Thursday, December 31, 2015

See You Later 2015


Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!
New Years Eve is rapidly approaching. During my commute to and from work, I began to reflect on things that have occurred this year. I though about the decisions I made and did not make, life events, my relationships (children, family, friendships, significant other), my health, accomplishments, unaccomplished goals and my job. I also thought about what I loved as well as what  hated about this year.

As I look back on 2015, I realize it was a roller-coaster. I went through a lot emotionally, mentally, spiritually, during the first nine months of 2015. Now that in think about it, it was as if I was pregnant. GOD was preparing me for the rebirth of myself. After giving birth, you are thrilled to see who has been growing and moving inside you, who has been keeping you up at night, who has been poking and probing you, basically who has been invading your space. Once you give birth you look forward to nurturing and molding that child into what God has called him or her to become.

Well that is my story for 2015. I love the fact tat I was "pregnant" for months. Throughout these months, I felt every every emotion one could possibly feel. I experienced good times as well as bad ties. I was surrounded by conflict and chaos daily. I did not know what was going on. I felt attacked. Through it all, I continued to pray and I began to attend church regularly. There was a battle going on inside of my body. I became anxious and emotional. During these nine months, I knew who had been poking and probing every fiber of my being. I knew why my space was no longer peaceful, but filled with tension, anger and accusations as well as other things. As a result of this, disgust, bitterness, anger, dislike, irritation, annoyance, confusion, exhaustion and more were growing inside of me. 

No matter how hard I tried nothing I did could shake or break these feelings. I continued to pray. I barely spoke to anyone at home. I began to shut down. Then one night in the shower, I had along conversation with God. I questioned him and I cried while speaking to him. That night I gave everything to God and I knew I was going to be okay. I prayed and asked God for guidance, I prayed and asked God to remove anything that was not supposed to be in my life. I asked God why things were going wrong in my life when I was trying my best to do right by everybody. Why were things always happening. Be careful what you ask for because you just might get it. And I did, but it was not on my time. When you ask God questions or to show you something He will do so, but on his time. You have to be willing to accept how he shows you things. It is not always peaches and cream. You may have to go through some things to get the results you want. I acknowledge my mistakes and I have will continue to grow from them. I am learning to trust my gut, my intuition as it is usually right.

After thinking about all that I have mentioned, I asked myself would I have done anything differently? If so, what? If not, why? I have come to the conclusion that I would not have done anything differently. The decisions I made where best for me and my girls and I will not apologize for making those decisions. I have thought about where I have been, where I am now and where I want to go.

Looking back on 2015, 

  • What did you love/hate about 2015? 
  • What would you do differently? 
  • What do you wish you had done that you did not accomplish?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Peace In The Valley

Two and a half months ago I was in the midst of a terrible storm. Everything that could go wrong did. I had to postpone receiving the right hand of fellowship, my relationship was ending, I was being accused of something that was not true which caused a lot of anger and frustration within me, as well as, tension in my home, I could not sleep and I could not focus. I was losing myself. One mild October Saturday, I decided to go to Shop Rite at Gateway Mall. When I entered I stopped to smell the flowers. For some reason doing this was calming to my spirit. I then proceeded to look at the plants. I browsed all that where there, but I kept going back to this one specific plant. The leaves were dark green, glossy and had white lilies. Before I finished my grocery shopping, I headed back towards the florist to purchase the plant. I had no idea which classification the flower belonged. I had no idea whats the name of the flower. It didn't matter as long as it was in my possession. I forgot to ask the florist the name of the flower, but I made a mental note to ask when I returned.


The following week the girls wanted to go to Five And Below to purchase a few things for Halloween. So of course I stopped at Shop Rite to find out the name of my flower. I was told the name of the plant is Spathiphyllum, which is a Latin word that means prosperity and peace. It is also known as the "Peace Lily". During my research, I found the "peace lily" can have several different meanings, such as innocence, tranquility, solitude, peace, purity, hope, prosperity and balance (of energy). I also read symbolizes Christs resurrection from the dead. Well, I must say that during my storm, my entire being was being tossed back and forth. I was mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically drained. I really had nothing left to give to anyone. I was losing all hope. I was slowly dying. I believe the Lord lead me to Shop Rite that day to purchase the peace lily.

As the days, weeks and months go by, I am slowly getting back to me. It's not easy as I get overwhelmed, but I remain hopeful. Everyday, I am grateful because my soul has been resurrected from the dead. I now have peace and calmness my life and in my home. Things seem to be going in the right direction. There is a positive force illuminating in home. Give are the days of discord and strife that affected me, my girls and home. I decided to begin the implementation process for my new life and new environment for my family. I found that this plant is symbolic of so many things I was longing for and required in my life, my home, my personal space and my for daughters. After all that I have endured, I chose to rise above the storm, stand in my peace and breathe.

I have Learned a valuable lesson from what has happened. I won't make that mistake again. Never Again, No More. I choose to Live in the present. I still have Hope for the future.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Learn From Your Mistakes

Under no circumstances is it ever easy to admit you have made a mistake. Nonetheless, it is a very important process when children and in some cases when adults are learning, developing and refining themselves.

It is my responsibility to help and teach my children to learn from their mistakes. Now, I will admit my initial reaction is not always the best reaction. This is especially true when situations occur and I have forewarned them of the possible outcome. Once I have calmed down, I then proceed to give them advice that I hope they will remember as they travel along this beautiful journey called life.

There will be times in life when you are going to fail at things. There will be times when you are going to make mistakes. That is okay. Failure is going to happen. Mistakes are going to happen. They are a part of life and should not be feared. There will be times when your failures or mistakes knock you down. That is also okay. Do not allow fear of failing or fear of mistakes cause you to become stagnate. Instead, use this as a learning experience. Do not let it keep you down. Get up, dust yourself off, regroup, learn from it and move forward.

Some children will not know how to react or bounce back after making a mistake or failing. They may be afraid to tell us if they failed or a mistake because they are not sure what response or reaction they will receive.  We as parents have to talk to our children. We have to make our children feel loved even in fear and when they make a mistake.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Starting The New School Year

It is hard to believe that it is that time of year again. Where did the time go. It seems like the 2014-2015 school year just ended. Naturally, some of you may be excited for your children to return to school and some are not. Regardless, of which category you fall in we cannot avoid the inevitable. As the first day of school approached, my girls experienced every emotion possible.
They were excited about who their teachers were and if they would have classes with any of their friends. On the other hand, they despised the fact that Summer rapidly coming to an end. I felt the same way. The Summer went by so fast. I am the parent who was not ready for the school year to start. Unfortunately, the 2015-2016 school year has began and we have to get back into the swing of things.

Tereya is a senior in high school and is she is already stressing out. Let me remind you, school has only been in session for three days. The one advantage is she does not have that many classes. However, she is involved in several activities in and outside of school. Nyasia is in her second year of junior high school. She is currently in the sixth grade. Her school year began in August and has been in session for almost a month. She also has a full schedule including her after school activities.

Below are a few tips I suggest and encourage my girls to do during this school year. 
  • I encourage my girls to keep God first in all areas of their life. 
  • I encourage them to ask questions and participate in class discussions. 
  • I strongly suggest they do not leave class if they do not have a clear understanding of the lesson.
  • I encourage then to utilize their planners or calendars to remember important dates.                   (I keep track of the dates, but I want them to learn to keep up with the dates as well).
  • I strongly suggest they ask tutoring or help with difficult subjects.
  • Do not wait until you are failing to ask me for assistance. Please do so the moment you realize you are having problems in the subject.
  • Start projects early rather than later.
  • Set your academic goals for this school year.
  • Stay FOCUSED.
  • Study
  • Breath and take a break in between long homework assignments. 
  • Relax (but not too much lol)
Every school year my girls do very well. I could not be more proud of them. This year is no different. I have explained to them the importance of prioritizing their schedule and task list. Their priorities must be completed and done correctly before they can have any down time. They know what I expect from them and I will accept anything less. OUR goal is to have another very positive and productive school year. I have been told that I put to much pressure on them. I disagree. I only want what is best for them. I am well aware of the academic and social demands my girls and all children face on a daily basis. Like most parents, I care about their entire being as well as their future. Staying focused, hard work, getting their education, setting goals, and achieving those goals is the only way they will have the career and lifestyle they want for themselves. I will continue to encourage, support and give a little push alone the way.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Many Days......

"People can live weeks without food, days without water, minutes without oxygen, but not a moment without hope".------Anonymous

Many days she wished she could run away
Right here, right now, she did not want to stay

Many days she walked through life aimlessly
As if she did not have things to do or places to be

Many days she walked around talking, joking and laughing on the outside
Yet she cried and often felt like she is died on the inside

Many days she tried to overlook the thoughts that entered her mind
These thoughts were usually harmful and rarely ever kind

Many days she complained of voices in her head
These voices tried to make her believe she would be better off dead

Many days she struggled with the thought of suicide
But couldn't imagine the pain she would cause her family once she died

Many days she felts like her life was falling apart
The only one she could turn to was God because he knew her heart

Many days she did not know what to do, think or say
It was during that time she fell to her knees and begin to pray

Many days she thought her life wasn't worth it, she had no energy
She asked the Lord to forgive her and to set her mind free

The Lord complied and his love filled her soul
She felt Gods presence which made her feel whole

The feeling of despair is overwhelming and can have many
sources.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

No Weapon Formed Against Me

I believe and know for a fact that when you bless others, God will bless you. I thank God for CONTINUOUSLY blessing me. I am so grateful. It's troubling when someone assumes things about you. It's messed up when someone speaks ill of you. It is an un easy feeling when someone says somethings bad is going to happen, but I am not wishing anything bad upon you. To me, I believe secretly that is exactly what you are wishing.

I just want to say, that I am God's child. I believe in God and he believes in me. He lives in me. I do not believe  I am not perfect, but God knows my heart. He knows I am trying my best and hardest to live for him. The Lord said, NO weapon formed against me shall prosper. And every tongue which rises against me in judgment shall be condemned. Nothing said, done or aimed against me will succeed.  #Godismysavior, #Godismydefender, #Godprotectsme.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Head & Shoulders Moisture Care Product Review

Disclaimer: I tested these Head & Shoulders Moisture Care products for free, but all opinions are my own. 

I thought Head and Shoulders products were for individuals who suffer with dandruff. Fortunately, I do not have dandruff. Nonetheless, it is difficult for me to find products that work for my hair. I have very thick coarse textured hair and I struggle with dry itchy scalp. So, I was ecstatic when I heard about the new Head and Shoulders Moisture Care Collection. I was even more ecstatic to be one of many to be selected  by BzzAgent to use and review these products. 

The Head and Shoulders Moisture Care line consisted of the 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner, Co-Wash and Scalp Soother. The Head & Shoulders Moisture Care line was designed for individuals with textured hair. The products active ingredient is Pyrithione Zinc which is for fighting Dandruff.  It will provide moisture, fight against dandruff, relieve dryness, irritations and soothe your itchy scalp. 

Since going natural, I wash my hair every other week and I co-wash in between. The 2-in-1 Dandruff Shampoo and Conditioner left my scalp feeling oh so fresh, clean and smelling great. Most importantly, my hair felt moisturized and it was manageable. The Co-Wash is amazing. It also left my hair feeling squeaky clean, smelling great and manageable. 

I am addicted to the Scalp Soother. This has done wonders for my itchy dry scalp. The smell of peppermint is quite pleasant and not too strong. Guess what?, it does not leave behind an oily residue. The tingling sensation felt cool and refreshing to my scalp. After using it several days in a row, I noticed my scalp did not itch as much. 

Is your hair texture thick? Do you have dandruff? 
Do you suffer with dry and/or an itchy scalp? 

If you answered yes to any of the proposed questions, then you should try the products from the Head & Shoulders Moisture Care line. If you chose to try the product, please post a picture or comment with the results.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Begin Again

viaEmmanuel Baptist Church
Have you ever received a summons? Did you fail to respond to the summons? Are you tired of looking over your shoulders? Are you tired of wondering if today is the day? Several New York City youth have you been issued a citation and their parents are not aware of it. Their children have not informed them and the agency who wrote the summons is not obligated to do so. Some children are scared to inform their parents because they are not sure how their parents will react. Some children think if they ignore the citation, it will go away.

Often the parents do not find out until they receive a letter in the mail stating they failed to appear and a bench warrant has been issued for their arrest. Unfortunately, by this time the parent is upset and the fine has accumulated late fees.  What our children and these adults do not understand is this situation can cause a domino affect. What started out as a minor unanswered citation, may lead to a warrant which will lead to an arrest which now causes you to have a criminal record. If you have a criminal record it will make it difficult to obtain a job, housing and loans. 

What baffles me is our children are not the only ones who think this way. Sadly, there are some grown men and women seem to think if they ignore a citation it will go away. Well, it does not go away. Failure to respond to a citation can do more harm than  good. If for any reason you are stopped again by the police, they run your information and they see you have an outstanding ticket or a bench warrant, you will be arrested on the spot.

Well guess what, Rev. Anthony Trufant of Emmanuel Baptist Church (my church home) along with The Brooklyn District Attorney's office, The Legal Aide Society, The Office of Court Administration and The New York Police Department have partnered together to launch a program called Begin Again. It is a two day event that will  help New York City residents to obtain a clean record and to resolve any MINOR outstanding summons or warrants for low level offenses. These offenses include, but are not limited to public urination, open containers, riding a bike on a sidewalk, fare evasion, possession of Marijuana, trespassing and more. In addition to receiving legal assistance, they also offered information about health care, job training, housing and more.

This is not a gimmick. The best part is the individual(s) will not be arrested. I think this is a good program. I wish it was longer than two days. Hopefully, they will be able to provide these services on a monthly or quarterly basis. I hope everyone who had a summons or warrant will take advantage of this event. The choices they made does not have to consume their life any further. They no longer have to live in fear. Let the past be the past. It was a mistake. Consider it  a lesson learned. Do not worry about what might have been or what could have happened. "Old things are passed away, behold all things become new". It's Time For A New Beginning. Look forward to your future as it is yours to create. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Soapbox Coconut Oil Shampoo & Conditioner #SudsySelfie Review

Disclaimer: I tested these Soapbox products for free, but all opinions are my own.

For my first #voxbox, I received a full size sample of Soapbox Coconut Oil Shampoo & Conditioner from Influenster. I was a little skeptical when I received it because I had never heard of this brand. I was excited to try these products because it said it would leave my hair moisturized. Everyone who knows me know I have extremely dry hair. I have tried so may different shampoos and conditioners and nothing seems to work. Nonetheless, I remained optimistic during this experiment.Soapbox hair care products contain Vitamins E and K, and Coconut Oil. These products do not contain any sulfates or parabens. These products  as well as other Soapbox products can be purchased at Target or via Soapbox website. 

What I admired about this company/brand is their mission. For every bottle purchased, clean water, soap or vitamins will be donated to those in need all over the world.  On the back of each bottle is a "hope code". If you go to www.soapboxsoaps.com/hope and enter the code, you will be able to to track who your purchased helped.Although I received these products for free, I was interested in seeing whose lives have been blessed. Using the codes on the back of the shampoo and conditioner bottles, I was able to see since 2007, China's project is called the clean water project which has served over 90,000 children daily. Since 2012, India's project is called the clean water, hygiene education, and sanitation project which has also served over 17,000 children daily. Support their movement and and make a difference in another child's life.

The best way to describe the texture of the shampoo is creamy, silky and smooth. I loved the tropical smell of this product. However, due to my hair texture, I had to use a generous amount of the shampoo for it to lather nicely. Nonetheless, I would use this product again because it did not leave my hair feeling greasy or heavy. It left my scalp feeling squeaky clean and refreshed. 

I am on the fence about the conditioner. It was not the greatest nor was it the worst.The texture is creamy and very thick which I loved. However, the following day, my hair was looked dull, dry and brittle. It was also very difficult to detangle and manage my hair. I would not use the conditioner again, but I would definitely use the shampoo again. Overall, I  am glad I had the opportunity to try these products. You can try them too. If you head over to Influenster, you can obtain Soapbox Voxbox coupons  and save $2.00 off your purchase.

Coconut Oil Shampoo
Coconut Oil Conditioner

What is your favorite moisturizing shampoo and Conditioner?

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Struggle of Co-Parenting

via Womans' Divorce
Dealing with an ex when you have children together can be extremely difficult. Wouldn't it be nice if the noncustodial parent was able to put their personal feelings aside and focus on being a parent to the child (ren)? Wouldn't it be nice if he/she did not include the child (ren) in adult situations and conversations? Wouldn't it be nice if he/she did not speak negatively about the custodial parent to the child (ren)? Wouldn't it be nice if he/she communicated and coordinated outings and weekend visits with you instead of communicating via the child (ren)? This would be great, unfortunately, that is not the case with many who are trying to co-parent, myself included.

Co-parenting is not an easy task. One would hope co-parenting would be less stressful and somewhat easier especially if the child is older. Well that is not always true and it is never that easy. My daughter is ten years old and some days are easier than others. I am constantly being civil and courteous towards her father only to be (occasionally) verbally attacked and disrespected. Most of the time, I remain calm and do not allow him or his antics to annoy me. Unfortunately, there have been a few times that I stooped to his level and gave him a taste of his own medicine only to be left mentally exhausted.

In the past I used to hold my feelings in and I realized it was affecting my entire being. I needed to express my feelings. Eventually, I was able to vent to a very good friend who had been through something similar in the past. I informed her about the childish behavior he occasionally displays. I also informed her that I do not speak negatively about my daughter’s father around her. I do not discuss the issues or conversations that have occurred between him and me with my daughter. There have been times when my daughter is angry with her dad for something and she thinks he should be the topic of the discussion. I let her vent, but I never speak negatively about him to her. I try to explain his action or reaction to her and make a mental note to have a conversation with him about her issues or concerns.  

Unfortunately, her father is not capable of doing the same. There was a time he called me everything, but my name while she was in his care. He has had conversations and expressed his feelings about me to her. He informs her of disagreements we have had in the past or around the time he has her in his care. I have confronted him about the conversations he has had with her. I have expressed to him the conversations he has had with her are inappropriate. I also told him if he needed to talk to me then he should pick up a phone and call me. He should not communicate to me via our daughter. As of today, he still displays the same behavior, it's just not as frequent.

Through all the foolery, I explain to my daughter that despite what her father has said to her about me, regardless of his temper tantrums he is entitled to his opinion and he has a right to feel the way he feels. 

I wanted her to know that I know who I am. Your father’s opinion is just that, his opinions and it does not define me. His opinion or feelings about me do not affect me in any way and she should not allow his thoughts, opinions or feelings about me affect her, our household or relationship. I also told her regardless of what he says he is still your father and you have to respect him. If he says something negative about me, she can RESPECTFULLY and POLITELY inform him that she does not want to hear or discuss his thoughts about mommy.

As a mother and as a responsible woman, I would never try to ruin my daughter’s relationship with their fathers.  I do not want my daughters to ever feel like they have to choose between mommy and daddy. I do not want them to feel bad because they want to spend extra time with their father. Believe me, I am okay with it. I need a minute to breathe too. I encourage their relationship. I know how it feels to grow up with my father in my life. That is something I do not want them to experience.  All I ask for in return is RESPECT. 


Do you struggle with co-parenting with your ex? 
How have you resolved the issue?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Couple Relationships

As I sit cuddled up on my bed, I decided to turn the TV on and flip through the multitude of Optimum channels. However, there was nothing on that I wanted to watch. As I continued to channel surf, I stopped at two of my favorite channels TVOne which was showing Martin and Antenna TV They were showing WKRP In Cincinnati. I did not want to watch either, so I continued to scroll looking for The Jeffersons. Unfortunately, the show was not on so I turned off the television.

With nothing to do, I laid in bed thinking about the sitcoms and the relationship they had with their spouse as well as with their friends. After comparing and contrasting the relationships, I noticed they all had friendships with other couples. Lucy and Ricky were friends with Ethel and Fred. Louis and George were friends with Tom and Helen. Alice and Ralph were friends with Trixie and Ed. Then I began comparing my relationship to those on the television shows. I realized that my significant other and I do not have any couple friends (friends that are couples). We both have friends (separately) that are in relationships, but they have worse problems than we do. I do not think it would be in our best interest to socialize with any of them at this moment. We do not need any more negative influences in our relationship.

Anyway, I admired the friendships and interactions the couples had among each other in the television shows. In my previous relationships, my significant other and I went out to dinner, movies, amusement parks, dancing among other things with other couples. I will admit, I miss the interaction. The problem is my significant other has no interest in interacting, socializing or meeting new people. I brought this to his attention and his response was, "Why do we need to interact with other couples? They are not into what I am into. We will not have anything in common". I believe his perception would change if he interacted with other couples. I believe interacting with other men would be a good experience for him and will help to create new experiences.  I believe it would be good for him to be around other people who value their relationship and provided encouraging advice (unlike his current selection of friends).

Our relationship is not the best at this moment. We barely interact with each other. I know what I want. I know what I am use to and this is not it. I am not use to this at all and it really annoys me. I think if we interacted with other couples, it would provide insight for him and our relationship. It may allow us to develop a better way of communicating with, supporting, and showing affection for each other. We may also learn something by observing the interaction and communication from the other couples. I truly believe that interacting and having couple friends is positive. However, by the time our discussion ended, I no longer wanted to talk to him.

Do you have couple friends? How did it impact your relationship? What would you do if you were in my situation?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Happy Birthday Raising Brown Girls!!!!!

It has been one year since the birth of my blog. When I first started blogging I think I was psoting a few times a month. However, life happened and I have was not posting as often as I should or would have liked to. As a new blogger, it is difficult to attract readers. I was not expecting instant success over night, but I was not expecting this dry spell either. As a result of this and other things going on in my life I became neglectful. I did not give my baby the love, affection and attention it deserved. I will not lie it is a constant struggle as I am pulled in all different directions by everyone in my life. Nonetheless, I know I will get better. Things will get better. Until then, I will continue to write potential post on my phone and hopefully I will be able to move them out of the "draft" folder and into the "published"folder.

In the meantime, lets take a look at my very first post.

http://www.myliferaisingbrowngirlsnyc.com/2014/03/hello-first-i-would-like-to-say-thank.html.

Thank you all for reading and supporting me.

Hugs and Smooches!
RBG ;)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

My Saturday Morning Rant

I woke up this morning at 4:57AM. Believe me it was not on purpose. As a result of this, I am tired, cranky and annoyed. This is not a good combination. I'm surrounded by all sorts of noise. For example, loud horns, loud trains loud music, loud people, and inconsiderate neighbors who allow their children to go to make noise all day and all night. They go to bed extremely late, get up extremely early to dragging or dropping things on and across the floor. I cannot stand noise and it makes my ears hurt. Talking to the parents is useless. It seems as though they cannot control them.
I expect children to play and make noise. Nonetheless, after a certain time all horse play should cease. I have a ten year old who likes to dance, flip and bounce around. However, she is not allowed to do any activity of those activities during the week after 7:30pm (except Friday), before noon during the weekend, after 9:30 on Saturday or after 8 on Sunday. Between 9:00 and 9:30, Sunday-Thursday, she is in the bed.

If that's not enough, around 8:30am this morning, some random person rang my doorbell. I did not bother to answer it because everyone has been informed to call me before showing up at my apartment. However, this person was persistent. I went to the intercom and yelled in my meanest voice "who is it"? Silence. I asked again. The person never said their name. Then she asked "can you let me in"? I said no I cannot. I asked, "do I know you?" She responded, "no". I replied, "then I'm definitely not letting you in get a freaking key. If you live here you would have a key. If you are visiting someone and he/she is expecting you then he/she would have buzzed you into the building".

This morning, I realized I'm getting older. My patience is slowly declining. I can't tolerate too much of anything especially noise. My ears have become very sensitive. I appreciate peace, stillness and quietness. It allows me to focus, think, enjoy the moment and to see things for what the really are. In order for me to achieve and enjoy  peace and quietness, I will have to move where no one lives over me and no where near a major street, highway or road.

My Dream Serenity
 via Imgarcade
I honestly do not know how much more I will be able to endure. I feel like I'm about to explode. I do not know what to do.
Do you have any suggestions?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mindfulness March:Walking With A Purpose

On Saturday, October 18, 2014 the Bedford Stuyvesant Collegiate Charter School along with La Cima Elementary Charter School collaborated to host their first Mindfulness March. Each scholar and their family member(s) who agreed to participate in the event had to contribute a healthy snack and create a poster that stated why you were marching. During this event my daughter and I along with several other scholars and members of their family participated in several activities including meditation, a silent march around the perimeter of the school carrying the posters we created. We also participated in  reading, reciting and interpreting positive quotes. At the beginning of the event the host asked, "Does anyone know what mindfulness means? Does anyone know what it means to be mindful? How can it help you in your life?" As you read this post you may be asking yourself the same questions. 

Mindfulness or being mindful is being aware of our surroundings, thoughts and feelings on purpose and without discernment (judgment). It means to notice your experience at that moment. Practicing mindfulness can transform your life and add several benefits to your life. As parent's, if we practice mindfulness it can improve our parenting skills, enhance our relationships with our children as well as others and it helps us to cope with stress.We were informed that we can turn our daily activities such as brushing our teeth, combing our hair, or washing the dishes into mindfulness activities. For example, if you are washing the dishes do so mindfully. Say and repeat to yourself, I am washing the dishes. Be aware of the soap suds, water and the physical act (the motion) of washing the dishes.
After the discussion of being mindful, each person had to pull a folded piece of paper from a bag. When we unfolded the paper, there was a quote. We were told to read, internalize and think about the quote we chose. Each one of us was given 5 minutes to share our thoughts about the quote to the audience. 

As I unfolded my paper, I was surprised to see a quote similar to what I tell myself. Every morning, as I look in the mirror, I tell myself, "Your past does not define you. Your past has not defeated you. You get up, shake it off, learn from it and move forward to become a better person. The quote I received was, "My scars do not define me". When it was my turn to voice my interpretation, I stated the following, "I do not have many physical scars. I have emotional scars which cannot be seen by others. These scars have made me feel hopeless, resentment, angry, sad and sometimes numb. There have been times when I could not identify with myself. I did not recognize the person staring back at me when I looked on the mirror. One day, I realized that I was ignoring the problems. I needed to acknowledge every negative situation that occurred in my life and then let it go. I acknowledged some of the situations that occurred in my life were out of my control. Finally I told myself that things happen in life, you have made some wrong decisions, but you learned from them. No matter what the situation is, everything is going to be okay. You are going to be okay. Some unfortunate events occurred in your life that left emotional scars, but your scars do not define you. They are simply markings that remind you of where you have been, but they do not determine where you are or will go".

Shortly after we sat in complete stillness for fifteen minutes. I will be the first to admit that it felt great. Sitting still is something we are not able to do because we all have busy lives. After this segment, she stressed it is important for everyone to sit still on a daily basis. Sitting still and being mindful can allow you to think clearly, focus, alter your mood, really listen (and not hear), inner peace and brings you in the moment. The last activity of the day was to participate in the Mindfulness March. My daughter marched to "Stop Racism. I marched to "Stop Police Brutality and to Stop Homelessness. During this march no one spoke a word. Our posters spoke for us and we received so much support from spectators on foot in addition to those in their vehicles. Silence really does speak volumes. As we departed from the school grounds we were given a packet that contained a few mindfulness activities, meditation activities for parents, teachers and our children.
Me (bottom) and Nyasia's (top) Poster's

My Other Poster

Here are a few of the sites:

Remember, sharing is caring. I hope this post benefits you.

Have you experienced mindfulness? 
How has it changed your life?



Sunday, January 4, 2015

To My First Born (Late Post)


Rae, you have no idea how much you mean to me
As you grow into what you are destined to be
You came from within; from just beneath my heart
it's there you'll always be though your own life will now start

You're growing so no longer my little girl
with misty eyes I send you out into this cold and heartless world
I know sometimes to you I seem cruel and unfair,
But one day you will see, It was all because I care.

The next few years will quickly go by
There will be laughter, happiness, sorrow and even a few tears to cry.
As you begin your growth to young adulthood, there is something you should know,
you’ll always be my source of pride, no matter where you go.

You must stand up tall and proud, within you feel no fear,
for all you dreams and goals, sit before you very near.
With god's love in your heart and the world by its tail,
you’ll always be my winner, and victory will prevail.

There are times when I  am crazy and even a little deranged but,
I love you with my heart and soul and this will never change.


Love Always,
Mommy

(click link to view my tribute)

Unfinished Business

It is day four of the new year and I am excited for whats to come---the known and the unknown. Unfortunately, I have some unfinished business from 2014. On a daily basis, I take the train to and from work. Living in New York City I often see, hear or read something that will inspire the next topic for my blog.
 
Yesterday, I was going through my draft folder and I have so many unfinished topics. Has this ever happened to you? My immediate reaction was to delete them. However, after reading each prospective posting I decided not to delete them. I want to finish what I started. I have a lot going on in my life at this moment, but with a lot of work and dedication I know I can do it.

Mentally Preparing Myself
Do you have any unfinished business from 2014?

Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year!!!!


My Brown Girls and I would like to wish you a year that is filled with good health, happiness and abundance of joy. We pray that all of your hopes and dreams come true.