Give yourself a break

Often times we are hard on ourselves. We rant and stew in all of our assumed shortcomings and disappointments. Your brain will always fool you into thinking that what you are doing on a daily basis isn’t good enough. The question is, “Good enough for who?” Whose standards are we judging our life by? Whose plan for our life are we going by?

Most of the time we are judging ourselves through the eyes of others. That is a crappy way of viewing yourself. Other people judge us based on their own insecurities. Their view of themselves is greatly skewed by another person’s impression upon them and they are now making this impression upon you. All impressions and ideas, in this case, are false.

You are not what people say about you. You are not what people think about you. You don’t have to be what others want you to be. You don’t have to live up to the unrealistic model that people want you to reach. Your life is in your hands. You have the final say in your portrait of who you are and what you want to do with your life. Give yourself a break!

No one is perfect. Everyone has flaws and they make each and every one of us unique individuals. Stop being hard on yourself and letting other people lay their criticism at your doorstep. You are only living for you. You are only competing with You. You only need to make You happy.

The minute you realize, accept and implement this, your life and your insight will be so much better. Your mind will clear and you can focus on what really matters, You.

Getting out of the Holiday blues

For years I hated the holidays. I’ve always seen the holidays time as full of hurt, and a lot of headache. I have a huge family and I love my family very much. But over the years I’ve tended to separate myself from some of my family because of their negativity and attitudes.

This year I decided to go at the holidays alone and to my surprise I didn’t contract holiday Blues this year. I’ve been spending way more time with my kids. Who’s hilarious, by the way. My kids help to keep me grounded. Sometimes I think if I didn’t have my kids I wouldn’t be as much fun.

So this Thanksgiving, my family and I had Thanksgiving here at home. I cooked all the traditional Thanksgiving food that I love to cook for my family each year. We ate, we talked, we drank, and repeated until we all passed out for the night. I must say it was the most fun that I’ve had with my little family here, my husband, my two kids and his brother who currently lives with us.

There was no drama, no fussing, no stress. And this is how I would like every holiday to go but unfortunately I know it won’t be so, or can it be?

I’ve been working on the rest of the Holiday season and how I would like for it to go. Remember, plans will always change. Leave room for the unexpected. I have delegated certain tasks so that I’m not overwhelmed. Done is always better than perfect.

I’ve opted out of heavy decor this year. I have two little monsters that I will keep busy by letting them make the decorations (that I have strategically located online) and put up the tree. Michael’s craft store has been a real time saver for all of the decor and crafts for kids.

Finally, my menu is simple. Minimum leftovers predicted. I’ll have plenty of time to mingle and celebrate. I’ve also gotten plenty of disposable dishes and pans. Minimum cleaning predicted also. This planning didn’t take long and wasn’t complicated. Mostly clever and common sense. I don’t know why I didn’t think of all this before.

I realized that most of my stress and anxiety associated with the holidays is caused by my constant pursuit of perfection. I’ve been chasing a ghost. Perfection does not exist. I don’t have to impress my family. They could care less about the decorations or our outfits for that matter. They’re just happy to celebrate with us and that is just what the holidays are about. Family.

I wish each and every one of you a happy, safe and blessed holiday season. I hope to see you all in 2019.

Happy holidays!

Productivity

 As humans we are naturally wired to tackle the easy stuff first and then the hard stuff. This behavior usually leaves us looking as if we are not productive. We leave unfinished business at the end of the day and say “Well I’ll finish it tomorrow.” which puts us behind on tomorrow’s tasks because we are still working on “yesterday” which should have been finished so we could focus on “today”.

This is why organization and decluttering are so important to me. I don’t like being surrounded by stuff. I would rather be surrounded by “things”. I know by now you are saying that this girl has lost her mind but I promise there is a difference.

Stuffnoun– miscellaneous, Unspecified objects. These are the things that surround us for no reason and often times have no use. We justify keeping “stuff” with reasons such as sentimental value. Which really means ” I don’t want to or I can’t seem to part with this object even though I know that it is useless

Thingsnoun-any movable possession. The example given in the dictionary is articles of clothes but I’m going a little deeper. Let’s use Knowledge as and example.

Knowledgenoun– the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning.

To me, knowledge is a true possession. No one can take away what you know. You earn knowledge. Either through school or experience. Knowledge is priceless, required, acquired, ever changing and dangerous all at the same time. Knowledge is power and too much of it can lead to madness.

I’m far from madness but, I have just begun to realize my power. Knowing what I know now I can achieve so much more. I can do so much more. I can react and handle things a whole lot better. And every day my knowledge grows. I cultivate it like a rare flower. Watering it daily by making myself learn something new and reading. Yes, reading. You would be astounded by how much information is easily accessible on a multitude of subjects. Anything you want to know about anything is at your fingertips thanks to technology.

With that being said, my organization and planning is all digital. Between my phone my tablet and my computer. I have backups of everything and I’m constantly updating.

Until I started planning and making lists I could not believe the amount of tasks I could get done in a day. It is amazing. I keep myself focused and I am always busy. I keep myself busy and focused on something daily because I am a firm believer in an old saying. “An Idle mind is the devil’s workshop”
I find this to be so true. When you are not focused on something. Demons have a way of creeping into your head and torching your ideas, dreams, goals and visions. And not the type of demons that come from hell and you need a priest to get rid of. I’m talking about the demons that are sometimes overlooked because they seem harmless and are not identified as they truly are. “demons”

  1. Laziness– not wanting to do anything
  2. Procrastination– Oh I’ll do it later, the lie we tell ourselves and things never get done
  3. Writer’s block– The non use of a creative mind (no inspiration)
  4. Sleepiness– not from lack there of but oh I just need a nap that ends up stealing 5 hours of your day,
  5. Excuses– the justification of one or all of the above
All of these things lead to unproductivity. The only way to combat these is planning and sticking to your plan. You even have to plan your leisure time or it too can turn into a demon of unproductivity.
Planning is how I fight this. I suffered with the demon of depression for so many years. But that is a subject for another time. My point is, my depression was accompanied by the demons above and more and because of my long period of doing nothing, focusing on nothing and eating my way around the world. Because of the knowledge I have acquired through the last ten years I know now what was holding me back. 
I have taken back my life by taking back my productivity. I am focused and ready and it all started with a plan and a planner. I’ve stuck with it and it’s really helped to put a lot of things into perspective. There are a few questions I want you to ask yourself as I close.
  1. What am I doing?
  2. Is this productive?
  3. What will I accomplish?
Take the time to ask yourself these questions. Develop a plan and get started towards your goals. You only live once. Make the most of the time you have and do something great.

The secret to my self-confidence

Makeup By Ms. Dee

I used to be that girl that was so self conscious about everything. I hated the way I looked. I would stay home and never go out. I would hide in my room and cry a lot.

If I told you that the above statements were true you would believe them right? They are not true for me but I’m sure someone out there feels a connection to these statements. I have not felt this way but I have come close. I was always taught that I was beautiful and that I could do anything anyone else could. I had no boundaries and was supported in everything I put my mind to even if it failed miserably. My grandmother and my aunt taught me from a young age about confidence and self esteem. I was told that it was as precious as a diamond and I cultivated and protected it as such.

My self image has never been distorted. I have always been overweight since a little girl but I never called myself ugly. I have also not called myself fat. At least not in front of other people. I have known other women to feel some type of way about their looks but not me. I have always been confident in myself and have learned to exude that confidence in how I walk and talk. Here are some of the ways and tips I used to build up my confidence.

  • Educate yourself. Education is the one thing that no one can take away from you. Learn and grow intellectually. This will anchor your confidence. Do your research and learn as much as you can no matter how old you are. Education rules the nation, that’s a fact. Education gives you understanding as well as a more intelligent conversation. Smart, educated people are never ugly. They are always respected and revered. I would rather have a group of smart friends than just pretty ones. Besides, an educated woman is the sexiest woman ever. Ask Michelle Obama. 
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. We are all created differently. We look different and sound different. We’re shaped different and we are raised in different environments and in different ways. That’s the one mistake that will lead to your own self destruction and the demolishing of your self esteem. “Just because Susie is shaped one way and the boys like it doesn’t mean that I have to look the same way for boys to like me.” This was a constant speech as I was growing up and becoming a young lady. This gave me a lot of perspective on myself and how I perceive others.
  • Don’t put yourself down. Not even joking!!! Making fun of yourself in any aspect makes it okay for the people around you to do the same. In essence, you are training the people around you how to treat and respect you by how you treat and respect yourself and your things. I know that sounds weird and crazy but it’s true. 
  • Give yourself positive thoughts every day. Mirror time is my favorite time of the day, Much like  the character in Being Mary Jane I do have sticky notes on my mirror and even a few on my computer that tell me how beautiful and smart I am and that I can conquer anything that life throws at me. When you put good and positive in you get good and positive out. Negativity is no one’s friend so if you have a lot of it around you it’s time to clean house. Even if that means a few friends and family members have to be cut off. For the sake of your own sanity cut ties with negative people and things.
  • Become your number one fan. Okay, this one is a doosey but I need you to be your own cheerleader. No one else is rooting for you harder than you. If you don’t want to see you be great than no one else cares. Be your own motivation. Your only real competition is you. I am always on a quest to out do my self. You have to be your number one investor, advertiser, and PR. This will build on your confidence slowly but surely. You are a star. Become your best fan ever.
  • Get to know yourself. Yeah this one is a little Psychological but is needed. You need to know yourself inside and out. Start a journal or a diary and take a 30 day journey to get to know yourself. Record your thoughts and feelings as they come and you’ll be surprised at what you might find out about you. Take yourself on dates and take a long walk on the beach with yourself. Stop looking for other people to invest their time in you if you won’t. Become comfortable with yourself and your body. It will be the best 30 days of your life. 
  • Learn that nobody is perfect. Even these celebrities that we see on TV and idolize have flaws. Some of the most beautiful people on this planet have some area they want to work on or some part of their body that is not what they would like. It’s okay to be you. None of us are perfect or exactly symmetrical in our features. It’s part of being human. This is why the world has so many plastic surgeons and Gym’s. If you truly have something about yourself that you want to fix with a nose job or tummy tuck go right ahead. After that wears off something else you will find wrong and the plastic surgeon will get rich and send his kids to college with your money. I don’t do plastic surgery but to each their own. If you feel overweight or depressed the GYM is the best place to go. Exercise released endorphins in the brain and endorphins make you happy. So a simple workout routine, with the approval of a physician, can help how you look and feel.
  • Fake it till you make it. A lot of times I just had to walk into the room with my head high and own who I was even though I was screaming in terror on the inside. I just kept on pushing and smiling until the act I was putting on became a reality. I was just being myself. A lot of times we feel like we have to act like a group of people to fit in with them. This is a lie. Any group whether it be friends or a social group, fit together like a puzzle. Each piece is unique to the total picture. If each piece of a puzzle was the same it would never make a clear picture or sense for that matter. Everyone has something unique to bring to the table. Everyone has a talent to contribute to the group to make it stronger. Remember that you are unique. The group is blessed to have you and not you are blessed to have the group.

I hope that someone has taken a few notes or at least gotten something from this. We are all different and unique in many ways. This aspect is what makes life so great. We meet and greet people daily through this journey and it should be embraced, enjoyed and shared. I don’t want you walking through life doubtful and scared because of something as petty as self esteem or self image. I want to walk through life with your head held high ready to be a blessing in someones day, moment, and life. You are beautiful, smart and strong and I think it’s time you show that to the world.