By Ky Book Recommendation”Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad”

Forbidden Fruit: Love Stories from the Underground Railroad by Betty Deramus truly illustrates that love conquerors all. Even is a despicable system such as Slavery, black people were able to find hope in love, marriage, and freedom.

You can purchase this book recommendation here: https://kit.co/Lifestylebyky/books-by-ky 

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Life is Ambivalent

The 52 List Project (10)

Life is ambivalent. There is a time for everything, according to Ecclesiastes 3. My notion of life has left me with conflicting feelings this past year. Let me explain why.

A few months before turning 30, I met someone. After spending years of writing in my journal and praying about the type of partner I wanted, he appeared when I least expected and where I least expected as well. Up until a week before meeting him, I have a note in my phone exclaiming “I wonder what my future partner is doing right now. Who is he? What are his fears? What are his goals? Will I recognize him? The story of how we met is one I will save for the future, but from the start, we both knew we wanted to be intentional. He was truly a blessing and the first of a wave of change and answered prayers in my life. A few months after that, I celebrated an epic 30th birthday with my friends and family and when I returned from my travels, I was officially promoted. When I became a Manager of a department at a major TV network, my colleagues thought it was meteoric. For me, it meant the world and I was excited but I wouldn’t use the words meteoric. You see, when I broke into the media industry, I had worked for a financial technology company for five years as the CEO’s assistant. I did not want to be an assistant anymore, but I was having a hard time breaking into media, so I had to start over, in this new industry as an assistant….again. To learn more, watch my Career Journey video. Throughout this whole time, I wondered if I would ever escape the entry-level administrative role and move into management. I was afraid that I was being pigeonholed and that assisting was going to be my fate. But after 7-years, I moved up and was on the track to being an executive, which is my ultimate goal. 5+2=7 and 7 is the biblical year of completion. This was a cause for the utmost celebration, but I barely told a soul. I was afraid. Fear seeped into me and told me it was not real; that It would be taken from me at any moment.

In the midst of this immense harvest season, I was simultaneously dealing with three sick immediate family members. Two out of three dealing with cancer, radiation, and hospitals. Hearing someone you love ail in pain every night and there’s nothing you can do about it is agonizing. This pain resulted in a loss of a few friendships because I did not have room for anyone who added more of an emotional burden on my life. It was just that simple.

These conflicting situations are the epitome of ambivalence in life. I was unhappy when all of the things I prayed for came to fruition. I felt guilty about celebrating when I had a sick family member back at home. I thought the good that I had would be removed from my life the minute I got too comfortable with it. I developed a skeptic mindset. But skepticism shows a lack of faith. I wish I had the solution but I am still working through this. Sometimes acknowledging there is a disconnect is the first step towards building in an area that you are weak in. That weak area for me is understanding that with God, no matter how bad the situation is, he always works things out for good…so celebrate through the good and celebrate through the not so good. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 we are told to, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” It’s going to take a lot of spiritual maturity for me to fully grasp this concept but I am working on it.

Self-Care Tips for 2017

IMG_5228.JPGI first learned the term “Self-Care” in 2016 while at Blavity’s first Women’s Conference called “Empower Her.” I listened intently to a group of panelists, zeroing in on Francheska of HeyFranHey as she discussed self-care and the importance of taking a break from the world when it gets tough. Some of her tips included:

(1) Turning off your phone

(2) Meditating

(3) Taking nice baths

I thought these were great ideas. You can read some more about her tips here in this recent article published by the Huffington Post Black Voices. Hey Fran Hey, inspired me to create 5-self-care tips of my own that I want to share with you all for 2017:

  1. Prayer (Church): First, let me address what church does for me. Even before I was a believer, I always went to church. Initially, I was forced by my mother but eventually, it became a personal choice. I would go after spending all night out at a party, I would go when I knew I was doing everything God didn’t want me to do; it didn’t matter, I would still go. There was something captivating about Church. The peace I had as the service ended and feeling more encouraged to tackle the cruel world eventually had an effect on me. Today, it still serves as my refuge. A place where I can lift my hands and worship Jesus through song and prayer for all he’s brought me through. As I mature in my walk with Christ, I realize that I don’t have to get down on my knees to talk to God, I can talk to him throughout the day, when I’m in the elevator, on the train, at work, in my head, out loud, it doesn’t matter, because he’s always there. Sometimes saying a simple prayer about whatever is bothering me, makes me feel better. Sometimes, reading a spiritually based devotional or the bible makes me feel better too. I feel like prayer is a very important self-care tip, if not the most important because you have the security in knowing that you are not alone. God sees everything; he knows what you’re going through before you even say it. He can intervene on our behalf, we just have to talk to him.
  2. Limit Social Media Intake: Notice I said limit, I didn’t say get rid of completely (although for some people that works too). For me, social media has become a part of my life. It’s where I discover news and keep up to date with my family and friends. In reality, I don’t want to rid myself of it entirely, but I understand that if I spend too much time on it, it becomes overwhelming. I also know how draining it is to follow people who only post negative or nonsensical things. So, if you’re like me try limiting your social media intake. Spend10-15minutes on Facebook or Instagram a day. Unfollow the people who annoy you for peace of mind and keep it moving.
  3. Read a book: I love reading so this might be a bit self-indulgent but getting sucked into an amazing book is one of the best feelings ever. I always feel most accomplished and fulfilled after I finish a great book. It definitely helps to take your mind off of everything else.
  4. Positive Vibes: Hanging out with people who have amazing vibes is one of the best feelings in the world. Discovering a new restaurant or spot that you enjoy is equally as amazing. Being surrounded by positivity is one of the best self-care tips I can suggest for anyone. Self-care doesn’t always mean you’re isolated and alone. It has taken on a new meaning for me in recent months as I discovered a tribe of women who I can just be transparent with, letting my hair down, discussing insecurities and imperfections and not feeling judged according to my flaws. I can’t emphasize the importance of positive vibes in everything you do whether it’s the friends you choose, the people you choose to work with, or even the places you visit during a night on the town. You make the choice, and the choice has to be one that makes you feel good.
  5. Activities: I dance in the mirror. It’s something that I do. I like looking at myself while I dance. It makes me happy. Weird quirks aside, I like to paint, take a class that builds a skill (TV Writing, DJ’ing, Cooking), take myself out to dinner or a movie, write, exercise (don’t sleep on a Twerkout or Aerial Yoga), make collages, watch DVDs…basically, I do anything that makes me feel good. I try not to limit myself and what I do and you shouldn’t either!

What are some of your self-care tips?

Contentment

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I walked home from church one Saturday afternoon, after spending the whole morning writing scripts for our Sunday school’s upcoming lessons. I passed through Park Slope and debated if I should go to my favorite Chinese restaurant, Mr. Wonton.  My stomach cravings got the best of me. I walked in and noticed a young, black woman, sitting in the corner, eating General Tso’s Chicken. She was alone. I was empowered by how carefree she was. I’ve eaten by myself before, but seeing her there, at that moment, reminded me how long it’s been since I’ve been a solo diner. I asked for a seat in the back of her, not to be a lurker but her area offered the best seating in the restaurant. I ordered shrimp fried rice and a shrimp roll. They brought over noodle chips with a bowl of duck sauce. I giddily enjoyed a delicious meal, and my fortune told me “If you can shape it in your mind, you will find it in your life…”

That simple moment led me to think about how content I was. I am single. I’ve been single for quite some time now, however it was the first time in my life where I didn’t feel shame about my singleness or even, complain about it. I love myself. I really do, and it took such a long time to get here but I am here. I don’t want to settle in a relationship. I don’t want to attract men with empty promises and an inability to be faithful. I don’t want to compromise myself anymore. I don’t want to lose myself either. I don’t want to give and not get the same back in return. I don’t want to feel alone, even though I have the title of a girlfriend. I don’t want to be worried about where my man is or why he hasn’t called me all day. I don’t want to question if he will feel the same joy that I feel about my birthday or Valentine’s Day. I don’t want to push my man to make more ambitious strides with his life without the same support from him. I don’t want to teach a man how to be a man. I’ve grown tired of it all.

My table was set for two. I looked at the empty seat in front of me, but it didn’t taunt me. It represented the ghosts of the many men that came before that just didn’t work out. It also represented the bright future ahead of me. I’ve given my love life to God. So while he does the work in me, I know there’s going to be many other times where I will be dating myself, and that’s okay. I am content in where I am right now because I know I am being prepared for a relationship that will last forever.

 

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My Top 15 Moments in 2015

  1. My Vision Board Party

I think having a Vision Board party in January set the tone for an amazing year. I still get comments from my friends saying their vision boards helped them check off goals on their list that they probably wouldn’t have done without the help of their boards reminding them. My board is still something that empowers me when I look at it. I am encouraged to remain strong-willed and grounded.

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  1. Dubai

That glitch fare on Christmas day last year allowed me to go to Dubai for only $200. What a blessing that was. Dubai’s desert was probably my favorite part. That vast landscape of beautiful sand and horizon is something that will forever be embedded in my heart.

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Continue reading “My Top 15 Moments in 2015”

Fantasies, False Hope, & Ungodly Soul Ties

IMG_0563-1Like many women, when I meet a guy that I actually like, I allow my mind to create a whirlwind of thoughts for what our perfect relationship would look like. Some might call these thoughts fantasies, which is completely normal and healthy. We all have them, don’t we? Well, according to Psychology Today:

“Fantasies are not frivolous. They can be entertaining, distracting, frightening, even arousing, but they also allow for creativity and help us plan for the future. As long as we don’t mistake fantasies for reality…”

As long as we don’t mistake fantasies for reality. As women, it’s pretty hard to meet someone we are really into and not have some sort of expectation for the future. That’s like telling someone, let’s go to Disney World but don’t expect to go on the rides. In saying this, I want to touch on this idea of fantasies and the false hope that it brings about; I am encouraged to tie this in with my series on soul ties. As with all of my soul ties post, I am about to get real, I am going to expose some of my vulnerabilities and you all might think I am completely insane, but that’s okay.

Side Note: I am a Pisces, and even though I am not into that astrology stuff anymore, Pisces tend to be dreamers, we want the happy endings, we believe in the good of all people. When I think of us, I can imagine that we would be content skipping through a big field of sunflowers, catching butterflies and enjoying the fresh air and sunlight. So please don’t judge me. Like for real, what I am about to say sounds even crazy to me.

Continue reading “Fantasies, False Hope, & Ungodly Soul Ties”

Ungodly Soul Ties

Kydee williamsSoul Ties have been on my mind and heart for a while now, but very strongly this past weekend. I learned about soul ties about three years ago. I was actually weaning myself off of one when someone told me what it was. The strong feelings associated with this person no longer being in my life made sense now. I wasn’t crazy. I was in a soul tie! Throughout this post, I am going to share some of the things I’ve learned about soul ties along with my own personal experiences.

To start, there are two types of soul ties, an Ungodly Soul Tie, and a Godly Soul tie. For the purposes of this post, I am going to focus on the Ungodly Soul Tie. As always, expect complete transparency.

Soul ties represent a bond. These bonds or soul bonds are created through people and things. What normally ends up happening is that you become dependent and attached to them. The deeper the bond, the more difficult it is to break. Sometimes we don’t know how tied we are to someone or something until it’s time to give it up.

I was with someone for about 9-years. Now, if we are going to be real, I was only really with them in a relationship for about 4-years. The other 5-years we were in a “friends with benefits” arrangement. When it was time to break away from him, no one around me understood why it was so hard for me to do so:

“Yall broke up years ago, why do you still care about him?”

“He’s moved on and so should you!”

“That was just puppy love… that shouldn’t matter now.”

Their responses were callous. They didn’t understand how much it hurt to let this person go. I depended on him. I called him whenever something was going right or wrong and he was there for me. I sought his approval. I LOVED him. More importantly, they didn’t understand that I was in a soul tie so strong that it couldn’t easily be cured with a Girl’s Night Out or meeting someone new, it was deep. It was spiritual. It was warfare.

There are various ways a soul tie can form:

Continue reading “Ungodly Soul Ties”

I Will Not Settle When It Comes To Love

I am going to be really real right now and in my world, things are only real when I write it down. I love, love. I want to be in love. I want to get married. I want to have a splendid wedding. I want to have 1-2 children (Maybe just 1). I want to grow old with my husband, so old, I rub his big potbelly when we are 80 and find that sexy. I’ve wanted these things since I was old enough to remember. I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, and I would sometimes ask God why he made me this way?

When I was 12-years old I started planning my wedding. I still have the binder filled with my chicken scratch of my future wedding plans. My friend Nikki is my witness; she was on the phone with me creating her own outline for the perfect wedding. I want to get married on a beautiful island or on a beautiful estate. I want the wedding to be such a love fest, there will be no dry eyes in sight. I never really wanted bridesmaids like that—I have so many great friends it would be hard to choose, plus I’ve always thought they were unnecessary (Thank You Gabbi and D-Wade for showing me I’m not alone). For my reception, I will change my dress of course, into something form-fitting and comfortable. Most importantly, the party won’t stop. I don’t want a reception that’s only 2-hours. This will be a celebration, so we are partying and drinking all night!

I am writing this down because I don’t want to ever forget this. Sometimes, in life, we forget the things that we always dreamed of and we settle. We meet someone, we know they may not want the same things that we want, and just for the sake of finding someone or not being lonely, we settle for what they have to give. Well, I am saying today, I don’t want to settle. I don’t want no mediocre love over here. I want, what I want!

The following things are sources of inspiration that remind me that I can find the love that I want and never settle for mediocre love. Hope it can be a form of encouragement for you as well:

1.Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade’s Wedding: This post is inspired by this wedding video. I watched it and realized I love their wedding. I know it sounds surface and superficial but it’s not. You know how girls do, when we get into a relationship—we automatically think “could he be the one?” I do this all the time. In my last relationship, we talked about marriage a few times and I felt like I would have to compromise what I wanted because we didn’t have the funds to do something elaborate right now. Now I am realizing, I never want to do that ever again.

Continue reading “I Will Not Settle When It Comes To Love”

Feeding the Soul

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The other day at my Weight Watchers meeting, Toni, our leader, stressed the importance of finding things that you love and doing it. Based on our feedback, she created a list of things that we love to do or would like to do to have “Me Time.” The idea here is to use these ventures as a substitute for eating. See below some of the things we came up with:

  1. Painting
  2. Church
  3. Mani/Pedi
  4. Volunteering
  5. Exercising/Going to the gym
  6. Taking a new Class (Cooking/Language/Sewing/Knitting)
  7. Writing
  8. House Work/House Décor/Pinterest
  9. Bubble Bath/Shower
  10. Museums

A lot of revelations came out of this meeting. For one, if you know me then you know that I don’t have a problem with finding “Me Time” but more on that later. What was surprising to me was how many people in that room thought personal time for themselves or a creative outlet was foreign or something they could not fit into their schedules. That’s terrible!

There are so many people on this earth that are not living, they’re just existing. They go through the motions of life without taking the time to look up and see the beautiful, colorful, and multifaceted world that God created. They go to work, come home, deal with whatever they have going on at home, and do it all over again the next day. To be honest, a few years ago this person was me! I just focused on my job. I had no other goals and ambitions and did not even think about a purpose for my life as yet. I know how miserable that life is because you’re doing nothing to make an impact for yourself or others, you’re just there, existing.

Maybe I do these things too much, I thought.

While at the meeting, I questioned if I had a problem because I didn’t need someone to tell me the importance of finding creative outlets to just do what I love, I try to do something I love every single day, whether it’s writing, painting, reading, or going to museums, it’s definitely in my schedule because my soul craves it. Soul Food, or food for the soul, is the single most important thing you can do to bring happiness and fulfillment into your life. Tapping into what you always wanted to do and just doing it, no matter how good or bad you think you are at it, is such a beautiful thing and adds character to your personality and your life. Who knows you might even find your purpose in this. Matter of fact, I am sure you will find your purpose in just doing what you love.

Some people might think whatever you’re doing is a waste of time but that’s because they don’t get it. The first line of Ecclesiastics in the bible says “everything is meaningless,” and when you think about it, it really is. Life is so temporary, we are here one minute and gone the next and nothing you do, not that degree, that job, that house, or that savings account, can come with you. Why not make the best of life while on earth? Feed your soul with travel, feed your soul with time with loved ones, feed your soul with experiences, feed your soul with activities, feed your soul with all of the things you love to do because it needs it.

 

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Listen to Your Heart

Love yourself enough to know when its time to walk away…

I know a woman who wanted to be in a relationship. The pressure from those around her was getting too deep. Friends questioned why she was still single and why she didn’t give dating a chance. Their judgment pierced her heart. She didn’t let them know, but it hurt. She felt perfectly fine discovering who she was spiritually, mentally, and professionally. She was making great strides in her life and she took pride in working her way up the success ladder. But all of that didn’t matter to them because she didn’t have a man to validate her.

One day, when she least expected it she met a guy. He saw her in the midst of a sea of women and wanted her. She was flattered. He wasn’t the type of guy she normally went for, but she was open-minded and his persistence was admirable. Turns out, he was exactly who she was looking for. He was educated, ambitious, and he understood her. It took a certain type of man to understand the type of woman she was but he did. Within a few months of talking, they knew a relationship was the next step and made it official. She was on cloud nine. Could this be her husband? Things were great until things weren’t great.

This relationship became a problem when she realized that he struggled with a problem. She went to his house one evening and his overzealousness was an indication that he had been drinking. Continue reading “Listen to Your Heart”