Friday, July 31, 2009

Affirmations of Peace

Good Morning,

Let's begin our day with some meditation to prepare our minds, bodies, souls and hearts to maintain peace throughout whatever should come to us during this day. I invite you to repeat these things out loud until they permeate your whole disposition and become the response to any negative energy that dares to try to come into your sacred space.

*I will appreciate myself and honor my soul.
*I am focused, engaged and balanced. I attract positive energy, and resist negative energy.
*I float freely above the burden of having to place a judgement on everything.
*I let go of the need to need and allow myself to sink gently and gracefully into the beauty of this moment.

-various authors

*I am letting go.
*My mind is at peace.
*I am healthy and happy.
*I am welcoming peace.
*I allow myself to be quiet.
*I am at peace with myself.
*I feel absolutely supercharged!
*Today is my chance to be healthy.
*My vital energy resurfaces naturally.
*I enjoy the food that is good for me.

- the warrior goddess, Athena. Courtesy of
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

About Forgiveness...

I read a passage in my daily devotional that really resonated with me:
“Forgiveness is not something you do. It is a state of being that when offered brings forth the truth of who you are.” – Iyanla Vanzant

Having been challenged in the past couple of months with a difficult situation in my personal life and having chosen to be forgiving in that situation, I realized that even though it had seemed to others a difficult choice, it had never really been a choice for me at all. The truth is, I thoroughly enjoy the peace that I’ve been experiencing within my spirit. The truth is, I’m giddy about the loving feeling I’ve developed for myself. The truth is, I’ve become so intoxicated with who I am, that I had no time to be angry about whom the other person had seemed to become. In order to maintain the truth of who I’ve become, my only option was to forgive. I acknowledged the hurt, was honest with myself and the other person about the reasons why I was hurt—and then I made a choice to move on. I over-stood that this turn of events in my life was not of my making, but it was surely going to turn out to be for my highest good—and right then, I knew I could heal. You see, I’m beginning to realize that as humans, we can lean toward a tendency to make things more difficult than they need to be. We are so conditioned to act out on our emotions that we let them overwhelm and consume us—not only our current emotions about the current incident occurring in our lives; but also about our past emotions in similar experiences; or past thoughts about what emotions we decided we would feel if ever faced with a certain adversity. It’s time to start realizing that we can make things really easy on ourselves by being forgiving. Being loving. Being peaceful. Being positive. When we are these things, everything else is simple.

As I often do when something resonates with me, I made it my daily Facebook status. See what my friends had to say:

Me” is so thankful for the ability to forgive! Bcuz forgiveness isn’t something u do, but a state of being that when offered, brings forth the truth of who u are.

BH at 7:20am
Very profound...forgiveness is definitely more than just SAYING it. I'm working on it... ;o/
LS at 7:42am
That is so real
LS at 7:43am
Only a mature person can forgive. Forgiveness brings life, unforgiveness brings death to any person!
YM at 8:42am
the bible, that's all I'm going to say!
CT at 8:54am
Amen...... Holding anger and grudges is like carrying a 100lb. bag of misery all day. It gets old and tiresome real quick. Letting it go is for your betterment, not the bag of misery.
Me at 9:25am
You can do it B! :)
You guys are all so right. As humans we tend to have an uncanny capacity for and inclination towards holding onto "stuff" and attaching "stuff" to even the simplest of situations. We have to get to a point where we accept things as they are without making them negative experiences and just use them for growth and our own highest good--thus eliminating the need to hold onto the negative baggage. What a freeing feeling to know we have the ability to choose!
LS at 9:28am
We are commanded to love, while God take vengeance! He will repay every man according to his work
YM at 10:42am
LS PREACH! I've learned that bitter is not attractive, you truly have to let go and let God. And even when you see that God has taken his vengeance, don't boast but continue to pray for that person/people.
LS at 10:47am
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Question of the Day ~ Puberty Preview???

I could use some advice from my fellow mamas, teachers, aunties, or anyone who knows kids or has some perspective on the topic.

Help! My 7 year old son is entering a new and challenging phase that is driving mommy to her knees :/ I could use some suggestions, encouragement, prayers...spells...magic tricks...whatever you got. So, this boy's got energy and personality for days, which often gets him in trouble. Lately, he's become more strongwilled than ever. Questioning authority, disobeying rules, and whining and complaining everytime he doesn't get his way or he thinks something is unfair. It seems as if overnight my baby has gone from age 7 to age 13. He's very...passionate. I love his free spirit, but as his mom, I want to teach him to control it.

What's going on with my lovebug? Where is all this attitude coming from? His father and I talk to him, punish him, take privileges away...we also spank him when we think it's necessary. We've considered if maybe he is acting out or trying to get attention, but we can't figure out what would cause him to feel this way.

Has anyone gone through this??? Any insight would be greatly valued.

Mommy 911
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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Letting Go

I had a beautiful, lovefest of a weekend full of sun, family, friends, hugs, kisses and good food. It doesn’t get much better than that. As usual, on Sundays I find time to prepare myself inside and out for another busy week. This week in particular, there was a subliminal message playing repeatedly under my internal soundtrack.

Although I tried to ignore it, the message was clear and concise. “Let go.” I’ve been hanging on to this pain in the pit of my belly for a few months now. I won’t get into the details of it, but suffice it to say that I was hanging on to this heartache because I simply couldn’t process it in order to let it go. I thought things were this way, and turns out they were that way. Human beings develop attachments to people, places and things – that’s just what we do - and often, this is the cause of much of our suffering.

Despite the specific circumstances, which were outside of my control, I created my own unhappiness by holding onto an outdated image. We invest so much into “image”, don’t we? We attach ourselves to the image we are trying to maintain for ourselves and the images that we align ourselves with externally. Even when that All-Knowing inner voice inside of us hints (or screams) that something isn’t right, we cling to the status quo because familiar is a cozy blanket that smells like home. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I like to wrap myself in familiar as much as possible. So, we tend to fight for control of our circumstances by putting blinders on and telling ourselves what we want to hear. This leads to suffering.

So much of what happens in our lives is just simply out of our control. When it comes to relationships, careers, children, you name it, we inevitably attach ourselves to expected behaviors and outcomes. This leads to suffering.

We attach ourselves to the past, wishing and hoping that things could go back to the way they used to be. Old ways and situations pass away and new ones are waiting to be born. When we resist this natural cycle, we cause ourselves pain because we are clinging to something that is past its time. More suffering.

This week, I’m focusing on letting go of the outcomes. Now, this doesn’t mean that I won’t work towards anything. It just means that I won’t base my happiness on a particular outcome. I won’t build my security on the nobleness of another person. I won’t cling to the disillusionment of a broken relationship. I will keep working towards my goals and making changes to improve the quality of my life. Not because I am fixated on a particular outcome, but because I choose to live a life of learning and growing. This leads to peace of mind.

All I can do is set my intentions and be willing to dance to the music that is playing, even if I don’t know the song. I will no longer be held captive by my ideas of how things and people should be or how they should turn out. As long as I focus on the improvement of myself, nothing can really be seen as a waste and nothing is truly ever lost. More peace of mind. I love it.

Have a blessed week everyone!

Easy Come Easy Go

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Affirmations of Self-Love

Daily affirmations have become a big part of my life. These positive statements are constant reminders about the woman I am and the life I desire. Speaking them out loud, repeating them and committing them to memory can help me jump start my day, pull me through a rough emotional patch or just make me smile and revel in ooey gooey self- love. So I thought I would share some of those reminders occasionally with you--starting with today. Read them, sit with them, journal them, leave them as love notes for yourself--let them be the lyrics to the song in your soul.

* I am love
* I radiate love
* I receive love willingly
* I am tolerant of everyone around me
* I have great joy, and therefore great energy
* My peace is shared peace
* I am weightless and liberated of burden
* I deserve love and compassion and allow myself to receive them

-Goddess Kwan Yin, goddess of love, compassion and balance. Courtesy of
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For the mind and heart…

The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

I acknowledge that not all situations will be easy to be forgiving in. For example, when we experience severe loss to death or tragedy, it seems extremely difficult to do so. I recently read a book with my book club that deals with just this type of situation. It’s called The Shack, by Wm. Paul Young, and tells the story of a man whose daughter is abducted during a family vacation. After her passing, the father is bitterly sad, but receives an invitation to spend a weekend with God. Sounds far fetched, right? I thought so too. But the message in this book hits very close to home without being preachy—it is one that can be appreciated even if you aren’t “religious”. I’m not sure whether or not I believe the main character actually “met God”, but I definitely read several passages that rang true for me. Caution: read with an open mind and an open heart.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Michelle my belle

God knows we needed a role model and representative when he chose Michelle Obama as the First Lady of our nation. I just adore and applaud her for her fabulous, intelligent realness. I love her not just because she's black, but because she is Michelle Robinson Obama - working mom, loving wife, lawyer, community activist, and stylista. She takes her daughters to Beyonce concerts and has date nights with her husband. I have seen her dance, articulate, nurture, cry, educate, sass the press when necessary and ride or die with her man with the cameras rolling and not a hair out of place. Her grace under fire presence inspires and delights me. This is us, America. This is how we do.
...and if you're wondering, I just LOVE the faux bob.
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Live it and Love it A Lot

I love being a black woman. I literally thank God everyday for the tone of my skin, the texture of my hair, and the rhythm of my hips. I feel a beautiful depth of spirit and character that comes from an ancestry of strong women who held their families together through persecution and ignorance and kept their eyes on the prize. I claim unity with my sisters through the sparkle in my eyes, the sincerity in my smile and the love in my embrace. My purpose is to grow, support and inspire sisterhood to promote a stronger, more unified black community and world community. I want to inspire other women to feel like I feel - like love and hope personified. As women, we can overcome, climb over, walk through, kick down any obstacle if we simply believe we can.

How do you express your love for yourself? For your community? For the world? What is your mission? Is it healing, teaching, painting, writing? Perhaps it’s directing traffic, planting flowers or inspiring others on their mission. Be a reflection of the strength and beauty of those who came before us by pursuing a meaningful mission. Find your passion. Live it and love it a lot.

What is your passion and how are you living it? What makes you feel alive?

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Feelings: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Here’s what I’ve discovered to be true about feelings—while I can’t control what I feel, I can control how I react to what I feel. I can choose to acknowledge, accept and acclimate.

When I acknowledge, I say “this is what happened and this is how I feel about it.”

When I accept, I say “this is the situation that has been presented to me—whether as a result of my actions, or of someone else’s and it can’t be undone.”

When I acclimate, I say “this is an opportunity for me to use this experience to grow and now I’ll get to decide exactly what direction I want to use this change to go in.”

This phenomenon is called freedom. And isn’t it amazing?! How can anyone or anything harm me when I know that no matter what happens, I can use it for my highest good?! Wow, I smile just thinking about the relief this knowledge brings. I don’t have to worry or stress, because I can choose to turn this around for my good! I don’t have to hold onto negative feelings of hurt or anger, because guess what?—this is ultimately going to be good for me if I choose to allow it to point me in a positive direction. I can let go of all the heavy baggage and emotional attachments to difficult situations—that are often larger in my head than they are in the grand scheme of life--and pick up my fabulous leather hobo, slide my feet into my favorite 4 inch pumps, and go about the business of being my most amazing.

Sounds too easy to be true, right? I promise, it isn’t. Just try it once, with something small. Are you starving and getting more irritable by the minute because the Chinese food is taking too long? Take a deep breath, let it go—and drive to your favorite spot to pick it up. Did that guy REALLY just give you the finger when he was in the wrong? Smile back and wave and keep it moving. And then it’ll become easier to do this in the situations where it truly matters. I read an email recently called “Lessons in Life” and one of those lessons was to frame every so-called disaster with these words: “In five years, will this matter?” Most of the time, my answer is no. What will matter is whether or not I’ve carried myself with grace and poise at all times, and whether I’ve treated my mind/body/spirit/soul/family/friends/planet with love and respect. Those are the things I’ll choose to focus on.
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shake that Load Off

Oh Saturday, I've waited for you all week and finally you are here! So far today, I slept in (which is 9 AM in my world), fed my babies, got sweaty and loose with some cardio sculpt and yoga, fed myself and showered. My mind is feeling clear and calm. I'm looking forward and expecting to have a beautiful day.

Freeze! So often when I am feeling content and happy, something or someone comes along and tries to change my internal soundtrack from "Just Fine" to "Disturbia". Someone enters my space with an attitude or opinion that I didn't ask for...or I open a bill that almost makes my eyes pop straight out of my head. People will always have something to say, and you will not be able to solve every problem with a twitch of your nose or a snap of your fingers.
The victim inside of each of us tells us that all these external factors are a threat, and often our attitude becomes defensive and full of resentment. One day, I decided to stop being a victim of my circumstances. The rain is not falling to spite me. The associate at CVS does not have anything personally against me. My boyfriend's bad mood has nothing to do with me.
News Flash. Apparently everything is not all about me. Everything that happens in the world is not a punishment or reward for something I did or didn’t do. So, I have revoked the world's free pass to dominate my emotions.
I don’t have to feel responsible for everyone’s behavior.
I don’t have to be the solution to every situation.
I don’t have to be everyTHING to everyONE.
I don’t have to maintain an image.
I don’t have to be liked by everyone.
I don’t have to perform heroic, self-destructive acts to make life easier for everyone I encounter.

All I have to do is be content in my own skin and know that I'm doing the best I can with where I am right now. So, if you were in the dark like me, and thought that everything was about you, related to you, because of you, couldn’t go on without you, etc. Please be advised that you do not have to carry that load. Let go of what you cannot control, and be free of burden.
Shake that load off and step out into the sunlight with me! It really is that easy. Rocking your favorite outfit and your big hair. If big hair, is your thing, that is. See, there I go making it about me. ;-) Hugs.
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Thursday, July 16, 2009

Livin' Off the Wall

**I posted this recently in the notes section of my Facebook page, but it is still timely and still resonates for me, so I thought I would share it again.**

"Cause we're the party people night and day. Livin' crazy that's the only way. So tonight, gotta leave that 9 to 5 up on the shelf, and just enjoy yourself. Groove. Let the madness and the music get to you. Life aint so bad at all."

Certainly the untimely death of Pop icon, Michael Jackson, has reminded us all of how fragile life is. Michael once said in an interview that he felt his life was meant to touch people and that he was supposed to do that through his music. He did what he loved and I think that one lesson we can learn from him is that it's so important for us all to do the same--no matter how much flack or criticism we get or what other people think. We have to be ferocious and unafraid in pursuit of our dreams and unrelenting in our desire to touch others in a positive way. Life is so much better when we shake off stress and just LIVE to the best of our own abilities. We should live "off the wall", "dance into the sunlight", moonwalk, ask ourselves "Who's bad?", be dancing machines, Beat It, Don't Stop Til We Get Enough, and Work It Day and Night. By creating an aura of peace and happiness around ourselves, we create a shared peace that is sure to be infectious to others.

"Do what you want to do. There ain’t no rules, its up to you."
-Michael Jackson, "Off the Wall"
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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Love Affair

I must confess. I have taken a lover. We are still in the honeymoon phase of our affair, so forgive me if I gush about my lover shamelessly. Just indulge me for a moment. I have fallen head over heels for my hair. Yes, I’m talking about my hair, and I am so serious.

I stopped getting relaxers three years ago as an experiment. I always wanted thicker hair…BIG hair to be specific. But I could never achieve the volume I wanted with a relaxer in my hair. As the relaxer grew out, I developed a crush on my new growth. I could tell I was falling hard for it, but as we so often do in new relationships, I still doubted that things would work out between us. As it continued to grow, and the more we saw each other, I just fell deeper in love. I couldn’t stop thinking about it, touching it and envisioning our future together. I knew I was hooked when we would have a disagreement and I no longer felt that our relationship was being threatened. On the contrary, bad hair days brought us closer because I was learning, by trial and error, how to bring the best out of my hair. One day, I threw away the perm box in the closet that I had kept on standby…just in case. Finally, I knew that no matter what came our way, we could work it out and be strong together.

We have been loving and learning each other ever since. It’s all I ever wanted…it’s strong, healthy, quirky, confident and free. Most importantly, it’s BIG. My hair makes me feel true to myself. It reminds me that there is inspiration for every challenge because I know who I am, my identity is clear, and my mind is calm. I’m sure you can guess that this affair is about more than just hair for me. My decision to grow out my relaxer came at a time when my soul was begging for a voice. I’d hidden myself for such a long time, and as my new growth took over my hair, a new attitude and a new perspective took over my life. I mark the three year anniversary of my love affair as a turning point in my life and a celebration of self-love and authenticity.

Celebrate with me. Today, think about one small thing you can do to express more of who you are.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

(Nay)Say What?!

"You want to do what?"

"Oh, I wouldn't do that if I were you."

"Now just isn't the best time."

"But what if something bad happens?"

Oh yes, you recognize those all too well, don't you? Can hear them just as clearly as you read the words, right? Those are the voices of your naysayers. Bold, confident, assertive, educated and experienced. The ones who, under the guise of coming to your aid, shoot down every shred of positivity in your attitude, your plan, your dreams. Oh surely they mean well...they just don't know! They don't know that they're living in fear. And their fears vary--fear of lack, fear of bad people, fear of rejection. And so they advise you to fear. "Be veeeery careful!" they warn. And they sound so convincing that you're almost sure that they are right. They're not! There is always going to be some hurdle on the path to your success--be it a down economy, a competitor, finances, lack of experience. Whatever your hurdle, it CAN be overcome--with careful planning and preparation, research, patience and faith. All you have to do is make the effort in the general direction of your desired outcome and it will produce fruit.

So, the next time your naysayers attempt to fill your head with fearful, negative thoughts, combat them with these:

"This is what I WILL do."

"Phew, it's a good thing you aren't me."

"NOW is the only time I am ever guaranteed to have to get anything done!"

"But what if something GOOD happens?!"

Say what?! That's right--it is your time now. Keep the faith.
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Friday, July 10, 2009

The “A-ha!” Moment…

It's that instant where everything that has been out of focus suddenly becomes clear; the moment when you realize that all the things you thought you couldn't change are indeed different; the day you look around and your surroundings are new--the same people, places and things aren't there anymore; the hour/day/week/month when you can tell that you're just not the "you" that you thought you were. Don't get nervous! This is it! The moment you've been waiting for! You are standing in the middle of your own personal, spiritual and emotional transformation--your rebirth into the life you've always wanted. Maybe you're not there yet, but NOW you understand your journey and that you're meant to learn valuable lessons along the way there.

We have both recently experienced the "a-ha!" moment in our lives. And as we began to share little tidbits with each other here and there, we realized that we were on very similar journeys--toward personal empowerment, financial independence, emotional and physical well-being and eternal peace--and that we had begun arming ourselves with similar tools like love, truthfulness, joy and devotion. And then we had the thought, that maybe we aren't the only ones. Maybe there are other twirty-something women out there who are also dedicated to being their most amazing selves and who are looking for support and affirmation along the way.
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