How to Have a Great Day

Maybe most of you are so positively optimistic & powerful that you have a fantastic day every day. That is wonderful! You deserve a round of applause and a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie because I don’t know how you do it! You need not read any further. Just leave comments on how you manage to radiate rainbows and sunshine all the time because the rest of us would love to know!

For those few people, like me, who have to work hard at getting and keeping those positive vibes going, I want to share with you a few things I’ve noticed about my best days. Please do share your own tips in the comments or on Facebook because I could always use help here!

  1. Get rid of your expectations.

This one is huge for me. I realize that when I am able to let go of all of those expectations about what someone else should do, how an event should turn out, or how I’m supposed to look in that dress, I feel so much better about life! Expectations that are too high, unrealistic, or simply out of our control do nothing while we’re on our quest to have a great day. They only cause us to feel disappointed when things don’t turn out quite as we planned. Get rid of those expectations!

2. Refuse to say anything negative or refuse to “have words” with anyone else.

I swear on those days that my husband and I say to each other, “Look here. No bs today. We’re gonna have a good day,” we actually don’t have bs and really do have a good day. Sometimes it just takes being aware of our not-so-great habits and making a conscious effort to change them to make progress. We can’t always control the random thoughts that pop up in our heads, but we can control the words that come out of our mouths. By choosing to only say the positive things that we think, we just end up spreading positivity everywhere and keep those good vibes flowing.

3. Be grateful.

A few people I'm grateful for :)

A few people I’m grateful for 🙂

Yeah you hear it everywhere these days and it kinda sounds hokey, but I absolutely can’t deny that reminding myself to be grateful for the things that are going right instead of harping on the things that are going wrong really helps me stay in my p.o.p. zone. When we’re complaining, even if it’s only in our heads, we forget that there really are people that are praying for the things/situations that we consider problems. Although it’s the last thing I want to hear when I’m having a moment, it’s true that it really could always be worse. If simply thinking about the things you are grateful for isn’t enough, try writing a list or actually saying aloud to yourself or someone else what you’re grateful for. It really can do wonders.

Just a little something I’ve been thinking about as I strive to have as many great days as I can. Sometimes we just have to let ourselves feel the weight of whatever we’re going through by venting or being in our feelings for a minute, but other times, I think these three tips can come in handy for the day-to-day funkiness that can try to steal our joy. Remember to share your tips! Have a great Monday and an even better week 😉

***And if you haven’t read the previous post, be sure to check that out here: The New PBWB: Getting Your Mind Right***

The New PBWB: Getting Your Mind Right

A few weeks ago or maybe even a month or two ago, I had an epiphany on the direction that I wanted to go with this blog. I was excited about continuing the topics I’ve written about already—inspiration, empowerment, self-esteem, goal-setting, sisterhood, motherhood, etc—but I also wanted to start writing about something that is still taboo in American society, especially in the black community—mental illness.

I’d been listening to a few T.D. Jakes sermons about finding and living your purpose. The phrase, “Nothing you’ve been through will be wasted” kept showing up whenever I watched one of his worship services online or read an article about him. It made me think about my life. It made me reflect on the trials that have molded me into who I am today–my own struggles with depression and the effects of alcoholism on my family. Even though I strongly feel that my purpose involves speaking out on these types of issues, I can’t deny that it FREAKS ME OUT! In fact, that’s probably why I’ve been quiet on the blogging front. I hadn’t mustered up enough courage to write about the topics that really moved me so I just didn’t write anything. But the wise Nelson Mandela once said that “courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it” so I guess it’s okay to feel afraid, but definitely not okay to let that fear prevent me from action.

Disclaimer: I have no rights to this photo. Copyright by asboluv, "tortured soul (asboluv - stencil on cardboard)" CC BY 2.0

Disclaimer: I have no rights to this photo. Copyright by asboluv, “tortured soul (asboluv – stencil on cardboard)” via flickr, CC BY 2.0

Let’s face it, as black people, we have a hard time calling a spade a spade when it comes to the topic of mental illness. I think many of us still deny that black people deal with mental health issues like other races do. For one thing, we often don’t consider substance abuse, especially alcohol abuse, a form of mental illness. We don’t bat an eye at that relative that can wake up looking for a beer before breakfast or the one that we rarely, if ever, see sober. It’s just the way it is. Of course, alcoholism is not just a black issue, but I do think it’s time to start having frank conversations about all forms of mental illness that are occurring in our communities instead of acting like it’s a “white problem.” Even if many of us don’t have personal experience with mental disorders, we may have a friend that dealt with postpartum depression, a third cousin that had a nervous breakdown, or an uncle that has a drug problem. We are not immune to mental illness and it’s time we stop being ashamed of it, or worse, in denial about it.

Popped Black Woman Blog is still about being positively optimistic & powerful. Yet, I can’t sit here and act like it’s easy or even possible to live our best lives by simply telling ourselves to think happier thoughts if we are battling severe clinical depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or some other serious form of mental illness. Sometimes all the self-help books, TED talks, or prayer group/Bible study meetings just won’t do it. Gasp! Don’t judge me on the last comment. I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. I’m just one of those people that believes that God can heal through doctors and therapists, not only through your pastor. Let’s keep it real here. Some people NEED medication. To deny this would be naïve, unhealthy, and possibly deadly.

I hope to discuss all of the same ole stuff, while also sharing resources available to those that struggle with mental illness, self-care tips for everybody, and simply shed more light on how mental health issues affect the lives of people of color in America. Don’t worry. I’ll still hit you all with my random 101 Things in 1001 Days updates, lotion-making/DIY progress, and any other topics that may encourage you all or make you smile.

As always, keep it positively optimistic & powerful folks and share any thoughts you have in the comments or on Facebook 😉

The Power of Vulnerability

Hello lovely popped people!

My New Journal :)

My New Journal 🙂

I know that it has been a long time and I don’t have any very good reason for my long absence except that I had to leave this blog alone to get my mind right. Although my mind is still not completely right, I feel like I’m at a place where I can bring you all along on my journey to living the best positively optimistic & powerful life that I can live. I’ve decided to start journaling again to help me sort through the cobwebs of my mind and to help me focus on obtaining inner peace and self-love. As a part of my new recommitment to journaling (the reasons why I stopped journaling would make a great blog post for another time), I will try to do/read/hear/watch something every day (or every other day) that uplifts and encourages me whether it’s a Bible verse, encouraging podcast, or TED talk.

Today, I watched this great TED talk by Brené Brown called “The Power of Vulnerability.” This talk caught my attention because man ole man do I struggle with being vulnerable. I feel guarded from practically everyone in one way or another so much so that I realize it’s getting in the way of achieving some of the things that I want most out of life, primarily the feeling of belonging. For the longest time, I viewed my fear of vulnerability as simply self-preservation (as well as chalked it up to being a suspicious Scorpio) but now I feel, quite bluntly, that the bullshit has to stop. While I had little control over the circumstances that caused me to have some of my hang-ups, as an adult, I have to take ownership of my mess and put in whatever work it takes, including learning to be more vulnerable, in order to attain healing.

Check out Brené Brown and “The Power of Vulnerability” and let me know if it hits home for you!