“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
I am a self-proclaimed book nerd. Seriously, I was the kid who preferred to sit on the playground reading a Babysitters Club book than actually playing. Although I still love reading to this day, lately I’ve realized it has become a form of self care for myself. Trying to process the countless deaths of black men and women by law enforcement, a global pandemic, virtual learning, and a new baby has been extremely taxing. Thankfully, my books give me the break from reality I sometimes need and help maintain some sense of normalcy in my daily life.
Today I want to share my personal self care book collection. I’ve read each book at least 3 times, but what I love most about them is that they are written in such a way that you don’t have to read them in a linear or specific way. These books are designed for you to consume what you want, when you need it and there is no obligation to read them as you would a novel or a normal self-help book. Take Words of a Wanderer by Alex Elle for example; this book helped kick off my self care journey in 2013. I have several pages marked as go to pages when I need uplifting or a daily affirmation.
Now more than ever taking time out for yourself is needed. I hope you find a little inspiration from my reading collection.
If you have followed my blog for any time now, you may have noticed that I make it a priority to encourage my daughter to love and accept who she is and what she looks like. Many young females, especially girls of color, grow up with such a negative view of themselves that it leaks over into adulthood, creating completely avoidable self-esteem and self-worth issues. So, anytime I am offered a chance to review a children’s book such as My Hair Is Poofy & That’s Okay by Nikkolas Smith, I jump at the opportunity to continue exposing my child to positive literature. With its beautiful and unique illustrations, relatable storyline, and overarching message of embracing your self-image, this book will be a mainstay in my daughter’s library for a long time.
Kids are very smart; they notice how you dress, speak, or what books you’re reading. Ever since I was blessed enough to become a mother, the phrase “Representation matters” has become so much more meaningful to me. Young minds need to be exposed to literature and characters they can relate to, and Poofy is definitely one of those characters. She has a big personality, self-confidence, and a massive crown of thick curly hair which my daughter loved. The illustrations are amazing with vivid colors and brush strokes, great detail in every character’s features, and a lightness that makes you want to keep turning the page to see how great the next one will be.
The importance of being unique is displayed throughout the book, but I love the fact that the story also highlights the idea of not letting others negatively label you because of your uniqueness. Although the story does jump around a little bit pertaining to the scenarios, there is always a positive and uplifting message being echoed by each of the characters. I am a mom to a brown skin girl with a head of thick curly hair and because of authors like Smith she is able to read stories and see images that look like her. It fills me with joy any time I am able to expose my little princess to a character like Poofy and hear her say “She looks like me!”
Over this past year I have purchased and had opportunities to review many children’s books for my daughter, but My Hair Is Poofy & That’s Okay definitely stands out as one of our favorites. If you are interested in purchasing a copy take a visit to author Nikkolas Smith’s website (https://www.nikkolas.art/shop/poofy) where he also has artwork, stickers, and other literature. If there are any other positive self-image children’s books you would like to suggest or share, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll see you all next time!
Fear of failure has always been a roadblock in my life. I have always linked failure to disappointment and I never want to disappoint my loved ones around me. However, lately I’ve had time to reflect on the last 3 months specifically and I realized this fear of failure was creating roadblocks in my life. So instead of focusing on whether or not my actions or decisions will disappoint others, my focus became walking in my own purpose.
Everyone has a calling in life; whether it’s to entertain, create, inspire or educate, we are all destined to strive for greatness at whatever we are passionate about. My come-to-Jesus moment happened while I was scrolling through Instagram one day. I came across numerous influential women doing amazing things with their businesses, brand, blogs, vlogs, and websites. I wanted that. I follow many of these women for inspiration/motivation but yet here I was too scared to step outside of my bubble.
As I continued scrolling multiple emotions came over me: doubt, envy, fear. Eventually all of those negative feelings gave way to realization and determination. Nothing was different between them and me except that they weren’t afraid to walk in their purpose. My fear of failure is what stopped me from attempting anything that was out of the ordinary, but once I understood my roadblock I created a plan to help me get pass it.
1.Be Fearless: it is okay to fail as long as you get back up and grind harder than before to reach your goals
2. Make your goals realistic: Try not to be one of those people who sets themselves up for failure by setting far-fetched goals accompanied by unreasonable timelines. I believe in setting small, realistic short-term goals that eventually lead into completing larger long-term goals. Short goals help keep you on track and motivated.
3. You are your Tribe: From a young age I learned to be aware of the company I kept because I could easily be judged by who I had around me. I had to be very mindful of my tribe. Surrounding yourself with people who are positive, inspiring and genuine will help keep you motivated while allowing you the chance to be supportive of someone else trying to reach their goals.
These are my go to tips that have been helping me stay focused and to continue reaching for my goals. What keeps you motivated and walking in your purpose? Leave your responses in the comment below!
Lately I have been unplugging from social media and focusing more on my mental and physical well-being. One way I have done this is by diving back into my book collection. Whether it be for pleasure or gathering information, reading has been a lifelong passion of mine. Since I’ve been spending less time browsing timelines and liking pictures, reading and journaling have taken their rightful place as the center of my attention. So today I wanted to share some of my favorite books in hopes that the words will leap off of the page and into your hearts as they have for me.
Ntozake Shange– For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf
Alex Elle-Words from a Wander
Alysia Nicole Harris- How Much We Must Have Looked Like Stars to Stars
GG Renee Hill- Wallflower
How have you been nourishing your mind lately? Comment below and let me know your favorite books.
As many of you know life can be overwhelming. A student may struggle finding time to study while maintaining a social life on a near non-existent budget, while a single parent could be juggling a career, bills, and family duties with minimal help. With these and other similar cases it’s good to take a step back and regain focus. As I may have mentioned before, my personal focal point for the year is self-care and healing. So today I wanted to share my top 5 essential items and ideas to give your mind and body a little TLC.
Journaling- To me, writing on paper is beautiful thing. Lately I have been taking time out of my day to write down thoughts or words of inspiration for a positive mental break.
Love in My Language by: Alex Elle
Green Tea Body Butter by Butter Me Up- I love body butters especially in the colder months. I adore the blend of Shea butter and the hint of the green tea which makes this my go to scent at the moment
Loose Leaf Tea- I am a tea junkie and nothing makes my day like a good cup of tea. My current favorite is an Indian Spice loose leaf blend from my local Healthy Market.
Incense – Nothing puts me in a relaxed mood like burning incense.
What are you favorite items for self-care and healing? Feel free to share on either my IG or Twitter accounts!