writing

Writers Wednesdays – How It’s Going . . .

Y’know, I absolutely love doing Writers Wednesdays posts. I often struggle to come up with content for these posts (especially if I’m doing a writing break) but I love that the commitment to only talk about writing – either the art or the business side of it – on Wednesdays keeps me accountable, even on a little level.

So today, I’ll continue in the spirit of accountability and tell you all what I’m currently working on, and how its going. As you recall from the last Writers Wednesday post, I have a writing plan that covers completing one work, editing a different work, and publishing yet another work. I, like many people, find it easy to get distracted, and when that happens, my writing progress slows down to a crawl. The objective of the writing plan is to infuse some major forward-moving energy into my writing practice.

The status of the writing plan is this: so far, so good. I started off with the editing project, because that’s my least favorite part of writing. I reread one of my completed books that I had shelved a while ago (the idea was that I would eventually come back and edit with “fresh eyes”) and realized I had even less love for editing than I recall. I seriously considered picking up a different book and editing that one instead. However, I’ll stick with the book I initially selected. It’s the first novel I ever wrote, and I would love to make some editing strides with it, so I can (hopefully) publishing That’s why I’m saying “so far, so good”: by pushing through (what I feel is) the most unpleasant part of writing, I know that the rest will be a breeze.

More about the So Cozy: Hygge Journal in a moment . . .

I’ll be finishing the first round of edits this week, then I’m leaping right into finishing a book I’ve been working on for almost two years now. I only have about 2-3 chapters left; fortunately for me, once I start writing, the process goes quickly. The trick is getting into the flow: it’s hard to hit my stride when I’m thinking about the other 4,739 things I have to do. On the bright side of things, the editing process has forced me to be ruthless with my schedule, so I don’t have to hunt down my free time in order to complete the chapters that still need to be written.

The last phase of the writing plan is to publish a book. I have a great book that I have already edited extensive over the past few years, that just needs some minor tweaks, illustrations, and a great cover. Once all of that is done, it should be ready for publishing. Knowing me, I’ll probably add quite a bit of additional text to it (just so I can hit a page count that seems appropriate for the subject matter) but I find a lot of consolation in just knowing that the books is more than 80% ready to be released into the world.

If, for some reason, that book isn’t able to be published, then I’ll make it my goal to publish two more children’s books before the end of the month. Those books are simply enough to be written without a need for extensive editing, and I love that I can get that sense of accomplishment without having to make a major time investment in the creation process. I already have two children’s books in progress, so finishing and publishing them would be a breeze.

That’s my not-so-brief explanation of how things are going. Things are moving along, and I’m pleased. Oh yeah, that reminds me: I’m trying to promote my books more (I think it’s about time that I started acting like a real author and publisher LOL!) So, for each Writer’s Wednesday, I’ll highlight a book that I have created, that I think would be of interest to some of you. The book for this week is the So Cozy: Hygge Journal. It’s the perfect little journal for capturing all of your autumn musings. The journal is super-cute and a really nice size (6 in x 9 in). Also, it’s only $5.99USD! If the cover isn’t a design that you love, never fear: I have multiple cover options. I’ll feature some more of them in the weeks to come.

That’s it for today. I hope you all are having a great Wednesday, and I’ll tlak to you all soon. Take care!

***This post contains affiliate links.

life curation · reading list

Books Read in September 2021

Happy Monday, everyone! I’m so happy to finally update this post, which went out prematurely a week or so ago. I’m sure you all are used to that by now: I often schedule posts that end up published before I can finish them. I’m working on improving that: it’s a struggle LOL!

In September, I read fewer books than normal. However, I actually read one book that was in digital format (as opposed to relying solely on audiobooks). I’ll be posting a review on that digital book tomorrow, as it left quite an impression on me. The books that I read in September are as follows:

Joseph Benner, The Teacher

Joseph Benner, Wealth

Dr. Wayne Dyer, Your Life Begins Now

Emmet Fox, The Hidden Power and Other Lessons

Emmet Fox, The Mental Equivalent

Neville Goddard, Awakened Imagination

Dr. Tumi Johnson, Delicious Healing

I’m looking forward to exceeding my monthly reading goals for October and November. I’m more than halfway to hitting my annual reading goal of 100 books, so I’m not going to let up now.

I am transitioning away from reading so many mindset books and going into the realm of mysteries (my favorite genre) and other topics of interest, like finance, strategy and herbal instruction. This is shaping up to be a fun shift into some other topics that I’d been neglecting in favor of my mindset audiobooks.

Have you read anything interesting lately? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

  • This post contains affiliate links.
goals · health

Fibro Friday – The Wylde Protocol

Happy Fibro Friday! I’ve been working on a few things behind the scenes, but I couldn’t end this week without sharing another protocol that I saw recently on YouTube.

I know that you all may be a bit weary of Fibro Friday protocols by now (I’ve reviewed 6 so far), but I have a few more to share, then I’ll be doing this far less frequently. I’m really focused on providing as much information as possible, so that there is a consolidated list of ideas for effectively treating fibromyalgia.

Also, as you all know, curing my fibromyalgia is one of my goals for the year. I want to get as much information as possible so that I can create a plan that eliminates my symptoms and helps me return to good health. So I’m doing my research so that I can craft a plan that really helps me to feel my best and finally get my symptoms under control.

Today’s protocol is the Wylde Protocol, as promoted by Dr. Bryce Wylde. Dr. Wylde is a Canadian alternative medicine expert who take a functional medicine approach to treating fibromyalgia. While Dr. Wylde has spoken extensively on a range of health conditions, I could only find one video where he specifically addresses fibromyalgia. I’m linking the video below.

Some of Dr. Wylde’s recommendations are:

  • Avoid sugar, gluten, nitrates, nitrites, aspartame, and nightshades (such as tomatoes and potatoes)
  • Try elimination then reintroduction to determine if there is a food allergy or inflammation at the root of the pain
  • Supplement with d-ribose, chlorella, fatty acids, and magnesium
  • Seek out functional medical practitioners to determine the root of the fibromyalgia

I find that Dr. Wylde’s recommendations are in line with some of the other protocols that I’ve reviewed (particularly, the PainFreeKitchen Protocol and the Mandell Protocol). Elimination diets are always a good idea, especially since these offer a way of determining whether there are food sensitivities that may aggravate fibromyalgia symptoms. Also, supplements are really good for ensuring that the body is getting the raw materials it needs to function better on the cellular level.

That’s it for today. I hope you all are having a great, pain-free day, and I wish you a fantastic weekend. Take care, and I’ll talk to you all soon!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – Success!

Happy Writers Wednesdays! This week will be another short post (similar to last week’s). Likewise, this post is a follow-up to last week’s.

I mentioned last week that I would be working on a booklet to offer for free over on my business website, Bronze Butterfly Books. And I’m happy to announce that I have the content for my booklet all written out: all I have to do now is format it and turn it into a PDF. I anticipate that I’ll be able to publish the booklet sometime next week.

I actually fell short on my goal of having the finished product ready by today. But I have the content, which is more than I had last week. I’m learning to be gentler with myself, and avoid criticizing myself when I don’t quite hit the mark. Progress, not perfection.

For those that are curious, the booklet will help aspiring writers tap into their unique skill sets and customize a practice that inspires them to write their best works. I’m proud of what I’ve created, and I’m excited to share it with you all soon.

That’s it for this edition of Writers Wednesdays! Are you currently working on a writing project? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

goals · health

Fibro Friday – The PainFreeKitchen Protocol

Hey friends! My apologies for the premature posting of this blog post: last week was far busier than I anticipated. However, this topic was far too important to skip, so here it is, a week later!

As part of my review of different fibromyalgia treatment approaches, I want to make sure that I am exposed to a variety of perspectives. I want to ensure that I go beyond the points of view of medical doctors and naturopaths, and also put a spotlight on the regimens that are promoted by laypeople that actually have fibromyalgia. Besides Dr. Liptan (whose protocol was among one of the first that I reviewed), all of the other doctors and health professionals that I’ve reviewed have not been diagnosed with fibro. I value their opinions and research, but I find myself more motivated to try a recommendation from someone that has experimented on themselves to find a solution, as opposed to someone whose work is limited to theory or results as reported by their clients.

That being said, today’s protocol is not from a medical doctor or naturopath. Rachel of PainFreeKitchen successfully minimized her fibromyalgia symptoms to the point of complete elimination. In fact, her doctor confirmed to her that she was in “remission”, since she no longer showed any of the symptoms of fibro.

So, what is Rachel’s secret? Here’s a video, describing exactly how Rachel cured her fibromyalgia.

I highly recommend that you watch the video in full, especially since Rachel is very direct with her answer, and the video is less than 10 minutes long. But, for your convenience, here is a summary of the PainFreeKitchen Protocol:

  • Try a gluten-free and dairy-free diet (Rachel recommends The Whole 30 diet)
  • Prioritize rest (she offers a few recommendations for improving rest, like purchasing blackout curtains or taking sedatives to assist with obtaining deep sleep)
  • Reduce stress levels dramatically
  • Begin a yoga routine and weightlifting (or, for that matter, any other exercise that feels manageable)

The PainFreeKitchen Protocol does have points that are seen in some of the other protocols. However, she is the only person that I’ve reviewed so far that specifically recommended The Whole 30 diet and weightlifting.I think that her recommendations are reasonable and certainly worth a try. Prior to my diagnosis, I loved doing fitness classes, especially ones that involved the use of kettlebells. Now, I find myself really “pushed” by even gentle yoga routines. It would be nice to eventually return to working out with weights, but I will be patient and gradually strengthen myself until I’m back to full health.

As far as my personal opinion goes, I think that the PainFreeKitchen Protocol could be an excellent starting point for wellness, especially in the cases of people that are newly diagnosed and unsure about where to start with rebuilding the body. However, I can also see where this would be great advice for someone that has been treating fibromyalgia for many years or decades.

That’s all for today! I hope you all have a great and safe weekend, and I’ll talk to you all soon. Take care!

goals · life curation · Uncategorized

August Goal Updates

It’s almost the end of the month, so it’s time to do a quick recap of how my annual goals are progressing. There is at least one goal that I’ve reached, a couple that I’ve revised, and others that are still in progress. As a quick reminder, here are my 2021 goals:

  • Publish 5 books
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses
  • Read 100+ books
  • Luxury purchases – Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Sophia Webster, Ralph & Russo
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

And, here is an overview of the changes I’ve made to my goal list:

  • Publish 5 books – DONE!
  • Lose 15 lbs
  • Manifest 3 international trips – Manifest 3 incredible trips before the end of the year
  • Earn 6 figures in my businesses – Earn 5+ figures in my business
  • Read 100 books
  • Luxury purchases – patronizing at least 3 Black-owned luxury brands
  • Cure my fibromyalgia

As you all can see, there are some changes to my list worth noting, as I discussed in my July Goal Update and my book publishing posts. Other than the completed items, everyhting else is progressing as expected.

I’m planning major promotional activity for my businesses starting in mid-September. I ordered some samples so that I can determine which Black-owned luxury brands are ones that I want to invest in. I’m still working on my fibromyalgia cure, as well as my weight loss. My book goals are still coming along well, and I’m feeling confident that I’m closer to my goals than I could have ever dreamed.

That’s it for August! Sometimes, there aren’t major changes: there may only be incremental steps that will eventually come together to create enormous shifts. But those small steps are worth praising, thus this post. I hope you all are doing well and making progress toward your goals for the year!

writing

Writers Wednesdays – A New Booklet Coming . . .

I hope you all are having a really great week. This is going to be a short post, because I’m not working on any longer writing projects this month. I felt this was a good time to take a quick break, since I intend to doing some intense writing sessions starting in the fall.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

However, I did have a mini-project that I wanted to knock out this week. I had this genius “flash” of inspiration while driving a few days ago, and I felt very drawn to putting that idea into writing, then publishing it as a free booklet that I will offer here, as well as on my publishing website, Bronze Butterfly Books. I’ve been keen on creating more freebies for visitors because I know how much I’ve benefited from the materials that other content creators have generously offered on their platforms.

So today and tomorrow, I’ll be writing all of my thoughts that I want to put into the booklet, then I’ll spend some time editing and structuring the booklet over the weekend. The goal is to publish the booklet before the end of the month (just a few days). I’m eager to have it ready by September 1st, and the only way that will happen is if I work on it, starting today.

That said, that’s all for today’s post! Stay tuned to see what the booklet will be about, and I’ll talk to you all soon.

health

Fibro Friday – The Mandell Protocol

It’s another Fibro Friday! I’m feeling pretty good after having a much less intense week than normal. I rested more, I had fewer tutoring students, and I started my yoga routine again, so life has been great. I’m excited to be back to share another protocol with you all today!

Today’s post will be about Dr. Alan Mandell, a Floridian chiropractor that has a very popular YouTube channel. Dr. Mandell, similarly to fellow chiropractor, Dr. Eric Berg (who has a protocol that I reviewed last week), has offered the path of overall lifestyle improvement as a way to relieve the pain of fibromyalgia. Dr. Mandell, like Drs. Berg, Berry (reviewed here), and Liptan (reviewed here), agrees that it is possible to make lifestyle adjustments (as opposed to relying strictly on prescription medication) in order to minimize and possibly eliminate fibromyalgia symptoms.

I enjoyed Dr. Mandell’s video, because he clearly explains a point about fibromyalgia that some medical professionals may not emphasize, and I think it’s a critical part of understanding why diagnosis and treatment are so difficult to obtain. Fibromyalgia is a syndrome, not a disease, so it is a body of symptoms that cannot be attributed to other sources. It is a condition that is diagnosed after an extensive process of elimination has been undertaken by a medical professional. It is possible that a person that appears to have fibromyalgia may experience relief after being treated for common comorbidities, such as rheumatoid arthritis, various other autoimmune conditions (like lupus, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), celiac disease, or Sjogren’s syndrome), or depression. Because it is easy for these symptoms to exist throughout multiple conditions, it’s important to assess a patient thoroughly before assigned a fibromyalgia diagnosis. While this is a frustrating process for patients, it is the best practice for ensuring that an accurate diagnosis is reached.

Here is Dr. Mandell’s video on fibromyalgia:

Here are some key takeaways from the video:

  • Focus on decreasing inflammation in the body, as well as reducing stress
  • Seek alternative treatments, such as chiropractic care, massage (especially myofascial release), meditation, exercise and nutrition
  • Reduce omega-6s in the diet (commonly found in corn oil, sunflower oils, sugars found in desserts, whole grains, fast food, etc.,)
  • Increase omega-3 foods in the diet (flax seed, chia seed, fatty fish, or supplements like cod liver oil and krill oil)
  • Increase vitamin D3 and magnesium intake, as well all of the B vitamins
  • Explore herbal supplements, such as chamomile and valerian root
  • Be mindful of your physical posture and ergonomics

My overall impression of the Mandell Protocol is, it’s nothing “brand new” when compared to the other protocols. However, the recommendation of specific herbs as well as the encouragement to improve physical posture for pain relief were points that I hadn’t heard previously. As always, I believe that, even if the information isn’t “brand new”, sometimes it pays to hear the same information explained from someone different, in order to get additional clarity.

Are any of you familiar with Dr. Mandell? Have you tried any of his recommendations for fibro pain relief? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

goals · health

Fibro Friday – The Berg Protocol

Happy Fibro Friday! I always love sharing information and updates regarding the world of fibromyalgia, but I realized as I started typing this post that I haven’t provided an update on my personal health. I think I am overdue for a discussion about my fibro journey and experience. So I’ll give you a brief update on my health, then I’ll dive into the Berg ProtocoI haven’t been in much pain recently, and my energy levels, while lower than I’d like, are stable. I’m still using gabapentin and I haven’t felt a need to increase my dosage. I’m thankful that I am still in the low dosage range and haven’t needed to implement any additional pain relievers. Overall, so far, so good.

Now, back to today’s topic. Today we’re exploring the recommendations for treating fibromyalgia that are promoted by Dr. Eric Berg. Dr. Berg is a chiropractor that offer his health perspective and recommendations on YouTube. I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss the fact that Dr. Berg is at the center of a controversy involving his son, Ian. Ian revealed that Dr. Berg is a Scientologist and a narcissist that mistreats individuals that decide to leave the Church of Scientology. These facts have given me pause when it comes to purchasing Dr. Berg’s products, and even promoting his videos can be an indirect way of supporting him. Further, I don’t want to victimize Ian further by indirectly supporting his father.

That being said, I want to add that disclaimer so you can decide whether you want to continue reading this post or whether you want to skip this week’s Fibro Friday. I don’t want to skip over the statements against Dr. Berg just because he offers solutions that may work for one of us fibro warriors. Dr. Berg offers some treatment options for fibromyalgia that may be worth considering, especially for those of us who prefer natural and alternative treatments. While Dr. Berg doesn’t have a large collection of videos dedicated to fibromyalgia, he does have a few videos discussing conditions that may be misdiagnosed as fibro. Also, he provides tips on reducing chronic fatigue and pain that comes along with fibromyalgia. Here is one of Dr. Berg’s videos that you may find informative:

The Berg Protocol can be summarized as follows:

  • Consider whether your fibromyalgia may be related to a congested gallbladder; if so, start supporting healthy gallbladder function to get relief
  • Increase vitamin D3 intake in order to reduce or eliminate pain
  • Try acupressure for relief
  • Ketogenic dieting and intermittent fasting are recommended

I think that Dr. Berg’s recommendations are very similar to Dr. Berry’s statements (which I reviewed last week). However, Dr. Berg’s experience as a chiropractor means that his perspective originates from a different point that Dr. Berry (who is a MD). While I haven’t explored all of Dr. Berg’s recommendations, I have been increasing my vitamin D3 intake and it does seem to give me a bit of an energy boost (though my chronic fatigue is still in full effect).

That’s all for my brief overview of Dr. Berg’s protocol. If you’ve implemented any of his tips, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

Have a great weekend! I’ll talk to you all soon.

life curation · luxury · style

My Luxury Purchase Goals Are Changing …

This one published before I could finish writing it! Here’s the finished post.

As I mentioned in last week’s post about my 2021 goals, I reflected upon my luxury purchase goals and something about it just didn’t resonate anymore. Make no mistake: I still LOVE luxury and I enjoy spending a bit more in order to have something truly unique or expertly crafted. However, I noticed that nowhere on my list were any designers of color.

And that, dear friends, is unacceptable.

I realize that there is a need to shine a bigger spotlight on creatives – especially in the fashion world – that are also people of color (POC). As a Black American woman that enjoys supporting local Black-owned businesses and creatives, I am eager to extend that same energy into my bigger purchases. So I’m revising my luxury purchase goal list to reflect only Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) designers. My purchase priority is also in that same order: I’m prioritizing Black American – specifically, American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) – creatives, then Indigenous creatives (especially Native American and other people indigenous to the Americas), and then other POC.

I’ve decided to rank my purchase priority in this way (placing special emphasis on ADOS creatives) because oftentimes these designers end up reinvesting into other ADOS designers. I admire any group that prioritizes the fostering and development of talent of individuals that share their background and culture. As someone that admires this trait, I’m delighted that I as an ADOS, can participate in encouraging the development of ADOS talent by supporting ADOS designers.

While I’m excited to start actively supporting BIPOC designers, that takes me back to teh drawing board as regards my luxuruy list. I need to research new designers and figure out who excels in the kinds of designs that I favor. On the bright side, this exercise will force me to be more specific when it comes to filling gaps in my wardrobe. I’ll be more focused on getting items that truly “complete” my closet, instead of just buying things because I feel like spending some money.

In the weeks to come, I’ll share more details as I craft my new luxury purchase list, and I’ll let you all know what items I’ve purchased as I go through the remainder of the year.

That’s it for today! I’ll talk to you all tomorrow. Take care!