It Bad for You to Read the News Constantly?" to know that there is no way around the fact that constantly taking in the news (or info, period), whether it's online or off, will not only elevate your stress levels but it can cause you to fall into the rut of constantly seeing things from a "glass half empty perspective". Same thing goes for always talking on the phone, especially if it's with family members or friends who consistently err on the side of negativity. That's why it's so important to take intentional breaks from the news and your phone. Turn off your notifications. Put your phone on silent. Then read a book. Watch a movie. Listen to music. Take a nap. Do something that will totally get your mind off of all that's going on in the world. Chile, Daily Mail, Black Twitter and your cynical auntie ain't going nowhere. They'll all be right where you left them—whenever you decide to come back.
Be on Your Own Time Schedule
Ecclesiastes 1:9 tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. So yeah, whenever seniors in my life try and act like it's only this generation that is wilin' out, I remind them of what the Good Book says. The difference now is thanks—or maybe no thanks—to things like the internet and camera phones, we're constantly in the loop of what's going on…pretty much all over the globe. And since things seem to be always moving at such a rapid pace, it can tempt us to speed up when it comes to how our own lives are flowing. Please don't fall for that trap. Rushing can cause you to make unnecessary mistakes. Rushing can bring about feelings of anxiety. Rushing can stop you from truly connecting with others. Rushing can prevent you from getting the clarity that you need. Rushing can hinder you from living in the moment.
While I'm sharing Scripture, Matthew 6:34(NKJV) states, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." Those are words of wisdom from Christ himself. What he was basically saying is, all you've really and truly got is right here and now. Slow down. Take it in. Do what is relevant in order to bring out the best in this present moment.
Should you plan ahead? Sure. All responsible people do. Yet should you worry about what you can't control in the future or even be in a rush to get there? Nope. Not if you desire true inner peace, you shouldn't, anyway.
Find a “Vent” Partner
There is a particular person in my life who is basically my vent partner. I'm not sure how we got to the point and place of being that for one another, but the "position" requires being on-call—whenever. When she's about the spaz TF out, she calls me. When I need to ramble, cuss or sometimes even scream, she's there. The cool thing about having this type of individual in your life is there are a safe place (because they don't share your vents nor "judge" you for them) to get out your initial frustrations so that you can calm down and do, whatever it is that you're about to do (or not do), from a less emotional and more logical and practical space.
Sometimes, the reason why we feel so unsettled when it comes to what's going on around us is it seems like we're not being heard or validated when it comes to how we feel about things. A vent partner fills this void so that we know we're supported, which makes us feel more capable to endure…whatever it is that needs to be.
Do What Makes You Happy
Happiness. Remember that? When I was recently reading an article on how some researchers define what it truly means to be a happy individual, I liked that it said, "It's not about smiling all the time nor does it stem from money or health, but a self-belief you are on the road you want to be on." The beauty in that resolve is, no matter what is happening around you, in many ways, you have the power to choose what path you want to be on; not just long-term but in the now. So, what would make you happy, right at this very second? Some Ben & Jerry's ice cream (shout out to them and their consistent support of the Black Lives Matter movement)? A glass of wine? Catching up with an old friend? Some hanging-off-of-the-chandelier sex with your partner? Playing with your kids. Doing an arts and crafts project? Writing? Singing? Podcasting? What?
Making the conscious decision to be like, "You know what? No matter what y'all are doing, I'm going to take out a moment and do what makes me happy", is not about being selfish or even insensitive. As the article that I referenced said, it's about putting yourself on a particular path. And anything that makes you feel happy can help to make you feel content…which can help to make you feel more centered and secure…which can definitely help to make you feel more peaceful.
Remember You’re Here “For Such a Time As This”
If you read the story of Esther in the Bible, there is a line from something that her cousin, Mordecai said that goes like this—"Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" (Esther 4:14—NKJV) It was his way of reminding Esther that, even though saving her people was going to be quite a daunting task, the fact that she existed in a time when Jews needed deliverance was not a happenstance thing. In this present time, the same goes for me and the same goes for you. While I'm sure you've had multiple, "What in the world is going on?!" moments, probably at least a dozen times this week alone, it's not a "random" thing that you exist. There is something about your gifts, talents, personality, perspective and mere existence that is oh so very necessary—right here and right now. Knowing that you—as Whoopi Goldberg once said in an episode of A Different World—"are a voice in this world", who can make an impact like no one who came before you or will come after you can, should bring a peace like nothing else.
Because if you didn't serve a purpose, you wouldn't be here; you'd be unnecessary. You are here, though. And that's something to feel really good, resolved and totally at peace about. Here's praying that you do.
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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. ;)
Black women are not a monolith. We all are deserving of healing and wholeness despite what we've been through, how much money we have in the bank, or what we look like. Most importantly, we are enough—even when we are not working, earning, or serving.
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Orgasms have always fascinated me. I’m totally unapologetic about it, too, because anyone who has ever experienced one before (especially a full-body one) gets that if there’s one thing that is borderline inexplicably delightful, satisfying, and worth having as much as possible in this semi-short and very precious life, an orgasm would be it.
That’s basically why I enjoy doing my due diligence when it comes to researching as much as I can about them and then sharing my discoveries with cyberspace. For instance, some current statistics on climaxing include the fact that over 80 percent of women do not orgasm from intercourse alone (that number looks to have increased a bit; some say it’s due to the constant use of vibrators…hmm); almost 60 percent of women have faked an orgasm; on average, it takes a woman 14 minutes to climax with a partner while only eight minutes whenever a woman masturbates; 43 percent of women have had multiple orgasms (40 percent say that weed consumption helped to make that possible), and between 5-10 percent of women have never experienced an orgasm before.
Know what else I discovered while reading up on the topic? That there’s a certain age demographic who experiences the best that orgasms have to offer. And honestly, the answer just might surprise you.
Drum Roll, Please…Giphy
Okay, so let’s get right down to it, shall we? I will say that, before I reveal what a pretty popular survey shared about orgasms and age, I do think that we need to keep in mind that the study surrounds the quality and not so much the quantity of climaxing. In other words, the operative word here is “best” which means “the highest quality” orgasm. That said, what age seems to experience the most of those?
36. Well, technically, it’s 36 and up.
Are you shocked, or does that make complete and total sense to you? Personally, reflecting on that age reminded me of an article that I once read on Fast Company’s website entitled, “How none of us are really adults until we turn 36.” It’s a relatively quick read about how someone came to the conclusion that after speaking with a whopping 500,000 people and coming to the ultimate conclusion that the 20s are about taking their training wheels off — the early 30s through 35 are about achieving professional success and 36 “is the age where there is a chance to review core beliefs, expand our horizons and feel empowered about our future.”
If this is indeed the case, then our sex life — and more specifically, our orgasms — peaking around this same time seems on par…right? Fascinating.
Here’s Why It’s That Age for the WinGiphy
The thing that I really appreciate about surveys like this is it proves what I say to some of the couples who I work with when they try and act like having an active, consistent, and highly creative sex life has some sort of expiration date on it like a carton of milk. Y’all have no idea how many sexless married people will try and deflect from their issues by acting like only folks who are a step up from having their driver’s license want to have sex at least a couple of times a week — when that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Thankfully, I know quite a few married couples who have a really healthy and active sex life, and there is much intel, even outside of this survey, that reveals that sex and wine have quite a bit in common when it comes to the “it just gets better with time” saying.
Matter of fact, something else that the survey revealed is women who fit into the demographic of 23 and younger and 23-36 not only don’t have the best quality orgasms (overall), but they also experience them the least often.
Why is that? There are actually a few determining factors.
For starters, there’s a greater chance that the older women are, the more likely it is that they are married or in long-term relationships, and there is also plenty of data out here to support the fact that serious relationships typically come with better sex lives attached to them.
Another reason is that as women mature, they are able to figure out what their sexual wants and needs are and how to better articulate them. In other words, they don’t play around when it comes to their sexual satisfaction; they are bold about speaking up.
Something else that plays a very valid role is the fact that sexual maturity oftentimes brings along with it a heightened level of sexual confidence (check out “10 Sensuous Ways To Boost Your Sexual Self-Esteem”) — and since the biggest sex organ continues to be the brain, it also makes sense that the better you feel about yourself, yes sexually, the easier it is to give and receive sexual pleasure on a myriad of different levels.
What Makes Something That’s Already Great…THE BEST?Giphy
While working on a different assignment, I interviewed a few married couples about what they think is the biggest mistake people make when it comes to sex. Something that several husbands and wives said was they thought that the last approach that should be taken is “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” because that can end up making you very sexually lazy…and that leads to predictability…which can lead to boredom...which can ultimately lead to resentment…and that can lead to a less-than-impressive-if-existent-at-all sex life.
One husband: “I don’t care how much praise my wife may give me after a session. My goal is to always top myself, no matter what. That has been my mindset for almost 20 years now. I keep looking for new locations, new positions, new sex items — sex only gets old to people who are lazy about it.”
One wife: “The best orgasms that I’ve had with my husband is when I’ve felt like we’re totally in sync. That requires communication, and that includes choosing the right time to discuss certain things. It also always means that you need to be more focused on pleasing your partner than what they need to do to please you…because if you both are wired that way, no one is going to come up short.”
Definitely pearls of wisdom to keep in mind if your mission is not to just have more orgasms but some of the BEST ones ever. And that brings me to a few physical hacks that women, of every age, should try.
5 Tips for Having (Even) Better OrgasmsGiphy
So, what if you’re someone who has orgasms fairly often and easily, yet you’re always wondering if the quality of them could be better? If so, here are five tips:
1. Massage the lower abdominal area. There are certain sexual pressure points that you have that have nothing to do with your genitalia. One of them happens to be your lower abdominal region. As I touched on in the article, “Feelin' On These Pressure Points Will Give You The Best Sex Of Your Life,” getting massaged right underneath your belly button can relax you and intensify your orgasms at the same time (so can your partner mildly pushing down on that area prior to intimacy too).
2. Drink some milk (alternative) and saffron. If you’re looking for yet one more reason to kick traditional milk to the curb, consider your sex drive. More studies are coming out that consuming it will throw your hormones off, which could affect/infect your libido. However, if you consume a milk alternative like almond, oat, or cashew and then add some saffron to it, it could do your sex drive a lot of good. Saffron is a spice that’s loaded with antioxidants that help to calm your nerves, increase vaginal lubrication in women, and decrease erectile dysfunction in men. So yeah…drink up!
3. Make your clitoris tingle (before time). If your partner still struggles with locating your G-spot, a hack that works for many is for him to put a bit of lubrication on his index finger before putting it inside of you, facing up. Then, if he moves his finger in a “come hither” way, he should be able to feel the tiny lil’ walnut (your spot). That gets the tingling going on the inside. As far as the outside goes, Tingle to Mingle is a lubricant that many rave about. The name lets you know exactly what it sets out to do. Pick up a bottle, and please report back. #wink
4. Quickies in the a.m. Full sessions in the p.m. These days, we use the word “pregaming” for just about everything. And yes, it can apply when it comes to sex — more specifically, quickies. Why? Well, even if you’re someone who prefers all-out sex sessions, quickies can be seen as a form of edging…and edging can get you so excited about sex that it can make round two (or five) that much more pleasurable later on.
So, don’t feel like bending over while you’re brushing your teeth is robbing you of anything. You can get a quick orgasm there…one that will hold you over until you can get multiple (and longer) ones later!
5. Never underestimate morning sex. The reality is that a lot of people prefer sex at night because it’s the most convenient for them; that doesn’t mean that any of us should underestimate morning sex, though. Aside from the fact that it’s a solid de-stressor and a great way to boost energy and concentration levels, because both estrogen and testosterone levels are at their peak in the morning hours, morning sex can also intensify your orgasms on a billion different levels too.
Welp. There you have it. No matter what those 20-somethings on TikTok may be talkin’ about, if you’re in your mid-30s (or up), chances are, you can school them on sexual satisfaction on a few levels. And now you’ve got something beyond (hopefully) your own personal experience to prove it. #winkagain
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