For Men Who’ve Never Held Your Feet

Every 6 months or so I go through the large wooden Olive and Cocoa box where I keep the little things that bring me joy. Birthday cards & “wish you were here’s“, gut-wrenchingly beautiful articles, old photos, worn ticket stubs, and quotes. With time these things begin to look scattered and lost — my pile of messy love. A tiny piece of my heart is in that box. And tonight was the night that I went through it, reflected, and organized the little notes and trinkets.

As I was doing this I found a quote folded up that I printed off at work. I did so because at the time there was a man in my life that treated me like a kitchen dish towel. It felt as though he had found me nicely folded, dunked me in hot dirty water, used me to clean the corners of his dusty and tattered heart, and then rung me out before he threw me aside to dry. Needless to say, there was some healing to do.

I’ve always loved the way words can handle my emotions that I often don’t know what to do with. This quote is long, but it is such a nice reminder of how far I have come. How much my heart has grown and how much strength I have found since this time of my life. It’s an incredible feeling to know that I’ve made the decision to never allow anyone to make me feel that small again.

So as I sit here on the floor of my cozy little apartment I am crossing my fingers. Hoping that at least one person can relate to this and then think “Wow, I am so much stronger now.” Anyway… I hope you enjoy it.

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“How far have you walked for men who’ve never held your feet in their laps?
How often have you bartered with bone, only to sell yourself short?
Why do you find the unavailable so alluring?
Where did it begin? What went wrong? And who made you feel so worthless?
If they wanted you, wouldn’t they have chosen you?
All this time, you were begging for love silently, thinking they couldn’t hear you, but they smelt it on you, you must have known that they could taste the desperate on your skin?
And what about the others that would do anything for you, why did you make them love you until you could not stand it?
How are you both of these women, both flighty and needful?
Where did you learn this, to want what does not want you?
Where did you learn this, to leave those that want to stay?” 
― Warsan Shire

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I Fought For Her

Sometimes I struggle when people boast about their lives. I’m a strong believer in being about it instead of talking about it constantly. But tonight I feel like it’s time for me to reflect.

I have never been in a better place than I am right now. This year my journey has certainly shown me plenty of heartbreak, loneliness, emotional/physical pain, and even shades of hate. But those are the things that have helped me remember to fill my heart with joy and focus on the beautiful aspects of life. I no longer take my smile or anyone else’s for granted

There are so many things I could attribute my happiness to. I have a safe home, loyal family & friends, good health, and a career that I believe in. But the thing that has helped me stay happy is being consistent with my self-love. My life changed as soon as I realized that I could not give my all to this world without loving myself first. I told myself that if I would not treat someone else a certain way, then why would I treat myself that way? That is truly when it began to click.

I am proud of the woman that I am because I have fought for her. I had to grow in so many ways in order to fit into these “shoes” that I currently fill. And I know that because of this I am a better person and I can contribute more to this world & the people in it than I once did. I have made the time to create space in my life for the little things that can make big differences. And I am so excited to continue to love without limits, fight for who & what I believe in, and live the very best life I can possibly live.

This next year of my life will be one I will never forget, I know that in my heart. And I can’t wait to share the things I learn along the way with all of you!

Thank you to each person that has ever sent little words of encouragement in the last year. You have helped me tremendously and I would not be who I am without you. Cheers to my last week of being 21 & never giving up on the people we know we can be.

Xoxo, Bailey Mikell

Building Resilience

No matter what our circumstances are we each have our own battles in life. You can have your dream job, the healthiest & happiest relationships, a beautiful place to call home, and  the courage & education to pursue your dreams. But at the end of the day those things do not matter when life decides to test you. We all have, and are allowed, to have bad days. There are no exceptions. We all have days that shake us. Yes, some are better equipped than others when it comes to difficult times, but at the end of the day we are all human and we all have to find our own ways to cope.

One of my favorite coping mechanisms is yoga. I’m normally a night owl but when I have class at 6 a.m I force myself to sleep. So when I woke up this morning after having plenty of sleep and still felt mentally and physically exhausted I knew I needed to push myself to go to class more than ever. I forgot my water bottle & towel, and so I found a spot in the back of class because I was later than usual. My breathing was off, my palms burned from using my old mat, and I couldn’t hold my strongest poses for the life of me. There wasn’t much to it, I was simply off balance.

When I left I hugged my teacher and thanked her for a wonderful class. As difficult as class was for me this morning I know that it was what I needed. I needed that extra push. I knew that instead of feeling frustrated about my personal performance in class I should be thankful that I have the opportunity and ability to go and start my day with yoga. It was the first of many things that helped me choose happiness today.

I don’t think that we ever find the perfect answer to how we are supposed to manage our stress, self-doubt, fears, and life’s challenges. I believe this to be true because each trial and error is so unique and needs special care for us to properly heal and grow as individuals. However, I do know this for sure: We must never give up. Whether it is the power of prayer, self-love, fitness, time spent with mother nature, or the people we surround ourselves with there is always a solution to the problem. We simply must be willing to seek and work for it. The last month has taught me a lot but that has been one of my biggest & best lessons thus far.

With that said I hope that you do wake up every morning and choose happiness no matter what life presents you with. You must breathe through each struggle, stretch beyond your comfort, and exceed your personal expectations. Because you are worth it.

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Equinamity

I started my first blog in 2009 because I was a teenager who was about to burst with passion. I wanted a place where my words couldn’t ever be twisted, a place to call my own (rent free with my mommas cooking). My dying desire to create erased all fear of any ridicule or judgements that are often found during our teens. On January 26, 2011 I decided to stop drifting and begin a lifelong commitment to reality & making my dreams come true. I was ready for a new chapter.

After letting letting negativity consume me I was ready to take my inner strength back from unworthy experiences — & that was exactly what I did. I ran & lifted my way to the body I had prior to the depression, anxiety, injuries and insecurities. My self confidence improved but the real miracle was in my mind. My focus shifted from “woe is me” to “why not me?”. I changed my environment & surrounded myself with people who lifted me up versus knocking me down. I went to therapy multiple times a week & began creating (and rebuilding) healthy relationships. I had finally found my authentic self.

“When you are joyful, when you say yes to life and have fun and project positivity all around you, you become a sun in the center of every constellation, and people want to be near you.” -War & Peace 

On March 20, 2011 I started this blog. I did not have a vision about what I wanted it to be, I just knew that I needed to write. I needed to say goodbye to the young girl that wanted to be heard and hello to the woman who was dying to listen & committed to inspiring. What once was a creative outlet is now a way to tell my story while inspiring you to not wait another second to begin yours. I hope you begin now & never look back. Like Jonathan Winters said, “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it.” Don’t wait to hit rock bottom to create yourself… life is an incredible thing to miss out on.

All my love, Bee

(click the image to be taken to Enlighten Education, a program that helps teenage girls decode the mixed messages they receive and help them develop self-esteem and confidence)

It’s Never Too Late

One of my favorite books is called ‘It’s Never Too Late’. It has 171 simple acts that can change your life. I enjoy reading it from time to time when I am at loss for inspiration or just need a pick me up. It’s small enough to toss in your purse or keep next to your desk. It’s nice to just flip to a random page and keep that wisdom close to you throughout your day. I want to share two of my favorite things in this book with you this morning. I hope you love them as much as I do…

It’s Never Too Late To… Break away from the herd.

It can take cold courage. It’s your chance to follow your heart, lift your head up, choose your own course. It can bring disdain and abuse. But it will also bring esteem and admiration. But, above all, it brings self respect. Stand on your own feet. Be an individual. 

It’s Never Too Late To… Reinvent Yourself

You are what you make of yourself. Not what others want you to be. If you don’t like the direction in which you’re heading, change… Set some goals: Short, meduim, long-term goals. Consider the new path you need to take. Take that path. Back your judgement.

‘The spirit is the true self’ -Cicero 

My Love Has A Limit

It’s funny to me how many of us see relationships in black and white. Either you’re madly in love or ‘doing you‘. Doing you = The bitter version of saying you hate being single. So, in an attempt to forget you’re single you’re going to work yourself into the ground with things like college, work, fitness, and biting off way more then you can chew which usually results in a mental breakdown. Awesome.

But what about those who are in a relationship that has fallen into the comfortable stage? The stage where each partner could care less about ‘oohing and ahhing’. Where appreciation was dismissed shortly after ‘He got you’, & surprises & dates are a thing of the past. In my opinion, getting comfortable is dangerous. When you lose the butterflies you lack in passion, & could begin to resent your partner. Often people find fear in being alone, so they stay in a relationship that is bland & boring because they feel safe. But what about being happy? What about that can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t breathe kind of love we all dream about?

We all deserve to be adored. Even a sweet text can make me smile like a loser all day long. So why are you choosing to feel safe, when you can choose to be loved? And have you ever considered standing up, putting your finger in the air, and saying ‘My love has a limit’? One of my favorite songs lays it out there perfectly, it’s called ‘Breaking Point’.  I hope that the people in situations similar to this can see what they deserve & walk away from the unhealthy relationships they are in. Give yourself a little self-love, even if the person you are with chooses not to. After all, it is better to be single & happy then taken & miserable.

‘Now ladies, we really should be mad at ourselves
Cuz see, some women just tolerate way too damn much
Now I know we gotta choose our battles
But damn it, every woman gotta breaking point

If You’re Suffering From Low Self Esteem…

The best part of my day so far was seeing Roxy almost (ALMOST) pee when she saw me this morning because she was so happy to see me. Granted, she’s a dog. But damn, I can’t remember the last time someone was THAT happy to see me in nothing but my nightgown with zit cream on my face. If you’re suffering from low self esteem, stop bitching, and go adopt a dog. Have a fabulous Tuesday gorgeous!