Power in the Clouds…..

So I am feeling a lot better. I was under the weather taking care of my sick husband and I ended up getting what he had.  I do not think it was the flu as I was able to recover a lot sooner than he did.  I am grateful for being able to have a little down time but now as I get better its time to work.

There has been a lot going on in the world. So let’s dive in. I  was able to catch the 60th Grammy Show this past Sunday. There were a lot of great performances and of course the Me Too movement continues on as it should.  I haven’t made a public statement on it but it’s about time that these men who are using their power against women be stopped.  So many women endure so many things ranging from sexual harassment to rape to get ahead or simply exist. I wish above all that young ladies and women weren’t subject to this type of behavior.  It sickens me to think of my own daughters having to endure such abuse in any form.  However the down side to it too is that there will be a few women use this movement for the wrong reason. My prayer is that all women would be safe no matter where they are.  Shout out to all the ladies in the world taking a stand in public and in private! May the fight continue!

Image result for janelle monae me too

So I wasn’t able to do a Sunday message or a Monday motivation message due to me not feeling well.  Let me say that discouragement is always around us no matter what.  It’s hard to do but we must all constantly check the messages we surround ourselves around.  What we listen to and entertain is super important.  No matter what type of journey in life you are on, discouragement is always in our faces.  Look at how the world is shaped, you log onto your computer and negativity is always present.  I try my best to be sure that I change what I take in and especially what my kids take in. I shield my spirit first.  This way I can assist them in what they need.  Be careful to clean up your social media actions.  Stop debating with everyone. Everything ain’t a fight. Sometimes letting someone have that last word is necessary for your own growth. Do you know how many people get off on saying they told you off? A LOT. Let them eat cake! You got enough time on your hands to build you.  You don’t always have time to build others.  I am not saying don’t be inspirational, I am saying your cup has to be full.  Drink from your cup.

I find that the mind is the playground of excuses too.  Sometimes you are having a bad day not because of the outside elements but because your mind is telling you something is going to be a certain way.  Doubt and fear are festering in an unchecked mindset.  You and you alone have the power to check that.  So check it! This may be a Tuesday but to someone they struggled hard during their Monday not because it was a Monday but because they are overwhelmed emotionally and spiritually and feel lost. Feeling lost is real.  It’s a feeling of despair.  It robs you of joy and happiness and it makes you scared.  Fear is debilitating. I have felt that pain many times.  That pain that makes you want to stay in bed and cry.  Getting up is easy but hard at the same time but you have to get up.  This isn’t just in the physical sense but the mental and emotional sense of the word too.  Whatever you lack can be fixed.  It can be achieved.  It is there inside of you.  Just do what you feel you must and try. If you woke up your answers are going to come to you as you make moves.  You were given a unique opportunity to make today better than yesterday.

I have had times when trying was all I had and then something happened, I got stronger. I had one situation line up and then slowly sometimes like a crock pot slow, things lined up.  It wasn’t a fast fix.  It wasn’t a microwave, convenient fix, it was a slow fix. The light didn’t shine when I woke up, sometimes only a few clouds move. If you are there you know what I am talking about.  The same power that comes in the sun is the same power in the clouds. never forget that!  Be encouraged today and everyday!



I was therefore I am…own your …. edition

So we are in the New Year and so many of us are trying to be positive and make change. With that in mind we have to be honest about what we have done or do that contribute to some of the bad things in our own lives.

This isn’t the blog to make sure you slide this into the one who hurt you email. No this is a self-reflection blog to own your own crap. As much as others have been disrespectful I too have shown disrespect. Did you hear that? So not for nothing on some we all have mess either. I mean times when the things that I have done have contributed to mess at various points in my life. We like to talk about the glow up but don’t talk about the drama that had to unfold before we became the version of who we are.

I’ll use myself as an example since I’m best at talking about me. My mouth is sharp. I try to lay low but if stirred I can be a beast. It took a long time of learning how to speak up instead of holding things in. This holding things in have caused me to leash out and cut off various people. Now the verdict is still out on whether some of those relationships will be fixed or stay the way they are now but honestly I was a cause of the death of them or at least played a part in it. I won’t dismiss what was done to take all of the blame but will I will say is I was in control or not in control of myself and my responses.

I talked openly about a friend I had who called me one New Year’s Eve hollering at me about how much better I was and how she wanted my life. First of all I have a good life but nothing to be envious about. After her hollering phase oh which was so loud I had to place the phone down on my bed to even hear, I let her have it. And it’s like why give that energy?! End of day I saw things beforehand and never checked it. I could have ended things amicably. I could have hung up and not answer her and let it die naturally. I had to own that my personality struggles with having the last word. Once stirred I won’t back down.

Going into a new year one thing you have to acknowledge is if you were bad with money and planning then yes the reason you’re displaced has to do with that issue. We can’t keep blaming others for our issues. Sis, just say you are bad with finances and find ways to fix it. If you and your husband aren’t putting in the work to make a marriage that is healthy, full of life, good sex, and strong then don’t blame others when it goes flat. Own your part like you want him to own his part. If you date the same type of man don’t get mad at the man, own your crap on what you attract.

Owning your crap will make you solid. It will even if you can’t use damage control over the past will make you better for the future. Owning your crap is hard work. It hurts. Sometimes it’s lonely. I’ve been the bad friend who wanted to change and then got mad when others needed to see change longer to accept me. Yes if you’re owning your stuff not everyone will believe you. You will still be the messy chick (or man), liar, cheater etc that they think you are to them. You can’t say oh well I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. Is your change for them? Maybe your relationships needed vamping. In the midst of that good came from that season.

You have to own it instead of pointing fingers out. Point in. Trust me when you do and after time when others still point it out just shake your head like you’re right that WAS me. I don’t believe that I have a right to say how long it will take others to “believe me,” but I won’t sit around waiting on the blessing of approval. Plain and simple you can be better and walk away.

So this year don’t cut people off to get them to approve your life. Cut them off cause the relationship no longer is positive. Be open for conversation. I think and believe that there will be dialogue this year. I’ve already had one person reach out and I have chosen to let them know I wish them peace but that doesn’t mean I will be open to a relationship. Being cordial costs me nothing but restoring it back to what it once was can’t happen because I’m no longer that person.

Own your crap. Own your bad decisions. Own that you got work to do. In addition to owning it, keep working even when you get no apology. Keep working even on days you’re lonely and feel isolated. Keep working on you even when it sees you are being punished. Heal. Healing is one of those things that no one can take from you. When you see them and nothing moves you. Healing when you see them and you’re not defensive. Healing when the past isn’t the only conversation you have. What still has you, you talk often on. Don’t give others that power. Shift that power and be better.

Also be okay with silence. Be okay with the deadness when relationships shift. I think that’s hard we all want to be connected. I found that I had to see connections differently. In this last year I’ve grown some amazing relationships. Often times they didn’t mirror what I initially had in my mind it would look like.

Also while owning your crap, drop the charges. This doesn’t mean don’t remember them. It just means in comparison to the world around leave it be. Walk away if you choose to and be solid in your decision.

Own your crap this year, do the work to be better, stop giving negative people your energy, find ways to fix the underlying problem, and be solid as you transition from the old you to the new you!

Lastly make this year your best year! You are in control and you don’t have to do anything you don’t want and you don’t need approval. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Send peace even to relationships that may never mend. Keep pushing even when you feel alone or isolated or punished. Own your stuff!!

How many days for Your Yes?

So I wanted to get this blog all ready for motivational Monday but life is funny. Between the kids being out of school for all but one day last week, they ended up with a half a day yesterday. This left me time to get to work to get some crucial items accomplished and then back home in preparation for the icy conditions that was on the way. Now I’ve been sick lately with some type of cold or mini flu like symptoms. Depending on how severe the symptoms it can be a cross better that and SARS.

Yes I work with medical professionals and I am aware I don’t really have SARS but I call any coughing, sneezing etc SARS.

I was reflecting and looking back on my 2017 fitness planner. I have several planners I’m sort of a planner junkie. In my planner I kept track of all the days I worked out and which ones I didn’t. The ones I didn’t thankfully didn’t outweigh the ones I did but any fitness goal that wasn’t completed could be found in my no workout days. I’m not talking about the rest day. I’m talking about the days I set out to workout and didn’t. It could be I was too tired, the kids, whatever but they were days I didn’t honor my own dedication. Those are the days where I didn’t put me first. Those were the days where I have no excuses!

How many of those days do you have? You can say I’m just too tired but let’s keep it 100, you didn’t go to bed on those supposed tired days. You were up watching television or scrolling on your phone or device. It wasn’t the kids because eventually they went to sleep. It wasn’t sickness because even in sickness unless you’re in the bed for real you’re doing things that are contrary to your condition. So why so many no days? Is it laziness? Is it that your goal is in the back of your mind but not in the front? When it’s in the front you’re always actively doing something that contributes to that goal? If you were getting married in 6 months you would be daily, weekly, and monthly about your business. You wouldn’t just sit and then wedding day wake up crying about what’s not done knowing you put no energy to getting it done.

What about finding a new job? Looking for a new job is a full time event. How much are you really working towards that goal? How about travel? How much have you saved? Are you searching flights? Set alarms for flights? Researching how much it will cost once you reach your destination? Letting go frivolous spending to offset your cost? What about finances? Are you pulling or subscribing to getting your scores monthly? Are you paying bills off accordingly! Are you leaving your credit card at home and only using it for emergencies? Are you saving towards an emergency fund?

Each question asked is about you. You set the tone in how your body responds to you. If you have diabetes you can’t eat and drink what you want and then wonder why you can’t get off of insulin. You set the tone for health complications. You set the tone for a rise or decline in your credit score. You set the tone in how others treat you. Change the tone. Even if you have fall off days if you set the tone it won’t outweigh the on point days!

How much is your goal worth? Will you be happy or disappointed in each month or quarter of this year? Some may still be walking in the disappointment of last years failed goals! Shake that off and make daily choices to step into the right goals!

It’s true you have the same 24 hours as the next person. What you do with them sets you apart!!

I feel a Whole Lot Better

Today I had the honor of attending the Black Girls Run brunch where we celebrated our 2017 accomplishments of run, health, and fitness. Many of the women ran themselves from needing medication to control diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Some ran themselves into smaller versions of themselves and even ran past other complications as I did the same.

I posted on my personal Facebook how I was over 225 pounds this time last year. I was awarded for completing the 5k today! I still feels the chills of that race. That race although smaller in comparisons to triathlons or marathons signaled how I made a decision to be a better version of myself. I didn’t give up, trained, worked hard and completed that race!

When I was in high school and college I ran to reduce stress. I was already super active. My weight was never an issue. Shopping for clothes was a breeze until after college, life and my second child. With my first child I lost more weight than I gained and was already smaller than my pre-pregnancy weight before my 6 week check up. It’s the second child that I ate just to eat. Add the stress of moving, being a stay at home mom and laziness I didn’t drop the weight. I then lost weight at one point, got a new job and guess what? Got pregnant with the 3rd. I was devastated if I’m honest. Not at the new baby but because I wasn’t ready to embark on the journey because I didn’t feel I had attacked my emotional reasons for my eating.

Depression and not caring for myself led me to being over 225 pounds. I hadn’t seen that weight since being pregnant and here I was at this weight with no one to blame but myself. I kept saying after I would run into someone from my past and they would say Girl what happened that I would lose but I didn’t. I had a few older church members staring me down at almost 225 and instead of using it as a wake up call I just said well I’m still smaller then you. I was so misplaced. I should have been able to work hard instead of trying to compare myself to anyone else.

Fast forward to stepping on a scale at work at the end of 2016 and being humiliated. I had to come to terms that honey, I was big. I wasn’t pregnant and no longer nursing and there was no more excuses. It was hard! For the first month I struggled. It wasn’t until I looked in the mirror naked and saw the weight loss for the first time like wait, girl your little dimple is back! You do only have one neck that it became easier to push even when the workouts got harder.

Today at the BGR Brunch I’m like whew you saved your life! You took your weight back and gained confidence. You ran, enjoyed food right, and you worked and continue to work harder! So although I’m still toning my body and continuing to push myself, I’m grateful for meeting the women in BGR. Although they came at the middle of my journey they will forever hold a special place in my heart. I have yet to meet one mean member. On runs they push you. If they see you get tired, they encourage you to finish with no short cuts!

So as 2018 continues to show itself, I plan to work harder, eat well, travel, attend more events and step it up from the 5k to the 10k!! Why not?! I can do anything!!

If it ain’t funny, ain’t no LOL!!

So let’s dive right in. Sometimes you are stuck between being yourself which may include being vocal or direct and then when you’re working on yourself to be a better person you second guess yourself. Something so simple can make you think or watch that you’re doing more than you need. Balance is key but folks are going to deal with their stuff!

I saw a meme about putting lol on the end of your statements. It made me seriously think about it. LOL is supposed to be laugh out loud but I too have been guilty of using it after statements to come off less direct mostly due to not wanting to be perceived as having an attitude etc. The only time in life I feel that I watch my tone is when I’m at work or when I’m talking to my Mom or Dad. One they taught me to be direct but I know my place. Outside of that I don’t mince my words. So ever since I started seeing that meme as we got closer to the end of the year in 2017, I’ve taken notice to my LOL.

Let me help you out. If I’m online and I read a story about something instead of just making a statement I find myself using LOL to soften the blow. Why? That was the inner conversation I’ve been having with myself. So I’ve stopped that mess quick. I don’t use it as much in text unless something actually made me laugh. I’m checking my own passive aggressive behavior with it. LOL is a way to deflect. It’s not necessary!

Have you ever been in an argument with someone and they “tell you off” but to soften the blow they hit you with I was just playing but they meant that ish. That is the same type of reasoning I had to evaluate with my use of LOL. For instance I had a few packages that didn’t make it to me during the holidays. Some I’m sadly still dealing with. The one company I publicly let them have it. I didn’t think about their feelings, their online identity nothing. However I started to feel bad for the seller on Etsy who screwed me over. I gave a review that said she messed up but tried to be “nice” about it. I ended up going back and taking the LOL out of it and gave a real to the point review. Why am I less direct with the seller from Etsy then I was with the more well known company? I didn’t need to feel sorry for either one. Had it been me that messed up no F’s would have been given. So half review to spare her feelings. No mincing my words. No LOL girl you tried. If you make something it should be what you said it would be. If there is a delay I should be notified by you not me chasing you down. No I shouldn’t have to be nice to you to make you feel okay about yourself. No sis I’m not LOL, I meant what I said-deal with it!!

Although the meme may have meant to be funny the reality is that when it comes to life you have to tone it down when you have to but never tone it down so much that the essence of the message is watered down. If something that is being done or said is funny then LOL but if you are placing a LOL when someone owes you money and you’re asking for it back, just simply ask. What the person gon do? Get mad? They wasn’t mad when they asked for it nor was they mad when they was stunting on the Gram knowing they owed you with their new purchase either.

Check your LOL. Check if you are watering down your message to appease someone else’s ego. It’s no different then being in a relationship. The man or woman you’re with is being all kinds of disrespectful but in order to tone down your tone and your message you water yourself to save the relationship. You are supposed to be in a relationship with an adult and adults should be able to handle the truth both ways. This is not the green light to be ignorant and say mean things to cut. However you have to be true to yourself at all times.

So no more LOL for stuff that ain’t one bit funny. Say what you mean. Be clear when you say it. And know when you say it that whatever weight it needed to be said without it being disrespectful, you are more than capable of holding the weight of your words. They and you will be fine!! Save your LOL for real comedic relief instead of emotional relief for others!

How I Started My New Year

So we have officially made it into 2018!! That in itself is a blessing! There are so many that didn’t see it! With that gratitude in mind is how I started the New Year!

Yes I had a lot of family time! I cook every year, and we have our traditional New Year kid friendly gathering but more importantly I was just ready for a reset. Do I have resolutions? Yes and no. I’m continuing with my fitness journey, I plan to travel but I have my action plan set. So with all of the things I want to do I actively researched what I will need to do to get there or accomplish the goal. How much will it cost? What will I do once I get to where I want? How much time will I need? What can I do daily to get there?

For instance even though I’ve been doing well with working out I haven’t been doing well with meal prepping like I did in the beginning. So although I’ve maintained I haven’t always been eating the right things. I’ve been doing more working harder to compensate the bad food. This is not a good thing because the weekly weigh-ins have had more ups and down then normal. So I’ve got my action plan ready, bought new containers for my food and went to Produce Junction to get my fresh veggies, fruit, and herbs. So I finally got my personal meals prepped in addition to my family’s meals. In the past I would eat less of the things I made for them. They do not subscribe to my fresh veggie plan so as you can imagine although healthier it wasn’t as healthy as I should have been eating.

I did do a workout but it was more because it was a Monday and my normal workouts are on a Monday anyway. My kids who joined me had a lot of fun and I got in my hour with no problem! It was definitely necessary!!

I also took the longest bath ever!! Equipped with my bath bomb, candles, music, and wine glass it was the most refreshing bath time in a long time. It was everything and more. I had all intentions of reading a good book afterwards but by the time I finished my wine, and got on my pajamas I soon read the back of my eyelids. It was super good!!

I have bought more equipment for the colder months. As it gets colder it’s hard to motivate yourself. I bought new resistance bands and I’m sort of obsessed with them. I also got a new mat and training gloves which I actually already needed! Along with my kettlebell I should be good to go. I think that’s why having the gym at my job is easy! I’m already at work and can spare a few second walk to the gym!

My husband and I got some rest and watched some good television. And you know of parents who had a preschooler and two school aged kids, our home for the most part is super rated G! It felt good to watch a little adult television!

All in all my start wasn’t fueled by trying to push myself into a traditional mindset. It was about relaxing and doing what we do with a clearer mindset for action. My travel plans are just about set so I can’t wait to be able to talk about it. I got a lot of short term and long term goals and with action and planning this will be an awesome year!!

I hope you’re start was a good one and if you already feel a sense of pressure tone it down a bit. You don’t have to complete a year’s worth of goals in a days. You just have to do one thing per day to get you to your goals! Happy New Year again make your year what you want it to be!!

Ask Toi: End of the Year Edition

I am going to end my Ask Toi with a few that I have yet to publish and answer.  I pray that as we close this last month out and this week that you will go into the New Year with clarity.

How do I tell my wife that speaking ill about my deceased mother bothers me?

One she knows better.  I don’t care what she says, she absolutely knows better.  She don’t need to be told but since she’s not using her common sense, please talk to her. I get that mother in law situations are and can be a lot.  However when your mom passed, whatever issues that happened should have died with her.  There’s no point in your wife fighting a one-sided battle.  If the two of the couldn’t get it right when she was here, then your wife needs to deal with her issues on her own or with a therapist.  She should be sensitive to your needs and your pain.  That doesn’t mean suppress her feelings, it means that she needs to actually deal with them.  It is utterly disrespectful to speak of the dead.  There’s no way around it. I would tell her how you feel and tell her that you won’t entertain such talk.  Your wife can be all the way in her feelings because you asked her not to speak of your mom regardless but common courtesy should be followed in someone’s passing.  She wouldn’t want to hear it if it was the other way around and it doesn’t matter if her mom treated you well.  This is why people need to understand that forgiveness is for you.  If you don’t learn to let things go this is how people can have power over you from the grave.  Let it go! She needs to let it go!

Side note: if you are on this Earth and have an issue with someone on Earth, then do what you need to do to forgive them even when its something that they didn’t ask for.  Some debts will probably not get paid.  You may never hear the words of sorry but it’s for you.  It releases you.  Had this young lady released this she wouldn’t be burdened with talking about her deceased mother in law and bringing pain to an already painful situation.  Let it go! Drop the charges.  As we go into the New Year, if you keep bringing in old dirt, you will not benefit from it at all.  Learn to let it go.

Side note of the side note: what you talk about and give power still has you.  Watch your conversations.  What you keep bringing up you haven’t dealt with.  Learn to deal not bandage or mask healing.  Deal!  The matters of the heart, flow out of your mouth!

How do I go into the New Year with positivity?

This starts with your thoughts in your mind. If you don’t change that you will be the same you that you encountered in 2017.  You have to be willing to see things the way you want them to be.  If you want to be a better person, break down the areas of your life. Write down where you are now and where you want to be.  What can YOU do to get there?  Focus on those things even when you have doubtful moments or days enter in.  Focus and be about action.  There is always one thing a day we can do to get you to your goals.  What are those daily things?  Maybe its working out to get you to weight loss.  Maybe its taking one class a semester and studying daily to get a degree.  Maybe its about negative thoughts, so saying daily affirmations is your go to.  Whatever it is it’s never happening without an action plan.  Be about your daily business to your ultimate goal. You got this, know that, believe that, and then work it!