The Pursuit of Confidence

invisiblecrownGood Morning! While I was watching television last night, a commercial caught my eye. I knew it was obviously selling something but the main character was a guy who walked with such confidence, everyone who encountered him thought he had to be someone who is important such as a movie star, spy or surgeon. At the end of the commercial, the viewer finds out that he is a hotel staff member but the thing that gives him this air of confidence is his Axe Body Spray. While I thought the ending was corny, I liked the concept because I truly do believe it is all about how you carry yourself. Perception is reality to many and you have to believe in yourself before anyone else will. I know that it can be difficult to feel confident in yourself or your abilities, but you never know who’s watching.

The “Confidence Campaign” began as an idea where I wanted to spread the message of how being confident in yourself is essential for love, success and overall well-being. I wanted to feel confident while tweeting and posting on the site. I wanted to exude confidence while making YouTube videos and hosting events. I wanted others to look up to me while showing the best version of myself at speaking engagements. The only issue I had with that was on most days, I wasn’t feeling confident in myself. I didn’t want to pretend because I always prided myself on being honest with my readers and viewers. What I failed to realize is that like happiness, confidence is a journey and not a destination. Confidence isn’t something that happens overnight. You have to be true to yourself even when it may not be the “popular” thing to do. Friends may be lost along the way because they aren’t happy with you when you are happy with yourself. Relationships can be broken once you realize your self-worth and stop settling for mediocrity. Risks have to be taken and rules have to be broken. These are difficult situations to handle and are a process but once you start on your journey to being confident, life has a way of giving you even more than what you asked for. You just have to know that you deserve it!

With that being said, I want you all to join me on my “Confidence Journey”. I promise to be as honest and transparent as possible, not only to help others on their journey but to become the best version of myself in all aspects of life. I am going to talk about the good (30 Days of Confidence Challenge) the bad (my fear of driving and underlying commitment phobia) and everything in between. No matter what you are going through, always remember that it isn’t where you came from that matters, but where you are going. Can’t wait for us to take this journey together:)

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

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What Is Love?

What is love if you’re not here with me?
What is love if it’s not guaranteed?
What is love if you just have to leave?
What is love?

Good Morning! I was watching Fox’s newest series “Empire” Wednesday night and I couldn’t get this song (sung beautifully by Veronika Bozeman) out of my head. Her character had to keep singing the song over because the head of the label Lucious Lyon (played by Terrence Howard) wasn’t satisfied with her performance. He went into the recording booth and told her to think about when her brother was shot and she had to identify his body. Something clicked and she gave a heartbreaking but beautiful performance.

After listening to the lyrics, I realized that the song could be about the typical man/woman choosing to leave because they weren’t satisfied but I could also see it from another perspective. The lyrics could be asking what is the point of loving someone with everything you have if they are going to leave your life whether it’s by choice or not. I thought about my father and how I didn’t say I love you to him as much as I should have. I took our time for granted and now it feels like it’s too late.

Being vulnerable and exposing yourself only to be left with disappointment seems pointless but what other choice do we have? Living a life without giving and receiving love is not only lonely but it’s draining to the soul. Nothing lasts forever but to be the best version of yourself and to live completely and freely will ensure that you have a fulfilling life. I intend to love everyone and everything that matters to me with all my heart and give all I have to offer and if they happen to slip away, I won’t have any regrets because I gave them the best of me and hopefully made their lives better with my presence. I hope my father would be able to say the same:)

Make sure you come back on Monday because I plan on making an announcement!

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Social Media Drama

socialmediadrama2Good Afternoon! After making my New Year’s Resolutions (https://amoreluxe.com/2015/01/01/realistic-new-years-resolutions/) I was thinking to myself, “How am I going to go about achieving these goals?” As far as eating healthy, I have to buy and consume foods that will be beneficial to my body and I’ve done enough googling to know how to do that and as long as I stick to it, I’ll be good. As far as my second goal of thinking and acting positively however, that one in my opinion is easier said than done especially when my life consists of being heavily involved in social media. I am on just about every social media website out there (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Tumblr, etc.) and although I have viewed a lot of  positive stories, pics, and quotes, sometimes it feels like the negative outweighs the positive and at times, I am also guilty of playing a part in the negative energy that is put out into the social media atmosphere.

One of my closest friends refuses to sign up for any social media pages. I didn’t understand this logic because I feel that sites such as Facebook are a great way to stay connected to family and friends that you would lose contact with otherwise but she wouldn’t budge from her position of social media being emotionally draining and drama filled. I didn’t fully understand where she was coming from until I thought about the “drama” I have had because of social media. My ex boyfriend is my Facebook friend and a few years back, a Facebook friend of mine messaged me. We had a good conversation and  when this person asked me for my number, I didn’t really see as a big deal because I had like a million business cards with my number on it so I figured it was just another way of “connecting” with people. Turns  out that this guy I was connecting with was my ex’s cousin and he was very upset. We talked about it and moved on from that situation but now I know to check the “mutual friends” list before I engage in conversation with anyone I become Facebook friends with!

I’ve learned that incorporating all aspects of my life (business and personal) isn’t always the best idea on social media. People see your social media page as a reflection of yourself so if you come across as crazy on your social media pages, people who don’t know you personally will think you are a  crazy person in real life. I know of a few people who love to go back and forth sending negative tweets and arguing on others’ pages out of frustration and in real life they are sweet, friendly and make for great company. Social media can be like one of those mirrors you see in a fun house. The image of yourself is distorted by the mirror that is in front of you and while you may the true you others see the distorted image which is not close to what is reality.

I have never been one to put all of my business on my Facebook page  or subtweet about anyone because I am the kind of person that will tell someone face to face if I have an issue with them. You obviously can’t do the same with people you don’t know personally so I have said negative things about celebrities that I don’t care for and have spread that negative energy to my friends and followers. Although it’s unrealistic to like everyone and everything they say or do, I don’t have to take part in bringing them down. I truly do believe the saying “To each his own” and I want to be able to ultimately say that I am open-minded and encourage people to be true to who they are even if I may not necessarily agree with their thoughts. Now this doesn’t mean that I am going to censor myself from speaking my mind when it comes to how I view the world, but I am going to focus on MY thoughts and MY actions before I pass judgment on someone else. This is about my own personal growth and I want to attract what I put out there so I am hoping that my  life will be filled with positive vibes for 2015 and beyond!

Progress can be a slow process but I am going to work on it on a daily basis starting here on “Amore Luxe”. I want every single post I make to add to someone else’s life. I want everyone who reads a post or watches a video on here to feel inspired, encouraged and uplifted after they close their browsers. There are so many sites that focus on gossiping and the negative attributes of the human race and I don’t want to contribute to that in any way. Drama may be  entertaining but it is also draining to the spirit so “Amore Luxe”will be a place where your spirit can feel replenished instead of depleted.  Spreading confidence is my mission and I hope that in the future, millions of people can be the best versions of themselves and help in spreading that self-love for others to see the beauty and light within themselves. And we are going to have lots of fun while spreading the love so make sure you stay tuned!

 

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

Mary J. Blige “The London Sessions” Album Review

I couldn’t wait to sign on here and blog about Mary J. Blige’s latest album “The London Sessions”(hence why I am posting this at 9am lol) I have watched various interviews that she has done in the past couple of months leading to her album release and have been slightly intrigued. I was curious to hear the “different direction” she decided to go in this time around after being influenced by the sounds and artists coming out of London but I was skeptical that this album would sound any different from her earlier ones. Mary is always consistent when it comes to making songs about heartache and resiliency but I figured that the album would have a couple of upbeat tracks like she has done in the past with “Family Affair” and “Just Fine” but the rest would be songs about getting through heartbreak, finding strength from within and loving yourself over soulful R&B tracks. After listening to the album however, I was pleasantly surprised. Mary J. Blige took a chance and tried something completely out of the norm for her by working with UK mega producers such as Disclosure and Naughty Boy and having popular UK artists such as Sam Smith and Emeli Sande co-write on tracks. The result is something I like to call “electrosoul”. The majority of the tracks have a electro dance vibe and 808 beats to match but Mary brings something that few artists today can achieve: even on a dance track, she still manages to stand out over the catchy tunes because of her unique voice and candid lyrics. Although the entire album is amazing, here are the tracks that stood out for me:

Track 3- Not Loving You

In the chorus Mary sings, “There’s only so much I can do. If you’re not loving you” It is a very powerful song about someone who can’t seem to pick themselves up from the pain and struggle that life has brought their way. The lyrics are reminiscent of classic Mary hits but this time around, she’s not the one that needs the support but instead is trying to open someone else’s eyes. I love this track because the lyrics are simple but powerful and stir something deep within.

Track 5- Right Now

This song produced by Disclosure is classic Mary with a modern feel. Although Disclosure’s signature sound is heard throughout the song, Mary’s sultry voice gives the track a refreshing twist . “Right Now” is definitely the strongest and most out of the box out of all the singles she’s ever released and bridges her old school flair with today’s heavy drum bass driven tracks. She sings “They don’t see what it used to be from the outside…this can’t be what it used to be from the outside” The only thing I see is this song reaching #1 on the charts 🙂

Track 6-My Loving

Here is another uptempo track from Mary (I am so not used to saying this in reference to Mary lol) As soon as I heard it, I felt like I was transported back into the 90′s when my friends and I screamed the lyrics to “Show Me Love” at the top of our lungs. Mary shows that she knows how to get down and party like the rest of us. I want her to perform this track live on stage and do the “footwork” dance so I can really get my life!

Track 8-Whole Damn Year

UK singer/songwriter Emeli Sande flexed her writing chops on this track which resulted in a soulful track that appeals to Mary’s core fan base but the melody is a slightly different turn that highlights the pain in her voice. She sings “Winter took most of my heart, spring punched in my stomach, summer came looking for blood and by autumn I was left with nothing” The metaphors expressed her sorrow and despair so eloquently and made me want to take another listen.

Track 12-Worth My Time

Mary ends the album with a ballad that shows us that even though she may have switched her sound up this go around with “The London Sessions”, she is and always will be the queen of hip hop soul. In the chorus she sings “I won’t give up if you make it worth my time” After listening to this track and the rest of this album, I can honestly say that listening to this album was definitely worth my time and I can’t wait to purchase it on iTunes so I can put it on repeat on my iPhone:)

Make sure you purchase the album in stores and online in the U.S on December 2nd, 2014 . If you live in the UK, you can purchase it a week early on November 24th (lucky!) Click on the links below preorder the album on iTunes and/or Amazon:

* iTunes: http://bit.ly/MJLondonSessions

* Amazon: http://bit.ly/MJBLondonSessions

You can stay up to date on all things Mary J. Blige by following her on Twitter, (@maryjblige) Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/maryjblige) and by checking out her official website (http://www.maryjblige.com/london-sessions)

Make sure you let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Disclosure statement: I participated in the Mary J Blige The London Sessions album review program as a member of bLink Marketing Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.

I participated in the Mary J Blige The London Sessions album review program as a member of bLink Marketing Network. I was provided a free album to review but all opinions are my own.

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