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Life

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

Life Motherhood

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

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

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

Life

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
Life

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

Life

Honoring My Gift

Honoring my gift
Do you want to know something weird? One of my favorite sounds is the one that my keyboard makes as I’m writing stories. There’s probably nothing that brings me greater joy and comfort than hearing those keys knowing that each word I type is just a small piece to a bigger, greater puzzle. This might seem like a small thing but, for me, it’s a true acknowledgement that I love writing and everything that comes along with it. Which is why I find it so interesting that, I don’t think if you would have ever asked me in my if my dream was to be a writer, I would have replied yes. Being a writer was never something I thought about doing. It wasn’t a thing that I thought I could achieve. It wasn’t a thing that I even knew people, personally, did. Writer was never a dream…

As a child, I could lose myself faster in a book than I could anything else. And I’ve been writing poems and short stories for as long as I can remember. It was this, probably, that led to one of the reasons I never entertained the idea of being a writer. Because the idea of writing only came to me in the form of a book. And that seemed like such a huge feat to undertake. Especially for someone who struggled with turning in a 5 page college essay on time.As I got older, my love for written word never left me. I loved writing but the world and life had distorted my view of what writing truly was. What it could truly be.

As an adult, my escape from the 9 – 5 life, the only professional life I’ve ever known, came in the form of writing. The universe is sly like that. This career or life that I’ve always been drawn to, but never gave the chance to be, was exactly what gave me the professional freedom I’ve longed for. But even then–because remember, I’m the stubborn learner–I didn’t recognize myself as a writer. Nothing about the way that I could effortlessly string together a few words to form sentences that people actually paid me for, stood out to me as extraordinary. Even though it was that very talent that was providing for my family.

Maybe it was because I wasn’t writing the stuff that made my soul come alive. I wasn’t writing the stories that were buried deep within my bones. And while the things that I was writing about are all things that are important to different people, when you get a certain kind of feedback on a certain kind of work, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that maybe that’s the only thing you’re good at. To think, maybe that’s the kind of writer I am.

I have written so many words. Countless. In journals, on this blog, on my old blog. Both published and hidden. And many still lurking in my drafts. And for all the heart and all the soul that I have poured into some of those posts, it’s an odd pill to swallow when the result after publish is silence. A vastly different world from the one where a client could ask me to put my magic on a paragraph, and in an hour’s time after the task is complete, I open my email to feedback like “PERFECTION. You just get it.” These things, for the “artist who is sensitive about her shit”…can distort the mind and has many times left me feeling like…maybe that’s not the kind of writer I am.

As I’ve settled into my life as a freelance writer & editor…(one of) my dreams has become clear. I want to be a writer. I am a writer. But I want to be the writer that I am in my heart. The one who writes the stories inside her. And as I realize this, all I can think about is the countless reasons that Elizabeth Gilbert tells us we have to chase and pursue our most deepest creative endeavors. Big Magic

I’ve learned over the past year that, this is a gift. And it’s my dream/duty/goal/Personal Legend (The Alchemist strikes again) to honor it as much as I can, as many ways as I can, for the time that I am here on this earth.

~xoxo

Life

When You Really Want Something…

The Alchemist

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. ~Paulo Coelho

I just finished reading The Alchemist and I have to say that it lived up to everything people said about it and more. The Alchemist is one of those books that everyone talks about and says all the things you want to hear about a book like: life changing, top 5 favorites, must read. So when the hubs and I ended up at Barnes & Noble a couple weeks ago and he told me to pick out whatever I wanted? You know, I pulled up my book list so quick. I have at least 20 books on it but my eyes were pulled to The Alchemist so that’s what I got. And guess what? Life changing, top 5 favorite book, a must read for sure.

This blog is not a book review though. This post is about that quote. In my last post, I talked about obliviously hearing or reading things. Taking in as much as I can with deep reflection is one way I’m hoping to combat that. But even still, as I read this phrase countless times during The Alchemist…I wasn’t exactly taking in all that it really meant.

When you really want something, all of the universe will conspire to make it happen.

Can we have a truth moment here? Between friends? I’m a stubborn learner. I’m the kind of girl that struggles with receiving the message without the mess. I don’t love this about myself but transparency…for you and for me.

There’s something I want in my personal life. Something that I know that I can absolutely achieve. I’ve talked about it, I’ve written out plans for it (write the vision), I’ve dreamt about it. But, if we’re being real–amongst friends here remember–it’s resided just outside of my reach because of my own actions or inaction at times. Now, I want to be real here because I do believe there’s truth to the idea that if you really want something, you’ll work for it. Or the similar notion that your actions speak louder than your words (I’m a REAL life advocate of that one). But, and this is a big but, sometimes you really can want something and for whatever reason (fear, anxiety, lack of discipline, I could go on) be paralyzed in your life to do what it takes to go after it.

That’s where I was and that’s where the universe came in and conspired to make things happen…and it wasn’t all unicorns and rainbows.

There’s an old saying that goes “be careful what you wish for” and it’s been adapted a million times a million different ways. The main gist of it is really is, to understand that what you’re asking for, you will receive and it might not look pretty to get there. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. I don’t want take that thought and be all paranoid about my requests. But it’s a truth. That sometimes there’s a mess to get the message. And sometimes the universe’s conspiracy might be a little rough.

Just some food for thought for those of you in the thick of it. Those having the moments like me. Half crying, half talking through the mess to understand that it’s all part of the plan.

Oh and look at message found in my cup of tea today! After I wrote this and just as I was editing and getting ready to post. Confirmation. I see what you did there God.

He who wants a rose must respect the thorn. ~ Persian Proverb

PS: Get The Alchemist ~xoxo

Life

Spiritual Sunday: Finding God

Spiritual Sunday: A freely written essay series on lessons along my spiritual journey. Ramblings, personal discoveries, and hopefully a cohesive message delivered in love. 

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. ~ John 4:4

Growing up in church, I’d always hear that God is everywhere. Only now that I’m consciously walking in my spiritual journey, am I realizing how oblivious to this majestic truth that I’ve been. Before, I “knew” that God was everywhere but I didn’t know. You feel me? But now, I know know. A true awakening indeed.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16

In you…

There’s something remarkable about reading scripture through my current lens. As if I’m reading them with new eyes, in new light. I’ve recited each of these scriptures more times in my life than I can count. But only now…is the depth and a fresh understanding of this word truly means is being shown to me.

In you…God…is in you.

I sit here and let those words cover me. Wash over me. Fill me. My body has a physical reaction to the word. I can feel myself becoming whole as I meditate on this truth: God is in me.

Peace ~xoxo

Life

Self Work

Self Work

Self work is a phrase that has been steadily on my mind for awhile now. It’s so fitting. In this time and space where I am learning and discovering, working on myself has become something I must pursue with great intensity. I talked about this before but, everything around me, inside of me, is changing. And that’s to be expected you know? The only thing constant in this life is God’s love…and change. The thing is though, great change is hard. And it’s even harder when you’re not equipped to handle it. When you’re not balanced. That’s where self work comes in. And that’s where I’m at. At the point where it’s essential for my well being–is it too dramatic to say for my survival?–to work on myself. But what does that mean? Oh, so much. But let me see if I can break it down.

Spiritual Work: Above all else, nurturing my spirit is one of, if not the most, important parts of myself. When you think about it, and yes this is going to be a bit woo woo, the soul/spirit is all you really have. This body, this life, this time is temporary. But your soul and the spirit is everlasting. Eternal. So if you need to work on yourself, it only makes sense to start there. I am a follower of Christ. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light for me. But, I have beliefs that might not align so perfectly with your “traditional” Christian ideals. For a long time, I suppressed those. But I’m beginning to learn that I was not made to sit in these limiting beliefs when there are such strong feelings planted deep inside of me. I’m limiting and blocking myself from being spiritually whole. I’m not sure what my feelings mean. The only thing I know for sure is that I am God’s Child and Jesus is my Savior. The spiritual work is figuring out the rest. That starts with with study and learning. Putting in the spiritual work.

Mind Work: You know that saying “what you think, you become”? Perspective is everything. Literally, everything. No matter the situation, your perspective can completely change your experience. But mastering positive perspectives is hard. Especially for an anxiety driven, emotional, intuitive, and (overly) dramatic person like myself. Becoming a master of my thoughts is the fight of a lifetime for me. But, I’m beginning to understand it is part of my assignment. Anxiety, and it’s overwhelming effects it can have on the mind, is something I have struggled with my entire life. But mind work goes beyond just that. It’s about perspective on everything. Letting go of things you thought, letting go, letting life flow, and having the outlook that it’s all right/alright. That’s mental strength. And probably something that gets easier when you’re spiritually healthy.

Body Work: And finally, the temple. This is what brings the self work full circle. Mind, body, soul…or in my case soul, mind, body. I’ve written at length my recent struggles with my body. For the past 29 years, I have barely exercised and rested comfortably in my petite frame without giving health, fitness, or nutrition a second thought. Well…when you know better, you do better. Nourishing my temple is such an important part of my self work. My spiritual and mind can be perfectly aligned but without my temple, I’m again, limiting myself on this earth. Changing the foods I eat, being more intentional with what I put in and on my body, and working on my physical strength is the foundation to treating my body like the temple it is. One of daily affirmations speaks directly to this: My body is a temple and I take care to treat it with love by what I put on, in, and surround it with.

So here’s to self work. To focusing on nourishing yourself, in the areas that you need, in the ways that you need. If you’re doing some self work and want to connect let me know. Let us journey together. Peace. ~xo

Life

On Choosing Natural

Choosing Natural

I realized I’ve never actually shared why I’ve decided after almost 30 years that I wanted to change my lifestyle. I’m sure it had to come across strange, this makeup obsessed blogger goes on hiatus and comes back all zen, clean eating, and holistic wellness. Yes I’m all incense and herbal tea now y’all. I’d be wondering what’s up too. Honestly, natural based living is something I’ve been wanting to pursue for a while, but could never master the discipline to really do it seriously. And then, divine intervention and God’s cosmic line up of the universe put me in a position where…well…I didn’t really have a choice. Hashtag blessed. I’ll try to make this timeline as simple as possible but…y’all already know that sometimes my words have a mind of their own. TLDR; at the end if it gets too deep peeps.

Continue Reading

Life

31 Empowering Self Affirmations

I don’t want to sound redundant but I have to be real with y’all when I say that 29 has really been a transformative year for me. Or at least, it is the start of a transformation into the woman I hope to become. So more like, a year of discovery. Or at least, the very beginnings of discovery. You get the point. I feel like I’ll be reiterating that in more posts than not but I can’t help it. It’s where I’m at in my life and you gonna get a piece of this glow up okay?

So, at the beginning of 2017 I had just finished reading Big Magic–a must read for any creative, struggling creative, aspiring creative, whoever you are, just read it–and was feeling all sorts of creative magic flowing through me. I decided, since I’d already been feeling like 29 was bringing me so many discoveries, that I wanted to really flex my creative muscles. Right around this time I had also decided that 2017 would be the year of consistency so you can imagine the wild ideas that were flying around my head. When they finally settled, I had come up with the idea that every month this year, I would dedicate myself to doing one creative thing every day. No strings attached. No fear, no thoughts. Just open creativity and consistency. Hand in hand. Making magic happen.

I chose a theme for each month of the year–I’ll share as we go along–and January’s was to write daily empowering self affirmations. So in January, every day, sometimes in the morning when I first woke up, sometimes at random moments in the day, and others right before I closed my eyes, I wrote an affirmation. Every day that I wrote one, I felt like it was trash. Don’t be concerned, that’s my normal writing process. It goes literally something like: YAY project! –> Sheesh this is hard –> Trash –> Trash  –> I suck –> Oh. Ok. –> I kinda like this –> I’m decent!!! Ayeee. So yea, I felt like it was trash until I looked back at my month and had 31 dope ass self affirmations (if I do say so myself). One time for the year of creativity!

Sharing because where’s the love in keeping all that to myself? Y’all mind if I wild out? Sorry, couldn’t help it.

31 Empowering Self Affirmations

self affirmations
~ I am obedient, disciplined, and always in the presence of God.

~ I trust the process of my life and have faith that my steps are divinely guided.

~ I know that my words have power so I ONLY speak life and positivity.

~ I know that everyday is a fresh start. I am not defined by yesterday’s events or actions.

~ I am a master of my own body and know that consistency is achieved through discipline.

~ I approach each and every moment with wild ambition.

self affirmations
~ My perspective is my choice so I choose to look at all things with love and light.

~ My creativity is limitless.

~ I am aware of what it is that I want and always act with intention.

~ I know that the key to reaching my goals is not about the bigger picture only about the NEXT STEP.

~ My body is a temple and I take care to treat it with love by what I put on, in, and surround it with.

~ I love woman I am, the one I was, and the one I will become.

self affirmations

~ I can reinvent myself as often as I need to. The only definition of me that matters is my own.

~ The answers to everything I need to know about myself already lie within ME.

~ I know that I control the narrative of my thoughts and choose positive perspectives over everything.

~ I know that love takes work and pledge myself to be a servant to it everyday of my life.

~ I know that my words are not only powerful but truthful and I stand behind all that it is I speak.

~ I know that grand visions require grand plans and action and I will show up and deliver.

Self Affirmations
~ I believe in the stillness of the journey. Urgency is not welcome here.

~ I know that I was made of and for love. It is all I share into the world.

~ My life has no bounds. Any divine vision placed in my mind or in my heart I can manifest.

~ I am not worried or fearful of anything. I am covered by His mercy and led by His grace.

~ I know that a harvest is just beyond the struggle. I will never give up.

31 Empowering Self Affirmations
Life

New Things in Old Places

New Things
Hey Queens. I’m still getting my groove back when it comes to blogging again, but I wanted to share more about what you can expect and the direction this space will take. I hope you’ll all continue to follow along, but if not, no love lost. Promise. If there is one this to be said for this oversaturated, hyper connected, sea of content that we call the internet it’s that you MUST practice the art of taking what you need and leaving the rest. It’s life changing. So what can you expect here on This Brown Queen?

Natural Beauty | Soulful Living | Conscious Motherhood | Health + Wellness

Natural Beauty: If you’ve been around here the past couple of years, you know this blog originally started as a beauty blog. I had some lifestyle stuff sprinkled in but for the most part I was writing about beauty for brown girls. Beauty is still very much a passion for me–so much so that I have my own makeup and skin care line for brown girls–but my love for it has changed a bit. I’ll continue to share beauty posts but it will be much more natural focused. And as for natural hair, while I’m no longer a loose natural, I’m so in love my loc journey so I’ll be sharing as I go. Speaking of which, I’m co-hosting a green beauty + natural hair Twitter chat on March 1st at 7est. #cluelessbeauty Join us!

Soulful Living: The biggest change is that this blog will be much more lifestyle focused than it’s been in the past. When I fake started that other blog {insert side eye}, it was because I felt the need for a lifestyle blog but didn’t want to disrupt this space. But, lifestyle is really what I love writing about. But why soulful living? Well, I’m working on exactly what soulful living means to me in my home, work, spirituality and daily life so you’ll see many of my lifestyle posts focused on that part of my journey.

Conscious Motherhood: My parenting style is evolving as I do. Do you realize how difficult it is to parent when you’re still trying to discover yourself? If anyone can relate, please, let me know so we can talk about it. Our journey of conscious parenting is a long–and difficult–one. I want to share as I’m learning, what’s working, what’s not, and all the wonderful discoveries along the way. That can include everything from homeschool discoveries to how we celebrated Kwanzaa this year.

Health + Wellness: The last piece of the puzzle–which probably should be the first–is taking care of myself. With 30 so close I can feel it (literally, everything hurts) my health and wellness is a major priority. This is new to me. Healthy eating, exercising, whet? But I have to make some changes. I’ve recently switched to a dairy-free diet–crying real tears on that one–and have been experimenting with more whole foods and organic options. So yes, you’ll be getting my chia oatmeal and blueberry muffin recipes here as well :).

So here’s to new beginnings in old spaces. ~xoxo

I trust my creative process and embrace its depth and dimensions.

Life

Love Thyself + Trust the Process

Tyshia Shante
I have to say my 29th year of life has been the most transformative thus far. I mean, aside from the arbitrary ideas that come along with 30 steadily approaching–feelings of where I should be, what my bank account should look like, what LIFE should look like–there’s been something much bigger going on. Something deeper. Subconscious even. I didn’t expect to go through so many changes this year. It’s like everything I had come to know, everything I thought I wanted to be, shit…everything I thought I was…was challenged. But in a good way. A way that I needed to be challenged. A way that I needed to experience so I could begin to peel back the layers of this persona and get to know the real me.

At a few months shy of my 30th birthday, I’ll be honest to say that I didn’t really know who I was for a long time. Still don’t if we being real here. Oh, but I’m learning. I know it’s trendy, cliche even, to use the term “woke”. Everybody’s woke these days. But, lowkey, it’s fitting. The past decade, chile yes I said a whole decade, I’ve kind of just reactively gone with the flow. I’ve never been a really questionable, skeptical kinda girl (aside from the times my intuition has blatantly told me “girl this ain’t right”). I was primarily raised in a family of the same. I had some really tough experiences in my early twenties but still, nothing too eye opening. Nothing too life changing. It wasn’t until my mid/late twenties when I started to embrace the complexities, the quirkiness, the afrocentricity, and the spirituality within me that I had always, subconsciously, suppressed.

I don’t know exactly what caused it. I’m sure it was a number of things. Meeting my husband introduced me to a world of art and culture I never knew existed. He helped me unlock the creativity that I had hidden inside, pushed to the back of my consciousness. Blogging and social media introduced to communities of women who were like me and different from me in ways I couldn’t have imagined. There were a few other things that I’m sure contributed–making my own career path, transitioning to natural hair, growing in marriage, and motherhood. Regardless of how it started, this period of awakening over the past couple years brought me to the interesting space I am now.

And I’m just scratching the surface. I’m just now figuring out what it is I want–in this moment. I added that last bit because I’m aware that life is fluid, it’s a journey, and things will change. But, I’m learning what it is I want, who I am, what’s important to me, what I like, what I believe, what I want to teach my children. I’m learning. Everyday.

I’m envisioning the woman that I would love to become but I’m not her yet. And that’s OKAY. I’m a work in progress, but that doesn’t take away from the Queen that I am right now. 

~xoxo

I love that woman that I am, the one I was, and the one I will become.

Life

Let’s Talk about It

Let's Talk about ItPeeks in…is this thing on? Hey hey Queens. So…shall we address the elephant in the room? Where have I been??? It’s a long story and I’ve been procrastinating for awhile but I’m ready. Grab your wine or some coffee and let’s talk about it.

January 2016 – Around the last time you heard from me

Whew. It was A LOT going on. I quit my job. After blogging here for three years, I was able to build a somewhat stable freelance writing career writing for a few beauty magazines and websites. logistics-wise things were changing drastically at work. Not to mention, I had been having a hard time juggling a full time job, three kids, an increasing workload, and general life responsibilities. I was always stressed. Always rushed. Always upset. My body was giving me hard signals that I needed to change things and soon. So, I did. And full transparency: there was no financial safety net and no star studded roster of clients. There was only God, faith, and ambition.

I landed a pretty big freelance contract days after my last day of work. Let me tell you how writing the vision and doing the work can work out for you–insert praise hands emoji. I had set some financial and business goals at the beginning of the month and I wrote the amount I needed to make each month from freelance work to reach it. That contract was the amount. To the dollar.

February 2016 – That time I fake started a new blog

In hindsight, I should have known better. I had just made one huge change in my life, that should have been enough for the moment. But, with all my energy now focused on freelance beauty writing, I felt I didn’t have anything left to say–here. I wanted to switch gears and make this a lifestyle space but…I didn’t follow my gut. Which I should have. So instead I started a whole new blog. One focused on lifestyle and motherhood. I had monetized this blog a bit, but three years into the game I knew so much more and I had big dreams for the new blog. Spoiler alert…it didn’t work out that way.

Summer 2016 – New year, new things

Time flies so yup. Between starting the new blog, freelancing, enjoying my newfound work at home life around spending my days with a toddler in tow…I blinked and it was my birthday. I was still blogging over at the new spot but I didn’t have nearly as much time as I thought I was going to have to get it off the ground. Let me tell you…I thought I had struggles with balance before? It was nothing compared to life now. The difference though? The struggle was worth it. Or as Elizabeth Gilbert so eloquently put it in Big Magic, I was more than willing to eat the shit sandwich that came along with freelance freedom.

I celebrated my birthday at a mountain resort in Seven Springs–I blogged about it–learning more about how to get involved in the school community in my city. I also started to set my sights on something new-ish. A beauty brand had been on mind every since my very first post. It was a natural extension of the work that I do–helping women of color in the beauty space. I had been tinkering with this brand, testing, trying, mixing for a couple years along with my business partner. With my “extra”–ha!–time I had been thinking about really getting it off the ground. So we set a timeline and got to it.

Fall 2016 – #notricksjusttreats

Belle Marron, an all natural makeup and skin care brand for women of color soft launched on Halloween #notricksjusttreats. We launched with the Belle Box, a taste of our full product line, and started shipping orders on Black Friday. My other blog had like ZERO views even though I had been pouring my heart into those blog posts. My freelance career was stable. And every where I turned, every networking event I went to, I heard the same thing “what’s up with This Brown Queen”? I missed this blog. It fit me. It was me. This blog changed my life and nothing I did over at my new site made sense the way This Brown Queen did. I decided I would be coming back…just wasn’t sure when/how.

Winter 2016 – Back like I never left…right?

Looking back…2016 was obviously the year of CHANGE. I started the year calling it the year of intention and maybe to an extent, it was. But more obviously, it was a year of change. Winter 2016, I started a loc journey. After about two years natural, I was over it and decided to loc my hair. Winter 2016 I officially shut down my old blog and transferred all my heartfelt posts to This Brown Queen.

And now we’re here. If you’re still here reading, thanks sis. I needed to get alladat out. If not, cliff notes version: I quit my job, started a new blog–that’s over, it’s cancelled–launched an all natural beauty brand and now I’m back.

Later days~ xoxo

I can reinvent myself as often as I need to. The only definition of me that matters is my own.