Punch Back.

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*photos by Duran Andrae*

CHIN UP, YOU GOT THIS.

It’s a new week, new day, new vibes, new opportunity to be better, do better.

This post will not be significantly long as my previous post, it gets straight to the point so keep reading. I know you are interested in knowing what this post is referring to by the title “Punch Back”, no worries..you’ll soon find out.

The relationships we form on a regular basis with friends, family or even the mere strangers we meet outside are sometimes formed in unexpected ways, however, they hold some type of significance in our lives. Sometimes we are impacted by how nice someone says good morning or even the kind act of someone picking up something that fell out from our hands, but how are we reciprocating these acts of kindness? Do we forget what others have done for us and treat the next person without a care in the world, or do we stop to offer that genuine love that was shown to us? My point is this, we must not forget to be nice. Something so simple can be so hard. I know the title “punch back” took you out, but I’m getting there. We must learn and unlearn through our actions every day. The way we speak, the words we say, take all of it into consideration of the other person’s feelings.

PUNCH BACK. Why am I telling you to punch back when we have learned as kids not to hit someone else, but to take the high road or even turn to other resources to handle situations? Here’s why… Punching back is not always wrong. It’s great to be nice and kind to other people, but sometimes you get so nice & kind that you become a punching bag. You take hits daily without talking back or standing up for yourself. You become that person’s outlet to get their feelings out when in actuality you are not letting yours out. You want so much for others to be happy that you begin to sacrifice your happiness. Punch back. Obviously not physically, but figuratively. People may underestimate your potential, but you must prove them wrong. This can be at work, school, or home, understand that you are not what people may think you are. God gave you a brain, He made you able, He gave you strength and He gave you peace. Don’t let other people allow you to lose sight of those things you were given…gifted. As the quote says, You are you and that is your greatest superpower, remember that this week.

Punch back, don’t be a punching bag. 

Outfit Details: Crewneck- American Apparel, Wide-Leg Pants- ZARA, Jacket- ZARA, Booties- Public Desire, Plaid Bag- BAGGU (See post for details HERE)

Keep up with me! Follow me on my other socials! xoxo MJ.

Have no worry, have no fear.

Hello, my loves!

Today’s post is a bit personal, but I aimed to just shed my thoughts and encouragement on how to cope and elevate when dealing with fear. We normally associate fear with darkness, for the mere fact that it is something that we do not welcome in our lives, however, did you know it can harbor a permanent place within your life if you don’t make a change now?

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Fear is something that can make you or break you. 

Hear me out,

That vulnerable thing you want to do keeps pressing your mind every day, but you keep ignoring it.

You question yourself because you’re uncertain.

You second guess yourself because your confidence is running on zero.

Add a cup of fear to that equation and what do you get?

A person who never take risks, try new things, do the impossible, elevates, but stay stagnant and the list goes on…

I have been there.

I’ve allowed fear to take a permanent place in my life.

I’ve given up before even trying and allowed the opinions of others to cloud my judgment.

I fed my soul negativity before quenching my thirst with positivity.

There’s something about rejection that has always made me fearful of going for it.

I never like to hear “no” or “sorry you didn’t get this”.

It’s crazy when I think about it because when I look back at all the “No’s” I’ve received in my life, it has all led up to my current YES situation.

Short backstory:

Since I’m being totally transparent, I remember back in 2016 while in college looking for a job, I  that Zara was hiring. In my mind then, I never thought of working at Zara simply because I thought then it was “high end” lol. So immediately I fed myself that negative thought. However, I still decided to go for it so I applied.  I didn’t tell a soul (maybe just my boyfriend), went for the interview, and got a call that evening asking me to come in to fill out the paperwork. Just like that. I can’t make this up. To be honest, I was in such awe. The fear of putting myself out there, God crushed it by proving ME wrong. And I have so much more similar experiences like this.

Fear can eat you up and spit you out, then repeat.

It allows you to be surface level vs sky high.

It confuses your mind and fluctuates your thoughts.

If we make fear feel at home within us, it will stay permanently.

Don’t allow that.

Be fearLESS.

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All photos by @DuranAndrae

In order to make fear a thing of the past, here are some tips:

  1. Pray. Build on your relationship with God. The stronger your relationship with God is, the better you get with handling situations where you might feel unsuitable for a role or aghast in an opportunity. God is bigger than your fears and he is MORE THAN ABLE to take them away, once you’re willing to let go and trust Him.
  2. Practice using positive affirmations. As simple as this is to do, for many people it’s tough. Not everyone can encourage themselves or be positive in situations that make them cringe inside. However, with great practice you can become perfect and affirming yourself will be easy peasy! Positive affirmations hold so much power, more than we realize. Think about how much stronger you will be when a negative thought comes into your mind. That’s the power we have within us.
  3. Put on a brave face and push through it. The amount of times I did this is unattainable to even count! Sometimes you have to just do it. PERIOD.
  4. Create and build your own personal support system. That may include your closest friends and family, anyone you can clearly see is going places, positive, open to hearing your thoughts and most importantly, has a love for God. 

Bible scripture: Psalm 23:4- “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

I do hope that this post gave you some help, guidance or motivation to push through and block out fear. It’ll take time, but good things come to those who wait and work diligently.

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Thanks for stopping by! xoxo MJ.

who are you?

 

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What do you think of yourself? Do you think of yourself like how God thinks of you? Or do you think of yourself as how FRIENDS and FAMILY members think of you? —that’s the realest questions you’ll ever have to ask yourself.

As I grow older I tend to ask myself a lot of questions, mostly because life is beginning to get super real (the older you get people). I noticed that in order to be fully vulnerable with anyone else, you first have to be vulnerable with yourself (and God). To be honest, life can be ‘hella scary’ and that’s the truth! It’s like you do not want to make the wrong decision and be a disappointment ever, but reality sets in and you realize that it’s inevitable to not make a few mistakes along the way. BUT Is it really okay? Be real, sometimes I feel like it’s not okay…and that’s also OKAY! Let me explain. See I know people in my inner circle support me with everything in them, but I question myself sometimes when I think of if I ever “failed”. I know failure is an option, but for how long?  

Will I accomplish my goals?
Will I be the person I envisioned myself being?
Will I be able to provide/support myself fully?
Will I have no regrets in the future?
So many questions, so little time. Time is flying by. BLINK…it’s MAY y’all! 

When I begin to freak out, I get back to the original question which is “Who am I?” You have to know who you are, regardless of whether you are where you want to be or not (life lesson, take notes). I have learned that fear is something that can make you or break you. I have and still experience how procrastination can consume you and make you feel like it’s OKAY to relax. A big fat lie. Back in April, I wrote those questions (from the beginning of my post) on my chalkboard in my room and literally every time I felt down and out I looked up and it gave me strength! The power of having things around you to get you back in the game when you need it the most. I recommend you giving it a try!

Whenever you are faced with the question: “Who are you?” Your answer should always be “A child of the King”. All my life my mother have been reassuring my siblings and I of this important fact and I honestly get it now fully. Your worth is priceless. No one should ever feel like they could speak to you any way they want or treat you nothing less than a king or queen. So many times I have witnessed arguments/fights on the street where people allow men/woman to embarrass, degrade and put them down in public! That’s the lowest of the lows. No one should ever have that much authority over your life to be able to do that to you. KNOW WHO YOU ARE. KNOW YOUR WORTH.

People who know their worth do not have to prove themselves.
People who know who they are do not have to show off and show out.
People who know what a blessing feels like show it in their actions.

Remember who you are at all times. Write it down, memorize it, eat/breathe/and sleep knowing it! You are you and that is your superpower.

I hope this short post gives someone some type of comfort, inspiration, and motivation to keep going and to be proud of who you are. I was feeling like I was not giving content since mid-April, but as soon as I sat down to write a post (not knowing what to write) this topic came to mind. Honestly, I’m glad it did because I wrote it for myself as well. I do wish you all the best in this new month. HAPPY MAY 2018!

Thanks for stopping by! xoxo MJ.

make lemonade!

Hello loves,

Happy International Women’s Day.

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“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness. Armor yourself in it, and it will never be used to hurt you.”

Today’s post I’m encouraging you to make lemonade when life gives you lemons! I have been given lots of lemons throughout my years of life, but I always tried to make “lemonade” or make better out of my situation. One thing I have learned was to never forget who I am and where I came from. Not just that, but the reason behind it. Times have changed a lot from when I was younger. I say this in reference to having pride in where you came from. It was not so easy being the kid who just migrated to the U.S. from the Caribbean, in a class filled with Americans. There were ups and downs, but I never forgot where I came from, as a matter of fact, I think I was overly proud to an extent. I won’t lie to y’all, sometimes it was hard, but when you realize that it does not matter what people think, you get right back up.

The same ones following your journey are awaiting your downfall.

How sad is that? It is so easy to lose sight of what’s important sometimes, through the situations that we go through and all the negativity of this world. However, it is what you do in those trying times that shows the kind of person you are or aspire to be. In the workplace, at home or on the streets as a woman, you have to remember that you are powerful, strong, beautiful, important and you came too far to not let that shine through. Being that it’s women’s day I encourage you to bask in this moment and remember all the powerful women that you have in your life. Thank them and show them love and appreciation because the many sacrifices they have made goes unnumbered.

I’m thankful for all the women in my life. My mother, granny, aunts, sisters, cousins, friends, adopted sisters, adopted family etc. You all are spectacular and hold a great place in my heart. As much as I inspire you, you inspire me.

Quick tips for encouragement:

1. Accept that you have weaknesses and flaws. Sometimes people put on a facade that everything is okay and like they can handle anything life throws at them. Honestly, the majority of women do this, but we have weaknesses just as we have strengths and that is OKAY. 

2. Remember that your journey is yours. Mold it, shape it into what you want.

3. You go girl! Be your own cheerleader. Root for you even when no one else is willing too.

4. Love more and hate less. Use your energy to uplift rather than tear down. I love the saying, “Kill them with kindness”! I try to do that so much more because people never expect that after being nasty to me.

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What I’m wearingDress- Forever 21, Sweater- Primark, Shoes- Boohoo, Bag(s): Aldo & Burberry

Enjoy this fun video I posted on Instagram. Click HERE!

Thanks for stopping by, xoxo MJ.

bye bye comfort zones.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is never an easy task, then again taking any step onto an new path is scary.
Should that stop us?
Should we be so afraid or caught up in what seems familiar that we X out every other possible new venture?
In case you do not know the answer, it’s “NO“.
We cannot allow ourselves to lose out on something that may be better for us.
Often times I get nervous, anxious, “uncomfortable” and sometimes afraid of trying new things…
A perfect example is this photo:Processed with VSCO with v5 preset Processed with VSCO with a4 presetI’m so use to posing in my photos a certain way that I felt “weird” when my bf directed me to try a different pose.
What I did not know then was that it looked pretty good, it was something new, something different and I loved it.
In life we have to challenge ourselves by taking risks.
We have to be able to push through the barriers and the boundaries set by our own self.

Within our comfort zones these are the things that are repetitive:
* A consistent and steady “regular/mediocre” performance.
* A tendency to hold yourself back (when we get too comfortable) and a disregard for trying to get to that other level or feel discomfort.
* An attitude where you’d rather back down, that strive to win.
* Constant walls are put up to block out change.
Who wants to live this way?
{Ponder on that for a second. If you want to know what stepping out your comfort zone does for you, keep reading.}

Awesome things happen when we step out of it.
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* You can now achieve goals you never knew you thought you could, due to that push you gave yourself.
* Personal growth. Physical growth. Spiritual growth.
* Good anxiety. This helps us grow when we take certain risks.
* The fear of failure is not a hindrance on your new path.
* NO WALLS.*
* Empowerment/Power is now exercised.
* Fear, but fear that makes you want to try new things you aren’t use to.
* No “what ifs”, rather you then say “what’s next”.
* Less conformity and more opportunity.
{Remember that Conformity or the act of conforming is being in compliance with rules or to correspond with a form or manner. This you will do no more!}

Today I encourage you all to take that step onto uncomfortable grounds and see how much more of a stress-free, worry-free life you can live when you risk it and not kiss it. (“It”= anything that is holding you back!)

never thirst again.

It’s time to quench your thirst.💛

As mentioned in one of my previous posts, “You Are Enough” if someone cannot see how incredible you are, let them go! If someone cannot appreciate what you have to offer, keep it to yourself. Lock it up, throw away the key. Okay, don’t throw away the key because someone worthy might come knocking! (See previous post)
No need to ever waste your time again.

Never thirst for them again.
Never thirst for things that can be quenched elsewhere.
Remember that with every cup that is half empty, there is another that is running over.
Whatever is holding you hostage, whatever is captivating your mind leave it alone.
Do not ever lose touch with who you are.
Never thirst for what is not yours.
What is for you, will be for you and no one can ever change that.
Don’t cry over spoiled milk, go out and buy more.
Never thirst again.
To that person who cannot seem to flee from something that is bringing down their character,
Muster up the strength, make a plan and fight back.
Bad habits have a way of making it seem impossible for us to win, but you can win!
Do not ever allow them or it to make a fool out of you
Quench your thirst and resist because “they” only want to bring you down
There may be days that you might yearn for what has kept you before,
You might want it so badly that you risk your soul, your dignity to go after it..
Do not give in.
Do not let it overtake your mind.
Choose to be filled with something that not only is nourishing, but something that will keep you alive.
Take a sip from the fountain of life and never thirst again.

But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a fount of water springing up to eternal life.
-John 4:14

17 things to tell yourself everyday.

Everyday we wake up is a blessing and I hope we as human beings realize that. So many people did not get the chance to open their eyes, take another breath, see a family member or loved one, so if we are granted that blessing then our attitude should be different. As I did in one of my previous posts, 23 Reasons To Love Yourself, I’ll be giving you reasons why it’s okay to motivate yourself.
Here are 17 things to tell remind yourself of on a daily basis.

1. Today will be a better day than yesterday.
2. You’re blessed.
3. What you been through does not make you a bad person. It made you stronger.
4. You mean the world to someone.
5. It’s okay to mess up, but don’t ever give up.
6. You’re not ever alone. No matter what.
7. Be grateful and thankful for what you have.
8. Everyone has flaws.
9. Other people’s opinions are not your reality.
10. It’s okay to move on.
11. You don’t need someone in your life who only causes you pain.
12. It’s okay to cry sometimes.
13. You’re not the person you use to be. You’re better.
14. Brighter days are ahead.
15. Fear is only in your mind. You can conquer anything.
16. It’s okay to forgive.
17. You’re doing a great job. Even if no one compliments you.

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the power of the mind.

We do not give ourselves enough credit because if we did we would realize that we are capable of so much, but we tend to hold back. We hold back so much, both consciously and unconsciously. Time to take back power of our minds.

First step, acknowledge what the mind can do. Growing up you ever wondered why your parents told you to not watch or listen to certain things? The reason behind that is this, your mind is powerful and the things you watch or listen to has a strong effect on it. I’ve experienced and witnessed how things we listen to can change the way we tend to act or speak, hence why we should guard our minds from things that are non-beneficial.

After acknowledgement we have to put our minds to use. Whether you are in school or not, everyday you will have a learning experience…so why not use your mind everyday? Think about the decisions you make first, instead of just doing. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, our mind allows us to think, reason, feel and remember so knowing all this information, shouldn’t we use our minds wisely & carefully? If you still don’t know the answer, it is YES.

We can do all things once we put our minds to it,” has been a saying that even our grandparents lived by. Sometimes we may doubt ourselves because we think we might not be good enough or strong enough, but we are. Imagine the possibilities when you actually use your mind! So much storage space is within our minds, why not fill it with the knowledge that can make us move mountains?

The Mind and You
In order for your mind to really have power you have to know yourself. You have to know what you want. Your mind is capable of allowing you to reach any level of success, but you must be in tune with yourself and everything around you. The power you have is often taken for granted, but once you regain control over your mind, all possibilities will flow your way. Think about how you want your life to go, what things you want to accomplish and work towards it. After discovering your thoughts, share it with others. Motivate yourself or someone else.

Things that help you exercise your mind power:

  1. Reading- Dictionaries, the BIBLE, educational books/books in general.
  2. Writing.
  3. Using a visual board to pin your ideas/thoughts.
  4. Explore- Discover & learn about new things.
  5. Use your imagination- Yes, this is not only for younger children. Everyone needs to be open-minded and use their imagination sometimes.
  6. Meditation- Soothes the mind, body & soul.
  7. Take a walk- Take a deep breath, walk in the park, sit and relax.
  8. ART- All things art: paint, draw, color etc.[ Visit MUSEUMS! ]

**Think positive thoughts about people.**

Connection to real life:
The mind is very fascinating, seeing that it works along with the brain to awaken the thoughts that we perceive daily. The powerful pair is so complex and unique. Two of the most valuable things we will ever have.

  1. Take care of it.
  2. Cherish it.

There are so many people out there who have no control of their mind, did you know that? They can’t perceive or think on their own, they need help from someone or something. Be thankful that you are blessed enough to consciously decide what you want from what you do not want. Remember the power your mind holds and use it to help someone not just today, but everyday of your life.

Here’s a few books that you can read to nourish the mind so that it blooms:

  1. Think Big by Ben Carson
  2. Mind, Character and Personality by Ellen G. White
  3. Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer
  4. Power Thoughts by Joyce Meyer

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tips for dealing with HATERS.

Everyone at some point in their life have been held victim to hate, whether it has been hate from a stranger, co-worker, relative or past/present ‘friends’. The question is how do we correctly go about dealing with a situation like this? Here are some do’s and don’ts:

  • Do kill them with kindness. People who hate on you are very insecure and are not comfortable in their own skin. I have learned that when you are nice and pleasant with them they hate that even more! So kill them with all the kindness in the world. Give them the attention they seek by showing them how nice & unbothered you are, living your beautiful stress free life.
  • Don’t answer them back. People love a good quarrel. They love to get you heated and to get under your skin. Never let anyone have ammunition over you. Once they realize that they do, they will continue to provoke you until you do something stupid in the end. Don’t ever get out of character and embarrass yourself. Trust me, I know.
  • Do ignore. Ignoring haters is the best way to make them look like they do not have a brain in their heads. It also gives you the upper hand in the situation, you are now in control. Ignoring them equals less/to no engagement which in the end makes you less affected by it. Less time thinking about them equals more time of you just living your life! They are clearly irrelevant and the only way they can feel important is by provoking you.
  • Do exert your happiness, confidence and self love. The best way is to laugh off the insults and never take them seriously. Remember that people only hate what they cannot be or what they do not have. The whole reason a person hates is lack of something in their own lives.
  • Do not ever consider beating yourself up over them. Never lose sleep. Never rethink what they said “may” be true. Never let them feel like they have won. Never ever stoop to their level. Never, ever.
  • Do prove people wrong. In cases where it is your co-worker/boss/ or anyone who holds leverage over you, just simply keep doing you. Work hard and show that what they are saying is false. Keep out of the way of these people because you do not need negativity in your life.
  • Do let them know who’s boss. Majority of the time this is the first way most of us handle our haters. Yes it is a good way to let them know that you are not playing games with them, but always remember “A soft answer turns away wrath” – PROVERBS 15:1. Getting all riled up or vex makes you seem weak and it shows lack of self control. On another note some people need to be told about themselves in order for them to fall back. In cases like this, do what needs to be done.
  • Do pray for them. This sounds typical, but do send up a prayer that God helps them. Ask God to bless them and to change their ways. Prayer is powerful.

By following these do’s and don’ts there is no way your haters will ever feel like they can hurt you. Remember haters are only attention seekers, do not ever give into their trap. P.S if you’re a hater reading this, “Hi Hater!” 🙂

(Photo credit: Clarence Mcdonald)