So you want to read more but don’t have the time?

As a working mother I live by my schedule. I’m a full time counselor, a part-time yoga instructor and full time mom and wife. I also have to fit in exercise which is no longer for vanity but for optimal health. And let us not forget that the short person and my husband want to eat. I like to say that I don’t watch much TV but the truth is I have no time during the week and the weekends are for family. Even though I teach folks to stay present, I often feel nostalgia for the times when I could finish reading a book in a day without interruption.

I know myself well enough to know that reading is important to me. Even though I feel like I have less time to do the things I enjoy, I have to figure out a way to make it happen. Prioritize joy! Click To Tweet Here are some ways I was able to fit more reading time into my life.

Read during your lunch break.

Sometimes I sit in the break room and fraternize with my colleagues but at least 2 times out of the week I go to my car to read my book and eat my lunch. The silence is blissful. I am currently reading You Are A Badass. I highly recommend it.

Keep books in the bathroom. 

My son has been known to follow me into the bathroom but he is quiet as long as he is near me. There are also times when I lock him out because sometimes you just want to shit in peace. Depending on how your colon is set up you can get 30-45 minutes of reading in. And for you super regular people who BM in 10 minutes; stay on the pot nobody knows what you are doing.

Take the train instead of flying.

This is a twofer. You save money by taking the train and you gain time to read because it will take you longer to get to your destination. This is a perfect way to get more reading time in when traveling for work. Train rides are my favorite way to cuddle up with a book. Click To Tweet 

Read during your pedicure.

I get regular pedicures. I spend a lot of time barefoot as a yoga instructor and I want something pretty to look at. I use this time to relax and read. I purposely leave my cellphone in the car. Gasp! So that I am not tempted to get on my device. This time is specifically for reading. I have also had to tell the lovely lady removing dry skin and ingrown nails to stop talking to me. I know she is being chatty because she wants a nice tip. Ma’am its unnecessary, shut your pie hole. Your tip is the same no matter what.

Try audio books.

This is kind of cheating but moms have to create short cuts all the time for our sanity. I have a nice commute to and from work. Big Magic is kind of thick and I need something inspirational playing in the background as I navigate traffic. There is also a better chance that I will finish it as an audible book. There are at least four unfinished books sitting on my nightstand. Summer break is coming, so maybe I’ll be able to finish a book or two.

Working moms, how do you prioritize reading?

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3 ways to tap into your intuition

Becoming a mother requires that you activate your superpowers. The ability to tap into your intuition is one of them. The ability to make decisions based solely on your gut, holy spirit, intuition or whatever you’d like to call it; and the ability to be confident that you have made the right decision requires practice.

Shut The F*&K Up!

The first thing you need to do is shut up.  You cannot hear your intuition if you are always flapping your gums or thinking (which is mentally flapping your gums). You must learn to be still and listen. Find a quiet a spot, I always recommend sitting on the floor for grounding purposes, acknowledge your intuition and ask it to help you make a decision. Start with a small specific question and then work up to the larger more critical decisions. It will take time to differentiate between your own voice and your intuition. Here is a tip, your intuition will only vibrate at the level of love, it is you God consciousness. Any answer that does not have love at the center is not your intuition leading you. Your intuition will never tell you to do harm but it will protect you from harm.

Listen To Your Gut.

Secondly, learn your body. That uneasy feeling you get in your stomach when a sketchy person walks in the room or when the hair on your arms or the back of your neck stand up. What was going on the last time you got goose bumps? These are physical signs of your intuition talking to you. Your body is responding involuntarily and the responses are information. Listen to your body. Click To Tweet

Get Free Writing.

Lastly, free write. One of my favorite books, The Artist’s Way  explains free writing and provides exercises, I highly recommend reading it.  Free write for five minutes, brain dump everything without thinking about or evaluating it. Do not worry about punctuation, grammar or spelling. Simply get the words on the paper. Set a timer. When the timer goes off get a clean sheet of paper. Ask your intuition a specific question, a superficial one. Try the free writing for 90 days before asking it about the tough stuff.  After you have asked your intuition to guide you, allow the answer to come through you onto the paper without thinking too hard or judging what is is being written. I recommend having a journal specifically for free writes and another for answers from your intuition. Let me know if these tips helped you and share with me if you have a different way of tapping into your intuition. I’d love to read about it in the comments.

 

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40 year old blogger, is that a thing?

40 year old blogger, is that a thing?

Dang on write it is a thing! My 40th birthday was lit. I do not care if you think I’m too old to use that word. I have dedicated this new decade to traveling more. I booked a trip to Mexico as birthday present to myself. Yeye and the in-laws tended to the short person while the husbanator and I took our first vacation since King was born.

Mayan Ruins

 

Riviera Maya, Akumal

 

Trying to maintain my warrior on top of a hill.

We went to Mexico and got a much needed break along with the ability to sleep in with no alarm clock and we consumed large amounts of vitamin D while sipping adult beverages. I also got an unexpected treat. My husband threw me a surprise party. Bless his heart! He got all the people who love me to fill up a room. I have never thrown myself a party because I used to believe a lie. I believed that because I was such an introvert I would never have enough friends to fill up a room. That was a lie! A horrible lie from the pit of hell.

I was so overwhelmed by the love, I started to cry. I cried, an ugly cry and hugged and kissed everyone in the room. My cousin told me she had never seen me cry before, not even at our grandmother’s funeral. The shade!

Me with the cuzzo and my ugly cry!

 

The bestie was in on it too!

 

The husbanator had t-shirts made

Even though turning 40 brought a great deal of joy it also brings introspection. I had to revisit the reasons I have this blog, like what is the point? Why do I keep writing? Why do I advocate wellness for mothers, especially in the area of mental health?

Turning 40 brings clarity! Click To Tweet

The answer is simple. I can’t help it. No matter how far I run I always end up back here; writing, teaching and advocating because this is how I choose to do life. And guess what!? There is a niche for my age group with a lot of dope bloggers to be inspired by. I am in great company, here are few of my favs, check them out:

Mommy Talk Show
Abiola Abrams
Glamazini
Fashion on the 4th floor
Sonia Marie

These women are brown, brilliant and 40 or over. These women serve as reminders and as winks from the universe that all things are possible. Namaste.

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Purple Colored Rage: 3 ways to use lavender

Satan tried it, but I’m a demon slayer. The recent political climate has made me physically ill. I’ve tried various coping mechanisms. The first was to flee. I refused to watch the news, I closed down my facebook account and kept checking the date on my passport. Family is an anchor, if it weren’t for the guys I would be in another country right now. Cuba is looking very inviting and I still have family in Jamaica.

Then here comes sadness. I’ve been in my feelings; feeding them bagels, fries and refined sugar. Finally arriving at rage, my inner seething literally broke my immune system down. During the MLK weekend and the inauguration weekend I was sick in bed unable to do anything but sleep.

So my first order of action is MORE self care. Loving on myself is priority number one. I must be more intentional with taking care of myself which means trying new things for the benefit of my total wellness. I reintroduced myself to lavender. I haven’t been a fan in the past but I have found three ways to integrated lavender into my life and receive its calming benefit.

I drink Yogi’s Stress Relief Honey Lavender Tea. I made the mistake of drinking this tea at the day job and kept nodding off while the children were talking to me. Don’t be like me. Drink it before going to bed for optimum results. Another thing that has been helping me maintain is the use of oils. While decluttering I found a vial of lavender and vanilla oil. I place a few drops on temples and wrists during meditation. Focusing on the scent helps me find stillness quickly.

The family fave is Ganga incense. It is a mixture of cinnamon, lavender and jasmine. If heaven had a smell, this would be it. You only have to burn it for a few minutes for it to permeate the house. It changes the vibe instantly.
I know things appear bleak but take care of yourself. Remember that not much freedom fighting can be done from the inside of a straitjacket.

Namaste.

 

 

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Hidden Figures: A Movie Review

I have been walking around this planet arrogant af. I just knew I could win millions in any black history jeopardy game and there was no hotep or historian that could tell me differently. This is proof that arrogance serves no purpose: I had no idea who Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson, and Dorothy Vaughan were. To add insult to injury, I attended Hampton University, a historically black college, just a few miles away from Norfolk where ground breaking history was made. If I missed learning about them in my black militant home growing up; at least I could have learned about them in an institution of higher learning dedicated to educating black people.

But noooooo, I was ignorant. Knowing about a black female mathematician like Kathy Johnson may have changed my dysfunctional relationship with math. It may have given me a boost of self-esteem so that I wouldn’t cower in the face of quadratic equations. But here I am, a very grown woman learning something new about black history. I am grateful.

Race & Gender

The movie captured soft nuances of the intersectionality of race and gender. Even when Kathy, (Taraji P. Henson) was recognized as the “genius in the room”, her womaness was ignored. Kathy’s boss, Al Harrison (Kevin Costner) tore down the colored bathroom sign and desegregated the NASA bathrooms. His reasons were selfish, he wanted her to be more accessible to him but it was still a milestone. Juxtapose, Al always told his staff to call their wives when they were going to work late, never acknowledging that Kathy might have a husband and children to call. He always addressed his staff using male pronouns when Kathy was in front of his face, in a “shirt below her knees” and sensible kitten heels, clearly female.

White Women: Friend or Foe? 

Dorothy Vaughn (Octavia Spencer) did the work of a supervisor without receiving supervisor compensation. When Dorothy asked Vivian Michael (Karen Dunst) about her supervisor application she was told because she was Negro she wouldn’t be considered. It took Dorothy figuring out how to use one of the first computers at NASA before she was acknowledged for her work and genius. Tons of white men had tried prior to Dorothy, to figure out how to use this new math machine. Dorothy taught herself how to use the machine with intuitive knowledge and some light reading. When the white men started coming to her to learn, it was only then that Vivian gave her the position she deserved. Dorothy was the first black supervisor at NASA. Even when the white man has his foot on the white woman’s neck she still finds a way to look down her nose at a black woman.

All the Becky’s weren’t completely bad though. Kathy’s supervisor had a secretary who at times seemed to be uncomfortable with the racism that Kathy was experiencing but never spoke up. I suppose it’s hard to talk with a foot on your neck. In the end she offers Kathy a wedding gift: pearls that Kathy had mentioned she couldn’t afford. I am still deciding whether this was a peace-offering or charity.

Laws Are Not For White People

The federal government passed laws to desegregate schools. The state of Virginia didn’t care. State laws allowed the schools to remain segregated. Mary Jackson (Janelle Monae) had to win a court case to attend an all white school to become an engineer. She had to convince a judge who blatantly told her that he had no intention of respecting federal law and planned on upholding the racist traditions of his forefathers.

Mary convinced the judge to allow her to go to an all white school by appealing to his white male privilege and narcissism. Mary took a seat in the front of a class full of white men and became an engineer.

The acting was great! Every time I see Janelle in a movie I am pleasantly surprised. We all know that Octavia Spencer is a force to be reckoned with. But who I am most impressed by is Taraji. I used to feel like she was the same person in all her roles. I can always detect the D.C. hood chick in her, whether she is playing a cop or a golf instructor. But this time she embodied Kathy and nailed the role.

Now I have to read the book. I know my mind will be blown and I will have to add to the list of black things I didn’t know.

Go see the movie.

Namaste.

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