Monday, May 12, 2014

This Week :: Push Back

Ever had one of those dreams where you were being pushed down from some unseen force and you were paralyzed, you couldn't move, and were afraid/terrified?  Maybe you couldn't open your mouth to scream or talk either. That unseen force is negative energy from us feeling doubt, fear, like we have no control and/or overwhelmed. It tries to push us down and keep us there. I had one of those dreams this morning. 

Before I go into the dream, I need to share some background info. This weekend just past was a pivotal one for me. The week prior was filled with vivid, in your face, signs about where I'm headed and what I'm destined for. I was also met with some challenges that I had to mentally fight through. I smudged my home over the weekend to clear out any negative energy or stagnant air that had built up over the long and cold winter and declared out loud that I wanted prosperity, abundance, strength and the things I want for myself this year. I told the Universe/God all that I was thankful for and that I was done feeling scared and overwhelmed. I wanted what was mine and I was ready to attack. A grandiose wave of love and assurance washed over me after I declared that. I started crying because those feelings were so immense. I was going to be ok. Everything I was stressing over, let it go. I'm going to be fine, everything will be taken care of. What a wonderful and empowering experience that was. I really don't have to figure it out, I just have to do and stay the course. 

My paralysis dream this morning fired me up because the [negative energy] force came at me so strong, the strongest I've ever experienced to date. I was laying in my bed when I felt the unseen force pushing me down. Normally, most's first inclination in these type of dreams is to pull the covers over their head/look away (not look the force in the eye) and be scared. It was mine too but then my Scorpio fire kicked in and I chucked fear the deuces, ya girl pushed back. At first I could barely move but I felt my willpower and determination burning bright and strong inside of me and I started to fight. I wasn't going to lay down in defeat, I was tired of laying down, I looked that dark grey cloud in its eyes and told it to get off of me. I shouted for it to stop it because I had things to do. I started repeating these things, my voice got stronger, clearer and louder. (Hope I wasn't shouting in my waking life or my neighbors may have been perturbed at 5am. Lol!) The more I spoke and pushed, the stronger I became and until I finally was able to wrestle my way all the way up. When I fought my way up, it went away and then I woke up pumped. Not scared, I woke up pumped. I wasn't breathing heavy because I was scared, I was breathing heavy because I went to battle for all the positve things I deserve and I won. It was not easy, that force was strong but my will and determination pushed me to push it away because I do have things to do. I have dreams to experience and a full life to live. 

I keep sharing with you all that this year I dreamed really big; this is the biggest  and most overwhelming that I have ever dreamed to date. I was excited the end of 2013 and had stars in my eyes but things didn't play out anywhere close to what I thought. I began to feel like maybe what I was asking for I wasn't meant to have, like a kid wanting to eat a whole bag of jellybeans in one sitting isn't a good idea, maybe the things I was asking for werent good ideas. We want certain men so badly when in retrospect we see why God never gave them to us because they weren't a good idea. Maybe I was asking for the wrong things, maybe I had bitten off more than I could chew. I started to backtrack and adjust my dreams to make them "safer" and less terrifying. The strong and determined Milan got replaced with an overwhelmed and defeated Milan. The Universe wouldn't let me off easy though and isn't letting me out of my original dreams, I have to see them through. I was even visited by my late great grandmother in a dream a couple months ago with the message to not be doubtful, I had to trust. The past couple weeks the signs have become very blatant, they can't be ignored, and I've decided that Ive had enough with being a sad, defeated wimp. It was a cold, harsh winter but I have sprung into my destiny and what I asked for. I am a victor and I deserve the things that I want for myself. I will have the life that I want for myself. I will have what I want for myself this year. All I have to do is at least one thing each day that gets me closer. That dream showed me that I won't stay down for long. I have it in me to push back so I can push through towards my desires and passions. Things may push against me along my journey but they cannot keep me down, I will always fight back and rise back up. And this applies to any of you reading this too. 

When you want something so bad and the forces of doubt and fear step in, push back. Don't become paralyzed and scared, push those f$&kers back. Yell and shout out loud if you have to but don't you dare quit. I came so close guys but God wouldn't let me. Push back, you have it in you. You were born with all the tools you need for your success. You push back by taking that writing class to hone and sharpen your skills. You push back by putting a little of each paycheck into your savings account. You push back by getting that degree you want. You push back by giving gratitude for what you have now and for what you will have in the future. You push back by taking an hour out of each day for yourself. You push back by doing what you can with what you have right now. You push back by doing one extra rep or running for 5 more minutes. You push back by simply starting. 

We are victors, not victims of our circumstances. Get that fire glowing in your eyes and that desire burning so much like your desire for air so you can breathe. Claim what you want for yourself, do just one small thing everyday that honors what you want and when the doubt and fear come to try to jock your swag, push them mofo's back. Tell them to get out of the way (you can bust into Ludacris' song "Move Bitch" if you like to and start throwing them bows.) you've got things to do. Push your way through. Your dreams are all on the other side of fear. 

I'm wishing you all a wonderful start to your work week and the rest of your lives. Let's do more than just make it through, let's LIVE. What's been pushing you around lately? How will you push back on it this week? 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cutting the Cord, The Cable Cord, That Is

A couple weeks ago, I shared a status on my Facebook that I was contemplating axing my cable because I barely watch tv and I'm over all the reality tv ratcheness and brawls, wack programming and negative energy it's spewing. There's a whole world out here besides being a basketball wife, Rolex watches and butt length Brazilian remi hair.

After sharing this thought, many chimed in that they haven't had cable in years, didn't miss it and encouraged me to make the cut. Some of my friends don't even own televisions in their homes anymore. They are still current and know what's going on in the world and current events (the internet and the basic tv channels). While I have heard of people no longer subscribing to cable, I was shocked at the amount of people even within my circle that no longer had it and had no thoughts of returning to it. In my case, almost all of the people who chimed in were of my generation and I found that interesting but am not surprised. It's no secret that television programming isn't what it used to be. It is laden with reality show after reality show,  they are not even "real" reality anymore and all they want to do is stunt and fight. *sigh* Besides that, the cost of cable has gotten out of hand and providers want you to spend gobs of money on packages that you only watch the same 10 channels (if that!) of the 900 you're paying for.  

I watch most of my quality entertainment on Youtube now where web series and independent production companies are exploding with great content and engaging story lines. Shows like Awkward Black Girl, The Unwritten Rule (by Inkspot Entertainment) and anything that Black & Sexy TV produces are amazing. If you follow the Instagram page, you saw that I recently found a new show called An African City that has the Sex in the City vibe set in Accra, Ghana. The acting is ok but I mainly watch for the vibrant fashion inspiration and the hairstyles. Almost all the characters rock natural hair and do so many cute things with it and the fashion is stellar, I want practically everything, character, Nana Yaa wears. I so want this outfit she rocked towards the end of one of the episodes (pictured below). Ankara print bralette top and palazzo (looking) pants with pockets! I want! 

Outside of web series, companies like Netflix and Hulu are seeing an uptick in business and are snagging a lot of lost cable viewers' dollars now. Many of my anti-cable friends and family said they subscribe to both services. Netflix is fast becoming more than a movie rental service with their own exclusive, plot twisting shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards. With this shift to them, I'm sure they have already caught on, and it's only a matter of time before their packages get fancier and their prices go up to capitalize on it all. *sigh* Oh America, lol. Well, at this point, it is still a viable and more reasonably priced option that many I know endorsed.

After hashing it out, I decided to downgrade to the most basic of basic cable (for $15/month) which has about 20 channels. Will I one day go totally no cable what so ever? Maybe. Will I ever return to 'real' cable? I'm not sure but I know for right now that I don't value it enough. The crazy part is I had a promotion for the cable (900+ channels that I watched the same 5 channels when I had time to watch tv) and internet for just under $90 at $88 a month for one year. This month, since the promo ended, the bill swelled up to $150. What's crazy is opting for the basic of basic cable and keeping my internet only saved me $5 from the promotional price I was paying before. My new bill will be about $83. But money is money, that's a $60 annual savings that can be donated, put in savings or put towards eliminating my consumer debt. And it will be lower than what I was paying previously. I'm thankful for the money saved, be it small, and am charging that money saved to multiply like wildfire. I'm at a place now where I'm no longer investing money in services that I no longer deem valuable. As I continue to grow and mature, I'm learning the importance of only subscribing to things that I will use and that add something positive to the quality of my life. I don't mind tv but there's no point in paying for channels that I do not watch or do not want to watch anymore. I will miss Lifetime and OWN network though! 

Do you still have cable?Any of you considering making the cut altogether or drastically downgrading your service?

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Introverts Unite! : Wallflower Empowers Us to Embrace Our Inward Ways to Leave Our Mark on the World

As a fellow introvert, GG Renee Hill's of All the Many Layers book, 'Wallflower' resonated with me like crazy. Growing up I struggled with my self esteem and liking myself because I wasn't very vocal, loud and outgoing, I couldn't just walk up to a person I didn't know and make conversation and I didn't like nor want excessive amounts of attention. In middle school my buddies were the librarians, I liked going to the library during lunch because it was quiet and I could read and just be in peace there. I was quiet if I didn't know you and only when I felt I could trust you did I open up and let the silly, fun loving side out and then I was told that I was in fact not quiet. I've since grown comfortable in my skin and unapologetic about who I am but it has been an adventure. The closer I got to thirty, the more comfortable I became and the less hangups I had. Now I love being the observer and processing things and I don't feel bad anymore about loving alone time to do whatever I want to do. I talk when I have something to say and when I don't, I don't talk. I hate small talk but love talking about life, things that people are passionate about and anything spiritual minded. I'm comfortable in my skin and unapologetic about who I am and that's the overall message I took away from the book.

Wallflower is littered with positive and empowering affirmations interlaced with some of GG's experiences that can help encourage readers to nurture their introvert ways instead of hating them and trying to put up a front. It reassures you that you're not mentally ill, socially unstable or a bad friend, mother, lover/wife, etc for needing and immensely enjoying time to yourself at times or being the wallflower at the party. I basically wanted to highlight the whole book. There were so many great points that I totally agree with and have learned throughout my life's journey over time. 

There is nothing wrong with being quiet and a thinker. There is nothing wrong with not saying anything if you have nothing to say, it doesn't mean you aren't exciting or lack intelligence. You simply don't have anything to say at that moment. I'm an observer too so when in new situations with people I don't know, I tend to be quiet at first. I survey the scene and then decide if I want to participate and if so, how much I want to participate. Wallflower encourages you to be true to yourself but also advises to make sure you don't use it as a crutch either. Growth doesn't come from our comfort zones, it comes from stretching and expanding ourselves and taking risks and chances so while we want to be our authentic selves, it's important we continue to push ourselves to grow and mature as well.  If you are single and want a significant other, I doubt you'll find them at home on your couch every weekend. You have to get outside sometimes and engage in things you like so you can meet people. 

For me, and I'm sure GG agrees, nurturing my "wallflower" ways has actually increased my creativity, productivity, passion and drive. I'm happier and more focused when I respect my need to go inward sometimes, I just make sure I balance it though (or I've been known to be on straight hobbit status!). She talks about this in the book also. Most of my grand ideas and revelations come to me when I'm alone in my thoughts swirling around or I'm writing. Does this happen to you too? They randomly come to me out of the blue. Maybe you are like this too, so if you are an introvert or know someone who is, get yourself or them this book. I finished the book feeling refreshed thinking, "somebody GETS me!" I hope you'll have this feeling too as you start to read and complete it.  

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