It’s a daily struggle to live in a place of acceptance, especially when we anticipate the future. We must learn to embrace our current lives, no matter what we’re going through or what we believe is a test of strength and patience.

We have to practice accepting ourselves and who we are, our family, our friends, our partners, our relationships, our situations, and even the crazy up and down weather we’ve been having. Doing so helps bring a certain level of peace for us.

Don’t get it twisted…acceptance isn’t the same as settling, despite what others may think or say about accepting what is. The key to living a positively present life is to change our way of thinking. No more “it should be…”, “I wish…”, Why didn’t I….”, “I need to…”, etc. worry or dwell on what could be better or improved in your life, but enjoy the process of improving without fear of failure.

When we stop worrying or dwelling on what could be better or improved in our lives, we begin to enjoy the process of improving without fear of failure. We’re no longer focusing on what should be and it feels damn good!

Do yourselves a favor and live abundantly in the present.

Your future self will thank you.

 

 

It never fails…

The moment you feel like you’ve lost something or someone valuable…something later in life shows you that what didn’t happen, happened because it wasn’t for you. That’s when life shows you that you’ve dodged a big bullet.

I appreciate the moments when I feel like I’ve been saved! Whether it was God, or simply using my intuition, events in my life that don’t always go as planned may actually be a good thing. Of course, I don’t see that at the moment.

We have to trust the process because if we don’t, we’ll always be in a position of doubt. That doubt turns into frustration, rendering us powerless of our emotions and well-being.

When things don’t work out in our favor at the present, it’s because things are working out for a better  future. Somehow, situations are reversed, so we could “start over”. That’s how we learn our most valuable lessons. In the midst of those lessons, we come to discover that we may have missed a bullet…meaning that what was disguised as a blessing, turned out to be a hindrance that we don’t have to deal with. “Dodging bullets” gives us the opportunity to fill the space we’ve created with blessings that we’ve earned.

 

 

 

A popular Youtuber, Landon Moss, is touching souls all over the internet with his Sergio Valencia-directed video titled ‘Cherish Every Moment’.

It took me a moment to catch on at the end until I realized the unexpected.

Just like real life…we come across situations unexpected. That’s why it’s important to cherish every moment with the people you love. Don’t take anything and anyone for granted, because one day, an unexpected situation may take place and change everything….forever!

How many of us has convinced ourselves, at least once in our lifetime, that something we need to accomplish will be done later and not sooner? How many of us have failed at meeting that goal?

*raises hand*

Many of us go through life with many distractions and setbacks that cause us to hinder our abilities to “get things done”. We’ll procrastinate because we think we have enough time, resources, or monetary support, only to find out at the last-minute that things may not go as planned because we’re short on those three components. That “later” turns into “never” and before we realize it….we’ve missed what may have been our only opportunity.

It’s obvious that laziness plays a part in procrastination, so we can’t always blame our shortcoming on the lack of the three components aforementioned. If we want different results we have to do things differently and that includes being proactive. Even with distractions and setbacks, it’s up to us to keep movin’ in order to get shit done. Do what you can, even if it’s a bit at a time until you’re satisfied. Each step we take towards our goal counts, because we’re a step further than where we’ve started. All it takes is a slight push.

Instead of waiting later to do something, try working towards your goal right then and there; the moment your goal enters your mind, you should do something that will bring you a step ahead. There’s a saying, ‘the sooner, the better’.

Procrastination is overrated and for losers and I say this with love. As a result, I push myself to get things done and you know what? I always feel good in the end.

Why?

Because I would have otherwise, put something off, which would have created more stressful situations for me; something I can always avoid by just doing what I set myself up to do.

We don’t often think that some things intervene and because of that, we have to remind ourselves that things change and we’ll never know what happens in the future. It’s important for us to do what we’re going to do and when we’re going to do it and stick with it!

I know, I know…that’s easier said than done.

I get that

However, No one ever said good things come easy. Practicing structure and staying dedicated is not always an easy thing to do when you have twenty things going on in your life, but they make life easier.

That’s definitely a good thing.

Live in the present moment, not the future…and get things done.

By now, you’ve seen images of a couple whose proposal and wedding transpired all in one day and the tear-jerking union went viral all over social media. If you click on the hashtag, #ForeverDuncan” it takes you to a timeline of events between Alfred Duncan and his new wife, Sherrell, and their captured moments of the day’s memorable events.

On Oct. 1st, Alfred proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Sherell Woodward, at noon. Unbeknownst to Sherrell, a wedding ceremony was about to take place by 5pm. The bride-to-be was overcome with emotion as she arrived at the venue.

Learn more about their love story here

Since their love story broke, it’s been proven that folks have a hard time doing a couple of things when they witness something “out of the norm”, yet, extraordinary.

I’ve witnessed people (particularly men) have a hard time giving props where props are due, and the rest (women) using the Duncans’ relationship as a template for their own love life or lack thereof.

While I admit to ALMOST calling somebody to order the “Forever Duncan special”, I am clearly aware that I should create my own journey to true love, instead of following the love story of someone else. I think it’s safe to say that we all should focus on creating our own love story.

We forget that, perhaps, these folks went through hell and back to get where they are right now. Getting into a relationship is relatively easy, but it’s staying in it that could be a whole other challenge. Relationships take work, and everyone’s journey to true love is different.

This couple’s story has revealed the true colors of folks on social media. Since their story broke, I’ve witnessed more of a division in the dynamic between men and women in the black communities. Men have been doing more criticizing than congratulating the brotha on doing what he wanted to do with his queen. I’ve seen women publicly criticize the men they’ve dated for not being a “real man” like Alfred. I’ve also seen women criticize the new bride for waiting nine years.

I need y’all to cut it……..

Fellahs…don’t judge a brotha for leveling up on what you haven’t had the courage to do.

Ladies…Stop comparing your significant others (past & present) to a dude you don’t even know. A healthy relationship requires a 50/50 partnership, so stop judging like it’s ALL their fault you’re single and struggling.

The story of the Duncans reveals the problem we have and that’s the huge ass gap between men and women that need to be bridged. There’s also an obvious need for better understanding and communication when it comes to love and relationships.

Let’s stop judging and commend this couple for sharing their beautiful love story, and we should definitely commend Alfred for stepping up and showing the world the love he has for his woman.

love

If we want true love, we have to be responsible for our emotions.

It has taken me a long time to realize that. Being emotionally responsible brings a certain level of balance in a relationship. When we’re responsible emotionally, we see things more clearly. We recognize what we truly want and in the midst of creating that balance, we make ourselves and our partner aware of the importance of not making permanent decisions off of what could be temporary feelings. That’s definitely an act of emotional irresponsibility. When we enter a relationship, chances are we will experience feelings of gratitude towards our partner, without fully getting to know who our partner truly is. Emotional responsibility prevents you from acting on emotions and forces you to see things for what it could really be.

Patience is the key ingredient to practicing emotional responsibility and a surefire way to land you the true love you deserve.

Like part of 1 Corinthians 13:4 say, “Love is patient”.

Being emotionally irresponsible makes you impatient and that’s not a good look.  Impatience is a reflection of desperation and anxiety.

The next time you meet someone and you feel things are going to another level, I’d encourage you to inhale and exhale deeply, take your time, and think/act with your mind…not with your heart. Be emotionally responsible and see how far that will take you. True love awaits you but will only reveal itself to you when you can prove handling a mature relationship and keep you emotions in check while doing so.

Don’t rush…don’t react on impulse….take things slow…and get to know the person who’s captured your heart. finding out who your partner is from the inside out is very necessary if you want your relationship to be long term.

This isn’t about being super cocky or downright conceited. In fact, being your own cheerleader has absolutely nothing to do with vanity, but everything to do with elevating your confidence and self-esteem. We all need a little encouragement whenever we feel doubtful. It’s when that inevitable fear of failure creeps in is when we need to push ourselves the most.

Not everyone can cheer as loud as you can, so why not rely on yourself to get motivated? You know how capable you are. You know your strengths, your weaknesses, and your drive. Although, it doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with like-minded people who could help push you to achievement, but knowing that you can beat the odds can without a doubt, enhance the greatness of you.

It’s time for you to highlight the best things about you!

Use your shortcomings as motivation to become better by pushing yourself to be the best version

of (insert name here).

Get rid of those negative thoughts!

Don’t sell yourself short!

There’s nothing wrong with relying on support from others, but being your own cheerleader guarantees you 100% genuine support that you cannot get from anyone else.

 

 

This piece comes after a very trying day. I swear! I work VERY hard at not giving the devil work to do, but somehow he manages to get overtime on making some of my days unlivable! As a result, I automatically assume the rest of my life will be the same as today.

That is…until I come back to my senses.

When we go through tough days, we have to keep in mind that we have to fight through some of our bad days, so we can experience the best days of our lives. Of course, it’s not easy when external forces make you go out of character…

 

 

At the end of the day (literally), all that matters is that you didn’t let what happened rob you of your peace of mind.

We have to go through a lot to get where we want to be and that includes battling ourselves to live up to others’ potential and struggling to be or do better than the day before. We all navigate through life with ups and downs, fighting our way to our ultimate life goals, yet still uncertain if we’ll get there.  What’s most important is that we don’t let obstacles get in the way and we keep going. Those obstacles include what others do or say to affect your optimistic attitude.

If you’ve had a bad day like I did…remember that there’s always Tomorrow. You’ve got to get up, get on, and get over it…get it all to be strong! Sorry ya’ll…I’ve been on my Tevin Campbell kick heavy lately 😉

 

I’ve been discouraged about many things in my life. In fact, I still struggle with staying encouraged but somehow, my need to become a winner outweighs my wanting to give up.

Life can throw us many curveballs, taking us out the game. But as long as we refuse to lose, we will find a way to stay in the game and WIN. There’s nothing standing between us but ourselves and opportunity. This is when we have to step out of our own way to make things happen.

There are a few major factors that make us become discouraged from whatever we want to accomplish:

Being content in your comfort zone

Downplaying your awesomeness

Thinking negative thoughts

Not living in the “now”

When we get rid of those self-detrimental patterns, we become fully aware of our determination to want better and to be better. We’ll realize that we have been in our own way to achieve greatness because we’re too afraid to try. It’s okay to become discouraged…as long as you acknowledge what’s holding you back, and you’re doing everything in your power to release yourself from it.

You owe yourself that.

Having thick skin is necessary in a world full of people who goes by the theory “misery loves company”. I have to stay mindful that people love differently than I do and not everyone has my kind of heart.

Not everyone will support what you do. Not everyone wants to see you happy, especially when their own lives are in shambles…and that’s okay. The only thing we can do is accept it, make peace with it, and move on. It may be hard, considering some people will go as far as sabotage your positive energy by doing or saying all they can to “push your buttons”.

Why?

Because they are not experiencing the internal and external success you are owning in your life. You both started from the bottom, but you’re at the top by yourself. Meanwhile, they’re still struggling to climb the first step. These miserable people don’t understand that your success is their success. When you win, they win. When your energy is good, it is strong enough to carry over into the people in your circle. The people who truly care about you will embrace your energy and use it to motivate theirselves to do better.

Then there are the rest…

These people will use your good energy and deplete it with pointless jealousy; Their actions prove that you’re not liked by them and you find yourself wondering what in the world you’ve done to deserve the mistreatment.

We can be more concerned than we need to be whether or not we are liked and naturally so. It’s that “People pleasing syndrome” that all of us carry at some point in our lives.  The reality is…some people will not like us, because of the energy we display.  Caring what others think about you will deplete your good energy, making you susceptible to leveling yourself down for their comfort level.

So, this person and that person don’t like you…so what?

Don’t let that stifle your growth and harden your heart. Everyone in the world is not meant to be in tune with your energy. Make peace with that and keep living your life.

It was a magical and surreal moment during the recent Emmy Awards. Award-Winning actress Viola Davis received her Emmy for Best Actress for her role as Annilease Keating in “How To Get Away With Murder”. That moment wasn’t just about her memorable and inspiring speech about women of color in the film/television industry. There was a  moment when Taraji Henson, another powerful Award-Winning actress, stood up and applauded in pure joy and with genuine love for her friend whose name was called.

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Although Taraji was one of the nominees who lost to Viola, she STILL celebrated her friend’s achievement. What we’ve witnessed that night was TRUE sisterhood at its finest. It makes you wonder who’d clap for you if you win. Most importantly, would you celebrate your sister in the midst of your losses?

Sisterhood is hard to come by these days. Personally, I’m blessed to call two women in my life TRUE sisters in spirit whom I’m confident in. They’d definitely “clap for me”, as I definitely would for them.

As women, that whole competitive mentality we have divides us when it doesn’t have to be that way. We all go through similar life experiences but through different chapters in our lives. When one of us win, we all win. Unfortunately, some women do not believe in that sentiment. You have those who cannot stand to see your strengths because your strengths will reveal their weaknesses. Not all of us understand that you could use your sister’s accomplishments as motivation. Knowing that you and your sister are from the same place spiritually and emotionally should give you some level of optimism about how and where you’d like to grow in your life.

I hope a lot of us take Taraji’s actions that night as a lesson and evaluate the outlook on Sisterhood and the lack of it. Some women never practiced Sisterhood a day in their lives, and that’s why there are a lot of toxic/broken friendships. It makes life easier for us if we take the time to understand what Sisterhood is really about and how we can implement it in our daily lives. Whether we want to believe it or not, we need each other. We have to inspire, motivate and uplift one another because we are a part of a society that tells us that we don’t. We (black women) are generally perceived as bitches/angry women with bad attitudes. I dare myself to bring up the irresponsibility of reality shows and how black women are portrayed. They stay racked up in ratings and we keep watching these women do what they do on national television for a check, but I digress.

Let’s teach our daughters about Sisterhood, so they can grow as respectful and encouraging women to their friends. Let’s teach them that despite their own life’s obstacles, they’ll know that their sister’s accomplishments are proof that they will celebrate theirs one day, too.

In just those short few moments, Taraji’s sincere celebration for Viola showed the whole world that Sisterhood is REAL among black women. Hopefully, that moment will become the catalyst for change in society’s perception of us.

 

A lot of us can be our own worst critic and so harshly sometimes, we begin to believe others have the same opinions about us. It leaves us wondering if we were ever good enough. It’s the pattern we’ve developed possibly at a young age, trying to measure up to people’s standards. We push ourselves to be better THAN we are, instead of just accepting and enjoying WHO we are. As a result…

We want to do more

We want to be more

We need this

We want that

It leaves us with an unbearable amount of anxiety. When things don’t go as planned, we kill our own confidence with ugly words that develops in our thoughts.

How could I be so stupid?

I am fat

I’m not beautiful, but I look good enough for this person

 

You are downplaying your fierceness with those types of thoughts.

In order for us to stop being our own worst critic, we have to accept the “repeat offender” in us. We have to keep doing the same thing until we get it right and that’s okay….even if there’s a bunch of disappointment involved during the process. We have to embrace being a work in progress instead of aiming for perfection.

Someone once told me to take as many offenses as I need to learn and that was one of the best advice ever given to me. Failed attempts, not knowing, disappointments, and lacking something are all a part of our growth. The scars we have from our many challenges are reminders of how courageous we are to even try…to accept experiences…to make changes…and to step out the box.

Also…

A big part of not being so self-critical is to accept the body that you’re in. As explained in 8 Ways To Love Yourself, the way you look, your skin type, or body weight has no bearing on what kind of a person you are. And remember..YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

As the image says above…

You are braver than you believe

Stronger than you seem

smarter than you think

and…

loved more than you know.

…and may I add BEAUTIFUL, INSIDE & OUT!

Believe it all