Six Steps to Becoming Empowered

Inspiration, Let's Talk...Therapy

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Hey ladies and gentlemen,

I want to take a few moments of your time to share some simple ways of becoming empowered people.  I truly believe that a lot of us have labelled being empowered as achieving a certain level of success, status, and popularity.  If that was the case, then suicide rates and dissatisfaction with life would not be prevalent.  I want to share some personal things that I have done in my process of becoming empowered.

  1. Choose to be authentically, genuine.  I have yet to meet a person who is empowered and phony simultaneously.  I have met people whose words appeared positive and their actions seemed kind.  But something was off.  There is this natural energy that comes from a person who is truthful in character, word, and deed.  If there is one thing that I do hold myself accountable for is authenticity.
  2. Celebrate Others.  On this journey of empowerment, finding beauty and inspiration in others is important.  I have seen that people who have a hard time celebrating and appreciating others have issues with jealousy, competition, and comparison.  You have to choose to be inspired by others instead of crippled by insecurities.  Choose to shine your light by shining on others.  I look to find beauty and qualities in others because I grow.  It’s simple to celebrate others.  Pay compliments, show support, and share what inspires you about a person.  Be authentic in celebrating others. Shine light on others and you’ll shine light on yourself.
  3. Celebrate Yourself.  In this journey of being empowered.  You must take time to celebrate yourself.  Celebrating yourself is not being narcissistic.  It means taking time to appreciate your awesomeness.  I have been guilty of not celebrating my talents and abilities because the people who were around me were not content with themselves.  Celebrating yourself is owning everything about you–your strengths and flaws.  Pamper and splurge on yourself.  Celebrate small successes and accomplishments.  Allow others to celebrate you.  Choose to not accept negative thoughts and voices and remind yourself of those qualities and traits that make you unique and special.  Love yourself and don’t back down.
  4. Invest in Yourself.  The most valuable asset that you have is your life.  Take time to feed your spirit, your body, and your mind.  Your spirit, body, and mind are all connected and thrive on each other.  Your total well-being is essential for being empowered and whole as a person.  Make it a priority educate yourself on your passions, goals, and desires.  Seek to be balanced in this unbalanced world.  You only have one life, one body, one mind and one spirit–each one is vital to your sustainability.
  5. Surround Yourself with Positive, Balanced-Seeking People.  People are essential in your journey to empowerment.  We are created to be relational beings, and our relationships either enhance or drain us.  Some relationships offer nothing.  Toxic and unhealthy connections could hinder and sometimes abort our journey to being empowered.  The beauty is that we don’t have to allow our special relationships to remain that way.  It is important that we connect with people to are actively working on being better and healthy.  Support is great and having good people around you helps push you to be better.   When I see those around me improving, it inspires me to be better. One of my favorite scripture verses is from Proverbs 27:17 is “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens of a friend.”
  6. Check Yourself.   This step, to me, covers all of the other steps.  Checking yourself means staying aware of your choices, feelings, thoughts, actions, and behaviors.  Sometimes we can easily get off balanced for different reasons– some are in our control and others are out  our control.  Make sure that we evaluate ours lives.  Are we doing things to better ourselves?  Are we happy and content with our actions and behaviors? Find ways to handle life changes.  Be honest about where we are and where we want to be.  If there are areas that need improvement, own it and grow.  Evaluate what energy you are giving and receiving.  Get help if you need it and receive help.

Being empowered is a beautiful and freeing way of life.  The journey is not about being perfect.  It’s about being better, healthier, and whole.

We’re in this journey together!

Brandi

Online Dating

Love and Relationship

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Okay, so where do I start? Well we’ll start with my dating life. Let’s just say that my dating life has been non-existent, or maybe even on life support. I live in a very rural area and the dating options here are less than desirable. I decided that online dating would be the best route for me to go considering how the dating pool is here in the middle of nowhere. Of course I was a little skeptical and uneasy about it at first, but I decided to try it out anyways. More recently I’ve been opening up to the idea of dating outside of my race. I’ve always been attracted to guys outside of my race but have never dated them. Anywho, I decided to try out this interracial dating site called Afroromance. I found out about it through a general internet search. It’s pretty easy to set up a profile, and it’s free to join. Unlike Eharmony, you are able to view other’s profiles and their picture. The down side is that you have to pay to see who has view your profile, who’s favored you, and to send a message to a person of interest. I personally haven’t had any luck with connecting with anyone since being on this dating site. Mind you, I’ve only had my profile for a little over a month. Most of the guys that flirt with me or message me either aren’t the least bit attractive or they are way past my age bracket. Since I’m sort of new to online dating, I’m not quite sure how long it takes to connect with someone you’re interested in, but I’ll wait it out for a bit more and see what happens. For anyone interested in trying out this dating website, here is the link: www.afroromance.com

Jessica

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Why Do People Settle?

Inspiration, Love and Relationship

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It’s extremely disappointing to see so many men and woman in toxic, unhealthy relationships. It breaks my heart to see people tie themselves to individuals that they were never intended to be with. Someone once said, “Marriage can be heaven on earth or hell on earth depending on the person you marry.” It’s amazing how being connected to the wrong person can hold you back in life. What sparked this discussion? Well, while distributing documents to other coworkers at work, one of the ladies on the administrative staff caught my attention. I began to wonder how a beautiful, smart, and loving woman such as herself married the man she married. I won’t spill their tea (meaning their business), but let’s just say he doesn’t deserve her. There are several reasons why people settle in relationships. Below I have listed the top five reasons I believe people settle:

  1. Fear- Some people may be afraid that they won’t get what they actually desire, so they begin looking at their reality and lose hope in finding the person they were meant to be with. People may also be afraid of being alone, so they settle for unhealthy relationships.
  2. Desperation- Some people are just desperate. They want companionship so badly that they marry the first person that comes along and shows them any attention.
  3. To appease others- Some people get married based on what others expect of them. Maybe a parent, sibling, or friend is pushing them to marry a person they feel would be ideal for them.
  4. Low self-esteem- Some people stay in relationships because they don’t believe they deserve better. They don’t realize how valuable they are which lead them to stay in unhealthy relationships with people who will handle them in a way that reinforces the way they feel about themselves.
  5. Familiarity- Some people just become complacent in their current relationships. The person they’re with are familiar, and for some, familiar means safe.

Regardless of the reason that a person may settle, settling is never a good thing. In the end you’re only forfeiting what is truly meant for you. I want to encourage everyone not to take marriage and love relationships lightly. Before selecting a mate, be sure that you are healthy and whole yourself so that you can attract a healthy and whole person. When you agree to commit to someone, it should be for all the right reason. Not because you’re desperate or because they’re the only one that’s showing you any attention. They should love all of you. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Jessica

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Relationship: Rules and Games Part I

Inspiration, Let's Talk...Therapy, Love and Relationship

What’s up people?  I am absolutely tired of the rules and games when it comes to relationships and love.  There have been so many stipulations and rules of what to do, how to do it, when to do it and why you must do it?  I have read countless books, engaged in forums and discussions, and have studied relationship experts. I could write several books about all of the information I have received.  Sometimes I believe that we get so overwhelmed with information that is good, that we fail to allow relationship to happen naturally.  I believe that we sometimes subconsciously use rules and unfortunately games to protect ourselves from getting hurt or as a prevention from being hurt again. Why can’t relationships be simple yet fulfilling?  I say simple in the fact that both parties open up about their true desires to love, trust, give, share, or whatever that’s needed.  I have thought about this for a while now.  The answer that I have found was that so many of us don’t want to be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is hard place for many of us to go. Vulnerability involves sharing your emotions and who you really are at the risk of being hurt, judged, and possibly rejected.  Even with all of the risk involved there is a chance that vulnerability affords you the opportunity trusting and being trusted, being accepted, sharing your flaws and strengths… vulnerability ultimately gives you the chance of falling in love with someone who knows who you truly are and loves you because of that.

I challenge you to rethink why you use rule and games in relationships or identify if you are using these methods to be safe.  I am not saying to be foolish and put yourself in a position to cause you physically and emotionally harm or abuse.  Take chance at allowing love to come and don’t push it away.  You never know what you’re missing out on!

You deserve to be happy;-)

Brandi

Time for me…Ready for Love

Inspiration, Love and Relationship

 

Okay, so I have a confession.  I have been in denial…or at least partially:-)  I AM READY FOR LOVE (in my India.Arie voice with acoustic guitar playing in the background…lol).  I have been happily single for over half a decade.   I am in my late-twenties and most of the women around my age are either frequently dating, in a seriously relationship, or married. I haven’t purposefully chose to be single this long….well maybe just a little.

Let me explain…I tried to the relationship thing a few times but the guys that I dated weren’t going in the same direction whether it was spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and so on.  Ultimately, I was dating with the purpose of marriage (courting) but not too many guys that are young adults (18-25)  are looking for that.  Don’t get me wrong…I didn’t approach my relationships trying to plan a wedding or get hitched soon.  I wanted to be with someone who I could grow with and ultimately share my life with.  So, I stopped having the boyfriends and just tried to date with the sole purpose of getting to know someone.  To make the long story short…I experienced some pain, frustrations, hurt and I was tired.  I realized that I didn’t want to spend my fabulous twenties making a lot of poor relationship decisions that I saw a lot of my peers making as well as those I had made before.

So, I had a heart-to-heart with God one day.  At the time I was 21, I told God that I am tired of meeting immature guys and I was done with the casual dating. I honestly don’t like dating multiple people simultaneously.  Going to the movies with Tim one night then going to dinner with Jim the next.  It was exhausting. I prayed that the next man I dated would be the one I spent the rest of my life with…my husband.

After that prayer….my dating life stopped abruptly. Talk about being careful what you pray for…lol.  I have had dates fall through and I’ve had people try to introduce me to men who were not was not compatible. Thank God for Facebook and google…lol…profiles say a lot…including the pictures you take.

Anyway, over the past year I realized that I am ready for love. It was truly a revelation.  I realized that over the past couple of years that I really began to experience being in love with God.  I spent my quiet time focusing on how much he adores me and loves me and how much I desire and love him.  I have experienced him at a level to where I was am content… full of his love and purpose.   During my time off from dating, I took time to get to know myself.  I spent a lot of time  focusing on understanding my likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, what I desire/don’t desire in a mate and so on.  I began to love myself even more flaws and all…unconditional self love.  How can I expect my mate to love me as I am if don’t love me as I am.

So, A few months ago, I realized that I have blocked myself from experiencing romantic love.  It wasn’t because I was trying to be spiritually deep or too focused on my career.  I dream of the day the that I meet my soul-mate…the ONE. However,  deep down inside, I realized that I was denying myself of the romantic love experience mainly due to the limited options of potential suitors. So, I had a  conversation with my Creator and was very specific in my desires.  I expressed the need to share my life with a beautiful man who loves God, who I can be transparent with (true intimacy), and a man I could ultimately grow with and start a family with.

I believe that you have to position yourself receive the things that you desire…if I’m craving pizza I shouldn’t be going to McDonald’s or KFC to satisfy my pizza cravings.  So, when it comes to love or whatever you desire, be available, open, and positioned to get what you desire. If it means stepping out of your comfort zone do that.  So, I have been doing just that…I am making time to be more sociable and interactive.  I have also voiced my desire for love.  It is important that you speak your desires whatever it maybe…instead of saying “I will”….”I will have love” or “I will be successful” I say “I am..”.  “I am loved”, “I am happy”,  “I am creative”….”I am…(add your own words)”.  If you’re bold enough to do this…share your desires with people who you trust because it is great to have support when you’re having a difficult time.  So, I have to ask.  What is it that you desire? Are you open, available, and positioned?  I have one more question…are you ready?  Because, I sure am.

Much love, Brandi:-)