And The Winner Is…

Greetings Sassy Sophisticates!

The last 2 weeks have been filled with marvelous encounters!

I’ve had the pleasure of being involved in several different activities and functions that have exposed me to some pretty spectacular ladies! And I have been overflowing with inspiration!

I was invited to be a part of the Renew & Restore Expo brought to you by Restoration From Within and even hosted my very first Sassy Sophisticate Social! At both events, all in attendance were able to enter the drawing for the Sassy Sophisticate Inspiration Sampler which is a gorgeous gift basket filled with tons of goodies designed to inspire the crap out of you!

Sassy Sophisticate Inspiration Sampler

If you have a dream, a goal, an aspiration–anything trapped inside and dying to get out–then pray your name is drawn, because the goodies in this basket were all selected with the purpose of encouraging you to explore your inner most thoughts and feelings.

Giveaways are awesome! Giveaways that inspire…Even Better!

I would like to thank you for taking the time out to enter. I am about to make one Sassy Sophisticate very happy!

So, without further ado, click on over to the video! Could the winner be you?! Find out now! And be sure to congratulate the winner in the comments!

Oh yes, and subscribe, too!

And remember…

Discover your passions! Create your own identity! And let the world hear your Voice!

Until next time…

Stay Sassy!

The Creole Magnolia

Sitting with Self, Amidst Awkwardness & Discomfort

I am one week into my journey to find Clarity, Simplicity and the Basics–my theme for my month long Ultimate Blog Challenge. Ironically, this month is National Stress Awareness Month, and I firmly believe in order to conquer stress, we must first have Clarity.

I find myself struggling to grasp and hold onto simplicity as a result of the additional work commitments that I have hoisted upon my already tired and beaten shoulders. These additional obligations–freelance writing jobs and other professional projects–devour my time and leave me feeling overburdened and uninspired. Because they cast me into a role of support for another company, organization or individual’s work-related missions and interests, they have become distractions designed to prevent me from actualizing my own dreams, passions and goals.

Over the course of the last 7 days, I have forced myself to come face-to-face with my concerns in an effort not only to find a solution, but also to prevent the same situation from recurring in the future. Consequently, I’ve noticed that my blog content has shifted from speech that was geared towards lifting and inspiring women, as well as myself, as a collective whole to now being worded in a manner that seems self serving. My message, that once used “we” and “us,” is now ladled with “I” and “me.”

This is very strange for me.

I realize that in order to do “personal work” and make effective changes “within,” I must turn inward…reflect…and, ultimately, take a long hard look at myself. Clearly, if I am sharing a specific, personal journal on a public platform, then, yes, the attention will be directed upon me.

Be selfless and give of yourself, without losing yourself.

Be selfless and give of yourself, without losing yourself.

However, I am cautious about such things. To me, there is a fine line between self-assurance and self-indulgence. A fine line between selfless and selfish.

I also realize in order to uncover what’s hidden, you must sit with the awkwardness and discomfort. You cannot grow and evolve if you are never willing to explore life beyond the boundaries of restrictive comfort zones.

In typing this, I also realize something else…could this strange discomfort I feel when focusing on “I” and “me”…could this be at the heart of my constant battle with putting the dreams of others ahead of my own? Am I too uncomfortable to focus on myself and, thus, push my aspirations aside to help someone else attain theirs? Am I sabotaging myself by piling my plate full of duties designed to  support the missions of others in order to avoid shining the light on my talents and efforts? I’ve always been self-confident, self-assured, with a positive self-image. But could I be too selfless?

Until now, I have always prided myself on my ability to motivate and encourage the collective…to teach and inspire through my own personal experiences and thoughts without making it all about me. Now that I am faced with it being “all about me,” I seem to have stumbled upon valuable information…an intuitive gem!

This definitely gives me more to consider when I explore the why’s.

Until then, I will continue Sitting with Self, Amidst Awkwardness and Discomfort.

Using this blog challenge to find Clarity, Simplicity and the Basics!

Using this blog challenge to find Clarity, Simplicity and the Basics!

 

 

 

Ignoring the signs, claming clarity

With less than 2 months remaining in my 30s, which I like to refer to as my Decade of Discovery, I am still learning new and profound things about myself. I realize the learning process spans the entirety of our lives; however, what I am referring to here is my personal discovery process–my attempt to truly reveal to myself who I am and what makes me tick–getting to the heart of ME. To have unearthed something so crucial at what I had hoped would be a “wrapping up” period of sorts is very eye opening.

I have been so looking forward to turning 40. I have been preparing myself to carry a wise woman with true knowledge of self, her desires, her dreams, her passions and her thoughts over the threshhold. I have been prepping to take my new and improved self, aware and fully present, from the Decade of Discovery into what I call the Decade of Enlightenment.

And then, all of a sudden, a very crucial discovery comes along…I fester! At a time when Clarity is so vital to my self discovery, I have realized that I FESTER!

Let me explain something…You cannot expect to achieve true Clarity–clearness of heart, mind and soul–if you allow yourself to fester. It’s toxic! That’s like striving to have perfectly functioning lungs, yet each day you are breathing in poisonous gases! It’s absurd! And one thing I refuse to be is an ABSURDITY!

I have always been a straight-shooter–truth in my voice, emotions on my sleeve, expressions on my face…the whole nine. In fact, in my younger years, I was so direct that I was often referred to as blunt–which is not exactly a compliment. I was very fiesty and bold. I am still fiesty and bold now…it contributes to my Sassiness. However, the difference between my fiestiness and boldness now versus then is that, back then, I wouldn’t hesitate to allow it to be fueled by temper. Tempermental, fiesty AND bold…not always a good combo.

I have since matured. Over the years, I adopted the concept of “Choose Your Battles,” and my perspective on certain things changed. Bottom line…some issues were just not worth my time or energy to even address.

But then another shift ocurred. I began to let TOO many things go. And I was letting them go in an effort to keep the peace. Well, oftentimes when you “think” you’ve let something go, you’ve actually just internalized it. You’ve absorbed something undesirable. This wretched habit of internalizing is dishonest, untrue and unfair to self and others. You cnnot sustain meaningful relationships if you are depriving those you care for of knowing and seeing ALL of you. How can your relationship transcend? How can you transcend?

Swallowing your true feelings about issues will eventually cause you such internal turmoil that you begin to fester. And festering eventually leads to a Boiling Over…an Explosion of Emotions that can damage and even destroy a relationship.

I’m not suggesting that you unload on those you love every chance you get. What I’m saying is that you should never carry excess weight or be emotionally burdened when all you had to do in the beginning was communicate. Open and honest communication of your true feelings and thoughts will give you mental clarity and free you of any unnecessary junk.

So, why do we harbor important feelings and allow ourselves to fester? We do it because we ASSUME. We ASSUME that the other person will not respond favorably to the sharing of our emotions.

We think things like:

  • “He/she might get upset if I say this.”
  • “This could just end up starting an argument.”
  • “He/she will never take this the way it’s intended.”
  • “This is probably not the right time to bring this up.”

Making assumptions about others is not fair. Anyone in a real relationship with you will value your thoughts and feelings.

When you make assumptions in your relationships, you are unfairly creating Relationship Warning Signs. You are putting up emotional “STOP,” “WARNING,” “CAUTION,” and “YIELD” signs where they do not belong.

Does this mean you should just blurt out your feelings abruptly without regard for another? Of course not. There is always a way to share your feelings without crushing those of someone else. In other words, choose the CORRECT words instead of choosing NONE at all.

I have been doing this…harboring…festering…and blowing up! But, no more. I have made the conscious decision to ignore the self-imposed Relationship Warning Signs. I have chosen to push past them and enter a place of mental clarity, peace of mind and emotional freedom!

I recently boiled over after allowing myself to fester. I went for a drive to clear my head. This warning sign stood in between me and this beautiful view. In an instant, it all became clear.

Won’t you join me?!

What toxins have you allowed to block your Clarity? Please share below.

I’d love it if you’d follow my blog!

See you in the comments!

A better understanding…

In the early morning hours on June 15th, I published a blog post about my tumultuous relationship with Time.

I listened to the ticking of the clocks in my home, and I reflected upon the profound significance of Time while this beautiful melody played in the background of my mind.

As I reflected on my feelings regarding tasks left undone, thoughts left unexplored, words and experiences unshared, I concluded that I needed to “find me a better understanding.” I needed to gain a new perspective, a reformed way of seeing things. However, in order for one to truly attain a new position and achieve a heightened level of understanding and awareness; a jolt, a push, an event, a revelation, an epiphany–some sort of catalyst–needs to occur.

24 hours later, my jolt came; my alarm sounded, and I was awakened.

On June 16th, a beautiful life paid the ultimate price of Time. Marley Lion was harshly and abruptly taken from us. At the tender age of 17, still just a baby, he was brutally murdered…gunned down.

His Time ended…yet, ours continues on.

Amazing how Time can begin, end and continuously exist…simultaneously–these complexities are what make Time so precious.

I wish my nudge toward “better understanding” could have come in a less traumatic way, but it’s too late for that now.

Marley’s death is a tragedy, but it would be even more tragic to allow his death to be in vain. It would be a tremendous disservice to self and to his memory to be blind to the lessons–and there are many–that live within this chaotic time. Even more so, those affected by this cannot allow his life to be in vain, either. We must find the message in both the way he lived AND the way he died.

A special friend shared a very basic, yet profound statement:

If Your Crop Had Constant Sun It Would Burn Up and Die. In Order To Grow, It Also Needs Rain. In Fact, Sprouting Is Escalated After A Good Downpour. Isn’t It TRUE, That While The Sun Sustained You Day By Day, It Was STORMS That Generated The Most Significant Growth (Lessons Learned) In Your Life. Those Very Storms Have You Here NOW…Still Standing, Stronger Even. ~ Hoe Mama

We have to soak up the emotions, the lessons and the insights of this “downpour.” It’s the only way we can grow…grow towards the light. I must allow my tears to water my spirit, quench my wisdom, nuture my humanity and strengthen my faith…We all have to.

Marley is gone from us, and I keep coming back to that same song, the melody, the lyrics…

“You and me are running out of time…”

It’s true. We ARE running out of Time. Are we going to allow that reality cause us to remain stagnant? To live in fear and doubt? To break us down and eat away at our faith? To destroy our hopes and steal our dreams? OR…will we use it to fuel our passions? To propel us forward? To inspire us to live a good life to the fullest? To love hopelessly? To dance endlessly? To walk on our journeys courageously?

 

The choice is ours!

These  ARE everchanging times…But if we hold on to each moment, seize every opportunity, share without reservation and love without fear, then, when we see the clock upon on the wall, it won’t bother us at all.

Thank you Marley Kanoelani Lion…

Thank you for giving me A Better Understanding…