The Mistake

This poem was inspired by Maya Angelou’s “We Wear the Mask,” and Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “Mask.”


Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

We define grief as tears, not smiles
heartbreaking groans, and complaints
an emotion-gripped body that bends and aches
a display of physical pain is how we mistake
what it means to grieve.

We lookout for people who are visibly sad

a distraught tone of voice, a mind gone mad

a person who neglects to eat, but drinks

or maybe have a hard time falling asleep.

The physical signs of a distressed soul are what we see for ourself

and to this, we say, “careful now, of your mental health.”

 

But what of the people who are not so physically troubled?

 

They wake up each morning

their heads held high.

They could wallow in self-pity but prefer to fly.

They spread their cheeks, so we see their teeth,

and somehow, deep underneath the grief, they smile.

Their shoulders do not droop or bow or lean,

and from their eyes, no tears be seen.

We run to them for advice, and in their ears, we spill our guts

“They are pillars of strength, no matter what,”

we say

and this is the mistake.

 

Right there in those smiling faces, see the invisible rock.

The chains of depression’s coffles

it’s whips and lash and knock

its uninvited entry when our smiling support goes home

and lay their pillars on their pillows 

before crying themselves to sleep.

 

In a world as destructive as this one, 

they need not make it known 

that even the happiest person 

still cries and loathes and moans.

Even the most joyous of us, with praise smeared on our lips

have some load to carry, 

we wish to be helped with.

But if physical anguish is the only measurement

by which we weigh grief

then these people don’t have a chance

of attaining such release.

 

And yet, where would we be without these rays of light

who helps us, if for a moment, to believe all is right?

Where would we be without people with such faith?

Those who pull us from the grave, 

even as they stand on the edge of death and wait?

Too solid to bend and too proud to break.

They go on permitting us to believe 

pain is but a physical thing.

 

This is the mistake.

Coconut Oil Based Toothpaste

 

Note: I am not a healthcare professional and this should not be substituted for professional advice. I am simply sharing my experience as usual. Please consult a professional if you feel you need to before trying anything new.

***

Oral health has a lot to do with your overall health. In fact, bad teeth and gums can lead to heart disease when the bacteria from gum inflammation, lead to gingivitis and, if left untreated, this Bacteria enters the bloodstream and travel to the heart’s arteries, causing them to harden. Plaque starts to grow on the arteries’ inner walls, which can restrict blood flow throughout the body.

I wish someone would have taught me this a long time ago because my teeth need lots of work. There is one thing I am proud of about them though. Despite everything that’s wrong with them, there’s a silver lining in that I am thirty years old and have never had a cavity.

I don’t like to use traditional toothpaste much. It’s too sweet and makes me feel like I am brushing my teeth with candy. It’s to the point now that I don’t even think it makes your breath smell good at least. So, sometimes I substitute with Coconut Oil Based Toothpaste I make myself with common items I can always find around the house.

Ingredients

  • Coconut Oil
  • Baking Soda
  • Peroxide
  • Mint or essential oil of choice
  • Stevia Powder

How it Works:

1/2 cup Coconut Oil

2-3 Tablespoon Baking Soda

2 small packets Stevie powder

One capful peroxide (opt)

10-15 drops essential oil

Melt coconut oil (or slightly soften…I recommend slightly softening. Completely melted doesn’t work well for me).

Mix in the other ingredients per their measurements and stir well.

Let cool completely.

As the coconut oil hits your teeth and gums, microbes are picked up as if being drawn to a powerful magnet. The bacteria hiding under the crevices in the gums and pores within the teeth are sucked out and held firmly in the solution. Brushing with Baking Soda removes stains aroused by tea, coffee, sodas, and smoking. Mixing Baking Soda with water releases free radicals from the mixture. These free radicals break down stain molecules on the enamel that can be scraped off with a toothbrush.

“Hydrogen peroxide is used safely and effectively in dentistry today. While its most common application involves tooth whitening, significant health benefits are documented using hydrogen peroxide to treat gingivitis and periodontitis.” (Jeanne Bosecker, BSN, RDH) However, using peroxide is optional (Learn More Here). You can successfully mimic this mixture without it. If you choose to use peroxide (as I do, it mixes so well with the baking soda), be sure to get the 3% Hydrogen Peroxide to be sure its safe for oral use.

The Stevia Powder and essential oils provide a fresh taste and good smell (though I tend to leave the Stevia Power out.) Baking Soda and Peroxide may be good cleaners but the combination doesn’t have a fresh minty smell. Baking Soda is also nasty so the oils help with that taste. I have also found it useful to use mouthwash afterward.

Storage

You can put it in any container in a cool dry place or even put it in a Ziploc bag. You can really get creative with the Ziploc by cutting it at the corner and taking an old toothpaste tube, cut the top part off and then insert and adjust the Ziploc bag.

While I do still use toothpaste because of the abrasiveness of the baking soda on the enamel, I like to use my coconut mixture more and have found it does a better job than traditional toothpaste. It’s not real sweet and makes my mouth feel fresh.


Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet of nine published works including her soon-to-be released short inspirational guide “Keep Yourself Full.” Learn more by exploring Yecheilyah’s writing on this blog and her website at yecheilyahysrayl.com. Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) is her latest novel and is available now on Amazon.com.

Herbs and Vitamins for Healthy Teeth

Important health information from Henrietta. My sister-in-law and me were just talking about how most people ignore the fact that unhealthy teeth is directly related to heart conditions.

All About Writing and more

Our modern diet has caused many of us to become deficient in certain minerals and our teeth can become adversely affected. Cavities in children and people of all ages are being linked to nutritional deficiencies. Most of us take for granted that we are getting enough of the needed minerals in our diet. That assumes that everyone knows the importance of minerals for our health and wellbeing.
Much of our farmed soil has become depleted and the majority of people cannot afford a completely organic diet. Combined with dietary choices based on taste rather than health, it is easy to see how these nutritional deficiencies can occur.
Phytic Acid Locks Up Essential Minerals
Phytic acid is a substance commonly found in most grains, nuts and beans. It has the ability to bind to minerals in your body, just like a magnet. This process removes the minerals before they get a…

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Writer’s Quote Wednesday Challenge – Comedy

Now yall know I love to laugh right? I’m sitting here wondering why I keep thinking about one more thing I needed to post today and then it hit me. Duh! It’s Writer’s Quote Wednesday!

So…welcome back to Writer’s Quote Wednesday hosted by Colleen of Silver Threading and Ronovan from Ronovan Writes. Today’s theme is Comedy.

There were so many quotes to choose from, including the one about how behind every just kidding is the truth. But, I’m sure we’ve all heard that one before. The quote that really stuck out to me above the others is this one:

So let me get this straight, if I laugh a lot, then my wrinkles will be on my cheeks? LOL

Comedy is a very powerful thing because it has the ability to heal as well as conceal. Laughter can uplift but it can also deceive and that’s the complex thing about comedy. Comedians tell the truth all the time, but because its a joke its not something many people take very seriously. This makes a comedian probably more powerful than a lot of professionals as they have lots of creative room which gives them space for the social messages many of them incorporate into their jokes. However, in the end a good laugh does wonders for the soul. According to an article in Laughter is the Best Medicine, “A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.” That’s amazing.

“Your sense of humor is one of the most powerful tools you have to make certain that your daily mood and emotional state support good health.”

~ Paul E. McGhee, Ph.D.

Remember to Breathe

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I’m excited to say that I started my workout again! Its been soo long and you know once you stop its extremely hard to start back up again. I’m hoping to possess enough endurance to make it a permanent part of my routine, if not everyday at least a few days a week. I really do not want to stop again, picking it back up is the worst! So anyway, about breathing.

OK so you know how when you’re exercising you get tired really fast? One thing I’ve noticed that helps me, and maybe it will help you too, is to always remember to breathe. It sounds simple but you’ll be amazed how we forget this when caught up in the moment. You see, when I get overwhelmed with a routine its mostly because I need to catch my breath. I know some of you may be thinking, “But I do breathe!” No, not like that. When I say breathe I mean breath out. Exhale and get a rhythm going. Instead of breathing regularly and trying to catch your breath, breathe to the beat. When I exhale at the end of the beat, letting all of the air out of my abs, I find myself being able to endure much longer than when I breathe normally. And by normal I mean without control. Controlling my breathing was the difference between doing twenty minutes yesterday and thirty minutes today.

Natural Energy Drink Mix

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I’m getting ready for a meeting and another rehearsal (last night’s practice was canceled) and as I was preparing my drink I thought, “Why not share it?”

If you ever get tired of coffee, you can substitute your caffeine for a more healthy alternative. You’ll need:

  • Orange Juice
  • Apple Juice
  • Cranberry Juice

Mix 1/3 of each of these juices in a cup, stir, and serve! It is tasty, refreshing, and can give you an energy boost.

Orange Juice

Orange Juice has a wide range of benefits, as does these other drinks.

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  • Boost Immune System Function
  • Protect Against Cancer
  • Boost Cellar Repair and Circulation
  • High Concentration of Vitamin C

Apple Juice

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  • Promotes Heart Health
  • Contains Flavonoids that aids in preventing Asthma
  • Boost Immune System
  • Reduces Cholesterol

Cranberry Juice

IMG_20160111_173306

  • Urinary Tract Infection Relief
  • Aids in Heart Disease and Respiratory Disorders
  • Beneficial in preventing stomach disorders and diabetes
  • as well as Gum Disease caused by plaque

Why Natural Hair is Dehydrated

natural-hair-bad-hair-day

Today’s post is going to be shorter than the post two weeks ago concerning why perms are afraid of water because a) I’m not a beautician and b) it’s really that simple.

Natural hair is actually not as dry as it sometimes looks, but the reason it is typically drier than other styles is all in the hair strand.

There are, for the most part, three kinds of hair strands. There may in fact be more, but let us stick to the basics:

 
Straight – Rounded Shaft
Wavy – Oval shaft, grows in a slanted direction
Curly, Nappy – Flat or oval shaft that grows more on one side than the other creating a curve. It slants backwards folding over in a tight or loose spiral (don’t be afraid to refer to your hair as Nappy, it just means curly and is not a bad word).

 

hair strandThe human body is quite a creation. Everything about it was created to heal and renew. From the digestive system, that is purposed to clean and purify the body of its toxins and waste etc., to sleep, that is purposed to rejuvenate the body, we’re indeed magnificently made. The body actually already has everything it needs within itself to sustain itself, including hair. hair-straight-silky-and-shiny

Sebum is the naturally oily substance found in hair. It is secreted by the sebaceous glands that lubricates the hair and skin and gives some protection against bacteria. The reason straight hair appears more shiny is because it’s easier for the sebum to travel down the hair shaft. On the other hand, hair in its natural state is curlier, with bends and curves and slants that make it more difficult for the sebum to make it all the way down the hair shaft. Especially in the case of  loc’s when the hair is in a knotted like state. As a result, I tend to apply oil to the ends of my locs more so than the root, which is naturally oilier because of the sebum. Use of shampoos and conditioners that dry out the hair can also contribute to dry hair:

Natural Hair is dehydrated because the Sebum has a hard time getting past all that curl, sometimes never actually making it all the way down the hair shaft. Making natural hair often appear drier than it really is.

e56b532828496455a3982a7628774c10For dry hair, apply a mixture of Shea butter, Olive oil, Coconut Oil, or any oil of your choice, to the hair and scalp. Africa’s Best Herbal Oil is actually very good and inexpensive. You can use it by itself or add it to Shea butter. If your hair accumulates a lot of dandruff or dry flakes, add Tea Tree Oil to your Herbal Oil for a natural medicated remedy.

Fun Tip: I have had the fortunate experiences of not getting lots of lint in my locs. This is because I keep my hair oiled. There are lots of remedies to defeat the lint, but the easiest thing to do if your just starting your locs, or natural style in general, is to keep it moisturized and oiled.