To Toi or Not to Toi…Throw her back edition

My kids when see me jamming out to an “old skool” jam always ask how was I before kids? I always laugh and tell them I was super fun. I was but I try to incorporate that into my present life as well. However my life from its blast from the past until now is not quite one in the same.

Social Butterfly Natasha

Back in the day especially in college I was a lot more adventurous. I remember coming home from college that first semester and being super disappointed because the clubs weren’t the same. The people I was around wasn’t as outgoing as they were at Penn State. I was bummed out. I actually like a true nerd walked around Walmart crying when I saw the back to school supplies and knew I wasn’t going back to school. Either way without alcohol I still was the type to not miss a party and not miss the opportunity to dance the night away! Now I have moments when that happens. I’ve exchanged my dancing shoes and that’s fine too!!

I had an alter ego like Beyoncé’s Sasha Fierce and her name is Natasha. I say is because I can call on her in any moment. She’s definitely ruthless and more cut throat in her techniques. She’s outgoing and doesn’t care. Natasha is on standby ready to be tagged teamed in.

Drama Queen

Depending on who you ask I still have residual drama queen tactics and will call upon my petty when necessary. Back in the day I never came out of petty mode. I used to be dripping in petty. I could pop off without being provoked. Now a days I stray away from that instinct because it really isn’t necessary. No more days fighting and arguing with folks over stuff that don’t matter. Momma I’ve made it!! Super far cry from the past! Now I just watch people more and if something doesn’t seem right I just disengage. I try not to get too involved with things that no longer serve a greater purpose. I know that sounds cliche but the reality is I don’t have that kind of time like I had or gave into!

Who got feelings?!

I definitely had feelings but a lot of times I would be the one to say what I needed first, oh how dumb I was in my early 20s. Hurting people’s feelings should have been a class cause I would have aced it!! I wasn’t always as diplomatic or politically correct as I try to be now. Such a defense mechanism to hurt first so the other person wouldn’t realize they hurt me. As a full adult who takes credit for her wrongs I know that isn’t the way to handle things.

Sharp as a whip

My mouth really is a two edged sword. I really can end people or at least that’s how I came off. First of all I like to argue. I like to go back and forth and in the right energy which most times were the worse energy I could end you without breaking a sweat. I definitely grew up around no nonsense parents and they ain’t play and I felt like I definitely took that and ran with it. I could appear the good girl and catch you off guard and come for you. It’s funny how all of these reality shows show this type of woman and I could have given any network major ratings before it became a style. Now I’ve stopped watching these shows and moved on from this behavior.

All of these things could be seen as negative. I could hear someone say why even tell people this?! Simple it’s what made me, ME! Flaws are a spice of life. Although the parts of me that are deemed negative, I’ve worked constantly on. This is how you have growth. When I could have read someone for filth but I have to eat it, I know that’s growth!! This doesn’t mean that I won’t ever tap into any of these parts when necessary. I will and do. If Natasha has to come out then so be it. She can make an appearance but she has to go back in the vault. I don’t live in negative spaces like it’s a full time job.

Oh and by the way even if you never blog about it, you too have to live with the private and public persona and challenges. You too have to make a decision to allow what’s made you over take you! We all are flawed I’m just the first to admit it!

So for today’s #tbt (throw back Toi) I can admit that my life has changed from my younger immature days. I am constantly proud of my life and I’ve come a long way when I was taking over from the 99 and the 00! (I know you read that in your best Juvenile voice)

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To church or not to church… your choice but heal from past hurt!

I get a lot of people are hurt by the church body. If you don’t understand what church body that means that 9 times out of 10 they went to a church who has left a bad taste in their mouth and now feel like the church as a whole has failed them. This isn’t one of these blogs that says you have to go to church. This is for the folks that I know that are like me who have been burned and want to go. So miss me with the whole “omg I don’t want to listen to a sermon.” That ain’t how this blog is rolling!

There are a lot of truth to the pain that folks have endured especially depending on where you go and who you are under. Every church body that identifies themselves as whatever they choose have certain rules and regulations that can be harmful for people who are hurting to begin with. I grew up in church all of my life. I’m talking about that bible study twice a week, usher meeting, choir rehearsal no family time on Saturday and all day Sunday type of church. Being a child and not able to govern what I wanted to do in the case of church or spirituality there were zero options. I was in the building even even I didn’t want to be.

A lot of principle I have taken with me. I choose now not to take like the be in the building every day principle. I think that is team too much but I don’t knock those who insists that works for them. I too have been burned by church folks aka the folks in the building. It’s no secret. I’ve had to block many of the folks I’ve once attended services on social media. Why? Real simple any time I’ve spoken on my experiences it’s been an issue. No harm no foul I get it they are deep in. Kudos to you. I choose to live with balance. I choose to make sure that with all of the hours of being inside of the building that my life outside of the building looks right on and off social media. Most importantly I am grown. As much as I want to blame God or the people in a particular church, I’ve since moved on from that target of pain. I still don’t deal with my old pastor however I have said my peace about it and him. I wish him well but he’s not my spiritual leader. There’s nothing wrong with that it is what it is.

Disclaimer: I have a lot of my home family and friends who will read this blog and would love to spin this into a thing. I have like a lot of my blogs edited it. I will not edit myself in person if you attempt to try me and make this into more than it is.

People we’re all in their feelings with gospel singer Le’ Andria went left but she spoke no lies it was her delivery that folks was up in arms over. We have to stop thinking that folks hurt and pain can be wiped away with a prayer alone with the ones who are out here hurting don’t take responsibility for their actions. Charity or love starts at home and needs to be brought back in the households of faith. If the world is hurting, surely coming from dysfunction into a spiritually dysfunctional place will not heal them just cause you use Jesus name. That was a word for some that didn’t catch it. Also leaders are flawed. Leaders are men and women and outside of Gods hand will do, and do things they shouldn’t. We got to stop setting these pastors on peddle-stools. A lot of folks know what the pastor said and none on what God says. We don’t even study we just go with the flow. We don’t ask questions because asking questions is disrespectful. This mindset is one tootsie roll to that of a cult!

I no longer use my old church, the folks in it and anything that happened while I was there in my youth to sway me from my spiritual journey. I used to use that excuse but after awhile even I had to come to the realization that folks is going to be them. If they off at home no wonder they spew offness over a whole congregation and their people live off lives outside the building. Listen I got a slew of flaws. I got folks that would be deaf to anything I say or do based upon old interactions. I could give them the opportunity to start over again but the reality is when folks don’t like you no matter what you say or do they won’t receive it! So I choose to live life in balance.

If you are struggling with going into the house of God or at least where man has placed his name, dont go back to the place that hurt you. You don’t have to vomit and go back to it! If you’re sick, there are a million and one other hospitals to go to. Find your spiritual path. Make sure not to drag the pain with you forever. I promise you, you can live a balanced life, and still find what you need.

To the past church members that I have offended let me say I’m sorry for my actions as well. However when I wish you well I mean it. To the ones who have offended me I have dropped the charges mentally and emotionally.

I know that Sunday morning plays all kinds of games on those who struggle to find their way! I am a living witness that you can move past pain that the good “church folks” have given you! It doesn’t have to end your church career. However I would caution you from church hopping to avoid what you left. I would employ you to deal with it. No matter how messy it is, or how painful it is. You deserve to be made whole and understand that may not come from the ones who hurt you! Don’t do like me and attend Bedside Baptist to avoid folks! Folks is folks they gon be them until the end of time. Find what works for you that is your initial direction. It’s not about having “itchy ears.” It’s about finding a place that will guide you and that won’t put a stamp of approval on your stuff but also isn’t afraid to admit when they too aren’t aligned and then do the work to get aligned!

Happy Sunday morning!!

Wholeness in all levels of life

It’s Summer time.  Ladies you are going to be hit on even more than before.  I don’t care if you have on a dress that looks like a curtain its coming. With Summer fling in the air let me help you wit a few reminders. We women are trying to “live our best life.” With that being said the concept that as long as you are connected to someone you have won mentality needs to be adjusted.  Single is not a death sentence and everyone you see married isn’t happy.  Wholeness is the move no who you are connected to.

Single and Satisfied

Ladies not being attached is a beautiful thing. However there is a lot of things that we need to be doing while you are single.  Let me help you now these are not the list of things to help you secure a man.  If you want to be with someone in due time it will happen.  There is no get a man quick theory to apply.  You will most likely find him as you live.  You have to get out of your home to find him or as the good book says he will find you.  You need to be out here living.  You not having someone to share moments with can be annoying.  However the one thing about being single is that you don’t have to check in with another person. You simply desire something, make a plan and execute that plan. Something that married women forget about.

If you haven’t traveled, gone on non church conferences that are simply about bettering yourself, taken a girls trip, solo trip, or just carved out “me time” you are living your single life wrong. The most common reason people complain about being single is because they are only focused on living this “life” attached.  Yes you get tired of being around your girls, or doing things on your own,  but half the time if you are only staying local I could see why. Change your environment. Go where the water is blue, explore your city, get out. Single doesn’t have to be boring unless you choose that for yourself. I’ll come back to my single lades in a minute.

Married and Miserable

News flash, not all married folks are miserable.  Married folks got struggles just like the single folks do.  People think, well you may have 2 incomes, a warm person to lie down next to you and bam life is solved.. Wrong. Some individuals spend so much time on getting with someone and less on themselves that they join just for joining sake. Just to have a new last name. Just to have a wedding. Just so they can be on social media frauding.  They have no sense on what it means to really join to another human.  They have no concept of being there for someone in their lowest state. They have no concept when the sex goes left and they start wanting more.  They have no concept when one person stops working or is unable to work. They have no concept of when you have kids in the midst and how hard it is to make this family structure work.

How about the times when you want kids and can’t?  These are the things that when you are single you think you are strong enough to handle until life happens…. Marriage is beautifully flawed. Most folks only see the glitter and gold but they have no idea the fire that goes to make gold shine. If you aren’t ready to commit to the bad then pause your desire to enter this lifelong commitment.

Ride or Die

When you hear Beyoncé tell Jayz that she’s her ride or die, does it make you feel warm and fluffy?  The concept of ride or die needs revamped.  Sometimes we ride for things that we shouldn’t.  You are not a rider in a marriage if you constantly deal with a cheating spouse.  You are not a ride or die just because you know he or she is lying but you stay just to show loyalty.  Things do happen.  Relationships are hard.  Sometimes you riding for the wrong team mate.  Let me say that real loud for the ones in the back, stop riding for the wrong team mate.  If you are unmarried the list of what you tolerate should be small.

Marriage sometimes makes you take  step back but even in that don’t be no fool.  How many times have I heard of a single person taking a boyfriend or girlfriend back and the question is why?  What have they done to earn that spot in your life?  What are they doing behind doors that makes you tolerate that?  Please understand that this pattern won’t get better over time.

Single, married, divorced, and separated the battle to move around in these statuses are overwhelming a lot of people.  Married people suffering all kinds of stuff in silence, single people losing their minds literally to be married, divorced people trying to do all kinds of things just to make their wife or husband they claim they don’t want suffer, is all too much.

Being with someone is great when you put the energy into being in your own skin that much better. Whole people coming together with another whole person makes a bomb power couple.  Being a whole person makes one bomb woman or man regardless if you are connected or not.  Being whole and getting over the hurt in your failed marriage will make you a better whole person instead of finding the mate you left in another form and complaining as if its everyone else’s fault that you haven’t done your inner work. Wholeness takes work.  It is a daily job.  The undertaking moves past doing only to attract.

The work goes into being happy all

around. This is why in some marriages one person can’t carry another miserable person. This is why in life, miserable people need not be overwhelmed with status but in inner peace.

Sunday Message: Keeping your Spirit Elevated

Now let me be clear being in high spirits is important. It’s the ability to move past how you feel even when you have low moments. It also means at moments when you fail, moments when you lose or experience loss, elevating your spirit is a necessary life skill. It takes a lot of energy to keep your spirit in tact. But the benefit of having your emotions pull on you which if unchecked can allow you to make bad decisions is necessary.

Elevating shouldn’t only be in happy times

If you’re peace and happiness can be altered only during great times you may need to reconsider that you have more work to do. Let’s not act like life doesn’t happen and any one of us can feel defeated, be defeated, or plain old need to retreat, but for the most part how we respond to the situations actually helps or hinders us! One of the things that separates the successful is that they don’t give up. That didn’t meant they didn’t have failure! They failed and kept their spirit in tact and kept pressing.

Check your thoughts

Even when you make mistakes your mind will keep replaying it over and over again like a broken record player. For millennials, it’s the equivalent of having a website buffer over and over again. You can’t get past or even elevate your thoughts if you allow negative thoughts to over take you. It’s counter productive if you’re trying to do better or be better in your life. You can acknowledge you could have done better or even find places where different choices is key but to beat yourself up mentally will not help you to the next phase. Check your thoughts. If someone played your thoughts on a large screen would you be proud of what they saw? Would you be okay with someone talking to in the same way? If not don’t talk to you like that and especially in your mind!

Plans change but it doesn’t have to break you

The perception of what you think you will do or want to do is great. It can set you up to move towards a goal. Keep in mind that it when things change or plans are altered even in the midst of your own foolishness it was necessary. We dwell on what should or could have happened.

I was supposed to be married by age…..

I was supposed to be working at abc company……

I was supposed to have a child by now….

These things can on the surface be a statement of acknowledging where we thought we would be but there is a small slope when we allow it to overtake us and then we go into pity party mode. Elevate. What are your new thoughts? What can you do to make new goals? What brings pure joy into your life on the daily? What can you do to help someone?

Acknowledge pain but don’t let pain reign in your body, mind, and definitely not in your spirit. Find ways to bring your thoughts higher! This may mean you getting to your higher power! Elevate from negativity by constantly cleansing from the inside out. You can’t elevate with hate in your heart! You can’t elevate while being mean to others. Work from the inside out, change your thoughts, pray or meditate daily, write in your journal, change those who you call friends, practice self care, and be vigilant about where you spend time whether with those who you are around, social media, etc.!

Photo Pop Philly: Instant Happy Place

As I get older and dig deep into self-care one of the pushes that I have been is for things that make me feel excited, and happy about life.  Long ago are the days where I sit at home waiting on others to attend things with me or waiting on others to be the source of my happiness.  I also find that I am attracted to the things that make me happy as well.  So bright colors, pretty things, quiet spaces at times, special lists, anything that makes me glitter with excitement I go after.   I have been working on my Summer to do list, and well…..

A few weeks ago I logged on to Instagram and noticed one of my absolute favorite blogger, realist, IT girl, etc. Demetria L. Lucas and she was in Philly.  All I saw was that she was in the same city and immediately got excited.  Now I didn’t see her but I did see that she was at Philly Photo Pop.  I looked through their Instagram site and fell in love with the colorful exhibits I knew I had to get there.

What is this Photo Pop Philly?

It is a pop up interactive photo experience.  It is an experience trust me.  you walk in and all of the displays from various artist are there for you to jump in, touch, and of course if you love bomb photos it’s an Instagram’s dream.  Kudos to the artist for all of their hard work.  I can’t draw or have an eye for such wonder but they really outdid themselves.  I enjoyed the brightly colored exhibits and I have photos for days to release at my disposal.  I literally think you should pop in.  They also have events throughout the Summer and you find it all on their website: Photo Pop Philly They will be around until the end of Summer so if I was you, I would gather your friends and head in. You will NOT be disappointed.  You may see me back, matter of fact I am sure of it!

I bought my tickets on July 3rd the same day there was a water main break.  Philly Photo Pop did not sustain any damage but they had to wait until the power was turned back on to continue allowing others inside.  They came back up and running but I had to wait for some space and time to open due to my schedule and today was the day.  I was greeted and had zero issues getting in.  I had my own poparazzi take my pics throughout the displays.  It was so magical and exciting.  I literally at every stand got happier and happier.  I got the full treatment.  My best place was the what inspires you board?  I wrote about setting an example and I can’t wait to share some new and super exciting things and additions to my family that is on the way.  Pump your breaks it ain’t kids!!! But it will be amazing!

Let me step back and tell you about how I went to the 4th of July celebration in Philadelphia and they had a miniature set up that my family and I was able to try.  The staff was outstanding. They were hands on and we were featured on their Instagram and Facebook page as well.

Stay in Your Lane

Happy Monday! Today is going to be filled with highs and lows. Keep in mind that you have to go into any day knowing that. However one thing that can set your week apart is to have empathy for all but stay in your lane. Folks personal lane is just what it is-personal. I learned the hard way as a kid to stay in my own lane. I had to know the tea and my mom made sure to remind me and when I would get caught up in someone’s lane she would remind me- stay in your lane!

Lane as gifts/talents

We all have gifts whether we use them or not. Often times we try to use gifts that were not given to us to do things not gifted to us. This is when you find at times the road being super hard. You are already going to have challenges even in your gifting do not pick up things in other folks lanes. If you’re not a singer, don’t tell another singer how to run their show! If you’re not a baker stop baking stuff for the company potluck. Stay in the lane God gave you even if it’s picking up the utensils!

History repeats itself

I took a good run yesterday and during it my oldest was using her scooter. She was struggling not because she lacked scooter riding skills but because she wouldn’t stay in her lane, concentrate, and stay the course. I kept telling her to stay in her lane. This was for her safety. Other kids were doing the same thing and she needed to see them and be seen. Eventually she got the message and was fine. I laughed to myself repeating the same things I wouldn’t receive!! I’m just glad for now my daughter seems to be semi more receptive. Shout out to every mom who hears and sees them after the fact!

Staying in your own lane is for your own safety sometimes. As I see the many folks that jump into lanes not made for them and then get mad when nothing comes from it, drama is started or just the inability to sustain it and another lane not made for them it becomes super apparent that staying in your lane is a life skill. This is why regardless of what is shown on social media everything ain’t for me to respond to.

While you’re in your work place, stay in your lane. Work and do what you have to and sometimes that means moving in silence. Everybody don’t need to know your every move. You don’t have to combat it all! Stay in your lane. See other lanes and keep yourself intact. If you are finding yourself getting upset over something that is in another person’s lane and it doesn’t affect you, take stock!

No I’m not talking about the stories on the news, I’m talking about folks personal lanes. Stay out of them and stay in your own lane! Today as you truck along, spend some time finding ways in which you can make your personal journey that much better. For the last few years my journey has been more on watching my mouth, correcting wrongs and being a whole woman! What’s your journey?! Focus more on that and stay in your lane!

Stop Wasting Your Weekends

It’s the weekend!!! You can begin to let your hair down.  You need to be doing the most of the things you need.  As much as blogging has me on social media a lot sometimes I dedicate on the weekend for a little cut back.  I only watch those things that I feel build me up, make me laugh, make me smile, etc.  I honestly feel that as much as social media can be a blessing it can also be a curse.  What I take in matters.  I also do my beauty reviewing or turn my bathroom into my spa.  Whatever you choose to do, make your weekends count.

Do not waste time giving energy to people who do not matter. If you have a friend that you know is a great waster of time, pencil them into the work week.  Leave your weekends to those whose energy levels match.  I have several girlfriends and some who do not all have the same energy as I do. I got a few who are down for anything. I got some who I have to be a little more patient.  I got some who they are the types that love to brunch and some are chill.  Whatever the occasion I love that my friends can be an oasis and on the weekends hanging with a few is super restful.  It’s renewing.  Its refreshing.  Weekends with good girlfriends make the weekend that much better.

If you are the type that finds that you need to let the friends rest a bit, then maybe some personal me time is right up your alley.  Find ways to make that alone time.  Here are a few things you can do:

  1. Spa
  2. Bed and Breakfast
  3. Curling up To a Read a Thon
  4. Shopping Trip
  5. Reorganizing a room, apt, house
  6. Long Bath
  7. Pintrest a few things
  8. Hair appointment

The list can be endless and be frivolous or as glamorous as you would like.  The point is refuel. You can let your creativity carry you wherever you desire.  Come Monday, the words of I did nothing unless nothing is what you desired should have taken place.

For me as an on the go woman, mom, and wife sometimes movie time with my fam bam and not having a schedule is all I need.  I am always planning and now I plan days of nothing.  I also do stuff where only my family are invited.  I will do a full themed party for us 5 to celebrate anything. I do Winter Solstice parties, Fall Preview dinners, anything creative and just for those in our house.  I put energy into them.  I make the meals surround the theme, decorate, the whole nine yards.  These types of events make me ecstatic.  I used to tell folks but now part of self-care is learning that if I post it, you will know if not sorry Charlie! Less is best.  I stopped doing full albums into my life and now just do snippets.  I love renewing with my family and that renews me.

Booed up is always a great way to wind up and reconnect.  It’s easy to go with life and just exist with your loved on, so maybe take some time to find an outing you both enjoy.  Commit to your outing.  If you are supposed to be dressed up, dress well. If it’s a game and more relaxed, be comfortable and enjoy it.  Yes I know money is an issue and one of the number one reasons couples can’t get out.  When you have been with your boo for a minute do not feel pressed to spend all the coins.  There are some awesome date ideas for going out or staying in.  Be creative! The memories created will mean the most and will be what you can lean on during hard times.

Summer is for outings.  All year is but if you choose to be miserable in the Summer I have concluded you may have this experience all year round.  Get out.  Learn to enjoy.  You know life is for living. I get tired of those complainers who take the joy out of the weekend.  If someone is happy to not have to be at work, let them.  If someone is happy to be a brunch with friends, let them.  Let people live.  If you want a glass of wine, enjoy it.  Do not waste your entire weekend with energy suckers or doing the things that will get you grounded for the work week.

Take some time to renew spiritually too.  This s most important.  You need something you believe in that guides you.  You need an anchor that when you can’t get together with friends, your money is funny on hitting an outing, or you feel depleted and can’t tap into self-care you can renew and open your mind and heart in the right directions.

Enjoy the weekend, Mondays come quick.  Don’t let it come and you find you have done nothing you wanted, or had time to enjoy it!