Breaking the Cycle

Have you ever felt like your life was stuck in a pattern or a cycle that you just can’t seem to figure out or get out of? Like maybe there’s a lesson you’re not learning so you can’t move on. I’ve been thinking about where I am in my life and though I feel like I’ve made strides I still feel like I’m standing still. I can see the vision of where I want my life to go, but somewhere between the vision and where I am, something is not connecting. For me personally, I always end up getting sick, burnt out, or something sets me back that takes a while to recover from –like the car breaking down THE absolute WORST!-

In the past, I’ve tried to break this cycle by overworking, first with my jobs. I thought if I worked overtime and got a second job that I would get myself to a level of financial stability that I could handle the setbacks next time, but this only lead to burn out and health issues from stress and exhaustion.

Then I thought if I focus on my passions, writing and acting, that everything would flow naturally because you’re told so often that when you do what you love or what you’re called to do things will just happen or fall into place-who came up with this lie??– Ok I won’t say lie, but they definitely don’t happen in your time –if you know what I mean– and they don’t happen without hard work and good lessons.

I read self-help books, I meditated to find my inner voice; my center, I prayed that my steps be ordered and began to wonder is this what I am supposed to be doing??? I seriously thought well maybe I am just supposed to work this 9-5 and die. I always talk about wanting to quit and find some way to push through and keep going because that’s life. Things will happen that will make you question if you are supposed to be on the path you’re on and it got to me this time. I actually gave up and I felt terrible!!! I didn’t feel like myself anymore I felt empty. I cried all the time. So, if this wasn’t something I should be doing then why do I feel so empty??

It came down to a couple of things for me-In no specific order

Discipline

Comfortability

Priorities

Planning

The funny part is you hear this all the time. The self-help books, testimonies, in interview from people we consider to be successful. We hear it all the time, yet we are so determined to find the secret they are hiding or a way around that that the message goes completely over our head. In her documentary Beyoncé stated that she prepared for 8 months for 2 shows at Coachella. –I can’t even plan my week out– I needed to make some serious changes if I wanted to see any positive results.

Imagine the disservice it would be to the world if you gave up on you dreams or passions.

Discipline

I am the least disciplined person I know, I may even be the laziest person I know.-at least that’s the harmful talk I have with myself – I lacked discipline bad. I couldn’t even stick to a routine for a week. If I had a plan and it was something I didn’t really want to do I would swap it out for something that served no purpose to my life, like watching a movie I’ve seen a thousand times. I had to change my habits. I started with something simple, like making up my bed every morning.-because yes, I was that person who stopped making the bed the moment I moved out of my mothers’ unless I was leaving my house for a few days-Since transitioning into a work from home employee I barely made it to work on time. –of course I slept till the last minute possible are you kidding me??– I changed that by setting a morning routine every work day. That meant setting a set time to wake up every work day. –I did begin to question how I made it to work on time with an hour drive; it was hard enough waking up at a decent time to go to the next room lol- These small changes helped add more structure to my life and helped me allow for scheduling and planning.

Comfortability

I have recently been reading Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes on Audible. In the beginning, she talks about how she was perfectly comfortable with how her life had been going up until that point that brought her to the year of yes. I really thought about my life and how it compared and while I always thought I wasn’t comfortable with how my life was going, it turns out I was. I was perfectly comfortable with getting off work and hopping in the bed and chilling for 3 hours, mindlessly scrolling through social media and playing games until I fell asleep, and waking up the next morning and doing it all over again. I was in a routine of doing things that were, simply put, pure laziness. It wasn’t adding any value to my life. I was wasting precious hours that I could be putting into my work. Nothing was going to get accomplished from me lying around. While mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I came across a person I went to high school with, while I’m sure they love their life, it wasn’t the life I pictured for myself, and the sad part is we weren’t that far apart in what we were doing in life work, home, and party when you can. I had to go back to an old strategy I preach all the time, 3 goals plan. I implemented 3 realistic goals and broke them down.

Priorities

If I couldn’t prioritize to do some work over lying in the bed, how the hell did I ever expect to make it in anything I was trying to pursue?? Not only that, but my financial priorities completely screwed. I have an impulsive shopping addiction. Retail therapy islandscape-1447712172-online4 my jam!! Clothes were the #1 priority. How did I expect to get where I needed to go if I’m constantly buying clothes. –you know what they say though turn a habit into a hobby coming soon wink wink– I had to get serious about what mattered to me. My job was unnecessarily stressful and after working 8+ hours all I wanted to do was lie in bed and relax. What I found is that I would do things that added no value to my life, like switching through Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat for several hours or playing games on my phone vs reading a script or writing. So I prioritized. If I could focus on writing or read for 1 hour every night after work then my reward would be doing the things that added no value, because that was my guilty pleasure. I found that if I focused for the hour, I often went over and ended up going straight to bed after I was done.

Planning

One of the things I noticed early on was my lack of planning. As mentioned earlier in this post, I couldn’t even plan my week I usually just winged it. So I got myself a planner and I used my Iphone calendar to help me stay on schedule and remain flexible. I have always followed my 3 goal plan, but it was never structured for me to actually follow it. I never broke it down in steps for me to use. I could plan to write 3 times a week, but if the inspiration wasn’t there I just couldn’t get it done. Rather than forcing myself to be locked into something I felt I had to do, I needed to replace it with something that could spark inspiration. So rather than block off 2 hours for writing , I blocked it off for reading and if inspiration hit then I would write within those 2 hours and if it didn’t I would read for an hour or so depending on the book and the other time was free time or planning for the next day. It worked out perfectly, especially knowing I get to indulge in my guilty pleasures after.

So in a nutshell, I couldn’t quit, imagine the disservice it would be to the world if I gave up on my dreams or passions. No, no I have to keep going, if not for you all, for me. I let a lot of things stop me and a lot of obstacles hinder me rather than navigate around them. I also let excuses become justifiable reasons. There are roadblocks on every road of life, you can either let them stop you or navigate around them. As the saying goes, if you really want to pursue something, you’ll find a way; If not you’ll find an excuse. Maybe that’s the lesson I needed to learn. –Another saying a hard head will make a soft ass, aren’t you tired of falling on your ass because of your own way?-

What is stopping you? Let’s talk about it!

Don’t be bitter

Be BETTER!

 

XOXO

Skyler Harris

 

Now for a change of pace, coming from Memphis, Tn, Skyler Harris has been giving us chills with her smooth and silky voice. With covers like Kiss it better, to original work like ‘In your Arms’ to remakes when Beyonce suddenly moves a concert- don’t mess with the beehive, bey- Skyler proves she got what it takes, to take this music industry by storm. I had to take the opportunity to get to know the woman behind the voice.

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First let me say you have an amazingly beautiful voice! I’m sure you’ve heard that a lot, how long have you been singing and when did you start to get serious with it?

Awww, Thanks! I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember, (as cliché as that sounds!) I wrote my very first song, ‘Crush on You (Baby Don’t You Know?)’ when I was in the second grade— and yes, I still remember every word! Recently, I decided to really invest in myself and in my music. I’m always telling other people, other women especially, “invest in yourself, girl!” Now, I’m finally doing it for myself.

 

You have to take you own advice! You have a big vocal range! With a voice like that who are your musical influences?

Oh my God! Everybody!!! Jazmine Sullivan, definitely though, just because her voice is incredibly raw and she could sing the alphabet and by the time she got to L-M-N, I’d be crying! As far as my songwriting influences, Babyface— He has the ability to write from ANY perspective and create timeless works of art every single time!

 

I’m glad you said it, your voice outs me in the mind set of Jasmine Sullivan with the runs and range that you have. You do a lot of covers, recently we’ve gotten to hear some original work, is this something you plan to do full time? Where do you see yourself in the music industry?

Every now and then, I hear a song that I absolutely love and that has more emotion than I think the production allows. I love taking songs that you usually dance to or blast without really hearing the words and slowing them down and bringing those words out— sometimes even changing the lyrics to better fit my story, as I did with Rihanna’s “Higher”. For me, it’s always about feelings. The same goes for my original music. I want you to feel something when you hear my songs. What I would like to do as far as the industry goes, is write songs. Not just sending in demos and reference tracks for someone to make a carbon copy of—but really sitting down with an artist and finding out where they are emotionally, what they want the world to hear, coming up with music and a sound based on that!

 

 

I like that interaction, you really get a sense of who the person is and what they are actually trying to achieve with their music. I feel like that art has been lost, but real singers are slowly making a comeback in the music industry, which is something I’m all here for! i love me a good ballad, I feel like its been missing for far too long. What would you like to see change within the music industry?

I’d like to see the music at the forefront. There are so many artists whose songs I’ve never heard, but I can tell you who they dated, where they shop, [and] who they are beefing with, all because of  the blogs they’ve been featured in. So many amazing artists are completely unknown because they don’t have a reality show or some type of scandal keeping them in our minds!

 

Took the words right out of my mouth! We need to get back to letting the music do the talking. You mentioned earlier that you’re always telling girls “invest in yourself girl”, which I think is so important because so often we are told what to do and these expectations are already set and sometimes our dreams and passions can be lost in trying to rise to the expectation. What advice would you give to people who are struggling to follow their dreams and passions?

Don’t think about the recognition. Your gift will always make room for you!! Whether 5 or 500 people hear you, see you, hear about you— just ensure that whatever you’re putting out is an authentic version of yourself! I struggled so hard thinking that I had to sing about what people wanted to hear, but I later realized that my heart wasn’t in it— and although people were paying attention, they weren’t being moved because I forgot that giving myself was the most important.

 

Can i get an Amen! I loved that, so many people struggle with thinking they have to be this perfect, unreal, or enhanced version of themselves and forget that nobody is really that way. In fact those that make the waves and are are remembered for the work were those that were themselves authentically. So for those that don’t know – and if you don’t you should by now!-Where can we hear your music and when can we expect new music?

I’ve mostly been focusing on pitching songs, but I have decided to release an EP this summer so definitely be on the lookout for that! Until then, you can expect more covers of some of your favorite songs on facebook, youtube, and my sound cloud.

 

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I will keep my eye on that. Im looking forward to a certain Jasmine Sullivan cover *achem*. Thank you to Skyler Harris for taking the time out to do this interview! You can find her music and new single on Youtube at http://youtube.com/skylerc2008 or on sound cloud at http://soundcloud.com/skylerharris-1 or her website at https://skylerharris.com. Also follow her on IG-@Reaching4Sky

 

 

Until next time guys!

XOXO

The Downside to Social Media

Now, as a blogger I realize these are just my views or take a different scenarios and situations. I mostly speak from my experiences on what I talk about. However, with certain social media outlets, I’ve noticed a trend that has become rampant : my way or the highway.
tumblr_n2wfrysPoE1rfduvxo1_500People will call you everything, but a child of God, for simply disagreeing with their view point. I was watching a clip of in interview with David Bowie and Mark Goodman where Bowie was questioning why there was no black music being played on MTV. Something Goodman said really resonated with me. “It’s not like it was in 67, when you could go ‘I’m not into that,but you are? Ok yea,but now it’s you’re into that? Well I don’t like you”. And that’s exactly how the world is today. There’s no agree to disagree. If you openly agree with something big or small you are crucified for it.

68536_oWhere did this logic come from? Are they no longer teaching argumentative in English class??? Do we not have debate teams anymore?? Why are we getting so sensitive about it? Disagreements can be healthy. It can give you a different view point. It fuels the imagination. It may often spark a solution. If everybody thought the same, as a civilization we would be nowhere. Maybe, if we stopped and slowed down and listened to understand rather than listened to reply we’d be a little less ignorant and a lot further along -ye shrug-
giving-away-too-much-knowledgeEspecially on social media. Did such an open platform to express one’s self become a weapon for the tongue (or keyboard)? Its really quite sad at how much people believe simply based on it being on the internet. And God forbid you try to correct someone who desperately wants to believe the false advertisement is true. don’t get me wrong, I’m not bashing the internet, its very helpful if you take the time to decipher whats real and whats fake. However, you have to wonder with the information being so readily available did it makes us lazier as a society?

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