In 2018, take care of you!

Peaceful New Year!

How many years have you spent writing new year resolutions, but not actually making new year resolutions? This year, I encourage us to have a made up mind. As The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan teaches, “Beloved, there is nothing more powerful than a made-up mind. Don’t say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Don’t tell me about “tomorrow.” Don’t tell me about tomorrow, because you know nothing about tomorrow. All that you have is this moment in time. Make up your mind, now!”

Read “Ditch the usual New Years resolution: Do these 5 things instead” by Ebboni X Savory to help you implement achievable practices.

How full is your cup?

In 2017, I spent a lot of time pouring into others. You’re probably thinking what’s wrong with that? Nothing, unless you’re doing that more than you’re filling your cup. In 2017, I poured into everyone’s cup before mine was filled. This year, I’m only pouring if my cup is overflowing. I’m not saying it’ll be easy, but it’s important for me to master the need to do for self first.

The goal is to have an overflowing cup before you give.

Clean and detox

  1. Clean your environment: Once you make your mind up, it’s important to thoroughly clean your space (your home, your car, etc.) before clearing your mind. Your mind feeds off what it sees. When you’re living in a cluttered space, it’s hard for your mind to focus, especially when there are so many visuals in sight.
  2. Fast/detox: Controlling your stomach will help release chemicals that are in your body and it will help prepare your mind for focus and quiet time. What you eat also has a huge affect on what you think. Eat to think. Eat to live. Last, watch what you intake once you decide to break the fast. Don’t allow your time of fasting to go to waste.
  3. Reflect on your strengths and growth areas. Affirm self <click to read me). As you accept the process of growing, those who no longer serve you, will automatically be removed from your life.
  4. Live for you. Put yourself in a confined space <click to read me).

 

It’s easier to say what we can do, but it’s harder to put everything in practice. I simply advise that you (that we) just get started doing whatever we want. “[The Honorable Elijah Muhammad] said when people wrote him about their bad habits, “How can I stop?” he said, “Just stop.” Why would he say something like that? There’s no big, long drawn-out thing, to break a habit. You have to develop the Will to stop, and then stop… You can stop any bad habit once you make up your mind!” -The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, The Restrictive Law of Islam Is Our Success, page 61

Therefore, if all that’s required of us is to stop when we want to break a bad habit, then if we want to acquire a habit, it would be that we just start.

Starting is the hard part. The reason why you started is what helps with consistency.

What do you envision and who will hold you responsible?

In order for me to ensure I’m ready to accept the challenge, I’ve worked on vision boards that will keep me focused throughout each day. We as a people have zero limits. However, it’s important for us to set boundaries. Boundaries do not mean you’re limited, just as loving someone with conditions does not mean you don’t truly love them. We even have to love ourselves with conditions. When I’m living other than self in a way that is not pleasing to Allah (God), I can’t say that I love the person I am portraying. I do love myself enough to accept my own and be myself and you can’t do that without conditions. Loving with conditions shows your love for others; it’s called accepting responsibility in the form of being accountable. Do you have an accountability partner? <click to read me)

The best accountability partner is Allah (God). He will stop you in your tracks when you steer off on the wrong path. It’s just that we have to be clear to receive His Guidance and instructions. The second best accountability partner is yourself. We have to learn to hold ourselves accountable. Oftentimes, we want to hold everyone around us to a standard, but do we hold ourselves up to the same or even better because after all we are the ones living our own lives.

So this year hold yourself accountable, if you choose to work on your vision board, remember:

If it’s not in your vision, don’t allow yes to be a part of your decision.

Don’t make impromptu decisions. Learn how to say no. More importantly, learn how to say no without an explanation.

So in 2018, instead of making a list of what I plan to do, I’m focused on ensuring that the priority is taking care of me. When you take care of self, your health and wellness will increase and you’ll be ready to give to others.

Title 2018

Every year deserves a title. I title my year based on the previous year and what I know is coming. Last year was the year of fruition. I planted a lot of seeds for self and gave birth to some, but mostly for others. This year the seeds that I planted for myself will be manifested, but in order to make that happen, I have to be firmly rooted. Can you guess what the title of this year is?

When thinking about your title, reflect on what 2018 equals.

2+1=3

3+8=11

1+1= 2

2 = you define what “2” means for you

Who has approval over your life?

This year don’t wait for the approval of others. Don’t ask for the thoughts of others, unless it’s sincerely someone you trust. However, I encourage that you don’t allow the total of number you trust while you’re in the womb to exceed more than three people. You already have 1) Allah, (God), 2) you, 3) husband/wife, so why would you want the thought of more than this group of people who are in your corner to affect your actions?

Stop asking the blind to proofread your vision.

For me, 2018 is the year of Grounding. I will be firmly grounded in Allah (God), The Teachings of The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad under The Guidance of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. I will be firmly grounded in self, so that I can receive and fulfill all of what Allah (God) has for me. This will allow me to give to others, as I desire in a controlled way. What will you be grounded in and what is the title that you have for 2018?

Self-care may sound simple, but sometimes we make more time for others more than ourselves. Remember to take care of you first. It’s not a simple task. In fact, it’s one of the most important duties.


I began with “peaceful new year” because you don’t know how a person left 2017. I know I’m not the only one who experienced trial and error, but I know there are folks who haven’t properly healed yet. Therefore, the word “peaceful” may uplift someone, while the word “happy” may remind someone of their condition that they’re not necessarily “happy” with. May we reflect on previous years for great success and receive all of the blessings Allah (God) has for us.

It is not just a new year. We must acknowledge one of our brothers on this day. Click here to remember Oscar Grant.

My Second Degree Burn Testimony & Spiritual Burnout Story

If someone was to burn you would you thank them? Can you see the beauty in your injury/scars?

In the video you’ll hear me refer to the burn as third degree, but after reviewing the pictures, I think it was a second degree burn. Nevertheless, the experience still counts.

Watch the video to hear how the burn has changed my life:

Ramadan Goals, Productivity, & Tips

Proper preparation prevents poor performance.

– Anonymous

Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan)!

This is my fourth Ramadan and it’s the one of the best I’ve experienced thus far, Masha’Allah! This year, I actually took some time to prepare. Not as much as I wanted, however, I tend to be hard on myself. Therefore, that’s one of the things I am releasing Insha’Allah (God Willing) during this time of the year. Want to know how I prepared?

  • Goal Setting
  • Food Preparation (barely)
  • Made up mind!

Let’s get into the goals I set – I know this post is late, but it’s still relevant as we conquer the last 20 days. That’s right! It’s not too late to set goals.

Ramadan Goals

Below are the concrete goals I set for Ramadan:

  1. Expressing Gratitude
  2. Experience Ramadan with Believers
  3. Confront fears and anything holding me back
  4. Stay on track with reading The Holy Qur’an
  5. Be Productive
  6. Journaling

Expressing Gratitude

We as a people don’t show gratitude enough. This year I am showing my gratitude more and I hope to continue to carry this forward. I am so blessed to be able to participate in Ramadan and partake in the fast. Yes, I am thanking Allah for allowing me the gift of fasting.

Experience Ramadan with Believers

This is also a part of me expressing my gratitude. In the past, I made this month about me growing closer to Allah and improving self. However, I did not focus on building bonds with my family. Not just my Believing family. I want to share my Ramadan experience more with my household, although our beliefs are different. I think I’ve partially done this in the past, however, this year I am soaking up their love.

Looking at the urgency of the world, it is pushing me toward growing closer to the Believing family. This is helping me to appreciate them more and now the need to practice our faith together has increased.

When it comes to me doing everything on my own, I’m learning that some things are better done with family.

I am learning to make more time for family, while I’m also working to be successful. I need to fulfill my purpose and I need family along the way to share my happiness with.

What’s wonderful is on day one of Ramadan, I broke fast with a Believing family. Besides The Night of Power, I have not broke fast with Believers before during Ramadan. It was a beautiful experience and I look forward to continue doing this throughout the month. It appears to be Saturday’s for the day of manna (spiritual & physical food) with those who are dear to me.

Confront fears and anything holding me back

We oftentimes don’t realize we have a fear about a thing until a situation arises. However, as I become more in-tuned with self, I’m beginning to understand what my barriers are even before coming across a barrier (and in some cases, I don’t see them coming, but I’m still learning). For all of the obstacles I’ve already faced, I’m re-addressing them to ensure I don’t experience the same trial and to release the pressure.

During Ramadan sometimes we’ll tell people “Ramadan Mubarak” as a way to dismiss having a conversation. However, Ramadan is a great time to confront. Let’s understand “confront”.

confront: to present for acknowledgment, contradiction, etc.; set face to face, to bring together for examination or comparison

Sounds like atonement to me.

8 Steps of Atonement

  1. Point out the wrong.
  2. Acknowledge the wrong.
  3. Confess the fault.
  4. Repent.
  5. Atone.
  6. Forgive.
  7. Reconcile and Restore.
  8. Perfect Union with God.

So with the days we have left (and beyond), lets confront so that we may atone.

Stay on track with reading The Holy Qur’an

I am not going to get too far behind when it comes to reading The Holy Qur’an. I said I wasn’t going to get behind at all. However, I had to read three parts in one day, so I still need to ensure I’m balancing ALL of my priorities with God at the center and first to every goal. Good thing is, I’m all caught up and I’m going to finish reading The Holy Qur’an on time this Ramadan. I pray you do too!

If you do get off track, it’s okay. You can catch back up. Just divide the sections so that you can continue reading a part a day.img_0371

When I do stay on track: I feed on The Word after prayer, while I’m commuting, taking a break at work and/or while my food is preparing. This has been best for me. Find what works for you. Let’s read together because it helps us be on a higher frequency together. Together does not necessarily mean that I read a part and you. It means that while you’re reading in your space, I am also reading in mine. And when we engage in dialogue it tends to elevated. Therefore, if we feed on The Word together our bond and unison increases.

One of my favorite experiences this year  is reading The Holy Qur’an with a dear Sister of mine.

Be Productive 

Part of the reason why I got behind is because I’m working on my purpose during this month. However, I know that my gifts have zero value when I don’t put them second to Allah. So I’m keeping Him first, especially with what my responsibility is to him as priority and then I’m working on completing my goals.

Progress towards my goals are looking great this month. I pray the same for you.
Being productive helps you stay awoke. The only time I feel very exhausted is when I’m commuting on the train or sitting still for too long. If you know me, you know I get about 3-4 hours asleep. So I have no choice but to be productive.

Productivity boosts energy.

Journaling

Since I love writing, I’m constantly thinking of ways I can turn my reflective thoughts into purpose. Therefore I brought a journal to take note of my daily learnings, readings, and reflections. It’s been helpful to access where I’m at with progress towards my goals and my nearness with Allah. It will definitely be helpful for next year because I have a bunch of ayats (verses) written out for reminders, personal duas (informal prayers of supplication for use in a range of situations, in most cases they are personal prayers), inspiration (I am writing my favorite verses), a brief explanation of what my experience is like on each day. Tracking my growth, allows me to see how far I’ve come. So all though I have a Ramadan journal, I now have a sacred reference point for one of the best times of the year to get me through trying times.


That’s what’s working for me. We still have a ways to go, so I want you to put some tools in your kit.

Below are a few reminders and tips I took from How to Prepare for Ramadan (video):

  1. Prepare to be more obedient to Allah.
  2. More Sunnah & Less Haram.
  3. Put the Fard ahead of everything!
  4. Continue your efforts after Ramadan.
  5. The day of Eid is a test for you.

Now for some humor, but a reflective self-check: Watch this hilarious short 10-minute film. It simultaneously shows the difference between a productive and non-productive Believer while engaging in Ramadan.

Fight the madness of life with the calmness of Salat.

Don’t necessarily countdown, but plan ahead for the person you want to be once Ramadan has passed. You have 20 days to manifest that person. We manifest a new thing with a thought, so don’t tell me you can’t do it. Let’s go!

Ramadan: A Sign of Life. Not Death.

My family thinks I’m going to die when I’m fasting. Truth is fasting sustains my life. 

The Holy Month of Ramadan is the 9th month of the lunar calendar in which Muslims are prescribed fasting as an obligation upon those… [whom] can physically fast without causing medical difficulty. Observers of Ramadan are to refrain from the consumption of food, drink and the urge of sexual desires with their husbands or wives during the daylight hours. The Ramadan Fast also requires one to guard oneself from immoral conduct to break bad habits, remove the blemishes of sin, character flaws, and purify our hearts, minds and actions. (received the explanation from the editor’s note of ‘The Fast Of Ramadan’: A Prescription For Healing And Guarding Against Evil article on thefinalcall.com)

Ramadan Mubarak (Blessed Ramadan)!

I hope and pray you’re enjoying your Ramadan thus far and that you’re experiencing success. If you’re not practicing Ramadan, however you’re interested in learning about Ramadan, this post is still for you.

I’m not Muslim, may I still fast?

You don’t need permission to take care of your body. Heal Self! You can do it, whether you refer to yourself as Muslim or not.

Do you believe you can be strengthened?

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

A lot of us quote this scripture. However, when it actually comes down to abstaining from food, I oftentimes hear, I need food. You don’t say! I need food too. We need spiritual food more. What good is it to have food for the body when our mind, spirit, and physical bodies are bent out of shape? I can hear a dear Sister’s voice in my head as I type this post saying: “Did you bless your temple?” Ask yourself that: Are you blessing your temple? Ask it in present tense, “am I blessing my temple?” Don’t worry, I won’t follow up with you (this time). You have a duty to take care of your body. If you believe in this verse from The Bible, then why are you allowing your stomach to take over your mind, your will, your control? You control your body, right? You should be telling the body what to do! Not the other way around.

We claim to need everything, so why is it that when we’re talking about taking care of self there are many people who don’t see the need for health and wellness? Do we not NEED healing? How can anything else matter if we’re not healthy? Health is wealth.

If your stomach and food has that much control over you, it may be safe to say that you are setting up a god besides Allah.

Remember in that same Bible, Jesus fasted for 40 days, Ramadan is only for 30.

Matthew 4:2

After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.

“You really believe that (Philippians 4:13) then what are you backing out of struggle for? You want difficulty because when you get a difficulty and when you face it with God, you overcome it and you become a better person as a result. Now, how are you gonna do that without strengthening your will then to challenge what is natural in you? My body and your body needs water. We need food Brother *laughs*. God knows we need food.”

– The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, The Great Fast of Ramadan; For The Strengthening of The Will

Why do we fast?

“In our reading of the [third juz’ (part)] of The Qur’an, we will come to a verse that reads: “O you who believe, fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you so that you may guard against evil (Surah 2:183). This is why we fast! This is why we abstain from the necessary and vital things of life, food and water, and that which procreates life, during the daylight hours: If we can make it one day to not drink water, not eat food, which is so natural, so necessary to life, surely we then can guard against the evil of lying, stealing, slander, backbiting, fornication, adultery, fighting, arguing and killing one another. The evils that fasting causes us to guard against are what the whole world is experiencing right now! Surely man is in loss… But during this Holy Month, let us strive to fulfill what The Fast is designed for: It’s a prescription from The Lord of the worlds to guard us against the doing of evil.” 

– The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, ‘The Fast Of Ramadan’: A Prescription For Healing And Guarding Against Evil

When you are abstaining from food, if you are submitting to the fast, you become more mindful of self. There’s a difference between abstaining from food and submitting to the process of the fast. Huh? Seems like the same thing Destiny. *sighs* bare with me *smile*

I can abstain from food, however what am I doing while I’m not eating is the question. If I’m only watching TV and still listening to garbage, then I have not fed myself spiritually, which means the fast is only done in vain. When you submit to the process of fasting, you’re paying attention to your body, mind, and thoughts. There are two houses up top in what shall be your heaven (the mind is different from the brain). Feed them properly. You have to think of your entire body as one that is being fed. If you are fasting from food, but once you break, you begin to feed yourself junk, ask yourself, say self “what was the purpose”?

If you are sitting at the table waiting for the sun to set, then you are not being productive and it takes away from the learning of the fast. Although you may get hungry or thirsty, it is important for you to occupy your mind. Bring out the self-improvement tools that will aid the living brain.

Why do I fast?

This is my fourth Ramadan, as I reflect on what my different experiences have been, I’ve noticed each year I feel more alive. I become more at peace with self. In this peace, it allows me to grow closer to Allah, which is what Ramadan is all about.

“This fast is for Allah, but it is His gift to me, personally, that I may develop the will to guard against evil.” 

– The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, ‘Set Your Mind And Set Your Will For The Great Fast Of Ramadan’

Yes! The fast is for Allah, but it is indeed His gift to us. When submitting to the fast, we are (re)learning how to eat to live. We are no longer living to eat. Eating to live sustains our life. It allows us to digest our food properly. It allows toxins to be removed. When we are not focused on food throughout the day, we actually have more time for Allah. The process allows you to see yourself in the mirror and actually become a better you. You are literally experiencing a rebirth. You’re killing the dead and bringing life to the real you. This is a sign of life.

Although, I have conversations with Allah everyday, the reading of the Holy Qur’an allows me to have a divine conversation with Him. He provides a new understanding of Infinite Divine Revelation.

“A Book of Conversation from a Master to His student! So every Ramadan we have a chance to enter The Classroom of Allah, to read His words that He gave to His servant that have become abook …Today, we have a Book to read. Today, we have a Conversation to try to understand that will bring us into The Circle of Divine. We can say today that God is speaking to us just as He spoke to Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah, peace be upon him.”

– The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, ‘The Fast Of Ramadan’: A Prescription For Healing And Guarding Against Evil

As you go on throughout your Ramadan (because it’s your experience), take note of the 10 days. Access yourself each day and then access yourself within the 10 days. Remember:

  1. The first 10 days are the days of Mercy.
  2. The second 10 days are the days of Forgiveness.
  3. The third 10 days are to seek Refuge in Allah from the Hellfire.

Ask yourself, one more question: Is the food a god or are you a god? You are a god and you can make it through the 30 days!

The Minister gives us an affirmation on the first day of the Holy fast on the Ramadan Prayerline. Click the photo to listen to the playback.

“When you’re breaking the fast, you’re not cheating on someone else. You’re cheating on yourself… Then you’ve missed out on a wonderful opportunity to strengthen your own will and to develop the power to resist. That’s why Black people have not overcome, as of yet because the will to overcome is weak in us.”

– The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, The Great Fast of Ramadan; For The Strengthening of The Will

So stand strong and be a sign of life!

Project Birthday Bags

I have literally beat every thing doctors said I couldn’t and I have lived longer than they said I would.

I have been chronically ill since the age of 10, which means I’ve practically been sick most of my life. In 2012, I was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH). HLH is a rare autoimmune disorder where the body forms too many activated immune cells. The illness can cause patients to develop a number of neurological abnormalities, which may also cause fevers, rashes, heart and breathing complications, along with an increased risk of certain cancers. Two years later, on August 1, 2014, I received an allogeneic bone marrow transplant. A bone marrow or cord blood transplant allows unhealthy blood cells to be replaced and restored. During my recovery time at Johns Hopkins Hospital, I spent a few months on their oncology floor. While there, I met some great people who were willing to stay up late and talk with me about my problems. I have always suffered with expressing how my illness makes me feel. I never had a problem telling my story but actually saying, “hey this is hard for me and I need help” was a challenge. It’s a great feeling to know I’m not being judged and it’s amazing to know that people are willing to listen; and even more shocked to know they would help. I’m more expressive and less worried about what people think of me and now I feel empowered to give back to others I can relate to.

As it’s approaching my born day, it occurred to me that I will be able to do whatever I want, wherever I want, and when I want. Whereas some children have to spend their birthdays and holidays in the hospital. I remember being in the hospital on Thanksgiving and Christmas and although the doctors treated me well, it wasn’t like being home surrounded by family. So on my twenty-fourth birthday, I’ve decided to visit the oncology floor at Johns Hopkins to give gifts to strong children.

I remember doctors and others telling me that I wouldn’t make it. I can only imagine what the children are being told, so I hope to give them a reason to smile and show them that I am proof that things can get better for those with cancer! The best part is that I am better and I did it all with a smile. I’d tell anyone living with a chronic illness to control it, don’t let it control you. The mind is a powerful thing and if you believe you can do it, there’s no one who can stop you!


If you’re interested, please contribute to Project Birthday Bags here. All donations will go to a fund dedicated to purchasing gifts bags for the children at Johns Hopkins Hospital on the oncology floor of Bloomberg Children’s Hospital. The last date of this campaign is April 8, 2017.

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Bi’Ja Thatch