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“With The Same Sword They Knight You They Gon’ Goodnight You”: The Hard Truth Nipsey Is Making Us See

“With The Same Sword They Knight You They Gon’ Goodnight You”: The Hard Truth Nipsey Is Making Us See

 

        (Written 4/5/19) It has been a long week. A week full of shock, confusion, anger, conspiracy theories, self reflection, and ultimately sadness. We are all deeply saddened by the murder of our brother in spirit Nipsey Hussle. It is said that death comes like a thief in the night, and it is no doubt we ARE ALL blindsided by Nipsey’s murder. We feel robbed. The pain hits on a few different levels, and it seems like this is the main reason we are all so shellshocked.  

        Before we go any further we want to give our love and light to all of Nipsey’s friends and family. Our thoughts are with you. Take your time going through the grieving process, and remember that the ones we love are never gone from us.

        Nipsey’s music was really just a point of entry, a gateway into his beautifully complex world; a world so many of us identified with on multiple levels. Being young, black, and from the hood there are so many intersecting influences that we all try to make sense of in our own way. Nipsey in particular, was very honest in showing us how he wove together his gang affiliation (Rollin 60s), with his love for science, technology, fashion, spirituality and entrepreneurship. He represented SO MANY of us, his authenticity charged us and encouraged us to be our best selves. A lot of the anger we feel is related to the fact that such a beautiful light was snuffed out by the very place it emerged from.

        The hood is a complicated place. Or rather, those of us from different hoods feel mixed feelings towards it. We love the hood and we hate the hood. We see the beauty and genius there, while also seeing the ugly side, which is dominated by the warped worldview of SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. When our thoughts are dominated with survival we see everyone and everything as a threat to our existence. Here in America, especially in the hood where there are limited resources, the preoccupation with survival is palpable, and people are liable to do really crazy things to try and alleviate the fear that comes with this perspective. Although all of the details surrounding Nipsey’s murder still haven’t come out, we do know that he was killed by someone he knew, in front of his own store, in his own neighborhood. By his own people. Why is it when someone is transitioning into their greatness the very people who have a front row seat hate the most? Why do we feel so threatened by our brother and sister growing? Why do we feel so negatively that we will go through great lengths to disrupt their lives?

        If you are into science fiction there is an amazing book from Octavia Butler called Parable of the Sower, and in that book there is a brilliant quote that says: “Drowning people sometimes die fighting their rescuers.”It is impossible to save someone who doesn’t want to save themselves. This is the hardest lesson for leaders to accept, and it also means that sometimes the best way to help is from a distance. It is safe to say that in the hood, we are all drowning in some way shape or form; under the water of drugs, debt, loss, and trauma. In this situation, Eric Holder, drowning, under the water of his own issues, decided to instead save himself and kill one of his own rescuers, our beloved, and that hurts. That hurts in a way that we haven’t been hurt collectively in a while.

           We gotta stop killing each other. We gotta stop believing the lies society tell us about who we are. We gotta work to dismantle the cultural legacies of violence intolerance and fear. Nipsey was our brother and we killed him. The same hood that dubbed him a knight was the same one that took him out. This dual nature exists in all of us. We all have to see the part we play in the way the world is. The only way things are really going to change is if we feel responsible enough to change ourselves. Are you a hater? When you see people getting exposure, glowing up, and getting money, are you happy for them, or do you hate?

         Instead of being discouraged, we have to double down on our greatness. We have to work overtime to promote the spirit of collaboration OVER competition. We are stronger together. There is more than enough to go around. If there is one thing we can take away from Nipsey’s life, it is to BE GREAT. Greatness requires self awareness, self love, and an endless desire to be our best. Like he always reminded us, life is a MARATHON. Greatness is being great all the time which requires an insane amount of endurance. Nip was just warming up, and through his death he has passed the baton to us. What are you going to do with it? What ever greatness you see in our brother Nipsey, here at AWARE we challenge you to see that same amount in yourself. We all have limitless God potential, and people like Nipsey inspire us to actualize it!

 

        Are you aware?

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Instincts Born in Caves of Ice

Instincts Born in Caves of Ice

 

    Everyone’s hearts and minds are with the families who lost loved ones in New Zealand last week. The terrible murders of all those worshipers touches a still raw wound in our collective hearts. To murder people who are worshiping takes a special kind of ignorance of SELF and evil, an evil that unfortunately we have become accustomed and desensitized to. Here at The Aware Brand we like to take things that are happening in our lives and look at them through the lens of awareness. Here is a place where spirituality intersects with race, gender, religion, ethnicity and socioeconomic status. We have heard many people over the past few days talk about sending their thoughts and prayers but not enough leaders are addressing the elephant of white supremacy in a way that really challenges us to search ourselves to see what we believe in both as individuals and as a collective.

   Where do we start? Lao Tzu said: “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our AWARENESS”. This labor of love will try to do just that.

   Environment affects us in so many ways: mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. When we look at different cultures and civilizations throughout history we consistently see the societies that were living in predictable and harmonious environments highlighted aspects of nature like cycles, harmony, and beauty in their spiritual/religious systems. On the other hand, cultures that were born from harsher circumstances usually have brutal gods and stress concepts like punishment and control because they see nature as cruel and unforgiving. It is no secret that the earliest days of modern Europeans were born in ice: cold, harsh, and unpredictable. Like Game of Thrones unpredictable. Living in these conditions until the ice melted enough for immigration, really shaped the minds and hearts of early white people, so much so that there has always been a preoccupation with survival, accentuated and made popular by Darwin. That idea still persists to this day in cultural legacies of violence and intolerance. Keep all of this in mind as we continue on.

   

    The heinous crime committed (and live-streamed) in New Zealand by Brenton Tarrant is the newest act in a long line of racially driven attacks on people considered “other”. Whether it be Dylan Roof in Charleston, Anders Breivik in Norway, Robert Bowers in Pittsburgh, Michael Page in Wisconsin or Alex Fields Jr., who drove the car into the crowd killing Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, the impulse pushing these men to action is fear. We do not have to guess what this fear is, we are told in chants of “you will not replace us”, and 70-page manifestos; the fear is centered around the thought of not being able to survive the growing tide of multiculturalism. Multiculturalism coupled with the declining birth rates across the globe, is triggering some white people into active resistance, or more accurately, terrorism. If you are aware, you can easily see that the consciousness of inclusion, integration, compassion and acceptance is growing more and more, and with its growth, causing much agitation. Now white supremacists are not the only ones uncomfortable in these times, they are just the most vocal and most dangerous. It is their loudness and boldness that is very disturbing. Especially when many white people who claim to be allies of non white people remain quiet and passive. While there are allies who speak up consistently, there is an overwhelming majority of people that remain silent. This silence is loudest in the spiritual communities all across the world.

   What is spiritual to you? Is it feeding the homeless? Is it social justice? Is it about meditation yoga and affirmations? Crystals and sage? Most would agree at least conceptually, that we are all many out of one, emerging from a singular place of origin (God/Universe/Source). We share that place of origin with all of creation. This is the biggest and deepest truth. Most spiritual leaders, whether it be of churches or otherwise, have difficulty teaching their audience how to make that truth a living daily practice. It is such a shame really just how quiet or avoidant most of these leaders are when these types of incidents come up. The people are looking to them for clarity, honesty, and reassurance, and what do they get? Seemingly heartfelt words about God’s love and how one day it will all get better. But nothing challenging. No words to truly challenge the minds and hearts of those who wish to tear humanity apart. Spirituality is not about tricking ourselves into believing everything is okay, it is about being real with ourselves and transforming our lives for the better. We cannot do this without being uncomfortable. We must move beyond the popular abundance-law of attraction teachings and dig deep into ourselves to see how we are contributing to the current state of affairs.

   It is also important to note that none of the above mentioned men are what the media loves to call a “lone wolf”. No, they are an expression of a part of us that has committed and given in to fear. Fear leads to doubt, isolation, and toxic exclusivity. These things stand in direct opposition to the incoming and growing consciousness of the future. All of our destinies are linked and for the coming days to truly be better we must all step up to the plate and do the necessary work to grow and change. White supremacy has burrowed deep holes into the consciousness of the planet, and it is our responsibility to undo the damage it has caused, so that tomorrow might be brighter than today. Where do you standing in these times? What does your spirituality look like in real life? How does your religion inspire you to make the world better? What personal work is there left for you to do on yourself? Our hearts truly go out to New Zealand and everywhere in the world where more love is needed. What can we do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?

 

   Are you aware?

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What Would Dr. Sebi Do? 4 Plant Based Medicines We Should Be Taking Right Now

What Would Dr. Sebi Do? 4 Plant Based Medicines We Should Be Taking Right Now

We all can agree that this COVID-19 crisis is UNPRECEDENTED. As millennials, we’ve experienced a lot. From two economic crashes, 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, a Trump Presidency, and we’re not even 40 yet. But one thing this coronavirus has brought to our awareness is our health. Our health is super duper important and the only way we can sustain it is to ensure we are herbing up and boosting our immune systems.


So with that said lets make Dr. Sebi proud and check out our list of herbal medicines you can take right now to protect yourself. 

 

 

  1. Seamoss

Made famous by Dr. Sebi himself for curing “incurable” diseases, this superfood is loaded with vitamins and over 92 minerals that your body needs. Sea Moss can be used in smoothies, health drinks and more. You can cook it or eat it raw (for best results). Other benefits include: immune support, healthy mucus membrane support, digestive health, thyroid support, weight loss, mental health and fertility. 

 

  1. Black Seed Oil

Black seed oil contains thymoquinone, which is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that’s reported to have tumor-reducing properties. Other benefits include: weight loss, increased kidney and liver functions, eczema reduction, antipsoriatic, and fertility. 

 

 

 

  1. Elderberry

The berries and flowers of elderberry are jammed packed with antioxidants and vitamins that boosts your immune system. Benefits include: Taming inflammation, increased heart function, and it’s said to be a destresser. It has been known to treat headaches, kidney problems and infections that affect how we breathe. 

 

  1. Burdock Root

This native vegetable of North Asia and Europe is a powerhouse. Burdock root contains big antioxidants and is known to reduce inflammation. It is a blood detoxifier and has been reported to increase circulation in the body. Other benefits include: a natural aphrodisiac (Get right Kings) and it's great for the skin.


We could’ve made this list way longer. But this is a great starter kit, especially if you’ve never experienced herbal medicine. At the end of the day, awareness is about the mind, the body and the spirit. So be sure to add these to your cart on your next grocery run or if you’re online shopping. Stay tapped in, be kind to yourself and eat your medicine. 


We love you!

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Keep It Tight!

Keep It Tight!
During this time of quarantining, it’s imperative that we keep our minds and bodies on point. It’s easy to to just chill; eat snacks, and watch tv all day lol but that’s super counterproductive and we gotta keep it tight 24/7, 365! There’s nothing wrong with chilling, trust, we’ve been BIG chilling, but we also know that we have to keep a healthy mind and body in this process to balance us out.
Below, you will see some suggestions from our team on some practices to keep your mind and body in tact while we channel through this quarantine:
Mind Treatments
Meditate For 15-30 Mins
  • Find a guided meditation on YouTube or download Mindful app to help
  • You can also just find some time to get in a quiet space to sit in silence, and let your mind just go. Sitting in silence is so good because one, we never get to do it and two, you can possibly hear what God has been trying to tell you for a min 😉. The benefits are amazing. #Solitude
    Pray
    • Praying is another form of meditation. Use the time to pray to talk to God. Affirming who you are and what you’ve received or gained.
    • Talk to the source and thank God for the things you have.
      Listen To Binaural Beats
      • Binaural beats in the alpha frequencies (8 to 13 Hz) are thought to encourage relaxation, promote positivity, and decrease anxiety
      • Binaural beats in the lower beta frequencies (14 to 30 Hz) have been linked to increased concentration and alertness, problem solving, and improved memory.
        Breathing Exercises
        • Breathing exercises can decrease anxiety
        • Begin with just 5 minutes a day, and increase your time as the exercise becomes easier and more comfortable.
        • If 5 minutes feels too long, start with just 2 minutes.
        • Types of exercises
          • Pursed lip breathing
          • Alternate nostril breathing
          • Humming bee breath
        Listen To Your Favorite Music
        • It increases happiness
        • Decreases stress
        Journal
        Clear your mind and write your thoughts down.
        • Allow yourself to self reflect on gratitude, things you are happy you achieved so far this year, things you can work on etc.

        Body
        Stretch for 15 mins
        A few benefits are:
        • It increases the blood flow to your muscles. We need to get that blood circulating in our bodies so we can fight off these potential diseases and sicknesses
        • It’s great for stress release.
        • It improves your range of motion and posture.
        Go outside for a walk or run
        • Just take 30 mins out of your day to take a walk or a light jog outside to get some fresh air.
        • It’ll improve your mood for the day
        • You’ll burn some of the quarantine snacks off and stay in shape
        Calisthenics
        Calisthenics are exercises like push ups, sit-ups, burpees or anything that uses the resistance of your own body to build strength, increase flexibility and burn fat. No equipment or weights are used in calisthenics, and the exercises can be performed anywhere there is a floor and enough space to move in. The benefits of calisthenics effects are wide-reaching.
        • Increases muscle tone
        • Increase endurance
        • Helps with weight loss
        Yoga
        Yoga means union in Sanskrit. Practicing yoga will help your get in unison with your body truest nature and with God. Plus it has a lot of physical benefits as well.
        • It’ll increase your flexibility
        • Improves respiration, energy, and vitality
        • Increased muscle strength and tone

        These are just a few things to help you stay in mental and physical shape during this quarantine. Just start one day at a time and make it a practice. And share with you family and friends too.
        We love you!
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        Are You Willing to go the Distance?: Social Distancing and Getting Through This Quarantine

        Are You Willing to go the Distance?: Social Distancing and Getting Through This Quarantine


              To say that this has been a stressful time is an understatement. We’ve gone from empty shelves where food and water used to be, to stores now limiting the amount that people can buy (Thank the gods). But still no toilet tissue. The whole entire world is feeling the effects of COVID-19’s dirty dance through our collective immune system. With the number of confirmed cases continuing to rise here in the U.S., scientists and lay people alike have been trying to figure out just how to stay safe in all the madness. So far, social distancing and self quarantining have been the best suggestions. Initially an unofficial measure taken by the public, quarantining was eventually suggested and urged by the President and his team, and this is when we saw the majority of businesses and schools close. 


              Now what? 


              In a society where we are always on the go, always on to the next thing, social distancing and quarantining ourselves haven’t been the easiest thing to do. With most of us staying indoors and minimizing our physical interactions we are left to deal with who we are beyond our jobs, clothes, events, and hairstyles. Now we get to see first hand just how much time and energy we devote to things that don’t really matter when our health is at stake. 



               A lot of people are worried right now, and understandably so. As we quarantine and distance ourselves from other people, we can use this time as an opportunity to get in touch with SELF. 

              We have the chance to really do some self work  and put some distance between our true selves and things like doubt, fear, and anxiety that trick us into thinking we are something we are not: powerless. 


              While we are at home here’s some things we can do to open our awareness to that truth:

        1. Clean and organize the house
        2. Open the windows to let fresh air in
        3. SAGE (spend more time in corners where energy tends to accumulate)
        4. Rearrange furniture! Get your Feng Shui on
        5. Be creative! (write, draw, record content)
        6. Stretch
        7. Workout (so many challenges on IG)
        8. MEDITATE MEDITATE MEDITATE! 

              Social distancing and quarantining ourselves is a really important piece to prevent our healthcare system from being more overwhelmed than it already is. And it doesn’t have to all be super zen and boring. If you’re with your partner you can get creative in the bedroom (or whole house), and of course check in with your friends and family. People like D-Nice have been trying to keep our collective spirits up with amazing music in their livestreams; he had over 100 thousand people rocking with him Saturday! 

             Even though we cannot be physically next to each other, let’s use this time to still be close to one another while getting to know ourselves on a deeper level. Some people find it really hard to be alone with themselves and they will need a friend or two to help them with this new normal. If all goes well we will be back outside turning up in no time; as a new version of ourselves. As always, every moment is an opportunity for us to expand our awareness of self. We will do our best to check in with our tribe and make sure ya'll are good! We hope everyone stays safe and healthy! Remember, stress and fear lowers our immunity and makes us easier to control. Never forget that you are a limitless being with the power to decide how you react to the twists and turns of life. Tap in! 


             Are you aware?

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