Worth requires WORK.

How much do you value your worth?

And if you do not hold much value to yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?

I’ve had a hard time channeling my worth and purpose. Sometimes when I ask the questions of myself, I cannot find an answer. Such is life. Sometimes life can get you so down or so low and dark, that you cannot find the answers to the burning questions of your soul-search.

This is where the work comes in. Not just outer work, but the inner work. The work that requires you to make hard choices, and make the uncomfortable revelations of self. You have to really sit with yourself and find the answers you seek; and sometimes, not having the answer could be the key to a journey that you need to take in order to get to the root of why you do not have those answers.

We all have a purpose on this earth. Something makes you happy; something makes you want to get out of the bed in the morning. Even if it is to ensure your bills are paid and there is a roof over your head, there is purpose to your life. Remember your purpose and remember why you wake up in the morning.

Do the work to remember your worth. Don’t let anyone make you believe that you don’t deserve to know your worth and then add tax. Also, do not go through life believing that valuing your worth and allowing others to value your worth does not require you to do the work it takes to be seen as such. No one will know your worth if you don’t make it known. The real work begins within, and then shines through you.



A letter to 2019.

I went through some very interesting circumstances this year; some that I’ve never been through before, some even that I have barely been ok enough to talk about. I wasn’t always being 100% for the important people in my life. I wasn’t present for a lot of people I love this year. I wasn’t present for myself. I didn’t set boundaries like I talked about, and I allowed people to take me for granted. I started to question things that I’ve learned, and things I’ve adapted to and wondered if they truly were for me. I was blessed to see another 365 days, and I pray I see another 365 more.

I wanted to make mention of the things that didn’t go quite right for me, in order to set myself up to be more motivated to make sure I don’t repeat the same things. Some of the times I had this past year have been some of the lowest of my life, but my hope is not to dwell on those things; but rather reflect and adjust accordingly so that they don’t happen again.

In 2019, I don’t want to make any big resolutions or anything, but I want to affirm put into the universe that I will truly love me first. When I say love me first, I mean set the boundaries I didn’t set, put the intentions out in the world that will help me evolve. I want to say what I want with strength and weight behind it and don’t make bullshit promises to myself. I want to set a goal, a real one and actually put in the work to achieve it. I want to attain the success I know I’m capable of, and stop acting like good things can’t happen to me.

There are a few things I’d like to step out of the box and try, and I’m making it my mission to do those things in 2019. I’ve realized the only thing stopping me is my own apprehension and doubtful energy. So this year, my goal will be to create the right kind of energy spaces for me to evolve and become my best self, because I know I’m destined for things far better than what they have been, and my only goal is to always stay on the grind to achieve that.

With all this being said, I am hopeful for positive energy. I am aiming for a successful year and meaningful transitions. 2018 is a year that broke me down, but 2019 will be the year I am rebuilt and reborn.

Watch out.

Take On Life’s Responsibilities One Moment at a Time

We all do this; we tend to believe we have eyes in the backs of our heads, multiple arms and legs, superpowers, the ability to correct the past, right all the wrongs and predict the future all at one time. We want to be able to change the world for the ones we love when we get hit with the hard unshakable truth; we can’t do all of these things, and we definitely cannot do them all at once.

Sure, we may be able to conquer one or two of these amazing feats (lol) for someone, but I’m sure you get my point. Handling multiple things in your life or in your loved ones lives at one time does not make for a productive person and it doesn’t end very well. You have to learn to capture one great moment at a time, which is more amazing than bragging about all of the things you attempted to accomplish at once, but couldn’t.

I know that a lot of times, we want to impress and show the ones we love that we care, so we’ll oftentimes say yes to all of the things they want us to do. Then, we’ll go to work and pile on the commitments and work projects we need to do because we want to impress our bosses. Then let’s not forget the things that we want to do for ourselves. So now, here you are; sitting in a corner with a mountain of responsibility on your shoulders and trying to do all of them at once! You are not a juggler, and I’m pretty sure if you tried to, you would fail miserably.

We have to get out of that mindset and learn to handle things one at a time. You have to learn to enjoy things and prioritize things one moment in life at a time, one milestone at a time, one deadline at a time. No one can learn to appreciate all the efforts you put into what you do for them, if they are hiding behind the million-and-one other things you did along with it.

Learn to set each thing aside and take your time. Some things do not need to be rushed, and everything deserves its own chance to shine.

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: Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

For 2018’s first segment of Self-Care Sunday, we will be highlighting the topic of planning.  Last year (a couple of weeks ago to be exact), I wrote about planning out my 2018 year for writing (you can read about it here).   In this post, i outlined the importance of planning your writing out in advance and how it will lead to a more stress-free way of blogging and writing for the year.  I also touched on a little bit of organization last year in a self-care post here.   Last year, I was pretty consistent with writing and scheduling posts a couple days in advance; however, this year, I want to be proactive about having all of my posts (or at least most of them) scheduled out at least a month in advance.
Now, I’m sure you’re wondering by now, what does this have to do with self-care?  Well, I’d be happy to share some insight on my personal experience with how organization and planning help to enhance my wellness and self-care.
I’ve noticed as I’ve gotten older, that the more hectic and out of sync my life is, the more heightened my anxiety is, the more stressed out I become and overall, my mood is just not that great.  All of these things have a direct effect on my self-care.  Even in your self-care, there is a level of planning that has to be done in order for it to be successful; you have to schedule out time for yourself, decide what you will consider your routine, research the pros, cons and benefits to your designated method of self-care, etc.  There are many aspects of this idea and I believe that a well thought out and planned life is a life destined for a reduced amount of stress.
Here are a few tips in order to plan for a successful 2018 personally and even professionally:
  • Get a calendar: One of the first things I did was buy calendars for the 2018 year.  I bought two; one for my personal/family life, and one for my blogging/writing.  I like to keep both separate, and plus i need more space in the writing one in case i need space to write more things down (lol).  Also, I buy colorful pens and highlighters and highlight all the important deadlines and due dates for projects, events, etc. that I have coming up initially at least six months out. Then, at the beginning of the summer, I will sit down and plan out the second half of 2018
  • Schedule in “me-time”:  While you have your calendar out, be sure to schedule your “me-time” getaways as well.  Although they are important, and we often do not forget about the time we have allotted for ourselves, it makes it more tangible and realistic when you look at your calendar and see that you’ve already got time booked with yourself in your calendar.
  • Make sure all your work is done between Monday and Friday: Professionally, I find that I work too many hours on the weekend, for FREE! I am an exempt employee, which means I do not accrue overtime, and anytime I am working after 5, it is for free and with little to no ability to flex my time.  My personal policy is I’d rather work a possible hour or two later, or come in an hour or so earlier, if it means I can leave my work laptop at home on Friday and not look at it again until Monday.  It is something I hope to adapt and keep in place in the 2018 year.  It will also give me more time to focus on my blog and my publishing company.
  • Learn to say no if your calendar is getting too full too quickly: it’s perfectly ok to tell someone that you cannot do something.  It is important not to spread yourself too thin.  It is also important to note that if you’re committing yourself to so many things for others, when will you have time to focus on your personal goals?

Would You Rather Win with the Team or on Your Own?: Collaboration vs. Competition

In the African American community, it is so common to see so many people excel in different business ventures and entrepreneurial endeavors that they have branched out on and it makes me wonder to myself, is it possible that people can achieve satisfaction from collaborating with their peers, as opposed to being in competition with them?

What would have happened if two people would have come together to make that happen, instead of having so many different avenues of the same business running at the same time.  I believe it is because more people thrive off healthy competition with one another; as opposed to collaborating and sharing the spotlight with someone else.

People who are individually competing in something are naturally going to want to overshadow anyone else they are competing against, because they want to make sure they are seen as the number one person.  This reminds me of the “crabs in a bucket” mentality; where we constantly step over and manipulate each other, just to be the person at the top.

Humans live for the validation of others, believe it or not.  Even when you do not realize it; you live for some form of validation in your hard work and dedication to a task.  Even when you don’t expect it, a kind gesture, a thank you or some written recognition goes a long way when you have put in the time, dedication and effort t to get to a certain place with someone and you competed and won.

I also believe there is some level of competition within collaborating with others; however, when sharing a project with someone, it is just that.  It is a shared and joint effort, and therefore the work and end product is presented and shared amongst the group.  No one person is anticipated to be outshined by another person, because that is not hte purpose of a collaborative effort.  The point is to allow all parties to have an equal and conscious effort into completing the task.

So, again I say, we all have plenty of opinions on whether or not competition is good or bad for you; however, I like to think when using competition in a positive framework, it can be utilized in a morale-boosting way in a professional workplace and things of that nature.  I also like to think that collaborative efforts are just as creative and deserve just as much credit as welll.  In the end, it all depends on how or what your personal rewards-based system runs on: do you enjoy collaborating and sharing the positive efforts  with other peers, or  do you live with a competitive mindset on getting things achieved?

A Look Beyond the Titles

Mother.  Wife.  Supervisor.  Employee.  Provider.  There are so many times when women who fall into these categories are defined by these words.  We are characterized, classified and described with these words and at times, our identity and worth is sometimes only valued based on these things.  For five years, I have had the pleausre of being a wife; three of those years I have been on the journey of motherhood; and that same amount of time I have held a managerial role at my job as a supervisor.  I identify these roles because a lot of times these roles either have positive or even negative connotations to them.  You can either be praised for the strength and determination it takes to hold these titles; while in some eyes, your abilities and talents are narrowed to only these roles.

I am More Than What my Titles Define

As a woman who holds these titles, I don’t want to be ashamed when I say, I want to be known for the things I do outside of these things.   I am thoroughly proud to be a mother and take pride in being a wife, but I also have interests, thoughts and opinions that define my individuality outside of those things.  Sometimes, I don’t want to have non-stop conversation about parenting or marriage, because there’s so much more that goes on in my life outside of these things.  I feel as if I don’t want to always complain or discuss my job or my work.  Aspects of these things are nice; or how they may relate to real-life issues can be fine, but my conversations and my lifestyle does not have to center around 24-7 “mommy” type things, or “married/wife” things.  I am an individual Black woman.  I have friends who come from all walks of life who have so many different things going for themselves.  I am a writer and published author, I read the news, I follow social media for the simple fact that I like to stay connected to things going on in the world and within my age range and demographic.

I have done this very often, and I tend to challenge myself to tell people things that are not so  obvious  about myself.  Two things that someone will always know about me within 30 minutes of speaking with me is that I am a wife and I am a mother, because those are the things that I tend to assume people will always only want to know about me.  I believe that women are designed to tell people those basic facts about themselves, because they are the most important things, and not highlight any of the other things that are important to them in their lives.