Day 7, Imani, Faith: Gifts from Me Inspired By The Kwanzaa Tradition

Day 7: Imani, Faith

December 26, 2013

For the next 8 days, I will give you gifts (including some of My Beauty & Wellness Secrets) of My Creative Expressions inspired by the Principles of Kwanzaa!  Why?  Because (1) gift-giving is one of My Fetishes and this is a series of special posts to address many questions I receive about maintaining your wellness: Mind, Body and Spirit; and (2) this venture is part of My continuing gifts to improve the state of the Fetish Scene (and beyond) today, which, as with all things, begins and ends with each of Us.  So, I give you opportunities to expand your awareness and education, and to enjoy being creative!

The Kwanzaa tradition was founded in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga who created a uniquely, African-American and Pan-African holiday which is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st. Kwanzaa is related to many African celebrations of the first harvest.  (Read more on Holidays.net.)

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56e5ff79f3f77ceac6bbac1fb756abbfToday, the seventh day of Kwanzaa’s Principles is Imani (faith): Believing in our people, our families, our educators, our leaders, and the righteousness of the African American struggle.

Pronounced ee-MAH-nee

Symbol: Zawadi (zah-WAH-dee) are Kwanzaa gifts given to children that will make them better people. The gifts should always include a book, video, or other educational item that will educate and inform the child. There should also be a gift know as a “heritage symbol,” something to remind the child of the glory of the past and the promise of the future.  Note:  There are 7 Symbols of Kwanzaa.  I have included them in no specific order.

Where is your faith?  Is it in something or someone outside of yourself?  I have learned that Faith, Love & Happiness MUST begin and end with Self.  YOU are the Creatrix (or Creator) of YOUR REALITY by CHOICE.  Therefore, the greatest faith you can have is in yourself.  (Note for all the religious-tizzies that got triggered: God[dess] helps those who help themselves; read your Bibles, etc., whatever you subscribe to.)  When you believe in and enhance yourself (strengthen your self-confidence), you create the path for all things and energies to support you.

People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of…  And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.  – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

In My late teens, someone really ticked Me off by saying: To see what you want, look at what you have right now.  I got (and stayed) in a huff, annoyed with this person (who was actually a wonderful Teacher), and stopped talking to him because I didn’t understand what he was trying to tell Me (the follies of youth).  This type of reaction often happens when We are presented with a Truth that We don’t want to accept personal responsibility for.   We prefer to play the make-wrong game because that’s easier than doing any work on Ourselves.  So, I went through life avoiding the notion of how what I have in My life is a reflection of what I believe about Life and The Universe.  I’ve finally learned that:

How I see The Universe is exactly how The Universe will be for Me. – Dr. Ellie Drake

However, just becoming aware of a Power Concept is not enough.  We have to do the work to implement the power into Our lives.  Doing the work doesn’t have to be difficult; We can create with joy and ease.

Pleasure is the key to creating with joy and ease.

So, the best way to approach creating what We want is to make the process pleasurable.  The easiest way to experience pleasure is to feel good about yourself: mind, body & spirit, which work inter-changeably.

Feeling good about yourself ~> self-confidence ~> faith in yourself.

11I experience a great and pleasurable, faith-builder when I affirm Myself with My reflection (not limited to what you’re thinking).  While some folks will jump on the make-wrong bandwagon and call this vanity, I am aware that the way We see Ourselves defines how the world treats Us because We are tuned into those inner vibrations reflected back to Us from the outside world.  For example, why is it that you can receive several compliments, but the one criticism is what you play over and over again in your head?  Contemplating this type of self-reflection is difficult  because while I continue to commit to living in Beauty & Joy, I have to contend with the  lizard-brain thinkers who are so committed to their own self-loathing, that they try to disrupt My Peace – and everyone else who is living well and choosing to be happy.  So, I often ask what I’m feeling and thinking to attract these creeps who dare to attempt to invade My Domain.  In this way, I use their ugliness to strengthen My commitment to Beauty & Joy and to BEing My Best – I make them useful to see how I can love Myself better.

Speaking of lizard-brain thinking, check out this amazing (short) presentation by Spoken-Word Champion Prentice Powell: The System:

Back to using My (and your) reflection as a tool for affirmation:  We are conditioned from birth that to be self-loving is conceit by the same people (and institutions) who want Us to praise and admire them, usually for no valid reason.   These influences then tell Us to be unique while punishing Us for not conforming to mediocrity.  So, while you’re supposed to feel good about yourself and present your best, you’re not supposed stand out and be vain.  This is confusing and painful on a mental, physical, and spiritual level because it creates stagnation.   The only things that thrive in stagnation are toxic to your health.

Since this is the ONLY body you have, life you have (that We actually know of), time you have to experience greatness, you really need to LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOURSELF.  EVERY opportunity to feel good about being who you are should become a celebrated and repeated practice.  You must continuously repeat positive and empowering practices in order to recondition a lifetime of habits designed to disempower you.

The following technique will help boost your confidence, help you feel more comfortable around people (especially jealous creatures), and improve your attitude because when you feel good about yourself, life is good!

Self-Reflection Love Technique

1.  Place a mirror in every room where you can see your face clearly.  Each time you catch a glimpse of yourself, smile and give yourself a compliment and/or say, “I love you!”  Life is always better with love and best with self-love.  How you feel about and treat yourself is how others will feel about and treat you.

2.  Have at least one photo that you like of yourself in a nice frame in every room.  Whenever you see your photo, remember why you like it (how you look, what was happening, how you felt when it was taken, what you’re wearing, etc.)

3.  Make a list of how you feel good and/or want to feel good about yourself.  Write items on post-it notes and place them on/near mirrors, photos, wherever you will see them.  Be kind in the way you speak to yourself.  (See How to Turn Limp Affirmations into Mantras for Success!)

4.  Create a “catch phrase” to affirm the good feelings your have about yourself.  One of My phrases is, “Go, Diva!” which I share to encourage and acknowledge other people, too.

Note: Beware of people who don’t have mirrors in their homes.  This is a sure sign of self-loathing, low-self-esteem, and a lack of self-awareness.  I once briefly dated a guy who had no mirrors in his home and had the nerve to obsess over how I looked and to be upset with the compliments I received!  People who don’t appreciate themselves cannot know how to appreciate you in all of your fabulousness.  Since they are too cowardly to build themselves up, they will, inevitably, try to bring you down.

The more you offer yourself love and encouragement, the more the world will reflect that love and encouragement to you and fewer unworthy folks will be able to come onto your path.  This is how EpicuresNYC Private Members Fetish Club continues to grow with folks who are absolutely the best people I know and who I am proud and honored to have in My life!

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More resources:

How to Build Self Confidence (with really cool graphics)

Building Self-Confidence, Preparing Yourself for Success! (and more goodies at Mind Tools)

The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone.
― Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness

See related articles at the bottom of this post.

Here’s to BEing Your Best!

Always MY Pleasure & The Best,
Mistress Didi*

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Being a Lifestyle Dominant for Her entire life, The Mistress Didi* has explored various aspects of the BDSM and D/s Scenes including 24/7 relationships, slave ownership, Professional Domination (before it became synonymous with “hoochies with whips) and Fetish Event Planning.  The Mistress Didi* has benefited from an extensive education in the functions of the human body and psyche, holds a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Therapy and is currently working on Her PhD.