HAPPY ChristMESS

‘You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.’

It is fast approaching that time of year again, you know the time of year when we all start to feel warm and fuzzy inside because Christmas is around the corner. The decorations go up, the Christmas trees come out, and we all start preparing for what will be a special day. A day where we celebrate three wise men, Rudolph the red nose reindeer, Satan Claus, oh and I almost forgot: the birth of Jesus. Being raised as a Christian, I used to take this day and the stories connected with it as a given. Obviously as you get older, you start to realise that there’s no fat old white man that’s ever going to be able to fit down your chimney during the night to deliver you gifts whilst you sleep in your bed on an estate in south London (which doesn’t even have a chimney!) A reindeer flying through the sky? nah not possible.

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I mean, I knew from young that these stories couldn’t be true, you know, like the tooth fairy and other myths. But as I got older I started to question the stories of a man parting the seas, walking on water, feeding thousands with two loafs of bread and fish. Then, as I’d sit in church I would look around at the depictions of the saints, all white. No black saints. It made me think ‘were there no black people around during the times of these stories?’ Or was it that there were, but ‘no black person had done anything to warrant sainthood?’ I would sit in a black church and watch black people praise a white son of God, with the understanding that if the son of God was white, then God must be… These were the murmurings of me coming into consciousness.

‘Have blind faith’, ‘don’t question God’ you’d hear.

But if God made us as intelligent beings, surely we should be able to question things. I remember being young and playing a king in the nativity play at school. I mean, I was young and indoctrinated, so I just did what my mum said to do, what the school said to do, as this was our belief system. I was all about it. Midnight mass on Christmas Eve and not giving a damn about what this man behind this wooden ting was talking about. Struggling to keep my eyes open and just waiting for him to end my misery. Opening presents under the tree, Christmas dinner, family members coming round, some who I hadn’t seen all year and whom I didn’t actually even like. Luckily I don’t ever remember having to sit on some crusty fake Santa clauses leg! I see some parents forcing their crying babies into the arms of a dressed up Santa Claus just to get that photo op, scarring their child for life!

Anyway, I’ve always been inquisitive, and as the years went on I started looking into this thing we call Christmas, not to be a kill joy but just due to the fact that I was on a mission to find the truth in a world full of lies…

Here’s some of what I found:

December 25th was a day that was celebrated by pagans before the birth of Jesus. This day is called The Winter Solstice. To pagans this day meant that winter was over and spring was coming, so they celebrated the day with festivities.

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The sun makes an annual descent southward until December 21st or 22nd. The winter solstice is where the sun stops moving southerly for 3 days and then starts to move image1northward again. The ancients used to declare that the ‘Gods Sun’ had died for 3 days and was born again on the 25th December. The ‘Gods Sun’ had been ‘resurrected’ after 3 days. The phrase ‘the sun walks on water’ was used to refer to the suns reflection on the water. I think it’s interesting that this is pretty much the exact same story of Jesus’ resurrection and relates to the story of him walking on water. With that being said, is ‘son of God’ really ‘Sun of God?’ It is widely taken as fact amongst scholars that nobody really knows when Jesus would have been born and that in actual fact the Roman Catholic Church settled on Dec 25th as it tied into the winter solstice and Saturnalia – a festival dedicated to the Roman deity Saturn.

Speaking of Rome and just from an information standpoint, I think it’s interesting to briefly add that through the Council of Nicea in AD 325, the Roman Emperor Constantine was able to summon 318 Christian bishops to basically decide what Christianity would and would not represent. For example, the divine nature of God and his relationship to God the father, which gospels would be put in the bible, which wouldn’t etc.

There is also information to suggest that there are other historical beings who shared the same birthday as Jesus; his resurrection story, and the story of him being born of a virgin such as, Krishna, Attis, the Egyptian God Horus, Mithra and Dionysus. Is this a coincidence?

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Could it be that we are in fact dealing with a collective Christ Consciousness rather than a being?

I think it’s also interesting to note that the letter J had not been ‘created’ until the 1500-1600’s which is way after the death of Jesus and Christ was a title that was given to an individual as opposed to it being a name.

I find it fascinating that, the story of Jesus, Mary and Joseph is extremely similar to the story of Horus, Isis and Osiris – who predate the story of Jesus by thousands of years. I’m not learned enough at this moment to expand on that, but what I do know is that to have a story that is still inscribed in hieroglyphics on the Egyptian pyramids, that is similar if not the same as the story of Jesus, that PREDATES their story by thousands of years – if you were handing in an assignment that followed the above, that would be called plagiarism.

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I think that we can all agree depictions of Jesus himself are historically inaccurate. Blonde hair with blue eyes? It’s just not logical and is an intervention of white male racism. Even in the bible it is said according to John, that ‘the hair on his head was white like wool, his feet like polished bronze refined in a furnace’. It has been said that some depictions of Jesus were painted by Michaelangelo and that they are actually a portrait of a man named Caesar Borgia.

The legend Santa Claus can be traced back hundreds of years to a monk named St. Nicholas who was born around 280 AD. It is said he was much admired for his kindness, his giving nature and for helping the poor and the sick. The name Santa Claus evolved from his nickname ‘Sinter Klaas’. As time went on Saint Nicholas became Santa Claus and for some reason is a huge part of the celebration of Jesus Christs birth, even though Santa Claus is not spoken of in the bible?

As for Rudolph the red nose reindeer, he was made up quite recently in 1939 by a department store admin and I guess over the years they just threw him into the Christmas mix.

The tree that we bring into our homes is, if real, an evergreen tree. Pagans in Europe bought evergreen fir branches into their homes during the winter solstice to brighten their spirits. This was long before the advent of Christianity. Mistletoe and holly where also bought into the home during these times as these were the few flowering plants during winter. How the mistletoe went from being something that adorned your home to something whereby man was lipsing up woman underneath I don’t know! Moving on, some say that the decorating of Christmas trees started in Germany, but without going any further I think it’s fair to say that these are pagan practices and have nothing to do with Jesus.

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These are just a few examples that I thought I’d share with you as we come into this time of year. The time of year where people are literally ready to kill themselves and others on Black Friday to get those deals in and go into debt spending money on gifts that they don’t really have, all whilst making their local retailers extremely happy. My whole thing is that if we are going to take part in these types of holiday festivities, let us at least know what we are celebrating, and make an informed choice to partake in the celebrations.

I personally do not wish to partake in Christmas whereby Jasmine does. To her Christmas represents family coming together and giving to one another. She’s coined it ‘GiveMas!’ I can respect that, so this year we will be celebrating GiveMas. As for that Christmas tree she wants to put up in our apartment, good luck!


Though, an unknown wise man once said
‘happy wife, happy life!’

PEACE – Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation
– JayCee

THE POWER OF INTENTION

The word intention is defined in the dictionary as: a thing intended; an aim, a plan. 

This is my testament to the reality that we do indeed have power over our own lives and how our intentions within this 3D reality shape and mould our very existence.

2016, to say the least, was an interesting year for me. I was in a relationship, had a good job and a ‘social circle’ which included friends and associates. At the back end of 2015, I had just won a bodybuilding competition and had recently decided to turn vegetarian. My life was good! I had the BMW with the red leather interior, the Roly on the wrist, Jordan’s on my feet, fresh trim weekly (major key!) I was travelling a minimum twice a year, money was in the ISA, I was in good health, and spiritually, I was connected.

Well so I thought…

At that time I was a sound board for a lot of people, constantly giving advice: spiritual, nutritional and physical. If you had a problem in your life, I was more than happy to spend hours giving all of my energy, counselling. If you know me then you know that’s facts. My mums a counsellor, I’ve been through a lot. That role was a natural role for me to play and I happily departed my wisdom and experiences for anybody who needed it. The only problem was, I wasn’t wholeheartedly applying that same wisdom to my own life.

See from about the end of 2012, after the breakup of a relationship, I had developed a very selfish attitude, which in retrospect was based on hurt emotions. You know when a relationship is over and you’re like ‘f’k this I’m gonna do me! I’m going to do whatever makes me happy regardless’. Now that’s fine when you’re single and unattached, but I had taken this same attitude into a relationship, which as time would tell would lead to disaster. Reason being, in order to maintain a relationship and my whole ‘I’ll do whatever makes me happy’ attitude, it meant I had to LIE!

I had to lie not only to myself but also to the person I was with. I had to convince myself that the lying was justified. Due to the fact that we’re living in an environment that salutes narcissism, the promotion of disrespect towards women, a hyper sexualised culture that feeds into our base instincts, our animalistic nature, my mindset was actually supported by those that I confided in and by society in general.

So here I was outwardly giving advice, offering support, helping, aiding, telling people to follow their truth but lying to myself by being less than the man I knew I could be. In my mind I wanted to keep this act up, this act of being something other than what I was. This act of underachievement. This act of being scared to fulfil my full potential. Marianne Williamson said ‘Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.’ I was afraid to allow my light to fully shine so by helping others it meant I could avoid myself. I would entertain negative energy because I knew that in order to fulfil what the most high had in store for me, it would mean I’d have to let go of people, places and things. It would mean cleaning up my act and getting my shit together. Looking at the man in the mirror and being honest with myself.

Deep inside I knew I wanted to do this but in the words of Kevin Hart ‘I wasn’t ready!’ The universes reply ‘ready or not, HERE I COME!’

One morning I woke up and it was like a wave of sadness and unhappiness just took over me. I didn’t want to get out of bed or do anything. I hoped this would be a temporary feeling but it wasn’t. Day after day after day this feeling would stay with me. I felt completely lost and isolated. I felt like I was looking at myself from a third person perspective. I didn’t feel connected to my soul. People started noticing and saying to me, ‘you look different, you ok, what’s wrong’ and all I could reply is ‘I don’t know, I feet lost but I’ll be ok’. I had been through depression when I was a teenager and I worried that I was going through it again. I was living in a house in an area I totally hated so finding comfort within my own four walls was impossible! So with all of this going on I decided to call Mum! My mum always has gems for me and she told me exactly what I needed to hear. She basically said that regardless of whether you are doing anything in life, be it positive or negative, there is an energy which will support and feed off of what you are doing, and that’s what I had found. At the points whereby I was involved in negative, self-harming behaviour, there would always be a ‘coincidence’ a ‘window of opportunity’ that would allow that ‘action’ to take place.

‘If you knew better, you would do better!’  ‘With knowledge comes responsibility.’

After that conversation I knew I had to change. I broke away from my relationship, associates and friends in order to get my mind right. I decided that I would never lie again to myself or to a person I love. I would no longer chase after people or involve myself with negative people or negative conversations. I cut ties with a lot of people. My phone stopped ringing, I stopped going out, and I was alone. But you know what, I was happy. I was happy because I recognised the strength and courage I had shown to make the decisions I had made. I was happy because I realised I was now fearless. I was now True. I had given myself permission to start anew and forgive myself for the past.

So with 2016 just about wrapping up, I was single, with no social circle and pretty much keeping myself to myself, but feeling motivated for the New Year.

January 2017. One of the first things I did at the start of the new year was to go to Selfridges and purchase a pair of £500 Giuseppe Zenotti’s. I had never paid that amount of money for a pair of shoes in my life. I posted them up on Instagram: #2017isMyYear.

The year of manifestation.

I put out the INTENTION into the world that this year is going to be a great year for me, not based upon arrogance, lies, flossing, none of that. Based upon the fact that I was going to live my truth and be unafraid.

February 2017 I spoke to my friend Zim who I hadn’t spoken to in a few years for various reasons. We reconnect like we’d just seen each other the week before. He tells me he’s in Sweden. I book a flight the same day and fly over to see him the following week. We both share a birthday in March, so whilst out in Sweden he asks what I’m doing for my birthday as he’s going to Miami and has got the hotel booked for free! Say no more. I come back to England and book my ticket to Miami.

March 2017 I fly out to Miami and celebrate our Birthday’s over spring break.

Myself and Jasmine had been friends for a while. When I came back to England we started to get more serious. She tells me she needs a holiday. We fly out to Cape Verde in April. We have an amazing holiday and whilst there, Jasmine expressed her wish to set up a blog and so, JourneyWithJasmine is born. We also briefly speak about the idea of moving in together but also the idea of going on another holiday!

July 2017 we fly off to Thailand for an amazing 16 day holiday, one week in Phuket and the rest of the time in Koh Samui.

Whilst out in Thailand my best friend has a son and he tells me he’s named him after me, Jéan-Claude. Naturally I think he’s lying, but no he actually named him Jéan-Claude! So the day after touching down from Thailand, I finally get to hold little Jèan-Claude, the most humbling experience I’ve ever had in my life.

This is August 2017. Jasmine’s work contract had just ended and so she was looking for work. She was looking for a job within a specific salary range, which in my eyes was below her potential, so I basically told her to aim higher! Within two weeks of our return from Thailand, Jasmine got a job paying 5k more than she had previously been looking for. This increase in her salary meant that us moving in together was even more possible.

October 2017: myself and Jasmine move into a brand new, 2 bedroom, top floor apartment overlooking the London skyline!

This has to be the most amazing year I’ve ever had #realtalk and I know for a fact it has been this way because of the Power of Intention. The Intent and courage to sever ties with things that no longer served me. The Intent to be fearless and grasp my fullest potential. The Intent to manifest my desires as I choose on my terms living in Truth, Gratitude, Humbleness and connecting my Soul with Source.

Set your Intention with a clean heart and watch how the Universe aligns…

JayCee

SPIRITUALITY SAVED ME FROM DEPRESSION.

Mental health is treated as a taboo subject, one that is never paid enough attention to and more often than not, is belittled. So many people are told to ‘man up’ to stop ‘being dramatic’ and just get on with it. 

It is never that easy. 

Just as it so happens, my battle with depression saw me telling myself the very same thing. I was in denial. I was embarrassed. I told myself countless times ‘jasmine stop being a little bitch’ to ‘get my shit together’ to ‘toughen up’. I guess, I have always been a big believer in not being a victim or a prisoner to your circumstances or problems, so I lied to myself and didn’t honour my feelings or my mental health.

2016 was the most difficult and testing year of my life, I felt like my world was falling apart and everything was crumbling at my feet. The first half of the year was a continuous emotionally draining rollercoaster; I was constantly giving my energy to people, ‘carrying‘ them and found myself in emotionally abusive and manipulative situations that I really had no business in being in. I remember, sitting on my bedroom floor, curled up like a baby and hysterically crying. I’d sometimes put a pillow over my face so that no one would hear me. It used to be a good week if that only happened 3 times.

Around half way through the year, something happened to change that, I was changed. The only way I knew how to deal with my surroundings and with myself internally, was to become numb to it. I became numb to it all, I didn’t cry for almost a year and that alone absolutely terrified me. I would watch horrifically sad movies to try and make myself cry but I couldn’t. I lied to myself over and over. I genuinely convinced myself that I was fine and then I turned to alcohol to numb myself that little bit more. I found myself in situations where I guess I was trying to feel something, feel anything because that was better than the feelings of complete worthlessness, shame and embarrassment that I bore as my cross.

My job at the time meant that Monday – Friday, I was travelling all over the country on my own and could only be back in London on the weekends. I know that might appear to be fun, but it was my own personal hell. I was forced to deal with everything that I had been running from; I stopped drinking completely and learnt that there was really no escaping yourself. I didn’t have access to a gym which drove me insane. I’d lost over 20kg throughout the year and the gym had become my escape. I became ill, I was unexplainably passing out, my anxiety was at an all-time high and I developed an eating disorder. 

At the time, I was beyond convinced that I was fine and was just being ‘healthy’. One of my best friends was so persistent in making me face the reality that I was actually completely not fine. I honestly am so thankful for her because I guess if she had given up on me; my mind-set could still have been one that is thrown into a panic for eating five walnuts. Looking back on it, I realise that happened because at the time, I subconsciously recognised that it was the only thing I could control. The rest of my world was chaos, so I became meticulous with the few things that I could control.

With my job meaning I was on my own for such long periods of time, I became a pro at pretending I was ok. I had it mastered. I lied to myself, to my family and to my friends. I made jokes, I trained hard and appeared to be as normal as possible. I’m a woman with a get up and go attitude, I don’t have time for self-pity or complaining about a situation without taking action. I think that’s why it was so difficult for me to admit that whilst I was coping brilliantly, I really wasn’t. 

I was functional. To be honest, being able to maintain a level of functionality was what got me through. I’m strong. I’m a fighter, that’s the way I’ve been raised. In my own way, by continuing to function, I was fighting my way back to being ok. It wasn’t long before my friends and my family realised I wasn’t ok and started to worry. Seeing them worry made me fight even harder to keep up the charade until eventually as we came to the end of the year, I was wishing the year would just end already. I couldn’t keep it up any longer. 

I came off the road towards the end of November and finally had regular access to my gym again. The only time I felt alive was when I was training: training became my therapy. It was literally the only thing I would look forward to. I would approach it with a certain kind of aggression, a kind of hunger – it was and still is the best release.

I have always been a spiritual person; I was raised in a wonderfully loving home rooted in a deep spirituality. Throughout my time in the darkness, I most definitely had an awareness that I held the power to help heal myself but I just didn’t have the energy to even begin the healing process. I had buried everything so deep, I had stopped feeling, I had become so cold. I became so cold so that no one would ever hold a power over me again, it was a defence mechanism. One that I sometimes fall back into as a default, when I need to put my emotions aside ‘and get shit done!’ The difference now, is that I am able to recognise this almost straight away and go back to being my loving self.

It’s a process. 

I guess, in all honesty, I woke up one morning and felt deep in my heart that I deserved better. I didn’t deserve to be ‘damaged’ by somebody else’s actions, I realised that I am not in control of what anyone else does but I can control the way I feel about myself. I set out on a mission to love myself whole heartedly. It wasn’t easy by any means, there would be days where getting out of bed would be the hardest thing to do, let alone be out in public. Healing myself was a journey, an extremely spiritual journey. 

In a nutshell, I started to meditate daily, practise mindfulness, regular reiki sessions and began cutting the cords that still tied me to toxic situations. I expressed gratitude for everything around me: for green grass, a beautiful sunset, the sound of a bird humming. I counted my blessings every day. I started each morning by spending five minutes, meditating and grounding myself and did the same every night. I nourished myself in mind, body and spirit. I started to work on making sure I was eating regularly, which massively helped to boost my mood. I’m the type of person who doesn’t like laziness or un-productivity, so I tend to keep going until I burn out. I began to recognise this and actually started to take time out for myself before this happened.

I suppose, I was able to get through the darkness because I took the moment to stop and honour it. To honour the pain and the trauma it held for me, to feel it. I mean really feel it. I let it wash over me in waves and by going through that process, I was then able to work to dispel it from me.

Fast forward a year later and I am without a doubt the happiest I have ever been. I have genuinely never loved myself more than I do right now. I’m able to really appreciate all of the little things and maintain spiritual practise as a means of giving to myself. I’m with an absolutely amazing man, who treats me like a Queen and whose deep love for life and all things spontaneous continues to make me feel alive. He has introduced me to new worlds of positivity (including Bikram Yoga – it’s the hottest but best thing ever). I still have bad days, that’s normal – we’re all human. Though, even on those bad days, I am still so unbelievably happy. The cloud of misery and self-hatred that hung over me has well and truly gone. 

In this day and age, young people (especially now with the advances in technology and social media) are made to feel like we have to portray this image of having our shit together and the ‘perfect’ exterior. Mental health is sadly over-looked because there is such a taboo and stigma in talking about it. It is so incredibly important that we give people space to talk and to be open. Too many people are fighting these internal battles, going through their own personal hells and in the worst of cases committing suicide because as humans, we are failing them. I’ve learnt that is most definitely ok not to be ok, crying doesn’t mean that you’re weak and that even though you may feel alone, you’re not.

Everyone is fighting their own different battles, regardless of what yours is, please talk to someone. Don’t suffer in silence. 

We have to do better. We have to break the silence.

Love and Peace Always,
– Jasmine Reinah xo

RESPECT THE CULTURE.

 

“Have you forgotten, that once we were brought here, we were robbed of our names, robbed of our language, we lost our religion, our culture, our God, and many of us by the way we act, even lost our minds!” – Dr. Khalid Muhammad

Cultural Appropriation – what’s the big deal? You should be able to ‘express yourself’ in whatever way you want to right? Let’s talk…

So, let’s strip it back – in it’s most simple and rudimentary definition, Cultural Appropriation is basically when an individual decides to adopt, without consent, certain elements of a culture that is not their own.

Sound simple? Still don’t see what all the fuss is about?

Well, that’s because that basic definition fails to account for the fact that Cultural Appropriation is rooted in systematic power circles whereby individuals from dominant cultures (who are therefore in an elevated position of power and privilege) take the ‘attractive’ and ‘exotic’ parts of another culture. These ‘non-dominant’ cultures are one’s that have been systematically oppressed and often pillaged by the ‘dominant culture’. (Maisha Z. Johnson)

Before I continue, it is extremely important to recognise that Cultural Appropriation is categorically NOT the same as cultural exchange or assimilation.

Cultural Appropriation is often compared to Assimilation, which is not only insulting but highlights a lack of knowledge as a whole.

Assimilation is where marginalised or oppressed cultures assimilate to, or imitate, the dominant culture as a means of survival. I remember, even as a child, my parents would tell me countless stories about the experience my grandparents had when they first came to this country and the horrific racism that they were faced with. Throughout history, we were told if we didn’t attempt to assimilate the dominant, in this case, white culture then we simply did not belong because we were not making any efforts in an attempt to ‘fit in’ and were then ostracised.

Assimilation was not a choice – it was survival.
Cultural Appropriation is a choice.

A choice made by individuals as an ‘expression of privilege’ – the picking and choosing of which bits of a marginalised culture are attractive or edgy enough to be adopted and made ‘cool’.

It is both harmful and damaging and is not taken seriously.

People of colour have to work twice as hard to have access to the same opportunities. We are discriminated against, sometimes by people even unknowingly. That is why it is so important to have this conversation.

We’ve had our lands taken from us, our lives destroyed, families torn apart. we’ve been raped, lynched, pillaged. We’ve now ‘seemingly’ moved away from the overt systematic slavery, rape and murder that we were once made to endure. However we are still left with this ever-present pattern of continuity – our cultures are still being taken from. Sadly, we are still in a society where cultural appropriation is all around us and often, people really do not see ‘what the big deal is.’ Aside from the fact that the act of cultural appropriation is entwined with white supremacy, it takes from “less dominant” cultures (usually Black, Asian, Indigenous and Hispanic cultures are targeted) without giving them the credit or respect that is rightly deserved. It shadows and embodies the way in which these cultures have constantly been taken from. You only have to google the British Empire to know this to be true.

Cultural appropriation takes many a form, it takes from the very fabric of our being. It’s present in music, in art, in fashion and even in tattoos. It is completely exploitative. The different examples are endless, but context also plays a massive part in distinguishing its acceptability.

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If I were to list every single example of cultural appropriation, I would be writing a 10 part saga. However, I think it is extremely important to speak about a few of the most basic examples with context, that by, talking about can aid the spread of knowledge.

Growing up, I was extremely insecure, I wanted to fit in more than anything else. I definitely confirmed to white standards of beauty ipand believed my dark curly hair was not to be desired. My mum would send me to school in braids every single day and I remember being young in primary school being teased and feeling ugly. Learning to love my hair was a struggle. Now, people of dominant cultures wear traditionally Black and Indian hairstyles and receive only positive attention for being ‘edgy’. Positive attention for the same traditional hairstyles that women of colour are told are unprofessional. It would be unrealistic to expect every single person to understand the value and importance of certain parts of a culture, but that does not mean that they should be invalidated.

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I think it’s important to note that I’m fully aware that many people do not have malicious intentions and are unaware of why cultural appropriation is damaging but ignorance doesn’t make it acceptable. Which is why it is so crucial to educate yourselves and understand the meaning and significance of the cultures that you are ‘borrowing’ from.

The bindi, for example, holds deep spiritual significance, and means something different for every Indian woman. It represents the ajna chakra, the third eye. For some time, I have been in a personal conflict with myself in the decision to start wearing a bindi. During this process, I have found myself continually asking:

‘what will my employers think?’ ‘is it unprofessional?’ ‘Can I wear it when I train or is that being too ‘extra’?’ ‘Will people look at me differently when I’m out in public?’ ‘Will I be taken seriously?’ ‘Will my voice be heard?’ ‘Are people going to think I’m fresh?’ ‘Am I going to be respected?’

The fact that I even have these thought processes when simply considering to express my spirituality is not acceptable and is something that I am actively working to change. I’ve witnessed several Indian women who wear Bindis on a daily basis, be classified as ‘fresh’ ‘backwards’ or ‘too traditional’.

We live in a society where we are labelled, we are made to feel alien for embracing such a symbol of spirituality. However, when people of the dominant culture or the likes of Selena Gomez or Ellie Goulding wear a bindi – it’s cool, its edgy, it’s sexy.

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In all seriousness, I have no problem with cultural exchange. I don’t mind if someone chooses to wear a bindi – that is, if they fully understand it’s meaning, it’s deep spiritual significance and is worn with respect. I am yet to come across someone who can tell me why they are wearing it.

The examples don’t stop there, we have tribal tattoos, Native American headdresses being worn at festivals, Katy Perry performing as a Geisha, blackface as ‘Halloween Costumes’, the appropriation of music, to name a few – the lists are endless.
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Our cultures are taken from, never credited or appreciated.

It’s time that people take responsibility for what it is that is being endorsed, promoted and tolerated. It is important to ask yourselves are your actions respecting another’s culture? As a society, it is crucial that people stop looking for ways to justify appropriation, to stop belittling ethnic cultures for being ‘too sensitive’ and to fully understand that it is not necessary for you to claim something in order to appreciate its beauty.

Appreciating cultures is a beautiful thing, and there are ways for you to do this without taking from them. Learn about the cultures you’re taking from, understand their history and use your voice to support their fight.

Ignorance is no longer an excuse.
Raise your vibration.

Love and Peace
– Jasmine Reinah

 

THE SUNKEN PLACE: When Art Imitates Life.

We are all pretty much familiar with the phrase ‘The Sunken Place’. In case you’re not, the concept got brought to light from the horror movie ‘Get Out’. The film is about a black man, who whilst dating a white woman, is invited to go and spend the weekend with her parents. Upon arrival he soon realises that everything is not as it seems! During his stay he is hypnotised by his girlfriends mother and is then psychologically taken to ‘The Sunken Place,’ a place whereby he can see events happening but has no control over those said events. He is a ‘witness to his own life.’ 

This movie was the best movie I’ve seen in a while, for its originality and thought provoking content, specifically in regards to race.

In America, seemingly every other day there is a story about a Caucasian police officer killing yet another black citizen. Nowadays, everyone has a camera phone so we are able to see some of these horrific murders take place and some have even been live streamed on Facebook. I think it’s interesting to note, that Facebook seemingly doesn’t have an issue with these feeds being posted for the public to view, but god forbid you try to upload a copy written song onto your account it would be taken down almost immediately.

I say that to say, as an intelligent black man I would have to surmise that the reason these videos of American citizens being murdered by police officers are allowed to air on social media, is to dehumanise African Americans and to desensitise the general public to their plight.

Have you noticed that whenever a highly melanated person has been murdered by the police, or even in general, the media has a tendency to demonise the victim? They do this by either speaking about a criminal past or even visually by finding a picture of the victim with let’s say, in a hoody, or maybe a blunt in their hand, so that psychologically the public will lose empathy for this individual as maybe they were in a gang or involved in criminal activity and somehow deserved to be murdered in cold blood.

It seems as if the role of the police officer is the same as the role of the overseer on the plantation fields who would keep the negroe slaves in check through the use of extreme violence, torture or if deemed necessary, death. One of the most preferred means would be to have a public lynching which would be advertised in advance so people could come, watch and be entertained by such a heinous act. Man, Woman and even child entertained by such inhumanity. 

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Are police officers the new overseers? Are these murderous cops the descendants of their white supremacist, serial killing ancestors? Is social media being used as a tool, so that we, the public can watch a public lynching take place from the comforts of our own home? The fact that the majority of these officers who killed their own citizens got let off the hook, whilst their president at the time was a black man, says a lot.

Then, the movie ‘Get Out’ came out at a time where race in America is a hot topic, specifically the dynamic between black and white. Race in America has always been a hot topic. From inception, the arrival of the Europeans into the Americas, the killing of native Americans, the disregard for treaty’s signed, promises made. The enslavement of Africans, shipped to America to perform free labour for over 400 years. Racism, white supremacy.

It is a part of the fabric of America. 

I think a lot of Americans were fooled into believing that things had changed for the better in terms of equality especially as a Black man held the most powerful seat in the entire world. But thanks to technology we were shown that ‘the more things change, the more things seem to stay the same’

Dashikis are being worn, your favourite rapper now has an iced out ankh chain around their neck. People are using terms like ‘woke’ ‘conscious’ ‘sheeple’ ‘sleep’ to describe the psychological state of themselves/others. Then, through this movie we are given the phrase ‘The Sunken Place’ 

The Five Percent Nation founded by Clarence 13X, a student of Malcolm X under the Nation of Islam who Jay Z himself has on occasion been affiliated with believe that 10 FullSizeRender (18)percent of the people of the world know the truth of existence, and those elites opt to keep 85 percent of the masses in ignorance and under their control. The remaining 5 percent are those who know the truth and are determined to enlighten the rest, they are the Five Percenters. The terms the ‘Elite’ the ‘1 percent’ ‘the illuminati’ have been around for years describing a small select group of people who control events in the world whilst the masses have no knowledge OR no power to do anything about it. 

We rally, we march, we organise but still nothing changes. It’s as if we are on the whole, collectively in a sunken place whereby we can view events taking place but have no control over those said events. It’s as if we are the true ‘witnesses to our own lives.’

I suggest that we stop being witnesses to our own lives and take control over our own circumstances for how can we change the world if we can’t change ourselves? The game is chess not checkers, so understand the players, their moves, understand their strategy and have a plan and a purpose for your life, for ‘who jah bless, no man curse..’

Hope is not a strategy and prayer without action is futile.

 

– JayCee

“YOU NEED TO CUT IT” – CUTTING THE CORD ON TOXIC RELATIONSHIPS.

You need to cutttttttt it *O.T Genasis voice* 

You really do. 

The last 12 months have been such a profound period of change, realisation and ascension for both of us. The biggest lesson we’ve learnt is the importance of cutting the cord of attachment with things that no longer serve you, be it with family, friends or toxic relationships. When it comes down to it, everything is energy and it is so necessary to let go of these negative energies that do not serve your higher self.

How many times have you been left feeling drained or exhausted after having interactions with certain people (or as we like to call them ‘energy vampires’) around you? Ask yourself why that is?

It all comes down to the spiritual cords of attachment that still connect you to that person, often we go about our lives without even realising that these exist but are subconsciously contributing negative patterns to this cord and constantly being drained by them.

So what is a cord of attachment I hear you ask? 

In the simplest of terms, when we enter into a relationship with someone, be it romantically (especially ones that have sexual interaction), professionally or personally (both family and friends), an energetic cord is activated. This cord or energy stream circulates all of the negative patterns of that relationship: emotions, thoughts and behaviour. Whilst they drain you, they also send these negative patterns back and forth between you and that individual – often trapping you in traumas and leaving you feeling haunted by them. By cutting the cord on these relationships, you free yourself from all attachment or feelings of being trapped in the past and allow yourself room for new beginnings. 

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Toxic: adjective. poisonous, venomous, virulent, dangerous.

At times, often through low self-esteem or the need of wanting to be loved – (gained from a mentally or physically abusive past relationship or a childhood where ones parents lacked the capability of showing the love and attention needed) we can find ourselves grasping tightly onto the first person that comes along and shows us any inclination towards “love”.

Specifically, when you are unaware of the toxicity of past romantic relationships and how they have in fact damaged your psyche, it is extremely easy to fall into the arms of an individual (who through a healthy perspective), you would be able to see is no good for you. So, without the capability or understanding of the necessity to cut cords from your past, it is an almost certainty that negative behaviours will continue to circulate your life in a cyclical motion, bringing with it a fleeting joy and lasting pain. 

FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real.

In order to live your life to your hearts truest desires, you must confront this false evidence, for this fear is not who we are, this fear must not be allowed to define us. We must look at the man/woman in the mirror and reflect on the image with honesty, for to live a lie is to not live at all. Confront the pain from the past, and be real about the relationships you currently have. 

Are these relationships serving you? Are you constantly giving and not receiving in kind? Are you constantly listening and feeling like you’re never being heard?

Cutting the cords of toxic relationships is not an easy process by any means (trust us, we know), but a necessary one.

We’ve learnt that through spiritual practice, we can heal ourselves from the pains and traumas of the past and create space for new, healthier relationships to enter our lives.


Love and respect yourself enough to free yourself from your cords – whatever they may be.

– Jasmine Reinah and JayCee

 

NIGGER.

Nigger, yep that’s right, I said it, NIGGA!

Wow what an emotive word right – NIGGER.

So many different connotations…

Images of white slave owners cracking their whips on the backs of their nigger slaves to maintain order on the plantation.

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House niggers. Field niggers.

The field niggers – where the rebellious slaves, such as Nat Turner, would up-rise or at the very least pray for the death of their slave’masters’.
The house nigger, being so content with not having to be subjugated to the same amount of suffering as his or her “brothers and sisters” would PRAY for the recovery of their slavemaster if ever they got sick.

 
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Samuel L Jackson’s depiction of such a house nigger in Django is masterful to say the least! REAL niggers identify with field niggers with great pride. As really and truly, to a certain degree, we are still on a plantation right now. It’s a matter of whether you’re going to fight and rebel against the oppression of the melanated nations, or will you find comfort at being in the house watching the suffering of your people from a distance?

 

As an example let’s look at Colin Kaepernick. The NFL is almost like a plantation. You have these young black strapping studs paraded in front of potential buyers to be bought at a price. They are then placed on a field to work whilst never being allowed into the house, having ownership of a team. Colin Kaepernick, being of dual heritage and witnessing the harm that has been done to his community by a white supremacist system decided to take a stand by taking a knee and speaking out; bringing awareness and donating money to a just cause. A fair and equal society for everybody. Though, rather than being rewarded for his generosity, compassion and for utilising his freedom of speech for the good of others, he has instead been left on the sidelines with no team willing to sign him. He has been vilified by not only white people but by house niggers keen to keep their seats in the white houses of whatever media company they work for. The likes of Jason Whitlock or Stephen A Smith can regularly be heard bashing the brother. A clear message then from those who run the NFL that niggers are to work the field or risk being made an example of like Colin Kaepernick.
So it seems the more things change the more they stay the same. 

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Fast forward into modern times, EVERYBODY calls themselves a NIGGA! But seemingly, there is a difference between being called a NIGGA and a NIGGER. NIGGA, a term of endearment. ‘I got love for my nigga’, ‘yo that’s my nigga’ etc whilst being called a NIGGER is just damn right racism. So it would seem that we have taken ownership of the word.

Nigga: cool.
Nigger: we got a problem!

There are even scholars who will tell you that the word nigger derives from the word Negus which means King. I remember the first time a white man called me a nigger to my face. I was working security at a club in the dead of winter, it was freezing. As I stood outside trying to keep as warm as possible somebody ran up from behind me tapped me on my back and said “whadup my nigga!”. When I turned round there was a young white man standing there smiling!

Our conversation went a little something like…

Me: ‘wtf did you just say me!’  (preparing to knock his head off)
Him: (again) ‘I said what’s up my nigga!’
Me: ‘Who the f*** you think you’re calling a nigga?’ (ready to inflict pain)
Him: ‘nah I didn’t mean no disrespect. Sorry bruv, I’ve got black friends and we call each other nigga!’ (nervously – seeing I was beyond vex)

Prior to this, the only times I’d been called a nigger by a white person was when I was young. They’d drive past (always really quickly) with their windows rolled down and shout out “niggggeeerrrrr!!” It’s almost funny now. Almost. But that’s the place I was transported to when this man had said that to me. Straight racism to my face. He must be crazy. But upon realising the times we are in and after hearing his ‘explanation’ I decided to relax my hand that had unknowingly formed a fist and explain to the ute that under no circumstances should you approach a black man that you have never met in your life and call him a NIGGA! He apologised and went on his way.

So niggas come in all forms, shapes, sizes and colours. What is the difference then between a black man and a nigga and why has nigga culture taken over black culture in these modern day times. I’d have to agree with Dr Wesley Muhammad, that niggas are a design of white supremacy. The conscious, intellectual black man has been torn apart and ripped to shreds and replaced with the lean sipping, diamond encrusted wearing, gun slinging nigga. The type that don’t give a f*** about nothing apart from money and bitches. Long gone are the wholesome images of black men as fathers, doctors or professionals. Everything now seems to be centred around The Trap. This is social engineering at its finest. Our role models, specifically in hip hop culture, are glamorising a culture of death. If you did the things your favourite rapper raps about, you’d be either on drugs, selling drugs, in jail or dead.

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The nightmare is being sold as a dream, the definition of perversion.  

Everything is MIND. Thoughts become things, your vision becomes your reality. The idea that I am suggesting is that we need to come away from affiliating ourselves with the word and antics of a nigga. There is nothing real about selling drugs, doing crime, inflicting harm on your people and community. This is not a judgement. Some people are placed in situations whereby their choices are stark. Their opportunities are few, if none, so they are forced by a system designed as such, to partake in criminal activities to survive. That’s real. For me, what’s not real is the GLAMORISING of criminal behaviour to the youth. Implanting in their minds that the gangster, nigga life is the real life. It’s not the real life. You are being led into a trap which only benefits white supremacy. All too often I hear ‘free up’ or ‘RIP’ this that and the third. It’s almost a trend to wear shirts with these logos emblazoned on them, nigga life…

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We are the offspring of Kings and Queens. The inventors of science, mathematics, agriculture, medicine, astrology, master builders and the list goes on. I think it’s time we wake from our slumber and re-member who we truly are Negus.

– JayCee

THE FEMALE “DECEPTICON”

“Take her swimming on the first date”

The amount of times I’ve seen this meme and heard people say this line – I mean, you just have to laugh.

The world of contour and highlight means we have a new breed of female decepticons right?

It’s a no from me.

Do I think that expressing yourself through make up and wanting to feel like you’re looking your best for that big night out or getting excited when you get your liner ON POINT is wrong? Definitely not.

Best believe, when I’m heading out if you can’t see my highlight from outer space then I’m gonna dip my brush straight back in my Mary-loumanizer until it’s poppin! I like glitter. I love that glow. And I’m not sorry. 

Although, it definitely starts to become a problem when women and young girls feel that they cannot leave their house and be out in public without makeup.

It really bothers me…

We have collectively helped to create a world whereby we’ve set such unrealistic standards of what ‘beauty’ and ‘perfection’ is, that we have lost sight of the fact that beauty is not measurable. We’ve helped to feed and perpetuate insecurities of not being ‘pretty’ or ‘sexy’ if you’re seen in public without your ‘brows on fleek’ and your ‘liner sharp af’. We have to take responsibility for these ideals that we have all collectively created (even if it is unknowingly) and actively work to deconstruct this ideology.

It is so important to be comfortable in your own skin, to be proud of yourself and to love yourself unconditionally. To let your skin breathe. To be empowered – to not let society dictate the way you feel beautiful.

Don’t get me wrong – there was a time (picture an eighteen year old Jasmine) when I categorically would not leave the house with my face completely bare. I wouldn’t have even dreamt of going to work without makeup on. But there came a time when I had to sit down and ask myself why? Why do I feel the need to wear it everyday? Am I any less intelligent, funny (trust me, I’m hilarious) or beautiful without it? The answer is no.

When I actually realised this simple truth, a truth which I’d ignored for years – I felt so incredibly powerful. Powerful, because the beauty industry, society and people no longer had any hold on the way I saw myself, the way I felt beautiful and the way I loved myself. Ultimately, if I feel sexy and beautiful – then that is what I am. I felt so empowered that I could have literally burst, I was free. I was no longer stuck in the trap of these ideals that are continuously shoved down our throats. Ideals that tell us that as long as our eyeshadow is perfectly blended and our lips perfectly lined, we’re good. Ideals that place superficial beauty over intellect. It’s time that we take control of the way our beauty and sexuality is defined because, ladies, we got so much more to offer than just a perfectly beat face! 

Years after I’ve left the 18 year old insecure Jasmine behind – 90% of the time my skin is bare. Like I’ve said before, every once in a while, I love getting dressed up and doing my makeup as much as the next woman. But the difference now is, that I don’t allow it to define who I am as a person or the way that I view myself. I’ve left behind the white standards of beauty that were sold to me as a little girl, the ones that told me that my dark curly hair was unruly and my skin wasn’t light enough (yes, I wore foundation 3 shades lighter – who was I trying to kid!) I bleached my hair and religiously straightened it every single day throughout the whole of university. The damage it did was no joke – only now, is it healthy, long and luscious! It wasn’t easy to get to where I am, I was blessed enough to have strong females around me (shoutout my momma, Sindy) who continuously reaffirmed my sense of self and my identity and allowed me to see that my power lies in my relationship with self. I consciously made it my mission to fall in love with myself – flaws and all.

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Now, I’m not perfect by any means. At times, I still have insecurities, I still struggle to be vulnerable and I am a continuous work in progress. But, I love myself regardless of anyone else’s opinion of me, my character is strong enough for me to know that I’m a pretty dope person – and to me, that’s all that matters. I’ve learnt to laugh at myself, live in the moment and not take life too seriously…

I know that a lot of women may read this, and tell me that I’m disempowering women by exemplifying the way in which we are constantly under scrutiny – too much makeup, too little makeup. But, I have a lot of young girls around me that look up to me, who I love and care for unconditionally – and I need them to know that loving yourself for who you are is first and foremost the most important thing.

 

Strive to be better than the person you were yesterday.

Jasmine Reinah xo

My Top 10 Nutritional Tips for Male Sexual Prowess!

Living in the city of London, or any city at that, can be at times DRAINING! The concrete jungle, the rat race, the need for capitol. Competition is RIFE! Through advertising, you’re constantly being subtly informed that if you don’t have the latest and greatest, whether that’s the new Mercedes or the latest iPhone – you basically need to take that L!

As the media portrays it, the handsome, successful guy gets ALL the girls! This can put a lot of pressure on a man. Not only do you need to be financially well off, with a strong jaw line and high cheek bones, you also need the body of Adonis! Magazine covers galore adorned with the images of men with good pecs, strong arms and a six pack! The majority of men I know have an internal desire to be the archetypal Alpha Male, and this translates into the bedroom. The amount of men I have heard talking about their sexual dominance, “that time when..” or”that 3 hour session and them 10 rounds..!” Do I believe all of their stories, no, some, maybe! For all the stories I have heard men tell about their sexual prowess, I can count on one hand whereby a man has spoken about his lack of ability in the bedroom. Issues ranging from, general fatigue, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, having a low libido etc. I mean these are things men just don’t talk about right?

Well today I list my Top 10 Nutritional Tips on what it is we as men can consume in order to maintain our already strong performance in the bedroom or to help us improve. These are foods/supplements I consume on a daily basis, so they are tried and tested and TRUSS MI DADDY, they WORK! Now these tips aren’t miracle workers. If you’re drinking heavily, smoking too much, eating rubbish and lacking in exercise, then these are things that you will need to improve on alongside my dietary suggestions. Exercising is hugely important as it increases oxygen and blood flow around the body and you definitely need blood to flow in the right places, major key…

So, My Top 10 Nutritional Tips for Male Sexual Prowess – in no particular order:

1: MACA
Maca is a Peruvian plant consumed by the ancient Incans for energy. Maca increases sexual appetite, stamina, endurance and fertility.

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2: HORNY GOAT WEED
Horny goat weed is used in traditional Chinese medicine. It appears to have a testosterone building effect and it stimulates sexual activity in men, increases sperm production, sexual desire, libido and sexual nerves.

3: SPINACH
Spinach is rich in magnesium a mineral that decreases inflammation in blood vessels and folate which are both proven to increase blood flow around your body and to your nether regions.

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4: DR SEBI’s SEAMOSS AND BLADDERWRACK
The human body is made up of 108 ideal minerals. This product contains 95 of those. Given this products high content, it will aid in improving overall health and preventing disease in the body.

5: GINGER
Ginger is another food that improves blood flow to the body and improves artery health. The spice has been shown to boost levels of testosterone and sperm viability.

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6: ZINC SUPPLEMENT
Zinc is a key mineral that cells use to metabolise nutrients. Among other functions, zinc enables the male body to produce testosterone. Erectile dysfunction may be a symptom of a deficiency in zinc.

7: COFFEE
Scientists have said that caffeine in coffee triggers a series of reactions in the body that ultimately increase  blood flow down south.

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8: HOT SAUCE
Studies suggest that the fiery compound found in your hot sauce, capsaicin, increases testosterone in men.

9: GREEN TEA
The brew is rich in compounds called catechins which boost desire by promoting blood flow to your nether regions. They kill off free radicals that damage and inflame blood vessels increasing their ability to transport blood.

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10: GOJI BERRIES
Energy boosting goji berries have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine to help increase energy and enhance the release of hormones. On top of promoting energy it too is beneficial for increasing blood flow and helps to oxygenate all of the cells and tissues of the body. That’s why they call goji “Viagra of China.”

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So there you have it, my top 10 Nutritional tips for male sexual prowess. You can buy these products at most of your local health food stores. I definitely recommend you check out my favourite store, The Ankh Shop in Shepherds Bush West London, if you happen to be in the area!

Knowledge speaks but wisdom listens… Jimi Hendrix

JayCee