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.

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

The Black Woman | Poem

The Black Woman | Poem

This womb

was created to create life

These hands

made to make magic

These feet and legs,

stand stronger than a pyramid,

immovable during struggles

This heart

pumps blood of Ghanaian warriors

and American freedom fighters

This hair

grows closer to the sun

each day, vivid reminder

of my royalty

She sustains a legacy

far greater than just 28 days.

The Black Woman exceeds what

most modern minds can comprehend.

She is a master of ancient ways.

—2/20/17

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.

Promises to My Joy, The Princess

I promise to show you how extremely talented you are.
I promise to listen before I say no.
I promise to hear your point of view.
I promise to make room for your heart’s desires.
I promise to remind you that you are the princess (and yes, I’m The Queen—although it sounds softer when you remind me).
I promise they can’t tell me nothing about you.
I promise not to stay humble when they praise you.
I promise to praise you before they ever do.
I promise, if you ask, to tell as many bedtimes stories as I can imagine.
I promise to only allow healthy people in your presence.
I promise to increase your wealth before you graduate high school.
I promise you will never lack or need to feel less than.
I promise to love you unconditionally until the end of time and then some.
—Sincerely, The Queen

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

#SlayTheDream | A Catalyst Story

#SlayTheDream | A Catalyst Story
Pictured: Audrey Petty, author of High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing

I was invited to sit on a panel for the community discussion of this woman, Audrey Petty’s, book entitled “High Rise Stories: Voices From Chicago Public Housing.”

Not many people know, but I grew up in the Harold Ickes homes; like anybody else, I have experienced good times and struggles.

I realized a long time ago that when you start wanting better for yourself, people might want to tear you down or destroy your vision.

But tonight, I got to share a small piece of MY story, teach other people, and even learned some history from my elders.

This event only confirmed that, in spite of any naysayers, I will still aspire to enlighten myself then help educate the younger generations.

—Sincerely, Tyra

Today’s blog is actually a repost from my Facebook Memories feed. The pictures and the recap of the experience were written on Friday, January 17, 2014 before the development of the Sincerely, Tyra website, before #SlayTheDream was conceived. For more work like the ‘Catalyst Stories’ series, visit the About Tyra page.

#SlayTheDream #myfridaynight #feelinginspired #nevertire #tytaughtyou #productofmyenvironment