Let’s Be Real: The Secrets of My Heart Exposed

Happy Thanksgiving Set Goals & Slay Family! I hope and pray you have a safe and amazing weekend πŸ’•

I have some exciting new to share with you all.

Today I’m doing a Black Friday Book Drop! Let’s Be Real: The Secrets of My Heart Exposed is now LIVE on Amazon in Paperback + E-book format!

This is one of the scariest things I’ve done yet – This is a collection of [free-verse] poetry inspired by the darkest moments of my life to date – depression, anxiety, loneliness, low self-esteem and suicidal ideation to finding my confidence, self-worth in Christ and discovering my God given purpose. Yeah.. I’m sharing it all!

I just pray that sharing my story gives hope to someone else πŸ™πŸΎ

This is my story – poetically.

This is my truth – transparency.

These are words of affirmation and breakthrough.

This is my lemons turned into lemonade.

This is evidence that you can face your demons and overcome your challenges.

This is proof that who you were does not have to define who you become and can indeed propel you into your God given purpose.

This is proof that who you were does not have to define who you become and what you are capable of achieving!

THESE ARE THE SECRETS OF MY SOUL

GRAB YOUR COPY – CLICK BELOW
E-Book or Paperback for Only $7.97

Please note: Spoken word poetry is written in free verse format with intent to be recited aloud or performed.

The Truth About Your Life Purpose (Do You Understand the Assignment?)

Three essential lessons that I have learned this year thus far are:

1) People’s perspectives are influenced and shaped by their personal experiences in life. When people voice their opinions about things they are looking through lenses that are influenced by their personal experiences. People can unintentionally project their pain, their disappointment, their lack of knowledge or understanding on to your goals, dreams and aspirations.

2) We can unknowingly set ourselves up for disappointment by having unrealistic expectations of other people – Looking for them to support our vision, invest in our dreams and understand our purpose and assignment.

3) We will be tested to see if we understand our assignment.

God created each of us with a gift and a purpose. These are things that no one else can take away from us, unless we give them the power to. It is up to us to find our God given purpose and to pursue it. He has entrusted us with a purpose that can be used to shift atmospheres and change our lives and the lives of other’s for the better. We are responsible for protecting what he has given us. We are all birthed into this world with purpose attached to our lives. We are on assignment.

We are all on assignment. And sadly, many people live and die without fulfilling their purpose and therefore their assignment is incomplete. Someone’s breakthrough, someone’s victory, someone’s healing is attached to your voice, your story, your gift, your magic. The very thing that set’s you apart, that makes you stand out from the crowd is your magic. The struggles and challenges that we face in life are designed to mold and make us into who we need to be so that we can learn, grow and be effective in fulfilling our purpose in the earth.

We will be tested.

I wholeheartedly believe that God will put us through some tests to see if he can trust us with our assignment. And, there are different areas and aspects in which we can be tested. If we want to pass the tests, it is important that 1) We understand our assignment and 2) We understand that our assignment is more important than our limitations and unbelief in the possibility of our purpose being fulfilled and 3) Anybody can have an opinion based off of their perception that is shaped by THEIR life experiences. That is THEIR truth, not yours and should not influence your willingness to pursue your purpose. I believe that those are the very things that we will best tested on.

So, what do we need to have if we want to pass our tests?

1) We need to know what our purpose is.

2) We need to know our WHY.

3) FAITH and to stay connected to our source, our greatest resource, our creator.

Discovering my life purpose saved my life. In the moment’s I’ve most wanted to take my own life, I was reminded of the very reason why I shouldn’t. My purpose is beyond me. It saved my life so that I can change lives. My greatest why is to empower, not just motivate, inspire and encourage, but to give tools and strategies to those who are where I once was to be able to overcome and rise above self-hate, self-doubt, insecurity, etc. To position themselves to go out and pursue and fulfill their God given purpose. My purpose is my reason for living. It is what brings me the most joy and happiness in my life. Seeing other people win, thrive, do what they love, overcome their greatest setbacks and pursuing their purpose is everything to me.

I grew up the shy girl with a creative mind and talent for writing. I never thought that I would have a desire to stand in front of crowds of people and reveal my deepest, darkest secrets through spoken word poetry. I never thought that I would pour my heart out on the blank pages of multiple books that would land in the hands of readers who may need to hear exactly what God has inspired me to say.

It’s a bit blurry, by I still remember the moment my purpose became loud and clear to me. I was a teenager, sitting on my bedroom floor watching someone speaking on TV. I don’t remember who was speaking or what was said, but what I do remember is the voice that spoke clearly in my ear. It was like a flashback moment of my past, a revelation of what I am supposed to do. It was something like a day dream. What I saw wasn’t what was playing on the screen of the TV but rather in my mind. It was of me extending my arm down so that someone could grab ahold as I pulled them up. That’s when I heard something that struck a cord within me that said.. “That is what you are called to do.”

Discovering my purpose did not come with an instruction manual. It also did not come with one particular way in which I am to fulfill the purpose. My job is to keep an open mind and heart so that I am available to take on the next assignment when it arrives.

One thing that I have been challenged with recently is having faith in the vision, dreams and purpose that I believe with all my heart that God has given me. You may ask, how do I know that it was God given? Because 1) It calls me to step outside of my comfort zone over and over and over again and 2) It isn’t about me. It’s all about using my tests, trials and life struggles to help someone else get through theirs. Recently, I have found myself questioning my purpose and more specifically, my assignment.

The purpose attached to your life does not change but the assignment will. You have a purpose and then you’re given an assignment. Once you fulfill that assignment, then you’re given another.

I have found myself questioning whether or not I am meant to carry out the assignment that I am on at the moment because of the thoughts, opinions and perspectives of someone else. I now recognize that I am being tested. I have to remind myself that it was God who attached purpose to my life and trusted me with the assignment. For so long I was scared and I did not take a leap of faith to pursue it until just a month ago. Once I received confirmation I could not deny, that it was GO time, I knew I had to step out on faith and do the work.

I share all of this to say this. It does not matter who does not think that you should write the book, start this business, level up and pursue success in any area of your life. As long as YOU know your purpose, as long as YOU understand the assignment, then what anyone else thinks regarding the pursuit of your purpose should not matter.

Now, if it is someone who is placed in your life to support you, provide constructive feedback, mentorship, coaching, prayerful guidance and things of that nature, then that’s different. But, today, I’m talking about recognizing voices that are challenging you in ways that initiate doubt as it relates to your life purpose. There is a difference. Truth is, most people mean well, but can unknowingly, unintentionally project their opinions and advice on to you to sway you one way or another. It’s essential that we are aware of who we allow to speak into our lives because of this very thing. I have found myself questioning the timing of my assignment. I literally had to remind myself of HOW and WHY I stepped out on faith to pursue this next assignment.

We get a choice. I have a choice. I can either listen to the doubts that maybe this is not the right time. Maybe I should be focused more on other areas of my life. Or, I can remind myself of my WHY and keep going! I can remind myself who gave me the idea and the courage to pursue the dream. I can’t wait for a better time to pursue it, because someone out there needs the very thing I am to release and manifest, now.

We all have a purpose. Your talents, gifts and dreams can be attached to that purpose. Fulfill it. Someone is in need of what YOU have to offer. And, it is not for any other human to determine the what, why or how of that purpose OR assignment. Your family, friends, and even your significant other may not understand the assignment. And, that is OKAY. This can be a tough pill to swallow, because naturally we want their support and understanding. Truth is, that won’t always be the case. Guess what? You’ve got to keep going anyway.

So, my question to you today is, do you truly understand your assignment?

Before you go, please like & share this post with someone who needs to hear this message. Also, exciting news! My new book, Let’s Be Real: The Secrets of My Heart Exposed received it’s first book review. To check it out and to be the first to know when the book is released CLICK HERE.

6 Practical Ways to Prevent and Reduce Stress

I work a 9 to 5 and I live paycheck to paycheck. I also owe over 60k in student loan debt. As the prices continue to rise right before our eyes on the daily, you can imagine how much stress, one money management mistake can create.

I messed up. I acted on impulse and made an investment that I should have waited on. Had I opted to wait 1 month even, this mistake could have been avoided. Instead, I dug myself into a pit and jumped right in – It took a bit of creativity and stepping outside of my comfort zone to pull myself out. However, I was able to resolve the issue without breaking down in the process. I had to work to get to a place where that is even possible for me.

This is the type of circumstance that used to stress me out to a point of having a panic attack. In fact, I’ve gotten caught up in a few stressful situations in my personal life recently and I have navigated through them pretty well, if I may so so myself.

One thing I’ve noticed is that even in the midst of these stressful situations, rather than panic, I have maintained a consistent state of calmness. Knowing that my problems have solutions, I just have to find it. Instead of focusing solely on the problem, I remained solution oriented. I quickly resolved that freaking out over the problem wasn’t going to solve the problem soo, I might as well focus my energy on finding a resolution.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a very solution-focused mindset. And, in stressful situations, I keep calm and quickly get to working on finding a solution. I don’t like to dwell too much on problems itself, if it’s not with the purpose of finding a solution. I believe it’s important to acknowledge the problem for what it is and if you are experiencing negative emotions like sadness, defeat and disappointment, it’s okay to stay in thatΒ  state for a period of time. Sometimes, I will give myself a day to just have a pity party. But, after that, I tell myself it’s time to move forward and I do just that. I may still feel some of those emotions, but I make a conscious decision to move to a place of productivity. Please note; this applies to everyday stressors. This does not apply to things like grief, long-term or terminal health issues, etc.

The stick-up for me is when I’m looking for solution and end up hitting wall after wall after wall. After awhile, it takes it tole and I begin to succumb under pressure and I panic.

I’ve gone through a few seasons in my life where I’ve gone through that process with ease and I’ve gone through a few season where it has been a real struggle.. High anxiety, panic attacks and depression that often came a horrible attitude to the point where it’s like I’d purposefully try to make those around me miserable because I was miserable.

Stress has long been a frenemy of mine and stress management is something I’ve prioritized for the past 4 to 5 years now. Managing my stress in a healthy way is extremely is essential for me these days. My peace of mind is my main bag. But, I’d be lying if I told you that I get it right every time. I don’t. Some days are more challenging than others. However, the days of flat out panicking and freaking out are far and few in between these days. I am grateful for the progress that I have made and would like to highlight a few tips that have helped me get better at managing my stress.

Stress doesn’t just affect you psychologically but it can take it’s tole on you physically. This is something I’ve struggled with for years and have had to learn how to live a preventive lifestyle doing practical things everyday to reduce the effects of stress. This is what has helped me:

1) Start your day with prayer and meditation. Eat a healthy and fulfilling breakfast. Grab your coffee or tea. start your day with positive affirmations. Set the tone for your day!

2) Don’t forget to take your vitamins, supplements that boost your mood, take a walk, enjoy nature – get some sun.

3) Watch, listen or watch and listen to ASMR on YouTube. If you need to take a quick breather during a stressful day – try ASMR. If you’ve had a stressful, have a lot on your mind and you’re having trouble falling asleep – try ASMR.

4) Intentionally create balance in your day. Instead of overworking yourself, use a planner and schedule your breaks, set and alarm if you need to. Try time-blocking as well. It is a game-changer.

5) Journal. Sit for 15 minutes with a pen and paper and write out everything that is on your mind. This really helps to bring clarity and release.

6) Meditate a minimum of 10 minutes each morning and night. Clear your mind. Release toxic thoughts and energy. Don’t play with your sleep. Prioritize getting a quality night’s rest. This helps your body heal, recover and positions you to be more focused, alert and aligned to face the day’s challenges that may come your way. If you are sleep deprived or hangry even, it’s not as easy to do that right?

BONUS: Ashwagandha gummies. I love taking my Goli Ashwagandha gummies! They help me relax, unwind and get a good nights rest. No more melatonin for me! Usually, I take 2 gummies a couple of hours before bed. But, if I’m having a really stressful day, I’ll take 1 gummy towards the end of my work day and 1 more right before dinner. I just feel much more zen when I do. Grab your bottle of Goli gummies using my promo code: islay CLICK HERE

I know some, if not all of these tips may sound unnecessary. But, I’m telling you, when you do most if not all of these things on a consistent basis, not only will you FEEL better, but you will become stronger in your ability to manage your stress effectively, in a healthy way. These tips are things that you can do to be PROACTIVE about your mental health and stress management.

Share any tips that you have in the comments below! What has helped you to manage your stress?

The End: Hope After Wanting to End It All

I just wanted the pain to end.

For weeks, I’d been going through the motions, showing up where I was suppose to, when I was expected to, all the while hoping that someone would notice. I hoped that someone would notice the pain in my eyes or the strain in my smile. My smile was a mask to cover up the hurt and loneliness that I felt within.

The longest relationship I’d been in to date was 2 years. As the relationship began to run it’s course, my ex-boyfriend and I began to see each other and spend quality time together less and less. Other than him, I didn’t really have anyone else in my life that I communicated with on a consistent basis. Sure, I had one or two friends I could call up. But, in all honesty, our friendships became the one’s where you meet up to catch up every once in awhile, but you know they’ll always be there when you need them.

At the time, I was working full-time in a high intensity, often chaotic environment that was incredibly stressful and triggering. I was working the night shift and struggled to get proper rest during the day. My social life consisted of going to church and going to the gym. And, that’s about it. I was becoming drained, burned out and increasingly overwhelmed as time went on. I was slowly drowning in a pool of unhappiness.

One night, I sat in my apartment and I just broke down. I couldn’t stop crying. I began pacing back and forth in my living room until I dropped down on the the floor. With my knees against my chest, arms embracing my legs tightly, I continued rocking back and forth. I began to scream and cry until I got up and went into my kitchen and I grabbed the sharpest knife I could find. I went back into the living room, sat down on the floor, holding the knife in my hand. I continued to cry out and begged for the courage to end it all.

The thoughts that kept circulating through my mind was – why not just end it all? It’s not like anyone will notice you’re gone for a long time. And, when you’re gone, it’s not like anyone will care. Those thoughts really tormented me to the core. I knew that I needed to reach out for help. I knew that I had a pastor I could call, a mom I could call or a hot-line. As much as I knew that I could reach out for help, the tormenting thoughts in my mind carried so much weight that I couldn’t convince myself to seek help. I figured why bother someone with my depression when nobody cared enough to stick around long enough for an answer after casually asking, “how are you doing?” or a quick text to see how I’m doing, because they hadn’t heard from me in awhile. If the people who saw me at work every day and my boyfriend at the time – the person I was most closest to in my life didn’t even notice something was wrong with me, I figured it was because they didn’t care enough to pay attention. To notice that something had shifted in me. Those were my reasonings at the time, for not reaching out for help. What it came down to is the fact that, I just didn’t want to be a burden to anyone.

As you can see, I didn’t do it. I didn’t find the courage to do what I wished I could do, because of this one thing. I was born and raised in church, and so it was instilled in me the teachings that there is a heaven and hell. Let’s just put it this way, I wasn’t convinced that if I took my own life to escape the hell on earth I was experiencing, that I would not in up in a lake of fire for eternity. I’m just being real with you. That was ultimately the deciding factor FOR ME. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t a risk I was willing to take.

I share this in hopes that this will create awareness. You guys, it is essential that we are intentional about surrounding ourselves with family and friends who will love and support you. Prioritize and build those relationships. Because, life is hard, things aren’t getting easier and we truly need each other.

If someone comes to mind throughout the day, that you haven’t spoken to in awhile – don’t hesitate to reach out to them. Make a quick call or send a simple text to say hello and let that person know that they are on your mind. If you notice someone doesn’t quite seem like themselves, maybe their smile seems a little more forced lately, genuinely ask them if they are okay and remind them that they have your full support if they ever need someone to talk to. It might seem little, but those things go a long way.

When someone is depressed or struggling with suicidal ideation, I promise you, the majority of the time, that person IS aware that there are resources for help out there. But, often times, we don’t feel brave or strong enough to reach out for help. No matter how illogical of a thought it may be, we don’t want to be a burden to someone else.

As I look back on this, that I experienced somewhere between 2018 – 2019, I realize that I could have and should have reached out for help. I have people I can call or text. I also realize that I should have made my social life more of a priority by way of showing myself friendly, making new friends, etc. But, at the same time, life happened. I was occupied with work and trying to find some sort of life balance. I am careful that I am not hard on myself, because regardless of what I could have and should have done, the reality is that I didn’t and no excuse is great enough to justify taking my own life.

I am thankful that I am here to share my story. I am thankful that I have the bravery to expose one the secrets of my soul.

I am releasing a new book in December 2021 called Let’s Be Real: The Secrets of My Soul Exposed. This book is a collection of spoken word poetry inspired by my experience with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and suicidal ideation. In addition to sharing my story, I share how I discovered my purpose and I come through with a word of motivation and empowerment! Click HERE for more information on the book. You can receive updates on new books, blogs and weekly affirmations by texting “iSlay” to (866) 985-4832.

Thank you for reading! I appreciate you. Please share this post with someone today.

The Purpose in Your Storm

When I graduated High School, I was so excited to begin my college experience at Grand Canyon University. During the first 2 years, I double majored in Music with an emphasis in voice and Psychology. I was pursuing a career in Music Therapy. After 2 years, I dropped my music courses because I was struggling with my music theory and music history courses and failed more than twice! I lost one of my scholarships and decided to drop my major because, I couldn’t afford to keep retaking courses.

Music had always been my passion but I guess I was meant to go in a different direction. The goal was to graduate in 4 years, but after dropping my music courses, I still struggled immensely with Algebra 1 – 2 and Algebra 3 – 4. That’s 2 semesters that turned into 4 because I kept failing the classes! By then, I’d lost all the scholarships I walked in with, my GPA dropped of course and I took out an additional student loan. I did not want to quit or pause. I was determined to finish what I started. After 5.5 years, I finally graduated with my Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology.

After graduation, I began an internship in Adoption and Foster Care. I had an interest in Social Work but, I knew I couldn’t afford to go back to school and get my Masters. I considered being a Case Manager at an adoption agency, but instead I began my career in the Behavior Health Field. My first stable job was working as a Behavior Health Paraprofessional, working with adult clients diagnosed with Serious Mental Illness. One thing I enjoyed most was facilitating 1:1 and group sessions on various topics, helping my clients to better understand and cope with their diagnosis. After 2 years, I was hired at therapeutic school + home that provides treatment programs, emergency shelter and so much more to girls ages 10 to 18. As a Behavior Health Technician, I learned so much about intervention, trauma informed care and more. However, during all of this, I was fighting my own battles with depression, anxiety, and I one point, suicidal ideation.

In my last blog post, I gave you sneak peak of my childhood. I was super shy, struggled to make friends, struggled with low self -esteem and as a young adult, I had a few heartbreaks along the way. I’d been ghosted, cheated on and had relationships end unexpectedly. I’d had a few childhood friends from my church growing up, that as we got older, we grew apart. So, aside from dating – I was otherwise often alone. I Somewhere in the middle of all of that I discovered my purpose and found my confidence. That is, until I lost it again. More on that later.

During my last year working with adults with SMI, I had a few panic attacks. Often times, I felt under a lot of stress and under pressure from my personal life – dealing with my own toxic thoughts and emotions to work related stress that comes with working in a high-intensity, sometimes chaotic and triggering environment. Stress doesn’t just affect you psychologically but it can take it’s tole on you physically. This is something I’ve struggled with for YEARS and have had to learn how to live a preventive lifestyle doing practical things everyday to reduce the effects of stress.

I typically have panic attacks after I begin to feel the stress physically – like, chest pain and tightness/pressure, muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, as well as nerve sensitivity and pain. When I’d experience these, I’d instantly become anxious, because my mind would jump to the worst conclusions like fear of having a heart attack. Too often, I made the mistake of looking up the symptoms I was experiencing on Doctor Google. You know, WebMD. Big mistake. Listen, my panicking just made the symptoms I was experiencing worse. For me, this led to multiple urgent care and ER trips, EKG’s and x-rays ran that ultimately came back normal. Oh, and of course the medical bills from all of those urgent care trips followed.

Some days, I would interact with clients and would become anxious. I remember having to walk outside trying not to hyperventilate in front of clients and coworkers, and trying to practice deep breathing and grounding exercises to calm down. There were days when I left work early because I was in so much physical pain. One thing each of the clients had was a folder that held their personal treatment plan, details of their triggers and coping skills, etc. You know what I did? I created my own version of a treatment plan for myself. I was educating and supporting clients during the day and going home to my own inner battle.

I stayed for 2 years before starting my job as a BHT working with the girls 10 to 18. That was a change of pace for sure, but exposed me to levels of trauma and treatment that I was eager to learn about. I was also eager to work the nightshift, because I had a special project I was working on. If I wasn’t on an overnight trip at the hospital with a client, then in between walking up and down the halls every 30 minutes doing routine bed-checks, I could be found writing my 3rd book, Empower You! Mindset Transformation: A Daily Devotional for the Mind. Now, if I could summarize this book in 1 word it would be: Empowerment. Today, as I think about it, I am amazed out how I was able to create content as such, when the state of mind throughout the years was opposite of that.

I have always found a way to write about my pain and heartbreak and end it with a word of motivation and empowerment. Writing and poetry has been my preferred outlet for years and since the beginning, I have never been able to simply right about my pain without encouraging someone else too. I found purpose in my pain. I found purpose in my struggle. I was going through my own mess, while working a 9 to 5 that required me to support adults and children going through their valleys. It has never been about me going through just so I can say that I survived. It’s always been about going through so that I can help someone else.

I share this part of my story, because I need you to understand that there is ALWAYS purpose in your pain.

You might have gone through some things and some of you may be going through right now and you may be wondering why you had to go through that situation. You may be searching for the purpose. This might catch you by surprise, but I want to encourage you to stop searching for the reason. If you’ve been searching and wondering and haven’t found it.. Consider this: It could be that the purpose is so that YOU can HELP someone else. Simple as that. There is purpose in YOUR storm – you never have to look too far to find it. We are destined to go THROUGH the storm so that we can effectively HELP someone else get through their storm.

There is purpose in your storm. That means, if you keep going, you’re going to survive your storm. Eventually, you will come out on the other side.

Thank you for reading! Share this post with someone who needs it.

Remember Who You Are

His name was Christopher. And, every day he was sure to greet me by pinching my skin and stealing my pencils and various school supplies from inside my desk. I would squint my eyes and glare back at him, but I never said a word.

Kindergarten – 2nd grade

Some days it was more than Christopher pinching me and stealing my belongings. Sometimes other classmates joined in on the fun at my expense. I understood that they were just trying to react by talking at best. But, for some reason I never said a word. Not even in self-defense.

Most kids looked forward to recess after lunch, but I never did. That was because Christopher would chase me around the playground, until he’d catch me and pinch me. The few times he caught me, it it was because I’d trip and fall. Every now and then a teacher on lunch duty would finally notice and reprimand him. But, that never put a definite stop to it. And, per usual, I didn’t say word so I had the next day to look forward to the same torture. Many days I went home with scraped knees and bruised elbows. The most I would do to stand up for myself was to run away, attempt to take back my belongings from the inside of Christopher’s desk when he wasn’t watching and to shove him off of me when he got too close. Oh! And to glare with all my might, of course.

To this day, I cannot tell you why I never said a word. It was one thing to be shy, but another to not even open my mouth and alert my teachers of what was going on. Instead of standing up for myself, I kept my mouth shut. And, at one point, my teachers held discussions with my mom about special education classes as an option for me. Although I did not talk on school grounds for years, I was not mute. And, I actually excelled in my studies so, I was never put in Special Ed classes.

I got a fresh start when I reached 3rd grade. My family and I moved to central Phoenix and there I started 3rd grade at a new school. And, guess what! I finally started to talk. Very little. But, at least I bothered to respond when spoken to.

When I got to middle school, I dreaded lunch breaks because I was always alone. I didn’t make any friends. Not until junior high school. In 6th grade I finally made a friend. Her name was Elizabeth. And like me, she was quiet and didn’t hang out with anyone before school or at lunch. We had a few classes together and by default we were often paired together for projects when the teachers let us choose our partners. Neither of us had anyone else soo.. a friendship began to blossom. Outside of answering questions when called upon and reading aloud when it was my turn.. She was the only person I would talk to while at school.

I also didn’t like my voice. I did not like hearing recordings of myself, because I thought I sounded like a boy.

During 7th and 8th grade, I still didn’t have many friends, but things were much better for me. Those days, choir and band became a huge part of my life and I finally began to feel less like an outcast and more like I’d found somewhere I belonged.

I didn’t begin to come out of my shell until high school. I was a loyal member of choir and band all throughout high school and even college. I found a place where I could blend in and be myself.

But it was my junior year of high school that really changed my life. That was a great year for us during marching band season. For the first time we went to competition and ranked. But, that wasn’t the gamechanger for me. It was the day I wrote a poem for a class assignment and won a spot to perform on stage. In preparation for the event, myself and other students from around the valley gathered and.. The details of what happened that day is a blurr this moment.. The moment I was introduced to the art of spoken word poetry. That was the day I found an art form that would allow me to express myself in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Sevan (Apollo Poetry) performed two of his poems, Alphabet Poem and Heart. I was instantly mesmerized by the rhymes, rhythm and flow. I fell in love with spoken word poetry; the definition of painting pictures with words.

I began to write and perform spoken word poetry. I found my voice. I found courage to express myself; to say all of the things I’d once been too afraid to say. For all the days, as I child, that I’d refused to open my mouth and speak..

For years, I wondered why I was the way that I was. It was like there was an invisible muzzle, disabling me from speaking and being myself. And, even when I began to come out of my shell and make a few friends, even then, I never really fit in. Sure I blended in, when we had things in common, but I’ve always been a misfit.

To this day, even knowing and being confident in who God has created me to be, I still identify as a misfit. I’ve always felt like the odd one out.

Often, I think about all the times I’ve felt invisible and forgotten. Always on the outside looking in. There have been a couple times in my life where I contemplated suicide. I felt as if no one would notice that I was gone, so why not just disappear? I figured if anyone really cared, they would have noticed or reached out. I didn’t go to anyone for help, because I did not want to be a burden. The most recent time I battled with suicidal ideation was when I was dating my ex-boyfriend. Even he didn’t notice how depressed I’d been. That reality, sent me spiraling. I couldn’t wrap my mind around how someone so close to me couldn’t see how much mental and emotional turmoil I was in. But I thank God, I’m still here!

I’m still here to share my story. I’m still here to use the voice that God gave me.

I had no idea that the way I was and everything that I was experiencing was for a purpose. On the surface, it doesn’t make sense. But over the years, God has revealed piece by piece, the puzzle of who he has created me to be and what he has created me for. He has shown me my purpose. Even the reason why I was so shy and why I always felt like the odd one out.

So, if you have been wondering why you’ve had to face certain challenges in life and if you’ve ever wondered what your purpose in life is.. If you’ve been wondering how and why you’ve survived the bullying, the abuse, the betrayals, the disappointments, the health scares.. I’m here to tell you that it was all for a purpose. And, when it doesn’t make sense, that’s because it’s bigger than you.

There is purpose attached to your life. The challenges we face in life are meant to prepare and position us to fulfill that purpose. We may lose some friends along the way. We may miss out on some opportunities along the way. That’s because everyone can’t go where you are destined to go. Every open door is not meant for you to walk through.

There is magic on the inside of you. And when I say magic, I mean something there is something unique! Something that can be imitated, but cannot be duplicated. Something that makes you different. Something that makes you stand out from everyone else. Embrace the magic that is on the inside of you. Embrace your story and share it with the world. Someone is need of what you have to offer. Someone’s breakthrough is dependent on your ability to use the gift God has given you.

The poetry I write. The words I speak. It’s meant to do these things: uplift and empower. I understand that everything I’ve gone through was for a purpose. There was even a purpose and blessing in my shyness and loneliness. And honestly, because I am still here, I refuse to let what I have been through and overcome be in vain.

“You have something special. You have greatness within you. You have something no one else has.” He even goes on to say, “You have the ability to do more than you can ever begin to imagine.”

– Les Brown

Remember who you are and embrace it.

A Letter to Those Who Feel Like Giving Up

I know you have been working hard.

And, it seems like nothing is paying off.

I know you feel discouraged.

After so much time, money and energy invested, you’re wondering what’s the point in continuing on. But listen, I need you to remember your WHY. Remember why you started.

This is not the time to stop. This is not the time to slow down. This is the moment to gain momentum and push!

Push through the doubt.

Push past the fear and uncertainty.

Understand that everything isn’t always as it seems. It may look like nothing is happening to the naked eye but, the reality is that regardless of what it looks like, you are making progress with every step you take.

If you needed a sign that you are on that right path, this is it.

You have come too far to give up now.

You have also come too far to forget who you are and who you are created to be.

You have something that no one else has.

You have something that makes you unique, distinguished, set apart.

When you show up as your authentic self and walk in your divine purpose, people then have the luxury to experience your magic! Your magic, your “something special” is the very thing that makes you stand out from every one else. You are Top Tier! You can be imitated but never duplicated.

Today, I come to remind you, that you have a God given purpose attached to your life. And, nothing and no one can ever take that away from you.

Unless you give them the power to.

I know you may be feeling discouraged, you feel like giving up on your goals and dreams. You’re thinking about giving up on that thing that you desire, the one that is burning like a fire within your soul. That thing.. You know it’s your purpose. You know it’s what you’ve been put on this earth to do. But, lately it seems like your every effort is a flop.

You’ve been working hard and putting yourself in position so that you’re prepared for when the door of opportunity opens to you. But, you’ve been chasing the dream for so long now, that you begin to wonder if it’s ever going to happen. You’ve looked around and seen everyone else winning. You wonder, when will it be your turn. I feel you. In fact, in this moment, I’m right there with you. And, as I write this letter to you, I’m also speaking to myself. Reminding myself, that our goals and dreams are worth it. Our God given purpose is worth it.

It’s worth the wait, it’s worth the late nights and early mornings, it’s worth the very moments we feel alone, unmotivated an unsupported. It comes with the responsibility of carrying a purpose that extends beyond our human understanding. Because, the purpose that has been attached to our lives has been given by our creator. And, when we fulfill our purpose, when we walk in our God given purpose.. we make magic. We change lives.

I know it is your goal. I know it’s your dream. And, yes, it’s YOUR purpose. But, the truth is that it’s never been about you. It’s always been about the lives you will touch, the lives you will bless, the souls you will impact and lives you will change WHEN you step out on faith and fulfill your purpose.

The moments I feel like giving up, I remind myself 1) Who I am and who I am created to be (Ref: Psalm 139:14, Proverbs 16:4 and 2) That I am on assignment. (Ref: Ephesians 2:10, Jerimiah 29:11). I must fulfill my purpose. And, when I do that. I will be blessed to bless others. We are blessed to be a blessings. And, our gift will make room for us. So, don’t give up. No matter who is not in your corner cheering you on. No matter who is not liking or sharing your content. No matter who is not investing in your business or leaving you a positive review. You have the ability to speak life over your goals and dreams by positive affirmations and therein lies your power. Never take that forgranted.

I love you. And, I believe in you!

Here’s What to Do When You Feel Unmotivated to Pursue Your Goals

It is a beautiful Sunday morning

And, I awoke this morning with a heart of gratitude

As I laid in bed, I listened to the gentle sounds of the waterfall streaming into the pool as the morning sunlight peaked through my window.

I pulled out my phone, hopped on YouTube and selected my favorite morning gratitude meditation and closed my eyes..

I was guided into a meditation of gratitude and I began to thank God for life, health, strength, my family, my home, opportunities and everything I could think of in that moment.

I became overwhelmed with gratitude.. My heart felt soo full. As I got further into the 10 minute meditation session, I began to feel as if a fire had been reignited within me of passion and enthusiasm to not just get up and start my day, but of boldness to walk in my purpose! The reason this is soo significant for me, the reason I even bother to share this with you is because, I have not been feeling like my authentic self for awhile now.

I have experienced periods of not feeling like myself on and off pretty much since the start of Covid-19. But stick with me, I’m going somewhere with this..

As I started my day with Sunday Morning worship and a delicious, hot cup of coffee, I had in mind that I would write a blog about How to Manage Stress While Pursuing Your Goals, since that’s been my topic of the past week. However, when I sat down to write, I felt inspired to write about something this…

How you start your day is soo important. And, I am trying to develop a consistency when it comes to starting my day off right. I am striving to be intentional about my morning routine. Because, for too long, have I neglected to start my day off with gratitude, with prayer + meditation, with setting my intentions for the day.. Instead, I’d jump up five minuets before starting my 9 to 5, WFH and I’d never gain any real momentum or enthusiasm in my day. By the end of my workday, I’d feel soo sluggish, lethargic and unmotivated to do anything but eat, maybe do a workout before showering and hopping in the bed to binge watch a few shows before sleeping. The only enthusiasm I’d feel was not clock-out and end the day. Literally, living for the weekend. Y’all, I’d been in a funk off and on for so long. And, yesterday, it finally hit me as to WHY…

For starters, I was not starting my day off right. I was waking up with a negative mindset, with dread – because I knew I was 5 minutes away from logging into my 9 to 5, where I’d spend 8 hours doing something that I am not passionate about. I knew that by the time I clocked out, I wouldn’t feel motivated or have any inspiration to work on MY Passion and MY purpose – my business and my goals.

Secondly, I’d fallen away. When I get in a funk, I become inconsistent. The things I normally do, like meditating, eating healthy, etc.. I stop doing for awhile because I feel unmotivated and just really tired all the time. Like physically, mentally and emotionally I just felt drained ALL of the time and I wasn’t really doing anything to get out of it. Now, I believe it is totally normal to experience periods like this and that it’s okay to give yourself a day or 2 off to just sulk and experience that valley. But after that day or 2 is over.. It’s up to you to SNAP out of it. It becomes our responsibility to get up, brush ourselves off…

I can no longer blame COVID for me not getting up and pursuing my dreams. While COVID was very much an unexpected setback that put a dent in my plans – I had planned to participate in many in-person events throughout 2020 to network, promote my book and coaching business.. But when COVID happened, many people had to transition to doing things online. Now, I LOVE in-person engagements. I don’t enjoy being behind a camera, at all. I just feel soo self-conscious and insecure when I’m behind a screen. I don’t feel the confidence that I DO feel when I’m physically in person with people or on a stage in front of a crowd of people. I don’t know why I am that way but… I let that hold me back and the longer I held back, the less I felt like myself. Because instead of adjusting to the times, I did nothing. I took a “break” and never really came back for a long time.

When you KNOW what your passion and purpose is in life and you are not or you stop walking IN that purpose – you will NOT feel like yourself. I promise you, it will feel like there is a void, as if something is missing, you just won’t feel quite right.. And, that is literally how I felt for most of 2020 and 2021. Sometimes I felt depressed, other times I just felt lost. But listen, I have not, will not and am not staying there! I’ve got work to do and so do you.

Speaking as someone who has both studied and experienced the benefits of meditating every morning and night, I am an advocate for meditation! No, it is not for everybody. But, if it’s not something you’ve tried – I highly encourage you to try it for 1 week at minimum. You can start off with 5 minutes and work your way up to 10 or 15 minutes once or twice a day. It really is a gamechanger when it comes to your MINDSET… Oop! There’s that word again. Mindset. Literally, EVERYTHING has to do with mindset. The key to getting out of my funk has been being intentional about shifting my mindset. How I’ve been able to do that is through MEDITATION – Specifically, gratitude meditation.

It reminds me of who I am, what I have and what I have been created to do. It allows me to feel refreshed, revived in my body and in my mind. It helps me regulate my emotions and to ground myself when I feel overwhelmed and anxious. It allows me to speak to the chaos in my heart and mind – peace be still.

Meditation. Gratitude. Affirmations… It can help you shift your mindset and get into a healthy mental and emotional space where you finally FEEL motivated and empowered to actively pursue your passion and purpose.

I honestly feel more confident in myself and in my ability to successfully pursue my purpose when I meditate consistently. Prayer has been essential for me as well – because I am connecting with my creator. I get to commune with him, and open my heart and mind, enabling me to hear from him.

If you are in a funk and feel stuck when it comes to feeling motivated and empowered to pursue your goals and manifest your dreams… I come to let you know that you WILL get unstuck and you WILL fulfill your LIFE purpose. Don’t be discouraged. You don’t have to stay in the valley. You don’t have to stay in a negative space. If you look around and don’t see a way out – start with meditation. Start with gratitude. Use positive affirmations and begin to speak life over yourself, over your goals and dreams and pray. Eventually, you will come out and will emerge feeling free and empowered to be your best self!

Thanks for reading Set Goals & Slay Family. Share this post with someone who needs an encouraging word today!

Until next time, much love to you. Let’s make it a great week!

#walkinconfidence #empoweryourself #findyourpurpose #meditate #gratitude

Steps to Building Your Confidence and Pursuing Your Dreams with Boldness

Have you ever shared your dreams and plans with someone, only to find yourself defending yourself because you dared to dream big?

There are many reasons why someone may not support the pursuit of your dreams. But, what it really comes down to is.. Mindset. In today’s blog, we’ll be talking about HOW to build and remain confident in the pursuit of your dreams REGARDLESS of who doesn’t support, understand or believe that it IS possible.

Do you believe it is possible to achieve your goals? Or, are you easily swayed and discouraged by the disbelief of others?

Here’s a few steps to help you BUILD your confidence so that you can pursue your dreams with boldness:

1) Check your mindset!

Who are you listening to? Who are you allowing to pour into your life? Whose opinions and beliefs are you allowing to influence you and dictate your actions?

Your ability to achieve your goals has everything to do with your MINDSET. If your mindset is trash, then.. You’ll lose before you’ve even begun.

Success is 80% Mindset and 20% Strategy

Which leads me to step #2..

2) Set a SMART (Specific + Measurable + Achievable, Realistic +Trackable) goal, create a flexible action plan and get to work!

You don’t have to have it altogether and you don’t need to wait for a perfect time to get started.

The best set-up for success is when YOU have defined what success looks like to YOU and then you put in the work. You don’t need to wait for a perfect time. Honestly, there is no perfect time. And, if you’re waiting to perfect yourself.. Remember that the world doesn’t need perfect, it needs YOU to show up as your authentic self!

If you don’t know where to start, start here: Start by setting a goal and breaking it down into action steps. Create a flexible action plan; understanding that if you try to accomplish a step and it doesn’t work out, you can try a different way.

3) Detox your circle and surround yourself with like-minded people.

It is essential that you get with people who are already where you are striving to be and/or who are striving to get from where they are to where they desire to be. Furthermore, you don’t need to remain  in an environment, around people who repeatedly speak death over your dreams or try to discourage you from dreaming big and pursuing them simply because they lack the mindset to comprehend your purpose and the possibility of your dreams becoming your reality.

There are people who are super ambitious and have really big dreams. Likewise, there are people who do not and are satisfied with what they have, where they are in life, now. And there is nothing  wrong with either of the two. Regardless of what anyone says, you should not feel ashamed for seeing more for yourself and wanting more out of life. And, I must say, if you are content and not striving to have or be more, you should not feel ashamed for that as well.

4) Know your WHY.

Maybe it’s to create a better life for yourself and your family. Maybe, it’s to honor God by fulfilling your God given life purpose. Maybe it’s to change lives and impact generations to come.

Whatever your WHY is, that is what you must focus on and remind your self of consistently. Everything else is secondary. No one else will or should hold your WHY with more value than you do. When you understand this, then it becomes easier to recognize the doubters and naysayers. You must filter out the noise.

There are people who are and will be satisfied with what they have and where they are now. And that is okay. There should be mutual respect on both ends.

I share this because I know how it feels to be called boujiee and extra simply because you dared to dream big. And, because you want more than what you have right now. You see yourself going further than where you’ve been so far.

FAITH + action is the key to manifesting your dreams.

Another thought to consider..

Your network really is your net-worth. And, often times when we hear this, we think of money. But, this doesn’t only relate to money.

See, not only is your money valuable but so is your time. Your energy and your peace of mind is valuable too.

Is there anyone in your life who is causing more damage than good? If so, you can’t continue to surround yourself with individuals who are speaking death over your goals and dreams, simply because they don’t see or understand YOUR vision. You must be intentional about surrounding yourself with like-minded people. People who have a positive, success – growth mindset.

Maybe THEY don’t understand the what, YOUR why or the how. But, you can’t let that discourage you from taking action. It is YOUR dream, your gift, your calling, your purpose to fulfil in the earth. God gave it to YOU. He allowed you to see the vision.

You may not understand it all or fully know the HOW. But, that’s okay.  If only you can BELIEVE in the possibility of your dreams.. Because that, my friend, is the pre-requisite of your success. Knowing what success looks like to you and, believing that it is possible!

5) Refrain from sharing your plans and makes sure to celebrate the small wins.

Stay prayerful. Be mindful. Meditate. Journal. Continue to study and learn, grow in knowledge within your area of expertise. Remain humble. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and accept constructive criticism. Learn from your mistakes. Repeat.

The more you do these things, the more confident you will become in yourself and in the possibility of your dreams becoming your reality!

Thank you for reading Set Goals and Family! Like, Comment and Share with someone who needs this message. Until next time.. Much love to you all – Kizzy πŸ’•

7 Steps to Break the Habit of Inconsistency

For the month of March, I committed to 31 days of working out at home. Absolutely no days off.

I enjoy working out – it helps me stay energized, confident, balanced, strong, improves my mental health and all of the obvious benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

When the pandemic hit, my gym closed it’s doors temporarily and I began working out from home. My problem was that I did not enjoy working out at home at all. I’ve always felt more enthusiastic and motivated completing my workout in an environment in which I am surrounded by likeminded people and simply put.. I’m not much of a homebody. But, because of social distancing, this was another challenge for me. I did not feel motivated at all, and therefore I was really inconsistent. I would set a goal to work out 4 – 5 days a week. Which is great if you’re disciplined and stick to it. That was not your girl. Nah, I would start off strong, but quickly found myself working out mostly when I felt like it.

The number one thing that has helped me break my habit of inconsistency in various areas of my life has been.. going all in and taking do days off.

Why? Because it helped me build self-discipline first.

It takes discipline to be consistent.

For the month of March, I committed to 31 days of working out at home with absolutely no days off. I started off slow.. doing 5 minuets.. 10 minuets.. 25 and then 30 minuets. Before I knew it, I found myself easily completing and thoroughly enjoying a 45 minute workout from home!

After about 3 weeks, I noticed that I would look forward to completing my workout the next day. I was beginning to develop a genuine joy for it. And, most importantly, it was becoming easier to deny how I was feeling in the moments when I didn’t “feel” like working out, which was everyday for one reason or another. Some days I feel mentally and physically exhausted and just want to hop in the bed, but during this challenge, that was not an option. Skipping a day was not an option. I made a conscious decision to commit to my goal, this challenge. It was a non-negotiable.

As I continued being consistent, putting in work, every day, everyday..

No days off

Then, I began to see results and those results motivated me to keep going!

What prompted me to do the no days off challenge?

I was super inconsistent. I lacked motivation and the discipline necessary to slay my fitness goals.

I decided to challenge myself each month with something new, to build my discipline and challenge my inconsistency.

In April I plan to continue, but will allow myself 1 day of rest each week. Gradually I will move to 2 days of rest each week.  

This strategy works well for those of us who struggle with being inconsistent when they don’t enjoy what they’re doing.

So let’s break it down step by step, here’s what you can do to break the habit of inconsistency in your life.

#NoDaysOffChallenge

1) Identity your goal and action steps.

2) Identify which steps/area(s) where you are inconsistent.

3) Identify why you are inconsistent.

4) Identify your why factor.

5) Identify your motivating factors.

6) Create a plan of action – Take your big goal, break it down into small action steps/tasks, make each task/step that you are struggling to be consistent in doing and make that your goal.

7) For each goal, set a date, attach your why, motivating factors and commit to taking strategic action every day. That means no days off. Make it non-negotiable.

Once you build the discipline to be consistent, pull back and insert day(s) of rest into your routine when appropriate.

This strategy is great for individuals with fitness goals and struggle with being consistent.

If you want to slay your goals, you must be disciplined. You cannot take action only when you feel like it and expect to be successful. Why? Because ,you won’t feel motivated all the time. You won’t be in the mood all the time. You won’t have the support of other people all of the time.

You have to be your biggest fan. You have to clap for yourself.

You have to encourage yourself.

The most effective empowerment comes from within!

Read that one again.

When manifesting your dreams, you have to do more than just believing that it is possible. You have to take action. And some of the action steps you must take to get where you wanna go aren’t always enjoyable. That is why it’s necessary to implement certain strategies that will help you get going and to keep going!

Don’t give up on your dream.

Don’t give up on yourself.

Please note: This strategy is not only for fitness goals. I encourage you to make this challenge your own; manipulate it to fit the goals you have set for other areas of your life.

I wish you an abundance of peace, love & happiness!