Gray Is A Place

So I have a confession, I love the color gray, or grey-depending on where you live. People say why gray, “it’s a boring color,” or its dull and blah blah blah. Those often are the very ones who believe, it is either black or white and no in between. Those people are often referred to as “absolutes.” Absolutes believe there is either and or. Well, my rebuttal to that is: there is this word I love-resilient. Resilience is the “overcoming of,” “pushing through,” “beating the odds,” and not giving up. Gray is a place to me, and should be to you, because it’s where you find your true colors, where your light begins to become more clear. Gray is a place where you regroup, re-strategize, and discover new meaning. Gray is a place of reflection, where you learn and grow from your mistakes, and/or failures, in or to redeem further success. If this world was absolute, then why mix the two colors together? Uncertainty is normal and healthy; you don’t have to pretend to have it together.

Life does not always go according to plan. We fail, life changes and so do our goals. Relationships that were supposed to last-didn’t, we lose our jobs- I can go on and on. Don’t feel bad about being uncertain; go to your gray place and rediscover your color. Gray is where the magic happens and your life begins to flourish.

Dating while Married

I know this title may have caught you off guard; maybe that was my intention. Let me ask you this, married people: when was the last time you dated your spouse? When was the last time you actually planned a date with your spouse? The great thing about a marital bond, is you know there is a great chance that your spouse will be (physically) there when you get home. What what about emotionally though? We get so settled, and caught up perfecting other areas in our lives, that we forget about the core. Healthy emotional attachment is of of the many keys to a successful relationship-and with that, is consistently dating. Below you will read a few important tips about dating:

-Keep it consistent. Plan for every third Saturday night, every two weeks, or what fits your schedule, as long as you stick to that date.

-Mix it up. By exploring different things , you may learn some things about your partner that you never knew. It doesn’t have to be a movie night all the time. Some other options could bowling, dancing lessons, or working out together.

-Have fun! Need I say more?

Consistent dating your spouse is not about spending money or simply getting dinner. It is about displaying your commitment to continuous relational growth. Also, it emphasizes that no matter how crazy life gets with work, school, and kids, we won’t forget to put as much love and effort into each other, as we do all other entities in our life.

The fate of a 50/50 relationship

Have you ever heard someone say that relationship ships are 50/50? Have you said it? If so, please stop. The notion that relationships like this equate success, is absurd-let me tell you why.

For starters, it is simple math, which unlocks the key to the rest of this post. 50 is half of 100…..ooohhh, did you catch that? Yes, folks, 50 is only half, so how is one giving half of their self and expecting a complete and fulfilled relationship? This is extremely impossible. What is possible, however, is a relationship that will end in failure. We put our ALL into our children, career, and even school, so why are our relationships different? You don’t divide duties in a relationship, no one says “Well, I’ll give you half of my loyalty, and you give half of yours.” That sounds ridiculous saying it, right? Matter of fact, how about this:

1. Get a piece of paper and pencil.

2. Draw a half circle, look at it for a moment.

That represents 50%, leaving the circle looking similar to the letter c. So your half circle, allows space for outside influences to come in and interfere (e.g., family, jealous friend, ex). Now add the other half of the circle, this is what completion looks like. When you give your whole self, 💯, outside influences are non existent!

Remember, relationships, especially marriages, aren’t 50-50. But you know what is- divorce. Divorce rates are every on of two. Control your narrative, give your all, not half, and watch the flower blossom.

Mental Health in the Black Community-Women

 

We are strong, we are the backbone, we are needed by everyone. These are great traits, but they are often overwhelming and impossible. As black women, we struggle to care for ourselves  because we but everyone else first. It is an innate; we are the oil that keeps the car running, and the energy that keeps the dimness away. Yet, we are dim inside. When our childrens’ fathers are imprisoned, dead, or just plain dead-beat, we strap on our boots, get it done-without much complaint. Until there is that time when you are running bathe water, and start crying. Or even when your kid asks you a simple question, and you snap. You don’t know what you don’t know. Anyone every asked you “what’s wrong” and you don’t know, or simply say “nothing,” but instantly fill our eyes with tears? We have everything scheduled for our kids- from sunrise to sunset. We even know the pattern of their heartbeats, but can’t recognize our own changes. It is hard to recognize or put a name to what you don’t know. Ever experienced the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Trouble getting out of bad, or the unwillingness to get out of bed.
  • Loss of joy, or feelings of worthlessness, hopeless, discouraged
  • Withdrawn, fatigue, weight loss/gain

If you have experienced these, there’s a pretty good chance that you have suffered from depression at one point, or currently. Depression is more prevalent in women than men. Depression affects over 15 million people per year, according to aada.org. I would challenge this number, because of those that aren’t documented-like the black community.

 In the black community, we like to use the term “crazy” to describe mental illness. Yet, we are losing people every day to suicide, which is often a result of depression. We have this stigma, and sense of pride, that therapy is for white people, or we can’t tell anyone our business. By not listening to our bodies and our spirit, we are increasing the number of unstable homes and negatively affecting our children, in addition to ourselves. Black women, we can’t do it all. Please don’t try to do it all; you are enough. Take care of yourself so you can be there for your children. Don’t suffer in silence; there are so many resources available. If you are not ready to try therapy, maybe try the following:

  1.  Talk to a friend or family member-you are not alone.
  2. Journaling: this is a great way to express yourself and better understand your moods.
  3. Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness is a great healing component that helps calm the body and soothing the mind.
  4. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- if you feel that you are at a place where you don’t know where to turn and/ or none of the above work, call 1-800-273-8255. This is free and confidential, and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Who are you?

Is that really important? Actually, it is. One must know thyself in order to know their path, their calling and heir passions. But that is not the only thing holding us back on pursuing dreams.


You often hear someone say “I wish I was that bold,” or “I’m too old to start over.” I can go on and on. We are our own worst enemy and often our own dream killers. Yes, you must know who you are to identify your calling, but you also have to stop negative self talk. Standing in the way of your success, whatever that may be, merely indicates that you don’t believe in YOU! So how do we do this? Read below for my starter kit on self confidence:

1. Dismiss negative self talk.

There is nothing worse that speaking of yourself negatively. Challenge that by doing # 2.

2. Words of affirmation. 

Be an encouragement to yourself. Get a journal, use your phone, or even do a 30 day challenge with your friend. Words of affirmation cancels negativity and positively pushes you to become more aware of your strengths. For example, I Am affirmations are a great start. A simple: I Am Powerful can change your whole mindset. Do these for 30 days and your mindset will shift!

3. Think of your past achievements.

One thing I like to do when I see clients who are depressed, is ask them to tell me about a time when they weren’t depressed. This shifts their mindset to focus on the positive. So think about your past achievements ( a promotion, passing a class, completing a 5k). When you look at your past achievements, you have proof of your awesomeness and how you’ve overcome obstacles.

4. Healthy habits.

What are you eating and drinking,  because believe it or not, unhealthy eating habits can make you feel depleted. Refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, etc have an affect on your seretonin levels. Certain foods actually block the production of serotonin.  Other healthy habits could be guided meditation or yoga. These will place you in a positive space and assist you in weeding out bad thoughts. Another plus is it actually relaxes you.

5. Surround yourself with positive people.

Sometimes it’s really just the people in your life that contribute to your self doubt. Surround yourself with friends and family that will uplift you. Never seek to be the smartest in your group of friends. Seek relationships that will motivate you.

6. Pursue counseling 

You knew that was coming. Oftentimes, self doubt is taught, or can be the result of a tragic event. Talking to someone about these thoughts may bring about underlining circumstances that have contributed to toyed current state.

So with all being stated, what do you think?  When you are full of self doubt, how do you combat this? Post your comments below.