#PersonalDevelopment

Hi!  Did you miss me last week?

I took a little break…because a week ago, I jetted away to Houston, Texas for Classy Living Society’s 6th Annual Red Dress Gala!  I can’t even begin to adequately describe how fabulous it was!  It was an entire weekend of fun, rooftop party, Pink & Purple Wellness Brunch, mingling, networking, inspirational speeches, award presentations, good food, red dresses, a ballroom filled with luxurious decor and beautiful sisters…I could go on and on.  To top it all off, there was a good dose of sisterhood bonding, love and MAGIC! #HELLOHOUSTON

It was also an exciting time because this was the second year that Classy Living Society presented the Chronicles Too! Keep Going Award at the Red Dress Gala.  As you know, Chronicles Too! is the official blog of CLS – a platform which features individuals, businesses and nonprofits doing amazing things in the community.  Those featured have the opportunity, more or less in their own words, to acquaint our subscribers with what they do.  But that’s not all!  Those featured may also be chosen to receive the Keep Going Award – an award designed to encourage and uplift them to #keepgoing!  This year, CLS presented Keep Going awards to three remarkable Houston area women – women who, in their own right, are doing big things to ignite change in the world!  Click on their names below to read each of their Chronicles Too! features!

Carissa Stephens

As a serial entrepreneur, our first recipient, Carissa Stephens, is the Owner of ShesChaRISSmatic.com, an inspirational lifestyle blog and store, co-Founder of NaturallyGG, a natural hair care and health brand, founding member of TXture Tribe LLC and the Director of Business Development and Client Relations for her and her husband’s commercial law firm, Stephens PLLC.  She’s also a public speaker, hostess and beauty influencer with a huge YouTube following.  *applause*

Dr. Glenda Demas

 

Furthermore, we honored Dr. Glenda Demas, a therapist, entrepreneur and owner of Pearls of Change, LLC.  Through Pearls of Change, she offers psychotherapy services for individuals and families and is dedicated to raising awareness about mental health, which is often stigmatized in our society.  *applause*

 

Bri Braggs

Our final honoree, Bri Braggs, is an amazing young woman who has rephrased the way we look at fertility, particularly for women of color. She is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Content Curator, Entrepreneur, Reiki Master and Owner of Fertile Alchemy, a holistic lifestyle brand for conscious fertility.  She’s created wonderful handcrafted products that speak to the fertile woman in all of us. *applause*

 

It was such an honor to present the awards to these three extraordinary women.  Each gave impassioned speeches at the Gala, about the highs and lows of their personal and/or business lives.  It is indeed an inspiration to listen to my sisters tell the story about “from whence they came.”  We all know that through life’s trials and struggles, we endure and persevere and become the strong women we are today…and still evolving!  This is why it is so important to present the Keep Going Award – to encourage each recipient, and each woman within earshot of their amazing life stories, to keep going.

If you are featured on the Chronicles Too! just think…next year you could be the one to be chosen for this award!  If you’re not yet featured, click on the link below – and get featured!  Meanwhile, Sis, keep leading, keep grinding, keep being you, keep doing what you’re doing, keep moving forward, keep inspiring…keep going!

The Chronicles Too! is Classy Living Society’s online blog that features individuals, businesses and nonprofits doing amazing things in the community.  Get featured!  (Link below)

https://cls-volunteer.org/ChroniclesToo/about/#featured

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Positive thinking 101: Don’t “SHOULD” on yourself!  “I should be _____.”
Are you stuck in a rut, boohoo’ing about how you’d like things to change, but never doing anything about it?  You know what you “should” do, but you never quite get around to actually doing it.  Day after day, you remain stuck where you are.  Here are three tips on how to get out of the rut and stop “shoulding” on yourself:
1. Acceptance
First! Accept where you are in life right now.  Accepting it doesn’t mean you are happy with it, or that you won’t work toward future goals.  Accept that all is not perfection, not even you – give yourself a break!  I’ve heard many people say that once they accepted and embraced their current situation, they were able to move on to the next level.
2. Break it on Down!
What are those “shoulds” your keep “shoulding”?  Write them all down in a journal.  Don’t think about it, just write as they come to mind!  Using your list, create a page or pages in your journal with each of those “shoulds” written at the top.  This will be your “Break it On Down” list – this will help you to finally get going!  On these pages, you will write the things you know you must do to make your “should” a reality.  If your “should” is to lose weight, write down all the things you know you’ll need to do to accomplish that goal, i.e. clean eating, exercise, visit a nutritionist, hire a trainer.  Break it on down with as much as you can think of!
3.  Do it!
Repetition forms good habits.  Using the items on your list and your subsequent Break It On Down list, begin to actually do all of the things listed there.  Focus, schedule, commit, and by all means drop kick anything that stands in the way of achieving your goal.  Don’t become intimidated by thinking about how far you’ve got to go to get to where you want to be, or the how’s and the when’s and the negative thoughts in your head– you don’t need to see the whole stairwell to take the first step!  Begin doing the things you want to do and I promise you when you leap, the Universe will provide you with all the tools and influential people you need to accomplish it.  Just. Get. Started.  We make time for the things we really want to do.  Make your list items and yourself a priority.
Evolving, bringing your goals and dreams to fruition and checking off the items on your bucket list takes time and dedication.  There are seven days in a week and someday is not one of them.   Stop “shoulding” around and get to it!

 

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At the touch of a button; at the command of a few keystrokes – technology has made communication a lot easier and better.  Or has it?

I met my ex-husband at a club in 1995 (shout-out to the old Club 112 in Atlanta!), and although we aren’t together anymore, I will always consider it a truly memorable night.  I was smitten right away!  He wrote his phone number on a paper cocktail napkin (he had perfect handwriting – which was a ++ to me), and on it, he also wrote “Please call me.”  The next day I called him and we met in person at Applebee’s that evening.  We hit it off right away and the rest is history – love and marriage.  I kept the cocktail napkin as a memento of our meeting; and I still have it today.

Now, this was “back in the day”, when entering code *69 on your phone would tell you who just called and hung up when you answered.  You had your own pager code to identify yourself to someone you paged (Beep-beep).  The pre-mobile phones everywhere era.  People actually saw each other and talked to one another rather than stand around staring at their phone screens.

Nowadays, technology, email, texting and “sliding into the DM’s”, etc. has changed the dating scene by activating the perpetual “texter.”  You know, those who will only communicate with you online or via text message or DM.  Now, I’m not too old fashioned that I won’t engage in a good text or email exchange – but that’s after I already know you.  Here’s how I see it – with online dating, you shoot a couple of messages back and forth to see if there’s a connection; if so, you exchange phone numbers and make plans to meet in person.  Yet somehow, and as mentioned in my earlier blog post “Online Dating…Is it for You? Is it for Anybody??”, there are the ones whom you have the greatest conversations with on the phone and online into infinity and beyond, but they just never seem to get around to asking to meet you in person.

I want to meet a guy I’ve met online in person – look into his eyes, hear his voice, feel his energy.  I want to get in his space before I tell all of my business in an email, text or telephone call.  To me, it’s the only genuine way for me to determine if I really like him or not and vice versa – if he really likes me!  How many times have you conversed a kazillion times with someone you met online and when you finally meet him/her in person, it’s a “no”?  At that point, it really makes you wish you never shared all your good business with someone you’re not going to interact with in the future.

Yes, bygone are the days when we wrote our phone numbers on the palm of someone’s hand, on a gum wrapper or a cocktail napkin and hoped that they would call.  Side note: it was also the day we could give a fake phone number to get rid of someone in your face – nowadays men will ask you to call them from your phone to get your digits. Ha!  (Gotcha!)

Because we have the easy access of email and texting and DM’ing…doesn’t mean we now need to forego getting into each other’s physical space.  We don’t need to lose the ability to have face-to-face contact and get our flirt on.  We shouldn’t miss the inter-personalities of eye contact and a smile, gestures and body language.  Watching someone’s lips say “I like you” is wayyyy better than receiving a text message that says it.  Sliding into the DM’s can never replace the experience of the best nonverbal component of interaction – human touch.

The next time you meet someone online, it’s okay to message a few times or maybe have a phone call or two.  But if somewhere in there, you’ve figured out you have an interest, somebody (and the old school part of me thinks it should be him) should arrange a coffee or cocktail date – and the sooner the better.

What do you think?  Are you in agreement with me and have a desire to meet in person early on?  Or are you okay with strictly online and text communications with the opposite sex?

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I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than someone who is unafraid to be herself. – Emma Stone

In the work I am doing to better myself in my life journey (a/k/a therapy), I’m learning about my own core beliefs.  Core beliefs are defined as follows:

basic beliefs about ourselves, other people, and the world we live in. They are things we hold to be absolute truths deep down, underneath all our “surface” thoughts.*

Your core beliefs are typically learned throughout your life – maybe something someone told you about yourself, the way you perceive the world through your own experiences, or even through your religious beliefs, etc.  Basically, they are the “go-to” thoughts that are continuously on repeat in your mind that you’ve somehow adopted as your truth – whether valid or invalid.  Core beliefs are often activated by triggers – events that bring up thoughts that are colored by your perception.

Since I’m not a psychologist and still learning about this concept of discovering core beliefs myself, I’m not going to go into great detail – but one thing I know for certain.  When you begin to examine your core beliefs, it will tell you a lot about yourself, your thoughts and how you see the world.  It speaks an abundance of truth toward your esteem and confidence (or lack thereof) and why you may be plagued by negative thoughts, fear and anxiety and why you perpetually stand in your own way.

In order for you to move forward, you have to take an occasional glance backward to see where you collected certain steadfast beliefs that don’t necessarily serve you.  You’ve progressed, you’ve aged, you’ve grown – so why do you still harbor the same core beliefs you had when you were 14 years old?  This will never suit you in your 40’s, 50’s and beyond.  All it does is keep you stuck.

To heighten your current frequency of vibration, it’s time to begin the work of dispelling the myths that are holding you back.  You are not the mistakes you made, nor who your abusive ex said you were, nor what your family told you about yourself.  And you’re really not the negative words you utter to yourself.  Begin to pay more attention to what you tell yourself through your thoughts and who you see when you look in the mirror.  If you’re saying words or thinking thoughts about yourself that you wouldn’t say to someone you love, then why are you saying them to yourself?

Make a list of those things you believe about yourself – the good and the bad things you believe deep down inside  – and start working on eradicating those items on your list that are putting a damper on your good energy.  Start building the force field that will surround you enough to deflect the situations that would normally take you down for the count.  Embrace the “weaknesses” on your list and be kind to yourself about them.  No one deserves your good treatment and love more than you.  See who you are and be unafraid to be yourself.

*Reference: https://betterrelationships.org.au/well-being/core-beliefs-self-acceptance/

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Bagels!  I miss good New York bagels. They’re difficult to find in Atlanta…

When I was growing up in New York, my brother and I would go with our mother to the S&H Green Stamp Redemption Center/Store.  “What’s a S&H Green Stamp Catalog Store?” you ask?   Well, I’m showing my age here; but back in the day it was a catalog store where S&H Green stamps could be redeemed.  Much like today’s customer loyalty programs at a grocery store or restaurant where you get points for purchases; back then if you shopped at select stores (like my mother shopped at A&P for groceries) you received little strips of green stamps at check-out according to the amount of money you spent.  Paste your stamps into a blank booklet and when you’ve acquired enough, you were entitled to redeem them for all sorts of offerings from a catalog – from punch bowl sets to home decor – according to the number of stamps you had.

I’d always get so excited to go with my mother to the green stamp store!  It was fun “helping” her select what to get with her green stamps (even though she’d already made up her mind what she was getting before she went, but we always tried to convince her to get toys).  But best of all, I knew after we left the store, we were going next door for fresh hot bagels!  Near the green stamp store was a bakery that, similar to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts when the HOT sign is on, would sell warm freshly baked bagels right off the conveyor coming out of the oven!  They were so good; I wish I had one right now!  One of the many great memories of growing up in the Bronx.

It’s that New York water

I’ve said all this to say – I have found only one or two spots in Atlanta that make really great bagels; the kind I enjoyed in New York.  I’ve decided that maybe it’s like New York pizza – the authentic versions can only be found in New York!  The secret elixir is that New York water – you’ve got to have it to make New York bagels and pizza!  (Click on this hyperlink to read this Food & Wine magazine article: “Is New York Water Really the Secret to the Best Bagels and Pizza?“)  Many would not agree, but if you’d grasp the real truth, there is a big difference in pizza and bagels found outside of New York!

What are some of the foods in your memory that you just can’t seem to get today, for whatever reason?  Tell me about it in the comments, please, I’d like to hear it!  Nothing like drumming up good memories – especially as it relates to food!  Bottle me up some of that New York water, please!

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WINNING!

by LaShanda Pitts

I watched a short video the other day about a young woman who had lost all self-confidence – she had been laid off from her job and was having difficulty finding a new one.  She sought the help of an expert to boost her confidence, and in doing so, was able to bring to the surface the real root of her problem.  It wasn’t the layoff – although that didn’t help, of course – she was also drowning under the current of a negative statement someone made about her.

Many of us have experienced the same issues – one thing knocks us down and we can’t seem to get back up.  It seems we’ve lost touch with everything good about ourselves, and in that state, someone comes along and does or says something that makes you feel even more defeated.  Finished. Upended.  Down for the count.  TKO’d.

But…think about it … do we ever really lose?  Even when we “lose” or “fail” and go through the difficult trials of life – we still WIN in the end!  Because through the journey of getting back up, however we choose to do it – we grow, gain wisdom, expand our horizons and become infinitely better.   Back to my friend in the video – she misplaced a part of herself (or so she thought) when she lost her job and chose to own a negative comment.  But in the end, she gained so much more – she learned to unpack deeper issues, rebuilt her confidence and learned that it is up to her to choose who she is and to own it!

Even when it seems you’ve lost your groove, don’t accept defeat – remind yourself that you are still a winner.

#Winning

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Welcome to the NEW Classy Chronicles!

Formerly, the Classy Chronicles was the official online digital magazine of Classy Living Society. The newly revamped Classy Chronicles is now a platform housed on the Classy Living Society website! Through easy-to-navigate dropdown menus, the Classy Chronicles provides an outlet to many subjects of interest at the click of a mouse – articles and features that highlight people who are doing amazing things in the community, health and wellness, work-life balance, beauty and fashion and more!

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