#20: Hiatus, Feelings, Recent Favs

*4 months later*

After the ridiculously long hiatus, I’m back. And it feels good.

Where was I, you might ask? Well, after I finished finals, my summer kicked off with a trip to Atlanta, a new internship, and a whirlwind of emotions to say the least. It’s been a very eventful season so far. So thank you for bearing with me. I’ve had at least 3 people in the past week ask me what happened to the website. Thanks for the push, y’all. Let’s chat.

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Beauty from Atlanta.

What I’ve learned recently…

For starters, I learned that vegan Chinese food places exist in places like Atlanta. If you’re in the area, I highly suggest a place called “Herban Fix” for fusion cuisine. And I for one want to say how AWESOME that is! Not sure if I’ve told you this before, but I’m a vegetarian. That just means I don’t eat meat (e.g., chicken, pork, beef, etc.) but as long as I’m not eating at a steakhouse, I can usually sort through sides and veggie platters and find something to eat. Walking into a vegan food spot was a whole different experience – I could eat absolutely everything that was on the menu. And that felt amazing! More vegan food places, please! If you know of any great vegan or vegetarian restaurants near you (no matter where you are), let me know. I’m always down to travel and eat great food.

Another pretty important thing that I’ve learned is how to truly love my natural hair. Almost two years ago, I decided I would stop using relaxers on my hair and instead grow out my tightly coiled, natural strands (shoutout to my beautiful friends and family who helped me with that transition).

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That moment when you successfully do a twist out but one loose strand wants to ruin your picture and you won’t allow it. That’s meeee.

I knew I wanted to try going natural at some point. I also knew by the warnings of many that it would be a lot of work to maintain. But I wanted a real relationship with my hair – so yes, sis, that took and is still taking work. As all relationships do! But the work is so worth it! Wash day for my hair is a self-care day for me. Twisting and seeing how versatile my hair is has been a beautiful experience.

Another gem that has come up for me recently is the idea that you attract and maintain relationships with others based on how you make them FEEL. I was speaking with my dad about this in the car one day, and it really stuck with me. It seems like so often when we’re looking to make real connections with other people, we place a disproportionate amount of that energy on things like our appearance more than how we feel and how we’re making the other person feel. Now DO NOT get me wrong. Keeping yourself healthy and taking care of your physical attractiveness is essential for both feeling good in general and initially catching someone’s eye. Continue being a snack, please. The issue comes in when we forget that for the people in our relationships to feel good when they are with us, we have to be authentic and feeling good ourselves.

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We all know that person that lights up a room when they step in. We all have a friend that we feel entirely safe with and can confide in. We all know someone who is basically doing a killer stand up comedy set whenever we see them. The point is, we remember how the people in our lives make us feel. That sticks out to us a lot more than other stuff like aesthetics, especially in the long term. So be yourself, and bring joy to others when you can. Doing so allows others to genuinely connect with you and want more of that sweet, happy feeling they get when they just think of you.

What I favorite recently…

DayDesigner planner – if there’s one thing you’ll learn about me, I like planners. LOL okay let’s be real here, I love them. And this one, in particular, is super useful to me because of the weekly and monthly spread. To build a great life, you gotta get strategic, people.

Summer Durant – “Same” – Spoken word poetry has always held a place in my heart. Here’s one of many that have stuck out to me recently.

Latino Men Try Therapy For The First Time – I’m a big advocate for taking care of your mental health. I also believe that specific communities (like those of people of color and men) need to be encouraged to do so more because of the stigma surrounding things like going to therapy, opening up about how you’re feeling, and being vulnerable. This video appealed to me for all of those reasons.

Tyler Perry’s BET Award Acceptance Speech – help somebody cross.

Four months was four months too long to be gone, I know. Let’s start again. For now, have an incredible week and enjoy the last of July! And tell me, what have you learned recently?

Original Poem: Remember by Valencia Saint-Louis

Remember by Valencia Saint-Louis (inspired by Joy Harjo’s “Remember”)

 

Remember to feel.

And then, to let go.

Remember your presence,

the space you are meant to take up.

Remember to fill your cup,

to make your plate

Remember that you are a goddess

that deserves to eat.

 

Remember yourself in the company of others.

Remember your books, your crystals, your journals

your breath, and your power.

 

You are…

complete and abundant.

 

Remember your love languages

and what makes you laugh;

give to yourself and receive openly.

Remember that you are your only problem,

and your only solution.

There’s nowhere else to look.

 

Remember to take.

 

Remember, curious child, to share what you think

Remember to dance and cry when you want to

Remember the fresh feeling of night

showers that smell like African Black Soap,

the smooth Shea Butter over your cheeks,

and how magical coconut oil is.

Remember how good your touch feels,

and how amazing your body is

Remember to listen to yourself.

Remember to speak.

Remember you.

Remember.

 

#13: Finished Books, Sweeet Sweet Yoga, and Weekly Favorites​

Heyy peeps!

I hope you had a great week and that you’re taking some time to appreciate all that you’ve experienced and accomplished. And extending some compassion to yourself for all the things you didn’t get to do or for not being your best self 24/7. We can’t do it all, and that’s okay. We are learning, breathing, and getting better each day. And you know what? I’m proud of us for that.

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As you know I gotta keep you updated with the weekly reflections, so here it goes! (I’m playing around with the format of my weekly reflection posts; let me know what you think of this one!)

Finished Books (Yay!)

Remember one of my last posts, where I talked about information overload and confessed that I haven’t been absorbing everything I’ve tried to read and digest? Yeah? Well, guess what! I sat down and finished You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero (after “almost finishing” reading it for a month now) and I ended up finishing Becoming by Michelle Obama today too. To be honest, wrapping up You Are A Badass was such a struggle for me. I kept getting all these inspired ideas, writing out plans, and my mind just kept wandering and wandering. I guess I didn’t want the book to end, in reality. It was filled with so many gems!!

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I highly recommend Jen Sincero’s book if you’re looking for an honest, transparent and anecdotal read that will guide you in your personal development journey. Not only is it personal but it gives you ACTUAL steps to transform your thinking (and by effect, your life). It’s nice to read a motivational story but it’s another to actually put in the work and get real with yourself.

Sweeet, Sweet Yoga

Besides the success of collecting information without feeling overwhelmed, today I connected my body and my breath and gave myself some mental clarity by doing some yoga exercises. I rolled out my mat and relaxed under the guidance of Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube. I noticed there were a few areas that were super tight and needed some extra love, but it felt so good to slow down and pay attention to what my body needed. I reveled in the slow movements, the extensions, the stretches – ahhh, the stretches!

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(Self-check: how does your neck feel? Stretch it out, one side at a time and see if you’re carrying a lot of tension there. I’ve learned that a lot of us carry tension in our necks and lower back – I certainly do.)

I feel like the last half of my week was much more fulfilling than the first half (considering the fact I can’t remember too much of what happened during the first half, HA). But I did end up going to the gym a few times this week, so I’m happy about that. Nonetheless, I’m grateful for what every day brought me. I’m learning how to slow down, trust my intuition, and guide myself back to love every day.

Weekly Favorites + Reminders:

Sending you lots of encouragement and growth this week ahead!

 

Featured Image Source: Business Insider UK