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Encourage Yourself: Tips to Avoid Slipping into Depression

“Not that I am happy with the suffering; I simply refuse to be defeated by it”.

Huey P Newton

I am prone to fall into depressive states. When a depression hits, all I want to do is eat, sleep, and feel sorry for myself. There are certain triggers that if not handled immediately, can send me spiraling into depression until I muster the strength to pull myself up and out. This can take days and sometimes weeks.  Over the years I have learned how to recognize when I am on the verge of a depression and I take matters into my own hands to prevent that from happening. This level of self-awareness is especially important for self-mastery, personal growth, and ascension. I wanted to share with you four ways I avoid falling into depression to bring myself back to a state of equilibrium. As I wrote this article, the song Encourage Yourself by Donald Lawrence came to my mind. As you read this article, feel free to listen to this song.

  1. Practice Gratitude

“I had fainted unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the lord

Psalm 27:13-14

Now this isn’t the gratitude that’s discussed in the post-modern spiritual circles where you write down 3 things you are grateful for and meditate. This is the gratitude of the Black Church. The, “when I think of the goodness of Jesus and all he’s done for me, my soul cries out Hallelujah, I thank God for saving me”. The, “when I look back over my life” gratitude. The type of gratitude where you use praise as a weapon. I put on my gospel music, grab my tambourine, and give God glory. It works! I thank God for all my many, many blessings. Because despite my present circumstance, despite my feelings of anger, shame, guilt, sadness, and fear, I know I can overcome them. Praise is a powerful weapon that is guaranteed to make you feel better and keep you from spiraling.



2. Exercise

“It is easier to act yourself into good thinking than it is to think yourself into good action”

Bill Gove

High intensity exercise releases feel-good endorphins that improve your sense of well-being. Exercise also takes your mind off your worries. I love a good run or a good lifting session. I may not feel like it, but once the workout is over, I feel so much better. Even a walk outdoors will help to lift your mood and stave off depression. If you are unable to do any intense exercise; stretch or do a positive activity that brings you joy; knitting, painting, or gardening.  A good workout boots my self-esteem and confidence and the negative emotions that were waiting to weigh me down have been transmuted.

young ethnic woman with fit ball sitting on floor while training in modern gym
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

3. Clean & Organize

“Like a sunflower, I am learning to always face the light”

Sabrina Laura

When I’m feeling down, I will open the windows (yes, even in the winter), let the stale air out and let the fresh air in. I will light my sage or palo santo to cleanse my aura and the energy of my home. Then I will turn some music on and get to cleaning. I will sweep, mop, dust, or clean the bathroom. If everything is already clean, I will start throwing things away. I will go through my closet and get rid of old clothes. I will go through the stack of mail and papers and toss whatever isn’t needed. Our physical environment is a direct reflection of our mental state and clearing physical clutter will clear mental, emotional, and energetic clutter.

5. Self-Talk: Encourage Yourself


“Whatever you put into your mind, in one way or another, is what you will get back out, in one way or another”

Shad Helmstetter

Like the song Encourage Yourself says, “Sometimes you gotta look in the mirror and tell yourself I can make it. You gotta remember that life and death lie in the power of your own tongue. Even if nobody tells you, you can run on. You tell yourself”. I begin to repeat my affirmations. I begin to combat the negative thoughts and words that are running rampant in my mind. I remind myself that there is nothing I can’t overcome. That there ain’t no quit in me. That I am my ancestors wildest dream, and that resilience, power and strength is embedded in the fabric of my DNA and I will not only be ok. But I will win.

Cry if you have to, scream if you must. But don’t you ever give up and don’t you ever quit. And when you feel yourself slipping into a depression, try to incorporate these steps to ground yourself, center yourself to as the old folks say in the church begin to , “ believe I’ll go on and see what the end gonna be”.

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I Ain’t Got to do Nothin But Stay Black and Die: Why I’m no Longer Obligated

“All the lovely women living in your blood are trying to teach you their soft magic. Please pay attention to them”

Upile Chisala

I can still hear my Nanie’s (my maternal grandmother) words echoing, “I ain’t got to do nothing but stay black and die” when referring to something somebody told her she had our ought to do. And I’m saying the same thing now. Especially when it comes to the obligations and duties I’ve always felt bound too.

The truth is, I don’t owe anyone anything. Not a conversation, my time, or my energy. I don’t have to share my space, a meal, my knowledge, my ear, my shoulder, my money, nothing! Not if I don’t want to. Not if I don’t feel like it. The message I received from my upbringing was that I owed. I owed my parents, my elders, the church, and the community. I was blessed. I was fortunate. And I was obligated to give of my bounty to others. It was my duty to share of myself with others. I was even obligated to carry the burdens of others. Their problems and issues became my problems and issues. Even at the expense of myself. I carried that messaging into my adult years. I willingly gave to anyone who asked for my time, money, resources, knowledge, advice, body, heart, and energy. I did not learn how to say no. In fact, I did not learn that it was ok to say no. I did not learn that what I have is for myself first and foremost and I have the right to choose what I give others and when.

“Its your story honey. Feel free to hit em with a plot twist whenever you want”

But I have learned that not only is it ok to say no. It is ok to say no without any explanation. I can cut others out of my life as I please. I can do what I want, when I want, and with whom I want. All I gots (yes, gots) to do is stay black and die. I don’t have to do anything else. I don’t owe anyone anything. My bounty and my blessing are just that. MINE. I do not have to share what I worked tirelessly and endlessly for just for the sake of sharing.  I have learned that I can be inaccessible because my presence is a privilege to be earned and not merely given.

“You are allowed to change the price of what it costs to access you”

Then the fear kicks in, “what will people think, what will they say”. Because God forbid people think ill of me for establishing boundaries and complain that I’ve changed and question whether I think I’m better than anyone. There is a price for everything. I am willing to suffer the cost of being looked at differently. My peace, my happiness and my comfort are more important. We have every right to put ourselves first and then decide who (if anyone) is next. We have the right to say no, unapologetically. We have the right to not want to give, do or be anything that is in conflict with our true selves.

“Who you are. You don’t have to defend it. Or explain it. You just have to set it free. That’s your journey”

Jaiya John

Thank you Nanie for the reminder that I truly don’t have to do nothing but stay black and die. But There’s one more thing I’d like to add to that, I also don’t have to do nothing but be happy.

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The Themes of Life: My years of Preparation, Profound Loss and Recovery

photo of sunflower

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Life ebbs and flows, there are ups and downs and cycles and seasons. Recognizing the season you’re in while its occurring and even after it has ended can offer valuable insight. You will avoid the pitfalls of self-pity and bitterness through an understanding of the purpose of a particular season. You can even find the courage to be grateful for the hard times because it revealed the resilience and courage that would have remained dormant. It is through an understanding that life is a series of lessons to be learned and karmas to transcend that we can remove ourselves from the mundane ordinariness of life and experience the depth of all that is waiting for us, both pain and joy.

2018: The Year of Preparation

I have identified the themes of my life for 2018-2020. 2018 was the year of preparation and it was a really good year for me. I completed my first 24 hour fast and started my intermittent fasting journey on July 24, 2018. Intermittent fasting changed my life in so many ways; physically, mentally, and spiritually. I began to reactivate dormant DNA and see life completely different. I also started my Sisterloc journey on June 10, 2018. I will forever say it was the absolute best hair decision I’ve ever made, and I wish I had gotten them sooner. 2018 was also the year I took my first trip to Jamaica. Since having my daughter in 2011, I rarely traveled outside of work which kept me away from my daughter entirely too much. I felt guilty if I did anything for myself, but this trip presented itself and I had THE best time ever. It was just what I needed and because of my intermittent fasting, I was looking like a whole snack in my bikinis! I ended the year feeling good, embraced a new level of health and wellness, and did away with any more worries about what to do with my hair!

2019: The Year of Profound Loss

I am grateful for the preparation I received in 2018 because it carried me through 2019 which was one of the worse years I’ve had in a while. There was just one loss after another. The roof of our church blew off in a windstorm and the sanctuary was ruined. I watched my father, who is the pastor struggle to keep the congregation afloat. I then had a complete fall out with a group of women I had been friends with since high school. One of those women I genuinely loved, and the loss of that friendship was crushing. Then I stood outside while my parent’s next door neighbor Mrs. Parks who I’ve know my entire life perish in a house fire with her family watching completely helpless. Two days later, I received a call that I had been accepted for a Senior Accountant position with another agency. I happily accepted and prepared to leave my very first real job that I had spent 10 years of my life at. Just two days after that, my grandmother, my last living grandparent died. And without me being able to make things right between us. The year ended with me mustering up the courage to leave a long-term relationship with the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with and have the rest of my children with. This was the year of profound loss and I ended the year deeply depressed and questioning what was next. Especially when it came to my failed relationship. I was 35, mother to an 8-year-old and now single once again. I was bent, but I didn’t break and that is because 2018 was the year of preparation. I kept fasting and praying. I started my new job, started a new business, Melanin Rich Wellness and self-published my first book, F**k Boy Free: 10 Ways to Repel F**k Boys and Attract the Man of Your Dreams. All in the midst of a season of profound loss

“Some losses are essential to our growth” J.B

“Nobody will protect you from your suffering, you can’t eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal” Cheryl Strayed

2020: The Year of Recovery

I didn’t know I was depressed. I just kept pushing. It wasn’t until we were ordered to stay home on March 16, 2020, that I realized I was in the throes of a deep depression. The pandemic allowed me to see that I had sustained serious damage during 2019. And I fell off the face of the earth. I went ghost. I didn’t talk much to anyone, I deleted the FB and IG apps and started binge watching Ray Donovan, Insecure, The Ozarks and The Chi (all great shows by the way). I also started baking lots of cookies and muffins. I felt the loss of my grandmother. I missed her. I felt the pangs of regret that I didn’t tell her how much I loved her and appreciated all she had done for me over the years. How she was the one person I could always depend on and was there for me when I literally had no one. And I had turned my back on her. That hurt is indescribable. I wondered if I would ever have more children. Would I find someone to love me or was I destined for a life of single motherhood. I had to face some demons and shadows. I had to come face to face with my greatest fear; that everyone had been right. I wasn’t good enough. Recovery is a mutha! It often hurts more than initial hurt and pain of what one has been through. Anyone can survive. But not everyone recovers. But I wrote my way through recovery (I wrote 3 more books), I fasted my way through recovery, I received energy healings, I cried, I prayed, I talked with my ancestors, I let that man go and I let my heart love another. I was reduced to nothing but ashes. And I built myself up with all the self-love and self-compassion I could muster. My ancestors were right there. I made peace with my grandmother. I made peace with who I am. By the end of 2020, I could breathe. My heart was on the mend and I was more of myself than I had ever been.

2021: The Year of…

48 days into 2021 and I am not quite sure that the theme is. But after preparation, profound loss, and recovery I’d say there’s nothing left but consecutive wins.

“I never met a winner that did not lose” Hadiiya Barbel

“She is the perfect example of grace because she is a butterfly with bullet holes in her wings that never regretted learning to fly” JM Storm

What are the themes of your life? What are some of the seasons and cycles you have experienced? Identify them, learn the lesson, transcend your karma, and recover.

“It’s through personal development that we transcend our karma” Melissa Feick

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Remember Your Future

fashion photography of woman hands on chin with glitter makeup

Everything is created twice. There is a mental/emotional creation and a physical creation. How we generally think of this concept is that the mental creation occurs first in our minds and the physical creation or manifestation will follow.

“Begin with the end in mind” is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There’s a mental or first creation, and a physical or second creation to all things.

Steven Covey

I recall a saying I would hear in church all the time, “Speak it into existence”. Along this line of thinking is the concept of the power of our thoughts. Not only do we have the power to alter our reality with our thoughts and our words, but we must also remember that our current reality is a direct manifestation of our past thoughts and words.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. We are made of our thoughts; we are molded by our thoughts”.

Gautama Buddha

For example, we must say, “I have a job where I make six figures”. Then we must create and visualize this job in our minds. Our thoughts must be focused on the positive aspects of a life with a six-figure job. When we begin to submit resumes and networking (can’t forget this important step), or we realize we need to increase our skills through workshops, classes, and we take those necessary steps, the second, or physical creation of a job with six-figures is sure to come.

I read a book by Joe Dispenza called, “Becoming Supernatural: How Common People Are Doing the Uncommon”. He presented the concept of manifestation in a way that changed my understanding of two creations forever. What we desire, already exists. The first creation has already occurred. The job, the career, the home, the mate, the health, the wealth, the car, the business; it already exists! The second creation must then occur in our minds. He explains that we must remember our future. Once we begin to remember what our future is, we will draw it closer to us. He says, “I want you to live in that future reality in the present moment. Simply remember your future from that new state of being”.

Wow. Just Wow. I don’t have to create anything in my mind because it already exists. My amazing future where I am healthy, happy, whole, blissfully in love, and financially secure is already there waiting for me. I just have to remember it so that this future reality will become my current reality.

It sounds good, but does this really work? Yes, it does! I was skeptical but I put this concept to work in my life. When I first read his book, I was very unhappy with my current work position. But I was scared to leave. I was comfortable and afraid that if I left I would live to regret it. But I finally got to the point where I said, “f**k this job!” and I decided that I was going to leave. I packed up everything from my desk that I wouldn’t need on a daily basis. I picked a date 3 months in advance and made a calendar reminder that it was my last day at the job.

“Manifestation is a balancing act between being and doing”

 Then I did what Dr. Dispenza said. I remembered my future. My future job was already created. It was waiting for me. All I had to do was remember it and create that second manifestation. And I did just that. There was an exercise where you write down what it feels like to have what you desire, and you actually practice experiencing those feelings. I began to remember what it was like to have a job with minimal travel, my own office, a supervisor who was laid back, with co-workers who were not backstabbing; a job where I didn’t mind getting up every day and going. Not only did I remember having this job, I began to remember what it felt like to have that job and I leaned into those feelings. I practiced this and I began submitting resumes. In three months, I had a new job with everything I desired! Now I understand that I do not have to create anything in my mind first, whether it be material or intangible. It already exists, I just have to remember my future.

“Remember your future before it happens and begin to mentally rehearse what that future will be like by living in that future, make it as real as possible, calling up those elevated emotions you listed so you can teach your body emotionally what that future feels like”

Joe Dispenza

Kathleen is a Published Author, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Vaginal Steam Practitioner, Yin Yoga Instructor, Death & Mourning Doula, Herbalist, and Intermittent Fasting Specialist.

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Trauma Bonding with TV: Why I stopped Watching “My 600-lb Life”

“Don’t cling so tightly to your hurt, that you don’t make room for your healing”

Lisa Olivera

I spend so much time at the grocery store that I’ve made friends with the lady who works in the bakery. At least twice a week we talk about intermittent fasting, dating and relationships, skin care tips and our favorite; the latest episode of My 600lb Life. She told me the new season had started and I had to check it out. I assured her I would, and we would discuss the next time.

As promised, on my next free afternoon, I got my snacks and started watching the season premiere of My 600lb Life. I watched until the first commercial break and I turned the TV off. I didn’t want to watch… I couldn’t watch.  Which was strange.  I had watched every season of My 600lb life for the past 5 years faithfully. I’ve never missed an episode. I knew Dr. Now’s spiel by heart. I could tell who would stick to the program, get the surgery and who would fail and ultimately blame Dr. Now. I reveled in the success stories, cheering, and clapping from the couch while genuinely hoping that those who didn’t make it would find the courage to give it one more try after the cameras left.

Now, all of a sudden this was the most incredibly depressing and sad thing I’d ever seen. I couldn’t bare to sit and watch this train wreck for 2 hours. How did I watch this week after week, year after year? Hearing the same sad, pitiful sob stories of abuse, rape, neglect, and abandonment, and then watching them eat themselves into oblivion. They couldn’t move, go out, work, or make love. They were imprisoned in their bodies and homes. Day after day they relived an existence that centered around self-destructive and self-sabotaging behavior. How did it watch every week? Well, because watching them was like looking in a mirror. I bonded with each and every person on my 600lb Life because I was them. I could relate to each and every feeling and mood of sadness, depression, and hopelessness.  Every week I waited for the part of the episode where they show the picture of them as a child. A happy, smiling child full of life and promise. And then the trauma story begins. This was my favorite part. Yes, lets listen to how we were ruined as children, how we never really had a chance, and how our lives were ended in so many ways before it even began. And how what you currently see is the result of all the wrongs, blows, and curses we’ve endured.

You see, I related with the people of My 600lb life due to our shared trauma experience. I was attracted to the pain, the hurt, the self-loathing, the weakness, the fear, and desperation. I bonded with these people over unhealed, exposed wounds. We had been dealt the suckiest of hands and each week we get to see whose hand sucked more.

“She once believed that the damage to her mind and heart was permanent, until she met wisdom, who taught her that no pain or wound is eternal, that all can be healed, and that love can grow even in the toughest parts of her being”

Yung Pueblo

But something happened to me between the season finale and the new season premiere. I tended to some old, but still gaping wounds. And when I watched that first episode I could no longer relate. They were no longer my reflection. That trauma bond had been severed. I had healed. I had elevated. I had changed my vibration. I no longer wanted to listen to the ways in which we had been ruined. I was no longer interested in reliving the past and childhood trauma. I don’t watch My 600lb life anymore. But my heart still goes out to every person who is on that show. When I saw my friend at the store, I broke the news too her, “I just can’t watch it. It’s too sad”.  I remember what its like and I’ll never forget.  I just can’t live there anymore. It’s better over here, on the other side of pain.

“No one will protect you from your suffering…It’s just there and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.”

Cheryl Strayed

Kathleen is a Published Author, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Vaginal Steam Practitioner, Yin Yoga Instructor, Intermittent Fasting and Self-Healing Specialist, Herbalist, and Death and Mourning Doula  

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The Three Mistakes Black Women Make at the Gym

I’ve had a gym membership for 11 years. Over the years I’ve seen way more white women than black women working out (a different article for a different day). And when I do see black women in the gym I notice we consistently make the same mistakes. Notice I say “we”. I too have made these mistakes, but once corrected, I was able to reap the bountiful blessings of the gym. And I want you too as well. So here are the three mistakes black women make:

1. Too Much Cardio/Ineffective Use of Cardio

My first love is running outdoors. I love a good run, but black women spend too much time on the treadmill, elliptical, Stairmaster or bike. Cardio has its benefits but if you’re like me, you want to be toned, firm and look amazing naked. 30 minutes to an hour on the treadmill is not going create a toned, firm body. Yes, you sweat. Yes, you will drop some pounds. But cardio is not going to make you look good naked. Unless you do cardio properly and that involves HIIT. High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT workouts involve short bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower intense exercise. My favorite form of HIIT is to walk the treadmill at 2.5 to 3.0 mph for a minute and then run anywhere from 7.5 to 9.0 mph for 30 seconds and then back to walking at 2.5 to 3.0 mph. I will alternate between the walking and sprinting for 10-15 minutes. HIIT burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time and it helps to build muscle which is a perfect Segway to the 2nd mistake we make in the gym.

2. Not Enough Heavy Lifting

The more time you spend on cardio, the less time you have in the rack. If you want to build the body of your dreams you must lift and lift heavy. A lot of women avoid the rack because they are afraid that if they lift too much or too heavy they will look like a man. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We don’t have enough testosterone to look manly. We will however be curvy and toned. Yesterday at the gym I deadlifted singles at 225lbs. Do I look manly? It can be intimidating in the weight section with all the men grunting and groaning but don’t let that stop you. Incorporate the deadlift, squat, and press into your workout routines and lift as heavy as you can without sacrificing form. When you get stronger, lift heavier. Use the bar, dumbbells (not 5lb ones either) or kettlebells. Make lifting an integral part of your workout routine and you will fall in love with the results.

3. Not Stretching Before Working Out

I have recently realized the importance of stretching prior to working out. And I don’t mean a quick 2-minute stretch. Stretching for 5-10 minutes before working out loosens up the muscles and prepares them for the heavy loads. You’ll be able to workout longer before becoming fatigued and less likely to experience muscle strains. I find that when I stretch my workouts are much more productive. I can lift heavier and longer. My favorite stretches are butterfly, shoelace, and sphinx.

Stretch for 10 minutes+ HIIT Cardio for 10 minutes + Heavy Lifting for 40 minutes = The Perfect Gym Workout

Bonus Mistake: You can’t outrun your fork! 70% of your body composition is based on what you eat. What you eat in private, you wear in public no matter what you do in the gym. Incorporate intermittent fasting, juicing, and plant- based foods into your daily routine and you will reach your fitness goals faster.

Kathleen is a Published Author, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Vaginal Steam Practitioner, Yin Yoga Instructor, Intermittent Fasting Specialist, Herbalist and Death & Mourning Doula

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I Didn’t Forget Where I Came From; I Just Couldn’t Stay There.

“Healing yourself is the glo up”

Unknown

I had a realization recently. I was raised to be great BUT play small. I can still hear my father, “If you ain’t gonna do it with excellence, don’t do it at all. I don’t celebrate mediocrity”. I took that message to heart. Coupled with my innately intense personality, I poured my heart into everything I did. If I was going to do it or participate in it then I gave it my all. Each and every time. Anyone who knows me, knows I go hard. One would think with that upbringing and my complete acceptance of it, I would be much further along than I am. Yes, I am somewhat successful, but when I look at my life I am frustrated and a little angry. How does one who never cuts corners, has never made excuses and who has done everything with a spirit of excellence struggle the way I struggle? Then it dawned on me. Although I was encouraged to aspire to greatness, I was also raised to play small. I was raised to be great, but not so great that it would highlight the inadequacies in others. I was unconsciously taught that it is NOT okay to deviate from the group. I must maintain the status quo of our family and church community. And if I do happen to deviate then it must be kept a secret.  I was unconsciously taught that others are more important than myself. I was unconsciously taught to not be too big because it might make others feel small. Don’t let your light shine so bright that others are blinded. My entire life I’ve been great but oh so small. That seems oxymoronic, but it perfectly explains why I have had an internal conflict most of my life. Running full steam ahead, then looking around and not seeing anyone from my family or church around me so I must stop. And not only stop, but self-sabotage in order to fall back in line with those around me.

The message I received as a child and teenager was that I was not allowed to be happy if others around me were sad. I was not allowed to be blissfully in love while others were single and miserable. I was not allowed to be in excellent shape and be healthy while others were struggling with their weight and health. I was not allowed to be financially secure and free while others lived with a poverty mindset.  I was not allowed to enjoy life while others lived from one struggle and drama to the next.

 “Learn to say that’s on you.

Your behavior is on you

The way you move is on you

The choices you make are all on you.

The way you live, its all on you

Stop absorbing the pain of other people,

recognize what belongs to you and what doesn’t

@coleen_c_kimbro20

This realization revealed yet another. I had been jumping from box to box all of my life to satisfy others. My parents, extended family, church family, and finally society. It’s as if from the day I was born, boxes have been shoved toward me and I was told, “This is where you belong. Get it and don’t ever think about getting out”. As the lightbulbs were going bonkers in my head, I was having difficulty articulating what I was experiencing. But I came across a post on IG by @iamness which perfectly described what I was feeling:

“At some point we stop taking on the energy of others. We stop absorbing the sadness, the guilt, the victim mentality, and the pressure. We stop telling our friends and family we relate to them because we honestly just don’t. We stop finding reasons to match the vibration of others and we force those around us to raise theirs on their own. You are allowed to heal and not relive the past every day. You are allowed to be unrelatable and selfish about the mindfulness of your energy. You are allowed to water yourCELF and grow unapologetically.”

Wow, just wow… And here I am. Deciding that not only will I be great, but I will also be as big as MY life allows. I will no longer use others as a measure of how far I can go or how happy I can be. If I do not relate to you, I will not force myself to. If you are not on my level, I will not bring myself down to yours. I will not participate in anyone’s story that is contradictory to mine. And if that makes others feel badly, so be it. I will no longer sacrifice my growth for others. I am choosing to not apologize for the bright and bold way I show up for life. I will not apologize for wanting more and actually putting in the hard work to get more. I am stepping out of boxes. I am establishing boundaries. Even if that means leaving family and friends behind. The guilt though. Leaving behind people you’ve known all your life. Those who have meant so much to you and have helped you along the way. The gratitude will forever be there. For those who want to come along and catch up, I’ll leave little clues behind so others know where I have gone. I’ll never forget where I came from. I just can’t stay there. Even if it means leaving others behind.

Kathleen is a Published Author, Certified Holistic Nutritionist, Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, Vaginal Steam Practitioner, Yin Yoga Instructor, Intermittent Fasting Specialist, Herbalist, Rootworker and Death & Mourning Doula.