Tag Archives: empowerment

Don’t apologize for it! 

This is deep…. 
As much as I preach to “own your truth”, to “live outside your comfort zone” and to “love yourself first”, it’s easy to allow outside noise influence what goes on in your brain and the choices you ultimately make! 

This note reminds us that what we know that the truth and knowledge we store in our minds, what we feel to be true in our souls and hearts – that is NOT and should NOT be dismissed! 

You are/we are who we are: smart, beautiful, wise and loving (and so much more) and it’s so important that we never dumb ourselves down for anyone; that we not loose who we are and what we are meant to be, that we not be intimidated by the weakness of others and lastly, that we not forget that a mind is a beautiful thing to waste simply because those in our circle may be too weak to accept and appreciate it! Ladies, work on that circle you keep because not everyone is meant to be in it and/or stay there! 

As our wonderful First Lady Michelle Obama said “don’t apologize for it”! Be true to you and always #ownyourtruth because as I’ve said before, the world will adjust! Sometimes I even need to be reminded and there ain’t nothing wrong with that! Now let’s be #AMAZING #MUJERES #LADIES 

Follow my blog at http://www.lovingmefirstblog.wordpress.com ❤️🎤

Keep your eye on the goal

“To look where you are going is to be motivated by fear; to go where you are looking is to be driven by desire, confidence and vision. If you know you can handle whatever cracks and bumps come along, you do not have to watch the pavement all the time. Instead you can move full speed ahead with your eye on the goal.” [Excerpt – Get Out Of Your Own Way]

Love this excerpt; a subtle reminder that often we know where we are going but can get easily distracted at all the noise that surrounds us. I truly feel that the noise is there to help you reinforce your goals, to test your boundaries, to see if you can stand strong under pressure and to help you stay balanced (or not – it’s really up to you)!

You see, outside noise is unpredictable, it’s always going to be there and lastly, there’s no sure-fire-way we can get rid of it, so instead we have to adjust ourselves and learn to navigate through it.  Know your boundaries, keep tools in the tool box to help you get out of jams, always keep your eyes on the prize and never let your pride, ego and others get in the way!  

Hit the ground running with integrity, passion and love because when those things are deeply rooted, everything else is merely an eye-sore! 😘

Wake Up – The Universe Has Awoken You! 

Has the Universe awoken you? Did it feel more like it threw you with a bucket of ice-cold water and then smaked you up a couple of times followed by a pretty hard shake? Well yeah, it did for me! Still reeling from it – body still kinda sore, ego bruised and spirit still being put together! Damn it…lol! 

Ultimate believer that everything happens for a reason and that there are valuable lessons to learn from the good, bad and indifferent! Processing, reflecting and learning from it all. I take and share my lessons to empower others as there is no guilt or shame in sharing ones story! 

Empowerment only comes from the act of giving oneself honestly and truthfully free of bias and judgement!! The world will adjust – it always does! ❤️ blessed day peeps! Live life fully #awake 

Look out for my short story to be published soon ~ it’ll keep you scrolling down to the end with the hopes that you take something meaninginful away from it! 🙏🏽

Never loose sight of you! 

We’ve all heard the term “I’ve lost myself”! Whether it be because you let your guard down in a relationship, maybe you let stress take over you, or maybe it’s because you’re constantly doing for others and forgetting to take care of yourself.

Whatever the reason, the truth is that you CANNOT loose yourself! How could you? You’re with yourself 24/7/365! Honestly, you can’t even loose sight of yourself (unless you don’t have a mirror…lol)! I know I know – this is a figure of speech that best describes the fact that you’re not taking care of you – the most important person ever! We need to remember we can’t take care of anyone else if we’re not first taking care of our mind, body and soul! You just wont be successful – it will catch up to you, eventually!

I know it’s easier said than done – as women we are taught that we must take care of our children, families; to be the best at everything but it should never be at the expense of your spirit! I’m sorry! So ladies, make sure you are taking the time to take care of you. Tell yourself positive reaffirmations, tell yourself that you love yourself and PLEASE, look in the mirror often so you don’t loose sight of the amazing and beautiful woman you are – inside and out! 🙏🏽😘❤️ love ya! #ownyourtruth #lovingmefirst 

What is Self-Love? 

To my daughter and the women I love ~  

  
The key to learning to self-love is that you must first fully understand and make a decision that your “self-love” is not dependent on the approval of others! 

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on this blog, a blog I created to share my journey and to hopefully share pointers, advice, and/or a simple reminder that you are not alone. That as women, we face and overcome so many challenges and barriers, but if we have community, a platform to share, love and the support of each other and others who believe in our growth and evolution – then we can truly grow! 

Self-love! I see the words everywhere. I hear the words spoken by so many, but do we really know and understand what it means? 

I’m convinced that while there’s a recurring theme – that one thing we can all agree on when it comes to what self-love means; the fact is that self-love, much like success and relationships, is really defined by you! 

What does it mean? I can’t speak for others but to me, it’s really learning how to put myself first in a world that has defined our roles as women. We have so many ever-changing titles/roles and to choose one over the other can sometimes feel impossible, let alone overwhelming! We are mothers, wives, partners, sisters, daughters, employees, employers, doctors to our families, caregivers, mentors, therapists for our family and friends, friends, best friends, hosts, lovers, givers, doers, etc etc! Shhheeezz….that’s a lot! 

If I were to ask you or if you asked yourself “who am I?” chances are you would list these titles/roles… but rarely do we answer “I am a woman – strong, empowered, smart, beautiful, giving, balanced, driven…

Self-love to me is being able to say all these things before I say that I am a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, etc etc… It means to me that I hold these self-attributes, strengths, actions more important so that I can successfully be all those titles/roles that the world has clearly defined for me/us without feeling guilty or ashamed! 

Self-love takes time, a long time! I’ve been blogging and writing for years and just when I think I have it, I realize I’m not quite there yet! I’m constantly evolving as a woman: reading, meditating, reflecting, learning, expanding my intake of readings and Ted Talks that reaffirms my feelings and adds to my growth and writing. 

Self-love is not easy! We are taught to stand strong, to put others before ourselves no matter what! We are warriors, we are doers and yet we often fail to see in ourselves and our fellow sisters how strong we truly are! Self-love to me also means that we have a community responsibility of building our sisters, our mothers, our daughters, our youth and our communities! To work hand-in-hand in sharing, nurturing and building all that is a woman! 

Self-love is work in progress… It has to start with you and has to be about you before it can be about others, and once you understand that, then only then can you begin to help build others…

For so long, I was guilt ridden! Felt horrible at the idea of putting myself first! How could I do this? What will others think or say? I bet you know this all to well… It’s hard as hell!

I recently read that “Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. Self-love is dynamic; it grows by actions that mature us. When we act in ways that expand self-love in us, we begin to accept much better our weaknesses as well as our strengths, have less need to explain away our short-comings, have compassion for ourselves as human beings struggling to find personal meaning, are more centered in our life purpose and values, and expect living fulfillment through our own efforts.” 

The author shared and I now share with you, her Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love: 

Become mindful. People who have more self-love tend to know what they think, feel and want. They are mindful of who they are and act on this knowledge, rather than on what others want for them.

Act on what you need rather than what you want. You love yourself when you can turn away from something that feels good and exciting to what you need to stay strong, centered, and moving forward in your life, instead. By staying focused on what you need, you turn away from automatic behavior patterns that get you into trouble, keep you stuck in the past, and lessen self-love.

Practice good self-care. You will love yourself more, when you take better care of your basic needs. People high in self-love nourish themselves daily through healthy activities, like sound nutrition, exercise, proper sleep, intimacy and healthy social interactions.

Set boundaries. You’ll love yourself more when you set limits or say no to work, love, or activities that deplete or harm you physically, emotionally and spiritually, or express poorly who you are.

Protect yourself. Bring the right people into your life. I love the term frenemies that I learned from my younger clients. It describes so well the type of “friends” who take pleasure in your pain and loss rather than in your happiness and success. My suggestion to you here: Get rid of them! There isn’t enough time in your life to waste on people who want to take away the shine on your face that says, “I genuinely love myself and life”. You will love and respect yourself more.

Forgive yourself. We humans can be so hard on ourselves. The downside of taking responsiblity for our actions is punishing ourselves too much for mistakes in learning and growing. You have to accept your humanness (the fact that you are not perfect), before you can truly love yourself. Practice being less hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Remember, there are no failures, if you have learned and grown from your mistakes; there are only lessons learned.

Live intentionally. You will accept and love yourself more, whatever is happening in your life, when you live with purpose and design. Your purpose doesn’t have to be crystal clear to you. If your intention is to live a meaningful and healthy life, you will make decisions that support this intention, and feel good about yourself when you succeed in this purpose. You will love yourself more if you see yourself accomplishing what you set out to do. You need to establish your living intentions, to do this.

These 7 steps, together with a host of other resources are what has helped me to further understand what self-love is for me and in turn, learned to live it. I hope it can help you. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s work in progress but the key words here are “work” and “progress”! By simply working on one thing, you are well on your way to building strength and in turn – SELF-LOVE! 

Peace & Love 

Excerpt above is from this article if you care to read in its entirety! 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/get-hardy/201203/seven-step-prescription-self-love

Luz y colores mi gran amigo Hector

It’s been nearly 4 months since the unexpected passing of one of my best friends! There’s been many of times I’ve tried to write about him, about our friendship, but to no avail. Never quite strong enough to get through my writing.

They say you never quite know how much someone means to you until they are gone…. So true! I surely knew how important he was in my life when his soul was alive, but with him no longer here, I certainly understand and have a new found appreciation of the “why” he was important.

I’ve always believed that every friend, every person that walks in and out of our lives, serves a purpose! Whether to listen to your woes, to provide sound or even obscure advise (such can be comical or whimsical in nature), others are there to make your boo-boos feel better, to laugh, to cry with, dance, talk, guide….etc (you get the picture) – friends serve a purpose – even the ones that are no longer in our lives (perhaps they were never a friend – but certainly served a purpose). Either way, that’s what my friend Hector was for me – all of the above and then some!

If you know me well then you know I owe some of my inner & outer strengths to him! He believed in the purpose, in the strength & power of a woman. He believed in me and in moments of doubt, fear, confusion and cloudiness – he was there to push me through… To provide stern advise, sensible wisdom, laughter, tainted humor and always a listening ear no matter how busy or strained his day! Whether via call, a text, a meet-up, Hector made time for his friend!

No closure! No goodbye, no closure for me in knowing why he took his life so sudden, so unexpected, so rash – so devilish in nature!

As much as I want to be angry at him for leaving his family, his friends, for no longer having our friendship, I can’t! Mental illness, for no matter how much it appears someone has it together, no matter how smart, wise, rational one appears – mental illness lies deep within the soul; so deeply rooted that while in the outer you sustain, deep within you are broken — feeling like there’s no way out! You are a functioning depressed person until your rock bottom is too heavy to dig yourself out.

He always encouraged me to write! To share my journey because in some form or fashion – we all have something amazing to share, and the idea behind sharing is that someone is inspired or empowered by your story!

Your journey, much like depression and suicide, is never something to be hidden, to be embarrassed about! I can hear him now, telling me that what he did was wrong on so many levels, a gravely ill mistake not fully comprehending the everlasting damage & impact it left behind – a pain that filters the veins….

He would never object to my writing about him, in fact, he would encourage such writings! To tell the world that suicide is never an answer and while it was his answer – it was the wrong answer!

I will never really know why, no one will ever know why – not even the letters he left behind will answer the why… His thoughts and his reasonings were his to have.

Wanting nothing more than to call, to send him a text to talk – just to talk about life, my journey, my woes, to laugh, to cry, to receive guidance, wisdom, perhaps an empowering quote, to talk about life and the human behavior (lol) … but they’d be no response! No response from my dear friend who is no longer here!

I hold on to his last text just three days before his death, his voicemail from just two days before… His words of encouragement, his words of wisdom –

Sad and sorry I could not help him get through his woes, his demons – for they were much bigger than me, then his wife & kids, then him!

My missing him is much bigger than my anger and hurt and disappointment. No closure, no goodbyes, no nothing… Just a text, a voicemail ~

But what I do have is this embodied strength that continues to manifest ~ that’s why I can’t and choose not to be angry no matter how much I miss him!

Allz I know is that this world is missing an amazing man – my dear friend! I do thank God for providing me with his friendship and for giving me amazing friends; for continuing to provide & to bless me with people who inspire, love and build me.

I know Hector is never coming back – yet, I find myself incredibly blessed to have had this man enter my life when he did. I just wish he could see me now on this new journey filled with strength, health, friends and new love!

He’d say he is ok! He’d tell me to continue to live life to the fullest! To be true to self first! To love me first! To be honest, loyal, giving, humble, respectful, and most importantly – to be a woman of my word! To love hard no matter what! To trust in my journey for it will not lead me on the wrong path! That we must cease every moment, that every moment we experience is a life lesson; that we must end each day with a lesson learned and wake up each morning with a purpose / with a goal to learn something knew and to pay it forward!

As I write, my Pandora plays, and on comes my dad’s song…

I have Angels guiding me… I know I do – because I believe, I love and I feel!

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
Helps individuals in suicidal crisis within the United States.

Luz y Colores mi gran amigo Hector 🌴

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My quest for soda & chocolate

My quest for soda and chocolate … On the down low…

In an effort to live up to some personal fitness goals, I’ve decided, with the help of my boyfriend – to give up soda! The idea of laying low on chocolate chip cookies was his idea and not my original concept … But, I went for it anyway (temporarily that is – it’s about moderation…right?)

Anyway, I had reached the 1 week mark when a ridiculous craving attacked my mind, body & soul! Yes… it attacked it – because this girl was going through some serious caffeine withdrawal and no, coffee does not do it for me!

Sooooo …. I get off my bus and head over to Target, where my plans were to buy some veggies and fish, and some minor things that I needed. I am now at the cashier station, and directly in front of the cashier, is, you know what?… the concession stand! I immediately thought to myself that if I had a chicken artichoke wrap and a medium soda, it would be part healthy and part sneaky (but the healthy part is what counts…lol), AND no one will know. I thought long and hard about it, playing every scenario in my mind; even thinking that my boyfriend would somehow walk into Target and catch me. After I woke-up from that daydream, I proceeded to go to the concession stand and order me a wrap and yes, the soda. Besides, I knew my boyfriend was not around! To my dismay, they had no wraps. Leaving me, yes, with no choice but to walk out Target without my soda.

Sort of pissed off that my initial idea of sneaking a soda did not work out, I began to think of what else I can possibly drink or eat that will appease my craving.

On my way home, I thought I could stop by this great little café, and pick up the best chocolate chip cookies ever made. Again, no one will know, not even my boyfriend, because I would leave no trace of cookies or crumbs in my car, and I would dispose of the bag it comes in at the dump! Yes, the plan was smooth! So I pay my toll, I proceed to this little café and as I approach the little café to park my car, I see that the café is under renovation. HOT DAMN (banging my steering wheel)!

Needless to say, that at this point I am extremely pissed off, aggravated, I’m really craving caffeine and chocolate & both my plans have failed me miserably! I suppose I could’ve just ran into a local gas station, or supermarket to pick up some caffeine and chocolate chip cookies. But that wasn’t the point, I wanted it to be my way – I wanted soda from Target and cookies from Ella Bella’s!

So, I make a u-turn and head back home. On my way home I think – “wait, I have two Pepridge Farm cookies left in a bag”. I left those cookies on top of my kitchen counter. So I said to myself, at least I can get some of my chocolate craving in, and no one will know, not even my boyfriend, because the bag had been there for several days!

So I get home, unpacked all my groceries, take out the tilapia, put the oven on, and begin to cook. [I know what you’re thinking – “she’s eating cookies and cooking her veggies…shut-it!….] Of course this girl has to eat healthy, but who says she can’t have a little snack before dinner? After all I had been through, I deserved a treat!

So I go to look for my cookies, and they are nowhere to be found. I open up the cabinets, and no cookies! I immediately thought to myself “this man through my cookies out (yes I checked the garbage – but the man emptied it), emptied my soda bottles, and wiped me clean of anything remotely sugar – except for rice cakes….!” I immediately yelled “nooooo, this man has ruined me!” Lol – well I really said something else along with that – but I’ll keep it clean! Lol

With nothing else to do with myself, no sugar, no chocolate, no sweets, no soda, nothing but my tilapia and veggies, I proceeded to do my squat challenge!

I guess that’ll teach me the next time I try to go against the universe, my boyfriend, my gut, and my belly fat!

This is the first time ever, that I have followed through on a no-soda-challenge! I’m proud of myself!

At the end of the day, I know that I could’ve had the soda, the cookies, anything chocolate, if I really wanted to. I guess the moral of the story is, that you should follow your initial instincts and that if you are going to commit to something – stick to it! Because at the end of the day, the only person you are cheating is yourself.

I have goals that I have set, and I intend on fulfilling those goals – being at my fittest, healthiest, most fabulous-self-ever!

So, here is to another week of no soda. I really can’t promise chocolates because that initially was not part of “the plan”, but I am going to try my hardest to limit the intake!

Nonetheless, I will keep you all posted on my journey for soda and chocolate, should they arise.

You can stop laughing and nodding your head now!

Lol – 👍😘

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