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joyce-meyer-quoteI love this quote by Joyce Meyer because I am so very serious about controlling my thoughts. Sometimes I’m really good at it, other times, not so much…

For example when my guy does something that upsets me I will run it over and over in my mind. I’ll pick it apart and find every flaw in his words or actions. I’ll examine and assign motives without even communicating with him and before long I’m swimming in a cesspool of negative emotions. I suck right? You better had said “No!” Because I don’t suck! And neither do you because I know you do the exact same thing. C’mon. Admit it!

But what good does filling my mind with negative thoughts do? NONE!

It doesn’t change the situation and only serves to make me re-mad (I know that isn’t a word but I say it all the time and you know exactly what I mean). So I’m basically fuming and fussing (and cussing) about the same thing on multiple occasions. By this time, my guy has tuned out because that’s generally what people do when they get nagged about the same thing over and over again. And nothing changes. At least not for the better.

But I’ve noticed that things definitely not only improve but transform when I stop focusing on what is making me angry or upset with him and turn that focus onto something wonderful that is going on in my life. Because filling up my headspace with something that I’m happy about is so much more productive than filling it with negativity!

This change in focus isn’t just a relationship fix though. Guarding your thoughts and making sure that the bad ones don’t get in your head works miracles with your career and your finances!

Imagine how much a salesperson can sell if they meet their clients with an upbeat and positive attitude instead of appearing defeated before they even make a pitch. I’ve known quite a few successful salespeople and they always walk into their meetings the picture of confidence and capability. They claim the sale before they set foot on the client’s premises.

And we’ve all heard the saying, “It takes money to make money!” That’s because money is a magnet if you look at it properly. Some people look at that saying from a totally skewed perception, and think that they can’t prosper because they don’t have enough money. But the saying doesn’t say, “It takes a lot of money to make money.” It doesn’t even say you have to have enough money. It just says it takes some. So even if you’re down to your last penny, you still have some money and the ability to make some more. Don’t you know someone who always seems to land on their financial feet no matter what comes their way? I bet they didn’t have a negative attitude!

So how do you do it? After all, filling your mind with positive thoughts when your world is falling apart ain’t easy. Or is it? It can be!

Here are some tips to keep your mind overflowing with positive thoughts!

Identify negative thought patterns
Chances are you already know the negative self-talk you engage in. Thoughts like, “I hate my job and I’ll be stuck here forever!” or “I’m never going to find a man.” Be honest about all the bullshit you tell yourself about yourself, your life situation and about others. Journaling is an excellent way to monitor the things that go on in your head.

Stop that stinkin’ thinkin’!
There’s no good in identifying negative thoughts if you aren’t going to stop thinking them. You’re not identifying them to dwell on them! So when the dark clouds start to gather in your head, send in a gust to blow them away! Distract yourself with art or poetry or music. Bust a move in the living room or the bathroom or your car. You can even literally say out loud to yourself, “STOP!” Do what you must, but cut the crappy cerebral action STAT!

Retrain your brain!
Identifying negative thought patterns isn’t enough. And stopping the thoughts isn’t enough. (Yeah there’s a little work to this filling the mind with good things, but it’s worth it!) You’ve got to replace those negative thought patterns with positive ones. This may mean saying out loud or writing your replacement thought. I’m a big fan of writing things because it also trains the brain that you are acting on something. It makes things more tangible and lasting. Instead of complaining that you’re overweight, try saying, “I’m eating healthy and working out and I feel great! My body is changing already from the inside out.” Maybe you aren’t really doing these things, but if you keep saying it or writing it, you will start to! It’s like the great prophet and Funkateer George Clinton said, “Free your mind and your ass will follow.” (*Young heads, please look up George Clinton and don’t make me feel old!)

Use your words!
Your vocabulary is everything! Change the way you talk, change your life! Stop saying things like “I can’t” and “I don’t have” and “I don’t know how”. Statements like these are really limiting and have no business coming out of your mouth! Say “I can” or my favorite “I AM!” I think that those are two of the most powerful words in the universe because what ever follows you must become. You’ll feel great, I promise! Try it! Say, “I am beautiful!” “I am wealthy!” “I have a great life!” Feels good huh? If it doesn’t, keep on saying it until you start to tingle a little.

Make some Lemonade!
It’s amazing how many women love Beyonce’s Lemonade but aren’t aware that they don’t actually have to be Yonce (See what I did there?) in order to manifest their own experience of turning a negative to a positive in their own lives. Lost your job? Start a business! The work you have to put it won’t give you enough time to cry over the spilled milk of a gig that is now a part of your past. Broke up with your BF or GF? Relish being single! Travel and do all the things you planned to do with your significant other by your dammy! When things don’t turn out quite the way we desire the first time, we can try again or adjust or dreams (by making them bigger – I don’t believe in downgrading my fantasies!).

Well ladies and gents, I hope you’re feeling full of positive energy! Oops! Let me adjust my language. I KNOW you’re feeling full of positive energy. You’re ready to tackle anything that comes your way. So what are you sitting around reading for? C’mon go-getters, get going!

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So folks, we now have a new president elect of the good old U. S. of A and lots of people (myself included) aren’t all that thrilled about it. But what was especially surprising to me was how impactful the results were to some people. I am seeing a lot of really emotional responses (and throwing a few into the atmosphere myself) to the election. All over my various social media timelines were people whose feelings ranged from disappointment, to anger, to hopelessness, to fear, to complete and utter depression. I understand those feelings, so I hope that you understand me when I say that we must not let our emotions get the best of us. We must transform those emotions and that passion we feel into fuel to continue whatever missions we’re on in life.

*in my Iyanla voice* Oh beloveds! I know how difficult this is to process. I know it feels like a giant setback to progress that began 8 years ago. But try to process those emotions quickly and definitely don’t allow who sits in the Oval Office to determine your destiny. Yes, the President and government have a lot of power, but ultimately, you are the master of your fate and the captain of your soul (I taught my students Invictus the other week; it’s still lodged in my brain!). You may be feeling like the progress you or your community made was all for nothing, and you were set back 1000 years. But it is only that way if you let it be.

You see, setbacks and disappointments are often doorways to life’s biggest opportunities. When you don’t get what you want the first time around, you find alternative methods, you become flexible and more creative with problem solving. You find other means to your end. You become more self-sufficient and you also find and bond with those who are meant to be a part of your tribe.

My Uncle, Chief Monroe Smith, always said that when he was told he couldn’t have or do something when he was the fire chief of Compton, that he had the same response: “Don’t tell me what the fuck I can’t do! Tell me what you’re going to do to help me get what I want!” Ah, spoken like a true Smith. We’re a feisty bunch. But we get shit done.

I’m definitely feeling every bit my uncle’s niece right now. Don’t tell me what I’m going to lose or how I’m going to hurt or suffer because of the regime change. Don’t you dare put that evil on me Ricky Bobby! Speak life over my life, not doom and gloom! Tell me what you can do, what we can do to make things better.

Do you truly want change, or just to wallow in unhappiness and dissatisfaction? If you aren’t happy with something, you can either complain, or you can mobilize and continue fighting to make a difference. I think that the latter option is the better one.

Life isn’t over today, regardless of who won, not if you’re reading this. So if you’re alive, commit to making a difference in the ways that you can and connect with people who can help you. Don’t give up fighting for justice (or peace-ing for justice), don’t give up hope, don’t give up on life or on love.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

What are you waiting for?

Do something wonderful and don’t let anyone stop you!

And I’m here to help you not only survive it, but to thrive!

National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo is a writing challenge that dares participants to craft a 50K word novel in 30 days. Wow! Quite the challenge, but it can be done. But what if you aren’t trying to complete a novel that quickly? NaNoWriMo is still an excellent time to get off to a smashing start to your first book. You’ll feel the camaraderie of other authors who are trying to do the same thing, and that can be so motivating! And, I’m doing my part to motivate you just a little bit more!

Whether you’re tightening up an existing draft or starting from scratch, I’ve got 30 days of writing tips to see you through. It’s definitely going to be a challenge for me to create 30 videos in 30 days but I’m going to do it, and do it all while editing my latest novel Dopechick which will hit shelves very, very soon. (I smell a giveaway coming! Stay tuned!)

Make sure to check my YouTube page daily, and if you have questions or want a specific tip, email me at meta@metasmith.com or in the comments below.

Looking forward to hearing from you, and write on!

Normal

I am all about trying to create some better habits…like breakfast! I know it’s supposed to be the most important meal of the day, but I’ve never been a big breakfast eater. I don’t really care for traditional breakfast food, mainly because it is too sweet and too heavy for my liking. (Yet, I’m not opposed to scarfing down a burger or leftover pizza.) As a result, I’m one of those horrible people who either forgets to eat completely and looks up and it’s four o’clock (trust me, this isn’t a good thing!) or I swing all the way around in the other direction and I eat everything wrong all day. I’m a Chicago/Philly girl to the bone! I love my pizza and cheesesteaks! But I know better. Not eating and eating the wrong things wreaks havoc on one’s blood sugar and that can create all kinds of problems from fatigue to diabetes. And I’m not getting any younger and need to take better care of myself.

So, today, I made an effort to #dobetter. I decided to eat breakfast, the kind of breakfast that gives me a better, healthier energy than the one I had yesterday (breakfast burritos with lots of hot sauce and jalepenos). I told you, I’m a woman of extremes! I had green tea with raw organic honey and fresh organic mint sprigs from my garden to kick off my digestion plus another glass of lemon water and a bowl of watermelon (seeded) and sliced strawberries and tossed with more fresh mint. Can I just tell you? The results were amazing. I could feel my body hydrating and charging up. However, I’m still really hungry, and I am definitely at a loss for healthy breakfast ideas! As yummy as this was, I can’t eat it every day. Someone help a sister out! Do you eat healthy plant-based breakfasts? Can you recommend a few meals for me? Preferably low/no dairy, absolutely no pork, low/no meat. I’ll definitely be trying the best ones, and I promise to keep you up to date on my latest self-challenge, eating healthy in the morning!

View in Instagram ⇒

It’s funny that all over Chicago I see stuff like this:

An image I captured on a Chicago street
An image I captured on a Chicago street

Messages from God, or at least from conscious graffiti artists, are real. I can hold a grudge like nobody’s business. If you do me wrong, I will not forget it and chances are I won’t let you forget it either. Sometimes, I’ll remind you of how wrong you are every, single time that I see you. Others, I’ll wait for the opportune moment to strike back like a viper.

Pretty terrible, huh? I can admit it. I’m human. Just like you are. Just like the people who do us wrong in life. And God isn’t finished with any of us yet! Can you sense where I’m going with this? No one is perfect. People make mistakes. And even when they don’t acknowledge or apologize for said mistakes, you’ve still got to find a way to forgive them.

Some of you are balking already. You might not feel like you can forgive everyone, especially if the person was your abuser or rapist or someone who harmed someone that you love. And I feel you. Trust me, I FEEL you! But stick with me for a second so I can explain to you what I mean by forgiveness.

Forgiving doesn’t necessarily mean forgetting. It means detaching yourself from the pain and negativity that accompanied the grievance. There’s no real reason to hold on to negativity. What purpose does it serve? How does it help you grow? It doesn’t. So forgiveness becomes really important if you want to be your best self. You’ve got to get rid of negative energy and refuse to carry it around with you because holding a grudge can be like drinking poison and expecting someone else to get sick.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Forgiving doesn’t mean you aren’t mad. Sometimes anger is cleansing. Sometimes it is more harmful to pretend that you aren’t hurt or angry or upset, because you are lying to yourself and those are the worst kinds of lies. The one person in life you can not, you must not lie to, is yourself. It’s pretty fruitless because you know the truth and you’re betraying your spirit when you lie to yourself.

This past year, oh who am I kidding, my entire life, I’ve taken the bumps and bruises served out by some people who didn’t have my best interest in mind. It angered me. And I carried the bitterness for way too long. Today I can say I’m a better person, still a work in progress, but better none the less.

So I challenge you to forgive someone, or at least begin the work it takes to forgive someone this week. How? Here are some tips:

    • Take a deep breath. As you exhale, picture all the negative energy leaving your body. As you inhale, imagine all the wonderful things life has to offer entering your body.
    • Write down all the things that caused you pain or grief or anger. Put the paper in a glass bowl and burn it while praying to a higher power to release the bad feelings and renew you with good feelings. Then flush the ashes.
    • Learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes. Sometimes, our lack of forgiveness isn’t even about another person, it’s about being mad at yourself. Stop that shit! Give yourself a break. Love yourself.
    • Go near a body of  water and meditate as you watch the waves ebb and flow. If you can’t do that, go for a dip in a pool or take a bath or a shower. Relax in the water and imagine it washing away all the negativity.
    • Avoid negative energy at all costs. If you live with negative people, shorten your contact with them and practice loving them from a distance. Even if this negative person is a parent, you can still love them while lessening your interaction with them. Yes, they’ll probably notice your distance, and they might call you on it. Tell them you are focusing on becoming a better person for yourself and ask them to not take it personally. You’re just trying to grow. The old, “it’s not you, it’s me” line works wonders here. And if it gets too bad, consider cutting them off in a more distinct way.
    • Understand that misery loves company and hurt people, hurt people. Don’t take what someone else did to you personally. It’s probably more about them than you.
    • Listen to this song and let it go, let it go, let it go, let it go…

So are you up for the challenge? What do you need to let go of today? And if you’ve got tips for others, please share them in the comments below.

Peace & Positive Vibes,
Meta

 

Normally, I am waaayyyy too vain to allow anyone to see me in this state! I have HUGE bags under my eyes, not a lick of makeup on and my hair is a mess. I’ve been sweating and I have on a Planet Fitness t-shirt. Not one of my finer moments! But I’m not a get-cute-to-work-out kind of girl! (I always feel like those girls are trying way too hard and doing way too little working out, but to each their own, right?) And that’s what I had just finished doing.

I filmed this video on Tuesday at an ungodly hour, before heading to work at the University, but I’m posting it today, on Saturday morning, at what’s kind of an ungodly hour, at least for a Saturday. And I’m doing so purposefully and not because of procrastination, because I’m trying to make a point.

When you’re aiming for success, sometimes you have to work while others sleep. You have to toil away while everyone else is guzzling Bloody Marys and Mimosas at brunch. Because you have a dream, a vision. And dreams and visions are nothing without action. You have to see what you want then ACT to create it. And the action doesn’t always take place at a convenient time. Some sacrifice has to happen – not forever, but for a while (but that’s a story for another post). The work seems especially hard when you’re focused on building a solid foundation, but that’s when it’s most important. You have to keep going, even though you’re tired and the results you desire aren’t coming quickly enough. Because that’s the difference between someone who is successful and someone who isn’t: the successful person didn’t give up when the going got tough!

So yes, it’s Saturday morning, and I’d rather be cuddled up with my man, watching reruns of bad reality TV and stuffing my face with leftover food to nurse a slight hangover, because that would mean that I didn’t spend Friday night on a date with my laptop instead of my baby. But I’ve got some goals that aren’t going to achieve themselves, so I’ve got to put in this work! I’ve got to sweat! And speaking of sweat, I’m off for another run! Something I hate to do, but again, that’s a story for another post.

Happy Saturday!

Peace & Positive Vibes,

M.

keep-calm-and-get-your-sweat-on-3

The word meta, pronounced “metta,” is a bit different than my name, which is pronounced “may-tah,” but I love the former as much as the latter, especially because of the meaning.

Now, the meaning of my name is pretty awesome: it means sparkling like a rare jewel in Swahili. But the meaning of meta as a Greek prefix is probably a bit more awesome than my name. It means beyond, as in taking things to a higher level. And that’s what a productive life is!

Being productive is what the #MetaMondayChallenge is truly all about, not just putting my name in a hashtag. LOL! By making the first day of the workweek more productive, we are laying the foundation for a more productive week. And, we all need those!

This past week, I discovered a movie on YouTube, called The Meta Secret (it took zero prompting for me to click and see what that was all about!). It’s a continuation of the movie The Secret. The Meta Secret isn’t produced and directed by the same people as The Secret, but Bob Proctor, one of the stars of The Secret is behind it.

If you’re needing some motivation that goes beyond visualizing where you want to be, and you’re curious about The Law of Attraction, check this out! It will definitely give you some stuff to chew on.

Note: There’s a part in the YouTube video where the dialogue isn’t in English and English subtitles are covered with Thai subtitles, so you won’t really be able to completely get what they’re saying unless you speak Japanese or Thai, but DVD copies/rental of this movie are available at Amazon.com. You can also check out the book at Amazon.com.

You can also study these concepts in more depth by reading The Kybalion, which is widely published on the internet for free.

Enjoy!

Happy #MetavationMonday! Manifest greatness! And as always, peace & positive vibes!

Manifest Mondays are all about dreaming, setting a goal for the week and attracting positive vibes. I believe that Monday can be the best day of the week…yes, even better than Saturday and Sunday!

A lot of people don’t like Mondays, and I get it. The weekend is over. The workweek is beginning. The daily grind resumes. And if you’re anything like I used to be, you’re familiar with the feeling that there’s just not enough of that fun, free, feeling of the weekend present during the week.

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Monday can become your favorite day of the week.

Don’t believe me? Watch how I prove you wrong. Mondays can be the most productive day of your week instead of a day you dread. All it takes is a little bit of work. I know, I know, you’ve already got enough work to do without some chick online telling you that you’ve got to do some more. But if you stick with me a bit, you’ll see that not doing this little bit of work now will actually add to the amount of work you’ll have to do later. A simple exercise could make the difference between living the life you want to live or continuing down a path of boredom, frustration and unhappiness.

If you stick with me through this exercise you’ll see that together we’re going to transform your Mondays! I’m not saying your entire life will change by Tuesday morning, but it’s well within the realm of possibility, especially if all your life needs is a little tweak to the routine.

Do me a favor. Grab a piece of paper and write down all the things that make your Mondays less than extraordinary. Go ahead and let it all out, but make sure to number each gripe that you have. It should feel good to let it go and get it all out. But you’re not going to stop there. Now I want you to look over your list and pick the ONE thing that drives you the absolute craziest about Monday. Pinpoint your biggest bugaboo.

Now on a clean sheet of paper, write down today’s date. Write down that big gripe you have at the top of the paper. Now, use the rest of the paper to write down all the ideas you can think of about how you can fix that gripe. Because there’s absolutely no sense in griping about something that is within your power to be changed.

Maybe what sucks the joy out of Monday is that you feel stressed and overwhelmed with all the things that you have to do that week. That can be pretty easy to fix if you let it be. You could try simple solutions such as:

  • Prepare meals for the week on Sunday and packaging them in a way that makes cooking a no-brainer during the week.
  • Populate your calendar with all the appointments that you know you will have during the week and set reminders about the important ones.
  • Create a to-do list for the week (To de-stress Monday even further, do this on Sunday or even Saturday)
  • Get as many household chores done during the weekend as possible. Enlist in your family to help you if you have a family, because more than likely they are contributing to the mess! Or call a housekeeping service to help you manage the load.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep on Sunday night so that you wake up Monday morning feeling refreshed.
  • If you hit up a Sunday day party, the way I love to do, make sure to give yourself a cutoff time for drinking. Trust me, giving your body a few extra hours to detox from indulging in alcohol and munchy bar food never hurt anyone.

The list goes on, but I think you’re starting to get the idea. A simple change here and there can make all the difference in the world. But what if your gripe about Monday is that you have to return to a dead end job that is sucking the life out of you? Well, that can be changed too! I’ve done it myself and I can can show you how to do the same thing!

I’m going to challenge you to transform your Mondays. I welcome you to share your gripes, questions, solutions and success stories on Instagram and Twitter. Just make sure to use the hashtag #MetaMondayChallenge so I can read how well you’re doing, and if you’re not doing so well, maybe I can lend a hand to help make things a little bit better. The and because I’m not perfect, I’m going to challenge myself too! Although I love Mondays there’s no reason for me to not try to make them as awesome as possible.

My Biggest Monday Gripe is: I’m always running late for whatever I have to do on Monday, mostly because I had too much fun on Sunday! This has a tendency to throw my entire week off! I don’t prepare enough for the week ahead because my weekends are spent either working or being social. Another reason I run late is because I can never figure out what I’m going to wear. So I’m doing things differently this week. I am actually writing this on Sunday afternoon while a Snapped! marathon plays in the background. I’m going to do all my laundry – meaning I will wash, dry, iron, fold and hang up everything (I usually take the lazy way out. Hey! Nobody’s perfect!) and make sure to knock out a few blogs posts as well and schedule them to post automatically. That ought to free up a lot of time during the week, make things run more smoothly and keep this blog popping with content.

So let’s get cracking! We’re going to work at this every Monday, until we work backward from our biggest gripe to our smallest. Once we get this big hurdle out of the way first, all the other hurdles will seem small in comparison.

Good Luck!

Peace & Positive Vibes,
Meta