Back to Basics, Again and Again

There is always a chance to start over. No matter the circumstance, no matter the struggle there is always a chance to reset. Over the years, the ability to reset has really served me well. It helped me to handle almost dropping out of college, dealing with unplanned pregnancies, failing my first year of law school, healing and recovering after a failed marriage and handling lots of other major disappointments and upsets. One thing that has enabled me to keep moving forward is to go back to basics. Back to basics entails a lot of things but basically it means going back to what has worked for me in the past and what worked for generations before me.

Here are some of the steps I implore to get back to basics:
1. Sleep: When you are going through things one of the first things to go is sleep. However, we cannot function without enough sleep. If you cannot sleep it could be because you have too much on your mind or you are worrying. Something that can help that is to journal or make lists before you go to bed. Also, it's helpful to turn off all lights and electronics in your room prior to going to sleep. One thing that helps me sleep is to create white noise in the room. It kind of lulls you to sleep. Prayer and meditation, using the app also help to calm you to sleep before you go to sleep. You have to make up in your mind that sleep is essential. Also it's worth noting that the keys to a good day start the night before.

2. Water: Our bodies need water to function. You hear it said over and over and that's because it's that important. However, many people do not drink the required amount of water for their body to function properly. If you are feeling tired, sluggish and weak, put down the caffeine and sugary sweetened beverages and pick up a nice glass of water. Water first, for thirst. Getting the habit of drinking water is beneficial long-term but the benefits are immediate.

3, Pray/Meditate/Journal: All of these things require quiet time and reflection, something that is really missing from our fast-paced lives. I think of the simpleness of days before and how much time people had just to sit and think. Heck, I remember when the TV used to go off! Forcing you to do something different. Now we can entertain ourselves through social media or TV but what time are we spending working on ourselves and our futures? Time spent in prayer and meditation should be more than just asking for things, it should also be able listening to God's answers- however you view God. Also, journaling is a great way to get to the bottom of what is going on in your life, what is bothering you and what you need to work on. Anxiety is not a bad thing as it can be a compass to what needs to be changed in your life. Deepak says you can either confront the issue, stand still or run. Decide which one you will do with every situation that comes up for you.

4. Get the body moving: Whether you walk, work out, yoga, swim, do something. Our bodies were not meant for the sedentary lives that we live now. We used to have to work hard just to get something to eat. We were forced to walk everywhere we went prior to the advent of transportation. Now our lives are set up for convenience but that comes at a price. A walk after dinner will lower your blood sugar, also, starting the day with the brisk walk helps to clear our minds and thoughts. Sweating will also eliminate toxins and help us to cleanse ourselves. Working out also has the same effect on our mood as taking anti-depressants and it's free! Try it out!

5. Last but not least: Do something for you! Among all the hard work that we do for others, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. We often turn to others to meet our needs and then we end up feeling empty and angry when those needs are not met. Today, meet your own needs. If you need to be affirmed, affirm someone else, if you need time alone, take a long bath after the kids are sleep; if you need to break out of the box, research educational or employment opportunities. Give what you are in need of and you will be surprised to feel whole and fulfilled.

It's been a rough month for me and for a lot of you. But now is the time to move forward with a new attitude. My brother, Jermain always says, "May the rest of your life, be the best of your life." Join me today in getting back to basics, whatever that means for you! Let's make the end of the year the best time of the year.

Dealing with loss

There is nothing like planning a baby with someone you want to spend the rest of your life with. When you picture his eyes and your smile; his metabolism with your love of pasta; his passion and your talent. You imagine how they will come together in a perfect bundle of joy. And when that seed is never planted, when your inner lining sheds month after month- there is an emotion akin to waiting for your father in the window; or waiting for that last check from your job only to return from the mailbox empty month after month. 

It puts a strain on your self esteem; puts a strain on your marriage; it even puts a strain on your trust and faith in God. You wake up to an empty womb and ask why? Time and time again. You believe, you expect and yet you come up empty. So you finally decide to move on. Maybe a baby is not in the cards. You find other ways to feel fufilled. You feel better, you go to baby showers of girls young enough to be your daughters and you cry happy tears. You do not allow yourself to ever be jealous. All things work together; God knows better than I, We trust God without question. 

And then one day the unthinksble happens: your period is late- 4 days late! And you gasp a breath of hope and close your eyes as you pee on the stick...TWO LINES!!! You don't care that it's 4am- you wake your husband. You cry happy tears, lay in his arms and begin to imagine what's going on inside of you. It has happened. The thing the Dr. told you was impossible (a less than 1% chance were his exact words) it. has. happened. And this wonderful man tells you he will never leave your side and this time you believe him. He tells you not to worry and you don't. You whisper a thanks to God and you relish in every moment of your pregnancy. 

Then one Wednesday after you broke taboo and attended a funeral and looked at your beloved in the casket- you wake up and don't feel pregnant. You tell him- he looks worried. You discuss it at work but by lunch the nausea and bloating has returned. But things never feel the same. Pain, nausea, cramping happen over the next week. And then that Friday, when you go for your first Ultrasound at 9 weeks the technician turns from the empty sac on the screen and says she doesn't see a baby. No baby. There is no baby. Only emptiness. A dream deferred. A shriveled up raisin wilting in the sun. 

Dazed, confused, shocked you look at the Dr as she explains your pregnancy is not viable. She tells you to expect blood where you were expecting booties and baloons that read "Congratulations." You leave your first Dr's appointment where you were supposed to confirm your due date, expecting blood...

The loss has been so heavy, the grief so palpable all you can do is lean on others for oxygen. You have no breath for yourself because where you once carried life, now you carry death. And you cannot believe this is your fate, your baby's fate. When the pain, cramping and bleeding get to the worst point you are comforted by other people online sharing their pain. You google "natural miscarriage" because that's what it's called when you wait at home to lose your baby rather than going to the hospital or Dr's office. That's a misnomer- you want to scream THERE IS NOTHING NATURAL ABOUT THIS!!!! A mother is supposed to carry her child, not miscarry. This is a life, not a football. You didn't drop the ball, you lost your little baby. It was your future, your promise, your legacy. And now it's a story in your book, a tragedy in Chapter 10 verse 13 of your life story. 

In life we are given Beauty for Ashes, and there are things that we will never understand. There are cycles and a time for everything. A time to live and a time to die. And for whatever reason, Tinoket was not meant to be born on May 9, 2017. Tinoket was meant to come for two months, bring immense joy and peace to your household and leave. So the lesson you take with you is that you can feel that joy and peace. That you are capable of that feeling even if your womb remains bare. You believe that Tinoket is with you always and that you will never be the same. 

Soaring Through the Storm

Soaring through the Storm... How profound the title of my blog. What that actually means became apparent this week through a conversation with a good friend. I've had this conundrum for a long time: whenever I committed myself to writing and publishing I felt like bad things would happen. Starting back in 2002 when I committed to writing and rapping- The next time I turned around- my daughter got diagnosed with epilepsy and shortly thereafter my marriage dissolved. I couldn't decide if it was my third eye opening and my inability to settle that precipitated my marital demise or was it that I love writing and performing so much that everything else got neglected. 

In 2008, fresh in a new marriage, I started writing and recording again. The next thing I knew- on the eve of publishing my first book: Love Letters, my second marriage started to fall apart. Then right after my album release- I fell ill and was hospitalized for 11 days... I have not tried to write, publish or record since. 

I worked establishing myself in these years. My husband and I reconciled and are working on building a long life together. I got the first two children out of the house and I am enjoying a friendship with my oldest daughter. I have a job and career that I love that utilizes my talents and gifts and I work with a supportive, loving team of women that is changing our community one women at a time. 

So... Moving forward...I've been stuck. I want to write and publish but I do not want things to fall apart again. I told my friend I wanted my home life to be stable before I wrote and published again. I told her that I didn't want to be like all of the ministers I grew up who were serving members in the church but their homelife was in shambles. I did not want to be like that! My friend urged me to pray and read several Psalms. It was during prayer, as I cried out to God about the situation I am currently going through that I heard so clearly that the answer is not in writing or not writing...or going through or not going through. The answer is in being transparent despite what I am going through. David in Psalms was transparent. He didn't ever have a private life that was stable or normal. His daughter was raped by her brother; his son tried to kill him and one brother killed another... What turmoil, what strife! But the answer for him was in crying out to the Lord and writing through his struggle- creating some of the most beautiful sonnets in history. Psalm 23 is so beautiful but it depicts agony... Walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death...juxtaposed with green pastures... Amazing imagery. David was not ashamed because he cried out to the Lord and knew God was hearing him. So I will do the same... Be transparent and write, while I'm soaring through the storm. 


So my people have been going through a storm recently. Collectively and individually it has been rough. I have been thinking of what I can say that hasn't already been said. For a while I was numb, I didn't know what to say. I was doing my best just staying engaged at my job, keeping my kids safe and surviving. But then I decided that I wanted to grieve #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastille and still have some joy. I thought about all the greatness that has been a part of my people's struggle and I smiled. I thought about the times my ancestors faced death and triumphed. I thought of the times we broke barriers by traveling, being educated, having babies, staying married, walking away from abusive marriages, choosing love and being courageous. I have chosen to be grateful for the beauty in the ashes. It takes a lot of heat and pressure to make a diamond and what I see coming from my community is pure gold. I love the embraces, smiles, fists, taps to the heart, all because of what we are going through. I've even felt closer with the majority culture that I've encountered who look at me with sympathetic eyes. #Venus #Serena #GabbyDouglas #SimoneBiles #LaurieHernandez all triumphing during one of the most difficult times in recent US history. We are all in this together and we either soar together or perish together. 

So what am I saying? How do we get through these difficult times? Focus on gratitude. Appreciating the situation that we are in and those who are walking with you everyday helps keep you grounded. No matter what situation you find yourself in there is SOMETHING to be grateful for even if it's just the air in your lungs. Every area of your life, someone else would love to trade places with you. Even if you are homeless and in the shelter, there are people on the waiting list to get in the shelter. In every situation there is something to be grateful for... Find the jewel amidst the pressure. Express your joy and gratitude to those around you. Your kids, spouse, partner, parents, grandparents, sister-friends, Pastor, Rabbi, spiritual advisor... Take this week to say thank you so much for riding with me, for having my back, for celebrating with me, for loving me through my ups and downs. And to you, the reader, you are so important to me. Without me there is no you. I love and appreciate you. We can get through this because like Hillary and Bernie say- we are stronger together. Let's make a difference!

Love Stories

Why am I here? It's one of life's most pressing questions. I set out to answer this question by examining the relationships that made me. Both of my Grandparents were divorced, so were my parents. But my Uncle George (my Granny's baby brother) sparked something in me when he told me how much my parents loved each other. He told me, before he passed, that although they act like they hate each other now, there was a deep love and connection when I was conceived. That always stuck with me. It helped me in times where I felt like I was a mistake, or that I should have never been born. The pain of divorce will make you feel like that. But anyone who has experienced a period of infertility will tell you- being conceived is a blessing, and being born an even bigger blessing. We are not here by chance or mistake or happen stance. We are all made up of love and the relationships that made us are our love stories...I'm researching to uncover my love stories! 

I am. Who are you?

I am... How you introduce yourself speaks volumes about how you feel about yourself. Don't let anyone else or your circumstances tell you who you are. You are not what has happened to you. Speak those things that are not as though they are. Say: I am healed, I am secure, I am light, I am love, I am able, Ibam a provider, I am an overcomer. Put your past in the proper perspective: behind you. Stretch towards those things that are in front of you. Put excuses in the trash can where they belong. You are able, but more importantly: God is able. And He will send you the vision, insight, fortitude and ability to carry out the mission He placed in your life. 

Yesterday I attended church, received a much needed Word; went to see my Granny and take hercchicken like I do every Sunday; threw my daughter's baby shower; cleaned up; then sat down and wrote a 5-7 page paper for my on-line doctorate. I was tired but I had a joy in my heart and a feeling of purpose for each task completed. That is fufillment. I woke up this morning refreshed and focused. I am a writer. I will release my gifts. My gifts will make room for me. I will get back up and do it again! 

Practice introducing yourself in the mirror to build confidence in speaking about yourself. Whatever it is that you want in life you are going to have to show up, speak up and step up. You are already doing that in some part of your life. If you can do it in one area you can go accomplish your dreams. Pastor Humprey taught us yesterday that in order to get what God has for you, you must let go of past failures, embrace the unforeseen future and activate your faith. Start today. Let the past go and run boldly towards the future and believe in the great I AM! Who are you? I am Tanikka Price and I approve this message!

Passing the Test

I was sitting in church June 5, 2016 and the following came to me. I picked up my journal and began writing:

* When an issue comes up determine what the test is- find the tools and resources you need to help pass the test.

* Evaluate what you would have done and what the outcome would have been had you gone with your first impulse.

* Implementing the tools:What will you do and what will the possible results be? Now keep in mind the fruit of the Spirit and the personality of love. Is this action showing the fruits of the spirit? Is it coming from a place of love? Galatians 5:22-23 lists the fruit of the spirit as love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And Love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud, it does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails! (I Corinthians 13:4-8).

* Keep in mind the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy and sin brings death. Is the decision rooted in love and life-bearing or will it bring destruction? This is the path and where we are right now. These are simple tests that I am failing. The small tests that we failed lead to failure in the bigger issues in our lives. Small foxes spoil the vine. Each vine is essential to the vineyard. The vineyard produces the fruit that brings the harvest that is our provision. Not protecting the vine leads to destruction of the vineyard once the vineyard is destroyed, provision cannot be made.

Without a vision, the people perish. Are you perishing? Is your seed perishing? We are the eyes, hands, feet, mouth and arms of God. What we see matters, what we touch matters, where we step matters, what we speak matters and who we embrace matters. Are you working on your God-given job full-time? Part-time? Are you currently unemployed? Laid-off? How you leave your current assignment can determine your next assignment. Do not leave your assignment until you are released. What is the most important thing we can do right now to get through these times we are living? Pray without ceasing.

Lean In

I just finished Lean In- the NY Times Bestselling book by Sheryl Sandberg. This was a great book. Sandberg is the COO for Facebook and she writes very candidly about the perils and promise of her career that started with Google and has taken off at Facebook. Although a lot of what was in the book may not have related to me as an African American women, (because historically we have had less of a choice about whether or not to enter the workforce and the implications of what that means for our families is vastly different than it is for white women) this book still helped to frame for me some things that are relevant for me at this point in my career. 
As far as being a lawyer is concerned, I am taking a much needed hiatus. My last three year divorce case just wiped me out. However, I am committed to making enough money as a lawyer that I can afford to keep my license current and take the continuing legal education credits necessary biannually. Rather than continue to represent clients in contentious divorce cases, my thought is that I revamp my legal practice to focus solely on mediation and negotiation. I will only do divorces, child support and child custody cases for couples who are at a point that they want to sit down and work out an amicable arrangement that is in the best interest of one another. The spitefulness and bitterness of traditional divorces is just too stressful. I thought for many years that I would allow my license to lapse. However, I am very proud of becoming an Attorney. And should I ever get a call that I needed to serve my country (or Oprah for that matter) as legal counsel, I would want to be ready!
Community Health Educator:
I love educating women about how to be healthy. This is especially an issue for African American women who are dying at epidemic rates from preventable diseases. This is my calling. This is my life's work. I want to write and publish more papers over the next year and also speak more in Ohio and around the country on the benefit of social and emotional support during pregnancy on preventing poor birth outcomes. I also want to become more of a support for the women who work on my team. Sandberg pointed out how contentious the work environment can be and certainly it is not always easy dealing with different people who have different personalities, however, I have a gift for being able to deal with everyone and I want to utilize that to prevent isolation among the people at my job. I will continue to mentor the women in my program, Moms2B, and also attempt to motivate women to continue their education and employment, in essence taking the principals of Lean In and paying it forward. 
I was in 5th Grade writing about Unicorns in my journal when I decided I wanted to be a writer. I was in Ms. S's class at Indianola Informal Elementary. I still have that journal. I love writing. It is so therapeutic. I also love reading. I have not been reading or writing for the past few years. I tend to be the kind of person who writes more when I am upset or going through because I NEED to write during those times. It is much harder for me to write when I am happy or when things are stable. If you read my diaries, you would think my life it horrible because all you'd see are tear stained pages. It is much more difficult for me to pick up the pen during the good time. so my goal for this year is to write. I have so many projects on my computer that are started so my goal is to start a writing collective, write consistently, relaunch my Love Letters book and work on my children's book and my Love Stories Book. I also want to finish the research on my Granny's book. I am so excited. Just like at the Dead Sea, I am the only thing holding me back from making a successful livelihood as a writer. I will continue to write and treat it as a career, not a hobby. 
I'm not sure where I want to go with my music. I love to rap and I'm sure that I will be rapping all the way until I'm elderly. It is part of who I am. I rarely get motivated to write rhymes these days but my girls have been talking about getting in the studio and writing and performing. We will see how that goes. For right now I have a lot of old material that I can polish up and release. My Black Girl Song books all have CDs/albums (both those terms seem obsolete in the age of Apple Music and Tidal) to accompany them. I don't have any plans or expectations but I am open to whatever happens. 
I'm ready. This is a great year. 2015 was about getting my home life together to support my career and public life. I think that has happened (still in progress) so I am ready to venture out into more areas and see where they take me. In addition to the above ventures, I will also continue to support my husband in his locksmith and property management business and I will continue to teach and learn (earning my EdD in a few years). What are your professional goals and what are you doing this year to move towards those goals? Share with me!

Wherever you are- you will make it through

Week 4, Day 3. Gratitude. If He brought you to it- He will bring you through it. It doesn't matter what the issue is- you can get through it. Through a strong belief in a higher power and the knowledge that you went through what you did for a reason. You can make it through! But on the other hand- you will not make it if you don't believe you will. If you think you can- you are right. If you think you can't- you are right. Be who you want to be in the future today. You are where you are for a purpose! Learn the lesson and move on (that's tomorrow's post). 

Attitude of Gratitude

Week 4, Day 2. What is guaranteed to turn your situation around? Gratitude! I remember laying in the bed with my right leg broken, glass in my face and neck, right head shaven and all I could think about was "Thank you, God!" I survived! My two small children 2 years and 6 months survived! Their car seats had just been adjusted by someone that I felt was trying to make me look bad but ALL things work together for the good! Car was totalled, I was broke, had Traumatic Brain Injury and didn't know my next move but I was so grateful. That feeling of gratitude for life has stayed with me ever since. There is nothing that gratitude cannot carry you through. I read about a family who lost all four children to the same genetic disorder. They spoke of being grateful that God blessed them with children and being grateful for each day they spent with their children. WOW. What a testimony of faith. So lift your head to the sky. Find your one piece of gratitude today and feel blessed because you are!!!!

Seeing Results!

Week 4, Day 1. Are you seeing results? If you do the work- you should see results. If you are not seeing your blood pressure going down- are you doing the work? Are you drinking hibiscus tea? Drinking 64-100 ounces of water? Excercising 30 minutes 3-5 times a day? Journaling? Meditating? Praying? My blood pressure has gone down, but lately my stress level has gone up. So I'm going to meditate before going to bed. I'm going to take my blood pressure tonight and plan my tomorrow accordingly. I still have three more week to get it down! Dr's appointment Thursday!!!

Write the Vision

Today is the last day of the week. A week for reflection and evaluation. Regardless of what your blood pressure is- pat yourself on the back for your effort. Empires aren't built overnight. But nothing will ever be built without a plan. So let's take the weekend to think and write down where we want to be. Many of us have jobs that pay the bills and are in relationships that are keeping us warm at night but we are unfufilled because this is not really satisfying us. If you got in my car while I was pulling out the driveway the first question you'd ask is "where are we going?" Well before you make another move ask yourself where are we going- then ask yourself how are we going to get there. Here's an achronym to marinate on over the weekend. Next week is the last week of our lower your blood pressure series! 


A woman approached me in the prayer meeting back in 2002 and said, "You are holding other people's healing in your hands." I knew immediately what she meant. My writing, my stories, my teaching: I must get it out. This is what I was put on Earth to do: to use my pain and experiences to help someone else. It is what I aim to do everyday for the rest of my life. Doing it makes me feel alive and on-fire. So today's tip is find your passion. Read Purpose Driven Life. Take a Myers-Briggs personality test. Ask people close to you what they think you should be doing. Follow your heart straight to your dreams. The most important thing you can do is to write it down: Write the vision, make it clear. Whatever you can dream, you can achieve. Nothing is a hinderance until you allow it to be.  Find your purpose, embrace it and then get started๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ


Week 3, Day 3. Boundaries. Today we are going to talk about setting boundaries. It is so important to establish boundaries in order to have healthy relationships. I didn't understand this for a long time. I was everything to everyone. I was there when you called; went to everybody's event; went to church every time the doors opened; I was on the phone for every crisis- and guess what? There was nothing left for me. I was empty. I was like Mary/Martha during Jesus' visit to the house. I was busy doing instead of being. And that busyness keeps us from the stillness through which God moves. Meditation and prayer can literally change the way our brains work. But when we keep going, going, going- we leave little room for knowing ourselves and loving ourselves. Let's put the doing on pause. Let's cherish the silence. Let's clear our calendars. Let's set boundaries and say no to things and people that drain us. It is in the silence that our character is developed. In the silence, we remember who we are. Be still, be you, be healed. 

Mirrored Relationships

Week 3, Day 2. Your relationships are mirrors. Don't like what you see in your relationships? Take a look in the mirror. Don't like what you see in the mirror? Take a look at your closest relationships. If there is anything you see that you don't like- you can change it! I remember wondering what I was doing with one of my kids fathers. He was a shell of a person- no emotional depth, no stability, angry- yet I was so drawn to him. It wasn't until after our physical relationship resulted in an unplanned pregnancy that I realized that he was a reflection of the person I was after my divorce. And that in order to attract and be attracted to someone with depth of character, stability and real capacity to love- I'd need to develop those things in myself. It's not easy but most people want relationships to be based on integrity and trust- so it's important to evaluate whether we are providing that for ourselves and our relationships. Doing what we say and saying what we do- as Twinkle says- is the basis for building trust in ourselves and our relationships. Look in the mirror and then at your relationships... What do you see? 


Week 3, Day 1 This is the beginning of Week 3! We are getting our blood pressure down by working a little bit each week on something that may be affecting our stress level or our health. This entire week we will be working on relationships. For many of us it is our intimate relationships at home and work that are causing us stress. One thing I work hard to instill in my life coaching clients is that YOU ARE in control of your life. Stress, depression and anxiety in a lot of instances come from the feeling of being out of control. So many of us are not living the life we imagine and are not doing things that bring us happiness. Please remember that you are in control of who you invite into your life. Regardless of the relationships you have had in the past, you can open and/or close doors to who you want in your life. You can be respectful of people and love them with boundaries. Remember to treat yourself with the love and respect you expect from someone else. Regardless of whether or not you have experienced love or not, whether you are recovering from a broken heart, you can recover by focusing on you and what you need from life. Ask yourself what you want and how do you want to

Find a little happiness today!

Week 2, Day 5. Put a Little Happiness in each day! Yesterday I asked you to define happiness for yourself. Now that you know what it will take to be happy, go get it! One of my goals was to one day sit at my desk and write overlooking a lake on my property. Don't you know, at my apartment back in 2009, I had a little lake outside? I put my desk up against the window and wrote my first published book: Love Letters. You can find little pieces of happiness. If you would like to be wined and dined- take yourself out to dinner or arrange to meet up with friends tonight. If happiness is feeling in control of your finances, make a budget today. If your dream is to write a book: start the outline or ask a friend to hold you accountable. If it's smaller numbers on the scale or blood pressure machine; get moving- go outside for a walk or join a gym today. Sprinkle a little happiness in your day today and before you know it you will be happy. And watch those blood pressure numbers go down! Life is made up of moments. Decide today to make those moments count!

Know your Other Numbers

Week 2, Day 2. Know your other numbers! I'm talking about finances. This blog post is so important I dreamed about it last night. So many of us have our peace of mind stolen daily by lack, or by debt or mismanagement of what we have. But that can change today. You have to know your numbers. 
1. Write down all income from all sources
2. Write down all monthly (or weekly) debt from all sources. (Grab your bills)
3. Figure out what you spend on variable expenses get last months bank statement or keep receipts for a month to see what you are spending on groceries, fast food, gas, Amazon (!), etc. 
4. If what comes in is more than what's going out- you're good! Start saving for short term and long term goals! If what comes in is LESS than what goes out, it's time to make some changes. Increase your income or decrease your expenses. 
5. Prioritize the essentials and non-essentials then start deleting non-essentials. Do you need cable AND Hulu AND Netflix? Pack lunch to cut down on eating out, grocery shop at low end versus high end grocery stores (Bye Whole Foods, hello Aldi's!). Youtube and learn how to keep your hair fresh at home. You can make cuts and still be a Diva. What feels good is bills paid, money in the bank, able to help those in need and hair done, nails done, everything did! 
6. Moving forward it's a great rule to take 10% in cash for spending money, 10% to savings and 10% tithes to show God you are grateful.  Spend the other 70% on bills. 2016 can be the year you take charge of your finances but first you have to know your other numbers! 

Know Your Numbers!

Week 2, Day 1. Lowering our blood pressure. Today's tip is know your numbers. I can only tackle my blood pressure issue because I know it was high. I got my A1C last year and it was pre-diabetic so I'm waiting to get this years numbers any day. My BMI reduced last year from 43.75 which is morbid obesity (morbid means deathly, by the way, to 38.26 which is obese class 2. I'll take it!!! And I expect it even lower by the end of the year. I am doing all this hard work like the 1.5 hour hip hop dance class I attended tonight because I know my risk factors. My family history of high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, sleep apnea and stroke put me at high risk as does the auto immune disease I have, fibromyalgia. I got a late start, so I have to work hard to catch up. I thank God everyday for my health and because I know my numbers, I know what to work on! Make an appointment with your family doctor or attend a local health fair to get screened! You cannot change what you will not acknowledge! You can change! 

Be Present!

Day 5, Be Present! This is a hard one for many of us but studies show being in the moment, through prayer, meditation, yoga or mindfulness, reduces stress. Most of us are always on the run, going from one thing to another. But one way I got through law school, divorce, kids, unemployment, failed Master's degree, failing the bar exam twice, recoving with a broken leg, living with traumatic brain injury and fibromyalgia- the list goes on- was to tackle each thing in front of me with 100%. Everything else could wait. Most stress comes from dwelling on the things behind us or worrying about things to come. Right now- this moment has enough problems of it's own. It's difficult to be in the moment without practicing how to be in the moment. So Youtube has videos of mindfulness, yoga and meditation. is a great app and a wonderful place to start. Stay in the moment today!