self-care

judgement day.

It’s been 160 days. That’s 5 months, 9 days, and 16 hours since I have touched this blog. No lie, I was on the verge of just deadin’ this shit and pretending it never happened but how? It would be physically impossible for me to stop doing the one thing that is possible no matter how sad I am, mad I am, defeated I am, etc. Writing is such a big part of my life and self-expression keeps me healing.

I am still not in remission yet but THAT is not the basis of this blog, judgment is. And I am not talking about judging myself, I am referring to that judging little chick inside my head that judges others. It is about time that I hold myself accountable. We all judge and quite frankly, when it comes to me, I am over it.

I want to work on accepting people for where they are and to understand that their freedom may present different than mine and that is OKAY. I am not the gatekeeper of self-development or getting free. As much as I love to empower others, I can think terrible things in my head and I am working day and night to change that. Judging others for their journey is not what I want to project. I want to cultivate understanding, compassion, grace.

So, this is my plan. Every single time I catch myself internally going “why are they ____?”, I ask myself “why not?”. Whenever I turn my nose up, I will try to go inward and ask myself “How does their happiness impact yours? IT DOESN’T”. Because who am I to determine what freedom, happiness, joy, overcoming, strength,looks like for anybody else? I have been doing this for about a week or so now and it is hard but for me, it is NEEDED.

We all have things we don’t get about others but that is okay. I want to accept others as I learn to accept myself. I want to judge others less as I learn to judge myself less. I want to embrace people where they are even if it’s from a distance as they embark on this journey like I am. The more I learn to accept the more I’ll learn to love.


deactivate.

 

It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and I have deactivated my twitter account. Let me explain how it got to this point. Social media is a big influence on our lives. It is can really infiltrate your mind and spirit. I love social media and have dedicated my own academic research to it. I love to study how people use it and how it impacts the minds of those who look like me but I never realized how much it impacted my life until my therapist said something.

We all know by now that what we ingest becomes a part of us. We are not removed from absorbing the energies of others – good or bad. Everyone is inherently good and inherently bad. That’s just the reality of it all.  This applies to our social media accounts too.

For the last 3 weeks or so I have been finding myself using Twitter less and less. I have always found myself feeling anxious when certain topics are brought up. I have also felt anger, sadness, and even jealousy in the past. On the flipside, I love networking and talking to people online who have the same interests as me. What has pulled me away from Twitter is the noise. The opinions, commentary, and bickering that comes with having many different types of people on one platform and I am not equipped to handle that – at least not right now.

My friend Ashley had some posts on her IG story where she talked about curating your timeline to align with who you are at that moment. It resonated with me because I have found myself attempting to silence the noise of a timeline I created based on past interests and ties to people I’ve met.  At first, I was muting, blocking, and unfollowing people but then that became overwhelming. My therapist has worked very hard with me to stop oversharing online and to also not use social media as a diary. LIFE CHANGING, okay?! Learning to disconnect and keep my personal business – personal, has been helpful – especially when I am dealing with my own mental health. The good days can turn into bad days if I see something that is triggering or if someone is just being negative online. The way we speak about protecting our energy is so beautiful and I think that it applies to your mind and also your social media accounts.

It’s sometimes frustrating to constantly have to filter my social media accounts to make sure it aligns but the work has to be done. In order to grow and continue on my own journey, I have to be realistic about my attachment to social media and the relationship I have with it. There is NOTHING wrong with using social media but I do believe, for myself, it can be a battle of the noise vs. my own inner thoughts and ideas. I have to work on separating the two.

When manic or depressive, social media usually doesn’t help. That is when I over share the most and that is when I can put myself in situations I don’t want to be in. When I am feeling low I don’t want to see certain things but I have always had trouble REALLY disconnecting without finding myself back online.  I also have this fear that if I disconnect from Twitter that my blog will go unnoticed or I will not get some of the opportunities I have gotten in the past. My blog has it’s own Twitter but it doesn’t have as big of a following as I do on my personal account. But really, why do I care? SEE, this is why I need to take a break. I need to find out why these things matter in this way. I know what is for me is for me but I still attach that success to my online presence.

It is a big part of our lives and my life but in order to heal, I have to really set some boundaries for my damn self. So, as a Black woman who battles with her own mental health, I have found that disconnecting has helped me work on my own shit. I love the support I get online but I also don’t like the feeling of needing validation from others in order to feel good about myself. This may not be you but it has been a trend in my life at times.  For now, I am deactivating my account, in 3 weeks I may reactivate it, or I may wait the full 30 days and allow my account to be irretrievable forever.  I don’t know.

My mental health is more important to me than being on certain websites that can stunt my own growth. It is okay to say “this is becoming too much” and dip. There is nothing wrong with doing that. There is also nothing wrong with going away and coming back. Your mental health is important and in order to really grow you have to be realistic with yourself about your weaknesses and lack of self-control when it comes to certain websites that may be filling you with a lot of negativity. The noise can really alter how you grow. It can really test you and your foundation. The noise can make you revert.  In order to preserve myself, I have to remove myself from things that can make me revert or at least try my hardest to do so.

 

 

The shit just isn’t fun anymore and I am mentally exhausted. How do you disconnect when it all becomes too much? Do you disconnect at all? Comment below with your thoughts!

 

Come shine with me!

Perform No More

This is the time of year where everyone is figuring out what they have accomplished, going over mistakes they made, and trying to figure out what’s the big goal for next year. There will be vision board parties, new year new me posts on IG, and think-pieces about what to bring into 2018 and what to leave behind in 2017. All of these have a purpose and a place. All of these have significance to someone.

Throughout the year I have tried to find ways to better myself. I have done this through many different modes -- therapy, exercise, diet, friendships, healing, writing, dancing, reading, studying, retreating, reinventing myself..all necessary. One thing I can say I haven’t done is mastered self-preservation. I have found many ways to stay afloat and to exist but I can be honest and say that I have neglected certain things about myself that I need to preserve.

Self-preservation is often tied to extreme things like death or just staying alive.Then there is the flip-side where it can be seen as a way to protect oneself from the outside world and societal/systemic schools of thought that can break a person down. Doing just enough to not end up hurt physically but what about the mind. The mind needs preservation too.

I had a good friend tell me that my “form of self-care was making sure others were doing self-care but what about me?”. Sometimes we can get into the cycles and rhythms of helping others preserve themselves and ignoring the glaring red flags in our mind that we need to preserve ourselves first.

How does this happen? I believe it stems from the need to feel needed, the desire to be wanted, the eagerness to make sure others are doing well. Nothing is wrong with this but in order to really be of service to others, we must first be of service to ourselves.

I had to ask myself the hard-hitting questions. “Are you happy?” “How do you feel physically vs mentally vs emotionally?” “When you wake up do you feel ready for the day?” Let’s just say the answers were not all “love and light” like one would expect. I spent most of my year so concerned with my presentation that I didn’t take time to work on my preservation.

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Because of this, I got sick, a lot, and none of my remedies were working as well or as quickly. My lack of mental preservation impacted my physical body. So, I had to do some digging. I had to figure out what I needed to do in order to preserve myself.

I had to first realize that my lack of care for myself was going to kill me and that I really have a lot of work to do in the “attempting to live for others and be perfect” department. Shit can be so toxic and foolish. This I know.  I had to secondly realize that the more I ignored the signs of letting go of things the more difficult it would be to really be open to my blessings. And lastly….I had to quit my job.

From here I am not sure of a lot of things but the one thing I am sure of...is my decisions. I know that in order for me to continue to shine I cannot present instead of preserving. I cannot tell others to shine their light if I continue to let my own light dim when I feel weak or scared. This isn’t an empowerment piece, it’s a redirection piece. Shit, we all have moments where we forget how to take care of ourselves. This was my moment of many.

New year new me? Nope. New year, same me, better observation of self, less presenting for others, and grave preservation of self as a WHOLE.

 

How do you plan to preserve yourself moving forward?

 

Come shine with me!

Welcome to the #LIGHTSHOW

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Compliments are my favorite gift to give. I enjoy making others smile by pointing out the things I admire about them. It can be their smile, style, resilience, intelligence and even their laugh. If I love it, more than likely, I will compliment it. I get joy from watching the light of others beam onto me and how their smiles radiate when I pay them a compliment. That genuine exchange is my favorite form of communication.

It’s so easy to find the good in others and compliment them but at times I find myself struggling to pay myself compliments. Often times we are so busy with the hustle and bustle of the day that we forget to pat ourselves on the back for our achievements. We forget to encourage ourselves and extend kindness.

I am extremely hard on myself, imposter syndrome always catches me slippin’.  I find myself doubting my worth and my work. We can be our worst critics, right? 

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This blog post is a little different, in that, it is a challenge to my readers. I want you all to give yourself the flowers.

Let me explain.

I call this the #LightShow challenge. What we are going to do will bring us so much joy, I promise. On December 1st I want you to write yourself a letter. Encourage yourself, motivate yourself, and pay yourself some damn compliments. In 30 days we will open our letters together. That day, December 31st, 2017, will be our #LightShow. We will shine our lights back onto ourselves so as we embark on 2018 we can illuminate our world. You don’t have to post your letter, you don’t have to even tell me you did it, I just think you deserve to get some flowers.

#LightShow is something that I have been testing on myself in the last 2 months. I started off with texts to myself, then I did emails, and now I, too, will be doing the letter challenge. It has made a world of difference on those days when I need a reminder of who the fuck I AM.

If you are on social media use the hashtag #LightShow when you want to give yourself some flowers. Self-Praise is the BEST praise. Word to @heyfranhey. I am so excited to radiate with you on December 31st, 2017. Let’s light this shit up and relish in our greatness, together!

Come shine with me!