My She Daily Article

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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

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

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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”

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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.

 

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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,

 

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Kamisha Johnson, LGSW

Holistic Psychotherapist

Ladies, This Is For Us!!!

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To the women you continue to uplift, build, and care for others,

to those that continue to fight, break down barriers, and overcome obstacles and still be mothers,

To the single mothers, the single ladies, independent, hard working women,

To the women that are taking care of business while nurturing their men and children,

To the women that are building and running Empires on no to little sleep,

To the women that keep going, knowing there’s no time to weep,

For you are my sisters, my mothers, grandmothers, and girlfriends,

A day is not enough to express our gratitude in the end,

For you are the reason this world continues and life even evolve,

although men may feel they have the package, it’s the women who have the balls.

To the women who raised me, to the woman that made me, to my sisters that had my back,

Today is the day to stand up and say “Girl, you did that!!”

Happy International Women’s day to all of my sisters!!!! Let’s continue to shine!

Be Well,

Essence

You Can’t Please Everyone

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In life, everyone has their strengths and everyone has their weakness. One of my weaknesses is that I am a people pleaser. I am a person who tends to put others needs before my own, I worry about not only others well being but I tend to take on their problems as well. If it is someone I love and care about, their opinion and feeling towards what I do, effects me tremendously. I have been told at a very young age that I take on a lot more than I should. When you combine that with me being sensitive and vulnerable at times, it does effect my mental health and self esteem. I begin to have self doubt or sometimes I would base my decisions on others, even if in my heart or mind disagreed. I would often be conflicted within, because I wanted all parties involved to be happy. I also had this unhealthy motto “If I give others what they wanted, they would give me what I needed”.

Honestly, this has been a issue for me since I was fairly young. My mother would always tell me “I know you want everyone to be your friend and to like you but not everyone will. You have to be your own best friend first and everything will fall into place.” Although I took in what she told me, low self esteem, self doubt, unhealthy relationships and friendships dulled her words.

It wasn’t until I was much older that I had to stop and realize that I cannot do everything for everybody and I for damn sure cannot please everybody. I had to stop and ask myself what is it in me causes me to bite off more than I can chew or what in me allows others thoughts and opinion to dictate what I do or don’t do? I had to do a lot of reflecting and soul searching because ultimately, it started with me. I had to get to the point where I had to:

  • Re-evaluate  who I surrounded myself with- I had to ask myself are those around me having a negative effect on me by being judgmental/negative or was what they were saying or doing coming from a place of love? I also had to be aware of what kind of energy they were taking into their spirit. Being an Empath, whatever energy one surrounds themselves with, I take that energy into my spirit, like mirror neurons.  If their life and way of thinking was a total mess, I had to separate myself from it.

  • Celebrate strengths/accomplishments versus highlighting weaknesses/failures- I try to look at everything that I do and say “Girl, you did that” even for the smallest accomplishments. I reflect on how far I have come and what I am doing in the present and sometimes I have to cry happy tears (with my sensitive self :)).

  • Forgive myself- I speak about this quite frequently because it took me a long time to forgive myself for decisions and things that I have done in my life. Yet, at the end of the day, they were all lessons learned and all things have helped mold me into who I am today. You cannot change what has already happened nor can you predicted the future. You have to forgive, accept, and move forward.

  • Give yourself permission- We all go through things in our lives where we try to be strong and hold our emotions in or show no emotion at all. You must give yourself permission to process emotions, feelings and thoughts. Allow your heart to break if necessary, cry, scream, do what you have to, but don’t stay down for too long. There is still much work to do for self.

  • Accept it- You just have to accept that there will always be doubters, haters, those that try to question who you are and what you stand for. They are entitled to do so but you have to accept people for who they are and accept what they are showing you. At the end of the day, its about what YOU think, YOU set the tone for your life.

  • Know your values, what you stand for and honor them- I had to ask myself what does Essence stand for and follow? Is it Kindness, Love, Integrity? Is it empathy for others? Once you establish your values, it will be easier for you to accept who you are and when others try to be apart of your life, they will have to fall within those values as well.

  • It’s ok to say “NO”- This is always difficult because being a mother hen myself, I want to help everyone. Sometimes, there will be things that you just cannot do. There is no sense of you stressing and you must be honest with yourself and others when there is something you just can’t do, especially with adults. You have to let grown folks be grown folks and allow them to figure things out. As my friend Sanni Brown says “Not my monkey, not my circus.”

  • Pay it forward- There is nothing like the happiness that I feel when I helping others. By doing something nice for others you are setting the tone for your life and you may encourage others to do the same. What you put out there, you will receive back ten fold.

  • Me, myself, and I- If you have nothing or no one, you always have YOU. Treat yourself how you would want others to treat you. Talk to yourself, compliment yourself, take care of yourself, hell, take yourself out.  You can choose to be your own worst enemy or your own best friend. The choice is ultimately yours.

 

Be Well,

Essence