Monday Reset

Good Monday morning.  I know its hard to start your week off right on days when you don’t feel you are at your best.  Today is one of those super soaker rainy days when all you want to do is get in bed.  I right now want to be curled up in my bed with my laptop and a few magazines but life calls.

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I remember on days like today when I want to escape that Mondays are the beginning to the end of the week. I can’t get to Friday without starting my Monday off right.  I have a lot on my plate and that means that I need to push forward and pass how I feel.  I have to reset my thinking to crush these goals.  I still have to show up.  Above showing up on a Monday, I need to be clear.  As much technology that we have, I still thrive on to do lists.  I still thrive on writing down goals so when I complete them I can go to the next goal.  So with that being said, reset your thinking. I looked back at things that didn’t work last week and made changes according to what will set this week on fire. Is it getting up earlier and getting things done?  Is it preparing things differently?  Whatever that looks like for you, you have to do.  Your week and life depend on changed attitudes and mindsets.  So set yours on fire by shaking the Monday blues and getting clear on what you want to do and what it will take to get there!

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Off Days

I know we all have them.  The moments when things don’t line up just right.  The laundry you thought you had gotten out of the dryer is still in there, wet because you forgot to turn it on.  The days when you feed your kids and pour juice into someone’s bowl instead of milk.  Off days are crazy.  I feel like it takes 2 on days to compensate the one-off day you may experience.  However even in the off days you can look back laugh and thank goodness that you have your wits about you.

Off days are there to throw us to be honest.  They help you figure something that you may need to change especially if you are the A type personality such as myself.  It humbles you and lets you know you good but you could be greater.  Sometimes off days make you rest because I have had off days so bad that I say you know what, that’s it let me stop and take a break.  On those days I find myself just looking around trying to not be upset and quickly gathering my thoughts.

So if you are experiencing one of those days or will experience one of those days, try to take it in stride.  Try to allow some time to not be as frustrated.  Whatever is not done can wait.  Even for the type of person like myself who thrives on being on point, just know things will get done and things will pan out and you are going to be okay.

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We stress out over a lot of things and I get it.  But eliminate the pressure and stress you place on yourself and take things one at a time that you can.  You will have enough grace to get through.  Take a deep breath and you will get through!

 

Monday; New Challenge

So it’s a start of a new week and now a new month. Now that Easter is over which also means Lent is over, I want to propose a new challenge. The challenge is to stop negative self talk.

This means no more I’m fat, I can’t, etc! No more I’m not enough! Yes we ALL have something about us that we do not like. If you’re working on it or not we are going to push to stop the negative back talk. So trust me it’s going to be hard. But what I want you to notice isn’t just how much you are doing it but also how you feel after you eliminate it from your vocabulary.

If you have power in your tongue to either speak life or death then you can change how you view yourself, speak up or down to yourself, and how your negative talk influences your life. So I’m not suggesting that it will be easy especially if you find that you talk negatively often. Do not become frustrated as you realize it may be more than then you had anticipated. Don’t get frustrated and if you do don’t stop the challenge! Let’s complete the rest of April to get through it and make the necessary steps to live a healthier lifestyle.

What you don’t realize how bad it is to down yourself but get mad at others who do it to you. You must stop this cycle. Let me give you some examples:

This was taken from brunokone

It’s the negative self talk that we don’t reach our fullest potential. We hinder our blessings and our mental progress and sometimes our day-to-day progress.

So I challenge you to recognize this negativity to replace it with positive. You can do this as a mental challenge or you can write it down so you can go back later and reference the experience. Either way, let’s take charge and control in how we treat ourselves, speak to ourselves, and how we love on ourselves.

Women History Month: Everyday….We Stand Strong

Women aren’t to be celebrated only during the month of March.  They should be celebrated everyday.  We are the giver of life.  We hold things down.  We are strong. We are beautiful and complex. We are love in its best form here on Earth.  For that you don’t limit such celebrations to only one month.

Ladies celebrate yourselves daily.  I have been saying this and I mean no matter what degrees you have and what accolades you get, if you do not take care of yourself you are no good to anyone around you.  You will wear yourself thin operating from an empty cup.  Keep your wits about you. Say no to things when you can’t add another thing to your long to-do list.  You are not a yes woman.  It’s okay to let a few text messages go unanswered.  It’s okay to let a few calls and emails wait.  You are doing yourself a disservice if you feel you have to be ON all the time.  Take a bubble bath, take a 10 minute break, whatever you need practice some level of self-care daily. Yes there will be times when money is tight.  I haven’t always been able to sit at an expensive spa but I sure now how to turn a trip to the Dollar Store, Wal-Mart or Target and turn my entire bathroom into a spa for one while my kids slept to recharge.  I have had times when I turned into my own beautician and did what I had to do.  There are hard times.  Sometimes when your world feels like it’s crashing it gets difficult to look within.  However if you don’t everything around you will attempt to take you over. Say yes to you.

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Go after that degree that you have been putting off. It’s okay for you to be well-rounded. Will it be easy?  Absolutely not.  We get so excited when we read stories of women who are seasoned and still going after their educational goals.  Yes you could be the oldest in the room, but your degree will hang just like the young 20 something.  Go after it! Will it be hard as you strive towards that new career?  Possibly.  Imagine going to interview after interview only to be told no.  You invested, exerted time and energy only to feel like every door you touch is closing. Keep on going!

What about the woman who doesn’t want to have children?  The pressure for women to be life givers is crazy.  There are some women happy and content single or married not to have children.  What about the women who in our stories for this month lost a baby at 20 weeks.  I need you to understand that is devastating because at this point you are well showing, you have told people and on top of that you know the sex of the baby.  People are hurting all around us.  We are women have the power to really affect change in ourselves and our communities that goes past a #metoo movement.  We can make things easier for the women around us by what we accept, give our voices to, or stand up for.  Be wise.

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You are strong. You are beautiful.  You are confident and a force to be reckoned with! Celebrate yourselves and all that you have done in your life.  The good.  The bad. The ugly. The failures. The insecure moments.  The embarrassing moments.  The moments of regret. The moments you felt inadequate.  All of your messy moments. All of you for all of you and all of those crazy moments are going to push you to your best moments if you are open to it!

 

Women’s History Month; Cheryl A., an Update

Good day to all.  We have none other than Cheryl A. who is coming back to us with an update.  If you remember we interviewed her on March 3, 2016.  At the time a lot of her goals had not come into fruition.  Let’s see what Cheryl has been up to from 2 years ago.

I wanted to know what she would tell her younger self if she could go back in time:

GO FOR IT..your dreams are never too small.  Take the chance, explore the world, study abroad, go to school in another state or another country.  Be confident, walk with your head high, there is only one you and you are unique. You are not everyone’s cup of tea and that is ok.  Enjoy the people who love you for you.  Failure is a part of life but learn the lesson.   Learn yourself, love yourself, become a whole person.

A recurring theme with all of these blogs are little nuggets on areas such as life, love, and career. These areas are some of the most thought about moments of our lives.  I wanted to know what Cheryl’s take on each:

Life-I could go on and on about this topic! Life has thrown me so many curveballs from death, health issues, relationship drama (friends, family, work, etc..).  Life has taught me to own my stuff.  If you are wrong admit it and resolve it if possible.  However, life has taught me that no matter how much you own your stuff there will always be the naysayers.  Some people just don’t like me and I’ve learned to finally accept that. Gone are the days where I wanted people’s acceptance.  I have learned to live my best life and not live beneath my capabilities to make others comfortable.  I’ve learned to accept the apologies I will never receive.  I’ve learned that verbal abuse and toxic people are real and I will not allow that in my life.  I’ve learned that I do not have to prove my forgiveness.  I’ve learned that no matter what positive changes you make in your life, someone will always hold you to the “I remember when” of your past.  I’ve learned to that people will show you and in my case tell you how they feel about you, through that I’ve learned to be okay with it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so I have accepted what I’ve been shown and told and have moved one.  So of course, those relationships ended and some will never start.  I refuse to be in one-sided relationships, so if I’m the one doing all the calling, reaching out, scheduling, etc..that will no longer work for me.  The end of 2017 resonated some things in me and I knew that 2018 had to be different for me. I’m talking different in the way I navigate life and situations.  My circle has always been small, but I am no longer giving front seats to my life nor allowing situations to move me.  I’ve learned to be confident not cocky, humble but not a pushover.  I’ve learned to take my power back. 

So I am sure there were a few things you could have gotten from those words. Think about not giving front seats to those who don’t deserve it.  You go out of your way to be there for others or people have an expectancy that they don’t do in return.  You have to be careful of the energy you give.  You can not operate from an empty cup.  Keep your cup full!

Love-This year will be 10 years of marriage! It’s amazing to even last this long.  My marriage has had its share of troubles over the years and moving 1200 miles within 30 days didn’t make it any easier.  However, I wouldn’t change anything.  Marriage has taught me unconditional love, friendship and compromise.  Yes, marriage takes work but it’s only hard if you make it hard.  I can admit that at times I made things unnecessarily difficult.  See the problem was, I wasn’t my own complete person. I fell into the trap of he has to be this and that to me when reality is I’m responsible for me and my own happiness.  I had the degrees, job, friends, etc…but there was still a void, a void that my husband could not fill nor was it his responsibility to fill.  I had to get real with myself and get to my real issues and deal with them.  The key for me was to take responsibility for myself and God will work everything else out.  Marriage is a commitment, so if you are committed you will face the challenges and do the work to keep that commitment.  Curveballs will be thrown in the form of family, finances, friendships, etc..but you need to pick your battles wisely.  Every battle isn’t worth the fight and some battles are won with silence.  Be mindful of who or what you allow in, everyone or everything doesn’t get an automatic pass because of who are what they are in your life.   There are boundaries that should never be crossed and ultimatums should never be given.

Career-All you need is ONE yes.  It doesn’t matter how many times you hear no, keep on pressing.  If it’s a no, that door is not for you so stop knocking on it.  My journey to a new career took 6 years.  I had faith and I worked my faith, completed many applications, traveled to various cities and states for interviews, did video interviews, essays, tests, etc…and I heard no for 6 years.  Disappointed and frustrated but I pressed on (thanks to the people who supported me and didn’t give up on me when I wanted to give up).  Those 6 years was a process I had to go through, lessons I had to learn.  Relationships that were restored and some that needed to be ended.  I remember my former Pastor, Alex Rivera saying “A blessing too early is a burden.”  I didn’t get it then, but I get it now.  My blessing in my new career was already there and set up by God BUT 6 years ago, I wasn’t mentally, emotionally or spiritually prepared. Being unprepared would have resulted in my blessing being a burden.  So I’m grateful for the journey and the lessons I learned along the way.  I won’t lie and say it’s been smooth sailing, but I will say that when everything is done in order and you embrace the journey and the lessons, it was worth the wait.

She has waited 6 years to step into her dream job.  What will your future look like?

I would like to say retired, but I have 19 years until that happens. I hoping that at least a full girls/my bestie trip will finally happen (YES that was shade)! Seriously, I do plan to work hard to see where this career is going take me. I know I am now in a position with many opportunities and I plan to take advantage of that.  I plan to build both my professional and personal networks. 

As I stated, I was on a new career path that started back in 2011 and didn’t come to fruition until 2017.  You may think the accomplishment is working as a Lancaster County JOP for 12.5 years and now working as a USPO in Miami, Florida is the accomplishment.  In a way it is, but the biggest accomplishment is, that I didn’t give up.  Many times I wanted to throw in the towel and just settle for what was and has been for 12 years.  Comfortability and complacency is easy.  Taking a risk like moving from everything you have always known to a place where you know nothing or no one but your husband.  Not being able to fully embrace the greatness in the career chance because you are questioning is this the right decision? What if it doesn’t work? What if I don’t like it? How do I start over?   Self doubt, fear, worry, etc..starts to creep in…BUT again, I didn’t give up, I just kept pressing through.  So 9 months later, here I am, still pressing through and it has gotten easier with time.

Hubby and I have some business ventures in mind, I won’t go into detail, but they are there and we are committed to seeing them through.  As some know, I am also an Adjunct Professor, I want to get back to as well.  A short term goal I have is to go parasailing and hubby and I are going to concur that on our anniversary trip.

What are your feelings on the #metoo movement?

As a Criminal Justice Professional for almost 14 years, I have been able to provide a non-judgement zone.  I continue to be a listening ear, a liaison and a person of support.

Self love is always my goal for my readers.  How do you practice self love?

Self-love for me is the basics, regular hair appointments, trips to the nail salon, reading to expand my mind and overall enjoying the life that I have been given.  As previously stated, I also avoid drama and toxic people.  It doesn’t matter who you are, if my experience with you has been drama or toxic, you will not be a part of my life. I can be respectful and cordial, but that’s all I have to offer you.  I’ve learned to be okay with whatever is, meaning, if I don’t hear from that person, if I don’t get included, if people talk about me, if people still want to  live in the “I remember when” of my life, I’ve learned to accept it.  Self Love is knowing that I am no longer that person and I love my self enough to know that being tied to the past is contrary to where I am going.  Self Love is embracing those that have shown that despite whatever has transpired they will always be there to support me, lift me up and celebrate me.

Thank you Cheryl for using your voice.  I hope that you are enjoying your new career and I wish you much success!!!

 

Daily Women Crushers

As we continue to celebrate women’s history month, I want to shout out all women who are crushing their dreams.  Wednesdays are designated as #WCW or women crush Wednesday.  However daily women are failing, dusting themselves off and getting back out there and making it all happen.

Single women who are lonely and longing for relationship and finding ways to enjoy their single days and taking trips, starting businesses, becoming sound individuals without someone in their company. Those are daily women crushers.  They want to be with someone but aren’t allowing the lack thereof to stop them.  Until love finds them, they are out here making life happen for them under their own guidance, salute.

To the married woman who gives daily to her husband and attempting to be united, you are a daily woman crusher.  People think that marriage is a cure-all but it’s not.  It’s hard work to put someone else above your own.  It’s a union that actually makes you confront a lot of who you are or who you think you are.  Marriage is being there for someone and trying to keep the spark going regardless if that woman is tired or not, salute.  FYI the same should be done from her husband towards her.  If you find you are in a one way marriage, there are a few talks you and your husband need to have.

To the mother who is tired and feeling overwhelmed and still continues to get up before her house, getting things in order, and making it look effortless, you are a daily woman crusher.  To the days when those around you takes you for granted, and forget to say sorry or appreciate what you done, salute to you.  Salute to you when you lose yourself and literally have to pick yourself up before you can give again, salute to you.  Salute to you as you endure your body going through hell and back to deliver, salute to you.  Salute to you as you almost sometimes die on those tables waiting to hear that first cry, salute to you.  Salute to the women who have lost life many times and feel like their worth is tied to being a mother and can’t.  We salute you.  Just know that is a real pain. A real fear.  A real cry.  A real emptiness and I stand behind you and with you.

To the business woman who has to have her work checked twice just because she doesn’t have the same “member” as those on her team, salute to you.  Salute to the woman who is making moves after she was denied financing, salute to you.  Salute to the woman whose ideas failed many times before it took off, salute.  Salute to the woman who while accomplishing her goals, had the very folks who now want to stand with her after the fact and those same ones laughed, talked about, and ridiculed for that venture to pop, salute!

To the woman who has or is facing many demons and finding herself alone as she pushes towards getting her life together.  The ones that seem and feel like constant failures while others around her is flourishing.  The ones who say why not me too but they seem to be saying this only to themselves and there is no one around who understands you.  We salute you.  We get it.  We understand because as a woman regardless of what we have all accomplished we have all been public goals and secret failures.  Trust the process, understand that it will work out. Even in the dark, there will be light.  At the second you go to fail, you find a solution. At the moment you decide today is the day you will give up, light shines.  You are purpose and you were created for purpose.  The world has something that you have inside of you.  We salute the process of growing in the dark with limited water and resources.  The best flowers sometimes have thorns but are the prettiest in the end.  Don’t give up!

Women’s Month, Year of the Woman: Erica M!

This Year the theme is the Year of the Woman.  This is not a theme that I made up but is the theme of Woman’s Month all around the world.  We have celebrity women who are speaking up and this is so awesome to have.  Now I feel like I need to give the voice of the everyday woman.  The single mother trying to make ends meet, the married woman trying to balance it all, the career woman trying to make it up the ladder without having to drop her panties along the way, and all of the women in between. Women are beautiful and strong beings.  Like Beyoncé says, we have the kids and get back to business.  Women can do it all, have it all, and this year and beyond are looking out for the next generation so our daughters and granddaughters don’t have to say #METOO!
In addition to that we have to showcase regular women because we have a voice and power too.  We are women who have been married, some divorce, some single, some moms who are all making their marks in this world.  They are giving back to their communities, keeping families together, raising families with and sometimes on their own, completing college, making their and other people around them better.
Erica M.is the oldest of 3 siblings, a single mom of two daughters ages 16 and 13, raising their 19-year-old sister which she considers her my own (oh yes the headaches :).  She currently works for a financial institution going on 23 years and attends college a few months shy of earning her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in hospitality. Erica is a social bean and loves to spend time with family, friends and herself. Yes she enjoys time with herself including scheduling days off to do some of the things she enjoys.
Some times as we get wiser we often think back on the times of our younger days.  We wonder what lessons could we go back and tell our younger selves.  I asked Erica what her lesson would be to a young Erica back in her day:
I would tell my younger self not to rush through life, marriage and family. All these things will come in perfect timing. Enjoy your childhood go play in the park instead of worrying why your parents are fighting. Enjoy being a teenager and do teenager things like hang out with your friends, focus in school and don’t worry about adult things and in your young adult years explore and venture out don’t worry about putting your life on hold for others. 
Being a mom myself I often ask myself during times when I am with them what lessons I want them to get.  My daughters are young so of course I try to keep it in perspective but I asked Erica what she wanted her daughters to know in life, love and career.
Life – It flies by very quickly and has many stages so take hold of the present and worry about tomorrow when it gets here.
Love – Don’t rush, force or look for it because it can lead to failure. Love is natural and will happen when you least expect it. 
Career – Let your heart and passion lead you to career of choice not money. Go hard to be the best in that field regardless of what it is.  
So what has Erica accomplished so far:
  • Purchased her home at the age of 19
  • When back to school during a separation with my then husband
  • Bouncing back from having to file for bankruptcy
  • Having the means to support my daughters alone
  • Working for the same company for 23 years and I am only 40 years old
  • Instilling in my daughters the meaning of faith
  • Working my way up to a Co-lead for a team at church
  • Stayed focused on my weight loss. About a little over a year ago I was a size 24 (extremely tight) and now I am wearing a 18 -20.
First of all congrats on all of your accomplishments Erica! Let me just add from this list, there was failure. You have had to made bad credit decisions to have to file for bankruptcy but…..she now owns a home.  She now can financially support her girls on her own. Did you catch that?  Sometimes we fail but if we KEEP on going, we will come out of top.  So if you are a woman who is struggling with any failed relationship, bad credit or anything that you DEEM negative, the only way it stays that way is if you allow it.  Kudos to you Erica!!
 Even with all of the great accomplishments that Erica has already done, I wanted to know where she sees herself in 5 years:
This is always a difficult question to answer because our vision changes over time but as of right now. I want to see myself in 5 years living for me and not others, in a position of choice with work and not must, and enjoying life with my girls, family, friends and maybe with a new-found love.
Now the #METOO movement is something that didn’t start on the internet.  It started from women getting tired of being sexually abused, harassed or assaulted.  The Internet made it easier for women to band together.  Women have been seen as accessories in times past.  This is why often times they are not believed or if they are to be believed they are seen as the one who agitated their aggressor.  I do NOT want myself or other women and God help me, my daughters to have to say METOO!
I asked Erica what the #METOO movement meant to her:
 The Me Too movement is a great organization that helps those that were or are being sexually assault or harassed. They provide support, ways to speak up and remind you that you are not alone. Finally and hopefully people can start feeling more comfortable in speaking up because they are not alone. I plan on using this movement to reassure my daughters that if they are ever made to feel uncomfortable to please speak up. It is not their fault of someone else’s actions.  
Finally I wanted to know about what the future holds for Erica:
Things that are on my heart that I look forward to crushing is
  • Continue losing weight and getting fit for myself. There are things that I want to do but have weight restrictions. I don’t want to be restricted of nothing I want to do.
  • Work on my bucket list which would lead to enjoying my life
  • Be in a position in my career were there is still passion and have it not be just work
  • Utilizing my event planning skills to plan family trips as family time is so important to me
 Anyone who has been reading my blogs knows I am a huge pusher of self-care.  I want everyone especially my ladies to work from a full cup instead of this notion that they must work until there’s no working in them left.  To keep giving from empty cups and stop caring of what others think about them taking time for themselves.  So Erica, what do you do for self-care:
  • I read a lot of inspirational books such as a Woman’s daily prayer, Too blessed to be stressed, and a moment for your soul. There are many days that I feel down and out, wondering why me, or when will my prince charming come. These books remind me of my purpose now and to remain focus on today.
  • I have a journal that I am writing to my future self. In the book I write things that I want to do but afraid to do, mistakes I did today that may affect tomorrow or areas that I want to change that will benefit the future me, Honestly it helps me stay focus on doing things for me today because I don’t want to let down the future me.
  • I try to exercise daily and make conscious decisions when eating because the more weight I lose the more I feel good about myself.

Thank you to Erica for pushing through when life knocked you down many times, raising your daughters with respect and love, and making sure that while you are there for others that you keep yourself your priority.  Good luck on your continued blessed journey!

 

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