Let’s face it. We often put ourselves last on the list of our priorities. We refuse to care for ourselves like we care for others or how we were cared for as children. We ignore all of the basics when it comes to nurturing ourselves.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way! We can take baby steps towards learning to truly mother ourselves in a healthy way.
How is that done? Try out these tips below to begin your journey:
1. See yourself first. Find a mirror and look deep into your own eyes. Tell yourself, “I love you,” or “You are loved.” Notice what emotions come up for you with this exercise. And, sink further into the good feelings that arise.
2. Be your own best cheerleader. Rah, rah, rah, sis boom bah! Using healthy, constructive, and positive self-talk is the cornerstone of mothering oneself. Giving yourself grace or the benefit of the doubt can go a long way towards developing a non-judgmental attitude about all things.
3. Quiet your mind. Find 3-5 minutes per day to be “still.” Let thoughts come and go and appreciate the moments between them. These moments are the most powerful ones – as they provide a glimpse of what’s possible for you.
4. Nudge yourself when necessary. To nurture means “to care for and encourage the development of.” Sometimes this means holding up our end of a bargain or promise with ourselves. (Remember: it’s nudge not “nag.”) It may require follow-through and sacrifice, but it guarantees growth.
Let me know if these tips are helpful to you. Reach out in the comments below!
Are you a fan of jazz? Then you know exactly who is pictured here! Lena Mary Calhoun Horne, born in New York’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in 1917, was one of the world’s most versatile performers for over 65 years. Her career began when she joined the chorus of the Cotton Club at the age of 16 and became a nightclub performer.
Horne performed for a global audience until she was nearly 82 years of age. This made me curious: What were some of the traits that made Horne such an enduring legend on the stage, screen and in the music industry? Here are 3 standouts that you can also develop to ensure your own long-lasting success:
1. Be True To Yourself: Horne officially headed to Hollywood in the 1940s, but became critical of the “mostly supporting roles” she was handed and “tired of being typecast as a Negro who stands against a pillar singing a song. I did that 20 times too often.” In the 1950s, she grew extremely frustrated with Hollywood and returned her focus to her nightclub career.
2. Develop Tenacity: Horne also found herself blacklisted and unable to get work in Hollywood due to her affiliation with Communist-backed groups popular with some celebrities. After disavowing those ties, she returned to work in the late 1950s and continued to sing, dance and act for the next 40+ years, earning multiple Grammys, Kennedy Center Honors and a Tony Award.
3. Take a Stand: Horne was more than a star. She was extremely active in fighting for civil rights by refusing to perform for segregated USO audiences and working with Eleanor Roosevelt to pass anti-lynching laws. Horne also performed and spoke at the 1963 March on Washington.
KAUTE admires Lena Horne and her role in our national history. Her impact can be felt far and wide today. What lessons did YOU learn about Lena that you can adopt going forward? We would love to know! Share in the comments below.
Sources: The Atlantic Magazine, Veranda, Vanity Fair (image)
Black History Month kicked off February 1 in the United States. The origins of this celebration began back in 1915 with the founding of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH). Just over 10 years later, the group established Negro History Week to coincide with the February birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. Negro Week then evolved into Black History Month on college campuses in the late 1960s before finally earning official recognition in 1976.
In honor of Black History Month, we wanted to revisit Josephine Baker’s legacy. How did this icon change history worldwide? Here are just a handful of her highlights:
1. Baker “broke down color barriers and became a superstar” in the 1920s and beyond by “winning the hearts and minds of people around the world.” She toured in Paris and French critics praised Baker as the “Black Venus” for her glamorous wardrobe and her provocative style of dance.
2. She influenced women’s fashion in the 1920s in a variety of ways. Baker’s Art Deco sensibility was evident in her slicked back hair-do, but she also wore statement earrings and layered other jewelry pieces to create a winning accessories look. Her style was luxurious and is said to have influenced such modern day stars as Beyonce.
3. An American-born French performer, Baker became an activist and spied for the French Resistance during WWII. “She stealthily transcribed enemy intel onto her musical scores with invisible ink and delivered the scores back to French officials.
4. “She ardently fought against the rise of fascism in Europe and was one of the main figures willfully and publicly speaking out against racism in the United States in the ’50s and ’60s.” Baker refused to perform for “segregated audiences and demanded equal treatment as an entertainer at elite venues” like the Stork Club in New York City.
5. Baker spoke alongside Martin Luther King at the 1963 March on Washington as the only official female speaker. She said, “I am not a young woman now, friends. My life is behind me. There is not too much fire burning inside me. And before it goes out, I want you to use what is left to light that fire in you. So that you can carry on, and so that you can do those things that I have done. Then, when my fires have burned out, and I go where we all go someday, I can be happy.”
Here’s to Josephine Baker, a true heroine and an ever inspirational icon!
Who inspires you and why? Tell us in the comments below!
Sources: Smithsonian American Women’s History, Britannica