Chapter 38: Birthday Message

I’m so grateful to see my 38th year! What an honor it is. A lot of people didn’t wake up today and for that I am grateful! It’s the final day of Toibration!! My personal new year to reset and refocus!!

I’ve learned a lot about myself. My goal is to be more accepting of my life. I want to love me to the moon and back. I want to exude confidence and strength that looks past physical barriers or emotional struggles. Let’s be honest, we all have them. There are days when I wake up smiling and eager but there are other times where anxiety or just life awaits and it’s hard to push through. If I could wake up, and try I’m half way there.

I’m going to be honest I probably hear more negativity from my own voice and thoughts. Often times I judge myself harshly. You add comparison and the world and it can lead to a downward spiral. This year I have proven to master myself more. Everyday through self-care I push! I’m not going to stop working hard on my body, and mind. I’m going to keep working out even when I hear people judge every part of what they think I should be. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be like the miserable folks who sit and point from a miserable heart. I have to be sure my heart is right and I have the right response.

Relationships

I am going to make a lot of changes in how I allow others around me to move at my expense. I’ve cut back on half the things I’ve done for others because I’ve learned it’s okay to put my needs first. It’s okay to make sure my cup is full! I have learned it’s okay but to end bad vibes and people with bad intentions. I also put into perspective how I nurture those around me.

Also shout out to Marques! Another year of loving. Another year of patience! It’s been a whirlwind! I pray more strength to stand by one another!

We have had a great year filled with highs and some unforeseen lows. I’ve wondered how we were going to push through. I’ve questioned the paths we have taken but not your loyalty. I know that when I dig under your skin you still have remained vigilant in keeping the promise you made me in the car in the driveway a few years ago to work through. You took hits for me that I couldn’t!

Twin Power

I didn’t come into this word alone. My twin Tierra means the world to me. She is my first friend. Contrary to sound belief I am going to always be in her corner. If you see us fighting or arguing don’t jump in because we are liable to start fighting you! We are close. We speak daily. I am aware of most things in her life. There’s nothing that could separate that love!

Happy birthday twin!

Blog Love

Between TCP and my this blog, life has opened up! I am grateful! I’ve stepped up and become consistent. With that it’s opened up doors that I never imagined. I prayed for days like this and to walk in it is humbling. I look forward to the many opportunities that are on the horizon. I’ve had some amazing adventures this year from theatre, the zoo, amazing food and drinks and everything else in between. Thank you to each and every reader! You make this worth it!

Lifestyle Changes

I’ve made amazing choices. I’ve become vegan and it’s working for me! I am continuing to work hard on my body and goals! I am more determined to keep pushing. I also am dedicated to running more races this year! So far 2 down and 4-5 more to go! I’m not stopping. It makes me happy! It keeps me calm and relieves stress!

Mom Life

My goal as a mom is to be solid. To give them what THEY need. I pray to be more calm. To be more understanding in this 38th year. I am soon to celebrate my oldest being 10! It’s a milestone. I love my children and it’s always a pleasure to be their mom. For every trinket I make for them and every memory we create, I feel like the blessing has been all mine. They bring me joy! I pray when they look back on their childhood it was about love, fun, lessons and peace!

So many goals this year to make happen! So many goals I’m actively crushing. No one is to say what will transpire but in these last few years of my 30s, I plan to dust myself and push harder and work smarter.

I promise to rest when necessary

I promise to schedule more days of magazine reading and podcast listening

I promise to continue buying my own flowers and practicing more self care

I promise to say no without explanation

I promise to work this body so it can continue to be there for me

Year 38 I see you. Some folks didn’t make it and won’t make it but I promise no matter the choices good or bad to stand in it!

Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for the amazing shoot cake pictured below that I almost ate before getting my shots. My favorite fruit is strawberry and that frosting was almost too much to handle!  Thank you for always delivering quality tasting food and having my taste buds on a 1000!!!! I’ve said it once and I will say it again-you can Go Vegan and have amazing taste. You like what I did there? So hit them up for all of your vegan goods! They are also selling items at Martindale’s Natural Market

cake.jpg

Happy Birthday to me!! Let’s do this!

 

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Mother’s Day: Miscarriage, Loss of a child, and Infertility

Again I say that Mother’s Day doesn’t always bring these cookie cutter images that television and marketing companies want you to believe. It’s a place of grief for so many women and men all around the world.

When a woman conceives or attempts to conceive, there’s very little ways to do it without your heart becoming attached. With that in mind there are large amounts of women who mourn the day because it’s a reminder of what they desire (d) and can’t have. It’s a place of pain that can’t be measured. With all of the cards, flowers, and joy that should be given to women I want to recognize the women who aren’t in the celebratory spirit.

Are you pregnant?

It’s down right rude to ask a woman of whom you do not share an intimate space if or when she is ready to conceive. That conversation needs to be when and if she is ready to ever have it. Our culture has no boundaries on other women and their uteruses. It needs to be reminded that some women endure a heartache that they haven’t or may never be able to share. Asking her when and if, may inflict a level of pain that she may want to keep private.

Infertility

She may also have suffered a miscarriage and those wounds no matter how long ago it may have been are always fresh and sometimes gets reopen on days like Mother’s Day. You mourn all over again what your child would be and it’s hard. It’s debilitating to have to keep reliving the pain. We need to do a better job of acknowledging this and being sensitive. Your comments matter. Saying things like “just try again” or “it will happen in its time” may not always be received well. There are women that no matter what just can’t hold life and it’s the one thing that we all feel is reserved for women to “naturally” do yet it doesn’t always come so easily!

Miscarriage

Hearing your baby’s heartbeat is the most scared part of pregnancy. It doesn’t matter if you’re high risk or not; anytime you’re able to hear it, you hold that sound dear to your heart. There are many women who may or may not initially wanted to be a mother but once life has entered inside of you, a real mom will want to protect that life. Not hearing your child’s heartbeat is one of the most devastating events a woman can experience. It signals that even through no fault of your own, life has stopped. The process following that silence is grueling. We don’t speak about what a woman goes through emotionally, mentally, or physically but it’s life changing. It’s real and it can cut a woman to her core.

Loss of a Child

There are women who unfortunately either through miscarriage, still birth, death of a child or late pregnancy miscarriage experience the greatest loss known. Not knowing how to deal with those feelings have sent many women into a tailspin. It takes love, patience, sometimes medication, therapy and some of the most amazing support systems to get through. Outsiders are the first to put a time stamp on this level of grief when it’s no one’s time frame to control. You will forever remember and never forget.

Regardless of where you as a woman or the woman in your life fits, please understand that these are delicate topics that deserve reference during this time. Please be patient with yourself if you fit the above categories. Know that even if you feel you should be passed a point in your healing that healing is up and down and constant. Some days are better than others. If you need help it’s okay to receive it. If you’re struggling it’s okay as well. You don’t have to have it altogether. Just know that I for one understand! I sent you love! I send you peace!

Philly Zoo: WildWorks something to flip about…

I had an amazing time at the Philadelphia Zoo! I know I’m like a resident there, but today I zip lined at WildWorks, an interactive aerial adventure for all ages.

Yes from the little kids to the big kids aka adults, not one of us left with sad faces. 34 feet off the ground of pure exhilaration is what I experienced. If you have been following the blog you know that Philadelphia Zoo has had major change ups offering more than just cute animals in their habitats but a whole shake up of encouraging patrons to be fit all the way around.

From the new eateries such as the Urban Green to WildWorks, the Philadelphia Zoo keeps everyone towards a healthy lifestyle while you learn about the animals. In alignment with a fit lifestyle, Independence Blue Cross has partnered to bring WildWorks to life. I had the honor among other media outlets to attend the grand opening of the interactive aerial exhibit.

Dan Hilferty, CEO of Independence Blue Cross

The aerial interactive park, is a great time and will get you and the kids moving and excited. All we heard from everyone is squeals of laugher! You can visit the zoo, eat great food with amazing choices, walk and get your steps and have fun with family and friends and now with WildWorks you can experience an aerial play park that is nothing you have ever seen. It makes your zoo trip that much more meaningful and definitely an upgrade from your past zoo experience.

Ribbon cutting ceremony

WildWorks is available as a separate ticket. Zoo admission is not required. Pricing for the 20-25 minute activity ranges from $4.00 to $10.00. The Zoo is also offering an unlimited attractions pass per day for $18.00 to $20.00 each. For more information, pricing and tickets, visit, WildWorks

Toxic Mothers; They give some of the worse scars…

So it’s Mother’s Day week and everyone is gathering cards and presents. There are so many whose moms have passed and they are grieving. There are a set of people who grief for their mothers in a different way and that is the toxic mothers.

Toxic mothers are different and difficult to pinpoint. For one they aren’t necessarily gone in the physical sense but they are gone in the emotional sense. Toxic mothers are the mothers who use emotional abuse to get you to respect them. Growing up they were the ones who might have brow beat you about every little thing. As you got older nothing you do is good enough. They talk down and about you to anyone who will listen. They are never caring in how they treat you. They mask the emotional pain with the “at least I provided,” speech.

Toxic mothers do their best to make sure that if you’re celebrating an accomplishment they are usually the ones that have a negative response and question why you were chosen. Toxic mothers call you every name except the one they gave you. Sometimes with words they blame you for your very existence. They aren’t nurturing in how they deal with you. They blame their upbringing as to reasons why they can’t. They make every excuse in the book but they want all the glory.

Toxic mothers have the same time effect as absent fathers. The scar of having a mother you can’t talk, relate, speak well of is damaging. You can’t ever be you in their presence. You have to walk on eggshells. They suffered some type of trauma but make you pay the bill of it. If you have kids, they pick up on your mom’s toxicity. They can’t ever just be kids around a toxic mom because she treats them 5 seconds better than you but not enough to be definitive.

Toxic mothers seem to want the most recognition. Some even believing you owe them. You must do for them in exchange for them bringing you into this world. Keep in mind if you raise your child they will grow up to respect you and you don’t have to use fear to do so. You must make their days special even when they use words to belittle you. Everything floods back to them. You can’t be a victim around a toxic mother. They tend to forget they were the adult and were in charge. If you speak up about how toxic a mother is they will use the words as “too sensitive” to describe why you didn’t get aligned with the bad behavior. You should have accepted your mother’s bad ways as “that’s who they are.” You will hear “I did the best I could.” You will never get an apology or acknowledgement of wrong doing. Wrong doing for a toxic mother doesn’t exist. You are to grin and bear even as an adult. The amount of self-righteousness that a toxic moms has can’t even be counted.

Mother’s Day is another trigger for so many. There are people who limit their interaction with their toxic mother to avoid having to see her bipolar ways. They don’t want to have to deal with the fake smiles on high days knowing that soon as the parade of pleasantries are over she will be back to her off putting ways. If she is married or in a relationship the mate of a toxic mother is usually aware of their ways and although disgusted by it turns a blind eye.

When people have a toxic mother the phrase “that’s still your mother” is often used to say she’s bad but respect her. It’s not okay to just simply respect her from afar you must be around her, dote on her, and smile with tears in your eyes to make other people feel like you’re “team mom.”

There are many who have made the painful decision to stop dealing with toxic mothers. When you know better you’re supposed to do better. You can cut off any person who brings you down except your mom. I think people in loving mother relationships forget that for how deep the love they experience is how deep the negative experience can be. For the sake of saving face, continue as an adult and come around to make mom happy. Give them gifts even when you they are no longer deserving. Even when they sabotage your other relationships. Give them even more when they use tactics like the silent treatment and alienation to control.

If you are dealing with a toxic mom there are so many in your shoes. You have to do what works best for you. You definitely need a counselor to help you shift in a safe space your feelings and not just someone who you can vent to. Healing is hard. Every person wants the love of their mother. Not being able to have peace with a mother who is alive because she won’t do the work of accepting her bad behavior is traumatic.

I wish all those dealing with a toxic mother peace. If you are a reader and this doesn’t apply that’s great. Have compassion to the many that it does apply. Do not tell a person to get over a toxic mother. However old they are that’s usually how long they been in constant trauma. Pain affects different areas of your life. If you’re a product of a toxic mother and you have children you are doing the next generation a disservice if you’re not actively seeking help. Don’t put your kids through what you already know is life damaging.

Sending you love and peace!

Monday Motivation: She is me I am she…

Remember when Beyoncé first left Destiny’s Child and she had her alter ego named Sasha Fierce. She would reference her in that she was shy outside of performing. I think a lot of us adopted the whole alter ego, mine was Natasha.

Natasha was also an alias I used in my single days when I didn’t feel like being bothered. This was back in the day when you could curve a dude and he would just eat it. Now a days when are forced to give their rightful numbers to avoid the male ego and avoid being harmed. Men we need you to go back to the days of being okay of being curved. Women I think are getting better at attempting to be authentic too. I know men read my blogs I am not putting it all on you.

Back to Natasha, as I gotten a little older I still refer to Natasha but I realize that she is me and I am her. She is a part of me. She isn’t this imaginary alter ego that I use to be more bold. Natasha and I are one. We are both bold and quiet. We are both able to speak into the universe what we need and get it. We can read a book and turn up with a quick twerk. We both love book stores and the occasional club scene. We both know how to act in corporate America and we can respectfully fall in line in any small company atmosphere. We can be healthy and have splurges. We can be homebodies as well as out and about. We can want solitude and be okay in a crowd. We use alter egos to do the things that we are to shy to achieve not realizing that if we can call on the alter ego which is us, it was in us to do so. We can ask for a raise from that job because we have done the work. We can ask for someone’s number because we are dope individuals and want someone on our page.

We can make moves in our lives because Natasha is us and we are her. We both combined are awesome. Being older I hear from women older than me telling me not to hold back. If something is no longer serving its purpose in my life, get rid of it. Don’t wait until you are 50 to make your own choices. There is too much love and light on this Earth to allow life to simply happen to you. Regardless if you name your alter ego or not is neither here nor there. We ALL have multiple sides to us. It’s learning to allow you to fold and evolve. It’s a beautiful thing to see yourself in the mirror when you accept yourself with all the flaws and messiness you are.

woman sitting on chair beside mirror

Photo by Godisable Jacob on Pexels.com

  • Say NO more
  • Say YES more
  • Eliminate waste in all areas of your life
  • Link with other dope individuals
  • Smile More
  • Cry when necessary
  • It’s okay not to know the answer
  • It’s okay not to have it together
  • Compare yourself to you and no one else

Whatever you need your alter ego for, combine her/him with who you are and shine. Together you are all you need. Be great today!

 

2019 Broad Street

Another year done! I am so proud of my Broad Street Run. I am proud of the training, perseverance, and dedication. It’s no east task to run in pouring rain but there was no way I wasn’t going to finish injuries or not.

Before the race is the bib pick up as well as the Health and Wellness expo. It’s interactive with some amazing vendors having all that you need to make your run that much better. It’s two days, Friday and Saturday. It’s in the Convention Center and convenient hours to make sure all runners have the ability to attend. It also is serves as an information station for runners to help ease with pre race questions.

Broad Street Run is a major ordeal in Philadelphia. The city comes out in swarms to show love and support. I can’t tell you the many people who had the most heart warming signs, funny signs, and the best quick pep talks you will ever hear. I read one sign that said “you’re running better than the government.” I always love reading them. Interesting enough this year I saw some companies with actual tacos to give the runners. I didn’t have any because running and eating is never a great idea, but that was something I hadn’t seen in any race.

I remember the countless times as I was tired that someone would be with an encouraging word. From “hey sis in the red we see you keep going” to “let’s not get tired,” it was all necessary! It pushed me when my socks were soaking wet and my feet were so heavy I felt like I was dragging.

I came down with an injury to my right foot where I discovered I lost arch support. The pain was excruciating. I had to find a brace that supported me in a matter of a day. This was after running a 9.3 mile run 2 weeks ago. So back to back runs may have played a huge part in the before run injury. To compensate, I found myself working and leaning on the left foot during the actual race. That within itself felt like more of a little injury during the race as well. However as I did and nurse my little wounds, I’m still grateful for finishing and pushing through. I think I will attempt to have only shorter runs so close to Broad Street next year.

Huge as always shout out to my run husband Marques. He does not run at all but he’s up with me race day, makes sure I get to the race without a hitch, he catches or attempts to catch me at various locations during the race and he’s there to get all of the post race recovery food and drinks. He’s not a morning person so a 5am wake up call is never his favorite. He’s also my photographer for the day. He amazes me with the shots as during the race my mind was far from snapping. Also we usually have to get the train from near the Wells Fargo on the Broad Street line!

After the race as we proceed to get our post race food it’s always so crowded. From the runners finishing up to the large supporters gathering, it can be intimidating. Philadelphia does an amazing job with large crowd control, police presence, and awesome volunteers who do their best to keep the crowds moving! Shout out to every volunteer from the water holders, to those who pass out the medals. It takes a whole village of support to make it happen! I can’t imagine what the behind the scenes looks like. However the end result the runners always feels super supported from the time their foot hits the road until the last car pulls out.

Since this year I am vegan I had to find something to eat for my post race meal. With it being Cinco de Mayo, I knew I wanted some vegan tacos. I decided to get some from Soy Cafe. Let me tell you the picture doesn’t do it any justice. The Philly cheesesteak vegan taco was absolutely amazing. I also ordered the vegan chocolate chip cookie. Topped both off with some margarita mix with top shelf tequila and it made for a wonderful post race nap!

You already know if you follow me for any run that I did my post soak with Epsom salt. I always hear my great grandmother saying “baby get the Epsom salt.” I was surprised that I didn’t do my usual sit on the couch until I was able to get up. I came home and cleaned up a little then took my bath time soak and facial mask. It’s my ritual that relaxes me!

Shout out to Black Girls Run. You know by now they are the running group and family that I’m involved with. Between their support and the support of my family and friends, the love is real! To my friends you are so loving and awesome. My Fitbit was pinging with messages that pushed me from the time the race started until it ended. It felt amazing to read all of the love during the ride home. Shout out to my twin who kept the kids while I raced! It’s amazing to run for them knowing they were safe and secure!

So another year down and I await for 2020!! As long as I get in I’ll run it!

So what’s next? 2 Days of rest and then back at it. It’s a lifestyle not just to be summer time fine. I’m looking to be lifetime fine!! Now will I be slaying this summer? Yup. Fall, Winter, and Spring too!

Preview of “Boycott Esther” by Emily Acker

Boycott Esther is the production for anyone who has any online social media account. Directed by Maura Krause, it’s a play for anyone who wants to be relevant in any way and use social media to do so. It’s the manual for influencers. The safety protocol of thinking before you hit send is key. Thinking and pausing which so many regret to do in order to be relevant and in the know, could come at a cost. This play is about how your social media stamp can have a dynamic impact on your real life persona and vice versa.

Acker was hired by the Weinstein Company in 2016 to do a pilot remake of a British sitcom they own the rights to. As the project was wrapping up and to be sold, the allegations came out and the Me Too movement was born. Her project, as well as others, were then cancelled or didn’t move forward due to what was happening with the larger company. Acker was left to balance her personal disappointment vs. feelings of solidarity with the movement and empathy toward the women speaking out. It’s also about looking into the #MeToo movement and other social movements and the use of social media to take a stand or to evoke harsh and real realities onto others. Words matter. How we utilize our words especially on difficult topics matter too. Feeling strongly about an issue and having a set of core beliefs matter, just ask Esther. Will we be boycotting Esther?

What would you do if you were Esther? You’re young and tech savvy and you get your first major break? Before the ink could dry on your contract you’re being hit with major accusations of your boss/idol. Would you support the person you knew just because the allegations didn’t define who you perceived your boss to be? Do you stand and hold to your core values? Also what about those accused? It’s certainly taboo to think that someone can recover from such atrocities.

Boycott Esther is going to make you reconsider having to speak loudly on social media without consideration of what the boldness of your voice could cost. You are going to get the flip side of the accused. Is their empathy for them? Can you humanize with each side? Boycott Esther is the must see and to be honest it’s a piece that needs to be shown even to high school age kids too. It’s about teaching others the consequences of our social media lives.

Also did you know that Azuka Theatre follows a pay what you decide format? This makes seeing this production and many others like this affordable. With that being said if you believe in the arts you also can choose to donate. There are some amazing hard working artist and your generous support means everything!

Boycott Esther is funny, timely, thought provoking and should be a crash course for all social media handlers!!

Thank you to the staff of Azuka Theatre, the playwright Emily Acker, Director Maura Krause, the Cast of Boycott Esther, and Aversa PR for an amazing night. I had a great time with great hospitality. I definitely encourage all of my followers to see this play as all great things come to an End and your last time to see this will be May 19, 2019!! Don’t delay as you will never forget this amazing play-trust me!