January’s Reflection

The 4th Saturday of the month already? Geesh, Where has the time gone? Well., Welcome to our First monthly reflection!! This is where we will journey through the highs and lows of the month. Also, this is where any questions regarding previous journeys throughout the month will be answered.

We don’t have any questions to answer thus far this month, so this week will focus more on my feelings throughout the month. Cool Beans? Well, let’s explore! Indulge & Enjoy!

New Beginnings…

What better way to start a new year than with a new exciting business venture? Well that’s exactly what I did when I introduced the beauty aspect of B.P.L.! I was Over the moon excited to share a talent I enjoy so much with the world (still am). The truth is, it didn’t take off the way I wanted it to.

At first, I was discouraged and frustrated. I wanted to post random rants on Facebook. You know like, “Support those who support you…” and blah, blah, blah. (Petty, I know.) I’m so glad I didn’t though. This expansion has taught me so much about myself! I realized how fearless I am and how resilient I’ve become.

Foundations…

With every journey you embark on you should always start with building a foundation. What are some words that come to mind for you, when you think about the foundation you want for this year? Here’s a few for me: strong, faith, growth, humble, courageous, focused, and consistent.

The relationships blooming in my life are amazing, and a solid part of my foundation! A few years back, in New York, my Pastor, at the time, would always advise on the importance of community. Honestly, at that moment in my life, I was content with being alone, therefore I didn’t take his teachings to heart. Now, here I am in 2020, telling myself, and anyone who will listen, the importance of having a Godly community! (If you’re reading Pastor Mel, thank you!)

Faith…

My goodness! I can’t even begin to explain how amazing my faith journey has been this first month of the year! I’ve become more honest with myself, which allows me to be more open with you all. Not that I wasn’t open before, but I will admit I feared being judged by readers who didn’t understand where I was coming from or where I am going. But now, I’m free! Judge me, love me, hate me, adore me, I couldn’t care less!

I’ve learned to trust God in all aspects of my life (another lesson, I could’ve learned from my previous Pastor had I actually listened). One of the greatest flaws on my walk of faith was, only giving God access to what I wanted His help with. So, I would give him access to my finances but not my relationships or give him my relationship with my parents but not my significant other. Well, towards the end of 2019 I gave him access to my entire life and it was the greatest decision I’ve ever made.

Future…

Would you believe me if I told you I don’t really have a plan for this year? I’m not going to say this is the year I’ll lose 100lbs, or this will be the year, I meet my future husband. I don’t know what this year will bring my way… What I do know is with God by my side, I know it will be a year full of blessings and amazing opportunities!

Well, I guess I do have a plan for the year… Move out of God’s way and let Him work!

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

He Chose Me

What’s up, family? Welcome to our first Spiritual journey. Here is where I explore my raw, uncensored, and sometimes uneasy walk of faith, with you all. If you’ve been exploring with me for a while, then you know I’m a Christian. You also know I’ve made a multitude of mistakes in my life, and though I strive to be more like Christ daily, I’m still a very flawed human being.

On these journeys, you will get to see me pour my passion into my faith. You will see first hand the common misconception, “being a Christian is easy,” be discredited. It’s a daily struggle to be in the flesh, but not live in the flesh. So, like any other journey we explore, I promise to be as transparent as possible.

Now that all of the formalities are out of the way, get ready to explore! Indulge & Enjoy!

It feels weird lying here, desperately knowing this is not where I belong… In this bed, my bed, with this man I know, but don’t really know… In his arms, declaring my love for this man I don’t even really care to know. Is he my husband? The answer is no. But, I refuse to loosen his grip on me and tell him he needs to go… Why? Because sinnings no fun alone.

As he sleeps peacefully, I lay there… Wondering if he feels the warm tears sliding down my cheek, gently dripping on his bicep. No, he didn’t hurt me. Nothing happened tonight that I didn’t want to happen. Honestly, if you ask him, I’m sure he’ll tell you I initiated it… And we definitely had a good time. So why am I crying?

Praise and Worship was amazing… I’ve never known Your presence to be so strong. Or maybe I didn’t want to. I feel You moving within me. I know You’re trying to show me, there’s an easier way to do this thing called life. I just don’t think I’m ready… I’ll see You soon… I love you.

It feels strange to be back here again. A different man. No he’s not my husband, but let’s just pretend… I never knew I could love someone as much as I love him. No, I don’t know much about him but who cares? He’s my everything. I feel like I can’t breathe without him. If I give him my all, and do exactly what he asks of me, maybe he’ll stay.

As he sleeps peacefully, I lay in his arms, wondering when the tears will fall. They never come… As anger washes over me, his embrace begins to become cold. Attempting to calm the anger, I think about things he and I have in common. There are none. Wait maybe there are… Maybe it’s just, we haven’t had enough conversations to connect them. Or, maybe this is not where I belong…

Man, the Preacher was on point! You showed up and showed out! I haven’t heard preaching like that since my Granddaddy died. I never knew Your voice could be so loud. Or maybe I didn’t want too. I hear You speaking to me. I know You’re trying to show me, there’s an easier way to do this thing called life. I just don’t think im ready… I’ll see You soon… I love you.

It feels uncomfortable to be here once more. My body pressed against his, as my mind wanders somewhere far away pretending he’s not a different man (yes a different man). Of course he’s not my husband, but what if he was? How would that sound? Alyshia-Mae… Wait, what is his last name? Did even tell me? Did I even tell him my real name? Oh my goodness, he thinks my real name is Keisha…

As he sleeps peacefully, the war within my mind rages on. What number is he? Please don’t make me count. As the rage build up to tears as a voice yells out, “You’re ruining your life!” I yell back to the voice in my head,“Don’t judge me.” Wait, both voices were my own. So, am i judging myself? WHAT IS GOING ON! This is definitely not where I belong.

“Is there anyone here that has not accepted the Lord as their Savior?” Please don’t make me. You asked me to come… I came. You asked me to open my heart… I opened it… Now you’re asking me to surrender my life to you? I just dont think im ready… I’ll see You- – -..

….

It feels strange standing in the second to last row of this Church, confessing to the congregation words that my mind aren’t processing. Everything seems random, yet perfect. Tears stream down my face, as my soul reminds my lungs to breathe. But isn’t that my brains responsibility? “Yes, but I had to turn it off, I needed you to hear Me…”

God? Is that really you? “Yes My child, don’t be afraid” But, I’m still not ready! I’m too dirty to serve you… “Give your life back to Me and I’ll wash you clean as new.” But, I’m not ready- -… “My child, I created you. I know you’re every move. I know your thoughts before you think them. I know what you’ve been through. Please trust Me, you are ready.”  I’m not ready… I’m not qualified… Pick someone else…

I confess with my mouth, Jesus is Lord. I believe with my heart, God raised Him from the dead… I give the life You breathed into me back to You. I ask that You use me to edify Your Kingdom. I am Yours. My life is Yours. I still don’t think I’m ready, and if I keep waiting, I never will be.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Welcome to 2020!!

Happy New Year!!! When I tell you I am so excited about what God is doing within me this year!! I mean, words can’t even begin to express the joy and humility in my soul! I am so honored to be the daughter of the Highest King.

So, on our last journey, if you remember, I explained, we have focused enough on the past and it’s time to explore the present and the future! Well, this week I’m going to share with you what this will look like. I pray you’re as excited as I am! Indulge & Enjoy!!

Alrighty, so 2020 is going to lead to us exploring a wider variety of journeys each month. I have broken the journeys into weeks. Let’s see what each month will look like to start the year.

Week 1: Creative Writing (Fiction/Nonfiction)

Week 2: All Things Beauty

Week 3: Spiritual

Week 4: Monthly Reflection

Week 5: Wild Card (When Applicable)

Please note, these journeys are subject to change periodically throughout the year!

Now that we have a little structure to this year, let’s dive into this week’s journey! So Beautiful. Passionate. Love. made a rather large expansion on the first of the year via Facebook (Follow us Beautiful Passionate Love— You’re missing out!).

Back in June, we explored I Like It-You Don’t Have To, where we discussed my new found love for makeup! Well, what I didn’t know was, my love for makeup is so much bigger than just me applying it to myself. I love all things makeup!!

From talking about it to showing others how to apply it, to getting dolled up and just hanging out around the house… I have a genuine love for makeup! So, on January 1st, 2020, B.P.L. announced we are expanding into the beauty world!

I am accepting 5-6 clients (models) to come on board from January till April for me to perfect the application process! Once the application process is perfected, we will roll out phase II of the beauty sector (late April, early May).

Now, future beauty journeys aren’t going to be wordy at all. They are going to be more so a look of the week, along with a product review (sometimes).

This will be where I explore my growth in the beauty world and how/if it impacts my day to day life. I don’t wear makeup daily so, once we have clients rolling in, we may also do a client spotlight.

I want beauty weeks to be super fun! I may even start recording myself applying makeup and letting you all critique me!

Remember, this is our journey. Therefore, share what you like and don’t like. Share what you want more of! Share your own journeys!

With all that being said, here’s our Look(s) of the Month!

See you all next week!

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

It’s A Wrap!

~Family!!! This is our last journey of 2019! Can you believe it? Neither can I! I pray this year has taught you to be okay with constant growth! As for me, well, let’s just say growth looks good on me!

Because it’s our last journey of the year, I want to share with you all some of my affirmations, used to keep me focused throughout the year. From there, we will go, where ever this journey leads us! Ready to explore? Indulge and Enjoy!~

Lift up your head, young one… You’re a queen…

Smile, beautiful, your kingdom is watching…

It’s okay love, tomorrow’s a new day…

You’re so beautiful…

You’re destined to be a wife…

You’re a masterpiece…

The daughter of a King…

This year, like any other year, was filled with a lot of ups and downs. The most frustrating part was, not knowing how to explain my low moments to the people around me. I was closed off and reserved, with relationships that may have been beneficial to my growth. Also, there were several moments this year that left me feeling empty.

With all this being said, 2019 was an amazing year of growth for me. I mean, I removed useless titles from my life such as “Side Chick” and I added valuable ones such as “The daughter of a King…” “Wife in the making…” and “Beautifully melinated queen!” I learned to remove the opinions, of the world from my life, and create my own.

I‘ve learned to love myself for not just who I am, but also who I’m becoming!

So, there was about a good month, month and a half, where every day I was asking myself, “Who are you?” It was legit crazy!! My actions seemed foreign to me. I found myself going out of my way, showing random acts of kindness to people I’d never seen before (and it felt great!!). I soon realized, this is who I am, just never felt safe enough to show it. The comfort I found, almost changed to fear when I moved late within the year.

Now, as most of you know already, I‘ve moved to another state. Everything familiar has been stripped from me. Yes, I have loads of family here, I don’t feel like I’m vibing with them the way I wished to, though. They’re awesome! I’m just not “comfortable” yet, I guess… So do I sit around and mope, or force myself out of my comfort-zone? (Guess which one I chose.)

I also started a new job! I mean, what an amazing opportunity, occurring in what I thought was an attack from the enemy! What threw me for a complete loop was, during the loss of my previous job, I had no worries about what God was doing in my life. I was content and confident in His ability to guide me to the jobs I, very much needed and desired. Guess what, he did just that!

Which brings me to my final reflection! My relationship with God! Man oh, man! I mean the relationship I have with the Father is one that I’ve only dreamt of. We laugh together daily. When I cry He wipes my tears and reminds me of the plans he has for my life. He tells me about my future husband, and the joys I will receive if I continue to serve Him. He opens doors I had never imagined before. And, He never gives up on me, even when I’ve given up on myself.

Well, there you have it! Just an overview of my 2019! I must say, I’m amazed to see what’s in store for 2020. I have to share some news with you before I go…

For the last year and 2 months, we have mainly used Beautiful. Passionate. Love. To focus on “The Journey to Discovering Me.” While this is a never-ending journey, it’s time for us to step back and look at other trails.

Starting in 2020, we won’t focus as much on the past, as we will the present and future. I’m so excited to share new journeys with you guys!

We will not be exploring together on 01/04/2020. Mentally, I just need a quick break. We well, come back together on 01/11/2020 for a new year and new sound!

Have fun ushering in the New Year! And, please, I beg you all, be safe and responsible!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Perception

~What’s up y’all? I pray this week allowed you to see yourself from the viewpoint of someone else. So often, we create an unrealistic view, in our heads, of how others see us. We have to remember, the way we see ourselves is not how others see us. Also, it’s not right (nor is it possible), for us to impose our opinions, of ourselves, on to our peers.

Before we get started, I just want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas! Aside from all the amazingly wonderful gifts you receive, remember why we celebrate this season. Anywho, are you ready to explore? Perfect, let’s dive in. Indulge and Enjoy!~

I remember applying for my first job. My freshman year was coming to an end, and let’s just say I wasn’t on my best behavior. If you’ve been exploring with me, then you know from previous journeys, I wasn’t the sweetest in grade school. But, at 14 this was my first job, and of course, it was my first list of requirements.

So, I’m ending my first year of high school, and my mom is trying her best to keep me out of “trouble,” throughout the summer (easier said than done). At the time, there was a program called Summer of Opportunities, for the youth to get their feet wet with employment while school is out.

There were limited spaces, an extensive application process, and a lengthy hiring advancement. One requirement was a letter of recommendation. I had no prior bosses, and at 14, any adult I knew was family (which they specifically told us we couldn’t use). So who do I ask? Well, even on my worst behavior, a couple of teachers took an interest in me and drew me close to them.

One of the women who played a major impact in high school, (she continues to play a role in my life), was my history teacher. She’s like an Aunt… you know, the one that’s stern and refuses to allow you to “play yourself,” yet, you love hanging around her (even if it means assisting her with grading papers.)

Terrified, I asked her to write a letter of recommendation, on my behalf, knowing it would be tough to find good characteristics to speak about. To my surprise, she agreed without hesitation. The next day, she placed a sealed envelope in my hand, labeled “Alyshia-Mae’s letter of recommendation.”

YOU MEAN I CAN’T READ WHAT SHE WROTE!? I just knew I wouldn’t be getting this job. I didn’t have anyone else I could turn to, so I decided it was best to just submit her letter. A couple of weeks later, I received a letter from the city I lived in (also the city the program was through). Bam! I had a summer job to look forward to! I was elated!

Of course, I went to school the next day proud, and ready to share the news. Approaching the teacher that had written my recommendation, she must have seen the joy on my face. Right away she smiled and said, “You got the job!”

I confirmed and thanked her for the letter. Then I asked, why was she so confident I would be accepted. Smiling the entire time she said, “ You’re an intelligent, beautiful, poised, young woman. I never doubted your ability to success…”

Poise

/poiz\

Noun

Graceful and elegant bearing in a person.

I had never even heard the word poise before this conversation. If I did, it definitely wasn’t in correlation to me and my appearance. How did she see me as poise?

According to me, I was average, intelligence wise, and I lacked beauty. I was a young woman though. She got that part right.

So did she lie? To me, at that moment, she definitely lied! Now, over 10 years later, I realize she was giving HER perception of me. Mine nor anyone else’s mattered.

Yes, sometimes, my perception of me won’t align with my peers, family, and/or friends (quite often actually). This is completely fine! My goal… is to make sure I have no, well, very few, negative perceptions in the world!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.

Something Different

~Hey Family! I pray this week has shown you just a glimpse of what your 2020 will look like! As for me, it’s safe to say I’m beyond excited to see what next year will bring!!

This week, I want to explore the many changes that took place in my life. And, of course, I’ll share how I feel about them and what they’ve taught me. Ready to explore? Let’s dive in! Indulge and Enjoy!!

Last week, I may have (intentionally) forgot to tell y’all I quit my job. After a year and 7 months, it was time to say goodbye. Did I want to? No. I didn’t have much of a choice though. My contract was ending December 20th and if I didn’t find a new job soon, I would be standing in the unemployment line.

So I had two job offers, I ended up going with the one I felt God had been guiding me to and, MAN!! When I tell you I am so impressed with this company!! For obvious reasons, mainly privacy and protection, I can’t give you guys the name of my new employer, however, I want to take this time to remind you all to never stop trusting God!

Lately, I’ve been paying close attention to the opinions of others. Not necessarily their opinion of me, (because y’all know I don’t care what people think about me) I do pay attention to what they think about people, situations and events surrounding us.

This week, I started my new position and my observation unintentionally poured into my peers. I realized how free everyone is to be themselves WITHOUT JUDGMENT. I mean not even the slightest hint of judgment! It was an amazing feeling.

Then, I started thinking about everyone I’ve encountered since moving here… So far, I haven’t witnessed nor have I experienced any judgment. Now, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page, I’m talking about judgment in the negative sense. (Gossip, slander, belittling, degrading conversations.)

Yes, people here share their opinion, even when not warranted. And, no, everyone doesn’t always get along. But, I’ve noticed a different level of respect here. I’ve noticed, people’s first instinct here is not to spread whatever you shared with them to the world. People know how to provide constructive criticism without destroying one’s confidence.

I’ve noticed a level of respect, I wish I saw more of back home. Here, we focus more on what’s right in our lives, rather than what’s wrong. We start conversations with laughter and love before we dive into “vent” mode. We end phone calls with, “I love you,” no matter how many times we’ve spoken to one another (this took some getting used to).

There’s a level of protection, I feel here, I wish I felt back home. My siblings genuinely care about how I’m adapting to life here. Family reaches out just because. If they haven’t seen or heard from me within a reasonable time, they become a little uneased.

My siblings desire to bond with me! Sometimes, at home, I felt like a social outcast. Like nothing I did was good enough for my siblings to want to “chill”. Here me just being me is enough!

And, this is the best part! My siblings encourage me to build relationships with their spouses/significant others!!! Back home, my brothers definitely weren’t a fan of this (even though my niece’s mom and I became, and still are, the best of friends).

I’ve always been big on family. And I love my family back home. I miss them daily. I just wish they would express, they missed me a little too…

Living here is definitely a learning experience. Sometimes even a culture shock, if I’m being completely honest. Thanksgiving was crazy for me because I’m used to only being around 5-7 people. So, to be in a house full of what felt like 50+ people (all family), I definitely became overwhelmed at one point.

I went to my car, called my mom, and cried for about 5 minutes. Then I put my big girl pants on, went back in there and genuinely enjoyed my family and their dysfunction.

Yes, they have their own dynamics and dysfunction, just as my family back home does. So I want to end this by saying this…

Change isn’t always bad. Different isn’t always wrong. New isn’t always fun. And, old isn’t always trash.

Learn to love what you have for what it is. This doesn’t mean you have to tolerate anything that disrupts your peace, it simply means accepting and reacting accordingly.

Thank you for exploring with me! I really love y’all!

As always, feel free to ask questions and/or leave feedback in the comments section.

(All new journeys will be uploaded Saturdays by 12:30 EST)

I am BEAUTIFUL. I am PASSIONATE. I will LOVE.