What About Your Friends

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendships and how fragile and complicated some of these relationships can be. Friends play a vital role in making us who we are as individuals; true friends boost our self-confidence, are our partners in crime, our shoulder to cry on, and our comfort zones. In some instances, we are closer to our friends than we are to our siblings. That’s why it’s important that anyone in your life that you have given the “Friendship/Bestie” title, is able to – for lack of a better word… CHECK you!

Seriously… friends have the unique ability to pick up on the things happening around us and in true “Captain Save a Hoe” fashion, predict the negative outcomes of situations. It is then up to us to heed the advice of the people we trust to tell us the harsh truths and keep us grounded. In short… we choose whether or not to be saved!

Thankfully, I have been blessed with an amazing and diverse group of friends whom respect and value my opinion just as much as I do theirs. However… I realize that not everyone is as fortunate as I am. So what is one to do when you have a friend who is just stuck on stupid!?!? Do you continue to offer advise? Do you allow them to self destruct? Do you stick around to pick up the pieces after they fall apart, or do you give into your frustrations and walk away?

Here comes the blessing in today’s lesson…

It doesn’t matter how wonderful of a person you are, or how good a friend you are. You cannot save a person who doesn’t want to be saved. People have to want to change. They have to want better… and do better! Until our friends have reached a turning point in which they are open to receiving love and direction; your intentions, no matter how noble they may be, will be misinterpreted.

While I believe that holding on and hanging in there are signs of strength and integrity,  it is just as important that you know when to let go!  Remember this… “Sometimes people have to fall apart to realize that they need to fall back together.”

 

images2EBR4ZYJIMG_33281IMG_33411 This picture sums up over 30 yrs. of friendship! All the ladies pictured above make up the pieces of me. we’ve laughed, cried, loved, hated, and held on for years and years. I love my tribe to the moon and back <3.

 

Protection

Their are one hundred and one synonyms for the word protect. Recently I’ve learned that whether you are: defending, securing, safekeeping, or ensuring… it is important that you are the number one PROTECTOR of your own happiness!

If you follow my blog,  you already know that the latter half of 2016 was super stressful for me- mentally, physically, and emotionally. I found myself going through one ordeal after another and constantly defending my beliefs to people whom I thought were on the same page as me. Ultimately I had to remove these people from my life. I had to get back to the basics and revisit the places and things that make me happiest. In doing so, I rediscovered apart of me that was lost. I found the light!

I’ve always known that there is a light inside of me. I’ve felt it burning and bubbling in the center of my chest since I was a little girl. People young and old around the world have seen it. Some have even been able to point it out/ put their finger on it, while others have done their best to snuff it out.

When you find that you are in a relationship (Friendship or Romantic), a job, or any kind of situation that is draining you or dimming your light, it’s okay to walk away in order to protect your happiness. As a matter of fact… don’t walk away- RUN!!! Think about it, if a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.

So I stress that if you don’t remember anything else that I say, remember this… “While the light inside of us can lead us to great things, light also attracts moths, and the warmth of your light can attract parasites. PROTECT your ENERGY,  SAFEGARUD your LIGHT, and ENSURE your HAPPINESS!”

  • Pic 1: Getting my “Happy” on at the beach
  • Pic2: Words to live by
  • Pic 3: I love the visual of leaving behind the old and embracing the new!

 

Winners & Warriors

You insist on running around town looking and acting like a clown.

Big head in the clouds, tiny toes tipping across the ground

Making a lot of noise, doing any and everything  you can to attract the boys.

You’re too grown for this, so miss me with this.

I refuse to pull up a seat and watch as you self destruct.

Like a mirror, I can’t lie;

I won’t stick around and be your alibi.

I can’t have friends with no couth .

I run with winners and warriors; women who fight for their families and homes. Women who recognize that they are fully grown.

We are daughters  of the sun who don’t give up until the race is won.

We don’t self destruct.

We don’t give in. We don’t care whether or not we fit in-  we were born to stand out!

We are both Winner and Warrior and without a doubt…

We don’t self destruct!

BETTER

Listen. It takes a lot to impress me! I was born in the 80’s and raised in the 90’s by a strong, God fearing single mother, who worked hard to get a degree in nursing in her late twenties. This same woman saved up and moved her family from the hood to the suburbs. My mom held it down! Sometime she had to work two jobs, but she still managed to show up at every concert, pagent, and sporting event her children participated in. I know strength! I can recognize a fearless woman when I see one, and let me just tell you…. Chrisette Michele is all that and more!

I’m not even going to pretend like I wasn’t disappointed when I learned that she’d agreed to perform at Trumps Inagural ball. Chrisette being one of my favorite artist, I was mortified just thinking about how people (Black folks) would react to her decision.  It wasn’t long before the cat was out of the bag, and as expected the dragging begun.

I tried to stay away from “The Facebook” and “The Twitter.” I tried to read between the lines, and understand Chrisette’s motivation. See as a real Chrisette Michele fan, I know that “Sistuh girl” just wrapped a show in which she toured the country over the past six months. Chrisette literally ended one tour only to embark on a second one promoting her own album; which is on her own label! I say that only to say that money could not have been her only motivator!!!

I repeat “MONEY COULD NOT HAVE BEEN HER ONLY MOTIVATOR.” Not when Twitter exploded! Not when thousands of people threatened to boycott, unfollow, and never support her art again.

Thousands of people flooded Chrisette’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and business page with hateful messages that ultimately broke my heart. Seeing the storm that this woman was riding shook me to my core. I mean when you love somebody, you never really stop loving them; and I love Chrisette! I love her so much that I had her debut album “I Am”, playing in the delivery room as I gave birth to my first child.

I’m connected with Chrisette, and I’m real with myself! I know that once my mind is made up, there is nothing anyone can say or do to change it. I know that when I am passionate about something, I’ll fight tooth and nail for it! So who am I to judge, look down on, or berate Chrisette Michele simply because she made a decision that I don’t agree with?

I realize that for many of us things got real when Trump was elected to the White House. I know that we are both afraid of, and ready for whatever may come our way with this new administration. However… it is fact that the world will continue to turn until sweet Jesus decides to return for us! Until then, we have got to do a BETTER  job of sticking together and taking care of one another.

We have got to do BETTER!

We laugh and make jokes out of everything when everything ain’t funny! We allow ourselves to be divided, when we should be coming together. We stay shaming folks on social media, all the while leaving undeniable proof that many of us are still but crabs in a bucket!

WE HAVE GOT TO DO BETTER!!!

We build people up, only to tear them down the moment they go against the grain. Sadly, we keep giving life to aweful words like Coon and Jigaboo; these words should have died a long time ago.

Let’s just be real for a moment… internet bullying does not qualify as activism! In the age of social media we are “shucking and jiving” with our Twitter fingers and quick wit. All while sitting behind computer desks or standing in line at Starbucks.

We  are making ourselves look bad, and we have got to do BETTER!

I am by no means a Trump supporter! At this very moment, I am still uncertain as to why Chrisette decided to perform. But what I do know is that Chrisette Michele is a grown woman who can do as she pleases!

Furthermore, I find it ironic that we have been dragging Chrisette all across the internet for days now, yet no one is talking about Floyd Mayweather who sat front and center at Trumps Inauguration! He wasn’t there to box. He wasn’t serving as anybody’s security that night! What he was doing was showing unashamed support for Trump! This man is who y’all should be talking about.

How much money do you spend on fight night? Mayweather makes millions in one night off of Pay-Per-View, and packed arenas! How are we going to walk right past him and give Chrisette the pink slip? If you ask me… it’s sexist! Chrisette got the short end of the stick because well… she’s a she! Every question we ask Chrisette, we should be asking Floyd.  Just because “Sistuh girl” sometimes rocks a fro doesn’t mean that she’s any blacker or more accountable to the community than Floyd “Money” Mayweather!

Anyway, It’s time to move on. I am not going to let Donald Trump stop me from living my life! I  am going to continue to show up in my community.  I will continue to speak out against injustice and advocate for men, women, and children of all races, religions, and sexual orientations. What I will no longer do is participate in tearing down a person.

I am BETTER than that.

We are BETTER than that!

As far as I am concerned, Chrisette Michele has guts! She made a decision for whatever reason and did not backdown when it seemed the world was against her. If she has no more fans, she has me. I will always be in awe of the strength and courage she displayed during this time.

With that said, I already know that some of y’all will get with this, while some of y’all won’t! I’m fine with that. You can say what you like; I’m Brenda’s daughter and while I might bend… I won’t break! I get that from my mama🙌🏾.

GIVE IT UP, TURN IT LOOSE

So you made it to 2017! What now?

Have you set goals or come up with a variety of New Year resolutions that you have no intention of seeing through? Don’t get me wrong… I love ringing in the New Year. I feel its magic and I relish in all of the hope and possibilities that come along with it. However, I’ve never agreed with the concept of waiting to change your life.

If there is one thing that I am certain of, it’s that life comes at you fast and hard, and that no one is promised tomorrow. Therefore I say that the very moment that you are inspired to do better or to be better… you should act! Don’t follow the crowd and start your new health and fitness routine with the rest of the world. If you do, you’ll be more inclined to give up on your goals, when the rest of the world abandons theirs in February.  Don’t wait until the clock strikes midnight to let the love of your life know just how much they mean to you. Do it today, and everyday! If you’ve felt convicted about cussing, drinking, or being argumentative, quit hanging on to those bad habits. Break those chains the moment you feel compelled to do so!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Life is to be lived! Through many trials and tribulations, I’ve learned that I’ve got to do what feels good to my soul ❤

Make 2017 about you! Live authentically and be true to yourself. If you are still unsure of who you are, now is the time to explore. Develop your gifts by investing in something that you love and move at your own pace.

As we settle into the New Year, keep in mind that if you don’t like something about your life, you and only you can change it. So don’t hesitate and don’t delay. As one of my favorite groups En Vogue A.K.A. the Funky Divas once sang…  “Give it up, Turn it Loose”.

Give It Away Now!

Last week I wrote a little about my rock bottom. I talked about my husband becoming ill and all of the life changing events that took place during that time. I shared with you how putting things into prospective and realizing just how blessed my family truly is, helped me to live an abundant life.

This week I’d like to CHALLENGE you to help make a difference! You see all of us who are caught up in this thing we call Social Media, are familiar with the never-ending circle of challenges that go around. We’ve been “So Gone”, “mannequins”,  poured “Ice buckets” over our heads, and a bunch of other things.  As the Season of giving is upon us, let’s take a different approach! Over the next 21 days, I challenge you to uplift someone else ❤

Right now you’re probably starting to panic. You’re thinking of the million and one other obligations that you have, and looking at that budget like, “How can I fit something else in”. You can-TRUST ME! See I want you to know what I learned several years ago. I am by no stretch of the imagination monetarily RICH, but I am RICH in MIND, BODY, and SOUL.  Thus I encourage you to spend the next 21 days focusing on what you have to give instead of what you don’t.

Say these words with me, “There is always enough love and kindness to go around.” If you are ever in doubt, or questioning the impact that you have on the world, speak those words; release them into the atmosphere, press on, and watch how the circle of love you create widens.

No act of kindness is too big or too small! Not sure how to begin? Here are a few suggestions:

  • Gather all of the old cellphones you have lying around the house. Encourage your friends and family to do the same. You can then donate them to The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. They will resell them to fund outreach programs.
  • Donate new or gently used socks (Yes SOCKS!)  to a local shelter. Socks are the most needed, yet least donated items in shelters.
  • Put on your running shoes and headphones,  and grab a trash bag or two! Spend an hour or more picking up trash or raking a neighbor’s yard.
  • Everyone loves Random Acts of Kindness. Pay for a strangers Coffee or give that Coworker who always has your back a pack of Lifesavers  ❤
  • Give Blood if you can! This one is near and dear to my heart as I have Aplastic Anemia. I’ve had to rely on the kindness of strangers many times in my life.
  • Organize a can food drive within your church, social circle, or workplace.
  • Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen
  • Check on an aging or disabled person in your life. See if they need a ride to the supermarket, or simply some companionship.
  • Donate Cat and Dog food to a local animal shelter.
  • Round up any clothes, shoes, or accessories you no longer wear. Donate them to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or Charity House
  • If nothing else…. BE KIND. Never underestimate the power of a smile, Kind word, or sweet Gesture. Simply making eye contact with a stranger or holding the door open for someone could change their outlook on the entire day. So throw KINDNESS around like Confetti!!!

Additionally, if you aren’t keeping a gratitude journal… now is the time to start! As you are giving of yourself, you will quickly see how blessed you truly are. You’ll be able to point out every little thing in your life that comes together and makes you whole.

Winston Churchill once said: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” I say, “Giving enriches both our own lives, and the lives of others.”  So please join me in trying to change the world, one small act of kindness at a time ❤

I stayed busy last week! I was blessed to be able to spend time volunteering at my boys school where I lead an amazing night of Physical Fitness, games, and fun. At work, I assisted in organizing our “Toys for Tots” campaign. While at home, my family prepared bags for the homesless. I’m so grateful that I am able to be a blessing to others ❤

 

CONNECT, LISTEN, LIVE

Thanksgiving 2016 was a success! There was an abundance of food, love, and laughter. Every time I am blessed to be in the presence of my extended family, I leave feeling refreshed and renewed.  This year, fellowshipping with my loved ones on “Turkey Day”  had a different effect … it stirred up a hunger and thirst deep inside of me.

2016 has been challenging to say the least! With so many ups and downs throughout the year, the only thing that has kept me grounded is my faith in God and my strong commitment to family. Realizing that this year is quickly coming to an end and that 2017 is full of both hope and uncertainty, I’ve decided that I will continue to walk in faith and allow God to work in my life.

Because I’ve spent much of this year engaged in one social debate after another, and wrapped up in all of the drama of the world…  I feel the need to center myself and re-connect with God! God has been so good to me and I am so thankful for his endless grace. Thus I’ve decided to share with you the process that I undertake when I’m re-centering myself, and waiting on a word from the Lord ❤

CONNECTION

The first step in the process is the most important! It’s all about connecting your heart and mind to your inner self. It’s my belief that your inner self is where all of your wisdom lies. So it’s extremely important that you find a way to be alone with your thoughts. Whether you have to wake up early, sneak away during the middle of the day, or simply sit quietly in a parking lot or driveway. You must be able to ask yourself important questions! Your soul is full of wisdom, every question has an answer, and your inner voice knows the way.

LISTEN

The second step in the process is multifaceted. (1) Listen for God. (2) Listen to God, and (3) Do what he says. As Christians we know that we can take everything to God. We turn problems, hopes, dreams, and wants, over to the lord fully believing that he will work them out. But what about God and what he wants from us? What about the things that he needs us to know? The Lord is constantly moving in our lives, and he’s often speaking directly to us. Many of us miss the message simply because we are not listening. If you have connected with your inner self, you are now plugged into Jesus and ready to receive word from the Father. Stay focused, let God speak, and do not interfere with his word! If God is telling you to go… GO!!!!

LIVE

God doesn’t just want us to live, he wants us to live prosperous and happy lives. God wants us to live abundantly! Many people struggle with understanding abundance, as they believe that in order to be happy they have to be rich. In reality, all we have to do is change our focus! Our attitude determines our outlook on life. If you conscienciously make an effort to be grateful for that which you already have. you will begin to see your life in a whole different way.

Living is definitely my testimony. Several years ago my husband suddenly and unexpectingly took ill. We had two small children, a house, car payments, and tons of plans. My husbands doctors were telling me to prepare for the worst. I was trying to wrap my mind around being a widow at 30, a single mom, and bankrupt! Instead of folding under the pressure, I continued to pray. I begin to keep a gratitude journey, and thank God daily for all that I had. Even though my funds were limited and my husbands health was touch and go, I would say “Thank you for the three meals that my family ate today God.” I would look around and say “I’m thankful that my husband was able to see another day Lord.” By putting these things in perspective, I was able to see what was truly important. Today my husband and my accounts have rebounded, but I take nothing for granted! I may not have all that I want, but I have all that I need. Life is both sweet and abundant.

So let’s recap…

2016 is on it’s way out! Spend the last few weeks of this year connecting with your inner self and with God. Listen to what God is telling you, and be prepared to make some changes. Personally, I’d like to be more present in my everyday life! I feel like I’m currently doing too many things at once, and it’s causing me to miss out on the little moments that are happening around me. I’ve been doing some reading, and I think that I am going to focus and learn the art of meditation (Stay Tuned to see how it goes)!  Hopefully prayer and mediation together will help me live more in the moment. Speaking of living in the moment… As I mentioned earlier, we just celebrated Thanksgiving and I wanted to let you know that I’m so thankful for each and everyone of you who read, comment, and support my blog! I hope that you have an amazing holiday season, and that you embrace the oppertunity that you have right now to CONNECT, LISTEN, and LIVE ❤

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