To Reflect On This Year

Would mean to look back at all that was … and wasn’t.

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Words are so powerful and I have been speaking what I perceived as horridness this year into existence. So much so, that it has become me. It’s no doubt that this year was hard for me. But so many good things happened this year too. It’s hard but I’m learning to be intentional about being grateful.

So the good -that’s what I choose to reflect on. Because for every bad thing that happened, something good came of it. For every discouraging moment that tried to drown me, came a moment of understanding and resilience. Writing found its way back into my life as medicine, each time anxiety reared its head. And I found love of self again after months of feeling unworthy of it.

Awesome things that happened this year:

1 – I went to Jamaica, twice

2 – I did my first pop up

3 – I networked with so many amazing people

4 – My grandmother beat breast and lung cancer

5 – My grandfather celebrated his 74th birthday

6 – I decided that in 2020/1 I will be moving to *******

7 – I learned (and continue to learn) so many things about myself

8 – This year was the first year that we had a Thanksgiving dinner (since the passing of my other grandfather). It was filled with high energy and lots of love.

9 – I opened my business account

10 – Omg, I almost forgot – I got my licensessss!

11 – I had my first photoshoot for my business

We’ve still got a few weeks to go and I can honestly say for the first time ALL YEAR, I feel hopeful.

-Sky Britnei

An Ode To Sisterhood

Journeying through entrepreneurship has been the most stressful and rewarding thing that I’ve done thus far. Networking, collaborating, finally participating in pop ups -all in the name of  building my business and brand. There’s really no feeling like it.

But the best part has been connecting with like minded people. This sense of solidarity and familiarity when talking to another creative, business owner and/or entrepreneur. For so long, I felt alone on this journey. Misunderstood. Extremely fearful. The connectivity across the board has significantly helped in all those realms. And for that, I am extremely grateful.

With that being said, I wanted to set aside a moment to truly thank two women who have aided in my growth and have kept me sane in the moments that the various parts of my life begun to take a toll.


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Anne E., founder of Nubian Crowns Clothing Boutique

Anne has been such a pivotal part of my journey! To even begin to describe would take forever. Plus, she already knows the bulk of it. Let me just say, that her strength, resilience and transparency are inspiring. Her passion for her brand, her culture, her family and beyond literally radiant off of her. She always talks about how much I’ve helped her be the face of her business but she’s helped me own my business with this grace and confidence (which I most certainly did not have before). She’s definitely the go-getter of our crew and always pushes us to go harder and dream bigger!

 


 

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Victoria C., founder of Ravished Shoes Boutique

Victoria popped up in my life at the exact moment that I needed someone like her. So big shout outs to Anne for bringing her into our sister circle. Not only does Vicky bring the fun and the wine to every situation but she brings reality. As a creative, we have a million ideas by the second. With that, we can be prone to anxiety. She brings us back to earth while still fiercely believing in every idea that we put forth! She’s definitely the realist of our trio. Her belief in us and our goals is more humbling than words can express. She holds us accountable and hold us down!


As black women, we’re often taught that we all can’t win. There’s only room for one of us. But through this sisterhood, we have created lanes not only for ourselves but one together. So, my ode to sisterhood is this:

Through you I have found me
Resilience makes homes out of strong bodies
Faith makes homes out the strong willed
Higher frequencies makes room in the divine
Luminescent is the light that surrounds us
We have found what we need
In each other
So to my sisters, I thank you. Forever.

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October 1st means …

It’s breast cancer awareness month!

Since I last blogged so much has happened -which I’ll probably do an extensive post about later. But for now, I have some pretty exciting news! This month, my business will be donating 40% of what we earn to the Painted Pink For Breast Cancer Org

Yesterday, I sent out a newsletter summing up why I chose to do this and why I specifically chose this organization. I want you all to be in on the info so, I thought why not blog about it as well. 


This year started off in distress as my grandmother – our family matriarch, wonder woman, majestic goddess, warrior queen (and more) was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. Later in the year, she was diagnosed with Stage 2 Lung Cancer. Watching my grandmother undergo surgeries, chemo and radiation was extremely scary and nerve wracking but also humbling. It taught me so much about appreciation and showing love to the people in our lives while they’re still here! Thus far, this journey has made our family stronger. We’ve had to pick up where she couldn’t. Wipe our tears before she could see them. And although, some times were harder than others, we got it done -for her! 

But more than being strong, what I truly had the urge to do was educate myself. 

Upon doing so, I learned that while Black women are diagnosed with Breast Cancer at an alarmingly higher rate than other races; there aren’t many resources dedicated to us, by us, for us. As an entrepreneur, as a black women, as someone that has now been closely affected … this struck a chord.

I knew that this year was different for me and I wanted to be of service to a black local owned non profit. One that was dedicated to spreading awareness, funding, research or anything of the sort. I reached out to a few colleagues and friends and upon talking with Jasmine Marie (founder of Creative Women Build), I stumbled upon the Painted Pink Org. Keep reading to hear more about their story.


Painted Pinks Story

While Painted Pink isn’t locally owned, after speaking with founder Ann-Marie and board member Amaris, I was sold. With a mission statement of educating the youth and a vision of self advocacy, knowledge of genetic health and support across the board, here’s what they’re all about:
 

1. They empower millennials to take charge of their breast health.
2. They support millennials with access to mentors, resources, and medical professionals who understand the intersection of breast health and the realities of breast cancer for this generation.   
3. They are proponents of the purposely pink lifestyle – knowing your genetic history and being proactive about fitness, nutrition, and beauty practices.

They also have the following programs available to all warrior queens:

  • Purposely Pink Programs are events focused on fitness and health, i.e making sure we’re watching what we are putting in and on our bodies.
  • Baby ShowerHer Campaign are baby showers for women who are undergoing breast cancer and are pregnant.
  • Care Packages are put together by the Painted Pink team and is filled with hypoallergenic items, motivational items, and items to alleviate discomfort from chemo.
  • Collegiate Tours are when the Painted Pink team go to different universities to speak to young women about the importance of breast health.

Ann-Marie Appiah is the C.E.O and founder of Painted Pink For Breast Cancer. She formed this non profit after having two lumpectomies and having a close family member be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She is an advocate for breast cancer awareness as well as an advocate for the awareness of genetic disposition. To date the Painted Pink org has raised over 22k and has partnered with various brands such as Jane Carter Organics and TGINatural hair companies.


I’d love for you all to be a part of something so amazing and so important to myself, Ann-Marie and millions of other women … other black women.

Head over to my site to purchase some handcrafted jewels. For this month, I have specially crafted jewels featuring breast cancer charms (and of course featuring my healing crystals). 40% of what I earn this month will be donated to the Painted Pink For Breast Cancer Org. 

If this cause/non profit resonated with you and you’d like to personally donate, please reach out to Ann-Marie via Instagram.

I hope to stay connected. Peace, love + light, always ..
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Here’s an affirmation to take with you:
I honor my need to rest and recharge.

the passion (and purpose) behind it all

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saturday, 8:24 a.m

i’m up. tea to the right of me. book to the left. pen tucked behind my ear. most importantly, phone out of sight. i’m present.

my passion and purpose in this realm is something that i had often thought about. but my fear made me halt that thought process … or rather, i let my fear halt that thought process. and i know it’s important to live in the present, but to live in the present aimlessly? i don’t know about that.

but life has a way of shaking things up when you’ve gotten too complacent -too stagnant, too comfortable. it has a way of telling you that how you are living wasn’t the way intended. but what do you then?

well, i reflected. it took a while.
but first, i kicked myself out the fearful rut that was making me a stranger to my own creativity. i guess i should start with that right?
i pushed and pushed. i did a lot of writing and meditating and pouring into self .. i didn’t realize my glass was emptyyyyy! and by doing these things, reflection came.

my reflecting first started by confronting why i was afraid, acknowledging that and holding myself accountable for how i let fear hold me down and back and then taking action on it -which i now realize will have to be another post, lol.

after that,  i checked in with myself (and still am checking in with myself). i already had a list of interests, life goals, priorities, values, morals.

  • but were those things (listed above) in alliance with my passion?
  • am i still passionate about the things i was passionate about 5 years ago, 2 years ago, last year, last month?
  • what am i passionate about now?
  • does my passion align with my purpose?
  • what is my purpose?

& so, as i reflected and thought and discussed with close friends, these are the answers i have come up with. after reading mine (or even before), I challenge you to answer those questions as well.


some of my interests are art, self care, mental wellness, culture, black entrepreneurship, holistic (natural) living (among others).
my life goals and priorities include helping, bringing light to the usage of art in the mental health world, being wealthy, to be well versed in travel and different cultures, to live a peaceful, successful, happy and freeing life. waking up in the morning and loving what i do.
i value and moralize justice, diplomacy, equality, love, transparency, hard work, tranquility, hope, faith ….

and thinking back, the things that i was passionate about at 19/20 have transferred over to the various stages in my life. these are still the things that evoke emotion out of me now.
i am still passionate about helping others and art and helping others through art.
if i am able to change the life -truly change the life of at least one person i would be forever happy.

and so do i believe that my purpose aligns with my passion?
100%

i believe my purpose is to help others recognize and see the art within themselves and connect to themselves on different levels. and use that newfound awareness of self to spread love and light and positivity.

i believe my purpose is to use all that i have gained in this realm to help and be of service to others (thanks for those words bee lol -described that perfectly).

i believe that the most high put me here with a gift of empathy and resilience and passion. passion is a gift , ya know? lol.  and i believe that these gifts were given to me, not without reason.

saturday. 9:17 a.m

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what does living a soft + strong life mean to you? look like to you?

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I’ve realized that I’m not ready to be consistent with my blogging again and I’ve become okay with that. Nevertheless, I saw this writing prompt (the title) on instagram from BlackGirlInOm and kind of felt compelled to write, which honestly hasn’t happened in a while. So, here it goes …

There’s a very popular quote that goes around. It says “Self care and self love is not selfish”. I disagree. It is, 100 percent. Living a soft + strong life (to me) is acknowledging that, standing firm in that and being okay with that.

It is knowing that before I pour into someone else’s glass, mine must be full. I must be full.

It is accepting (healthy + constructive) criticism and turning it so that it is able to positively impact me. At the same time, being able to weed out those who only mean me harm and being adamant about not having those people and/or things in my life, in my energy, penetrating my aura.

It is staying strong in my belief that my purpose is indeed powerful and necessary and was made just for me. And staying soft is giving myself the space to make mistakes, take in lessons, grow, change my mind, process and just be! It is the will and want to keep growing and getting better. Being a better and healthier (mentally, spiritually, physically -and of course financially) version of myself.

It is saying no and yes. When I want. Without feeling pressured into explaining myself or feeling guilty about choosing myself first. It is checking out to focus on myself when I see fit. But making sure that I stay in tuned with my loved ones. Being reliable and dependent but not a stool lifting everyone up while I am left depleted.

One of things I think about when I think about gaining strength through spiritual journeys is the task of being alone. Being alone allows me to really tap in to self; monitor my emotions, follow my intuition and dive into my creativeness. But, it is no easy feat. Hence, the strength part. Living a strong + soft life is taking time to be alone whilst remembering that it does not mean that I am lonely. It means, taking time to be with loved ones when I do start to feel that way. And most importantly, knowing that being alone and being with loved ones are both okay.

There are times when my strength waivers. When I’m feeling low, down and just out of it. Living a soft life is allowing myself to feel and journey through these places of self doubt and sadness. Living a strong life is making sure that I don’t wallow in this sadness. That I don’t settle there + make a home out of tears, ruffled hair and un-ironed t-shirts. Living a soft + strong life is realizing that there is both strength and softness in vulnerability. It is climbing out of that and remaining powerful and humble, loud in my self love and calm throughout my journey.

I’m gonna give another quote, but this one’s by me; “my light reigns supreme. my spirit reigns supreme.” Living this balanced life of strength and gentleness is standing firm in my belief that I am worthy. So much so, I got it tattooed. Permanent reminder, lol!

It is waking up every morning, blessed with another 24 hours and deciding that I am worthy, I matter and I am enough. And, while I may not be enough for anyone else .. I must be enough for/to myself before all.

And last, it is laughing. Like heartfelt cackling, tears falling from your eyes laughter. Surrounding myself with LOVE. Making sure that the energy I put into the world is that that I wish to receive. It is journaling and yoga and meditation and communication and tears and sorrow and dips, twists and turns and happiness and joy and working and walking towards to all of my dreams and goals.

 

2017 Take Aways

It’s been a while and that’s an under statement.
I had/ have to figure things out and I needed a break. Around the end of October, I felt myself falling into a depression. Mostly because I’m not where I envisioned myself being. I lost motivation. I lost hope. I kind of began to lose myself. It honestly seemed like things were piling up against me and there was no way out. More anxiety. More tears than usual. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling that I felt. Annnddddd right when I was about to really slip into the sunken place (lol), I began to drag myself out – legit a few days ago haha. I had a talk with one of my best friends and I really began to re-evaluate things. Anyways, better late than never and definitely great before the new year.

I thought that it would only be fitting that my first post back would be some little tid bits from 2017. And also a picture of my face lol.


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🌻 speaking things into existence does work.
🌻 i will prosper beyond belief in 2018.
🌻 i have grown mentally and spiritually, now i’m just waiting on financially. 😂
🌻 i don’t give myself enough credit.
🌻 but i’m lit … okuhh. 😇😏
🌻 i still let other peoples words define how i travel on and through my journey. i’ve gotten better but i need to work on that more for this new year.
🌻 i don’t have the time, patience or energy for relationships (romantic or not) that do not serve me. understand that i wish you the best but please go away.✌🏾
🌻 i should stop eating pizza so much 😂 but it’s soooooo good!
🌻 falling in love with myself was the easy part …
🌻 staying in love with myself through self doubts and lessons not yet learned is the hard part … and i have decided that I am willing to put in that work.
🌻 i need to stop stressing things/people that aren’t for me. i also need to recognize when things and people aren’t for me.
🌻 i get bored easily. i’m either passionate about something or utterly uninterested. i think it’s a libra thing.
🌻 iamworthy. always.
🌻 one of my biggest goals for 2017 was being unapologetic about how i feel and how i move through those feelings and spaces – i accomplished this. i am proud and sooooo not sorry.
🌻 stagnancy and complacency are not my cup of tea.
🌻 i am not everyone’s cup of tea … or choice of liquor for that matter. 😝
🌻 & that’s okay.
🌻 i journey at my own pace, in my own way and quite frankly i’m learning to not give a fuck about that.
🌻 I am. I can. I will – my personal mantra for this upcoming year. 🌻 All in all, Love is art, Art is peace, Peace is freedom and freedom, my loves .. Freedom is everything.

Peace, love & happiness
-Sky Britnei

things i’ve learned about love

  • not all love is a forever love
  • it is okay to start over in love
  • love starts with me
  • love is all around me
  • there are flaws in love, but if its real love .. those flaws won’t matter. those flaws enhance that love
  • love changes you .. its up to you whether that be for the better or for the worse
  • i deserve love
  • i deserve to give love
  • trust and love go hand in hand
  • communication and trust go hand in hand
  • therefore love without communication won’t prosper
  • you can be wrong, i can be wrong … that doesn’t mean that together we aren’t right
  • love can be complicated .. but that’s because we make it that way. love is simple
  • i couldn’t give love to others until i began to give love to myself
  • being appreciative of the love you receive is extremely important
  • being appreciated for the love you give is equally important
  • love doesn’t hurt – we do
  • love is apart of me -in my nature

things i’ve learned about self-care

  • it’s needed
  • it’s important
  • it’s essential to growth
  • it comes in different forms
  • it is different for each of us -as long as it’s positive
  • music makes me happy
    • especially bob marley and lauryn hill
  • journaling also makes me very happy
  • and so does sipping wine
  • self affirmations help increase your self esteem
  • self care is how you begin to fall in love with yourself
  • it is how you begin to build positive and uplifting relationships
  • self care is knowing that you are worthy of more than just the bare minimum and expecting nothing less than the best
  • self care is honesty to self
  • it’s putting your happiness first and foremost
  • but not forgetting about the people that you love
  • its spending quality time with yourself and not feeling lonely
  • self care is helping yourself
  • self care is waking up every morning and deciding that you have a purpose
  • self care = self love

20 inspiring quotes from paulo coelho

One of the most inspirational books that I’ve read thus far has been ‘The Alchemist’ by 9780062315007_p0_v2_s192x300Paulo Coelho. I personally feel that it takes a unique kind of person to read AND understand what this book means. It’ll only resonate with you if you are on some type of spiritual journey. So it only made sense that this book landed on my lap right before my 23rd birthday. As I read this book, I remember feeling .. indescribable, awakened, free, positive … like I could conquer the world.

This book inspired me to be my best self and gave me proof that my spiritual journey was just beginning and would be filled with much enlightenment and understanding. However, it also inspired me to look up the artist of this classic piece of work -Paulo Coelho. I was so intrigued by the story itself, that it made me wonder about him and how he came about writing such a pivotal story.

 Paulo Coelho , the alchemist , spiritual , journey, love

So I took to google … because I’m a google nerd and I can’t help it, lol. And while I found some incredible facts about Mr. Coelho, the most interesting things that I found were some of his quotes. Quotes from The Alchemist and quotes from his other books (which I am definitely in the process of getting). I decided to share these quotes with you because reading them reignited the feeling of hopefulness and prosperity and light that I felt while reading The Alchemist. So I hope you all appreciate these quotes as much as I did.


  1. When we strive to be better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

2. Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.

3. The act of discovering  who we are, will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.

4. The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight.spiritual journey the alchemist paulo coelho

5. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of
failure.

6. One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.

7. Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life?

8. Remember that wherever your heart is, there you will find your treasure.

9. When I had nothing to lose, I had everything. When I stopped being who I am, I found myself.

10. Nothing in the world is ever completely wrong. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

11. When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.

12. Our true friends are those who are with us when the good things happen. They cheer us on and are pleased by our triumphs. False friends only appear at difficult times, with their sad, supportive faces, when, in fact, our suffering is serving to console them for their miserable lives.

13. Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.

5634b33025af02bd6ed24e45cec15b5814. This is what we call love. When you are loved, you can do anything in creation. When you are loved, there’s no need at all to understand what’s happening, because everything happens within you.

15. When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.

16. There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.

17. Your eyes show the strength of your soul.

18. The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.

19. Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free.

20. To realize one’s destiny is a persons only obligation.


xoxo,

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what makes you feel free?

the moon. the stars. being on tropical islands while the wind blows through my hair. sand. the ocean. the sound of the waves. poetry. yoga. yoga on the beach. vibing out during summer nights. candles. candles lit while reading poetry. candles lit while doing yoga. activating crystals. laughing. like, genuine laughter. crying after having held in my emotions. the smell of lavender. the smell of peppermint. putting my head under water. getting lost in a good book. getting lost in music. understanding art from the artists point of view. indulging in new and different cultures. the wind. being randomly inspired. rain. getting lost in happy memories. grass, although i’m allergic lol. water. the sound of water. the feeling of it against my skin -especially after a long day. waking up in bliss. writing, like now -so therapeutic. being alone, now that i’ve come to appreciate what that means. also, being around people that i know i can be myself around. positive energy in it’s rarest form. genuine happiness. genuine love.


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There’s this girl that I’m friends with on Facebook and she always posts the most thought invoking statuses. I love it, lol! Friday night blues, whilst I scrolled through my feed and a status of hers popped up – “What makes you feel free?”

I didn’t want to bombard her status with such a lengthy reply but I was also very tempted to reflect and answer the question for myself.

There are some days where we feel out of it, constricted and not in control of our lives. Sometimes, we need a (sort of) trigger or spark to help remind us that so many things ARE in fact right. So many things are freeing. It’s just up to us to remember to take that time for yourselves to indulge in those things. And it’s okay to need that reminder. And it’s okay that that reminder may happen at the most random times -hence a simple FB question.

Today, right now .. in this moment, I needed that reminder. Of all the things that make me feel free. Funny how the universe works, right?

Take some time to reflect .. what makes you feel free?

xoxo,

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