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Sacred Spaces: Home is Where Art is for creators Shabazz and Ashley Larkin

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Lexander Bryant

It’s a chilly afternoon in Nashville. The sky is clear. The sun has set. When the beam hits your skin, you’re feeling relieved, but when the moment passes, the cold returns, causing your entire body to shiver in a way which you could’t control. This is unusual weather for this region of the country. It’s the deep south. Middle Tennessee is often bearable this time of 12 months. Climate change? Maybe. As a native New Yorker, I cope as best as possible in a comfortable cashmere hoodie, a highlighter hat, and Uggs.

During the pandemic, a wave of creators like me fled densely populated cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York for the brand new Nashville. Work flexibility, cost of living, dreams of home ownership, and a burgeoning arts and cultural scene that features Black and Brown talent make it a horny place to settle. With this zoom out, the weather is trivial.

The Larkins were ahead of the wave.

Sacred Spaces: Home is Where Art is for creators Shabazz and Ashley Larkin
Lexander Bryant

Ashley, a psychotherapist and artist, and her husband Shabazz, a multidisciplinary artist, moved their family and moved from the Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn to Nashville in 2018, looking for refuge of their home state of Virginia along the best way. “Two weeks turned into six months. “Six months turned into a year,” he tells me about his family’s decision to return to the South. “We had to go back to where we felt at home.”

And although the journey home looks different for each of us, for this couple home is a spot of belonging. It’s practice. It’s something and a spot they have an inclination to gravitate towards. Constant.

This season, Ashley creates space for herself, meeting her needs with the identical effort and intention that she puts into her family’s sacred home.

Sacred Spaces: Home is Where Art is for creators Shabazz and Ashley Larkin
Lexander Bryant

“The house as a space and the house within it are synonyms,” he says quietly but with authority. “I created my space to support my well-being, my belonging and my creativity. I need this space to take care of me, and I want my sons and husband to feel empowered and seen.”

Larkins and their boys – Royal, 9, and Legend, 7 – live in a south-facing townhouse on the town’s east side. The three-bedroom three-tier bed features decorative coffered ceilings and crown moldings, creating depth and detail throughout the open space.

“This house is ours,” Ashley declares once I ask about their position on home ownership. “It’s a space we can cultivate and curate on our terms. It is agency and autonomy. Shabazz and I didn’t grow up in a family that had all the tips and tricks about wealth to pass on to us. We didn’t understand the value of buying a home – we didn’t know how to do it.” Until they didn’t.

Sacred Spaces: Home is Where Art is for creators Shabazz and Ashley Larkin
Lexander Bryant

As you enter their 2,565-square-foot apartment, “Impervious,” Shabazz Larkin’s masterpiece, beckons you within the foyer. The 60″ x 72″ acrylic on canvas commemorates the iconography of the twins in Yoruba culture, signifying a strong presence and source of protection.

Scattered throughout the living area are books, African sculptures and textiles, potted plants, a brass trumpet and mixed media art. The Ancestry Wall – a family corner where you’ll be able to honor and remember your ancestors – presents framed moments in time, showing the couple’s grandparents and deceased relations they never had the chance to satisfy.

“We strive to create memorable moments in our space in every way possible,” says Ashley. “I don’t just want beautiful things; I want people to feel something when they walk into our home,” adds Shabazz. “People give space. When we realize that our space is a blank canvas for intention, we have the opportunity to infuse it with meaning, love and all the things that make a home beautiful.”

Sacred Spaces: Home is Where Art is for creators Shabazz and Ashley Larkin
Lexander Bryant

The open floor plan allows for free movement of Royal, Legend and their remote-controlled gadgets. The front room opens to the dining room, the dining room to the kitchen, and on the far back is the conservatory, which has recently been converted into Ashley’s office. Her personal sanctuary is flooded with light. “I have a quiet sense of peace in this room,” he says. “Speaking of you,” he adds with a conspiratorial wink, “this is the best room in the house.”

When preparing their space, a pair often lets it reveal itself based on the art they select. More than a dozen of Shabazz’s original works are propped, hung and draped throughout the home. “At some point, we wanted to treat our space like an intimate art gallery, so when people came, it was just a natural experience of art,” he says.

Sacred Spaces: Home is Where Art is for creators Shabazz and Ashley Larkin
Lexander Bryant

Ashley admits that sometimes she insists on having a finished, put-together house. But in moments like these, he reminds himself, “It’s not true. Home is not a destination – it is a practice that is constantly evolving.”

“Wherever you are, there you are – so be there,” concludes Shabazz. “Love wherever you might be immediately, even when it is not your dream home. Drive these nails into the wall and slide all the best way in.

This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Health and Wellness

Why we all get sick more often after Covid-19

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Covid, study


According to an evaluation by Airfinity Ltd., not less than 13 diseases are on the rise within the post-pandemic era. While scientists don’t yet have an evidence, they consider the way in which Covid-19 modified baseline immunity plays a task.

As we reported, one popular one theory that emerged it’s immunological debt. Essentially, which means that people’s immune systems were isolated as a result of isolation, but when the world reopened, people were more at risk of disease, especially young individuals who couldn’t be exposed to disease in settings corresponding to public schools. As Cindy Yuan, an internal medicine physician at a clinic in Shanghai, said: “It’s as if the walls of the immune system have burst, allowing all kinds of viruses to easily enter,” Dr. Yuan said. She told the power that in a matter of months, her patient volume had doubled from pre-pandemic levels. “It works non-stop. From mycoplasma infections last fall to flu and Covid-19 within the winter, after which whooping cough and various varieties of bacterial infections.

Others, like Ben Cowling, head of epidemiology on the University of Hong Kong’s School of Public Health, usually are not convinced that the immune debt theory tells the entire story. Cowling believes that greater surveillance and more testing have also contributed to the rise in disease reporting and said: “Immune debt certainly happens, but I don’t think it’s resulting in huge epidemics after Cowling.”

Like Cowling, Christopher Murray, director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, believes there are more aspects at play than simply the debt immunity theory. “Why should it’s worse in places which have done a great job? This seems a bit strange. Part of that’s the concept that these countries are keeping frail, elderly people alive,” Murray added that when combined with the debt immunity theory, “it’s really quite a sophisticated set of things.”

In addition, pandemic-era misinformation about how vaccines work has contributed to declining vaccination rates amongst children, and poverty has played an as yet undetermined role within the spread of disease, experts say. According to the report, poverty levels have skyrocketed around the globe within the wake of the pandemic, adding to the rising rates of infectious diseases. According to Cowling, lower vaccination rates have contributed to a rise in diseases corresponding to measles, polio and whooping cough.

Measles, particularly, serves as a form of litmus test for the spread of other diseases, since 95% childhood vaccination coverage is required to eliminate its spread. Measles, which was functionally eliminated within the United States in 2000, has now been eliminated organized the return after vaccinations for preschool children immersed. According to Katherine Wallace, an epidemiologist on the University of Illinois, the resurgence of measles is an indication that other diseases can have an analogous surge.

Jeremy Farrar, chief scientist on the World Health Organization, identified that COVID-19 has created a “series of concentric circles,” evidenced partially by a decline in vaccination rates.

“We need to make the case for the science and vaccines and explain, clarify and explain the importance. We can’t just say some people are against science or vaccines and forget about them,” Farrar said. “We must listen, explain and try to reach everyone.”


This article was originally published on : www.blackenterprise.com
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Health and Wellness

How do we define beauty? Martine Rose asks about the SS25 Show

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Justin Shin/Getty Images

Known for making surprise appearances on the fashion week calendar, Martine Rose made her first appearance in Milan, presenting her SS25 collection during men’s week. However, this season, the born beauty raises a matter that many persons are searching for a solution to. How do we define beauty? And what makes yet another beautiful than one other? According to Martine, the answer lies in the “cracks and fissures of culture”: from the extraordinary to the invisible and unpredictable.

“The spring-summer 2025 collection is dedicated to manifestations of beauty born of anxiety, humor and sex,” we read in the program notes. ​​Across the collection of 34 styles, attention was drawn to maximalist nails decorated with puffy crystals and checks, floor-length black wigs and prosthetic noses. Designed to “give a confrontational appearance,” the long, unkempt hair and, after all, the false noses reminded us of the distinctiveness and exclusion of Black people in beauty.

How do we define beauty?  Martine Rose asks about the SS25 Show
MILAN, ITALY – JUNE 16: A model walks the runway of the Martine Rose fashion show during Milan Menswear Spring/Summer 2025 on June 16, 2024 in Milan, Italy. (Photo: Justin Shin/Getty Images)

WITH over 44,000 nose surgeries performed in the USA in 2022 (greater than twice as many as 20.7 thousand in Italy this 12 months), rhinoplasty is commonly modeled after a Eurocentric nose. “The very first thing you see on people is commonly their nose. “It’s often the first thing they change about themselves.” she says . Presenting show notes in the city described as a “traditional platform for mainstream beauty exploration”, the British designer decided to counter this with wide, taped noses (which go against the traditional “ski slope” nose standard), complemented by a “hard wig, soft life” hairstyle “.

Behind the messy, tangled hair was a hairstylist Gary Gill (who was also answerable for Fendi and Hérmes) and a colorist Tasha Spencer, tying up her disheveled braids and lifting her thin fringe into the air. From the nose to hair and nails, “body-modifying items challenge conventional notions of beauty, character and anonymity,” Rose wrote, questioning beauty standards and the way they exist in the first place. So between the partitions of the Porta Romana and the seats covered with recycled sheets, tense “untried and interesting evolutions of beauty” could emerge.

How do we define beauty?  Martine Rose asks about the SS25 Show
MILAN, ITALY – JUNE 16: A model walks the runway during the Martine Rose Ready to Wear Spring/Summer 2025 fashion show as a part of Milan Men’s Fashion Week on June 16, 2024 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)


This article was originally published on : www.essence.com
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Health and Wellness

Why do I poop in the morning? A gut expert explains

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No, you’ll be able to’t imagine it. People are literally more prone to poop in the morning, right after breakfast. Scientists have actually studied this.

But why in the morning? What if you happen to are inclined to poop later in the day? And is it price training to be a morning buyer?

To understand what causes us to poop, we’d like to think about numerous aspects, including our body clock, our gut muscles, and what we eat for breakfast.

Here’s what the science says.

So morning poop is real?

IN UK study since the early Nineties, researchers have asked almost 2,000 men and ladies in Bristol about their bowel habits.

The most typical moment of urination was during the period early morning. The peak for men was at 7–8 a.m., and for ladies about an hour later. Scientists speculated that the earlier time for men was attributable to getting up earlier for work.

About a decade later, Chinese study I found the same pattern. About 77% of the nearly 2,500 participants said that they had pooped in the morning.

But why in the morning?

There are several reasons. The first concerns our circadian rhythm – our 24-hour internal clock that helps regulate body processes equivalent to digestion.

In healthy people, our internal clock implies that the muscles in the colon are contracting distinct rhythm.

At night there may be minimal activity. The deeper and calmer our sleep, the higher less these muscle spasms that we have now. This is one in every of the reasons we do not poop while we sleep.

The lower intestine is a muscular tube that contracts more strongly at certain times of the day.
Vectomart/Shutterstock

But activity increases during the day. Our colon contractions are most energetic in the morning after waking up and after each meal.

One particular sort of colonic contraction, partially controlled by our internal clock, is often called “mass movements“. These are strong contractions that push the poop down into the rectum, preparing it to be passed out of the body, but do not all the time result in a bowel movement. In healthy people, these contractions occur several times a day. They occur more often in the morning than in the evening and after meals.

Breakfast can also be a reason to poop. When we eat and drink, our stomach expands, which triggers “gastrocolic reflex“. This reflex stimulates the colon to contract strongly and will result in any existing poop in the colon being pushed out of the body. We know that the gastrocolic reflex is strongest in the morning. This explains why breakfast will be such a powerful trigger for bowel movements.

And then our morning coffee. It may be very strong stimulant contractions of the sigmoid colon (the last a part of the colon before the rectum) and the rectum itself. This results in a bowel movement.

How essential are morning poops?

Big international surveys show that the overwhelming majority of individuals poop between thrice a day and thrice every week.

This still leaves many individuals who do not have regular bowel movements, have regular bowel movements but with various frequency, or do not all the time urinate in the morning.

So if you happen to are healthy, it’s rather more essential that your bowel movements are comfortable and regular. Bowel movements must happen once a day in the morning.

Morning poop can also be not good for everybody. Some people with irritable bowel syndrome feel an urgent must defecate in the morning – often several times after waking up, during and after breakfast. This will be quite disturbing. It appears that morning urination is attributable to overstimulation of morning colonic contractions.

Can you train yourself to be regular?

Yes, for instance, to assist treat constipation via the gastrocolic reflex. Children and elderly people affected by constipation can use the toilet immediately after eating breakfast to alleviate symptoms. For adults affected by constipation, drinking coffee usually can assist stimulate the intestines, especially in the morning.

Disrupted circadian rhythms may also result in irregular bowel movements and an increased risk of urination evenings. So not only can higher sleep habits help people sleep higher at night, but they can assist them have more regular bowel movements.

A man preparing Italian-style coffee at home, adding coffee to the pot
Regular morning coffee can assist relieve constipation.
Caterina Trimarchi/Shutterstock

Regular physical activity and avoiding it sits so much are also essential in stimulating bowel movementsespecially in people affected by constipation.

We know that stress can contribute to irregular bowel movements. So minimize stress and give attention to leisure can assist bowel movements turn into more regular.

Fiber also comes from fruit and veggies helps make your bowel movements more regular.

Finally, ensuring proper hydration helps minimize the risk of constipation and makes your bowel movements more regular.

Monitoring bowel habits

Most of us think that pooping in the morning is normal. However, there may be a large variation in the norm, so don’t be concerned in case your poops don’t follow this pattern. It is more essential that your poops are comfortable and regular for you.

If you’re concerned a couple of serious change in your bowel regularity, please contact your GP. The cause could also be so simple as a change in weight-reduction plan or starting a brand new medication.

But sometimes it might mean a very important change in your gut health. Therefore, your GP might have to order further tests, which can include blood tests or imaging tests.

This article was originally published on : theconversation.com
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