Posted in A Word from Mama B!, My Lenses on Life

The Art of Letting Go

It’s hard to let go things that you can’t control. I am learning there are things and experiences that can’t be helped to be honest. I am only in control my reaction. Sometimes situations call for letting it go.

Yes friend, let it go. **Insert Elsa singing “Let It Go”**

Energy is wasted when you try to solve something that is out of your hands. It is not giving up. I used to think I had to care about everything and everyone’s opinion of me. NO! LET IT GO. I pack on the anxieties and emotions of everyone/thing and forget myself.

I have had to learn it is not necessarily me per se. Sometimes it is another person’s insecurities, worries, and hurts put on me. Sometimes the situation is beyond my control and I just happen to be there. I am responsible for me and my sanity. Call it being selfish…but I can only take care of me in a situation.

You may ask: how do you let it go, Bianca? I take inventory of the situation. Did I add to this issue? What is my role in this person’s turmoil or situation? If I add to it, can I make the situation better? If so, how? ( Pretty much: I try to think and/or act to make the situation better, if possible.)

I find that most of the times, even with my best intentions and best efforts, situations don’t go as expected. I just have to remind myself that I did my best. Sometimes my best is not enough but that does not make me a terrible person. I have to let it go; it’s not my burden to carry. I am constantly learning and evolving in my “let it go” moments. I’m not perfect but I am intentionally learning to prioritize myself.

So yes, the art of letting go is REAL. Don’t let everything in life overwhelm you. It’s not worth your sanity. Take inventory of the situation and figure out where you fit in. If you have no part, don’t insert yourself. Let it go.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Breath of Fresh Air, Blissful Tips of Life, Life as Bianca

Simple Bliss: Gratitude List

Though I am grateful internally, I wanted to express gratitude externally for this season of life. It is easy to talk about what is going wrong in your life and things you want to fix/change. I’m speaking to myself. Just know, there is always room to give gratitude.

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Yes, be grateful in ALL things. So here is my gratitude list:

  1. My mental clarity has evolved in the way I protect my mind, body, and spirit. Therapy has been a game-changer. I see its positive effects in the way I carry myself and deal with situations.
  2. My style is AMAZING! My LEWKS for the spring and summer are beautiful and just my style.
  3. Having a job has given me some financial relief. A steady paycheck is good to have.
  4. My summer hair is GOALS (to me)! Long, brown braids…yup. I be cute!
  5. I am grateful for my support group of family and friends. There are some days where I do not feel my best. They are a text and prayer away from giving me encouragement. I feel loved and it is a great feeling. I am blessed for my tribe and my tribe knows who they are
  6. My new church- truly a great community.

Enough about me. What are you grateful for like right now? It will make you feel good when you list it. It does not have to be big…it can be as simple as waking up to see another day. But, do that and you will see the difference in your mood.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Life as Bianca, My Lenses on Life

Mental Health Matters to Me

It would be foolish of me not to acknowledge that May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

A lesson God is teaching me is valuing my mental health. A wise person once told me, ” If you have heart issues, you take heart medication. If you have a headache, you take headache medicine. So if you have issues with your brain and mind, why not take care of that too?”

I’m not saying that you need to take prescription medicine (if you feel you need to, seek a medical provider for assistance and resources. no shame if you need it). What I mean is why not take care of your mental health? Your mindset matters in everything you do. The way you move matters based on how you treat your mind.

For me, it has been a journey. For many years, therapy was a dirty word…like rich white people problems or the 90s sitcom, Fraiser was my first impression of therapy. In the African American community and the Immigrant Community, therapy is taboo. You just learn to deal and keep moving and not look crazy. As a Christian, I was told to pray it away.

While it may work for some, it did not work for me. I wrestled with my own thoughts and buried it in the deepest parts of my being. I maintained a facade, a mask of sorts to hide my depression and anxiety. But even that temporary solution failed….

The pandemic really brought me to a head where I could not hide from my thoughts.

But God…

God gave me love and assurance in little things. I would cling to the hem of His garment and hope for better. He gave me the resource of a Black, Christian, female therapist earlier this year. It has helped getting out my feelings, doubts, and insecurities. I can explore different facets of my identity as a black woman and as a Christian. I have learned so much through speaking my truth and using the Bible to fight against the Enemy. My church family and my personal relationship with God helps me navigate my life. Therapy does not negate my relationship with Christ, it gives me more Godly tools to move in my daily life.

I tell my story because I want you to know: MENTAL HEALTH AND THERAPY IS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF. I don’t want you to feel shame nor guilt for taking care of your mind. Each person is different in their mental health needs. One is not any worse or any better. If it helps, it helps.

You matter.

Your sanity matters.

Your mindset matters.

Your life matters.

Your mental health matters.

Only you know what you need. Acknowledge what you need. It does not necessarily have to be in-person therapy, there is online therapy. You can get a gratitude journal, listen to soothing music, eliminate toxic people and create boundaries, etc, etc.

Just care for your mind. God gave you this body and this life for a moment in time. So make good use of your time. Take care of your mental soul.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Believe with Bianca

The “Name It And Claim It” Declaration

I am constantly working out this declaration in my own life because I am my own worst critic.

My mother always tells me to speak my blessings and goals. God hears them. It is important to declare it and believe that God will work it out.

Well lately, my confidence has been less than average… about 60%. I put on a brave face for world. I want people to feel good about themselves even if I’m not. With my post-grad situation and a season being longer than expected, I just feel stuck and have at times doubted my purpose.

For instance, my parents say “You’re my favorite lawyer.” I respond, “But I’m not a licensed lawyer. I have to pass the Bar first.” Parents retort, “But you are still my lawyer. You have to say it first.” Wise words.

It has frustrated me for about two years because it has been a defense mechanism to stop them from getting my hopes up. But my parents, being wonderful, always bring my negativity with hope and positivity. But the problem is me. When I say I’m not an attorney, it’s like a way of attacking myself saying “I failed. I fell short. I am not who I set out to be.” I backtrack, overanalyze, degrade, and discount my failures thus far.

Recently, my mom called me out on my negativity. She always reminds of how far I have truly come. I graduated law school. I am almost there….just 5% more left. She reminds me how to NOT let the Enemy have the final say but SPEAK GOD’S BLESSING as the final say. Declare it.

So I am learning to claim this dream as a reality and try not to downplay what I could be. God has delivered and authorized my blessings; I just need to believe that greater blessings are in store.

NAME IT AND CLAIM IT.

Easier said than done. Sometimes it’s hard because reality can really kick you down. People’s opinions and advice, statistics, the media, etc. can really make one doubt.

But I declare to myself to NAME IT AND CLAIM IT. It speaks positivity, truth, and self-confidence when you say I will do (fill in the blank) and I will make it.

So for me, I am telling myself daily: I am an attorney. I will make it. God has already done it and I receive it.

So what do you need to declare? I can’t tell you, only you know that. I challenge you to NAME AND CLAIM your victory.

We will make it, God-willing.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Believe with Bianca

The Declare Poem

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To declare is to speak boldly.

I speak to me and you.

I speak for our confidence, strength, and power.

No one will speak for you and me.

No one will dictate our path but God.

Declare it.

Claim it.

Write it on the banner of your mind, soul, and heart.

Take care of yourself. Love yourself. Value yourself.

Care for others as you fill your cup.

Declare it.

Declare all the blessings in store.

It’s all up to you.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Word from Mama B!, Blissful Tips of Life, Life as Bianca

My Declaration of “Me Time”

I love my space. I have learned to do things on my own. I thought that I had to be around people to be filled. But it actually is the opposite. For many years, I would give myself to the world until no end then just be drained and depressed afterwards. I was more dependent on people than myself. I always thought that being alone meant that I was introverted and a hermit. I just did not want to be alone because I would be with myself and it scared me.

But that was then…

It was when I moved to Florida for law school where my perception changed. I was on my own. I was definitely fearful to explore. Finding a church by myself, shopping by myself, exploring Jacksonville, etc. But it is the uncomfortable moments where we really have to challenge ourselves to grow. So, I took a leap of faith and tried to do activities alone. AND I LOVED IT!

I lived by myself for two years in Jax. I would go painting on my own. I visited churches and eventually found a church home. I would eat out on my own. The list goes on…

I just tried. Yes, it felt uncomfortable at first but once you get out of your head, you settle down. It gets better.

I know alone time can be different for everyone. We all have lives and busyness to do deal with. We all have responsibilities and obligations. BUT it is important to refresh and refill.

My Declaration for Me Time: Everyone deserves a moment, whether its five minutes or a few hours, to be alone to refresh and not think too hard.

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I have fallen victim to the burn out. I pour myself out only to be empty. So find that time. Ways I Unwind: Paint (of course), Window shopping, Nap, Take a walk/run, Reading, Just sit down in my room, etc.

Just something to yourself. Now only you can determine what works for you BUT do it. For sanity, for the people around you, and for your mind, body, and soul.

Have your own “me time”.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in A Word from Mama B!

My Declaration of Mind, Body, and Soul

It is very easy to look at social media, television, and magazines and look at yourself thinking “Uh…why can’t I look like that. Ugh…she is so pretty and I look like crap.” Like it would make life better if you or I fit the perfect, ideal type.

I say this because that was me. For my teenage years till a few years ago, I just wanted to fit a mold where I could fit in and be worthy. I thought if I had the “ideal whatever”, I would be popular, get that job, get that man, and live my best life. But you know? No matter how much I tried to “change,” I hated myself more. I lived with that insecurity and lack of confidence when I was pretending for the rest of the world.

But overtime, I had to learn my value in God’s eyes than my own perceptions and societal pressures. My mom says you can’t embrace your life and others if you don’t love yourself. #FACTS.

Keep this in mind: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.-Psalm 139:13-16

I’m not saying that I am completely cured from my insecurities but I know how to redirect that insecurity with positivity and with God’s words of truth. You and myself are works in progress. We are learning as we go along. But, the societal ideal rules do not matter because God matters. There is freedom in knowing you created in God’s image. You and I are God-designed and God-purposed for the here and now. God saw fit that you and I exist…wow really!?! Yes, really! You are growing in your own way but just know that God defines you.

So I know what you thinking: Yeah, nice words, Bianca. Really preaching but how do I live this out? I’m glad you asked.

Thus, here is my declaration about keeping you mind, body, and soul more God-defined in your life.

  • Do not consent to toxic people’s opinions, attitudes, and outlook on your life.
  • If things and people don’t add life or growth in your journey, you have the right to remove and move on.
  • Your body is a God-designed temple and treasure so take of your body like a priceless gem.
  • There is no perfect person, thing, or ideal to live up to EXCEPT Jesus.
  • Have silent moments to breath, think, and reevaluate YOUR life. Like I said, you and I are trying to work out this thing called life out.
  • It’s ok to turn off the social media, television, etc. to clear your mind and soul of negativity.
  • Look at yourself in the mirror and say good things to that person looking back at you. You are somebody.

This is a small microcosm of self love. But just know you matter. You are worthy because God said you are. He made you. There is no one else like you. Love yourself.

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I leave you with this awesome song by India Arie, Video. I remember this song from my teen years but the message is relevant and true. You don’t need to be like someone else. Your mind, body, and soul matter. Be your God-designed self unapologetically. Be blissfully you.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in Believe with Bianca

Words of Bliss: Self-Care

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Blooming is a never-ending process of growth. Even when you are a beautiful flower, the growth does not stop there. There are tons of seeds around your flower. There are blooms, seeds, and plants. It is important to care for your garden, not just the flowers but every area of it.

In our life garden, there are always ways to flourish and grow. In when waiting of other plants and life to progress, care for the present qualities and attributes around. As long as you are standing and not six feet under, you still are entitled to have time to care for your quality of life.

Easier said than done but you will see your overall growth.

Blissfully,

Bianca

Posted in My Lenses on Life

Value Your Worth

In this time in history, whether you watch the news or on social media, society tends to dehumanize and discount people who are different than the norm. And some people have reached a point of tolerance of this injustice. “It does not apply to me so it does not matter.” Sometimes there are people who make excuses for another’s actions when it is just pure evil.

In these moments of injustice, remember who you are. Do not be ashamed of who you are.

As an African American woman, I am aware of the marginalization, humiliation, and exploitation of people who look like me. I can’t pretend to be denial of the suffering in my community and other minority communities.

To some, I am a threat or something that should be tamed or silenced. I have heard it all.

I’m too emotional.

I’m not submissive enough.

I’m too vocal.

I’m too much.

I’m too black or not black enough.


Now this is what the Lord says—the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel—“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.-Isaiah 43:1

You are REDEEMED! The meaning of redeem is defined as being released from a debt or free from what distresses and harms someone. Meaning you are free from the heartache of man’s opinions of you…AMEN TO THAT! You are free from persecution in Jesus’ name. When you are in Christ, you are free…and free indeed.

In the grand scheme of things, if God redeems, then no one’s opinions matter. When Washington or society devalues, God values. In God’s divine will, you are somebody. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

There will be people who don’t like you for whatever reason they think in their small mind. But God has a plan and a purpose. If you are still alive and breathing, you are still God’s.

I struggled to be confident in my own skin. I did feel attacked whether I was black, a woman, a daughter of immigrants, or am from Haitian descendants. I wrestled with blending in and being normal because the last thing I wanted to be was be myself. But as I grew, I realized that I am who God made me to be.

I cannot change the color of my skin, the fact I was born a woman, or my Haitian roots. What I can change is how I value my differences rather than erase them. Once I loved me, my value and confidence grew.

Instead of being too emotional, I am passionate.

Instead of being not submissive enough, I respect and honor people who respect and honor me.

Instead of being too vocal, I vocalize my stance to empower and challenge injustice.

Instead of being too much, I am just enough Bianca for me.

Instead of being too black or not black enough, I am Bianca, fearfully and wonderfully made.

So instead of listening to outside noises, value yourself. Value your worth in this world. No one will do it for you. Don’t wait for someone to give you your worth because you will give the world too much power over who you are.

Look at yourself in the mirror (that is a command..do it). List all the wonderful inside and outside qualities you have. You are God-designed and God-purposed for the here and now. There is no one like you. So be you.

Be blissfully YOU!

Blissfully,

Bianca