If it seems like, it is- an open letter about where I am

Take this as my State of Self Address. Perhaps one of many, maybe an army of one. If it seems I have changed, know you are not mistaken. It is my right to do so but also a necessity to maintain the light that resides within. If you feel I have reached out to you, moved away from you, come to your aid, given or retracted my support….I HAVE.

Two years in the making and now dawn is here. It has broken over my life much as the sun blazes its fiery arrival across an early morning sky. I need, I feel, I want, and I will emote. There is beauty and breath of life in the process- trial, tribulation, perseverance, resolution, release. Help is not shameful it is a gentle lacing of carry on drizzled over the whole of a soul that is pulled taut with doing it all alone. If I need you, you will know now. If the sun isn’t as bright today I will not flex my Michelangelo to make it so for the benefit of others. The tourniquet, the flow impeding barrier that is the never ending want from others, is undone. It got me nowhere fast.

If you’re reading this, find your own happiness. Because I’m too busy working on my own to carry you through life. If it sucks, change it. If you hate it, stop doing it. Want it? Take it. Yep, that sounds exactly like those motivational posters and speeches. I constantly live it. It is much, much easier to throw in the towel and give up. Blame someone else for my inability to achieve. I did myself a favor by starting to own my part in situations. It breeds a habit in you of shutting the hell up and working harder. I’m about my business and minding my business….I’ve seen quite a bit of success since.

My phone is quiet. Facebook messages pretty bare. I go out rarely. My bills are paid, I sleep well at night, I bought a new car, and the relationships I have invested in wholeheartedly are flourishing. Only reach for me if you have something to contribute. If friendship is a business deal as much as a soul pact to grow the holiness of being oneself. Let’s exchange soup recipes and business plans, dreams and honest opinions about politics, advice on professional development and new musical muses. I want to be the TIME Freshman class-something to offer the world, offer others, provide for myself.

Support. Grow. Connect. Or kick rocks, cool?

Simplicity

A gaze out a car window whilst the warm, gentle touch of your lover encompasses your hand.

The ice cream truck showing up and you have perfect change

Remembering ‘i’ before ‘e’ without having to recite the saying

No phones during a meal

A strong gust of wind blowing through your hair in that refreshing, empowering type of way

Sunday afternoons.

Free samples at the farmers market (simple yet a huge win)

floral dresses with a-line skirts

Removing a bra after a long day….

Simplicity  is the carefree conglomerate of all the small things that make existence shine more than usual.

 

Boundaries

Boundaries Post

 

 

We are taught that you are not supposed to throw people away or impose rules over how and in what manner they can approach you. Taught that if something is going wrong in any type of relationship you should volunteer your mental health and emotional bank account to rectify it.

That’s wrong. It takes a long time to unlearn but it is well worth it. People are in your life for reasons and seasons. Audit your personal interactions and see where you stand. Is that emotionally expensive friend worth it? Do you REALLY want to meet their parents? No? Guess what? You’re not obligated to continue with the charade. Yes, for awhile you’ll feel guilty but for the rest of your life you’ll feel free.

Now this is not to say that anytime there is trouble in the proverbial paradise you should mic drop and dip. In light of that I want to introduce you to a mechanism so powerful and revolutionary it cannot even be monetized! What is this miraculous thingamajig you ask? BOUNDARIES. Yep, good ole “stay in your lane and mind your damn business” juice. Take note this is infinitely harder than telling someone to kick the bricks.

Setting boundaries and communcation go hand in hand in every aspect of life. You wouldn’t let that slack mouth coworker of yours question your life decisions, why are you letting your wife’s mother? That single parent friend who insists they are the oracle of child rearing….the best friend that really is just a slack ass mooch. Any of these sound familiar to you? There is everything right with letting these individuals in your life know that although you respect their right to have an opinion you aren’t obligated to care. Right after that let them know you are more than happy to make cuts to the team if they aren’t trying to help the cause (the cause being your journey to success and your happiness). Sit back and watch how they switch up.

We love the people we surround ourselves with, hence them being called loved ones. But make sure that loved one loves you and isn’t the one clapping when you fall down. No one in your ranks should hold you back, harm your spirit, or try to shake your peace….

 

-Hope

Thursday Check In

I hope you’re okay today. Who ever you are. I wish nothing but good things for you and want you to keep faith and high expectation in the good that is to come for you. Also the minute you woke up this morning, you were enough. For anyone. For everyone. You’re enough. Someone hears you. Although it may not be obvious, there is someone somewhere looking up to you. Cheering you on. There are at least 3 things you can be thankful for today, find solace and rejoice in that if your day has been troubled. Good vibes to you.

The last word isn’t worth it. When you realize…

It sucks, but it’s true. Just had a fight Lost my shit yesterday. It gets extremely exhausting trying to be strong when you aren’t. Wasn’t feeling it anymore. It has been difficult trying teach someone a love language they aren’t used to. When they don’t think they are worthy of love and someone being good to them…it is almost like you have to break their brain and retrain it. FRUSTRATING. They may lash out, pull away, act up…like a caged animal being set free after years of mistreatment.

Still no excuse for me to have snapped the way I did. I do not regret getting my point across, disappointed in myself for the way I got it across.

**Full disclosure** I am sensational at destruction. I was told once a long time ago by a respected family friend that I am fair and level headed but a force of nature. If I have something to say the world will know if I so choose, and I will not be defied. An extremely sharp double edged sword. Don’t get me wrong it has served me well on different occasion in different ways, but it’s my personal kind of black magic so to speak.

That being said I stay away from it at all costs. I regulate myself and have coached my self into rationality and logical thinking. So oddly I am proud of feeling guilty for gassing a blowout. My feelings were hurt and I was fit to be tied from the last few weeks of making everything out of nothing ya know? So a pointed inquiry about my use of a metal whisk on a metal pan, despite the beautiful dinner prepared pictured threw me into the fire. (Please note I DID NOT use the whisk on the pan, I’m not a bumbling moron).

All that to say, I did not vie to have the last word. You heard it here first. Me, ole laser precision soul crusher didn’t go for the KO. Usually it isn’t worth it but it feels good, however unnecessary it is. But I have found someone who doesn’t deserve it and that I have no wish to take out like that.

Now don’t pat me on the back I didn’t reconcile, my after burners are still in full force from it. I am having to wrestle with this feeling of hurting like I was the one that got shot versus the one pulling the trigger. This is new, and confusing. But I need to apologize for blind siding them.

Hair Tips from a 4b- low porosity

Recently decided to give up braids for wearing my hair in it’s natural state. My natural state being 26 years of nothing other than haircuts. No chemical treatments, color, etc. I have learned a few things recently:

  1. Hair porosity is almost more important than that all consuming questions of “what is my curl pattern?” Porosity helps guide you to which products and applications of that product will work best for your hair type. Moisture is no good if it is sitting on top vs being absorbed by your lovely strands  (you can check out more on that here www.naturallycurly.com/texture-typing/hairporosity)

2) NOT EVERYTHING WORKS FOR EVERYONE

3) NOT EVERYTHING WORKS FOR EVERYONE- yes two times because this seems to be a common misconception. Those “hair divas” you watch…let’s be serious..you’re not seeing what all they do behind the scenes to get those looks. Plus many are sponsored so they have the ability sit around all day and do their hair and use free product. Not to say that all of them fall into this category but camera quality should be a tip off.

4) More expensive is not “more better” so to speak. For example I recently used CHI 44 Iron Guard, really disappointed. It made my hair stiff, sticky and killed my shine. After consulting a hair stylist friend and attempting application in various ways..it’s just not for me. In light of that DO NOT EVER THINK that a product not working for your hair is your fault. Chemistry doesn’t always jive and that’s ok.

5) Don’t be afraid to get in there and experiment. Do what you want. Does that wild style look good with your face? DO IT! If you like straight as a pin, go for it. Your hair is super unique from root to tip, give it a chance to do it’s thing and then you can learn how to manipulate it and keep it happy.

6) If you are a 4b depending upon your porosity  applying product will be better with a little heat. It will allow your hair to absorb all those yummy nutrients it craves.

7) Coconut oil — I’m sure you’ve heard it all– is a great go to. Always will be. The Vitamin Shoppe sells it for a whopping $5 and tax, best of all it is EVCO (extra virgin coconut oil) and is fair trade!

^^That being said PLEASE DO NOT USE THIS A HEAT PROTECTANT! You’re right it does have a high smoke point BUT you should not hear your hair sizzle or see smoke. That means you’re sautéing your hair! Whatever your price point look into a bottle of heat protectant spray to spare your strands the damage.

8) Not everyone has baby hair ok? Let me be more specific here…if you don’t have baby hairs to slick down you’re still a baddie ok? I don’t have them, I have edges. My baby hairs are actually short, delicate little things that happily float along for the ride. Not even remotely enough nor dark enough to plaster down with eco styler. Don’t torture yourself. Ladies with naturally long baby hairs, shout out! You cute. But hey guess what? Don’t be dick to girls who don’t k? They are just as cute.

9) Brushing your hair and massaging your scalp are great for your hair. These two acts stimulate receptors responsible for growth and encourage them to keep up the work! Aka you now have a scientific excuse to get a scalp massage from your main squeeze!

 

That’s all for right this second, but if you think of something let me know! I love to hear from and talk to other bloggers as well as readers. ❤ Hope

 

 

Narcissistic Personality Disorder:

I’ve come across more people in the last few years that have been subject to someone with this type of personality. I thought it was just me, just not being enough for my mother. Not being enough as a human. I am hesitant to slap a title on something, as loosely as they are used these days. But this particular subject has merit and gravitas for those who know the person this describes. Below I have included both the Mayo Clinic definition and the one from the DSM-IV. Please keep in mind this is an actual diagnosable mental condition. An evaluation by a trained professional is necessary to assess one for this disorder. Keep in mind, how someone treats you says more about them than it does about you. -Hope

Definition

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. But behind this mask of ultraconfidence lies a fragile self-esteem that’s vulnerable to the slightest criticism.

A narcissistic personality disorder causes problems in many areas of life, such as relationships, work, school or financial affairs. You may be generally unhappy and disappointed when you’re not given the special favors or admiration you believe you deserve. Others may not enjoy being around you, and you may find your relationships unfulfilling.

Narcissistic personality disorder treatment is centered around talk therapy (psychotherapy).

 

 

A. A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. Has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements).

2. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

3. Believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions).

4. Requires excessive admiration.

5. Has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations.

6. Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends.

7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others.

The essential features of a personality disorder are impairments in personality (self and interpersonal) functioning and the presence of pathological personality traits. To diagnose narcissistic personality disorder, the following criteria must be met:

A. Significant impairments in personality functioning manifest by:

1. Impairments in self functioning (a or b):

a. Identity: Excessive reference to others for self-definition and self-esteem regulation; exaggerated self-appraisal may be inflated or deflated, or vacillate between extremes; emotional regulation mirrors fluctuations in self-esteem.

b. Self-direction: Goal-setting is based on gaining approval from others; personal standards are unreasonably high in order to see oneself as exceptional, or too low based on a sense of entitlement; often unaware of own motivations.

AND

2. Impairments in interpersonal functioning (a or b):

a. Empathy: Impaired ability to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others; excessively attuned to reactions of others, but only if perceived as relevant to self; over- or underestimate of own effect on others.

b. Intimacy: Relationships largely superficial and exist to serve self-esteem regulation; mutuality constrained by little genuine interest in others‟ experiences and predominance of a need for personal gain

B. Pathological personality traits in the following domain:

1. Antagonism, characterized by:

Grandiosity: Feelings of entitlement, either overt or covert;

 

 

8. Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her.

9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes.

 

self-centeredness; firmly holding to the belief that one is better than others; condescending toward others.

b. Attention seeking: Excessive attempts to attract and be the focus of the attention of others; admiration seeking.

C. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual‟s personality trait expression are relatively stable across time and consistent across situations.

D. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual‟s personality trait expression are not better understood as normative for the individual‟s developmental stage or socio-cultural environment.

E. The impairments in personality functioning and the individual‟s personality trait expression are not solely due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., a drug of abuse, medication) or a general medical condition (e.g., severe head trauma).