Know Your Worth: A Self-Care Update

So, “The Goddess of Self-Care” looked up and realized I’d been taking care of everyone else’s needs first. I love to help others and am usually the person friends and family run to when they want something done. I also really struggle with saying the N-word, at times. You know, “no” is not as easy to say as it seems.

But I have been experiencing some sleepless nights and feeling a little less focused lately. Of course, feeling depleted and run down all the time is not how I want to live my life. So I knew something had to change.

Yesterday, I went to a family cookout and all I did was laugh out loud, enjoy my family’s company and eat (of course). When I got home and reflected on my day, it made me re-evaluate my own behavior and ultimately understand that I need to start modeling how others treat me by how I treat myself.

—Spending time with family will do that.—

So, in an effort to be accountable to myself, I’m noting three things I want to do more of (for me) to refurbish my self-care practice:

1) Write more. I have been putting it off lately.
2) Be intentional about saying no—sometimes.
3) Dedicate time each week to spend with people who make me feel appreciated and whole.

What are some things you need in this moment in life to invest back into yourself? I’d love to hear your updated self-care plan in the comments below!

Defining Black Womanhood: A Conversation with us, by us, and for us

Defining Black Womanhood: A Conversation with us, by us, and for us

Good morning Family!

I pray that you are all healthy, happy, and adhering to the Shelter-in-Place guidelines in your area. #StayAtHome (as much as possible).

There has been so many movement-building moments happening in the past couple of weeks. I have been participating in marches, reading up on the Black Panthers and Toni Morrison, researching how some of my favorite sociologists would respond to the recent murders of innocent Black people, and praying for justice and peace everyday.

This week, I participated in a dynamic panel discussion produced by Bianca Cotton, founder of Behind the Confident Smile. Today, she will be releasing Defining Black Womanhood: A Conversation with us, by us, and for us. This conversation was inspired by (In)Visible Portraits: A Love Letter to Black Women recently released on Juneteenth! Bianca says: “While I was watching the panel discussion I was so inspired by hearing other black women’s stories across generations and wanted to further the conversation by creating a space to do so.” She’s another example of what it means to take an active stance on the way society views Black women and I am excited to highlight her work! Our conversation left me feeling whole and supported and understood! You can view the conversation on her YouTube channel: biti.ly/btcsyoutube!

You can also help us spread the word by sharing the flyer and the bit.ly/btcsyoutube link.

There will definitely be more of this type of content coming from the SincerelyTyra brand and I hope that you continue to this journey with us!

—Sincerely, Tyra

P.S. If you missed any of the “Wine & Words” Facebook Live Series, click the following link to watch me premiere new poetry and awesome conversations about our culture, poetry, and politics!

Make Us Better | Prayer

Dear God,
Sometimes I wonder
what You think of me.
Am I pleasing You?
When look at me,
do You smile? Is Your
heart satisfied? Teach me
how to live out life like You.
Hold my hand, order
my steps, and set a fire
in my soul for Your ways.
Consume me, filling all
the cracks and crevices
of my being with Your Spirit.
Make Me Better,
in Jesus’ Name.
—Amen.

No Cap. | Only a Prayer.

God, this afternoon, I want You to know that You are appreciated. There are so many times in my life when I have been distracted and forgotten who You are, have been, and continuously will be.

So, in this moment, I am making time in my day and making room in my mind to put You first.

You have been so gracious to me this year. You have taken good care of my family and friends. You have protected us and covered us and kept us and built a fence around our lives that we might not fall prey to the world’s traps.

You have provided for us. There are people that don’t understand where their help comes from. But God! You have settled here. You have figured out what we needed right when we needed it most. We have not gone hungry this year, Father. We have not been homeless this year, Father. We have had clothes on our backs and shoes on our feet by the work of Your hand, Heavenly Father. And You have even given us the desires of our hearts in some areas. We have accomplished goals this year, by Your grace and mercy—and despite our neglecting You on some days!

You are better than good to us. Can we just tell You how much we love You? Can we just live for You in these next years of our earthly lives? Father, can we wait for You a bit longer? We want to see Your face but are content and proud to say we will wait for You. Can we bless Your Name by living out the purpose that You have so uniquely chosen for us?

How can we please You today, Father God? How can we make You smile on this day? Make Your desires known to us. Use us for Your will. Dwell in us. Breathe Your Holy Spirit on us. We are only asking for Your presence on this day.

Thank You for being a good Father. Thank You for being there for us at every turn. Thank You for never abandoning us. Thank You that when Your Name is called, You answer. Show up for us yet again in this day, Lord.

This I ask in Your Son, Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.

Today, I’m listening to “Settle Down” and I’m reading Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (Peace in His Presence Edition)

No cap. | Only a #prayer.

COVID & The Conference Call

We’re on these conference calls and you can literally hear the fear and angst in people’s voices.

I know we all have obligations and deadlines (in spite of/during) this pandemic….

But I just want to remind you that it is okay to not dial-in or to dial-in and stay on mute if you are not well or in the best head space.

Let me be the first to say: “I am not okay.” So I’m not being judgmental.

But, after this last call, I’m wishing I could share my PTO hours and EPA with a few people.

Please remember to rest.

Please remember to do at least one thing that brings you joy—DAILY.

Please put your oxygen mask on first, beloved.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Go Vote—with Your Children!

Go Vote—with Your Children!

Listen, sometimes what looks like an obstacle is actually an opportunity!

If you can, take the babies with you to vote today.

It’s a reason they are out of school and we are off work at the same time!

It’s the perfect opportunity for them to see the process and learn something.

My Joy had so many questions.

But don’t get it twisted, we definitely had the Black mom’s “don’t touch nothing… don’t ask for nothing… don’t breathe on nothing” talk before we left out the house.

And I Lysoled (I now declare this a verb… It took auto-correct six tries before it decided to let me be great) all of our outerwear when we came back in.

Then we prayed over mommy’s vote, our health and the health of the seniors that live in the building where my precinct is located (and, of course, 5-year-old-life things like play doh and her crayon colors).

Yeah it sucks that we have to vote (and actually work while we’re at home, might I add) during this period of chaos and confusion… But there is definitely a small bright side.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Support Your Friends (…Yes, for Free!)

Happy Tuesday, Family!

Supporting your friends’ small businesses doesn’t require spending all of your money.

Gotta a minute? …Yes?!

Okay, awesome! There are two ways you can support this blog and my future business goals!

FIRST: Connect with me on my blog, SincerelyTyra.com/contact. You’ll get a monthly update email with invitations to dope events that build community. I have a featured a few in the pictures below!

Share those emails with your friends and family every now and then.

Voila! First way to support us, accomplished! ✅

SECOND: Click the link: Sincerely, Tyra. Then, LIKE 👍🏾 and FOLLOW 🎯 the page.

Scroll across the top to “COMMUNITY.”

Click “INVITE FRIENDS.”

Click “ALL.” ‼️

Wait 10-15 seconds for the invitations to send.

— Simple enough, right? —

Comment “DONE ✅ ” and I’ll do the same for your FB Business Page or website. Let’s create our own promo! 🙏🏾

I know it’s seems too easy right?! Has to be a catch?! Not this time…. We tend to think that the only thing entrepreneurs want is our money.

But for many of us, genuine support is as simple as sharing, liking and helping to promote our endeavors!

It means a lot to us when we see those ❤️ buttons being pressed.

#SlayTheDream

—Sincerely, Tyra

Say it with me: “Worships can build community! Workshops can be entertaining!” …Now, ask me what they’re doing! 😉

I design flyers and marketing materials for community experiences.

Chicago Peace Project Revisited

Chicago Peace Project Revisited

(Politickin: The Chicago Peace Project participants discussing future goals, ancient societies, and their favorite cartoons while creating art in trauma-informed breakout sessions facilitated by the Teen Arts Council members.)

(Drop Me Off at the L: Teen Arts Council members facilitate an icebreaker called Mr. Taxi Driver for The Chicago Peace Project participants.)

Is it still Friday? Cool, this “Flashback Friday” is dedicated to the Chicago Peace Project and our awesome day with local artist Karen Perkins and the Teen Arts Council youth. Chicago Peace Plan is a curriculum that I created to foster meaningful exchanges between teens and youth from different neighborhoods.

As the youth talked about their future career and entrepreneurship goals, ancient civilizations and favorite clothing, I thought about the meaning of trauma-informed care. When Black boys talk about ancient history and Black girls laugh and find happiness in the moment. I kinda feel overjoyed.

Were there experiences like this for you as a young person? Share how you benefitted from it in the comments below!

–Sincerely, Tyra

#SlayTheDream #chicago #peace #project #blackboyjoy #blackgirlmagic #osc #chicagobility #chipeaceproject #art #traumainformedcare

Move on, Sis!

Move on, Sis!
Graphics designed by EbonySun, LLC.

Having a conversation with a good friend and she asks me about a guy that I used be involved with wondering about the “end story.”

So I told her we grew apart and let her know that I really believed he didn’t want a committed relationship.

She went on to ask how I knew that he didn’t want one. My response: “If we both wanted the same thing, we would be in a relationship right now.”

I had to explain to my friend that I knew this because he never made a deciding move. Don’t get me wrong now, we’re not on bad terms. We don’t hate each other. We simply aren’t meant to be committed to each other. And ultimately, his actions (or lack thereof) spoke for his desires.

As women, sometimes society wants us to wait around for the man to “get his mind right,” “get his stuff together,” and figure what he wants—or even, lead him into the relationship.

But sis, let me you something: You know what you deserve! Don’t let that man distract you from living the life that you want or sit around waiting for him to pick you.

GO LIVE YOUR LIFE!

The man you’re supposed be with will come along and make his intentions very well known, sis!
—Sincerely, Tyra

You are INSPIRING | #GRWM

You are INSPIRING | #GRWM

Dear Righteous and Holy Father,

I’m sure You heard me say that I would close out this year on “Cloud Nine,” praising You and blessing Your Name for all this goodness that You have done thus far….

I think right as I was saying that the devil asked You if He could try me.

There have been distractions since then; illness and bodily fatigue tried to take me out this week and last; my sense of right and wrong has been challenged; my self-confidence has been tested (and misplaced a few days); changes at work have had people on edge and lacking faith in leadership; I have had to be the example when I lacked encouragement; a few tears were shed over broken relationships; friends have expressed sorrow about situations in their lives; I have had to carry my child in the house on cold and dark nights—alone—wondering whether I’m risking her safety just getting out of the car; and most recently, My Joy’s (and, thus, my own) sleep has been disrupted by nightmares on multiple nights.

But, despite all of this, I know that You are faithful to those who seek You.

So, in this season, You will NOT have to ask me twice to be the person that You have called me to be.

I am not the same person that I was when he tried me the last time. Thankfully, I feel like You have covered me with Your grace, Holy Spirit. You will not be called a lie by the devil on my name, Father God.

My God, You are inspiring!

You are beyond good to me. You have provided and kept us when I turned the corner and found myself on Harm’s Way. You are my rest and my triumphant peace and refuge. Your heart shall not be broken my free will or choices. My stance is to choose You over everything else.

Can I worship You today, Heavenly Father? Would it please You for me to cry the Blood of Jesus over every trial in my life? If You don’t pay me any more attention this year, can I still love You?

My heart longs to be closer to You. Thank You for the touch of mercy You have presented in my life. Thank You for never abandoning me. Your staying power is unmatched.

Thank You for telling me that I am enough—even with my flaws. Your strength has helped me grow in ways I could have never imagined. Thank You for exceeding my expectations of who I can be and what I can accomplish in this earthly realm. Take over me; my spirit belongs to You. Continue making me the person You desire for me to be.

This I ask in Jesus Christ’s Name,

Amen!

This week, I’m listening to: “Incredible God, Incredible Praise.”

Today, I’m reading the book of Job, chapters 32-34.