Juneteenth: The Past, The Present, The Future

When did you first learn about Juneteenth?

I mean, seriously, think about it.

It wasn’t taught in elementary school, middle school, or high school for that matter.

The vast majority of us didn’t learn about it until college or worse within the last 3-5 years.

It seems as if these holidays and historic events just came out of thin air but that’s not true. It’s time to recognize its place in American history and reflect on the long struggle for equal rights. We’ve been fighting for our lives since the dawn of time and we still have much further to go. As of June 15th, the Senate passed a bill to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday. President Biden signed off on the bill on June 17th and the rest is history – for now.

What Is Juneteenth?

On June 19, 1865, the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas to announce that the Civil War had ended, and enslaved African Americans had been freed. Though the Emancipation Proclamation became law in January 1863, it could not be enforced in places still under confederate control. Thus it took over 2 years for approximately 250,000 Texan slaves to learn their freedom had been secured by the government.

Click here to learn more about Juneteenth.

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A Journey To Wellness: The Importance of A Morning Routine

well·ness  /ˈwelnəs/   
noun

the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal. 

As I vastly approach my 30th Birthday I can only think about preserving my health and wellness. Having a chronic heart condition I’m already conscientious about my health and take all necessary precautions, but where I fell short in my early twenties-mid twenties was understanding what wellness truly meant. Back then I thought wellness meant becoming vegan/vegetarian and exercising more. Now I know it’s much deeper and is comprised of many different things.

Creating a morning routine helps you set the tone of the day and it allows you to move through the remainder of your day with ease. We can choose what our focus will be for the day, prioritize time, and increase our productivity.

The pandemic was my saving grace because I had time to learn more about wellness in depth, slow down, and ultimately become intentional about my wellness journey. Once I started working from home I immediately created a morning routine. My morning routine consists of drinking celery juice or lemon water/tea prior to breakfast, reading my devotional and writing in my prayer journal, morning skincare routine, having breakfast, and stretching in preparation for my workout at 12pm.    

A morning routine looks differently for everyone, but the benefits are psychological and physical.

Seven benefits of a morning routine are: Boost Energy Level, Combat Forgetfulness, Improve Confidence, Increase Your Productivity, Increase Flexibility, Lower Stress, and Power of Control.    

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HOTM SELF LOVE CHALLENGE WEEK 4

We’re in the final week, Week 4 of the Self Love Challenge and I’m actually sad about it.

My prayer is that this challenge helped you tap into more of what you need. Often times we give so much of ourselves to others, that we forget to nurture ourselves in return. Here’s to refilling our cup until it overflows!

This past week we discussed self forgiveness, celebrating self and our accomplishments, re-evaluating our priorities through the lens of wants versus needs, and more!

I’ll be updating the daily prompts below, so be sure to check out the updates right here on the blog or you can follow along in my Instagram stories @theeheartofthematter.

Check out day 22-28 below:

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HOTM Self Love Challenge Week 3

We’re in Week 3 of the Self Love Challenge and I don’t know about you but, I’m really enjoying myself. Answering these prompts bring about a sense of introspection.

This past week we discussed giving yourself grace, dismissing worry and negative thoughts, boundary setting, and more!

I’ll be updating the daily prompts below, so be sure to check the updates right here on the blog or you can follow along in my Instagram stories @theeheartofthematter.

Check out day 16-21 below:

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HOTM Self Love Challenge Week 2

We’re in Week 2 of the Self Love Challenge and I’m feeling recharged and in tune with self.

This past week we touched on a few topics, from the importance of affirming yourself, making room for healthy habits, embracing our differences, and loving on our inner child.

I’ll be updating the daily prompts below, so be sure to check the updates right here on the blog or you can follow along in my Instagram stories @theeheartofthematter.

Check out day 8-14 below:

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HOTM Self Love Challenge Week 1

Welcome to Week One of the Self Love Challenge!

Each week on Monday, I’ll post the calendar for the next 7 days. Here you’ll have access to the daily prompt/activity. I’ll post the follow up prompts daily on my Instagram stories, here one the blog, and will save them for you to view on Instagram in the Self Love Challenge highlight.

Check out the first 7 days below:

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Self Love Challenge

Self Love

/ˈˌself ˈləv/

noun

  1. regard for one’s own well-being and happiness

Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth.

Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being for others.

Self-love is not people pleasing.

Self-love is not selfish.

Self-love is not settling for less than you deserve.

Self-love can have a variety of different meanings, but the root always goes back to YOU.

We’re officially in the month of LOVE, which usually revolves around showing your love and appreciation for others. What we often forget is to show the same appreciation and effort in nurturing love for ourselves. There are plenty of ways you can show love to self and prioritize your own daily happiness.

 Join me on the 28 Day Self-Love Challenge.

Follow along every day in my Instagram stories @theeheartofthematter! #HOTMSelfLoveChallenge

Pause, Reflect, Create

PAUSE RESET CREATE

pause

/pôz/

verb

1. interrupt action or speech briefly.

noun

1. a temporary stop in action or speech.

When’s the last time you truly sat with yourself and took a deep breath in?

When you allowed your natural body clock to awaken you without the aid of an alarm.

When you rolled out of bed and took time for your morning skincare routine, to prepare breakfast, and drink your favorite cup of tea.

Living in the unprecedented times of COVID-19, I’ve gotten the chance to sit with myself and embrace my season of stillness.

For a while I was frustrated because I felt stuck creatively. I saw other bloggers and content creators I admired that “took advantage” of working from home and seized the moment of producing consistent content for their audience. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough to consistently engage with those who follow and read my blog. Writers block is real and I didn’t want to force myself to create for the sake of having ample time and opportunity to do so.

So, I PAUSED.

I shared my frustrations with my cousin who is my writing partner and kindred spirit. She shared that she too, hadn’t felt inspired to create during these times and reassured me that the inspiration will slap me in the face when it’s time lol.  

It’s important to PAUSE and REFLECT often especially during a season of stillness.

Here are my 5 Reasons Why You Should Take A Break!

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5 Benefits of Journaling

5 Benefits of Journaling

Who remembers when they kept a diary?

It was most likely pink or blue donned with a cute design, stickers, and gel pens were used for added effect.

Dear Diary, was the classic opener.

A book filled with love letters to the cute boy in class, days when you’re mad because your Mom said you couldn’t go outside to play with your friends, or even better, you wrote a full fledge three pages venting about the argument you had with your bestie on the playground.

Little did you know, your diary would quickly become your refuge, a place to escape.

Living in this digital age, most would say that journaling is outdated, gender specific (for girls/women only, most specifically tweens), and just all around a waste of time.

I’m here to dispel the myth and tell you that:

Journaling is for any and everyone who enjoys writing.
Journaling is for self-expression.
Journaling or “expressive writing” is therapeutic and is one of the most beneficial kinds of writing.
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The Navigation of Seasons

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

I have entered yet another transitional season of my life. This one seems extremely different than the first time around. I completed my graduate program in May and earned an MA in Counseling emphasis on Mental Health. Though I am extremely proud of my accomplishments, I am constantly asking: Where did the time go? I was literally in Kindergarten yesterday and now I’m officially out here in the world. Everything seems to be happening so fast. I have no idea what I’m doing and where I’ll end up next. Yet, that is the very question that I keep hearing now that I have graduated.

“So what do you want to do now?

“Are you going for your doctorate?”

“Do you have a job lined up?”

“Where are you going to live?”

Response in my head/Quote of the season: “I’m just tryna get my life together!”

Of course I give them a smile and say my spiel about going for my license, getting an intern number, and looking for a PAID position. All of which definitely won’t happen overnight. It’s a PROCESS!

On the other hand, I have also entered the season of my life where weddings, house housewarmings, and baby showers are main events.

You couldn’t tell me at sixteen that I wouldn’t be married to a chocolate King at 25 with my Benz, bomb two-story house, and Teacup Yorkie safely tucked away in my purse.

They say if you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans.

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