Why Being Basic Won’t Do…

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The Corona Virus issue has made us feel so many emotions with the ebb and flow of uncertainty; staying at home has become the new normal. This new normal has caused America to put everything on pause where being still is the cure. Many schools have closed around the world, people are now working from home, and some people no longer have a job. Although it can seem to be an uncomfortable time for the world, confronted with the reality that this is the time to let go of things no longer serve our lives.

In America, we are taught that being busy and living life on auto-pilot is acceptable. We choose to operate in a world encumber with a fast-food mentality, a microwave vision for our lives. The self-quarantine gives everyone a chance to slow down, saunter, and come to a shimmer. We no longer can follow the crowd but is challenged to do something different. I believe in this time of  the shutdown, we will not go back to normal.

This transformation will cause us to become a better version of our self. We can start by self-reflecting in every area of our lives. For me, it has taught me the valuable lesson of living in the present moment.

People’s lives are being transformed because we are now finding our passion, spending time with family, connecting with friends, and doing things we were too busy to do. When the curtain rises off this center stage play we call COVID-19, how will we move forward? Will everyone go back to being “basic” or will we embrace our new normal?

Below are three ways we can release ourselves from the “basic life” to the “extraordinary life.”

1. Write The Vision. While being at home, this is a perfect time to write a plan for yourself to make some changes in your life. (Ex: If you decide to start your business now is the time to create your website, draft a business plan, etc.)

2. Execute. There is no time like the present to start being intention by putting action in your new life. Use this time to start capitalizing on not being at work. (Ex: If you are working from home, let your paycheck build up, so when all this comes to an end, you will have enough saved to live your job.)

3. Live. Before the Corona Virus, many of us were going through the motions of life; however, with the shutdown of social events and going out; we will be more present in our lives. We will have more fun living life versus existing in it.

In the end, I am optimistic the self-quarantine will bring out a better America, where we are healing, there is more joy, peace, kindness & love to spread!

 

Pursuing Your Dream

Pursuing Your Dream

 

How many times have you looked at your life and realize you are not living the life you desire? Did someone tell you that your dream was unattainable? Or did you let society dictate to you what was more important in your life?

When we are children, we believe we can be anything we desire to be in life. No matter how ridiculous our dreams may seem, as a child, we believe in our thoughts. As we shift into the teenage years, we start to let society dictate to us which journey will be profitable. We begin to focus on reality instead of the desire of our dreams.

The child inside of us starts to disappear because reality becomes more important than our childhood dreams. Our lives no longer hold enthusiasm or passion; instead, our adulthood has made us apathetic. We begin to forget about the vision we had to live a life full of wonder, passion, and excitement. Our dreams have become faint whispers needing a fresh breath. What can we do to resuscitate our passion for pursuing our dreams?

  • The first step to pursuing your dream is to reconnect with your childhood dreams. When I was young, I enjoyed writing, and I remember my Uncle Dave would always tell me I was going to be a famous writer. I remember in 2003 while living in Sicily, my love for writing reignited when I read Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” for open mic night. Four years later, I published my first poetry book. The little girl on the inside of me reconnected back with my lifelong dream to become a writer. It was up to me to answer the call!
  • The second step is to write a list of the the things that stopped you from pursuing your dreams. After you recognize the roadblocks begin to write a list of possibilities of following your dreams. (For example: Roadblock: I stopped pursuing my dream of painting because I didn’t think I was a great artist. Possibility: I can start taking art classes at a local gallery to brush up on my artistic skills.)
  • The last step is to surround yourself around people who are living your dream. When you surround yourself around like-minded people you are building a community of support. When you have a support system it fosters a life filled with enjoyment, creativity and success.

So pursue the life you desire instead of burying your dreams. Dreams are meant to be lived out loud!!!

The Art of Being Fear-less!

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Can you really be fearless? Is this concept even possible? In a world that profit off our fears, how can we FEAR-LESS!

One time in your life, you have struggled with or struggle with fear. Fear is something that paralyzes us from living our best life. For the past twelve years of my life, fear was my best friend. I often embraced it to stay mediocre, lingering in my comfort zone. I knew nothing unusual grew out of my comfort zone, but it was comfortable.

I allowed fear to keep me from making decisions because I was scared I would make the wrong ones. However, entertaining fear kept me from living the best versions of my life. I didn’t realize that indecision was a decision I made to live in mediocrity. My fears stemmed from the disappointment of my youngest daughter’s death. I wasn’t living, just existing. But something phenomenal happen, I stopped running from fear and began to face it.

How did I make this shift?

Well, this summer I went home to visit her grave. It was the beginning of self-empowerment, taking my power back and reclaiming my life. When I went to her grave, I no longer felt empty; instead, I felt close to her. For the first time in twelve years, I felt close to her, and this was the beginning of me learning the art of being fearless!

Below are three lessons I have learned on how to fear-less:

  • Admit Your Fears. Running away from your fears do not serve you, but, when you admit your fears, God can help you face them. Many times we stay busy to stop us from facing our fears. ( I didn’t want to face my grief, so I stayed busy for the last twelve years). 
  • Face Your Fears. When you start to face your fears, you realize that most of the fears you have are not real. F.E.A.R is false evidence appearing to be real. Facing your fears are uncomfortable, but it makes you a stronger person.
  • Live Life Abundantly. God wants you to live your life abundantly, but you can’t do that if fear runs your life. You have to be willing to let go of the weight for God to carry the burden.

So, I encourage you if you have lost a loved one in your life take the time to face how you feel so you can heal properly. We all have fears but in order to fear-less we have to face the fears head on!

 

 

Be Raw, Be Flawed, Be You!

Be Raw, Be Flawed, Be You!

When you look at a rock you see nothing exciting or beautiful about its features. A rock has no human form, people would consider it to be cold and aloof.  Yet a rock is apart of God’s creation just like a flower. However, we may say that a flower is more beautiful than a rock because of the outside features.

Nonetheless, just like a rock some people are hard on the outside yet beauty lies within. You never know what transpired in their life to make them bitter. Their bitterness is an accessory expressing their hurt.

I remember a period in my life where I accessorize bitterness. My heart was harden by traumatic experiences that happened. I was tired of life disappointing me over and over again. So, I created walls around my heart. I thought if I became emotionally unavailable then I would not get hurt. My elusive behavior kept me from love & fully living.

As I look back on my life I realize I was who I needed to be at that time. I understand that regretting who I was in the past does not serve me. I was raw, flawed and me. Those who saw me as a mess didn’t understand I was a rough draft. My blueprint of greatness was still pending.

Many times we judge ourselves for the raw version of who we are instead of being gentle with ourselves. When you are raw it forces you to be real; unrefined and unpolished. For instance, when a new singer produce their first album it is appealing because their vocals are unfiltered. Once they become commercialized they lose their authenticity; the record label want them to go with an image or sound that sells records versus talent. Growth is a beautiful thing but I never want to lose the thing that makes me relatable.

So, I urge you to be raw, be flawed & be you even if it is ugly right now. Don’t regret the rough draft you are at this moment. As you pursue a better version of yourself you will begin to peel back the blueprint so people can see you….the masterpiece!

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A Seat At The Table…

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In a world full of people pleasers it is refreshing to be yourself. When you choose to be yourself magic happens in your life. You no longer settle for mediocrity but you embrace the extraordinary. It will ignite a spark in you to do life in a different way.

Fireworks are created when you no longer follow the crowd but decide to become the life of your own party. When you choose to walk in your power everyone will not accept you. However, learning to be you bravely takes courage.

In this journey you will understand that everyone will not get an invitation to the party of your life. The people you use to entertain will no longer get a seat to the table. You will  gravitate towards people who empower, inspire and encourage you. They will be the ones who become your tribe because you deserve a life filled with those celebrating your existence.

So, today I encourage you to reevaluate the people you have seating at the table of your life. Ask yourself this, “Is this person celebrating me or tolerating me?” You deserve the support, love and joy you give freely to everyone else.

 

Would love to hear your thoughts so chime in below!

 

Be Uncommon

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When you find out who you are you stop running. All the illusions you once believed about yourself begin to fade away. You realize chasing others for external validation was never needed because you found out the truth. The truth was that you were always amazing.

When you are introduced to the real you then your life will change. How do I know?Well, it took me 37 years to find the real me beyond the layers of inadequacy. I spent seven years going through my “authentic journey”. To be honest, the journey has just begun. 

All those years in my life where I felt inadequate and wanted to fit in, I never realized it was never meant for me to fit in. Freedom came when I let go of the stigma of pleasing others & embraced loving myself. I believe when people truly start being themselves then we would have a world full of originals  instead of copycats.

So, today I challenge you to embrace the passionate, weird, quirky and funloving you. Because you my friend need to be the original AMAZING masterpiece you were created to be!

 

Be Bold.

In the rawest state I could finally see myself, my true self. No longer hiding behind weave extensions, braids or whatever I thought gave me beauty. I wanted to get back to the real me….the short hair me.

For as long as I known short hair has become a signature statement for me. I remember the first time the scissors hit my head at the young age of 15 in Detroit, where hair is a muse and a statement piece. I realized how much I identified with my short hair and how it gave me a boldness, sexiness and confidence to walk to the beat of my own drum.

Everytime I would try to grow my hair it really never worked out because I was always compelled to return to what really moved my soul…my short hair. I dated different guys who wanted me to grow my hair long and I attempted to do it; however, I never could fully commit to letting it grow. I found out that when you try to change the essence of who you are to please a man, society or whoever you lose your true identity.

So, again I found myself on this journey of growth, letting my hair grow back from an undercut hairstyle. This time I was seriously growing it back for myself because I wanted to have long hair. But I started to become tired of the weave extensions, weight being added to me. I did not want to hide anymore then there came an epiphany.

Guess what? Yep, I am sure you figured it out, I cut my hair again this year. I feel free, sexier, bolder and a little more confident to be me. I made a vow to myself to stop omitting pieces of myself, the things that make me who I am. I am proud to be a woman who can rock short hair. I believe short hair is beautiful and reveals the true beauty of a woman. Short hair is my natural state of being.

Recently, I read Alicia Key’s open letter on Lenny Letter  it was very inspiring as she discussed how she went through an evolution of letting go of the stereotypical ideas of beauty. She no longer wanted to hide behind all the things that made her different yet beautiful. I loved the letter because it resounded with my soul. We live in a society where being different can sometimes be looked down upon because being different is viewed as abnormal.

As I grow I have become bold in my conviction of being true to myself and not fitting into the status quo. Even, in love relationships I refuse to shrink who I am to be with a man who doesn’t love me for me. It has taken me a very long time to start loving myself and I can no longer comprise myself for the sake of others. I am aware that I matter; my happiness, peace of mind, my life and decisions matter. I can no longer settle for pieces of myself I need the whole version of me. When I show up whole then people are challenged to accept themselves too.

Tweet: Being bold is an act of bravery saying “this is who I am, take it or leave it”!

Reference: 
http://www.lennyletter.com/style/a410/alicia-keys-time-to-uncover/

June Theme: Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Brilliant.

The kids are beginning to get out of school and the smell of summer is right around the corner. As we invite the joys of summer we also welcome our series for this month. Our June series is entitled Be Bold. Be Brave. Be Brilliant. In this series we will talk about how being brave can help you live the life you always dreamed of. We will discuss what it takes to be bold and let go of anything that weigh you down. And last but not least will talk about the importance of recognizing your brilliance and using it to create the life you desire.

Validate Yourself

She was in desperate need of validation, hemorrhaging from the need of other peoples approval of her life. She was waiting for someone to recognize her worth but she never understood she was the person who needed to validate herself. She wanted others to give her that confidence when all she had to do was believe in herself. She never realized other people did not need to approve of her greatness. She was oblivious to the fact she was already great. The funny thing is while she looked outside for answers everything she needed lied within; her own self-validation.

How often does this scenario sounds familiar? We wait diligently for someone else to validate our gift or talent instead of just creating our own opportunities in life. I, too use to exist on this side of the fence until I realize I never needed any one’s validation for my greatness or life. I would constantly spend my time explaining myself, asking friends for approval instead of realizing I am old enough, wise enough & smart enough to make choices. In retrospect, I was scared of being great because I felt it belittled others. How wrong I was?

When you spend years trying to wait on others to validate your existence you become bitter, angry and feel a sense of worthlessness.  If you start to believe in how great you are then you will not think so small of yourself. 

Below are a couple tips to help you learn the gift of self-validation.

Tip #1: Let go of negative self talk. We are always hard on ourselves but it is ok to lighten up on yourself. Speak words of love to yourself because you are doing the best you can.

Tip#2: Trust yourself. I know its hard to trust yourself when you have made so many mistakes in life but you are only human. Mistakes help you grow so never be scared to trust yourself. Don’t let fear keep you indecisive.  

Tip#3: Everything you need exist within. Although, you believe other people can validate your life understand they will only give you opinions according to their history or background in life. Never seek outside of yourself for what lies deep within. Everything you are destined to be lies within yourself.

Tip#4: Do more of what you love. When you begin to do more of what you love there is no room for misery or pity parties. Misery loves company so invite positive vibes subtract the negative.

Tip#5: If not now. When? If you never decide to live the life you deserve when will you do it. If you constantly wait on others to celebrate you, give you the boost you need or support you then you may be waiting for eternity. If you desire to do something or be something in your life stop waiting & believe you can do it now. 

Never give others the pleasure or power to tell you who you are and what you are worth. Validating your own greatness & life will give you a lifetime of freedom.

Unlock The Door To Happiness


Everyone wants to be happy but yet they find themselves aimlessly looking for their happiness. Happiness is not attached to a specific person, place or thing but lasting happiness is an everyday choice that has to be made in spite of external circumstances. Every person has their own specific definition of what happiness resembles for their life.

This year, I have started to search deeper into what makes me happy. It is my goal to continue to do what makes me happy and subtract myself from people, environments and things that drain my happiness. As we constantly grow as human beings our idea of what make us happy will gradually shift. I am no longer fearful of pursuing my life happiness. I realize that being happy is an essential part of living a fulfilling life.

Once you identify a clearer picture of your life happy plan then you can reevaluate where you are going right or wrong in the path to happy. I am a firm believer that everyone deserves to live a life full of colorful possibilities. People who fear living a life true to their happiness will always fall into a cycle of insanity.

Below are a few tips to help you unlock the door to your happiness on your terms!

Tip #1: Define your life happiness. Everyone has their own visual perception of what life they desire to live. Make sure you visualize the life you desire and then take time to define your life happiness. For example my life happiness consists of freedom, working on my own terms, traveling and living in a place where I can grow in my creative nature & prosper in all areas of my life.

Tip#2: Reevaluate your environment: Your environment plays a major role in how your happiness will be destructive or constructive. If your environment is draining your happiness factor it may be time to relocate.

Tip#3: Reevaluate the people: In your happiness journey you have to be willing to subtract people who put strain or stress on your positive development. It is not meant to allow everyone in your space. When you subtract relationships that are not conducive to your growth it helps you move in the direction of happiness quicker.

Tip#4: Exist outside your comfort zone: Nothing great can ever be developed in your comfort zone. Be willing to take chances and risk to stretch yourself. You never know what could make you happy if you are never willing to give it a try.

Tip 5# Take back your key & open the door. Do not let anyone disturb your peace or steal your joy. When you allow others indirect or direct behaviors influence your happiness you subconsciously give them the key. Your life happiness should not be contingent on what people do or do not do for you. 

Be bold enough to take back the key & unlock the door to your happiness!