34 Things I’ve Learned By 34

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

It’s my 34th birthday!! Since I was feeling kind of reflective this year, I decided to list some of the biggest things I’ve learned up to this point in my life. I hope you find them useful and inspiring for your own life — or that they at least serve as a reminder to you. 💙

  1. I create my own calm.
  2. I can’t effectively take care of others and handle what I need to if I don’t take care of myself first.
  3.  I don’t have to wait for a special occasion to treat myself.
  4. I deserve the very best in life.
  5. I don’t have to sacrifice myself and my needs.
  6. Worrying is a waste of time.
  7. I am worthy and enough just as I am, simply because I’m here.
  8. My best is good enough, and my best varies from day to day.
  9. It’s important to protect my peace and energy always.
  10. Forgiveness doesn’t require re-connection.
  11. Setting boundaries and learning to say no are crucial when it comes to self-care.
  12. It’s okay to allow people to be who they are; I can choose whether or not to deal with them.
  13. Done is better than perfect.
  14. Feel the fear. Do it anyway.
  15. I’m exactly where I need to be.
  16. It’s important that I listen to my intuition. She knows.
  17. Spirit has my back.
  18. Everything is working out for me, even when I can’t see it or it doesn’t feel like it.
  19. I’ll never know if something is possible if I don’t try.
  20. It is possible to experience love again after breakups.
  21. What’s for me is for me; it won’t pass me by.
  22. Sometimes, I have to be my own cheerleader and encourager.
  23. I must make time for myself daily.
  24. My mental and emotional health are as important as my physical health.
  25. It’s important to appreciate the “little “things and the things I generally take for granted.
  26. I need to be in and embrace the present moment as much as possible.
  27. Go with the flow instead of trying to force things to happen.
  28. Trust in Divine timing. Everything happens when it’s supposed to.
  29. Life ebbs and flows. Learn to ride the waves.
  30. It’s important to cherish my loved ones.
  31. I have to enjoy my journey.
  32. I’m on my own unique path, just like everybody else.
  33. I should be open to new ideas, people, experiences and open to life being different (and better!) than I could have ever imagined.
  34. It’s important for me to love myself fully and unconditionally while also being unapologetic in my evolution.

Trust Divine Timing: Letting Go Of The How And The When

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

A challenge I’ve been dealing with the past few months is letting go of how and when (which is almost always a challenge for me, TBH). I know, intellectually, that I can’t make things happen how and when I want them to. But I have to admit: When I feel like I’ve been doing the work, taking inspired action, laying low and planting seeds behind the scenes, and it looks/feels like nothing is happening, I get discouraged sometimes. And I start to have doubts — even though I know, for sure, that everything happens when it’s supposed to and how it’s supposed to.

And knowing this truth means I have to let go of how and when and surrender to the Divine.

Now you might be saying, “Yeah, that sounds great, and I can relate, but how do I do this?” Well, I don’t have all the answers, and I’m still a work-in-progress, but here’s what I’ve learned:

Focus on what you can control. I cannot control every aspect of the process, and that’s okay. So instead of worrying about what I can’t do, I put my energy towards what I can do.

Do your best and take inspired action. Continue putting in the necessary work to make your intentions a reality, and make sure you are:

1. Doing things that actually move you in the direction you want to go.

2. Getting guidance from Spirit/your intuition about what to do (ask, get still and quiet so you can hear, and pay attention to clues around you).

3. Do not act or do things from a place of desperation; it never works.

Remember your why.  When you start feeling discouraged and feel like nothing is working, remember the reason why you want what you want and why you began. Take time to visualize the outcome you desire and feel good about it coming to you.

Flow. The best ways for me to do this are to:

1. Stay in the present moment as much as possible. I focus on what’s in front of me (because it’s easy for me to let my mind wander and start creating all these worries and what-if scenarios). And when my thoughts stray (because that’s how the mind works), I gently bring my awareness back to the moment.

2. Use affirmations. This allows me to stay positive, vibrate higher and focus on what I want/what I’m creating vs. letting fear and worry take over. (See below for a few I like to use).

Breathe and keep reminding yourself that everything works out when and how it should. Again, I know this is true, but sometimes, doubt creeps in. When this happens, I take a few deep, full breaths and remind myself of this truth and of the fact that Spirit/my ancestors have my back.

My favorite affirmations to use for surrendering the how and when:

  • I listen to my Higher Self and take inspired action.
  • I do what I can and let Spirit handle the rest.
  • Everything happens when and how it’s supposed to.
  • I choose to trust Divine timing.
  • I choose to trust my process and journey

“Everything comes to you at the right time. Be patient.” – HealthyPlace.com

How to Stay Motivated to Find Your Calm

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

I’m sure you’re well aware that the journey to being a more calm mama can be a challenging one. That’s why you’re here, right?

You want to know exactly how you can manage/lessen your stress, overcome your overwhelm, and find calm in your daily life.

I get it — with all you have going on, it can be hard to create calm. And feeling like you have the time to do so can be harder.

There are going to be times when you feel like you just can’t deal with the ups and downs of trying to stay in a peaceful space.

  • You’ll want to just lie on the couch, binging on Netflix, munching on chips and ice cream (which, by the way, won’t actually do anything to lessen your stress in the long run).
  • You’ll want to hit snooze and stay in bed that extra 10 minutes — even though you know that time is essential if you want get centered and grounded for a positive and peaceful day.

Yeah, the journey to staying calm most of the time will get challenging. So, how do you make sure you don’t give up?

What’s Motivating You?

It’s all about focusing on why you want to have more calm in the first place. And everyone has different reasons:

  • You want to improve your physical health (lower your blood pressure, for example).
  • You want to be more balanced and harmonized.
  • You want to feel better mentally and emotionally.
  • You want to feel less anxious and depressed.
  • You simply want to feel less stressed and overwhelmed (because that’s a sucky feeling to have ALL THE TIME).

Whatever your reasons, they have to be good and you have to keep them in mind.

So, the big question is: What’s your why for wanting to overcome your overwhelm and find your calm? What will finding calm do for your life?

Many times, we think just wanting the thing we want is good enough, but if our reasons aren’t compelling enough, it can be hard to keep the faith that we can actually do it.

Here’s a quick to-do for you: Grab a post-it note or sheet of paper and write this down:

I want to find my calm because ______.

Look at it whenever you feel too overwhelmed or tired to continue with your calm practices.

A few other ways to stay motivated when the process gets really challenging:

Know that you deserve it. As Black women (and moms in particular), we’ve been taught that we just have to “deal with it” when it comes to stress and that we have to put our wants, needs, and well-being on the backburner — if we even deal with them at all.

If/when you feel like taking time for yourself is frivolous and unnecessary, remind yourself that inner peace is something we all deserve, including — and especially — you.

Remember that you’re setting the example for your child(ren). Our children do what we do, not necessarily what we tell them to. So, if you want them (especially your girls) to practice self-care and be able to stay calm in the midst of life’s challenges, you have to model that for them.

Remember it can make your entire life better. How? Learning to find your calm and live from a space of peace allows you to worry less, relax more, hear your intuition so you can make the best decisions in your life, and create more positive energy.

Of course, I also have your back in this process.  Black Mom Calm Monthly was created to guide you in going from chaos to calm. Support is also a huge contributing factor in creating more balance and having more peace. If you want to stay focused, and keep moving to your goal of more calm together, subscribe here.