Tag Archives: laughter

10 Tips on Staying Balanced in 2018

Like many of you, behind a pretty picture is a women that has struggled with identity, doubt, insecurities, anxiety, mental & emotional abuse, worry and fear, but what has kept me balanced and focused is the know-how that I was meant to be on this earth, to share my journey and to help empower others as they have helped to empower me.

I sometimes get texts thanking me for the motivational posts and upbeat attitude and along with those messages comes the questions: can you share what keeps you grounded, how do you stay afloat and/or can you share some tools that have helped you?

So after sharing some of this recently with a friend in a very private conversation in hopes that it can help her, I thought it would be great to just pay it forward! No one lives a perfect life my friends! Behind the pretty pictures and posts of happiness & “security” – many of us are living in turbulence; we have lost ourselves and/or are giving all of ourselves to others and/or our thoughts and not taking the time to breathe, to really breathe and to love ourselves! To know me and to follow me is to know I preach “love yourself first” but truth be told – we all get lost in the hustle & bustle we call life and forget to love ourselves! But look… how can we really lose ourselves? We’re with ourselves 24/7/365 – in fact, there’s just no way that can happen – just look in the mirror, look around you – YOU ARE ALWAYS THERE…OMG..lol!!

But really, I know it’s easier said than done and I totally, 100% get what it means to “lose ourselves”!

There are so many great tools that have helped me and continue to help me stay balanced, grounded and true to me, below are the top 10:

1. Community – surrounding myself with strong women & men who genuinely care for my wellbeing. They have kept me grounded, they have steered me in the right direction and have never been afraid to be honest with me, no matter how much it hurts or bites! You see, your community shouldn’t judge, speak behind your back and/or make you feel bad! They love and care for you unconditionally but also hold you accountable!

**It’s important to rid members of your community who aren’t aiding in your growth! If they are only around when you’re in a rut then chances are they are not for you – keep it moving!

2. Writing – writing has helped me to articulate my thoughts, my frustrations and my vision as it doesn’t always come out my mouth the same way. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always kept a journal and pencil near by; even at work! Thoughts come up for us all the time…don’t ignore them and don’t ever think you’ll remember them later (because you won’t)! Write and if you can, but don’t have to, share it. The beauty of writing is that you can read/speak your thoughts & visions into existence and/or let them go into the universe!

3. Music & Exercise – it brings life to my soul and lifts my spirits. It makes me feel safe … ever hear a song and it reminds you of something and/or it takes you to a place that’s safe? That’s what it does for me. I close my eyes and let the music feed my soul! So when you’re feeling off, or just need a breather or just need to rework what’s happening in that head of yours – put on feel good music! Exercise….well….it works wonders on your mind, body and spirit! It helps to reduce stress and many ailments. You feel amazing after a great workout and it’s just damn good for you – don’t cheat yourself from a healthy life – go workout!!

4. Laughter – because when you laugh you can’t cry! Ever laugh right after crying? If you have, then you know that you can’t cry immediately after; forcing you to think why you were crying to begin with! Put a comedy on, call a friend who you know can make you laugh (I have a few of those…) and laugh… where there is laughter rarely lives tears!

5. Reflecting & Meditation – reflection makes you realize that every obstacle: good, bad or indifferent has shaped us to be the person we are today. To know me is to know that I live a life with no regrets, no what ifs – just lessons learned! Look, we’re not perfect and just when we think we’ve learned a lesson, we make the same mistake again!! I can sit here and say “we’re human” but truth of the matter is that we all have a choice**! We do! I don’t care what you say! You have a choice to do something, to say something, to behave a certain way, to react… you get it! It’s a choice! Reflecting is a beautiful thing because it helps you realize your role in what’s happening in your life! Meditation – learning to sit in silence, with your thoughts, with your breath! It’s one of the hardest things to do and quite honestly I have yet to master this art but what I can tell you is that it has helped me countless of times to help calm the battlefield that happens in my head every now and then!

**The beauty of choice is that it forces you to create reason, to think critically and sadly for many, that’s too hard because living in the alternative is safe. We sometimes create this false illusion, an altered reality and would much rather live there because it feeds the ego, because we love to live in the box and fit into societal norms … because being average is safe and acceptable! Choice, it’s a beautiful thing we have – use it wisely!

6. Know Your Self worth! What are you worth? What is your legacy? What do you want out of life? And what do you need to do to get there? What won’t you ever stand or settle for? What are your dreams and are you setting small actionable goals? It’s what I.V.A stands for (my fitness program pictured above – go check it out at http://www.ivafitness.com). Never forget your self worth and never compromise your soul for the fear of loneliness or in hopes you can change someone!

7. Self-affirmations: There is no perfect world, person or way of doing things – you just have to be the change you want to see! Positive mantras, self affirmations, vision boards, sticky’s everywhere that remind you of the amazing person you are. My mantra “I am fierce I am fearless”!

8. Therapy – don’t be afraid to ask for help! Therapy can provide useful tools to help you dissolve those rooted feelings that are not mixing with your current being. It’s someone to listen to you and make sense of all that comes out of your mouth (or not). Someone to provide you with resources outside the office setting. Therapy can be amazing if you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to trust the process.

9. Accountability Partner – having an accountability partner is different than having a community. They’ll be that one person, maybe two or three who will set you straight, be the voice of reason and tell you stop, wait, are you crazy, no and good job, you’re beautiful, keep pushing …. because at the end of the day, we all like structure in some form or fashion; we all want to be accountable to someone and we most certainly want to be held accountable!

10. Faith & Prayer: what ever and/or whomever you believe in – the power of faith and prayer works! I truly believe that when you believe in it and speak it into existence and take the necessary steps to make it happen – anything is possible! Love is energy.. keep your energy pure, honest and share it! The universe always delivers when you are true to you, when you pray and when you have integrity and have faith!!

Walks, biking, books, podcasts, blogs have all helped me – here are a few of my favorite books and author (there are so many others so if you need more, let me know): The Woman’s Book of Confidence by Sue Patton Thoele; The Four Agreements & The Fifth Agreement by Ruiz & Ruiz; I Got You by Rob Hill Sr.; Eckhart Tolles (subscribe to his channel on YouTube); God Where is my Boaz by Stephan Labossiere (audio or book); Disarming the Narcissist by Wendy Behary.

The only person you can control is you! You have control of your thoughts, your emotions, your choices and how you deal with all of it! Create a safe space, choose to be happy, choose to live in the present, in health, peace and balance, choose to smile, to learn, to give and to LOVE!! Take responsibility for your actions and inactions and lastly, be empowered by the power of you! You got this! Happy New Year 2018!!

Rise Up by Andra Day – song!!

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My Ocean 

My last day in warm Fort Lauderdale and what an amazing time I had. To share, laugh, eat, dance and just be with three amazing women is my blessing! I forgot how hard one can laugh; that belly holding, body crunching, can’t breathe, almost pee-on-yourself kinda laugh…. and sometimes for no reason! Almost as if the laughter had been surppresed for months or maybe it’s because my cousins are just too damn silly! Either way the laughter brought so much relief – to be with women who get you, who love you just because you are you, to be a silly little girl, to be the woman you are and to be loved unconditionally – like, what’s better than that? #blessed
My cousin and bestie did a quick mall run as we count down the hours before we depart; my other cousin made it back home safely this morning.

I decided to stay behind and take these few hours to enjoy the ocean breeze alone, to hear the ocean waves, write, reflect and think not to far ahead, but enough to keep me balanced, focused and happy (inside and out).

It’s not a coincidence that every trip to Florida (with the exception of one) has not come after a hardship, almost as if God knew the warmth of the sun and the ocean is what I will need to help me get through! I swear he knows what he is doing – he always delivers!

The ocean – it’s a calling deeply rooted in my soul, something I can’t explain but I feel it. We all have that thing that brings internal calmness. For some it’s a walk, hike, meditation, yoga, a bike ride but for me, it’s the ocean. I swear it’s where I belong. If I can end my day every day and wake up every day to the sounds and the smell of the ocean, I’d be in heaven on earth.

The ocean doesn’t care who you are, what you’ve been through, where you’re going – the ocean is just there. The waves can be subtle or enormous, the sounds easy or powerful, the smell soft or strong, the breeze gentle or hard but the view – the view is priceless…. the variations of it all is truly breathtaking.

The ocean is my reminder that while you can see its beginning (the shore) – the ending is no where in sight…. a true reflection of the experiences we live through. The ocean for me signifies a cleansing. I brought it all my hurt, worries, sadness, confusion, anger and I left it there…. by the shore and it washed it all away…. no more worries, no more confusion, no more anger – the sadness and hurt washing away with each wave…. the waves come to you but it’s taking away what is left at the shore making it untouchable!

The ocean is my spiritual connection ~

The ocean is my safe space ~

The ocean is my detox ~

The ocean is my inner peace ~

The ocean is my ocean.

I go back home renewed. Reminded by the ocean that I had been there before and I return every time wiser, stronger, eternally youthful, and blessed to have spent some time with it!

I know I’ll be back to visit in several weeks. To take in the sun, the sounds, the smell, to enjoy and laugh, and to remember that nothing or no one can damper my spirit, just like the ocean – let it go Lanette ~

Blessed beyond my soul ~


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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Only I can write my story….

I have not written a piece in a bit; a little over two months to be exact. Perhaps it’s out of laziness, or maybe it’s because there hasn’t been much time – but I really think it’s because so much has happened, and getting my thoughts on paper (well in my case a notes app) is a lot harder than one thinks!

Last piece I wrote was about living outside ones comfort zone, and not fully living if you’re living within safe boundaries! The piece before that was reminiscent of my childhood…. So it’s definitely time to write….

If you’ve read my posts before, then you know I’m quite the comedian, a realist if you will, an incredibly honest and forthcoming person, and one that truly believes (regardless of opinion) in sharing my journey because in some form or fashion, it helps to reaffirm all that is me, and helps to empower other women along the way!

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A friend posted the quote above on Facebook recently, and while I’ve posted hundreds of empowering quotes, this particular one stood out for me because it reminded me that “I” am the only one who gets to write my story.

Interesting ha? We all say this, know this, encourage others to believe this – but often, we are the ones allowing others to hold the pen and write on our behalf; we allow others to erase and rewrite sentences, change words, erase words, explain our ideas, give their opinions – leaving us with a piece written to the likes of others and not truly for ourselves! Get the picture?

Yes, one could argue that in the real world, whether we like it or not, we must conform in some way or another to that of others (children, partners, family, friends….you get the picture).

But for the sake of argument – let’s just all agree to focus on YOU! The importance of knowing that you are in control of you, that you truly can write your story, that while you can chose to accept the opinions of others – that you my friend, at the end of the day, are the author of your own story!

Like children who are born not yet knowing how to compromise (I know you’ve seen the kids walk the streets with rain boots and a cape in the winter – just because they said so!!) we too must dig deep within our soul, our essence, our innocence and not let our journey be derailed – we must stay true to our ideas, our words, our beliefs, and most importantly, ourselves!

I spared you the details of all that has gone on in my life the past 8 months…
the past three months in particular (I will share the ugly, the bad and the beautiful soon enough); but I will share this much with you now – I “have” been holding the pen and have been writing my story for the past 2 1/2 years!! It has not been the least bit easy – but it has been liberating, freeing, whole, and I tell you my friend that I have not put down my pen, I have not allowed others to use my pen (not even for a second), and I have not allowed others to sway me to write a different story!

I remain the author of my journey…..

I will continue to reach for the top and live as if I’m already there….

I will continues to be led by positive energy and the universe….

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Day 1 Reflection – What has been your funniest moments?

Day 1 Reflection – what has been your funniest moments?

I tried to think of the funniest moment but in all honesty, I’ve had many funny moments. You see, I swear I have the funniest & silliest husband ever! One of my many sayings to him is that the only reason I’m with him is because “he makes me laugh”!

The apples did not fall far from the tree because my two kids can be pretty hilarious. Especially my 17 year old daughter – she can say the darnedest of things! My son, he does great imitations!

Then there’s my family! One look at my oldest brother and no doubt, I’m already laughing!

My aunt and uncle have become pretty funny too, and my cousin Christine – she’s funny as heck too!

Zumba – well, laughter never fell short at my classes! In fact, laughter and smiles were mandatory! I was often the subject of the laughter: from yelling “lower” & “jump” after clearly stating that they “never-ever” have to jump or squat! Lol aahh…love my Zumba family!

As I sit and reflect I realize and further appreciate laughter; it’s beauty, the way it brings joy (and even tears) to our lives, and its ability to be instantaneous!

I realize now how important it is to capture those moments – but grateful to have those moments in my heart, soul and memory!

If you know me, I love to laugh and pretty much laugh at anything!

There’s never a day in my house that we’re not laughing! Laughter, like music, can be medicine to your soul – so laugh!

Read a little more here about the benefits of laughter ~

http://kaysfittings0211.blogspot.com/2013/10/health-benefits-of-laughter.html?m=1

What has been one of your funniest moments? Please share here ~

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One Month

One Month…

Not sure why I get this sense of urgency to write when I should be sleeping instead…oh well!

So my mind is racing – so much has happened since I last wrote. For one, I make a month in my new position! Woohoo! Gotta admit I’m quite pooped but I absolutely love it! Feels like I’ve been in my position for years..lol, but I really think it feels that way because the work is fulfilling on so many levels. My love for community, advocacy, empowerment and providing resources to those who are often left without a voice runs deep in my soul! To meet like-minded people who share in the same vision & passion is rewarding and incredibly breathtaking!

This past month has also allowed for a lot of reflection as I’ve found myself on several occassions having to protect & defend my personal space. I wrote several months ago about the power of friends & how each friendship adds a different value to your life. Each so special & different & rewarding.

It is when those friendships/relationships are tested that you find yourself reflecting – forcing you to rethink your boundaries, your values & what your expectations are for those friendships – asking yourself “what does this friendship/relationship mean & how important is it in my life?” Does it add value?

I realize that for me (and you don’t have to agree), that no matter the type of friendship – the relationship at its core has to always remain honest and respectful; one should never have to defend or explain integrity, value, commitment or loyalty. I feel that once these concerns come up – then perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate that friendship/relationship for authenticity!

I get that all friendships, much like intimate relationships, are different & unique and ALL require work (commitment, communication and yes – respect)!

And much like relationships – when friendships outgrow eachother, or when it’s no longer fun or respectful or sincere – it’s time to walk away ~ they’re just certain things that are really not worth holding on to or working on when you know in your gut it’s just not worth the energy!

I find myself telling my daughter that “she needs to protect her personal space” – that she needs to “create boundaries” that can keep her safe, sane & healthy!

Same rules apply to adults!

I remember when she was a little kid (she technically still is at almost 18 ..lol, but you know what I mean)… when a girl was mean to her, I would tell her to let the girl know how it makes her feel. If the issues continue – then it’s time to walk away from this little girl – there are plenty of friends to be made & that she should never accept someone being mean to her.

Why do we forget those same basic principles as we become adults? I know why – it’s this inner thought that “we can fix it all and that as adults – we give each other the benefit of the doubt or we help eachother get through it”. We work and we work and we work until it becomes toxic!

Hmmm… this is a tough one

I suppose the saying “it’s easier said than done” applies to this topic!!

Life is tough – it is! Friendships, well, that shouldn’t be so tough!

Nonetheless, I am blessed & happy to have a circle of respectful, intelligent, funny, opinionated, strong, powerful & independent sisters in my life! They are in my life because there was never a question of integrity, trust, honesty or loyalty!

I will continue to protect my space. If I don’t let you in, it’s not because I don’t think you’re worthy, it’s only because I need to protect ME!

“Lovingmefirst” and if you don’t understand why – then perhaps you need to do some reflecting of your own

Peace & Love ~

I leave you with this impactful quote ~

“How would your life be different if…You approached all relationships with authenticity and honesty? Let today be the day…You dedicate yourself to building relationships on the solid foundation of truth and authenticity.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

My beautiful girl ~

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