Friday, January 30, 2015

7 Lessons from 7 Years of Locking my Hair

7 Lessons from 7 Years of Locking my Hair

December 2007 is when I made an appointment to loc my hair. So many people were against it. They said, “You change your hair too much to have locs in your hair” or “You wouldn't look right.” All the neigh-sayers were all wrong. I lasted 7 years and I looked so good! I had to put down a non-refundable deposit too.

As of January 2015, I removed my locs and now rocking a natural fro! Learning how to work with it, learning a lot too!

As I sat for a week combing out 160, a bit thinner than a pencil, locs there was a lot of reflection going on. I tried to have a “Rock Out with Your Locs Out” party where people come and help me take my locs out. My Aunt and cousin came at 10 pm and took about 6 locs out! All the other 154 locs I did by myself and had many of thoughts floating. I thought about the past 7 years and how my hair has taught me some life lessons.

1)      What you envision may not become the perfect reality. I started locking my hair from a shoulder length fro so I was ready for some shoulder length thick locs. When done, these little tiny shriveled up locs was laid out on the shape of my head. I was embarrassed because I wanted my longer hair to show.  I wore a scarf for a few days and then decided to embrace it. Reminds me of relationships, new jobs, starting college, moving to a new town and you had envisioned such great things and you were so excited but then when it came to pass it was nothing like you imagined. The girl or guy turned out to be crazy, new job had more tasks than you expected, starting college you did not think realistically about the cost and the new town was not greener than the last. But you either have to learn how to embrace the changes or move on.

2)      Just because they start at the same line and it looks like they are running the same race, they are not. Someone may have more speed, maybe it is in their genetics but either way someone is moving slower or faster or even in a different direction than you. This guy and I started our locs around the same time and they were around the same length however all of a sudden he had a huge growth spurt and I was still rocking little baby locs. I was like what the heck. Different genetics, finances, living situations and so much more attributed to the differences and I learned to accept that.

3)      The ugly stage is where you grow the most. Oh my gosh I could not stand my hair in that 2/3 year. It was at a point where I could not do anything with it. I almost gave up. But usually when you are in an ugly stage in life you do the most growing. For some reason you pray harder, you read the bible harder, you study harder you find ways to get through your ugly stage. I played with my hair learning how to maneuver different locs to do different things and eventually my ugly stage became my growing stage.

4)      Patience, patience, PATIENCE! I was going for length;that was my goal. It did not get long till about the 5th year. But prior to that there were so many times when you want to give up which leads me to my next lesson…

5)      Breakthrough comes after the tough times. Every time I wanted to cut my hair off because it wasn't achieving what I wanted all of a sudden my hair would hit a different stage and I fell in love all over again. Reminds me of relationships. You are in an ugly stage in your relationship and you just want to give up and as soon as you try to throw in the towel breakthrough happens and you fall back in love with your boo.

6)      Know that when you are envying someone else someone is envying you. I wanted my hair to look a certain way. I wanted my life to be a certain way based on what I see others had. I wanted it but then people were praising my hair, my life and I realized that people are looking at me with hope and that I should really focus on me and live the life that will encourage and inspire.

7)      Learn how to work around the flaws. NOTHING IS PERFECT. You can try to get as perfect as you want to be yet there is always something that is just not right. For example I had a patch of hair fall out in the back and I started about 11 baby locs but I always hid them because I was embarrassed by them. They were right in the back and I sat in the front row at church. I was so self-cautious it didn’t make any sense. But I learned how to work around it. Made sure they were well taken care of and did styles that would not put them on blast.

I felt like the 7 year mark was a sign of completion. A lot was going on and I wanted and needed change. I believe your hair holds a lot of stress and mess in it and cutting them off was a more spiritual thing for me. So here is my bonus lesson… Learn when to let go; learn when your time is up. So many people hold onto things for so many reasons. The best way you know when your time is up in a situation is when you are at peace. When you look back and smile rather than cry. My loc journey had completed at that time. Who knows maybe I will loc again at a later date. But I feel free and good.

Thank You for reading.

Peace and Blessings,

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Exploring in the kitchen: Banana Ice Cream DAIRY FREE

Two things about me, I am lactose intolerant and have a gluten allergy. 
My latest exploration is turning frozen bananas into ICE CREAM! 

Check out my latest video! 

If you have any suggestions for my hair I would GREATLY appreciate it! 

If you try the ice cream let me know how you like it! What toppings and other ingredients did you use?

Peace and Blessings, 

Exploring in the kitchen: Vegetarian Tacos

I have been so busy these past couple of weeks with work and this women's group I am involved in that I will be singing and speaking at. The busyness has had me eating on the go and what that usually means is hardly anything. I cannot eat much fast food due to the Gluten Allergy and I am a very picky eater for the most part. I really enjoy cooking and experimenting in the kitchen and I recently have been able to do some really simple things that is healthy and easy to make with my busy lifestyle. 

Last night I was craving tacos but I did not want meat. I remembered that I sent my First Lady a recipe to try for vegetarian tacos but I could not remember when and where I sent it. So while I was waiting for her to find the recipe, I googled vegetarian tacos and was locked on this roasted corn and bean taco. What is funny is that she sent me a link for roasted corn tacos as well! I was like it is fate! 

So I was at Trader Joe's gathering my groceries for my tacos and they were having a sampling for this "Game Day" snack and it was awesome. I was like this could be a part of my taco filling! So with those few recipes, I came up with my little rendition of all of them. 

My Vegetarian Gluten Free Tacos
The Ingredients

  • Black Beans
  • Jar of Salsa
  • Frozen Bag of Roasted Corn
  • Quattro Formaggio Cheese or Any other cheese that you prefer
  • Veggie mix
  • Corn Tortillas

First I poured the can of black beans in a medium sized pot
Next I poured half the frozen bag of corn and and some of the veggie mix in a pan and sauteed it in olive oil

Then I poured the whole jar of salsa in the veggie mix.

Then dumped the mix in the medium pot with the beans.

I love avocado so I decided to slice it and add that. And VOILA! Veggie Tacos.

They were the bomb. I had enough for lunch and dinner again. 

Instead of the tortillas this would make a great chip dip, burrito filling and even as a chili. It was so good. 

If you try it out or have a different way to do it please share! 

Talk with you soon!
Peace and Blessings,

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Doing more of the things I love... No Resolutions..

Disclaimer: I cannot find this article and when I do I will share it. :( 

It is January 8th, how are your resolutions going? Still strong, dwindling, GONE? I know we all have hopes, goals, dreams and resolutions as we take on this new year. I read an article before the new year and it said, that we are doing resolutions all wrong. Resolutions aim to fix things. Find everything wrong with you and fix it.... How many of you succeed in fixing what is wrong with you? "I aim to fix my weight, I am to fix my  my bank account so that I have enough money at the end of the month, I am going to fix the habits that I do not like- smoking, biting my nails, etc." Yes, I know if something is broken you should fix it but do we dwell on it?

I was teaching youth and a Team Leader for an organization and the students pronounced things a certain way. I was taught that when you are correcting something, you gently correct it and move on. Just know it will take more than one time to correct it but it is different than dwelling on it. For example; the word strawberry, the kids were saying SKrawberry and the tutors would spend twenty minutes making the kids repeat it correctly. I can imagine them now with a nervous tick because of all the pressure and emphasis on fixing it.

Well anyways, how many of those resolutions go out the window by the 2nd week of January? Or did you even start it? I know that is me! I intended to fix my weight and eating habits and uh... yea!

The article went on to read that we focus so much on what is wrong and we lose sight of the things we love to do, the things that we are most passionate about. One thing I have noticed with me is that I do better when I am happy or joyous. Like I love good food and if I am not in a good mood I eat horribly but when I feel good I enjoy preparing my food and putting good, healthy foods into my system.

I then thought, Yes! No more resolutions and I will do more of the things I love. I asked people on my Facebook what they will do more of this year and a few wrote: Reading, spending more face to face time with people, Yoga and other things. I was like Yyyaassss Hunni! Great way to redirect your
attention on more of a positive way to do things.

For me, I love to write so that means more blogging and maybe that book that I have been trying to start. I love cooking and eating healthy food- I am excited to find cool recipes and enjoy eating it. I miss reading so I will definitely read more. I love music and I will play it more!!! I just got a bluetooth speaker and it is awesome. I love my family and so I will spend more time with them.

What do you love to do? What are you passionate about? Can you redirect your honest efforts for change to focusing on the positive?

What will you do? Please comment below!

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Peace and Blessings,

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Thriving After Divorce: All Things New on New Year's Day...

January 1, 2015, New Year's Day, I literally started life over.

I moved into my new place Jan. 1st, and woke up a bit stressed. Everything seemed to go wrong.

I was waiting on my mom to get to the storage facility to meet everyone one that was so "willing" to help and some of those people forgot. I get to the storage facility and they are observing the New Year and will not be opening until noon so I have to tell everyone to take their time now. So then I was like let's try to get the keys to the place and I did not want to be a bother but I called and text and no answer for 30 mins. I was stressing out and I had to stop myself and tell myself relax Cicely everything will be alright. My stomach had been hurting and I was like I need to let go of the stress and feeling like I have to control every little thing.

I was driving and the song Moving Forward by Israel Houghton popped into my head and I had to have a concert in my car. I was singing, "You make all things New... I will follow you forward..." Oh God that helped so much knowing that God will never forsake me or leave me. Realizing that He is a HEALER and makes ALL things new! I was like thank you Jesus.

I kept thinking about all that had happened and the song kept ringing in my ear saying, "I'm not going back, I'm moving ahead. Here to declare to You my past is over in You. All things are made new, surrendered my life to Christ, I'm moving forward..." If you ever had needed a message to bring you back to God's best for you, this will help you!

I was starting over, a new life, new people, new church, new expectations, new goals, new dreams, new reality, new reasons, new me...

I am now on a path to find who I am in God and what He wants for me. I do have a few plans and we will see how that goes. I just know that whatever I do I pray that it Glorifies God and is a blessing to others!

Things are shifting in my life and I will give God all the Glory and Praise even though my situation makes me want to cry, I know that God has so much in store for me!

My biggest question over the past month has been: How will God get the Glory in all this? I was like God HATES divorce and that Divorce is not the will of God but in three situations, Adultery, Abuse and Abandonment... No matter what I know that God will show up and show out and God WILL get all the glory, praise and honor.

God is present and my prayer is that He keeps me close especially during this challenging time.

Have you ever wondered How God will get the Glory in a messy situation, did He show you is POWER? If so please share! Thank you!

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Peace and Blessings,

Celebrating Christmas all the up's and down's

I may not have received the divorce on that day however I was in the stages of filing for it. I was staying with my mom and a couple days earlier was like a movie that I had no control over. It was like I was watching my life unravel and couldn't believe this was happening to me. I just wanted to breakdown, cry and fall out, but my SUPER STRONG Aunt said, " No crying until we leave!" My family and I were going to get the last of my things after things got really ugly. I just wanted to run away but that was not possible at that time.

My family around me was like Cicely, is this yours? I was like huh... I swear I do not think I was really there and it was all a dream. Woke up the next morning emotionally and physically drained and had to call into work.

I was in flight mode, preparing for what I did not want life AFTER DIVORCE. This phrase kept coming up in my head, " Who knew forever was so short" I had hopes for a forever love, a family with this man, starting a ministry with this man, traveling the world, learning and growing together. My hopes and dreams quickly came to a halt. It had only been two and a half years and people based on my Facebook page thought we were the happiest people on Earth yet with all that happiness came a lot of pain and hurt. I wanted to work on it yet we both struggled to stay happy and then just like that it ended.

I do not want to talk much about my marriage or my ex-husband online because the purpose now for this blog and vlog has now turned to Thriving after Divorce Happens. I was one where I did not believe for ME in divorce and was planning on, "till death do us part" and "for better or for worse" but it happened.

I can be honest I might be in denial and suppressing my feelings but hopefully I can really grieve and accept the fact that my marriage has ended.

I stayed with my mom and hung with my family and feel like I haven't grieved my marriage and that I was just living day to day. I have been distracted by the holidays and being around family which helped me for the time being. But now I live alone and am going to have to deal with self. I did a lot of caring for others and now it is my time to take care of myself.

My top fears while going through this is:

  • Going insane- there is a movie that plays in my mind and sometimes it goes crazy and I do not want it to come to reality. I have had some panic attacks which is no fun. 
  • Being alone- I have not lived by myself for the past 5 years and I enjoy companionship 
  • Really going through my feelings- I tend to suppress how I feel and I know it only leads to destruction yet I do not like crying and feeling vulnerable. 
  • Giving into flesh- Scripture says, Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. THE SPIRIT IS WILLING, BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK
I will be blogging and vlogging my experiences so please feel free to give me some encouragement, advice, etc

At this point my divorce is not final but it is happening and I tend to take care by many different avenues so stay tuned! Maybe you are going through, have been through or taking precautions, whatever it may be I hope this will be a blessing for you!

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Peace and Blessings,