What NO SLAVE November taught me.

noslavenovember2Don’t be jealous, but I only worked one week in November. I did not have to run around for the boys and home or slave over a hot stove cooking meals…. all of November!!! Ok, you should be jealous.

Anyway, I was out there in the deep blue sea taking time to recharge and to also plan. On my vacations I do want to rest, but I also take time to do something I have never done each day and I have my quiet time to think and plan my next moves, or think about what changes I would like to see in my home and within myself.  I am also a people watcher. Observing others help me to sometimes see myself and what I do not like about me that should change.

noslavenovember3We have to be honest with ourselves. No one wants to waste time, money, and energy while we make our mistakes. That is why it is important that we make an effort to learn from our mistakes. Of course, learning from our mistakes takes time. Some of us have to bump our heads on the same rock before we realize how much it really hurt right? On my vacations, I think about the past a lot; not to beat myself up but for reflection on the lessons and to pat myself on the back for getting through it all.

Sooooo….Some things that I have learned from my mistakes……

  • You do not know eerrrything!!!!! I know that this comes to a shock from some but it is true. We truly need to listen to the people that are smarter than us. We know who they are but we do not want to admit it. There are things that you want to achieve and many have come before you so be humble and surround yourself with those that can help. They say no man is an island…it’s true! Life is about fulfilling your destiny, collaborating with like minds and experiencing good while doing it.
  • Stop blaming others! I am so tired of hearing people blame others even for the smallest of things. I was at Red Lobster the other day and the girl never brought out my biscuits. At the end of my meal when she was bringing a box I asked her if I can get some biscuits since she never bought any out at all. We are at the end of the meal and she says “I am still waiting for them to bring some out of the oven.” Meanwhile, she had given some to her other to nearby tables. Just say you forgot and own your shit!! This is a small example and people do it on a much bigger scale at times….come on. Just own your part and move on!!!
  • Love is not what you think it is. A lot of us have a twisted way of thinking when it noslavenovember1comes to love. When others do not live up to those expectations, we flip out or leave. I don’t know whether you see it or not but that is called conditional love and a lot of people are guilty of it and protest when it is given to us. This is a hard lesson to learn and I am still learning it now. We have to let go of our expectations about love. We have to take the time to learn the person you want to love and love them the way they need it, not to your specifications. You will be a lot happier if you just cut people a break and teach them how to love you and learn how to love them.
  • You don’t have as much time as you think. When you were a teenager or younger, you thought that time was endless. You can do what you want, go wherever…..then BOOM, you’re 40! How much time have you wasted on things and people that did not matter? Do you like your job? The people in your life? You have to think about what you are doing with your time. We do not like when other people waste our time so why do we do it to ourselves?
  • Doing the hard things give me more pleasure in the end. I can say that I truly am NoSlaveNovemberin the mood to be quite lazy right now. At the same time I am thinking about focusing on my health, saving money, investing time on my blog and business…and in my relationships. These are all hard for me but my plan is to get on it! When we do the “hard” things, we end up feeling really good about them when accomplished. Tired after the gym….hugs from friends and family….feedback on the blog….money in my account from my business….I always feel a sense of accomplishment and it feels really good. I feel like I am doing more than existing…I am alive.
  • Every little decision we make affects the bigger things. We have to put some thought into what we are thinking. Thinking about that extra piece of pie, sleeping in later, skipping the gym, spending on the credit card to get that new Iphone or laptop. How is this decision going to affect your future? Will the outcome be favorable for your future? Remember that your life is the way it is because of a series of your smaller decisions. We are what we do daily…think about that and adjust accordingly.
  • Never Stop learning. We all know this. We have to keep learning or get left behind in this world of technology that we live in. We want to continue to learn more and develop more as a person. When you are not learning, you begin to feel stuck. It’s time to learn something, a hobby, read a new book, do something! We should push ourselves to learn something often, maybe even daily, no matter how small. noslavenovember4

Happy Thanksgiving!

Its the most wonderful time of the year!! I just love the feeling of Fall. The leaves, the colors, the chill in the air, the warming of most hearts. People are generous, they smile more. It’s just something about this time of year, actually almost everything about it fills my heart with love. We have a traditional prayer before we eat and we say what we are thankful for. This year I wanted the boys to say something they want to see happen in the coming year that they would be grateful for. That ended up making my heart completely full!! Although my boys are older for the most part, 25, 19, and 12, they love our family life. They always say in comparison to their friends, they wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s amazing!! And they prayed for sick and lost loved ones and thanked God for moving in our family and a friend’s baby being born today. That’s what Thanksgiving is all about for me. Love overflowing and not forgetting about others that may not be feeling the way you are. I pray that everyone that reads this is captured by love and feels an overwhelming amount of gratitude for what you have as you look forward to what is to come. Gratitude and acceptance is what leads us to healing. Until we accept and feel grateful for what we have, nothing will motivate us to move forward to happiness. I want that for my boys. I try to teach them to be humble and grateful because what they do have can be taken away. I also don’t mind them being happy about what they have. We should not have to minimize being happy about what we have because someone may not have it. Just be grateful…For whatever you have. Things can be way different, in either direction, so learning to accept it all and be grateful will make everything look different. Your attitude changes and you are motivated for more of the same. I am grateful for my family and friends and I look forward to what loving them all will bring to my life………

Happy Thanksgiving to you!!!!

Alone And Not Mad About It

black and white black and white depressed depression

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

When you are an introvert, people think something is wrong with you. Everyone loves a person that can work a crowd. Most people think to work in groups or on teams is the only way to find an answer to a problem. Are two heads really better than one? Is collaboration the only way of the future?

The more people that I talk to, the more I realize that there are a lot of people just like me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like going out to a party, or being the center of attention. My friends are always going out somewhere or hanging out over someone else’s house and I wonder why I just want to chill at home. Work in groups? Mostly, I would rather work alone! There is nothing wrong with me or many others. I read an article that says about 50% of the world feels the same way that I do.

people drinking liquor and talking on dining table close up photo

Photo by Helena Lopes on Pexels.com

Now don’t get me wrong, I like going out, having friends, or occasionally being the center of attention. It’s just that being with people is not where I get the most value from my life. Being around others, even on social media is fun for me, but I can only take small doses. I always try to have space in my day to be alone so that I can recharge because being around certain people for too long can be draining for me.

Working with people, I usually sit back and let them do all of the talking. I may add something here and there but I will leave it all up to the talkers to run the meeting. Leave me to work alone, you will be surprised at what I come up with. When going out with my friends, I like going to quiet places where we can talk. When I can talk to you and get to know who you are, I can get the most value out of the relationship.

I am an avid reader and a podcast girl and some things that I have learned recently have really helped to add value to my life for sure. I am not saying that an extrovert could not use these same tips, I just know that as an introvert, I have really been able to enjoy my time a whole lot more knowing this information……

  • Learn to be an observer. Just doing something as simple as taking a walk through
    man and woman with two children walking on forest

    Photo by Amber Morse on Pexels.com

    the park and watching people interact gives you a chance to learn how people operate when they think no one is watching. Learn to look at ordinary situations in new ways.

  • Close your eyes in a dark room and enjoy silence. If you had read a few of my posts, you know that I am into meditation. My world is so busy that if I don’t take a moment to step away from it, I would probably lose my mind. We learn more about ourselves in the moments when we are least busy; when nothing is distracting us from the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves and our day.
  • Learn how to talk to yourself. It’s perfectly normal!! I promise. You’re only crazy if you have dialogue with yourself. We all have an inner voice that talks to us. If your inner voice is negative, you may need to distance yourself from it the way you would if it was any other negative person. We have to learn to kind to ourselves and stay positive.
  • Avoid mindless consumption. When I am by myself, it gives me time to think clearly about my life and the direction that I would like to go. Our surroundings are filled with so much noise, it is good to take advantage of quiet time to reaffirm the path your life is on. Mindless consumption? Things like too much TV, binging on Netflix, randomly surfing the internet…Facebook! We are all guilty at some point but think about an occasional change…you can never devote enough attention to coming to a clear answer.
  • Volunteer your time. Contribute something positive to the world. Being a loner does not mean that you have decided to sequester yourself from the world, it just means that you can surround yourself with people and not depend on them for your happiness. Volunteer your time to a cause you believe in…contribute.
  • Understand that you are good enough all by yourself. You have to know your worth. You are priceless…valuable! You do not need the approval of anyone else for that to
    love your life clipboard decor

    Photo by Natasha Fernandez on Pexels.com

    be a fact. When I am alone, it is because I choose to be. It is easy to find someone to spend your time with, but when your standards are high when it comes to who is in your life, you hold off until you know this person is a great fit for you.

  • Value other’s opinions, but value yours more. I do not ask anyone for advice unless I truly need it. The more time I spend with myself, the less input I need from others. Learn to trust yourself.  Not everyone has good intentions for the information that you are sharing and you know yourself better than anyone….trust yourself to solve your problem. When you trust yourself, you become stronger and more confident, which means that you will take on more challenges and accomplish things that you may have thought were impossible before.  You can, then, share your victory with your people and feel even better about your accomplishment.

Time to Hit the Road….(or the sea, train or friendly skies)

road sky clouds cloudy

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Finally, we are leaving the cold winter behind! I have to say that this felt like the longest winter ever. I was still hoping for Spring to stay longer but that was just a dream. Summer is pretty much here and travel season has begun! I love to travel and I want to do it more this year than I previously have. Some of us are just born with wanderlust and look for opportunities to have a new experience in a new place. I try to have at least one big vacation a year, normally a cruise, and enjoy some weekend trips just to explore some different destinations.

ball shaped blur close up focus

Photo by Porapak Apichodilok on Pexels.com

Everyone has different reasons why they need vacations. If your job allowed, I bet most people would take 3-5 of them a year. To me, vacations should happen away from home. “Staycations” are cool to just take a break from work, but you tend to still stay connected to the workplace when you are right there. It used to be hard for me to stay away from work even when I was away before I started working for myself. Now that I run my own business, vacations are everything they need to be for me and more. I leave work at work and make no apologies for it.

So why do we need vacations/breaks?

  • You get a break from working. When I am away from work, I try to forget about it altogether and be in my moment. Unplugging completely is very helpful. Maybe check your emails in the morning, but detach yourself as much as you can. If you trained someone else to take care of things while you are gone, trust them. It will be good for you, and make them feel important as well. They want to impress you so let them. Plus some of my best ideas come to me when I am not at the shop.
  • You have more time to think and find yourself again (if you think that you were
    scenic view of beach

    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

    lost, that is). When I travel, I like to take as much time as I can doing absolutely nothing! Finding a quiet place to just sit and reflect, nap, read, or just bask in the sun. Take time to let your mind wander, meditate or dream. This is a time where you can have a revelation about changes you want to make in and for your life when you get back home. Out in the world, you have time to see things in a new light. New surroundings bring inspiration and/or insight. We can be inspired to paint again, begin that book, or renew your interest in entrepreneurship again.

  •  You get to play! Being a mother of 3 growing young men (homeschooling one of them), running a household while running a salon business, getting an event planning and travel business off of the ground and getting this blog going…phew…I have far too little time to play if I am home. Travel helps me to channel my inner little girl and see the world with fresh eyes. I try to do things that I have never done, or have not done in a while, on each trip. Laughter and smiles on vacation definitely help to melt the stress away.
  • Quality time with your loved ones. Busy busy busy!! That is my middle name. Being  able to have some quality interactions without the pressure of time is an important part of making family memories. When we travel together, it allows us to share and enjoy experiences together and you get to create memories that will be talked about over and over again for years to come. My boys are clowns so there is nothing but side-splitting laughter happening around them. And make sure you take pictures of everything!!! We age and our minds go but pictures bring us back to those times that can get crowded out by everyday life, the good and the bad.
  • rear view of man sitting on rock by sea

    Photo by Riccardo Bresciani on Pexels.com

    You get to relax and reconnect with nature. Most people spend a lot of time indoors. Travel gets us all out of the house and breathing fresh air. Nature’s fresh air brings restorative and calming qualities to us and brings on the relaxation! When we get away from the everyday stresses, our bodies and minds are restored. We are open to new experiences when we get away from the day-to-day problems. When we take time to concentrate on new sights, smells, tastes, and sounds, we are refreshed and renewed. That restoration takes us to our lives fresh and energized (even though we would rather stay on vacation).

The vacation that you choose to take does not have to be long or even an expensive one. From going to a different country or just spending the day at the beach, you can touch on most if not all of the benefits of travel. To be sure that you do receive all of the benefits, it is better to plan your vacation. Just planning it and imagining where you would like to go, will begin to make you happy before the vacation even begins.

adult book business cactus

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

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

Happy, Not Happy

happynothappy2Sometimes life throws us curve balls. And sometimes those curve balls put us in dark and lonely places. Maybe you received some bad news, a loved one is lost, you are in pain, a break up, or you are just having a bad day at work. Anything can happen! None of these things are favorable, true, and no one would be thinking about being happy in the middle of such terrible situations. When we experience these things we ask questions like… Why God? Will things ever get better? Why me?

When we are going through,  we may be able to fix these situations….other times, we cannot do anything about them. This does not necessarily mean that we can’t find happiness and look for that silver lining in the middle of our pain. Happiness is always possible. It is a choice and no person, material item, or experience should have the power to control your happiness.

It is definitely possible to be happy while going through. We just have to learn a new coping skill or two….or three… four (shrugs)…

Happynothappy

  • First of all, I believe we need to see our pain as a sign that we are alive! We have to acknowledge it, feel it…see it, for real. We cannot allow ourselves to go numb or try to avoid the feeling. It does hurt, life does…but we can push through. Being alive means that we will feel love, fear, excitement, joy….even pain. Life is going to give us all of the ups and downs that come with living. Life can be an incredible journey if you really stop to think about it.
  • Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Most people want to get away from pain once it starts. They ignore it, use things and people to comfort them from the pain, lash out, and other ways to distract themselves. Its human! But once we escape the pain, we realize that it was temporary. Life has a way of allowing those things to revisit us to perfect our character. All it does is prolong the issue and a lot of times make the pain worse. Allow yourself to feel the pain and tell yourself that your feelings are valid. Pause and go ahead and feel the intensity of it. Then realize that it didn’t kill you and and this is where the healing and growth begins.happynothappy4
  • Gratitude….I have a gratitude journal that I keep in my purse because my days can be crazy and the beautiful things may slip through the cracks. The smell of fresh flowers, the smile on his face, the sound of laughter, or touch of silk sheets, your breath….these are some of the things you can find gratitude for….even this moment. Find three things that made your heart smile and write them down, no matter how small. We have to learn to be immersed in the moment, be fully alive and aware of the experiences we are having. We have so much to be grateful for, the big and the small. We take things for granted like our very eyesight and the touch of a loved one, or even just having a relationship with them.
  • Realize that you are alive! You are…feel your pulse. When we are in our worst moments we can take a deep breath and realize that we are alive enough to have had that experience, heard that news, or said goodbye to that person. We can find joy in knowing that at the very least, we are alive to go THROUGH what we are going through.

happynothappy3

This is hard, trust me I know. I have had a lot of negative experiences, great and small. There is no magic to this but we can make an effort to try to feel some happiness by remembering the good moments and smiling through while we heal.

Bad things happen, that is our reality. No one’s life is perfect and we are all allowed to be unhappy at times. Although most of these things are out of our control, if we have the right perspective, we will find a little happiness in the not-so-happy times.