Articles on this Page
- 12/10/18--10:19: _The Power of 'Already'
- 12/10/18--10:53: _How to Give Yoursel...
- 12/12/18--12:22: _Oprah Winfrey Share...
- 12/12/18--12:29: _A Tale of Manifesta...
- 12/14/18--08:32: _This Tea is Not Jus...
- 12/14/18--08:41: _I Swapped My $42 Ho...
- 12/14/18--08:47: _"As Soon As You Let...
- 12/18/18--11:46: _Extrovert or Introv...
- 12/18/18--11:52: _Are You a Thermosta...
- 12/18/18--11:55: _My Boyfriend Thinks...
- 01/04/19--13:43: _When Nothing is Sur...
- 01/04/19--13:48: _Why Do Sexual Assau...
- 01/04/19--13:51: _How to Prevent Hair...
- 01/07/19--12:25: _The moment you star...
- 01/07/19--12:31: _Tennessee Governor ...
- 01/07/19--12:35: _The Benefits of Wal...
- 01/08/19--11:41: _The Gift of Emptiness
- 01/08/19--11:45: _3 Things You Should...
- 01/08/19--11:46: _7 Steps to Longer H...
- 01/09/19--15:23: _Can You Speed Up Ha...
- 12/10/18--10:19: The Power of 'Already'
- 12/10/18--10:53: How to Give Yourself Permission to Be Yourself
- 12/12/18--12:22: Oprah Winfrey Shares Intimate Last Moments With Her Mother
- 12/12/18--12:29: A Tale of Manifestation: I was Guided to South Africa and Met Oprah
- 12/14/18--08:41: I Swapped My $42 Holy Grail Foundation For This $11 Drugstore Gem
- 12/14/18--08:47: "As Soon As You Let Go, the Path Reveals Itself."
- 12/18/18--11:46: Extrovert or Introvert, This Years Gift: A Silent Retreat
- 12/18/18--11:52: Are You a Thermostat or a Thermometer?
- 12/18/18--11:55: My Boyfriend Thinks I’m Waiting For Him To Propose And I’m Insulted
- 01/04/19--13:43: When Nothing is Sure, Everything Is Possible
- 01/04/19--13:51: How to Prevent Hair Breakage Before it Happens
- 01/07/19--12:31: Tennessee Governor Grants Full Clemency To Cyntoia Brown
- 01/07/19--12:35: The Benefits of Walnut Oil for Hair
- 01/08/19--11:41: The Gift of Emptiness
- 01/08/19--11:45: 3 Things You Should Do After Washing Your Natural Hair
- 01/08/19--11:46: 7 Steps to Longer Hair in One Year!
- 01/09/19--15:23: Can You Speed Up Hair Growth?
- Anagen phase – the active phase is where the cells in the root of the hair divide rapidly and grows about 1 cm. every 28 days. Scalp hair is in this phase of growth for 2 to 6 years.
- Catagen phase – when the scalp transitions from anagen phase your hair enters the catagen or transitional phase, and only about 3% of all hairs are ever in this phase at any given time. This phase lasts about 2 to 3 weeks where growth stops.
- Telogen phase – this is the last phase and resting phase when your hair is released and falls out. About 6% to 8% of all hairs in this phase at any given time. There are about 25 to 100 telogen hairs that are normally shed each day. The hair follicle that remains will be inactive for three months before the entire process is repeated.
You’ll notice two things- (1) these super-needy, imposter thoughts make up the vast majority of your inner dialogue, and (2) when you’re standing on guard , waiting to see what thoughts come through, they slow down, and you feel Go(o)d.
When you notice an imposter thought, I’d like for you to immediately feel into the truer thoughts of ‘it’s already mine’, ‘I’m already HER’, or ‘it’s already done.’ Periodt. That word ‘already’, is tremendously powerful. It instantly drops you into a state of relief... relaxation... wholeness... HAVING. That’s your natural state! That sense of relief is what you’re actually, always desiring! You’re desiring relief from ‘wanting’. And awesomely, when you exchange the tense state of ‘wanting’ for the relaxed state of ‘having’, you’re in a better position to allow the life you’ve been so desperately trying to make happen! You begin to notice more powerful thoughts, and take more effective action!
The energy of ‘wanting’ (thoughts and body tension) is like the steam on your bathroom mirror after a hot shower. It’s all that’s blocking the recognition of the Presence of your heart’s truest desire, of the energy of ‘having’. So, stand in Awareness, look into the mirror of the mind, noticing the imposter thoughts, and watch as they naturally evaporate, revealing the truer reflection, the perfection of YOU, as you always have been, before thoughts told you that you weren’t enough. #BeHerNow
You know how good you feel when you’re around that one friend? All of a sudden your awkward ass is funny, generous, adventurous, and loving! You actually LOL, til you cry or pee a little...you feel alive! You feel confident. You feel like... HER (aka -the dopest version of yourself)!
That ‘you’ that you love so much, is the realer, truer you. But you only allow HER to come out on occasion and around certain people.
Your friend is awesome but (s)he doesn’t ‘cause’ you to feel Go(o)d. When she comes over, you simply give yourself permission to stop pretending. You finally give yourself permission to RELAX. And in that moment of relaxation, you experience your natural state as a current of joy or peace, within. And when you’re steadily aware of that current, feeling it course through your inner world, you have shifted. Now, you are confident. You are secure. You are HER.
Take the time and effort to find and stay in this current, no matter what. Practice this joy constantly until you remember it’s who you are. That’s the work. The current is Confidence... ‘Godfidence’. Stand in it. Be it. #BeHerNow #PauseAndLove
I'm writing this morning to tell you something I was told before I boarded my flight to Johannesburg. 'TRUST DEEPER'. This inner beauty, the Divine Presence I'm always writing about and pointing you to, the one I know you have felt before, is your purpose. It is THE goal. Staying aware of IT... feeling IT... walking in IT, will get you to where you need to be. It has the blueprint for your best life and it is forever unfolding for you, if you let it.
I love you and hope you continue to practice... continue to meditate... continue to read. I hope you continue to focus, to love, to share.” - excerpted from my most recent #BHN email
Image quote: IG @kimblackwellpmm
Science has discovered that estrogens appear to prolong the anagen (growth) cycle of the hair follicle. And red clover extract can act like estrogen, science has found. Couple that with red clover extract’s naturally protective antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and you can see why this extract may be an asset in your hair care arsenal.
What is red clover?
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is a perennial herb that commonly grows in meadows throughout Asia and Europe. It is broadly distributed throughout the United States, where it is also known as a cow clover meadow clover, purple clover, and trefoil. The flower tops of this plant are used to make medicine and those red and purple fragrant blossoms are dried and used for other purposes.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, red clover has been used medicinally for whooping cough, respiratory problems, and skin inflammations. This herb is widely used by some women for premenstrual syndrome and menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, breast tenderness, or pain.
This herb is a source of several nutrients including calcium, chromium, magnesium niacin, phosphorus, potassium, thiamine, and vitamin C. Despite that impressive list of nutrients, the real favorite from this plant would be the rich source of isoflavones, which are water-soluble chemicals that act like estrogens. This is the main reason some women have been encouraged and use it in hormone replacement therapy.
How to use red clover leaf extract
Some use it directly as a hair rinse from the tea to stimulate growth while others just steep the flowers or brew a tea to drink and gain all the benefits internally. However one chooses to harvest the richness of this amazing plant is up to the individual. If you prefer to find hair products that already contain this product, try these:
-Chagrin Valley Hair Tea Red Hair Blend
-Alterna Caviar Clinical Starter Kit
-Jane Carter Solutions Grow Great Hair
I’ve come a long way in my makeup journey. From learning how to color-match foundations to finally understanding the importance of a good brow, it’s been a trial-and-error process from basic to beat-level application skills. I’m by no means an expert; in fact, I’m still making new discoveries every day. One of those realizations is that more expensive doesn’t always equal “better.”
Here’s a photo of the product that has been my holy-grail foundation for the past year, Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup ($42.00, Sephora.com). I wear the shade 4W1 “Honey Bronze” in the winter when I’m paler, and switch it out for 4W2 “Toasty Toffee” in the summer when I have a good tan. Neither of the shades have ever done me wrong, and although that $42 always hurt my pockets when it was time to restock, I never imagined straying from my beloved foundation. If it ain’t broke — you know the rest.
As the cool weather set in, however, I noticed my foundation wasn’t looking as flawless as usual. I felt like it was starting to look rather cakey, and clinging onto the drier patches on my face. To be fair, I have combination skin, which means that it can be dry in some areas, and normal or oily in others. For this reason, I don’t necessarily attribute this cakey look to poor performance from the Estée Lauder foundation. Sometimes, our skin just gets brand new and demands different products as the weather changes, or as we age. Regardless, one thing I did know was that I could not continue to shell out $42 just to look dry and flakey. No, ma’am. Knowing that I keep up with my skincare and moisture regimen, I knew it was my foundation that needed a change.
For the past two months or so, I’ve returned to one of the first real foundations I ever fell in love with, the L’Oréal Paris True Match Super Blendable Makeup ($10.99, ulta.com). At only $10.99, it’s less than half the price of my Estée Lauder baby, and I can confidently say that I love it just as much—if not more!
In the above photo, I’m wearing Estée Lauder on one half of my face and L’Oréal on the other. Try to spot the difference, I dare you! If you’re dying to know, EL is on the left side of my face and L’Oréal is on the right (with the nose ring). While both products have their benefits, I couldn’t be happier with my drugstore gem. This is by no means a “which foundation is better” post, but rather a happy reminder that there are quality options out there at an affordable price point. Whether you’d rather go drugstore or luxury, I’ll leave up to you, but I’ve listed the benefits of each product down below for your information.
The finish on this one is more of a soft-matte than a dry paint look. Due to my combination skin, the matte finish could be unforgiving on my complexion when I was experiencing dryness or texture, but if you have oily skin, go for it!
L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup – Natural
The natural finish on this foundation is much more complimentary to my sometimes dry, sometimes oily skin. It lets my natural oils shine through the longer I wear it. This might be a turn-off for some, but it’s a major win for me. When I wear this, my face looks and feels like skin, and a little goes a long way. I never get that “masked” feeling of heavier foundations.
If you’re a full-coverage kind of girl, this is the one for you. I personally prefer a little less than a full-on beat, unless I am performing in a dance showcase. I’d definitely choose my Estée over my L’Oréal for any stage performances for that “flawless” look.
L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup – Medium
Medium coverage is right up my alley for the day-to-day. If I want some extra coverage, I simply build it up slowly using a makeup sponge. Since this is medium coverage, I can also use it under my eye to lightly conceal my the area instead of caking on another product.
While I don’t know who’s wearing their makeup for 24 hours besides maybe supermodels, this foundation does give me an all-day wear. I don’t really have to touch up, it doesn’t break apart around my nose as the day progresses, and it looks good as new by the end of the day with the help of a little refresher spray.
L’Oréal Paris True Match Super-Blendable Makeup – Long-wear
This definitely doesn’t last quite as long as the Estée, but as someone who likes to take her makeup off as soon as she gets home, this works for me. When I worked a traditional 9-5, it got me through the day just fine, but I did sometimes apply a light layer of translucent powder through my t-zone in the middle of the day to cut down any extra shine. I would say this is more of a daytime foundation than an evening-beat choice, however I have worn it through several dance classes and was surprised at how well it lasted!
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‘Letting go’ isn’t some vague, mystical, or esoteric practice. Just relax, ma! You’re usually all knotted up inside, and don’t know it. ‘Letting go’ is shifting out of the energy of ‘problems’, and ‘confusion’, and into the energy of ‘solutions’, and ‘clarity’. Surrender has the vibe of ‘vacation’, ‘love’, and ‘Saturday morning’. Get it?
Simply scan your body for this unconscious tension and then allow it to release. Breathe... melt... SMILE. When you consciously relax the body, it automatically, and effortlessly relaxes the mind. And when the mind is relaxed, you feel Go(o)d. Keep letting go, stay surrendering, and watch what happens!
"Surrender isn't waving the white flag & giving up to negative circumstances. Surrendering is embracing the next stage of your own evolution and letting go to it even if you don't know where it's going to take you..." - @michaelbbeckwith
“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” - @eckharttolle
“If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.” - Jiddu Krishnamurti
People are giving someone they care about the gift of a silent retreat. The more to do, the more on the mind, the more giving is the silence.
Yes, even the type A, your favorite extrovert could love a few days of silence. Before you gulp trying to imagine him or her coming to a quiet stop, remember a silent retreat is really just simple peace and quiet. Every extrovert secretly desires some down time even though they never seem to manage it. Just tell them famous CEOs in Silicon Valley are routinely turning off all their machines for several days just to give their brains some breathing room, clarity and hope. Time to find our own thoughts and the possibility of inspiration.
For the more compulsive, a silent retreat can be eight hours a day of meditation, absolutely no talking, no reading, nothing but trying to discover the joy of an undisturbed mind. For others a silent retreat can be much more gentle including peaceful meditation, walks in nature,time for a guilt free nothing to do day. In other words, there are lots of different types of silent retreats which carry us to the simple peace found in the wonder of stillness and restful gratitude.
It really doesn't matter how rigorous or easy a retreat you make. Don't fret about the not talking part. This is just to save you from having to tell everyone what you do, how many children you have, and why on Earth would you want to come to a silent retreat.
The magic of a silent retreat is the quiet. Here is all the renewal time we usually hope for on vacation but usually find more stress and noise instead. Here is the dream people have about retirement only we don't have to wait. A guided silent retreat brings us to the silence of the heart. Life changes here.
Extroverts actually enjoy a few calm days as they learn to calm their activity driven mind. Introverts meanwhile just smile. Finally they have a place where they can be themselves in their way, their pace, and enjoy the vast territory of their interior life. We are not all yang, forever motivated for external results. We are also yin with an inner garden (or for the tech people an inner lab) to discover and explore.
Some days in the quietude of nature, heartfulness meditation, and the beauty being fully unoccupied in the moment is wordless poetry.Suddenly we realize we have a starving soul.Silence wraps her arms around the introvert while refining the extrovert's voice and message in the world. For everyone silence touches places seldom known in daily life. Silence is the new paradigm in adventure travel.
What is important is that our silent retreat is not just something new to accomplish. We want to receive the peace and quiet in our nerves and bones. As we turn down our mental activity, the calming brings forward an awareness which until now has been stuffed full of everything but serenity.
Clearing mind and we find a vastness, the essence of our heart. This is the silence which a silent retreat is all about. Being-ness, untangling nerves, fresh air at sunrise, and the fruits of silence are lighting up our life.
We live in constricted personalities trying to manage lives seemingly out of our control. Give our self some space. Solitude, simplicity, surrender, there is a power inside of us to not climb every mountain but receive deeply and enjoy the journey instead.
Silence speaks to us of trust, inspiration, and understanding. There is a generous awareness that the inventor, mystic, artist, and writer within us celebrates. Connecting to our heart, purpose and meaning find a path back into our life.
When someone we know has everything and there is nothing they need or can use, it is probably a sure sign, they can use some quietude and the gift of a silent retreat.
p.s. you don’t have to shift from ‘mad af’ straight into ‘excitement’. You don’t have to grin, or ‘fake it til you make it.’ You only have to feel a tiny bit of the Peace that you are... just a sliver, just a piece of Peace. Noticing the Love, the Peace, the Go(o)d that is present alongside the inner and outer drama... that IS ‘surrender’, the ‘let go’, the ‘acceptance’ that creates just enough space in you for the miracle to happen. Let IT
I can’t say what triggered it, but recently my boyfriend has been on one about proposing—more specifically about the fact that he is not proposing any time soon and that I need to be okay with that.
Again, I didn’t bring up proposals. I haven’t been dropping any sorts of hints. I don’t know why he’s suddenly so certain that every time he bends down to tie his shoe I think this is the moment. I’m not thinking that. Maybe it’s because many of my best friends recently got married. Maybe it’s because several of his close friends recently had kids, which could lead him to believe I’m worried we’re far behind. I’m not thinking any of that. I’m personally not ready to get married for several more years. My man is my man who I want to spend forever with but, to me, a wedding represents a sort of celebration around several accomplishments and life milestones—several of which I haven’t yet achieved. Even though I’m not ready, my boyfriend thinks I’m waiting for him to propose and it insults me.
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“When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. It means fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change. The Roman philosopher Tacitus rightly observed that 'the desire for safety stands against every great and noble enterprise.' If uncertainty is unacceptable to you, it turns into fear. If it is perfectly acceptable, it turns into aliveness, alertness and creativity.” - Eckhart Tolle
“Every time we meditate we begin again. No matter what our lives were like a few minutes before, each meditation gives us the possibility to be completely new. In the simple ground inside we are all possibility, all potential. As others are grounded in their work, partnership, family, or worldly activity, we become grounded in the space inside of nothingness and everything. This space gives freedom to be new in every part of life. Life can change because we are not holding onto any thought, belief, anyone or thing as the focus of our identity. Meditation gives us the fertile ground of life itself."- Bruce Davis of www.silentstay.com
When SHE has no idea what’s next, ‘what’s next’ is always doper than what SHE could have ever imagined! #BeHerNow
That episode aired in 2005, and not much has changed when it comes to the continued accusations against Kelly. But, amidst the increasing influence of callout culture and the aftermath of Bill Cosby’s conviction, Kelly’s supporters are a lot more vocal than they may have once been. In fact, they’re so defensive that they’re indirectly answering their own question: Why do victims take so long to speak out?
LaLa Mickles accused the women of only wanting to speak out for money or attention, writing, “Now that the money stopped they wanna be heard! Miss me with this. Because if they felt violated in the beginning no amount of money would’ve kept them quiet.”
“I wish people would stop saying little girls because at a certain age, ur not a little girl and you know better. He likes younger women,” Chivon C Burke commented, adding that she fully intends to continue supporting R. Kelly’s music. “I’m not buying what they’re selling and I’m still listening to his music and will buy concert tickets.”
Garden Traeyvonne was outraged at the name of the show, stating, “The title itself is BS, along with their stories!! If it was THAT horrible they should have come forward way before now.”
It didn’t get much better in the comment section of the story itself, as some of our users engaged in serious victim blaming while instructing “Fast tail girls” to stay away from R. Kelly in order to avoid putting themselves at risk. A user also hinted that these same underage girls knew what they were doing by entertaining a grown man with a documented history of predatory behavior. The responses throwing Kelly’s victims under the bus without requiring even a scrap of accountability or remorse from the singer were both disgusting and unsurprising. Even in the face of insurmountable evidence of Kelly’s wrongdoings, his victims continue to be questioned more than he is.
Video of R. Kelly in sexual situations with an underage girl exists. A public record of his short-lived marriage to Aaliyah (who was a minor at the time) exists. The man has even been poking fun at his “preference” for girls — not young women — by calling himself The Pied Piper of R&B. For those unfamiliar with the fairytale, it’s a story about a musician who literally lures children away with his flute. That moniker has been staring us in the face since folks have been stepping in the name of love. R. Kelly has been showing us and telling us who he is for more than 15 years, but a lot of people don’t care simply because he’s entertaining.
If there’s one thing that we can all agree on, no matter our hair type, it’s that hair breakage is a real bummer. It looks bad, it feels bad, and it leads to other even more annoying problems, like frizz and stunted hair growth. In short, when a curly girl has a nightmare in her sleep, it’s probably about hair breakage.
Hair breakage happens when the shaft of a hair strand breaks, resulting in a shorter strand and, often, a split end. Once a strand of hair breaks, you’re never gonna put it back together, so the key move here is really about prevention. On the plus side, if you can prevent hair breakage, many of your other hair woes will be solved, too.
Here are a few ways to stop this frustrating phenomenon.
Moisture, Moisture, Moisture
Hair breakage is often a side effect of dryness. If you have curly hair, you probably need tons of moisture in your hair anyway, so you know what to do – step it up on the deep conditioner, and leave-in conditioner, and don’t forget to seal with oil to prevent your hair from losing moisture throughout the day. Read more about the steps you can take to prevent dryness on wash day here.
To retain moisture for the next few days, use a satin or silk pillowcase or wrap your hair at night. Otherwise, you’ll lose a ton of that moisture to your pillow.
Try a protein treatment
In some cases, hair breaks because the shaft of the hair has simply become too weak. This is often the result of chemical processing (like hair dye) or high porosity hair.
The hair cuticle itself is made of protein, so you can strengthen your hair strands by doing a protein treatment. Look for a store-bought protein treatment with hydrolyzed protein in it, like the Aphogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor. You can also opt for a protein-rich deep conditioner, like the Mielle Organics Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner.
Detangle properly – and patiently
Never brush your hair with a regular brush while it’s wet. (Or dry, for that matter!) Only use a brush that’s specially designed for waves and curls, like a Denman brush or a Wet brush.
Wet hair is easier to detangle, but it’s also more fragile and prone to breakage. Make sure that your curls are coated in a product with plenty of slip, like the Design Essentials Almond & Avocado Moisturizing & Detangling Conditioner, before you even touch a comb or brush.
When you inevitably run into tangles, be patient. Sit down, put some Netflix on, and get ready to really take your time with each knot so that you aren’t forced to yank it out of your hair. Ripping knots = instant breakage.
Protect your hair from heat
Unlike hair breakage, heat styling is a more controversial issue among naturals. Some steer away from it entirely, while others go wild with the blow-dryer weekly. If you do use heat on your hair on a regular basis, use some type of heat protectant to protect your hair from damage. Air-dry your hair for a bit before you blow-dry. Try not to use heat on your hair more than once a week, at most.
Be gentle with your up-dos
Yes, your ponytail looks flawless, but what about your hair strands?! Updos pull on your strands, and all that tension can lead to breakage (as well as hair loss). If you wear your hair up often, make sure to give it a break and let it hang loose sometimes. You can also practice looser up-dos using only gentle hair ties.
Get regular haircuts
It’s important to get regular trims to remove dead and split ends. Otherwise, those split ends will travel up each hair strand, resulting in even more hair breakage. If you’re cringing at the thought of paying for frequent haircuts, remember that you can dust your own ends easily at home.
Watch your health
Stress can lead to hair breakage, believe it or not. So can the lack of certain vitamins and minerals, like zinc, iron, and folic acid. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet, and try to find a way to manage your stress. Easier said than done, I know.
Buy a shower filter
This change in ‘feeling’ isn’t what you think! ‘There’s a treasure inside of you that your mind is hiding’, and the moment you become consciously aware of IT, you are happy for no reason, effortlessly confident, unshakably faithful, and drawing everything you require to you. Finding this inner treasure is your primary purpose. #BeStillAndKnow #BeHerNow
Tennessee governor Bill Haslam has granted full clemency to Cyntoia Brown.
Brown, 30, was sentenced to life in prison for killing Johnny Miller Allen, a 43-year-old man, who planned to statutorily rape her when she was 16 years old.
After running away from home, Brown got involved with a man who forced her into the sex trafficking industry. She agreed to “have sex” with Allen for $150 and he took her back to his home.
During her trial she testified that she killed Allen because she believed he intended in killing her. But forsenic evidence found Allen was sleep when Brown shot him in the back of the head.
She was tried as an adult and found guilty of murder. Brown was sentenced to 51 years to life in prison. Recently a judge upheld the decision stating that Brown would not be eligible for parole until she’d served at least 51 years in prison.
Thankfully, Gov. Haslam intervened.
Haslam’s office issued this statement about his decision.
”Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today granted executive clemency to Cyntoia Denise Brown by commuting her sentence of life imprisonment. She will be released to parole supervision on August 7, 2019, after serving 15 years in prison.
‘This decision comes after careful consideration of what is a tragic and complex case,’ Haslam said. ‘Cyntoia Brown committed, by her own admission, a horrific crime at the age of 16. Yet, imposing a life sentence on a juvenile that would require her to serve at least 51 years before even being eligible for parole consideration is too harsh, especially in light of the extraordinary steps Ms. Brown has taken to rebuild her life. Transformation should be accompanied by hope. So, I am commuting Ms. Brown’s sentence, subject to certain conditions.’
Brown’s parole conditions will require that she not violate any state or federal laws, and she will be subject to a release plan approved by the Tennessee Department of Correction and special supervision conditions, including employment, education, counseling, and community engagement requirements. Parole supervision will continue until August 7, 2029, at which point Brown’s sentence will expire. She will complete re-entry programming prior to her release from custody in August in order to facilitate a successful transition to the community.
In 2006, Brown was convicted by a Davidson County jury of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery for the 2004 murder of 43-year-old Nashville real estate agent Johnny Allen, which occurred when then-16-year-old Brown was picked up by Allen and taken to his home. She received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after serving a minimum of 51 years in prison, which means she would not have been eligible for parole consideration until 2055, at the earliest, without the governor’s action.
While in prison, Brown has earned her GED and completed an associate degree in 2015 through the Lipscomb LIFE program with a 4.0 GPA. It is anticipated that she will complete a bachelor’s degree in 2019. Numerous Department of Correction employees and volunteers attest to her extraordinary personal transformation while incarcerated, which will allow her to be a positive influence on the community upon release.
Earlier this year, the Tennessee Board of Parole issued a positive recommendation to the governor in favor of granting Brown a commutation.
‘While we have spent a considerable amount of time studying and implementing sentencing and criminal justice reform in our state, there is more work to be done,’ Haslam said. ‘I am hopeful serious consideration of additional reforms will continue, especially with respect to the sentencing of juveniles.’
Executive clemency is an act of mercy or leniency by the governor after a criminal conviction. Haslam has previously granted five commutations, 15 pardons, and one exoneration. Haslam continues to review and consider additional clemency requests.”
In response to the Governor’s executive order, Brown released her own statement of gratitude.
“Thank you, Governor Haslam, for your act of mercy in giving me a second chance. I will do everything I can to justify your faith in me.
I want to thank those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who saw something in me worth salvaging, especially Ms. Connie Seabrooks for allowing me to participate in the Lipscomb LIFE Program. It changed my life. I am also grateful to those at the Tennessee Department of Corrections who will work with me over the next several months to help me in the transition from prison to the free world.
Thank you to Dr. Richard Goode and Dr. Kate Watkins and all of you at Lipscomb University for opening up a whole new world for me. I have one course left to finish my Bachelor’s degree, which I will complete in May 2019.
Continue reading, HERE
The most popular walnuts are the English walnut, the black walnut, and the white walnut. The English walnut originated in India and regions surrounding the Caspian Sea, and is the most popular in the United States. Black walnuts are native to North America, specifically Central Mississippi Valley and the Appalachian area. These walnuts have thicker shells that are harder to crack. The white walnut is not as widely available as the other two, but is native to the New England states. Walnut oil is extracted by cold pressing, and has a rich, nutty taste.
Benefits of walnut oil
Walnut oil is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids, and it has several therapeutic properties, making it perfect for medicinal and beautification purposes. Walnut oil improves blood circulation, is an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-aging, skin regenerative, and a skin toning miracle that has been slept on for too long. Several studies have shown the consumption of walnuts have amazing cardiovascular benefits including a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a significantly greater decrease in total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein. Their vitamins, phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids contribute to heart health, help fight diabetes, and improve cognitive functions.
WHAT DOES IT DO FOR YOUR HAIR?
From eliminating dandruff to highlighting and adding shine to hair color, this oil has been touted as a great oil for hair and scalp. With its anti-fungal properties, walnut oil is a viable option for scalp health and relieving an irritated or infected scalp. Conditions like eczema and psoriasis are often hard to manage, but walnut oil can help relieve the discomfort. Since Omega-3s help with preventing cell damage, some use walnut oil either alone or in concoction to fight hair loss. The potassium in walnut oil helps in regeneration of those cells and may accelerate hair growth.
Walnut oil is great for both skin and hair. It helps with eliminating wrinkles over time and with anti-aging properties that assists your skin, hair, and scalp. Walnut oil is amazing alone, or in conjunction with other oils for a healthier hair and scalp. You can buy walnut oil, or you can make it yourself--if you have the right tools. We have a great recipe just in time for the cooler and dryer temperatures, outlined below.
How to use walnut oil
PRE-POO OIL BLEND
Try this simple pre-poo oil blend before you wash your hair next for shiny and healthier hair.
10 Tbsp. walnut oil
5 Tbsp. jojoba oil
5 drops of tea tree oil
Mix the oils together, and apply mixture to scalp until the entire head is covered. Massage in circles with firm pressure until head feels warmed, and then cover with shower cap and towel for at least one hour. Wash out with mild shampoo, condition, and style as usual.
HOMEMADE WALNUT OIL
If you prefer to make your own walnut oil, it will take a few more steps but it is definitely achievable.
6 lbs. of English walnuts
2 large bowls
Make sure walnuts are dry and fresh. Use the nutcracker to open the shells and extract the meat into a clean bowl. Begin grinding the walnuts using small portions, and grind down until they are fine. Place the ground walnuts into a cup with a little water, just enough to heat the mixture for 30 min. stirring constantly. Once done heating, place the hot walnut meat into an oil press, and squeeze the oil, making sure you have a bowl below the press. Filter the oil by pouring the oil through a cheesecloth into a clean bowl. It is best to keep the oil in dark bottles for storage initially, and then in the fridge for up to two months to make it last longer. The oil may thicken in the fridge. For an easier application, bring the oil to room temperature for an hour or two before using.
Many people find brief moments of emptiness between their thoughts when they meditate.
The experience is so intriguing that they continue meditating just for glimpses into a vast unknown that is peaceful, expansive, full of nothing and yet full of everything. There is something in the emptiness between our thoughts, below our busy mind, that calls us. The monk or mystic inside each of us thirsts for this inner quietude.
How do we escape our busy mind and be in this infinite space is the challenge. Can we give up our need for stimulation? One of the least discussed addictions today is our need to be doing something. What if we don't have a quick answer to the question: "What are you doing?" Can we stop long enough and disconnect to connect to something other? How much do we have to pay, struggle, give, surrender to find something that has nothing of value? Shouldn't something as natural as resting in our heart be found without so much effort?
The road to our inner mystic is complex because our personality is complicated. We resist emptiness. We fear the void we sense within. We want to be productive, on top, in control. How can we be important and humble, have everything and be empty?
Emptiness is not just a concern for mystical seekers. Much of the pain we have involving relationships, finances, or health is related to our fear of emptiness and our attempts to control it. The stress we feel around relationships, finances and health change when we can rest in emptiness. Our personality by its nature has a feeling that there is not enough. Not enough love, too little money, lack of well-being -- our fear of emptiness keeps us in struggle and turmoil. When we embrace this inner vastness, suddenly emptiness is not an enemy but a treasure to value. We discover there is enough. There is much love, wealth, well-being in the abundance we find within. In the vastness within, our awareness expands and feels itself. Daily struggles lessen in the more presence we discover inside. Inner wholeness changes everything we think about what is necessary to have in the world. There is so much in the expansiveness we find in the heart inside our heart.
Life may squeeze us from the outside but when we embrace this vastness inside, there is more than enough, much more. In this inner space is true presence, real food that feeds our need for more from others, our work, our bodies. With this perspective, we begin to see what is lacking in daily life in a different light. Our inner abundance changes our feelings. There is an emptiness within, a great space that speaks of our soul, the great ocean, the wordless God of the heart in everyone and everything.
Sooner or later on the spiritual path many find emptiness. When emptiness is mixed with fear it can become a "dark night of the soul." When emptiness is mixed with our judgments or expectations of how we think it should be, the dark nights can turn into dark days, weeks or months, lasting a long time. When emptiness is embraced for what it is, sometimes a darkness without end, other times a space with no boundary, it is only being. When accepted and sailed upon in our awareness for what it is, the waves and currents change from one moment to the next. In emptiness time can be no time lasting forever and lasting one second. Sooner rather than later, there is a light, a brilliant light so powerful it burns through all that we are, all that we think and feel. When emptiness is embraced for what it is, our fear lessens, thought of all kind falls away, and a peace is present. Emptiness is a river of nakedness which when allowed, carries us, frees our awareness. Emptiness unloads our minds, unties our feelings and the strings of our attachments, unfolding, spreading our sense of self into eternity.
The secret is to embrace emptiness in the good times. Then when challenges arise we already know this refuge within, a place of perfect shelter. This empty place inside is in truth our inner sanctuary. Spiritual practice is a practice of receiving, absorbing the presence of our sanctuary. Then in good times or difficult, we have our inner temple to go to. Here we are not alone. The wordless perfect presence is with us, within us.
There are many gifts of emptiness. The clarity we discover is the natural understanding of our heart. We do not have to give up ourselves to find the greater self. Emptiness does not swallow us but calms the mind as it opens the heart. It receives our awareness and lets it expand into its own essence, not burdened with worldly things. When embraced, emptiness gives us a peace and wholeness which we have been searching for, working, struggling to find in the world. Emptiness gives space for trust which we lose in our crowded life. There is space for more choice and decision in every moment of every day. Emptiness is the calm our restless mind wants, the love our heart seeks. When our awareness settles into emptiness, the world does not push and pull us so much. We live in the reservoir of the greater self which is at home in the great emptiness.
In our emptiness, our personality, desires, worries, attachments and efforts are seen for what they are. They are just desires, worries, attachments and efforts. The deep realm of emptiness gives us an awareness of something more. We are so much more. Our personality can dig in, find distractions, thoughts and concerns to keep us busy, to stay above, separate, apart from the inner vastness. But there is always this other part of us. No matter how many mountains to climb, how many storms to weather, there is this peace inside. In the silence of our heart is a pure ocean of silence, emptiness. We rest here. Our awareness can be full of details and demands of the world and still in our awareness is a nothing, an emptiness, a room only for our no self. We all know this place inside where we carry nothing but the joy of this moment. The wonder of emptiness is how a simple moment can expand and connect to everyone and everything, spreading past planets, stars, expanding without end.
This is the reason we meditate. This is why we make retreat. We take a break from building a life in the world and make time to build our inner life. When we receive the vastness within, emptiness is found to be full of heart essence. Joy is more joyful, beauty more beautiful, life more simple, precious.
We invite you to explore the gifts of silence and emptiness at Silent Stay Retreat near Napa, California and Assisi, Italy.
Moisturizers and milks
Moisturizers help to retain moisture between wash days. If you prefer something more lightweight, then consider a hair milk. Although most moisturizers are water based, it is best to apply them while the hair is wet so it can retain as much moisture possible, as they are most effective when trapping moisture that is present. These two product types are chock-full of emollients, humectants, and oils. They are also great options if your hair is protein sensitive.
Leave-in conditioners contain moisturizing and strengthening properties. According to trichologist Dr. Kari Williams, they are meant to periodically replace your daily conditioner or deep conditioner. If you are in a hurry and do not have time to allow the ingredients in your daily conditioners and deep conditioners to absorb, then use a leave-in conditioner. Note that all leave-in conditioners are not formulated with hydrolyzed proteins, so the bottle may say leave-in conditioner even though it functions more like a moisturizer. Always check the ingredients list.
Some curlies follow up their conditioner with only oil, while others layer oil atop their moisturizer or leave-in conditioner. The practice of using oils after washing your hair is called sealing; this reduces the rate of moisture depletion. People will use oil as a part of their LOC method to prevent dryness, reduce frizz, and stave off wash day. You can use a pure oil or create your own blend.
You do not have to use all of these products, but you should use at least one. I gravitate more toward leave-in conditioners, because they tend to be lightweight, provide great slip, and add moisture and strengthening benefits to my coils. Since my hair is fine, I usually forgo sealing, as my moisturizers and leave-in conditioners tend to be formulated lots of oils and butters.
If you have fine strands or looser curls and waves, then a hair milk is a great option for you. Whenever you want a refresher between wash days but don’t care to co-wash, consider fluffing your hair with a little moisturizer to quench your parched ends.
Believe it or not, moisture comes from water. Yes, the free liquid substance that is available right in your home. Try spraying your hair with water at least two times a week or right before you style your hair. Then apply a leave-in conditioner. There is no such thing as “sealing” in moisture. It doesn’t have to be sealed but the leave- in conditioner will help to also hydrate the hair follicle, which will contribute to the softness. If you have dryer hair or scalp, try applying hair grease to your scalp right after your wash regimen is complete.
2. Stay Away from HEAT
I’m sure you hear all the time that heat is a natural girl’s worst enemy besides a relaxer of course but heat also damages your hair, makes it dry and brittle, and alters your curl pattern. This causes you to over trim your hair, later resulting in a lack of growth. Try to not use heat frequently if possible. When blow drying you hair, use the cool setting and while flat ironing, place the temperature on the lowest settingfor you to achieve your desires.
3. Trim When NEEDED
Trimming your hair can either help with hair length retention or stop it all together. As a new Natural, it is easy to start a routine of trimming your hair regularly along with your established regimen but if you are not constantly damaging your hair then WHAT are you trimming? You are trimming your perfectly healthy hair. Only trim your hair as needed, not on a time schedule. Often times if your hair is shedding excessively and tangling, it is time for a trim. If you have visibly split ends or heat damage then it also time for a trim. Do not hold on to split ends or heat damage in order to maintain length. You will regret it in the long run.
Conditioning your hair is very important when wanting to maintain moisturized and soft hair. Regularly conditioning you hair, leave-ins, and deep conditioning treatments all help to provide your hair with the needed protein and nutrients. These nutrients contribute to hair elasticity that will help to prevent hair breakage by allowing your hair to stretch when pulled or combed.
Here is one of my favorite deep conditioning recipes:
You Will Need:
• 1 Egg: Helps to moisturize and contains protein
• 1 tablespoon of Honey: Adds shine and moisture
• 1/2 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Traps in moisture and softens hair
• 1 table of Cinnamon: Prevents dry scalp, promotes hair growth, smells delicious
• 1/2 teaspoon of Nutmeg: Adds volume and promotes hair growth
• 3 drops of Tea Tree Oil: Treats dry scalp, dandruff, and hair loss
• 1 teaspoon of Apple Cider Vinegar: Removes buildup and adds shine
• Mix ingredients and heat for 10 to 15 seconds. Apply to hair from scalp to ends and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour. Wash out with cold water and style as usual.
You can adjust ingredients to fit hair length or substitute oils.
5. Eat Healthy
I don’t think I have to spend much time on this one. What you put into your body is exactly the results you will receive.
6. Protective Styles
Often times as a newly natural, the hair is over manipulated from wanting to try new styles or products. Find a protective style that works for you and then stick with that style for a while. If your hair is tucked or pulled too much over a period of time, you will begin to see more breakage and shedding as a result. Protective styles promote growth because they are true to the name “protective” by shielding your hair from over manipulation and the harsh weather.
This last step is pretty simple. Have patience on your hair journey. Don’t get so caught up in achieving a certain length by a certain time. Instead focus on HEALTHY hair and the rest will come Naturally.
How does hair grow?
Hair, which is made of keratin and has three layers, begins growing from the root (papilla) at the base of a hair follicle. The inner layer is the medulla, the second layer is the cortex and the outer layer is the cuticle. The roots are made up of protein cells and blood. The blood vessels in the scalp feed the root to create more cells and make the hair grow. Hair actually gets pushed up through our scalp near the sebaceous glands, which add oil (i.e. sebum) to the hair and keeps it moisturized. Hair is dead by the time it reaches your scalp. We are born with all of the hair follicles we will ever have and that are around 5 million on our entire body with 1 million just on our heads. This means there is no way to increase the density of your hair.
Three Hair Growth Cycles
How fast does hair grow?Ah, the question we all are dying to know the answer to! The most commonly accepted statistic is
that hair on the scalp grows about .3 to .4 mm/day or about 3-6 in. per year. But the truth is, as with all things hair and health related, the answer is: it depends. "The rate of growth can be influenced by any number of variables," Elizabeth Cunnane Phillips, a trichologist at the Philip Kingsley Clinic told Huffington Post. Those variables include "health, dietary habits, and endocrine function including thyroid, low iron or anemia...All of these have the capacity to influence hair growth and loss cycles."
In a study conducted between 1999 and 2003, 511 healthy volunteers (254 males and 257 females) where there was a comparison of African, Asian and Caucasian hair growth patterns. African hair was characterized by both low growth and low hair density, Chinese hair had low density and high growth rate and Caucasian hair was characterized by high density (Loussouarn, G., El Rawadi, C. and Genain, G. (2005), Diversity of hair growth profiles. International Journal of Dermatology, 44: 6–9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2005.02800.x) Despite those findings the article does explain that the findings are just too simplistic to draw strong conclusions and does indicate additional investigations should be conducted within each ethnic group.
So the simple answer? Three to six inches per year. But there are many contributing factors that can lead to more or less growth than that. Rather than focusing your energy on hair growth, we recommend you turn your focus to length retention.
Retention is just as important (or more important) than hair growthHonestly, no matter how fast your hair grows, if you do not learn proper ways to retain much of that growth, then your hair will not reach longer lengths. Retention is preserving the hair that grows out of the scalp and keeping it healthy by keeping it moisturized and gently handling the hair to reduce breakage; this also includes trimming when necessary. There is no need to schedule trims unless you are coloring, straightening, not sealing, and caring for their ends. The ends are the oldest part of the hair, therefore making them fragile and the most exposed to damage, especially when wearing the hair loose.
Can you make your hair grow faster?Biotin has become the go-to for hair growth stimulant, but do many actually know what it is? "These B complex vitamins (also known as vitamin H) are important in metabolism, helping your body to process energy and transporting carbon dioxide from your body's cells," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Susan Stuart. Biotin is all the craze for growing healthier hair, nails, and clear skin and we are seeing a whole new generation of supplement takers for this beauty benefit, but according to Dermatologist Dr. Richard Scher, it is not totally clear what role biotin plays.
According to Dr. Scher, "Biotin deficiency is rare and low levels may result in brittle nails and hair loss, however, hair loss and brittle nails may have multiple causes and taking biotin supplements may actually halt this process and even help to reverse it." Want another expert opinion? Check out cosmetic chemist Sister Scientist’s article Biotin and Castor Oil: Do They Really Work? Many of the NaturallyCurly editors have tried biotin, so to read more about how their hair (and skin) reacted, read We Tried Biotin, Here's What Happened.
Remember that it imperative to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, reduce stress, maintain a clean scalp, and follow your doctor’s order for a holistic approach to healthy hair. Supplements can be taken in addition to those things with clearance from your primary care physician.