Live Your Best Life

“Life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

The year 2017, with all its twists & turns, excitement and surprises, taught me one valuable life lesson, I have absolutely no more time to waste time.

Say this with me: There is no more time to waste time.

When some of my friends and I declared that 2018 would be the year of Reclaiming Our Time, I meant that down in my soul. I made a promise to myself, that for the rest of my life, every thing I do will be intentional. Every single thing, no matter how big or small, will be purposeful and beneficial.

We must remember that life is but a vapor, and that the only thing in life that is constant, is change. If it doesn’t serve you a purpose, let it go. If it isn’t adding any value to your life, cut it. If it isn’t bringing you any peace, and all you’re feeling is negativity, release it. If the people in your life aren’t pushing you forward, they are holding you back, set them free too.

Know this, no matter what season you’re in, no matter how old or young you are, no matter what setbacks you may be experiencing, it is truly possible to reclaim your time, and start living your best life. As long as you’re prepared to receive, you can take full advantage of all life has to offer.

That trip, book it.
That class, take it.
That house, buy it.
That dream, live it.
That book, write it.
That event, plan it.
That project, start it.
That job, apply for it.
That organization, join it.
That vision, make it plain.
Your time, reclaim it.

We have to be willing to take the necessary steps towards the life that we want. And yes, there will be some challenges, however, we must be careful not to let our own complacency, or “fear of the unknown” hinder us and cause us to sit on the sidelines while life is happening. I also want to encourage you, to not give other people the permission to dictate what living your best life is. Sometimes we allow the people in our lives to place us in a box; and most of the times they are unknowingly preventing us from reaching our fullest potential.

Ignore the negative opinions and stay away from the pessimists; surround yourself with positivity and live your BEST life!

January’s Affirmation: I release my attachment to everything that no longer serves me. I refuse to let anything or anyone hold me back!



New Faces

 “Sometimes the people whom we’ve known for only a short amount of time have a bigger impact on us than those we’ve known forever.”

A couple of months ago, I journeyed to a new country with some new faces, and had the time of my life! Everything was so fun, easy-going, and chill. There was no drama, no complaining. I mean, I almost felt like these faces were not new after all because of how well things went. That’s even true for a group of women at the church I attend; every Sunday for the past couple of years, and I do mean every Sunday, about 7 of us literally laugh and talk about everything under the sun after service until they kick us out. And to be honest, I have sometimes felt more genuineness from these new faces than I do some of my old faces. Spending that short amount of time with different people once a week and even on vacation helped me to appreciate the wonderful people in my life; however, it also made me reevaluate some of the old faces that have been around for years.

Those experiences, along with a conversation with one of my friends definitely changed my perspective as it pertains to making new connections. Mainly because most of my leisure experiences usually include very familiar faces, and I also thought that my “making friends’ stage” of life was pretty much over and done with. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Now I’m not saying that I’m going to call everyone in my life, and tell them that they’ve been replaced; because I do have some amazing people who I am connected to. However, I am finally accepting that sometimes you just need to change and/or expand your circle. Actually, I want to encourage everyone I know to either change or expand their circle as often as they see fit. I just believe that there is so much you can gain from healthy connections. And so what if you’ve only known this new face for a short amount of time, if they are contributing to your growth, then they should be added to your life with open arms; and those who aren’t should be dropped off.

A wise woman I know always says, “Your network is your net worth.” Meaning: We are truly the sum of the people that we have in our lives, and the ones that we choose to spend our time with. This is why we must always do a circle check, and make the necessary changes. There is absolutely nothing wrong with readjusting, because truthfully some of the old faces that we are trying so hard to keep around were just supposed to be in our lives temporarily.

We will end up avoiding so many obstacles, if we just stop spending so much precious time and energy on seasonal people. Giving out and pouring out, pouring out and giving out, and end up getting nothing in return. Wasting our time; and time is something that we can’t get back. We have to learn how to literally place people where they need to be in our lives. I expressed to my home-girl that entering another decade has definitely changed my perspective on a lot of things; especially relationships. When someone’s expiration date has arrived, I will start to do what’s necessary to close that door. Because it’s now time for me to start making room for some new faces.

My advice to you is to do the same. As we come to the end of this year, and 2017 resolutions are being drafted and vision boards are being created; start to take inventory of the faces in your life. Are they actually helping you to become a better person? Are they pushing you to reach your highest potential? Seriously ask yourself: Are these undercover haters or motivators? Do they discourage you or inspire you? Are they growing or standing still? What are they actually contributing to your life?

Life is too short, and time is too valuable to be spent on people that aren’t adding anything of significance to you. I’m not saying go fire all of your old faces, I’m just advising you to take a closer look at them. It may also be time for you to close some doors, and make room for some new faces.

“There are times when God has to change your circle, in order to change your life.”



Move In Silence

A lot of times we miss out on our open doors, opportunities, and blessings because we speak way too soon.

I’m going to give some very simple advice: If you have a couple of trustworthy friends or family members in your life, share your good news with them, and be done with it until the time is right. Speaking too soon, or better yet, posting too soon can sometimes be detrimental. Mainly because sometimes people are just sitting back waiting on something to go wrong for you. Believe it or not, they aren’t praying for your success. They aren’t hoping for the best. They are literally standing by with their cell phones ready to record and screenshot your downfall. Some people are content with you doing well, just not better than them.

The quicker we realize that everyone isn’t in our corner, and that everyone doesn’t have our best interest at heart, the easier it will be to practice moving in silence.

This year, I was faced with a couple of difficult situations, and I’ve also had quite a few awesome things happen to me in 2016, however, I was able to keep all of it within my circle, and to be honest it felt really good. I felt secure because we were all on the same page. I’m so glad I don’t have to participate in the social media resolutions about cutting people off, and not taking certain people into 2017. Because in 2016, I can truly say that my trust hasn’t been betrayed. There were experiences that I was very happy to share, while there were some victories that I wanted to hold close. I made the decision to start to be more aware, and intentional about the things I share. Learning to move in silence wasn’t the easiest thing to do; I’m glad I learned how though.

Everything isn’t meant to be shared with everybody.

If you made the mistake of over sharing in 2016, try to do things a little different in 2017. Try to lean more on your support system, especially when you just want to bounce ideas around. Even doctors suggest that newly pregnant women wait until the first trimester is over before they share the good news; mainly because so many things can happen within the first stages of pregnancy.

So if you are waiting on a college acceptance letter, going back to school for another degree, about to purchase a house, waiting on some test scores, pending a promotion, ending a toxic relationship, going on an interview for a new career path, considering a move to a new city, thinking about asking your lady for her hand in marriage, quitting your job, following your dreams, getting a side hustle, launching a new business, and you just can’t keep the excitement to yourself, I suggest that you look within your circle, and just find a few people you trust to  share your thoughts and excitement with until it’s official.  

Remember, timing is everything. Talking too much, moving too fast or prematurely can cause unnecessary issues; and that’s usually because you can be placed in a position to be swayed by other people’s unwanted questions, advice, and opinions. There are also some people who really do love and care about us, however, because they are filled with their own personal fears and doubts, they sometimes unintentionally discourage us from fully carrying out our plans and achieving our goals.

When the right time comes, you will be completely ready to share all of the wonderful news with the world. In 2017, I encourage you to save yourself some trouble by staying focused on your to-do list, and moving in silence.

“Don’t announce the move before it’s made. They’ll see it when you get there.”



Do The Right Thing

“Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.” – Oprah Winfrey

A few weeks ago, I walked out of my office headed to my car and saw some paper on the ground; it was off to the side of the door in our small grass plot. I said to myself, “The wind will just blow it away.” Then I said, “Ok well I’ll just pick it up tomorrow.” But something in me wouldn’t let me get in my car, and just drive away. The way I started to feel, you would’ve thought a dumpster had been knocked over and trash was everywhere, but that wasn’t the case. . . it was a few pieces of paper, and I couldn’t ignore them. I put my bag in the car, grabbed the papers, went back inside the office and placed them in the trash can. And then I was like, wait. . .that was a  test of my integrity. Because until right now, nobody would’ve known whether I  picked up the trash or not. And even though I didn’t receive a thank you, or a pat on the back, that small act made me feel so good on the inside. The warm feeling I felt was more rewarding than a thank you would’ve ever been.

That small situation caused me to take a closer look at my level of integrity. It caused me to ask myself why do I do the things that I do. Is it because I want to be noticed or get some type of acknowledgement? Or, am I doing things because I know it’s the right thing to do? With integrity, the motives, the words, and the actions all go hand in hand. Now, I’ll admit, I try my best to do the right thing when it counts.  But see, that’s the problem, I feel like I should always strive to do the right thing no matter the situation, whether someone knows about it or not. I wanted to be 100% sure that my motives were always in check, so I mentioned it during one of my prayers.

Well let me tell you, EVERY day since then, I have had to pass an integrity quiz before the end of each day. I am starting to notice that more and more. Big tests, small tests. . . life is throwing them at me left and right; and I’m getting better and better. I can no longer just talk the right talk, I am being placed in situations where I always have to walk the right walk. My actions are having to line up with my words, and in some cases. . . that is much easier said than done. And the pressure has been unbelievable, however I am appreciative for the lessons that are being taught. I learned a few years ago, what we say doesn’t make us a better person, but it’s what we DO that counts.

“Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, but your behavior does.”

Something that I now say to myself to help keep me accountable: Do what is right, not what is easy. Listed below are some things that we can start being more conscious of in our everyday lives to help us on this journey of doing the right thing. Because we have to remember, even the smallest things count when integrity is involved.

  • We should just put the shopping cart back in the designated area at the grocery store. Yes, it’s going to take 25 more steps to do it; however those 25 steps will prevent someone’s vehicle from getting scratched up by the cart.
  • If we go into the bathroom and use the last bit of tissue, we shouldn’t leave the dispenser empty. We should get some toilet tissue and replace the roll, so that we don’t leave the next person in a bind.
  • Christians, should act like it Monday through Saturday; not just on Sundays.
  • If you are a professional, act like it. . .yes, even on social media.
  • If you see trash on the ground at your church, or even your job, pick it up.
  • If you see someone struggling to carry something heavy, offer to help, or at least hold the door open.
  • We should avoid situations that will cause us to compromise our values &  beliefs, or be dishonest.
  • We have to keep our word, even if it takes the extra effort.
  • If we’ve wronged someone, we should apologize and make it right.
  • We should make necessary arrangements to show up on time, every time.
  • We must be responsible, and do what we say we will do.
  • We should tell the whole truth.
  • Let’s start to willingly admit our mistakes, and then use those mistakes as opportunities for improvement.
  • We shouldn’t let someone else take the blame for something we did.
  • We should tell the cashier he gave us back too much change.
  • We should never intentionally betray someone’s trust.
  • We should return money that we noticed someone dropped in the parking lot.
  • We should ignore the advice of people telling us how to cheat on our taxes and not get caught.
  • We should go back in the store and pay for something that wasn’t scanned.
“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” – Marcus Aurelius

We are quick to tell a white lie to get out of doing something; because come on, a small fib never hurt anybody. Or we will take  few supplies home from work, I mean nobody is going to miss them right? I am a witness that everyday integrity is extremely challenging; however, the good thing is we get a chance to get better at it with each new day. And I know, taking a pen from work or lying about a headache to skip out on choir practice may seem small, however, Albert Einstein has a quote that says “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Over the past 3 decades I have found that quote to be true.

Living a life of integrity is sometimes hard, ok…scratch that, it is VERY difficult at times; however we must realize that it is necessary for our growth. We must always make the effort to take the high road, and do our best to do the right thing no matter what, while encouraging those around us to do the same.

I would be lying if I said it was a breeze because honestly, a lot of the times the shortcuts through the valley look better than the climb up the mountain. However, the one thing I learned about shortcuts is that you don’t learn anything. There are no real rewards at the end of the shortcuts; no pots of gold. We just have to take the climb one step at a time. My mother constantly says, “when you do right, right will follow you.”

Integrity is doing the right thing even when you don’t have to. . .

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one else is looking. . .

Integrity is doing the right thing when no one will ever know. . .

Integrity is doing the right thing when there will be no congratulations or social media shout out for having done so.

In order for great things to happen to us, we must always aim to do what is right, not what is easy.


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My Grass Is Greener

Have you ever looked at a yard and wondered why certain parts of the grass looked brown and tough like it was dead or something, while other parts of the grass looked really green, and thick and full of life?

If you have, good. . .I’m glad I’m not the only one.

This is the thing, everybody wants the fancy award-winning yard with the plush green grass, but let’s be real. . .nobody wants to do what it takes to make that happen. Nobody wants to put in the extra work.

Honest Moment: I used to be one of those people, yep I was there. I was one of those people who felt like if I gave “just enough,” then I should still receive more than enough. And even though I knew I was more than capable of doing better, I would still just do C- work, and expect an A+ grade. Listen, I am so thankful for a renewed mindset because I really almost missed my blessings by trying to stay stuck in that place. Luke 12:48 is a scripture that my mom doesn’t mind sucker punching me with, “…When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.” After reading and re-reading this scripture, it finally started to sink into my inner woman, my grass, and I had to stop whining, pick myself  up, and throw all of my excuses away.

I had to face the harsh reality of the direction that my life was headed if something didn’t change. I had to stop trying to cover up my mistakes, my bad choices, and my short-comings. I had to come to the realization that in order for me to live the full, prosperous, green life, that I desired, some drastic decisions had to be made; and I was the only one that could make those decisions.

So now I able to say, my grass is greener. Yes, I said it. . . my grass is greener. As a matter of fact, it is a whole lot greener than it was a few years ago. And I’m no longer ashamed to show it off because even though my yard is still a work in progress, my Lawn care man worked a miracle and revived those dying parts that had already started to thin out and turn brown.

I read a quote that said, “If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.” I am a living witness that, that is a TRUE statement. The sacrifices and the choices that had to be made to get to this point were extremely challenging, however it was worth it. And let’s not exclude the test and the trials, the storm and the rain, that were sent to make my grass greener and stronger. 

I am constantly reminding myself that every decision was necessary. The break-up was necessary. Cutting the ties was necessary. Deleting the number and the text messages was necessary. Walking away from toxic relationships was necessary. The rejection was necessary. Changing my mindset was necessary. An attitude adjustment was necessary. Exercising my self-control was necessary. Fasting and praying was necessary. Drinking more water was necessary. Going to bed on time was necessary. Spending time alone was necessary. Shutting my mouth was necessary. Listening more was necessary. Not spending every penny I earned, and actually saving was necessary. No it wasn’t easy, but those growing pains were necessary. I know without a doubt that it was God who covered me during the grass growing moments of my life. He definitely put in some work with me. From the fertilization process to the deep watering, to pulling up the weeds, it took work to get this yard in tip-top shape. The blades were extra sharp, and the constant mowing was painful; but it was necessary. *cues music* “I’m stronger. I ‘m wiser. I ‘m better, much better.”

And the great thing about this is: your grass can be greener too! We must be willing to help ourselves. Because we are given new mercies each day (Lam. 3:22-23), everyday is another opportunity for us to make a change. For us to make some type of progress; for us to make a difference in our own lives. Remember this, “The grass is always greener where you water it.” We have to stop spending so much time being concerned with everybody else’s yard, that we start to neglect our own. You pass by, and you see how great their yard looks, however you have no idea of all the steps that had to take place in order for that to happen. As the saying goes, “You see the Glory, but you don’t know the Story.”

I said all that, to say this: Allow God to care for your yard. Allow Him to deep water yours. Allow Him to pull your weeds and fertilize you. Ask Him to revive the dry places in your life. Note: Remember to be very specific when you ask Him. I won’t tell you that the transition for greener grass is easy because there are some rough patches; however I want to encourage you to allow God to do His work on you and in you . . . the end results are so worth it.


“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4)


Shhhhh, Be Quiet.

“The Quieter You Become, The More You Can Hear.”

Initially when I read this quote, I thought about people in conversation, especially a heated one. I thought about how many times we don’t really listen to the other person’s point of view . . . we just began to prepare our comeback in our mind as they’re talking. And of course most times that’s how miscommunication happens because of the lack of listening. But then as I begin to think, and I read it again something else came to mind . . . so many times, because there is so much noise being made, and there is so much chaos in our lives, we get distracted. And because we get caught up in all that’s going on, we miss out on the most important things.

The most important thing to me is: self-improvement. There is always something that we can fix, change, and improve when it comes to us.

January 2015 was a quiet month for me. I went on a fast with my church family not just from certain types of food, but social media as well. And I can honestly say it’s like everything became so light and easy. Instead of being on the phone or IG for hours throughout the day, I was able to actually hear myself think. I was able to have meaningful conversations with the people in my life as well as get things done. I went to bed on time, and I actually experienced rest. I wasn’t grumpy when I woke up. I didn’t feel sluggish or heavy or irritable. And no I’m not saying that eating meat and being on Instagram are bad, I’m saying being away from those 2 things in particular made me feel good. I’ve learned that when you get quiet, you began to understand what’s working for you, and what’s not. Your inner man/woman begins to speak loud and clear to you. You become more self-aware. You began to come up with the answers to the questions that you once had. You start to find solutions to some of the problems that you are facing. You are able to disconnect from things and people that are no longer benefitting you. Because you have blocked out all of the drama and the chaos, you are better able to understand what’s really going on with and around you. You start to realize how the people in your life really feel about you. You realize who’s for you, and who’s against you. When you stop making so much noise, things become clearer. I was able to think straight because my mind was clear. I was able to self-reflect, to meditate. I was able to talk to God without feeling like I had to rush our conversations because I had other things to do. I didn’t have all of the distractions.  I told a few of my friends, that out of all the years that I have been doing this fast, this year was the best year for me. I didn’t have to eat any of the Morning Star products; I strictly stuck with fruits and vegetables. I tried broccoli and I fell in love with it. I now also eat bananas and would rather drink soy milk. So not only did this fast/quiet time help me clear my head, but it opened my mind up to trying new things. During January, I learned so much about myself.

I’m thankful for my January Lesson. Chapter I (Shhhhh, Be Quiet) was just what I needed. Now I’m ready to experience the next 11 chapters.


Self-improvement (self-im·prove·ment)
1. Improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts.
2. The improvement of one’s mind, character, etc., through one’s own efforts.
3. Improvement of one’s status, position, education, etc., by one’s own efforts.
4. The improvement of one’s condition through one’s own efforts.
2014 bb