Dear Perseverance,

The first month of 2018 is over, and it was quite an interesting one.

First of all, congratulate yourself on what you accomplished this month; you read more, laughed more, meditated and connected with yourself more, prayed more, smiled more, and most importantly persevered more than ever before. Despite the things that brought you down, you fought your way through the emotional trials and made it to 1.31.18.

It’s not easy to tell yourself that you’re going to make it through something; it’s not easy to maintain a level of self-accountability and check your own self when things are going the way they need to, but you did. You owned your flaws, your negativity, you let yourself be vulnerable when it was needed, and you developed routines and habits that will remain constant in your life for the entire year. Even when the day seemed like it was beating you down, you did what it took to persevere through it all.

So next month, don’t quit while you’re ahead. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t downplay the awesome things you overcome, because sometimes we all fall short but it’s about how we push through those tough times.

Advertisements

Turning Your Passion into Your Priority

How many times do we go through life noting how many things we look at as something we are passionate about, but never take the steps to make them something we will put forth 100% effort?

There is always something we have dedicated to naming a “passion”, or a desire to become an expert at, but never devote it to becoming a priority in our lives. We place it in a file in the back of our minds and belittle it to nothing more than a past-time or a hobby, when it really should be something we are putting the work into to become a full-time career move or something to transform us into someone better than we ever thought we could be. We allow the reality of our lives to make us put aside our big lofty goals, because they seem so out of reach without the right focus and the right dedication, some of which you may not be able to provide at the time.

Oftentimes, we sell ourselves short of what our full potential is by this one bad habit; we boast about the things we love, talk about them, brag on them, even go as far as mention that we could be experts at them, but when it is time to make them a priority and allow them to bring us to a level of greatness that can put us in a position of success, we recoil into what is “safe”. We do not want to take that leap into the uknown and the unpredictable.

Sometimes our passion is not the most stable circumstances. Sometimes what we are most passionate about will not make the most sense, but the key is to have the faith in what you believe in, prioritize it and put in the work to make it great, and it will mean something. It will bring you benefit and advantages beyond your wildest dreams.

If we can put forth the effort towards prioritizing what we’re passionate about, you will find that we can begin making our own careers, forging our own lanes and we will not have to pick “safe” options any longer. All it takes is one step out in the right direction, networking and putting the tools in place, and before you know it, what you thought was just a dream is now a reality.

Self-Care Sunday: Give Your Goal a “Why”

As we near the end of the first month of 2018, a lot of us are checking in with ourselves and making sure that our goals and intentions for 2018 are still in tact; while most of us have already fallen by the wayside at Week 2. While we all had lofty goals and everything sounded good on 1/1/18, by now I’m sure some of us may be slipping into old habits and forgetting why we set goals in the first place. One way we can overcome this hurdle, is by remembering one important question in all of this; “Why?”

“Why did you choose this goal over any others for the year to achieve? Why did you want this to be the one thing you focused on? Why did you want to succeed in this particular area in your life?” These are just a few of the questions that begin to build a foundation to finding out some fascinating information about yourself, and about the intentions you set in motion for your year ahead.

I am no stranger to this bad habit, and there have been many years that I have fallen into this self-inflicted trap; and by February, I was back to my bad habits. For 2018, I am trying to do things a little differently, and this year, I think one way to combat that first month of the year burnout, is to sit down with your list of goals and really dig glen to the root of why you made those goals in the first place.

If you have more than one, maybe they all tie into one common “why” for the 2018 year, or maybe you have different “why’s” for each goal; either way, each goal has an overall reason why you want to achieve it, and you have a right to yourself to find out what that is, and you owe it to yourself to commit to staying consistent with those goals.

Once you are able to really determine the why behind your overall goals, the mission for your life may appear a lot clearer to you, and also, your goal may seem a lot more important if you remember that there is actually a deeper reasoning behind all of this. You deserve to give yourself 100% effort towards working with achieving whatever you set out for yourself in order to make this a more positive and prosperous year ahead and sometimes it takes a little self-reflection to see that.

Asking yourself the question why also gives you the room to understand and know whether or not you need to alter or change your goals for the year. It’s never too late to make life changes, and sometimes you find that something you thought is for you, turns out to not be in your best interest after all. If that happens, you just have to learn to adjust your goals and put new ones in place. Life changes in an instant and nothing in this world I believe is meant to remain consistent. If things are meant to be changed then they can be changed and will be changed.

As we begin to dive into 2018, I encourage all of us to do some check-ins and definitely ask yourself the hard question of “why”. Find out why the goals we put forth are important, what will they do for our lives and how they will impact us positively. If they will not have any benefit to us, make some changes, but if they need to be modified, put forth the best effort into them that you can, because ultimately, you are the one striving to achieve them, and you want to be proud of the plan you put in place for yourself and what your were able to accomplish at the end of the year.

“Surviving”

One of my favorite poets posted a video of a new piece that she performed on Youtube titled, “Surviving” and it was truly breathtaking.

The poem is about the experience that is being widely discussed across the world right now, and it is truly a glimpse into the mindset of a woman who has unfortunately been a victim of rape. The many emotions, the confusing thought, fleeting doubts, fears, regrets and constant blaming are all displayed in this piece and it’s eye-opening to hear it transpire in this work.

I have not had to endure the mental, physical or emotional pain there is to endure when someone has experienced something of this magnitude, but i have heard stories of women who have had these similar conversations with themselves, families or friends. Between the inner battle between staying silent or moving on, trying to determine if you had any fault in the matter, separating the intention from the actual action; it can all be mentally exhausting, which is why Jasmine is so on point when she says that sometimes the worst part about surviving is surviving.

In this world today, there are so many that still stand in the shadows of rape and sexual assault.  These things are still happening and unfortunately, women are still grappling with the emotions and the aftermath of what to do with those actions and how to proceed.   Women today are still sitting with that encounter and wondering should they report what happened to them or should they just move on with their lives.

This poem is so powerful and meaningful.  If you have been through this, or are struggling through these emotions now, know that you are a survivor and that your voice is meant to be heard.  Seeking justice for what was done to you is not wrong, it will help you move on. Stand against your attacker’s and you will see that your strength is unmatched and your resilience is admired.

Have You Done an Audit on Your Life Yet?

Have you ever been at your job and the dreaded thought of an audit came across your mind?  Imagine the hustle and bustle in an office, trying to organize files and get everything in tip top shape, just so someone can come in and ensure that everything is in tip top shape around your workplace; or make sure the things that shouldn’t be there or should have never been there, are no longer there.

I thought about how this can translate into your personal life.  How often do you complete a “life audit” and determine what needs to go and what needs to stay in order to make yourself the best “you” that you can be?  Or how many times do we come across situaitons in our lives where we determine that someone or something should have never been involved in our lives in the first place, but stayed around far too long?  That include getting rid of some toxic relationships or connections,  getting rid of some of your personal possessions that hold negative energy or negative memories and even maybe letting go of that career you said you should have left a long time ago that you just can’t say no to for some reason.

All of these things and so many others can be parts of you doing your own audit on your life.  Doing a clean sweep of all the things that need to go is a good way to do a hard reset on life when things seem to not be going your way.  Just like creating space, doing an audit is similar to that same concept!  Any time I know I have been holding on to someone or something for too long, I sit down and take a good hard look at myself and ask myself if it’s really worth me going through whatever turmoill it’s causing.  If it’s not worth the trouble, then it’s time to get rid of it.  Trust me when I tell you, if you do a life audit, you may be a better person for it!

It’s also good on a personal level to check-in and make sure everything is ok with yourself and make sure you are also being the best person you can be for yourself and also for others, while you are removing the things out of your life that do not belong.  The benefit to removing things that do not belong, is that it makes room for more time to spend on the things and people that matter the most, and if something is lacking in a particular area that you would like to improve, you will have the opportunity to fix those things as well.  So essentially, a life audit will improve all aspects of your life!

For me, a “life audit” may look anything like a massive cleansing of my house, wiping out all the clothes in my closet that I’ve had for 2+ years, doing a social media cleanse where I delete people I either don’t know, people I do not talk to, or people who do not bring any substantial value to my social media pages; and also deleting contacts out of my phoen that I have not talked to in over a year or more that aren’t familly or close friends.

In addition to these things, it also means asking mysellf those hard questions to make sure I am being the best version of myself, and being the best friend, loved one and family member for those that love me as well.  It is very easy to get caught up in your personal life, work, personal relationships, etc.  and oftentimes you tend to lack in areas that are important.  Auditing yourself helps you maintain consistency and accountability about just simply being an awesome person! 🙂

I urge you to ask yourself, if you did an audit of your life right now, what would you penalize yourself for keeping around that you should have gotten rid of a long time ago?

Stop Letting Fear Win and Take a Step Towards Being Courageous

I read an article about a week ago (which you can read here) that talked about embracing the idea of being courageous, and embracing those things that we sometimes let fall by the wayside and never complete because of one reason or another.  I couldn’t have read that article at a more relatable time in my life.  This year, more than any other year, I am being more conscious about being more courageous and not allowing fear to overwhelm me and take advantage of what I want out of life.
Most times, I find that fear is the overarching factor behind why most of my goals are not accomplished.  For one reason or another, there is something lingering in the atmosphere that has to do with an indirect or direct fear attached to it, and that is why I cannot complete the task at hand.   Fear drives us further away from our goals than any other emotion or barrier.
In the article it pointed out a few questions that I want to pose to your as well.  How many of us have done one or more of these things at least once in our lives:
● Had a great idea but didn’t pursue it
● Started an exciting project but never completed it?
● Felt strongly about something but never spoke up about it
● Procrastinated or talked yourself out of a dream you had
● Met someone special but did not take the time to allow a relationship to blossom
● Became overwhelmed with choices in your life and ended up not doing any of them?
So, I bet if we were told to raise our hands after each example our hands would have gone up at least more than once or twice, right?  Exactly!  Sometimes we have the best ideas and intentions for our lives and we let them go because of fear.  We fear that we will ultimately fail, we fear that we will not be supported or liked, we fear that things will not turn out in our favor, we just live in that same skeptical mindset, and ultimately nothing ever gets achieved.
I remember before I started writing my first book, how many sheets of paper I went through over the years writing out the beginning paragraphs of a novel idea, and how many times I would ball it up and throw it away.  I thought about how many New Years resolutions would come around and I would say “I am going to publish my own poetry book” and I would start the process to research it and never do it.  I let the fear of feeling as if I wasn’t good enough to be published, take me away from something I truly wanted for myself.
Fast-forward to today, and I’ve not only done that, but I’ve put myself in the position and planned out to write and publish three more books (at least within the next two years) under my own publishing company!  Why? Because I had the courage to tell myself that I was better than my fear would allow me to be.  I had the courage to step up and say “I CAN do this, and I’m going to be great at it.”  I finally told myself that I would not allow fear to intimidate my desire to have the courage to conquer the goals I set out for myself.
Even when I started blogging in 2015, I never thought my blog would be what it is today.  I now have over 400 followers, I’ve posted almost 550 posts, and I’m on the cusp of almost 10,000 views!!!! That is HUGE for me, especially in the moments when I believed that I wanted to quit blogging because I felt I wasn’t resonating with anyone.  I continued to remain focused and courageous in my goals.  I wanted to be a blogger, and although my following is still relatively small, I have seen it grow more in the last three months that ever before, and I am really starting to feel that I can put myself in the category of considering myself a blogger.
I’ve received nothing but love and support from my books and my blog, and I couldn’t be more proud of myself when it comes to my writing journey.  Courage was always something that I didn’t give myself enough of, and fear was always something I let overpower my thought process; however, nowadays, I’ve committed to allowing myself to do the things I love and the things I want to do without regards to fear.  The best support starts from within, and if you can give yourself the courage to accomplish whatever you want out of life, I’m confident everything else will fall in place.

Self-Care Sunday: Give Your Skin that Glow

This week for self-care I want to highlight something very simple yet very relaxing that I do once a week; sheet masks! I’ve been doing sheet masks for a couple months now and I must say I LOVE them! I do one at least once a week (sometimes twice depending on what I’m doing it for) and it’s been very beneficial to my skin care routine!

I have done different sheet masks for different purposes; whether it’s to hydrate my skin, detox, clarify or brighten. Nothing feels more refreshing than seeing your face glowing and fresh from doing a relaxing sheet mask.

Usually when I do my sheet mask, I take the time to meditate, read, or just rest for about 15-20 while the mask does it magic. This is also a perfect time to squeeze in some quality quiet time if you’ve had a busy or hectic work day/weekend. Usually if I can’t find the time to unplug or get a few minuts to myself, this is the perfect time to do that. So, I’m essentially multitasking with my self-care with this idea 😉.

The benefits of a sheet mask typically depend on what type of sheet mask you are using and what you’re wanting to achieve with that mask. If you want to detox your skin, then you can get a detoxifying mask (which typically has charcoal in it), if you want to put moisture back into your skin, then a hydration mask is best, and you can even by a mask with putting properties that will unclog your pores and have your skin feeling fresh and new.

In addition to what I do to cleanse my skin daily, this is a great weekly addition to your routine, if you’re looking for spa-like treatment from the comfort of your own home. Just put it on, set a timer and prepare to unwind for a matter of 20 unbothered minutes!