New Single + PhoenixEP

Hello Word to the Wise Fam!
So I dropped my first single from my soon-come EP named Phoenix.
My first single is named: Be Loved,
you can listen to it here:

Listen to Be Loved Here

I also created some visuals for Be Loved, you can watch them here:

Watch Be Loved Visuals on YouTube

Hope you enjoy + can’t wait to share the Entire Phoenix EP with you!

 

Amber.

boundaries for beginners

boundaries for beginners by amber b, wordtothewise.coa boundary is an act of self-compassion.
a boundary is when a self-loving individual
draws an emotional line in the sand that
guards their capacity to:
trust themselves
hear their truth/intuition
love themselves
take care of themselves
heal themselves
and honor exactly how they feel and not
how their ‘supposed’ to feel in order to please
other people and not have to deal with their baggage.

many people don’t even know what the fuck a boundary is because you’re so used to putting other peoples opinions above your own. or maybe you’ve advanced to a place where you’re able to hear your truth and then speak it most of the time but you often find yourself either upset with yourself because you didn’t speak your truth or feeling guilty because you did.

boundaries are so multi-layered and have so many pre-requisites to effectively setting them.
below are a few of the pre-requisites to figuring out what your boundaries are, how to communicate them to others and how to reduce feelings of guilt when you do set them.

disclaimer: you’re boundaries are whatever you say they are. YOU qualify them. don’t look externally for confirmation look within.

 

self-compassion

so often as women we our encouraged to extend our understanding towards others without regard to our emotional needs. in order to be considered acceptable to society we are told to take on a mother-fucking teresa complex and give our empathy and our compassion to others and totally forget ourselves. we are told to be meek and demure and accommodating in order to get people to like us, as if external likability is our greatest achievement in life.

i grew up in a conservative christian household, once i got into college i strayed away and then came back to the faith more conservative than ever. during this time period and within this community of believers that i associated with the school of thinking that we all embodied was that we were all wretched sinners who were inherently wrong and because of this wrongness we owed it to God to always assume our intentions were bad and to put others before ourselves because we thought of ourselves WAY too much.

we were encouraged to always go above and beyond to serve others and give of ourselves without regard to our emotional limitations and financial limitations. during this time period i also dated someone who blamed every conflict we had on me. we were young as hell so the conflict was rampant and often occurring. because of a lack of boundaries, self-confidence and a whole bunch of other shit, the idea that every problem was of my creating was ingrained into my mind within the context of a romantic relationship for a total of three years.

an experience that i deeply regret. each of these experiences—along with growing up in a household with a penchant for guilt tripping—developed within in me a psychological complex that i am inherently wrong which has made learning self-compassion a total mind fuck—but never the less, slowly but surely a game changer.

self-compassion is an act of treating yourself like a good friend. so many of us have this harsh inner critic in our minds telling us that we are not enough. it scrutinizes everything that we say and do, its so harsh when we make an understandable misjudgment. it says ‘you’re so dumb why did you do that?’ self-compassion means that you give YOUR DAMN SELF the benefit of the doubt when making choices.

when you give yourself the benefit of the doubt you have to understand and be okay with the fact that some people are not going to agree with your view and thats ok. when you respect that you are going to be self-compassionate even though someone else is not going to take on your view and when you do not brush away that emotional line that you have drawn in the sand you are respecting your boundaries and creating room in your life to love and nurture yourself and your self-love.

when you’re self-compassionate you don’t feed the harsh critic or the self-doubt monster but instead treat yourself like a good friend and say ‘ [insert name here] i love you and am so proud of who you are, you made that decision because you were coming from a good place, you are a good person, you are talented and worthy of love, so go on about your day with a clear concious because your deserve the benefit of the doubt’ or “[insert name here] i know you made a mistake but guess what? everyone does. this miscalculation is not a set back but a learning experience. you still deserve your own love even if your action was misguided. learn the lesson forgive yourself and then do something nice for yourself to establish this new beginning that is about to take place’.

also, go back into your history and find out where that critical voice comes from and honor your wound and come to terms with it in a way that empowers you.

you have power

often times we fail to set boundaries for ourselves for others to respect because we don’t even know that we have power.

you have power. period. no matter what position you’re in.

whether you’re the consumer, the borrower, the intern, the sublet, the weaker vessel, the one who’s made the miscalculation, the employee, the rookie. you have power. you have a right to be treated with dignity, care and respect. you do not have to default to doing shit that you don’t like because you are not in the predominant position of power momentarily. you still get to have boundaries.

this comes from an internal knowing that every relationship is mutually beneficial and that no matter what goes down in life, it will go on and you’ll be fine.

it is inevitable for us all that one day we will become desperate for help from the hands that served us once upon a time. this isn’t because of karma, this is because we ALL have value and we ALL have something to offer others. but people who exploit their power fail to realize that and miss out because of it.

this doesn’t mean that you’re not contrite when you make a mistake or grateful when someone helps you, no. this means that thank you and sorry are enough. you did not force that someone to help you, that was their decision that they made all by themselves so them acting like they can treat you poorly is them overstepping a boundary and bad behavior on their part. additionally if were saying sorry and moving on you don’t get to drag me through the mud and mistreat me.

don’t be a passenger

this is an extension of the last point, but this one calls for proactivity. many of us just want to hop into someone else’s abundance instead of find ourselves and create our own to share with someone else who’s also found their own abundance. you want to simply be a passenger instead of a co-pilot. this habit causes us to not even think about boundaries, all your thinking about is how to gain this persons approval and keep them in your life.

or contrarily, have you ever dated someone who you loved, shared the same values with, wanted the same things out of life, we’re emotionally compatible with, but still experience a high level of doubt with or feared long-term commitment? its because you’re being a passenger. there is someone that you need to be to yourself that you still have yet to be. you want to find a relationship that stops you from having to show up for yourself and that relationship is nonexistent.

but nevertheless you break up with people over and over again searching for that person that stops you from having to be the person you’ve always needed to be to yourself and go from relationship to relationship. that ‘person’ you’re searching for is what is called a driver and in a relationship with a driver everything is on their terms and there is no room for you, your feelings, your perspective, your fears, your nothing. ultimately, all you can ask for in life is a co-pilot partner that you like who wants the same things out of life as you and is actively striving towards those things.

you are the driver of your own life and a co-pilot in relationships. setting healthy boundaries requires that we know who we are and what we want and need in relationships.

this passage was all about maintaining healthy boundaries for ourselves, the next will be on how to respect other people boundaries and how this empowers us, too.

 

 

xoxo,

 

amber b

 

here are some related and helpful articles on boundaries:

 

https://psychcentral.com/lib/10-way-to-build-and-preserve-better-boundaries/

 

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-twardowski/6-steps-to-setting-boundaries-in-relationships_b_6142248.html

http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/10-fundamental-lessons-onboundaries-in-relationships-part-1/

https://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/boundaries-stop-asking-for-permission/

forgiveness and love:

forgiveness is
my ability to realize that we are all equals
and that i have committed the same misguided choices–
mistakes,
as others have.

if i am unable to see myself in the flaws of someone else,
it is my own suffering that is blocking my vision.
when i forgive, i say:

“have i made that mistake before?”

“yes”

“and am i still a good person?”

“yes”

when it is hard for me to envision myself in the flaws of someone else
i am in denial and therefore blinded by my own pain
that has yet to surface.

when it is hard for me to believe that another is still deserving
of love, despite their misguided choices
i am saying that it is hard for me to believe that i am still
deserving of love, despite the misguided choices that i
have made.

all suffering is equal.
all mistakes are equal.
all pain is equal; whether it is momentary or prolonged,
it has become from one source of general dissatisfaction.

—————————-

falling in love
is so arbitrary.
we are all equals, and therefore
have equally enchanting qualities
to offer each other.

it is all based on our
depravity and unconsciousness.

those special people out there
who have the unique ability to
brush up against the
broken parts of ourselves,
will lead us to our pain
and then to our healing.

we don’t want the relationship that
is easy because we want freedom,
and only suffering can lead us to freedom.
and that is why we are attracted to what
brings us pain; because we subconsciously know
that only it has the capacity
to set us free.

xoxo
amber b

who do you think you are?

A few months ago I set some personal goals and decided that singing at open mic’s was going to be something I wanted to do regularly. I googled ‘local open mic’ and found one that was up the street from my apartment every Monday. Monday approached and I decided to check it out first before singing. Upon my arrival I noticed that the coffee shop was occupied by mostly hipsters: women with bald heads, men with long beards, man buns, both genders typing at an actual type writer and or typing at a laptop adorned with stickers protesting all-things-mainstream. I walked down stairs to a dimly lit cave-like open-mic venue and it was packed. The stages back drop was very artsy and the nights performers together were very eclectic. Noticeably, before almost every performer spoke-or even during their poetry reading,-each proclaimed in one way or another that they were “anti-religion” and simultaneously drenched in emotional dysfunction. “I’m not a Christian even though thats what my parents wanted me to be” one performer resentfully shared.

After hearing theses sentiments consistently throughout the night my initial thoughts were about how evangelical Christianity has made many of us feel that we aren’t good enough to be loved by God; If you are a Gay, have had premarital sex, drink and don’t go to church every Sunday, date someone who is not spiritual like you—you are not good enough for God’s love. If you’ve lied, been manipulative or are a jealous person, you are not good enough for the love of God.

But as time has passed I’ve realized that self-acceptance is what we are really searching for.

So many times we project onto others that which we cannot do for ourselves. We get mad at our grandmother for not believing in our dreams and then demonize her and give her a one-dimensional identity of ‘bitch’. I mean, no human is any one thing. Our humanity is so vast. Additionally, if we believed in our own beauty and in our own ability, the opinions of others wouldn’t matter. If we believed that we were adequate and valuable, the ending of a relationship would not have the capacity to be because you lack of value and are inadequate.

We can really live in a personalized hell if we choose to. If for the duration of our lives we refuse to come to terms with who we are that’s exactly what this life will be; hell on earth. So many of us live in a constant state of anxiety, fear, depression, self-hatred, suicidal thinking, panic attacks or secretly struggle with addiction. We tourture ourselves with outlandish fears and negative thinking. Many of these habits and states are on behalf of the false beliefs we have about ourselves, false beliefs we have about others, or false beliefs we have about what others think of us (which is what you think of yourself). We are so afraid of love and peace and are addicted to pain and self-sabotage.

The Fall season is here and many of us humans fall into a depression around this time of year. Why? because of what we think of others, because of what we think of ourselves, because its fucking cold. Theres an alternative to living this way. But it takes mental reprogramming and in my experience constant self-care practice and self-love rituals. I’ll share more about how i’ve developed a healthier sense of self with my next installation. Part II if you will.

 

-amber . breezy!

on cultural appropriation and self-love

Last Thursday night I drove to LA to take a couple of dance classes. On my way to class I was walking up Hollywood Boulevard when I crossed paths with two Asian girls who had Senegalese Twists in their hair. Like, with synthetic kinky hair and shells adorning them. I had never seen this in my life; non-black non-celebrity individuals wearing a very Black hairstyle–with kinky hair at that. After witnessing this I experienced negative emotions but the fact that I was late to class ended up overriding those initial negative thoughts and I bypassed them and kept walking speedily to class focused on my tardiness. As I speedily walked up the stairs to the studio, on my way to sign in to class I crossed paths with a White girl with blonde synthetic-kinky-hair cornrows in her hair. “what?!” I thought to myself. “Is this a thing?!?” I went on to dance class 15 minutes late and it was the most amazing experience; I cried in one class. over-comer tears. On my way home I was blasting my music while singing and dancing along still on an emotional high from the experience I just had when the image of those three girls I saw before class came to my mind mid song and I burst into laughter. I thought to myself ”Their hair is as long as the synthetic hair, probably longer! Use your own hair boo you’re defeating the whole purpose!” and “They wanna be us so bad” also came to mind. But as I let the experience sink in, I was reminded of the defensiveness that my community gifts anyone who we perceive is attempting to invalidate us and our experience with. Given our experience here in the US defensiveness is totally understandable. But inevitably the defensiveness is filled with historical baggage that needs addressing and healing.

White is a color. I repeat, white is a color. Being ‘colored’ isn’t about skin tone its about which skin color society decides to exploit in order to make one people group feel better than another. Being one color versus another does not make one right or wrong good or bad—more melanin obviously is not bad since everybody is trying to be tan with a big but, big lips, big ass and now they even want to have nappy hair too!—it just makes us different. When each and everyone one of us makes an attempt to be beautiful we are emulating what ever image that we believe will give us the best opportunity to feel desired, wanted, fulfilled, complete and loved. People of all ethnic backgrounds are emulating the whole BlackQueen-BoxBraids-Cornrolls-TanSkin-BigAss-BigLips-BontuBuns trend because Black Women are just as capable of reflecting beauty as the next person. Everyone else recognizes this, but when will us Black women realize this? Wear it. When will we realize that we are just as able to be beautiful and attract love as the next? When we get upset at these cultural appropriators our messaging is “This is my only opportunity to feel pretty and be considered beautiful and you’re taking it away from me!” and that is not true. This is not our only opportunity to feel beautiful and be considered beautiful. Physical beauty might get you some attention from men but it sure as hell wont make your relationship work. It sure as hell wont make you feel fulfilled. It sure as hell wont make you feel complete and happy. Our beauty is eternal Queens. Our beauty comes from a place of peace when we realize our completion. This is true beauty and no one can take that opportunity to be beautiful away from us and everyone is attracted to it!

All anyone can do is take responsibility for ones starting point in life and play to win. I don’t want to carry historical baggage with me anymore but its not going to be shed overnight. Today I have decided to realize my equality in beauty, to take imitation for the compliment that it is and decide that what I think of me is all that matters and everything else is just a reflection of that. Today I am beautiful because I am and no one can take that opportunity away from me…except me. Today I declare that this is my truth.

-Amber B

on self-care

Last May 2015 I decided to be single for a while. I had just gotten out of a relationship that was on and off for three years and going nowhere fast at extreme speeds. It wasn’t my first dance with romantic love. Prior to this relationship I was in a 1.5 year long relationship with my first love that came to a mutually confusing and painful ending. After my second relationship ended for the trillionth time, I was done. I wanted to heal and deal with the baggage that I gained from the relationship and somehow move on. I say somehow because at the relationships end I was still very much in love and was unsure of how I would move on and love again, but I was committed and that’s all you really need. Since then, I’ve been infatuated and even felt very strongly about some but nothing has “gotten off the ground” if you will, and I’m really thankful for that. I’m not one who dates a ton, or entertains dudes for fun. If I give you my attention, I’m really digging you. I’m a wanderer, I travel alone and eat at romantic restaurants only accompanied by a good book, a journal and maybe a glass of wine if I rode my bike. I’ve been a girls-girl basically my whole life and am satisfied by being obsessed with my girlfriends, dance and dreaming. I’m hopelessly romantic and simultaneously prefer to be single…unless I’m really digging someone. The difference between the last 15 months of being single and the vast majority of my life that was spent being single is that this time around there are no illusions. Back in February 2015 I stopped going to church. It was not my first time leaving the church…it was actually my third. Being single and leaving church gave way to so many illusions in my subconscious: A false sense of security, a false sense of superiority and a false sense of completion. My last relationship didn’t work because I didn’t have my own identity, my own confidence, my own opinions, my own acceptance, my own assurance, my own love and my own spirituality. I wanted my significant other to make me feel complete, I always needed assurance from him, I wanted his approval and I looked to him for an identity and confidence. I quickly realized after that relationship ended almost a year and a half ago that I needed to learn how to take care of myself, accept myself, love myself, assure myself, believe in myself and find my happiness. I had to find myself in God and use Gods Divine Super-Powers to heal myself. I had to make God my source of love and out of that abundance give love to others. Without that I was just desperately trying to take love and power from others. Take take take. But you can’t really take anything from anyone, that’s an illusion too. When you try to take love or power from another person you’re really attacking yourself. In my last relationship, being in love was a sedative that only worked for three weeks to a month. After that it went straight to hell and only came back to heaven every blue moon. Back then, I used to be so desperate for the company of others to make me fell “ok” that I would tolerate oversized-insecure egos, the constant yet subtle discounting of my opinion and an overall lack of support. I wanted to please everyone in an effort to feel loved and complete but ended up abandoning myself in the process. Once I realized my own abundance and learned how to begin loving myself I stopped being desperate for the company of others and stopped entertaining shitty relationships. When you’re alone your trauma comes out. If you can’t handle it you’ll do anything to get away from yourself and your “loneliness”. You might even run right into the arms of a friend or a lover that is not equipped to love you. These days, quite a few of the people I used to associate with are no longer with me. But when I’m alone now, I’m not “lonely” I’m enjoying myself. Even when I do feel loneliness creep in I know that it’s a false belief or trauma and I know how to cope. These days I am not generous and forgiving and accommodating because I want to please my significant other, now I love because I am loved by God first. I can tangibly see the ways God loves me and fully take responsibility for my actions. It is out of feeling so abundantly loved by God that I can give love. That’s the only time I give love. Love too looks a lot different for me these days. What I used to call love was enabling. Now taking care of myself is the way that I take care of others. Being loved by God and loving myself is the medium through with I love others

So, I’m single. I’m following my dreams, I’m honestly not ready to share my life with someone right now, I don’t want to just yet. But if it happens even so…

Fuck it.

-Amber B

incommon

chasing you meant
running away from myself
wanting you meant
avoiding myself
and my own happiness
but at that time
facing myself was
too scary
too too scary
my wounds were too heavy
they would have killed me at that time
loss of blood
So I chased you
and then I caught you
it was kind of surprising.
and then you fell in love with me
and we would miscommunicate
and you would run away from conflict
and i’d over react
and i’d forgive
and i’d forgive
and i’d forgive
and i’d forgive
and i’d make you feel insecure
and you were in love with me
Deep
and I was in love with you
and then one day
i didn’t know anymore
all i knew was you
and you were all i knew
because back then I HAD to have you
had to
had to
i was weak
i wasnt strong enough to face myself
my wounds were too deep
they would have killed me at the time
loss of blood
but now
i don’t know how to be alone
all i know is you
but now
i don’t know who i am
or what my truth is
or what I want out of life
but now
I don’t know anymore

This is common
i’ve heard this story many different times
from many different humans
maybe its not because the relationship wasn’t meant to be
maybe its because we don’t spend enough time with ourselves
maybe its because we aren’t satisfied
with anything
I won’t let myself believe that
it is a good thing to allow our dissatisfaction
to lead us to achievement and accolades
we were meant to be true
we were meant to be real
we were meant to be satisfied

Some thoughts this Thursday.

-Amber B

i am what i am

london 086ascend with amber

The the theme of this month is:
unconditional love and acceptance, of self.
Achieving this is of course a life long journey, so while on that journey, lets make the month of March one that catapults us even closer to, or maybe even all that way to, unconditional acceptance and love, of ourselves. Self-acceptance and love, are so critically important, because our whole lives are a mirror of the relationship we have with ourselves. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, where I post all of my poems, you’ve probably read the poem You that sheds light on these sentiments:
2

 

Can you even see me? Our ability to love others, and treat them well, is a direct reflection of our ability to love ourselves and treat our selves well (or not). It’s kind of eerie how were wired that way. Pretty dope. Cool.

As I shared with you in my last ascend with Amber monthly letter, I am big on questioning things. So maybe, like me, you wondered for a moment, ‘why is it important to unconditionally love and accept ourselves?’ Because, when humans are uncomfortably good to one another, it is an overwhelmingly powerful force, the only force that can bring true peace; to ourselves, and to our world. The only way to be uncomfortably good to others, is to figure out how to be uncomfortably good, to yourself. Why is that? Refer to the mirror analogy and poem above. When we are unconditionally loved and accepted, we don’t need to rely on people or circumstances to be good to us, in order to be good to others. The circumstances of our lives won’t determine our outlook on life, and we will need very little to feel satisfied. unconditional love and acceptance, is freedom.

So then I ask, how? how do I unconditionally love and accept, myself? The answer to that question is different for everyone. For myself, the first step that comes to my mind in figuring out what unconditional love looks like, is: How do I unconditionally love others?

    • I assure them
    • I forgive them
    • I’m patient with them
    • I give them my time and attention
    • I learn about who they are and what they like
    • I validate them
    • I correct them
    • I apologize when I’m wrong
    • I try to be my best for them
    • I give them the benefit of the doubt

And the list goes on..

So then, in order to work at unconditionally loving and accepting myself, I’ve got to do some portion of the above, for myself. This month, I’m committing to:
assuring myself and forgiving myself.

We can disappoint ourselves so much in life, everyday. This isn’t because we are truly falling short, this is because of where we’ve set our expectations of ourselves. But falling short is not worth having no peace. In the grand scheme of things, no situation is worth having no peace. For me, assurance and forgiveness means that I continue to do my best, but to forgive myself when I fall short and remind myself that God is in control and that as long as I have my life and my health, I can have joy and peace.

Naming my months, means that I will focus in on assuring and forgiving myself, everyday, as an act of self-love and acceptance, for the entire month of March.

How will you implement unconditional love and acceptance of self into your life this month? What will you focus your energies on? I’m curious…

 

With Love and Light,

 

Amber Bernadette

 

oh p.s, if you’d like to check out more of my poems, you can follow me on Instagram at Instagram/wordtothewise__ or facebook.com/wordtothewiseblog