Butterfly stilshot

Butterfly stilshot

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Art of Investing: What's Your Worth?

I usually start off my workshops and classes by talking about the fact that as women we often invest in the baddest handbags, shoes, clothes and hair but we don't often put much attention into our face/skin which is what people see the first and most when they see us. But the truth is deeper that the quality of your skin or the creativity of the makeup you are wearing, what shines the brightest when encounter you is THE VALUE OF YOUR SELF WORTH. How you esteem yourself and the value you have or have not placed upon yourself is what speaks the loudest. What's your value? How do you increase your value? How do you assess your value? Let's talk about the art of investing!

Invest- To endow with a quality; To devote time, effort and energy to something for the purpose of receiving a gain. Without investing in something, it is practically impossible it's increase its value. In my talks with women of all ages, from the ones who have no esteem to the ones with great, healthy esteem; there is a direct correlation with how much they invest in themselves. Ladies the simple truth is this: No matter where you are on the scale of Self-Worth and Self-Esteem, YOU MUST CONTINUALLY INVEST IN YOU!

Here are some key ways to invest in yourself and increase your value:

1. Spirituality- Strengthen your relationship with God by more time spent in prayer, Bible study and worship. There is nothing like an intimate relationship with the creator of the earth that will increase your esteem and worth. Do you know why He created you? Are you who he created you to be? There is nothing like knowing whose you are, who you are, where you're going and how to get there. Once you know this, maintaining healthy self-esteem and self-worth will be effortless.

2. Socially- Not only is it important how you to relate to God and yourself but life is all about relationships. We were created as social beings. How well do you interact with others? How do you handle conflict? How are your friendships and family ties? Often when God goes to bless us He uses people. THERE IS POWER IN PROPER ASSOCIATIONS! Anywhere worth going, you can't make it there alone. For some of us the reason we aren't growing/achieving the way we'd like to is because we can't sustain relationships that are intended to push us further. Take inventory of who's in your life. Who else do you need in your life to get where you need to go? Ask God to bring the right people into your space! Who needs to go in order to progress? Ask God for the strength to dissolve those relationships. Your circle of friends is a prophecy of your future...

3. Financially- Papa may have, Momma may have, but God bless the WOMAN who's got her own! Financial stability and empowerment often assist us in properly attending to other areas of our lives. What is your actual networth? How is your credit? Do you have adequate savings, cash reserves, investments? Do you own any property? Many of desire to do more than we currenty do but our biggest challenge is not having the financial resources. Take the steps to become completely debt free and financially empowered. You will be blessed to be a blessing!

4. Physically- Your body is a temple and should be treated as such. Some of us keep up our cars, clothes and offices at work better than we do our bodies. Women who truly have placed a high value on themselves understand that physical health must be a priority. Eating nutritiously, getting adequate rest, drinking sufficient water and exercising are the basics. Do you like who you see when you look in the mirror? I am a firm believer that every woman should have the ability to look at herself in the mirror in her birthday suit and feel beautiful. But unfortunately I know too many women can not do this. But why do spend so much time complaining without making changes. If we don't like what we see, we should make the changes that we can and embrace and accept the rest. Your body is a temple and should be treated as such!

5. Emotionally- I was interested to learn as I got older that there is a such term as emotional intelligence. I would dare say that as we would aren't naturally as gifted in this area as our male counterparts. We tend to think with our emotions way more often than we should. Do you have a firm grip on your emotions? Are they helping to push you forward or hindering you? Perception is reality for so many of us. As we move to become women of significance and not just success, it becomes extremely imperative to ensure that our "perspective" is not jaded with emotional traps. Check the glasses with which you are looking at life. If they are cracked or tinted, there is a possibility that everything you see is distorted. Emotional wholeness helps us to have a much healthier outlook on life.

You are worth investing in! We as women take care of husbands, children, and family. We are business owners, stay at home moms, and employees. We wear so many hats that it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. REMEMBER: If you don't refill your pitcher daily, at some point you won't have enough to pour and everyone will be affected. Take time for yourself, refresh daily and be a lifetime learner!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Me and My Analogies

I was at the Spa Retreat this year (which was AMAZING!), and I was getting breakfast on Saturday morning. I stopped over by the fruit salad and picked up a cup to put some fruit in. I noticed that it had a donut smudge on the side of it. I thought to myself let me get another clean cup. So I grabbed another cup and it also had another smudge on it. Now I didn't want to be wasteful so at this point I'm like what's going on, why are the cups dirty. Just then I looked down and discovered lo and behold I had some a smudge of donut glaze on my thumb from the yummy donut I picked up right before stopping at the fruit salad. Then I looked at the stack of cups and realized Wow, they started off clean, I was the one smudging them. Hmm.

Now I must admit normally I am quite analytical and can see a lesson in anything (my friends know this all to well lol), but definitely being at the Spa Retreat my spirit and mind was a little clearer so I instantly got a revelation. How many people do we know that can relate to this analogy whether they realize it or not. I have come across so many women whose attitude is "I don't do women" or "I've given up on men." This statement is always a red flag for me of someone who doesn't see their smudge. A few relational issues, okay no problem such is life. But once you develop a pattern of relationships where you are "misunderstood" or "unappreciated" or "mistreated" or whatever, after a while, the common denominator really is YOU. Unfortunately I believe this truth is too hard for some people to face just yet. I remember learning that the reason people faint or become unconscious is to protect the brain from processing to much pain so it just shuts down. I think so many people do the same thing emotionally, they just become unconscious. Totally unaware because they aren't yet ready to face deeply painful truths.

The unfortunate reality is though, until we face such controversial, confrontational truths about ourselves, we remain unable to change in those areas. So we keep blaming the "stack of cups" and everybody else as being the problem when really the problem and solution lies in one hard look in the mirror to see how we got the smudge on our thumbs. I especially find it sad for people in this predicament because I have been blessed to realize how much life is about relationships. I value them and pour into the relationships I have on many levels because I understand the value of people that you come across. It deeply grieves me to see people not able to attach to people long term and genuinely not realize that what they are bringing to the equation is the causing the conflict.

Now let me balance, I'm not saying that one person is completely to blame all the time because in any relationship it takes two to build. But when it comes to people who have what I call the "friendship deficiency", they aren't able to keep genuine lasting friendship because they don't possess enough of the "attaching" qualities such as selflessness, thoughtfulness, loyalty, patience, generosity, consideration, sacrifice, genuineness, honesty, or genuine love. These are people who I consider to have the donut smudge on their thumbs,every cup they come in contact with they will smudge and ruin relationships that really could have survived, minus the smudge.

Okay so wrapping up my soliloquoy, lol. We all need to really take time to evaluate ourselves. What do people really think of us? Who do people say we are when we're not around? What do we carry or give off in our interactions with people? And when we see unhealthy repetition in our interactions with people, isn't it time to look in the mirror. Chances are you don't keep running into the same circumstance by accident. And despite what most of these type of people love to think: IT'S NOT EVERYONE ELSE!

Just food for thought. Happy Memorial Day Weekend :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011


In 2009 I remember desiring that God would increase my relationships. I've always been an introvert and had a really hard time breaking out of my shell. I had good friends but I really wanted to be a better networker, more outgoing, and just really maximize the power of relationships. One day a few months ago, I was preparing to go out with some of my girlfriends and, in quick reflection of my life, I realized that that prayer/desire was totally fulfilled. I have the greatest relationships, on all levels, that I've ever had. One main reason this is true: I've discovered to maximize our relationships and be truly well-rounded we must have three tiers or levels of relationships 1. Mentors or Coaches that regularly pour into us. 2. Friends/Associates on our level that we can relate to. 3. Mentees or those who we regularly pour into and help pull up. Without each of these three levels of relationship being strong, some area of our life is off balance, whether we realize it or not.

My Coaches- Our coaches, mentors, or big sisters as I call mine, pour into us, teach us, hold us accountable and challenge us. Even though those on our level can also do this, it is very different. Experience truly is the best teacher, but what people leave out is it doesn't always have to be our own. I have learned how to use others experiences to learn great lessons. Those who are older and wiser than us can have a great impact in this area. And in order to get to somewhere you wanna be, why not glean from someone whose already there? The big sisters I have in my life, wow, where would I be without them. They have blessed me in ways I could have only imagined. They truly keep me accountable. I said in a previous blog, or FB status, that there is no growth without accountability. They constantly push me and I'm so much better because of it. So many situations they've been through with me and given me such insight that was lifechanging. I've talked to my friends about some of the same situations but my big sisters have consistently had a different level of revelation that I would have so missed had I not had them. I must say it takes a great deal of transparency to have this level of relationship because coaches will tell you about yourself. They should lovingly do so but typically they always charge you to do better. I love my big sisters (they know who they are)

My Gurls- Friends & Associates are typically on our level or very close to it. They see things from our perspective. They tend to share in our joys and sorrows and be the most compassionate with us out of the three. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE MY GURLS! I truly think I have the best friends ever. I can be completely naked with them and they see my faults and still love me. And it's so funny because of all my closest girlfriends, they are extremely different, but they all bring something unique and it's wonderful. We are each other's biggest cheerleaders and are there for each other no matter what. There is a lot of give and take that makes these relationships work. And they've had their ups and downs but any close relationship will. It's successfully pushing through those rough times that makes you even closer or reveals that you really don't have what you thought. I could go on forever about my gurls, they know I love them (with my crazy self lol)

My Lil Sisters- Mentees are those who you regularly pour into. It takes a great deal of humility and transparency to make these relationships stick but they are highly rewarding. I just believe that for believers, you can't tell your real testimony to everybody, but SOMEBODY SHOULD KNOW IT. You may not be able to tell everyone you used to be suicidal and depressed, but if you've been saved for a minute, by all means someone else that's suicidal and depressed should know your story. It can be really hard to open up and share your story, but it's totally selfless and absolutely necessary.  The reason so many people struggle to get free now is because not enough people are saying "I used to do that but I'm free now, this is how...". My life is an open book and anyone who knows me well knows I believe in telling everything (with wisdom of course). I have no shame because anything I've gone through is for me and someone else. This is why I love my little sisters. They make every struggle I've ever been through totally worth it. It's really easy to get stuck in the "ME-ME" box when there is no one receiving from you regularly. But when you have those who are watching and gleaning from you, your perspective will widen and you'll be a much more grateful person. I love my little sisters, they know who they are :) They challenge me to be consistent, resilient, joyful, humble and to appreciate everything.

I challenge you to take a look at all three of these tiers of relationships. Do you have strong, solidified relationships on all three levels? If not, you may really want to consider changing that. Life is all about relationships. Life hasn't really begun until you begin sharing it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is 28 A Milestone?

So it's 2011 and it's 10 years after I graduated high school. (Shout out to MMA class of 2001, Millers!)So since 18 is like the official entrance to adulthood, I've realized I'm reflecting on my first 10 years of adulthood. And it hit me, maybe 28 should be a milestone too.(Mind you I won't even be 28 until April, but in true Tiffany fashion, I'm thinking ahead) What have I done so far? Where am I? Am I where I thought I'd be? Am I where I could have been? All running through my mind...

The truth is, in reflecting I've found I'm not where I thought I'd be and that's fine, but in addition I'm not even where I could have been. At first it was a slight bummer (only slight cause I'm truly an optimist). But after much prayer time, I've realized it's the perfect opportunity for a rebirth. So I've been doing a lot of reflecting on where God could have brought me to without my interventions and more importantly where I am allowing Him to take me from here. This has been the most liberating thing ever. I am in the happiest season of my life, it's amazing! I just wake up excited every day. And I truly have good reasons to not be, but I've realized one important fact: "What you don't allow to take you under will take you over, far over."

I feel like a butterfly breaking out of the cocoon. So much that was down inside I'm finally releasing. I'm having an adult growth spurt and it's totally spirit-led. God is so faithful and He really will complete any work in us that He's begun, but we gotta cooperate.

So what do I want to share with you. It's never too late for a rebirth. Take a self-inventory. Are you who you want to be? Are you the best you? If not, what are you waiting for. I know there's someone else that feels like me; there was a woman inside screaming to get out. I could hear her. I could feel her. I desperately wanted her to come out, but I was too afraid. But after a while you get tired of living afraid (or for others like I was). And if you ignore her long enough you begin to forget she's there but you can always feel her cry. DON'T LET HER CRY and DON'T LET HER DIE! She's who God has designed for you to be and she's made in His image. (He for my fellas, can't leave you out) Especially for my parents out there. One of my hugest motivations is Jordan. How can I tell him to be all he can be and he can do anything if I haven't? I would rather demonstrate that to him and he'll follow in my footsteps. That hit me like a brickwall one day. How many parents tell their kids "You can do anything" and their children could probably reply "but you didn't/don't." We have to be that example.

Be your best you! Don't let anything stand in the way of who God created you to be and who you actually are being one in the same.

Peace and Love.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

One Fast Year! (Labor Story)

You hear people say it all the time, "Enjoy your children while they're young because time goes fast." It's not that you don't believe people but sheesh, it's different when you've actually stepped into that position. Here I am reflecting one year later after the birth of my precious son. I can't believe that the first year has gone by this fast.

This time last year I was napping, nursing, entertaining guests, and bonding with Jordan who I has just met. I had Jordan at 4:40 am so I did most of my labor on 1/19. I truly loved labor, it was a beautiful experience I look forward to again one day. I started having contractings at about 9am on the 19th. They were inconsistent and coming about every 15 minutes; just pre-labor. I remember I began timing them, but I had had so many pre-term labor contractions that I wasn't even thinking this was going anywhere. They continued all day still inconsistently but always around 10 minutes. I ate light foods all day, walked and rested just in case. That evening when my husband got home, we continued to time them and finally called my midwife. She told us to keep breathing and call us when they were about 5 mins apart. Around 6pm my parents came over (all excited lol) and I kept timing contractions. I must mention that my contraction distraction of the day was Wii, I played all day and evening. Even in between contractions, I would bowl, stop to breathe through a contraction, and then resume my turn lol. It really helped. My goal was to deliver all natural so I was focusing my mind away from the pain; even though it really wasn't that bad at that point. Finally around 10 pm the contrations got serious and I knew it was time to head to the hospital.

I got to Mercy just after 11pm. I had planned to do a water birth and I was very happy they had birthing pools in the rooms. At that point the contractions were starting to take my breath away but even still something in me was thinking this wasn't the real thing and they were gonna send me home. When I got checked and I was 5 cm.  I liked to shout to glory lol! After getting checked I relaxed and continued to breathe through my contractions for a little bit before taking a shower. That water did amazing things for the back pressure, whew. After my shower I laid down and continued my breathing. At about 3am, my life started flashing before me LOL. I was like ok when can I get in the tub (7cm for the first baby is the requirement so it doesn't stall labor). I got checked and I finally was able to get in the tub at about 3:30am. Just after I did, IT GOT REAL WHEW. I started thinking I may need drugs, but everyone kept encouraging me I could do it. I wasn' t so sure though, lol. I jumped from 7-10cm  in about one hour (one of the many benefits of going natural, the body is able to work faster). Unfortunately Jordan had pooped and they spotted meconium so I couldn't deliver in the pool. In retrsopect, I'm actually glad that I pushed from the table, it made it much easier. I got out of the tub at like 4:20. I did two more contractions on the table. I'll never forget hearing the most glorious words ever "You can push with the next one." I heard the heavens open up and saw angels lol. I pushed three times. He crowned on the first two and came sliding out on the third one. It's no feeling like that, simply amazing.

Jordan Joshua Love, born Wednesday January 20th, 2010 @ 4:40am. It was the best day ever!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Refusing to Settle Ever Again!

So I'm at work this morning and I got this sudden craving for a Panera Bacon, Egg and Cheese on Ciabatta. Man I could already taste it and as hard as I work, I decided hey I'm gonna treat myself. (I never eat breakfast, really tryna work on that.) I look at the time and its 10:20 so I'm thinking I can make it by the time they stop serving breakfast at either 10:30 or 11. But when I got there, at 10:33, lo and behold I was too late. I tried to look at the menu to find a lunch item that would suffice but I didn't. So I decided to just go to McDonald's and get a Bacon, Egg and Cheese on a Bagel. Hey it wouldn't satisfy the craving but I wouldn't be hungry anymore.

However, I just now happened to look up and realize that I ate half the sandwich, a third of the hashbrown and really not enjoying this lemonade lol. Then, without thinking, I just threw the sandwich away. And guess what...I'm still hungry! I just couldn't get into that McDonalds sandwich cause I still had the taste for that Ciabatta bread in my mouth.

Maaaan, my brain just started clicking and thinking about my life. How many times have I done the same thing on a much larger scale: SETTLED. I think we do it so much we don't even realize it sometimes. And it's funny because I think just like with my breakfast sandwich, the rationale is well hey it'll at least fill my need. BUT IT DOESN'T (hence me still being hungry lol.)

2010 was the year where it struck me like lighting; how much I had settled in various areas of my life. I know lots of selfish people who tend to always think of themselves. Then there's me, the true blue, self-sacrificing to a fault. Completely on the other end of the spectrum; always thinking of everyone else. Neither case is good, there's gotta be a balance. After fully realizing that last year I started trying and am continuing this year to put myself on the list of people whose needs I consider and weigh heavily. Man, it's a real adjustment! But it's a necessary one. I'm determined that this is my time! I'm pushing forward with all those dreams I've been waiting to get around to, settling for a second best life while I take care of everyone else. Never again will I settle for anything less than God's absolute best for me in career, relationships, finances, and every area of my life.

I challenge you to think of the areas where you may be settling for second best. Are you sitting in front of the sandwich in any areas of your life trying to figure out why you just can't eat it, especially since you're hungry? Could it be that it isn' t God's best for you and you know it. Especially in terms of career. This is where I find most people settle. They get the nice cushy job with benefits and are just too comfortable to take the leap to where they are really created to be. Fill the hunger for real, BE WHO YOU ARE CREATED TO BE! It is so liberating.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where Should I Start...

So what will my first post (other than the introductory one lol) be about? I think I should start off with something that is very dear to my heart. PROGRESS! I am allergic to stagnation. I will forever be a lifelong learner and achiever. I've never met Procrastination, but I don't want to. From what I hear, we won't like each other.

So it's a New Year and people are super excited about making new changes. It's the same thing. Every year people make New Year's resolutions and before it gets warm lol, that excitement is long gone. (I'm really so anti-New Year's resolutions by the way) SO WHAT HAPPENS? Weren't people well intentioned in their goal setting? Well there it is right there. Most people never actually goal set. They just spew out lots of good ideas, genuinely thinking they're goal setting. I've been saying this for years and I'm gonna say it forever. If it's not written down with a target date and measurable outcomes, it's not a goal it's just a good idea. Don't fool yourself and think you'll just remember; especially if you're not a naturally goal-oriented, driven person. You must write it down lol!  I have a business degree from Hampton University. I remember going through the exercises and the very detailed manner companies strategically plan. SWAT analyses, and progress tracking, feedback from consumers, etc, all help to compile a comprehensive plan. If businesses have enough sense to make a detailed plan of action, how much more important is it for us to do so with our lives that are much more precious than any product any business is selling (even mine lol)

So don't just speak about it, be about in 2011. Keep the fire of your excitement fresh all year long. Revisit your goals every month and track your progress. I must note that this is not just the case for goals such as starting a business or going back to school. But even if you want to improve on yourself or relationships. It is realistic to write a goal such as: "I will control my attitude by said date. I will learn to be pleasant to be people no matter how I feel." <one of my old goals from 2009, and I've come lightyears with this one> As long as it's not written down people can always get you with the "I'm working on it", but are you really? How can we tell if you're working on it? BY SEEING THE FRUIT. {Gotta holla at my perpetual I'm-working-on-it folks for a sec}Every gardener knows that based on when you plant the seeds, there is a certain time you should expect to see the fruit sprout up. So even with inside matters, it is very realistic to put a time frame to it. God doesn't take forever, it's usually us. I've found that "I'm working on it" really translates into "I'm trying to decide whether or not I really wanna do it." When people make a decision to do better, they simply do better.  So don't hide behind the "I'm working on it", but actually work on it.

I revisited my 2010 goals and realized that they were all but one met. How exciting was that! So it gives me renewed energy to set new ones, carry over the one that wasn't completed yet and keep it moving. So I challenge you to step away from the emotionalism and excitement and sit down to formulate a plan. It's time to live life on purpose and stop expecting happiness and success to fall out of the sky. They're waiting for you to cultivate them.


I'm Blogging

Well hello world! I'm excited to be blogging again. It's been a serious minute since I've done so. I was trying so hard to figure out whether or not I would revive my old blog or start a new one. I read through some of my old blogs and had the best laugh ever.  But I decided that I'm a totally different person now so it was time for a fresh blog. BEWARE: I plan on being super transparent in this blog. I don't know any other way. And yet, I'm always told my transparency blesses people. Anyone who knows me knows I'm all about transparency. I CAN'T STAND FAKENESS. Plastic people make my skin itch. <my bad slight vent, I digress>

Three reasons I decided to blog again. 1.Lot's of people have been commenting on my Facebook statuses, both on FB and mostly in person, and just saying how much they have been blessing them. 2. A lot of people have also been telling me (well shoving down my throat lol) that I have a lot of wisdom and things I say help hem, even when I'm really not trying to. 3. Being a PK of a good size church, my whole life is partially on display. This is something I've learned to live with and embrace. Each season of my life there are people watching. So I've made up in my mind that since I have to be on display, why not let God be glorified in every season. This has been especially true in my current season. Soooo many people have said they've been blessed by seeing how God is keeping and actually flourishing me despite the obstacles.

So basically since I've realized that my random (and they really are random lol) thoughts seem to bless people; I'm gonna share them. Plus there is something so freeing and purging about writing that I know I will probably be more blessed in the process of sharing.

Let the blogging begin!