Letting Go in 2018

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Photo Credit: denmeditation.com

I am so grateful for this blogging journey. This month marks my 1 year anniversary since embarking on what has been a beautiful experience. With that in mind, I am looking forward to all that 2018 will bring and the amazing things I will be a part of. I want to say thank you to each person that has followed my journey thus far and welcome to those who will join me this year. I am really looking forward to 2018. Why you ask? 2017 was hard and stretched me in every way possible. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. Just the whole 9. There were so many moments where I was just ready to give up on it all. I was exhausted, burnt out, and was consistently looking at God like ” Okay what gives? What lesson/s am I supposed to be learning from all these things happening and seemingly happening all at once?” I wasn’t sure what to expect for 2018 but I was holding steadfast to my faith but I now know looking back with hindsight it was God’s grace and love that brought me through. Some of my darkest days, my hardest, saddest, unbearable times riddled with nights of anxiety, insomnia, and days battling depression and not knowing or quite understanding why a lot of my days felt like a longer remake of Ground Hog’s Day.

 

I knew God was doing something in me and hadn’t left me but I just couldn’t make sense of it all. Then it hit me    The Holy Spirit tapped me on my shoulder and was like ” Hey you’re carrying on a lot of things I never meant for you to carry, and definitely not on your own” I knew God kept giving me fresh breath in my lungs  DAILY because someone somewhere needed what I had to offer. I had a purpose that I hadn’t yet realized.  Someone somewhere  needed the new strength that I’d grown through a very tumultuous year. And I couldn’t give up on myself or my dreams and heart’s desires because they hadn’t materialized yet or be taken under by the cares of this life and neither can  you.

So I am here to share and encourage you to let go in 2018 anything that keeps you from becoming your best self. I’m definitely into numerology and I realized that 2017 (the number 7) was the number of completion and God unbeknownst to me at the time was completing a lot of things in me through a very interesting molding process.  On the flip side of that 2018 (the number 8) is a year of new beginnings. Beginnings cannot truly begin without letting go of something and certain things having a proper ending or closure.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

 

Here are some of the things I am letting go of in 2018:

  • I am letting go of the idea of letting go. No matter what I face I will remain a resilient woman committed to moving ahead and keeping my faith and the hope that that produces close to my heart.
  • I am letting go of regrets. I spent a lot of time in 2017 being unnecessarily critical of myself for all the things that I  wasn’t instead of celebrating  everything that I was becoming and all that I already was.
  • I am letting go of the weight of fear, anxiety, depression and the pain associated with such and embracing the abundant life that I know God has prepared for me and has given me full access to.
  • I am letting go of overthinking and analyzing and trying to control every outcome and allowing all the good God has in store for me to just naturally flow to me.
  • I am letting go of unhealthy expectations, thought patterns, and beliefs.
  • I am letting go of people, places, and energies that I have outgrown realizing that as I approach life with  a hands open mentality I will be able to receive and give all that is intended for me to give and receive.
  • I am letting go of disappointments and understanding that they are all a part of God’s divine direction and plan.
  • I am letting go of anything that keeps me from being the complete and whole woman that God intended for me to be from the point of my creation.
  • I am completely letting go and allowing myself to be free and to walk in that freedom.
  • I am letting go of diminishing actions, words, and beliefs and celebrating all that is amazing about me and the life I’ve been gifted.
  •  I am letting go of replaying past pains and hurts and staying stuck because I allow those things to keep me glued to a moment or instance or incident.
  • I am letting go of defining myself with any measuring stick that does not align with God’s Word and truth about me being fearfully and wonderfully made.
  • I am letting go of my life and putting it back in God’s hands, the true masterpiece curator.

I pray that this inspires you to keep going and to never give up on yourself because there are such amazing plans in store for you! I want to encourage you today that when you let go of the version of your life you struggle and strive to make fit  you give God free access to make and mold your life into  the masterpiece he planned it to be long ago!

What are some things you are letting go of? I would love to hear from you!

Eating Healthy on a Budget

We all want to eat a little more health conscious and with increased consciousness of mind we wish to treat our temples as best as we can. But we definitely aren’t trying to break the bank or spends insane amounts of money doing so (a trip to your local grocer, Whole Foods, or health food store uninformed and ill prepared can certainly have you emptying your pockets relatively quickly. I speak from experience folks) So here are some tips to assist you in living the healthiest you can and to arm you and assist you in making the most financially savvy and health conscious choices possible.

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Photo Credit: GIPHY
  1. Plan your trips accordingly. I currently shop for the majority of my food once a month and try and cut and freeze everything that I can. I have a strategy of eating fresh produce first and everything else that can be flash frozen and stored next. I usually try to limit my grocery store trips so that I am not making multiple trips unless I actually NEED something. Plan your trips according to your household size, needs, eating patterns, and convenience.
  2. Prepare a list based off your meal prep and favorite snacks. I absolutely recommend making a list because it’s the impulse buys that will throw your budget completely out of whack. Nothing wrong with an occasional splurge but if it doesn’t fit into your meal prep or pantry or fridge staples you may want to leave it behind or ask yourself if it’s a need or a want.
  3. Meal prep. Meal prepping will not only save you time and money but it allows you to know what you are eating, plan your meals and snacks out, and keep you from getting off track and just buying takeout or eating fast food all the time. Additionally, it will allow you to mix and match with different foods and flavors to keep things interesting and may help you discover foods, herbs, or spices you never knew you would love.
  4. Check out the ads and compare prices BEFORE shopping. Knowing what’s in season and the normal price for various produce can save you TONS. Checking out your local coop, farmers market, or indoor markets is also a great way to stock up on fresh produce and save.
  5. When you can buy fresh produce,  but frozen veggies and fruit  are always a great substitute and contain the same nutritional value as fresh produce. Additionally, shop around for whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, etc. Sometimes the organic store brand of some pantry staples is cheaper and similar in taste to your favorite name brand version.
  6. Buy beans and lentils in the bag and season them yourself. If you soak them for a few hours prior to cooking they are really tender and hold flavor like you wouldn’t believe. Plus, they are much healthier for you than canned items.
  7. Stay away from canned items whenever possible and items in fruit cups or anything processed. Good rule of thumb: If you can’t pronounce it or it sounds like it could kill you don’t eat it.
  8. Experiment with herbs and spices to add flavor to your favorite fruits and veggies.
  9. Try different cooking methods such as roasting, baking, sauteeing, and grilling.
  10. Buy a water filter or a pitcher that filters your water and experiment with fruits,  veggies, and spices  in making your own version of your own favorite flavors of infused water. You can use these to substitute for juices or sodas.
  11. Try out different varieties of herbal tea if you still want some flavor and can’t quite make the drastic switch to infused water just yet.
  12. Freeze your favorite fruits for a sweet treat. You can also make your own homemade ice cream with your favorite, frozen fruits,  favorite type of milk and spices.
  13. Pack leftovers from your meal prep and take them with you to work for lunch. If you get bored easily like I do with eating the same things throughout the week, make two meals that don’t require a lot of preparation or use ingredients that can be paired different ways like beans, fresh veggies, grains, protein (animal and non-animal) and store them in portable containers.
  14. Zip seal containers will become your best friend. You can use them for your leftovers, storing pantry staples, snacks, etc. Mason jars are also great for food storage and overnight oats.
  15. Shop the outside aisles as much as possible. That’s where all the REAL food lives.
  16. Don’t shop when you are hungry. Self explanatory.
  17. When you can stock up on your favorite pantry staples on BOGO and with a coupon. If the store runs out ask for a rain check and you can get that same item when they restock at the same price.
  18. Coupons!!! Most stores will allow you to stack their coupons as well as manufacturer’s coupon and any other applicable savings, so do your research and plan accordingly with a strategy in mind. I shop Publix and the indoor market for my fresh produce and mainly my meat (when I eat it) from Publix, my household items (tissue paper,  laundry detergent, dish detergent, little snacks, etc) from Winn Dixie because of the gas perks and all my toiletries from CVS (yayyy Extrabucks) Sounds like a lot but you would be surprised how much strategizing will save you money.
  19. Be aware of what things cost. Just because a retailer tells you something is a deal doesn’t make it true. DO YOUR RESEARCH AND BE AWARE.
  20. Be open to trying out new foods, vegan and vegetarian meals, meal types from other countries or with different flavor profiles. You may surprise yourself with all there is out there that tastes amazing and is HEALTHY to eat!
  21. Shop ethnic markets or foods. The flavors are explosive and you are guaranteed to get more bang for your buck!
  22. Organize your freezer, fridge, and pantry so you don’t buy things you already have and can take inventory of what you are actually using.
  23. Invest in a  good blender, spiralizer, and/or crock pot/slow cooker. Try out them and thank me later. LOL.  But seriously these are great tools to slowly add to your kitchen tool arsenal and that will encourage you to try new recipes
  24. Try out and research new recipes. There are so many resources online and via email list serv.
  25. Prepare and drink your own veggies via smoothie. Experiment with your taste buds but my go-to staple for green smoothies is a mix of kale, spinach, frozen, mangos, and peaches, almond milk, and protein powder of choice. But only your taste buds can tell you what works for you. This is a great and EASY way to get a full serving of veggies and fruits in early in the day. The earlier the better so you can burn off the sugar from the fruit.
  26. Most of all have fun! You are creating a greater YOU and what’s not to love about that?

healthy eating

3 ways to silence your inner critic and celebrate yourself

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Here it goes again.  That little pesky voice that always undermines every SINGLE thing you do. “You probably shouldn’t eat that” “You’re not enough for….” ” You’ll never…” ” You might need to lose or gain weight” ” Why can’t you be more like…..”  And the list and  go on. While a little self reflection definitely allows you to assess whether you are actually moving forward to those things that are vital for you to accomplish, too much introspection can be nothing but a perfect recipe for disaster and blows to your self-esteem, self-worth and self-image. A plain old sneaky culprit of self hate.

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Here a few quick tips to encourage kindness to yourself and embrace the fact that you are a wonderfully worth individual who can and WILL manifest all the amazing things you are working hard for.

Actually celebrate yourself and eliminate all the negative self speeches and talk

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

Have you ever realized that it’s super easy to point out and celebrate all the amazing things you love about other people but extremely hard to highlight all the things you love about you? Take some time each day to love on yourself and be excited, proud, and motivated about all the amazing things you have done, are doing, and will do. There’s going to be enough negativity attempting to invade your head space, and pull on your energy without you adding to it. Make a physical list of all the reasons why you are amazing, deserving, and enough, post them somewhere you can see them, and speak those affirmations to yourself until they become reality to you. Because they are real and most of the stuff you are thinking that’s negative isn’t. Additionally, evaluate whether there are certain things you are allowing in be it people, places, shows, things you read or ingest that are contributing to those feelings of low self worth.  Evaluate and remove or replace accordingly.

Evaluate whether that negative thinking is true, kind, or positive

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

As I stated earlier, sometimes self honesty is needed to get to where we want to go and figure out what’s keeping us from getting there. However,  I honestly believe we sometimes don’t take enough time to asses whether all the thoughts we are having are true, lovely, kind, or positive and if they even are reflective of our true identity.  Often those thoughts tend to be reflective of  things we’ve picked up along the way,  and CHOSEN to believe about ourselves. You can always choose your thoughts and if a thought doesn’t line up with your goals, energy, and what you are trying to manifest,  just reject it and send it on its way.

Cut yourself some slack and KEEP GOING

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

Rome wasn’t built in a day and you won’t be either. Give yourself a break sometimes. Why undermine yourself and all your hard work because it’s not to the point or vision you desire? You’re well on your way as long as you keep going and don’t give up. Keep dreaming, keep working, keep believing, keep loving yourself through the process, and be proud of who you are and who you’re on the way to becoming! Every day indeed won’t be beautiful or Instagram worthy,  but celebrate each little accomplishment and remember there’s purpose on your life, a pulse in your wrist, and breath in your lungs, so you might as well roll up those sleeves because there’s work to be done!

The only way that work stops being valid and far from completion is by listening to a voice that says all the reasons you can’t instead of all the strengths and victories that say you can! You’re wonderful, you’re here, you’re powerful, you’re enough, and that’s that!

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Photo Credit: GIPHY

Wellness: I’m fit but am I really living well?

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Photo Credit: freetoflywellness

 

With increasing research supporting healthier food alternatives and active lifestyles, the world has been turned on its head in terms of wellness, health and fitness. In fact, I am pretty proud to say I’ve been living a pretty health conscious lifestyle. I live for a good gym session and a good kale and spinach smoothie and veggie wrap or veggie stir fry. However, even with all that fixing of my physical health and eating habits I can’t help but think does my spirit fully reflect the work that I am putting my outer self through?

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Via GIPHY

I mean it’s great to be physically fit and to truly care for your temple but sometimes I have to admit that I am tougher on my inner me than I probably need to be. BUT to combat that I have been being intentional these days about being kinder to myself and putting into practice some #selfcare and being mindful especially when it comes to my thought life. Because let’s be honest it will not do me or anyone else much  good to be the strongest woman on the outside but  to be constantly struggling on the inside, or battling with negative self talk or things that don’t align with what God has to say of me.

So in an effort to practice being more healthy spiritually, which is directly related to your mental health and wellness, I’ve put into practice the following:

  1. Meditation (both on affirmations and the word of God)
  2. Intentionality of my thought life.
  3. Laughing with family and friends.
  4. Reading good books or listening to uplifting songs, podcasts, Youtube sessions, or any other similar media outlets that are good for/beneficial to my soul and spirit growth.
  5. Fueling my body with veggies, fruit, and essential vitamins and nutrients that will boost my mood.
  6. Exercising regularly.(heyyyy endorphins and good feelings!)
  7. Fighting negative emotions or spirits vigilantly.
  8. Celebrating myself, my accomplishments, and all the amazing things that are happening in it and focusing on those things.
  9. Focusing on what I want to be and how to get there, goals, the goodness of God and the progress I’ve already made.
  10. Counting my blessings.
  11. Living my life like it’s GOLDEN! (Shout out to Jill Scott!)
  12. Realizing all days aren’t going to be picture perfect but taking it all in stride and finding in the words of my best friend “my happy” and realizing my peace, joy, and contentment comes from God and flows outward from that place and is not dictated by circumstances or situations but by my identity as HIS cherished daughter.
  13. But even if I do have an emotional day or moment, not LIVING in that space and finding the courage and strength to keep moving past that.
  14. Being transparent with those close to me and realizing that those closest to me are built for helping me on my life journey.
  15. Self care (washing hair, soaking in the tub, eating my fave treat foods WITHOUT GUILT, dancing, taking a nap, whatever may feel right in that given moment and that contributes to getting back to a balanced place)
  16. Serving others and taking my eyes off myself.
  17. DOING NOTHING. (Despite what this world tells us or tries to feed us, sometimes rest/stillness is a beautiful thing)
  18. Taking a walk outside.
  19. Encouraging, pouring into, complimenting someone else and talking to a perfect stranger, giving someone else a smile or a bit of hope.
  20. Cooking/meal prepping, reading about new recipes and types of food
  21. Hanging out with family members, friends and loved ones and enjoying the simple things.
  22. The occasional burst of retail therapy.
  23. Foodie/ travel adventures
  24. Walk in confidence and realize all is well with my soul
  25. Call on my alter ego Ms. Thang (every woman has that part of herself she calls up when she needs that extra oomph)

Not an exhaustive list but this is what came to me offhand.

What are some of your favorite wellness promotion activities? Feel free to share! I would love to hear!  In the mean time take care of yourself and remember there are billions of people in the world but there will never be another you with all the gifts and talents God has imparted to you to share with the world so be WHOLE and WELL!

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