Mental Health Self-Advocacy

This past weekend I had to call my pharmacy for my new ADHD medications. Long story short, I ran out of meds and went a day without them when I shouldn’t have. It wasn’t complete chaos, but I definitely noticed the difference. One area the meds help in is time management. I struggled pre-medication days, but with each new medication, I noticed a slight difference. Overall, I still hadn’t found the medication that is the perfect balance.

As I was out today, a vivid memory popped in my head. I was 20 and had a job interview across town. Traffic was busy and I had done everything I thought I could to be on time. My anxiety was high, I was lost, and so frustrated. Cell phones and navigation apps weren’t like they are today, so I was relying on directions online or over the phone. I never made it to the interview. I would have been 30+ minutes late and didn’t want to embarrass myself any further.

I’ve lived my entire life like this. Always late, forgetting how I arrived somewhere without directions, full anxiety around people, driving in traffic, not understanding jokes, slow comebacks because I didn’t “get it”, and wanting to stay isolated so I wouldn’t have to explain or help people understand the inner turmoil I live with daily.

Fast forward to today and I started my new medication. I saw a difference in my focus within the first 3 hours. I’ve completed multiple tasks, was far less distracted, and didn’t procrastinate. Tasks that raise my anxiety, overwhelm or frustrate me didn’t seem to be “life altering.” I still need to see how my body reacts, but for the first day, compared to other first days, this one is the best.

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while you may remember me mentioning that mental health was far less talked about in the Black community when I was growing up. Add this within some parts of the Christian community and it was something that could be healed away or was “just a demon”. I’m confident this is one of the many reasons people are being diagnosed with ADHD or other mental health issues as adults.

As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, a Christian, and woman of color, I know now more than ever that advocating for my own mental health is so important. It’s something that I want to teach my children to know about, to know how to be their own self-advocate, and to encourage others who may be struggling in their own journey to seek out good mental health with their mental disorder/illness.

Happy Juneteenth Weekend!

Growing up, I would hear some say that to celebrate Juneteenth was to be racist. Both my husband and I grew up in the same school system and weren’t taught the meaning of Juneteenth.

A few years ago, I joined with some amazing women who discussed racism; a racial reconciliation group with women from our church. The more conversations I had with white people and people of color, I realized how much I had allowed other’s opinions or hurtful words silence my voice.

As I continued to learn through reading, talking with close friends and family, and the more racism I experienced from people in and outside the church, I knew I could no longer be silent.

As we celebrate Juneteenth & Father’s Day this weekend, and even though we still have so much work to do, we have so much to be grateful for! Our family (one of our children is not pictured here) is having conversations with one another continually. Conversations to not hate, and to love all with God’s love.

This weekend, we celebrate Juneteenth along with so many of our brothers and sisters, friends of all races, family, and thanking God for always being here through every season we face! So very grateful today!

Happy Juneteenth weekend friends! ♥️🖤💚

Self-Righteousness is at an all time high…

I have a lot on my mind lately…I’ve cringed as I’ve had conversations or read posts online shared by people, including myself.

I sit in my bubble, consuming God’s word and am in my daily routine while people around me are hurting. I believe I must look outside my little bubble to see how I can pray for and truly love others.

Learning about political, racial, and cultural issues is important. I also believe it’s important to God. How can I effectively apply God’s word to my life and “be the church” to those around me if I have no clue what people are even going through?

Jesus related to those around him. He didn’t change God’s word, but loved, cared for and listened to what people experienced. It’s how I should lead by example daily. I’ve been torn while seeing how “the church” (𝙖𝙜𝙖𝙞𝙣, 𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙡𝙪𝙙𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙢𝙮𝙨𝙚𝙡𝙛) has gone without extending grace, love and compassion to others.

So many are walking away from their faith because of the toxicity and exclusion I see, I’ve played my part in, and have also experienced in and from “the church”. It’s so important for me to unlearn the bad habits of self-righteousness as a Christ follower.

My prayer is that I’ll do better. It’s why I share in my stories (on Instagram and Facebook) or blog posts from my perspective as a woman of color, a black woman, or a multi-racial woman (𝙨𝙤 𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙩𝙚𝙧𝙢𝙨 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙨𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙪𝙨 “𝙢𝙞𝙭𝙚𝙙 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙗𝙡𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙚“, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙗𝙚 𝙝𝙤𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙩, 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙚𝙭𝙝𝙖𝙪𝙨𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙝𝙤𝙬 𝙢𝙖𝙣𝙮 𝙩𝙞𝙢𝙚𝙨 𝙄’𝙢 “𝙘𝙤𝙧𝙧𝙚𝙘𝙩𝙚𝙙“ 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚𝙖, 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙬𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙩𝙖𝙡𝙠 𝙖𝙗𝙤𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙡𝙖𝙩𝙚𝙧.) I truly believe we can learn from each other.

This is my day to day; my reality. Most likely it’s a reality for you and some of your friends of color too. Learning, unlearning, and talking with people, (𝙣𝙤𝙩 𝙨𝙖𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙖𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙩𝙝 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜) I can do my part in being the church…

𝘼𝙨 𝙄 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙪𝙚 𝙥𝙧𝙖𝙮𝙞𝙣𝙜, 𝙬𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 𝙤𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙬𝙖𝙮𝙨 𝙬𝙚, 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙘𝙝𝙪𝙧𝙘𝙝, 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙙𝙤 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧?

Free To Be…

Hi friends! The past two weeks have been eventful to say the least! I celebrated my birthday, got some faux locs in my hair (𝙖𝙨 𝙨𝙚𝙚𝙣 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙥𝙞𝙘), and much more.

This week I’m back at it! I’ve been watching webinars, taking anti-racism classes, creative planning, and creating a more realistic timeline to fit my family’s schedule as I prepare for an official business launch. (𝙄𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪’𝙧𝙚 𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚, 𝙄’𝙫𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙢𝙮 𝙤𝙬𝙣 𝙜𝙧𝙚𝙚𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙙 𝙗𝙪𝙨𝙞𝙣𝙚𝙨𝙨.)

I’ve also been focusing on my faith, family, and self-care. As a fair-skinned Black woman, who is also Filipino, Mexican, Native American, and White, taking anti-racism classes may seem odd. I find that I am having more conversations with my white friends who are asking questions. It‘s helped me to answer without anger. It also encourages me to know people want to be anti-racist.

I don’t claim to have the same experiences as my friends and family whose skin was/is darker than mine. Experiencing it was and is tough. Seeing and hearing the racism toward my friends, family and other Black people is sad and painful. It’s why I will continue to learn daily, help educate others, and support Black businesses. (𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙝𝙞𝙧𝙩 𝙄’𝙢 𝙬𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙞𝙨 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 @joliexnoireapparel 𝙤𝙣 𝙄𝙣𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙢)

Since getting the faux locs, my daughter asked me if she could get them in her hair too. She doesn’t have the same hesitations or doubts of being Black that I once had as a young girl. So, this coming week, I will be doing her hair and she is so excited. I will share more about this experience here.

I set a birthday goal to stop hesitating; to be myself, authentically. My husband reminded me of times I held this confidence and encouraged me to get my hair done again. It’s all been liberating, interesting, and so beautiful. To see that my girls are not where I once was gives me so much joy and motivates me to keep going! I enjoy sharing it here with you all.

Memorial Day 2021

Let us honor and remember those who lost their lives during military service.

Let us come alongside those who are grieving the loss of their friends and loved ones today and everyday.

My family and I will be observing the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00pm (local time). We will pause for one minute as a way to honor and remember those who have lost their lives during military service.

𝙒𝙞𝙡𝙡 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙗𝙚 𝙤𝙗𝙨𝙚𝙧𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙉𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙈𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙍𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙢𝙗𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙈𝙚𝙢𝙤𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝘿𝙖𝙮?

Singing My Heart Out

This past week has been a good one! We celebrated our niece’s birthday. Then we celebrated with one of our children’s friends and her family. They are moving from middle school to high school. Our time out was something I missed this past year. I had such a deep time of reflection once we were home. Over the last few years, I let interactions and circumstances affect a part of me and felt like I stuffed a part of myself away.

After last weekend’s reflection, I see where there has been some growth and areas I have only allowed to slightly come to the surface. I know I won’t be the same person I was 5 years ago, and at the same time am so grateful for it. I took for granted the opportunity to learn from the “surfacy” parts of my life. I am letting myself accept the parts of me that I have been at odds with.

Whenever I stumble, God always reminds me I belong to Him and not to my own desires. His will for my life is far greater than the lies I could ever believe about myself. I am not that same broken little girl who stuffed everything inside. I can be confident in how God has used my story and has used it for good. He gets all the glory.

This weekend, I get to serve at my church with some really cool people. As I have been preparing, and although it has been an overall good week, I have walked through some tough things too (more on how God used this later) and the songs we will be singing this weekend are exactly for me! I’m so grateful for the good, the not so good, and especially the in-between. I look forward to singing out knowing that these same songs will be for someone else too and we’ll be singing them, feeling this together!

Preparing For An Official Launch

As some of you know, I’m preparing for an official launch for my small business. I have continued to work on creating items and I have been enjoying the creative process. The date I originally anticipated for my launch will be here in less than two weeks. However, I am new to this and can make adjustments as needed.

I love the process of learning and figuring out what works for me and what doesn’t. I am slowly seeing a very clear direction of what items I will be adding to my site. The pictured image is a set of business card-sized scripture cards that I created for my husband to give to the young men he helps lead. Their cards will be different every week. This gave me an idea for more items like this that I can’t wait to share along with my greeting/thank you card sets.

I will have a few more creations to share here as the days go by. I will update you all on the official launch day once my items are created and ready to go! So grateful for your support!

𝗜’𝗺 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄, 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝘀𝗲 𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗶𝗽𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗰𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀?

Comfort Zone

As things begin to open back up here in Las Vegas, I noticed how many things I have taken for granted. I am someone who loves to be inside, at home, away from the crowds. It has been easy to be at home during the pandemic, until we slowly started doing more outside of our home.

I never thought that standing outside in my garage or walking to the mailbox was a big deal, but those very few times I’ve done them helped me get through this season. Taking walks in the mall, driving to and from California in a day, and going bowling as a family has been huge for us. We probably wouldn’t have gone out as regularly as we do now because we took these things for granted.

As I sat with my family, enjoying the arcade and bowling, I realized how much my comfort zone has limited me. As you know I’ve been praying for something personally and it feels like God is showing me that I can step out of my comfort zone, into the unknown and into probably the most exciting parts of life that I’ve been missing. I’ll never know if I don’t give it a try, but slowly, I’m getting there.

𝙄𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝙩𝙖𝙠𝙚𝙣 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙜𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙙 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙨𝙤𝙣?

In the Waiting

As I have continued to pray about something very personal, I have been in this place of waiting. Waiting to hear from God on what’s next. Should I stay in the familiar place, with the comfort I’m used to or is God saying move into the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable? I think I know. But thinking I know and fully knowing is very different. So I continue seeking Him and taking my prayers to Him daily.

In this season, things have changed drastically. I shouldn’t be surprised at how drastic the changes have been. But, I am the person who likes to hold onto hope that “things will get better” and “people will change” which then leads me to where I am now. Drowning in what once was, who people used to be, and fading slowly into a pattern of habit instead of intention. Not a place I want to be.

As I was sitting in my living room, about to take a short nap, I kept reading the words in this picture over and over until I started singing it in my head. In the waiting, I should be singing and knowing that “it is well with my soul”. A song, written in grief, meets me so many years later as I grieve all of what once was. It gave me peace to know that throughout all of the changes, God still remains the same. That He is my answer. That I shall continue to look to Him and continue singing “It is well…” through this season and into the next.

A Welcome and an Update

I see that I have some new followers, both on my blog and on Instagram. First I want to say WELCOME and THANK YOU for being here! I love to share some of the things going on in my life in hopes that it will encourage you! I also wanted to post an update for those of you who have been following me for a while!

As I have been praying, I have felt a shift in my focus on my blog, Instagram, and my business. As a wife, mom and woman of color, I think it’s important for me to continue sharing about my faith, my parenting wins and struggles, my heart on embracing and celebrating our racial differences as people (did you know May is Asian American & Pacific Islander heritage month?), and giving you updates on my creative journey with starting my own business.

Creating has given me the space to calm my racing thoughts. At times I will randomly doodle on the Procreate app, but I never share my creations. I’m not an artist by any means, but I had no idea, until a few days ago, that you can purchase some amazing pre-created stamps (on Etsy) and put them together to create your own artwork. This is something that I hope to share here for fun.

I love gifts. It’s my love language to receive gifts. Someone can give me a ‘thank you’ card and I am so giddy. Even more, I love it when others feel the same way. That’s why I started my business, Heartening Forward. I wanted to help people encourage and send a thoughtful card to their friends, family, employees, clients, and anyone else they can think of. I have been working hard and I am hoping to launch my online store by my birthday, June 2, which is in less than a month!

I am so grateful for all of you! Thank you for joining me on this journey!

Which of these things are you most excited about me sharing here? I’d love to hear about it!