Halloween in November

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Halloween in November, can you imagine that? I mean if you ask me, I’d tell you all the reasons why Halloween fits perfectly in October…and not just on any day, but the 31st of October. It just seems right. The last day of the scariest-sounding month is, I think, the most spooky, fitting date. Don’t you think? *chuckles to self.

Ok. I digress. I don’t know why the heck I am even convincing myself of Halloween — it’s a day (holiday for some) that I have not celebrated for years, probably because I don’t fit into any of the categories: kids, college students or parents, all of who can appreciate a mask and a treat.

But, there was an important message I received a couple days ago as I was catching up on my prime-time tv shows. The tv show black-ish — yes, I agree, bizarre name that actually almost kept me from tuning in to the new sitcom, but again, I digress — anyway during this tv show one of the character’s made a simple statement. A statement in which I totally agree with and ended up further reflecting upon. Someone on the show (I believe it was the father, not sure) mentioned how,

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Lastnight’s Event: “All For The Love of Kids”

Yesterday my friend invited me to the event “All For The Love of Kids”, held in Downtown Los Angeles. It was incredible. The vibe was wonderful. People mingled and ate finger foods as we waited for dinner and the event to begin. We were all there for a greater cause, a cause to raise money for foster children in Los Angeles County and to honor two individuals who have given back tremendously to the foster children of LA. The two honorees were Ms. Tige Charity, from Kids in the Spotlight, and Mr. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, from Skyhook Foundation (and former NBA star — and phenomenal Lakers player).

Not only was the food delicious, but the event itself was packed with excitement. Not a boring moment, which I was grateful for.

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Love The Skin You’re In

The beautiful and talented Ms. Lupita Nyong’o talks to our young kids on Sesame Street about loving the skin we’re in. Sesame Street is a wonderful television program that teaches kids fundamental concepts at home before they even enter pre-school.

Lupita loves her skin, Elmo loves his and you and I definitely should too!

Watch the 2 minute Sesame Street clip below.

Always #LikeAGirl

When people think of the phrase “like a girl”, stereotypes and less than behaviors come to mind.

I’m guilty of this, me, a girl who fights against those very stereotypes. But not in the way you’re probably thinking. It’s not that I think the actual action of doing something “like a girl” equates to doing something less than the male counterpart. It’s the phrase itself. Society has created a picture for what doing something “like a girl” looks like. I mean, it’s referred to often in the media, by our male family members and friends, by sport coaches and by whoever else attempts to explain an action they see as being performed poorly or mediocre. I am surprised (but grateful) that it is not a defined phrase in the urban dictionary (and I looked…).

So no, I do not think a girl doing something is mediocre or less than a boy’s doing of that same task. Often times, girls excel at the things guys challenge them to. So I definitely believe in the anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you!

I just sometimes forget that the phrase “like a girl” has an underlying meaning to it — one that is demeaning, objectifying and irritably unacceptable to the female gender.

So as a reminder to us of what doing something like a girl really looks like, I have posted this cool Always™ video below. Always™ reminds us that doing something “like a girl”, like running, should not be confused with failing or sucking at running nor should it be confused with exerting little to no effort. Doing something “like a girl”, like throwing a ball, should not be confused with throwing a ball in a cute, submissive manner. Doing something “like a girl”… well watch the video and be reminded by 10 year-old normal, everyday girls what doing something “like a girl” really looks like.

Don’t forget to share your thoughts below :)

What do you think? Has your perception of doing something “like a girl” changed? How do you feel about girls and their ability to do both “gender” and “non-gender” specific tasks, like styling their hair, playing basketball, washing dishes, etc.?

Please forward and share this post with your friends and family, guys and girls, and especially young girls between the ages of 3-18. It’s never too early or too late to show girls and women what doing something like a girl really looks like. Have a dialogue with them. Ask them their thoughts, share with them your thoughts. Everyone needs to see this powerful commercial, please help us spread it with love!

P.S. >> I’ll ALWAYS Walk, talk, Lead, perform, Succeed, cry, Laugh, explore, Inspire and Create “LIKE A GIRL”

xoxo

“Perfect Imperfections” – Part 1 – Why You Should Stop Trying To Live Up To Perfection

Growing up, boy did I put a lot of unnecessary stress on myself.

Even at a very young age. I’m talking first grade young, so like 6 years old. I remember growing up in Arkansas, one of my parents would take my brothers and I to school. My oldest brother would always get the privilege of getting dropped off first – so not fair!

I felt like I had places to be, things to learn, tests to Ace. How could you do this to me mommy?!

Well, seeing as we were always either barely on time or running late, as a junior high student, my oldest brother being tardy actually meant something. But the way I reacted, each and every morning – you would have thought me being tardy meant the end of the world.

Cognitive of time, I cried my little eyes out. I hated being late. Not only was it just not right, it was embarrassing, I never got to enjoy the play time before the bell rang for class to begin, and worst of all – it knocked me out of the running for having perfect punctuality.

Attendance – now that was an even bigger issue for me. I wasn’t ’bout to miss no days, huney. Sick, tired, chicken pox and all – I demanded to go to school (thankfully didn’t have to worry about the chicken pox scenario, ‘cus I’m sure I would’ve lost that battle). I hated the thought of getting behind. What if I missed an important lesson? What if I missed something amazing that only happens once in a lifetime? What if, (Uh Oh), I missed a key assignment that would have aided in me learning something for an upcoming test, which then would cause me to earn anything below an A+?

Oh, no. I wasn’t having it.

And God forbid I don’t receive the ‘Perfect Attendance’ reward at the end of the school year, among my other honors, I would have a fit. * flashback moment

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Achieving perfection was something I had naturally always fought for. I wanted to be the best. And to me, the best meant perfect. But as you may know, perfection is merely an illusion of the imagination. What may be perfect to me may be a disaster or mediocre to someone else.Stress Meter Showing  Panic Attack From Stress And Worry

The determination of reaching perfection in all that I did only made me sick, literally. The stress “perfection” caused me over the years, built up inside of me. My stress level was out the roof. I developed bad anxiety. I welcomed thoughts of negativity and self-doubt. Taking on the task of being perfect meant I also took on a persona of being perfect. So what did that mean? That meant I began caring absolutely too much about how I was perceived by others.

Even when I knew I was doing an excellent job, the unknown thoughts of my peers ate away at my confidence, thus making me insecure about not only my abilities but also my decisions. I second-guessed every move and decision I made, asking myself, “Well how would xyz take this? How will that make me seem? Is that the right thing to do? Maybe I need a few other opinions…” I no longer trusted myself to make the right, sound decisions alone.

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Who gets to judge accomplishing perfection? Because if we simply judge perfection for ourselves, will we ever be good enough to stand tall against our own standards? If we judge perfection of different situations, things, outcomes, others, and etc, individually… What makes his standard of perfection any better (or worse) than my standard of perfection?

Absolutely nothing. Our individual thoughts, feelings, experiences, and definitely societal norms, shape our perception of perfection – which (good news!) makes “perfection” totally subjective, thus arguable.

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So, I challenge you today to stop conditioning yourself to achieve “perfect” outcomes from your “perfect” goals. Let the idea of needing to be perfect go. It’s simply unhealthy. And be careful of the thoughts you feed your brain. Just as you protect your money, protect your mind and thoughts. Your mindset is the difference of you being happy or defeated.

Instead, here’s something to feed on: begin to love who you are and believe in yourself and your capabilities. Be OK with those quirky things about yourself that you or others view as different – those traits are your unique perfect imperfections. So stop wasting time telling yourself how you wish you were… or what you wish you had… and instead live in the now and strive for excellence. The difference of striving for excellence as opposed to perfection, you ask? A wholeee lot (chuckles).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of “Perfect Imperfections”   :)

xoxo

“I didn’t raise no follower…!”

The only thing we need to follow is our dreams. Otherwise – we choose to be avant-garde leaders ♥︎ ♡

“Don’t you find it odd,” she continued, “that when you’re a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you’re older, somehow they act offended if you even try.”
― Ethan Hawke, The Hottest State

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“People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. Live your truth and don’t EVER stop!”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

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“Love what you do and do what you love. Don’t listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.”
― Ray Bradbury

Yaass!! Time To Rise & Shine & Work At Our Potential!

Do you have an idea you’d like to bring to life? Or maybe there’s a new, more challenging, better paying position that is up for grabs that’s more closely related to what you have always wanted to do career-wise. Heck, maybe you have always wanted to learn a new skill or hobby, like how to crochet or knit. Whatever it is, why not pursue it?

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Will it give you more purpose? Help provide for you and your family? Breakthrough a mean cycle of settling and/or procrastinating? Or simply help you smile more often? Any of these reasons are enough to believe it is worth the risk, time and hard-work. Follow through with your right-brain’s nagging…  Still need some convincing?

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Watch & enjoy this quick, awesome video. It may just be the push you need… I use it every morning when trying to get out of bed at 5am. It’s a great reminder of WHY I set that alarm & have to get to it.

Notes to all the Special Mothers out there on Mother’s Day

Today is Mother’s Day… Ce’Marie and I would like to wish all of the fabulous mothers out there a wonderful, happy day and year!

Here’s a special note from Ce’Marie to her mother:

“To my pretty, caring and hardworking mommy, I love you! :) :) You are shapping shaping my life to grow up and become a fun fierce, brave Queen, like you. You are our #1 fan – always going above and beyond to help us pursue our dreams. Thank you for believing in me and all of my bright ideas. I’ve been told my imagination is stupid and dreaming is for losers – and I believed it for 1 second until you told me it’s actually pretty unique and a good sense of wild. You taught me to not worry about what mean people say and to just enjoy being free in my imagination. I thank you mama for never belittling my dreams and instead telling me to shoot even higher than the stars… Momma, I hope you like my our card I we got for you – I really really hope so because I spent all of my allowance on it. ~ ♥︎ ~ P.S. it was alot of my idea to get you the bamboo plant, thought it would brighten up your desk while at work. I hear you sometimes talk to daddy about the stress of work, so this should help alot tremendously. I got Rewo [Ce’Marie’s older brother] to pay for it – I told him he owed it to us mommy ;) Ms. T [Ce’Marie’s school teacher] always says, ‘Keep up the hard-work, because someone is taking notice and another is always watching while the other is taking notes.’ I never really understood what that meant, until now (well more like 42 minutes ago when I asked Rewo). Well, I’ve taken notice of your hard-work and now I’m watching you while I take my notes :) xoxo, Ce’Marie Your Kids”

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And a note from the author of Ce’Marie books to all the responsible, great mothers out there who are making a positive difference in the lives of their kids and others:

I thank you.

I thank you for all of your hard work and dedication in raising strong, confident, smart, and loving children. We need more people, and especially more mothers, like you in this world! It is no easy task to not only birth a child but to also raise a child. Raising children takes strength, determination, money, PATIENCE and a good heart. So to all the mothers out there who are taking care of business and making it happen, I applaud and humbly thank you. And those of you superwomen who have to do it alone, I take my hat off to you. Today was designed in honor of the mothers and your persistence in making sure when it came to your family, sh* got done correctly, each and every time!

So… a toast to you, a beautiful future and a blessed year of happiness. Cheers! *clink *clink *clink

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And lastly, the most difficult note to compose – a note to all the Nigerian mothers who are awaiting the return of their innocent daughters:

We are all praying for you. We want our girls back. We want our daughters back, and we want this NOW!  So #BringBackOurGirls!

I pray that they are safe and unharmed. I pray that God helps them get through whatever it is they are battling. And when they do return (I am talking this into existence), I pray they suffer no more. We love you all and wish you comfort in God’s word. You AND your daughters will overcome this.

Your daughters will remain in our prayers until they are declared well and in your loving arms.

Written with so much love, empathy and concern,

xoxo

R.

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Thank you for the beautiful pictures! (Picture Credits)

#RockACrown[LA] and #BringBackOurGirls!

Wow, how could I forget to share this event with you all! Ce’Marie and I attended a wonderful event this past Sunday afternoon. It was called #RockACrownLA.

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The purpose of the event was to raise awareness of the #BringOurDaughtersBack movement. A good 35-40 LA dwellers came together to pray and stand in solidarity at Manhattan Beach on May 4th. I heard about it via social media and instantly knew I wanted to be a part of it.

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As we walked up to the designated meeting area, we noticed a group of gals and guys – old and young – gathered in a circle. It was such a beautiful thing. Everyone had on their head-wrap “crowns”, as suggested by the organizers. With my head-wrap on, I felt a sense of connection to the young Nigerian girls.

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Unsurprisingly though, a lot of people had no idea what had occurred in Nigeria on April 15th. So they had no clue as to why we were there. There were some who thought we were preparing for a church ritual while others thought someone had just gotten married. After explaining to curious onlookers why we gathered there and what we were doing – they were stunned at the news. They had not previously heard about what happened to the over 300 Nigerian schoolgirls. And what touched my heart, outside of the event itself, were those who, after being informed of why we were there, stopped what they were doing and joined us for the cause – signing both the petition on charity.org and the contact sheet with their information for notice on future #Bringbackourgirls events.

I left the event feeling a great sense of inspiration. From church to brunch then lastly to the beach, I had had a wonderful, invigorating Sunday.

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How about you? Have you been enjoying your weekends? Do you fill them with activities that you are passionate about? Tell us below :)