Thursday, January 24, 2013

Living in a Diva's Dream

I am a huge proponent for positive thinking. It has absolutely changed my life. Although we ALL fall victim to the "woe-is-me" mindset from time to time, I've been trying to really focus on what I want to happen in my life and where I want my life to go. Instead of thinking of the moment when I could barely make ends meet and was struggling to pay my bills, I focused on the day that was sure to come when I'd have money overflowing. Instead of focusing on my untimely descent from glorious positions to very basic roles, I focused on the corner office at the top of a building with a private elevator just for me. Instead of allowing myself to be bogged down by trying to fit into the mold that is the cookie cutter life of many people, I focused on being and loving myself, breaking out of the box I'd formerly allowed myself to be put in and embracing my unique ways.

All last year, during private conversations with my parents, I kept repeating the same things OVER and OVER again. To some people, I sounded a silly because they couldn't see what I could see. Several nights last year, I cried myself to sleep because I felt like I failure. In front of people, I wore I smile because I was afraid to show my weakness. But, at home, I was drowning in a sea of frustration. Still, I tried to keep myself  uplifted and motivated. When I would fall into these funks, I'd put on Marvin Sapp and listen to him tell me that GOD sees the best in me when no one else can and, most importantly, that I have to keep praising him in advance. It's difficult to do sometimes, but I'd walk around singing those songs and my moods would go from gloomy to uplifted. I no longer felt overwhelmed by life's curve balls  I felt empowered and ready to conquer the world... and that I did!

At night, when I close my eyes, I never envision a mediocre life for myself. I see a life of glitz and glam... cocktail parties and fundraisers and a high profile corporate position with a car to take me home at night. I see a house on the hills and a garage full of fast cars... Diamonds are girls best friend and, though I'm a classy, sophisticated woman in my own rights, they're my best friend too! I say it now with more clarity and sincerity than I ever did before... I'm a DIVA. Through and through.
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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What Does a 26 Year Old, Out of Shape Body Look Like....

So... I intentionally didn't come on yesterday because the thought of putting up photos of myself... and my fat stomach... is a little scary. No, I'm not incredibly overweight. When some people look at me, they might think I'm not overweight, at all.

But my body isn't where I want it to be. My oldest sister is 35. She recently had twins in May of last year. She has a tighter, firmer body than I have at 26. That's wonderful, really. I wouldn't want her to be out of shape because, after all, she is my sister. But she's my nine years older, mother of four sister and it's sort of a blow to my pride. I look at her and say, I gotta get it together! My goodness... she's birthed four humans and I've birthed... NONE!

OK, now that I've aired all of my dirty laundry... I digressed a ton just to delay putting up these photographs for a little while longer. Don't judge me. Actually, do judge me... I'm judging myself too! Come February 14th, I'll be a different woman. If putting myself out there encourages someone else, then I just gotta do what I gotta do! So... here goes nothing... and NO, I'm not with child. I just look that way.

Shout out to my cousin, Julian Grubbs. Talk about motivation!

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Monday, January 14, 2013

New Year... New You

OK, so it's officially 2013! I know it's been a couple of weeks since I've been on. I have quite a bit going on and I'm trying to make some big moves this year. Aren't we all? That's the DIVA way.

So, what's on my agenda this year? First things first... I'm trying to get in shape. You know... Get it tight and get it right! No, I don't expect it to be an overnight event. I'm very realistic. I don't have resolutions or anything like that. This is a lifestyle change that I just happen to be jump-starting at the beginning of the year.

I have a one year goal, but I believe everything is easier to attain when you have smaller goals to achieve along the way. And I've definitely set up a one month, three month and six month goal to achieve along the way.

First, I have thirty days to implement an exercise plan. And just in time for Valentine's Day, might I add! ;) No, I'm not doing this so I can fit nicely into my nice red dress, which is gorgeous, I might add. I'm doing this because I'm 26 and beginning to notice that my body just doesn't look the same. I'd say I fell in love with my 23 year old body, but, this year, I plan on falling in love with my body all over again.

Next, I have three months to STOP eating all of the things that I know I shouldn't. Now, for me, my needs are more health based than anything else. As a borderline diabetic, my body doesn't process gluten and sugar the same as an average person's. If I eat too much gluten or sugar, I experience side effects, sometimes as bad as passing out. This may seem like an easy feat to conquer, but you never realize how much gluten and sugar you eat on a daily basis until you try to cut it out. Pasta, bread, lunch meat, cookies, cake, fried foods, etc. Gluten is in lots of the food we eat everyday. And for me, bread is a huge weakness. Same with fried fish, fried chicken, fried oysters, french fries, etc. I think you get the picture.

Lastly, my six month goal is to be able to job 3 miles in 24 minutes, do 25 push ups in two minutes, and 64 sit ups in two minutes. These numbers didn't seem daunting until I tried to do it. I run (OK, I'm lying... I walk/ jog.) a mile in about 12 minutes. That means I'll have to shave 12 minutes off my time. I can only do about 6 push ups, maybe 7 if I really push myself. And sit ups.... yeah, I'm in the 20s. I can't even make it for two minutes in any of the categories right now. But, I'm determined that I can make it happen this year.

So, tomorrow, I'll be posting my Day One pictures. It's going to be a process... and trust me when I tell you to not let my body fool you. I'm not incredibly overweight, only about 8 pounds. But I am incredibly out of shape. So, join me and let's get our bodies in shape together. What are your goals? What can you realistically do over the next thirty days? Let's accomplish this together!

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Monday, December 31, 2012

Day Thirty... Love Yourself First!


These last thirty days have gone by too quick and, I have to tell you, I do believe this has been the best thirty days of my life. You know, when you begin to focus on things other than yourself and your own problem, you give GOD an opportunity to work on and through you. You'd be surprised how incredibly fulfilled you become. I stopped focusing on things in my life, petty things, that were not panning out the way I imagined. And BAM! God took control and brought me to where I am today.

2013 is looking as promising as ever! While embarking on this journey with you and doing research to truly be able to speak from a place of knowing, I learned how to love myself more than I ever did before. And you can too! It's not an overnight transformation for most individuals. It takes time to truly learn how to love yourself. The important thing is that you're headed in the right direction.

I try to say it in every message I send out, but sometimes I forget. So, if this is the ONLY thing you take from my message, just remember this. YOU CANNOT AND WILL NOT LOSE WITH GOD ON YOUR SIDE. I know I just posted "Lord I Need to Be a Winner" yesterday, but there's nothing wrong with a little reiteration. That is a POWERFUL poem. Not because I like it, and I do, but because EVERY SINGLE WORD in that poem is an affirmation of your faith in GOD and your faith in his ability to make you a WINNER. And, I don't know about you, but I WANT TO WIN IN THIS GAME OF LIFE!

Let me give you a quick rundown of the topics we've covered over the last month.

  • Bad Association Spoils Useful Habits
  • Stop Trying To Be Someone You're No
  • Let Go of the Victim Syndrome
  • Learn to Forgive
  • Don't Be In a Rush
  • Don't Be Anxious About Tomorrow
  • If At First You Don't Succeed
  • Start Making Moves
  • What Motivates You
  • Never Get Desperate
  • Perfect for YOU
  • Follow the Road on the Journey to Happiness
  • Be Happy Now
  • Positive Self Talk
  • Positive Affirmations
  • Take Some Me Time and DO YOU
  • Be Your Own Competition
  • What Do You Want
  • Stop Lying to Yourself and Let Go of the Past
  • Setting Effective Goals to Put You On a Path to Success
  • Visualize Your Goals and Live the Dream Today
  • Listen to Your Inner Voice
  • Get Ready to Live Your Best Life NOW
More than anything else, I hope you were able to realize that it takes two. YOU and GOD. No matter what you desire in life. No matter what your dreams are. No matter what obstacles, trials and tribulations you have to overcome. No matter what you have gone through in the past. No matter how hard life has been for you. No matter where you want to go in the future. If God sees you to you, he WILL see you through it.

I'm a living testimony of his miraculous power. At the lowest moments in my life when family and friends gave up on me, GOD carried me through the storm because I was too weak to carry myself. When I didn't love myself, GOD loved me first. When I thought I was worthless, GOD showed me my worth. When I thought life wasn't worth living anymore, GOD showed me I am PRICELESS in his eyes.

So, now I'm encouraging you to turn to GOD and LOVE YOURSELF FIRST. It makes no difference what you want out of life, you have to do those two things to be truly successful. If you turn to GOD, you won't allow yourself to be mistreated. If you turn to GOD, HE won't lead you astray. And if you turn to GOD, he will help you learn how to LOVE YOURSELF FIRST and he will show you how to be successful. Jeremiah 29:11-13 tells us that "11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."

You can't expect to find fulfilling relationships with anyone, male or female, platonic or romantic, if you do not love yourself FIRST. You can not expect to reach real success if you do not love yourself FIRST. Most importantly, you deserve to love yourself FIRST.

So, this year, let's live our best lives NOW. Let's bring it in DIVA STYLE. And let's make a vow to always put GOD first and LOVE OURSELVES FIRST!

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day Twenty Eight and Twenty Nine... Get Ready to Live Your Best Life NOW

I know I've told you several times, but I'm a bit of a perfectionist (both in the professional realm and my personal life). Though I know it's humanly impossible, I want to be everything to everybody. I never want to let anyone down. I hate losing. I want to make everyone, including myself, happy. I want to be PERFECT. Sometimes, though, my desire for perfection on my part and that of others causes me to miss out on the GREAT things that are occurring everyday. And it's often those small moments, the little things in life, that add up to the greatest gifts of all. 

Don't spend all of your time focusing on BIG things (or at least the things you THINK are big) and forget about the many blessings you have right now. One day, you'll realize that everything you thought was SO IMPORTANT wasn't that important at all. All of the moments you wish you could get back, well, it'll be too late. You know the saying, "A day late and a dollar short." Don't come up short this time around. I'm not telling you to stop working towards goals in life. That would not be the DIVA way. What I'm telling you is to take a break, stop for a minute, and smell the roses. More importantly, I encourage everyone to reflect on their life and the people they have in it. 

We all are SO blessed, but it's easy to look past all of the beauty and blessings life has to offer sometimes. It's hard to remember how wonderful our life is when situations in our lives aren't playing out as we imagined, but I try to remind myself of the great feeling I have right at this moment even when my life isn't perfect (and my life is NEVER perfect). I try to remind myself of this euphoric sentiment that is warming me all over like a blanket wrapped around a newborn. 
Now, mind you, I'm NOT perfect, so I TRY to keep myself jovial and in good spirits, but I get down sometimes too. What I do know is that, regardless of how I'm feeling any particular day of the week, I'M STILL SO BLESSED. Some days, like today, you wake up and look around and just bask in all of God's blessings. Days like today, I write down all of the things I'm grateful for so that, on those days when I'm feeling a little less than positive, I can look back and reminisce on the wonderful feeling I felt not too long ago.

So, that's what I'm going to do today!

I've got Superwoman as my mother, and she always reminds me the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. Kimberly Goudeau 
I've got two daddies that treat me like the princess I am, and anybody that knows me knows I'm the ultimate Daddy's girl!
I have the MOST AMAZING, beautiful, intelligent, driven sisters! Corey DavisSophia GodoYou GoudeauLola Goudeau-LawrenceDezaray Davis and Simona Denaluv DavisMy brothers are the DEFINITION OF REAL MEN. Cortney Bryantand Cj BryantMy nephews are handsome, my nieces are belles, and all of them are geniuses. All of my cousins are handsome/beautiful AND intelligent. Danielle Allen, Regina Theresa Clore, Christina Petra Atherall, Angel Atherall Krikorian, Julian Grubbs, Amina Bryant, Vincent Bryant, Katheryn Bryant, Kylon Bryant, etc. etc. Too many to name.
And me... well, I'm a DIVA!

I don't see how God can bless me anymore than he already has, but I pray that I continue to stay in his good grace and be blessed by him. If you don't think your life is where it should be, you need to convert some of your FREE TIME into KNEE TIME, and start praying so that God can guide you and put your life on cruise control. That's the DIVA way.

To give you a jumpstart on things, here's a poem to prepare your mind for this upcoming year. We all want to be winners. Allow GOD to guide you along the way. Tomorrow, as you're thinking about this poem, remember one thing. You cannot lose with GOD on your side. You're already so incredibly blessed. You're one step away from the next step you need to take. Let GOD guide you this upcoming year and make sure you take the right step. Tomorrow is DAY THIRTY. Think about everything we've talked about over the last thirty days. Get ready to live your best life NOW and start loving yourself FIRST! I love all you DIVAS out there. Let's make 2013 the BEST YEAR EVER!

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day Twenty Six and Twenty Seven... Listen to Your Inner Voice

I was talking to a friend of mine whose life had been turned upside down. She'd been with her boyfriend for over TEN YEARS and they had a beautiful little girl together. Over the course of their relationship, she'd become his second mother, so to speak. He left his mother's nest only to find his way into her nest next. And as the great mother she is, she treated him like the baby he wanted to be. Not only did she cook and clean for him every single day, but she paid all of the bills. Oh yeah, he had a job. BUT, she thought if she took good care of him, he'd take good care of her. And guess what??? He cheated on her again and again and again. The funny thing is that, every time he cheated on her, she knew beforehand when he was going to do it and when he actually did it.

Over the last month of learning to love yourself more, we've covered everything from choosing good people to associate with, letting go of the past and forgiving transgressors to being happy now, loving yourself first and visualizing your dreams. All of those are invaluable topics and lessons. But I think one of the greatest lessons we can learn is how to listen to your inner voice and trust your instincts. When you speak to people who have been a party to a bad situation, they often reminisce about how they had this feeling, this sense of worry and anxiety in their gut. More importantly, they often speak of how they ignored it and, as a result, fared badly.

The next time you have to take a leap of faith, tune in to your inner voice. The OWN Network and Oprah Winfrey is running a series called 'Master Class'. And one of her lessons on the website are 'Trust Your Instinct' and it says "It speaks to you from the purest place, knows the truth of who you are and can lead you to the answer that's right for you. Masters know that no matter what anyone else says, their own best guide is within." Who knows you better than God and yourself? No one! So, why not learn to listen to the voice of those two people the most?

Deepak Chopra wrote an article on, entitled "When Things Go Bump in the Mind". He gave three pointers to learning to trust your intuition when it interrupts your frame of mind and urges you to consider an incident.

1. Pay attention to each incident. Look at it. Hold it in your mind. Don't simply dismiss a coincidence and let it drift away. Life is totally interconnected. These unusual "things" are simply connections that surprise you because you aren't used to seeing life except in fragments. Now it is beginning to piece itself together.

2. Give significance to your experiences. This means changing your allegiance to a new way of perceiving yourself. You are accustomed to being an isolated person bounded by limited thoughts, feelings and experiences. This is the state of separation. Yet if you choose to, you can see yourself as part of the flow of life, the center of an unfolding, expanding awareness.

3. Value this new way of being in the world. You are the silent, unchanging witness in the midst of constant change. The real you comprehends far more than the limited self in separation. As you take your first steps into expanded consciousness, trust that the path is right, but don't trust every little incident.
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Learning to trust yourself and your instincts is an invaluable skill. Oprah said that "Learning to trust your instincts, using your intuitive sense of what's best for you, is paramount for any lasting success. I've trusted the still, small voice of intuition my entire life. And the only time I've made mistakes is when I didn't listen. It's really more of a feeling than a voice—a whispery sensation that pulsates just beneath the surface of your being."
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Humans are the only creatures that do not listen to their inner voice, their instincts, their intuition, every single time. All other animals know that they need to trust their instincts, or it could be to their detriment. It's hard to go against what we want to be our desired outcome, but some things are out of our control. Not everything is. Don't allow anyone or anything to use you as a doormat because you didn't listen to your heart in how you should handle a situation. It's hard not to follow our hearts or do the logical thing in every situation. But, nine times out of ten, our instincts aren't going to steer us wrong. We may want something out of life, but it might not be the best thing for us. Listen to your instinct. Work towards deciphering fear from your inner voice. And move towards a more successful 2013.

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