Go, Shawty, it’s my birthday!!!

I do love that my birthday falls during the holiday season. It allows me to see my family and celebrate the day I was born to Beverley and John DeCaires in Georgetown, Guyana. I came to America when I was just 4 years old because my parents wanted better opportunities for me. Now all these years later, I am grateful for their love, sacrifice, and support. It took a lot of courage  to come to an unknown country for the sake of their daughter.

So, I’m grateful for them allowing me to have this journey. All the friends and people I’ve met along the way have shaped who I am. Each city has given me more wisdom and added to my experiences.  New York, the place I grew up, will always be my heart and resonate with my spirit as my first home. Philadelphia was bitter sweet but it was a pivotal point in my life; it strengthened my core and I became a woman there. Baltimore has become like another home for me; the people, fans, and opportunities have surpassed my ideas of what life in Baltimore would have been. There have been no regrets about the pain, the passion, or the love.

Each one of us have gained and lost people, some more painful than others. However, if we hold onto the past and not be grateful for what is before us, we miss out on the future. I could not have imagined this winding road that God has taken me down. I’ve struggled and questioned the path because it has been so unsure at times. Those times, however, eventually gave me the answers I needed. His unseen grace has been at the crux of my survival and strength. So I toast to all the friends I’ve lost, grew apart, or gained over the years because they are all part of me. I miss them and love them all the same but it all happened for a reason. Once again, thank you! I’m grateful.



The Book that changed my thoughts….

“In his pursuit of the dream, he was being constantly subjected to tests of his persistence and courage. So he could not be hasty, nor impatient. If he pushed forward impulsively, he would fail to see the signs and omens left by God along his path.”

“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”

There are three quotes, which come from the book The Alchemist, which have helped me get over doubtful times in my life. I first heard about this book from Will Smith. One of my best friends sent over the audio because he had become inspired by what Will was saying about his rise to success. I believe he was being interviewed on 60 Minutes and he began to share his thoughts about how The Alchemist profoundly helped shape his life. He spoke about the book with such conviction that I immediately went and purchased  it, and was definitely not disappointed. It made sense to me and it resonated with something in my soul.

I’m not going to tell you the whole plot of the book, but the three quotes above will definitely give you examples of its principles. Our everyday struggles serve a purpose, and every choice we makeimpacts our walk in life. I am a very spiritual person, who makes decisions based on the conviction in my soul. If I don’t like your spirit, you are not my friend. If I don’t like what you are doing, I am compelled to tell you my thoughts, even if you don’t like it. I have been deemed head-strong and stubborn, because I choose not to go against what my heart desires. Compromising myself or beliefs will only make me unhappy. Now, there is nothing wrong with compromise but if it completely goes against your core values and beliefs, then that concession will only persecute your own thoughts later on down the line.  I may not know what I want all the time, but I sure do know what I don’t want.

Reading this book seemed to open up my “third eye,” as some will call it. It made think outside of myself and realize that we are all one. This world is connected: black, white, yellow, brown, woman, man, child, sky, earth, etc. If we do better, then people will be inspired to do better. I have people in my life who ridicule me for not drinking anymore or for eating right, which I find weird because that should be something one would encourage. However, they see my contentment with my decisions and sometimes, in a dark room, try to emulate the same behavior from time to time. My decisions are not for anyone else, but for the good of me. And I can only hope that people will want to do the same for themselves.

Another thing that struck a chord with me was the boy’s perseverance through all of his obstacles. He listened to his intuition, which kept him going when everything seemed to be caving in. However, because he wanted something, everything in the universe conspired to make it happen for him. I truly believe this. We may not understand the reasons why things happen at the moment, but if we sat down and reflected, one could probably put the puzzle together and get the answers. There are omens that God gives us to follow; some of us listen and some of us don’t. We know when to say no, but end up saying yes. Defying the omen may lead you down a path that may not be too kind. That decision can profoundly change your life forever, and those are the consequences that people can’t blame on life. We are quick to blame “the man,” the government, our parents, etc. However, maybe there were some omens that you chose to ignore, like going to school and getting an education, using a condom before laying down with a no-good woman or man, or getting money in ways that were lawful not unlawful. We all have omens we have ignored and ended up paying the price for, by way of heartbreak, disappointment, deferred dreams, and/or punishment. These choices shape the course of our life and our future generation’s lives. The Alchemist teaches one to slow down and not be too rash with your decisions; weigh the long-term consequences with the short-term gratification. Everything you want will not be easy. However, patience and persistence will eventually lead you to your desires.

When times get tough and things look bleak, I re-read these quotes. It gives me solace and re-confirms my purpose in life. The tough times will lead to the good times because I will it. There is no such thing as giving up. People may not understand or agree with my path, but it’s my path. The lessons I learn are my lessons, and I own them. I listen to my intuition and I have faith that my intuition will recognize the omens that God has set forth for me. Those omens will eventually lead me down my righteous path.


The Willpower to do….

Currently I am on Day 8 of the 10-day Master Cleanse. This is the second year in the row I’ve done this cleanse and it is definitely not for the weak hearted. Most people refer to it as the lemonade diet and use it for weight loss, but I’m doing it to cleanse my body of all the dietary toxins I may have accumulated over the last year. I think everyone should flush their bodies of toxins, build-up, and any other harmful things they digest. When I first heard about it, the thought of it seemed easy, but as the process began, I realized how much willpower I needed to complete a 10- (long) day restrictive diet. I usually try to do the cleanse during low stress periods because being under stress and trying to complete the cleanse isn’t the healthiest way to go. The cleanse takes a lot of discipline and anything can cause you to throw in the towel if overwhelmed by stress.

So 8 days ago, I went and got the items that were needed for the cleanse; organic lemons, grade B maple syrup, distilled water, cayenne pepper, unrefined sea salt, Smooth Move laxative tea, and  vegetable broth. Between running from Whole Foods, Traders Joes, and Giant, my grocery list was satisfied and I was ready to begin. I knew I was going to be drinking about 3 liters a day of this stuff, so I broke it up into making 2 batches of the concoction every 6-7 hours (you can not make the whole thing at once because the first batch spoils after a 12 hour period- the enzymes in the lemonade become less effective). Anyhow, when you first taste the lemonade, you may be surprised, that it doesn’t taste horrible (but it definitely doesn’t taste great). It is what one would call an “acquired taste”. It is a taste you need to get used to because it is all that you will be tasting for the next 10 days. Whoopee!!

My first day was a breeze, but I credit that to being mentally prepared from last year. I drank this cayenne-spiced lemonade whenever I got hungry and continued on with my day trying not to think of food. Now, some people have said they have gotten an excruciating headache the first day, but I believe that everything is mind over matter; get past the first day and things will get easier.

With that said, my second day was not so easy. Willfully, I fought through my hunger pains by drinking the mix, but it was frustrating and difficult. However my mindset was, this wasn’t the first time I had experienced hunger pains. It was just the first time I refrained from my first instinct of quenching my immediate desire by eating. This day was going to be my ultimate test of will. I was cranky, my stomach growled continuously, and I was uncomfortable. In my opinion, being uncomfortable for some people is not an option.  I believe some people self-medicate in their everyday life to ease their pain; whether it be with alcohol, sex, food, or drugs. Those type of people never make it through the cleanse.

Days three, four, and five, weren’t a walk in the park but it beat out day two. I was even able to workout because my energy level was so high. The funniest part of this cleanse is the heightening of your sense of smell. I was able to smell the frying of the chicken from Hip Hop Chicken as soon as I hit the corner of Reisterstown road, and it was only nine o’clock in the morning. The doors and lights were off but I knew someone was back there frying up a juicy chicken leg.

By days six and seven, I was tired of the taste of the lemonade and craved for something different. I’m a girl that likes variety so the monotony was driving me crazy. The one thing that kept me on track was the visual changes to my body. My stomach miraculously had no fat (no overlap when I sat down).

So now I am on Day 8, with two more days to go. The one thing I truly detest about the Master Cleanse is the sea salt flush. At the end of each day, you are to drink the laxative tea before you go to sleep. In about 6 hours, your body will wake you up (if you know what I mean!). You must first drink warm water with a teaspoon of the unrefined sea salt, which will run through you like a Russian racehorse at a Kentucky Derby. That first day was the most horrible stomach pain one can imagine. Your body can not throughly process salt that is not iodized so it cleans out all of the toxins you have stored. As the days go by, it definitely gets easier, but that first day is a doozy.

All in all, I think the cleanse does wonders. It is something I don’t look forward to but I do because of the end results. Sometimes that is how life is; there are things you don’t like to do but the effort always pays off. I’ve learned that my willpower and endurance are stronger as a result. My will to win is bound with hard work and determination. When the going gets tough, I don’t throw in the towel, and I can hold out if the pay off is worth it. I don’t succumb to peer pressure and  have no problem being different. I don’t cheat and when I put my mind to something I complete it. These are all the emotions and obstacles you overcome with the cleanse. Your mind and body have to be in sync to make it work. While doing the cleanse, I have cooked for people, had dinner meetings, been at functions catered with delicious food and still been steadfast about my mission. Even when it came to traveling, I packed up my items and made it work on the road. No excuses has been my motto. If you are in great health and want to challenge yourself, then this is something for you to try. At the end, you will feel healthier, energetic, and proud that you were able to complete something this difficult. Your body will look great and your willpower will be strengthened.

I go to http://www.themastercleanserecipe.org for the correct measurements and overview of the process. It is more like  a 14 day process, because after the tenth day, soft solids are allowed, vegetable broth by Day 11, and so forth. Because your body has been purified, nutrients and vitamins absorb into your bloodstream better. This is my second year and I have not been disappointed with any of my results.

How Much Love Is Enough??!!

Your family loves you, your friends love you, your child loves you, God loves you, but it doesn’t seem like “he” does; and because he doesn’t love you like you love him, then nothing else seems to matter. Right now my girlfriend is coming to grips with the fact that the man she loved so dearly is not the man she thought he was.  It hurts so much and she can’t get pass the love she has for him. In her head, he was the one. Even after all the deceit and lies, it’s hard for her to see that she can love someone else, eventually. No matter what her family and friends say, she can’t wrap her head around moving on.

Listening to the endless stories made me tell her that it wasn’t about him anymore, but now it was about her and her self-esteem. Her mom loved her. She seemed to have a great relationship with her father. She is beautiful, smart, and charming. I couldn’t place my finger on what was the void that this loser was able to tap into. Why is it that she couldn’t find enough love from everyone around her, who has been supportive; or love within herself to move on? How much more love did she need? He had clearly shown her that he was worthless. The only thing I came up with is the love she had for herself had been damaged. It could have been from failed relationships in the past that made her feel that she was unsuccessful in that part of her life. Loving yourself doesn’t allow you to be the victim in abusive relationships, because you know that you deserve better. Even if it hurts to leave, you leave because your inner love doesn’t allow you to be content with bad treatment. I know it is easier said than done, but I’ve been there and know how little nonsense I tolerated when my self-esteem was at its highest. I could differentiate the fiction from reality. I knew what I believed, and I knew what I deserved, and no one could manipulate that with words and emotions. However, when it was at its lowest, I clung onto any little truth, in hopes that it would change the existence of the lies.

Far too many women suffer from a lack of inner love, or not knowing how to be properly loved by a man. It could be a bad relationship with their dad or growing up in a destructive household that didn’t promote young women to be confident in their thoughts and actions; then some jerk comes along and makes them think that their self-worth is wrapped up in loving him. Everyone wants a partner to love them, but we have to love ourselves first to accept the right type of love. We all know in our gut when a person isn’t loving us the way we want to be loved. However, we try to defy the reality of the situation. People don’t lie to themselves. What you feel in your gut is what it is. Wanting to believe differently manipulates the facts. I hope we all try to work on ourselves everyday to improve on our inner confidence.

Everyday I see little girls, who want to be accepted by a guy, become prey to his desires and not her own. Those types of self-esteem issues start at home. Daughters need to be exalted and encouraged to be strong-willed and undaunted. That confidence is reassured even more when it is coming from her father or a male figure. I always tell my male friends to treat their daughters like princesses and be good to her mother, whatever the circumstances. Be their first valentine, because you set the standard for other men to follow. Even if she meets a jerk that breaks her heart and takes her for a loop, that too shall pass. Her confidence will eventually rest assure on that fact that her dad and family love and cherish her opinions, her beauty, and her heart. The love you instill in her will continue to grow as she ages. And at the end of the day, no matter the situation, he will be able to say, “I’m alright.”

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