I began my journey toward finding my peace after moving out of my parents' house about five years ago. After living in the chaos of having undergrad and grad school roommates, then back to a house with my parents and older brother — and having to write my name on my groceries — I was ready to venture off to a new place of solitude and quiet peace. I wanted to own and enjoy this transition.
I learned early on, that while a place can affect peace, perspective is one of its largest contributors.
With that revelation, I began the self-work necessary for cultivating peace. I unlearned and unpacked baggage I'd been carrying for years. I started rejecting the negative ways I associated myself in this world. I started looking at my life with a positive lens and I started becoming the love I wanted to see in the world. It took a lot of work, but I arrived. And with that, I recognized that arriving is half the battle — the other half is maintaining it.
With all the tragedy, hate, and insecurity looming in the world, it's critical to constantly assess and adjust our perspective, to ensure that we're manifesting the peace we so rightly deserve. Chaos will happen, but how we respond to it is what enhances, or threatens, our peace. Below are a few practical ways to protect the peace you've worked hard to achieve.
Social Media Cleanse.
There are countless articles and Twitter threads dedicated to the ways a social media hiatus has improved the quality and peace of one's life; I can personally attest to this. One of the most prominent disruptions of our peace is the internal conflict between what we think we want, and what we truly want.
GG Renee said it best, "If you're not careful to check your ego and the message that can sneak into your head, you can get out of alignment with yourself, chasing an image or a lifestyle that's not really you, envying opportunities that you don't even want."
To rid ourselves of this internal battle, we must step away from the external sources, and connect back to ourselves. Taking a break from social media allows us to do that. It gives us a moment to silence society's voice and get in tune with our own. It also allows us to take a break from the constant comparison, insecurity, and frankly, nosiness of trying to stay in the know of what's going on around us.
Purge your Home.
Sometimes too much abundance can be overwhelming. To clear your mind, it's important to clear your home. Purging, reorganizing, and removing clutter allows you to create a more functional home where everything has its place and its purpose. It also eliminates the physical chaos that often turns into mental chaos.
Organize your closet in a way that excites you to choose an outfit. Decorate your living room in a way that affords you structure and clarity – not clutter. Create a home environment where everything in your space brings you joy – not because you have stuff, but because that stuff is meaningful, beautiful, and functional. You spend most of your time at home, it ought to be a space that ushers in good vibes, happiness, and love. For help mastering your purge – because let's be honest, letting things go can be difficult – reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up is a great place to start.
Release Toxic Energies.
Misery loves company, and the easiest way to disrupt your peace is to allow someone in your space whose energy, aura, or intentions, are not aligned with yours. Release people who breed negativity. Stop tending to places that cause you to revisit traumas. Let go of things that threaten your joy. And don't feel bad about doing so; remember, when you're at your best, you can be more present for the people, places, and things that make you happiest. Releasing energies that threaten your peace is critical to maintaining your peace.
Find a Quiet Space.
Sometimes noise is the culprit. When chaos erupts in your life, sometimes just the sound of something can set you off. I've been in mental roadblocks where just the sound of the television would send me up a wall. I've learned that when those moments occur, it's my spirit's cry for attention. Recognizing this has taught me the importance of silencing that noise and allowing myself time to think through what may be going on around me. Maybe there's an internal dilemma that I need to think through. A thought I must get out. Or an emotional response I need to express.
Regardless of what that moment may be for you, it's hard to think through issues without the silent space required for doing so. Give yourself some time to shut down the noise, sit in silence, and reflect.
Focus on What's Important.
When life gets away from you, it's important to remember what's most important to you. Whether it's family, friends, a fulfilling career, or a thriving social life, re-centering yourself on what's important will help remind you of what this entire journey is for. Sometimes understanding that the chaos has a purpose is enough to set your perspective back toward peace.
Featured image by Getty Images.
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Zoe Hunter is the writer, speaker, and creator behind the women empowerment brand DEAR QUEENS. She uses vulnerability, storytelling, and spiritual development to empower women toward healthy decision-making. Stay connected to Zoe's work by visiting DEARQUEENS.com or following her on Twitter @zDEARQUEENS.
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From Monogamy To Polyamory: 'I'm In An Asexual Poly Marriage With My Husband Of 7 Years'
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be asexual and in an open marriage? Relationship Coach Mikki Bey shared her first-hand experience with us as well as answered some of our burning questions.
Like a lot of people, Mikki met her now husband, Raheem Ali, online. As soon as they met, they instantly fell in love and got engaged on their first date. Just 90 days after they met, the couple tied the knot and have now been married for seven years. Raheem and Mikki aren’t your typical married couple, and despite being married for almost a decade, their marriage is anything but traditional. Mikki and Raheem have what she calls an "asexual polyamorous marriage."
Defining Her Sexuality
It wasn't until last summer that Mikki found the language to define her sexuality. "I didn't have the language for it until last summer," she explained to xoNecole. "Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing.”
Mikki always thought she was broken because she had no interest in sex. Mikki noticed after her friends came to visit and started discussing their sexual fantasies that she realized something was different about her. “At that point, I knew something was definitely different about me since I do not have sexual fantasies at all. It was truly news to me that people are at work thinking about sex! That was not my experience.” This led to Mikki researching asexuality, which she soon realized fit her to a T. “It felt like breathing new air when I was able to call it by name," said Mikki.
"Looking back, I just thought sex wasn't my thing. It was never enjoyable for me, and I'd go years without even noticing it."
Asexuality refers to people who experience little or no sexual attraction, experience attraction without acting on it sexually, or experience sexual attraction differently based on other factors. Like most things, asexuality falls on a spectrum and encompasses many other identities. It's important to remember, however, that attraction and action are not always synonymous: some asexuals may reject the idea of sexual contact, but others may be sex-neutral and engage in sexual activity.
It's possible that some asexuals will have sex with someone else despite not having a libido or masturbating, but others will have sex with a partner because it brings a sense of connection.
From a Traditional Marriage to Kitchen Table Polyamory
Although Mikki never really had a high sex drive, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son, that she noticed her sex drive took a real nosedive. “I never had a high sex drive, but about a year after my son was born, I realized I had zero desire. My husband has a high sex drive, and I knew that it would not be sustainable to not have sex in our marriage at that time.”
She was determined to find an alternative to divorce and stumbled upon a polyamory conversation on Clubhouse. Upon doing her own research, she brought up the idea to their husband, who was receptive. “It’s so interesting to me that people weigh sex so heavily in relationships when even if you are having a ton of sex, it’s still a very small percentage of the relationship activity," Mikki shared.
They chose polyamory because Mikki still wanted to be married, but she also wanted to make sure that Raheem was getting his individual needs and desires met, even if that meant meeting them with someone else. “I think that we have been programmed to think that our spouses need to be our 'everything.' We do not operate like that. There is no one way that fits all when it comes to relationships, despite what society may try to tell you. Their path to doing this thing called life together may be different from yours, but they found what works for them. We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us,” Mikki explained.
"We have chosen to design a marriage that works for us. We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sex partners to lifetime partners if it should go there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it."
She continued, “We both consent to each of us having everything from casual sexual partners to lifetime partners if it should get there. We believe love is abundant and do not limit ourselves or each other on how we express it. Our dynamic is parallel with kitchen table poly aspirations.”
Kitchen table polyamory (KTP) is a polyamorous relationship in which all participants are on friendly terms enough to share a meal at the kitchen table. Basically, it means you have some form of relationship with your partner’s other partner, whether as a group or individually. A lot of times, KTP relationships are highly personal and rooted in mutual respect, communication, and friendship.
Intimacy in an Asexual Polyamorous Marriage
Mikki says she and her husband, Raheem, still share intimate moments despite being in a polyamorous marriage. “Our intimacy is emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and physical, although non-sexual. We are intentional about date nights weekly, surprising and delighting each other daily, and most of all, we communicate our needs regularly. In my opinion, our intimacy is top-tier! I give my husband full-body massages, mani-pedis and make sure I am giving him small physical touches/kisses throughout the day. He is also very intentional about showing me his love and affection.”
Raheem and Mikki now use their lives as examples for others. On their website, thepolycouplenextdoor.com, they coach people interested in learning how to be consensually non-monogamous. “We are both relationship coaches. I specialized in emotional regulation, and Raheem specializes in communication and conflict resolution. The same tools we use in our marriage help our clients succeed in polyamory."
Mikki advises people who may be asexual or seeking non-monogamy to communicate their needs openly and to consider seeking sex therapy or intimacy coaching. Building a strong relationship with a non-sexual partner requires both empathy and compassion.
For more of Mikki, follow her on Instagram @getmikkibey. Follow the couple's platform on Instagram @thepolycouplenextdoor.
Featured image by skynesher/Getty Images