Live Better, Feel Better

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Back at the beginning of the year, I had decided that my only New Years’ resolution was to be a better person all the way around – mentally, physically, emotionally.

For years, I’ve experienced low self-esteem as well as many years of verbal assaults. “Fat girls shouldn’t wear this.” “You’re too big to wear that.” But, I decided that I didn’t want that to be who I was. I didn’t want to allow other people’s thoughts and opinion to play such a huge factor in my life. I wanted to gain back control of how I view myself and now allow other’s opinions to taint how I view myself.

So on April 16, I decided to start back hitting the gym. I am a plus sized girl, so hitting the gym came with a lot of anxiety. I was afraid of what people would think about me being a bigger girl working out, not really knowing exactly what I was doing, or people thinking that I’m just doing this to get skinny. None of that is the case, I am literally just trying to gain control of how I feel about myself.

So, I started working out. It’s not about the weight-loss or getting skinny, it is more so about me gaining control and loving who I am. I was afraid, but now I feel more empowered. Which has made me want to live my best life. So getting healthy has made me start living my life a little bit better. I don’t worry as much about what I am wearing, or how I look.

Once you start living your life to your fullest potential, unapologetically – you will ultimately feel so much better. Your insides will begin to be reflected in your outward interactions and life.

In what was are you going to start living better – share below in the comments! I want to start improving other aspects of my life as well (such as my living in love (with actions), or spiritually, mentally, etc.)

Love Always,

– Tanesha J.

SoapBox: Don’t Take It Personally.

Dealing With A Loss-2

People sometimes suck. Being the kind-hearted person I am, I am always expecting people to treat me the way I treat them. But that’s not always the case. People will hurt you, slander your name and not even think twice about it. Which is so strange to me because in school growing up we were always taught – “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

But maybe that’s how they pull it off – the people who treat you poorly, never expect to be treated badly or are ever actually treated badly. When people don’t treat you with the same decency, respect or kindness that you have shown them, you could get super angry, irritated and upset. OR you could not take it personally. The way people treat others has everything to do with them, and hardly anything to do with the people receiving the actions. For example, if my friend Sally treats me terribly, that says more about Sally than it does about me – especially if I know that I’ve continually treated her kindly or with respect.

At least that’s how I look at it. So continue to treat people kindly and with love – it’s honestly the only way to live with a clear conscious and also it just feels better. 🙂

Love you all bunches,

– Tanesha J.

 

 

I’m Dealing With Loss…

TW: SuicideDealing With A Loss

 

So recently, about two weeks ago on Wednesday (On May 17), my dearest and most beloved friend took his own life. Literally to know this young man was to love him. He sort of had this magnetic pull about him, where as soon as you met him – you just wanted to be around him more and more. That’s exactly how I felt in high school when I first met him – and even to a week or so before he died and I saw him at the gas station. The feeling never goes away. It’s hard to explain to someone who has never felt the pull of him.

The days following when I found out, I literally stayed up until four am crying and almost hysterical. Why is my friend gone? Why couldn’t he stay here on earth with me? Why couldn’t I save my friend? Why wasn’t my love enough to reach him? Questions that have no answers – the only person who could possibly answer them is now gone.

My Heart was and is very broken over this. I was so fond of this young man, and as were so many other people. At 24 years old, he was/is so loved. Every day, multiple times a day – I find myself wandering back to his Facebook page and reading through every single post that has been made. “RIP my battle buddy” “I cannot believe my friend is gone.” “You were such a great friend, and definitely gone too soon“ “You were so loved…” etc.

After my “hysteria” of losing my friend, I’ve since calmed down and attended both his funeral and wake. But deep down, I’m still hoping that this is some bad dream that I am about to wake up from. As I looked at what used to be the body that housed the most beautiful soul, I felt sort of at peace. The young man in the casket was not my friend, it was just a body… A body that used to hold the spirit and soul of the most amazing person. Everything that made my friend who he was, was gone and what was left was this body. The body didn’t hold the love I felt from this young man, or the happiness he gave other people – it was just a body.

The sun lived in his smile – so I’m often wondering where do I go now without his sun anymore. Grief is a crazy thing. It’s made me lash out at people I care about, become closed off and emotionless and even feeling like my life is meaningless without him. But I know that’s not true, and more importantly, my friend would have been so hurt by that fact. My heart is slowly but surely healing and I know that God has a plan for my life. And within that plan, that this experience was necessary.

If you know someone who is experiencing deep hurt – make sure you are absolutely there for that person. Even if you feel like your efforts are going unnoticed or unhelpful – trust me your efforts are valued. Especially if that person is grieving a loss of a loved one. It means so much to me that so many people have reached out (called and texted), prayed for me, and just had me in their thoughts over the loss of my beloved friend.

If you know someone or if you are suicidal – please reach out to someone. Suicide is not the answer. If you are or someone you know is struggling with depression – Reach out to me, someone you trust or love or call the suicide hotline they are so very helpful and are there 24/7. The number is 1-800-273-8255. They handle both suicide and depression. If you don’t want to talk on the phone try the crisis text line – just text this number 741741.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4 NIV. 

Love Always,

– Tanesha J.

(This post is sort of all over the place – but that’s exactly how I feel, all over the place. I slowly but surely I’m getting back into the swing of things.)

if you are interested in hearing more about my friend, I posted a video on my youtube channel. Click here.

 

3 Tips On Spring Cleaning Your Life!!

3 Tips On Spring Cleaning Your Life!!

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Spring time is a time to start new! Flowers are blooming, new little animals are being born, pollen is everywhere in the air and it just such a happy time. Many people (including my mother) love this time of year because it means spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is not just for the physical things but you can also use it as a time to clean up some of the non-physical things in your life. Here are three quick tips on spring cleaning your life!

#1 – Evaluate friendships. Now, this doesn’t mean get rid of every single person in your circle – but rather evaluate the people you’re calling friends. Consider the following questions: Does this person have my best interest at heart? Do I have their best interests at heart? Does this person tell me the truth or comfort me with lies? Do we encourage each other to do the right thing? Do I trust this person without hesitation?

#2 – Declutter your social media/spaces. I personally love to change my phone background as a way of “freshening” up my phone. Lately, I have been into bright and airy photos for my phone background. I also would suggest clearing out old apps that you no longer use, or just cleaning up how apps appear on your phone/iPad/whatever device you use. I would also suggest clearing out some of your old things on social media, such as that old photo album you created on Facebook when you were 16, old tweets about a fling, or even IG pictures that are more than three years old. Take time to also purge your Facebook friends list – I hardly ever do this, but this year I am really going to evaluate the people that are coming up on my timeline and decide if I really still want/need them around.

#3 – Physically clean up! For me, this not only means to clean up your surroundings such as getting rid of old clothes and junk but also for me to clean up my act. Maybe you’re perfect, but I know that I am not and there are areas of my life that I want to clean up. Such as I want to stop allowing so many things to trigger my emotions as well as I want to love people the way that God loves me. So in order to do that I have to intentionally focus and work on changing these aspects of my life.

What are some ways you are going to spring clean your life this year? Share below in the comments because I would love to hear other ideas!

Love always, XO

–  Tanesha

Sunday Soapbox: Watch How You Speak To Yourself.

Sunday Soapbox: Watch How You Speak To Yourself.

Your inner monolog  or the voice you use to talk to yourself will literally make or break you. You have to be especially careful how you talk to yourself. I am a firm believer in whatever it is that you think about anything will manifest itself into your life. Your body responds to whatever it is you’re saying to yourself. If you’re always looking down on yourself, saying you’re not good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough – you won’t be. If I’m being honest, some of the things I say to myself, I would never say to even my worst enemy. I’m a bully in my own right, to myself, and even just thinking about it makes me sick. Especially considering all the kind things I’ve said and how gentle I am to others about their feelings, I don’t even give myself the same in return, but I should. You and I both deserve to talk to ourselves kindly.

Personally, I’ve been trying to combat my negative self-talk. But it’s hard.  My favorite strategy currently is redirecting. If I notice myself becoming too negative about myself, I’ll immediately stop that thought, do 5-10 circle breaths (like in through my nose, out through my mouth), and rephrase the thought. For example, if the thought goes like this, “I am really screwing everything up, my life is never going to be the way it should,” – I rephrase it like this, “God’s plan is perfect and even if I don’t see how it’s working out right now, it’ll work itself out. I am still discovering who I am and how everything works, but it will be worked out in the end.”

I have been focusing on changing the way I talk to myself and think about myself for about a week now, and it has honestly been so worth it. I found that my mind is starting to go straight to the positive thoughts – this isn’t to say that I don’t sometimes fall short, but it is a work in progress.

What are some positive thoughts that keep you going when you get into a negative rut? Share below in the comments – I would love to hear them!

XOXO,

– Tanesha

Define Life Yourself

How often are you allowing others to define your life? Stop and think about it, like really think about it. Subconsciously, we all do this. We allow others to define what our success should look like, what it means to be in a relationship or what being a 20-something year old should look like. But honestly, the only person who should be defining what our lives look like, what our success looks like or relationships look like is ourselves. You as the individual should define that, not your parents, your friends, the lady on Instagram who you admire, none of them.

Many times, we allow what other people are doing and what is trending right now to define what things are for our lives. For example, people think that their relationships aren’t real until they’re on social media – which isn’t even the case. Or we define what success is by looking at somebody else’s success. Think about how life was before social media, where we couldn’t see every single thing about everyone’s life, where you didn’t know what other people were doing – how would you then defined your life, your success or your relationship?

I feel like we think about what other people are doing and how other people are living their lives – as the “template.” However, the “template” might not be the correct fit your life. God has a specific and unique path and plan for you and it might not look like everybody else’s. You have to be ready to just accept whatever it is.

This weekend I encourage you to really sit down and define your life and figure out exactly what defines YOU. What does success look like to YOU? What do YOU want your relationship to look like?

Share below how you define your life, your relationships and success! I can’t wait to hear about them.

XOXO,

– Tanesha

Sunday Soapbox: Standards for Life

I am one of those people who have super high standards in dating and I am unashamed! But when it comes to other aspects of my life – such as how I allow people to treat me – I am much much more lenient. You need to have standards for literally every aspect of your life not just dating. Having standards in dating is great and really necessary,  but your whole life is not focused or based on dating, you’re much more than who you date.

I feel like if you don’t have standards in your life, especially for your social circle – you’ll just allow people to treat you any type of way and then they’ll be able to walk all over you thus break your heart and hurt your feelings. And you don’t deserve that. Yes, in a perfect world people would treat everybody with kindness, but that doesn’t always happen so you should have the standards in place so that people do not treat you any type of way.

Think about in your workplace, if you’re just putting out mediocre or half-ass work – people aren’t going to want to hire you or want to promote you because you’re not doing anything above and beyond. You’re not making the company or yourself look good. For example, I pride myself in the type of work I produce. I’ll make sure to give the project 1000% and ensure that it is the best work that I’ve ever produce, even if I’m feeling lazy. I do this because I want people to associate me with having an excellent work ethics and producing amazing work.

Imagine if you had a standard of how you present yourself and how you dressed,  how people treat you, what type of work you put out, what type of people you entertained in your social circles and much more. People would then HAVE to (or at least be more inclined) to treat you by the standard you have set. If you have a standard of how you look, how you carry yourself and how you interact with people – people always associate you with those things. If you’re always super kind, super positive and happy person – people will always associate that with you (and that will become the image they have of you).

Standards are for you alone to make, and whatever standards you choose – make sure they make you happy.

What are some standards you already have in place in your life or planning on incorporating? Share Below in the comments.

XOXO,

– Tanesha

 

 

Beating the Post-Graduation Blues

Are You A Recent Grad? If so this post is for you!

Graduating college is nothing like I imagined. I imagined, I would graduate on May 8th, 2016 and complete a summer internship, get into the graduate school program of my choosing, move out of my parents’ house into a cute little apartment with my Yorkie (dog) and all of these other things that a lot of my other friends were accomplishing or at least what I thought a 20-something should be like after graduating college. One of my very best friends, graduated, moved into this bomb ass apartment and started his full-time job about 3 weeks after graduating – and like in October, he called me and was like “What? You’re still at home? When are you going to move out? What are you doing with your life?” And here I was sitting at home (my parents’ house), with no job, no graduate school, essentially nothing. (NOTE: Thankful my parents are not the type to just kick me out of the house – Thank God!) So on top of already feeling mighty shitty about my situation, one of my closest friends had confirmed basically what I had been thinking for months – that I was a bum, I was wasting all this potential that I had acquired in college, and that I wasn’t going to amount to anything (especially with all this time just passing me by). All of that made me extremely sad (and still does to think about from time to time). I stopped doing the things I loved, just sat at the house – sometimes went to the gym, sometimes went church, but that’s about it. So I spent about a month or 5 months, sad, crying, upset.

I honestly think I needed to go through those things and experience those emotions before I was able to fully be able to trust the process of my life and begin to conquer a lot of the negative self-talk I was doing. But this blog post isn’t for me to vent about how sad my life sometimes is… This blog post is to help you conquer these feelings – well at least the things that have helped me.

  1. Revamp your resume, application pieces, and other things. I took about three days to really revamp my CV/resume. So often, at least for me, I never update my CV – it’ll be two or three new things that need to be added every couple of months, however, I won’t put it on there. I created cover letters (for jobs). I also took the time to work on my personal statement for graduate school. I purchased some new GRE study books and guides, and sign up for a Kaplan course. I feel like this was so important so that when I begin to start applying for school and jobs I won’t have any excuses because all of the “hard things” are already done.
  2. APPLY FOR EVERY-FUCKING-THING. Listen to me, even if you think you are not eligible or not qualified – APPLY. My mother always says, “Let them tell you – no.” – You never know an employer or school admissions board might like you enough to give you the opportunity or the chance. You never know.
  3. Practice some Self-Love. Self-Love for everyone is different. You may want to eat the things you love, start a weight loss journey by working out, read a BUNCH, listen to podcasts – whatever it takes. For self-love includes working out, taking a break from social media, spending time with the Lord, and knitting.
  4. Spend time learning new things – career oriented or otherwise. I think taking time to read some educational books and learn new skills is so important. Not only will it fill you time, it is good to put your energy into projects. My new skill that I learned was really perfecting my videography and being able to start a vlog. Not only does this feed my need to be creative, but it also gives me a way to document my experiences.
  5. Spend Your Time Wisely. I’ll admit I didn’t do this at all, but I regret not spending my time doing more productive things. I spent a good 2-3 months wallowing in self-pity and borderline sadness. But I think if you get into a really good routine of doing different things you will be able to transition smoothly into something new (whether that be a new job or graduate school or new move across the country).
  6. Give yourself time and stop negative self-talk. Graduating college is such a huge accomplishment – ABSOLUTELY DO NOT minimize your accomplishments. So many people do not graduate from college and you have. You are not going to magically be happy again overnight, that is going to take time and effort. I have to intentionally wake up and tell myself, “Today is going to be a great day – no matter what.” You have to believe in the things you are telling yourself as well. One of the main (and most challenging) habits you are going to have to kick is negative self-talk. A good friend of mine gave me this positive affirmation that I have been using lately and it goes like this – “I can have success and success is for me,” and “I can have love, love is for me and I deserve it.” You can just fill in the italicized words for the things that you want – love, money, success, happiness, or literally anything.

 

Have you recently graduated college recently? How did you beat the post-graduation blues?

XOXO,

– Tanesha

10 STANDOUT IDEAS from 2016 (thus far)

I feel like 2016 has been the year of learning for me. I am forever reflecting on this year and what things I could’ve done better, what things were good. I think self-reflection is one of the most beneficial things a person can do, because change has to come from within. People can tell you all they want about the things you do wrong, or the things you are doing correctly – BUT until you recognize it yourself, you probably won’t make longterm changes. So here are some of the main things that I’ve learned and that I plan on keeping with me for the rest of my post-undergraduate life.

  • Dream HUGE, and don’t limit yourself, even if other people try to. You are the creator of your destiny, and absolutely nothing is out of your reach, unless you put it there.
  • Being Sure of yourself is a process, it takes practice. And by practice I mean every single day, looking yourself in the mirror and saying “You got this girl!”  You must be sure of yourself, because if you aren’t – who else will?
  • Trust God and his path for you, he will never lead you wrong. Romans 8:28 in the Bible says: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
  • People only take from you what they know you will give them. This goes hand in hand with the saying, “people will only treat you how you allow them to.” (Thanks mom!) Folks are probably walking all over you and treating you the way they are because you are allowing them to by not standing up for yourself or correcting their behavior. Only you can change it tho.
  • SAY NO: with conviction. Stop doing things you don’t want to do and things that make you unhappy. Life is literally too short for you to do anything you don’t want to do. Say no, and leave it alone. You don’t have to explain yourself to ANYONE.
  • Friendships are reciprocal, and not everyone is your friend. If I’m being honest, I’m still learning this. But you shouldn’t be the one always reaching out, and always planning. You should be getting out of the friendship, the same things you’re putting in.
  • Plan early in your relationships, especially with marriage. Honestly ask yourself (and your significant other) what your intentions and expectations are up front. There’s no point of your intentions to seriously date, and your significant others intention’s are to casually date around. I believe that preparation is the key to success and that it should be applied to your relationships as well.
  • Explore the world – take in every opportunity, even opportunities you don’t think you will gain from. I think you should take advantage of every single opportunity and open door that comes your way, because you may gain skills that you wouldn’t have before. Also you could learn what type of career you don’t want to have.
  • The difference between you and someone else is what you are willing to sacrifice. I think there is something profound about being the person to go above and beyond the normative path. You should be able and willing to sacrifice for your goals. Sacrifice is temporary but the reward and feelings of accomplishing your goals are forever.
  • You can have it all, as long as God says the same. Galatians 1:10 says “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant!”As long as you are focused on living your life as an offering to God, everything will work out the way it is supposed because God favor’s His Children.

What are some of your stand out ideas from 2016? Share below in the comments!

XOXO

– Tanesha

Grown Up Life Goals

So now that I am about to embark on the next chapter of my life. Honestly, goal setting has been a part of my life ever since I can remember. I saw on Facebook once that ” Goals are just dreams with deadlines.” How can you ever accomplish anything without knowing what it is that you want to accomplish?

Goal setting is pretty straight forward. You should use the cheesy acronym S.M.A.R.T to help set and achieve your goals.

S is for Specific.

M is for Measurable.

A is for Action-Oriented.

R is for Realistic.

T is Time-Based.

Some of my personal goals include: building my self-confidence higher by working out more and eating healthier (cut out all these random carbs), start dating again (9 months from now), face some more fears (especially my fear of bugs), move out and become more independent.

While my professional goals are get into a good graduate school with a strong emphasis in research, publish my first peer-reviewed article into an academic journal, perfect my elevator speech, recreate my personal statement and cover letters, and re-brand myself.

Even more important than just having these goals in your head, is writing them down. I don’t know about you, but whenever I write anything down it becomes more real to me. I would suggest you write your goals down. Maybe in a notebook where you can journal on your progress, or maybe on sticky notes that you place on your bathroom mirror, or even just down on a piece of paper that you carry around in your wallet. I think you should look at your list of goals at least once a day. The more you see them, the more you will work for them, the more progress you will make on them, and then before you know it you will be accomplishing so much.

I believe that setting personal (as well as professional) goals are extremely important.

What are some of your goals for the rest of the year?? Share below in the comments.

Be Blessed, and Love always,

– Tanesha 🙂