I Stopped Asking Men Why They're Single
A couple of years ago, I met a guy through a friend that seemed very well put-together. He had a Bachelor's and Master's degree, worked a great full-time job, loved the Lord, was practicing abstinence and more. Ultimately, he seemed like such a great guy but it was to the point that he seemed "too good to be true".
After initially meeting him, I asked my friend who introduced us, a question, "Why is that man still single?" I had a difficult time wrapping my head around how a brotha that was as suitable as him was not yet taken. My mind quickly ran with an assumption that something must be secretly wrong with him. That assumption caused me to become closed off towards the idea of anything being more than a friendship; so I self-sabotaged things.
I can boldly admit that I was not ready to receive a good man looking back at how I rationalized things.
Thank God for healing and growth!
Throughout my singleness journey, I have been known to be a bit aggressive with my questions, extremely guarded with my emotions and very blunt. I got tired of being a closed-off woman, so I decided to no longer ask a man why he was single but rather what he has been doing during his singleness. The reason for that change was because I got a taste of my own medicine.
A couple of weeks after meeting the guy I previously mentioned, our mutual friend shared with me that he thought that something must be wrong with me because I was still single. Apparently, I came off as being "too good to be true" in his eyes. After discovering his assumption, I was highly offended by his false claim. At that time, I was single for about two years and took relationships very seriously so I was in no rush to just jump into anything for the sake of a title. In addition, those two years were filled with a lot of learning about self, mistakes made due to picking poorly, and I was diving deeper into my blogging. As you can see, my singleness was not an unfruitful one. So I could not see how I could be labeled as being "hazardous" from a man who had no idea what my journey consisted of. It was at that moment during my hissy fit that I realized that I was a total hypocrite.
Here I was getting highly upset for being labeled as 'broken' when I was throwing that same label on single men that seemed "too good to be true". It took for me to get a taste of my own medicine to realize that I no longer needed to dish it out to others.
Instead of trying to figure out why a man was single, I began to ask what they have done during their single season. I knew from personal experiences, that my single season consisted of learning how to better interact with men in a healthy manner, as well as the purging, undoing and relearning of multiple things to the extent that I was not in the position to embrace what I always deserved: a good man.
Furthermore, I knew that while walking intentionally in my purpose, I realized that many of the men I met back then were not suitable for me because I was just scratching the surface of what God called for me to do.
In essence, the only thing I needed to be committed to was my healing and purpose. So the decision to be single instead of in a relationship was not because I could get into one, I chose not to because I did not feel led to dive into one. Since I knew the details of my singleness and the various things I endured, I would be ignorant to think that my experience was limited to only women.
Therefore, asking men what they have been doing during their single season was a great way for me to learn more about who they were instead of placing labels that were marked by assumptions. I discovered that some of the guys I met were using their free time to heal through therapy, were working on their degree, focusing on work or, in some cases, they were just living the bachelor life.
Their answer brought some context of what they valued and clarity around where they were as it relates to what they were looking for.
For instance, if a man shared that he spent the past three years focusing on his emotional and mental healing through therapy; then it is safe to assume that he values mental health and takes the investment of self extremely seriously. That revelation was a great way for me to determine if the guy was in a position to receive a good woman. On the other hand, I have met men who have done nothing during their years of singleness and that began to raise a red flag for me.
See, anyone can say that they are single because they cannot find someone that they like but not everyone can really explain the self-work that they have done because some have not done any work at all. By work, it is not limited to only growing in one's career, saving money or buying a house. Sometimes work may require isolation from dating altogether in order to really reflect, heal and grow. I noticed that the men whom I met that were actually productive in a healthy manner were less likely to string me along and beat around the bush about a commitment. Of course, it is essential that I add that this is not a definite for all men but it is certainly the case for most men in my experience.
By granting men the stage to share who they are as it relates to their journey, it eased my anxieties around dating and forced me to realize that a good man most likely will take some time in isolation to do the self-work needed to receive a good woman in various capacities.
As a result, my "gasps" towards meeting a good man that has been single for two or more years greatly decreased and I became less suspicious towards high quality men. All of which has led me to believe that sometimes a good man is not too good to be true if they have utilized their singleness as an opportunity to self-develop.
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Release Stress & Restore Harmony In Your Body With Shaking Meditation
When we reflect on our own path as women in light of the women who came before us, it’s easy to see that the loads we’ve carried haven’t always been the lightest. From everyday stresses to generational trauma with roots that are difficult to trace, one must ask where all that weight goes if we never release it.
The body holds the score for all the anxieties, worries, and unease that we’ve endured over time. Family and society often tell us to quiet our emotions, maintain a brave face, and keep our emotions bottled up within. But as we know, anything with too much pressure will eventually burst.
And while we are steadily discovering self-care methods like meditation to shed this emotional baggage, it may take a little more than sitting still in the quiet of our mind to let go of our deep-rooted tension. Fortunately, mindful movement could be an unexpected way for you to let go of worry and anxiety while building emotional resiliency, and such is the case with shaking meditation.
What Is Shaking Meditation?
Shaking meditation is a form of tension and trauma-releasing exercises or TRE that “assists the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension, and trauma.” This series of exercises of muscular shaking and vibrating activates a natural reflex mechanism that releases muscular tension, thus calming down the nervous system and encouraging your body to return back to a state of balance.
“Shaking meditation can be powerful because it moves your body — and in Eastern medicine, we say that moves your chi,” says Jenelle Kim, DACM, L.Ac, a ninth-generation doctor of acupuncture and Chinese medicine and author of Myung Sung: The Korean Art of Living Meditation.
According to Dr. Kim, understanding chi helps us understand our bodies and how we're feeling mentally, physically, and spiritually. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), chi is known to represent your life force; it is the energy that flows through you and everything, and in many cultures, plays an essential role in our health.
“We have chi that moves in our blood and throughout our entire body; connecting our organ systems, muscles, and joints,” she tells xoNecole. “It allows everything to function and to be nourished. We know blood travels throughout our body through our circulatory system, but chi also travels through our body — much in the same way — through the meridian system. If you picture chi as vital energy, it moves the blood.”
It’s important for our body’s chi to stay in flow. When we go about our daily life with stress, trauma, or even mental injuries, our energy becomes stagnant. But various movement practices like Qigong or shaking meditation encourage your chi to circulate through your body which activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which “is in charge of telling our brain and body to calm down, relax, ultimately, let go,” Dr. Kim says.
As Black women, there are times in life when it feels like we bear the weight of the world on our shoulders, with few spaces to go when we need to lighten the load. But as Dr. Kim explains, because women are “naturally yin beings,” we take on more because we can handle more. “According to the energies of nature that have been passed down for thousands of years, women are more complex. And what that almost always means is that we can think a lot more.” And while that speaks to the resiliency of our being, it can have a negative effect on our bodies when we store more than we release.
“If we don't have ways of releasing this, it will ultimately affect our lives physically, mentally, and spiritually. Then it passes on to our children, and that's where we get generational trauma,” she says.
Although shaking meditation may be a new and unfamiliar practice, it’s one that could prove to be beneficial to those who have experienced trauma on an individual and communal level. The movements are simple to follow and accessible, and in a matter of minutes, you’ll feel more calm and relaxed, while relieving any anxiety, frustration, and tension inside of you.
So if you’re ready to restore harmony within your body, here are the steps to perform shaking meditation on your own.
How To Incorporate Shaking Meditation Into Your Daily Routine:
Step 1: “Stand with your feet hip-width apart. You can do this while sitting or standing — depending on your comfort level. Make sure all of your joints are soft, so nothing's locked.
Step 2: “Begin raising onto your tiptoes and falling back onto your heels. Not so hard to where you're shocking your spine, but enough to just kind of wake up your body. Repeat three to five times, dropping down onto your heels.”
Step 3: “Next, start with your hands first and shake them. There’s no right or wrong way to do this. Shake them and go up to your arms, to your elbows, and then up to your shoulders. Now your whole arms should be moving.”
Step 4: “Then you can start your legs, repeating the same shaking movement. You then move your feet moving, go up through your core, and then shake everything out through your head.”
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