Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Walking into Your Purpose

Walking into your purpose is no easy task. At least it wasn't for me... Looking back at my twenties, it was a time defined by my search for my purpose in life. Finding a career. Finding love. Becoming a mother. Becoming a real  adult, and defining what that means for me. My thirties -- on the other hand -- are about me walking into my purpose.  Connecting the dots.  And understanding their alignment.

I want to touch lives. I want to inspire. In fact, I want to life life inspired. Teach my daughters how to truly live and enjoy the little moments. [They are, in fact, the  big moments.] I want to dream so big that it scares me. I want to turn every cliche quote on it's head. Like I said. I want to walk into my purpose.

So I'm going to speak it into existence...

In my twenties, I battled with my definition of success.  And I think , I've finally come to terms with it all. I'm a "Nurture Shock" child. [Read the book by P.O. Bronson. I promise it is a good read.]  I was used to titles and accolades. High grades and awards. It didn't take long before I started standing in my own way.  Growing my career with Ph.D at the end of my name -- I admit, it still sounds nice, and Vice President preceding it. Or continuing with ventures even when they took my life out  of balance. That was me. Defining my life by titles and accolades.

I'll stop speaking in abstract and give it you straight. I don't want to grow my career in the traditional sense as a Preseident (or even President) of a university. I'm not even sure if I want to spend another 4 to 7 years to earn a Ph.D. I've finally come to terms with that. It doesn't mean that I don't dream big. It's just not MY dream.

I want to expand by career by leading workshops for students and my peers. ( I work in higher education, if you haven't read my bio.)  I want to be an author. Hence, why I started blogging. And I'm finally at a place where I can see very noticeable improvement in both my public speaking and writing.  The dots are connecting. I'm leading more workshops at work. I'm presenting at a regional conference -- by myself.  I'm writing professionally for Black Hair Media.  I walked way from event planning, because it couldn't coincide with my job and family. [Oh yeah. And I HATE event planning. It wasn't in line with my purpose. ]

Now, I'm essentially building the skills that are in line with my purpose. 

The  dots are connecting.

I'm walking into my purpose.

I'm doing the things I love.

I live life inspired.

I read. I write. I speak. (All things that I love.)

I spend quality time wth my family. (I really love them.)

I have balance.

I am happy.

I'm living my life with purpose.

Are you?

How are YOU walking into your purpose?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

How I Met My Husband: Let Love In

In honor of Valentine's Day, and for the Bloggers Like Me Blog Hop, I'm reviving two personal posts I wrote about letting love in ... and out.

**This post is powered by #BLMGirls. Learn more about #BLMGirls HERE. You can check out other posts from our #BLMBlogHop by visiting the link below http://www.thriftyandshameless.blogspot.com/**

First, let me preface this story with some background information...

When I met my husband, I was emotionally starved (figuratively and literally). Fresh out of a break up, tired of heartbreak after heartbreak, I finally broke down. To add insult to injury (literally and figuratively), my dad landed himself a month stint in the hospital, including 11 days of sedation (thanks to a motorcycle accident...punctured lung, broken ribs, broken pelvis, exposed bone... you name it, he had it). I was jaded, guarded, tired...and 15 pounds lighter.

(Please note: Those are the SAME skinny pants. Before in  May, After in July for my 25th birthday. I still can't believe they were baggy!)

So here's the story...

We met in a tattoo shop. Yes, a tattoo shop.  (Imagine telling this to a priest during pre-marital counseling).  The tattoo artist was behind, so we invited him back so that he would not have to sit in the waiting room with the creepy guy --who was also waiting.  I immediately noticed his boyish grin.  Let me be frank, I never found many guys attractive. And when I did find them attractive, I often thought they were arrogant or a waste of my time.  But him. He was cute.  He started to sing and drum a beat along to "Welcome to the Jungle", and I couldn't help but smile. We chit-chatted. He seemed genuine. I batted by eyes and hoped he would ask for my number. He didn't.

 I went home wondering if I could have done anything differently. Yup, still thinking about him.  (That never happens.) I turned on my computer, I logged into Facebook... new message.  From Mercedes (who can forget a name like that).  Thank you facebook. I knew his cousin, so he facebook stalked me.   I HAD to like him, because I wasn't creeped out. 

It took some time for me to let go of old hurt and to let love in. I fought it. I denied that I was falling for him.  I kept telling myself I wasn't ready.  I was supposed to enjoy the single life! But I guess God had other plans.  For the first time, I had found someone who loves me for my flaws, rather that "in spite of them". I could be my true self --quirks and all. Love had found me...even though I wasn't looking. 

 On May 25, 2007, he slipped me a paper that read, "Will you be my girlfriend? Yes/No"  (reminiscent of grade school, I know).  And on that day I checked yes, and I let love in.

Engagement photos by Tere Schubert Photography
Can you guess how he proposed?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Let love ... out?

In honor of Valentine's Day, and for the Bloggers Like Me Blog Hop, I'm reviving two personal posts I wrote about letting love in ... and out

**This post is powered by #BLMGirls. Learn more about #BLMGirls HERE. You can check out other posts from our #BLMBlogHop by visiting the link below http://www.thriftyandshameless.blogspot.com/**

A while ago, I wrote about how I let love in.  A reader asked me to speak more about how I was able to do this.  And honestly, a key part of letting love in is...letting love OUTFalse love... that is.

Last week in my "Theories of Counseling" class, we covered Existential Theory, which focuses on themes in our lives.  One of those themes is "loving".  To practice our counseling skills, we do roleplays with partners in class.  For the roleplay to be effective, you have to use your own experiences.  I went back to the time when I let my ex's false love OUT and my (now) husband's love IN. I could remember my exact feelings, every rationalization, and every excuse. I remembered how when it was over, I kept referring back to how it USED to be.  And honestly, I developed an image of him that was far better than the person he truly was. (A false self...as my class partner called it.)

Last weekend, I watched " Ghosts of Girlfriend's Past". It wasn't a good movie. It wasn't particularly funny. But there was one quote that stuck with me.

 "The person who cares less has the power in the relationship."

If you want to know how to let love out or if you want to know if you are in a healthy relationship...then refer to this quote.  If you are in a relationship where your significant other "cares less" or holds all the "power" a.k.a. one-sided, then walk away.  That is NOT love.  No relationship is ever perfect. Everyone has problems. Obstacles will arise.  But the key to a lasting relationship, is a DEEP mutual love and affection for eachother. Period. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Busy Mom Hair Regimen

I'm the first person to admit. My hair regimen is not perfect. Far from it. But I have to do what works for me and my lifestyle. Even if it is not the most optimal routine. It works for me. And as you can see, my hair is pretty healthy. And my sanity is intact. Here are my tips for maintaining healthy hair, while juggling a busy life:

  • K.I.S.S.  - No really. Keep it simple.  The more you complicate things, the more time it takes. Above are pictures on the day of my youngest daughter's baptism. In the past, I would still be fighting with my hair the day of the event. I would try to have freshly washed hair. Or try to do a roller set  -- and it wouldn't dry. This time around, I twisted my hair a few days prior. I wore twists all week that were very easy to maintain.When my husband asked with a scowl, "How long is your hair going to take?". I smiled and said, "All I have to do is untwist!"  It took 10 minutes. Tops.
  • Don't let your hair get tangled. The biggest time warp for natural hair is detangling. For me, wash and go's are an absolute no-no. I'm being more adamant about not letting my hair shrink (and tangle),because the long detanglng sessions are just not worth it.  For the remainder of winter, I'm doing the twists  - twistout -updo rotation.  Boring, but it works.
  • Trim your ends. I know. There is a lot of debate on this. Some people say every 8 weeks, some say twice a year, others say not at all.  I say... whenever they need to be trimmed. How do I know? I see split ends and/or knots. Or my hair gets tangled at the ends. (Of course, if you don't want to trim often then take extra care of your ends.) But for me, fresh ends cut down on my styling time. And since I don't have lofty hair length goals, I pull out the scissor without giving it a second thought. #dontjudgeme
  • Find a wash regimen that works for you, your hair's needs, and your lifestyle. Some swear by co-washing, while others swear by shampoo or even clay washes. Some wash every week, while others wash every two weeks. Do what works for you!  I wash every other week. I co-wash and/or ACV rinse as needed in-between. If I don't see product buildup, I'm not washing my hair just because someone TOLD me I'm supposed to. It saves me from a major headache.  Because I don't wash as often, I'm weary of using products that cause a lot of buildup.  Listen to your hair and figure out a wash routine that works for you.
  • Come up with your own tricks! It's easy to get caught up on what the web gurus or hairdressers say, but take the time to become the expert on YOUR hair. You are the person who takes care of your hair on a daily basis. Take the time to learn your hair. You'd be surprised by how much you already know.
What are your tips and tricks to save time on your hair?

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Natural Hair Movement: Putting it Into Perspective

It's February. Black History Month. So it's only seems fitting that we discuss the "Natural Hair Movement".  Well, first I provide a disclaimer.   I don't ascribe to the "Natural Hair Movement". Nor do I believe in the "Natural Hair Community" and here's why...

Natural hair can be empowering. To wear the hair you were born with after years of altering its texture changes how you see yourself -- both literally and figuratively. But for some,they take it too far. They deem themselves better than those who don't relax. Come up with rules on what it means to truly be "natural".  They judge. They assume. They create division. They hurt.. far more than they help.

Let that marinate.

Now digest.

Natural hair does not make you progressive. Relaxed hair does not make you complacent. They are not mutally exclusive. The "movement" and "community" should be about the sharing of information and healthy discussion. But it's not. And it's sad.

Moving forward, I hope to see a change in the "natural hair community". One that does not judge or have pre-conceived notions about others based upon how they wear their hair. One whose bickering does not turn away the very people they want to help.

What are your thoughts? Let's discuss.
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