Slow

I wake up

Thank God

Grab the phone

Swipe the screen

The alarm is now off

But I don’t move

Slow to inhale

Slow to exhale

The to-do list in my mind

Longer than my spine

I need to get up

I need to start my day

I roll over to sit up

The edge of the bed

I am stuck here

Slow to inhale

Slow to exhale

Feet on the floor

Resting in quicksand

I want to stand

I need to stand

So I do

Slow to inhale

Slow to exhale

The walk to the bathroom

The mint flavor on my gums

The water on my face

The look in the mirror

The reminder of who I am

Slow to inhale

Slow to exhale

I walk out refreshed

Believing in myself

I am

Strong

Loved

Outstanding

Worthy


I would like to shout out Just Write for issuing this challenge. It felt great to “just write” for a few minutes. Thank you!

Check out her blog post here!!!

**Doing a writing challenge and writing prompts today the word is Slow. Feel free to participate in this challenge. ** Write On!!

#Slow #hopewriterlife #JustWrite #WritingPromptChallange #strongandgifted #Motivation #selflove

Love: The Greatest Gift

“You’re not perfect. I’m definitely not perfect. But our imperfections are what makes us special. You can grow from every mistake. Every time you lose you learn something. It is okay to get back up and try again.”

That’s what you would tell somebody else if they came to you broken and confused. So why don’t you look in the mirror and say those exact words.

Love yourself enough to see beyond where you are right now. If you’re out there just telling people what they want to hear, do that for yourself too. You’re worthy of that same pick me up.

What is love? I typed the word in Google (because that’s what we do these days) and a few definitions came up.  First, “love” is defined from the perspective of a noun as an intense feeling of deep affection or a great interest and pleasure in something.  Secondly, “love” is defined from the perspective of a verb to feel deep affection for or enjoy very much.  That all sounds simple enough.  But what about self-love?

Here I go again, typing into Google.  Strangely there is no verb option this time, but “self-love” is defined from the perspective of a noun as a regard for one’s own well-being and happiness.  It specifies by stating “self-love” is chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic

(If you’re unfamiliar with the term narcissistic, it means a person who is obsessed with themselves to the point where they think the world revolves around them.  I’m sure you know somebody who knows somebody like that.  It ain’t you though.) 😉

You see, for most of us, it is very easy to love something or somebody.  We love food (at least, I do).  We love our hobbies, our vacation spots or even shows on TV.  We love family members, our children, close friends, and even pets (if we have any).  Depending on who it is (I have to be specific here) we may love someone unconditionally to the point where no matter what they say or do, we will always be right there.  Think about that for a second.

How many times have you become aggravated, hurt or taken the fault for someone and yet, you still love them.  Maybe you’ve even helped someone you love get out of trouble only to find them right back in the same situation over and over again. But you still love them.

Can you give yourself that same energy? 🤔

“You’re not perfect. I’m definitely not perfect.  But our imperfections are what makes us special.  You can grow from every mistake. Every time you lose you learn something.  It is okay to get back up and try again.”

That’s what you would tell somebody else if they came to you broken and confused.  So why don’t you look in the mirror and say those exact words.  Love yourself enough to see beyond where you are right now.  If you’re out there just telling people what they want to hear, do that for yourself too.  You’re worthy of that same pick me up.

“Aw, you’re so stressed out.  You’ve been working so hard.  It’s been crazy lately.  You need a break.”  That’s what you tell them right?  But what about you?

Do you love yourself enough to take a break or are you gonna go until you can’t go anymore?  If you’re feeling great, than go ahead. But if you’re feeling damaged then I don’t recommend it.  A broken down vehicle can only get so far before your stuck on the side of the road somewhere with your hazard lights on.  Every light on the dashboard has been blinking and the gas meter is getting lower and lower.  But you’re steady driving and get out of the car like everything is all good, time and time again. Can’t let them see the damaged you, right?

This is why self care is so important.  Because whether we realize it or not, when you are damaged goods, it disturbs your atmosphere.  That front you be putting on is see-through.  It may be a little blurry but the people around you know what’s up.  You know why?  Because when you’re broken, you attract people just like you.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.  You can offer yourself some love and watch your love for yourself shift the room.  When this happens, you will see two things: (1) People will want to be around you more in order to feel that same feeling of wholeness, or (2) people will stop being around you because you’ve changed and they’re comfortable being broken.

However it goes, when you love yourself, you’re not even concerned with what THEY do.  I’m not saying that you’re self-centered but you become more selfish with your space by respecting your peace.  If something or somebody is disrupting your peace than whatever or whomever has got to go.

Self-love causes you to give attention and time for yourself.  It’s personal.  It makes you happy.  It makes you feel good. It helps you escape.  And I’m not talking about self-medicating.  Better yet, let’s go there for a moment.  And I’m not even gonna go to Google for this one because I know about it all too well.

You see, when you become sick or injured to the point where you have to be seen by a physician, you may be prescribed some type of medication to help relieve those feelings of congestion or pain.  Even if you feel emotionally sick you can receive a prescription from a mental health provider.

But we like to play doctor on ourselves just like we did when we were kids.  Except, we’ve added some Vodka to the kool-aid serum & the pills we’re taking make you jumpy like sweethearts but it ain’t the same candy you’d give a 5yr old.  We used to pop a rubber band on your arm and pretend it was a shot.  Now the rubber bands are wrapped around the arm to prep for these needles that may or may not be sterile.

What about overworking yourself to avoid facing your reality.  People will spend long days and nights at work, or even church to avoid going home. You will eat until you feel sick to your stomach.  You will cut until you pass out.  Why? Because you don’t love yourself enough to do better.

Self-love is NOT about self medicating.  It’s about healing the wounds that are broken.  Using the pieces to put yourself back together and be the best that you can be no matter how many times you have to try again.

Some of you may feel like you can’t afford to love yourself.  But even J-Lo said “love don’t cost a thing”.  Social media has you thinking you need money to go to a spa, get your nails done or take a million vacations.  Don’t get me wrong, those are amazing ways to feel good if you have the funds.  But if you ain’t got like that there is no excuse for you to neglect yourself and disrespect your well-being by killing yourself slowly through self-medication.

You’re angry? Exercise! You’re depressed? Express that through a creative outlet like dancing, singing, writing or drawing! You’re tired? Take a nap or go to bed earlier! You’re confused? See a therapist or talk it out with someone you trust! You feel defeated? Take a look at how far you’ve come!  Look in the mirror every chance you get and give yourself the credit that you deserve!

I used to do this with my students, and now I do it with my own kids.  Whenever they do something good or they’ve completed a milestone, no matter how small it is, I tell them, “Pat yourself on the back and say go you!”  Because you have to be your own sidekick sometimes.  You have to encourage yourself. 

The people around you may see through the front that you put on, but only a few of them are waiting for you to come from behind that front and transform into the better version of you.  Those few need what the better you has to offer.  Little do you know, you need it too.  So what are you gonna do?

Money can buy a lot of things.  However, there are a lot of people with a lot of money and a lot of things, but they’re lost.  You better love yourself before you lose yourself.  Love is the greatest gift.  It’s free, but it’s not cheap.  It’s actually very valuable. And you deserve it.

Don’t you agree?

Type “Yes” or put a heart ❤️ emoji in the comments if you’re committed to loving yourself more, unapologetically.  I believe you can do it. After all, you are Strong & Gifted. 💪🏾👑

Need inspiration? Check this out!

Check out my podcast!

It’s Queen G with Strong & Gifted coming from behind the pen to the mic. I want to motivate, educate and help you elevate yourself. If I do my part and you do your part, wee can all grow together. Now let’s get it!

New Year Transformation

This past year was even crazier than the year before, so I can see why no one would want anything to be the same going forward. However, when we’re telling people or telling ourselves that we want to transform, we rarely ever have a legitimate plan to carry this transformation out. We don’t think about the grind or the hustle. We just want the results. Nonetheless, total transformation is a life changing journey.

It’s such a cliché every year. “New Year, New me!” That’s all everyone is hollering or putting after a hash tag. I get it though. I really understand because you feel that since the year is changing, you should too. Why would you want to stay the same?


This past year was even crazier than the year before, so I can see why no one would want anything to be the same going forward. However, when we’re telling people or telling ourselves that we want to transform, we rarely ever have a legitimate plan to carry this transformation out. We don’t think about the grind or the hustle. We just want the results. Nonetheless, total transformation is a life changing journey.


Let’s take a look at the life cycle of a butterfly. If you haven’t read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle as a child then I suggest you check it out (or watch the video version on YouTube). It talks about the journey of this particular caterpillar prior to his transformation to becoming a butterfly.

You see, this Caterpillar literally started from the bottom. His stomach scratched the ground as he walked. That’s how low he was. Maybe you can relate or put that into perspective as rock bottom. But he was hungry.


A motivational speaker by the name of Les Brown always emphasizes that in order to win “you’ve got to be hungry”. This Caterpillar was very hungry. He was so hungry that eating one apple wasn’t enough to satisfy him. And I know you realize how big an apple is compared to a Caterpillar. But he wasn’t satisfied until he had eaten all he could eat.


This Caterpillar had eaten so much on his journey, that he became ill. He was so ill that he needed to rest. But in order to rest, he had to build a chrysalis around himself. This chrysalis allowed him to rest peacefully as it protected him from harm.

As a child and even as a teacher, I looked at this story and thought that maybe the Caterpillar shouldn’t have eaten so much so that he could’ve avoided having a stomach ache. But as a woman who is constantly seeking growth for myself, I now realize that his hunger was the catalyst for his transformation.


See, we often say that we want to do this or that. We boost ourselves up with these New Year resolutions and goals because it sounds good. But after a week we start making adjustments that make it easier for us to reach these goals. Then after about 2 weeks we start making excuses as to why we’re having difficulty making progress. Before we know it, a month has gone by and we’ve given up completely. The truth is, maybe we’re just not hungry enough.

That Caterpillar was on the grind. He was eating everything he could to satisfy that hunger. He wanted to be fed and nothing was going to stop him from eating because he was just that hungry.


From my interpretation, his strength came from the grind. The Caterpillar was ill because he had eaten to the point where he couldn’t eat anymore. All he could do was rest. But even in his moment of being sick and tired, he had the strength to build a form of protection around himself to make sure that the grind was not for nothing.


The Caterpillar knew that his transformation was near and he had worked from the bottom to get to this very moment. Donnie McClurkin said “after you’ve done all you can, you just stand”. This Caterpillar had done his part so he was able to just rest and let what was meant to happen, happen. And it did.

Weeks later the Caterpillar was able to spread his wings as a beautiful butterfly over the areas where his stomach used to scrub the ground. His transformation had been completed and his life was therefore never the same.

I don’t know about you but I’m trying to feed my hunger this year. I’m about to be greedy and eat whatever I can to help me reach my goals. And I’m not talking about grub hub, door dash, or stopping by a fast food restaurant regularly on your way home. We need to feast on new opportunities for success, positive relationships for growth, outlets for mental health, time for proactive moves, strength for our physical well-being, and healing for self care.

You know you deserve it right? That thing, that position, that goal you want to reach so badly. It’s yours for the taking, but you have to want it. You have to be hungry enough to allow your stomach to scratch the ground first. You have to be willing to go through pain to appreciate peace. You have to gather the strength to build a chrysalis around yourself for protection from all of the negativity that may jeopardize your mission. You have to be ready to transform.

Are you ready?

Type “Yes” or put a butterfly 🦋 emoji in the comments if you’re ready to begin your transformation journey. I believe in you. After all, you are Strong & Gifted. 💪🏾👑

Need spiritual encouragement? Check this out!

Check out my podcast!

It’s Queen G with Strong & Gifted coming from behind the pen to the mic. I want to motivate, educate and help you elevate yourself. If I do my part and you do your part, wee can all grow together. Now let’s get it!