Thank You for Your Service | #100daysofhappy

This morning, as every morning, I head in to 7-11 to grab my $.53 coffee.  I am always in uniform and I am literally known as the Army girl.  It’s kind of cute.  People always speak to me; they are always so kind to me in my community.  There is a cashier in the 7-11 who is best friends with my son and another cashier who tells me the story about his brother who served in the Navy.

There is one patron in particular who greets me just about everyday.  I don’t know his name, I have never asked.  Each time we meet, he always thanks me for my service.  I always return the gratitude – as opposed to other times when I thank people for their patriotism.  Little known fact – most of us servicemembers are embarrassed about being thanked for our service in public; it’s actually kind of weird.

I know this man – I want to call him Frank – served in the Navy because we have discussed it previously.  Our morning conversations are always the same.  He thanks me for my service and he tells me that no one thanked him when he came home.

This morning, we were getting our coffee together and he says:
“Thank you for your service. I know I say it every time I see you, but I mean it, sincerely. I served in the Navy for four years as a cook. I never starved, I’ll tell you that. But when I came home, no one said thank you to me.”

I return my gratitude for his service and shared a bit about my grandfather who also served in the Navy for four years as a cook. I feel his pain. He gave his service to an unforgiving country. It breaks my heart.I can’t imagine how that feels.  I have been supported thoroughly through my journey of serving my country.  I have now come to learn that it is a privilege to be thanked for your service and for your service to this country to be recognized and celebrated.  I thought for some time that maybe it was a race thing, but I have also come to learn that it is more of a patriotism thing.  Civilians sincerely do not understand the level of sacrifice that we endure to serve this nation – under any and all circumstances.  Each servicemember has their own reason for their service but each servicemember SERVES.

As baffled as I am about patriotism, I am humbled by this mans display of gratitude.  In all that he has experienced, all of his pain and confusion, he still has a mind to thank me for what I do.


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In an effort to hunt the good news story in every day during this #100daysofhappy, this is my good news story.  Frank is my hero today.  Frank is sincere and kind and he has become a part of my family.  I regard him with the same respect and honor that I have for my grandfather.  My heart goes out to him for his service to his country, no mater how unforgiving they were towards him.

Frank, thank you for your service.

Love & Light, Fam!

#100daysofHappy

I love these little challenges and I am so excited to bring one to you guys!!

A few years ago, I did a very similar challenge for myself, by myself.  During my #100daysofhappy, I made sure to focus on the things that were good – hunting the good news story.  Everyday, instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the day, I would celebrate the good things that were happening.

For example – instead of focusing on the traffic that I am stuck in, I revel in gratitude for having reliable transportation. Instead of being disgruntled about the rain, I focus on the growth that will follow once the rain ceases.  Instead of focusing on the crisis at hand, I dwell in contentment with my ability to be resourceful.

This was so helpful for my personal growth and development.  I wanted to change my mindset and I wanted to develop a better level of thinking for resourcefulness and success.  The success mindset – I discuss this with my clients quite often.

As I am in the beginning of a transition in my life, I am looking forward to hunting the good news story. I have now shared this experience with you guys – my Fam!!!

This 100 days will span over the holiday season and into the New Year.  We always look to the New Year to start something new, but I felt this was a different approach to take something good into the New Year.  This is especially important for me because I always tend to have a hard time struggling with depression and suicidal thoughts around the holiday season.  I am hoping that you will join me through the next 100 Days to hunt the good news story.

Make sure you are following She Lifts on Facebook and Instagram to stay up to date with each new day during this period.  There will be some exclusive content coming your way, so be sure to get locked in!!!

Thank you so much for going on this journey with me! I hope that it proves to be as impactful for you as it will be for me!

Love & Light Fam!!

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Well, HELLO October!!

The months of August – October are my favorite.  They always serve for me a fresh perspective.  As we get settled into fall this month and we look forward to all the things this harvest season has to offer, I am continuously building and looking for dope ways to bring you all relatable content.

This month has a ton of celebrations, including but not limited to Halloween (if that is your thing) and Columbus Day (again, if that is your thing).

I have compiled a list of the observances that we will be observing this month here at She Lifts.  I see these as opportunities to educate not only myself, but you guys as well, hang a little tighter with family and friends and have some fun!

  • Antidepressant Death Awareness Month
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Eat Better, Eat Together Month
  • Emotional Wellness Month
  • Health Literacy Month
  • National Book Month
  • National Depression Education and Awareness Month
  • National Domestic Violence Month
  • Photographer Appreciation Month
  • Self-Promotion Month
  • Tackling Hunger Month

Honestly, prior to looking for this information, I had no idea that all of this stuff was going on in the mighty month of October.  For a full list of all that October has to offer (and every other month, too!), click here.

Stay tuned for all of the fun and festivities this month and as always, thanks for putting your ears on it!!

Love & Light, Fam!!

The Semicolon Tattoo

It is officially September and I always look forward to this time of year.  This is a time for change.  The weather is changing.  Things begin to slow down a bit.  The leaves on the trees begin to change colors and cover the streets with a colorful blanket.  The sunlight even hangs around less and less and we get to spend more time with the moon.

September is also the month set aside to observe suicide awareness and prevention, among other things.  This month has historically been very near and dear to my heart for this particular reason.

Suicide, suicidal thoughts and ideations and grieving after losing a friend or family member to suicide in’t something that people usually discuss openly.  This month gives us a chance to normalize these kinds of discussions.

Suicidal thoughts and ideations never just spring from one particular event and feeling this way isn’t easy nor is it easy to abandon.  Committing suicide has a painful trickling effect that isn’t seen very clearlu from the vantage point of the one who is merely struggling to stay alive.  If you are lucky, you can make it to other side, but for some of us, life ended far too quickly.


I write this article/post with a heavy heart, as a survivor.  I am not only a survivior of a dark period of self-loathing and suicidal thoughts, I also survived self-harm.  I struggled for years trying to find my place in life, my purpose.  I struggled with not loving myself and not knowing myself well enough to see all of the tens of thousands of amazing reasons I had to love myself.

I wanted to die.

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On my left wrist, I have a tattoo of a semi-colon.  This tattoo symbolizes a rebirth for me.  It symbolizes the moment that I decided to live.  When I could have ended my life, I didn’t.  I got this idea from a video I saw on Faceboook one day.  A girl got a semicolon tattoo in honor of her father who was suicidal, but decided against taking his life.  Basically, you are the author and the story is your life.

Why would you write a bad story about yourself?

I purposely got the tattoo in its place because on the opposite side of my arm are scars from self-harm.  Some days I look at these scars and the sight reminds me of that dark place that I was in.  I can remember exactly how it felt.  I can remember the thought process throughout and each and every emotion I encountered.  Sometimes, I look at them and they fill me with overwhelming shame and guilt.  Most of the time, I want to hide them, but I know that I can’t run from it.

I decided to heal through it.  This tattoo was the first step for me.  It was more than just a mere marking on my body (that some people firmly frown upon).  For me it was an outward expression of a conscious decision that I made.  I chose to live.

I am still here and I celebrate that every single day.

I began to confront my internal issues head on.  With the help of a therapist – who iis awesome an amazing in every way – I was able to really dig deep on the experiences and encounters that had caused me so much pain.  I was able to be begin healing.


Now, I freely and openly telll my story.  I want to hellp in erasing the stigma around depression, anxiety and mental health.  I want people to know that they should treat their minds the way that they treat their bodies.  We shouldn’t be abusing our minds and shoving all of these overwhelming thoughts and feelings into it without having an constructive way to get them out.  Trust me, they will find a way to release themselves – and it’s not always the most healthy way.

This month will be an amazing month for She Lifts – The Brand and She Lifts Podcast and we journey through and uncover suicide prevention.

Love & Light, Fam!

September: Suicide Prevention Month

My my my, these statistics are startling:

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As I began my research for this month’s She Lifts Podcast series, I found these statistics hard to digest.  What is worse is the fact that this doesn’t truly capture all of the suicides in the US.  The stigma surrounding mental health and suicide (which are not always synonymous) typically deters people from reporting it.  There are families who cover up the cause of death if it resulted from suicide to uphold an appearance.

This has got to end.  We HAVE to talk about it.  Losing just one more person to suicide is one too many.  There are a ton of resources for people who are experiencing a rouhg time, no matter what the cause is.  Occassionally, the cause is clear — break up/divorce, assault or even loss of a job or loved one.  However, there a tons of other underlying reasons for suicide and suicidal thoughts and ideations including mental health disorders and certain medications.  There are trained professionals who are passionate about assisting to sift through the dust and help you find the answers.

One thing for sure – suicide is not the answer.

If you know someone who may be suicidal or who has even attempted suicide in the past, has a history of self-harm, is a danger to him/herself or others, or is simply experiencing a rough time coping with life changes, please check out the resources section on this site.  Of course, if they are in danger or danger to others, alert your local law enforcement immediately.  This page is updated periodically.  If there is a resource in your community or anything that may be missing, please submit it here for update:

As a part of your community, we all have a responsibility to one another to watch over, assist and guide.  No one person is journeying thorugh life alone.

Today, I charge you to search your heart for the compassion and kindness that it takes to rebuild from brokenness.  It is time to stop worrying about what others may think or say and focus on healing and love.

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Suicide can be prevented if we all do our part.

Love & Light, Fam!

Ep. 10 – Cash Rules Everything Around Me

What level of value have you placed on money?  How important is money to you?  Does money alter or dictate your mood?

Money can cause significant controversy.  Finances cause a huge rift in marriages and friendships.  It is discussed everywhere we go and literally encompasses all that we do and are.  Money has so much power.

But, what if we stripped the power from money and returned the power to ourselves?  How would that look? Feel? Where would we even begin?

I was very hesitant about exposing my true feelings about money and finances.  I am almost certain that I will receive a ton of backlash for my views.  I am prepared.

In this week’s episode, I discussed my view of money – that it is merely a tool.  I stated on several occasions that it is “legal tender used in exchange for goods and services”.   It is a tool to obtain the things and experiences that I want.  It is given to me in exchange for my services – legally of course (because that just sounds sketchy).

This is definitely up for debate, as it truly is my personal opinion.  I just can’t allow having money or not having money dictate how I feel about and view myself.  I see money as a tool to purchase the things that I want and need and that is simply it.  I place no power on money, therefore money can have no power over me.

Love & Light, Fam.

Ep. 9 – Dancing in the Rain

I am a self-proclaimed rain lover.  I look forward to rainy days the same way some of you look forward to pay day.  Where is the lie?

I never see rainy days as times to complain ot find fault.  I see the beauty in the rain and all that it emcopasses.

Without rain, there would be no growth.  Plants require the rain for their life.  They simply cannot survive without it.  Rain is life giving and equally as important as the sun.

When a rainy day is soon to come, I get quite excited.  I do not dread that day at all.  I look forward to slowing down a bit, taking my time and looking inward to answers to many questions that may have been circling.  It seems that the rain typically quiets everything in its path and makes its own music.  I use this time for introspect, growth.  

However, this time is not strictly introspective.  As the rain makes its way down through the leaves of the trees and the onto thr ground below, it makes a beautiful song – a song that you can only hear if you are listening for it. A song that con only be heard from within.  I find myself always dancining in the rain, in tune with the rhythm and delighted with every drop I feel falling fresh onto my skin.

This is my metaphor for life.  There are plenty times in our lives that we are faced with rainy seasons where the rain seems that it will never cease.  We find ourselves swaying back and forth in a fight.  Oh, but only if we learned how to dance.  If only we took each step carefully through the rain and embraced each and every little drop onto our skin, my my how things would change.

In a more literal sense, there are tons of people truly suffering through rainy seasons in their life.  They have indescribable pain that no one can see.  There is help out there for those people (or maybe even you) and you are definitely not alone.  Check out the resources section for more information and links for assistance and care.

However, if your find yourself fighting with the rain and the will to push through, put on your dancing shoes and pop lock and drop it in the rain!

Love & Light, Fam!!

Ep. 8 – Don’t Trip Over Your Own Shoelaces

There are so many ways in which we stand in our own way.  Sometimes, we can sabotage our progress and our success without even knowing it.

This week’s episode explores just that.

Motivation Monday is always a good day to do a full review of what you are doing an dhow you plan to reach your goals.  Not only that, but its also a great time to uncover ways that you may actually be standing in your own way.

What are you saying to yourself?  Are you reaching your full potential?  What are some behaviors that you can change to attract success TODAY?

All great questions to build on this week!

 

Love & Light, Fam!