Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Dear Black Women

While in the midst of creating SparklyWarTanks, the first target audience that popped into my mind was to reach minds and open perspectives in my neighborhood; the black neighborhood in Brooklyn I call home. I wanted to talk about mental health and women empowerment to those Black and Latinx women I saw every day.

I build SparklyWarTanks with the goal to uplift and empower women in my community but, what made my goal for SparklyWarTanks distinct and concrete, reflecting me and my growth, is remembering and honoring those black women educators/advisors/counselors/friends who helped shape my perspective. It was the love, care, and dedication of these women that I saw in myself, the ability to be something great when I thought I was nothing.

So to say that I am not a combination of great minds is false.

Black women, you are sacred and valued. Your voice is strong and transcends logical limitations. Speak your truth. Your life is important. You continue to lead us in revolution and I thank you.

I see you. I hear you. I love you.

Rest in power Breonna Taylor.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Redefining the New “Normal” by Taking a Step Back

In a rapidly changing world where “normal” is being redefined and challenged, it feels different and strange to imagine what we once knew as everyday life shifting. It’s mind-boggling to think we are adjusting and adapting. But, what are we adapting and adjusting to?Big buzzwords, for those of us who have been quarantined or stuck at home and even those essential workers going out risking their health every day, are fear, anxiety, productivity, motivation, worth, and purpose.

  • What does it mean to be productive?
  • What does it mean to feel motivated?
  • What does it mean to feel worth and purpose?
  • How are we learning to self-care and make decisions about how we view ourselves and what we want in life?
  • What do fear and anxiety mean for us?
  • What is mental, emotional, and physical health?
  • How will socializing change or shift?
  • How do we define success or accomplishments?

As we ponder and navigate who we are during this exhausting period in history, I caution us to be gentle with ourselves and take a step back. Give ourselves time to understand that it’s okay to take a minute or more to slow down. Even with our everyday responsibilities, reflection and self-care are necessary. We are not living the same way we were last year or even a few months ago. We do not have to pile on expectations and lists of things to do. We also can give ourselves permission to prioritize our mental and physical health; make goals, and shorten our lists to things that mean something to us.

Note: Don’t be afraid to put yourself first.

Take a moment to jot down your needs and personal goals. How will you self-care today? Have you been checking in with your feelings and mental state?

It’s okay to take a step back.

You define what is best for you.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Are You Holding On To Something? Read This

Often times we stay stuck in the reality of our past. We dwell and ruminate on the what-ifs and maybes. We stand in what we can’t walk away from. But, that doesn’t have to be where we are forever. We can give ourselves permission to move forward. We can dissect and navigate our mistakes, regrets, and pain in order to clear the path of progress for ourselves. The more we become comfortable with our discomfort and adjust our eyes in the darkest parts of ourselves, we learn to forgive what we were and make room for who we can become.

Make room for yourself to walk forward. Clear a path so that you can forgive and lift the weight that’s been keeping you standing instead of moving forward. Manifest something different. Manifest clarity and grace. Manifest wellness and peace. You deserve to feel free. This is your time for freedom.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Is This the First Time You are Alone With Your Thoughts?

Busyness is how some of us distract ourselves from our thoughts and trauma. With so much to do, there is often no time to stop, reflect, and build a relationship with ourselves. In times of isolation, however, it’s more difficult to combat and dismiss the impulse of intrusive thoughts. This may even be the first time some are alone with their thoughts and can’t immediately turn to “doing” to deflect negative patterns of thinking.

What do we do when experiencing an overwhelming spiral of intrusive thoughts?

  • Acknowledge the thought. Ask yourself, Is this thought familiar?
  • Identify the feelings the thought brings up. How am I feeling? Why am I feeling this?
  • Turn to a productive perspective to address spiraling. Is this thought true or intrusive?
  • Reassure yourself that you are doing the best you can and practice self-compassion. What is triggering this thought and what can I do to help myself reframe/dismiss this thought.
  • Write down what you are thinking or feeling. How intense is what I’m experiencing?
  • Ask for help or talk to someone you trust to get a different perspective.

Building a sense of self-awareness takes time and patience. There may even be parts of ourselves we may encounter for the first time and that’s okay. We are all multifaceted. Building a relationship with who we are is important.

This may be the first time we find ourselves actually reflecting, but that doesn’t mean we can’t grow and learn to love all parts of ourselves.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Mental Health, Productivity, and Worth: COVID-19

Remember that although some of us may be out of work, away from the people we love, or can’t pursue what we want to do right now, it doesn’t take away from our worth or value. Because we sometimes link what we “do” to our value, we lose our sense of self.

Message: You are valuable despite your productivity level or how much motivation you have. Give yourself time to figure out what time looks like for you. Reflect and get to know who you are, what you like to do, and what your next steps will be. Put yourself first. Step back from the noise and connect with your needs.

Mental health and well-being are important as we navigate the what-ifs and anxiety of uncertainty.

Ask yourself, what are my needs right now? How can I meet those needs?

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

You Are Valid

Stand firm and know that what you feel and experience is valid. There is no checklist or standard to what makes your story enough to cause pain, growth, or transformation. Wherever you are in your journey, whatever frustrations, confusions, turmoil, or changes influence how you are perceiving the events that happen to you is your call to make. There is no shame in feeling what you feel.

No need to compare yourself to anyone, downplay what you are feeling, or over-explain any part of your story. You are valid in whatever stage you are in. Receive the support or help that is necessary to get you where you need/want to go in your growth and healing.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

A Series of Quotes: Recycling Pain Through Our Behavior

Growth and Transformation Through Awareness: Pain and Toxic Traits

We all have a way in which we think and act based on our beliefs and ideas. Sometimes, however, our judgment and growth are clouded by the pain and trauma we often recycle through our toxic habits and behaviors.

The tricky thing about pain is how deeply rooted it is. We don’t see our behavior as toxic or hurtful until it’s too late and we’ve already hurt someone we might care for.

In order to identify those toxic cycles, we must grow in self-awareness. The more self-aware we become, the more we are able to catch ourselves and understand why we act the way we do. Although some behaviors may appear harmless, like numbing our feelings and trying not to cope with our pain, if repressed for too long, will eventually appear in our behavior.

Projection occurs when we place how we treat ourselves onto the people we love or want to love. Often unconsciously our own self-abandonment is how we begin to treat those around us.

The first step in feeling our pain is to accept that we’ve hurt someone and forgive ourselves. If we hold onto the pain and regret, it will stay with us and lead how we treat those who enter our lives.

Once aware, begin the process of identifying in what ways we can improve and begin to love ourselves in that process. Although we can’t undo another person’s pain, we can improve and heal through our own. We must learn who we are and the pain that guided our past self.

The growth that self-awareness brings can resurface memories and thoughts that created the original pain, but that process will birth a transformed perspective.

We learn through experiences and wanting to do better. Without the urge to do better, the pain will validate itself and remain how we see ourselves.

Important note: This process can be difficult to do on our own but I found therapy, self-help books, meditation, writing, reflective exercises, support groups, and mental health resources to be a great help in beginning this process.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

A Powerful Affirmation: Choosing Calmness

The choice to be calm is a talent. Even with all that goes on in my head, and the worry that sometimes consumes my thoughts, I CHOOSE to be gentle, mindful, and calm.

With each day, I allow myself to reflect, take what I need, let go of what I don’t, and move on with grace.

I will not panic.

I will not worry.

I will not stress.

I will map out my next steps and take one moment at a time.


Find it on The Mighty here.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Care, Self-Talk

I’m a Recovering People-Pleaser

This Sticker will be available this week on Etsy.com/shop/MotivateBySWT

For 2020 and beyond I am prioritizing self-care and self-love that is defined by me and only me. With each week reflecting on various ways to reflect and process my feelings, this week is redefining my worth to MYSELF.

Having a past of people-pleasing is hard to realize and even harder to overcome. Not seeing myself as valuable or worthy of love has influenced a history of constant “doing” in order to prove myself to those around me.

This habit ends now.

So, I’m saying no to:

  1. What is not for me.
  2. What makes me uncomfortable.
  3. What doesn’t serve my needs.
  4. What I don’t have the energy for.
  5. Being available to everyone.
  6. Feeling unimportant.
  7. Giving away all of my energy.
  8. One-sided interactions.
  9. Seeking validation.
  10. “Fixing” other people’s problems.

And, I’m saying yes to:

  1. What fills me with joy.
  2. Solid boundaries.
  3. Building lasting connections.
  4. Healthy vulnerability.
  5. Feeling good about myself.
  6. Expressing my needs.
  7. Allowing myself to be seen.
  8. Reaching out to others.
  9. Being happy.
  10. Feeling peace.
  11. Doing things for fun.
  12. Smiling.
  13. Being open to love.

Affirmation: I am open to loving myself unconditionally and unapologetically.