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Tyshia Shante

Life

Carefree Summer ’17

Carefree Summer

The summer solstice is upon us, summer break has arrived for my boys, and I have absolutely nothing planned for this entire summer. I’m affectionately dubbing this #ourcarefreesummer and will be documenting the whole adventure, and some days the lack thereof.

I don’t know whether it’s just exhaustion from the constant planning, my annual reflective state multiplied by a million with my 3oth birthday on the horizon, or simply the fact that this summer snuck up on me and ya girl was not ready, like at all. But, I just wasn’t here for the super structured, activity overload, insanely organized summer. No thank you, y’all can have it.

I planned nothing, I have no idea how the days will go. All I got, is that we’ll take it day by day. Go where sun takes us. Play where the breeze feels nice. I’ll let them explore and I’ll take lots of naps. We’ll do random things and hopefully experience an epic adventure or two. Carefree summer ’17. ~xoxo


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you. It’s also part lesson learned for good measure. And a few extra tidbits along the way. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or that I’m too nervous to share on the blog. You know, things I keep for the people who are in this with me ;).



Style Vibes

On My Radar: Wardrobe Essentials

Wardrobe EssentialsEvery season I start to feel that familiar pull that makes me think about downsizing my closet. I’ve thought about building a capsule more times than I can count but I’ve never actually gotten around to creating one. The last time I attempted, I think my idea of how my capsule would look was super dreamy, but it wasn’t really practical for my life. Truth is, I’m a busy working mama who works from home 95% of the time and is chasing boys around for pretty much the same ratio in my off hours. I had these ideas of these super cute capsules but…I’d start building them only to realize they weren’t the right fit and I’d abandon them. But that’s not the only reason things weren’t working out.

When it comes to being more intentional in my life, it makes sense to include things down to the smallest detail like, my wardrobe. When I would start to think about building these capsules, I would find myself drifting towards the same old stores I’ve always shopped, which didn’t feel real intentional at all. I’ve always wanted to support indie brands, companies owned by black women, and other consciousness businesses and for some reason, I’ve never tied that desire to something so simple and tangible like my wardrobe.

I want to say that, I’m going to build a capsule wardrobe for summer but the reality is, I probably won’t get all the way through it. Coins, bills, and other things. But, I would like to start thinking about making more intentional purchases towards my wardrobe. And phasing things out slowly as I go. Sharing a few things that have caught my interest that I’m hoping to add soon.

LUNYA SLEEPWEAR

Let me be the first to say that dropping coins like this on things you wear to bed sounds insane but, I’m actually here for it. For one, I love the vision of the founder as a founder myself, I can’t help but appreciate a good story. And then, the reality and functionality of these pieces make so much sense for my life. Truth moment: there are some days between writing deadlines, elementary school drop offs, home chores, and chasing a four year old that what I roll out of bed in–typically a basketball shirt and leggings–is what I spend my day in. And there really is something to be said about looking good and feeling good. This sleep dress has my name all over it along with these pants for when the weather cools down.

SOUK BOHEMIAN

You know those Instagram accounts that just speak to your life? The Bazaar Bohemian is one of those. I’m obsessed with the visuals, the earthy colors, the abundance of green plants, and the overflow of melanin. When I learned that she had launched a shop, Souk Bohemian, I knew that I would love it just the same. I’ll always love a good graphic tee or sweatshirt when it’s cold and the Boh Collection has exactly what I’m looking for. And even though, we’re talking about wardrobe essentials, their travel bags are definitely swoon worthy.

BROTHER VERSAILLES

Remember earlier when I was talking about functionality and practical items? Even though at first glance this brand would seem to be the exact opposite of that, it’s not. I’ve followed Aurora on Instagram since forever but it was only recently when I saw she took a trip to Haiti that I got more interested in her brand and the products. I love, no seriously, truly love the mission behind her company, the workers she helps employ around the world, and the stories behind Brother Versailles shoes and bags. In particular, I’ve got my eye on these sandals.

What do you think about capsules? Into them or nah? Or are you on board with me, just making more intentional purchases and getting rid of the things that are just taking up space? ~xoxo


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or I’m too nervous to share on the blog–I’m working on the transparency thing but some things I keep for the people who are in this thing with me ya know? And a few extra tidbits along the way.



Words

Perspective

Perspective

The only difference between a flower and a weed is a judgement. ~ Wayne Dyer

As much as I am a coffee girl at heart, there’s something about those teacup messages, or as I like to affectionately call them, messages from the universe, that provide just what I need to read at exactly the moment I need to read it.

Today’s teacup/universe message was no different. It was a familiar and confirming one, as I’d had the same sentiment months before.

Being a mama of boys is so special. Endless flowers delivered to me on a daily basis from their outdoor jaunts. I always make a big deal of it too because 1. What mama doesn’t like gifts from her babies and 2. It teaches them that giving flowers to the woman you love is always, always, a good idea. You’re welcome future daughter in laws ;).

Needless to say, by technical arbitrary definition, these flowers my boys so loving adorn my locs, lap and hands with…can be called weeds…depending on your perspective. But weeds to who? Not to them who see vibrant life peeking up from the dirt and green earth. To them all that matters is the newness, the freshness, our lawns lovely decorations.

They gather them up by the handfuls these flowers. They solidify their value and their place as earths’ adornments. And they pass these most gracious of gifts onto me. Who am I to tell them any different?

Perspective (n) a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

I’ve long been a believer that perspective changes your life. It goes far deeper than the cliche half empty half full reference. It can literally be infused into every area of your life. Whether that’s how you view obstacles/opportunities, trials/testimonies, work/freedom or flowers/weeds.

Change your perspective, change your life. ~xoxo


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or I’m too nervous to share on the blog–I’m working on the transparency thing but some things I keep for the people who are in this thing with me ya know? And a few extra tidbits along the way. Let me know if you wanna get it!



Vibes

A Hair Journey

Hair…is an interesting thing. For so many years, I feel like my hair was just…a thing in the background. You know, like, aside from maintaining it, I never put too much thought into it. It just…was. Like many black women, I grew up with hot combs and a Just for Me perm by the time I was out of elementary school. The type of “hair maintenance” that I was taught, was to get my kinks as straight and slick as possible. The hotter the flat iron, the stronger the relaxer, the better. And through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood, I never even questioned this.

I got introduced to my first real weave in college (can we not talk about the infamous fake ponytail? Thanks). You mean, I could braid up these naps and wear this {insert euro-ethnic hair type} that was straighter and sleeker than I could ever make my own? Yes, please! I spent my early 20’s full of sew-in’s and thousands of dollars spent on covering my own hair…so that I could rock this other hair that didn’t belong to me. And I mean that, now, in the deepest sense you can take it sis.

But back then, I didn’t think any of it. It just…was.

I wonder though, what would I have thought, if I had the mindset then, that I have now. Would I have been super woke? Would I have been the sister with the bullhorn at the very beginnings of the natural hair movement talking about self hate and eurocentric beauty standards? Or would I have had the same lax, but solid, opinion that I have now? Would I have cared? Would I have had the confidence to change? Would I have even wanted to?

I can’t pinpoint when things changed. I can tell you though, that it was no dramatic moment where I discovered I had this deep rooted self hatred thing going on. I assure you, it was wayyy less woke than that. It had more to do with the fact that I was losing my hair due to postpartum hair loss and I was ready and willing to try anything to get my edges back. That search for “anything” led to me to the natural hair community. This was around the time where it was really starting to get popping and the 3c curly girls were all over youtube. I figured, why not? And so, my transition to natural hair began.

FOUR YEARS NATURAL

A Hair Journey

I spent the next four years desperately twisting my hair into submission (see photo above). The first three, I dove deep into the natural hair community. I began blogging about it, contributing to magazines about it (which I still do), I even spoke on a panel about it in 2015. I appreciate that time I had to learn more about my hair, how to take care of it, and slowly started to reflect back on the years of relaxing, straightening, and spending the equivalent of car notes on weaves.

After the novelty wore off and the realization that my hair would never look like {insert popular 3c youtuber}, I began to feel indifferent about it. The next year or so was interesting. I wasn’t taking care of my hair, rarely wore it out, and had begun to protective style constantly…not out of a need for protection but out of disdain for not knowing how to get my natural hair to look how I wanted without spending a million and one hours I didn’t have. I was in a cycle that was familiar; attempting to suppress my hair and hiding it whenever I could. But, unlike those earlier years…I had thoughts about this. It wasn’t…just hair anymore to me.

MY LOCS

A Hair Journey

I just finished washing and deep conditioning my hair. My energy was gone as I had given pretty much all I had to chasing children, tackling laundry, and cooking for my family–who eats more like a small sports team to be honest. Nothing in me felt like detangling, moisturizing, oiling and retwisting my hair just to be irritated that my fro didn’t come out the way I’d hoped or had shrunken from resting on my shoulders to barely grazing my ear lobes. I was exhausted, tired, frustrated…I was over it.

What was this all even for?

I don’t even want to think about the time I spent on my hair in the four years that I was a loose natural. It’s scary. Wash day was a legit day long experience for me. And maintaining some semblance of a curl pattern meant I was taking hours each week to retwist, untwist, pick and repeat. At this point, I had decided, maybe it really was just hair and if so? Taking all this time out my life to make it look, once again, like something that didn’t belong to me? Pointless. I was done.

I twisted my hair and decided, that was that. I’d let it do it’s own thing.

Five months in and I finally feel like, I’m truly embracing my natural hair. And let me real, it’s a struggle every day. My hair is my alter ego. She’s wild, I’m chill. She’s bold, I’m laid back. I’m quiet observing the scene and she is the scene. She’s grows up and out making herself known. She’s not afraid to be her. And as locs, no matter how I’ve tried to tame her in my moments of exasperation, she’s absolutely determined to be free. She’s helping me to understand and peel back the layers of myself. And doing that, is always tough work.

I have come to learn that…yea, maybe it is just hair. But, I can’t deny that my hair journey has paralleled my life journey so very perfectly. So…I guess I’ll let you be the judge. Just hair or nah?


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you. It’s also part lesson learned for good measure. And a few extra tidbits along the way. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or that I’m too nervous to share on the blog. You know, things I keep for the people who are in this with me ;).



Words

Am Writing

Wandering or Lost

Not all who wander are lost. ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

No matter how hard I try, I’m just not good at wandering. I wish I was though because I’m almost certain that being good at wandering would help with me always feeling so…lost. 

I have a notebook in my Evernote app simply called Am Writing. It’s where I store all my thoughts and ideas. The ones that come to me while I’m standing in line at Target or in the middle of an elementary school drop off. Am Writing is full of thoughts. Some complete, many not, but all full of depth. Lessons learned and those soon to be discovered. Answers to questions I haven’t had yet. Memories and details. Rants and unfinished sentences. That’s what Am Writing is…that’s who I am when I am writing.

It’s no secret that I’ve struggled with this gift of mine. I’ve blogged about it before. I’ve ignored it. I’ve hated it. I’ve been confused by it and empowered by it. Many times at the same damn time. It is my soul’s greatest mystery. How curious to be so completely unsure of how to handle something that you know is meant for you.

Lately, I’ve felt compelled to write like never before. And for once, quite terrifyingly actually, the words have escaped me. Well, more like they have hidden from me. They have been inside me as I can feel them. Yes, physically feel them. Like an invisible object, pressing against an imaginary bottom of my throat. It’s been real, as I struggle with this very physical reaction to an obstacle that exists only in my mind. To get out the words, stirring below the surface, causing all types of mayhem and drama as they struggle to break free. And me, feeling so helpless as I try physical methods to release them from their prisons. I do such meaningless things like clearing my throat in hopes they can come to the surface or taking a nap anxiously anticipating their release as I rest. And for days–which is a lifetime when writing is what you do for survival–I’ve been feeling like I’m silently yelling into a black hole.

I’ve have started to understand that I’m meant to write. And that reality scares me because, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with that self knowledge. I’m meant to write what? Share what? Release what? Do you know how insane it feels to know you’re supposed to do something but you don’t know exactly what that is or how to go about it? It’s a feeling that I’ve never known before and it’s enough to have the words to explain hide themselves from you.

But, the words came to me today. And I immediately set them free. To explain why I’m feeling the way I do. To ensure that it’s all part of the process. To remind that these experiences are preparing me for the work I am called to do. To affirm that I’m on time, even though I feel far behind. I set the words free and I feel good about letting them go. Now, I have the space to explore, once again, my soul’s greatest mystery. One step closer to understanding…


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you. It’s also part lesson learned for good measure. And a few extra tidbits along the way. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or that I’m too nervous to share on the blog. You know, things I keep for the people who are in this with me ;).



Life

Well Spent

 A weekly reflection + a few links for you. 

Another week in the books. I can’t believe we’re already approaching halfway through May. And only two months away from my 30th birthday. Insert wide eye emoji. My last year in my twenties was supposed to be the year of the glow up and I guess, in a sense it has been. Just not in the way that I expected. Life is funny like that and if there’s anything that I’ve learned in this last year it’s to embrace all the parts. The ebbs, the flows, and all the pieces in the middle.

Highlight from this week: Night Market. For sure. I broke my “not quite” vegan diet–keeping it real–for a jerk chicken cheesesteak and I’m not sorry. My body wasn’t pleased though and by Saturday I was sipping on Ginger tea and trying to figure out my life. Still not sorry. Best part though was watching my kids perform. When Dad’s a professional hip hop dancer that got his start dancing in the street, when there’s a festival, you dance! Really blessed to give my children a chance to see another way of living. Another way of life.

I thought about including a struggle or lesson or something of the sort here but it’s really just much of the same. The creative balance, not having enough time, and trying to find ways to do more of what I love and less of the rest. Same old, same old. Hopefully I’ll have something deeper next week? Yea? I feel like I share my lessons in my regular blog posts though so…maybe not. We’ll see.

Anyways, Happy Mother’s Day to all the mamas. A bit of unsolicited advice: Live your best life today and don’t do the things you think you “should”. Do you mama. It’s your day. Enjoy.

Things You Should Read/Listen to This Sunday

  • Shout out to Melissa at #blkcreatives for including me on this list of moms that are balancing motherhood with the business of creativity. As a working mother chasing a dream and building a business, I never quite feel like I’m getting it right, but then moments like these happen. Completely unexpected but I’m thankful. And do y’all see the company I’m in? I feel like I made it.

  • I think this just might be my favorite MyTaughtYou podcast episode, ever. Tia Williams’ transparency was everything I needed and more. It was like she knew my life. All of it. From her profession in the beauty space, to the feelings of never being good enough, to the daily pain she goes through, to her epic quote “I did what I always did and wrote my way out…” it was like I was listening to parts of my own story. There’s something so wild about that. Tell your stories. People need to hear them. And make sure you go listen to this one.

  • Speaking of Myleik, she shared two NY Times articles that said . One was about Facebook and the other Instagram. Spoiler alert, they’re basically think pieces about the type of behavior that Bow Wow (along with countless others) perform. I have been so over social media lately which is a really weird space to be when you’re a blogger/content creator/editor. I’m tired of seeing the facade. Why is everyone so obsessed with making things look different than what they are? It’s too much. I find myself thinking more and more about opting out of all it. Don’t worry, I can’t and I’m not.

  • Even in the midst of my current disdain for social media, I have to mention Everyday Eyecandy’s Instagram Storytellers series. Her account, along with the people she features are such a breath of fresh air. The photos and the stories within them are the part of social media I love most. I’m obsessed. Not to mention, I’ve been really digging photography/visual storytelling lately. Yup, just add another creative venture to my list. Eyeroll emoji. But honestly, as the world gets noisier and more crowded, there’s something magical in the stillness of photos. I’m only an iphone photography…for now…but this series is love and is full of inspiring people.

That’s all I got. Happy Sunday. Happy Mother’s Day. ~xoxo


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or I’m too nervous to share on the blog–I’m working on the transparency thing but some things I keep for the people who are in this thing with me ya know? And a few extra tidbits along the way. Let me know if you wanna get it!



Words

Communicating with God

Communicating with God

I’ve always been a firm believer that there are no coincidences. Things happen intricately with each other throughout our lives, piece by piece to form the bigger picture in which we all live. So when I put the beginnings of this post into my drafts, the pieces of thoughts about writing and communicating with God…I wasn’t sure if what I was trying to say would make sense.

 {Sidebar: I have got to, like seriously must, stop second guessing and doubting myself, my thoughts, and subsequently my words. I hold back far too much due to being “unsure” and it’s all pretty sad, the things I keep to myself that I could be sharing in fear that I might be “wrong”. But I digress….}

I wasn’t sure, if the way I felt that I communicated with God was, ya know, like an “acceptable” way. Like it was real. Like it had meaning. Ugh, I cringe writing that out now. How limiting those words are. Like it was real? Seriously?! And this is what I mean–and what you will come to understand hopefully if I can ever get to the point–when I talk about how God communicates with me. I can think all day long, I can even talk it out sometimes, but none of it really makes sense. I can never really get to the root of it all until I write. When I write, it all becomes clear. The answers I seek appear before me. The peace, the calm, the clarity, the discernment that comes when I write is truly a divine phenomenon.

God communicates with me through my writing. 

I know this to be true. When I tell you the way things are really worked out for me when I started to pour myself out with words? Sis. They aren’t mine. I assure you, they aren’t. I don’t have these answers as I’m thinking over my issues and dilemmas. I don’t have them when I’m attempting to explain something, to identify something, to expound on something. They aren’t there. I promise you. But when I write, they all come. Every time. It’s even lowkey one of the affirmations that I wrote: My creativity is limitless. I initially wrote that to mean, as a professional writer, I never have to worry about not having something to say, because the words always come. But, it’s only now that I’m beginning to have a deeper understanding of why that is. My creativity is God communicating with me. It’s the God within me (Psalms 46:5).

I feel like I’ve known this for a long time. It’s one of the reasons why I love to journal my bible study and prayers. I can get my true prayers out when I write them. When I speak them from the top of my head, they never come out right. And there’s something to be said about praying with a bunch of empty words…sips tea…

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. ~Matthew 6:7-8

And for clarity, because I do believe in the power of the tongue, I often read them aloud after I’ve written them.

But even though I’ve known this, because of the person I am–I’m trying to change I promise I am–I still didn’t write this post. Maybe it was “busyness” or maybe it was me still seeking confirmation that my thoughts and feelings were valid. Another cringeworthy moment–#Notetoself: Your thoughts and feelings are ALWAYS valid. But it was when I saw a tweet that put in 140 characters what it’s taking me a whole post and a thousand months to write:

Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when God talks to you. ~ Maryam Hasnaa

And for me, personally, for Tyshia…writing is one of my most deepest forms of meditation. Writing is when God talks to me. And I will forever be thankful for our conversations. ~xoxo


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you. It’s also part lesson learned for good measure. And a few extra tidbits along the way. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or that I’m too nervous to share on the blog. You know, things I keep for the people who are in this with me ;).



Life

My Food Diary Vol I

So…I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to share my food journey. As you know–and if you don’t know, start here–food is at the cornerstone of my natural based lifestyle. Changing my eating habits, cutting out dairy, and eating plant-based is a huge part of my daily life soooo obviously that means, new blog series! To share what’s been working, what hasn’t, what I’ve been learning, and recipes I’ve tried, I decided to share some of the most popular foods I’m eating through food diaries. So here we go, volume 1. Enjoy.

Food Diary: Breakfast

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Life

Beauty Boss Things

Totally off topic but, does anyone else go through this weird thing where you carve out this special piece of the day to finally find time to write only to find you don’t have anything to write about? It’s the strangest thing ever. I spend all my busy hours writing blog posts in my head and jotting down notes in my Evernote app. And then when I finally get the time, space, and quiet to write…nothing. Oh creativity…

I haven’t posted much in the last couple weeks. Life and what not. To ease back into things I thought I’d share a peek into what I’ve been up to. I’ve been spending my working days juggling my two passions: writing and building a eco luxe beauty brand. Each one serves a specific purpose and each one fills me in a different way. I have long thought about how I could possibly continue on this path with my hands, mind, and heart in two different places when it comes to my career/work. Spent too many hours pondering it and will be spending my time from now on just doing it. I hate labels, but I sometimes feel strange for not having one. I’m just not a label kinda girl. But the world has this funny way of making you feel invalid when you don’t have one. Screw that though.

Y’all already know I am the Queen of long introductions. I will forever take the long way to get to a point. So here goes. A day in my life when I’m not blogging or writing :).

Beauty Boss Things

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Words

The Thing You Should Know About Intentions

Intentions

Hey friends. Hope your April has been treating you well. The season of harvest and manifest is well underway and life for me has been going through a growth phase. Right on time I suppose, which brings me to you with this post about intentions. You might remember at the top of the month I wrote about my April intentions. With a new month, a new season, and a new quarter of the year starting, I was enamored with the fresh, vibrating energies around me. I was also feeling a bit, unbalanced in certain areas of my life, so setting intentions to get on track and get on my way to the greatness I know that is destined for me, was the perfect way to get still and get focused.

But let me tell you a little something about how intentions work. And, before we get started a friendly reminder that ya girl is no expert on anything except for the experiences of my life and I’m still trying to figure those out so as the saying goes “take what you need and leave the rest.”

There’s a part of setting intentions for your life, that I don’t think we think about. Or, let me not speak for the general population because y’all might have this life thing down a bit better than I so: there’s a part of setting intentions for my life that I did not anticipate.

The faith that you have to put behind them when things start to come together.

When I really think about it, that should have been obvious. Intentions, or at least the ones that I set, were a pretty big change from the way I was currently living, the work I was doing, and the mindset I had towards my life. That kind of transformation, really any kind of transformation, will inevitably come with growing pains. Growth comes with growing pains. At any stage in your life, in any circumstance, in order to grow, you have to get uncomfortable. And getting uncomfortable isn’t convenient, it isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. So while, I was over here setting the intentions and anticipating the manifest…I wasn’t preparing myself for the faith required to see it see it through.

My life as of late is a perfect representation of this truth. I find myself in the most curious position, coming to terms with that fact that, I’m facing a period of uncomfortableness in order for my intentions to manifest. By setting the intentions, a light has been shone on the areas of my life and myself that need to change in order to grow. And without getting into detail, there’s something wildly unsettling when you say that you intend to walk away from the things that no longer serve you and the universe replies with “okay so this, this, and this then?” That’s where the faith comes in.

So many times, people–and yes I’m talking about the general population here–anticipate the outcome but don’t think about the work. We think about the destination, instead of focusing on the journey. And the truth of the matter is, it’s that middle part, between the moment you make the decision to do or be something–or in this case setting the intention–and achieving it, where the growth happens. And the growth isn’t easy.

So while you set the intentions, and you anticipate the manifest, remember the faith Queens. Keep it and keep going.

~xoxo

Words

Listen to the Babies

Favorite Teacher
This motherhood thing is tough work. Work that I signed up for, but tough all the same. Especially when you’re trying to raise really awesome children, that are confident, happy, loved and love…when you have no real clue how to do that. When you lowkey feel like you’re impersonating an adult. And when you highkey don’t feel like any of those things yourself.

I suppose anyone could feel this way, at any age, at any stage in life. But, for me, as I’m going through a period of self discovery…it feels uniquely tricky. Still though, I do my best. I teach my children what I know and what I’m learning. I apologize often for not being the best at all the things and I pray that they feel my sincerity. I pray that I’m doing this right, even though I know there’s really no such thing. Because, truthfully, even if I try my absolute very best, they’ll still probably be better parents than me because…isn’t that the point? To raise little people who will grow up to be better people? Better than you.

Through it all, I keep going. I keep pushing. I keep striving. I keep leading by example. All in hopes they catch the message. In hopes they learn from my triumphs and my mistakes. In hopes they are hearing me, the best little boys can. That’s all you can really do right? Is teach and lead.

But…you can also learn. From who? From them. And sometimes, it’s them who makes you grow up to better people, better than you were before them.

Listen to the babies. They’re our greatest teachers. 

I received a glimpse of this truth from my youngest son. I had decided to ask him the questions I saw in this video on Facebook. Asking my kids questions is one of my favorite things to do. There’s so much knowledge inside them, knowledge that we as adults tend to forget. As I figured, Jr’s responses were hilarious and eye opening in all the ways you’d expect from a 4 year old…and in ways you wouldn’t too.

His best friends are “all of us” and his favorite place is “in here” meaning home. He’s scared of spiders and isn’t sure if I’m 17 or 800. His favorite color is red, green, and blue–it’s too big of a task to just choose one. His favorite food is spaghetti, but just the noodles and he also loves pigs (how random). Playing makes him happy and not playing makes him sad. And his favorite movie is Home…seriously, we have watched Home at least 101 times. I’m not even kidding.

From the mouth of babes. But during our questioning, there were two answers that stuck out to me the most. Answers that had me looking at my baby boy like he was wise beyond his years. Because he is. Listen to the babies. They be knowing.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?

Jr: Myself.

Full. Circle. Moment. How beautiful that was to me, his mama who is embarking on this journey of self discovery. Who has been peeling back the layers to figure out who I really am…disappointed that I suppressed that girl so long ago and adamant on empowering my children to be unapologetically themselves in all ways. I was affirmed by my baby boy. At the tender age of 4, he understood that all you need to be when you grow up is yourself. That may seem like such a minor thing to y’all but I’m telling you. This world tries to make you be something you’re not every single day. And for black boys, the noise is LOUD. Hearing that confidence and knowing my boy is miles ahead of me gives me inexplicable joy.

What does love mean?

Jr: You.

Excuse me while I wipe away the tears. If you didn’t gather from the beginning of my post…I never feel like I’m doing enough. But if we’re being real, all of this–and I do mean ALL, yes being a little woo woo here–comes down to love. That’s what this whole life thing is about. Love. Showing love, practicing love, giving love, growing in love. It’s all love. The moment my son answered what does love mean with a simple word “You” I realized, that I had been missing the big picture. He reminded me that I’m doing the most important thing. Love. And he can see that love in me. Whaattt. My heart. ~xoxo


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or I’m too nervous to share on the blog–I’m working on the transparency thing but some things I keep for the people who are in this thing with me ya know? And a few extra tidbits along the way. Let me know if you wanna get it!



Life

April Intentions

April Intentions
Happy April! Something about this month always feels fresh. Like, a new world of promise and opportunity is opened up to us, just ripe for the manifesting. New months always feel like this but new months like April that also mark–at least to me–the season of new beginnings, it makes it all the more special. For me, April feels like a month of growth, harvest, and manifestation. Whatever those inner wants and desires that have made their way into your heart and soul, it’s like April  (or maybe just this April in particular) is the time that it can happen. I think it’s the all the freshness and bloom that comes along with spring. I’m fully planning on harnessing all of that good energy and directing it towards the things that mean the most to me. The things that are living and vibrating in my heart.

I want to focus on that last part. Friday, was a tough day. I felt defeated for some reason and I couldn’t understand why. I think, and this may be premature but I’ll figure it out soon enough, that I was feeling that way because I wasn’t doing the things that were living and vibrating in my heart. The balance of doing the work that needs to be done and doing what makes you feel alive is a difficult balance to achieve. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s even a balance that I want to achieve but maybe more like, a harmonious blend. Regardless, if you’re not making the time to feed into each of these sides respectively, you can feel off, defeated, unwell. And that’s where I was at the end of last week. Leaning into the work that needed to be done and abandoning everything else. I hit a wall, I shut down, and the result was epic levels of unproductiveness (that shouldn’t be a word…) which left me feeling even worse.

Thank God for new beginnings. I woke up yesterday morning, the feelings of last week a distant memory. Feeling ready to start anew. My need-to-do list is long as ever and to my love-to-do list isn’t any shorter, but instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel full of promise. The creative juices are flowing so that means it’s gonna be a good writing day, cheers to that because I have deadlines, on deadlines, on deadlines. And my mind is full of hope, promise, and love. But yea, April intentions…sheesh I took the long way to get here huh?

April Intentions

I attract the work and the clients that understand, appreciate, and value my work.

I attract the work and the clients that align with my personal values.

I attract abundance in my finances, my health, and my wealth.

I am discerning and able to make the best decisions that align with my life’s path.

I am able to start the projects that are blazing in my mind and soul.

I am able to walk away from projects and clients that no longer serve me.

I am a master of my own time and know how to make the most of it.

I am a servant in my community.

I am and I attract LOVE.

I am light of this world and will shine through my gifts.

I practice thankfulness and gratitude at all times, at all days, in all ways.

Yayyy for new months! ~xoxo


Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or I’m too nervous to share on the blog–I’m working on the transparency thing but some things I keep for the people who are in this thing with me ya know? And a few extra tidbits along the way. Let me know if you wanna get it!



Life

Currently…

Currently
Today, was such a gloomy day here in Philly. I almost didn’t write this post which is why it’s coming at you way too late at night but, better late than never they say. I’ve been in somewhat of a funk the past couple days. It happens sometimes. Trying to find the balance between embracing the ebb and not drowning in the flow. You know, the usual life things. I decided to do these monthly check-ins? recaps? I don’t what you’d call them. Just documenting and sharing. Living my best blog life. Can you believe it’s really April tomorrow?

What I’m Reading

I finished reading The Alchemist and the effects of this book on my mind and soul are still going strong. I wrote a post about a lesson I learned while reading it but, there is soooo much more I have to say about it and many more lessons learned to discuss. It’s definitely a life changing read. Seriously, if you have not read this, do yourself a favor and handle that.

I wrote something about spiritual growth that I haven’t shared yet. Still trying to organize the stream of thoughts into something that makes sense. But in that piece, I came to the realization that I needed to take the time to really read and study the Bible. I was led to the Book of Matthew and I’m making my way, slowly, through it. I journal through my Bible study because…writing is how I comprehend things. Discovering so much, I just might fill a whole journal studying just this one book.

What I’m Listening To

I started the S-Town podcast a couple days ago. It’s so good. I’m on episode 4 and hooked. I wanted to tweet through it so bad but, spoilers, so I didn’t. I won’t share much here in case people are still listening but I will say that, I got to thinking about time. There was a quote that was mentioned that was found on a sundial. It went something like: “I have done nothing good today. I’ve lost today.” Sundials are lowkey depressing things huh? But yet, there’s something so beautifully…grounding in that quote. It’s like a reminder that life is fleeting, that time is fleeting. So, you gotta do good stuff. Every day. Don’t waste it. On a day like today where I would have been perfectly fine, curled up under my covers doing nothing…message received.

Another podcast to mention. Can you tell podcasts are my thing? I have been working on getting my financial life together–amongst all the other aspects of my life, adulthood. I came across the So Money podcast by Farnoosh Torabi and have been taking all the notes. Like so many people, or maybe not, I don’t know, I have terrible financial habits. That’s just me, keeping it real. But, I’m determined to get my shit together. For real. New months are always a good time to get on track financially. I’m feeling like I’m in a good place now and this podcast has definitely cleared some things up for me.

What I’m Watching

I don’t know why I resisted Greenleaf so much when it first aired. By the first episode of the first season I had written it off. Something about it rubbed me the wrong way and I wasn’t here for it. Maybe because I attend a semi-mega black church and it just hit too close to home? Plus, I wasn’t sure what the show’s purpose was so I didn’t want any parts. Welp, I gave it another shot after seeing a million and one tweets about it. I binged watched season 1 on Netflix so it’s safe to say, my feelings have changed. I love Greenleaf for examining the intersection between being human and being holy. I think that’s what I’m trying to say. It’s like, it airs the church’s dirty laundry–and ma’am, is it dirty–but it also raises questions and makes you take a hard look at people and their faults and how that takes away from, or rather, how that’s a part of their experience/life/place in the church. Oh and the drama sis, whew!

What I’m Eating

I’m working on a food diary to chronicle my plant based journey. I’ve finally to a point where I’m eating enough so that I’m not constantly hungry. When your diet is loaded up with meats and grains like pasta and rice, you don’t realize how many plants you need to eat in order to feel full. And then, you’re hungry like an hour later. It’s a work in progress, but I don’t feel hungry all day so yay for that! Currently loving Minimalist Baker for vegan recipes and Hot For Food for vegan comfort food recipes.

Discoveries

Why did you guys hide the amazingness that is Trader Joe’s. Whyyyy? I finally visited one that’s about 15 minutes away from me and I don’t think I’ll ever be the same. It was that great. I’m obsessed. I spent about $70 on groceries for 5 people and that lasted us just under a week! Including organic meats. Whaatt! This is a big deal for me. Cutting my grocery bill has been a major task, especially since I have 3 growing boys and an athletic husband. All. They. Do. Is. Eat.

Work things

Freelance lesson of the week: Being creative all the time is exhausting. Just food for thought for those who want their passions to feed their souls and fund their lives. This shit is real. I wanted to share some new projects that I’m working on, but I don’t really feel all warm and fuzzy about them at the moment. I’m trying to figure out what that means so…I’ll wait.

Cheers to a new month and new beginnings! Hopefully some warm weather and sun will come soon so I can feel better…that’d be love. ~xoxo

Words

Let’s Talk About Being “Mediocre”

Being Mediocre

I stumbled across a post on Facebook last week that touched me to my core. The writer, and everything she was saying resonated so deeply with me. That’s one thing I love so much about writing and blogging specifically. It’s easier now, more than ever, to find out that somewhere, someone feels the same way I do. And as much as I’m an advocate of living your life on your terms, it feels good to know you’re not alone. Anyway, I came across this article and loved it so much. I also discovered a new website dedicated to helping people design simple lives (yes!), and spent some time on the writer’s personal blog and loved her work there too. New loves, so good.

Okay, so brief recap of the post:

What if all I want is a small, slow, simple life? ~ Krista D., A Life in Progress

The article was about living a simple life and about being okay with that. Being okay with the things that you love, no matter how “small” they seem. It was about feeling overwhelmed and depleted with the hustle hard mentality the entire world is shouting at us. About wanting to cut off the noise that is coming at us from every angle. It was about finding the joy in the simple things and being content with small circles. About helping who you can even if that’s just a few people instead of a village. It was ultimately about the writer being okay with living the life that felt right to her.

So you see why I was feeling it? Deep within my bones? YES.

There was just one tiny problem…she called that life mediocre and that’s where I have to disagree.

Now, if mediocre is what she wants, that’s fine. I can absolutely not write this post in total agreement and admiration at her article and blog, without making that part clear. What I’m saying is that, there is nothing mediocre about living life on your terms. Not in the slightest.

For me, this whole blog, my taking a leap of faith and quitting my job, making the decision to unapologetically follow where my writing takes me, immersing myself in my spiritual journey, deciding to eat plant based, having a whole bunch of babies, heck, even deciding to loc my hair…those are all things that I wanted to do, that may seem like very simple things to people concerned with living very different lives. So, is that mediocre? No. That’s extraordinary.

Living the life you dream of when the world places so many expectations on your shoulders isn’t mediocre. No matter what title you hold–CEO, mom, VP, wife, tech guru, or writer–holding the one that makes your soul come alive…that’s. not. mediocre.

And because I’m a word snob | Mediocre: of only ordinary or moderate quality; neither good nor bad; barely adequate; not satisfactory; poor; inferior.

I want us all to live the way we want. To do those things that makes us feel good and chase those dreams that we’d chase no matter who was watching. To create those works even if no one is paying us. I want us to hold the titles, to wear the clothes, to style our hair, to sing the songs, to do whatever it is. And to know, that it is great. That when you’re being true to yourself…that it’s the greatest thing you could ever do.

So here’s to living a life you love…and not being mediocre. Peace ~xoxo

*photo via death to stock

Once a month I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. Mostly stuff that didn’t make it here or I’m too nervous to share on the blog–I’m working on the transparency thing but some things I keep for the people who are in this thing with me ya know? And a few extra tidbits along the way. Let me know if you wanna get it!



Words

Vulnerability

Vulnerability

Sharing makes me nervous. Says the girl with a blog where she pours her heart out in posts for the whole entire internet. Yea…I don’t get it either. Sharing makes me nervous. But…it’s easier for me to share on a blog post though. I check my stats, I mean, I’m a blogger. I pretty much know how many people are reading my stuff on any given day. It’s still weird sometimes sharing here but it always makes me feel better. As if the words are bottled up inside and the only way to relieve the restlessness is to get them out into the world. Where…maybe they can help someone or…maybe not. But at least they are free, which makes me free.

So blogging, itself, isn’t the sharing the makes me nervous. It’s the sharing that I can’t as easily get neat little analytics data from. So, it’s really social media. I hate sharing, on pretty much any social media platform, except Twitter. Twitter is my fave. I’ll share for days over there.

All this rambling about how I’m allegedly nervous about sharing but can share where it feels good to me, brings me to the point of vulnerability. When is too much, too much? I put myself out there on these blog posts and I have no problem tweeting through it. But something about sharing my blog posts–yes, even on Twitter–just makes me cringe. And then, I shudder when I think about Instagram. It’s all fun and games posting selfies and cute pics of my kids but getting deep? It hurtsss. Literally, it hurts. I can’t.

I’ve been thinking about all of this though. Because, the truth of the matter, as the hubs so lovingly walked me through is that, this is what I love to do and this is what I want to do. Meaning, writing, blogging, being a writer. So…is sharing the shit sandwich (Big Magic reference, get into it) that comes along with it? Vulnerability? Even when you feel like it’s all too much? 

I guess so.

But as much as I loathe the sharing (literally, I feel my stomach turning thinking about it) the question remains–as it always does when you are battling your fears no matter how small: but did you die? (Hangover reference kids) And because it’s never that deep…I carry on. Vulnerability and all. Yes, even when it feels like it’s too much.

~xoxo