Valentine’s Day…. Why the Hype??

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Valentine’s Day…..

Why the hype?

Why the hype? It is a “holiday” that was created based off events or history that we as people cannot validate. I personally feel that it should be treated as any other day. I once was crazy about Valentine’s Day especially as a child because I enjoyed the school festivities, and more than anything I loved eating chocolate. My mom would give my brother and I a gift, and plenty of chocolate to last awhile. As I grew older, I did not understand the hype behind it. If you are unconditionally loved, then that should be a feeling everyday and it should not be some extravagant day of pointless gift giving. If you are someone who just enjoys celebrating the holiday because of tradition, that is completely understandable. What I want is for us all to keep an open mind when celebrating these ridiculous holidays, that really have no real meaning or substance behind them. On my most recent blog about the 5 Love Language’s I briefly discuss ways to give love and how some of us prefer to receive love.

My Love Language!

My love language is acts of service, I would prefer help around the house, 50/50 on responsibilities with the kids, light fixtures fixed in my house without me having to ask, or my partner simply prepping dinner or bringing home dinner. I like feeling stable, and I love knowing I have a partner that can help pull the load. I am a woman that can buy my own gifts, and wine & dine myself, or even pamper myself. Gifts are not something that brings me excitement and joy unless they are sentimental gifts with significance. My husband purchased me a professionally done painting for Mother’s Day of me and my late grandmother at one of my happiest moments with her, and that gift literally brought me to my knees, and it was all because of the sentiments behind the portrait!

No gift shaming!

I am not shaming gift giving, but I am shaming the waste off unnecessary money that is spent on holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, & Easter. Christmas has nothing to do with gifts, but consumers go broke, or excessively spend during Christmas and it does not make any logical sense at all. For me Valentine’s Day is a “loving day” & usually I choose to love on me a little more than usual on this day. Loving on me does not mean showering myself with gift, but instead showering myself a little more love. Today I am barely moving a finger, and I will be basting in loving myself by allowing myself to relax & unwind, breath, stretch, and just be still today. Loving me includes allowing myself to take a break from the everyday criticisms that I place on myself or taking a break from being busy all day. I am just taking a moment for me!

Single, Married, or Whatever it does not define you!

If you are single, married, or whatever your situation may be do not allow this day to drive you up a wall, do not find yourself comparing your day with social media expectations of Valentine’s Day, do not feel sad if you are alone, or things are not going well in your current relationship. Take time today to say what you are grateful for, have some gratefulness that you woke up on another February 14th and just love on you. Expectations can be the biggest down fall because we as humans expect so much and it leads to hurting or having unrealistic expectations on days like Valentines Day!  Now that I am done with my rant for today I would like to wish you a Happy February 14th ! I hope you are somewhere enjoying yourself. Remember that giving and receiving love is something you should partake in everyday!

The Five Love Languages, Do you Know Yours?

https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2021/02/14/11-simple-ways-to-practice-self-love-this-valentines-day-and-beyond/?sh=775aeb8a178f

-Love Toni,

 

 

The Five Love Languages, Do you Know Yours?

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Love Languages!

With Valentines Day right around the corner, have you thought about what to give or do for your partner? Or if you are single have you considered what to do in celebration of loving yourself? Interesting enough we all love differently, but also those we love has specific languages or ways they prefer to be loved! What is your love language? What is your partner love language? And what are ways you could incorporate the love languages for Valentines Day and any other day?

The Five Love Languages:

There are five different love languages:
  1. Words of Affirmation
  2. Quality Time.
  3. Physical Touch.
  4. Acts of Service.
  5. Receiving Gifts.
Words of Affirmation:

Would be the love language of an induvial who cares about all words spoken or written! With words of affirmation the most important factor is how the individual is being spoken to. Compliments would be a great way to make your partner feel loved if words of affirmation are their love language. A perfect Valentines gift or appreciate of love gift would be a handwritten note or a card expressing your love in words. If you are single for Valentines day you could always stand in the mirror and give yourself words of affirmations. Tell yourself how beautiful you are, or how successful you are.

Quality Time:

Quality time is a love language that require togetherness! This means your partner would just enjoy spending time alone with you, no matter where you are. Your partner prefers to be alone with your undivided attention and no distractions from the outside world. So, if you are a entrepreneur or a person who works often then quality for your partner would mean the world to them. No phones, no television, just you and them! Along with the quality time it would be important to be attentive, listen carefully, and make an effort to make sure the time you two are spending together is special! A perfect Valentines gift could be a candlelight dinner together, or simply cuddling on the couch and just having a conversation over a glass of wine or other libations. Whatever you decide, would be great because your partner main focus is the time spent together. If you are single you could always go on a scenic walk alone, take yourself to a movie, or a spa day and just enjoy time with yourself!

Physical Touch:

I am sure the first thought on physical touch is sex…But sex is not the only and most important way to express physical touch. Physical touch could be physically showing up in your partner life and being supportive, or it could be cuddling, kissing, holding hands, or simply just touching each other softly! A perfect Physical Touch gift could be giving each other massages! If you are single it could be taking yourself to receive a nice massage!

Acts of Service:

Acts of service is my personal favorite love language! Acts of Service is all about actions speaking louder than words! Acts of Service requires you to put in some work. If your partner loves acts of service then it would mean the world to them if you brought home their favorite thing for dinner without them asking, take on the resonantly of something that he/she always have to do, or simply help around the house. Acts of service kinds of help take some weight off your partner shoulders, which is why I love acts of service because I enjoys the sharing of responsibilities and not feeling in it alone. If you are single you could hire someone to clean your place, order in so that you do not have to cook or take your clothes to the cleaner to eliminate the problem of doing all your laundry.

Receiving gifts:

Gift giving is probably one of the most common love languages because who do not love receiving gifts? Receiving gifts is debatably the most misinterpreted love language because some believe that it is a materialistic love language and that the sole focus is gifts over love, but that is not true! Receiving gifts simply means the individual feels special or loved when receiving tangible items. The tangible gift does not have to be an expensive gift but could simple be something sentimental that your partner values. The person receiving the gift will cherish that gift and hold it near and dear to their heart. So, if your partner prefers receiving gifts then think of a sentimental item to give them for Valentines day, and if you are single go out and purchase something for yourself that you have been wanted!

Regardless of your love language, valentines and every day is all about love! Every day that you get another day to breath a fresh breath of air you should give and receive love because there is no life without love. Love from a partner, yourself, a family member, or a friend is important, especially during these times. If you are not sure of your love language or your partner love language please click this link to participate in the love language test and determine your love language. You can also share the link with your partner. Also, if you are looking for some last-minute Valentines Day gifts I have included some ideas below & linked  a blog I posted last year that revisits my own personal love story! https://thepearl.blog/2020/12/02/love-is-not-always-complicated/My prayer is that you are loving and being loved this Valentines Day! I hope you all enjoy!

-Love, Toni

There is Light at the End of the Tunnel

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The light at the end of the Tunnel…

Cambridge Dictionary defines the light at the end of the tunnel as “signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished”.

Recently I have discussed the trials that I personally have experienced during the pandemic as well as what I have experienced during the 1st trimester of my fourth pregnancy. I described in my last blog titled “This too Shall Pass” how depression had taken a course on me. Yes, the pandemic has been challenging and, starting around the beginning of November 2020 I began to feel isolated, as if I were sucked into a dark place and I could not escape. I am a mental health awareness advocate, because being a combat veteran, and a sexual abuse survivor I know that mental illness is real and challenging.

I have remained in therapy for over 6 years on & off, and while in trauma recovery therapy I have acquired ways to cope with my own mental illness. I was educated about the tools that I could use when I feel sucked in by darkness. I believed before November 2020, that I was mentally tough & able to conquer anything that comes my way with the tool bag that my therapist had equipped me with. It was not until January of this year that I realized I had been isolated and in darkness since November, and I felt cold, secluded, depressed, and that dark place had become my everyday life. I describe it as “the darkness” because when I start feeling this way, nothing or no one can make me happy. It literally feels like being locked in a dark room, and not being able to get out.

In society today there are rarely mentions of depression, or mental illness and I want anyone reading this who may also deal with “the darkness” that depression causes, to know you are not alone! Struggling with depression triggers you to second guess who you are, and your purpose in life. I had been depression since November until recently I was sitting on the bed in my bedroom, and even with blacked out curtains the sun had seeped through my windowsill and I could see the light from the sun peeping through. It was only a glimpse of light, but when I noticed it, I began to smile, and I realized that God was sending me a personal sign. My higher source was assuring me there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I got up that day and although I was not 100% okay, I had the strength to clean, cook, sing, dance, & smile. I felt like I had been revitalized or brought back from the dead.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. With so much transpiring in the world from politics, injustices, death, and the pandemic the effects of depression are happening to the happiest people. But I want to inform you that depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. Never feel ashamed because depression can literally happen to anyone. Do not allow the depression to win, allow some light into your life. A new you, a happier you, and a happier phase in your life is possible. If you are an someone who deal with depression know that your life has a purpose! You were placed here for a reason. Aligning with your Purpose is not always going to be an easy task, but if you just focus on the small amount of light in your life there is a chance to turn the sadness into happiness, darkness into light, and what feel like the end, into a new beginning. There is also assistance our there if you need it. I have listed resources below that may be helpful. I wish you joy and happiness during this time, and my prayer is that you or I never give up, because there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/education-awareness/shareable-resources-on-depression.shtml

https://youtu.be/lQhpetkwWnM

 

This too Shall Pass!…

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Hello to all,

I guess you could say I have been MIA…I ended my new year with so many prospects, goals, and aspirations but this thing called life stopped me in my tracks. At the beginning of December my mind was set and ready for 2021. I was more excited about 2021 than any other year, because although the pandemic really affected my 2020, I accomplished a lot and I did not allow my creative blocks, or anything to stop me from creating ideas, sharing ideas, and putting an effort into all the things I love!

So what has thrown me off, and why I have I been isolated over the last month….. There is a new member coming into the family this year in 2021 and although we are happy & children are a blessing, no one speaks of the overwhelming and horrible 1st trimester of pregnancy! Social media shows moms posting weekly updates comparing the size of their babies to fruit and smiling as if pregnancy is the most amazing thing ever! (It’s NOT!)

Every Pregnancy is Different:

Although pregnancy is different for every mother and symptoms can be different with every pregnancy 1 in 4 women goes through the pains and symptoms of the 1st trimester. The last few months I have woke up nauseated every morning. There were mornings I woke up, and I wished I did not because I felt so horrible. Pregnancy is hard, but it can become more challenging when you are already parenting children. Being a mother of three other children who all wants and require my attention made the sickness harder for me to cope with. I am an active mom. I enjoy waking up early every morning to get that morning workout, preparing breakfast for my kids, making their lunches, and getting them hyped and prepared for their day; but none of this was possible due to my 1st Trimester symptoms of vomiting, nausea, & extreme fatigue.

Each day I woke up and literally begged and pleaded with God to just help me get out of the bed, help me to get my kids to school in one piece, & me back home before I vomited everywhere. On top of the nausea and vomiting, felling fatigue after a full night of sleep is the worst! I read many of articles online about pregnancy fatigue and what could be done to help, nothing I read helped me. No matter how much rest I had, my body still felt overly exhausted and if I am being completely honest the fatigue is what made me just shut down. I started to isolate myself, and I became angry with myself because I felt like a bad mom, I felt like I should not be so lazy, and I blamed myself for being weak because I scrolled through social media and would see other moms glowing & working out in their first trimester. Other mom enjoying their pregnancy and posting cute pictures, while I lay in bed depressed, stressed, & regretting the blessing that God has blessed me with.

Stop Comparing we were made to be Different!

If I could share one thing about the 1st trimester to help another mom, it would be “DO NOT COMPARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH OTHER EXPECTING MOMS” comparing what I was going through with mothers on social media is what led me into such deep isolation and depression. Pregnancy depression is a real thing, and while I already have struggles with depression, anxiety, and PTSD this was like piling crap on top of crap. I looked in the mirror and did not recognize myself and I even thought of terminating my pregnancy or wishing I would miscarry to end this miserable phase. I know that last statement seems extreme, but until you have experienced (hyperemesis gravidarum) constant nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and depression, while creating a whole human do not judge!

I wrote this to share my experience, and to say that yes pregnancy is a blessing, is a beautiful experience. But I must be completely honest because I hope women can learn something from my experience. I hope someone else can prepare & educate themselves about the 1st Trimester struggles after reading this post. I have been blessed to have an amazing husband, supportive family, and great kids that has helped me get through each day. Having the support of the people I love has really been a fresh breath of air. My husband deserves a trophy because he is the most loving, compassionate, understanding, and supportive man I have ever met in my entire life. My husband goes over and beyond to ensure myself and our children are okay & that helps me to keep pushing forward.

It’s still a blessing!

Do I still wake up some mornings sad, depressed, sick, stressed, or feeling overwhelm? Yes, I wake up like this some days, but I have been praying, and I repeat the same mantra each morning “This too will past” I remind myself this is just another phase of my life, and I know that after these 9 months are complete, we will receive another great blessing from God! Creating life is astounding, but it is not easy, and it is not all peaches & cream. Women are so phenomenal and what our bodies can do is amazing! I am amazed that I am once again creating a human being. Right now, as I am typing this, I am nauseated, but I am not vomiting, and my baby is growing healthy in my womb, & my toddler is beside me with the biggest smile and because of that every single symptom I am experiencing is worth it! I have shared some helpful links within this post about severe morning sickness (hyperemesis gravidarum), fatigue, and pregnancy in the first trimester. It is my prayer that this article can give another mother courage while going through a tough pregnancy. Do not be so hard on yourself if you are not being who you were before the 1st trimester. Remember you are human, you are creating a human, & you deserve some mercy & grace during this time. Thanks for engaging, please comment any advice you may have or your own experiences below!

Books I suggest:

https://www.amazon.com/First-Time-Pregnancy-Handbook-Week-Week/dp/1641528540/ref=sr_1_10_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=getting+through+1st+trimester&qid=1611682272&s=books&sr=1-10-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUFVNUFORUFZSTBLT0cmZW5jcnlwdGVkSWQ9QTAxMzQ4MjgyMkZFRFhKM1ZKVTYxJmVuY3J5cHRlZEFkSWQ9QTA1MjIxODUzTjVOQVZKQkRUMU5ZJndpZGdldE5hbWU9c3BfbXRmJmFjdGlvbj1jbGlja1JlZGlyZWN0JmRvTm90TG9nQ2xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==

https://www.amazon.com/What-Expect-When-Youre-Expecting/dp/0761187480/ref=sr_1_10?dchild=1&keywords=getting+through+1st+trimester&qid=1611682446&s=books&sr=1-10

 

Shine into 2021!

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Wow! Just like that 2020 is coming to an end! For me it is bitter-sweet because although I grew a lot this year, I was not at my fullest potential in 2020. My goal for 2020 was to achieve goals, step out of my shell, and allow myself to just do it! I did resign from my day job so I can give my 100% to my business and if I am being 100% honest with myself, I did not give 100% effort in 2020!

So now what? Now that I know what I lacked in 2020, I have set aside specific goals that I would like to reach in 2021! Covid was hard on all of us, and although some of us thrived during the pandemic, there were others who went into a hole of depression & just completely removed themselves from reality to maintain during COVID-19. Even if you were the person who went into a depression and your 2020 goals were put on hold… what is next for you? You did not reach your 2020 goals, and that is okay! Now, let us discuss attaining & maintaining our goals for 2021!

While you are making plans for your 2021 success always remember there is a thin line between your dreams & your reality. Having dreams is so important and exhilarating because when you are envisioning what you want for the future it is sometimes like this fairy tale of instant success that you are imagining. The truth of the matter is dreams do not happen overnight, and you must stay in your current reality while you do the work to make your dreams a success. There are successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople that dreamed the same dream 5-10 years before their dreams ever manifested. To make your dreams a reality in 2021 you must have persistent success habits. The persistent success habits that you display everyday will determine if your capable of manifesting your dreams to a reality in 2021!

If your dream is to sell a product you must wake up everyday with the habit of perfecting that product and learning what your consumer wants. You must put in the work because there is no such thing as overnight success. Success is not always fun, fast, & easy. Real and long-lasting success requires work, determination, and motivation. Anytime you are working towards goals in life there will be days when you just feel like quitting. Your goals for 2021 may be eating healthy, losing weight, detaching from toxic people, starting a new business, loving yourself more, traveling, saving money, detoxing from addictions of 2020, or simply just living life to the fullest in 2021! Regardless of your goals for 2021, no goal will manifest or come into fruition without you putting in the work.

I want to be authentic with all my readers and call myself out. In 2020 I did become consistent in working out, removing toxic people, & stepping out on faith more. But my main goal was to 1. save money, 2. Focus on my inner peace, 3. Move on from past hurt and heal, 4. Start another line of income for my family. I can say that I did reach some of the goals, but what I lacked was habit. I lacked repetition, effort, and focus because I allowed the effect of Covid to distract me, and my moods were up and down. I felt completely and utterly overwhelmed in 2020, it was like a rebirth. I can for sure say I am not the same person I was at the beginning of 2020. Now that there’s 1 day left in this year, I have decided to plan my goals for 2021, and I want to share with you so that at the end of 2021 we can all come back and revisit our goals & see if we stayed focused, motivated, determined, and 100% all in! I will list my goals of 2021 below and I will also attach a blank format where you can list your goals and plans for 2021!

2021 is our chance for a clean slate, wipe the slate clean & put in the work! 2020 was a whirlwind and you have made it to the end. We survived a pandemic! Surviving a pandemic mentally, physically, and emotionally sane already shows how much of a survivor we all are. My hope and prayers for you is that you have an amazing rest of 2020 and start to set those 2021 goals! Do not let another year past by without you stepping out of your comfort zone & following your dreams and aspirations. Life is so short, and Covid definitely showed us that this year. If you just accomplish one goal in 2021 that is better than not accomplishing anything at all! Stay positive! We Got This! START on you goals NOW!

-Peace & Blessings

How to remove creative blocks!

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Lately I have been doing some shadow work that I spoke about in “Appreciate your Childhood” blog post. While working on myself and doing some self-evaluating, I have discovered that although I am a naturally motivated and determined individual; I often find myself feeling stuck or blocked off. I experience “creative blocks” more than I should. I would get an idea, and I feel super confident about executing the ideas but then I sit in from of my laptop for hours with a blank page, and it bothers me.

In the last few months, I have been working on not letting that creative block get in the way! So usually, it is so hard for me to decide how I want to discuss a certain topic, but lately I have been decluttering my mind and learning to stay focused, so I do not get blocked when I want to work. What I have learned is that being creative is not easy. Not every person was born with that creative gene. For those of us with the creativity gene it is important to rest and declutter your subconscious mind.

MEDITIATION: 

I am a person that is always having thoughts run through my mind and believe it or not having too much on your mind can block your creative flow. One of the first things I do before writing, drawing, taking photos, or anything else is meditate. Meditation has helped me to calm down the thoughts in my head that can sometime overshadow my creative process. I usually meditate about 30-45 mins and right afterwards drink a cup hot peppermint tea just to maintain that calm feeling that I receive from meditation.

JOURNALING: 

I also have a journal now, in my journal I write down all the ideas that I am thinking, I write down topics I would like to share, I write quotes that makes me smile, and I just jot down different ideas. The purpose of my journal is so I can always look back when I get those creative blocks. I used to have some of the best ideas but would instantly forget because my brain runs 1000 miles per minute. So, if you are dealing with a creative block please grab you a 98. Cent journal from Walmart and start keeping track of your ideas ASAP!

SEEK INSPIRATION

Creative blocks can sometimes be caused by a lack of inspiration. I discovered from learning more about myself that when I watch others on social medical who are into the same field as me I become inspired. Look for your inspiration, who do you know that inspires you to do be better? I often find inspiration in other moms that are like myself, mothers who are working on themselves, caring for their children, & not allowing motherhood to be an excuse for not being a success. It is okay to look at others as your muse or inspiration.

THEN…REST!

After you have meditated, wrote in your journal, & found inspiration, you must then rest! Why rest? I say rest because when you are trying to create it can be draining mentally, physically, & emotionally. I have a certain creative routine, and once I at least have all my ducks in a row I like to take a moment and just let everything marinate so I can prepare myself to create my best work! There are plenty of bloggers, photographers, digital creators, and writers who are against rest and prefer work, work, work, but that does not work for me. If I try to work, work, work through a break it causes me to feel burnout. Rest is essential is you are a creator!

I will post all my tips for preventing a creative block below! What is your ritual for preventing a creative block? Please let me know!

Another great resource for overcoming creative blocks is Creative Block: Get Unstuck, Discover New Ideas. Advice & Projects from 50 Successful Artist, By Danielle Krysa  https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B00GOJT5F2&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_THL4FbE746491

Peace & Blessings!

Is your sex life really over after childbirth?

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Is your sex life really over after childbirth?

Sex after childbirth is a topic that women are ashamed or scared to speak on, and something than men avoid because of their lack of education and being oblivious about the effects that birthing a child have on a woman’s sex life.  Most women who have birthed a child will admit that before birthing children their libido was higher.  Libido is one’s sexual desire! Most women will not admit it, but their libido was more than likely higher before they became a mom. Some women have higher libido during pregnancy because the hormones increase their sexual drive, others are complete opposite and do not have sex their entire pregnancy, and then you have the after-childbirth sex which is a whole different story.

I never enjoyed sex really until I learned my own body inside and out, which is why it was shocking to me when I did not want or need sex anymore after the birth of my first child. After I birthed my oldest son, I never craved sex like I did before I ever gave birth. I went months sometimes without any sexual activity at all because I just did not have the urge.  I struggled with postpartum depression badly, but on top of depression no one warned me how much your body changes. First and foremost, the whole sex after 6 weeks is complete bullshit! Sex after six weeks hurts like heal, and it still hurts after 8 weeks!  It takes time for your body to adjust. Some women may have an episiotomy or other laceration after giving birth and those tears can take more than 6-8 weeks to heal. Through all the changes after birthing a child, men still expect a woman to birth a baby and jump back into the swing of things and that is not realistic at all!

Eventually the goal after childbirth should be to enjoy sex again, and not allow it to become the elephant in the room. What worked for me and my husband is communication. I had a cesarean and those can be very painful. We found other ways to be intimate. Sex is basically intimacy that keeps you and your significant other connected. If you are still healing, then think of other forms of intimacy. We would cuddle, have date nights, and if I were not in the mood at times then I would just pleasure him. Getting back into a sexual routine and getting your libido higher will require an open mind and work! I would also suggest quickies (a brief act or instance of having sex), once you have a new baby those quickies become a lifesaver and helps to keep your relationship alive. If you are not completely ready for intercourse yet I want to give you a few pointers to get in the right direction.

Firstly, I am giving advice and am not a MD, or professional in this area. I am only sharing my experiences and my advice! So, let us get to it! If more than 3 months have passed and you have not felt the urge to be intimate after giving birth be sure to make an appointment with your physician because sometimes a lower libido after childbirth can be a medical issue. Your doctor can run an advanced hormone test which will give an extensive e profile of you sex and adrenal hormones and melatonin, along with their metabolites, to identify symptoms if you have any hormonal imbalances. Also, please research and try adding adaptogens into your everyday consumption. Adaptogen herbs helps with stress management and assist the bodies physiological functions response to outside stressors. They do this by lowering the stress levels. When your stress is reduced, your adrenal glands become more balance, and that can significantly boost your sex drive.

In my own personal experience I received pelvic floor therapy because I had a large size baby and it really affected my pelvic structure, and caused me to have pain during sex. Sometimes the lack of wanting sex has a lot to do with your physical body just not being able to. If that is your situation, I suggest you seek medical attention ASAP! Do not be ashamed to seek help from a professional. Another thing that helped me was non-hormonal birth control, and eventually I stopped birth control completely. Birth control can really lower your libido and doctors do not often enough explain this to patients before they start a new birth control. Before you start any birth control please do your research and be sure that you know exactly what you are putting in your body.

After birth it is like your energy is completely depleted and that feeling can last for months at a time. I know for me it lasted awhile. There were times when I had no energy to do anything besides care for my baby. To increase my energy, I started these 20-minute workout sections that I dedicated myself to complete every day. If I could not workout, then I would at least take a walk, or go stand on my balcony at the time for some fresh air and sunlight. The lack of sunlight exposure has been connected to a drop in serotonin levels and lack of serotonin can lead to depression and mood swings. Serotonin is naturally released through working out, and sunlight. The reason I suggest a walk or just standing out for a little sun bath is because you want the happy hormones (serotonin) to improve your mood, which could put you in the mood for some SEX!

Last, but definitely not least to get back to your happy sex place you must first know your own body inside and out. That means self-pleasure is a must. Do not be afraid to embrace your new momBOD! Touch yourself, look in the mirror at yourself, do positive self-talk, and please yourself as often as you may like. You may have to do self-pleasure in the beginning to get back comfortable with having intercourse with your significant other and that is okay. Communicate with you partner always about what you are feeling, what you need, and ask what you can do to make the intimacy between the two of you better? Communication is the most important aspect of a healthy & happy sex life. Sex after childbirth does not have to be non-existence, you are in control of your intimacy, your body, and the outcome of your sex life after childbirth. I have placed a diagram below that gives pointers on rising your libido! I hope this helps! Please comment below or feel free to add your input! You never know who you are helping by sharing your situation or experience!

 

 

 

 

Check out.. Sex is FREEDOM

Peace & Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

#Motherhood #TeamNoKids….

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Motherhood…. Let’s talk about it! If you log into Instagram right now and type in the hashtag #motherhood, there are over 23.1 million post on or about Motherhood. If you look up the #teamnokids hashtag there are 79.8k post about women/men celebrating their choice to not procreate. I am not against #teamnokids, nor am I someone who goes around throwing my #Motherhood in others faces. I can say I understand and have been in both sets of shoes. I have walked in the single, no kids, party, no stress, no worries, and only concerned with myself shoes. I have also walked in the kids are my life, I could not imagine my life without kids, & kids changed me completely shoes! Both sets of shoes are absolutely amazing if you ask my opinion.

I remember my 18-year-old self, watching my friends become mothers in high school & college and thinking. “That will never be me!” I never seen myself having children simply because I was a wildflower aka Free-Spirited teenager growing into adulthood. I wanted to go into the US Army travel the world, and never look back to where I came from because there was nothing but trauma there. I felt like I had my mind made up. Even in my first marriage I know it was only a forced topic, and I was only going with the flow of what my ex-partner wanted and after awhile I led myself to believe “You have partied, and done a lot of wild things why not have a couple of kids for your spouse?” I was 21 years old when my first child was born.

I tell you one thing, my life as a new mother looked nothing like the mothers on the Instagram hashtag #Motherhood! Lol! The birth of my son in general was the worst and most traumatic birth of all three of my children. I literally felt like I was going to die, and although he survived it was a hard labor for him too. I was not prepared for the 14hours of labor that led to an emergency c-section, that left me sore and left my body forever changed. The first year of motherhood was the hardest because I dealt with post-partum depression and I did not even know what that was until I experienced it. I went into motherhood blind, not prepared, and with the image of mothers happy with their children (like you I had seen on television)!

If I could speak to my younger self now, I would say baby girl wait! I would let my younger self know girl you are not ready mentally, physically, or emotionally, and on top of that…the man who begging you to procreate “is not father material” I would let my younger self know that motherhood is for the right time, and with the right one. When it is the right timing, and the right one motherhood just “hit different”! I can vouch for that! I never really knew what Motherhood entailed or how loving & emotional rewarding it could be until I experienced it with the right partner. If I made a list of things to consider before procreating, the number one item on my list would be #1 Do not procreate until you are for sure you are procreating with the right partner.

Motherhood requires giving all of you, but when you have a partner to do it with motherhood is ten times easier, and more fun. Although having a partner can be fun, I also was once a single mom of two boys with bare minimum assistance before I met my husband. I still enjoyed motherhood as a single mom because I did not allow myself to get burned out. I kept the boys busy, and we did a lot of activities and traveling together. Although activities are fun, having a family member or a paid sitter for “me-time” is especially important for all single mothers. It is important to have time to yourself for moments of quietness, and just time for focusing on you! One of the #1 reasons that most women do not want to become mothers are because they like their time alone and  caring for someone besides yourself can be stressful, depressing, and 9 times out of 10 you will get burnout physically, mentally, emotionally if you do not balance you every day life with your children.

Now that I have my 3 children, I know for sure I would not want a life without children. I enjoy how innocent and loving my children are. My children have drugged me out of depression, helped me to grow as a woman, motivated me when I wanted to quit, and all me to experience the best love I have ever received. Although I enjoyed just jumping in the car without worrying about car seats, or who forgot something. I enjoy the cuddles, the joking and play, and just unconditional love from my children more than anything in this world. I enjoy the family time, and how my husband & I get to bond with them and guide them into greatness!  I wrote this blog to basically say if you are on the line between #TeamNokids & #Motherhood I just want to say dig deep within yourself and think long and hard about your decision. I suggest that you do not go into motherhood blindsided and that you have done all or at least most of what you want to do in life. Children are a permanent life decision & you can not wake up one morning and decide to give them back. I also suggest being as mentally & emotionally prepared as possible because motherhood can be emotionally & mentally draining. If you still decide not to procreate, I say kudos to you because what you decide with your body & your life is your decision. Never let society, or the “when are you having a baby?” people rush you or convince you into something you did not genuinely want. Social media is a place that shows us all these beautiful pictures, happy videos, children behaving perfectly, and mothers in pure bliss, but that is not reality. The reality is no matter what you decide life is not perfect, and regardless of what you decide go into any decision mentally, physically, & emotionally ready to give your all.

-Peace & Blessings

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Appreciate your childhood

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I can admit I had some traumas happen in my childhood that no child should witness, or experience. And through my shadow work & connection with my heavenly father I have learned to appreciate my childhood for what it was.

All week on The Pearl Blog I have been discussing moving on, accepting your reality, & healing. Childhood trauma is something does not just disappear because you grow up. But the one thing I have learned from own experience is that age gave me wisdom and has allowed me to appreciate my childhood. Although we did not have a lot, we definitely had enough. My mother was a single mom of 5 kids, and she never once made us feel like we had less. I was born and raised in one of the toughest projects in my hometown, I had witness 2 traumatic shootings before the age of thirteen, I had been introduced to the street life early on, and I knew how to hustle and go after what I wanted & needed since I was 15 years old.

I said all that to say this… my childhood was not peaches & cream, but it made me resilient. I was a resilient child, which created a resilient adult. My up bringing created a savage. I wanted to work & had an amazing work ethic because I watched, my mom work a morning and night shift job while trying to be a single parent. I learned at an early age to not trust anyone because the people I trusted violated me. We must learn that although childhood may not have been a walk in the park… What wisdom did you gain from childhood? , Are you stronger?, & more prepared for your adult life?

Childhood does not have to be all about bad memories! I want to suggest you looking back in some happy times in your childhood. Put yourself in your childhood shoes and discovery what in your childhood brought joy & happiness. Challenge yourself by not allowing your childhood to hold you back from growing. There are 40-year-old grown people in this world, that has the mind & coping skills of their 10 year old hurt self.

I suggest shadow work if you are someone who childhood controls their everyday life, or if your childhood trauma have kept you stagnant. Shadow work is the process of exploring your inner self. Before you began shadow work you must first acknowledge your shadow. Completing shadow work can assist in discovering who you truly are. Shadow work can improve your wisdom, life purpose, and elevate you to your higher self. I suggest following The Holistic Psychologist Dr. Nicole LePera @the.holistic.psychologist on Instagram. Dr. LePera touches a lot on self-improvement and I have attached her Shadow work excerpt & I also would suggest Practically Shameless: How Shadow Work Helped Me Find My Voice, My Path, and My Inner Gold written by Alyce Barry. I promise you will not be disappointed if you reach deep into yourself and do the work! Nothing in life comes easy, so you must take the shadow work seriously. It takes time to heal a lifetime of trauma, but the first step is starting! You must start before you can ever see any improvements.

It is time to accept your reality….

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Reality: the world or the state of things as they actually exist, as opposed to an idealistic or notional idea of them

When I used to think of my reality it disgusted me so much that I hated waking up in the morning. I used to wake up and think “Is this really my life?” I was ashamed of my life decisions, I was ashamed of things I accepted, and I was ashamed of where all my decisions had led me. Along with the shame there was guilt. I Felt guilty because I could not accept my reality and my life in the state it was in.

I was twenty-five years old, divorced, traumatized, broken, angry, and doing a great deal of self-blaming. I was divorced after staying in a marriage five years too long. I had allowed cheating, disrespect, and abuse. I had dealt with sexual trauma since I was twelve and still had not held certain people accountable, so I felt weak. I had allowed trauma, heartbreak, and anger. The anger, shame, & guilt stemmed from feeling like I had not defended myself enough throughout my life’s traumatic ordeals… which led to me hating my everyday reality.

So, how did I get over this?

  1. The very first thing I did was get in tune with myself spiritually, mentally, emotionally, & physically. Spiritually I grew my relationship with my Father in heaven, mentally & emotionally I started trauma recovery therapy ( I still attend regularly), and physically I committed to a healthier lifestyle by cycling and working out regularly. Therapy was what really gave me the different outlook on my reality. I realized that I was not the only young woman that had divorced, that was cheated on, that experienced trauma, or that was mentally, emotionally, & physically broken. When I realized that I was 1 in a million it made me feel better.
  2. I held myself accountable for all my decisions that I made in my life that could have possibly led to this reality. I accepted that after my first child postpartum depression really caused distance between my ex-husband and I, which in part led to a lack of communication and that led to his infidelity. I do not blame myself for his wrongdoings, but I accept my part in being distant in that marriage. I also accept that I took him back after cheating the first time, and I believe accepting him back led him to believe his behavior was okay. I accept that my trauma was not my fault, but I was wrong for transferring my trauma onto others because I was hurt. I accepted that only I was responsible for me and my healing.
  1. I stopped looking into my past, and I started to look forward towards my future. I stopped being blocked off and allowed new friends, dating, and social activities that I did not allow when I was stuck hating my reality. I let myself see a possibility for a happy future, which led to my amazing husband.
  2. I realized that my reality is not perfect, but there is no reason to hate my life because of what was, what could have, should have, or never happened. Life is about moving forward, and I decided to not let the inability to move forward to stop me from experiencing the reality I am experiencing today.

Although today my life is not perfect, I can say genuinely I am happier than I have ever been in my entire life. I have set boundaries in life like never before, I do not allow toxic behavior, I do not accept disrespect, I know that I am in control of my life and it FEELS AMAZING! The reality is life happens, and when it does please do not allow guilt, anger, or shame to hold you back from making a better reality for you!