Thursday, February 19, 2015

Natural Hair Girls Be Like...

Really funny!  Had to share! Subscribe to his page!!!!!!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

AYD2015 Series: #9 Don't Fall in to A Social Media Vortex. Gulp!

By J.Naomi Johnson

Sorry. I am late posting this very essential part of the AYD2015 series (click here to start from the beginning) because…well…I did not want to. I love my Facebook. I love my Instagram. I love my Twitter. So why on earth would I ever forbid the use of these wonderful social media tools? Well, I'm not. However, I know that the negative effects of social media when one is trying to rebuild or accomplish goals needs to be addressed but I really just don’t want to. So instead I will talk about the destruction of vortexes (and when it is time we will substitute vortex with social media, smile).

First let us discover what the heck a vortex is.

A vortex is a whirling mass of fluid or air. Typically, it's called a whirlpool or a whirlwind. We see vortexes all the time. A cyclone has a vortex. A black hole in space has a vortex. Often a vortex pulls you in, gets you all caught up in a spiraling mass of chaos and then spits you out completely at the opposite end of your beginning. In the case of a black hole you are stretched to the size of spaghetti and then ripped apart never making it to the other side.

Okay…I’m ready to talk about social media…I guess

Social media is wonderful. It’s always active and it connects us to each other. We all have spent tireless hours perfecting our phone keyboarding abilities. For people with business it has allowed you to grow and develop your business in ways that would not have happen if you did not use it. However, we are not talking about social media for business. I am discussing, in this particular blog, social media’s impact on you, as an individual, Achieving Your Dreams in 2015.

Oh that world wide web! That super information distributor that is only but one click away at all times. That precious distraction that has frequently gotten in the way of my work and the work of others. Internet you are consistent. You are relevant. Most importantly, you can be a vortex. As we discussed before, not all vortexes are as detrimental as a black hole in space. Some serve their environmental purpose. Others impact the environment in a very negative way. For instance, the Polar vortex causes below freezing temperatures negatively changing and effecting seasons leading to the damage of crops and endangerment of animals. And then there are dirt devils…cough.

Let’s take the prior example and apply it to social media. Facebook provides us all with the chance to stay connected and inform the people we care about of major events in our lives. Weddings, child birth a new tattoo, etc. For some this availability of announcement can be problematic. Instead of looking at Facebook as a positive source for staying up to date with the milestones of close friends and family. It has become a soapbox catalyst. Something that I and many others have fallen victim to. Don’t worry. It happens. Twitter wars. Selfie contests. Facebook arguments. So on and so forth. It is the accidental trip and fall into a social media whirlwind.

In the chaos of it people are chiming in. Words are getting misconstrued. People are not speaking to others and it just gets worst. This is the chaos of the vortex. Hurling and whirling around and around. Sometimes you end up on the other side okay. People talk it out and voila! All is mended after the storm. On the other hand you lose out. Severing the relationships you once valued and shifting your focus from one thing to something that should have never had your attention in the first place.

Enter you and these big dreams you have. The totally wonderful, accomplishable plans that you have been working your butt off to reach. The last thing that you should do now with your newly gained momentum is get off track with your goals or use that momentum to fuel a twitter war. Yes, you may need social media for your business or to reach your dreams but don’t allow for it to destroy your planning. Don’t get sucked into its vortex of non-prosperity. By all means do not allow for it to stretch you so thin that you turn into spaghetti and get ripped apart. Seriously.

The most important things that we have, in regards to a social life, are the relationships we have with each other. I think that we have begun to believe that the people who are connected to our social media accounts are the same as the people that we talk to and have interpersonal relationships with. Or in other words, we have believed that distant or estranged people on our social media accounts matter. I have made this mistake too. This is a cost effecting mistake. Costly because some of the people you have on your social media that you believe are in your corner are not and given the chance can and will betray or hurt you. And although they watch you and/or like your post they are often envious and miserable in their own lives and cannot stand the happiness in yours. They cringe at your joys while never taking their eyes off you. They discuss you frequently while you live your life unaware to their alternative motives miles and miles away. Lesson: Don’t get caught up in the social media vortex.

Yeesh…sensitive subject alert!

Social media relationships are not the same as the relationships we have invested emotionally and physically with which requires more than occasional inbox messaging. What I mean by this is that if you do not have a memory with someone than what is the value of that someone if the only connection is social media? There is not one. This too is part of the chaos of the vortex. Believing that a person in your social media has any power or influence in your life when you are only connected through social media. The idea of six degrees of separation or two degrees depending on your city and town only extends as far as knowing “of” a person. Not of “knowing” a person. You dig?

While you begin to chase your dreams and start to knock off those accomplishments don’t fall into a negative social media vortex. Although they are easy to get into you may not make it out. You have something amazing going on now. You’re destined for greatness regardless of the past. Most importantly now is the time to take hold of your future and rewrite history. Something I want you to know is as much as I would like to say that your biggest enemy is you that may not necessarily be true. So keep a look out for activities and people that suck you in and want to stretch you thin. You have much to do and no time for black hole spaghetti. Yeesh!

My advice comes from bonafide expirence. Have you ever been sucked into a social media vortex? Let’s hear about it in the comments below!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Curl Shaming: Are You Helping or Hurting the Natural Hair Movement?

By J.Naomi Johnson

You’re going to have to dig deep for this one. I will give you a scenario…

You’ve been natural for years. You have a hold on kinks and curls and have managed to make your hair “werk”. Your walking down the street and see a newbie or neo-natural . With your expertise you can identify that they are still trying to get a hold on this whole natural thing. Do You…

A.)Stop and demand that him or her allow you to apply a moisturizer that you so conveniently have in your emergency curl kit. The curl Yoda
you are.
B.)Keep walking. It’s not your problem and nobody helped you when you started off! Plus nobody has better curls than you. Nobody.
C.)Cross the street. You do not do well with confrontation. Especially curl on curl.
D.)Stop him or her and invite them to the next natural meet up. You don’t want to come off as a know it all and besides the journey is part
of the fun of being a natural anyway. You know from experience that everybody has their own thing.

Well, I know that you know what the right answer is but this is often not practiced. With all the shaming that someone transitioning/returning natural could receive from their own family and society (work, church, etc.) experienced natural Black Women are shaming each other as well. I am not talking about texture discrimination (which in its self has a negative impact on the natural movement). I am referring to Curl Shaming: The verbal oppression and put down of another natural’s hair care ability causing the natural being shamed to feel negatively about their overall appearance and journey.

Note: Curl Prejudice is the belief that a curl pattern is better than another naturals curl pattern because of looseness of curl or length of hair (i.e., 3b is better hair than 4b.). Whereas, Texture Discrimination is denying a natural from claiming to have a tighter curl pattern because of the color of their skin or depth of “Blackness” or vice versa (i.e., Her hair is not 4c because she is light-skinned. He is to dark skinned to have 3a hair). Often Curl Shaming is a tactic of Curl Prejudice. Both practices are false and negative. Rule of thumb is healthy hair is good hair and you don’t have to be Black to have an Afro.

So anyway… I can feel the eye roll. In your head your thinking, “Whatever, Black people are strong…we tell it straight to each other all the time…” Remember what I said about strength in Black Women and Our Limitations of Strength post? Well if you don’t, now would be a good time to review it. Remember, although strong, not everyone has the same amount of strength. Curl Shaming can directly effect a naturals progress and even end their journey.

I saw a Youtube video a month ago where a natural was providing a tutorial (on another note, I love Youtube. It’s like a natural’s utopia. Click here to see what I am talking about) and she kept referring to other naturals as “hot messes”. Although she provided wonderful insight, I pondered what in her opinion classifies someone as a “hot mess”. Last week I received personal email from a subscriber who had a similar experience. That’s when I realized that this issue needed to be addressed.

One look a curl pattern achieves may not look the same with another. Often times looks have to be achieved using different tools and styling products (an example of this is wash-and-go’s for 3b verses 4c. See Maximum Hydration Method versus traditional 3b wash and go) underneath the video in the comments other naturals criticized her. I am sure she didn’t want to offend anyone... but she did.

This movement, this thing we are accomplishing by breaking the barriers of what society believes is beautiful and developing a love for women regardless of how they wear their hair is important. Like our curls, it is fragile and must handled with care. It can be so easily ruined. I know I always say this but we must be unified in our approach. We must support and love each other.

How do you feel about curl shaming? Have you experienced it? Did you do it without knowing? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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Thursday, February 5, 2015


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By J.Naomi Johnson

I wanted length and CROCHET BRAIDING was the way to do it.  Unlike other braiding techniques this style looked identical to my own hair!  I was so impressed.  I have included for you a link to the video (click the image above) so that you can see how to do this ultra easy hair style!  If you want a change in length but want to maintain your hair texture this is for you!

Have you tried crochet braids?  Let me know in the comments below!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

TOP 10 Winning Dates to Take your Natural Bae!

By J.Naomi Johnson

Valentines Day is right around the corner! With all the things you do for Bae throughout the year this night has to top it all. Need some ideas? I have created ten ideas that will be sure to ignite fireworks between you and your bae. Read below!

10. Spoken Word/ Poetry Club

You may not have all the words to tell Bae how you really feel. No problem someone out there does. This Valentine’s Day take Bae out on a date to your local spoken word or poetry club. This type of date is ideal for trying to ignite sensual vibes and tap into your intellectual fantasies. Recreate you own Love Jones vibe. Let the dim lights and urban sexy vibe fuel your desires!

9. Pamper him/her with a paid trip to the Natural Hair Salon

Being a natural can be a lot of work! Constant planning and nurturing of your tresses can be timely. Try giving your natural a break by buying a gift card or all-expense paid trip to her favorite Natural hair salon or spa. This gift is best for the fashionista or work-a-holic. Let your natural Bae be fly for the day and hook ‘em up with a pamper session!

8. Take a DJ class

This date is for the eclectic soul. Many cities across the US offer classes where couples can indulge their inner dj. If you and your “boo thang” have a nack for music and mixing this is for you!

7. Candle lit dinner/ Bae’s Favorite Restaurant

Nothing says I love you like the classics. Believe it or not the idea of the classic dinner date is a refreshing date idea that never gets old. It’s something that your natural bae will love and always remember . Whether you take bae after one of the listed choices or before this experience is sure to make you a winner in her eyes.

6. Wine tasting and painting

Release you inner child with this silly date! Wine and painting is an increasing trend that will be sure to take the edge off of dating. This date is fun because it is great to see what you created after a few drinks. Best part about it is you will have your canvass as souvenirs.

5. Horseback riding followed by lunch in the park.

Is your natural bae a nature fanatic? Well than I have a date for you that will blow bae’s mind! A stroll on horseback topped off with a lunch in the park. Set off sparks by drinking wine and feeding each other grapes. Help bae to become one with nature. This idea is a really great getting to know you and what you are capable of date. No doubt you both should feel a little closer afterwards.

4. Perfume creation

Elevate you senses with this amazing date. Create a smell that will always belong to them. For a natural girl this is a guaranteed call back. We are always making scents and smells with essential oils so being able to go to a perfume curator and create our own personalized perfume is perfect. Don’t be surprised if you meet the parents next weekend!

3. Hot air balloon ride

Reach new heights in your relationship! Bae has probably never been in a hot air balloon. If you want to be the one Bae remembers for the rest of her life, this is the date. Just make sure Bae is not afraid of heights!

2. 24 hour bucket list challenge

Does Bae love a good challenge? Create a pseudo bucket list of things to do and places to go before you kick the bucket but make sure it is something you both can complete within twenty four hours. Document your journey buy taking picks on your cell phone and make a scrapbook to give him or her at a later date.

1. Couples dance lessons

The couple that sets goals together grows together! This date is a true team builder. Not only will you and Bae tango to love but you both will work together to make something beautiful.

Did this list help? Do you have a great date idea? Well I want to hear about it in the comments below!

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