My She Daily Article

EJones_MyDailyShe_sm

 

This has been the most transparent I have ever been and it had not been for my support system such as my Crown Lens Media Group family, my husband, my son, my sister/friend Kamisha Johnson, my best friend Bianca Rhodes, supports of my work and many others Protect Your Crown: An Insight Into Mental Health would not be possible. This was a very humbling experience, thank you Melessa for this amazing opportunity.

 

Protect Your Crown

Its Been Awhile

20161127_150444

Transparency and Honesty Time:

I know its been awhile since I’ve Written but as we all have encountered, life continues to move forward and often we get thrown off course a few times. My life lately has taken me places that I do not like to be and its been very difficult for me to find the motivation to write. It has brought me back to a few of my dark places that I thought I have gotten passed and forgotten. It has tested me over and over again, trying to break my spirit, influence my way of thinking, and has brought out emotions I do not enjoy dealing with. The heads of depression and anxiety has been having an all out party, dancing so much that it had affected my health. In all honesty, the negative forces and powers that be have been trying to break me. With all of the chaos, I had to take a break from almost everything. I had to regroup and give myself time to process and be still.

My mother has always told me at a young age “You cannot save the world and you are no good to anyone else if you are not right with you”. Often times, as a lot of woman tend to do, we carry everyone’s load. I think it sometimes has to do with it being easier to decipher, and fix everyone else’s experiences or take care of everyone else, that we neglect ourselves and fail to carry, decipher, and take care of our own stuff. It’s easier to analyze, advise, and give feedback to others instead of listening to our voice within ourselves about ourselves. I will tell you from an on going experience for myself, I refuse to live this way any longer. When living this way, I find that I am living for others and through others experiences and not my own which can be very draining.

My hope for myself is to live a fruitful, peaceful, and amazing life. The burdens that are brought to me by others are not my burden to bare. It does not mean that I will not support and love unconditionally, yet it means I will not care the burden for anyone.  I will lift  up in prayer, lend an ear, encourage and hold their hand while they figure it out. There will be no judgment in the process but I will be truthful.

The other thing that I have been dealing with is acceptance. Not from someone else but acceptance of myself in all aspects. Even though I have moments that portray confidence, its sometime difficult for me to accept my power, my beauty, my greatness. I am my own worst critic and sometimes what others see, I don’t. I got pulled to the side by my step mother the other day and preceded to lecture me about one of my videos that was posted on social media. In the video my hair is natural and I had my mini afro and in the video I started apologizing about the look of it. She proceed to tell me “Never apologize for your hair or anything else, you are beautiful!!”. At the time of filming the video, I didn’t realize what I was doing but she was quick to point it out to me.  For many years, I was criticized for the way I looked, the things I did or said and it has stuck with me to some degree. Later that night, I thought about what my step mother said and many others have told me about myself and I felt what she was saying. Its one thing to hear it, its another thing to feel it. I will no longer give others (past or present) that power, especially in words, over my life. I will not allow self-doubt into my thought process. I will continue to give my self positive affirmations and understand the importance of them. I will not apologize for who I am, all that I am doing, and becoming. I am who I am, flaws, greatness and all.

My hope is that if anyone is dealing with any of the things I am/have dealt with to know you are not alone. Life is what you make it, give yourself time to regroup, know what the expectations for life are as well as expectations for yourself. If people, places, or things are not meeting your expectations, you must evaluate and know when to let it go. Know that it will not be easy, know that sometime you may struggle but you will figure it out. Forgive yourself, give yourself credit and continue to move forward.

 

Be Well,

Essence

Guest Writer: Joshua Shabazz

Everyone has a story and everyone’s story is valid. This story is about truth, obstacles, discovering mindfulness and finding balance. I am honored to have New York Times Best Selling Author Joshua Shabazz as a guest writer. It is difficult to come forward and share personal experiences and personal journeys especially as a man of color.  I am proud and thankful that Mr. Shabazz  was willing to come forward to speak his truth with transparency and honesty in order to help others. I thank you and I salute you!

I had been taking care of my dying mother for 6 years. Family would ask is mom ok, what’s going on with her. I’d tell them that she was having kidney issues that led to dialysis. I would tell them about the heart surgery that she needed. Some less serious heart surgeries she was having. But that was a true-lie. It was true that she was having those issues, but what I didn’t say was that my mother was HIV positive. She didn’t want me to tell anyone because she was ashamed of it. She didn’t want the judgment, and I didn’t blame her. I had planned to move to Dallas in 2008 just a few months later, but after my mother shared with me and only me about her truth, I decided to stay. The news broke me down like never before. But now I had to be a strong man for her. But as I watched her deteriorate and dwindle down to a woman that was nearly unrecognizable from the woman that raised me, I began to dwindle as well. My heart shattered as I work to finish my college degree, amidst my wife having a miscarriage at 5 months, losing my grandmother suddenly, and as I watched friends who I trusted turn their backs and walk away. All this while trying to maintain a home, be a father to my kids, and be a decent husband every now and then…. What I didn’t know was I was falling into a pit, mentally and emotionally. My heart was so broken that when my joy left, I didn’t even notice. My passion divorced me and my fire has been exterminated. Then through a series of irrational decisions, it all began to come tumbling down. My marriage destroyed. My home, my family, as well as my mother, all gone. I had to do something. Prayer helped, but I needed more. I began to seek help. I wish I could say it took one day, it didn’t. I was diagnosed with major depression, anxiety and PTSD. I realize that it would be a continuous journey of mental wellness in order to live and love again. Along with ongoing counseling, I began to work out 3-5 days a week, and began to take all natural substances to help me.

To regain mental balance, along with reconnecting spiritually with God on a daily basis thru prayer and study. I cut out negative people, music, negative messages on TV, etc. Natural substances that I began to take was:

  •  Multivitamin (Over the counter)
  • Magnesium (Anxiety)
  • Bebeerine (Digestion)
  • Vitamin D (Energy)
  • St. Johns Wart (Serotonin, feel good mechanism in brain) fights depression -Juicing fruits and vegetables (I hate vegetables and salads with everything in my soul)
  • Regular exercise

My prayer is that this reaches someone and changes someone’s life. Your new life is just a few good choices away!! I’ll meet you there!

One Luv,

Joshua Shabazz

18448163_1553009411376083_22132396_n

Joshua Shabazz– Father, Author, Speaker, entrepreneur and life teacher.

“I Have been working in the communities of Minneapolis and St. Paul since the age of 13. Growing up poor there were many community resources that helped my family get by, and as an adult I’ve enjoyed giving that back to other family by serving them in various ways over the last 20 plus years. My only goal is to live a life with meaning and to leave a legacy that the ones behind me can follow and be proud of”

94593a_6d621135589a466cb420e43ef0a5221e~mv2_d_1333_2000_s_2

For more info about Joshua Shabazz and his books, please visit his website at https://joshuawatson3.wixsite.com/j-shabazzbooks

LIVE

Prince

As we approach the one year anniversary of Prince Roger Nelson transition, I felt it was only fitting to talk about what I have learned from him, in life and since his transition. I don’t need to get into details on how and what I know of him but he has been apart of me and my family’s life for many years. Most know him as an icon, a superstar, the best to ever do it. Yet, what he wanted to be known for was much different. He wanted to be known for not only his music but the message in his music, he wanted to touch others in ways that no one else could. He wanted people to think outside of the box instead of going with what people thought was “normal” if there is a such thing. He talked politics, world issues, sex, love, romance, and partying. Prince didn’t set out to be this huge famous superstar.  Like so many of us, he wanted to be heard. The more people doubted him or thought he was different, the more he lived out loud and the more different he became. I know at times it was not easy being who he was, like most people who live in the limelight, you have people and negative energy around you, it is very difficult to tell who is dedicated to you and your vision, which is why he was very private and very selective. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, and even throw a little shade every now and then. He spoke out about the importance of artist knowing their rights and protecting there music and legacy from those who may try to profit off of their hard work.

Now, I’m sure all of the things I listed is common knowledge whether you knew him or not so I will simply get to the point. To me, Prince did something that a lot of us are afraid to do, LIVE. Often, we are fearful of living because we are afraid of the unknown, afraid of the outcome, afraid of being criticized or judged. How can one know what they are capable of if one doesn’t try? We must get better at believing in the unbelievable, conquering our fears and knowing that we are capable of doing anything we set our mind to, we just have to do it. Life is what you make it and if you live in fear, you’ll look up and before you know it, life has passed you by. If you’re afraid of making mistakes, you must understand that you are human and that a mistake should be viewed as a lesson. Accept the lesson, learn from it, and continue to move forward.

Often, when someone passes away, we talk about how they died. We talk about if there was anything that could have been done to have prevent it from happening, especially if it was a sudden death. We must understand that transitioning is a part of life. We all will go through it regardless of when and how, for only the highest power knows. Besides, its not about how or when you leave this life, its about how you lived it and what you leave behind. What are you doing in your life today or in the near future to leave you mark on others? Are you doing things that are fulfilling in your life? Are you living or just existing? What is your legacy you want to leave behind? Are you sharing your gift(s) or hiding it? These are the questions that we must ask ourselves from time to time, I know it is something I think about very often. The importance of life is living, plan and simple. Some may feel the Purple One left us too soon, for he had so much left to give and so much more life to live. I believe the highest power put him on earth to do exactly what he needed him to do and that it was time for him to do his work elsewhere. I know, like many love ones we lost, that is a hard and awful pill to swallow to know that they are no longer with us physically. Yet, I truly believe that energy, especially of his caliber, never dies. If you pay close attention, he never left.

In closing, the greatest thing that I learned from the Purple One is to live your best life. Love without fear, give without expecting something in return, appreciate what you have instead of dwelling on what you don’t have. Prince lived his life the way he wanted with no rules and sometimes with no plan. From traveling the world, giving back to others, learning every instrument that you can imagine by ear, creating an art form that no one else can touch for years, even decades to come and so much more.  He stepped into his purpose without any hesitation or regret. He was a man with a gift and he decided to share it with the world. I am very thankful to have been able to watch, listen, and learn.

 

thJWMG6014

 

Be Well,

Essence

 

Guest Writer Kamisha Johnson, LGSW

My sister is back with words of wisdom and guidance to help uplift and enlighten the masses. I hope you enjoy this read as much as I did. Thank you so much sis, love you 🙂

The Importance of Self-Empowerment

As a therapist, I see many people that come in reporting that they have low self-esteem and low self-confidence. More often than none, we find ourselves attaching how we feel about ourselves based on how another person is treating us. For example, I hear people say “My Husband is emotionally abusive, so I feel like I am unlovable or think I am a bad person and deserve it.” I too, at times have fell into the tight grips of low self-esteem and negative societal norms. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness there are 6.9 % (16 million) Americans that suffer from a Major Depressive Disorder” (http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-By-the-Numbers). I would bargain that these numbers are in correlation with how the person was treated by a love done, friend, co-worker or peers. Them being mistreated by a person exacerbated their depression symptoms. This is a problem and is the reason why I decided to write. We must reconstruct our way of negative thinking and self-talk. We should challenge those thoughts and get in the habit of saying positive statements about ourselves. One way to increase positive self-talk is incorporating positive affirmations into our daily activities. According to New thought practicing positive thinking and self-empowerment fosters a belief that promoting a positive mental behavior by creating affirmations will help you achieve success in anything. Furthermore, this practice can be one of many tools to promote strong mental health. Some positive affirmations to say out loud daily include: “I Am Strong,” “I Am Beautiful,” “I Am Amazing,” “I Am greater than my worse mistakes,” “I Am Enough.” When you are done completing these affirmations you should smile. Yeah, yeah, I know this sounds weird. However, research shows that when we smile, it sends a message to our brain and releases serotonin which is a natural anti-depressant. So, smile even when it is difficult 😊 It is imperative that we understand that self-love is essential in being our best self. We cannot expect for others to love us at the capacity we deserve to be loved, if we do not even love ourselves. Being self-absorbed, arrogant or conceited is not the type of self-love I am referring to. I am speaking of just being happy waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror and being pleased with your reflection. We must tell ourselves frequently how phenomenal we are. Once we can master the importance of self-love we will exude this love, which in turn we will attract, love. Embrace who you are! Love who you are, flaws and all. This is when we will reach true happiness within.

 

Be Light,

 

13872983_1108753915878275_4101587032360738729_n

Kamisha Johnson, LGSW

Holistic Psychotherapist

I’m Taking It One Day At A Time

a-level-of-self-love-life-quotes-sayings-picturesIt has been a somewhat of a difficult week for me, for life happened. Between trying to stay afloat at work, maintaining my household, putting time, love, and effort into my communities, families, and friends with projects, events, and beyond, all this while trying to find time for myself and keeping my mental issues under control has been exhausting in every sense of the word. I think one of the biggest obstacles I deal with the most, is dealing with self doubt and not recognizing the great things in my life or how far I have come. Sometimes, its the minor set backs that I focus on so much, that I don’t spend as much time focusing on the goodness in my life and the goodness I have put out to the world. If I have one person that has a negative opinion of me, my work or one thing and I have 100 people that are positive or I have succeeded in multiple tasks or goals, I will focus on that one person or thing that is  negative. I know a lot of it has to do with my anxiety, for when it hits, I tend to obsess over certain things more than others. This is the part of anxiety that I dislike the most and I am continuously working on every single day.  Everyday is a struggle but for the most part, I have been able to deal with things, yet this week has been a whirlwind. I have said “If it ain’t one thing, its another”, several times which I have always tried to refrain from saying. Yet, one thing about me is I am a fighter and I was determine to find a way to decompress and find different ways to stop my mind from racing, diminish self doubt, and show myself more love than I have been.

As much as I journal, write positive affirmations and keep them around me, I decided to do something a little different. I am a visual person, I have always worked better in taking in things when I see it. So, I decided to start making videos for myself, reminding myself of why self love is so important and recapping the accomplishments that I have done for the week. Even something as simple as staying coffee free, working out, making a new dish, I record myself a video message to remind myself of the positive things in my life. I love watching inspiration videos from others, yet it is a little different when it is coming from the person you should love the most…YOU. Its like a video positivity jar that I can always go back, review, hear, and see all of the things you have accomplished. I even got my son involved so that he understands the importance of loving yourself even at a young age.

Speaking of my son, I think that is the biggest thing that I have to keep in mind is whatever I do and all that I do, my baby is watching, good, bad, or indifferent, so I must always ask myself, what am I exposing my son to? At his age, he is very influenced and impressionable, so whatever I am saying or doing, he is seeing it with a fresh pair of eyes and ears which are like sponges. I have to be a great example for him and make sure that I am putting positive energy for not only my sake but for his as well.

Lastly, I had to remind myself that change does not happen overnight and I must take it one day at a time. I must remind myself that I have a lot to give to the world and at the end of the day, if no one shows up for me, I must show up for myself. While giving happiness, I deserve happiness as well, but there must be an understanding that as much as I want to give to the world, I must give to myself first. I say it to people all the time, love yourself first, yet I can be honest with you all and myself, that it is easier said than done, for I may not always do.

With each day I take, I must be thankful and grateful, trust myself and the path the God has set fourth for me.  I cannot be in fear of the unknown, I cannot allow negative thoughts, words, or feeling interfere with my destiny.

Be Well,

Essence