Living life committed

Over the course of the last few days I have been feeling the effects of overwhelming emotions and realizations. One of the many realizations that I have come to is that over the last few years of my life I have not been living committed.

But what does that mean?

In life we commit to people, places, things, choices, life paths (I think you get it at this point) and we move forward, ever persistent in obtaining those goals. Steadfast. Sometimes unnervingly dedicated to the end game in mind.

I remember that commitment. That drive pushed me through high school with honors. It helped me through many nights were I fell asleep on my textbooks, often times waking up with the pen still in my hand trying to write and a note card stuck to my face from the drool (I drool horribly when I’m exhausted).

That commitment pushed me through college when I had no help from family, emotional or financially, I was the sickest I had ever been and was working an obscene amount of jobs while having a full course load and a somewhat consistent social life. I was committed because I had a goal in mind. And even though I crossed that finished line broke, busted, disgusted, broken (I cried every day during the last 6 weeks or so of my final semester) and mentally fatigued I made it.

And then I was lost

I had accomplished it. The goal. Graduating. I was done. I followed the road map. The road map got me nowhere. The road map failed me in fact. I had no job prospects. I never had the opportunity to attend internships because I had to actually make money. I had no real connections. There were no jobs (and when I say no jobs I mean the ones worth taking because I now have 80K plus in freaking student loans) my brain and will power were depleted; I really had nothing left. So I started existing.

Drifting almost. I needed direction and the point that everyone was driving home was that I needed to make money. I needed a job. It didn’t matter what job just a job. So I looked. I only had my college work history of working retail and hotel night audit jobs to go on and that’s exactly what I ended up doing. I took a job at Bed Bath & Beyond for $8.00 an hour even though less than a year before I graduated with two degrees from Baylor University.

The drive was money

I needed to work though. I had to get out on my own two feet. Being the oldest female child in a black family doesn’t allow for the liberty to stay at home while you figure it out and get it together. It just doesn’t work that way for us and we spend most of our time being hardened and taught the lesson that we had to get it for ourselves. I knew I had to leave. I knew for any peace to exist I had to be in my own space because the scrutiny would always be there if I was at home. I knew they wanted me out.

This honestly led to a string of jobs that I never actually wanted. I took a night audit job at a hotel and between there and Bed Bath & Beyond I worked about 80 hours a week. Sleeping on the train because I didn’t have enough time to go home and sleep. Changing in the bathrooms at each job to be in the appropriate uniforms. Not eating because it was more beneficial to sleep. Six years and three job changes later I’m sitting at a job I hate, literally wishing I could die because this is not the life I wanted and feeling so utterly and totally confused and unsatisfied. Annoyed that this toxic feeling is what is pushed as “the best to expected” in life.

I made the choices I made

I can’t be mad at anyone though. I made the choices I made. Never did I truly stop to check in with myself. I let the fear of  lack of money and survival push me in a direction that I knew, that I was fully aware that I did not want to go. I sat passively by while every dream I ever had was reduced and tossed into the land of improbability. I didn’t commit to me.

Now here I am, at a time in my life where I need to be fully committed to myself and I don’t know how. I was let go from my job at the end of last year and I know that one of the biggest lessons that I am supposed to be learning right now is how to be committed to myself, my dreams, my goals. Yet, if I am wholly honest, I’m at a loss. I wake up every morning and I struggle. I have no outline. I have no blueprint. Not short on supply of dreams, goals and aspirations though. Those are there everyday crushing me. Taunting me from a distance because I’m unsure of how to move. For myself. As I’ve spent most of my life moving for everyone else.

What stifles commitment is fear

The underlying reason for lack of commitment is fear. It doesn’t matter if its commitment to a relationship, a business, a weight loss goal the underlying problem stopping people from moving forward is fear. Fear of failure, and often times fear of success. My partner and I were talking about my fears and he told me that I “can’t let my fears stop me from greatness” and that’s what is happening.

I’m afraid and it has caused a state of paralysis. I’m standing in the middle of a room attempting the balancing act of life with multiple plates in the air, but they’re just there. They aren’t spinning, rotating or crashing. They’re suspended high above as I gaze up with anxious anticipation. Waiting for them to fall. Too afraid to intervene with the process. Even more afraid of being surrounded by the deafening clatter of the dishes crashing to the earth. At this point I’ve kind of sat down on the floor, legs crossed, elbows resting on the thighs, head resting on the hands waiting for the climatic conclusion of this life.

Every “tragic” story has a turnaround

I can’t live like that anymore though. Those plates are important. They represent my blog, my brand, my business, my mental health, my physical health, my finances, my spiritual health, my relationships. I have to stand up and pull each glistening plate out a stasis and toss them back into rotation. I have to find myself committed to life again. Just this time life on my terms.

So I’m off on the adventure. Tackling each layer of change as I go.

Until next time,

Dominique Nicole

Are you struggling with being committed to life?

7 Quick & Dirty Self-care Tips

The past few weeks have been pretty hectic. To be honest I have been high key stressed and, to be wholly transparent, low key depressed. There is so much to think about let alone do and overwhelmed doesn’t begin to describe my state of mind.  One of the main causes of this emotional cluster is my lack of a self-care routine, either because of strained finances or strained time.

If you’re like me you tend to over extend yourself to help out others. At first it doesn’t phase you to go without because you’re a go getter on the move. Then all of a sudden your tank is on empty and you’re ready to let any and everyone have a piece of your mind. Just recently slacking on my self-care has cost me time, patience, a few ups and downs with my partner and a gloriously shattered tooth.

What is self-care?

Self-care can be any act that you perform that promoted a feeling/state of well-being. Basically, it doesn’t have to look any particular way. Self-care can be as simple as drinking your favorite tea in the morning to a luxurious weekend getaway. It can be removing toxic people from your life or mending that broken relationship that means so much to you.

Self-care is all about you. So treat yourself well.

Sometimes time and/or energy doesn’t allow for intricate self-care practices. Admittedly, I’m extra and it bothers me not to have the time (or expenses) that I’m accustomed to when fulfilling my needs and so I often choose to go without. After the epic breakdown of 2018 (and its barely even Spring), it is time to legit get my life. In an effort to get back on track I am talking about 7 quick and dirty self-care tips.

20 minutes of intentional silence

Silence truly is golden. I in all honesty I could spend most of my day in silence. I truly hate the noise of life (particularly city life). However intentional silence is the quick kick of rejuvenation you didn’t know you needed. Lets face it, we surrounded by stimulates. Auditory overload is real. Phones, tablets, computers, radios, other people, construction, cars, pets – there is just so much noise around us that it is hard to relax. The increase in places that offer sensory deprivation experiences attest to the fact that we need a break from the stimulants. While floating in an black noiseless pod my not be the exact experience for you, taking time to set in a low lit or dark silent room for twenty minutes will quickly release the stress and tension from your body.

Yogic Breathing

Our next self-care tip is the practice of yogic breathing. Yogic breathing relaxes not only the body but also the mind. The point is to focus on your breath, your life force, and flow as it flows. To engage in the exercise start by going to a quiet place where you can be alone. Close your eyes and begin to focus on your breathing. To begin yogic breathing inhale through your nose, then open your mouth and exhale slowly making the “Ha” sound. Practice this a few times. Once you are comfortable with this close your mouth and begin exhaling through your noise keeping the same “Ha” position in your mouth. After 20 mins of this you will feel much lighter and brighter.

If you want to learn more about the practice of yoga and it’s benefits check out this article “Four reasons to let your booty do that yoga”.

Essential Oils

I am fairly new to essential oils specifically for stress relief. I’ve been using essential oils in my hair-care routine for years though. I just recently discovered how beneficial they are and the variety of ways that you can use them. You can find blended varietals that will help with stress relief, energy, sleep, mental clarity etc. You can also by individual oils and use them as is or create your own custom blend. As of right now I used a mental clarity blend in a humidifier to help me focus and plain peppermint oil on my skin to help with headaches. When using oils directly to the skin you need to make sure its safe for direct skin contact as is, if it needs to be diluted with a carrier oil or if you should straight up not use it because some oils will indeed burn your skin.

Plate your meals

So this is a random tip that I actually learned while I was attending Weight Watchers many moons ago. So many of us are on the go and eat frozen meals, pick up takeout (and for those of us being super healthy) busting out the meal prep tuber ware and we just gobble and go. This tends to make the food unappealing, not memorable, and any meal you eat should be an experience. You’re nourishing your body and it is an experience that you should be aware of. So in an effort to practice self-care, plate your meals. Grab a nice plate. Have real silverware. Drink your bottled water in a wine glass. Heck if you eat one or meals at work keep a place setting at work to use after you heat your meals up. Makes lunchtime a time of relaxation.

Meditate

Meditation is one of the most beneficial acts of self-care you can do. It reduces stress, clears the mind and energizes you. Seriously, going into a meditative state acts like sleep on the brain leaving you rested and more alert. Cutting down on the actual amount of time you need to sleep. It also helps with clarity of mind, focus and (if you’re lucky enough to be gifted) insights and messages about your life.  Bonus: you can begin to receive ALL of these benefits with just 10 minutes of mediation time a day.  One app that I love that has been beneficial to my process is Headspace. You can click here to give it a try.

Journal

I am an avid “journaler”. I started writing in one when I was younger and have kept one in some form as I’ve grown older. Personally, I feel that journaling is one of the best forms of self-care as it offers a source of reflection. You can always learn from what you write, assessing your happiness, anger or hurt to see what you should continue or stop in your life.

Tip: Everyday try to write at least three things that you are grateful for. It really helps keep life in perspective.

Treat yo self!

Some people say that buying things for yourself is not self-care and I say that’s bs. I mean truly. There is no wrong way to practice self-care. Do you! IF SPENDING MONEY IS YOUR JAM, GO FOR IT! If sitting in a cave and meditating is your jam, GO FOR IT. Do what works for you. At the end of the day self-care is way to get to a better version of you. One version of self-care I practice is having a quarterly subscription to Fabfitfun (you can read about my obsession here) and I love it. If I’m having a bad day and I have the money in my budget to get my nails done, guess where I’m going. Do you boo boo! Do you!

So there you have it.  Seven quick and dirty ways to practice self-care. What are your favorite self-care tips?

Until next time,

Dominique Nicole

Meghan Markel vs Kate Middleton

Why I’m tired of the royal comparisons

 

The Royal Wedding is a mere few weeks away. The invitations have been sent out, the cake flavor has been decided and we still don’t know whether the Trumps or Obamas are heading across the pond for the nuptials. What we do know is that there is a never-ending surplus of articles comparing Meghan Markle to Kate Middleton and its… well race baiting, anti-woman and jingoistic.

The Irony

Believe me, I understand the irony that I’m writing another article about Markle, Middleton and the royal wedding but I just have to say this: Meghan Markle is her own woman. Every article is scrutinizing her, picking at her relationship with the Queen, picking at her relationship to Kate, comparing her (looks, actions, wardrobes, body language, etc) to Kate, picking at her bucking tradition and its like…. Why?!

The tone of it all

Let’s be honest. Most of the scrutiny is because Meghan is an American, multi-racial, divorced actress that is soon to be a British princess. Minds blown. Feathers ruffled. Panties in a twist. When the announcement was made I sort of had a Princess Diaries, Mia Thermopolis vision of how this was going to go down. Articles talking about transatlantic, multi-racial, finding love in a hopeless place kind pieces that made one believe in love again. (Obviously from my writing I have all the feels about love, but you know, for those bitter folks out there). 

Instead we have click bait articles that in someone juxtapose all of Markel’s actions in a rather…commoner disrupting the royals and making trouble kind of way. Recent headlines have encompassed:

  • Whether or not the Queen likes Meghan
  • Will Meghan and Kate be BFFs
  • Is there tension between the royals?
  • The trick that Meghan used to the get Prince Phillip to like her
  • Looks like Meghan Markel is taking a page from Kate Middleton’s style book.
  • Meghan Markel reportedly not trying to upstage future Queen Kate Middleton’s iconic wedding gown

Now, before I get started from what I do know of Kate Middleton she is an amazing woman, but she is not the end all be all prototype on how to be a woman; and I reckon that she has no desire to be.

These articles are extremely problematic

However, these headlines are garbage. Flat out garbage. Why are these writers promoting unfounded competition between these two women? They are pitted against each other in almost every article. The comparisons are endless and its pointless because they are not the same. They experienced different lives, grew up in different parts of the world and made different choices in life. There is no competition because they are both strong willed women who will now be sisters and happen to be royal.

Meghan also does not need to be (and hopefully will not be) styled in Kate Middleton’s image. There is no reason for her to need to lose her individuality because she is becoming royal. Yes, there are royal protocols that she will need to adhere to but this is a grown woman, who I’m sure, they are not expecting to change everything about herself. As an aside, the headlines that she is trying to make sure that her dress doesn’t outside Kate Middleton’s… I really hope that is complete bollocks because Middleton already had her day. If she wanted a more elaborate dress she should have picked one. She knew she was marrying the future King of England when it happened. It would be a complete load of crap if they expected this woman to pick a dress with consideration to a wedding that happened almost 7 years ago.

Stop the madness

Hey media! You are relegating this woman this strong ass woman to the sidelines of her own life as a royal want to be when she just wants to marry the man she loves and have babies. Not to mention that y’all are pretty trash for engaging this family drama and allowing them to come and be correspondents for the wedding. Trash. 

I essence, please write better articles that focus on Meghan Markel, the excitement of her big day and the start of her new life. The crown has shown that they are indeed trying to become more progressive and I mean…Harry is not the cleanest and most proper fella around. I’m sure that they knew he was going to pick someone that danced to the beat of their own drum and they were ok with it. Stop promoting, what I am sure is, unfounded competition between these two women. They look perfectly comfortable with exactly who they are, and you should be too.

What do you think about all the comparisons between Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton?

Until next time,

Dominique Nicole

Teyana & Iman: Why I’m excited for the next iteration of black reality television

Teyana & Iman is premiering on television tonight and I am extremely excited. I don’t really watch realty, in my youth I was a huge fan of The Housewives of Atlanta, Braxton Family Values, Keeping up with the Kardashians and everything that spawned from Flavor of Love. Flavor of Love was EVERYTHING, but then reality tv took a hard nose dive for me.

Why?

Well reality television is over scripted and over dramatic. With stresses and drama of my own (school, work, love and family) I couldn’t be bothered with watching the tomfoolery of others on the screen. I could not handle the emotional stress.

However, when I saw the first preview for the Teyana & Iman show I was intrigued. Personally, ever since this couple popped on the scene I’ve been intrigued by them and their relationship.

What makes them intriguing?

  • They seem like a great combination of extra and low key. Teyana is so over the top and Iman seems chill but extra. I feel like they are the rich equivalent of my spouse and I. I love partnerships that exhibit balance.
  • They are both young, black and successful.
  • They are not all in the new like most other couples. What you hear, if you hear anything, is typically positive. You have to love positive couples.
  • They were/are comfortable doing their life, their way and on their timeline.

Also, baby Junie is one of the most adorable the babies out right now. I mean come on, check her out. She has more style than a little. 

They honestly seem to be a wonderful template and positive representation of young black love. And the world needs more of that. They aren’t perfect, they have their issues, but they bounce back stronger and that’s really what love is about.

Anyway, the Teyana & Iman show premiers tonight on VH1 at 9pm/8c. I’ll be tuning in to check out the love.

 

Will you be checking out the Teyana & Iman show tonight?

Until next time,

Dominique Nicole