Lioness Lessons Series, Passion, Pride, Self Love, Spirit

In Praise of My PRIDE

 

Where My Girls At?

Where my girls at,

From the front to back,

Well is you feelin’ that,

Put one hand up,

Can you repeat that,

 

(Performed by 702…Writer(s): R. Stewart, E. Seats, M. Elliott, Rapture D. Stewart, Eric L. Seats, Melissa A. Elliott Copyright: Mass Confusion, E Beats Music, Rap Tracks Publishing, Mass Confusion Prod., WB Music Corp.)


As I began the process of writing this blog I had lots of words for what I have been feeling lately but none of them were quite right. The poet in me (such as it is) kept taking over. Finally I decided to let her have her way. She wanted to send out words of special meaning to the women of her PRIDE. Her daughters, her nieces, her cousins, her Aunties, her close friends and the sisters of her heart. Those that have travelled this journey before her, after her and alongside her. Each of you know who you are and what you are to me but just in case there is any question in your mind…”Where my girls at?”

 

The best times of my life were spent on “Beaches”

When I was so “Clue-less”.

We were “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”

Even when you wore a dress.

Yeah Sister we were living “A League of Our Own”

I was Doris, you were Mae.

But even after years have passed

You still won’t see it that way.

We’ve been our own “First Wives Club” while “Waiting to Exhale”

The bond between us spans time and space

But it doesn’t fail.

My daughters are my sisters too

The future of my PRIDE.

Magnolias made of steel

For them I’d die or ride.

Now we’re about to “Set It Off” like “Thelma and Louise”

And I got my girls with me

Living “The Secret Lives of Bees.”

Nia

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Self Love

Beautiful

“Beautiful”

[Spoken] Don’t look at me

Every day is so wonderful Then suddenly it’s hard to breathe. Now and then I get insecure From all the pain, I’m so ashamed. I am beautiful no matter what they say. Words can’t bring me down. I am beautiful in every single way. Yes, words can’t bring me down… Oh no. So don’t you bring me down today.

As sung By Christina Aguilera

If you….like me…have undervalued yourself for far too long and have allowed other people’s opinions of you to mean more than your own opinion of yourself. THAT is a hard truth you must come to grips with. You must recognize that you are truly the only real constant in your life. Everyone else can come and will come and go. Whether they are dear friends, beloved family members or your chosen mate, they can be gone from your life between one breath and the next. We are the blood we cannot walk away from. We should be our own support systems. We ourselves are the friends we must not ignore.  And yet we are our own worst critics when we should become our own best cheer leaders. Not just in word but in deed.

A while back I saw a trailer for a movie called “The Incredible Mr. Ripley” with my best friend. It was about a young man that completely made himself over in order to assume a lifestyle to which he has grown accustomed. As we watched it we became fascinate with the idea of making ourselves over. Not in order to usurp someone else’s life but to improve upon our own. After the movie, over dinner we designed our new lives. Our “look”, or lifestyle, how we would walk, talk, shop, dress, everything about ourselves. We were going to work on that. Set time tables, toasted our future selves but like many other plans we’d made, life got in the way.

 I submit to you that we were not going to impersonate anyone else. Many of us HAVE been impersonating someone else all this time. WE have been impersonating the women our parents groomed us to be, circumstances bullied us into being, or that life coerced us into being. Ding! They won round one. Round two belongs to us!

Our commitments must be to ourselves. We must be answerable to our own highest purposes, our own deepest desires and our own best interests. Only THE MOST HIGH’s purposes, desires and interests should supersede them. If fear is holding you back then recall that much quoted poem:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ― Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”

Wear these words as a breast plate and shield and prepare to do battle with your own demons, in spite of the obstacles whether real or imagined. I understand those obstacles in you because I recognize them in me. But I am making a concerted effort to see “Nia” as my client, my first priority from a coaching standpoint. I say to myself…would you accept this kind of “run for cover” from a client? Wouldn’t you expect and therefore push a client to be her best, brightest, highest version of herself? Well the answer to that is yes. So I force myself to look in the mirror. And I force myself to see the reflection looking back at me. I can’t always do it for long but I do it. The demons of uncertainty and doubt blink back at me. Confused because they no longer have the power over me they once did. I’m making peace with the “me” that I am in order to embrace the “me” I am choosing to become.

And everywhere we go (and everywhere we go)

The sun will always shine (the sun will always, always shine)

And tomorrow we might wake on the other side

We are beautiful no matter what they say

Yes, words won’t bring us down, no, no

We are beautiful in every single way

Yes, words can’t bring us down, oh, no

So don’t you bring me down today

Oh, yeah, don’t you bring me down today, yeah, ooh

Don’t you bring me down ooh… today

 

http://www.be-well-lioness.com

http://www.mydoterra.com/bwl

 

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Lioness Lessons Series, Self Love, Spirit

In Another Woman’s Kitchen

This past weekend I got this tremendous surge of energy! I’d felt it building steadily for the last 2 weeks so when I woke up Saturday morning I knew I would feel good. I just didn’t know how good I was going to feel! This was a feeling of well-being, strength and energy like I haven’t experienced since before I ran my very first half marathon. It was amazing! (And long overdue.)

You see I ran that half marathon 4 months after my mom passed away. I was ill-prepared. I hadn’t trained all that well. Hadn’t lost the weight I’d planned to lose. I was in fact a mess. I started that race with pure adrenaline that dissipated at mile 5 or 6 but finished the race just short of crawling with nothing but fear of the sweeper bus to get me over the finish line.

Grief is a powerful force. It can sap your will and zap your energy. I knew that having lost my younger sister less than 12 months earlier and in between my step mother and step brother. What I didn’t realize was how long it could linger. How long unresolved mourning could continue to drain you. At least I didn’t realize it until…until it lifted! I woke up this past Saturday morning and jumped out of bed like someone had hit an eject button!

I relocated to my parents’ home to raise my nieces and care for my dad and I’ve made some changes in the house but the kitchen really hadn’t been touched. My mom was an amazing cook. I mean the things she could do in a kitchen seemed like the product of magic rather than any human skill. The kitchen represented my mom to me and I just didn’t want to “do” anything to it. So for the last 18 months or so I’ve just worked around it. Squeezed myself and my spices, oils and herbs in between those she left behind. It wasn’t the most convenient way to prepare meals but I was apparently still in a fog that allowed me to function without questioning whether or not that made any sense at all.

So any way Saturday I woke up and worked out as usual…maybe with more bounce in my step than I’d had for a while. Took a shower and sang a little bit as I washed my hair. Then I went down to my mother’s kitchen to make breakfast. I reached onto the spice shelf to get my turmeric and knocked over several bottles of stuff. I picked them up and looked at them. One or two of them contained spice combinations I would NEVER use and one or two of them had expiration dates that had expired. So I tossed them in the trash can without giving them a second thought.

I prepared my breakfast but noticed that one of the skillets had a cracked non-stick coating. The Wellness Coach in me was appalled because I know that the chemicals in non-stick coatings are toxic. Heck I’ve conducted seminars where I shared that very same information. Yep! I tossed it! It felt good. It felt right. It felt better the more stuff I threw away. By the time I finally sat down an hour and a half later my breakfast was cold but my spirit was on fire!

I felt liberated and at peace as I again prepared my breakfast. This time as I prepared my breakfast most of the jars and bottles on the shelves were ones I had purchased myself. The pots and pans were stainless steel and scrubbed clean using essential oils and baking soda. The veggies came from my own little urban garden in the back yard. I smiled a peaceful smile as I took the first bite of the breakfast I made in “my” kitchen. And I truly believe my mommy would have wanted it that way.

 

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Lioness Lessons Series

MY LIONESS LIFE!

When I first came up with the idea of living My Lioness Life from Mane2Tale it was a vague but exciting idea I had for living the life I envisioned for myself and being the me, I always dreamed of being. It was meant to be an all encompassing transformation, changing everything about who I was to who I wish to become. After a few months of soul searching my vision became sharper, clearer and here are the components I have settled on. The Six Circles I invite you to join me in creating for yourself (in no particular order):

Circle One – My BODY transformation will be a move toward greater and greater physical health. Control of chronic health issues by becoming leaner and stronger. I will work to increase and fine tune my fitness regimen, eat cleaner, lessen my dependence on animal protein, avoid and eliminate as many environmental toxins as possible. I want this Lionesses body to be in hunting form

Circle Two – My BRAIN transformation will move me toward greater mental focus, clarity and memory. Improve my mood, my attitude and my ATTITUDE! I desperately want to make my brain function as sharply as possible. I don’t believe it is necessarily set in stone that our brains slow down as we age. I just don’t believe it and I don’t intend to just roll over and surrender to the aging process as far as my mind and memory are concerned.

Circle Three – My SPIRIT transformation. I want to deepen my relationship to my creator and his creations. I want to get back to a place where it is second nature for me to check in with God on the decisions I make, the work I do, the thoughts I think and the desires of my heart.  

Circle Four – My SELF LOVE transformation. Yes I’m talking openly about having an affair with me. Many women have a very, very bad habit of thinking less of themselves than makes sense considering we are…beautiful, intelligent, talented, witty, charming, caring, generous, thoughtful, sexy, strong, dependable, loyal and loving. I have been having an affair with myself for the last month or 2 and I think you ought to consider doing the same. Heck we all ought to. Love ourselves the way we would love someone else. Love ourselves the way we envision BEING loved by someone else. When you are the lover and the beloved that should be the yardstick by which all other loves are measured.

Circle Five – My PRIDE transformation. When I refer to Pride I mean my loving relationships, my inner circle which includes family, friends and those not of my blood but of my heart. Those I would give up or lay down my life for.

Circle Six – My PASSION transformation. I have lived quite a bit of my life doing what was expected or needed or safest. It is my continued intention to embrace those things that bring me genuine joy, that pique my curiosity, that my nerve endings dance, that make me glow.

I want to face the second half of my life with boldness, fierceness, curiosity, dignity, strength and faith due a Queen of the jungle. I want a Lioness Life!

 

Keep Up With The Pride at www.Be-Well-Lioness.com or www.BeWellLioness.com

FaceBook www.facebook.com/BeWellLioness

Twitter @GoLioness

Pinterest Be Well Lioness

Contact me at CoachNia@Be-Well-Lioness.com

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Lioness Lessons Series

Some People Enjoy Cooking…I’m Not One of Those People

I’m not that person. I once was a person that cooked but could really take it or leave it. As a single mom cooking for me was a necessary evil. A thing I did each and every night to ensure my children were taken care of, like doing laundry gave them clean clothes and cleaning the house gave them a relatively germ free environment. But it wasn’t exactly recreational for me. It was a get in, get it over with item on my daily task list.

 

Now here I am again. The one expected to provide most of the meals for round two. My kids are all grown and I am living round two. Round two, for those who don’t know it, is what I call my identical twin nieces and my widowed daddy. My nieces are 5. My dad is 77. And cooking is still one of those things I do because it has to be done. Not because I enjoy it.

 

The major difference this time around is that I know so much more about nutrition now than I did the first time around. The first time I went for fast, easy, convenient and of course tasty. I had to get my kids to eat it after all.

 

This time around I want the same but I understand the health consequences of a diet of pre-packaged, processed, convenience foods. 30 years ago I assumed, wrongly I might add, that the department of agriculture and the FDA wouldn’t let anybody put things on a supermarket shelf that was not only not good for my children but were actually bad for them and for me.

 

Now I know so much better. I’m not counting on the government or big business to protect me or guide me to good health. I’m taking the grass fed bull by the horns and doing the research, reading the labels and making decisions about the foods that come into my kitchen. I’m finding that healthy, whole, clean foods can be just as quick and “convenient” as the boxed stuff with enough thought and planning. I don’t need MSG and artificial colors and flavors to entice 5 year olds to eat their veggies and in my house brown rice is just rice. The twins would probably think all rice was brown or black or red if it weren’t for the occasional Chinese take-out. Several meatless meals per week don’t bother the little ballerinas at all. In fact sometimes they choose not to eat meat even when it’s on the menu.

 

My nutrition education is making healthier meals this time around but I admit I wish I had known then what I know now. I could have given my own children a better start. Sometimes the guilt I feel is a bit overwhelming and then I remember that even my adult offspring and my dad are experiencing better health as they take a  page from my book and make lifestyle and nutrition changes. The point then for me is not when I started but that I started. Maybe that’s the point for anyone contemplating a healthier lifestyle shift.

 

Ok so maybe I still don’t love to cook. But I do love my family and there is definitely something to be said for demonstrating that love by providing them with the best quality foods I can get even if it means I have to cook.

 

Keep Up With The Pride at www.Be-Well-Lioness.com or www.BeWellLioness.com

FaceBook

www.facebook.com/BeWellLioness

Twitter:  @GoLioness

Pinterest:  Be Well Lioness

Contact me: CoachNia@Be-Well-Lioness.com

 

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Lioness Lessons Series

Valentine’s Day For One

The road to any relationship can be a bumpy one. Fraught with all kinds of challenges. That is also true of the loving relationship you build with yourself, particularly if it is a relatively new one. Take my romance with me for example. Now as a general rule I don’t care much for Valentine’s Day. Definitely right down there at the bottom of my list with root canal day and mammogram day. Historically it is a day that reminds me how unloved I have felt in my past as bouquets of flowers and boxes of candy have passed me by on the way to someone else’s desk. Yes I got my share of construction paper hearts from my kids over the years and my dad, bless his heart, has always made the effort of getting me flowers but let’s be frank here…whatever else Valentine’s Day was supposed to be it has morphed into a holiday for lovers. Anything else is cute, adorable even and much appreciated but not quite enough somehow.

I was rather down on the Feb 14th like always. Deep in my annual 24 hr funk. Lamenting the fact that once again I was left out of the love vibe. When I was reminded by a dear friend and fellow Health Coach that I did in fact have a lover of my own and I was neglecting her every bit as much as previous loves had neglected and let me down in the past.
Now lest you begin to wonder what exactly this has to be with wellness let me enlighten you. It is the inherent not enough-ness that causes many women, especially single mothers to place everyone else’s well being above their own. How quickly I fell back into the habit of not being enough for me. Of allowing my single-ness be cause for the Blues. Foolish Lioness I said to myself. Are you any less lovely than you were yesterday?

But I have decided to tell myself every day how amazing and spectacular and Flawless I am…several times a day actually. I’m gonna keep doing it until I believe it like a reflex. I’m having a love affair with myself. If somebody comes along one day he’d better into threesomes. He’ll have to join my relationship with myself already in progress.
So I am feeling quite lovely….I woke in bed with the woman I love. She was happy to see me. I said good morning to her and asked how she managed to wake up so beautiful and she said…I woke up like dis! (Quoting Beyonce) That made me laugh. Then I told her I loved her and she said…obviously. Can’t argue with intelligent women…especially when she is you. Right?

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What it is and What it Aint

When The ANTs Come Marching In

I recently learned a valuable lesson. I learned that not every thought that creeps, slithers or oozes from the darker recesses of my mind are to be believed. Sometimes my mind lies to me. Oh I’m not special in this regard. Sometimes yours lies to you too. It happens to us all. There’s that woman that thinks she still ought to wear the cut off tank top when her core is obviously no longer appropriate for display. There’s that guy that thinks he really is as good a ball player as he once may have been or that the toupee he’s wearing looks natural when in fact everyone knows it’s a hair piece…a very bad hair piece.

You see automatic thoughts come in many forms but I have a problem with the Negative ones.
These thoughts are called ANTs by Dr. Daniel Amen… Automatic Negative Thoughts. These are the thoughts that come to you unbidden and unplanned. They pop up seemingly out of nowhere ruining our day, keeping us stuck and often unable to move forward. They can rob us of our joy and of our positive momentum. Before we allow those ANTS to take control of our lives we need to stop and ask ourselves whether the things our brains are telling us are really true or whether our minds are playing games with us.

These ants have been running through my head since I was a little girl. They have plagued me most of my life. My ants don’t tell me that I’m smaller, sexier, smarter or more talented than I am. My thoughts that say I’m not pretty enough (obviously lies since I am in fact quite nice to look at.) The thoughts that insist I’m not tall enough or that I’m too tall when I am in fact the perfect height for me. Whispering in my ear and annoying me. Undermining my self confidence and possibly robbing me of opportunities by creating uncertainty where there should be none. So today I’m killing ants. I have been smashing the heck out of some ANTS. And I’m declaring my head a NO ANT ZONE! I’m squashing them the minute they surface. I’m hiring me to be pest control! The ANTS must go! I’m not saying I won’t occasionally think some less than positive stuff but I’m dealing with the automatic ones…the reflexive ones. I’ve decided that if I’m going to have unbidden, reflexive thoughts I’m opting for positive ones. No. I don’t plan to wear any cut off midriff baring tops and I’m not gonna glue or weave 20lbs of someone else’s china doll hair onto my head but I do plan to think of myself as freaking awesome! I will be thinking of myself as flawless courtesy of Beyonce. Yes I woke up like dis!

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