What once was will never be
"2020" We may never ever need to say that again. In a few days, we will be starting a new year. I'm so looking forward to it, but I hope I'm not the only one who can say that despite the challenges of 2020, I experienced the most growth both personally and emotionally than I have ever done throughout my 46 years. Let's dive right into it!
Maintaining what works - In the absence of being physically present, you can show and interact with love ones by answering when they need you, using Facetime, and reaching out through cards or texts. I remember when my son and I were doing a walkthrough of a house I was thinking about buying. He and I included my daughter by having her on Facetime. She was able to see what we saw and hear our thoughts about the house in real time. She also asked questions to the realtor. She was in a sense there. Yes, it was different, but it worked.
Promoting Self Love -I've had a lot of time to reflect during 2020. So many things happened that were beyond my control that I had to rediscover what at the end of the day makes me happy. Sitting down to a movie with a glass of wine, studying a different language, reading a book, treating myself to a bubble bath in the middle of the day, enjoying a walk on the beach, or even having a quiet moment of meditation were all ways I showed myself self love. When you try, you can make something beautiful from very little. For example, I began to mix lavender oil and shea butter with cane sugar, honey, and coconut oil to create an all-natural scrub. Along with warm water, my bath tub became an oasis for refreshing my soul and exfoliating my skin.
A few days ago, I overheard two people having a discussion. One was excited about celebrating Thanksgiving, but the other condemned the holiday. He spoke about how the first Thanksgiving supported colonization of our country and led to the suppression of Native Americans. Judging the views of others is not my job. I will never be the one to ignore history. I feel we should learn from it and find ways to make it better. What I will say is we must learn to build from what we have now. I was raised to see Thanksgiving as a coming together - A time to share your blessings and share love. My mom is not with us today, but she always started cooking on Wednesday night and stayed up until morning baking sweets and goodies to only get back up in an hour or so to start the main meal. I would sneak into the kitchen when she fell asleep and stuff my mouth with anything she would not notice was missing when she returned to her duty. The love of family is instilled in our blood because of how we were taught to celebrate and give thanks to God at Thanksgiving.
My favorite dessert at Thanksgiving is Jelly Cake. My mom would make it and pretend to not notice the missing slice I took before the dinner. She wouldn't say anything but smile. When she passed, my sister Voncille began baking it for me. She would make it with five thin layers and put lots of apple jelly in between each of them. I miss both my mom and sister and my other family members who have transitioned so much. My sister, Vina, then started baking jelly cakes for me. Vina's cake sometimes leaned or was a little crunchy around the edges, but it was so delicious because of the love she poured into it. This year, I'm going to attempt to make my own. I'm not good at baking cakes so my expectation is going to start at the bottom and hopefully I will surprise myself. Sometimes you have to let go of the norm to see what you are made of within. COVID has definitely brought on some challenges, but keep in mind, it will not last forever. Remember Thanksgiving is a blessing of love so no matter how your traditional dinner or gathering changes, let people know that you still love and are thinking of them. Have a beautiful safe holiday and many Blessings always. ~ Carla
My Garage GYM Is Growing
I totally get doing things yourself, but I like my stuff put together already. I don't mind paying a little extra. With the current pandemic, I find that with many companies, assembly service is not available. They just want to leave it on the curb! Sometimes they won't even ring the doorbell to let you know your package was delivered. I had to pull out the tools and with a little help from my dog, we did it. Ok, I may have also had a few glasses of wine too. LOL
So what did I buy?
I love working out. I walk almost every day but some times the weather does not cooperate. I know that my leg strength is important for keeping my knees strong to carry my curvy figure. Squats is one way to help build and protect my leg muscles, but I find doing them challenging - the whole no-leaning thing. Well, I feel like I cannot master doing a squat correctly no matter how hard I try. But wait... this tiny machine is perfect. It guides you down for the perfect squat. All you do is push with the legs. You can make it a full body workout to by pulling with the arms. There are also resistance bands to allow you to build your strength gradually. I am in love with the range of motion of this machine!
Two Month Update
This post was long overdue. I purchased my squat machine in July and I have to say that it has been an awesome experience. I feel stronger, more confident, and motivated to get on it. I use it about 3-4 times per week combined with a simple cardio dance routine.
When you find something that works, embrace it and share it. I no longer feel like squats are difficult. The guided assistance of this machine makes doing squats literally as easy as pie!
Comment below if you are interested in getting one. And remember... Keep your chin up, show yourself love, and do those squats correctly. Hugs, Carla
Women's Mental Health
Be Aware Of Your Internal Signs
We all lead stressful lives. At some point, you have to slow down and take a step back. Whether you are worried about your kids or a little short on a bill or maybe your friend said something you did not like, there is always something to fret about in the daily life of a woman. Despite what is going on in our lives, we are expected to still meet our responsibilities and step up to our roles as mom, leader, confidant, guider, and coordinator. But what happens when you realize there is overload? How does a woman cope when the pressure is on max? One indicator of meeting my breaking point is a noticeable increase in anxiety. When I get nervous or start to become short tempered with those around me, those are my internal signs that I need to take a break - I need to step away. There are so many factors that happen beyond your control. I have lost my Father, then Mother, then Brother-in-law, then Sister, then another Sister. I know what being on the verge of mental breakdown feels like. Grief is no joke.
1. Talk to someone. Do not let negativity or what you are worrying about brew. It is so much easier to talk with a family member or close friend about your problem, than to let it snowball. If you are in a disagreement with a spouse or significant other - talk to them about it.
2. Pray! Rely on your Faith during your time of need. Some things you may not want to talk about with a person. Always take your worries to God for He alone is all powerful and can resolve it.
3. Spend time with yourself. Take a break when you need to. Go get your nails done or have some ice cream. You can also go on an overnight trip. Plan a mini vacation where you can relax and recover.
4. Seek professional help. There seems to be a stereotype that goes along with therapy, but you have to ignore it. Talking with a non-biased person confidentially can go a long way. Keep in mind, that most healthcare plans cover counseling services.
I hope this blog post helps you with whatever you are going through. Know that we all have good days and bad days - it's how you work through them that matters. Comment below with how you cope with life's punches. I would love to see what you do.
Be Blessed today and always, Carla
your environment matters
I've spent my whole life thinking of others and mostly, putting others' needs before my own. It was part of my upbringing, the culture of what I was learned to do. Don't get me wrong, taking care of others is not a curse; it is, in fact, rewarding on many levels. It is still instilled in me, but that priority has changed.
In 2016, I started my metamorphosis. It was not on purpose. I've always desired to own my own business, but I knew I could not afford to support my family if I quit my main job. Instead, I started growing my business on weekends and late nights. Many people will call it a "side hustle"; I now call it my expansion period. Having the ability to change your work habits to gain what you need in order to grow is HUGE!
WHY I DATE MYSELF On Social Media
Many coaches and trainers start their sessions by asking, "Who is your target audience?" Well, I know who my target audience of one is. It is ME. It's like I'm dating myself. I want my posts to represent the best parts of ME, so that if I want to go and see how BLESSED my life has been... I just click on my profile. I don't have to wait for the Facebook algorithm to show me a positive post. My digital journal of self reflection is easily accessible, so I can review and reflect on how I will be better the next day or moment. Others can also access this love story and be encouraged to build their own.
I love dating myself. Just like the saying, you are what you eat! You should filter what you allow yourself to be reminded of about you. Keeping your living space positive will keep positive people around you. A person's character is defined by what they allow into their lives. If you want to see a person's true character, look at the people they are closest too. How do they treat their mom or siblings or kids? How do they interact with their friends? Where do they hang out? What do they do in their spare time? I'm loving all that about myself!
These are simple observations... A few months ago, I remember seeing a list of questions in a magazine that every woman should ask a guy when dating them. I laughed, because I don't want to interview anyone. All you need to do is look at their interactions on social media or ask who is the most important person in their lives or even talk about what they did today. You will know if a person has a growth mindset or if they are stuck in the mud.
Growth is something that occurs once your tolerance level breaks. If a person is tolerating a mediocre level, their life will reflect that. They cannot change how they live overnight. There will be some evidence of who they really are reflected in what they allow in their surroundings.
In dating myself, I've found that I'm totally awesome. My self-confidence is high, I'm not afraid to be ME, and best of all - I KNOW HOW TO ENCOURAGE MYSELF WHEN I'M DOWN. I like to eat. I live an active life. I love my kids and my dog! Each time I review my page, I'm reminded of the people and things I love most! My life has its ups and downs, but I know that my ups will be greater than my downs. I'm not a perfect person - I don't want to be. I just make sure that whatever life throws my way, I will become a better person because of it!