Thursday, April 9, 2015

Top 5 Happiness of the Week


This week has been beautiful! I have laughed, cried and smiled. I am sure there were many more emotions this week. My idea of happiness is where I can experience emotionally to people, art, smells and more either in person or through technology. I have noticed that I am very sensitive and cry or laugh when someone experiences pain, joy and are enlightened. It's beautiful really, connecting to life  and people on a different level. Well I had some awesome experiences of happiness and it has filled my heart with joy.

1. My number one H.O.T.W. hands down is Doves new campaign, #ChooseBeautiful. Oh my gosh I cried so hard. I looked at all these beautiful women as most of them choose Average. I was like what, oh no you are beautiful and it wasn't because of looks. You know how you can see someone and know if their personality, their spirit is wonderful or needs improvement well that is what I could see. My favorite person was when the mother and daughter were walking and the daughter tried to walk in average but the mother grabbed her and pulled her to the beautiful door. Reminded me of my mother who always said I was beautiful and I wasnt the best looking child but is stuck with me and I know that I am beautiful. Here is the video see for yourself.

2. My number is another video. These two cute girls had me ROLLING... I laughed so hard. They were screaming for their lives. I watched this at work and was like oops, I have to be quiet. I felt so bad for these beauties. But their pain was my gain, if you will.

3. My number three is making $150 in less than an hour. I facilitated a workshop called First Steps to Starting Your Small Business. The people weren't asking questions and I tried creating dialogue but I guess they were getting enough information. I wanted to have conversation yet these people wanted to talk after so then I was ready to go home but they kept asking questions. Ah well making $150 that hour was amazing, believing I could get used to those kind of payments.

4. After seeing another shooting and killing of an unarmed black man named Walter Scott I was heartbroken. I expressed my concerns with my world AKA Facebook. I needed to get my happy up and saw this amazing post of a young girl right here in my town, "Mounds Park Academy (MPA) senior Munira Khalif has a tough but awesome decision ahead, after being accepted to all eight Ivy League schools. She is also wanted by Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Minnesota (U of M)" I was thrilled and so excited for her. I was like now here is some good news to share. This is really touched my heart and needed to spread some joy in the midst of all the madness. Wishing her all the best!

5. My last but not least H.O.T.W. is creating new memories with a few special people. Absolutely love this new opportunity to experience happiness in a new way. Spent the whole weekend with this cool, down to earth family. Helped unpack and just kicked it! I am excited to see where this goes.

Well that is my 5 for this week!

What is your 5? Let me know! Would love to share your joy!

Please feel free to subscribe and share!

Peace and Love,

Thriving After Divorce: Reflections on Depression in my Marriage

As I reflected on my life in marriage, I see so many times where I was depressed and didn't seek much help. I did not know I was depressed. I thought I was just sad or unhappy. I began drinking more wine and just wanted to be alone. I didn't want to visit anyone in fear that they may ask how the marriage is and I didn't want to lie.

I felt like I could not get a divorce and that the church and others would look down on me with disapproval and shame. So I did what most people did which was try to make it work despite everything going against it. I truly do believe that the enemy hated our marriage because there was so much potential and damage in a good way that we could do together. I saw that potential and I wanted to make it work. My prayers was like it aint what it looks like it has to get better God! But deep down I wanted out.

I would post a lot saying how much I needed a break from life or a get away. I was serious. I wanted to get away to regroup. Then it started becoming pseudo suicidal thoughts, I did not want to die but I wanted a break. I thought if I ran into that tree, I could get a break. I secretly wanted to be in a car accident or that something bad would happen to me so that I could get a break from life but not permanently.

You have to understand, I was everything for everyone else and in my last blog, I said that I lost me. I really was angry and paranoid. I had a full time volunteer job at the church, full time job, trying to keep the house happy and clean, cook healthy meals participate in family events and more. I hardly had time to focus on me and what I wanted. I was too busy to comprehend that I was depressed. I thank God for His protection and keeping me close even though I felt like I was just the walking dead. I felt like I was just existing and not thriving.

I was lonely. I couldn't talk to my ex-husband and I was scared to reach out to anybody else in fear that they would judge me or tell me some nonsense that would not help me at all. Some that I did reach out to would just shrug it off and say oh it will be alright. I felt like I was yelling at them and saying IT IS NOT ALRIGHT! No one could see what I saw and that made me feel so alone. I was scared to tell certain people because they would be like girl you need to just leave him, you deserve so much better. I couldn't find that perfect help. Until I took it up with God.

I am telling you the peace that I got the few months before the "I want a divorce" and after, only God can do that sort of thing. He was giving me dreams that were terrifying at first but after it was all said and done I knew it was God's warning before destruction. So I was not in shock, I was not heart broken, I was not angry I was relieved.

Depression is so real though and many people do not realize they are depressed as they are going through it. Many are trying to reach out and are screaming with their actions and not their words. One thing I am working on doing as I heal and understand me more is understanding how and why I am feeling what. I am learning how to be in-tune with my emotions and feelings so that I will be able to fully verbalize it with out fear.

Many people believe that in order to know who you truly are you have to be on this solo journey of self-actualization. I believe that you really don't know who you are until you are in deep relationships with people. You can say you will never do something or if someone did something to you, you know exactly what you would do, but I think that is a flat out lie. I think you begin to find yourself when you can go in deep or not so deep with people/relationships. Your initial reactions when someone tells you something you were not expecting, how you act when you and the other person are at odds or in favor with one another. You say you want a specific lifestyle and when the opportunity presents itself you thought you knew exactly what you would do yet you do the total opposite.

Maybe you are depressed or know someone that it depressed or maybe you have no clue, visit this site to help you understand depression.

Have you been in a similar situation as mine? Share how you conquered or in progress to conquering depression or any other mental illness in your life. Any suggestions for me moving forward?

Thank you for reading! Stay tuned for more.

Peace and Blessings,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Thriving After Divorce: Why I Took Back My Maiden Name

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

I am a firm believer that names should mean something and by something I mean greatness. So many people are out there naming their children made up names which in some cases deliver no purpose, no drive. Mohamed Ali started calling his self The Greatest long before he was great and EVERYONE began believing and calling him The Greatest as well. I heard a saying, it's not what they call you but what you answer to.

When I was a Girl Scout Leader, my favorite activity was "What does your name mean", we would go around and tell how we got our names and if we knew the meaning. For those with "special" names, we created meaning by having the students pick words that started with each letter. They often times picked strong and powerful words that they aspired to be or characteristics that they possessed. They were always so proud to share. It usually set the tone of the group for the year. Someone just yesterday found the example I created for myself and sent me a picture of it!

So I had been waiting to get the court documents which would allow me to go to the Social Security Office and change my name. When it finally arrived I was thrilled. I ran straight there to get my name changed. I sat for an hour to be seen. The whole time I waited I kept thinking, I could have changed my name to anything. So I decided to come up with different names. the one that stuck out was free bird. I think of myself as a bird, free-spirited graceful as I SOAR through the wind, rain, and storms. Birds are dope as they care for their young and protect them from the predators. FREEBIRD that is me, I will consider that my native name like Running Bull. Finally it was my turn the man said these are not the official documents. I was crushed. I went home moping because I just wanted my name back so bad. I did not want any connection with my ex husband.

I had contemplated if I wanted to keep the name or get back my own. My aunt said, "Why not, you don't have any kids by him!" That helped me out a lot. So back to my maiden name we go.

I began thinking, with his name, I became someone who I did not know. I tried changing things about me so that he would like/love me more. I did things differently, I shut myself out. I became a stranger. I did things I would never do. I became paranoid and anxious. I was angry all the time but most people would not be able to tell. I was very unhappy. I had changed my name for him, moved in with him, changed churches because of him took on roles because of him and I really lost myself in him which was something I vowed never to do. You never know what you will or won't do until you are in that situation.

I wanted me back so badly. Not the same old me but the improved me. I grew up so much in my marriage and there were situations which made me a better me whether it was a bad or good situation. We have to learn how to take and understand everything that happens but toss out things that will hinder us from progression. That is what I am doing as I take on this journey, "Thriving After Divorce" I am seeking my happy place. I am seeking me back. The happy, bubbly, positive, carefree, goofy loving me. I hated being angry. I hated being paranoid. I thought I was going crazy.

I had to take my name back as sign of power and completion. I played a role outside of me and completed that "TEST" in life. I took back what was taken away from me unfairly.

I am so excited to have my name back. The awkward part right now is when I correct people or say my "new" last name, they say congratulations, they think I just got married. I take the congratulations as, "Congratulations on thriving after your divorce, taking back what is rightfully yours, and doing so so beautifully and gracefully." The fact that I did not act out of my own character despite all the madness and crazy antics I still was me, yea the storms were coming down hard beating me down but I took control of only what I could and that was me. That storm, people would have thought the ugliest and most damaging storm, but I saw it as pure beauty! I am truly thankful for that 2.5 year storm I call marriage.

I couldn't be like Tina Turner unfortunately... she is a good reason to keep the name, it became her image and who she was.

Have you gone through a divorce? Did you change your last name? Why or why not? Let me know!

Well stay tuned for more...

Peace and Blessings.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Living in the Moment Part 1

There had been  point in my life where I was so carefree, no obligations and loved to live! I saw beauty in everything. I would not get mad or angry I would just learn from it and move on. I had so much energy where I wanted to go go go. I wanted to explore the world. If I had the opportunity and the everything aligned right I would take it. I hated feeling stuck in something that was not producing growth in different ways. When I felt that way I had to break free.

"I was not scared to enjoy life. I was not scared to take risks. I was not scared to love hard. I was not scared to be me. And then I got married."

Everything changed. I had to check in with someone about everything. I could not just get up and travel the way I wanted because my money was no longer just mine. I got heavily involved in church and was involved over the youth ministry, was the only soprano on our praise and worship team that sang every Wednesday and Sunday, office administrator and wife of a minister. If I was going out of town I would have to be back and be at church on Sunday.

My vision for my marriage was to pretty much enjoy life together as a team, like really experience it, build a life of meaning and purpose and it was not happening. I began to feel really stuck and not feeling like myself. People at the church expected me to be and act a certain way and I felt attacked and criticized in a way that pushes people out of the church. A little about me, I am pretty much a black, "proper-speaking" hippie and I went to to an urban church so I stuck out big time and it felt like all eyes were on me. 

Because of that, all the things I was doing at church and work, the many issues in my marriage, my prayers began to change. I was asking God for a release of some things and to shift some people! Well God answered my prayers, not the way I had a imagined it but I am so grateful. When you get a divorce there are some things one spouse keeps and the other has to give up. My ex kept the church but I kept my lifelong friends that I made at the church. So I realized the release and shifting of people was me, I was moved out and I am no longer at the church leaving me with very little responsibilities and of course the divorce.

With the wonderful release, I am so thrilled to get back to me and really being me with no apologies. I remember this guy named Freud he looked at me and said, "Cicely, why are you always smiling?" I said, "because God is good and life is good." I had experienced a lot of negative things in my life and my friend  Margeaux would be in awe because I stayed happy despite all my circumstances. Life is just too short and I really want to live!

I have been given another chance to really embrace my explorative self and to not take life and people for granted. I feel sad for people who can only see as far as their current situation. I felt sad for me because I had all these dreams and visions and I was stuck. But not anymore. I am not scared to live or take risks or love hard. If the window of opportunity opens up and other things align right then I am going for it. I may fail miserably or get hurt badly but I rather feel that pain rather than the pain of what ifs and not knowing. 

I am still that same woman that got interviewed for a job in Miami Friday morning, got excepted Friday afternoon, got there Monday the day before my birthday with only $250 in my bank and no where to stay! But it all worked out and stayed for two years!

I am getting back to my lively and bubbly self! I am taking pictures of things I find that are beautiful in everyday life. I have reached out to more people and have sent encouragement to those who need a little extra love. I love to make people happy and laugh and because I have found my happy I can do that for others.  

I read something where it said the live in the moment and I will enjoy every moment. I am going to take opportunities that present itself to me that will make me appreciate life, love and people more. I am going feel the moments and create lifelong memories that I can share with my future children. This lady just told me over lunch that a 16 year kid fell sick out of the blue and over the next few hours became paralyzed and then his body shut down and died. He nor his family knew that he was sick but just like that he died. 

It just makes me think that all this hoping and wishing that I and others do will just stay as hopes and wishes and then life ends. I do not want that for my life... 

Stay tuned for part two of living in the moment... 

If you liked this, please share in hopes to encourage someone today

Peace and blessings,

Monday, March 23, 2015

Top 5 H.O.T.W- Happiness of the week 3.21.15

I am starting a thing called H.O.T.W. which stands for Happiness of the Week. There is O.O.T.D, Q.O.T.D. and more. In my journey to Thriving after Divorce one of the main things for me is to be happy with things going on around me. I do not have a hard time doing so but being more intentional to my thoughts and how my feelings are connected to those feels good. So many people rely on PEOPLE, spouses, teachers, parents etc. to make them happy and that is not how it works. I tried that the first 1.5 years of my marriage expecting my husband to make me happy... I realized that if anybody is to make me happy it is myself. Towards the last year of marriage, I began to do things that made me happy. I am all about enjoying experiences and doing things so I knew that my energy of happiness would come from events and activities.

One thing that I really enjoy is a nice glass or two of wine. It is the taste, the smell, the experience and if I am around people its the laughter and conversation. So I started a wine club. A group of old coworkers quickly became coworkers and their friends and just being around a bunch of amazing women drinking, I mean TASTING the many wines was amazing! We fell off and yep gotta get that back going!

Another thing that I started doing was Vlogging. I love to talk and feel like I have a lot to say for the most part. I struggle because I am trying to find my niche... Not everyone can be beauty vloggers...

So as I continue my mission for happiness I will be doing H.O.T.W and please share yours on my Twitter, Facebook and this blog. So let's get started...

Top 5 H.O.T.W.

  • Empire Season Final- I do not condone fighting but for some reason I was tired of Miss Boo Boo Kitty and was so glad when Cookie yea beat her down. I am glad it is over too until next season. I have never been so anxious for a show in 10 years. This is the first show and I was like I need to watch. I did not like how it controlled me. But I was glad Andre's wife came back! YES TO MARRIAGE but NO TO ABUSIVE MARRIAGES! 

  • Raw Chocolate Vegan Pudding- I made this after a salty lunch and I was like OH MY GOSH. I did not add the vanilla because of my Daniel Fast. I got the recipe from OhSheGlows  I sauteed sliced bananas in coconut oil and cinnamon and topped it off. It was amazing. I let my mom try and she is very picky but she really liked it. I suggest you try it out. 
  • Amazing friends- Had a slight anxiety attack over some really childish stuff and my friends really helped calm my nerves and really showed me some things. I am so grateful! Learned that I could not trust some people in my face but that is all good! My home girl Alaina was in town from L.A. and Soliel, we all went to lunch and had some awesome girl talk. MUCH NEEDED! 
  • Week 1 of this Daniel Fast- Giving up coffee was the hardest thing for the first 2 days. But I am good today at least. I do want to enjoy some coffee soon. But this Daniel Fast has turned into a cleanse and if you ever been on a cleanse you know what I mean! But I love to cook and all week I had been cooking so many new recipes. I love all the time to myself where I can just cook creatively and eat. And it is healthy too so that is a plus!
  • Being Creative- I was going to buy a picture of this wine bottle because I love wine! But I was like wait a minute I can do this! Yep I tried it! Not the best but I like it and it was really calming- healing for the soul! What do you think?

Well anyways! I am off to enjoy The Remnant who was nominated for a Stellar Awards! I am excited! 

Let me know what some of your H.O.T.W.'s were and let's start a new movement! 

Please comment and share!

Peace and Love,

Thursday, March 19, 2015

An Ode to My Lover: Read with Caution!

An Ode to my Lover
Awaken by your sweet smell lingering through the house- I crave you, I want you
Imagining my lips wrapped around waiting to taste you, I crave you, I want you
The warmth of you sliding past my lips, flowing down my tongue as I experience each flavor you give on every part of my tongue
I crave you every day, I experience you in many ways and I love it. I never knew love to be so addicting. 
You are somehow connected to my happiness, when I get you my whole world lights up as the smile on my face spreads so gracefully
Strong and Black you are... but I am open
Sweet and nutty your boldness comes through
I didn't realize how addicted I was to you until I couldn't "HAVE" you
It's been five days since I felt your warmth and I miss you
My attitude has changed and I am going through withdrawals
Counting the day till I can get my "hit" I am a fiend for you- I crave you, I want you
Maybe this detachment is good for right now as I find myself with out you
Just know I crave you badly I want you
My Coffee lover 

I bet you thought I was talking about a man huh! GET YOUR MIND OUT THE GUTTER! 

So I just started the Daniel Fast with my home church. My aunt texted me asking if I wanted to do it with them and I said sure. Did not realize that I could not have my lover everyday. I knew that would be the hardest part about this fast. I kept having these self defeating thoughts and would have to take it captive so that I could really battle this thing. I am a firm believer in enjoying whatever in MODERATION. If something begins to control you then it needs to be put back in its place. And I am putting my coffee addiction in its place.

I am telling you, I was not a nice person until I had my coffee and once I had my first two sips a smile would automatically be plastered on my face. I knew it was a sad situation.

The first day was HORRIBLE... I had the worst headache, straight up throbbing. I had to squint my eyes to focus. I felt like I was super incoherent when talking with people. I was not understanding what was going on. I even snapped on someone. I went to sleep around 6:30 for a few hours woke and then slept the whole night through.

The second day I was tired, I could not focus. I was dragging. I could not work on a specific project for long and I was like OMGEESSHHHH. But I survived still a bit confused at life lol!

Here it is Day 4 and I feel so much better. I am back to laughing and getting a little more to my bubbly self but I am not all the way there. I hope that I can continue my life without the NEED to have coffee. I still have 17 more days left on the fast and I am excited to see what else I learn and unlearn as I seek God and healing and self in this fast.

My coworker came by my desk and I loooked at her all excitedly and told her I am writing something sexy. She asked, "Did you drink coffee?" I said, "No but it's about coffee." She said, " Nothing is sexy about coffee"


Well anyways, I gotta get back to work... shhhhh

I will keep you posted on this wonderful journey of mine!

Peace and Blessings

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Thrive After Divorce: Officially Divorced!

It was Dec. 9, 2014 when I told my aunt, "I think my marriage is over" which was a few weeks before he admitted that he wanted a divorce. I remember going to the movies with a friend about a week after and saw my pastor and first lady and they asked where he was and I was like, "It's over" It isn't like I wanted it to be over but deep down I knew we have exhausted this relationship.

The year leading up to the grand finale, I had seven dreams and knew it was warning before destruction. I knew something big was happening and I did not know what at that time. I could see through those dreams, our hearts for the marriage. I had a sense of peace as the next few months, prior to "THE END" I was so comforted by God.

The official divorce decree was Feb. 9, 2015. But it has been 3 months from that first day of realization. It was so weird because I had been with the same man for almost 4 years and just like that it was over. There was a lot of counseling sessions and conversations between us. Like all marriages we had our share of problems not the end of the world type problems but they were there.

My divorce was not really broadcasted. I did not tell "FACEBOOK" until this week so no one really knew unless they talked with me often. You know how it isn't official unless it is on on the Book.. ha ha ha..

I had been visiting my family church where I grew up and I did not want to attend because I knew there were going to be many questions. I sat next to this lady one day and she asked to see a picture of my "Husband" and I do not think she heard me say we are in the process of getting a divorce. I showed her anyways. Then I made it more clear that we were getting divorced and she said, "Oh don't do that!" with a frown. I was a little offended because I am like you barely know me and you don't know what I have been through. I just smiled and said, "Yea, it's happening" and put my eyes back on the preacher.

Other people at the church was like, "when are we going to meet your husband?" I think in my head, we have been married 2.5 years if you haven't seen/met him yet then that might be a sign. I laugh and let them know, oooo it did not work out!

What is funny is the different responses between black church folk and white people. The white people are all congratulating me! I am like huuuhhhh ok... But it wasn't like that for everyone! But God put a group of wonderful people that has been nothing but healing for my heart.

Another thing that had been healing, I did this thing called WRITE IT DOWN, MAKE IT HAPPEN and I created a list for 2015 of things I want to do. Here are a couple:

  1. Attend 5 NON CHURCH related events- I have been to the Ice Castles in Eden Prairie, I went to a play, and other things.
  2. Go out of Town 3 times- I went to Nashville which was the best thing ever! It had an ice storm however and the town pretty much shut down but had the best time. 
  3. Spend MORE time with my family- I can say that when I did get in my marriage I got "BUSY" with my marriage, church and work. But before then we always hung out. So I have been hanging with my cousins and aunties. It has been great! Looking forward to all of our adventures to come. 
I am excited to check off a lot off my list as I explore life through a different lense.

A quote that helped me, "I am NOT divorced, divorced is an event, I am SINGLE" I have always had a little thing with the word. It sounds like a bad word. So yes, I went through a divorce and it is ok. 

Well stay tuned for more!