Black Blogger, Black Girl Magic, black women, Inspirational Quotes, Self-Care

30 Days of Me Challenge: Day 28- That was Then, This is Now

Today’s Topic: A picture from you last year and now, how have you changed?

The picture on the left is from my time living in Atlanta for the summer & the one on the right is from a few weeks ago. I can’t even begin to explain how much I have changed since then. I will try to keep it simple…y’all know I struggle with that. But physically I cut my hair right after graduation and before moving to the south. This year I allowed my hair to grow back and have moved back up north.

Last year I was still recovering from some personal pain and couldn’t seem to get over certain things. This year I am way more in tune with my spirit and what it needs. I am no longer harboring hard feelings towards past hurt or from those who may have inflicted that hurt upon me. I’ve also gone from wanting to consume all types of food with the mentality of “We’re gonna die one day anyways,” to now thinking “I must eat to live NOT live to eat.

This year I honestly love myself a whole lot more.

 

Standard
Self-Care

30 Days of Me Challenge: Day 9- I’m Proud of Me Because…

Something that has made me proud within the last few days is my ability to alternate my focus from negative feelings to the positive. Granted this may not sound grand but for me it is. It’s a bad habit of mine to constantly ruminate on issues that I can’t seem to fix at the moment. Then I get myself worked up for no reason. Within the past few months I’ve been watching tons of personal development and self help videos which are helping me to better embrace my life for what it already is. A recurring theme that I hear in these videos is that “In order to become more blessed you’ve got to appreciate what you already have.” Some people call it an attitude of gratitude.

Regardless of what you may call it or view it as, the important piece to simply have appreciation in your heart. I know it gets rough sometimes and we can’t see pass the bullshit in front of us. However, it is important to find a way to shift your focus. Overall, I am just proud of myself for finding my own special way to set my mind on the things that I am appreciative of versus those that bring me down.

What are you thankful for and what has made you proud recently? Share below.

Standard
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!

Standard
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

 

Standard
Black Blogger, Creative Writing, Inspirational Quotes, Self-Care

Focus Friday: 23 Ways To Embrace Your Splendor

Our society is inundated with this blaring message that in order to find love you must first love yourself. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with this message, my issue is with the fact that the journey of self-love is often tied with trying to find your “true love.” Why can’t we simply learn to love ourselves for the benefit of ourselves?

It’s key to love yourself not just so that someone else will love you, but also so that you can live a much more comfortable and liberating life. How can you go on living a productive and fulfilling life if you have yet to accept yourself fully? I’ll admit that self-love is a process, so do not be afraid to start that journey (if you haven’t already) because most of us will be on this journey for quite some time. But if you’re one of those people who have already embarked on this path to self-acceptance, and self-love then you are on the right page already.

So check out my 23, yes 23, Ways to Embrace Your Splendor.

  1. Daily Affirmations
being-mary-jane

Gabrielle Union as Mary Jane in the Series “Being Mary Jane.” (Source)

These are honestly some of the best things to apply to your daily life. Think of a daily affirmation as your life’s mantra. Think of 3 positive keywords you want to be reflected in your life and state them daily in the mirror to yourself.

For example, “I am powerful, phenomenal and precious.” You can even go as far to say something along the lines of “I am a treasure and should be treated with the utmost respect.” For those of us who saw Girls Trip, we can link this back to the Regina Hall’s character Ryan who was constantly found repeating a self-affirmation in her time of distress.

Regina Hall as Ryan in the movie Girls Trip. Her Daily Affirmation was: “I am strong. I am powerful. I am beautiful.”

Although I’ve never really watched much of it but to those of you who are Being Mary Jane fans, I’m sure you all are familiar with her season 1 post its all over her mirror. If you practice this daily affirmation exercise, I can reassure you that it will help to boost your mood for the day. It’s especially helpful when you repeat and mediate on these words in the morning before going about your day.

  1. STOP comparing yourself to others

This is probably the worst thing one can do, especially in today’s society. Nowadays we are inundated with pictures, updates and such of others that we barely have time to look at ourselves. While that guy or gal might have what appears to be what you want, you do not know what they went through in order to get that desire. Your journey can only be compared to one person and that is…YOU.

giphy5

Sister Naomi Letting You Know What Time It Is (Source)

  1. Write
tenor

You Don’t Need to Write An Essay… (Source)

I cannot stress this enough. Writing has gotten me through some of the worse times in my life. You don’t have to be an Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, or Edwidge Danticat. Just get yourself a nice little notebook or hell a sheet of receipt paper (I did this at an old dining hall job I had). But whatever it is, just write how you’re feeling at the moment. Express yourself. Even if you just open up the notes app in your handy dandy device, just type a few words throughout the day to check in with yourself. Hell, it can be as simple as “You good sis?” Yes I call myself “sis,” sometimes. Don’t judge!

Nor do you have to type like this….

  1. Be Real With Yourself
tumblr_nq3oxycakx1sjc5sqo1_250

Just Be Real With Yourself (Source)

If you know that you cannot do a certain thing for whatever reason, don’t try to pressure yourself. Always push but don’t pressure. Be happy with you are at the moment and understand the importance of being transparent with yourself.

  1. Play Dress Up!
giphy_5_

Strut Yo Stuff Laverne! (Source)

Sometimes we just need a day where we slap on some lip gloss or even chap-stick. Do up our hair, put our nicest pair of clothes on and strut our stuff.

  1. Take a Media Break

This goes back to #2, we’re so used to scrolling, clicking and liking to the point where we set up certain standards for ourselves. These standards are often subconsciously developed from what we see on TV but nowadays it’s especially from social media. But guess what? You can control what you see on your newsfeed. Unlike the days when we were growing up with just TV as our main source of media, we can control what appears in our feed based off of who we follow. Regardless, there might be people we follow who seem to be doing better than us which can cause our insecurities to surface while taking a daily scroll. Don’t believe the hype!

  1. Strengthen Your Body
tenor1

Don’t End Up Like Mr. Potato Head 😦 (Source)

Sometimes the best way to be more comfortable with yourself is to tone up. While this doesn’t mean to develop a rigorous workout plan, some of us, myself included, needs this in their life. Set goals for exercise that caters to your specific body type, and your mind as well. This can be done by reading more, paying brain games and of course making physical activity a part of your daily life.

  1. Remember Your Story
tenor2

Even the Queen of the World Embraces Her Story, Good or Bad (Source)

We all have different reasons as of to how we got to where we are today. Remember the beauty in your past and the ugliness too. Those two factors are what have guided you to the life you are living now. Your story is unique and beautiful just like you are. You have just as much power to positively impact the world as the next person. You just being you is enough already.

  1. Switch Up Your style

This is not to sound superficial but if you want to love the skin you’re in more, then take more time to groom yourself. Now grooming can be different for various people. So don’t think it only means throwing makeup on or wearing the latest trends. Add a little bit more flavor to your usual style. Make it your own. Whatever it is, sis make it pop.

tenor3

Switch Your Style, BUT Don’t Steal or Bite From Others (Source)

  1. Accentuate YOUR favorite features

We all have at least one thing about our bodies or our personalities that we love. If you can’t think of it immediately, think about it for a little then jot some thoughts down. Whatever that thing is for you, find it, embrace it and accentuate it. It could be your smile, your legs or your humor. Take that splendid feature of yours and rock it like nobody’s business.

tumblr_m9g49u4ng81qkdh9eo1_500

Embrace Dat Ass Sis…even if it don’t exist 😥 (Source)

  1. Buy Yourself Something Nice

I cannot stress this enough. I understand that everyone’s financial situations are different but there is a helping hand in the app world called Groupon. During my short time as a teacher I used up Groupon to visit nearly every massage parlor, spa or nail salon in New Orleans. If you’ve never had a massage, trust me you are missing out on sweet, sweet splendor. So as my bestie Sam and I often say to each other “Treat yo self!” aka our favorite Parks & Rec line of all time.

tumblr_mwf55cxkrx1r683cxo3_250

#ForeverMood (Source)

  1. Appreciate Your Differences

Perhaps you feel as if you are an anomaly of some sort or that you’ve never fit in (that’s me). Learn to embrace those differences. We must remember that no one in the world is built like us and therefore we all bring something splendid to the table. Your differences just might be the inspiration someone similar to you needs to see in order to build more confidence within their self.

tumblr_mm7xej4yv51s98q7ao1_500

Twirl On Them Haters & Embrace Yourself! (Source)

  1. Stop Judging Yourself

Listen here sis, there are far too many struggles in this cold world to worry about. Judging yourself should not be one of those struggles. Let that judgmental mentality go and allow yourself to enjoy life while you can.

635705050215510466-1495620514_love-yourself

I Know That’s Right Queen Latrice! (Source)

  1. Respect Your Body
giphy12

Sometimes You Just Gotta Hit That Body Roll Like Queen Serena (Source)

A lot of us treat our bodies like dumpsters. We dump all types of trashy foods into it as if it doesn’t take us from point A to B every day. Our bodies treat us so well but they’ll treat us even better the better we take care of it from inside to out. My advice would be to fuel it with the proper nutrients, surround it with the right energy and burn the right amount of energy  off too. Don’t just allow anyone to occupy your space, time or your body.

  1. Find What Makes YOU Happy

If that means binge watching hours of old episodes of Spongebob or Living Single while scarfing down some (healthy) snacks or going for a run. Find something that brings you joy in the day and specifically make it a part of your daily routine.

  1. Take Yourself Out
giphy8

Me too Craig…me too (Source)

This is another thing I’ve grown to love this year. Some call it masterDating and I love it. I’ve gone to concerts, dinners, and the movies all on my own. In fact, I sometimes prefer that because then there are no expectations that I have for others. I know myself best so I know that being in my company won’t let me down. Going out on your own can seem a bit scary at first but trust after the third time you’ll be a pro. Yes to masterDates! During your moments of solitude, you also get a chance to truly learn what it is that you love.

  1. Watch daily Motivational Videos
tumblr_ni1k0bgyfy1s6z4zdo1_500

Speak It Into Existence (Source)

I am a motivational video junky. Literally if you go through my YouTube video history or watch later list, all you’ll see is in relation to personal development or regarding living your best life. Trust me it helps. If you watch one everyday for at least 5 minutes before starting your day it can give your soul a nice boost of energy. It’s like an espresso shot for your mind and spirit. Some of my favorites to watch are Les Brown, Lisa Nichols and Ralph Smart (Infinite Waters).

  1. Sip a Splendid Drink
giphy9

How Else Do You Live Forever? Duh! Drink that Red Wine! (Source)

Wine? Daiquiri? Smoothies? Or a simple sweet tea on the rocks? Choose your flavor and sip your beverage in peace. If you aren’t already up on the smoothie wave, I urge you to get on it. I have one at least 3-5x a week. But, this is about YOU. Find your favorite drink, blast some music and sip that tea, wine, or smoothie.

  1. Treat Your Body
tumblr_npuw05srwh1r9a32bo1_400

You Know What Time It Is (Source)

You don’t even need a spa for spa treatment. YouTube and Pinterest are stock full of DIY spa ideas for your home. So if you’re an introvert like me you don’t even got to leave the comfort of your own humble abode. You can even hit up your local pharmacy for some mini facial packets. I’ve used a few that are so relaxing and rejuvenating for my skin. Another way to treat your body is to cook yourself a good meal…or order one. But, if you are not a big cooker, trust me it can be relaxing once you get the hang of it. Not everyone is the kitchen friendly type and I understand.

  1. Laugh More
giphy10

Find some friends to laugh with like this guy! (Source)

Did you know it takes more energy and muscles to frown than to smile? I would insert a link with stats about this little fun fact but I’m too tired to do so at the moment. So google it. Anyways, there is so much to smile about in this world and to laugh about. Yet we tend to get some caught up in the circumstances that make us cry so much more than those that can bring us tears of joy. I tend to laugh a lot because I make silly jokes to get myself through the day. You can find standup specials everywhere or if that’s not your wave watch Teletubbies (I promise you won’t stop laughing).

  1. Take a Damn Nap

Enough said. Sleep. That is all.

tumblr_inline_mjpzrifr0n1qz4rgp

I Feel You Sis! (Source)

  1. …Just Breathe

There’s a song I would hear on the radio as a kid that has always been a favorite. Basically there are times when all we need to just do is breathe. Part of embracing the skin your in is accepting your life for what it is. Now if you are trying to get to the next level you should being making strides towards that. However, it is okay to just breathe and take a break. Give yourself a break when it is necessary.

giphy11

Okay maybe not like this but you get the point…(Source)

  1. Drink Water

Look, I ain’t bout to play with you sis. Drink your damn water and go! People out here having all these different conditions and come to find out some of y’all just parched. Quench your thirst, love yourself and moisturize.

giphy7

DRINK UP SIS! Moisturize Your Insides LOL (Source)

 

 

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

 

 

Ms. Royale

Standard
Featured, Motivation, Self-Care

Focus Friday: You Are Not Burdensome…You Are a Blessing

Do you ever feel as if you are a burden to others in some way?

I hope and pray your answer to this is no BUT if it is not, that is okay. I have felt that way for most my life and the great news is that we are not alone. (Come on now, you know misery loves company.)

Alright let’s get serious here. As a child I often had this strange feeling that I was in some way a burden to others. This feeling of being burdensome extended from friends to family. While no one in particular ever expressed that I was a burden to them, somehow deep down inside I always felt that way anyways. As I matured into a young woman this feeling of being burdensome grew right alongside me and followed me into the relationships I formed with men and platonic friendships as well. No matter how much other people have attempted to convince me otherwise, in my head it was always this idea that I held others down (and not in a ride or die kind of way).

FYI: This post isn’t going to be some major “Here’s how I got over it,” story, but it is meant to be an outlet for others who may feel the same.

In recent conversation with someone close to me I had to be reminded of the beauty that exists within having loved ones around who are there to support you. As an individual who has a lot of pride, is EXTREMELY independent, and who enjoys being fully self-sufficient it is difficult for me to be vulnerable or anyway dependent on others. However, within the past year it appears the recurring theme God is revealing to me is the need for “transparency,” and “vulnerability.”

Sometimes it is actually okay to depend on others. This does not in any way make you a leech or a horrible person (unless of course you can provide for yourself but choose to use others but that’s another story). So, no matter how much I desire to be completely independent, unfortunately in life that’s impossible. There will be a point in time when we all will need help from someone or somewhere. When those times come we shouldn’t assume that we are being a burden to others.

We are all in this world together with different strengths and different weaknesses. We are supposed to help lift others up as we also climb and vice versa. There is never a reason you should ever feel as if your existence or mere presence is a burden on others. By definition the word burden means “a load, especially a heavy one,” and burdensome means “difficult to carry out or fulfill.” Now when you see those two definitions side by side, does that sound like something that can be applied to a person and more importantly does that sound like it applies to you in the least bit? I know when I read it; it most certainly does not define me or my existence.

“There will be a point in time when we all will need help from someone or somewhere.”

I want you to really think about the aforementioned definitions, “Am I a load? Am I difficult to carry?” While we may all have our emotional and mental baggage, none of that is too difficult for us to carry when we have the proper support. Now if we choose to carry it all on our own then I can understand a feeling of heaviness within ourselves. But, this is why we need to be open to being more vulnerable with those who we trust.

“There is never a reason you should ever feel as if your existence or mere presence is a burden on others.”

Now, I know we may not all have someone in our corner directly so perhaps reaching out to strangers (yes strangers) might be helpful. There are hotlines or now even apps where you can reach out to volunteers and professionals that will help you sort through issues you may not be able to sort through with family or friends. Nevertheless, I want you to understand that you and I, we all come with our own personal issues but we also come with just as many solutions for this world. You may not feel it or see it now but you help move the world forward every single day.

inspirational-quotes-inspiring-quotes-potential-quotes-inner-voice-quotes-you-are-not-a-burden-you-have-a-burden-which-by-definition-is-too-heavy-to-carry-on-yoru-own

This quote resonates so much with this topic but it is not a quote of my own. Source

We contribute just as much to this world as the next person does. It may not be regarded as grand as the Oprah’s, Obama’s, or even Beyoncé’s of the world but it still damned good. We all have our individual purposes in this world and if you are a believer you know that God sent you to earth with an assignment specifically designed for you. So whenever you begin to view yourself as a burden in anyway, please remember that you are needed, necessary and most certainly NOT a load for someone to carry. We have burdens in life but we are NOT burdensome. We should be allowed to take up space and fill this world with all of our awesomeness. You have a space in this world and you have a place designated just for you.

With that said, I want you all to keep these main points in mind:

1) You are in NO way a burden

2) You deserve to take up space in this world

3) You have a place & purpose on earth

4) You are a blessing to others

5) Sometimes we need support & that is okay

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

Ms. Royale

 

P.S. For those who may not be comfortable with reaching out to family or friends about any feelings of being burdensome or any other issues below are a few links of helpful resources.

TalkSpace (An app for therapy on iOS and Android)

 BetterHelp

MentalHelp.net

PsychCentral

 

 

 

Standard
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 

Standard
Black Blogger, Black Girl Magic, black women, Self-Care

For Black Girls With Depression…Like Me

TRIGGER WARNING FOR ALL: The following post discusses mental illness and is a bit different from the usual fluffy inspirational content presented on this blog. Still, I hope it encourages someone, especially For Black Girls With Depression Like Me.

You know the weird thing about being depressed is that when you express your symptoms to others they are quick to say “You sound like you’re depressed.” Well yeah, I kinda know that already, in fact I’ve know that for quite some time. I’ve known that since I was at least 11 but the actual acceptance and understanding of it didn’t come until I became an adult. It’s actually one of those mental illnesses that you can self diagnose. Unfortunately it is also one of those words that gets tossed around kind of like love. People say it without fully understanding the depth of it.

Yeah, I am sure just about everyone has had moments where they’ve had very depressing moments or situations but that doesn’t mean they have “depression.” It’s not just a moment of “Man this *bleep* employee *bleeped* up my lunch order and now I’m mad,” or “I can’t find the right shoes to go with this super cute new outfit and it’s already 5 so I’ve gotta make a decision quick.” No, these are moments of anger that can quickly be addressed or fixed in one way or the other.

Depression, my dear friends, depression more often than not sticks with you. Depression infiltrates nearly every corner of your life. It comes and it stays. Depression always overstays its welcome.

Now for Black girls like me with depression, we grow up in this world with the stereotypical image portrayed on TV that we ought to be strong Black Women one day. Therefore, that leaves no room for us to crawl into a fetal position and have our backs rubbed with words of encouragement. Rather we are to get our asses up and do the damn thing. Although it hurts, we often can do it, so we do it. Even when it hurts. We get up. We go. And we do.

In the Black community, mental health issues are shunned, barely even talked about or simply down right swept under the rug. Everyone claims to have that “crazy uncle,” or “drunk auntie,” but no one ever sits down to discuss how those common characteristics in so many family dynamics is telling of a lot of issues we refuse to acknowledge.

You ever stopped to consider why Uncle So and So stay smoking that pipe, or goes in and out of conversation with you at the family cookouts. Have you ever stopped to genuinely check on Auntie This and That while she’s sober to see what’s truly troubling her. Addictions are surefire ways of displaying that people are crying for help. We’ve got to acknowledge, explore and try our best to combat that.

For me, being a Black girl who’s ethnicity happens to be Haitian it adds on another level of assumed “strength,” and “sweeping issues under the rug.” Growing up all I heard about mental health issues was “Sa se bagay moun fou/ That is for crazy people.” No one ever TALKED about anything remotely related to mental illness unless it’s wrapped up in the ideas of mystics or simply having to “pray it away.”

Pray what away exactly? My mental illness or anyone’s for that matter cannot simply be prayed away. Yes there are studies that prove prayer helps alleviate some people’s depression by way of it being their preferred choice of coping. However, by simply praying and not exploring why that said individual is depressed to begin with is detrimental.

This brings me back to my first few thoughts, as a Black girl we aren’t allowed to be soft, expressive or much less angry. The minute we do any of these things here come the labels thrown at us claiming that we only get to be one way. We are taught by society that our skin color and sometimes depending on the shade of it (that’s another story for another day) makes us more angry than non-black girls. The minute we express ourselves whether in an excited tone or assertive one, we are instantly deemed “loud,” “angry,” or down-right “sassy.” We. Cannot. Be. Ourselves. Without. Someone. Labeling us.

The minute we attempt to soften ourselves, we are often told “You are a strong Black woman, you got this.”

But, no fuck that. Actually that shit ain’t a compliment to me, because sometimes I don’t got it. For Black Girls With Depression Like Me, sometimes we ain’t got our shit together and we just need someone to listen with no judgement. This is why when we find our “tribe” or groups of women who understand us, it is hard to break us. No one got Black women like other Black women.

So For Black Girls With Depression Like Me, Sis please understand that I hear you, I see you and I value your life so much. Maybe no one has told you this in a while but I love you, who cares if we’ve never met. I don’t care what part of the diaspora you’re from cause either way it goes the world sees your blackness and your womanhood as something negative when it should not be.

Your blackness is excellent and your womanhood is elegant. Don’t let nobody or anything let you forget that. Even that stupid depression of ours.

For Black Girls With Depression Like Me you deserve to have a space where we can kick it, we can be Black girl magical with joy all in our hearts with our hair blowing in the sun kissed winds.

As a Black Girl With Depression I know your struggle, I may not know the specifics of your own life but I know that the shit sucks. It does. I’ve tried just about everything to help it minus medicine because I do have my own views on that. BUT one thing is for sure it is possible to live through it. It gets hard, I know it does. Hell I’m living through one of those depressive seasons as we speak but I am pushing myself on the days when I see fit to do the things that bring me joy. Writing is one of those things and I hope this piece helps you sis.

Now, while I often like my posts to come with some sort of action plan or solution, honestly I don’t really have one. I have a few closing thoughts though that may be similar to an action plan so bare with me.

Black girls, we can be anything we want to be. Honestly and truly. Yes even with depression and anxiety or any other mental illness that attempts to block our excellence. I want you to find small pieces of joy even in your storm. Maybe one day you can’t get out of bed but you remember there is some wonder bread, grape jelly and peanut butter in the kitchen. Sis! Get ya ass up, toast that bread and smear them condiments onto those two slices of bread. Eat two if you have to.

Maybe PB&J ain’t your flow. Okay cool, maybe you could hit up that bodega aka corner store to pick up a bag of chips or oreos. I’m not trying to encourage you to emotionally eat BUT what I am saying is find that thing that makes you happy and use it to your advantage. Sometimes just getting up out of the bed is the most strength you can muster for that day and that’s fine.

Find your self-care and switch it up from time to time (if you want) to keep yourself excited.

For Black Girls With Depression Like Me I hope you find peace on today. I hope you find victory over your depression today. I hope that you find joy in your life.

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

Ms. Royale

Standard
Black Blogger, Creative Writing, Featured, Inspirational Quotes, Quotes, Self-Care

Focus Friday’s Post #5: Free Ya Mind

img_1043-1

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

Standard
Inspirational Quotes, Motivation, Quotes, Self-Care

More to Life Monday #3: In Limbo

img_1249

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

 

Featured Image Source

Standard
Creative Writing, Inspirational Quotes, Quotes, Self-Care

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
Standard