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It is okay to ask for help

“God helps those who help themselves” This common phrase is not actually a bible verse It is intended as a way of encouraging initiative, but often functions as a way of shaming instead The real truth…if you don’t speak up for yourself, who will? No one understands your needs better than you do You are your own best advocate Asking for help should not be understood as a sign of weakness Strong, capable people need help just like everybody else Having initiative does not mean you have to be completely self-reliant. Identifying and advocating for your needs is one way of taking the initiative for getting those needs met. Choosing not to remain silent about what you need and want is a way of pr

Push past a weight loss plateau

So the scale has stopped moving. You are beginning to imagine that you can feel the pounds creeping back on. That initial feeling of pride and excitement is fading and discouragement may even be settling in. What’s a weight loss warrior – (and sometimes weight loss worrier) to do? Extend your exercise plan to include your body and your mind. This is a crucial period in your weight loss program. The way your body uses and stores energy (i.e. food/calories) is changing, so you will have to make some changes, too. Your attitude will be what keeps you moving forward when you don’t have the reward of watching the numbers on the scale drop. You can push past this plateau by staying positive and us

Living Intentionally

And if only one more hour…? Those may not be the exact words, but that is the gist of a quote I came across several months ago. I cut the words into a small strip of paper that is now pinned to a bulletin board in my office. We all know that death is inevitable. We hope the day is far away. But what if it isn’t? Reading those words reminded me of how precious time is. Still, I squander time and take my relationships with self and others for granted. I refuse to abandon the superfluous, choosing instead to occupy myself with things, thoughts and activities that really don’t matter. Perhaps it sounds cliché, but for those of us with seemingly endless days ahead it is very important to live in

“You can go your own way”

Women are making some strides politically and in the corporate world, but what about socially? Not so much. There remains an underlying vein of discomfort – even guilt – as we break away from long loathed limits. “Having it all” comes up often, but that isn’t the real issue. The real issue is having the freedom from cultural pressure to identify and choose what we want. Then to actually go for whatever that is without apology. The dreams our great-grandmothers, grandmothers, and even mothers, dreamt are becoming real. We have more choices about what we can do, but not as many real choices about how we can be. There is still a great deal of tension related to identity, gender socialization an

Move past your past

You may have been deeply hurt or had some disappointments. You may have made some wrong turns or gotten caught up a time or two. Now what? More important than what you did or what happened then is what you do and what happens now. Move past your past. You cannot use old thoughts to build a new life. You cannot use pain and disappointment as an excuse to give up and still expect to get what you deserve from life. You cannot hold onto anger and say, “I just want to be happy.” What can you do? Whatever it takes…you can allow yourself to invest confident energy and effort in your life. Decide to develop an empowered vision of your future and embrace the promise it holds. Understand that you have

Morning Meditation

Today is a new day. I have never experienced this day before. I will meet this day with new purpose instead of old habits and stories that don’t support me or my goals. I will approach this day with openness as I experience each moment. I willingly let go of yesterday and free myself to meet this day with curiosity and courage. I choose to let go of the past and release the things I cannot change; and to use my emotional energy instead to create meaningful changes where I can. Today I will be patient and gentle with myself. I will practice using an inner voice that is more kind and less critical. I accept the person I am and the person I am becoming. I know that the self is not fixed or stag

Some warning signs of domestic violence

Isolation – In the beginning it may not be obvious that you are spending less time with family and friends because it feels like you have some choice in the matter. You may hear things like, don’t go out with them tonight, I haven’t seen you all week, I miss you. Your partner’s behavior may also appear initially as chivalrous as in – you don’t need a car or to learn your way around, I don’t mind taking you where you want to go. Criticism – You may begin to feel that you can’t do anything right. Suddenly there is something lacking in your shape, size, parenting, housekeeping, education, conversation, abilities, etc. Blaming – Abusers often fail to take responsibility for their feelings or cir

Living with domestic violence

There is a saying that goes, do not allow yourself to be led away from the truth by what you would like to believe. Domestic violence can be particularly difficult to come to terms with because of the complexity of emotions, values and hopes involved. Letting go of the hope that everything will be okay happens over a period of time, rather than in a day or a single moment. Some women leave and go back several times. If that describes you – never give up on yourself. You deserve a relationship free from physical and emotional violence. If that describes someone you know – never give up on her or assume “she likes it.” All people want and deserve to be happy and free from suffering. Check back

Find your financial purpose

Having a big why makes the how of money management feel more possible. If there is a real purpose driving your plan you will feel more compelled to save instead of deprived when you don’t spend. The sense of purpose creates a real shift in attitude that helps you see it isn’t that you can’t spend but that you are choosing not to spend. You are choosing your big why over a small, fleeting pleasure. Your sense of self is immeasurably bolstered by making a plan and sticking with it – much more than it is by getting another tech gadget. What is your big why? Is it saving for a house you can raise your children in? Is it knowing you can take care of yourself and pay your bills? The security of ha

Just Breathe

Each time you wash your hands today, pause for a moment. Slow down and breathe deeply, allowing your belly to fully expand as you inhale. Exhale slowly and sigh out loud as the breath moves out of your body. Remember to sigh. Sighing can help you regulate disrupted breathing patterns and lead to feelings of calm. Breathe deeply throughout the day and remind yourself that you are okay. While you are taking a breath break why not also take a break from trying to manage what others think of you or how they feel about you? She who trims herself to suit everyone will soon whittle herself away. – Anonymous #freeingyourself #dailysurvival #freeingyourselffromdoubt #justbreathe #freeingyourselffromf

The burden of strength

“Strong black women” get tired or feel weak and want to lean on someone sometimes…….just like everybody else. Just because you may have had a lot of practice does not mean there are no limits to the emotional and physical pain you can endure. Give yourself permission to step away from the myth that you can take anything and still be okay. Saying you have had enough does not diminish your strength or power – but never saying you have had enough just might. What burdens do you need to throw off your back? #dailysurvival #strongblackwomen #theburdenofstrength

Prioritize Ruthlessly

Prioritize ruthlessly – Tina Tchen Don’t let meaningless busyness or petty distractions steal the time you need for restoration, relationships, goals or any must-do’s that are deeply important to you. You can make it happen – whatever “it” is – when you give yourself permission to clarify priorities and focus on them with deliberate intention. #selfcare #intentionsetting #tinatchen #prioritizeruthlessly #maketimeforwhatmatters #leapforyourdreams

Busier isn’t necessarily better

Who you are isn’t about what you do and worth is not measured by the number of your accomplishments. You are lovable and worthy because you are you. You are already enough. #dailysurvival #maketimeforwhatmatters

Start by setting small exercise goals

You don’t have to be a size two to cut your risk of diabetes or to be healthier. According to John Hopkins Medicine losing just 5 to 10 percent of your body weight can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58% . That is only 10 to 20 pounds if you weigh 200. Go ahead and get started on your fitness plan. Exercise is a great way to practice self care because it feels good and it is good for you. Start by setting small goals You have probably heard the expression – a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Why not make fitness a part of your journey toward wellness? Think of health changes such as losing weight and inches or committing to a self care fitness plan as points along the j

Choosing to forgive

Forgiveness does not mean the person that caused you pain is getting away with it. The behavior is still wrong and hurtful. But refusing to let go of anger and pain does not change what happened. Often, it only limits what can happen because anger closes you off, leaving little room for many of the good things in life. Decide you don’t have to stay stuck in your pain because you are left without answers or apologies. You may not ever hear the person say what he or she did was wrong. You may never even get an acknowledgment that it even happened. That does not change what you know to be true. Freeing yourself from a painful place is possible regardless of what the other person does or does no

Tell the truth

Sometimes I had an intense desire to cry because of something my father said, but instead, because life, cynicism, had taught me to put on a mask, I laughed. For him, I did not suffer, I felt nothing, I was a shameless cynic, I had no soul…because of the mask I showed. But inside, I felt every word he said. Manual, IN The Children of Sanchez by Oscar Lewis; quote printed in the opening pages of The Third Life of Grange Copeland by Alice Walker. Find someone you feel safe enough to sit with unmasked. Cry, scream out, let yourself feel. Tell the truth about your suffering. All those distractions you use to keep yourself safe from your feelings don’t really keep you safe. They keep you separate

Leap for your dreams

Take the leap. You have already failed in a thousand big and small ways – you did not die. You learned, you adjusted, you kept growing forward. Why not risk failure for something that really matters to you? Go ahead and launch your business, get sober, write a book, ask a question, sign up for the race, step out, take that class, say yes to whatever your dream is. Go big, and if you fail it will be in the knowledge that you took a glorious leap toward the deep longing you have felt. It is okay to let yourself be pulled forward by that longing. Allow it to fill you, it might even quiet some of your fears. Know that you will be okay no matter what happens. You may even be better as you decide

Planning for self-care

Women are often urged to look everywhere except within for comfort, centering, love and self-care thus reinforcing the idea that we don’t have what it takes to restore, heal or encourage ourselves. We do. We just have to find the strategies and connections that work for us. Consider combining community services and support with your own internal resources for a self care plan that you can build, direct and own. Here are a couple of strategies to try. Cognitively Based Compassion Training (CBCT), Mindfulness and Meditation Practice – learning to observe your feelings as they come up can make not identifying with them or not letting them lead you astray feel easier. Exercise and yoga (can be a

Make time for what matters

Make time for what matters…you. #selfcareexercise #dailysurvival #intentionsetting #meditation #maketimeforwhatmatters

Just say no

Set up and honor personal boundaries. Yes, you can say “no” sometimes without bringing the world to an end – it really will keep spinning. Be intentional. As much as possible, avoid doing anything that contradicts what you say is important to you. Seek out people and places that nurture and restore you. Limit or avoid people, places and situations that leave you feeling drained or like a loser. You are not a loser and you deserve to be in good company. Protecting your time and space is one of the most important ways to practice self-care. Yes, you have the right to do that. #selfcare #personalliberation #dailysurvival #selflove #personalboundaries

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