Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Reflection on Feminism

As of lately, the word feminism has been floating around social media more than I've personally ever witnessed.  To me, it's beautiful and inspiring that more women are embracing the concept of being a feminist.  And I think it's a garment that has to be proudly worn and definitive of the woman wearing it.

In my opinion, a feminist is a woman who stands firmly rooted in her own beliefs and practices, someone who is confident, influential, well balanced, and strong, and someone who disagrees with the socioeconomic stigma that women are, somehow, inferior to men. Her lifestyle is one that promotes the equality of the sexes in a society without a hostile attitude as a weapon towards men, because she understands why the balance of masculine energy is important.  She is beautiful for her intelligence, her ambition, her passion, and not limited to her sex appeal. Although I don't consider myself to be a feminist, I dedicate a considerable amount of time and self-work becoming a reflection of that kind woman. 

There is an additional list of feminist I personally admire, such as my Aunt Dianne, Alice Walker, Alicia Keys, Karen Marley, Nikki Giovanni, Betty Shabazz, Francesca Lia Block, Phylicia Rashād etc. and hopefully one day, I'll be able retire among that notable cluster of stars, not only for my accomplishments in this life, but for my impact on humanity.


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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

WildflowersUnscripted | February 2014 Writing Challenge


From a Wildflower and Twenties Unscripted, two amazing lifestyle blogs for women, has invited us all to participate in a writing challenge that will inevitably force us to dig a little deeper and explore our creativity. It intrigues me, mainly I'm usually the one to skip details and sort of avoid the topic itself by writing around it. I encourage you all to participate as well; you may just learn a bit about yourself. Just the same, it will be a fun experience to learn about other people, who are also writers, artists, bloggers, etc.

With this daily project, the month of February will be stuffed with content on this blog, since there are a few post that I already have scheduled and the regular Soundtrack Saturdays will be posted along with all of that. I'm really excited and hope that some of you are inclined to join me! 

besos,
Chymere Anais

#WILDFLOWERSUNSCRIPTED

{For a further explanation, rules, and hash tags, click here}
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Monday, January 27, 2014

How to Handle Rejection

{Disclaimer: I don't necessarily agree with the caption on this image, because I strongly believe in the law of attraction and I think becoming immune to a condition or an event only continues to attract that very thing into your existence, but I liked it for the sake of its relation to this post and humor purposes only.}


There are many times in life when we allow rejection to stifle us, paralyzing our ability to see pass a closed door and move beyond those circumstances.  This feeling causes many people to fear the possibilities of worst case scenarios and because of that, they never try and/or stop believing in themselves.  I have been in that position many times throughout the course of my life in different areas and I've found that, over time, I've only gotten better at handling things such as rejection. Therefore, I've created this sort of guide, building on concepts I'm still learning and I hope some of you are able to apply them to different situations that you may encounter in the future.
  1. Ask. Is this really the worst that could happen? The answer is simple: probably not.  Unfortunately, there are potentially worse things that could happen.  The best option is to be grateful that you were bold enough, courageous enough to go after it, whatever 'it' may be, in the first place.  
  2. Breathe. Usually it's anxiety filling our heads up with false pretense that the world has ended; it's hasn't and it won't. Allow yourself to feel the sting. After doing that for 5 minutes maximum, inhale, exhale, let it go, and resort back to your center. 
  3. Read The Four Agreements by: Don Miguel Ruiz and apply rule #2: Don't take anything personally. Even when it comes to relationships, most of the time break-ups have less to do with you and more to do with what that person is dealing with internally. 
  4. Carry on. Suppose your dream job emailed you a rejection letter or your boss didn't approve of the brilliant pitch that you and your team worked so hard on? So what? Count it as a lesson, not a loss, and keep it moving. Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate, revise, and try again.  Who knows...next time could very well be your lucky shot.  
  5. Realize the reason. There is a saying that goes 'Take advantage of every opportunity' but every opportunity presented to you is not always yours to take. Just the same, every pretty package doesn't hold something good inside. What God (the universe) has for you is for you and distinguishing the differences between an opportunity and your opportunity is all about prayer, discernment, and being ready. Lastly, it's vital to realize that everything happens for a reason.
  6. Perception. A few notable authors and philosophers have agreed that it's normally not about what happens to us, but rather, our response to what happens to us. "Perception is 9/10 of the law."
  7. Maintain the cool.  Never lose your dignity over a 'no'. Even if it is heartbreaking, nothing is worth losing your sanity. Hold your head high and (see #2) .
That's all I have for now. If you have anything else to add, please feel free to leave it in the comment section for others to see. Tell me: what ways have you discovered works best for you when you run into adversity of some sort?  I'd love to hear different perspectives because we are all hear to learn from each other!

besos,
Chymere Anais
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Sunday, January 26, 2014

[Documentary] Bigger Than Music



There are a myriad of reasons why I absolutely adore Kendrick Lamar.

As a true to the core day 1 fan, I could very well go into this long spill of why I absolutely respect his art, him as an artist, humanitarian, and everything he stands for as a person, but I'll let this short documentary speak for itself. Just watch.

♥ Chymere A.




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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 84 {A Whimsical Mood}

1. A Thousand Years x Jon Schmidt (piano), Steven S. Nelson (cello)

2. Dream of You x Grillade

3. Dreamland x Andy Allo (Blu)

4. So Many Details x Toro x Moi
5. By Your Side x Sade
6. Move Love x Robert Glasper (King)
7. Unexpected Delight x Flying Lotus (Laura Darlington)
8. Liquid Spirit x Gregory Porter
9. Like a Star x Corinne Bailey Rae
10. Free x Stevie Wonder

This week, I've really been in a mood for whimsical music and thought provoking sounds. While I was in the process of creating the playlist for today, I stumbled across an absolutely beautiful piano/hello instrumental of one of my favorite love songs of all time, A Thousand Years x Christina Perri. Together, these two amazing musicians just took me to some kind of enchanted foreign land and I couldn't figure out why it's my first time hearing this cover. Not only did it put me in a spiritually refreshing mood, it sent me on an unexpected voyage, so to speak, of digging relentlessly through musical archives on the world wide web.

By the end of the journey, I came across San Francisco based band, Grillade, and fell in love instantly. I've also rekindled a musical love lost by rediscovering singer/songwriter, Andy Allo. Her voice truly is paradise; how in the world did I ever forget!? Continuing the playlist, I've also been listening to a lot of Corinne Bailey Rae, Stevie Wonder, Gregory Porter, Sade, King, Toro y Moi, and, still studying Robert Glasper material closely. Last but not least, I finally took a listen to Flying Lotus' LP, Until the Quiet Comes, which lead me back to all the way back to his first LP, I believe, 1983. Talk about a week long jam session that will prolong well into the rest of my weekend, I'm sure. What a great week it's been!

On another note, I have been meaning to take serious time to organize all of my music and put more music on my iPhone, as I have intentionally saved an efficient amount of space just for audio.  It's just so much easier to have direct access to (most of) the music I love. Somehow, finding new music and rediscovering old loves inspired me to stop procrastinating on the one To-Do-List item that has been screaming at me for months. Too add to that, I have to thing of something to celebrate Vol. 100 of the Soundtrack Saturdays series, because it will be here before I know it.  I thought about doing a Top 100 favorite tracks, but...who knows?  It will be massive, that I'm certain of.  

Anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed the music post for today.  It was a bit long winded for a music blurb, but I've been in that zone a lot lately. Thanks for rocking with me, despite the occasional rambling! 

besos,
Chymere Anais
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Organic Living | Checkpoint

For years, it's been a thought to go vegetarian, but it always felt like such a hard task to give up meat. I finally made the choice to embrace the lifestyle early last year, but didn't commit to it completely until late August. Further embarking on a journey of going green in areas beyond food, it kind of mirrors some of the things my family has been doing my entire life. As I'm researching the concept of going green, I never realized how environment conscious I already am until I started to implement certain practices to improve my lifestyle. Not in the full capacity as vegans, but very similar.

For instance, ever since we first moved into a house with enough landscaping, and probably before then, my dad has always planted a garden of vegetables. It was never big, but we do enjoy the food of its harvest, such as peppers and tomatoes. We've always been big on recycling, whether it was sorting through glass and plastic to take to our local reclamation center or reusing mason jars for food storage and consumption. Once upon a time, I was teased about my clothes coming from Goodwill, but I've now come to terms with how resourceful thrifting is, although the teasing never affected me much. My mom never let any professional perm my hair, because of the damaging chemicals. I wasn't aware of how Eco-friendly I already am until I made a conscious decision to embrace the lifestyle on my own. Perhaps, it was all the workings of parental conspiracy to train children to be just like them at some point.  In that light, choices can be such illusions to the offspring.

Also, growing up, there were never a lot of sweets and super sugary juices and cereals in the house.  I am addicted to sweets, so if if weren't for them, I'd probably be big as an elephant. It wasn't until I was much older that we had something in the house for junk food besides our normal butter cookies and plain potato chips. Even with the expansion, it didn't go as far as having a pantry full of overall bad foods. Red meat wasn't apart of our normal diet.  Our eating habits as a unit are far from perfect, as we do indulge and aren't obsessive health nuts, but we do see the importance of what we feed our bodies. As far as I'm concerned, I rebelled when it came to food, especially in high school and college, trying to feed my body the junk that I felt it was deprived of. Obviously, my mindset has shifted since then and I am now on the track of making healthier food choices.

Outside of my own household, the maternal side of my family is the same way. Both of my uncles are vegetarian. One has been for over 20 years and the other (including his own family) is years in, but relatively new in comparison. One owns a green company that promotes sustainable living, energy efficiency, and the use of green home/office spaces, while his wife, who is also a vegetarian, has her own juicing company. It's no wonder I'm into this kind of thing! This lifestyle has subconsciously been ingrained with the realm of my being that gets to decide how one should live, at least in a sense of health and wellness.  Seeing what embracing vegetarianism (6 months consistently; 1 year trial and error) has done for me personally, I can't help but to be thankful for their influence.  I'm hoping that my choices can encourage other family members to live a healthier lifestyle as well.

All in all, I'm really proud of myself for the level of commitment I've exhibited and how much more creative I've become in the kitchen. Now, it feels like second nature to cook delicious, well-balance meals, not only to suit my preference, but also dishes that my family like too. I don't have to deprive myself of dining out or say no to certain social events with food involved, because there are options available to accommodate those who choose to not eat meat, contrary to popular belief, and I don't crave meat like I did the first half of the year. I've even replaced some of my beauty products with more natural alternatives, which I'll write more about in a separate post. So far, going green has taught me quite a bit and has had amazing affects on my focus, creativity, and overall health.  It's like I'm in a brand new relationship with myself and I am absolutely loving it! Anticipating the 1 year mark of consecutive commitment to vegetarianism!

besos,
Chymere Anais

This post is also featured on PSLoveCharli Mag Online. Check it out here.




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Monday, January 20, 2014

Untamed. (Pt. I)


At some point last week, I was on this high from dream talk with a dear friend of mine about something I've been pretty stoked about for quite some time. Following that conversation, I sent a text to the crush. While I was talking to my friend, I regained an enthused sense of my dreams. It was concluded and confirmed that I am not growing here, in the place of my birth and childhood. However, for a brief moment shortly after, I reconsidered moving (anytime soon) in trade for a potential relationship with him. 

Keyword: potential.

I've known him for years and I've always really admired his ambition. He has this very attractive leadership quality that I'm automatically drawn to. More importantly, he is a man who is firmly rooted in his faith. There are many things I can say about the man he is and the one he is becoming. He called. We conversed about listening to God's voice to take instruction and direction. Like many conversations we've had before, his stance was that I lack stability, which I agree with to a certain extent. While it was all positive feedback and coming from a good place of heart, I could tell it was a bit bias as I interpreted it as him trying to convince me to stay based on what he is called to do.  So, for a few hours during our conversation, I thought about sensible choices and all the possibilities of forming a relationship with him. 

Possibilities can be such draining thoughts sometimes, especially in matters such as this. I daydreamed of what life would be like, in the case that we do eventually start a relationship, how happy we'd be, what kind of empires we'd build, etc. According to my own predictions, it would probably be good enough to create beautiful memories, work through all the inevitable storms, and really make it far as a couple. 

Then I woke up....

I stopped believing that it was healthy for any woman to base her life decisions on a man who has not made a future with her clear, let alone shown any interest at all in dating her at all. It has happened on so many different occasions to women I know personally and they all end up regretful because of it. Now, it is a totally different scenario for someone who is married or engaged to be married. That is a different ball game. I am speaking on behalf of a woman who is dependent on a man to decide how her life plays out. That's not who I am, but I've definitely been there before. 

On top of that, if two people are serious about being together and making it work, distance can't change that. Couples survive long distance relationships all the time and successfully so. In this day in age, with all the advancements in modern technology, the accessibility of travel, and the ways of communication, it definitely can be done, but there has to be mutual interest. I'll only stay if that is God's instruction for me to stay, but not solely based on what may or may not be temporary affection for another human being.  I'm not even sure if I am able tame myself long enough to be good for him. Actually, I don't think I should have to.

He hasn't even asked me on a real date yet....

I understand that he's not in a place where he wants to be in a relationship and maybe I'm not either, but I am not willing to put my dreams on hold waiting on both of us to be ready at the same time...unwilling to settle for good enough.

besos,
Chymere Anais



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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Soundtrack Saturdays: Vol. 83 {The Love + Bliss Play List}


Have you ever just felt like love? Everything around you intensified, beauty magnified, and life in general just seems wonderful?  One would think that love must have gotten a hold on me, but this is just the mood I've been in, simply for the sake of being happy.  Therefore, this playlist represents my current mental state and hopefully, in the case that I'm ever down in the dumps in the future, this will be something I can count on in those moments to remind me of a time I felt so alive.

{Oh and by the way, today is my mommy's birthday! 
Thank you for being such an amazing mom, best friend, and support system. 
I love you! ♥ ♥ ♥}

  1. Everything to Me x Lianne Kaye*
  2. Lifted x Naughty Boy (Emeli Sande)*
  3. I Got U x Duke Dumont (Jax Jones) [download]
  4. Happy x Pharrell Williams 
  5. Love Out Loud x Ruby Amanfu
  6. Behold a Lady x Outkast
  7. Take off Your Cool x Outkast (Norah Jones)
  8. Wanderlust x Wild Beast
  9. Donald Trump x Mac Miller
  10. Young Hearts x Rachel Adedeji
  11. Love More x Christ Brown (Nicki Minaj)
  12. Jigsaw Falling Into Place x Radiohead
  13. Sunshine x Little Dragon
  14. Deep Blue Sea x Izzy Bizu




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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Reflection on Feminism

As of lately, the word feminism has been floating around more than I've ever witness.  To me, it's beautiful that more women are embracing the concept of being a feminist, even if it is a trend.  And I think it's a garment that has to be proudly worn and definitive of the woman wearing it.

In my opinion, a feminist is a woman who stands firmly rooted in her own beliefs and practices, someone who is confident, influential, well balanced, and strong, and someone who disagrees with the socioeconomic stigma that women are, somehow, inferior to men. Her lifestyle is one that promotes the equality of the sexes in a society without a hostile attitude as a weapon towards men, because she understands the balance of masculine energy.  She is beautiful for her intelligence, her ambition, her passion, and not limited to her sex appeal. With that definition in mind, I dedicate a considerable amount of time and work becoming a reflection of that woman. 

In modern day culture, Beyonce may be to blame for bringing more awareness to the feminist movement, especially with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's feature on one of the most talked about songs on her recent self-titled album, Flawless. The album as a whole was a boldly deliberate compilation bursting with an adrenaline rush of freedom and sexuality. It was, once again, a powerful statement of what it means to be a woman-something like a point of revolution for her career as an artist-and I completely respect her for it.

There is an additional list of feminist I personally admire, such as my Aunt Dianne, Alice Walker, Alicia Keys, Karen Marley, Nikki Giovanni, Betty Shabazz, Francesca Lia Block, Phylicia Rashād etc. and hopefully one day, I'll be able retire among that notable cluster of stars, not only for my accomplishments in this life, but for my impact on humanity.

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Clean Slate 2k14: Just Do It.


It hasn't been a long hiatus, but a refreshing one, indeed.  As much as I needed this time, I missed blogging much more than I imagined I would, so now I'm back like I never left and ready for a fresh start. 

Speaking of fresh starts, Happy New Year to all of you!!  Call me cliche, but I'm a huge fan of new beginnings, whether it be in 24 hour or 365 day increments of time, seasons, or adjusting to a new pace in some area of life, all new beginnings signify another chance to get things right. Change is a wonderful thing to embrace and for some people, those endless cycles incentives to propel hopes and dreams forward.

The vague explanation of what I want to do this year is simply that: DO.  The past couple of years, I've made a lot of plans without an execution strategy, so to speak, therefore 2014 will be the year to do more, be more, create more, produce more, etc. and less talking and planning. As the famous Nike slogan goes, Just Do It. I'm satisfied with the resolution and feeling quite confident about achieving more results this year.

In lieu of doing more, I will also be dedicating more time to self-branding. At some point in working towards being an accredited/respected "full time blogger", I became overwhelmed with the thought of being and creating my own brand.  So much pressure, I'd sigh to myself or My name? A brand? Yea right. However, recently, I've been challenged to be more honest in my pursuits and that means allowing my inner light to shine, rather than be intimidated by its brightness. And honestly, we all have something unique to offer, something that the world is in need of. So now I'm back, running at full speed, on a mission to find out what that is  through the talents God has graciously blessed me with.

As I will be celebrating 3 years* of blogging (technically 5 years...yikes!) this June, I've decided to make a few changes to re-introduce the brand, the most obvious being the design/aesthetics, but it's a always a constant work in progress. I've also reverted back to using my own name and maybe I'll get into that facet later. Some of the more subtle changes are gradual and some have to do with cleaning up the archives a bit and new content direction, which will become apparent in the coming weeks/months.

Thank you for the patience that has been allotted for me to get myself intact and to those of you who have taken time to reach out to me via comments, Twitter, and email. Even if it is some false sense of validation for me, I receive the love and support with a grateful heart. It means so much to me and let's me know that maybe I am making a small difference in someone's life by simply doing what I love.

besos,
Chymere Anais

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[Documentary] Bigger Than Music



There are a myriad of reasons why I absolutely adore Kendrick Lamar.

As a true to the core DAY 1 FAN, I could very well go into this long spill of why I absolutely respect his art, him as an artist, humanitarian, and everything he stands for as a person, but I'll let this short documentary speak for itself. Just watch.

besos,
Chymere Anais


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Thursday, January 9, 2014

How to Handle Rejection

There are many times in life when we allow rejection to stifle us, paralyzing our ability to see pass a closed door and move beyond those circumstances.  This feeling causes many people to fear the possibilities of worst case scenarios and because of that, they never try and/or stop believing in themselves.  I have been in that position many times throughout the course of my life in different areas and I've found that, over time, I've only gotten better at handling things such as rejection. Therefore, I've created this sort of guide, building on concepts I'm still learning and I hope some of you are able to apply them to different situations that you may encounter in the future.
  1. Ask. Is this really the worst that could happen? The answer is simple: probably not.  Unfortunately, there are potentially worse things that could happen.  The best option is to be grateful that you were bold enough, courageous enough to go after it, whatever 'it' may be, in the first place.  
  2. Breathe. Usually it's anxiety filling our heads up with false pretense that the world has ended; it's hasn't and it won't. Allow yourself to feel the sting. After doing that for 5 minutes maximum, inhale, exhale, let it go, and resort back to your center. 
  3. Read The Four Agreements by: Don Miguel Ruiz and apply rule #2: Don't take anything personally. Even when it comes to relationships, most of the time break-ups have less to do with you and more to do with what that person is dealing with internally. 
  4. Carry on. Suppose your dream job emailed you a rejection letter or your boss didn't approve of the brilliant pitch that you and your team worked so hard on? So what? Count it as a lesson, not a loss, and keep it moving. Now is the perfect time to re-evaluate, revise, and try again.  Who knows...next time could very well be your lucky shot.  
  5. Realize the reason. There is a saying that goes 'Take advantage of every opportunity' but every opportunity presented to you is not always yours to take. Just the same, every pretty package doesn't hold something good inside. What God (the universe) has for you is for you and distinguishing the differences between an opportunity and your opportunity is all about prayer, discernment, and being ready. Lastly, it's vital to realize that everything happens for a reason.
  6. Perception. A few notable authors and philosophers have agreed that it's normally not about what happens to us, but rather, our response to what happens to us. "Perception is 9/10 of the law."
  7. Maintain the cool.  Never lose your dignity over a 'no'. Even if it is heartbreaking, nothing is worth losing your sanity. Hold your head high and (see #2).
That's all I have for now. If you have anything else to add, please feel free to leave it in the comment section for others to see. Tell me: what ways have you discovered works best for you when you run into adversity of some sort?  I'd love to hear different perspectives because we are all hear to learn from each other!
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Friday, January 3, 2014

Clean Slate 2k14: Just Do It.

It hasn't been a long hiatus, but a refreshing one, indeed.  As much as I needed this time, I missed blogging much more than I imagined I would, so now I'm back like I never left and ready for a fresh start. 

Speaking of fresh starts, Happy New Year to all of you!!  Call me cliche, but I'm a huge fan of new beginnings, whether it be in 24 hour or 365 day increments of time, seasons, or adjusting to a new pace in some area of life, all new beginnings signify another chance to get things right. Change is a wonderful thing to embrace and for some people, those endless cycles incentives to propel hopes and dreams forward.

The vague explanation of what I want to do this year is simply that: DO.  The past couple of years, I've made a lot of plans without an execution strategy, so to speak, therefore 2014 will be the year to do more, be more, create more, produce more, etc. and less talking and planning. As the famous Nike slogan goes, Just Do It. I'm satisfied with the resolution and feeling quite confident about achieving more results this year.

Recently, I've been challenged to be more honest in my pursuits and that means allowing my inner light to shine, rather than be intimidated by its brightness. And honestly, we all have something unique to offer, something that the world is in need of. So now I'm back, running at full speed, on a mission to find out what that is  through the talents God has graciously blessed me with.

Thank you for the patience that has been allotted for me to get myself intact and to those of you who have taken time to reach out to me via comments, Twitter, and email. Even if it is some false sense of validation for me, I receive the love and support with a grateful heart. It means so much to me and let's me know that maybe I am making a small difference in someone's life by simply doing what I love.

♥ Chymere A.
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