10 to 1: Empowering our kids

Did you know that for every negative comment you make to a child you need to tell them ten positive things? You cannot erase the harsh words, shaming, and belittling. But you can start a fresh path with words full of love, encouragement, and empowerment. I wish that everyone kept this in mind while interacting with children. This goes for any child, not just yours. They are all sensitive beings who need to be told how wonderful they are, how intelligent they are, and how beautiful they are.

Why, you ask? Because eventually they grow up. Eventually we force their inner child to hush it’s young joy + excitement. Eventually we throw them into an adult world that is fast, competitive, judgmental, and quite scary. And eventually, they are you. Walking around with the insecurities that the adults who influenced them the most instilled without even knowing it. 

I’ve always loved kids + my career just so happens to allow me to work with them on a daily basis. My younger students always amaze me. They are quick, curious + eager to learn. And they are often all those things combined with some insecurities, self-doubt, confusion, and stress from societies pressures. There are days where I get a call from a student that is sobbing about not doing well on a test, letting down their parents, or failing a course. Finding the balance between being an adult they must discuss their education with + a person they can trust is hard sometimes.

All I know is that there is no black and white with kids, and if we start to focus on that then maybe we wont have so many damaged adults. Be their listener, cheerleader, link to success, and outlet. Be the person that tells them when it’s time to get up + get busy making their dreams turn to reality. But don’t be their source of negativity + self doubt, because that simply does not go away. Let them be eclectic, passionate about things you don’t understand, and slightly silly. Kids + their ideas about life deserve respect as well. We must shape the future generations, and it starts with the way that we speak to them. It starts with you.

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Chasing Dreams vs. Size One Jeans

It’s sad to me when I see beautiful women with the world in their hands practically chanting ‘thin, thin, thin’ as if that’s the motto. When did society get to decide your shape? And when did it become all you care about? What about your hopes & dreams? Imagine the life you can create for yourself if you simply put the energy focused on being thin towards your personal goals. I promise you’d catch yourself forgetting all about having the ‘perfect figure’ because people would be looking up to you as a person of success vs. you always looking down on yourself to check the number on the scale. That will come from hard work–it comes from being strong. 

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Ladies, I am young & many of you are as well. I just want you to know that you have the whole world in your hands! And someday, if it’s part of your journey (for many of you it already has been), you will be given the gift of motherhood. My main concern is this: how can we expect to teach our children self-love, respect, and proper care for their bodies when we are practicing habits that rebel against all of those things & more?

And to set the record straight, it is not just women who struggle with insecurities rooting from their physical appearance. Men have just as hard of a time although they might express it differently or not at all. So, this isn’t just for the ladies, this is for all of the handsome and capable men out there as well.

Put your dreams before your jeans. Stop telling yourself you can’t. Eat healthy, stay active, be positive and always stay focused on what really matters. Life is a balancing act & nobody is perfect. But if you can open your eyes to all of your potential and run with it I’m sure you’ll catch yourself having those rewarding “this is absolutely perfect” moments quite often. Once you control your mind you can conquer your body.

Don’t look back. You are amazing & you’re worth it. Go. 

Motherhood & Tough Lessons to Teach

These two posts written by C. Jane Kendrick are quick & powerful; Both took my breathe away while I was reading them and I loved it. As always, I hope you love them as much as I do. I believe there is a great & beautiful lesson to be learned from them.

[ click the text below to be linked to each post ]

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It will be years (+ a couple more for precaution) before I begin the journey of motherhood — But I’d be lying if I said my chitlin won’t have this onesie.

I hope you’re having one of those days where you get things done that have been bugging you for weeks. I know that’s how my day is going, and it feels so good.

All my love, Bee 

A Mothers Prayer

Tina Fey is good but I didn’t know she was this good. She wrote this “mothers prayer” for her 5-year-old daughter Alice in her memoir BossypantsIt’s the perfect mixture of sweet, silly, and sappy — how could I not share? This sheds light on what a mother’s love, worries & undeniable understanding of her daughter looks like. Plus we all know I’m a sucker for mother-daughter themed things. It’s okay, you’re allowed to laugh your ass off AND cry… yes, even if you’re at your desk at work. Blame it on the allergie, works like a charm every time.

“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.

May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.

When the Crystal Meth is offered, May she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.

Guide her, protect her

When crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes and not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.

Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.

O Lord, break the Internet forever, That she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.

And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it. (my personal favorite)

And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. 

“My mother did this for me once,” she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.”
― Tina Fey, Bossypants

Sweet boys with good habits

Something that makes me happy:

The eight-year-old twin boys that walk their two wiener dogs past my house every single day. I’m convinced their mum wont let them out of the house until their dragon ball-z t-shirts are tucked into their jeans that don’t quite reach their ankles because they sit an inch or four above their belly buttons. And their matching velcroe tennis shoes are a must, because they pull everything together like a perfectly tied bow.

(this lovely woman took this photo of Dexter the Wiener dog)

The not-so-sentimental thing that makes me happy:

Closing my eyes while I quietly inhale pink, exhale grey, & pretend that this is my closet.

Also, when I play make believe these are my wooden kitchen utensils too. (they will be mine in real life next time I have arts & crafts time)

What makes you happy?

All my love, Bee

She Fought with Fervor and Great Love

Being raised by a single mother helped me build a strong connection with women who refuse to sit back & be quiet while others make decisions for them. At a young age I was taught how rewarding it is to be independent & work hard for the life that you want to live. My mother also surrounded me with women who celebrate themselves & those they love — women who fight for what they believe in & aren’t willing to settle.

I am not here to say that what I believe is right & what you believe is wrong — I am here to say that each individual has the power of choice & the freedom to express themselves. This world is beginning to hush what needs to be heard & hide what we have the right to see. I believe that if each of us makes the commitment to stand tall when we discuss our passions, speak steady when we express our concerns & be strong when people claim that our voices are weak we can show just how far  one dream can take us.

This is the kind of woman I aspire to be & can become. And I love that. My country may not be perfect but I am thankful that it allows me to attack even the smallest challenges with fervor & great love. I hope you do the same.

I am here for a reason & I won’t wait around for someone to tell me what it is. I shall strive to make a difference in just one persons life, an unforgettable one.

“European Member of Parliament, Licia Ronzulli (an MEP from Italy), took her seven-week old daughter, Victoria, to work at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. [It was not a ‘Take-Your-Child-to-Work’ event.] She kept her baby carefully cradled against her in a wrap and occasionally leant to kiss her on the forehead. This photo was taken as she voted on proposals to improve women’s employment rights and was broadcast and published in newspapers around the world.”

Thank you for being brave Licia Ronzulli.

“I love to see a young girl go out & grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” -Maya Angelou

My daughter will be…

“I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls.”

J.K. Rowling