All Posts By

Tyshia Ingram

Life

Why I Write

Why I Write
In Big Magic, author Elizabeth Gilbert warns about creating to help other people. To be exact she writes:

You are not required to save the world with your creativity…I would prefer that you made your art in order to save yourself, or to relieve yourself of some great psychic burden, rather than to save or relieve us. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

She goes on to give multiple reasonings behind this warning citing the misguided notion of living for others, the joy in creating to entertain yourself, and most notably pointing out that she wrote a travel memoir in order to make sense of her own journey. And we all know how that turned out.

For some time now, I’d say at the very least the past year or so, I’ve felt like I’ve been running around in circles when it comes to figuring out what to do with all these things I have inside. The thoughts, the ideas, the stories waiting to be told. And I don’t think I’ve realized (as clear as I do now) that the trying to connect the dots, the trying to make meaning of what I’m doing, and figuring out what I can do to ensure it can help someone, is the very thing that has been holding me back.

Your art not only doesn’t have to be original, in other words; it also doesn’t have to be important. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

I’m certain I actually discovered this before but, I’m not sure it ever took root in my mind. The reality that I absolutely can (and should) blog, and journal, and create, and write that book simply because it’s something I want to do.
Why I write
I sat down today to write a blog post that I wanted to be helpful. I thought to myself: I’ve been writing a lot about my personal life and lessons I’ve been learning so let me write something that can be really informational and helpful to others. But the reality is (I already do that in my freelance work) BUT more importantly…I write to save, understand, make sense of, document, and discover myself. And:

If what I’ve written here ends up help you, that’s great, and I will be glad. That would be a wonderful side effect. ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

So tell me, why do you create?

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Life

On Tending Your Own Garden

Tending your garden
Yesterday, I posted a piece of work that was essentially me brimming to the edge with creative revelation, energy, and needing to express all that was bubbling within before I burst. It was random, as those kind of posts usually are, but unlike my last stream of thoughts, I provided no explanation as I felt my words alone would suffice. Today though, as my mind has settled and I have come to terms with my thoughts and feelings, I’d like to dig deeper.

***

Earlier this week, I had lunch and a cup of coffee with my best friend. Our goal was to get outside our normal work environments–my home and her office–to discuss creative life, building businesses, and chasing dreams. Instead, it was a therapy session of sorts that was full of epiphanies and  revelations about myself, the path I thought I wanted to explore, and a truth I’d been afraid to admit to myself. Both my conversation with her and an even more “spirited” dialogue with my husband earlier that morning, led to me to uncover some feelings that I couldn’t quite explain on my own. They were stirring, just below the surface, under the facade of feeling good and appearing outwardly successful. Behind the curtain of Instagram bios and professional titles. There was a restless anxiety that I never let myself explore for reasons I’ll explain in a moment. 

What I discovered that day was that I was feeling resentful. And as much as I want to add the “for lack of a better word” here, the truth is what it is. 

So how did I get here? Well, if you get my newsletter you have a little insight into this current season of my life (for context, you can see it here and subscribe if you’d like). I’ve been approaching creative burnout for some time, whether I wanted to admit that to myself or not. And not only was I feeling the physical and emotional effects of burnout, but I also wasn’t seeing any fruits from this labor that was causing me so much stress. 

I had been hustling backwards and grinding hard for everyone except for myself.

It took me some time to actually verbalize that. My nature as a true nurturer has always caused me to place the needs of others before my own. And somewhere, deep down, I had feelings of guilt or selfishness at the thought of focusing on me, myself, and the creations I wanted to bring into this world.

I had begun to feel resentful, and it was no ones fault but my own.

Crops was me expressing those feelings. And while I will say, I am not proud of feeling them, I am glad they were revealed to me. I’ve been able to peel back the layers in understanding the deeper issues that created them. This false belief that it’s…not okay to use the gifts God’s blessed me with for myself. It’s still a battle in my mind. There are parts of me that want to apologize. Parts of me that don’t want to come across as selfish. I blame it on the nurturer in me but I know there are things imbedded deeper still. But there’s a greater part of me that assures me this is right and that’s the voice I choose to listen too. It’s time to tend my own garden. ~xoxo


Every Sunday 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, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Life

Crops

Crops
I have spent lifetimes
watering the seeds that others have planted.
And witnessed harvests.
I’ve collected and hunted.
I’ve shared and I’ve curated.

Content.

I have spent lifetimes
tending to the gardens that others have sown.
And witnessed beauty.
I’ve planted and plotted.
I’ve dug deep and I’ve worked hard.

Uneasy.

I have spent lifetimes
nurturing the roots that others have put down.
And witnessed growth.
I’ve built and sustained.
I’ve cultivated and I’ve created.

Awakening.

I have spent lifetimes.
leaving my own seeds untended.
And witnessed pain.
I’ve ignored and deferred.
I’ve withdrawn and I’ve avoided.

Sad.

I have spent lifetimes
overlooking a barren land.
And witnessed understanding.
I’ve gathered and culled.
I’ve watered and I’ve produced.

Birth.

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Every Sunday 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, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Life

Choosing Intentional Abundance

Intentional Abundance
Over the summer, I shared some thoughts that I was having about minimalism. That post was born of frustration and exhaustion at all the stuff I’d found myself surrounded with. I was tired. Tired of the endless piles of clothing that no one actually wears, the catchall drawers full of random, the papers and the cups, the millions of basketball shirts (sorry hubs) and everything else that had found its way into our home. It was driving me crazy and so, looking for some kind of relief, I began to think about the minimalist movement and consider what that might look like for our life.

But when I started to think about things on a personal level, my struggle was less about minimalism and more about intention. And even more so about another major theme in my life: Abundance. I exist in a space of abundance. It’s one of my self-affirmations: I live in the space where grace and abundance reside. For me, it’s not about less. My intention is to surround myself abundantly with things that matter. Love, family, friends, books that resonate, pieces from artisans, artwork from our travels, life, soul, work that stirs my heart. I attract all of that into my life and I’m thankful for it.
Grace and abundance

I choose intentional abundance and to manifest that, it does mean we have to declutter, let go of the things that aren’t serving us, get rid of the meaningless mess. To allow space. Abundant space, that can allow for a clear mind and creative energy to flow. Or, to fill with love and light to do more of the same.

Be intentional friends…And live in abundance. ~ xoxo

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Every Sunday 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, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Motherhood

September Homeschool Recap

September Homeschool Recap

With the first month of homeschool pre-k 2017 behind us, I thought it’d be a good time to share what’s been going on in our journey. The universe is doing that thing where, now that I’m focused on something, I see it everywhere. Before I started really thinking about homeschool, I didn’t really see any black representation in this space or even many black families with interest. Now though, it seems like everywhere I turn the black homeschool/unschool conversation is being had. It’s beautiful and inspiring. Helpful and hopeful.

Even though we aren’t sure where this journey will take us this year, I felt compelled to join the conversation. To share our perspective of newbies–for real–what’s been working, what hasn’t, resources we’re using and loving, and things we’re looking forward to in the month ahead.

I’ll start by saying that, this month didn’t go at all as planned. About halfway through September, I wound up taking an on location contract assignment (I’m sharing some real life revelations in this week’s newsletter about that experience. It’s a good one.) unexpectedly that left the hubs in charge of homeschooling the majority of the month. I had barely gotten an idea of how I wanted to structure our days and lessons so things were a little chaotic. That’s definitely the scale of homeschooling. Flexible enough to adjust to the flow of life but, when you’re caught in the ebb, it’s still your job to ensure the learning continues.

Even with the unexpected teacher switch, I think the month went well.

REFLECT | I find myself still struggling with releasing my expectations and ideas about the way a child “should” learn. Some programming is hard to break and I’ll admit it’s been difficult giving Jr. space to learn in his own way instead of enforcing rigid rules and structures–which doesn’t work for him and exactly why we wanted to explore homeschool in the first place. He’s been working on sight words and reading many short sentences. It’s been fascinating to watch him discover words he recognizes in the midst of short stories. Seeing his mind work out that he knows a few words on a page has been nothing short of magical but I had some concerns about letter recognition. Certain letters he isn’t able to recognize–I think because I’ve also heard him randomly identify them at other times–and I was feeling a bit stressed. And then I read something, totally unrelated to homeschooling that put my mind at ease a bit.

Jr. thinks differently and I don’t want to stifle his creativity. He’s reading and I’m excited for that and we’ll continue to do so. I can’t wait to see him work his way through his first book. In the meantime, I’ll do some research on letter recognition and find out how to help him…or not…and take it from there.

LOOK FORWARD | Perhaps the funniest moment this month was while we were out exploring,  Jr. held out his hand (a closed fist) to give me a surprise. I should have known better than to take “surprises” from a sneaky faced four year old boy. It was a worm. I then took notice of his interest in different insects we found along our nature walks. Caterpillars, worms, ants, and even slugs (shudder). This is definitely NOT my forte but one thing I really wanted to focus on during this homeschool journey was paying attention to the things Jr. is naturally interested in and finding new ways to explore them. Since he’s seems to really love being in nature and inspecting insects I researched ways for him to “dig deeper”. I found a really cool organization here in Philly called NaturePHL that offers environmental playdates for free! Excited to spend a few afternoons exploring this month before it gets too cold.

SEPTEMBER HOMESCHOOL RESOURCES

Y’all know how I feel about sharing good things, so I put together this list of all the resources we’ve come across this month that we’ve enjoyed. Pass them along if you know a homeschooling family who’d be interested!


Every Sunday 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, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Life

Journeying

Journeying

Everyday, I am becoming. I am in constant bloom. And that’s who I am. A masterful work in progress. All the days of my life.

I’m learning that feeding my spirit on this journey is very much like feeding my body. I research foods, pay attention to how things make me feel, am intentional about what I’m putting in. I feel better, more energized, lighter. But the moment I divert from this path, I feel so much worse than I did before. Like the taste of all that is good and well has redefined all that isn’t.

When I fall off my spiritual practice my soul feels just like that. It’s been opened and awakened. It knows what good energy, positive thinking, love, and light feels like and what it can do in my life. Falling backwards feels so much worse now.

My words were flowing the way I needed them to. My visuals were reflecting how I felt inside. I was attracting work and opportunities that align with my intentions. Meditation and creative visualization were making their appearances in my daily routine. I was writing and becoming. Being still and observing. And then…

Restlessness abounds. And I immediately realize that, practicing meditation, being still, prayer, and journaling had dwindled, succumbing to the busyness of daily life, work and family, paying bills and adult realities. Taking the time to write and pray and meditate had become non-existent. And I just read somewhere, multiple places actually, that you can never be too busy to pray. Message received.

I am understanding that, this road of self discovery and aligning with my purpose is constant. That it requires daily practice and showing up. Every day. You have to embrace this with every ounce of you. Continually listen. Continually show up for you. And when you start to feel and witness the growth, that’s the moment where we stop because we think the work is done.

Keep going. Keep journeying. Keep discovering. There’s so much growing, living, and journeying to do. ~xoxo


Every Sunday 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, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Life

Whoever You Are, Just Be That

Whoever You Are

“For a long time I defined myself by what I wasn’t. Which constantly set me up for failure and disappointment. My life changed when I focused on what I was, what I was good at, what I liked most about myself, and what made me stand out.” ~ Issa Rae

You know how when you finally notice something, it shows up everywhere in your life? Like, you can barely decipher whether these things have always been there or is it now that you’re aware, you just notice them more. That’s currently my life with self-discovery and learning to love, embrace, and just be all the layers of me.

While watching the annual celebration of black girl magic this week, Black Girls Rock, that experience has never been more prevalent. It seemed like every black girl that stepped on that stage had something to say about just being yourself. From Yara to Solange to Issa…it was all about embracing who you truly are. But it was Issa’s speech that stuck out to me the most. She talked about the moments where she learned that she’d never be cool enough, pretty enough, or funny enough. And how her definition of herself was built on the things that she wasn’t. This resonated with me to the core because girl, have I been there.

On this journey of learning to just be me, I constantly fall into the cycle of defining myself by what I’m not. I’m not business savvy enough, I’m not deep enough, I’m not woke enough, I’m not poetic enough, I don’t hustle enough, I don’t write enough…and this cycle always ends up at the same thought. That I’m not enough.

“This constantly set me up for failure and disappointment.”

If there is one thing I have learned on this journey that has impacted me the most so far, it’s that who you are, truly, is enough. And your purpose on this earth is to be that person. Because that person is exactly what this world needs. ~xoxo


Every Sunday 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, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Life

What Really Happens When You Do it Afraid

Do it Afraid

When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid. ~ Audre Lorde

Last year I took on one of the biggest, scariest, projects of my freelance career so far. From first contact to completion, I was over here on this MacBook shook okay. Now, I know my fear was irrational at the end of the day, but that didn’t make me feel any less scared. That was over a year ago, and since then I’ve taken on new and challenging things, but nothing quite as scary as that. Interestingly enough though, I find myself in that familiar space once again. Where I’m being challenged to do something that is completely out of my comfort zone and yes, scary. To give myself a pep talk I thought back onto this project and reflected on how I overcame my fear. To remind myself–and you–what happens when you do it afraid.

You don’t stop being afraid, you push through.

There is nothing wrong with being scared. I think sometimes we’re so quick to slap a negative connotation to fear and dismiss it. It’s okay to be nervous. It’s just not okay to let that fear or nervousness control you. You can push through even with the fear. That’s essential to know. That fear doesn’t stop you from being able to do something unless you let it.

You acknowledge the “imposter” but you know the real

For this particular instance and many other instances, my fear was rooted in feeling like I wasn’t good enough or doubting myself. Like who I am to do this? Especially with the fact that I created this career for myself, literally, there was no straight path. I’m calling myself something because that’s what I do but somewhere I was seeking that validation. Imposter syndrome is real. But, you gotta let that go. If you were asked, hired, contacted, sought out, approved to do something, it’s because you can. You’ve shown that much or else you would have gotten the polite “No thank you, I’m fine.” You’ll probably always feel like an imposter. I feel like an imposter adult and I’ve technically been doing this thing for 12 years and I’m responsible for three humans so I mean…if that doesn’t tell you something than I don’t know what does!

Get real with the worst case scenario

“But did you die?” Hangover voice. I know it sounds crazy but during the course of this project, when I felt like I literally wasn’t going to make it I looked at the worse case scenario. I’d submit my work and they wouldn’t like it. That was it. There was nothing after that. Sometimes you just have to look your fear straight in the eye, and when you do you realize, it isn’t even that scary after all.

You rest on the knowledge that YOU HAVE THE TOOLS.

If there is one thing that I’ve come to realize as a freelance creative it’s that, my creativity truly is limitless. If something is brought to me, if I envision something, if I think of something, I have the tools to make it happen. And so do you. Rest on that truth when you’re feeling afraid. Rest on the knowledge you are absolutely capable of handling this thing.

Use your power and do it afraid. ~xoxo


Every Sunday 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, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Life

Newsletters I’m Loving Right Now

Newsletters
Can I tell y’all how excited I am to have finally launched my newsletter?! I’ve only been blogging here since 2013 rolling eye emoji. But, better late than never they say. To be honest, what held me back for so long was making sure that I was offering something that was valuable to people. Even after multiple unsubscribe binge sessions, I still find some of my inboxes overflowing with meaningless newsletters full of noise, and sales, and updates, and anything but something I’m interested in reading. I didn’t want to be that, I didn’t want to add to the noise, so for a really long time, I just politely opted out of the whole newsletter thing. But, its always been at the back of my mind. And with a combination of paying attention to newsletters that I enjoy, reflecting on what it is I can actually offer in a newsletter, and a divinely timed client project, I’ve been able to discover my sweet spot.

This isn’t a plug–or maybe it is–to get you to sign up to my newsletter (even though it’s pretty lit). But, I actually wanted to share a few newsletters that I’m absolutely loving and maybe you will too. Because y’all know by now how I feel about sharing dope things I come across ;). I’m also just riding high off good newsletter vibes so why not?

JOIN THE NEWSLETTER

If You Like Curated Lists // The Ann Friedman Weekly – I think I signed up to this one after listening to an episode of Morra Aarons-Mele’s podcast. Sidebar: She’s awesome and I’ve been a fan of her work for women in the digital space for years. Anyway, if you’re like me and are simply obsessed with all forms of media, stories, what’s going on with the world, other people, and all of the good stuff the internet provides, you’ll like this. Ann Friedman‘s newsletter has a space for links she’s read, things she endorsed, things her readers endorse, a classifieds section, and what’s happening IRL. There’s even a secret space that paid subscribers have access to, which, if we’re talking about business, is pretty brilliant.

If You Like Biz Motivation // The Middle Finger Project – If you like small, daily bits of encouragement for your biz and life via the form of tough love, Ash Ambirge is the girl for you. I love that her emails are short, sweet, and to the point. Sometimes just a few sentences to gather your life real quick. And a small disclaimer, as you can tell by the name, this one is full of snark and grown folks language so if that’s not your thing, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

If You Like Personal Lifestyle // What I’m Feeling Friday by Myleik Teele – Oh you thought I was going to list something inspiring and not include my mentor-in-my-head on the list? And I thought y’all knew me. I’ve been signed up for Myleik’s Friday email since she first launched it. Besides being inspired by her work and hustle, I also follow her IG stories and love her recipes, travels, home decor, and anything she shares. Fangirl much? What I’m Feeling Friday is a more intimate look at the things she’s into and has going on in her life. And as I recently discovered in her last email, it’s a practice in consistency for her as well. I can definitely relate.

If You Like Spirituality & Holistic Wellness // Sacred Secrets Newsletter – For my earth women, moon children, and daughters of the sun you might just love this newsletter that I believe is sent with each New Moon and Full Moon. This one is really meaty and full of information on spiritual topics, healing, astrology, wellness, energy updates and more. I usually have to read it a few times to really soak everything in. But it’s really good, really deep, and one I look forward to. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how to sign up for this one, as I connected with the author on Twitter awhile back but you can check out her Medium and connect with her if you’re interested.

As far as newsletters go, each of these are so different from each other but together, they basically represent me. Writer, lover of media, brown girl boss, and spiritual soul child. Issa me. ~xoxo


Every Sunday 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, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



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Motherhood

Considering Homeschool

Considering Homeschool
I’ve been thinking about homeschool since we moved to the city. Coming from a suburban district into a financially strapped urban district has been quite the experience. I have gone through every emotion from anger, to sadness, to frustration, to disgust, to resolve, to determined and back around again. It’s mind blowing and heartbreaking and blood boiling, truly, to see the disparities between the two so up close and personal like this. And it’s super discouraging to not see a light at the end of the tunnel or a way to really set things right. From the moment I had my first encounter with the school district, my mind has wandered into the realms of homeschool.

And let me be clear, it’s not just this particular district that has me rethinking everything I’ve learned about school and education. It’s definitely been a combination of things that have pushed me towards this consideration, our current public school experience being the lightbulb that set off all the other thoughts. Coming here, I was forced to become more active in my kids schooling than ever before. Whereas in our other district, along with working full time, less flexibility, and having a different mindset and outlook on life in general, I took a much more relaxed approach. That not being an option anymore…combined with general life and soul awakenings, I’ve been able to see things through a different lens. And that lens has had me considering homeschool more and more.

What Homeschool Might Look Like for Our Family

One thing that I’ve been really intentional with is, instead of looking at it through a family lens, we focus on each child individually when it comes to the homeschool conversation. Especially with the two older boys solidly in school routines. I’ve been looking to them to see really what their needs are, their preferences, my abilities, and if homeschool would be a good option for them–my feelings on public school aside. I feel like, for our oldest son (N) who’s going into 7th grade, traditional school is best for him right now. For one, we’ve asked him and he heavily prefers traditional school. And two, his personality is such that works best with a lot of structure, routines, and explicit directions. He does really well in traditional school and we worked really hard to get him into a really good one in our city–even if it is 30 minutes away because our local middle school closed. Le sigh…

Our middle son (S) is going into the 3rd grade and I think he would do well with homeschool. For one, he’s told me he wanted to. His personality is super focused on whatever it is he’s feeling at the time and also he’s really good at just doing really good work and getting it done. He’s super independent, has crazy attention to detail, and is very vocal about his needs. He does exceptionally well in traditional school but, I do feel like with homeschool, he could really flourish. The thing is, I’m not even close to prepared to do so, there are many things I need to research to make sure I’m going about it in the right way (state laws and what not) AND I want to make sure I’m actually able to give him the support he needs for homeschool. I’ve decided to take this school year to prepare and educate myself and revisit the discussion in late winter/early spring. I’m heavily involved in his school, current President of the parent organization, and have done a great job supporting and supplementing so far. We’ll continue on that path…for now.

And Jr. Our wildcard. He’s of pre-K age and only attended a few months of a preschool program last year. He wasn’t a fan. He’s almost 5–in October–and is extremely smart. He’s also really creative, free spirited, and isn’t really a structured, routine kind of kid. This is a probably just a result of his life experience so far. At just months old he was traveling the east coast to see Daddy perform, attending hip hop classes by one year old, and performing on stages and in shows by two. He’s been surrounded by the arts and exploration his whole life so the traditional school classroom is sort of a struggle for him. And I don’t want learning to be a struggle. Especially because he’s so bright. Case in point, last year, I tried the traditional sit here for 15 minutes let’s go over these words approach to reading that they teach in you in school. It was a battle every minute. This year, after seeing how much he loved Pokemon cards (shout out to the big bros) and how he’ll carry them around with him wherever he goes, I bought flash cards to go over his sight words. SUCCESS. He’s reading 10 – 15 sight words on his own and we really just started. And yes, he takes them with him and practices wherever he goes. We’ll be doing homeschool pre-K for Jr this year.

I’m using this time while there are still no real restraints or rules, to really figure out homeschool. To find the co-ops in our area. To get familiar with the resources. To see what works and what doesn’t. To research curriculums and all of that good stuff. By next year when we have to fill out the paperwork that either enrolls him or opts them (Jr. and S) out…I’ll be ready. ~xoxo


Every Sunday 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.



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Life

What Do You Want to Be Known For?

What Do You Want to Be Known For
Every so often (read as every other day) I have these moments where I wonder what I’m supposed to be doing in life. It’s funny really, when I think about it. The way my mind loves to stay on this existential merry-go-round. Even when I feel like I have a good handle on things for the moment, there’s always another, not to far away that has me questioning everything I know. During a moment like the latter, I happened to listen to a podcast–what else is new–on creative entrepreneurship and life. The hosts proposed that instead of asking yourself what you want to do, ask yourself “What do you want to be known for?”. I liked this question way better because it’s a whole lot easier for me to answer.

I asked my son before, what he wanted to be when he grew up. He told me he wanted to be himself. His answered inspired my own.

I want to be known for me. That’s it. I’m a complex woman with many layers and many titles. I want to be known for embracing all of who I am, boldly and unapologetically.

I don’t fit neatly into any box. I can’t effortlessly sum up what I do or love in a 30 – 60 second elevator pitch. I don’t want to and I’m done with trying. If that means I’ll never make it on to a coveted list or am never recognized for being a pioneer or innovator, that’s more than fine with me. But for the people who do connect with me, the ones whose paths cross mine, the ones who read my words…I hope you see me. Know me for me and all of my many layers, interests, passions and love.

What do you want to be known for?


Each Sunday morning 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.



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Life

Thoughts On: Minimalism

Minimalism
I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism lately. It honestly all came about during a ridiculous laundry session where I realized that every, single, person in this house has way too many clothes and simultaneously never has anything to wear. That and the fact that my room, my kids room, my garage, my basement, my office corner, my mind, my everything is just so cluttered and full of meaningless stuff I wanted to scream. And then, I thought about minimalism.

What would it really take to live a minimalistic lifestyle? What does that look like for me and my family? My work? My closet? My life. I feel the need to just clear some space. To have some space to be. To declutter, to gain clarity, to get balance. And I think that this constant overflow of stuff, all day, everywhere isn’t helping get any of those things at all.

Now, I don’t want to be one of those like, extreme minimalists. But I do feel this tug at just getting rid of the extra stuff. So I can make room for the good stuff. The things that make this whole life thing love.


Every Sunday 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.



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Life

Vegan-ish

Vegan-ish

Based off of the number of texts I been receiving and questions about my food choices, it’s safe to say What the Health has a lot of people rethinking their entire food situations. I get it. I had the same kind of epiphany after watching Forks over Knives awhile back. Learning–like really learning–how food affects your body is life changing for sure. But, as far as What the Health…I have mixed feelings. And judging by my social media timelines, I seem to fall somewhere solidly in the middle of people totally here for it and people completely irked by it.

I’m not going to get into the documentary though. This isn’t a review. I’m honestly just here to share my very brief thoughts and experience and thoughts on food and diet.

So here’s the thing, and y’all know by now I don’t do the whole title thing, I’m what my hubs likes to affectionately call, a fake ass vegan. What he means–though I appreciate his knack for cutting through the bullshit and fluff–is I mostly follow a vegetarian diet, I go through vegan seasons, but above all else, I listen to my body.

And that last part is really what I hope people take from the countless documentaries popping up, the vegan food blogs, and all the noise currently floating around about the standard American diet and food choices.

If you’ve read my Choosing Natural post, you know that I decided to focus on plant based eating for health reasons. And based off of how my body has reacted since making that decision, I know that it was best for me. And anytime I get too far off course, my body has no problem reminding me that it does better without meat and dairy.

When it comes to overall health, disease, and the foods we eat, yes, there are major correlations that we should be aware of. But I’m by no means about to sit here and start screaming off stats that sound wildly off base (one egg equivalent to 5 cigarettes? Um…yea no) and promoting fear (of course KFC chicken isn’t good for anyone but organic chicken might be okay for you). Switching to a vegan-ish diet has worked for me and I definitely suggest plant based as much as possible for anyone. And if you ask me about dairy, I’m gonna tell you no, no, no, and nope. But above all else, do your research and listen to your body. Try new things and just eat better overall.


Every Sunday 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.



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Life

Currently…

Currently

Hey friends. It’s been a little bit. Last time I checked in, I was writing from the other side of 30. There were plans for a birthday post but, I think I got out everything I needed to in She. So here I am, 30 and a week, feeling pretty much the same but, I guess that’s how birthdays go. As per usual when I’m out of the loop, a Currently // Life Lately post is right on time. Just a few odds and ends of my life, currently.

What I’m Reading

I just picked up Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes again after hearing Lauren Ash of BGIO talk about it on a recent podcast. I’ve had this book forever it seems. At least a year. And for some reason, I’ve just never been able to work my way through it. I’ve started it more times than I can count and usually for me, that means I’m not into it. Lauren had me rethinking my life though so I tried to dig in, once more, this time just picking up where I left off. So, much, goodness. There’s a post coming soon on a chapter that touched me to my core.

What I’m Listening To

I recently discovered this amazingly talented, young singer from Philly named Masie Blu. I was listening to a playlist on Soundcloud when her song Sankofa came on and grabbed all of my attention. I was immediately in love with the soulful, futuristic, jazz vibes of the song and the message was so divinely timed, it blew my mind. Seriously. I spent the next few hours listening to her music and she’s dope. For real. Some of my favorites are Sankofa (obviously), Antelopes and Starseeds, and Nia.

What I’m Watching

Not What the Health, which everyone and their mama has been texting and messaging me about. I keep trying to tell people I’m not real life vegan but I guess my Instagram stories is saying otherwise. What I am obsessed with though is Queen Sugar. The way that show is able to portray the intimate and intricate dynamic of the black family is genius. I wish I was like a pop culture blogger because I surely would be writing somebody’s recap every Wednesday night. It’s really that good.

What I’m Eating

I’m learning that the key to making good vegan meal is the spices. I mean, aside from like simple veggies, salads, smoothies, and rice bowls, to make a good soulful vegan meal, it comes down to the spices. Can I tell y’all how I’ve been searching high and low for smoked paprika? It’s sold out everywhere around here, and I live in a pretty diverse neighborhood with very diverse grocery stores. I guess everyone has been down except for me. I’m experimenting with more recipes because I’m getting kind of bored. By no means, do I feel like switching back to a meat based/dairy diet but I am lowkey a foodie at heart and I want to bring back some of that in my plant based journey. I’m ordering my first vegan cookbook, Afro-Vegan, so hopefully that’ll be a good start.

Other Things I’m Loving

A random trip to CVS in the middle of night I discovered the Magnolia Journal by Chip & Joanna Gaines. Fellow Fixer Upper fans, why didn’t I know about this? I am so inspired by Joanna’s hustle. She has her hand in so many pots it’s like a dream for a person like me who has a gold notebook full of ideas and projects I want to launch. But a quarterly journal? Full of things she loves, things that inspire her, stories from other entrepreneurs and women, recipes, home decor inspo that is spot on, all in an editorial print magazine?! I live.

Hope your summer has been treating you well. ~xoxo


Every Sunday 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.



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Life

She

She

It all stems from her desire for acceptance.
Because she’s never been good at expressing what’s inside, outside. And so, she felt perpetually misunderstood.
And to be honest, what she saw in her heart didn’t look like anything around her.
Being of little strength, she turned away from it.
She transformed into something more palatable and easily digestible.
And for a moment in time it worked.
Until she lost herself in the person she was pretending to be.

She was so used to pretending.
She couldn’t tell if her dreams were her own. And that became the nightmare.
Too much make believe and not enough living.
Her prayers for clarity grew into prayers for discernment.
She’s lived lifetimes hiding in the pretenders shadow.

Her eyes are open but she’s blind to the truth.
Her mind is weak, feeble, and easily swayed from lack of foundation.
She’s discovered her third eye but hasn’t learned to see through it, distrusting her own thoughts.
Surrounded by darkness she follows the stars. Mini constellations as roadmaps. Guiding her back to herself.

For so long she’s been scared to share her truth…
When she has, the silence has reinforced her beliefs.
In turn, she silenced her voice.
And learned a lesson.
That the only thing worse than nobody understanding her…
is not understanding herself.

So she searches for her truth.
Ready to stand by its reveal.
Afraid but determined. Unashamed and unapologetic.
Anxious of how she may be received but willing to trade the worlds cold reaction for her spirit’s warm embrace.

It all comes down to love.
Acceptance.
And protection for her SELF.
Because she’s learned it’s a dangerous space to be when she simply doesn’t know how to exist as…
Me.


About a month or so ago, I started to think about my journey to 30. And not surface level things–trust me, I’ve thought enough about that–but internal, soul things. I would jot down whatever came to my mind from time to time. The result was this. I didn’t actually realize I started it, but I knew it was finished. Less than a week before my birthday. God moving in my life as usual. I’m thankful. ~xoxo

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