I didn’t think much could get better about the blissful high that comes with oral. That was until I came across the Kivin Method.
As someone who was never a huge fan of oral sex and could largely take it or leave it, I must admit that I have started to come around in recent years. With my head thrown back, hands gripping sheets and hair, and toes curling from the intense sensations of the work my partner is putting in at my center, I now give myself over to the pleasurable act wholly and unapologetically.
When I came across a way to maximize the pleasure I receive from cunnilingus (already), I had no choice but to tap in. Who knew the key to taking oral sex to new heights was giving it a sideways twist? For those of you who might also be interested in ways to spice up the way you do oral, experience faster and stronger orgasms, or simply want to indulge in something new with your partner, the Kivin Method could definitely be the oral sex technique for you, too.
Keep reading to learn about the method that is sure to have you writhing in ecstasy in no time at all.
What Is The Kivin Method?
For the uninitiated, the Kivin Method is an oral sex technique that focuses on stimulating the clitoris from a different angle. Dubbed “sideways oral” by some, this method involves the action of giving head from a side-to-side movement as opposed to the up-and-down motion that people typically perform when giving head. (If you need a visual, this illustration is helpful.)
The difference in approach as you’re receiving head can be a game-changer in how you receive pleasure. Not only does the giving partner have access to the clitoris, but they can also access more easily the vulva and the labia, which are objectively a bigger focus in this version of cunnilingus. More access means wider coverage, and that, plus the new sensation of oral from a different angle, can heighten the way you experience oral sex that much more.
Where more pleasure flows, intense orgasms are sure to follow.
How To Do The Kivin Method
If you want to know how to do the Kivin Method, it’s actually pretty straightforward. The receiver lays on their back while the giver positions themselves perpendicular to the receiver. Their head will be facing the vulva, but instead of vertical, their face will be horizontal to the vulva.
From there, the giver can get to business, ensuring that they keep their head perpendicular to the receiver’s vulva while working on their craft. Because this technique can be more intense for some receivers, start slowly by stroking the vulva and clitoris sideways with the tongue, and allow sensations and communication from the receiver to be a guide of what you need more or less of with the Kivin Method.
Ultimately, the Kivin Method allows experimentation and unlocking what pressure, rhythm, and tricks work best for the giver and the receiver. Try implementing a finger or two, or adding a sex toy to the mix to intensify the act even further.
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Whitney Alford’s presence can be seen and heard all throughout her longtime partner, Kendrick Lamar’s impressive rap career, inspiring such deep cuts like the 2009 song “She Needs Me” and providing background vocals on To Pimp a Butterfly’s “Wesley’s Theory” and “King Kunta.” Perhaps the most visible she has been was in his latest release, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers, where she appeared on the album’s cover art with the couple’s two children, as well as in the visual for his single, “Count Me Out.”
The Grammy award-winning rapper is largely heralded as one of the greatest to ever do it, and the bond he shares with his high school sweetheart that has inspired some of his most introspective projects and self-reflective tracks has cemented Whitney as a forever muse.
The 37-year-old makeup artist has been with Kendrick since they were teenagers, with the couple meeting while attending Centennial High School. Both Whitney and Kendrick were born and raised in Compton, California, and began as friends before eventually starting a romantic relationship. In a 2015 conversation with Billboard, Kendrick expressed that he frowned on the way certain terms minimized who Whitney is to him. "I wouldn't even call her my girl," he told the outlet. "That’s my best friend."
“I don’t even like the term that society has put in the world as far as being a companion — she’s somebody I can tell my fears to.”
Larry Busacca/Getty Images for NARAS
Months later, he confirmed to The Breakfast Club his engagement to his “Day 1.” I’m loyal to the soil. At the end of the day, you want to always have real people around you, period. Everybody that’s been around me has been down since day one, and I can’t change that. I don’t change for nobody. I always show respect when respect is being given and people that’s been by your side, you supposed to honor that. That’s how you stand up.”
Whitney can even be seen in the “King Kunta” visual rocking an engagement ring on her finger. Since then, Whitney and Kendrick have welcomed two children to their growing family, a daughter and a son whose names haven’t been revealed to the media, maintaining their famously private life.
Without a doubt, the most transparent and self-reflective he has ever been about his family life was with his most recent body of work, Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers. In the 2022 release, he gave insight into his past with cheating and addictions as a means of escapism. The song “Mother I Sober” features lyrics about how his “lust addiction” impacted his relationship with Whitney, rapping:
“Intoxicated, there’s a lustful nature that I failed to mention / Insecurities that I project, sleepin’ with other women / Whitney’s hurt, the pure soul I know, I found her in the kitchen / Askin’ God, ‘Where did I lose myself? And can it be forgiven?’”
Much like an image of their family life is the focus of the album’s cover, Whitney’s voice is also featured as a narrator on the album (as well as Eckhart Tolle), and in that song in particular, she can be heard saying, “You did it, I’m proud of you/You broke a generational curse.”
2022 also marked a new era of transparency online for Whitney on social media. The mother of two shared a portrait of herself holding her youngest child captured by Renell Madrano on her Instagram account and opened up about her mental health struggles to her followers in May 2022.
In the photo, she is standing in the light but also shrouded by some darkness and shadows around her. “We all know what others see may not be a true reflection of how we feel. This pic is a great representation of how I’ve felt for many years,” she began her caption.
“I was stuck in a time and place that was no longer my reality and was no longer serving me. My babies forced me to take a long look at myself and journey back through the very things that made me.”
“I’ve always carried the light with me. As a child no one was able to help me process. Many times silence was enforced because my emotions were a lot to handle. Hiding my pain has been a technique I’ve mastered my entire life. Mask it with a smile and everything is good. Silence has been my superpower, protecting me in the most vulnerable spaces,” she continued in her caption.
Whitney wrote that a great therapist changed everything for her and jumpstarted her personal transformation. “After a few years of hard work, I can finally say I hear my own voice again. And it’s very powerful. I use my smile when it feels genuine. And it’s beautiful,” she shared.
She concluded, “Allowing the world in and sharing my experience is one of my greatest fears. But truth is always very important for me. I’ve lived a sober life, feeling every single part of it, with the exception of mastering how to float when it’s all too much. But I yearn to be centered. To flow. To heal. To enjoy life.”
Recently, the vocalist gave another rare glimpse into her private life by posting photos of her with her daughter (who is Kendrick's twin) and her son on Instagram. In the carousel post, Whitney shared five slides showing herself in different elements of mothering her babies. “Me and them… Always, in all ways. The greatest and toughest job I’ve ever been tasked with. Love my babies,” she captioned the photo.
We hope Whitney is continuing her journey of flowing, healing, and enjoying life more.
Much love to the Duckworths.
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Omar Epps might have had his claim to fame in the 90s, starring in Black film classics like Juice, The Wood, Higher Learning, and who could forget Love & Basketball? But these days, the 50-year-old actor has also added writing to his repertoire. Omar recently published his second book, a dystopian novel, Nubia: The Reckoning. When he is not writing or starring in Power Book III: Raising Kanan, something else Omar has a lot of passion and purpose in is his love for his rock, his wife, Keisha Epps.
In a recent conversation with PEOPLE for their “One Last Thing” column, the author made sure to show love to his long-time partner, Keisha Epps, in a question that prompted him to recall the last time he danced. “My wife and I were at an event, and she was looking great, so I had to take her hand and cut a rug,” Omar told the mag.
The simple but sweet moment was a reminder of just how vocal Omar is from time to time, either through social media or in various interviews, about his love and appreciation for his soulmate. R&B singer and one-third of the R&B group Total, Keisha Spivey and Omar, have been married since 2006, an achievement the actor credits taking “breaking up off the table” for.
In a 2022 interview, Omar opened up about the “secret sauce” to a nearly 20-year marriage.
“Our little secret sauce is we took breaking up off the table,” he said in the interview. “And what that did for me personally, I can’t speak for her, but what that did for me was it changed the way that we had conflict … We still bump heads from time to time. We do it in such a respectful way.”
Omar and Keisha have had years of practice to get the recipe behind their secret sauce to marital bliss a success. After meeting and briefly dating in 1992, the pair broke up, and Keisha would become “the one who got away” for many years for Omar in his heart and his mind. He had other relationships, including one with Love & Basketball co-star Sanaa Lathan and a romantic relationship that led to the birth of his oldest daughter, Aiyanna, in 1999.
But fate would have Omar and Keisha crossing romantic paths once more, and by the early 2000s, the couple had their first child, a daughter, K'marie, in 2004. In 2006, they wed. And in 2007, they welcomed their second child, a son named Amir.
In 2018, while promoting his self-published memoir, From Fatherless to Fatherhood, Omar spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his writing process, his upbringing, his beliefs around fatherhood, and the passing of his father and his oldest child Aiyanna’s mother’s passing, which was recent at the time. When asked by the interviewer how his wife was navigating everything, Omar didn’t hesitate to show praise.
“She’s amazing. There’s no question that that’s my soulmate. She anchors me in a way that I can only relate emotionally is like how I feel anchored by my mom. That’s the weight of what I feel; this connection to another person. She is family. …
“Keisha taught me how to smell the roses, which is one of the most important things in life. Like through her, I really am still learning, but I’ve learned how to become present, because I’m an artist. I’m constantly in my head and she’s helped me be more present. She loves hard … and she’s taught me a lot, about everything.”
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
In the past, Keisha has referred to her husband as her “forever love.” In a 2020 Instagram post, she captioned a photo of the two of them from an album release party in 1996. “We were friends. He was my best friend. But the very first time we met? Was truly like something out of a movie🙏🏽 I mean really,” she explained in her caption.
“No LOVE comes without its challenges just as no life comes without its challenges. But when you are with your soulmate, the person you are meant to share forever with, LOVE becomes that much more beautiful and worth doing the work for. I’m connected to a beautiful & special soul.”
In 2021, Omar took to Instagram to share a throwback photo of him and his wife Keisha with the caption, “We been ten toes down for damn near thirty years now. It’s just that everything ain’t for the public…”
Just last month, Omar posted a carousel of selfies of Keisha and captioned the post, “My completion. My muse. My forever love. We were, we are, and always will be. @lovekeishaepps I love you beyond time itself, and I’m truly thankful for our journey together in this life and beyond…”
Keisha commented underneath the post, writing in response to her love, "…My love, you took the feeling, thoughts and words from my heart❤️ God knows my LOVE & joy for YOU King.❤️❤️❤️❤️💋💋💋💋 An ordained LOVE, a blessed union🙏🏽🏽."
Awww. Don't you just love Black love?
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Sometimes, things end so that better things can come together. Singer-songwriter, actress, and director Zoë Kravitz is a true believer in the bittersweetness of endings. It was something that she first opened up about in 2021, shortly following her divorce from actor Karl Glusman.
Back then, she was talking about projects she had in the works and detailing her thoughts about the beauty of breakups in a 2021 cover story with AnOther Magazine. "I got married. I got divorced. Separations, breakups are sad but are beautiful things too. It's about the bittersweetness, that beginning and that end. It's so complex, that space, when you're in between heartbroken and mourning the loss of something and excited for what's ahead of you," she told the publication.
Little did she know what was ahead of her was her directorial debut in a film she co-wrote called Pussy Island. One of the thriller's stars would be actor Channing Tatum, whom she'd meet in 2021. And there would lie her new beginning. Rumors of the pair dating started to circulate after they were spotted riding a bike together in New York City in August 2021. Kravitz and Tatum (who was also previously married to longtime love Jenna Dewan) seemingly found love and maintained a relatively low profile during their budding relationship.
Shortly after rumors of a romance between the collaborators swirled, an interview with WSJwas published where Kravitz was quoted saying about Tatum, "When you make things with people it's a very sacred space, and when you're compatible with somebody creatively it often opens up other channels, because you're kind of sharing all of yourself." She continued, "I'm really grateful that this movie has brought him into my life that way."
Fast forward to just last week, the couple announced that they were engaged after two years of dating. Kravitz, 34, and Tatum, 43, were spotted in matching Halloween costumes as Rosemary and Rosemary's "baby," respectively, and Kravitz was spotted sporting what looked like an engagement ring. Sources confirmed exclusively to PEOPLE that the couple is newly engaged, so big congrats are in order!
Channing Tatum and Zoë Kravitz are seen arriving at Kendall Jenner's Halloween party on October 28, 2023.MEGA/GC Images
On the heels of this exciting news, here's a look back at Zoë Kravitz's dating history and the "bittersweet" endings that led her to what might be her best beginning yet.
A Deep Dive Into Zoë Kravitz's Relationship History
Ben Foster (2007-2008)
It is speculated that Kravitz and actor Ben Foster dated between the years 2007 and 2008, though neither actor has ever publicly confirmed the relationship. Despite being spotted together at different events both on and off the red carpet, whether they were an item or not was kept private. Nevertheless, Ben Foster, whom she co-starred with in the movie Birds of America, seems to be her earliest Hollywood relationship.
Michael Fassbender (2010-2011)
Dave Hogan/Getty Images
This relationship was never confirmed in the media, although the photos, which you can find through a simple Google search, can tell you that love was in the air for a time with these two. Kravitz and Michael Fassbender met in 2010 on the set of X-Men: First Class.
Their 12-year age difference might point to this being more casual than long-term, with Kravitz being 22 at the time of the fling and Fassbender being 34.
Penn Badgley (2011-2013)
Yes, that Penn Badgley. Following his split from his Gossip Girl co-star Blake Lively, Badgley entered a relationship with Kravitz that lasted two years before losing its steam. For most of the relationship, Kravitz didn't speak much about the You star. He, however, was quoted referring to the love he shared with Kravitz as one that was "earth-shattering."
In a 2013 interview with Movie Line, he spoke of the way 22-year-old Kravitz changed him and inspired his portrayal of Jeff Buckley in Greetings From Tim Buckley, saying about their relationship, "At that time I was falling madly in love in a way that was changing me and opening me up." He added, "I was kind of going through what Jeff [Buckley] was going through emotionally in the movie in the sense that the worlds of music and love and women and art were opening up to me. Honestly, I needed it. It was like this cosmic intervention where, if you're going to play somebody like Jeff you've got to at least be in love, you know?"
"And being in love, real, true, earth-shattering love – even though it sounds hyperbolic I really was going through it — helped me be as good as I could be," Badgley continued about Kravitz and her influence on his performance.
The relationship reportedly came to an end in June 2013.
Karl Glusman (2016-2020)
Kravitz met actor Karl Glusman through a mutual friend in 2016 and began a relationship with him sometime after. By now, you might notice that the actress has a pattern of keeping things about her love life private, and her relationship with Glusman was no different. The Big Little Lies star quietly dated Glusman from 2016-2018 before announcing their engagement in October 2018 with Rolling Stone. It would later be revealed that she was proposed to in January 2018. She kept the news under wraps for so long by wearing her ring around her neck instead of on her finger.
The couple tied the knot in 2019 but would split 18 months later, with Kravitz filing for divorce. In a March 2022 interview with ELLE, she confirmed that there was no bad blood about their ending, even referring to her ex as an "incredible human being."
"It really is less about him and more about me learning how to ask myself questions about who I am and still learning who I am, and that being okay. That’s the journey I’m on right now," Kravitz explained to the mag.
Channing Tatum (2021-Present)
James Devaney/GC Images
The Magic Mike star and the Batman actress have been reportedly "inseparable" since his casting for the forthcoming film Pussy Island back in 2021. Though they crossed paths before in 2017 while voicing the animated characters in The Lego Batman Movie, Kravitz and Tatum (who were also in other relationships at the time) wouldn't connect until 2021, both divorced and happily single. A common thread between the pair seems to be a mixture of mutual admiration and creative compatibility.
Tatum sang Kravitz's praises for the work she was doing behind the camera for Pussy Island in a July 2022 interview with ET. "I'm in awe," he said of her directorial debut, adding that when he was at the helm for the 2022 film Dog as co-director he "barely survived" but that Kravitz was "killing it." He also said that with his role in her film being so different from others he has played in the past, it was nice to be directed by someone who "saw me."
He continued about Kravitz, "She's got a weird gift for that. She sees right through a lot of people's stuff and really, just who they are to her is really simple. She's one of the more intentional people I've ever met in my life."
Kravitz also gushed about Tatum in a GQ cover interview in 2022, calling the actor "a wonderful human." She told the mag, "He makes me laugh and we both really love art and talking about art and the exploration of why we do what we do. We love to watch a film and break it down and talk about it and challenge each other."
Additionally, the 34-year-old Kimi actress recalled for the mag how much of a saving grace Tatum was for her on the set of their film. She said, "Whether it was making me tea or pouring me a drink or going to whip someone into shape or whatever — he really was my protector and it was really wonderful and sweet."
"I think if you can do something like that together, it's a good test. And we came out even stronger," she added.
Congratulations once again to the happy couple!
Featured image by James Devaney/GC Images
Breaking up is hard to do, no matter who you are. Following reports of a breakup with former partner Selema Masekela, Lupita Nyong’o took to Instagram to set the record straight about the “season of heartbreak” she is currently enduring.
In the Instagram post, she acknowledged the hardship she is navigating pales in comparison to the current state of the world but hinted that her own pain came about due to “deception.”
In both her caption and as an all-text carousel, the Black Panther actress wrote, “At this moment, it is necessary for me to share a personal truth and publicly dissociate myself from someone I can no longer trust…”
Though she didn’t name names, many are speculating that she is alluding to her previous public relationship with Selema, whom she debuted online in a now-deleted social post back in 2022. She continued, “I find myself in a season of heartbreak because of a love suddenly and devastatingly extinguished by deception.”
“I am tempted to run into the shadows and hide, only to return to the light when I have regained my strength enough for me to say, ‘Whatever, my life is better this way.’ But I am reminded that the magnitude of the pain I am feeling is equal to the measure of my capacity for love,” she wrote.
“And so, I am choosing to face the pain, cultivating the courage to meet my life exactly as it is, and trusting that this too shall pass. The promise, they say, is that a tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. I hope it’s true…”
The Mexican-Kenyan actress ended her statement by writing, “I share this to keep it 💯, and hoping that the knowledge of my experience might be useful to someone else out there experiencing the grip of heartbreak who is poised to try and escape from the pain and miss out on the wisdom that comes from it.” She added, “Let’s face our pain so we don’t spread it.”
The transparent Instagram post has garnered nearly half a million likes since she published it to her account late last week. Her statement also caught the attention of fellow actor, Marlon Wayans who was spotted in the comment section sharing wise words of his own.
Marlon’s advice to Lupita is probably the best thing I’ve ever seen because you really do get to love “you” again 😢 pic.twitter.com/ze5BQKT5L9— 𝓐. (@c0cosays) October 20, 2023
Among the sea of thousands of comments, the 51-year-old comedian praised Lupita for her new season and offered up some sage advice of his own. "Trust God," he wrote in his comment. "He wants better for you. All lessons are blessings especially the painful ones."
"Be kind to you as you heal," Marlon continued. "I always say whenever i have a break up 'lucky me, i get to love ME again. I missed you me'."
"Go love on you woman," his comment ended.
Whew. There is light in the dark. Message received.
Featured image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
In xoNecole's Finding Balance, we profile boss women making boss moves in the world and in their respective industries. We talk to them about their business, and most of all, what they do to find balance in their busy lives.
The Balanced Black Girl podcast is back for a new season, a new look, and a new network.
The content creator and host of the podcast, Les Alfred, had no idea when she launched the podcast that it would result in becoming a part of the Dear Media podcast family five years later; but the best success stories are the ones you had no idea were being written.
The 34-year-old described her career journey as one that isn't linear. Les started her career in corporate finance but, over time, realized that though working in corporate might have been paying the bills, it wasn't feeding her in ways she needed. The depletion and burnout she experienced inspired her to turn to exercise to support her mental health and boost her energy.
"That habit blossomed into a love of all things wellness," Les explained to xoNecole. "I became a personal trainer and nurtured a fitness career on the side, venturing into content creation in 2014."
Les would continue to pursue her content creation endeavors for four years in the form of a fitness blog. That fitness blog evolved into the launch of her podcast in 2018. The Seattle-based creator said the idea to expand her blog into a podcast sparked from her desire to cover broader conversations within the wellness niche. And thus, the Balanced Black Girl podcast was born.
The podcast touches on topics like wellness, healthy habits, rest, fitness, confidence, heartbreak, healing, and more and is sometimes structured as different "issues" similar to a magazine and what is expounded on in the podcast's wellness community and sister site, Balanced Black Girl. And what is a "Balanced Black Girl" exactly? "It's being a well-rounded, multi-faceted person who wants the best experiences life has to offer. So much of that starts with getting centered and focusing on habits that help us feel our best," Les shared.
Through the BBG journey, Les acts as a "wellness-y big sister" who is navigating similar life trials and seasons in a supportive way that makes her listeners who are going through similar things feel less alone with the help of community and someone who just gets it. With her work, Les guides others to their own expansion, healing, growth, and, of course, balance.
"I think I have had so many years in survival mode that they've blurred together. But being willing to make changes -- whether that was changing my environment, leaving relationships that weren't working, leaving jobs that weren't supporting my growth, etc., always helps build some momentum," she said of her journey to cultivating a life well-lived through optimal well-being.
In this installment of "Finding Balance," Les chats with xoNecole about the advice she'd give her younger self, making self-care a prerequisite in everything she does, and what balance looks like to the ultimate "Balanced Black Girl."
xoNecole: How has practicing self-care helped you become a better person?
Les Alfred: I don't think practicing self-care makes me a better person than I was before, however, I now have more patience and tools to help me be a better version of myself. I've learned how to communicate my needs, hold more space for others, and I've learned how to believe in myself.
xoN: What is the best advice you could give your younger self on how to navigate your 20s/30s?
LA: Stop putting pressure on yourself to figure everything out -- nobody ever has everything all figured out. Focus more on building the skills you need to have to build the life you want. Instead of focusing on finding the right relationship, focus on having healthy relationship skills. Learn how to manage your finances. Understand the ripple effect decisions you make in your 20s can impact you later on in life.
"Instead of focusing on finding the right relationship, focus on having healthy relationship skills. Understand the ripple effect decisions you make in your 20s can impact you later on in life."
xoN: At what point in your life did you understand the importance of pressing pause and finding balance in both your personal and professional life?
LA: I think I'm still learning that lesson! But in my late 20s, I had a bit of a reckoning with my personal life and career, when I realized what I had been doing just wasn't working for me. I wasn't having the social and professional experiences that I was seeking, and I had to learn how to assess what decisions I'd made until that point.
By pausing, getting curious, and being willing to do things differently, even if I didn't have immediate examples around me, I learned how to hold space for things being so much greater than I could imagine by releasing control.
xoN: What is a typical day in your life? If no day is quite the same, give me a rundown of a typical work week and what that might consist of.
LA: On a normal weekday, I wake up around 5:30 or 6 a.m. and do a quick meditation, then practice a little French. Then I'll throw on workout clothes, brush my teeth, and sip on warm lemon water or tea while doing a bit of reading. After that, I'm out the door going to my morning workout (usually either a class or a strength workout in the gym). After my workout, I get dressed for the day, have breakfast, make my to-do list, and get to work around 9 a.m.
I work [the] typical 9-5 hours and wrap up the work day around 5. Evenings totally vary -- I could be heading to an event, meeting up with friends, going on a date, or going for a long walk after work before having dinner at home and ending the night reading a book.
xoN: What are your mornings like?
LA: I'm a pretty early riser. I'm usually up by 6 and like to spend a bit of time reading, journaling, and getting in a morning workout. I've been doing these things for so long, this morning routine is like second nature to me by now.
After my workout, I get dressed for the day, whip up a smoothie for breakfast, and am usually ready to start the workday by about 9. I try to stay off my phone as much as possible.
xoN: How do you wind down at night?
LA: My wind-down routine usually involves a hot shower, doing my evening skincare, and reading (always fiction at night!) on my Kindle until I fall asleep.
xoN: When you have a busy week, what’s the most hectic part of it? What techniques or tools do you have in place to maintain your sense of self amid chaos?
LA: I tend to be time-optimistic in the sense that I have a habit of underestimating how much time things take (whether that's the time it takes to do a task, travel time to an event, etc.) so I have to be really mindful to not overbook myself. I also have to make it a point to build in downtime for myself.
I definitely don't feel my best if I don't have a bit of quiet time to recharge.
xoN: Do you practice any types of self-care? What does that look like for you?
LA: I try to infuse self-care into everything I do. Before starting a task, I like to get really clear on what I need to do and why -- that clarity to me is self-care. Spending time with my loved ones (and enforcing boundaries when needed) is self-care. I also consider my hobbies self-care. Earlier this year, I started taking tennis lessons not to be the next Serena [Williams] or Coco [Gauff] but to learn a new skill and to have an outlet that feels like play.
I also love buying flowers from the grocery store and making arrangements. Reading fiction and getting lost in a story is a huge form of self-care for me. And, of course, the standard practices like exercise, meditation, and journaling -- we talk about them so much because they work.
xoN: Oftentimes, when we hear talk about love languages, it is how we give love to others. What is your self-love language and how do you give that to yourself?
LA: This year, I learned my love language is quality time. I really like having rich experiences and creating memories, so I'm always looking for ways to do that. Whether it's through travel or intentional time with friends and family, I'm always looking to create a positive, memorable experience.
xoN: When you are going through a bout of uncertainty, or feeling stuck, how do you handle it?
LA: I embrace change because, in those scenarios, things can't get better without it. Even making the smallest change can provide much-needed momentum. Whether it's trying a new workout, taking a new route to work, changing up daily walks, or listening to new music, embracing small changes helps us see new perspectives and prepares us for the bigger changes that help take us to the next level.
"I embrace change because, in those scenarios, things can't get better without it. Even making the smallest change can provide much-needed momentum."
xoN: Lastly, how do you define "balance" in your life?
LA: Balance to me doesn't mean doing it all or packing my plate until it's full to the brim. It means being a whole, well-rounded person who is able to hold space for the various experiences life brings us.
Featured image by Kaye McCoy