Why Have Boundaries?

boundaries1No matter how much I have accomplished in this life, I know that I am capable of achieving so much more. I am capable of finding what it is that I am looking for…even if I am not quite sure what exactly that looks like right now. I am definitely capable of being happier than I am now, capable of having the right people around me that add value to me. I am learning myself and understand me more thoroughly and I am capable of being the best version of myself, the one that hides nothing, whose confidence glows and she who exudes beauty, empathy, and purpose. That is my mission…what I am adopting as my philosophy. I wake up like this…with this on my brain.

Now this took a lot of work, and I am honestly not fully living this way, but I am working on it, intentionally. It took me what seemed like forever to realize that if I really wanted this I would have to honor and respect myself in a way that reflects this. I mean, if I really wanted to grow in this way, learn about myself, and create the ideal version ofboundaries2 myself, I have to behave in a way that allows me to do so. I had to get to a point where I would be free of expectations, the pressure of commitments that make no sense and negative people.

This is why I needed some boundaries REALLY bad! Setting personal boundaries is so huge for someone that is looking to become who they are truly capable of being. Without boundaries, there was so much drama…

 

 

  • I was a horrible people pleaser. It was so hard for me to tell people “no” and I suffered and complained but still said yes.
  • I took on everyone’s needs, wants and desires as my own and before my own.
  • It was hard for me to let go of dead relationships or relationships that did not add to me
  • I let people stay in my inner circle too long, family and friends, that drained my energy and all of my good vibes.
  • I let other people’s needs outweigh mine. I mean where I barely acknowledged my own needs at all.

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I spent many years like this and as a result, I had lost my sense of self and the relationships, especially the one with myself, suffered anyway. Because I was letting all of that occupy space in my life, it took on a life of its own.

Boundaries!!!

Setting boundaries reminds you to say no to bad habits and things that are not serving good to you…mind, body, or soul. This is not just from others, but from yourself; you do not want to be influenced to do anything or be anyone outside of who you want to be or what you want to do. “No” is not a negative word….not at all! boundaries

Saying no, to someone, something, or yourself, just shows that you are being authentic and clear about what you want in your life. You are loving yourself! Doing something just for you…something you don’t have to feel guilty about or apologize for. You should never feel guilty for wanting to better yourself. We should NEVER feel shame when we are living and speaking our truth.

When we say no for our own personal reasons, there is so much power in that…the biggest thing is your truth. And you don’t need an excuse to live it. No explanation needed! That is a boundary…that is your truth. You are putting out into the world what controlyourself2your truth is…and how you want to live it.

At the end of the day, you are human and you have a vision for who you wanna be and how you want to live this life. There are things that you are not going to stand for, nothing less than what feeds your personal best.

A boundary is you having the courage to love on yourself, even at the risk of disappointing someone else. The sooner we see that the sooner we can get on with truly being happy…having joy.

Easy Peasy…just like that. Say no….stop putting up with things, people and thoughts that do not serve you. You know what is not healthy for you; what is not going to help you get to where you wanna be…yeah that….boundaries!

boundaries4I started small and just showing that little power has affected me in some big ways. Boundaries are powerful and you will grow more consistent and aggressive with them.

Things have gotten so much easier with boundaries. Once you put up one small boundary, you will see the effect it has on your life as a whole. It will give you room to add the things that will bring nothing but goodness in and push you toward being your best you…

 

 

 

No Need to Feel Guilty

guiltyMy son and I had a conversation recently and he was talking about how he felt guilty for not being where he thought he should be at his age. I knew how he felt because when I sit down to think about where I could be if I had only did this, or started earlier, or not listened to so and so… I totally understand, yet now, I realize that I am right where I am supposed to be. I am content in my space and working my way toward my next one.

It really doesn’t matter how many times you have felt it, how long ago it was, the guilt sometimes still lingers. You feel bad about the setbacks, the curveballs, the failures that you bought on yourself…some of those choices may still hurt you today.

If you’re anything like me, you have tried several times to revamp your schedule, read aguilty2 lot of self-help books, blogs, and magazines. Did you think it was a great idea to start waking up an hour earlier like I did? Did you cut people and things out of your life…or maybe you started journaling, meditating, taking walks, or eating healthier. So…how is life looking for you? Pretty good right? But I am going to honest…inside, I still sometimes feel that even with all of those “checked boxes”, there is an unfinished, unchecked box that will finally put me on top.

I understand that feeling of incompleteness when you see a friend living the dream and you are not quite where they are. Especially with my blogging. It’s been over a year and I don’t quite have the traction I wanted but I have faith and I am researching and watching others work. I believe that when it is my time…it will be MY time!

guilty1Yes, you have changed so much about your life and you still feel like your life isn’t “dreamy” enough and admired by all. You haven’t gotten down to the size you wanted, wrote that book, paid off all of your bills. or still at that job you hate. I still have to work on getting up early but still getting enough sleep. I am nice to people but I have to admit that my thoughts are not always as nice. I need to work on that too! We all try our best, but we are still getting average results. This is true but we cannot stop hoping and believing that we can have what we have envisioned if it lines up.

Change is not going to happen overnight for many of us. There are steps we are going to have to take and it may get messy. There isn’t much that another person can tell you to guilty3do because your moves happen in your power…not theirs. Things can and will get better, in time. Maybe not in the timing you would like, but they will. You will walk in the dark, over the hills and in the valleys…but as long as you continue to go forward, you end up miles away from the guilt you felt for not being there already. And celebrate every mile because there are times when just taking one step will take a lot out of you. You will only get to your next stop when you are ready. Getting there may mean letting go of the comforts of where you are. Piece by piece, step by step, mile by mile…just move forward… and move without forcing yourself…when you are ready.

You woke up this morning and you planned to do the best you can. You are taking one step at a time. You are strong, your heart is beating. Just by being alive, you are making someone’s day! They are smiling and at peace because they have access to you. Your brain is functioning and you have passion. Your passion says a lot about you even when you have nothing to say.

Guilt may be chasing after you but look at you! You are still moving forward! Guilt has been whispering in your ear that you are hopeless and helpless but there you are, helping others. Your life means something. You are doing enough….you are enough!

guilty5Don’t let guilt ruin how you feel. You don’t need a certain “checklist” to look at to see if you are living a meaningful life. You are doing what you “should” be doing. Do the things that matter the most at that moment. You will accomplish what you ultimately want to …in time. You are not behind! You are on the path that was fashioned for you. You may not be the greatest, richest, smartest, or sexiest person in the world, but you are the greatest at being YOU! Your life is not perfect, but it is yours and it is not the catastrophe that you sometimes tell yourself that it is.

Speak life into your situations. Search for the good and forget about feeling guilty for where you are. If you focus on that, you cannot see the light on the other side of the tunnel. You are more than the titles you have, your degrees and other accomplishments. You are more than what people or your past says about you.guilty4

Think about what you have done, what you have been through. You are a survivor, a warrior, a lover, you are adventurous, a teacher, an influencer…you are a beautiful soul that is open to everything, you are ever-changing, winning…and you are NOT a quitter! You are who you are. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

I Want MORE!

iwantmore1We have all heard the saying, “less is more”, right? When it is said, the person is most likely referring to getting rid of things in life. Decreasing items, activities, people or just doing less. Maybe throwing away clothes or excess things you own, maybe even removing habits that you see as negatives in your life and they do not serve the good in you.

I am all for it! Actually, I am working on ridding myself of some material things in my home that I am not using but they are taking up space. After seeing how much cleaner my home is getting, for some reason it makes me feel better and I want MORE!!!! I am all for that minimalist movement. I feel like not only does it make my surroundings lookIMG_2071 good, but I feel like I can think more clearly. I wonder if that happens to everyone…

The “Less is more” mentality is used on every part of our day. We focus on having less anxiety, having less debt, not over-thinking, living with less regret, and having fewer friends to name a few. Everyone wants fewer of all of those things, but what if we focused on the “MORE” in our lives?

Putting all of our focus on what we don’t want does not help us get what we do want. If we are doing this, we are giving all of our time and energy on the removal of people, things and our mindset. This is pretty negative to me! This is us thinking about the “take away”. Concentrating on the subtractions…I do not want to give too much time to that. Remember what you focus on, grows!

I spent a lot of time in my younger years focusing on what I did not want in my life, and honestly, those things became monsters! They were bigger than anything I wanted to have.  I had to stop focusing on things that would keep me where I was, or drew me back in life, even if it’s was to remove them…That is giving it energy…life.

IMG_3009I am working on freeing myself from that way of thinking and focusing on what I want MORE of. I mean, how can we expect to create the life we want or become the person we imagine if we only focus on what we don’t like? Or what we don’t want? I am putting my focus on what and who I want to add to life. Doing that, I am acknowledging what I want to subtract but I am not feeding “the monster” by giving it all of my focus. I am also making a choice to add experiences and enjoying them rather than focusing on the negative. Being open to what we can have will be more enjoyable than focusing on what we don’t.

That has been a mind-blowing shift in my life so far…I feel so much lighter! There are fewer should’ve, would’ve, could’ve times when we focus on what we would like MORE of. Don’t pray for another job, another lover, or to live somewhere else. Look at where you are and how far you have come…embrace this space! Smile while you think about the good qualities you have…just focus on what you can do to add MORE into the life you have now. What is supposed to be yours, will be yours if you and it lines up with your given destiny so why stress?

When we spend time thinking about subtracting, it closes us off to MORE and makes ustrysomethingnew think small. If we focus on the things we want to add, we are focusing on the upside, on the current and possible growth in our lives. I am not saying acknowledging the negative is bad. We have to be open to seeing it and growing from it. Focusing on it will not help us grow or give us feel-good feelings so we should not dwell there. More positive leads to less and less negative.

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We are still going to get hurt by a person, relationship or life experience. Instead of looking at this and living in the hurt or pain, focus on the lessons, the good that did happen, focusing on bringing the right people that will bring the right energy into your life. Are you still having negative thoughts? Do not try to suppress them! I just think MORE about the positive things that I see and feel and the things that I am grateful for. 

Because I am a plus-size beauty, I get anxiety when it is time to purchase clothes….yes I do! But instead of staying with the feeling, I am talking to myself MORE (not answering back though 😉 ) about the parts of me that I love and reassuring myself that the rest of me is just as beautiful. I am not the most confident woman when it comes to the physical me and I am working on not focusing on the parts of me that I feel aren’t so sexy or the insecurity of all that thinking. I am a work in progress trying to be MORE accepting of me…all of me. There is more to my “sexy” than meets the eye.

That is where I wanna put my focus…

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My Sister is Here!

IMG_3399So it is happening!! My sister is moving to North Carolina to save me! My baby sis, Dee is a lot younger than me but our communication over the years has been easy. She is a mature young soul and she has my sense of humor…what a blessing! Having family around feels good. Connection with my siblings gives me a different kind of feeling. We laugh, play, and have conscience conversation, which someone like me craves a lot of.

This may be a new chapter for her but it is also for me and my family. We get to love on her, show her unity, support, and utter shenanigans on a daily basis. It won’t all be fun and games because growth is always necessary. I can’t wait to see what the move to a new environment is going to do for her…and me. Here’s to Sister Love!!SGFR2736

 

The Importance Of A Sister

© Shiv Sharma

Published: June 2008

A sister is someone who loves you from the heart.
No matter how much you argue, you cannot be drawn apart.
She is a joy that cannot be taken away.
Once she enters your life, she is there to stay.

A friend who helps you through difficult times,
Her comforting words are worth much more than dimes.
A partner who fills your life with laughs and smile,
These memories last for miles and miles.

When she is by your side, the world is filled with life.
When she is not around, your days are full of strife.
A sister is a blessing who fills your heart with love.sisters1
She flies with you in life with the beauty of a dove.

A companion to whom you can express your feelings,
She doesn’t let you get bored at family dealings.
Whether you are having your ups or downs,
She always helps you with a smile and never frowns.

With a sister, you cannot have a grudge.
She is as sweet as chocolate and as smooth as fudge.
Having a sister is not just a trend.
It is knowing you can always turn to her, your best friend.

Source: https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/why-i-love-my-sister

Misconceptions = Missed Opportunities

misconceptionsNo matter who you are, relationships are very important for you. Close relationships, either family or long-time friendships, are what we build our perceptions on life from. We all see things through our own special “lenses” and make our own stories from our experiences. With that being said, most of our time is spent with the people that have a direct impact on how we see the world around us.

Because we are all imperfect, we will sometimes fall short on seeing love as it truly is. The people in our lives may hurt us or we may hurt them and then comes judgment. But we do not just judge the action, we judge the person and love itself…we may even throw in the towel and quit the person and LOVE altogether. How many times have you heard someone say, “I am through with love” just because of their experience with one person?

There are so many misconceptions about love and relationships and I think we can tackle a few of them now so that we can learn to love people where and how they are, in turn loving ourselves. misconceptions4

For one, you do not have to agree about everything! In my experience, when there are differences, and mature communication, the relationships are strengthened, examined, and value is added to each person when you are free to say how you feel without judgment. If your loved one cannot speak their opinion without you feeling the need to change their opinion, is that an act of true love or control? We do not have to debate with people just because they do not see life the way we do. It actually makes life more interesting to see a situation through the eyes of a loved one and it can bring us closer to them.

Why is it that we would rather be the one whose right than be the person who asks questions to gain an understanding of another’s opinions? I think a lot of people love to hear themselves talk and do not have time to listen. While this person is talking away, they are missing out on the chance to see the other person’s ideas; see where they are misconceptions1coming from, and therefore get a different perspective. From my recent encounters, I feel like we are losing the beauty of an actual deep conversation. I don’t mean all…but I do mean some…In any conversation we have, we should look to be enlightened some instead of looking for the moment to tell someone what to do or say or how to be. Instead of being so combative, we should ask more questions ( except surface talk…I cannot stand surface conversation for more than a minute.) to find out more. In doing so, it may change the way we see things and we may find out that we are not as right about something that we thought we had figured out.

Another misconception about relationships is that humility makes you weak! Because we all have different opinions about things, there is bound to be some shaky ground when we are having conversations with others. Many of us have believed something for so long that the standard of thinking that we have will never change (or it seems that way). Not many will admit it but I think that a lot of people want to change someone’s mind about what they believe without even wanting to know why they believe what they do. They don’t know what the other person has gone through or the experiences that have impacted their view of the world. They just want the person to agree with their views…narcissism at its finest.

We have no reason to look down on or speak negatively about ourselves. We do have tomisconceptions2 be careful not to think too highly of ourselves though. It can be dangerous if we are “getting high off our own supply” and thinking that we can do no wrong. Humility attracts people that want to share and dialogue. Humility takes us away from seeing ourselves as “perfect” and encourages dialogue…giving us an opportunity to add value to each other.

People are different and that is one thing in life that we cannot avoid. Why try to avoid it anyway? We should embrace and try to understand the differences that we have. Gaining understanding helps to reveal the beauty that really does still exist in this world and makes every day a special and unique. We should not assume that we cannot give love to people that do not look, act, or think the way that we do. That’s lame and can leave us lonely if we get extra literal about it. More importantly, is that what love looks like? There is gonna be friction involved when we are dealing with other people. We can learn to respect the differences and let others be free to be themselves in our presence…especially because we want that same thing from them.

There is a problem with us wanting people to think the way we do. I get it…it is your world and in your world, you are always right! We need to embrace everyone with their different thoughts and beliefs…make a big ol’ unity salad! (yes, I am hungry)….anyway…how boring would the world be if we all thought the same, had the same interest and whatever else…clones…boring! I guess people wouldn’t look down on misconceptions3each other or talk negatively…still would be boring. Wanting others to be just like you ruin the chance for diversity, unity, civil dialogue…and growth!

Allow people to be who they are around you. You will deepen your friendships and relationships and find out so much more about who they really are. You may even find out who you really are! You may also find yourself sharing more about you. Adding value to each other is an important part of what deep relationships are all about.

Why Your Squad May Be Hurting You

SquadgoalsOk, so let’s talk about your squad. I am proud to say that I am an introvert but I am a timely social butterfly when life calls for it. At the same  time, I would love to have a squad like that show “Girlfriends.” They had a little bit of everything and that is what friendships are all about.

We do tend to have a wide variety of people in our lives. I have some people that I have communicated with since younger than high school days, people that I have worked with (past and present) that I still talk to, family/friends, and church associates that have squadgoals3become more. I mean, we all should have that one friend that you should never put on speakerphone (this would be me), the one that is always down to eat or shop, and the spontaneous one who is always down to do something crazy.

One thing on the list of changes that I wanna see in my life for this year was having a positive vibes only circle. I mean truthfully, we are all going to have experiences that are trying and cause not-so-positive feelings, but having a squad that you can count on to bring you out of depression and add value to your life is a gold mine.

Consider who your people are…and what you actually need. Then think about this… yousquadgoals2 are a reflection of the people that you surround yourself with.

That means you need to think about who you want to be…Do you want to be positive? Driven? An entrepreneur? A go-getter? Empowered? That means that you need to get around those that are where you want to be or are working on going in the same direction so that you can motivate each other and hold one another accountable.

Take stock. Look at your closest friends and ask yourself if they challenge you, elevate you, listen to you, hold you accountable, or add value to you. Remember that the people squadgoals4that you are spending most of your time with are the ones that will impact your mindset so you have to make sure that you are on common ground for the most part if you are ready to grow and have that positive mindset. Do not invest your time in people that drain you or drag you down. Do not listen to people that tell you that you are dreaming too big or that you cannot do something. Weed those suckers and dream-killers out of your immediate circle.

Positive Vibes Only!!!!

Sometimes it is hard for us to see the ones that are draining us. Check on yourself after you have spent a little time with your friends/family or after a phone conversation. How do you feel? Are you drained, sad, worrying? If they are one of those people that you roll your eyes at when their name comes across your phone..they are one of THEM!

squadgoals1We have to stop allowing negative thoughts to set up camp in our brains. They are going to come but that does not mean they can stay. And that means the negative people as well! If it or they are not going to add to you and help you be your best self…they need to keep their distance. Spend less time with them! Don’t answer every call, especially when you are having an excellent day. Do not get me wrong, none of us is perfect, but we can work toward having what we need in order to be who we desire to be. Paying attention to who is surrounding us is an act of self-love and self-care so do not feel guilty for creating a space between you and them.  We want to spend most of our time with people who inspire us, encourage us and enrich our lives.

IMG_2120I need a squad around me that consistently build me up and add value to me. I deserve that because that is the kind of friend that I am. I truly want to be surrounded by a bunch of beautiful badass women! There are so many of you out there and you deserve the same. Choose wisely. There is no rush. Where you are going, not every friend you presently have is equipped to go, know that. And that is ok!

You should want your friends to be whole and happy and they should want the same for you. You should want those same friends to not be afraid to call you out on your BS because you would give them the same. They should be ready to celebrate with you, mourn with you, and push you when you get lazy. When you have friends that support you and check on you, and even tell you when you are being an ass, you have everything…Congratulations!

Don’t Let Your Feelings Define You

definingyourself2The idea of being in tune with your feelings is not a bad thing. My only problem with feelings is when someone gets so far IN them that they allow those feelings to define them. When your emotions are so overpowering that you lose control, it is like you are saying that the situation you are facing is what you are accepting…you are settling for that and if it is not building you or others up, helping you grow, or kind to you or anyone else, you should not accept it because it is not serving good to your spirit. One of the current sayings out there that I just do not agree with is, “it is what it is.” I do not know why but it just does not sit right with me. It almost has a quitter connotation with it and that is just one thing that I cannot relate with.

We have to learn to separate our emotions from reality. This has been one hard lesson for me but I had to stop taking everything so personally. We should not believe that we are defined by our emotions.

Think about the things we say to ourselves…

“I am boring”definingyourself1

“I am not good enough”

“I have no one to support me”

“I am alone because no one wants to be around me”

All of those feelings are just that, feelings. They are not real/true and we have to remember that feelings are fickle and temporary (thank God) and tomorrow is another day, heck…it can change within the next couple of seconds! Whatever negative things like the above statements that you are telling yourself…STOP!

If I can speak for myself, at one time or another, these are all things that I have said to myself, among other things that were not self-serving. I know now that this is not how I show love to myself so it is something that I am changing and I get better at it every day. I would not let anyone else say these things to me so why was I doing it to myself?! I use to be so timid and my self-love was at an all-time low but I can say that I have grown and I know better so I am doing better.

definingyourself4We may feel these things at some time or another but we have to know that it is an emotion and we will not feel that way forever. We can feel these emotions but we do not have to be them.

You can feel alone…but know that you are not or it will not be that way forever.

You can feel like you are not good enough for someone. Maybe they are the wrong one. You will not always feel that way. And make sure that you know that you are good enough for YOU.

We are allowed to feel what we feel, just to not make that feeling define who we are as a person.

Any feeling we have can and will change!

Remember that feelings are fleeting and can change in a manner of seconds. This is also why we should be careful not to speak or react out of our feelings.

We should listen to our hearts and our gut, recognize what we are feeling and work todefiningyourself3 think our way into another direction if those feelings are not kind. Sure, we can feel lonely, sad, angry, defeated, or whatever, we are entitled to that. We do have to also remember that it does not serve us to be unkind to ourselves so yes, you may be lonely but you are not a lonely person…get out there and be around others and separate yourself from that emotion. You may be sad or feeling defeated but you are not going to be defined as a sad or defeated person. You can change what you are feeling by responding differently.  Get out there and doing something you have always wanted to do, or try it again, do something that brings a smile to your face.

When you have negative emotions, you can always put something into action that can make that feeling whittle away. Those emotions do not have to define you. They are real and you have every right to feel them but if they are not helping you to grow and feel worthy of love, you need to save yourself from yourself and take action to get your emotions in line with who you know you are and/or can be. definingyourself