Fruits of Your Labor

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“You have to learn how to slow down and enjoy the fruits, man”, says my BF in one of the long, random conversations we had over this past weekend. I recall getting into one of my rants of how I’m overwhelmed and tired from doing so much, yet, in the same breath, I talked about how I wanted to add more to my heavily piled plate! He took the time to highlight what I sounded like and he couldn’t have been more right. Oh my goodness! I do need to chill!

It’s funny that we are much alike in that we are very ambitious, determined, and driven… Oh and FOCUSED MaaaaAAAANNN! Some may also group us into the Stubborn and Hard-headed category, but that’s a conversation for a different day. Anyway, being so ambitious, determined, and driven can also mean that we do not know how to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. I believe we both call each other out on this.

Speaking for myself, I guess I have operated like a well-oiled machine for so long that I don’t know what to do with myself when I’m not working on something or thinking about working on something. They say that you gotta work hard to play hard, but over the last several years I have found myself working extremely hard, accomplishing goals left and right, but not taking the time to match my play.

Now this isn’t to say that I never cut loose and enjoy myself from time to time. I’ve made some good memories, but I’m currently feeling extreme burnout. I’m all out of juice like a broke down hoopty on I-95. I’m getting to the point where I feel like something has to give. The funny thing is, I actually have some control here and I simply need to make a plan towards a solution for my problem and see it through. Is it weird that I feel guilty for resting and taking a time out for myself? Can any of you relate to this feeling? I know it’s because of some bogus fear/unrealistic expectation I place upon myself and I just need to push that load of crap aside and live.

I’m looking forward to it! Life is no joke short; I don’t want to waste anymore of whatever time I have left here on bullsh*t. Our conversation really got me hyped for doing more for me. Though I’m a Beachbody Coach, we talked about me joining a gym to have access to weights, etc. So, I went and toured a few. LA Fitness and Sport & Health were nice! Um, Planet Fitness didn’t do it for me. Lol. Then he suggested that I create my own workout space in my home, just for me. Hmmmm, that sounded good because I don’t have too much time, but for some reason I didn’t think I could do it. “I’m just going to join a gym”, I thought to myself, but then he encouraged it more and that idea became more appealing.

I became excited to have this private little space in my home for me and started putting it into action!

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I moved stuff around (like that monstrous treadmill), purchased a weight bench (and put that joker together) and bam! Check it out. Lol! It’s not fancy, but it’s cute, mine, and functional. I just need to get a heavier set of weights, a barbell, and the Body Beast fitness program from Beachbody. Ooooooo, I can’t wait! Really, it is the little things. Putting that room together has lifted my spirits and I have been excited all week working out in there (beats working out in my bedroom)!

If you are feeling the burnout like I am, I encourage you, me, us, to chillax a bit in efforts to recognize how much our hard work has paid off.

Here’s to enjoying the fruits!

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Radical Acceptance

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My #1 favorite saying is, “It is what it is.” I guarantee that adapting that way of thinking into your life is a game changer. Go ahead, I double dare you. Welp, that is all. Good luck!

#happyfriday Live Free!

I N S A N I T Y

Ever do something repeatedly knowing that the consequence of your choice is going to impact you negatively? You set yourself up for failure and disappointment every time, but you do it because you force yourself to see a glimmer of hope; that miniscule piece of hope that whispers in your ear, “Grab on to my pantaloons! I bet this is the time that it will be different.” You know what I’m talking about….

Whether it be kissing your boss’ ass in hopes of getting a raise that you will never get; all you are left with is reduced self-respect and a mouf full of ass. (Tragic)

Whether it may be with a “best friend” you are always there for who in turn doesn’t have your back; all you are left with is a one-sided relationship that makes you feel like a cheaper hooker with a nappy wig and torn fishnets. (Foul)

Whether it’s you never losing weight though you are constantly on a diet. They said you can have a cheat day….”a” as in one!; all you are left with are nice curves, if you are lucky, and a beer gut. (Not cute)

Whether it’s with a romantic interest that you display your love and affection to knowing he/she isn’t capable of being the man/woman you want and need; all you are left with are feelings of rejection and heartache. (Tinder vs. POF)

Whether it be you drinking like a fish knowing you are a two drink minimum; all you are left with is the hangover of all time, again. (Get yo life)

I can continue, but I think you get the point, lol, though I’m being a little silly here. They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results…… Hmmmm…… Something to think about, huh? What will it take to break yourself from this pattern?

Writing this random post made me think of this song. Hope you enjoyed it. I Love Zedd; he’s fun! This jam is one of my favs.

Maxin’ n Relaxin’

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Chillin on the beach in Miami in my all-white bikini and just for a little while I don’t have a single care in the world. This weather is unbelievably perfect. Not too cool and not too hot; the humidity is low and my hair is thankful. There’s an awesome oceanic breeze blowing that tickles my skin. (Teehee) The sun is shining ever so brightly in the baby blue sky interspersed with little white wispy clouds; it looks like it was freshly painted on an empty canvass. When I close my eyes I find the sound of the waves crashing into the shoreline so soothing and relaxing. All of the people surrounding me: the seemingly happy large families, the pregnant young mother and her adorable toddler playing in the sand, the random single muscle men jogging by in speedos, the groups of 20s-30s something girl friends/guy friends drinking and partying, the random dude sitting solo in the cut people watching, the stoned beach bum who is flying a colorful kite by himself, the cute young couples scattered about holding hands and exchanging little hugs and kisses; all of them are having a good time; we are having a good time. And even though I wish you were here, I’m all smiles and am able to enjoy the moment. I think I’ll daydream a bit while sipping my beer… #Cheers

Zero F*cks Given

Often, our blogs have taglines. But, what if humans did too? What would your taglines be? 

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I’m actually so random and unpredictable that several different taglines could be used to represent me, but at the time of seeing this writing prompt, “Zero Fucks Given” is what comes to mind. I’m counting down to the wonderful age of 30; 14 more days; OMG exactly 2 weeks from today, eeeeeek! And do you know what’s funny? I actually feel different. Though it’s been a gradual uphill struggle getting up to this point, I feel like only within the past 3 – 6 months have I realized the many significant changes within my mind, body, and spirit. Some people may share my sentiments and some people may scoff and think that my age ain’t nothing but a number. Shrugs, I dunno, I’m just going by how I am currently thinking and feeling. 

These days I am less anxious, more calm, and easygoing. I have more understanding and acceptance, especially of the people, places, things, and events that I cannot change. I love myself more and appreciate my true beauty. I feel more confident and have the motivation and courage to do what I want. My people-pleasing days seem to be coming to a close. Regardless of the fake ass, hardcore bullshiggity people spit from their mouths about not caring about what other people think about them, we all want to be liked/loved, valued, and appreciated. Me included! But, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, this is less important to me than it was in my previous years. I figure that as long as I like me, God has my back, and I’m ok with my thoughts, feelings, and actions, then I’m good to go! 

I want to share something with you… Given my unconventional upbringing in a substance abusing household, I have developed what those in the mental health profession refer to as  dun, dun, duuuuuunnnnn, “codependency issues”. According to merriam-webster.com. codependency is a psychological condition in which someone is in an unhealthy relationship that involves living with and providing care for another person (such as a drug addict or an alcoholic); as a psychological condition or relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition; dependence on the needs of or control by another. According to Codependency for Dummies, symptoms are as follows:

Low self-esteem

Not liking or accepting yourself

Feeling you’re inadequate in some way

Thinking you’re not quite enough

Worrying you are or could be a failure

Concerned with what other people think about you

Perfectionism

Pleasing others and giving up yourself

Poor boundaries

Boundaries that are too weak and there’s not enough separateness between you and your partner

Boundaries that are too rigid and keep you from being close

Boundaries that flip back and forth between too close and too rigid

Reactivity

Dysfunctional Communication

Difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings

Difficulty setting boundaries — saying “No” or stopping abuse

Abusive language

Lack of assertiveness about your needs

Dependency

Afraid of being alone or out of a relationship

Feeling trapped in a bad relationship and unable to leave

Relying too much on others opinions

Intimacy problems

Avoidance of closeness

Losing yourself

Trying to control or manipulate others

Feeling trapped in a dysfunctional relationship

Denial

Denial of codependency

Denial about a painful reality in your relationship

Denial of your feelings

Denial of your needs

Caretaking

Control

Controlling your own feelings

Managing and controlling people in your life; telling them what to do

Manipulating others to feel or behave like you want (people pleasing is a manipulation)

Obsessions

Addiction to a substance or process

Painful emotions

Shame

Anxiety

Fear

Guilt

Hopelessness

Despair

Depression

Um, well damn! As a mental health therapist with a specialization in working with individuals with co-occurring disorders (i.e. someone with both a substance use disorder and at least one other mental health disorder such as bipolar disorder), I am fully aware of those who present with codependent behaviors. I’m actually well-versed in the subject matter, but for years I felt as if I was above those issues due to my studies and career in the field… How foolish! It wasn’t until there was a major crisis within my immediate family 1.5yrs ago, the heart breaking end of my last relationship 6 months ago, and my participation in brief outpatient therapy which ended about 3 months ago, before I realized that a lot of my stress and depression was directly related to my freaking codependency issues!!! Cue the cartoon light bulb above my big ass head!

Therapy brought me back to life. It helped me to get centered and put my life into perspective. It helped me face my denials and hold myself and others accountable. It helped me deal with my extreme feelings of guilt and shame. It helped me gain the strength to say “NO!” and feel ok about it. It helped me to loosen my death grip on everything and everyone because, can you believe this?, I actually don’t have all the control in the world. It helped me to recognize where I was being taken advantage of. It helped me to simply let go and forgive myself and others.

I still care about other people and some things, but not at my expense. I do what I want and drop whatever gets in my way. I thank God that I have peace today… #ZeroFucksGiven

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment.

DP:Tagline

First!

Tell us about your first day at something — your first day of school, first day of work, first day living on your own, first day blogging, first day as a parent, whatever.

I went on a solo vacation trip a few weeks ago to a mountainous area in my home state (I’m fortunate to have access to vacation property). The drive is actually only about max 2.5hours away from my home, thus out of town, but still relatively close by if I needed to make a break. Lol. Originally, I had reserved the vacation time and was excited to share and enjoy the property with my special someone, but things changed and that plan was no longer applicable. :-\ With those unforeseen changes I didn’t make the effort to either rent my place out for a profit, or invite friends to join me. So, I planned to follow through with my time off and go by my damn self.

I mean, Heck! Why not? I desperately needed the break, I worked hard for it, and am totally capable of doing whatever I want. At the very last minute I did extend an invite to friends, but it was too short-notice, and frankly I’m glad. As the day of my departure came near, I began to feel both anxious and extremely excited for my trip. I noticed my thoughts cycled between empowerment and self-doubt. I have never vacationed solo before, but I told myself, “honey, you got this”. 😉 I researched activities and set daily goals for while I was away. I prepared myself and off I went!

While away, I got interesting feedback from people in my life. Some questioned me, “Is everything alright?”. Some showed concerned, “Please be careful!”. Some others showed, what’s the word I’m looking for…….. Hate, oh yes, that’s it, “Who vacations by themselves?” Lol! People are so funny, I tells ya. Hate only fuels a person like me, so thank you!

The first day of my trip, I instantaneously felt reinvigorated! I felt super excited and accomplished. It was amazing! Especially since for the past two or three months or so I had been feeling so many negative things (overwhelmed, work burnout, rejected, unloved, unattractive, devalued, undeserving, unappreciated, just to name a few). Ewe! Feels gross to even write that, but I was beat; I was really spent and exhausted! I am only human and not above hardship and emotional turmoil; I realize I was simply going through a transition period.

But, let me tell you, the removal from my daily living environment was exactly what I needed to reevaluate myself….family, social network/relationships, career, passions, all included…. That first day helped boost my confidence and was the start to a shift in perspective. I took in the fresh crisp air of a higher altitude, the beauty in the landscape, and the calm and peaceful vibe of the small town and got back on track! I remember feeling completely content with myself. I was all smiles and actually satisfied. I was grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to even get away. I felt blessed. I felt my strength increase and felt change coming. I felt bold and brave. I felt worth more than I was getting and started on a revised game plan. It was wonderful! I totally recommend a scheduled time-out for everyone!

Stay focused and stay blessed Readers! Don’t allow anything to stand in your way. Prove the naysayers wrong!

Enjoy a few fotos!
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DP:First

Demons

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Demons…We all have them, and if you want to function at your most optimal level, you must face them jokers. The thing is, my demons are mine, I’m aware of them, and I own them muthafuqqas. But guess what, though they contribute to who I am, they don’t define me. Can you say the same? That’s what you should be worried about, and I’m speaking to you adult persons out there. Depending on the day, I may look into the mirror and see the negative, the past traumas, the short-comings, the failures, the bruised ego, the rejection, the hurt, staring back at me.  The thing is, as I age and mature, I actually smile back, because without all of those “things”, I wouldn’t be the awesome person I have become, the awesome person that I am today. (High-Five to Self!)

This year has consisted of several personal changes and growth for me, after being in a rut the year before when I had to deal with familial relationships and complications, changes at work, and some health challenges (hypothyroidism). This year has also been a bit challenging, yet, overall enjoyable and productive. I have accepted and taken risks on different levels from my career to my relationships; I’ve won some and lost some, but definitely have come out on top. I have learned a lot and have actually shifted perspectives on a lot of things.  I have better determined what I want vs. what I do not want; I have identified problem areas and have taken steps in the efforts to effectively address those problem areas; I have established/re-established and reinforced personal boundaries; I have remained true to myself; and more importantly, I have not allowed fear to hold me back, actually, from anything.

I had some support this year too, even support from a new source.  It was much appreciated and came right on time. It helped to propel me forward, but also what it did was test me.  This source originally helped me along, but then turned around and tested me a bit… Hmmmm….  Without getting into too much detail, what started as assistance, turned into a hindrance. This isn’t a bad thing, though. See what happened is that new source, served its purpose and is no longer valid in my life. That’s when the art of “Letting Go” comes into play. 😉 **waves goodbye**

As I write this, I feel so grateful that I’m able to stand tall no matter what.  I’m able to do my best to get what I need out of this life. I’m able to face anyone and anything as my true self and accept the outcomes. I have the patience, consideration, understanding, and empathy of a flippin’ saint sometimes. What I remind myself is that as long as I have remained true to myself in all of the situations that I encounter, I can’t go wrong. It is funny how we say that we appreciate and value honesty/integrity, loyalty, and respect from others, because, not even a small fraction of us really mean that. No matter what though, I do what I want, I am who I am, and I’m straightforward. I get the job done and frankly, I don’t want to be around anyone or anything who/that isn’t strong, confident, and winning at this game of life…. with your demons and all.

There’s no issue in being flawed; I haven’t met a perfect soul yet!  It’s how you work them flaws and compensate with your strengths.  It’s about your character!!! My life story so far includes so much disappointment….my goodness…. but I’m still here and have accomplished more than a lot of folks. And for that, I’m grateful. And I am cool with my character! I’m proud of me, and I love me! Again, can you say the same?

In the spirit of the Thanksgiving Holiday, be grateful folks! Recognize how far you’ve come! If you’ve done your best, all you can do is be proud and content with your efforts, in spite of the outcomes! Punch your demons in the face and allow your beautiful selves to shine ever so brightly!

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Serotonin

“I never want to come down from you.”

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter primarily found in our Gastrointestinal tracts (GI tract), platelets, and Central Nervous Systems (CNS), is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.  Who doesn’t just absolutely love it when they are experiencing the wonderful feelings of sheer bliss? I took some time out to meditate today and recall a few different happy moments throughout my life.  It was nice, I’m all smiles today. We know that negative moods are associated with negative outcomes, and in the words of the wise Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

We have to keep our mind, body, and spirit up! That is if we are planning on making it in this world. So, brothers and sisters,

#1 – Turn them frowns upside down – Get your mind right!,

#2 – Let’s get up in the gym and work on our fitness – Come on now, Beer and Wings are only going to get you but so far…, and

#3- Give it up to your higher power – Do what you want, but my HP is the Holy Trinity.

We “goin’ up, on a Tuesday!” LOL Happy Tuesday followers! I challenge you to take a holistic approach to your life….. Being great isn’t easy, is it? But, we got this!

Best wishes,

The Greatest
…JK, but not really. Lol… 😉

The Disappearing Act

The pleasantry has subsided.

The optimism overcome with cynicism.

The fire extinguished, as the magic has weakened.

Its vibrancy has faded into darkness; its ink covered by white-out.

Its lively spirit crushed, as its flirty seduction is overshadowed by grimness.

The twinkle is now a dud.

The curve has flattened.

What once shined effortlessly is now resentfully forced.

What was once there has now vanished…

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My Smile.

**poetry corner**

Hope you enjoyed reading. As always, thank you for stopping by and showing love and support. Feel free to comment anytime (love what I write, hate it, can relate to it, suggestions, feedback, etc…. it’s all good) 😉

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