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I Keep/Still Here – Jill Scott

[Verse 1]
Some of them wanna break you down
Steal your crown
Use and abuse you
Some of them smile in your face
‘Cause they’ve heard it some place
You got more than they’re used to
Some of them want to steal your love
Oh, because they’re jealous of how you’re living
And giving

[Chorus]
I keep
Moving forward, pressing onward, striving further
I keep
Keep on laughing, keep on living, keep on loving, yeah
I keep
Keep on dreaming, keep on achieving, keep on believing
I keep
I keep smiling when I come through
And I cry when I need to

[Verse 2]
Some of them, oh, they stab you in your back
‘Cause it’s love they lack
Some of them won’t even try to see the good side

[Chorus]
I keep
Moving forward, pressing onward, striving further
I keep
Keep on laughing, keep on living, keep on loving, yeah
I keep
Keep on dreaming, keep on achieving, keep on believing
I keep
Ah, hey, oh, ooh, ooh
I keep, keep on
Keep on living, keep on learning, keep on smiling, oh yeah
I keep
Keep on laughing, keep on living, keep on loving, yeah
I keep
Keep on dreaming, keep on believing, keep on achieving
I keep
I keep smiling when I come through
And I cry when I need to
Oh yeah yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah yeah yeah
I keep on, keep on keeping on
Yeah, hey, I keep, keep on
Keep keeping on, keep keep keep, keep keeping on

STILL HERE

I am a boisterous river
I am a mountain story
I am a quiet feeling
I am a fragrant flower
I am a moonlit evening
I am a peaceful night
I am a writer’s thinking
I am a wealth unfathomed
And if you don’t recognize my presence, I am here
And if you don’t recognize me, I am here

I am a source of power

I am excited journey

I am a rock of patience

I am a whisper singing

I am unbridled freedom

I am the thought from thinking

I am a love unshattered

I am the great orgasm

And if you dont recognize my presence I am here

And if you don’t recognize my presence I am here

Kindness Always Comes Back

“Each one of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm, when we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other and empathize with each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.”- Dr. Maya Angelou

A Way Of Life

Queen, be a woman of integrity. Do the right thing, no matter where you are. Always do your best, even when no one is around to acknowledge it. Carry your brilliance wherever you go. Let everything you complete be of high quality. Take responsibility for your outcomes, instead of blaming others. Stand up for what you believe,even if you are standing alone. Be the first to apologize if you have done something wrong. As a woman of royal lineage, you are destined to be a great leader, and great leaders always take the high road. It may not be popular, easy, or convenient, but thats why we are extraordinary. It is time to make supreme excellence a way of life.

Excerpt from ” Unlocking The Queen Code”- Moseley Crawford

You Got This

I forgive myself and I release all the things that do not serve me now. One of the most difficult things to do in this lifetime for sure, especially considering how complex it can be to set apart things that may feel good but may not be good for you. Having your own voice will become a treasure for you once you realize that it is your right to speak and defend your thoughts. Im sure so many can remember the old saying that children should be seen and not heard. That saying has always rubbed me the wrong way as if no matter what is going on around us, if you are a certain age, it should be kept bottled up inside. Its OK to be you and to say how you feel. Knowing that others may not agree with you is just fine. If you can manage to get across a point in a respectful yet assertive manner, you may often be surprised that you gain more listeners. Having someone tell you they’ve never thought of it in the way you have expressed can be so valuable.

Im still working through “Unlocking The Queen Code” by Moseley Crawford. It is more like a personal workbook and at times, I had to put it down because it brought up intense emotions. I can’t stress enough how important it is to acknowledge any feelings as they come to the surface and process them, by yourself or with a licensed professional. One thing I am learning, even now, is that when you’re in a process of healing, you have to surround yourself with others that are optimistic and encouraging. “There’s hope. Are you a pauper or a superstar? So you act so you feel so you are”..one of my fave lyrics. It is truly based on your perception. You cannot go any further if you are stuck in repeating the same bad habits or behaviors. They feel comfortable but will cause more harm in the long run. Maybe no one has ever told you so, but in order to make progress, you have to be willing to listen to advice from those that you feel may live a successful life or somehow managing to go with the flow with hardly any drama. Seems impossible but it isn’t. I was recently given a book. It is called the W.R.A.P. and in it details instructions that many of us would call basic but very necessary in mental wellness. Simple acts of writing down a daily schedule can make all the difference. I really like how it breaks these tasks down so that you understand how to recognize when you’re having an off day or need to check in with someone else. Now I know you may think Oh ok I know when I’m not feeling good but what do you do about it? How do you handle it so that you can immediately change the course of events or feelings that have you down? We get so caught up in our lives that we have forgotten to truly take a moment to assess our wants and needs.

When you feel like you need to speak up about something that may be bothering you, go right ahead and do so. If you don’t feel like you can verbally express yourself at the moment, I would write it down. I am at a stage in my life where I voice my feelings and express my discomfort when need be. You should never feel ashamed to speak your mind. We , in our own unique ways, have so much to offer and we should never have to shrink ourselves for anyone to feel better. It takes time and a willingness to be uncomfortable in certain conversations but well worth the outcome.

Worthy – India Arie

I know exactly what you’re thinkin’
I’ve had those thoughts a million times
I can see the question that’s behind your eyes, oh
You’re searching for your peace of mind

Now listen up to this truth
You are me and I am you
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy

I know your life, I felt your pain
I know your joys and your shames
Sometimes it feels like life walks over you, oh
Like you’re a penny on the ground

But either on the ground or in your purse
The smallest piece still holds its worth
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy

Worthy of love
Worthy of life
Worthy of saying no when something don’t feel right
This is a song for you
For all the ups and downs that life will put you through, oh

Now listen up to this truth
You are me and I am you
Every one of us is worthy, yeah
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
Every one of us is worthy

Baby girl, worthy woman
(Every one of us is worthy)
Every one of us is worthy
Baby girl, worthy woman
(Every one of us is worthy)
Every one of us is worthy
Every one of us is worthy
Every one of us is worthy

Just One Of Those Days

The definition of melancholy: a feeling of pensive sadness usually without any cause. Ive been trying to shake off the blues for a few days now. I think I feel it more because I’ve been in the house since I’m not driving at the moment. I will be, soon. I will also register for the spring semester at Dutchess during the first week of November. So I’m just stuck in a transition I guess and feel blah. Also, I am fully vaccinated and with that I guess I thought I would have superpowers but nope not even a headache..lol. Lately so many negative thoughts have been coming up. And I’m thinking to myself ” what does this all mean? Why am I ruminating and beating up on myself for the past?” For the record, I have always been the glass is half full type of person. I find reasons to acknowledge the pain in others when they’re not on their best behavior because that’s what it comes down to. Most often, anger is just hurt. So often, its just a bad day for most and its understandable. I try to keep a gratitude journal and practice meditation but there are some days where it feels like nothing works and I am uninspired to say the least. I think what needs to be clarified is the fact that it is allright to have these type of days. Its natural and doesn’t take away from the person you are. Sometimes, we don’t feel like engaging in housework, or exercise. Later for that phone call or text. You don’t want to be bothered and you don’t want to announce it to anyone either. I get it.

I find peace in music. I have a genuine love for all genres so my playlist varies. I love old and new school artists and a close friend introduced me to a number of unknown artists that do not always get radio play and I have to admit, some of the best songs I’ve listened to. Its something about a song and lyric that speak to you and for you about any particular topic. Lianne La Havas has several songs I love. Here’s one I enjoy: Midnight but I recommend the entire album. Amazing that she has the same album done solo without any arrangements. Beautiful 😍

Many times, I find myself thinking about my life and how much progress I’ve made. I have come a long way but still have so much to improve upon. It’s one day at a time for anyone whose trying to succeed but lately with a global pandemic, it can feel overwhelming. I’ve never had a crowd around me or had a large group of friends. Even in high school, I remember having a “clique” that I ran with and I was just fine with that. I considered myself a “loner” in many ways. I found pleasure in reading novels rather than talking over the phone. There were times where I told jokes in order to take the attention off of me and make others feel more at ease. I guess I was afraid that if people got to know the real me, what I enjoyed in my spare time etc, I wouldn’t be “cool” or have as many friends. I loved to write as well. I kept a journal along with reading favorite novels. One of my favorite books was a series of books by Laura Ingalls Wilder called ” Little House On The Prairie”. As a young black girl from the south bronx, it would seem that I had nothing in common with Laura, but I could relate in many ways. Having two sisters and a brother as well as both parents in the household. I would become so immersed in the stories that I often missed my mom calling me for dinner. Another favorite of mine was Harriet The Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I often saw myself in Harriet, going around observing everything and jotting it down it my notebook. I never had time to “feel’ loneliness or wonder why certain friends and I weren’t chatty anymore. I had my notebook and I’d create short stories or poems about any and everything. Books can be a great source for a mental getaway. Currently I’m reading a novel by Bernadine Evaristo ” Girl, Woman, Other” I think I will do another post about the novel soon. Barnes and Noble and even your local library may bring some comfort. Its worth a try.

As I went to take my 1 year old puppy Remy for a walk today I noticed that my Brown Sugar Box arrived. This subscription is awesome. Every month it’s a shipment of various products that celebrate sisterhood, empowerment and I also love opening gifts so its perfect for me lol. This month featured champagne flutes, a wine stopper, always a different t-shirt and other goodies. Head on over to http://www.izzyandliv.com and see all they have to offer

I need to mention Remington of course! We call him Remy and we love him. He’s full breed Pekingese and full of energy. Its true that pets can be a great source of comfort. To watch him grow from 3 months until now has been great.

I believe that you should do whatever makes you feel better in regards to your mental health as long as its not a detriment to yourself or anyone else. If this means lounging in bed all day so be it. Allow yourself to feel. We live in a society that likes to place blame and shame for having moments of doubt , anger, anxiety or even fear. The key is your response to these emotions and how you can process them in order to get a breakthrough. Sometimes the work requires a third party professional and thats fine. If you are at that step and realize this, you should feel a sense of progress because asking for help is a sign of bravery. We talk about self-care but so many of us don’t realize how simple it can be. Taking a moment to do something just for yourself can be a mood changer. It can be as quick as an affirmation to acknowledge that you are not feeling like yourself.

Statements such as : I choose me!

Everything I want is everything I should have!

I choose to do great things today!

I love the skin I’m in!

I will think in abundance not scarcity!

I find that the second I start to focus on an action that will bring me back to gratitude I start to feel better. And ready for the next day., even if not all together overjoyed but the best part is that I tried. You can do it too!

Happy Birthday Melanie!!!

I have ALWAYS been a fan of birthdays. After all, it’s our own special day where we celebrate life and hopefully getting wiser with each year lol. As a child, I could remember the slumber parties and get-togethers at my place vividly. However, as the years passed, I noticed that I wasn’t as excited and somehow friends and family didn’t acknowledge my day unless I gave a hint or just said outright “Hey you know my birthday is in 3 days”. I made a big deal of sending cards, flowers, a phone call or text for others so there was this glimmer of hope that I would get the same in return. As it turns out the past few years, it’s been dry. And I ended up feeling blue on what I would definitely call one of the most important days in my lifetime. I would love to have a 50th birthday extravaganza but we will see how that ends up. In September, I started thinking of ways to spend my birthday alone and still have a nice time. I had an idea of my hair, outfit etc. I spent so much time thinking about my birthday that I started to feel overwhelmed. I was snappy at my daughter, I started to avoid texts and phone calls. I could feel myself becoming withdrawn. One afternoon, Sept 28th, on our way back to the house, I ended up in a car accident. It was sudden and did not see it coming. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt although I had a few minor bruises on my arm. The car was a total loss but compared to our lives, it’s all good. Ive just made a purchase on another vehicle and Im patient through that process. I didn’t feel the effects until afterwards, emotionally and physically. It is so true that when you go through a trauma usually the symptoms do not even show until later. Fast forward to a day before my birthday, I decided to go bald. I’ve done a big chop before so I wasn’t nervous about it at all. This time around, it was just a complete reset, I wanted to shed everything I was feeling and what better way than to take everything off. I was practicing gratitude but at the same time making a wish for something different or better to manifest in my life. Anyone whose ever decided to cut their hair can tell you its liberating. Especially if you’ve been used to growing out your hair and have some length to it. Its been a trend online for awhile now to Big Chop and so many are going natural. Honestly, I’ve been on both sides and having relaxed hair wasn’t such an issue for me until I learned about the effects the chemicals will have short and long term. It is a personal choice.

October 9th came in and at 12 am I was up playing a birthday playlist. From Stevie Wonders version , Tarrus Riley “Shes Royal” , Rihanna, Katy Perry. I had on silk pajama bottoms and a top and just had a private party, India Arie sings that song best. Throughout the day, I lounged in bed until about 5pm. Then I decided that I was going to the local bar, have a few drinks and head back in. It was a last minute thing and I just felt like no way am I gonna spend my day in this bed LOL. So I wore all black, indulged in some selfies before I left the house with my new crown I had purchased online from Emery Rose. Its beautiful!

I arrive at the bar and found a seat close to the door. I ordered a Long Island Iced Tea after much debate because I love my Amaretto sours but it has to be D’isaronno! I also received a birthday shot which was groovy. Lime juice, peach snapps & some other liquor I cannot recall lol. As I sat there, the owner walked in and wished me a Happy Birthday, Yes I told everyone 🙂 Two ladies came in from out of town: Omaha Nebraska to be exact. They ordered another shot and a drink for me. We started chatting and I started to enjoy myself. I needed something to eat so I ordered garlic parmesan wings. Those wings were GOOD During that time, I learned that they were on a visit to NY, one was an academic advisor and the other was soon retired. Both were hilarious and the sweetest thing happened, the bartender comes out with this hot chocolate chip cookie dessert and they start to sing Happy Birthday! I was like whoa is this really happening, these guys whom I don’t even know are acknowledging my day and celebrating me?! I just smiled and said thank you but I was so pleased and touched by their kind gesture.

I was asked my age and said a proud “44” to which everyone said ” OH you’re a Baby!” I thought that was so cute considering my teenage daughter thinks just the opposite haha. I didn’t stay long because at around 10 pm they take the chairs away make room for the dance floor and the college kids from Marist fill up the spot. We all exchanged info and as I walked into the house I thought wow this has been a better day than I even expected. I lit my birthday carrot cake and made a wish for everything positive to manifest in this coming year and for the strength to handle the stress that may come along as well.

As far as gifts, I was in the gratefulness mindset especially since the accident so I was happy that I was safe and sound. I did treat myself to an autographed copy of a book called “Unlocking The Queen Code” by Moseley Crawford. It’s like a journal/self-help book and so far, its been rewarding to jot down emotions and memories as they come up. I enjoy any type of motivational talks, books etc. There is a phrase which is mentioned through out the book called “heart” work not hard work and I like that. When you delve within and feel like you are struggling with varying moods, you can remind yourself that its part of the healing process.

Birthdays should be sacred and enjoyable, even if not loud. It should be a day to do whatever you feel most comfortable doing. Take the day to write a list of all the things you are working on, what you have already obtained and as a dear friend said to me that night ” Make your birthday what you want it to be !” I’m appreciative of this journey I am on and look forward to more moments and experiences along the way.

Touched By An Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free.

Dr. Maya Angelou

Affirmations for Race Based Trauma

Racial trauma refers to the mental and emotional injury caused by encounters with racial bias, ethnic discrimination, racism, and hate crimes. Since the murder of George Floyd and the protest that followed (BTW, guilty on all three counts #hallejuah) social scientists have provided insight on how racial trauma affects BIPOC. It’s a trauma that we […]

Affirmations for Race Based Trauma

I tried to find the words to express a little of how I am feeling this evening and once I read this young woman’s post, it sums it up very well. Thank you for your voice. Peace ✌🏾

Tory Burch Foundation

At 1pm this afternoon I was in on a Zoom call with Tina Chen, President & Ceo of Time’s Up Now & Laurie Fabiano, President of The Tory Burch Foundation. There were a few guest speakers as well including De J. Lozada, Founder & Ceo of Soul Popped Popcorn and Kristina Han, Founder and Ceo of Own Your Wonder. Todays Forum was centered on Child and Eldercare in America. Caregivers are the backbone of our economy, but the pandemic has pushed millions of caregivers, paid and unpaid, to a breaking point. We came together this afternoon to discuss how entrepreneurs can drive innovative and bold solutions to address the crisis. It was an inspirational session and I invite you to take action as well and join the Times’ Up Economy Business Council. Sign up here: https://timesupnow.org/care-economy-business-council/ to be a part of the first-of-its-kind business constituency group focused on recognizing and supporting caregivers throughout our economy and gender equity within the private sector.

I had the wonderful opportunity to join The Tory Burch Foundation for their Embrace Ambition Summit 2020. I have added the link here so you can view the article. https://abeautifulintellect.com/2020/03/08/embrace-ambition-summit-2020/ If you are a blogger, small business owner, CEO, or still have a vision board with future goals, I strongly encourage you to head over to the website and join the mailing list for updates and exclusives: http://www.toryburchfoundation.org. I have to share with you guys, it is an awesome network and team of women who are supportive and compassionate. I enjoy the many outstanding women I have met so far!

Fearlessly pursue your dreams. Embrace your ambitions- Tory Burch