ProductivityHack: The 3×3 Rule

Ahh yes, back here again! With the beginning of the year we are all challenging ourselves with New Year Resolutions and  goals to set the tone for the year. If you have been an avid reader, then you know my very first vlog post was about productivity and how to achieve your goals. I still use this method to date. It helps me focus so much better and plan better for the things I want to obtain. What is it, you ask? It’s the 3×3 Rule. 

I use this method in conjunction with a planner and a goal board. I am an anti-vision board person. They just do nothing for me. I need to visually see what I want and how far I have to get it. A vision board just helps me see what I want, but it lacks the action or the visual progress behind it. My goal board is simply a poster with a line down the middle. On one side I have sticky notes with my goals on there and the other side are goals that are completed. This helps me stay focused on my goals. I’m able to keep going by visually seeing the progress I’ve made. I get great gratitude by moving the sticky note over to the completed side. I will put my big 3 plus maybe smaller goals that aren’t as heavy. 

Why just 3?

We live in an environment where we are often asked to split our attention between multiple things like family, career, and personal. It’s very hard to devote our attention to a plethora of things and give it our all. 3 things are about the maximum of what you can focus on that will get your full attention. Anything beyond that begins to get pushed back, passed on or forgotten about. This is because anything after 3 becomes overwhelming. The anxiety from asking ourselves to accomplish so much, will eventually take control to the point where we scrap all the goals and get nothing accomplished.-I don’t know about you, but when I get overwhelmed I shut down and nothing gets done.-

How does the 3×3 rule work?

The 3×3 rule consists of 3 major goals. You then break those 3 goals into 3 monthly steps, and those 3 monthly steps down to daily steps. Everything you write down should be geared toward helping you reach one of those big 3.

For example, let’s say you big 3 are to:

  1. Write a book 
  2. Be healthier
  3. Save 5k

So for your monthly goals you should have something like:

  1. Write 1 chapter
  2. Light exercise daily 
  3. Save 416

Then you’ll break this down to fit your weekly needs it to look like this;

Week 1.

  1. Set aside 3 hours to write=MWF
  2. Workout at 3pm during lunch break
  3. Set aside 100.00 by cutting out fast food and packing lunch

Week 2.

  1. Write time=2 hours T/R
  2. Yoga before work
  3. Set aside 150 from check

Week 3.

  1. Write time= 8 hours 2Sat/2Sun/1Mon/2tues/1Wed
  2. Up water intake
  3. Set aside money that would be spent on coffee this week 

Week 4.

  1. Write time =2 hours 1/W/1F
  2. Walk on 15 min break
  3. Set aside 150 from check

Boom! You have now completed your weekly goals, which resulted in completing your monthly goals, which brought you one step closer to your yearly goals!

I love this method. It has made my goals achievable and less overwhelming. Before I was introduced to this method my goals were lofty and I never accomplished any of what I wrote down. This method has enabled me to accomplish some goals faster even completing some before the end of the year. I re-evaluate mid year to see how far I’ve come. In the event I do complete a goal or I’m close to completing a goal I will add a new one, or boost the old one up. – say if one goal was to save $1k, I boosted that to 3k so I’ll have 1k in all 3 of my accounts.-

I hope you all find this method useful. What do you use to attack of your goals?? Let me know in the comments.

 And remember 

Dont be bitter,

Be better!

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Dont be Bitter be Better: 3 Reasons Why I Chose to be Single

Reading the heading of this post, I know you’re wondering why would one choose to be single.-Let me explain.- I found myself in an odd place. I was in a situationship that ended on good terms, we even decided to still remain friends. Even after the romantic phase was over, we would meet up for drinks and still text as friends. One day, I found myself blocked and ignored. This was someone who I had a fifteen year friendship with so to be suddenly cut out of their life was odd. I would speak when I saw them and nothing, not even a hello back. The need to know why I was suddenly being treated this way was growing inside of me. The more it happened the angrier I became. –I know what your thinking why did you continue to speak?- A part of me was all kill them with kindness, but another part felt it was probably agitating them that I did– that was the petty part of me.

Privately, I was very hurt by losing the relationship and the friendship. – I was hurt hurt. Mariah Carey’s breakdown ft Bone-Thugs and Harmony has never made more sense than that moment in time

The guy a dated after that 5months into the dating phase –not relationship but casually dating– he got engaged to someone else. Yes, you read that right, engaged to another girl while we were dating, and to add insult to injury I found about it 2 weeks later from someone who didn’t even know I knew him, let alone was dating him.- the audacity, tuh!-

I felt myself becoming bitter. I didn’t want to shut love out, but at that moment I didn’t know how I could continue to be so open to something that was literally ripping my heart apart. I prayed to ease the pain and bring me understanding. In the past, I had taken a break from dating before and dated myself, but I was still open to invitations. Initially when I took the first break, I was a 20 something year old who was lost. My 20s were rough and flew by. I am now a 30 something who has experience. I’m more settled now, I feel wiser like I have a new lens on life. I don’t feel so desperate to get to a finish line of a goal, until I started comparing my life to where I thought I should be for my age. So this decision didn’t come lightly. This time I decided to decline any interests. No dates. I didn’t entertain someone who was interested in dating. If they weren’t pre-existing non-romantic friendships, I wasn’t available for it. I wanted to completely focus on me and pour into myself. My prayers were eventually answered, but in praying I realized a few things about myself and how I approached dating:

1. Relationships were the goal
My goal was to be in a relationship. That’s it. That’s all I wanted. I had no clue what I was going to do after I got into one, but as someone whos never been in one, that was my goal. Somewhere along the way I began to be desperate to be in one. To be claimed, chosen, picked from the bunch. The older I got the more important it became. Towards the end of my 20s dating began to feel more of a hassle than fun. Dating was supposed to be the time of your life, but for me it felt like a means to an end.

If you listen to society, being single will have you feeling worthless. You cant possibly be anyone of value if you’re not in a relationship or married, your advice is worthless, you don’t understand anything as it relates to relationships and you can’t hang around the couple crowd if you are single. I have lost so called friends for being the single one. To be deemed “worthy” by society, I needed to be in a relationship.

I started to look at every possible love interest as “the one”. After the initial contact, I daydreamed about our life together. -if I really found you attractive.- I had an unrealistic expectation for every man who entered my romantic life. I was never in the present moment. I never saw it for what it was until it was over, and I was heartbroken, more so by the possibilities than by missing out on the person. –cause lets be honest, if relationships weren’t my goal there is no way I would have been with some of the dudes I entertained. They were definitely “what were you thinking?” type of guys, especially the 2 mentioned at the opening- I focused very little on the person and more on the end result.

2. Dating with Intention.
I investigated my dating history and they were all pointless. There were no clear intentions or standards set in the beginning. They were all “I like you, you like me, lets see what happens”. – 4 words no woman should fall for-. There were no clear boundaries. No clear communication. It was all unhealthy. Not only were the relationships not clear, but neither was I. I had no clue what I wanted in a relationship. I didn’t understand the value of what I was bringing to a relationship and what I should be receiving from one. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had no clue how relationships worked. Sure, I had examples, but they all seemed to be unhappy or settling for things that didn’t align with their morals or values. –and I did not want to be one of those people.- Even though I knew what I didn’t want, I still wasn’t clear on what I did want.

I’m a researcher, I have to have understanding. The “why” must be answered. So, I did what any researcher would do; I read. I read books, 4 specifically; The Conversation– Hill Harper, Relationship Goals– Michael Todd, Judge This Cover-Brittany Renner, and The Game of Desire– Shannon Boodram.

I have read The Conversation many years ago. I remember it being so packed with gems, that I wrote notes in the margins and highlighted sentences throughout the book. I decided to reread it. The gems were still valid. It is, however, geared more toward people already in a relationship, but it gave me insight.

I loved the Youtube series Relationship Goals so much! It was actually the first thing I watched while struggling through the pain of losing the friendship. I learned a lot by watching the series. So, when Michael Todd wrote a book, I brought it on preorder. The book was so different from the series, which I loved, no one wants to read something they’ve already heard verbatim. There were some parts of the book I disagreed with, but he does speak about all kinds of relationships as it relates to God. I had to keep reminding myself that the book isn’t just talking about romantic relationships. Also, every relationship doesn’t have to work according to someone else’s interpretation of the bible. Overall, I enjoyed the book and got a real grasp about faith in relationships.

Ill admit, I was a little reluctant to read Judge This Cover by Brittany Renner. Brittany Renner is a social media star who is best known for her sexy photos and fitness on Instagram. She has made a name for herself by posting workout videos and promoting fitness products. Brittany has been known to date some very famous people. It is said that most of the relationships she refers to in her book are about those famous people, although the names have been changed in the book. I was really shocked by how insightful this book was. I related to her and her struggles with dating. Though she was a little more free in her sexuality, I admired her willingness to bare it all in the book. She also gave a different perspective and some great advice. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone. Most people I know that did read it, did so to be nosy about her life, but ended up loving the book for her insight. I’m telling you it was a great read!

Lastly, I read The Game of Desire. I was pleasantly surprised by this book. If you’re not familiar with Shannon Boodram, she is a certified intimacy educator who teaches people to be more competent and confident as it relates sexology. My judgement of the book pre-reading it was that it was going to be mostly about sex. While there is, of course, sex talk in the book, the book is mostly about you. Discovering who you are, your love language, your personality traits, your intimacy language etc, and how to use that to be present in your dating life. There is a workbook you can fill out prior to reading which I highly recommend. I learned more about who I am as a person reading this book, than I did about dating. I honestly wished I would have read this book first. This is a book I highly recommend everyone read.

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

3. Self-Love
You knew we were going to end up here! I preach this. Every time I think I have finally obtained the highest level of loving yourself, I find something that could use extra work, a little extra love. When it came to intimacy and body positivity, I lacked majorly. I noticed in the bedroom or times of vulnerability; I was very mean to myself. –You know the talk “suck it in don’t let them see you have a gut, eww” “wear something to cover your arms no one needs to see those Hammocks” “ you want to wear shorts, have you seen your thighs??” “Make sure it’s dark when you take your pants off gotta hide those stretch marks, that’ll be a major turn off”.– Being sexual with some one may have felt good, physically, but mentally I was beating myself up with negative talk the entire time and after was worse.

I have struggled with my weight ever since I took the depo shot. My body has been through a lot. I have gotten trainers, changed my diet, taken weight loss pills, different diet fads all to try to lose weight. I cant remember a time in my adult life that I actually loved my body. There were certain things about myself I wanted to change, and I would, only to gain it back. Doctors would tell me to change my diet or to eat smaller meals more frequently and if I got sick they would say it was just a stomach flu. It wasn’t until I landed in the ER twice with the same doctor that pointed out that something wasn’t right; did I really start to find answers.

After getting diagnosed and getting a treatment plan together, I really began to focus on my health as a whole. I began to make the correct changes and my body actually responded. I began to look more and more like the person I saw in my mind. My self-talk became positive. Sure, there are still somethings I’m a little self-conscious about, but the positive outweighs the negative. The negative is what I strive to give the most love to. Constant reminders that we are regular people and look like real people. We don’t have tiny waists and giant asses. Our breast will have a little sag to them. Stretch marks are a part of growth your body is constantly changing, and facial hair is a thing, almost everyone has it. Society and social media will have you out here changing who you are to fit their standards of beauty rather than loving the way God created you. No knock to plastic surgery, if that’s a path you want or need to take to love who you are, more power to you, go forth and do that, but make sure it’s for you and not for the world. “Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change and the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

I have been purposely single for a year. Every now and again I’ll feel alone, but I’m not lonely. I have found less of a desire to be in a relationship and more of a desire to be comfortable with who I am before inviting someone into my space; my peace. I’m more understanding about my love life and what I need and require to continue to flourish and grow. I’m no longer feeling bitter…. I’m better.-does my tagline make more sense to you now?-

Would you take a year off from dating to learn yourself? Let me know in the comments below!

As always, remember,

Don’t be Bitter,

Be Better!!

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A Toast to the Last Decade

As we reached the New Year, I’ve been deep in thought about the last decade. I’ve watched as everyone posted his or her accomplishments, or the highlight reel, over the last decade. Most people posted the typical American story finished college, met the love of their life, got their dream job, got engaged, got married and had kids. As much as I wanted to be involved, I couldn’t come up with anything remotely close other than the fact that I survived.

I enjoyed reading everyone’s highlight reel, but a piece of me was infuriated. Did everyone, but me have an awesome success story?? Was no one’s decade as awful as mine? Were we not being real with ourselves?? I know we don’t like to dwell on the negative, but really it can’t all be positive all of the time.

For me, the past decade was whack. I’m talking wiggity whack. It was the worst. It was also my 20s so there’s something to say about that –the struggle years, I like to call them lol– When they ask you were do you see yourself in 5, 10, 15 years, my answer was not where I am today. So when it came to the end of the decade, I felt renewed.  I was honestly ready for this New Year, new decade; simply put I was just ready for new beginnings.

The beginning of the decade, 2010, started off bad. My mother broke her leg and had to fight workers comp to approve to get it fixed.  It took 3 months and it healed incorrectly in the process. It took 2 years to get through that. I was 25 when I filed bankruptcy, the first time. Medical bills plus no steady full time income and having to help my mother, well it was a lot financially. I managed to graduate, but owed over 25k in student loans. I was almost homeless… 5 times.  I was laid off from my job, twice. I dated nothing but fuck boys-one even proposed to someone else while we were dating, tf?!-I became very ill and the doctor’s cant figure out what is wrong with me. That’s not even half of what contributed to that terrible decade.

Believe me I got stories for days and we’ll get into them. Even through all that bad, I guess some good did come from it, though not the tangible kind. I’m a stronger person. I am more resilient. I’m more patient when getting to know someone. I learned and I’m still growing in my financial literacy. I’ve learned to love and trust myself.

The last decade prepared me for life. Most people didn’t live the life I did growing up. It was difficult. My mother struggled to provide for my brother and me. We lived in the hood and both went on to have to learn to provide as adults.

No one taught us or prepared us for adulthood. We didn’t have any handouts, nothing was given to us we had to work for everything, and fail many times to get it right.

I grew up this last decade. The hell I went through-and the hell I didn’t mention– made me all the things I am today. I don’t regret a thing, not even the pain. I learned a lot about myself. I matured.

Now that we are well into the New Year, I feel prepared. I’m ready to do life.  To apply what I’ve been through and what I’ve learned, and use it to better myself going forward.

How was the 2010-2019 decade for you? What are you most looking forward to accomplish? Let’s talk about it!

And remember,

Don’t be bitter,

Be better!

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Let’s Talk About it

As a blogger I talk about real life situations and use my real life experiences to expound on the point being made. There’s a level of difficulty that comes with it because often times these experiences include other people.

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When writing I try to be as delicate, but truthful as possible. I also try to write from a removed space. Meaning, I never post about something that I’m currently going through because it’s fresh. Those wounds aren’t scars yet. I have to heal first in order to talk about it. 

I’m extra conscious about what I write to the point where it’s taken the joy out of writing. I focused on other topics about health, purpose, and self care because the references are stories that only involve me. While those are important topics, I don’t feel as though I’m giving you me. It’s relatable content, but it doesn’t really speak to who I am or my life experiences. This transitioned into my acting work. How can I tell the story if I am too afraid to tell my own? How can I be relatable on camera if I’m not open to being relatable with my life?

I enjoy doing what I do because it has helped sooooo many of you. I see and try to respond to each email and comment. It truly feels good to know that I’m helping.

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The backlash that comes with that is not everyone likes to be the villain in my stories, even when there’s no malicious intent. –But I mean if you didn’t want to be the villain, maybe you should’ve treated me better– and they have the right to express that.

This is the risk I take by being so transparent and open with you all about my life and what I choose to share. I wrote a piece a couple years before I actually posted it,- before that couple actually started dating (the first time)– that I revised a million times before actually posting it because it was a delicate situation. That post to this day has helped a lot of you. I still get emails from it and it’s been years since I posted it. Though I felt my intentions were in the right place, the backlash from that was losing someone I considered a friend, a lot of unnecessary drama, and made out to look like a person who was trying to take someone’s man. –The irony of it, right?-

I’ve come to realize it’s not my loss though. It’s my truth. The things I wrote in that post were made clear long before my writings were even made public to the world. I have the choice to entertain the drama or simply pay it no mind. I’m making the choice to be brave enough to continue to share my gifts with the world. One bold truth at a time. 

I hope you all are ready to ride with me on this journey!

Don’t be bitter

Be Better!

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Time for a Change

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So lately in my community of people we’ve all had this theme in our lives where we feel lost, but we know where we are going. We arent exactly sure how to get there or if we should keep straight or turn left or right, but we know whatever we choose we’ll be ok. We’ll get to where we need to be.

I’ve been staying that course almost all year.  I’ve been purging. I feel almost like I’m shedding skin. I don’t know if it’s because ya girl is knocking on 30s door or what, but I’ve been in the spirit of “this shit has gotta go” and so it’s been going. However, lately I had been feeling cramped and cluttered even though I had purged everything I thought I possibly could. I just wasn’t happy. Now, as a Libra it’s in our nature to be indecisive, but I literally couldn’t make a damn decision. I was supposed to be finalizing birthday plans that I just couldn’t decide on. I’ve been going back and forth on things that should’ve be a piece of cake to decide on.  I didn’t realize anything was wrong until I was on my way to do something I had absolutely no business doing. As I was driving I just thought “why do I keep allowing this? Why am I acting like a passenger when I’m clearly in the driver’s seat???” -Now I will say what I was on my way to do influence this sudden revelation.- It was my “ah ha” moment. It was the push of anger I needed.

meditate-01-giphy_0I swiftly turned around and went home. While sitting in my driveway –where I do some of my best thinking– I decided to delete social media. Usually when I take a break, I just put the apps in a folder and put them on a page by themselves, but during my break I may cheat and look. This time I straight deleted the apps. No cheating. I honestly was tired of reading y’all opinions and thoughts. It’s some of the best peace I’ve had in a while. I honestly thought I would miss it, but nope. Not at all.

Around the 5/6 day of my break I decided to clean my dream/goal journal out and rewrite my notes so they were more organized and I discovered I’ve been writing the same goals/dreams for years. Every year, same.fucking. goal. I went ahead with what I was doing, but this bothered me. That night while surfing YouTube I ran across what I like to call “adulting” videos; Financial and minimalist videos. Your typical ‘things I don’t buy’ or ‘10 ways you’re wasting your money’. All of these videos resonated with me because again I’ve been purging and feeling cluttered. The more I looked around the more I just saw…. stuff. Just a lot of stuff that I really don’t need/don’t use. I hold on to stuff people get me just cause I don’t want to feel bad for letting it go –when in fact they probably don’t remember gifting me it anyway– so the more I watched the more I became invested.

The next day I woke up in what my mom called a “Katie rage”. My grandmother, Katie, will get in these moods where everything has to change and change right then because she’s tired of saying it and she fusses and complains until it’s done. Whether it’s cleaning the house or redecorating it’s getting done TADAY! -yes that’s right, ta-day– Now I must add that I was sick with an upper respiratory infection so I had been off work during this social media break and I had a lot of time to sit with my thoughts. So that day I woke up with a clarity I haven’t had…. possibly ever? My mom and I purged, cleaned, and redecorated which I’m soooooooo happy with. I work from home so I have wanted my space to be nice, ascetically pleasing. I’ve been focusing on just my bedroom for a while, but it was a lot of stuff in my house that had been in my house since I moved out of my mother’s house which was… 7/8 years ago? I was just tired of looking at it. I literally threw what seemed like half the apartment away. Sa la vie! -la vie!-

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I will say my thoughts have been clear and focused, but I can’t seem to shut them off. I feel like I’m on a drug at times, but the results have been good so I’m kind of ok with it –lol-I won’t say I’m a minimalist. I dig the concept. I take some of their lifestyle and apply it to my own because we as Americans do over consume. Families in need probably wouldn’t be if some of us just learned that less is more. We don’t need a lot to survive. While I LOVE my closet –and awesome fashion sense wink wink lol- I don’t need all the clothes in my closet and could probably dress a whole 2/3 people and still be able to dress myself with my entire wardrobe. We really do live in excess. However I can’t let my closet go- even if I can’t wear half of it lol-, but I can control what I buy. Going for the structured quality items vs the fast fashion or getting Pyrex containers that are multipurpose vs. buying Tupperware. -environmentally better too

Maybe it was time for a lifestyle change, No no it was definitely time for a more adult lifestyle change. As I go into my 30s its time to let a lot of my old habits go. Those same habits can no longer serve me where I’m trying to go.

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What are some things you could let go?

Lets talk about it!

XOXO

And remember

Don’t be bitter

Be better!

 

 

Self Care: Why You Need It and How to Obtain It

I don’t know about anybody else, but the holidays have been draining for me- even though I was a self proclaimed Grinch seriously it was the first year I did not put up a tree and Christmas music was driving me insane! Lol- After gift shopping, holiday parties and celebrating the New Year I’m exhausted!

This year, like most, I have set some goals for myself; 3 specific goals. If you refer back to my very first video, I talk about keeping the goals to a minimum of 3 and elaborating on them. Too many goals split your focus or can become overwhelming-and I am already overworked! – try to do things to work toward your goals daily, weekly, and monthly. For instance, if your goal is to write a book; write a little each day, set a goal of a chapter a week by the end of the month you should have 4 chapters and that much closer to completing your book.

As I’ve gotten older, I have become a bit more private about the goals I set; they are very personal to me-and hello boundaries! – But I do want to share one I think everyone should be doing in some shape or form: Self Care.

Towards the end of the year things got super crazy for me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. One thing that falls to the side when things get crazy is taking care of you. This is definitely a moment to be selfish. My grandmother always tells me you can’t take care of other people if you can’t take care of yourself. It starts with you. You can’t pour into other things if you’re empty. Self care is more about working on the inside rather than outside- but don’t get it twisted keep it cute on the outside too boo-

Creating a stress free environment and setting boundaries are definitely important steps for self care. I believe your job plays a major role in stress. I personally decided to make a role change at one of my jobs. I was an admin to a director which was great for my resume, but super stressful, not at all flexible and I was slowly becoming unhappy. I took a promotion to processing behavioral medical claims. Even though it’s considered a promotion I will be doing much less than what I was doing in my other role-which I am super excited for frees up time for me to do things I want to do- also, I was being constantly consumed by work thoughts that it was clouding my mind!

Your peace of mind is yours and yours alone! It’s especially important if you suffer from mental illnesses or disorders. After my last flair up with PMDD I decided that my peace of mind was most important. I practice meditation which I get into later, but I haven’t been incorporating those tools into areas of my life outside of the physical act of meditating. I think practicing mindful meditation would help with dealing with stress throughout the day. You should be protecting your peace of mind at all cost. –Boundaries people boundaries!- 

So going forward in 2018 here are some things I am incorporating to help me protect my peace of mind and continue to work on my self care.

  1. Meditation and Reading

I talk about meditation a lot in my blog, but it’s so good for you! After a meditation session I feel refreshed. I feel mentally relieved. –Like when you got to take a nap in kindergarten – it’s totally brings the focus back to the forefront. I do my meditation sessions at night right after doing yoga and sometimes during my breaks at work. However, it’s not something I practice constantly.

After the last PMDD episode I had, I found that I was having constant anxiety and mini anxiety attacks – and for myself I want to learn how to deal with it naturally vs. taking medication, that’s just for me– I researched ways to deal with the anxiety thoughts throughout the day and one of the things I found for practicing mindful meditation. Meditation is the act of clearing your thoughts; mindful meditation is the act of training your thoughts. So whatever I’m thinking about that is causing my anxiety, I’m training myself to be aware that I’m having those thoughts and redirect my thoughts to more positive thinking.

I read books… and I’ll read you if you try it!

Reading is another way I train my mind. I lovvvvvvveeeeee to read- I’m especially attracted to books about magic and wizardry– but I will read almost anything. Reading provides me an escape that nothing else does. –That feeling when you get caught up in a good book, it’s nothing like it! – I’m particular about how I read as well. I prefer physical books over reading on my phone or a kindle –and it’s something about the smell of a book– since I love to read so much I decided to create a space in my house that I could read.

So for 2018, I’m in the process of converting a corner in my bedroom into a reading nook. I’m getting a big comfy chair, pillows, and a comfy blanket, light, the whole 9. I will be sure to keep you guys updated.

  1. Yoga and Exercise

Yoga and meditation go hand in hand. Practicing meditation is a part of yoga, which is why every session ends in a 10 minute meditation-but don’t you leave feeling relaxed and refreshed?!-

Exercising is just great for you period. –Do I really need to tell you all the benefits from exercising? – I will say I like to end a great workout in the sauna for 15-20 mins. If you have asthma like myself this helps your lungs after an intense workout. The sauna is great for colds/sinus as well. I also like to put a deep conditioner in my hair and sit in the sauna-yes with my bag on my head daring anyone to say anything! – But it’s so good for your hair and really helps the product work.

  1. Nature

Hitting the gym is great but I prefer to run outside. Something about physically being able to see how far I’ve actually ran and see nature rather than the person’s butt in front of me or smelling that sweaty gym smell- you know what I’m talking about! – A walk in the park, a hike, walk a trail, ponder life at a stream, or bicycling around the city, fresh air is definitely another good way to clear your mind, focus on your thoughts, and gain some clarity.

  1. Spa Day

Specifically a at home spa day- because we ballas on a budget over here! – I believe pampering yourself is essential. Manicures, pedicures, body butters, massage oils, massages, eyebrow threading, waxes, I need all of that. ALL. OF. THAT.

I do have a nail tech that I go to for my nails– shout out to Venus K. at Nail Lounge in the Boro! She keeps my nail in check- I also hit up the European Wax Center in Brentwood for any waxing I get done. Other than that I mainly do everything else myself. Yes that’s right, I have learned how to do my eyebrows and my own pedicures, every now and again if I’m feeling fancy I may go and get a pedicure done but I never let anyone touch my brows!!- I had 1 bad brow experience, learned my lesson, and taught myself!-

When I was younger I constantly made everyone in the house mad because I was a bathroom hog! I loved taking long hot bubble baths and listening to music- and you know singing along to all the songs- unfortunately we lived in a 3 bedroom 1 bathroom house sooooo naturally if I was in the bathroom for hours on end no one else could use the bathroom –muahahahaha- As I got older and busier, I settled for hot showers over baths and occasionally took bubble baths. This year I am bringing them back! the goal is for 1 to 2 nights out of the week dedicated to a night of relaxation. A glass bottle of wine –or cherry juice– candle lit bubble baths with neo-soul radio station. –I mean how could you not?!?!

  1. Therapy and Journaling

In case you haven’t notice blogging is kind of like a therapy for me. Of course it’s condensed but none the less. Therapy helps me work through my problems the best. It’s a nonbiased opinion. My therapist suggested journaling because I have a hard time with my thoughts as far as tracking them or remember certain things especially if my anxiety has kicked up.

Thinking about something isn’t enough for me I have to get it out, write it down, and say it out loud, let my thoughts flow until I can figure it out or work through it. The longer it stays in the more it festers, the more toxic it becomes… –let that shit out

Boundaries, self affirmations, living stress free, and protecting your peace of mind are so vital in the day and age. How someone treats you is what you allow and no one will treat you better than you treat yourself! Make sure you are at the top of your list because like I said you can’t take care of others if you can’t take care of yourself. So be selfish with you, your energy, your time, your attention.

What are some things you do for self care? Let’s talk about it!

Oh wait before you go, I have updated my closet on Poshmark and dropped some prices, you can download the app here and shop my closet- @lilvee08 or you can click the link on my home page titled “shop my closet”

Until next time!

XOXO

Respect these F*cking Boundaries

The latter half of 2017 was really rough for me, personally, spiritually, and mentally.

Words I would use to describe it; reckless, passionate, irresponsible, wild, unhealthy, unrequited, challenging, contradicting, and confusing just to name a few.

Since turning 28 I feel like I am stepping from a woman to a grown ass woman and all the universe is pushing me towards something. –has anybody else had this feeling before? Usually when I hear people talk about this it’s at the 30 mark, but baby I’m telling you I feel different!?  943fbd8450531a4095b8fb1f05972b5883433736_hq

I’ve talked a lot about vulnerability, navigating and figuring out what worked best for me- and I’ve brought you guys along this journey as I figure it out– while doing some research, I came across some blogs that really brought some things into perspective. BOUNDARIES. Something that was so simple, yet very much needed. While figuring out being vulnerable I had to figure out what my limits are and what I will and won’t allow. Unfortunately, everything is trial and error and boy was it trial and error-and is still a work in progress– but ultimately it’s about knowing yourself and having standards.

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Set the boundary, live the boundary, respect the fucking boundary. Boundaries teach people how to treat you. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that people will only treat you how you allow them to. Boundaries are not only important to have in your personal life, but in your dating and career life.

Dating

Having standards and boundaries while dating or in a relationship is very important. I’ve talked about my dating lifeor lack thereof– before and how I’ve never actually had a legit boyfriend, I think the last time I had one of those was 8th grade? Does that even count? NO! Every since this “talking” or “we not together but we know what it is” phase it seems that people are more interested in that rather than having an actual relationship- I can go deeper into this on another blog, but for now I digress– while in high school and a bit of college, I too, dabbled in it – it’s very convenient for that period of your life– but damnit after 25 if you’re still on that move far away from me. I’m at the point now where I want something real, someone I can grow, build, and explorer exclusively with – not knocking anyone that prefers to “talk” or “be together with no title” I just realize it’s not for me, it’s too confusing and way too many open questions for me and if you read my last blog that’s just asking for a panic attack I don’t have time for that, but to each its own right?-   I’ve been on a few dates in the past, but as I began to really analyze my dating life, I began to question do I really know how to date?suits_403_jeff_jessica_boundaries

Dating feels hard confusing not fun right now. I’m the single friend, so getting advice from my girlfriends that aren’t dating like me was hard, so naturally I looked for reading material and articles online. I have read The Conversation by Hill Harper before, but the details were a bit foggy to me. So I took the dust off the book and reread it. I instantly remembered why I loved the book so much. I even made notes and highlighted areas the first time I read it. –I read this book when I got out of my last “we not together but togetherrelationship– I also came across a blog post on XO Necole which came back to boundaries. I loved the idea of treating everybody of the opposite sex like a friend until it’s crystal clear that they want something more. I could go deeper into this, but honestly the post says everything I would say, take the time to read it if you have the chance. Between the book and the article, it definitely put things in perspective and gave me some things to keep in my arsenal when it comes to this dating game.

Career

I’m always going to be very vocal about purpose and passion, I feel like I was dead before I found it. Its hard work when your purpose and passion don’t make you those coins to stay alive, however. I talked in a post about how unhappy I was in my job because the job itself is stressful and it was taking away from my purpose and passion, which I care deeply about.  I decided for my sanity to take a step back out of management–although it’s considered a promotion– but it’s just a simpler job and it offers me more benefits, such as working at home.  Your job is such a huge chunk of your day, you should be happy doing whatever it is right? For someone like me it’s a means to an end, but I also need to be happy and not stressed doing it so I am able to do my passion and purpose. It’s a fine balance to it. It’s a boundary to it.giphy (1)

I follow Halfietruths’ blog -and honestly if you don’t you should, she’s amazing!- and she did a video over boundaries, where she talks about  what boundaries are, why to have them, and how to set them. One of the things she talks about in the video is how setting boundaries protects your energy, which for me is why boundaries are so important for me right now.

I’ve always been very open about suffering with PMDD I will be doing a video on this soon so keep an eye out- Fortunately for me, I know I’m very sensitive to hormones, so taking birth control with hormones in it, Plan B, or anything with added hormones will trigger a “crazy” lady – seriously shit gets REAL!- So setting boundaries helps protect this very important space for my sanity.

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It’s also so important for you and others to respect the boundaries you set. I’ve been guilty of setting boundaries and then going back on them to please someone or to please myself.-temptation is a bitch am I right?–  How confusing is that right? If I show I don’t even respect the boundaries or standards I set, how the fuck am I supposed to expect someone else to respect them?

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Going into 2018, I challenge everyone to really get to know who you are. We are ever evolving beings and we are constantly changing and one day you look up and you realize you don’t know who you are anymore. I challenge you to be the best version of yourself daily. I challenge you to find you purpose and your passion and go for it, but live in the moment and enjoy the journey. What is living if you’re not having any fun? Have fun. but also RESPECT THESE FUCKING BOUNDARIES with positive vibes only. tenor

Let’s talk: What are some boundaries you’re setting for yourself in the New Year?

Until next time,

Happy Holidays!

Over-Thinking

Hello, my name is Veronica and I’m an over-thinker. I haven’t always been this way or maybe I have and I’m just now fully aware of it. I find if I am having a PMDD (which you can read about HERE) episode my over –thinking can kick into high gear or during times of high stress I can find myself questioning everything.img_7440

In this blog, I am going to be talking about ways I have learned to deal with my over-thinking- which I have now accepted as a part of me

It wasn’t easy getting to this point, honestly still a work in progress. Here are the things I have found help me the best.

1. You have to learn to be ok with questions you’ll never get the answers to.

This one was a big one for me, especially during a period of rejection or dating. I’m constantly trying to figure the situation out. Beat the game before it can beat me, but life doesn’t work that way. I had to learn to let it flow, be present in the moment, and let it work itself out – I recently learned this lesson by causing myself all this confusion by over-thinking the situation when the answer was simple, I don’t need all the answers let it flow naturally, but hey I’m only human– I tend to ask questions to the point of insanity for some people.  I’ve mentioned in a previous blog that I’m not the person you take to the movies, I know we are both seeing the movie for the first time; however, I will ask questions. I ask questions even if it’s a movie I have already seen.- It’s pretty ridiculous.- I like to know things fully before I give all of my attention to it, which I find to be a positive thing, but rather than being present in the moment and letting it flow, ill question it to death.  I’m learning to silence the thoughts by practicing mindful thoughts and countering them with positive thoughts-not saying my thoughts/questions are negative, but they can drive me to the point of insanity.

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2. You will have to work hard to change your thinking

This was also another gem I recently discovered. Your thoughts control your actions and reactions to situations and the way you perceive things. Over-thinking can make you think things are one way when they aren’t and vice versa. I’m a Libra, so I try to see situations from all sides. I try to put myself in the shoes of others and see things from their perspective. Sometimes this creates more questions because I can also see it from my perspective. I can literally flood my mind with thoughts and it’s not even that deep. In times where I’m dealing with rejection or some sort of “loss”, if you will, I have to constantly train my mind to go from over analyzing to words of positive affirmations, because I can be my own worst critic.-but hey aren’t we all?

img_72743.Write it out!

Rapping, writing, poetry, song writing, listen whatever form you have to use to work it out use it! Journaling for the win “What you reveal, you heal”-Jay Z (and some others I’m sure) but it’s true. How can you heal from something if you’re not willing to reveal it? Not reveal it in the sense that you have to declare it to the world, but to yourself. Sometimes we will deny our own truths or suppress them thinking that if we ignore them we’ll get over them. –Boy are you wrong– all you’re doing is giving it power to fester. Would you get shot and not have it checked out? Would you find out you have cancer and just ignore it thinking it’ll go away if you act like it’s not there? No. So why would you deal with your problems like that?! Therapy works, but if you really don’t want to share express it some way, better out than in.

4. Distract yourself

Constantly over thinking, over analyzing, dwelling is not healthy for the mind, clear it out and focus that energy on self. In times of rejections, break-ups, self doubts, and life’s little curve balls will throw over-thinkers, like myself, into overdrive. We are determined to figure out why? What happened? How can I fix this? What can I learn from this? How can I make this better or change it to my favor? The answer is simple: you don’t.  Let’s circle back to #1, You have to accept that you don’t have all the answers. You HAVE to let it flow.  How does an over-thinker let it flow? Starve that part that you’re dwelling over, distract yourself. Something I learned from baseball, when the pitcher is getting ready to throw the ball he focuses on where he wants the ball to go, he feels the energy flow through ball, he twist it in his hands, gets it ready to throw, and just before he gets into motion he looks away. There’s a study that says for perfect work productivity you work 52 mins and walk away for 17 mins. You have to stop thinking about it, to think about it. –Crazy I know– I have found that I have figured more out while not thinking about it than I did overt-thinking it. I have found that by distracting myself with meditation, yoga, getting outdoors –because I work 24/7 365, its very important to stop and get fresh air– dance, reading, working on my craft, music, coloring- yes this helps– exercising, and becoming my best self has helped me more than constantly mulling over a situation. Once I find myself completely distracted I somehow have an “ah ha” moment.img_7463

5.Appreciate the “ah ha” moments

Sometimes you have to go through it to grow through.  That last sentence was an “ah ha” moment within its self. Be careful with the “ah ha” moments. Sometimes they can throw you back into thinking about a situation. “Ah Ha” moments are beautiful when they happen. They make you appreciate everything you went through to get to that moment. More so because it allows you to finally see why you had to go through that situation. Leveling up, struggle moments, moments you feel like you’re being tested, they mean something in the long run. It’s important to appreciate them for what they are, but don’t let them drive you back down the road of questioning everything.

These 5 tips have helped me tremendously, but like I said before definitely a work in progress. This is probably something I will always have to work on, learning to be quite and realize I don’t need the all the answers especially because time reveals all.1000_mean-girls-try-new-thing

Are you an over-thinker? Comment below some of the things that help you be still in calm your mind. Let’s talk about it!

Until next time

XOXO

 

 

Write it Out

Why do we as humans suffer in silence? We all act like we have to walk around like everything is fine 100% of the time. I believe this is why suicide rates are so high. Mostly because we as humans care about what other people think. –yes you too Linda stop trying to act like you don’t!– whether it’s your man, your crush, your friends, strangers, we all like to put on this front like we have it all together when actually I know not 1 person that has a “perfect” life –can we pause on that what is perfect? What is normal? These are both terms that only you can define for yourself, but I digresschristina-nothings-normal

We all want to put on this facade instead of reaching out or being afraid to admit we’re hurt. –hello social mediaBabyishImperturbableKiwi-max-1mb

 

I asked a question on my Facebook “Which is worse pretending like we don’t care or wearing your heart on your sleeve?”

 

Overwhelmingly, everyone agreed that pretending like we don’t care was worse. I can’t say I’m not surprised by this answer, but I am surprised that we still act the opposite.

I’ve been talking a lot about being open -you guys this shit is probably the hardest thing emotionally I’ve done, but here I am and here we go– I thought by being open and allowing the universe to bring positive vibes I would reap great rewards-foolish girl– vulnerability is hard. Transparency is hard. You’re opening yourself up and saying to a person this is truly who I am, like me or leave me. Most will leave you, some will like you, you just never know what you’re going to get.BimvZCQnvB8x

The tricky part is when you really care for someone and you trust them with your feelings and you show them and they leave you. Now you out here wide open left with all these feelings and emotions and nowhere to put them and you regret being open. There’s beauty in the pain. It hurts, but there’s beauty in knowing that at least you laid it out there. Now what do you do with all these emotions and feelings? There’s no suitcase to pack them in and store for later!

I am a natural writer. The notes on my Iphone are so full because I literally found I have to write everything down in my head so that I don’t feel so cluttered. –and also so I don’t forget an idea– I found what works best for me is to write letters.

 

Sometimes you have to write them letters they will never receive.

It’s not for them it’s for you.

Sometimes you need to say the words they are never going to hear.

It’s not for them it’s for you.

Sometimes you need to tell them how you feel even if they are never going to feel it.

It’s not for them it’s for you.

 

We are like vaults. We unconsciously hold things inside and carry it around never putting it into the universe. That’s a toxic way to live don’t you think?

When I began my journey on being open, I really didn’t know what the fuck I was doing. Boy I had no idea what I was manifesting. But I was harboring some deep shit! Here’s the first lesson I learned immediately upon turning 28, you can’t “be open” and hold it in. It doesn’t work like that.- Now, as I’m typing this I’m sure somewhere on my page is a blog where I’m telling you how to really know if you’re over a situation. I should re-label that how you THINK you know you’re over a situation lol.- 28 was brought in with some big ol crocodile tears, and not for such the joyous occasion it should be, but for the letting go I so desperately needed to do.

 

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Here’s the thing, how do you let go? I think that looks different for everybody. I would love to tell you how to figure it out, but up until right before I typed this blog I thought I had let it go and figured it out, but guess what?! You know nothing Jon Snow! I figured the best way at that moment- and to stop the tears– was to work through it. As I stared out my window sobbing and talking to the universe and God, I decided to write. I decided to write letters. I tried to pinpoint exactly what or who these tears were for and I wrote to them- honest, no sugar coating, letters-.

I wrote them letters I never plan for them to see. Something about seeing it on paper cleansed my spirit. Now, I’m not going to sit here and lie and say I felt 100% better. The more I wrote the harder I cried because some of the letters I wrote required an action I wasn’t prepared for; letting go. I needed to remove some people from my life. Not because their bad people and they were hurting me, but because I loved them. They say if you love something you’ve got to let it go and if comes back then it means so much more… but if it never comes at least you know it was something you had to hold on to grow. I always thought letting go meant it had to be toxic, but sometimes letting go means love, the best kind of love you can give is setting someone free.

pk3h2GdElEexNow after the letters were written and the tears have dried, I took all that energy, love, and time into me. –yes girl right back into myself. – Because no one can love me better than me! When I started this journey and 28 was approaching, the year felt different. –again this is my magical year I feel it- I am changing and with that change comes getting to know myself just a little better. I am being prepared.-remember positive vibes only!

What are some things you do to let go?

And when you do what are some things you do with the left over energy?

Let me know in the comments below!

Until Next Time

XOXO

Chapter 28: Be Open

CaptureIt’s my birthday! A year of growth behind me and a new year of learning experiences ahead of me! I’m so excited to go in this journey. I always thought 28 was my mystical magical number. When I was younger it was the number I said I would keep forever whenever I was asked my age-true story– I feel like at 28 you know yourself now more than ever in your 20s. –Let me explain– in my experience my 20s have been nothing but one learning lesson after the other. It has been a struggllllleeee girl! I didn’t know who I was, I didn’t know what I wanted to be or do, I felt like for the most part, my 20s was this big black hole of not knowing. Add to that making huge mistakes and having to learn to deal with them. My 20s was pretty much like just figure it out. I wouldn’t change any of it though because everything led to this beautiful point: self awareness.grow-up

What a beautiful thing it is to actually know one’s self, to be confident in who you are, to proudly say this is who I am, like it or leave it I really don’t care either way! I know what I want to accomplish-might not know how to get there but at least I have purpose, right? – I know what I will and won’t accept from life, I just know! Boom that’s it. For so long it felt like I was walking through a dark hallway, no direction just literally figuring it out as it came to me- it’s a horrible feeling, but maybe it’s necessary-

“Rock Bottom is the solid Foundation on which I Built my life.”

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Shit just got real

25 was a rock bottom year, I spoke about this in a past blog, but never really felt comfortable talking about everything I was going through.-however if you’re a loyal reader, then you know I was in a dark place-. I suffered the loss of a pregnancy, the loss of a friendship that I loved dearly, and the loss of financial freedom by having to file bankruptcy. 25 was hard,  a lot of pain and tears. Most days were a struggle to make it out of the bed, but thank God for family.

giphy (1)26 was a faking it till you make it year. 26 I literally picked myself up and started to figure it out. I made affirmations and goals. I planned for things I wanted to accomplish, I found my purpose. 26 seemed to go by very quickly. It was definitely a transition year.

27 was letting it all go and working on a foundation again. 27 taught me a lot of things. I call 27 my year of rebuilding. Now that I knew my purpose I began to work really hard at it and made strides. I also really began to understand myself. I feel like before 25 I had this idea of who I was, but I didn’t really know or to be clearer I had this idea of how I wanted the world to perceive me but I didn’t really know who I was. I feel like everything that happened after 25 got me to this point of knowing who I am, what hurts me, what angers me, what energy I wanted to entertain, and what kind of man I desire to have in my life.

Now that I’m moving closer to my 30s, I feel like I’m moving toward my best life. So often I hear people say that your 30s are the best time of your life and I’m inclined to believe them simply based of the feeling I have about moving into 28. I can see the light appearing in the tunnel getting brighter. It’s not full rainbows and sunshine but it’s not all darkness anymore either.

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I always give my birthday a theme. Be Open.

I watched a movie called ‘Love by the 10th date’. It was one of those lifetime movies where its cheesy and predictable, but it got me to look into my own life and I realized that I’m very open minded but I’m not a very open person. If something doesn’t appear how I think it should or doesn’t meet my expectations, initially, I shut it down. I’m especially bad at this when it comes to relationships, or just getting to know someone. I don’t know how to just have fun and enjoy the ride. I’m either all the way turned off or all the way ready to jump in-I hate being in the gray! Watching this movie I had an “ah ha” moment –hell typing this paragraph I had an “ah ha” moment- this is all a self defense mechanism. Rather than letting myself experience it, I try to figure out a way to protect myself before it can even go wrong by finding something wrong- and chile that’s just not living! – Or I get incredibly invested way too soon and scare the person away- in my defense though it’s incredibly rare if you can actually get me to like you!-

I’m not just applying this to my dating life, but in all aspects. I want to be open to all this beautiful universe has to offer me. Positive vibes only though!

tenor

 

What are some things you find yourself closed off to? What o you feel you could be more open to? Let’s talk in the comments below!

Until time!

XOXO