Monday, September 28, 2015

Let me inspire you to just do something!!!

 A post I created on my FB page:

Let me inspire you to just do something!

Here's my testimony of when I made that mental shift: Almost a year ago...I started a personal branding journey (see the post below). I basically went out to find myself in a very deliberate way. I took classes (dancing, acting, etc), read books, and surrounded myself with people who were pursing their dreams. I also took a break from relationships with potential lovers, friendships, and even relationships with certain family members who didn't align with my vision. My journey started on October 15 and ended on November 15th. During this time I also prayed and journaled about my desires and my gratitude. My goal was to discover me.

I always knew I was a creative, sensitive, empathic person. I just needed to figure out how to manifest those things in healthier ways. On the 2nd to last day of my journey (November 14th)...I found art. I had never had an interest in art before. But it just fit and felt good. So I stuck with it (something I had never done before). It brought me free therapy, an outlet for all of my feelings, it became my meditation, my way of talking to God, my way of relating to others, my way of being vulnerable. It all moved so quickly (and it still is moving quickly). I looked at others who had been doing art all of their lives who were more trained or talented than I who hadn't even sold a piece of art and I started to feel unworthy. Normally, I would've talked myself out of the possibilities. But it felt so good that I just had to continue to keep going. And I convinced myself I was worthy along the way. Doors opened (that I didn't even have to push open or fight to open), I made new friends, I made some money, but most importantly...I found peace and a piece of me that was missing. I had never looked at myself as a doer. I had mostly dated men who were entrepreneurs, businessmen, white collar professionals, money-makers, and I envied their drive, ambition and the fact that they could stick with something and watch it flourish. I had tried and failed many times. I wasn't a doer. Just a procrastinator.
 But this time was different. I began to embody the traits that I envied in others. I became a doer too. I was no longer that procrastinator watching others excel at reaching their dreams. I learned to inspire and motivate my own damn self.

I'll keep this short (although I have lots to share). But it pains me to watch others struggle with self-doubt and block their own blessings. So I'm hoping to encourage someone to try again. Try doing that thing that you've always dreamt of doing. Oftentimes we are told that our goals are unrealistic. It's ok to be unrealistic at times. If it makes you happy, chase that shit! Disregard what others say to you. And more importantly disregard your own thoughts. Your mind will betray you because it wants to keep you shielded from disappointment and failure. So screw those negative thoughts and keep going. Surround yourself with people who uplift you. Also, remind yourself that there's room for everyone. Even if someone is already doing what you're doing....they ain't you. So go for it!

This post isn't here to imply that I've somehow made it, that I'm somehow wildly successful, or that I'm raking in tons of money. I'm not. I'm still working for the man and paying my bills by helping to build someone else's empire. But I'm one step closer to building my own...and only my own. I have something of my own to look forward to daily. I can sell a bowtie or create a painting for someone and be inspired that every time they look at it....they think of me. I somehow made an imprint on their life, wardrobe, or a blank wall in their home. Quite honestly, I'm feeling myself. So I guess the best gift of all of this is an extremely pleasurable sense of self-love that being a mom, wife, girlfriend, friend, daughter, or employee couldn't provide. 
I hope I have inspired you to go do something!

Amina Leila

Feel free to share this with anyone who you think needs inspiration!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Love ain't......

Love aint.......

text messages unanswered for hours that leave lingering thoughts of doubt
sending calls to voice mail whenever you're hanging out

conversations about your day with no inclination to ask about mine
lackluster interactions because you never have enough time

never making time for us because yet again, your business calls
but expecting me to be here even though you don't reciprocate at all

unsolved problems that I should let go because the years have passed
without remorse or any changed actions from your sociopathic ass

last minute dates, unopened doors, and not even a cot damn pulled out chair
just unwarranted criticism or indifference toward the way I did my hair

faulty penis, uninspired sex, unemotional I love you's are what you give
ego got you thinking you're the chosen one, the messiah, the reason why we live

indifference to the beauty of black women when your daughter's black and I am too
self-hate disguised as a love of diversity, a supposed open mind with a preference for one hue

listening to you be a shoulder for your harem when they call
wipe their tears, kiss their bruises, but laugh at me when I fall

I'm the overzealous cheerleader while you're the aspiring, super star.
now I'm growing, but not too fear I'll overshadow who you are

Let me be petty...

empty cartons of milk in the fridge
only cereal crumbs left of my favorite kind
getting in my bed with funky feet
I won't tell you again, this is the last time
put the cot damn toilet seat down
why is the toothpaste without it's cap?
stop sneaking to eat my leftovers just because I'm taking a nap

Love ain't....

 showing you more love than I've ever shown myself
giving you my all and taking the scraps of whatever is left
Believing your many lies and superficial promises
settling for emotions with no integrity and no depth

ain't none of this shit really love

Written by
Amina Leila

Be Empowered

"Love is...." coming soon......

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Declutter Your Situation: Self-Compassion

I will talk to myself the same way I talk to people I love
-Brene Brown

I stormed out of that woman's house vowing never to see her mean arse again!
How dare she tell me that my self-esteem was low and that it was blocking my acting ability?!
She didn't even know me. She was just an old, judgmental wench!
But I decided to do her stupid exercise anyway. 

I had visited one of the best acting coaches in the country. 
I jumped into acting head first hoping it would distract me from the fact that 
my marriage, and thus my family, had fallen apart.

Acting was supposed to have been therapeutic.
But the exercise she gave me was getting in the way of me getting my therapy. 
I just wanted to act.
So before I went to bed that night, I took out my new canvas journal 
full of crisp, white sheets for me to write on. 
I had always had a love of  pretty journals.

Writing 5 things that I loved about myself was gonna be easy. 
So I hurriedly numbered my paper so I could get it over with and go to sleep.
But I sat there stuck on number 1.
Why was it so hard to think of the good things about me?

I halfheartedly scribbled down something about loving my body.
But a thought quickly passed through my mind about how I needed to lose about 20 pounds.
I wrote another thought about how I loved that I was a loving and lovable woman.
My mind quickly reminded me that I was in the midst 
of a divorce with a man who seemed to no longer love me. 
Maybe I wasn't all that lovable after all.

I ignored the thoughts and kept writing. 
Each time I fought to ignore that little sabotaging demon in my mind. 
It was obvious that in order to love myself, I had to silence that 
inner critic who always saw in black and white. 
To her, I was either perfect or trash. I definitely wasn't perfect.
So to her....
 I was crap.

Being hard on myself had been a way of life.
Whenever friends called for advice, I always spoke to them with compassion. 
I encouraged them to see things as they were. 
Ok, you and your boyfriend broke up. That's all it is. 
Shit happens. 
Everyone has had a break up or 3.
A break up doesn't mean that you're not good enough, not pretty enough, not worthy.

But when it came to dealing with myself....I wasn't so nice.

Decluttering  my situation meant being compassionate, kind and forgiving to myself.
I still had those negative thoughts. 
But instead of allowing them to get me in my feelings...I just watched them pass by.
I knew my old ways were trying to mark their territory and keep their hold on me. 
But I was determined to be in charge of my thoughts. I was determined to be kind to myself.
And I was determined to get back to that acting coach and blow her away.

By not indulging in my own negativity, I felt lighter, less burdened, less pressured and less stressed. 
I was decluttering my mental foolishness.

Self-compassion means letting yourself off the hook.
Not expecting perfection from yourself.
Allowing yourself to experience every emotion without judging yourself.
Allowing yourself to have flaws.
Being nice to yourself when you don't meet your own deadlines--Those closets don't need to be completely organized in one weekend. It took more than one weekend to clutter them. Be nice to yourself and give yourself a reasonable deadline to declutter them.
And self-compassion is also doing kind gestures for others.

So if you don't get to those closets this weekend because hanging out with your friends would make you happier.....don't beat yourself up about it. Choosing happiness is self-compassion.
(Well maybe you could at least take one of those bags of clothes to the Goodwill on your way....)
Love yourself first


Monday, October 20, 2014

Declutter Your Situation

"Clutter is a physical manifestation 
of fear that cripples our ability to grow." 
H.G. Chissell 

I remember when I moved into this apartment....I hated it.
But I just had to be back in my home town. 
I wanted my daughter to live in the midst of the diversity and convenience that I grew up in. 
So I took the first affordable apartment I saw listed.
And I rented it without even visiting it first.
The apartment is small, has no balcony and no real character.
Its saving grace was all of the closet space. I even have a wall of closets in my hallway!

But eventually I began to loathe those closets. 
Because they began to burst at the seams with all of my knick-knacks, old boxes of junk and heaps upon heaps of clothes that I had lazily stuffed in the closet when I didn't want to deal with them. 
I hated those closets because they were a physical representation of the clutter in my mind.

I've always tried to avoid conflict. I tried to ignore it, wish it away and act like it didn't exist.
 But like the clothes in my closet, the problems didn't go away. 
They just piled up in the back of my mind. 
And one day I could no longer ignore the clutter.

I had found myself in the midst of piles of debt, 
extra weight, a messy place, low self-esteem, a toxic relationship 
and no direction of what to do with my life. 
I was just a hot, arse, mess!
And although I seemed to have it all together on the outside. 
I was burdened by the heavy weight of my shame. 
Most of all, I was just......miserable.

It took me years to dig myself out of my funk. 
And although I'm still sifting through the mess, 
I found the one thing that I had been searching for year after year.
(Oh yeah, and some cute earrings that I had forgotten all about!!)

Over the next few weeks, 
I'm going to share how you can begin to dig yourself out of your mental rut. 
And although it's not a quick or easy will be the lightest you've ever felt.
I can't wait to travel this journey with you.


Red Flags That You're Dealing With a Narcissist....Girl Run!!!

No, honey, it's not your imagination.
Yes, what you're going through is toxic, unhealthy, and downright abusive.
No, it's not your fault.
No, you're not trippin'.
And no, he cannot be helped.
He can't. I'm sorry.

So save yourself the heartache of researching cures to help him.
Don't waste your time trying to figure out how to heal him...especially if you're an empath.
You can't do it.
The best thing you can do is run away.
Fast. Never look back. Ever.

But, more than likely, you're researching his traits not only because you need confirmation...but somehow in the midst of his sick, twisted way of treating are still holding on to the memory of the 2 times (okay, maybe it was 3 times) that he treated you like a princess, you still feel like you need him, you still love him, you see his potential, he's fun, or're codependent.

But whatever the reason, hopefully, I can give you a little push to show you why you'll only damage your heart even further by trying to save your relationship with him.

Here are some red flags to look out for:

  • You can't put your finger on it but your intuition is telling you that something is wrong--Never question your gut!! God gave it to you to use along with your common sense. So stop questioning what you feel. But I'm pretty sure he has told you that you are just paranoid, you're making him suffer because of what the last man did, or that you're never happy. You feel uneasy because your body is going into flight or fight mode. The bells and alarms are ringing and your intuition just won't shut up. God speaks to you through your intuition. Take heed and listen!
  • You caught him in a lie, had proof of the lie, and not only did he still deny it, but he then made you question yourself, and told you that you imagined it all.----It's called gas-lighting. It's a form of mental abuse and a crazy making tactic.Yes, unfortunately, there's a name for his demonic ways. Gas-lighting and other crazy making tactics will do just that...make you crazy. He's not worth your sanity.
  •  He is in constant need of validation and affirmation from someone. Anyone. This also shows up as an obsessive effort to maintain a certain image. He loves being the go-to person, the savior, the subject matter expert, the adored one. When you put him on a pedestal, you become his narcissistic supply giving him his daily ego-boosting fix. And when you aren't there to give it to him, he turns to his adoring groupies (also known as side-chicks, FB friends, exes, his doting momma or even his boys) to get that ego boost. And if you get in the way of him getting his fix, there will be hell to pay. He will jeopardize everything (your relationship included) to fill himself up and maintain his image.
  • He seems to feel no remorse and have no conscience. Narcissists, or those with narcissistic traits, do not usually feel bad after hurting you. Their apologies are merely a script they've memorized that they recite on cue. But if you really listen, their apologies are always veiled accusations laced with blame-shifting. Nothing is EVER their fault. Healthy relationships are where both partners are introspective and have personal accountability for their actions. And when a transgression is made, there's an effort to deal with the aftermath of the wrongdoing. There are no healthy relationships when a narcissist is involved.
Dealing with a narcissist can be a detrimental experience. 
Take the time to learn to love yourself. Gain the courage to leave. 
If you need help leaving, reach out to someone you trust who will hold you accountable. 
You deserve happiness and love. Love yourself first.


Feel free to ask questions about the other traits of a narcissist, ideas on how to leave, and how to rebuild.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

4 Signs It's Time to Chuck the Deuces!

So you've realized that your relationship is toxic, unhealthy and just plain ole stressful.
But for some reason, you are still madly in love with that fool so you decide to stick around because he has soooo much potential.

Well let me tell you something, ain't gonna make him act right, love you, bring you flowers, respect you, give you attention, appreciate you, be romantic, cherish you, buy you gifts, take out the trash, brush his teeth, pay the bills, stop cheating, put you first, wash his arse or whatever else you were hoping your love could heal.

But I'm guessing that you still need that extra push to know for sure that this relationship isn't worth anymore of your time. Well, let me help you out. OK, get out of your feelings for a moment and let's take an objective look at your relationship.  Here are just a few signs that you might want to chuck the deuces and move on to something (or someone) better:

1. You all constantly argue, fight, or bicker.
 All relationships, even the most healthy, lovey-dovey ones, have valleys and peaks. There will be times when you all argue, when he can't stand to hear your voice and you can't stand to hear him breathe. But those times should be few and far between. If you find that you and your beau are at each others' throats daily and you just can't stop some relationship problem-solving techniques, go to couple's counseling, or enlist whatever help you can get. But if it just won't stop and your relationship lows become more frequent than the highs, you might want to ask yourself if you are willing to put up with this long term.

2. You and your feelings are no longer his priority.
Alright, so another weekend came and went and he STILL didn't make time for you. You were hoping for a date night on Friday or maybe just brunch on Sunday morning. He didn't even try to squeeze in time for you. Or maybe he did put in "effort" to see you but didn't follow through. Yeah, ummmm, that's not ok. I know, I know....he's soooo busy, he's an entrepreneur and he needed to focus on his business, his momma needed him, he had to walk his dog, he had to do laundry, blah blah blah. People make room and time for the things and people they love. Wherever he puts his attention is where his heart is. He made you his significant other for a reason. So why should you accept being anything less than significant to him? If you find yourself in this predicament...approach your honey and express how you feel. But if he blows you off, invalidates your feelings, and doesn't make an effort to do something different.....then the writing is on the wall. Pay attention!

Which brings me to my next point...

3. You're just plain ole miserable, unhappy and you find yourself fantasizing about being anywhere but with him.
Indifference is the opposite of love. Not hatred. When you reach the point where you start envisioning yourself on an amazing vacation...but without your honey....yeah, you might want to go ahead and create your exit plan. You know you're apathetic when your thoughts of the future no longer include him, when the thought of him leaving you doesn't make you sad, when you no longer get excited to see his name pop up on your phone. This usually happens around the time when you become sick and tired of being sick and tired. You turn your emotions off, put up your guard, and check out of the relationship. You might as well leave since your heart has already left the building.

Ok, abuse is NEVER okay! Ever! And please don't tell yourself "well, at least he never put his hands on me". Abuse comes in many forms. Physical abuse is probably the most recognizable. But verbal and emotional abuse are just as detrimental. Personally, it's my opinion that emotional abuse is the worst because of its lasting effects. Abuse will screw up your self-esteem, self-love, self-worth and can lead to you taking on the traits of your abuser, experiencing depression, addictions, codependency, and can just eff up your life. RUN away from abuse. Plus, stress just ain't cute and it does nothing for your sexy. You can't preserve your sexy when you aren't feeling good about you. Stress ages you and makes you fatter (we've all seen those cortisol commercials). Girl, don't let a fool rob you of your youth, beauty, love or sanity. 
You'll need all of those for the next man. ;)

Of course, this list isn't all inclusive. There are plenty of
other reasons not to sacrifice yourself for a relationship. In every situation, ask yourself if what you're experiencing feels like love. If it doesn't, be thankful for the lesson and move on.