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An Open Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Younger Self, 

Where to begin? Look you amazing person you, if no one else tells you you’re amazing I will. You will accomplish so much, some of it for yourself and some to please others. But in the end, you will realize that it has shaped and molded you into a great person. I appreciate the lessons we have learned in our past and the story we have created for our life.  Here are some lessons that you will have to keep learning. 

Things will get tough but you are tougher

Look, girl, things will not always be perfect. You will fight to accomplish things people will never think you could do. That’s just you, you’re a fighter. There will be some things that you can’t fight and that’s okay. These lessons will teach you more about yourself than you beating them. Keep your head up, only smile when you want and sweat the small and large stuff but not for too long. 

Just because you are the oldest doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help

I know you feel like you shouldn’t have to ask for help because you’re the oldest, but guess what THEY ARE YOUR PARENTS! Stop letting people think that you have to set the example by being a strong independent child. You are but you’re not. You still need your parents no matter how old you get. They are your support system just like they are everybody else’s. Ask for help, ask for guidance, hell ask for money and don’t feel guilty about it. There will come a time where you will pay them back (you do have to take care of them when they extra old and crusty). You are not above asking for help so stop stressing about what they will think about you because you need them just like they need you. 

You really can do bad all by yourself but it’s better with a partner

As your Grandmother told you, you can do bad all by yourself, and guess what you do. You travel, you make big purchases, you live life and live it well. You will not wait for anyone to do anything, and that is why people don’t get you. It’s okay to traverse this life on your own but you won’t. God will send you friends that are willing to take the journey with you. They will love you with all your faults and foolishness. And just when you think you are good with everything God will send you a man that you didn’t pray for (and you were fighting to NOT be with). Why, even though you are amazingly awesome by yourself, you need other people.

Wear the freaking dress

thick THICK
go to buyconfessionsfromaredcouch.com and get this shirt for 50% off use the code IMIN at check out.

Your body is amazing sis!! People are going to comment about how stacked you are. For some reason, the way you are shaped makes others uncomfortable. They will project their low self-esteem on you. Their shame will cause you to have body dysmorphia. Girl, you are thick THICK! (ooohhh, you should also buy this shirt here).

You may not appreciate it now but you will. You will love your curves. Once you understand that you are blessed and highly favored in that area the better off you’ll be. So wear that dress, show your mid-drift, wear those shorts, etc. There will be a time when you can’t so you might as well do it now and walk in confidence.  

Be happy

It’s okay to be happy even when others aren’t. Life is hard and things get tough. People aren’t going to like you and you may not like some people. It’s okay, you won’t be everybody’s cup of tea. That doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. Smile when you want, laugh when you can and always be positive. Things will work out in the end so just be happy.

Click here to read how I finally began to accept my body for what it is. Also, make sure you tune in to the podcast next week to hear the wonderful blogger and stylist, The Almond Girl Styles, as we discuss self-worth and self-acceptance. You can catch it on the youtube channel or any major listening platform (apple podcast, google podcast, etc).

 

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The Ultimate Refresher In Self-Love

I didn’t realize I started back on this self-love journey until I posted my last entry 5 Reasons You Should Log Off. This post I want to take a dip into how to love yourself again. I took this journey when I first began blogging but it’s a necessary refresher.

self-love

Make time for you

Always make time to refuel yourself. For some reason, we usually put ourselves last. It’s like we hope someone else will give us permission to take care of us. Look, if you don’t take care of you then who will. Take time out of each day for you. Whether it’s taking a walk (not for exercise reasons) or reading a book that you enjoy, do it. If it makes you feel good and improves your mental and physical well being, then do it.

 Accept yourself in the moment

Accept where you are at this moment. We get caught up in planning the next big project, the next way to improve, progress, make money, be amazing. SIS….stop (I’m talking to myself right now). We have to learn to accept who we are at any given moment. Celebrate the wins, learn from the losses, and breath in the right now. So what you aren’t where you want to be but acknowledge that you are further than what you were.

Breath through your issues

This also comes from accepting yourself at the moment. You have to know that you are not perfect and never will be. I have beat myself up countless times for messing things up or behaving a certain way. You know I’m not the first person to do it and I definitely won’t be the last. What I will do is accept the mess that I am and keep moving through my self-love process. The only perfect person I know to have walked this Earth was Jesus and I ain’t even close to that. 

Make a plan and Do it

Write the vision, make it plain, state what you want and do it. What’s pitiful is someone that wallows in their mess without trying to figure out how to get out of it. Stop playing the victim and make a plan. You don’t like the way someone treats you? Plan to have a conversation with them. You don’t like your current job? Start applying for things you want to do. Make a plan, step out on faith and do it.
 For more information self-love you can buy my ebook The Journey back to Loving Yourself. It’s a great interactive guide on how to get back to you.

Journey to self-love

5 Reasons You Should Log Off

Hey Loves!! Social media is a beast and sometimes I know we struggle to break away and log off. Here’s the thing…social media doesn’t deserve you. It doesn’t deserve your attention, your energy, your positivity, nada. You need to know that you have the right to log off.

log off

 

Mental Health

Our mental health is more important than likes and other people’s opinions. Studies have proven that social media is horrible for mental health. It creates anxiety and depression which causes the user to stay to scroll more. It has an addictive way of luring you into other people’s business. Even alerting you to the newest social outrage that we will do nothing to solve. If anything we need to log off for the simple fact that our brains need a break. 

Reality is so much better

As much as we love the pictures of our cousin’s newborn baby, how much better would it be to see them in person. The joy I feel when meeting up with my friends rather than dm discussions or a meme in the group chat is uncomparable. I love to tell my friend how fire she looks in her formal dress. Embracing my niece is so much more enjoyable than looking at a picture of her on Instagram.

Reality is meant to be experienced, not through a screen, but through our five senses. It’s better to hear the inflection in someone’s voice and the emotion that is expressed when someone is telling a story. Rather than reading a paragraph littered with emojis on a facebook post. I promise you, it’s another reason to just log off. 

It’s a bubble 

Have you ever noticed the more you like something the more you see it on your timeline?Social media sites create algorithms that continue to give you more of what you like. Click on an ad about shoes and your timeline is full of shoes. Ask someone about a certain singer or author and that’s all you see. That’s how people get stuck in thinking EVERYONE thinks like them. It’s not that, social media is giving us what we are asking for to keep us coming back (remember the addictive lure?). Just log off.   

It’s using you 

Along with that algorithm that keeps us coming back, they are using us. Yep, I said it, they are just using us for marketing research. How do I know? Well, I am sort of an influencer (as much as I hate that word). I promote my business on social media. It’s a way that I get my products to the masses. When I make ads I target my users based on information that is provided by facebook. All the questions people answer about their interest are ALL being collected to give companies more insight into you. Social media is just a data collection to help companies take your money. Girl….log off!!

It doesn’t deserve you

Social media doesn’t deserve you. It doesn’t even appreciate you. If the previous reasons didn’t convince you I’m hoping this one does. You are not data, we are more than likes. We are unique individuals who have our own opinions. Sure someone may agree with you but no one thinks like you. Social media just lumps us all into categories in hopes that we feel a special connection. Girl, please be authentically you and just log off.

 

I know it’s hard to separate from the screen, I get it. There’s so much out there that makes us laugh, cry and connect to other humans through social media, but you can do that in real life. Be sure to come back for more life lessons and ramblings from your girl. Also, the next podcast episode will be available on December 11, but in the meantime check out previous episodes here and get caught up. 

 

 

 

The Reasons…..Beginning a Blog and Podcast

Hey my loves!!! This post is all about the reasons I began Confessions From A Red Couch blog and podcast. I’ve been trying to get other things off the ground and I am totally excited. The first thing…I actually finished my book. That’s right, a whole entire book. Actually, I’m going to get started on my second book and that makes me even more excited. The second thing is to make sure you are following my Instagram and Facebook account for the MERCH website  (lol). 

Updates

So if you haven’t noticed I started a podcast in January based on the blog. You can click here to catch up on episodes. But yeah that really happened and it happens biweekly on Wednesday nights. The episodes can be found on major listening platforms as well as YouTube for the live replay. Honestly, I still don’t feel like I am totally in my groove but I’m extremely happy that I started.

Why I started Blogging?

Lol stupid fall risk bracelet….

Confessions From A Red Couch was born out of frustration. I had lost some of my pillars of strength in life. I was diagnosed with a blood clot that appeared out of thin air, my hope and faith were gone. I couldn’t pray….matter of fact, I didn’t even know what to pray. I was mad at everyone including God and felt there was nowhere to turn (depressing right). Could Things Get any Worse?

 

Could things get worse?

One of the days I snuck to watch my athletes at practice

One Saturday night when I was confined to my house (Dr ordered time at home) I figured I would change my surroundings in the house. So I went to my library/front room (I call it the creamsicle room) and sat on my red couch and started writing EVERYTHING I was feeling that would have led me to commit suicide in that room. Every hurt, every pain, every frustration, EVERYTHING. I would cry, write and sleep (this was the cycle for 2 days) and when I finished I finally prayed. Finally opened my mouth and talked to God. I let God heal my heart and dry my tears. I let go and at the moment of release, God presented me with the name “Confessions From the Red Couch”.

I Found My Voice

Now it still wasn’t easy. I always thought who in the world would want to read my ramblings. Who would actually read this foolishness? No one will be able to relate to me and my own personal pity party. Every time I would write an entry someone would inbox me saying how my transparency helped them. Someone would always send an email about how they don’t feel alone in their situation.

I never expected this blog to really be anything, just a place to rant, but it helped save my life. God allowed me an outlet for not only me but for others. Am I rich from blogging? Nope. Do I do this for monetary gain? I want to someday, but for now, I’m writing for the simple fact that I owe it to God to share my experiences with others. Are things better now than when I first started blogging? Yep, but it’s not perfect, and I’m okay with that. 

Why did I start a podcast?

 I wanted to actually be the face of what I type because well I look like the majority of my audience. Being a semi-young, educated, middle class, AFRICAN AMERICAN women, who take pride in wearing graphic t-shirts and glasses that are not needed. I am very expressive with my body when I talk and a cuss word may slip out if I’m not really being really careful about what I am saying (yes….judge ya mama, oh and this is a shirt, go buy it lol).

I love creating and I love sharing what I create. Even though before each episode I am extremely nervous, probably have a migraine and my eye is twitching, I absolutely live for the thrill of discussing how to build a better relationship with yourself and hearing my guests chime in. I try to keep things unmessy (is that even a word) but you know things happen and well you gotta talk about them.

Well….that’s all folks lol I really appreciate those who have stuck with me as a have traversed this thing called life for the past 5 years. Yall have stuck with me through a lot and for that I am thankful. Make sure to go back and read some of my old pieces.

podcast promo

#LesssonsLearned The Adjustments

What’s up good peoples!! It has been an amazing start to October. No joke I am still happy August and even September have drifted away. We are now in the 4th quarter of the year and I am ready to get 2019 over with. Let’s talk about some of the new adjustments that have taken place.

Now don’t get me wrong 2019 hasn’t been all horrible a couple of great things happened:
  1. We got married….That’s why we are talking about the adjustments LAWD!!
  2. The Confessions From a Red Couch podcast was born. I was able to put these words into full actions and personality.
  3. I was featured in Voyage Houston Magazine where I talked about the balance between Life and Work 
  4. The Journey Back To Loving Yourself  ebook was finished in July and is now available for purchase. I spent 4 years thinking through this concept and was finally able to put it to paper (keyboard).
  5. Season 2 of the Confessions From A Red Couch Podcast has begun. I have also been blessed to collab with other amazing podcasts. Make sure your are following the instagram page so you can check out the features. I’ll also post on here just to keep you in the loop.

As you can see as much as I have complained about the couple of months of craziness, it has been a great year. I know in a couple of months I will look back and be okay with how things are turning out.

The Adjustment

I know I promised you guys a series but I just couldn’t get my thoughts together to type it out. So I went ahead and presented it on the Season 2 premiere of the podcast. It’s super cray because I went from being single and independent to married life. You can watch here or listen on any major major listening platform (links listed below).

Apple podcast

Google Podcast

Spotify

 

 

#lessonslearned: The Adjustment Series

The adjustment

 

We gonna start this thing off right!! We J Strick-Nunn in the house tonight ( Thank you DJ Jubilee) Hello my loves and welcome back to another session on the red couch. For the next group of posts I will be focusing on my adventures in marriage, I shall call it The Adjustment. So listen I have not done anything like this in my life and please believe it’s not for the faint of heart. I love my husband Lord knows I do but this is a new crazy adventure for me. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I didn’t know what I was getting into when I got into it. There was no book, or past experience that could get me through any of this. 

For the next five weeks I am going to talk about the five areas I had to make the most adjustment to: 

  1. Sharing my space: Wait you need me to move my things
  2. Not being the ULTIMATE boss: But I don’t know how not to be
  3. Sticking to a budget: Uggghhhhh this isn’t life
  4. Having a Social Life: Naw I can’t go there with them
  5. I got kids!!!: Instant kids, instant love

Somebody said I needed to write a book about all of this, but I’m still learning….it’s only been 8 months (whew I remembered). As you read remember, these are my confessions and my truth. You may not have the same truth as me and that’s okay. Just read for your enjoyment and laugh at my uncomfortableness as I progress through this life long journey with this amazing man. Make sure to check out episode 7 of the Confessions From A Red Couch Podcast to hear how My Husband and I have approached marriage and what we are doing to make sure we stay in sync with one another. Also learn how I had to love myself BEFORE I could even enter a relationship with Chris in my new ebook The Journey Back to Loving Yourself (click here).

 

#Lessonslearned The Update from August

Hey September!!! Thank goodness you made it because August kicked my firm high sitting butt. I have never been more disappointed by my birthday month more that this year (that includes the year I lost my job). It sucked the majority of life I had left in me, almost to the point where I wanted to tell God. Like I literally wanted to be a tattle tale (smh I guess I kind of did because I have been praying). Don’t worry though I am definitely going to get a new therapists (stupid referral system) so that I can talk all this out. 

Updates

I have still been working on the blog and podcast. Trying to bring you new things to keep you engaged and entertained. The blog appearance has changed. I am hoping it’s easier to navigate and you can get to the merch site easier (get a t shirt …you know you want one). The podcast is on hiatus until October. I was supposed to start this month but I didn’t have it in me after August. I had no creative juice to spare to create anything, but I’m ready now. Also don’t forget the ebook Journey Back to Loving Yourself is now available as well (just click the merch tab)

What’s to Come…

For the rest of this month I will be talking about several things that have to do with marriage. Why? Well it’s the season that I am in. I have learned so much in these 8 months of marriage than what anyone could ever teach. As the saying goes, “Experience is the best teacher”. Like no lie and no joke. There was no amount of preparation from marriage counseling or advice from other married couples that could help with this thing. It’s utterly confusing, gratifying and some days I want to choke the $#!+ out of him, but when it all comes down to it, I love and support him till death do us part (whoever brings it on without getting charged for it). 

So stay tuned. I promise I won’t leave you hanging like I’ve done in the past and continue to help and support me ( if you know anyone looking for a freelance blogger mention me). While you wait for a new podcast episode check out the podcast tab and listen or watch your favorite. 

Back to School…..Teacher Edition

Back to school

Welcome to August!! I hope things are working out great for you this month. It’s my birthday month so I am usually upbeat around this time. But it also brings about all the back to school hoopla. Being a teacher I thought I would give the non-educators a bit of what we look forward to with the beginning of the school year.

Here are some things teachers have to look forward to with the start of the new school year:

Your sleep pattern screws up two weeks before you go back:

I am outraged!!! The first month and a half of summer I would go to sleep at 1030 and wake up at 630 am with no problems. I could even get in little naps. Now that it’s August my body and mind are rebelling. I lay down at 1030 at night and my eyes don’t close until 2 am. Really body? You know good and well we have to start waking up at 5 am…..what is your problem?

Now you will know the actual date and time:

For teachers the only dates we know during the summer are Memorial Day weekend, the last day of school, and the day we have to report back to school. That’s it. Other than that if there isn’t a professional development scheduled in June or July or even a vacation planned, we lose all concept of days and time. Sometimes you may look up and have lost of couple of days because it’s really not that important.

You have to uninstall the games on your phone:

You gotta let them go. Now our days are about to be filled with meetings, professional development, oh and teaching and engaging our students. So candy crush will have to wait until your next long break. I’m an Empires and Puzzles fan myself. All of this will have to take a back seat so that we can get our minds to function on the right wavelength.

You have to remind your friends not to mention you in the group text:

I don’t know about you but my group chats can be the highlight of my day. My friends and I celebrate each others accomplishments, update each other on important news, and give immediate comfort when someone is just having a crappy day. Now I will have to wait until lunch or my off period (depends which comes first) to respond. If your group chat is like mine then it’s possible you need to ask someone for a recap lol

Time to train your bladder again:

Le sigh…this is the one I hate the most. Retraining my bladder. There’s no more going to the potty when you want. I mean you can but you might lose your job for leaving the students unattended without finding someone to cover your class. Once you figure out your schedule it can be pretty easy. You’ll be able to schedule your drinks of water and when you can sprint to the restroom.

If you’re reading this and you are not a teacher, pray for us. We need it. If you are a parent and happy your kids are going back, keep that same energy when we contact you about lil Sarah and Lil Johnny’s behavior in class. Don’t hit us with “They don’t ever act like that with me” especially if you’re about to throw a whole going away party for them on the first day of school. 

Confessions update: 

Podcast is taking the month of August off to prepare for season 2. It will all get started September 4. If you or anyone you know would like to be a guest on the show please email me at theconfessionsfromaredcouch@gmail.com. We would be happy to share your story. Also we would love you feedback. How are you liking the podcast/blog? Click here 

It’s finally here!!! The Journey Back To Loving Yourself is now available for purchase. It is my journey back to loving myself after dealing with a job from hell, a health scare, and the most confusing situationship I’ve ever had. I had to take certain steps to get back to proper self-love and self-care and I wanted to share them with those who are struggling as well. It’s an ebook that offers interactive exercises to help you work through the process. 

 

#lessonslearned I Know….I Know

I know

Hey hey Kids!!! I feel like Krusty the Clown from The Simpson’s when I typed that lol. I know I didn’t finish what I started but let me explain. July turned out to be busier than what I’d thought it would be. I had to do curriculum writing…ummm yayy…fun…yeah that’s right lol. I will be featured on two podcast, And She Creates and Shall We Proceed, both can be found on Spotify and all other major listening platforms. Oh and the new episodes of my podcast!!!

As you can see it’s been kinda busy but let me get to the thing that I’ve been avoiding. If you just tuned in then you don’t really know this but for my regular readers I would like to apologize. I promised you guys #30daysofblogging and it didn’t happen. Unfortunately I got distracted by something more important.

Y’all I finished my book!!! Yes, the book I’ve been working on for the past four years!!! It was the hardest thing I’ve done in a while.

It will be available August 1st on my website http://buyconfessionsfromaredcouch.com and Amazon. This year has been a year of birth for me. Most people probably would have waved it off because I didn’t do it the way they wanted me to, but guess what I DON’T CARE!!! I pushed myself extremely hard this year and it may not show yet but this year ain’t over yet.

So this week I’m going to enjoy my vacation with my girls. I’m going to show my husband the attention that he needs and we’re going to finish out this year strong as hell. I promise we are going to be set up nice for 2020. I’m too excited!!!

#Lessonslearned Self Destructive Behaviors Is What I Used To Do

self destruction

Hey hey kids!!! I am still here, still going strong. #30daysofblogging has been a completely amazing journey. Day 15 is in full effect and the halfway mark. I had to take a brief break to recover from the weekend. No I wasn’t kickin it (lol waiting until the Girls Trip 2019), but Chris had his first catering job. I am super proud of him and the amazing job he did. If you are in the Houston/Dallas area and you need amazing food made by a professional chef contact All or Nunn Catering. He does food prep, intimate date nights and large parties. Okay enough with me gushing over bae, let’s talk about self destructive behaviors.

Since I started this blog I have been fighting some bad habits and behaviors. I knew I had to change some self destructive tendencies I had adapted into my life. Why, because they just made it easier to traverse through life. Now just because something feels good doesn’t mean it’s right…and that’s my TED talk 🤷🏾‍♀️. I kid, but I’m going to be transparent about my foolishness.

Negative Self Talk

I wrote an entry earlier this year about the damage of negative self talk and how to move forward. Negative self talk is a cancer to your life. I know for a fact that the majority of my other self destructive tendencies stem from this one right here. Think about it, if you have nothing positive to say about yourself how can you believe what anyone else says about you. I used negative self talk to beat others negative criticism about me, and the crazy thing is that no one else was doing it but me. I had to shift my way of thinking about myself in order to appreciate the things that I have been doing as much as everyone else around me.

Failing to Take Action

I used to be the queen of planning things but never moving past the plan. So much so I was being honored with an award and right before I told everyone who was supposed to show up that I wasn’t coming. Why, because of failure to action. I didn’t want to do it because it would bring attention to me. And by bringing attention to me people would see that I wasn’t worth the award. Now do you see that stupid way of thinking? Just dumb….I don’t want to act because it will bring attention to me.

Oh here’s another one I fail to act because I’m afraid of failure. I am so afraid of failure that I will not act. Therefore I wouldn’t know if my idea would work or not because I DIDN’T ACT. What foolishness is this. I’m in a rut because I refused to act and it’s no one else’s fault but mine. Chillleeee if y’all don’t give me an offering after this…..LAWD. My book is not done yet because of fear of failure. I don’t do Facebook/IG live because of fear of failure. I don’t act so I DON’T SUCCEED.

Hiding From Emotion

I was the emotionless queen for a while. I didn’t have appropriate emotional responses to certain situations. Instead of being sad anger was the only response I could show when I was hurt. I never cried l and I only showed love to my family and really close friends. And when I did cry it was usually because I was so angry and I knew I couldn’t do anything about it. How confusing is was this to others? Honestly I was the epitome of the stereotypical “Angry Black Woman”.

I started to see the effect it had on my relationships and knew I had to change. I realized showing emotions was not weakness and angry does not make me strong (but it did make me look crazy).

Sabotaging Relationships

Hello my name is Janae and I used to utterly DE-STROY relationships. You don’t do something I like? Gone. I get a bad vibe….skert skert (sorry I’m listening to Migos lol). Why, I think it has to do with showing emotions and being vulnerable. I didn’t want ANYONE think that they could do anything to hurt me. So relationships l, for me, were only temporary and based on my needs getting satisfied. Sure the other person might have thought I was being sweet and caring, but in reality I was counting down to the days I would ghost them (I didn’t say I have always been a great person). I didn’t learn it was possible to have a healthy relationship until I started to work on myself. That was when I decided to stop sabotaging my relationship with myself so that I could actually have healthy relationships with others.

That’s what this blog and podcast are all about. I really want people to see that I know where you’re coming from and I can get you to where you want to go. Life is hard, but when you add self inflicted pain from self destructive behaviors it becomes sad and lonely. Do yourself a favor and let that stuff go. You need to drop your guard and have healthy boundaries.

 

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