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I hope you enjoy this video! Below are some of the photos of celebrities I mentioned in my mini-rant, sans-photoshop. Also, check out Stop Hating Your Body! Annie’s blog is dedicated to body positivity in all its forms.

WARNING: SHYB does contain nudity and may be a trigger for some. In which case, proceed with caution. SHYB really does work to increase body-positivity. Join the revolution!

13 Male Celebrities Without Photoshop (via Buzzfeed)

30 Shots of Celebrities Sans-Photoshop (via Complex)

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authentically-human:

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Just Do It

By: Alia Lewis

Empowerment Writer

Curiosity killed the cat. Procrastination killed the human.

Waiting until the night before to study for a test, delaying until the morning of to write a paper, lingering for the day of someone’s arrival to clean the house…. I’m guilty of…

Embracing Beauty

Embracing Beauty

By: Alia Lewis

Empowerment Writer

            It’s summer. It’s Sunday. The sun is gleaming between the trees. Its light is reflecting and mixing with the greenery, creating a unique balance and color gradient, light green to dark green. The sky is clear and the clouds are puffy. The only noise I hear is the chirping and ca-cooing from the birds of the air. It’s beautiful here. Where am I, you might ask? I’m in my backyard. The way I’m describing my surroundings, you would think I was in a foreign place. You wouldn’t think I was in the same house I’ve been in for about 7 years, sitting the same backyard, surrounded by the same trees, and warmed the same sunlight. What’s different? Today, I am embracing beauty.

            Depending on where you live, life is fast faced. I live in the city so I’m encompassed in the hustle and bustle. This weekend I had the opportunity to just slow down and relax. Although I was pretty busy on the 4th of July, I still found time to just sit on a swing and admire the beauty that surrounds me daily. Outside is my happy place. Despite the swarming bugs and scorching heat, I’m at my most peaceful and authentic self. I acknowledge how big the earth is, which makes me understand how little my problems are. I embrace the abundant beauty life has to offer, which causes me to forget the things that I lack. Opening your eyes to see the beautiful, rich, diverse landscape surrounding you causes you to think. It makes you focus on the things that are important in life- rich friendships, abundant love, accomplishing your dreams. You’re able to slow down and reconnect with the earth.

This week, make time to embrace the beauty that surrounds you daily. Whether it’s a tree, person, animal, or lightning storm; stop for a second, disconnect from your phone, and soak it all in. A major part of enjoying your life is embracing the beauty within it. When you are aware and grateful of the natural things life has to offer- beauty, love, life; you will inevitably live a fuller, more rich and abundant life. Be blessed. Have a fantastic week!

                                                                                  - Peace, Alia

 

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authentically-human:

Visualizing Your Life
By: Alia Lewis
Empowerment Writer
            Remember those “when I grow up” stories we all used to share as kids?  “When I grow up I want to be superman.” “When I grow up I want to be a fairy princess.” Whether you know it or not, everyone still has a “when I grow up story” or as grown-ups like to say, a vision of what they imagine their life to be in the future. I’ve always said I wanted my future self to have a college education, achieve many accolades, make my family proud, live ON PURPOSE, establish a family of my own, and enjoy my life to the fullest! In order for me to achieve my desires and in order for you to manifest the vision you carry of your future, there are a couple of steps we must take.
Open Your Eyes: When I visualized what I wanted my life to look like, then opened my eyes, I realized that in a lot of ways I had already achieved what I said I wanted to achieve. Now, of course I haven’t achieved everything, or even close to everything I want to achieve. My dreams and visions are on another level and dimension. However, what I have accomplished is the foundation or beginning stages of the vision I want my life to look like. For example, I said I wanted to obtain a college degree. So far I have my high school diploma which is a preliminary and example of what I want to accomplish. By opening your eyes, you’re able to see the glass half full, and realize that you’re not far from filling it to the brim. Open your eyes and see that your dreams and ideal vision of what you want your life to be is not far away.
Goal: Think about and surround yourself the achievements you’ve accomplished so far, keep in my mind your accolades, and experience. Nothing is too small or too unimportant. Even if you have to dig up a perfect attendance award from 5th grade, do it to let yourself know that you are already equipped and empowered to do whatever it is you desire to do.
Speak To Your Life: What are the differences between I want and I am, I will and I did? Think about the power “I am” holds. Sometimes you must convince yourself of the gifts and talents you already possess in order to activate your power. Think about it. People who have not yet gained monetary success write a book about it and consequently achieve monetary success through that book!  Rappers who are penny less say they have millions and are better than your favorite rapper, yet in reality, can’t even get your favorite rapper to acknowledge them. Because they speak who they want to be as if they already are, they quickly become who it is they envisioned themselves to be. Start speaking as if you are accomplishing or have already accomplished that which you have put your mind to. Instead of saying I am going to live an abundant life, say I am living an abundant life, I am successful. I am operating in my purpose.
Work Your Vision: Belief without action is worthless. No matter how much you visualize, you must work toward becoming the person you desire to be. You must pull out the expressed image of what you want your life to be. I want to be a great writer/storyteller. In order to do that I must practice by writing. I can’t become discouraged when my writing doesn’t read like someone else’s. I am developing. The same applies with you! What you have right now is not the finished story, the final and end result. In life, you must remember that it’s not about how good you are, but it’s about how good you want to be. Keep that image of who you want to be in your mind, whether that’s nicer, more successful, happier, etc. and actively do the things that will produce those results!
You are more powerful than you let yourself believe. The ONLY PERSON WHO CAN STOP YOU and prevent you from becoming all that you were created to become IS YOU! Break away from fear. Tell yourself not that you can or you will, but you are, and then work at it every day as if you are. If you are skeptical, work until you can prove to yourself that you are worthy. Use yourself as motivation.
            Overall, you have a vision of what you want your life to be like. You are in control of that vision. No one is going to manifest it but you. You have the power! If you want to be smarter, study! If you want to be kinder, love. If you want to be happier, look at the bright side of things! When you open your eyes, speak to your life, and work your vision, you have no choice but to see the vision of yourself and your future unfold right in front of your eyes.
Have an amazing week.
                                                                                                -Peace, Alia

authentically-human:

Visualizing Your Life

By: Alia Lewis

Empowerment Writer

            Remember those “when I grow up” stories we all used to share as kids?  “When I grow up I want to be superman.” “When I grow up I want to be a fairy princess.” Whether you know it or not, everyone still has a “when I grow up story” or as grown-ups like to say, a vision of what they imagine their life to be in the future. I’ve always said I wanted my future self to have a college education, achieve many accolades, make my family proud, live ON PURPOSE, establish a family of my own, and enjoy my life to the fullest! In order for me to achieve my desires and in order for you to manifest the vision you carry of your future, there are a couple of steps we must take.

Open Your Eyes: When I visualized what I wanted my life to look like, then opened my eyes, I realized that in a lot of ways I had already achieved what I said I wanted to achieve. Now, of course I haven’t achieved everything, or even close to everything I want to achieve. My dreams and visions are on another level and dimension. However, what I have accomplished is the foundation or beginning stages of the vision I want my life to look like. For example, I said I wanted to obtain a college degree. So far I have my high school diploma which is a preliminary and example of what I want to accomplish. By opening your eyes, you’re able to see the glass half full, and realize that you’re not far from filling it to the brim. Open your eyes and see that your dreams and ideal vision of what you want your life to be is not far away.

Goal: Think about and surround yourself the achievements you’ve accomplished so far, keep in my mind your accolades, and experience. Nothing is too small or too unimportant. Even if you have to dig up a perfect attendance award from 5th grade, do it to let yourself know that you are already equipped and empowered to do whatever it is you desire to do.

Speak To Your Life: What are the differences between I want and I am, I will and I did? Think about the power “I am” holds. Sometimes you must convince yourself of the gifts and talents you already possess in order to activate your power. Think about it. People who have not yet gained monetary success write a book about it and consequently achieve monetary success through that book!  Rappers who are penny less say they have millions and are better than your favorite rapper, yet in reality, can’t even get your favorite rapper to acknowledge them. Because they speak who they want to be as if they already are, they quickly become who it is they envisioned themselves to be. Start speaking as if you are accomplishing or have already accomplished that which you have put your mind to. Instead of saying I am going to live an abundant life, say I am living an abundant life, I am successful. I am operating in my purpose.

Work Your Vision: Belief without action is worthless. No matter how much you visualize, you must work toward becoming the person you desire to be. You must pull out the expressed image of what you want your life to be. I want to be a great writer/storyteller. In order to do that I must practice by writing. I can’t become discouraged when my writing doesn’t read like someone else’s. I am developing. The same applies with you! What you have right now is not the finished story, the final and end result. In life, you must remember that it’s not about how good you are, but it’s about how good you want to be. Keep that image of who you want to be in your mind, whether that’s nicer, more successful, happier, etc. and actively do the things that will produce those results!

You are more powerful than you let yourself believe. The ONLY PERSON WHO CAN STOP YOU and prevent you from becoming all that you were created to become IS YOU! Break away from fear. Tell yourself not that you can or you will, but you are, and then work at it every day as if you are. If you are skeptical, work until you can prove to yourself that you are worthy. Use yourself as motivation.

            Overall, you have a vision of what you want your life to be like. You are in control of that vision. No one is going to manifest it but you. You have the power! If you want to be smarter, study! If you want to be kinder, love. If you want to be happier, look at the bright side of things! When you open your eyes, speak to your life, and work your vision, you have no choice but to see the vision of yourself and your future unfold right in front of your eyes.

Have an amazing week.

                                                                                                -Peace, Alia

authentically-human
authentically-human:

Finding Faith
By Michelle Norsworthy
Culture & Spirituality
For a few weeks, I’ve been debating on whether I should do this post or not. Something told me to go right on and so I listened. So, y’all, I’d love to hear your responses! Just tell me what’s on your mind right here. (:
When I was a kid, church was more about spending some time with my maternal grandparents than anything. I restlessly sat in the pew with them until Sunday School started, bugging my Mema until she gave me a piece of peppermint to keep me quiet. I enjoyed Sunday school though. We played games, won prizes, learned (yes, I was a nerd, sue me). Revival at Mt. Tilla Baptist Church, with my late Grandma Della, was full of loud, soulful, joyous singing. There was praise and worship.
But I didn’t really know anything. I  only knew what I felt: joy, love, and peace.
Aside from those feelings, and the memories, only a fraction of what I’d been taught was internalized. I knew some of the stories in the Bible, thanks to Mema’s after-church recaps and children’s books. In times of great fear, I recited the Lord’s Prayer to calm myself. Other than that, I didn’t think much about religion, faith, or any of that stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I always thought of myself as a spiritual person when it came down to it. But it wasn’t part of who I was until high school. 
Family and personal issues left me in a dark place where I started to question everything. But I wasn’t the only one. People I knew would always ask, “Why is it always the good people who get punished?” I saw that they doubted their faith, just like I doubted mine. It wasn’t that I believed only good people got punished; it was that I struggled to see some greater design.
It was then I decided to research every question I always wanted to ask, but was told not to. Questions I never thought to ask were being answered. That’s when I started to meditate; the Internet doesn’t exactly make the spiritual journey easier. This led to an almost-five-year journey. 
I re-evaluated the things I’d been taught, the new things I’d learned on my own, and what made the most sense to me. It was a process of trials, errors, and more trials. However, at the end of it, I found my own type of faith – one that took what I knew as a child, and what I’d learned since, and smooshed them together. My experiences, my journey, resulted in a stronger faith in something bigger than myself.
While there are many people who never doubt their faith, there are still just as many who do. If you happen to be in that boat, take a breather. Ask yourself why it is you believe what you do. If there’s something that leaves you doubting, it can mean two things: you haven’t yet understood it, or it doesn’t resonate with your existence like it should.
People are unique, multi-faceted beings who think and operate in different ways. What speaks to one person – what moves them to sing, praise, and worship – may not exactly be the same for another. I learned a reverence for all life, the earth, and renewed my faith in the teachings of my childhood. Honor these differences in yourself and others, and never be afraid to follow your faith.

authentically-human:

Finding Faith

By Michelle Norsworthy

Culture & Spirituality

For a few weeks, I’ve been debating on whether I should do this post or not. Something told me to go right on and so I listened. So, y’all, I’d love to hear your responses! Just tell me what’s on your mind right here. (:

When I was a kid, church was more about spending some time with my maternal grandparents than anything. I restlessly sat in the pew with them until Sunday School started, bugging my Mema until she gave me a piece of peppermint to keep me quiet. I enjoyed Sunday school though. We played games, won prizes, learned (yes, I was a nerd, sue me). Revival at Mt. Tilla Baptist Church, with my late Grandma Della, was full of loud, soulful, joyous singing. There was praise and worship.

But I didn’t really know anything. I  only knew what I felt: joy, love, and peace.

Aside from those feelings, and the memories, only a fraction of what I’d been taught was internalized. I knew some of the stories in the Bible, thanks to Mema’s after-church recaps and children’s books. In times of great fear, I recited the Lord’s Prayer to calm myself. Other than that, I didn’t think much about religion, faith, or any of that stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I always thought of myself as a spiritual person when it came down to it. But it wasn’t part of who I was until high school.

Family and personal issues left me in a dark place where I started to question everything. But I wasn’t the only one. People I knew would always ask, “Why is it always the good people who get punished?” I saw that they doubted their faith, just like I doubted mine. It wasn’t that I believed only good people got punished; it was that I struggled to see some greater design.

It was then I decided to research every question I always wanted to ask, but was told not to. Questions I never thought to ask were being answered. That’s when I started to meditate; the Internet doesn’t exactly make the spiritual journey easier. This led to an almost-five-year journey.

I re-evaluated the things I’d been taught, the new things I’d learned on my own, and what made the most sense to me. It was a process of trials, errors, and more trials. However, at the end of it, I found my own type of faith – one that took what I knew as a child, and what I’d learned since, and smooshed them together. My experiences, my journey, resulted in a stronger faith in something bigger than myself.

While there are many people who never doubt their faith, there are still just as many who do. If you happen to be in that boat, take a breather. Ask yourself why it is you believe what you do. If there’s something that leaves you doubting, it can mean two things: you haven’t yet understood it, or it doesn’t resonate with your existence like it should.

People are unique, multi-faceted beings who think and operate in different ways. What speaks to one person – what moves them to sing, praise, and worship – may not exactly be the same for another. I learned a reverence for all life, the earth, and renewed my faith in the teachings of my childhood. Honor these differences in yourself and others, and never be afraid to follow your faith.

authentically-human
authentically-human:

Sealing Bonds
By Alesha Elbert
Family/Relationship Writer
    Have you ever been out with your partner and just felt like nothing could ruin your day? But then a beautiful woman or man steps into your environment and you suddenly get nervous? That nervousness is called insecurity. When you have a lack of confidence in any situation, there is a reason why. In this form of insecurity we are discussing when another individual or thing may try to step in and cause a rift in your relationship.
    Trust. That is the key factor to having a stable relationship. You are with this person because they made you feel worthy of having their attention. A connection has been made among one another, and there is a great respect between you two as well. Therefore, there must be trust. When you trust a person you give them an understanding that the bond we have cannot be broken by anything that may come in to distract you from your love. However, there will always be something or someone to try to hinder you from having a successful partnership. 
    Things That Will Try to Break a Successful Partnership

Women/Men. In relationships, the couple may associate with single individuals or even a taken individual who may not be having a successful relationship. These people can step into your life and try to take what they see fit to be “good”. Everyone wants to be happy, and they will try to steal your joy any way they can. If they see your relationship is going great, then of course a jealous hand will try to snatch what they want. You have to stay ahead of the pack and let it be known that this is your lover and no one can take that away. 


Family. These are the people who are here for you no matter what. However, they can bring you down as well. Family members know you better than any man or woman that may come into your life. They want the best for you so sometimes that comes with extreme overprotectiveness. You have to break away and show them that you are in control of your situations and can handle obstacles. They can’t hold your hand forever. 


No Self-Control. I said before that everyone wants something good. However, everything that looks good is not good for you. A diabetic may think that red velvet cake looks good, but they know it can kill them. It is the same way with love. You have to stay focused on what you have right in front of you. Remember what made you want to be in love with that person in the first place. There are plenty of good-looking men and women out there, but don’t be fooled by temptation. You are your worst enemy so stay focused.

    Life is all about the choices we make. There are many things out there to knock you off the correct path, but you must continue to stay focused. Don’t allow your insecurities to destroy a beautiful relationship because there must have been something your partner saw in you to allow them to give you a chance. People and even you can try to break a bond, but seal it with trust and you cannot go wrong. Keep on loving!
If you need advice on insecurities or keeping the bond strong within your relationship, hit us up on our questions page.

authentically-human:

Sealing Bonds

By Alesha Elbert

Family/Relationship Writer

    Have you ever been out with your partner and just felt like nothing could ruin your day? But then a beautiful woman or man steps into your environment and you suddenly get nervous? That nervousness is called insecurity. When you have a lack of confidence in any situation, there is a reason why. In this form of insecurity we are discussing when another individual or thing may try to step in and cause a rift in your relationship.

    Trust. That is the key factor to having a stable relationship. You are with this person because they made you feel worthy of having their attention. A connection has been made among one another, and there is a great respect between you two as well. Therefore, there must be trust. When you trust a person you give them an understanding that the bond we have cannot be broken by anything that may come in to distract you from your love. However, there will always be something or someone to try to hinder you from having a successful partnership.

    Things That Will Try to Break a Successful Partnership

  1. Women/Men. In relationships, the couple may associate with single individuals or even a taken individual who may not be having a successful relationship. These people can step into your life and try to take what they see fit to be “good”. Everyone wants to be happy, and they will try to steal your joy any way they can. If they see your relationship is going great, then of course a jealous hand will try to snatch what they want. You have to stay ahead of the pack and let it be known that this is your lover and no one can take that away.

  1. Family. These are the people who are here for you no matter what. However, they can bring you down as well. Family members know you better than any man or woman that may come into your life. They want the best for you so sometimes that comes with extreme overprotectiveness. You have to break away and show them that you are in control of your situations and can handle obstacles. They can’t hold your hand forever.

  1. No Self-Control. I said before that everyone wants something good. However, everything that looks good is not good for you. A diabetic may think that red velvet cake looks good, but they know it can kill them. It is the same way with love. You have to stay focused on what you have right in front of you. Remember what made you want to be in love with that person in the first place. There are plenty of good-looking men and women out there, but don’t be fooled by temptation. You are your worst enemy so stay focused.

    Life is all about the choices we make. There are many things out there to knock you off the correct path, but you must continue to stay focused. Don’t allow your insecurities to destroy a beautiful relationship because there must have been something your partner saw in you to allow them to give you a chance. People and even you can try to break a bond, but seal it with trust and you cannot go wrong. Keep on loving!


If you need advice on insecurities or keeping the bond strong within your relationship, hit us up on our questions page.

authentically-human

authentically-human:

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The Power In You: A Discussion with Katrina Lewis

By: Alia Lewis

Empowerment Writer

Remember that electrifying single “Power” by rap duo Snap! If you don’t remember the title, there is one hook in the song that’s sure to revoke the memory. “I’ve got the power, power!” Remember now?…