If you follow me on Twitter, you know I share a mix of lighthearted and fun tweets with some deep, thought-provoking items too. In a recent Twitter exchange, one of my loves brought up something I had been mulling over: the idea that there is a way to heal perfectly or that your healing journey will be perfect. So I wanted to share some thoughts and give a few affirmations to help support your journey. If you’re not following me on Twitter @BlkluxeLife, you are missing out, and you need to fix it.
There is no perfect way to heal. Healing isn’t linear, and the faster you can move past that illusion, the quicker you will get to the actual business of healing. When people tell me they are on their self-discovery journey, I often want to dig more. So many people, especially Black women, are in tune with our inner worlds and are heavy into our spiritual paths. This can be from the pew to the corner altar. When your life has been riddled with trauma and pain, we have to heal.
Healing isn’t a personality type. I know many have sold themselves as healers to gain clout and cash. However, this often confuses those who feel the ache in their hearts that nothing quite soothes for long. As Cranes in the Sky, you can’t smoke, drink, sex, or shop it away. You can’t hide behind being a caretaker, being overly ambitious either. To heal is to unpack the painful areas of our existence, glean knowledge and find a way to course-correct. It’s a unique process for all as some of the pain you will find isn’t of you but generational. Some discomfort is from our behavior, be it directly or indirectly.
In my 36 years on this planet, I have been on a quest of self -mastery. I knew at the tender age of 8 that something was wrong with me, and I needed to set out to fix it to be loved. From countless behavior modifications and constant probing and prodding, I clung to the notion that I needed to heal. As a former aspiring perfectionist, in my mind, the mark of a healed woman meant I would be rewarded with love, joy, and peace. I would be highly desired and sought after by men who wanted to date me properly and others who tried to befriend me. I would be showered in lucrative opportunities and would have my moment. All this is an illusion as you deserve good at this very moment.
It has taken me many years of stumbling, backsliding, and ultimately rejection to learn that healing isn’t a one-time thing. Instead, it’s a lifelong journey that as you become strong more things appear. You may have significant adaptive behaviors and even build a solid coping toolbox, but ultimately you have to accept that your healing will not be a quick fix; it will be messy, and you will sometimes need to take a break.
How does this connect with me as a life strategist? As your life is a project, there is a start and a distinct end. Working with a life strategist/coach helps you to maximize your potential. Having a plan helps to provide structure and optimize your energy. The journey is yours alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to roam about aimlessly. To learn more, click here to schedule a consultation.
I always want to provide some upliftment as you need it in this journey to heal.
Affirmation for your healing journey
I am loveable and loved for my essence, not when I achieve some goal.
I am released from the baggage of perfectionism that may have been foisted upon me. I no longer need to hide behind the illusion of perfection to be seen as valuable.
My journey is filled with precious gems that help me shine bright and guide me. The process provides me with invaluable insight into my purpose and power.
Working out at home has never been my thing. I enjoy the process of cute workout clothes, getting on the treadmill or Stairmaster and checking out. At one point in my weight loss journey I use to envision waking up to an at home gym where there would be no excuses and no people bothering me. In this post, I’m sharing At-Home Workout Must-Have’s in order to reach your goals.
As the news is showing that the vaccine is making rounds, I still wouldn’t run into the gym just yet. So instead of delaying my fitness goals, over the past month, I started acquiring items to help me reach my goals from the comfort of home. Some items were hard to get such as dumbbells as folks have bought them and are reselling on Amazon for the price of your firstborn. Other items are pretty easy to come by and will be great additions to your fitness.
Why is this important?
I know some people are great with doing workout videos which for some is great as they can just focus on the screen. For someone like me being able to dictate my workout and being very impartial to weight lifting, I had to ensure I created an environment that would encourage me to keep moving. Working out is a major key of those who are on their level-up joruney and it’s good for you. The joy of being able to workout to me comes from working in the healthcare industry for a few years and knowing that some people would do anything to be able to walk, bathe and do for themselves.
Working out is also a great way to combat depression and anxiety. A lot of times we have pent-up energy that needs to move and working out has never failed me in that area. As someone who deals with depression quite frequently since the start of the stay at home orders, being able to workout has slowly gotten me out of my head and into my body.
At-Home Workout Must-Have’s
Look now these took me over a month to get my hands on and they aren’t as cheap as they use to be. I picked up 3 pairs from Amazon and randomly was able to pick up a pair at Target that were mismatched. I picked up a 10lb, 20lb, and 25lb kettlebell from Amazon, and even though initially they were all slated to be delivered in mid-February to March to my surprise they all shipped out within a day or two from placing my order. They were a struggle bus to get inside as I live on the 5th floor but was a good workout.
I also got a 15lb set from Target which was a very rare find. I would often see dumbbells on Target.com but they were either way out of my area to drive or just ridiculously priced. I took a random stroll and found them and ran out of the store. I have never been happier to be sore from a workout.
2. Stability ball
This was a spontaneous buy when I went to Target. I use to love working out with a stability ball after a hardback day workout to stretch and also is great for abs. If you want an extra core workout while your working from home, this would be a great substitute to use instead of a chair. They are pretty inexpensive and are a great addition to any home gym.
3. Resistance Bands
I have resistance bands for a few years now as they are easy to travel with and would help me to get a workout in at hotels when I use to travel for work. What I have found is the best type are resistance bands that are cloth vs the plastic ones you can pick up at Target or Walmart. You have never experienced pain like you do if a band snaps on you mid-workout. It’s horrible.
The cloth resistance bands I have found really up the level of resistance and are more durable, especially for those who are really aggressive on their fitness goals. I got mine from Amazon and they have been the perfect thing to add a bit more intensity to my leg day.
4. A piece of cardio equipment
This one isn’t for everyone as I know budgets and space isn’t always plentiful. After getting my weights and starting to workout I felt something was missing to my routine. I tried to do the Youtube videos and it just wasn’t it for me. I don’t have a big screen tv where things are easy to watch. I also just enjoy not having to think of my next move when I’m working out.
I wanted a treadmill but the prices and quality were not it especially as a bigger woman. Many of the cheaper models just didn’t look like they would support me and nobody has time for injuries in a pandemic! I also looked at the Peloton but 2k wasn’t in the budget. I was up one night unable to sleep and typed workout bikes and behold my now Swinn indoor cycle. A funny fact about me back in 2015 I was in the heat of my fitness journey and fell in love with cycle and actually got my indoor cycle teachers certification. Sadly I was never able to teach because the fitness industry is big on image and appearances, as that’s what makes money. But I adored the process.
Now for some of you you are great with working out by way of running outside or walking and that is awesome. Here in my state, ice and snow don’t mix with me. I also like to relax my mind in my workouts so being outside just doesn’t create that calm.
I hope these ideas spark a bit of inspiration and you create your own at-home gym. Use what you have until you get what you want ladies! Also always do what you can to put yourself in the most favorable outcomes. So if that means investing in yourself to help create a better future do it, it will always pay you back. Let me know in the comments if you have started an at-home gym?
We are now in the final weeks of Q1. I created Check-in: Must Read if you want to hit your goals, for anyone who wants to make sure they have a successful 2021! The world is still trying to survive with the constant new one-in-a-lifetime events yet still go after goals to create a life that we desire in an unpredictable world. I believe in being as transparent as I can as I know there was a time in my life that honesty would have eased a lot of the suffering.
When you conduct the check-in, you have to look at goals objectively and with clarity. We can create goals with detail however, sometimes we don’t walk those out. At times our goals aren’t crafted in a way to support our full potential and the current circumstances. For example, if you have goals of dropping 150lbs in 2 months even with surgery this wouldn’t be a realistic goal. Now if you factor in living in COVID-19 times and the constant pressure the need for escape or excessive exhaustion can limit your ability to work out, eat healthily and get proper sleep. Stress is a thing many don’t factor into their goals.
I will provide at the end of this post, my check-in worksheet that you can use to audit your goals. Also by auditing your goals on a quarterly basis, you are able to pivot faster and ensure you reach the goal or free up time that could be used for other things. In all my corporate experience, the organizations that were true successes were the ones that weren’t scared of conducting internal audits as it helps for one to not have surprises. You can see am I hitting milestones, do I have enough resources allocated for what I am trying to do and is this something that really resonates.
Now when you conduct an audit of your progress one thing that is tempting if you aren’t on track is to beat yourself down. Please don’t do that! Reflecting on why you haven’t achieved certain goals you may find that they scare you or threaten the identity you hold dear. Other times it shows you that the goals you have aren’t really of you but are from outside sources. Ever been told growing up you will be fill-in-the-blank career? If we don’t do the internal work to ensure we are operating out of our power we run the risk of outside scripting to dictate our lives.
The Check-in: Must Read if you want to hit your goals
If you find that you are on track with your goals this would be a good time to evaluate if you should stay at the current cadence that you are going or if you feel comfortable turning it up a notch. For example, maybe the goal was to work out 3 times a week for 45 mins hitting all major areas of the body. You successfully did that and even by the end of the quarter started doing 4 workouts a week or were able to increase intensity. This would be a great time to revamp your goals to keep them challenging so you stay engaged. Or if you notice that it was a challenge but you were able to keep showing up leave the goal as is.
After your audit, you should have a good assessment of where you are and how you can ensure the environment you have created will sustain you to victory. Depending on the goal it may take some time, I would budget a small treat for yourself be it a massage, new shoes, or makeup to celebrate your win. Celebrating those small wins helps you to stay the course of the major win, as success is the sum of those small wins.
I hope this post was helpful and that you download The Check-In audit. My focus for those who come to this blog is that you are reaching your higher self in all areas. The real level up isn’t just designer handbags and catching the male gaze, but actually developing yourself, working on your shadow, and ensuring you operate at optimal levels. Make sure you share this post with a friend!
New Year’s often means you dust off your sneakers and pull out the heavy sweatshirts and hit the gym. But 2020 provided such a lovely time that most gyms are closed for safety. Since my gym has re-closed back in November, I lost my spark to get moving. However, being healthy isn’t something that is optional, so here are some fitness ideas for the WFH girls, and pals!
When most create fitness goals they are wildly unrealistic or not specific enough. Either you’re trying to lose 100lbs in 4 weeks or you say I want to lose weight. A goal without a plan is a fantasy at best. It’s nice to daydream about having a snatched body that people will lust over and make your ex cry tears of deep sorrow. But how about crafting a plan that is realistic, specific, and attainable?
In Pre-Covid days, I use to go to the gym 3-5 times a week, hit heavy weights and cardio. I would have some measurable results by way of dropping inches and pounds. Not having access to my stuff like a set of dumbbells and a treadmill has made it a bit difficult mentally. When I use to hop on the treadmill I would do upward to 5 miles as long as I had my music and headphones. Now I’m having to shift how I see working out and experimenting with what I have.
I wanted to provide some helpful tips that you at home can use to recharge your fitness goals and get back in motion or boost your routine.
So here are 3 Fitness Ideas for the WFH Girls:
1. Youtube is your friend
The gym may not be something you’re comfortable with at the moment or your gym may still be closed. Youtube is going to give you a variety of full length workouts that can keep you engaged.
Here are a few of my fav’s:
Walk away the pounds– I found these some years ago because I was traveling and being someone who needs alone time the hotel gym wasn’t always a safe place. Don’t get it twisted these videos can whoop your behind and you can always boost the intensity.
Yoga– So we are sitting way too much and our movement has been reduced to peanuts. You may notice your back and hips hurt more and this is why. Yoga has always helped me with my fitness recovery and boosting my ability to go harder.
HITT- Ok here me out sis, sometimes you have to push yourself a bit harder than you think. You may fail miserable but if you keep doing it, you will grow. There is no competition, except to top the former you. I love this HIIT workout as I’m one of those weird folks who likes to push. In the gym, I use to deadlift 300lbs so know I may be fluffy don’t let it fool you.
2. Invest in equipment that you will use!
A set of dumbbells, some resistance bands, and a good jump rope can be your gateway to a good workout. I have been scoping out for dumbbells for the past few months as folks did that dumb stuff as they did with toilet paper. If you head to Amazon look for those that are sold by them and if they are sold out sign for the waiting list.
When you look for resistance bands no matter what size you are, go for the fabric resistance bands as they will keep their shape longer, won’t pop on you like those plastic ones will and I find they really give you a harder workout. You will thank me later as you deserve to not be popped mid squat!
3. Grace, grace, and more grace
I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t remind you to love yourself and be kind. We all need grace in this life especially now. Expecting the same standards that you had pre-COVID is reckless and setting yourself up for failure. Now I’m not saying to not try but if you were a 5 day a week workout girl at the gym living on the Stairmaster and now you don’t have access don’t beat yourself up if haven’t done anything in a bit.
Or if you do start workout now and notice you don’t have the same level of endurance go easy on yourself and know that you can get back to your standard. I know it hurt my pride when I lost my gains but the body is fascinating as it can bounce back with a little time and dedication. You are deserving of the best health you can have. If you need a little more inspo check out this post!
Your healthy lifestyle is just that a lifestyle. It’s not a temporary thing. Even once you hit your weight loss goal if that is a goal, you still need to maintain it and you already know the benefits of health as it spills into every area of your life.
Let me know in the comments what you have been doing to keep fit and healthy!
Bedtime should be a sacraed place for you. Sleep is such an important part of growth. You are able to heal, restore and be refueld. As someone who suffers from bouts of insomnia pretty regularly and have much of my life, I can tell you how boosting your beauty bedtime routine will boost your life!
When I haven’t slept well for a few days my ability to think positively, be productive and even my eating habits are affected. Being tired can make things that really don’t matter become a huge mountain. On the flip side when I am well rested for days I awake and have the drive to make my dreams a reality.
I use to be #teamnosleep or #nooffdays when it came to going after my goals. But after noticing how I would crash and burn because I wasn’t well rested, I began to take notice of my life. When you don’t value yourself you will not do things that are for your future self. For example, you know you have a big interview coming up, you would ensure to eat a great meal, take a nice relaxing bath and go to bed. But when you unconciously don’t value you, you will do things that will sabtage your goals.
Beauty rest also helps you to heal physically so you can workout more powerfully. The worst workout is one when I didn’t get much sleep as my endurance and determination are shot. The best thing I could do is some nice hot yoga, take a cool shower after and get real intimate with my pillow. Sleep is a requirement ladies! It’s not up for discussion as you deserve to pour from a full cup.
Here are some ways to boost your beauty bedtime routine
1. Create a soothing essential oil diffuser mix and tea
2. Make sure you set the mood
I have to sleep when it’s cool, the room is dark and free of distractions like my laptop. I have my phone on night time mode so no calls or text are coming in and the blue light is turned into a warmer light to help me to be relaxed.
3. Light stretches
I’m not sure how I stumbled on yoga squats but they are a game-changer. I will do some light stretches and yoga moves like a forward fold in order to go down into a yoga squat. Yoga squats help to open up the hip which as ladies we hold a lot of tension, emotion, and energy there especially as we are working from home. I will hold for about 3-5 minutes and as I come out the move I feel a huge release.
Once I’m in the bed I will jot down a few things I’m grateful for or if I’m dozing off I will think about them. I like to think of the good things in my life when I wake up and as I go to sleep. It helps to center me and keep me in a state of constant gratitude.
I hope these tips help you boost your beauty bedtime routine as your beauty goes beyond being cute but your whole being. Let me know in the comments some things you do at night to make your sleep a win!
Gentleness is often perceived as a weakness. We feel everything has to be to the max to achieve. However, gentleness is a superpower, and I will share three ways to bounce back from failures and other life’s detours. As a woman who has endured a lot of ish, I have always been a goal setter—even living in the projects, not knowing if the lights would get paid or if there would be food to eat. I was very driven to reach goals, but I didn’t know about being gentle with myself.
Growing up, I was often beaten for the smallest of infractions and always told it was for my good and that my indefinite terms of being on “punishment” were to help me to be stronger. Instead, it made me feeble when going out in the real world. When I stepped into the world were light years ahead of me in building relationships that allowed them access that I would never be able to gain. I felt if I worked hard, it would speak for itself. That isn’t correct, yes, your work should be stellar, but you will need others to speak on your behalf in rooms you are not in. Reflecting on my 35 years on this planet, I have reflected and felt bitterness and anger bubble. I felt robbed of many opportunities from career, friendship, and love. My good body years were not enjoyed like many in the lapse of luxury but on this hamster wheel of the abyss! Now at this point, one can go into a full-on pity party, or they can pivot into a new direction.
Gentleness is a Superpower: 3 ways to bounce back
As I firmly believe we are the authors of our story, I chose to pivot after allowing myself to feel all the things. We short-change ourselves when we suppress emotions. The need to release is real, as whatever we repress will start to show up in other areas of life. Anger will come up in jealousy, envy, and fear. We have to release, so we are open to new things. If your hands are full, I can’t put money in it.
In my journey of rebounding my life, I had to learn the art of gentleness. It’s not something I’m familiar with. In my life, I am used to blunt and brute force. But, there comes a time in your life journey when you have to acknowledge what isn’t working anymore. It’s the difference between surviving and thriving. The tactics you use to survive won’t allow you to thrive.
I wanted to get a little nerdy when it comes to the term gentleness; per Vocabulary.com, Gentleness is the quality of being kind and careful. The original meaning, from around 1300, was “inherited nature,” but by the 1600s, it had come to mean “freedom from harshness and violence. So to extend gentleness with yourself means to be kind and careful with yourself. Careful means being mindful, calculated, and kind, having a tender, considerate, and helpful nature.
Understanding what a word means can help break from any mental or emotional hangups on how to apply it to your life. Now fto3 ways to bounce back by using gentleness in your life.
1. Learn to observe without reacting
So let’s say you’re trying to find a new job because you got laid off. Instead of beating yourself up for not being locked to your laptop all day, you observe your actions and pivot. As I have been home due to my layoff, I have napped a bit and done creative things instead of the norm desperation of job searching.
By doing this, I have noticed I’m more focused when looking for jobs, and I have also seen opportunities coming to me. My energy has shifted as I don’t feel like I must take whatever scrapes out there. Allowing more ease in my life will enable me to be at my optimal level. Being reactive especially harshly wounds your inner being and causes unnecessary pain.
2. Take care of your whole self
Back in my 20’s, I felt I didn’t need to go to the doctor or that I didn’t deserve rest. So I would go days without sleeping and eating properly because I had goals. This led me down a very vicious path of burnout and unawareness. I was breaking down but couldn’t stop the ride I was on because I was bulldozing myself down.
No matter how much you have gone through, you are deserving of gentleness. You deserve to be treated with kindness and mindfulness. Often how those closest to us have treated us sets the standard for how we will treat ourselves. When you are met with rudeness from those who love you and care for you and fail miserably, you may believe that you aren’t worth the energy. This will lead you into destructive behaviors if you don’t have other people to pivot that energy.
Take time to shower, sleep in nice bedtime wear, and enjoy things that will help your future self, like working out and doing your medical checkups. Plan downtime and enjoy activities that you want. This will help you to persevere when life gets hard. Too much salt will lead to a bitter life, and too much sugar will give you diabetes. You need to balance to bloom.
When you rip a comb through your hair while it’s wet or dry for my ladies with my kinky hair what happens? You tear your hair up leaving a trail of damage. The same can be applied to your life. When you try to rip yourself you inflict trauma. Being gentle in both instances will allow you to keep things at optimal levels.
3. Release people and ideas that are harsh
I will end on this point, but it will be something that isn’t easy. When you have been accustomed to people and hold beliefs that enforce you have to be a bully to yourself to get things done, it’s not easy to undo. For the longest time, when I worked out, I talked to myself horridly. I wouldn’t ever allow anyone to talk to themselves or me the way I spoke to myself.
Failure is all relative. Some don’t see failure but as an opportunity to pivot. I see failure as what it is, which is not reaching a specific desired outcome. That could be not hitting a weight loss goal within a particular time frame or hitting those career or business goals. Failing to me means one has gone outside of what is familiar, and therefore the potential for things not going to plan is highly probable. When you meet failure with gentleness, you can be kind, see the positive, and carefully reflect on how you can improve! You can’t perfect what you never create!
Gentleness allows you to have another chance and a fresh start. It’s not easy to be gentle in a world that always glorifies rudeness or keeps it real, but those things don’t do anything but keep you stuck in a negative mental loop. Even if you do push yourself and hit a goal, you won’t even be able to acknowledge the sweetness of success because of all the bitterness.
I hope this post was helpful, as, in 2021, it’s time to live more mindful and more prosperous lives, which means working from the inside out to live more satisfying lives! Let me know if this resonated with you and how you will be more gentle with yourself.