I recently attended a networking event that I thoroughly enjoyed. I connected with a lady (Kathy) from a local girls Facebook group and learned that she was a personal trainer and independent consultant with Arbonne. Kathy shared an event flyer with me for the Healthy Happy Hour Networking Event. I just had to go! I was interested in learning more about Arbonne products and networking.
The event took place at the Nashville Farmer’s Market. I have always wanted to visit a farmer’s market, so I was excited to be able to visit the location. The time of the event was near the closing hours of many parts of the farmer’s market and I was power walking and looking for the conference room, so I was not able to fully capture what all the market has to offer. I will be revisiting one weekend for sure.
Arbonne is a chemical free product line. This line consists of nutrition, make-up, skin care and bath & body. I had the opportunity to try the make-up at an Arbonne pamper party that I attended this past weekend. My face felt amazing. Although I do not wear full face make-up, I decided to try it anyway. Before applying full face make-up, we had the opportunity to use the facial cleanse. I have never attended a pamper party but this Mama needed some me time and a little pampering.
At the Healthy Happy Hour Networking Event we were able to learn more about the nutritional line and taste test. I am no stranger to protein powders, probiotics and greens blends so I was excited to learn more about Arbonne. I taste tested the vanilla protein and will be using it by adding it to my smoothies. Smoothies are an absolute hit with me as I drink them every day. Sometimes I do meal replacement smoothies that have extra protein on days when I am busy -on the go.
I am very interested in doing the 7-day cleanse by Arbonne. Shall we do a 7-day cleanse challenge? We can hold each other accountable!
I joined a Facebook group so that I could connect with more women and get out of the friggin’ house. I was invited to meet for coffee followed by an outdoor workout by one of the members of the group and boy was I in for a surprise. I have been walking like an old frail woman for the past two days because I am so sore.
After we met for coffee I followed her to the park across the street to take part in the outdoor workout. We placed our yoga mats in rows on the concrete and shortly after a short introduction we jumped right into the workout.
We did cardio, abs, legs, buttocks and arms exercises. My entire body feels it!
I have not done a long strenuous work out in many years so about five minutes in I was ready to disappear to my car. I must say, if it were not for the men and women surrounding me, I probably would’ve snuck to my car when the trainer wasn’t looking.
I made it through the work out and on my way walking to my car I was high-fived by every person that I passed. They told me how great of a job I did and invited me back for the next Saturday. I really am trying to get in better physical shape so most likely I will give it another go.
After the workout I headed to the Smoothie Bar to get a protein packed smoothie and pretty much relaxed for the rest of the day. Sunday morning was horrible……. I could hardly get out of bed without help. My whole body was sore. I just knew I was going to be out and about, but my body had other plans for me.
I pretty much relaxed all day Sunday and now it is Monday and I am still sore. I visited the Smoothie Bar again this morning to get a protein packed shake to help my body to rebuild and repair. I did not want to be held captive to my bed due to soreness today. I also stretched, and that helped a lot.
I invited my husband to come along next time. I can only imagine how he will handle the after soreness. Ladies you know how our men can get when they are hurting. I better get my hands and oils ready to give endless massages. He will surely be asking for them.
Overall, Camp Gladiator was an awesome experience. It pushed me beyond what I felt were my limits. Everyone was so friendly, inviting and supportive of each other. I think this made the experience a great one overall.
With all the ups and downs of life, it is easy to become stressed. Stress can be the root cause for many diseases and can also make diseases worsen.
The body responds to stress by releasing stress hormones. These hormones make blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar levels go up. Long-term stress can help cause a variety of health problems, including: Mental health disorders, like depression and anxiety.
Just like everyone else, I have experienced many ups and downs in life. I have been depressed and did not know what my next best move would be. I would call my friends and family and pour my little heart out but still felt bad. Because of this, I began to deal with everything alone and became reclusive. We all know that dealing with things alone may not always be a good route to take but I did it. Since talking to others about my problems seemed to get me nowhere, I had to find ways to deal with my stress.
Before I get into how I deal with stress, I would like to share with you how it affected me tremendously. While stressing about things that I could not control, I noticed change (for the worse) in my body. I began to have body aches, decreased appetite, constipation, I felt sluggish, I felt alone (depressed), my eczema on my hands worsened and people began to ask me what happened to them. No matter how much cream I put on my hands or herbal concoctions, I still had the worse eczema flare on my hands.
I also began to experience anxiety. The feeling of your heart racing and shallow breathing is scary all within itself. I felt like any moment (while experiencing those episodes) I would die. I kept how I felt (anxiety) from my husband most of the time because I did not want to worry him.
Stress took a major toll on my body. This person today – who incorporates techniques- still is not completely clear of stressful situations. The only difference is that I know how to nip it in the butt before it gets the best of me. I do not know about you, but I do not have time to let stress take me out. How is my husband going to explain to our children that Mama could not handle life, so she let it get the best of her and her body followed suit? Hell no! I am not going out like that. You may not have children, so you may say, “well I do not have kids that will miss me”. You have someone who loves you whether you know it or not. You will be missed by someone!
Since losing my life to stressful situations is not going to fly, I began to incorporate techniques into my daily life to help me prevent and/or deal with stressful situations.
Meditation is the act of sitting quietly and breathing. It calms the mind and aids you in centering yourself. Meditation is number one on my list because it has changed my life. It has helped me to see things clearer and have a different perspective.
To meditate, find a quiet place – at work, home, in nature, in your car, wherever- and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths and just be. Your mind may feel too busy to just be but the more you meditate, you will notice that your thoughts will no longer overwhelm you.
When I first started meditating I could only sit for five minutes. Now I can sit as long as I desire. Focus on your breathing and just observe all thoughts that come to mind. No need to do anything about them, just observe.
2. Spending Time in Nature
Did you know that nature is the original medicine? Oh….Well, with all the synthetics and chemicals that have saturated our world today, this truth has found itself hidden. There are many who research the medicinal properties of nature (like myself) and we understand how powerful nature is. Did you know that some prescription medications derived from nature? Yep! It sure did. Just taking a walk-in nature is very relaxing and calming. Try it. Turn off your phone or put it on silent and take a nice long walk in nature. See don’t you come out with a “I’m good now” attitude and rightfully so because ALL IS WELL!
I feel so relieved after writing things down and going on about my day. If you do not want to write, then record. Me personally, I get loss in my words when I am recording but if I am writing then it just flows. I dump everything that I am feeling onto the paper and I feel so much better. Things do not seem so bad after all.
4. Attitude of Gratitude
Yes, I said it! You should have an attitude of gratitude because things could always be worse. You may say, how can you tell me things can be worse. I am a woman who was losing everything (home, cars, etc.) silently while still encouraging my friends. I remember one time during a low point in my life one of my friends called me and she was crying and upset. I asked her what was wrong, and she stated that she had no spending money after paying all her bills. Instead of telling her that I was losing everything (due to decrease in income in our home), I encouraged her and told her that at least her bills are paid. I encouraged her to manifest increase rather than being down about her situation. I encouraged her to have an attitude of gratitude. I was crying inside myself about my own situation, but I knew that things could always be worse.
I eventually shared with my friend what all I had been through and all she could do was look at me and say, “I don’t see how you can be so strong and level headed when you are going through”. I looked at that time like a lesson. Obviously, I did not learn enough because I found myself homeless a little over one year later after things began to get better for my family. I learned my lesson then and began to make different decisions with my money, time and lifestyle. My children did not ask me to birth them into this world and I needed to provide a more stable home/living for them. I had to get my s*** together. You can fill in the blank. I know, I know, you may be shaking your head because I cursed but I DO CURSE and curse words get the point across. Did it not catch your attention? Lol!
Look at all the things that you do have and focus less on what you do not have. It works! Thank me later!
5. Spend Time with Supportive People
Why don’t you take your loved ones up on the invite to come over or go out for dinner? If you are anything like me, it can be hard pretending to be happy, so you dodge people. I get it, trust me I do. The reality is, there needs to be balance. If we spend too much alone time, we can find ourselves sinking into deep depression over our stressful situations. Spend time with a POSITIVE loved one to take you mind off things for a few. I reiterate POSITIVE because this is no time to have pity parties. This does nothing for your situation.
I am one who believes that you can manifest your hearts desires. I use many techniques-meditation, vision boards, mindset work, speaking positive affirmations and healing to align myself with the things that I desire.
My husband and I visited Tennessee for my birthday a couple of years ago and we both fell in love with it. My husband loves to sing and even got a chance to sing at BB King’s in Nashville, TN during one of our visits. I love the scenery as I am a nature lover.
The more we visited the more we fell in love and finally decided that Tennessee would someday be our state of residency. There were many questions as we began to look for a home. Where do we start? Who do we have there who could help us with our children etc.? So many questions came across our minds and to be completely honest, it became stressful for me. One thing about relocating somewhere you do not know much about (like my country bumpkin hometown) you do not know what the neighborhood is like, school systems etc. We searched and searched and was at the point of saying maybe now is not the time.
We had also both applied for jobs in the area. This was another challenge as how do you work in another state when you have nowhere to rest your head at night. During this time of aggravation and feeling somewhat hopeless, I had to consistently work on my mindset work. I kept telling myself that the universe supports me and will work out all these details. I meditated every morning to clear my mind and set the tone for my day.
I began to detox my body using herbs so that I can be in better physical health and made my mind up that we were moving somehow. It felt right in my spirit and I decided to now worry myself with the details. We looked and looked from a far.
My husband and I had a long talk and we decided that it was time to jump and not worry about all the details. This was a time of faith. He had jobs that contacted him back and were asking him to come in for an interview. They worked with him because of our distance and waited on us to say when we would be in the area. My husband decided to call one of the employers back and told them we were coming to the area within the next few days. That interview was set and now we just had to find a home (just in case he got the job). In my mind there was no just in case. I believed that the job was his already. He felt it, I believed it and guess what……HE GOT THE JOB ON THE SPOT. So now that was taken care of now we had to buckle down on a residence.
We browsed house after house, apartment after apartment and left message after message. We dealt with all kinds of scammers from craigslist texting us and emailing us requesting “holding monies” and the search went on and on.
I decided that we needed to incorporate some fun into our trip to Tennessee, so we held off on the house hunting for a bit and went out for a night of fun.
After the night was over we got up the next day and began our search again. We ran into a lot of “we need proof of income for the last 30 days” (for my husband). Our problem with that is that we were not living in Tennessee yet and my husband had not started work yet. Showing income from a whole different state definitely wasn’t going to work being he was not transferring. Keeping a positive mindset and attitude- my husband and I kept our search going.
We finally found a home that is perfect for our family and I must say I felt numb during the approval process. I couldn’t believe that it was happening. I couldn’t wait to get home to tell our children that we were relocating. We now had 3 days to get our home packed up and hit the road to move into our new home.
Since we have been here it has been a breath of fresh air. No, I do not have any friends here, but I will meet some. My husband has a job that requires he travel throughout Tennessee, so he will learn the routes quicker than I will. That is OK, he can just chauffeur me, right? He loves driving me around (so he says). I personally think he just thinks he can drive better than me. Either way, I will enjoy the passenger side and enjoy the scenery along my ride.
I have been spending a lot of time in nature and just doing a major detox on my life. I have reevaluated many things in my life and I am at a place where the old ways were just not getting it. You can feel when it is time for change. As I began walking in my purpose- as I continue this journey to self-discovery, I feel whole and so much lighter. As big as my heart is, I easily carry so much weight of what others are going through and too often I would get lost in that. I am blessed to be that comfort for many but if you are anything like me, we must also take time to pour into our own cup. My previous location didn’t have the scenery that I needed. It didn’t have the feel (vibration) that I needed to calm my mind (beautiful nature scenery). My escapes consist of lakes, river, mountains, springs, herbal stores and anything associated with nature. Where I am from my scenery consisted of wooded areas and ponds. I didn’t have much variety. Most of the ponds were private owned so you had to figure out who owned what so that you could just sit by the pond. Now, I have state parks and other locations to just breath in the fresh air as I stare at nature for miles ahead.
Image by me
Image by me
My stress level has gone down. My sleep pattern has changed. My mind is not cluttered. My vision is very clear. In life we must do what we need to do for the sake of our sanity so that we can continue to be healthy while being of service to the betterment of the world.
Many in my local community, as well as those who follow my Facebook page, know that I am a lover of natural remedies. I have shared natural recipes on social media platforms that I use on my children, as well as myself for natural hair care; but it was only recently that I began to share a little more of the,”natural” concoctions that are used in our home.
I am a habitual researcher and I must say I thoroughly enjoy researching. I like to know what is in the products that I am using and how they will effect my hair, skin, and overall health. The more research I began to do, the more I began to discover things that I wish I knew a long time ago. Welp, no need to beat myself up about it now. When you know better, you do better! Right?! As long as you are living and breathing, it is never to late to take the time to look into the products that you are using on your family and yourself.
Whipping up natural concoctions come naturally to me. If someone tells me they are having a problem with something, my mind automatically starts thinking of different herbs, oils, and other natural remedies that one could research themselves and try.
I truly believe that all we need is provided from nature. I have also learned that many medications that are prescribed, are derived from plants. Of course, more things are added to pharmaceutical drugs for different purposes which is why I personally choose to find a natural remedy if I can. I want to know what is in the pill I am taking.
I have a story that I want to share about a particular medication that was prescribed to me for a urinary tract infection. I have no idea how I got in that bad of condition, but I was given a catheter because I couldn’t use the restroom on my own. I was prescribed a very strong antibiotic – Keflex. On the paperwork for this medication it stated that the side effects may include: upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, skin rash, itching, hives, difficulty breathing, wheezing, unusual bleeding or bruising, sore throat, painful mouth or throat sores, and/or vaginal infection.
I began to feel really out of it and could hardly walk. My legs were aching really bad, my heart was beating like a drum and I literally felt like I was just floating. I didn’t have balance and I really thought I was slowly dying. It was that Serious. I began to research the medicine that I was prescribed and came across a thread that was loaded with complaints about this medication.
I was having many of the same symptoms as the others and I knew I had to figure out something fast. I stopped taking the pills and began to incorporate more natural ways to flush my system. I purchased spring water and drank only spring water for two days. I also drank cranberry juice around the third day of being off the medication. I immediately began to feel better. I had a follow up appointment and the catheter was taken. My doctor did another test on me to check for infection and found nothing. She told me the medicine worked great. I told her I actually tossed the medication in the trash because of how it made me feel. She told me that my side effects were unusual. Unusual or not; I felt had I finished that bottle, I would be dead right now. It was just that serious. I felt it in my spirit that I was slipping away as I lay there in pain.
Flushing myself took discipline. By just drinking water and monitoring the foods that could irritate the urinary tract through research was definitely the right move. Research, research, research!
I then began to get into detoxing the body. I drink green smoothies and detox via foot and bath. I make a detox blend that relaxes you while giving you many benefits. Detoxing foot soaks rid your body of toxins, increases circulation, soothes dry skin, aches and pains and so much more.
I thoroughly enjoy educating people on these products because I love them! I use them in my home and it is an absolute pleasure to share my knowledge with those who seek to learn more about detoxing the body. Caring for yourself by using more natural alternatives.
I must say, there are some people who will turn their nose up to natural remedies and will place anything on or in their bodies with no hesitation. This is a mindset that will take some time to reverse as you began to understand that you may be doing yourself more harm than good due to lack of knowledge.
We must keep an open mind and not shy away from natural remedies. Definitely consult with your physician. (I do not claim to be a doctor) Make sure that what you want to try is safe. Research, research, research! I can not say this enough.
I created a Facebook page titled I Heart Natural Remedies to share many natural alternatives to products containing chemicals, prescription drugs, illnesses and so much more. You can incorporate these natural remedies into your everyday lifestyle for your family.
Natural hair care was my first focus. I have been sharing my natural hair journey for years. I quickly discovered that I can care for my hair on the outside, but I also must care for myself on the inside. There is a site I like to call Google University (Google), that will pull up fruits and veggies that you can consume to help your hair grow. It will also pull up eatable foods that you can apply to the hair for conditioning.
I soon began to really look at the items we had in our kitchen, that I could use, to take better care of us. I eventually began to push the cough syrups and antibiotics to the side, and tried a more natural way for caring for my family and I. With extensive daily research, I began to whip up concoctions to care for my family. I use herbs, essential oils, clay, spices and more. I have been selling these items within my community and educating consumers on their many benefits. I am amazed at all who are trying to go a more natural route. They have tried many things (pharmaceutical), and now they are ready to go at it the more natural way.
As for my extended family, they look at me like I have become some medicine woman. For others, they don’t know how to feel about me honestly!
I was in a grocery store recently. I picked up a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar. A lady walked up to me and she asked me; “Are you using it for weight loss?” Now I must say, I do not need to lose any weight. My first thought was, “Woman you don’t see that I am already small enough?!” I am not really tiny but I sure do not need to lose any weight. I’d rather gain! I told her that I use it for hair and body health. The look she gave me was priceless! There I was in the grocery store sharing with her the many ways that I use apple cider vinegar in our home.
It is to the point now, if someone sees me purchasing coconut oil, avocado’s, etc., they assume that I am whipping up a natural concoction that I wouldn’t be eating. I do consume avocado in my green smoothies and have cooked with coconut oil as well, but I also use them externally along with many other things.
I was accepted into the college of American Healthcare Sciences. Soon, I would like to travel and learn abroad. I am studying to be a Master Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner.
With the internal changes that I have made, I have noticed great external results. Glowing skin and healthy growing hair. I am more energetic and grateful for life than ever before!
We can work on our outer-selves by applying products that promise us great results; but we can not neglect our inner-selves in the process. We can not close our eyes to what we are putting on our skin and in our bodies that can cause illnesses/disease. There has to be balance in mind, body, and soul for you to be your absolute best self!
When I was younger, the thought of cooking bacon was the same as the thought of receiving a spanking. I would suit up and wrap myself in so much clothing to avoid the sting of the bacon grease when it popped so unforgivably onto any exposed part of my skin. Sometimes I would feel as though it was the pig’s way of paying us back for supporting its slaughter. Whatever the reason, the only pain I knew was the pain of my parent’s disappointment, the whooping I received because of it, and the popping of bacon grease. Such innocence introduced to the small things that interrupted my euphoria of irresponsibility.
As I grew older and fell into the many struggles of my life such as homelessness, deployments, child birth, marriage, abuse, divorce, and single parenting the sting of bacon grease remained the same. But something changed, I was no longer afraid of it. No matter my attire I could stand confidently over the grill, the tinge of my skin would only be acknowledged and prepped to receive its next point of contact. Its assault would sometimes cause me to reminisce on things that caused me worse infliction on my soul. Thus, I realized that bacon grease had only reminded me of how far I’ve come, the reason why I am the woman that I have become, and my ability to overcome all things through Christ… My tolerance to the pains of my life has given me the ability to almost immediately overcome things that hurt me mentally, physically, and emotionally.
Depression is something that many suffer from and sadly some suffer in silence. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression.
I am one of those who suffers in silence when it hits me. It is easy to put on a face that everything is OK when you are down inside. Imagine how many public figures are smiling their way through their day like everything is OK when things are far from OK.
I have been in contact with many that suffer from this and it can disable you.
I find myself getting frustrated about things all the while still assisting people with their problems. I get overwhelmed and feel as though I can never get anything done (unfinished projects), nothing goes right for me, no one cares about my happiness and the thoughts go on. I then shut down my social media platforms or simply ignore my notifications because I was not in the mood to interact with people. I was not in the mood to pretend that everything was ok. I have never been clinically diagnosed but when I notice that I am slipping into a depressed state I do a few techniques to help me get back to normal that do not consist of medications.
1: Breathe & Breathe Again
Yes, breathing techniques work great for me. When I find myself drifting further away from my happy place, I close my eyes and began to take deep breaths. This allows me to slow down my breathing and heart rate and I can just be for a moment. Many times after this is done I am able to press on and not get in a Debbie downer state.
2: Spend Time With Nature
I have a natural love for nature and it is also a healing mechanism. In nature everything is right. It is peaceful and there is no rush of life. There is no complaining and high expectations. There are no arguments and deadlines. There are no attitudes coming from plants that have had a bad day. There are no bill collectors or sales representatives hounding you about what you owe or if you would like to start a new account.
If you would shut off your mobile device and just be in nature, it is very calming and you will feel renewed.
Meditation is a must for me. The explanation of meditation is a state of deep peace that occurs when the mind is calm and silent.
A Typical Meditation
1. Sit upright in a straight-backed chair, with your spine about an inch from the back of the chair, and your feet flat on the floor.
2. Close your eyes. Use your mind to watch your breath as it flows in and out. Observe your sensations without judgment. Do not try to alter your breathing.
3. After a while your mind will wander. Gently bring your attention back to your breath. The act of realizing that your mind has wandered – and bringing your attention back – is the key thing.
4. Your mind will eventually become calm.
5. Repeat every day for 20-30 minutes.
As busy as my mind is, this still works for me and I find myself being back in my happy place.
When you have anxiety or depression, exercise often seems like the last thing you want to do. But once you get motivated, exercise can make a big difference.
How does exercise help combat depression?
Regular exercise can ease depression in a number of ways, which may include:
Releasing feel-good brain chemicals that may ease depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids)
Reducing immune system chemicals that can worsen depression
Increasing body temperature, which may have calming effects
Gain confidence. Meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence. Getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
Take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.
Get more social interaction. Exercise and physical activity may give you the chance to meet or socialize with others. Just exchanging a friendly smile or greeting as you walk around your neighborhood can help your mood.
Cope in a healthy way. Doing something positive to manage anxiety or depression is a healthy coping strategy. Trying to feel better by drinking alcohol, dwelling on how badly you feel, or hoping anxiety or depression will go away on its own can lead to worsening symptoms.
I do not exercise as often as I should but when I do I love the way I feel afterwards. I recently began exercising a lot more. It is going to take discipline just like anything else in life. We can do this!
I love to read! I enjoy reading everything from love stories, dramas, thrillers, history, business and marketing and more.
Reading calms me and allows me to learn and experience many different emotions and because of this I am no longer worried about any current problems. I become the characters (sometimes) and sometimes I am taking notes.
I prefer to read over watching TV. Unfortunately, there are too many subliminal programming techniques on television that controls your behavior. The last thing I need is to receive overloads of subliminal messages that send me into an unhappy state of mind. Subliminal programming is very REAL.
6) Speak Positive Affirmations
I believe I may be the positive affirmation Queen of my castle. My children can tell you that I am always speaking positive things over my life as well as others. No matter how I feel, I practice I AM positive affirmations into the Universe. I do believe in law of attraction and vibration so I am careful about any negative self talk.
You can write some positive affirmations on a dry erase board and hang it up in your home and speak it daily or you can just take the time to speak great things over yourself throughout the day. Does it work, ABSOLUTELY. You will began to manifest these feelings/emotions.
Here are a few of my own-
I am a great mother
I am a great wife
I am a great daughter
I am a great sister
I am a great friend
I am wealthy
I am loved
I am dependable
I am happy
I am unique
I am abundant
I am prosperous
This list goes on and on……
Take a moment after reading this blog and write a list of positive affirmations to speak over yourself daily.
7) Talk to Someone You Trust
It is always good to talk to someone about what you are feeling. In most cases, just being able to share your bundled up feelings with someone can relieve you and you can see and think clearer. Do not be afraid to tell someone what you are experiencing. They may can provide resources to help you.
8) Keep a Journal
In my case, keeping a journal has helped me a lot. I am able to write down my feelings and go on about my day. Keep your journal in a safe hidden place if you do not want anyone to have access to it.
Did you know that there are also foods that can help ease your depression?
Combat your depression naturally by eating better!
Here are some “good mood” foods:
Dark Leafy Greens
Depression is serious. I chose to come out with my struggle of remaining in my happy place to show you that you can do it! Don’t let depression steal your life/your joy. This is easier said than done (trust me I know) but you have fight in you to get through this. You have more power than you think. Use it!
Do you struggle with depression?
Disclaimer: I am not a professional/doctor and I can not diagnose anyone with depression. This blog is to share how I naturally combat mine.
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