No Clout November

An Ode to Genuineness and Authenticity

“Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.” - William James

We all remember the quote, “Be yourself because everyone else is already taken.” But what does it mean? What does it look like to live genuinely?

When I think of being genuine and authentic, I think of the words: open, real, humble, sincere, honest, candid, and true. All of these words encompass what authenticity means to me.

But why is it so hard to put them into action. To let yourself be completely vulnerable, exposed, and freely be the human God has designed you to be.

Its hard because we worry we don’t fit in with the status quo. As students and young adults, we’ve unconsciously developed subcategories where we place our peers and classmates in social groups based on how they appear on the outside.

It’s important to remember that all of these sub groups and labels are temporary. The legacy that you create is so much more than the clubs you’re a part of, how much money you make, what car you drive, or how many likes you get on Instagram. You are first, human.

Humans aren't perfect creatures. We have flaws, fears, tears, mistakes, but there is no need to hide those things. Living an open and honest life just shows that you’re a human in progress. Your growth isn’t stunted you’re simply uncovering your true self.

To this day I find myself asking why I struggle to find authentic and genuine people to surround myself with. But I’ve learned recently that when you show up authentic, you create the space for people to do the same. You show others that its ok to walk in your truth.

So this holiday season, start by giving yourself the gift of being unapologetically you.The right people will respond. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.

It’s okay to not be okay, but it starts with you owning it.



Address, Don't Repress

As much as who we are is a compilation of genes and traits from our parents, a lot of who are is a compilation of our life experiences and our responses to those experiences. It  is so easy in today's society to be disconnected from the truth of our emotions leading us to repressing the experiences we have. We have lost the essence of having the necessary conversations with ourselves that help us grow and help others who may experience the same trauma.

Repression of traumatic experiences are often manifested in unhealthy life practices and stunts the growth of the repressed.

Addressing the trauma of our past helps us acknowledge our pain and see where the broken pieces lay, and more importantly, a blueprint to put life back together and into your own hands. Addressing how you feel, even in your darkest moments will help you control how you feel about yourself and your emotions in the presence of a similar experience.

On the other hand, when you repress your emotions you yield all control to make a difference in how you feel about yourself and in how you interact with others.

Even if you need to talk out what you are going through to yourself in the mirror, do so and be honest with yourself about what you are feeling. There is no greater freedom than embracing the truths about ourselves, even the truths we have yet to accept.

Continuously repressing how you feel, debilitates you from truly experiencing and dealing with the emotions leaving them tightly bottled up, only to explode if left untreated.

Address the trauma you've experienced in the past, to move forward to build a healthier, happier you.


The Art Of a Good Girl’s Heart

As a Good Girl, so much of what we do is regulated by our hearts.

Sometimes we insist on getting praise for our strength and independence while we continue to neglect our heart and its condition.

We lose our footing in this terrain of self doubt and we look to other idols as our guide.

We are often taught that we are here to serve. But a woman's heart is capable of so much more.

The art of the heart is that it’s central.

Not only is it the most important organ that acts as the electrical system for the entirety of our bodies, but it is a symbol of the most powerful emotion.

Love.

There is something so fierce about a woman’s love. The heart holds this. With so much beauty to unveil, the pressure to have it all together can weigh heavy. One by one we place each burden on our shoulders as our heart begs for help.

Take a moment. Breathe. Listen to your heart.

It’s time to realize that it’s ok not to be ok. The rhythms of a good heart can beat off tempo from time to time. But the art of the heart is that it still beats. So brace yourself for an adventure. One that looks like restoration and release. It’s not always about finding out who you ought to be but discovering who you already are. A Good Girl. A woman who is home to a love so fierce and full of good. It’s irreplaceable.

A good heart drives a good purpose.  

“There’s no heart without the word hear, so I listened to my heart and it brought me here” - Unknown


God's Plan?

What if God’s Plan isn’t Mine? 

 Have you ever been blessed with something so great, that you knew God was listening? He had to know what you wanted and how you were feeling to grant you with something this big, but the fear of what may come with that blessing is what scares you…

 I’ve always imagined a life with no breaks, easy sailing, going to a job I love, and feeling empowered to change a world, that doesn’t always acknowledge me, but I still feel moved to do so anyway.

I’ve never wanted to be in a place where my requests were ignored, where I am fighting back tears as I’m opening the door to my job…I feel so selfish. God has given me everything I’ve asked for and I’m still not happy. I am in a position to do God’s work, but I feel so empty, pouring from a cup that has nothing in it.  

As a black women I feel like my superpower is resilience and humility. So why can’t I bare this storm? Why can’t I stay until the rain passes? Why is it taking so much out of me to be patient and trust him? 

 I’ve never been a quitter. Life may get tough but I don’t quit, but what do you do if your mind is mentally gone and your physical presence is still?

 What happens when you think you deserve more? What if this was preparation to get me into a better position? Maybe its not that I’m being ungrateful, maybe I am realizing my worth. Maybe I am worth everything my white counterparts receive, maybe there is a life that I won’t need any escape from. Maybe this was God’s plan but just not meant for forever? 

 I am here to let you know that even the biggest blessings have the scariest side effects. We always glamorize what we’ve been through, but no one ever discusses what we’ve been brought to. How we navigate a life that seems unfulfilled even after we get everything we’ve asked. Mastering the balance between being grateful but not settle. 

 If you’re trying to decide whether you should or shouldn’t pursue something. Pursue it, God doesn’t give you any vision that you can’t make reality. It may be scary, it may be hard to leave your comfort zone, but you deserve a life that you don’t have to call out sick for. A job that will hear your needs and meets them. You deserve so much more than what you’re bargaining for. We’ve been trained and conditioned to not complain about the scraps that we’ve been given because we could have nothing. But what if you exchange complain with hustle? You can get everything. 

 Trust God & Trust His Timing even more…

Let Me Cater to Me

The Power of Saying No in Your Relationship

It’s amazing to finally find someone you’re into and love being around. The two of you embark on a relationsfhip because you clearly see potential in where the relationship can go or what the relationship can bring.

It’s so easy to get wrapped up in the person you’re now involved with and it’s so easy for you to forget about other components of your life. For some, finding this person seemed like it would never happen, so you think it’s important to make sure you do everything in your power to keep the relationship thriving.

It’s important for you to let them know you are there for them every step of the way; you’re open to doing and being everything your partner wants and needs. I get it.  We’ve all been there.

But it’s also important for us to realize that we still must take care of ourselves and we still have to be capable of saying no. It’s important not to overextend yourself in your relationship and stand your ground.

It’s ok, to say “no I can’t hang out today I have to finish my paper” or “no I cannot pop lock and drop it tonight because I am exhausted”. There is no fun in feeling forced or obligated to do a certain task. We can’t be everything to anyone or everyone.

We can barely be everything for ourselves. You should be able to say no whenever you don’t want to do something for your partner and that should be ok. There will come a time when the roles will reverse, and they will have to say no to you. We have to put ourselves first in order for the relationship to thrive.

If we’re constantly overextending ourselves physically, mentally, and financially there will come a time where we are drained and frustrated. You can’t pour from an empty cup and because you’ve never said no, they’ll be expecting you to.

Set boundaries and stick to what you value while you’re in a relationship. This can help your partner learn who you are and what’s important to you. It’s important for your partner to know they have someone who takes care of themselves and puts themselves first. This gives you both a chance and time to focus on your passions and other goals without having to constantly take care of your partners wants and needs. It’s also a relief to know you have someone who isn’t a liability but an asset.

Whenever we are saying no in our relationship, we should be communicating why, so that our partner further understands us and doesn’t feel abandoned. When our partner knows where we are coming from with our decision it’s easier for them to understand instead of feeling a lack of inclusivity or support within the relationship. Saying no is not saying no to the relationship, just one part of it. Saying no is saying yes to you and your partner living your truths and being free to truly love and know one another.


Take the Trash Out

Ever feel stuck like the monotony of life is consuming you? Like you can’t seem to get through the mud after everydays storm? Being stuck feels like writers block to a writer, missing every lay-up or free throw to a basketball player and fumbling the ball to a football player. It's the most frustrating thing, but the beautiful part is that you have the tools to undo it. When we feel stuck and claustrophobic in the spaces that once felt like home, it's time to make some serious changes that may involve relinquishing some things. In the season that you find yourself stuck in, some vital spiritual work is essential.


1) Breathe--

You are going to be ok, this too shall pass. When I say breathe, I mean it. Close your eyes and with every fiber in your being, feel yourself in your skin and remember that you still have life in you to do something different. That breathe in and out is an opportunity, an opportunity to make things right, within and with others.

2) Clean--

Literally take the trash out. Clean your physical, mental and emotional space to make room for growth. Growth cannot occur in the space of clutter. Do what you need to do to make sure that your inner space is clutter free from distraction and fear of the unknown. Cleaning your physical space helps you rid your life of everyday clutter that slows you down, cleansing your spirit rids your mind of the distraction and defeat drawing you away from your purpose.

3) Check your spirit--

When your spirit feels stuck, it is telling you that something around you is not right and that something around you is keeping you still. To combat this, rid yourself of individuals whose presence demands more of your energy than they feed you. Having draining individuals around you will keep you stagnant. Don’t stay stuck holding on to those draining you of the very superpowers you have within, the superpowers you need to take care of yourself with.

4) Pray & Read Bible--

Pray and feed your spirit with the word of God. The word of God is your armor to fight against the distraction of the flesh. If you do not believe in God, get in touch with a higher power. Getting in touch with God or a higher power will help you gain an awareness of yourself that is quintessential for growth.

5) Journal--

In your journal, explain your pain, successes, plans and goals to look back at to see how much you have grown. This will give you an incentive for your hard work and will also help you process your everyday experiences in a healthy and expressive way.

No one can take your trash out for you. Do the things you need to do for you to be in a healthy place. Life will move forward, even when you are stuck so make the necessary changes to move forward right along with life.


Can Broken Crayons Still Color?

A Crayon.

Carefully produced to create candid conversations with its canvas. Soft wax at first, then hardened to form its shape. Characterized by a unique color and placed delicately in a box surrounded by others the same, yet different.

The task of a crayon can be trying, much like the task of being a black woman. Created uniquely, each with our own color. Crafted to design art.

Constantly used and handled, exerting energy toward the things that matter to us the most. The things that help shape our masterpiece.

Expected to create something new every time. One by one each burden applies pressure. Back and forth with each stroke we begin to dull, and eventually we break.

Immediately we rush to choose a new crayon. Comparing ourselves to other crayons, blind to the fact that we’ve each been given a purpose: to bring our masterpiece to life.

Don’t be deceived. Brokenness is beautiful. It’s ok to color outside of the lines. To peel our delicate paperback. To embrace every detail. Don’t ever be ashamed of the wear and tear of your heart. We are still created to create under any circumstance. Pick up your broken pieces sis. No masterpiece was ever created by an artist who gave up.

Broken pieces contribute to your masterpiece. Broken pieces make us who we are.

Broken Crayons Still Color.

What are you going to create with the broken pieces of yourself?