Day 1 Confidence Challenge: Finding “Me Time”

metimeoprahquoteGood Morning Everyone!!! I am so excited about the response I received after posting about the “30 Days of Confidence” challenge yesterday. So many of you said you were all in for participating and wanted to know when we would start. Well TODAY is the day!!!! I have had multiple conversations with friends and family and so many of us feel blah about ourselves because we are overwhelmed with the pressure and unpredictability that life brings. Whether you are a mother or father working long hours to provide for your family or a college student trying to cram for 3 midterms, stress and the fear of  failure can make us feel like we are losing even before we start our day. No matter what is going on in your life, ALWAYS remember to take care of yourself. You have to be in a good mental and physical state for other areas of your life to fall into place. If you want that promotion at your job or want to earn an A on your next exam, you have to get your mind right and for you to do that, you have to mentally and physically recharge to be at your best. Finding time out to treat yourself, even if its 15-20 minutes out of your day doing something you like is essential to your overall well-being and definitely has a positive impact on the way you see yourself. Doing these things by yourself  also allows you to enjoy spending time with a person that should be valued and cherished:YOU! You are able to learn so many things about yourself when you are alone especially when its something you have never done before. I remember going to see a movie by myself for the first time last summer and I was so proud of myself because I did something that was outside of my comfort zone and enjoyed every moment of it. Something as simple as treating yourself out to your favorite meal or reading a chapter of a book you have been dying to read will have a profound effect on your mood and your overall outlook. If you pay close attention, you will notice that the most confident people are the ones who don’t need to be around a crowd every minute of the day. Their solitude speaks volumes and they can be alone without feeling lonely or insecure. It is a very powerful thing so I strongly suggest that you carve at least 15 minutes out of your schedule to do something fun/relaxing/entertaining for yourself by yourself. I plan on meditating while listening to the “Yoga and Meditation Playlist” on Spotify when I get home. It is relaxing and improves my mood and I told myself that I would start doing it more often so why not start on Day 1! Let me know what you plan on doing for your “Me Time” activity down below and make sure you do these things for you and  not anyone else:)

I will be posting Day 2-Day 5  Confidence Challenges tomorrow so make sure you are on the lookout for that!

 

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Light Girls

lightgirlsGood Afternoon! I watched the “Light Girls” documentary on OWN last night and wanted to express all the things that were running through my mind while watching. I didn’t comment on the “Dark Girls” documentary because I didn’t feel like I could completely relate to what the women on the documentary were saying but after watching the “Light Girls” documentary, I realized that I can’t completely relate to the “light-skinned” women and their experiences either. My mom is a beautiful brown-skinned woman who I’ve been told that I favor on countless occasions but my father was very light-skinned. People used to tell him that he favored Smokey Robinson pretty hazel eyes and all!  When I was younger, classmates would ask if he was white because of his light complexion. Most of the relatives on my father’s side of the family were just as light and some could pass for white. I remember one experience when I was with my grandfather at the supermarket and I ran into a coworker of mine who waved when we walked by. When I saw my coworker at work the next day, he asked me who was that “white man” I was with the day before and when I told him that was my grandfather, he didn’t believe me. As a result of growing around people who were considered “light-skinned” in my eyes, I never saw myself as light because many of my family  members had a much  lighter complexion than me. It wasn’t until my young adult life that I was placed in the light-skinned/redbone/yellow complexion category. When I would wear long weaves, people would ask me if I was mixed and the guy that I am currently seeing jokingly calls me “light brite” and “yellow cake” because he swears that I am of a lighter complexion than he is.

Being “light” was never something that I felt I should be proud of. My mom as I stated before is brown-skinned and my maternal grandmother had the most beautiful chocolate complexion that I’ve ever seen. Beauty, in my eyes was how you carried yourself and skin color had nothing to do with it. It bothers me that we are still having this conversation in 2015.  I feel like we can’t even begin to properly deal with racial discrimination until we address the colorism within our own community. Instead of putting people on pedestals or insulting them if they are light or dark, we need to talk about why we are focusing on skin color in the first place. It all stems from racism as far back as slavery and although it has been 150 years since slavery ended, the pain from the emotional wounds still linger. I know it is easier said than done but we must address the real issues that are more than skin deep.

I think we can all start by learning how to truly love ourselves. It is hard to not let appearance be a reason but we need to focus on being the best version of ourselves by changing what is on the inside. Once we learn to love and embrace our differences and accept others’ differences and be happy with what God has blessed us with, we can grow as individuals and as human beings. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Even though Dr. King was speaking about the judgment outside of the black community, we need to work on the judgment within the black community so we can begin the healing process.

 

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

 

 

 

 

Less Than Perfect

Pretty, pretty please don’t you ever, ever feel
Like you’re less than less than perfect
Pretty, pretty please if you ever, ever feel
Like you’re nothing, you are perfect to me

Pink-Less Than Perfect

Good Afternoon! I announced the launch of the “Confidence Campaign 2015” yesterday and I am so excited! There are so many issues I want to talk and have open discussions about. Confidence has an effect on every aspect of life and although we are always told that it is what’s on the inside that counts which is absolutely true but so many of us care about our appearance. We focus on what others think of us especially w hen it comes to the opposite sex and do things to appeal to them. Some may think that these thoughts start at adolescence because of peer pressure but I have seen for myself that it starts at an early age.

I am a tutor at an afterschool program and I work with kids ages 5-11 and there is this one girl who was one of the inspirations for this post. She is a cute, thin brown-skinned girl who runs  her mouth at all the wrong times and is constantly in trouble because of it. Her mother came in to the daycare one day visibly upset because her daughter got in trouble at school earlier  in the day Even though her talkative nature was worrisome, what bothered me even more was that her mom said she hardly eats anything when she’s at school or home. My mother is a Certified Teacher in Health Education and between the conversations we’ve had and the countless movies I’ve watched throughout my childhood and young adult life, I started to become worried that this little girl was showing signs of Anorexia. I pulled her aside and had a conversation with her and asked her why she didn’t want to eat and she told me that she didn’t want to get fat. I couldn’t understand why this little girl who takes ballet and has not an ounce of fat on her was so worried about being fat. It broke my heart and made me realize that working on having good self-esteem at a young age.

Children are very influenced by what they see and hear and absorb everything so we have to make sure that we put positive self-image messages out there to counteract the millions of negative messages that the media releases daily. Instead of showing size 2 models in all the advertisements let’s have size 14 models which reflects the size of the average woman in the United States. Instead of focusing so much on fad diets to lose weight quickly let’s focus on eating healthy and incorporating exercise into our daily lives to be better people, not to appease the world but for our own mental, physical and spiritual well-being.

I hope that this “Confidence Campaign’ is a gateway into further conversations about changing the way we view each other and ourselves. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter. Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtag #confidencecampaign. This is definitely the beginning of something big! Much love to you all:)

 

Always remember to love and live luxuriously!

Selma Movie Review

Good Morning! I wanted to wait until “Selma” was released nationwide tomorrow (January 9th) but after seeing a preview for it for the millionth time on tv, I took it as a sign to give an early review so I could persuade everyone to go out and see it on Friday. I had the opportunity to see the movie right before Christmas at an advanced screening of it in NYC courtesy of http://www.gofobo.com. I knew I was going to love the movie because I am a Civil Rights History buff. When I was younger, I used to read  anything related to the Civil Rights Movement so I was familiar with “Bloody Sunday” and the importance of that moment in history but I didn’t realize how strategic the “non-violent” approach really was in the grand scheme of things. In “Selma”  the viewer is able to see how being non-violent played into the hearts and minds of the public by way of the media. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was able to show the pain and suffering of African-Americans in Selma and the south by showing that voting isn’t a privilege but a basic human right and being denied those rights is not only illegal but immoral.

I also loved how the director, Ava DuVernay (who is the first African-American woman to be nominated for a Golden Globe award and hopefully Oscar) approached many of the scenes, in particular, the “Bloody Sunday” scene. The phrase that comes to mind after viewing that scene  is “tragically beautiful” because of all the emotions that occurred in those brutal moments. You could feel hate from their oppressors and mental strength and resilience from the marchers. It is so crazy to realize that all of this actually happened only 50 years ago. We have come a long way but as recent  event such as Ferguson and Eric Garner have  shown, we still have a very long way ago. “Selma” is coming out at an ideal time because we all can learn from the past to make sure that we handle current racial issues in a strategic way to see real progress.

I think that David Oyelowo (the actor who played MLK Jr.) did an amazing job showing the different facets of MLK.  He showed MLK as a funny, down to earth person who even in his greatest moments had imperfections and indiscretions like everyone else. I was really impressed with the fact that he was British because being able to capture the voice and overall essence of someone as well-known as Martin Luther King Jr. is not an easy task. I am sure he will be nominated for an Oscar for his role as well!

Make sure you go out and see “Selma” in theaters tomorrow and come back to the comments section and let me know what you thought of it! Can’t wait to read your replies!

 

Love and live luxuriously!