For a Season or a Lifetime

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Everyone one of us encounter people that come in and out of our lives. Some are there for many many years, others, for a month or just a few days. It has happened since our birth and will continue on until we are no more. Even when we cross paths with someone for a brief hello and bye, we have to know that there is a reason and it will leave some kind of impact on our lives, no matter how small the meeting. Each person we encounter from our parents and family, friends, coworkers, strangers, and our enemies play a part in shaping the type of individual that we become. Think about how many people you have encountered up ’til now. I am sure that I cannot even think of each and every person so I will not have a number. I just know that it has been a whole lot! Really, the number isn’t that important, but what is important is the quality of those encounters. What changed us(if anything), how the meeting made us feel, and what was created out of the interaction.

Now the longer they are in our lives,  we see more challenges (and opportunities for growth) as we have to work through the changes of the seasons with these individuals. Look back on some of your friendships and how they have evolved over time. I connected a few years ago with two slightly older than me women and over time, we began doing more than just their hair. We were hanging out and having lunch, planning cruises, and laughing about life together. Recently, just early this morning, one of these women passed away and all I can think about is the impact she has had on my life, her family, and how much I will miss her smile that I was missing anyway because they had recently moved to Florida. Another relationship was a woman I met at the salon as well. This one was different because she wanted to look like the person in the picture all of the time. Everyone knows that stylist are not magicians…right?! Anyway, after a year together, I decided to make myself unavailable for her. Not because of her hair, but her personal life. She began asking me to help her do things like find someone to tattoo her make up, or calling me to ask me about my opinion on her getting plastic surgery, or kicking her son out of her home. I knew that our relationship was supposed to include nothing but hair but she wanted more and I was not willing to participate. When you think about some of your own encounters, you may have met someone in line at a store, started a conversation and have been close friends now for 20 years, or shared a wonderful relationship with a significant other and thought that they were “the one”, only to see the relationship split after a year or two.

images (7)We may see some relationships as something that was “meant to be” or a coincidental event, either way, these individuals have a purpose to serve in our lives. They are there to do something for you just as you are there for them. We have to see these interactions for what they truly are and recognize when they are at the end. You go through your good and not-so-good times and share many life experiences, but when the majority of your time together is on the down side, it may be time to reevaluate the relationship. Ending long relationships like that can be hard, but it is necessary so that things do not continue to decline and you resent each other. You may not have similar goals, priorities and interest anymore and some people get so comfortable with life that they do not have a desire to grow and you may be on the fast track! No hard feelings, but you cannot drag someone through life and expect to get where you wanna go in good time, if at all. We are all responsible for our pace, our journey. It is exhausting to try to push the ones you love through life.

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You have to keep moving forward at your pace so that you are happy and satisfied that you are living your life to the full. It may take a while to come to terms with the end and it may get rough, just move on. You will feel better after detaching yourself from someone that may be weighing you down. We have to continue to evolve and this move may give you the strength that you need to finally realize your dreams.

I think about my relationships from time to time to see if there are any that are slowing me down. It is important that I love the people in my life and that those feelings are reciprocated.  I only want people in my life that are capable of loving me fully and unconditionally because I am very strong but imperfect at best. SO….what have I learned in my reflections?

  • It doesn’t matter how long someone has been in your life, it’s quality over quantity. Think about this…the doctor that saved your mother’s life or the friend that has been a vampire for the past 10 years. Their importance is very different right?
  • I would rather be a person who chooses no love over bad love. This one was hard for me, no lie. If you drop something that is holding you down, your hands are free to hold something else…..phew, was that a lesson for me! If they don’t add to it, they are just subtracting from it or doing nothing at all. Know your worth and what you deserve. It takes courage to stand up for yourself all by yourself. Good people, good vibes, and good love….#mylifegoals
  • Sometimes you have to be selfish and end a relationship. Do not feel bad about loving yourself more than you love the person or the situation. It is not benefiting you spiritually…emotionally…you are mentally drained? End it! When it comes to your growth and development, you should be selfish. Your life depends on it.
  • Learn from the relationship. The saying, “chew up the meat and spit out the bones”….DO THAT!! See the positive things that happened in the relationship and what you can learn from the negative. Bring those things with you moving forward. Thinking about the bad stuff has no benefit for you. You have been through a lot in this experience. What have you learned in this?

download (8)We have to love ourselves enough to let go of what is making us sink. Living to please others will only make you miserable. We should want to help others but if you see that they really do not want the help, don’t feel bad about deciding to stop helping. Wasting time is not a cool way to spend your life. You cannot save anyone from drowning if you can’t swim yourself. Help yourself first.

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Building Self-Esteem in Children

IMG_5923Talking about helping to build self-esteem in your children can be a little scary. It is to me anyway. I take my calling as a parent seriously. It is scary to know that you can possibly determine how a little person will function in the world as an adult. I mean, can we really build their self-esteem anyway? I am very cautious in how I talk to my children because I do know that breaking their will can break their spirit and cause a whole lot more damage to their self-esteem. I do not always get it right. I also do not have a problem apologizing for being human either. I have asked for my children’s forgiveness many times when my parenting has faltered.

I tell my boys all of the time how intelligent, smart, handsome, and great they are. Not because I want them to walk around thinking that they are better than other people, but so that they know that they can do or be anything that they want to if they know who they are….and WHO’s they are for that matter. My boys are told that they are royalty (kings in the making) and they should accept no other treatment, nor should they treat anyone like less than that. We all go through times when negative things run through our heads about ourselves, but I am teaching them (and me) that we have to think positive and the actions will follow. None of us are perfect so we cannot expect to do everything right. We can, however, have a good attitude about trying and failing our way to success. When your child knows that they are loved by you for who they are, they can go on without worrying about the negative things that happen. They will not have many problems with honesty because they know that you will still love them no matter what their performance.

We do not want our children to feel bad about themselves, but we also do not want them to always see themselves as someone who can do no wrong. No one wants their children Processed with Snapseed.to base their worth on their positive performance because they are not always going to perform positively and when they don’t, what will happen? When your child fails, how do you think they will feel?  We have to teach them to still see themselves in a positive light even when they fail at something. As a parent, we have our own negative thoughts to fight but as long as we give ourselves more positive than negative, I think we are winning, and we can teach our children the same. I also think that we play a huge part in our children’s self-esteem by building them up; we can also have a negative effect on their self-esteem by giving them more negative feedback than positive. Loving our children consistently and thoroughly can secure their self-esteem. Love, true and unconditional, can do wonders for your child’s confidence. I love that my boys are not afraid to try new things or meet new situations and people. They are military brats so they have had to move around a bit and deal with new environments often. Because I am working to build their self-esteem, we have not had any meltdowns when it was time to move to the next duty station.

I believe that when children feel loved, they are not worrying about if they are good enough for a situation or person. They have more time to focus on what needs to get done and loving the people that love them. When they fail, they are ready to solve the problem, always trying to learn how they can be better. I love that my boys are loving and always want to help others. They know they are loved so they do not get caught up in themselves or when others have negative things to say about them. I am sure it happens at some point, but like they are being taught, more positive than negative.

We should always make a big deal out our children’s accomplishments. As a parent, you want your children to be proud of their successes so they can continue to gain more. Children feel like they can do anything when they see that you are cheering them on. Praise is good and will motivate anyone to keep pushing. We all want praise and approval, especially from our parents. At the same time, we have to keep them humble. We have to teach them to be grateful for what they have and what they did not receive. Remember that words carry a lot of weight so do not spend a lot of time screaming and yelling and telling your children about their failures. Address the issues, tell them you love them, about the failure being a tool to help them succeed, that they can do it better next time.  When they are in a position of feeling loved, they can easily be encouraged to do things better, solve their issues and continue to move forward. 012124776fb2fc62dfe5641b7432c20ab76988b5ca

Loving your children as they are and teaching them how to make good decisions will help build their self-esteem.  I want my boys to feel good about their looks, talents, and abilities, but I most importantly want them to feel loved. I believe they feel more confident when they know they are loved opposed to if they are good. Building their self-esteem will not solve all of their problems, but it will equip them to have the confidence to go after their dreams even after a few…or a lot of fails.

WHO is writing your story?

images (5)Lately I have had so much on my mind and so many things to do that I have been forgetting what day it is! They are all running into each other. I thought that Friday was Saturday just because it had a “Saturday” pace. I know most people probably understand what that means. Sometimes Tuesday really feels like Tuesday until a “Monday” thing happens and you questions what day it is. Okay, maybe I am the only one…. maybe I am ready for a week long vacation (soon!).

I will not deny that my mind can be all over the place at times. But I will say this, I still feel fortunate to have this day…and those! I am Blessed that I have days to forget and things to do. Every day that I wake is another day to see opportunity to change me, my mind, and my world. I refuse to just exist, just wake up and breath and let the wind blow where it may and take me with it…. not gonna happen! As much as I have to do, places to run to, appointments to catch, I will not complain or whine. I am just going to be grateful for the opportunity. It is all in my mind and my attitude. It is all in YOUR mind and attitude. You are alive and capable. You may not get it all done when you want to but with the right attitude, it is going to get done and you can stand back and look in appreciation of yourself and the fact that you did not quit. Quitting stinks! And you accomplish absolutely nothing if you don’t even try.

I try to check in with myself and my heart to make sure that what I want to do is getting done and getting done for the right reasons and with the right attitude. Who am I? This has been the question that I am occasionally scratching my head about lately. I have honestly lived my life for others and this answer can sometimes get lost in them. I want to change that, mostly for myself. My sons are growing up and one day, I will have an empty nest (although they are old enough now that they sometimes make me feel like I already have one) and who will I be then? How will I define me when they are out making their own way in the world?

Sometimes life can be or get hard. Sometimes we can feel like our lives are falling apart with us or loved ones falling ill or children driving us insane. Maybe the bills are piling up, experiencing bouts of depression or your marriage is failing. We may not feel like dying in those times, but maybe we are losing ourselves in taking care of everything and  everyone else. In those times and before they come, we should really try to get to know ourselves so that we can understand what it is going to take for us to get or stay healthy while we are serving the ones that we love.

Do you really know who you are?

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Honestly, this question was posed to me and it was scary. Could I really look into a mirror and answer that question without describing things that I do or who I am to others? When I thought about the question, I realized how important it is. The answer was going to affect every part of my life. When we understand who we are, it frees us from being ashamed, makes us confident and we will not settle for what someone else tries to tell us about who we are. Knowing who we truly are will free us up for really authentic and transparent relationships not just with others but with ourselves. I do not know about you but I have lied to myself plenty of times about how people really felt about me, how strong (even though I was behaving weak) I had been at times, how happy I may have been…and many other things. I decided a while ago to stop whining and lying to myself and show myself some love. It is a journey and I am learning more and more about me. I am doing it but I am definitely getting help with my journey. My story is way too long to put in a blog but there is something that I am doing that I can share that may help you….

  • I became my own best friend. I spend time with me, compliment myself, “fight” for myself,  care for me, all the while loving me unconditionally. I am working to become someone that I would look up to. This is still a process but we have to love others, that is true, but we have to love them without losing ourselves. We have to keep ourselves in mind when we are loving others. Especially as women because a lot of times I think we believe we have to sacrifice who we are and what we need to care for others. Another lie we tell ourselves!

I allowed the behavior of others sometimes cause me to act out! I mean out of character for anyone that REALLY knows me. I have been through a lot. And every kind of emotion has been felt in my life a thousand times over. But guess what? I am not my issues, I am not those experiences nor am I slave to them. And you are not to yours! They do not define me in the least. And I am not ashamed of one moment. They have all shaped me and made me absolutely beautiful and strong, for real! What really defines us is how we respond, react, and present ourselves to the world in those times. How are we going to treat others when we feel that they act unfavorably toward us? How are we going to treat ourselves through it all?

NXYP2046How we live out this life is all a choice. We have to make a decision, yes, but we also have to put feet to the choice. We have to be bold enough to go for it. Give ourselves permission to try and maybe even fail. SO what!!!! No one gets everything right the first time. Many people before us have failed their way to success. I would rather join that elite list than to never try anything because “what if it doesn’t work out?” …what if it does?!!!! We have to be careful about letting our feelings lead us by the nose and cause us to believe we are not capable, or drive us to quit. If you have nothing good to say about yourself, maybe you should see yourself as an unreliable source and stop trusting you and find others to love and support you while you are working on being better to yourself. We have to stop giving our power away to negativity, even if it comes from us. You are writing your story. That means you are the editor. You can change what and WHO you need to.

 

Why Won’t He/She just say I am Sorry

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There are words we can use that will truly make someone’s day. We never know what has happened in someone’s life before we encounter them, so being a person who is mindful of that will help us in having a good day (if it started out that way) ourselves and making someone else’s better. When we communicate with others, we should keep in mind who we are talking to and what we are saying. Not everyone is going to hear what we are saying the way we mean for them to. Emotions and experiences are filters and we hear what we think we hear and respond or react to it.

Words mean so much. Just hearing someone say “Please” or “Thank you” can bring a smile to anyone’s face. They are not words that we hear as often as we should and there are many adults that do not even teach their children to use the words anymore. Now another set of words that we rarely hear but we need to in relationship is “I’m sorry” or “I apologize”. Now those are words that will NOT come across the tongue of some people no matter what the circumstance. Why is it that some people just cannot let the words come out? Do you know anyone in your life that has done something to hurt or offend you and they do not feel that they have to apologize for anything? Are they good at passing the blame or explaining away what happened? Then they expect you to move on like nothing ever happened…..

You may think, just like I did, that someone who doesn’t apologize is just displaying pride or defensiveness but many times it is a reflection of their fragile sense of self. Apologies are very important to many of us. They show us that the person did not intentionally try to cause us hurt or harm. It shows us that they would like to reconcile with us and get back to a good place in the relationship. If you know someone that does not like to apologize, you have probably seen them mumble a small “sorry” if they bumped into someone in the mall but they refuse to be accountable to your hurt and will come up with an excuse or use the blame game without blinking an eye.

When most of us offend or harm someone, we quickly offer up our apologies because we know that the person download (4)deserves it and we can feel better because we are forgiven and the guilt of the offense fades. The one who does not like to apologize is dealing with fears (conscious and unconscious)that they will avoid like the plague. Here are some reasons why your loved one may be avoiding apologies…

  1. They cannot separate their actions from their character so an admission will cause them to think that they are bad people, selfish, ignorant, or stupid. They already have issues with their identity or self-esteem and the apology can cause them to throw themselves another punch.
  2. They are so down on themselves that they feel like once they give you an apology, you are going to pull out a long list of offenses that you have been holding onto, waiting for the moment to spew them out.
  3. They think that if they apologize, they are taking full responsibility for everything and you are being let off the hook. Somewhere in their brain, they are thinking that the apology stops you from being a part of the disagreement…(that is just crazy to me).
  4. They use the silence and non-apology to attempt to manage their emotions. They may feel like apologizing is too emotionally charged so that silence that you receive is where they are comfortable; that is where they can be at home in their anger and emotional distance. They are protecting themselves from feeling hurt, humiliation, and sadness themselves; they are not really concerned with your feelings at the time.
  5. The one who will not apologize may be a perfectionist and may be hard on themselves. Because they turn everything inward, they will not feel guilt about their actions, but they will feel ashamed of them. Feeling shame is so much more hurtful than guilt.images (2)

Opening up, apologizing, and relieving yourself of the guilt of hurting someone can be very therapeutic for everyone involved. You may even experience a deeper relationship, emotional closeness and trust for the person after all is worked out. Do yourself a favor and do not try to force him/her to apologize because that could cause more problems than you want. No one should walk around with the burden of the missed opportunity to apologize and get the relationship back on track; it is a heavy weight. We all know that no one is perfect so after the intense emotions subside, if you love each other, all things can be worked out for the good. A huge emotional goal for us all should be to want to be happy and fulfilled in our lives. Our actions should always move in the direction to do what it takes to be there.

You Don’t have to Hate on Anyone Else’s “Snapback”

Ever since Beyonce had her babies, I have been seeing lots of posts and memes about her “snapback”. Yes, the girl is looking good after dropping two beautiful babies into the images (3)world, but so do you! We all have different shaped bodies and there are very few of us that go right back to our pre-pregnancy size right after giving birth. Some of us have super healthy pregnancies and spring up out of the hospital bed and run a mile in the hallways, others of us may get drug around for the next 3-4 weeks because your offspring had to be cut out of your body. The average woman does not look like they had a plastic surgeon on standby after their delivery. We should celebrate our unique little “snapback” because we brought life into the world and survived it. A few more stretch marks and love handles does not mean that we lose our “hot mom” status. Giving birth can be like going to war depending on what happens in the room so those are your war scars. And if you were stretched out of your normal shape, it means the war goes on a little longer to get the snapback results your desire for yourself.

When you are worried about your snapback, make sure you are doing it for you and not for people to have something to say about it. People are going to talk about it whether you are you…or Beyonce! If you feel good and snapped with your thick thighs and big booty, ROCK IT! If you prefer to be smaller, work on it, but rock the body you have and know that you still  have it going on.

download (5)Having low self-confidence can hold you back from being your best you and pursuing your dreams. Those women that everyone is hating on for their “snapback” after birth are using the “hate” to continue to propel themselves into the positions they want. They aren’t really worry about their haters, they are using them.  We all face self- confidence issues at some point in our lives, we just may not think of it in those terms. And if you want to be the best you that you can be, you cannot compare yourself to others, it is a definite confidence killer.

When we talk about snapback, it is usually referring  to your physical body after giving birth. I was thinking about my snapback and how very little I had after giving birth to my last son, physically anyway. I wasn’t happy with my weight and I struggled for a long time to try to look like that 20 year old of what seemed like decades ago. While working on myself, I thought about all that I went through in that pregnancy and in my 2 previous ones as well. Not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually and mentally. BOY, MY SNAPBACK HAS BEEN REAL!! See, it’s not just your body to me… it is your state of mind, your emotions…your life. Some women never feel the same again, even after regaining that sexy bikini body back in a week. Some women get postpartum depression and never come out of it.  Some women lose their minds and their world gets turned upside down. None of that happened to me. None of that happened to a lot of you either. See…… girl, you have snapback too!! Your external may not be lining up with the internal and other people can’t see it, but you know. You know how you are feeling. You know what that pregnancy did to you emotionally and mentally. You couldn’t remember images (4)anything, couldn’t laugh or sneeze without peeing a little, crying about everything and nothing. Look at you now! You are on top of things (or at least almost) and feeling as close to normal as your definition is…. go girl!! Look at your snapback!! Can’t nobody tell you anything. I know they can’t tell me anything…because I am not trying to hear it.

Now how are you going to treat yourself so you show off your snapback to the world and get them talking about you like they do Beyonce?

  • Groom yourself. A shower and shave can make a world of difference in your day.
  • Dress Nice. It can be casual, just get presentable, the world is your runway.
  • Think positive. Change your thoughts, great things will happen. Replace the negative thoughts.
  • Spend some time with you, alone. Get to know yourself, find out what you really like, what makes you happy.
  • Act positively. Don’t just think it, be it! Action is the key to building self-confidence .
  • Stand tall. When you stand up taller, you feel better about yourself and you may feel (and look) a little skinnier in your photos.
  • Set small goals and achieve them. The more small goals you achieve, the better you will feel and you will be more confident when shooting for the bigger goals.
  • Focus on solutions. Do not be a complainer, it is not sexy! This helps you become more confident and people do not mind your company.
  • Exercise. Looking for the physical snapback? You need to get to work, even if you just take a 30 minute walk a few times a week.
  • Be grateful. Gratitude is so huge in my world. I do not have everything I want but I am so very grateful for what I do have now…including my not-so-snatched body.
  • Smile. Smiling always makes me feel better, and beautiful for that matter. It helps you to be kind and causes a chain reaction. Smiles are so healing for someone having a bad day.

IMG_8475Your snapback may not look like what the celebrity news would report, but it is significant….YOU are snapped! Snatched! Whatever you want to call it… Whether it is your body, soul, or mind…or all 3, you have snapback! Embrace what you have and work on the one you want. It is just that simple.

Celebrating Entrepreneurs: Kayla Lee

I met Kayla a few years ago when she came into the salon to get her hair done. She is a beautiful young lady with a whole lot of drive. She has a lot of ideas for making money as a college student and she goes for it every time. I watch her move on what she talks about and it keeps me going when I feel like being lazy. I wanted to feature her on my blog because she can be an inspiration to all of the young people that are bold enough to go for what they desire. She has a part time job and she is a full-time student. Kayla also has a YouTube channel and has decided to open an internet store selling not just eyewear, but other accessories. All of her links and contact information are at the end of this post. So I want to share my little friend and entrepreneur with you…. Ms. Kayla Lee

 

IMG_85261. My name is Kayla Lee & I’m 23 years old. Currently, I am a senior at the illustrious Fayetteville state university, with a major in biology. I recently started a business called YummyEyewear. I always wanted to start a business, I realized that I was great with sales & customer services from previous jobs so I decided to brainstorm. I remember walking  into a hair store & I began trying on eyewear. I realized that my style is very versatile so I decided to start a business that involves fashion.

2. One of my biggest accomplishments at the moment is getting a 3.0 gpa in college as a biology major. College is a place where you can either fail or succeed, it’s all about your approach. Starting a new business, I would like this to be my newest accomplishment. I can my business expanding in the future.

3. I am most proud of the way I go after things. Once I get an ideas I have to try it out. I’m very passionate about everything that I do or contribute to. As a Leo(I’m into zodiac/astrology)we are natural born leaders and we are very ambitious,even if I don’t succeed at something I can at least say I tried & didn’t give up.

IMG_85184. Success can be defined in many ways. I believe success can happen to anybody, as long as you apply yourself it can happen. Nobody has a blue print on how to be successful, it’s just all about taking chances. If you see an opportunity that you believe will be successful, go after it. Don’t let fear get in the way of success.

5. I believe that anything is possible. It’s all about the amount of effort and work you put in. I started a YouTube channel 3 years ago. When starting off I didn’t have all the fancy tools to edit & record but I never let that stop me. I believe if you work with what you got it could blossom into so much more. I take the quote ” I got a dollar and a dream” serious. Don’t let anything stop you from believing in your dream.

6. My why would be, “why wait”? Waiting on money? Start of with affordable products & build up from there. Waiting on conformation? Ask some of your closes friend & family if you need reinsurance. Waiting for the right time? It’s always the right time when it comes to living out your dream. No more waiting, just go for it. Start off small & watch your dreams unfold right in front of you.✨

7. My summer beauty tip would be to stay moisturize & hydrated. The summer heat can be crucial sometimes so lather up with your favorite sun protectant & grab a ice cold bottle of water & take on the day.😊IMG_8527

Contact info:
✨YouTube: Glamkay1
✨YouTube email:glamkay1@gmail.com
✨Facebook:Glam Kay
✨Twitter:Glamkay1
✨Personal Instagram:Nikelle.l
✨ Business Instagram:yummy_eyewear
✨Business email: yummyeyewear@gmail.com

Just how normal is normal?

via Daily Prompt: Substandard

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Looking at how our world is today, it seems hard to really be able to define what substandard is. There are as many differences in us all as there are crayon colors and we are all going to have our own opinions about everything. You cannot define substandard unless you know what the standard is. So what do you consider standard in dating, for example? If you ask the person sitting next you, their answer will probably not be the same as yours. As a matter of fact, you can have a room full of people and probably will have just as many different “standards”. Because we have different upbringings and different experiences in our lives, we are going to have different standards, therefore there will be a different substandard.

To me, substandard is what I have decided not to accept in my life. With all of the things that I have been through, I just want to work toward having a fulfilling life. While going for what I want for me and my family, when I see people, things, and experiences that I feel are below what I believe we deserve, I do my best to avoid it or them. I am no better than anyone I am definitely not going to say that, but I am not going to waste any of my 24 hour days on things that will keep me and my family down. A promise that I have made to myself is to always continue to move forward, no matter what. In moving forward, there is no room for anything that is substandard.