Don’t Ask Until You’re Ready to Listen

Heeeey! I’ve missed y ‘all! It’s been way too long since my last post *clears throat* six months to be exact. If you follow my blog, please forgive me. This has been a rough year for me, and I was in no place to write content promoting self-worth and positivity in the mental space that I was in.  I’m finally turning the corner back to my happy place, and I think it’s time for me to share why I’ve been on hiatus. This will be my last post about my dark place not only because I’m tired of talking about, but mostly because I’m riding in the light from here on out.  Besides, I’ve missed blogging so much, and it is when I write and share my experiences with you that I feel like my best self.

You may remember my God Spoke to Me post where I testified how God gave me a message to be still and build my brand. But I have to admit that I didn’t listen. We often think we know better than we do. Or, maybe we follow the wrong signs because we want to believe it was apart of the plan.  Don’t be fooled y’ all, because that small detour can cause a major setback. Like me for instance. Instead of staying at my job and focusing on Tiarra Talks, I reluctantly accepted a role with a company that led me to a deep dark place of depression and anxiety.  Literally, all the signs were there for me to decline the role, and  I did.  I felt the oppressive energy in that place, but I was sold a dream and chose to believe that I could handle it. I had done the work of being a better, more confident me. I thought maybe this was a test to prove that I wasn’t the old me, to challenge myself to come through even stronger on the other side.

It took me less than 90 days to leave in the midst of a complete breakdown. Then, I totally shut my myself off from the world. I was in a bad place and to be honest, a part of me blamed God for even being there in the first place. I asked Him if this was apart of His plan, and I thought He had told me yes. I was so angry with God.  I mean, I figured since He and I were now on speaking terms that the almost desperate pleas of “I can get you to where you want to be,” was His way of giving me a sign to take the job. Or so I thought. Before I left, I came across this meme that said “When praying for a job, also pray for a working environment that won’t lead you to depression.” That hit me so hard, because it was so damn accurate. I was in such a rush to achieve the goals I had set for myself that I didn’t think about what was most important, my mental health.
depression

So, let’s talk.

How many times have you made excuses or ignored all the signs just to fit the narrative that you wanted and not what you needed? Did it have an impact on you mentally? What have you learned from those experiences?

Listen. In this life, making mistakes is how we grow; it’s what makes us human. But when you really know you should have gone left instead of going right, be prepared for the consequences. A true lesson learned for me to trust my gut, follow directions, and be patient. TO BE STILL.  A very good friend told me God’s timeline doesn’t always align with ours. But I’m stubborn, so clearly I wasn’t ready to listen.  Let me tell you, this was the first time in my life that I felt like a failure and painstakingly regretted a decision that I’ve made.  It was the first time I truly lost my way.  Nonetheless, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for lesson, for therapy, and for my support system for being rays of sunshine and listening ears helping to build me back up with their positive thoughts and words of encouragement.

When I left, I was unemployed for almost 2 months. I went on a lot interviews and heard so many no’s that I lost count.  It was crushing attack on my already weak and broken confidence. Yet, I stayed prayerful and faithful.  Because even though for a brief time I gave up on God, He never gave up on me.  After so much rejection, I heard only one yes. Would you believe me if I told you that one yes was the only one I prayed for?! Trust in Him! Trust in yourself, and your discernment. And know that even when you’re at your lowest, you can always get back up. So please, please keep going, because you are so worth it!

💜 Tiarra

 

Vision Board Party!!!

My closest friends and I do our best to get together once a month for ladies night. Most times we get together for drinks and girl talk, but I had an awesome idea for us to do something a little different this time. . . a vision board party!

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if my friends would be interested in the idea, so I first pitched it to my best friend. She’s always calling me out for being “HR” and “responsible,” so, I figured she’d be the one to tell me if this was a lame idea or not. I didn’t think she would be up for it, but to my surprise she was. In fact, when I brought the idea to her, she said, “All of your friends have goals they are wanting to reach.” Super facts! I’m so blessed to be surrounded by like-minded women!

I kicked my husband and the boys out for the day and even though Logan is only three, I thought it was important that she be there with me. I’m trying to be the best example for her and what better way than for her to see her mom and her awesome amazing friends planning for success. I even gave her her own poster board and materials as well so that she could participate.

The party went off without a hitch! It’s always good a time whenever we get together, so I expected nothing less. We had a salad bar because we’re all trying to live a healthier lifestyle but of course, we can’t get together without libations. So, mimosas were also on the menu. I had all the materials we needed i.e. poster boards, magazines, stickers, glue, scissors, etc. We were ready! What I loved most about this party is that we all took it seriously. Sharing our goals and plans for the new year and beyond was empowering as we all felt the rising energy of our Black Girl Magic. 

So, let’s talk.

Have you ever completed a vision board or attended a vision board party? Are you surrounded by friends that inspire you to be the best version of you?

Listen, after we finished our boards, we went around the table sharing our vision and speaking our goals into existence. Without even realizing out, we all had similar goals. Yes, we want to maximize our income, lose weight, and maybe even have our dream home and/or car. But the most glaring themes throughout all of our boards were simply to be happy and be our absolute best selves. Tiarra 2.0!  We made a commitment to hold each other accountable and to make this party an annual tradition. I put my vision board on the back wall of my dining room. I look at it daily to remind myself to stay focused. The sky’s the limit for us, so I’m excited for us to slay these goals and do amazing things!

💜 Tiarra

Dear Daughter,

Right now, you’re not yet old enough to understand the contents of this letter but with all the conversations surrounding R. Kelly and the “Surviving R. Kelly” docu-series, I realized the greater importance of talking to you and the daughters of the world as early as I can about your self-worth and the potential dangers you may face. Hopefully, by the time you’re able to read this, you’ll understand your worthiness and will be well-prepared for the tough challenges ahead of you.

Even before “Surviving R. Kelly,” I planned to write you this letter after I came across a picture of 19-year-old me. I thought to myself, if only I could tell this girl what I know now. If only, right? But hindsight is always 20/20. So, I decided since I can’t go backwards, all I can do now is try to help you, my daughter, to not make the same mistakes I did.

What I remember most about myself at 19 was being so insecure. I was entering my second year of college, had recently gotten my heartbroken by my first love, and was struggling to keep my grades up for the first time. I had absolutely no self-confidence, and it was the attention I got from guys that made me feel better about myself. Consequently, rejection from guys often made me fall into the deep end. I remember being a follower and never wanting to take the lead. I didn’t speak up for myself, and I would sometimes agree to things I didn’t necessarily want to. I was a shell of myself trying to be someone I wasn’t.

I had two parents at home who loved me and encouraged me to be great everyday, but that wasn’t enough. Your Dad and I will always do our best to protect you. And I know it doesn’t matter how much Dad and I teach you, show you how much we love you, and tell you how great you are, there might always be someone trying to prey on your insecurities.

So, let’s talk. At 19, you’ll think you’re grown. You’ll think you know it all and nobody will be able to tell you nothing. No way your Dad and I could ever understand what it’s like to be 19, right? Trust me, baby girl, I’ve been there. People, especially men, will tell you what you want to hear whispering sweet nothings into your still impressionable mind trying to take advantage of you. Trust yourself and your gut, and if something feels wrong, it is. You are so smart and beautiful, and men will try to play on that to get what they want from you.

Listen, no matter what I say to you, I know that you have to go out into the world and experience life for yourself. All your Dad and I can do is trust that we’ve instilled the right values in you to make the right decisions. But no matter what you go through in life, never doubt our love for you. Never let anyone dull your shine or stop you from being you. I want you to love on yourself so hard that your flaws become your perfections. Know that you are worthy of so much more than the attention anyone can give you. Create your own lane and know that we will always be here to support you. I love you so much, baby girl.

💜 Mommy

2019: Year of Commitment

Happy New Year!!!

This is my first blog of the year, and I’m so excited to catch up! Last January, I set a lot of goals for myself —14 goals to be exact. I didn’t meet not one of them and honestly, I had forgotten all about them. I found my old journal in October and saw my laundry list of goals, and I cringed. I was so disappointed in myself because it was too late in the game to catch up. Hell, I didn’t even remember what they were until then, so clearly I had lost sight of the goal. Even worse, I didn’t even know what the goal was.

However, there was one thing I wanted to do in 2018. I wanted to focus on me. I declared 2018 as the year of me, and it was. I learned so much about myself, but y’all already know because I’ve shared it ten times over. I spent a lot of time in silence, demanded my personal time and space, found my voice, talked to God, and found my purpose. It was a year full of growth, challenges, and acceptance. I’m so grateful!

In my first journal entry last year, I said I wanted to follow through on my commitments. Y’all know I have commitment issues. I’m always changing my mind and not finishing what I started. I struggled with it for as long as I could remember. I hate when people say to me, “Girl you don’t know what you wanna do,” probably because they’re right. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with changing my mind; it’s my right, but dammit I know I have to stick to something. I realized that by setting 14 goals (all of which were achievable by the way), I was just a little too ambitious.

I guess I thought creating this long list of goals would be the best way to hold myself accountable to being the best version of me. But really, I just made it more difficult for me to stay committed. I tend to rush things or I’m moving on to the next. Everyone is always telling me slow down. It doesn’t all need to be completed in one day. But doesn’t it, though? I need to knock out these goals quickly so that I can prove something to myself. Maybe I thought I needed to prove something to you as well. I wanted to show you that yes, you can do all of these things. Look at me. If I can do it, you can do it too. (Do y’all remember that commercial? LOL) I wasn’t being realistic, though nor was I focusing my energy on the right thing.

So, let’s talk.

How many goals did you set last year? Did you reach them all? Were they realistic and focused on the right things?

Listen, we all have these amazing things that we want to accomplish, but we have to put first things first. I can’t be my best self until I seriously work on the core of my opportunities. So, I declare 2019 will be the year of commitment! That is my one and only goal for the year. Everything else will fall into place once I conquer this. I am committed to following through on the commitments I’ve set for myself and others, because sometimes I’m also a flaky friend and family member. I’m ready for the challenge! Now it’s your turn. What’s the one goal you will focus on this year? We can do this! Let’s make 2019 a great year!!

💜 Tiarra

GOD Spoke to Me

You may have recognized that I’ve, yet again, revised the blog from Tiarra Talks: Weight loss & Motherhood to Tiarra Talks: Living PurposefullyOver the past year, I’ve watched the evolution of me through my own eyes for the first time, and it has been amazing to see myself step into the woman that God has called me to be. Therefore, it’s only natural and necessary that my blog evolves a long with me. I thought Tiarra Talks was about finding peace and synergy within myself so that I can be the absolute best version of me. Oh, but God! He saw it differently. God led me on this journey so that in being my best self, I can truly live with purpose and be the person that He has called me to be. I’ll be honest, I’m not religious or well-versed in the bible, but I’ve always had a spiritual connection with God. I’m so excited to share how He’s been preparing me for this moment, as the spiritual being in me has been awakened by God’s voice.

I have a testimony! Last year, I published a book of poetry and started blogging because I felt lost and needed an outlet. Blogging has revived my passion for writing and desire to help others while also helping me to step out of my comfort zone and show my vulnerability without fear of judgment. While blogging, I gained self-confidence and finally put my foot down about losing weight, which has propelled me into a complete transition of best self. I even started posting videos on Instagram in my most unfiltered self sharing the successes and challenges of my journey. Y’all, I’ve never shared videos of myself talking into the camera before now; I simply didn’t have the confidence to do so, because I was so critical and judgmental of myself.

Stay with me now, because God is working on me! Simultaneously, my cousin/mentor had a vision to create a career consultant business, Thompson & Associates Career Consulting, for which our like minds can collaborate to help others achieve their career goals. You see Him working?! Since birth, she has been influential in my development as woman and professional, and, today, that hasn’t changed as she continues to push me to color outside the wall of  lines that I’ve tried to box myself in.

But wait, He’s not finished! Although gainfully employed, I feel stalled in my career, so I’ve been applying for jobs, but I can’t seem to close the deal. With complete humbleness, and I mean this with utmost sincerity, I always get the job. I’m experienced and interviewing is one my strongest skills, but I have not been successful in landing a new role. Meanwhile, I decided it’s time to write my first self-help book (Coming soon in January 2019). This led me to the realization that I want to work for myself as an author, speaker, and consultant. I’ve always found security in working a 9 to 5. It’s something about that steady paycheck that has kept me bound from the unknown of entrepreneurship. But, the way my life is set up, I’ve realized that I need flexibility and most importantly, I need to love what I do, yet still not realizing God was telling me this all a long.

I promise I’m almost there! A year ago, another cousin suggested I create a podcast to expand my Tiarra Talks platform, but I was too afraid. That was just too tall an order than I thought I could handle. However, on my way to work on Tuesday, I “randomly” prayed for the first time in a very long time. I’m being slightly facetious because nothing about God is random. But, seriously, I really talked to God in a way that I never have before. I acknowledged that I see him leading me somewhere, but wasn’t entirely sure of the designation.

When I arrived at work, God told me that I need to share my message with more people. A podcast maybe? Well, that’s an idea LOL.  I had never listened to a podcast before, so He led me to Tatum Temia’s podcast, Blessed & Bossed Up, Episode 91 in which she talks about God knowing our talents and our purpose even before we are conceptualized in our mothers’ wombs. God had been telling her that her talent is her voice, but she was an introvert growing up and did everything to avoid what God had called her to do. She finally listened to God and His message became clear. Y’all, God used her to speak directly to me! Won’t He do it! 

So, let’s talk. Are you prepared to take on what’s in store for you? Have you followed the path that was designed for you? Or, have you use fear to avoid the signs right in front of you?

Listen. I’ve never understood what it felt like to hear from God. I just figured he only spoke to certain people who were maybe more religious or understood his language. However, I wasn’t able to hear God speaking to me because I wasn’t ready to listen. He was preparing me this whole time to use my talent. . .my voice, be it written and/or spoken to help others, but the noise and chaos of what was happening in my life impaired my ability to see God’s vision for me. But, the moment I removed the distractions and fully opened my heart to him was the moment He began to pour into me. I shouldn’t have been looking for a new job in the first place. I’m supposed stay right where I am while I build my brand and put things in place to fulfill His assignment for me. Furthermore, taking time to figure out who I am and creating a synergy of my mind, body, and soul allowed me to be open to His call. And, I’m ready! You can expect great things coming from me very soon! As we continue on our journeys, because this is only the beginning, I ask that you quiet the noise and stay focused on the signs that are right in front of you. And, no matter what, keep going because you’re worth it!

💜 Tiarra

Mind & Spirit Equals Journaling

Today’s blog is inspired by my recent visit with my therapist and a friend’s post inquiring about journaling. In every blog, I talk about my journey of best self: mind, body, & spirit. Journaling has become an important part of connecting my mind and spirit to my body. While in this process, the path of learning and accepting myself sometimes becomes foggy and will lead me in circles.  Now, I hadn’t been to therapy in almost a year, but the fog had gotten too thick for me to see the road clearly on my own. I needed some direction. You know. . . some bright lights to shine on that big ass THIS WAY sign that was in front of me all along.  So, as I babbled on about my frustrations and challenges, she asked, “So, have you been journaling?”

*Inserts blank stare* I couldn’t lie. It had been a while since my last journal entry.  She reminded of how putting my thoughts on paper helps me to get all of my feelings and emotions out so that I can understand what’s happening and deal with the core of the issue without all the fog. And, she was so right! She also reminded me to finish my thought (via the journal) before taking action or reacting, especially if you’re journaling about something or someone who has pissed you off. Trust me, you’ll end up reacting with that same emotion. I’m a very emotional being, and I find difficulty in articulating myself when I’m in my feelings. But when I journal, I can be a word vomit machine, digest what I wrote (That sounds gross. Sorry, y’all!), dissect what’s important to share and what should be kept in my feelings jar, then clearly communicate my thoughts.

However, I also want you to know that journaling is a not a dear diary thing where you’re only sharing a daily record of events about your inner-most thoughts and feelings. Journaling can be a useful tool where your thoughts and ideas can come together. It’s where you can be creative! Food journals, fitness journals, and career journals are different types of journals that create opportunities for you to reflect and hopefully push you towards being your best self.

So, let’s talk. What are your thoughts on journaling? What type of journaling do you prefer? Has it been beneficial to your journey?

Listen, whether or not you choose to journal, I hope that you take pride in your commitment to being your best self. For me, I can be transparent and honest when I journal. My friends always have to remind to take off my HR lady hat and loosen the hell up. When I journal, much like blogging, I’m free! It really is a therapeutic process that allows me to speak freely without judgment. Don’t worry about following a calendar or using specific formatting. Write whenever you want about whatever you want. Maybe it’s pictures, a list, random memories, song lyrics, or future goals. It’s your journal. Nothing is off limits! Sometimes I just write random thoughts that I need to put down so I can come back to and elaborate on later. And when I look back at my entries, I feel the confidence and power growing inside of me as it truly helps me to connect my mind, body, and spirit together.  But no matter which tools you decide to support you on your journey, please keep going. . . because you’re worth it!

💜 Tiarra

 

 

 

Trust Yourself. . . NOT the Scale

I’m sure we’ve all probably heard a fitness guru’s spiel at least once telling us to not put so much emphasis on the scale. There’s water weight, hormonal imbalances, blah, blah, blah.  But when you’re only focused on dropping the pounds, how could you not focus on the scale, right?! I heard what they were saying, but I wasn’t listening. In fact, I’m the first to admit that I was once a slave to the scale. When the numbers went down, I felt great. When the numbers went up, it was the end of the world.

It was only a couple of months ago that I really began to understand my path to being my best self beyond the scale. When I finally got serious in January, I put my goal weight and date of achievement on paper to hold myself accountable. Each week, I religiously stepped on the scale frustrated as the numbers barely moved.  I didn’t pay any attention to my jeans fitting looser, or my face starting to slim, or even the compliments from others noticing my progress. I needed the scale’s validation. To me, if the scale didn’t reflect it, then it wasn’t happening. Isn’t it sad the amount of power we give an object over ourselves?

Today, I choose not to focus on numbers when I’m setting my goals. Most recently, for example, my goal was to fit into a dress for my cousins’ wedding. Check ✔️💁🏽‍♀️When we get caught up on dates and numbers, we are putting way too much pressure on ourselves. We have to stop doing that, y’all! I think it’s more important to focus on the right now and celebrate every win big or small.

So, let’s talk. Are you a slave to the scale? How much does the numbers impact how you feel about yourself? It is possible to relinquish its’ power and trust yourself in how you look and feel?

Listen, the moment I started to live in the now and trust myself is the moment I started to see the work I been putting in, noticing the small changes, and looking in the mirror and FEELING MYSELF.  Don’t get me wrong, the scale is a useful tool to track your progress, but it’s just that, a TOOL. Don’t give it so much power that it blinds you of all the work you’ve done. I’ve lived the feeling of disappointment and discouragement because I’ve maintained my healthy eating habits and went hard in my workouts all week, but the scale didn’t reflect my efforts. Those are the moments that make us want to give up but remember, it’s a just number. So, please keep going because you are so worth it!

💜 Tiarra