Single on Valentine’s Day…AGAIN.

FullSizeRender (1)

So it’s that time of year again, the Christmas buzz is over, the New Year hype has fizzled out and it’s on to the next money making holiday, Valentine’s Day.  Now don’t get it twisted I’m not one of those bitter, single women that hates this particular holiday because I just happen to be single (I know a shocker right, I so should’ve been snapped up by now lol), I actually love the idea of celebrating love, love more than anything else should be celebrated. However, I do despise the fact that couples spend stupid amounts of money to express their love on one day. (Dang my future Mr better pull out the stops for me everyday…just kidding.) Seriously though, I think love is something that should be celebrated all the time. When I do get into a relationship I really don’t want to be showered with gifts on one day and then question on all the other 364 days of the year whether my Mr actually gives a damn.  Yes, I get that Valentine’s Day is a day to focus on your love and that’s fine, beautiful and wonderful but don’t break the bank (like you did at Christmas) to express your love. What a waste to wait for one day, tomorrow isn’t guaranteed people.

If you’ve been following me for a while now you’ll have read the post I wrote last year around this same time, if you haven’t you can read it here.  Not much has really changed, except my age of course but I am still single and still very much a Christian.  In that post I shared how I deal with my singlehood at this stage in life, like I said nothing much has changed, what I’m doing is still working and helping me on this journey.  However, more of my friends have either recently just got engaged or are having their first or second baby.  I can now confirm that I am able to count on one hand how many close, non married girlfriends I have and it’s not five.  Because I said I would always be honest in my posts, I have to admit that it does bother me SOMETIMES, especially at this time of year.  It’s like man, I’m here again, sometimes I feel like the world is literally moving all around me and I am stuck in the same place, in this particular area of my life anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I am ecstatic for my friends; I love them and I have walked the singlehood journey with a few of them so my joy at their news is the same as if it were me.

In this post I just wanted to encourage my single sisters out there who hate this time of year, who get pangs of jealousy when flowers arrive at the office for their co-worker, who hate that they are staying in eating a microwave dinner (take this time to learn to cook) when the world is eating out at Marco Pierre Whites, or who are fed up of going to a bed IMG_4029alone. I want to say I understand.  That’s it. I feel your frustration and I can relate to your loneliness, but never forget your value and worth is not determined by whether you receive diamonds, flowers or chocolates on one day of the year. Those things don’t equate to how special you are, you are special because you are YOU!

If you never receive a rose in your life does that mean you aren’t loved? Of course not! Also within 24 to 48 hours the shops will start preparing for Easter, I can survive 48 hours of seeing my friend’s posts on Facebook and Instagram of the plethora of gifts they have received lol. However, if it really bothers you go and buy yourself something nice; why are you waiting on a guy to treat you like the queen and awesome woman that you are?  You deserve it, you’re worth it and most importantly you’re loved by you. Regardless as to whether you have a faith or not, you need to accept and love you first before anyone else can come and love you.  I saw this video after I finished writing this post, it is so good I had to share.  Guys, this is for you too :).

So, whatever you are doing this Valentine’s Day, let’s take the opportunity to simply spread love to the people around us. Whether you have a significant other or not there is always someone that needs to know they are loved, valued and special.

For me I know it’s only a matter of time but as I actively wait, I’m enjoying being showered with love by the best man that ever came into my life, Jesus. He exemplifies what true and unconditional love is so my love tank is always full, although a Mr would be nice to share that love tank with…just saying.

FullSizeRender (3)

Happy Valentine’s Day! xoxo

 

Uncertainty

One of the reasons I decided to have a blog was so that I could openly share my struggles and that of other women who I know or come across as I live my life’s journey.  One thing I always seek to do is be honest with myself and where I am in my journey.

One thing that I believe I have become very good at and I now pride myself on, is being self-aware; sometimes too self-aware.  Recently I have began to really access and examine how I’m feeling in any give moment.  I find that when I do that I am better able to take action without having an irrational reaction to my situation.  During one of my self examinations I realised how much I really struggle with NOT knowing.  I hate lack of communication from others which would greatly help with my anxiety, I hate not knowing how things are going to work out (although I’m confident they will), I simply just hate not knowing.  I bet as you’re reading this you’re thing ‘gosh woman, what a control freak.’ There is probably an element of truth in that, however, for the most part I am totally fine and happy to not be in control in the doing as long as I know what is happening. I know, weird and possibly contradictory but that’s how I feel and it makes sense to me lol.

I’m being very vulnerable here and I’m sharing something that I probably would never admit, especially as Christian and that is deep down I lack faith. I know how to act like I have it and the relevant actions I need take to make it look like I have faith, but according to my own self assessment I don’t.  The Bibles definition of faith in Hebrews 11 is true and as a Christian this is the ultimate truth of what faith is.  I’m not sure if this is the same thing or if the two are connected, but in regards to uncertainty this quote by theologian, Richard Roar perfectly articulates what I am trying to say:

“My scientist friends have come up with things like principles of uncertainty and dark holes.  They are willing to live inside imagined hypothesis and theories but many religious folks insist on answers that are always true.  We love closure, resolution and clarity while thinking we are people of faith; how very strange that the word faith has come to mean its exact opposite.”

10941014_10152554664136372_9080728200676282451_n

As I live this life, make mistakes, grow and learn, I know that I need to become confident in knowing that I don’t need to know everything right away.  More importantly I can be confident in knowing that I have someone that is with me that knows all things and in that truth I can have total faith and certainty.

Leancia 🙂 x

I died in 2013 but I’m ready to live in 2015…Happy New Year!

 

untitled (3)

As I prepare to enter a new year I reflect on the previous year and everything that has occurred, I think about why I didn’t achieve the things I wanted, why I made the choices and decisions I did and why my relationship with God, family and friends is where it is.

I generally don’t make new years resolutions because I don’t keep them so I decided a few years ago that I would set time specific goals with a written action plan for each goal.  I’m one of those people that loves to see a checked off to do list, it’s such a thrill for me and makes my heart so happy (it’s the little things, don’t judge me). I do have very specific goals in regards to my faith, business, health and relationships but the below goals are the fundamental foundations that all of the above will derive from. My goals for 2015 can be summarised in four simple statements:

  • To be true to who I am;
  • To demonstrate love;
  • To serve more and
  • To keep moving towards my purpose and dreams.

As the whole world begins making new year resolutions I am thinking about how to make sure I don’t die this year? I’m asking myself what do I need to do to stay alive and not be one of the many walking dead in the world today (this short spoken word explains what I mean, please watch before you proceed).

untitled (6)So, 2015 is finally here and I don’t know about you but I am so thankful that I am alive to see it, God hasn’t finished with me yet…whoop!! You see something in me died in 2013 and in 2014 Leancia came back to life like never before; now that 2015 is finally here I am ready to really live. You see, my life and your life is not a dress rehearsal and I intend to make 2015 the best year yet and continue to become a better version of who I was always meant to be. My hope is that everyone reading this chooses to make every minute of 2015 fabulous!

So, have you set any goals for 2015? What are your hopes and dreams for the coming year? What do you need to do differently this year to get you closer to your goal? I would love to hear from you, feel free to leave me a comment. untitled (5)

I want to take this time to wish all my friends, family and fellow bloggers a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Love, joy & blessings for 2015

Leancia 🙂 x

 

 

 

Failing is the best thing I’ve ever done

I have started many things and failed at many things, this is a fact! Failing repeatedly can be both a good thing and a bad thing.  Let’s explore the bad first. Many people look at failure as the worst thing ever! For them, to fail is to be defeated, to lose and to give up.  I have experienced failure in exams, relationships and business ventures, in learning a new language and a new instrument as well as in many other ways.  I could look at all these past failures and come to the conclusion that I AM A FAILURE! I mean the evidence is there right, my past is marred by my attempts to try and the fact that I have failed repeatedly.

The thing that’s difficult is that people look at those failings and forever hold you in that place; family and friends no longer trust you or your judgement and question whether you are capable of making good, sound decisions.  This is understandable to an extent, but I have experienced that it can also be crippling.

There is another side to failure that I have discovered, which I now embrace and celebrate. I’m not afraid to keep on trying different but new things over and over and over again, which unfortunately most people refuse to do. My failures have brought me to a place where I now know what I am good at and what I am not good at; I now know what my purpose is, what makes me come alive and what I simply don’t like.  I have always been that girl who dives right in and learns as she goes, that’s just how I operate.

You see, I’ve learnt that the important thing is not how often I fail but how often I get back up and try again until I get it right.  True failure is not the failing in itself, true failure is when you never attempt or try anything again because of fear.  I absolutely love this quote: “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts

If you have got to the end of this blog I want to encourage you all to read the speech below by Theodore Roosevelt, entitled ‘The Man in the Arena.’ You see, you will always have critics, failing is part of life but what really matters is that you get in that arena and dare to do great things.  So what will you do in 2015 that scares you? What will I do in 2015 to get me closer to living a life worth living for the benefit of myself and the world? I can honestly say failing is one of the best things I have done and I’m thankful for the learning and growth that has resulted from all of my past failures.

T_Roosevelt

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Theodore Roosevelt (Delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910)

Why You Shouldn’t Dream Big

“You will only get disappointed,”“it’s a waste of time,”“no one has ever done that,”“that is not realistic,”“you don’t have the skills or qualification,”“stick to what you’re good at,” and “that’s too risky.”

How many of you have heard these comments from friends, family members or complete strangers?  Or instead of verbalising it their lack of support, encouragement or interest in what you’re doing pretty much says the same thing. If someone you know has said this to you, I’m sorry to say they are probably absolutely right! Every single one of those statements is true and is likely to be true about you or your journey to your dream IF you choose to believe and accept them.  These truths do not need to be absolute, they can be changed. You have the power and control to alter these truths and make them the biggest lie.

IMG_1965

I always remember the story of Joseph, the young naive boy with a big mouth. Some of you might be familiar with the story but for those of you who aren’t here is a brief synopsis.  God gave Joseph a number of dreams about his future; Joseph decided to share these dreams with his older brothers. The problem was if Joseph’s dreams were real it would result in him becoming a great world leader and ruling over his brothers. His brothers were already profusely jealous of Joseph because of their father’s favouritism, so this only added salt to the wound. They were angry, couldn’t believe it was possible and called him a ‘dreamer.’  As far as they were concerned their little brother becoming a world leader was too big of a dream to have and they sold him into slavery and pretended he was dead. These were not strangers these were his brothers! At this point many people would say: “It’s probably best not to dream too big or maybe I’ll dream just enough so that if I do fail the fall when I hit the ground won’t be that painful.” Yes, you could do that, but let me finish the story. Joseph’s dreams came true.  However, he had to experience some very difficult times and years of isolation before his dreams became a reality.

This story always encourages me as I make plans, take action and share my dreams with people.  It’s not easy chasing your dreams when it seems like everything and everyone around you tells you (or secretly believes) it’s just not possible.  I am also encouraged by people like Helen Keller, Rosa Parkes, Diane Nyad (this video is an absolute must watch),

and so many other incredible women who decided to dream really big. And because they did, the whole world has benefited from their courage, persistence, discipline and strength.  These women and so many other amazing men and women refused to take their eyes of the goal.

I want to encourage all of you to dream the biggest, craziest outrageous dreams ever.  These past six months I have been on the wildest journey towards chasing my dreams.  I have been exposed to people and opportunities that have stirred my faith and hope to the point where I totally believe in myself and what I can achieve.  I have started to dream really big.  Am I scared that my dream is too big? Absolutely. Am I scared that it won’t work out? Sometimes. Am I scared about what people will think and the impact it will have? Yes.  However, in spite of those fears I am more excited at the thought of what if it does work? What it if I fulfil my dream? What if I am able to help people all over the world? What if one day someone says ‘because of you I believed I could and I did.’The dream is just part of it; the journey to the dream is incredible. When you know who you are and what you are called to do, nothing and no one can stop you from going for your dream. I choose to focus on the positives. I know that like the amazing women that have gone before me, if I keep God first, never quit and stay disciplined, it will just be a matter of time before my dream is my reality.

view

Madrid

uganda

Uganda

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

My family

My Family

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Go get that dream and enjoy the journey on the way!

Leancia x

 

Greatness

Please watch the video before proceeding 🙂

 

Greatness is something that many people believe is a gift bestowed on a select few. Take a minute to stop and consider what comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘greatness.’  What do you see, what do you hear?

I believe that all of us have the capacity to be great, the sheer fact that we are born, alive and walking this earth means that we have greatness within us.  The sad truth is that many of us will die not having tapped into that unique quality that makes us great and we will aimlessly go through life simply existing.

As a child I never thought there was anything particularly special about me, I was like every other child.  Now, I was never told that I wasn’t special but no one really made a great deal of effort to tell me I was either. Throughout school I had the mentality that I was just okay, I was average and that was evident in my school grades too.  It was only as I got older that I realised there is something uniquely special about me and I needed to find out what that was and go for it (I will share some more about this in another post).

I believe that so many of us do not walk in our full greatness because of our own lack of belief in the truth that we are actually great.  If we all lived up to our full potential can you imagine what we, our families and our world would look like?

The Oxford dictionary defines greatness as “the quality of being great; eminence or distinction.” My understanding of this is that when you live out your greatness something distinguishes you from everyone else.  There is an assurance, a certainty, a confidence in who you are that emanates from your being.  So many people and I feel women especially are afraid to live to their full potential; I too am one of those people, yes, even now.  I am afraid of my unique greatness being misunderstood, I fear that my greatness will not be valued and instead it will be rejected.  So how do I handle my fear? I realise I have two choices: 1) I shrink that innate quality to pacify others and to make them comfortable in my presence or 2) I shine and let my greatness come to the surface for the whole world to experience. I want to be an example of a woman that lets her greatness shine in spite of her fear.  You see greatness isn’t for the select few, it’s for the few who select it.

Remember: “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”  This is an awesome fear to have if you are brave enough to share your unique greatness with the
world in the only way you can. So go and be great!!

Pretty ME vs. Real ME

Now, I’m not a huge fan of Beyonce; yes, she’s a great entertainer, artist and any other musical connotation you want to throw in the mix, but I appreciate her gift from a distance. I think I only have one CD of hers from when she was part of Destiny’s Child…say no more.

Yesterday I watched Beyonce’s new video ‘Pretty Hurts’ for the first time.  I must admit as I watched I felt very uncomfortable, sad and quite emotional. Why? Because the struggle is very real, what she portrayed in her video is a reality for so many women (I’m sure men too), including myself.  This is what I took away from her video:

There is no room for imperfections. If you aren’t pretty then basically you have no place in this world.  The Student Becomes the Teach wrote about this saying: “Too often, our culture over emphasizes external beauty which is commonly subjective over internal richness of character.”  I totally agree! I personally know a number of aesthetically pretty girls/women but their character is on a whole other level (there is grace, we can’t have it all or can we?) In her song Beyonce’s sings: “perfection is a disease of a nation…it’s the soul that needs a surgery.” This is truth! A friend of mine said that she has a problem with accepting how she looks.  Now this woman, in my opinion, is both aesthetically beautiful and has such a beautiful spirit.  For her to say that she is struggling in this area, makes me realize that there is something much deeper in our society that is not being addressed.  The souls of men and women really do need a surgery.

Being ‘pretty’ isn’t enough. If your character is jacked up and you are not happy being pretty means absolutely nothing. Too many people, women and men, rely on their looks to get them ahead in life and granted for some that has worked.  But, they have no aspirations except to be pretty and hopefully marry a rich man so they don’t have any worries…shoot, make your own money!  Let’s get something straight, being ‘pretty’ or having lots of money does not equate to a happy life or that you are better than anyone else because you have either or both of these.  If you believe that lie, you will be very disappointed…don’t believe the hype.  I have a problem when people think that these things are more important than being a good person; I’d rather have five “ugly” (no such thing in my opinion) friends who don’t pick and choose if they like me from one day to the next (based on what I look like) and that love and accept me, over 100 “pretty” friends any day.

Over the past month or so I have deliberately done things to address my own issues of feeling inferior or simply, not enough.  For example, I don’t wear makeup everyday or I’ll only wear mascara.  I realized that I was wearing full on makeup to cover up acne scars that I felt made me look not so pretty.   Now, I am not against anyone wearing makeup, if it makes you feel more comfortable and confident go ahead, there is nothing wrong with that at all. I love makeup. For me I was using it because I didn’t want people to see the Au natural Leancia in all her glory because I didn’t think the Au natural Leancia was pretty. So, I faced this issue head on and decided to start wearing little or no makeup at all.  Was I worried about how people would react and treat me, sure I was but more importantly I needed to be convince myself of the truth, that who I am is more significant  than how I look.  I wanted to intentionally go against the status quo of what is deemed as popular in our culture in order to embrace my imperfections and not be afraid to let the world see the real me.  The thing is if I don’t accept my own flaws and imperfections a) I give power to someone else to use against me, b) I become critical and judgmental of other people’s flaws.  As a culture and as women we are so quick to point out or notice external imperfections in other people instead of looking at who people are and accepting them flaws and all.  When we realize and I mean really live in the truth that none of us are perfect, we will be a lot more benevolent to others.

Most Beautiful Woman 2014 – People Magazine

I was so happy to read that Lupita N’Yongo was nominated as the most beautiful woman in the world by People magazine.  Seriously, seeing this woman own who she is and not change herself is truly inspiring to me as a dark skinned black woman.  Previous winners included; Gweneth Paltrow, Julia Roberts, Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman.  You can read what she thought about this tribute and what her mother would say to her growing up, here.  This leads into my final point.  Parents, don’t focus ONLY (note I didn’t say, don’t reaffirm or tell them they are not beautiful), on your child’s external beauty so much so that they feel like that is all that’s important or all they have to offer the world.  The culture we live in already does that without your help and added pressure whether consciously or unconsciously.  I know that when I have a child (particularly a girl) I will not only reaffirm their external beauty but I will also inform them that it’s okay to be something other than a reality TV star, a WAG or a model.  That working hard, valuing people and making a positive contribution to the world, not only makes the world a better place but will also have an even greater impact on their own soul.

So, I’ve decided that the real me is the pretty and beautiful me, that I refuse to hide whether people accept, approve or validate.  It would be great if more of us did the same.

Leancia 🙂 x