Kendall Alexander

September’s Intention: To Nurture

Summer came and went, and I would like a redo because what was that???  Never the less, I am grateful for the time I spent with myself quarantining.  As much as I hated quarantining at first (and still do), the new discoveries that I made about myself would have never happened. I’ve gone through the process of getting to know myself on a deeper level (which is scarier than it sounds).  I found that I was lacking the ability to nurture myself, can you relate? This month’s intention is to 

NURTURE

To care for and encourage the growth or development of 

Usually, when we hear the word “nurture”, it’s used as a character trait that society has made mandatory for women to have.  To nurture, is not a quality that comes automatically to all of us.  The way society looks down on us if we don’t have the nurture gene right away is tragic.  Believing that you are worth nurturing is the first step.  Once you believe this, the relationship that you form with yourself has a deeper level of intimacy to it.  Often times, our selflessness allows us to forget that we deserve to be cared for and encouraged as well.  

Where Do I Start?

The word “nurture” has so much depth to it that I don’t think we’ve grasped the true concept of what it means to nurture yourself.  It isn’t just another way of saying self-care.  Instead, think of how much love and affection you wanted and needed as a child.  That amount of affection is what you need to provide for yourself now. To care for and encourage ourselves in such an unconditional way is telling of how deep our love runs.  Sometimes the concept of self-nurturing gets so overwhelming, it becomes difficult to know where to start.

You’ve Come So Far

Nurturing yourself is more than just pushing yourself to be great and to do great things.  It’s about being there for yourself and saying “although you aren’t where you want to be yet, you’ve come so far”.  However if you’re going to get this far, you actually have to LISTEN.  You might have the horrible habit of ignoring the emotions you feel for the more “pressing” or the more“important” things in your life.  You are the most important thing in your life.  If you’re energy isn’t okay, the energy that you put into doing anything won’t be genuine. While it’s easy to understand the concept, applying it proves challenging.

Nurturing is a Continuous Process

Too often we treat ourselves harshly in the hopes that it will push us to be better.  We forget that there is an inner child in all of us that needs to be nurtured and loved everyday.  This is a process that we will constantly have to go through.  For humans, the need for attention and love is constant, and this means that nurturing yourself has to be continuous.  I can’t wait to dive into this with you this month✨

Treat Yo’ Self

Yassss Girl!  When I first had the idea to write this post I was anxious!  I felt like I was going to be judged for wanting nice things for myself even though I haven’t reached all of my goals yet. Then I realized that this is what we’re conditioned to think. We’re raised to believe that we don’t deserve nice things unless we’ve reached the peak of our goals, and are financially stable enough to do so.  Before then, it’s struggle, struggle, struggle, and struggle so more.  How are you going to learn how to love or be loved if you don’t treat yourself?  

Treat Yourself Like Someone You Love

There are 5 love languages, choose the ones that speak to you.  The ones that you didn’t get to experience in the past might be best to try out on yourself first.  Treat yourself like someone you love, because you are someone you love.  The way you treat yourself is the way you allow others to treat you.  You deserve to feel and be loved, but you need to be able to communicate how you want to be loved first.  The only way to do that is to treat yourself the way you know you want to be treated.

Stop and Smell the Lavender

Society has us believing that we can’t succeed unless we struggle without happiness.  This is purely idiotic and detrimental to us all. You’re allowed to treat yourself to something nice while you’re persevering through life. If you’re anything like me you are way to busy with succeeding to remember that you can breathe and smell the lavender (I like the smell of lavender better than roses)  along the way.  If you can’t think of the last time you treated yourself, that’s a problem.  Just going through the motions of life and not enjoying it until society makes you feel like you deserve to enjoy it, is not living.  It’s limiting.

Create Your Own Definition

Also, there isn’t a universal way on how to treat yourself.  The notion “treat yourself” can mean something different to all of us.  It doesn’t have to be about spoiling yourself with riches (or it can be if you can afford it).  Going out of your way to do something nice for yourself because you deserve to be loved is my definition of treating yourself.   Don’t let social media dictate the way you treat yourself.  Just because it isn’t an IG worthy pic doesn’t mean it didn’t do the job.  

Head Over to my IG for more Tips

On my IG story this week I gave some tips on how to think of ways to treat yourself! Don’t worry I’ll add the video to my IGTV series labeled “Words of Wisdom 🙏🏾”. This video will give you a better idea of how easy it can be to come up with ways to treat yourself.  

This week’s Tea With Me 🍵✨  episode was about how you need to be able to treat yourself in ways that fits your lifestyle! 

Stop With The Toxic Positivity!

This week we’re focused on how toxic positivity can ruin the satisfying feeling of persevering

Let Yourself Feel

 I used to be one of those friends that would drown you in positivity if something went wrong in your life (yes, I’m so ashamed!!!).  It wasn’t until a friend did the exact same thing to me, when it made me realize that positivity in difficult situations isn’t always helpful.  Sure it helps to keep a positive outlook on life in general.  However, we should all be realists and stop playing ourselves.  If you’re upset or going through a trying time your allowed to feel the emotions that come with that.  

Toxic Positivity

Don’t Oversimplify Your Emotions with Toxic Positivity

When we stuff positive quotes like “everything will be fine” or “stay positive, things could be worse”down our throats, it makes us forget what reality really is.  If you’re truly upset about something saying positive phrases isn’t going to make you okay again.  Don’t try to oversimplify the way you’re feeling.  You feel how you feel, and that’s it.

Negative feelings and emotions need to be felt and dealt with when they appear, not whenever your positive phrases lose relevance.  Negative thoughts can happen just as often, if not more than positive ones.  It isn’t fair to your body and mind to keep stuffing your true emotions down, and replacing it with positive bullshit.  

Be Real With Yourself

Persevering isn’t something that we all jump at the chance to do. While the concept seems positive, it is also trying.  In order for you to actually persevere you need to have something to persevere through.  Which means that struggling and feeling unmotivated in inevitable.  Be real with yourself about it, it makes the process easier. The journey getting tough and the feeling of wanting to quit is perfectly normal, shit gets rough. Let’s all normalize that shit gets rough instead of being toxically positive about it.  

We act like we can handle everything, and we’ll be fine even when we truthfully aren’t sure.  You are not the only person who feels this way. Thinking this makes us feel lonely, when the truth is we’re all just trying to wing it.  We deserve a better award for persevering other than the satisfaction of it because it takes a lot of strength.  But we won’t know how much strength it truly took if we act like the hardships and struggles that we went through weren’t real.

The next time you feel like you’re in a trying or difficult place in your life, tell yourself that.  This is a trying and difficult time, and although you know you’ll come out on top because you’re determined to persevere.  It’s okay to admit that getting through life right now is proving difficult.  Let me know how this goes for you✨

August’s Intention: Perseverance

August is here!  It feels like the months are just rolling over, but I’m determined to differentiate.  I don’t like the feeling of not being able to track time and growth (even though time is an illusion).  If we can’t track our growth then we won’t be able to see our advancement over a period of time.  You should be proud of how far you’ve gotten despite all of the obstacles and walls that we’re put up against you.  No matter what, you kept going!  This month’s intention is 

Perseverance 

Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure or opposition

Maybe We Should Practice Avoidance

Often, when we talk about perseverance we think it’s amazing that we’ve been through all of this hardship and kept going.  Yet, those of us who do struggle with the “difficulties, failure, or opposition” are looked down upon for wanting out.  Sometimes I feel like there is an incessant need for us to deeply struggle in the world before we come out on top.  The need to struggle instead of not struggling (if that’s an option), slows our progress down.  Not everything requires your perseverance, instead some things require your avoidanceWhy go through the unnecessary pain that generations before us have made into a tradition, if we don’t have to? I’m not saying that we’re not going to struggle and have hardships in life.  We should be able to go through the hardships and obstacles that are specific to our lives and what we chose for ourselves. 

Perseverance Needs to Be Worth It

I’m all here for perseverance, I just want it to be worth it.  Persevering through a journey on a path that you didn’t chose yourself is a waste of your time.  If you’re going to persevere at least put that “continued effort” into something that is worth it.  Your path is yours and only yours.   Don’t let others force you to go through an unnecessary struggle, simply because they say that’s what’s best.  Persevering is only worth it if your end goal stays the same throughout your entire journey.  But if it changes, so should your hardships and struggles.  In other words you shouldn’t be struggling or facing obstacles for something that you don’t even want to do with your life.  If you’re plans change does this mean that your struggles will get easier? No, it just means they change. 

Don’t Be Embarrassed

What we don’t talk enough about is whether persevering is even worth it.  Often times, we set out to do something with our lives and try to stick to that path because changing our minds can be embarrassing.  Society makes it embarrassing, it’s perfectly normal to not have the same job for 50 years. We are all multifaceted, but the  environment that we live in makes it hard for us to explore all of the possibilities within us.  I want us to all explore ourselves as much and as often as possible.  We are always growing and changing.  We owe it to ourselves to see what we can become.  You are not bound to anything in life.  Not to a place, not to people, and you are not bound to your initial or latter thoughts.  Struggle is inevitable, so why make persevering harder than it needs to be?

Wipe The Dust Off That Journal!

Journaling

This week were talking about how journaling is a very necessary source of self-care.  I think by now we all know the many benefits of journaling, but I’ll give you a refresher anyway:

Manages your anxiety

Reduces stress

Helps declutter your mind

Boost your mood

Enhance your sense of well-being

Vacillating

The greatest benefit that comes from journaling in my personal opinion is the release I feel when I’m finished.  My mind is constantly racing with thoughts, and the only time it feels like I can slow down and breathe is when I sleep.  This isn’t fair to my mental and emotional health. Our thoughts need to organized, and the best way to do that is by journaling!! 

Feel Seen Through Journaling

Journaling also helps us to feel heard.  We hold a lot of tension in our body because we can’t find an outlet to release and feel seen.  Journaling can be that outlet!  The sense of relief I feel after journaling is unmatched.  My mind is clearer and I am able to face obstacles in my day more efficiently because my thoughts are organized.

Deal with the Discomfort

Journaling is one of those things that pertains to self-care not only being about face masks and bubble baths.  It can be uncomfortable to be alone with our thoughts, but it’s a necessary discomfort.  Journaling allows you to deeply reflect on yourself  because all of your thoughts are written out and staring back at you.  It’s up to you to put in the work and adjust what needs adjusting. 

Things I’ve Learned

One of the challenges I face when it comes to journaling is finding the time to do it!  In the morning when I wake up my mind isn’t always racing with thoughts to write down.  Additionally, in the  evening I’m too tired to even put a pen to the paper.  The two things I learned from facing this challenge was that:

A. Journaling isn’t only about writing down the thoughts that are going through your mind.  How you’re feeling is worth writing about!  If there’s anything that will care about feelings, it’s your journal girl!  I realize that your feeling might be a bit hard to write about off rip, so I am going to provide some journaling prompts to help you along the way.

B. I’m human just like you, and I still struggle with finding time in the day to journal consistently.  Every time I write in my journal it’s purposeful, I’ve never just journaled on a whim.  In other words you must make the effort!

Some Journaling Prompts To Help

Today I’m Feeling Like The Color….

I’m Grateful For….

Some of the Challenges I’ve Faced Lately Have Me Feeling…

Today I’m Manifesting…

Hopefully these help!  Feel free to tell me some of your favorite writing prompts in the comments!    Also, let me know how these prompts work for you, I love feedback!  Don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter!

Retail Therapy on a Budget, or Thirft Shopping!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Girl, I’ve been waiting a while to write a short little piece about thrifting.  It is my LIFE.  I don’t understand how more people don’t thrift shop.  Especially, my college students out there.  If you are on a budget or money is tight but you still want to express yourself to the fullest through fashion, thrifting is right for you!  You will literally never go out of style because the clothes are timeless.  If you’re not a vintage type of person there are still clothes for you!  Most of the fears I’ve heard from people who are afraid to thrift is that the stores are dirty and they don’t want to be seen wearing other people clothes.  First, please get over yourself, this is why you have a washer and dryer.  Wear a mask, put on some gloves, and get to work.  Additionally, we’re in the business of keeping SUSTAINABLE CLOTHES.  None of that fast fashion shit.  We are trying to save the planet, not kill it with clothes that will go out of style in 2 months.  Try your local thrift store, they’re probably open. Don’t forget to wear a mask! Please send me your thrifted fits I want to repost them on my page and website!

July’s Intention: Being Grounded

Currently, it feels like the world is being pulled in many different directions. Calamities are now normalized, and the weight of them have become overbearing .  I find myself getting used to bloodshed because that has become our new normal, and I hate it here.  The space that we’re living in has my spirit feeling stressed and uninspired, due to the many directions my mind and energy are being pulled.  This month’s intention is about being

G R O U N D E D

Being grounded is something that we should all constantly strive to be.  However, it’s something that we often forget we have to work towards.   Feeling grounded does not happen because we want it to, we have to work towards it the same way we have to work towards all the things we want in life.  Staying grounded should be on the top of the list of things that you are prioritizing because it contributes to your peace of mind.  Often times, our peace of mind can be left on the back burner as a result of the many things that we are trying to balance in our life.  If we’re not careful, that connection that kept us grounded can be broken and we can start to feel lost.  

Pay Attention

Let’s dedicate this month to being and staying grounded.  You might unknowingly be doing things that contribute to being rooted in the space that you’re in.  You also might be doing things that add to the chaos of being pulled in different directions.  The point is to pay attention.  What are the wellness activities that actually contribute to a better you?  This is completely subjective to you, but it still needs to be healthy for you.  You indulging in bad habits because they feel good are not going to contribute to your peace of mind.  This is where the hard work comes in.  You have to filter out the bad behaviors that are contributing to the chaos.

There Has to be a Balance

The feeling of being grounded to me means that there is a balance between how still and active I’m being. There has to be a balance, if too much energy goes in either direction I feel like I am drifting away.  To help with this I practice behaviors and activities that make me connected to the earth, people, and energy around me.  These activities vary from person to person because wellness is subjective. One of my favorite things to do that keep me grounded is spending as much time as possible in nature.  It’s a bit ironic because I’m scared of bugs, but it’s still one of my favorite places to be.  Something about being outside makes me feel safe and alive. What are the things that make you feel like that? 

Keep it Consistent

If sitting in nature is not for you, or your environment doesn’t allow you to do something like that then do activities that work for you.  Some activities that I do are yoga, listening to music (you can get my playlist here), meditate and journal, masturbate, try my best not to kill my plants and drink a shit ton of tea (but you probably knew that already).  My wellness activities don’t have to be yours, what do you enjoy doing that makes you feel centered?  Whatever they are, you need to fight to keep them consistent in your life.  They have more of an influence over you than you know. 

P.S. I was featured in Feedspot’s Top Black Millennial Blogs & Websites to Follow in 2020!!! I’m grateful to know that my hard work is being recognized <3

June’s Monthly Intention: DEFIANCE

June is a month that I feel like we were all catapulted into without any say.  We simply just can’t control everything, and life reminds us of this every time something unplanned comes about. However, when it comes to the things that we do have control over, like our actions, we are unknowingly taught to follow and comply. This is so that things can run in the order that others see fit.  I, like everyone else have been taught to follow as well, but when I truly started to think for myself I knew I needed to be defiant in my actions so that I can challenge the constructs that were made for me to fail.  This month’s intention is…

Defiance

Take Risks

Being defiant often has a negative emphasis to it, but it all depends on how you view it.  Do you see it in a way that thinks being defiant means to have an open disregard or contempt?  Or  do you know that showing an act of defiance means to have a daring and bold resistance to an authority or to any opposing force. Let’s focus on the latter.

You Haven’t Done Anything Wrong

Defiance is a difficult thing to step into at first.  The emotions of guilt, regret, and shame flood in when others take your act of defiance as a sign of disrespect.  I have felt these emotions myself, and they are difficult to work through.  This is due to the disapproving glare that people leave behind.  This leaves you thinking that you have done something colossally wrong.  When you disrupt the order that everyone follows they seem to turn against you.  You’ve uncovered the facade that they live under, and now they have to deal with it.

We should all be challenged and uncomfortable.  Being defiant to the constructs and systems in place is where it starts.  You don’t agree with some thing? Speak up! You think that you’ve being wronged? SPEAK UP!  You are not going to get the validation and approval that you seek just because you’re standing up for something you believe in. 

We Should Be That Support

The most important thing to note is that knowledge is power, but it is also burdensome.  Knowing that no one wants to support a cause where support is crucial can be strenuous.  You are only one person, but your voice and actions have more power than you think. Small acts of defiance can go long way with the right intentions behind it.

Start by educating your family and friends on what you see is wrong with the things that are going on in this world.  Be unapologetic about it.  If you fear for their reaction then you never really cared in the first place. Even if the problems in this world don’t directly effect you, they are still worth fighting for.  Often times the support of the people who are not effected matter the most.   Let your voice be heard, it can hold weight where you least expect it.  

Don’t Know Where to Start?

Sign the Petitions Below!

https://www.standwithbre.com

https://blacklivesmatter.com/defundthepolice/

https://blacklivesmatter.com/demand-racial-data-on-coronavirus/

https://blacklivesmatter.com/coronavirus-demand-more-from-the-government/

My Catastrophe With Labels

Processed with VSCO with g3 preset

Lately, I’ve realized that I let myself be labeled and categorized by others for what feels like my entire life.  Some things that aren’t included in the description of my label is being vulnerable and open with my emotions.  Due to this, it feels like it’s almost impossible to let people in on how I truly feel.  This happens to many of us, but the description of our labels vary.  We tend to think that when others label us we are simply stuck with the label that we’re given.  However, what we quickly forget is that we are in control.

Stop Forcing Your Labels On Me

Often times we might say, “I’m just not [enter attribute here] type of person” or “it’s just the way I am”.  Yet, these statements are not always true. You’re putting yourself or you’re letting other people put you in a category that you think you can’t escape form.  

For example, I am often categorized as a “certain type” of black person, and I despise it.  People have said things like “you’re the type of black person who talks white” and “you’re black, but you’re not black black”.  By saying this, they mean than I don’t fall into the category that they usually put black people in.  It’s time to stop categorizing people on the basis of skin color.  This is one of the many reasons why black people are blamed for crimes they did not commit, yet must suffer the consequences regardless. 

Schemas Are Not An Excuse

According to Verywellmind a schema “is a cognitive framework or concept that helps organize and interpret information”.  In other words, your brain is using shortcuts to help you understand a bunch of information (I’m putting this psychology major to use y’all).  This can be both detrimental and beneficial to our lives and the lives of others.  Beneficial, because we can interpret and understand information quicker.  Detrimental, because if we have a negative experience with the information that we’re learning, we will connect that negative experience with things or people associated with the information.

The real problem, is that when people have this overgeneralized schema in their heads, they pass it on to everyone around them. Hence why black men in hoodies are always considered dangerous, or why black women are always considered to be angry.  Next thing you know, everyone believes a tragic overgeneralized lie, that can put people’s lives at stake.  Be that as it may, a schema is not an excuse for the relentless racism that happens in this country.  It is up to us to do the extra work and fact check our resources (like your racist grandparents), because people’s lives are at stake.

You Are Too Versatile to Fit Into One Category.

Solange said “I can not be a singular expression of myself”, in her song “Can I Hold the Mic”.  She’s right, none of us are just one being, we’re multifaceted.  We only become a singular expression when we allow ourselves and others to label us as such.  We need to accept that it is okay to be made up of multiple factors and attributes.  It’s actually commendable.  

Breaking out of categories that you were forcefully put into can be tuff, especially when no one wants to take you seriously.  Some will only see you in the way that they want to see you, and there’s nothing you can do about it. You will unnecessarily exhaust yourself if you are constantly trying to prove what you are not.  We are fluid creatures that are constantly changing.  There is no reason to keep yourself stuffed in a box that was categorized and labeled by someone other than yourself.  You are so much more than that.

Who Are You Creating For?

I’ve been using this newly granted free time to explore new forms of artistic expression.  Doing this has shown me that I am more skillful at some creative outlets, compared to others (duh).  Overall, what I’ve learned from this process is that not all of the things that I create are going to be profitable, nor should it be.

Breaking the Boundaries

When I didn’t have as much free time as I do now I strictly stuck too writing and dancing.  These were the things that I was most comfortable with and in the past it has been fairly easy to make a profit. Trying to explore other options at the time would only take too much time and attention, and I just didn’t have the patience to delve into this a new artistic journey. Recently however, I’ve been wanting to break out of the boundaries that I’ve set for myself.  So I asked myself, what’s something that I can create that would be useful for my followers, but still make me money at the same time?  Will I enjoy this? Will this be too overwhelming? Can I get a creative job out of this? 

Getting my Creative Juices Following

After asking myself these questions, the process to explore my creativity quickly turned into a business plan for selling new items.  That’s not what I wanted.  Instead, I simply wanted to find different ways to express myself creatively without trying to make it lucrative.  Often times, when we try to make money off something that we’re creating, we forget what drove us to create the first place.  The goal was not to lose sight of why I began this creative process.  In an attempt to keep my focus solely on creating freely, I decided to release all expectations and pressure.

Doing this allowed me to be free in my creative thinking and expression.  I was able to create what I wanted to create without any judgements or criticism from the world and most importantly, myself.  Through this exploration I found out that painting put me in a meditative trance that allowed me to clear my mind without distractions (something I often have trouble doing).  This is just one of the activities that I enjoyed doing without putting any expectations on myself about how fast I should be progressing.  Some of the things that I created could be profitable, others…not so much. What I loved the most was that there was no pressure to make the “not so much” items profitable.  

Express Yourself Creatively Without Expectations

You will burn yourself out if you try to put a price tag on all of your artistic expression.  Not everything you produce it meant to sell.  The truth is that not everyone is going to want to buy your “creative expression”, and that’s okay.  Your entire creative ability is not meant for everyone.  Some of it is just meant for you to see and enjoy in the comfort of your own space.  Just because you found something that you’re good at, doesn’t mean to need to find a way to sell it.  You don’t want to lose that excitement you had when the idea simply popped into your head.

I don’t want you to believe that the things that you can create can’t be profitable.  Everything you create can be profitable as long as you have a plan.  But we don’t create to overwhelm ourselves with work, no matter how passionate we are.  We create to express ourselves in a way that goes beyond words (unless your a writer, of course), in the hopes that someone out there will relate.  

Try to just create for the hell of it.  Is it an unfamiliar feeling? Is it difficult to continue the process? Are you pressuring yourself on how perfect or no perfect your creation is?  What does this new space feel like to you? Subscribe and comment below…