Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ma'at E's Mental Health Message

You know what is best for you so listen to your Higher Self.

We are all born with the capacity for infinite wisdom.  Our intuition or that sixth sense that some call it can tell us everything we need to know. For most of us the difficulty we have is with learning to be quiet or still long enough to listen for the wisdom that rests within us. That inner voice knows what is best for you, it can tell you when to stay in a bad situation or when to move on.  If you are finding yourself confused or second guessing what to do then you are not really paying close enough attention to your inner voice. To increase inner trust make brief amounts of time for quiet reflection to get in touch with your Self. You will learn to trust in your process and the messages from within.

Ma'at E. Lewis

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Life is too precious and sometimes too short to focus on material things. It is the gift of our breath that cannot be replaced and it is worth a thousand times the cost of anything one thing.  Recognize your own worth and the value of those around you. Let life’s joys be your greatest asset. While our wealth can be important it can all be washed away, leaving us with just ourselves.

God Bless the Survivors of Hurricane Sandy October 29, 2012

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Life life to the fullest!

If an animal has only a year to live you can bet her remaining time will be lived moment to moment and to the fullest. If only we could spend our days living in the moment not too worried about what will happen tomorrow and free from concern about what occurred yesterday. Sometimes life is too short, but a great gift we can give to ourselves and those we love is to cherish every moment as if it may be our last.


Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Learn to accept help.

Some of us have difficulty accepting help from other people. When they tell us they are going to do something we say okay, but instead of letting them follow through we step in and try to do it ourselves because we don't expect the person will come through. In some cases that may be the outcome and we will be disappointed. However it is not because we fear disappoint that we jump to do things ourselves. It is because we need to be in control. Having control leaves us with the false perception that we can dictate the outcome of life's events. It is actually through surrendering to the flow of life that we experience a greater sense of control. This form of control is not over outcomes, but over our emotions. So surrendering by letting someone help you actually can free you from worry, thus increasing control over yourself to deal with whatever result happens in a situation. Practice accepting help from others, surrender to the flow of life and gain control over yourself.

Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Remember your neighbors.

Sometimes we get so busy with life that we fail to remember the people next door. We all need to know that someone is thinking of us, looking out for our interests (like property) or cares about our well-being. When we don't remember the people closest to us they might as well be far away. We may take for granted that they are right next door and when it comes time to needing them it is like asking a stranger for help. Take time to pay attention and think about the people closest to you. One day you may need the neighbor next door.

Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Mesage

There is no need to worry. Everything you need to know will be revealed to you. A great deal of our stress comes from worrying about the future and what may happen or stressing about something in the past that we can do nothing about. When we are connected to our sense of Spirit an inner wisdom and intuition is activated. It allows us to receive or notice things that we need in order to cope and deal with life. Do not worry. Ask for clarity and all that you need to be revealed to you.

Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

The greatest freedom we have is freedom of the mind.

No matter what the physical circumstances, when our consciousness and thinking are free we are capable of overcoming anything. When our mind and judgement are controlled by what others want us to believe, there is no true freedom and we will go along with what ever "truth" is presented to us.

Exercise freedom of consciousness. Pay attention to when your actions are the result of reaction to others or the free will of thinking and defining the world according to what is true for you.

Our greatest truth is that we are all manifest from Divine Spirit.

Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

If you need to know yourself better, start by learning where you are from.

For many people of African descent our daily struggles stem from not knowing ourselves. We go through life with little direction or clarity about what we stand for or is important. We may have internalized the values and culture given to us by others and take the beliefs of the dominate culture as the gospel for ourselves. To offset these ways of being we must know ourselves, beginning with where we come from. Start the learning with Africa in general, but don't stop there. Seek to find your specific roots.

Knowing your heritage is key to knowing yourself.


Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Monday, July 16, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Make plans  not excuses. 

One of the best ways to avoid having to make excuses after the fact is coming up with a plan before you take action. 

It is easier to make an excuse than it is to make a plan. However, an excuse will leave you with the feeling of disappointment and dishonesty, whereby a plan will leave you with a sense of accomplishment and success. 

Save yourself the possible embarrassment and stress of an excuse by giving your best to make a plan. 

Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

If you don't know your own strength, life will test you until you learn. In what may be seen like a strange way, life presents us with opportunities to grow and become stronger . These opportunities are sometimes painful and difficult tasks, but so long as we do not give up, our strength will increase with every test. Sometimes without even realizing it we have gained ten times the emotional strength we previously had. Embrace life's challenges and gain your strength.
Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

You are worth it!

Despite all the names you've been called. Regardless of the messages you have been given, you are worth it. Stop taking in the negativity you may be receiving or treating yourself as if you are worthless. When you hold yourself in positive regard it does not matter what other people think. Establish in your mind that you are worth it. Create reminders for yourself such as notes, iPhone reminders, voice messages or whatever you can make that is easily accessible. All the worthless talk coming at you will bounce off off you and reflect right back of you are in the habit of reminding yourself on a regular basis.

Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis
Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 4, 2012

Ma'at E's Mental Health Message

Tell the truth!

The greatest dishonor we can do to ourselves is to not speak what is true for us. Telling the truth means speaking honestly from the heart with the intention of bringing good out of what might by all appearances seem bad.  Usually we avoid the truth and make up stories to please other people or to make things look good. In the short term things may seem fine, but over time, the lack of truth creates deception and even destruction. Fear is ultimately at the root of avoiding or denying the truth.  If you are in a situation where you are not being honest with yourself or someone else and want things to change, then ask yourself the following three questions: 1) How motivated am I to tell or face the truth, 2) How confident am I that I can tell the truth and live with the consequences, and 3) What am I most afraid will happen if I tell the truth. May we all have the courage to move forward in truth.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

There are two types of trees in the world. Some trees bear fruit and some provide shade. Women are very similar to trees in that some are mothers who give birth to children and some are mothers who protect children, but do not give birth. Both roles are equally important. As woman most of us take on the responsibility of guiding and protecting the children and sometimes adults, whether we have our own children or not. Take time to love and recognize the mothers who bless us like fruit trees and shade trees.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

You can do anything, but you won't do a darn thing if you are trying to do everything!

Research suggests that people who multitask are actually less productive and less efficient than people who concentrate on one task at a time. When given multiple activities the brain is not really doing multiple things at once, it is actually switching rapidly between handling more than one task at a time.  When it comes to focusing on our purpose or life's work the same logic can occur. If we are trying to accomplish too many things at once we are less likely to do one successfully because our mind is switching focus. Many of us may not like this option or feel it is difficult to achieve, but the way to move toward greater accomplishment or success is to simplify our lives and the number of tasks we take on. The fewer things we do the better we will do them.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Face, feel then fight your fears. Before we can overcome the obstacle of something we are afraid of we must face it or identify exactly what it is. Facing it also means turning our attention to the fear, not avoiding that it exists. Once we clarify what we fear the next step is to allow ourselves to feel all of the emotions that come with it. Go into whatever the fear brings up as difficult and painful as it may be. Relief will come. Then fight. Take acton to address or remove the factors that create the fear in the first place. Work hard against it and you will over come.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Act to please your higher-self then worry about pleasing other people. 

When you follow your intuition and act based on internal trust, there is no way you can go wrong.  It is very easy to get caught up in pleasing other people. We then find ourselves making externally based choices and acting on decisions that serve everyone except our higher-self. It is important to consider the needs of others, but not at the expense of your own well-being. Practice the habit of pleasing your higher self. It always knows best and can not steer you wrong.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ma'at E's Mental Health Message

It is more important to take action toward what you want to be doing than trying to avoid actions you don't want to do. So for example, instead of trying to avoid an argument, practice communicating more calmly. Instead of trying not to drink too much soda, drink more water. Talk in a loving tone instead of trying not to be nasty.  The idea behind these examples is that what we focus on we attract.  Ultimately. what we do more of replaces what we want to do less.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Ma'at E's Mental Health Message

Resurrect yourself! Return to life!

Many of us walk around in life each year as if we are dead. We have little joy and can not seem to take action or go about life in a way that has some meaning. When we feel like we are walking dead or simply find ourselves doing the same routine or the same activity day in and day out, then it is time to resurrect and return to life. One of the simplest ways to beginning living a more full life is to take action. Begin doing something you don't usually do. More importantly, begin doing something that reconnects you to your sense of spirit--that feeling or consciousness within that is connected to things greater than yourself. Once you begin taking action life will feel more like it is meant to be lived. Have a peace filled day.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Psychological Impact of a Walking While Black Death

On February 26, 2012, seventeen year old Trayvon Martin was killed, essentially walking while Black by a man named George Zimmerman, the admitted shooter who has yet to be arrested.  The news reports lay out this tragedy that potentially has profound emotional and psychological implications for Trayvon's family and countless Americans, particulary Black individuals across this nation because of the racism-related dynamics involved.

When any child dies it is a loss of grave proportion that most families will struggle with to understand no matter what the circumstances. We know loss brings physical, emotional, social and spiritual processes of grief like crying, sadness, anger, isolation, activism, and questioning or relying on faith to heal among other things. How we grieve may vary widely depending upon the person and it is important to allow that process to run its course. When the process of grief involves a racism-related death its impact can go beyond the typical or atypical response to death we may have.

Racism has many varied and debated definitions, yet it can be thought of in terms of its individual, cultural or institutional contexts--that is prejudice, discrimination or bias based on a real or perceived power differential by a single person, in group based cultural and social practices, or in the institutional practices of an organization.   With the loss of Trayvon Martin all three contexts are potentially at play to affect the emotional and psychological grief processes that the victim's family and countless others may experience. On top of the expected grief process from such a loss there is the potential for a psychological impact on a person given the context of the individual, cultural or institutional racism-related dynamics.

Individual - Psychological response based upon the actions of the perpetrating individual

  • Overall distress and anxiety about your personal safety
  • Fear that the perpetrator will strike again (e.g., fear he will act with racial bias or kill again)
  • Fear that one is not safe in situations with other individuals (e.g., being afraid of people that are similar or reminiscent of the perpetrator based on race or gender)
  • Anger toward the prepetrator and a wish or preoccupation to inflict harm or revenge
  • Being suspicious or mistrusting of other individuals 

Cultural - Psychological response based upon the cultural or social bias of the situation

  • Self-loathing or preoccupation about your skin color making other people uncomfortable
  • Self-loathing and questioning that you do not belong in certain communities or neighborhoods (e.g., questioning yourself about being Black and where you choose to live, work or play)
  • Fear and anxiety over how you dress (e.g., wearing a hooded sweatshirt may draw suspicion of you as criminal or deviant)
  • Anxiety about being in environments that are unfamiliar or where others are culturally different from you (e.g., being afraid that the way you dress, talk, or wear your hair may draw threat or harm)
  • Anger toward other cultural values and norms

Institutional - Psychological response based upon the institutional practices of an organization

  • Fear and on-going worry that law enforcement will not protect you because of your skin color
  • Fear and on-going worry that law enforcement will ignore your pleas for help because of your skin color
  • Anger at the justice system for instituting potentially racially biased laws (e.g., wondering if most people killed under the "stand your ground" law are people of color)
  • Confusion about what is justice and the purpose of our justice system
  • Anxiety and hesitation to report concerns to the police or the criminal justice system
  • Mistrust of social and helping institutions and the people that work for them (e.g, mistrusting all police officers and representatives of the justice system)
These potential psychological responses are of concern because they not only create short-term distress, but can lead to chronic stress that affects mental and physical health.  When Trayvon's shooter is arrested and prosecuted, it may address and sooth some of the distress in the individual context.  For example, the family and community may feel some reduction in fear and anger that the perpetrator will kill again. However, as a direct result of the impact of this loss, the family and others may maintain anxiety and fear about the environments in which they live, their choices for dress and cultural expression, and the color of their skin being a justification for threat or harm against them. This is in addition to the basic grief of losing a son, family member, friend or a member of one's racial or cultural group and humanity. Moreover, the psychological impact of the institutional racism will potentially haunt many of us for years to come as this cases plays itself out and as we will continue to have interactions with the very law enforcement and criminal justice institutions implicated for not acting justly in this tragedy.

Thankfully, there is strength and resiliency to be found in this tragedy. The voices of this nation are speaking out to call for justice and to come together to support and heal Trayvon's family and ourselves. The remarkable thing is that Trayvon's spirit is impacting the world and doing great things in mobilizing others to act for justice.  We all have divine purpose in life. For some of us it is not manifest while we are living, but because of the power of our spirits we have the capacity to impact other people and social systems well beyond our physical time on earth.  May God Bless Trayvon Martin, his family and all of us. Let this tragedy be a blessing and a lesson for those of us who will remember him and do something to let his spirit live on.

Ma'at E. L. Lewis, Ph.D.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Ma'at E's Mental Health Message

No matter what you think is true, there is always another perspective!  Although it may seem far from reach now, another way of thinking and living is possible. Sometimes we get trapped in a pattern of thinking that we come to believe is true. For example, we tell ourselves we are sick, weak, unlovable, unmanageable, not fit and so on. These message we tell ourselves can take on a life of their own and we start to believe they are true. Everyone else may see things differently, yet in our own mind we are trapped. Challenge yourself to consider that there is another perspective. What you think especially if it makes you less than the Divine spark that you are can be thought of differently. To help change your thoughts start challenging every negative thought with the thought that it may not be true or that there may be another perspective. You don't have to prove it yet, just start the challenge. Over time new truths will present themselves because you allowed a space for the ideas to come in. Have a peace filled day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Spend time controlling your own thoughts verse the thoughts of everyone else.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Put your mind in a framework of love!

Love is very powerful. It has the ability to turn around the most hardened or jaded of a person. What's so great about love is that it is free and easy to use. In order to access the benefits of love it is ideal to find an object for your affection. Most people would think that means finding someone else to love, but the best place to start is with giving love to yourself. Even during interactions with other people it is best to open your heart, first to yourself and then someone else. If you feel rusty in the love department turn to a child. God's little ones give and receive great amounts of love. The point is that the emotion of love can trigger the production of biochemicals like endorphins that create good feelings throughout the body and in the brain. Approach life with love and many more of your days will feel good. Have a peace filled day.

Dr. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ma'at E's Mental Health Message

Be a First! On this day, February 20th 1919 the first Pan African Congress was held. In 1992 John Singleton became the first African American director to win an Academy Award. In 2002 Vonetta Flowers became the first Black gold medalist in the history of the Winter Olympic Games. There are thousands more opportunities for people of African descent to be firsts in history. We all have some unique purpose and gift for our spirit to manifest on this earth. Sharing your blessings and being the first at something is not a simple individual accomplishment; it is a means of trail blazing and making a way for others to shine. Do your thing and be first at it if you can. If not, follow in the footsteps of the "firsts" who came before you.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Death is the only thing certain in life, yet every time it occurs so many of us are left in a state of disbelief and a total sense of shock. Comfort may soon come after the disbelief subsides; yet, we may mourn feeling anger and deep sadness until we come to accept the loss. Embracing the idea that death is a part of life can be difficult, but when we do it potentially encourages us to appreciate the life we have and to live it to the fullest. Celebrate life for those who are still living and for the people we love whose lives are gone, but not their memories. May we all live and rest in peace. Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Let's Talk About Mental Illness & Bring about Mental Health Talking about the stigma of mental illness is critically important to ultimately improving care and access to quality mental health services. According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, one in five (21%) of adult Canadians will suffer a mental disorder. Most will experience a form of anxiety or depression. What many people may not realize is that there is no health without mental health because the two are intricately linked. Fighting the stigma which stands in the way of mental health can begin with getting everyone involved and understanding that we are all susceptible to mental health problems just as we are vulnerable to other health concerns. Let's talk about mental health!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ma'at E's Mental Health Message

Make everyday a Black History Day. Although the month of February is Black History month, the multitude of achievements and accomplishments of people of African descent make one month (especially the shortest month of the year) wholly inadequate to reflect on all of the contributions within Black culture. Each of us has a unique spark from the Divine that makes us who we are and provides each of us with our own gifts to make a contriubtion to society. With these gifts we can do something everyday to make a story of our own lives and make history within the greater society. Know that you are great and have something, no many things to contribute to the world. Start by giving love and creating peace everywhere you go. Don't worry so much about how you will make your mark as much as having faith and a belief that you will. The Creator will take care of how you make history just start with living your story today.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ma'at E's Mental Health Message

Food really does affect our mood. We all know that when we eat a candy bar the sugar among other substances inside it affects how we feel. There is an almost immediate sense of eurphoria or elevation that comes from the sugar turning in to glucose and acting as fuel for the brain. The high is great, but it soon turns to a low as the sugar causes a quick spike in blood glucose levels and then drops off leaving us feeling a lack of energy. Now if sugar can do this so can many other substances we injest and research is plentiful to support that fact. The point of knowing this information is to encourage us to begin to be more thoughtful about the things we eat and how they potentially can affect our mood. We can start by simply paying attention to how we feel when we eat something. Take the next five days and keep a journal of how you feel before and after you eat each meal. Try different types of meals vegetables proteins verses meats, candy or carbs. Do your own research by simply paying attention so that you can know yourself. Take those observations with you the next time you visit your nutritionist or doctor and ask lots of questions.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Let your purpose pick you!!!
Many people spend a lifetime searching for their purpose. What often happens is that our purpose picks us by giving a signal or sign, but we ignore it. For example, we all have some activity we love to do. It may be dancing, writing, talking, walking, swimming, being with kids, listening to music, reading, studying and so on. There is something that gets each of us excited, yet we tend to ignore it or find reasons to do other things. Our purpose involves that thing that can fill us with emotion or make time seem endless when we are involved. Make a list of all the things that get you excited. As you write notice your emotions. When you come to a place where you pause and feel a strong sense of emotion, you are getting a clue as to what you are meant to do. Spend as much time as possible doing what you love.

Peace, Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Monday, January 16, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Spend sometime in the sun!

Our minds, bodies and spirits need sunshine. Many of us are unaware of the importance of the sun and its ability to generate vitamin D, which in turn helps the body with absorption of calcium among other things. Fish, eggs and dairy also provide vitamin D which may be important during the colder months when we tend to get less sun, but are not an option for some vegetarians. Traditionally, vitamin D deficiency is linked to rickets, a disease leading to soft bones and skeletal deformities. Recent research shows that vitamin D deficiency may also have links to higher risk for cognitive impairment in adults and other health problems including heart disease, asthma in children and cancer. The symptoms can be subtle, yet bone pain and muscle weakness are signs of a potential problem. For people with darker skin the pigment melanin reduces the skin's ability to absorb sunlight increasing the chance of D deficiency. Prevention is of course the best way to avoid deficiency and generally, spending 10 minutes in the sun will activate the body's ability to generate vitamin D. To test for deficiency a visit to the doctor and a special request to check for vitamin deficiency is needed. Do your homework and learn more about the sources of vitamin D.

Peace, Ma'at E. L. Lewis

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

A child's mental health is an important source of wealth.

More important than all the riches we can possess is the health of our children. They are in essence are our future and key to personal, family and communal health & wealth. Many of our children suffer with so called mental disorders known as ADD and learning disabilities. Such problems can affect a child at home and school by creating problems with managing behavior and understanding information. It is important to know that our bodies have the capacity for self-healing. Take time to learn about alternative and natural treatments. Learn and understand that the body is a whole system and so symptoms are not just isolated to problems in one area. Do your homework and learn to heal your children and your self.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Maat E's Mental Health Message

Happy New Year!!!

Once again as is the case of all time, a new year has come to pass. In each of our own life times we have seen many years come and go. A great question to ask ourselves is do I live with any regret? What have I done or not done that I would hope to change. If it happened in the past we can not change it and should let it go. If we are hoping for something in the future, the time is not here yet so focus on the present. Living with any regret is simply a product of being focused on something either in the past or in the future that we probably cannot control or change. Since that is the case, it is best to focus on the present and what is happening here and now. Let go of the regret. The past will fade to black and the future will arrive in due time.
We are each blessed with a divine gift to live in the moment. When we do life opens up and we can live it to the fullest. Make the decision to let the light within shine bright right now in this present moment and it will carry you throughout the year.
Peace in the year 2012.