Stop Saying No So Much

A photo by Liz Weston. unsplash.com/photos/JqPI9ngxZJI

Yes to everything scary. Yes to everything that takes me out of my comfort zone. Yes to everything that feels like it might be crazy. Yes to everything that feels out of character. Yes to everything that feels goofy. Yes to everything. Everything. Say yes. Yes. – Shonda Rhimes

Hey y’all, if you’ve been occasionally reading the words that crawl out of my overactive brain and onto this here blog, then thank you, and if you’re new to Find Some TLC, you da real MVP.

I’ve been a bit MIA here due to selling my soul, starting my latest job. Kudos to all my millennial brethren if you able to hold down a 9 to 5 without sacrificing your peace of mind or your spirit.

Not only have my writing and creative juices been running a bit dry lately, but so has my lengthy list of 2017 to do’s, which I will not refer to as resolutions, because I’m not about that life.

In an effort to receive at least half of my life, I’ve started yet another self-help book or self improvement if you’re feeling fancy. But this book is not just any ol’ book about how if you don’t love yourself first, no one will…nope. It is Shonda Rhimes’ aka the GOAT of Thursday nights, book “The Year of Yes.”

I’m only a few pages into the book so far, but I haven’t read words that have resonated with me this deeply, in forever. The premise of “The Year of Yes,” is this, Shonda Rhimes who is pretty much winning in terms of being the best who ever did it, realized that at 43, with a bad ass career and her life in order, she was miserable, because she never said yes to the things that scared her. She spent more time playing out worst case scenarios in her head, than actually living out the best case scenario.

Which is me in a nutshell, minus having an entire day of the week dedicated to me.

Not only does this book have me alla the way in my feelings, but it has me asking myself the question: When is the last time I said yes?

Like, to anything. I’ve learned the importance of being swift with a no, like when you’re tired and don’t really wanna go pop lock at the club. No.

When some online man who slid in your DM’s thinks he’s about to slide inside of…Naw.

When anyone or anything tries to encroach upon the last bit of positivity you were able to hold onto in the age of Trump and the end of days. N to the O.

But what have you said yes to lately? I feel like my lips are constantly prepared to say no, out of fear or laziness, but then I’m forced to think about all the experiences I’m missing out on, because saying yes without over analyzing it, without hesitation makes my heart hurt, makes my brain tired, makes my well-built wall crumble a bit.

At 23, I feel like I should be saying yes to 9 out of 10 things, because there will come a day where life won’t allow me to say yes, and when “no,” will become my automated response.

I don’t know if this means I’m going to knock back shots on a Tuesday (p.s. does the club still go up on Tuesdays?) in the name of a year of yes, it’s not that kind of party. But life should indeed be a party, and if it’s your party and you’re the only one not dancing then are you really living?

I gotta start dancing at my own party, and saying yes to more, because I don’t know if anyone told you or not, but you don’t have as much to lose as you think you do.

So say yes.

Why I’m Trying To Look Myself In The Third Eye and Questioning God, At The Same Time

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Dear God, it’s me Margaret…

Jk, it’s Tiffany. But seriously, I wonder who else among us, i.e. the clueless millennials who often need adultier adults to help us adult, are pushing their mid-twenties and seeking out something greater than materials and the constant streaming of Orange Voldemort’s tomfoolery?

I’m talking about the s-word. Spirituality.

Let me note here that spirituality and religion are in fact not one in the same. You do not have to be homies with baby Jesus in order to practice meditation, yoga, or generally try to center yourself on a daily basis.

During one of my usual Google searches for random facts of life, I found a post that essentially said that whatever level of religion or spirituality that you maintain now, is in fact the most that it will ever be.

Which made me go,whet?

I’d like to think that at this point in my life. my belief in something outside of the scope of existence can still go either way, but then I started to think that maybe that article had some truth to it.

One of my goals for this year, in addition to minding ALLA of my business and clearing up my skin, has been to look myself in the third eye, and if you have never tried to harness your chi, the third eye is “a mystical and esoteric concept referring to a speculative invisible eye which provides perception beyond ordinary sight,” according to ye ole Wikipedia.

I feel like at I’m at a place in life where spirituality has never been more necessary, or more elusive. I’ve read many an article about the wonders of meditation for easing anxiety and improving focus, and have read a testimony or two from those who swear by crystals.

And I wonder which aspects of spirituality are right for me? Crystals while I think they are gorgeous, is not practice is for me. I find that a lot of new age trends tend to clash so much with the fire and brimstone versions of Black Christianity that I have grown up on.

If you asked me what deity I believe in, I would tell you that I have two prayers in my soul, one being “Thank you God,” and “Fix it Jesus.” I acknowledge some version of God, as well as Christ who I like to think was the pinnacle of decent human beings.

But otherwise I am not a frequent church goer and I will not quote the Bible, nor do I believe that everything happens for a reason.

I do admire the premise of religion, because to exist with no kind of hope for something greater seems pretty grim to me.

But as a Black woman, who was told that I was a heathen as a child for reading Harry Potter, told that my hair was my crown after I shaved my head for the second time, and have had many a stranger lay their hands upon my greased up forehead, the idea that there is a nosy being in the sky smiting everybody for everything , left a bad taste in my mouth.

So how do I exist on the spectrum? I want to develop practices that fit my life, I want to meditate more, because even if you can’t get into it, silence is so precious these days.

I want to put healthy things in my body, and stretch my limbs, and be mindful of not being a cruddy person on a daily basis, and maybe that’s my brand of spirituality.

During a time when religions that we do not practice, or do not understand are being depicted in an awful light, I think it’s so important to figure out what you believe, and make sure that your beliefs are a guideline for your life without encroaching on any one else’s.

Religion and spirituality do not exist in a monolith the same way that people do not.

I used to think that they did, because so much of suffering was attributed to the one-dimensional religion I was being taught, but I found that once  I started questioning some of those ideals, my soul became a little more at peace, so if this is the height of my spirituality, then I think I’m okay with that.

 

 

 

How To Practice Minimalism If You’re #BrokeAF

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Hi my name is Tiffany, and I have been sucked into The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up  and while I never managed to finish reading the book, I can jibe with the basic premise of ridding your life of too many possessions and seeking out less tangible, but worthwhile things…you know, like happiness, peace of mind, etc.

Last year, the term minimalism was tossed around in health and wellness culture, as much as the words “self-care.” If you have been out of the loop, minimalism, according to Merriam-Webster is “a style or technique (as in music, literature, or design) that is characterized by extreme spareness and simplicity.” Picture living with only two pieces of furniture or maintaining a 33 item capsule wardrobe; the mission is to focus more on acquiring positive experiences and less junk that serves you or you 300 sq ft apartment, little purpose.

I’m all for the principles behind minimalism, but I’ve raised an drawn-on eyebrow or two at most of the imagery surrounding the lifestyle. Stop reading this and go watch the documentary Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things, and you will see a self-proclaimed “homeless,” man who is actually a nomad traveler who has no permanent address, because he travels to a new country every month, and two authors who live with one chair and two shirts…and nothing else.

Depictions of minimalism tend to be very extreme and very whitewashed, but that’s for another post. If you find that you can’t afford $300 loafers instead of a closet full of cheap shoes in the name of quality versus quantity. Or that you very much like the comfort of your own bed and room of one’s own then here are  five smaller, more practical ways to integrate minimalism into your daily life.

Try a “dry” month

I remember the thrill that came with turning 21 and being able to partake in an adult beverage or two, and while at 23 my liver ain’t what it used to be, I still enjoy a nice glass of wine. Which can run anywhere from $7 to $10 on a good day, and if you go out for drinks often, the damage is probably reflected by your nearly empty bank account. Try not buying alcohol for a month or if you can’t do without liquid courage buy a bottle of your favorite brew and skip the happy hours.

Clean yo’room

You’d be amazed at what reveals itself when you round up dust bunnies and bust out some Clorox wipes. I found tons of DVD’s that I haven’t watched in years, note: I do not have a DVD player. I also found dryer sheets and three tubes of muscle rub…what was I doing that required that much pain relief? When you eliminate duplicates of things and tidy up old thingamabobs it changes the energy of a space.

Meal Prep

While meal prepping is currently en vogue, so is saving money by planning out your meals in advance and only buying food that you need. Stop ordering five rolls of sushi and get you  the biggest slab of salmon you can find. Voila! Dinner for the week.

Pick out your most worn pieces of clothing

What do you wear on a daily basis? Now mix and match those pieces, donate everything else.

Be neutral

As in neutral colors…with clothing and decor, find a color that feels clean and crisp, now integrate that color into your aesthetic, something about grays, whites, and blues just feel more peaceful and offer a certain calm.

Tiny plants and lone vanilla candles are optional, but minimalism really is less about a look and more about a feeling. I know that when my outside feels crowded and disorganized then my mental peace is compromised, so trying to narrow down everything in my life from people to possessions is a conscious effort that helps me feel like I am living my life with more purpose.

Have you heard of minimalism? What principles have and have not worked for you?

Let me know in the comments, and as always may you #findsometlc.