This week we wanted to follow up on last week’s blog post. Cofounder, @demarieluv reflected her experiences with PTSD related to surviving sexual assault. These realities are far more common than we might think. That being said, this week we wanted to bring you some ways we have activated our faith in healing through different coping mechanisms.
Read more to find out these unique coping mechanisms we have personally tried and others that might help you or someone you know “coping with triggers.”
Healing looks different for everyone; although both Cristal and myself experienced sexual assault, our journey for contextualizing such an experience is explained in this week’s blog post.
I mentioned last week, how there were moments earlier in my journey of healing where I feared leaving my house. My triggers varied from seeing certain images that were related to my attack, or certain scents that reminded me of a pain I was trying to run away from. It took a lot of support and also strength to be able to not only identify these triggers but be able to cope with them amidst trying to move on with my life. I was blessed enough to work with a therapist that I trusted to help me through this phase of healing, that gave me tools to help cope with PTSD better. She explained , and I will again, reiterate the fact that everyone’s healing looks different. The way that I cope with triggers from my past may not be helpful or useful to those who aren’t at that particular step in their journey, (and that’s okay). That being said, I believe it’s incredibly important that you navigate the spectrum of resources that are out there for you to better assimilate yourself back into the world. We aren’t meant to flourish, and spread wings that were kept captive in a cacoon of fear, and pain. We CAN live a happier life without the debilitating effects of PTSD.
So....I continued to see my therapist for a couple of years about a couple times a month and it was vital in my faith to not only pair worldly coping devices, but also tap into my strength found within my faith in Jesus Christ. I was able to combine the two, and it worked best for me.
I was able to use God‘s word as my foundation while actively trusting in my faith through my work in therapy.
When I didn’t have the means to see a therapist, I spent a lot of time in prayer and spoke with someone who understood from experience (that being Cristal).
I didn’t however, want to be dependent on another person when I was feeling attacked again...God would tell me that “in my weakness HE is my strength.” And in order to trust that voice I had to holster myself up on His Word, I had to be my own heroin when I couldn’t reach out to others out pride or guilt that I was burdening someone else. I had a choice to make. I was going to either heal for ME, or wait for some to save me.
I still to this day actively use my tools for coping include the following:
• daily affirmations/ mantras
•”tapping” method of meditation
Meditation was a bit like prayer to me. As a good friend of mine once said “prayer is our time speaking to God, while meditation is God speaking to us.” (J.C.)🙏🏽
It’s something that was equally spiritual in essence and practical for coping with uncontrollable triggers. I spent a lot of time during my sessions of therapy strengthening my focus on a place that was “safe” for me to go to mentally when anxiety, PTSD, and depression overwhelmed my life. Physical exercise shares the same principles of mental exercise ; if you don’t condition your body or mind enough it will remain weak.
Sexual assault not only attacks the body, but such an experience attacks one’s mind as well. I can’t tell you enough how grateful I was that no matter where I was, no matter how uncontrollable circumstances seemed; I had complete control over where my mind went during these moments, as well as what I chose to focus on in times of fear.
My mental safe space is so vivid now, that when I feel danger, I assess those feelings disregard the I irrational ones; and calm myself through some form of meditation.
If I’m in a public place, and I can’t close my eyes or be in a comfortable seated position, I speak mantras of peace, of love, of security over my life until the only focus I have is on those positive words, sayings, or scriptures. Over time, the triggers lessen in intensity, and I can carry on acknowledging what was, and moving past what is not. 😌
I will disclose that this isn’t a quick fix. There might be times of frustration, of anger, or of helplessness when introducing yourself to the strength embedded in you. Please know...the strength IS THERE! I am seven years removed from what I would consider the worst experience of my life...trauma no one should face, but they do. People are still hurting and are being hurt as I write this. This reality compels me even more to say, you CAN SURVIVE THIS, yes, even this. The hurt that keeps on hurting doesn’t have to be the end, but the force that opens the door towards an inner strength you never thought you had—its in there, and we can discover it together.
I have faith in you, because I believe in a GOD, who is faithful...and who showed me that amidst such pain is glory on the other side.
My reflections for this week’s blog post compelled me to ask, “How many of us had a blanket or toy growing up that we just couldn’t live without?” It made it difficult to let go of; that snuggle blanket that automatic sense of comfort you recieved on those scary nights or that toy/doll that you just couldn't leave the house without?
Post-rape, and dealing with PTSD left me afraid to even leave my house. I wouldn't go out unless I had to which was only for work, school, or other family events. I made sure no matter what that I would get back home before sunset afraid that my rapist would be out to hurt me once again. My fear motivated me
to move from LA to NYC. I rationalized in my head, that if I left my pain, it couldn’t follow me. Moving away from my triggers was the best solution for me at the time, (so I thought).
Even after moving to NYC, I was still afraid. I left my safety-blanket; I was away from family and anyone that could really protect me.
A friend moved with me and I'm so grateful for that bit of familiarity; but at the end of the day, fear still ruled my life, and I didn’t feel safe in my own skin. in addition to being assaulted, I was told by doctors that I was diabetic a couple of months
before getting raped, and thoughts that my own body was no longer safe or healthy worsened the triggers occupying my mind.
The triggers suffocated the majority of my faith in God. I thought, “if I was seconds from
losing my life when rushed to a clinic because I was was diabetic, then why God, would you give me a second chance that would lead to being assaulted by a ‘friend’ leaving me broken, to the point of wanting to take my own life?"
I was not trying to ask GOD to help me and protect me because I oftened wondered “Why didn't you protect me that night?" So, NO, I have not always trusted GOD will my full heart, but I always some how knew that trusting GOD was the only way.
Yes, I’ve been through ups and downs in my process to healing, yes, I questioned GOD because of my trials and felt I lost my faith of who GOD was and what God can do in my life; but I committed to attending my church TRUE LOVE WORSHIP Center.
One day, during a bible study we spoke on "choosing your friends wisely," I then realized my purpose, and how GOD would turn what the devil meant for bad into good.
I continued to channel my fear and negative thought patterns into God’s word, which was becoming my new security blanket.The power of God became real to me through Psalm 6:10. The day my trigger became my reality; I came face to face to my rapist at a fashion event in Las Vegas. I trusted GOD that I can move forward that I didn't need anyone to really be there to protect me but that all I had to do is trust God and the plan HE had for me; including confronting my worst fear of all.
Let me tell you...I walked past my rapist, making eye contact as I prayed Psalm 6:10. Psalm 6:10 says:
All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.
and they were! The man who assaulted me turned in shame amidst that crowded space, and left me alone in my peace, in my VICTORY.
I didn’t breakdown, I didn’t run, I felt safe for the first since that experience in front of the man who was responsible for taking advantage of our friendship, and my life.
I can’t explain to you thebfreedom God gave me, when He SHOWED UP; and turned my triggers intonTRIUMPH. Coping with my triggers through His Hold Word transformed me from VICTIM TO VICTOR" the devil lost any battle he though he had going. It took me 4years to win a victory walk, go out with no fear and really start a healing process that will take a life time of continued prayer that those spirits of fear don't interfere with me living MY life. I claim that I'm healed and set free; but we must continue to pour into our life and speak life into ourselves. We must continue to walk on the life thatGod intended INSPITE of what we’ve gone through, and what continues to shake us; we were Made to live in our WHOLENESS—and we can do so together!
Till Next time Survivors...sending you
Love and solidarity,
DevinMarie & Cristal Lowe 💗
Happy Friday Queens and Kings!
This month is all about “Making Peace with Your Past”
Have you ever made efforts of moving forward from that previous relationship, job, or bad experience? Have you ever intentionally made those efforts and no matter how many attempts; you feel like you’re back at ground zero?
This is the part your heart tries to skip; the part your mind tries to ignore, that “throw a band-aid over your wound and keep it moving” mentality. For some of us, we don’t realize we are even doing it...but honestly, who would volunteer to go through THAT type of pain again? Eventually, we have a decision to make; we can either continue to find quick-fixes to soothe these pains in life or show our wounds some much needed TLC. ♥️
My real healing began when I stopped running from my past, and made the intentional decision to confront it. I stopped trying to fix the symptoms related to my pain and get to the root of it. I also stopped placing my idea of healing in relationships and activities that were depleting me, or keeping me from fully accepting the reality that “I was not okay” <——-and that it was okay to not okay.
Without really knowing, I was trying to navigate my life post sexual-asssault while dealing with PTSD.
According to recoveryranch.com;
“Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when you develop four types of symptoms in the aftermath of a traumatic event. Broadly speaking, these symptoms are:
I was dealing with all four of these debilitating symptoms and displacing each one on those closest to me. My relationships, academics, and work suffered dramatically. I often woke up from night terrors mistakenly thinking my then boyfriend was the man who raped me, I dropped a semester’s worth of classes because I was either failing or didn’t want to show to class I was constantly anxious/uneasy at work, and severely unhappy.
Dealing with PTSD isn’t actually “living” I was in constant fear, so much so, I retreated into myself and suppressed the pain as much as possible in hopes that the pain from an unwanted experience would eventually dissipate. But these types of wounds needed to be addressed, not masked in alcohol, or my co-defendant relationship. Gaining agency over my own body meant I stopped sharing my brokenness with other people and experiences hoping to be whole.
In addition to weekly therapy, and small groups at my church, was my faith in Jesus Christ. However, If I am going to be completely honest, God was the last option and not my first priority when seeking my healing from sexual assault trauma. I only let Him have parts of me...not fully confident in surrendering my body to a God that watched as I was being violated in my past.
How could I have faith in Jesus, a man who once healed the sick and the blind, to now, heal me from the emotional and mental attacks I never wanted? How could I allow God to enter the most vulnerable part of me when it’s been exposed, manipulated and taken advantage of in years past?
What kind of God would allow these things to happen then expect me to crawl in His arms for comfort?
My questions are usually answered with the following scriptures:
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord , “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
“Behold, I will do something new,
Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.
Meditating on these scriptures continued to be a life source for me, removing the crutches from my past allowed me to see God manifest Himself in my life and to heal the wounds I covered up daily.
I realized the more you ignore a physical injury, your condition often worsens. As a dancer and athlete I would often perform and compete in sprained ankles and broken toes. Rather than rest and allow my body to heal, I further injured myself, making me unable to do what I loved. Same regard should be held for our metal and emotional state—if you’ve been hurt, it’s time to call out that hurt, surrender it to the doctor of all doctors, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit will guide your ways towards the healing YOU need. For some of you, seeking therapy will be really helpful, for others confiding in a friend or family member you feel safe talking to will be enough. Whatever that next step is, begin with acknowledging how you feel—and if you or someone you know might be dealing with PTSD please seek the help you need!
TXT Crisis hotline:
Text HOME to 741741 in the US
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
You are not weak, you are not irrational, you are not less worthy of love. You are simply, hurt, and we are here to tell you that hurt does NOT have to be navigated alone!
We happened to find Jesus amidst our pain, and He graciously and lovingly helped us find our purpose. We want to be here every step of the way so please, reach out via email or any of our social media handles so we can be a better support system to you or someone you may know who needs access to resources or insight on steps we took in our journey to heal.
With love and solidarity,
Devin Marie and Cristal Lowe
photo credit: IG @julianoni for teen vogue
It’s that time of the month again—and no I don’t mean “that” time of the month. 😏 I mean that point in time when the world pauses for even a moment to say “yay, us...we’ve made such great leaps and bounds in the systematic oppression we were birthed in” that WE birthed in...So this is for you, the young girl in Harlem or the grown woman in the Hollywood Hills...and everyone in between who has forgotten their superpower.
Your body has been made into a commodity, but don’t forget that you are Mother Nature.
You have been bruised and shaken to your core; but not to be compared to the depths of our dear Mother Earth.
You continue to pull the weight of fallen towers of fragile masculinity that failed our brothers; you my Queen are superwoman.
Did you know they Fear us, which is why they applaud us tearing each other apart?
Did you know it’s free to congratulate a sister’s rise to the top?
Did you stop to consider the powerful of armies get attacked the most?
Are you aware that your temple is a goldmine; perhaps the reason they wish to possess, own and control it?
Are you willing to extend love and kindness to your sister who needs you the most?
Are you able to make room at the table and share some space?
Regardless of your status, your background, your beliefs or style of dress...
We are women, Queen, superwoman, business woman, boss, mother, sister, daughter, intellect, empress. 💛✨👑
Let’s pass the torch when our paths are already lit, let us raise generations with resilient love & support.
One thing remains true;
We need US to get there.
Here to close our February Self-Love Series is cofounder DevinMarie. We hope you continue to live out your life LOVE-filled; no matter the stage of your journey post sexual assault.
“There were some days earlier on in making the decision to embrace this whole “self-love journey” that I wanted to give up. There were many people I knew who spoke on its importance, and who made it apparent that I would never truly be happy without it. No matter how I tried to embrace this romanized ideal of conquering my insecurities and unraveling the pain of my traumatic past, I couldn’t grasp it.
The biggest obstacle for me was facing fear. For most of my adolescence, I masked this fear with academic and athletic success throughout my schooling, with relationships, seeking acceptance of others, and trying to be the most likable individual by all people.
The problem with my approach to this “love thing” was its passivity and lack of addressing the common denominator in all these outer influences; that being myself.
When things failed or I didn’t gain enough fulfillment, I played victim to the present situation only mirroring the reality of my past.
You know how people say after a break up “you need to hookup with someone else and then you’ll get over him/her” or even “keep yourself busy and you’ll eventually move on...”
In other more simplified terms “ a distracted life is a happy life...right?”
When I removed the distractions; the relationship I thought I couldn’t exist without, the career I drowned myself in , the job that was overly demanding, the toxic habits of alcohol-soothing, anti-depressant taking, co-dependent self, I was left with a stripped, very vulnerable, version of me. Only this vulnerability was different from my past. This vulnerability was a choice, my choice...a type of vulnerability that was once subject to neglect, rape, domestic violence and trauma. This vulnerability was equally terrifying and empowering. I finally saw myself for who I was independent of drugs, outside gratification, relationships, or accolades.
The thing I wanted so desperately was to be seen—because my past taught me my worth was invisible to others, including myself. Had the man that straddled his own insecurities on my helpless body seen past my body as more than object and seen my humanity, perhaps he wouldn’t have taken advantage. Or if the boy who groped my body in the fifth grade had seen that I was uncomfortable with his previous advances, he would have stopped, or had the classmates in P.E class seen the evidence of self harm on my legs when undressing in the locker rooms asked if I was okay...maybe I would have sought help sooner?
This isn’t a matter of fault, but of self-worth. I was living in this temple, yet even I couldn’t see that what happened to me wasn’t my fault; I couldn’t see the survivor under my many layers of victimhood. It wasn’t until I surrendered to the truth about who I am in Christ, that I was able to distinguish between the truth about my present and the perpetuated lies of my past. ♥️
Getting to this point has had its share of ups and downs. I’ve wanted to retreat back to victimhood; by pointing the finger at the people that hurt me, the people that failed to protect & defend me, the broken system that victim blames just as much as I was blaming myself. None of these actions or sentiments of hate actually healed the piece that remained broken; my heart. I prayed for God to restore it, to restore me to the woman I was called to be. As a result, I’ve gained greater insight of these habits and its origins. More importantly, I focused my attention on myself, the person who needed the most attention, and nurturing when the world said I was alone in this—I wasn’t. Neither are you. We are in this together no matter where you are on the journey of self-love; you can access is the truths to your hurt and HEAL just like I have and CONTINUING TO DO. 🙏🏽
There is no more room for self-sabotaje, self-doubt, self-blame, only LOVE. Part of our frustration dwells in our spirit fighting to grow out of the cocoon you wrapped yourself in to self-soothe the wounds this world has given you. Only problem is, you were born to fly, and be free; that was a l w a y s God’s intention. 🐛—>🦋To accept that grace I chose to walk my journey toward self-love with Jesus; someone who knows a lot about feeling alone, being wrongfully blamed and unethically treated. I haven’t looked back since, I’m healed...I can live again; and it’s my prayer you feel that freeness in YOU too.”
Cheering you on Queen and King... you were made for MORE that what you’ve been through.
As we close our self-love series for the month of February...the teaching and walking in these principles will most certainly continue!
Stay tuned for our new series launching tomorrow as we continue to grow, learn and heal together!
Love & Solidarity,
To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness...-Robert Nesta Marley.
So many of us know the word L-O-V-E 💞 It has been said by many that
"To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness."
-Robert Nesta Marley
I sit here on my lunch break thinking back on L-O-V-E 💜 and how L-O-V-E
has been a challenge and still is an everyday challenge for me to unwrap. Some may say, “but love is free...
you can easily utter the words “I love you" and go on about your day. As much as this is true, this is not necessarily a known reality for everyone.
I am someone who grew up in a house-hold that never said "I love you" on a regular basis. So expressing love didn’t always come easy. Becoming a
victim of rape did NOT help with expressing my feelings either, and inviting L-O-V-E 💕 into my life became very difficult.
I often thank God for my Pastor/ Mentor Lady Dez Kadesh for always expressing the urge for love.
It has not been an easy task for me to show love and express my feelings, my husband would be a great witness lol, but
as stated in the quote above, when you fall in love with your self it does not only give you happiness, but
peace and joy knowing that no matter what people may say no matter what people may do or what the world, social media "states" is real love; it can not compare to that of unconditional LOVE ❤️. Which leads me to
Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Now if God can love you through your sins, through your up’s and downs, love you through it all no matter what, why are you so hard on your self? Why are you holding on to that thing that will not let you see beyond your flaws, beyond your mistakes?
Now I am not saying your going to wake up today and be all lovable, but surely make it your daily goal to love more,
let this be the year that love covers all pain and past hurt, whether it is self-love, school, career, family, friendships, or any other relationships.... don't let the enemy win your joy and take away your love for all things mentioned; let your love win over the joy of your family, friendships, relationships, dreams etc. Yes I know its not easy, but trust me the moment I decided that my past would have no
control and I mean no control over my self-love 💕I overcame hurt, pain and embraced life with L-O-V-E 😍. By the grace of our Heavenly Father; I conquered fear and became a champion.—Cristal Lowe
For more champion arories of love stay tuned for next week’s blog post as cofounder DevinMarie reflects on her unique journey towards embracing self-love post-sexual assault.
Until then, all of you who support, read, learn, grow and heal with us, (we appreciate your journey, and your extended love towards us)
With Love and Solidarity,
As mentioned in last week's post, people don't often speak on dating/ relationships post sexual assault, so I wanted to share a bit of experiences to help continue to conversation.
It was very difficult to even imagine myself in a relationship after the pain I had endured. I carried the weight of so much pain from being raped, not only because I was a victim of sexual assault, but because my rapist took my virginity, something I planned to keep till I got married.
Three months after the worst experience of my life I found myself getting into a relationship that I was absolutely not ready for. I continued to go through the motions of being in relationships like these and rationalized my actions by affirming my power in this situation. I figured if it was all my choice, and my decision to be in the relationship; this time around, it was my choice to say yes to sex. In my mind I thought, “I would feel better and move forward with my life.”
As great as this all sounded, I was running to and from relationships and running away from the truth. I wrong....😐 the "ONLY" relationship I should have chose to be in was with myself.
I know it may sound cliché, but truth is, we can't love someone else when we can't even love ourselves. I might have thought I loved myself, but I couldn't even look myself in the mirror and say "You are BEAUTIFUL " OR "I LOVE YOU QUEEN.” I couldn’t speak life of love into myself...how could I have expected to be able to receive those affirmations or acts of love outside of myself?
SO it all comes down to one thing; learn to love yourself even in the pain of figuring out “how could this happen to me?” Love yourself to a place of wholeness as hard as it is when you see others carrying on in relationships. Love yourself as if there will never be another person who can save you. Love yourself so that you will accept nothing less than what you truly deserve.
With ❤❤ Cristal Lowe
“It’s not something spoken about much, we tend to carry on like most survivors just to get by. The whole, “you survived that trauma, you’re still here, that must mean or count for something....right?”
Like many survivors of sexual assault, I too carried on my day-to-day routine. I was only 2months into my first semester of college and I was already falling behind, on top of work obligations.
The last thing I was really wanting to deal with was a relationship with myself, let alone anyone else for that matter. Shortly after being raped, I slowly started distancing myself from my long-distance boyfriend. Our relationship ended soon after from the emotional and mental toll it had on me—I was hollowed out of any hope or fairy-tale of being in love ever again.
Even so, I yearned for a sense of security and found myself entertaining hopeless situations with people who saw me as I saw myself, just another body to be used and taken advantage of. My self-esteem what shot. I filled up my false-sense of security with empty compliments and attention from those who reflected only my hurt past. I was on a fast-train to hell in every aspect of my being—I had no identity except for the night I married my worth to someone else’s manipulative power.
A few months later, I met someone who I eventually began a relationship with that lasted a little over four years. Still broken, still lacking trust, self-worth, love, and security, that person introduced me to Jesus one Sunday afternoon, the purpose of our entire relationship I now have peace about. Because I was knew in my faith and still understanding Romans 8:20 (old->new) I couldn’t detach myself from a bond I equated my new found peace in; the soul-ties that were created throughout my new found faith in Jesus Christ was still robbing me of the relationship I always prayed for.
Sooo when did I find my happily ever after?
The moment I let go of it all...the moment I decided I wasn’t going to use my relationships with man to determine my worth and value. The moment when I surrendered my very desire to be in love and be loved back. It was the moment I lost absolutely everything I ever wanted and was emptied of myself in order for God to fill His spirit and the likeness of His character in the cracks and grooves of my once broken heart. ♥️
Next week, we will continue this discussion of relationships and self-love post sexual assault with what we learned, and things that will hopefully help in guiding you along your journey of self-acceptance and restoring your true identity in a love untainted or defiled. A love that breathes life in the dead places of your heart and mind. A love that is healing and makes room for your growth!!
Till then, we send our love and continuous support to you, LOVE yourself on today, & be patient with yourself! —DevinMarie
Love & solidarity,
Devin & Cristal
Alright ya’ll...we made it through our first month of 2018! We pray you are growing in love, deepening your relationships with your loved ones, and in Christ!
For some of us, it’s been a rocky start, maybe things haven’t gone as planned or what you hoped for? Perhaps you’re struggling with finances, relationships seem to be falling out of sorts, or you feel unseen and under appreciated?
We don’t know everyone’s journey personally, but we know everyone is in need of truth, nurturing, love and support. We pray you continue to find that here, whether you’re a sexual assault survivor, or just someone who needs a word on tips on how to get-by...
This month, Cristal and myself have put together content we hope will fill in the gaps to some of those struggles (whatever they may be) and we hope you can do that through your journey of self-L O V E.
You may be wondering....how does this apply to the real issues I’m facing, and isn’t this the same thing we read up on last month/year?
The answer simply put, is “Yes”. But how many of us forget to apply such principles, or even know where to begin? Self-love is an extension of self-care, only we are going a bit deeper this series discussing the foundation of truly loving yourself, the ABC’s of l-o-v-e, and the realness of relationships: post sexual-trauma.
We will of course share tips on how we apply these principles in our daily walks, and encourage you to be open & receive another perspective to something many want, yet are without...
Will you join us this month committing to such a love? Or are you still waiting for your anwser/solution outside of yourself? Let’s journey together—in love ♥️
January 20, 2018 was one for the books—- the LA Women’s March left us everything BUT speechless.
Still gathering all my thoughts, but I can’t help but say...wow.
Wow to the sentiment of l o v e that was felt by so many different walks of life and to the countless smiles, high-fives, fists in the air, chanting, hugs, and life that stimulates all of one’s senses. And let’s not forget the endless wafting of bacon wrapped hotdogs from street vendors that also cheered us on...(don’t worry my vegan powers deflected every temptation)
Cristal and I have worked hard on an individual level to pull out our inner voice, and learn to trust it. I’m still learning, but today solidified the undeniable sentiment that together, our soft whispers magnify to larger than life volumes.
This journey hasn’t been easy, but neither has it been in vain. Today, we met some incredible people, including recording artist, activist, and fellow sister-Queen, Ms.Andra Day.
We shared a brief but an impactful conversation all in gratitude for the role she personally played in helping to bring Herstory to life. It is why her single “Rise Up” is still our personal anthem years after our launch.
We are both on an incredible high from all of the incredible speakers and guests that were in attendance. Next year we will be joining you on that same stage—(hey, a girl can dream right?)
Till next week Queens and Kings in solidarity we stand, we speak up, and we march!
DevinMarie & Cristal Lowe
Click below for the link of both Andra Day’s single “Rise Up, and how we continue to draw inspiration from it.
It’s morning... and yes, you can bet I have my water boiling on the stove top, and I’m currently chugging down my @essentia water bottle to get my first liter in of the day. 💦 Did I mention it’s 4am?!
Okay...so most mornings I don’t wake up THIS early. But I do wake up early enough to give myself the time I need...
Sooooo what does self-care look like on my busiest of days?
I mean, do you really have time for this stuff? My anwser;
No. No we don’t have time for this stuff.
We make time for this stuff.
This week I wanted to touch on INTENTIONAL Self-Care and how anyone and I mean anyone can do it—whether you’re a mom juggling 3 kids on your own, a rape survivor like myself who got all the counseling and therapy she needed, but never heard anyone say “take some ‘me’ time.” Or a college student stretching out last week’s @postmates order as “meal-prep” (I’ve been there😅), this is for you. For the humans in all of us that need to reset daily to survive in this world. I hope this puts things in perspective.
Do you ever ask yourself, “Who am I doing this all for?” Like before you commute to work, are you Ike “I’m literally taking on a double-shift for me because I LOVE this place.”😅🤪
Or does the student who is sitting in front of her/his laptop after 4 hours writing their term paper, ask “who is this assignment for??”
Or better yet, what is my purpose in doing ______??
We hardly ever ask these questions in our daily lives or activities. In most cases, we settle into the routine of things just to survive. The only problem with settling for anything is that when life disrupts us, we are hardly grounded because our foundation has yet to be set on I n t e n t i o n.
That intention can be big or small. But what if we added purpose behind that intention daily?
This is where self-care became important to me. I knew WHY I was doing something for a change, not because I wanted a degree from all of my studies, or a promotion from my employer, but because I was giving myself purpose.
This is a purpose that God has always placed inside of me that I had yet to actively discover and practice daily. So how do I know my purpose, or find my purpose?
I personally spent time alone with God. I minimized my time being influenced by outside influences (music, certain foods, people). I fast and I pray intentionally for a designated amount of time.
My mornings and evenings are very much like this! They are becoming more and more spiritual experiences for me. I am appreciative of my tea-time and scripture reading even if that means waking up and hour or 20min. earlier to fully take in that moment.
These moments are essential to me. I wish I had started sooner, especially in my earlier years of healing post- sexual assault. Healing is equally a vulnerable time, and also a freeing time—when we heal from any trauma, we are suspectable to infection, if we are exposed to the wrong thing. Consider this, a physical wound needs intentional and regular cleaning after an accident; as does your heart, and your soul from the emotional trauma that proceeds from negative experiences.
Self-care has been the cleaning in my life I know my mind, body, and soul needs in order to coexist with every other part of my being.
My prayer is that you intentionally participate in adding self-care in your life. Start small, every intention counts. Even if you add 1 hour a week or 5 minutes a day to unplug from your other intentions (work, school, family, relationships, etc.) and go outside, stretch to your favorite song, make some tea, write in your journal, meditate on God’s word, pray, go for a run, out on a face mask, put your phone on do not disturb, cook your favorite meal...whatever it is, be kind to you...and trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it later 🙏🏽💗