..."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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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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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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#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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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 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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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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CUT IT LOOSE!!!

CUT IT LOOSE!!!

What dead things are you holding on to? What do you need to cut out of your life? Dead friendships, relationships, dead finances, dead feelings of self-doubt, fear?  Part of healing requires cutting off the things that impede your growth.  It’s time for us to grow to new heights and new levels.  WE can’t do that until we cut some things loose!!!

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