I haven’t written in a while. I honestly haven’t felt like sharing because it’s been a rough few months. Although I know that those of you that rock with me on a continuous basis like seeing my transparency and humanness, I was getting on my own nerves. Thoughts become things so I had to face the fact, unwillingly, that I had somehow created where I was. I felt blah and uninspired. I felt angry because I allowed myself back at this place again. Perhaps it was seasonal affective disorder again. However, if I am as powerful as God has created me to be, I have to learn to dig deeper and connect with my thoughts. I kept trying to push forward when what I really needed to do was sit down somewhere. After being rushed to the ER in excruciating pain, I was diagnosed with a kidney stone. A 9mm stone to be exact. One that could not be passed naturally and would require surgery. After the surgery I was diagnosed with cysts on the one ovary I have left from my hysterctomy. One of which is 6.9 cm. I am still waiting to see what will be done about this. Then, the next day I developed an ulcer in the roof of my mouth that was so painful I couldn’t eat for 3 days. In the words of Sophia from The Color Purple, “I was feelin’ mighty bad.” I was drowning in self pity. I started asking myself, “What is the lesson in all this? What am I missing?” And I realized 5 things. 

1. Everything is cyclical. I have made myself believe that once I overcome something, I should be done with it and never have to go back to it or through it. Lies. I had a conversation with my aunt Deborah and she said to me “everything is cyclical.” If we dont learn the lesson we are supposed to learn it will come back again. Anything that is not completed full circle will repeat itself. Just as making your bed in the morning ends the rest cycle of the night before, we must complete whatever lesson we need to learn before we go on to the next one. 

2. Self care is detrimental. I was being very unkind to my body. I wasn’t feeding it properly. I wasn’t exercising it. And, in all of that, I expected my body to keep pushing and not betray me? Lies. Just like an employee without pay, my body was like…..I quit. This forced me to take a long hard look at exactly what I was doing to my body. 

3. The mind is powerful beyond belief. Your mind believes what you tell it. It doesn’t know the difference between what you feed it. If you feed it positive thoughts, it will believe you. If you feed it negative, self depricating thoughts, it will believe you. It wasn’t until this happened that I realized I was thinking negative thoughts. Feeling guilty because I had gained weight. Feeling less than because I am a little thicker around the waist. Lies. I was feeding myself untruths and my reality manifested just that. 

4. I’m way to hard on myself. This is one of the hardest things for me to admit. I am an overachiever. I have always pushed myself. I have always believed that anything worth doing, is worth doing PERFECTLY. Lies. It’s worth doing well. It’s worth doing your best. But your best varies depending on where you are. And dammit, don’t forget to pat yourself on the back. I never give myself kudos. I’m working on this with my therapist. It’s deep rooted.  

5. Let it go. Girl, bye. I had to let myself off the hook. I missed two whole weeks out of school and was still expecting myself to keep up with 14 credit hours and working fulltime. Lies. I had to let some of that go so I decided to drop a class this semester. It was a hard decision but I knew it was necessary. 

I am always learning and always growing. The one thing that turned me around was finding a recording by Earl Nightingale “The Strangest Secret.” This changed everything for me. I realized I had the power at any moment to change how I feel. So I decided that day, it was time for a change. So begins this cycle. Please be kind to yourself. You, above anyone else, deserves your love. 

Fences and Intentions

Over the holidays, I saw the movie Fences starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis. I didn’t know that it was based on a famous play until recently. (No spoilers) The movie is based on relationships. Father/son, mother/son and husband/wife with a high concentration on the father/son aspect. 

I don’t have children and I don’t plan to so it’s hard to understand how a parent feels about their child. What it’s like for a mother to have a child grow inside of them. What a father feels like as he watches the child grow. The choices they make to be present or not. Their expectations, their desires, the sacrifices they make. I only know what it’s like to be the child. To be loved by a mother. To have a father that wasn’t present. To be taught how to act and not act. To be taught right from wrong. To be taught how to feel and not feel. To be unintentionally made to feel bad about being a dreamer. To be ridiculed for being sensitive and overly emotional. To carry a knot in the pit of your stomach for years because you don’t want to be a disappointment to anyone. Now, as an adult I realize those were expectations I created for myself based on my perceptions of what was going on around me. 

I related so well to the son, Cory, in the movie because there were times when I wanted to scream and yell “My dreams matter!” But I never did because I was afraid. Instead I stuffed my emotions deep inside. Tried not to cause any problems. Failed at that several times, felt bad about it, and carried that guilt around for years. I was building imaginary fences within myself. “Sometimes people build fences to keep things in” is a line from the movie that cut deep. That’s exactly what I had been doing. Fencing in my emotions. Thanks to help from my therapist, I’m learning to stop fencing. 

A new year is upon us. I want to continue to grow and create my best life ever. No resolutions, just 17 intentions for 2017.

1. Tell people what I want/need from them without feeling guilty

2. Learn to identify and process anger as a necessary emotion

3. Create necessary boundaries in current relationships 

4. Journal daily

5. Meditate daily

6. Blog at least twice a month

7. Increase my physical activity

8. Eat foods that are good for my overall health and well being 

9. More physical connections with people outside social media 

10. Finish my book

11. Improve my credit score 

12. Study Abroad in Ireland 😀

13. Release the need to live up to other people’s expectation 

14. Have a Spread Love Retreat

15. Make a lot of mistakes and learn from them 

16. Continue to research and develop concrete plans for my move abroad in 2021. (My biggest dream and greatest fear)

17. Learn true freedom 

What are your intentions for 2017? 

I can’t stop crying

The past few days have been the most emotional I can recall in a while. When I was young, I was very emotional. If you looked at me wrong, I would cry. I wasn’t made to feel good about it so began a journey to do everything I could to prevent myself from crying. Sometimes I would hide in the closet and cry. When I couldn’t, I would tell myself “Push it away, don’t think about it, don’t you dare cry, it doesn’t matter.” All lies I told myself because I was made to feel I could not do something that was natural. That I wasn’t strong if I cried. I didn’t learn to properly process my emotions. The last few days, I realized just how ridiculous that was and I have cried. Everyday. I have felt pain I pushed away. I’ve talked myself out if it, because that’s what I’ve been doing for years. Then I cried some more. I grieved for things I never grieved for and I cried. For the first time, someone asked if I was OK and I said no. And I cried. I’m not ok, I’m in pain and that is OK. I am allowed to feel pain. Even though I’m crying as I type this I’m happy because I’ve finally found the freedom to cry. You can’t heal what you don’t acknowledge. As my aunt Deborah reminded me, feelings buried alive never die. Mine are pushing through kicking and screaming. And as John Love says “You have to sit in it….all of it and feel it. The good and the bad.” So if you see me and I start crying, know that it is actually a good thing. I’m attempting to heal myself. 2017 is going to be my year of healing. I’m excited about that. Love on someone today. You never know what they are going through. 

Money and guilt

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned my therapist assigned me a homework task. She told me to choose a way to celebrate maintaining a 4.0 GPA this semester. Easy, right? 

I used to celebrate all the time. I didn’t need a reason to celebrate. I would even celebrate my birthday for the entire month of July. Then, something shifted. I started struggling financially and my thoughts on celebrations changed  Let me clear, you do not need money to celebrate by any means but celebrating the way “I” like to involved money. I used to celebrate with travel, fancy dinners or gifts for myself. 

When I started struggling with finances, I developed a lack mentality and that’s exactly what I started to attract. I take full responsibility for the things I create. I know I am powerful beyond measure and that I am a master manifester. The same way I can manifest the good, I can manifest the bad. God is constant though. And has a huge sense of humor. 

Me: “I’m so broke. I can’t afford that.” 

God: “Your wish is my command.” *sprinkles lack*

About four months ago I decided to start focusing on abundance again. I went on Pinterest and created vision boards of what I wanted to attract. I chose pictures of things that evoked a feeling of wealth within me. Things that made me connect to abundance. Does that mean I want everything on my Pinterest board? Nope. The pictures just make me feel good. Action starts with a feeling. In less than two months, I started to see a shift financially. Then I decided I wanted to study abroad in Ireland this summer. I knew logically that I couldn’t afford it. 

Me: “I don’t currently have the funds to make this happen but, I believe in miracles.”

God: “Your wish is my command. I got this.” *taps angels*

I decided to start a GoFundMe after a suggestion from a Facebook friend. In less than 2 months I was awarded a $800 scholarship and 50 angels donated over $3000 towards my trip to Ireland. Just like that, paid in full. And, donations are still coming in. I’ll use those to cover incidentals like food while I am away. When I first decided to start the campaign I felt a tremendous amount of guilt. HUGE. I could think of so many more worthy causes that could use that money.

God: “Don’t be silly. I said I’ve got this. What is meant for you is meant for you. There is enough. Release pride, ask for help.”  

So, I let it go and started whispering to myself, “You deserve this, you are worthy.” And with that came ease. 

Back to my homework assignment. I finally decided to celebrate by buying myself some parfum I’ve wanted for several years. Then guilt creeped in. A friend kept telling me to buy it, that I deserved it, that I had worked hard for it. I kept going on the website, adding it to my cart, looking at the price, feeling guilty and then deleting everything. I talked to myself about it every single day. Prayed about it. Thought about it. Meditated on it. Listened to Solange. Another friend came in town and had a sample of the fragrance and she gave it to me. It was so yummy.

God: “Here’s a sign but you’ll probably ignore it.”

Of course I did. Because that’s what WE do. Stupid humans. I asked my mom for advice. Because those that are fortunate to still have one….that’s what you do. I still was unsure. And then I go my final answer. I decided to pick up my favorite book, The Alchemist. I have read this book no less than 5 times and there in a passage I found my answer. “The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at those who had failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either. We forget all about the obstacles we overcame, all the suffering we endured and all the things we had to give up in order to get this far. But if you believe yourself worthy of the thing you fought so hard to get, then you become an instrument of God, you help the soul of the world and understand why you are here.” 

God: “Checkmate.” 

Me: Goes on website, orders, pays. The end.

What do you feel guilty about? Let’s chat. 

My therapist doesn’t have a sofa

Life is pretty amazing when you participate actively. When you pay attention to the signs and learn all the lessons the universe puts before you, it’s a wondrous thing.

I’ve gone through ALOT of changes in 2016. The majority of them good, a few not so good. Most recently I had a life changing event that I’m still not ready to talk about. If you have been reading my blogs, you know I try to display 100% tranparency but this one I need to work out a little bit before I’m ready to share. 

Because of all the changes I have experienced this year including turning 45, I decided to start seeing a therapist again. Mainly because I need to maneuver through all the bs and figure out what’s holding me back from being my best self ever. I plan to move abroad in 5 years and when I make the move, the only baggage I want to be carrying is the one containing my clothes. 

As a depression survivor, I understand the importance of mental health and the importance of asking for help. So, I’m doing that. I had my first session last week and I learned 3 very interesting things. 1. My therapist doesn’t have a sofa. I thought that was funny. When I went to therapy years ago and even most recently in family therapy, the therapist had a sofa for you to kick back on and ponder the woes of the world. Not this one. There was a cozy leather chair that faced my therapist so that we could make eye contact during my visit. 2. I am not in touch with the emotion of anger. I don’t have a relationship with it. I don’t even process it. I just kind of tuck it away hoping it will evaporate. She advised me that this is not a good thing. That anger is a necessary emotion and I have to develop a healthy way of dealing with it. That was wow moment. Perhaps I’ve never had a great example of anger so I view it as a bad thing. 3. I don’t give myself enough credit for my accomplishments. I create goals, smash them, then move on to the next thing. She let me know I should celebrate my achievements as a way of expressing gratitude for getting the job done. I even have homework. I have to celebrate the fact that I maintained a 4.0 GPA this semester while working and doing all the other 365 million things I do in my life. I have to tell her how I’m celebrating as well as how it makes me feel. I have no idea what I’m going to do yet. 

I know there is definitely a lot of work to be done. I need to figure out where I am, where I want to be and why I got where I am emotionally. I’m more than willing to do the work. What about you? What’s your experience with therapy? Are you looking for a therapist? I would be happy to share the info for mine. 

If you liked this post and think it would benefit someone, share the love. Thanks for reading! You can reach me via social media as well. Tinesha Matthews on both Facebook and IG. #spreadlove 

Where Have You Been? 

I’m sure that’s what all of you are asking! Under a rock maybe? That would be nice right about now…… But, I have been working. If you know me or have read any of my previous blogs, you know I’m always working on something and I’m always a work in progress. My ultimate goal is just to be better than I was the day before. Sometimes that happens, sometimes not so much. I think in maybe my last blog post (it’s definitely been a while) I talked about going back to school and the impact it’s had on my life. Welp, it’s gotten even better. In August I decided to change my major because I got this BRIGHT idea that I want to have a brand new life at 50. That’s in 5 short years, by the way. Soooooo, I want to move abroad. I picked a major that would help facilitate that (oooohhhh a big word from my new college education, HA) and chose Global Business. It’s a broad major, which is good because I have NO idea what I want to be when I grow up. So, MY plan is to no longer be doing hair in 5 years but hey, you make plans and God laughs at them, so I’m down for whatever. As a business owner I talked it over with my business partner/best friend and because we always want the best for each other, we will still have our business and work around the logistics of what that looks like. I have a lot of other things in the works as well that I won’t bore you with at this time. I just wanted to pop in, say HI and let you know I’m still here. I’ll try to be more diligent with writing. Kelley has inspired me. Until next time, adiós. (I start taking Spanish next semester. 😉)