Sunday Message: Get Some Discernment

Discernment is the ability to see and hear beyond what people do and say. Discernment is necessary in dealing with others. It’s the link behind knowing when to walk away, leave a situation, proceed, or caution yourself. It’s like having the answer within you.

Discernment is the principle in making and living in healthy relationships, knowing when to make a business venture, or if you should continue in whatever goals you have on your plate. When you lack discernment often times you end up in situations that could have been avoided but it’s like you missed major cues. This is why you need it. The time and energy you save having discernment is necessary in life.

It’s like a compass and an alarm. I listen more when people talk. Discernment will slow their words down and reveal their true intentions if and only you slow yourself down to tap in. An example I was with a friend who I thought was a friend I should say. That friend suggested that we attend an event. As I listened more that friend suggested we “bump” into another friend. Had I not been listening I would have ran into an altercation. Something on the inside allowed me to not ignore the warning signs. That “friend” wanted me to help them ambush someone they were having an issue with.

Not that I couldn’t be a wingman, the issue was bigger than that. This “friend” didn’t even value me in that moment. They needed me to fight and didn’t even have sense to warn me before hand. FYI that “friend” became an immediate associate and ended up getting in trouble behind the situation. She went on pure emotions and had I been there I would have gotten in trouble too. And the higher issue had to do with a man and that I was getting cues when she kept talking but wouldn’t pinpoint why she was mad to begin with.

Discernment saved me from a situation that I might have even been blamed fully on since the non friend wasn’t the most loyal person to begin with. I attempted to use my discernment to warn the non friend but she wasn’t in the place to hear. Keep in mind you can miss cues when you’re not aligned to hear the message.

If you lack discernment, it’s in you. It’s around you. It’s within your grasp. You have to clear out some of the clutter of your mind and heart. I know people who can see other people’s issues but can’t see their own. It’s possible to live like that however discernment is mostly for you. It’s your life guide in this world. It’s the voice of reason and halt. Get you some discernment! There’s not a place that discernment can’t be applied.

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Ask Toi: My Estranged parents keep asking me to move my vow renewal date. How do I just stick to my date?

The reader for today is already married and is having a vow renewal. She has changed the date several times and the parents have made reasons to move the date…..

Well you’re estranged for a reason. That reason isn’t a push to keep your date but you should consider the why. When it comes to dates for major events I can see why you attempted to accommodate them. They are your parents. However people will attend that want to attend. If there asking to move the date isn’t about something life threatening I would sit down with your husband and pick a date and stick to it.

Depending on the vendors you can’t move it once selected. Since you are married you and your husband need to choose and unfortunately those who can be there will. As much as you want to make sure they are there the reasons that you gave that they asked you to move don’t seem valid.

Moving the date to accommodate treatment for life saving measures, someone else in the family has already secured the date, or it’s not a date you do not want are reasons to change.

You said your estranged parents want to relax on a date you have given to me to not sound justified. I don’t know the full extent of your relationship but most parents will be at their child’s wedding or vow renewal. If you have changed it and you say they just didn’t like the date, you need to go ahead select a date and move forward.

If you aren’t able to say this is our date start out with reminding them you changed it several times to accommodate them and it isn’t working. Keep in mind you could just send the invite and go from there. You are married and although you want them there it isn’t required and it doesn’t reverse the marriage you are already in.

There could be a number of reasons as to why they are avoiding the date. You can ask. Hopefully they will be forthcoming. Talk from that point. It’s unfortunate that you have this going on but know within yourself you have tried. Make your plans and enjoy the process of getting the wedding you didn’t have a chance in the beginning. Unless they are offering to pay they at this point of numerous accommodations need to attend and be supportive. I was always taught he who has the gold makes the rules. Since you and your husband are paying for it in full, speak to him and make the day about you and his love. Hopefully your parents shake their excuses and be apart or they will have to continue the estranged behavior and you can tackle the real issues outside of this renewal/celebration.

Try to get them to separate the issues before the renewal celebration from the actual day.

Good luck!

Bday Weekend Recap

I had a great birthday not doing a whole lot. Since attending so many events I find relaxing is my number one go to. A night filled with good food, a workout out, adult juice and quiet works for me.

I spent my birthday working only a half a day. No half day in the office and a half day at home working, straight half day working period. Once home with the kids I took a shower and my husband brought me my order from Hip City Veg. It was my first time as I continue to add vegan restaurants to my line up. I ordered the smokehouse burger (vegan), sweet potato fries with sriracha sauce and the birthday cake non dairy milkshake.

Smokehouse burger

birthday cake milkshake

Vegan or not this meal was amazingly everything and more. I love great tasty food. I wanted my birthday night to be calm. I did manage to get a workout in so I felt even better! After eating and a few adult drinks I happily fell asleep! My night was made!

Shout out to Go Vegan Philly for making me another amazing vegan cake! I had more cake than I could ever have. I haven’t had cake especially vegan cake since the big switch! I definitely have made up for past times. You can definitely insert the Rihanna song!!

vegan vanilla cake

Saturday I finally was able to attend my son’s soccer game. I didn’t even realize how busy I had become how I hadn’t attended my son’s game for this season! He did amazing by the way!

My husband arranged for my girl friend and I to have dinner together at one of my new faves, True Food Kitchen! What I love about them is their seasonal rotating menu. Since the last time I was there for Valentines Day weekend, there were different meals present for me to choose without feeling like I was only limited to the same options. I have to shout out Marques for working covertly with one of the besties, Kyla to make it happen!

Vegetable soup

Hey Kyla

kiwi mousse with strawberry

I’ve gotten a lot of amazing gifts this birthday and so much of my friends who knew my heart! I’m honored that I was thought of. I’m grateful for an amazing weekend which ended with a little trip to Ulta and ended with a bubble bath, a good book and I was in bed on Sunday by 8pm. If that wasn’t the most peaceful weekend I don’t know what was?

Never forget to sign up for birthday rewards! And brand that you already utilize and patronize, should be your number one go to. I love getting freebies or discounts on the very things I already use or will use!

Until the next one…..let’s get this personal New Year going!!!

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!

 

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!