I was inspired to write this article after listening to Diana Ross’ hit theme song from the movie “Mahogany.” In the song, Diana asks; “Do you know where you’re going to? Do you like the things that life is showing you? Where are you going to, do you know?” Unfortunately, many women do not know where they are going nor where they are headed. Sadly, most women spend too much time focusing upon and caring for everyone else and often forget to care for themselves. Self neglect may not be intentional, but it’s detrimental to a woman’s physical and mental health nonetheless. My mother is a prime example of someone who looks out for everyone else before herself. She would go without new shoes to make sure my siblings and I had shoes. She’s the kind of person who’d give you her last dime and think nothing of it. On the surface, this type of behavior seems noble and thoughtful, but this kind of “love” is not healthy. I used to think that looking out for “number one” was a sign of arrogance. However, I have learned that I could never truly love anyone else if I didn’t love myself first.

One of the first steps to loving one’s self is setting aside time to be alone. If you are fortunate enough to have a lot of time on your hands, plan a fun, yet solitary weekend. If you are laden with responsibilities, set aside one evening a week to have a Mahogany Night. A Mahogany Night is a very intimate evening with your total self–no man, no kids, no cell phone, no home phone, and no television. In order to indulge in a Mahogany Night, you will need the following: your favorite bubble bath, candles, petals from your favorite flower, a flute filled with your favorite drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic), a journal or notepad, a mirror, and your favorite soft music. Once you’ve settled into the bathtub, allow yourself to surrender to the quietness. Become enraptured by the scented candles as they perfume the air. Notice how the candle light reflects orange and red hues upon your skin. Close your eyes and feel the silky lather melting down the nape of your neck like buttery candle wax. Listen to your heart beat as you gently caress your neck, your breasts, your thighs, and your arms. Let all the frustration, anxiety and fear from the day slowly dissipate as you sink deeper into your soapy refuge, deeper into yourself.

Take out your journal and read your thoughts. If you don’t normally write in a journal, record your thoughts and write down your dreams and goals in the notepad. Ask yourself if you’re doing what it takes to make your dreams a reality. Are you so busy and consumed with life that you don’t dream anymore? Can you envision yourself living out your dreams? Are you your number one fan or your biggest critic? Jot down ways of how you can become you’re number one fan and direct all your energies towards cultivating and strengthening your intellect and gifts. Write down and memorize Bible scriptures or quotes that encourage you to believe in yourself. Stop depending upon the approval of others to validate you. Then ask yourself if you’re trying to keep up with the Joneses? If so, stop wasting your time and be the designer original that God created you to be.

Men are wonderful, but I think that women are absolutely fascinating. We’re unique creatures that are capable of nurturing multitudes, but we must first learn to nurture ourselves. We must learn how to nurture ourselves and incorporate it into our lifestyles. Daily affirmations work wonders on the soul and self esteem. Have you read Max Erdmann’s “Desiderata”, Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman”, or better yet Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Tripping”? Read and re-read these timeless treasures, allowing the words to penetrate your soul.

As you soak in your soapy retreat, listen to songs like “It’s My Turn” and “Do You Know” by Diana Ross, “I am Changing” from the Dream Girls soundtrack, and “Open Up My Heart” by Yolanda Adams. These songs can help you begin to focus upon yourself. You should also listen to songs like “Naughty Girl” by Beyonce when you want to get into that sensual zone. So what you need to shed a few pounds or lose those love handles, you still look fabulous and should love every inch of your body. Look in the mirror and examine yourself. Ask yourself if you love your body even if it doesn‘t look the way you want it to. Does your outer beauty truly mirror your inner beauty? Ladies, we need to realize that if we don’t think we are sexy, beautiful or sensual, no one else will.

Hopefully, a Mahogany Night will become part of your weekly routine and your vocabulary. You’ll tell your man that you need a Mahogany Night and he’ll give you your space or someone can babysit the children as you take time for yourself. Our mothers had their Calgon Nights, let’s have our Mahogany Nights.

Ladies, do you neglect yourself for others? What do you do to make yourself feel appreciated?

Be blessed!

ShalenaD.I.V.A
P.S.- Remember everything has beauty including YOU. IT just takes a true D.I.V.A to see it.

© 2012, Shalena D.I.V.A.- Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.

35 comments on “Mahogany Nights by ShalenaD.I.V.A”

    • Alicia, I’m so glad that this article resonated with you. It’s funny because I had second thoughts about posting this. I’m glad I did. I’m trying to have a Mahogany Night tonight!

  1. Girl Calcon was just from the box to the tub, What you puttin’ down I’m pickin’ up. Mahogony Night in deed. I know I just learned at 40 that I needed to put myself first and it takes a minute to apply this skill especially when your soul responsibility has been to look out for your children sacrifically. It becomes a lifestytle because you live for them. They were all we had to live for. I hope this generation doesn’t make that same mistake we made. Because the other side of that is they will break your heart inspite of your sacrifices. You have to live on purpose and on point, otherwise you’ll just barely exist. This is how some of my peers dreams have been forfeited because we though away the idea , “my turn”. To some people this idea may sound selfish but I have a word , “Love thy neighbor as you love yourself”. Now you see why it’s so much hate. There is a whole lot of folk who ain’t lovin’ themselves. The preachers, teachers, prophets, need to stay right their , “as you love yourself.” The question is do you love yourself and do you really believe that your are worthy of love? I’m going to buy my peppermint soap, my lillies, a scented soy candle, becasue they burn cleaner and it’s better on your lungs and the air. Play my favorite music and embrace the moment all by myself. I like that song too. “All by myself”
    Go on with your master minded self. I know you’re a child of the King.
    Friendly Christian

  2. It’s been a while for “me” time, maybe~ hopefully I’ll get some on Mother’s Day!! Lol as a mom always feel guilty when I do though!!! 🙂

  3. Its bee so long i forgot who i am seriously all jokes aside all i know is mommy and my kids and im nowhere to be found im lost

    • I can relate. Hang in there! Do you have any girlfriends who you can have girls’ night out with?

      • No they work alot and have n kids no tides so they dont understand. Im usally by myself cant go out out for me havent been to a party since 07 no lie its the truth and for get the other stuff its all gone from me nothing going on. Its like …i need a me make over and remember who i am again i used to be high matainense now im frumpy mommy baggy shits sweats once in a while tight jeans i just did my hair and want to do my nails but since i have to change my babies so much i might mess up my nails. I give up for real i havent been on a bike i want a bike and just go somewhere instead of yo gabba gabba and wonder pets land with my kids and seeing the back of my eyelids is all i can do right now i stay up with my infant every night its like i got punched into no fun me.

      • High stress high worrying everything is gone from my ambitions im tired of doing for mommy mommy and not april. #nofunhavingme

      • Omg my life is only mommy aww mommy. Feed me change me pick me up hold me i want to reck everything up i want to open the frige and sit in it i get mad when spongebob goes off and now im crying.# wordsof my none talking kids.

        • I know that L.A. Fitness offers daycare services while you work out. They take newborns, too.

          • I can go to lucy roberts on the ave and do it but that money is usually for diapers and there expensive when the father isnt helping hards times and my own recession is kicking me in my own ass. Long story i need the extra help

            • ‎@April—Ask for help when you need it though. It’s important that you do because if you’re not feeling well, the children will sense it and respond. You should consider asking for help because post-partum is real, too. Caring for a newborn is tough, especially if you can’t get some time to yourself. Email me at shalenadiva@shalenadiva.com if you want to talk, ok?

              • I pray God hears me sends opportunities and all i just havent taken advantage of all i can do because of lack of finaces so if i have it it goes to my kids if i have it all goes to them clothes diapers washing products food them and some me… my money goes to paying my bills transportaion ,phone hair products because going to get your hair donr is not in my bugget when i can do it myself i get my eyerows done whats that 6 to 5 dollars this is what it is now but every now and then i pour out on a page of something happening nd nine times out of ten its true everything im saying

              • I had post pardom with myself not my babies i love being a mother i do i just for got me.
                I kiss them go out to the stores with them all of my appointments and doctor check ups to the city alot and everybody offers me a seat i say no becaus…e im home so much i just want to stand up and walk everywhere one on my chest and one in the stroller and im out i walk fast and dont look up when i friend passes me they usually see me before i see them and i bob and weave through crowds so much i dont stop and look i just try to get where i have to go and after i finish my erins i just go home and bathe them put pjs on them take my shower feed them and my after and start another day. Sometimes its harder than others.

        • April. Enjoy Them for as long as You Can. Yes I do understand. But you will look around and say Wow where did the time go? When did they Grow Up?!

  4. I feel so blessd*i live alone*I GET ALLLLLLL THE ME TIME I WANT*GOD HAS SUPPLIED MY NEED….YESSSSSSS

  5. real tlk tho I have..ive been busy with college and soon a job will be added to the mix so..Lord give me strength this is adult Life. Im not tripping God is my strength

  6. i luv sum me tym,lst mnth i went 2 a saloon alone.shop around en went 4 a lunch alone,while i was dinin alone i had an ‘aha’ moment den i promise myself i’m gonna do dis once in a mnth.i deserve it i wrk 4 it

  7. All the time! I don’t play in this department! I refuse to neglect myself for the sake of others- including hubby, children or work. I used to neglect myself way back when…even if its just an hour with music in the bathroom– DO NOT DISTURB! LOL

  8. i dont even think about it any more. my 29 yr old daughter,and her sons 10 and 7 live with me as of 2 months.she is having brain surgery may 8, so i am really in over drive.

  9. its been a while a long while but when i do i know i will be relaxed and i will know calgon took me away to that extra mile lol

    • Yes, they still make Calgon–LOL! My mother has a box sitting on her dresser–they had the best commercials!

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