Be Mindful of Your Triggers

The day I received the proofs of these photos from my photographer, I sent them to a few friends. I prefaced them with, “Here’s a sneak peek at some of the pics I took the other day.” Of course a few ppl gassed me (as they should cuz this is a SLAY), but there’s always that one person that has to find something to dislike.

“Can I be honest, they make you look bigger than you are…”

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My first instinct was to spazz angrily via text but I didn’t, I sat with my discomfort for a minute to decipher the root and analyze. I wasn’t at all upset with him sharing his opinion, but I couldn’t figure out the intention behind it. Before I give any unsolicited opinions or advice, I ask myself if I’m helping or hurting by expressing myself. I didn’t like that it was implied that looking bigger is such a negative thing that I should be bothered by it.

“Thank you for your honesty. Should I photoshop myself to lookin thinner or should I diet?”

I sarcastically and passive aggressively asked. I grew even more livid when I received a response to this. Clearly those weren’t real questions. I regained my wits and expressed my reasoning for preferring he shove his opinion where the sun doesn’t shine and find someone else to criticize. I tried and tried to understand how a comment such as that couldn’t be ill intentioned, but it just didn’t sit right with me. I was triggered AF because I spent my entire adolescence not being allowed to be comfortable with the skin I’m in. I wasn’t allowed to feel or be beautiful for a long time, and his comment took me back to teenage me who never knew the power in feeling and owning her beauty. Now that I’m grown, I refuse to allow someone else’s opinion to shake the love I’ve cultivated for myself.

BRUH, CAN’T YOU SEE I’M CHANNELING BEYONCE AND A BEAUTIFUL ASS PHOENIX BIRD?! IDGAF about looking bigger than I am, I’m not a flat tummy tea pushing IG model, so a roll, looking bloated, or any other society deemed imperfection being brought to light isn’t really a concern of mine. Beyonce brought FUPAs back this year anyway.

I had a whole “Hey Mirror Bitch,” moment with myself and concluded his delivery was trash. However, I was proud of me for expressing myself and making the effort to turn this trigger into a teachable moment. I went to an open discussion about self love a few days after this transpired and through so many people sharing thoughts and opinions on self love, I discovered several common themes. The most impactful one is that self love is the greatest safety against your triggers. Had I not taken the time to strengthen the love I have for myself, I would’ve crumbled in that moment. So while this opinion was trash, I’m grateful this happened because it’s showed me how much I’ve grown and allowed me to do the work by expressing myself.

Happy Monday and Don’t Ever Say Impossible!

*photos via EricaWestley.com

Be Mindful of Your Demons

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Be mindful of your demons, they'll haunt you until you face them. Acknowledge them. Feel them Allow them. And then grow from them. My number one demon has always been myself. My self-doubt. My insecurities. My fear of failure. My fear of success. My fear of others not approving. My fear of being uncomfortable. My fear of not measuring up. 

My demons have broken me down, more times than one, and each time I used them to level up into a better me. Me demons lift me, in spite of the struggles they yield. Our demons and our struggles usually hold the key to our life's purpose, and fulfilling our life's purpose is what will bring us the greatest reward. Learn your demons and then use them to motivate yourself to be better than yesterday. 

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All limits are self imposed.
— Icarus

Who am I to hold me back? I was born to thrive and what better way to thrive than mastering my faults and flipping them to work for me. 

Be Mindful of What Matters

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A couple of Saturdays ago I turned 32. I kept my birthday on the low, didn't really plan anything as big as I usually do. Mainly because there was a dark cloud hovering over me. In addition to being stressed because life be lifin', my anxiety attempted to cripple me as the day approached. The prior two years someone I knew passed away within days of my birthday.

I thought I was in the clear, but then I got a text. It was the same week as Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain as well as the same cause. It was difficult to celebrate this year, as I was again grappling with grief. But as much as I could I pushed through my pain and reminded myself that life is meant to be lived while we're here. I'm grateful for the friends who reached out and surrounded my with great energy and love. It was one of those things I knew I needed and knew would help me find some joy despite my initial resistance.

I reflected back to when days were always dark for me and times were always hard, it was when I felt like I didn't matter to anyone and that somehow the lives of everyone around me would be better without me. I'm grateful to have been emancipated from my own destructive thoughts. I've been extra conscious of expressing to those around me that they matter and doing my best to be as kind as possible to all who cross my path. We may not always know what others are struggling with, but we know how to treat people with care. 

Life gon life regardless, so focus on what matters. You being here is enough evidence that you matter. Mental health and wellness matters. Finding joy in everyday matters. And for me, sharing my experiences and reflections matters. I'm seeking my writing rhythm again, because being all that I was created to be matters.