Loving Yourself

Q: Do I like what I look like? Why? Why not?

It took a long time for me to finally be able to answer this question with a “yes.” For the longest time, I would say yes, but be lying to myself. I was always the “awkward” girl. I never saw myself as someone that people were always looking at or gawking over because they were just that good to look at. I’ve always just felt average and mediocre. For that reason, I’ve sort of liked what I look like, but never really been 100% confident in my appearance.

Even at the age of 29, I’m slowly tapping into liking what I look like. There are days when I am feeling myself and other days when I’m definitely not. I’m slowly growing into the life of makeup and lipstick, which has made me feel a little better about myself on some days. I still battle insecurity, which I feel is common with anyone; I think we all have some insecurities that we aren’t proud of, but I try to keep myself confident and remember to love myself and remember that there are features about myself that I do enjoy and I capitalize on those.

Overalll, in a short answer, I guess I could say for now I do like what I look like; but there are parts of me that I am learning to enhance, improve and even  accept what will not or cannot change.  That is apart of growth and maturity for me.

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Living in Unapologetic Intention

When was the last time you did something unapologetically for yourself? I’m not talking about doing something for yourself by happenstance, or because it was an occasion; but just on a random Tuesday, you did something simply for yourself because you’re entitled to do just that?  Or maybe, you just wanted to sit around and do absolutely nothing and not feel guilty about it; but you knew that somewhere deep down in the corners of your mind, there was a little voice telling you “you shouldn’t be doing that because you have ‘x,y,z’ you need to be doing.”

Why do we as adults make it our intention to make our lives feel so hard?  Why don’t we find more time to do things for ourselves or cut ourselves some slack?

Why do we not take the time to enjoy life’s simplest things?  I ask these questions, and in my opinion, I believe there are three one-word answers to this question:

  • Time
  • Responsibility
  • Priority

I feel like these three things hinder us from enjoying simple pleasures of life.  Time is simply what we tell ourselves what we don’t have enough of.  We plan out everything for everyone else and leave little to no time for ourselves.  We tell ourselves we have a responsibility to our spouses and children, family and friends; but who is responsible for us?  We prioritize others’ needs, wants and emotions over our own constantly, and wonder if anyone does the same for us.

Im not saying that this is done all the time, but I know I am personally guilty of several occasions where I have gone leaps and bounds for my family and friends, and told myself that I don’t matter, or that they are more important when in actuality, my wants and needs are just as important; if not more!

Being intentional about living an unapologetically free life is very difficult, because you have to tell yourself simply that you don’t owe anyone anything, nor do you have to feel sorry for doing for yourself.  Many people call it being selfish, myself included; however, even I have had to get out of the habit of considering it a selfish act.  It is actually more of a necessary act.

You absolutely have to make time for yourself in life or else how else would you be able to be your best self for the ones you love?  How will you learn your likes and dislikes? How else will you learn to love yourself first?  All of these questions are answered simply by being unapologetic about allowing yourself to be your number one priority and being intentional about not being sorry about doing for you.  I’ve made a few posts about a couple of tips that I feel are ways that you can start living an unapologetic life:

Here are a few other things you can do to  start being intentional about treating yourself with just as much importance as you do your loved ones:

  • Carve out time for yourself each day, even if its five minutes.
  • Keep positive and motivating people around you.
  • Meditate, pray, or repeat encouraging words to get you through rough times.
  • Adopt a mantra for your life!

 

A Low Down Dirty Shame 

Q: What is something I am ashamed of? How can I deal with this?

Have you ever done something and felt utterly embarrassed or ashamed of yourself; or at least known in your heart of hearts that you didn’t want anyone to know about it because you knew if someone found out, you’d be ashamed of yourself?  Well, I believe we all have a deep dark secret that we don’t want anyone to know about. And truth be told, if someone did know, then it wouldn’t be so secret now would it? LOL.

So, when we’re stuck in sticky situations like this; when you’re caught in an embarrassing situation and you’ve found yourself at the end of your shameful business being put on front street, what do you do??

First, the only thing you can do is just own your truth.  Once someone knows, there’s really no need to try and lie.  For one, were entirely too old to be lying about things, sis.  Sometimes, the truth shall set us free, and there’s nothing better than seeing someone stand in their truth, than fumble around within a bed of lies.

Second, learn to let it go. We’ve all had things happen in our lives that we are not happy about. I know I’ve done many things that I was truly ashamed to admit I’ve done. The best thing about those things is that I’ve learned a lesson from them, and I’ve moved on. I don’t let those shameful things define me and I don’t dwell on my past behaviors.

Third, never make the same mistakes twice. You may have done something you’re not too proud of once in life, but the key is to dust yourself off, keep on moving and don’t ever go back and make the same mistake twice. There’s no need to shame yourself more than once with the same situation! I know in life, we will all encounter some embarrassing moments, but the less we can repeat, the better!

Podcastin’

Do you all listen to podcasts? Last year, I would say is when I started getting real heavy into having a rotation of podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis. I don’t watch much TV outside of my ratchet Mondays, and TGIT; so I’ve been substituting listening to podcasts on some days instead of watching tv when nothing is on. When I look at my Podcast app, I’ve developed quite a healthy rotation, so I decided to do a spotlight on each of my faves for you guys! Here goes!

  • The Read

The Read is at the top of the list because it was the first podcast I came across  to start listening to when I wanted to get into podcasts.  I had heard about them on Twitter and decided to give them a shot.  That was over a year ago and I haven’t looked back.  Kid Fury and  Crissle are truly my best friends in my  head and listening to them is  like sitting around on the couch on a friday night drinking and talking about all the bullcrap that goes on in the world.  From pop culture to politics, if you want to hear a good unfiltered and unedited opinion on how they feel about something, make sure you’re downloading The Read’s episode every  Thursday.

  • The Friend Zone

Because who in the hell wants a musty brain? As soon as I found out Crissle and Fran  had friends with a podcast, I blindly subscribed to it; not knowing what I was getting into.  Little did I know I  stumbled upon another gem!  The Friend Zone is my mental escape and the place where I get ideas about my mental wellness with Fran, new music with Assante and get the recap on whatever has happened on tv that week with Dustin. Fran, Dustin and Assante are just what I need to get a good laugh in when I’m having a rough week and will clue you into some amazing perspective about life that you never thought about.

  • Gettin’ Grown

When Gettin’ Grown came out and I heard the concept, I thought, “this is EXACTLY what I need to be listening to!” Gettin’ Grown is your weekly sit down at the kitchen table with Jade and Keia, as we discuss the struggle through this thing we call adulting, and how many of us are barely getting it right! Despite the hurdles, Jade and Keia are there every week to give advice and personal experience on how to get us through.  They highlight people who own their own businesses or who are out  here slayin’ life, we  sit down  at the kitchen table  for some  real life discussion, have a good laugh at some of the petty peeves  in our lives and even highlight  some of our  favorite self-care techniques!  Gettin’ Grown is a podcast that everyone who has crossed into the adulting  threshhold needs to  listen to just to know that you aren’t  the only one  who has a hard time getting  life all the way together!

  • Jade and XD

Jade and XD is my random podcast.  There is usually a topic with Jade and XD, but  most times, I listen to them because a lot of it feels very sporadic and feels like random Friday night conversation after a long and  exhausting week at work.  It feels like you can pull up to the mic with them, pour up a drink and join the conversation.

  • Levar Burton Reads

I just recently started listening to Levar Burton Reads after listening to an episode of The Read in which  he was a guest on and he talked about his podcast.  I decided to check it out for a couple reasons; 1) I wanted to expand the genre of  stories I was into, 2) I am trying to get into this audiobook thing and what better way to start than through a podcast dedicated to listening to Levar Burton read stories?!

  • hey, girl

hey, girl  is  a podcast that I listen to to weekly sometimes as my self-care.  The podcast is made up of different interviews conducted by alex elle with different  women  from  all w alks of life.  Each woman sits down and  discusses a different topic;  from  divorce,  to m ental h ealth,  to activism, to trying to conceive.  These women have chosen to open up and have some of the tough conversations and open up like you wouldn’t believe.

These are the top 6  podcasts I am in love with right now, and probably won’t ever stop listening to!

What about you guys, what podcasts do you all listen to?? Leave a comment and let me know!!

Self-Care Sunday Highlight: Yoga

This week’s highlight for self-care is something I’ve been adding into my fitness regimen lately; yoga! Lately, at

least two-three times a week, I’ve committed to doing at least 20-30 minutes of yoga.

A lot of people wonder what you can get out of yoga, or what the point of it is; well I’m here to tell you that it’s much more than stretching and holding specific poses. Yoga actually has some very deep and meaningful purposes for your mind, body and spirit that can be very beneficial to self-care.

Yoga, pet Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, is defined as the following:

  • a system of exercises for mental and physical health
  • a Hindu philosophy that teaches a person to experience inner peace by controlling the body and mind

There are several types of yoga practices and techniques that all serve different purposes. I have always gained a positive benefit from doing yoga after workouts and at the beginning of my workday, paired with meditation. I will admit, it’s been a while since I’ve done it, but my hope is to start back up pretty soon. It always helped me start my day with a clear and positive mindset and ready to accomplish anything!

Some of the benefits you receive from a regular practice of yoga are as follows:

  • Overall better flexibility and range of motion
  • Increased energy and mood
  • Muscle toning
  • Weight loss
  • Improves blood flow

Overall, if you’re into health and fitness and ensuring you keep yourself looking and feeling good, yoga is a good practice to keep in your routine! And it just makes you feel awesome!!

Ones You Can Depend On, and The One who Can Depend on You

Q: Am I reliable? How so or how not so?

Do you know a person that immediately comes to mind that you know you can rely on when times are hard and you need someone in your corner?  I have a few people that I hold dear to my heart that are the most reliable people know.  They are dependable and truly there for me at a moments notice if I need so,done to vent to, a shoulder to cry on, if I need a laugh, or if I just need to talk. 2017 is the year of the “tribe” and I would say I definitely have a great one.  It is small, but it is mighty.

I think my people would say I was pretty reliable to them (I hope LOL).  I try to be there for them, just as much as they’re there for me, because I know how important it is to have someone in your corner when you need them.  We are pretty understandable that with life comes changes, growth and the understanding that things happen; we all have different responsibilities and different priorities.  Despite that, we know that whenever we need each other, we are there for one another.

Think about your tribe.  How reliable is the person or people around you.  How reliable are you to those people or that person?  How reliable are you to your friends, or to your loved ones?  If you don’t feel like you have  been that reliable of a person, how do you feel like you can improve in that area?

Self-Care Sunday Highlight: Making Lemonade

This may sound kind of crazy, but I want to touch on how making life’s lemons into lemonade can be a form of self-care; or at least how we need to start living life with this mentality.

How many of us stress about how life isn’t perfect? *raises hand in shame* exactly, me too! As soon as something doesn’t go the way it’s planned for me, I immediately go into a panic and my attitude goes into total defeat mode. I admit at times I’m not the best at my own advice in seeking optimism, so I have to remember this age-old quote:

Life will never be perfect (how many times do we have to tell ourselves this?? Lol).  I’ve come to live with that fact for a long time now.  There are times when I want life to go a certain way, and it goes completely left. To that I say, Beyoncé is not the only one out here making lemonade.  We have to be prepared to make the best out of what life gives us; sometimes, it’s the only way to move on.

Some of us deal with trying times a lot, and it feels like there are no good days in sight; but it’s our faith and determination that keeps us motivated to turn it all around for the good. And hey, once we decide that we are going to make the best out of a bad situation, sometimes things turn out better than we ever imagined them to be when we sit back and deal with what we’ve got in front of us.

This week, give this concept a try.  Turns out, some of life’s difficult situation can turn out to be a little sweeter in the long run if you put your mind to it and let them. 🙂