On The Brink of Greatness

  
Every time I’m beside you, everything is so chill. Just being beside you, shit kind of feels totally real

Sitting beside you, holding your hands in mine

Tracing both simultaneously, trying to connect our lines

Sitting beside you, looking at your side view

Admiring the strength in your face, you’re so cool

I’m genuinely interested in everything about you

Sitting beside you, I’m studying you like I’m supposed to

The curve in your ear, the bend of your neck

The presence of your Adams Apple, the light hair on your chest

I’m observed all that while you sat looking ahead

Sitting beside you with one hand rubbing your leg

I feel you loosen up, your tense exterior slowly dispelled

We’re taking it one day at a time, we’ll be GREAT, I can already tell

Sitting beside you, I’m wondering how many more days

Will I sit beside you and love you in so many more ways. 

Stand behind me and I’ll protect you from the front

Walk beside me and let the world know that this is what you want.

By CoKane

The Evolution of a Songtress: Stacye Branche’

 Evolution in life is usually thought of as a gradual process in which something changes in its final form. This describes Songtress and author Stacye Branche’s third disc, The Evolution of Living in Truth.

Branche started her musical career as a young child singing in school. Branche later received a recording contract right out of high school.

“I had a friend who worked at a record label and brought them (producers) to hear me,” Brance says.

She later wrote songs that received submissions to the soundtracks of such films The Brothers, Biker Boys, Blue Moon and several others as well.

Capitalizing on her silky soprano, three octaves range, this Los Angeles native channels her Alternative Soul for her music that is a blend of rhthym and blues, pop and Jazz. Life experiences have helped shaped the voice behind her 2001 album, I Believe, and the 2004 follow-up For The Man I Love. 

Branche who is a popular blogger became inspired to write books after a few hopeful requests from her fans. She has penned three books entitled, It’s All In How You Look At It(thoughts and questions about life. )

 Relationships: and the things we don’t talk about and Its All In How You Look at it(thoughts and questions about love and relationships). Which are stories to help us have better relationships with others.

We must first learn to love ourselves if we hope to have relationships with others. ” 

Branche offers some needful advice to those looking to get into the music industry.

There is no one way to get in the industry, Branche says. “You just have to create your best work, whether it’s through music or writing books. Do your best work and in time you’ll be guided to the right people or someone will notice you.”

With a vocal style borne throughh study of the emotional nuances of Minnie Ripperton, Dinah Washington and Ella Fitzgerald, Branche has combined that knowledge with the influence and inflections of her work with Stevie Wonder, Herb Alpert and The Emotions to bring her distinctive style full circle.

In essence, she has found her “truth”.

“This album embodies the time I’ve spent growing as a person, as a writer and now producer,” Branche says.

“The tracks are a kaledioscope offering my fans a true sense of myself, my evolution.”

The Evolution to Living in Truth,” the third disc from Stacye Branché is available for purchase at http://www.stacyebranche.com and for download at iTunes <http://www.apple.com/itunes&gt; . 


7 Simple Practices To Improve Your Relationship Happiness

  
7 Simple Practices To Improve Your Relationship Happiness

By: YUV Guest Writer Annie Lizstan 

Maintaining a happy relationship can be frustrating at times and disappointments are not inevitable in such a connection. Most couples find it disconcerting and heartbreaking if they can’t find contentment in their most loving relationships. Why would someone who truly loves you try to hurt you? 

Personal and intimate relationships are hard to navigate unlike professional connections due to expectations and agreements, according to Steve Chandler, a relationship author, and motivational coach. Luckily, there are some simple practices that can improve your relationship. They include: 

1. Know Your Expectations

The chances are that most couples who don’t find happiness in their relationships is not aware of their expectations. They may only realize that they feel somehow resentful toward their loving partners. If this is happening in your relationship, try to explore deeper, and you may learn that your partner has gone against some of your expectations. For instance, you may plan to have a dinner out on a weekend but you’re your partner fails because s/he gets occupied with other things.

2. Spend Time Together

The majority of couples who seek professional counseling hardly recount the last time they spent quality time together. You may be preoccupied with job assignments or your kids such that you don’t have alone time for your partner. And by the time you retire to bed, you are too exhausted to have an engaging chat. 

It’s very hard to feel happily connected if you don’t spend time together. It’s among the top practices that can keep your relationship healthy. Set dates when you shall be spending time together and ensure that they are honored.

  
3. Hug Twice Every Day

This doesn’t mean hugging hurriedly, but rather embracing each other for at least 20 seconds to allow the “curdle hormone” or oxytocin to kick in. This hormone triggers a pleasant feeling which is very essential in a happy relationship. Hugging is also a powerful gesture just like medicine. 

A hug for 20 seconds in the morning and before bedtime. Stick to this ritual on a daily because your partner may feel uncared for if you skip it for a few days.

4. Listen Without Interrupting

One of the best way to say “I love you” is through listening to your partner when they s/he speaks about their feelings, thoughts, and stresses among much more. About glozine lifestyle news, most people struggle with the skill of authentic listening. It entails shutting off all electronic gadgets; make eye contact and nod you’re your head in an appreciative way. This shows that you are not only caring, but also present during a conversation with your partner. 

High-fives and supportive grunts are also recommendable in showing your partner that you are sincerely paying attention.

5. Keep Each Other Updated

You can’t tell when to commiserate or celebrate with your partner unless you are kept updated on what’s going on in their life. By expressing what is happening in each other’s life, it will inform your partner when you need their support in stressful situations as a result of job or health issues. They will also know when to celebrate with you whenever you make some achievements. How was your night? How was work today? These are some questions that will clearly express that you are carrying your partner in mind as you face the joys and challenges of the day.

6. Learn Your Partner’s Love Language

Every person in a relationship expresses unique loving behaviors and gestures. If you are not aware of your partner’s love language, there is no harm in asking. The chances are that they may have attempted to share them, but you completely missed the point. 

Inquire the things you do that make them feel loved and cared for. It could be your tender touch, making love or just buying them presents.

7. Draft plans

Most of the programs that count in a relationship are not achieved unless they are put on the calendar. These include having sex, meeting friends, visiting relatives and going out for dinner. Ensure that you both set goals every month. This is an assurance that you are on the same journey together with your partner. 

Draft some meaningful relationship goals that appeal to both of you. You must plan and act as a team if you want to Improve happiness in your relationships.

Conclusion

The list of things you can do with your partner to improve happiness in your relationship is endless. You don’t have to surprise them every day, but practicing the above seven can strengthen your bond and make your relationship more enjoyable. Happy relationship!

Author Bio

Annie Lizstan works as a health and beauty consultant for online websites and an independent researcher by profession. She had completed her studies from university of Arizona and live in Wasilla, Alaska. She always like to explore her ideas about health, fitness and beauty . In her recent period ,she got an opportunity to explore on joint pain relief. She has experience researching as a passion as well as profession. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

All About Communication

 

By Jessica Daniel

As a college student majoring in Communication Studies, I am learning a lot about how and why people communicate the way they do. Communication is more than just speaking, but it is actively listening and paying attention to nonverbal cues, being in tune to the other person and how that person sends his or her message. The act of communication is transactional, meaning each person in a conversation exchanges roles in being the sender (speaker) and receiver (listener). It is also about learning how to manage conflict in relationships whether those relationships are family, friends, coworkers, etc. I really enjoy my major and learning the skills of being an effective communicator. I think if more people took communication classes and apply the skills they learn in every aspect of their lives the healthier relationships would be.

I am so glad I chose Communication Studies as my major; it is very broad and filled with a variety of career opportunities to get involved in. The areas available to focus on as a part of the major are interpersonal, small groups, public relations, organizational, intercultural, mass media and more. With Communication Studies, there are so many options to choose from that can accomodate anyone interested in the field.

the evolution of love

The Face of Romance, 2015

By Kate F.

All_you_need_is_love_(The_Beatles_Story) (1)

Sexual liberation has had a very complex background and history. Both men and women are involved in the process of pushing the idea of relationships forward. The hazardous old stereotypes still live, like men seeking more sex in a relationship while women look for emotional commitment as they raise children and put ‘pressure’ on their men to stay committed for as long as that takes. And then along came the second half of the 20th century, where relationships get placed in a bigger picture, and previously taboo topics are swept away with the coming of activists such as the Gay Liberation movement. Relationships are redefined as a “commitment between two people”, regardless of their gender.

Birth control gained momentum as early as 1870 in the US and Europe. Unwanted pregnancies were much more rare. In England, single parent families dropped in quantity. Sexual activity was reserved for ‘after marriage’, and the importance of family life was promoted.

This trend has drastically changed in the early 1960s and the advance of the sexual revolution. Contraception had a series of advancements, and the birth control pill became everything. Single men and women became openly sexually active outside of their traditional relationships – marriages. Abortion was legalized in many countries of the western world.

It didn’t end there. In 1969, the Stonewall Riots “gave birth” to the Gay Rights Movement. Both men and women started ‘coming out’ in the Unites States, inspiring their brothers and sisters across the pond to do so as well. The average consumer was able to purchase products like aphrodisiacs, sex toys, and information on their existence and purpose were available to all. Fetishist and BDSM sexual preferences traditionally characterized as taboos, overnight became recognized and brought into the open. Marriage no longer carried the same relevance or strength as it once did, when divorces became easier to obtain. The feminist movement peaked in a single decade of glory that has not been surpassed even today. As a matter of fact, it was the feminist activists who enabled the LGBT population to express themselves and openly embrace their sexuality.

One of the most important aspects of the sexual revolution was a free flow of information. A myriad of non-fiction sex manuals and publications appeared in bookshops and libraries. However, not all the development was to a good end. Conservative members of society were preparing a ‘counter-revolution’. As usual, they defined all the above mentioned practices as abnormal and dangerous, with more or less success. But thanks to presence and active involvement of LGBT population and progressive youth, the fight for sexual freedom is far from a lost cause.

The element of “morality” is taken out of the equation when these events are discussed today – there is no moral grounds for torture inflicted upon another human being. The world we live in struggles for its freedom, and is creating the paths through which the freedom comes. The Internet has once again brought transparency to a touchy topic – free love and free access. Where a hundred years ago an indiscretion would land you in an asylum, today there is no fear in standing up for your physical and mental health, with sex ed classes (which should, honestly, be given more attention), going so far as shopping for condoms as commodities.

The evolution of relationships and sexual freedoms has shaken the very foundations of society like a wave of relief across a world governed by interpretations of holy manuscripts backed by personal agenda. Naturally, there is personal agenda on both sides, tampering the purpose of the fight, but a globally-felt inclination towards research, analysis and socio-economic progress keeps the field as fair as it can be.

Weaving Through A Cycle of Violence: Know The Signs

 

DV

Every two minutes, a person is being sexually assaulted. Forty four percent of victims are under the age of 18 and 80% are under the age of 30. Sadly, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police. Sometimes these incidents are committed by someone the victims knows, this could be a boyfriend, spouse, or even a family member.

There are several effects of sexual assault and domestic violence that victims typically go through when they’ve been exposed to this kind of environment. Often times, they suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, substance and or drug abuse and an overwhelming feeling of guilt, shame or even embarrassment. Many victims are lead to believe the attacks are “their fault,” which they are not.

There are places where they can seek help, and leave that environment. The WEAVE Foundation is a place that counsels women, children and is also open to men who are victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and human trafficking. The organization started with five Hispanic women in 1975 that were helping women who happened to be in volatile situations escape their environment; thus creating the: Women Escaping A Violent Environment (WEAVE

The WEAVE program offers counseling, support groups, job readiness assistance and case management as well as temporary shelter through its Safe house.

Meagan Laurie community events and relations manager
Meagan Laurie, the Events and Community Relations Manager

“We helped serve 188 women and about 188 children and two men this fiscal year with the Safe house,” said Meagan Laurie, the Events and Community Relations Manager.

Building self-awareness and self-confidence is pivotal to healing from the pain of abuse. The program offers several resources that help women get re-adjusted to society. Along with the counseling they do, the organization offers FREE walk-in triage assessment. As well as job training programs where the clients are able to do resume workshops, shop at the WEAVE Works Thrift shop which offers professional job ready clothing. Clients are able to stay in the Safe house for a total of 90 days given that they go through their program and graduate. Transitional housing is offered to them as well where they can reside for almost two years. A charter school is also provided for school age children and a Play care for ages 4 and up. Those who are needing legal advice can contact a certified lawyer through accessing their legal services, which offers classes on restraining orders, divorce workshops, and child custody information.

“Knowing that people are hurting and leaving this place healed, is a really big thing to me,” said Ariana Vaughn, Assessment Counselor at WEAVE in Midtown.

Ariana Vaughn assesment counselor
Ariana Vaughn, WEAVE assessment counselor

 

“I’ve been helping on the support line and listening to their stories, that’s been very powerful to me,” added Vaughn.

There are various forms of abuse that several people may not even think of as actual abuse, some of which may be, emotional/mental, verbal, physical, financial and spiritual, WEAVE provides an education in prevention of this.

“A lot of young men and women don’t always have a clear understanding of what it truly is. We are letting them know what could happen to you and what you could do to prevent it, not only to yourself but to your friends as well, said Meagan Laurie.

When speaking about the ratio of victims coming to the Safehouse, there was a disproportion of people coming from 95823 many of those in low income areas which is why there are two locations offered in Sacramento.

You can contact WEAVE about its numerous services provided and 24 hours support and information line by calling (916) 920-2952 or visiting www.weaveinc.org

WEAVE Counseling Office Midtown location
WEAVE Counseling Office Midtown Location

 

WEAVE Midtown          WEAVE South         WEAVE Works Thrift Shop

1900 K Street              7600 Hospital Drive, Suite 1     2401 Arden Way

Sac, CA 95811    Sacramento, CA 95823.       (916) 643-4606 (Open 7days a week)

 

 

 

Single and Waiting

WEBPAGE_20140713_204253-1

By Jessica Daniel

It seems like everyone you know is in a relationship. You may have friends who are dating right now or have gotten married to their soul mate, and you can’t help but wonder why you haven’t met your soul mate and why you are still single, especially when people around you ask “Why haven’t you met anyone?” That is a pretty common question that many people who are single get asked. I get asked that question myself sometimes as a young woman, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” and I just smile and say “I’m not ready for one yet.” I would rather be single and wait for the right one to come along than to rush and settle for the wrong one.

Many people believe that in order to be happy and whole one should be in a relationship. Some even settle for whoever comes along regardless of how he or she treats them because they want to be with someone so bad. The truth is, no man or woman can ever make you truly happy and whole or fulfill the deepest desires of your heart. It is up to you to find that true joy and fulfillment within yourself by discovering the one who gives you that joy and fulfillment inside of you, which is Jesus. Being single is a great opportunity for each of us to discover our self-worth and who we are in Christ. It is the most important time of our lives as we learn to love and feel good about ourselves and never settle for less because God has the absolute best in store for each and every one of us. He knows who our spouse will be because He set aside that special someone just for us. God knows and can truly fulfill the desires of our hearts if we learn to trust Him and wait for that man or woman He has in place for us to marry.

Being single and waiting for the right person for you is not a bad thing at all. In order to be ready for any relationship, you first have to feel content and happy with who you are as an individual. For me, being single is a time for me to grow in my relationship with God as He shapes and molds me to be the young woman He is preparing me to be for the man I marry someday. Until then, I am happily single and waiting.

Ladies, We Need to Talk: Women’s Town-Hall Meeting

Young-black-women

Ladies, we have some things to discuss.  Things have gotten completely out of hand in a number of different areas.  Because of this, I have decided to call a town-hall meeting.  Now, I know that some of you are reading this and thinking, “Who is she to get us together?  Did we vote her into office or something?  If so, then I demand a recount!”  I’ll address those concerns now.  No, I was not elected into office, and I certainly don’t speak for all women, which is why this is an open forum; please leave your comments in the comment section below.  I am, however, a concerned member of the community of women, and as such, I felt it my duty to bring these concerns before you.

Concern #1: Unity amongst women. If I hear one more woman make the statement, “I just can’t hang around women because they bring too much drama, so I just stick with the guys,” then I’m gonna scream.

Message: Men do not see you or any other woman as just “one of the guys.”  While it is true that men may be able to carry on platonic relationships with women, the women in these relationships don’t share an equal position with their homeboys.  Men regularly practice the “bros before hoes” mantra.  If you don’t believe me, then see who’s back your homeboy has if his boy is caught cheating.  Even if he’s friends with the girlfriend, your homeboy will be loyal to the guy.  Why…because the fraternity of men is stronger than the sorority of women.  We need to change this.  If they wanna live by the “bros before hoes” creed, then we need to take up the “chicks before…” well, you get the point.

Concern #2: Stop antagonizing our single sisters. This sort of builds on concern #1.  Being single is a choice and not a disease or disorder to be treated, so we need to stop treating our single sisters as if there’s something wrong with them.  After all, everyone was born single.  Some may want marriage; others may not, but it is their choice, not their burden.  Additionally, married (and coupled) sisters should stop treating single sisters as if they are all desperate, immoral pariahs; in other words, stop treating every single woman as if she is checking for your man.

Let’s keep it real, half the time you’re not even checking for him, so what makes you think that someone else is?  Although there are always women who prey on taken men and vice versa, everyone isn’t like that, and it causes a strong division amongst women when single women are isolated and unfairly branded with the scarlet letter.  Let’s get it together, ladies.

Man Eater (1)

Concern #3: Respect other people’s relationships/situations. This is gonna sound like I’m backtracking from my last point, but I believe in addressing both sides of any situation.  While I do hold that single women get a largely unfair share of criticism from married/coupled women who believe that they are trying to steal their men, I also believe that many women aren’t respectful of other women’s relationships.  This goes for single, married, and coupled women–all of us can share in this disrespect.  For example, I often hear women say, “Don’t get mad at me; I’m not in a relationship with you. Get mad at your man.”  This is stupid, and we need to stop.

Yes, the person who’s in the relationship has the greatest responsibility, but that doesn’t absolve the other person.  Truth is, that other person was interfering and disrespecting their relationship.  Period.  We can argue back and forth about this, but the truth is that every woman reading this would see it my way if they were the one being disrespected.  To see it differently is to be selfish and disrespectful.  It doesn’t uplift women, and it encourages cheating.

The truth is that we have been bamboozled and fed lies by some self-serving and selfish man.  This man perpetuated a lie that there was a man shortage and subliminally encouraged us to “share.”  When the truth is that there are six billion people in the world, and slightly less than half of them are men.  There are men everywhere waiting on the woman of their dreams, and we pass by them every day.  The man shortage is a scam designed to benefit men who otherwise wouldn’t be able to be a playa.  It’s ridiculous, and we shouldn’t buy into it because it is harmful to our community of women.

Quite frankly, there are many more concerns that I have, but I only have the platform so long, so I’ll take this moment to pass the mic to the next sister.  Please address these concerns, and also add any additional concerns of your own in the comment section.  Thank you and have a great day.

Much Love,

Jenene

My Hypocritical & Totally Unsolicited Marriage Advice to my Single Friends

For a little less than a week now, I have been a married woman. I met the love of my life and married him in front of all of our family and friends. To be honest, I still haven’t truly come down from all of the events: bridal shower, bachelorette party, wedding, and reception. As a matter of fact, I’m writing this piece on our honeymoon, while my husband sleeps; it’s really been a wild ride. Between all of the pictures, presents, and posts on social media, one could get a little caught up and forget about reality. What do I mean by being caught up? Please allow me to explain. I’ve found that a lot of people turn into relationship experts on being single once they become married. The woman who has only been married for five seconds suddenly has the key to being “single and satisfied” (ugh I hate that phrase), and is full of unsolicited advice for all of her single girlfriends on how to land a great husband. Well, at the risk of being hypocritical, I’m going to attempt the same feat and offer every single person my unsolicited advice on marriage, and here it is. WAIT.

Yep, two days into my honeymoon, fresh off my wedding week, I am giving that type of advice, and here’s why. When people first meet someone, the representatives are in full effect and few people are being their true selves. In short, you’re not meeting the real person; you’re meeting who that person wants to present to the public. This isn’t new information. If you’ve been dating for any period of time, then you’ve figured this out already.

Having a “representative” isn’t necessarily a bad thing. People do it all the time, even outside of the dating scene. For example, if you’re on the phone with your girls (or boys) talking about your plans for your getaway to New Orleans, then the conversation would be very relaxed and informal. If, however, your boss (or a prospective employer) called on the other line and you clicked over to take the call, the conversation, even your tone of voice, would change to a more formal and professional manner. We’ve all seen mothers do this while fussing at one of the kids, only to change to a calm tone while answering a business call. It’s called code switching, and it’s perfectly normal.

The only problem with code switching as it relates to dating is that often, we fall in love with the representative and not the real person. We start buying the cover or the “code” and are completely blindsided once the real person is revealed. We start hollering, “Oh you’ve changed,” when the truth is that they just couldn’t keep up the facade any longer.

And don’t get me wrong; I’m not dogging people and discouraging relationships. (Hello, I just got married!) What I’m saying is that everyone should wait before committing their emotions to a person and a relationship. Why? Because in the words of my daddy, Apostle MJ Carter, “You gotta give crazy a chance to show up.” Everyone. And I repeat EVERYONE has a bit of crazy. Everyone has some things that aren’t all the way straight. Everyone has a bit of game, and everyone (to a certain extent) is selfish.

The thing is that most people aren’t gonna show that up front. They’re gonna give you the lovable representative that’s easy to fall for, so that you end up committing all of your time and energy to the relationship. Then, 3-9 months later, after you’ve put in a serious investment of your time, emotions, money, and so much more, then they’ll hit you with the real. Something will happen that will literally knock the wind out of you (and not in a good way). But because you will have invested so much into this relationship, it’ll be hard to walk away. Additionally, you may even believe that this behavior is just a fluke, just a one time occurrence because, after all, you’ve never seen this type of behavior from this person, so it must just be a fluke. But you’re wrong. It’s not a fluke. It’s the beginning signs of the representative exiting the building. Like my dad said, “You gotta give crazy a chance to show up.”

What does this quote mean? It means people aren’t gonna come straight out with the crazy, and everybody has it. Instead, they’ll put on their best manners, and be on their best behavior. The good part of this is that people aren’t able to keep up this facade forever. Eventually glimmers of the true person will show up before the full on truth comes out. This is why waiting is so important. You have to wait long enough to see what type of crazy that you’re getting (because believe me that EVERYBODY has it). After you’ve seen exactly what you’re getting, then you can make an informed decision.

The problem with most people is that they make the decision to commit to a person and fall in love BEFORE the crazy is revealed. Then once the final shoe drops, they’re too invested in the relationship to walk away even if the crazy is something that they hate. That’s why waiting is important.

I don’t say this as some recently married woman who has now become the oracle on dating and single life. I say this as a serial monogamist who frequently committed way too early in relationships, only to find myself romantically attached to a monster. If I were to chronicle the drama and the war wounds that I’ve collected because of my behaviors, it would be a best seller. (In fact, one day I might lol!) The truth is that I am writing this out of a moment of self-reflection. People tried to give me this same advice earlier in life, and I didn’t listen. Because of it, I had to endure much more than I should have.

Now, in my moment of reflection in my time of peace and happiness, I am looking back on my past and hoping someone will be smarter than I was and heed my advice. Wait. If you need any further proof, remember this. No one ever complains about taking too long to marry someone; the opposite can’t be said.

Much Love,

Jenene