You Are Not Broken!

notbroken1For many years, I really spent a lot of time doubting myself. Always wishing that I had a different body or looked different, had a better financial situation or a different life.  It took me a moment but I did realize that I needed to accept myself, the way I was…right then.

We have to learn to acknowledge who we are…now…and accept that person…today…

Why do spend so much time and energy fighting the truth? We do it consciously and subconsciously. Why are we always wanting to be someone else, do something that someone else is doing, wanting to be a different person, look a different way, or carrying ourselves a different way? We really need to get to the point where we accept who we are.  There is a quote by Kurt Cobain, “wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are.”

I listen to a lot of podcasts, read books, blogs, and all of that… We can do that all day! We can repost all the inspirational quotes and memes but that just is not going to make up for that lack of self-acceptance that we may have. IF we want to grow…we have to knowIMG_E1086 where we are now and accept ourselves.

So where can we start?

First of all…YOU ARE NOT BROKEN!

You cannot improve on what you have not accepted. Know that you are not broken. Have faith in this…Live by this!

We all have things that we do not like about ourselves. We have flaws and insecurities and hiccups happen in our lives. That does not mean that something is wrong with us. Even with all of our flaws and mishaps, we are enough! We have a purpose and can continue to grow into a better person.

Wanting to improve yourself is proof that you have power. Setting goals, wanting bigger and better, being inspired to want more….all motivating but we also have to accept who we are and appreciate where we are NOW and allow that to be the foundation for where we are headed. Thinking about our brokenness, whether it be physical, spiritual, emotional, etc, is never going to help you grow into the person you really want to be.

notbroken2Again…YOU ARE NOT BROKEN!

We can look at the things in our lives that we believe are not where they should be and want to make them better. That is ok. I have learned to stop ignoring the things that I don’t like about myself. I am working on acknowledging and accepting them, maybe even love them. Many try to hide or fix whatever we feel is flawed so that no one notices. I remember how stressful that was for me! What a heavy load to carry.  And for what?!

Eventually, you are gonna have to take the makeup off, remove the shapewear, or come clean about what you have experienced in your life. We are gonna have to admit it (whatever that is) and think about how much better you are going to feel once you do. Think about the cleansing…the weight lifted! That is what happens when you stop ignoring what you don’t like about yourself. Nothing wrong with dressing up and accentuating to look your best. I am saying that you should still love the person you are underneath all of the adornment.

So at the end of the year, I wrote a list of things that I wanted to change about myself. Not a resolution, just self-evaluating and looking to improve. I have a few times in the year that I do this; another day is my birthday. I look at where I am and think about where I wanna go next. Some of the things I wrote were…I am not confident, I need to work on this belly, I am not where I wanna be in my blogging…etc…That was me, putting my cards on the table, owning my thoughts…then I threw it away! Why, because I can accept DSC_2694where I am and work toward improving what I want to. I know it sounds silly to make the list but it was therapeutic for me. I also write down what I DO like about myself so that it doesn’t feel like a negative activity. Seeing it all on paper made it more real and helped me to accept what I love and what I do not like. I love my heart toward others, that I am generous, curious, motivated and empathetic….those things matter to me just as much as what I do not care for about myself. After all, it is the good and the bad (or our perception of good and bad) that makes us who we are right?

Take some time to get real with yourself. Confirm that you are that b*tch…flaws and all!

I am not always the best mom, friend, coworker…I am shy at times, not always confident, hardly ever bold, awkward, nerdy, and I don’t always like the way I look. BUT I am also a super caring, energetic, funny, curious, empathetic, powerful and kind woman and I own it ALL.

I am that b*tch! I am she…right now! Today! I am gonna own that ish…. (two snaps in a circle- I just aged myself right?)  I am not gonna ignore my flaws or hope that no one else sees them.

notbrokenJust thinking about it makes me feel stronger and frees me from the judgment of others and myself. I’m gonna move through my days with confidence and self-assurance. This girl is gonna stop judging herself and give my back to others when they attempt to pass judgment on me (your poo stinks too -shrugs).

We are in control of our thoughts and how we judge ourselves so watch what you say!

 

Own all of who you are…the good and not so good. Improve what you can and accept what is just part of who you are. You are THAT b*tch and you are enough and not broken. You are YOU! Own that and grow into who you are capable of becoming…

 

 

 

10 Cool Gifts for Him that I Love

Christmas is back!! It is approaching so fast and I have been so busy.

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Finding the perfect gift for your “him” can be a task sometimes. While shopping for the men in my life, I am trying not to purchase something that they would buy for themselves or anything that is boring. I also have a budget because when I don’t, I do way too much! I found a few ideas that can work for any man on your list. Some are personalized, DIY, and will match any budget.

Here are 10 of my favorites

  1. If your man owns air pods, here is something that will help ensure that he will not misplace them again…a monogrammed Leather Air Pod Case. With the monogrammed case, there will not be a mix up on which belongs to whom. The case comes with a clip so that he can attach them to a keychain, backpack or his jeans. I found this on ETSYmenchristmas
  2. For the photographer on the run, you can purchase this smartphone camera lens set. All you do is clip on the super-wide angle, macro lens, or fisheye to the phone to catch the perfect shot. The clamp design does work with every brand of phone, so no worries. This was an Amazon find. menchristmas1
  3. Personalized men’s wallet is always a practical choice. I was messing around on ETSY and saw some really cool brands that were reasonably priced. You can have initials, their names, or something a little more elaborate printed out. menchristmas2
  4. Sometimes it is cool to give them an experience for Christmas. Why not give the experience of skydiving without actually jumping out of a plane? Indoor skydiving is so much fun and most big cities have a place to do it!menchristmas3
  5. Now, there are so many men out there rocking the beard trend. Are you tired of looking at all of the hair in the sink? Ok, on Amazon there is a beard bib to help him keep his beard sexy while keeping the sinks clean. That is a dual-purpose gift right there! menchristmas4
  6. With this one, there shouldn’t be an excuse for why he didn’t pick up your call. Amazon has a USB Charger Station that can charge six devices all at once. They also sell a car charger that has five ports for either iPhone or Android and it charges at twice the speed as the normal charger.  menchristma5
  7. Charge 3 Activity Tracker Watch from Fitbit is a cool gift for the man who loves fitness or is trying to set a fitness goal for the new year. This one is swim-proof and goes deeper with information on his heart rate, calories burned, sleep and more. menchristmas5
  8. If your guy is one who loves to go through photos and talk about family history, I would get him the Ancestry DNA test. I found one on Amazon right now for $59.00! He will have a blast finding out more about his family history, especially the things that the family storytellers may have left out. menchristmas7
  9. So I saw something kind of cool the other day. I saw some beanies. They weren’t just normal beanies though… they have built-in speakers to stream music or make/receive calls via Bluetooth. The speakers are removable so you can wash the beanie when its time. menchristmas8
  10. All of my boys are getting headphones this year because they know how to make mine do disappearing acts. I just don’t think you can go wrong with getting some BOSE QuietComfort Wireless Headphones. They are noise-canceling and wireless! They have been rated the most comfortable and the GH Institute’s test has given them a top-ranking for sound quality. menchristmas9

There are so many other cool gifts out there. Look around but do not get stressed out. Men are a lot simpler than we think.  Happy hunting and Merry Christmas!

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I’m Outgrowing People and That’s Ok

outgrowingpeopleAs we get older..we tend to outgrow things. We have outgrown our clothes, our tastes and there are certain things that we just aren’t going to do anymore. Have you outgrown Santa and the tooth fairy? Maybe you have outgrown wrestling your younger siblings or dainty little tea parties (can’t say that I have!)…it happens.

Let’s go a little deeper…we have also outgrown some of our fears right? What about some limitations? You are not afraid to fly alone anymore or swim. There is so much more to add to that list. So why are we holding back when it’s time to walk away from people that we have outgrown?

Why are we not embracing the space we are in mentally, physically, spiritually, and/or emotionally and wanting to see the same thing in the people closest to us? Why are we so afraid to let go of the ones who do not serve us? Why waste time giving our energy to them?

We are out here adulting and stuff and I am sure that you, like me, have gotten to the outgrowingpeople3point where we know who we are and who we desire to be. I don’t know about you but I NOW know what it is like to appreciate myself and invest in me and it feels so good.

Regardless of how your mind works, life will always move forward. We can do the same as we grow up and get to know ourselves better. We have to embrace the fact that as our lives change, so will our circles. There is absolutely no reason for us to sit around and wait for other people to catch up with us.

It is OK to outgrow people!

It is not selfish, or spiteful, or mean to do this. We owe it to ourselves to keep moving forward and everyone cannot come with us to the next space. Sorry, not sorry.

outgrowingpeople1Outgrow people who do not know your value, or pretend to not know…

Outgrow people who are not genuine with you and treat you like you are replaceable…

Outgrow people that do not appreciate you…

Outgrow people who are accepting of part of you and not all…

Outgrow people who do not support who you are and what you are trying to do…

Outgrow people who do not talk to you unless its for a favor or the latest gossip…

Outgrow people who do not want to grow themselves…

Now I wouldn’t go making list or anything of said people. My thoughts are to just realize what you do not need in your life right now. Look at how much you have grown over these years! Let’s keep that growth moving by letting people leave when they try or walking away from people that leaving you feeling anything less than fabulous when they are in your presence or even text and messages. You know that feeling…you seeoutgrowingpeople2 their name and your heart starts racing or you roll your eyes…yeah that one.

We don’t even have to be mean about it. We can simply move on. Move on from the one-sided relationships, people that only hit you up when they have “tea to spill” or want to borrow from you and all of those people who do not appreciate you but “keep in touch”. They are all draining and you can tell from the way you feel when you finally hang up or walk away….RUN!!!!

Remember, that there is nothing selfish about walking away from what doesn’t serve you.

IMG_0925Sometimes, we have outgrown people without even realizing we have. Make it real by walking away. Let me say this…even though you are moving on from whatever, you are not losing it because you cannot lose what it once gave you. You once received from them and it helped you grow, it gave you comfort and taught you many things.  Take the lesson with you!

For this upcoming year, but I have already started, it is time for me to make my circle resemble my growth! I am outgrowing and moving on from people and environments that don’t see my value, invest in my growth, and those that are ALL TALK. My prayer is that you step away from the fear of losing and do the same. We all deserve to live our best life surrounding by people that can see our worth and will hold us accountable…truly love us unconditionally.

Opening Up Will Change Your Life

openingup1I used to be more outgoing in my young adult years. I wanted to be around everybody. I wanted to have get-togethers every weekend…now…not so much.

As time has gone on and my focus has been more on raising productive members of society, I have turned into somewhat of a hermit. I rarely shared my life with anyone, especially anything that I was feeling. After you have someone betray your trust, you stop giving it away so freely. I really have become a serious introvert due to past hurts.

I am definitely not saying that I am unhappy with how things are now because in these quiet days, I have learned more about myself and I have fallen in love with this woman right here. I am motivated now more than ever to see my successes and my dreams come true. I know that I deserve it…I did not always feel that way.

Opening up? Not many people want to do that. Many of us hold back…we don’t say whatopeningup2 we really feel. I am guilty of being like this. As I mature, notice I didn’t say as I get older because age hardly matters, I have begun to express myself and not hold on to it and complain to someone else about the experience.

We need to give ourselves the room to say, “I am sad…lonely…tired. I am scared of this. I am feeling insecure about that.” We need to open up! I mean, not to everyone of course. That would be crazy. I just can’t see how it will benefit you to tell everyone you know your personal business, especially if they are not a prayer warrior, encourager, or cheerleader. Everyone that is your “friend” is not always your friend. I learned that young and early. But anyway that is another blog post.

openingupWe are going to be living our own lives and we should just be who we are with no apologies. We need to live it with our whole real, authentic, kind, crazy, soft, funny, hurting. loving selves…why keep it in hiding?

Do you hide who you are because you are afraid of being hurt? Afraid of not being understood? Afraid that they will see you as overly sensitive or emotional? We need to worry less about what others are thinking and more about what will make us feel whole; happy. It is time we live our truth. I will say for myself, that it is time I live my truth…out loud! I have to take up the space that I want to without worrying about comments from the peanut gallery. You should too!

Now, you have to ask yourself how long you are willing to wait to be who you truly are. How long are you gonna stay away from the real you?

There is a plan for your life. There are people who are meant to be permanent fixtures for you, and experiences that you are meant to have and all will make you into a better person. It is true! We cannot continue to shut ourselves off from those people and experiences and miss seeing the best part of us revealed. We are not going to get to meet or get closer to those people or have those experiences if we stay comfortable. IMG_3773

With this new year approaching, I am ready to make some changes but I am not waiting for the clock to strike 12 to change them. I want to be the woman that I am meant to be. That means that opening up, loving people, being real even with the chance of rejection are risks that I will have to take. I am willing to be broken again in order to be remade and willing to lose to make room for my wins.

We should all want to get to the place where we can talk openly about what scares us, what hurt us, how we are feeling, and what can heal us. When someone asks us ‘How are you?”, we should be able to answer honestly and not just give that common answer.

When we open up, we allow ourselves to be…to change and to grow.

We all have hearts beating that let us know that we are alive. Every person or experience that we hand our heart over to is not going to return it in the condition that it was given to them. Know that! It is going to beat a little different. Whether the experience is seen as good or a bad one for you, your heart is affected and it never would have been had you not allowed yourself to experience and feel. We have to be grateful for the opportunity to feel the experience and grow from it. Use the experience for good and become a better you. It’s a beautiful thing!

We just have to allow ourselves to be ourselves. Whatever it is that you are….silly, weird, funny, loving, freaky, or quiet…be yourself!

openingup3I wonder how most people would feel if they had nothing to hide. Imagine peace…

I have to make sure that for myself, I am surrounded by people that will not be judgemental or weirded out by my realness, my past, my present situation, or where I am headed.

I hope that you can find the same peace in those around you…

 

Are You Supporting Yourself?

supportyourself1It is Tuesday!!

Tuesday is one of my favorite days! One reason is that I get to take Tuesday off from work, which honestly just means …FROM WORK! I still have 10 billion trillion other things going on so it does not mean rest.

Depending on how you look and life, the beginning of the week is either an opportunity to start something new or it is the beginning of another miserable week. Either way, I support you and I know that you will prove yourself right. For real… whether you plan to go through life hitting goals or drag ass, I support it. Why you say?

You are growing…or maybe you are stuck in the same position, for a while now. Whichever it is, you are trying. That is right, even if you are failing, you are trying and that is more than we can say about some other people in our lives. supportyourself3

If you are reading blogs, you are at least looking to grow, expand so you are trying right?

I question myself daily. I know you do! “What am I doing?” “Why am I doing it?”. Do you ask yourself the uncomfortable questions? I am always in my head because I am rarely a talker so the questions keep coming.  This is good and can be hard. I mean, who wants to go through life blind, accepting your surroundings and the things that are fed to you.

We all want more and we want better and that is always a good thing. We do not always know what “more” or “better” is and hey, we may not even know what it is going to take to get there when we figure it out but we should be proud of ourselves for even having supportyourself5the thoughts. This means that we are not content with sitting still and being comfortable. I always talk to my boys about comfort and how it can have you stuck when you are made for so much more.

We woke up today! That alone is a reason to be thankful…and more so, you got out of bed. That takes guts in this world some days. Be proud of yourself for going for it, for handling things! You are taking on the stresses of life, the doubt, and all of the unknowns. You may be going through things but guess what…you are going THROUGH! You are living with it, every day. You are a survivor! You should be proud.

I am learning to be more supportive of myself and how I am handling things. Look, I am aware that I am not where I want to be but I remember where I was and I am a long way from there. Do you remember where you were 5-10 years ago? Even if your head is filled with doubt, you have to be celebrating the fact that you are not there anymore.

Be proud of yourself and support for existence, first by realizing that there is no greatersupportyourself power than you allowing yourself to be flawed. We all make mistakes. We exercise our right to choose and we do not always make the best choice. Take inventory and move forward. Do not beat yourself up. Be confident in what you add to the people around you. Remember that confidence is about accepting the NOW you and striving to improve as you will.

Support yourself as you acknowledge your weaknesses and feed your strengths. Allow yourself to work on your weaknesses but do not give them more attention than you do your strengths. I used to do that and it was disheartening at times because I would sometimes forget what I was good at.

Even if right now you are being planted and it may be dark in your current situation, right now you are working to build something special so you may be behind the scenes. supportyourself4This is temporary because we always get back to adding to your highlight reel.

It does not matter what your current struggle is. Whether you are seeing a decline in your friendship connections, quit working out, been single for a while, or lost in your career, still continue to support you. You have not quit! You are still here and you are trying to find your way and your sense of self. That is something you should be proud of no matter where you are on your journey through this life.

 

 

Sipping Tea: The Benefits of Chamomile

chamomileSo I am a lover of tea. I used to drink a lot of sweet tea but now I am strictly hot teas and I do not sweeten them so I try a lot of different flavors to get my mind off of wanting to sweeten them.

So chamomile is made using dried chamomile flowers. It is an herbal tea and most herbal teas are not safe for everyone. The potency of the tea does matter when it comes to chamomile. You have to brew it according to directions because if you are vulnerable to the tea, you could endure some side effects.  I would start with the tea bags and use them as directed and work your way up.

Chamomile is one of my favorites. It has been used for a lot of different health concerns. chamomile1Researchers have even started looking into it helping to manage cancer and diabetes and so far it has been showing some good signs. Thankfully for most of us, chamomile is safe to use as a supplement to other treatments but I would not try to replace my current medical treatments, especially if my illness is a serious one.

So what are the benefits?

  • Reduces menstrual pain. There have been studies that link the tea to reduced cramps. The study found that after drinking the tea for a month, women in the study reported less anxiety and distress that is associated with period pain.
  • Lowering Blood Sugar. Researchers have found that chamomile is not a viable substitute for diabetes meds but it has been found to lower blood sugar and can be used as a supplement.
  • chamomile2Slowing or preventing osteoporosis. The loss of bone density increases our risk for broken bones and posture issues and anyone can get it! It is more common in post-menopausal women due to the effects of estrogen. Chamomile tea may have an anti-estrogenic effect and also helps promote bone density.
  • Reduces Inflammation. Chamomile has chemical compounds that may reduce inflammation. As I am getting older, this has become an issue for me. I usually look to Tumeric because of its anti-inflammatory properties but this possible benefit is a plus.
  • Helping you sleep better and/or relax. In studies, there were patients that fell asleep shortly after consuming the tea, which also suggests that it does help to relax people. Many researchers believe that chamomile behaves like the medication, benzodiazepine, which is a drug that is used to reduce anxiety and induce sleep.
  • Treating a Cold. Anecdotal evidence and a few studies have shown that inhaling the steam from the chamomile tea can relieve some of the symptoms of the common cold. This has not been proven yet.
  • Treating mild skin conditions. A 1987 study found that applying chamomile extract directly to a wound can assist with wound healing. If you can find an ointment with chamomile in it, it may help with your eczema and mild inflammatory skin chamomile4conditions but it is not as good as hydrocortisone cream.
  • May promote digestive health. A few studies have shown that chamomile is helpful in preventing stomach ulcers because it may reduce the acid in the stomach and prohibit bacteria growth that contributes to ulcers. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it protects against diarrhea, nausea, and gas as well.
  • May improve heart health. The flavones have the potential to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are important markers for heart disease risk.

Other benefits are improving skin health, relieves anxiety and depression, and boosting immune health.

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Who should not consume chamomile tea?

  • People with a history of severe allergies, especially pollen. Chamomile may have pollen and other plant contamination so be careful.
  • People who have had a previous allergic reaction to chamomile, of course.
  • Infants and young children. It is similar to honey where it may be contaminated with botulism spores. Healthy adults can fight the infection but infants may not be able to.

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So, if you decide to try chamomile tea to treat an illness or condition, it should be used as a supplement to any medical treatments you are currently doing. It is definitely possible to see ongoing health improvements with regular doses, like 1-2 cups per day. Chamomile tea is a healthy drink that is rich in some powerful antioxidants that have varying health benefits. 

Try some today!

 

Beauty Bit: Rose Water

rosewater5I am always trying to find new ways to care for my skin as I am running from looking my age. I purchased toner that contained rose water because it sounded fancy and now I see it in everything! I looked up how my skin would be benefitting from using water and I found some good stuff us.

There are so many benefits for rose water that it almost seems like some kind of magic potion. IT is very versatile as well. Whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin, rose water can be a part of your beauty routine. I think that alone makes it a secret weapon for all women to use and benefit from.

In choosing a product, the first thing you need to do is make sure that you buy only 100% pure rose water (the distilled water of roses), the by-product of rose oil production. The use of rose water dates back to early Egypt when Cleopatra was said to use it in her beauty routine. She is the world’s most legendary beauty queen so if she used it…….rosewater4

Ok, so let’s talk about some skincare and hair care uses of rose water…

  • Rosewater helps maintain the skin’s PH balance and also controls excess oil.
  • Rosewater has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce redness of irritated skin, get rid of acne, dermatitis, and eczema.
  • Aids in removing oil and dirt from the skin accumulated in clogged pores so it is a great cleanser.
  • Rosewater helps hydrate, revitalize, and moisturize the skin giving it a refreshed look.
  • It also has antibacterial properties so rosewater also aids in healing scars, cuts, and wounds.
  • rosewater2The antioxidant properties help to strengthen skin cells and regenerate skin tissue.
  • Applying rose water after steaming tightens capillaries, reduces redness and blotchiness
  • The aroma is said to be a powerful mood enhancer that can rid you of feelings of anxiety and promotes emotional well-being making you feel more relaxed.
  • Rosewater also enhances the quality of your hair with its nourishing and moisturizing properties. It is a natural conditioner and revitalizes hair growth
  • It is known to treat mild scalp inflammation and get rid of dandruff.
  • rosewater3The scent of rose water on your pillow is said to help you sleep better
  • It also helps with aging, keeping wrinkles and fine lines away.

Rosewater can also be used to lighten skin pigmentation. It can be mixed with any face mask that you love, it works wonders! It is a part of my everyday routine now and I love it. When I go for my facials, my esthetician is impressed with this 46-year-old skin and does not even make suggestions anymore for my routine! +