Life

How To Not Suck At: Resting

A new year always brings out the hustling spirit in all of us.

“This year I’m going to grind and get this money!”

“The grind don’t stop in the ’17!”

“2017 is the year of the grind!”

Yeah. Grind, grind, grind. Work, work, work because hard work always equates to success right? Not really, but that’s a discussion for another time. Let me ask you this: With all this working and grinding you’re planning on doing this year, when do you get a break? I honestly believe that you should  kick of this year of dope shit by resting.

Now to the serial over-planner that may sound like pure blasphemy, some would even say lazy, but I promise you it’s very important. We d0 way too much, all the time. Just think about your day for a minute. You wake up, get ready for work, go work (hate every minute of it depending on where you are in your career *cough cough*), get off work, go home, cook dinner (or order sushi like I do), take a shower, look up and it’s already 10:30 pm. And that’s the short version, not including the coworker or boss that pissed you off, the daily reminder of bills, debt, relationship drama, your unruly curl pattern, errands that need to be ran, and all the other countless surprises adulthood has to offer. You need to go somewhere and sit down!

Resting is not laziness, laziness is laziness. Taking the time to rest is so important for your physical, mental, and emotional health. Case in point: About a week and a half before Christmas I got sick. Yeah no big deal, right? No you don’t understand, when I get sick it’s always something crazy like the Spanish Flu or the Bubonic Plague, nothing simple like a cold because that’s my life. At first I thought it was cold, then it got worse, and I’m like, “Yeah, this is the flu. No worries, it’ll be over in a week or so”. Nah bruh. I was sick for two full weeks, and while this was happening I was working forty-seven hours a week. Why? Because the grind don’t stop! I had to push through it, a little snot and mean dry cough never hurt nobody.Yup I pushed myself through it all the way to Regions Hospital’s emergency room, and it wasn’t on my own accord. My mom, who’s eleven hundred miles away in Atlanta, had to threaten me bodily harm if I didn’t. And I’m afraid of her (still, at 28) so I went.

The diagnosis? A respiratory infection and the stomach flu. See? Fuckery. The physician’s assistant looked at me and said, “So how many days off do you want?” I was like, “Umm just give Saturday off” She looked at me like “Bish wheeeeet?!”

Her: So you want to go back Sunday?

Me: No, but a day should be okay. Can’t really afford to take too much more time than that. My boss would flip out.

Her: *stares blankly, obviously confused*

We kinda just sat in silence for a few moments, which was awkward. But then she said, “Your chest x-rays are okay for now but if go outside in this weather you will get pneumonia. It’s going to be below thirty this weekend. Your body needs to rest, you’re working entirely too much. I’m putting you on restriction for three days, that’ll be in your doctor’s note which you can give to your boss on Monday. Double up on the fluids, and don’t even dream of getting out of bed.”  So I did what she said and by Monday I was still sick but far far better than I was before. But that whole situation got me thinking. Why is it so hard for us to rest when we need it the most? We kill ourselves in the pursuit of success, become damaged in the process, and wonder why our efforts don’t yield the results we desire. You can’t obtain abundance when you’re running on E.

Sometimes when we’re exhausted we gravitate towards people and activities that drain us even more. Or we convince ourselves that we’re being productive and a break isn’t really necessary because all this shit isn’t going to complete itself, right? Well screw all of that. You need to relax, refresh, and recharge. Today. Like right now, and we’re going to get through this together.

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    1. Disconnect from the world around you.

Get off Facebook (or IG, The Snap, ect.). Turn off your phone. Cut the TV off and get rid of any noise wherever you are. Do you hear that? It’s quietness, and you need more of it. You can’t make clear and calculated moves in an environment that rivals Jacksonville State’s Marching Southerners. Don’t think about what’s stressing you out, instead focus on what you want to see happen. Visualize yourself stomping that problem’s ass into the pavement. It’s very satisfying, trust me. Focus on how good it feels, don’t worry about the complexities of how it’s going to get done. You’ll figure that out later. This moment is all about enjoying the fullness and warmth of how good it feels to not think about all of your issues. Visualizing is so important and it’s the first step in applying the Law of Attraction into your everyday life, and it works. But that’s an entirely different animal, and another post for another time. Every time you feel your stress level spiraling out of control, go back to that thought of you knocking out your problems’ two front teeth. It’ll revolutionize your thoughts in a very major way.

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2. Tend to yourself.

When I feel stressed, overwhelmed, or like I’m drowning in my problems I tend to myself. First, I clean my house. Seems like a small thing but it’s really a big deal. Usually when I can’t think straight my house is a mess; my thought space manifests itself into the environment around me. And I’ll let it go because I’ll be too tired to take care of it right then and there, but shortly after I just can’t take it anymore. I’ll drop everything and clean until my heart is content. When I’m done I feel so much better. I know where things are, it smells good, I just feel centered and content. So now when I go to handle my problems I can do so with a clear head because all that worrying and stressing wasted away while I was washing dishes and sweeping the floors. I wasn’t focusing on them which stopped my wild imagination from running all over America, which helped put the shine and sparkle back into my stove top, which stopped me from going off the deep end and snatching a couple wigs in the process.

Another way I tend to myself is by getting my nails done. I know that nearly every woman in the tri-state area does this but getting my nails done is like borderline a religious experience for me, I’ll make an entire day out of it. Why’s this so important? Because I don’t have to do anything but sit and be pampered. Sure I’ll have to drop a few coins, but the peace of mind I get from it is money well spent. Being able to walk into that shop and say, “I need a fill-in, a pedicure, and my brows snatched” and they say, “Yes ma’am” and get me right makes me feel like the Queen that I am. And that’s how I should feel all the time, that’s how you should feel all the time. You are a strong, amazingly talented, hard working, intelligent, drop dead gorgeous and dazzling adulting superstar. Don’t let life’s problems allow you to believe anything less than that.

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    3. Rest your body.

Your sleep system works like a bank, you can only withdraw what you deposit and most of the time you find yourself swimming in overdraft fees. Thirty-seven percent of American women chug more than three caffeinated beverages a day according to the National Sleep Foundation. Stop making Starbucks rich and get some sleep! It plays an important role in your physical health. It’s involved in healing and repairing your heart and blood vessels, keeps your immune system on it’s toes, and improves your memory. Ongoing lack of sleep has been linked to increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. I know you don’t want any part of that. Plus, have you been around someone who hasn’t had a good amount of sleep? Not fun at all. I’m the worst when I don’t sleep enough. I’m cranky, I whine a lot, or cry, and the smallest things set me off. God bless the poor souls who have to deal with me because I’m a hot funky ass mess. Eight hours a night is a must, no exceptions. When you get in bed silence your phone, don’t ask questions just do it. You’ll thank me in the long run. And its okay to sleep in sometimes, there’s definitely room for passive rest on your off days. This was a big challenge for me because I used to not be able to turn off my “grind” switch, but boy have I made up for lost time.

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   4. Journal

When we have problems we like to sound off and unload those problems on the people closest to us. That’s become second nature to us but if you’re not careful it can easily become the foundation in making your loved ones an emotional dumping ground. They love you and want the best for you, but nobody wants to hear drama and negativity all the time. So write it down, and don’t hold anything back. Write down exactly how you feel in that moment, it doesn’t even have to be complete thoughts just as long as you can understand it. This is extremely therapeutic because you’re only reliving your pisstivity once instead of over and over again if you told multiple people. Have you ever noticed how exhausted you feel after you tell five people the same emotionally charged story? You’re ready to go take a nap, or just stop talking altogether. Yeah, journaling cuts all that out. I use Journalate when I need to blow off some steam and its great because its free, I do love free. Or if you like kicking it old school go out and get a physical one. All of my journals are pretty, and the pens I write in them with are pretty too. Why? Because that makes me excited to use them, I look forward to writing about my day, or my goals, or the latest thing happening in my life no matter if its good or bad. I get all of those thoughts out of my head and onto those pages so I can make room for others that get me closer to my dreams. You should do the same.

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5. Create a bedtime ritual.

Rituals are bomb as f*ck. I have one for every occasion you can think of, but none of them pop harder than my nightly ritual. I’ll light some candles, pour me a glass of wine, turn on some music, eat a fabulous meal, wash and exfoliate my skin, condition my hair, take a long hot bath, lather every inch of my body in oil, dry off, get dressed, and go to bed. How do I feel afterwards? F*CKING FLAWLESS! The entire time you know what I’m thinking about? Absolutely nothing. I think all day and it feels good to put my mind into airplane mode. By the time I get dressed I can barely keep my eyes open, I knock out, and I stay that way until the morning. When I don’t do this I stay up all night scrolling through Facebook, I think about my problems until I drive myself insane, and I toss and turn all night when I finally start to fall asleep. Which one is the better option? Exactly. Get a routine going, I have one for the morning and the night, it works wonders.

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6. Recharge your emotions.

This one’s a biggie. Being around people who are positive and emotionally healthy is imperative to your well-being. You want to be around people who want to see you win. Someone encouraged me to be alone on my off day and I looked at them like they were crazy. I had just moved to Minneapolis, I didn’t know anyone there (which is strange to me because I know tons of people back home in Atlanta), and I felt like I really needed to get out there and meet people so I wouldn’t turn into a hermit. But they were onto something good. I spend over forty hours a week around people at work. Short people, fat people, dumb people (mostly dumb because *retail*), semi-sort of smart people, nice people, rude people, people with bad ass kids, old people, young people. Just people. And all the time. Taking two days out of the week to spend time with me and replenish my energy and emotions was very wise advice, I’m glad I was smart enough to take it. Because if I hadn’t I’d probably would’ve lost my mind by now.

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7. Refocus your spirit.

Your mind and body are usually at the forefront of your consciousness, and your spirit tends to get lost in the shuffle but its just as important. Resting comes full circle when you learn how to focus your spiritual self. I’m not talking about practicing religion but more so realigning the balance within yourself. When doing the things I’ve mentioned thus far I always find some time to slip in some meditation. I know some people may be turned off to the idea of meditation but that’s because they don’t understand it. You should definitely try it because it’s amazing and its been scientifically proven to help your overall well-being. It lessens worry, anxiety, impulsiveness, depression, creates better cognitive skills and creative thinking, reduces blood pressure, kicks PMS’s ass, and even helps with inflammatory orders and asthma. How? Because it disconnects you from stress. People really don’t realize just how much stress can f*ck your shit up. It leads to heart disease (which is the leading cause of death worldwide), insomnia, diabetes, digestive problems, and a wide range of other ailments which are all good reasons to keep calm and realign your chakras.

Working hard and going after your goals and dreams is great, I applaud you for doing that. But sometimes we have to know when to hit the pause button and take a moment to breathe. You should never feel bad for taking time for yourself because that time is so necessary. Here’s to being a more complete human being, let’s make this year a spectacular one. Cheers!

Reality Check: Time To Get In Formation

” Your winter is someone else’s summer.”

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That quote unleashes some very visceral emotions inside of me; things I’ve kept tucked away while I try to keep up with the day-to-day busyness of adulthood. But it’s high time I let them go because holding on is doing me absolutely no good. I’ve realized, while amidst the thick of the fuckery I’ve been through this year, that I have a high propensity for being a perfectionist. It’s so high, in fact, that it keeps me from going after the things that I want and need to do. I’ll set out to do something and, midstream, I’ll freeze because I think whatever I’m doing isn’t good enough and the follow through ends up being super wack.

I haven’t updated my blog, worked on my business models, or any of my interests because I’ve allowed my circumstances to get the best of me. This year has been pretty tough, definitely the coldest metaphoric winter I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been homeless, I was assaulted, I’ve been abandoned several times, heart broken more than once, and many other trials and tribulations have ensued. I’ve let those things mold me into someone I don’t recognize when I look into the mirror, and that terrifies me. I’ve allowed myself to become this person who, when standing face-to-face with obstacles, she gets emotional and has a pity party for herself long before she attacks them. And when I finally do, I’m exhausted from the roller coaster ride I put myself through. I’m at the point where I’m sick and tired of not being in control of my own destiny. I’m completely over just existing and I’m ready to start living again.

I’m not sure what point you’re at in your life as you’re reading this. Hell, you could be doing great in life, and if you are good for you. Do that shit! But if you’re stuck in the same old rut and you’re ready to get back to where you were before, or even transcend beyond that point (which is always a good idea), then I’ll offer you three pieces of advice that have jump-started my will to live life more abundantly again no matter what my circumstances are. You can Google the phrase “How to get your shit together” and easily find 1.3 million articles on how to do just that, each one offering fifty plus ways to turn the lemons life has hurled at your poor peanut shaped head into lemonade (all hail #QueenBey!). But I think three is a good place to start. There’s something about that number that resonates with me; I think it signifies harmony, and we could all use a little more of that. Plus, I think these three things open the door to many more good habits that can and will help push you into the right direction. So, let’s begin.

  1. Get objective feedback from a trustworthy source.

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Emphasis on trustworthy. So not that one coworker who’s always having money problems, or your cousin Ray Ray who can’t hold down a job for longer than sixty days, and definitely not your super “independent”  man hating aunt who hasn’t had a bae since ’86. This person should be close enough to you where they know exactly what you may be going through, but are far away enough to see the bigger picture, and wise enough to point you in the right direction. You could be focusing too much of your attention on a problem at work or a relationship that doesn’t serve you, and that person has the ability to come in with a fresh pair of eyes and give you the perspective you would’ve taken longer to achieve on your own.

I have friends who keep me moving forward even when I can’t seem to pull it together sometimes. When I’m dealing with a tough situation in my personal life, or I’m entertaining something or someone that is challenging my self-worth (it really doesn’t matter what it is) one or all of them will individually or collectively say to me, “Bitch….no!” And they will proceed to snatch my wig to and fro until I get myself back into formation. They’re present enough to know the details of whatever the problem is but also able to take the emotion out of what I’m telling them in order to help me come up with solutions that will work to solve said problem. I am so grateful for them because I tend to be very dramatic all the time  sometimes and I have this annoying habit of making mountains out of molehills. Silly me.

2. Acknowledge what’s working

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You are incredible! You are a work of art, absolutely divine, and so so talented. Never allow yourself to lose sight of how special and unique you are. Focusing on the deeper reality of the spirit instead of where your ego is just may be all you need to pick yourself up and keep moving forward. It doesn’t matter how many times you think you’ve fallen short, it’s really about your perspective. You could be bombing at one thing but blowing something else out of the water in another area of your life.

One of my biggest adulthood boo boos is not saving enough money. And by enough, I mean none at all; I’m the worst at that. I’ll have the best intentions when I’m planning out my bills but then I’ll get so anxious and overwhelmed about deadlines and such that saving goes completely out the window. I have really bad anxiety about being homeless again. It’s at the forefront of my mind when I think about and handle money. “Oh I can’t get those shoes, gotta save for rent. I can’t be homeless again” “Nah, I’ll just eat at home. I can’t be eating out, gotta pay my rent so I’ll have a roof over my head” “I gotta get it together man, I can’t go back to that shelter”

I’ll get so caught up in what could go wrong if all the bad shit I cook up in my head happened simultaneously (which never does), that I rarely acknowledge all the things I’m doing right. For one, I actually care about paying things on time. That’s a win, because a lot of people really don’t give a shit. I’m responsible (did you hear that Mom and Dad?), or at least I try to be as much as I can. And as much as I panic about it, I do pay all my bills. I’m actually coming up with ways to say money that will have many long term benefits instead of short term ones; another step in the right direction. Doing that helps me focus on the future and gets my brain thinking about how I’m going to achieve my next set of goals. When I’m in this frame of mind I’m in problem solving mode instead of panic mode, which does wonders for my nerves. Instead of holding my face in my hands saying “Oh my God, oh my God. What do I do?” repeatedly I ask myself “What am I doing now that’s gotten me to this point?”, “What do I want to see happen in this area?”, and “What can I do to turn this shit around?” And then something amazing happens. I’ll remember that I’m pretty damn awesome and I can do anything I put my mind to. Perspective.

3. Meditate on gratitude and appreciation.

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It may sound super cheesy, but a little gratitude goes a long way. Frustration has a way of making everything seem really really shitty. Your boss may have been a total douche to do in front of some really important people, and you’re so pissed off that you sit there and stew over it all day, then some jerk cuts you off in traffic, and you’re so hell bent on getting home that you forgot to hit up that one place you love because they’re having a 25% off sale on your favorite wine. Then you finally get home, after all that, only to trip over an ant playing soccer on a cotton ball and you hit your pinky toe on that same corner of the coffee table that you have at least two hundred times minimum. Stupid boss, this all your fault.  You work tirelessly to be amazing at what you do and your boss never shows any appreciation at all. You come in early, you leave late, you blow the roof off the place, and you get nothing in return. Not even a nod. Your life is absolute shit and it’ll never get any better, plus you won’t have any more functional toes left because of that damn table. It’ll never get better, right? Wrong. Sometimes a brief moment of stepping out of a disheartening situation to an appreciation of something general, no matter how small, can take you forward a few steps to detaching from what isn’t working. And when you do that you create space that gives you room to shift towards a better view.

I get so bogged down about bills, and adulting, and how I should be so much further along in life than I am right now. I beat myself up about not writing enough, or not having the funding to start my businesses, or about how bad I am at remembering to do laundry that I forget to be grateful for all the things that I do have and have been blessed with. I have a great living space that’s warm, and inviting, and it’s my sanctuary. When my mind becomes cluttered and I can’t think straight, I’ll look around and see that the state of my thoughts have manifested themselves into my living space. So I’ll clean it up; wash dishes, do laundry, clean my bathroom, reorganize my closet, everything. And when I’m done I get this overwhelming feeling of pride and gratitude; I’ll look around and say to myself “Wow, this is my place. This time last year I was staying with this person and that person, then I ended up living in a hotel, then a shelter, then somebody else’s place, then a place where the roof was leaking. Now I’m here, safe, warm, and back on track. Thank you Lord”.

That one moment gives way to many more that allow me to see just how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time. I thank God for everything, and every time I do the Universe takes note of it and I attract more great things my way. When I spend money, on whatever, I always thank God and the Universe for allowing me to have it; and I say to myself “There’s more where that came from”. When I’m cleaning up and I find a dime or a penny I say thank you out loud. When I make some bomb fajitas, I say thank you (out loud), because God didn’t have to bless me with the resources to make that party in my mouth happen but He did and I’m grateful. Gratitude really does go a long way and soon you’ll begin to realize just how much you really have, which takes the focus off what you don’t have and that makes room for you to get what you want to have. See how that works?

Life can serve a pretty mean uppercut, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle with getting your ass kicked everyday (bob and weave my G). I promise if you do these three things every time you face a problem, you’ll get through it and with a level of style and grace that may surprise you. It’s 2:30 in the morning and, as I’m writing this, my problems seem to be much smaller than I thought they were before I started this post. There’s freedom in that, I feel lighter. And my goals seem much more attainable. The same can be true for you, all you have to do is apply what I mentioned above and you’ll be Gucci. So go knock it out the park, kiddo.

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How To Knock Out Negativity’s Two Front Teeth & Keep Your Sanity While You’re Doing It

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Dealing with negative people is a fact of life, you will never be able to escape it. Have you ever had a day where it seemed like everyone was barking at you or was in a bad mood? Or maybe you have a boss or coworker who always seems to be in a really negative space? When placed in those situations it’s hard to keep your spirits up, isn’t it? I totally know how you feel.

I work at a very dysfunctional chiropractic clinic, and it is very draining—physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually—the said dysfunction is internal and external, so I get it from the front and back end. The doctor I work for is always in a terrible mood, and I know you’re probably thinking, “Come on Shaniece, nobody can be in a bad mood all the time”. Oh, but they can be. And I don’t mean to sound like I’m complaining, but it really is too much to deal with. He’s rude to management, he’s rude to patients, and last week he became belligerent and aggressive towards me. This horribly timed blow-up came at the worst possible moment, my grandfather just passed and I’m not coping with it too well. My boss knew this but that didn’t stop him from acting like a complete donkey. So saying that I’m emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually drained would be more than fair.

On top of the normal day-to-day hardships of working with people (I love my patients, they’re the absolute best) and they’re different personalities, quirks and sometimes inflated egos, I have to deal with a middle-aged man that behaves like a two year old. What gives, man?! How could I possibly deal with all of that, the death of my grandpa, searching feverishly for a new place, and other unnecessary negativity? Firstly, I decided to take back control of my energy and my emotions; a person, group of people, or situation cannot take you out of your element without your permission. Then I implemented the following, and you can do the same:


1. Arm yourself with positives.

Load up with whatever positives you can before you tackle a new week. Watch funny movies or Youtube clips, read an inspirational article or two, have a chill day with your friends and put your phone in Airplane Mode, do whatever you need to do in order to get into a positive place. Enrich your life with as much positivity as you can, because everyday is an opportunity for you to be robbed of it. Your job, unexpected emergencies, family hardships and drama, traffic and morning breath from that one coworker who cannot seem to grasp the concept of personal space can all take a toll on you if you’re not prepared.

I like to pray  before I go to work (if that’s not your thing fine, but we’re #TeamJesus over here). “Lord, please allow me to have a great and productive day, allow me to get what needs to be done taken care of in a timely manner, give me the strength to do it, joy to keep me pushing forward…and please don’t allow me to go to jail for choking someone. Amen” I’m just being real but, on a more serious note, I find writing to be so therapeutic; I like to listen to music while I write, I’m actually doing that right now. Classical music has always allowed me to keep a calm demeanor and I focus way more when I’m listening to it. Find whatever positive thing you can and engage in it when you encounter negativity, it’ll become your lifeline.


2. Choose not to mirror others.

Vibes are contagious, and sometimes others’ negative vibes subconsciously influence us. If someone’s rude to you, your defenses go up, and you dish out what’s been served to you. It’s not your fault, you’re human. We all unknowingly become trapped and mirror the negative energy thrown at us to a tee. If someone’s being negative toward you, and you notice it’s influencing for the worst, make a conscious effort to get back in control.

Instead of mirroring their energy, try to help them mirror yours. If they raise their voice, speak calmly. If they’re rude, be and stay polite. That’s how you play it, never react to their negative behavior. Maintain your energy, and stay the course no matter what. You’ll know you’ve got them when they start matching your tone. I once had a patient that, once I said something that he didn’t want to hear, started yelling and hurling obscenities at me. I paused the conversation, told him whatever he had to say could be relayed without yelling, and that I was being respectful to him and I expected him to do the same for me. He immediately changed his tone and apologized for his behavior. After that he was able to express his frustrations in a calmer way and I was able to help him. Problem solved. Always remember your tone has everything to do what message you’re trying to relay, try to keep it as neutral as possible.


3. Allow others to talk your ear off without ruffling your feathers.

Let me offer you this disclaimer before I make my next point: It is not healthy to always listen to someone vent. You have to set boundaries, because letting people treat you like a punching bag is not the move; but when you’re dealing with customers or clients, you can’t exactly ignore them. In those cases just let them vent their frustrations without taking it personally, most of the time it’s the situation that’s making them angry and not you individually. If they are angry with you  (perhaps you unknowingly made an error) put your ego to the side, be honest about it, apologize, and move forward. Create the least amount of friction as possible by shifting the negativity away from you. The same can be done for non-customer interactions, like for someone you actually know. I can honestly say when I sit and let someone vent about why they’re angry I find out exactly what the issue is; this isn’t always easy (because I can be a prideful moth…person sometimes) but it’s definitely doable. Knowing what caused the miscommunication is the most logical and unbelievably simple way to solve it. This is where thick skin becomes a valuable commodity, so develop some.


4. Kindly compliment others whom you dislike. 

Key word kindly: meaning without malice, sarcasm or shade. When you do find yourself disagreeing with someone, make your best effort to find a point they came up with that you actually agree with. Then genuinely take the time to compliment them for their idea. Craziest thing to do during a disagreement but I promise it works. Doing this subconsciously creates a small bond, and it sets a foundation that you can build on for a better relationship in the future. I know it sounds sickeningly Kumbaya, but it’s always better to leave a conversation on a good note rather than leaving behind seeds of negativity.


5. Treat yourself when you feel the negativity getting to you.

This doesn’t necessarily have to be a new pair of shoes or jewelry, treating yourself could be something as simple as your favorite food or a great book your friend keeps raving about and a glass of wine. Whatever you choose will be the perfect distraction to help shift your mindset and lift your spirits when you’re down. I just treated myself to an enchilada, a taco, and a quick run through my iTunes and I feel a lot better. You should reward yourself, even a small one, at the end of the day or week. This gives you something mentally positive to hold onto and it’ll help you get through a tough time.


Your positive actions make you a leader, not a follower.

Negative people exist, you can’t really change that; and even positive people can succumb to negativity on a bad day. But you can definitely change how you deal with their behavior, you just have to allow yourself to. You have to change how you react. Is it easy? That my dear is solely up to you, you control how difficult or how smoothly this transition goes (and no one else, remember that).  At the very core of it’s existence, negativity is how you perceive it. You can choose to stay positive no matter what negative people throw your way, and you could even change their moods in the process. In the end, it all benefits you and gets you one step closer to being a more whole and grounded person. Take control of your life, lead it where you want it to go. Don’t let others dictate how you should feel, who made them the boss of you anyway?

(Nobody)

Exactly.

Stay beautiful loves ❤

Clarity

Blogging is a process. There is no formula or equation that spews out the perfect blog, trust me. When I first started I had this vision of me with a super successful blog with tons of followers. It wouldn’t take too long, I mean its not that hard right? Wrong. So very, very wrong.

The bloggers I look up to (Aimee Song, Kelly Framel, Jane Aldridge) all make this….stuff look effortless but it is anything but, its a lot of hard work. I used to read their stuff and try to mirror it, fail.com. I tried, I mean TRIED, so hard to be a fashion blogger. But it just wasn’t working out. One day I was nose deep in a book and I read something that changed my entire perception of blogging and everything else I was pursuing and life in general. People are so quick to ask successful people what exact steps they took to get them where they are in hopes of retaining the same results.  We are so quick to do this but slow to go out into the world and make our own way. Why? For fear of failure.

Like I said before, there is no formula, potion, or easy button for making this sh….stuff work. This whole time I’ve been trying to be a fashion blogger who writes a blog about fashion and how it changed my life, made me a more confident woman, and helped me love my body and all its imperfections. And I finally got the hang of it but something was missing. *light bulb goes off*  Instead of TRYING to be a blogger why don’t I just be one?  Why don’t I stop trying to be like everyone else around me and be me? And produce content that feels good to me. So that’s what I’m doing.

Fashion is a big part of my life, but there is more to me than that. I also love cooking and baking, sports,  good movies, tv shows, books, and ripped shirtless men. All of which will make it on here in such elegance and grace all you’ll be able to muster up is a feeble “Ahhhh!” and maybe a couple “Ooooh”s. We’ll just play it by ear. But this go-round I’m much more grounded and I’ve finally found my voice as a blogger (and stylist) and I’m excited about this breakthrough. So just know this isn’t a blog about fashion and I’m not some uber chic fashion guru that’s too cool for you to fathom. I’m a woman with a very put-together sense of style, and this is a blog about me where fashion makes appearances here and there. Okay, a lot but you get the point.

Change Is Good

Okay so Fall is finally here and, if you’re like me, you might be a little unprepared. Usually it creeps up on me and then WHAM! Before I know it its fifty-six degrees outside and I’m still wearing shorts and sandals wondering where I went wrong in life. One cannot afford to make those mistakes while living in Chicago, the weather plays no games. This year I was better prepared though. If you’re wardrobe still has Will Smith’s “Summertime” stuck on repeat here are a few tips you can follow to whip it into shape:

1. ALL SIGNS OF SUMMER MUST GO

Now’s the time to start throwing out any and all pieces that scream Summer. Printed maxi dresses, thong sandals, linen shorts, and cotton dresses all must be given the heave-ho’. DO however keep anything silk (blazers, blouses, etc.) or heavier cotton. Both can be worn year-round.

2. CLEAN EVERYTHING BEFORE STORING

If you’re putting clothes away in a storage unit, basement, or attic it’s absolutely imperative that you get them dry-cleaned first. Moths are attracted to everyday scents like perfume and deodorant. The same goes for bags too. Make sure you empty them before you place anything in them. Crumbs attract bugs, and nobody has time for that.

3. REINVENT YOUR CLOTHES BEFORE YOU BUY NEW ONES

Utilize the talents of the many tailors in your city or town. DO this especially if you’re on the fence abut getting rid of particular items. A tailor can transform a garment and make it look and feel completely different. And all for the low-low. Booyah!

4. SPLURGE WISELY

Summer-wear is all about your entire outfit, since every item is visible. But for the fall and winter its really all about the coat you wear. A well fitting, stylish coat can carry an entire outfit. With that being said know this: Splurging on a coat is worth it if you know you’ll be wearing it for seasons to come. If you’re on a budget try something classic like a black wool overcoat, or something else that will never go out of style.

5. BUY NEW SHOES THAT FIT

If you’re investing in a new pair of shoes it would behoove you to be mindful of what you’ll be wearing them with. For example, if you’re buying a pair of sleek leather or suede pumps (to wear barefoot or with tights) they should be worn true to size, or even a half size smaller since leather stretches. Plus your feet won’t swell in cold weather. And if you’re buying boots, chances are you’ll be wearing them daily with thick socks, so be sure to bring a pair to the store since you may have to go a size up.

Well, I hope this helped. A few more things to keep in mind though: DON’T impulse buy, DON’T try to follow every single trend that is out (especially simultaneously), and DO have fun shopping (it’s your birthright). Good luck.

Stay beautiful 🙂