Saturday, December 31, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
Healthy hair starts with a healthier lifestyle! Progress must begin from the inside out!
This year will be all about detoxing and acquiring better eating habits. At the beginning of every new year, my church participates in the Daniel Fast. Our fast this year will be for 28 days starting January 1st. We all fast for different reasons, but ultimately in the end the purpose is God gets all the glory. If you are believing for something good to happen in your life, sacrificing and leaning on God is the best way to see your faith put to work. It's a journey and you have to see the bigger picture in order to truly see the change you want to see. There are many things I'm praying for God to do in my life. But whatever it is that you want God to move, change, or bring into your life, prayer, trust, faith and action must be in the equation.
"In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled."
Daniel 10:2, 3
Fasting is an awesome experience that everyone should try. It is definitely not for the faint at heart. What are you willing to sacrifice to show honor to God? What are some things that keep you from focusing on His purpose in your life? Are you unhappy, unfulfilled, or are you craving for something more? What are you expecting from God in 2012? These are some questions to think about before embarking on this journey. Setting aside your wants and focusing solely on what God wants from you is fasting. It allows you to remove any and all distractions that keep you from spending those close, intimate moments with Him. Are you waiting to hear from God about that promotion at work? Fast and pray. Do you need Him to intercede on a challenge you are facing right now? Fast and pray. Are you seeking something greater or something bigger like starting your own business, going back to school, or improving your finances? Fast and pray. How do I do that? It first starts with what you are willing to sacrifice and being obedient to God's word. That's totally up to you. There is no right or wrong way of fasting. How you do it is between you and God.
For me, it will start with my diet, among other things. Our guilty pleasures are the first things that have to go; however, it may not be just food. I'll be eliminating carbs, fried/processed foods, sweets, caffeine, alcohol, foods high in salt and sugar from my diet. Greens, fruits, beans, protein based meats, nuts, and LOTS of water will be the name of the game for me. I started drinking 64oz of water daily for the last week and I already can feel a big difference. I'll be back in the kitchen cooking all my meals from scratch. For the next 28 days, it's all about staying in prayer and fasting. Trusting and believing that God is going to do exactly what He promises. If you would like more information about fasting and would like to start on your own personal fasting journey, check out this website: Daniel Fast. There are awesome recipes to try that will keep you satisfied and feeling rejuvenated.
These two challenges support each other. Healthier living leads to a happier, more fulfilling life. We can't expect stellar results without putting forth the effort to be better from the inside out. They go hand and hand! I'm excited about this 2012 journey. I'll be updating periodically with my works in progress and any goals achieved through both challenges. I'm looking forward to the ride! Let's go!!!
This year (2012), I've decided to partner up with some other natural dolls for some healthy body, healthy hair challenges. I'm an avid reader of The Natural Hair Haven, Black Girl With Long Hair, and my absolute FAVE, CurlyNikki. I love each of these sites in no particular order, but my heart lies with CurlyNikki! I learned a great deal about my hair from these sites and I recommend them to anyone who is in the process of transitioning to natural or needs a few pointers to maintain your natural hair. They are a God-send and everyone should know about them.
My 2012 Hair Challenges: Protect Ya Ends (BGLH) and 12 inches in 12 months (CurlyNikki)
I'm not much of a protective style fan. However, I know that it is necessary. For the next 3 months (January 1 -- March 31), I will be tucking my ends away to protect them from damage in an effort to retain more length. The ends are the oldest parts of our hair and is more susceptible to breakage, splits, knots, and dryness. Couple that with mediocre maintenance is recipe for disaster. So the next 3 months I'll be babying my ends and watching them very closely. Keeping them moisturized, detangled, and protected from the elements. This means I'm going to have to get pretty creative with PSing. They tend to get redundant and boring, so I'll be switching it up between bunning, roll/tucks, and I'll be adding baby twists with extensions to keep me going. No direct heat, except blow drying (2x a year). I hope to retain up to 9" of length and be fully bra-strap length (BSL) by December 2012. Is it realistic? I absolutely believe so, if I go about it the right way.
Starting length: My hair grows out in layers naturally. I started with a tapered cut when I BC'd 2.5 years ago. As of December 2011: I mis-measured my hair and I my numbers were off. Soooo...here are the more accurate measurements:
- Bangs: 12"
- Back: 11.5"
- Sides: 11"
- Crown: 12"
- First Quarter: January 1 -- March 31 (Length Check) Goal: 2-3"
- Rest Month: April (30 days)
- Second Quarter: May 1 -- July 31 (Summer months most critical. Length check) Goal 2-3"
- Rest Month: August (30 days)
- Third Quarter: September 1 -- November 30 Goal 2-3"
- Rest Month: December (30 days) Length Check and Results Reveal
How will I achieve longer, stronger hair and retain more length? Check out my Healthier Me 2012 Challenge up next!
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Can you say PSYCHED!!!! I had no expectations to receive a scholarship. I didn't even think I was being considered, but all I can say is LOOK AT GOD!!! He knew, and He came through! I'll be going 3/4 time (6 hours per semester), so it will pay for at least one course per semester. Which helps tremendously! This is what God can do! Perfect timing to His perfect plan for my life. I'm so happy and I can hardly contain myself! Have a great day, loves!!!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
For the last several years, I have found myself putting other people's needs ahead of my own. I discovered this in different areas of my life. I'm considered the nurturing, unselfish, no nonsense type who always wants to solve the problems of the world. At times it felt overwhelming, almost like an inconvenience. However, inconvenient or not, I always looked at the bigger picture and the overall result of my being there.
I am a school teacher and for years I coached high school cheerleading. It was definitely a rewarding experience, but it certainly was a challenge. I was constantly pulled in so many different directions by my team, their parents, teachers, administrators, you name it! I heard the praises, the complaints, the compliments, and the "haters", it all came with being in that position. They either loved me or hated me. Coaching became my life and I made it my mission to make it the best program for those who participated. I gave my entire self to it and in the process, I started to put my dreams and aspirations on the back burner. I put off grad school, relationships, and traveling just to keep those girls above water. It was hard work!
The great thing about my teaching and coaching experience is it has lead me to my ultimate life purpose. It has prepared me to take on the responsibility of an advocate for young people and help them to find their way. Looking back, I did not intend to put off grad school as long as I did. Five years ago, I may have attended school for a degree I ultimately would not use, because I did not know my purpose. I would have simply acquired a masters degree with no clue of how or when it would be put to use. This is why I'm thankful for the journey. God prepared me, He tested me, and showed me everything I needed to see to bring me to this place today. I officially stepped down from coaching this past school year and now I'm devoting time towards myself!
No more stress, no more anxiety, no more dreams put on hold. 2012 is the year that is all about ME! It will be the year that I officially let go! Letting go of when my husband will come, letting go of excuses, letting go of the what ifs. I'm getting back to my needs, improving my mind, body, and spirit. Starting from the inside out, I'll be focusing on a healthier lifestyle altogether. I want to be more mindful of what I put in my body, stay more active and go back to dance class, start running consistently, do well my first semester in grad school, save more money (discipline), and channel my energy to all things positive. To sum it all up, I'm under construction AGAIN! It's a good feeling!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
With 2011 winding down and 2012 fast approaching, many of us get into the habit of "resolving" what we will do differently in the new year. We make all this effort to set a new goal, promise to accomplish that dream deferred or simply say enough is enough to a specific issue that we need to turn around for the better. No offense to those who set new years resolutions, but I truly believe resolutions are doomed to fail. I really do. A resolution is simply an affirmation for yourself that has little to no follow through due to lack of action. Sure, we are ready to start anew with a renewed mind, spirit, and vision in 2012, but how many of you actually have a plan in place to see it through?
Here are common resolutions that we tend to set when a new year approaches. Getting in shape and losing weight. What action plan do you have in place? Saving more money. What steps are you taking towards financial freedom? Continuing your education. Have you applied for the upcoming school year? If not, what's holding you back? A vision is meaningless without an action plan. No action plan defeats the purpose of having a vision. Vision and action are mutually exclusive.
Most of us have all fallen short of our vision. Life just happens sometimes and the plans we have in place may go a different direction. Often times, God places the vision on our hearts and shows us what will be, but there may be a few snags and setbacks along the journey. However, that does not mean to give up or make it a last priority. It simply means to trust that God knows the plans for you. He has already written your story. It is up to you to follow His lead. The vision is just the beginning. In order to make it a reality, action must follow. In the course of action, remain steadfast through the journey. It WILL be a challenge. Nothing worth having will be easy. You may be stretched beyond your limits, but just know, when God stretches you He is testing you. It's only a test. Continue to keep the faith, remain diligent in your works, you will come out on the other side clean and victorious!
Get out there and turn your vision into a reality. The hardest thing is getting started. Once you get the ball rolling, there is no telling what God will have in store for you! What do you want to see happen in 2012? What is your action plan? Write it down, blog about it, pray about it, but most off all, JUST DO IT! Wishing a you an action-packed year in 2012! Let's get it!
Friday, December 16, 2011
I was having a conversation with someone that I was starting to get to know the other night and the convo took an unexpected, awkward turn. It went something like this:
Him: What are getting into tonight?
Me: Oh, I'm gonna stay in and make it a movie night.
Him: You want some company? (insert red flag here)
Me: No, I'm gonna chill by myself, but we can catch a movie over the holidays.
Him: What are watching?
Me: I think I'm going to watch "Friends with Benefits". I heard it's pretty funny.
Him: Oh really? Do you have friends with benefits? (insert 2nd red flag)
Me: O_o Ummm, no, I don't. I don't get down with those kinda games.
Him: Hmmm...so what do you do when get that "feeling"? (insert 3rd red flag)
Now to my utter disgust, you can imagine where the rest of this conversation went. I clearly had a few choice words with him, but he honestly didn't see the harm and asking such a personal and pointed question. For one, we've only been talking for a short time (a week or two), and two, he is already asking me sexually driven questions? Really???! Who the hell does that? See how the rest of the conversation played out:
Me: What??? Why would you ask me something like that?
Him: So you've never had a friend like that?
Me: I'm sure most of us have been one or the other, but again, why are you asking me that?
Him: I'm just wondering. Were you the one getting the benefits or the other way around?
Me: What??? Hold up! You and I are just getting to know each other and clearly, this is not something you ask a woman in the early stages of relationship. Besides, you've been harping on wanting to get to know me and I, you, but it seems you constantly digress to something physical. I'm no prude, but there is a time and place for discussing something of that nature.
Him: My bad. I'm sorry (lol). I told you that I ask a lot of questions. I just asked a question.
Me: Nothing wrong with asking questions, but it's the type of questions being asked that are the problem.
Him: I'm sure you know that I'm very attracted to you. I honestly don't want to get anything out of you like that. I really do want us to get to know each other.
Me: No you don't. You seem to always divert the conversation to something physical. That's not getting to know someone.
Him: You don't believe me now?
Me: Nope! I don't!
With that the conversation became awkward and uncomfortable. He apologized again. There was a little small talk and he told me he would call me back. He did, but I didn't answer. He text me this morning and I ignored the text.
You guys, I'm was so disgusted after that phone call. I just couldn't for the life of me understand how someone can be that bold to ask me that. He doesn't even know my last name or what my favorite ice cream flavor is, but you're more interested in my casual rendezvous with my other "suitors". Who the hell does that? What kills me is this guy is in his 40s! You would think by now he would be up on game about how to talk to respectable women, but clearly, he still has a lot of growing up to do. I guess he's used to messing with "loose" women, so it didn't seem so inappropriate to ask.
Needless to say, I've washed my hands of the situation. I'm not going to entertain someone who puts on this facade about being more mature, growing in Christ, and looking for true love with me, when in actuality you're looking for someone to arouse your loins. You say you want to do things right by me, because you didn't before, but your actions and words do not line up at all! Sorry boo boo! You can keep it moving and kick rocks while you do it!
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I'll be studying community counseling. This will allow my to become licensed to counsel in the private and public sectors, including schools. I'd like to work with primarily adolescents (teens) and adults. I can totally see my vision way ahead of me and I know it's going to be journey, but one that's well worth it! Yay me!!!!
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Friday, December 9, 2011
That post really broke my heart after reading it. There were so many responses and I began to read the stories of others who were also dealing or have dealt with a similar issue. I also posted my response and with much confidence I said, "I love my skin tone! I wouldn't trade it for anything." If only we ALL felt the same way.
Colorism has been a hard pill to swallow for most Africans and African Americans. It stems from years of oppression from colonialism, slavery, the divisive Uncle Tom, Jim Crow, Civil Rights eras, and has trickled down to our newest generation today. The images the media portrays of black women are not always the most positive. The standard of beauty is still and always has been of the European aesthetic for as long as I can remember. But despite what the so-called "standard" says, it does not have to be the standard for us as individuals. It's high time we stop allowing someone else to tell us what is beautiful, acceptable, or desirable. It is a draining and exhausting, not to mention, depressing topic of discussion that really must die. Unfortunately, we cannot seem to let it.
Let me tell you something about me! I'm a smooth, rich Godiva chocolate hued black woman. My skin exudes a radiance that even the sun can appreciate! I come from a Ghanaian background and we were raised to love everything about ourselves, especially our culture. I never felt my skin tone was an issue growing up. I had mostly white friends in my younger years and not once did I feel inferior to them because I was "too dark". It was not until I went to middle school (6-8 grade) when I noticed just how major the colorism issue truly was among other black kids. The real issued lied with them, not with me. I was not exactly ridiculed or bullied for being dark-skinned, but I did receive the occasional ignorant, hurtful comments from some kids. The infamous, "you're so black" joke was all too common growing up. So much so that I just became numb to it after so long. However, a funny thing happened my 7th grade year. I became the only black cheerleader in my class that year. Oddly enough, that was the game changer for me. I suddenly became the face of my school among my black peers. I was representing them on a platform where we were very underrepresented and it completely changed their whole perception of this "cute-for-a-dark-skinned-girl" ideology. I was a dark-skinned girl who had confidence, guts, and I was not afraid to speak my mind or stand out in the crowd. I dressed nicely, my hair was always done, I was assertive. I had strength. I had thick skin and that all came in time. That was my only "in your face" experience with colorism. As an adult, I'm way more appreciated and admired by both men and women. I've never felt sexier or more beautiful and my skin tone is the icing on the cake!
So dolls, the beauty standard is so insignificant and so incredibly jaded. Who gives two flying *%$#$ about what the world says about true beauty. Beauty is skin deep, indeed, but knowing and believing you are beautiful must start with you. Mom and Dad most likely will be the first ones to tell you how beautiful you are, but when someone or the media goes against what you have always known to be true, do not entertain it. You should know who your are and WHOSE you are. Society has nothing on what God says. Love the skin you're in! You are naturally beautiful! Peace.
I’ve always been a follower of my heart, but in the latter part of my life, I’ve become a follower of my head. I have found that my heart, although it’s usually in the right place, leads me down a path of emotional destruction, confusion, heartache, and sometimes stress. With that said, I’ve learned to keep my emotions buried deep. I choose not to wear them on my sleeve. It’s easier said than done. I’ve become somewhat emotionally disconnected when it comes to my love relationships, and I make it a point to stay guarded at all times. I often wonder if that is my downfall sometimes. Is this the reason why I’m having such a hard time finding love? Or falling in love, rather? That darn shell is a beast!
I think love is a beautiful thing everyone should experience. I want to remember it. I’ve been there once before in my “tender roni” years. I was 20 or 21, starry-eyed and head over heels in love with a man, I thought, would be the love of my life. Of course, at that tender age, anything looks, feels, and sounds good to an inexperienced young college girl, but I just knew I found my EVERYTHING when he came along. I was treated like a queen, shown more than enough attention, went on exciting dates, our intimacy was passionate and intense, and I held onto his every word, because I loved him so much. I didn’t know what “game” looked like when I was with him, because I never thought he would run it on me. After all, I was his QUEEN. He could’ve told me the sky was green when it was actually blue and I would believe him. He made my stomach flutter every time he called or when we saw each other. I grinned like a little girl at Disneyworld when he kissed me and I bawled like a baby when we had to say goodbye after our weekend rendezvous. I was so connected to him emotionally that I allowed my very being to be dictated by everything he said, did, thought, felt; I could go on. I was him. He was me. We were we. The world revolved around us and nothing else mattered. Obsessed much? You could say that. Ha! I’m sure most of you are thinking about how unhealthy my description of love sounds. Mind you, at the time I was young and crazy in love. And you know what? It was VERY unhealthy!
Unhealthy, because I lost myself in our relationship. I became so entrenched in him, I slowly disconnected from who I was as a person. Unhealthy, because I allowed him to be controlling and manipulative. He knew my entire schedule to the minute and I made myself overly available to him. I alienated my friends and my family. We were fused together. His word was bond. Right or wrong. Unhealthy, because when he left me, I was left empty, bottomless, hanging aimlessly without a life line. I had a huge void in my life that I had to fill after he departed. My heart had never been so broken, my spirit so shattered, my mindset about love so crushed. I cried countless nights alone with my own thoughts. I blamed God for allowing him to leave me, angry because I thought He was playing a sick joke with my heart. I mourned for months for him as if he died tragically. Meanwhile, he just left me for someone else and married her six months later. It was the darkest time in my life. So dark, I wore black or grey everyday. I lost about 15 lbs. I suffered from intense grief. It took a good (male) friend of mine to point out to me the toll it was taking on me emotionally and physically. It was then when I realized that I put man before God and He had to remove him out of my path in order for me to fulfill His purpose for my life. I forgot how jealous my Father can be. I didn’t understand it at the time, but in hindsight, God had me right where He wanted me. He spared me further heartache and pain and began to prepare me for the blessings He will have for me in the future. He still is. It’s as if He gave me a glimpse or a taste of what’s to come, but better than what I had. I want what God has for me, and I want to be sure without a shadow of doubt that when my KING comes, I know exactly who he is. I want to be able to recognize him without a question in my mind.
So yes! Letting go was the right decision. For once my heart and my head were aligned. That's rare for me. There are no “what ifs”. I rebuke them! What if I don’t get married in the next 5 years? I will get married in the next 5 years. What if my KING never comes? My KING will come and he God is preparing and molding him just for me!. What if I’m alone for the rest of my life? The Lord will grant me the desires of my heart! What if, what if, what if???!!! Stop it!!! There is no such thing! IT WILL BE!!!
So ladies and gents, sometimes when we want something so badly we find ourselves compromising against our better judgement in order to make it last. That, my friends, is unhealthy. If there is a question, a doubt, or a hunch that something ain't right, it probably isn’t. Don’t rationalize the situation for the sake of holding onto something that may not be for you in the first place. Trust your instincts and trust your gut feelings; they will never steer you wrong. Find out what you are willing to compromise or tolerate. This comes from spending more time with God and in prayer about where he is leading you. Stick to your beliefs, values, morals, and standards. Lastly, never give up on love. It’s meant for me and if you want it, it’s meant for you, too. There is no “what if” when it comes to finding love and falling in love. It happens and will happen when you least expect it. Trust! Peace.
Funny when you start something good it’s kinda hard to stop. I’m not ready to introduce my blog to the world just yet, because I’m just posting random thoughts right now, but hopefully I will muster up the guts to put it out there. Baby steps, you know? One of these days…it’s feels kinda awkward, because right now it’s as if I’m talking to myself. I guess that’s what it’s supposed to feel like in the beginning. I’m actually blogging for me at the moment.
It’s been raining all weekend here and I find it interesting how the weather truly can take a toll on your mood. I haven’t been in the best of moods lately and the weather is just maximizing the “blah” feeling. I actually LOVE the rain. I just love the rain when I’m feeling good. November was an emotional roller coaster for me. It wasn’t life-altering or drastically changing, but I had to let someone go and it was for the best. I made the right decision in doing so, but you know the “after effects” when you realize the routine is different, the phone calls stop, no more visits or outings, and the person you once thought would be the “ONE” turned out not to be; it kinda hurts a little, you know? I’ve been in bed all weekend, not crying or sad, but in deep thought about the direction of my life.
I just turned 33. I’ve accomplished a lot, but I still have such a long way to go. I’m trying not to get down on myself about it by reflecting on the things I’ve been blessed to receive. I’m at a point in my life where my time is very valuable. I know exactly what I want and where I want to be. The question is if I’m truly ready for those things. Am I really ready for marriage? Starting a family? Starting a new career path? My heart says yes, but it’s a little scary to me! The thought of sharing my life with another person day in and day out seems beautiful, yet overwhelming. I guess it wouldn’t be so overwhelming if I was in love. Ha! Love. I miss that. It’s an incredible feeling to be in love. Where there is love, there is no fear, no question, no doubt, no confusion. God is not the author of confusion and God is love. It’s all intertwined. I love that! That’s puts a smile on my face and brings me reassurance. Whoever God brings into my life will be a reflection of God’s love. Unconditional, unwavering, everlasting, eternal love. Yes!!! That’s what I need! Someday my KING will come!
Which brings me back to my original question, am I ready for him. Yes, yes I am. Family? Yes, I am. Career? Yes, I am. I’m ready to receive and I will patiently wait. The things I can change I must change. 2011 is approaching its end rather quickly. 2012 will be here in 26 days. I don’t do resolutions. I just do it. What are you ready for? Do you think you can handle it? If not, what steps are you taking to prepare yourself for what you want?
Well, I’m a southern girl. Born in VA, but raised in the Lone Star State all of my life. I have an awesomely loving family whom I adore, and I have the best circle of friends a girl could ask for. I’m ready for love. I mean that real, butterflies in your stomach, girlish smile, giddy goofy, “The Notebook” type of love. It’s been YEARS since I’ve been there, and I so want to be back in that place, but this time it will be healthy, it will be right, and it will be forever. It will come. I have to believe in my heart of hearts it will come. You will notice in my blog that I will speak affirmations quite a bit. This serves as some encouragement for those who may be in doubt. :)
A few other tidbits is I love 50s and 60s era Audrey Heburnesque/Jackie O fashion and glamour. Audrey is one of idols, because of her style and grace. I’m not a vintage connoisseur, but I’m starting to get hip and opening my mind to it. I’m a big thrifter! I just got into thrifting this past year and I was sleeping on that best kept secret! I love natural hair, particularly, BIG hair. I’ve been a curly girl for 2.5 years and counting and I’m absolutely in love with my hair! I like soft, subtle and simple makeup looks; nothing too MAC drastic. Shoe-lover, lover of the arts, and lover of life.
I’m your charming girl next door type who enjoys the simple things in life. Welcome to my world!
It’s 4:00 AM and I’m fiddling around on my computer doing random nothings. I’ve been teetering with the thought of blogging, but like so many people who think about it, I kept talking myself out of it. Why? Who wants to read anything I have to say? Will I have anything interesting to share? What the heck will I write about? Hair, fashion, relationships, life??? That all remains to be seen. But as I’m writing my first post, it feels almost therapeutic to get my thoughts on screen. When you have only God to talk to in your quiet moments, this is almost the next best thing. It’s actually cool.
I have so many thoughts pent up (spelling?) inside of me, I’m just itching to get it all out, but I have NO idea where to begin. One day at a time, huh? I can do that…whatever moves my spirit so it will be in my new blog! FunkyHairChic. <3