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.

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