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Inspiration: Feeding Your Mind Junk?

Feeding the Mind and Thoughts

Are You Feeding Your Mind Junk?

We have all heard that phrase, “You are what you eat.” True of our brains. We input junk; we output junk.

Should one consume four donut holes every morning with their morning joe (coffee), overtime eating four donuts every day will develop into extra pounds on the hips or rolls around the waistline (without a balanced diet and exercise).

The same can be said feeding our brains garbage. If one spends time strolling social media feeds, intaking unbeneficial content, eventually junk will show on the outside. Through our accomplishments (unproductive), actions (habits), words (communication), and way of thinking (self-thoughts or view our circumstances).

If calories are to spent on strolling social media feeds or binge-watching TV, slip a few encouraging or challenging options into your daily mix that simulates your creativity or inspires you to be less than a couch potato. Inevitably a stack of potatoes turns to mush but mindfully feeding and challenging the brain keeps our minds healthy and sharp.

Self-help Book

What to Feed the Brain

To feed the brain, to grow and rid self of bad habits, try watching self-help tutorial videos like TED Talks and Sisters Like Us Win to transform your thought process to win or, get a copy of my book Cracks in the Pavement 2: Butterfly Effects to start the journey of healing. I have personally learned many techniques on how to be mindful of my thoughts and how it affects our overall well being.

By watching these types videos I have little to no negative thoughts throughout the day and I do not give much attention to my daily body aches and pains. I set a goal to achieve for the day and push through taking breaks when needed.

But in those moments when I do begin to doubt, I am mindful it is occurring and quickly change the negative narrative to positive one by thinking of how far I have come, my trust in God, and faith in my capabilities to achieve more.

Sisters, I hope this dose of inspiration nourishes you and remember, Whichever flower you choose to be BLOOM!
-Dawn

©Dawn Dean-Sisters Like Us
Dose of Inspiration: I will not feed my brain junk but nourishments that birth life!

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Overthinking: The Problems it Cause and How to Conquer it!

I believe I have done more harm to myself, my life; overthinking.

Overthinking and the Problems it Causes

I had always believed it was better to look at the bigger picture when making small or large decisions. I felt it was the best way to avoid disaster and be prepared for whatever came my way, to protect myself from unforeseen harm.

But the bigger picture always led to overthinking before doing anything. That “what if this happens” question always popped into my head. More so, after becoming a mother and later when I could no longer tolerate emotional stress and physical pain.

Today, in a new place and time and with a much different mindset, I say, “what the hell; just do it!”

If I am not causing harm to anyone and the consequences fall solely on me. Why not go for it without much thought? The outcome will be what it will be, if nothing else; I have learned something about myself or how to address a situation should it arise again.

I think singly raising three kids, I could not throw caution to the wind because whatever I did would affect my children. But before becoming a mom, I’d hop on a bus without a second thought from Union Station in Washington, D.C to Downtown New York and as far as Texas without hesitation.

But old habits can be hard to break. And honestly, asking what if saved me from getting into a lot of mess.

But I have drawn a conclusion. That question “what if,” demonstrates a lack of faith, negative thinking, and keeps one stuck from getting ahead. Often more than not, its terminology is used in a derogatory manner especially when pondering over thoughts.

Overthinking leads to self-doubt, procrastination among other things. So why not be aware of its existence, face it, and cut it off.

Facing the Problem

Believe me when I say it was no easy task debugging my mind of that “What If Syndrome.” Though today I still find myself overanalyzing to write a blog post or record a video when I have already planned out a whole month of content. I tend to overthink it. However, I no longer utilize the term what if unless I am poising a suggestion because the lightbulb came on in my head with a great idea.

Truthfully, there have been times where I’ have wondered if I had ADHD because my mind doesn’t want to shut off once it has revved up. Although in most cases, my thoughts are creative ones. Still, I find myself at times overthinking how to present my content or handle the days’ agenda. Hell, I went back and forth compilating to blog or vlog this topic.

However, I have learned the key to conquering overthinking boils down to being consciously aware of when I am doing it. When we are aware, we can make the choice to probe why we are overthinking and address the emotions that sometimes occur when we overthink.

I can’t speak for everyone but when I overanalyze. I get overwhelmed, stressed, and therefore procrastinate in getting things done. Is this you too? If so, below I go into detail about how I solved whether to blog or vlog about this subject. If you are reading this, you know which form wins.

Overthinking: Problems and Conquering

When I find myself overthinking longer than three minutes over anything. I stop; acknowledge what I am doing and the emotions I am feeling, then I take deep breaths and ask myself a few questions listed below. If that doesn’t work and I feel my body tensing up I chant the OM mantra. I am no expert in meditation chanting but holding the OM sounds some breaths, repeating it a few times clears my mind: literally.

This ongoing pandemic hasn’t made it easier for those of us who overthink. It has only given us more to think about.

If you are suffering from anxiety more frequently because of the happenings in the world today. See if the OM mantra is right for you. I was shocked at how quickly it washed away my anxiety and stress. If it doesn’t conquer your anxiety or stress levels brought on by overthinking. Try asking yourself these three questions: They have worked for me under several circumstances.

1. Why are you giving this so much thought?
2. How does overstressing/overthinking help your or the situation?
3. How will this affect me today or tomorrow?

Here’s a scenario where I practice the meditation chanting and the questioning method. This example may seem small to some, others may relate; it brings on migraines.

Example: Going to the store.

When I think I need to go to the grocery store for food or; just get out of the house. At times I start to rethink the whole idea of leaving the house (safety…essentials).

I contemplate what clothes to slip on because I’m comfortably relaxing in my PJ’s or workout wear. I think about the weather, if my body is up to shopping; which store has the better sales and has recently stocked. On top of that, recalling every item I’ve run out of or is low on because I’ve lost my list plus, making sure I have my protective gear such as a mask.

Unavoidably, anxiety kicks in, sending my stress hormones into a frenzy. I get overwhelmed putting it off a few days. I used to love shopping, fashion retail, and food. But since the pandemic; I’ve found myself procrastinating more and more. And in no way can it be beneficial.

Procrastination is a side effect of overthinking. It is more than just a delay in getting something done. It can add up to multiple tasks placed on hold, stuffed, or piled in a corner or closet.

Eventually, the entire room or house has succumbed to it, and overthinking has become a mental clutter of mess and stress. And it is not just with our spaces it affects but our overall well-being.

Get it Done!

Getting it done prevents a long list of things-to-do and overthinking where to start. Prioritizing, and starting with the most important tasks probably should be tackled first. But should it become too much to handle. Take a ten-minute mental break (nothing longer) breathe in and out, then, attack the smaller projects first.

It is human nature to feel great about accomplishing. Knocking one thing off the list will give a boost of confidence to handle the bigger projects.

Tip: Where you begin to overthink, replace it with self-reflection, what you have accomplished, or take a self-care timeout. Just remember when reflecting, revisit those things that made you feel good or deserves a pat on the back (accomplishments).

When I think back over the dark moments I have come through, how far I’ve come and grown. It brings a smile to my face and a feeling of pride. My therapist instructed me to always acknowledge and cheer for the small wins as well as the big ones.

I hope I have given you something to consider when dealing with overthinking.

Whichever flower you choose to be BLOOM sister!
Dawn

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How do I Measure Success?

How do you measure success?

Does success equal a fancy car, a compound that can house twelve families, only three people occupy the space? Or is success any size home filled with the things we love most like: family and friends, laughter, with moments adorning the walls, and the aroma of tranquility filling the rooms?

Success for me is a place of being true to self with a heart of gratitude. That way, wherever I may go, I am unapologetically happy with who I am and what I do.

I have always been one to go after what I wanted. I wanted it so badly I neglected my physical and mental health thriving to achieve material things. Do not get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with working hard or having material things unless those things like my case compromise your overall well-being.

Success is done with balance. Balancing the mind, body, spirit, financials, and relationships

Do not allow achieving things to define who you are or let those objects become your face (identity) because you have lost yourself. Society teaches us from childhood that more equals success and that it should be achieved in a particular order.

I watched Little Fires Everywhere over the weekend, and boy did Elena (Reese Witherspoon) need a match lit under her.

Reese, Elena, compromised her true love, true happiness for the life she thought was her life dream because society tells us by a certain age we should have; graduate college, gotten married, bought a house, had children, and to retire old.

Reese’s character loved her picture-perfect life if it looked good on the surface, catching an attitude with any and everyone around her if her family didn’t look like perfection to others.

Sometimes the view in the mirror is not so perfect.

Old Unhealthy Selfie

Bitter about having birthed a fourth child, Elena shames others about their life choices, pointing the finger, revealing their mistakes and flaws when fact she should be examining her own life and actions. But the view in the mirror is not so perfect as she would find out.

By the end of the series, Reese has found her match Mia, played by Kerry Washington, and is awaken unusually by those who love her most.

I found this series binge-worthy, coming away with so many eye-opening moments about how differently we as humans measure success, living with our decisions, racism, mental health, and sexuality.

We all are in the pursuit of happiness and simply want to live a happy life uniquely as ourselves.

How do you measure success?

Many of us have gotten caught up in this rat race, sadly missing out on true happiness living the life society has measured as success.

We become slaves to the rhythm (system), to someone else’s definition of success measuring up to the likes of our parents, teachers, peers, etc.

Have you lost your identity just to fit in, to be accepted, to feel like you have succeeded?

Can you look in the mirror and like what is looking back at you?

Remember, whichever flower you choose to be BLOOM.

Please leave your thoughts and comments on this article and check out Instagram @sisterslikeuswin

Aspire to Inspire!
Dawn

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12 Reasons Why You Cannot Move Beyond STUCK

Are you stuck in limbo trying to move forward but with each step forward you are knocked three steps back?

Below are 12 (plus a bonus) possible reasons why you cannot move beyond stuck.

1. Attitude: A negative attitude about your circumstances equals negative energy and a negative outcome.

Try looking on the bright side even if life tends to only show the dark side.

2. Blaming: Pointing fingers, blaming others get you nowhere except where you are-stuck.

Try standing in the mirror pointing your finger at yourself. After all, you are the boss of your life, and no one forced you to make your decisions but you.

However, do not waddle in the past too long, for if you do, you will be stuck in the past.

3. Clutter: Having a cluttered mind blogged down with un-useful baggage only takes you to Never-Neverland. Never happy. Never satisfied. Never a win.

Accept whatever happened, process it, and let it go.

Not everything or everyone is meant or deserves to travel along your personal journey. So, make room for those who and new possibilities.

4. Distractions: Turn off the TV, and your email and social media notifications then place your phone on vibrate and put it in another room.

Because guess what? It ain’t going anywhere until you stroll through it or delete it. And if you miss something, it was not meant for you to see.

Distractions can steal time. Do not let it rob you.

5. Focus: Well, the lack of it.

Focusing on too many tasks is exhausting; believe me, I know all too well.

Multi-tasking is not what it used to be with so many technical distractions dinging in the background.

Try focusing on one task or idea at a time, and not move on to the next until that one has been completed. More will get done this way, and anxiety will be less.

Have you found why you are stuck? Continue reading to discover your reason

6. Gratitude: Gratitude is the best attitude cause when we underappreciate what we have it appears we have nothing when we have plenty.

By focusing and appreciating the things that truly matter gives true gratification and fulfillment of abundance that pushes us to do more for those things that matter in our lives. In return, we get stuff accomplished.

7. Habits: Bad habits are like poison. Doing too much of anything could destroy us. This includes binge-watching (time management), consuming too many unhealthy foods, and living in the past.

Being mindful breaks bad habits if it takes 14 or 60 days to get rid of them, one first must be cognizant that they are bad habits.

8. Identity: Have you lose yourself to society?

Not knowing who you hinder you from finding your life’s purpose.
It is important to discover when you lost yourself to the world that has injected its opinions of who they deem you should be is the key to being and living your authentic self.

It is no easy task, but you can be found.

9. Kindhearted: Find it difficult to say no, and not regret saying it?

No, is a sentence and no one should feel guilty about saying it.

Being an empath myself, I have had my share of difficulties saying no and not retracting it in the next breath.

But saying no to others means saying yes to you, your own desires, and valuable time spent on identifying you and your purpose.

I say, say no, and say it like you mean it the first time.

10. Mindset: Is your mind shackled to what society trained it to believe? Chained to the lie, you are to work your younger years, retire old, and die poor and broken?

Sorry to be so morbid, but that is how many live their lives believing we live to only pay bills and die.
Life and death are both certainties, but life is so much more than working yourself into the grave.
Life is what we make it, and God created it where we all prosper by giving each of us gifts to obtain abundance and joy.

Our mindset-thoughts, plays an important role in how we live between our born date and decease date.

We can either live out loud and unapologetically or live in the shadows afraid to think for ourselves and grow from the seeds gifted us.

Caring about what others think of us controls give others control of our minds and life, fear keeps us from thriving, and our attitude will keep us from flourishing with purpose.
Fine-tune your way of thinking, be opened-minded, and see what may bloom.

Working from Home

11. Opportunity: Do you believe the lack of opportunity is keeping you planted in sinking sand?
In 2020 many gained and lost. Those who gained adapted to the way the world starting to operate. While others were not so sure of how to adjust to the quick changes.

Doors have not always opened for women or people of color. So many times, we fit in where we can.

But many women are shifting their mindsets and going for broke. Meaning they are making a way out of no way no matter the cost.

Women are amongst the fastest growing business owners, and it does not look like they will be slowing down anytime soon because sisters like us win.

Being pushed out of a job beyond their control, forced to work from home due to the 2020 virus lockdown allowed women more time to create or work their side hustles: a win-win situation.

No doors have ever magically opened for me. It took hard work, determination, and preparation when opportunity knocked.

But with today’s technology, opportunities are available at our fingertips from in the comfort of our own homes. To me, the virus forced us to seize opportunities while allowing us to utilize the gifts we were blessed with.

Permitting us to build our own doors of opportunity on a strong foundation.

12. Perfection: Nothing is perfect. So, if you are waiting to perfect your craft, a business plan, or figure, you will be waiting forever.

Perfectionism is like a disease with procrastination as a symptom.

Striving for perfection only causes us to overthink and underproduce; it causes fear and doubts in our abilities to do.

If you are a perfectionist, you are fearful of failing or succeeding, you care too much about what others think of you, and you will continue to be stuck in an unrealistic world if you continue to let perfection hold you back from doing.

BONUS

My Browns are Beautiful

13. Comparing: Do you find yourself scrolling through social media feeds comparing yourself to others? If your answer is yes, sometimes, you will be stuck on Fantasy Island until you realize and appreciate your own talents and beauty.

When we compare ourselves to others, we are telling ourselves we are not enough. But what and how God created for you is for you.
You are divinely crafted to stand out from the crowd and serve in your own unique way.
Be you, your incomparable self.

I hope you find your way out of the maze of stuck with these 12 (plus the bonus) reasons why you cannot move beyond stuck.

Please leave a comment if you need more reasons as to why you cannot move beyond stuck.

-Dawn