Motivation Monday: The Importance of Self-Awareness

Happy Monday everyone! I actually stopped working on an assignment for one of my client’s to write this post because I wanted to make sure that it was up first thing this morning! I have been doing a lot of self-reflection (as I hope has been seen in my previous posts) and what I realized is that I am slowly but surely getting my life to a point where I am happy, secure and fulfilled as it relates to my relationships both personal and professional, my mental and physical well-being and working on being financially secure. It is definitely a process but I wanted to share how self-awareness was the catalyst that reignited my passion and helped me move forward.

I realized that I have to be my own biggest fan (check out my  post to read more about that journey here) and focusing on being positive and motivating myself to live up to my potential meant that I had to remove toxic energy out of my life whether it came from my own self-doubts and insecurities or from any negative energy around me. My friends and family have been supportive of my goals and have always encouraged me to be the best version of myself and that’s why they are so dope! I haven’t been in a toxic relationship/situationship in over a year and while I am open to dating, I realized that I will never settle again. Looking back on how I allowed men to treat me in the past was a direct reflection of how little I valued myself and after the last situation ended, I promised myself that I would NEVER allow anyone in my life that doesn’t know my worth.  I am still working on the diet aspect so you won’t see any fitness/health posts until I get it together in that area but I’m reaching a point where I can’t just eat anything I want and not gain weight as seen in my post “Thick Girl Blues( Spanx Not Included)” so I am trying to be more conscious of what enters my body. As far as getting how self-awareness has benefitted me from a financial standpoint, I started thinking about  what skills I possess that will help me earn more income. In addition to the social media management, I started focusing more on obtaining clients for the writing composition services part of “Amore Luxe Media” and I have a few consistent clients that have been helpful to earning extra income. I also started working at the daycare again but only on the administrative side of the business and I get to make my own hours which I’ve realized has given me freedom and not let me feel restricted or trapped in a position that doesn’t suit my needs or help me reach  my goals. By having multiple streams of income, I am able to save more so I can create a nest egg that I can use towards getting my own place, a car or investing in my business which wasn’t possible when I was making excuses instead of moves.  I’ve realized that being self-aware is very important because for so long, I was feeling sorry for myself and where I was in life and wanted to make excuses and blame everyone but once I became self-aware, I was able to take responsibility for the choices I’ve made (or didn’t make) that made an impact on where I was in my life at that point.  I’m not where I want to be but I am a lot better than where I used to be and I am so proud of myself for getting this far!

What steps have you taken in order to be more self-aware? Sometimes it can be as simple as writing down your goals and what you need to change internally and externally in order to accomplish those goals. I’d love to read your thoughts so be sure to comment below or hit me up on social media at @amoreluxe_ on Instagram or @Angela Cherai on Facebook. New post coming Wednesday! I hope everyone has an amazing week and makes sure that they love and live luxuriously!

 

Spotlight on Black Businesses: Day 3

Good Morning! Today is the third and final day of my Spotlight Series on Black Businesses. I am so happy at the feedback that I have received for the previous 2 days and I know my friends/fellow entrepreneurs appreciate the support. I am going to highlight 2 businesses/endeavors that I am a part of as well as one that has been instrumental in helping me build my brand. Read on to find out more!

Sionne (@designedonthebayou) 

Sionne aka Siki and I became connected through a mutual friend (she knows exactly who I’m referring to lol) and I love her passion, energy and spirit. Her graphic design skills are impeccable (as seen in the Weekend Friendz logo on my t-shirt below!) and her creativity knows no bounds. Her company, Designed On The Bayou provides customers with high quality logos, business cards, invitations, flyers, Snapchat Geo Filters and so much more. She has helped me immensely as it relates to building my brand and she can help you as well so make sure you hit her up on IG @designedonthebayou for more information. Siki, I am so in awe of your talent and I know that this is just the beginning for you. Thank you for always coming through for me and believing in my vision for my brand. Hope we get to finally meet soon :)Love ya!

DJ & Angela Cherai (@weekendfriendz) 

Weekend Friendz is the brainchild of my homie DJ who I have known since we were 8! DJ was inspired by our random conversations about entertainment, politics, relationships and life in general and wanted to create a podcast that other people our age could relate to. Even though we are partners, I have to give credit where credit is due and this podcast would be nonexistent without him because I needed that extra push from him to take that leap into the podcast world. You can listen to us every Friday on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play and just about anywhere you listen to podcasts. DJ, I am so happy that we decided to do this podcast after years of talking about it with no action lol…Weekend Friendz has given me the motivation and passion that I thought was lost forever so thanks for not giving up on your vision because it has created a new beginning for me. Can’t wait to see where Weekend Friendz takes us. Love ya!

Angela Cherai (@amoreluxe_)

Last but not least, its self-promotion at its finest time! Amore Luxe was a passion of mine that I left on the back burner because of personal issues that I was dealing with. I thought I had to have all the answers but after giving myself time to heal and grow, I realized that no one is perfect and that as long as I continue to grind and follow my dreams, the answers will come eventually. I plan on posting inspiring and thought provoking content while sharing my personal journey and progress.  As far as Amore Luxe Media, I haven’t been advertising as much as I should but I provide social media management/marketing/writing composition assistance services.  If you or someone you know is in need of marketing/writing composition services, email angelacherai@gmail.com for more a detailed list of services and pricing information. I want to thank everyone who has supported me from Day 1. Your kind words, positive affirmations and constructive critiques have not been in vain and I am dedicated to bringing quality content that will add to your life! Love you all!

 

My new mantra is to make moves not announcements so I won’t even tease about the things I have in store but just know that more inspiring, motivating content is on the way. In the meantime, be sure to like/comment/share my Spotlight Post Series. Until next week, always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Is Social Media Helpful or Harmful When It Comes To Dating?

Good Morning! I know I said I was going to post on Monday but I have had the hardest time trying to think of things to write. Same ish different day basically but I was talking to my therapist about needing things to talk about and she suggested that I discuss how social media has affected dating in modern times. As a social media marketer, I know how important social media is as far as promoting businesses and services as well as staying connected to family and friends that you may not get to see often. As far as dating goes though, I never thought about the effect it may have on relationships especially since the last guy I was seeing didn’t have any social media pages (or so he says lol) so that was never an issue for me. I started thinking about the pros and cons of social media as it relates to dating and while social media has been beneficial in building friendships and professional relationships, I think it has done more harm than good on the dating front.  I’ve seen my fair share of drama on social media and sad to say, the majority of the drama was relationship related.

One of the reasons why I think social media has been a hinderance on dating is because you lose a lot of the excitement of getting to know someone without checking their Instagram or Facebook page to get a feel of who they are. I feel that social media isn’t a true reflection of a person but instead, a calculated and curated image of how he or she wants to be perceived. Perception doesn’t always equal reality so instead of trying to decipher what certain quotes mean or falling in lust over a heavily filtered image, step away from your computer or phone and allow yourself to get to know someone without any preconceived notions based on their profiles.

Another problem with dating while on social media is that many people use likes, comments and statuses as validation. If a guy/girl doesn’t change their relationship status publicly or post pics on social media of them being in a relationship, suddenly there’s an issue because the other person is looking for social media acceptance and/or approval. Your relationship isn’t “real” unless everyone knows about it. Facebook/Instagram/Twitter should not be the deciding factor on whether your love is real or feelings are mutual. Now I’m not saying that it’s okay for your significant other to intentionally not post pics or follow you because he/she doesn’t want anyone to know that they are involved but it should be a natural progression and based on the person’s comfort level. There are people who aren’t into posting their daily lives on social media because it is outside their comfort zone and that should be respected. Navigating the social media space can be tricky but how a relationship should be shared should be decided between two people not the world-wide web.

The biggest issue I have with social media and dating is the disconnect that comes when people become dependent on social media interactions instead of face to face connections. Personally, I don’t want Facebook messages or dms on Instagram to become a main form of communication when getting to know someone. If you are interested in me, show it by asking me for my number and talking to me on the phone so we can set up a real date. Liking my pics or commenting with heart emojis don’t mean as much as sending flowers and notes. It’s the thought and effort that counts and social media interactions require little thought and effort but actions speak volumes. Even if the connection may start online, the face to face interactions are what will build and strengthen the connection that will hopefully last beyond the confines of cyberspace.

I don’t know of any instances where relationships built off of social media input and suggestions have stood the test of time but I could be wrong. I just don’t think that creating a potential reality show or melodrama for your social media followers is the way to longevity in a relationship. There should be balance and everyone including myself( in my next relationship!) have to find that social media/real-life balance that works for them and their relationship. Have you had social media drama that came at the expense of your relationship? Let me know in the comments below (yup I’m nosy lol). I’ll be back on Friday with another dating related post so stay tuned! As always, remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

 

 

Book Review: I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual

Image result for i'm judging youGood Morning! After a great weekend of hanging out with friends, I am ready to get back to blogging. As a certified book junkie, I wanted to start sharing my opinions on books that have resonated with me. I read a lot of romance/mystery/drama books but books that are funny, relatable and give valuable lessons and insights are few and far in between. That’s why I was so excited to read I am Judging You: The Do-Better Manual by blogger/digital strategist Luvvie Ajayi.

I started following Luvvie on Instagram (@luvvie) and her blog AwesomelyLuvvie.com and loved her wit and humor especially as it relates to pop culture, social media and everything in between. I knew I had to read her book and see what the “side-eye sorceress” had to say in greater detail. Even though the internet has connected all of us so we can stay in the loop,  it’s very refreshing to disconnect from the world for a bit and sit down with a good book in your hand (or iPad in my case!) and Luvvie’s book did not disappoint. Some of the memorable parts of the book for me were when she spoke about the “Dinner Scrooges” who make eating out an issue, the different types of friends that you most likely have in your circle (I am a former Flake so that paragraph hit me hard lol ) or the “promise ring” relationships that never seem to last! Even though I only know Luvvie through social media, I feel like she could definitely be one of my friends that would fit right in my inner circle. She would be the one who would make you laugh until you cry, be there to support and uplift you at your lowest points and would tell it like it is even if you don’t wanna hear it! Her “judgment” comes from a place of love and concern (and a bit of self-entertainment too) and as much as she can critique about what’s wrong with the world, she admits that she isn’t perfect and is still figuring this thing called life out (and doing a great job of it by the way!)

I assumed by the title that Luvvie was going to be somewhat preachy and although I do like reading books from experts in their respective fields, sometimes I just wanna laugh and nod my head in agreement without feeling personally targeted.  I’m Judging You does just that while slipping in a lot of gems in between. Luvvie has taught me that it’s okay not to put every moment your personal life on display on social media, (I was never really guilty of that but her words confirmed what I already believed) that there is no one way to live your life to be considered a feminist (thought I was going to have to start making picket signs and put empowering quotes by women in all of my sm bios lol) and most importantly, that we need to be aware of the specific privileges in our lives and help others who are oppressed in whatever way we can. That lesson stuck out because so many of us feel like victims of our own circumstances and feel that we can’t contribute unless it’s some grand gesture. Luvvie makes it clear that by speaking out on the behalf of others who are oppressed can mean a lot and by living your life as a person who tries their best to be a good person and bring positivity to others can be very impactful. I choose to help other women by sharing my stories and experiences to connect with others who may be going through something similar. I believe that together, we can make magic happen and I feel that Luvvie would definitely approve 😉

I don’t do ratings or anything like that but I’m Judging You is the equivalent of jollof rice for the soul (I’ve never had it but Luvvie is OBSESSED with it and I know my Ghanaian/Nigerian friends and readers would agree!) and its a recommended read for anyone who is in need of straight talk laced with laughter and encouragement. Now all I’m waiting for is for Luvvie to write her next book “I’m Doing Better, Now What?” and I’ll be all set!

If you’ve read I’m Judging You, let me know what you think in the comments section below and if you have any other books you would recommend to me, share those as well! Until the next time I post again, always remember to love and live luxuriously!