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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

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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 me 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.


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 ;).



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The Year of Consistency

The Year of Consistency

As 2016 was coming to end, I started to think about what my focus word for the new year would be. I’ve been practicing using a focus word since 2015 when I decided my word would be action. By the end of that year I had put myself in the position to quit my job and freelance full time. Action indeed. Last year it was intention but if we’re being honest…the verdict is still out on how that worked out.

During the last few months of 2016 though, I kept thinking about growth. The word kept coming to me as I thought about what all I wanted to accomplish this year. The year of 30 has to be one of tremendous growth right? So just a few days before the clock struck midnight on the 31st, I was all set  to move forward with my year of growth. There was just one thing…in order to grow, one must CONSISTENTLY make an effort in whatever area of their life they are hoping to experience growth.

About that…

I struggle with consistency. Over the past few years I’ve had multiple blogs, in which I’ve struggle posting consistently. I’ve had a YouTube channel, in which I’ve struggled with consistently uploading videos. I’ve started many a budget program and have struggled with consistently updating it. I have started many challenges be it prayer, reading, writing, and have consistently failed in keeping up with it. I have set daily schedules, and business schedules, and household cleaning schedules and have consistently struggled to stick to them. I’ve launched a business and have struggled with consistently building my brand.

Growth? Yea, getting a bit ahead of myself there.

Instead, I’ve decided to commit to a year of consistency. Because I’m certain that if I’m going to improve anything in my life, it’s going to start with that.

So here’s to 2017. A year of consistency. And hopefully, if all goes well, the set up to a year of growth.


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 ;).



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Forward, Always

Forward, Always

Who else is dreaming of binge watching Netflix with a glass of wine and ice cream for the next 4 years weekend? Yea, me too. Hey, I didn’t say I was going to do it but transparency is key here people. Truth. Now that I’m halfway out of my pit of sorrows, I’m ready to starting thinking about what’s ahead. Yesterday, I wrote a reminder that we must seek the kingdom of God above all else. For me, that starts with what He’s put on my heart and in my mind so far. Remember, I don’t have the answers. Not by a long shot, but I do have some thoughts and opinions on what I can do so I’m sharing them here.

+ Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. ~ 1 Peter 4:10. I’ve made it a point since I started freelancing full time to volunteer in my community. For me right now that looks like serving at my son’s school, one that’s part of an urban school district. Aside from serving as the VP of the SAC (basically a PTO), I write the school’s monthly newsletter and I’ve also volunteered to organize a newspaper club for students to give them a space to tell their stories. I plan to dedicate my time and gifts even more to my community and those around me. Faithful stewardship.

+ But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. ~ Luke 6:35. Now I did not say this was going to be easy. In fact, as a Christian I know that my path is one that will include hardship. But, if this election has shown us anything it’s that there is a lot of hate in this country we call home. I won’t add to that. A friend of mine posted on Facebook that she has studied God’s love for years and overnight almost lost everything she had come to learn. That can’t be us as children of God. That can’t be me. I’ll practice love. I’ll teach my children love. And let it be said…love can be from a distance friends. Self-care is a beautiful thing. 

+ Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. ~ Proverbs 22.6. To be clear, the votes showed than young people voted differently than the outcome we received. There’s hope for our future. There’s hope for us, as millenials, and for the generation that we are raising. I read an article about the election reactions from students in our school district and let me tell you…the babies are watching. And even though what they see is far less than the example we want, they are practicing empathy and compassion. Let us be mindful of this. No matter our feeling, let’s not raise up our children to be angry or to repeat the ideals of those before them. Let’s show them the acts and grace and love. Let’s raise a better generation than the one we see before us today.

Let’s move forward. In hope and love. We’re going to need it friends. ~ 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 ;).



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So…What Now?

So What Now?

Peeks out from under the covers Okay okay okay. I know I was supposed to post yesterday. But y’all, for the sake of my sanity I had to take a mental health day. It took everything in me to pull together some creativity for a few deadlines I had to meet and even those were kind of iffy. I was sleep all day. Not like the trendy term “sleep” as in opposite of “woke”–stay woke y’all–but physically sleep. I was up until 1:30am or so Tuesday. Staring at my computer screen in a state somewhere between disbelief and pain. Notice I didn’t say surprise. Because if there is one thing I knew before going into this election is that there’s a lot of “talk” that goes on behind closed doors. Seeing those conversations play out on a national stage via the 2016 election was painful, but not shocking. I mean…just because you know the girl down the street talks about you doesn’t make it feel any better when she says it to your face.

As I watched state after state go to our now President-Elect though, I was speechless. Again it’s one thing to know the girl down the street talks about you but to find out everybody on your street does too? I mean sheesh. Tell me how you really feel. So yea…I needed a moment. Self-care is a beautiful thing.

In the words of my son “welp…today is a new day.” It’s time to move forward. Today the real work begins. What are we going to do in the next 4 years? In our communities, in our homes, in our hearts.

If you came here for the answers sway, sorry to disappoint you because answers I do not have. But, here’s what I do have.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. ~ Matthew 6:33

It’s so important now more than ever, to be seeking God constantly. All day. Everyday. To guide our steps, our words, and our actions. To give us comfort, hope, and peace. And please don’t take that comment as dismissive. It’s okay to feel pain, it’s okay to hurt, it’s okay to cry.

Love & Blessings ~ xoxo

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The Superwoman Complex

Superwoman

What day are we on? Oh yea, day 8. Yesterday’s post was full of bright spirits and happiness. I’d like to warn you that there’s none of that here. It got all used up yesterday. Sorry, not sorry. Today….today I write from a very different place. And no, it has nothing to do with the election. That’s a whole other post that’s not going to get written because quite frankly, I don’t know how I feel and shit…I’m just too exhausted to figure it out right now. Le sigh, I’m rambling so let me go ahead and get to it.

For those of you unfamiliar, let me just drop the wikipedia definition of superwoman on you real quick:

In sociology, a superwoman is a Western woman who works hard to manage multiple roles of a worker, a homemaker, a volunteer, a student, or other such time-intensive occupations.

Oh. Multiple roles you say? A worker? Check. Homemaker? Ch-depends on who you ask. Volunteer? Yup. Student? Not anymore but can I replace that one with mother and wife? Okay cool. Check. Or other such time-intensive occupations? Can we just file that under life? Managing these many roles is basically mission impossible. Wherever one area flourishes another lacks. Work has been flowing, clients are happy. Oh, I missed a WHOLE month of writing my son’s monthly school newsletter. I’ve been cooking multiple times a week, healthier wholesome meals. Oh, laundry has taken over my basement. Finally signed the boy up for basketball, got the oldest in a talent show, and the baby in an art program! Oh, hey babe…love you…mean it. Get the picture?

Contrary to what you see in the comics, being a superwoman is straight up unfeasible, impractical, and impossible. But trying to be one? Well, that shit just sucks. I would go into to the pressures that come with being a black woman intensifies this by a million, but we don’t have the time. Yet, even though I know this to be true, whenever I fail at being this mythological creature, I feel bad.

What is that? Who feels bad about not being able to achieve something that is actually impossible? Me. As hard as I try to block out the noise of the world, the judgments, the “you don’t my life so why are you concerned about it” people…whenever I fail at being superwoman those are the very first things I think about. That’s the superwoman complex. I’m trying desperately to rid myself of it. I’ve written about it before. I’ve given up on trying to achieve this imaginary notion of balance. I’ve stopped comparing myself to the perfectly crisp, clean Instagram homes, moms, and babies…and most days it works.

But some days, like today, the superwoman complex takes over. It sucks.

Hanging in there. Until tomorrow ~ xoxo

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Giving Myself Permission

Giving Myself Permission

I bought Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic a couple months ago. Remember that “In Between” space I was in? Yea, I picked it up then. From what I’d heard about it so far, I felt that in the midst of me trying to find my footing with blogging, writing, and running a business, maybe it could shed some light on things. I didn’t read it for months. Busy trying to figure things out on my own ya know? When I picked it back up at the beginning of this month–inspired by my new creative goal I suppose–my eyes were opened. Big Magic is exactly what I needed to read at exactly the moment I needed to read it. Divine timing.

There’s so much magic in that book. I mean, literal gems of insight and wonder. I would be sad I hadn’t read it sooner if I didn’t understand that I may not been as receptive before. I could do a whole book review, breaking it down bit by bit but that’s not what I came for today. Today, I wanted to talk about Permission.

In Big Magic, Liz writes about giving yourself permission to be creative. To do thing, write the thing, make the thing. She goes beyond that too. It’s not just about the permission to be creative, but it’s permission for your creativity to just be. It doesn’t have to be original, or done to help someone. You can do the thing for yourself, to save yourself, entertain yourself, help yourself. Y’all, it doesn’t even have to be important. It just has to be authentic.

When I decided, a mere 12 hours after launching my business pre-sale that I wanted to do a blogging challenge for the month of November there was this small voice in the back of my mind that was like “for why girl?” For what? I had no real answer. I mean who does that? Really. Who launches a new project and then turns around and does a personal blogging challenge? Me. Because I realized a long time ago that writing is how I learn about myself and blogging happens to be my preferred outlet to do that. But even with that realization the voice still questioned “what’s the point?”….

Big Magic is helping me understand that I don’t need a point. I don’t need an answer to that small voice’s question. I’m challenging myself to blog everyday simply because I want to.  And that’s that.

This reminded me of an affirmation from one of Tracy G’s audio vision boards: “I am not stalling my life for someone to grant me closure. I write my own damn permission slips.” ~ Middle Finger to My Old Life x Tracy G

Later days ~ xoxo

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Life

Day 5: Pushing Through

White Pumpkins

Disclaimer: This post has nothing to do with white pumpkins. I had every intention of sharing a recipe post today. Cheesesteak sliders. They might be the only Facebook recipe I’ve gotten right. Unfortunately every single person I know is sick, getting over being sick, or starting to get sick and well, here I am. Right in the middle of it. The good news, I can work from my bed because things still need to get done. The bad news…my sinuses won’t let me think. What’s a girl to do? The recipe will be up soon…I mean I already bought the things so I have to make it. Not today though. Today, I lay in bed sipping Echineacea tea (Traditional Medicinals come through!!), with a bowl of chunky chicken noodle soup (Campbell’s no shame in my game), pretending to write but really watching Netflix. There’s always tomorrow right? Until then, enjoy this random photo from last year’s visit to Linvilla Orchards. White pumpkins because why not? Later days…(that means tomorrow because NaBloPoMo).

~xoxo

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A Goal without a Plan is Just a Dream…

A Goal without a Plan

Every year around this time–and again around the end of the school year–I start to think about new planners. I am a planner, sometimes to a fault. Seriously. Even my plans got plans. It’s just part of who I am. When I don’t have a clear plan for my day, week, month I feel off balance. And nobody has time for that. But, if I can be real…even with all this planning, I have yet to find a system that works for me consistently. I’ll use a time blocked planner for a few weeks and then start to feel too restricted. The next few weeks I’ll bullet journal and then feel like I can’t really see what I have going on ahead. I’ve tried big planners, little ones. Separate planners for my business and personal life, and one big planner to keep them altogether. It’s always the same thing. Something works for a few weeks and then…it doesn’t.

That doesn’t stop me from searching though.

Recently I’ve been using this combined three planner system. I know it sounds crazy but hear me out. My Google calendar is a must. If it’s not on my Google calendar, it’s not real, I won’t remember it, it’s just not happening. I use a little notebook–it’s gold and my fave–to write a long list of things I have to do each week. Just get it all out my head and onto paper so I don’t have to think about it. And then I have a weekly planner so I can plan out what needs to get done when. Yea…it’s a lot. But this is a no judgment zone here okay?

With it being November and everything though, I’m on my bi-annual hunt for a planner that gets me. I’m looking at two in particular plus an extra, because why not?

Get to Work Book – This is a daily planner and goal setting workbook that I’ve had my eye on since it first launched a couple years back. I listen to the creator of this planner’s podcast and it’s been really helpful to me on my journey as a multipassionate creative entrepreneur. That plus the fact that this planner seems to cover everything you need when you’re working on something big, makes me feel like it might be the one. Or really close to it ;). It’s pretty pricey though, so it would be a splurge for sure…

The Passion Planner – The instagram posts alone are enough to make me want to get this. Seriously, #passionplanner is like all of the goals. This planner was born from the creator’s analysis paralysis, so basically I feel like she knows my life. Remember I’m the girl whose plans have plans…I get it. The passion planner has so many aspects I like, the passion roadmap, monthly goals and reflection pages, the free space on the weekly layout. The only thing that makes me nervous are the time blocks. I don’t work well with planned time blocks. As much as I want to…I don’t. Decisions.

Hustle Goal Setting Journal – This one is a more of a journal and it’s by my favorite “mentor in my head”, Myleik. She has an interesting way of planning days that she broke down in her first journal Learn More to Earn More. Truth is, I’m getting this anyway, even if it doesn’t work as a daily planner for me. I’ve been using these as a business journal for the past two years and I like having a place to track all my wild ideas, wins, setbacks, new goals etc. I do want to make business journaling a more regular practice now that I have so many different things going on. Have to make sure I’m acting with intention and journaling is one of the ways I reconnect.

Full transparency…I’m leaning towards one more than the other but I still have a couple weeks to go.

Until tomorrow ~ xoxo

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Life

Freedom: A Day at Smith Memorial Playground

Freedom

Lately I’ve been really into podcasts, blogs, newsletters or whatever other kind of content I can get my hands on about how to figure out what it is you want do. Shocking, I know. Creative struggles. But, I’ve been coming at it from more of a peaceful position these days, one that is not focused so much on the answer, but moreso the journey. The nuts and bolts of it all. One of the things I’m starting to understand is that, I really just want freedom. Honestly, at the core it’s freedom. There are of course levels to it: finances, time, location etc. but it all comes down that. Knowing this to be absolutely true, has helped me approach my work differently. I know you’re wondering what in the world that has to do with Smith Memorial Playground…right, I’m getting to that.

Last week my boys celebrated their birthday (yes they have the same one). I spent the night before picking out the perfect cupcakes for Sdot’s class–he was being super picky per usual. But, since he was going to be in school for the day, I wanted to do something fun with Man Man. I decided to take the afternoon and spend the day with him (and hubs) at Smith Memorial Playground. We had a perfect day and it really reminded me that, I’m already doing what it is I want to do. The freedom to take afternoons off and make memories with my boys. That’s it at the heart of it. Freedom.

So we spent the afternoon chasing, crafting, playing, building, swinging. It was everything. I also spent the night writing but it was well worth the trade. If you’re not familiar, Smith Memorial Playground & Playhouse is a playspace in Philadelphia that is dedicated to providing children with unstructured free play. The Playhouse is tailored mostly towards toddlers and preschoolers but older kids can definitely enjoy the playground. It was a bit chilly…October of course…so we spent most of the time indoors. I’m basically obsessed with this place now and we’ll definitely be visiting much more. Along with other places in Philly. You would think for a philly mom blogger who sometimes writes listicles of things to do in this wonderful city, I would…do more things here. I don’t. It’s weird. But, I’ll be exercising that freedom that I talked about earlier to get to know my city better. Until then, here’s a few photos from our day at Smith Memorial Playground. If you’re in Philadelphia or coming to visit, this is a must stop. Happy November.

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Life

Hello September

Hello September

And just like that, summer is unofficially over. We just finished up the last of the boys back to school shopping and will be enjoying one last weekend before school starts. Still wrapping my head around the fact our oldest is heading to 6th grade…and not quite ready for him to be growing up so fast. And as much as I’m a fan of our family spacing, as we go into this year with two different schools and the realization that at some point there will be three kids in three different schools? I’m questioning my sanity a bit. Carpools and soccer mom things aside though, I’m excited for a new school year to begin and can’t wait to see what it has in store for us :).

This month, I’ll be trying to find my groove again with freelancing and preschool-homeschooling man man. Last year was an adventure for real and just as I started to get the hang of things, summer was here. Full disclosure, I never got the hang of things in summer and am just thankful I made it through okay. But with the older ones back in school I’m wondering how it’s all going to go.

As per usual, I have all the things I want to do this month and beyond, but I thought I’d start to share them here. Accountability? Maybe. I hope so.

September Goals

  1. Finish Na’s bedroom. The summer project that we hoped to have completed by the beginning of the school year but…it didn’t quite work out that way. Although we’ve been in our home an entire year (seriously, where does the time go) the older boys were sharing a room. But, it’s middle school and the boy needs his space ya know? So we started to get to work on the empty bedroom. Status? The wallpaper has been peeled off and the pink paint has been replaced with blue. Progress.
  2. Launch natural beauty website. My labor of love. Staring a product based business is the longest process I have ever encountered in my life. At every step there has been surprise after surprise. From handcrafting the products to perfection, to packaging decisions and hiccups, to figuring out how to pay for it all. Sheesh. But, we are finally so close it’s insane. So close that I actually have our premiere products on my vanity next to my other beauty products, and use them on a daily basis. It’s real.
  3. Pitch more. So because I know that goal setting is not the place to make such broad statements, let me be a little more specific and say I want to pitch to four publications/brands/companies that truly align with the work that makes my heart happy. This summer I landed two clients in this space and whenever I sit down to work on their projects, I literally feel like I am doing the dream work. While I still have to take on work that maybe doesn’t align with my passions (still gotta pay the bills) I want to move toward my current mantra: More of what I love, less of the rest.
  4. Stick to a morning routine. I am not a morning person. These are just the facts. I cringe thinking about anything earlier than a 7am alarm and even that is far too early. Because of this, my mornings for as long as I can remember have been a mess. With my goals still remaining as big as ever and my time still limited, I really need to be more intentional with how I utilize the moments where I’m not chasing after preschoolers, doing homework, or serving as a personal chauffer. As much as I’ve tried to ignore it, the fact is, my mornings are important and having a real routine that I stick is no longer a half hearted desire, it’s a necessity. I know this will take some trial and error before I find what really works for me, but I’m testing one out this week and hopefully by the end of the month I’m a morning routine pro ;).

So here’s to a productive month and prayers for a healthy and successful school year. With love and blessings. ~ xoxo

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Life

Breaking Down to Build Up + the Year of the Glow Up

Tyshia Shante

You might not know this but, I declared the 29th year of my life to officially be my year of the glow up. According to urban dictionary, the “glow up” is officially defined as:

To go from the bottom to the top to the point of disbelief. An incredible transformation.

Now, I know a lot of people use the term when talking about physical appearance but, that ain’t what I’m talking about. This melanin is poppin and my fro is growing so trust me, I’m good. I’m talking about a life transformation. A started from the bottom now we here kind of transformation.

Let me explain…

On my 29th birthday (July 20th) I was in a good place. I brought in the day at a mountain resort in Seven Springs surrounded by love, the Mr., and my boys. Sure I was technically at a conference but I was traveling, doing work I’m passionate about, having a great time, and my family was with me. Life is good. Underneath all of that though, there was a lot going on. Personal things, financial things, career things, emotional things. A lot of the things were kind all over the place, to me. I add that because I’m learning that perspective is everything and even on what I think is my worst day, my life is still amazing. That’s real. But, as I mentioned before, having gratitude and being content doesn’t mean you can’t work, hustle, and grind to do better. Especially when you have grand visions for your life. So there I was on my birthday, thankful, grateful, and blessed for being here and simultaneously dealing with situations (of my own doing) completely aware that I can, need, and want to do better.

So I declared 29 the year of the glow up. But, before the actual glowing can commence. I need to confront a lot of the baggage that I simply refuse to bring with me into the next decade of my life. That’s hard. In just the past few weeks since my birthday has passed I’ve had to face some realities, make some really tough decisions, and continue to press forward knowing this is all part of the set up, to the glow up. I have to break things down, get to the bottom, so that I can build up to be better.

Check back with you at 30 and let you know how it went? Cool ;). ~ xoxo

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Faith Life

Write The Vision…For Real.

Write the Vision

I wish I had the words to adequately explain how serious I am when I say if you really want something you have got to write the vision. Now I know, I know. Not everyone is a writer and feels the need to bust out their favorite notebook (if you’re me it would be notebook 1 out of 7 at any given moment) but it’s really less about how you get it out there, it just needs to be out there. In the universe. To His ears. In plain sight. So that the One working for you can work this thing out for your life.

If that means you need to pop open the notes app on your iPhone and speed text it in there, hit up your google drive to open a new doc and starting typing away, it can even be a thread of tweets that nobody has to even answer to if that makes you feel better.  You just have to write it out. You have to put it down on paper (or screen, you know what I mean) and then you have to do the work. And then watch. Just watch how things will start to come together for you.

As a Christian woman, a real Jesus loving, bible quoting kinda girl I don’t take verses like Habbakuk 2:2 lightly.

Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

It will not prove false.

When you write the vision. What it is you want to achieve, accomplish, or do, God starts moving things in your life to make that happen. If you’ve never written something like this before let me tell you that I have more than a few examples of this in my life and I’m sure you have witnessed this too when you think about it. You say you need something and randomly come across someone who is selling exactly what you just said you needed. Imagine how big it can be if you really sat down and wrote the big vision you have for your life down? You’ll start attracting things, opportunities, people, and whatever else you need to make it happen.

With the August slow down in full effect, I encourage you to take some time and write the vision. If you have a desire to do something, a goal you want to achieve, a vision you want to manifest, don’t be scared to write that down and then take the steps to go after it.

With blessings and love ~ xoxo

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Faith Life

How to Live with Intention

How to Live With Intention

Earlier last week I wrote about how my year of intention has been going with half of the year behind us. When I chose the word “intention” for 2016, I knew for me that simply meant doing more of what I love and less of the rest. For a long time I just did what I thought I was “supposed” to do but I’m learning now, that God has bigger plans for our lives than that. Yup. As is mine and yours. Like anything, I know that “living with intention” isn’t this destination you arrive at. You don’t just wake up intentional one day. Living with intention is a daily practice. One that I succeed or fail at depending on the day. That’s real. But it’s not from lack of trying…most days. Either way, as I explained in my post, I’ve definitely made some significant progress during my year of intention and I wanted to share some things that have been working for me in hopes that it can help you live with intention too.

How to Live with Intention

    1. Write the vision. Make it plain. Some people use vision boards, some people (like me) have it written in journal. It doesn’t really matter how you write it out (though my writer based biased will tell you the physical writing it down pen to paper is a major key) as long as you have the vision somewhere that you can actually see and refer to it as much as you need to. When a choice, an opportunity, a job, a new client, whatever it may be comes along, look at your vision. If you can’t easily see how this will get you a step closer to that, don’t be afraid to pass it up.
    2. Get really clear on your values and what’s important to you. Before you can start truly living with intention, you need to be clear on what that even means to you. You already know I’m big on defining things for yourself so take some time to truly figure out what things, experiences, and aspects of your life are non-negotiable for you. That’s where should be focusing your intention.
    3. Let those values guide your daily life. It seems like such a simple concept yet it’s something I completely missed for so long. I think I wrote about this before where I did an exercise where I listed out the things I said were important to me and then listed all the things I did on a daily basis. The disconnect was real. One of the key things that has helped me live with intention is making sure I’m incorporating my values into my everyday life.
    4. Monitor your consumption. This one is something I still struggle with.  Whether it’s a blog post, a really good thread on twitter, a new book recommended by my favorite guru, or Facebook group full of talented women doing their thing I really love learning and discovering. But this love comes with it’s hiccups. If you consume too much of something else, from someone else, you can lose focus on what it is you actually want to be doing with your life. When you find yourself pivoting, changing, and redirecting too often, it’s time to take a consumption break.
    5. Pray about everything. Some Sundays ago during a sermon my Pastor talked about how you need to be praying about Every. Thing. No matter big or small. He said “You oughta ask God”. Remember how I said that, you don’t just arrive at intentional? But God, He’s intentional. Through and through. If you really want to practice true intention, make sure you’re spending time in His word. Learn to listen to and to let Him guide you in all things, in all areas of your life.

Remember, living with intention is a daily practice. How are you living with intention today? ~xoxo

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Life

The Magic in Defining Your Great

Sunflower | Styled Her Life

I do too much. And not like “Oh, I just you know have a lot going on”, but more like I literally do so many things that sometimes I feel like I couldn’t possibility be doing any of them any good. At least, this is what plays in my head most days. The days when I’m doing any mixture of the things (writing, blogging, managing, creating, assisting) that I do to support my family and live the kind of life I’ve always wanted to live.

That life for me looks like being able to work from home, exploring my passions, exercising my creativity, having flexibility with my time, being present and able to watch my boys grow up, supporting my husband, and being actively involved in my church and community. That’s what I’m doing this all for. All the things that I do. And it’s working. Although it seems pretty obvious, when I write it out like that, it took me awhile to realize this. On a superficial surface, where we’re surrounded by highlight reels of everyone else’s lives, what I’ve accomplished seems small. Even writing that makes me feel lowkey ashamed because I know nothing I’ve accomplished thus far is small but it’s important for me to be real here.

Living a life so opposite from…well everyone I know…both IRL (in real life) and online, the comparison struggle can get real. Not having a traditional job means there aren’t any reviews, promotions, or titles to back me up. Not being a hustle all day, grind all night entrepreneur (and having absolutely no desire to live that life) can leave me feeling a little, average(?). And not being a super niche, uber focused, expert at anything makes it hard for me to really find my place.

I’m just trying to be great. But how do you define great, when nothing that “they say” is great…looks like what you want…or have?

The answer to this question, came in the most random way, and was from myself. Go figure. Recently, I was featured in an article on Essence.com (major) and it was an AHA moment for real. But not for the reason you think. The feature was about marriage, something I never write about, but something that is super important to me. In it, I shared my advice on being happily married noting one key tip: “define what a perfect marriage looks like FOR YOU”. So my first feature on a major platform had absolutely nothing to do with my work (you know, because I thought I needed that to be great, wrong) and yet held the very key I’ve been searching for this whole time.

DEFINE WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE FOR YOU. Define what makes you feel great and hold on to that. Don’t let the experts, the instagram posts, or anyone else define it for you. My great might not look like your great or the next person’s great. My great doesn’t come with a fancy title. My great doesn’t mean 50 hour work weeks. My great doesn’t look like catching flights and fancy dinners. Some days my great literally looks like preschool lessons in between writing articles. Or should I say articles in between preschool lessons because we all know my threenager runs the show around here. My point is, this is what looks and feels good to me. And defining my great means I’m good with that.~xoxo

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Magic in Defining Your Great
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