The Beauty of Being Yourself

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In 2003, I looked in the mirror and realized I didn’t like myself. I had to confront the fact that who I was pretending to be was making others happy but making me feel unhappy. My world was falling apart because I was collapsing on the inside. I had no clue to who I was because I spent too much time running from myself. If you ever felt like this it is time to face the inner turmoil and heal.

As an ex-people pleaser, I realize how saying yes was my favorite addiction. It was hard for me to say no to people because I desired to make other people like me. However, I realize making others happy cost me a peace of mind. It takes courage to step out of the crowd and be different. Our differences are what make us beautiful, flaws, and all.

Here is the link to listen to this episode on The Inspirational Corner Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WowJvLuKyuI

 

 

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!!!

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…

Table

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!

 

Respect Your Haters!

The reality of life is everyone will not accept you, love you, respect you or want to see you succeed but those people really never matter in the first place. However, people who have no self love for themselves will always be jealous of someone else success. They will always be in competition with someone who is living the life they are not brave enough to live. The type of people I am describing can be better identified as haters. Haters are people who talk more about who you are than CNN. They spend their days and nights with you on their mind wondering when you will fall from your pedestal. However, they are never aware that they are the ones who built your pedestal. They are the reason you are shining bright like a diamond because their haterism gives you motivation to continue to do what you do so well. I have also experienced haterism on many occasions in my life I recently encountered it on my job. The hater plotted to defame my character however, just like the yeast in bread I still continue to rise above the hate. Hate hurts but it only hurts the person who decide to operate in it. I am learning that if people do not like me I am doing something right. In order to be effective in life we have to be brave enough, confident enough and authentic enough to ruffle some feathers. As an ex-people pleaser I lived my life to please everyone while making myself miserable. As I continue to grow through the process of becoming a more authentic me and putting myself as a first priority I realized that more people will  show haterism. In spite, of negativity I am understanding the importance of loving everyone, forgiving and moving forward. I believe everyone needs a job even the haters because if not they would be unemployed. Haters make the world a more successful place because without them we would have no reason to work harder. Confidence in yourself will offend those who have no self-confidence or self-love which creates the ugly monster of jealousy. If you want to rise above the ordinary people in order to be extraordinary you have to be willing to go after what you really desire and be true to who you are no matter what other people may think. Everyone will have an opinion of who they think you are but when you know who you are and whose you are their opinions never matter. So I encourage you as I encourage myself, respect your haters with a smile. Kindness is the best weapon for those who hate you for being the “AWESOME” person you are…..So baby shine so bright so the whole world can see you!

Blending In Is Overrated, Blending Out is Underrated!


We live in a society where everyone wants to blend in just to fit in a box. The box implements boundaries and limitations that decrease the level of originality. No one wants to be different because of the paralyzing fear of being rejected. Rejection is the sore that festers from hurt and pain inflicted by others. However, rejection is a part of life and it is the climax of growth. No one who ever strives to be great dodged the bullets of rejection. Rejection is not something you want to embrace but it is a lesson that is worth exploring. Society teaches us the game of being mediocre instead of reaching higher. Mediocre people do not mind blending in and doing just enough to get by day to day. However, mediocrity can cause you to slip and slide into a world of regret and complacency. Mediocrity will keep you stagnant or stale where mold will destroy your creativity, your dreams, your tenacity and much more. People who want more out of life never get caught in the box of mediocrity instead they become busy creating their own path to success. If you fear success then you will never have the motivation to succeed. Failure is the catalyst of learning how to succeed. We never really understand that failure fuels us to have faith to go the extra mile. Do not let circumstances, stigmas, rules or limitations stop you from reaching your full potential. The world will use tactics to stop you from accomplishing all the things that you need to do in life in order to fulfill your God given destiny. It is important you strive to rewrite your script and get back in the driver’s seat of your life. Many times we allow others opinions, ideas and experiences define our own life path. Therefore we have to learn how to blend out. Blending in has become socially acceptable for those who have no ambition to grow higher and move forward. Blending out is about having the courage to speak your truth, stand up for what you believe in, and being honest with yourself. Deception is a silent killer that robs you of your authentic moments in life. The only way to walk in truth is by embracing the person you really are within. Below I will give a couple of tips on how you can be more effective of blending out.

Tips To Blend Out

1) People Pleasing is Overrated. If you are living your life to please others please understand you are doing yourself a great disservice. No one will every truly appreciate you for who you are if you live to make them happy. You will lose your self worth, self love and most of all self respect. Live to please God and yourself.

2) Happiness is momentarily but joy is everlasting. Everyone is on the road to happiness but happiness is just for a moment. You have to make it up in your mind no matter what comes you way you will be content and joyful.

3) Becoming Authentic. You cannot discuss authenticity until you first go through the journey of how to be authentic. Everyone use the word authentic but I wonder if they really understand the significance of the word. Blending out is knowing who you are and becoming your true self. Authenticity is the key to this life journey.

4) Self Fulfillment. We live in a world where it is taught that putting yourself first is wrong but if we are striving to blend out you have to learn to figure out what makes you happy, what are you passionate about and make your dreams happen. Self fulfillment is part of taking the time to get to know what fulfills you and gives you passion.

5)  One Of A Kind. A person who dares to dance to their own rhythm becomes the creator of understanding what makes them unique. When you embrace your unique quality God can use this to change the world. Stay in your lane, expand it and continue to create opportunities instead of waiting on opportunities.

Never be scared to blend out, blending out is the adrenaline you will find on the road to becoming free and becoming you!

10 Lessons From The FLOTUS on Ladyhood & Femininity


Lesson 1: Be a confident woman

Lesson 2: Wear your clothes do not let them wear you!

Lesson 3: Be bold without making excusing for who you are, No validations needed.

Lesson 4: Your beauty is timeless do not force your presence.
Lesson 5: A woman does not have to act like a man to be a woman of wisdom. Act like a lady, think like a lady & embrace your feminine nature.
Lesson 6: Do not try to fit in be the woman God created you to be.
Lesson 7: Its ok to be emotional we are women, lets show our femininity. 
Lesson 8: This is a man’s world but without the woman it would be nothing. (James Brown song)
Lesson 9: Be a lady at all times, know your worth & walk as the queen you are!
Lesson 10: Embrace your faith, dismiss drama & speak less. Let your presence be a sounding trumpet. Less is more!

Hidden Beauty

No longer hiding what is naturally been beautiful about me; my truth to myself.
 ~Stylicia A. Bowden~
 
 
It’s official 2013 is now here and as quickly as it was ushered in it will quickly roll pass too. Alot of people have jumped on the New Year’s Resolution bandwagon saying “This year will be different”. I often ponder wondering what will be different about this new year for me. I choose not to do resolutions but set goals, create a plan and effectively strategize to live the life I deserve. I am tired of speaking things without putting the action behind it so 2013 for me represents “Just Do It” motto coined by Nike. In this phenomenal journey I believe it is also time to unveil hidden parts of me to embrace the authentic self. In every women’s life it comes a time where she has to be real with herself because the lies start to drain her energy. When you lie to yourself you set yourself up for disappointment, wreckless behavior and falsifying who you are. It is not appealing to live your life in manipulating yourself and pretending. I have came to the conclusion that being real with me is the only option I deserve because it helps me embrace every aspect of myself. I no longer want to hide my true emotions or accept things that are below my standards. So many women hide their true self in hopes of maintaining false relationships. Sometimes we bargain our happiness to trade it in for lies. I understood how important it was for me to start being real with myself so I can get what I deserve. I got tired of living in my disillusional world and fairytale life. I had to be willing to say what I really desired in my life and what I was allowing to hold me back from love, life and happiness. 2013 is a year for me to live life in no regrets, unveil my hidden beauty and just do it. Whatever your allowing to stop you from living then be honest about it and face it. Stop accepting life as it is and say how you really feel, what you really desire and what is blocking you. The greatest accomplishment in your life is being true to yourself because “honesty is the best policy”. Honesty is the only solution to accept who you are to bring forth a natural you. A natural woman is a woman who can say No and mean it & say “I really desire or want this…” “I do not want this or that”. This natural woman will not compromise her truth to live a fabricated life because she will never be happy. When she is truthful she will be willing to miss out on some opportunities because she is waiting on the opportunity she desires and will not settle. She choose not to fill the voids in her life with temporary nonsense just to prove to others she has someone or something. Instead she waits patiently in her truth because her truth has set her free. 

The Individuality Factor: The Nonconformist

Individuality is a beautiful freedom to be totally you.~Stylicia~

In this world we live in being different can sometimes be frowned upon but being an individual carries a lot of freedom yet it also carries a lot of weight. Those who live in a country where conformity is the ideal thing may have a hard time embracing individuality. When I was in the military we all looked alike because we were forced to wear the same uniform. As I begin to spread my wings I realize I was a nonconformist. It was never meant for me to fit in because I embraced my individuality. When you grow up you are never taught that being an individual is powerful. You are taught to do what others tell you to do, be respectful and follow all the rules. Children are never challenged to step outside of their comfort zone and be unique. It is expected for them to go through school make good grades, graduate from high school, go to college and then get married to have kids. However, life is unpredictable and what if they are sidetracked by life unexpected detours, how can they be prepared to stay the course. I believe as parents it is important to teach our kids to be individuals. Let them know its okay not to be in the “popular crowd”. It is important to teach them to be who they were created to be. It is such an injustice to not allow children or even ourselves to be the individual that God created us to be. I am challenged everyday to teach my daughter to be an individual and nonconformist. I make sure I actively let her express her individuality in all creative avenues. There is a great amount of freedom with being an individual because it taps into your authenticity. When you are an individual you become a nonconformist. It is a great freedom to be true to who you really are within. 

I would always have issues conforming to things in my military lifestyle because a big part of me wanted to be free. My nine year journey in the military revealed to me that I was such a nonconformist. I believe to some degree I chose to conform to be accepted by the majority. I was never truly happy with being squashed into the status quo of average. When I decided to release myself from the prison of conformity that is when I truly saw my transformation. As I grew from a young lady to a grown woman I truly began to outgrow the box that I was securely placed in those nine years. It was time to break free so I could become the woman God wanted me to be. I was challenged by this new genre of freedom to no longer be meshed with a group of people. I stood out like a widows peak and a part of me wanted to run back to the shelter of belonging but I knew I no longer fit in. It was never meant for me to conform to fit in but it was always meant for me to embrace my individuality and just be true to myself. So many people look for a certain movement to join to feel good about themselves because they are apart of something. But individuality takes courage to defy the odds just to say, “I cannot conform, I will not conform because I am an Authentic Masterpiece“. 

Here are a couple of nonconformist I admire (some on this list are deceased but still are iconic):

1) President Barrack Obama
2) Ledisi
3) Mary J. Blige
4) Rihanna
5) Solange Knowles
6) Katy Perry
7) Marilyn Monroe
8) Whitney Houston
9) Bette Davis
10) Britney Spears
11) Lucille Ball
12) First Lady Michelle Obama
13) Jada Pinkett

The list is continuous….  

P.S. Ask Yourself Are You A Conformist or Nonconformist? be honest with yourself…..