After completing the valentine's day project, all of my demons came racing to the surface, not right away, but over a period of the next few days. They came scratching at the inner walls of my being bring with it meaningless self doubt, worry and my worse fear, rejection. Because after it's all said and done, "what will people think of me?" This was the reason I created and planned this project in the first place. I wanted to live outside of my comfort zone. I wanted to love myself more then the possibility of rejection. I wanted to have the courage to love my sexuality openly as the opportunity was ideally available to me. I wanted to act on my vision because I never do, instead I'd just be content with being ordinary. However, that's not who God created me to be and I am starting to realize that more and more with each passing day. I was born with vision, an imagination so broad and so vast that I cannot even began to explain it to you. It's my talent.
Valentine's day was a beautiful day to love yourself. I bought myself all of the things a Valentines should, a big soft and cuddly bear, lingerie, bath and body works, chocolate and wine. I lit a fire and had my niece over to document the gesture of self-love. There was only one thing that I forgot, which was the most important to me.. to burn a bay leaf with the phrase "fear of rejection" written on it. I am wondering now if this could be the reason I am struggling emotional. It is said that if you write on a bay leaf what you want to release or let go, then burn it, is a powerful ritual in manifesting a desired reality by unblocking your mind from limiting beliefs. I missed the chance that night, yet today is another perfect opportunity that will not go unmissed.
There are people who will claim they want to love you, but there will never be anyone who can love you the way God and you yourself can love you. It's only a choice away.. Love yourself flawless.
Maybe I am just a millennial baby or possibly living in nostalgia, but what happened to the once premier shopping destination, Esplanade mall? As teenagers my peers and I would beg our mothers, fathers, older sisters or brothers to take us to the MALL and where I'm from Esplanade Mall, to be exact! LOL.. I have created so many memories there. Yet with all things, nothing remains the same forever. Furthermore, as with life there are ups and downs. Somewhat of a roller coaster ride with extreme highs and lows. On a side note, I have recently been wanting to go to a theme park just to get on a roller coaster, It's been years now! So, what was once a bustling location is now mostly desolate, minus the tumble weeds. With very few retail locations left, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane. It's funny, but I can actually remember what stores were where.
I When "Spotlight for You" first entered the Esplanade Mall back in 2012 a buzz of rumors circulated the community about the possible founder of the retailer, as I am sure it was unbeknownst to the owner. Nevertheless, most patrons imagined that the fashion retailer was a new business. Yet, in 1999 Spotlight started under the name "Spoiled Rotten" as a DBA in the New Orleans Centre mall, located off of Poydras Street in New Orleans, Louisiana, which is now the site for Champion Square. The rumors were then demystified in that moment of truth. Interestingly, one should never believe everything you hear, do a bit of research and I am positive you will be surprised to know the truth. "Spoiled Rotten" later moved to the Lake Forest Plaza mall in 2000 based in Eastern New Orleans as "Spotlight for Women." Not long after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Spotlight resiliently packed up and moved to the Perimeter mall in Atlanta, Georgia under it's current name "Spotlight for You." This particular location just closed its doors January of this year due to a buy out of the wing it was housed in by a very big retail brand.
With Mardi Gras ball season just beginning, I decided it would be fun to try on a few gowns that are displayed so beautifully in the window at Spotlight. Upon entering, I was greeted by a friendly and knowledgeable associate, who I later found out was the operations manager named Toya. She gather a bit of information from me about my size and what I was shopping for and then helped me pick out a few pieces that she thought I would like. The selections were beautiful and reasonably priced. Plus, they looked absolutely amazing on! Toya informed me the Cary Henderson, the owner, travels to Los Angles personally and hand picks everything that is sold at all locations. To my revelation I learned that there are three other retail sites including two that are also inside of Esplanade mall, "Spotlight for Prom" and "Spotlight for Less." The third store is housed in the Riverwalk Outlet mall at 500 Port of New Orleans next to Steven Madden.
I left Spotlight feeling really inspired by their brand's story. With 20 years of legacy, along with many ups and downs, we can all take away from this a drive to keep our faces strongly planted towards the wind and just keep going. It was a pleasure becoming aware of their true brand's success.
I took a social movements class one semester in my last year of undergraduate school at Southeastern Louisiana University in the spring of 2015. I was asked to pick a movement that I was passionate about. I chose the Stop Child Sexual Abuse movement. This choice was largely due to the fact that I had just become aware of my son being sexually abused at the age of five. So, when I saw this viral video on Facebook I had to share some first hand knowledge that I encountered while completing my degree in Behavioral Science. Here is a review I wrote in response to a required reading I did in a class called "Population."
Check out the viral Facebook video here.
Read the full article, I am referring to, from chapter 31 in the book entitled The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader by clicking below.
“The rights of young people are especially critical. The acceptance of children as dependents, as belonging to parents, is so deeply ingrained that we can scarcely imagine what it would mean to treat them as autonomous human beings, particularly in the realm of sexual expression and choice.” -John D'Emilio
Check out my response!
She stopped going out in public. She didn't want to be around people because when they whispered, laughed or looked her way, then proceeded to turn and speak with the companion accompanying them, she questioned herself... Were they talking about her? "Maybe, it's the fat hanging over the waits line of my jeans." or "Could it be my hair, it really looks a mess today." "Oh God, this outfit does look kind of cheap." She thought.
10. Eat Healthy.
12. Read or listen to books.
13. Drink more water.
14. Exercise regularly.
15. Take care of your skin.
16. Invest more care into your style and appearance.
17. Laugh more.
18. Be patient with yourself.
19. Let go of negativity.
20. Be kind to yourself.
21. Work on your spiritual development.
22. Cling to the good things in life.
23. Honor yourself.
24. Be more social.
25. Trust yourself.
Hi there my pretties! I've decided to take a day off from blogging the first Friday of every month. So, if you've missed me just know that I was thinking of you. (inserts smiley here) While I was away I had a conversation that led to questions about knowing what love is and how to recognize it when it shows up. First, lets face it! The landscape of love and relationships have changed quite a bit since the introduction of social media technology into the sphere of intimate personal connections. As a matter of fact, I met my husband on the all to well known social media mogul Facebook. It really was a chance encounter, but what's funny about this particular meeting is that it was predicated by an infamous physic astrologer whose name I won't mention here due to the controversy surrounding her.
With that being said, I want everyone to understand that love is a choice, just like any other choice you make for your life. However, in order for it to work (the delusional "happily ever after") both parties must choose love and be committed to working out whatever obstacles that may (WILL) be presented along the journey of the relationship. And I will be the first to admit it... It's not easy!
We all know that saying, "Nothing easy is worth having." Well, the same is true for relationships. Every couple who gets married wants the 50 year anniversary kind of love. You know that love that amazes everyone in the room? Yeah, that! However, everyone does not make the cut because it's only possible if both parties are all in. A divorce is not worth having because it's easy. You never have to address your flaws or hold yourself accountable for your actions and ultimately you miss the opportunity to grow as a person. Walking away is easy. Staying is only for the strong.
I have learned that you should never go into a relationship with expectations. And this is not to say that you should take abuse from a partner; mental, verbal, physical or emotional. What I am saying is, you should understand the very basics of your love, friend or business interest before you enter into a relationship with anyone.
Where do you see the relationship going? What are you seeking from the partnership? Do they meet an overwhelming amount of your preferences? (hobbies, lifestyle, interests) These are not expectations! They are qualifying factors for a future relationship. This is very important to remember and understand. Once you get this, everything else is easy. You just go with the flow! Address challenges as they come, while remembering to eliminate expectations of a specific outcome.
For example, you and your partner have been at odds for a week and the two of you finally resolved the disagreement where you proclaimed your love and your partner does not. This does not mean that your partner does not love you! Or for example, you text your partner and it takes them over an hour to respond. Again, this does not mean your partner does not care about you. It means they were busy and as soon as they had time to reply, they did! Here's another good one. They liked a picture on Instagram of another attractive individual. This does not mean they want to start a relationship with that person! Remember, they are also in the relationship putting in the work needed to insure a lasting partnership. Actions speak louder than words. So please, give them credit and be patient with their process.
Hope this helps...
Take care of you,
Love from your lover
Tonight's a dream
Full of fantasy
I'm donned in leather
Ready to beat you
For your transgressions
You're a sinner
I'm your redeemer
Bow and kiss my feet
Just like that
What did you say
I can't hear you
I'm your Queen
-Alicia Monique Adewumi
I have always been infatuated with the sky. As a child I stared directly at the sun knowing that it could extremely damage my eyesight. The sun produced a feeling inside of me that I cannot quite explain. That ball of fire somehow reached down into my soul to touch something I still am unable to fully comprehend, but I know that there is something magnificent dwelling there. I would stare at floating clouds and trees swaying in the breeze, especially at the beginning of autumn, just shortly after the fall equinox. In those moments I knew I could do anything. My connection to the sky and nature was undoubtedly strong. To this day, nothing can ever taint it.
It’s funny that I can remember my introduction to astronomy like it was yesterday. I was in the 6th grade. And what I remember most is an assigned project that required me to pick my favorite constellation and write a short essay about it. If you know anything about constellations then you know that they are associated with mythology, which is a set of stories, traditions, or beliefs linked with a distinctive group of people or history of events, originating naturally or deliberately. My admiration stood with the constellation Cassiopeia, known as the lady in the chair. Cassiopeia was, the mother of Andromeda, according to Greek mythology, the Queen of Ethiopeia. I was so passionate about this constellation to the point where I was imaging myself to be her. I am known for having a huge imagination, for which I have sorely been criticized for. However, my imagination was also highly praised and even encouraged to be further developed by one person in particular, Ms. Benita Little, who showed me how high my talents could take me if only I disciplined myself to work harder. She helped me achieve recognition during my 3rd year of grade school in 1993, by winning 1st place in a Young Author's Contest, an experience I will never forget. I am writing all of this to say that my love for the sun, moon, stars and the universe lured me into loving Astrology by the time I was in high school as a result of a book called The Secret Language of Birthdays purchased by my mother. She is unaware that I have quietly horded this book for years now. Practically, since the moment I first explored its pages... Shhh! I have no intention of ever returning it to her…
When I am passionate about something I always share what I have discovered with others. So, in acknowledging that, many people who know me can tell you that they have seen the infamous birthday book. My infatuations only grow from here, into a deep sometimes intense study of the lost art of Astrology; which was extremely popular during the 3rd millennium BC up until the 17th century and is now making a strong come back. Therefore, in researching this art form (once considered a scholarly tradition) I went through great lengths to hunted down my exact time of birth. For years, up until my 18th birthday, I did not have an official birth certificate. Instead, my christening documents were used in its place. When I finally obtained a birth certificate the time of my live birth was unknown by my mother. I contacted Lakeside Hospital, where I was born, in 2009 for archived information regarding my birth that turned out to be a success. The records even included an ink print of my little baby foot!
I use Astrology to understand who I was, who I am and who I am becoming. Its study has had a very powerful and almost spiritual effect in my life. At times, when I feel the need for console, I turn to the stars; it’s like my own personal on call life coach/therapist. Astrology is a science that can be indispensable to those who can learn to appreciate it. In my unique birth chart My Sun sign and my Moon sign is in Virgo with Capricorn rising at 20 degrees. Knowing all three of these aspects of your particular birth chart is important in order to understand your relation to the cosmos. Once you find out your rising sign, you would read your horoscope for your Sun sign (which usually answers the question “what’s your sign?”) along with the horoscope (or forecast) for your rising sign (the zodiac sign with its degree ascending, on the eastern horizon, at the specific time and location of your birth). Basically, you should be reading two different horoscopes per month. If you know the time of your birth and would like to find out your sun, moon and rising sign click here.
What’s so above, is so below
Later for now pretties,
Do you know that movie, 13 Going on 30? Yeah! Well, do you remember that part when Jenna exclaims to her mother that she does not want to be thirteen, but she wants to be like those people; while pointing to a picture in Poise magazine? "I want to be thirty, flirty and thriving!" Believe it or not, I think that scene pretty much captures and sums up how I felt when I actually turned thirty.
I think there's this myth surrounding the idea of turning 30, that it's the age when you figure it all out, when you have it all together, and you have the vision with the resources to not just dream, but to act it out. This was not the case for me. However, I have always considered myself to be a late bloomer. Most people see that as a bad thing, but not me. I have learned to master my beautiful flaw. And there's a possibility that it's not a flaw at all, but a divine gift given to me by God upon my birth. I prefer to think of it in this way!
2012 is a year I will never forget, and let me tell you why. I not only made thirty that year, but it was the year of a massive mental breakdown. I was diagnosed with clinical depression in March of 2012, after seeking professional help from a Psychiatrist. Due to that diagnoses, I began being treated with Viibry, an anti-depressant at a 20mg dose. However, I was still experiencing an up and down effect of my mood that led to the dose of the medication being gradually increased over a 9 month period to 40mg. Once the maximum dose was reached I continually experienced a loss of focus and concentration. Vyvanse was then added to my treatment which further led to serious complications of total exhaustion and deep depression. It was my intention at the time to improve my medical condition and succeed in the progression of my Bachelor's degree. These unforeseen events impelled me to retroactively withdraw from Southeastern Louisiana University (the university I was attending) in the fall semester of 2012; then take a semester off (which turned into a year and a half). I call this the year of the FALL. And only the ground was there to catch me.
In June of 2014 I finally re-enrolled at Southeastern. By this time I had decided to end all medication that had been prescribed to me, including the relationship with my Psychiatrist. Some people asked me why I was wasting my time going back to school, but I knew why I was doing it and I had to finish what I started in order to feel right within. By May of 2015, I was a graduate. Now I'm on a totally new journey. I am not even close to where I think I should be, yet I still have hope that I will reach the highest possibilities of my goals and dreams. To all those turning thirty this year, keep your head high, this is only the beginning!
Take care of you,
This art work was done with Sally Hansen Insta-Dri nail polish (Rapid Red, Mauve It, Cinna-snap, Gone Gray and Go for Gold). "Nasty Gals do it better" is the Nasty Gal's company slogan. Shown here is a recreation based on a previously held Instagram contest asking fans to show their devotion to the Nasty Gal brand.
Alicia M. Burks
"I feel absolutely challenged in just being myself, yet building my life on a foundation of excellence."