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

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…

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.

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

It is never too late to start something new

It feels like it has been forever since I shared my thoughts. Life got a bit hectic and I was focused on being present in the moments. My daughter was able to receive the sacrament of Holy Communion two weeks ago and last weekend was stock full of celebrations. My goddaughter turned one and had a cute flamingo and pineapple themed birthday party. I attended a baby shower and a very close friend’s daughter (my second daughter) also received the sacrament of Holy Communion.

Holy Communion usually takes place in May but due to COVID-19, things were postponed. I actually didn’t expect them to be able to receive the sacrament this year. In September we received notification that they would proceed but in keeping with social distancing and other COVID-19 preventative measures. Luckily her dress was already bought since March. Before you receive the sacrament of Holy Communion, you have the act of Reconciliation, which is confession. The girls were excited for their Communion but slightly nervous of about confession. I feel like we all feel a bit nervous when it’s time to confess our own sins. Although God is a forgiving God, knowing we did something that would not please Him, makes us a little anxious.

I feel like my weekends were fresh starts. Confessing your sins and asking for forgiveness. The pending birth of a healthy baby, and the celebration of life. The girls started a new chapter in their religious lives and I pray that they will continue to nurture and grow their relationship with God. My goddaughter is one and she has so much life to live. She is going to learn so much within the next year. The beautiful thing is that everyone was surrounded by love those weekends.

Don’t be afraid to take the next step and do something different. No matter what age we are or where we are, we can always start a new chapter in our lives. Surround yourself with the right people and go for it! I feel like we are always molding our futures. I mentioned in two interviews that when I started Tropsical, a lot of the things I needed, I had actually purchased two years prior. For two years they were reminders of something that was on hold but when it was GO time, they were already there. The relationships that have helped grow my business were relationships I nurtured before the idea of the business.

We try to rush things and we want to be successful overnight but that isn’t the way. Most people will tell you it takes some time. What you see as overnight success is usually the build up of multiple years of hard work. If you have a dream but you’re worried that you don’t have the finances, please just write your dream down. Write it down and then break it down into baby steps. Be very detailed about all that you think you will need. Then start working on ticking those things off. You may skip some “easy” ones but over time you will realize you are acquiring the things you need.

Also, find a small group of people who truly support you and share some of your ideas with them. They may have creative ways to overcome some of the hurdles. They may even inspire you to change things up a bit but they will also offer support when you are feeling down. Your support group may also make necessary connections that you need to move forward. They are an extension of your network. Networking really gets the ball rolling. Don’t always be afraid to share your challenges, because someone in your circle may just have the solution for you.

This week take some time to write down your goals and your plans, visualize them and start laying the foundation. Don’t be afraid to start a new chapter in your life. It may be the best one yet! Remember, you got this!

The rainbow always comes after the rain. Some times you just have to look a little harder!

Fear less…

As human beings we tend to worry about things. As time goes by and we get older, we worry about so much more. As kids our fears are usually simple, the fear of the dark or the fear of the boogey man. There are rational and irrational fears. But for someone with an irrational fear, that fear is real for them. Fear has allowed us to avoid danger and survive but fear can also paralyze us. FOMO or fear of missing out was trending a while back and for me, I have had to remind myself that what is truly for me will not pass me by. With everything happening in the world these past few years, you see more people suffering from anxiety.

I love flying so when I meet someone with a flying phobia, I have to take a step back and understand what they are going through. It’s not that I have not thought about what could go wrong, but in this scenario, I feel like the benefits outweigh the negative. I use the time to read or watch a movie or catch up on some work. For others, it is a horrifying time. On the other hand, I have arachnophobia (fear of spiders). Logically I know the possibility of a spider jumping on me and biting me is low but my heart starts beating out of my chest when I see one. Had I been on that season of America’s Next Top Model, I would have quit the moment they brought those spiders out.

Our phobias are easy to discuss. But the fears that really hold us back are whispered in therapy sessions. I have been hearing people mention the fear of failure more often. Failure is so subjective and determined by our own expectations. Has someone failed because they did something different to how it has always been done? Has someone failed because they did not complete a 4 year degree in 4 years? What really is failure? I may have a goal of owning a mansion, whereas someone else may want a condo. We all have private battles to fight and for some, just getting out of bed may be an accomplishment.

We can be so afraid of failure, that we do not even try. Have you ever seen a vacancy ad and talked yourself out of applying? Or you turned down an opportunity because you were not ready or was just unsure? We are so full of potential but sometimes the fear of disapproval from our family and friends stops us. It’s normal for fear to stop us in our tracks, but it is also OK for us to challenge it. Everything begins with a thought and that’s amazing. We can control our thoughts. It takes a lot of effort and discipline but we can. The next time you feel anxious, ask yourself what is causing you to feel that way. Ask yourself if the thought has any truth to it. Ask yourself what’s the worst case scenario? (Spoiler alert, the answer ultimately is death but you will die some day any way)

Use your fears to challenge yourself. Push yourself to your limits and see how far you can go. Put in the effort that is needed and then add a bit more. Chances are you will excel. If you do something and you are not perfect at it the first time, then try again. Trial and error can result in success if you do not give up. We were not meant to be worry warts. We were given a spirit of power, love and discipline. Sometimes we forget our power and fear creeps in like fog. Reminding ourselves of the truth and focusing on the good, helps us to dispel the fog of fear. Start with the seemingly small things to build your confidence.

If we allow fear to stop us from even trying then we are robbing ourselves of our lives and dreams. Some things are meant to be done while scared. Trust yourself, trust that inner voice and keep your eye on the prize. Once we reach the end goal, we may look back and realize it wasn’t as scary as we thought it would be. If you don’t go for it, you will never get it.

Patience is a virtue

It’s late and I should be in la la land right now because I have an early morning tomorrow. I have been trying to go to bed early so I can wake up without hitting the snooze button fifty times. But if I was asleep, I would have missed the email from Alex Elle which has inspired my blog this week. Her email started in a similar fashion so there must be something about late night thoughts. This week I have been pretty tough on myself. I feel like an imposter, writing about sacrifice and self discipline while I am here struggling to find a balance.Truth be told, I write for me, as reminders to myself.

The funny thing is amidst all of my thoughts, I have been proud of myself for my growth. I feel like I have grown so much this year and I know some of it is due to finally slowing down due to COVID and some of it is the harvest I am reaping from things sown years ago. I am proud of my growth but still beating myself up for things I am learning now. Then Alex Elle sends out an email about growth and my mouth drops. She ends the email with “Growth makes room for patience as you push through.” Read that again. And again. Got it? Awesome!

Sacrifice and self discipline are very necessary qualities for success but patience is also very important. Society demands quick turnovers but our lives are not some fast food restaurants. It takes time to grow. There will be lessons we have to learn again. Healing takes time. Cuts and bruises don’t disappear overnight. If you are rushing the process then chances are you aren’t learning everything you can and you aren’t becoming everything you can be. Waiting isn’t always fun. It can be nerve wracking. If you are a Christian, then you should find comfort in knowing He is in control and He works all things together for our good. For others, it may be your strong belief in self. Knowing you can get through whatever is in front of you. Doubt doesn’t creep in immediately. Doubt slowly and quietly creeps in with the passing minutes. The longer we feel something is taking to happen, the more anxious we get. Some days I feel like I have no patience whatsoever. Since I started gardening I feel like I may have earned an ounce of patience.

I think we get impatient because that’s the part where we are not in control. You know I like garden references, so hear me out. Today I decide I am going to plant. I pick which seeds I want to plant, I make sure I have space to plant, and I make sure I have dirt, gardening tools, etc. I plant the seed in the ground and now I have to wait. The package may provide me with info about how long it will take to germinate. For our example, we’ll say five days. So in five days I expect to see something peeping out of  the dirt. Day 1,2,3, and 4, I am fine. Before I go to bed on day 4, I am excited because tomorrow I get to see something. But then I wake up on day 5, run to the garden and nothing! No green amidst the dirt. Did I do everything right? Are the seeds good? Too much water, too little water? I am disappointed. I don’t give up though. I keep watering and lo and behold, on the seventh day I see some green! Maybe I planted the seeds a little deeper than I should so it took longer because it had more dirt to push through. Now that there is visible growth, I am no longer impatient. My impatience didn’t make it grow any faster. The delay did not affect the plant negatively. The plant is still a plant and growing as it should. My impatience only drove me crazy.

We are all seeds. Everything we need is within us. During certain seasons our growth may appear slower or even be unnoticeable but every season is making us stronger. Just because we may not notice the changes, that does not mean change isn’t happening. I have planted seeds at the same time and have them shoot at different times. But ultimately they are the same. The seed that burst the ground first is not more or different than the seed that took a bit longer. If it’s a fruit tree, both will bear the same fruit. Being late does not alter the fruit. Trees don’t care what the other is doing. They are blissfully unaware and just focused on its own growth. In fact when a tree or plant blocks another from the sunlight, the one lacking sunlight finds away around.

You are meant to bear fruit. Don’t worry about the other trees in the area. Just enjoy the sunlight and simply be. You got this!

Late bloomer but so beautiful…

You Got This! Really… You Do!

Happy Sunday!

I am hoping you had a good week and accomplished some goals. Yes, even those “small” tasks you procrastinated on. 

Usually before I start typing, I already have a topic I want to discuss. This week, I am not sure what I will discuss but please stay with me.

I had a good week, with the highlight being my popsicles receiving good feedback from the local morning radio show, The Suppa Duppa Morning Show on Laser 101. You would not believe how nervous I was. I did not even want to go initially for fear of rejection. I have been working hard on my popsicles but I am also a perfectionist so it can be tough. But they loved all five of the flavors presented. So yay! The next few weeks I will be fine tuning packaging and labels. Thank you to all of my friends who allowed me to use them as guinea pigs. 

Something that came up during the interview is the fact that I am unemployed. I was fired at the end of May and there was no warning. Literally from one day to the next, I was out of a job. I haven’t really spoken about it and I don’t think it deserves any additional energy. At first,  I was upset. I invested a lot of my time and effort into the company and it was not appreciated. But, I realized that that was a blessing in disguise. Being unemployed provided me with the time I needed to work on my popsicles and it is what pushed me to launch my Boozy Pouches and Frozays. 

You can spend your entire life working for a company, building that company and then it is all gone. Find a balance between work and your personal time/ dreams. Do good work because that is who you are. Make sure you stand by your standards and integrity. People will remember the work you did. I also believe if there is a hobby or interest you want to pursue, then do so. Start in your spare time, after work, or even before work. As COVID-19 continues to be present and economies are being shaken, you can never have too many talents. Over a year ago I started making macramé plant hangers while still employed. I would make them at night once the kids were asleep and guess what, I got sales. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself

No matter what, stand up for yourself.

Be respectful but do not let anyone walk over you. They may want to paint you in a negative light but ultimately your character will vouch for you. There are people in this world, who will try to bring you down. They see something in you, they see a light and it bothers them. Instead of working on brightening their light, they try to dim yours. NO ONE CAN DIM YOUR LIGHT WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION. Because truth be told, the light will keep burning. You have just attempted to cover it or you are to afraid to clean it. Dimming your light for others will only make you miserable.  Playing small in this world to please others will make you miserable. 

Be unapologetically you and yes, I know it can be hard. Those who love you will find you and stick with you. I am talking friends, and significant other. They will honor you for you. Most important is that you will be happy and you will be honoring you. If you can accept others, you can accept yourself. For the traits that you do not necessarily like about yourself, question yourself. Why do you think, act or react that way? Is something triggering you? How can you improve that? Your thought, action, or reaction is the fruit of something and if you look for the roots, you can transform your thoughts and actions. 

So this week, just love yourself a little bit. Tend to your mind, body and soul even if that means pulling up some weeds. I want you to feel powerful and in order to do so, you have to know yourself. I want your light to shine because the world needs it. There is someone looking for it as a guiding light. If you don’t want to do it for you, then consider the person you could be helping simply by being you. You are amazing, you are wonderfully made and you got this!

Here is a picture of the cup I painted on Friday! YOU GOT THIS! The others were painted by my nephew and daughter.

Gardens are rich grounds for epiphanies

Today’s post may be a little deep so I apologize in advance… or not.

Who are you? Take a few moments and think about it. 

Thought about it? Ok. Good. 

Now remove all of the “titles” such as your job title or profession, any associations or foundations you are apart of, relationship titles and astrological signs. I want to know who you are at your core. Don’t think of the things that allow you to be a part of a certain group, like I am a plant lover or a vegan or anything you can think of. It may be a long list to work through but I challenge you to start stripping away the unnecessary descriptions.

We have been conditioned to fit into a group in order to survive but we are also told to be unique. Bit of an oxymoron. There are some people who know who they are at their core and have kept that alive through their growth and development. There are others who struggle with the question. Some may have been taught to conform during childhood through parents with good intentions, others may have learned to blend in as a trauma response and others may have simply learned to blend in for survival. 

Everyone is shouting self love at the top of their lungs and social media feeds are filled with quotes. But how does someone love themselves when they aren’t sure who they are? I believe it starts with taking inventory of where you are right now. Don’t think about the person you were a year or ten ago. It is also important not to look at the future for this mini exercise. Write the words down on a paper, both the positive and negative. Write the first words that come to your mind as you begin the exercise. Don’t talk yourself out of the words. If you are having trouble then ask a close friend for their thoughts about you. But do not rely solely on their perceptions.

Be honest with yourself but also give yourself some grace. A lot of the traits we think are negative, may not be as negative as we think. Some could be warning signs of boundaries that were crossed. You have to acknowledge the root of the problem. It is also important to know who you are so people don’t try to use certain aspects against you. People will dismiss your feelings based on their view of you that benefits them. People will gaslight you and then make you out to be the bad one. Knowing yourself allows you to identify their abuse and stand strong on your beliefs. Otherwise you will keep changing to benefit them and disregarding your own valid emotions. 

The journey of self discovery and self love is no short one and it comes with difficult climbs and bumpy roads. But the end result is so worth it. COVID lockdown got me gardening again and I would beat myself that I simply did not have a green thumb. In actuality I realized that it is less about having a green thumb and more about accepting each plant for what it was or each seed for what it would be. Some sprout quickly and others take a little longer, some need a lot of water, others don’t like the sun. Taking my time and giving them what they need has allowed me to fill my home, porch and garden with a variety of plants. 

Personally I have all of the patience and grace for my kids, plants, other people but not so much for me. I have had to remind myself of who I am and even challenge some beliefs I held for a long time. I have acknowledged some wounds and begun the healing process. Recently I felt like my character was being attacked or really I was more anxious that it would be. This morning I was trying to transplant two seedlings and I lost both. For the simple fact that I was rushing and not trusting the process. This was a subtle reminder for myself. I know who I am and I trust that God has already worked it out for my good. But if I rush it and do not trust Him then I stand the chance of losing. I only had that realization because I began my journey and know who I am even though I struggle with it regularly. 

When negative thoughts pop up in your head, ask yourself is this true? If it isn’t then say so. If it is, then question why it is and what triggered it. As your confidence builds, some thoughts will simply disappear and others may require more attention. The point is to constantly remind yourself of who you are and embrace that. Give yourself some grace for the parts you are working on. There is an illusion that our faults are so much worse than others when in reality that isn’t true. Know who you are and trust that God or the universe or whatever you believe in is working for your good as long as you are true to you. 

From 4 to 2… RIP my cucumber seedlings