Would You Rather…

I write this…well, i didn’t write this.  Today’s post is strictly a culmination of the responses to my weekly survey.

The importance of the “Would You Rather…” concept (to me, at least) is to show the different ways that people interpret the same two options, and WHY.

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We are all so heavily influenced by the things around us, by our experiences in life, and by our exposures.  The way we interpret ‘options’ is often the gut reaction to the things that influence our decision making skills in life.

Our DEFAULT SETTINGS automatically kick in when asked “would you rather do this or that”, and sometimes we need to hit the OVERRIDE button in order to continue to grow and evolve ourselves.  These questions make us examine our defaults a bit and elaborate on why we are the way we are.

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let’s see what happened when my respondents were asked to choose.

 

Would you rather…

…be alone and successful, or build a family and have to edit your dream? why?

Why can’t I have both? I have periods when all I want to do is grind and reach my goals but the times I’ve done that I look up and realized I have no one to share it with. I guess I would rather put them on hold a build with my family.

I’d rather build a family and edit my dream because family is everything to me. I couldn’t imagine life without family. Dreams can change whether you are alone or have a family so might as well have people to enjoy your dreams with.

I believe you can have both if you use your time wisely. I’m alone and successful but one of my dreams is to have a family. If it’s meant to be, it will be.

i would rather have a family. The dream may be edited a little bit, but not deleted.

I have to believe there is a happy medium.

half of us reading this are like:

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and the other, more conflicted half are like:

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Would you rather…

…be famous, or live alone on an island? why?

Live alone on an island cause isn’t fame the same thing? At least I’d have nature.

I wouldn’t want either. It’s like an extreme on both ends. You either are isolated or have no privacy whatsoever. I don’t think I would function in either situations.

Famous. I always wanted to be famous because I’ve always wanted to reach many people at once and help them in any way I can.

I guess I would be famous because I don’t want to be alone on an island; seems pretty boring lol

Alone on an island.

me:

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you?

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Would you rather…

…amass HELLLLLLA money and leave it to your family after you die, or make a comfortable living now that affords you to give to causes / people you believe in?  WHY?

What’s the point of saving for a future that could be taken away? There is no guarantee my family will enjoy it or Spend it doing worth while things. Id give it away now and watch the seed grow.

I would rather make hella money and leave it to my family. It would feel great knowing my family is taken care of once I’ve left this life.

Comfortable living. I can still give my family a legacy/empire if I work hard and build it while I’m alive so they won’t blow through the money.

I would make a comfortable living and give to causes/people I believe in. I would want to put my money to good use while I’m here instead of letting it pile up to give to my family members to blow. If I were to leave my money behind for family members, it would be for college and trust funds for my nephews and niece.

Comfortable living. I want to see my legacy before I leave this earth.

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i think this might be me.

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my family, if I left them $$$ LOL

(don’t tell them i said that)

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Would you rather…

…lose your sight or your hearing?  why?

My sight. I’d hate to not hear my loved one’s voices.

I think I would prefer to keep my sight. Even though I’d miss hearing great music, I couldn’t bare not being able to see my daughter’s beautiful face or not being able to see a sunset or watch the waves of the water.

Sight. If I could never listen to music ever again I would be a very deeply depressed human.

Ugh that’s the hardest question everrr! I guess since I’m a visual artist the ears would have to go?

Hearing. The World is just to beautiful to not be able to see.

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Would you rather…

…text message or talk on the phone? why?

Text, lol. I hate talking on the phone. A text I can send it and walk away. A phone makes me feel trapped. And cell phones cause cancer sooo. 🙂

I would rather talk on the phone. It’s much more intimate. Being able to hear the tone of whom you’re talking to. You don’t have to guess what someone means or is saying. Actual talking is personable.

Talk on the phone. Hearing tones in voices is so important.

I actually like both. I believe you connect with the person more by talking on the phone. Texting is super convenient, because there times when you can’t talk, but want to. I believe phone calls are for nights, weekends and lunch breaks, so I guess I’ll go with texting.

Both. Depends who I’m talking to. I prefer FaceTime with those closest to me. Text when I don’t feel like talking and phone only when it’s absolutely necessary.

 

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100% MEEEEE.

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not gonna call any names here, but…

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well, that was interesting.  right?!

The goal of this post was to a) confirm that you (or i) am not crazy and to b) make us think about what / how / why we choose the things we do.  also, this post is about how those choices impact us and the people in our lives.

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mission accomplished.

i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @THEPOWERPACT

BE HUMBLE, AND CELEBRATE YOU.

i write this while feeling equal parts “jump with excitement” & “jump off a cliff”.

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if you ask me, HUMILITY is a game.

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by definition, the word HUMBLE sucks.  seriously?! –  a “low estimate of one’s own importance”?!  get outta here with that noise!  i am on board with the synonym “respectful”, but outside of that all of the other words are things i strive not to be.

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so maybe it’s that we need to redefine the anatomy of the word HUMBLE. i asked a few anonymous friends to help me out with this, and here is what they had to say:

how do you remain humble while working toward bettering yourself?

By thinking of others who simply have it worse. I may want a better job to make more money to buy nicer things but in all honesty some people don’t have a job, make little to no money and are happy with the “things” they already have.

Reminding myself there’s always someone better out there and go just keep bettering myself.

Check yourself! I always look at a situation and wonder, what could I have done differently to produce a better outcome. This works everywhere- work, home, kids, socially. I mess up, I say the wrong things, invest in the wrong people/activities, over extend myself, etc. Looking back and learning from what I’ve done, it can hurt, but it helps me grow and move forward.

Prayer and servitude.

i let my work speak for itself. I challenge myself not others. Others accomplishments are commended not competition. I don’t envy.

Staying in the moment. Day by day progress. Staying focused on my own growth.

By never forgetting how far I have come and how easy it is to get back there.

yes, yes, and YES.  It’s pretty simple.

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HUMBLE 2.0, by [my] definition:

  1. Listen more, talk less.

  2. Show appreciation.

  3. Know that there is room at the top.

  4. Be open to making mistakes. Ask for help.

  5. Don’t micromanage.

  6. Welcome criticism.

  7. Don’t be a jerk.

be humble, but still be openly AMAZING.

being HUMBLE does not mean you have to trade in your confidence or self love. Continue to be AMAZING, proudly.  Continue to strive and thrive and grow.

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and periodically, in the midst of your humility, take a second and really bask in your own excellence.

Think about that thing you did right at work.

Think about your kids, your pets, your friends.

Think about how you didn’t cuss that person out (even though they deserved it).

Think about the promotion you just got.  …or the promotion you didn’t get, but all of the things you want to do in preparation for your next step.

Think about how you didn’t kill the plant you bought, so maybe you do have a nurturing soul somewhere down in there.

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brag on yourself. just do it! tell us something dope about YOU.

I have great people skills (s/o to Mom) and love having good relationships with people

Between work, kids, and time with friends and family, I make time to give back to my community. Working with my neighbors to better our community and those around us is so important to me. Introducing my daughter to that watching her drive those around us, has been an amazing bond for us.

I have the ability to Motivate and Inspire people.

I made an awesome kid.

I am a down ass chick! Loyal, persistent and resilient I am uniquely un-abiding to societal expectations which allows me to unapologetically and relentlessly strive toward the bigger picture. I want nothing more than to help make your dreams come true and I am capable of achieving anything! I’m a projector, ask and you will receive, it’s my human design.

The ability to balance motherhood, womanhood, a career, furthering my education, financially and emotionally supporting my family comes easy to me. I manage to be cute, charming, and confident all the while.

I give a damn about people. And I do something about things going wrong

I’m freakin hilarious. Maybe not stand up comedian hilarious, but the stuff that comes out of my mouth has people in tears. And I can cook/bake my tail off.

I LOVE. ❤

 

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Being humble (by it’s new definition / anatomy) is great and all, but i think it is equally important to know when to celebrate yourself.  we find our power when we observe and live between the lines of HUMBLE and PROUD.  the key is to NOT let the pride take over – then you start to head into the dangerous territory i like to call “jerk status”.

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you better be careful with the PRIDE, honey.  it’ll get you before you even know it!.

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here are a few ways to keep your pride in check.

give us some advice. what are a few things we can do to not be a jerk to others?

Think before you speak. Think about your tone. Think about how it’s going to be received. Care about others feelings. Show empathy.

Be empathetic. Understand that peoples attitudes and energies have a lot to do with the circumstances around them and not who they are at their core. We all get overwhelmed. You never know what others are going through. Be kind. Don’t let their darkness dim your ability to be light.

Treat yourself well, don’t compromise your character for anyone. Your self worth is reflected in how you treat others so start from the inside. “Free your mind and the rest will follow. Be color-blind, don’t be so shallow.”

Listen with open ears. Talk TO people not AT them. Be open minded. Approach others with little to NO judgement. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes even if you could/would never wear them

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at the end of the day, we just want to be the best versions of ourselves that we can imagine.

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we want to be successful.  we want to grow.  we want to be humble, but we also want life-moments to celebrate.  and, we want to be around people who can share it all with us.

who sets the bar for success in your life? why?

I set the bar for success in my life. The reason why is simple. I am responsible for my life, my happiness and my success.

God through me or me through God. I answer to a higher power because that’s what I was sent here to do. My vision for success is out of this world.

My husband. Always holding me down. We are better together.

I set the bar for success for me. I trust God that I’m right where I’m supposed to be. I keep pressing my way and stay focused on what my current goals are.

A few women I work with. They are unapologetically true to themselves and inspire me everyday.

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friends, have BALANCE BALANCE BALANCE.  work hard.  be the bomb.  know you are the bomb.  let others tell you you are the bomb.  and stay respectful.

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i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @THEPOWERPACT

WE [ALL] NEED CLOSURE

i write this while thinking it’s not about me, knowing that it is.

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no matter how you cut it, getting CLOSURE in most situations sucks.  unless you are the one victoriously skipping away after putting the final ca-bash on a situation, then 9.9 times out of 10, it sucks. right?!  ok, so let’s jump right in…

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CLOSURE IS:

> Something that you once counted on as very important to your life that is over and done.

> Closure means finality; a letting go of what once was.

> Finding closure implies a complete acceptance of what has happened and an honoring of the transition away from what’s finished to something new.

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FINALITY.

ACCEPTANCE.

LETTING GO.

MOVING ON.

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i know, i’m freaking out too.

i don’t have a whole lot of words for this post…i think we need to just process it together.

talk about a situation where you never got closure.

My last two breakups. We just stopped talking to each other. I’m always open to friendship with an ex. I don’t believe in tossing people aside especially if I’ve shared significant parts of my life with them, but I understand not all people feel that way and I have to move on with no “closure”.

My very best friend got ill. In the midst I forgot to inform one of our other friends immediately. When I did, she got in her feelings and we got into it. She basically said we are only online friends now. I haven’t spoken to her since. We’ve been friends for over 20 years. It’s been like 3-4 months since the incident. I don’t even know where we stand. I refuse to reach out to her.

Forgiveness is hard for me. Sometimes the people you trusted the most hurt you the worst and in so many ways there is no coming back from that. At this point in my life, respect is earned not given. An apology without action behind it means shit. Ultimately the growth that (I, Me, She, Queen) experienced due to finally having closure but never being the same me again, has been a blessing in disguise. Despite the gut wrenching pain to get to this point, I will be okay.

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My Story:

about ten years ago, i had a close friend just completely disappear on me.  we had been in touch nonstop for three years prior, had done some business together, had all the same friends, etc etc.  the person left town for a while to go take care of some stuff out of state, then i somehow wound up buying them a plane ticket back home. [for which i was never thanked or repaid] (red flag). <— do i sound bitter?  haha!  whatevs…i’m human.

Image result for wtf gifupon returning everything was fine – we were hanging out, vibe seemed normal, but i was somehow footing the bill for everything (red flag).  after a couple weeks i called the person (who somehow weaseled a cell phone onto MY account – level 10 red flag smh). when we met up they said they’d “forgotten their wallet” (BURNING RED FLAG), so i had to cover the bill for the food we’d already eaten. [DANG I WAS NAIVE! – THIS IS BASIC “NO NO NO NO NO” STUFF HERE]

Image result for wtf gifthe next day, they asked for a ride to the area where i worked.  they said they just wanted to hang out and kill time til i got off, then we would go to a friend’s house not too far away.  i took my lunch break and met up with them – they’d already eaten, and they had arm loads of shopping bags.  [MAGICALLY, THEY HAD MONEY!] then, at the end of my shift i called and called and called the person – radio silence.  that silence is still in effect today – a decade later!  i saw them once since that day, and we had an exchange of greetings then just kept it moving. turns out this person was a ‘serial moocher’, and i was just one of several victims.

in this situation CLOSURE was forced on me because the person vanished [THANK GOD, IN HINDSIGHT].  i got played, then the person completely fell off the face of the earth.

i’m sure i’m not the only one who’s had a MANIPULATIVE friend or two out there.

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The thing to remember when someone has taken advantage of your good nature (or in any type of relationship that has seen its final day) is that when you are finally out of the situation, even if you don’t get traditional reconciliation and CLOSUREIT’S OKAY.  You’re not stupid.  You will live.  You can be a whole person, still.

and, if the closure you seek involves something that was a huge part of your life (like a relationship / marriage / job), the rules are still the same: IT’S OKAY.  You’re not stupid.  You will live.  You can be a whole person, still.

ALSO, if you were the crazy one in the situation – now that it’s over: IT’S OKAY.  You’re not stupid.  You will live.  You can be a whole person, still.

NO MATTER WHAT, THESE BABIES ARE STILL THE KEYS TO CLOSURE:

FINALITY. ACCEPTANCE. LETTING GO. MOVING ON.

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if you could say the thing you’ve never been able to say to someone in order to bring closure to a situation, what would it be?

You hurt me.

I’d say I can’t have you in my life anymore because I deserve better.

Seriously just fuck off. My love is too special to sprinkle on those who don’t appreciate it.

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truth. truth. truth!

if a situation is no longer serving you, you know it.  the hard part is letting it go.  sometimes, the universe pulls the plug for you (like in my situation).  other times, you have to seek out ways to reconcile your heart and mind – and then leave.

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here are a few things i’ve learned that help with the process of gaining CLOSURE:

 

  1. Recognize that there’s no time table for moving on.

  2. Give yourself permission to feel sad, or whatever the feeling is that comes your way.

  3. Forgive yourself.

  4. Forgive the situation.

  5. Accept that you may never get an apology, and learn to live with that.

  6. Fill your heart and soul with things that make you feel amazing.

  7. Remember who you are.

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REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE.

That is the most important piece for me.  Even if a friendship or relationship fell apart, if your career is no longer fulfilling you, and even if you got played by the homie like me – REMEMBER HOW STRONG AND AMAZING AND UNIQUE AND RESILIENT YOU ARE.

Even in situations where i did not gain CLOSURE, i still try to think about what i brought to the table and what the legacy of my existence will look like.  Will they remember me as a raging b-i-t-c-h?  maybe, briefly, but overall i bet I WILL BE REMEMBERED AS A GIVER WITH A GOOD HEART WHO VALUED HERSELF.  And that’s really all that matters to me.

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if someone from your past had to describe you to the world, what might they say?

She is light and funny and sweet

She loves the Lord. She loves unconditionally. She’s funny and sweet and a great mother. She’s stronger than she gives herself credit for.

A work in progress.

What would be said about YOU?  Comment below.

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i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @THEPOWERPACT

 

All You Need is Somebody to Lean on

i write this while laughing, which is good.

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we all need someone we can lean on in life.

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i was trying to find writing inspiration this morning and one of my besties reached out to catch up via text message.  we started to talk about situational relationships, close-knit friendships that exist mostly through digital connectivity, and how to help those around you raise their vibrations without grabbing them by the face and yelling BE HAPPY directly into their noses. (haha – gross exaggeration, but you feel me).  let’s explore these topics a little bit more – my homegirl stopped texting me so she could go shovel snow, lol.

SITUATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS & FINDING COMFORT

Image result for situationshipwe all have situational relationships.  most of them exist at work, at the gym, or on the internet.  i’m not talking about the style of “situationship” when you’re like, kinda dating someone but not officially – nah bruh, different post, different day.  i’m speaking on the people that we come into contact every day with which we have connections, conversation, and ongoing story lines that exist outside of the rest of our lives.

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you know what i mean?  the co-workers who are your tribe and who you truly love, but who only exist for you during the hours of 8 – 5, monday through friday.  the homegirl at yoga that you vibe out with over green juice twice a week (or whatever people do after yoga).  your favorite bartender who you tell all your semi-secrets to because (s)he doesn’t exist in your actual life.  that’s who i’m referencing here.

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situational relationships are fairly healthy because they provide space for you to emotionally unpack in small doses and feel safe as you navigate familiar spaces in your daily life. they create a series of ‘home bases’ so that you never feel too far away from something that provides comfort.  this is good, because it allows you to grow your capacity for interaction with others and flexes your ability to trust. but, beware.  they can also breed energy that becomes a little too comfortable, and could potentially throw off the balance of the rest of your life. (don’t be that girl / guy)

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ultimately, we all just want to feel human and comfortable and valuable and seen.  right?!  not rocket science.  in order to do that, we have to establish a few really solid connections that make us feel whole.

FRIENDS = COMFORT.

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and, we need SELF ACCEPTANCE to find COMFORT.  we need to be able to look in the mirror, see what we’re working with, think about our story and the things we cannot change, and keep it moving.  not easy, but it is reality.

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this may be a little left field for some, but think about how agonizing it is to watch someone who can’t walk in heels.  LOL.  it is gruesome! that is how it looks to the outside world when someone is visibly unable to embrace SELF ACCEPTANCE.  it is obvious they are trying, but it just ain’t working out!

SELF ACCEPTANCE = COMFORT

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don’t get me wrong, finding COMFORT in yourself is a multi-phased process and it is not in any way easy.  but, it is absolutely worth it.

Where do you find COMFORT?

My dog. My couch. My “me” time.

The sun. I like to know what to expect next. Every night I look for the moon Every morning I look for the sun. They have never failed me.

I find comfort in a clean, candle lit house, with Sade playing in the background and having a moment to myself to just breathe. Which is hard to do when you have three kids and a demanding life.

being loved, a good conversation, food, meditation/prayer, sex, alcohol, exercise, learning, reading and sometimes sleep.

Home. Sage. Music. Hugs. Laughter. Experiences.

music, family, hot showers, dessert
weed and my significant other

our need to find and feel COMFORT comes from feeling like we need someone / something to lean on.  WE NEED A WAY TO COPE with the things life throws at us.

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WE NEED SOMETHING WE CAN TRUST TO BE THERE for us.

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when we can’t find comfort it totally throws us out of whack, and then…you know what happens next, WE FREAK OUT.

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we all do it. and it IS going to happen sometimes.

When I freak out, I…

When I am freaking out I allow myself to freak out, we are human after all and all our emotions count and mold us into who we are. After said freak out session however I collect myself, collect my thoughts, and give myself a pep talk and create a plan to deal with whatever it is that is freaking me out. Affirmations help too. “I am resilient, I am smart, I am beautiful.” and “Stop tripping heaux.”

make music, listen to podcasts, take a shower, change environments or put myself in the position to help others.

Breathe and Pray. I also vent to my friends who keep a great ear

Compulsively clean. Binge eat. Drop $$$ at Target. Cry. Smoke a bowl. Smoke another bowl. Realize I should have just gone for a jog. Yoga. I mean try to yoga. I feel to heavy to even Adho mukha śvānāsana so I just savasana. Thinking about Khloe Ks 2015 Complex Mag cover until I sink into the depths of the earth. Regret the binge. Juice cleanse. Call my mom and proceed to emotional dump on her. What? She does it to me! Aaaah, the guilt. 3 Advil. Smoke a bowl. Incense. Music. Meditate. Visualize. Paint. Sweet relief. Sage the shit out my house. Fuck you uterus.

Usually scream or cry. Sometimes throw things.

talk to God and to my close few… while biting my nails.

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so how do we clean up the mess after we have completely freaked out?  do we turn to our “situationships” to help bail us out emotionally? do we text our bestie who lives 3000 miles away in hopes that they can ’emoticon’ your emotions back to normal and tell you you’re not crazy? or do we trust our gut, pull it together, and keep living life?!  (let’s go with the last one, or at least a combination that heavily includes the last one.)

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ok so say YOU’VE got it all together, how do you help the people around you avoid a total meltdown?

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  1. PROTECT YOUR VIBE before helping anyone else.

  2. DON’T GET SUCKED IN to someone who thrives on negativity.

  3. KNOW THAT YOU CANNOT HELP EVERYONE. So don’t even try.

  4. RECOGNIZE WHEN IT IS BEYOND YOUR ABILITY TO HELP.

  5. KEEP VULTURES OUT OF YOUR LIFE.

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I avoid people who are…

Complainers, pretentious and non-contributing.

Republican, overly negative, drug users

Confrontational

I avoid people who are negative and don’t positively impact my life. I don’t need you to necessarily add to my life, just don’t take from it. I’m quick to cut a n-word off so don’t get comfortable.

selfish, disloyal, non-communicative, always negative, bigots or just not good for my energy.
Not willing to take responsibility for their own actions
Negative, over emotional, non-motivated and not looking to ever better themselves

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this week i felt like…

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wooosaaaa x 1000!  since we never know what the day or the week with throw at us, it is super important that we set ourselves up to:

1) have someone to lean on

2) be open to others needing to lean on you from time-to-time.

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Protect your vibe. Protect your heart, but keep it open.  Trust yourself and the ones who love you.  Seek comfort in healthy ways and cling to it, yet still be ready to jump out of your comfort zone at any moment. and when you need to freak out, know that you will find your way back to being okay.  you will be [more than] okay.  you’ve got this.

so, in summary, if you just kinda assume one of these vibes, you should pretty much be ok in all situations (i just made these up, btw):

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The “OPEN ENERGY HOLISTIC ILL-ALWAYS-TEXT-YOU-RIGHT-BACK WARRIOR” VIBE

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The “YEAH, I JUST FREAKED OUT.  BUT IM COOL NOW” VIBE

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The “TRUST ME, EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT IF WE JUST BAND TOGETHER” VIBE

(i still dont like the “somebody to lean on” song or this weird possibly appropriating video, but it makes sense within the context of this post)

i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @THEPOWERPACT

 

 

Reflecting On a Better ME

i write this because we need to hear it.

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this week was utterly insane, do you agree?  besides the deluxe super blood orange blue hyper moon eclipse (i kid, it was dope), there was just a lot of other hectic energy floating around that everyone was trying their hardest to dodge.  but, we made it through!

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 now it’s time to celebrate YOU.

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from what i gathered through my latest anonymous survey, most of y’all have zero issues celebrating yourself on a regular basis, so you go, y’all!  let’s jump right in:

I make time for myself…

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i find it so interesting that 50% of participants have a daily practice in which they make time for themselves.  what gives me most joy is that zero percent of participants clicked on the “ain’t nobody got time for that” option, which means that at the core, people really do want to show up for themselves and do something that keeps us connected (even when we are going through tough times and have “who am i again?” vibes.)

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so, how do we stay connected?  how do we stay in tune with the best parts of ourselves? and how do we move about in a cruel world without losing sight of just how incredible we are?

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humor me for a sec.

my mom (who is probably reading this) is terrible with computers and devices, but she is the MOST CONNECTED PERSON I HAVE EVER KNOWN.  she is one of the most selfless, beautiful people on this earth and devotes her time to filling the spiritual / emotional tanks of those around her. she is everything i want to be.

but, what makes her extra dope is that even when a thousand people are leaning on her for support, she somehow is able to keep enough of that “secret sauce” for HERSELF.  she knows when to plug in and when to unplug. she can guard her heart and mind in a way that let’s her do for others while keeping a little bit tucked away for herself. y’all think i’m something special?  – just know I GET IT FROM MY MAMA.  after 35+ years watching her float through the world, i learned a few skills.  now, i want to share them with you:

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  1. save some energy for YOURSELF first.

  2. give. share. give some more.

  3. know when to plug in and when to unplug.

  4. write down things that matter to you.

  5. don’t stop believing.

when you put these things into motion, i mean REALLY do them, you will see your life transform.

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the trick is to make these new areas of focus so easy that your mind doesn’t even realize how much you’ve changed until your heart relays the message.  until you breathe more deeply.  until you notice your tears drying up. your reaction time slowing down. your ability to recover happening at a faster rate.  your level of patience going up…

then, because your new normal involves all of these simple, yet amazing practices, you have the ‘heart space’ to look back into your life and celebrate (or forgive) yourself.  you also have the capacity to look ahead and celebrate (or prepare) yourself.

YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

The last time I remember really feeling amazing was…

This morning! Nothing is perfect but I choose to wake up happy.

I’m feeling pretty amazing right now, this blue moon and the energy have me reflecting in ways I never thought I could. I’m at this point in my life where I mastered self love, and I just want to share it with the world.

 

It’s been a while

 

When I hear how valued I am as a person.

Yesterday, giving time and a listening ear to someone who really needed it. In my opinion, the only path to peace is giving to others.

When my son was born.

i mentioned my mom earlier because she is someone i really admire.  she knows how to fill all of the right emotional spaces that someone needs at any given moment. i’ve been loaning her out to my friends who need a mother’s love for years, and yes hit me up if you need to borrow her too.  i can’t be greedy with a mom this dope.

let’s see who our respondents admire:

I really admire…

I really admire people who struggle people who love even when they once felt empty. As a person of Color, gay, of Filipino decent, raised in a low income neighborhood in San Francisco. My heart is filled with love. Love from all the social toxins and micro aggressions, I’ve experienced. Love from the struggle of being a gay man, being bullied, silenced, and outed beyond my own choice. Love from a young brown boy, growing up in The hold figuring out where to fit in. The streets? The schools? The socials? The scene? My love comes from the struggle that burdened me through these years. The story that I chose not to tell because the pain and trauma I’ve come across. My story has been untold, twisted, and silenced causing me to be broken, betrayed, and unsettled. It’s a time of releasing and I’m finally healed. I admire the struggle.

Everyone with a strong work ethic. Sometimes I just want to sit down on the couch and watch Netflix after a 7 hour day, but then I think about people like my boyfriend, who is a bartender, who is on his feet from 4pm-3am, and makes less money than I do… And I get up off my butt and push myself to do something more productive. (Most of the time.)

People who rally other people, including strangers, to stay positive and be kind.

My sister. She gives of herself constantly, without fail and never seems to need “me time”. All of her free time, for the most part, is spent volunteering or doing something for someone else. She’s amazing!

Individuals that genuinely love life

Anyone who’s stood up against someone who abused them.

Patience. I don’t have it, and while I work to improve that, I’ll watch those who do with admiration.

my mom

these responses are so so powerful.  it just dawned on me how important the word REFLECT is to the core of this post.  REFLECT is a word with two meanings, and both are equally crucial to our growth.  check it:

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“throw back without absorbing it” – that (to me) means to put out into the atmosphere the same types of things that we want coming our way.  right?!  or to BE LIKE THE PEOPLE WE ADMIRE, because they are versions of what we are striving to be.

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the other piece is to “think deeply or carefully about” – which means to make time to internalize, contemplate, re-think what you’ve already done before moving into action.

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so all in all, if we THINK DEEPLY AND CAREFULLY ABOUT OUR ACTIONS / INTENTIONS, THEN THROW BACK POSITIVITY INTO THE WORLD we will all be living our fullest, best lives.

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then, we can really be proud of our contribution to the world.  we will feel more and more like we have purpose.

i was proud of my self the time i…

Didn’t give up.

I’m proud of myself anytime I make myself do something outside of my comfort zone, which is almost daily. Whether it’s a little thing or a big thing. I always feel good after I do it, even if it sucks along the way!

I’m proud of myself for learning how to be me without giving a damn about what society things. Being able to be beautiful inside and out. Self love is where it’s at, when you love your self fully and whole heartedly you’re able to give 100% to everyone and everything around you.

Heard my 4 year old daughter gushing about how much she loves her baby brother.

Walked away from a career that no longer satisfied or fulfilled me. I was doing things that would gain others (whom I didn’t respect) notoriety. Their buckets were full and mine was empty. As soon as I realized it would not change, I jumped. I jumped with faith in God and faith in myself. Sometimes you have to be your own hero.

Said “No” to someone that was toxic for my life. Finally pushed them out.

Stood up against my attacker.

we are stronger than we feel.  smarter than we know.  more visionary than we see.

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i love myself today because…

I love myself today because that’s what I was sent here to do; autonomously. It’s hard to achieve anything when you’re caught up in the inner dialogue “I love me; I love me not”. If our inner voice just stops at “I love me” we can easily move forward and carry on with next level objectives like spreading love, teaching love, BEING love. I love myself because I’m fearless, capable, competent, resilient, loving, authentic, expansive and uncharted.

I love my self today because I’m brown, beautiful, and come from struggle. I love where I come from. I love that I’m resilient, I love that my love is sourced from others.

I tried my best. And my makeup looks amazing

I’m still here. Im still fighting to become the best version of myself with deeper understanding of others and to give more than I take. I’m seeing that’s where true contentment comes from.

I am the shit and Work with a bunch of Badass women that are empowering every day.

I don’t think I do

 

it’s not as easy as these blog posts make it seem.  beyond the quotes and the gifs and the attempts as co-creating a means for discussing for self love and acceptance, i know that it is hard.  hell, it’s hard for me.

me, also me:

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I write these posts and source these quotes so that we can rely on each other – so that we can know that there are others out there thinking the same thoughts, with similar past experiences, who are also seeking to evolve and elevate who we are.

i write these posts as a reminder that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

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we are the sum of our parts, not all of which is filled with glitter an sunshine. 

if we make time to discover new aspects of ourselves, to think about ourselves in a new light, and to perhaps chip away at old pain by allowing in new ways of paying attention to ourselves, we might just morph ourselves into something more epic than we thought we could be.

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MAKE TIME TO REFLECT, THEN MOVE TOWARD HAPPINESS, JOY & INNER PEACE.

 

 

i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @THEPOWERPACT

Pursue Your PURPOSE

i write this for those that are still trying to figure it out.

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WARNING: in order for you to fully feel this post [I had to] clear your mind.

WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?

this is the million dollar question that has sent many of us down a crazy rabbit hole in search of why we are here.  some of us have even lost valuable time in our lives because we got stuck trying to figure out why the heck we are on this earth.  can you relate?  if so, keep reading – you are not alone.

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since we are already alive and kicking, when we think about our PURPOSE it usually starts with thinking about what we are trying to live for. some of us are living to make a better life for our family, some are living to get rich or die trying.  others just want to be accepted for who they are – either way, we have all looked up at the sky at some point and yelled “WHY AM I HERE?!” (metaphorically, for most)

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i asked a few anonymous friends to tell me what they’re living for – here is what they said.

I LIVE TO:

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the crazy thing with life is that even though we don’t quite know why we are here at times, we are often living our lives for the betterment of those around us.

WE WANT PEOPLE TO BE HAPPY. 

WE WANT TO TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.

but… that happiness comes with contingencies.  people who do not have consistent exposure to love, joy, and happiness sometimes find it particularly hard to connect to their life’s PURPOSE.  and sometimes for those of us who are constantly surrounded by love and positivity it is still hella hard to figure out why the eff we were dropped down here and what we are supposed to do now that we exist. am i right, or am i right?!

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finding our PURPOSE is something every single one of us has on our minds, not just you.

questioning or trying to discover our PURPOSE can be shoved to the forefront of our crazy brains from a number of things – anything from having a baby, getting a good or bad grade on a test, pressure at work, gaining or losing weight, growing boobs as a pre-teen, or discovering your sexuality. most of us find it hard to narrow down the specifics of our PURPOSE in this crazy game of Tetris we call life.

Honestly though, i think i’ve got it figured out.

i took all of  the pressure off of myself and am now just left with this:

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 just be happy, yo!  That’s IT.

delve into things that make you happy as often as possible and you are pursuing your purpose.

when we make HAPPINESS, JOY, LOVE, and PEACE the only ways we measure our PURPOSE in life, we take all of the pressure off of trying to seek out some giant, world-dominating reason that we are here.

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 that makes “success” simply a bi-product of pursuing and living in our PURPOSE.

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Think about when we were younger – trying to figure things out was so daunting.  most of us spent our adolescence freaked-the-eff-out about basically everything – homework, parents, friends, bodies, feelings, religion – i mean, you name it, we were freaked out by it.  yet, we were also all trying to seem so cool! lol.  we were trying to look like we had it all figured out. but, we didnt.

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we were caught between our upbringing and who we were destined to become – 

(which basically means we were probably all totally insane)

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If I could go back to 15 year old me, I would say…

You are beautiful.

I would say to myself “listen to your heart and your dreams! Take a moment to know yourself and love yourself because no one can do it better than you. Allow yourself to make mistakes and know it’s ok because you will learn more by taking those risks. Relationships will come and go and know you will always be fine at the end. Go to cosmetology school and learn how to sew and persue art. Know that I Love you too!”

You are good enough

You are more than your sex.

What I thought I read first (lol): Go back 15 years: You don’t need to be in such a hurry. Be humble, keep it simple and don’t overbook yourself (aka burn candle at both ends). Give quality time to less projects rather than taking on more and doing a half ass job. Have faith. Don’t compare yourself to others, there is room for everyone to succeed and accomplish their dreams in this life. Set healthy boundaries in all of your relationships. Meditate. 15 year old me: You can say no to boys..its ok. You are a beautiful, talented and funny girl that doesn’t need validation from boys or “friends” to be your true self. Speak your mind and surround yourself with people that make you feel good and happy. Meditate.

You’ll be okay. Don’t be afraid. Tell it like it is. You’re not alone.

It’s going to be okay. Having a child at 15 is not going to define you or ruin your life. You are going to be okay, he is going to grow up to be wonderful and more than you could ever dream. You are also going to grow into a beautiful woman that inspires. Don’t give up.

preach, yall!  what i get out of these quotes from my friends is that we have to reach back to who we used to be and make good on what and how we feel/felt in our younger days in order to become a whole person in the present.  making good with our past is a non-negotiable step in living in our PURPOSE.

look in the mirror and tell yourself WE ARE OKAY.  we got through it, we survived, we moved forward.  I AM OKAY.

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for our whole lives most of us have felt like we’ve had to impress the world, or like we have to keep the “show” rolling and never look vulnerable.  we’ve been duped to believe that our PURPOSE is to look good in front of everyone, no matter the cost.

shocker, that’s a load of crap.

in my humblest opinion, OUR SOLE PURPOSE IS TO EXIST in a positive-centered, balanced, humble, forward-moving life.  that’s it.

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let’s see if the homies agree.

“Living a life with PURPOSE” means…

Believing in what fulfills you. Believing that you are worthy of achieving your goals. Unapologetically believing in yourself and following your own compass…. waking up every day ready to achieve greatness because you believe. No money, no time, no person, no fear can get in your way when you’re living purposefully. Dream, believe, achieve.

Giving back. Serving others. Finding your gifts and using them for good.

Living your life to the fullest while being kind to others

To not give in to societies norms, to live by own standards, do things my way because it feels right. Knowing that even when I make mistakes and things don’t go my way that I can learn, let go, and move on.

Doing what is right, especially when it’s difficult. Taking care of those who need your care.

Taking time to acknowledge your desires and putting them into action. Taking care of yourself so you can be of service to others…family, community, the person walking down the street that needs a smile. Living a life sourced in LOVE.

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and, even though most of us are not where we want to be in life (whatever that means), we need to see the beauty and strength in being exactly who / where we are. we need to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are WORTHY, we are ENOUGH, we have a PURPOSE, and we are LOVE(D).

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so…what is your PURPOSE?

To raise my children to be respectful and caring to all people. With all the changes in our country, it’s more important than ever to stand up for what is right, and take care of people in need.

Not really sure. What am I sure of is that I want to be a good human being and leave a mark on this World.

To make a difference in this world by inspiring others to follow their dreams and to simply be Happy!

My purpose is to figure out what my purpose is. But doing that by a lot of trial and error, self-exploration, trying new things, making mistakes, loving, losing, learning to take things as they come, and to make each day count. (Sorry, those last two were from Jack Dawson’s dinner speech in Titanic.)

I am here to live my truth as proof that despite it all WE CAN. We can all get out of bed everyday and choose personal excellence. We can all get paid for doing what we Love. We can all forgive continuously and graciously. We can all make mistakes and get back up. We can all have it all because there is enough for everyone. My purpose is fearless and intentional.

Love and be loved.

To live a life so good that at the end I can say “I did the damn thing, my way.”

To be honest and true to myself. Be honest and true to others.

To do whatever I can to get a positive outcome. Not just for me, not just for others, but for all. It’s not always possible, but what matters is that I go onto situations with this in mind.

Touch as many people as I can and Help spread joy and laughter

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i know, right?!  LIVING IN OUR PURPOSE IS WAAAAAY EASIER THAN WE THINK.

Here’s what it means to me:

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that’s it.  Now join me. go live in your PURPOSE.

i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @THEPOWERPACT

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QmNPrYy

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAY WHAT YOU MEAN. MEAN WHAT YOU SAY. SAY SOMETHING!

i write this for the ones who don’t want to cause trouble, and for those who need to speak [all the way] up!

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COMMUNICATION.

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a tap on the shoulder. a smirk. a vibe. an emoji. a thumbs up. smiles. a flirt, a frown, or an eff you! – all of these things directly convey a message from sender to recipient, and oh yeah bro, we get it.  it’s COMMUNICATION.

COMMUNICATION has been a make-or-break part of all of our lives since day one.  it’s fundamental, it’s amazing – it’s also scary and unavoidable.  we might be giving a friend a dissertation on why they shouldn’t buy those jeans, or trying to make awkward small talk with someone new; aggressively crying for no reason (me), busting up with laughter (me), or rolling our eyes (also me) – all of those show how we COMMUNICATE in a million different ways.

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looking at the big picture, COMMUNICATION can be broken into a few major categories:

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it seems so complex, but at the same time it makes perfect sense.  the key is for us to balance all of these things while finding the ebb and flow in every type of COMMUNICATION we have with others.

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the things i am [re]learning about communication are:

  1. VERBAL: MY WORDS CAN CHANGE THE COURSE OF [MY] HISTORY, so i need to speak up (and be careful)

  2. NON-VERBAL: MY FACE AND BRAIN NEED TO GET ON THE SAME PAGE, or i will COMMUNICATE without meaning to and potentially cause some trouble.

  3. FROM THE SOUL: I NEED TO SPEAK MY TRUTH WITHOUT FEAR OF WHAT WILL HAPPEN NEXT.

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i think one of the most difficult things about COMMUNICATION is a fear of judgement.  ugh, i know, i dropped a bomb.  fear of judgement.  it is the worst, most ever-present piece of crap stronghold that affects every single one of us from time to time.
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think about the kid in school (possibly yourself) who never wanted to raise their hand to answer a question, would never volunteer to participate in class, or who would do the homework but not turn it in.  that is a prime example of what i think of as a ‘microfear’ – it’s not big enough to acknowledge at the time, but 15 years later you’re like “GAH! i can totally relate to Jimmy Brooks in the 7th grade!” – you realize that the microfear of judgement has stifled your ability to openly share, participate, and COMMUNICATE.
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Another area that affects our ability to COMMUNICATE is our families.  look, friends, I am keeping my Oprah Winfrey hat off this week, but I just want us to consider this:
our family members are real, actual people. the titles of Mom, Dad, Sister, Uncle are just assignments that are given out by default.  we treat these people as super heroes, and their opinions / words / vibes can make or break us at the core.  they often hold the key to our self esteem, our growth plans (or lack thereof), and how we decide to present ourselves to the world. consider the stories you’ve heard about your family members, consider their actual lives outside of molding and shaping you as a child.  think about their hardships, their habits, the money they did or didn’t have.
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then…

FORGIVE THEM.  forgive them for the things they said, for the things they didn’t say, and for the vibes / looks / moments that put tiny fractures into your giant heart.  it will open up room in your heart for new / more love, and you will breathe deeper than you ever knew you could.  it will take time, and it wont be easy – but it will be worth it.

FORGIVE YOURSELF for not being who they wanted you to be. for wasting time trying to be someone you are not. and for not speaking up for yourself when the opportunities were there and you could have changed things. it’s okay.  you’re okay. we’re okay.  it’s going to be okay.
CELEBRATE YOURSELF for becoming the strong, amazing, evolved, resilient being that you see looking in the mirror.
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now doesn’t that feel good?!
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but it is hard as hell.
I asked a few anonymous friends about COMMUNICATION in my latest survey, and whoa – i was legit blown away.

KEEP IT REAL: DESCRIBE YOUR COMMUNICATION STYLE.

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Do you ever hold back from saying what you feel in order to keep the peace? How do you feel in those moments?

All the time and I feel stifled when I do, mad at myself for being worried about others feelings more than my own. It feels like I sacrificed my peace for theirs.

Sometimes. I’ve always been a believer in “think before you speak” and not always blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. I’m patient and watch before saying what I think and how it could be fixed.

For the sake of my mom I withhold saying what I need to say. How I feel in those moments is frustrated, angry and unappreciated. With friends I say what I need to say and let it be if it cost me my friendship then we were never friends.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve created a very clear line of when I should speak my mind or hold my tongue. But because I’m so stubborn, I sometimes don’t listen to myself. I think it comes from growing up feeling less-than & constantly hiding my feelings; Holding my tongue sometimes reverts my mindset back to being a kid and feeling inadequate & ignores all he progress that I’ve made, so suffice it to say, I don’t like it. But it’s necessary evil sometimes and, I think, a part of being a full fledged adult: knowing when to shut up.

Always. The idea of conflict gives me anxiety. I try to avoid it at all costs. I honestly don’t feel strong enough to deal with it most of the time.

 

Do you fear confrontation? Do you have any tips on how to approach difficult conversations?

I do not fear confrontation. In dealing with people I usually ask a lot of questions to understand why they thought their actions were acceptable when it hurt my feelings.

I do fear confrontation. I have a tendency to feel like I did something wrong even when I didn’t. ESPECIALLY if I need to confront someone. I go in feeling like the bad person just because I have to express my feelings. I fear the other persons reaction…I fear a pretend scenario. What I try to do is step away from that mind frame and remember that I’ve done nothing wrong and that I need to have more faith in humanity… that it will not turn into a battle or argument.

Tips: go in with a positive mindset, visualize your ideal outcome, don’t take yourself so seriously, write out what you are trying to express before the conversation and take 5 deep breaths before the confrontation. Deep breaths are key for all things in life.

I absolutely fear conflict. I’m still learning on how to approach difficult conversations. Someone gifted me a book on how to. One day I’ll actually read the book.

I fear confrontation, but my progress that I’ve made acknowledges that fear but continues in spite of it. I have absolutely no tips on approaching difficult conversations. It’s always such an intricate and delicate dance of feelings that I don’t believe is the same for anyone and any situation. Unless you don’t give a shit; Then make yourself heard any way you can. There’s a freedom in that, but it’s not always possible.

 

Who is the hardest person in your life to communicate with? Why?

My mother. I have always been one to try to skirt the issue with her. I do have moments where it’s hard to talk to her because she is very hard in her beliefs.

Some of my friends, my mother, and my child’s father. I don’t think they understand me, my thoughts, my feelings (or they won’t understand). I don’t want to be judged by them.

My parents and my ex partner. It is challenging at times communicating with my parents because they don’t have a place of reference managing people. Being an entrepreneur and then a creative. So at times there are large gaps in our communication or I have to go back to set up the foundation to our conversation then have our conversation and it’s exhausting. I love my ex partner and at times I struggled in speaking to him about how I feel and situations that have taken place. Immediately he would take things personal and no accountability because it’s always someone else’s fault.

My mom because she’s so sensitive, my white friends because they are truly oblivious to the struggles of black folks.

My dad. We have good conversations but there are certain subjects that I tend to stay away from. He’s very consumed with work and a little shut off at times. He can be stubborn and shut you down if you’re telling him something he doesn’t want to hear. He doesn’t always hear me..literally he can’t hear very well. lol. He also is quick to react if you have an opposing opinion. BUT, he is capable of having intellectual conversation if you can break past the initial reactive part of the conversation. I tend to not push the boundaries of our conversations though. Maybe I’ll try a little harder and be more aware of any excuses I’m trying to make for expressing myself…like I mentioned in the first answer.

I don’t have one person, but more of the type of person. That is of a coworker. The coworker/friend line is ever wavering & that relationship is incredibly complicated & just as fragile. We all slip from time to time in our communication with friends/family but if you slip at work, those consequences could be severe and long-lasting.

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so, friends, how do we do better?  how do we get beyond our microfear of judgement, how do we align our verbal and non-verbal COMMUNICATION?  how do we improve the way we COMMUNICATE with others?

i’ve got a game plan.

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WAYS TO OVERCOME BARRIERS IN COMMUNICATION

  1. Have a clear mind and clear thoughts.
  2. Have empathy toward the person you are COMMUNICATING with.
  3. Get over fears from the past.
  4. Adjust your COMMUNICATION style to meet the needs of the other person.
  5. Be respectful, and always be respected.
  6. Be ready for feedback.
  7. Keep your mind, heart, and body language in check.
  8. Don’t freak out.

WE CAN DO THIS.

LET’S COMMUNICATE BETTER THAN EVER IN ’18.

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i will always end our #powerpact sessions by saying that i see you, i love you, and i am on your side.  let’s grow.

Comment below to add to this flow of thought.

catch me on the ‘gram if you want at @THEPOWERPACT

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