Year of Wins

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By Veronica

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2019 is here, Besties!  Let me be the 100th person to say “Happy New Year” to you!  It’s something so special about the moment the clock strikes midnight on January 1st.  The new year is filled with such promise, such opportunity.  The beginning of a new chapter that is written, illustrated, and performed by you.  And I don’t know about you, but this fresh start is exactly what the doctor ordered. 

The past two years have been filled with challenges, growth, and transition.  I’ve lived through some of my darkest moments while experiencing miraculous blessings.  I’ve been strengthened in ways I didn’t even realize were weak.  Now, more than ever, I realize my potential to succeed.  This year, I am ready to win!

Now, I must be honest in saying that, in the past, I’ve often equated “wins” to luck.  I’d look at the successes of others and think, “dang, she always gets the good (man, job, body, trip, etc.)”.  I thought that maybe winning wasn’t something attainable for everyone.  Somebody’s got to lose, right? But, when I really thought about the people I consider to be in the winner’s circle, they all had some very similar characteristics.

  1. Winners have specific and measurable goals.  Winners are prepared for success.  They know where they are going, and how they will get there.  Winners study other winners.  Winners are always learning something new, and tweaking their craft.

  2. Winners expect to win. I am telling y’all!!  There is power in words.  You have the ability to envision and speak the things you wish to do/achieve, and those things will manifest. If I expect positive things to occur, I am motivated to persevere even when faced with challenges.  Perception is everything. 

  3. Winners work their ass off.  Winners try.  Winners do. Winners take risk.  In the end, your results come down to the amount of effort you are willing to put in.  When others are sleeping (figuratively and literally), winners are hard at hustle.

  4. Winners acknowledge EVERY win, big and small.  Small victories become big triumphs.  They are an important part of the journey. Winners build momentum by celebrating each step along the way.

  5. Winners looks for wins in moments of adversity.  Here’s the thing, the greenest grass comes with some hardship. Instead of seeing failure as a defeating loss, winners use the lesson as an opportunity to attain their goal on the next try. (Sidenote:  Winners stay in their own fucking yard.  Stop comparing your journey to those of others in 2019.  Seriously! You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.  Spend more time perfecting your own shit, and relishing in your growth.) 

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In thinking about these observations, I realized that winning is less about chance and more about intention.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Some people are in the right place at the right time.  But even if luck gets you in the door, preparation and hard work is what will keep you at the table.  So the real question I need to ask myself is:

How badly do I want it?

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Wishing you a winning year, Besties!  What are some of your 2019 goals?  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Love Without Fear,

Veronica

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Year Without Fear

written by: Veronica

So, it happened!  I. Turned. Thirty. Five.  I must say this was a rough one.  I am so grateful to be in the land of the living.  Breathing. Thriving.  I am so thankful for friends and family alike, constantly pouring into my life.  But, this birthday was a rough one.  So many things unsettled.  So many dreams unrealized.  It all hit me like a ton of bricks.  I didn’t fully see it coming.  Facing myself and the realities of where I am proved to be more than I was prepared to bare.  What if my life does not play out the way I planned?  What if this is as good as it gets?

Well, there’s good news and bad news, which would you like first?  The bad news is my life may not play out how I planned.  Even if I had all the things I wanted by thirty-five, there is no guarantee that I wouldn’t feel any less confused than I do right now.  The good news is “as good as it gets” is really up to me.  I can take my current season and live the life of MY choosing.  Now, more than ever before, I realized the importance of being present.  Seizing every opportunity.  Living.  Truly living.  So! I am challenging myself this year of 35, to be fearless.  Effective now, I am deeming this my year without fear. 

First up!! Snip! Snip!  So, I have been talking about cutting my hair for a while.  I researched styles, talked to other naturalistas with short cuts, and found a stylist I felt I could trust.  But I backed out of it several times.  While I had cut my hair before, it wasn’t that drastic of a cut.  And I was worried!! What if it didn’t look right?  What about my ponytail?!?!?  What if it didn’t grow back?  It seemed so permanent!  But it would be the perfect way to kick off my year without fear!  So, I buckled down, and made an appointment.

I chose The Chicago Curl Collective.  My stylist and Soror, Daria (more affectionately known as Dee) could feel my nerves in the door.  She sat me down and just talked with me first.  Then, even though I already sent her pictures of a style, she had me look at various styles on her iPad.  In her consultation, she explained the process, and made sure we were on the same page.  She addressed concerns I hadn’t even considered, and really made me feel ready to begin.  Her thoroughness continued throughout the entire process as she educated me on aftercare, products to use, and other next steps.  Not to mention, her twist-out game is MEEEAAANNN!!  All the stylists in the shop were so friendly and encouraging.  The aesthetic of the shop was very modern, complete with a power porting station in the dryer section and soulful tunes playing in the background.  I am not a beauty shop girl, but to THIS shop, I will be returning.  Worth.  Every. Penny!!

I walked out of the shop with fewer inches of hair and some life lessons:

  •  Fearlessness isn’t something that just happens.  It is something that is progressively attained with practice.  Every once in a while, shake it up!  Do something that absolutely terrifies you.  Shock your own damn self!  It’s what being alive is all about!
  •  Sometimes change is good.  Since my cut, I have been forced to try new hairstyles.  Breaking the routine and monotony of the past.  Switch up your routine.  Talk to some people you wouldn’t.  Take a different route home.  You will find new details and lessons unveiled in your willingness to try it a different way.
  •  Good or bad, it will be ok on the other side of fear.  I think one reason fear gets the best of people is that they are so uncertain of what will be on the other side.  In this tiny step, I learned that regardless of how the chips fell, I was ok.  I take that back! I was better!  More confident in my ability to leap into the unknown.  More self-aware of what works and doesn’t work in my own life.  More badass!

They say a woman that cuts her hair, changes her life.  Well, this Bestie right here is ready for that change.  Conquering each desire, one step at a time.  First, haircut. Next? Who knows?? I am open.  I am willing.  I am present.  I will keep you posted, and I’d love for you to keep me accountable!  Or, better yet?!!? Join me!

#YearWithoutFear

 

Thank you so much Dee and the entire Chicago Curl Collective Family for allowing me to feature you!  Continued success to you!  You can check out Daria (Dee) or any of the amazing stylists at:

Chicago Curl Collective

923 W. 35th Street

Chicago, IL 60609

773-940-0142

www.chicagocurl.com

 

ensemble deets:   Duster - Loft ( similar )  Graphic Sweatshirt - H&M (last season)  Jeans - Levis ( website )  Shoes - Nine West ( similar )

ensemble deets:

Duster - Loft (similar)

Graphic Sweatshirt - H&M (last season)

Jeans - Levis (website)

Shoes - Nine West (similar)

 

Images taken by: Monique (on my iPhone)

 

What are you conquering in 2017?  I would love to hear your stories in the comments below!

Happy New Year Besties!

Love Without Fear, 

Veronica

Gratitude

 

I have surely missed you, Besties!  My Waiting Place has really taken it’s toll on my entire spirit.  As a result, I haven’t had words to share on this outlet for some time now.  Somewhere along the way I lost my happy place.  It has left me unmotivated to do much of anything.  The holidays do not make it much better.  This jolly time of family, friends, joy, and cheer can be the worst time for people dealing with the “grumpies”.  I think it is so important to say, because you never know what someone is going through, which is why checking on and loving on those that matter to you most is so vital…especially during the holiday season. 

 

Getting through a valley season isn’t ever easy.  It wouldn’t be called a valley if it were.  Finding quick, temporary shortcuts don’t help either.  They often prolong the healing.  Leading you right back to the beginning of the tough storm.  Going through the valley, and allowing time to heal your heart and mind is often the best option.  Through the darkness and pain, there can be joy…if only in moments.  Remembering that even at your lowest point, you still have choices.  You can completely succumb to your pain, or you can choose life and abundance.  Finding joy, can be difficult, especially when your pain is real, live, and in color.  Focusing on the things that make you feel alive and blissful shift the atmosphere.  In an effort to choose happiness, I am pushing past pain through gratitude.    

 

Gratitude is having faith in life itself.  It is the tiny seed that cultivates peace.  It creates space for love and joy.  Gratitude is simply being thankful for even the smallest of blessings.  It opens our hearts and mind to all that is good and wonderful.  In recognizing the things that sustain us, we set our energy to receive life and love.  It is endless and immeasurable.  You can show gratitude for a job promotion, or every tiny breath that enters your body.  It doesn’t even have to be only about you.  You can express gratitude when others are blessed.  We have so much to be grateful for, wouldn’t you agree?  Life could always be worse.  Finding space and time to express thanksgiving for the blessings we have received centers our thinking on happiness.  It makes room for more blessings.

 

I have started a gratitude journal (thanks Mama Oprah), but you can express gratitude in quiet meditation or on the ride to work.  Here are a few things I try to keep in mind as I fill my pages each day:

 

Be specific.  There are things what we are all thankful for like our friends and family.  In order to break the monotony of always expressing the same gratitude, think of who or what you are showing said thanks.  Say their name.  Say the exact action.  Try to include the “why” so that you can fully explore the emotion.  Being more intentional in your gratitude will open your eyes to more things to add to your list.

Focus on things lasting, not temporary.  There is no limit to what we can show gratitude for.  Material things are very helpful in sustaining our lives.  If it weren’t for my car, it would be a lot harder to get to work for which I am grateful!  But try to find balance.  Pinpointing things that are lasting (like the people in our lives) verses fleeting things can deepen the experience.  I would like to eventually start writing gratitude letters to the people in my life as a way to say thank you and spark even more things to be thankful for. 

There’s only one rule.  Be consistent!  Beyond that, you are limitless.  You can write in a journal or think it over coffee.  There is not minimum or maximum amount.  One day you may have 10 things, others only one.  You might do it the morning, before you go to bed, or at various points in the day.  You set the pace and time, but create a routine and stick to it.

The storms in life can be rough…brutal even.  But, in pain, there is so much around us that bring us joy every single day.  Concentrate on those things that are good.  This doesn’t only apply to those in a valley season.  Being thankful during your seasons of plenty often times keeps you in that season!  As I stated before, we ALL have so much to be grateful for.

 

For this platform to express my words and thoughts.  Gratitude.

For the life or lives it touches and changes.  Gratitude.

For my mother’s phone call everyday.  Gratitude.

For my student’s smiling faces.  Gratitude.

For nearly 35 years of life.  Gratitude.

For laughter and love.  Gratitude.

For lessons learned.  Gratitude.

 

What are you grateful for?  How do you express gratitude?  I would love to hear your story in the comments below!

 

 

Love WITHOUT Fear,

Veronica