life curation · Uncategorized

Welcome July!

Can you all believe that we’re halfway through the year? This was the LONGEST six months ever! How are you all holding up?

It’s been a difficult year for most of us so far. We’ve been challenged with natural distasters, health pandemics, and political upheaval. Yet, we’re still here. We are survivors, and that is reason enough to celebrate.

In spite of the year we’ve experienced up to this point, there is no reason to have a negative perspective for the months to come. We can still plan to have a beautiful summer, a gorgeous fall, and a spectacular winter. There is so much to look forward to: let’s embrace it!

As for me, I’m rewriting some of my 2020 plans, as I have gotten some additional clarity on some of my goals. I’m excited to incorporate more beauty, relaxation, and quality experiences in my life during the upcoming months. The first order of business is enjoying a luxurious picnic as soon as the weather is a little more favorable (it’s far too hot to enjoy outdoor dining at this time).

Do you all have any plans for how you’ll make the most of the remainder of this year? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

reading list

Book Review: Get It Done by Michael Mackintosh

Happy Friday, friends! Here’s the review I’ve been promising: it’s a good one, and I wanted to make sure that I did it justice.

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It’s been a while since I posted a book review, but trust me: I’ve been reading

I received a copy of Get It Done: The 21-Day Mind Hack System to Double Your Productivity and Finish What You Start by Michael Mackintosh from TCK Publishing a couple of months ago. One of the publisher’s author support specialists, Maria, was kind enough to provide me a copy after seeing my review of The War of Art. Maria’s assessment of my book preferences was spot on: Get It Done is the exactly the kind of book I enjoy reading. Thanks again, Maria and TCK Publishing!

Get It Done takes readers from being stuck, sluggish and uninspired to motivated, focused and unstoppable. If you’re suffering from any sort of delay in creating the life that you want, this book will help you knock through those challenges and achieve what you desire. It really is the “missing piece” of the puzzle for creatives.

The book is broken into three parts: Part 1 addresses the mental hacks that are needed before embarking on your creative venture; Part 2 explains the process of achieving your goal in 21 days; and Part 3 offers templates and support tools for accomplishing your goals. These three sections work harmoniously to support readers through their creative journey.

My favorite chapter was Chapter 10: Do It Now. This chapter really emphasized the urgency of doing our work right now, instead of waiting for tomorrow. Truly, tomorrow isn’t promised to us: the longer we wait, the more we risk never seeing our dreams materialized.

In Chapter 10, Mackintosh wrote, “In short, sooner or later, you’ll lose your chance to get your message out and share your gifts.” Ouch. I don’t want a life where I didn’t share my gifts or where I regret never connecting with the people that I was meant to help. The fact that I have been procrastinating is a hard pill to swallow but it’s what I needed to hear to give me the sense of urgency I need to get started on my projects now.

Mackintosh’s program outlined in Part 2 leaves no stone unturned: it gives clear guidance on how to set up a 21-day goal challenge that is guaranteed to succeed. I was really impressed with the strategies provided in this section. I’ve read a lot of great self-help, motivation, and goal-setting books, and I can honestly say that I learned some brand new ways to create accountability structures that work. I’m excited to start a 21 day challenge in January (yes, I’ll be writing about it on this blog!)

My overall review is that this is an excellent read that does a great job of addressing the reasons why we delay in accomplishing our goals, helps us to break through those barriers, and provides an effective structure for accomplishing goals in record time. I can’t recommend it enough! Make sure you get your copy of Get It Done, and watch your dreams start coming true! If you’d like more information about TCK Publishing, please click here. If you have problems with clicking the link, then type the following into your browser: https://www.tckpublishing.com/.

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Alice Walker

Happy Monday, my friends! What better way to start off a week than some words of wisdom?

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(from Thought Catalog)

Alice Walker is a writer extraordinaire, penning poetry, short stories and novels.  She is also an activist: she coined the term “womanism”, which is feminism that centers on Black women’s experiences. Her poetry and stories have garnered her a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and many loyal fans.

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(from Relatably)

Walker’s “The Color Purple” is a riveting tale of a poor Black woman’s journey to overcome abuse and oppression. She was a survivor and thriver in a time where women – especially women of color – found it especially difficult to get ahead in life. Her main character, Celie, learns to love and succeed in a world where the odds seem overwhelmingly against her.

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(from AgingAbundantly)

I’ve read “The Color Purple” as an adult, and I also watched the movie several times growing up. I didn’t appreciate the story until I read it. I was transfixed by Walker’s writing style: conversational and reflective. It was hard to put the book down: the story unfolds beautifully and at a great pace. Walker’s own journey to self-actualization has been inspirational to learn about over the past few years. I’m glad that I took the time to learn more about this remarkable woman.

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(from Pinterest)

Walker’s art inspires me. I hope she continues to create: our world continues to need voices like hers.

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(from Pinterest)

May Alice Walker’s words encourage you today. I’ll talk to you all soon!

life curation

Remembering Who You Are

I’m resting up after having several busy weeks. So this post is going to be a simple one.

I came across this Audre Lorde quote last year, and I often think about it when I am feeling a bit “ungrounded”. By the way, if you haven’t checked out some of the other Audre Lorde quotes I’ve shared, check them out here.

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(image courtesy of Quotefancy)

Remember who you are: even in moments of confusion and frustration, don’t forget the essence of YOU. Everything – even the unpleasantries – are part of the tapestry of your life. You’re never really lost or insignificant: YOU are everything you need to make it in this life, and YOU have all the tools you need to adapt, grow and enjoy the process.

Much love to you all, and chat with you all tomorrow.

words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom from Michelle L.

I think it’s time for a word of wisdom. This time, however, I’m not sharing a celebrity or historical figure.

This time, the words of wisdom comes from my dear sisterfriend, Michelle. She mentioned this poem during a particularly painful time in my life, and I found the words encouraging. She told me that this poem was her favorite of all time. Once you read it, I’m sure you’ll understand why.

According to Patrick Wanis, the title of the poem is “Comes the Dawn”, and it was discovered in a craft store by advice columnist Ann Landers who went on to quote it. It has been credited to Veronica Shoftstall, but this is likely erroneous, as it was originally a part of a poem attributed by Jorge Luis Borges. But even that may be inaccurate: it has also been credited to Colombian poet Yamira Hernandez.

I loved the words and felt like sharing it with you all (many thanks to Nermeena for posting this lovely poem for all of us to enjoy).

Comes the Dawn by an Unknown Author

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow’s ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn…

 

Happy Friday, my friends. I’ll talk to you all soon.

culture · words of wisdom

Words of Wisdom: Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

I mentioned earlier this week that I’ve been experiencing some not-so-happy times. At this point, I’m thinking it’s just a little bluesy period that will pass, but even when I anticipate a short period of discomfort and sadness, I like to turn to role models who can encourage me. So this week, I want to shine the spotlight on Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis,, who experienced more heartbreak than I can fathom, but also curated a beautiful life and incredibly touching legacy.

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Who more perfectly embodies courage and composure than Mrs. Kennedy Onassis? Twice widowed, an unconventional beauty, and a brainy woman during a time where women were rewarded for merely being pretty arm candy, Jackie had her share of difficulty. However, throughout it all she remained elegant, cool and focused on creating JOY at every step of her journey.

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I find it inspirational that she never just “faded away”: from debutante to First Lady, to perfect business wife to editor extraordinaire, everything she did was done with excellence. I love that she found her strength through her pain and left her mark on history.

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Private, poignant, and focused, Jackie is the kind of woman that we can all aspire to be, during good times and bad. I love how she focused on what really mattered and let the rest fade into the background.

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She came, she saw, she WON.

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(Photos courtesy of Pinterest and Town and Country Magazine)