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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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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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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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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#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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HEALING SERIES: FINALE-LET IT GO AND MOVE ON

HEALING SERIES: FINALE-LET IT GO AND MOVE ON

You have removed the mask, forgave yourself and others, took the necessary time and space to clear your mind and spirit, hit the pause button and showed yourself some tender loving care…So now what?

It’s time to move forward; whole, healed and complete, into a new chapter in our lives. Taking the lessons and leaving the baggage, we let it all go.  All of the emotional and mental work is void if we choose to hold on to the negative, painful and hurtful things, events and circumstances that happen in our lives.  Healing requires us to release it all with the knowledge and confidence that we are now wiser and well equipped for the next set of life’s challenges.  Whether it is health, diet and fitness challenges, financial challenges, a painful childhood, or the loss of a relationship, pain does not last forever unless we give it a home in our spirit.  You can and should end this chapter of your life and start a new one in your life’s story.

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HEALING SERIES: PT 5-IT'S ALL ABOUT ME

HEALING SERIES: PT 5-IT'S ALL ABOUT ME

When healing from within, it is wonderful to have a village to lean on during these times.  Family and friends are instrumental in lifting you up and encouraging you through hard times but the responsibility of healing is yours.  It is up to us to take responsibility for our own emotional and mental well-being.  Family and friends are wonderful but they can’t heal for you. Healing is a choice that we have to make daily.  Sometimes, you have to be selfish.  I don’t mean selfish in a negative way either.  When I speak of being selfish, I mean, there are times when you have to make yourself a priority and be unapologetic about it.  That doesn’t give you the right to be hurtful, mean-spirited or isolated either.  What this means is that you recognize that things aren’t ok with you right now. 

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HEALING SERIES: PT 4-HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON-LESSONS IN SELF CARE

HEALING SERIES: PT 4-HIT THE PAUSE BUTTON-LESSONS IN SELF CARE

Women have to be everything to everyone. Nurturers by nature, our roles can be exhausting and draining.    We are the ones who rarely take time to give to ourselves.   Last year, I had to learn a hard lesson in making time for “self-care”.  I had to give myself permission to take the necessary time and space to replenish and restore everything I give away on a daily basis.  As a busy, working mom, I realized that in order to make sure I made self-care a part of my day, I had to schedule it.   

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HEALING SERIES: PT 3-CLEAR YOUR MIND/CHANGE YOUR MINDSET

HEALING SERIES: PT 3-CLEAR YOUR MIND/CHANGE YOUR MINDSET

Many of us hold onto pain, trauma, stress and negative thoughts.  It begins to manifest itself in our personalities.   Think about relationships or friendships.   How many of you know someone who had the kindest, gentlest and giving heart that becomes cynical, hard and closed after a bad breakup?  Their personality changes because the hurt, pain or betrayal was so great.  In an effort to avoid that feeling again, they lose who they used to be and can become someone you don’t recognize.  Pain can change the very essence of your personality if you allow it.   The truth is, who you choose to become is a choice. Some choose to allow pain to change them negatively, some allow themselves to be perpetual victims and some heal, learn and grow from pain and become stronger while maintaining the essence of who they are and who they want to become. I’ve been all of these people in my life at some point.  Changing my mindset is an exercise of reclaiming the essence of who I am and not allowing people or situations to have the power to change who I am and who I want to be.

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HEALING SERIES: PT 2-FORGIVENESS WITHOUT ABSOLUTION

HEALING SERIES:  PT 2-FORGIVENESS WITHOUT ABSOLUTION

I’m not a forgiving person by nature. I take hurt very personally and tend to proclaim people “dead to me” if they have wronged me.  Once you have hurt, deceived or betrayed me, I typically cut you out of my life.  In my experience, there usually is no coming back from the grave.   I hold grudges and I wear pain like a scarlet letter.  Over the past few months, I’ve been working on healing and purging myself of all the pain, hurt and heartache I have experienced over the past few years.  As I stated in my last blog, the weight of carrying so much negative emotion while wearing the “I’m just fine” mask began to weigh me down and I was emotionally and mentally tired.  I was tired of holding on to it all.

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HEALING SERIES: PT 1-Removing the Mask/Authenticity

HEALING SERIES:  PT 1-Removing the Mask/Authenticity

Healing requires you to really strip down and look at the reality of who you are.  In the past, I typically hid pain or speed through the healing process.  I put Band-Aids on situations, feelings and experiences.  Real healing requires removing the mask and seeing yourself as you are right now.  That can be jarring and unsettling to some but for me it was the starting point.  My healing began in the midst of my brokenness.   Not to be confused with the hats we wear or the roles we play, the mask is different. The mask is the person you attempt to be or the person you desire to be.

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INTRODUCTION: THE HEALING SERIES

INTRODUCTION:  THE HEALING SERIES

I choose “Heal” as my word for 2017.  As I reflected on the year 2017, healing was the one thing I wanted most.  The last half of 2016 was interesting in that it forced me to stop, slow down and really start to analyze relationships, situations and areas in my life.  I wrote them all down and decided to tackle them one by one with the intention of purging my spirit of negative feelings and emotions and finding peace and healing in the areas in my life that have caused me stress, trauma and pain.  It was time to get rid of some stuff, some baggage and dead weight that I’ve been carrying around for too long.  I could literally feel the burden of the weight I was carrying.   Sometimes life puts you in a holding pattern to teach you something before you progress to the next level. 

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LOVE & FRIENDSHIP

LOVE & FRIENDSHIP

There are so many different aspects to my personality, the man I wind up sharing space and time has to understand, accept and love me the same way my friends do. It requires a man with strength, patience, integrity, ambition, understanding and a strong moral character.

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