Three women share how they make tough choices and move toward fulfillment

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2020 offered the world a collective rest. When we weren’t binging on Tiger King or watching 4-day election spectacles, many of us were granted more time than ever for inward reflection. In that time, we got to know our simple pleasures but we also came face-to-face with our subtle discontents.

Do I actually like my job or do I just like the people?

Do I and this person make sense together or is this situation just comfortable?

Do I like living here or am I just scared to go elsewhere?

2020 brought up the questions. But as state restrictions loosen…

Read everything from Simone Keelah Brathwaite — and more.

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What I learned from America’s golden child

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There was something I always admired about Ryan Rogers*. No more than 6–7 years my senior, I worked alongside Ryan while I was in Public Relations. I, a Senior Account Executive, he about three promotions ahead of me as a VP.

A 30-something-year-old white man, Ryan was the type of person who clients gravitated towards. He was smart yet affable. Approachable but confident. Funny without trying too hard. Ryan somehow always appeared unfazed by problems that would leave our fellow colleagues in a tailspin. …

How to find balance in the era of social media addiction

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I decided years ago that I would not follow any of the Kardashians on Instagram.

I’m not anti-celebrity. I follow Rih Rih and Will Smith and Shakira and a whole heap of “influencers,” but the Kardashians are a brand of celebrity that seemed to combine far too many out-of-reach elements for me. They don’t just have some money — there are filthy rich. They aren’t just good-looking — they are plumped, filled, nipped, and tucked by the best. They aren’t just well-dressed — they receive praise even when they are appropriating cultures. …

What the bumblebee can teach us about success

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My mom worked as an independent beauty consultant for Mary Kay for several years. As a child, I adored the bumblebee pin each consultant received. (Apparently, I was a member of the Beyhive long before it was cool.) But more than the pin itself, I loved the words written on the place card that came with it.

“Aerodynamically, the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know it, so it goes on flying anyway.”

The place card then went on to say something to the effect of, “sometimes what you don’t know enables you to fly.”

Mary…

No, I didn’t join an ashram in India

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When I was 17, the thought of postponing college for a gap year never crossed my mind. While it may have sounded nice to spend a year traveling, volunteering, and doing other activities to further “personal growth” — for financial and cultural reasons, it was neither a consideration nor a real option.

And so, I went to college. After college, I started working a full-time job and did so for the next several years.

In that time, I worked many a late-night; was regularly stressed; and had pretty laughable boundaries. I needed a break from work and the 10–15 days…

Maybe Millennials Needed to Stay Grounded

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In 2019, I took approximately 20 trips. I had moved to the Midwest for a job and didn’t have much of a community outside of work. Thus, I got on a plane for everything from baby showers and weddings to industry conferences and work trips to milestone birthdays and vacations. I knew it was excessive but I loved being in the sky. I was a proud member of the Delta Silver Medallion Club; sworn into the Black and Boujee TSA-Pre-Check Society; and acting President of the Always-Down-For-A-Trip Group Text Thread.

On the rare occasion I’d find myself grounded for more…

Bet those repetitive thoughts won’t shut up

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There is something you’ve started to feel. It’s a persistent thought that tries to creep into your mind at the most inconvenient of times. Like right when you’re falling asleep, or during the 15-second countdown between shows on Netflix. You’ve tried to shrug it off; to rationalize your way out of it.

The thing that calls you has different faces that shine in different times and areas of your life.

Something you need to do.

Something you must stop doing.

Something you have on our hearts to say.

Something you need to work on.

Whatever you’re afraid of facing —…

And my life changed

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“The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” — Rumi

For months, I’d rise before the sun in my apartment in Minneapolis. Ushered awake by my weak bladder, I’d use the bathroom and then attempt to return to sleep. That is until I saw a video of Wayne Dyer reciting the quote from Rumi. In it, The Father of Motivation, as Dyer was called, prodded his audience to indulge the secrets found at dawn. …

A 100-degree room can do more than just make you sweat

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Sweat was pouring down my face — my body’s tearful response to being expected to work out in a 105-degree room. To my left and to my right, a room full of other sweat-stained individuals contorted their bodies into one strange pose after another. It was the same 26 poses every class but no matter how much I seemed to “know what was coming” — there were always moments where I questioned my sanity for having returned to the mat.

As I willed my body to keep moving, Chae, my favorite instructor, made a simple provocation to her students.

“What…

Morgan Wallen and the N-Word

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I didn’t know who the rising country star, Morgan Wallen, was until three days ago. My best friend sent me a screenshot of a Facebook post from someone we went to high school with. I’ll call her Amber. Amber wrote “2020 has done enough. You WILL NOT TAKE MORGAN WALLEN #myn**a.”

Yes, she used that hashtag. No, she did not use asterisks.

As I googled, I learned Morgan came under fire when TMZ leaked a video of him pulling up to his Tennessee home with a group of friends. He is heard shouting to a friend, “Hey, take care of…

Simone Keelah Brathwaite

A self-proclaimed freedom chaser who writes about self-development, spirituality, relationships, & black folx thangs. Sign up for updates www.SimoneKeelah.com.

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