Friday, May 27, 2016

a truth moment with jamie





I was quite stressed after I had my daughter. I also believe I was dealing with a little postpartum depression, and I was super tense. I didn't talk to anyone about it, partly because I'm generally not the type of person to vent about my problems, but mainly because I felt guilty for feeling the way I did. For a few months, my husband and I barely spoke. It got so bad that he asked me if I still wanted to be with him. That was a huge wake up call. His question coupled with me not liking how I felt and how I was living led to me to doing something to change it.

I began venting in my journal and asking Spirit for help. I created affirmations around how I wanted my life to be different and read numerous blog posts on marriage. I began working on myself, changing my mindset to a positive one and being a more loving spouse. Additionally, I began doing yoga more regularly and meditating. The change didn't happen overnight (I'd say it took a few months), but because of those things: journaling, praying, affirmations, yoga, and meditation, I'm a much calmer, peaceful, and happier person.

Even though I teach women how to create calm, I struggle with it sometimes myself. I think that because I'm an introvert, I'm naturally an overthinker, which leads me to worrying. And I'm also a recovering control freak, so there are still times I kind of freak out when things don't work out how I think they should. Fortunately, I'm a lot better at not allowing circumstances to stress me out than I used to be.  But as the saying goes, 'We teach what we most need to learn.'


Follow Jamie on Instagram and Twitter @blackgirlcalm and visit her website Black Girls Guide to Calm.





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I got away from doing features for awhile because I knew I wanted to change things up but I wasn't sure how. So I'm excited to welcome them back now in a new format. A Truth Moment is a series capturing our reflections, confessions and discoveries, no matter how big or small. If you submitted a piece for #writewordsthatmove that hasn't been posted yet, it will be posted in this new series. If you would like to share a moment, submission details are here and you can follow along with the series here.

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Thursday, May 26, 2016

chapter 13: she never dares to be too happy



Ever since her mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia, she has been worried that she would face the same fate.

Caught up in the cycle.

Making up lies to hide her mother's erratic behavior.

Pretending and concealing, believing her own stories.

Everyone lies, everyone pretends not to see, so why shouldn't she?


Monday, May 23, 2016

what story are you telling yourself?





If you want to change the way your life is going, change the story you are telling yourself about your life and who you are.  Rebel against your old story.

If you feel that you have not lived a  beautiful life, you can change that by having a grateful perspective and an unbreakable spirit.  The world needs that  energy.  That story never gets old.

If everyday you wake up and condemn yourself for your past mistakes, reject yourself for not having it all figured out and insist on the same thought patterns that keep you in pain — you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy of defeat that will stay with you wherever you go.

Instead, travel light. Forgive yourself.  Forgive others.  Make your story about the overcoming.

What have you been through that you gives you a unique perspective and the ability to serve others?

This is your struggle.  

What is your favorite way to communicate?  How can you use this form of communication to share your story?

This is your vehicle.

What type of people do you connect with most naturally, with the least amount of effort or anxiety?

This is your audience.   

How can they find you?  How do you put yourself out there?

This is your platform.

How have your ups and downs, your wins and losses shaped your life?

This is your story.

What happens when you live out the story your heart wants to tell?

This is your purpose.

When you own your story, no one can use it against you.

Stories allow us to offer up our humanity as a gift.  Stories teach us the meaning of love.  How to love each other when we are not at our best.  How to love life when life hurts us.  How to love beyond what we can see or touch.

Our stories set us free to make mistakes, be ridiculous and  surprise ourselves.   Stories are magic.  They remind us that we were born to be creative and share our life experiences in unique ways.

Each individual story adds to the texture of life and the great story of the human condition.  Play your part as  authentically as possible.    Events are just events until we assign meaning to them.  Events are the Universe’s way of speaking to us.  In story form.  Calling out to us to pay attention.    Life is a mystery that many of us miss, thinking that everything is about good and bad, reward and punishment.

When living out your story becomes your purpose, what seemed  obvious and plain before suddenly becomes mysterious.  Worth a second look.  Find the patterns and connections that continuously pop up throughout your life.  The puzzle pieces that make up a bigger picture of life and humanity.  Your experience is an integral part of that picture.


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Y'all know I'm passionate about writing my stories, inspiring you to write your stories and creating spaces for you to do so. I've teamed up with Ashley of WriteLaughDream to present the Digital Storytellers Masterclass for writers who blog. Creating a platform for the stories you want to tell is an art. It requires creative courage and a willingness to grow and evolve in front of an audience. We’ve learned to weather the uncertainty and ride the learning curves of this journey through consistent practice, resourcefulness and determination. We believe your voice is needed and that blogging is a viable way to to build a unique writing career and attract diverse opportunities.  If you've been wanting to take your blog to the next level and build confidence in your voice, join us on June 5 for our in-depth online workshop.  All the details are here.

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Sunday, May 22, 2016

chapter 12: the slap






Her mother's face was contorted, eyebrows furrowed in anger and concentration, lips tucked in and braced for impact, her body jerking awkwardly with the effort.

This was a defense, not an attack.

Her mother felt threatened and she lashed out at her daughter the same way she did in her sleep when she was being assaulted by invisible forces.

It was the first and last time that she tried to convince her mother to see a doctor.

She was fifteen; her mother was sick, the kind of sick that no one talks about, and her father was at work.


Friday, May 20, 2016

a truth moment with laurie






I wish I could say I had one mistake that I feel like I am “over.” 

With total honesty, I am still working on understanding past mistakes and trust me, I have made “big ones.” I struggle with letting go and I believe forgiveness, true, deep authentic forgiveness takes a lifetime to accomplish. I say this because I believe the mistakes of the past live within ourselves and they are a damn good teacher…so I think they stay for a reason.

 In the words of Pema Chodron: "Nothing goes away until it teaches us what we need to learn."

With that, if I was to say that I have a favorite mistake, I don’t. They still hurt. They still bleed and I think they will forever and that is a difficult thing to live with. However, they are wonderful teachers and they are my truth and my reality. So, I believe it’s a balance of accepting the truth of my life and practicing (operative word -- practicing) not letting it have a firm grasp on me day in and day out, but moving forward with a new reality and a new sense of self.

Laurie is on Instagram at @laurieannjackson.




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I got away from doing features for awhile because I knew I wanted to change things up but I wasn't sure how. So I'm excited to welcome them back now in a new format. A Truth Moment is a series capturing our reflections, confessions and discoveries, no matter how big or small. If you submitted a piece for #writewordsthatmove that hasn't been posted yet, it will be posted in this new series. If you would like to share a moment, submission details are here.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

chapter 11: love makes pain beautiful



Driving home, in her car, in her mind, she wanders and searches.

She recalls the story.

The one about the broken girl with the broken mother who would grow up to live a broken life.

It had never occurred to her to see things differently.

But here, in this moment, she knows that she is creating a new story.