Inspirational Jam: “Well, Alright”-CeCe Winans

“There’s so much life to live for
Joy and happiness in store
There’s so much more that you can be
But you gotta ask and you’ll receive.”

                                                      — CeCe Winans 

This week has been a ROUGH one, but I’m keeping my head up. Hope y’all are too, no matter what may be going on.

I know it’s easier said than done, though. I can’t count how many times I wanted to throw in the towel, or how many times I cried and prayed for better outcomes…seemingly without any response. It’s hard sometimes to keep going in the midst of feeling stuck in one place, uncertain of the future.

Regardless of your belief system, this inspirational track, “Well, Alright,” from gospel legend CeCe Winans will uplift you in those dark times. The song is all about believing that a change is going to come for you in spite of what it seems like. It helps me to keep my faith up, knowing that greater things are in store for me. I hope it inspires you too.

Watch CeCe perform the song below!

Words of Wisdom: “Stand Back Up After You Fall Down”-Lindsey Stirling

These Words of Wisdom from performance artist Lindsey Stirling are no small thing. I share this video today specifically for those who keep getting hit with rejection and negativity, or feel overlooked in spite of their gift.

Lindsey knows that tune all too well. After taking her own gift and passion for dancing while playing the violin to America’s Got Talent in 2010, she wasn’t appreciated by the judges at first. In fact, Piers Morgan (a former judge on the show) said she sounded like rats being strangled! The nerve! I’m sure she’s heard some jacked up stuff before regarding her talent too.

After those mean comments, it took a lot for Lindsey to get to the stage, but she got there. “I had to pick myself up, and I think anybody that succeeds has had to do that. Not just once, but multiple, multiple times,” Lindsey shared. And now this girl has a thriving YouTube channel with millions of dedicated viewers, has toured all over the world with her unique gift, has her own documentary, and is on Dancing with the Stars this season!

Watch her encouraging words below…

Me personally, I go through periods of self-doubt after multiple rejections or no responses regarding new opportunities and pitches. Had a moment yesterday, matter of fact. We all do. A lot of us have heard negative comments about what we want to do, having to face doubters who don’t get our vision (side note: it’s not their job to). Yet and still, enough negative feedback can hurt, and make you doubt what it is you want to do.

We all have those moments where we fall down, or where we want to quit and settle for something less than we deserve. I GET IT. It’s okay to doubt yourself for a little bit. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to wallow for a minute (trust, I had the ugliest cry in my car yesterday…I’m not judging). What’s not okay is to give up. Give yourself a minute to hurt a little bit, but then settle your nerves, stand on up and press on anyway!

#MondayMotivation

Good morning y’all…another Monday is here. I’m tired, but I’m ready to put in WORK this week! Here’s some #MondayMotivation to inspire you guys…a quote I need for myself too.

The road to success is HARD, y’all. Very hard. No matter what you’re working towards. Maybe it’s getting healthier. Maybe it’s building up your own business. Maybe it’s trying to get that degree. No matter what it is, the journey to reaching a goal is quite difficult and tiring.

Yet and still, you can’t stop when you’re tired. When you stop every time you’re tired, you’re just prolonging the process of getting further along in your journey. Sometimes, you have to choose to push past feelings of fatigue, or insecurity, or doubt, to continue towards your purpose. For real, for real, if it was easy, everybody would do it. So don’t stop when you’re tired…stop when you’re done.

Who’s In Your Squad?

When it comes to friends, I always emphasize the importance of QUALITY over quantity. Because what’s the point of having all of these “friends,” and you can’t count on not one? Now, I have other good friends and acquaintances, but I’ve been rocking with these three heavy all together since high school, and a lot has happened. Cookouts, parties, graduations, and trips all over. Hospital visits and funerals. Ups and downs in relationships. Growth in our personal lives and careers. Throughout it all, we’ve stood by each other. And, even though we don’t see each other as much as we used to, I know they have my back and would be there for me in a heartbeat and vice versa. Chels, Tay, and Wally have been around, and I know they’ll stay around.

I thought of the special bond with my friends this week after looking at an old Instagram post I shared back in 2012 on Instagram:

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A lot of us deal with so-called friends who are fickle, are only around when they want to be, or don’t really have our best interest at heart. Maybe you keep them around because you’ve known them for so long anyway. Maybe they provide some messy gossip or laughter, or have access to the hottest parties and events, and that’s why you still hit them up. Maybe you just need somebody to hang around. Even if you KNOW that these people aren’t real friends that you can truly rely on. Even if they’re constantly bringing you down. Even when, after you give all you have to them, all they do is take from you, with literally nothing to give in return.

Who you invite and keep in your space is all up to you. It’s literally your choice. Just like you opened the door to invite them in, you can close the door and let them go. When you complain about the negativity that a person is always bringing into your life, be honest about the fact that you’re the one allowing them to stay. After you’ve told them that what they’re doing is hurting you, and they still haven’t changed. After you’ve called them out for not being there for you. You keep them around. For what?

Whatever the reason, I’m here to tell you that there’s absolutely no point in hanging on to dead weight. I don’t care how long you’ve known a person, either. If we aren’t helping to build each other up in some way, you gotta go. If we aren’t vibing well overall, or every time I see you, you manage to get little digs in trying to make me feel small to feel better about yourself, we can’t be cool. If I’m putting all this time and effort in trying to be a good friend, and you can’t give me any effort in return, it’s time to go our separate ways. Y’all, at this point in my life, I don’t have enough energy or patience to deal with these kinds of people (friends or even family). We all deal with enough negativity at work, on social media, or wherever else. We don’t need it in our squads. We don’t need all of these fake friends that we really can’t depend on. We just need a few good people that we know, without a shadow of a doubt, will be there for us through it all.

This short clip from Tyler Perry’s play, Madea Goes to Jail, speaks on just that—having two or three good friends (or “roots”) that help us along the way:

As I’ve grown, I’ve learned to be careful about who I call friend, and who I rely on. Like Madea said, you step out on a lot of people and they have no probably leaving you high and dry. So I’ve said goodbye to some folks. We can strike up a conversation in text every now and then, and wish each other happy birthday and best wishes on Facebook. But I’m loving you from a distance…a LONG distance. I’m at the age now where I really only want good people around me. People who I know, as I’m a good friend to them, they’ll be good friends to me.

So if you’re holding on to dead weight, let them go. If you know you’re giving effort, and the people who claim to be friends can’t be bothered, let them go. You only have time for real people in your squad that you can trust, and you really don’t even need a lot! If you have two or three amazing people, or even just one, that’s more than a lot of people truly have. I know I’ve got mine, and they ain’t going nowhere!

Who’s in your squad? Show them love in the comments below!

Imperfectly,

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Inspirational Jam: “You Gotta Be”-Des’ree

“Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky…”

                                                 — Des’ree (“You Gotta Be”)

This song right here is a throwback joint from back in the 90s! This hit, “You Gotta Be” from British singer Des’ree still makes its way into rotation through my inspirational playlist today and for good reason.

On the song, Des’ree drops small but powerful gems about navigating through life, reminding us that we gotta be bad, bold, wiser, and stronger throughout this life, taking on challenges head on as they come. As each year passes, and I continue to grow, I become better at that. It’s not always easy, but this song gives me motivation to do it.

Watch Des’ree perform the song below!