You Are Beautiful. You Are Loved.

I’ve already told you guys about my green smoothie fail earlier this week. But, even though I didn’t succeed completely, I did enjoy some of the process. Part of that process was meditation, and during one of my meditation sessions, I discovered a wonderful affirmation.

Something rose up in my spirit and said the following; “You are beautiful. You are loved.”

Isn’t that profound? Two simple phrases that resonated in the depths of my soul.

Many of you may not know that I’ve never thought of myself as pretty. I’ve always felt inferior to the natural beauty of all of my sisters. I considered myself the creative one, always ready to tell a funny story or lend a helping hand. But never even in the same league as them looks wise. Besides that, I had daddy issues to rival the best of them, so accepting that I am special and loved took a long time as well.

So you can see why the meditation mantra that swelled within me was so significant. The truth that I am beautiful in my own unique way, and that I am loved beyond measure were both statements that I needed to hear…that I needed to feel.

And maybe you do, too.

You are beautiful. You are loved.

Let that sink in. Let it penetrate your being and hold it in your heart.

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Go Faith! It’s Yo’ Birthday! Get Busy! Go! Go! Go!

If you’re a true old school millennial, and a product of the 80’s, then you totally get the title reference. Today’s my birthday and I’m glad about it! There’s so much to be grateful for, and so many blessings that I know I don’t deserve. But isn’t that what grace is? God’s unmerited favor, given to us over and over again.

That being said, I’m not a fan of winter. So, I typically choose to celebrate my birthday in March. Because of that, I don’t have any out of the ordinary plans today. I’ll complete a video interview for a contract I’m seeking (blazer on the top, pajama pants on the bottom all the way), take two online tests for another, do some homework and my mother’s hair. Tomorow, I’ll go out to eat with my extended family to celebrate my mama’s birthday (ours is 10 days apart), and that’ll be wonderful. But that’s it, nothing special.

The difference is that I’ll still feel special because XX amount of years ago, I entered the world, sans fingernails with my hair sticking straight up, just like Don King. Do I know how to make an entrance or what? I was a month early, eager to begin the adventure of life here on earth, and I’ve been a wide-eyed dreamer ever since.

I’m grateful to still be a dreamer, even after living through so many nightmares. I love my optimism and faith in the face of opposition. That’s what I’m celebrating today. I’m here, decades later, still believing that hope springs eternal. Still believing that the good always outweighs the bad.

Still believing that this is going to be my best year ever!

Sometimes We Fail…

Sometimes we fail, y’all. It’s a fact of life I was reminded of when I set out to survive a green smoothie cleanse. Let me explain. I had high hopes of emerging from a long detox regimen with glowing, flawless skin, a flattened stomach and relief from the joint pain that plagues me do the inflammation in my body caused by chronic disease.

I went to the store with my mother, who generously offered to pay for half of the groceries in my cart that was loaded with spinach, frozen fruit, almond coconut milk and kale. I ordered some plant-based protein powder off Amazon, and busted open the box my sister’s Ninja blender arrived in well over a month ago. I scheduled several posts in advance for this blog and completed my school work so that when the detox symptoms set in, I wouldn’t have to try to think with brain fog. I was all set, and prepared for overwhelming success.

Until day 2.5 on the cleanse. Let me tell you something; days three and four of any sort of detox program is meant to separate the strong from the weak. It’s where heroes are born and you get to see exactly what you’re made of. Apparently, I’m made of the desire for something to chew!

I tried to hold out, you guys. I sat in my bed, watching Friends and noticing how borderline racist and outrageously fat shaming it is, willing myself to be satisfied with the herbal tea that was supposed to help my detoxing efforts along. But, I wanted a boiled egg so bad I could taste it. The salt, and the instant satiety called to me.

I made every effort to talk myself out of it. I told myself that I had all the nutrients I needed in those darn smoothies I had been drinking. Fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Any desire to eat an egg was not based on actual need, but rather on desire.

Logically, I knew that all of the above was true. But deep down, where my intuition dwells, I didn’t give a hoot! So…I boiled some eggs and ate them. They. Were. Phenomenal. Absolutely everything I thought they would be, and they satisfied me in a way that nothing had in days.

Then the guilt set it. I’d failed. I’d set out to do something, and I didn’t do it. I found myself spiraling down into the black and white thinking that used to make me binge eat at times like this, because I’d already blown it, so I might as well go to town. But, therapy taught me to arrest that kind of thinking, and understand that an all or nothing attitude hadn’t helped me in the past, so it wouldn’t help me then, either.

So, I counted it as a lost, but not the end of the world. Then I re-evaluated my goals for starting the cleanse in the first place. To lessen my pain, clean up my diet, and get a hold of my sweet tooth. I realized that I could accomplish all of those things while eating whole food, so that’s what I’ve decided to do.

I have a smoothie and eggs for breakfast, another smoothie for lunch and a nice dinner. It’s been working. My sugar cravings are almost non-existent, and the ones I do have can be solved with a Larabar. I’ve been sleeping better, I can do squats again without excruciating joint pain, and my energy is off the charts.

So I failed, that much is definitely true. But you know what else? I learned some things about myself along the way. Besides that, I also reaffirmed how much I’ve grown in my relationship with food, and the practice of self-love. I hope that you can see by my little anecdote that even when we fail, if we learn something along the way, it’s not a total loss.

Our failures do not define us. How we respond to them does. I’m choosing to respond with compassion and grace towards myself. I really hope that when, or if, the time comes, you’ll do the same. ♥

When’s the last time you had a goal that you didn’t quite reach? How did you respond?

Confessions of Faith: When Time Stands Still

It’s hard to know what to do with yourself in the wait. Time seems to drag and your shoulders rise from the tension of long held anticipation. Wonder has long faded and you’re left with anxiety and doubt at war for space in your mind. This is the kind of waiting that feels like torture. Time seems to stand still, which leads to thoughts questioning the point of it all. Does it really matter? Will it make a difference if I give up? Who am I to think that what I want so desperately is even mine have?

In case you can’t tell, I’m familiar with this kind of waiting. It’s not the kind God would have for us. I can hear some of you asking if there’s any difference in the way we complete the act of waiting. I think there is. Have you ever waited for someone who’s late? Have you noticed that how you feel about the person you’re waiting for changes your attitude towards the situation? When it’s someone whom you perceive as a powerful benefactor, what you want from them may trump your inconvenience. When it’s someone that you’re doing a favor for by meeting with them, you may be indignant and put out. When it’s someone you have affection for, you may shake your head and wait patiently. The amount of time that you spend waiting is the same, but your perception and attitude changes based on who you’re waiting for.

When we’re in a season of waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises, the best thing we can do is to remember who we’re waiting for. Our trust in God and His timing should make waiting less of a challenge and more of pleasure. Our affection for Him, and our understanding of His towards us, can serve as a comfort in the wait. It’s not all up to us. Once we’ve done our due diligence in preparation, it’s out of our hands, and firmly in His.

Relax in that knowledge. Breathe it in. Allow your shoulders to fall and your jaw to unclench. Choose to serve at His pleasure, and to wait with patience, confidence and peace for His timing.

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31, NIV

 

 

Holding Hope in 2018 #HappyNewYear

Here we are. Day one of 365. I’m sitting here at 3:03 in the A.M., after having braved the cold to ring in the New Year with my family, because you were on my mind. Yes, you. I don’t think you really know how much you mean to me. Every one of you matters. Whether you visit this blog only once, or are a regular guest in my space of creativity.

I’m thinking of you in the wee hours of the morning (not in a creepy way, I promise) because I want you to hold hope in your hands as you arrive in 2018. Open up to the possibility of more than what you see. Reality is only as concrete as our perception.  When we allow ourselves to look to the future with excitement and anticipation, we give ourselves the gift of hope.

I went to church on Christmas Eve last week and the pastor spoke about hope; how we’re left with nothing if we don’t have it. The message echoed the thoughts I’d been having for months as I thought about what I’m left with after losing more than I wanted to. Hope was at the top of my list, and because of it, what wasn’t on the list mattered less than I thought it would. I have hope, therefore what I look to is so much more important than what I see right now.

That’s the gift I want to give to you this brand new year; what we see is not all there is, and what we’ve lost is not all there will ever be. There is always hope. ❤

I’m hoping to maintain joy this year. 

What are you hoping for in 2018?

 

P.S. I’m silly, so here are some pics of my 3 AM shenanigans. She ain’t got no worries, or eyebrows, lol. 🙂