Does your mirror(s) have you feeling some type of away?
It is called the Mirror Effects.
We, as in women, feel good about the outfit choices we had to dig out from the back of our crammed closets.
Our clothes feel pleasantly comfy against our bodies until, something as simple as catching our reflection in a mirror; takes away what we had imagined looked like Kelly Rowland in a Fabletics commercial or Halle Berry on a strolling the beach. It was merely an illusion.
What do we do?
We begin to beat ourselves up, well, down.
Negative thoughts trickle in, we start to body shame ourselves; there is an energy shift, and we become an emotional wreck stressing over finding something to wear that covers all our outer flaws.
Years after much therapy, I came up with this brilliant trick.
Have you seen the movie Snow White and the Huntsman? Do you recall the part when Queen Raveena asks the gold-shiny thing the question, who is the fairest of them all?
Well, the Evil Queen does not see her reflection staring back at her as she frantically paces back and forth to see if there is news of someone somewhere across the land better than her.
She patiently waits for the round glistening tin to form into a man where her quest has sent him on a Google search across the wide web.
He collects the information as to whom is the most beautiful on Instagram and Facebook while gathering himself at her feet. For her to discover it is not she, the fairest of them all.
Angrily she deliberates how could it not be her after all her efforts to stay relevant?
That is how I feel, as the Queen did when my mirror tells me the truth about how I look in leggings: any clothing.
Getting dressed sometimes feels as if Tony Robbins put a spell on me like in the film Shallow Hal. I step out of my closet believing and feeling one way to facing the hard truth in the mirror, feeling another way.
So, I developed a foolproof technique. A trick better than any magic trick Harry could ever think to conjure up.
See, the trick to looking and feeling good all the time is to see yourself through a mirrorless mirror (picture frame).
Even if my reality is my stomach bulging over the top of my pants, tits dragging the ground like this new fashion craze; I am always beautiful because I can visually see myself; my realness inside.
Not the reflecting cinnamon rolls rising around my waistline or where gravity has stretched and pulled my triceps and sagging boobs so low my granddaughters could jump double dutch with them.
And we must not forget the loose neck skin that makes grandma look as though she has magically turned into a turkey.
You see, The Mirrorless Mirror is a magic wand that forces you to see you, the inner self, those parts of you that get you into heaven: the most important part.
Let me be clear!
Now let me be clear. I am not saying, in any shape or form. I will strut out into the streets wearing a jumpsuit that fits like my infant grandchild onesie; busting at the steams like someone accidentally punctured a can of biscuits because I feel so darn beautiful inside after catching a glimpse of my inner self.
No. But what I am saying. It that in those moments, when I begin to beat myself up because I ate too many fries, overly indulged in the Costco’s variety pack of Cheesecake Factory cheesecakes; eat an entire bag of Hersey Kisses in one setting, or womanly monthly things. Hanging an empty picture frame on the wall does the trick every time.
So, if you are tired of walking around with bruises and black eyes you give yourself. Try my brilliant trick and get your confidence back.
Warning: Do not try this alone. You will see the real you. Some parts may be scary for some.
Head over to @sisterslikeuswin on Instagram to see how the mirror effect affected me.
Remember, whichever flower you choose to be BLOOM!
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.
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
I have learned the hard way about the importance of a clean and healthy mind, body, and spirit.
I have learned the hard way about the importance of a clean and healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Our health is our biggest asset and like all things, our bodies break down as we age and or overtime from poor diet or environment. And often it is the functions of our minds that tend to decline first.
After learning from trial and error, I started my journey to living a more fulfilling and healthier lifestyle. Making the required and necessary changes to be around for my family and to do what I was born to do: create and to serve others.
Below are 10 essentials for the mind, body, and spirit, I practice to allow myself to be available for my family and, to live with intention and purpose doing the two things I love; creative writing (content) and helping others.
With so many things on our daily do list, someone that it was wise to coin the phrase “I’ll sleep when I die. But why starve ourselves from sleep to possibly dying early from a lack of it?
The adequate amount of sleep is overlooked because our minds are always focused on what we need to do if we aren’t already doing it.
But sleep is just as important for the body as water and food.
A lack of sleep can result in sleep disorders such as Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency.
These conditions can lead to heart failure and disease, and obesity which can cause other health issues, like high blood pressure, stroke, and depression. Health issues like these can wreak havoc on an already stressed and unbalanced body and mind.
Try getting 6-8 hours of sleep each night by sticking to a bedtime schedule, not watching TV, or eating an hour or two before bed, and avoiding caffeinated drinks.
However, I understand everyone’s body is different. One person may be able to function from 4 hours of sleep where someone like me who requires 8 straight hours of sleep, so I do not wake up fog minded and tired the next day. But are you giving your body enough time to rejuvenate and correct (heal) itself?
Benefits of a good night sleep:
1. Brain function and emotional health: good sleep helps improves your memory
the body renews and heals itself
2. Reduces the stress level hormone cortisone and high blood pressure
3. It can help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is thought to cause body deterioration, causing things like arthritis.
4. Can help you lose weight by less stress less emotional eating while up.
It is said that little is required, having faith as small as a mustard seed. I always tell people; my faith is a watermelon full of seeds.
Believing in God and that my life has a purpose is what has led me to this day. Knowing I was created to build on the world created by someone…something bigger than me, bigger than human beings with my best interest at heart gotten me through the most difficult moments.
Causes me to believe in myself, my talents, and helping others.
When faith begins to dimmish, look back at all the things you’ve survived, how you survived, and be thankful for the lessons in the adversities. You did not give up or give in so, your faith is stronger than you know,
Life will knock us around and the test is sure to come but believing in my self, the universe is key
I like to move it move it!
I think the Madagascar charters were on to something.
I learned the hard way how important working out is for the body particularly stretching and cardio exercises.
As we age our bodies not only begin to lose muscle mass but harder to absorb calcium and vitamin D necessary for healthy bones. This opens the body for injuries like breaks and bone shrinkage.
Because everything in our bodies is connected in some sort of way, should one area of the body weakens; over time the connected areas will weaken may leading to conditions such as arthritis, etc.
Exercise moves like weight strengthening can help maintain muscle while stretching can prevent ligaments from tearing and cardio workouts help with blood circulation.
Benefits of moving (exercising):
1. Reduce body fat- excessive body fat can lead to obesity, diabetes, and poor heart health
2. Improve mental health-increases the happy hormone serotonin
3. Increase energy
4. Relieves stress
5. Strengthen bones and muscles
Our diets are one of the most crucial parts of our being, and the saying, we are what we eat is true.
Improper diet can lead to overweight in which then leads to more serious health conditions.
Water is the most essential to any form of life. It not only hydrates our insides and helps with blood flow, but it also affects our skin.
I always know when I have not had enough water by my skin will either become oily or ruddy looking.
Benefits and truths of a good diet:
1. A healthy body results in a higher performance
2. Veggies equal life, sugar equals problems
3. Water makes the blood flow around
4. Water promotes radiance skin
5. Healthy eating keeps diseases away
It is normal: human nature to socialize with other human beings. But with safe distancing due to this 2020 virus, we had been advised to stay inside.
Homeschooling, and working from the dining room, this pandemic has impeded our time to physically socialize as we normally and freely did. Thus forcing us to find other ways to communicate with our families and friends and the outside world.
Social distancing or interacting with others can take a psychological toll on a person over time. And we must interact with the elder and children who may be alone or can’t wrap their heads around what is happening during this time.
I believe it is important that children, especially, socialize to build the needed skills to learn how to interact with other cultures to learn how to handle conflicts and differences.
Socializing builds life experiences and people skills. So during this unpredictable time safety is practiced using technology.
The technology industry is forever changing. More and more apps are created and utilized to engage from the walls of our homes.
Platforms such as Zoom, Messenger, or face timing through our phone’s apps have allowed me to see my family and network with others.
It is mentally important to interact with others, especially now with the fall and winter shorter daylight hours, where the weather doesn’t permit outdoor activities.
Benefits of socializing:
1. Takes the mind off your worries
2. Increases the happy hormone
3. Offer growth by learning from others and, about yourself
4. Physical connection
5. Feeling of belonging: loved, needed
When we often think of escape, traveling (vacation) usually comes first to mind. But there are so many means to escape.
My mother was an avid reader, who I would find most times curled up at the arm of her sofa reading a book. She was well diverse in her studies with a wide vocabulary. I many times phoned her to spell a read. That was many years ago, I have since then picked up more books, and utilize Google’s dictionary.
Escaping does not have to mean booking a flight or hotel. It can be as easy as looking within ourselves, our imaginations, meditation in nature, if only for a moment.
Escape into your own imagination rather it be journaling, painting, or coming up with some new recipes off the fly.
I enjoy writing poetry and film concepts. I’ll play around with outfits and hair just to see what I will come up with.
Going through my health issues, poetry was my way to escape the madness of pain. This in turn helped me process what I was going through.
I wrote and published my first book of poems with a publishing company surrounding my daily debilitating pain.
I found myself writing my best poetry and best ideas when life looked bleak.
Creativity is freeing and expressive! Find something that speaks to your inner being and create from within.
Call me a free-spirit or a nature enthusiastic but walking along the ocean or between tall green trees is the most relaxing thing I do for my mental health.
It is my way to escape and refresh without cost and come away with so many benefits.
Throughout my Instagram postings, you can see how much I love to be out in nature.
Walking through tall trees, grassy roadsides; discovering how the other creations of God’s life are adventuring and enlightening.
The birds and butterflies seem unbothered by the issues concerning the world, giving a feeling of peace, a stillness I would say.
The believer looks at the birds in the sky, that do not reap nor gather into the barns, and trust that the Father will provide.
Nature walks always reminds me that there is a higher power than myself. It reveals how animals experience the same obstacles as we humans and everything will be ok.
When I am stressing over things out of my control, I turn to nature to re-center and re-focus on what is good in my life and in the world.
No, not everyone is an outdoor enthusiastic such as me but there are other ways to experience nature like nature recordings (soothing), nature and planet inspired television shows, and video (educational).
Mingle with nature. Create a place in the backyard, or on the patio to take in nature or, simply stroll a park. Trust when I say you will find it rewarding.
Let the music play!
Music is more than a sound to dance to, it is another way of escaping from the mundane of everyday living with influencing and transformational powers.
It forces us to conjure the energy to start and finish tasks that otherwise would not have gotten done i.e. working out or cleaning the house.
Like books, music can take us to a place in time letting the flight of the imagination swarm freely.
In the early mornings, I will listen to gospel music: it helps me to start my day centered around God and His plans for my life. With gratitude, my noon playlist consists of songs that evoke me to write poetry and or film ideas. And by evening, I must tone into a classical station to mute my mind circling with scenes before I rest for the night.
Some benefits I have found listening to music are:
For me, pampering is a little more than doing my hair or nails. It is the total package of self-care; the mind, body, and spirit. It is the power of having awareness when it is needed and knowing when to say no.
We as women will neglect ourselves to make sure our partners, children, and friends are ok first before we ask ourselves the very question.
Keep silent and not ask for help when we are drowning, so overwhelmed we distract ourselves by keeping busy with everyone else from our own needs. Superhero is our strength, but it is also what weakness and destroys our minds, our bodies, and dreams over time.
I’ve wondered if the cause of others mistreating us, is because we have miss treated ourselves.
Looking good, makes us feel good but, feeling and being mentally and emotionally good is what makes us good and overboil with confidence from the inside out.
Below is a list of things that may give reasons to step away from playing super mom, wife, or boss for some needed relaxing and rejuvenation-self-care.
1. Explained weight gain caused by stress
5. Feeling depressed or not worthy
6. Lack of concentration
I hope these 10 essentials will help and encourage you to live a healthier lifestyle and win.