Importance of Setting Boundaries

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One thing that I have always struggled with is setting boundaries. I was too busy with being concerned about people liking me and avoiding conflict. Now that I’m self-reflecting, I have realized now more than ever how essential setting boundaries are. Not only does it help prevent conversations that make you uncomfortable, but it also keeps your privacy to yourself. The fewer people that know your business, the less likely you have to worry about information getting out. I came up with four steps to help with setting new boundaries within your relationships.

Decide Which Boundaries to Set
Before you can set boundaries, you need to determine what your limits need to be. Get a pen and paper to write down your limits and to whom each category represents. For example, finances and dating are off-limits to parents for discussion. Follow this exercise for others, such as friends, acquaintances, and coworkers. Doing this will help with oversharing information as well. Conversations should be a dance, and if it’s turning into a solo act, you’re sharing too much. Having boundaries will help you with not sharing details before it’s safe to do so.

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Start Implementation of Your Boundaries
Now here comes the fun part of implementing the new boundaries that you set. It won’t be easy at first, but people will learn to adjust over time. You will most likely get backlash from folks closest to you but stick with it. People who love you will respect your boundaries after some time. Start with someone who will be least resistant to your limits. That will give you the confidence to continue down this new path. Don’t give up easily if people start to provide you with a hard time. People will try to see how far they can go, but enforcing your boundaries will let them that’s not possible.

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Continue to Reinforce Your Boundaries
The best way to keep people on board with your boundaries is to continue to enforce them. Once someone tries to overstep, you have to shut it down immediately. Also, people need to know there are consequences to their actions. For example, if you told someone that dating was off-limits and they continue to push, the result is that they don’t get to speak with you. I understand that sounds harsh, but you have to put your foot down. People need to respect the boundaries you have set forth. However, if you don’t consistently enforce your limits, people will walk all over you. You have to be intentional for people to understand why your boundaries are vital for them to follow.

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Reassess Your Boundaries as Needed
As life changes, so should your boundaries. There may be new topics to add or old ones to remove. Whichever way it goes, continue to reevaluate your boundaries. Make sure you do this often to avoid conflict when a topic comes up that you weren’t expecting. For example, a newly married couple will receive unsolicited advice from different people. It can even become overwhelming at times. When a new life event like this occurs, your boundaries need to include it. That way, people will understand that every new life event is not up for discussion. If you do decide to share, it will be your choice to do so.

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Setting boundaries can sound scary if you never did it before. It can seem like a difficult undertaking at first, but it’s worth it in the end. I recently started implementing boundaries, and it’s working out great. I’m not forcing myself to discuss or do things I’m not necessarily comfortable doing. The beautiful thing about boundaries is that it helped me improve my self-care and improve my overall mental health. Boundaries are helpful because it sets expectations of what topics you will share and which ones are off-limits. Don’t look at it as a bad thing, but something beneficial in the long run.

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Be sure to check out the discussion questions below before you go, and I’ll chat with you in the next blog.

Do you have boundaries set up? What type of challenges did you face while implementing your limits? 

Protect Your Energy

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Being an empath can be incredibly exhausting. I feel other people’s energy, and if the vibe isn’t right, it throws me completely off. I have been meticulous lately about who I let in my life. I don’t want to be in a situation where my energy is draining, or I feel uncomfortable around someone. I never want to make people feel uncomfortable, even if that’s my current emotion. Fast forward to recently; I started to date again. I know the dreaded dating scene. However, I’m going into it with a fresh perspective. I have a clear mindset of what I’m looking for in a mate. Previously I said I was looking for XYZ, but my potential suitors didn’t fit that match. That was my fault and not theirs.

I have an issue with saying no to people. My biggest fear is making someone feel like I don’t care for them or for them to feel useless. When it comes at the expense of your sanity, it’s hardly worth the effort. Saying no isn’t selfish, but saying yes to everything is. Think about it for a second. If you answer yes, even when you aren’t in the mood or not feeling the environment, who is hurt by this? Anything that directly impacts your mental health is not worth the effort.

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You aren’t meant to be everyone’s cup of tea and vice versa. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. You can meet someone and instantly develop a connection, and for other people, it doesn’t exist at all. That doesn’t mean that something is wrong. All it means is that the two of you didn’t hit it off. Why force something that’s not working? I have never understood that way of thinking. Protect your energy and peace. If someone doesn’t understand this, then that person shouldn’t be in your life. The worst thing to be is misunderstood, and having someone not trying to understand you is even worst.

It’s a better use of time to spend it with like-minded people or people who have your best interest. Time and energy are very sacred pieces of yourself. Share life’s experiences with people who want to understand and have a place in your heart. Don’t hold onto temporary people as you will end up hurting yourself in the end.

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What are some ways that you practice protecting your energy/peace?

Solo Traveling Tips

People ask me often why do I travel solo? It would be more fun if I went with other people. I don’t disagree; however, in the past, I missed out on places waiting for other people to be available. It’s a difficult thing to say go at it alone. It can be a nerve-racking and overwhelming experience. The biggest thing I learned is that you come away with much-needed confidence about yourself. You have to be comfortable with yourself to travel solo. You have to start small and work your way up. Before you decide to plan that huge trip, read the steps below to help you become a master at solo traveling.

Plan Solo Dates

Start planning dates where you spend time with yourself. For example, movies, spa or even dinner. The whole point of this is to get familiar with yourself. It may seem strange at first, but once you do it a few times, it becomes second nature. Once you learn how to deal with your own company, it makes it easier to solo travel. Also, one of the benefits of solo dates is that you get to do what you want when you want. Experiencing this type of freedom is what you can look forward to when you travel solo.

Take Weekend Trips

I would recommend staying somewhere that you previously been before. Remember the point here is to build up your confidence with traveling. Going somewhere familiar takes out the guesswork of finding activities and helps you to relax more. The more fun you are having, the more likely you will continue to travel. Write down all the things you want to do but weren’t able to do previously. Some activities can be due to a lack of enthusiasm from others or a general lack of interest. Now is the time to experience those adventures during your single weekend.

Plan Your Itinerary

Nothing screams lonely like having nothing on your agenda. The best way to fight those feelings is to have your days planned out. Of course, leave your plans open for change as something more exciting can arise. However, having a day planned makes you forget that you are solo. You’ll be having so much fun even to notice that you are indeed by yourself. That is how you fight the solo blues. My recent birthday trip was solo, and people said OMG you went to Las Vegas alone. That’s the whole point of traveling! Enjoy your time on vacation and stop worrying about why you are alone. Live in the moment as you don’t get those moments back.

Let Friends & Family know your Whereabouts

When traveling solo, it is especially important to travel smart. You must let someone back home know where you are going and your activities for each day. God forbid if something was to happen people will know where to tell the authorities where to look. Especially if you ’re going out at night. Give an estimated time of when you will return. Also, be sure to let someone know you made it back to your residence (travel accommodations) safely. Even if they are sleep due to the time difference or late hours once they wake up, they’ll know you’re okay. Be careful with posting your every move online. I understand this is easier to update friends and family. However, a predator can use this information as a way to stalk you. Please take proper precautions as you want to return safely back home from your trip.

Don’t do what you wouldn’t do at home

Don’t get into a stranger’s car unless it’s Uber or Lyft. Stay in well-lit areas with a large crowd of people around. Don’t get too comfortable that you step far outside your comfort zone that you become easy prey. Have the same street smarts that you have at home while on vacation. If something feels wrong, it probably is a bad idea. If you get this feeling DON’T DO IT! Don’t open yourself up to be an easy target. People are looking for unexpected tourist to rob or take advantage of their kindness. Don’t walk around with a large purse and keep your phone close to you at all times. It’s a good idea to set some folks including 911 on speed dial just in case of emergencies. Stay away from tight spaces like a club for example. Avoid places like a club because you can’t fully see your surroundings. You need to view all exits if necessary. Of course, keep drinks close to you at all times. Never sit your back to the door. Otherwise, it makes it easier for people to sneak up on you without your knowledge.

Give the Illusion of Confidence

Even if you aren’t confident then fake it until you make it. Never let anyone know you are alone, where you are staying or reveal too much about yourself. I’m not saying you can’t interact with others, but there is a difference between friendly and overly revealing. It can backfire and cause you to put down your guard rather quickly. Remember you’re solo so don’t put yourself in harm’s way unnecessarily. If you come off as shy or uncomfortable, you open yourself up to be easy prey. Not everyone has bad intentions, but the wrong person can see this and use it against you. Keep in mind Google gives you the right directions to the bus and train now. There’s no need to be nervous about solo travel! The more you do it, the easier it will become. There is too much of the world out there to explore to wait around for other people. If they aren’t available to travel, then you become a world traveler. You never want to look back and wish you started what you keep putting off today.

What was your experience traveling solo for the first time? What other tips would you recommend for first-time solo travelers?

Toxic Friends, Maybe It’s You

Before the start of the New Year, I see the same old rhetoric. I’m getting rid of the poisonous people in my life before the New Year. I don’t want to go into the New Year with the previous year’s drama. The thing I find most interesting is the need to do this every year. Do you have that many toxic people in your life? Is it necessary to remove these people regularly? This predicament got me to thinking about a few things. Are these people toxic or is the poisonous person you? Think about it for a few minutes. How many times did people leave your life and the first response is that person was toxic anyway. After a while, you need to start looking at the person in the mirror. Maybe you are having so many issues because you are the toxic person you are trying to remove. Self-reflection is a hard thing to do, and sometimes it’s difficult to admit destructive behavior within ourselves. Acknowledging that you might be toxic is scary at first. However, the reward for fixing yourself is very fulfilling.

It can be hard to admit, but each of us has toxic behavior. Even I have to correct the harmful habits that I have. There is nothing wrong with accepting you have an issue. The problem is never altering your behavior. I understand that looking inside yourself could be a mortifying experience, but you can’t think that everyone around you is the toxic one. If you find that you are always losing friends and people are habitually walking out your life then maybe you are the problem. You are the company that you keep. If you have to get rid of people often, it’s time to reevaluate your discernment for picking friends. You have chosen these folks to be in your life. Why would you select toxic people in the first place? Once you see that someone is displaying bad behavior, it is up to you to say something. Waiting until the New Year to remove someone from your life is problematic. It took the New Year for you to notice this behavior. Why wasn’t this person gone months ago? We are responsible for the folks we allow to stay in our lives. At some point we have to say to ourselves I wanted this to happen.

Again, think about it for a few more minutes. You like something about this person to keep them around. They are only as toxic to your life as you allow them to be. Once the toxicity has lasted long, you have to look inward as secretly you like the chaos. That’s the only explanation for all the drama to fester for so long. Once the spectacle consumes you for an extended period, you become the very thing you dislike. When this occurs, you now become a toxic friend who then causes people to run away from you. It is so important to protect your peace from outsiders. Once that is disturbed no matter how much you want that person around you must remove them out your life. Your mental state isn’t worth the headache. Before concluding I need to get rid of toxic friends determine if you have become toxic.  If so, work on that so you can be a better person for yourself and others. The energy you are getting from other people could be what you are giving out inadvertently.

What is your experience with toxic friends? And how did you conclude to remove them from your life? Did you realize that you were becoming toxic? Is so, how did you fix it?

The Effects of Ghosting

There was this guy I met over this past summer. We started to connect, and I thought there was a chance of a relationship growing. However, he ghosted me for 3-4 months, and I haven’t heard from him until Thanksgiving. The way he contacted me out of the blue was a bit confusing to me. I understand he was going through some personal issues and that contributed to him ghosting me. At the same time, it’s important to keep in contact as a lot can happen in short time frame. I went to fashion week, moved to a new apartment, visited Cuba for a vacation, and entered into a new relationship.  All of this occurred within the same 3-4 month time frame. I felt terrible because I was able to hear the disappointment within his voice. But this reminded me of why it’s important to stay in contact with people. If there is someone you are interested in don’t ghost them and expect them to be around later. People have lives and will move on when they see you are aren’t around. If you are experiencing something in life be honest about what’s going on. Give the other person chance, and they may still want relationship with you. Keep in mind that communication in any form calls, text,face time, email, etc. has to occur.  A lack of communication will have an impact on any potential relationship.

Most importantly if you do ghost someone don’t just show up as if nothing happened. Acknowledge that you went ghost, explain what occurred, and be open to whatever role that person has for you. For example, if they are involved, you will be just friends, maybe they still are interested in you, or they want nothing to do with you. Be understanding of what the person says and if it doesn’t work for you then move on. Proceed with caution if an option for a relationship is still on the table. Since this person went ghost the last time be sure, it was a one time thing and not daily occurrence. You don’t want to get in a situation and find out your committed,but not the other person isn’t. What are some of your ghosting stories? Did you date or dating someone that ghosted you at first? Rate, comment, and share!

I’m looking forward to reading your comments.

Until next time,

Happier You

When you reach a certain age particularly in your thirties, you start to wonder where your life is going. Often you will question if the choices you made previously impact where you currently are. You have to realize that you made the best decisions you could at the time. You pray for the best and hope that if the worst comes that you deal with it the best way possible. I look at my personal life, and I wonder where precisely did I fail? I seem to have everything going right professionally but not so much in my romantic life. If I’m honest, I feel this way due to society and family pressure. I don’t think some of my family members realize how hurtful it feels to continually state where are my husband and children. It makes you feel like as a woman if you don’t have either then you have failed in life. I’m not saying I don’t want them, but it will happen in due time. It would be nice if some people in my life would understand that and support where I am currently.

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I still have so much traveling to do, and I’m currently working on living my best life. I haven’t done much of this in the past. I’m living, but I’m not living my life to the fullest. I’m becoming a complete bore with just working and going home. There is more to life than working and sitting around waiting for something or someone to come into my life. I decided I needed to start trying to keep myself busy. I kept myself busy by planning more activities and stop making excuses when I get invited out. Surely I won’t meet my future husband in the house, so I have to live a little to meet him. Comfortably being in a routine doesn’t allow for change to occur. You have to break the cycle to see growth and development. I started to break the habit by coming out of my shell by doing the things I enjoy more often. I began to spend more time with friends, working out again, getting back to my writing, planning vacations, and trying new activities such as painting.

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To be a great wife and mother, I need to be a happier person. Once I work on this then whomever I am supposed to be with will find me. I’m not going to rush a relationship because people around me feel that I should. Until that time comes, I am going to continue working on being a better me and having a more fulfilling life. The addition of a husband and children will aid in that happiness. The most important part is that I need to be happy beforehand. If I’m not open and willing for love to come into my life, then the things I’m looking for won’t happen. Get right within yourself before getting into a relationship and never stop improving on yourself once you are in one. Doing this will aid in the longevity of your relationship for years to come.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

With the growing acknowledgment of the “Me Too” movement, it has brought to light the injustices that many people face on a daily basis. Of course, this is a great thing that the issues of the “Me Too” movement are coming to the forefront. Comprising positions can hopefully be avoided in the future. Unfortunately, there are still a few issues that haven’t seen the light of day. One problem, in particular, is when a sexual violation occurs at the hands of a family member or friend of the family. One thing that I would hear often growing up (and I’m sure you overheard this as well) is don’t leave your child around so and so. I understand rumors and how you don’t want a rumor to destroy a person’s reputation. However, for speculations to grow over time, there has to be some validity to the whispers going around. Case in point look at Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Those rumors followed them for years, and now years later we are discovering that indeed they were correct. There were many women impacted by both these men, and if just one person would’ve spoken up, it could’ve prevented so much anguish.

It is incredible that people are finally speaking out against Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. However, we all need to speak out even if it’s someone close to us.  We need to protect our women and children better. It doesn’t matter if you knew this person for years. Once a sexual violation has occurred the moral thing to do is call the authorities. I’m aware getting the police involved particularity when it pertains to Black people can have dire consequences. Honestly, this type of matter shouldn’t have the appearance of being seen as being nonchalant. By protecting the abuser and shunning the victims, there is a horrible message that is coming across. We are telling the victims to keep their mouths shut as what they say isn’t important. Also, we are allowing the abuser to continue hurting other people. Psychologically this will have lasting effects on the victims. Victims may feel suicidal, withdrawn from society, perform self-harm, and struggle with intimacy. Depending on how young the abuse starts this will impact their development as they will be conflicted about what occurred. Their body will respond differently from their mind. Unfortunately, this type of confusion will lead them to feel like it is their fault for what happened. If the abuser admits their wrongdoing at all, it comes with an idiotic statement about being enticed. We need to change our approach to discussing topics such as this to help the victims move forward with their lives.

I understand the touchy nature of this topic makes people want to shy away from it. However, this is important enough that it needs everyone’s full attention. There are many people out there who are impacted by this cycle of abuse. One of the worst things you can do is tell someone they are lying. Please understand the amount of courage that was taken to come forward. When someone is describing in great detail what transpired, they are not lying. Keep in mind if you are telling the truth you never have to remember a lie. Also, not believing someone when they tell you what happened to them is terrible as well. It, unfortunately, relives the whole ordeal all over again when nobody trusts what the victim says. The idea reinforces the belief that the victim is at fault for what occurred to them. Giving support to this situation and being there as a shoulder to lean on is essential. Most importantly please stop protecting these abusers! Speak out and get the authorities involved as soon as possible. You will help to save someone from a lifetime of grief that some take years to overcome if they do at all.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Congratulating Yourself

For me, one of the hardest things to do is be proud of myself. I am my own worst critic. I am always looking for the next thing that I forget to stop and smell the roses. I hear all the time from family and friends about how well I’m doing. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the same way they do. I feel as if there is more I should be doing and I have to stop procrastinating to get it accomplished. In my own eyes, I don’t feel like I have accomplished much and there is much more for me to do. I had a conversation with my best friend the other day, and I realized that I am extremely strict with myself. I rarely give myself credit for anything, and I’m always trying to see what I could’ve done differently. The goals I have accomplished I failed to pat myself on the back and say a good job. If you don’t toot your own horn then who will? To be happy about where you are going, you have to acknowledge where you been.

I took time away from blogging to focus on the goals I set for myself so far this year and what I completed. While I had this time to reflect I realized that I cultivated a lot in short amount of time. I got a promotion; I started this blog which I wanted to do for years, got my savings up, and started traveling again more regularly. There are more goals on my list for this year, but so far I’m doing very well. Had I not stop to think about what I accomplished I would’ve missed out on all that I did. I must say it felt pretty good knowing what I’ve done so far this year. I finally patted myself on the back, and I deserved the recognition. Taking the time to reflect on my goals helped me to see that I am not doing as horrible as I thought. It also helped me to stop being so hard on myself. I have to stop and appreciate things more as life is too short not to.

My best advice to anyone that is in the same boat as me is to enjoy life as it is happening. Don’t be so caught up in trying to get to the next thing that you stop appreciating what’s in front of you. It is essential to stop and admire the beautiful things currently in your life. You work so hard for what you have, and it is critical to enjoying the fruits of your labor. You owe it to yourself to congratulate yourself on your current successes while looking forward to the future.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Paralyzed

I write poetry as well, and I wanted to share with you a poem that I composed. Periodically I will share my poems on this blog while staying true to the relationship-centric view of my page. The poem that I am going to share today is entitled, “Paralyzed.” This poem is about domestic violence occurring within a relationship. I hope that this poem will resonate with someone and give them the courage to walk away from the situation before it’s too late. Also, please share this poem with anyone who may need to read its contents.

 

Paralyzed

 

New Adventures with Friends

The weekend of March 9th was such a fantastic experience for me. Anyone who knows me will tell you that Halloween is my 2nd favorite holiday with my birthday being the 1st. I attended my first Monster Mania Convention that weekend! This event exceeded my wildest dreams and expectations. For starters, I got to meet the Mistress of the Dark herself, Elvira. Cassandra Peterson was out of her Elvira character. However, it was still nice to meet her. I was even having a conversation with one of the actors who played Jason, and I had no idea who he was. I’m sure he got a big kick out of that, and I was upset later as I was close enough to get a photo with him. The fact that I got to enjoy Halloween in March is the best feeling. I felt that I was entirely in my element as my affinity for the macabre was on full display. The stranger the better and being around folks who felt the same way I did made the experience even better. I also want to thank my best friend for tagging along with me. I was glad to share this experience with her even though horror isn’t her thing. She still was able to enjoy herself, and I was happy to show her another side of my wacky crazy personality.

I was delighted I was able to share this experience with my best friend, but honestly, this almost didn’t happen. I was content with going to the Monster Mania Convention on my own and experiencing this event with me, myself and I. After further deliberation I thought what would be the fun in that. The whole point of going to this type of activity is to experience it with someone. I was surprised that my best friend went as I stated before this wasn’t her thing. However, this reminded me that real friends would go to events with you just to spend time with you. Even if the outing isn’t to their liking, they will still attend. Just spending time with your friend no matter what you are doing will bring the friendship closer. Doing new activities together will ultimately help strengthen your bond as you start to learn more things about each other. I encourage all friendships to plan different events and step outside of your comfort zone. Not only will this help to improve your bond but you will learn something new about yourselves in the process.

The moral of my story is not to automatically assume that someone won’t attend a social gathering with you before you even ask. You may be presently surprised at the outcome that you receive. Of course, you should still participate in the activity even if others can’t attend but it will be more fun to experience it with friends. It may appear that your friends may not enjoy it, but it could turn out to be the most fun ever had. Never assume the answer will be no and just ask that person and people anyway. I almost missed out on this opportunity with my best friend, and we both had a fantastic time. Life has a funny way of proving to you that looks aren’t always what they seem. Stop assuming, grow a little and ask your friends to attend that place you wanted to visit.

 

Here’s a picture of me with my best friend and Elvira

Keya Jess & Elvira