Archives For September 2013

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One of my favorite movies of all time is Finding Forrester staring Sean Connery and and Rob Brown.

If you haven’t seen the film it’s about a young urban teen (that’s politically correct code for person of color), Jamal Wallace, who has a wicked talent for writing and basketball. Jamal has a kismet meeting with a reclusive author who helps Jamal cultivate his craft while Jamal helps the recluse in his own way.

There is much more to the story than that, but that basically sums it up without giving away any of the goods and isn’t anything that you can’t uncover on IMdb.

The acting is strong, the plot simple and the ending not a huge surprise, but the way that it all comes together moves me. In fact, in a way the movie is to me what the reclusive author is to Jamal.

Every time I see the movie I am inspired to write. I am inspired to find my voice and to use it to reach out with love to others. It sounds so very dramatic, doesn’t it? It’s true though.

I’ve seen that movie more times than probably anyone on Earth, I’d imagine. Without fail, every time I finish watching it, I’m able to get in touch with my inner voice and write in a way that is pure and honest.

I allow my mind to just relax and I watch the movie. I enter into Jamal’s world and every time I root for him. I wish his character well. I don’t think about whatever crap is going on in my world. I fully immerse myself into his.

There are times when things in life can be the opposite of inspiring. There is stress, and the negative voice of our subconscious (I call mine Missy Ego), and just so many factors that can move us further away from our divine purpose and the direction of our dreams.

It can make us feel stagnant and unable to do even the simplest thing.

In times like that, I always like to look for the old and familiar. Things that I know bring out the best in me and always light a fire in my heart.

In this scene in Finding Forrester Sean Connery’s character, William Forrester, helps Jamal with a paper that he needs to write for school. “The first key to writing is to write, not to think,” Connery tells him. I wasn’t able to find the complete scene, but as it continues Jamal sits stuck “thinking” and unable to write. Forrester gives Jamal something already written and tells Jamal that he should type from that manuscript until Jamal feels his own words start to flow.

“The first key to writing is to write — not to think.”

Sometimes we get so stuck in our heads that it’s hard to move forward. We wait for divine intervention, or for things to get easier, to win the lotto, to loose that last ten pounds, to get that job and then we’ll be able to move forward. Once this or that happens we’ll be able to do, grow or be happy.

We wait in that place of limbo, stuck.

But sometimes the best thing to do is to “write — not to think.”

The act of just doing can be the conduit that allows our minds to let go and release any blocks that are holding us up; to allow space for things to flow naturally.

This doesn’t just apply to writing or music or dance, but really to anything. If you’re feeling stuck or like you’re off track, some ways to help you get back on track are to do things that move you out of thinking and into doing.

Whatever gets you out of your head – do that.

Go for a run, take a yoga class, write in your journal, write thank you cards the old fashioned way, listen to your favorite jam and cook a decadent meal from a recipe. Read your favorite book and step through the wardrobe and into your imagination.

Get out of your head so that when the words come, you’ll be able to hear them.

And when they do write with your heart.

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It’s funny to reminisce about being younger and the crazy things that we did. Youth is such a gift. There are feelings of being invincible and the idea that you can do anything.

When we were in high school we all loved the bad boys. Hell, many a grown woman loves a bad boy.

In the high school my boyfriend was a well known tagger. I don’t want to say graffiti artist because even though he was super talented as an artist, he mostly just wrote his name anywhere and everywhere he could. He tagged.

Groups of teens would get on Muni (the bus) and take out their pens. In little to no time the bus would be crushed. Tagged every which way to Sunday with colors and crew names and the rush of doing something wrong, something bad. Some of them said it was art and in a way it was but in a way it also wasn’t. It was disingenuous art at best.

Not that graffitti can’t be art because it is its own art form and it just that – art. Even crushing a building with your name can be art. I’m not sure that’s what this was. This was more like a bunch of kids getting on a bus, writing their names on it and saying, “fuck you” to grown-ups.

My boyfriend carried a knife. He pulled all-nighters and even though he wasn’t as bad as some, there was something to exhilarating about being with someone who lived on the opposite side of what is “good.” Someone who always broke the rules just because. Someone who was a little bit dangerous.

I was never that brave.

I was always too afraid to get in trouble, get arrested, or face the wrath of my parents. Instead, I was content to hang out with bad boys who did whatever they wanted whenever. I felt tougher by association. I lived vicarious through them with every swipe of their rainbow colored ultra marker across a train ceiling.

And when I got older I still liked a bad boy, the danger, the excitement of playing with fire.

Gangsters were hot. Thug life was cool. Gangta living was a style and maybe even a state of mind.

Then one day it just wasn’t so fun anymore. It was just bad boys being bad for no good reason.

It was men perpetuating stereotypes, negativity and dysfunction. It wasn’t harmless fun. It wasn’t a phase to grow out of.

Yet to this day people idolize the idea of “gangsta.”

There are “spiritual gangstas” and “gangstas for God” and “gangstas of love.” There are actual gangstas and movies were violence and bad boys are glorified to the bloody extreme.

gang·ster  (gngstr)

n.

1. A member of an organized group of criminals; a racketeer.
2. A member of a gang of delinquents.

The actual definition of gangster, the proper English version, has nothing positive associated with it. Even the urban version “gangsta” doesn’t have anything positive associated with it.

So who really wants to be a gangsta?

We do this with other words as well. The b-word and n-word immediately come to mind. Words that have a history of negativity and pain associated with them that some people try to claim as words of empowerment. Trying to, as Lauryn Hill says, “turn a negative into a positive picture.”

But are they really?

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill. – Buddha

Words have inherent power. They have strong associations with them that are deep, and lasting and can be more powerful than we’re even conscious of. Labels that we give ourselves can be everything or nothing.

How we identify ourselves speaks volumes about how we see ourselves. It says volumes about how we want the world to see us.

Do you think you can make a negative word positive by changing it’s literal meaning?

We live in a voyeuristic world.

We have Facebook where we can update our deepest or most mundane thoughts every minute of the day. We have Instagram where we can post pictures of art or of the tasty meal we just ate. We have the ability to show the world what we’re doing in that very moment.

In a way, it’s beautiful to share life. I love seeing what’s going on the lives of my family members who live so far away. I love being inspired by pictures of healthy food, beautiful people, and magical moments in life.

But, sometimes, looking at these picture perfect moments in time has the potential to make us feel the opposite of what they should make us feel, which is good, happy, inspired, and connected or plugged into life. Sometimes social media can make us feel like we’re lacking or like our lives suck.

The reason social media can make us feel so bad about our own lives is summed up in one dirty word – comparison.

Comparison is an act of violence against the self.
Iyanla Vanzant

When we look at pictures of beautiful people we’re getting a snapshot of one moment in time. And generally a really short moment. I mean, how many seconds does it take to snap a photo, or write a gushing Facebook post about how awesome your kids are?

Not long.

Social media is where we share our good things. We share our pictures that make us feel the prettiest. We share the stories that make our heart sing, the quotes that move us, and the good things in life.

And we should. We should share all the beauty and love that we can because love heals all wounds. We should share the good in life, the hope, the beauty.

On the flip-side, we have to be aware that someone else’s perceived joy does not take away from our own. Maybe you follow someone on Instagram and she always looks perfect in her photos, or you follow the blog of a mom with four kids who lives in a picture perfect house, always looks put together, makes awesome meals, and appears to have a picture perfect existence.

It’s easy to look and think that she’s got it all figured out. It’s easy to look at your own life and compare and see the areas in which you may feel like your life is lacking.

Maybe your house is a wreck, you’re exhausted because your baby is teething (I know I am!), and you’re not getting along with your significant other, and you just burned dinner for the second time this week. Or maybe you’re feeding your kids fast food again because you’re too tired to cook.

You may look at your favorite blogger and wonder why she has it so great and things are so hard for you.

The truth is that there is no comparison, and not because you’re not up to snuff to even compare. There is no comparison because it’s not a competition.

We all live different, unique lives and that’s what we’re supposed to do.

There is also no comparison because you’re seeing a life that is curated like an art show. You see the few good minutes of someone’s day. The golden moments. You don’t see the bad moments. The moments when your favorite blog queen’s baby pooped all over her outfit, or when your favorite Instagram goddess failed a test at school or got yelled at by her boss.

You don’t know that maybe your favorite Instagrammer is struggling with depression and her perfectly styled pictures of her meals are the only thing keeping her sane.

We all have our own personal struggles. What we see on social media is just one small glimpse into the fishbowl.

And even if your favorite social media peeps are having a relatively bliss-filled existence (and hopefully they are) and life is great on a regular basis (as it should be), it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with you, your life or that you are somehow less than.

Your life is beautiful because it’s your life. It’s the only one you’ve got.

If you feel yourself feeling down because of what you see on social media, it’s time for three things:

1. A Social Media Detox. Take time away from social media. Don’t check out Facebook, Instagram, Kik, We Heart It, Tumblr, or anything else. Instead, plug into your own life. Go outside for a walk. Dance in the mirror to your favorite song, read your kids that same story again. Like your life like you would a Facebook post.

2. Practice Gratitude. Think about five things that you are truly thankful for. Do you have a place to live? Well, that’s something to be thankful for. Do you have great friends who always make you laugh? It can be anything from the perfect cup of tea to being thankful for your partner. Expressing gratitude raises your vibration and calls more goodness into your life.

3. Do Something For Someone Else. Give up your seat on the bus, offer to make dinner even if it’s not your night, offer to babysit for a friend. When you’re feeling off doing something for someone else is a great way to bring yourself back to the present and to remind yourself how great your life is.

Your Love Thought of the Day: I am perfect just as I am.

{The Word} City Lights

September 21, 2013 — Leave a comment

We move, busy back and forth

Angry and frantic

The stress of city living is real

A concrete jungle with lions, hungry

Wanting to devour our souls whole

But, at the end of every dark tunnel is the light

At the top of the deepest hole

At the break of every fear fueled night

In the midst of total darkness

There is the light

There is always the light

Hidden deep inside you

Find your light

Be the light

Shine.

Me, the year I turned 25.

The year most of my friends and I turned 25, one of them coined the term “quarter-life crisis.”

A “quarter-life crisis” is essentially a mid-life crisis for young women who haven’t quite figured out their direction. See, when we were 25 some of us were moms, but still figuring out who we were.

I don’t really know why but we felt like we should have it all figured out by 25. As that number, that totally random marker of nothing more than  how many 365-day cycles we’ve been here as us, loomed closer quite a few of us started to loose our shit.

We panicked because we weren’t where we assumed we should be at 25.

Most of us weren’t married. Most of us didn’t have live in boyfriends. Most of us didn’t even have careers or were still in school. And, as quiet as it’s kept, a lot of us were still living with our parents.

We worried, we got depressed, we wondered if we were going to be old maids doomed to a life as a spinster. We worried that we’d hit our peak and it was all downhill from there. We were scared because the pressure to grow up was real.

30 was right around the corner with a baseball bat and an IRA, and her friend “middle age” wasn’t far behind. And, oh the pressure, to have “made” something of yourself. As if there was more to life than just, you know, living a good life.

Growing up is scary shit.

How sweet is the naivety of youth, to think that at the ripe old age of 25 we’d have it all figured out; or that we should’ve.

In the years that have passed since then, I’ve realized how silly that was. If I could tell anything to my 25 year-old self and friends I would say:

Take More Risks. I would tell my 25 year-old self to immediately quit my job. Like yesterday. Quit working in a field I knew was not my calling, find a job at a cafe or the MAC make-up counter, get into some classes and explore myself and figure out my true calling. I would tell me to pack my bags and Brother’s bags and head to LA on the first thing smoking. Or really anywhere. Sure, it’s a risk but you can do it. If all else fails, you can always come home to mom.

Trust Your Instincts. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s usually a duck. Even if the duck is super hot and has an impressive resume, it’s still a damn duck. This applies to pretty much everything in life, not just guys.

It’s Okay to Be Selfish. That’s right. I said it. It’s okay to love yourself and put your needs first. If you don’t learn how to properly care for yourself you’ll always be putting others’ needs above your own, which breeds resentment and all kinds of negative things.

Budget & Save Like Your Life Depends On It. Being financially responsible and living within your means is important and reduces stress and allows for more room for fun and new shoes. In some cases buying new shoes is fun so you’re really killing two birds with one stone there.

When Someone Shows You Who They Are the First Time, Believe Them. It’s normal and healthy to have faith in human beings and we all should. However when someone shows you who they are – believe them. Don’t look at potential or only the good sides. Look at the person as they are in that moment. See them for who they are, not who you would have them to be. And if that person isn’t up to snuff, send them on their way with love and light. It’s not personal.

Practice Forgiveness & Take Nothing Personal. Forgive yourself. Forgive others. Realize that when someone takes a path different from yours it doesn’t make their path wrong – it’s just different. Know in your heart that when someone does or says something to hurt you, that it’s truly not about you. Forgive them. No matter what someone has done, forgive them. The forgiveness is for you – not them.

Light Pink Lipstick doesn’t look good on anyone. Sorry, it just doesn’t.

Make Mistakes. Make lots of mistakes and learn from them. Don’t dwell on them. (See, Practice Forgiveness above.) 

The Only Way to Get Past It Is to Move Through It. Sometimes life is going to hurt. Sometimes your back will be against the wall and it’s going to hurt like hell. The thing is, it always gets better. You may have to walk through fire to get to the other side but it gets better. Always. I promise.

You Are Enough. You don’t need to have it all figured out and, quite frankly, you may never have it all figured out. You are perfectly imperfect. You are beautiful inside and out. You are enough.

What’s something you would tell to your younger self?

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There was a time in my life when I would not wear open-toed shoes unless my toe nails were painted.

They had to be perfectly painted.

I thought my natural nails were ugly. Or maybe not ugly, but that they made me look unkempt.

“What would someone think of me, if they saw me with my natural nails,” I sometimes wondered. I imagined they would think I was poor, didn’t have my shit together, wasn’t classy or who knows what.

Maybe because at times I had been guilty of judging others based on their appearance.

I’m not talking about nasty, crusty, you need to clip those claw toe nails. I’m talking about cut toe nails that are clean and simply don’t have anything extra covering them up.

For some reason, I just could not wear my nails like that and feel okay unless I was in flip-flops on the way to the nail shop.

I thought that my natural body looked better covered up with something toxic. I thought that there was something wrong with me to be seen that way. You know as I was naturally.

I felt attached to painted toe nails in the way that some women feel naked without make-up and feel uncomfortable if they have to go out in public without their mask of colors on.

From an early age we receive messages from multiple places that we are not enough.

We are told that pretty girls sit like this, nice girls sit like that, but girls who sit like this, get this like that. (Do you guys remember that finger game?)

Pretty girls wear dresses.

Messages that say that in order to be feminine you must cloak yourself in things cover your natural beauty. We’re told that we’re framing our natural beauty – enhancing it. Making ourselves better.

Prettier.

“This highlighter will help to accentuate your lovely cheekbones,” the make-up artist at the Benefit Counter told me, sweeping a liquid (chemical) highlighter over my cheek.

She had me look into a mirror.

“See how great that looks,” she says from behind me as we both gaze at my highlighted cheekbones that look pretty much like my regular cheekbones with white sparkle on them.

“This just makes your cheekbones pop,” she tells me.

“I’ll take it,” I say, handing over my credit card.

I leave the store feeling beautiful because my cheekbones are highlighted.

But was I really any more beautiful than when I walked in. Probably not. But I felt that way.

One day I decided that I just wasn’t going to paint my nails. I wasn’t in the mood and I didn’t want to have someone else paint them, or I didn’t have time or something like that.

But it was hot and I wanted to wear sandals.

So I went out with my nails in their natural state. And then I did it again, and again, and again.

To the point where it’s more common for me to not have polish on my toes than to have polish on my toes.

One day I looked down and realized that my toes nails didn’t look bad. In fact, they’re really quite lovely.

So, why oh why, are we ladies always covering ourselves up?

Why do we feel that our natural just as we are selves aren’t enough?

I don’t know the answer to that question.

And, yes, sometimes I still think a good pedicure is fun. I still think painted nails look nice but I don’t think they’re better than my natural nails. They’re equally nice in their own way.

Just like make-up and lip gloss can be fun, but I don’t need them to feel beautiful.

What I’m learning is that I am enough. Me, bare toes nails and all.

I am beautiful just because I am me.

I am enough.

You are too!

Do you have anything that you felt naked without?

I recently participated in my first ever Self-Centered Sunday.

In the past the idea of being self-centered has gotten a bad wrap. It’s been associated with someone who is completely self-absorbed in a bad way when, in fact, sometimes being self-centered, the focus of one’s world, is the best thing any one of us can do.

So, what is this new phenomena?

I first stumbled up on the idea of Self-Centered Sunday on the lovely blog The Wellness Warrior. On the blog, Tara Bliss (and yes that’s her real name and what a freakin’ awesome last name at that!) talked about the idea of using Sunday as a day for self-love and healing. The idea just clicked for me.

I hate using being a mom as an excuse for not treating myself well. It really is just that — an excuse.

Although, of course, all moms have to make sacrifices for their children and we do have to put their well-being first in many ways, it does not give us permission to forget about ourselves.

It’s actually bad for our children when we don’t show ourselves love.

Not only are we not in tip-top shape for the the rigorous act of parenting, but we’re also teaching them (especially our daughters) a lesson whether or not we realize it. We are teaching them how to treat themselves when they become adults.

When I stumbled upon Tara’s guest post, I knew right then and there that I needed to declare a day for myself. It couldn’t be a week day because of school, ballet lessons and homework. It couldn’t be Saturday because of gymnastics and play dates, and mommy-kid fun time.

That left Sunday — the perfect day. It’s the perfect day because if you feel great on Sunday you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a great Monday.

All week I looked forward to Sunday thinking about the fancy tea lunch I was going to have. I mapped out my entire day in my mind. I have one of those personalities and love planning and making lists, so that’s what I did.

After my fancy vegan tea lunch, I planned on taking a bath with candles and oil and epsom salt, going to a bookstore, reading books and just relaxing all day.

I was going to do my nails and watch a movie I love.

I planned so many things to squeeze into that one day.

Since I haven’t been very kind to myself I figured I needed extra lovin’.

As usual life happened and when Sunday came knocking at my door I had no babysitter.

I couldn’t imagine to taking Lovebug out to tea. That would be like bringing a tiny elephant to a china shop. It would not have been relaxing in the least.

Not having a sitter meant that I had to switch all my plans around. It meant that I could have gotten sad and bummed about all my well-laid plans for a day of pampering.

It could have sent me into a spiral of sadness and feeling sorry for myself. The opposite point of the whole Self-Centered Sunday thing.

Instead, I decided that I was still doing Self-Centered Sunday because I didn’t need to be alone to show myself love. I called my friend P. and she wanted to tag along for a girls day of fun and self-love.

So… we drove around looking at the beautiful city.

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We went to the bookstore and I got the book I wanted as well as books for Macaroni and her friend about girls changing bodies and how to care for them. The book spawned all sorts of funny (and educational) conversations about the female body, periods, and breasts and what puberty means.

Macaroni is learning what it will be like to become a woman and that is important. The whole book that was on sale for little to nothing caused a conversation that was so appropriate; on the day I had declared as my day of self-love we were discussing womanhood and the power that we all have inside us.

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Then we went to lunch and sat outside in the glorious weather. I had a mimosa and ate bread for the first time in I don’t know how long. It was spread thick with strawberry jam.

The food was so good and we all felt so good, so happy.

After that we went to a crystal store where I got crystals for the self-love space that I’m creating.

My quiet corner.

The shop owner was so smitten with the girls that she gave them free crystals (of their choosing) as a gift. When someone gives you a crystal as a gift that’s special. I totally took it as a sign from the Universe.The sun was shining and I could just feel the Universe sending us love.

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We came home and watched Seven Years in Tibet and talked about war, why people do bad things, and the power of love.

Later Dada wanted Thai Food so we ordered in. No one had to cook.

Another lovely gesture.

Then Lovebug decided to go to sleep on time which left me with a moment to read my favorite blogs and completely relax.

I decided I was too hot for a bath and instead to completely veg out and watch The City Girl Diaries.

Then I went to bed feeling so much love and so much joy in my heart.

And for the first time ever Lovebug slept the entire night through. (This is major!)

The day I had was more joyful and complete than the day I had planned and had worked up as what a day of self lovin’ should be. It’s funny how  when you just surrender and let go of what you thought something should be and just accept was is that it can actually be better than anything you were expecting.

If you’ve been neglecting yourself because of whatever, I encourage you to take a day and claim it your day of self-love.

What do you do to honor and show yourself a little extra lovin’?

“That which God said to the rose, and caused it to laugh in full-blown beauty,

He said to my heart, and made it a hundred times more beautiful.”
― Rumi

If you follow my blog at all you may have noticed that the tone of my posts have changed.

I have decided that I am just going to write my truth.

I am just going to write whatever I feel like sharing and let this blog develop organically. It’s not a mommy blog. It’s not a food blog. It’s not a health blog, a DIY blog, or a lifestyle blog.

It’s just my blog.

Just me, Yroko, writing my thoughts.

Writing my truth.

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What does this mean? It means no more posts that seem forced or that I’ve written just for the sake of having something to post.

Maybe no more “What I Ate Wednesdays,” or things that I was doing because, you know, that’s what bloggers are supposed to write about.

See, people will tell you that you have to do this or that to have a successful blog.

But that’s bullshit. (Just ask The Bloggess.)

That’s someone else’s truth – not mine.

This doesn’t mean that I won’t share food or fun tips or whatever I feel like. What it does mean is there are likely to be more spiritual, hippy, self-loving, feel good (to me at least) posts.

We should all tell our own truths because that’s all there is folks.

We’ve got this one life as whoever we are this go round and we may as well go balls to the wall with it.

We need to speak and live our truth.

Don’t try to fit into a mold. There’s no need to try to closely follow a blueprint of someone else’s truth about success, or what you think you should do because that’s what someone else did.

In a time of universal deceit, when everything in the world is dishonest, from commercials on television telling us if we buy this it’ll make us better to our politicians who are slowly killing us all with their wars, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

Telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

No matter how vulnerable it may make us. No matter how anyone else may perceive us.

Our personal truth is our personal truth.

It is our power.

We should all just be the people we were born to be. Our own unique selves, whoever that is.

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Be revolutionary!

Won’t you join me?

Walking The Walk

September 9, 2013 — 1 Comment

I posted recently about the fact that I wrote a book that will be released to the public in Spring of 2014.

What I didn’t mention was the time that it took me to write the book.

Or how I landed my publishing deal.

Whether or not I had an agent and how the whole thing came to be.

In my life there are times when I’ve walked the walk, and other times when I’ve talked the talk but found the walking part to be a little more difficult than I imagined. Maybe I didn’t have the guts to walk the walk. Maybe I truly and sincerely couldn’t.

Because life throws shit at you that you’re not always ready to catch.

Sometimes, sure, Missy Ego gets in the way but sometimes there are very real obstacles that must be overcome before you can walk to the walk.

For example, sometimes you want to be a fashion designer but you can’t spend your day sewing because you’re a single-mom with no support whatsoever and you’ve got bills that don’t pay themselves.

You don’t have any formal fashion design training but know how to use a sewing machine, but not all the technical terms or the fancy stuff that folks learn in design school.

What you have is your creativity, your desire and real life.

But you can’t even afford fabric.

Does that mean that your dreams of being a fashion designer can’t be actualized?

Of course not.

But talking the talk alone isn’t going to get you there.

What it takes is action but sometimes talking the talk is the first step that will eventually lead to action. Sometimes talking the talk is all you have.

When I first started writing it was a fluke. I didn’t write with the intention of writing a book.

I wrote because writing was cathartic and I had something I wanted to say. Needed to say. Then one day I realized that I wanted to write a book.

I wanted to tell my story. I wanted to have someone read my story.

So, when I started writing a book I started calling myself a writer. Reluctantly and softly and only to those who felt safe.

Queue Missy Ego starting to whisper her sweet nothings into my ear; all that negative talk to throw me off my game.

Missy Ego told me I wasn’t a writer because I hadn’t written any books, had no fancy English degree, hadn’t interned anywhere and hadn’t published anything unless you count a few poems in school anthologies.

But I started calling myself a writer and technically I was a writer because I was writing. Writers write shit and I was writing shit (good shit, IMVHO).

I started on the path. I was researching agents and reworking chapters, and learning how to write a synopsis and query letters.

I was no longer crawling around like a baby. I was pulling up and standing. I wasn’t walking but I was starting to take steps holding on.

My book wasn’t finished. I wasn’t sure where it was going. I wasn’t sure if it was going but I acted on blind faith.

My mom told me I was on to something and she never steered me wrong before so I went with it. I could get a book deal before I had even finished a book, she assured me. (‘Cause moms are awesome like that.)

So, I queried, wrote and emailed chapters like a fool confident I would receive a glowing response in little to no time.

Then there was nothing.

Radio silence.

No one seemed interested in my story. I lost interest in my story, or perhaps told myself that it wasn’t such a great story anyway.

Finding the time to write got harder and harder. I worked two long trials back-to-back and barely saw my kids let alone thought about writing.

(I’m a mild-mannered paralegal by day, if you’re wondering about my alter-ego.)

Then I got sick. My marriage was rocky and life was thrown inside out, upside down and side to side. I wasn’t even sure who I was let alone what I was doing.

So, I stopped trying to walk and was just talking the talk.

I started to look outside of myself for reassurance. I needed someone to validate what I was doing and tell me that I wasn’t just talking the talk. I needed someone to give me permission to believe in myself, as crazy as it sounds.

Someone who wasn’t my mom because, let’s face it, moms aren’t always known for being impartial.

I love my friends. I have some of the best friends in the world but most didn’t read the chapters that I emailed them. (And many of them still haven’t and that’s okay.)

I waited with baited breath for confirmation that I was, indeed, walking the walk. Only a few women from my online mommy group responded with comments and suggestions which I totally appreciated.

After that, I completely lost my footing.

Maybe I wasn’t a writer after all. Maybe I was just talking the talk.

For all of us there comes a point when we will be at a crossroads between moving towards what we want and really owning what we’re seeking, dreaming and hoping for.

Or we can tell everyone we’re writing a book but never have it materialize. We can be one of those people who always talks about the book they’re going to write “someday” or “when.”

Sometimes we have to talk the talk for quite some time before we can walk the walk. We say it to anyone who will listen to validate it to ourselves. To talk it into being. And that’s okay.

It took me awhile of talking the talk before I started walking the walk.

It took me awhile of talking the talk before going back to my story and the reason I even started writing it in the first place.

I went back to a place of love.

I started to write again because I had left the story unfinished and it needed to be told. I still needed to tell it, even if only for myself.

I made the conscious decision that I would walk the walk. I would write from a place of honesty and complete vulnerability. I would set a target and I would walk until I got there. I would stop looking outside myself for validation and just believe that eventually I would get somewhere.

No matter how long and no matter how far I had to walk.

I grabbed hold of my fears and used them like a coffee table to pull myself up until I stood on two feet, let go and started to walk.

It is the talking that led me here. The talking when I couldn’t or wouldn’t write. When I didn’t know how to walk the walk.

I don’t by any means have all the answers. I am still shaky, wobbly on two feet. But I am moving forward.

I talked it into being. And so can you.

Are you talking the talk or walking the walk? Please share your thoughts in the comments!