As we all know – I have been ran through the mud. I have been hurt.  Angered. I have been mocked.  Made fun of.  All by people who really don’t know anything about me. That being said, you all have been supportive as can be. I am grateful for each and everyone of you. So here is an answer to a question I got.

The email read,

“Hey.  I don’t know how you are holding up.  I have watched this going on…  The job. The gossip. The health issues. The kids. How are you holding up – I mean this as a question, not even a “How are you?” (I care how you are, I’m just struggling too- help me!) I’m losing my mind from the past year, myself. Any advice?”

Well first, I am holding up shocking well – now.  Keyword is now.  In an hour, who knows. But right now, I am doing ok. And of course.  I have advice.  Here’s my top ten things you should/shouldn’t do to complicate your life any futher. All written and determined of the past 10 year chaotic journey of my own. Enjoy. LOL!

10. Keep everything in Perspective.

Perspective is underrated. In each moment of our lives, things seem huge, am I right? I’m a widow – and this isn’t even widow talk.  You all saw my crying “Chris Crocker” style video because my feelings got hurt.  People often think that once you know real trauma -you have a gift where other things don’t phase you.  Not true. I might be able to snap out of quicker, but it still hurts.

What gets me through is perspective.  This woman calling me names, I wouldn’t have given it a second thought when I was enduring chemo. I wouldn’t have cared. And guess what? I choose to try my best not to now. It’s perspective.  She was nonexistent to me before, really.  Why care now? It’s perspective.

9. Healthy People take their Health for Granted.

And sometimes, sick people who get healthy-still take their health for granted. So, whether it be physical or mental health – take care of it. And be grateful for it.  For real.  If you smoke stop.  IF you are overweight and sedentary – get healthy.  If you struggle with your mind, get therapy.  Check your heath insurance.  You probably have benefits that you don’t even know about. Take advantage of it and be the best version of you that you can be. If you don’t have health insurance, there are a lot of programs out there to help you.  I know it’s hard.

Let me be honest, If I ate what and how I wanted, and I didn’t exercise, I would be morbidly obese.  For sure.

8. Always Choose Kindness.

I haven’t always chosen kindness.  Sometimes, my words have gotten the best of me.  Sometimes, I have allowed jealousy to enter into my heart with such malice.  Sometimes, I have judged others to make myself feel better. But every single time I have chosen kindness, I have not been disappointed.  Sure, revenge feels good – for a second.  But it doesn’t for the long haul.  So have some good people around you that can be a voice of reason when you are being crazy – and work towards kindness.

7. Confidence is not being well-dressed. Confidence is expressing who you really are.

We all know that my hair is my pride and joy. We all know that my fashion choices maybe a touch out the norm. But I will tell ya this, mohawk and all – I feel like I am living my best self when I am me.  Fake eyelashes and all. I love animal prints – and nontraditional art.   So be yourself. IF you want purple streaks and they make you feel good – get purple streaks. You wanna shave your head, shave your head. Be confident. Confidence looks good on every single person. And if you like your hair in a side part – BY ALL MEANS GET THE SIDE PART! Don’t listen to TikTok!

 6. Allow yourself to be touched.

This is science.  Physical touch can heal.  Like I’m serious.  It really can. Google it.  Physical touch has healing benefits.  It can increase your immune system.  It can lower the blood sugar of people with Diabetes.

There are studies showing that touch signals safety and trust, it soothes. Basic warm touch calms cardiovascular stress. It activates the body’s vagus nerve, which is intimately involved with our compassionate response, and a simple touch can trigger release of oxytocin.

And think of babies – holding a baby can calm a baby.  It’s physical touch.  If you are single, and don’t have a partner, that’s okay.  It isn’t just a couple thing.  Hug your kids.  Your nieces or nephews.  Your friends.  Or even, schedule a massage.  I’m serious.  It helps.

5. Gossip is Capital – Don’t be involved in that Market.

Again, I have went down that road in my past. Never ends well.  But what I can say is this.  If you have ever confided in me – your secrets are safe. For life.  Even if you hate me now.  Steel trap.  And if we were friends, and don’t talk anymore – still, I got you. Don’t be one of those people who air things that were given in confidence. It is actually gross.

My therapist told me this today – and it’s freaking brilliant.  She said, “When people gossip, their whole purpose to gossiping is create worth within themselves.  When people gossip – they are either experiencing fear, a desire for belonging or inclusion, and a craving for intimacy and a sense of connection.  If someone is gossiping, they are sad people. Looking for someone externally to give them approval.” It makes it a little easier to forgive when you think of the damage they have are feeling internally.  

4.  Address your problems as the arise – and complaining will not fix things.

Problems are like splinters.  Might not seem like a big deal, but ignore it – and you might end up with a full body infection.  Address each issue as they come up. Let me give you a real life “Kristie” example.

At one point in my adult life, I was seriously financially burdened. Medical bills, life, and everything else – was sucking me dry.  I was “robbing Peter to pay Paul.”  Finally, it got to the point to where I couldn’t sleep at night. I literally had to get a grip on my finances.  I needed to see just how poor I was.

Had I not done that, I would not have been able to solve the problem. I would have been a slave to ignoring the mailbox, and feeling like I was going to throw up when I had to pay bills.  Now my finances are top priority. I manage my money so it doesn’t manage me. I can go get the mail without a brown bag to hyperventilate in. It feels good.

And complaining, doesn’t do anyone any good. It doesn’t fix  your finances, it doesn’t fix your mood. This one, I am good at.  When you want to complain, think of the opposite, and choose gratitude.  Turn, “I’m starving” into, “I can’t wait to get to Publix for $5.00 Sushi night!”

Acceptance is the first step to freedom. If you are in denial about your present circumstance, you will be locked in a cycle of misery. Once you accept things as they are and you find that you don’t like what you see, you can take the next step to change things for the better.

3. It’s not all about you.

We are the center of our own worlds, of course. But what if you actually flip that switch for five minutes a day.  Take your kids or partner for example… Instead of “What do I have to do today?”, try “What do we need to do today, and maybe I can help you achieve your goal.”

Pay attention to the actions and behaviors of others in your life. Look at the context clues.  Are they sad? Scared? Being bullied, maybe? It’s normal to be intensely aware as to what is going on in your life, just be mindful, that others are around you also.

2. Love is more than a feeling.  It’s a choice.

Everyone wants to be in love, right? Falling in love is mad easy.  Staying in love – not so easy.  I recommend before entering any relationships – be honest.  Don’t change who you are – because overtime – you will change. I am not the same person now that I was at 20. So, if I “fake it” at 20 – end up married to be someone’s ideal – naturally change as they do – BOOM. Problems. And fun facts, this goes for friendships, too.  For a long time, I wanted to morph to be what I thought people wanted.  I am a people pleaser.  I wanted to fit in. I wanted to be liked.  Now – everyone gets the garbage from jump.  You are welcome. (and I am happier than I have been for it.)

Be honest.  Admit your flaws.  Your hang-ups.  Example? I smoked for years. You think I am gonna hide that from anyone? Nope. Why? It is a struggle for me each day.  So if you see me even consider a cigarette – slap me hard. My best friend smokes. If I asked her for cigarette, she would punch me In the face.  I love her for that.

But with any love, we must choose to be kind, to be loving, let the annoyances pass, be respectful, and supportive.  It isn’t always easy.  But it’s worth it.

1. Don’t ruin your testimony.

Have you ever seen someone face their demons? Let me tell ya, I have twice in my life. And what I have to say, is both times – I had such respect for these two people beforehand, and after – even more.  And both times, I watched both people be brutalized by Christians.  People of my faith. If I didn’t have a strong personal relationship with God – I would definitely never wanted to be part of that religion.

I challenge you to write down on a notepad – every dirty, despicable thing you have done.  Thought.  Every wish of ill will.  Every bad act.  Moments of gluttony.  Times of giving into sin.  Now, I want you to think of everyone you know – and everyone you don’t tuning into a TV channel – where someone reads every, single deed.  No one would be able to hold their heads up.

The reality is that I’ve sinned in just about every area. It pains me to say that, but it’s true. If people hear the Gospel and reject Jesus, that’s one thing. If I’m the barrier to people accepting Christ because of me and my sin, that’s a completely different deal. Fortunately, God’s much bigger than my stupidity.

So I end with this, When does your humanness get in the way of people knowing the hope, forgiveness, and love of Jesus?  Does your life make them curious about Jesus’ love, or does it make them want to run away screaming.

So, I challenge you – if you are a Christian – don’t use prayer as an excuse for inaction.  Don’t sit around and wait for God to do his thing, step out in obedience and faith. And hey, don’t think you are better than others, either. Don’t create some internal rules to differentiate your holiness while you decide others aren’t.

That’s a wrap, Jack.

So there it is.  That’s how I get through.  An amazing support system.  Being supportive.  Love.  Laughter.  Jesus. And Gratiude.

Hope it helps.

Love Fully.  Live Fully.  Shine on. 

Hi! Been a few weeks, I know. I’ve been busy. Don’t judge me.

Alot has happened. My position at work has shifted. My bestie moved into a new place. My kid went on a weekend trip. And, I went to IKEA. So, it’s a wonder you are getting a post at all. It’s shocking that I am not still in IKEA.

That being said, while I was at IKEA – I experienced panic. True panic. And not for the great deals – or sytlish swedish furniture with their fun names. Nope.

I thought my nine year old was kidnapped. Literally. Scariest 45 seconds of my life. And I’m a widow. And that was scarier.

I asked Jacoby to return the shopping cart to the cart corral, (because we aren’t lazy people who leave carts all over the parking lot. It was literally 10 feet from my jeep. I put the last bag in the car, I get in the car, and I don’t see him. Back out we go.

I yell for him.

Nothing.

I full on scream for him. To the top of my lungs.

Nothing.

He vanished.

I am now walking quickly, and then break into a full on run – yelling for him. And then I hear, “MOMMY?”

This boy, is walking out the front door of the store. He took the cart to the front door. You see, he didn’t see a way to get the cart off the sidewalk. So, while I was arranging the bag in the car, he walked by me to the front door. I never saw him. He returned the cart inside.

He thought I saw him. I thought he was kidnapped by a pedophile rapist. What I am saying is this.

You never know what a day will hold. I had a happy ending. But my goodness – it gave me that “lesson” that your whole life can be turned upside down in an instant.

Panic realized. Panic hated.

My Sweet Boy.

Love fully. Live fully. Shine on.

Sat nam.

We have been deep for way too long on this blog, so lets lighten it up today! Often times, in here, and my everyday life, I get some pretty killer compliments. One being – my hair. Let’s start there.

First of all – my hair stylist is the best hair stylist in the whole entire world. So, as far as my fantastic hair goes, she gets all the glory. She is a true visionary, and when you are searching for a stylist – make sure that you aren’t going for price as much as skill. I say this, because she can tell me what will look horrible, and what will look great. She tells me what can be done, and what can’t be done. She gives me realistic expectations. That’s so important.

You wanna hear a misnomer that hear I everyday!? “I love your hair! I wish I could do that! There is no way I could do that!” Yes there is. I promise. You can. Now, you might be scared to do it. You might be afraid of what it looks like. You might use your hair as a security blanket. All those are good reasons not to do it. But – I can’t? Yeah, that’s not a reason. In my opinion, you only live once. And I read somewhere, that people on their deathbeds only regret the things that they never tried. Not the things they tried and failed. So, dye your hair pink. Cut it off. Grow it out. Do you.

Now let’s talk about clothes. And here is the best piece of advice that I can give you where it comes to fashion. Pinterest. Now, I have public pinterest boards and private pinterest boards. My true fashion ones, are private. And here is my methodology. I will type in some of my fashion Icons. Here are some of mine – Pink, Marilyn Monroe, all of Michael Costello’s work, Kate Middleton, Grace Kelly, Michelle Obama, and Blake Lively. I look at images of them. Then, I pin them. And here is why – I will take an outfit that I see of theirs, and do my own version. With things in my closet already. You can get so much inspiration from looking at the way these folks dress, and add your own spin. I mean, c’mon. They have stylists dressing them all the time. That they pay a lot of money for. I get color ideas, pattern mixes, that I wouldn’t have thought of.

Lastly, and the most important to me. Confidence. You wanna look good? Then feel good. I rarely leave the house if I don’t feel good about my appearance. I want you to think about the day that you looked the most beautiful or the most handsome. Where you felt the best about yourself. Now pick five more. What was the commonality? Here is a commonality of mine.

In everyone, I had my hair great – my makeup fantastic, and heels. So, I can’t wear heels everyday – I work in a bodyshop. But, every chance I get, I throw on a cute pair of stilettos – you better believe I do it. Also, I ain’t rich. But I budget for my hair and makeup. It’s much more important to me to have my hair and makeup – than it is to go out to eat. Notice, none of those things had to do with my weight, because that fluctuates. But when my hair, makeup, and heels are on – I feel like I can take on the world.

So, what are the things that make you feel the most confident? Can you mimic those often? If you can’t , what could you do so you can? Like, we all know that confidence comes from within, of course. But let’s not lie, we all feel better when we look better.

Let’s own our everyday runway’s stronger than Lady Gaga. Below are some of my faves from the past 6 years.

Love Fully. Live Fully. Shine On.

Sat Nam.