Tag Archives: gratefulness

Getting my spirit right – How to make the first steps to change your life

I am realizing now that for the last few years my spirit has been all wrong. If you asked my then though, I would have said it was in the right place.

As hard as it is to admit, this time last year I was arrogant (because I was entering an MBA program), I was scared (because I was entering an MBA program), I was jealous (I was always comparing others lives to mine), I was mean (using my power to hurt others if I felt like I was wronged), I was depressed ( I was in a toxic relationship with a person who was lost too), and I was constantly filled with anxiety (I always consumed myself with thoughts of the future and what was going to happen to me). I thought I was a good person but in reality I was lost and bound to the person society said I should be (looking at the way black women are portrayed in the media, I was fitting in very well with that mold). It took me some time and some bad incidences to realize that something in my life had to change. I could no longer keep waking up with a deep aching feeling inside of my chest and having the occasional cry in my car just to “let things out”. I needed more, a lot more. And that is when I decided that I was going to push myself and seek out God.

Now that I am on a spiritual journey and rediscovering Christ I realized that I had to turn away from A LOT. In order to do so I had to sit and really think about the things I needed to eliminate in order to get to where I’m was trying to be. Below are a few things I’ve changed:

1. Decreasing my time spent on social media – this is a hard one but a necessary one. I haven’t given it up cold turkey but I did delete my Instagram app. I was spending hours looking at what everyone else was doing in their lives and would begin feeling depression or envy. In order to combat this I deleted my app to decrease my accessibility to those thoughts and feelings.

2. Reading my Bible, watching sermons – it’s amazing how the things we go through today are written about in the Bible. God has provided us with the blueprint to properly navigate through our lives, all we have to do is read what’s in his word.

3. Forcing myself to think positively– I was told that if you force yourself to think positively, it trains your brain, over time, to think positively. This is important in combating negative feelings that may be weighing you down. I have really made a point to do this daily and I have already been feeling a massive difference

4. Talking to someone – whether it be a counselor, a therapist, a pastor or a life coach, talking to a professional on the regular will help with trying to change your life. And no I’m not talking about your best friend who is probably just as lost, hurt and broken as you, but a real professional who knows what they are talking about and who can give you techniques to strive and get better.

5. Changing what I eat – believe it or not what you eat actually affects your mood and behavior. You eat junk, you’re going to get junk. Changing up my diet is still something I’m working on but I have decreased the amount of junk foods in my diet. Though it’s hard being a college student and not eating out, this is essential in turning things around.

I have a lot more tips that I will save for another post but these are just a few that I have started with to help me down the right path. So far, just a few weeks in to my journey and with these changes I have already been able to FEEL a really big change!

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South Africa Part 8: Discovering Cape Town

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After our tour of Robben Island we decided to go  to lunch and walk around Cape Town a bit. Unfortunately I did not take as many pictures as I should have during this leg of our day. We stayed down by the water front and took in the atmosphere of this tourist town. We walked around and grabbed lunch at a restaurant right by the water front. The wait staff was very polite and was very attentive. As I said in other posts, service in South Africa is top notch and the people who work in service seem to be extremely grateful to be serving customers.

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People walking around the water front of Cape Town

After we ate we proceeded to walk around and take in the atmosphere. We went to the mall and saw how similar the mall in Cape Town felt to the malls in America.  We also got a chance to take a picture with one of the signs that says “Table Mountain”, with the back drop obviously being Table Mountain. These signs are actually sprawled out around Cape Town for tourists to take pics with.

The first thing that I would say that I didn’t not expect while in Cape Town was the obvious European influence in its architecture (obviously if you know the history of South Africa this isn’t that surprising). Even though I haven’t been to Europe yet, I could imagine, that this is how some places there would look. Although there are a lot of Black people in Cape Town, I would say I was also surprised at the diversity. There were Indians, Chinese, and White people. It felt a little bit like Trinidad to me.

Aiming for a life of Minimalism

At the end of 2015, I moved back  home to the Washington DC from Portsmouth, Virginia. While I was packing I realized that I had TOO many things. Too many unworn items of makeup, shoes, and mostly…too many pieces of clothing. As I packed up all my things I was extremely overwhelmed by the amount of clothes and shoes that I had. Clothes in the closet, the drawer, under my bed, in my car trunk, and in my storage unit. Some of the items were things I wore once, things that I bought just because, and things that  I was just too lazy to send back. I realized then that I wanted to strive for a life of minimalism. I just had way too many things and I wanted to try to eliminate as much junk inside of my home as I was trying to eliminate within myself.

I could have just given a mass amount of my clothes away to the Good Will or Salvation Army, but I didnt want my clothes being added to a mound of clothes that is sent overseas to pile up on the side of the road somewhere (this is actually toxic to locals). So I decided that I was going to sell as many items as I could on Poshmark. Poshmark is an app that allows you to take pictures of your clothes, write a description about it, set the price that you want for the item, and sell it.

My Poshmark site

I also decide to stop buying so many clothes. We all have our vices. We all have the things that make us feel better, mine has always been buying things. Having a new outfit that someone could compliment me on was one of the things that made me feel better when I was down. Obviously this is not the best tactic in searching for peace and comfort so I decided to enforce a spending freeze on myself unless I absolutely needed it.This has been the hardest thing, but this past year I have been doing really well sticking to this plan!

The last thing that I decided to do was start wearing my old clothes again. You know how it is, we wear something for a season, discard it and never pick it back up again. Well this is something that I decided to stop doing. I have decided to start wearing my clothes until they run down and must be thrown away rather than just replacing it with a newer version just because.  I cant tell you how satisfying it was for me to start back wearing an old shirt that I had purchased in 2011, and wearing it until the sleeve tore. I know this sounds super janky BUT if all of us began buying clothes only when we really needed them just think of how much money we would save a year.

Now that 2017 is approaching I am hoping that I can continue my journey to minimalism and eliminating the unnecessary out of my life. I am hoping that all of this will assist me in decreasing my materialistic ways and continue down the path of financial freedom, gratitude, and appreciation.