And If Today All You Did Was Hold Yourself Together, I’m Proud Of You

I saw this post on social media and I had to share it here. Always remember that you have the power within to overcome anything that comes your way ❤❤❤

DEPRESSION TIPS:

Shower. Not a bath, a shower. Use water as hot or cold as you like. You don’t even need to wash. Just get in under the water and let it run over you for a while. Sit on the floor if you gotta.

Moisturize everything. Use whatever lotion you like.

Put on clean, comfortable clothes.

Drink cold water. Use ice. If you want, add some mint or lemon for an extra boost.

Clean something. Doesn’t have to be anything big. Organize one drawer of a desk. Wash five dirty dishes. Do a load of laundry. Scrub the bathroom sink.

Blast music. Listen to something upbeat and dancy and loud, something that’s got lots of energy. Sing to it, dance to it, even if you suck at both.

Make food. Don’t just grab a granola bar to munch. Take the time and make food. Even if it’s ramen. Add something special to it, like a soft boiled egg or some veggies. Prepare food, it tastes way better, and you’ll feel like you accomplished something.

Make something. Write a short story or a poem, draw a picture, color a picture, fold origami, crochet or knit, sculpt something out of clay, anything artistic. Even if you don’t think you’re good at it. Create.

Go outside. Take a walk. Sit in the grass. Look at the clouds. Smell flowers. Put your hands in the dirt and feel the soil against your skin.

Call someone. Call a loved one, a friend, a family member, call a chat service if you have no one else to call. Talk to a stranger on the street. Have a conversation and listen to someone’s voice. If you can’t bring yourself to call, text or email or whatever, just have some social interaction with another person. Even if you don’t say much, listen to them. It helps.

May seem small or silly to some, but this list keeps people alive.

* At your absolute best you won’t be good enough for the wrong people. But at your worst, you’ll still be worth it to the right ones. Remember that. Keep holding on.

* In case nobody has told you today I Love you and you are worth your weight and then some in gold, so be kind to yourself and most of all keep pushing on!!!!

***People don’t fake depression.. they fake being ok.

Find something to be grateful for!

US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Hours: Available 24 hours. Languages: English, Spanish.
800-273-8255

Even on your worst days you are always worth love and respect. Don’t ever settle for anything less

Embrace Ambition Summit 2022

“Every women’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on”- Serena Williams

Tuesday, June 14, 2022 at Jazz@Lincoln Center, I had the amazing opportunity to attend this years’ #EmbraceAmbition summit. The Embrace Ambition initiative addresses the double standard that exists around ambition, which is often seen as a compliment for men and a critique of women. It is a one-day event that’s focused on overcoming the negative attitudes about ambition in women and addressing other harmful stereotypes that impact gender, race, and sexuality. Visionary leaders in Hollywood, business, science, entrepreneurship, and youth movements take the stage along with performances meant to inspire and empower. You must apply for a chance to attend the summit with an online application and essay about your own experience with embracing ambition.

Tory Burch

This year’s theme is “Confronting stereotypes and creating new norms” We came together to receive a warm welcome from Tory Burch followed by Comedian/Filmmaker Negin Farsad. She talked about the era of 2020-2021, Covid and how we were all able to maintain some sanity. Her humor and candor was refreshing.

In one of the morning sessions, ABC News Senior National Affairs Correspondent, Deborah Roberts, interviewed Melissa Hanna, Founder and CEO of Mahmee, Sheila Marcelo, CEO and co-founder of Proof of Learn & Jasmine Jones Co-Founder and Ceo of Myya. The title of the session “Women Entrepreneurs Respond”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 14: Deborah Roberts attends the 2022 Embrace Ambition Summit | Tory Burch Foundation at Jazz at Lincoln Center on June 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

Another session involved reclaiming our icons in history. Dolores Huerta, President and Founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation was interviewed by Rosie Perez, Actor and Activist. Conversation centered around Unconscious Bias and Conscious Leadership, which was introduced by the President of the Tory Burch Foundation, Laurie Fabiano. Rosie Perez and Dolores Huerta talked about activism and the need for women to have a voice. It ended with all women standing together and repeating the mantra “WE have power” “FEMINIST power” and “Si Se Puede/Yes We Can!”. Ms. Huerta joked that when she met President Obama she told him that he stole her phrase and he admitted that he did! We gave ourselves a round of applause and enjoyed a performance from Author and Poet Ian Manuel. Mr. Manuel was sentenced to 26 years in prison and spent almost half in solitary confinement. He was interviewed by Jacqueline Woodson, Macarthur Fellow, Author and Founder, Baldwin For The Arts. He recited his poem My Time Will Come; it was emotional and heartfelt.

During the 3rd session, there was a panel about The Stigma of Mental Illness. Samantha Boardman, M.D. ,Positive psychologist and Professor, Weil Cornell Medical College and Michael A. Lindsay, PH.D., MSW, MPH, Executive Director, McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research New York University were interviewed by Perri Peltz, Journalist and Filmmaker. It was great to have the conversation about depression, mental disorders and ways we can be allies/assist others or learn how to advocate for self.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 14: (L-R) Samantha Boardman, M.D., Dr. Michael A. Lindsey and Perri Peltz speak onstage at the 2022 Embrace Ambition Summit, hosted by the Tory Burch Foundation at Jazz at Lincoln Center on June 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Another highlight session was with Eva Chen, Vice President, Fashion Partnership at Instagram and Min Jin Lee, Novelist about Bias against Asian Americans. Both women discussed their personal experiences with the start of coronavirus and how the negative connotations with Asian Americans affected them and their families. Ms. Chen and Ms. Lee were able to share their viewpoints with some humor and reflect on how we can look forward to a future with diversity and respect.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JUNE 14: Eva Chen and Min Jin Lee attend the 2022 Embrace Ambition Summit, hosted by the Tory Burch Foundation at Jazz at Lincoln Center on June 14, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)

I asked the young lady sitting next to me if she would join me for lunch and she accepted. We introduced ourselves and exchanged contact info. Rozella White is focused on “restoring hearts to wholeness so that all can thrive”, she is the #LoveBigCoach, a social impact entrepreneur and inspirational speaker/writer. She is also a public theologian, spiritual life and leadership coach. You can read more about Rozella @ http://www.rozellawhite.com I had a great time connecting with her!

Icon Billie Jean King and Tory Burch sat for a conversation about sports and equality. I have added the video below for you to enjoy.

After closing remarks, there was a musical performance by Flor de Toloache and a session solely for cocktails and shopping Tory Burch Foundation merch. Attendees have time to take photos, and network with other attendees. It was mandatory to be masked up at this event but I can say it didn’t stop the entertainment and discussions centered on empowerment/awareness. I encourage anyone that may be interested in attending, apply early!& be prepared for a full day of awesomeness! http://www.toryburchfoundation.org

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for ALL women”- Dr. Maya Angelou

Prepared – Jill Scott

I been reading my old journals
Checking to see where my head has been
And I been apologizing to some people
Some bridges I needed to mend
And I been eating more greens
Getting my body alkaline, oh
I’m gonna be super fine
And I been lettin’
Been lettin’ some old ideas go
I’m making room for my life to grow
I just wanna be prepared, yeah

I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
I just wanna be prepared
Getting myself ready
For what’s comin’ for me yeah yeah yeah
I am (I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared)
I just wanna be prepared
(Prepared)

Hear me now
I been getting recipes off the internet
Most times they be banging
I realized they’re only good when I put
My lil’ spices all up in rices
I’ve been
You know I’ve been enjoying people who love each other
Husband and wife
Sister and brother
Father and mother
I let the queen inside
I let her shine
I been listening to God more
I been doing my chores

I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
I’ve been gettin’ myself together
For what’s, for what’s comin’ to me yeah
I just wanna be prepared yeah yeah yeah yeah
(I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared)
I just wanna be prepared
(Prepared)

For when I see him at the end of the isle
With that true heart and that real smile
Intentions pure
A love that will endure
I just wanna be prepared
I, I’m gettin’ myself together
For what’s comin’ to me comin’ to me yeah
I just wanna be prepared hmm
Oh
I just wanna be prepared

I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
Prepared
I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
Prepared
I just wanna be, I just wanna be prepared
Prepared

Embrace Ambition Summit 2022

The moment has arrived for The Tory Burch Foundation Embrace Ambition Summit taking place June 14, 2022 at the Rose Hall in Lincoln Center!

Apply to be selected to attend the in-person event by March 31, 2022 or enter your information for a free virtual ticket. The summit returns as a live and virtual experience -featuring conversations and performances from leaders in business, entertainment, science, social justice and sports.

https://events.toryburchfoundation.org/embraceambitionsummit2022

Update: I have been selected to attend! So excited!

Good luck & hope to see you there!

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

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