The further I've gotten along my journey, the more that I've realized that your mind is both central and essential to becoming the best version of yourself, or living your best life. The way you perceive things can even shape your reality, shift your response, and most importantly preserve your energy. However, adversely, when these things are not in effect, it can warp your lens, alter your judgement, and suck your energy. Therefore, to kickstart this month's theme of Checking in With ALL of You, I am starting with the mind.  


Since I am utilizing this series to check in with myself, while encouraging you all to do the same, I will be presenting you all with five areas of a mental check-in. Then explaining what they are, and where I'm at with them along my personal journey. Please feel free to utilize the below to check-in with your mind as well, and if you have any tips to share, please send them my way! 



As simple as it sounds, it feels like a true and honest commitment to yourself is the starting point of any journey. You have to commit to yourself, that you are ready and willing to do this work. When we look at the commercialized version of self-care, they showcase it as this fun external journey. When I look at it though, especially a journey of self. It looks like honest conversations with self, listening to your gut and body, harsh truths and evolvement. However, none of that is able to happen without an honest commitment from you to you. 


B: While I feel like I've committed to myself, there are times when my actions are counterproductive to my intentions. Times when I am upset with, and beat myself up, for being human. While I'm committed, the journey itself is long and hard. 


As aforementioned, with your mind, you have the ability to shape your immediate reality. Especially by being conscious of the thoughts that you allow to consume you throughout the day. Which ties directly into self- affirming yourself, below. 


B: It's a jungle out there, is how I feel about the thoughts that consume my brain on a daily basis. My mind is like an abyss of thoughts, ideas, obsessions, and everything the fuck else. It truly gets wild in there. To declutter, most people suggest meditation, but I have yet to reach the space of a completely quiet mind. Focusing on completing on thing at a time helps, but I honestly haven't been very intentional about that. Please send any and all tips my way!


Along this journey of becoming your best self, you have to encourage and affirm yourself along the way. There aren't cheerleaders on the journey of self, so YOU have to keep yourself engaged and motivated. This also doesn't exclude the days where you feel down, hell, that's when you need it most. Are you your own biggest cheerleader, or a mean ass critic? 


B: Honestly, this is the one I struggle with most. I'm in a space now though where I try to tell myself at least one affirming thing every time I pass by the mirror (which is often,) or just celebrating my now. At this point in my journey, I've opened up my heart to fall in love with my journey, and the evolution of it. I'm also at a space, where I've unconsciously allowed for my parent's understanding (lack there of) of my pursuits, to shift the way that I perceive my own progression, and I'm trying to rid myself of that. It's a process, but in the words of SZA, I'm do do, down the ride.    



One thing that I've mentioned before, is how important it is to be conscious of the images that we take in. While we may just be listening to one of these mumble rappers on repeat, we're also unconsciously filling our brains with misogynistic messages. The shitty intra-racial relationships between Black women on any VH1, Bravo or BET show, is also depicting unrealistic and wildly negative images of Blackness. Gossip blogs have shifted us to a tea based society, where victim blaming and perp caping are the norm.


What I'm getting at, is that we have the power to curate what we consume. From music, to literature, television, movies, and yes, even social media. We have the ability to say, instead of taking in at all of these negatives images of Blackness, I can take in positive ones. We don't fully realize how much impact these images have on us, until they're taken away!


B: The one that really did it for me, was unfollowing the gossip blogs, I honestly started to feel icky. While I feel grossly outta the, the need for tea, and to be petty, and the entire world it created, was something that I have always been trying to run away from. I grew up the bully, and worked hard to shake myself free of that. Therefore, when I realized that gossip blogs were just an internet version of that, I had to get outta the jam. It also honestly just feels better to see positive things, and especially about Black people. As I'm looking towards a better Blacker tomorrow, I've become intentional about the Black images and messages that I'm taking in. 


One of the most powerful things that we can do in my opinion, is to shift how we perceive information. While the ways of the world won't let up, and will continue to deal you some wild shit every day. What you can do, is shift your response. This is honestly a way for you to preserve your peace, energy and space. 


B: In recent years, I've become more of a glass half-full thinker. Honestly, I think that seeing someone who automatically filters things as negative, is what forced me to become more conscious of my own thoughts. While also being intentional about finding a bright side to everything. Now don't get me wrong, I'm no Sinclair James, but I am intentional about my response to all stimuli.

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