Sunday, June 25, 2017

We Are Who We Choose To Be | Ranata Suzuki

We are not simply the sum of our life experiences – we are fundamentally who we choose to be. While it is true that every person we have met and every place we have been has played their part in shaping who we are – it is us and us alone that decides how we allow them to shape us. 
That is what defines us… because life will bring great pain and sadness, that is one of its only certainties… but it also has the potential for so much love and happiness if you keep your heart open to others despite your pain. 
I have been hurt. 
I have been hurt more times than I can count in ways you cannot even imagine, and yet the only hate I have within me is of the notion of inflicting what I have experienced onto someone else
...the only spite I am capable of is to carry on peacefully in spite of all that has befallen me. 
The energy we hold within us flows through our bodies and out of our fingertips like tendrils into all that surrounds us… 
We can choose to spread love or we can choose to spread pain… 
The pain I bury. 
I bury it deep within me where I know it can never hurt another and feel content in the knowledge that when I die – it dieswith me; I never passed it on to someone else because I knew exactly how it felt and could not bear the thought of another person ever feeling it. 
And it is love that gives me that strength. 
It is love that enables me to control my pain and give only my love to others… 
And if love can keep pain like that under control… 
then surely love is the greater force.

—Ranata Suzuki

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

Moving Forward, Finding Freedom

Graphic Artwork by: Lexx Valdez |  @Lexx_Valdez on IG + @Lexx_Valdez on Twitter

It's been 4 years since the shooting of Trayvon Martin...

3 years since Mike Brown

1 year since Philando Castile

and a few days shy of the tragedy of Charleena Lyles

...with several cases reported and too many left under the radar.

It just continues to happen and no justice is being served. Right before our eyes, men and women of color are being unjustly murdered at the hands of the police. We are well aware at this point that African-American people are not being protected, yet we are-for the most part-desensitized and we don't have yet to come up with any long term solutions. Sure, we can march around and protest and climb impossible barriers in order to take down waving confederate flags at state capital buildings, but when is it ever going to be enough? How long will we walk barefoot on hot coal before we're able to break down the institution of racism? Will we ever be able to trust that our justice system is capable of playing a vital role in our survival? Or will we remain in a place where we are constantly fighting to stay alive?

These words certainly don't feel like enough. I recall scripting letters a few years ago to the Ferguson Police Department, contacting the Missouri House of Representatives, and providing resources for those who didn't exactly know what to do in that moment of darkness. I didn't hear back from anyone. I voted and it didn't make a difference. And when a presidential candidate who built his entire campaign around greed and racism became the 45th president of the United States, that painlessly numb sense of hopeless crept in again, because none of my efforts-none of the efforts of those who believe in the BLACK LIVES MATTER movement-made a real difference. 

How are we supposed to move forward? How are we supposed to be free?

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

#CreativeBossBae | 8 Steps to Becoming the Woman of Your Dreams


Girl crushes. Role models. #GOALS. We all have that one woman/cluster of women who automatically come to mind when those words pop up. Ranging from our own mothers to former First Lady Michelle Obama, she's the woman who epitomizes everything we hope to one day be and has something or many things that we all strive for in this lifetime. Even down to our chosen tribe and the lady friends we keep in our vicinity, there's something incredibly empowering and magical about being surrounded by women who inspire us. 

However, I want us to focus our attention inward. Envision the best version of yourself, and for a moment, happily exist in your own Glo-Up. What does she look like? What does she have that you don't have right now? What are her relationships like? What is her occupation? Is she living out her purpose? The most important question: how did she get there?

Quite frankly, these are all questions I'm still answering myself, as my ideals about success and happiness have evolved over time, but what I'm realizing - via my own progress - is that I am slowly, but surely, becoming the woman of my dreams.  As cocky as it sounds, it took a lot of self work to even feel like I'm almost there, but - of course - there's always room for improvement, no matter how far along we've come.

You probably won't become the woman of your dreams overnight, however, a good place to start is by following these 8 guidelines, designed to help you walk confidently in that direction:

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Life at the Moment

Chymere A. original photography. shot by iPhone 7 +
These past few weeks have been a whirlwind; lots of changes, lots of emotions, and it’s been overwhelming to try to manage the good along with the stress. Sometimes it helps to pray and write it out. Sometimes simply sitting in silence or takings a nap works just the same. 

New city, new job, new relationship…in the fall, it’ll be a new school, so it’s pretty much a brand-new start to everything. I knew the time would eventually come when I would have to part with familiarity and move in the direction of greater dreams, whether it was by force or choice. Although it’s not always easy to adapt well to new things and make the necessary adjustments, especially when those things are unfamiliar territory, it’s been such a blessing and I’m so thankful for all of it. God is so good. 

The biggest thing I hope to gain from this entire experience is self-improvement on every level-spiritually, mentally, physically-and just be able to maximize my full potential for however long God chooses to keep me here, whether that means forever or the next 5 years. Right now, I'm just living in the moment and appreciating where I am right now.



Chymere A. original photography shot by: iPhone7 +

  • In Love with: a place that is slowly starting to feel like home and the life I'm creating for myself here.
  • Working on: 
    • My 3 F's: my finances, my fitness, & my faith 
    • Media kits + content for #TheSkyBoxSuite
  • Favorite visual: The views from my workplace (hopefully, I’ll never take them for granted)
  • Anticipating: My birthday, which is exactly one month away from today [07.12]. It’s really hard to believe that I’m officially late 20’s and still trying to figure things out. On the flip side, I'm happy with where I am at this point in my life. I feel myself growing and becoming more and more excited about where I’m headed and who I'm becoming.
  • Reading: not a thing, unfortunately. 
  • Watching: NBA Finals…which I-from the looks of it-may not be watching for too much longer. {Update: Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors, 2017 NBA Champions!!!}
  • Favorite Words:Wherever you are, be all there.” – Jim Elliot
  • Thinking about: love...what it means, what it encompasses, what it accomplishes in a lifetime.
  • Over the Moon About: what God is doing in my life
@ChymereA
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Sunday, June 4, 2017

12 Things to Do This Month | June 2017


If you've been reading the blog lately, you may already know that I've recently moved and I'm a few days settled in. I left Atlanta immediately following Memorial Day and spent the weekend relaxing with my family before I leave, nothing too major. It's a little bittersweet, but I'm confident that I made the right decision to relocate and looking forward to the adventures that lie ahead.  
  1. Get acclimated to my new city
  2. Find a fitness routine that goes along with my schedule and join a local master's swim team.
  3. Be open to meeting new people and making new friends.
  4. Redesign the blog 
  5. Work on media kits + business cards for my sports blog, The Sky Box Suite.
  6. Book a photo shoot where I am the main focus/muse/model.
  7. Pitch articles to some of my favorite online publications + blogs. 
  8. Go on one of these summatime dates, as suggested by The Reign XY...
  9. Link up with Unscripted Pod for my very first podcast collaboration that I missed back in March. I truly enjoy tuning into their show (no matter how much they slander Kobe, the Great), so it should be a good time. 
  10. New ink? It's definitely been on my mental wish list for a while now, but we shall see. If anyone knows any tattoo artist in Nashville who does dope work, I'm open to recommendations.
  11. Get back in scholar mode. I found some free courses offered at MIT, so that will keep my mind sharp this summer and prepare me for the upcoming semester. 
  12. Plan a bestie-cation to the beach for our birthdays next month! 
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