A Nerdy Girl’s Summer…

Hot girl summer has been a trendy term since 2019, made famous by the rapper Megan Thee Stallion. However, for us ladies who love bookstores, rom-coms, a bottle of bubbly or wine, and all things nerdy, I decided to make a fun list of essential things for an intellectual girl to have an unforgettable summer.

  • Find a beautiful bookstore or library. Try a vintage bookstore or an independently own bookstore; here you will find some classics and treasures.
  • Watch Black & White Movies. I love black and white movies like Casablanca, It Happened One Night, Sunset Blvd & many more.
  • Shop at a thrift store, vintage consignment shop, or boutique to find unique pieces to put in your wardrobe.
  • Read your favorite genre, whether romance, thrillers, or suspense.
  • Go out in nature or sit at your local park & connect with God’s creation.
  • Create a fun playlist with all of your favorite music.
  • Have a dance session in your home.
  • Watch a favorite foreign film without subtitles.
  • Listen to the rain.
  • Do some stargazing.
  • Find a receipe & cook a meal.
  • Listen to classical music.
  • Go watch a sunrise or sunset.
  • Spend a day doing nothing, no technology.
  • Sit in silence.

Redefining The “Strong Black Woman” Dynamics

If you glance in Webster’s dictionary, the term strong is defined as the capacity for exertion or endurance. When you state that someone is strong, it is often received as a proud statement or a compliment; however, over the last couple of years, African American women are choosing to redefine their strength.

When I was growing up my mom always would say that she was raising me to be a strong black woman and I didn’t realize later in my life I would loathe the term of “being a strong black woman”. As I begin to grow into my womanhood I embrace being a strong black woman and it became a badge of honor. Friends and family would be in awe of how strong I was when I went through traumatic challenges in my life. But it became a strain to carry the weight when everyone depended on me to be this superwoman. I became angry and hurt because I wasn’t asked about my well-being. I felt like people assumed I was doing well because I held on to being “a strong black woman.”

In 2018 after hitting burnout, I decided to slowly unravel the strong woman persona and release myself from the superwoman black girl syndrome. While saving everyone else, I didn’t realize I needed to save myself. Now in this new revolution of women taking back their power, making their voices heard, and standing up for their rights, we are redefining terms that have crippled our growth to become limitless.

Below are a couple of ways you can redefine the strong black woman dynamics:

  1. Ask For Help. If you need help, reach out to someone. Needing help doesn’t mean you are weak, but it means you are brave enough to trust someone with your vulnerability.
  2. You don’t have to be the strong one. If you are the only person in your group where everyone comes to you for strength, then find another circle. However, if you find that you like being the person everyone depends on, there may be deeper issues where seeking therapy is necessary. 
  3. It’s okay to say you don’t know. People may identify you as a strong black woman because you seem to be the expert on everyone’s problems. It is okay to tell others that you don’t have the answer and for them to seek professional advice or help for their issues.
  4. Create a new narrative about “the strong black woman.” It is up to us to create new stories about a black women. 
  5. Representation. You are your best representative as a person so make sure you are expressing yourself the way you want others to see you. (Think of adjectives beyond strong to describe yourself). 

Spring Clean Your Emotions

Access this podcast episode here: https://tinyurl.com/m9x7k3rp

Spring is the perfect time to take inventory and declutter your life. However, we often limit spring cleaning to our home and disregard utilizing the same methods to spring clean our mind, body, and soul. Lately, I realize how important it is to declutter my emotions, plug into a healthy emotional state, and let go of the toxicity. 

The last couple of months of my life has been emotionally draining, and I’m ready to take my power back. I spent the last three months living with someone during my relocation journey, which affected my emotional state. When you are unaware of others’ toxic behaviors, it can cause emotional distress. Emotional distress can cause anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, and much more. It is vital to take inventory of how you feel, identify your feelings, and find solutions to foster emotional well-being.

Emotional self-care sets the foundation for handling your mental capacity to deal with daily challenges in life. I decided to implement self-love, self-compassion, and self-kindness as essential points to overcome emotional meltdowns. Overall, taking care of yourself should always be on your daily agenda.

Below are a couple of ways to spring clean your emotions to relinquish the unhealthy emotional roller coasters in your life. 

  1. Identify how you feel. When you are honest about how you feel you will be able to work through every emotion even the uncomfortable ones. (Journal how you feel about an issue or situation and list the emotions that resonate with you.)
  2. Treat yourself with kindness. It is vital to not to judge how you feel but be kind to yourself & give yourself time to process each emotion.
  3. Release the emotional baggage. After you go through your process take time to let go of the toxic people, things & environment that contribute to your emotional roller-coaster.

Wrapping up 2021: Lessons Learned

Access the podcast episode here: https://tinyurl.com/6xbjkm7d

Here are a couple lessons that I learned at the end of 2021:

  1. Growth is not perfection. Growth can be chaotic, messy & beautiful all at the same time, however, it is an individual choice to observe how the growing pains made you a better person.
  2. Don’t Take Other People Actions Personal. When you understand trying to control other’s is impossible, you find peace in letting them be who they are without judgment.
  3. New Beginnings Are Relevant.
    You can’t resurrect the past, but you can learn from it & create newer, richer experiences. So say goodbye to the old & welcome in the new.
  4. Happiness is a personal priority.
    Making your happiness a priority should be a priority. It is important not to outsource this responsibility to others.
  5. Settling is not an option.
    You don’t have to tolerate anything; it’s okay to say this is not for me and move on accordingly.

Don’t Be Scared To Begin

Access the podcast episode here: https://tinyurl.com/yj3eddp8

Every journey begins with taking a small step toward starting on a path to where you want to go. In each stage, you accept the thoughts of fear, failure, and fraud, making you feel like running in the opposite direction; however, if you never begin, you will never know how amazing your life will become.

When I decided to start my entrepreneur journey as a writer, I was full of uncertainty and didn’t know how everything would work out. And to be honest, I am still wondering how everything will unfold, but in this journey of surrender, I realize life is a daring adventure. Helen Keller said it best, life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.

So when will you cast away the fear, let go of the idea of failure, and dive into a life you have always dreamed of? 

The greatest failure is never being bold enough to start and wishing you would have started. My writing has helped me explore so many different elements of myself. I went from writing poetry, articles for online magazines, blogging, and becoming an author of multiple books. 

As a writer, living my lifelong dream opened up so many doors for me, attending a writing workshop in Paris, France, in 2014. Paris changed the way I viewed myself as a writer and creative soul. My writing was resurrected with vibrance, passion, and soul after arriving back in the U.S.

I want you to understand how vital it is to leap into the life you desire because fear, failure, and feeling fraudulent will always be there. 

Below I want to give you three ways to let the fear reside; understand not starting is the only failure, and the actual fraudulence is not doing what your soul was called to do.

  1. Start with Intention. You don’t have to have it all figured out, but if you set a goal & carry it out you will land right among the stars.
  2. We are all trying to figure it out. No one in life really knows what they are doing, so be okay with the fact that being perfect is unrealistic, but making progress is vital.
  3. Failure will always be an option. If you never fail, how will you grow, learn and become better in life? The thing I am learning is the only failure is never starting, so just begin

Become the Picasso of Your Life

become the picasso of your life

In 2019, I realized to have a different year I needed to become the painter in my own life. So often I have allowed other people to paint their ideas, opinions, and theology for my life which resulted in forgery. Allowing others to paint on the canvas of your life causes fraudulent creations because you are letting them put their vision into action. It is essential to create a vision for your life and be the creator of it. When you put other people into the driver seat of your life it causes chaos. I am learning that when I have a vision, I can’t expect people to understand it or co-sign on it.

A vision is something that gives you clarity about the goals you want to accomplish. When you are not clear about the idea for your life society will cloud your judgment with their perspective. In 2019, it is time for you to take back the paintbrush and begin generating your life masterpiece.

Below I have three specific ways you can become the Picasso of your own life!

1.Create The Vision: Whether it is a vision board, vision journal or collage take the time to define your vision, this will help you see your goals clearly. Then you will be able to create action steps to accomplish them.

2.Stop Explaining Yourself: I have learned the hard way that sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut. When you prematurely share your dreams, aspirations or goals with others sometimes it can discourage you if their input is not what you wanted to hear. True, we want everyone to be excited about our goals, our life and dreams but understand everyone will not understand the blueprint of your life. God individually designed your life to fit you and others validation is never needed.

3.Creativity is Messy: Understand that the road of life is not a straight line but filled with dead ends, detours and u-turns. When you are handed a blank canvas to create the vision for your dream life know that being flexible is essential. Many artist create beautiful masterpieces by understanding the first stages are messy.

 

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How do you plan to become the Picasso of your life in 2019? (Leave your comment below…)

Why road trips are great for writers….

roadtripss

Imagine an open road filled with many destinations but there is no specific direction you want to take. Each road leads to an adventure where stories start to ruminate in your mind. The people you meet, the places you see and the things you do are all connected to a bigger picture. The bigger picture is the stories waiting to come alive. Road trips have the power to bridge the gap between creativity and inspiration.

I believe road trips are essential for a writer. Writers not only need time to write but they need a place of inspiration. Sometimes the best inspiration happens when you are living life. Last month, I decided to embark on an epic road trip with my daughter and best friend. It had been nine years since I went on an extended road trip. I was determined not to drive twelve hours to my hometown.

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However, in the end trying to fight the inevitable was useless so I let go, let God  and the road trip came to fruition.  As I reflect on all that took place on our road trip I realize how important it was for me to get outside my comfort zone. The trip was epic and fun.

Road trips are a great way to explore different cities, meet interesting people and reconnect with friends and family.  As a writer road trips help us reconnect with our five senses, live in the moment and gain clarity. Below are three reasons why road trips are great for writers.

1. You tap into your five senses. There is a great power when you tap into your five senses: sight, sound, taste, smell and touch play a major part in developing characters and the setting of the story. Road trips force us to pay attention to unfamiliar surroundings.

2. New Places & Faces. Road trips allow you to meet interesting people and explore new places. These two elements can help a writer develop characters and incorporate the place they visit into their story. Each person you meet may have a distinct personality trait you want to integrate into your character’s development.

3. Gain Clarity. Every writer needs time away to unplug and refresh their thoughts. Road trips help you relax, rejuvenate and reboot your thinking. When you take time to clear your mind your thoughts become organized. You will be able to come back to a writing project with a new perspective.

 

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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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The Joy of Solitude….

The Joy of Solitude (2)

Long holiday weekends are warrant for spending time in solitude. This weekend was no exception. After spending the last two months suffering from exhaustion all I wanted to do is simply nothing. I can honestly confess I am tired of going hard; doing more to get more to be more.

When I lived overseas I cherished life in slow motion. Since I’ve been back in the U.S. life on autopilot is the norm. I constantly battle with this insane concept. So, I decided for the next 30 days I will spend time replenishing my mind, body and spirit.

I will take intentional time to slow down and be present in the moment. It is refreshing to be still, marinating in life’s precious moments. Below, I made a list of  ways you can replenish yourself.

1. Read your favorite novel.

2. Take a lavender epsom salt bath.

3. Unplug from social media for a day, week, month or year.

4. Take a walk without your phone.

5. Sleep.

6. Meditate.

7. Get creative and color.

8. Go to the beach.

9. Watch a sunrise.

10. Watch a sunset.

11. Go to a bookstore.

12. Staycation; reserve a hotel room in your local town.

13. Binge watch your favorite Amazon Prime show or Netflix episodes.

14. Stay in your house all day.

15. Cook your favorite meal.

16. Listen to your favorite music streaming station.

17. Aromatherapy; buy some aromatherapy candles & burn them in your house.

These are just a few ways you can replenish your mind, body and spirit. I dare you to make your own list and spend a day, week or month in replenishment. How are you going to replenish yourself this summer?

 

 

 

The Antidote (Part 2)

The Antidotekindle

Last month on January 16th, I released my first ever short story series entitled, The Antidote. I am happy to announce that part two is availableIf you did not get a chance to download part one  go to this link: https://tinyurl.com/yb72u7om 

Go to this link to get your copy for part twohttps://payhip.com/b/Qe4w