10 Self-Affirmations To Start Your Day On The Right Foot

IG @minoire_models : Angelica 

via xonecole.com by Char J. Patterson

How you start your day can very well determine how it will go and even how it will end.

Kicking off your morning with self-affirmations can be a major game changer for your entire day. It can up that confidence and help you accomplish so much more because you'll feel the strength to do it. I know I've had so many mornings when I just wake up in a funk, and that messes up my attitude for an entire day. 

Commit to Yourself.



by Leandra of What My World's Like

“Commit to yourself” is my mantra for the week. I’m certain it’ll last longer than a week, but for now, that’s what it is.

It’s amazing how much space in our lives we can fill with things that are mostly inconsequential and detract from what actually matters to us, Twitter and Facebook, for example.

Read On!>>>

How to Get High For Free


By Leandra of What My World's Like

We’re all looking for pure bliss and resounding ecstasy. We want to drop our worries and feel alive, feel connected to the magic of this world. All too often, though, this desire results in the abuse of alcohol, drugs and other legal or illegal substances. In using or abusing these substances, the user often does more harm than good.

But alcohol and drugs are completely unnecessary and actually quite costly to both your body and your wallet. There’s another way.

It’s natural. It’s safe. It’s free. It’s legal and always available to you.  I’m talking about natural highs.

Read On!>>>

I Used to Hate Myself.



by Leandra of What My World's Like

I used to hate myself. Used to hate so much about my appearance. My hair when it wasn’t “done”, meaning perfectly straight, which it is naturally incapable of ever being. My body because it wasn’t slim enough; too much muscle and too much fat in comparison to the svelte bodies I began to crave mine to be. I absorbed all the images this society and its media dished out to me about what was beautiful, and by omission, what was not beautiful. The regarded beauty was all white and almost none of it reflected the characteristics inherent to my ethnicity, whose beauty was dismissed to the point of disappearance.

Hate is a strong word and when I use it in reference to someone else’s feelings about themselves, they always resist. “I don’t hate myself.” Oh, okay. It is a hard pill to swallow.

Read On!>>>

You are a Process.

by Leandra of What My World's Like

I am a process. You are a process. We are a process. Each of us is perpetually ‘becoming’. There is no [natural] end. What doesn’t grow is dead.

Perfection is illusory, yet I strive to manifest it in the most possible way by simply being better.
Sometimes, I fail. Sometimes, I succeed. Some lessons take a while to truly get and some changes take longer to implement than desired. Everything in its course as everything happens in its own time. Knowing that, however, shouldn’t negate exercising effort.

Read On!>>>

You Ever Tell Yourself to Shut Up?


You Ever Tell Yourself to Shut Up?
by Leandra of What My World's Like

A few months ago, I met these awesome twin pastors and in a sermon, one of them said he tried to only say what was necessary one day and found himself having to be very quiet. It made me think about how much we say. How many words and ideas and opinions come out of our mouths. How much of it is necessary or even relevant? How much of it reflects the type of person we want to be?

Read On!>>>

At a Standstill- Natural Hair Growth

by Noni of Three Naturals

Ever felt like your hair’s stopped growing? Ever felt that you’ve reached your ‘limit’?  As I write this post I totally feel like I’ve reached my hair zenith. If there is such a thing. I feel like I’ve exhausted all my hair growing ability and the length that I’m at is where I’ll always be from here on out.

That’s so dramatic right? Thank God that there’s a difference between feeling and knowing.

Whenever I get into this funk of feeling I have to remind myself of what I know to be true.

- I know that as long as I’m alive my hair is essentially always growing. Just like my fingernails, just like my eyebrows, just like my leg hair…

6 Soul Searching Questions to Ask Yourself




I'm currently reading Gail McMeekin's "The 12 Secrets of Highly Successful Women" and I just can't say enough about it. It's one of those books that you read and reread throughout your life. The tag line is -- A Portable Life Coach for Creative Women -- and that is EXACTLY what it is.

I had to share the following self-discovery questions with you from the book. These aren't simple questions, so perhaps the best approach is to write them in your journal and dig in when you have some "me" time.
1. What do you feel most ashamed about and how can you heal it?
2. If you were much braver, what challenges would you tackle this year?
3. What kinds of filters do you need in your life to screen out negative thoughts, people who are "downers", the media, the Internet, stress overload, and anything else that you need to protect yourself from?
4. What you have been putting off in your life that you want to do/be/have now? How will you make that happen?
5. Have you thought about your legacy lately? How do you want to make a difference?
6. Lastly, what self-imposed limitation do you need to dynamite through and free yourself from?
One of the things that I've been putting off is my desire to write a book. I tell myself that I have too much on my plate and I need to wait until the kids are older. My kids are 9, 6 and 1 -- so you do the math. Basically, I'm going to have a full plate for many years to come. So, why wait? Even if it takes me years to write it, my heart is calling me to start now.

What do you need to start now? What's in your way? I hope the questions above from Gail McMeekin's book will challenge you to think and grow.

Bad Hair Day? What’s That?


by Tammy Goodson of CurlyChics

It’s such a great thing coming into your own…hair that is. Loving your mane and all that comes with it is sometimes easier said than done but so gratifying once you’re there. There are moments when I am in awe of my hair! Before you dismiss this as an arrogant piece of work, hear me out. Those who know me personally can attest to the fact that this does not come from a place of arrogance but a place of pure grown woman *ish. It doesn’t mean I love every aspect every single day, even Halle has her days; but overall I am in a good space with my tresses.

I never have a bad hair day…let me qualify that by saying a “bad hair day” is relative. It all depends on what constitutes such a day for you. There was a time when I thought a bad hair day meant frizz, bushiness, or on swoll status. Later I came to the realization that none of those things equal a bad hair day, at least not for me. For me all of those characteristics are simply part of the game and if you want to be a player in said game, you should always expect the unexpected. I know its so cliché that I wish I could come up with another phrase. Perhaps by the time I’m at the end of this article I will, so I’ll keep typing. You know that twist out that turned into an afro or the braid out which you transformed into a dope bun? But bad hair day, what’s that? I changed my definition or altered my psyche, so for me, it doesn’t exist. I’ve learned that no matter what I plan for my hair, it almost always turns out as something else; one of my twist came unraveled throughout the night, my scarf was MIA when I woke up, I mean *is happens – all the time but I’ve learned to be ok with it. The great thing about wearing your natural hair in all its glory is that no one ever knows if you your hair plans didn’t work out or turned into something completely different. It’s one of the reasons I love my hair! In the morning it may look one way and by the end it’s on one! But it’s always a good look. It will always be just the right spring in my curls, just enough fly kink and plenty of fabulous which means how could I ever have a bad hair day?

Change your attitude, Change your life.

What about you? Got bad hair days much?

Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.

How To Make Your World Better Overnight



This post is for me, just as much as it is for you.

I'm having a hard time with some things, like we all do sometimes. I believe that our respective skies have to fall every now and then, just to prove to us that we can survive it.

One of the toughest aspects of my life these days, as a woman trying to hold on to herself, is that no matter what I'm going through, my world just keeps on spinning. It doesn't slow down for me. I feel like I'm running on a faulty treadmill that won't stop and I'm afraid to jump off. I'm so out of breath that I can't even get the words out to ask anyone for help.

And the most aggravating part of it all is that I know it doesn't have to be this way. We've all had problems come and go. Some even stay and we manage to enjoy life in spite of them. We climb our mountains and stand up to our bullies. Then we encounter another challenge or crisis and become dutifully consumed all over again.

Today, I want to remind you (and me) that none of our issues are random. What helps me to wake up every morning with hope and determination is my awareness that every problem I have is an opportunity. I may go to bed feeling heavy and uncertain - childishly frustrated that I can't solve everything overnight. But in the morning I start fresh.

Start each day with the mentality that no matter what happens, you will view it like it was strategically placed in your life - not to curse you - but to help you become a better version of yourself.

When I make this conscious effort, I notice that my mood is significantly more resilient and less likely to take drastic swings when things don't go my way. It doesn't make the problems necessarily seem smaller, it just gives you more motivation to face them.

The student loan people still won't let me decrease my payment. My car is still on its death bed. I'm still adjusting to my dad's new normal. And as much as I try to pray it and write it out of my system, I still have this sneaking suspicion that something is inherently and fundamentally wrong with mind. I could go on, but you'd be bored. I'm sure you have your own list of complications.

I live for the idea that every unwelcomed event, person or situation is really a doorway into the next me. A stronger, wiser me. Yay. I'm so anxious to meet her.

What do you think? Could this work for you, too? Try it tomorrow, even on the smallest thing like someone cutting you off in traffic. Think to yourself, "This jackass was strategically placed to help me become a more patient person." Keep your road rage in check and drive on in peace.

If we all practice this, we'll not only make our own private worlds better, but we'll also make the whole wide world better. Win Win.


PLPT is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an essential part of every woman's beauty regimen. We use this platform as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live fabulously. 

Why No One Can Compete With You. Ever.



If you are your authentic self, you have no competition. - Scott Stratten 
It’s happening. I’m starting to do that end of the year reflection thing. You’re doing it too, I just know it. How are you feeling about your journey through 2012?

Being hard on myself was so 2010 and 2011, so I happy to say that I’m not going to overanalyze what I accomplished and what I didn’t for 2012. However, it’s never a bad time to acknowledge an area where you’ve grown, and how that growth has enriched the quality of your life.

As such, I just have to tell you what a GREAT year I had professionally. If you can’t tell, I’m proud of myself. I feel like this year, I stopped playing small at work, I put my big girl panties on, and I took on more responsibility and leadership than I ever have before. And low and behold, it was acknowledged and rewarded.

Ironically, I’ve never ever wanted to leave my job more than I do now. Maybe because I proved to myself that my true value proposition is not tied to a specific company or job. I’ve worked at the same company since I graduated from college so it’s no wonder that I associate any security or success that I’ve had with that company.

But I’ve learned that my true value comes from just doing what I know how to do. I’m not talking about the skills and accomplishments that go on my resume. I mean, anyone could do my job from a tactical standpoint. I could quit tomorrow and business would keep on keeping on -- they’d fill my position, and I’d just be someone that they used to know. However, Maya Angelou said, ”People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

And this, I believe, is my strength -- how I make people feel and the energy that I bring into a group. It's more impactful than my technical knowledge, my educational background or anything else that can be taught. So, when I doubt if I’ll be successful at another company or in other endeavors, I need only remind myself that all I had to do in order to have the most successful year of my career was to fully embrace who I am and what I bring to the table. The solution to doubt is always to be true to yourself.

Authenticity. It’s like our own built-in guarantee, but we don’t realize it. It guarantees that we are always on the right track as long as we are being honest with ourselves and with the world about who we are and who we are not. This psychologist guy named Carl Rogers once said, “What you are is good enough if you would only be it openly.”

This year, I really proved this to myself that who I am is enough.

What about you? Were there any lessons that really stood out for you?



PLPT is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an essential part of every woman's beauty regimen. We use this platform as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live fabulously. 

It’s Not Your Hair, Honey; It’s Your Attitude

A re-post from 12/7/2011 for your viewing pleasure! It's one of my favorites! 


by Taneica of ShatterProofGlassDolls

Black men don’t love their black women.’

‘Once I got my big chop, I was no longer seen as attractive.’

‘I don’t have long straight hair, therefore, I am not what society deems as beautiful’.


Depending on who you talk to, some of these statements may ring true. To be quite honest, I think it’s all a load of steaming bull, but to be fair, I’ve never really cared whether or not black men love me. I also never big chopped, so I don’t know how I’d feel if I did. Though my hair is long, it’s not straight, so I’ve gotten my fair share of “Girl, your hair is nappy!” or the “CEILY!!!!” in reference to the Color Purple. None of this has really made me think I was any less pretty though, it just confirmed to me that the people around me were truly morons. I mean, I’m stunning, you don’t need a PhD to see that.
All kidding aside, from very early on, I decided that I would determine what beauty was and is to me. That way, nobody else’s ideals of beauty are important enough for me to even attempt to aim for. At the end of the day, I am who I am and I have to be beautiful to me first before I can expect others to see what’s fine about me.

One of the biggest problems that some of our natural sisters face, especially in the beginning of their natural hair journey, is seeing how truly beautiful they are. Forget what this rapper may have said about dark skin women and what that rapper may have said about natural hair being nappy. They’re rappers, why the hell do you care what some dude with a microphone thinks about YOUR HAIR? Anyway, in spite of what everyone around you may be throwing out as sexy, beautiful, and appealing to society, confidence trumps everything aforementioned.


Where’s Your Swagger?

Look, at the end of the day, you’re stuck with you. 24-7, 7 days a week, 365. With that said, why shouldn’t you be the coolest person you know? If you find yourself in an ‘I’m not pretty or good enough’ slump, the bad news is, you may have lost your swagger. The good news, though, is that it’s not lost forever and fairly easy to get back. There’re three things that you need to do to get your swagger back.
  1. Find a theme song. Nothing coaxes out my swagger like a little Beyonce or my theme song You Be Kill’n ‘Em by Fabolous. Pick a song that makes you feel like moving and instantly puts a smile on your face. Something that sings/speaks to the essence and beauty of you is preferable. Here’s 5 songs if you’re having trouble:
  • You Gonna Be My Girl by Jet
  • Diva by Beyonce
  • Champion by Buju Banton
  • Pretty Brown Eyes by Mint Condition
  • PYT by Michael Jackson
*make sure the song is on repeat

2. With the music playing, walk up to the mirror and take a good look. Your Feel Good Juices should be flowing by now, so it will be easier to see all that fabulousness that you were missing when you lost your swagger. Take a gooood look and enjoy the view, darling.

3. Play up Your Assets. By now, you’ve probably falling madly in love with yourself, so it shouldn’t be hard to start pointing out some gorgeous things about yourself. What did you discover? Maybe that your skin is flawless. Perhaps you’re impressed with your smile. Especially the cute gap! Could it be your big brown ‘come and get it daddy’ eyes? Whatever it is that you rediscovered and are proud of, flaunt it. How? If you have fantastic skin, try a lotion with a hint of shimmer. You can go out on the town looking like a sexy disco ball! If you have beautiful eyes, pull you hair up and out of your face, put on a little mascara and make eye contact. (HEEEEEY) If you have a great smile, brush, floss and SMILE MORE OFTEN!!!


By now, your swagger should be so awesome, you should be strutting down the aisles at the grocery store because you’re so damn fine. Go get ‘em girl! Don’t hurt anybody!

Work What You Own and Own What You Work
You are who you are. There’s only one make, model and type of YOU. Nobody else can offer the world your brand of personality, style, attitude and fabulousness. Be proud of that and consider yourself blessed. Instead of fussing over what you don’t have, why not focus on what makes you fabulous and what you can do to share your fabulousness with others? There are people out there waiting to see you reach your full potential. Reach for the stars and forget about the haters!

Acknowledge The Ones Who Show Interest and Ignore The Idiots
At the end of the day, you’re not going to please everybody. There are going to be some people who just don’t like the way you look and who aren’t willing to give you a chance anyway. Forget about them. If they don’t like your hair, your smile, your complexion, or your figure they can go kick rocks. For every person that thinks you’re less than, there’s one important person whose opinion matters most: YOURS. Don’t let anybody define who you are and what’s not pretty about you. In fact, make friends who are happy to be a part of your “I Rock!” campaign. If you can’t find it in your immediate circle, there are websites like Afrobella, CurlyNikki, and Shatterproof Glass Dolls who will gladly support you and think you’re beautiful, just the way you are.

Why Fear & Goosebumps Aren't Really Bad



A few months ago, I wrote a post about fear and the role it often plays in why we do or don't do things. Here are some snippets from the comments:
"...In 2012 I would like to start school. I would like to stop telling myself I can't do certain things..."
"...would love to stop myself from giving into fear...really anxious to learn how to use this emotion to propel me forward rather than back. It's always been a natural reaction to run the other way...but 2011 has taught me that it's important to walk through the fear and use it as a positive force. On the other hand, it could just mean we are all on the right track when it creeps up...so there's now an added sense of excitement when I think of a crazy idea that both scares me and gives me goosebumps!"
"...I've successfully lost 75 pounds, but gained 10 of it back, so now I want to finish what I started a two years ago. No reason why I shouldn't. I need to stop giving into fear of accomplishment."
These comments and my own intention to have a clearer understanding of the role of fear in my life led me to explore the subject further on WCD. Here we are a few months later and I'm ready to make a lot of changes in my life. Of course, fear pokes out its head and reminds me that it's still there.

So, in honor and in spite of that attention whore that we call fear, I wanted to revisit this with you all today.
Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood. ~Marie Curie
Once I became aware that fear was affecting my choices, I really didn't know what to do about it. I guess I had to just sit with that awareness for awhile. In some aspects of my life, I'm still sitting with it. What I have developed though, is a passion for breaking down my fears and negative patterns so that I can understand them. If something bothers me, I'm determined to figure out why and make peace with it so it can't control me. It doesn't always happen as quickly as I want, but it's so much better than it used to be.
Panic at the thought of doing a thing is a challenge to do it. ~Henry S. Haskins
One of the commenters above mentions a sense of excitement that comes from a crazy idea that scares her and also gives her goosebumps (the good kind!). That's the kind of scary that we shouldn't avoid. There's probably something you want to do that gives you goosebumps, but you're afraid to do it.

For instance, I want to be a writer. But the idea of writing for a living completely freaks me out. I love to write, but what if I stop loving it when I start doing it for money? Sometimes we're not afraid of the thing itself, but we're afraid of the process of getting there. My suggestion would be to just start. Do something to bring you a step closer. My start has been blogging and guest posting. I'm just beginning to realize that this is my purpose and I'm taking it more seriously. What's next? The possibilities give me those good goosebumps, so I'm going to keep writing. (Update: A couple months after I wrote this I got my first paid freelancing gig! Woohoo!)
There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear. ~George S. Patton
Since we all must deal with fear on some level, there comes a time when we must discern between the fear that can push us forward and the fear that can hold us back. The answers are already there inside of us if we only listen. It's called intuition. When there's something positive and challenging that you want to do with your life, that's when it's time to take fear by the hand and bring it along with you. Recognize the nervous energy for what it is and allow it to fuel you. Likewise, when your inner voice tells you that you're heading down the wrong path, believe it. Trust yourself.
Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile... initially scared me to death. ~Betty Bender
To free yourself from that frustrating inertia that comes from fear, learn to recognize the difference between the excited goosebumps and the warning signs and consider letting fear be your friend. No? Frenemy maybe? No matter how you look at it, remember that with great risk comes great reward.

If you have a testimony about a time that you overcame fear or a time that you used it to your advantage, please share in the comments. We'd love to hear about it!


PLPT is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an essential part of every woman's beauty regimen. We use this platform as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live fabulousl

What Strong Women Do...



“I don’t want to walk through life like I’m asleep. I want to feel everything. The joy. The pain. The wins and the losses. I want to fall and shock myself at how I’m able to keep getting up.” -me
And while I’m falling down and wiping my tears and getting back up, I want to look good and feel like a warrior with my head held high. I’ll be the first one to tell you that appearances and material things don’t matter and it’s what’s inside that counts. And in the next breath I’ll tell you that no matter how you’re hurting or what’s going on, you need to get up off your hurt feelings and do your hair and put some lipstick on and keep it moving. Everyone’s been through it, and the world is going to keep spinning.

As a woman of character and spirit, how you handle ups and downs distinguishes you. With the right perspective, your struggles will empower you and bring out your beauty. Self-pity and bitterness will only slow you down.
“You see, no one can take your power - only you can give it away. When you do, the resulting self-pity and desperate behavior basically repel the things you really want.”- me
Feeling sorry for yourself will not make that man be faithful. Eating everything in sight will not make all of your debt magically go away. A Facebook rant calling out this person and that person for betraying you will not create the karma that you want. Waiting to be rescued will not give you the strength to carry on. At some point, you have to get sick of feeling bad and decide to feel good.

Where’s all this coming from? Someone needs to hear this. Someone needs to snap out of it and get back to the business of being fabulous. This is the life, ladies. You weren’t put here to roll over and give up. Always choose to view things in a spiritual and mindful way. Remember that you are a universe within yourself and you don’t need a person, a title or a dollar amount to make you whole.

Take what you have, dust it off and make it sparkle. I’ll see you out there. xoxo


PLPT is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an essential part of every woman's beauty regimen. We use this platform as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live fabulously.

Not Feeling Comfortable in My Hair...


by Tammy of Curlychics

Facebook question: I have been natural for 3 years now after wearing my hair in a perm all of my life. In that time I’ve experienced growth like never before which is great. I receive many compliments and most days I think it looks ok. I guess I am still not used to it and don’t really feel myself after all this time. What can I do to feel better and less self-conscious about my natural hair? I never felt like this before I went natural, so it’s not a self- esteem issue.

I don’t think this is really an uncommon feeling for new(er) naturals. Especially if you are used to a certain look – it is sometimes difficult to deal with change, especially physically, while maintaining your confidence. Here are a few suggestions that address the aesthetic uncertainties you are having.

1. Plan for greatness every single time.
Go all out no matter the occasion. Dressing down your look or downplaying your beautiful texture should never be an option. Styling with a purpose and owning your look will make you feel better inside and out.

2. Tailor your look to fit the event.
Whether it’s casual or formal, your coils and curls can adapt. Strategic styling can make all the difference in your final look. What is the occasion? How long will the event last? Is it taking place indoors or outdoors? If you are attending a wedding, you may opt for something more intricate and feminine. If your destination is a casual gathering, perhaps you can afford to be a little more laid back.

3. Use your wardrobe as inspiration.
You’d be surprised how you can take one piece from your closet and build an entire look, head to toe around it. Anchor your look with a key piece and build your hairstyle from there.

4. Always have an LBD
Be sure to have a “go to” look. Having a plan B, when all else fails look, the LBD (little black dress) of hairstyles is your reminder that if you stay ready you never have to get ready. Whether it’s a messy bun or a adding a fly turban, it will look good no matter what else is happening around you. A full proof look can take you from the football game to the office.
Related links:
http://curlychics.blogspot.com/2012/07/when-all-else-fails-bun-it.html
http://www.curlynikki.com/2012/07/when-all-else-fails-bun-it.html

5. Add a touch of glam.
Accessories are a simple way of dotting your “I’s” and crossing your “T’s”. They have a huge impact on your final look. For example, stylish headpieces command attention and add the perfect finishing touch.

6. Be sexy with it.
Don’t forget to embrace you and all that you represent whatever that means for you, which always comes off as sexy and exudes confidence.

7. Accentuate what you consider you strengths and cover up or tweak your not so desirable traits.
No one is perfect so we all have to work with what we have. Don’t like your lose wave pattern? Opt for a twist out instead for tighter curl formation. Not fond of your tighter coils? Stretch the hair by braiding, banding or any of the many methods for stretching.

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”


What tips can you add to help when you’re not feeling yourself?



Sharing hairstories and life experiences from a curl’s perspective. Find Tammy at her blog, Curlychics, on Twitter, and Facebook.

Needs, Wants and Living Without Regret

 
Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions. ~Author Unknown

What drives you more -- needs or wants? Are you more likely to make decisions based on what you think is best for you in the long run or what will satisfy you most in the moment? The uncertainty of life requires that we find some kind of balance between these two concepts.

On the one hand, tomorrow is not promised and we don't want to constantly deny ourselves of things that bring us pleasure. On the other hand, living in a reality of complete indulgence and immediate gratification is chaotic at best, isn't it?
***

I went through a period in my life where I was constantly in crisis. My decisions were all based on what I felt would make me feel best in the moment. During that time, I was insecure, impressionable, and disconnected from myself. I didn't admit it to myself at the time, but I now know that I didn't believe I had a future worth protecting. I didn't believe in myself and my faith was weak, so the decisions I made for my life reflected that.

I'm certainly not in that place anymore, but I can still see it clearly in my rearview. In many ways, I'm still paying for the choices I made back then. I haven't gotten rid of the regret yet (perhaps I never will), but I dwell on it less and less. What about you? Are you a recovering chaos junkie like me? Or maybe you've always played it safe and now you don't know how to indulge yourself. Most of us can relate in some way to both of these extremes. 
***

Have you ever thought about this concept of needs and wants and how your approach to it has shaped your life? It's worth some self-reflection. Whether we realize it or not, our tendency to lean towards one or the other often causes regret and dissatisfaction in our lives. We wonder, what if I'd done things differently? What if I'd been more responsible? What if I'd married the wild one instead of the stable one? What if I'd taken that job overseas? What if I'd done the unthinkable instead of the expected? What if I'd saved and planned for the future instead of living outside of my means?

Really, we can drive ourselves crazy with the what if's. Or, we can sit back and observe our decisions without judging them as right or wrong. What we've done, what we haven't done -- it's just our path. We don't always do or even know what's best for us. Our hearts and minds disagree more often than not and yet they must coexist. We always have the option to change the way we do things if it's not working so just keep doing the best you can to seek balance and leave the regrets behind. 
 
 
 
PLPT is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an essential part of every woman's beauty regimen. We use this platform as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live fabulously. 

On the Couch with Cynthia

 
 Cynthia writes:
 
Just thought to share this- I initially wrote this just for me, but I'm sure many of you, regardless of age or background can relate. 
 
I have to admit, as I close in on 30, I find that for the first time in my life, I am truly happy with who I am, where I am and even though it may seem shallow, happy with how I look.

I spent much too many years in my teens and early 20's obsessing over my complexion, my weight, my nose, my hair and everything in between. It didn't matter how many times my mom told me I was beautiful, it really never registered.  Most of my family can attest that I always ran, I mean made a mad dash once I saw any cameras and for that sad reason I probably have all of 10 pictures between the ages of 12 and 20.  That's what happens when you spend years being so utterly self-critical, you always HAVE to be in control and I wish it didn't take all this time for me to accept that this is who I am.

I cannot explain the importance of surrounding yourself with good people and positive energy. Good friends, good family and my wonderful hubby have all been super necessary. When I think of the times when I felt the lowest about myself, I realize it was the times when I surrounded myself with the worst energy, people, activities and things.

Something amazing happens when you really start to love and embrace yourself. The moment I stopped trying to experiment with lightening creams because an aunt told me I needed to, or hiding from sun for fear of getting darker, or getting a perm every other week, for fear of the tiniest appearance of kinky hair, that became the moment, I started to love my reflection. And I tell you, if you love what you see, other people start to see that as well.  I kid you not, I only started wearing shorts and skirts about 2-3 years ago. I can laugh at it now- how sad. Four years of college and I didn't wear short skirts because of what someone may have said about their shape, size or the mosquito bites or the I'm too clumsy so I bang and scratch my legs everywhere scars.

Just a few years back, posting pictures on Facebook or elsewhere was for me an exercise in seeking approval, that I got my hair done just right, not a hair out of place, that I had the right shoes, that my nose wasn't too pudgy etc etc.
 
But now, it's celebrating- this is who I am,  this is what I'm about, this is what I like, if you get it good, if you don't - oh Well.  And I don't think its hypocritical to say I still put makeup to conceal my acne scars, the difference now is if it rubs off at the end of the day- oh well, I'll tell anyone this is what I use, how I use- there's no SHAME (to be completely honest, I'll just say there's a lot less shame or concern).
  
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still a woman with good and bad days and I know there'll be moments where I sit there feeling bad that I'm not some stranger or some person out there's ill conceived idea of perfection; but now I'm in a place where I can quickly realize that it's all really silly though.  I realize I can honestly work to improve myself, eat healthy, take care of my skin without feeling the need to CHANGE myself. It is one thing to work on improving who you are and another thing altogether to strive only to completely change what makes you YOU.

Not to get too philosophical, but we are guaranteed only one thing, and that's a limited time on this planet- whether you go early like some unfortunate ones or you live past 100. Our time here will end. Which is why in my limited time, I will wear shorts (scars be damned), I will get darker in the sun (still gotta get that SPF tho'), I will let the world see every nap, curl or kink in my hair, cause that's who I am, and I don't have the time, energy or emotional strength to pretend that I am someone else.
Those who love you will love you. Those who get you will get you.  And these words are about my journey and my acceptance.  I don't believe in telling people how to spend their life, I'm just saying how I choose to live mine.  For example, I still spend 3 hrs a week twisting my big hair into submission, so if others want to spend their 3 hrs, straightening  coloring etc, hey -that's fine too. And I do still almost run out a little too late in the mornings because I'm putting in the requisite time applying vitamin E and cocoa butter on my scars, so if others choose to spend theirs applying hydroquinone to their skin, well that's their choice. I'm just really happy that it's not mine anymore. It's just really good to NOT NEED to do that or be that anymore. And while many people fear the big 3-0, if each additional year brings me closer to self- acceptance and this feeling inside, then I'm excited and loving it.
 
Keep up with Cynthia on her blog, addicted2etsy.com

5 Practical Steps Toward Bringing Your Dreams to Life

via Pinterest
by Kim Jackson of PeaceLoveandPrettyThings

So you have a dream that you want to bring to life. You imagined it, you told your best friend about it, you added it to your vision board…now what? Now you plan. The only way to bring forth what you really want is to set solid goals and action steps that can help you account for how close you’re coming to achieving it and how much work you have left to do. Here are a few practical steps that can help:

Get organized. Obtain a daily, weekly or monthly calendar and set priorities around that same time frame. What do you want to have accomplished this week? This month? Having it in writing, and being able to consult your plan will help to keep you on track. With it right there in black and white, you’ll know exactly what you’ve done—and what you haven’t. 

Begin long-term planning. Where do you want to be in a year? Three years? Five? These are important questions to answer for yourself. Having clarity around where you want to be and what you want to be doing makes it easier for you to fight to get there. You won’t waste another year going through the motions and wondering at the end of it why you still feel stuck in a rut. 

Check in on your goals. Many people reflect annually on what they have done, for better or for worse. But why not check in every 6 months, quarterly or even monthly? Checking in more frequently acts as a mechanism of awareness; you can tell very quickly if you’ve been spending time on things that are aligned with your goals and make adjustments where necessary. Rosetta at the Happy Black Woman blog does a great job of self-evaluating on a monthly basis to ensure that her activities are aligned with the best life that she envisions for herself. (Click here to check out her clarity reflection for May.) 

Get a mentor. Find someone who is doing what you want to do, and ask them to be your guide. Don’t expect them to do the work for you—but you should use them as a sounding board for ideas; ask them where to network or what industry groups/organizations are the best ones to join; get advice about how best to approach issues such as legal, taxes, how to set up your business etc. You’re going to make some mistakes along the way—and some will be vital and necessary to the development of both your spirit and your plan—but having someone who has already had a measure of success at what you’re striving for can help you to make fewer ones that could derail you completely. 

Be honest with yourself. Be honest about what you want and what you don’t want. Be honest about how hard you’re working on the tasks attached to your goals and where you could give more. After all, by slacking or pretending to be giving your best when you aren’t, you’re hurting yourself and deferring your dream. And why would you want to do that? 

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PLPT is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an essential part of every woman's beauty regimen. We use this platform as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live fabulously.

Your Vulnerability is Pretty Too

by Kim Jackson of PeaceLoveandPrettyThings

Often, when I think of allowing myself to be vulnerable, I worry about being judged. I worry that my not being completely put together and on top of everything all the time might somehow make me less likeable—less lovable. Sound familiar?


But in truth, it is when we are vulnerable that we are at our most beautiful, because we become that raw, open, honest human that has the ability to share a connection with another person. 

In truth, our fears, insecurities and emotional hiccups are part of the roadmap to our growth and success. It’s when we feel at our worst that we get up and do something about it, and learn about ourselves in the process. 

Know that your vulnerability is just as gorgeous and wonderful as your strength—in fact, it sometimes takes a stronger person to be willing to open up and to accept whatever consequences may come with that, for better or for worse. 

One of my best friends is finding her way to a relationship with a parent who wasn’t formerly in her life, and it’s causing her to soften and to be honest with herself about desires, hopes and wishes she didn’t dare speak of before. And I admire the light and the beauty I’m seeing in her eyes because of it. 

Another best friend and I finally gave a voice to the disconnect we’d each been feeling separately for a while. We acknowledged that we’re in different places in our lives, each valuing differing experiences right now. And that’s okay! Despite those differences, and because of that honest, vulnerable conversation, I feel even closer to her than before. I know something about her that I didn’t know before. 

Allowing myself to become emotionally naked has helped me to become a better friend and a better girlfriend. The people in my life know now that I trust them enough to share even what’s scary and buried—something that would have NEVER happened in the past--and ultimately, I think, that makes me a prettier person to them as a whole. 

Despite what you may have been told in the past, your vulnerability is pretty too. It’s a major part of who you are. 

How might letting go of your emotional armor allow you to better connect to the people in your life? 

Photo via Pinterest




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PLPT is co-authored by Kim Jackson and GG Renee with the intention of connecting with women through messages of self-love and personal freedom. We believe that true beauty starts on the inside and radiates outward, so maintaining emotional health and balance should be an essential part of every woman's beauty regimen. We use this platform as an opportunity to share our personal experiences, and to help other women who are seeking guidance to find their own truths and live fabulously.

Leaving Well Enough Alone


by Sherrell Dorsey of OrganicBeautyVixen

After a huge blow up with a loved one a few weeks ago I had to do some self-reflection OBVs. When toxic, judgmental and negative people enter your life, most sane people would show them the door. But when it comes to our family members we have a way of holding on to them for dear life no matter how painful it can be to love them. We pray, work hard to change our behaviors and hang on to the hope that the relationship will get better.  I’m finally admitting that not every relationship is worth fighting for.

I have deeply rooted abandonment issues that I’m not afraid to admit, so letting go can be extremely traumatic for me. Losing someone in my life makes me feel as though I’m losing a piece of myself.
Instead of spending my time thinking about the ending of a relationship as a loss, I think about it as an opportunity to love myself and them even more. My definition of love continues to transform and now I know what the true meaning of unconditional love is. Unconditional love is having an argument with your mom but knowing that when you need her most she is always there. Unconditional love is what people have for you when you are at your worst and they still give you grace and love you through the pain.

Today I choose me. Today I choose the people that continue to be in my corner whether I’m up, down, hard to deal with or down right disrespectful, because they know my true heart and my true intent.

I’m done forcing relationships that are clearly unattainable and leaving well enough alone. I’ll keep those I’ve had to move on from in my prayers but not in my life.

What are you doing to keep your emotional, physical and spiritual house free?


Sherrell Dorsey is an eco-glamour expert, writer, speaker, social entrepreneur and creator of the blog OrganicBeautyVixen.com - "A Brown Girl's Guide to Eco-Glam Living". Sherrell believes that going green with your beauty routine doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your fierce and fabulous style. Connect with her on twitter and facebook for all things beauty, green, eco-friendly, organic, sustainable and of course... Eco-glam.

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