re-Discovering Sophonie

black blogger, black girl blogger, black woman writer, blog, healing, inspiration, inspirational blog, mental health

Today is Sunday, August the 8th, 2021. A few days ago I experienced something within a dating situation that really threw me off guard. Dating is not my favorite thing to do nor is it my favorite subject. However, if there is one thing dating always does for me, is allow me the chance to get into a mode of introspection. I am not one to say that I am flawless because that would be the furthest thing from the truth. I am flaw filled and fully aware of that. So although I would have enjoyed that dating experience to continue further in terms of us getting to know each other, I refuse to have any negative blood towards that person. I truly think that we were simply not aligned and that is okay.

Now what does this have to do with the title of this blog? You know there is always a method to my madness, so here it goes. Towards the end of June, I moved to Delaware. A few years back I could never see myself here but it has truly brought a newfound peace to my life. I’ve always been a city girl, no matter what state I resided in and I thought Jersey was it forever. But it was time for a change. I laugh at myself because when the idea was first brought up by my sister, I thought to myself, “What the hell is there to do in Delaware and also how am I going to flourish creatively?”

Anyways, right before moving, I had my very last therapy session since my insurance would no longer be valid since I had to leave my full time job. I recall my therapist asking me, “What would you call this phase of your life?” I replied by saying, “Discovering Sophonie.” That phrase felt so fitting and still does.

For the purpose of this blog, I added the prefix “re-,” because truth is I think that as children we know ourselves pretty well. It is the world that taints us and eventually we lose sense of who we truly are. Then when we get older, we become bitter in ways that makes no sense until we do the inner work. We begin to wonder why do we view ourselves negatively or even others? What about our inner child was so wounded that we now aren’t able to function freely and simply be who we are? We begin to feel lost or just out of place in damn near every section of our lives.

I have been experiencing this for maybe the last 5 years or so of my life. Trying to re-discover myself. As a child acting and writing were the only things I could seriously see myself doing as a career. Then in middle school, I discovered my love of Psychology and I added that to my list of passions. Now at 27, I sit here feeling out of place more times than not because I have not found the way to make any of these passions turn into an actual career. It feels like the last few years I have simply been playing ring around the rosie with life. No actual direction.

Regardless of those feelings, I am learning that the real issue is never centering myself enough to fully and truly understand what my own needs are. Allowing what I’ve been conditioned to believe about myself due to society, religion and family infiltrate my mind is what tends to hold me back. The idea that we don’t care what others say or think about us is genuinely bullshit for most of us. I’ve said it so many times but have never fully believed it myself. I do care how others feel about me and that is exactly why I tend to suffer.

I am not saying any of this for sympathy or even empathy at that but rather opening up the conversation that in order for us to actually heal, we have to be willing to accept and be ourselves regardless of what others think. You can still care about their opinions but allowing those opinions to stop you from living your life will never get you far in life.

The journey of healing is one that is constant, just as life is. So long as we are alive, I believe we have the opportunity to continue healing and ultimately grow. I may not fully understand this phase of my life but I guess that is the focal point of it. After all, it is a moment to rediscover who I am, what I want, what I need and where I want my life to be. No matter how many people or friends I go to for advice, the only person who can help along this discovery of self, is me.

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Living Life In Limbo

inspiration, inspirational blog

#ThrowbackBlogSeries

DISCLAIMER: The following post is an original post from my first blog She.Is.Splendid. Over the next few months I will be sharing some of my favorite and most impactful pieces with you all. Enjoy! Please make sure to comment and share with someone who makes you smile.

Do you ever feel as if you are on a moving train but its wheels are stuck on the tracks? I know it may sound cliche but the train to life metaphor is one of my favorites. After all a train is often comprised of multiple carts that exist with one another to create an entire vehicle. Just like life is comprised of multiple days, incidents or episodes to create an entire lifetime. Not every lifetime is the same and not everyone’s life is lived for the same amount of time.

As of late I have been feeling that my life is stuck in this rigid position. I am stuck between being excited about my future but feeling as if I have outgrown my current circumstance. Specifically, I am also in the midst of another big move just one year after my first big move. As a 20 something year old I am just learning the real world of adulthood and it is hard. Now, I know some of my peers are experiencing this with a significant other or even with kids which I understand can make life seem more difficult. I must say I am happy not to have those additions in my life because I’m still learning who I am and what I want. Also, I am not fully prepared for those responsibilities.

But, as I am learning who I am there are these constant moments of me feeling as if I am at a really bad 80s Hawaiian themed party and I keep replaying a game of limbo.

Now when I first titled this post it was simply based on the game I knew growing up, Never did I know that limbo is actually a Catholic term that means that place between Heaven and Hell. Prior to this I was only familiar with the term “Purgatory.” I won’t get too deep into it because this isn’t a religious post. Both terms limbo and purgatory essentially mean the place between where you are and where you may or may not be going. (That can get really eerie and philosophical so try not to think about it too hard).


However, I often get stuck worrying or wondering about what is to come next. I become fearful of the future because obviously it is the unknown. Or even when parts of the future are predictable, I find myself anxious to get to that next part. So I begin wandering in this position of limbo which can get really sad and lonely. I guess my reasoning behind creating this post is to serve as a reality check for all of us. Unfortunately we cannot control everything and damn near anything in life. Except for our reactions to life’s events. Yikes! I know that hurts for some of us (mainly me).

But I know for a fact I begin to feel restless and am restless in this season because I am being reminded that ultimately it is God who is in control of my life. Sometimes it’s hard to fully hand over that control (for those who are not believers this concept might be a little strange). Regardless, I think it is important for us to become accustomed to these moments of limbo. We can learn a lot from it too.


Unfortunately we cannot control everything and damn near anything in life. 

Yesterday morning I began thinking to myself “Rather than allowing this moment of limbo to scare me, why not allow it to empower me?” Listen, it takes a whole lot more energy to frown than it takes to smile. So when I really sat down to reflect, I realized that my worry or fear about the next step was only causing even greater anxiety than necessary. I am already an anxious person in general but the added focus on what’s to come adds insult to injury.

I know it’s hard but we’ve got to find a way to program our minds to worry less and hope more. Yes there is so much that we don’t know, so much that we don’t understand but there is so much for us to learn. Rather than allowing fear to enter our minds, kick up its feet and become dormant, it is important to recognize that emotion and tend to it as needed. You don’t need to add water to it, it’s not a plant. Do NOT. I REPEAT, do NOT fertilize it, don’t give it any of your energy because I promise you it will grow. Fear has a habit of flourishing when fed.

We’ve got to learn how to use our moment of “limbos,” as a space to prepare for our next moment of certainty. 

In this More to Life Monday reflection I want you to think about whatever you might be fearful of today. Take that thing, maybe think of it a few seconds or maybe even write it down. Consider this, that fear may or may not come true or perhaps it will regardless of what you do. However, I want you to understand that there is so much more to life than remaining stagnant in fear. As for me in this moment of limbo, there is more to life for me than focusing on what is to come. I must use my current circumstance to fuel the reality of my next phase in life. We’ve got to learn how to use our moment of “limbos,” as a space to prepare for our next moment of certainty.

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

Sophonie

The Highs, The Lows

inspiration, inspirational blog, life advice

There are naturally highs and lows in life. Often times we embrace the highs because well duh who doesn’t like to feel good?? I’m not saying to embrace the lows to the point of no return BUT understand that the lows remind you to be appreciative of those high moments. I’m forever a work in progress. I’ve gotta let go of the idea that things will be set in stone. Life’s twists and turns will remain fluid and I’m a-okay with that.

My new goal for the rest of the year and my life really, is to be okay with what each day brings. Whether the day brings a high or a low, I’m going to plant my feet in the soil of those moments and embrace life regardless. I am going to remember that life isn’t always all that bad. I can choose to stay stuck in the lows or find some highs.

There is always joy tucked somewhere beneath the surface that you may not openly see. Find that joy, embrace it and keep right on pushing. Of course there will be moments where I may feel so low that it’ll be hard to embrace life but I will be patient with myself and allow that feeling to have its moment. Then once that feeling passes, I can continue on with the highs.

One of the ways I choose to embrace life everyday is by finding a song that brings me joy. I’m always discussing how much music means to me and honestly it’s one of my favorite gifts from God’s creations. With that said, I want to start implementing a song into certain posts to help bring you all some joy as well. It also helps motivate me to write more when music is playing so you’ll have an idea of what music inspires me.

Anyways, today I share with you a classic ballad by the high priestess of soul herself, the Queen Nina Simone. It’s one of those songs you can expect to hear in pretty much any movie across any genre.

That upbeat feel to it just makes you wanna grab life by the shoulders and show it who’s boss. It’s also said to be one of the songs that are able to raise your vibrational levels and literally pick your mood right back up. Check out this article that discusses music that can raise your vibrational energy and how it happens too. Energy is a powerful thing y’all. Be careful with the energy you’re picking up or putting down in the world. 

P.S. I choose that photo as my featured image because that was a day I was choosing to embrace life fully and it brings me joy when I see it 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,

  

One Step At a Time

healing, inspiration, inspirational blog, inspo blog

Originally Posted on November 18, 2017 by Sophonie

Our society today is inundated with this idea that success is just like microwaveable popcorn. I know that may sound strange upon first hearing it but really think about it. How long does it take for some instant popcorn to be made? The popcorn bag instructions usually state that it needs to be microwaved for about a minute and some change, so anywhere from 1:50-2:00 minutes. You throw your bag of popcorn in, set the cooking time, and wait for the joyful sounds of ‘pop, pop, pop’ to eventually ring in your ears and then within just a few minutes…


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BOOM! Your lovely snack or college dinner is done.

Now consider this, how many us of have actually made popcorn from scratch? I sure haven’t. In fact, as I am typing this I am googling how long it takes to make homemade popcorn. In fact, how many of us have even made popcorn using a popcorn machine? *crickets*

Popcorn Machine Goodness (Gif Source)




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Exactly. Now, if you have worked in food service or residence life back in college (me) you might be familiar with how to work it or at the very least how to clean it (…me again). Either way, if you are making popcorn on the stove or via a machine it takes time. Even the process after you are done making it takes even more time. You have to wash the pan, or the different parts of the machine carefully with soap to remove residue. Let’s not forget why or how these items got dirty in the first place. Think about the oil, and salt or your seasoning of choice. All of those ingredients eventually come together to produce buildup on the pan or the machine.

Speaking of machine, prior to even using it you’ve got to heat it up for a good 3-4 minutes first and the same thing goes for the stovetop directions.  All in all in order to make popcorn it takes multiple steps for tasty results. In order for some quality popped corn you’ve got to be willing to take it slow.

Now why the in the world am I referencing all things popcorn? You clicked on this post to learn what it means to take it one step at a time, right? If not, you are on the wrong post.

Alright, alright enough with the jokes, I know they’re getting dry.


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But, on a serious note my splendid reader I know that you already understand what’s going on here because you are intelligent which is why you are here in the first place.

All day long, a good number of us get so enthralled with this idea of instant everything. Instant oatmeal, noodles, macaroni (which by the way is only good when baked & especially Caribbean style), and even instant rice (a sin in my Haitian culture to be quite honest) that we forget the essence of hard work for a tasty meal. This forgetfulness extends itself far beyond food. A prime example is this idea of success via social media. While I have no personal beef with SM, it troubles me that so many of us feel that by receiving a large number of followers, reblogs, retweets, likes etc. (the list goes on) that we are somehow validated. What really bothers me is when people use SM as a way to actually be validated when validation should first come from within.

With that said, there are other instant privileges that have caused us to lack appreciation of a process in order to progress. Remember dial-up internet before high speed took over? I sure do. My siblings and I would have to take turns on who would make a phone call or use the internet. No in betweens.


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Good Ol Dial-Up Internet

How about Blockbuster or renting VHS tapes or DVDs from the library? Again, I do. There was no instant click of a button to Netflix. Not to mention the other irritating factor of texting which took 5-10 minutes per character and that’s me being generous.

Blockbuster You Were So Good To Us


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Nevertheless, the reason I kept bringing up popcorn earlier is because when we really think about it most of us have never tasted how good stovetop popcorn probably is. Hell, I haven’t but I have tasted fresh popcorn from a popcorn machine and it is by far way tastier than the one you just pop into the microwave. So I can only imagine what stovetop popcorn would be like once met with my tastebuds. The point is, we don’t know how its natural flavor because most of us have never taken out the time it takes to make it from scratch. We are missing that authentic taste because we aren’t willing to do what it takes to achieve that authenticity. This goes hand in hand with success and reaching your dreams. You’ve got to be willing to put one foot in front of the other and take individual steps. No rushing.

“What really bothers me is when people use SM [social media] as a way to actually be validated when validation should first come from within.”

With that said, it’s time out for allowing social media or the climate of our society to dictate how fast or slow we go when it comes to succeeding. Every individual who we now consider to be a legend of some sort has done something legendary over a period of time. One of my favorite memes says, “Beyonce/Oprah wasn’t built in a day,” and we all know the original phrase goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Now what does Rome, Oprah and Beyonce have to do with anything I’m saying here?


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Pic Source

Think about it, Rome was once one of the greatest empires in the world, Beyonce is now known as one of the greatest entertainers in the world (no…that is not debatable), and Oprah…well need I say more?

Of course the list goes on of remarkable kingdoms, people, and such but you get the point. It troubles me that the generation behind me and many in my own are so obsessed with instant fame/success. All of these instantaneous moments of clout or praise are often fleeting. You can very well have what it takes to fly high for a moment, but the real focus should be whether or not you have what it takes to remain afloat. 15 seconds doesn’t last as long as you may expect or want it to last.

If you are in the midst of climbing the ladder to of your dreams I want you to be reminded that the longer it takes to make something usually means it will also taste way better. Fruits and vegetables are not instantly sprouted up out of the ground (maybe the GMO ones are…) but for the most part it takes the planting of a seed, care, fertile soil, water, good aim of sunlight, and most importantly it takes some time to produce these foods.

“You can very well have what it takes to fly high for a moment, but the real focus should be whether or not you have what it takes to remain afloat.”

Don’t be afraid of the tick tocking of any clock. Granted, we are not all allotted the same amount of time on this earth but while we are here the best way to show how much we are grateful for this time is by enjoying it now. Go in the direction of where your heart is pulling you and work for whatever it is that you are passionate about. If you haven’t quite found that passion yet, check out your hobbies and what genuinely excites you. Eventually you will find something that will help to fulfill you.


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Regardless of what you choose to go for in life, remember that instant success is bland just like instant rice. You want your success to have some spices in it, a good sturdy pot to hold it, and a good amount of time coupled with the right amount of heat to cook it right to perfection. Yum, now that’s what I call a meal!

Today’s Takeout (formerly *takeaway)

  1. True success tastes better when cooked for a while.

  2. Popcorn also tastes better when cooked  for a while.

  3. Validation is even more valid when sought from within.

  4. It is more important to focus on longevity when it comes to success as opposed to focusing on instant and possibly fleeting moments of success. 

If you enjoyed this read or want to add to the conversation please do NOT hesitate to comment below. Make sure to share this with friends, family coworkers, associates, exes, besties, and anyone else who may need a word of encouragement. Until next time splendid readers!

 

Serenity, Smiles and Positive Vibes,

J.S.

Your Situation Is Not Your Destination

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I am going to keep this sweet, petite and straight to the point. While I do feel like I speak about this topic a lot, I think it is important to do so. Nearly every single week I hear from friends or even strangers online who talk about how they feel stuck in their situation. Hell, even I am one of those friends who feels stuck sometimes.

So, listen up my splendid friends, fam and followers there is no reason why you can’t elevate to the next level. However, there is also no reason to rush it. Life comes in steps, pieces and within the allotted time that it needs to. You have no reason to try to jump from building to building in hopes of leaping to your success immediately. I’ve talk about microwave success before, like in that one post I told you all to take life One Step At a Time

Nonetheless, we must remain guarded from these moments of impatience in life. Yes there are some situations that seem to go on and on forever. Also, there are some situations that I will be honest won’t quite fit with this post in itself. But, for the more minor situations where we feel like we simply aren’t getting what we want or fand never will, this post is perfect. 

“You have no reason to try to jump from building to building in hopes of leaping to your success immediately.”

One of the ways we actually become or remain stuck in life is when we start to believe that things cannot change. Our mindset plays an overwhelmingly large part in how we view our life. With that said, if your perspective is in a dark & gloomy state, chances are that is how things will continue to go. They say that your “Energy flows where your attention goes.” To paint the picture more clear for you, remember how on cartoons when a character was having a terrible day you’d see that dark rain cloud over their head the whole episode. Well, that is basically how our lives can be. When we become so invested in these feelings of negativity, the universe responds to that and I also believe God begins to truly test your faith here (for those who are believers).


Overall, the more we turn our attention to how bad things are, the more those problems are amplified. Of course, the pain may not automatically go away like an on & off switch BUT now you are experiencing these issues on a much deeper scope.

“Our mindset plays an overwhelmingly large part in how we view our life.”

While I understand it is hard to see past the rubble of life when you feel you are buried underneath it but it is worth it to at least try to focus on how you will feel once you are out of the situation. Once you begin to visualize and consider how good that will feel, that is when your faith begins to grow as well. It also helps you to pass the time while you are experiencing hardship.

Things to Remember

1) Don’t rush your situation, there are lessons to be learned even in the darkest of days

2) The more you focus on negative circumstances the more they are amplified

3) Consider how it will feel once you are out if it aka visualize

 

P.S. I know that these steps or words of advice are easier said than done. I’ll admit it is a process but it is also possible. So before you think this can’t or won’t apply to your life, try it first 

 

 

 

 

Serenity, Smiles & Positive Vibes,