Triggered? 5 things you can do to relax

Life isn’t always a bed of roses. Especially when you’re trying to get your life in order and show up as your best self. You will get tested. Some heavy feelings can be triggered. And that’s fine. It’s ok to sit with your feelings and work through them. But what do you do when you feel overwhelmed by those feelings? How do you cope with heavy feelings and difficult choices?

Part of learning yourself is understanding firstly, what triggers you and secondly, how you cope with those feelings once they are there. It is important to know which words or actions trigger negative emotions in you. Once you identify the trigger, you will be able to identify the way you cope with those negative feelings. If not, you may not realize how one is affecting the other and therefore won’t be able to break the cycle. There are positive and negative coping mechanisms. Some people cope with issues by drinking and others by harming themselves. These are definitely negative coping mechanisms.

In the movie “For colored girls”, they also addressed promiscuity as a negative coping mechanism. The movie covers a lot of issues women face and is a must see.

Instead of those negative coping mechanisms that only make you forget the issues for a while but doesn’t resolve them, we should all incorporate more positive coping mechanisms. Learning to sit with the emotions and using the discomfort to help us grow as individuals. If you are like me, you don’t like to deal with feelings. I would probably “I don’t know” a therapist to death. (Just kidding)

But I have realized that understanding your emotions is much better than ignoring them. Just by acknowledging the feeling or feelings, it reduces the intensity of the feeling.

When I am going through a difficult situation or experiencing feelings I am unsure about, there are a few things that I do instead of running away. But before I got to that point, I had to figure out what makes me happy. I wrote a list of the things I like or make me happy. This doesn’t have to be difficult. On my list, I have a cup of coffee, a hot shower and a good book, amongst other things. You can also add more intricate answers, but don’t forget the simple things. This list will also help you to incorporate more self- care into your routine. Basically once you have your list, try to do 2 or 3 things every day.

Once you are aware of your coping mechanisms and also know some things you like, when you are triggered, you will be able to respond and not react to those negative emotions. If you can, remove yourself from the situation and take some time for yourself. The first thing I usually do to try to understand what’s happening and why I am feeling the way I am feeling is to journal. Write, write, write. Just get it out of your system. You can look for prompts online if you are unsure where to begin. The most important thing is being honest. No one else is going to read what you write so don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself. Writing allows you to clear your mind and can give you a better overview of what is happening.

Another great way to calm yourself and clear your mind is spending time in nature. If you can, go for a walk. The movement is good for your body and you get to change your scenery. For us living on an island, heading to a beach is also a great way to spend time outdoors. Chances are there will be something to remind you of the beauty of life during that time. Another quick mood booster is listening to music. Don’t get stuck on the sad songs too much but try to incorporate some feel good music. Play your favorites. Dance a little. Or a lot. Play songs that remind you of the good times. If a song is playing and it is making you feel down, change it! If music isn’t your thing, you can always watch your favorite movie.

Last but definitely not least, I pray about the situation. I pray to see the lesson I need to learn. I pray for guidance. I pray for wisdom. I pray for compassion. I pour it all out to God and trust that He will work things out for my good. And when I overreact or give in to the negative emotions, I pray for forgiveness. Having a relationship with God means being honest and reaching out even when I think I have messed up. His grace is sufficient for me.

Next time when someone triggers you and you feel overwhelmed, I pray you will do one or all of these things and feel a sense of calm. It’s not easy but you got this!

Hiking is a great way to unwind, especially with views like this

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.

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

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!

Reflections for re-direction

Last Sunset of 2020

It’s 2021!! Thank God! I know a lot of us were sick of 2020. The new year has brought some changes and a new direction for me, but let me rewind to 2020 first to bring you up to speed.

I decided I would celebrate my birthday in March and began making plans. Friday night was Girls Night Out and Saturday night was a lovely dinner with some special people. Honestly I was feeling like I overdid it Friday night but then lockdown happened and I was happy that I got to party and spend so much time with my friends. My birthday weekend confirmed that “partying” is no longer for me and I am O.K with that. After the hurricane and the birth of my son, I really didn’t go out much (at all) and I kind of felt like I was missing out but that weekend confirmed that I wasn’t.

Tropsical. Oh Tropsical. I love the pops and pouches with a passion. Officially accepting the title of entrepreneur and living that life is teaching me a lot about myself and life in general. It’s only been about 6 months and I am excited about how the brand will grow. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes to make things happen. Being responsible for every single detail can be terrifying but also rewarding. So salute to all entrepreneurs out there. One piece of advice I will give is: just start. You may not feel ready but in some ways you are never truly ready. The journey helps prepare you.

The final quarter of the year was a test! I really started getting serious about my personal growth about halfway through the year but those last three months almost took me out. The struggle was real trying to juggle my personal life as a single mom with the professional side. Between milestone celebrations and orders, I felt like I barely had time for myself. (That’s because I didn’t). I work hard but I tend to neglect myself. For example, I will work 8-10 hours and “forget” to eat. Also I underestimated Tropsical. Thanks to everyone who purchased from me. Y’all are the best!

December 2020 showed me who I was. Some things I am proud of, like how much of a bad ass I am. Yes I will toot my own horn because I usually don’t. But y’all have no idea how many late nights and early mornings I had. ( Unless you are an entrepreneur yourself and I salute you)

But it also highlighted my weaknesses and some things I thought I had dealt with. There was a period of my life where I really didn’t like who I was and I had to get serious. A lot of soul searching and work led me to Empower ( an empowerment conference held a few years ago) and a person I was happy with. A recovering alcoholic may think they are doing good because they haven’t had alcohol but they also avoided being in the same room with a bottle. The true test comes when you can sit in the room with the bottle and not feel the urge to drink. I feel like similarly we avoid situations that we know will bring out the worse but we should also be able to handle ourselves in those situations as well.

Tired and cranky is not a good look on me. Neglecting myself can lead to resentments and that’s not what I want for myself. In 2020 I did the hard work of naming my habits and weaknesses so I know what needs to be healed. The amazing thing is we all know the answers to our own questions. We know what we need to do in order to heal. The difficulty is in doing the work. Every day you have to wake up and be intentional, obedient and disciplined. Create a routine that you feel comfortable with and go for it. There are always exceptions to a rule but those exceptions should never become the rule.

2021 I just want to be and feel better. I believe in Tropsical and in order for me to give my best to the brand, I need to be at my best. January has barely even started and I already “messed up” but I am not letting one mistake affect the rest of my year negatively. The reason I know I messed up is because I took the time to write down the things that I want and don’t want in my life. But we are also human. I mentioned in one of the previous blogs not to let an error be your setback.

Write down your monthly goals and then break them down into weekly goals. Then show up every day and do your best. Don’t beat yourself up when something doesn’t go as planned. Use it as a learning experience. Ask yourself why you slipped up and be honest with the answer so you can fix it next time. Life will continue to send you “tests” for you to improve.

Some things I want to mention:

• My awesome, creative friend has started a video blog on his Facebook providing moments of maturity every Monday! The first episode is already out so be sure to check it out! FB: Cameron “Cam Era” Hyman | IG: @itscameronhyman

• A vision board has helped me over the years and this year I am probably going to join Claire’s event which will be held later this month. She also has packages available if you prefer to work on one by yourself in the comfort of your home. Twitter: @E_Claire7

If you aren’t already, please follow me on IG @motherlovingdiva

Make it the most wonderful time of the year…

Happy Monday

Last week I was tied up with Tropsical and did not make my deadline. The holidays are approaching, so myself and a lot of entrepreneurs are going into overdrive. Castel from The Alternative posted about not spending emotionally for the holiday season. Definitely a great reminder. This will be my first January as a full time entrepreneur so pray for me!

The juggle is real! Coordinating schedules and organizing gifts can be very time consuming. I have always loved Christmas because it was a time where I would be surrounded with family members. Some I may not have seen all year. It was a time to reconnect and make new memories. This year COVID has altered plans immensely. Lots of people are quarantined and even more are unwilling to travel so a lot of families are split. Financially, this year may be harder for many as well.

This blog started with epiphanies in my garden and it’s only right that I go back to the garden for this one. Like many, when the lockdown began, I started to plant. It was a wonderful time and I enjoyed spending my mornings in my garden amidst my plants. Sticking a seed in some dirt and checking daily for growth is entertaining. At one point I had over 100 plants and this was way after the lockdown. I was even getting messages about plant related issues. Some I was able to help, others not, but I could not believe that I was talking plants! I always thought I didn’t have a green thumb.

Plant life was great and I was feeling myself. Then things started picking up with Tropsical and as I like to say, life was happening. The past couple of months I have lost a lot of plants. And I have been discouraged. Plants, like our relationships, need time and attention. When we spend time with our plants, we are able to give them the attention they need. I could tell which ones needed more water or more sun and which ones needed less. My busy schedule had me rushing when I watered or simply going through the motions. Since November the weather has changed and the plants have adapted. It’s cooler and some of my plants didn’t need to be watered as often. These past two weeks I have made time to be in my garden. Just assessing and adjusting where necessary.

We, too, start to suffer if we don’t take time to pay attention to ourselves. We easily neglect our needs and wants. Our friendships and relationships fail when we don’t spend the necessary time and give the needed attention. They say time heals all wounds and I agree. We have to bear in mind though that although healed, some wounds still cause long term pains. Time gives you the opportunity to grow and learn. In all of our relationships, time helps us build the connections. Disagreements may arise but when we take the time to discuss and decipher them and give it the attention it needs, we can usually resolve the issue. Relationships grow when we spend time hence why it is important to spend time in God’s word to grow your relationship with God.

I admitted that I lost plants but I can also admit that some could have been saved if I had taken time sooner to give them the attention they needed. I was so caught up in myself and feeling bad that I chose to ignore them instead of do something. By the time I finally did something, it was too late for some. And that’s how it is in life. Sometimes we are blinded by our own beliefs and so we choose to ignore and by the time we want to do something, it’s too late.

This holiday season, forgive petty arguments and disagreements. Start working on resolving bigger issues and get help if needed. Spend time with your loved ones. Create new memories.

P.S: Time is so valuable and we never know how much we have left. This weekend I went to Vision & Voice 3 and had an amazing time. Kudos to Cam, Malaika and Kareem! It was a beautiful event but I was also able to spend time with persons I don’t normally see and our conversations and interactions will remain with me. Time is needed to build relationships, hone our crafts, heal, grow and learn. Don’t waste another minute doing things that don’t bring you joy.

Enjoy the holidays and embrace the moments, whether it’s a Zoom session, FaceTime or face to face.

Listen!

Happy Monday!

Hope you are having a wonderful and productive day! Take a minute and think of one thing that you are grateful for thus far in the day. ✨ I appreciate, and I am grateful for, every one of you who reads my blogs! I started this blog with the sole intention of writing again and your support has assisted me tremendously!

Posting on Monday seems like the best option for this season as weekends I am extremely caught up juggling Tropsical and other responsibilities. It also lets me check in at the beginning of the week rather than the end. As I went through the week, I pondered what I would write about this week because I wanted to make sure that I did not skip today’s blog. Nothing was really standing out and I was wondering if I would find a topic. Usually I would get a thought and that thought would come up in random conversations or through some other confirmation. But truth be told, I feel like the communication between God and I has been a little cool lately. Thankfully I know why and have been making asjustments. And God always shows up! I was running through my to- do list and was wondering where I should even start and then I heard “just do it” and no, it wasn’t a Nike commercial.

Let me expand a little bit. God speaks to all of us but he communicates differently with each of us. Due to my relationship with God, I have a pretty good idea of when He is speaking to me. So I also know when it seems like He is quiet. And I know for a lot of us when things go silent, we automatically think we did something wrong and that may cause us to pull away rather than lean in. A few years ago I had a different thought. Sometimes when God is silent is because He has already spoken to us but we haven’t listened and done what needs to be done. The silence is more a reflection of our inaction than our wrongdoing. Let me try and give an example. As a mom, I have told my kids to clean up one set of toys or an area before moving on to something else. So if my daughter wants to play her Switch, she has to clean up her Barbies first. My two year old son likes to dump his containers out but before he can go to a second container, he has to clean up the first set of toys. But kids are kids, they can’t be bothered so sometimes I have to stop them in their tracks and remind them of the rule. And I have heard it all, they are tired, they need some water, and just all sorts of excuses as to why they can’t simply clean up. I listen to them express themselves and I am quiet but I know as soon as I open my mouth, I am only going to repeat what I have already told them. They have to clean up that area before moving on to something else. What if God is doing the same? As our Father, He tells us something and we get caught up telling Him we can’t do it. He may tell us to stop doing something that we really shouldn’t but we’re like; “it isn’t that bad” or “well I will stop soon”. And He listens and lets us do us, because He gave us free choice. But then when we come to Him and ask again, He will simply repeat what He already told us.

Sometimes obedience comes easy, other times we struggle. Especially when we feel like it’s a life changing decision. We can feel overwhelmed and wonder “why me” or “where do I even start”. When I was contemplating my to- do list, it seemed daunting. Then I decided to just pick one thing and do it. After that task was completed, I did another one. Slowly my to- do list was being completed. I am pretty sure I could have sat there for hours contemplating what to do and nothing would have gotten done. It’s the same when we hear from God. Even if we aren’t sure how we’re going to accomplish it, it’s important to start to do something. Start taking the first steps in the right direction. Don’t get me wrong. You do need to take some time to plan out what you have to do but once you know what is needed, action is required. Not sure if this example will work but let me try. Think of it as a video game. To move through the levels you need to accomplish certain tasks. The next level can’t be unlocked until you complete all tasks on this level. But if you spend all day thinking about the task and how to do it without actually picking up the controller and doing it, you will be stuck on the same level forever. If you are being nudged to do something, level up or make a change, trust that God will provide you with everything you need to accomplish the task at hand. Don’t let fear cripple you to inaction. Everything you want is on the other side of obedience.

So this week, take some time and notice how God speaks to you, listen to what He is telling you and take action! As always, remember “You got this”.