Woman Crush Wednesday: Rihanna Bares it All

Hola, Spiiirits!

At the CFDA Fashion Awards on June 2nd, Rihanna bared it all in a completely sheer crystal-net floor length gown that was custom made by designer Adam Selman. Well “bared it all” may be a little too forward…she did have a flesh tone thong on that beautiful bod. Talk about shining bright like a diamond, Rih!

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Rih paid homage to the Josephine Baker era in this floor length frock, which hosted 230, 000 Swarovski crystals.

Now of course Rih’s bold, nude (or at least mostly nude) expression, has brought much backlash. (Instagram even, to my knowledge, removed her page because of it, TUH!) However, I am here to say that I am in support of this fashion choice!

First of all, Rihanna looks beautiful and her body is to D-I-E for in this dress. Second, why is it that women have to be ashamed of their bodies? These bodies (male or female) are blessings from Source, so why is it we cannot honor them as such? Rihanna is a young woman in her prime finding strength in her femininity, versus the shame that is so readily taught, and I applaud her for that. (BTW this is not the first time Rih has worn something sheer in public that exposes her breasts nor that she’s been photographed topless. So I don’t understand why this time is SO much more of a big deal than the others).

Also, I am a believer in the #freethenipple movement. It is simply the gender roles set by a patriarchal society that allow for a man to freely be topless, nipple exposed, but shame a woman for the thought of the same thing. Even though the chest scientifically contains the same visible make up. While I love clothing, I just don’t think nudity should be so frowned upon. It is after all, our original form. We are taught to be ashamed of and hide our root physical form and then we wonder why we find it hard to love ourselves.

Remember, God made the naked form. Man, made clothing. That’s all I’m saying…

BUT…I’m really curious to know you guys’ opinion on Rih’s outfit and public displays of nudity as a whole. Do you agree with Rih’s #freethenipple approach or do you think she should have covered up for the awards?

Let me know!

☮ XOXO A.T. ☮

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Surviving a World of Frustration

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Today…I feel inspired to write because I desire to vent.
We live in a frustrated world. The reasons for this are many, but one of which is lack of emotional control. Another is ill communication. Those are the two issues I will focus on today.
The secret to contentment lies in control over the emotions. This does not mean to stifle ones emotions. It’s actually quite to the contrary. But it is to consciously acknowledge your emotions, fully understand the emotion (and it’s true source) and reflect before you react. This is how people who have attained true balance & peace handle situations.
However, living in such a world of imbalance, many of us are not trained to handle our emotions in this manner. Rather we have been trained to lean to two of either extremes; hide our emotions entirely or hyper-emotionally overreact.
The issue with these two methods of dealing with emotions is that they bring more problems than resolve. Many conceal their emotions (most times poorly, at that) but at the same time expect the party they have been affected by to know how they are feeling. And more so, expect the party to be sensitive to their emotional state. Well this is certainly absurd. Most people will not know exactly what you are feeling unless you tell them. Holding it in is unhealthy and counterproductive because this negative emotion, gone unchecked, will only manifest again either at a later time, or in other ways.
The hyper-emotional response is no better. It is acting immediately on a myriad of emotions before even giving yourself a chance to process what you are actually feeling. During the hyper-emotional response a person likely acts immediately to show they have been affected by an action, however this is highly deceptive. The reason for this is because this heightened, rapid emotional response generally does not give a true read. Usually, in such cases, the emotional response is over-dramatized and may be a masking emotion to hide the true root emotion that this situation triggered a response to. Sometimes, during this type of response, the person becomes angry or sad (and acts on said emotion) before even giving themselves a moment to analyze if this moment is really worth that response. Many times these responses are a cry for attention to a certain underlying issue. However this is of no help, because this person still wants the other party to know exactly how they are feeling and be sensitive to that…even though they have not expressed (or even analyzed for themselves, sometimes) their true emotional state or the true reason for it.
So we can see that, though these are two very different methods for dealing with situations that garner an emotional response, they both have the same fatal flaw. Ill Communication. WE DO NOT COMMUNICATE!!! We assume, we hide, we do anything to run from our genuine emotions. Never truly dealing with them or allowing for resolve from any other involved parties. But you can’t hide forever. Not happily, anyway. Rather than letting the shit hit the fan, we can open up the tunnels of communication. Analyze how you truly feel & why before you react (this may take a few seconds, minutes, hours…the timing is totally up to you & how good you become at quickly analyzing the root of your emotions). Once you have done this, you can determine if the situation is needing of a response at all. Are you really angry with this situation or just having a bad day? Now once you have determined the true root of the emotional disturbance you can communicate that to the other involved party. True communication is a two way street. Meaning that when you are communicating your feelings, reasoning, and desires to another party you must also be an effective listener. They will have reasoning, feelings, and desires of their own that they want to be heard. These things need to be communicated and received from both (or all) parties. You don’t have to ultimately agree with the persons perspective but you do have to open your eyes & ears to really, truly gain insight on the other persons perspective to make a genuine analysis of the situation. At this point, a middle ground of peace can be attained.
Peace & patience opens up the ability to have this sort of natural, effective, flowing communication. That is why meditation is such a powerful tool. When you are centered and at peace within yourself, occurrences outside of yourself will not even get the same negative emotional rise out of you! But even when they do, you will be able to quickly process and analyze your emotions and it’s true root and effectively communicate that. Also, with this self provided peace, you will have to patience to listen and really absorb the perspective of any other involved party. And that is when true progress can begin.
PEACE to ALL
XOXO A.T.

Trendspotting: Neon Lipstick + A Little Insight

Hello beautiful, Spiiirits.

How are you guys doing today??

I’ve seen better ones myself. It’s a lot of fake people that I’m finding myself having to exterminate out of my life. Its an exhausting process and quite unnerving (especially when “friends” turn to enemies after you put your foot down and demand they stop incessantly using you). Seems leeches and life-force suckers get quite angry when you try to hold them accountable. There’s a good couple of people I can apply that too, right now, sadly. But in such testing times, those who truly care become apparent as well, and I am thankful for those lights in the darkness. This process is all for the growth and betterment of myself and those around me and I appreciate it for the blessing that it is.

Welp, that was just a little insight into my life at the moment. Moving on from that…

Spring is in FULLLLLL swing and with it’s presence has come a couple sassy trends for the fashion savvy.

One of those hot, hot, hot trends is NEON LIPSTICK!

…Pinks, Oranges, Greens, Yellow, Blues…

neon…Neon…NEON!

Check out a couple of celebs rocking the trend.

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Triiinity & I gave it a go ourselves and we love it! We will def be rockin’ our neon colors this season.

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If you want a review on the colors we are wearing let me know in the comments below!

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How do you guys feel about neon lips?? How are you incorporating the trend this season?

I love to hear from you guys, let me know!

☮ XOXO A.T. ☮

Happy New Year!! {Lessons, & Moving Forward}

Happy New Year Peeps!

2014, whoo!

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I can’t believe its the first of the year. What can I say about 2013 before I like…officially let it go.

Well, I was having some personal reflection time a couple days ago looking for the summation, in a sense, of what 2013 was all about in my life. And my spirit came to the conclusion that 2013 was all about building and patience. It was a year of a lot of blessings, but a lot of testing as well.

For instance, the beginning of 2013 started with my mom in the hospital in a fight for her life. By new years she had come out of her induced coma but her condition was still critical. She could barely speak, she couldn’t walk. Don’t wanna drone on and on about the negative though. Ultimately, by mid-to-late Jan she was out of the hospital and though she had to learn to walk and talk again, she fully regained her health by late Feb, early March. She is fine, strong, and healthy now. Praises be! I feel like it was a testing of the faith and patience of my family, to wait on Source to restore her.

The entirety of the concept for Free Spiiirit came to be November 2012 and the line was slated to drop Jan 1st of 2013, but with all the things going on in my life with my mom  and family and such, we chose to change that deadline. I’m super close to my Mom, man, she is my rock and I am hers. So the whole situation was pretty hard on me….moving on, February 13th the line was dropped and the site was opened to the public. From then we hit the ground running with promo and fashion shows and did our best to make Free Spiiirit as great as we could from the small city of Huntsville, TX (where our school is located). We laid the foundations of the business and made it our mission to grind, grind, grind to build it up from there. Building blocks, stepping stones. We planned SxSW as a business trip to get the brand name out past the boundaries of our school grounds.

After SxSW in March, is when Triiin and I formulated the plan to move to California together in August. After networking with so many like-minded people during the festival, meeting Kendrick Lamar, and seeing how much we could build the business by simply being in the right place at the right time we knew Huntsville was too small a pond to remain in for much longer. At this time, began the building pressure of school and my growing disinterest with it, as well as a decline in monetary resources. By summer, the struggle had become all too real. I was taking school and working and hating every second of it and still only had enough money to survive. How were we ever supposed to save to move to Cali in these conditions? I didn’t know. To top it all off, the summer ended with an apartment fire days before move-out (–it was caused by a faulty dryer–) that destroyed some of our merchandise and made it twice as hard to pack and move out of the unit. It was August by now and the plans seemed to be foiled but we knew in our hearts Cali was still where we were supposed to be. “Patience, Patience” was the whisper…In good fashion, the Lord provided recourse and Triiin & I went to stay with my Mom in Houston.

Houston was its own beast. The Beckster (my car…Becky was her name) started giving me issues after moving there & soon pooped out altogether. Every expected avenue for Cali money was snatched from us by one instance or another. Then not to mention once you stop living with your parents, you never wanna re-live with your parents (and siblings) again. Lets not get into the endless reasons why. (Love them, they’re great n shit…but this is just TRUE, lol). We were doing our best not to get hog-tied down to the city of Houston and trying to keep in mind that Cali was still the mission regardless of what things look like. But imagine living everyday striving so hard for what you want, what you know you are supposed to do…and feeling no closer to your goal. Every day waking up with hope and going to bed with the nagging stab of disappointment. It gets really difficult. This was a true testing of patience and finding inner peace. But we just kept working on the business (Free Spiiirit) and keeping our mind, hearts, and energies set on the path laid out before us. God kept giving us signs that we were on path and after 2 months in this purgatory we were let into the gates of Heaven, so to speak…

October. Hello L.A., city of Angels! It was such a blessing to make it here and so surreal to be here. Everything, from the drive to finding a good apartment in record time. The whole situation was in God’s hands and he worked everything out just perfectly…as one must learn to always trust Source to do. And L.A. is so beautiful! My goodness. Getting here just made it continuously clear that this is where we were supposed to be all along. The endless possibilities began to expose themselves to us. But don’t think its been all candy, cupcakes, and roses since we’ve been out here. We have had our share of struggles too since being here…mentally, physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually, etc.  But when you become in tune with God…and self…and the God in oneself these outward things start to shake you less and less as you continually see Him see you through, dropping just what you need from the heavens like manna. Allhamdulilah!

This is the work in progress that had been begun in me at the start of last year and I truly feel like I have passed the test and completed this step. Why? Because I feel like I have learned the lessons I was supposed to from 2013. The lesson of patience and knowing that things do not happen in your timing, but in God’s timing. And the plan is perfect. Energy takes care of it all. You just have to be patient, stay positive, and stay connected. Also, the lesson that there is a time for everything under the sun. A time for sickness and a time for health. A time for grief and a time for joy. A time of struggle and a time of prosperity. A time of building and a time of reaping the benefits of your labors. 2013 was the year of Building and Patience for me. And I whole-heartedly believe that 2014 is the time of Prosperity and Reward. Not just monetary richness (though, that too) but also richness in love, mind, body, spirit. I’m ready for it!

How are you guys feeling about the new year? What was 2013 like for you? What do you expect from 2014?

P.S.

Today we dropped the U.N.I.T.Y Collection on FreeSpiiirit.com!!!

(Yayyyy)

UnityCollection

The collection is centered around celebrating our oneness and our cultural differences as a global community, simultaneously.

Check it out Check out Check it out! & use code : hello2014 for 10% off your entire order!

{photo cred: Triiinity Tafari}

Peace & Blessings Loves

& again, Happy New Year. Make the best of it 🙂 .

☮ XOXO A.T ☮

Life is a Board Game

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It might rain…

Today is a slightly cooler day than the last few have been. Hot & muggy yet and still but the wind has picked up a little & the sun is much too low in the sky for a normal summer afternoon in the state of Texas. I told Triiinity my assessment on nature and she nodded in agreement, satisfied with my logic. This got me thinking…

Life is like a Board Game.

Or a game of any type, really. It could actually be compared to one quite literally, in fact. Just think for a minute how things happen and they mean other things. for instance, the sky is gray and its windy outside. We determine that some sort of inclimate weather will probably ensue. Or even something as simple as inferring that if someone gets hurt really badly they might die. Cause & Effect. In this world, just as in a board game, everything is up to chance. Just like rolling a dice. However, there are natural rules to how things should go and what thing’s cause brings about which effect. Much like the rules of a board game.

As I sat on the floor near a window, I watched the wind blow through the trees. The visual started to look a little unreal to me. Much like the snap-in stagings of the once-popular game Life, or something. This not the first time I’ve felt like this. I have, many times, just been thinking to myself while walking and it is as though my vision changes and even so much as the feeling of the concrete beneath my shoes begins to feel like a farce. I’m a game piece and all the world is my playground.

This can be a surreal, but quite reaffirming feeling for me. I once read a tweet by @nowomennnocry that said “what if when you die, you wake up as an alien & your alien friend comes up to you and says ‘dude you’ve been trippin’ balls for like 5 minutes.”

Just think about that idea for a second. That this whole life you’re living could be a drug-induced hallucination, or a round in a very advanced virtual reality machine…in theory.

Another of my favorite tweets comes from @Illumination who said ” Life is a beautiful dream…I hope to awaken someday.”

These profound statements, as well as the ability to compare to life to a board game, are proof to the idea that this life is not all there is. This realm is not all there is. It is not the most important thing there is. This life is just one small stop in our eternal journey as spirits.

Learn all you can & embrace it to the fullest..but don’t take it too seriously.

Namaste.

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♥ XOXO A.T. ♥