The power of the pony

“Them old mistakes are gone, I won’t do them no more. That’s old news, there’s new news, I done did that before. My lessons made blessings. Less talkin’ more action you just goin’…. CiCi coming.’

“Fake friends get dropped like weight, Team love don’t want no hate. I’m grinding, I’m shining. up, up, up, I’m on my way.”

“Thank god I never settled this view is way much better I’m chillin, I’m winnin’ like on another level. Oh, you can talk all you want.  Level up. Level up. Level up.

See me….I see greater. Nothin’ I’m afraid of hater, and ya I can have it all’…Ciara- Level up

I want to start this blog by confessing that whenever I close my eyes and imagine myself…. I look like Ciara… not sure why but In my mind’s eye…. Ciara.

I feel the overwhelming need to share with you my greatest discovery in building self-esteem, overcoming obstacles, and feeling like a boss…The Fake Ponytail. Now, if you know me you know that unless my hair is braided or I am feeling extra natural, I am wearing one of my 24 (yes you read that right) fake ponytails. They range in color and style but they all have one thing in common… the ability to make me look polished and cute. All the while getting attention from men and woman like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

Over the years I’ve had long hair, short hair… every color imaginable. Extensions weaves, braids… you name it I’ve had it. I’ve always kept it cute for me, and for the line of work I am in.  Nobody is inspired by busted and crusty- but I do work out for a living so my hair has to be somewhat conducive to my lifestyle of sweat and spandex.

I wore my hair in various types and styles of braids for almost a year so I decided to take a break from the braid life. I wasn’t really feeling my own hair, and at this point, a wig is out of the question. Tried it. Epic fail. So here I am getting ready for my daughter’s cheer banquet and drive by the hair store. You know the beauty supply where you buy your hair for braiding or extensions. Up until that day I had ignored the giant neon sign saying “ponytails” because I thought ehh.  Well, this day I had to do something to look cute for the banquet and make the other cheer moms hate me even more and gain cool points from the rest of the squad. My daughter could care less how I look because shes consumed with her own reflection, which most teenagers are. But her friends think I’m kind of amazing.

I walk over to the ponytail section a choose a long-dark brown ponytail curled like a contestant for a beauty pageant would wear and say what the hell, I’ll try it. I go home slick my own hair back pop on the pony and head over to the banquet. As soon as I walk in I feel like there is a spotlight on me as heads turn to see who this raven-haired beauty is. I see the disappointment in their faces once they realize it just me. But hear squeals of delight by the cheer squad as I walk over…”omg your hair is soooo cute, I love your pony”. the compliments were endless. Feeling very cute I go back to my table and received a facetime call from my ex-husband. Now I have a strict no face timing rule without the proper lighting and filter but this night I made an exception. I take the call. “Whoa you look amazing,” says X-2, “Oh thanks,” I say coyly, “whats going on’? He proceeds to ramble on about something and then says “hey send me a picture of you tonight, you look really good” (he’s so self-absorbed he didn’t realize I was wearing 18 inches of fake hair).  I never did send him the picture btw… I do have some self-respect.

Fast forward to the next morning, I’m going to wear my pony to teach because although it is a little pageant-like I still rock the shit out of it.

I go to Starbucks just like everyother day, A gentleman opens the door for me and then asks me if he can buy my coffee (its the pony). I walk into my cycle room and see the same students I see every day, Two of my regular guys look at me like I’ve just transformed into Ciara and say wow I love your hair…… ( pony). The double takes and compliments just kept coming. I couldn’t believe that a stupid ponytail was getting me so much positive attention and more importantly why did it take me so long to discover this??

I have never felt so cute…. who knew a ponytail could bring such power?  I go out into the fields and start collecting ponytails. I order them online, I go to every hair store in the valley…… I now have many many ponies. With each pony I feel a different way, the straight ones are more polished, the blonde more fun and the dark ones mysterious. I can completely change my look and my personality with one small element. I even went as far as to buy a pink one and a mermaid teal (those are fan favorites in my silver sneakers seniors class).

I was desperate to get one of my Managers to notice me…. insert the pony, I bopped by his office (like I do everytime I’m in the club) this time wearing a sassy long light brown number… his response “poppin”…yaaaaaaaaa

At one point I was getting to know I guy I met online, (that’s a blog in of itself) he asked me WHY I wore the fake ponytail…. at first I was amazed at the question…..I mean come on really? Then I just deleted his number, I mean if he didn’t get it there was no use in furthering the relationship.

In reality, what makes us feel cute translates into every area of our lives. It may sound superficial to some, but I have found that when a woman feels attractive she is more confident and motivated and it transcends into all facets of her life.  Why do you think Kylie Jenner is so rich? She sells not only an image of beauty but the products to help you get there. Try this, find a girl whose hair is busted and is wearing wrinkled clothes…. ask her how her day is going…. and then be prepared to run.

Bottom line.. you do you,  if you feel comfortable au natural I applaud you, be organic but if you are feeling a little basic and need a pick me up… Level up.

With love and fun, A.K.

 

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love…..

“When I’m alone in my room, Sometimes I stare at the wall and at the back of my mind I hear my conscious call, telling me I need a boy as sweet as a dove, for the first time in my life I see I need love. There I was giggling about the games that I had played with many hearts and I’m not sayin’ no names. Then the thought occurred, teardrops made my eyes burn as I said to myself when am I gonna learn  ” Amanda Blank.

Well, Amanda, LL said it first but we get the idea.

Love, everyone has a feeling about it, a different definition and now we all have “love languages” that vary from person to person. Something that should be simple has gotten very complicated. But love isn’t complicated, is it?

I don’t think I really understood and felt unconditional love until I had my daughter.  I was on my second marriage and had many relationships and “lovers”, but it wasn’t until my relationship with my daughter grew and I became a mother did I truly understand LOVE.  People say there are different types of love….. right now I don’t feel that. Maybe its because I haven’t felt “romantic” love in over 13 years and I’ve forgotten how it feels? Or maybe because love is love and you can feel it from more than one person in more than one way.

Full disclosure I am currently watching Bachelor in paradise and just finished watching my very first season of the bachelorette so my mind might be tainted just a bit. 

So here I stand, very single. I don’t spend any time curled up in the fetal position crying over lost loves and the thought of dating sounds fun. But I am also not putting myself out there…. really (Although, I did go on several online dating sites….for like a week).

The problem is is that I don’t have a problem with being single.  It’s everyone around me that can’t stand it.  As if I am a leper or heartless because I am not actively seeking someone to be “hanging out” with (which really means sleeping with). Truth be told, up until very recently, I haven’t had the time or energy that’s required to have a romantic relationship.  When I am not working,  I am chasing the affection and stalking my 15-year-old.  But that is getting boring, and now she is carrying the burden of leaving me alone. I don’t want that for her. I never wanted to expose her to an unhealthy relationship, unfortunately, that turned out she was never exposed to ANY relationship. Funny thing is, that girl is fine, she has found love and has figured out how to be in a relationship all by herself. Guess she didn’t need me for that.

So now what do I do? Join every online dating site? No, that didn’t feel right to me. Go out every weekend searching for my soulmate? I feel like I did that in my 20’s… Truth be told, I believe in fate and that I will meet someone organically when I least expect it… Yes, I realize I am a dinosaur.

What if we just love ourselves and the lives we’ve built, then will love come? Or have we made it impossible to make room for something that requires everything? I do not have the answer to that but I will keep believing in fate. If I don’t then I am afraid of who I will become….. You know, that bitter bitch that can’t be happy for anyone else because she can’t love herself. And whats not to love? I’m fun, funny, and smart (not just my opinion by the way). I have a lot of love to give and yes would like to be loved in return…. Gonna throw it out in the universe… let’s see what comes back.

“Although I always reminisce, I can’t believe that I found a desire for true love floating around inside my soul. Because my soul is cold, one half deserves to be this way until I’m old, but the other half needs affection and joy and the warmth that is created by a girl and a boy….I need love”

Love ya A.K.

 

Nice for what?

Be nice. God, I hate that term, what if I don’t want to be nice? It’s easier to draw people with honey than hot sauce… is that the term? No, but you understand what I mean. We are currently living in a world of ugly.  Kindness and common courtesy are quickly fading as people interact less with each other and more with their devices. I guess your phone doesn’t care if you say hello, your laptop doesn’t give a shit if you smile or say thank you.

I work in an industry that forces me to talk to, motivate, and be nice to people all day long. It’s exhausting. I want to be nice, encouraging and interested all the time but the reality of it is…. I don’t care that much. Let me rephrase that. I CANT care. I can’t care because if I do I will have nothing left to give for the people who do mean something to me. It’s not fair to my daughter or my imaginary boyfriend if I’ve used all my “niceness” on strangers who don’t give a shit about me. We only have so much of us to give away. Unfortunately, most of us overextend ourselves, give it all away, and then get mad when we feel exhausted at the end of the day.

It a vicious cycle that we create for ourselves. But how do we manage it? Fuck if I know honestly, but I do watch people who seem to have balance in their lives and see one common denominator…. the ability to say no. For some of us, that sound is like nails on a chalkboard…. SAY NO?! Risk the potential that someone won’t like me?? News flash they probably don’t like you anyway….. most people just know who they can manipulate and don’t really care who the person that is stupid enough to do what they want.

It’s sad, we sit on our couches and watch other peoples lives unfold on reality shows. They become addicting because we either want to have their lives or are grateful that that ISNT our life. I am as guilty as the next person, trolling the internet seeing what mistakes other people are making so that I can justify my own. Acting as if I know these people that I follow every day while wondering what it would be like to be them for just one day.

And then reality hits…. I am exactly where I am supposed to be. As much as there are days that I want to stay in bed and not speak to another human, that’s not gods plan for me. At least not for today. For today I will keep on keeping on and be true to myself no matter how the people around me want to behave. It’s not personal, it FEELS personal but I promise you we are all just trying to get through this life. To be happy, feel joy, and be free. So if you work in any area of service remember,  you CHOSE that job. There is something inside of you that wants to reach out, make a difference and connect with others. No it’s not easy, but it is worth it…. isn’t it?

“That’s the real one in your reflection, without a follow, without a mention, you really pipin’ up* on these niggas you gotta, be nice for what, to these niggas?”-Drake

*getting stronger and more successful, particularly on your own with no help from anybody else- 

Keep your chin up, stay strong, and sleep well knowing you are one of the good ones, wanting to make a difference….

A.K.

 

The clap back

The clap back: A response to a criticism with a viciously acute comeback intended to put someone in much-needed check.

Why are people mean? Stupid question I guess, I doubt anyone will respond to that with anything I haven’t already heard…… “Misery loves company”, “It’s not about you it’s about them”, They are dead inside”.

Funny thing, when someone is mean and cruel it sure as shit feels like it’s about you.

Last week I posted my most personal blog to date. I dug deep, opened my heart, my soul. Exposed things about myself that were not flattering, but we’re definitely real, and honest.

I felt such a sense of release, authenticity, and transparency when I posted that blog, I slept well for the first time in months.

The next morning I woke up to a comment from a person I didn’t know.   A complete stranger who felt it was her civic duty to tear apart my story, my truth, and my grammar… she even went as far as suggesting that my high school aged daughter proofread my work before I published it. What did I do? I clapped back. I emailed her congratulating her on being my first official hater, and that now I felt accomplished.  Kinda like my last name should be Kardashian or Jenner.

Immediately in my inbox came a response “?”. I respond: what is the question…. The woman on the other end said I don’t know you, I didn’t even read your blog.

Long story short, A woman in Detroit is using a woman in Australia ’s email address. Trolling the internet being a cyber bully using the Aussie’s email as she lights fires and creates pandemonium. All the while my poor new friend Kellie (oh the irony) is left trying to clean up the mess, and apologize for someone she has never even met. This has been going on randomly for years. Why the powers that be at Google can’t help the poor girl out is beyond me, but that’s a whole nother thing. Moral of that story: “you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good”

Some bitch was trying to hurt a complete stranger and this complete stranger wasn’t having it, so I clapped back. As it turns out I made a new friend. All the way across the world is a Woman whose name is the same as mine, spelled the same way. She not only loves my blog, but is a kind, and wonderful person. I feel blessed, this one has a happy ending but too many of these situations don’t.

Why are we so cruel to each other? Why hate on someone at all??? You hear it a lot in the music industry, people going for the jugular, saying anything to hurt or discredit someone. To me, there is nothing more unattractive in a person that jealousy or hatred.

“What’s worse looking jealous or crazy? Jealous or crazy? Me, being walked all over lately. I’d rather be crazy”-Beyonce

If we are to lead by example, we have to get our own shit out of the way so we CAN be a blessing to others…  to lift them up, not tear them down. If you are ugly on the inside there is nothing a glam squad can do to balance that out on the outside. People will think you are cute until you open your mouth.

If you are hurting, which most people who do mean things are…. talk to someone. Get right.  It’s not fair to ruin someone else day just because it gets you out of your own head for a minute.  And please stop making excuses for your shitty behavior. Take responsibility for your actions and then CHANGE them.  Do the right thing, not because you want to but because you need to. And for god sakes apologize. There is power in words both good and bad.

I do believe that all people are inherently good, I really do, even when they prove me wrong. I still don’t understand how or why people dissolve friendships and turn their backs on those whom they used to be close to. I understand personal boundaries….you gotta take care of you….. but love has its own boundaries. So if you loved someone as a friend or more than love shouldn’t change. Their behavior may not be something you can deal with but try looking past that into their heart. We’ve become so hard and unloving, the ME generation…. As if loving someone, somehow makes you less than. It takes courage to love. To be compassionate an patient. To see past the pain and the behavior and into the heart. Be wise, but be kind. You can heal or hurt, it’s up to you.

“I mean she’s ok, but she aint all that, She aint the next bitch, tell that bitch to fall back”

“See I’m a hater,  I go hard listen, let’s begin….. You know her last names Minaj? She’s a lesbian. She gets me so sick, it makes me vomit. That’s why I spend my time online, leaving’ comments.”

“Still I rise, Still I fight, Still I might crack a smile.  Keep my eyes on the prize.. See my haters,  tell ’em hi”

“One day you’ll remember this, one day when we reminisce nothing I do is good enough for the music biz. Nothing I do is good enough for you”-N.Minaj

Love…….A.K.

I am not a regular mom… I am a cool mom

“I am standing in front of you, I am trying to be so cool, everything together trying to be so cool” – Screen Twenty-one Pilots

This is not entirely true…. don’t get it twisted… I am cool but not at the expense of raising my daughter.

See,  I do sweat the small stuff. I believe in structure and rules. I try to give reasons WHY my daughter should or shouldn’t behave a certain way. To honor herself,  and her body, to be a good friend and to think before making emotional decisions. I really wish my Mom would have done the same for me…. but whatever, this way we grow together. As I parent her, I also parent myself. Unfortunately, I am doing this alone.

Being mom and dad REALLY sucks in certain areas…. for instance: teaching children how to ride a bike, then to drive a car. Vacation planning. Concert going. Driving and picking up…  anywhere and everywhere. Shopping with an emotional teenager.  Watching every single gymnastics competition, dance recital, and every football game and cheer competition. Wanting to be Mom 24/7 but having to be Dad and go to work. Being both the bad guy, and the one who she runs to for comfort and advise.  And no matter how hard I try to be everywhere, I still miss so many moments.

Fuck, its all hard solo who am I kidding.  But I do it. I do it for her and honestly, I do it for me.

See I grew up knowing I had one person in my corner, on my side…my biggest fan, my ride or die: My father. He was without a doubt the best dad I could have asked for. For what my mother lacked in parenting he made up for and was always there for me no matter what.

So here I find myself in a situation that is so foreign to me… no male role model for my daughter. I turn myself inside out to try to make up for the thing that I have no control over. Try to fill the space that’s not my job to fill. But I do it anyway. Just because her father is not capable of being that doesn’t mean she should suffer any more than she already does. “we’re broken, we’re broken, we’re broken people, we’re broken people”

My father passed away in 1999. He never even met my daughter but I know that she would be his everything. It makes me so sad that the love that I know he already had for her she is unable to feel.

“while you are doing fine, there’s some people and I who have a really tough time getting through this life so excuse us while we sing to the sky”.

Today I watched my heart leave for cheer camp… this cool mom cries…as always.

I see the excitement in her face and I can’t help but be grateful that she has something in her life that gives her such joy. She has friends, a best friend who is such a blessing to me. I think that life is so much sweeter if you have at least one best friend who is there for you no matter. I can’t be that to her as much as I want to be so to my second daughter (you know who you are… I am so grateful for and love you).

In the end, it’s all ok, good even, for now at least. I will never give up on her or our journey together. Time flies as they say and I am beginning to look at my life without her being the nucleus. It scares the shit out of me and I can only pray that all the nagging and discipline will sink in and she will make good choices for her self…. and that she calls me 10 times a day :).

“and now that I write and think about it as the story unfolds, you should take my life, you should take my soul”

“you are surrounding all my surroundings twisting the kaleidoscope behind both of my eyes.”

“And I’ll be holding on to you….”

“Lean with it rock with it when we gonna stop with it.. It is time to move our feet to an introspective beat. It isn’t the speakers that bump hard its our hearts that make the beat”

“And I’ll be holding on to you, and I’ll be holding on to YOU”

In memory of my father and to mother/daughter memories of Twenty-one Pilots concerts.

A.K.

 

 

 

 

 

Namaste’ Bitches

Well, there is an intro for you…

So I teach yoga… have the definition of Namaste’ Tattoo’d on my body and have many inspirational quotes to share. Does that mean I am more enlightened than you? No.

Yoga instructors are some of the biggest nutjobs (myself included) that I have ever met. What drives someone to want to teach a format that is so mentally and physically challenging? Why would we ON PURPOSE put ourselves on display to be judged or even worse be looked up to as if we actually knew anything…. EGO? Maybe. Or maybe just maybe we actually do want to help. Genuinely want to heal or inspire. But how do you do that in an hour yoga class? Truth is.. you don’t.

Yoga Instructors go through hours of training, we learn the body, we learn the mind, we learn how to connect the two…  But in reality, it is our Western culture taking over Eastern healing properties (poses)  and making it a workout class… yikes.

But it works, for almost everyone it works. I have seen huge transformations in people simply by practicing yoga on a regular basis.

How does it work? You show up. You suck it up and do the best you can at the moment. You breathe. You don’t think about what happened before the class and don’t worry about what will happen after. You become truly present. Now, what other times can you say you are truly 100% present? In spin class? Nope, you are on your phones…Lifting weights? Nah, you are looking around to see who is looking at you… During another group class? Probably not because you are too busy being concerned with what everyone else is doing and competing with them.

Here’s the thing in yoga… we remind to set your ego aside. Not to worry about what the person next to you is doing. Clear your mind, (don’t you dare look at your phone). Have compassion for yourself and appreciate your body for what it can do right here right now at this moment. No judgment. No self- loathing. To feel santosha/contentment  (I also have that tattooed on my body but it’s on my back so I often forget it… Yikes part 2). It’s that feeling that caused people to become “addicted” to yoga. We become addicted to a break from ourselves, our “real lives”

Now if we could just instill those behaviors in our daily life, maybe we can change. From the inside out. It starts with you, it ends with you…. what happens in the interim is entirely up to YOU.

Breathe in through your nose out through your nose…. take it one pose at a time..

Practice your Yoga…

“And though I never learned to play I won’t forget, the secrets of the game are all but dead. The coin turns to reveal both its heads. There is still a deal… I won’t forget.

Now I don’t even want to build on the layers, there is no need to complicate a simple phrase’

Hey there baby, we’ll be fine. I’ll always want your peace of mind. I’ll always look forward to better days ahead” Jezebels

Namaste’ A.K

 

 

 

Logic

LOGIC:  noun

  1. Reasoning conducted or assessed according to strict principals of validity.
  2. The course of action or line of reasoning suggested or made necessary by.

Common Sense or Rapper?

In my world, I expect that people carry some type of logic in their thought process. Cause and effect.. if you do this, that will happen. My job is to guide you, teach you how to empower yourself to reach your goals. Logic would seem that if you took care of your body your body would take care of you. You provide your vessel with proper fuel and learned to burn the fuel optimally you would attain your goals. Your body would change.

But not if you are on your cell phone during class.

Not if you workout 2-3 times a week and those times are half-assed.

Not if you eat everything and then sit on your couch most of the time

Oh, your body isn’t changing? Yea it’s MY fault.

 

Logic

Now we are talking about Robert Bryson Hall….stage name: Logic. A visionary, an inspiration, an artist, a man.  A young man who inspires through his transparency in both his story and his life.

This young man is not only insanely talented but he has also opened the door on a taboo subject.  A condition that cripples so many of us: Anxiety and Depression. See you can say you get it. But until you GET it its impossible to GET.

People love to judge and give advice on how to manage a disorder they don’t suffer from …… they don’t GET it.

When you think of someone who suffers from anxiety or depression you may think of the high strung dude who talks fast and has a short fuse. Or maybe the woman who refuses to leave her house because believes that she doesn’t look good enough or just isn’t enough to simply be a part of.

“They never knew my struggle. Rose above the rubble. Rather live inside the bubble than go through the trouble”

Never would you think it was the person who inspires you to get out of bed in the morning. The person who seems so confident in not only themselves but in you. The one who pushes you to be your best. The talented rapper, the charismatic musician, the comedian or maybe your cycle or yoga instructor.

See these people we look up to or revere are “wired” a certain way. The most creative carry around some type of thought process or method that makes them successful.

The same thing that drives them to be amazing is debilitating. They want to help others HURTS them.  They give all that they have to make a connection and to reach you even when not asked. It’s a blessing and a curse. They give freely because they want to be heard, felt, seen…

Oof …all of the above should read we, not they, for I too am wired differently.

Personally,  I never want people to feel the pain that I have. I want everyone to feel loved and whole. Its impossible to describe but if you know you know and if you don’t, be thankful.

I attempt to give something of me to my students every time I teach a class which is between 20-25 per week. I try to draw out that thing, the reason you showed up because I believe you want more for yourself than what you have.

Sadly most of the time I miss the mark.

Not everyone wants to be a superstar some people really just want to say they went to the gym.

And that’s when the anxiety turns to depression for me. I feel like I failed. Myself. My students.

Not everyone wants to change their lives. They actually want to be stuck and blame someone else for it.

Funny thing is,  I will forever try to pull them out only for them to pull me in…. is that healthy? No. and not very logical.

“I am me. I am a man, I am a sinner. But understand aren’t we all? So when it comes to passing judgment I don’t think you are the one to make the call

Heaven wanna cast me out for being me

I know there are others like me that’ll break the fall

I know you hate motherfuckers just can’t relate at all

If I’m the first one in line that’s fine I’ll take it all

Well Logic, he gon’ let them know. I ain’t perfect but I’m worth it, I’m alive, I deserve it. I been praying, I ain’t playing I don’t think you hear the words I’m saying I don’t think you know the weight on my shoulders that gets heavier as I get older…

Calling anybody calling anybody can you hear me?

I pray that you hear me I pray that you hear me”

Thank you Logic for telling your story and inspiring others to do the same…

Much love AK