It’s Monday y’all, and it’s back to the grind for many. Going into this week, I wanted to drop some #MondayMotivation for you from the legendary Barbra Streisand.

Simple: stay true to yourself. This one isn’t really deep or anything, but a good amount of people struggle with it. I know me, when I first started blogging, wanted to be exactly like some of my other blogging idols, looking at their social media strategies, post ideas, and all. And, while it’s nice to learn from others, you don’t want to lose your own voice in the process. So I had to find my own voice, and write about the things that I wanted to on The Spotlight. People, in turn, responded to that, just like Barbra said.

Whatever you do, whether it’s writing like me, or music, or whatever field you’re even, and even on a personal note, people recognize the real. Don’t feel like you have to put on a facade to get people’s attention or support. The ones who are supposed to respond well to your work and what you offer as a person will. Just stay true to who you really are!

Impromptu Video: B Encouraged

TGIF y’all! Can’t even lie, this morning was BAD for me. Like, “Hit a tree stump, was stuck on the side of the road on a dangerous curve when people fly by daily, tire and who knows what else is jacked up, running crying to my dad” kind of terrible. BUT I’m alive and well, and that’s what matters most. 

Gotta admit though, it messed my mind up this morning because, for one, I felt stupid as all get out for hitting a tree stump. Two, I immediately got anxious because now I have to pay more money to fix my car after I just shelled out a bunch of funds for it over this past month. And three, I felt discouraged because with every win lately, big or small, it’s been something bad creeping up behind me, especially when it comes to my money.

After I cried it out and had some prayer time, and a short talk with a co-worker, I was reminded that setbacks will ALWAYS come in life, especially when you’re on the rise. And I believe they can come, at times, to keep you down, if you let them. It’s how you handle these setbacks that will determine your ultimate outcome. So I recorded an impromptu video venting my feelings about all of this. I recorded in a back space at my 9-5, so it’s messy and I’m walking around because I was still very wound up, so it was soothing to walk and talk. Please ignore the mess and focus on the message HA! Watch below…

Inspirational Jam: “Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself”-Jess Glynne

“Don’t be so hard on yourself, no…learn to forgive, learn to let go. Everyone trips, everyone falls…so don’t be so hard on yourself, no.”

                                                      -Jess Glynne

(Shoutout to Tena for reminding me of this one!)

In life, we all fall on hard times, and go through our rough patches. Sometimes it’s by outside circumstances and people, and sometimes, it’s because of our own decisions. Life ain’t all rainbows and unicorns, and it never will be. It’s important, though, that in the midst of this, we don’t get caught up in pity parties. It’s okay to be upset for a minute, but you’ve got to push yourself to get up and shake it off.

This song, “Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself,” from the UK’s own Jess Glynne speaks on exactly that. “Everyone trips, everyone falls,” Jess sings on the hook. It’s so easy to forget that, and that’s something that I personally struggle with. We’ve got to learn not to be so hard on ourselves!      

Watch the official video below!

Words of Wisdom: “Why You Should Be Selfish”-Prince EA

When I tell people that it’s okay to be a little selfish, I automatically get the crazy looks like that’s wrong. A lot of us are used to taking care of and being there for other people…so much so that we lose ourselves in the process. We don’t take good enough care of ourselves, because we’re so focused on others, and that’s not good.

This video I watched from spoken word artist/rapper/filmmaker Prince EA speaks on just that. It’s perfectly okay to be selfish, and get yourself together before you take care of other people. Matter of fact, it’s VITAL. How can you truly be present and help others if you haven’t even helped yourself? You have to secure your own self physically, mentally, financially, spiritually, in whatever is the best way for you. Then you can give of your full self to others! In fact, as Prince EA says, it becomes your duty and obligation to do so.

Watch below…

So remember, first, take time for yourself. Get yourself right, and THEN reach over to help others!

Man Makes “Blessing Box” in Front Lawn To Help The Needy

Always good to start the day with good news!

After taking on an assignment in a human services class at Jefferson Community College in Watertown, N.Y., Roman Espinoza was inspired to help his own community. As his teacher told each student to research and report on an epidemic in this country, Roman picked nutrition.

As he was researching, Roman was shocked to find that his former school had food pantry. “Just being naive, I thought that if you had money to go to school, you had money to eat. I came to realize very quickly, that wasn’t true,” Roman told InsideEdition.com. “I realized there are adults who have to choose to drive to school or get something to eat.”

Though he donated to that food pantry, Roman took his charity to another level, building a small pantry on his own front lawn! Using supplies from Home Depot, he built the box and stocked it himself at first. Then neighbors started seeing what he was doing, and wanted to donate as well!

The box has been on Roman’s lawn and has a variety of goods like beans, toothpaste and toilet paper. On the glass front of the box, there’s a sign: “Take what you need, leave what you can. Above all else be blessed.” And Roman’s community has definitely been using it! “We’ve had to replenish it at least every other day. No one has come by and taken advantage. They just take what they need,” he said.

Roman’s act of kindness continue to spread, with him helping building a few more of these “blessing boxes” for other neighbors! “Nobody should ever go hungry,” he stated. “I think it’s important to give back to the community. People just need to know where to go sometimes until things get better.”

Charity truly does start at home! Little things like this can mean so much to other people who may be struggling behind closed doors. Kudos to Roman for this great idea!