Honouring Blackness in Yoga Spaces - 4 Essential Black Yogis
Yoga has been an important part of my lived experience for the past three years. Through my practice, I have been able to confront issues relating to my anxiety, self-esteem, body confidence and self-compassion. Rolling out my battered and sweat-stained mat is the first thing I do every morning and the last thing I do every night. Recently, as with every other avenue of my life, I have made the conscious decision to expand and diversify. Diversify my hobbies. Diversify the content that I consume. Diversify the books that I read and the music that I listen to. For the most part, this has been immensely beneficial to my mental health and has further enriched my experience as a black twenty-something.
The Avatar Has Returned - 7 Must-Have Elements of the Expansion of the Avatarverse
Avatar The Last Airbender (ATLA) is one of the best animated series ever created. This is the hill I'm willing to die on. Its sequel, The Legend of Korra (LOK), is also incredible. As a child born in '98 that grew up on Nickelodeon, I had the pleasure of watching both of these shows while they were on air, and I can't explain the angst, horror and pure nervous tension that would swell in my chest having to wait an entire week to watch new episodes. I have revisited both shows many times in my 22 years of life, and they have stood the test of time. They are just as good, if not better, than I remember them. I even own all the graphic novels and supplementary works that were released following the end of both shows. Because of my love for the franchise, I was in cinema on that tragic night when that nightmare of a live-action movie premiered: M. Night Shyamalan's The Last Airbender. A collective fever dream the fandom has chosen to forget.
5 Opportunities I Missed Because of My Anxiety
My anxiety is a weird creature. Humongous and loud but also nuanced and subtle. It operates within a realm of constant contradiction, trapped between unending longing for more than the present and inescapable fear of what the future may bring. It serves as a springboard for inertia, fomenting my inability and unwillingness to effect meaningful change in my life. I recently began coming to terms with just how much this impacts my experience. Often, in the dead of night, when everyone else dreams beautiful dreams, I mull over all of the opportunities that have fallen through because my anxious mind and chronic overthinking made me a prisoner. I think, what would have been the outcomes of these circumstances if I had stopped for one second and believed in myself? Always one for self-reflection, I made a list of the top five things I've foregone because I convinced myself I wasn't good enough.
Nicki Minaj and All Her Sons
Onika Tanya Maraj was born in Saint James, Trinidad and Tobago, on December 8, 1982. The rest is history. I'm drafting this post because it has become apparent, at least to me, that the more female rap continues to evolve, it's becoming less and less acceptable to spotlight Nicki Minaj. Lately, speaking on her music is often met with irritation, shade and attempts to downplay her various music industry accomplishments. Admittedly, I'm not a barb (fan name for Nicki's fans), but I am an avid music consumer who values talent, longevity and impact. At least 20% of my love for Nicki Minaj can also be attributed to the fact that she is Trinidadian, and as a fellow Trini, my heart swells with pride thinking about all that she has achieved. The genre of rap, scratch that, the music industry as a whole, has been transformed by her artistry, advocacy and pen game. She is the queen of rap. This statement may draw controversy, but, in my opinion, there are multiple queens of rap. A plethora of queendoms. Different hypothetical countries ruled over by mistresses of their own craft, experts in distinct styles of rap. This particular story is just focused on the generous queen, Nicki Minaj.
Seeing Green - Coping With Writer Envy
We all experience jealousy at some point in our lives. It's a normal and healthy part of the varied spectrum of human emotions. Sometimes, it's even useful. People often use the terms 'jealousy' and 'envy' interchangeably. The key difference between a momentary experience of jealousy and envy, I think, is positionality and intent. For a split second when confronted with the accomplishments of another, the jealous mind says "Damn, I wish that was me." The envious mind, however, begrudges the success of the other person, wishing instead that it was not them and experiencing deep longing to hold those accomplishments. This morally ambiguous realm of being is one filled with self-loathing, constant comparisons and ill-wishing.
A World of His Own
December 12th, 2010 "You encourage him," Todd whispered in an accusatory tone to his wife. His wife, Emma, sighed indignantly and looked up from where she had been emptying the coffee pot into the kitchen sink. Her hazel eyes narrowed and she asked too quietly, "Encourage what exactly?"
A Disney Valentine's Day Survival Playlist
Confession Time: I love Valentine's Day. I know that for someone of my romantic categories, namely single, a virgin and no one's Valentine, this is an extremely unpopular opinion. However, think about it, the wine and chocolate are on sale at the grocery store, Netflix releases a bunch of painfully bad romcoms AND restaurants have a ton of two-for-one specials that we perpetually-single folk can benefit from. Sounds like a win to me! Maybe it's the fact that my default setting is single or that I don't have the experience of ever being in a relationship but my perspective on Valentine's Day is decidedly positive. My Valentine's Routine typically involves preparing myself dinner, washing my hair, putting on a face mask and tucking in to enjoy Disney Movies which are my guilty pleasure.
How I Procrastinated My Way to a 4.0 GPA in University
Full disclosure: my university uses a 12-point GPA scale and conversion isn't as simple as dividing by three. Instead, I had to convert each grade to a 4 point scale and find the average of that figure. In the end, my 11.96 CGPA translated to a 4-point GPA of 3.996. For this article, I'm going to round that out to 4 because it's easier than repeating 3.996 all the time or putting it in the title.