I Write, Therefore I Am

black blogger, black girl blogger, life advice

Today I woke up with a certain fire under my behind to simply get going. Without a specific direction or idea, but simply to make my bed, fix breakfast and go. While eating breakfast I found five words constantly playing in my mind. “I write, therefore I am.” I’ve seen this quote quite a bit online within the last year. I had no clue where it originated and still cannot seem to find one specific source. However, what I did find is the original source of its concept. Read below to see what I found on Britannica after a quick Google search .

Cogito, ergo sum, (Latin: “I think, therefore I am) dictum coined by the French philosopher René Descartes in his Discourse on Method (1637) as a first step in demonstrating the attainability of certain knowledge. It is the only statement to survive the test of his methodic doubt.

So when I say “I write, therefore I am,” it means because I do the writing thing then ultimately I am a writer. If I do not write or practice it often then how can I claim this title? Many writers have come before me and many will come after me but my focus cannot remain solely on them. My focus must be refined, structured and catered to my very own purpose. So many times we are distracted from the plan for our life due to our focus on the steps set out in front of our neighbor’s house. Say that out loud three times or more until you are able to fully take it in, comprehend and process it.

I remember in my college Creative Writing courses, I would feel bad that I didn’t know certain authors or books but didn’t realize that it was due to who I am. I didn’t grow up in a house full of writers or even readers for that matter. My home structure did however include several creatives that worked with their hands to create beauty in the form of art or design in the form of decor, cakes, clothing even, music and makeup. But I was among one of the only ones who solely focused on the fusing of thoughts into words that became worlds.

My inspiration for writing didn’t always come from simply reading the classics or books at all, often times it came from observing the creatives around me or the ones I admired on TV. I wrote from a different place of inspiration and a lot of times that place was sacred to me alone. I have cried immensely while writing at times because the words coming through felt so damn powerful. At the start of this piece, I began tearing up and had to step away to wipe my face with a tissue before I could continue.

My writing isn’t about other people and yours shouldn’t be either. I felt a sense of lack or immaturity in college when my classmates who were mainly white would discuss their love for certain authors I had never even heard of. I felt compelled to read those works to feel caught up but eventually that feeling disappeared. I had to reconcile within myself that my love for writing came from different places and mostly Black writers and creatives. I was 12 years old reading E. Lynn Harris, a Queer writer who was so transparent in his public life and in the worlds he created within his books. It is from artists like himself that I truly began to learn what it meant to simply write freely. Take the limits off of yourself, your work, and ultimately your purpose. You can truly shapeshift into the beautiful, wonderful creative being you have always been deep down inside.

My focus must be refined, structured and catered to my very own purpose.

For so many years I have doubted myself even in the face of compliments and accolades from others. Who am I to be as great as the contemporary writers who have written pounds of greatness before I was even a thought? But the flaw with that mindset is that we begin to pigeonhole ourselves into this space of lack. We begin to doubt ourselves in every way imaginable. If I am doubting myself as a writer, something I have been since the tender age of 8 years old, then I will continue to doubt myself in everything else that I do.

The issue with not feeling good enough is that it stems from the idea that everything you do must be seen as pleasing or palatable to the surrounding world. Instead of having the strength to reassure yourself that your work is valid, as are you, you depend on the validation of society to keep you grounded. When in reality, keeping you grounded is a form of suppression. Being able to simply do what makes your heart sing without any restrictions is a beautiful thing. This is the space in which I want to live my life. I want to be in the space of writing freely. Creating without focusing on what it will turn out like or who will enjoy it and who will not. I want to stop focusing on the money aspect of it all. Que Sera Sera (Whatever will be, will be). What is meant for me will also be. I cannot force it by worrying, I cannot force it by hustling beyond my capability nor capacity. I can only do what I can do. That is the truth and fullness of it.

Instead of having the strength to reassure yourself that your work is valid, as are you, you depend on the validation of society to keep you grounded. When in reality, keeping you grounded is a form of suppression.

As a child I wrote because it felt good. The worlds along with the characters I created brought me comfort and joy when I was going through. I had always imagined that eventually those same stories would bring joy to others but then somewhere along the lines it all stopped. Dreams, reality, and perspective became one big blur of doubt. “I can’t survive off of writing,” or “I’ve never seen anyone in my family be super successful from their creative pursuits, so who am I to be that one?”

What I should have been asking myself is, “Who am I not to be?” When we are used to living in scarcity, doubt becomes second nature. But so does resourcefulness, so instead of remaining in the spirit of doubt I plan on living in the spirit of hope and faith. I am going to challenge myself to write everyday. Even if I am uninspired, I will write something. It can be in my journal or on my blog. Regardless of what it is, I will write. I will write everyday for as long as it takes until I write as second nature. It is not something I do in passing, rather it is something that I do actively.

I write, therefore I am.

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religious trauma pt. 1

black woman writer, healing

I remember starting to blog about 7 years or so and my goal was to be as transparent as possible. Somewhere along the lines, I retreated back to my old ways of mincing my words for the comfort of others. I have decided to stop that today. As of lately, I have not been feeling so “Christian,” or actually I have felt that way for quite some years. This could honestly be for a plethora of reasons but the main one for myself is finally seeing all of the ways in which religion has violated, and traumatized so many of us. As a woman, we were socialized in the church that purity should be our number one goal next to being the perfect wife. When I think about it, I can’t really think of a time in church where the message was about more important topics like mental health, self care and maintaining your health so that you could actually help the world as Jesus had intended for us.

There is so much I could get into regarding this topic but I want to just be honest with myself out loud for once. Christianity was something passed down to me as a child from my family but in hindsight it was never fully practiced in my household. The traditional aspects of it were there such as going to church every Sunday, being involved in different ministries including choir or dance, and attending VBS in the summer. But it was more surface level in my opinion. We were just told that the Bible is our guide, no questions asked. Reading through long passages at church that sometimes made zero sense to me and were simply expected to go along with it. I am not saying that I have never felt deeply connected to Christianity but at a point one does begin to question nearly everything they were taught as children.

I am someone who has always been extremely deep and when things are kept at the surface level, I suffer or simply don’t want to be involved. To fully experience life, we must feel and sometimes those feelings are not great but often times than not, those unpleasant feelings are what help us to grow.

I remember in college having an extremely strong relationship with God and all throughout my childhood. But once I snapped out of it due to back to back circumstances that made me question God, I began to look outside of what I had always been taught. At first it stemmed from anger but then eventually those feelings mellowed out and I simply had so many questions. I still have so many questions that I don’t believe will ever be answered but I honestly don’t think church can answer them for me.

I have prayed, meditated on the word more than I can count but still I come to the conclusion that religion, and spirituality are two topics in this life I will never fully comprehend. How can we fully put our trust into any of them? I am unsure of how to navigate these ideas mentally without feeling like I am running in circles. Even with all of that in mind, I do still feel connected to God or The Divine, but just not in the ways I was instructed as a child.

This is a conversation I could not dare have with my family, except for maybe one other person and it sometimes make me feel like a fraud for even thinking this way. But, it is my truth. As I mentioned in my last post, I am on a discovery of self so perhaps one of my questions will finally be answered as I continue cruising through my healing.

re-Discovering Sophonie

black blogger, black girl blogger, black woman writer, blog, healing, inspiration, inspirational blog, mental health

Today is Sunday, August the 8th, 2021. A few days ago I experienced something within a dating situation that really threw me off guard. Dating is not my favorite thing to do nor is it my favorite subject. However, if there is one thing dating always does for me, is allow me the chance to get into a mode of introspection. I am not one to say that I am flawless because that would be the furthest thing from the truth. I am flaw filled and fully aware of that. So although I would have enjoyed that dating experience to continue further in terms of us getting to know each other, I refuse to have any negative blood towards that person. I truly think that we were simply not aligned and that is okay.

Now what does this have to do with the title of this blog? You know there is always a method to my madness, so here it goes. Towards the end of June, I moved to Delaware. A few years back I could never see myself here but it has truly brought a newfound peace to my life. I’ve always been a city girl, no matter what state I resided in and I thought Jersey was it forever. But it was time for a change. I laugh at myself because when the idea was first brought up by my sister, I thought to myself, “What the hell is there to do in Delaware and also how am I going to flourish creatively?”

Anyways, right before moving, I had my very last therapy session since my insurance would no longer be valid since I had to leave my full time job. I recall my therapist asking me, “What would you call this phase of your life?” I replied by saying, “Discovering Sophonie.” That phrase felt so fitting and still does.

For the purpose of this blog, I added the prefix “re-,” because truth is I think that as children we know ourselves pretty well. It is the world that taints us and eventually we lose sense of who we truly are. Then when we get older, we become bitter in ways that makes no sense until we do the inner work. We begin to wonder why do we view ourselves negatively or even others? What about our inner child was so wounded that we now aren’t able to function freely and simply be who we are? We begin to feel lost or just out of place in damn near every section of our lives.

I have been experiencing this for maybe the last 5 years or so of my life. Trying to re-discover myself. As a child acting and writing were the only things I could seriously see myself doing as a career. Then in middle school, I discovered my love of Psychology and I added that to my list of passions. Now at 27, I sit here feeling out of place more times than not because I have not found the way to make any of these passions turn into an actual career. It feels like the last few years I have simply been playing ring around the rosie with life. No actual direction.

Regardless of those feelings, I am learning that the real issue is never centering myself enough to fully and truly understand what my own needs are. Allowing what I’ve been conditioned to believe about myself due to society, religion and family infiltrate my mind is what tends to hold me back. The idea that we don’t care what others say or think about us is genuinely bullshit for most of us. I’ve said it so many times but have never fully believed it myself. I do care how others feel about me and that is exactly why I tend to suffer.

I am not saying any of this for sympathy or even empathy at that but rather opening up the conversation that in order for us to actually heal, we have to be willing to accept and be ourselves regardless of what others think. You can still care about their opinions but allowing those opinions to stop you from living your life will never get you far in life.

The journey of healing is one that is constant, just as life is. So long as we are alive, I believe we have the opportunity to continue healing and ultimately grow. I may not fully understand this phase of my life but I guess that is the focal point of it. After all, it is a moment to rediscover who I am, what I want, what I need and where I want my life to be. No matter how many people or friends I go to for advice, the only person who can help along this discovery of self, is me.

my 70’s themed 27th birthday PHOTO SHOOT

black girl blogger, influencer lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle blog

I have always been in love with older music and the aesthetics as well. Being that my birthday lands in June for Black Music Month I was inspired to do a shoot that was in sync with my favorite number #7 but also in line with me turning 27. So I gathered my two creative friends, Sarah and Melissa to assist. Sarah did my makeup and Melissa was my photographer. Together we created magic! It was an amazing shoot and day overall. Check out a few photos below. I truly mean few because we took way more than this. Enjoy and make sure to follow us all on social media to stay up to date and if you would like to book either one of us for our creative services.

Photographer: Melissa J.C./@guyatiannarrative.

Makeup: Sarah O./@glam_byher

Model: Sophonie M./@justsophonie

27 years of life, love, and healing

black blogger, black girl blogger, black woman writer, black writer, healing, inspiration, inspirational blog, life advice, lifestyle, mental health, self care, self help

Today is my 27th birthday and I must say I did not expect to make it this long. Not to be morbid but depression is a mothafucka’ and that mothafucka’ has tried to take me out a couple of times. However, I am also a short, sometimes stubborn Haitian woman. You have gotta’ really push me to my limit before the thought of actually giving up even actualizes in my brain. Granted I have given up on quite a few jobs in my 20s but they were no longer worth my time and time is something we can never get back. So in this piece I want to give you 7 reasons why I never fully gave up on life and why you shouldn’t either. Ready? You sure? Keep up cause I won’t be repeating myself.

1. The Beauty of Breath

There is something so peaceful and fulfilling when you truly take a step back to focus on your breath. Consider all of the functions within your body that ultimately work together to keep you together. Each inhale matched with its subsequent exhale powered by the inner workings of your lungs going in and out bringing oxygen to your brain. Next time you are stressed out, remember this and take a moment to simply breathe for at least 10 seconds.

2. The Beauty of Beat

Now this can apply to your heartbeat and the beat of music. I am a huge music lover so this is something I can talk about for days. The way a beat can be felt physically but also heard is something I will always appreciate and especially for those who may not be able to hear but they can feel. A beat can be felt by those who cannot hear, it can create stories in the ears of those who cannot see. Its sound-waves paints a picture that vibrates within the souls of us all. There is a certain energy associated with feeling the beat that makes you feel wired, energetic and alive. So next time you are feeling down, take a moment to play a song with an amazing beat or melody and just dance.

3. The Beauty of Being

As someone who has dealt with depression since my childhood, I know what it feels like to struggle with merely existing. I understand the pain associated with that thought and how it can tear you up from the inside out. I also understand that even in the pain, there is beauty on the other side of it. When you have struggled for so long but you continue to hold onto the faith that one-day things will improve, you are exercising a muscle that takes a lot of strength. You are so much stronger than you may even imagine but trust me you are. Please, keep going.

4. For the Love of Creating

Last year I started my first official business, JUSO Media Merch and the first product was a t-shirt line that read, “I Create to Live.” I’ve discussed in length what that phrase means but I’ll explain it for those who don’t understand. I have always seen my creative nature as a gift from God to keep my grounded and my soul fulfilled while here on earth. At the tender age of 8 is when I became a writer but I didn’t fully realize that was my true calling until a bit later in life. Either way I am happy to have arrived at that truth. The way that words pour out of me like a healing balm for those who need a word or two of comfort. While my creativity exists outside of writing as well, all of it comes together to bring me peace when I need it most. Creating helps to relax my mind, it puts me in the zone of building something out of nothing and it helps to ground me. Word to Ari Lennox, “You grow when you are grounded.” The last few years I have certainly been growing, healing and learning to genuinely enjoy living. That is what finding your true passion can do for you. So whatever you are passionate, please take heed and try your best to work in that passion daily if possible. Even just a little bit helps.

5. For the Love of Connection

In just a few short weeks I will be moving back in with family. I moved back to my home sate, New Jersey back in 2017. My goal was to practice on my craft, be closer to New York city for access and resources. Although I often feel behind in life when compared to my peers –which I shouldn’t be doing but I am working on it– I can truly say I have accomplished more than I give myself credit for. I started acting classes, applied for graduate school, got in but didn’t go. (Short but long story). I started therapy again and have seen my mental health improve tremendously in the last year and 4 months. I started an inspirational apparel company, started working on my first book, became more active on YouTube and started my own podcast. All in all, I did what needed to be done and I understood the assignment. However, one thing the pandemic has taught me is that I thrive off of connection. While I am naturally an introvert, I still enjoy the connection I have with close friends, family and even colleagues.

Connection is what keeps us in alignment with God’s promises for us. We weren’t created to simply be left alone forever but rather to fellowship with one another while on earth. Create memories, love one another and keep each other up when we cannot do it on our own. Connection is key. Even if you have to create your own family with friends or people online who share similar interests, find yourself a community that you can connect with. But always remember that your connection with self should be the strongest out of all. When you tap into your needs, wants and desires, only then can you provide others with what they may need or want as well. Always keep in mind we cannot fuel anyone else’s tank if ours is left on empty. Fill yourself first.

6. Healing Through Music

I have often attributed my emotional healing to my love for music. It brings me healing in moments when I may not be able to express how I am feeling in that moment. This can apply to other forms of art including dance, paintings, books, and even through photography. Being able to capture a moment, a feeling or a thought that can now remain in museum life for centuries to come is truly something special. That is why art and more specifically music is so essential to my life as a writer and someone who has battled depression. So to you I say, if you are battling depression or harmful thoughts, try to create a personal playlist of good music that brings you hope when you need it most. Here is the one I created that many of my friends enjoy listening to. Check it out.

7. Healing to Breathe

So we have reached our final thought. After being in therapy for a year now, I have realized that I lived most of my life barely breathing. Most of my true self has been submerged into this water like form of what I think everyone expects me to be. Therefore causing me to suppress my own feelings, thoughts and views just so that I am accepted. by those who love me and society. But how does that benefit me? How does benefit any of us to suppress ourselves so that others can be more comfortable around us. If someone can’t be comfortable around you because you are even slightly different then they don’t deserve your presence. Regardless, I am thankfully healing now so I am slowly but surely coming out of my people pleasing phase. Healing to breathe easier is one of my greatest accomplishments in life thus far. I pray that whoever you are and wherever you are reading this, that you too can begin healing to breathe. You deserve to breathe easy.

If you enjoyed this piece, share it with loved one or close friend. Also, make sure to share your thoughts below. Thank you for reading.

Photographer: Melissa J.C./@guyatiannarrative (Instagram)

Makeup: Sarah O./@glam_byher (Instagram)

Model: Sophonie M./@justsophonie (Instagram/YouTube)

your boundaries are law

blog, blog post, new blog post, self care, self love, self love blog, selflationship

Welcome back to another Friday night read with self•lationship. Enjoy!

I’ve been in therapy since February, so in a few months that will make it a year. There are quite a few things in my life right now that I am not accustomed to. For one, this is the longest I’ve stayed at a job, the same home, and with the same therapist for the last few years of my life. With that said, stability has entered the chat and I am certainly grateful for it. Part of that stability has also ushered in a new era for me in my singleness. I am learning the importance of exploring, learning, understanding and applying my boundaries. These boundaries are not just towards others but more importantly for myself.

You see, when you take the time to understand what makes you comfortable or uncomfortable, you are setting the stage for your future self to have less trauma to deal with. Sometimes we allow “small,” slights from other people to slide. Perhaps they didn’t mean it that way. Maybe they just didn’t know how to say something to us and therefore ended up offending us in the long run.

IF YOUR “NO,” TO SOMEONE SOUNDS LIKE A MAYBE TO THEM, THEN YOU SHOULD STEER CLEAR OF THAT PERSON.

Well it is 2020, so enough of trying to excuse people’s bad actions. If someone made you uncomfortable…they made you uncomfortable, period. If you have already expressed to them why or how they disturbed your peace, yet they continue to violate those boundaries put in place, you are free to leave them exactly where they stand.

My therapist and I have been discussing the topic of boundaries for the last few months now. After so much trial and error, I have finally reached a breakthrough where I feel more confident in applying them in my day to day life.

Recently I went out on a date with a guy who was pretty cool, an intellectual, sarcastic, kinda funny and definitely a cutie. But the issue I had was, he clearly had no respect for my boundaries. He asked me a certain question on our first date and throughout the next week or so of us getting to know each other more, he asked the same exact question a total of 3 more times. This made me extremely uneasy.

YOUR BOUNDARIES ARE THERE TO PROTECT YOU. YOUR BOUNDARIES KEEP YOU COMFORTABLE. YOUR BOUNDARIES KEEP YOU SAFE. YOUR BOUNDARIES ARE LAW.

On the second inquiry, I explained why I said “no,” to begin with and on the next few I didn’t care to explain further. Needless to say, we haven’t spoken since because I decided to move forward, without him. The way that someone carries themselves when you first meet is super important. But the way that said person responds to clear boundaries you enforce from the beginning is even more important.

If your “no,” to someone sounds like a maybe to them, then you should steer clear of that person. Your boundaries are law. You are the courthouse, the government and the powers that be when it comes to your life. Whoever wants to enter must arrive with clear respect for who you are as a person. That person must also respect the boundaries you express and enforce. Never allow anyone to make you feel bad for your boundaries.

Your boundaries are there to protect you. Your boundaries keep you comfortable. Your boundaries keep you safe. Your boundaries are law.

Here is a quick example of how you can enforce your boundaries with anyone:

Person: Hey, I got two tickets to a music festival in ATL, wanna come?

You: No thank you, I’m not comfortable travelling with you since we’ve only known each other for 2 weeks.

This is just a quick example but please also remember that “No,” is a complete sentence. You don’t owe anyone an explanation on why you don’t want to participate in a certain activity or why you don’t like them speaking to you a certain way. If you are uneasy with how you are being treated, in any environment, then you are allowed to express that without holding back.

Your boundaries are law. Never forget that.

Your Good Sis,

Sophonie

Living Life In Limbo

inspiration, inspirational blog

#ThrowbackBlogSeries

DISCLAIMER: The following post is an original post from my first blog She.Is.Splendid. Over the next few months I will be sharing some of my favorite and most impactful pieces with you all. Enjoy! Please make sure to comment and share with someone who makes you smile.

Do you ever feel as if you are on a moving train but its wheels are stuck on the tracks? I know it may sound cliche but the train to life metaphor is one of my favorites. After all a train is often comprised of multiple carts that exist with one another to create an entire vehicle. Just like life is comprised of multiple days, incidents or episodes to create an entire lifetime. Not every lifetime is the same and not everyone’s life is lived for the same amount of time.

As of late I have been feeling that my life is stuck in this rigid position. I am stuck between being excited about my future but feeling as if I have outgrown my current circumstance. Specifically, I am also in the midst of another big move just one year after my first big move. As a 20 something year old I am just learning the real world of adulthood and it is hard. Now, I know some of my peers are experiencing this with a significant other or even with kids which I understand can make life seem more difficult. I must say I am happy not to have those additions in my life because I’m still learning who I am and what I want. Also, I am not fully prepared for those responsibilities.

But, as I am learning who I am there are these constant moments of me feeling as if I am at a really bad 80s Hawaiian themed party and I keep replaying a game of limbo.

Now when I first titled this post it was simply based on the game I knew growing up, Never did I know that limbo is actually a Catholic term that means that place between Heaven and Hell. Prior to this I was only familiar with the term “Purgatory.” I won’t get too deep into it because this isn’t a religious post. Both terms limbo and purgatory essentially mean the place between where you are and where you may or may not be going. (That can get really eerie and philosophical so try not to think about it too hard).


However, I often get stuck worrying or wondering about what is to come next. I become fearful of the future because obviously it is the unknown. Or even when parts of the future are predictable, I find myself anxious to get to that next part. So I begin wandering in this position of limbo which can get really sad and lonely. I guess my reasoning behind creating this post is to serve as a reality check for all of us. Unfortunately we cannot control everything and damn near anything in life. Except for our reactions to life’s events. Yikes! I know that hurts for some of us (mainly me).

But I know for a fact I begin to feel restless and am restless in this season because I am being reminded that ultimately it is God who is in control of my life. Sometimes it’s hard to fully hand over that control (for those who are not believers this concept might be a little strange). Regardless, I think it is important for us to become accustomed to these moments of limbo. We can learn a lot from it too.


Unfortunately we cannot control everything and damn near anything in life. 

Yesterday morning I began thinking to myself “Rather than allowing this moment of limbo to scare me, why not allow it to empower me?” Listen, it takes a whole lot more energy to frown than it takes to smile. So when I really sat down to reflect, I realized that my worry or fear about the next step was only causing even greater anxiety than necessary. I am already an anxious person in general but the added focus on what’s to come adds insult to injury.

I know it’s hard but we’ve got to find a way to program our minds to worry less and hope more. Yes there is so much that we don’t know, so much that we don’t understand but there is so much for us to learn. Rather than allowing fear to enter our minds, kick up its feet and become dormant, it is important to recognize that emotion and tend to it as needed. You don’t need to add water to it, it’s not a plant. Do NOT. I REPEAT, do NOT fertilize it, don’t give it any of your energy because I promise you it will grow. Fear has a habit of flourishing when fed.

We’ve got to learn how to use our moment of “limbos,” as a space to prepare for our next moment of certainty. 

In this More to Life Monday reflection I want you to think about whatever you might be fearful of today. Take that thing, maybe think of it a few seconds or maybe even write it down. Consider this, that fear may or may not come true or perhaps it will regardless of what you do. However, I want you to understand that there is so much more to life than remaining stagnant in fear. As for me in this moment of limbo, there is more to life for me than focusing on what is to come. I must use my current circumstance to fuel the reality of my next phase in life. We’ve got to learn how to use our moment of “limbos,” as a space to prepare for our next moment of certainty.

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

Sophonie

The Highs, The Lows

inspiration, inspirational blog, life advice

There are naturally highs and lows in life. Often times we embrace the highs because well duh who doesn’t like to feel good?? I’m not saying to embrace the lows to the point of no return BUT understand that the lows remind you to be appreciative of those high moments. I’m forever a work in progress. I’ve gotta let go of the idea that things will be set in stone. Life’s twists and turns will remain fluid and I’m a-okay with that.

My new goal for the rest of the year and my life really, is to be okay with what each day brings. Whether the day brings a high or a low, I’m going to plant my feet in the soil of those moments and embrace life regardless. I am going to remember that life isn’t always all that bad. I can choose to stay stuck in the lows or find some highs.

There is always joy tucked somewhere beneath the surface that you may not openly see. Find that joy, embrace it and keep right on pushing. Of course there will be moments where I may feel so low that it’ll be hard to embrace life but I will be patient with myself and allow that feeling to have its moment. Then once that feeling passes, I can continue on with the highs.

One of the ways I choose to embrace life everyday is by finding a song that brings me joy. I’m always discussing how much music means to me and honestly it’s one of my favorite gifts from God’s creations. With that said, I want to start implementing a song into certain posts to help bring you all some joy as well. It also helps motivate me to write more when music is playing so you’ll have an idea of what music inspires me.

Anyways, today I share with you a classic ballad by the high priestess of soul herself, the Queen Nina Simone. It’s one of those songs you can expect to hear in pretty much any movie across any genre.

That upbeat feel to it just makes you wanna grab life by the shoulders and show it who’s boss. It’s also said to be one of the songs that are able to raise your vibrational levels and literally pick your mood right back up. Check out this article that discusses music that can raise your vibrational energy and how it happens too. Energy is a powerful thing y’all. Be careful with the energy you’re picking up or putting down in the world. 

P.S. I choose that photo as my featured image because that was a day I was choosing to embrace life fully and it brings me joy when I see it 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

  

You Are Not Burdensome…You Are a Blessing

inspiration, inspirational blog, life advice, mental health

#ThrowbackBlogSeries

DISCLAIMER: The following post is an original post from my first blog She.Is.Splendid. Over the next few months I will be sharing some of my favorite and most impactful pieces with you all. Enjoy! Please make sure to comment and share with someone who makes you smile.

Please enjoy the song below while you read. Rest in Power Bill Withers. ❤

Do you ever feel as if you are a burden to others in some way?

I hope and pray your answer to this is no BUT if it is not, that is okay. I have felt that way for most my life and the great news is that we are not alone. (Come on now, you know misery loves company.)

Alright let’s get serious here. As a child I often had this strange feeling that I was in some way a burden to others. This feeling of being burdensome extended from friends to family. While no one in particular ever expressed that I was a burden to them, somehow deep down inside I always felt that way anyways. As I matured into a young woman this feeling of being burdensome grew right alongside me and followed me into the relationships I formed with men and platonic friendships as well. No matter how much other people have attempted to convince me otherwise, in my head it was always this idea that I held others down (and not in a ride or die kind of way).

FYI: This post isn’t going to be some major “Here’s how I got over it,” story, but it is meant to be an outlet for others who may feel the same.

In recent conversation with someone close to me I had to be reminded of the beauty that exists within having loved ones around who are there to support you. As an individual who has a lot of pride, is EXTREMELY independent, and who enjoys being fully self-sufficient it is difficult for me to be vulnerable or anyway dependent on others. However, within the past year it appears the recurring theme God is revealing to me is the need for “transparency,” and “vulnerability.”

Sometimes it is actually okay to depend on others. This does not in any way make you a leech or a horrible person (unless of course you can provide for yourself but choose to use others but that’s another story). So, no matter how much I desire to be completely independent, unfortunately in life that’s impossible. There will be a point in time when we all will need help from someone or somewhere. When those times come we shouldn’t assume that we are being a burden to others.

We are all in this world together with different strengths and different weaknesses. We are supposed to help lift others up as we also climb and vice versa. There is never a reason you should ever feel as if your existence or mere presence is a burden on others. By definition the word burden means “a load, especially a heavy one,” and burdensome means “difficult to carry out or fulfill.” Now when you see those two definitions side by side, does that sound like something that can be applied to a person and more importantly does that sound like it applies to you in the least bit? I know when I read it; it most certainly does not define me or my existence.
 

“There will be a point in time when we all will need help from someone or somewhere.”

I want you to really think about the aforementioned definitions, “Am I a load? Am I difficult to carry?” While we may all have our emotional and mental baggage, none of that is too difficult for us to carry when we have the proper support. Now if we choose to carry it all on our own then I can understand a feeling of heaviness within ourselves. But, this is why we need to be open to being more vulnerable with those who we trust.

“There is never a reason you should ever feel as if your existence or mere presence is a burden on others.

Now, I know we may not all have someone in our corner directly so perhaps reaching out to strangers (yes strangers) might be helpful. There are hotlines or now even apps where you can reach out to volunteers and professionals that will help you sort through issues you may not be able to sort through with family or friends. Nevertheless, I want you to understand that you and I, we all come with our own personal issues but we also come with just as many solutions for this world. You may not feel it or see it now but you help move the world forward every single day.

We contribute just as much to this world as the next person does. It may not be regarded as grand as the Oprah’s, Obama’s, or even Beyoncé’s of the world but it still damned good. We all have our individual purposes in this world and if you are a believer you know that God sent you to earth with an assignment specifically designed for you. So whenever you begin to view yourself as a burden in anyway, please remember that you are needed, necessary and most certainly NOT a load for someone to carry. We have burdens in life but we are NOT burdensome. We should be allowed to take up space and fill this world with all of our awesomeness. You have a space in this world and you have a place designated just for you.

With that said, I want you all to keep these main points in mind:

1) You are in NO way a burden

2) You deserve to take up space in this world

3) You have a place & purpose on earth

4) You are a blessing to others

5) Sometimes we need support & that is okay

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

 

P.S. For those who may not be comfortable with reaching out to family or friends about any feelings of being burdensome or any other issues below are a few links of helpful resources.

TalkSpace (An app for therapy on iOS and Android)

 BetterHelp

MentalHelp.net

PsychCentral

serenity vol. 1: finding your serenity

Uncategorized

self•lationship: serenity volume 1

se·ren·i·ty

/səˈrenədē/

noun

  1. the state of being calm, peaceful, and untroubled.

    “an oasis of serenity amidst the bustling city”


When you see the word SERENITY, what comes to mind? For me, I see and hear the words “serene, peace, calm and focus,” in my mind. I even think of Serena Williams, just cause her name is similar to it LOL and obviously seeing how dope she is brings me peace. Either way, I think of good things, good people, and good spaces.

I see beyond cluttered rooms, homes, cars, kitchens and minds. I simply see clarity. That is one of the reasons I use SERENITY in so much of my branding. By signing off each week on my YouTube videos and in my past blog posts with the phrase, Serenity, Smiles and Positive Vibes,” I am wishing my readers and viewers well. I am speaking a comfort over their lives, even if just for a few minutes to a moment.

Now more specifically, when I speak to my sisters, my friends and anyone close to me, I want them to feel the same love that I have been trying so hard to pour into myself. This has been one heck of a journey for me in terms of healing but I refuse to slow down. As a single Black Woman and just a Black Woman in this world in general, I am not automatically granted peace of mind the way others are in this world. I am not allowed to be simply me.

We are told that we are too rough, too loud, sometimes even labeled masculine for the darkness of our hues or the bellow in some of our voices. We aren’t tiny enough to be considered dainty or extra feminine. Yet, if we are comfortable dressing or presenting/identifying as masculine, we are shut down too. On the flip side, if we are too quiet or present our boundaries with others in a firm manner, we all of a sudden have an “Attitude problem.”



No matter what you do as a Black Woman, you are viewed, consumed and judged. Now pair that with not having a “Knight in Shining Armour,” by your side, you are now considered, “lacking something.”

I am here to remind you that all of these things are severely untrue. You are more than enough even if there are people who may consider you too much. With that in mind, never forget that you are more than enough for yourself too.

Because we aren’t afforded the same levels of privilege in terms of peace, it is important for us to build and foster our own. That is where finding your own serenity comes in. What makes you smile? What kinds of shows have you giggling nonstop? What foods fill your belly with pure satisfaction? What activities bring you joy? Who do you feel the most safe with? Where is your tribe?

By focusing on fostering energies of peace in and around your life, you begin to find your serenity in the smallest ways leading to the bigger ones. Now you are learning and leaning into who you are which helps others to know you more. If we don’t know ourselves, we can’t expect others to.

So I ask you again, where and how do you find your serenity from day to day? Comment below, I would love to know!

In the meantime, my top 5 ways to find serenity include the following:

  1. Coffee shops.

  2. Being a Creative.

  3. Going to the beach.

  4. Devouring Haitian food.

  5. Long talks with people I love.