Black Blogger, Quotes, Self-Care

30 Days of Me Challenge: Day 8- Short Term Goals

Today’s challenge for the day is “Write down some short term goals for the month.” I’m really excited about this challenge because I love thinking of goals and news ways to improve myself. Most of these goals are ones that I’ve had for months now but I’d like to take this month to further implement them. Alright, let’s jump right on in.

  1. Be more consistent with blogging 
  2. Sign up for a local Zumba class
  3. Apply for a writing job (Done)
  4. Continue searching for the right graduate program
  5. Focus more on organizing different parts of my life

While I have so many more plans, goals and ideas these are just the few that have been heavy on my mind lately. So now it’s your turn, what are some of your short-term goals? If you have already accomplished some of them, go ahead and share them below. I would love to hear about them!

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Inspirational Quotes, Quotes, Self-Care

23 Daily Affirmations for Your 20-Somethings

So as the world continues to turn and we all are reminded that we seriously have one life to live (did y’all get the soap opera references? no?…okay nevermind lol) Anyways, in all seriousness it is appearing that more and more of us 20 something year olds are really out here lost in the sauce. This feeling of being lost doesn’t only apply to folks in their 20s, but it extends to those in their 30s, 40s and up. I know it sounds weird but it’s true. As kids we assume that once we’re older everything will magically get better and we will know everything BUT obviously we now know that this fantasy is far from the truth.

Now, before we get into the meat and bones of this post, let’s quickly discuss what an affirmation is anyways. It’s a more common phrase today throughout social media, blogs, and such. The term Daily Affirmation is largely related to the theory known as the “Law of Attraction.” Being someone who grew up in a Christian household, I honestly connect what I learned growing up to the Law of Attraction. It’s a simple idea honestly. Simply put, what we speak,  say and think are all in direct relation to what it is that we receive in life. Throughout my life I’ve heard several sermons in relation to the idea that, “There is power in the tongue.” As for the Law of Attraction or Manifestation, “What you speak is what you will see or manifest.”

 

More specifically, a Daily Affirmation is a statement we make to ourselves that we affirm as being true or as one definition says it is “Law. a solemn declaration…” For example, when we declare to ourselves that we are “powerful beyond belief ” or that “we can and will accomplish something,” we are affirming the greatness that exists within ourselves. This is why it is important to implement Daily Affirmations into our everyday routines. The more you think that something is true, then the easier it is to speak it as if it is true and later act as if it is true. Therefore, if you have affirmed that you deserve greatness in your life then you will say and do things that reflect that belief. As a result you will begin to attract that desired greatness in different areas of your life

Implementing Daily Affirmations is literally so simple that you can do it while washing your face or brushing your teeth in the morning. For those who read last week’s Focus Friday post, you’ll recall the picture of Gabrielle Union in the hit show “Being Mary Jane,” where she has a whole bunch of sticky notes on her bathroom mirror. Each sticky note had an affirmation on it so that each day she is reminded of the positive thoughts she has about herself. It’s that simple y’all!

With that said, I wanted to give us all a pick me up for the week. In the usual nature of Focus Fridays, let’s focus on some positivity to kick off our weekend. I present you with 23 daily affirmations for all you 20 something year olds. (Ohh and don’t worry if you’re not in your 20’s, trust me these might still apply to you.)

  1. I don’t have to have ALL my shit together today or right now.

  2. It is okay to let go of the friendships, relationships, and even jobs that I’ve outgrown.

  3. I have a whole lot of life left to live it up.

  4. I have ALL the tools to succeed already within myself.

  5. There is nothing wrong with leaning on others for support.

  6. I deserve to be happy and to have peace of mind.

  7. Love can wait and so can I.

  8. Desiring love and pursuing it doesn’t make me “thirsty,” or desperate.

  9. I will refrain from going out of my way for people who can’t see my worth.

  10. I will make self-care a major part of my life.

  11. I am deserving of a comfortable & rewarding career.

  12. There is nothing wrong with asking for what I’ve earned and deserve.

  13. I am allowed to take up space & exist no matter what.

  14. I can and I will push myself everyday to fulfill my own happiness even in the smallest ways.

  15. I do not need anyone to complete me, I am already the whole package.

  16. I am my only competition and I am winning on both sides.

  17. I will not allow others to define my worth.

  18. I will enjoy the days of my youth as much as possible.

  19. I don’t need to have what everyone else has, what’s for me is just for me.

  20. I am still learning, I am still growing and that is okay.

  21. I am more powerful than I think and I will live a life full of splendor.

  22. I am am worthy of respect from myself and from others.

  23. I love every scar, curve, blemish or stretch mark that makes up my body. My mind, body and spirit is splendid!

 

P.S. I hope that this inspires someone to continue living their life in sweet, sweet splendor! Let me know in the comments which affirmation is your favorite & which one you’ll be posting on your bathroom mirror first. Make sure to share this list with others who you know will benefit from it.

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

 

 

Ms. Royale

 

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Inspirational Quotes, Motivation, Quotes, Self-Care

Focus Friday: Being OK With Losing CTRL

Most of us are caught up in this mindset that to lose means you have failed. Anytime you don’t find yourself catching that “W”  your mind automatically shifts to this assumption that everything has gone to shit. BUT truth is, it has not. If we could just realize that sometimes when we lose, we are actualling winning in another realm. 

What if every time you lost something your mindset shifted instead to this idea that “Damn, I’m this much closer to winning exactly what I want,” or “I am so glad I lost that because now there is less clutter and I’ve made room for more wins to gravitate my way.” Perhaps most of us are fearful that when we lose one thing or person we’re closer to losing everything. However, the truth is life can’t possibly allow us to store everything we have had or every one person that we have encountered. It would simply be impossible and not to mention it would take up too much space. 

So when we lose we are constantly reminded that we are not in control. No, this does NOT mean we are out of control. I truly believe that’s where the fear creeps in from. This idea that we cannot dictate or direct a situation in our favor. We instantly think “What did I do?” or “What can I do?” While it is amazing to be solution oriented the last question usually is associated with feeling like we’ve got all the power to fix or gain what we’ve lost. 

While you do have power, unfortunately you do not have the power that God or the Universe has. So we must get to a point where we understand that control isn’t in our hands or at least not completely.

So now you may be wondering “Well if I don’t have control or power then what do I have?” I’m glad you asked! The power that you do have is the power to control your mindset. Is it set on negativity ALL the time or are you at least trying to focus that energy somewhere else…like somewhere positive? If not, perhaps it’s time that you try to do so. 

Granted, like I always say some of us are more prone to negative thoughts due to mental illness. With that said, this is sometimes more difficult to process. Trust me, I’m there with you and I truly understand. It’s easy for someone who hasn’t experienced what we have to say “Just get over it,” or “Just don’t think about it.” It is not that easy and probably won’t ever be. 

Nevertheless, whether you’ve experienced mental illness or not it is important for you to find what works for you when focusing your energy. Maybe start a journal, talk to a trusted friend or family member about the ways they cope. Do some research on it or just do nothing. Yes I said do nothing. Take a moment to breathe, and relax then get back on trying to focus your energy and your mindset on positivity. 

Regardless of how it is done (in a constructive way of course), we must understand that we cannot control every part of our life but we can damn sure try to change how we think, how we react and ultimately manage how we feel. Notice I said “manage.” You can manage how you are feeling by accepting what has happened as truth because that’s what has happened in the physical. But, as mentioned earlier what we see in the physical doesn’t mean there isn’t something grater in another realm (spiritual, universal) that is taking place & working for us in our favor.

So yes, we cannot control everything but we can at least try to control how we think about what we cannot control. Losing is inevitable but winning isn’t impossible. It’s possible to win again even after a streak of losing. 
Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,
Ms. Royale 

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Focus Friday’s Post #5: Free Ya Mind

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Imagine a life where you did not worry what others said about you. I mean like for real NOTHING anyone said could phase you. Now think about how much we criticize ourselves simply so that other people can tolerate us or accept us in this world.

We go through great lengths to be treated right and by no means do I think we shouldn’t be treated right. But some of us can become stuck in a negative mentality because we are so worried about what someone else might think about us.

Today’s post will be shorter than usual because I am realizing that even on my blogging journey I have created this thought bubble of worry that is directly related to me heavily considering what other people think about my writing.

Granted I am interested in becoming a professional writer and it is important for my blog to reflect my writing skills but blogging should also be a bit more lax than I’ve made it out to be. Since my childhood I’ve been accustomed to being the “Honor Roll,” student. I’m constantly stuck in the mindset that I have to be the best at what I do. As a Black woman who is not only racially profiled but also a target of misogyny, I must work three times as hard as others who do not fit this description. So perhaps that is where some of my drive derives from BUT I also have to understand that I need to focus on being the best that I can be for me. Not for accolades. Not for the praise from others. Not because I am fearful that others will critique me in the most negative of fashions. Rather I need to do the best for my life and live up to my own standards.

 

This may not necessarily work for everyone depending on what chapter of life they are on but as I am nearing chapter 23 I am realizing that my main theme needs to be “Free Ya Mind!”

Free ya mind from the shackles of what others think of you. Free ya mind of worrying about tomorrow when today is right here and you haven’t even given it a second look. Free ya mind of inevitable stress and circumstance. We may not be given a reason for everything but things happen. Unfortunately sometimes they just do. BUT free ya mind of trying to calculate why or how they happen.

Free ya mind for space to breathe. Free ya mind for peace to live. Free ya mind of doubt. Free ya mind of the past. Free ya mind of those who doubt you. Free ya mind of that little voice telling you to give up. Free ya mind for your health, and free ya mind for wealth.

You deserve to have a mind that is clear of stress and most importantly you deserve to clear your mind of fear regarding how others will look at you.

Live life on purpose because it is worth it for NOT for other people.

You are beautiful. You deserve peace. You deserve to free ya mind!

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

Ms. Royale

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More to Life Monday #3: In Limbo

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Do you ever feel as if you are on a moving train but its wheels are stuck on the tracks? I know it may sound cliche but the train to life metaphor is one of my favorites. After all a train is often comprised of multiple carts that exist with one another to create an entire vehicle. Just like life is comprised of multiple days, incidents or episodes to create an entire lifetime. Not every lifetime is the same and not everyone’s life is lived for the same amount of time.

As of late I have been feeling that my life is stuck in this rigid position. I am stuck between being excited about my future but feeling as if I have outgrown my current circumstance. Specifically, I am also in the midst of another big move just one year after my first big move. As a 20 something year old I am just learning the real world of adulthood and it is hard. Now, I know some of my peers are experiencing this with a significant other or even with kids which I understand can make life seem more difficult. I must say I am happy not to have those additions in my life because I’m still learning who I am and what I want. Also, I am not fully prepared for those responsibilities.

But, as I am learning who I am there are these constant moments of me feeling as if I am at a really bad 80s Hawaiian themed party and I keep replaying a game of limbo.

Now when I first titled this post it was simply based on the game I knew growing up, Never did I know that limbo is actually a Catholic term that means that place between Heaven and Hell. Prior to this I was only familiar with the term “Purgatory.” I won’t get too deep into it because this isn’t a religious post. Both terms limbo and purgatory essentially mean the place between where you are and where you may or may not be going. (That can get really eery and philosophical so try not to think about it too hard)

However, I often get stuck worrying or wondering about what is to come next. I become fearful of the future because obviously it is the unknown. Or even when parts of the future are predictable, I find myself anxious to get to that next part. So I begin wandering in this position of limbo which can get really sad and lonely. I guess my reasoning behind creating this post is to serve as a reality check for all of us. Unfortunately we cannot control everything and honestly anything in life. Yikes! I know that hurts for some of us (mainly me).

But I know for a fact I begin to feel restless and am restless in this season because I am being reminded that ultimately it is God who is in control of my life. Sometimes it’s hard to fully hand over that control (for those who are not believers this concept might be a little strange). Regardless, I think it is important for us to become accustomed to these moments of limbo. We can learn a lot from it too.

Unfortunately we cannot control everything and honestly anything in life. 

Yesterday morning I began thinking to myself “Rather than allowing this moment of limbo to scare me, why not allow it to empower me?” Listen, it takes a whole lot more energy to frown than it takes to smile. So when I really sat down to reflect, I realized that my worry or fear about the next step was only causing even greater anxiety than necessary. I am already an anxious person in general but the added focus on what’s to come adds insult to injury.

I know it’s hard but we’ve got to find a way to program our minds to worry less and hope more. Yes there is so much that we don’t know, so much that we don’t understand but there is so much for us to learn. Rather than allowing fear to enter our minds, kick up its feet and become dormant, it is important to recognize that emotion and tend to it as needed. You don’t need to add water to it, it’s not a plant. Do NOT. I REPEAT, do NOT fertilize it, don’t give it any of your energy because I promise you it will grow. Fear has a habit of flourishing when fed.

We’ve got to learn how to use our moment of “limbos,” as a space to prepare for our next moment of certainty. 

In this More to Life Monday reflection I want you to think about whatever you might be fearful of today. Take that thing, maybe think of it a few seconds or maybe even write it down. Consider this, that fear may or may not come true or perhaps it will regardless of what you do. However, I want you to understand that there is so much more to life than remaining stagnant in fear. As for me in this moment of limbo, there is more to life for me than focusing on what is to come. I must use my current circumstance to fuel the reality of my next phase in life. We’ve got to learn how to use our moment of “limbos,” as a space to prepare for our next moment of certainty.

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes to all,

 

Ms. Royale

 

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Focus Friday’s Post #4: Recharge Your Battery

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With all this access to information left, right, upside down and right side up, a lot of us can get swept up into the rug of panic at any given moment. Often times before we even consider what it actually going, we freak the f*ck out. Well I am here to tell you…I do the same thing and often. As a person who often battles bouts of depression and anxiety, there are times when this wealth of information before me can cause me to remain in an internal battle all day, every day. Sometimes I think that those who came before me had it easy for a few reasons. For one they weren’t inundated with the access we have now to all the current topics, trends, tweets and such. Regardless, each generation has their cross to carry and burdens to bury. I say all that to say a lot of the current events in the world and in this country has been weighing heavy on my heart adding onto my personal issues.

Regardless, each generation has their cross to carry and burdens to bury.

Thus, as of late I have been feeling a bit hypocritical of my actions. Here I am this individual who feels called to inspire others and be a motivating force but I am stuck in a feeling where I can barely do the same for myself. How does that even work? I sometimes search for hope within myself but all I get back in return is a sheer sense of hopelessness. This is why it is important to surround yourself with individuals who are willing to and capable of uplifting you when you no longer feel the power to uplift yourself. Throughout my life I have served others more than I’ve done so for myself, and sometimes that can get quite draining. It is now in this current personal development phase within my life that I more in tune with the needs of me. I understand the importance of charging my battery before charging the battery of others.

In just one month I will be 23 years old and one of my goals for that age is to live a life more radical than I ever have in the past. But, that will require some work. One part of that works is being consistent with fueling my energy before trying to do so for others. You know when you get on the plane and the flight attendant explains the emergency plan, the first thing they say about the mask is to place onto your face first THEN onto the person you helping. If you are someone who is currently working or planning to work in a field related to human services you’ve go to take that flight attendant approach. If you’re not breathing, how can you help others breathe?

Another goal is to get rid of major doubts that I’ve had in myself. A lot of us walk around with our heads held low, and our eyes simply staring at the surface. Why are you holding your head down when there is so much beauty around? I remember as a kid there was a phase where I would literally walk with my head down for a while. It’s a strange memory and I can’t recall exactly at what age this would happen but I do remember it vividly. Anyways, when I think about it I’m more than sure it is because my self-esteem was extremely low. Academically I was doing amazing but physically I felt awkward and out of place. So rather than looking at the beauty around or within myself I focused on the surface. But, what I didn’t know was the peace, joy, and gift that existed within me. Those same qualities exist in you as well. You’ve first got to believe it!

 

Why are you holding your head down when there is so much beauty around?

 

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While the world is buzzing with craziness all day, every day we can get caught up in the negativity of it all. A lot of us already have that negativity brewing inside of us due to past issues, past pain, and past betrayal. So keeping up with all of the current events can actually be a form of self-harm when it comes to how much of it we take in. If you are reading this, I want you to do yourself a favor: TURN IT OFF! Give yourself a break from it all. We’re always so worried about our phones dying but so many of us aren’t taking note of our souls dying every day. Our spirit is being weakened day by day from the negativity it is exposed to but we’d rather make sure our very expensive smartphones are constantly plugged up. Well listen up, you need to give yourself that same energy. You are just as valuable as and even more expensive than any piece of electronic. So you owe it to you to recharge.

In the spirit of my former life as a teacher, I want to give you some homework. Some of this homework will be repetitive from last week’s Focus Friday but it is essential nonetheless.

Homework

1. Be consistent with fueling your battery/energy

This will look different for everyone. Fueling your battery might be watching mindless TV reruns, binge watching, reading, writing, praying, and watching self-help videos. Whatever it is that helps you to fuel up then that’s what you need to be doing.

2. Hold your head up! (Physically, mentally, and spiritually)

If you feel yourself shrinking to let others feel comfortable when you are around then that’s a major sign of you holding your head down. It is okay to take up space and be you. Find what makes you feel elevated mentally and spiritually. I truly believe the two are intertwined. For me it looks like prayer, meditation, self-help articles, videos and books. I stay plugged into personal development lessons throughout the week so that my head remains high.

3. Take a moment away from electronics, everything and everyone

You know what this means. Yeah put it down, give it a break. Now!

….but before you do that, take a look at this video I found while searching up images for this post. It’s a short but impactful clip from a young motivational speaker named King Nahh

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

Ms. Royale

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Wisdom on Women Wednesday #3: Dr. Martha Bernal

As mentioned in last week’s WOWW post, May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. So what better time than now to discuss some super phenomenal women who have taken the world by its lapel and shook it up some in the Mental Health profession. Today we honor Dr. Martha E. Bernal who is also known as the first Latina to earn a PhD in Psychology in the America.

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Dr. Bernal hails from a Mexican descendant family that was subjected to discrimination during a very intense time of racial segregation. Regardless of the odds that attempted to derail her, Martha was afforded the opportunity to receive her education and eventually graduated from high school then moved onto college.

  1. Bernal was the Daughter of Immigrants

Martha E. Bernal was born to Mexican parents who migrated to the U.S. prior to her birth. Bernal, who was born in Texas, was raised in a time of harsh racial and gender discrimination. Nevertheless, she found a way to rise to the occasion of success even in the face of direct oppression. Unfortunately, at first Bernal’s father was opposed to her attending graduate school and believed that she should focus on finding herself a husband. Obviously the latter did not concern her much as she fought for her education and excelled with it.

As a Mexican-American Bernal and her peers were forbidden from embracing their brown skin and speaking in their native tongue of Spanish. This however did not stop her from using that same “forbidden” culture to improve the Mental Health Profession. Ignoring the protests of her father and the discrimination from society she received her Masters in 1955 from Syracuse University and later in 1962 obtained her PhD from Indiana University, Bloomington.

  1. An Advocate and Champion for her Community

Throughout her career, Dr. Bernal was constantly seen speaking up about the needs of her culture and other minority communities. As a recent graduate Bernal found herself being turned away from job opportunities due to being a woman. Regardless of rejections she pushed through and developed several connections that led to her receiving a grant to study how psychologists prepared for work with multicultural groups.

Dr. Bernal went on to develop the National Hispanic Psychological Association. During her time as a professor at Arizona State University, she focused on understanding the identity development of Mexican-American children and how schools could work to better serve these children. In addition, she was known for being one of the pioneers of implementing the importance of ethnic studies within schools. Bernal even began to conduct training and research for other clinical psycholgoists on how to be more effective when working with the minority population.

  1. A Distinguished Psychologist

Dr. Bernal had an extensive wealth of research conducted which led to a total of 60 journal articles and book chapters produced from her hard work. Within the course of her work as a Psychologist, Bernal taught several courses at schools nationwide, among those schools included the University of California, the University of Denver and Arizona State University. As aforementioned she started the National Hispanic Psychology Association, established the Board of Ethnic Minority Affairs of the American Psychological Association, and even worked with the National Latino/a Psychological Association.

Dr. Bernal also worked on APA’s (American Psychological Association) Commission on Ethnic Minority, Recruitment, Retention and Training and was a member of the Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Affairs. Overall, Bernal saw to it that communities that were largely underserved received the mental health advocacy that they all deserved through her work as a Clinical Psychologist. However, Bernal did not solely focus on the clinical portion of mental health. In fact she strayed from it a bit to focus on learning theories and empiricism which she used to treat children suffering from conduct disorder. By 1979, she completely shifted her psychological gears to centralize the needs of minorities and ethnic studies.

  1. A Winner

Throughout her life, Dr. Bernal received a plethora of awards for her resilience and extraordinary career in Psychology. She was recognized with the Distinguished Life Achievement Award from APA’s Division 45, the Society for the Psychological Study of Minority Issues. Bernal also received the Hispanic Research Center Lifetime Award from Arizona State University, the Carolyn Attneave Award for her lifelong dedication to ethnic minority studies. In 2001  at APA’s 2001 Annual Convention she was awarded with the 2001 Contributions to Psychology Award.

  1. Expanded the Psychological Knowledge on Minorities

    Dr. Bernal constantly found ways to incorporate studying the minority population in order to provide solutions on how to better serve them. Her studies, literature and advocacy did not fall short, as ethnic studies in Psychological has spread nationwide. Her dedication to increasing the population of Psychologists who worked with and were from minority backgrounds helped to improve the Mental Health Profession as a whole. She even served as mentor for several of her fellow psychologists, and especially those who were fellow Latinas.

 

In 2001, Dr. Bernal passed away from cancer but we continue to honor her legacy as one of the most distinguished Latinas in the field of Psychology. We thank her for the great work she did with her time here on earth. It is because of women such as herself that other Women of Color, myself included, can feel more confident in the work that we do in the field of Mental Health.

I hope that you all enjoyed this week’s Wisdom on Women post. If you have any suggestions of some unsung heroines that are often left out of the conversation of history, comment below.

Also, if you enjoyed this post let me know by commenting, liking or sharing. I hope that you were able to learn just much as I did while researching Dr. Bernal.

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

Ms. Royale

Sources:

http://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/psychologists/bernal.aspx

https://palantelatino.com/2015/03/16/martha-e-bernal-first-latina-to-earn-a-phd-in-psychology-in-the-u-s/

http://www.feministvoices.com/martha-bernal/

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Keep Your Gifts

“Not everything that is in you is for everyone else. There are certain things you must keep for yourself between God, your mind and spirit.”- Ms. Royale

Today during my morning prayer & meditation, it occurred to me that I often share nearly all of my afterthoughts from my morning reflection. While I understand my purpose for writing is to inspire and empower others, I also understand that everything that God reveals to me isn’t meant to be shared or immediately at least. There are some revelations that need to be prayed on, reflected on more and then perhaps later they are to be shared. However, there are other times I need to keep those gifts of revelation to myself because it may not apply to everyone or anyone else for that matter. While the the idea for this post did develop from my morning reflection, I also understand that this is what I needed to share versus what God wanted to share with me today.
Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,
Ms. Royale
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Focus Friday’s #3: Distracted…or Nah?

Think back to the last time you went to the movies. After the theatre has run its 7,000 trailers back to back causing your assigned show to really start a whole 30 minutes after the time printed on your ticket, there is one more ad that pops up on the screen. As a matter of fact it’s not even an ad, it’s more of a warning if you will. It’s similar to the teachers from back in the day scratching the chalkboard with that pale yellow, dusty piece of broken up chalk or with her nails.

The ad goes: MAKE SURE YOU TURN OFF YOUR PHONE. DON’T RUIN THE SHOW FOR THOSE AROUND YOU. Something along those lines is what you see. Now how many of us actually turn off our phones or even on silent for that matter? Most of us will put it on silent but some people don’t even have the decency to that. Also, consider how many times you answered a text in the middle of the movie or for some of us a call.

Now consider this, reminisce on the last time you went out to eat. Not a fancy lunch date or anything, but how many pictures did you snap? I mean you know we’ve got to share it with the rest of the world because all of our food looks super different (I just did this last Friday). Okay some of our food does look very different. The point is instead of going to the movies or out to eat for the simple pleasure of enjoying life, we are prone to sharing what should be sometimes a very private or personal moment with everyone else. Perhaps that is where we went wrong in this new age of technology…or not. I personally am one of those people sometimes and no it’s not because I’m a millennial. Hell, baby boomers and such do it as well…maybe not as much as we do BUT still.

Look, as much as we enjoy sharing our physical timeline with our “followers,” or “friends,” or “foes” (yes, because some of y’all be having haters on your page you’re unaware of…filter you friend list), it’s important to limit these distractions in our lives. If we are constantly caught up in displaying how well we are doing in life, when will we ever have time to actually just enjoy ourselves? Now if you are a business person in some capacity and you are required to share exquisite photos of your gourmet food then by all means BUT if not try to challenge yourself to be more present in the moment. Enjoy your time because you truly do NOT to show your ex boo or what have you that you are out bouncing back just right.

Imagine that, no phones, no attachment to social media or seeking out what the next person is doing. While I won’t lie I am one of those people more times than not, I also think it is important to take a step back from that and focus on what really matters most. The constant need to distract ourselves with a gadget shoved all in our faces limits us from tapping into what is really going on within our spirits. Is there something that God has been trying to tell you but you can’t hear it? Well you won’t know for sure unless you silence the noise. Give yourself quiet time to reflect on life. Now for some this comes in the form of prayer, for others it might be meditation and for other people it may simply be a quick reflection. Whatever it is, give yourself that time. You deserve to rid yourself of distractions.

When we are constantly distracted by smaller, and mostly unimportant habits, we are inhibiting ourselves from making big steps towards progress. Consider how much time you spend scrolling through Facebook or watching other people, mainly celebrities live out their wildest dreams. For me, I enjoy watching DJ Khaled’s snaps and he is most certainly inspirational. However, if I want to be on his level then I need to work my behind off which requires me not to spend most of my day observing how well he is living out his “major keys.” You see there are so many of us who have these huge goals but not enough momentum to push our potential into kinetic force. We have got to rid ourselves of the small distractions, readjust our focus onto what is most important, and hit the gas.

It is said that good things comes to those who wait and I’m here to say success comes to those who discipline themselves to eliminate distractions from their lives.

While I do fully understand that there are certain psychological differences that can cause us not to have the same range of discipline to remain focused. With that said, this post may not apply in the same way to my people who suffer from ADHD or ADD.

Nevertheless, I can personally testify that I am very attached to my phone and I tend to get distracted quite often. In fact as I was sitting here in my favorite café typing this up I had the urge to pick my phone several times but discipline kept me from giving into temptation. No lie, this last hour has been hard as hell!

But honestly, I hate that attachment but I convince myself by remembering how much money I pay every month that is okay. Anyhow, I want you all to try to challenge yourself. Each day find about 5 minutes to refrain from touching your phone, tablet, laptop, or whatever gadget you find yourself attached to. Then each day add 5 minutes to that and by the end of the week you’ll have 25 minutes (Yes I’m talking 5 days not including the weekend because we’ve got to share our club moments on Snapchat…duh!) to refrain from electronics.

But seriously…

P.S. See how hungry this lion looks? Be like lion, be so hungry for success that your distractions fall by the wayside 🙂

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

Ms. Royale

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Featured, Inspirational Quotes, Monday, Motivation, Quotes

More to Life Monday Post #2: Don’t Stay Stuck

You ever wake up in the morning and think to yourself, “Man this bed feels so good. In fact, this is the best bed I’ve ever been in. The sheets so comfortable, so inviting. The pillow comforting and supportive.” By the time you are done obsessing with the beauty that exists within your bed, boom your internal alarm blares, “Get ya behind up! It is time for work.” Or perhaps your actual alarm blares *beep* *beep.* Now you think to yourself, “Ugh,” or you internally scream. I’ve had those moments throughout my entire life and until recently that was still me waking up in the morning.

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As a young 20-something year old I am constantly bombarded with these messages through media, social media, peers, and society as a whole that there is a certain image that I must uphold. So with that said, the first that thing I did before I even reached my senior year of college was seek out and find a job.

While my peers were scrambling to find work during the last few months of their 4th year of undergrad, I was literally sipping free drinks at various events through my newfound membership within a particular organization. Through that organization I was able to find work and also travel to a place I had never thought I would before. Eventually that place became my new home. My experience with that new home, while exciting to say the least, was also very troubling.

Throughout the duration of my being there my eyes and heart were opened up to what it is that I was truly destined to be doing. Upon my entry to the organization I was bombarded with several opportunities. While these prospects were and are still in fact a blessing to say the least, I felt that I scarified a lot of myself simply to remain intact while being a member.

With all that said, if every morning one wakes up to their alarm blaring and the first thought that comes to mind is “Oh sh*t, here it goes again,” or “I hate this job.” There comes a moment when that same individual needs to find an outlet of some sort. While I won’t go into too much detail within this post, I want to share one thing in particular. As a member of the organization that I was a part of and in my former position, I went through some of the most difficult moments that I have ever experienced. Throughout the entire time, I reached out for support from friends, family, colleagues and fellow members alike but nothing seemed to work. In fact it came to a point where others would pose the question, “What can I do for you?” My response had become extremely concise, “Nothing,” is what I could be heard saying. At that moment, I needed to full control of the situation which eventually became the need to resign.

During that time my anxiety levels were at an all time high. In fact I experienced several instances of severe stomach pain nearly every single morning before work. In addition, depression and self-doubt had gotten the best of me. On the daily I would attempt to convince myself by repeating what others would say to me, “You got this. Keep pushing.” But just how much can one push when they know in their hearts that they have pushed themselves to the grain? I became a shell of myself, the once bubbly and wide eyed young lady with hope disappeared for quite some time. I exhibited my internal feelings by adopting a bad drinking habit (or at least to me it was bad), spending far too much money on comfort foods, and spending my nights crying myself to sleep. As a result I finally experienced what I am sure was my second panic attack, stomach pain and chest pains took over my shell of body.

Why am I sharing all of this with you all? Well, for one there are many of us who suffer in silence with the fear that no one else will quite understand what we are going through. I am definitely one of those people. I remember when the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why first premiered, there was an uproar about how other people aren’t responsible for your feelings or what you do. While this in some form is true, in another light it is not. Our outside world has a lot to do with how we feel on the inside and unfortunately not everyone handles pain like the next person. I can attest to that for sure. I knew from the minute that I started the program I was once a member of that something wasn’t right.

During my summer training I told myself and some friends that I was going to quit. I didn’t mean “quit,” as in just drop it because I’m lazy. Rather, something inside of me knew it was not compatible with my life’s purpose and mission. However, being the adventurous person that I am, I figured it would be better to try it than to not. Also, I began to feel that if I didn’t continue I would be letting my newfound friends, peers and superiors down. I even considered how it would look to my old friends and family as well. So instead of leaving from the jump, I suffered in silence convincing myself I would make it.

You see there is way more to life than just sitting around waiting for opportunities to come to you or remaining in a situation that doesn’t fit you. While I sought out this opportunity, I had the choice to seek out more but I did not. I blame no one else but me for that decision. However, I am not afraid to say that during my bouts of major anxiety and depression I could not see past my current circumstances at the time. It was literally as if my vision for life was completely clouded.

As humans we focus so much on negativity and that is not entirely our fault as individuals. The way society has programmed us through the media, for example, is a major reason why we react to issues in the way that we do. The news sells negativity and wins every time. Our initial reaction is often the “fight or flight,” alert because innately we want to protect ourselves and also we want to have control over all of our situations. We know we can’t control it but we long to.

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If there’s anything I want you all to keep in mind for today, it would be three things:

  • Allow yourself to experience what life has to offer

  • It is okay to walk away from something that is painful even if it might cost you

  • Remember that none of us can actually control every little thing that happens in our lives

We’ve got to be okay with these three factors of life. There is so much more for us out there than we can even imagine. If you are stuck in a situation that is quite literally killing you on the daily, whether it be a job, relationship (familial, platonic or romantic), or even an organization, you are free to leave. The one thing that we have is free will. Regardless of what others may have setup within in the world to block our blessings, at the end of the day everything you do is ultimately up to you.  So let’s focus on the things that we can control which honestly is our mindset. Make each day count by going out and doing something that helps impact your life and the lives of others in a beautiful way. Do not remain in places that you have outgrown or were never for you to begin with.

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

Ms. Royale

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Creative Writing, Featured, Inspirational Quotes, Motivation, Quotes, Self-Care

Focus Fridays #2: Are You Living in Your Light or the Shadow of Others?

I can vividly recall the first time I was introduced to this concept of “dreams,” and “passions.” I was probably around 8 years old and was a 3rd grader at Palm Beach Public Elementary. My teacher passed out worksheets that asked us “What do you want to do when you grow up?” There were no limits, no formulas, or even rigid rules to base your idea on. You could say just about anything and nobody would ridicule you for it. Of course among the general answers some of my peers wrote down “Doctor,” or “Fireman.”

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Among all of these promising careers, several students claimed the reason why they chose these careers was based on the fact that “I like to help people,” or “I want to make a lot of money,” the latter was met with toothy grins full of hope, with no doubt in them.

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However, even though a lot of us wanted to make money, we usually based our answer off of wanting to be helpful to others. What about the world had we been exposed to at such early ages that made us want to be so selfless? Our future concerns were already committed to the loyalty of the well-being of others, many of whom we had yet to even meet.

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What had we been conditioned to see within the scope of society that caused us to feel so comfortable to say “When I grow up I want to be a nurse or a teacher because I like helping people and making them smile.” A similar comment was made by 8 year old me.

 

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What we really should have been saying..

Now you may be wondering, “Well what the hell does this have to do with me? I clicked on this post for me.” To that I respond “Slow ya roll homie. We’re almost there.”

Eventually that 8 year old grew up to be 11 and in the 6th grade. During an English class assignment, once again about our dreams but this time in the form of learning how to write poetry, she realized that the one thing she truly wanted was to win an Emmy award and walk the red carpet. Her desire to be at the Emmy’s developed from an obsession with watching Soap Operas with her siblings at a very early age.

This dream was also born out of her admiration for the one and only Oprah. This was born out of love for seeing people who looked like her on TV. People who had the same tint of browness in their skin. There wasn’t nearly enough to be quite honest.

Now we have arrived to our point. You may have clicked this post in hopes of finding out how to live in your light, right? Okay, maybe some of you didn’t. Regardless, you are here. I spent the majority of this post discussing what dreams/living in my light meant to me as a child. Nowhere did I really focus on the reader or audience at hand. Rather I centered it around myself. There’s a method to my madness here…hold on.

Whenever we center our dreams and our focus on that of others, we lose sight of our own vision. (Ding! Ding!) You cannot expect to arrive at the destiny of your purpose or your passion by setting you eyes on what other people have. If you are constantly focused on Tanya, Randall, and Betsy’s life, when do you find time to truly focus on yourself? Last week’s Focus Friday’s centered around the actual definition of the word focus. If you read it, try to think back to which definition you applied to your life. If you didn’t read it, here’s your chance. Go look at the definitions of focus then come back to this.

For this case I will use the verb form of the word which states

Verb
  1. (of a person or their eyes) adapt to the prevailing level of light and become able to see clearly.
    “try to focus on a stationary object”

Each of us were designed with a specific type of light enveloped within our souls. Now does that mean one’s light may be brighter or darker than others? Nope. What it means is that our light is a reflection of what our purpose on earth is. When you set your mind’s eye onto constantly viewing and trying to adapt to another person’s light, you’ll become blinded by it so much so that you will be unable to see your own light. Once you refocus your eyes on your own light, only then will you, as the definition stated, “become able to see clearly.”

I cannot see your light, try to apply that same frequency of energy onto my own and expect my individual purpose to manifest. Just like one can never grace the stage in equivalence to the way that Josephine Baker, Nina Simone, Michael Jackson, Prince, Tupac , Selena Beyoncé, or Whitney Houston did. While each one of these entertainers were/are internationally known for their talent, they all had different styles. Each one of these artists brought a new light to the world that others weren’t aware of until they arrived on the scene. Although they can be mirrored, I can guarantee you that none of them can ever be duplicated.

Which leads me to my next issue, here is the major problem that I have with social media and technology. Not only does the internet give individuals free will and space to create an entirely new persona that they may not necessarily have in reality. But, social media also gives us this false sense of awareness about everyone else’s life, when in fact we know little to nothing about what is really taking place in the lives our “friends.”

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You might see Kate in a pair of the latest heels, or rocking a dress that resembles cloth worthy of the red carpet, but what you don’t see is Kate busting her ass every single day at the local coffee shop. What you also don’t see is Kate is one helluva bargain shopper. At the end of the day, YOU don’t know what anyone is actually going through unless they make that known to everyone. So tell me what exactly are we doing when we compare ourselves to other people?

We all need to understand that there are simply certain pieces of one’s life that won’t ever and should never be apart of their profile’s timeline or newsfeed. While some individuals feel the need to expose every key detail of their life, even some illegal activity, it is okay to be discreet. Your privacy, my privacy and yes even the privacy of celebrities matters. It might be a little bit difficult to believe that with a new celeb drenched reality show premiering on VH1 every month. BUT, it is true.

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Make it a point to focus on your own light because the next person’s light has absolutely nothing to do with your own. Refrain from standing in the shadow of another person’s light simply because you assume it shines brighter than yours. Find your own light, it’s in you, I promise! But, only you can make flip that switch on. Don’t be blinded by what everyone else has because we each have the potential to achieve our own level of success. In the words of Outkast back in 94′, “Man you need to Git Up, Git Out and Git somethin’/ How will you make it if you never even try.”

P.S. Thanks to this post, I just realized that Bone Thugs-N-Harmony did a cover of that song in 2002 with 3LW as some of the main vocals (very random). As a Hip-Hop head I am rather pleased 🙂

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

Ms. Royale

 

 

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