WLLF

Pharrell Made Us Clap Along But Are We As Happy As We Pretend To Be?

So, some guy named Pharrell something or other wrote this little ditty that I hear every once in a while… I think it might be called… “Happy”… Maybe you’ve heard it?

Clearly, I kid.

As the song’s popularity spread like wildfire and its rotation on the radio… well, its rotation everywhere… increased to a fever pitch, I wondered if the song reached the acclaim that it did because of its relevance to the masses or because it was just so undeniably catchy.

Unfortunately, my belief lends itself more to the latter…

“Why?” you might ask! Well, before I get to that… I’m excited to announce that I have been named the newest contributor for WeLiveLifeFree.com where I’ll be contributing blog posts at least once a month. (I will still be writing here as well!) I’m so thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful group of positive young ladies choosing to live their lives as they see fit.

So take a trip on over to the free side with me to read the rest of this post by clicking HERE!

-Love & Light… CB Radio

Wishing

wishin’… and hopin’… and thinkin’… and prayin’…

What we’re gonna do right here is go back… Way back… Back into time!

Ok, ok… Not THAT way back. I’m talking about the summer of 1995. When TLC sounded the alarm about chasing “Waterfalls”. Montell Jordan showed everyone that “This Is How We Do It”. Michael Jackson serenaded us with a sweet reminder that “You Are Not Alone”.

And one Antoine Roundtree, more familiarly known as the one-hit wonder, Skee-Lo, waxed ever so poetically about all of the things he wished he was, what he wished he had, and what he would do if he was or did have… for the entire song.

Skee-Lo - "I Wish"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryDOy3AosBw

I wish I was a little bit taller.
I wish I was a baller.
I wish I had a girl who looked good, I would call her.
I wish I had a rabbit in a hat with a bat.
And a six four Impala.

Skee-Lo had a dream, y’all… Several, in fact. While some of them were beyond his control (I think it’s pretty safe to say he’ll never be 6’9″, yes?), he did have some that were attainable with a little work (I do hope he was at least able to put his money for this single towards his beloved ’64 Impala). You know, things he could do if he spent as much time putting in work as he did putting in wishes.

See where I’m going with this?

How many of us are “Skee-Lo-ing” through life? (Yes, I just made up a word.) We’ve made the resolutions. We’ve created the bucket lists. We’ve crafted an air-tight 3-year business plan. We’ve designed the vision board. We’ve dreamed the dream… We’re wishin’… and hopin’… and thinkin’… and prayin’… Yet we’re stuck in first gear. We can’t “pass go”. We can talk the talk with the best of them but when it comes to taking the first step on that walk, y’all… we falter.

So many of us are conditioned with a perspective of negativity that has been masked in a cloak of “caution” or so-called “realism”. Our vision is clouded with all of the excuses reasons why we can’t or why we shouldn’t. It’s not “wise”. It’s not “smart”. It’s not “realistic”. It’s “risky”.

<insert shudders here>

Maybe it hasn’t been done before but that computer or that smart phone you’re reading this on… hadn’t always been “done” before either. When will you apply for that small business loan? When will you add your name to the list of performers at that open mic session? When will you introduce yourself to that potential mentor?

Your dreams, your passions… they matter. YOU matter. The thing about those dreams though: they will always be a dream if you don’t take action.

By no means am I suggesting that you stop wishing, hoping, thinking, and praying. All of those are very good things. Positive things.  I’m just merely encouraging you… us… to start DOING. Now.

Why not you? Why not me? Why not now?

Why not?

-Love & Light… CB Radio

 

EmeliSande

sticks and stones…

It’s been awhile since I invested any significant time in watching music videos. Days of planting myself in front of the TV for hours at a time are long gone as are the days before MTV and Vh1 became reality TV central instead of the vessels of music and artistry they once claimed to be.  Still, every now and then a video will, by some other method, catch my eye.

As did the video for “My Kind of Love” by Emeli Sandé (directed by Sanji Senaka). In the song, Emeli belts out lyrics about how she might not be everything her loved one thinks she ought to be. She can’t buy their love. She can’t promise them the stars. She’s not a fun party girl. She admits that sometimes she gets angry and says things she doesn’t mean, but they should never doubt her love for them. It’s that latter confession about her anger around which the video builds its concept.

The video depicts hurtful words literally as bullets fired from the mouths of people who are seemingly frustrated or enraged. These words, aimed at their subjects, cause physical wounds that will most likely (at the very least) leave scars behind.

Powerful, right?

If you could see the effect your hurtful words have on your family, your friends, and your loved ones… if you could see the permanent injury and scars negativity, criticism, insults, so-called jokes, and name-calling left behind… If those words were bullets… Would you be more thoughtful in your word choice? Would you withhold unsolicited opinions and comments? Would you think twice about engaging in a yelling match over something trivial? Maybe hold your peace until your anger or hurt subsides?

Words are powerful. They can encourage and build someone up but they can also discourage and cut someone down. They can instill fear. They sometimes can cause more pain than an uppercut to the jaw.

Being the most rude isn’t a prize. Being the loudest doesn’t make you strong. Having the most crass vocabulary doesn’t make you cool. Being belligerent doesn’t get your point across. Please be kind. Be thoughtful. Be positive. Be peaceful. Be uplifting.

Whoever was the first person to say “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”… was in denial.

-Love and Light… CB Radio

Photo Credit: Teo Studio, retouched by Kendrick Wong

What would you do if you could see the affect your words have?

jill-scott-bog-chop

why did i big chop? glad you asked…

On February 3, 2012 I did one of the most daring things I’ve probably ever done… (Yes, I know that doesn’t speak much to be being a risk-taker.) I big chopped and cut off probably about 95% of my hair. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a big chop (otherwise known as a “BC”) is a term used to describe cutting off relaxed (or chemically straightened) hair leaving only natural (or non-chemically straightened) hair. I had my last relaxer in October of 2010 and had been slowly (and nervously) transitioning and trying to get acquainted with the new texture of my hair emerging. At  slightly over a year later, I decided I was ready to let it all go. I was ready to start over.

“Happy to be nappy… I’m black and I’m proud that I have been chosen to wear the conscious cloud.”

-Donnie 

(Check this song out by clicking on the picture above or the album it’s on by clicking on his name!)

Armed with an arsenal of new hair products I had been trying out during my transition, CurlyNikki.com, and my favorite YouTube vloggers (i.e. MyNaturalSistas, Naptural85, MahoganyCurls, and IvyCharlaine), it was time the world met my natural hair and time for it to meet the world! Now, don’t get me wrong. At times it was scary and downright uncomfortable. What if it never grows back? What if no one else likes it? What if my head looks funny? What if my short hair makes me look… gasp… ugly?! 

Well, after a few days I really started to like it, and you know what? I no longer cared who did or didn’t agree. You know what else? I thought my hair was beautiful just the way it grew out of my scalp!

I know that there are swarms of women who will testify to doing a BC for very militant,  racial, spiritual, or very anti-conformist/anti-relaxer reasons, but meh… I was just plain tired. Tired of spending half of my Saturday twice a month in a beauty shop. Tired of spending $60+ every time I needed a relaxer. Tired of the damage the relaxer caused to the health of my hair. Tired of never really being satisfied with my hair even after all of the time and money spent. Tired of always being concerned about sweating during workouts or getting caught in the rain. Just tired! Something needed to give and what other people thought I should or shouldn’t be doing with my hair no longer mattered.

If you ask me, there are plenty of perks that came along with my BC. Confidence began to abound. It was almost a freeing experience that suddenly made me want to change other things about myself and how I perceived myself. I wanted to not only have healthy hair, I wanted to be healthy. I didn’t just want to do what made me happy with my hair, I wanted to do what made me happy… period.

I’m not here to knock anyone else for what they choose to do to their hair. I’m just telling my story… Long or short, relaxed or natural, dyed or not… I say as long as your hair is healthy, do you! I’m just very happy that I can now just do me. The health of my hair, the versatility, the uniqueness… is all endless! And it was all worth it.

Love and Light… -CB Radio

Now excuse me while I….

WHIP IT REAL HARD! WHIP IT, WHIP IT, REAL HARD!! :)

couple in leaves

blog love – i love you, but i don’t need you and you certainly don’t complete me

Today’s Blog Love post is from one of my favorite bloggers, Ms. GG Renee of All the Many Layers. A few months back, I made a post about Tamar Braxton’s new single, Love and War. I briefly touched on the type of relationship that evokes two very different dynamics… the feeling of love and the feeling of war. Essentially, in this type of relationship you fight hard but you love even harder. You might fight like cats and dogs but in the end… it’s always all good.

Well, this post from GG Renee explores the notion that sometimes what we view in our relationships as “love”… the drama, intensity, obsession… just might be signs of an unhealthy attachment. Read on to see if you, or someone you know, can relate.

-Love & Light… CB Radio

 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2012

I Love You, but I Don’t Need You {and You Certainly Don’t Complete Me}

I have this maddening pet peeve about love songs. And I’m going to tell you about it. It will sound trivial at first, but we’ll end up in a valuable, thoughtful kind of place – I promise.

So, I can’t stand love songs that are written with these extreme simplifications that don’t really make sense.  To wit: “I’d die without you…You are my everything…I can’t breathe without you.”

Really?  Nothing would make me run away faster.  I find these sentiments disturbing. They sound like obsession.  And unhealthy attachment.  Not love.  Love is about letting go, not clinging.

Maybe we need the drama.  Some of us think that if there’s no intensity, then it’s not love. Anyone?

~~~~~~~~~~

Years ago, all I’d experienced was that volatile kind of love – it probably shouldn’t even be called love, desire is a better word – where I was driven by this need to be with this man at all costs.  I was endlessly patient, thinking that I could turn him into what I wanted him to be through perserverance. Not only did I want him to change, but I wanted him to change for me.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I defined myself by our relationship. I didn’t think I could be happy with him not loving me the way I thought he should.  I wanted him to fill me up.

Never again, in a millions lifetimes would I ever want to feel that I need someone’s love to make me whole.  I couldn’t see what was really happening; all I could see was what I wanted to happen. I thought this desire was love.  But I wasn’t being my true self and I wasn’t letting him be true to himself either.  Yet I would cry and throw love in his face to make him feel responsible for my turmoil.  “But I loooooove you!  I’ve done nothing but love you and look how you treat me!”

I can vividly remember the wall slides and the slamming doors.  Somewhere deep down, deep deep down, I relished all the emotional mayhem.  I thought, “Wow, we must really be in love.  We go at it, but we can’t function without each other so we keep coming back.”    I managed to actually feel lucky to have such passion in my life.  No matter the cost, I was going to go down with that ship.  I was sure of it.

~~~~~~~~~~

Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Love has no desire but to fulfill itself.”   You don’t have to force it, trick it, wait for it or cage it up so no one else can get it.  You don’t have to experience pain or heartache in order to experience love.

When you truly love someone, you are simply thankful that they exist and you want them to be happy whether they are with you or not. You can see beyond yourself enough to know that this is not all there is.

This post is not just about romance and dramatic lyrics though, is it?  The more we learn what love is trying to teach us, the more we’ll appreciate every aspect of our journeys.  Love does not exist in one person, place or thing.  It’s everywhere, above, below and around and inside of all of us.  So you see, there’s no need to cling or fixate on a certain outcome.

Love says to let go, have faith, and be at peace. Not just in your relationships, but in life.  Are you listening?

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a new day… and I’m feeling good

Birds flying high, you know how I feel… Sun in the sky, you know how I feel… It’s a new dawn, a new day, a new life for me, and I’m feeling gooooooood!!

No, this is isn’t an advertisement for Weight Watchers, but the song does make me feel fabulous… Do you know what else also makes me feel good? Being healthy – and it should make you feel the same. I know that it’s easier said than done and sometimes we just don’t have the (fill in the blank… money, time, energy, etc.) to commit. So today, I’m offering some tips in hopes to make things just a little bit easier for you.

Get an accountability partner.

Most of us have a tendency of doing the right thing (hi, Spike) when we’re being watched and reserving those less than stellar, sneaky moments for when we know we don’t have an audience. Well an accountability partner is there to help you (and you them) stay on the right path because they’re always watching, so to speak. This person should be positive, have your best interest at heart, and genuinely want to see you succeed at reaching your goal. Talk to each other about your personal goals and how you intend to reach them. You don’t always have to be there physically in each other’s faces, but a simple phone call or text message just to say “hey, how was your workout today?” or “what are you cooking for dinner?” are quick and easy ways to keep each other in check.

 

This is NOT an accountability partner!

Whistle while you work.

Did you ever play one of the “games” as a child that some sneaky adult (or older sibling) taught you how to “play” and initially it seemed like good wholesome fun… until that moment you finally realized what you were actually doing was something like cleaning? Worse yet… you were doing their work? *gasp* Well as much as you didn’t like that revelation, there was a method to the madness… and it worked! The same concept can work for you when it comes to exercise. There are more fun ways to exercise now than ever before. If activities like basketball or swimming don’t tickle your fancy try something like dance fitness (i.e. Zumba, WERQ, Flirty Girl, Barre Bee Fit, etc.), boxing, piloxing (yes, that’s pilates + boxing), martial arts… you get the idea. To make a long story short… The more fun you’re having, the less it feels like exercising. Trick yourself into doing your body good!

There’s no place like home.

QUICK!! When you read “there’s no place like home” did you think of Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz or Sandra & Mary from 227?? Tell the truth! Ok, I kid… Back to the lecture at hand. Not being able to sign away your first born with your name written in blood afford a gym membership is no excuse to not be exercising anymore. With all of the DVD’s and YouTube videos (and they’re free!!) out there, there is something to fit your schedule, your home equipment (or lack thereof), and your wallet. If you’re brave enough to endure the P90X or Insanity workouts of the world… rock on! If you’re looking for something a little more moderate, Jeanette Jenkins (a.k.a. the Hollywood Trainer), whose growing client list includes the likes of Kelly Rowland, Alicia Keys, and Paula Patton got together with fitsugar to provide a workout that lasts only… wait for it… 10 minutes! I’ve tried it and believe you me, she pulls no punches on this one. Give it a shot when you have 10 minutes to spare. Have water and a stretcher nearby.

Be your own trainer.

So many people complain about the costs of staying healthy and fit. From the health food store to the price of health care. Maintaining your health can, indeed, be expensive… if you let it… or you can choose to take matters into your own hands. Knowledge is power and there’s plenty of it out there for the taking. From all kinds of calorie counters and trackers, fitness diaries, smoothie recipe apps and the like there are plenty of ways for you to learn about what you need, what you’ve got, and how to get what you want. One of the pricier things in the world of fitness are personal trainers. If you can afford one, they’re an awesome asset. If you cannot, however, no need to fear… There’s an app for that! Give something like Nike Training Club, an app for both iPhone and Android. It’s like having a personal trainer in your pocket… for free. It allows you to choose your own level and from a variety of different workouts. It has both video and audio instruction when you need a little extra guidance. You can even go social and let all of your friends know about your glowing progress! You have no excuse and Nike already told you… just do it.

Nike Training Club

 

So, now it’s your turn. Talk to me. What difficulties do you run into when sticking to your fitness goals? What helps you stay on track?

-Love & Light… CB Radio

 

 

Abs

the new workout plan

I know… I know what you’re saying… “It’s been a long time… shouldn’t have left you… without a dope beat to step to (in my Timbaland voice) or without a strong rhyme to step to (in my Rakim voice for all you hip hop heads out there)”. Well, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately that has kept me away during the new year so charge it to my head and not my heart!

One of those things has been trying to shake off this winter hibernation thing I had going. Like a lot of other people at the start of the new year, I’ve been attempting to kick my fitness routine into full swing. After all… summer bodies are made in the winter!

“1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and get them sit ups right and… tuck your tummy tight and… do your crunches like this!”

All them mocha lattes… you gotta do Pilates!!

Now, you know I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t somehow find a way to incorporate music into the deal. Just as I believe music can soothe a broken heart, add fuel to an angry fire, uplift the downtrodden, and add a little extra sunshine to an already sun-shining day – I also believe that music can be the soundtrack to your motivation (no Weezy). A great workout playlist can make the difference between just going through the motions and one helluva kick arse workout!

Here I’ve compiled a list to help you get started with your own list. I have a tendency to dig in the crates a bit (like House of Pain’s “Jump Around” or LL Cool J’s “Mama Said Knock You Out”), so I’ll try to keep it (fairly) recent! Hopefully I’ve included a little something for everybody.

Rihanna – Where Have You Been

Rihanna – We Found Love

Diddy – Dirty Money – Hello, Good Morning – Remix (feat. Rick Ross & Nicki Minaj)

Rihanna – Don’t Stop the Music

Joe Budden – Pump It Up

Chris Brown – Beautiful People

Chris Brown – Turn Up the Music

DJ Khaled – All I Do Is Win – Remix (feat. T-Pain, Rick Ross, Busta Rhymes, Diddy, Nicki Minaj, Fabolous, Jadakiss & Fat Joe)

Chris Brown – Yeah 3x

T.I. – Bring Em Out

Beyonce – End of Time

Beyonce – Run the World (Girls)

LMFAO – Party Rock Anthem (You know you think of that Kia commercial with the dancing hamsters, too!)

Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On

Beyonce – Get Me Bodied

Jay-Z – Dirt Off Your Shoulder

Beyonce – Crazy in Love (feat. Jay-Z)

Amerie – 1 Thing

Destiny’s Child – Lose My Breath

Rich Girl – He Ain’t Wit Me Now (Tho)

Usher – DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love (feat. Pitbull)

Usher – Scream

Usher – OMG (feat. will.i.am)

M.O.P. – Ante Up (Robbin Hoodz Theory) (More so the original, but the link takes you to the remix.)

Ne-Yo – Let Me Love You (Until You Learn to Love Yourself)

Ne-Yo – Closer

OutKast – B.O.B.

Eve – Tambourine

Ciara – Gimme Dat

Jennifer Lopez – Get Right – Remix (feat. Fabolous)

Janet Jackson – Make Me

Missy Elliott – Lose Control (feat. Ciara & Fatman Scoop)

Kanye West – Stronger

So, what say you? Do you enjoy listening to music while you work out? If so, what songs get you up and moving?

-Love & Light… CB Radio