Living a Life with Intention...A Year Long Series

Living a Life with Intention...A Year Long Series

I chose intention as my 2019 word of the year because it summed up exactly what I wanted to do this year.  I want every move I make to be made with clear intentions.   I don’t operate well in gray areas; I prefer my life to be very black and white. As I began to think about this word, the first thing that came to my mind was how? How do I live with intention?  That’s what I plan to explore on my blog this year.   Instead of just proclaiming my word for the year and writing a post about it at the end of the year, I want to focus on this word and each month, illustrate how I’m attempting to live a life with intention. Consider it my way of holding myself accountable to each of you for practicing what I preach! 

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Lost In Transition

Lost In Transition

I’m retreating from the world because it’s hard right now.  I hate wearing a mask and I feel like I have to do it daily at work at then at home with my family.  I’m tired of pretending I’m strong and have it all together.  Right now…I don’t.   I’m emotionally, mentally and financially drained.  Quite honestly, my life feels like it’s falling apart and I have no idea how to put it back together again.

How do you navigate through these difficult transitions without hiding under your sheets in a sea of your own tears?

 

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How Does She Do It?

How Does She Do It?

How do you do it all?  

I get asked that question all the time and my answer is usually, “I put one foot in front of the other and move forward”.  I suppose it’s not that simple however.  I never anticipated being a single mom.  In fact, it was one of my biggest fears.  Prior to getting married, I watched single friends of mine get pregnant only to have the men they loved walk out of the lives of their children and leave them to raise children alone.  I saw the disappointment in their faces, the sadness, the frustration and I didn’t want that for myself.  I swore I’d choose a good partner/mate/future father and build a family together.  It was important to me.  I thought it was that simple and couldn’t have been more wrong.  LIFE HAPPENED…

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..."And Were You Good To Yourself?"...

..."And Were You Good To Yourself?"...

…”I don’t think so. But, I forgive you, girl, who tallied stretch marks into reasons why no one should get close. I forgive you, silly girl, sweet breath, decent by default. I forgive you for being afraid. Did everything betray you? Even the rain you love so much made rust out of your jewelry? I forgive you, soft spoken girl speaking with fake brash voice, fooling no one. I see you, tender even on your hardest days. I forgive you, waiting for him to call; I forgive you, the diets and the cruel friends. Especially for that one time you said ‘I fucking give up on love, it’s not worth it, and I’d rather be alone forever’. You were just pretending, weren’t you? I know you didn’t mean that. Your body, your mouth, your heart, made specifically for loving. Sometimes the things we love will kill us, but weren’t we dying anyway? I forgive you for being something that will eventually die. Perishable goods, fading out slowly, little human, I wouldn’t want to be in a world where you don’t exist…”-Warsan Shire

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Sometimes You Just Have to Reset...

Sometimes You Just Have to Reset...

2018 hasn’t started the way I hoped it would. It’s been full of challenges that would seek to sideline me from my goals.  The vision board I created for this year has been an extreme help because I see it every day and use it as a reminder to stay focused, do the work and allow the universe to let freedom manifest in my life.   I can say I’m taking better care of myself. I’m treating myself better.  Taking time away when I need it, resting more, enjoying more experiences with my friends and my family and practicing daily self-care.   I’m slowly finding my balance and equilibrium and when it gets to be overwhelming, I just hit the reset button and begin again.  When I fall back into old habits and old mindsets, I just hit the reset button and begin again.  I'm letting go of the need to be perfect and embracing the desire to be authentically me and loving myself through it all.  I’m finding freedom slowly but more importantly, I’m finding myself again.

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Finding The Good in Goodbye

Finding The Good in Goodbye

As we continue to explore ways of practicing gratitude, I wanted to explore ways to find the good in goodbye.  There are moments when relationships have to end.  Friendships, work partnerships, intimate relationships; we’ve all felt the uneasiness and or pain of ending relationships that no longer serve you, honor you or we simply just outgrow them.  This year, I’ve had to say goodbye to a couple of relationships that at some point were incredibly meaningful to me.  Where’s the good in that?

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A Season of Gratitude

A Season of Gratitude

It’s so easy to be grateful during the good times. How can you be grateful when dealing with heartache, loss of a job, the death of a loved one, financial struggles and/or  illness etc.?  Even more, how can you be grateful for the negative experiences that are occurring in your life? 

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Seasons Change

Seasons Change

Living in Chicago, you are lucky if you get to experience all 4 seasons. Normally you just get winter and summer with an about a month of fall and spring. Fall is in the air now and I’m noticing what an incredible metaphor for life each change of season has. It’s a period of transition…much similar to what has been happening in my own life.

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When Sisterhood Goes Wrong

When Sisterhood Goes Wrong

These are a core set of my friends. My true friends. The friends who, when I am at my worst……they point it out, tell me to get my shit together because I’m better than whatever I’m doing or being, and feed me afterwards like a real friend should. The friends who will show up and out for me if I need, or want, them to. The friends who love me, despite me. The friends who will fight for me……like, LITERALLY fight for me. The friends who will fight me when I’m wrong. The friends who will fight FOR me when I’m right. The friends who, beyond my blood family, have been my support system since I was 15 years old. The friends who I trust with my life…..who would never betray me…….or lie to me……or dishonor our friendship in any way. Friends don’t do that…………right?

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Anatomy of a Breakup: Pt.3-The Healing Power of Time

Anatomy of a Breakup:  Pt.3-The Healing Power of Time

We don’t take time to heal in relationships. We are so focused on moving on and getting over the end of a relationship we find ourselves in messy situations or other relationships that could have been avoided if we had just recognized and acknowledged our feelings and taken the time to process and deal with them. We are trying to microwave our emotional healing.

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The Problematic Empath

The Problematic Empath

I walk around life with more emotions than most.  I always have.  I’m loyal to a fault and tend to take on the problems and emotions of my friends and loved ones.  If my friend is going through a divorce, it’s as if I’m going through it to. If another friend was cheated on in her relationship, I hate the guy just as much as she does.  If my friend is struggling with her child, it’s as if it’s my own child. I feel things deeply…like too much.  If my girl is broke, I’m trying to help her as if my own lights are going to be cut off.   If my friend has found a new love, new job, new opportunity, I’m excited as if was me! It is more than compassion; it’s literally the ability to feel someone else’s emotions as strong as if they were my own.  As I get older, I’m more in tuned with the empath that lives inside of me.  The person that lives inside of me that really just wants “my people to be ok” in every sense of the word. It’s a huge reason why “The Sum of Many Things” was birthed.  It was birthed out a desire for women, particularly women of color, to be affirmed, heard and well. My heart is my greatest asset because it’s gives freely. 

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#ThursdayThoughts: Anatomy of a Breakup-The Moment of Impact

#ThursdayThoughts: Anatomy of a Breakup-The Moment of Impact

Sometimes it starts with a feeling. Something is off.  Silence, distance, fewer phone calls and text…you know something isn’t right. Do you say something or do you ignore it thinking things will get better? Even when you know a relationship is coming to an end, the actual END of it can cause a range of emotions.  It’s a withdrawal of sorts.  One minute you are accustomed to the phone calls, text messages and date nights and then just like that…it’s over…nothing. This initial “Shock” phase is filled with emotions.

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#ThursdayThoughts: What Kind of Friend Are You Really? (A Life Lesson in the Midst of Loss)

#ThursdayThoughts: What Kind of Friend Are You Really? (A Life Lesson in the Midst of Loss)

We all get busy; it seems like life is moving faster and faster every day.  Death and loss have a way of slowing it down and shifting your focus.  Life really is all about balance and equilibrium and we can always do better.  Tell the ones you care about how much you love them, make time for one another and do it as often as you can.  Life really is short and people you care about can be taken away in an instant.  Sometimes, there isn’t a “next time”.

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#ThursdayThoughts: What Have You Agreed To...About Yourself?

#ThursdayThoughts:  What Have You Agreed To...About Yourself?

After reading the book “The Four Agreements”, the one message that stood out to me was the notion that we must be careful about what we put out into the universe because what we put out is what we agree with.  The Author also spoke about the power of words and to be careful how we allow others to speak to and about us, because the words they attach to us can also become things we agree with.  I finished the book and went on with my life. Slowly but surely some of the key messages in the book began to remind me  of some of the things I have agreed with over the course of my life and it definitely explains why my life does not look like it does in my wildest dreams.

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#WellnessWeds: The Art of Disengagement

#WellnessWeds: The Art of Disengagement

I once heard Oprah Winfrey say, “You are responsible for the energy you bring”. It’s something that has stayed with me for years.  The energy I bring belongs to me. I am responsible for it and I’m equally responsible for the energy I allow into my space. Part of my wellness routing involves the art of disengagement. 

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#ThursdayThoughts: The Necessity of Anger

#ThursdayThoughts:  The Necessity of Anger

“You are dead to me”!  If anyone knows me, they know that’s a statement I use when I’m pissed off!  It takes a lot to really enrage me but when it happens, I usually go from 0-10 and I’m not easily calmed down.  I tend to hold things in and then they come out in an explosion of anger. It’s something I’m trying to work on.   If someone has angered me to the point where I’m at a 10, I proclaim them dead to me. That usually means they no longer have a place in my life. I literally cut them out at the root.   It’s a double edged sword and a side effect of me being a black and white individual. I don’t like grey areas. You are either with me or against me.  Removing people from my life who do not honor or value me is not an issue I have difficulty with.  However, I don’t like becoming angry because I become a different person.  I’m cold, and my words sting. I’ve been that way since I was a child. My mom used to say, I had a tongue like a knife.  My words have always had power and I knew that very young.  That’s not always a good thing however and lately I’ve been looking at ways to handle the emotion, Anger

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The Love Series: "Loving Through Adversity"

The Love Series: "Loving Through Adversity"

May is Mental Health Awareness month, and I wanted to continue my series on “Love and Relationships” by addressing the question:  Loving through Adversity:  How do you love someone who’s broken?  Is it possible? Is Love enough?  This portion of the Love and Relationship series begins with a guest post from writer, author, and poet, Nikki Rucker. I consider her a friend and lovingly call her one of my “little sisters.” She’s a phenomenal mother and wife who writes with such authenticity and transparency.  Today on the blog, Nikki shares her story of loving someone through adversity and brokenness.  Nikki courageously lifts the veil around mental illness in the black community and gives us an inside look into what it feels like to love someone in the midst of adversity. Her story is one of so many in our community, and I thank her for her openness and willingness to share.  –D. Sanders

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