Category Archives: Ifestyle
So check it out-
I wrote a post on social media recently about folks who are so uber sensitive, that the minute they feel criticized- earned or not, they fall apart.
My little millennial friend, read that post, and immediately asked me to write a blog and go more in-depth.
So here goes- unless you are experiencing serious mental illness shrouded in severe anxiety, being criticized, should in no way, make you crumble to dust.
Aside from the impossibility that everyone will agree with you, criticism, can and should be beneficial to your growth in some small way. Not everyone is a “hater” and it behooves you to distinguish between lessons and hatefulness.
I swear this phenomenon of people crumbling, came from not being taught critical thinking skills and having every problem solved as a child.
What emerges, is an adult, who never wants to be disagreed with and also wants the discussion coached in flowers and honey.
Real world does NOT operate as such. If you are bringing all your thoughts, feelings and values, chances are high, (read yes) that the person/s you are speaking with does too.
Take some time to breathe, ask yourself questions such as, “why am l so offended?” Or “what am l to learn from this?”
Emotion has a valuable place in our lives but it should never be allowed to overrule our logic. That is a recipe for being overly sensitive and no growth takes place in that mushroom of tears and bellyaching.
Buckle up. Lift that chin. Feel the angst, work it through either alone, or with solid advice, and move on.
Because life, has zero issues with moving on without you.
Peace and mad love,
See this face?
This is the face of a woman, who awakened with a start, looked at her phone, and realized she was getting some weird message to update her payment information, because her icloud something-or other, failed to process.
Not sure how her account is overdrawn, she quickly slips on a pair of grey yoga pants, a red tank top, a pink jacket and then donned orange striped flats to zoom out the door to the bank.
She knows she looks crazy but simply didn’t care. She gets to the bank and in the middle of transferring funds, it dawns on her, she could have done all of this online and she throws up her hands at her foolishness, which draws the attention of the bank manager.
“Whats the matter? You seem out of sorts.”
This woman, looks the manager dead in the eyes,and says one word-
Thus, began a conversation between them both, about all the radical changes happening in their bodies.
In the middle of the bank.
This, has been my life in recent months and l am only now speaking about it, because, well, it needs to be done.
I assumed menopause would be simply hot flashes and calcium deficiencies.
Oh were it that simple. I am teary for no reason. Feeling overwhelmed and second guessing things l would plow right through.
My body LITERALLY aches like l have been lifting weights non-stop for years. I am easily irritated. Total loss of appetite.
It scared me.
I called my momma, and while l dissolved into tears explaining that l was going crazy, she gently said, it was menopause and began quietly guiding me to speak with my doctor, run some tests and get on a treatment plan that will help me to navigate these unknown waters until the symptoms subside, which could take a while.
Its nice to know l have not totally lost my cotton picking mind. Not yet any way. But this can’t be life forever because the world will not survive with me like this!
But hear me- there are legions of women navigating through their days with not a hair out of place and battling the symptoms that emerge with this new phase of our lives. It is different for each one with some similarities, but have mercy on us, if we do not seen like our normal selves on any given day.
This thing is a beast.
So if you see me out in the streets looking crazy, give me a hug and point me in the right direction. I probably will need it.
Deuces and mad love,
My millennial struck again.
She called filled with concern, that she was growing apart from a friend who she had previously shared common interests and time with, and wanted to know what to do.
She had to ask… so here goes!
Friendships, can be full of exhilaration and life! You spend hours on the phone talking about all kinds of things, you see eye to eye about mutual interests and concerns, and you pledge to have each others backs, no matter what. Weeks turns to months which turns to years, and it seems this will be someone who will be around for a lifetime. And it may very well be.
But what if it isn’t? The reality is this- MOST friendships do not last forever because interests shift, growth happens and your friend or you, aren’t always able to adapt or grow at the same pace which creates a chasm of discomfort no matter how hard we try to do otherwise.
When our mommas said that we are blessed to have one, maybe Two good friends, she was not lying. Rare is the person, that can withstand the ebb and flow of life with you into a ripe old age.
The added pressure of knowing what your purpose is and going full steam ahead while your friend is content to float along the river of life, makes for an interesting conversation down the road too.
So here are my two cents worth of advice-
- Stay honest first with yourself and then with your friend. When you feel distance happening, have the conversation, not from a place of accusations or guilt. It will be uncomfortable but it must happen.
- Don’t fester and make assumptions with forced small talk. A true friend will not want to anchor you with a rope of guilt so they can feel better about sitting sedentary while you have goals.
- Cry. Sometimes when the separation comes, it fills you with hurt and a sense of loss. Let the tears flow and keep walking in love.
- It could get ugly, because some folks do not know how to use their adult words to express that they are hurt and will instead lash out to make a clean break. That is messy in a way, neither party may soon recover from so see #1 again.
- Know that your journey in life will not always have someone by your side and be okay with that too. The wildernesswalk is effective in allowing us to become more in touch with ourselves without the well intentioned distractions of opinions.
- What you put into the world, will come back to you, so as you grow and change, others will be sent along the path, to meet you where you are in that period
- Our job is to never carry the burdens of others who refuse to carry their own. We must rid ourselves of the notion that it is okay to push, pull and tug in an effort to not “leave” folks behind. They have feet. They can either walk with you or stand back.
I hope this helps because Lord knows, it is a journey we must all take, one way or another. How you both handle it, determines if have a friend, foe or frenemy.
Walk in the light-
Deuces and mad love,
There l was, enjoying a quiet breakfast this morning, when l got the text from one of my darling millennials who wanted to know how did l embrace my womanhood and what did it take to get there?
I read that text, chuckled and commenced to having a good conversation because she was shocked when l said, l didn’t fully began to walk into all that made me a woman, until l was about 40. Yep. I said it.
The first person l heard saying this statement and l looked incredulously at the television screen when she did, was Camille Cosby. I was all of 27 then, and just KNEW l was a woman, with all the mess l had experienced to that point and what was she even talking about?
But now that l am a half a century old, l have come to understand what she meant and the older l get, the more steeped l have become in being comfortable with who l am with zero apologies.
But to my millennials, it is indeed a journey-one that is fraught with second guessing yourself, making mistakes you swear you will never recover from, worried you will NEVER find the right mate, be a good mother should you so choose to become one,or be successful at anything long term in life.
You will lose friendships you swore would last your entire life, experience heartache that will have you questioning love and feeling fear when you want to feel hope.
So the bad news is that these experiences will shift in and out, one way or another for your entire life.
The good news is that you will be so settled into you are as a woman who knows herself and what she will not tolerate, that you will no longer second guess yourself to death or worry about that which you have no control over.
Someone doesn’t like you? Okay and? Keep it stepping.
That job isn’t working out? Move on in grace and find another.
Folks second or third guessing you on your decision to be an entrepreneur? Thank
Them for sharing and either fail or succeed splendidly for there are lessons to be learned in it all.
The bottom line is this- every molecule that is you, means that you are more than enough. Embrace your warts and all with as much dignity and grace you can muster up. Or not. Because the truth is, you have another moment to get it right.
In the meantime, stop being so hard on yourself and enjoy the journey to fully embracing the woman you will blossom into being.
Love, peace and fish grease,
I have a mentee that will periodically text me about a subject matter she wants to see addressed and the second I saw her note this morning, I knew I would be right here writing about it..
Buckle up and hold on..
In recent weeks, I found myself traveling and commiserating with folks from around the country and in usual form, I am open, kind and share my thoughts as needed. Well the one evening, we had to all get in formal wear for an event and the minute I strolled through the door, my friend saw one of the attendees throwing all kinds of “shade” my way by rolling her eyes and whispering something to the person next to her. I didn’t see her because I have learned how to block that kind of negativity from my line of vision.
I knew what her issue was though.
Name Every -ism women face, and she had me pegged for it. My boldness and bravery made her feel inadequate and she then tried to transfer that feeling to ripping me to shreds with condescension. She didn’t realize that though. She thought she was within her rights to be judgmental.
How do I know this? It is what I am told by women all the time who often try to coach it around offering “advice.”
Aside from this being a total waste of energy and space, it is counterproductive to fall in line with them so they can feel better about themselves.
My response? Maybe if we were not so conditioned as women to “know our places,” not be “overly confident” for fear of being seen as bragging, or being labeled as “bitchy” when we dare to speak up for ourselves, we would see the benefits in speaking up and out.
As a direct result, women often lose sleep about demanding a position they are clearly over qualified for,suffer heartburn at the thought of requesting compensation that befits their value, minimizing the ones who step out on the ledge in an effort to find financial freedom and seeking to destroy the few who dare to do what they won’t.
I can’t even begin to discuss how it messes with personal relationships across the board. We hold on and fester about things we can and should discuss, until it becomes toxic and explodes the wrong way from us.
What do you have to lose but your sanity in trying to fit in to what society deems we should or shouldn’t be? Here are a few things that worked for me in removing the “do as I told ” models from my head-
- Speak your truth kindly but firmly and do not waver with eye contact. Prep yourself with calming deep breaths.
- Trust yourself. No one will trust you more than you. Your gut instincts are there for a reason.
- Be okay with not having a ton of fearless people with you as this is often a singular journey of faith.
- Celebrate the wins and extract the lessons from the losses.
- Keep the naysayers out of your ears. Lord knows they will try too. People who worry about all that could go wrong, never see what could indeed go right.
- Find mentors who have already walked the path you are on and heed the advice that feels right to you.
- Authenticity is worth more than silver and gold. You may not be appreciated on the moment, but you will be respected long term.
- Know when to step up and pull back. Everything doesn’t always have to be a battle.
- Collaboration works wonders. No one is an island. Learn to be okay with saying “I was wrong.” Pride goeth before….
All of that and a few more will give you the freedoms and joy to simply BE..
Dueces and mad love.
We have all heard the saying- “You can’t trust everybody with everything” or “everything ain’t for everybody,” and yet, out of guilt, fear or just talking too diggety dang much, we often shoot ourselves in the foot by over sharing goals and dreams with the wrong people.
The painful lessons that results from said over sharing, often comes in the form of losing friends who despise your drive and determination, and counter it with negativity and intended sabotage of your dreams and goals.
So what are we to do?
Learn to move like a ninja.
How you say?
Allow me to elucidate.
I am fiercely protective and careful of that which is near and dear to me. My children’s names are not uttered online, I almost never share the scope and depth of my work and most importantly, that man I now call husband was a phantom for the entire 5 years I dated him.
I wrote and spoke about him all the time but he was known as the mysterious “Mister.” It became pretty easy to see who the ones would be to quickly judge and began whispering behind my back (so they thought) that he didn’t exist and one very brave somebody, called my mother and told her I was making up stories about some non existent man.
By the time I unveiled my man and on my own terms, it was exactly 30 days before we got married. Mouths were dropping all over the place because all the assumptions that abound were dead wrong.
People are always looking to criticize that which they refuse to put their own work into. Relationships, careers, raising families and simply being a decent human being, takes WORK.
I have also experienced putting my entire neck on the line to help large swaths of folks only for me to keep getting feedback that some people thought this and that about me. I had to shut that mess down because if the people bringing the bones to bury me didn’t have enough sense to shut that down, they didn’t deserve to be in my most sacred of spaces.
As a direct result, I continue to move like a ninja in certain aspects of my life because I know not everyone will be happy that I work my fingers to the bone to enjoy the fruits/rewards.
And do not allow people to guilt you into dragging them like luggage to your fruits party. They too must work hard and sacrifice something or you take their rocks out your bags and lay them gently to the side.
So what are you over sharing in your spaces sacred or otherwise? Take inventory, see who the detractors are and then cease and desist. Your very success or failure, may depend upon it.
Because love bugs, everything truly ain’t for everybody.
Dueces and mad love,
All kinds of things and events have been swirling around my space in recent days, weeks and months to the place where I have begun to pay full attention.
So when a friend made a comment that she watched my life change in ways large and small since we met some 15 years ago and she was happy to witness it, I began to delve into the why.
Why was I able to change and grow in ways that is almost impossible to believe on this end by many including myself some two decades later? Why am I still able to continue to grow and change with each passing day?
The conclusion I came to?
No matter where I was in each cycle of my life, I maintained a level of gratitude for every morsel of it. Yes, even as I struggled to make sense of certain things and behaviors around me. Yes, as I was ridiculed for daring to dream and then going forth to do just what I dreamt about.
Do you know how I came up with gratitude as the answer?
All around me back then, were people who had the same opportunities and challenges I faced. Those of us who came through and grew, maintained gratitude.
Those who didn’t, are still in that same place all these years later because they groused and complain bitterly about things and always looked toward what they didn’t have, versus what they did.
They also were never willing to take the necessary risks needed to challenge themselves and grow. They were content to sit back and watch, all while denigrating the efforts of others, believing it was all pipe dreams. Until those dreams became reality with hard work and determination.
What they are left with, is a pot filled with a bitter brew of anger, jealousy, victimhood, and regrets.
Do not let that be you. Challenge yourself to step completely out of your comfort zone. Never forget to embrace each stage of your life fully, learn the lessons, celebrate the victories and most of all, walk in love and kindness.
And give yourselves a break. None of us are good all the time. It’s okay. You can be both AND. I am always a tad amused by self proclaimed “perfect” people who toe the line, do what they are told and then wonder why life is so, well, boring.
That which we declare over ourselves, is that which is manifested. Good or not so much.
So what will it be? Gratitude or grousing?
Dueces and mad love,
So my husband and I spent 10 blissful days in Hawaii over the holidays to not only rejuvenate our souls, but to shore up and reconnect as a couple, because our collective work schedules can be brutal.
We often would carve out Saturday mornings for our weekly catch-up, if I am not traveling and we work as one vibrational team, which means we pick up where the other isn’t able to in the moment. So imagine my shock when he sat me down after watching me frolick in warm waters at sunset in Honolulu … and what he said, made me take a pause for the cause.
He said his greatest WISH when we first got married, was to NOT move me into his current home because it needed all kinds of TLC (he ain’t NEVA lied) and he knew I had lived in this great place for over 25 years raising my own two children. Frankly, he said he was embarrassed and just wanted to do a quick sale, move on to a place of my choosing and start anew with another mortgage.
He was shocked he said, when I looked him dead in the eyes, told him it made NO sense to start another mortgage at our ages and while the house needed a ton of work, I was willing to put in the time, energy and money with him to get it done.
He said I shocked him FURTHER when he offered to at least upgrade my car and I cackled with a thanks and said I would much prefer to keep the one that is already paid in full.
I am silently listening to all of this with my heart full because I truly loved him enough to get in the trenches with him and didn’t realize he struggled with what I opted to do.
He then said that he had never seen that kind of unselfishness and that many other women would have taken him up on the offer to move pronto with their nostrils turned up. It was that unselfishness however, that solidified his love in a way that made him say if anyone dares to hurt me, he would take action in ways that would stun them because no way was he jeopardizing what we have built together.
Our home isn’t just beautiful to LOOK at now, it’s also filled with warmth and LOVE. These things are important. Flashy things bring temporary joy- it’s who we are at the core that matters.
When we say we care about someone, it should not come with a bunch of superficial conditions. Rather, we should work together as a team to reach where we desire to be together and if the core of our love depends on where we live, the square footage of our Homes and what we drive, it’s only a matter of time before the cracks begin to show.
If we want a full manifestation of goodness and light, we have to be it in all we say and do. If and when my husband and I decide to move from where we are currently, it will be a decision we make together and not for the benefit of anyone whims or fancy. Because at the end of the day? All we TRULY have to depend on? Is that core love we walked in the door with. We know enough to understand that life is cyclical and when hard times come, without the core in place, trouble is not far behind.
I love my nerd y’all. Believe that.
Dueces and mad love,
I woke up this morning to a text from a young lady, who asked if I could share a few tips on love/self care for young women because she felt education was pushed in society but not much else beyond that, and the results are every where in these streets. I thought about it and here is MY list.
1. Follow your parents rules but Develop a few of your own.
Our parents are supposed to be our guiding system and usually that makes sense because well, they are our parents and their immediate goal is to keep us safe, if they have sense and a sense of direction. Not everyone is so lucky and had to develop survival skills early on in life. But what if your mom or dad chose to remain in an abusive relationship for example for whatever the reason they had in their head at the time? Does that mean you should grow up and do that too? Or did you go in the opposite direction and become an abuser yourself? Learning to develop a sense of right and wrong, also develops the gut instinct that will keep you from going down the wrong path.
2. Love yourself without apology.
We are often taught, especially as young women to take care of everyone before ourselves. That is a lie that keeps on perpetuating itself. By the time you look up from taking care of others and are too exhausted to look after you, it’s often after you are ill or boxed into a corner rife with decisions that are costly to your soul. Take care of your basic needs first.
3. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes but learn from them.
How many of us have found ourselves in a relationship from hell? I sure have. More than once too. And yes, I cried got mad and wanted to put a hurting on a couple of them. What I didn’t do? Was stay in that space. Holding a grudge counterproductive. I wrote out my feelings, discussed it with someone I could trust and then took the steps to regain my life by moving the hell on. The only person that wins when you stay in that vicious cycle of trying to hold on to that which no longer wants you, is the killer of your self esteem. And trust me- losing that precious commodity is too costly and usually not worth the ninja you were pining over. In fact, you will look back and say HOW did I do THAT? But use it as the lesson for what you don’t want to embrace moving forward.
4. Choose your friendships wisely.
The hardest lesson to learn is that not everyone has your best interests at heart. Jealousy and complacency is a beast. Many of your friendships will NOT last forever. The truth is, most of us will only have a few cherished friends that’s spans our lifetime. The goal is to see and feel who those people are and ride the wave with them no matter what. We aren’t perfect people and it’s wonderful to have someone you can confide without feeling like your stuff will be in the streets before the words leave your mouth. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.
5. You will have doubts/concerns but there is a reason for that.
The greatest gift we are given that is often ignored? Our Gut instincts. That thing will ride us like a monkey on steroids and some of us STILL will choose to ignore it to our own peril. My advice? Don’t do it to yourself. Our gut instincts are spot on so even if the person in front of you is saying all the right things or is finer than wine, follow that deep still voice within because sooner or later, whatever it is you were feeling, will manifest itself. Protect yourself by holding back and choosing to be reserved until you know what that thing is. So worth it in the end.
This is the one piece of advice I wish I had as a younger person. Everything happens in our lives for a reason. Even the not so good stuff but what I learned now that I didn’t know then, is that those lessons became the impetus to the places where I am now in life and it all made perfect sense. If I didn’t have the imbeciles, I would not have been able to fully appreciate the gems.
7. Have faith/belief in something greater than yourself
We are souls in earthly bodies. Having faith, praying, asking for guidance in the universe, is a beautiful thing to experience and so choose to believe in the existence of that which is greater than you. Your words when out into the universe, has no choice but to manifest itself. Choose wisely, what you think and say.
All of the things above along with kindness, has helped me on the road of my personal journey. I hope it helps you a tiny bit. Be kind to yourself and the rest will fall into place.
Dueces and mad love,
Well here we go… 2017 is upon us and with so much spinning, what with a new incoming President for this great country, not to mention life changes seen and unseen, it can feel exhilarating and unfamiliar all at once.
I have been intentionally quiet for a few weeks here because I have begun taking steps so completely out of my comfort zone, and while I recognize that true change never comes without hard work with lessons disguised as failures along the way, I found myself today, gripped with fear, after enjoying a ten day respite with my husband to clear my head.
It’s time to, as old folks say, piss or get off the pot. Fear of excellence has crippled way too many. I refuse to be in that number.
I have had a zillion conversations with others about walking fully into one’s purpose and still I find myself wondering how many friends will I lose for my bravery, who will be the ones that tries to undermine my efforts and am I even crazy for going down this path?
What keeps me going, is the knowledge that continuing to follow that status quo or doing what others deem to be acceptable, has never been the road I took my entire life and this is not the time to second guess what could be the best moves to date.
So here we go… one day, one hour and one minute at a time, with constant prayer and an ever vigilant soul, there remains no choice but to keep pressing forward. No matter what.
Nothing comes to a dreamer but a dream right?
I wish for you all a 2017 filled with grace to handle the bumps life sends your way, the humility in dealing with the victories and the kindness that continues to live and support those around you and beyond.
Be the far reaching ripple and the disruptive wave. choose wisely in knowing when to be what.
Dueces and mad love,