The 360 Cleanse: Mind, Body, Soul

I love Spring cleaning. It’s the perfect time of year to get rid of the old stuff and make space for all the new shopping that I already KNOW I’m going to do haha.

We all typically know how to spring clean our homes, right?  The best way that I do it is to focus on one room at a time.  I start by going through everything in that room, separating the trash from what’s useful, cleaning all of the baseboards, floors, walls and more.  Finally, I reorganize everything again as I set it in its final place. Spring cleaning our homes has become easier over the years and there are so many downloadable checklists from the internet that you can easily use to help you.

But just like our homes need a deep cleaning, so also do our minds, bodies and souls.  I call this my “360 Cleanse” as it covers the 360 degrees surrounding our existence.  These are things that also need to go through a cleansing so that we can walk into this new season of life feeling fresh and restored. Here are a few tips that I’ve learned over the years as it relates to these areas:

Mind/Heart

Most of our battles lie within our minds.  This is where we store our emotional scars, hurt from past relationships, insecurities about ourselves and so forth.  One way in which we can clean out those negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones is to come up with daily affirmations for ourselves.  Here are a few that are my favorite:

  • I am enough.
  • I am a Queen.
  • Even my flaws are beautiful.
  • I was created fearfully and wonderfully by God – flaws and all.
  • That relationship doesn’t define me – I am defined by who I am in Christ.
  • I CAN do anything I put my mind on.

I think you will find that as you start to tell yourself positive affirmations those negative thoughts will start to fade and you will see that you have a little more pep in your step.  Your confidence in yourself and your abilities will continue to grow and you will enter this season a new person!

Body

This is an area that many people don’t think about.  I’ve shared this with you all before – I am an accountant. Specifically, I’m an auditor.  Between January through about mid-April every year is what we call in the public accounting industry our “busy season”. It’s a time where we are working 80+ hour work weeks, working 7 days a week, have no time for family, friends or significant others, neglect our housework and eat out ALL THE TIME!  I’ve eaten out so much over the past few months, it’s ridiculous! And where I used to workout at least 3x a week, I had only been working out maybe 3x a month!

So Spring is a great season to reset.  It’s a good time to detox your body of all of the impurities that you ate over the Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Year’s breaks or in my case, during busy season.  It’s also a good time to reset your body and get it back into “workout mode” because it’s still early enough for you to see some real changes in your body come summertime.  Summertime fine is what I always say.  So put down those chips and cookies, grab you a healthy smoothie (strawberry banana is my fav!) and give your body a good cleanse!

Soul/Spirit

Now this is my favorite spring cleaning of them all.  According to anewseason.net, there are 4 steps to take to spring clean your soul:

  • Search out hard to reach areas and surrender all.
  • Scrub out sin-stained surfaces and receive God’s grace.
  • Clear out unnecessary items, creating time for Christ.
  • Donate an abundance of love and faith to those in need.

When I read these, I thought these were the perfect recipe to clean my soul during this season.  One of the things that I’ve done is added some more spiritual reading to my life. If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I just started reading The Wait by Megan Good and Devon Franklin and it has been one of the most powerful books for me on my spiritual journey.  Additionally, I’ve been doing a little more to make time for Christ.  I’ve been convicted in this area as I have been spending more time doing everything else (social media, blogging, hanging out with friends, etc) than I have in my word so I know I can do better!

During this season, it’s also good to self-reflect on your walk with God. Afterall, a cluttered spirit allows little to no room for God to move in your life.  (Read more about that here).

Therefore, consider what areas you need to surrender wholly to him?  What areas of sin are you still struggling with or that you feel compelled to stop doing (perhaps God is calling you to a life of celibacy/abstinence)?  How can you make more time for God so that HE is the priority?  Finally, how can you let the love of Christ shine in you as a reflection of HIM into the lives of others?

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW!!! Happy Spring to you all!

First Quarter Goals Check-In

Hey loves!!!

One thing that I’ve learned in all of my years of setting goals for myself is to share those goals with others and have them hold me accountable.  Therefore, I shared with you all my goals for the beginning of the year on January 1st, 2017.  You can read that original post here.

Each and every quarter I’m going to revisit these goals to ensure I’m staying on track of my New Year vision and to make sure you keep track on your vision as well! Did you know that Forbes did a study back in 2013 saying that only 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolution?  When you think about it, that’s really a small percentage.  So let’s strive to be in that 8%.

Here’s an update on my progress on my blogging goals:

  1. As of today, I have achieved my goal to post on my site at least once a week through February (and sometimes have posted more often than that).  Fell off a little in March but picking that back up now.
  2. I did officially create my podcast channel but am still working on getting my podcasts up and running.  This will be something I push toward in Q2.  Be sure you’re following it on Soundcloud here.  It will contain the same content as my blog posts but is for those out there who’d rather listen than read.
  3. I kicked off my first giveaway in February and it was met with a great response rate. I hope to give at least one more giveaway this year, even bigger than this one. I plan to do another giveaway once I reach 1000 followers on Instagram.
  4. I also partnered with two other bloggers and hosted giveaways with them which helped me reach my network and collab goal for the year. I also am planning to do a joint Vlog with another blogger in April so be on the lookout for that.
  5. I finished designing the first draft of my T-shirt and hoping to complete and finalize it for sale this summer.
  6. I have finalized my site logo (I think – I’m always changing my mind haha) and still working on creating those blogging business cards which I need.

Wow. I’ve made some great progress so far in 2017! I am still working on my e-book, photoshoot, increasing my visibility and other goals but so far so good! (Speaking of which, be sure you’re following me on my website or social media handles @only1lady_v. Help me reach my blogging visibility goals for this year! )

In terms of my personal goals, I have been grinding hard and being more consistent as well as working on my relationship with God. I’ve also taken a few trips already (Orlando and Costa Rica).  I still haven’t taken a new class (like jewelry making) but it’s on my list!  My fitness has shrinked to pretty much nothing due to the accounting busy season but after April 20th, I should be able to get back to my kickboxing classes and kick some butt like no one’s business! 🙂

As I reflect over this first quarter, I am pretty excited about what I’ve accomplished so far.  I still have more work to do but we’re off to a good start!  I’ve also added a few additional goals – the biggest being to do another blog series this year since my KnowYourWorth Series was met with such positive feedback.  What series would you like to see me write about?

Now what about you? How are you doing with your New Year’s Goals?  Let me know through the comments section.  If you’ve fallen off, it’s not too late to start! I’ll be checking on you again in the second quarter so good luck!

~Many blessings,

Videllia

 

Hello Spring!

Hey Loves and Happy First Day of Spring!

There’s a song that says:

It’s a new season, it’s a new day
A fresh anointing is flowing my way
It’s a season of power and prosperity
It’s a new season coming to me.

I LOVE that song by Israel Houghton.  And what better way to walk into the first day of Spring, knowing that God is bringing us into a new season full of new mercies and a fresh anointing.

We all know that not everyone or everything gets to travel into all seasons of life with us. In fact, that’s exactly what Spring Cleaning is all about – getting rid of those things/people that clutter up our lives.  Whether it’s old friends who are only bringing negativity into your life, a career that you know it not in line with your purpose, a relationship that you KNOW isn’t good or healthy for you, or just things around your house that you don’t need anymore (like all those clothes and shoes in your closet ladies – speaking to myself here too haha). Whatever it may be, it is important to know that in order for us to make room for the new things and people God will bless us with in this season, we have to spring clean our lives! It is time for new beginnings!!!

Out with the old, in with the new!!!

Be on the lookout for my Spring Cleaning mini-series blog posts to come in April that will teach you a few tips/tricks on how to Spring Clean your mind, body, spirit and of course your house! And as always, I hope you all have a bright and prosperous Spring 2017 full of love, peace and souuulll!!! (Not sure why I felt like adding a Soul Train reference here haha – I’m just in a great mood this new season!)

~Videllia

Happy New Year! (Vision & Action Plan)

Wow! I can’t believe it’s a New Year already. I am so excited for this year and what God has in store with me.  I know many people don’t believe in making New Year’s goals for whatever reason but I believe firmly in the scripture, Proverbs 29:18, that says “where there’s no vision, the people perish”.

You have to write down that vision and make it plain.  Studies have shown that people who write down their goals/visions tend to have a higher success rate of achieving them.  And my vision for this year is really simple:

  1. God.
  2. Goals.
  3. Grind!

God

God is always the head of my life and I want to continue to keep him first above all else.  2016 was a rough year for me in that my faith was challenged constantly. The last being when I had to have my first surgery in November.  But while my faith wavered, God always saw fit to bring me through every situation and I want to continue to grow in my walk with him. I’ll be sharing a separate blog/podcast late next week that deals with some topics specifically related to our spiritual relationship with God so stay tuned!!

Goals

My goals for my blog this year include:

  1. Posting to my blog site at least once a week.
  2. Start my podcast channel. (To begin in Jan)
  3. Giveaways and contests. (Kicking off in Feb)
  4. Create an eBook and interactive guide for women. (Kicking off in second half of the year).
  5. Network and collab with other bloggers.
  6. Increase my blog visibility, following and reach, including transitioning into vlogging (eeek!).
  7. Create t-shirts. (Already in process!)
  8. Finish writing my book.
  9. Finalize my site logo and business cards. (In process!)
  10. Photoshoot for my website. (I know you may be wondering why this is a goal for me. I’m actually not very comfortable in front of a camera. My friends taking pics of me with my phone is fine – I can handle that but a real photographer! I’ve had a few photographers reach out to me and tell me they want to shoot me so I’m challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone!)

Some of my personal goals include:

  1. Strengthening my relationship with God.
  2. Strengthening relationships among friends and family.
  3. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  4. Travel, travel, travel! (Kicking off this year with a trip to Costa Rica in 2 weeks!)
  5. Take a new class (I’ve really been wanting to do cake decorating or jewelry making!)

Grind

I created this blog back in 2014 after getting out of an abusive relationship but it really wasn’t until the end of November and beginning of December 2016 that I really started being consistent.  And now that I’ve developed that momentum, I will not stop! I am so excited for all of the support and encouragement I have received from each of you in such a short amount of time that I will keep grinding for you all in this coming year! I am so excited for the vision that I have for this year that I can’t even fully express the excitement in words so you all will have to stay tuned! Be sure you’re following on my website or social media accounts to ensure you don’t miss any of the giveaways, t-shirts or eBooks! (Twitter/Instagram/Pinterest: only1lady_v; Facebook: only1ladyv).

What are some of your goals for this year? Let’s be sure to pray for one another and keep each other lifted throughout this year!

~Videllia

Goodbye 2016…Hello 2017

Happy New Year to all of you!!!

As you are spending time today reflecting on last year and looking ahead to this New Year, I wanted to send you an encouraging reminder: everyone can’t go with you into this new year of life.  Some people HAVE to stay behind because their very existence in your life will only hinder you in this next season.  I know it’s going to be hard (it’s hard for me too) but at some point, you really have to learn to put yourself first! Take some time today to reflect on who gets to continue on into 2017 with you and who you must leave behind in 2016 in order to have a great year!

~V.Davis

Being a Black Woman in Corporate America

I recently attended an accounting conference where the keynote speaker was Ms. Kimberly-Ellison Taylor. Ms. Taylor was named the first African-American chairperson of the AICPA, a very prestigious title. I watched how laughter turned to tears of joy for the crowd as they understood the historical significance of this event.  Blacks used to be seen as less than and now here were are, not only working in prestigious institutions but leading in them as well. It began to remind me of my own career journey.

I am a black woman in corporate America.  Yes, BLACK. As if being a woman is not already enough, I had to be “dipped in chocolate, bronzed in elegance, enabled with grace, toasted with beauty – yes a black woman!” (Dr. Yosef A.A. Ben-Jochannan)

I started my career in corporate America in Fall 2011 and I’ve learned several things that I want to share with other minorities as they begin their own journeys— three of which I’ve listed below.

The stereotype of a black woman precedes me.

In society, women as a whole are considered to be more emotional creatures. But being black on top of that? It’s like a double-edged sword.  Black women are often denoted in society as, well, let’s face it, “crazy.” Inside and outside of our race, we are stereotyped as being loud, boisterous, “ghetto,” etc.  So it’s no surprise that corporate America (sometimes) views us by the same token.

I remember getting upset with some last-minute instructions that my boss gave me a half hour before I was scheduled to leave.  Instead of verbally expressing my anger, I got silent as I tried to calm myself down so as NOT to have an attitude with her. Nonetheless, my boss told me that I had a bad attitude. However, that same boss went around, cursing about her superior (a partner) after the partner made her mad.  Yet she didn’t think she had an attitude?

How I Respond

I’ve learned that positivity is the key factor to ensure that stereotypes don’t precede me.  It’s unfortunate, but since people already see you as emotional (being a woman) and having an attitude (being black), you have to work twice as hard to display a positive image.  For me, this meant that I had to also learn to control my non-verbal reactions so that my mere silence wouldn’t be perceived as threatening.  Is it fair? No. Is it reality? Yes (though not in all situations).  We can’t do much to change corporate America’s preconceived notions but we can ensure that the stereotype stops with us.

My looks play more into my role than some of my non-African American counterparts.

Women are so objectified in society that it comes as no surprise that our looks play a huge role in our professional appearance by others.  But with black women, sometimes, this can be more challenging.

I am a black woman-all the way!  That means on some days I wear my natural hair, other days I opt for a sleek bun, and sometimes I will wear wigs/weaves.

There have been several occasions where my looks have come up in conversation with my non-black coworkers, specifically about my hair. One coworker asked me if she could touch my weave and if I took it off at night; one manager told me she liked my hair much better when I straightened it and my partner told me that I look so professional when I wear my hair in a sleek bun.  And to be honest, these comments greatly affected my confidence in the workplace. I had become insecure about rocking my natural hair for fear of not looking as professional as others.

How I Respond

As black people we are taught to suppress our emotions in order to be respected and not retaliated against.  However, in order to change some stereotypes, we can’t just ignore the ignorance of others – we have to educate them.  And that’s what I have chosen to do at my job.  Instead of being offended and upset, I now try to teach my coworkers the difference between black and non-black hair and why those differences are still acceptable AND are still professional.  We sometimes may be the only black women these people ever see so it is imperative that we do our part to minimize those stereotypes. I’ve had much success by educating my coworkers and I feel it’s created a more welcoming environment for me.

I have to work twice as hard for half the recognition and respect.

This isn’t just true of black women – this is true for most women. Women as a whole, oftentimes, have to work harder than their male counterparts in order to be measured by the same standards of success.  Being dipped in chocolate only means you have to work just that much harder.

No one likes to feel their work is not valued or they aren’t recognized for their successes but sometimes it’s easy to slip through the cracks.  There have been numerous times where credit for things that I’ve done was given to my coworkers and I just sat there and said nothing while my coworkers smiled brightly taking the credit as though they had done the thing all along.

How I Respond

One black partner at my firm told me this, “Videllia, while you’re out here playing checkers, your [non-black] coworkers are playing chess.”  Seeing the puzzled look on my face, he explained to me that I can’t be silent in my career. I’m going to have to actively take charge and make moves so that my skills and career successes are recognized.  I can’t just be basic; I had to learn how to be strategic, always thinking about my next move and that of my opponent (i.e. coworkers) so that I too can have a fighting chance at recognition within my company.

That was probably the best advice that I have ever received in my career. And look at me now.

I am a Manager in my firm at the age of 29.

I am actively involved in our firm’s hiring and recruiting efforts.

I am avidly using my intelligence to teach those in my firm who are ignorant to the black culture about the black culture. I don’t choose to get mad. I choose to educate.

I AM a black woman in corporate America.

~V.Davis

(This blog was first posted by Videllia as a blog contributor on fempotential.com on 12/6/16.)