There is More 

There is more to this life than you might believe

It is hard to see when your vision is cloudy

Missed opportunities to see clearly

We silently give our permission to be held down

Unable to see, there is more

We allow ourselves to drown in the waves

Tides controlled by others

Fighting to get back up

Missed opportunities to see our treasure

We silently give our permission to be held down

Unable to see, there is more

We allow ourselves to hear words of fiction

Misinterpretations whispered by others

Struggling to hear our truth

Missed opportunities silenced

We quietly give our permission to be held down

Unable to see, there is more

 

Release other’s beliefs

Reclaim your life

There is more

It’s time to stand up

No longer held down

There is more

Hear your heart

Follow your vision

There is more

Fear no opinion

Believe your facts

There is more.

 

Continue Doing Life your way, not theirs.

Writing has always been a therapeutic tool for me. I have been writing for a very long time and after a decade hiatus, returned to it because I felt I was being called back for a purpose. I could have kept this blog private or even continued writing in my journal but I wanted to share. Share my words with whoever wanted to read.

My main goal is to inspire others. To help women regain confidence and chase their goals. To find their voice and start owning their life, regardless of other’s opinions. Little did I know at the time that some of the topics I was writing about, would come back to help me, as I dealt with things during my own journey. The irony!

If you read this blog and it helps you, I want you to know that YOU are the reason I share.

If you read this blog and it does not help you that is okay too, you are still the reason I share.

If you’re reading to just be nosey and check up on me, thank you! You are the reason I share. (notice a pattern there?)

The entire philosophy of this blog, is to show anyone who is out there struggling, that there is more. So for the people who like this, the ones who don’t and the curious out there. Stay positive, stay focused on YOU. Your life will change, when you release the opinions of others.

Realizing that everyone is not always going to be happy for you, does not mean that your life has permission to stop. There is more. Keep going.

January 15, 2018

 

Highs and Lows

The tides aren’t always calm

the waves rip through

 disturbing what’s in its path

The waves finally find their calm

the smoothness of them rolling in like sheets of glass

It leaves you wondering

why life makes riding these waves so challenging

Getting tossed down

we somehow return back up

never forgetting

 the perfectly calm waves are imminent.

Hope washes over us

We never sink

We only rise up.

 the perfectly calm waves have arrived

The tides have transformed.

I wrote this poem after reflecting about life. Not just my life but other people’s lives too. I wonder why some people are so resilient, even though they continue to face all of the lows in life.

I also wonder why some people are so miserable even when they are facing all the highs. What is it about the highs and the lows that leaves us feeling so defeated and undefeated at the same time?

Humans are certainly exceptionally tough. We endure and find a way to adapt to whatever life hands us. Regardless of the highs and lows that we face, we always continue to move forward. Never remaining the same. Just like the ocean and the waves. Everything changes with the tides.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

Genuinely, Fake.

It is pretty phenomenal to see how humans evolve if they are open to change.

In my observations of people though, it is baffling to witness others who can’t accept another person, trying to change. The baffling part exists because that person almost looks like they are oil and water in a frying pan, bubbling around angrily (cue visualization.)

These people, well they have no idea what to do or where to go. As people in their lives evolve and make positive changes, they are just stuck. They are stuck fighting their way around, until something happens and well typically it’s not good. People unravel as they see people starting to change. I still have not figured out why but it is like they’re mad that they are still stuck. The ironic part is, they don’t have to be stuck.

You see a lot has changed in my life over the past few years. A large majority of the changes have more often than not, been positive changes (thank God.) A lot of the positive changes I attribute to one thing. Realizing, my energy is better utilized, focusing on the people and things that matter. Utilizing my valuable energy on bullshit, is something I have zero time for.

So evolution, well it isn’t all just rainbows and butterflies. There have been changes that required making myself very uncomfortable too (poor me.) I mean I am human. I have fucked up. I have made bad choices. Ok, really bad choices. I have been undeserving, at times, of people and things as well. I mean, I  have been so ugly at some points in my life too, I am not ashamed to admit that. I have ripped myself up from the inside out during this process of change. Trying to move forward and adjust my life accordingly. The positive thing is, that the causes of our pain and discomfort also help us to propel forward.

Anyway, as I deal with my life evolving I realize the trials and tribulations attached to it.  What you see is what you get. I do not ever pretend to be someone I am not. That will always stand true. Which is why I have a difficult time dealing with people who are genuinely, fake.

Basically, one thing that I have learned as I make changes to improve my life , is that there is no longer any room for people I can’t trust. I have always wondered why trust was such a hard concept for people. Like just be a good fucking person and rally for the people you have in your life. You don’t have to be their number one fan but you shouldn’t be a motor mouth either. Just keep it real. Be good, get good. Simple karma.

Image result for people who talk shit quotes

I have been around so many people in all areas of my life, that have a hard time keeping’ it real. People that should not have a hard time keeping it real because we have reached the age of “maturity” go figure. So depending on who the audience is, is how they decide to behave. Sound familiar?

The main gripe about all of this is there are so many people who constantly talk shit. The ironic part about that is after talking shit they have no problem smiling at you. FAKE and people aren’t stupid. Everyone can spot a knockoff Coach bag at this point, if ya catch my drift.

I know this is real life, people deal with this behavior, like it’s normal, but it’s not. The difficult part is, that we believe we have to accept this type of behavior too. I mean why should you not be able to trust the people in your life? That is fucking sad. If you can’t trust someone or count on them, then don’t count them.

Honestly, I can count on one hand, the people I trust in my life and it’s actually less than a handful. I confide in about four people on this Earth, at this stage in the game. I have found out that I like it that way too. It makes me feel a lot happier, believe it or not.

So here is my life rule. One that I have found a lot of success following. If you want to be genuinely, REAL. Do this too. You’re welcome.

You better believe anything that comes out of my mouth, comes out with the knowledge that it will be passed forward by someone. I have lived a large majority of my life only telling people the things I know I would not be upset if other people found out. Duh, how can we get mad or feel let down, if we shared it from our mouth?

I also follow this same rule of thumb, when a conversation with others, turns into talking shit. Would I, without hesitation, admit to this person that I was involved in talking shit about them?

If the answer is yes, carry on.

If the answer is no, shut up.

I have to tell you, this has made my life quite different. I am a lot quieter.

Image result for people who talk shit quotes

I realize how poorly people behave from observing them in my business too. I overhear way too much. A large majority of the time, the other person is physically present in the same environment, they’re just not within earshot. On occassion the person isn’t there though. I don’t know which one is more fucked up to be honest.

So it goes something like this…….

OMG, I can’t even believe she’s here.

Her husband just told her he wants a divorce

Look at her pretending no one knows, what an idiot. Should she really be spending money, if her husband is leaving her?

(Cue dumb laughter.)

-Wow. Cool.

– So, your friend is here, obviously needing support and you are dogging her.

– I am making an assumption but she doesn’t look like the idiot right now. You do.

This is so troublesome. It legit makes me ill, hearing grown ass women act like this. How can you be “friends” with someone and when they turn their backs, you literally rip them to shreds? News Flash, she’s not your friend.

There is so much of this type of bullshit. I know through telepathy, that you are nodding in agreement.

It is like we have disconnected our ability to be genuine, trustworthy, kind, compassionate and REAL. If there is one thing about me. I will always keep it real. I am an open book. What you see is what you get. I have a problem with people who can’t/don’t do the same. Do you not like yourself, enough to be YOU?

I promise when you stop surrounding yourself with genuinely, fake people, giving a fuck about what they think, what they do, who they talk shit about, what is going on with this one and that one, you will have more time to focus on YOU. The only person that truly matters. Be real. Be cool. Don’t be genuinely, fake.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

We’re So Social!

Follow us on

Instagram- @doing_life_17

Facebook- Doing Life

“Females don’t Fall” – Tammy

IMG_20171217_115212_647_resizedIMG_20171229_004355_100_resized2017-09-26_08.20.13_resizedSPhotoEditor-20171224_105529-1_resized

What is your full name:

 Tammy Greiss

How old are you?

44

Give us a little biographical information about yourself

 Ok here we go…. I have struggled with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) my entire life. I was obese my whole life because of PCOS. I was in my first children’s weight loss camps at 8 years old. I have always been self-conscious of my weight since as early as I could remember. It was a horrible way to live. I could never understand why I was so different from my friends. Why could they eat cake and pizza at a party but if I did I gained weight? I was more active than most of my friends too! I was not diagnosed with PCOS until I was 27 years old. I was kind of happy that it wasn’t just me and my lifestyle that caused my obesity. I finally had a reason behind my weight problem! But at my heaviest of 289 lbs. it felt hopeless… At 27 years old and newly married my only goal was a baby. So for the next several years that is what I worked on. I did have 2 amazing boys through the grace of God! It is very hard to conceive with PCOS. So I am so blessed!

So now I have these 2 amazing son’s and I think life is great. WRONG! Now I find out that my husband has not only gambled away our entire life savings, but he is also online dating!! What??!!?? Now I am really hating my life. I was 34 years old and I think this was my lowest point. I was so broken. I felt like why am I even here? Then we found out that our 13 month old had cancer. Well now my husband’s issues got put on hold because I needed to focus 100% on my baby. From the day I found that tumor to the day of his surgery was less than 2 weeks.

Through all the testing, mri’s, cat scans, needles, blood work this poor little boy had to endure, all I thought was, please God let him get through this! Please! I promise to take care of myself if he is ok. I promise to get healthy and live a better life for him! The day of his surgery came and I was surprisingly calm. I knew he was in God’s hands and I just had to trust in him. When the Dr. came in to tell us how the surgery went, he told us that we hit the lottery! He said it was nothing short of a miracle. The tumor was benign!! He could no believe it! I could not believe it! My prayers were answered! I was so happy! Nothing else mattered anymore! My son was going to live!!!

He did have 3 years of 6 month check up’s to make sure the tumor did not return. It still has not! He is now a healthy 11-year-old and has no memory of the ordeal he went through. He is my miracle!

After his years of testing and no more tumor, it was time for me to keep my promise and get heathy. I was 38 years old and at this point I have done every weight loss program out there! I could lose weight, but I could never maintain it. So I joined weight watchers for the umpteenth time. In 1 year I lost 85 lbs., I was on my way! I got to 199 lbs.! ONEDERLAND! Then, my husband’s issues with gambling and woman surfaced big time again. They did get brushed under the rug over the years, but more so I think I just didn’t want to face them. But now I was ready to. I felt good about myself so I was going to kick him to the curb. It was very ugly for about a year or so. In and out of court, lawyers, police. It was a nightmare. Then on my 40th birthday I was sitting on the beach with friends celebrating, and he said he couldn’t come because he was tired and had to work that night. But I found out that he was online chatting with someone and rather talk with her than be with me. That moment changed me forever. I didn’t even get mad. I just stopped feeling. I became numb to him. I packed my boys up and left. No warning. No letter… nothing!

This was the day I started to put me first. Before anything, even my children. The next year I focused on my health, both mentally and physically. I met with my doctors and we all decided that weight loss surgery was the best thing for me  and my PCOS. I thought it over and researched it for about 8 months then went for my consultation. I had the Verticle Sleeve Gastrectomy (VSG) on 2/4/15 and I have never looked back! I have lost a total of 130 lbs. from my heaviest weight, I have maintained it for almost 3 years now and I have become an avid runner and I train in Crossfit!

 

The best news is through deep therapy and Gambler’s anonymous meetings and counseling, my husband and I have mended our crazy relationship! It took a lot of patience and understanding on my part and a lot of soul-searching on his part. He is the amazing man I always knew was inside of him! He also had the VSG surgery almost 2 years ago and lost 175 lbs.! We have been through so much in our 25 years together that we decided to renew our Vows this past summer! It was such an amazing day! Even better than our Wedding Day! We both encourage each other to live healthy and stay both mentally and physically healthy! He now counsels people with their addictions and I run a support group on Facebook for PCOS and weight loss surgery! We love helping others and sharing our crazy love story with the world!

If I asked your closest friend, to give me 5 words they would use to describe you, what what he/she say?

  • Determined
  • Faithful
  •  Strong
  • Loving
  • Fighter

Do you see yourself the same way as your closest friend does? Yes/No explain.

Yes I do now. It took me just about my whole life to finally see my worth. I was always very insecure an unsure about my capability to achieve anything in life. Then one day I wasn’t anymore. That day was 4 years ago when I turned 40. I finally started living my life in my 40’s!

What does happiness mean to you?

Being content with the way my life is going.

 Not worrying about fitting in or pleasing everyone around me even if it meant my life suffered. Making sure I take care of me first makes me very happy and makes me a better wife, mother and friend.. just a better person all around.

What are some things that stand between you and complete happiness? Nothing… I have finally found my happiness. My weight and my health always stood in my way. But I found a love for myself at my heaviest weight first.. I had to in order to make changes.

If you could send a message to the world in 30 seconds, what would you say? Live your best life for you and no one else! You’ve got this!

What chances have you passed up on in your life that you now regret? There were many when I was younger because I was too insecure to think I could do anything. I stayed in my “comfort zone” and out of the spot light!

How do you apply the learning from this regret to your actions today?

The past 4 years of my life have all been about getting out of my comfort zone. I stopped passing up opportunities. No matter how scary, I now face them head on! I am not scared to tell my story. That was a big fear of mine. To let people know that I was obese and I had a failing marriage and my life wasn’t perfect. I am not afraid to take chances at work and I am no longer afraid to let people who treated me poorly know about it. I called each and every “friend” out on it and let them know they could no longer walk all over me. I now know who my real friends are. I can count them on one hand and I LOVE that!

 

What would you do differently if you knew no one was judging you? Why do you care if people are judging you?

This was a huge obstacle for me to get over. Judgement… It is a horrible thing to feel. I always felt I was being judged for my weight and my willingness to work out my marriage. I now do not care if someone judges me. I know my story and I am proud of it. I am not scared of judgement anymore.

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you and how did you continue to move forward?

The worst thing was finding out about my husband’s online dating and gambling. All explained in question 3.. lol!

What is the best thing that ever happened to you and what did you learn from that?

The day I found my confidence! I learned that I am in the only one in control of my life. It is my choices that make my life good or bad. I took some horrible situations I was faced with and I chose to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I chose to not let it break me. Because of my choices I am happy. Because of my choices my children are happy. Because of my choices I live my life on my terms.

If karma was coming back to you, what would happen to you?

I honestly think my karma would be good. I think I put out positivity into the world!

What terrifies you the most?

I have always been terrified of losing my children. Like that they literally get kidnaped. They are 15 and 11 now and I still fear this! The thought of them just not coming home one day and not knowing where they are, if they are scared, if they are hurt… it terrifies me!

What did you want to be as a kid, why? Are you doing that now? If not, why not?

I wanted to be a rock star and/or Wonder Woman.. lol! I am no rock star even though sometimes I think I am. I love pretending! And as far as becoming Wonder Woman, I did for Halloween if that counts! Lol! Some say I am Wonder Woman because of how I changed my life around.. I’ll take it!!

Whose life have you had the greatest impact on?

My husband’s. I honestly believe that if I did not come into his life when we were just 11 years old, that he would not be here today.. he tells me that everyday.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life and why?

My mother! She is my Wonder Woman! She is one of the strongest woman I know! She was raised by a strong woman too, my Nana! My mother endured a lot in her life also. Her father died when she was barely 7 years old. My Nana was left with 3 young children, when he died, and she raised them all to be strong adults. As my mother did with my brother and myself. My mother was also married to an addict. My father was an alcoholic and could be quite a handful at times. He became sober my senior year of high school and stayed sober for 22 years! He was a wonderful man and we loved him more than life, but he succumbed to his disease and died 6 ½ years ago. Addiction is so hard. She struggled with his disease and fought hard for her marriage. I guess that is why I refused to give up on mine. She is so independent! Even widowed, she never gave up. She learned to live alone. She is super active in her new senior community and she found a “friend” that makes her so happy! I am so happy for her! She has never let the obstacles in her life bring her down. She always found a way to face them and move forward.

What do you want most out of your life?

To continue to live happy and healthy! I want to make a positive impact in the weight loss surgery community and PCOS world! I want people to understand that weight loss surgery is not the easy way out, or a lazy choice. I want everyone to understand how much hard work you must put in for the rest of your life. That surgery is just a tool to get you started and yes surgery is not for everyone. I want people to understand that PCOS is a real disease that affects your weight. That all overweight woman with PCOS are not lazy, most of us eat a healthy diet and exercise more than the average person to just maintain 200+ pounds.. It is a daily struggle with pcos. Some days it may work with you and you have a good day, but most days it is a struggle just to get out of bed. I want all my PCOS Cysters to know that they have a voice and there is an option to help them. That weight loss surgery is not scary and will help them as long as they are willing to do the hard work.

 

How do you plan on getting there? What is your goal and outcome to achieve # 19?

I want the support group that I started on Facebook for PCOS and weight loss surgery to grow! My group is calls “Our PCOS~VSG Journey & Support” I want everyone who needs this support to know it is there for them. I will do whatever I can to promote it. This is an awesome way to do that! So I thank you for your consideration to post my story! I know it will help others!

 

Would your life be better or worse, if you knew the time and place where you would die?

 I think it would be worse. If I knew, then I would just worry about that day coming and I don’t think I would be able to enjoy my life as much.

What would people say at your funeral? Are you happy with what would be said? Explain.

I think people would say that I was a good person and that I lived my life happy. They may say I was a dancing fool too!! I am comfortable with what people would say about me. I am happy with how I am living my life and I honestly feel that I am nice to others and that I have now made friendships that are genuine.

If not now, then when?

Always now. I try not to put off things to long. I have learned that tomorrow is never promised.

Are you holding onto something, you need to let go of?

Yes. I sometimes fall back into that ugly place where my husband and I were at our worst. Like a certain situation will make me feel sad about things we went through and sometimes I will allow it to ruin my day. But it is getting less and less. I work hard with my therapist on letting these things go.

Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?

Strength! It means you are in tune with your feelings and are able to let it out. It means you are secure with yourself and your feelings. It is a good quality to have.

If you had a friend/family member who spoke to you in the same way you speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?

Forever! The way I speak to myself now is good! It took me 40 + years to get to a good place with myself, but I did it! So if I had a friend/family member who was positive to me like I am to myself now, then that would be a life long friend!

When have you felt as if life was unfair? Explain.

When they told me my 13 month old had cancer. 10 years ago I found a lump on my son. Through 2 weeks of tons of tests from cat scans to mri’s and tons of blood work they told me he had a Rhabdomyosarcoma tumor. He needed immediate surgery to remove it then 3 days a week of radiation and chemo treatments. My world stopped! I thought why my son? Why us? Why now? Why? Why? Why? How unfair is life I thought!

Time or money?

Time! Definitely time! Money comes and goes, but time is limited and so precious. Memories last forever. Money is temporary.

What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

I would regret not telling everyone in my life how much I appreciate them. I would regret not living my life happy.

What was the best or worst part about working on this activity?

The best thing was remembering what I have been through. The good and the bad. It has all brought me to this point in my life and I couldn’t be more happy and grateful for it all! The worst is trying to put it all into words. I want to say so much but it is so hard to put it on paper and make sense. Lol!

 Would you like your to be featured on our blog ? What is something you hope that other readers take away from your responses?

YES!! I would love to be featured! I really hope people would see that if you stay positive you can face just about any obstacle that comes your way. To never give up on yourself and your happiness. That you deserve to be happy and to put yourself first. You are the only one in control of your life.. You and only you!

“Females don’t Fall” – Adriana

What is your full name:

Adriana Moore

How old are you

33 years old

Give us a little biographical information about yourself 

I was born and raised in NYC. I have 2 brothers and a sister. I am a preacher’s kid so growing up, we were in church ALL THE TIME lol. Ok well not all the time, but at least 3 days a week. Basically church and God were my life growing up. I currently live in NJ and am married with 3 beautiful babies, Jeremy Jr. (9), Joshua (8) and Leila (2).

If I asked your closest friend, to give me 5 words they would use to describe you, what what he/she say?

  • Sweet
  • kind
  • goofy
  • powerful
  •  unstoppable

 

Do you see yourself the same way as your closest friend does? Yes/No explain.

Heck yea! I am definitely goofy. I LOVE to laugh. I love being silly with my kids and my former students. Ok who am I kidding? I am silly without the kids. I still watch Disney movies on my own (woohoo!). I feel powerful and unstoppable when I allow God to lead my life, and when I am in His presence. I have a big heart so I guess you can say I am sweet and kind :-P. I am also naturally a go-getter and very resourceful so I will find a way to make something happen and get it done!

What does happiness mean to you?

Freedom! Peace! Clarity! It means I get to be unapologetically me and live a life of purpose, being and doing all that God put me on this Earth to do. Happiness is me sleeping in (all the parents say “HECK YES!”), setting my own schedule, travelling the world, making lots of money, and serving others every single day. Happiness is me being a blessing and making a positive difference in the lives of others.  Happiness is spending time with my kids laughing, imparting wisdom and watching them soar! Happiness is me praying for someone and watching God break yokes and chains off of them, so they can be free and happy too!

What are some things that stand between you and complete happiness?

Me! I stand in the way of complete happiness when I try to control my life and get in God’s way (“get off the wheel Adriana! No backseat driving!”); when I believe false narratives that I’ve told myself like “I don’t need to be a millionaire” or “I am not worthy of God’s miracles and abundant blessings” (umm…seriously Adriana! You totally are!) Oh! And me giving people too much power over me, and allowing them to control what I do or say. I used to care way too much about what people thought about me. I am naturally non-confrontational and it takes a lot for me to disagree and stand up for myself. Like I literally shake having to do it, but it is getting easier and easier every time I do it. I now know that my voice matters. I dimmed my light for years trying to please others and I lost me. I was hiding. But in September 2017, God told me to get off social media and spend some time with Him. “Wait what?? You want me to do what??” Clearly, I ignored it until He got my attention by using others to tell me the same thing…sigh. (God will find a way to get your attention.) So I did it and it was LIFE-CHANGING.

He basically helped me confront ME. He showed me how I’ve been hiding, and all He had in store for me if I would just show up and be myself. If I would just show up and be the woman of God He called me to be, happiness was mine! So I made a decision. I was going to be me no matter the cost. And yes there was a cost. I had to give up this people pleaser, goodie two shoes act I had kept up for so long. I had to take the mask off and be real with people, and disagree with and/or disappoint them. I remember having to stand up to my mom and let her know something she said bothered me. That was soo hard for me to do but I did it. She received it well and we were able to talk about it. And our relationship is 10 times better because of it. I know that may be small to some but when you are not a confrontational person, it’s a big deal to do that! I also began surrounding myself with women who didn’t have a problem speaking their mind and showing up for themselves. They embodied their womanhood, and was unapologetically them! So I started to do the same. I took time to figure out who I was, who God wanted to me, and what I was put on this Earth to do. And now happiness is mine!

If you could send a message to the world in 30 seconds, what would you say?

Let God lead! Seriously! You know nothing. He knows everything. Got it? Good!

What chances have you passed up on in your life that you now regret?

To be honest, I have no regrets. Every experience taught me something and made me better.

 

What would you do differently if you knew no one was judging you? Why do you care if people are judging you?

I would dance more, be more spontaneous, laugh MORE,and have more fun!!! I am doing it now, but for so long I felt like I couldn’t be me. Growing up as a Pentecostal Christian, I was put into a box. You had to sit a certain way, dress a certain way (long skirts, no tight pants, etc), look a certain way (no makeup or jewelry). You had to act “perfect” basically. You don’t show your “mess” to others. Keep that to yourself. You are not loud or boisterous. You don’t just get up and dance, unless it’s a praise dance LOL. You don’t do anything that’s going to draw attention to you. I never wanted to offend anyone because I thought that was the godly thing to do.

That was unrealistic and led to anxiety and depression, and me wanting to hide. I suppressed the real me. I didn’t speak up for myself or give my real opinion. I didn’t think it mattered. I didn’t think my voice mattered. Clearly I was wrong. It took God and 4 years of therapy to help me see that all those rules put on us were bogus and had nothing to do with my relationship with God. God didn’t ask for that, man did. God wanted to me to be ME. He wanted the real ME. And I have learned that those who are for me will be attracted to the real ME. And those who are not for me, PEACE! Lol.  

What is the worst thing that has ever happened to you and how did you continue to move forward?

I was suspended for a year in college for plagiarizing. That was so hard because I felt like I disappointed my parents, church family, everyone. I was the one who could do no wrong. I was the one that went to Princeton University, and then I messed it all up by making a dumb decision. Well decisions. Truthfully, I was a wild freshman. I had gone all the way to the left LOL. Just think preacher’s kid that tasted freedom for the first time! Yup that was me. So getting suspended was pretty much my wake-up call. I ended up spending 3 months abroad in Spain (some punishment, right?). I remember going to a church in Spain, and even though I wasn’t fluent in Spanish, I knew the presence of God and I got so overwhelmed I cried. I just cried and cried…like that ugly cry (so sexy). But I could feel God wrapping His arms around me and letting me know He’s got me and still loved me. I felt so ashamed because I knew I strayed away from His will for my life. But He didn’t care about that. He was welcoming back. And so I came back to Him. He helped me move past those choices and decisions. Going abroad also helped me grow up as I was in this foreign country on my own. It was a great experience and I came back to school a lot more focused.

What is the best thing that ever happened to you and what did you learn from that?

Letting God lead my life. He knows everything. And His plans are so much better than mine. His way is sooo much better. I have so much joy and peace. I am sooo HAPPY I can’t even explain it!

I feel so blessed and favored by Him. I have been in tune to the voice of God since 2008, but I didn’t always follow what He told me to do, mainly because it would make me stand out. Remember I wanted to hide and just “fit in”? So anything that required me to be ME wasn’t going to happen. So it really wasn’t until recently that I really let Him take the lead and drive my life.

And let me tell you, following His lead has brought me true joy, peace and fulfillment!

I quit teaching after 6 years, became an entrepreneur and I pretty much work for God. He birthed a prayer journal through me ( go buy it ;-)) to teach others how to hear His voice and let Him lead their lives, so they can unleash crazy blessings and miracles in their lives! Blessings like the ones I was experiencing. I’m talking unexpected 3 and 4 figure checks in the mail. An amazing trip to Malibu, California, where I stayed in this GORGEOUS house, and met and spoke with 2 celebrities (one of which was Tiffany Haddish..ahhh!). Oh and someone randomly gave me and a friend VIP floor tickets to see Bryson Tiller in concert. God’s just been dropping blessings from the sky.

Did I mention that I don’t have a salary, but all my bills are paid and we paid off ALL DEBT besides the mortgage?? How is that possible? God! He told me that He is my provider and He is coming through on His word!

If karma was coming back to you, what would happen to you?

I don’t believe in karma, but if I reap what I sow, I believe I would be blessed! I would reap riches, joy, and blessings. I try to put good out there in the world. I pray for others. I give them messages from God. I give to those in need when God leads me to. So I believe I would get that back. Now if this was back in my college days, I would reap negativity, judgment, people gossiping about me and cheating on me (too real??).

What terrifies you the most?

Dogs. I am terrified. Lol. Ok that’s probably not what you meant.

I guess at this point in my life, being outside of God’s will. I know I keep talking about God but it’s because I’m obsessed! Deal with it. LOL 🙂 But seriously, I really don’t want to go back to life where I was in control because that was depressing and full of anxiety. I am loving this peace and joy that I am experiencing.

What did you want to be as a kid, why? Are you doing that now? If not, why not?

I wanted to be a teacher. I did that for 6 years and loved it. Then last September when I went back to school, I just felt “blah”. No passion for teaching anymore, and God said “this is your last year teaching”. I was like “umm what?! But we had a plan. I was going to teach for 5 years, get my national teacher certification, get my principal certification and open up my own school for inner city underprivileged youth. That was the plan!” And He was like “that was YOUR plan.” Ouch. So evidently I never consulted God about my plans, and He had another path for me.

I thought I was going to be a fitness coach full time because that was my side hustle while I was teaching. But in September 2017, when God told me to go dark, get off social media and spend time with Him, He told me that there was a daily word I was supposed to give every day.

I was to go live on Facebook every day and share this word. So I was obedient and did it. I think like 2 people watched. I was like “ummm Lord. Are you sure?” Then He told me to go live and pray every day at 6am on Tuesday-Friday. That was nerve wracking because now I had to reveal my gift of intercession to the world. I knew I was an intercessor (prayer warrior) and God gifted me with the ability to break and destroy weights, shackles and yokes off His people through prayer, but I hid that part of me. I didn’t want to stand out, remember?  But now He was asking me to, so I surrendered and did it. And wow! So many people told me how much the prayers blessed them and how much they needed it. That helped me continue to obey God.

So at the end of October, He told me to create a prayer journal. I released the journal on December 18th (go get it!) and it is blessing my life! Remember those crazy blessings God’s been unleashing in my life, it’s because I am being intentional about spending time with Him each morning. I am in His presence, hearing His voice and obeying His voice. I show Him that He matters to me. I express gratitude over everything. No blessing is too small for me not to be grateful.

So yes I say all to say, God is my boss and I am letting Him lead. I work from 10am-2pm every day, besides the 6am prayer. And it feels sooo good! (Well when I stick to those hours. I get so excited that I work past that most days, but I am trying to be more intentional this year about sticking to those hours.)

God has been opening so many doors for me to collaborate with other entrepreneurs, and share my prayer journal. So who knows what’s next for me? He is literally in charge, and gives me the next steps daily.

This has been a crazy journey. There are moments of fear that rise like worrying about not having a job title, and He’s like don’t worry about it. Just be you, and let Me be Me. And live. So that’s what I am doing.

I am so much happier and there really is no limit to God. He told me recently to ask Him for what I REALLY want. I had been limiting Him by what I thought I was worthy of, and He’s like “Adriana I want to give you the world, so let Me”. So now I’m like “God make me a millionaire.” 🙂 YAASSS!!!

Whose life have you had the greatest impact on?

Oh wow. Hmm… I guess my 3 kids. They watch my every move, and they ask so many questions. I am constantly teaching them, and pouring into it. We talk about EVERYTHING. NO subject is off limits, and I give them space to be them. That was important to me. I really encourage them to be proud of who they are, and let their voices be heard. They are all so strong and opinionated, even my 2 year old LOL. And even though it can be challenging at times, I know it will serve them well in the future. They love God and love to hear me pray for others. “You sound like a preacher mommy”. LOL. My boys tell me that all the time. “Nope mommy is not a preacher. I’m an intercessor. I pray for people”. My boys also take time to read the Bible, and pray to God in the mornings. My middle child Joshua comes into my room every morning at 6:45am, so we can read the Bible together and discuss it. I love that they take their time with God seriously and want to study His word. I am leaving a legacy of Christ followers, and nothing makes my heart happier. With God leading their lives, they’re going to be set for the future.

Who has had the biggest impact on your life and why?

My mom. She always taught me to go after my dreams. She taught me to love God above all, and to obey His voice. She is a professional violinist and violist. I watched her use her gifts to bless others, and I watched God provide for us growing up. She was fearless for God, and she didn’t play when it came to praying and coming against any evil spirits. Her prayers had demons trembling. She taught me what it meant to love and trust God.

What do you want most out of your life?

I want to please God. Duh LOL.

How do you plan on getting there? What is your goal and outcome to achieve # 19?

Keep being intentional with hearing His voice, and being a vessel for Him to use to bless others.

What is something that you have given up on? How did you feel?

Hiding me. I feel FREE!

Also trying to do everything. I have learned to ask for help. I am in the process of looking for a housekeeper, personal chef, nanny. Ain’t no shame in my game! I need help. I need to be free to do all that God has shown me that He wants me to do. I see myself on stages all across the world. I will need some family support and help. So if anybody out there knows anybody in NJ, hook a sister up!

What is something you should have given up on? How did it make you feel?

People pleasing. It made me feel fake and not me. And I’m glad I finally gave up on it.

Would your life be better or worse, if you knew the time and place where you would die? Explain. 

Oh Lord! Worse. I like to focus on living LOL.

What would people say at your funeral? Are you happy with what would be said? Explain.

She found her voice and she LIVED. She was unapologetically her and brought so much light to this world. She will be missed, but we take comfort in knowing that she is leaving behind a legacy of go getters who are taking this world by storm, and making the world a better place.

Yes very happy. This is my goal. This is how I’m living these days and how I want to continue to live. Someone save this and say this at my funeral LOL.

If not now, then when?

NOW always NOW. No more wasting time for me. When God says move, I’m going to move.

Are you holding onto something, you need to let go of?

My will. While I know God’s way is better, I still have a hard time letting go of my will and my desires. I question Him a lot, but I am getting better.

Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?

Strength. As my coach says, “the breakdown comes before the breakthrough”. Crying is a release. It frees my soul. And then opens me up to the answers for my breakthrough.

I used to think it was a weakness because I was always looked down upon for being so sensitive and crying all the time. So I tried my hardest not to cry. Again hiding me. Now I see it as strength. I feel so much, and I need to get it out.

If you had a friend/family member who spoke to you in the same way you speak to yourself, how long would you allow that person to be your friend?

Before 2017 I would say years. I tolerated a lot from people because I didn’t know my worth, so I let people treat me as less than my worth. Now those people would be gone in 5 seconds. Lol.

And now because I speak life over myself, and words of affirmation daily, they would know my worth and speak positivity into my life as well, so I guess they’d be around for as long as God says they should be in my life.

Even though some people may speak positively to me, God tells me not to hang around them or allow into my life. And then there are some that are supposed to be in my life for a season (maybe like 3-5years). And then there are those that are meant to be there for life. It took time to discern the difference. But I know what it feels like when God says no and/or this season is over.

When have you felt as if life was unfair? Explain.

After getting my Master’s Degree in Math Education from Rutgers University in 2009, and I couldn’t find a job as a math teacher anywhere! Here I was with a Bachelor’s from Princeton University and a Master’s degree, and unemployed. Life felt sooo unfair. I had a 2 and 3 year old. And bills were piling up. That was a rough season. But even in that time, God was using me to call people and pray for them. He was softening the bill collectors’ hearts so that they accepted late payments. He showed up and gave us a big tax return so we could afford daycare for the kids while I looked for a job. He was our provider back then. I just didn’t see it at the time. I focused on getting a JOB with a steady paycheck.

Time or money?

Money. That was what came to mind first.

What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?

I regret not Being me sooner!

What was the best or worst part about working on this activity?

The best part was realizing how far I have come. In the last 4 years through prayer and therapy, I have come a long way. There is a GOD! Lol. I am a walking miracle y’all. It also made me aware of how good God is and how He has prepared me for this moment.

What is something you hope that other readers take away from your responses?

I hope that people let go of the wheel and let God lead. The best way to do that is to purchase my prayer journal and join our amazing online community. It really is amazing and life changing. Not only do you learn get to have an amazing spiritual experience with God daily, but in our private online community you will be surrounded by like-minded people who will be there to support you on this journey. We will celebrate every victory and blessing that comes your way. And we will be there to pray, support and help you in times of struggle. It really is a big family, and there’s sooo much love and encouragement there. Oh and the best part is that you get access to this community for the year!

Sign up here: https://riseupwarriors.lpages.co/hear-my-voice/

Best investment you will ever make in your life.

ALL this for ONLY $30! What?! Yes I know it’s steal. So once again, you get a Prayer e-journal with unlimited space to write and daily guided journal pages, 1 year access into our phenomenal private community, a 1 hour interactive webinar where I walk you through how to use the journal AND time with ME 😀!

To stay in touch with me, follow me on social media:

Facebook: Rise Up Warriors

YouTube: Rise Up Warriors

And join us for 6am PRAYER Tuesday-Friday LIVE on Facebook

 

Rejecting Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions, we all have made them at some point in our lives. What is it, about the turn of the year that makes this the “official” starting point for working on ourselves?

According to History.com “The practice of making resolutions for the new year is thought to have first caught on among the ancient Babylonians. They made promises, in order to earn the favor of the Gods and start the year off on the right foot.”

Well, we certainly don’t have to sacrifice to the Gods/ Goddesses any longer, so what gives? I mean we all want to start off everyday on the right foot but the start of the year just seems more appropriate, right?  We tend to set our resolutions with positive intentions because we reflect on how our year went. As December comes to a close we decide if we want to make changes in the new year. 

Typically, our resolutions have to do with the areas in our life that we feel we “failed” in. So our new year’s resolutions stem from our failures. That already seems like a bad idea, if you ask me. Why should our “failures” be leading us into the new year?

New year, new you (barf)! There is just something about the entire new year, new you mantra that truly bothers me. I guess because I already accept myself for who I am, so why do I need to change? Why do you have to change?

I remember making resolutions as young as thirteen years old because that is what normal thirteen year olds do, right? I remember one resolution I made when I was in eighth grade, it  was to make honor roll. Laughable, that resolution was about as useful as eating soup with a fork. I could have predicted my failure if I was honest with myself. My main purpose at school was to socialize, so guess how long that resolution lasted? Less than a week because homework and studying didn’t fit into my plan. Studying and homework cut into my social gatherings and then my talking time on AOL instant messenger, DUH. So, when report cards came out, there was no honor roll bumper sticker for my mom’s Nissan Sentra. Wishes don’t always come true. Oh well.

The ironic part is that none of the resolutions I have ever made, have stuck. Most people who make resolutions only stick to them until February but most are less than a month.  There are only 8% – 12% of people who keep their resolutions and follow through (well done committed folks.)

I was never included in that 8% -12% of achievers. The truth is because I didn’t want to change. I didn’t find these resolutions that I was making, just for the sake of making, important enough. I was dishonest with myself about what was meaningful to me. My dishonesty contributed to my inability to commit to the changes I was setting. 

Making New Year’s Resolutions in my opinion is a guaranteed way, for you to feel shitty about yourself. Resolutions are pretty much self-inflicted punishment to your self-esteem.  The incompletion of our resolutions, make our failures even more painful to face. In just a few short weeks, after the first of the year, we are already feeling like a failure. How much sense does that really make? We all know that is not our intention but would we really set resolutions, if we knew they weren’t going to work out? Yes. The answer is yes. Humans love to torture themselves.

Over 92% of people lose their resolutions as they sink into the dead resolutions abyss. This occurs pretty quickly as we know, within the first 10% of the year. I mean it does not matter what type of resolution we make, they all just kind of sink if we let them. Weight loss, self-improvement, positive changes, not buying this or that, whatever we set out to do is hard to achieve if we don’t actually believe in ourselves. So cliché really.

If you want to start the new year off on the right foot. Make sure you feel passionate about the changes you want to see. Whatever it is don’t even set it up for yourself if it is something you truly don’t want. Resolutions can’t be attained if we are not honest with ourselves. If we do not prepare, failure is inevitable (sorry to be Debbie Downer.) Here are a few reasons why we don’t find success with our resolutions.

We want results too fast.

There is no instant gratificication when it comes to goals.

We don’t have a plan.

We are too obsessed with achieving.

We don’t have the social support (no accountability.)

We bite off more than we can chew.

We aren’t honest with ourselves.

January first may be the official turn of the year and the start of the new calendar but that doesn’t mean that we have to dedicate the turn of the year, as the day we need to change ourselves. Making changes in our life can/should occur whenever we are ready to commit to honestly changing. That is when we will actually witness evolution within ourselves. Don’t wait until January first to smash goals, conquer dreams or improve our lives. Those things never have an official start date.

My advice to you, as you set out in 2018 is to always be honest with yourself. If you can be honest and accept yourself, you will find success in all areas of your life. My new mantra is “New Year, KNOW you.” Make sure you know yourself well enough before committing to any type of personal change. That is true success.

I wish you a very happy, healthy and successful new year. May 2018 bring you beauty and blessings!

 

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

We’re so Social!

Follow us today!

Facebook – Doing Life

Instagram- @doing_life_17

Beautifully, Unbalanced

People always ask me, “how do you do it all?”

Psst…… I have a secret, are you ready to hear it?

 

I don’t do it all.

I can’t do it all.

If you think I can do it all, well thank you but that simply is not the case. I am a big proponent for telling it like it is, showing it like it is and not  bull shitting about the authenticity of my life. I don’t want anyone believing, I do it all with ease.

I do not take that compliment lightly. When people believe I have my shit together I am first and foremost flattered. Yet it leaves me wondering what it actually means, “to have your shit together.”  I just want this to be a firm reminder that I don’t actually have my shit together. I know most giggle and say “ya right”when I say I don’t but it’s not a joke, it’s the truth. If shit is together, it doesn’t belong to me.

The difference is “I do a lot”, just like everyone else but I am not an exemplar by any means. My life navigation skills are about as good as the Captain of the Titanic, if you catch my drift. Boy do I look good from the outside.  Inside, I am just trying to get shit done and not sink myself in a wine barrel, while doing so. Standards are high.

There is no secret to balancing life, at least that I am aware of. There is no secret to fix an unbalanced life. If there is, I am not privy to that either.  The only secret is navigating through your life and making everything work for that moment.  In all honesty, I am a huge proponent of just making things work at that moment.

What is the point of thinking about a week or two out, when you have not even conquered your day yet? It welcomes stress and anxiety to overrun the day. For me personally, balance is kind of nonexistent. When you are a wife, mother, working professional, business owner, maintaining some “idea” of balance would be as easy as walking in quick sand.

It’s all the in between stuff which sends my life propelling forward like a boomerang. It’s ugly, it’s rough, my life is tugging at my arms like Stretch Armstrong. I am constantly being torn in a billion directions and I have to tell you, that I am about as flexible as a piece of wood. Sad but true.

 

Beautifully, Unbalanced 

Part I

I’ll go into balancing kids first.

I am the mother of three kids under the age of ten. As most of you know, this is where a large majority of time is spent. I want to say out loud and proudly, it’s not easy.  Being a parent is not easy. There I said it, the cat is out of the bag. It’s okay to admit that, you have my permission, without fear of persecution from others. Some days just surviving is a a miraculous milestone.

Balancing being a mother is the number one priority for me. It is also where I struggle the most. I struggle because things don’t always go the way I think. I give so much to my kids (which they deserve) but I am sometimes left just feeling defeated. On days like that, I frequently have nothing more to give to my husband.  There, I let another cat out of the bag. I neglect my commitment to my partner because the kids take just about everything.

Even on the perfect days, where everything looks like a magazine ad, the struggles still exist. I struggle because some days, what I did yesterday with a smile, could bring me to tears the next day.  Sounds silly really. You know the whole “mom” routine. It goes something like this. Cleaning the house for the twelfth time, seeing the sink fill up again, picking up the toys for the hundredth time, wiping the pee off the toilet seat, even though lift up the toilet seat request, was never asked in French. It still seems to still be ignored. We haven’t even touched the surface of it all yet.

The point is, it all adds up. There are certainly times when I fold the seventh basket of laundry and I just want to cry. That’s right , I want to cry. I want to break down right there and sob into the dish towel but I don’t. I don’t because let’s just be real, it’s just one more thing to wash. I suck it all up and I continue on because I am lucky. I am blessed. Repeat as needed. Repeat until you believe it again.

Yet, like anyone else, I still get stressed. Being a mother is not always easy. Being a mother is not always hard. Being a mother is ugly. Being a mother is beautiful. Being a mother is pain-free. Being a mother is painful. Being a mother is energizing. Being a mother is exhausting. Being a mother is the biggest Catch 22 in this world. Not one soul on Earth, will ever love you, despite being flawed, like your children do. Being a mother is true LOVE and that is what keeps the chaos, well-balanced.

Beautifully, Unbalanced 

Part II

I know there are so many people who say “put your husband first and kids second, if you want a happy marriage.”

I can’t help but think that’s not how my life is configured currently. Am I fucked up, or are they fucked up? My husband does not come before my kids.  This makes me feel strange to admit because it is like putting a place value on people. I am not comfortable playing who is number one.

The truth is sometimes, I just suck as a wife. (Waaa….Waaa….no you don’t.) Hear me out.  I have had many screw ups, many times where I know things should be different but yet I am just too consumed with everything else going on in my life. This sounds crazy to say out loud but it’s true. I have ignored my committment as a wife, to pay attention to other commitments and that isn’t always fair.

I snap. I get short. I get bitchy. I have high expectations. I don’t want help. I need help. I want to talk. I don’t want to talk. I want to be alone. I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to snuggle. I want to snuggle. I want to be treated like a queen. No, I don’t want to be treated like a queen. I can do it by myself.  I can’t do it by myself. I don’t want to have sex, I want to have sex. Sound familiar? I am like the flu. Hot and cold, mixed with a little bit of dizziness and nausea.

Honestly, at times, I am about as hard to figure out,  as a Rubix Cube. I have no qualms about admitting my idiosyncracies.

Luckily, we get to go out on dates every so often, which revives us. As time passes, I believe more and more the whole, “put your husband first” bit. I just have not accepted that yet. I am not sure I ever will. I will continue to wait for my 360. Until then, I really just savor the precious time that we do get to spend together. One on one. Balancing each other out.

Sometimes, I post pictures of the two of us on social media. A bunch of people say things like you guys are “so cute” “so happy” “relationship goals.”

NO! NO! NO!

I mean that picture, it’s not a lie but it’s not the truth either. I would feel like a sham if I didn’t mention it’s not always roses and butterflies. We aren’t always cute. We aren’t always on Cloud 9. We aren’t always relationship goals.

In between that captured moment of happiness, there are some that I would be embarrassed to show. It’s the moments when I bitch about the socks left on the floor, the pants left inside out at the foot of the washer, not helping out enough, the kids needing help, the laundry multiplying like rabbits.

You know, those embarrassing moments that I get sucked up in because I just can’t balance it all. I won’t admit that to my husband of course (stubborn, hard head alert.) So the frustration from another source seeps out like icky-bitch-itis. Those are the pictures, I wouldn’t post. Those are the moments y’all don’t see. Those are the moments you need to know about, which fall in between our “glamour shots.”

The best marriage advice, which is realistic AF and doesn’t paint a Bob Ross masterpiece, goes something like this.

Damn, I look cute in that one piece! 

 

  “Marriage is like the ocean. Sometimes the tides are high and sometimes the tides are  low. Don’t pick and choose the waves. Ride all the waves. It’s part of life. Get knocked down. Get back up again.”

I imperfectly balance my marriage, by riding all the waves that come in with the tides. Sometimes, I catch them. Sometimes, I almost drown when I fall. Yet, I always find myself emerging from being tossed around. There’s a good chance that you might catch me picking the sand out, from the net in my bathing suit though. It’s not always cute.”

Beautifully, Unbalanced 

Part III

Next up, is work/running my business. So many people in my life think I have it all in this avenue. I am here to break it to you and say, all that glitters isn’t gold. I will preface it by saying, I am so grateful and appreciative but it isn’t always easy.

I am up super late. I am tired. Cranky. Bitchy. Ready for a twelve day nap. Zapped when I get home from teaching and I truly hate complaining but going to work and then working, when you get home isn’t always glamorous. I mean no one said it would be.

The thing is I am all in, so it’s not hard work when it is something you want.  I am willing not forced to work exceptionally, irrationally and psychically hard to achieve the dreams and goals that I have set for myself and family. Yet, working incessantly makes balancing the rest of life almost impossible.

Finding a balance with the whole work thing, is not pretty. I don’t want you to believe it is. The “behind the scenes”  is pretty telling. The whole “blood, sweat, tears, ya that’s pretty accurate. I have cried, I have wanted to quit, I have wanted to just sell my business, I have wanted to fall asleep in my office the list goes on and on. The fact is that someone is always willing to work, when you want to quit. I believe that. So, I don’t quit until I am done. Talk about the opposite of creating a balanced life.

The most difficult aspect of balancing work ironically involves my kids. They don’t want me to leave. They don’t want to give me up, for even more time but sometimes I have no choice. This is the part that rips me up. When my son says over and over again, “Styles for Miles again? Why can’t we just stay home?” This is the part that never gets easier, this is where balance takes a shit and is thrown out the window. I know in my future this will probably be the reason I sell my business. Sacrificing my children, to balance my work, is something I can’t do.

Beautifully, Unbalanced 

Part IV

So there you have it. I do not believe in “balancing” all aspects of my life at once.  For the people who have wanted to know “how I balance it all.” I don’t. I don’t pretend to. I don’t want to pretend to. I am beautifully, unbalanced. I live everyday just looking to accomplish the tasks for that day only. I find peace in the fact, that I can’t control what life hands us. I accept the fact, that my life is a beautiful mess. I acknowledge the fact that finding a balance, will always keep me searching. I am cool with no longer searching.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs. 

Follow me! I’m so social!

Facebook @ Doing Life

Instagram @doing_life_17

Shame is Lame.

I just recently read an article in TIME magazine called “The Goddess Myth.” I have to tell you that I was quite intrigued for several reasons. One of the reasons, was because the survey they conducted asked simple questions about being a mom. RELATABLE! I like it already.

What they found out did not necessarily surprise me  though. If anything, it made me realize how tremendous of a problem “mom shaming” really is. I mean the more I read, the more I thought,

Shamin’ sisters, y’all need to cool your jets. Apparently, you all have lost your damn minds, pretending you’re some Supreme Court Justice.

 

According to TIME Magazine, “913 mothers completed a survey  conducted by Survey Monkey, which found that half of all mothers had experienced regret, shame, guilt or anger mostly due to complications and lack of support”

SAY WHAT! Lack of support?

According to TIME Magazine, “More than 70% felt pressured to do things a certain way. Most mothers say that “society is general” is the source of the pressures paired with doctors and other mothers.”

SAY WHAT! Other mothers and doctors? Ahh, yes the perfect ones. Makes sense.

20171224_1312071266376326.png

I mean you know the type of woman who is the classic “shamer.” The one who looks at you all judgey and shit when your child is having a tantrum equivalent to Chernobyl. As your little gal/guy flails around like a hooked fish, she coyly smiles as her child is restrained, perfectly coiffed and knows probably eight languages already. That is your girl. The Stepford Mother.

I mean the funny thing about mom shaming is, that the dirty looks just fuel the embarrassment and shame as you try to calm the explosion.  I mean we are enduring enough, without us pretending to be perfect. I always find it mind-blowing too, because naturally, I always just want to help someone, when they are in that moment of chaos.

You know do something, anything, distract the kid, make small talk or give the mom your spare shooter of vodka. It’s important to try and alleviate any extra stress, that the mom may be facing. I do not think anyone, even if you are perfect, should add to it.

News flash, you know that staring at the other person, like they have a dick on their head, won’t actually make a dick appear. Sorry to let you down.  However, we all know these “shamers” rubbernecking and throwing stones, so that is the unfortunate realization.

I remember a few years back, when I was in Disney with my family. It is probably enough said with just uttering the word Disney. The land of tantrums, child insanity and beautiful families walking around enjoying Mickey and Minnie’s world of torture, I meant Disney World. At the time I only had my two sons and they were three and one.  My three-year old was throwing the tantrum of all tantrums, after a long day and no nap.

The tantrum was ignited by the inferno, called the Lego store. You might have thought World War III was going down, it was that crazy. So what are you supposed to do, as a good book reading parent? Well, leave of course.

So my husband and I trekked back to the car on the million mile pilgrimage, outside in the sweltering heat. It felt like we were fighting for hours, reeling in a flailing fluke. However, it was just a toddler under our arms, kicking and screaming in his lateral position. The most prominent part of the journey through that rat mecca, was the number of people staring like we were stabbing the kid.

 

“Nothing to see here people. Continue on with your lives. We are not that interesting. I swear on Mickey’s life.”

Holy shit. Breaking news. Mickey Mouse is dead………Just kidding.

::::Insert middle finger:::::

Keep pounding the pavement.

I remember vividly, feeling more agitated with the number of people staring at us, with that half twisted smirk, judgey eyes and probably thinking, thank God our child is so perfect. The heat was blazing, small child was blazing, my temper was blazing and I had  enough of the world for that minute.

So we pulled some non DYFS – 911 phone call warranted, John Cena moves as we got him into his car seat, seriously wondering if we should do an exorcism as that child needed to let the devil out.

We called the exorcism off though, at the last second you’ll be thrilled to know. In the 10.10 seconds of driving and the car moving towards alcohol, I meant home,  our child released the evil, as he fell fast asleep. ::: small cheers::: He was tired, another :::small cheer::: He “should’nt be a future serial killer. I think.

Anyway, you catch my drift. We have all been in a position where we are/were struggling with our child. Whether it is behavior, food choices, clothing, academics, etc. it is not always easy. I mean being a parent is the hardest job around honestly. I know, I know, some shamers would say “well don’t have kids.” GOTCHA…..but I can’t stuff them back in and I kind of love them. So next solution. Please.

So here is what “Mother Shaming” looks like. 

Q -Oh, you don’t have him signed up for preschool yet?

A- Uhh, he’s still in utero, I hadn’t really thought about it.

Q- Oh, wow so you give her red dye #40?

A- Uhh, yup she really loves the color of blood.

Q- You don’t make your own baby food?

A- Uhh, nope I make it to the store and buy it.

Q- Wow, okay so you don’t use organic, non-GMO, vegan, pesticide free, BPA free, $85 nail clippers on your child?

A- Uhh, nope I use my husband’s chainsaw. We only had one slip up.

Q-   You don’t breastfeed? I guess you don’t care about higher IQ’s.

A- Uhh, you’re supposed to feed the baby?

Q- Do you use the Ferber Method?

A- Uhh, ya FUR for when she’s BURR.

Q- What percentile is your baby?

A- Uhh, 100% doesn’t let me shake and stir my gin and tonic without crying.

I could go on and on. Really. The experiences that moms in particular have are typically ones that involve other moms, throwing their two cents in the mix. I mean I can’t fully be mad at that, until it involves being a know-it-all. That is when mom shaming occurs. When the know-it-all gets time on their mom shaming soap box. Kick that bitch off, I need that box to hold my wine glass and unpasteurized cheese board.

Basically, it is unsolicited advice or hurtful comments, stares, glares, mumbles that make another mother feel as if the job, they are doing with their own children, isn’t good enough. Clearly, from the survey TIME conducted this is a serious problem. I mean without the survey I know in my eight years of being a mother this is a problem too.

So how do we make it stop? That is the real question that the survey garners for me.

Pushing all the shaming issues to the side,  I wonder what other moms gain personally, when they make other moms feel crappy? Do they need the self-served accolades to make themselves feel better? Perhaps, they just feel like they are not good enough and therefore, it leads to spewing their own insecurities out like non-gmo, vegan, non-BPA criticism cookies. So the big question is, where is the milk to dunk those Pinterest cookies? They sound delightful.

If there is one thing I have learned about allowing mom shaming to affect me, it is that I could give a shit less what other people think in regards to my parenting decisions. How I choose to parent is my business y’all.  At the end of the day, I know I do “okay” because they always say “I love you” and give me a kiss. Ironic, really, because you would think that they would be so weak and evil eating processed foods, watching TV, not wearing organic cotton and all that other bullshit, that apparently matters.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.

 

 

It’s Time to Pull Off that Band-Aid…..

Ouch! That is the sound typically associated with pulling a band-aid off of our skin. I mean no one loves to rip a tethered piece of adhesive off their delicate wounds, yet we know we can’t avoid it. As we are in the process of healing, we utilize the band-aid to protect our injuries. We have a natural ability which is engrained in our brains, to want to protect ourselves, so we can survive. Our real world band-aid. 

We want to protect ourselves, our feelings, our hearts and our mental health. Even when we know the “Band -Aid” needs to go, we avoid pulling it off so we can protect our wellbeing. It is human nature to want to look out for ourselves and remain safe. I get it. No one wants to rip that band-aid off, even when we know we should.

What I don’t always comprehend, is why people can’t walk away when they should? Myself included. We know that people have certain things, hold ups and connections to people in life which are not always easy to move on from. Even though we know we need to, we just don’t.

We shell out excuse after excuse about why we have not moved forward. None of them sound plausible. When we get to that point of doubt, it is a strong indicator that we need to pull the proverbial “band-aid” off. 

There is probably nothing worse in our lives, than holding onto pain. Especially because we know how bad it is for our souls and general wellbeing. We need to reignite our fire and steal our balls back, life is just too short, to suffer.

The pain and fear associated with moving on paralyzes most individuals, as we look our lives straight in the eye. It is the difficult and dreaded part of our life, having to acknowledge what causes us pain.

Here is an opportunity for you to be vulnerable. Ready for it?

What is something that you know you have needed to pull the “band- aid” off of in your personal life and move on from, like yesterday? Why aren’t you moving on? Say it out loud or say it in your head. Make sure you acknowledge it. Facing our pain is how we eventually break through it. Make a vow to yourself to initiate a breakthrough, when you know you are strong enough to actually follow through.

I know there have been many things in my own past, which I knew I needed to move on from. I am certainly speaking from experience and also out of concern for you.

One of the most painful things I have ever dealt with, was an ailing relationship with a father figure in my life. The relationship was always so positive and meaningful at a crucial point in my adolescent life, I felt a great deal of gratitude because of that. 

 However, the last few years of the relationship just brought sadness, dread and a lot of pain. I knew those emotions, I was feeling at the time, were huge signals that the relationship was not healthy anymore.

Yet, I ignored myself, as many of us do. I continued to talk myself into believing it would improve “if this happened” or “that happened.” Sound familiar? If it does, I am sorry to break it to you but it will never get better. In fact it only gets worse as you hold onto the falsities which are littered in that particular relationship.

The fact of the matter is, that you have convinced yourself of false truths in your own reality just to avoid any potential pain.  The longer we hold onto our false truths, the more harm we cause our own psyche. This is where the emotions run wild and the heart seems to miss the messages sent from everywhere else.

I mean I am just like everyone else though. I was scared to let go. I was scared to sever what was “left” or correction, I should say grasping at what I thought was remaining. The truth was, there was nothing remaining. 

I was just sad to lose this person that meant so much to me in the PAST, even though the person who was in the present no longer remained. It literally was a hurricane of emotions. Flooding my heart with immense pain and sadness way too frequently.

I found myself becoming despondent, moody and dreading impending visits or time spent with this person. I had lost hope in holding on to the present, just to preserve the past. Does any of this sound familiar? I just had to start ripping the band-aid off.

 Sadly, it took way too long to accept that this needed to be done. The pain was even harder to face because I kept ignoring it. 

When the day came that I finally accepted the closed chapter, I felt this strange sense of relief. It was like I had literally lifted a thousand pounds off of my heart. I felt this freedom from the immense sorrow that I had been feeling, for way too long. 

Although, I did mourn the official loss of this relationship for months, actually close to a year, it did get easier. As I hit the five-year anniversary of moving on, I can’t help but look back and reflect on all of it. Good and bad.

I can wholeheartedly, say that I do still miss this relationship, but I miss the relationship from the past. So now, at this point I choose to just cherish the positive memories associated with what once was. I do not regret ripping the band-aid off, what I do regret is not doing it sooner. I spent way too much time feeling sorrowful. It was unfair of me to be consumed by sadness, when I had so much happiness elsewhere.

The fact of the matter is that when we hold onto something for too long, we do lose a piece of ourselves. It does not matter what your situation is. If someone causes you mental, physical, emotional pain, you have to do what it takes to move forward.

 No one deserves to endure the constant pain caused by another person. If someone in your life is associated with all negative feelings, I beg you, for your own mental health to acknowledge that as a sign, that it is time to move forward.

It’s time to move forward because we lose our ability to take care of ourselves. We become so consumed with sadness and fear, that it is hard to see clearly. Whatever/whoever that something/someone is, causing you pain, rest assured that moving on will only cause temporary pain. Just like pulling off the band-aid.
The bad news is, that when you stay and accept the pain, which is caused by your situation, you compromise a piece of yourself. You will continue to allow a piece of you to be devoured, by accepting the circumstances. 

It’s time to heal. Are you ready to take a deep breath and pull that band-aid off? If you have read this far, I know you are ready. Have faith in your strength and do not lose hope. Life should not cause you permanent pain and if it does be brave enough to accept, that you deserve more.

Continue “Doing Life” your way, not theirs.