As we left 2016, I couldn’t help but notice all of the references, posts, and comments on how bad the year was for a lot of people. I even saw some uber talented individuals made an actual horror movie trailer of all the headlines. It was hilarious! However this only further proves my point that so many people are feeling dispaire. To use the words of our current FLOTUS ” We are feeling what not having hope feels like” . But please let me encourage you don’t get “Trumped Up”. There is always hope. As long as we are here among the living, it is our duty to make everyday the best day, and be grateful for the opportunity to do so.
I’m not saying we won’t have bad days. I’m just saying don’t stay in the dark places too long! As for me, I am claiming 2017 the year I live with purpose. I believe in my magic! Are you with me?
Here are five ways you can speak life into your new year!
1. Use Your Words Wisely
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You become what you say about yourself. So keep it positive. This is something we’ve all heard all our lives. You know, if you don’t have something nice to say don’t say it at all. Even in scripture ” For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of”. So fill your heart with good words. Sometimes I print my favorite quotes and hang them in places where I can see them when I need encouragement. I have them in my car, around my house, and oh boy do I have them around my office at work. Lol that’s a whole other story 😁. I also keep my vision board posted by my mirror and it is my screen saver on my phone. It reminds me to keep the good vibes.
2. Hold Your Thoughts Captive
Be intentional with your thoughts. I’ll be the first one to say, this is hard! But it’s so necessary. You can’t let the negative talk begin. When you feel the negatity taking over, redirect your thoughts. If you like music, this is a perfect time to create a playlist. Play those songs when you know you need a pick me up. If you have a favorite motivational speaker or podcast hit play and get it into your head. Again the quotes, and words of affirmation come in handy here as well. I once had a difficult coworker that I had to deal with everyday. Someone gave me a workplace prayer, which I hung on the wall right behind my monitor, so I read it all day everyday. It helped me to be mindful of my reactions to her aggressive behavior. Without my reaction she had no fuel. Eventually she stopped her behavior with me and moved on to another coworker which got her fired.
3. Surround Yourself With Good People
Even if the people around you don’t understand what you are trying to do, as long as the don’t try to project their fears on you, they are good people. Sometimes people are so use to being negative, and gossiping, and talking bad about people that they don’t see anything wrong with it. Stay away from this! My dad use to say, if you bring a bone you’ll carry a bone. In other words the same person who’s talking negatively with you will do the same about you.
4. Believe You Are Great
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Like Beyoncé said,” I’m feeling myself ” sometimes you just have to feel you own self! BT dubs have you seen Insecure AF on HBO,? I love the way Issa raps to herself in the mirror! Lol I’m not saying you have to break out your rhyme book, but you can stand in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful, smart, and wonderful you are. I saw an old clip of Jay Z on Hot 97, saying how his uncle told him he’d never sell a million records, and he didn’t believe him. He knew he’d sell a million records and that’s all that mattered.
5. Do Your Best
This one doesn’t take much explaining.Go the extra mile! Work at your best, and you’ll yeild the best results.
Just be dope!
On that note **drops mic**
With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season upon us, we have to be careful to make time to keep ourselves spiritual strong. Sometimes we women loose ourselves trying to meet all the needs of those around us. We serve our husbands, children, bosses, and communities and we forget or are just too tired to serve ourselves. I know for me, doing things for myself makes me feel a little guilty at times. But when the guilt starts to seep in, I just remember who I am. I remember that I can do anything and everything I decide to do. My grandmother use to say ” you just have to set your mind to it”
You do know you are what dreams are made of right? You are magic! You have that thing that only you have that makes you special! That’s your magic! You can’t let fear, doubt, guilt, are anything else take your magic.
I love words of affirmation, so when I found this poem It reminded me of the beauty I posses. Everyone should feel this way about themselves.
My Pledge of Allegiance to Me
Written by Letitia L. Hodge
There’s more to me than the human eye can see.
I’m a woman of purpose and destiny.
A perfect design, I’m special and unique.
I won’t be identified by the parts that make
up my physique.
My beauty is not defined by my skin or my hair
and my soul has more value than
the clothes that I wear.
I’m not a symbol of pleasure or sex appeal;
I have the natural ability to comfort
and the power to heal.
When God made me, He created a gem
because He fashioned me in the likeness of Him.
I refuse to do anything that will put God to shame.
I deserve to be treated with reverence
and called by my name.
I can’t be purchased or sold at any price
because I’ve already been bought and paid
for by the precious blood of Christ!
I praise You because I am fearfully and
Ya feel me? Better yet do you feel yourself? Stay in your magic and Be blessed💋
What’s good my good people? It’s been a minute since I’ve posted. It’s been 7 weeks, and in blog life that like 2 years lol. Allow my to reintroduce myself.
My name is Uhura. I am the founder of Mrsphatandnaptural, and I’m not a blogger. I’m a resource.
My hiatus started with me trying to find my way through mourning the loss of a good friend. I told myself I needed to take some time to deal with what I was feeling. The days rolled into weeks and here we are! During these weeks I had to reevaluate my direction and revisit my motivation for starting this platform.
Here’s my why: Originally the idea started out of my frustration in trying to find a dress for a friend’s wedding.I felt as if there were limited options for me. Most of the dresses weren’t flattering, and even fewer were fashionably up to date. Everything I found made me feel older, bigger, or out of fashion. I was so discouraged by the process that I ended up not going to the wedding. When I began my transition to natural hair, I struggled with finding the right products, routine, and regime to get my hair healthy and fit for public viewing. I knew I had to do something for other women struggling with these issues.
It is God’s will I have a blog. My objective is first and foremost to honor my purpose and spread the word of God’s Love. Second is combination showcase and information platform for my Sisters. This has been such a blessing to me, I have virtually and physically meet so many people whom have enriched my life. My prayer is that I have done the same for someone else. I hope you love the ride as much as I do. Thank you for being with me.
When I 6 months and my brother was 18 months, sole custody of my brother and I was given to my father. For most of my childhood I resented my mom for not “fighting” for us. I can remember having an empty feeling whenever teachers or other moms would make a references like “ make sure you tell your mom” or “did you ask your mother”. I remember the dread of having to explain that I lived with my dad, and there was no “woman” in our house.
She passed away suddenly from an asthma attack never reaching the age I am now. But as I think back over my life I realize, somehow she rarely missed a milestone in my life. My birthdays, graduations, and even the birth of my first son. It was like she had an internal connection to me.
As Mothers Day approaches I can’t help but think of how much I wish I could talk to her and reconcile my feelings with her. So, this post is dedicated to my beautiful mother Ilona Michele Johnson. If she were here I’d tell her:
Firstly, I forgive you for your absence. Because in your absence I was able to create a beautiful fantasy of womanhood. Not having you there to show me, gave me the chance to pull the best attributes from every woman I saw and encountered. It made me fascinated with hair and clothes, and all thing womanly.
Secondly, I forgive you for not having your love. Because I never knew that you loved me, it makes me shower my children and grandchildren with love. With out question they know I love them. I have been a mom longer than I’ve been anything else in my life, and I intentionally give them affection.
Lastly I forgive you for your illness. I now know why you were different than other moms. I know why you had difficulty dealing with the everyday trials of life. I know you didn’t choose to be ill, but being aware of your illness makes me consciousness of my mental state.
There are so many things that I’d love to say to her, but all in all I’d thank her for giving me life. I’d thank her for my name, because the uniqueness made me stand out. I’d thank her for exposing me to my culture through her Pan-Africanism. I’d thank her for giving me a sense of self worth from an early age. I’d thank her for creating me through her direct and indirect actions. I’d let her know, everything I am I owe to her. With this I would give her a kiss and tell her I love her.
Happy Mother Day in Heaven Mom
Okay so I’m not forty anymore, but none the less I am a makeup rookie. As with many other things my face isn’t as tight and bright as it use to be. In my twenties and thirties my makeup regimen consisted of a clean face, some eyeliner, and some lip gloss! But as I am getting older and entering into a new phase in my life, I find myself wanting a little more! I’ve always worn special occasion makeup, but I never made it part of my everyday life. Besides I wasn’t any good at applying it, so I just left it alone.
Fast forward to right around last Thanksgiving, for the first time ever I went and sat at the Mac counter and asked them to give me a “face”. Now unlike past trips to the counter, I wanted this one to be one that I could duplicate on my own. So that meant, no contouring, now brows, and not too many steps. I explained to the lady that I didn’t want to look pasty, and I wanted it too look natural. It need not take up anymore of my precious morning minutes! To my delight she did it!
And it’s quick and easy! You can’t mess this up!
First, I use the Mac Prep & Prime fix spray as the base. It acts as a moisturizer, and it has some shimmering things in it! It’s just the thing to add some sparkle to your morning!
Second, I use the Mac Lightful C tinted Moisturizer. Like I said, no contouring, or clowning, very little blending need. But you get great coverage, and it doesn’t settle into the creases and lines of my 40 plus face!
Next I prep my lashes with the Mac false lash primer- I’m getting use to this. I love the results, but it does make my lashes feel stiff. But, my husband has been looking into my big eyes for years and when ever I wear this primer he reminds my how much he loves my eyes! #itsawinner
Then I do my lips. I cover my entire lip with the pencil first, then I apply the All Fired Up lipstick. I love lippies, so this is probably the easiest part for me. I use the beet liner with reds and pinks, so the all fired up gets some extra heat from the beet liner,lol.
Here are the rookie makeup tips she gave me:
- Stick with a tinted moisturizer instead of trying to figure out layering and contouring. It gives just the right amount of coverage for my freckles, and spots, but it doesn’t look pasty! As I said before, powders can settle into your lines and make you look older. And for once in my life the color matches my “waffle colored skin” perfectly!
- Use a primer under my mascara to make my lashes look longer. Yeah cause I can’t do the falselys either. This one goes on white, I let it dry while I put on my tinted moisturizer.
- Fill in my entire lip with the lip pencil before applying my lipstick. This makes the color last longer. Who knew? I’m truly from the eighties so I only used my lip pencil on the edges of my lips. I thought lip liner was only a liner!
- Use a translucent powder to help add glow, and set the makeup. Again who knew, lol!
She did it in a little under 5 minutes, so you know I was sold! As I was leaving I saw a young lady buying the finishing powder that I had, and her skin looked radiant! I asked her what she used and she told me about the “fix” spray so I bought that too. I use it under the tinted moisturizer.
From start to finish, in less than 15 minutes I put my new face on!
Have you ever heard the saying, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery” ? Well, there’s another side to this coin. Duplication is the surest way to fail. In this era of social media we are constantly bombarded with images, ads, and words that tailor our thinking one way or another. Although we have begun to tout this mantra of self-love and body acceptance, it’s no secret that everyone wants to be like someone. It’s human nature to imitate and implement the things we love about someone or something else in our own life.
In fact as followers of Christ we are charged to live a life that can be imitated by others. We are to be Christlike as Christ imitates The Father to be Godlike. The bible says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew ??chapter and verse
The real danger comes from trying to duplicate others actions, looks and or life.
“Why Be A Copy When You Were Born Original” by Oscar Wilde
Follow me now, this relationship with trying duplicate others is a slippery slope.
For one, it’s not authentic and you will not be able to keep it up.
For two, when you can no longer keep up the charade it will cause feelings of defeat.
For three, people can tell when you are not real.
Now I’m not saying that we shouldn’t look to others for inspiration, but we need to apply these thing to our life as it fits us. I believe we need examples of how to be, as well examples of how not to be!
I remember the older women always saying
“ Take It Home and Make It Look Like You”.
In this picture I was inspired by ChiChi from Supple Chic. I could have gone out and had a skirt like hers made or tried to buy one, but instead I went to my closet and found this plaid pencil skirt that I got from Torrid. In fact the cut of that skirt may have been a little easier on my mid section lol.
At 5’3 and well over what is considered an acceptable weight, it’s no question that I have to be creative when dressing my body. My legs and hips are one of those features that I love about my body, so for me pencil skirts give me the curvy longer look that I prefer. I choose to wear my shirt on the outside because, to me it looks and feels better on the area (tummy time) that I don’t care for.
So, do look to others for inspiration. Do not try to duplicate them. While they say “For every one idea you have, three other people have it at the same time” but nobody has your version of it!
Remmber be the best you that you can be! Because everyone else is taken!
As I was writing this, I thought about how it makes me happy that my sons kiss me as soon as they see me. The other day I was trying to make a YouTube video (for the first time) and my middle son walked in and kissed me as I was taping. Before I could get upset, I laughed at myself. Even though I fussed at him, he came right in, kissed me and kept talking on his phone. I told him later that I was trying to tape and that his kiss was in the video and he thought it was so cool. Even now thinking back on that day it brings me Joy.
Now; for the business of “Cultivating Joy”, the term cultivate is usually used in an agricultural since. One definition means to nurture or help grow. So we are growing Joy here!
1. Acknowledge- See the little beauties that are with you every day. Experience the world through the eyes of gratitude. By taking time to be fully present in the thing you are doing, you are allowing yourself to experience the joy..
2. Connect- Surround yourself with the people, places and things that make you happy. If talking to your BFF or even your BF makes you happy, make an intentional effort to connect with them. If you took a vacation that was your favorite, print out the pictures and hang one or two of them up somewhere that will remind you of the fun!
3. Laugh- In today’s world of social media, there are more than enough Vines, Videos, and Snaps, that you can look up just to get a laugh! I know I love when someone shares a funny clip in the morning! That’s a sure way to get me on your page all day!
4. List Your Loves- it’s just what it sounds like. A list of things you love, it’s almost like a play list. I actually have a love list of bloggers that I can always get inspiration from. I also have a love list of quotes, bible scriptures, and of course songs.
5. Put It On- I used to be a holder onto(er) lol. My favorite perfume, clothes, shoes, what ever. For some reason I would hold onto my favorite things and not use them. I still don’t get why, but what I do get is, I don’t do it anymore. Now I wear my favorite perfume everyday! When I’m feeling a little glum, I get glam! That perks my right up.
For some of us joy is a fleeting emotion. Or something that can only be attained by others. Very often we attach our since of joy to certain accomplishments. These events can contribute to the feeling of joy, however to cultivate authentic joy, you have to look within. Only you can make you happy. What are some ways that you cultivate joy? Tell me in the comments below!
This past Sunday, I had the pleasure of sharing a space with 30 or so inspiring visionary women. I attended a Vision Board Party, hosted by Nate’ Jones of Leaders In Lipstick. It was held in the private room at 710 Bar in Midtown Manhattan. As we arrived we were all greeted by Nate’s bubbly high energy which kept up the mood all night.
It was a B.Y.O.B ( bring your own board) bottles were served at request. She had magazines, glue sticks, and scissors strategically placed throughout the room. This was meant to encourage us to engage with one another. You couldn’t just sit in your corner, because you had to go across the room to ask for scissors, or glue, or maybe to see a magazine next.
Throughout the night Nate’ shared why she does vision boards, and the fact that she does two a year. For her it’s important to do a mid-year evaluation, to refocus or revamp based on new developments or new goals that she has for the next half of the year. We were also blessed with inspirational quotes from the likes of Eleanor Roosevelt, C.S. Lewis, Rumi, and other visionary thinkers from the past and present.
There was something about knowing that every woman there was seeking something new, something more, something greater that made the entire experience a creative whirlwind of inspiration. The company of ladies was a mix of brand owners, bloggers, entertainers, and their supporters. I even won a mug!
I’ve done vision boards before, some on a board, and some digitally. In fact I am much more used to doing the digitally, but I must admit, going through the magazines I was very drawn to the words on the pages. It’s funny, the last week of December, I already planned out my strategy and themes for where I wanted my platform to go. But after this event, I have new visions, and some new directives. Also, this was the first time my husband attended an event with me. I was touched by his gesture of helping me make my vision board. I even expressed to him that I felt this was symbolic of his willingness to help me bring my vision to action.
I believe in the power of visualization! In fact on of my favorite quotes is “ if you can conceive it, you can achieve it”. I am Christian, so I don’t look at this process as some magical spell. However just as many before me, I am reminded of some scriptures that lend themselves in favor of these practices.
“Then the Lord replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it.”
Habakkuk 2:2 NIV
Likewise, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,”
Ephesians 3:20 NIV.
Are the most commonly used in these boards.
So even if you don’t go to a party or gathering, you should do a vision board for you life, your business, and or your career path.
There is no right or wrong way to do it, but for me the key to manifestation is praying and letting God work out the how and the why!
Do you have a vision of your future? How do you keep it in your sight? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please comment.
As for now I pray that you create a vision of your life that makes you leap with enthusiasm!
With the coming of every new year, we make resolutions, declarations, commitments or what ever you want to call them. Very often we don’t even keep them for one week. The biggest reason is because we have these unrealistic unnatural goals, but we are not committing to the process. So Naturally we FAIL!
What if we were to take a more natural approach to these goals? Here’s what I mean. If you have made a goal to exercise every morning, but yet you have trouble getting up in the morning, more than likely you will not accomplish this goal easily. However if you tend to stay up later, or you religiously watch your favorite TV program, why not make a goal to work out during the commercials, or before you go to bed? This is more natural to you.
Likewise if you have a financial goal, but you are an impulse spender, plan your trip to the store, and only take enough cash to buy what’s in the plan. Need I say leave your card at home!
The standard saying is “it takes 21 times to make a habit”
but it also takes 21 times to change a behavior. If you have a particular habit that you want to stop, why not replace that motion with a similar motion just a better one. I remember when my Father was trying to stop smoking after 35 years and up to 2 1/2 packs a day. He found that putting a piece of gum in his mouth was the same motion and filled the urge. Surprisingly after about 15 days the urge to have a cigarette went away. The natural pattern was still the same, he just changed the product.
For me, one of my personal goals is to grind as hard for my own dreams as I do for others. I am naturally a pleaser. This one isn’t as easy, but I’m learning to see my success as an inspiration to please others with the information I give. Thereby serving my cause as well as my natural desire to help others.
So, as the new year comes in and you begin to make plans for living a better life, keep your natural tendencies in perspective. Use them to your advantage.
So as we leave 2015 and you start to evaluate your year and make plans for your future remember to just act natural.