Friday, August 18, 2017

As You Would a Friend (4 Ways to Really Practice Self-Love)

These past few weeks have been beautiful. You might not think working 15+ hour days is really beautiful (lol) but it was during these draining and extended work days/night that I really begun learning the value and meaning of self-love. I've learned that it's crucial for me to love and cherish myself the same way I would for close/favorite friend of mine.

Yesterday I decided to start loving myself. I had a reflective moment where I had to stop and ask myself how much I loved me. Like really and truly loved me. I proceeded with styling my hair  and dressing up for work me (honest hour: I don't usually wear my best outfits to work because I'm always in a hurry to get there). It occurred to me that I should treat myself as I would a friend who I absolutely adored (and I have a small handful of people like that in my life). If I love you, I'd give you the best of my best, I'd adorn you in fine clothes, I'd think the best of you and declare blessings over your life, and only prepare the very best for you. I have to admit that I've failed in this department lately. I've not been good at giving myself the very best.

Here are some ways I've begun to challenge myself to self-love:
  • Support myself: Like really be my own cheerleader and rejoice for every victory (especially on this journey of producing #BYBLondon) the same way I'd cheer for and support my close friends on their endeavors. I'm learning that you can't always wait for others to recognize your progress, or give you kudos, share your work on social media, or clap for you. Sometimes self-love is about giving yourself a standing ovation.
  • Speak life over myself: When I was passing through a season of self-doubt, my aunt sat me down and asked me what I'd tell a friend who was thinking and feeling as I did. The advice and words of encouragement I had for this friend were gold. So how much more myself? The words I think and say to myself should be just as pure and powerful, if not more.
  • Dress for myself: Loving yourself also entails being the best version of you and carrying yourself like the daughter of the Most High that you are. I've come to realize I feel my best, when I look my best. To this end, this week I've challenged myself to dress my very best wherever I go. (Honesty hour - I'm not always camera ready lol. Sometimes I have horrible outfit days (just because I didn't care enough to dress my best) and dread the thought of seeing someone I know in a grocery store..Is this true for anyone else? Lol).
  • Treat myself: How often do we buy small gifts of appreciation for people we love? I've learned it's just as important to gift myself with sweet things that bring me joy. I've been more intentional about buying myself flowers, cute bedroom decor (as of lately), eating right, treating myself to manis and pedis, and gifting myself with expensive (within reason) things every so often.
What are some ways you practice (real) self-love? Or how do you show your loved ones that you really and truly cherish them? If you can only answer the latter, maybe it's time you begin doing these things for you! xo

What I'm Wearing:

White Button Up Blouse - Zara

Cropped Denim - Topshop

Black Lace Up Oxfords - Nine West

Photography by: Sylvia Chuku


Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Don't Give Up! Staying Confident and Keeping Balance (as a Girl Boss)

Hi darlings!

Are we still spreading the "Happy New Month!" greeting? Well even if the new month hype has passed, Happy new month!  I've been just a bit MIA from blogging and social media as I tried to navigate through this busy and very unbalanced season of my life. I've realized I have a lot on my plate lately; working a full time job as a high school counselor and therapist from 9am to 7pm, leading youth Sunday School at church, building my career in marketing via my new company Branding by Beauty, and developing my creative brain child known as Beneath Your Beautiful. Oh, and might I add committing to intentionally having fun by way of actually stepping out of my comfort zone (and home) to meet up with friends? In the midst of this, I have to admit, that sometimes I get discouraged when I come home from work exhausted and mentally zapped of creative energy. On these days, I'm forced to take a nap (lol..but actually, I gotta rest!) then come back to the drawing board and take a good hard look at my "why" as a reminder of why God put these big dreams on my heart. Does this happen to any one else?

Yes, my plate has become full. The sad and honest truth hit me the other day...I can't do it all at once. I realize that yes, by all means, I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength, but I've also come to understand that Christ also gives me the wisdom to select which things are priorities and which of those things can wait.

In conversation with close friends of mine who are also in this boat of trying to find balance as a girl boss/creative entrepreneur, I've come up with 5 ways to get it together and maintain balance during those seasons we absolutely must hold it together (especially when it feels like things are on the cusp of falling into pieces).

  1. Go back to your why: As I mentioned above, sometimes you have to go straight back to the drawing board. Remembering why you started should give you that push to remain persistent and persevere during those especially frustrating moments. There have been several times where the only thing I wanted to do was throw in the towel and cancel an event, drop a client, or just call in sick from work. But my vision board flashing through my mind with an unrelenting force snapped me back into reality. Don't give up, dear boss girl! We must keep going.
  2. Get inspired: Being stuck in a rut is completely okay and normal. We've all been in situations where we are just not motivated or don't feel creative. During this time I've sat down to read interview on women and men who inspire me the most. I have a list of about 7 women on my white board who are go-getters and in my age bracket. In my head these are my besties (lol) who are cheering me on and who encourage me through their craft. Don't give up, dear boss girl! You are amazing at your craft!
  3. Be still and say no: I talked about this in my last blog post. Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to say no. It's not every invitation you accept, or every business/networking meeting you attend. Sometimes you might have to take a sick day because you really and truly can't do it all (at once) and have to prioritize your needs and the needs of your business. (Now I'm not encouraging you to take a sick day every time you want to relax...Really pick and choose your battles here). Don't give up, dear boss girl! Take a breather and go again.
  4. Ask for help: When I spoke to one of my best friends who is a full time (new) mom, an entrepreneur, and a part time graduate student, she mentioned this as the most important coping method for her. It's not every time you carry the burden, sometimes ask for help. I have to admit this is something that took me time to learn! After 3 years of starting by business, Beneath Your Beautiful, it's now that I have not only hired a team of fully capable staff, I've just begun to slowly take the reigns off and ask for help AND allow my girls to do their tasks. *Cowers away in shame* Don't give up, dear boss girl! We are equal to the task.
  5. Find balance: It's totally fine to take a day or two off from being a girl boss/creative entrepreneur. To be honest, you'd probably be more creative if you had a proper work/life balance. (Okay I'm totally not yet practicing what I preach...I work on Saturday's...*Cowers away again*). Well, I guess I can say I'm speaking from experience? Gather your group of friends and/or family and cherish moments of laughter. You'd be surprised by how they might even inspire you and how they will light your fuel of creativity and motivation! Don't give up, dear boss girl! All things are working together for your good.

What I'm Wearing:

Slip Dress: Topshop
Black Leather Jacket: H&M
Lace Up Heels: River Island
Floral Print Side Purse: River Island

Photography by: Kelechi Okpa

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