Wednesday, March 31, 2010

You CAN have it all. You just can't have it all at once.

photo credit:

"The one thing grander than the sea is the sky.

The one thing grander than the sky is the spirit of the human being."

The reason we can't get clear is because we have too many things cluttering our minds and lives. We have so much mental chatter we can't hear ourselves think. We have so much emotional baggage we can't feel what's good, what's bad, what's right or what's wrong. We want so much, so fast, that we can't get clear about what to do first. The first thing we have to do is get clear about the one thing we want. We must describe it, identify it, see it in our possession. Don't stop to worry about how, that will create more clutter. Just want it and see it the way you want it. Once you do that, eliminate everything that is not getting you what you want. Eliminate it from thought, word and deed. Eliminate people if necessary. Stop doing things that will not get you what you want. When you are comfortable with the energy you have put into your first want, move on to the next one. The trick is to want one thing at a time.

Focus on it.
Concentrate on it and don't let go.

I Am clear about what I want
I can see through to it.

-Author Unknown
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Erykah Badu's "Window Seat" Video

You may or may not have heard about all the controversy surrounding Erykah Badu's leaked Window Seat video. If you haven't had the chance to check the video out for yourself, please do so immediately. Whether or not you agree with her point of view, or with how the video was shot, you can't deny that she is yet again stirring up the collective consciousness. Pay special attention to her speech at the end of the video. (*The blue words spell out "group think".)

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Hazards of Pointing Fingers

It seems like people jump at the chance to criticize you when you do something out of line, out of character or just plain old stupid. They are quick to tell you how disappointed they are, and sometimes people even take it as far as accusing you of committing this error or lapse in judgment with the intention of hurting them personally. Talk about adding insult to injury! I’ve been on both sides of this. Haven’t you?

When I’m already beating myself up about making a bad decision, the last thing I want to deal with is someone scolding, accusing, belittling and judging. Back up off me. When there is no consideration to how I already feel about what I’ve done; shame, guilt and anger build up inside of me and I build this wall up to protect myself. This wall only leads to me feeling alone and misunderstood. Over time, these kinds of experiences can lead to inertia. When we are faced with challenges everyday, we become afraid to take a leap because of the ugly recall we have about the last time when things didn’t turn out well and “the whole world” was watching as we failed to deliver.

Like I said, I’ve been on both sides of this plight and I’m taking a close look at myself to evaluate how I treat people in my life when they disappoint me. Above all else, I’m learning that other people's mistakes HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ME.

People do the things they do because they are living out their own lives and the unique lessons they have to learn. Who am I to say that they shouldn’t have done that thing or made that mistake that was so inconvenient for ME and not in MY plan? Guess what? We’ll all be a lot happier when we realize that people do what they do until they have the experiences and growth to want do things differently. Who am I to try and dilute those necessary experiences with my own version of how things should go? Constructive feedback certainly has its place, especially in loving relationships, but this communication should be loving and productive – not judgmental.

Likewise, we must recognize our own lessons and find the blessing in them even if no one else does. People will talk. But no matter what you do, you must never lose sight of the fact that it is YOUR lesson. Who cares what anyone else thinks or believes; you are the one living your life. There is nothing to feel guilty, ashamed or angry about when we make mistakes. When we expect that these kinds of lessons are inevitably going to come, and we are ready to face them – then we are welcoming growth into our lives. Otherwise, we resist, we are immobile and we don’t prosper.

Trust that if the unexpected or undesirable happens, it was supposed to happen and you will be stronger and wiser because of it. Rather than focusing on what "they" will say, hold on to what you have learned and remember how hurtful it felt to be criticized the next time you start to criticize someone else.
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Sunday, March 21, 2010

The ambitious pursuit of change

We all know that change can be scary. There is the fear of the unknown, the fear of failure, the reluctance to leave behind the sanctity of comfortable. However, change in life is inevitable, and in order to truly live without limits, it's important to step outside of that box; to not only welcome change into our lives, but to run out and greet it. The more we embrace it, the more we'll find ourselves experiencing a fullness of life that we might not have even thought possible. We'll be less afraid to go out on a limb because we'll know that if we fall we can land safely.

At the end of last year, GG and I agreed that we would make an effort to "ambitiously pursue one new endeavor per month". This can include attending a new event, taking a class, taking on a new challenge, visiting a new place, accomplishing a goal--the only stipulation is that it is something we have not done before, so the possibilities are endless! We are both extremely excited about this challenge to stretch ourselves and, hopefully, to learn in the process.

We invite you to ambitiously pursue change in your own way. Find ways to challenge and push yourself to heights and depths you never thought possible, and find out what you're truly capable of.

....In with the new!
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jealous Moments

We've all been there. Jealousy is a bitter, wasteful and blind emotion. Jealousy can take you completely out of character, and lead you right into real-life situations that you've created with your own imagination. It's hard to acknowledge that jealousy really comes from our own lack of self-worth. But it's true.

I needed this reminder this week. Lately, I've been struggling with a need to control everything. And this jealousy thing is one of the ways in which this struggle has been showing up. It hurts to admit it, but it's insecurity - and I'm still trying to figure out where it's coming from. I know it's a symptom of some deeper issues. But for now, I'm putting this aspect in perspective by dissecting it and facing it.

The following quote really hit home for me, and made me see myself.

"Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point - that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you. There is only one alternative - self-value. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved. You will always think it's a mistake or luck. Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within. Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences. Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security. Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them."

~Jennifer James

What have you been working on?
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Friday, March 12, 2010

Happy 101 Award

We are so honored to have received our very first blog award--Happy 101 Award! We thank Natica a.k.a Pure Gold Lady for sharing this honor with blogs that she felt inspired by in some way—including ours. Providing inspiration for other women as we all go through our personal triumphs and challenges is part of our mission so it warms our hearts to know we are succeeding in some small way! Be sure to check out her blog as well—it is positive and thought-provoking.

The award love does come with a few rules. Upon acceptance we must:

1. Thank the person that awarded you this in the new post. (check!)
2. Name 10 things that make you happy.
3. Pass the award on to 10 other bloggers and inform the winners.

So, to that end:

10 Things That Make Us Happy:

  1. Hanging out with our babies
  2. Dancing
  3. Kissing and Hugging
  4. Helping someone through difficult times
  5. Big hair
  6. Soulful music
  7. Sunny days
  8. Curling up with a good book
  9. Girl time
  10. Steaming cups of hot green (black/white/rooibos) tea
 The 10 Blogs To Which We Are Passing Along This Award: 

  1. Sunshine at Sunshine Loves Peace 
  2. Demetria at Love Is Dope  
  3. Leslie at Naturally Leslie 
  4. 5 and a Possible
  5. Curvygurl at Curvy Gurl Chronicles 
  6. Mae at Natural Chica 
  7. Think and Grow Chick
  8. Naturi Beauty
  9. Rosetta at Diary of a Happy Black Woman
  10. Fleurzty at Texture Playground
Our motivation for choosing these is because they all have inspired us in some way with original and insightful thoughts on various aspects of being a black woman in the world today. Thanks Ladies!
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Monday, March 8, 2010

The Beauty of Detachment

"There is nothing like returning to a place

that remains unchanged to find the ways

in which you yourself have altered."

Occasionally, I find myself back there - entertaining old feelings and insecurities and allowing them to take me back to old stomping grounds to which I swore I'd never return. Maintaining peace of mind is definitely not a "set it and forget it" concept. So many times, I've thought that I'd overcome something - only to be presented with similar circumstances and find myself reacting the same way.

One of the things I struggle with is attachment. Sometimes it's hard accepting people for who they are, what they do and the ups and downs that they go through. At times, I get so caught up in my feelings for people that I take their idiosyncracies very personally and I find myself hurting because of what they are doing or not doing and how it makes me feel.

I get lost in the in-between of loving with all my heart but still remaining detatched enough to stay in control of my own peace and happiness. It's easy for me to talk about how much I've grown and how far I've come when everything is peachy. The true test comes when people disappoint me, plans fall through, and my boundaries are threatened.

I want things to go my way all the time - no spills, no oversights, no wardrobe malfunctions. But alas, to live such a life is not living at all, is it? How would we ever appreciate the light of day, if we never had to endure the darkness?

There is a reason that life continues to present these situations to me. There is a Divine plan unfolding for me, and I see every incident that comes into my life as a clue into my own mystery.

And so should you.

Nothing in life happens by accident. If people and events in your life are stirring your emotions to the point of distraction, it's a sign that you need to take a good look at yourself in that area.

As for me, I can't count how many times in my life that my attachment issues have gotten in the way of me focusing on what really matters - namely, THAT WHICH I CAN CONTROL. The difference between now and then is that place, full of fear and self-pity, is no longer an acceptable escape for me. Each time I go there, I'm reminded of why I keep leaving, and my stays are becoming shorter and shorter.

"There is no power higher than the power of detachment. When one masters the state of detachment, nothing he possess will possess him....Have you ever noticed when you stop wanting something, the object of your desire comes to you naturally? This is part of the mystery of how the world works."
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Today is always a new day!

Every day that we awaken is a new day, and with it comes new opportunity. With it comes the ability to let go of the hurts and disappointments from yesterday and push forward toward new experiences. Every day, promise yourself to be ambitious in pursuit of your goals and dreams, to be oblivious to the attempts of others to bring you down, to be loving and to be good to yourself. A great way to remind yourself to do these things daily is with statements of intent, "Today, my intent is to ____ (fill in the blank)" or "Today, I am dedicated to _____ (fill in the blank)." Once you have set the intention, be diligent in following it through for the rest of the day. Not sure how to finish those sentences yet? Here are some that help me:

Today I am dedicated to releasing everyone and everything that does not serve a divine purpose in my life.

Today I am devoted to bringing peace into all situations and experiences.

Today I am devoted to understanding and embracing the true value and meaning of trust.

Today I am devoted to having a surprising new response to the same old thoughts and feelings.

Today I am devoted to acknowledging the good things that I am.

Today I am devoted to making clear decisions about what I choose to experience!

Today I am devoted to living a guilt-free life.

Today I am devoted to moving beyond any feelings of wrongness to do and say what I believe is the right thing for me!

Today I am devoted to listening to what my life is saying. I am committed to making the adjustments that are needed!

Today I will love myself, listen to myself and expect the best from myself and for myself.

**Today statements exerpted from Until Today: Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind, by Iyanla Vanzant
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