Good Morning! I know I said that I was going to discuss my healthy eating habits and I promise that I will get back to that…once I start eating healthy consistently that is! I’m all over the place with my good days and bad days but I am aiming for progress not perfection so once I start making some serious progress, I will be sure to share my tips and all of that. For now, I wanted to focus on something that has worked for me and that is the one thing that helped me when I was suffering from writer’s block and in need of inspiration: an idea book.
A page from my idea book…my handwriting is terrible I know lol
As I previously mentioned, I have been going to therapy for the past several months to cope with my anxiety, stress and mild depression. During one of our sessions, I told my therapist that I have felt uninspired and as a result, couldn’t think of anything to write about on here. She suggested that I purchase an idea book and write whatever comes to my mind in whatever form I wanted. Since the book was mainly to help me brainstorm, it didn’t have to be organized and structured like a planner and I didn’t have to have any particular goal in mind while writing. I can honestly say that having no restrictions when writing was such a freeing experience. I could write whatever I wanted, how I wanted and there was no wrong way to go about it. The ideas flowed easily after that. I wrote my ideas into random lists like “Amore Luxe Media Goals” and “Ideal Jobs/Careers” as well as a list of blog/video ideas based off of the ideas from the other lists. I realized I was lying when I said I didn’t have anything to write about because it was clear in those few pages that I actually did. Now I’m not saying that I have it all figured out but my idea book is a step in the right direction!
Remember that the only rule is that there are no rules so don’t feel confined to write your ideas and thoughts in a certain way. You don’t even have to call it an idea book if your book has other things in it like pictures or song lyrics that you’re working on. The point of the book is to spark your creativity and do it in a way that’s unique to you and your thought process. I bought my book for $5 bucks from a Macy’s outlet store but you can go to your local book store, Amazon.com or a specialty store where you can get a leather-bound book or an engraving if you’re fancy like that! I consider my book and the contents in it to be an extension of my personality and plan on using the ideas in it to create a new vision board. The possibilities are endless and I am so thankful to my therapist for helping me rediscover my passion and purpose through this book.
Do you have an idea book or something similar? Let me know what you use it for and how it’s helped you in the comments section below. Have a great weekend and make sure you always love and live luxuriously!
Good Afternoon! I know I haven’t posted in a week and to be honest, I didn’t feel up to it. I’ve been really bummed out lately and up until today, my anxiety was going into overdrive. I had a hard time falling asleep and when I finally did, I kept having weird dreams that I’m still trying to decipher. On top of all that, my chest felt tight and I knew I was worried/anxious but I wasn’t sure why. It took spending time with my grandmother yesterday for the light bulb to go off in my head and the conversation we had helped me get to the root of my anxiety which helped me to move forward.
My grandmother has soooooo many pictures from the time she graduated high school until now and as I mentioned in an earlier post “Photograph”, (https://amoreluxe.com/2016/10/12/photograph/) I love looking at them and hearing all the stories behind the pictures. As we came across a picture of my father who passed in 2014, we both started feeling melancholy and my grandma said “A mother isn’t supposed to outlive her child” and how she usually understands that everything happens for a reason but my father’s passing was something that she could never fully comprehend. I told her that some things just aren’t meant to be understood but that you have to accept it and find peace in knowing that things happen the way they are supposed to. Call it destiny, fate or whatever but what is meant to be will be. In that moment, I realized that most of my anxiety stemmed from the fact that I was worried about things that I could not change or control. I would ask myself questions like “Why did I slack off in my late teens-early 20’s at the first college I attended?” “Why did I waste so much time being involved with men who weren’t ready to commit?” and the one that I kept wasting energy on was “Why does it feel like I’m so behind in life compared to everyone else?” The answer to all of my questions was the same: Since it cannot be changed, I need to find peace with it and move on. I can’t change the past so why do I continue to focus on the mistakes I’ve made as it relates to school or relationships? I can only focus on the present and future and learn from those mistakes to make better choices that will bring happiness and success in my life. When it comes to worrying about others, it’s pointless because as I’ve stated many times before, everyone has their own journey and comparing my life to others doesn’t help me in my journey especially since I may not know what they went through to get to where they are today. Everyone has their own story and while I encourage others to go after their goals and dreams and live up to their potential, I only have control over my life and I need to direct my thoughts and energy on getting to where I want to be and look at positive examples and use that to fuel my motivation instead of allowing it to drain the passion that burns within me. I would say the “Serenity Prayer” every night before going to bed but last night was the first time in a long time that I said it and believed in the words I whispered to myself. For those of you who don’t know the “Serenity Prayer”, here it goes:
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
I know that the battle within myself isn’t over yet but I am in a better mental space today and I am glad I am able to share all the craziness inside this head of mine with you! Let me know what you think and like/share this post if you were able to learn something from it 🙂 Check back on Wednesday for my next post which will probably be about what helps me to de-stress because I’ve tried any and everything to relax and stay focused so stay tuned for that!
Much love to you all and always remember to love and live luxuriously!
Pic of me and my brother on his 7th birthday:)
Good Afternoon! Yesterday after posting my last blog entry, I was worried that if I didn’t post regularly, I would become inconsistent once again and start to fall off which has been my biggest concern as it relates to “Amore Luxe”. I had a few ideas swimming around in my head but nothing stuck out to me until I really sat down and gave myself a pep talk. Now I didn’t say these things aloud (although I’m known to talk to myself from time to time lol) but I told myself that I need to stick to writing what I know instead of trying to put on a positive front or write what I think people expect from me. Once I told myself that, I instantly knew what I wanted to write about. Pictures or as I like to call them. photographs.
I’m fascinated by photographs, old ones in particular. When I was younger, I would go to my grandparents house and spend hours looking at old photographs of my grandparents, my dad and my uncles when they were young and even pics of myself when I was younger with my brother and cousins. These pictures gave me so much joy because it took me back to those moments in time. Even though I wasn’t around when my dad was a child (obviously!) looking at the pictures that went along with the stories that my grandma shared warmed me up inside. My grandpa would take pics with his Polaroid camera and that was exciting because not many people had them at that time. I would wait a few minutes (which felt like eternity) and could see my image and reflected in that photo and add it to the pile of pics that I could look at every time I went to my grandparents house. I also remember my mom taking pics of me when I was younger. She had this slim pink camera that she would buy film for and take random pics of me around the house or at special events like Kindergarten graduation. I loved taking pics and although I had to wait a few days to see what they looked like, (remember those days!) I was anxious and excited because my mom was able to freeze moments in time. Moments that I cherished. Moments that I could never get back.
As time passed, my mom didn’t really care about taking pictures anymore. My grandpa stopped taking pics with his Polaroid camera and I didn’t care to look at the old pictures as often as before. I guess the present moments became a priority and looking at the past became redundant and pointless. When I lost my grandfather 4 years ago and my father 2 years after that, I craved to look at those pictures again but my grandma was in Florida and had all the pictures with her. I wanted her to e-mail them but that takes time and she didn’t know how to scan pictures to the computer and honestly, it just wasn’t the same. I needed her to be here to tell me the stories that lied behind the black and white photographs because the stories are what made the photographs special to me. Fortunately for me, she moved back to Jersey in September and I got a chance to visit her and look at all the photographs that I spent hours looking at during my childhood and even some that I had never seen before like her wedding pics. Needless to say, I was on cloud nine and looking back at these photographs made me somewhat sad because some of the people who were in them are no longer around but happy as well because without them, I wouldn’t be here to have my own photographs that will add to the story of my life. Take the time to enjoy each moment and capture it when you can. Don’t do it to stunt for social media or solely because it’s what’s expected of you but because your children and grandchildren may look at those photographs years from now and you can share your own unique story about what that moment in time meant to you. That’s what I’m going to try to do from now on! And maybe the occasional selfie or two:p
Next post will be up on Friday so stay tuned!
Until then, always remember to love and live luxuriously!
Happy Friday! I told myself that after I overcame my writer’s block caused by having pity parties,I would be honest, transparent and vulnerable because sometimes baring it all helps with the healing process. I started thinking about what I have gone through in the past 5 years: graduating college, losing my father, relaunching my website and more recently, ending a situationship that was going nowhere. In the midst of all these events that have transpired, I felt myself not being able to talk to my friends about the things going on in my life. I felt disconnected from others and isolated myself because my goals and aspirations weren’t in alignment with theirs and we couldn’t relate to each other anymore. It was driving me crazy and I couldn’t figure out what had changed. Up until this week, I was still stumped but then it hit me. It wasn’t what changed but who and the person that changed was me.
Once I had that epiphany simple but enlightening nonetheless, everything finally started to sense. One of the friendships that stuck out in my mind was the one I have with my best friend Felesha especially given our history. We met through an online Usher group back in 2001 (don’t judge us!) and connected instantly. We could relate to each other on so many levels from dealing with insecurities as far as our looks, “daddy” issues and of course our mutual love for Usher! We seemed to have so much in common so becoming best friends was inevitable. We were young and optimistic but over time, our differences started to overshadow the common experiences that helped our friendship blossom. She was very blunt, borderline rude at times while I could be overly sensitive and tried my best to think before I spoke. She grew up in a big family with many siblings and desired to have children. I only had my brother and the desire to have children decreased over time especially seeing how much work raising a child is after working in a daycare environment for over 7 years. She was content with having a minimalist middle class lifestyle that would be enough for her and her family. I on the other hand craved luxury and opulence and wanted wealth more than starting a family. These are a few of the differences that stood out to me after an emotional conversation we had a few months back after being offended by her tone and language. I wondered what happened to my best friend that I was so close to. Why did I no longer feel like I could talk to her about things going on in my life without feeling judged and criticized because we had different perspectives on how the future should be? Was she always this way but youth and naivety blinded my vision or was it just a matter of time before life and our own unique experiences would leave an imprint that would forever change the course of our friendship? Whatever it was, I knew that things had changed but what I didn’t realize until this epiphany was that I placed a lot of the blame on her instead of admitting that I was also at fault. Ultimately it came down to realizing that we both changed because change is inevitable. We can’t think and act like the teens we were when we met because there would be no growth or progression. Life experiences mold us into unique individuals and the traits that may be seen as negative in some aspects can also be seen as positive depending on the situation. I realized that I needed to let go of the young girls we once were and work on strengthening the friendship between the women we have become. It’s still a work in progress (see what I did there!) but I have a feeling that our friendship will survive the test of time because we are able to see things as they are and not what we imagined them to be when we were young. That clarity has made me love and appreciate her even more than I did before.
I saw a quote on Facebook that really resonated with me that said “When you begin to truly trust and like yourself, you tap into an immense amount of power.” I am learning to trust myself and love myself and embrace the stronger, outspoken woman who I am becoming. Becoming that woman means accepting harsh truths and understanding that I can’t be the person I used to be. The goals I want to achieve requires me be greater than I used to be while still remaining true to the essence of who I am. I can finally accept that I have indeed changed and can honestly say it is for the better!
Let me know what you think in the comments section below and share your experiences as well! Have a lovely weekend:)
Always remember to love and live luxuriously!