As the year 2020 is coming to an end, we are spending time preparing ourselves for Christmas and the New Year. We are taking time to slow down, reflect, and review this unusual year. The year 2020 has served us with unforgettable moments that we desire to bury, but we realize embracing a simple cozy life for 2021 may be the cure.
When I went to the dictionary, the word simple is defined as easily understood or done, presenting no difficulty. I think we can all agree 2020 had enough problems to serve us a lifetime of discomfort. However, when life gives us uncomfortable moments, we know that ease is on the way. And finding ways to live a comfortable, simple life can bring us peace, joy, and gratitude.
Below I am giving five essentials ways to begin to live a better life by embracing the Danish concept of Hygge; less is more and other essential elements to living a comfortable, simple life.
Embrace a Hygge Life: In 2017, I stumble upon the Danish phrase hygge (pronounce hoo-ga) and it change my life especially during the holiday season. I began to research this concept and found a book by Louisa Thomsen Brits called The Book of Hygge . The book help me unlock the idea of creating a slower life filled with contentment.
Practice Gratitude: When you are grateful for what you have you will realize how abundant you are. (book reference: The Magic by Rhonda Byrne)
Set Boundaries: Know what you will & will not accept then make adjustments. Setting boundaries will give you a peace of mind.
Be okay with pivoting: When things don’t go as plan you have to learn how to adjust and go in a different direction. Pivoting teaches you the art of moving forward despite the circumstances.
Simplify to uncomplicate: Get clear on who you want to be, where you want to be and how you want to feel in your life. Then add, subtract and multiply all the necessary elements to uncomplicate your relationships & life.
When you embrace these five concepts, I believe you will start to move towards a cozy simple life!
“Learn to pause or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.” ~Doug King~
The holiday season is here, and many of us feel like we are on the brink of a breakdown. With the extra traffic, Christmas shopping, and everyone running around in a frenzy, the joy of the holidays has become burdensome. The holidays should be a time where the pace of life slows down, the present moment is treasured, and the idea of spending time with family is cherished. However, as years roll by, the holiday season has become congested with commercialization. We have stopped practicing the art of the pause.
The holidays are the perfect time to press pause and start living in the now. When you take the time to live in the present moment, you appreciate the beauty of life. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year to enjoy the art of the pause. Below are three tips you can implement to start savoring the holiday season!
Take a break from social media. This Christmas commit to being present with your family and friends by disconnecting from social media. When you are not posting every moment, you will savor it and not miss out on making memories.
Take some vacation time from work. Too many people have vacation days but never use them. Don’t let your vacation time build-up without enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Don’t buy gifts. Yes, it is tempting to want to get the whole world a gift; however, spending money you do not have only creates stress. How about this season you give your loved ones the best present of all your presence.
With summer coming many people are excited about vacation and spending time with their family. However, I am passionate about creating memorable moments with my daughter. Although I am going to visit my family, I have decided to shorten my trip and plan smaller trips throughout the summer for my daughter and me to enjoy. It is so easy to get caught up in focusing on visiting so many people during your time off, however, what is more, important you planning trips that make you happy this summer even if it means disappointing others. Vacation is about unplugging from your routine and creating memories that will last a lifetime.
My main focus this summer will be unplugging from social media, reading books I love and being present in the moment. We can produce the most fabulous things when we focus on the present moment.
Below are three ways to create a memorable summer:
1. Unplug. The present moment is the most important moment in our lives. This summer take the time to take a break from social media and savor the memories.
2. Do what makes your soul happy. Too often we spend endless summers traveling to see family but have not schedule time to do what we desire. Make sure you schedule a personal trip in for yourself this summer, you deserve it!
3. Create Memories That Last For A Lifetime. Spend this summer exploring new places and spaces to produce memories that will last forever. The goal is to spend money on experiences not things.
So, I challenge you this summer to do what makes you happy, focus on the present moment and create memories that will last forever!
Wow, I can’t believe next week Sunday is my birthday. My 30’s journey has been a beautiful evolution of “self”. I have been able to spend the years of my thirties facing issues of my past, closing the door to my past, making intentional changes to my life and most of all becoming the woman I desire to be.
As a single mom I have endured many hardships and personal setbacks but my 30’s have been my years of reflection, refreshing, starting over again and creating the life I desire.
I have become comfortable in my own skin. I love the woman I have evolved into at this point in my life. However, I know the journey is a continuous process. I am excited about my future ahead.
Since, I am commemorating the last year of my 30’s, I am sharing 39 lessons with you I learned during my 30’s journey.
Here are the 39 lessons I learned in my 30’s:
1. Confidence. Confidence is something that starts within & it is something you work on everyday.
2. No validation needed. You are grown,stop asking for permission.
3. No is a complete sentence. Stop explaining yourself.
4. Mind your own business. It never matters what others are doing. Stay focused on your life.
5. No deprivation. Stop depriving yourself of the things you love & desire.
6. Know Your Worth. You have to know your worth to know what you deserve then you will stop giving discounts to people who undermine your quality.
7. Self-care is important. Self-care is about preservation. You have to put it into practice for all areas of your life (mental, emotional, financial, physical & spiritual).
8. Trust God.
9. Get out your own way.
10. Ask for help.
11. Be gentle with yourself you are doing the best you can.
12. Stop procrastinating.
13. Do it afraid.
14. Get out your comfort zone.
15. Be your own best friend.
16. Speak up. You have a voice use it.
17. Stop chasing. You don’t have to chase a man, friends, people or dreams. All the things meant for you will come at the right time.
18. Travel somewhere new.
19. Date yourself.
20. Believe in yourself.
21. Do what is best for you.
22. Be unapologetic about your greatness.
22. Set boundaries.
23. Spend time with those that celebrate you not tolerate you.
24. Celebrate yourself.
25. Be patience.
26. Saunter through life.
27. Let things flow.
28. Detach yourself from the outcome.
29. Stop the comparison. When you learn to value your life you will feel no need to compare your life to others.
30. Have faith.
31. Smile often, Laugh more.
32. Have fun. Include more bliss, pleasure & enjoyment in your life.
33. Be ok with not being ok.
34. Be vulnerable.
35. Live life. Don’t just exist live your life alive.
36. Reinvent yourself.
38. Pursue your dreams. No matter how old you are you can always pursue the things you desire.
39. Be limitless. Don’t put limitations on your life.
I believe there has been times in your life where you settled for less. Settling in any area of your life can be detrimental to your growth. Settling is synonymous to mediocrity and will keep you in a state of stagnancy.
When you begin to gain clarity in your life you will begin to raise the bar. But first it is important that you become aware of why you have settled for less. Below are five reasons to help you understand why you are settling for less in your life .
1) Fear. Many times we settle for less because of fear. We fear the unknown so we choose to stay in our comfort zone. However, nothing extraordinary ever grows from a comfort zone. So, it is important to let the fear go and launch out into the unknown. Life happens outside your comfort zone.
2) Uncertainty. Another reason we settle for less than we deserve is because we are unsure about what we want. If you are struggling with knowing what you want in your life it may be time to explore life. Exploring life will help you discover the things you may want in your life. When you go through a period of self-discovery it will expose you to the world. Each life experience we help you gain clarity on the life you truly want to live.
3) Impatience. When you are impatient it can make you miss out on your greatest life. Many people settle for less because they are too impatient to wait for what they really want in life. When you wait patiently for what you really want you alleviate unnecessary stress. So, wait patiently for what you want!
4) Not Knowing Your Worth. If you do not know your worth you will settle for the wrong things. If you do not spend time to build your self-worth, self-love, self-confidence and self-esteem you will discount your worth. I have learned in my life that people will treat you how you treat yourself. It is important to nurture love and confidence within yourself so you can recognize your worth.
5) Mediocrity. The last reason we settle in life because we become okay with mediocrity. We become comfortable with just existing instead of living a life to our fullest potential. Mediocrity keeps you stagnant and it creates procrastination. You will never be fulfilled with a mediocre life. So, let go of mediocrity so you can grab hold to an extraordinary life.
Action Tip: This week take some time to focus on how you can stop settling in your life by putting one of the five reasons into practice.
In the comments below share with me the reasons you have settled for less in your life.
I spent years playing the game of comparison wishing my life would magically change. I was not aware of the fact that I had the power to change my life. The choice lied within one simple decision that I needed to make.
Below is a list of ways you can create the life you love.
Life is a constant rollercoaster where we are on fast forward but sometimes we need to put our lives on pause, rewind to the moments we constantly rush through and just slow down. Life is so precious in which we have to learn to embrace each moment because itwill dissipate quickly. Life is about making each hour, minute and second count to create a life full of memorable things to look back on in years to come. I have been guilty in not cherishing the moment but rushing to get to the next day just to rush through it all over again however, this year I have been challenged to enjoy life in its present state and appreciate what each moment has to offer as well as teach me. For the last 190 days, I worked a job I did not enjoy with a person that made the job more challenging than it had to be but it taught me to never waste another day living in a moment that does not bring me joy. This job gave me the strength to reevaluate myself and my life to the capacity of investing in moments that are worth enjoying. In the real world, some moments can be painful just like the 190 days I had endured at my job however, there were moments that taught me how to let go of the bad things and create the life I love to wake up to everyday. Moments have full of lessons to go along with them even in the most uncomfortable moments. We still must strive to embrace the moment, live in it and make it a moment worth living for because life comes and goes in a flash. I have learned to capture the sweet things in bittersweet moments, hold on to the fun moments and make memorable thoughts of moments that have took my breathe away. It is funny how ugly moments teach you great lessons just like my job did for the last 190 days. I am thankful that my job ends this week as I take the time to reflect, slow down and move forward at my own pace this time. Too often, we rush because we feel rushed to be at a certain place in our life but in reality we are right where we need to be. Living in the moment is simply about not rushing out of the current moment you are in but savoring the moment. I made a vow to myself no longer to rush from moment to moment but let each moment have its place to flourish and process into something beautiful. So I challenge you this week to embrace the moment, slow down, let each moment be processed thoroughly so that maturity can have its time to spring forth. I dare you to Live In The Moment!
If you never step into your own shadow and become a great illuminating giant you will become lost in other people’s shadow. ~Stylicia A. Bowden~
As women we are prone to be told what we should look like, how we should think, and how we should dress in a society filled with judgmental views. The world’s view on beauty, fashion and personality is shoved down our throats. We become configured into something we are not and lose the person we are as we try to find our authentic self. We go through life carrying the world on our shoulders constantly running to the rescue, saving everyone else but ourselves. We imitate what we think is right but really is wrong because we have no idea of who we really are as we chase the ghost of acceptance. I, too have been in this dark hole living my life on the terms of what other people thought was best for my life; however, after my youngest daughter’s death in 2007 I was resurrected. The person I thought I was could no longer exist because God was calling me out of the shadows into his marvelous light to be a woman on purpose to fulfill my God given purpose. It is an exhilarating feeling to come into your own going through the journey of self-love, self-preservation, self-worth and most of all self-acceptance. I use to spend my time explaining every move, every life decision and thought to others as if I truly needed their approval on how to live my life. Nonetheless, in the last four years I have been on many transitional journeys and the current journey I am strolling through is the journey of self-acceptance. I am learning to accept myself for the good, bad and the ugly. For so long, I would punish myself and tell myself I did not deserve happiness, love, joy and peace because of my sins of the past, present or future. Now, I am facing the fear of failure realizing failure is a beautiful thing because it develops who I am supposed to be in life. I am starting to embrace who I am on so many levels breaking the satanical strongholds of self-condemnation. I am consistently reminded by the spirit of God that I never have to condemn myself because Jesus has already set me free. I am starting to love the skin I am in, in the awe of my brilliant self I revel at the idea knowing God made me extraordinary. I am like no other and cannot be duplicated. I currently understand my life trials, victories, and tribulations are structured to fit me to touch people who need my inner light. So often we hide our light to subject ourselves to hiding behind the spotlight. It was never meant for us to hide the awesomenesswe hold inside to appease others. I am learning to do what is best for me no matter what people think, feel or say I should do I am truly my own woman. I use to crave validation from others as an act of approval but now I realize people will manipulate who you are to get what they want from you. If you never step into your own shadow and become a great illuminating giant you will become lost in other people’s shadow. I challenge you today and every day of your life to fight the shadow of validation, approval, pleasing others and accommodating others. This season and time for your life is truly for you to embrace and if others do not understand or approve it does not matter because God made this stage of an “extraordinary” life for you! Come Into Your Own….
The most powerful thing about being a woman is understanding upgrading is a luxury that comes with the maturity of age. ~Stylicia~
2013 is soon to make head way into our lives while 2012 will be a far and distant memory for us. 2012 will be apart of an epic moment but it will be known as our past. The thought of who you are or what you were in 2012 should not be a thought at all. The only thought that should penetrate in your mind is “how will I upgrade myself in 2013”. In this last defining month of 2012 I have really embraced myself on a different level. It seems as if everything around me has been upgraded from hair, clothes, style, and all of thee above. God has taken me on an authentic journey for the last year in a half and next year in April I will celebrate my two year authentic journey; the moment I became a free woman. This month I learned how important it is to embrace living well, feeling well and the finer things in life. We were taught only rich people understand what it means to live good and be comfortable. However, living well is not about money it is a mindset. It is a wealth thing not a rich thing. This month I was able to experience the upgrade which included me crossing over to a new level of class, style and embracing the aging process. An epiphany happen this month I tap into the finer things in life like being grateful for what I have, where I am at and where I am going. I decided to do a 10 day gratitude fast speaking sounds of gratefulness to life, love and to the Lord. God has been very good in my life but I took it for granted and did not give thanks for what I have in the now. Once I started to speak words of gratefulness my life has begun to multiply. I had a great desire to look for quality and not quantity anymore in my life. The upgrade experience started in my internal being which has spilled out like an oil leak to the outer parts of my life. This month I went from Coach purses to Michael Kors purses, from rules to my wardrobe color palette to mix match bright colors, shopping at Express (which I love this store & will always shop there) to shopping at White House Black Market and from a chic short hairstyle to a funky do. I realize in the upgrade experience I started to look more mature as I walk boldly into my womanhood. The upgrade experience has just begun this month which has manifested outwardly, lying dormant inwardly. I can now embrace my sexiness on all levels not being afraid to be a woman who embraces sexiness yet understands elegance is key. It has been such an empowerment for me to allow God to take me through this season of upgrade. I have even upgraded my finances by becoming a better steward of my money and started to save it. It has made me feel so good to at this point in my life to prepare for my future. I prepared for everything else in my life but never for my future. The upgrade experience is an exploration of my whole life transitioning to a new level.
Ask yourself am I ready to take my life to another level in 2013, is it time to upgrade myself internally and externally and if the answer is Yes, spend the last couple of days of 2012 detoxing your mind start fresh in 2013. It’s time for an upgrade experience and 2013 is a great year to start the process.
Cheers To A New You, Well Defined You and Embracing the Finer Things Life has to Offer You!
In order to heal sometimes you have to be willing to write a letter to your past and the people in your past. ~Stylicia~
Recently I realized the root of my anger, my temper and flying off the handle for every little thing; the root was my past hurts, scars and wounds I have not acknowledged. I also realized I had not forgiven the guy who raped me when I was 18 or the men who mentally and emotionally abused me. I have been carrying around this baggage without acknowledging it. I knew I had to bring closure to these issues instead of blocking them out of my life. I needed to also forgive female friends who treated me wrong and manipulated our friendship. My anger has been an issue for me for a long time, I would go off on friends, family, and become very harsh. My daughter brought it to my attention that I was never happy but got angry at every little thing. I have not been at peace because there was a residue of all this junk on the inside of me. I started my journey 2 weeks ago but it took full form when September 1st, 2012 was ushered in. I am on a journey to find peace within but first I have to allow God to do a D&C to scrape out the residue so I will not get an infection. I cannot take this load in my new place or new journey. My new life, new me and new journey begins now!
Below is a personal letter to my past & things I have bottled in my soul too long it is time to be free and open. I share this with my readers because I am no longer ashamed of my past and I can be free in order to help someone else to be free. Let’s begin……
I acknowledge the wounds, scars and residue you left me to deal with so today I made a decision to face these issues. I would like to first address my issue of looking for love in all the wrong places and wanting that special guy to love me. I did not love myself so I settled for sex as a form of love but it never really satisfied me because I still felt empty. At the age of 18 years old I was raped and I never fully acknowledge it because in some way I thought it was my fault because I did not scream for him to stop. I just laid there letting the act take place because I had a fear of fighting for myself. I did not want the physical intercourse at all but fear paralyzed my words to say “NO”! Today I forgive this faceless man who I cannot remember and I would like to tell him I will not hold on to my anger and bitterness anymore. I will no longer let him steal my peace, joy, happiness and love for myself. So, I forgive him for the rape and I will move on free and happy in my life. The next thing I would like to acknowledge is the consistent mental and emotional abuse I went through with certain men in my life from my past. One man that I remember in particular who threaten my life, my daughter life and stole some personal possessions from me 7 years ago. He abused me mentally and emotionally by tearing me down, ripping my self esteem to shreds but today I forgive him because I have been holding on to this pain for too long. I forgive the abuser and wish him well. I let go of the past scars and I will now be free to live a joyful life. I forgive him for the threats, for stealing my personal possessions and wish him well in his life. I also forgive all men who have abused me in some way. I stopped playing the victim role several years ago and today I am a victor. I forgive female acquaintances who have talked behind my back, slander my character and manipulated our friendship for their own personal gain. I also forgive friends who cut off the friendship without even communicating the issue with me. I forgive them and have no anger or hurt towards them because the time they had in my life was strategic and it taught me about myself. I also want to acknowledge the pain and hurt I caused them as well. Forgiveness is a two way street and never should be thought of as one way. I know I have wounded people in my life and I pray they can forgive me for my attitude, selfishness, and anger in the past. I pray they heal from the personal scars I inflicted on them. I want to make peace and so I will walk in peace by letting my past scars go. God I thank you for gutting me out, getting to the core of my soul and scarping the residue of my past. I am no longer the insecure, unhappy, angry, bitter or selfish “Stylicia” people remember I am a new woman and I walk boldly into the woman I am on today and everyday. Past, I say goodbye to you and I am finalizing our connection. I do not regret my past because it made me the beautiful person I am today. I do not regret the people I met, the friends I had but I cannot take you Past into my future because I am made new. I will remember the memories and smile when I think of you. I appreciate you because you formed me for my future. Past hurt, pain, manipulation, low self esteem and every other negative emotion that was attached to my past I say goodbye to you. I will no longer revisit the hurtful part but smile to know it all was for a bigger purpose, a purpose greater than me. I am made anew..Behold God has done a new thing and now it has sprung forth!
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. Isaiah 43:19 ( New Living Translation)