(Self) Love in the Time of Corona Pt.1

Thankfully motivation is like showering; done often, and thoroughly, and sometimes with friends. Sometimes we pursue things in name but not in practice. I’ve been working to remind myself that discipline and consistent action are key. Its hard now. Harder than it’s been for many of us.

Time is melting by. Many of us feel trapped between planning and surviving. Between resting and thriving. Outside is an urban legend. Somehow I’m interacting with MORE and LESS people than ever before! Zoom taunts me. Throwing lonely people together in a game of household Celebrity Squares. Lots of conflicting posts guilting us into productivity to succeed in a world desperately clinging to “normal”. The other camp insisting that we double down on self care “in these unpredictable times”. Automated sentiment sent to our inboxes from all our favorites.

They are both wrong. They are both right. Neither of them fully encompassing the complexity of our condition. Hustle if you can. Rest if you can. But grow you must. Learn you must. Try to remember to be kind to yourself, sure, but apply pressure. A light choke. Let’s get out of this in one piece.

Marie Kondo that Vision Board!

You’re likely stuck in the house. Time is melting away, and you’re clinging like hell to the remnants of your sanity. Order has gone, and the police are trapped in the sewers. A charismatic villain is occupying your living room.

Nope, that’s Batman!

If you’re not in a Christian Bale film, you’re likely social distancing, and spending way more time at home. This means you have the opportunity to update (or create ) your very own vision board.

Whether you’re using this time to learn a second language, start a new business, or just rest and connect with yourself , you can do with a bit of DIY, mindfulness, and spring cleaning!

Goals change. They should. They will. Your vision board(s) should change along with them. My old vision board was littered with lists and quotes that no longer applied. Offer letters for positions I left, and remnants of opportunities I once wanted. I even left space for new goals and unexplored terrain. Roze: The Final Frontier!

I was younger then. I’m wiser now. Now I’m looking down a path toward professional academia, my goals are changing, and the map will need match my destination. I’m currently “funemployed” (a term I made up to reclaim my time and denounce my ties to capitalism-driven productivity and burnout) and working to one day be FUNemployed!

In other words I’ve been social distancing since January; less by choice, than force. More safety and frugality for me, yay!

So, while our nation seems to be on the edge of a real-life purge, careening dangerously towards the themes of the 2006 comedic sci-fi film Idiocracy, we can still work to refine our goals, and update your vision board. What goals have you achieved? Revamped? Reassessed? Have our priorities changed? How has the Corona Virus made you rethink your future!? a vision board is an opportunity to Get creative and post your plan where you can see it. Probably on your fridge!

We can get through this together, and come out better.

“4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication”

🚨 MAJOR KEY🔑 ALERT 🚨

This one is going to seem like a no-brainer. It’s not.

It would seem as though we ought to have these skills down. We don’t.

I can only speak for myself when I say that literally anything can be broken down more effectively, or conveyed more empathetically.

Bento C Leal III (honestly, lets just take a moment to bask in the regality and phonemic fun that is this author’s name. “I am Bento, of House Leal, not even the first of my name!”henceforth referred to as BCL3) ‘s bite-sized book is an easy but nutritious read. It’s full of takeaways, and highly applicable.

Although tempting, DO NOT give it away to your best friend, or little cousin, or blabber-mouth coworker. Especially not in an earnest but shady attempt to get them to shut up and listen. You’ll find that to someone, and perhaps even to yourself, that you may be the blabber-mouthed, hard-headed, non-negotiator. Keep it and reread it. Find a few on Amazon, stock up for the holidays, or send them the PDF. This book makes an excellent turkey, stocking, or pie hole stuffer.

Trust me, I’m a person that was thinking about going to medical school doctor.

4EK’s twelve brief chapters set the scene and take the reader from symptom, to diagnosis, to cure. He starts in chapters one through three with an anecdote that rings all to true: routine conversations with friends, coworkers, strangers and loved ones. He outlines how we might easily convince ourselves that in our many years of travel around the sun, we simply MUST have picked up real and successful communication skills. We mustn’t.

Continue reading ““4 Essential Keys to Effective Communication””

2019: Year of Compatibility

Today marks two weeks of travel into the new year. Exactly fourteen days of reflection, goal-setting, and a lot of backsliding. I’m digging in: committing to making my one and only life work. In the last few weeks I kept hearing a word come up in conversations, in books, on screens. My new theme.

Last year…

2018, for me, was defined by a particular word. A running theme that spanned 365 days of challenging, irritating, and patience-building circumstances.

That word was resilience.

From relationship woes to impending unemployment. From seeking to securing to adjusting to a new and more exciting job.

From stress-induced fender-bender to a car accident that totaled my baby Harriet (Tubman because she freed me). Crying for months on the phone with – and in the offices of – unaccommodating car catastrophe-related personnel.

I had to tough it out. Find stores of resilience in myself because no matter how inconvenient and painful, ultimately not one in that series of unfortunate events, would kill me.

There’s something both empowering and disheartening in knowing that you can survive more. In knowing that you can -and one day will have to- be even stronger still. To my genuine dismay I’d have to make it, and keep making it until I encounter something that actually could… kill me.

2018 brought me my first major loan/credit debt-builder while simultaneously rewarding me for my fastidious and measured money management. That gave me the chance to buy a new newish new-to-me car without a co-sign.

2018 brought me a new apartment and a supportive and enjoyable new roomate. Desperation forced our hands, and leases loomed, but a great new friendship formed with each passing month.

Finally, 2018 brought me a new job and plenty of opportunities to learn more about coworker relationships, leadership, and the bureaucratic entities that govern worky-desky-sitty jobs. I’m learning to detect and define my red flags: in romance, in myself, and in my past.

This Year…

In all that I experienced last year, the greatest lesson, and this year’s word, is compatibility. Too many times I’ve forced interactions, and ignored red flags. I’ve wanted things and people more than I’ve wanted peace and flow. I’ve sacrificed compatibility thinking it would yield results in the long run while suffering daily. Living in-authentically. Incompatibly.

I’m committing myself to effortlessness. No matter how contradictory that sounds. 🤦🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️ I’m working everyday to create a free-flowing life. Disciplining my time and my life to allow in the types of opportunities that I want to experience and take advantage of. If I can nail down my habits, I will have the discernment necessary to adjudicate over delicious new experiences with the time and preparation to appreciate them. What I’ll need is discipline.

Plot twist: Discipline is this cool new form of self-care where you follow a schedule, prompt yourself, and do things that benefit your life. Get this, if you push through your reluctance, and fatigue and keep to your word, you actually see your life improve! Crazy, right!?

My new Mantra. It gets me out of bed. Out of the car for work. Into the gym despite this unusual cold snap. I mumble it to myself in traffic, and as I set my alarms. “Discipline is love. Discipline is love. Discipline is love.” In the shower when my mental to-do list at work gets disparagingly long, “Discipline is love.”

Discipline is the new hygge. Discipline is the new pilates, hot yoga, and cycling combined. For the last two weeks I have set a schedule for myself and begun sleeping at a certain time, setting particular days to work out or study for class. I’ve taken specific steps to make myself ready and remove excuses.


Shoutout to @Amaa_Official on Twitter for Inception inseminating my mind!

Ways that I’ve been utilizing discipline to increase compatibility in 2019:

  • I speak immediately on the things causing me anxiety and don’t murder myself by over thinking the outcomes and avoiding difficult conversations
  • I put my clothes out the night before AND check the weather
  • I schedule my workouts and don’t stress if I miss one. I just resume immediately at the next scheduled opportunity
  • I meal prep to save money, keep on diet, and feel like a grown up
  • I try to do things at the same times each day to create routine and run on muscle memory
  • I can spend time with friends and family more often if I make them shorter outings. (for instance, I can say yes to a party without anxiety because I know be there for no more than 120 minutes)
  • I let my phone die on Saturday mornings, and don’t power up again until the evening. A whole day off the grid to work on my blog, homework, connect to loved ones, work out, get domestic, or just relax
  • I refuse to be inhabited by guilt so I leave work at a reasonable time and wake up early to recap before I sit at my desk. No more unfocused late nights churning out half-assed results from a foggy anxious brain drain

I want to be calling things, relationships, experiences, and opportunities toward me. I want to create a space where growth, love, and contentment are welcomed. I want to have room for change, and be the person with the mindset to make use of that change. Discipline is love. Love for me, for my friends and family, love for my readers, and the individuals I serve. I want to love my life more, so I need to discipline it.

Discipline is love.

#TBT Happy Half-Birthday, 2019*!

… well, belated, at least.

Allow me to read you this poem I wrote!        {stands Wonder Woman-ly in bathroom mirror, sort of shouting }

More than half way there, and your feet are so tired, but trust me, you’ll know when you know. Half of 2017 gone, oh the places you can still go! With more than 180 days left, there’s pounds to shed and seeds to sow. You can get a summer body DURING the summer, to the gym you must go! With the finish line ever closer, now the staples in your calendar show, you can reassess your goals, perhaps a-traveling you’ll go! You’ve been dissatisfied all around, and your zeal is running so low, maybe you’ll quit your job to seek entrepreneurship. To the unemployment line you’ll go! Maybe you’ve had a bug in your ear, and you want your thinker to grow. Maybe you’ll just work up the nerve and saddle that debt, maybe back to school you’ll go! More than half way there, and your feet are so tired, but trust me, you’ll know when you know. Half of 2017 gone, oh the places you can still go!




HAPPY HALF BIRTHDAY, 2017 2020!! Everything is possible!




Find YOUR Half-Birthday!

Mine is May 1st. I will be celebrating it from now on. Also, it carries all the weight of a full birthday! I expect gifts 🎁!

Roze Goes,

{says to self and readers} I love you. There’s still plenty time left. Don’t go rounding up!

Happy Valentimes Day!

Let me first start off by stating that I absolutely HATE when people pronounce it “Valentimes Day”. When is Valentime? Point to it on a clock! When in the calendar year is it Valentime!? If you pronounce it this way, you don’t deserve any chalky heart-shaped antacid candies.  deserve to eat ONLY chalky heart-shaped antacid candies! FOREVER!!!

Moving on…

Pal-entine’s Day, Gal-entine’s Day, Single’s Awareness Day… For semi-Bitter Bettys and Barrys such as myself, this past February 14th took on a slightly different tone than the mainstream. For many of us it was a silent massacre. Millions of eligible bachelor’s and bachelorette’s unwanted bodies strewn about highways and workplaces; their faces twisted in agony with cold eyes glossed over. Tortured mercilessly, some for days, with your stories of how “Bae surprised me. He/She/It/They are sooo thoughtful!” We lept like lemmings to our deaths.

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As if you didn’t know you were single on the 13th !

For me, it consisted of staring at my phone, rolling/thrashing on the couch, and sort of mumble-sobbing. Mind you, I’m usually that emotional on every other day, it just FELT more poignant on that day… you know, on account of the nationwide peer pressure. (Note to whomever: DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT get onto any social media on any holiday ever! Just don’t. Even Leif Ericsson Day.)

Moving on…

I’m gonna talk with (not TO, because I’m not your mom) you about what I, and perhaps you, SHOULD have done if you were V and/or D-less on Alentine’s Ay.

What you should have done was look yourself in the eye (with the aid of a mirror, I guess) and realized where love in your life MUST originate. It has to start with you. And its going to take work.

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This is what I want you to say in the mirror!

“The fact that someone else loves you doesn’t rescue you from the work of loving yourself.”  – Sahaj Kohli 

I know how it sounds, but without self love you will search for someone to love you, and you WILL be disappointed. In truth, you’re looking for someone to give you everything you need, and that person already exists. [clears throat and prepares for how lame this will sound:] YOU ARE YOUR SOUL MATE!  [rolls eyes aggressively] Other people can only compliment you, they will not be a balm for every wound, address every fear or concern, and they will not/ cannot be your source of happiness. That well must spring from within. Otherwise, when theirs dries up you will be back at square one again, and the hunt for wholeness will continue. If/when they leave, you will be the worst kind of alone.

Moving on…

What does loving yourself look like? To know that, you’ll have to dig deep. Really examine many of your current and past relationships. Relationships of all kinds: friends, lovers, co-workers, and even enemies. They’re all vital in the shaping of your self-love. If you think about the way they made you feel, and the actions that yielded  those feelings, you’ll put together a sort of make-shift recipe for self love. How can you replicate that satisfaction for and in yourself? This same process of personal-inventory will reveal to you what you can do in relationships with others to yield more satisfaction.

My Self Love Recipe

3 tbs. of regular physical activity               1/2 tsp. reaffirming motivation

1 cup of positive self-talk                             1 lb. of workplace fulfillment

1 tbs. hanging out with friends                  1/2 cup music and dancing

1/2 cup working on a passion/hobby         1/2 cup alone time (not TOO much)

1/2 tsp. getting cute and going out              1 cap-full of Moscato

1 pinch of new experiences

*1 handful of sexy chocolate man (can substitute caramel or macadamia)

* for experienced bakers ready to involve a partner

77300-treat-yo-self-meme-bc7hMoving on…

Finally, for my Bitter Bettys and Barrys, my sisters and brothers, don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is just a capitalistic ploy by  THE MAN to shift from what’s really going on… BLACK HISTORY MONTH!!! [raises fist emphatically]

In parting I leave you with this,

Love your self. Black, white, alone, in a relationship, sorta short, freckly or what have you.

Remember to follow and join the mailing list. Love you! Kiss your mom for me!

Roze Goes