Archive Monthly Archives: March 2018

Are your friends really your friends?

I have had a question circulating in my mind very recently. Are my friends really my friends. You see I have had some really bad friendships in my life, of people who were never really true to me, so I’ve always kept people at a distance.
I’m the type of person that when I love, I love hard. And because of that I often got hurt. I let people in and let people get close to me who didn’t deserve to be there. I trusted people that didn’t deserve my trust. I realized that I was carrying around all this hurt and pain and keeping people at a distance. I didn’t like that I was doing this, because this wasn’t who I was. I wasn’t a person who operated from pain first, I was a woman who operated from love first before all else. But that love had caused me pain, so what was there to do.
When I saw that this was the case, that I was operating from pain first, keeping people at a distance – so they couldn’t hurt me, I knew this had to change. I wanted this to change. So I did. I started healing the hurt and pain that I had. I started to notice that not everyone wanted to hurt me. I started to realize that some people were genuine. As I began to heal and find evidence of people who were genuine and cared for one another, my circle began to shift. I found women that truly cared for other women. Women who weren’t threatened by women that were in the same, similar or completely different careers. Women who wanted the success of others as much as their own. This was all new to me. I thought I made it… finally!
Then a few weeks ago, it all came crashing down. The realization that even some of these women who claimed to be there, empower women and want to lift each other up was false.
And it broke me.
There was women who I received and saw the warning signs for but I ignored them. I turned a blind eye and acted like I didn’t see their behaviour, even making excuses for it. And when they were called out, I justified it – their brokenness speaking to me and not wanting to judge another person.
So there I was stuck and confused. I could either keep people at a distance never letting anyone truly close to me because no one could get through the way I had up or let them in potentially getting hurt again. Was there a happy medium? How could I honour the woman inside of me by not shutting myself down completely?
Here’s what I came up with.
Just because someone comes into your life doesn’t mean that you have to let them in fully but it also doesn’t mean that you have to shut them out either. This was what I had to and still have to practice fully. You can let people in, without fully letting them in until they have proven themselves worthy of being there. Get to know them; openly, honestly and genuinely. Look at their actions and how they treat others. You will learn a lot about people in the ways that they treat others. Because they may be nice to you just for the sake of being nice to you. They may be nice to you because they see something they can get out of a relationship with you. They may be nice to you because you’re the new shiny object, until you’re not. Have a list of criteria that people need to meet before they enter your fold and no matter how long it takes to discover, keep them at a distance.
Always examine your current and new relationships. Are there things that are taking place in the relationship that you tolerating or settling for? Often we don’t realize and aren’t aware that we are settling, so when something bothers you examine it. It may be uncomfortable because you may realize that the friends you thought were yours aren’t actually. So get uncomfortable and look at them, openly and honestly. Then call it out. Speak out on it. It’s not your responsibility to coddle your relationships. If there’s something taking place that you don’t like or makes you even a little bit uncomfortable, it’s unacceptable.
This doesn’t mean that you have to be a hard ass, but this does mean that you do need to have boundaries. And having boundaries is OK
. These aren’t the type of boundaries I had and explained above, that are concrete barricades not letting people in.These are the boundaries that while still letting people in keep us and our hearts protected.
Our circle of friends is sacred and we need to be careful about who we allow into them. As a last tip I leave you with this. Ask yourself honestly if this person/people are honouring you and your growth? If the answer is no, then you need to respectfully move on.
I hope this has served you on your journey. As a recap:
Get to know people who you’d like to be friends with openly, honestly and genuinely.Have a list of criteria for your friendships that people need to meet.Examine your current and new friendships.Speak out on the things that either bother you or make you feel uncomfortable.Ask yourself if this person is honouring you and your growth.
Photo by Ryan Dam on Unsplash

A Call to Heal US – Women of Colour

A lot has transpired over the last few days. One thing is certain, is that when we make a decision to stand, take action and create change we get results. It may not be the result that we want. It may in fact be more bypassing, gas-lighting and centering but it’s still results.
So when the chips have fallen and the damage is done, what do we do?
We need to heal. But first I want to go over some facts. We can’t change them. We can’t change their thoughts, their feelings or their lack of understanding. This is not our job. Our job is not to support, coddle or help them understand. We can’t do that. All we can do is bring awareness and continue to highlight these issues. This job belongs to white people. Only they can dismantle and educate their fellow white people on these issues.
It is important that we know when it’s time to take a step back. These situations can not only be exhausting they can also be very triggering and when it becomes this way, we need to walk away. There is no shame in walking away and we aren’t doing a disservice by it, because it’s not our job to educate anyone but ourselves. This is not a space for us to help anyone unpack their privilege, tendencies and mindset on our stances and experience. At the same time we do not need to tolerate people centering themselves based on our experience. Our experience is our experience, it isn’t about anyone else and we don’t need to apologize for it.
Once we have taken a step back and removed ourselves from the situation, call in your support team. This team may be one comprised of your peers, teachers, leaders and even your Divine support. Call on them to help you. Your team is one that is meant to uplift you when you are down. They are also there to love and hold space for you through this time of healing of ourselves. Once you’ve connected with your team take care of you. You are the most important person in this scenario. You and you alone! Connect with and listen to your body and what it needs. It could be anything from a moment to breathe, reflect, write, take a bath, drink a tea, going for a massage, taking a nap or all the above. Don’t discriminate your self-care practice. There is nothing wrong with the practice you choose, as long as it fills you up and restores your energy level. Do what you need to do to ensure your self-care is the number one priority. If you need help with kids, housework, cooking or whatever endless lists of tasks we have each day, once again reach out to your support team.
Then delete, delete, delete! And when I say delete, I don’t mean delete your comments, posts or any other way you chose to speak your truth. I am referring to releasing the energy that is wrapped up in the situation. Release any attachment you are holding towards an outcome or resolution. The energy tied to these conversations isn’t serving you and it can suck you in and leave you in that space for days, even weeks. Do what you can to release the energy magnified in you and keep moving forward.
I hope this has served you and your healing. As a recap please see below points:
Know that our job is only bring awareness to and highlight issues. We can not educate.Know when to step back and remove yourself from the situation. Call in your support team.Practice self-care and if needed call in your support team again.Delete, delete, delete!
Photo by Doug Swinson on Unsplash

Six R’s to Self-Love

While going through my memories on Facebook earlier this morning, I saw a post I created a year ago today that inspired this blog post.
I woke up one year ago today and heard reduce, reuse, recycle. And it made me think of our self-love practice. When it comes to self-love it’s a lot of uncovering. We are constantly peeling back our layers and as we evolve, we learn to accept, understand and embrace ourselves.
It takes time to peel back these layers and begin to uncover all that is you. And it’s a process that takes compassion towards ourselves. But in order to peel back those layers we need to reflect on our life, who we are and stock of our pain.This is where it can get really uncomfortable but we need to be aware of what’s going on internally. We can’t grow if we aren’t aware of the areas that are inhibiting our growth. Through this process of reflection, identify what’s no longer serving you and holding you back from living the life you desire that’s full of joy and happiness.
Once we’ve become aware through the reflection process of what’s holding us back and the pain that we are holding on to, we need to let it go. We need to reduce the amount of pain that has become our baggage. “P.A.I.N. Pay Attention Inward Now! – Iyanla Vanzant” Our pain is our comfort blanket and we use it to keep people away or at a safe distance and build protective walls over our hearts. When we feel like our defenses are being penetrated we go into fight or flight mode. You may have discovered in the reflection process that you have more pain than you’ve realized and some of that pain you may not be fully ready to let go of. And that’s okay. The key here is not dropping all the baggage at one time if you aren’t comfortable it’s about reducing it in steps that you are comfortable with. In reducing the amount of baggage that we are carrying we are taking back our power – taking back our control. Give yourself a break and let go of what you feel comfortable letting go of today and what you aren’t yet ready to release leave it for another day.
As you may have realized during the reflection step that not everything in your life has been painful. While our pain is holding us back not everything in our life has been all bad. There are memories, events and experiences that we’ve had that have brought us joy and love and made us happy. It’s these memories that we need to hold onto and reuse as often as possible. The journey of self-love can be hard on us emotionally; we may have avoided it for so long that once we starting digging, we’d rather avoid it all together. But running away isn’t doing us any good and quite honestly running away from it is what got us to this point. During this process you may need reminders of who you are deep down- the kind, loving, caring, friendly person you are. Gather up all the evidence of what makes you who you are and reuse it on a daily basis. I have even taken this a step further and created a self-love box. Every nice thing that is ever said about me goes in there, whether it’s a compliment, appreciation or comment on my character. I take it and tuck it away in my self-love box, so on the days that I don’t feel so great, I can open that box and read about how awesome I am. When we are hurt and damaged we can become a product of that pain, but we must realize, that’s not all we are. We are happiness, we are joy, we are fulfilled. Find all the memories that accentuate happiness and reuse them as often as you can to remind yourself who you really are.
Once you have reflected, reduced and reused now is the time to recycle. It’s the time to recycle all you are ready to let go of by releasing it to the Divine. Now some people may use the word Divine, Spirit, God, Creator, Universe. When I use Divine I mean all the above, swap out the word Divine for the word you are most comfortable using. By releasing it we are giving up control, putting our trust in the and allowing the Divine to do what it will. The Divine wants to help us but will only do so once we ask. Allow the Divine to help and support you in recycling what no longer serves you,taking it back to the earth to be renewed and made into positive energy. As you release the pain and emotional baggage that’s held you back from living, be grateful. Express gratitude for all that you have uncovered and released. The work that you’ve done should be celebrated.
Rinse and Repeat.
I hope that this has served you well. As a recap here’s what we discussed.
Reflect on your life, who you are and take stock of your painReduce the emotional baggage you are holding toReuse the good memories and experiences you’ve had in your life to bring you joyRecycle and give it to the Divine for it to be transmutedCelebrate yourself for all the work you’ve done
Photo by Dev Benjamin on Unsplash