Are You Evolving Or Stalling?

Life has a way of challenging us to force promote personal growth. An unconventional method that breeds more questions than answers but hey, I didn’t make the rules. When presented with these opportunities of growth, we have a decision to make. Should we ride the wave and adapt to what life brings our way or resist and fight like hell? Growth is a constant and will happen whether you want it to or not so the question still stands: Are you evolving or stalling?

“PSA: 2020 will be the exact same as 2019 if you don’t get off your ass and make the adjustments that you need to mentally, physicially and emotionally”

Evolving takes personal growth a bit further in that instead of making personal changes to ourselves, we evolve to fully accept ourselves and allow life changes to happen naturally. The evolution of self is a journey specific to each individual and your path in life. Most people spend a lifetime learning to fully love and accept themselves and have that acceptance reflected in their every day lives. Talk is cheap when it comes to evolving and life has a way of testing you to see just how solid you are. Its simple for me to say stand your ground and never fold and that’s because I’m extremely resilient and determined once my mind is made up. A quality I sharpened within myself.

As an evolved person, you commit to certain path in life. Having a good job, decent money and a comfortable home life is certainly goals but that’s not the finish line. The goal is to excel not maintain barely making it. Evolving is always pushing that envelope a little further than you thought you could. Its testing your own boundaries as you should be your only competition. Evolving is healing yourself before hurting someone else, being more financially responsible and planning for your future.

“Stalling is a disguise of faux progression and to be blunt, who has time for that? You can play with your life if you wish, but your older self will regret wasting valuable years of your life chasing bullshit. “

Stalling is an avoidance measure and what happens when we drag our feet to accept the challenges placed in front of us. There’s a multitude of reasons why we stall, too content within our comfort zones, afraid of the work necessary to see these challenges through, ect. While intimidating, its better to get ahead of it and learn on your own before life forces your hand. In some weirdly fascinating way, the universe is always interconnected. It is divinely orchestrated in that nothing happens by accident or coincidence. Everything happens exactly as its supposed to. Stalling is a disguise of faux progression and to be blunt, who has time for that? You can play with your life if you wish, but your older self will regret wasting valuable years of your life chasing bullshit. Time is the one thing in this world we can’t control and no moment is retrievable.

” The evolving process is just as much about true acceptance as it is about checking to see if you’re operating from your purpose or your ego”

As a new business owner, my time is my money and my money is nothing to be played with. You see, I walk my talk and realign my priorities and make adjustments as necessary because my goals require me to be disciplined now to reap the rewards later. That for me meant doing shit I really didn’t want to do, but did it anyway. What good are your life lessons if the wisdom you’ve gained isn’t applied or shared? The evolving process is just as much about true acceptance as it is about checking to see if you’re operating from your purpose or your ego. To separate the two is a goal by itself but once mastered, you’ll see one of life’s most valuable lessons. Life is a compiled list of choices and each choice we make has a cause & effect reaction. Are you choosing wisely?

Henny & Waffles: A Brunch Experience

As you all know I love brunch and everything that comes with it but this twist is one of a kind! Henny & Waffles is the official East Coast brunch and turn up! Based out of Washington DC, the name certainly speaks for itself.

Henny & Waffles is a lavish, all you can eat buffet that turns into a day party, frequenting various locations. With specialized drink and food menus, the brunch buffet is from 1PM-4PM, rolling straight into the day party. This particular weekend that I attended happened to be Norfolk State’s Homecoming #NYTHC and the vibe was everything I expected it to be.

Held at Broadway nightclub in Norfolk, VA, I admit this was my first time here. I’m not too big on the club life, with the exception of birthday parties or other sporadic events that may pop up. Henny & Waffles was that sporadic event for me and Broadway. We arrived around 1:30 as several others were also pulling up. There weren’t that many people inside, so it was odd for there to be a line to get inside. Nevertheless, we made it inside about 10 minutes later and scanned our tickets to receive our wrist bands and our Henny & Waffles cups. With tickets priced at $50 a piece, (drinks sold separately) I was curious as to what this brunch entailed.

The lavish brunch menu posted on the henny & waffles website included henny whole wings, crab balls, fried fish, waffle station, omelet station, mac & cheese, turkey sausage, home fries, bacon, garden salad, desert, fruit and more. I am a foodie at heart, so its above me to take a glance at the menu prior to trying new things so I already have an idea of what to expect. The set up inside was a bit confusing when it came to the brunch bar. People kind of formed their own line with no direction from staff. The breakfast bar was not as big as I anticipated. The kitchen was continuously bringing out food, so not everything was available at the same time. They served fruit (grapes, pineapples and cantaloupe with powered sugar), two kinds of bacon, sausage, fried fish, mac & cheese, shrimp & grits, greens, regular and henny wings, eggs, and regular and red velvet pancakes.

I thought the food for the most part was pretty good, with the shrimp and grits being my personal favorite of the day. Some of the drink specials included unlimited mimosas and henny lemonade, which was priced at $15 and $10 respectively. The unlimited mimosas were served in the teeniest of cups, which meant several trips to the bar and was quite an inconvenience. The henny lemonade was good and strong and came in a bigger cup than the mimosas.

The vibe of the day party was pretty chill and you could tell everyone was out to just have a good time. My type of crowd lol, I was a little happy inside to see that it was just the perfect amount of people, definitely not empty, but not too many either. The club also offered hookah at a ridiculously overpriced rate, but I guess it comes with the territory.

Overall the event was a bit pricey but it was good way to end the weekend, have a few drinks and enjoy the vibe. They travel to different cities, so check to see if they’ll be headed your way!

I’m Not Meant For Everyone And I’m Ok With That

Something about the title of this blog post makes me feel so free and uninhibited. Understanding my place is this world has given me perspective that we all live totally different lives simultaneously. We all have totally different wants, needs, values and appreciations and that’s a beautiful thing. Where beauty turns into despair is when you try to be something your not. Nothing lacking authenticity will ever last.

I’ve come to learn that when you fully love and accept yourself, you won’t care too much about who doesn’t. The need for approval is something I struggled with so much in my younger years. I used to have a very naive view of the world and assumed if I were a good person, people would in turn be good to me. I guess in theory that sounds great, but it certainly didn’t play out that way. I had to learn some painful lessons which made me reevaluate everything.

To be for everyone essentially means you are adapting yourself for the benefit of those around you before yourself and I wholeheartedly reject that notion. I value the quality in the relationships close to me over quantity so I’m a firm believer that the people who are meant to be in your life will find their way to you and the ones you aren’t supposed to be there will struggle to remain. Life can and will show us a lot but we have to pay attention. Sometimes this can include recognizing when a relationship, friendship or job has run its course and being courageous enough to leave and seek better. Its one thing to have boundaries but another thing entirely to enforce them. I know more than anyone that this is easier said than done, but I also know that it can be achieved if you want it bad enough.

I have always been in long-term relationships since I started dating honestly but my last relationship took me through the ringer and I left not with sadness or remorse but with anger and a hint of resentment. I was angry at myself for many things but the hardest to accept was the wasted time and the fact that things got so bad the only thing I desired was peace. I left with a firm grasp on what I will never tolerate and put up with again. I knew long before it actually ended that it wouldn’t last, but love will blind you and manipulation is a part of the game when dealing with a narcissist, my first and last. As painful as it was in the moment, hind sight is a MF and I can clearly see how that relationship was not meant for a lifetime of fulfillment but for my growth because I was meant for something much bigger than my circumstances.

This moment in time was a pivotal point in my healing journey because I had to look within myself, critique my part in the deterioration of the relationship and make real changes so that I never went through that again. I destroyed everything within myself I didn’t like and built myself back up, piece by piece. Anyone who’s done this knows the difficulty, isolation and range of emotions you go through. I didn’t know it at the time, but this was the beginning of my shadow work and spiritual journey, diving head first into discovering the root in why I felt the need for approval, why I felt compelled to stay in something I knew wasn’t serving me in the way I needed and why I had difficulty leaving. Its something about starting from rock bottom that breeds a special appreciation for the process once you make it out. I preach so much about protecting my peace, this is why.

I am confident in knowing that everything that has happened in my life is all apart of the bigger plan of growing into the person I am meant to be. I’ve accepted and even embraced that everyone can’t go where I’m going. Everyone you meet is not meant to travel through life with you and that’s nothing to be upset about. You don’t know what the universe could be saving you from. Trust the journey, become comfortable with the unknown and keep yourself first always.

Finding Your Fall Hobbies And Why You Need Them

Its the official beginning of fall and the end of the month is always the time that I reflect and revisit my goals. When I think of what truly defines a person, I take a particular interest in what people tend to do for fun. Hobbies are essential to keeping the essence of who we are alive. Too often we lose ourselves to the roles we fulfill day in and day out. Lets get into exploring why hobbies are important and why you need them.

An activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.

How you choose to spend your time can tell you a lot about a person and the things that make them unique. Your hobbies are what you gravitate towards when you need to center yourself. Your hobbies are supposed to be your happy place and temporary escape from reality. You need things in your life that occupies your time and gives you genuine happiness. That happiness is supposed to come from you and that can only happen after you’ve become familiar with what you want and need in this world.

Some of my hobbies include reading. I love a good book to get lost in for pleasure and its so good you cant put it down. There were many times I’d complete entire books within two days because I was so into it. My preferred genres of books would include self development, empowerment, cultural and historical, autobiographies, fiction and a Zane book or few.

Travel is near and dear to my heart and the first thing that always comes to mind when it comes to my happiness. There is so much of the world to see. We often spend most of our lives in our communities, not knowing what else is really out there. I have a curious mind, so traveling and experiencing different cultures always intrigued me. There is something really humbling about realizing how small we are in a world full of billions of different kinds of people. I love to soak up culture directly from the source and experience everything that particular area has to offer. The beauty in traveling is the distance is totally up to you. International trips get most of the attention, but checking out new spots in your own backyard can be just as fun. I’m sure there are things around you that you had no idea were there. Something to think about.

I love to cook just as much as I love to eat. Food is definitely life over here. There’s an art to cooking and some of our best memories are made over delicious meals. I don’t know if this is a hobby per say, but I make it my business to try new recipes often and visit new restaurants. I try to get out at least once a week and do something adultish for me. I try to make happy hour or brunch at least once a week and I like to find local businesses to try. Some of my best meals have come from places I’d never even heard of. Cooking is something I’ve done all my life it feels like, so my taste buds are pretty experienced.

As much as I love food, I’m realistic enough to know that I can’t endlessly eat without some kind of counter measures in place. I try to stay active working out 3 to 4 days a week. Some weeks are more successful than others, but its been a pretty consistent part of my life for the last few years. We are only given one body in this world so our life literally depends on its efficiency. Yes I like to binge eat wings and drinks during happy hour, but I also make sure to make up for it in the gym. Balance

I love doing DIY projects around my home. I am one of those people who likes to change things up as the seasons change. Fall wreath, Christmas lights outside, yea that’s me. I’m always open to home decor that catches my eye, but I often found I wasn’t too fond of the pre-made color patterns of decor found in stores. Doing DIY projects gives me full customization options to best suit the look I’m going for. Not to mention the savings in cost. Sometimes my projects include home decor, painting, refurbishing furniture, home repairs and everything else in between.

Speaking of savings, that brings me to my new hobby. Couponing! I am definitely a bargain shopper and prefer to stock up on the things I used at home. 2019 has been a year of a personal goal I call operation financial freedom. I came into this year determined to pay off all of my debt, so couponing and the additional savings were just what I needed. While its efficient, it is time consuming I won’t lie to you. I’m not a super shopper like some of you (kudos to you!) but I do it as necessary as my inventory runs low. This is an excellent way to save and budget your grocery expenses.

Finding your hobbies are a big part to finding what makes you happy

Some of you may remember my post some months back about happiness being an inside job, your happiness is yours alone to fulfill. We have been brainwashed into believing that its someone else’s responsibility to come into our lives and make us happy. I’m sorry, but I don’t wish to give anyone that kind of control over me. I am the creator of my destiny and to walk that destiny is to live each day as the best day you’ve had thus far. Finding your hobbies are a big part to finding what makes you happy. Its exploring the parts of you that you may not of known were there. Self exploration is the best kind of self love.

What are some of your favorite hobbies? Let me know down below!

Apologizing When Necessary

This should really go without saying, but I often see different scenarios where people often avoid giving a sincere apology when the offense more than warrants it. There are enough options for you to choose from, but I’m sure we all can recall a time where we were owed an apology we never received. Today we’re going to talk not so glamorous side to adulting and why we should always apologize when necessary.

“I’m not sure where the myth came from that women lack accountability, but I am here to break that mold.”

Life has a funny way of testing us to make us grow. Some lessons are more painful than others and I’m sure we can all relate to those difficult moments. The saying “hurt people hurt people” is so undeniably true and its not enough to just recognize it. From our primary years to adulthood, we all have at least one experience where we were left hanging with no apology in sight. Emotions can tempt us to do things that doesn’t necessarily align with who we are and that can hurt those close to us. I’m not sure where the myth came from that women lack accountability, but here I am to break that mold. Apologizing when necessary is simply taking full accountability for your actions when you’ve done something wrong or hurt someone. Usually our first reaction is to defend our actions without first taking into thought how our actions make other people feel. We don’t get to tell people how to react, despite this toxic, widespread belief that we should. When you truly value your relationships, you do what you can to keep communication open to solve disagreements because you appreciate the peace that real relationships bring.

“Intimacy cannot thrive in an environment where honest conversations don’t occur”

Many arguments in close relationships stem from various misunderstandings. Communication is something I value deeply for this very reason. I can be woman enough to admit that I’ve had very toxic moments where the absolute worst has come out of me. Where all I wanted to do was blame the other person for making me feel some kind of way to cause my reaction. Intimacy cannot thrive in an environment where honest conversations don’t occur. Creating a healthy environment means we acknowledge the good, bad and the ugly within ourselves and how that affects us in the way that we relate to other people. Ignorance is not bliss here and it never will be. We all have our own issues we deal with and life can get pretty hard and I’m not exception that rule. Still, it is no excuse to pacify or neglect shitty behavior. Take a moment as necessary to breathe and collect your thoughts. I try to keep in mind that no matter how frustrated I get, responding with more negative energy has NEVER given me the results I was looking for. It usually adds gas to my already lit fire and makes situations even worse.

Our children look up to us and pay us more attention than we give credit too. Sometimes we owe them apologies too. I stress that because I am not a do as I say, not as I do kind of parent. I make sure to embody the characteristics that I am trying to teach my child. That means being humble enough to have humility to stop and say I was wrong and apologize and it doesn’t matter who I’m talking to. Our children need to see these qualities in us to set a true example. Too often we operate from the ego, too big and empowered to lower ourselves to apologize. Silence is not an apology, be grown enough to accept and admit when you’ve messed up and try to fix it!

Apologizing when necessary is flat out the right thing to do and we all should encourage it more. Seek to understand vs confront and watch your life change. Let me know your thoughts below!

Changing The Stigma On Being Single

Single and stigma probably aren’t two words one would normally put together in a positive sense, but yet here we are. As most of us grow and progress in age, we tend to equate that to a fine bottle of wine getting better with time but there is still this unspoken stigma on single women. I’m here to tell you why that is total bs and what I think will help change the narrative.

” Too many people settle just to say they have someone and that’s not my idea of a successful union “

Most of us grew up with the expectation that marriage meant you made it. Not only is this outdated but its a superficially small way of looking at life. The stigma of something being wrong with older single women is often times baseless. There is nothing wrong with you because of your relationship status or lack there of. Too many people settle just to say they have someone and that’s not my idea of a successful union. Marriage is important but its not the determining factor of life and death and we need to stop treating it as such. There should be more importance placed on marrying the RIGHT person that gives your union longevity vs rushing to meet the age quota only for it to deteriorate a few years down the road. I’m by no means knocking the value and sacredness of the matrimonial union, only shedding light on the fact that there are other things to work towards and be proud of.

Times have changed drastically from when our grandparents were dating. Back then, it was the norm to marry young and fast, starting families and building from scratch. The economy was much better and good paying wages made it feasible for the husband to work while the wife tended to the home and children. The flip side to this was many of these wives were solely dependent on their husbands for everything from finances to survival. This created an unequal balance of power, leaving many women with very few options to leave even if she desperately desired to do so.

” … but that doesn’t mean we devalue marriage. The dynamics have changed from a need to a want. “

Women of today are competing and occasionally excelling beyond our male partners. We are no longer dependent on men for survival, but that doesn’t mean we devalue marriage. The dynamics have changed from a need to a want. I look at marriage as a lifetime partnership that has many sectors under its umbrella. Not only are we lovers, but best friends, business partners, supporters and cheerleaders who will share the responsibility of raising a family and leaving a legacy for your children and grandchildren to build upon.

Your single season is supposed to be the time where you heal, rebuild and truly reconnect with yourself. This is where you discover who you truly are without any outside interference. The single season is when you are truly free to live on your own terms and the optimal time when you should act on your curiosity. You may discover you have a love for wine festivals, reading, traveling or whatever your into. We all handle this process differently and in a multitude of ways but the fact that someone is taking time to heal and grow before bringing past baggage into another relationship should be encouraged. Hurt people hurt people and the only way to break that cycle is to recognize the reason behind our own toxic behavior and heal. Some of us come out stronger and better prepared for our next relationship and others may come out feeling like long term relationships or marriage is not for them. Everything isn’t for everyone and that’s worth respectfully acknowledging.

I’ve noticed among women there is sometimes a condescending tone from married women towards single women and I never understood why. While marriage is definitely something to be proud of, your relationship status is no stipulation of progress of a good life if that’s all you have to show for it. Have we all not seen the divorce statistics lately? The divorce rate is high as hell and more likely to happen the younger you marry.

” We love to preach about being equally yoked but that extends much further than finances. “

Marriage traditionally was a business partnership. It was only in the last few generations that we have adapted to marrying for love. Love should be present whenever marriage discussions are underway, but we cannot forget about the business and character aspects of the people we love so much. Love alone will not foster a good marriage nor will it raise a family. We love to preach about being equally yoked but that extends much further than finances. Is this person also satisfying me mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually as well? These are some of the things I ask myself because I want something that will stand the test of time. I’m very aware that even with the most planning, things still can go wrong but that’s no reason not to prepare and aim for the best.

Your relationship status doesn’t speak for your entire life. We should be proud of the things we accomplish on our own with education, work, entrepreneurship, traveling the world and beyond. Changing this narrative will require honest discussions and open minds to hear, understand and respect perspectives different from our own. This includes checking our judgement and the root of our opinions. The beautiful thing about life is that we all coexist but have totally different realities. What may work for me may not work for the next person and that’s ok! The emphasis should be put on the fact that we are indeed different, which means our goals, aspirations and actions will be different and the respect for our own worlds should be given freely. What are your views on the single season? Do you think a stigma on unwed older women still exists? Let me know your thoughts and opinions!

A Practical Guide To Goal Planning

8 Tips For Success

Goal planning kind of sounds like work and may not be at the top of your list of never-ending things to do. Unfortunately an essential part to adulting includes having some type of order and setting goals, if we ever want to achieve anything in life. Goals are the plans we set to master across many different sectors in life. This can include your health and fitness goals, self care and parenting goals or maybe career and financial goals. The options are plentiful whichever you decide, but I’m here to share with you my 8 goal planning tips to success!

  • 1. Think about it. In order to set goals, you first have to know what you want to accomplish in life. Goals are not limited to range or size so while the possibilities are endless its good to keep them realistic. Dream big, but make sure you have a plan to follow through. Some of my current goals include starting my own business, pay off my debt, getting into the best shape of my life and building a portfolio of investments and properties.
  • 2. Write down your goals. To keep things organized, keep a detailed list of what your goals are from most to least important. Then separate them into daily (or weekly), short term (monthly, quarterly, ect), long term (1-10 year plans, retirement) goals. Once I have some kind of structure as to what I want and when, I begin writing. I try to be very specific on what I want and focus on the end result and what how I will feel once I get it. This is a great time to slip in a little manifestation with your thoughts and intentions focused on your future.
  • 3. Strategic Planning. This step is not as intimidating as it sounds. We already know our goals and our timeline so now its time to pull it all together into a plan to make it reality. Since one of my goals is to own properties, my strategic plan would include making sure my finances are in order and if they aren’t, make a plan to get in compliance. That means paying off debt, making sure my credit report is clean and accurate, saving money for down payments and such. This step is doing the necessary ground work to prepare a solid foundation for your goals to grow on.
  • 4. Creating a schedule. Once you have a plan for your goals, you need to set up just exactly how you plan to achieve success. A schedule helps tremendously with time management and keeping you accountable for your progress. This doesn’t mean you have to rush through it, just have something steady in place to keep you consistent but not overwhelmed. My schedule consists of reading a financial management book for one hour a day as well as weekly check ins on my debt reduction plan. I have been aggressively attacking my debt this year and am proud to say I can see the end of the tunnel! Operation financial freedom is near completion!
  • 5. Execution. This is actually the easiest part. Don’t overthink it too much and just start. You’ve done all of the hard work already, this step is just putting that work in motion. Executing your plan means being consistent with the schedule you created, no excuses. As with any new thing, it takes some adjusting to get used to change, but becomes second nature after you’ve been doing it awhile. Download a time management app or set alarms on your phone. Resist the urge to fall back into your comfort zone and keep the momentum going.
  • 6. Find Your Rhythm . Ahh those adjustments you find can sometimes be a real pain. Sometimes we learn through trial and error that pieces of our schedule just doesn’t work or fit correctly. This is exactly why I included this step. Its important to evaluate early on to not waste time with methods that don’t bring you desired results. Tweaks and minor changes are unavoidable for an efficient process, you are supposed to grow and build on your mistakes. These are the growing pains of change but I promise it doesn’t last long. Finding your rhythm is crucial to keeping you motivated throughout the process of working smarter not harder.
  • 7. Accountability . The success or failure of your goals usually tends to fall back on accountability. Its so easy to be motivated to do something new initially, but when that motivation fades and you flat out don’t feel like doing it is when you’ll need that extra push. Some people are more accountable than others but this is where good support system friends and family come in (social media friends count too!). If you need that extra push, share your goals and plans with someone close to you who can help keep you accountable. Its like planting a garden. You can’t prepare the soil, plant your seeds and walk away. You must tend to them consistently until they are big enough to thrive on their own. Same concept applies here.

  • 8. Reflections. Hindsight really is 20/20 and our mistakes are the best teachers if we all ourselves to learn from them. Going back over the things that went really well or really bad is how you grow and get better in life. You may find that your schedule was too stringent and you didn’t require the amount of time you thought you would or that you need a bigger savings and must budget more. That’s a crucial detail in adjusting your schedule and time management, freeing yourself to devote more time to other things. Its all trial and error but don’t let it consume you.

Do you goal plan often? If so, what ‘s your process? I hope you have found my advice to be helpful, let me know your thoughts down below!

Brunch Chronicles~ Passion The Restaurant Chesapeake, VA

Passion The Restaurant, The Shoppes at Greenbriar
1036 Volvo Pkwy Chesapeake, VA

As you all know, brunch chronicles are a favorite of mine and this feature was no different. I’ve never been here before but was excited to try it out. Located in a strip mall with plenty of parking, it was easy to get to. The brunch hours here were listed from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. We arrived right before 1:00 and there wasn’t much of a crowd but I certainly complaining. Our server was friendly, prompt and attentive.

The brunch drink menu wasn’t that extensive, but they did offer a few mimosa and bloody Mary options, with a full bar in case you need something on the rocks. I opted for the pineapple mimosa and water of course! It was just enough juice to taste but left the champagne taste to savor.

The brunch menu options were plentiful! I was torn between the shrimp and grits, the lump crab or the classic omelet and the Pan Purdue (French toast, bacon and hashers). I inquired about the cinnamon roll French toast option and our waitress explained that it was actual cinnamon rolls friend the same way as French toast and served with buttercream and caramel icing. I was sold!

The French toast was heaven and very filling! I even had enough to bring home despite arriving with my stomach on E. I always try to portion control my meals to still eat what I want but not fall too far off track. Balance lol. Overall Passion the Restaurant was a great experience and I plan to come back!

A Cultural Celebration Of Deferred Independence…. Juneteenth

Juneteenth is an American holiday popular within the African American community that commemorates the June 19, 1985 announcement of the abolition of slavery in the Confederate States. It was on this day that union soldiers arrived in Galveston, TX to announce that the war had ended and that the enslaved African Americans were now officially free, physically anyway.

If you know your history, you’ll notice a discretion with the date. The Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln became official on January 1, 1863, two years prior. There are many stories floating around about why they weren’t informed sooner, some claim the man who was to deliver the message was murdered and others think this was a deliberate act to continue receiving free labor. I tend to agree with the later, but no matter the reason, we all weren’t “free”.

Here I am now some 156 years later reflecting on the horror my ancestors faced and the sacrifice they made for us. I am a native black american with my lineage stretching back to the 1870 census and beyond. I ponder the time in between now and then, how far we have come and how far we still have to go. There has been great efforts put into hiding, alternating and downright erasing a large part of history. Many who live in this great nation don’t even know the true history of the land they inhabit. The United States of America is the land of opportunity solely because of the forced labor of my ancestors and the genocide of Native American’s.

I am located in the area where the first slave ships were said to arrive in 1619, the 400th year anniversary. Energetically, I have felt a number of things; anger, sadness, rage, acceptance, and honor to name a few. Many people want us to be ashamed of our history, but I’m not. It says a lot for my ancestors that experienced and made it out of Chattel Slavery, the worst of its kind in the entire world. Make no mistake this isn’t oppression Olympics, but lets not pretend to not know and recognize the vast differences.

There has been a lot of buzz about reparations and correcting the wrongdoings of the US government. I recognize the #ADOS (American Descendant of Slaves) movement for being involved in the ground work and pushing the fact based initiative all the way to the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington DC last week. While there has been a lot of push back around this movement, its important to keep emotions in check while looking at factual data and understanding why so many are standing behind it. There are many supportive, conflicted and opposing views and while everyone is entitled to their own opinions, whats crystal clear is this conversation is long overdue.

I’m thankful for the perseverance of those who came before me and I will continue to celebrate and shine light on the forgotten.

10 Things I’ve Learned Along My Self-Love Journey

Good afternoon and Happy Thursday! I took a bit of time to myself here recently to disconnect and do some introspective maintenance. I have definitely missed writing, but I needed to reconnect with my vision and where I was going. This journey to self love is a never ending, winding road that can occasionally produce a few bumps. Its all apart of the process! I wanted my blog post to reflect what I was currently doing and how I got here. Here are 10 things I’ve learned along the way.

1-Boundaries Boundaries BOUNDARIES! I had to put the extra emphasis here to imply how important this is. Your boundaries set the stage for what you will and will not allow from your loved ones and strangers alike. Now some of you may be wondering why this matters. Having weak boundaries will wreck havoc on your life because you will always be susceptible to the wants and needs of others, often neglecting your own. Boundaries are there to ensure your needs are met, your space isn’t violated and a show of confidence that you will only entertain respectful and pleasant interactions. A big part of enforcing this is saying what you mean and meaning what you say. You have to be unapologetic and firm if you want to be taken serious. Just as children can pick up when they can get over on their parents, your peers are the same way. If you don’t stand up for yourself, your sending the message that you and your wants don’t really matter. You absolutely matter and should conduct yourself in a way that speaks for you. Be accommodating but don’t let yourself get run over.

2- Be True To Yourself. This one varies by the individual but the message is still the same. Honor yourself by doing the things that resonate with you. Find what makes you happy and keep it close. Many times we play the part to fit in and it might work for a while but you will soon experience a sense of dissatisfaction in your life. We can’t live for other people and we shouldn’t have to endure that prison. Being true to you means saying no sometimes, it means listening to your body and making the best decisions for you despite what others think or say. This means being honest about our feelings and your desires in life. This is about honoring that soul inside that gives us life! Work and family is hard as hell to balance and sometimes responsibilities triumph our immediate wants and as bad as we want to do nothing, we can’t quite do that. I get it and experience this often, but I’ve learned to make up for it in other ways.

3- Regularly Scheduled Me Time! That’s right, this is absolutely necessary! This is how I keep myself happy, balanced and in order. Working hard is the key to success but burnouts are REAL and we don’t talk about them nearly enough. Some of us spend more time working than we do at home so we have to purposely step away and play hard sometimes too. While the amount of free time will vary depending on circumstance, I think we all can agree that getting out of house to unwind can do you a world of good! Whether its a happy hour, massage, brunch, a vacation, shopping or whatever it is you love, make sure to carve out that time just for you. When my daughter was younger, I used to feel guilty about leaving her with babysitters to enjoy myself. I started to notice when I did things to make me happy, I was naturally happier in other parts of my life as well and it tremendously eased the stress I was carrying all week. Find your happy and just do it!

4- Happiness Is An Inside Job! This is something I had to learn the hard way, but when I tell you the lesson stuck, it stuck big time. I’m naturally very observant and the societal norm has been to “find someone who makes you happy and live happily ever after.” This is so incorrect and leads me to wonder if this perception has anything to do with why the divorce rate is so high. The thing about life is we all have free will and putting your happiness in the hands of another is giving away too much control. We all want and desire love, we’re human and made for companionship, but to put the responsibility of your happiness on someone else is selfish and lazy. Only we have the power to decide our moods and temperaments and only we can change them. We mistake the influence others have on our happiness as them “making” us happy and that just isn’t the case. When you finally learn and accept that it all starts with you, I promise your perception will change. You become a force to be reckoned with because you aren’t easily swayed. When your happiness comes from within, no one can rob you of that unless you give the ok to do so. Take your power back!

5- Love Your Own Company! This is pretty self explanatory but I needed to emphasize this! How can you expect someone else to love and be up under you when you don’t love and want to be with yourself? There are many adults wondering through life, jumping from relationship to relationship, losing a piece of themselves with every new encounter. These actions reek of desperation and a fear of being alone. There is nothing to fear when alone, we cannot run from ourselves. I think the root of why people run from themselves is because they don’t want to address the person in the mirror and that’s a huge problem. Learning to love your own company is becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable feelings you may have. Its accepting every bit of yourself, the good and the bad. Its about accountability and owning up to the choices you’ve made in life. Once you reach full acceptance, you will notice that being alone isn’t bad at all. You might end up craving that sacred alone time.

6- Sisterhood Is Important! Your tribe has a huge influence on your vibe. Women are notorious for being catty, but what I see is a rise in sisterhood and I couldn’t be happier. When we can come together, support and uplift one another, we become a strong collective group. Support systems are everything in life and having your soul tribe near is priceless. We are not each others enemies or competition. There is more than enough for us all to get the bag. Everything isn’t a competition and we achieve our goals faster by working together. When we can show genuine love, respect, support and encouragement, we open the door to new potential relationships that can last a lifetime

7- Be Confident In Yourself and Your Journey. No two self love paths are the same. We may share similarities but our purpose is distinctly ours and sometimes it can get very lonely. Ascension and growth isn’t all love and light and it triggers you to break old beliefs. Stand firm in your power and trust the process. What is meant for you will never miss you and we have to learn to take comfort in that. We have to learn to truly be happy for others even when our time hasn’t come. Its easy to feel bitter or discouraged but these are NOT the emotions we want to manifest more of. Fake it til you make it if you have to, but get in the habit of genuinely being happy for those around you. Grateful and thankful feelings are the ingredients to manifesting our desires, it doesn’t hurt to cheer someone else along the way! I often times felt confused, lost, isolated and more walking this path but I didn’t give up and the growth and glow I’ve gained is the fruit of that labor. Seek help or advice if need be. None of us have all the answers. When I put my ego to the side, I humbled myself to seek and learn as much as I could. Nothing worth having comes easy, remember that always and keep going!

8- Your Perception is Your Reality. Isn’t it amazing to think about how two people can be in the same room, witness the same things but have totally different perceptions? Perception is objective because we all have our own and it is fueled by our thoughts. Our thoughts really do control our lives! What you focus on is what you will see more of. Many of us learned these lessons the hard way, but this one was the most profound for me. When you think negative of yourself, it shows and your energy is something that you cannot hide. This is hard to change but its not impossible.

9- Your Health is Your Wealth. This is something we take for granted far too often! We are only given one body in this life, so it makes sense to take care of it. Rising is age and increasing health issues isnt the time to focus on better habits. Making good habits early on increases the likelihood you will keep it up. Our society seems to focus on responding to problems rather than preventing them. There is a lot that goes on that the average person is unaware of, but its our job to be diligent. We all know that the best tasting foods are the absolute worst for us nutritionally and the numerous pesticides and chemicals injected is causing our health to decline. Its a viscous cycle we must break away from, but we have to first acknowledge it exists and have the sustainability to carry through change. If we can prioritize watching our favorite show with undivided attention, we can sacrifice as hour to exercising. Time management and motivation are crucial, you cant just talk about it you have to be about it.

10- Protect Your Peace! If I had to choose a favorite from this list, it would be this one! Peace of mind is priceless and its our job to filter out the bs. Protecting my peace means honoring being true to myself at all times. It means removing myself from people or places that threaten my peace. Basically, its how I keep the energy around me good. I only have control over myself and the energy I emit, and while I cant control others (not that I would want to) I can control your access to me. I was often times a person who never said no, despite my brain screaming the words internally. The things we see on the news, on social media and sometimes right in front of our very eyes are riddled with triggers. This world and the things that go on can easily make the happiest person depressed but that result serves no one. Be observant but heavily filter the information you take in and become familiar with your limits and unplug as necessary. Protect the peace and essence of your reality.

While I feel I could of kept going, this list is a pretty good start at what I still do to maintain myself while growing and learning. There are times that we are the teachers and the students and with an infinite amount of knowledge, that unlikely to change. How has your self love journey been and what has been your most prominent lessons? Let me know down below!

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