Browsing Tag

soulful living

Life

Soulful Spaces: Home

Soul Spaces: Home
It’s funny how creativity works. It’s magical, of course, the way it can manifest in a person. How it shows up in many forms, unique to the individual. For some it’s visuals, others it’s words. And others still it’s art, music, or design. For some unicorns it shows up as all of the above. And for others, one area can can be full of beautiful creativity and another completely absent of it. The last one is me with writing and interior design. I can tell and create these stories that conjure up beautiful images…But translating that same creativity when it comes to actual beauty in my home is next to impossible.

Home. I’ve been thinking about that for awhile. Because our house doesn’t really feel like a home to me. It doesn’t tell our story. It’s not full of warmth. There aren’t any pieces of our lives, memories, or experiences. It doesn’t feel lived in. Doesn’t feel loved.

And for a homebody like me, where home is my sanctuary and sacred space…the disconnect is becoming harder to ignore.

In thinking about how to transform our house into the a home, I have to take a real intentional approach. Because this is not something that comes naturally to me, but it’s something that’s important. I used to approach design the way the professionals do. With labels. Which, if we’re being honest, makes no sense because I’m a person who despises labels. And so it never worked. I could never really see it. But, since I’m much better with words than I am with design, I figured I’d start there. Instead of what style I wanted our home to look like, I asked myself what words come to mind when I think about what I want our home to feel like?

I want our home to embody: Love, Warmth, Soul & Life.

The Colors | I see wood, earth tones against soft white walls. Leafy greens, earthy browns, burnt oranges, and subtle yellow. The occasional pop of color where least expected.

The Details | I see family photos with VSCO A5 vibes. I see plants and lots of them. Soft textures, textiles, and open space. And places for creating, learning, and living.

The Vibe | I see lots of natural light (I’m thankful) and pieces of our life. Travel memoirs and coffee table books for the culture.

That feels good to me. That’s what I want our home to feel like. And with that, I’m off to create our soulful space called home. Know of any designers or shops with home decor I might vibe with? Please let me know, if so. I’ll tell them you sent me. ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



Life

Choosing Intentional Abundance

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

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

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

Be intentional friends…And live in abundance. ~ xoxo

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Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Life

Newsletters I’m Loving Right Now

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

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

JOIN THE NEWSLETTER

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

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

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

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

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


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me, things I think might resonate with you, and a lesson from the journey.



Style

On My Radar: Wardrobe Essentials

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

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

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

LUNYA SLEEPWEAR

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

SOUK BOHEMIAN

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

BROTHER VERSAILLES

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

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


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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, on all days, in all ways.

Yayyy for new months! ~xoxo


Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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

Every Sunday I share a letter from my journey with those on my email list. WELL SPENT is part things I’ve come across that inspire me and things I think might resonate with you.



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

Words

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

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.