Captured | A 30 Day Photo Challenge

Tuesday, July 31, 2012 5:24 PM


mama and bebe
I'm really excited and nervous to start this photo challenge on Monday, 8/6.  It's a stretch for me and I really don't know what to expect.  I'll either be really excited or really embarassed to share my photos with you all everyday.  But this is part of my whole initiative to be more bold and unashamed of myself.  It's also a great way to look at the world with fresh eyes, trying to capture moments, feelings, energy.  Woo hoo!  This is going to be fun. 

If you want to join me for all of part of this challenge, simply share the links to your photos in the comments of the 30 posts.  I'll also be sharing the photos on Instagram (@thewritecurl).  


A Hint of Things to Come

Monday, July 30, 2012 11:00 AM


Happy Monday Loves!

I wonder what the week holds.  It's going to be the beginning of a very eventful month for me.  I'm hopeful and ready to roll.  Today, I'm sharing another project with you.  I'm taking snippets from various WCD posts and creating prints.  If you feel so inclined, I'd love it if you pinned any of these that speak to you.

This week, I encourage you to try some new way of sharing what you do.  Don't overthink it.  Just do it. 

















4 Things.

Sunday, July 29, 2012 1:16 PM

Check out my new ABOUT page. 


{1}

We're nearing the end of my daily posting challenge!  That doesn't mean that I'm going to disappear.  I'd love to keep it going, but for now at least, I have to shift gears.  Remember that test I was studying for a few months ago??  I HAVE TO TAKE IT AGAIN!!!!  AHHHHHHHH!!!!!

I can honestly say that I didn't prepare as much as I should have the last time.  If I want to be done with it once and for all, I really have to commit to it.  I underestimated how much preparation I would need.  But now, I know what I need to do. 

So what does that mean for us?  You know, this thing we have going here.  Well, it'll be a like a long distance relationship.  We'll still talk but not everyday.   I'll still write occasionally, and I have writing assignments in other places that will continue.  I'll still reach out via twitter or by visiting your blogs, but not as often as I would like.


{2}

But guess what?  The end of my daily posting challenge will lead into a 30 day photo challenge that will start on August 6.  I've been wanting to do this and I think now is the perfect time.  It will help us stay in touch and it will help keep my creative momentum going.   I'll tell you though, in the middle of August, I'm scheduled to have surgery.  I'm not sure how this will affect the challenge, but I'm optimistic that I'll be able to work around it.  Do you follow me on instagram (@thewritecurl).  I'll be sure to share photos there too.


{3}

I appreciate the encouragement and feedback that you all gave me during the daily post challenge so much.  To thank you all, I'm hosting a giveaway!  I'll share the details next Sunday, which will be the last day of the challenge.  I'll give you a hint though, start thinking about which one of the daily posts, from July 6 through August 5 was your favorite and why.


{4}

I changed my About page.  Would love for you to read it.

That's all I got for now.  I think my family is getting jealous of my laptop.  Time to unplug.  Enjoy your day!  xo


Weekend Whimsy| Beauty and The Heat

Saturday, July 28, 2012 12:38 PM

            

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world. ~Ada Louise Huxtable

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Summer summer summertime!
;-)


Two Broken Hearts

Friday, July 27, 2012 3:47 PM



Maybe she was wrong. Maybe she wasn't.  She knew he'd end up wanting more than she could give him,  but sometimes she just needed an audience.  She was tired of being set aside and misunderstood.

She would call him and before she could say "come get me", he would say that he was on his way.  He was always the perfect escape at the perfect time.    She knew that he would see in her what she wanted him to see.   It was easy to captivate him.  She knew that for weeks after he would send texts and emails telling her how her lips felt and how her words enlightened him and lingered in his mind.  

This made her feel alive and wanted.  A break from feeling unsure and unappreciated.

Maybe she was wrong for leading him on.  But she didn't set out to cause pain.  She really thought his love would heal her.   Instead, it smothered her. 

She didn't understand.  Was she damaged?  Was she only able to connect with other damaged souls?   What kind of person only feels at home in chaos?  Or only feels passion in the midst of crisis?  When the answers didn't come fast enough, she'd make the call.  And again, he would come.

He held on to the days and nights they spent.  He'd watch her open up and then shut down.  Her inconsistency made him want her more.  Something about her attention made him feel super human, so he savored whatever she was able to give.  Deep down, he knew that she would never be his.  So for as long as he could, he decided to be where she needed him to be.  He felt a duty to her that he couldn't explain.

In the end, he asked if she had ever loved him.  She did.  She adored him.  But she adored him for his love of her.  For making her feel safe and rescuing her when she got too close to the ledge.  She loved him for reacting to her so shamelessly and noticing everything about her.  Giving her everything that she'd been missing even when she wasn't able to reciprocate. 

No matter how she tried, she couldn't give him what she still held in her heart for someone else.  


Why You Should Do Everything In Your Power to NOT Fit In

Thursday, July 26, 2012 9:39 AM




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There are things about you that make you feel different from everyone else. Some are positive things and some things you perceive to be negative.

If you've already learned how to embrace the things that make you unique, then I must inform you that you now - whether you like it or not - have become an inspiration for those who aren't there yet.
When I meet people - in person or online - who are very in touch with who they are and seem uninhibited, I feel aroused in a way -  in the sense that it awakens me to my own desire to express myself.

I've decided that I want to arouse those feelings in other people.  Yes, I want to arouse you, my loves, to be more of your beautiful selves.  Today, I'm giving you a brain dump of 14 reasons why you should be shameless about who you are.  Can you add to this list?!

{1}  To gain a better understanding of what makes you tick.
{2}  To attract people in your life who love you for the real you.
{3}  To attract opportunities based on what you are naturally good at.
{4}  To inspire people around you to be themselves.
{5}  To accept yourself, flaws and all, and therefore be more accepting of others.
{6}  To be confident and not easily swayed.
{7}  To be consistent and sincere - not showing different faces to different people.
{8}  To be a leader.
{9}  To be self-driven and own your own experience.
{10}To free your mind up from limitations that aren't real.
{11}To be openminded.
{12} To reduce the impact of fear and anxiety in your life.
{13} To be brave and believe in all the possibilities.
{14} To honor God. You were made the way you are for a reason. By honoring yourself, you are honoring your Creator.

When you have those moments where you feel awkward, or you feel uncomfortable with yourself, remember that fitting in - to the point of denying yourself - is not what you are here to do.  You not only have permission but you have a responsibility to feel how you feel and to be who you are.


What's going on with my hair?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012 10:27 PM



If you're missing my hair posts here you can click over to the Transitioning Movement and check out my latest.  I've been wearing mostly buns all summer.  The past couple of weeks, I've worn it down a few times but for the most part it's been too hot.  Very soon, I'll do an update on what products I've been using and probably a length check.  What's new with your hair?  How have you been wearing it during this heat wave?? 


Life's Currency

Tuesday, July 24, 2012 6:55 PM



Experience takes time.

Experiencing life for myself has always been my preference.  Usually, I decide to experience things before I even have a firm grasp of what I'm getting myself into.  If it feels like I need to do it to become a wiser person, then I do it.  It's a blessing and a curse. 

It's a blessing because I make my own decisions and I know that I won't truly feel settled in a situation that I was forced into against my own judgment.  But I also perceive it as a curse, because I put myself through a lot of heartache when I'm trying to figure things out.  I annoy myself with my humanness.

Because I want to do it all.  If I could I would find a way to avoid sleeping altogether I would.  So I could put those hours towards something that seems more productive.  Time is one of life's currencies.  I can't circumvent it, no matter how I try.  What am I willing to give up in order to "have it all"?  What is the cost?

We are living in a time when we have so much access to each other's lives. We see what everyone else is doing and we get distracted from what we are doing.  Even if you know how to juggle, you will eventually start dropping balls if you are trying to juggle your own life and your own passions along with those of everyone else. 

I want you to remember to stay in your own skin and experience life for yourself.  What can you do right now?  Really?  What is it you truly want right now at this time in your life?  How much will it cost you and do you have the capacity to enjoy it and relish it?

For me, it's like being in my favorite store and seeing five shirts that I absolutely LOVE.  I can't decide between them.  I want to feel all of them on me.  I see myself wearing them with different pants and skirts and I want everyone to see me in all of them, so I buy all of them.  The only problem is, I really don't have enough money for all of them.  I start rationalizing in my mind how I can pay this bill late or cut back on something to make up for the amount I overspent.   Now, I have the shirts, but I also have the guilt, the regret and the debt that I bought myself right along with the damn shirts.  If only I had lived within my means.

Don't oversaturate your life by trying to do it all - all at once.  Is that what you really want?  Just to say you did it?  Just to feel the gratification?  Or do you want to really feel the process, experience it, and remember it so you can one day tell the tale.  "I dreamt this, I prayed this, I nurtured this, and I achieved this."  That's what I want.  Authentic and meaningful experiences.  I want that for every single one of my endeavors - whether it's being a devoted mother or being a successful writer. 

And why should we resist the honesty of time?  The nature of time is to prevent everything from happening at once.  And I don't want my everything to happen at once.  I don't know about you, but my favorite part of a climax is the ascent. 

Just Baggage Enough

Monday, July 23, 2012 6:41 PM

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Bag lady you gone hurt your back
Draggin all them bags like that
I guess nobody ever told you
All you must hold on to
Is you, is you, is you...
-Erykah Badu


I've thrown all of my purses away.  Well, I donated them actually.  I kept my Coach crossover bag that I got for Christmas this past year and few clutches.  The rest had to go.  Do you ever look at things taking up space in your closet and wonder how the hell they got there?  I don't remember who I was when I bought some of those things and I couldn't stand having them in my possession anymore.

I'm craving simplicity and longevity.   So, I'm rebuilding my purse collection starting with a staple camel colored bag that I can carry everyday.

Unless I'm going out at night, I always carry a big bag that can fit the random stuff that moms need and then I keep a clutch or wristlet in it to hold my money, cards, phone and lippy.  I'm going to take my time, save my pennies and wait until I find just what I'm looking for.  I've been looking for awhile for something similar to this:



I'm enjoying the process of purging the unnecessary stuff from my life.  Someone once said, "Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough."   I'm so living in that right now. 

 



Where the Magic Happens

Sunday, July 22, 2012 12:02 PM

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Remember the post I wrote about self-promotion?  I'm determined to get over this issue, so I did some research. 

Kristi Hedges, the author of  Power of Presence: Unlock Your Potential to Influence and Engage Others talks about getting comfortable with self-promotion by thinking of yourself as a vehicle for  whatever message you are trying to spread.   It's not about promoting yourself gratuitously for shallow reasons, it's about using the right platforms to promote ideas that matter to you. 

I haven't read the entire book, but found out about it through Hedges' article:  The Cure for People Who Hate to Self-Promote.  The short article gave me some much needed perspective.

In Nathan Hangen's article, The Art of Shameless Self-Promotion, he talks about self-promotion vs. self-adulation.  I've searched myself many times to find the source of my discomfort and I know part of it is the feeling that I'm being cheeky and obnoxious by constantly talking about what I'm doing and why you should care. 

Hangen says, "The reason that self-promotion works and self-adulation doesn’t is because self-promotion is the art of spreading ideas, concepts, and a greater vision. Self-adulation is just the promotion of accomplishments, deeds that have already been done...

When you promote ideas, you give people something to cheer for...  Your ideas might inspire hope, thought, or action . . . but as a general rule, good ideas inspire something."

I started writing and blogging because I felt that I could improve upon the silence around things that mattered to me like emotional health and inner beauty.  As long as I remember why I'm doing what I'm doing, I can spread a very confident message and be succussful in finding the people who need to hear it. 

It's not just what you do, it's how you do it.  In order to become more confident and uninhibited about what I do, I came up with a few initiatives. 

30 day photo challenge. Another vehicle for self-discovery and expression.  Coming soon.

My first book.  It will be a compilation of essays and will set the tone for the type of author I want to be.

Videos. Going completely out of my comfort zone, I'm planning to start doing video blogs occasionally to help me get over my fear of, well, talking.  I'm fine talking one on one but having an audience freaks me out.

Public speaking. I want to be able to engage people through my verbal delivery as well as through writing.  This doesn't come so naturally to me, so I have some work to do.  Every instinct in me tells me that I'm going to need this skill to complement my writing.

I'm just going to keep stretching myself  because this is what freedom feels like for me. 

Have you stretched today?!  Remember, the magic happens when you step outside of your comfort zone.


Weekend Whimsy: Lovely Twist Outs

Saturday, July 21, 2012 12:00 PM



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In A Word: Chemistry

4:13 AM

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I'm a little late for Friday's post.  It was one of those days. I'm just happy that I'm still awake.

So. 

How would you explain chemistry?  The kind you have with your significant other or your best friend?  The kind you have with a business partner or creative soulmate?   Sometimes chemistry is a fleeting fascination that comes and goes and leaves you different than it found you.

I have a certain kind of chemistry with you as a reader.  It has something to do with understanding.  Or intrigue perhaps.  Somehow, we're on the same wavelength. 

It's very fluid.  When you mix the elements that make you who are, with the elements of someone else, you get all kinds of reactions.   I don't know why some people vibe and some don't, but it can't be forced.  Chemistry is a product of the soul. Sometimes it plays out in your mind, sometimes your body, sometimes both.

I once had a dance teacher once who exuded light and energy.  She literally burst into every room she entered and hugged everyone as a greeting.   I saw big pieces of myself in her.  Pieces that I couldn't  acknowledge at the time because I was in my way.

I didn't understand why, but I felt one with her.  Like we came from the same village.  Where people smile and dance around and hug each other.  Where love is law and there's no other way to live.  She made me feel different about my own light.  Less embarrassed by it.  Just by her being herself.  My spirit saw a reflection of something familiar in her.

That was a safe example.  Physical chemistry can be more dangerous. Not awake enough to really touch that.   Maybe next time.  For now, goodnight.



3 Things.

Thursday, July 19, 2012 6:08 AM


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{1}
If you're me - and none of you are, but many of you are my soul sisters, so I know you understand - when you write for your blog every single day, you end up giving a wider range of emotions.  And while that leaves me feeling a bit naked, it's exactly what I wanted.  I really need to strip myself in order to write well.  What I'm learning through the various exercises that I put myself through is that I'm not trying to always have a destination or conclusion. I just want to explore and bring you along with me.  And perhaps, allow you to find pieces of yourself in me.

{2}
I've been working out on a regular basis for about three weeks now, and I'm so proud of myself.  Inside and out, I feel reconnected to my body.  Since I had my youngest daughter, who is two now, I've only worked out here and there.  I'm very active and I eat reasonably well, so I would tell myself that that was enough.  But the reality is that I'm 34, not 24 and I want to be energetic, strong and agile as I age.  I want to feel and look healthy, and dammit I want my clothes to fit well.  Okay so you dragged it out of me.  The main thing that pushed me out of my rut was the fact that my clothes were getting too tight!  Whatever works, right?  When I gain weight, it's always in my tummy, my thighs and my butt.  My goal is to shape my body so that I lose the tummy, but keep the thighs and butt and just tone them up.  If you have any tips on  how to do that, please share!

{3}
The other day, one of my readers suggested that I read "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.  It's on my list, but I haven't gotten to it yet.  I do have "A New Earth" by Tolle and I read it in spells because it's very deep and I need to read a little bit at a time and let it digest.  The following excerpt gave me a lot to think about:

"To end the misery that has afflicted the human condition for thousands of years, you have to start with yourself and take responsibility for your inner state at any given moment.  That means now.  "Is there negativity in me at this moment?"  Then, become alert, attentive to your thoughts as well as your emotions.  Watch out for low-level unhappiness in whatever form, such as discontent, nervousness, being fed up and so on.  Watch out for thoughts that appear to justify or explain this unhappiness but in reality cause it."


The Chosen One

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 5:45 PM


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We talked about having kids. Who they would look like and how we would raise them. Despite our risky behavior, it seemed like such an improbable concept. Kids?  Maybe one day. Not now. I was still figuring out why I even liked this guy so much. He was rough around the edges. He dropped out of college and didn't have a plan. But I was not thinking about stability at the time. He was a fun escape from a heartbreak that had taken its toll on me. 

We were so young. Our first kiss was the result of a drunken truth or dare game. It was the first of many. I liked the way he would sneak up behind me and kiss me on the neck. And how when I looked at him, he would already be looking at me. Butterflies. We'd say serious things to each other but continue to insist that it wasn't serious. We were only a couple when we were together. We dated other people. We played games. It was easy but it was hard and I thought I was okay with it until I got pregnant.

That was 10 years ago. We're still together. I still catch him looking at me and he still gives me surprise neck kisses that send tingles down my spine. We have three babies. We know who we are and who we aren't. We're settled. But when I look at him, I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't gotten pregnant. Would we have tried so hard to make it work? Would we still have picked each other?

I guess I feel robbed.  Like I'll never have that moment of feeling...chosen.

Chosen by way of free will decision, not by responsibility or obligation.

During our hard times, I've felt more like a default option. The mom that comes with the kids.

During good times, I've felt like the best thing that ever happened to him. Which is what he tells me. But my mind still doubts.

And I don't know what to do about that. The kisses help, but still, they are not quite enough.

Anyone Can Write a Book. Even Me.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012 8:11 PM




Me.  Working.

The other day I shared a post with links to some oldies but goodies from the archives.  Some of my old posts are pretty embarrassing.  But what I find most enlightening when I go back to read my old posts is that it's not like you figure things out and never doubt yourself again. I wish it was that simple. I feel like I'm constantly having to revisit, relearn and reapply everything. Writing is practice for me. I become a better writer through practice, but I also become a better, more honest person. I guess what I'm saying is, I practice living through writing.

I'm in the process of compiling my most favoritest posts into a book.  There will be some new stuff, but my fundamental purpose is to capture this blog and my contributions to Peace Love and Pretty Things as a moment in time.  The moment that I rediscovered writing, my purpose and ultimately my true self. 

I don't have any certifications relating to emotional health. I'm not a licensed expert. But I've had a bumpy ride to becoming a well-adjusted, independent, self-aware person.  Things could have turned out quite differently for me and everyday I still have to choose to be happy and not let my fears overwhelm me. 

The thoughts and advice that I share on my blogs and in my future books will be from the perspective of a survivor.  One who feels sadness underlying my happiness every single day.  I'm not trying to be morbid, I'm just being honest.  And despite this reality, I'm one of the most joyous people I know.  I want to share my experiences and help others learn to find the value in their shadows as well. 

I was going to keep the book thing a secret, but as I've said before, my blog holds me accountable!!  So, I'm putting it out there into the universe. Me. Book. Happening. For serious.  

But I'm going to do it my way.  Sometimes well-intentioned folks and their "helpful" advice do nothing but hinder your process. I know you know what I mean.  I'm excited about using my gifts in my own way and learning awesome things all along the way.

What about you?  Are you working on a project?  Is it out of your comfort zone?  Inspire me!
P.S. I was going to make the title of this post "The Book I'm Gonna Write That Is Already Wrote."  But then I changed my  mind.

3 Posts You've Never Read

12:47 AM


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Today, I feel like I'm cheating a little bit on my challenge because the content I'm sharing with you is not new.  But I believe my intention was to post/share something with you each day - so technically I'm still doing that.   The following posts were all written for Peace Love and Pretty Things over the last three years.  As you know, I'm celebrating three years of blogging, so it feels good to look back at where I've been. 

All of the following posts reflect aspects of my journey from self-hate and insecurity to learning to love myself just the way I am.  I'd be surprised if you didn't find pieces of your own journey in my words.  I love to get feedback from you readers who tell me that our feelings and experiences are so much alike.  In a big way, that gives me more motivation to follow my passion for writing and continue trying to help people. 

Do You See What I See?

When you look in the mirror, what do you see?  Your imperfections? Your big this or small that? Do you see a reflection of criticism, thoughtless comments and judgments?

Is it easier to perceive your uniqueness as unbecoming than it is to own it as oh so right for you? Do you long for thicker hair? straighter hair? clearer skin? smaller waist? larger breasts?

Do you see all the things you can't afford, haven't accomplished and the vices you have yet to overcome?

Do you see all the people who have told you that you can't, you won't or you shouldn't? Do you see all the moving obstacles in your path? Are your eyes deep with the pain you have seen and felt?

Do you see a victim that has been lied to, betrayed, misunderstood and cast aside? Do you see someone who has fallen short? Do you see defeat?

...Or do you see what I see? Beauty is a state of mind, you know. So for beauty to spring forth from your mind, you must think it before you can see it.  Read More...

Beautiful Shadow

Let me start by saying... it's not easy to pick yourself apart and take responsibility for your own peace of mind. There are so many easier things to blame. Frequently in my life, I've allowed jealousy to distract me from what's really missing within myself. I can't tell you how difficult and liberating it is for me to admit this. This is part of my shadow, and as I explore it, it becomes less scary and more beautiful to me.

Jealousy has manifested itself as insecurity in my relationships with friends, family and lovers. No matter how much I am loved and supported by loved ones, I still hear that small voice that doubts and tries to chip away at my joy.

As relationships have evolved, grown and dissipated in my life, I've found myself questioning why. Instead of letting life flow on naturally, I resist and I look for meaning in the changes to somehow indicate that I'm lacking something. "Why did this person stop talking to me? Why did we grow apart? Why is he reaching out to her and not me? Why does he have female friends? Does she like her new friend more than me? Why wasn't I invited to this?" In other words - I project my own self-doubt into my relationships and distort the normal growth and change of my relationships.  Read More...

Breaking Through: 6 Stages to Personal Freedom

We like to cite our formal education, credentials and status because it makes us feel relevant and important. But a meaningful life can't be captured on paper, right? It's a very personal and intimate discovery of self that makes life truly fulfilling. This discovery isn't taught in the classroom, and many of us don't even realize that this is what life is really about. Eventually, we all encounter a moment where we have to face ourselves. In order to be fulfilled and connected to our purpose, we must come to understand our inner world as well as we understand the external world that we live in.

The following stages of self-discovery help us rediscover what is already real inside of us: unlimited self-confidence that is unaffected by people's opinions and not driven by the need for approval. The experience of these stages is unique to every individual, but the purpose is to become aware of yourself, your journey, and your power.  Read More...


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Are you documenting your journey in some way?  If you're not...why not?!?!

Weekend Whimsy: Must Love Hair

Sunday, July 15, 2012 11:00 AM


I look to each of the following bloggers/vloggers for haircare tips and style inspiration. 


Hey Fran Hey

Meechy Monroe


Chime from Hair Crush


Chai of Back to Curly



Whitney from Naptural85


Hairscapades


I've been wearing some variation of a bun for most of this year and I plan to continue doing that.  With everything I have going on, I haven't had time to experiment.  I do get bored with it though.   I can always count on these ladies to give me ideas when I'm in a rut. Where do you get your hair inspiration?




4 Things.

Saturday, July 14, 2012 3:00 PM



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{1}

My latest post is up on Carol's Daughter.  You can check it out here along with lots of other great content.  I'm still beyond excited to be a contributor. !!!!!!!!
I was cracking up at some of the comments on their facebook page about this photo.
One of the commenters said:
"I can not stand all of that heavy weave. They were wearing that tonight on Tyler Perry show, looks tacky to me."
LOL!  I guess some folks didn't bother to read the article. :)

{2}


So far, the most popular post that I've written during this everyday challenge is A Love Story. I'm not surprised. It's almost an "everygirl" kind of story, isn't it? I mean, if it didn't happen to you directly, then you saw a friend go through it.
 

{3}

My daughter wants dreadlocks. Now, she's only 6 years old so I won't let her get them yet. She's been wearing two-strand twists and we both love them on her. I don't think she understands the permanence of locks and the fact that she can't just take them out if she gets tired of them. If she still wants them in a few years, I'd be totally on board. I think they would look stunning on her. How old do you think is old enough for your daughters to make big decisions about their hair?


{4}

 
If you live in the D.C. Metro area, Rosetta of Happy Black Woman is hosting a happy hour on Monday, August 6.   Check out the details here




Do More of What Makes You Happy

10:08 AM

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What do you need to do more of?   Here's my top 13:

Dancing
Reading for pleasure
Enjoying Live Music
Going to Musicals and Plays
Yoga
Taking pictures
Sleeping
Visiting family and friends
Creating vision boards and journaling
Lounging on the couch
Taking walks
Doing freestyle cyphers with my kids
Giving presents



A Love Story

Thursday, July 12, 2012 7:47 PM





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 She loves him.  But he doesn't know how to love. He can talk about love.  He can see love and feel love.  But he can't give love.  He can make love.    But he can't make promises.  She desperately wants his promises.  She wants his heart, knows she can't have it, so she takes what she can get.  Temporary bliss.  Exquisite highs and lows.  Withdrawal.

He only stays long enough to take what he needs and keep moving.  If he stops moving, he's afraid he might self-destruct.  If he stops wandering, he might have to face himself.    He'd rather stay in the dark where he can't see.  If the sun comes out, he'll see his shadow.  And he's afraid of his shadow.

She sees his shadow and she loves him for it.  Nothing he does makes her love him less. She wishes that he could see himself the way she sees him.  So she continues to crave him and wait for the next call, the next text, the next knock at the door.  He consumes her thoughts.  She wills him to her door.

He tells her what she wants to hear and makes her feel like she's the only girl in the world.  He knows that he hurts her, but he doesn't know how to share anything of himself other than his pain.  He tells her, "This is just how we do.  We have something special.  I know you understand and you're the only one who does.  I can't be still but I know you love me and that's why I always come back."

She thinks, "If I stick around, things will be different.  He will realize how much he loves me and he will stay. I will rescue him and teach him how to love.  I will love him to happy.  He will change for me."

She thinks that she will lose him if she pushes him away. She thinks no one else will ever feel so right inside of her - in her body, in her mind, in her heart.  So she waits.   She holds on.  She loses herself in his extremes. 

He pushes and pulls.  He's only comfortable in chaos, after all.  He thinks she'll never leave.  But she's drowning.  He's more than she can take.  Exhausted and broken, gasping for air, she turns away.  She's been up and down so many times, she doesn't know if she'll resurface if she goes under again.  Her survival instinct takes over.  She locks all the doors.  She ignores his cries.  She knows she must let him go in order to save herself.  

She breathes. She mourns. She suffers. A part of her passes away. She rebuilds.  She emerges. Timidly at first.  Beautiful.   Free.  Enlightened.  Happiness awaits like a faint light in the distance.  And maybe she even still loves him, but she finally loves herself more.


Chicken Soup for Weird Girls Like Me

Wednesday, July 11, 2012 6:21 PM





"A quotation at the right moment is like bread in a famine."


I got to work safe and sound today, but everything I did to get here was a blur.  Do you ever have days like that?  My commute takes about 45 minutes, and I must have been on auto pilot the whole time.  Scary.  Today, I felt very reflective and emotional.   The following quotes from my Wise Words board on Pinterest really hit home for me today.  CYA - none of these quotes were written by me, but I'm leaving off references for the sake of the flow.  Enjoy.


"You have permission to be weird. Or angry or confused or joyful or delighted or all of the above or none of the above. You have permission to feel however you feel. Your feelings are valid and understandable."


"Sometimes you have to remind myself that you don't have to do what everyone else is doing."

"Over thinking ruins you.  Ruins the situation, twists things around, makes you worry and just makes everything much worse than it actually is."

"Sometimes the best thing you can do is not think, not wonder, not obsess.  Just breathe and have faith that everything will work out for the best."

"Learn to love the fool in you, the one who feels too much, talks too much, takes too many chances, wins sometimes and loses often, lacks self control, loves and hates, hurts and gets hurt, promises and breaks promises, laughs and cries. Italone protects you against that utterly self-controlled, masterful tyrant whom you also harbor and who would rob you of human aliveness, humility and dignity if it wasn't for your fool."

Remember, a beautiful thing is never perfect.

#2 - Habits of Self-Loving Women

Tuesday, July 10, 2012 6:49 PM




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Everything we do is a testament to who we are.  How we talk, how we treat people, and how we handle difficult situations.  Being too passive or too aggressive can block us from letting our gifts shine.  It's not about being fake or hiding your feelings - it's about being thoughtful and exercising self-control.  You could be a very talented person but if you're difficult to work with, you may never get to truly show what you have to offer.

Personally, I've had to learn to stop being so sensitive and getting emotional every time someone says something that I don't like.   When we internalize everyone's behavior, we end up feeling victimized and some of us walk around feeling like that all the time.  Who can function at their best when feeling this way?   We can blame others all day if we want to, but ultimately we are responsible for our own feelings and our own progress.   Your ability to show class and character in everything you do, will set a standard for how people treat you and interact with you. 

Today, I encourage you to think about how much you allow other people's moods and behavior to determine your own.  Are you quick to start an argument when someone disagrees with you?   And then afterwards do you feel like you are always pigeonholed into the "bad guy" role?  Or, are you afraid to speak up for yourself when doing so would allow you to establish very necessary boundaries for yourself?   People can only walk all over you if you allow it. 

Here are some tips for how to communicate with others in a self-loving way:

Be thoughtfully honest when providing feedback.
Three key words immediately come to mind:  tact, discretion and intelligence.  Always think before you speak and be very aware of where your feelings are coming from.  Too often, we let our egos drive what we say and what we do.  

First, determine if the feedback is even necessary.  If it is, then it helps to position what you're going to say and affirm the positive before providing the constructive part.   You don't need to sugar coat it so much that the message is lost, but you can be direct and still be considerate and mindful of the sensitivities involved.  

Avoid extremes and dramatic generalizations.  "You always do this...."  "This will never work...."   Most importantly, don't take anything personal. The more confident you are in your intentions, the easier this will be.

Admit your mistakes.
It's easy to get defensive when you've made a mistake and all you want to do is explain why you did it.  Time and time again, I've learned that accountability is attainable - perfection is not.  Often, it's best to just admit your mistake and quietly observe the situation instead of diving into a big explanation of why things went wrong. 

Maybe you don't even feel that you made a mistake or you feel that there is a misunderstanding.  When this happens, there's obviously a disconnect and an opportunity to have an honest, constructive discussion.  Don't hide your mistakes to avoid being judged.  While you think you are protecting yourself, you are really only preserving how you want to appear, not who you really are.

Learn how to listen.
Do you visibly give your full attention when someone is talking to you?   Sure, we all multi-task, but I'm talking about when you're engaging in an intimate conversation and your attention is needed.  There's nothing like having a candid conversation with someone who is looking you in the eye, nodding, answering, and actively showing you that they are right there with you.  Why not refuse to yell and talk over and interrupt?  This shows that you care about what is being said and your efforts will more likely be rewarded when you, in turn, have something to say.  

I'm not always so good at this one when I'm arguing with my significant other, for example.  But I'm working on it.  I find that I can quickly diffuse a discussion that is mounting into an argument if I just pause and listen before I react.
 
I'm actually continuing to work on all of these things.  The older I get, the classier and more polished I want become.  No drama.   I'd rather spend my energy on doing awesome things and raising my awesome little people.   
 
Check out the first installment of this series here.  Thanks for coming to see me today.  xo
 

Love and Locks | Hair and Inspiration

Monday, July 9, 2012 2:14 PM


Hello, loves. What you know good? Well, I know that I had a great weekend spending time with my family and getting my house back in order after having no power for a few days last week. Does your laundry ever get so backed up that it just seems like it would be easier to go shopping? It was funky hot so we mainly tried to stay cool and did our running around in the evenings.

I also know that I (re)learned something important this weekend. I had this seemingly innocent conversation that caught me off guard and put me in a disgruntled mood. I won't get into the details of the conversation but will say that it always surprises me when criticism comes at me from the most positive, well-meaning people. I understand why this person has the perspective that they do and that their intentions are ultimately good. But, it's extremely draining to constantly hear about how things "should be" when it pertains to my life. I know I need to keep my guard up with this person going forward, at least when it comes to that topic.

Do you have anyone in your life who drains you with their constant reminders of how things "should" be? Both of these posts (here and here) are great reminders to not be discouraged by this kind of criticism and to stay on your own course.





I also know that I washed my hair yesterday, braided it up and unraveled a sweet braid-out this morning. Deets and photos below.



I kept it really simple and quick this time because it was late last night and my hair looked like a bird's nest. I pre-treated my hair by dousing it in coconut oil and detangling it the day before. I washed it with Creme of Nature Argan Oil Shampoo (in three sections), then followed with tresemme naturals conditioner. I let it air dry for a bit, then sat down with some grapeseed oil, Kinky Curly Knot Today and Shea Radiance Moisture Rich Hair Butter. I applied each of these products to each section (in the order listed) then braided - ending up with about 9 cornrows.


 
As you can see, I've recently started playing with different photo grid apps on my phone. I'm totally hooked now. They're so fun! :-P
 
 

Weekend Whimsy: Casual Chic

Sunday, July 8, 2012 10:00 AM


“I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”
–Coco Chanel

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How would you describe your style? While I'm sure that mine will continue to evolve, I've become much more self-aware in the last few years. Perhaps a good description for me would be casual chic, but I also have bohemian tendencies. I don't really like to have too much going on. I prefer to be neither too dressy nor too bummy.  I usually have my kids in tow, so I dress accordingly.   
Feminine and comfortable.
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