Holding

“Get it together!”

“Why are you acting like this?”

“What is wrong with you?”

These are all too familiar when you are trying to keep it together and can’t. You have a lot going on and decide to buckle down, not think about what’s really happening, and operate on “holding.” Guess what? You don’t have to.

We get stuck when we think we’re supposed to just “suck it up” and move on. Umm no. If you need help, ask – and I don’t just mean from family and friends.

Too many people live in a dark place when they need help. They don’t ask for it in fear of what others will say or simply because of pride.  We reject the idea of getting a therapist, marriage counseling, life coach or whatever a licensed professional can offer.

Good mental health is just as important as physical health. And for people that look like me – mental health tends to be overlooked. Instead, we are told to “pray about it” and carry on. I do agree that praying is important but we also need to be wise when we know something needs to be adjusted.

African Americans are 20% more likely to report having serious psychological distress than non-Hispanic Whites, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Services. Yet young adult African Americans, especially those with higher levels of education, are less likely to seek mental health services than their White counterparts, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association (Ebony Magazine).

We don’t have to hold ourselves together all the time. That’s called being normal. And if it gets to a point where it’s too much, seek professional help. You will thank yourself for saving yourself. I plan to and that’s perfectly fine #noshame.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain.

Sun Taylor

Handle your business

“I’m not a business-man’! I’m a business . . . man! Let me handle my business, damn!”

-Jay Z

Woooooooooooooosah. I’ll just get right into it as business owners across the world UNITE! We kick butt when we’re good at operating our businesses- because it’s not easy.

And on that note, there were five (5) lessons that knocked me right over the head this week: some were reminders while others were new. It’s all about growing pains and I grew about 20 inches this freakin’ week.

Business is business 
Don’t take situations or business decisions personal. It’s perfectly OK if people don’t understand your business acumen (or vise versa) –  just keep moving. We can still be friends . . . maybe #workinprogress.

Your response (or lack thereof) speaks volumes 
Please always respond and not a week later. A complaint goes further than a compliment and people will talk when you are not on top of your game.

Manage expectations
If you can’t do it, then say it — but have another option. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Do what you say you’re going to do with no excuses. It’s just that simple.

Time is money 
There’s really no further explanation needed here. Don’t waste time when you (and I) could be making money. That same energy could be put into a new client — because “I needs my coins.”

Charge what you’re worth and then add tax
I actually read this on social media and it resonated immediately. Yes, there will be times when you may have to work out a deal (to get your foot in the door) but always know your worth. If you don’t know it, people won’t understand WHY you’re worth it.

I am certain there will be many more lessons but in the mean and between time: handle your business.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

#ProudCousin

Happy Friday! This has been some week but today I am thankful for family and the moments I continue to share with them.

Growing up as the only child, my cousins remain some of my best friends as my sounding boards and ride-or-die chicks. They have endured the loss, illness, and rearranging their lives to care for a parent but continue to keep a positive attitude. They’ve also gone on to get master degrees, nursing degrees, starting businesses, and remain straight up jet setters.

Meet Tameka “Meek” Monroe.  I met this fashionista cousin for the first time during a trip to see my father in Houston. On our first encounter I knew what she was made of immediately. Strong. Bold. Sweet. Funny. Smart. Bosslady.

Practically 15 years later, she’s a wife, mom of two beautiful girls, executive, fashion blogger, the list goes on. Every time I talk to her, I get some pearls of wisdom . . . and then some fashion advice. Tee hee :o)

Last week she launched an online fashion boutique – Skinnee Girl Couture.  The name comes from her blog, Skinnee Girl Confidence – growing up as a skinny girl she was constantly teased about her body. But she turned it completely around with confidence. As I mentioned, smart– and the clothes are for a variety of sizes.

While Meek has taught me a lot over the years with our crazy conversations, giggles, and family visits, I continue to be inspired by all my cousins— their accomplishments, the lessons I have learned from them, and the times they showed up for me.

I’ll always be that #proudcousin

Because the sun always comes out after the rain . . .

Sun Taylor

You Can Handle It!

The professor is back! Let the adventure begin…or maybe I should say continue?

Mama decided to head back to school and teach two classes this semester; another chapter re-read with many lessons along the way.

The first week has passed and things went pretty well. I have about 20 students between two classes: Media, Culture, and Society and Public Speaking. God knew smaller classes would be perfect for me considering the other things I have going on – one husband, two businesses, and three kids – whew! Thankfully, no dog.

On first thought of going back to teach, I was a little apprehensive since it was practically six years ago when I last step foot in a classroom. This was right before our first son was born. Ok, so how will this work out? Will I be dated? How will they react to me? Syllabus? Lecture notes? Slides? Wait. . . what? Did I really mean to sign up for all of this?

But I quickly remembered that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle and to RELAX…you got this. I put my crown on, flicked my hair, called up  Professor Mac (a professor friend of mine!) and got to it.

First lesson I learned – EVERYTHING is online. No need to actually print a syllabus; your grading system is online; all communication to students is online, and all the notes for one class already came loaded through an online teaching tool. WOW!

Second lesson came quickly – Since the classes are about 10 students each, there will have to be less lecturing, more discussion. I wasn’t trying to put them to sleep talking, talking, talking. I remember when I was in college and some professors, all they did was talk- snoozers. Not over here.

And the third lesson (with more lessons to come) – Relate to the students but also stand your ground as the instructor. We can be “cool like that” but I will fail you. Smile!

Onward and upward as there is always some adventure awaiting but you can handle it.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

It’s a lifestyle . . . change

Happy New Year!

What are your plans for 2018? I decided not to make any resolutions. Sometimes they can be lofty and when I don’t accomplish them, I feel I’ve failed. The better bet? Lifestyle changes. With turning 40 last year, my perspective has changed.

As I was perusing social media in my “spare time,” I saw someone post “I don’t make resolutions; they’re BS.” Yep. I couldn’t agree more at this point in my life. I’d prefer to make overall lifestyle changes.

So what did I do? Came up with a list of things starting now until I feel they are done and a part of me, not necessarily tied to accomplishing in a year. Lifestyle changes are more of a process, but worth it in the end.

Here goes:

  1. Argue less – Settle down because sometimes the juice ain’t worth the squeeze. A simple “ok” is better for my gray hair anyway #yesgray
  2. Do what I can – And if the other stuff doesn’t get done, oh well. Maybe tomorrow but don’t hold your breath.
  3. Alone time/girl time – Three kids. A husband. Need I say more? And if they can’t get with this (or anyone else), too bad. Deuces.
  4. No self doubt– Repeating and recognizing “I got this” and I had it a long time ago. Move to the side please because mama is making moves.
  5. Proud no matter what– There’s a lot I should be proud of and I tend to shame myself. No more. Chin up buttercup.

So what lifestyle changes do you plan to make? Please comment below!

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

 

Part Deux: Umm No…but Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

As we all prepare for Christmas in 10 days, I wanted to post an oldie-but-goodie from this time last year with some added commentary :o) There is a lot to be thankful for and it’s not just what’s under the tree. Remember that and say  “uh no” to the shenanigans.

Enjoy!

________________________________

Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas! It’s the season of getting cranked up for that special day attending this party and that one and buying gifts galore. Sure.

Well, this year there are a couple of things I decided NOT do. It’s really more so to keep my cool and not stress over the minutia.  I’ve learned so many lessons along the way when it comes to celebrating Christmas – and most important, honoring the birth of Jesus.

However, commercialism has geared us away from what should be the true focus “of the most wonderful time of the year.” Like family, good friends, and being thankful you made it to another Christmas because a lot of people didn’t.

With that being said, here is my top five list of  “um no ” not this Christmas – with three days left to spare:

  1. Going overboard with baby’s first Christmas. – I love my new little one and she’s my only girl. But . . . there is no need to go crazy on gifts and more gifts. Do you remember your very first Christmas? Exactly. However, I will get several pictures – and honestly it’s going to be about loving on her that morning.
    And the same goes for this year as we celebrate her second Christmas. Easy-peasy.
  2. Buying toys and more toys for the boys – As you all know, I also have two boys who have taken over practically every room in this house with toys. And then the big toys- why? I don’t need to see the toy before I walk into the room. Their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins have this covered anyway. I’ll move out the old to replace the new – Goodwill here I come.
    Little to no toys again!
  3. Christmas cards going to Terry, Sherry, and Kerry – I can recall sending Christmas cards to all my wedding guests post our nuptials years back. Just kidding. My point: instead of sending and signing all those cards (Where is my hubby?), New Year’s cards will go out to the nearest and dearest. For the others, smile, you know I luv you.
    This may or may not happen; maybe a text message to close friends but see #4.
  4. Mass text messages to a gazillion people on Christmas Day – I was guilty of this in my former life, ain’t gonna lie. It gets messy because most reply ALL. Well “message rates apply.” Like when my aunt Bea responds seven times because she doesn’t know how to use her phone. I have a couple of those in my life #lmbo.
    Don’t. Please and thank you. 
  5. Eating everything in sight because it’s the holidays – Really? This means I’ll have to be carried away from the table. And all my hard work for the last couple of months goes down the toilet – literally. LOL. I will eat but within reason. Being healthy is a lifestyle and takes commitment; I’ve learned this the hard way.
    No-way-Jose. 

This is one of the best times of the year as people come together to help each another. If you took away the gifts and all the other nonessential buzz of Christmas, would it still be Christmas? “Um yessss!” Merry Christmas.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

But give thanks

I’m back and this one is short and sweet!

So what do you do when you feel like throwing in the towel? Sometimes, it just seems easier to say “forget it” and move on. I have done it plenty of times but always come right back to that same towel #smh.

After thinking about what may have seemed impossible, I move on it. A dear friend recently told me a quote her pastor said: “God blesses moving people.” And I’ll add devoted people too.

With that being said:

  1. Don’t give up on launching your business. Just do it.
  2. Don’t give up on your family because they come first.
  3. Don’t give up on losing weight. It’s a process and eventually it will happen.
  4. Don’t give up on that project at work. You will be rewarded.
  5. Don’t give up on your finances. Do the best you can and keep at it.
  6. Don’t give up on your life even though the diagnosis may be grim. Go live.
  7. Don’t give up on your marriage. You said “for better or worse.”
  8. Don’t give up on love. It happens when it’s supposed to happen.
  9. Don’t give up on what you really want – big or small.
  10. And finally, don’t ever give up on yourself; but give thanks for where you are in this moment and where you plan to go.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain…

Sun Taylor

 

Strapped in for 40…part two

Forty came and went. And before she arrived, I wrote out 40 things I’d like to accomplish this year before the next birthday in August.

Here is the post I wrote back in June and where I stand on some of the items. I’ll keep you posted.

Enjoy!

____

Wooosah.

In about two months, I turn the big 4-0. How did that happen? I feel like I was just 25 and now I’ve been married for almost 11 years with three kids. And . . . this California girl is living in Atlanta.

So what does 40 mean? Do you cry? Eat? Or have a mid-life crisis? Well, I plan to eat and see whatever else falls into my lap. One of my friends @momsdestiny suggested I complete 40 things to commemorate the year; sure and I’ll send her the bill later.

But it did get me thinking. What would you do if you could complete 40 things of your choice in a year? Here is my long list and maybe –just maybe–I’ll make it through ALL of them. Hopefully my husband is taking notes #teehee

  1. Visit Italy with the hubby
  2. Horseback riding on a beautiful beach
  3. Visit Barbados and never come back (just kidding!)
  4. Take a trip with my kids to Hershey Park
  5. Get a massage on the beach
  6. Go to the opera (found someone I can attend with next Spring!)
  7. Visit the Grand Canyon
  8. Take my mom to New York (I still can’t believe she’s never been)
  9. Test drive a Porsche
  10. Buy a designer purse – Fendi, Birkin, Louis, Gucci- you know one of those
  11. Swim with dolphins
  12. Drive across country
  13. Wine tour in Napa Valley
  14. Take a magic pill to lose weight in two days (the struggle is real)
  15. Ride on a motorcycle with my husband- sun shades and Daisy Dukes #yep
  16. Actually play on a golf course
  17. Take an Alaskan cruise
  18. Decorate my little girl’s room – for real this time (took the first steps to do this last week)
  19. Run the Peachtree Roadrace
  20. Learn some Spanish
  21. Make a homemade apple pie (done!)
  22. Roast a big ass turkey (this will be for Thanksgiving)
  23. Take my kids to Disney World
  24. Paddle boat around the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  25. Go up in the Washington Monument
  26. Visit the 9/11 Memorial
  27. Visit the National Museum of African American Culture and History ( I got tickets for December)
  28. Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  29. Take a water aerobics class
  30. Get a FitBit
  31. Join a book club (done!)
  32. Complete my business website (done!)
  33. Volunteer when I can ( I have volunteered in September, October, and working on November)
  34. Open another barber shop with my husband
  35. Go camping or shall I say “glamping.”
  36. Take a girls trip
  37. Invest in property
  38. Participate in a bible study at church (done!)
  39. Turn 41
  40. Have fun even on the rainy days

Forty, here I come baby #adjustscrown

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

Redefined

A couple of weeks ago I took pilates. And just like the first time I took yoga, I thought “this shouldn’t be too hard.” WRONG.

My dear friend Leneé is a pilates instructor – a really good instructor- and offered to do a session in her home along with an assessment of health and fitness goals. I was game and super excited — and of course brought champagne.

But then the reformer entered. If you know anything about a pilates reformer, my face was all types of twisted after the session. REALLY? This machine is the business. Basically, it’s a bed-like frame with a flat platform on it, called the carriage, which rolls back and forth on wheels within the frame. Hun?

When we started, I immediately knew this “ish” was going to be hard. “This way,” “that way,”  “now go,” “come on, you got it.” Whaaaa….I was tired after five minutes. However, I got through it and plan to make my way back for another session.

Leneé started Beauty Fitness Redefined in 2016 with one mission in mind: therapeutic strengthening and stretching of the mind and body. This fitness company serves clients in the metro Atlanta area by teaching Barre, Cycling, Pilates, and Corporate Stretch™ Classes.

She has always loved movement as a dance major at UNC Charlotte and former captain for the Carolina Panthers Cheerleader Squad. So what led her to this moment? In August of 2000, after experiencing paralysis on the left side of her body, she received a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

“Regaining strength and mobility was not only a physical challenge, but also a mental one.” Leneé regained mobility and strength in “record timing” according to her doctors and hasn’t looked back since.

She continues to make strides in teaching movement and holistic wellness as clients will eventually have sessions available via a mobile app.

“This will be a great opportunity to serve our clients outside of metro Atlanta or those who are unable to travel for an in-person session.”

And finally as we finished our session, we popped that chilled bottle of champagne – you know the typical thing you do after exercising – and proceeded to catch up.

The most important thing I learned from her: truly define your health and fitness goals and be proud of the steps you make to become better.  At that moment when she received the diagnosis of MS, she redefined herself.

Meet Leneé Beauty Fitness Redefined. 

Because the sun always comes out after the rain. . .

Sun Taylor

Catch Leneé here:

 

Off

When you feel off, you are.

Last week, I had a conversation with someone dear to my heart and felt like something was wrong and couldn’t figure it out.

We talked again and realized we both were thinking the same. Thankfully, we figured it out. A loved one had passed: I didn’t know and she thought I did. Talk about being off the mark.

When you feel different or off, do you act on it or let it ride? I let this one ride for a week knowing something wasn’t right. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Trust your instincts and feelings.

We all have that sixth sense. Think about all the moments you trusted your gut and didn’t go, decided to call for whatever reason, or took another route–and it was for the better.

According to care2.com, there are five gut instincts you should always trust as it relates to feeling “some type of way:”

  1. Something feels wrong in my body
    This goes without saying. Your body will tell you when something is wrong. Check it out.
  2. I’m in danger
    The feeling you get in that first 10 seconds about a person or situation is the truth. You know what you have to do – remove yourself.
  3. I want to help
    Most times we think of our instincts as a way to avoid something bad. But there is also good with our gut feelings. If you feel compelled from within, help.
  4. I know how to do this
    Too many times we think we can’t, when we know we can. Don’t overthink it. You got this #me
  5. This is it
    When you know, that you know, that you know, there is no conflict and it comes easy – love, a job, whatever.

The next time you feel off: question it, figure it out, and trust those instincts.

Because the sun always comes out after the rain…

Sun Taylor