Lost and Found

Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now I’m found. Was blind but now I see.

Line from “Amazing Grace”

 

little_girl_lost_by_kelchele-d4ox4cmFor the past couple of weeks, I have racked my brain trying to figure out what I wanted to write about. I wanted my words to be  positive and have some type of meaning to them. I didn’t want to sound  redundant and mention topics/themes that I have written about recently but it’s been difficult because I feel like I’ve been at a standstill lately. I haven’t been as focused and driven as I wanted to be and have settled when it comes to what I want  out of life. Instead of making changes, I became complacent and that is a  scary thing because when you are in that mode, you feel like nothing will ever change and that this is the best that it will ever be. I was wallowing in self-pity especially when I started to compare my life to my peers and started becoming envious of their success. I  know envy is one of the seven deadly sins but “dead” in this instance meant that the part of me that made me different and unique was starting to die. I was losing myself because I put limits on my expectations by settling and being jealous of others who haven’t . Nothing worth having comes easy and  even though I knew all of this, I still allowed myself to sink deeper and everything I wanted and desired felt like it was slipping further away from me and the woman I wanted to be started to slip away as well.

I have epiphanies on a regular basis especially as of late. I have had a lot of time to reflect on life and see things as they are. The problem is that after said epiphany, I don’t take the necessary actions to change my situation because of all the work that has to be put in place. I realized all of this when I was talking to one of my kids at my tutoring job. She was upset because she felt one of the other girls was being mean to her and she felt like she was treated unfairly by the other girls in the center as well as her siblings at home. As a result, she started sulking and crying. I told her that although I understood why she was upset, she had to take responsibility for her own actions because she had been mean to the girls in the past and had hurt their feelings. In order for her to get along with the girls and her siblings, she would have to be the type of person that others would want to be around and in turn, they would give her the same treatment. Crying and sulking wouldn’t help her situation but making the necessary changes would. I said it in simpler terms of course but  I realized I was giving her good advice but I wasn’t applying any of it to my life but instead, continued to go through the motions. I realized that I would continue to lose myself if I kept doing the same things over and over. That experience was definitely an eye opener and was the main inspiration for this post!

It would be a lie to say that I have all the answers and I know exactly what it is I need to do to get to where I want to be because I am still trying to figure all that out but I do know that I can’t keep wasting the knowledge that my epiphanies give me because it is liking ignoring signs that will keep me on the road to my destiny. I am finding my way back on the right path slowly but surely and  I want to thank all of you because by reading and sharing your thoughts/opinions, I feel as if you are on this journey with me:) Have an amazing weekend and always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

 

Conquering My Fears

fearquoteI kept telling myself that I would talk about this fear of mine once I faced it head on but then I kept putting it off because I didn’t want to feel like a failure if I wasn’t able to overcome it. I have had a fear of driving ever since I could remember and combined with my fear of failure, I have been hesitant to take my road test again after failing it the first time 3 years ago. I don’t like the feeling I get when I can’t do something properly and although taking the written test wasn’t hard (had to take it 3 times over the last 6 years after letting my permit expire) when it came to facing the road test, I always pushed back the date because I never felt like I was ready. I tried figuring out why I was so afraid behind the wheel and I have come to the conclusion that although I am afraid of failure, my biggest issue is my fear of death. I am not worried about my demise but being responsible for someone else’s life is a very scary thing and even if I am the most careful driver, things can happen. I know that thinking this way is only holding me back but when I get behind the wheel, I can’t completely relax because of it. I start over thinking every little thing and simple tasks become complicated inside my jumbled mind. I have to get over this to get my license and most importantly. to gain control over my life and my destiny. Fear can be crippling mentally and physically and I don’t like the fact that I am the one that’s standing in my way. So what should I do?

 

At first I wasn’t sure of what the answer was but after getting to the root of my fears, I know to deal with my fear of driving and fear of failure I have to understand that even though I may have some control over my life, I can’t control outside factors and how others think and act. There is only but so much that I can control and I have believe in myself and God that everything will be alright. Letting go and having faith is one of the hardest things but to face your fears, you have to be ready to deal with the outcome, no matter what it is. Although my fear is of driving, this can apply to any fear or obstacle you may have. My road test is 2 weeks away and I promised myself that I would not cancel no matter what because I need to take it again and even if I do fail, I can always go back in 2 weeks and try again.  There is a quote by Thomas Edison that goes, “”I have not failed. I’ve just found 10000 ways that won’t work” and once you look at failure and life from that perspective, it changes everything. Wish me luck:)

 

Love and live luxuriously!

Featured Artist: Janine and The Mixtape

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Janine and I after our interview:)

I love listening to new music and discovering new artists online on different sites but I found an amazing artist in the last place I ever thought I would: watching an episode of “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta”…I try to stay away from watching ratchet television on VH1 but one night, I was bored and gave in to the madness and I am so glad I did. While I was viewing one of the scenes not really paying attention to what was going on, I heard this beautiful song play in the background and wanted to hear it in its entirety. Right before the commercial break, I found out that the artist’s name was Janine and the Mixtape and the song playing was called “Hold Me”. It was a wrap after that! I found her “Dark Mind” EP on Itunes, downloaded it and fell in love with her voice and subject matter. I wanted to meet the person behind the music and ask her what inspired such beautiful yet dark lyrics. I was thrilled when a couple of months after hearing her song on VH1, I was able to interview her in NYC and I must say that meeting Janine and The Mixtape surpassed all of my expectations! She is a beautiful soul inside and out and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for her. Check out our interview where Janine discusses her music, her thoughts on beauty and how much she loves NYC among other things! Enjoy!

For more info on Janine check her out on Twitter (@janine_mixtape) Instagram (@janine_mixtape) and on her website (http://www.janineandthemixtape.com/)

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

My Experience at the Sierra House

Good Morning! I have been so anxious to talk about the amazing experience I had on Friday night at the Sierra House in East Orange, NJ. The Sierra House is a transitional house for young women and their young children who are trying to figure out what the next step in their lives should be. They may be homeless because of financial struggles, family issues or a combination of many things and the Sierra House is there not only as a physical place for them to live in but the people who work there are able to connect them with the people who can give them the information, tools and resources needed to help them get back on track. After reading about this amazing place, I wanted to talk to these ladies and give them some inspiration because I felt that they could use some positive words of encouragement to brighten their day. Before I stepped up to speak, the women all shared a bit of their back story as well as where they were in their lives now and I was in awe. many of these women have been raped, molested and abused by family members and others close to them and still found something inside them that gave them the power to fight and overcome the darkness from their past. Most of these women had small children and they explained that their children were their motivation to want better in their lives. Needless to say, I was blown away and was hesitant to speak because even though I had been through many things in my life, I had never had to deal with that type of pain and betrayal from people I trusted. I then told myself to get over it because this wasn’t about me.I was here to connect with these women and to show them that having confidence in themselves is the foundation on which everything else stands.

 I shared personal stories with them from my childhood that affected the way I viewed myself as well as what I did to overcome these issues. The women were so receptive and sweet and asked me many questions about my site and my goals and it was in that moment where I realized that even though I came to talk to these women and encourage them, their attitude and positive outlook on life has opened my eyes and made me appreciate everything that made me who I am today. They touched my heart and I am so thankful that I was able to have this experience because I want to continue to learn and grow not only as a businesswoman but as a person.  I definitely plan on going back really soon and I want everyone who comes to “Amore Luxe” to know that even though I want to be successful and famous in the entertainment field, my number one goal is to connect with others and help each other by sharing our life experiences and my experience at the “Sierra House” showed that this goal is attainable and priceless.

I want to thank Keely Freeman who is the founder of Sierra House, Tanya Taylor who is a coordinator and social worker at Sierra House , Angela Daniels, my publicist who was the one who told me about this amazing place and finally, a HUGE thank you to all the ladies that shared their experiences with me and opened up their hearts to listen to me and hear my story. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have been in your presence and I can’t wait to come back to talk to all of you again:)

To donate, volunteer or for general information about the Sierra House, make sure you check out www.sierrahouse.org

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Me with one of the cutest babies at the Sierra House

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Not sure what we were talking about but I know I was passionate about it because of my hands!

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Listening to one of the ladies talk about her experiences

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!