Ode of Love to Black Men

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Myself and the amazing black man I loved for 9 years

Confession! I stay away from the news because I’ve worked in news enough to know, “If it bleeds, it leads.” That’s the motto of an industry that highlights the bad in people, in our communities, and our world. Nonetheless, you have to be living under a rock, not know what’s happened in the last twenty four hours. Two black men have been killed!

My best friends are black men, the man who raised me is a black man, and the men I love are black men. They listen to me, encourage me, care for me, and protect me. Therefore as a black woman, I’m emotionally compelled to share this.

Black man I love you! I understand the depth of the challenges you endure on a daily basis. The bias you face when walking in a room. How the system is built to keep you down and out. That you have to work three times as hard as your peers at work just to keep your spot. If you have greater ambitions, then you really have to assimilate on a whole other level.

Black man, I love your swag. I love the way you love. I love how you protect your family. I love how you have book and street smarts. I love your hustle. I love your will to move mountains for your children, your mother and your wife. I celebrate your strength. Stay encouraged to push forward to your greatness no matter what obstacles an individual, a corporation, the justice system or the global landscape tries to keep you down. They fear your shine, love your talent and covet your endurance.

What’s happening in our world is not about race anymore. It’s about humanity. Let us find ways to look beyond skin. Embrace our differences and look for our commonalities. No one matter race, culture, socioeconomic background, or sexual orientation NO ONE wants their son, father or lover killed unfairly. Each of us has the ability to push prejudice and stereotypes away. To collectively challenge a system that creates an environment that tolerates this kind of behavior.

Let love and light shine brighter, let’s take the world higher!

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Living in Full Alignment: How I Get My Life Through Travel

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It is not uncommon for people to spend their whole life waiting to start living. – Eckhart Tolle

For me, travel equals living! When I’m up in the air, I’m all the way up on life! Having new experiences in a different area or visiting a place I love is everything to me. It’s about breaking away from my day to day surroundings. Giving myself a chance to embrace “newness”. I think differently when I travel. My heart is more open, my mind is more open, and I began to feel deeply connected to infinite power and possibilities. My favorite travel moment, is when I’m tucked away in a window seat, earbuds plugged in, and gazing over the clouds. First of all, I’m grateful to the Wright brothers for thinking of something as crazy as flying in their time because now I get to reap the benefits. Sitting, floating miles above the ground beneath me daydreaming about how beautiful the world is, my life is.

On Wednesday, I flew to Atlanta. On Thursday morning, I flew back home. Who does that?! I know it seems a bit cray, cray to a lot of people. Let me share with you my point of reference. Growing up my mom worked for the airlines so I had that family discount #freetravel. Mom would take my brother and I on these crazy spring break trips where we would fly to multiple cities in one week. One spring break we did Chicago, Dallas and Vegas. My senior year in high school, we went to Louisiana. I was looking at colleges down there. Then, we went to Atlanta. Last stop, Vegas again (there’s something about Vegas!). Even outside of spring break we were always off to the next adventure. I’m so grateful to my mom for taking me on all those super vacations. Through those experiences, I grew a deep affection for being in different environments, making new friends, and breaking away from home.

Now, even though I don’t have that #freetravel hook up I still find, no I make a way to get away. It’s my way of aligning with my highest desire. Travel inspires me. It reminds me that there’s more to life than my everyday experiences. It ignites my creativity. Not to mention, I always make new friends who enrich my life in priceless ways.

My whole point in sharing this is not to say you have to travel, but to say you must allow yourself to live fully. Living fully is something different for each of us. I encourage you to have those experiences that set your mind free and fire you up all at the same time. Why not?! Life is this beautiful journey to be enjoyed. The idea that we should wait to live until we get married, start our dream career, get the business up and running, or the kids off to college is not it. Life is not a waiting game. It is here now. Whether tomorrow comes or not, we must always live for the delicate balance between the now and later. By all means, be prepared if tomorrow comes. However, make sure you’re not always living for tomorrow, it will never come.

One of my favorite Rumi quotes states, “Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” Travel is one of those things that fans my flames. What brings you joy, excitement, inspiration? How can you work more of that into your life? Listen, once you know what it is, be creative! Don’t limit yourself on ideas on how to work your schedule, your budget, or lifestyle to get more of whatever sets your soul on fire. Take it from me, life only gets better when we give ourselves permission to live fully and authentically.

 

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What is that thing that fans your flames for life? How do you live life fully? Let me know in the comments below. Comments aren’t your thing…that’s ok! Tweet me @pretymotivated. Can’t wait to hear from you!

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I’m supposed to be getting married today, but I’m not! Now what?!

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Today is the day, I was supposed to pledge my lifelong love and commitment to a beautiful soul. For the past few months, I’ve been sharing on social media how strong I’ve been throughout the transition, but last Saturday I was sitting at a beautiful candlelit table at my friend’s wedding reception when a flood of emotions hit me like a ton of bricks. I was completely blind sighted. I thought I was over it, but the reality that after nearly a decade, my relationship is over. I felt all of it deeply and allowed myself to be ok with this very natural part of the healing process. Often, when things end, be it relationships, careers, friendships or whatever we tend to bask in the past. If we aren’t mindful we can catch ourselves in the “what-if zone”. After the rivers of tears dried, I reminded myself that the beauty of this journey called life is not in the rearview mirror, it is in looking forward to all the amazing possiblities that lie on the road ahead.

In the spirit of fully embracing my “Aha moment”, I’ve decided to marry to myself (say what?!). Yaaasss, I was inspired, after I watched this amazing Ted X talk by Tracy Mcmillan, “The Person You Really Need to Marry”. It resonated so deeply with me. The first time I watched it, it just stuck with me! I believe and appreciate the power of a harmonious partnership with the right person. I now realize that the deeper my commitment is to myself the better partner I can be to Mr. Right. My new main squeeze, is looking at me in the mirror everyday. She’s been waiting for me to love her unconditionally. On the good and bad hair days. Truth is, no other person can really love us unconditionally. It’s just part of being human, but we do have the power show others how to love us by leading by example. Loving ourselves fully, forgiving ourselves, embracing our imperfections, and celebrating our own victories.

I appreciate my previous relationship, the lessons I learned and the growth that came out of it. I also accept the NOW, and I’m excited that I’ve been able to embrace a new unconditionally wonderful relationship with the person who matters most…me! Choosing to live in love and light embracing every aspect of who I am. Gently acknowledging opportunities for improvement while celebrating my greatest gifts. As a good friend of mine always says, “this journey is not for the faint at heart honey”. It is from the unexpected turns in life that we gain our deepest strength and insight. I am grateful to have loved and learned. My heart is open to loving again in an even bigger way than ever before and today I choose to love myself first and foremost.

Self love is the beginning of ALL love.

Should you marry yourself? Even if you’re already married? How would your life improve if you loved yourself a little more, criticized yourself a little less and forgave yourself a little more?

Comment below and let your girl know your thoughts.

 

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The Goddess RISES

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I woke up the other morning, rolled over then grabbed my phone off the nightstand. Turned on Love Drought, I’m really feeling this one from Beyonce’s LEMONADE album. I put my feet on the carpeted floor of my cousin’s guest bedroom where I’ve been staying for the past two months and began doing a yoga flow which quickly turned into an impromptu dance session. My locs pulled back into a ponytail, I spun around in my heather grey boyfriend t-shirt. I’m not a dancer, but I felt as graceful as Misty Copeland. My arms swaying from side to side as I glided over the carpet. I was dancing. I was transcending.

In 2006, I met a magnificent man. I had a list and he was everything on it. I had manifested him. He made me feel safe and loved. I loved him quickly and deeply. Fast forward, to August 2013. He finally proposed!! After six and half years of shacking up, he’d put a ring on it! Yes, I was winning. I felt validated. I no longer had to answer that awkward question, “When are you guys going to get married?” No longer had to feel like it was something wrong with me because he hadn’t asked me to be his wife. I could hang with the wives club. I’d made it. Started out as wifey, now I was about to be his wife. My social status and confidence, was on a new level.

Two months ago, after several attempts of trying to “make it work“, and us constantly breaking and making up.  I’d give the ring back and he’d ask for it back. Setting wedding dates and cancelling them.  I realized I needed to fix my own life. I walked away. I left a good man, with a good job, and no kids. Who does that?! A woman, a goddess, a queen that is in tune with the deeper part of herself.

Years ago when I started, a personal yoga & meditation practice I began to love myself in a way I didn’t know was possible. Gradually, I learned how to embrace all aspects of Trina wholeheartedly. My goddess energy was slowly starting to rise up. I started doing things that felt good to me which drove a wedge between us. My desire to be unapologetically me, meant I had to walk away from a man that I’d loved for nearly a decade. The life we had built together had to dissolve.

I’ve amazed myself. Throughout, this transition, I’ve never focused on what I was losing or leaving behind. My focus has been about the connection that I’m gaining with myself. The clarity of my desires and my overall vision for what I want. I’m embracing my goddess energy.

In the past, I’ve definitely been the girl who would cry herself to sleep during a breakup. The total emotional wreck girl that doesn’t try to hide it, who is secretly seeking pity from anyone that would offer it. Running home to assume the all too familiar fetal position while a trail of tears hits the pillow. I’ve only cried a couple times, since I walked away. Each morning, I wake up and meditate or just allow myself to think about everything I want. For me, it’s not about having it ALL. It is about feeling good, just imagining. Not because I need any of it, but because it makes my soul smile just to focus on my deepest desires. Those things I want, the places I want to go, relationships and soulful connections I want to experience. My whole focus, has shifted from getting somewhere to enjoying the journey. Feeling good along the way. Focusing on the good in my life as it is in the present moment. Now I know, that there is no destination I should seek to achieve happiness. The happiness, joy and connection is always available, right here and now. It’s inside me.

I thought I needed to be married and have kids to be happy. Now, I’m like I may get married, I may not. I may have kids. I may not. Either way, I know I’ll be happy. Living in my truth. Honoring my own desires. Loving myself and others unconditionally everyday is what creates my happy, my peace and clarity. At the end of the day, it is not our job to figure it ALL out. To work out all the details of our lives. We only need to seek the love within. All the love and harmony, that we long for is inside. It is not waiting for us to get married, have children, get the business up and running, lose the weight or have more money. The powerful goddess energy that can move mountains and give life is only waiting for us to realize it. Embrace it. Single, married, or divorced we are all goddesses.

 

Peace. Love and Light.  

 

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How to Boost Your Willpower

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Boosting your willpower. I’m sharing some easy breezy ways to WILL your way to living your truth.

Whenever we “make up our minds” to change. Our brain sends signals to the body. Hey guys “we are going to start working out at 6am every morning”. Sounds great, right?

It’s never that simple, because the cells in our bodies are used to not working out. They’re more accustomed to sleeping in and pushing the snooze button. So our cells huddle up together, like a football team. Then they send send a message back up the spinal cord to your brain to get you back on your old habits. Then before you know it’s 6am and you’re hitting the snooze button saying “I’ll start tomorrow”.

Sound familiar?! Listen, I get it!

Since we are re-wiring ourselves we have to keep the temptation away to revert to those old behaviors. This means if you’re going for a healthier cleaner diet just don’t buy the bad stuff, if it’s not in your kitchen you’re a lot less likely to eat it. If you’re a shopaholic working to curb your spending then STAY AWAY FROM THE MALL and all online shopping carts! Personally, I unsubscribed from all my daily deal alerts. Much easier to save when you’re not finding the BEST DEAL EVER in your inbox every day.

After keeping our vices out of plain sight we need to hold tight to our vision and find a way to enjoy the process of transformation. This is where we get to tap back into our imagination and begin to visualize taking selfies on the beach in that bangin’ bikini, seeing all those zeros next to our name on the bank slip, or your names on the NY times best-seller list. Keeping your eyes on the prize is a great way to boost your willpower. Work that picture until it’s as clear as a glass of water.

Lastly, boost your body. Taking supplements, like ginseng, omega 3 and B-12. Are really good ways to make sure your body is ready to take you to the next level. I’ve had so many chats with my girlfriends about making the commitment to change. The main reason why they (sometimes, me too) can’t workout, start a new career or project is because they are tired. They don’t have the energy it takes to add something else to the to-do list. Whatever you do don’t leave this step out.

So let’s recap…

Because our body naturally wants things to stay the same we have to …

  • Stay away from temptation
  • Keep your Eyes on the Prize
  • Boost your body

Real talk, having a dip in your willpower is normal. Know that these tips will definitely help you keep the positivity party going…

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