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/

healing heartbreak part two

healing heartbreak by amber b coleman

 

low relationship standards

healing heartbreak is a slow process that requires commitment and self-compassion. you have to really align yourself with God and listen to your intuition because if you listen to the relationship standards of our culture which are so low and damaging and filled with quick fixes and toxic instant gratifiers you will regret it. the examples of relationships on television or in the songwriting of the top 10 on the radio are ones where both people are seeking purpose, self-confidence and fulfillment within one another. this misguided pursuit creates dysfunctional bonds where broken people get together and break each other down even more.

in our society we are encouraged to hurry up and get married instead of hurrying up and getting whole and pursuing our purpose. we are not encouraged to love ourselves first and then to love somebody else. pursuing your life’s purpose is a means of deep and intense healing which will alter your relationships for the better.

if your relationships don’t end on amicable terms—they’re broken relationships—if you hate your ex or vise versa, your relationship was one of brokenness. in my last post i discussed the mindset that often gets us into a cycle of broken relationships. today i’ll be discussing habits that will lead us into healthy relationship patters.

many times we can be really hard on ourselves about personal flaws that contribute to a relationships ending but a relationships ending is never only one persons fault so no need to take on the personal responsibility of the other party involved on top of your own. also at the days end our mistakes are truly just bad habits and habits are easily broken and restored with self-control.

when we stoop low in a relationship we are never proud of ourselves after doing so. when we give into anger or stalk our ex online, neither of these choices make us love ourselves more. the goal of this article is to help you make choices that will make you feel proud of yourself which will lead to self-love which will lead to healthier relationship patterns.

healing heartbreak: you win by not playing

you avoid having to go through the process of healing heartbreak by not even playing the rat race dating game. in the brokenness-dating-game there are the lovers that worship you and the ones that you worship. you always feel slighted by the ones you worship and hopefully you were delicate with the hearts that worshiped you. if not than you ARE the lovers that you feel slighted by and subsequently the thing that you don’t like.

the way you imagine who you are in each relationship is completely different. in the relationships where you are worshiped you are our highest self: you are beautiful you are loved you are amazing, interesting and worthy, but you sabotage this relationship because you lack self-love and do not respect your partner for making a bad investment–which is one in you.

in the relationships where you are doing the worshipping you need to be fixed because something is wrong with you, you need to gain love and you are almost—but just not enough. the way that you win this game is by not playing.

this game is about self-concept. if you see yourself as worthy and are self-validating then all you are looking to see is whether a relationship is the right fit for you. you are NOT trying to make someone like you or change someone. this doesn’t mean that you don’t show your interest–no–definitely show interest when you’re feeling somebody whether you’re male or female. but if they begin to behave in a way that says maybe they’re not ready for a relationship or maybe you two aren’t on the same page, gracefully step away from the relationship.

many people stick around because they’re desperate or unhappy despite seeing all of the red flags that the person that they’re dealing with is not ready or available to them. when this happens it is best for one to acknowledge that the following bad behaviors committed by their lover we not okay BUT also take responsibility that they ignored the red flags and didn’t love themselves which gave way to all of the crappery that transpired.

when a relationship doesn’t go the way you want—healthy or not—your self-esteem will always be vulnerable to the results. when this happens make sure to take care of yourself and do things that will remind you of your value. all of the transgressions committed by a lover and the wounds that follow are truly in your mind. this doesn’t diminish your experience or pain, but it’s true. your only identity is Child of God and its up to you to implement rituals that remind you of that truth such as a self-affirmation practice or meditation.

the foundation of a good fit is someone who is physically and emotionally available to be in a relationship with you.

healing heartbreak: make choices that make you proud

a major factor in becoming a healthy person and subsequently developing healthier relationships is by making choices that make you feel proud of who you are. one of the major habits that take place within broken relational bonds is social media stalking. you do this because you’re not over this person and not ready to move on or you want to look for any sign that this person may be hurt over the relationships end as well and that there’s still a chance for you two, or if you do this while you’re dating it is because you’re looking for confirmation that you’re enough for them.

social media stalking is truly an addiction especially in terms of a lover. instead of dealing with the trauma and negative emotions that came along with the relationships end which will help you in your healing heartbreak process, you instead avoid those feelings with stalking. or, instead of dealing with feelings of low self worth or being unworthy of good love, you perpetuate the issue and sabotage yourself by meditating on thoughts of unworthiness and self-doubt while social media stalking. then all of the toxic emotions just accrue over time making your self-healing job even harder. many times the toxic emotions that come up while stalking are easier to deal with than the feelings that come up when you have face yourself.

looking back on my not so distant past, on the bad habits that i used to engage with in such an unhealthy manner i now realize just how broken i was and just how broken one must be in order to engage in such unhealthy habits. making choices that make you proud of who you are is also addicting.

if you struggle with social media stalking its because you need a schedule and a purpose for social media. set guidelines for your self and timing restrictions. get accountability from a close friend, and always-always-always pour into your self-worth with a self-love practice.

healing heartbreak: love is what you make it

in my last post i discussed how love is not enough. love is fairly easy to find—if you want to find it—because we are all made by love and thus the fabric of who we are is love. love is not a reason to get into a relationship with someone but love + compatibility is.
but with that said. once you find that love + compatibility combination that you’re satisfied with, you will still come across bumps in the road and at that point, love is what you make it. the bumps will still be there but because you were shrewd about choosing your partner the bumps are worth it.

as i find my way into artistic entrepreneurship, i pay my bills as a substitute teacher in LA. i make my own schedule and can still afford a nice lifestyle while still having more than enough time to pursue my passion. first, I began substitute teaching middle school and high school. these students are going through a crazy phase hormonally. the switch from primary school to secondary school is dramatic as hell.

by the time they’ve reached middle school, they’re going where they’re going and its quite easy to tell. you can just point them out “i’ll see you in college, see you in rehab, see you in continuation school, see you at graduation” i’ve gotten sent to schools in south central on many occasions but the stress level via socio-economic environment only varies slightly; whether teaching in the hollywood hills or south central, middle school and high school kids all are super moody and often have bad attitudes towards authority, curse profusely and are not interested in being compliant; just like I was back then bahahah!

so i changed my preferences and began teaching primary school instead and wow! the difference is so stark. whether i get sent to the hood or the hollywood hills primary school kids want to learn, they want to be a good person and do the right thing, they are interested in integrity, they cry when they’re hurt and are so soft. they are also a lot of drama. hour on end students come to me with ‘teacher! teacher! she did this to me. teacher! teacher! she did that to me. teacher! teacher! my leg is tingling! teacher! teacher! its my birthday (its really not)’ non-stop.

i prefer primary school over high school by and large. its WAY better. but there are still moments where i find myself complaining. mind you a year ago while working in corporate america this is the life i prayed for. the life i was completely desperate for. the life that i was SURE that would help me enjoy life more. subbing was something that i was looking so forward to as well. and here i am, complaining. even after changing from high school to middle school. i’m still complaining. when i was teaching high school i could hand out a piece of homework and be done with teaching and go on to read a book or work on my art/business for the rest of the period while students work away independently.

with primary school kids you are always ‘on’. there are few to no moments of independent study, but the difference in their attitudes are what make or break the job for me. i found myself one day after transferring to primary school saying to myself, ‘i don’t know if i even like working with primary school kids. i wonder what job is the one for me?’ and then an answer came into my consciousness:

‘the job that is the one for you is the one that you’ll be grateful for.
the one that you will choose not run away from the hard questions with
and are willing to go through all of the different
phases with’

damn.

and after you’ve understood what you want out of life and who you are, and subsequently what type of lover you want, that’s what love becomes: what you make it. are you grateful for your person? are you running away from yourself or are you asking all of those tough questions and actually allowing yourself to come into an actual relationship with someone? one where you work through your issues which allows you to become even more emotionally intimate.

so where are you on your healing heartbreak journey? do you need to work on self-love, boundaries and your purpose and dreams? do you need to sort through your past and find healing for the present? in my observation, experiencing broken relationships and subsequently having to go through healing heartbreak comes from ignoring red flags, a lack of personal boundaries and low-self-esteem. each of these are avoided by personal responsibility.

always remember when healing heartbreak: your relationship was broken, not you. don’t try and forgive someone for overstepping your boundaries because doing so is an impossible task. instead work on forgiving yourself for not setting boundaries and not acting in away that says that you believe that you deserve a happy healthy relationship with someone who is capable of loving you well. when you focus on forgiving yourself and being self-compassionate there is so much more room for healing heartbreak.

xoxo

 

amber b

 

here are a few related articles for further insight:

a guide to building healthy habits:

https://zenhabits.net/7-little-habits-that-can-change-your-life-and-how-to-form-them/

on social media staking:

http://community.sparknotes.com/2016/05/23/real-talk-i-cant-stop-stalking-my-ex-on-social-media

on building healthy self-esteem: 

http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/self-esteem-in-a-nutshell-when-you-believe-youre-not-good-enough-to-drive-your-own-life/

on paying attention to red flags:

https://www.elitedaily.com/dating/relationship-red-flags-first-date/1381784

dealing with heart break

it’s fall, and nature is teaching us how to surrender and allow old belief systems and personal narratives to slowly fall from the limbs of our minds, and to not resist this moment of transition and instead to embrace it and be grateful for it while confidently awaiting the newness and healing that spring soon will bring.

many find it challenging to maintain a joyful outlook in the fall season and commonly slip into a state of depression. for many of us the fall season can bring about a time of reflecting on relationships from the past that were unsuccessful and left us heartbroken.

I have experienced quite a few heartbreaks within romantic relationships, but what i’ve learned is that to be heartbroken is all encompassing:

we are either totally heartbroken or we are totally grateful.

if you consider yourself currently broken hearted because of the demise of a relationship, chances are you were heartbroken way before this relationship began. chances are you were heartbroken before you even began your first serious romantic relationship.

maybe your like i used to be and you:
-have a history of broken relationships
-feel like maybe you have a curse because all of your relationships end in tragedy.
-often feel powerless to the person that you love and that they hold all of the power to whether you get to have your love story or not.
-feel you have been the victim of bad partners and their bad behavior

it doesn’t have to be like this. this does not have to be your normal. below are a few reasons why you may find yourself in the above mindset and subsequently in relationships that end in tragedy. it truly all begins with self-love and i know that is somewhat of an ethereal term so below i will outline exactly what i mean:

number one: you get what you expect. you expect negativity because you need to be a victim. to combat this, increase your self-esteem by becoming a victor with their own identity, their own abundance, their own opinions, their own fun, their own dreams, friends and their own wholeness, and then begin to expect positive results because you believe you are worthy of them. you get what you expect. not on an external level but on an internal level which means a complete perspective shift must take place in order for your expectations to change.

we attract into our lives experiences and people that reflect our beliefs about ourselves. we attract whatever we need to pass our current level that will bring us into awareness of our divinity. whatever beliefs you hold about yourself, that’s what you will find in your life. if you believe that love is something to be earned. if you believe that you need to fix something you perceive to be wrong with yourself to deserve love, if you believe you need to change something about who you are for love, that’s the type of partner you will attract. that’s why it truly is about self-love, and we love ourselves by aligning ourselves with God. then, when someone who embodies the ‘rat race dating mentality’ approaches you and shows interest, their energy will turn you off because it is not compatible with yours. you don’t need to fix anything about who you are to deserve love, you just need someone who’s ready to communicate and figure shit out. someone who’s ready to lay aside a false sense of self-righteousness. but once you believe that, once you understand that you are not ‘fundamentally wrong’ that’s what you’ll find in your life: people and experiences that reflect that belief

sometimes we meet someone who is crazy about us and we think its funny. maybe we even get an ego stroke like their attention means that we’re all that. their passion about who we are turns us off. why? because their messaging is incompatible with ours. their messaging says ‘you are wonderful and you don’t need to work for my love’ and our messaging is the opposite. their interest in us makes us laugh because we feel like we don’t deserve it ‘bahahaha, you’re crazy about me?? why??” we get an ego stroke from them because the self-love wasn’t even there to begin with. if it were, them being crazy about us would not be a surprise. when we develop self-loving thoughts towards ourselves we will attract the same type of partner.

also, stop being a victim and start taking responsibility for your own joy and happiness.
finding a joy and a happiness that are independent of any circumstance is the realest struggle i have ever undergone and it requires a fucking full on fight! With your ‘normal’, with your beliefs. it is possible though. i would suggest starting with a gratitude journal. for forty days write forty things you are grateful for. i know that during the onset of a broken heart, writing shit that your grateful for can feel a bit daunting but here’s the thing: you might not notice it but you’re healing and getting better. i remember when i started my gratitude and self-affirmation practice. i was 28 days in and took a seven day break and that’s when i realized how much i had progressed; after i began to digress.

another thing: when you are a victim in your mind, everything around you accommodates this belief; if you are a victim then everything around you must become a villain which makes it not so fun to be around you. it can be hard to realize this but yeah, that’s what you’re doing.

 

number two: figure yourself out. there is so much more to a romantic relationships than love. love just simply is not enough. as human beings, we are all created BY love itself. therefore, the fabric of what we are is love. this is why so many of us have found ourselves in love with many different people, and each experience of love is legitimate. this is why men fall in love with men; they are both made of love. this is why women fall in love with women; they are both made of love. this is why men and women fall in love; they are both created by love itself. this is why two people whose personality traits and emotional predisposition are directly opposed to one another fall in love; they are both created by love. nevertheless; there are so many emotional possibilities out there. love is not a reason to get into a relationship with someone, love+compatibility however, are. but you cant know what type of lover and lifestyle you want until you discover that for yourself and figure yourself out.

so many people marry young out of the pressure to receive validation from society, without having done any internal work or without taking on any life experience. because of this, many of these marriages begin before the age of 25, each of them begin to discover more about who they are in their later 20’s and 30’s and what they want out of life, and then a divorce happens in their 40’s and/or fifties. divorce happens and it happens to everybody. it is not discriminate of your race, religion or socio-economic status. therefore it is crucial to be very conservative in your choice of a life partner. compatibility equals the same. i know and have experienced the whole ‘opposites attract’ in romantic relationships but that shit gets old and eventually creates conflict. an enduring bond is one where both people are on the same page in terms of what they want out of life and what type of lifestyle they want and they are emotionally similar and compatible. love is not enough.

number three: deal with your baggage. whoever you need to be to yourself before you meet the love of your life, you will still need to be that person afterwards. a lover comes into our lives as a request from our own spirit for realizing freedom. every person we encounter is a learning experience. many times people get married multiple times because they needed that marriage to see freedom through. the trick is to learn the lesson the first time it pursues you so that you don’t have to learn it over and over again. get a journal and write anything that comes into your mind. write three pages worth and unload your mind. go back into your childhood and articulate all of those micro-aggressions that trigger your wounds in social situations. then develop practical ways to cater and nurture those wounds. don’t let the sole purpose of your relationships be for you to heal, because you were unwilling to heal yourself. your relationships should be fun and emotionally supportive. take care of yourself on your own and then find someone who’s funny, hot and fun to be around and make out with. keep it simple.

a relationship is not the place to search for validation, to search for the permission to be who you are, for constant assurance, an emotional crutch or any of that shit. you do that for your damn self. save yourself the additional baggage and handle that on your own. its hard to do it by yourself but trust that its even harder in the company of an equally internally broken other.

heartbreak is all encompassing. you’re either always heartbroken or you’re always grateful. i know from personal experience how hurtful it can be that you still haven’t gotten to be in a relationship with someone that you really love and it looks like everyone around you does. but honestly truly, if were grateful then were thankful for the lessons that our lovers taught us, and we are grateful for the opportunity to heal and we are grateful that we get to be with someone who is perfect for us in the future.

happy healing!

 

xoxo

amber b

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

words of a woman

words of a woman is my mini-documentary series about women, inspired by boombox in the sky, my debut book of poetry and prose that you can purchase at my books tab. it was filmed by my girl samantha menses and directed and edited by myself.

boombox in the sky is a book of poetry purposed to humanize the complicated parts of ourselves, speak beauty love and truth to the wounded parts of ourselves and to inspire readers to use their free-will to choose their highest self. a critical component in achieving that level of self-love and self-awareness is through story telling. whether it be in a journal, to a friend or with a trained professional. we heal ourselves by telling our stories.

that is where words of a woman comes in. i decided to put my money where my mouth is by sharing my own story and invited two of my girlfriends to share theirs as well. i reflected on each of our stories on my instagram each week, as each story revealed new revelations about personal freedom, self-love and becoming the Highest version of ourselves.

my series started with my girl juanita–who is a writer and playwright–who questioned life’s meaning and her purpose in it and she did it so thoughtfully and effortlessly. “if this is all that life has to offer: a job that robs me of 90% of my life, dead end relationships and just this monotony. this emptiness. if this is it…[God] come get me.“ watch the full version below.

then we moved on to my girl Monique who is an actress pursuing her career in los angeles. she spoke about about how she’s walking in her purpose but still feels unsatisfied. she discusses experiencing instant gratification constantly in her carer and desiring a consistent fulfillment in its place. “i keep going back to that in my head [to ask myself] am i…full?” watch the full version below.

then we went onto my story. i spoke about constantly searching for myself in everything except truth and always finding myself disappointed afterwards. “i searched for myself in relationships, in success, in perfectionism, in physical beauty, in friendship–in everything.” watch the full version below.

words of a woman made us ask questions like:
-what is my purpose?
-what is true fulfillment?
-how do we forgive?
-why do we forgive?
-does the future have anything to offer me
that the present does not?

words of a woman was so revelatory to so many of us and for so many different reasons. one of many conclusions that i came to was that no one is to blame for anything that has transpired in my life and my healing is my own responsibility. please share your thoughts below and make sure to check out the full series above.

xoxo
amber

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

on turning twenty-six

I have never had to consider how I felt about aging until recently as my 26th birthday approaches. Turning 25 was a bit nerve wrecking but I didn’t have to come to terms with it in the same way that I have 26. As of October 24th this year, I will be in my late twenties. It started to hit me in July and the realization has not left me since. I had mixed feelings about it initially until one day a few weeks ago, I came home from work crawled under my covers and begged God to make time stop; I felt as if I’d rather disappear than turn 26. But like everything, things get really bad right before they begin to get better. It was after having this moment that I realized that I have to decide for myself what aging means for me and what my response to aging will be. I think our first natural reaction to aging is hopelessness and maybe cynicism. We all feel as if we’ve made countless unredeemable mistakes and punish ourselves for them with harsh self-judgement and condemnation. We value youth as if “being youthful” has only to do with the amount of years our bodies have existed on earth. Then I began to remember all of the Queens that lye all over the age spectrum that continue to follow their dreams, dress stylishly, are silly and happy, have deep relational bonds and some that are mothers and have children on top of that. From fashion guru June Ambrose or Jada Pinkett who are in their forties and fifties and doing the damn thing, to Beyonce and Multi-Media Artist Vashtie who are in their mid thirties and continue to create and do not let the desire to follow their dreams be affected by their age, then theres Rihanna who is twenty eight and the coolest thing you ever saw. After reflecting about aging not only have I come to terms with it, but I’m kind of excited to be 26! I’ve done good for myself. Today, I’ll be taking a trip to Hawaii with one of my closest girlfriends…for the fuck of it. I live in a cute ass studio apartment, I have an epic job with an amazing boss, I dance everywhere and sing at open mics, I’m proud of who I am and continue to become, I’m following my dreams and most importantly

I’m happy.

And that’s an inside job that none of the activities above has allowed me to experience. For me, I will follow in the footsteps of these queens who’s being alone is essentially timeless. My upcoming birthday has given me an urge to make some of the dreams I have yet to make come true, true. I feel lucky for that urge.

26. I’m turning 26. And I’m excited about it.

-Amber B