Category Archives: Emotional Health

Strengthen Your Future, Give Your Past Away

There are many things that we can do to make our future better and one of them is giving our past away.  Our past has so many bad things that weigh our lives down and it could make us sick.  So, we begin little by little, on trying to make our future stronger by giving away the past and all of the things that come with it. The things that are in our past may consist of many things, such as, work, school, sports that we may play, children, and relationships.  I know what you are saying, “Why give away all the things that make us happy?”

We don’t give away the memories, we give away the bad habits, and the bad thoughts that may have come to our mind throughout the day, not to mention that we woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe, the toast is a little over cooked. These are just a few things that come to mind. This stuff needs to be let go or given away through your Power Greater than Ourselves, our journal, parents or maybe friends.

As we talk about the little things, some which are listed, these things start to leave our minds, body and our souls and makes us smile, and enjoy our days. This is a necessity because it is essential that we lighten our load by letting go of the past.

To have a strong future, I have given you a few things that will help to strengthen yourself, your future and the thoughts that may come to your mind. If we give away the dirt, we can’t help but feel cleaner.

What is keeping life so bogged down for you?

Once letting go, you must leave it there.

What is your reason?

 

 

 

 

 

What Does Beauty Mean

Beauty- The quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit.(loveliness)  2. the BEAUTIFUL person or thing such as a beautiful woman. 3. a particularly graceful, ornamental, of excellent quality. 4. a brilliant, extreme, or egregious example or <that mistake was a beauty>                           — Merriam Webster Dictionary

As you can see there many dstriped-core-354528_960_720efinitions of the word “Beauty” just as our own definitions are different.

This is the time to share the beauty of things in life.  A good example of beauty is to always try to find the positive out of the negative. True beauty is not always about the outside and the way we look, that is always a plus, but it doesn’t define us.

There are many ideas of beauty in us spiritually, emotionally, physically, we just have to search within ourselves what indeed we think is beauty. We have to also be as consistent as we can be when showing our beauty. Believe and be honest to yourself.  Even when we are going through things and we think that we are all alone, but we aren’t. There is a beautiful person or a group of beautiful people that don’t mind showing you how to reconnect with your beauty.

Remember that we are all beautiful. True beauty is having a good attitude and that is more beautiful than anything.

 

So, what does beauty mean to you?

Why I Meditate

mediateA few years ago, I started a new journey on my own when I moved to a new city. I have been HIV positive for many years, and sometimes I found myself having too much on my mind at one time. It would become very chaotic and overwhelming, so one day I decided to go and sit in my yard to try to relax. I wanted to sit outside and get the sun on my face because I felt like I could draw energy from the sun.

I would breathe in slowly, thinking about nothing but drawing in energy. I keep breathing in until I felt like I bottled up all of the energy I could manage. Then, I would breathe out slowly. While breathing out, I let everything go. I let go of stress. I let go of the things that are outside of my control. I just let everything out while breathing out. I tend to let my arms out too while I’m breathing out because it helps me get rid of that extra energy. When I breathe and meditate, it is about me letting go of the things I cannot control.

My advice for anyone who would like to start meditating is that, first of all, you can meditate anywhere. I used to live by a beach, and I would walk on the beach in the mornings when it was quiet to do my breathing. You can also meditate in your bed before you go to sleep. I suggest sitting up in your bed, crisscross if you can. Then just slowly breathe in and out, focusing on letting go of the things that are outside of your control. The most important thing about meditating is finding a quiet place where you can focus on your breathing.

What I have learned from meditating is that worrying isn’t going to change anything in your life. With meditation, I’ve learned that it is important to let things go and not focus on the things that are outside of your control. It helps to make life’s hardships a little easier to deal with. We have to be okay with not always being in control.

 

The Fear of Attending a Support Group

Doorways Through IPemmy ElderSupport groups are everywhere. There are support groups for drinking, sex, gambling, health issues, etc. Having a problem that requires a support group is hard enough but then you add the fear of attending that first meeting. You don’t really know anybody, but you do know that they all have the same problem going on that you do and that’s a comfort. A million thoughts are running through your head when attending the first meeting. Will I have to speak? Am I being judged? How will this help me?

Most support groups are non­judgemental and a safe zone where you can share your thoughts and feelings with people who understand what you’re going through. Being the newest member of anything is always hard, but being part of something that is helping you better, or get through your life is the best.

I was a new member of a support group about three or four years ago and I was terrified. I didn’t know anybody and was hesitant about people finding out about my status. The ladies of that first group were wonderful, though, and made me feel very welcome. Now it’s years later and this group has become such an integral and important part of my life. I love every single person so much and I can’t imagine how I would get through life without their support.

Support groups are there to help us and most of the time they end up being our biggest supporter. I encourage everybody to try one.

At Let’s At Let’s Talk About It- we stand up and speak out against gender-based abuse!

reprinted from:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shannon-weber/women-hiv-and-trauma-towa_b_10489298.html

Women, HIV and Trauma: Toward Resiliency & Healing

06/17/2016 02:52 pm ET | Updated Jun 18, 2016
  • Shannon Weber Love note writer + public displays of affection + mapping the end of HIV transmission
  • Co-authored by Karishma Oza, HIVE Program Coordinator. 2016-06-15-1466025254-1904082-LoveNoteHeal.jpg

    One in four U.S. women have experienced gender based violence. Among women living with HIV, one in two has experienced intimate partner violence, and more than 60% have been sexually abused – 5 times the rate of the general female population.

    For over twenty-five years, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital & Trauma Center-based HIVE clinic, has provided compassionate, expert reproductive and sexual health care to women living with or affected by HIV. The impact and consequences of violence against women, particularly women living with HIV, is magnified through the lens of women’s reproductive health. Reproductive health highlights the intersection of violence and reproductive justice at the individual, community and institutional level.

    • Trauma is associated with: increased HIV vulnerability, higher HIV incidence, faster disease progression, more hospitalizations.
    • Unaddressed trauma is associated with twice the rate of death among women living with HIV.
    • The aftermath of violence and/or trauma ruptures women’s relationships with themselves, their partners, family members and the medical system.
    • Women living with HIV have higher rates of tubal regret – meaning more women second guess their decision to have a tubal ligation, for some this decision was made for them.
    • Partner contraception sabotage increases rates of unintended pregnancies.
    • 33 U.S. states with HIV criminalization laws enforce long histories of systemic oppression, further stigmatizing women.

    Pregnancy, contraception, trauma and HIV vulnerability intersect in ways that dramatically impact women’s lives. Even in the face of these overwhelming statistics and devastating outcomes, there is hope. Our collective resilience is cause for a standing ovation. We can seek solidarity in our advocacy efforts and heal through relationships even as we continue efforts to create systems-level change.

    Progress at the national level to integrate trauma-informed care into the primary care setting and specific references to trauma-informed care in the updatedNational HIV/AIDS Strategy, shifts institutional approaches. We share strategies for operationalizing these guidelines at the clinic and individual level with a lens toward healing and resiliency-oriented approaches for working with women living with HIV who’ve experienced trauma.

    1. Shift our focus from “What is wrong with you?” to “What happened?” Moving away from blame, allowing space for her story, staying curious, seeking to understand her worldview creates opportunity to meet women where they are and understand their lived experiences.

    2. Commit to self-care and resiliency oriented approaches to our work. More than just practicing what we preach, this integration of trauma-informed principles become the touchstone for truly becoming a trauma reducing, healing system. This begins with a commitment to heal ourselves.

    3. Include women. Ask women for feedback on provider and program approaches, integrate women’s lived experiences when designing new programs or crafting policies, hire women for important roles. Create space for women living with HIV to lead.

    4. Use trigger warnings at the beginning of emotionally intense meetings or online content. Those with primary or secondary trauma are among us. Invite self-care. Create awareness and respect with an overview of what to expect. Respect the self-care measures others take.

    5. Universal screening for intimate partner violence, with counseling and referrals. Preventative education about the intersection of intimate partner violence and health can be provided to all patients, not just those who have disclosed a history of violence. Ask questions in non-triggering, nonjudgmental language with the goal of patient empowerment and safety.

    6. Rape and other forms of violence remove women’s sense of power and control. The medical system is inherently hierarchal. However, medical visits should not create more pain, violence, or humiliation. Turn commands into questions, create space for her response, provide opportunities for women to be in control.

    7. “Difficult” patients may have experienced sexual trauma. She isn’t difficult; she’s had a difficult life or experienced traumas that are difficult to integrate. What might be difficult is the system she’s trying to navigate. Reframing allows space for the experience she is living, invites you to meet her where she is today.

    8. The body of a survivor remembers traumatic experiences. We are somatic creatures; this is our vulnerability and our strength. Through our interactions with survivors, we can change the way we see her, then change the way she sees herself.

    Toward resiliency and healing, we share this poem.

    beyond compassion
    By Silvi Alcivar, The Poetry Store

    the gates call you
    to move forward,
    to pass through thresholds
    that make you able to sustain you,
    the work,
    that make you able to sit in service,
    to model dignity,
    to recognize trauma,
    to take care of community,
    self,
    to live your intellect through your heart
    and be wise.

    the wise one asks:
    what’s the beauty of what we attract?
    what’s the beauty asking me to heal?

    the wise one remembers the breath.
    the wise one drinks the waters of nourishment and release.
    the wise one works with the shadow knowing the shadow means
    there’s always a source of light.

    the wise one asks:
    what are you teaching me?
    what isn’t being seen, held?

    oh, the gates call you, wise ones,
    to move forward, to attend
    to what needs attending, what wants attention
    in ourselves and our inheritance.

    call in your support. breathe.
    honor the spaces between.
    hold intention. clear. release.

    put on your golden cape.
    heal. and be healed.

    Don’t Cheat on Yourself

    As human beings, we automatically are taught to nurture others and that makes us start on the road of learning to”cheat on myself.” I never thought about that until today. I should be on the path to help myself when it comes to things like bubble bacalmness photo for blogths, going clothes shopping, getting my hair done, etc.  I should be open to learn how to see the positive in everything and learn how to enjoy everything that I am doing. If not, I am“cheating on myself.”

    Sometimes I have family, friends, or significant others who try to take all of my time away and sometimes it feels as if I am being taken advantage of. The time that I have set for myself should maybe be marked as an important appointment on the calendar and even put it on the phone with an alarm. When I do this, I will make sure to tell others that I am going to be busy and stick to it because I deserve it and so do you. It’s just as important to do this for myself and makes me just as important as someone else is. If I stand up and say “NO” or just saying that I am busy, that should be enough. I don’t feel guilty because this is me that requires rejuvenation.

    Just because I learn to say “NO” doesn’t mean that I don’t love others, it’s just that I have decided to do things for me as a women with HIV and it makes me learn about myself, then I will be better at helping others. As a matter of fact, it makes me stronger and maybe I have learned not to “cheat on myself.”

    I decided to write about this because I have been letting others dictate my choices and that is not going to continue because it will stress me out and cause me to be sick. “Cheating on myself” makes me forget all of the little things that make mehappy.

    Get back to doing you, and stay on track, so that you will be able to have strength to show others why you are so happy, maybe it will catch on.

    What makes you cheat on yourself and what would you like to do for yourself that will help you stop? 

     

    I Can Do Something

    So What’s A Girl To Do?

    I love sex. Really I do!! I love to talk about sex, I love to educate people about healthy sex and of course I love to engage in healthy sex. The best part though is the look on peoples face when I tell them I am HIV poz and that sex is awesome in my world today. Ooohh the blushing I witness on a daily basis!!

    The majority of people have a mindset that if your HIV poz, 1) No one will want you, 2 Poz’s can’t EVER have sex so they don’t transmit HIV to anyone, possibly go to jail or prison, and 3) You’re gonna die so what’s the use?   FOR REAL!!! I have actually had that one said to me. Well, I’m here to tell you that sex is “doable” Ha ha get it, doable?

    Sex is the major route of transmission for HIV. However when I was diagnosed I wanted, no… I NEEDED to blame someone. Once I grew up a bit (emotionally, spiritually and mentally), after being Poz for 13 years, at 42 years old, I realized that I was ultimately responsible for my Poz status. Then, I forgave myself. Once I grew up a little I came to be ok with me; I decided that I do like sex and that I want to have more of it!!!

    So what’s a girl to do?!?!  I mean really!?!?! Dating sites are great, but when do you disclose? In your profile? First date? After he’s in love with me and will not want to leave me?  Well, I will tell you that I have done both and it ended well both times. One walked away…the “after he falls in love” one. Then the “first date” one, he stayed and got educated about HIV. He started taking PReP, along with condoms, and it was on for us. That relationship ended after 13 months. But before it ended…I learned a lot about me and my orgasms. That’s right I said it loud and proud “ORGASMS ARE FUN”.

    Although I am currently single, I am hopeful for a life partner with the same mindset and sexual drive as me. It was a long road to get here and I am thankful for every part of it. Today I am an HIV + 49 year old sexually active happily orgasmic woman.

    The Reality & Resilience of the Woman

    Book Frt CoverRealistically speaking I believe that until you see and stand up for your worth you will not fulfill the plan God has for you. Unawareness of your worth can cause you to miss out on opportunities for growth and development, even having no vision for your future and wasting your energy on the minuscule things in life can fester into bigger issues within, that too can keep you from your promise.

    What is your reality? Are you honestly ready to walk away from a situation that is causing you more harm than good by having the strength to pray and gracefully excuse yourself from the foolishness? Do you feel resilient enough to fail, get back up, re-invent yourself and commit to God and yourself that you will be greater than before?

    The reality and resiliency of the woman is seeking God’s freedom for her life. That means knowing who you are and whose you are. In order to seek out freedom though, you have to go through some tough times. You will conquer some trials and tribulations and if you can still walk to a mirror right now and look at yourself with the open wounds, and flaws and brokenness, I still need you to know, woman, that you are greatness.

    The reality and resiliency of the woman is to look at her truth. Stop stressing yourself out and stop worrying about what folks think. Your truth may be ugly and messy and full of drama or your truth may be beautiful and full of positivity. We all have to look at our truths and evaluate where we want to be in life in order to build our resiliency as a woman. Sister, you must choose everyday to put both of your feet in front of the other and walk forward without letting your truths (good, bad, or ugly) define your future.

    The reality and resiliency of the woman is speaking to her inner woman. If you have to wake up every morning and persuade yourself that you are worth more, then do it! You deserve the best in life and nothing or no one will keep you from it. Your destiny is too important for you to sleep on. Your destiny is much too powerful for you to wait on anyone or anything other but God. Your destiny is your personalized purpose from God materialized. You can live it, breath it, touch it, and feel confident in knowing that the reality and resiliency of the woman has been instilled in us by God.

    Once you know who you are in Christ Jesus, get ready because everything will change for you! What used to look and act real is now showing its true face of being a distraction and your reality begins to look a lot brighter, limitless, and full of potential all because you sought and acknowledged God, trusting His will and his reality for you.

    WOMAN KNOW THIS, “WE AS WOMEN CARE ABOUT EXCELLENCE! WE EXUDE SELF-LOVE AND SELF-CONFIDENCE. WE ARE STRENGTH MANIFESTED! WE ARE WOMEN OF GOD AND THROUGH OUR RESILIENCE WE WILL LIVE OUR TRUTH EVERYDAY!”

    “NOW GO AND BE GREAT!”

    Excerpt taken from The Greatness Devotional by Natishia Y. June

    Natishia Y. June is an author, social justice advocate, and speaker; however her best title to date is that of wife and mother!

    Pre-Order your copy of the Greatness Devotional at greatnessdevo.bigcartel.com, or digitally on Ibook and Nook!

    Instagram & FB: @nowgoandbegreat

    Natishia Y. June is a National speaker, rebel for Christ, advocate and published author. Natishia has written numerous articles on everything from social justice and Christian devotionals all the way down to fashion. Her true passion is instilling Greatness in people living in this world but who are followers of Jesus Christ. With her gracious yet thorough approach in speaking truth, the Greatness Devotional, her first book, offers real life motivation that applies to all women no matter where they are in their walk.