Sunday Message: Living your Best Life

I’ve been waiting to right this one for quite some time! The phrase is everywhere. To be honest it’s a good thing to live your best life! Who wants to live the opposite?! However beyond quotes and knowing your angles on Instagram if you’re gonna live it then do the work that it requires.

Living your best life is best when you start from the inside out. It requires you to leave a few negative folks behind, own your stuff, and be authentic to you. Sound easy but not exactly?! You will find resistance along the way. This is when it’s easier to fake it than to really live in authentic truth! The second you go to live your best life it may cause a ripple effect with those around you! Be prepared!

More than Instagram Angles

Who doesn’t love a good picture on social media?! I know I do and you do too! However don’t forget that every picture has a story. I sometimes go back to my pics and think back on what was really going on?! Was I just really good?! What happened before and after the pic! For instance here’s a pic from my solo trip:

I looked great, felt great and had a good amount of adult drinks. I was in my zone and it was an amazing time. What wasn’t shown was that there was so much work going on. I was in the midst of leaving my job and taking a leap of faith. I actually had secured the bag while there. However dancing between do I leave and start from scratch and how that would affect my family was on my mind. I’m happy to say that leap was super scary and it paid off! However fear and letting go was on the other side of living my best life. Being used to certain behaviors and being completely unsure of myself was on one side and complete freedom, better pay and a better opportunity was on the other side. I could have stayed and made a few waves at my past job but when you don’t move and sometimes take initial fear you could hinder your own blessing. Scared I still leaped! Shout out to those who know that where I am now is a complete reflection of grace! It is not of anything of myself!

What does living my best life do for you as a person?!

It makes you grateful! Plain and simple! You know how many times a door shut. How many times you were alone?! How many times you had to shut down the naysayer in your own head but you still had to push?! It makes you stronger as you get to the next fight! It gives you a confidence to gas yourself!! It reminds you that you can do anything! It doesn’t erase the pain but it almost suggests that the pain was worth it! So it’s okay to acknowledge it!

Fear sometimes drops off

As I kept going on even in fear it eventually dropped off. I never get to a point in my life as if things are just so Gucci. Nope! I walk-in humbleness. I walk like I know where I am going even when it feels like I’m working with a broken GPS! Fear has many of time walked with me until it fell off like a child learning to ride with no brakes! During many moments of my life it’s been like that! However my biggest motivator is myself and next is the little folks that call me mom! I let them know when I make a mistake I use it when I parent. When they can’t get along I openly let them know of the same moments I’ve had. I also want them to know they can keep going!

So while you say you want to live your best life be prepared for the work that comes along with it. Accept your flaws but don’t simply just say this is me oh well, take what is said and done to you and make the necessary changes! This requires a gut punch here and there! I used to say oh well to what folks said but everyone ain’t telling the same lie! Own it and change it! Also stop living your life with the brakes! The more I get out, the more I attack the list of wants without excuses the more doors open! Step through them!! It’s okay to be okay and enjoy this life! You don’t have to be downtrodden all the time. Life will give enough of those moments so that you don’t have to create them! Learn to enjoy moments. Smile a little! Enjoy a treat and have a little balance! Get out and explore! Live your best life!

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Recovery Day

Things have been going well. I am not complaining at all. But today, was a day! Usually I feel I am good at dealing but today tested that theory.  As much as I talk about the good days, I’ve also said that I would highlight the bad ones.

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It wasn’t one thing that made my day bad it was a combination.  Without getting too deep into it and boring you out of your mind, let me just say that I had to think quick on my feet on how to attack each issue and today was the day I allowed every negative thought, self-doubt, etc attack. Shout out on being able to call my husband on days like today where I felt I needed support.  I could have easily reached out to friends but I just didn’t have the energy to do so.  My husband was there to listen to each thing, and offer many suggestions that he knew I wouldn’t take initially.  You sir are the MVP.

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Walk it Out

I finally got some mental relief by taking a walk in the sun.  Something about being outside even for a few minutes that boosts the spirits.  I took a drink of water with me, made to apply some sunscreen and sat in the sun with my music on and looked around. I didn’t go on my social media to look at what others was doing, simply minded my own business and enjoyed a few minutes of sun and reflected on the pep talk my husband and I had.  Soon as I came back, things lined right back in place.  I realized that at this new job I have been running non stop for days and I haven’t had a break.  I will incorporate a break daily going forward.  This job is super demanding but I will do some work self-care to get me through.  I also noticed that break helped me work on my personal goals that I needed to attack and line up for the weekend.  Trying to manage time and get everything in with a full household full of folks that all have to be places is not always as easy I make it look and that’s with my husband’s hands on help.

So today, take a break! Simply get some air.  Clear your mind and do take a social media break even if it’s for a few moments. Do not let anything rob you of peace of mind and definitely don’t be the one who gets on your own last nerves.  You got this!

Monday Madness

Happy Monday. I find when I say that I get so much backlash.  Already today I have been confronted by the “it ain’t no happy Monday.”  Or I got “I hate Mondays!” I get it. It’s hard to push through after having a few days off however if you are starting your Monday off with negativity you are essentially going to be the cause of your mood for the day. Yes your day can pick up but be in charge of the charge you put before you by attempting to do better with how you speak in your life and on your life.

I used to complain about any and everything. Nothing was good enough.  There was a reason to spew so much hate but I was super unhappy in my own skin that reality took a twirl when someone pointed it out to me. Changing it wasn’t smooth sailing but it definitely allowed me to see how much negative talk I was doing on a daily basis.  It’s draining. I know its only about Monday but that negative talk filters into other areas too.  The next thing you know you are talking about how bad you look, how bad you feel, how much you can’t stand whatever and then you aren’t in solution mode, but in just bad talk and nothing about that helps you.

Today take a step back from the negative talk and use Monday to set up your week. What didn’t you do well last week that YOU can change this week.  Do those things. Put your energy into positive movement. Negative is like having weights on your legs and expecting to run. You won’t, you can’t UNLESS you take the weights off and take flight!

Be Coachable

The word coachabity usually is something you hear from small business owners or entrepreneurs. It’s the ability to sit and learn how to perform or get results. I’ve had a long history of sitting under coaches for various fields and here’s how you can apply the same method in life:

No one wakes up and is Denzel Washington. Even Denzel had to learn his acting craft and fine tune it. He is now one of the best actors of our time. So one way to be coachable is to listen. Drop the “I know what to do mantra” and listen not just hear. You can hear someone tell you how to do what you do but to listen means taking things in and applying.

Think about it in terms even if you’re not in business of your own, when you do go to a new job even with skills you must learn how the new job handles things. You don’t go in there declare you got this and just start working! You have to sit, listen and receive instructions. Don’t jump the gun! Learn and listening is the key to being coachable. You can have the desire to be number one all day but in order to do that you better gleam what the one who is in the number one spot did to become number one!

Another aspect of being coachable is having the ability to understand that you will fail in the beginning. I think even well talented folks need this crushing blow to the ego to be better! It’s life and you are going to have to have thick skin. So expect hardship and have the mindset to move beyond it! If you easily give up you are indeed not coachable. Failure is a setup for success. Think about the businesses that start in a person’s house, they have an idea but the prototypes usually are flawed until they persevere through them. You too will see your greatest potential and reward once you don’t give up or give in!

So get in the game of life, know you may get knocked down, let someone teach you a few things and be successful!

Weekly Recap: January 19, 2018

Is anybody other than me still struggling with writing 2018?  I don’t know why I am but I am.  It seems so weird to say but we are all the way into the New Year. One of the things that I can’t wait to do is to continue to enjoy. I don’t want a lot of things I could have done, I want to look back and say I did.

Personal Goals:

I was able to finally book my solo trip. I had been debating if I was going to open this trip up to friends but I decided to do it on my own.  Everything in the world that I have read have all confirmed this trip.  Shout out to Demetria Lucas who I look up to so much who talked about tips on traveling alone recently.  This was after I had booked the trip.  Trips alone for me are something I want to add and luckily I can cross that off of my list for this year.  I will blog it once I am back but that wont be until April.  Just know where I will be going will be sun and heat.  I can’t stand this cold it’s getting on my nerves so in the mean time I will just envision myself there.

Shout out to my cousin Thalia who had the most amazing Sweet Sixteen.  It was great to be able to hang out with family to dance, drink, and eat.  Thalia is such a hard working young lady with the grades to prove it. I pray that as you continue in your walk that you get smarter, stronger, and make a beautiful mark in this world!

Go Eagles

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The Eagles won! That was a major game. Although we didn’t get to see the game, it was definitely great to hear that they had pulled the W! This weekend we will see if the Eagles has what it takes to make it to the Super Bowl!

As far as workouts I did the damn thing this week! I gave myself a rest day yesterday since I worked out everyday.  It feels good to know that I also have some fitness plans coming up in my weekend!

Shout out to my oldest daughter who got Peacemaker award at her school.

Blog Goals

Thank you to everyone who continues to read and support. It’s a blessing to do what you love.  If you have missed any blogs you may want to catch up ToiTimeBlog

This week we covered a lot of Ask Toi questions as well as talked on the life of Dr. King.  Today I even posted about a time where I was drowning in depression, self-pity, and etc and had to learn how to pull myself out of that.  So shout out to all of those who feel like there is only one string left and you are still holding on.  It doesn’t feel good in the fight but once you come out if you learn the lesson you can combat whatever comes your way applying some new-found skills!

What’s Coming Up for ToiTime?

One I’m continuing to crush these work outs and good eating.  What you eat is important as what you do with your body.  I am working on getting my runs aka 5K set for the year.  I also working on attending one blog conference this year as well.  So if you didn’t know we are traveling and doing more events this year.

In addition a new month is upon us, February.  The month of love. As always I plan to talk to my singles who seem to get missed in this month and give you some survival skills as this month takes a toll on those who desire to be with someone and are not.  It’s a real life feeling that when you have someone you tend to forget.

Also early this year I need to work on those ladies who want to shine a light on a part of their life that they overcame. I need women from all walks of life and backgrounds.  Don’t worry I do all of the work and all I need you to do is be open, willing and transparent.  I think so far I have written some honorable pieces. This will come out in March but I need to do all of my interviewing now.  If you are interested let me know by sending me an email to toitimeblog@gmail.com

 

Thanks, until next time-find something that you are passionate about or something that makes you happy and do it well!

Everything isn’t What it Seems

I want to highlight a few things.  I’ve said it before and I will say it again, things on social media can look grande and be filled with so much smoke screen.  Yes that is how life rolls.  However keep in mind that everyone tries to put their best foot forward.  This is why the age of filters is so amazing. You get to hide behind real life scars and traumas.

The pic used in this blog if I uncovered it was great.  We were having the best ice-cream at one of my favorite spots.  Everyone is all smiling and seemingly happy.  We look like the model family. If I told you that I could still feel the pain of that day, would you believe me?  That was a hard day.  It was a few years ago and we were set to go to the African-American museum.  We were ready to go and our plans got diverted.  Why they got diverted I won’t speak on but I will speak to the nuggets that can be learned from that picture.

In it you see my husband all smiles.  He was under extreme amounts of stress trying to do the best he can.  I was depressed and I believe if I had gone back to work it was short-lived due to the fact that my youngest was nursing and wouldn’t take to a bottle and I had to take her to work with me.  That worked for a while until it was time to put her in daycare and then I had to stop working again because again she wouldn’t take to anyone but me and still no bottle, no cup, just me.

Here is what I know now AFTER that storm of life and what I wish someone had told me:

Dear Toi,

You are stressed out but a lot of your stress is coming from within.  You haven’t quite found your space, your voice, or what you want.  Maybe its the feelings of not quite making your mark in this world. Maybe its the time that you had to take off due to taking care of your kids and the guilt that you feel losing the independence of a working woman. You are fighting those around you but reality is the fight is in you. Use that negative energy not to worry about what others will think, but to know what you want.  Should you leave your husband because it was so rocky?  No! Leaving isn’t the answer. The answer isn’t in your husband. He will never make you happy.  Happy wife, happy life is a bunch of bologna.  You have to be a happy person, and work from that happiness.  You will have many more moments when you are ready to throw the towel in. Don’t stay for the sake of the kids.  They can’t heal you.  How about you deal with some of the let downs you face.  Get out and get a hobby.  Get out and get some fresh air.  Know that as a mom you are at your best when you take some time to practice self-care.  The kids will thrive better with you even if you had to walk alone.  Take a mental time out. Take a deep breath.  Do your hair, get dressed, put on a little make up because its going to be okay.  You don’t have to look a mess while you figure out your messed up life.  Your life is blessed you just have to use this time to rebuild.  Don’t worry down the line you figure it out. Down the line you don’t have to wait for your husband to go with you all the time.  If you like it go do it on your own. It doesn’t make you less married to do a few things on your own.  He isn’t and never was your source for everything stop giving him that power.  He didn’t ask for it. He was attracted to your hustle and your ability to keep it moving.  He saw that hunger in you, you got this!

Sincerely a stronger Toi

Lesson one: Happiness is YOUR job.  Not of your spouse or anything that you own.  Happy people don’t have it all they just know how to keep moving and make the best of their situations.

Lesson two: self-care is a daily thing. It is not okay to have meltdowns if you’re not going to use the meltdowns to get better. What have you done today that made you feel amazing? You should be doing all you can to make it feel like its your birthday everyday.  No one will celebrate you like you.

Lesson three: Marriage is beautiful when you put in work and your spouse does the same.  When that stops the marriage will have a pit stop.  You aren’t responsible for him/her you can only do what you want him/her to do.  Don’t say that because you have done one thing, this is in ALL areas.  No one can receive as much love and listening as you claim you give and treat that person badly.  Remember they need from you what THEY need not what you THINK THEY NEED!

Lesson four: dress up everyday. I don’t mean you have to be in heels, but if you want to knock the sloppy look, you have to get up and get dress and be present. Every time you zone out and don’t care you look it.  Don’t be mad at another woman who shows up and shows out. You both were supposed to.  Don’t say you don’t have the time or money. Admit you didn’t take the time! You can look fierce on any budget.  You can look fierce in pajamas if you want to.

Lesson five: get the hell out.  You can not live your best life cooped up in the house.  Get you a few dollars and go to a bookstore and have a ball, find some Groupons and live! Do more action than talking.  No one cares that you talk about a dream, the doers are finding ways to make the dreams a reality.

Lesson six: for my moms, there is no such thing as a perfect mom.  You don’t have to mirror everything you were taught.  You are in control of what you want motherhood to be.  Even if you grew up in the worst conditions, the dreams you wanted your childhood to be can be made with your own kids.  Be solid for yourself and them not perfect. Dance around the kitchen while making dinner. Make folding into a game.  Be there for your kids and most importantly be there for yourself! They are watching you!

Lesson seven: be okay to lose.  Take a chance on life and yourself. If you fail it won’t be in not making the mark, it will be in not taking the chance to make the mark.

2017 ReCap Greats, Misses, Lessons Learned!

It is that time of the year.  We are almost to Christmas and with that signal means that the New Year is soon here as well.  Although this year like with every year has had its challenges, it also has had some very good points as well.

We will always love you Mom Mom

As we began 2017 we were dealing with the death of my mother in law and trying to get through with everything you can imagine going along with it.  We were all over the place physically and emotionally. We pulled through and continue to make strides as we keep her legacy alive.

Kids

Also each of my children’s health has been A1! Let me insert a praise break here.  Both of my older kids have asthma and if you have a child with asthma you know that any and everything can trigger things to go left. They were in school all year and they didn’t miss many activities and that in itself is a blessing. Also along with my kids, my son started his first year of grade school aka kindergarten.  I am proud of his transition to grade school. He is doing a great job.  For my youngest she has been able to transition between daycare and is doing well.  My oldest is doing well and is super active in Girl Scouts.  I can’t say enough I am proud of this year’s progress!

Marriage

We finally was able to take a long needed baecation.  We celebrated 5 years of marriage and although its had a lot of down within our marriage, we are glad to say that we are making it through and are at peace and in love with one another. We had a blast on our baecation.  We were able to do what grown folks do, lounge around, sleep in, eat well, drink well, and enjoy some sun and fun.  I pray that 2018 allows us to go to a few more places, but 2017 you did your thing.  Shout out to my sister in love and brother for keeping our little people as we enjoyed some much-needed time away.

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Also of trips and time together we also are getting on the same page.  That in itself is a blessing. It’s hard to keep the love flowing from a place of contention.  It’s one thing to argue but to have a continual flow of dislike or disagreement and nothing being resolved, it wears you down as a person and wears at your union.  We have a few goals that I won’t talk about but just know that marriage is work and we are doing our work daily and checking in with one another more!

Family

Our family have been good.  Shout out to a new baby on the way. My brother and sister in love are having a new addition and I can’t wait for the Spring to get here so AT can love on another little.  Also shout out to my brother and mom who both graduated this year!! Yall better keep on going and getting your education.  Also to my twin who is making some awesome strides in her life and is doing an awesome job raising my niece.  Also I am making sure to do all I can to open up more to family.  I am not one usually to do that.  I like being in comfort of others but there are times when I absolutely need my space.  This is why it’s super easy for me to dismiss others quickly. My introvert ways creeps up way more than my extrovert ways will ever.

Health

I have been able to maintain and keep my work out schedule tight.  I actually have made changes to my settings on my Fitbit.  If you have one you know that you can make it really challenge you to be super active. Shout out to my Fitbit family for the step challenges-yall motivate me to keep moving and claim that top spot.  Also this year thanking God for getting that hysterectomy and FINALLY not being anemic.  To be able to be cold when you’re supposed to be instead of all day long is a blessing. To be able to not have ice in your cup because ice is life is great too.  Also just the general ability to be able to walk around knowing that you are healthy is a blessing. Please understand that so many wish this was their life and sadly it’s not.
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For 2018 I will be making or should I say already making changes to the way I work out.  When I first got my Fitbit this year,  I only set it for 7000 steps even though I was doing more than that.  I made the change to at least 10000 steps a day since I am confident with my history that 15000 steps is more likely what I will achieve daily.  I also will be doing more challenges within the Fitbit community.  I also will be signing up for barre classes instead of Soul Cycle.  My doctor has suggested that this will alleviate some of the injuries that Soul Cycle has given me. Not to say that Soul Cycle isn’t a great work out because it is but with me working out 5 days a week, running one day a week, I need to add more core training to my regiment.  So that is the goal for 2018 if I could set a fitness goal for the upcoming year.  I still will be keeping a journal of my workouts and what I eat.  This is not for calorie counting.  This is to continue in my Weight Watchers.  Any time that I haven’t written things down, I have noticed that I will not be accountable for what I eat.  I am looking forward to some new menus for myself as well.

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Anxiety

I have talked about this numerous times and I plan on opening up about it a lot more in the future.  When I was in college I was the epitome of the college student.  The one you could find on top of a bar, never missed a party, always ready for whatever and whenever.  I find now that part of my life is downsized, that going out especially doing anything where I attend something by myself makes me freak out.  This year, I have stepped out and attended a lot of events by myself. I have traveled a lot more alone and I have taken chances by being more visible.  I have named 2018 my personal Eat, Pray, and Love year and with that in mind, I am in the works with a lot of activities that will allow me to attack this anxiety and get passed it.

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People don’t even know that I suffer because once I am in a place and I am comfortable I am fine.  However I get sick, I feel like I can pass out, I don’t want to go, I try to back out, I go through it often.  I know that others like me are out there.  Although I have found ways of pressing through it I never want to act as if I am just this bundle of joy all the time.  Social anxiety is very real however I choose to be present and push past fear.

Social Media

Listen, when I tell you I could tell you every tea on most of your celebrities trust I could.  I could blog on that all day long since just like our lives, they are messy too.  However I have taken such a huge step. Often times it doesn’t show up or isn’t trending I won’t really know about it.  I have cut the fat on what I watch, what I entertain, who I engage in.  This has been super helpful.  I am not saying I am perfect but what I will say it has allowed me to be calmer in my own personal life. I don’t feel the need to clap back at things or people as much because I am not watching these images all the time.  This is my PERSONAL choice and not one that I would say hey you need to do at all.  This walk has always been personal but if you’re wondering the benefits of cutting back, they do exist. I also stop following a lot of pages, etc.  I used to make sure I aligned myself with a lot of drama and lately the cut back has served my personal space well.  This spillage has done well in almost every area of my life.  I let a lot of battles go and just realized that not every battle is mine.  Most of the time it’s almost like fighting air. Folks gon be folks.

Relationships

I had the pleasure of reconnecting with my aunt this year.  Again this has been over 30 years in the making. Since that reunion I make it my business to be sure that I communicate more with her and do what I need to do on my side when it comes to her.  Also I have noticed that I have finally taken more steps to find that some relationships I had in the past have served their purposes.  I am not saying that discovering that has been fun.  I feel like there were a few snubs, a few disappointments, a few folks that I didn’t realize I missed and will attempt to reconnect with soon.  This is a part of adulting that people don’t talk about. Letting go is hard.  It is not always easy but it is always necessary.  So to the chapters that got closed, I don’t understand it but soon I am sure I will or maybe I won’t.  To the new chapters that have opened, I have found some awesome new contacts.  There are a few relationships that I closed that I am soul searching to discover if it was me closing it just to be petty or was the pain that was caused needing this close.  There is a large chunk that will remain closed.  I have made sure that I keep in contact with those that I needed to.  I really used to have a bad history of just being a one-sided friend.  I have stepped it up because in reality its necessary not just for what those friendships or relationships give to me, but what I give to them as well.

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Career

I will be starting a new position within the same company starting at the beginning of the year.  Won’t he do it! It’s a bit bitter-sweet but welcoming new challenge.  I also interested in continuing to learn more, grow, and always secure my coins. I got a lot of things to do and planned for 2018 and its going to take all of my coins to do it.

This year has been like I said filled with some ups and downs.  There are things that have happened that has caused me to figure out my life more. I really just want to drink water, mind my business, keep that credit score going up. continue to be debt free, be an awesome mother, a dynamic partner and wife to my husband, a great daughter, awesome aunt and sibling, make sure my career takes off, and be a great blogger! That alone along with keeping this body fit is more than enough to get me through 2018.  So as we soon say good-bye know that I have a lot of goals that are an extension of the work I have been putting in from 2017.  I have some travel goals, some more me time activities planned, and just looking for the yearly renew.  I have always said and its true, birthdays and New Year Day is always the best time to hit the reset button.  I also practice hitting that reset button daily as well.