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!

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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.