10 Clichés Unpacked for 2019

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  1. When people start a sentence with “With all due respect,” they’re about to be hella disrespectful.
  2. When they say “to be honest,” they’ve been low key waiting on you to ask a question that would allow them to tell you about yourself.
  3. Never trust anyone who says, “Trust me.” Trustworthy people don’t have to tell you to trust them.
  4. “I’m just walking in my truth.” I used to love this expression until I realized it is sort of like “Trust me.”  If you are in fact walking in your truth that typically needs no discussion being that your walk is evidence of that truth.  I’ve found that many of the people who use (and overuse) this expression are walking in someone else’s truth or what they believe people expect of them.  That’s not truth.  That’s a Xerox of someone version of events.
  5. “Beggars can’t be choosers” really means, “I ain’t got to do crap for you, so you better take what I give you.”
  6. “So let me get this straight…” I really already have this straight, but I want YOU to verify that you allowed what you just said to actually come out your mouth!
  7. “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but”…But you heard it from someone else and it got a lot of likes and sounded like gospel, so now you start everything you think is gospel with this statement in hopes that someone will hear what is being said by you not understanding that if a million people are saying “I don’t know who needs to hear this” then no one hears anything but noise! In other words, just say what you are going to say in your own unique way and those who have ears will hear.
  8. “You can’t please everyone.”  Though this it is true that you can absolutely not please everyone…it feels like it often means… “My opinion is the only one that matters to me.  And if your opinion is the only one that matters, why not just say that and spare people the extra conversation?
  9. “All’s fair in love and war.” = “As soon as you break up with your man, I’m in that thang.”
  10. Them: The devil’s in the details. Me:  And you’re the devil.  AND YOU ALWAYS IN SOMEBODY ELSE’S DETAILS!

10 More Things About Me!!!

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Photographer : Tyrolyn VanWright

 Questions courtesy of my mama.

  1. HOW WILL YOUR LIFE BE DIFFERENT THIS YEAR?

A: I will travel more!  I used to do WAY more travelling for fun and take spontaneous road trips.  I got away from that last year!  This year I am coming back!

  1. WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR RIGHT NOW?

A: The freedom of working for myself…despite the struggles.

  1. HOW MUCH DO YOU WORRY ABOUT WHAT OTHERS THINK?

A: Not at all.  I have learned to only measure myself against the Word of God.

  1. WILL YOU EVER HAVE KIDS?

A: If my husband finds me, then maybe.  But that isn’t a priority or something that I feel is missing from my life.  I like other people’s kids.  Nonetheless, I am going out on more dates this year!

  1. YOUR CIRCLE OF FRIENDS HAS DEFINITELY CHANGED OVER THIS PAST YEAR. WHY?

A:  For starters, life is cyclical.  As with the seasons, things change.  The leaves die and fall from the trees so that something new can grow.  So it is with people.  I entered a new season in life and those things and people that were dead, naturally fell and blew away.  It’s not a bad thing.  It’s a life thing.  Additionally, I am loyal to a fault.  No matter what I go through, I show up for my friends.  I can’t say the same about some of the people I thought were closest to me.  So why should I continue to call them friends?

  1. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO INVEST IN YOUR CURRENT RELATIONSHIPS?

A: More godly conversations, more support, my relentless pursuit of the best in myself and others, more time, and deeper communication.

  1. WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN THESE DAYS?

A:  Fun changes for me from month to month, but right now I am really into wearing tight pants and watercolor painting.  That is really fun to me right now.

  1. ARE YOU COMFORTABLE IN YOUR OWN SKIN?

A: Really? (Eye roll)

  1. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO YOU THESE DAYS?

A: Learning to trust God more.  That’s been a big deal for me 2018 through this moment.  How can I trust God more even when it looks like everything is falling apart? How can I practice trust?  And I have found the  way to do it, is to do it.  Be intentional.  When it looks like things are falling apart, change the focus to God’s  Promises.  Focus on His inability to fail.

  1. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO IMPROVE YOURSELF?

A: Training my mind to fight against Satan’s attacks through Five Laws.

  • The Law of Recency—It states that things most recently learned are best remembered. So when I feel like I am focused on the negative, I learn something new or read something positive.  I try to make sure my most recent thoughts are light filled.
  • The Law of Attraction—Positivity brings positivity.
  • The Law of Averages—When I start thinking drastically, I ask myself, “What is the likely hood of that happening?”
  • Conservation of Energy—This law states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another. I transfer negative energy into positive activities.
  • The Law of Belief—States that whatever you believe and feel to be true long enough, will become your reality. I believe I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  And so I am.

 

If you’d have questions you would like to ask me, drop them in the comment section!  When I get to ten, I’ll answer them!  Thank you for reading!

New Year’s Resolution

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It’s been many, many years since I created a New Year’s Resolution.  I believe the work we must do is a daily resolution.  Therefore, I have been waking up every morning over the past few years with a resolve to be the best I can; slay my goals; pull music from the static and let the challenges chisel me into a champion.  I learned this neat trick from my minister, Bro. Jim Love, that I believe can help transform us all.  Make an acrostic poem with the word resolution(s) for your personal purpose and improvement.  Here is mine:

Read more, watch less.

Encourage others daily.

Separate myself from people who do not make me better.

Occupy my life with prayer, positive talk, and progressive learning.

Love and live more!

Understand God’s will for myself and attempt to better understand others.

Trust God more!

Ignore past mistakes, keep the lessons, and push through to the future.

Open my mind more to the guidance and Power of the Holy Spirit!

Need God more!

 

What are your goals, guiding words, and hopes for this day, month, or year?

10 Things I’ve learned About People This Year & How to Cope With Them

The 2018 Edition

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What I’ve learned/How to Cope

  1. People give littleness because they expect littleness. / Just because they give it, doesn’t mean you have to take it.
  2. Sometimes when people cannot find their own fire, they will try to diminish the fire in you.  / Don’t let them.  They can no more diminish your fire than they can diminish God.
  3. It is very wise to have mentors.  But some people (even those who claim to love you) will attempt to play that role in your life only as a means of throwing you off your course. / Listen to the voice within. Be discerning about with whom you share your ideas.  It’s great to have help, but at the end of the day no mind or heart is more worthy to guide you than your own.
  4. There are people who preoccupy themselves with problems and projects that are incapable of solution or execution. / Avoid these people.  They will draw you into their stagnant ways.
  5. We live in a world where many people lack moral values.  They will encourage you to choose things that might be fun for a moment but have no lasting value. / Be leery of these types of people and choose to surround yourself with people that make you level up.  Elevation should be a collaborative effort.
  6. Not everyone who sees your change will acknowledge or accept your change. / That’s fine. You don’t have to explain it to them. Be better anyway, and pray that they one day get to a point where they realize that when a person is healed, the past trauma fades away leaving behind the beauty and the blessings.
  7. People will try their best to tell you what YOU want. / Don’t let them!  You must answer that question, and you are answering it every second of every day.
  8. Some people are just not going to choose happiness.  They’re going to be angry, sad, and complaining every time you talk to them. / Love these people from a distance. Refuse to reinforce negativity as a way of coping.
  9. People often confuse “fluctuation” with “change.” / Learn to discern between people who are truly trying to change and people who are just…unsettled.
  10. Not everyone close to you is as invested in your well-being as they claim. /  Don’t impoverish your (Self) by continuing to allow them to be on “your team.” The overhead is too high for fakes and extras.

I’m Marrying Chick-Fil-A

Not a week can go by without someone asking me why I am not married or what I am looking for in a man.  Simple answer?  When I meet Chick-Fil-A, I’ll get married.  Here’s why:

  1. Chick-Fil-A loves Jesus. They make choices based on Christian principles.  They are closed on Sundays.  They put belief before the cost of losing worldly success.  They are convicted.
  2. They use real chicken! My husband will be real.  He won’t be leftover chicken parts whipped together, rolled out, and cookie cut into the shape of a man.  He’ll be 100% organic real man.  He’ll be so true and authentic in all that he is and does.
  3. His customer service will be phenomenal! Chick-Fil-A makes you feel like they’ve been waiting all day just to make you feel special.  You don’t ever have to ask twice and they bring a smile to your face.  They swoop in and pick up your mess when you don’t even know you’ve made one.  They refill your drink, so you’re never thirsty.  “My pleasure” is their motto.
  4. I have never been in a nasty Chick-Fil-A. My husband will love his body and wash his tail.  You would think I would not have to say that, but it’s some nasty men out here, y’all.  Not only will my husband take pride in his physical temple, he’ll work every day to be pure at heart.
  5. Chick-Fil-A has the best sauce selection ever, and they give you as many as you ask for without charging extra.  The man I marry will be so saucy.  Sometimes he’ll be tangy like honey mustard. Other times sweet and savory like BBQ.  Some days he’ll be Zesty like buffalo. Other days he’ll be spicy like Siracha!  But even on the worst days, he’ll be my Polynesian sauce, my favorite, the only one that goes well with everything.
  6. My future bae will be waffle fries. I love potatoes in general, but I will go out of my way for waffle fries.  They are unique, flavorful, perfectly salted, rare and I will fight somebody behind my waffle fries.
  7. Anyone who knows me knows, I don’t like sweet tea, but for some reason I will drink Chick-Fil-A’s sweet tea! My husband will be the exception.
  8. Have you ever noticed that no matter how many cars are in line at Chick-Fil-A you never have to wait? How is it possible?  They are organized!  They have a plan.  They know when they will need the most help, and they put people in place to ensure the job gets done.  Chick-Fil-A workers will stand outside in the rain with an iPad and a parasol to ensure things go well.  My husband will be a man with goals, an actionable plan, and pieces set in place to move us forward through life.
  9. Chick-Fil-A billboards are simple, yet hilarious. My husband will make me crack up.  He’ll have a sense of humor that will inspire me to laugh even when the day is hard.
  10. I’ve never had a bad meal at Chick-Fil-A. There is no substitute or cheaper equal to Chick-Fil-A. No matter where I am, no matter if I have Chick-Fil-A money or not, no matter if a thousand chicken restaurants open in the city, I always come back to Chick-Fil-A.  There will be times when we will disagree, times when we don’t get along, times when we have to sit quietly in separate rooms so we don’t kill one another, men will throw themselves at me, but my husband will be Chick-Fil-A.  There won’t be another like him, no substitute; no one else will get my business.  There will be no other chicken love but him.

Don’t Settle for Mediocrity

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Photo Courtesy of  Great Performers Academy

As some of you know, this has been a ROUGH 18 months to say the least.  Lots of ups and downs, bumps and bruises, cuts and scrapes.  The ones who know me best know that no matter how many times I fall, I am always going to get back up again.  Others seem to think that I am living a charmed life which is far from the truth.  What I am living—and have been living long before it became a popular song—is my best life.  I decided long ago that settling for being mediocre was NEVER going to be an option in my life.  For that same reason, my circle is very small.  People around me know that I expect everyone to strive to be the best version of themselves.  Self-work isn’t for everyone…I get that.  But when you choose to settle for the easiest life, you become accustomed to being mediocre.  You do yourself and the world a grave injustice.  I hope this list will shake you up and get all the good stuff out of the bottom of your life’s glass and into the mix.

 

Ten things to remember:

  1. You owe yourself EVERYTHING. You are too everything to settle.
  2. As you walk in your purpose, do not accept littleness in the place of your magnitude.
  3. The power of the Most High within you will support every effort you make to walk in your purpose.
  4. Remember that God offers his glory to the world through you.
  5. You don’t have to strive for greatness. It’s already in you. But you do have to strive against doing “just enough to get by.”
  6. Neither give nor take mediocrity.
  7. When you choose to half-step or do anything in a mediocre manner, this is your evaluation of yourself. You have judged yourself less worthy.
  8. Mediocrity will never make you content or give you peace.
  9. Don’t surround yourself with a tribe of mediocre people or all you will ever do is “measure up.” No one rises to low standards.
  10. Every time you think about living a life that flies below the radar, ask yourself: “Do I want to be a hostage to mediocrity or a host to magnitude?”

#level up

10 Subtle Signs of Suicide

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“My Mom’s Suicide Note to Me” Photo Courtesy of Paul Jones, 2014

I called someone I had not spoken to in a month or so the other day.  Anyone who knows me knows I am not one for too many phone conversations.  You’ll rarely get me on the phone for more than ten minutes at time.  But something just told me to call her.  The last time I saw her she seemed a little different.  She had been distancing herself from the circle more and more.  When she wasn’t extremely happy, she was on the far end of the spectrum or out doing things she would have never done before like drinking while driving and filming it for IG.   Something told me to call.  So I did.  I talked randomly.  Reminisced with her.  Made her laugh.  And when I didn’t know what else to say I said, “It’s okay not to be okay.”  She broke down.  Said she had just made up her mind before I called that “Today would be my last day.”

I felt like a failure.

She shouldn’t have gotten that close to committing suicide before I checked in because I had noticed something was different in the months prior.  But I wasn’t sure if it was worth mentioning or if it was even my place.  It was.  This post is for those of who might not be dealing with depression but are watching it like it’s reality TV and not fully understanding…for someone this is real life. For the ones who get too busy to care.  The ones who notice something is wrong but never address it.  The ones who don’t know what to say so they don’t say anything until they’re given two minutes and a mic at the funeral.  The ones who “chalk it up to” whatever ridiculous things we chalk it up to so that we don’t have to face the demons; so we don’t have to acknowledge our own frailty.  For the ones who think suicide waves BIG signs when it actually waves small flags.

10 Subtle Signs of Suicide:

  1. Long lasting sadness
  2. Complaints of problems sleeping (Too much or too little)
  3. Avoidance of things that once were part of their routine
  4. Change in personality
  5. Changes in appearance (Drastic weight gain/loss, unkempt, disheveled, hygiene issues, etc.)
  6. Talk of feeling “trapped” or a “What’s the point?” attitude
  7. Increased use of alcohol and/or drugs
  8. Complaints of fatigue and constant sickness
  9. Becoming reckless
  10. Isolation

Sometimes it’s not just a bad day.  Sometimes it’s not hormones or the regular stress of life we encounter.  Sometimes people really feel like they don’t have a reason to keep living.  No one should feel that way.  No one should be made to feel like they are weak for feeling that way if they do.  No one should walk this life alone.  If you notice, speak up.  Support one another.  Let people know you will listen even if you don’t know what to say.  Do something.  Doing nothing is just as bad as wielding the razor.

Why Women Should Support Women

20180909_093737.jpgI was having a conversation with my dear friend, Courtney, about some of our other mutual girlfriends who we always support but never seem to support us.  It dawned on me that for much of my adult life, the women (outside of my family) have rarely supported me in the way that I have supported them.  Women seem to think that everything is a competition; that everyone’s out to get them; that there isn’t enough room in the sky for every star to shine.  And I just don’t think like that.  First of all, the only woman I compete with is Sean.  Every day, I want to beat the old me! Secondly, I am too busy to be out to get you when I am out to get mine!  Finally, my light does not diminish yours; in fact, two lights make the room brighter.  Therefore we need to support one another!  Here’s why:

  1. We can empower, encourage and uplift one another.
  2. We’re stronger in numbers.
  3. Every one of us is fighting an inner battle. Why create outer battles for fellow women to fight as well?
  4. In this misogynistic world we are still living in, why should we be against one another when the world already is?!
  5. Beautiful minds can inspire one another.
  6. Team work makes the dream work.
  7. We need to teach the younger women what sisterhood looks like so they’ll be more Golden Girls and less Real Housewives!
  8. We can learn from one another.
  9. You need a sister to show up for you in the times you cannot show up for yourself.
  10. What you give to others, you give to yourself.

 

It’s WAY past time to stop honoring and supporting women with our mouths but not with our actions.  It’s WAY past time to stop forming these cliques that only serve the purposes of clucking louder in the hen house.  It’s WAY past time to stop discriminating against other women based on size, education, skin color, sororities, religion, and all that other garbage!  It’s TIME to be real.  And real women know they cannot do it alone.

In My Feelings

After seeing so many posts about the #InMyFeelingsChallenge, I finally watched the video.  Clearly, Drake is going through something.  But aren’t we all?  When I’m in my feelings, my thoughts go haywire and if I did everything that came to mind at the time,  I’d likely end up prison.  These past few months I have been working on being very intentional about not staying in my feelings when I get in them.  Here’s how:

  1. Don’t react right away. This used to be a BIG problem for me.  Something would happen and the minute I felt offended in any kind of way, I was popping off that the mouth and trying to run people over.  As much as I’d love to think of myself as a highly rational being, I’m sometimes not.  Knowing this about myself, I work extremely hard to not react right away.
  2. Prayer is my saving grace in my darkest moments. I take a moment to ask God for His divine intervention in revealing to me what is truth versus perception and what I must do.
  3. Mindful breathing. I learned this from my friend, Lilith.  Mindful breathing relaxes my body.  I start by taking a deep inhale through my nostrils, holding my breath for a few seconds, and then taking a long exhale through my mouth.  These deep and intentional breaths decrease my heart rate, relax my tensed muscles, and refocus my concentration.
  4. Apply 5Ws. I use the 5Ws (Who? What? When? Where? Why?) to write down what ACTUALLY happened.  Facts only.  Not my perception or feelings about what happened.
  5. Assess feelings. TRUTH BOMB: Our emotions don’t always represent the truth!  Just because I feel a certain way, doesn’t make it a reality. Once I have written down the facts, I can then start to assess why I am in my feelings.  Am I hurt because it’s true?  Did I receive the situation in the wrong way?  Do I have PMS?  Am I hungry?  Was I already upset about something else?  Will this situation even matter a week, month or year from now?
  6. See the bigger picture. I remind myself that every step is an ordered step and everything that has ever happened in my life, whether good or bad, has served a higher purpose. I try to see past the moment and distinguish the greater meaning, trusting that even in the midst of being in my feelings, there is purpose.
  7. Journal. Journal. Words are powerful and when I am in my feelings, I have trained myself to use my words to describe, improve, and transform my situation.  I write until my hand hurts in order to physically liberate myself from my pent up emotions.
  8. Thought exchange. I replace negative thoughts with more positive ones.  The thing about choosing to stay in your feelings is that you’re also choosing to bind yourself to negative thoughts which will eventually lead you to a cycle of negative life patterns.  The constantly bitter people in your life are probably allowing themselves to remain in their feelings so long that negativity becomes their new normal. Think on good things!
  9. Ask for Support. Sometimes we need someone to listen to us, pray with us, or guide us into a more positive place.  FYI:  The negative Nellies in your life are not the ones to go to!  Avoid toxic people!
  10. Help someone.  I find that when I am taking care of someone else’s problems, God takes care of mine!  You don’t have time to stay in your feelings when you’re out in the world changing it for the better!

 

What do you do when you’re in your feelings?

10 Things about Me!!!

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On a recent road trip with my nieces, Paige and Korrine, taught me a game: The Question Game.  To be only 11, they asked some SERIOUS questions!  I thought I’d use this opportunity to tell you more about myself based on their (and a few friends’) questions!

  1. WHAT’S SOMETHING THAT NO ONE WOULD GUESS ABOUT YOU?

A: I am VERY OCD!  I have to make several lists throughout the day, I can’t sleep with a dirty floor, and I like things in a certain order.

  1. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN?

A: Love.  I believe in Love.  I believe that God through his son, Jesus, is the ultimate manifestation of love.  I believe that if everyone chose love as much as possible, the world would be transformed.

  1. WHY DON’T YOU HAVE A HUSBAND?

A: I’m very old fashioned when it comes to dating and relationships. Men these days seem to be very “cyber” in their thoughts and actions where marriage is concerned.  I am not jumping into bed with a man, being a side chick won’t do, getting into a marriage thinking divorce is a viable answer choice…I’m not here for it.  My mom and dad were married for 48 years and I know what marriage looks like.  I refuse to marry a man who’s not willing to do that work with me.  Not to mention, I am an extraordinary woman. An ordinary love just won’t do.

  1. DO YOU WISH YOU HAD DONE ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY IN LIFE?

A: Absolutely not.

  1. HOW DO YOU HANDLE A BAD MOOD?

A: I try to avoid allowing it to rub off on other people.  I also try to make a grateful list or turn that negative energy into something positive.

  1. WHAT DO YOU WISH SOMEONE WOULD ASK YOU?

A: A question to which they didn’t think they already knew my answer.

  1. WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF FROM YOUR PREVIOUS RELATIONSHIPS?

A: From the romantic ones, I learned my deal breakers.  From others, I learned that most relationships are seasonal, and there’s nothing wrong with the seasons changing.

  1. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO YOU?

A: Being like Christ, giving back to humanity, family, art, and peace.

  1. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO IMPROVE YOURSELF?

A: Whew!  This is an ever changing answer, but right now I am reading a book about marketing your work, getting reacquainted with LinkedIn for the purposes of business, adding more blueberries to my diet, and more kick boxing.

  1. WHAT’S ONE THING YOU’VE HAD TO OVERCOME IN YOUR LIFE?

A: Accepting that I have no control over people’s actions, not expecting people to do for me like I do for people, and not holding people’s humanity against them.

Submit your questions (or answer any of these) in the comments section!  Thank you for reading!