Self Care Diet

What about me!!??

I found myself looking in the mirror asking this question as I brushed my teeth a week ago. I was seconds away from slipping into self-pitty after thinking about the week I had. I’ll come clean and say that I am hard on myself. I like to keep everything high, my standard and heels. There was no way I could endure another day without some self care. This term is growing in popularity as women realize that you can’t pour from an empty cistern and there is no guilt in taking care of yourself.


So last Friday, I excused myself from my entrepreneurial duties and laid down my mommy cape for a day to myself. No emails, no contracts, no meetings, and no nursing (JESUS..HELP!). It was time to indulge in my self care diet. Outfitted with my fedora hat, praying’ & slayin’ tee, and plaided wrap I B-lined to the front door on my way to partake in my self care diet.

SELF-CARE DIET

  • Lunch
  • Nails
  • Shopping
  • Something sweet

First up was something to eat. I don’t like to waste eating opportunities on wack food, so I headed to Townhouse, a gem restaurant tucked away in Emeryville for lunch. I felt super fancy when I pulled up and they had complimentary valet. Having doors opened for me always puts me in a good mood. I totally enjoy having lunch by myself. I used to feel weird about going to eat alone, but now I relish in the opportunity to eat at my leisure, bring a book along, or make extra conversation with the server. A steak salad was my selection along with a tall glass of H20.

Next up was a trip to Nordstrom Rack. The location in San Leandro has a better selection than the one in Emeryville, but this shopping visit was explicitly for new panties and bras. I wanted to treat myself to a new set that made me feel good when I looked in the mirror. I am so ready to retire the nursing bras. To ensure the self-care didn’t end on that day I also picked up some body scrub and monogramed stemware so I feel fancy when sipping my pink lemonades. The family has been put on notice that those glasses are just for me!

Last Friday was Chinese New Year, so guess who that impacted the two nail shops I had to go to? The first one had limited services, and the second asked for me to come back in two hours. Now that I have acrylic nails, fills are mandatory, so I brought my tail back. Surprisingly I’ve had the same set since November! That probably means nothing to you, but it was my wedding day in 2006 which was the last time I had gotten “a full set”.

A date is never complete without something sweet. To satisfy my craving I stopped by good ole See’s Candy for five pieces of pecan buds. OMG, I love those things!

The day went by way to fast, but my husband and kids would attest that I arrived home much more at peace and full.  So tell me, what does your self care diet look like?

My Black Panther Experience

As a congregation yesterday our church, New Life Community Church, went to view the highly anticipated movie, Black Panther. This outing was special for a few reasons. One was because we encouraged the congregation to dress the par in all black or African garb. Secondly, the viewing was immediately following our morning worship service which was FIRE!!!! Then lastly, it was no cost to our members. Three other church came together to buy out the theater as an opportunity to fellowship and show solidarity.  Sundays in my book are made for church, family, and fun! I saw this day as a great opportunity to do the most and get the entire family dressed up in coordinating African inspired outfits. Being that my sewing machine is hidden in my in-law’s garage I couldn’t make anything so I simply took scissors along with safety pins to the 6 yards of fabric I had that a friend brought back from Ghana.

My husband wore an all-black suit with a complimenting sash I made from the fabric. I missed my hair appointment this week so it was an easy decision to go with a head wrap using the matching fabric. The original design idea for my two boys was to create a front pocket with the fabric to sew onto a regular black t-shirt. That didn’t happen so they ended up wearing dashikis that they already had. Last month a family friend brought Jayla a dress from South Africa, so she wore that along with the head bow I cut out using the same fabric. I’m not gonna lie, we rolled up to Grand Lake Theater looking like Wakanda royalty.

The real reason for this post is to share with you three lines in the movie that pierced my mind, heart, and soul! The movie, directed by a family friend, Ryan Coogler, was phenomenal to say the least. Almost a year ago his wife, my team mate and friend shared with me pics of the set and how taxing and ground breaking this film was. I honestly had no idea then the totality of this movie and how it would shape the world as we know it. If you haven’t seen it, go see it. And if you have seen it, go see it again! Yes, it’s that good.

THE HEART PIERCER

tell him who you are!” by Queen Ramonda (Angela Bassett)

I almost lost it during this part of the movie. The Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was challenged to a fight for the throne of Wakanda by a neighboring tribe’s man. Black Panther was being served left and right, to the point it looked like he was down for the count. With the people of Wakanda onlooking and his mother right there in his corner, she yelled with a growl from her belly in a manner of which only a Black woman can, “tell him who you are!” That moment was extremely sobering for Black Panther and I believed it was felt throughout the audience as well. It’s pivotal moments just like this one, when we want to give up, when we feel like we are in over our heads and that the giant Goliath is getting the best of us that we need powerful words spoken to our souls as reminders to give it all you got! Stand tall, don’t go out like a punk! Give it another go and finish the race!

As Black people, with our culture being stripped from us and in general the world reciting words of inferiority, a stern reminder of your roots, pedigree, and the DNA that runs through your veins is the remedy at times. In response to his mother’s outcry, the Black Panther claps back with thunder in his voice, “I am the son of T’Chaka King of Wakanda!” It’s like he had a come to Jesus moment about who he was. This line impacted me most because it reinforced our impact as mothers. As parents, we help to shape the identity of our children. We are their first source of esteem and confidence. In this scene, it was beautifully displayed how influential a mother’s presence, position, and voice is in her child’s life, no matter their age. Just as the bible says to train up a child in the way he should go, as parent we must do our part to teach our children who they are, so they’ll be able to respond in full confidence as did the Black Panther.

THE MIND PIERCER

“Just because it works well doesn’t mean it can’t be improved” by Shuri (Letitia Wright)

One of the reasons why this movie is so brilliant is because of the technological advances which is one of the trademarks of the Wakanda nation. During one of the scenes, The Black Panther is challenged by the princess, the Chief Technology Officer of Wakanda, about the use of one of their high tech gadgets. The Black Panther, claims the device works so what is the fuss? Shuri taunts the royal heinousness with the challenging line, “Just because it works well doesn’t mean it can’t be improved” Her words suggest that there is always room for improvement. Hmph?? That good isn’t good enough. Shuri raises the bar for our idea of excellence. I am guilty of sometimes being comfortable with what is working. This shift in mindset positions one to always be on the cutting edge, to assume the role of a trailblazer never being left behind. This one line challenged me to examine those areas of my life that are working well but can still be improved. Thanks, Shuri!

THE SOUL PIERCER

“…just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships…” by Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan)

I will be the first to admit that nearly any reference to American slavery makes me sick to my stomach. The thought that another human being would kidnap, enslave, and subject a person to the treatment African Americans endured for centuries digs at every fiber of my being. Near the end Killmonger, the villain in the movie, is nearing death. The Black Panther offers a hand of mercy for recovery. Killmonger, knowing he’s in for it declines the King’s offer of another chance at life with these souls piercing words, “…just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships...” Wow, that was deep, right? Almosrt every line he served in the movie was. The ocean as a grave? The desire for freedom in the afterlife over the bitterness of oppression and bondage. But then again, the vivid reminder that during the slave trade men, women, boys, and girls made the same life-defining decision to be free in spirit than bound by physical chains. That statement allowed me to consider what choice would I had made if I was one of the hundreds of black bodies crammed onto a ship like chattel, forced to eat slop, and stolen from my homeland. Maybe I would have jumped too.

If these mere three lines struck you as they did me, just imagine what the full movie would do. Thank you, Ryan, cast, and crew for giving my boys a movie they could see themselves as the superhero in. You should have seen them cheering on as The Black Panther contended. Thank you for allowing me as a black woman to see power exercised in combat, competence, and love. Thank you for reminding my husband that there is royalty inside his DNA as a black man. I’m certain we will see it again, along with the DVD when it is released.

Job well done.

Living My Best Life

The season of life I am in right now, I can’t really put a label on it, so I’ve just been saying, “I’m living my best life!” It’s like I’m on joy overload even though my kids still drive me crazy at times, I could use a few more zeros in my bank account, and one of the most important relationships in my life isn’t fully where I would want it to be. I want to say the source of this euphoric feeling comes from me fully knowing that I am living out my purpose and I’ve entered into “my season”. For the past few months, there have been disciplines that I have stayed committed to that I believe have ushered me into this “season”.

The first would be a more dedicated prayer life. It’s not that I wasn’t praying before, it’s just that now I am praying more strategically and with a greater understanding of the word and conviction of the power that flows from faith. Secondly, I penned 21 declarations that I recite daily since January 1. One of my declarations that really lights my fire is BOLDNESS IS MY NEW PORTION! I refuse to just exist and live within the comforts of normalcy. If God said I can have it, guess what? I am going after it! The Bible teaches us plain as day, that the power of life and death is in our tongue! I have been declaring some big things and allowing God’s grace to fill the gaps. Thirdly, pouring into others has been a mainstay and something that gives me so much life. To know that my mere words and how I live makes a positive impression on someone else humbles me every time.

I do not want to give off the impression that I have always been in the season of life. When my family and I moved to the Bay, on January 15, 2011 almost exactly 7 years ago, my life was the total opposite. I was fearful of the future because I closed down my thriving event planning business in our former city of residence. I didn’t fully know and understand the Lord to discern what was happening. I felt lonely and unsure how  being a stay at home mom to two kids under the age of 3 and starting a church from the ground up was going to pan out. Now that I think about it, 7 is the number of completion, and just maybe I’ve finally come full circle. That was one heck of a circle I tell you!  Within that circle, we lived at five different addresses, survived on 1.5 incomes, homesickness, and also God continuously making a way out of no way!

To finally be in a place where I have multiple successful businesses, on track towards buying a home, and knowing without a shadow of a doubt I am where God ordained me to be, I could scream for joy! I wouldn’t take anything from my journey and I can still say with all certainty, THE BEST IS YET TO COME!