Speak Up…

This month started heavy and maybe it’s because of the new moon over the weekend, but the heaviness seems to be rolling through the entire month. If you’re working on yourself, whether healing an inner child wound, releasing trauma or simply trying to be better, you know that it’s hard work. But as hard as it is, it’s important.

Facing yourself can be intimidating. Embracing the good and bad parts of yourself. That’s why people seek support and help from others, usually professionals. Having someone hold space for you allows you to work through the dark without feeling ashamed or judged. A professional can also assist you in understanding your triggers to avoid conflict. Of course, if there is a conflict, a neutral third party can assist both parties navigate through it to come to an agreement.

Most times, one or both parties, feel unheard. Sometimes we listen to respond and not to truly understand what the other person is trying to convey. The person may not even require that an action be taken but simply be acknowledged in order for the conflict to be resolved. The problem with misunderstandings is that both parties are operating from their perspective positions. If one of them isn’t willing to stand in the other’s shoes, then they will never understand each other.

Part of loving yourself, is trusting yourself. Trusting that gut instinct you get. It can be hard to trust yourself if you think you are always making mistakes. It could be that the voice in your head isn’t even your own voice. Who are you allowing to take up space in your head? Once you start to filter out the other voices, you will start to hear your own voice.

During conflict, there may be times when you downplay your feelings for the sake of appeasing the other person. Compromise is necessary and can be healthy to resolve conflict but like everything else in life, too much compromise can be a bad thing. Are you honoring your feelings or ignoring them just to ensure that the conflict is resolved? You don’t always have to put your feelings aside for others.

In the past, I dimmed my light for others. I felt like it was a necessary sacrifice to ensure that things remained good. Ultimately you just feel worse because usually the other person isn’t even aware of the sacrifice being made. Every time you express yourself/ speak up for yourself, you are telling yourself that you matter. Although there will still be times where the other person doesn’t fully grasp you, you will no longer internalize their inability to hear you.

If you are struggling or have struggled with showing up as your authentic self because you’ve been told you’re too much or made to felt like you didn’t matter, please send me a message or comment and let me know how you’re dealing with it. Remember, you’ve got this and you (and your feelings) matter. Have an amazing week and be kind to yourself!

Took some time for myself… a glass of wine by the pool is enough to make me happy

Dare to love yourself

Birthday shoot!

Thirty four. It has been a journey. I feel like the first seventeen years were 80% bliss and 20% pain. The last seventeen are a bit different. I can’t say that they were baaaaad so different will do.

I am definitely not the person I was for the first half of my life. I have matured and learnt so much. I have been affected by the hurt as much as the joy, sometimes even more. Hurt is inevitable in life but it’s how we deal with it that makes a difference. For the majority of my teenage years and early twenties, I held a lot of emotions in. I started speaking out more after a while and now I’m labeled emotional. Usually I cringe but honestly, I don’t mind being emotional. I am passionate about things like my family, my close friends, my business and more, so it’s only normal to feel things deeply. When I am disappointed or hurt, I feel that deeply too because I try my best not to hurt or disappoint others.

I have even gone as far as putting my needs and wants aside for others because I cared about their needs more. This is definitely not where it is at. Although you should try to help others when/ if you can, you shouldn’t put their well being before yours. That’s a sure way of being disappointed. Another side effect of people pleasing is not actually knowing what you like. Before the birth of my son, I had a pretty decent list of things I liked. But now with two kids, it’s harder to find time for myself and the things I like. Plus COVID altered the world as we know it.

One of the challenges I have had since last year was the establishment of boundaries. Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits. Certain boundaries are easy to maintain, but there are so many little things that affect those boundaries. You may think it’s not a big deal to make an exception but then you may realize that the other person has taken the exception to be the rule and you have to reinforce the boundary again. Boundaries are there to protect us. There may be times when you set a boundary and someone gets upset. That’s not your problem.

As a people pleaser, you may think it’s not a big deal. But every time you push a boundary back for someone else, you are telling yourself that you are not worthy. Little by little, your self- worth will diminish and ultimately lead to making wrong choices. One way to remember your worth is to set healthy boundaries AND enforce them. People make mistakes and it may be that the person didn’t intentionally mean to hurt you but you should not be afraid to cut that person off if they continue to disregard your boundaries. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself.

You set the standard for how others should treat you by how you treat and respect yourself. In life, there will be disagreements, some you will be able to resolve and others you won’t be able to. Ultimately every person has to remain true to themselves and their values. We can agree to disagree without it being an issue.

Be sure to take time to find yourself, understand who you are, what you like, dislike, what your triggers are and how to heal your trauma wounds. Make lists. Set boundaries. Honor yourself. And don’t be afraid to dig deep. Remember, you got this!

Stand firm in your choices…

This little light of mine…

It’s the first Tuesday of March! The best month of the whole year! Yes, I am a March born, if you couldn’t tell. My birthday is actually Saturday and I am pretty excited, although on a surface level, I am pretty indifferent.

This past weekend was an emotional rollercoaster. There are a lot of factors that contributed to me being more emotional than usual. Three people called out one of my personality traits. One did so in a very negative, and deragatory manner. The other two were very compassionate about it. Of course in my mind, the negative one stands out more, but I am grateful for the other two because they keep me grounded. The thing is in life, there will always be people commenting about us and/ or our traits. It’s important to surround yourself with people who speak positively to you. That doesn’t mean they won’t call you out when needed but they will do so with love, not condemnation. It’s also important for you to know who you are so if someone says something and you know that isn’t you then you need to stand firm in your truth.

On the other hand, we should also be mindful of the way we speak to and about others. Are we simply complaining about them and looking for company? Or do we want to speak in a way that encourages them to do better? Compassion. When we view others’ differences with compassion then we can improve our interactions with them. It’s not always an easy task because we can be caught up in our own worlds and our own issues. Saying a kind word or doing a kind gesture for someone throughout the day may just be the boost they need. Some people go through their days only hearing negative things about themselves. You may be the light they need.

Also emotional because of my birthday. Looking back at the last year, I would have never believed I would be where I am today. There were a lot of changes that shocked me. I am grateful that I actually went all out for my birthday last year, enjoying the entire weekend, because that was just prior to lockdown and this year I won’t be able to celebrate in that manner. I also found myself with no other option than to step into the world of entrepreneurship completely. It has been a ride but I am happy to be here and I am learning as much about myself as I am about the business. I am still not where I want to be and financially it can be scary especially as a single mom. God has been guiding me along the way and I am trusting Him to continue to guide me. In every season, He has provided me with the right people and resources to move forward.

I have learnt a lot about myself and the journey hasn’t always been bubble baths and scented candles. Really getting to know yourself is more ugly crying and resisting the urge to run from yourself. I realize a lot of people don’t know what I have been through, so let me put it into context. Late 2018 I had a very bad breakup that had me out of character. 2019 was me dealing with a bunch of stress and losing a lot of weight. (Stress and breastfeeding are definitely not a good combo). 2020 started off well enough and then COVID and no work. I blamed myself for a lot of things and it was not an easy time, but something inside of me needed breaking and it broke.

My thirties started with a feeling of freedom and every year I feel I get closer. I am learning to trust myself more. Trusting that I know what I need and moving forward in faith in Him. I am learning to offer myself the same grace and compassion I freely offer others. I still make mistakes but every day is a new day to be the best version of me. I am excited about life. I have a good core group of friends who push me to do better and reach higher. I also want to challenge myself. There are a few things I want to do this year and I can’t wait to reveal them as the year goes on.

If you are going through a hard time, my advice is just keep moving. Even when you feel like you aren’t making progress, keep pushing. You’ll be able to look back and see the growth. Take it one day at a time and make the best decision in the moment and adjust from there. Have patience and compassion for yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day and you are constantly learning. Speak to yourself kindly. There are enough people who are willing to tear you down. Build yourself up. For me, my faith saved me and I am thankful to God for everything. Maybe you feel this pull on your life but you’re skeptical. There is a certain peace you get once you get to know God, and I mean really know Him.

And always remember, you got this!

Now have a drink or some cake for me!

Birthday shoot last year! Shot by the amazing Cameron Hyman!

Plans for good…

She laughs without fear of the future… if only I had known then how God was about to move in my life…

May 2020 was the start of my blog and as it gets closer, I am just excited. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I would still be here writing content and that I would have followers so thank you to each and every one of you that is here.

I feel like the celebrations started in February and despite a small break in July will carry on until the end of the year. Birthdays are a big deal for me. I just enjoy the celebration of someone’s time on earth. Mine is next weekend and I am a bit anxious although I know there is nothing to be anxious about. First, it was deciding if I would even celebrate it, with COVID and all and then, what would I do?

If we start to worry about every minute detail, we will quickly become stressed and anxious. We cloud our minds with all of the possibilities. Half of the scenarios unlikely to play out in reality. We stress ourselves when we try to control everything or think that we must control everything. I think I mentioned it in one of my earlier blogs. Worrying only makes us go through it twice, once in our heads and once when it happens. If we are going to have to live through a specific scenario, why would we want to go through a difficult one twice, especially if there is nothing we can do to change it.

But are your really in control? For me, as I am on this spiritual journey, I know that God is in control. Don’t get me wrong, I like to be in control but I have learnt that there are some things I cannot control. I am also not meant to control those things. So when I start to feel flustered, I take a deep breath and ask myself if there is anything I can do to change the situation and if there isn’t, then I turn to God. (Spoiler alert: most times there isn’t) There are some things I can probably control but turning to God first has proven to be my best plan of action. In order to do that, you need to still the million of thoughts in your mind. If your mind is racing, you will not be able to receive the answer. Some people meditate, do yoga or practice conscious breathing.

Two scriptures stand out to me. Psalms 46:10: He says, “Be still and know that I am God” and Exodus 14:14: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still”. When things arise in our lives, usually bad, we sometimes run to God and lay it all bare. But my sis Audra mentioned the other day that while going through a difficult time of her own, she decided to be still on the matter. Bless her because I am sure I would have had to have a talk with God. But by remaining still, she was able to receive a message. And for me, I feel like God is telling us He is God and He knows everything and EVERYTHING in our lives will be used for our good. Even Peter would have benefited from being still but his denial was still ultimately used for his good.

I am currently reading Barack Obama’s book, “A promised land” and one of the lines that stood out was when he thought he might have been damaged. (Don’t quote me on this, I am paraphrasing) In life I hear so many people (myself included) wondering if there is something damaged or broken in them. And what I have learnt is that God takes those same people and uses them. I doubt many of us would even think about Barack Obama as damaged. He was the first African American to serve as President of the United States and not just for one term but two. Also while reading about his campaign, things seemed to fall into place for him. I believe we are all born for the times we are in. Our purpose is connected to our now. A lot of times we wonder if we weren’t meant for another time. But there is no other time but now.

There are things within us that don’t reside in others. There are things we must say and do that no one else can say or do. There are also people we can reach who others cannot. So if you are worried about your purpose or if you are meant to be here or if you can overcome that hurt, or anything you can imagine, I am asking you to take a moment, be still and know that God is in control. You got this! Stop trying to do everything and give it to God.

I am currently on a social media fast for Lent and I am not sure how many people will read this but if you are reading this, this is your sign. Let go and let God.

Every day I’m juggling

It always amazes me how quickly the week goes by and I find myself here typing my thoughts out to you all.  I started this year listening to podcasts, reading and researching. I really felt like I needed to find myself. I just felt like

I needed to do a bit of a review and see what needed to change (or not). 

I wear multiple hats on a daily basis. I should start with a rather simple (yet so complicated) one such as “Woman”, but for right now that doesn’t take first priority.  Listen, I am trying to be brutally honest here so hear me out. Most days start with the “Mom” hat. I am making sure the kids are ready for school and that they get there on time. Add all of the other minor details and the first few hours of my day are already gone. And as soon as the morning is over, I am planning pick- ups and  drop- offs for activities. 

Then I will put on my “Professional/ Entrepreneurial” hat. My parents have a farm and I have been helping my dad. There is a lot of work to do on a farm. I actually really enjoy it. Working in nature and around animals is actually calming for me. Besides the farm, I have Tropsical (@tropsicalsxm) and SXM Macrame (@sxm.macrame) to worry about. I have been blessed with amazing customers and opportunities. 

Last year I manifested the biggest project ever for SXM Macrame. I had to make an 8×8 curtain. I completed the first half within two weeks, because I was motivated and pushed myself. My customer advised she didn’t need it for the holidays so just take my time. January came and I really wasn’t feeling the second half of the curtain. No matter what I did, I just did not feel motivated to start (again). I knew it would not take long but I stalled. The curtain is now completed but I realized that after manifesting it, I was afraid to have it come to an end. That project has taught me so much, but I just want you to know that you can manifest your dreams and once you achieve it, you can always manifest something new. 

Now back to the hats. I also wear hats labeled “Daughter”, “Sister”, “Friend”, and much more. Obviously it can get chaotic. But I realized I kept neglecting the “Woman” hat. Before I am all of those other labels, I am a woman and that deserves to be honored. I have learned that my hats although similar to others are very unique to me, and I can’t always expect others to understand my journey. It is my responsibility to make sure I recharge but in order to do so, I need to know who I am as a woman. I have to know the things that make me happy. They always say when you are at your best, you can be your best to others. 

We, as a society, tend to tell young girls/ women to love themselves but a lot of times we don’t share what that entails. In order to love yourself, you need to know yourself. For me, knowing whose I am helps me to make better decisions. Instead of starting my mornings diving into the chaos of the day, I take time for myself before the kids wake up. I spend time reading God’s word and setting my intentions for the day. It makes me feel good and ready to take on the day. As I go about my day, I try to incorporate things that make me happy. Some days, that could mean eating a healthy home cooked meal rather than fast food and other days, it’s the gym. Oh, that makes me sound healthy but every day isn’t perfect. I have just learned to try and make the best decision in the moment. 

I can’t look to others to tell me how to juggle my hats and responsibilities. It is up to me to determine what my best day looks like and create that (or attempt to). There will be days when I get it right and there will be days where I will drop a hat. Friends are great to help you along the way but you should not expect them to help all of the time. They have their own lives that they are trying to sort through. 

Lent begins tomorrow and I am not one hundred percent sure about what I am going to give up for those forty days. The idea is to give up things that keep you from getting closer to God and mirror his sacrifice for the forty days he spent in the desert. Sugar is one of my weaknesses so I am thinking of doing a sugar fast, but I also want to take a social media fast. I would still post on the business accounts but not my personal accounts.  Tonight I plan to take some time to really pray and listen to what God has to say. 

To wrap it up, I know who I am. It’s just important to keep making choices that support that person and not overlook my boundaries. My circle is a blessing and they remind me of parts of me, when I am feeling less than. Trusting myself to know what works for me and my family and then committing to it. The answers to all of our questions lie within us. It’s up to us to go within and discover them and be grateful for what we find. So remember, you got this!

Also, today is Cameron’s birthday! Cameron is an awesome, storytelling creative who is in the middle of his Black History Month project on Instagram. Be sure to follow him (@itscameronhyman)! He is also a super godfather to my daughter and active Crossfitter. So happiest of birthdays to “your grandmother’s favorite photographer”!

Being a mom while being an entrepreneur while wearing a hat 🥳- on Saturday I prepped for a pop up, took a break to take the kids to a party then held the pop up- juggling at its finest

82 years of blessings!

Happy happy Tuesday! And today truly is a happy day for me as my grandmother turns 82! Forever grateful for her presence in my life and now in my kids’ lives.

Do you know that my grandmother held me in her womb. Well what would become me. When a baby girl is fully formed in the womb, she already has all of her eggs. So my grandmother wasn’t only carrying my mama, she carried me too. So much of my grandmother is in me. A lot of my childhood was spent in her home because grandmothers are simply the best. So I guess it’s no surprise my kids love spending their days at their grandmother’s house.

According to my grandmother, she couldn’t turn without me being right up under her. Her baked Johnny cakes and bread are the best. Yes I was raised on hot Milo or tea served in a teapot. My grandmother is always willing to help someone and so that house has seen many a people in it. A house that she will let you know she helped build. If you let her, she would probably paint the whole house by herself now. My grandmother is independent. I definitely know where my mother gets it from. Thankfully she doesn’t have a car now so she can’t be up and down like she used to. If she isn’t in the kitchen cooking or baking, she is crocheting or watering her plants.

My grandmother is black excellence. How she raised six kids is beyond me. I am ready to pull my hair out with just two. She has been active in the church and up until last year, was helping the kids prepare for Confirmation. She always has a joke or story to share. And of course, she is absolutely beautiful! Again, the beauty was passed on to my mom who then passed it on to me and I passed it on to my daughter! Both my mother and grandmother are going to shake their heads when they read that.

Grandmothers are truly blessings and shape so much of who we are. Sometimes as we uncover who we are, we have to go back and understand the lives of those came before us. I am grateful that I can still go to her house and harass her for all of the little things. I have a pretty good concept of how her life was but it is still so hard to picture that little girl walking from Cripple Gate to Marigot, and then moving to Cole Bay, and eventually settling in Simpsonbay.

A black woman in Simpsonbay in the 60s. There must be some interesting stories there, but another blog for that. She has taught me to trust God, persevere and never give up. Thank God for her and here is to 82 more!

Set your goals & don’t cheat!

Are these your goals this year?

Hope everyone had a happy Tuesday!

I really wanted to stick to my habit of posting earlier in the day but I also didn’t want to rush content so here we are.

Do you know what your vision is for this year? We are now officially in February, and although January seems to drag, the rest of the year speeds by. I took some time last month to kind of map out my goals and vision for the year. I really plan on being intentional and saying yes only to things that make me happy or get me closer to my goals. In order for me to do that, I need to know what my goals are. I wrote them down in my planner so I can look at them and be reminded of the plan. So now it’s on me to be disciplined and follow the guidelines I set for myself.

Knowing why I am doing something helps me accomplish it faster. One of my goals is to cook more at home and not eat junk food as much. The end of last year got really busy and I slipped into the habit of eating on the road. I know I want to cook more at home because I want to be healthier and therefore my body needs proper nutrition. Thinking of it as supplying my body with the fuel it needs, makes it much easier for me to cook because I feel like I am doing something good for my body, instead of just seeing it as I am not allowed to have something (junk food in this case). In life, there are some rules and boundaries in place that are there to make life easier. For every choice, there is a consequence. You shouldn’t smoke because it isn’t good for you. But we know that there are still people who smoke. Since they didn’t adhere to the rule, they are now at a higher risk of having serious health complications. We know not to touch a hot stove because we will get burned. That doesn’t stop people from touching hot things but they are then prone to the consequences of ignoring the rule.

Honestly, even with my plan, I felt like I was not doing enough and it was only after saying it out loud during a coaching session, that I really admitted to myself that I was playing safe. Running your own business can be daunting. Like it is definitely amazing to be your own boss and see an idea come to life but the details of bringing that idea to life can be overwhelming. It feels easier to just wade in the shallow end rather than jumping in. But what do we really get from that? Growth isn’t found in our comfort zones. It is important to challenge yourself and keep raising the bar because that’s the only way you and ultimately, your business, will grow. It is trying and failing and then trying again (and again) and finally succeeding that makes the difference. You may or may not accomplish your goal on the first try, but if you don’t try, then how will you ever know?

One of my goals this year is to stop shrinking and stand in my awesomeness. There will be a lot of times when I will probably feel uncomfortable and nervous but unless I show up, how will I really know what can be? I have been feeling unmotivated because I haven’t been challenging myself. I know that I don’t like doing routine work so why would I accept doing routine work in my business? I manifested a pretty cool opportunity for my macrame business in October/ November last year. It is an 8×8 foot curtain. I was so excited and got halfway through in no time then took a break due to the holidays. After the New Year, I was dragging my feet to begin again. Then I realized that this was something I prayed for. How selfish of me to look down on the opportunity. I also knew I could do it because I had already completed half so part of the challenge was done. I had to re- challenge myself and now it will be completed by this weekend. It is important for me to spice things up and keep them interesting. Let’s not talk about what I want to do with Tropsical just yet! Just know that those Tropsical pops will be everywhere.

In life, there are things we know we should do to achieve the goals we want. The difficulty is in overcoming our blocks to do them. A crazy comparison came to me earlier. When we go to the gym, we may hire a trainer to help us reach our fitness goals. The trainer will suggest workouts and possibly even advise on nutrition. But we are the ones who have to do the work. If we try to “cheat”, we are not hurting the trainer, we are hurting our own selves. We prolong our journey and the finish line keeps moving. God is like a trainer, He can and will provide guidelines but if we don’t follow His will for us, we are only hurting ourselves. We all need some help achieving our goals.

Cassandra Fleming (FB) started career coaching last year and can help you reach your goals.

Zoya Hyman and Tasheena Maccow Thomas are both wonderful ladies who can assist you to navigate your thoughts and process your feelings.

Claire is hosting a virtual vision board workshop so sign up and complete that vision for 2021.

Just Creative SXM is an amazing event planning company who can turn your dreams to reality.

Floriane Javois is an inspiring makeup artist and is hosting her first workshop in April. Check out “The beauty life by Flo”.

Cameron Cam Era Hyman is a talented creative who launched his “yuh mom” vlog and has started his Black History Month project so be sure to stay up to date.

Namaste Cuisine and Entertainment is a catering company that will have your mouth watering.

Let me stop here for now before this list becomes too long. Whatever your goals are, there are people who can assist you and inspire you. Write those goals down, create the vision and be intentional. Remember, you got this!

Also if there are typos, my screen is cracked (again). My mom is definitely going to hang me. Someone help me to remember to put on my screen protector next time! Thanks in advance

In this great future, you can’t forget your past- Bob Marley

Last week I mentioned childhood influences and how habits we learned as children can continue into adulthood. I also mentioned my childhood best friend’s mom. At that time, she was ill and today I am writing about her in past tense because she has passed. Laurie was a bright soul. She always had a smile to share, and she simply eluded this air of freedom. As a woman and single mom now, looking back at her life, I can see instances where she must have gone through hell, but as a child in her presence, that never translated. Even when she was ill, she didn’t want to burden people. Most of her life, if not all of it, was spent helping others. Laurie was a second mom to many of us in the neighborhood and you can see her reach by the amount of us surrounding Sappho at this time.

What fascinated me, a lanky nerd, was her collection of books. She always had bookshelves full of books. Even now, one of the first things I did was go over to her bookshelf and peruse the titles. I laughed because as I mentioned to her cousin that day: “leave it to Laurie to have the whole bookset of Laws of St. Maarten”. She was a teacher at the Prins Willem Alexander school and she loved those kids. I can still remember spending Saturdays in the school with her as she gave extra lessons or was simply preparing her classroom for the week ahead. As loving as she was, she was also a no-nonsense woman. We were free to explore but don’t test her boundaries. When I think of Laurie, I think of black Levi’s jeans and black top with black platforms, her gold bangles, her hoop earrings, a Marlboro red cigarette in one hand and a Coca Cola in the other with her brown waves flowing in the air. I saw her sick and yes, she was changed, but the memory of that little lady overpowers the final images. Her spirit lives on in each of us whose lives she has touched, who grew into themselves under her roof. What I know about Jews mainly comes from her. My love of basketball and especially my love for the Bulls ( Michael Jordan era) comes from her. I can’t think of Carnival and not think of Laurie.

Honestly I didn’t start this as a memorial to her but this may be what I needed to express myself. Words create worlds, but sometimes the silence can hold as much meaning. Over a year ago I told her how I felt and everything she meant to me. My final goodbye last week was in silence. The past few days visiting with Sappho and being surrounded with everyone from my childhood has brought back so much memories, even memories I dont remember. Bonds were created when all we cared about was riding our bikes or going to the beach and those bonds are still there today. Foundations are important. Even when everything else is lost, if the foundation is there, you can build back. There may be relationships we need to build back as we continue through this life.

As I get older, and more people I know pass away, it is a reminder to be a good person. We should try to be kind to others and help where we can. We have a chance every day to influence others simply by being who we are meant to be. It could be that you are the bright soul in someone’s life. And I know lately, suicides seem to be spiking, and it is important to check in with each other and let each other know our appreciation for them. Sometimes when a person is considering suicide, they feel like a burden, so hearing that someone cares for them or that they have helped others could help them. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, I would advise you to reach out to a professional who can help you. We are all only here for a short while and it is important to live life feeling loved and seen and return that favor when we can.

Under the influence

The past few days have been interesting to say the least. Although I don’t necessarily feel overwhelmed now, I feel like if I add anything else then I would be. There are a lot of reasons why. First I feel like I need to check in with God on a few things but then secondly because I haven’t been practicing much self care.

Late last year I started unlearning some habits and going over my life with a fine tooth comb. When we self reflect, we can dredge up a lot. Add the holidays and the emotions can be all over. A disagreement with a good friend also joined the mix and it has been a rollercoaster. So picture this, you decide you are going on a diet because you want to be healthier. You are all excited and then boom, suddenly it is as if these companies took out extra ads just to tempt you. Yummy treats are currently being offered to you. Some may be easy to turn down but when they present you with that Tropsical pop (ha! Sorry couldn’t pass up that plug but feel free to insert your favorite treat) then things start to get tougher.

We all have traits and behaviors that we picked up as children. The majority of them we picked up unconsciously. As we go through life, different people and experiences will shape us. For example, my love of plants and Pomeranians come from my mom but my love of black comes from my childhood friend’s mom. I grew up surrounded with lots of parental figures and my childhood friend’s mom was also my mom. I spent lots of time at their house and I am grateful for the opportunity to have new experiences. Although as we grew older, we grew apart, I can’t think of my childhood and not see her. I will probably come back to this in another blog.

Sometimes we hear childhood trauma and we automatically think of horrible cases. But trauma can be very simple and subtle. Feeling vulnerable, alone, terrified or overwhelmed is traumatic. It can make you feel like you can’t trust or rely on anyone to keep you safe. Actions have consequences. So the way we interact with one another will cause various people to react in different ways. There is research about the effects of yelling at kids and hitting them. There may be some experiences we had that were traumatic and have shaped who we are today as adults. It’s important to understand why you do the things you do and what makes you tick and why. A lot of behaviors we adapted were ways for us to survive and navigate in the world we were living in. And many people dismiss trauma because they had a good childhood. You could have had an amazing childhood yet had one traumatic experience that led you to change your behavior and now that behavior is not beneficial to you.

It’s not easy though. It’s hard to face things that we may have suppressed or ignored for years. It also feels like the more you uncover, the more work you have to do. But I think it’s necessary. And as creatures of habit, our bad habits also provide a fake sense of safety. It’s really important to know yourself in order to love yourself. And if you don’t love you, how can you expect someone else to love you? Self love and growth is a lifelong journey. The sooner you start, the more time you will have loving yourself. Also please note that as you work through trauma, it is always a good idea to seek professional help. You really need support as you uncover truths.

There is a lot more to get into but for now I will leave it here. Hope you have an amazing week and remember, you got this!

What’s your daily choice?

This week was supposed to be about childhood trauma and the inner child but I feel like a few people touched on that and I want to separate my thoughts before diving in.

Basically I operate in two modes. So there is the part of me that loves you and cares for you and there is the part that doesn’t acknowledge your existence. It’s not that clear cut though, I live in a world of gray.

I have learned that as much as I care for people, I have to let them make their own mistakes. Shoot! I have made a lot of my own and I have grown because of those mistakes. I also know I can sometimes be blunt so what I intended as advice may come across as admonition.

Also because of that, I hold my friend’s opinions in high regards. I don’t always listen but their feedback is filed in a drawer in my brain. All of that to say that my friendships can be a lot. There are highs and lows and I am forever grateful to the few who survived the lows. A lot of times during the lows I get defensive and decide I can do it all by myself. And I am pretty good at getting stuff done by myself. But it was a lonely journey.

What I have come to realize is that I am never alone. It’s very cliché, but it is also true. God is with us all of the time. The problem is we are so focused on doing it ourselves that we don’t seek Him. Trying to do it all by yourself will wear you out. You are going to feel emotionally, mentally and physically spent.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

This verse, Matthew 11:28, is a reminder to turn to God when things feel too heavy for us. And not just when things are heavy, but we should surrender our lives to Him daily and seek Him in all we do.

We may not understand what He is doing but we must believe that He is working it all out for our good. God is able to see the big picture of our lives, He is capable of tracing the outcomes of our decisions before we make them. We are all imperfect human beings trying to navigate our way around other imperfect human beings. Not aligning with God’s will for our lives will lead us to dry places. In the Bible there are countless stories of people who did not abide and lost everything. (Please note that all losses we may encounter are not due to lack of obedience. Take a moment to read about Joseph and how God used all of his “losses” to strengthen him. Sometimes God allows us to go through hard times to become stronger and exalt us higher) When we are disciplined and truly live a surrendered life, we will notice that there is an ease and a peace that encompasses us.

That is not to say that we will not endure hardships. Weapons will form but they will not prosper. We are humans and yes we may stumble, but we should be aware of the path that we are on. We need to realize when we have made an error and ask for forgiveness. Live life with intention. Not to get too dark and gloomy but there is a war happening daily in the spiritual world. We go about our lives mostly unaware of it and only notice the hiccups and distractions when they affect us directly. And even then, we may be too distracted to notice. We are too busy lamenting about our problems. You can live life your way and hope that it all works out or you can decide that you won’t let the enemy take hold of your life. Wake up and submit daily to God. When the distractions pop up, see them for what they are and move on. Are we going to help God win the tug of war on our lives or are we going to sit idly by and do nothing? If you feel a calling on your life, be obedient and submit to His will.

I don’t want to make this too long but I think the message was clear enough. Know that when you start this journey, you will be tested and it is in these moments especially when you need to turn to God and those He has placed in your life to assist you.

Have a great week and remember that a life of submission is a daily choice. You got this!

Where will the path of life take you?