Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Stress Less Tip 8: Do Not Get Comfortable

you deceive me
relishing in my lull
Capitated, I do not move

Comfort is something we all seek in our lives. Honestly, who wants to be uncomfortable? I sure do not. Unfortunately, comfort can be the worst thing for us sometimes. Our body requires a delicate balance to maintain our daily living. Healthwise if anything is out of whack too much for too long, we will find ourselves falling ill. Consequently, we may physically interpret comfort as maintaining equilibrium. However, even in our comfort, we can physically throw parts of ourselves out of whack.
Maintaining balance or equilibrium is not a static thing. I like to think of it as a quest in which we are always moving towards a goal, making adjustments, jumping through hoops. Think of our goal towards equilibrium like the game Temple Run (I know, I am taking it back). This is what is constantly going on in our bodies. Reaction after reaction to keep us moving forward.
Comfort is the opposite of that. Comfort fools us and the difficult thing about it is there is some part of our brain that relishes in it and convinces us we need more of it because it is like a safe place. Let’s just look at this from a personal, physical perspective. I am most comfortable when I am lying in bed, under my covers after fidgeting for a few minutes to find just the right spot; or when I am sitting on the couch in front of my television for hours, watching my shows. That is the ultimate comfort for me. If I did that daily for hours and hours on end, parts of my body would rebel. My muscles would shrink, I would gain weight, and other negative sides of living an overly sedentary life still would lead me right on down to the illness path. That is not moving forward.

In other ways, comfort is like that. We need a little of bit of stress to run through so that we can be propelled to the next level of our lives. Remember the saying about “growing pains,” well life has growing pains. Life is about growing pains.  As much as we love to be comfortable do not get fooled into a static living. Stress is not the enemy when it is managed. Stress is a part of our life. Stress is the log to jump over or slide under. Stress is the bulldozer that you have to successfully dodge to keep going away. Comfort as great as it is will have you stuck in the same place, wondering what did I do with my life. Think of your life as a seesaw with stress on one end and comfort on the other and you in the middle- balance it out. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Stress Less Tip 7: Work Through the Stress with Music

I, like I imagine a lot of other people do, use music to help me through all types of situations in life. Music is just one artistic avenue that we can use to help us heal an cope with life's up and downs.

This song Lovely by Billie Eilish ft. Khalid is one of those songs that resonates with my spirit. First of all the melody lulls me into a very peaceful and comfortable place. The lyrics, on the other hand, are anything but. For me, they tell of a struggle, a fight in which the person is not letting herself lose. No matter how tough it may be or how long it takes, she is not giving up.

From one perspective it can seem depressing but I choose to see where she still believes in herself enough not to give up. And that she also has an understanding that this is just a moment that she will get through. However, there a times when we have to go through it. I honestly do not know what is meant by "welcome home" but I interpret it as life has its ups and downs and when we are down we have to work through it in order to be reborn into something better.

"But I know someday I'll make it out of here
Even if it takes all night or a hundred years
Need a place to hide, but I can't find one near
Wanna feel alive, outside I can fight my fear

Isn't it lovely, all alone?
Heart made of glass, my mind of stone
Tear me to pieces, skin and bone
Hello, welcome home"

I posted the lyric video instead of the actual one because we can interpret it as we feel for ourselves and assign greater meaning as we see fit. Enjoy. It is a lovely 😀 song with powerful lyrics.

Look Within to Gain Balance

Look within. Within is the fountain of good, and it will ever bubble up, if thou wilt ever dig. -Marcus Aurelius

I have to remind myself to stop and look within. I discuss meditation and mindfulness living quite a bit because they are easy to miss. I can easily get caught up in the daily activities of life and go without self-reflection. Sometimes we get caught up in doing or going or moving that we miss the moments necessary to regain balance. Take a minute or two or five to stop and look within yourself, even if it is just to study your breath and feel the energy of your being flow through you. Sometimes that is all we may need.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

We're Made for Now

"If you're livin' for the moment
Don't stop, try to celebrate the feelin'" - Janet Jackson
Better yet, try to remember that feeling so you can bring it up the next time life is stressing you out. I find that I stress most is when I spend time worrying about the future. I plan out things in my mind that has not even happened yet, then stress about the possibility of those things happening and spend hours thinking about what I am going to do if they actually things happen. It sounds crazy, doesn't it?

It has become so cliche to say live in the moment because we hear it so much. Maybe we keep hearing it because we do not take heed to this advice. If we realized how silly it is to worry ourselves over what may happen, we could focus on the now. Focus on the things we can actually have an effect on like how we are feeling right now.

Sometimes all we have to do is stop our brains for making up scenarios to worry about and be thankful for the things we have in our lives that are good.

We really are made for now. I love this music video because it is fun and showcases a little bit of Janet's dancing skills. It is like she tried to capture the magic of "All Night" which cannot be done but it was a nice, enjoyable effort.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Mariah Carey is Going the Distance

What is up Mariah? I recently posted about her other release, GTFO, and how much I enjoyed it. Now, she drops The Distance which I am also feeling.

They are both very nostalgic, reminding me of some of her older music. The Distance has a smooth beat and her voice is silky. She does not really need to try and do any crazy vocal gymnastics. It a nice mellow melody that reminds us not to give up on the one you love no matter what negativity may come your way. That is definitely the way to be, especially if you know that both parties are engaging genuinely in the relationship.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Five Life Hacks from Shonda Rhimes Year of Yes

I finally read- no, I finally listened to Shonda Rhimes book Year of Yes. I am aware that I am three years late but I have a life that I am trying to keep from falling apart and apparently so did she.

As a writer, I look at Shonda with doe-eyes, drooling at her greatness and how perfect her life must be. Why wouldn’t I? She is everything. Her shows are everything. I have not missed one season of Grey’s Anatomy and I watched all of Scandal, and I happen to know How to Get Away with Murder is still keeping people talking. Oh and Private Practice was my show for a while. She is living a writers dream and I was drooling.
You can never be sure what you are looking at when you are peering at someone’s life from the outside. You see what they want you to see. Shonda’s book epitomizes that. I am sure I was not the only one that thought she was on top of the world. In reality, she was holding life together with food and work and distractions like the rest of us. She is warm and inviting in her constant self-deprecation, so much so that she is adorably relatable.  There are so many golden nuggets that I took away from this book.

  1. Self-confidence in one area does not take care of a person’s overall self-esteem. It doesn’t matter how good you are at this one thing, you must feel good about all of you. You have to feel good about the whole being that makes up your life. If you do not then the accomplishments and accolades mean nothing because you are not complete. 
  2. You should not only have people around who truly care for your success and wellbeing but also those who will push you outside of your comfort zone. We do not excel feeling 100% comfortable. We must be challenged and nudged to the next level. 
  3. We have to acknowledge our issues. Self-reflection is important, but you have to be willing to dig deeper and explore areas that you may not have even realized were blocking you in your life. You cannot change what you do not know about and you will not find out things about yourself, if you don’t spend some time with yourself, reflecting, exploring and pruning your soul. 
  4. Know that it is okay to be good at what you do and you do not have to be shy about it. 
  5. You have to do different things. Change up your routine. Do not fall into the same old routine. Change it up even in a small way.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Stress is a Curse?

Stress is a Curse?

“To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.” ― Leonard Bernstein

I read an article and the opening line was describing how stress is the curse of the 21st century. Really? If stress is a curse then so is living. Stress is unavoidable. Stress is a part of life; it is a necessary part of life. Stress is many things but a curse is not one of them. Stress is a driving force to get us from one state to the next. Stress is the reaction we have to stimulants in our lives. Think of it as generating the fuel we need to get through whatever situation we are dealing with. 

The message that I want to convey is that we must use our stress energy. We must be mindful of what is going on in our lives and address it in a constructive, forward motion manner. If we use the energy, transform the energy then we have taken control of our stress levels and not allowed it to control us. What we want to avoid is allowing our stress to become chronic and in turn negatively affecting our immune system.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Do Not Give Up on Yourself: Night School Movie Review

You can read the blog or listen to the podcast if you rather. I forgot to highlight the song in the beginning. It's Love Lies by Khalid featuring Normani. Love this song. Check it out.

Night School, a production by Kevin Hart and Will Packer, starring Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish,  Taram Killam, Ramano Malco, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rib Riggle and Fat Joe is going on its second weekend and theaters; and although the critics are murdering it with low ratings, I have to say it is worth the watch. It was actually funnier than I expected and the source of the comedy was mostly from the supporting cast which, in my opinion, makes for a more well rounded comedy film.

It was a combination of overtly funny jokes and satire. I actually think more people of color will get some of the underlying jokes and jabs a little more. But there was something for everyone. It is a comedy so of course some aspects where predictable. This was not billed as some thematic masterpiece. Tiffany Haddish's character was her typical loud and brash style but there were times in which she was subdued. She played it just right. I actually enjoyed the supporting players more than anything.

There were also some food for thought in how we may discount kids with learning disabilities, from parents to teachers. I could see how some people who are easily offended may find some of the comments made disturbing if they do not actually pay attention. I actually think they did a good job of highlighting a difficult topic in a funny way. At the end of the day, the moral of the story is not to give up on yourself. This, you know is my mantra, you are worthy for every effort you can muster to make your life better. Kevin's character had to overcome his doubts and low self-esteem and realize that he was important enough to make an effort.

If you want a good slap stick sort of laugh, go out and see it. Forget about the critics, take it with a grain of salt and get your laugh on. Laughter is the perfect medicine to release stress filled energy, so enjoy and forget the drama for a couple of hours.

Listen to the podcast if you rather. I forgot to highlight the song in the beginning. It's Love Lies by Khalid featuring Normani. Love this song. Check it out.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Maria Carey Gets Rid of the Drama with GTFO

Mariah Carey tells you to GTFO with her new single. I came across this song quite accidentally and I am glad I did. I have always enjoyed most of Mimi's music releases and am happy that she is still working on her passion. Let us be honest, at over 500 million net worth, she really does not have to. However, it is good to see her still exercising her creative outlet.

In GTFO she is talking about a love gone wrong and no longer putting up with the mess. Sometimes we have to stand up for ourselves and get rid of the situation that is taking our joy or making things more stressful than they need to be. Sometimes that is a relationship gone bad, a negative person, someone who is filled with drama, or even a situation of our own creation whether at home, work, or wherever. We have to know that we are worthy for better and just GTFO of that situation. The energy that we allow in our lives should resonate life waves, not negativity. There is enough of that in the world already and we need to put out good vibes to balance our life against the landscape of harsh realities that we have to deal with.

So either tell the drama to GTFO or we ourselves take steps to GTFO. Replace the negative with a positive mindset that leads to positive actions. Raise your frequency. Radiate good vibes. It all starts with you.

Listen to the Podcast

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

How Can I Help and New Amsterdam Shade

You can listen to the Podcast version below.
A simple question can go a long way to help someone feel as though they are a part of something more. When you offer assistance, you may be giving relieving someone of angst and pressure that you know nothing about.

How can I help? Was the theme of the new NBC pilot New Amsterdam. I had to take some time to check this one out. It is another medical drama which I cannot seem to get enough that centers around a New York public hospital. The main character is Dr. Max Goodwin, played by Ryan Eggold, who I have an affinity for because he played Tom Keen in  The Blacklist. I really liked Tom Keen. 

There were a lot of really good moments in this debut but the aspect that stood out for me was the outpouring of kindness towards others that made the difference. Goodwin made changes by listening to what his staff wanted and helping. When he asked how can I help, he meant it. If we ask the question we have to be prepared to answer with action and a genuine approach otherwise do not bother asking at all.

I will definitely tune in again. However, I do have one bone to pick. I want to know which writer thought it was a good idea to have the Black doctor highlight how he did not want to date the emergency room doctor because she was white? Who thought it was a good idea to have him go on posturing about how he wants Black babies and had a vision for himself and how he wants a Black family when you already know they are going to have him swirl anyway. Listen, sisters, unfortunately, are not surprised when television promotes the swirl especially with a successful Black man and White woman. We have become unbothered especially when we are confident about who we are and loving every bit of our Blackness. But to make it a point to discuss what some Black women may feel and then trivialize all that by ultimately having the brother, seriously date the White doctor (to be seen but we all know it is coming) is a blatant slap in the face. It is a petty setup and dusting around some shade. Additionally, it further promotes the idea that Black men cannot resist the temptation of the White woman, even those that claim to want Black love. Really, New Amsterdam? On this one, the writers should have simply done what every other show does and do you and keep it moving without the added dialogue. Besides that little detractor, it was a really good first episode and I end with this, do not underestimate the power of kindness. Do not underestimate the power of offering your assistance, no matter how small.

How can I help? Of course, you can message me for more information on stress management and schedule a consultation. 

Peace and presence.