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.

self-care is self love

self care, self help, self love, self love blog, selflationship

self•lationship: self-care vol.1

Self-care, self love, self this, self that. The last five years of social media and TV has been flooded with this not so new phenomenon but it’s become somewhat of a revolution. To put down everything and center yourself in order to find peace within your life. This is something that many of us, especially as Black Women haven’t been allowed room to do. In fact it goes even further when you are a mother, a wife, caregiver of any sort, or all of the above. Hence why I see it as something that is revolutionary. To stand up and say, “Hey world, I f*ckin love myself too much to allow anyone or anything to disrupt that peace.” It’s a beautiful thing to envision but even more beautiful to experience.

I can’t lie and say I’ve fully reached that moment. However, I am pretty damn close. Today’s post originated in a personal journal entry but it felt more proper to be shared with you all. So I hope that you enjoy!

For your listening pleasure:

A Love Supreme is one of my all time favs by John Coltrane. When considering love, why must we always make it about romance? I wish self-mance was a thing too. Matter of fact it should be. We fight our entire lives to sweep others off their feet or to be swept off of our own. We are on a constant pursuit of happiness for others yet doing so for ourselves hasn’t been fully normalized.

I don’t believe God intended for us to live our lives for other people. If so, we would all be born together and be the same person. Sounds weird right? So is living for others. Today I’m calling on my single, separated and divorced ladies to love on yourself supremely. You deserve it.


Now what does loving yourself supremely even look like? The journey of self love is one that I believe must include lots of healing. Consider the ways in which we are conditioned in society and again especially as women.

Most things we are do are supposed to appease the male gaze or the general masses. Meaning, if you do not fit the standard of beauty for society, then more times than not you are set to the side. Does that mean you are no longer useful? Absolutely not. As Black Women, our beauty and value has often been conflated with what it is that we can provide others.

How can we make a man feel good? How can we make white people feel comfortable around us? How can we change our hair or dialect to fit in to Corporate America?

So many layers of us have been stripped away, only to be stolen time and time again. Our layers are then plastered onto the bodies of others in a more a “acceptable,” way. This is why healing is important especially for my fellow single Black Women.

Simply being single doesn’t single you out from the beauty of life. It also doesn’t mean you are incapable of being happy fully and wholly by yourself.


So what can you do to find self love and ultimately self-care? You can start by finding out what really makes you smile. No, I mean really really makes you smile.

Is it reruns of Living Single all day? (That’s me LOL). Is it how you brew your coffee in the morning? Or is it simple walks in the park taking in all of God’s beautiful artwork aka nature?

Whatever that thing is, search for it, define it and begin to apply it more in your life on the daily. If it’s binge watching shows, try to be careful with that. I don’t want you become addicted to TV.

Anyways, it’s important for us to find those activities and moments that motivate us to be happy every single day.

Then as we start to implement those activities in our lives, we begin to feel lighter, freer and hopefully happier. This isn’t a one size fits all situation.

Some of us need a deeper self-care which brings me to the next thought. There are things that have occurred in our lives, whether to us or those around us that have detrimentally impacted us our entire life. However, we may not even notice it.

Sometimes we are suffering from pain that isn’t even ours to hold. Burdens too broad for our own shoulders. This is why going a step further by seeking therapy, community groups and other similar forms of assistance are essential.

I personally say this all the time, I’ve tried therapy several times and am currently in it now. This is the first year that I have really seen the difference in my life.

I’ve learned about boundaries, giving myself grace and room to grow. Being more patient with life in itself. Understanding how much of a process true healing is. As my therapist always says, “Healing is not linear.”

In other words, it is not a one size fits all process. There layers to it, there are layers to us and layers to finally reaching that place of peace.

So what is self-care?

Self-Care is:

  1. Learning your boundaries

  2. Knowing your boundaries

  3. Accepting your boundaries

  4. Applying your boundaries

  5. Sticking to your boundaries

When I say boundaries, this can apply to a myriad of things in your life. What you will accept from yourself, your partner, people at work, at school, your children and hell even strangers. Self-care is creating a safe environment for yourself to not only survive in but to thrive in. For some of us that can be the simple moments of drinking tea, doing yoga, mediating and praying. Either way, it is what you set out for yourself to indulge in peacefully.


With that said, while self-care can certainly be spa days, movie nights, wine nights, brunch, Netflix binges, mani/pedi trips, eating a tub of ice cream, working out, eating right, not eating right etc. the list goes on. Hell even masturbation is a form of self-care but y’all not ready for me to get that deep on here LOL. If that’s not your thing, keep scrolling.

All in all, it is all about learning what does and does not work for you. Self-care is doing the work which includes all of the things mentioned above. Self-care is self love because you’ve taken the time out to know yourself. To know yourself is to nurture yourself and to do that is show yourself a love supreme.

Your Good Sis,

Sophonie

self•lationship: solitude vol.2

Uncategorized

solitude vol.1

sol·i·tude

/ˈsäləˌt(y)o͞od/

noun

  1. the state or situation of being alone.

For your listening pleasure while reading:

Ladies how y’all doing? Fellas y’all alright? Just checking in real quick. It’s been a week since we’ve last spoken and to be quite honest, I haven’t been in the best mood lately. Last week was such an exhilarating high for me. Starting my business, and truly launching my brand.

But sometimes things simply go out of whack for various reasons. Either way, I’ve mustered up some strength to begin writing this.

Last week we discussed the meaning of solitude and the three principles of self•lationship. While reading over last Friday’s post, this line stood out to me: “Have you ever once considered how peaceful and full of love your life can still be even without a partner in the picture?”

I will explain in a moment why that line in particular stood out to me.

Growing up, my siblings and I were accustomed to attending damn near every single wedding in our neighborhood possible. My mother, the well known baker, cake guru and flower decorator extraordinaire would take all five of us sisters and sometimes our two brothers, to help her with events she was hired for.


One of the countless weddings we helped out at or walked in. Can you spot mini Sophonie?One of the countless weddings we helped out at or walked in. Can you spot mini Sophonie?

One of the countless weddings we helped out at or walked in. Can you spot mini Sophonie?

There I can always recall hearing love ballads from Celine Dion’s, “I’m You’re Lady, (The Power of Love),” to the soul soothing sounds of Kenny G’s saxophone. Haitians loveeed these specific songs and artists for whatever reason LOL. I mean they are great but at every single wedding you could expect to hear one or the other played.

Anyways, growing up in an environment where marriage seemed to be the ultimate societal goal or expectation can create this thirst within oneself to fulfill that. That can be good and very bad. Good because if that is what you desire, awesome. You can now work towards it and hopefully reach that moment.

Very bad because some of us then feel like every relationship has to lead to marriage. I’ve seen memes where people say, “If it we aren’t working towards marriage, then I don’t want it.”

Now I can understand that from the perspective of old me but new me not so much. Every relationship or friendship isn’t going to last. Some things do end even if we don’t want it to.

Putting that pressure on yourself or someone else, especially as women can often lead to some harsh repercussions later on down the line.

I believe that there is lesson to be learned in every connection that we form with other human beings. This is especially true when it comes down to more intimate ones such as with lovers, partners and spouses.


Now going back to the line mentioned earlier: “Have you ever once considered how peaceful and full of love your life can still be even without a partner in the picture?”

Being that so many of us feel pressured to find love to appease some form of loneliness in us or show off to the world, can that really be considered as a true desire for marriage?

Some people don’t even realize they are better off without a relationship or marriage until they are in one.

I say all this to say, finding your own true sense of happiness is important for taking any step in life. This can be applied to your career, social circle, and much more.

Find your inner peace before attempting to seek your outer piece. This is not one of those, “Love yourself first,” moments but rather truly learning to sit with yourself. Learn who you are. Learn what you like. Then go forward.

You may find that a traditional relationship doesn’t even work for you. Perhaps having multiple lovers is your thing or being a poly relationship is your thing. How will you ever know if you simply jump from person to person trying so earnestly to find love in others who may not even love themselves?

Search for peace in you. Work on that self•lationship. You deserve it.

Your Good Sis,

Sophonie