Loving/Accepting Yourself..for real

curiosity5I don’t think a day goes by where I do not say things like, “I want to lose 20 more pounds…then I will be happy.” “If my waist was a little more snatched, I could wear that dress.” Anyone else?

I have been struggling with this for what feels like forever–always wanting to change something about myself. I keep telling myself that once I hit this goal, or accomplish that change, I will finally be happy. Now, I have hit many of my goals, but honestly, I felt nothing most of the time after I did. I was making it to the goal and not feeling any happier…but why?!

Eventually, I managed to completely confuse myself. I went from starving myself, to eating my feelings, back to starving myself in order to soothe that “unhappy ache”. It worked alright. I saw my weight go crazy and managed to cause some damage to my health. If I wasn’t obsessed with counting calories, I was obsessed with wings!!! Every single day! When I hit my goals and heard the compliments, I still could not shake the feeling that I was not enough. Still saw myself as unattractive and ugly.

artistic blossom bright clouds

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In the past couple of years, I have been listening to podcasts and reading a lot. I wanted to find tools to build myself up and encourage me to keep dreaming and reaching for my goals….I honestly got fed up with myself and decided NO MORE! I needed to heal my emotions because I was acting out of my feelings and that is dangerous. I have been really digging in to find what works for me and how to put boundaries up where they needed to be. That is definitely still a struggle for me.  I am happy to say that I really have been digging in and confronting my issues, meaning the eating, yes, but also some deep-seeded feelings like anger, and hurt, along with the body issues. I now journal heavily and meditate daily and found out where they were coming from and boy has that made a difference in my life. Addressing my emotions was a lot of work and I have made a tremendous amount of progress. One thing that has changed everything for me was learning that happiness is internal, not external. When you believe that you can be happy because of something external, you get into a bad cycle of desiring external validation, and you will feel up and down so you will continuously depend on achieving and receiving validation externally. Even when you do receive it, you will not feel any different, nor will you feel any more fulfilled….you will continue to search for more.

We just have to learn to accept ourselves….TODAY! Just the way we are…just like this. With that head of hair, that belly, those lips, that education. Just like this. If you don’t, it becomes impossible for us to accept ourselves when things change. If you do lose the weight or get the boob job, you will still be the “you” that you were on the inside. If you weren’t happy then, you will not be any happier when the change comes. You making more money? Still you. If you learn to accept the “today” you, you will be able to have better outcomes and create lasting change for yourself.

achievement activity adolescent arms

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

When we accept ourselves……..

  • Happiness–this is what we all want. If we are always thinking about what we need to change, it is kind of a challenge to actually ever feel happy. Happiness is an experience, not a destination. Attempt to let go of all of the things you feel you need to change, and just enjoy you. Just as you are today. There are so many beautiful, funny, quirky, wonderful things to love about you today. Guess what? There is no amount of money, no certain weight or body type, particular car or house, that is going to make you happier. Look at the recent celebrity suicides that have occurred. They could buy any of those things and still didn’t find themselves “happy”.
  • Freedom. Accepting yourself helps you to find peace with who you are and where you are in your journey. You are free from the suffocation of self-judgement and public expectations. There will still be things that you want to change, but you have made peace with yourself and you can assess whether those changes are things you really want to improve or not.
  • Empowerment. Knowing who you are and accepting that person is your first step to self-empowerment. We are unique, yes! Knowing that stops the comparisons and you free yourself up to make changes that last and equip yourself with the power to do it.

So what have I been working on to get to true acceptance?

man wearing pink dress shirt walking through stairs

Photo by Thanh Long on Pexels.com

  1. Let go! You have to let go of anything that does not serve your highest good. Every habit, relationship, friendships….all of it! Get rid of anything that doesn’t help you grow. You may feel lonely at times afterwards, but that feeling will subside. Replace the people and the habits with good/better people and habits.
  2. Mindfulness. Living in the present moment and appreciating it…that is mindfulness. A lot of times, we are so focused on the future and how things will be then, we missed focusing on what we have and do now.
  3. Gratitude. We have to be grateful for what we have. We must also be grateful for our abilities. We do ourselves a favor when we stop focusing on our shortcomings and be grateful for what we can do and what we do have. This will help us move closer to our goals.
  4. Control that inner voice. You hear him\her telling you that you are not good enough, that you won’t succeed, or that you suck. You need to reel that in and replace what is being said with positive words. “As a man thinketh….” Change your thinking! It is not simple, you have to be consistent, but it is possible for sure.
  5. Surround yourself with good….good people, good things….DO things that you enjoy, find joy! My grandma, recently, told me that I should not be around people who just like me. That I should be around people who love me, accept me just as I am. The more I get that, the more I will see….YOU will see that you don’t have to change to be happy with yourself at all.

Discipline…I have little

discipline1Whether it was my parents, teachers, or any adult for that matter, I heard “you must follow the rules”. Was anyone else told that you have to be patient? What about “do this or you will not go/get that? I was even made to believe at times that what I wanted to do as an adult probably would not happen, maybe I should have a back-up plan. Was anyone else told to stop dreaming?

I have not reached all of my dreams but I can definitely see them in the distance, which makes me work even harder to get to them. Part of getting there was turning off the voice of the naysayers and pushing harder past them. I, now, have my own salon business, building an event planning business, and I have recently added travel to the mix. My businesses are not always running extra smooth but I am working on it. I am learning extra fast that in order for me to be successful, I am going to have to get this discipline thing DOWN! Help me Lord!

discipline4I have to admit that sometimes I can really get caught up in my phone and when I realize that I am doing more phone than living my real life, I put it down and walk away. I watch what is going on around me. LIFE was happening right where I stand and I was missing it. I acknowledge that I have become distracted, then I look at my boys…at the people I see when I am shopping, at the movies, or out to eat, and we are ALL pretty distracted and missing a whole world that is still functioning and moving without us. I get on my boys about watching YouTube all of the time. The young one seriously sits there watching some child he doesn’t know playing….with toys or video games…whatever!!! I ask him, “Don’t you have that game?” Why doesn’t he just play it instead of watching some other child play? I do not get that. I mean, my confession is that I fall into the Pinterest blackhole many a night. That is just as bad!!! Sure these things give us a small amount of pleasure, and maybe a little knowledge but we are not getting any real fulfillment, not really.

Discipline is a very valuable skill set that we really need to develop. Someone else maydiscipline5 say intelligence but think about it, anything that you truly want to know can be Googled (shoulder shrugs). I am really trying to focus on my discipline and part of that process has been to shut off all of the noise in my life, focus, and get to work. Without discipline…focus…our lives just become a great big ocean wave. That wave is going to control every part of your day. We cannot let people and things distract us so much that we forget to live life. We cannot continue to let our goals sit on that back burner while we watch everyone else live their best life.

disciplineI have an APP on my phone that tells me how much time I spend on my phone. BOY, did this APP open my eyes! I was spending upwards of 8 hours (broken up throughout the day, of course) on my phone doing something. I can admit that it was mostly distractions like social media and puzzle games( I do read books on my phone as well). Think of how many moments  you waste refreshing your Facebook page to read the new posts, or checking your emails. Maybe you spend quite a bit of time checking your Instagram or Snapchat. Has anyone else done this? Or maybe you had goals to reach before Monday but you decided to binge on Netflix or that devil of a Firestick (I love my firestick lol)? My hand is raised high on all of those but I am learning and cutting down my time. I am now down to 4 hours a day and getting a massive amount of things done in my home. I want to get down to even less but I do run my businesses from my phone so that may be impossible.

We have to work on mastering the art of discipline. We have to occasionally shut out thediscipline3 noises and put ourselves first; put our goals before our entertainment. Write down something things you want to accomplish. I am a big journal writer so I support writing things down and making them plain! What do you want to do? Quit your job? Do what you Love for a living? Maybe you want to write a book, be your own boss, or change the world! Whatever it is, acknowledge it, see it in writing. Believe it! After you do all of that, do something to encourage you to move toward it. The biggest thing you could do is put your phone down and get started!

Start saying “no” to the distractions of life and get to work. Will you merely be a dreamer or do you want to live in the dream?

Kisses….

Don’t Judge me

dontjudgemeThe world we live in is full of so many “standards”. We have to dress, talk, look and behave a certain way in order to be accepted by the masses and get thousands of “likes” and “loves” on social media. For some, this standard may influence us to change and for the rest of us, we adopt the idea of trying to understand who we are and begin to love that person. The more we are exposed to the “standards”, the more we should realize who we do not want to be, and we become clear about our identity and purpose. Knowing who you don’t want to be helps you to become your authentic self. There is no way that we should try to be liked and accepted by everyone. If they don’t like you, so what?!

I am always talking about becoming self-aware because it has been a driving force for me for the past couple of years. How well do you know who your are? Most of us know ourselves, but are we truly BEING ourselves? The environment makes a person change their temperament to one that is not true to who they are. Are you the same at work that you are at home? What about each of your friends, are you the same person with all of them?  Your spouse? Some environments almost force us to behave differently, but we never have to be anyone else but who we truly are not matter who is present or what the situation is.

This world is constantly trying to turn us into something we are not. When we do not fit dontjudgeme1the mold, we feel like we do not belong. Do not apologize for who you are or who you are becoming. When you are in situations or with people that you cannot be yourself with, it is time to go…and don’t be sorry! To keep your peace and your sanity, it’s the only way. Trying to change yourself does not really work anyway when you think about it. It is like painting a without primer, eventually the old color will bleed back through. The old you will make its way back unless you are changing because you want to.

I do my best to stay away from people who do not add good to my life. So no more stuck up, lazy, shallow, and judgmental people in my world. They can be a passer-by but they cannot stay. I do not completely know who I want to be because little things change in my mind often but I do know who I do NOT want to be and that makes it easy to filter my world.

Life gives you what you need, not what you want.

wantsneedsLooking back, the transition form girl to woman or boy to man brought pain, excitement, and awe to us all. We all had many different experiences that may have carried along with it more of one than the others, but we are growing and we made it!!! Despite everything trial…we have conquered and learned…I hope.

I still believe that I am young (45 and still hot as ever!) and when I think back through my decades and what I wanted, I realize that although I did not always receive what I wanted (hardly ever, actually), I did always get what I needed at that particular stage in my life. In my twenties, and going into my thirties, I wanted attention. When you get attention, it feels like approval. Approval meant that they loved me, love meant that I was worthy. To get that attention I tried to follow every trend and fad, I changed who I was many times depending on who I was around to please them and I tolerated abuse and misuse just to have people around. OK, I know I am not the only one here!! It took me a while to see that the attention never did satisfy the emptiness that I was feeling. That kind of emptiness cannot be filled with compliments, a raise, or a lover.

wantsneeds2While moving through my thirties, I felt that I had gotten a lot stronger and wiser because of my experiences in my twenties. I mean, I had truly weathered some storms and lived through some crushing disappointments. I had earned my stripes man!! So now I was seeking to be a fully grown woman and be more balanced, not just for myself, but for the boys because I noticed how aware they had become of me. They were watching and I wanted their lives to be so much more rich (and maybe a little easier) than mine had been as a child. I have to admit that I worked way too much in my thirties and missed some huge things that my boys went through. What I did learn is just how out of balance I really was. So I went from seeking attention to extreme busyness (smh). Why do we get so much validation from our busyness? And still for me…something was still missing. I was letting my ambition beat balance. The biggest thing that I needed to acknowledge was love. The love that was sitting around in my life waiting to be seen and nursed nursed. The love that was true and pure and just for me. It forces you grow up and dig deep and cause you to desire and create balance between work and play.

The love that I needed had to start with me first. Let me say this, no matter who you arewantsneeds1 in relationship with…parents, children, friends, coworkers, or your lover, it is paramount that you be your own first true love. I didn’t know that so it didn’t start out that way for me but now, boy, do I absolutely love me some me!! One thing I had to do to get to that point was to leave the past in the past. Childhood fears will have you walking around with shame about your worth , keep you holding on to labels from the past. Why? Those things happened to you, they do not define you. They definitely were an important part of shaping you into the person you are today but never fret!! Be thankful. Most strong and successful (and balanced) people have been through all kinds of hell to get to the place they are today and they do not despise those small and sometimes tumultuous beginnings.

As we live these lives we have been given, we have to be bold enough to dream our own dreams and fortify our confidence in them with plenty of self love. That self love does not have to depend on having an overloaded schedule or all of the attention you can stand. Self love happens when we are totally honest with ourselves after deep examination and ultimately forgiving ourselves completely….then moving on! It takes time and patience but it is totally worth it to do, and you can start immediately. Begin creating a relationship that will give you a balance of mind, body and soul….a mind that can go below the surface, a beautiful spirit, transparent heart…an authentic relationship with the greatest person you know, you! Becoming more aware of you may help you see who is supposed to be with you on this journey and help you to create an environment that is conducive to success…

Let us not blame others or ourselves for not living up to some absurd ideal. Pay close attention to who you are today and listen carefully, be good to yourself and forgive quickly….then move forward, always forward! When you wake and lie down at night, be the person that loves and supports you most for the beautiful and fallible person you are.

Many Blessings….

wantsneeds3

Strong Enough

strongenough5No more barefoot and pregnant for us!! Everyday we (women) continue to lift the glass ceiling; we are making waves in every industry across the board these days and the world is taking notice. We no longer have to depend on our men to take care of us( although we will not deny him the right to do so). We are strong and have the ability to go after what we want with or without a man by our side. There are strong and independent women taking the world by storm everyday and there does not seem to be any stopping this wave.

A man that wants to date or marry a strong woman needs to understand what he is asking for. She is like no other and can seem intimidating at first but if he gets over that, he can learn her and figure out how to win her over. She is still a woman, soft and sensual, but her strength can be even sexier. Wanna keep up with her? Here are a few things you should know about us…..yes I said us because I am indeed a strong woman!

  • Strong women want a man that is just as strong as she is. You have to be drivenstrongenough1 to accomplish things, have some dreams and the drive to work toward your goals. It is very hard for a strong woman to settle for a mediocre man, although some have slipped through the cracks. You live and you learn though right?
  • Strong women want a man who can trust her. Trust is important in any relationship, especially with a strong woman. He cannot be insecure or controlling! He has to trust her to make the right decisions and allow her the space she needs to act on her own…support her. Do not try to control what she does and says.
  • He has to have a sense of humor. Strong women tend to be a little more serious than others. She is so focused on her goals and can get stressed pushing toward them. She needs a man that will bring some laughter and light to her life. Having a sense of humor is a big bonus for a strong woman. Strong women tend to cry behind closed doors so she needs this attribute in her man.
  • Can you respect her freedom? A strong woman values her freedom. Her individuality is important to her and she needs the space to pursue her dreams and be her authentic self. Her man has to understand that about her. Respect her boundaries or she will be waving goodbye to you!
  • strongenoughA strong woman loves to be challenged. He has to be able to challenge her in all areas of her life. Men that are complacent and looking to just chill through life are a “no no” for her. She is going to push her man to be his best so she is expecting the same from her love. She wants a partner that is going to inspire her to always shoot for the stars.
  • Can you take care of yourself? A strong women is not going to be with a man that is looking for a comfortable life. It is hard for her to respect a man who is not capable of taking care of himself. Period.
  • Be her cheerleader! You have to push her toward her dreams. Remind her of her “why” when she wants to give up. DO NOT be a stumbling block or hurdle while you walk with her on her way to greatness.

The presence of a strong woman can be intimidated to a lot of men. Some just do not know how to deal with an alpha woman in a relationship. A lot of men are receptive to submissive women who will bend at their will. Times have certainly changed and we are starting to call the shots now. Only the strong and confident, open-minded man can handle the woman boss.

strongenough3If a man chooses to be with a  strong woman, he better strap in tight because the ride is  going to be a bumpy and beautiful one, but worth every bump.  If you have what it takes to be with a strong woman, she will see that and she knows how to step back and let you lead. Submission is not a problem. Submission to anyone other than a leader is not going to happen.

 

I Hate Cellulite!

ihavecelluliteThe Spring is upon us and I am already thinking about my Fall vacations that I have planned. I cannot wait to put on those bathing suits, maxi dresses and sandals and show some skin! The problem is I AM NOT READY!! I did not make a New Year Resolution or any other promise to get my body right because I know me and I am trying to make it a habit to not lie to myself. I would have broke my promise, quickly! My main issue is my skin….the dreaded cellulite!! That’s right, I said it. I have cellulite and I am fighting it with every trick I can find!

So because I know that I am not the only one with dimples in my booty, I am going to share the things that I am learning about and using to combat my cellulite. I have cellulite, but it doesn’t have me! (I don’t know why I felt the need to say that). Anyway, we all need to get summer-ready and these things have been helping me so far. I have been doing them for about a month and I can already tell the difference. I cannot wait to act up on vacation and let people see the dimples in my chin and cheeks, not my butt (heehee).

ihatecellulite2Cellulite shows up when we have poor diets, not exercising much, hormonal changes, or it can just be part of our genetics.  They are fat deposits that develop under our skin mainly in our thighs, abs, and booty regions. You do not have to be a big girl to have them either! Although we dread to see these ugly little devils show up on our bodies, it is very common and we can improve them with a little commitment of focused, intentional TLC. So here are some things that I have been doing and if you have more ideas, please share. I would love to know more ways to rid myself of this issue.

 

ihatecellulite1

Massage your skin! Massages stimulate the lymphatic system (that is just under your skin’s surface).  I have a dry brush that helps to do the stimulating for me when I can’t get a professional massage. A combination of dry brushing and massage help to break up the fat cells and circulate toxins into the proper channels to be released. Smooths out the skin.

ihatecellulite5Hydrate! Yes, drink water. For the most part, water is the only thing that I drink. It has been that way for almost 4 years now(with occasional glasses of wine and green tea daily…no sweetener!). It was hard to give up the sweet tea, but I was on a mission to make small changes, a little at a time and I have. Fill my cup up with ice, then give me some water please! I am an ice junkie too. Ice is its own food group…a lot of people don’t know that…..don’t judge me! Water helps to flush toxins as well, especially when you are eating clean. Give it a try. Start small like a whole day, a week, and so on. It will make you feel better and your skin will look awesome too!

Watch the creams that you use! There are a lot of creams and oils out there that promise to help you rid you of the dreaded cellulite but I have read that chemicals that thin your skin, such as steroids, can actually make your cellulite look more obvious. Not saying do not use them at all. Just work on doing the other things and see if they help enough that you will be able to reduce or even stop using creams/oils altogether.

Alkaline-based diet! Eating a diet that is filled with alkaline-based products, like fresh fruits and veggies, helps to eliminate toxins that have a tendency to get stored up in fat pockets and it also helps to reduce the build up of cellulite. Fat absorbs toxins that come into the body to prevent the toxins from reaching our vital organs, good fat anyway. Not only have I been doing this, but I have included alkaline water. Some benefits are

  •      Hydrates you on a cellular level. This slows the process of aging and cells can regenerate adequately.
  •      Detoxifies. Throughout the day, we take in a lot of acidic chemicals and foods that create toxins. Alkaline water neutralizes the acidity and washes away acid wastes products from the cells and tissues. This helps to prevent diseases such as cancer.
  • Brings the body to an alkaline PH. When the body is in an alkaline state, many illnesses, including cancer cannot live there. drinking this water gets your body’s PH in check and helps the immune system to work at its highest potential to help the body heal on its own, keeps your digestive tract flowing, and helps to get and  keep your skin clear! Alkaline water helps to bring your body into the proper state, which is good for your overall cellular function and organ health as a whole.
  • Alkaline water also helps with weight loss, improving mental clarity, bone strength, reducing cholesterol, increasing energy, and even curing a hangover! ihatecellulite3

Those are just a few of the reasons why I drink alkaline water daily. Just be careful when you are purchasing them. Some say that they are alkaline and ionized and have very little alkalinity. DO your research for the water sold in your area. Two brands I love are Avlacier and Alkaline 88, but I am sure there are others out there. I got off on a tangent huh? I really am an advocate of this water/diet. I have so much more energy than I used to without buying an energy drink.

Lastly, do a salt change! This was so easy for me because I wanted to cut salt altogether but this change made me smile. Swap that table salt for either Himalayan or Celtic salt. I not only thought it was fancy, but to me, they taste better too! Table salt is acidic and sucks the minerals from your body. So, if you are dehydrated, guess what happens….CELLULITE!

These are not super huge changes to make and you do not necessarily have to do them all at once but try them. One by one, week by week and see how things change. See what works for you and what doesn’t. I only do the diet one week out of the month totally but I always try to have more vegetables and fruit than anything else. I am working that one slower than the others but hey… I am trying to be healthy and ultra cute showing these legs off this summer so if you have something else that works for you, drop me  a comment. I am always willing to learn and try something new to be a healthier and wiser me. Good luck! ihatecellulite4

 

ihatecellulite6http://amzn.to/2tHIDw5

 

ihatecellulite5http://amzn.to/2DniF0v

Good Friends Show Up

showingupFriends are an important part of all of our lives. We all need friends, but we need to be selective about who we allow to get in that inner circle. As I have grown older , it honestly has been harder for me to make friends and keep them as my life gets busier. I mean between homeschooling my son, working in the salon business, planning events and travel, and deliberately scheduling some self-care, not to mention taking care of home (children, bills, cleaning, cooking, etc) I am pooped! With all of this going on, a friend’s support is of the utmost importance. Sometimes the best friends are not always the ones that we have known the longest, the ones we party with the hardest….sometimes the best friends are the ones that decide to show up. For real!! For me, this is the most important quality a friend can have. I don’t just want that kind of friend in my life, I also try to be the kind of friend as well.

Showing up…..for the weddings, the birthdays and baby showers, the plays, the graduations, the hospital stays, the disappointments. I have always tried to be there even when I have a list of things that I need to get done because what is important to the ones I love has to be important to me. That is friendship. So I will do all that I can to show up.

helpinghands1I know that I have days when the weight of my world is enough to deal with and I do not know where I get the energy to get as much done as I do. Don’t ask me because I do not know…Thank you  Lord!! I manage to summon up the energy from somewhere and things get done…and some things do not. For me that is OK. Even in my busyness, I attempt to show up..those moments matter the most to people who love you. Showing up is what solidifies the friendship and they are going to make better attempts to show up for you when you need them. Just so you know, eventually it will be your turn to need someone to show up for you so remember that when you are turning down invites.

I have often been surprised by who shows up for me and who doesn’t. You can show up for someone time and time again and then when you need them, they let you down. On the other hand, there are people that I have blown off many times and they are the first ones to show up for me. So what I am doing is learning to weed out the ones who keep letting me down over and over again and hang on to the ones that keep showing up. Putting these relationships in the proper perspective helps to keep the possibility of being let down from happening. I want to be around people who enjoy my company as showingup1I enjoy theirs. I am an introvert so I really do guard my time. Part of the change I want to make for this year is to say no to things that do not matter so that they do not deplete the energy I need for the stuff I want to say yes to. Quality over quantity is what it is about for me. It has made for a quiet year so far but that is OK. I have a brand new planner and I am going to fill it up with things that I have always wanted to do and people that I want to do it with. Sometimes we have to reduce “friends” down to a manageable amount for us so that we can have the time and energy to give to maintaining the quality friendships. Be honest with yourself too. If there are friends that you have resentment for, you need to ditch them! Seriously! Resentment is a deal-breaker in any relationship because it can make life harder. Serve good to yourself and rid yourself of the drama.

showingup2Communication is important in any relationship. Without it, things are not going to work out. When we think about our friends, of course we hope that they are showing up to the weddings, milestone birthdays, or a loved one’s funeral. We have other things that happen in our lives that may not seem as important to them that can be overlooked and  cause friendships to be strained. In these instances, we should tell our friends when something is really important to us and if they still do not show up, over and over again, just move on. Life is really too short to keep people in your life just because they have already been there so long. Show up for those you love and the ones that show up for you.