Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Stop Weighing Yourself Down!




About one year ago, I embarked on a journey to improve my health holistically, by improving my eating habits, physical fitness habits, social environment, and spiritual health.  Honestly, it was time.  I felt sluggish, tired, weak, and depressed.  I felt this way, not only about my personal life, but also about my physical appearance.  Feeling this way was affecting my attitude and activities with my children, my work performance, and my outlook on the promises of my future.  I felt flat out uncomfortable in my own skin, so I decided to make some changes in my life, not only for me, but for my children as well.  It was time!  So I grabbed my spoonful of courage, looked in the mirror and promised myself that it was my last day of weighing myself down and my first day picking myself up and it has been a riveting ride since!

I first began with indulging in my higher power and taking time alone to truly come at peace with my life, my situation, and my future, while trusting the direction in which I was being led.  At first it was hard to just let go, but it has been so worth it! Then, I evaluated my personal and social environment and decided if certain people, places, and things were purposeful to me or not.  If they were not, I released them, to make room for what can be and what will be.  Lastly, I began to improve my health, by eating healthy and becoming more physically active.  I joined a weight loss program, gave it my all and began to take seriously what I chose to consume.  The physical weight lifting off, not only improved and increased my self esteem, but increased my stamina and excitement to be involved with my children.

I feel free, I feel happy, I feel encouraged, and I feel like life is my playground.  I know that I’m taking back everything that the devil has stolen from me and it is an empowering feeling. 




One year later, 30 pounds lighter and EMPOWERED


None of this has happened overnight and my journey is not over, but I can say that TODAY, I am much farther and happier than I’ve ever been.  Your happiness is waiting right around the corner for you, remove what’s weighing you down, turn that corner and GRAB IT!

Peace & Blessings,
Edquina

Thursday, August 22, 2013

A Woman's Pain With Prescription Drug Abuse




I’m sure that we know many women in this situation.  Maybe the main woman that we know in this situation is the one that we see in the mirror every day.  She’s hiding a huge secret from everyone.  She has a problem, or maybe she is unaware that she has a problem at all.  She has become accustomed to utilizing prescription drugs (pain pills) as her mechanism to cope.  She believes that it is numbing her pain, but in all actuality, it’s numbing the reality of her life.  She’s not dealing, she’s not coping, and she’s not focusing, because unbeknownst to her, she has become dependent on a substance and she can’t stop.  

Her Physician continues to write the prescription, the Pharmacist continues to fill the prescription, and she continues to take the pills. This is a repeating cycle that has recently led plenty of our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and daughters to death.  To paint this truth more vividly, 18 women die every day from prescription drug abuse, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
So what are we going to do about it?  How are we going to make sure that more of our sisters are living, rather than dying?  This reality is striking, sad, and ridiculous.  Why are the Physician’s writing the prescriptions not being held accountable?  There are many components to this obstacle that I will have to come back to, but the focus of this post is how to help a sister in need of liberating herself from the chains of prescription drug abuse.

Know the signs of prescription drug abuse:  Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions, taking a higher dose than prescribed, excessive mood swings and hostility, increase or decrease in sleep, seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor, appearing to be high, revved up, or sedated, and continually losing prescriptions so more can be written (Mayo Clinic).

Intervention/Treatment:  Talk with the person and explain to them how their use of prescription drugs is affecting their lives and the lives of their loved ones and that you are willing to help, with the direction focused on them receiving treatment.  Offer to help them find adequate counseling and treatment for their addiction and make sure that they get there.  It may be wise to speak with a drug and alcohol counselor or therapist prior to doing this.  

Let’s stop this alarming number from increasing.  Not doing anything about it, is just as bad as giving them the prescription drugs to take when you’re aware that the problem exist.  Choose to empower!

Peace & Blessings,
Edquina

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Detox Time: Removing toxic people from our lives




Being healthy, not only involves our food consumption and physical activity, it also involves our company consumption.  I strongly believe that as women, once we’re gracing across the trail of maturity and begin to move forward at achieving our goals, we begin to take notice to certain people in our lives that happen to cause us undue stress.  These are people that push us over the edge, thrive on negativity, or always has something out of control going on in their lives.  They can be identified as family members, lovers, friends, co-workers, or just those people that happen to be in our company.  We’ve all experienced them and seen them in action, while thinking to ourselves, “Why did I put myself in this situation again?” 

In the case that you’re having an issue identifying the presence of these individuals in your circle, here are a few examples of their behaviors that surface regularly:

·       They constantly put you down, instead of lifting you up.
·       They consistently invite you to be in the company of individuals that do not mean you well, in an effort to intentionally sabotage you.
·       Your stress level instantly moves from 1 to 10 while in their company.
·       Their level of conversation is always negative and never offers any kind words about anyone.
·       Everything has to be about them and their issues.
·       They are always bringing drama to your doorstep, regardless if the situation has anything to do with them or you.

Has anyone of these examples sparked an image of someone in your life?  If so, it’s time to detox yourself from being in the presence of that individual; either entirely or as much as possible.  In all honesty, the actions of this individual clearly shows that their level of interest is not in being a part of your happiness, but being the key leader in your sadness.  They are interested in the glorification that they receive from being the bearer of chaos in your life, which in all actuality translates into meaning that they are having some serious issues within themselves.  

If you are at a crossroads with their behavior, it is you that must determine if you are ready to take the step to detoxify them from your life.  It is not an easy step to begin the detoxification process, but it is well worth it.  I recommend taking some quiet time to re-evaluate your present situation and future goals, seek your higher power in prayer not only for yourself, but for the toxic individual to receive some much needed help, and to seek the help of a professional therapist or life coach, if needed. We must remember that as Liberated Sista’s, if we expect to take the next step to pass over the threshold to our future, it is not going to be wide enough to welcome everyone from our past.  

If you’ve dealt with the removal of toxic people from your life or happen to be in the process of doing so, I welcome your comments, concerns, and questions.

Peace & Love
Edquina


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Singular Momma in a Plural World


A few months ago, I attended an event and sat next to a lovely woman.  We enjoyed great conversation and laughs about our children and families, until she asked me the inevitable question, “How long have you been married?”  I kindly advised her that I was a single parent.   She replied, “Ohhhh,” along with an extremely discomforting expression on her face.  She turned her chair around and only continued to smile at me periodically, but discontinued her lively conversation.   Instantly, I thought that either I had transported to the 50’s or 60’s or this woman was in serious denial and needed a reality check to knock her judgments off a cliff.  

Honestly, I felt completely disrespected by her actions, expressions, and comments.  She had no idea of my story, why I was a single parent, and the great future that God had in store for me……yet, she judged me. I’m wondering if she even knew that in 2012 there were a reported 12.2 million single parent families, with more than 80% headed by single mothers, according to the U.S.Census Bureau.  Unfortunately, this is the real picture of our society.  Yes, several factors have led to these statistics, but the main fact in all of this, is the stereotype that hovers over the words “single parent.”

When you hear the two words single parent, what do you think of?  What image dances across your mind?  Is that image or thought valid in all circumstances or is it something that you have allowed to cloud your judgments? 

I speak proudly of being a Singular Momma, because that is one of the hats that I wear and contrary to popular belief, it was a hat that I chose to wear.  I chose to empower myself.  I chose to discontinue living in an unhealthy relationship that was negatively affecting my children and my life.  I chose to focus on building a future for my family.  Last but not least, I chose to love me.  I have a loving family, I have a wonderful career, I have beautiful children, I am the main breadwinner, and I am enjoying my life.  Not that I wouldn’t welcome enjoying the company of another in my life, currently, this happens to be what life is for me and I AM NOT ASHAMED! Neither should you!

This experience really opened my eyes to yet another stereotype that exists in our wonderful melting pot of a country in the year 2013. Although it’s sad, it’s the truth.  
So what are we going to do about it?  How are we going to empower other single mothers to share their stories of singularity?  I say, we should embrace it, wrap our arms around it, and nurture it with pride.  Trust me, there should never be any shame in proudly raising your children alone, especially when it’s the only positive choice given.  

Peace and Love~
Edquina