Tag Archives: Motivation

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 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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Let the game continue ~

Playing through your frustrations and not letting it effect your next play..those were the words uttered from a NBA commentator during today’s Knick’s vs Heat game.

I have to say that the minute I heard the words – it was a sudden “aha” moment for me.

I am not playing the basketball game (In fact, I suck pretty bad at playing basketball, even though I am quite the critic when I see a bad play), but I can certainly appreciate the metaphore.

Life, can in fact be seen as a game. In a basketball game, much like life, we often have:

1) a coach – someone who mentors you, or perhaps provides guidance, set’s you straight, let’s you be you when appropriate, but most importantly – believe’s in your potential

2) strategic planning – much like a play on the court where every move is deliberate, life replicates the same moves, and even though it’s all on paper and you’ve praticed the move, huddled amongst your teamates and played it out over and over again – something happens! You mistep and fall, opposing side fouls you or perhaps stole the ball from you – either way, despite your best efforts – you must fight through it and finish playing the game ~

You get the point right? Being part of a team and playing the game has a lifetime of benefits – sportsmanship, leadership, humality, teamplayer, fighter, loser & winner…..

For me, regardless of the game your playing, you must never let the frustrations of the game prevent you from making the next move!

Let the game continue ~

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