Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

When to Change, and When to Stay the Same

I love myself. I can’t remember if I ever didn’t, but I really love myself now.

There were times when I felt I needed to change. Those times were mostly because I was told so by someone else. Even then I wasn’t convinced. When I was younger, I was told I was too thin. I didn’t have any health problems, and I didn’t think I was too thin. Nevertheless, I gained weight. I didn’t to it to please myself, but to please someone else. I did quiet a few of these changes in my people-pleasing years.

There were times when I felt the need to change, and I did. I did so because I wanted to. The things I needed to change were the things about myself that I didn’t think served me or were not good for me. I changed my diet because I was not as healthy as I wanted to be. It was a personal decision. That was one of the first things I did at the resistance of those people I was trying to please. It was hard in the beginning, but I did it. All subsequent personal changes were a lot easier.

Sometimes you may need to make some changes, but they should be for your own reasons and beneficial to you. Trust your gut. You know yourself better than anyone.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

Deference

As of late, I have noticed that I have somewhat traded my voracious reading of books to binge-watching. This is a habit I am working to reverse, but I have seen some very interesting and thought-provoking series.

Currently I am watching The Crown on Netflix. I am fascinated by the idea of a limited monarchy, and I struggle to see its relevance. The idea of deference is what stands out for me. My character is instantly opposed to it. I find it difficult to show blind devotion to something or someone just because, but I know that it exists.

I am a parent to a wonderful 14-year-old son. When I think of any persons deserving of deference, it is parents, but we are not always deserving of it. We are all fallible, and I am not opposed to my son pointing that out to me. How are we to teach our children to think on there own if we don’t allow them to challenge things? I am not suggesting that parents not be in control of their children, but to allow them to ask questions and not to follow blindly.

I experienced such deference with an employee at my former place of employment. I had hired a man who was homeless and had very limited education. Needless to say, he was thrilled to have a job and I was even more thrilled to give him that opportunity. One day, I watched this new employed clock out and return to work. I immediately caught up to him to let him know that he is to be paid for all work he does and to not work off the clock. He responded by telling me that he knew he was not supposed to do so, but the boss told him that he had to finish the job for the day regardless of being close to overtime which he was also not permitted to have. The man then told me “You have to do what the boss says sometimes even if you know it’s not right”.

I was enraged and saddened. I was enraged because I knew “the boss” knew this man was so dependent on his employment that he would do anything to keep it. I was saddened because this man felt he had to do what he knew was not right because “the boss” told him so. Being the person I am, I a made sure “the boss” was reported and the the worker was compensated for the work he did.

My question is when does respect turn into senseless deference? At what point do you compromise your own beliefs and values in deference to something or someone?

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday, Uncategorized

Just Leave it Behind

There are some things we have to leave in the past if we want to have a different future.

That is a lesson that has taken me years to learn.  We can get so comfortable with past experiences that we make them our present and our future.

Many of us have lived through a tragedy, had our hearts broken, or been mistreated.  There is no reason to keep reliving those horrible moments.  Certainly those experiences have shaped the people we are today, but they don’t have to shape us in a negative way.  We should view those experiences as learning moments.

We often use past traumatic experiences to excuse our present behavior, but the only reason these past experience continue to affect us is because we continue to reach into the past and bring them to the surface.  If you have ever uttered the words “I am like this because_________happened to me a long time ago”, you are guilty of allowing past experience to shape your present life.  Stop creating issues and focus on healing and moving forward.  Learn from those experiences and make better choices for yourself.

If you were ever in a relationship with a dishonest person, don’t create trust issues.  Make better decisions on who you share your life with.  If you grew up in a household where accountability and responsibility were nonexistent and you can recognize that, don’t allow that to be your excuse to continue that pattern.  I admit that not everyone who exhibits a  certain negative behavior is aware of the reason, but for those of us who like to blame current behavior on past experiences, we know exactly what we are doing.  We know there was a problem in the past.  Let’s leave it behind and move forward.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

Attraction in Action

It is great to form good habits.  It is also important to have habits that serve a purpose.

I believe in the law of attraction, particularly in your thoughts.  There is biblical scripture about it as well.  There are some things that I do to enforce that.  I have a few tips that I feel keep my thoughts positive.

Life is unpredictable and there will be days that will challenge you.   Everyday won’t be perfect, but it is important to not allow your thoughts to linger in a dark place.  Often I use a few little reminders to keep my thoughts positive.

Persuasive Passwords

I like to make my passwords means something to me as a little reminder of something I want to accomplish or a goal I have set for myself.  It could also be the name of a country you have always wanted to visit as a reminder to yourself to plan for your dream vacation.  As you will be logging in many different devices and/or programs, this is a perfect opportunity to repetitively introduce positive language into your mind.

Gratitude Journal

I love journaling.  It is a way to organize your thoughts, brainstorm ideas, or just doodle and have fun.  I have a daily gratitude journal and I write down the things I am thankful for in it.  It is small enough to carry with me, so when something happens that I am particularly thankful for, I write it down.

Public Displays of Intention

I love inspirational quotes.  I display them in my office and in my home, but I don’t like for them to be completely obvious to everyone else.  Sometime I display them in different languages or in some code that only I can understand, but they serve a purpose for me.  They remind me to keep my goals in mind throughout the day and to stay positive.

 

The most important thing is to have periodic reminders to ourselves to not only look for the positive in all things, but to not lose sight of our goal and to to be in a constant state of gratitude and growth.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Think About it Thursday

Put it On to Pull it Off

I have never in my life been very traditional, but a few years ago you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me.  I have always loved all things bold and danced to the beat of my own drum, but I was afraid to express it.  I was, for all outward appearances, average.  I believe what the popular term nowadays is basic.  I was that basic chic who kind of looked like all the other women my age, or what society said women of my age, ethnic background, stature, sexual orientation, etc. should look.  I spent countless hours and several hundred dollars a year getting my hair professionally straightened, I never wore anything overly masculine or feminine, I always chose either contacts or a light brown pair of wire-framed glasses that said “I’m near-sighted, but professional”.  I was never to bold in my speech or my demeanor.  I was not too plan, but not too flashy.   Generally, I was nothing out of the ordinary.  I hated it.

 

 

I envied the beautiful women with big voluminous curls, and huge halos of cottony hair framing there faces.  I envied these women even though I had the same voluminous, cottony hair, but mine was chemically stripped of all its glory in order to fall in line with what I thought I was supposed to represent.  I envied the women with beautiful cat-eye glasses or horned-rimmed frames in bold colors. I envied their courage to step out of the ordinary and to be bold.  I wanted to be the kind of person who could pull that off.

As the years went on and I got older, I began to want to truly live my best life to the fullest.  That meant I had to be authentic and true to myself.  It started 11 years ago with my decision to stop straightening my hair.  As my hair was chemically straightened, I decided to cut the chemically processed hair off.  It was a big step as I my hair was rather long, but I was ready.  I really did not miss my hair.  I thought I would panic because I could never remember a time in my life when my hair was ever short.  I loved it!  I kept running my hands over my half inch curls and feeling their pebbly texture.  What I loved most about my new do was the ability to walk out in any kind of weather without a worrying about my hair being wrecked.

 

I got so many comments about my lopped-off locks.  People started rumors that I has some type of psychotic breakdown.  Some asked if I had been ill.  I also got comments from people who loved it, but my biggest critic was my mom.  She had jokes every time she saw me.  She bought me large earring and told me to always wear lipstick so I wouldn’t “look like a man”.  My favorite comment was ” You are the kind of person who can pull that look off.”  What??  Me?? I was one of those women??  Mission accomplished!!!

 

I was on from that point.  I got every pair of unconventional glasses I could find.  I have round Iris Apfel ones, cat-eye Shirley Chisholm ones, and big square Victoria Beckham ones too!  I also started to dress the way I always wanted to dress with no regard to what was expected.  Only what I loved and made me happy.

 

Just last week a coworker told me that there was a certain style that she wished she could pull off.  My advise to her was to just put it on.  Once you put it on, you are pulling it off.

I would like to challenge all of us to step out of our comfort zones and put it on!

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday

Intention

Intention has been coming up a lot lately in conversations with my friends.  Intention along with authenticity and integrity are the keys to living a life of freedom.  As I write this, I feel that is enough to say, but I can go on to how I came about this realization in my own life.

I have stated many times that I went through a season of unfortunate events.  During that time, I felt that I would never get a break.  It seemed one bad thing was happening after another.  I began to question everything.  I began to question my choices of friends, decisions, and commitments.  That is when I began to examine my intentions.  First, I began to look at my friendships.  I had and still have a pretty tight and small circle of friends.  I did not put much thought or emphasis on my friendships at the time because the friendships I had were many years in the making.  The friendships I had were over 20 years old.  I didn’t question those because they had lasted so long how could there be anything wrong with them?  It was not until my season of unfortunate events had ended that I was able to see the true nature of some of my relationships.  I began to notice that some of my friends were very present in my life when things were at their worst.  I got phone calls everyday. At the time, I thought it was wonderful.  I had a friend who was ready and willing to listen to my problems and I am thankful for it to this day.  It was what I needed at the time.  It wasn’t until my season of unfortunate events ended that I realized all the support, check-ins, and attention began to be replaced with something else.  I was then faced with out of nowhere confrontations, discouragement, and negativity.  All of this was confusing to me as I thought  friends would be happy for my life to take a much more positive and happy turn.  It seemed that every good thing I shared was quickly shot down.  Every new opportunity I shared was met with warnings and dissuasion.  Where was the celebration?  I thought friends would  be happy for their friends. It seemed to me that it was my misery that was attracting certain friends’ attention.  True friendship was not their intention.  There was some joy and comfort they found in my struggles, but not in my happiness.

As my life and the circumstances around it began to improve quickly and exponentially, that particular “friendship” began to weaken until eventually all contact ended.  Although the relationship has endured for well over 25 years, surprisingly, I didn’t miss it.  I began to realize that over the years there have been several instances when I was in a happy season, that particular person would find a reason to be absent.  That same person would come back into my life and seem somewhat disappointed when things were going well.  I also noticed that while I shared, participated, and supported my friend’s endeavors, the same was not reciprocated.  The absence of longing for that relationship was validation to me that that particular person’s intention was not in line with what I considered friendship.  My intention created what I had believed was a friendship, but the other person apparently did not have the same intention. To everything there is a season.  The same goes for relationships.

Now I am at a wonderful place and things are better and better everyday.  I am examining my intentions.  I am deliberate and focused.   Life is so much easier.  Decision making is effortless.  There is little to no back and forth in my mind as my actions are motivated by clear intention.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday, Uncategorized

Bound

 

There are so many ideas and beliefs that have been programmed into us.  We don’t usually realize how little influence we have had on our own lives.  We have been shaped by our environment.  I have experienced it and seen in in others.  I used to wonder how fascinating it was to see families, generation after generation repeat the same life patterns.  For instance, there is a family in my town of football stars.  As far back as my mother’s generation, that family produced star football players.  Every year a young man from that family is on the local news for their skills on the football field.  People say that football is in their blood, but is it more than that? Is it more than genetics?  Is it programming?  Could it be possible that that family’s influence has altered the DNA of each member and programmed those skills into each person?

I often wondered how every member of that family seemed to love football.  Why didn’t one of them choose art or excel in something other than football?  Were they born with that ability?  It is just something to think about, but I would like to expand on how our environments have shaped us.

My mother was a teenage mom.  She was a very good mom, but she had me at a young age.  Growing up I became friends with a group of girls who were also children of teenage moms.  By the time were had graduated high school, every girl in that group, except me, had had a child during or immediately after high school.  They too became teenage moms.  Not only that, their daughters also became teenage moms.  One would think that those young women, because of their circumstances, were bound to that fate.  That is not the case.

I wondered what it was about me that rescued me from the generational cycle of teenage pregnancy.  I still can’t put my finger on it, but I do remember that I knew I was not going to be a teenage mother.  I knew that was not going to happen to me.  I did not know how my life was going to be, but I did not see being a mother in my teenage years fitting into any plan I had. I just knew it in my gut.  On the other hand, my friends, as soon as they in high school began taking birth control.  Their mothers insisted on it.  I did not.  You would think with all of that added medically prescribed protection from pregnancy those girls would have been saved from what seems to be a generational curse.  Nope.  They all became pregnant.  I think the difference in their situation and mine was that their mothers constantly and relentlessly drilled in their heads that they were not going to get pregnant.  I believe in doing so, they placed an nagging and persistent program into their minds that gave them laser focus on that very thing. Is it possible that focus attracted a certain outcome?

I truly feel I did not follow the same path because I was not programmed into thinking that was a looming possibility.  I remember hearing my mother’s friends telling her she needed to talk to me soon as I was getting older and of that age when girls can “get in trouble”.  For whatever reason, that talk never came.  Instead she talked to me about going to college and how much fun that would be.  We talked a lot about my future, but my future did not come with warnings.  She did not fill my head with possibilities of me “getting in trouble”.  I wasn’t placed on birth control as a precaution. I was simply left to be.

Some people would say that my mother’s unwillingness to bombard me with talk of teenage pregnancy was irresponsible.  I say it was effective.  I would like all of us to think about the things in our lives that we feel are inevitable and to really think about why we feel that way.  Have we been programmed?  If so, we can rewrite the program.  We are not bound to certain outcomes.  We are in control of our own lives.  The past does not dictate the future.

Posted in Tea Talk Tuesday

Gratitude

I can’t say enough about the power of genuine gratitude.  Not only is it great for others to know you appreciate who they are and what they do, but it is just  a good feeling to feel gratitude.

When most people think of gratitude, they think of saying “Thank you” after getting something or and polite acknowledgement of something.  I’m speaking of a feeling, something that lasts long after the words “thank you” exit your mouth.  I’m talking about walking and living in a constant state of gratitude.  There are so many wonderful things in this world that we take for granted.  This blog post has the potential to reach people I would have otherwise had no opportunity to speak it to because of technology.  That is something to be thankful for!  The fact that I don’t have to hand write this post is a blessing (I have very difficult to read handwriting).  I have a computer of my own to make this post.  That is something to be thankful for.

Throughout the day, name at least 10 things you are thankful for.  It doesn’t have to be something grand or extravagant. Just see if you can feel gratitude in everything you come into contact with today.  Think about what your life would be like if you didn’t have it and feel those feelings of gratitude.

 

Posted in Morality Series, Tea Talk Tuesday

WAKE UP!

Photo Source :https://www.researchgate.net/figure/The-theory-of-reasoned-action-and-planned-behavior-Revised-from-Health-behavior-and_fig1_308784496

 

I recently lost a dear friend.  He and I had just recently reconnected.  We had communicated over social media, but hadn’t had any face time in a couple of years.  Two weeks after that reconnection, he was gone.  I won’t go into detail about the circumstances around his passing, but it has truly sparked in me a desire to connect with people on a level that may not be comfortable for me, but necessary.

This post is just to make people think about the world around them.  Oftentimes we are so absorbed in our social media connections, playlists, books, daydreams, etc., that we don’t see what is going on around us.  We don’t recognize when things are out of place or out of the ordinary.  We have become too afraid to ask questions or simply reach out and have some actual contact or intimate interaction.

Not everyone is okay even if they look okay. Take the risk of offending someone or embarrassing yourself for the sake of another’s well-being.  Put down your phone and observe your surroundings. Take the time to notice things and recognize when things are different.

I am writing this to say that we have become too accustomed to thinking of how things could go wrong if we were to take action.  We have also learned to value our perceived intentions more than our actual intentions. Trust your instincts.  You have them for a reason.

Posted in Good Stuff, Tea Talk Tuesday

Mommy Guilt

We moms can really do a number on ourselves.  We pile on unrealistic expectations, sprinkle on a little comparison and competition, and then criticize ourselves when everything is not perfect.  We also take ownership of things we have very little control over.  As moms, we need to give ourselves a break.

My teenage son wears braces.  He has been wearing them for almost a year now and I have been in a constant battle with him about his oral health.  You must be extra vigilant with braces as bacteria and lurk around in those hard-to-reach places.  I bought him a water pick, special mouthwash, special picks, and special floss.  Each time I would take him to get his braces tightened, the orthodontist would tell him to work on his brushing.   I would hear that and take that as a personal hit.  I felt I should be doing a better job of making him floss, pick, swish, and brush.  So each day after each tightening, he and I would go into the bathroom to practice flossing, picking, swishing, and brushing.  Each time my son promised to do better, but at his next cleaning he was told the same thing by the hygienist.  As she grabbed the mirror to show him the results of poor oral care I hung my head in shame.  Although he had no cavities or any other tooth decay, there was visible bacteria buildup around his gum line.  Then something else happened.  The hygienist then told him that his mother was not responsible for making sure he brushes his teeth properly.  Deep down I knew this, but it still did not stop me from feeling like a failure as she scraped away the ick from his teeth.  I felt relieved that this nice hygienist took the time to say those words.  It made me feel better having her let me off of the hook I had painfully placed myself on.

I intend to call back to let her know how much I appreciated her acknowledgment of something that I should be more conscious of.  Certainly as mothers we will continue to attempt to pick up our children’s slack, but we must realize that we aren’t responsible for doing all the things they are capable of doing themselves.