goals

five signs it’s time to walk away

i fell apart manytimes.sowhat does that sayabout mebesides i live through wars. (1)

we’ve all been there. trapped in life/work/relationship/financial woes that make it difficult to get out of bed each morning — our lives feel like they’re not our own.  instead of chucking the deuces to painful experiences, we allow insecurities, financial needs or other challenges to convince us to sit front row at the “my life is a hot ass mess convention.”

we start to listen to the voice in the back of our heads telling us that we don’t deserve happiness:

healthy relationships are made for tv.

emotional well being is a myth made up by white housewives who wear $90 yoga pants and drink pumpkin lattes.

don’t believe the hype — happiness and emotional well being are real. but here’s the hard truth: if we want to experience them, we gotta get rid of the shit that weighs us down.Fly Final

for years, i was convinced that my toxic relationships would get better. i made excuses for myself and my past partners’ actions to legitimize the pain and drama that had become a part of my daily life.

i know it sounds like a scene from mary j.blige’s “not gon’ cry” video, but one day i literally looked in the mirror and said no more. i wanted to be proud of myself. i wanted my little sisters to know there’s nothing they can’t overcome, no situation they can’t rise above.

if you’re like me, then agonizing over whether it’s time to quit your job, create boundaries with loved ones or end a romantic relationship is the worst part. i’m no therapist, but here are five signs that prompted me to stretch, lace up my nikes and run towards a better life:

  1. you keep asking yourself whether it’s time to go. intuition is God’s voice speaking to us. if you’re constantly asking whether your current experience is right for your life, then guess what — i’d bet money it’s not right for your life. you know what happiness and fulfillment look like; trust yourself.
  2. you can’t remember the last time you enjoyed the experience. any experience that feeds our spirits should instantly prompt positive memories or thoughts. stop and think about your current struggle. if you have to force yourself to think of something positive, then it might be time to go.
  3. everybody from your therapist to your mama to the old lady on the bus knows how much pain you’re in. ever broke down and cried when an acquaintance asked how your day was going? i have. when your pain becomes the topic of every discussion (including nonverbal cues), then it’s consuming your well being.  feeling the need to constantly unload your painful experiences on others is a key sign that your emotional burden is too much to bear.
  4. you’re losing sleep. sleep is essential to our physical and mental health. if stress and anxiety are keeping you up at night, then your current struggle is winning twice. not only is your day consumed by pain, but it’s hijacking your rest too. sleep should be like the hope diamond — priceless.
  5. you spend more time shadow boxing than focusing on reality. are you cursing your boss out while watching tv? planning your next argument with bae while folding clothes? if so, your subconscious is desperately trying to gain control over something that’s left you unsettled. while brooding over negative encounters can make us feel more powerful in the moment, shadow boxing only anticipates more negativity. you can chose a different outcome.

i’m sending love and positive vibes to folks facing emotional hardships. while your burden may be heavy today, remember we have the power to live through wars.

5 things i learned from ava duvernay’s sxsw speech

sometimes i get tired of public speaking. TIHHED. as an attorney and activist, i’m given the opportunity often, and each time i’m as nervous as the first. what gets me through? whether i’m preparing to argue in court or speak to a group of young people, i constantly ask God to speak through me. i feel God did just that with ava duvernay’s sxsw speech — her words spoke to so many parts of my life.  here’s what ava taught me:

1.  “if your dream only includes you, it’s too small.” how will you serve others? we all have a piece of sand to add to the scale of humanity.

2.  “when the light is on you, what do you do to take it in and be nourished by it?” humility has its place, but when it’s your opportunity to shine enjoy it, dwell in it. let your soul be cleansed by the benefits of hard work.

3.  “give your attention to your intention.” set a purpose and work at it unapologetically, giving it all of your attention.

4.  “we don’t see things how they are. we see things how we are.” our perceptions are our realities and if we perceive ourselves as small, we’ll never achieve our intended greatness.

5.  “don’t limit your dream with the small stuff. go beyond external motivation.” ava described the external motivators that were behind her first two feature films.  when writing and directing king, her sole focus was on serving the story; she believes that intention shaped its huge success. again, if your dream only includes you, it’s too small.

watch the video. be empowered.