A Recipe For Mastering Your Emotions.

Lately, I have been feeling really content and emotionally whole and that is because I am on a journey of mastering my emotions. I call it a journey because it does not end, it has no final destination and I do not think that I will ever reach a point where I confidently say that “I have mastered my emotions” because there will be days where I am not feeling emotionally whole or content. I am learning to be in control of my emotions – that is the only thing we can be in control of in life. We can make plans but ultimately we have no control of whether or not they pan out that way, and most of the time they don’t.

In this article I will be delivering to you guys a recipe for mastering your emotions that has been working for me. It has guided me to feeling lighter and more content and has placed me in a place where I rarely have episodes where I am feeling distraught and fail to find a reason why.

Have A Morning Routine.

Wake up early and seize the day. I always say that what you do in the morning, will set the tone of your day. Most of the time, if your morning is slow and not productive then the chances of your day turning out to be productive are very slim. Waking up late will have you missing out on half the day, time waits for no one and it is important to use your time wisely. Productive and clear mornings provide smooth days.

Wake up early, between 6am and 6.45am and have a prayer/meditation session for 10 to 15minutes. This will bring about clear thoughts and a calm spirit. Most of the time the first thing we do is check our phones and by doing that we are already and automatically internalizing outer energy and whatever is going on around you. You instantly become a thermostat whereas when you meditate and/or pray first; you choose how you are going to feel that morning.

After your prayer and/or meditation session, exercise. Go for a jog or do cardio exercises but the point is to get your blood flowing, your body moving and your heart beating. I personally go for a morning jog and do a bit of exercises. Not only does this leave you feeling refreshed but breathing in that fresh air in the morning is very therapeutic.

Adopt Healthier Lifestyle Habits.

Choose water over soda. Choose baked chips and not fried. Choose to read and not sit in front of the tv for hours on end. Reading is a stress-reducing activity and increases your brain power. We now live in a generation where books can be stored on devices so you can read wherever and whenever. Another thing I think is part of adopting a healthier lifestyle is making choices that will make you a better person and will help you become the best version of yourself. This will make you feel better physically and make you feel better about yourself.

The key is to make the right choices. The healthier and better choices. Habits are what dreams are made of.

Prioritize Yourself. ie. Self-Care.

This is very imperative to mastering your emotions. When we do not prioritize ourselves we might find ourselves pouring from an empty cup. It is your own personal responsibility to pour back into yourself. There are many ways to practice self-care and they are all important. We can get so caught up in taking care of other people and making sure that they are okay that we end up neglecting ourselves and that will lead to us feeling frustrated. By taking care of other people and neglecting ourselves, we are choosing to cater to everyone elses emotions except for our own.

Protect your energy. We are often so concerned about the public and the spectators so we end up wanting to please everyone. I think that removing yourself from a situaon or company of people who are draining your energy is an act of self-care. Another act of self-care could be going on a solo-date. Have lunch or dinner by yourself, go do your nails, spend some time alone. Self-care comes in many different forms and looks different to everyone. Whether its eating a piece of cake or having a long introspection of self, whatever you need to do to take care of yourself… do it.

Speak Good Words Over Your Life.

Practice positive thinking and self-empowerment, affirm yourself! I do not think I need to elaborate on this point.

Meditate In The Evening.

In the evening, meditate mindfully. This means taking the time to be in touch with your inner self. Breathe deeply and slowly. This will put your mind at ease and will bring your brain to rest and will smooth out any rough spots of the day.

I hope that this helps you in becoming more in control of your emotions and being emotionally whole and content.

Solange’s Subliminal Messages Expounding My Present Life.

The cover of Solange’s album ‘A Seat At The Table.’
Source: Pinterest.

The other day I was trying to understand the reason for the events of this year that have occurred in my life. As humans we constantly have the urgency to feel like we are in control and to know why certain things occur, which explains why I was so desperately trying to put into perspective all these unpleasant things that have been occuring to me and around me. I failed to define my present self or to find the reason why, so I turned to music to try put my thoughts and feelings into perspective. Finally, Solange’s album was the solid resonance of my life – specifically three songs which I will speak about in this blog post.

Track number two on the album. Weary. This song explicitly yet subliminally conveys the first part of myself. When I took to the internet to find out the vision and idea behind this song, I immediately felt like the lyrics were myself looking right back at me – https://genius.com/Solange-weary-lyrics.

The song starts off with Solange proclaiming that she is weary of the ways of the world. She has grown weary of the ways of the world and she is ready to take care of herself and ready to fight for her purpose. The lines that highlight this for us are the ones “I’m weary of the ways of the world…I’m gonna look for my body yeah, I’ll be back real soon.” These lines of the song speak about me wanting to find my self as an individual in society.

Solange also asks the listeners to question the state of the world – social hierarchy and inequality based on gender, race, or sexuality. ‘But you know that a King is only a man, with flesh and bones, he bleeds just like you do.’ This greatly suggests that he who created a social hierarchy has placed himself on a high pedestal yet he is human, just like you and I. Due to all these inequalities and social injustices, one might end up feeling like there is no place for them in the world, but there is. And we all belong here.

As mentioned before, listening to Weary at this specific time of my life, was a solid resonance of who I am right now. Given that I am an unemployed millennial, I am in a predicament where I am trying to find my place under the sun. The social hierarchy in South Africa, does not make a black woman’s journey any smooth, making it even harder to find my place in society as a black woman. But do I belong? Yes I do just as much as the white woman and white man.

“You’re feeling like you’re chasing the world, you’re leaving not a trace in the world, but you’re facing the world.” This part of the song describes my sense of resilience in trying to find employment, trying to become and basically chasing the world and its riches so that I leave a trace when I am no longer here on earth. This part depicts a series events where I am chasing my dreams, my aspirations and simultaneously fighting against the odds of the world. Which is not a very pleasant predicament.

Solange’s subliminal messages of Weary expound the part of me that – this year – has been trying so hard to make a place for herself in the world. It put into perspective my feelings of self doubt and uncertainty due to questions of whether I belong here, if this is where I am meant to be in this moment. It explained the uncomfortable feeling and weariness that comes with growing, adulting, and becoming.

An image from the Cranes in the Sky music video.
Source: Pinterest.

Cranes In The Sky. Number four on the album. If there has been a song that I have played numerous times on repeat, it has to be Cranes In The Sky. The meaning of this song is not as hidden as the others. It is quite apparent, just like my feelings and actions of this year. Solange describes her attempt at avoiding painful feelings. In an interview, https://www.interviewmagazine.com/music/solange, when asked about this song, Solange says she was in a season where she had to look at herself outside of being a mother and wife as she had just been divorced to her son’s father.

This song speaks about the part of me which is failing to see herself outside of being unemployed with nothing to her name. We all see the world through the lens of how one identifies and has been identified at that time, so at the moment I am identifying as an unemployed 22-year-old looking at the world through the lens of unemployment. One almost feels socially excluded. This song told me to feel every feeling I am feeling, to internalize every thought and emotion but to also, most importantly, work through it. It reminded me of something Chimamanda Adichie said in her Dear Ifeawele read, she suggests that to be a feminist one must be a full person – to not define oneself solely by motherhood/being a wife and in my case, being unemployed.

In the same interview, Solange says that “… every woman in her 20’s has been there, where it feels like no matter what you are doing to fight through the thing that is holding you back, nothing can fill that void.” As if it could not get any better the song then helped me clarify my emotions of void. Nothing can fill the void of being unemployed. Nothing can fill the void of feeling heavy. And that is okay, but the trick is to get through it and to not build a home in those feelings.

The first verse is the epitome of trying to fill the void, trying to avoid painful feelings: I tried to drink it away, I tried to put one in the air, I tried to dance it away, I tried to change it with my hair. We indulge in unhealthy habituals just to get away from constant feelings of self doubt and to escape the ever so present painful reality. This song reminded me of everything I had ever done to fill the void – there were vivid memories of it as I resonated with the lyrics.

But then there is also a part of me that is not so blue and gloomy about this year. Borderline (An Ode To Self Care). Number fourteen on the album. This song speaks about my resilience to preserve myself and to not lose myself to the mess and the ugly that has been staring at me in the face. In this song Solange took us to a time when she explored the tricky balance of engagement with the world’s struggles and the need for self-preservation.

I am one to want privacy and to protect parts of me in a world where everything is made public, in a world where some humans actually live on and in tiny devices. We are living in a time where people can very well express themselves through emojis and memes but struggle to do so in spoken words. We live in a time where our minds are so muddled that they feel like a complicated space to navigate and visions of ourselves are almost pixelated images. Self care and self preservation is the only way to survive all of this.

Although I am living in it, I am not a part of that time, thanks to self care and self preservation. It is so important to preserve the sentimental parts of yourself so that you do not run dry.

So this week I give thanks to Solange’s subliminal messages which expounded my present life. A Seat At The Table really makes me feel like I have a seat in the world despite the social hierarchy and despite the feelings of heaviness that come with not being the person you envisioned yourself to be. It made me feel like yes I belong, we all belong among the stars despite all odds being against us as individuals.

A Gloomy Morning Turned Into A Day of Basking in Self-Care.

I woke up feeling some kind of way this morning, mainly because of my current situation  – unemployment. So my morning was filled with negative thoughts and a low spirit, I was convinced that I was going to spend the rest of my day feeling sorry for myself. That all changed when I received a phone call from my boyfriend and whether I like it or not, he has a major influence on my life. So I told him I was feeling down but I also told him what I plan on pursuing next year, all it took was for him to tell me that he is proud of me and that was all the reason I needed to turn my gloomy morning into a beautiful day. After that phone call I made a conscious decision that I would have a good day and started pouring some good into myself. I was going to do everything that made me feel good.

Surround yourself with people that love and support you.

There is one thing I realised in the midst of endulging in self-care habits and that is we all need a little reminder once in a while of how much we have accomplished and how much we are capable of. With my boyfriend’s statement came a very huge upliftment of my spirit. Imagine if I hadn’t received that phone call, I was not going to want to change the way that I feel and the day I was going to have. It is important to have people that love and support you for gloomy mornings/days for they become the one catalyst you need to have a better day and conquer those negative thoughts. I remember a quote I once saw on my feed: give yourself permission to feel but don’t give your feelings permission to rule your life. I was having a rough morning because I was allowing my feelings to rule my life but hearing “I am proud of you” really changed all of that.  

Basking in a Self-Care.

Take care of your face – your skin in general.

Self-care mode was officially activated! The first thing I did was exfoliate my face. I made a turmeric with plain yoghurt face mask and played my feel-good music. I started imagining good things about my life, I started imagining myself working, myself in my element – emotionally, mentally and physically. The face mask left my skin feeling and looking so good and that made me feel a whole lot better.

Take a long shower and think good thoughts.

Long showers are a cleansing ritual for me at times – I imagine myself washing away all the bad thoughts, the opinions of others that I have allowed to consume me and after showering, I no longer think about all that I washed away because I believe it is no longer a part of me. Today’s shower consisted of me apologizing to myself for not being gentle and patient with myself. Life is a journey and everything takes time. While showering, I reminded myself that there are higher powers in control – God and the universe have the last say.

Dress up, make yourself look pretty and take a damn selfie.

I have always been a firm believer of not looking the way you feel – it’s a powerful belief. When one looks good, they feel good. So the last thing I did was dress up, put on some make-up and took some pictures of myself. This made me feel really good and also reminded me that ‘life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance.’ Life is definitely not serving me what I ordered but I am glad that I made a conscious decision to change the way it was making me feel or else it would have become a day wasted.

a rare image captured today of me smiling – I felt really good taking this picture.

So here’s to making better life decisions which include not allowing emotions to control your life.