Light it up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day!

Light it up Blue for World Autism Awareness Day!

autism

April 2nd, 2015 is World Autism Awareness Day! Light it Up Blue is a global initiative that strives to raise awareness worldwide for the cause of Autism.

Autism is a condition that affects so many people irregardless of their race, gender or culture. Someone you know may be effected by this condition. I feel it is my job as an educator who works with the face of autism each day and also know people whom Autism affects directly, that it is my responsibility to show support and spread awareness! One article I read about a mothers journey with her son who was diagnosed as autistic at 20 months. She said, in regards to World Autism Day, she hoped that there would be:

” Just that there would be one day where we offer support and love, but not pity, because pity is dehumanizing…”

So April 2nd if you get a chance, wear something blue and let those in the Autism community know that we are standing with them in solidarity not pity! Let’s #lightitupblue and let’s get some answers and hopefully one day soon a cure!!

Xoxo

Here’s the link to the full article: Interesting read!

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/winnipeg-mom-wants-support-not-pity-on-world-autism-awareness-day-1.3018028

Monday Motivation: Just Let It Go Already!!

Monday Motivation: Just Let It Go Already!!

“Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore /Let it go, let it go turn away and  slam the door!/ I don’t care what they’re going to say/ Let the storm rage on, The cold never bothered me anyway….”

As an Early Childhood Educator, Queen Elsa and the other members of her Frozen team seem to have taken over my life. I mean I can’t take one step into my classroom before someone is asking, “Can you play Let it Go?”

Ugh, so I oblige and put on “Let it Go” and even unknowingly sing along with the lyrics in perfect order and with correct tempo and  cadence. ( All my musicians out there will understand the importance of this! :P)  Until today, I actually took a time out and googled the lyrics-and they actually are pretty deep!

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/idinamenzel/letitgo.html

Have you ever had a situation that just won’t go away because YOU just won’t let it? Well I know I have. I used to be the type of person to dwell on it and allow it to infiltrate my thoughts and at times even my actions. Although that may be the most natural reaction( I mean we are human and are innately programmed to react/attack) It’s not the healthiest choice, physically or mentally.

anxiety

Some situations you just can’t control. For example, in your life you may encounter a person who doesn’t like ( and may never like you ) for whatever the reason may be. In situations like this, take some time out to check yourself. Ask yourself these questions: Was it something I said/did?, Did I add fuel to the fire?, What can I do to rectify this situation?  If you find that you’re not in the wrong ( and I mean you’ve earnestly looked deep within yourself and have proven this to be true) then I’m sad to say.. there’s not much you can do!

So, how to you deal with a situation like this? Old me would have told you to make a big deal about it, probe everybody you can probe to find out why this person doesn’t like you and maybe even be mean-spirited and rude towards that person ; all of which I have done I mean old me and even sometimes me right now( don’t judge me I’m a work in progress and my what a progress I’ve made :)) can walk into a room, and pretend that you don’t exist and feel no way about. However, I would feel some type of way, when someone would comment about my behavior to my face or  behind my back. Guys let me tell you, I’ve had some situations where my homegirls have even said,” I don’t know how you put up with that”. I think that’s all been a part of my journey though. Learning how to love people whether they like me or not. Trust me, it’s easier said than done. You have to mentally and spiritually prepare yourself to take the negativity that may be continuously spewed your way. It’s actually physically draining too and so not worth it, to battle negativity all the time! I’ve really had to literally learn to “let it go”. You never know what kind of insecurities someone may be harboring within themselves. So instead of feeding into their negative behavior, love on them a little harder. Even go out of your way to show love, even if you know it won’t be reciprocated.

One thing that has truly helped me on this journey is my faith. As a Christian it is important to me to no longer let trivial things take precedence in my life. One scripture that has helped me during this process is Matthew 5:44 which reads:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” 

Okay, if that doesn’t make it plain and clear and simple then I don’t know what else  to say. Yes I know, this is easier said than done. However, here is one motto I reflect on when I’m struggling to do this; it simply says “Let Go and Let God” .

What does it mean to ” Let Go and Let God?” Well let’s break it down into two parts:

  1. To “Let Go” means simply to let go or get rid of anything that is physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually dragging you down or hindering your stability( people,living situations,work ,conflict, family struggles etc..)That means earnestly seeking God to help you do so. If you just go through the motions of “letting go” and never actually “let go” you’re wasting your time because your struggle will always win. Letting go means allowing yourself to heal from being hurt( this also goes hand in hand with “Let God”) There’s a quote that says, “Hurt people, hurt people..” ( meaning if you are hurting, ultimately you will hurt others.If you don’t take care of your hurting self, you will be of no use to yourself or anyone.
  2. To “Let God” means to let God take control of the situation. Really taking the self out of it and understanding that there is someone greater than you that can turn any situation around for your good. In plain and simple terms, stop meddling in God’s process. Just do your part by being obedient. We may not always understand the process or see what the outcome may be, but it’s our job to utilize our “mustard seed” faith and let the master do His work!

    Psalm 55:22 New Living Translation (NLT) Give your burdens to the Lord and he will take care of you.He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Letting go of fear, anger and resentment, is probably the hardest thing you will ever have to do , but for the weight that will be lifted off your shoulders, it is certainly worth a shot! I mean what do you have to lose ( other than your sanity, health and peace of mind LOL) Let it Go and “JUST LOVE THEM ANYWAY!!! 😉

I couldn’t seem to fall asleep
there was so much on my mind
searching for that peace
for the peace i could not find
so then i kneel down to pray
praying help me please
then he said you don’t have to cry
cause i’ll supply your needs

chorus:
as soon as I stopped worrying, worrying how the story ends, i let go and let god, let god have his way
that’s when things start happen
i stopped looking at things back then, that when i let go and let god have his way…

verse:2
So much goin on, sometimes i cant find way and often times i struggle, struggle from day to day i had to realize it not my battle it’s not my battle to fight i had to know if i put it in your hands that everything will be alright

Let Go and Let God!

Xoxo

Que Sera Sera…

Que Sera Sera…

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother, what will I be
Will I be pretty, will I be rich
Here’s what she said to me.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be….

(My mother used to sing this song to me as a little girl)

Why don’t you….( fill in the blank) How come you don’t….(insert question here) When are you going to… ( insert yet another question)

Is it just me, or has anyone else experienced people wanting  to know ( and expect you to know) every single aspect of the direction of your life? I don’t know about anyone else,but some of the plans I had for my life have not yet come to fruition and I have no explanation why.

Someone wise once told me, If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans and that is certainly true! ( to me anyway 🙂 )

I used to get offended when people would compare my life to others. Mind you, I’m a College/University educated, strong black woman making my way in this Early Childhood Education community and I’m also thriving in ministry work. So It’s not like I’m over here struggling! But still as confident as I am in myself, it would still irritate me to no end when people would put their two cents in where it wasn’t requested or required!

Until I stopped and really thought to myself, “Why are you getting mad?” People ask questions for a number of reasons. A: They generally mean well, B: They are just nosy or C:They don’t really like you and want to know your business to be harmful. We all know groups of people know that fall into each one of these categories. Unfortunate, but true. I’ve learned to focus my energy on the people who fall in category A.  You may not necessarily want to hear what they have to say, but you can tell their intentions are not meant to be offensive or harmful, but as genuine concern and anticipation of your accomplishments. ( I have A LOT of these people around me 🙂 )

Over the years I’ve learned that I am not in control of my life. As a young Christian woman I’ve truly come to understand that God is the orchestrator of my life and no matter what anybody else thinks about my life, or the direction ( or pace) It’s progressing it, my life in the hands of the Master and whatever will be will be and I am confident that even more blessings are on the way!

So…… Live! Laugh! Love!….Enjoy because life is much too short not to!

keep-calm-and-que-sera-sera-7

xoxo

THE RACE IS NOT FOR THE SWIFT…

THE RACE IS NOT FOR THE SWIFT…

“Woosah Soph….Just Woosah….”

Does anybody ( and by anybody i mean my 80’s/early 90’s babies) Remember the episode of Family Matters ( aka “Steve Urkel as my Jamaican parents call it 🙂 ) where Carl is teaching Steve how to drive and Steve annihilates Carl’s garage door by forgetting to take the car out of reverse and driving right through it!! Keep in mind earlier in the episode, the doctor had warned Carl about his temper and subsequently his blood pressure. He encouraged Carl to repeat a calming mantra whenever he felt like he was losing it! The mantra went a little something like this:

 “3 2 1… 1 2 3  What the heck is bothering me?”

( see below for a clip of this scene) 

Well, I have been experiencing a situation at work that called for this mantra or the constant reminder to “woosah” ( woosah means to tell someone to calm down and relax… )http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Woosah=

As i may have previously mentioned, I work as an Registered Early Childhood Educator here in Ontario Canada and I work with children that have many differing abilities and cognitive understanding . It sometimes becomes difficult to stay calm when placed in a situation where you are being injured daily and feel that you are unable to help a child. Not because you don’t want to, but because you feel you  have exhausted all your options/knowledge to do so.

I have been in this situation many a time having worked in this field for just shy of 10 years ( lord I’m getting up there in age!! lol) Recently, I have felt this more often than not in one particular case. I will refrain from going to detail, sake of confidentiality  but I am feeling pretty worn down these days.

Now anyone who knows me, knows i wear my emotions all over my face and you can definitely see how I’m feeling through my body language,  My boss recently shared with me ( after I had been experiencing a particularly hard day and had gone to her to apologize for my stank attitude LOL) that she can tell when I’m having an off day and she knows to stay out of my way.

Upon hearing this, I had to stop and do some reflecting….

  1. Is the situation really that bad for me to be acting like this?
  2. What can i do to change my mindset?

The answer is no it’s not that bad! Frankly, It could be a lot worse.  I’m slowly learning to channel my anger/frustration in more positive ways.

I’m a natural hot head so my first instinct is to react. We all know with kids, when their behavior is less than desirable, more than likely they are looking for a reaction. I’ve learned to not react so much.

Take things in stride. Deep calming breaths ( I know I know super cliché) has worked for me. Stepping out of the classroom, putting my head outside for a breath of fresh air also works. Also I have never been a huge fan of classical music,  however it has a strangely calming effect on the children in my classroom, and if I find a playlist (shout out to the Songza app on Itunes!) with cellos, bases and clarinets, it calms me too! A nice cup of tea soothes the soul and every now and again a crisp glass of white wine helps too! A good facial mask to de-stress (I suggest a Oubel Ginger Mousse Mask or Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask) and a good nights sleep.

My faith definitely plays a major role in my changing mindset. Today I’m reflecting on a passage found in Romans Chapter 5 verse 3-4

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation (New Living Translation) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%205:3-5&version=NLT

So just hold on help is on the way! The race ( whether it be a spiritual race, physical race or a symbolic race) is not for the swift! Hang in there soldier and I’ll try to do the same! Be encouraged!!

It always seems each blog always seems to tie into a song. So today’s song is “Encourage Yourself” By Donald Lawrence and the Tri City singers. The lyrics read:

Sometimes you have to encourage yourself.
Sometimes you have to speak victory during the test.
And no matter how you feel,
speak the word and you will be healed;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.

Sometimes you have to speak the word over yourself,
the pressure is all around,
but God is present help.
The enemy created walls,
but remember giants, they do fall;
speak over yourself,
encourage yourself in the Lord.

Whatever your giant may be, its gonna come down!!

Be Blessed Xoxo

endurance 2

Winter Essentials/ #prayforBK

Winter Essentials/ #prayforBK

A lot of people like snow.I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water.

Carl Reiner

5:45 this morning. I eagerly jumped out of bed, grabbed my Ipad and logged on to the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board  website and got the sweetest news ever… All schools were closed! Being as I’m an early childhood educator working in a school , that equaled no work for me!! But the joy was short-lived as I then realized that i would have to dig my way out of my house ( literally) to put out garbage and dig out the cars in my driveway 😦  I went outside ,looking around for a shovel…. where was it? Buried under 15 centimeters of snow ( insert eye roll here) So guess who had to swim through the snow to put out  garbage-me! Only to later on in the day find out , that garbage pick up had been cancelled for today ( again insert eye roll) Ah well! What can you do?!

After warming up a little bit with a cup of lemon-ginger tea, I decided i was going to blog about a few products that have become part of my winter skincare routine. As many of us deal with in the winter, my skin changes drastically during this season. It becomes extremely dry and prone to break outs. Here are some products that have really helped me this year( as well as two of my favorite winter items

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  • Proactiv facial cleansing brush ( really helps get rid of dry, dead skin)
  • Cantu Shea Butter leave in conditioning repair cream ( great for my dry winter hair!)
  • Bath and Body works candle in the scent “Vanilla Snowflake ( I just love the smell 🙂 )
  • Organics Moisturizing Body Lotion in the Olive  Oil formula ( SERIOUSLY IF YOU HAVE DRY SKIN THIS IS THE SKIN LOTION FOR YOU!!)
  • Twinnings Lemon and Ginger Tea ( Just mmmm seriously)
  • 3 Neutrogena products: 2 from the Neutrogena Naturals line: purifying pore scrub and fresh cleansing and make up remover face wash. Alongside those i also use an Oil- free Acne Wash pink grapefruit foaming scrub ( great exfoliate)

But the two products that have really saved my skin over the last year are two locally made products made and distributed by my dear friend Vanessa Williams ( no not that Vanessa Williams, but she is beautiful and can sing too lol :)) She created a line called “Oubel” ( french for “You’re Beautiful”) which offers  vegan, all natural products that restore and revitalize your skin. One of the products that i have really gravitated towards is  the Lemongrass Butter. It makes your skin smooth as a baby’s bottom and trust me a little goes a long way! Next ( this product is probably my favorite product ever) is the Ginger Mousse mask. This is a face mask that when applied to your skin and left on for approxiamately 15 minutes, will leave your skin glowing and feeling like brand new skin. Check her out on facebook :

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oubel-Body-Butters/747399182004872

or instagram oubelbodybutters and support support support!!

So that’s it for my winter essentials! Hope a few them work for you!

Before i leave, i just wanted to bring light to the situation concerning Bobbi Kristina Brown ( Whitney Houston and Bobby Browns daughter) You never really know what a person is struggling with unless you are in their shoes. Grief is a serious condition. Everyone grieves differently. Not everyone is blessed to come from a stable home or have a stable foundation surrounding them. I hope whatever troubles this young lady is dealing with , she can find the strength to pull through and carry on. I pray that not too much damage has been done and she has a chance at really living life…. Thoughts go out to you Bobbi Kristina and the whole Houston/Brown family. We’re praying for a miracle!

God be your strength
God be your strength

XOXO