The Naked Truth

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I found this YouTube video of  Tarriona “Tank” Ball, the singer from New Orleans-based group “Tank and The Bangas,” and it was beautiful.  It was raw.  It was inspiring.  It was brave. Despite her huge personality, It seemed that as she peeled off another layer of clothing, she became more in touch with her inner truth and revealed how she really felt being a big girl.  In this image conscious society, we dress to impress and our clothes can convey all kinds of messages to the receiver.  They cover our bodies like armor.  They serve as protection or shelter, from past traumas, if you will.  Sometimes we can get so caught up in the clothes, that we forget what and who is wearing those clothes.  Who are we really behind that fashionable façade?

As someone who is fashion and fitness conscious, her video challenged me to look inside myself and at myself minus the clothes.  Yes, having a fit body that meets my standards is important but what’s inside is just as important to understand who I am and what truths are lurking inside that need to considered.  We grow.  We evolve. We stretch. Sometimes baring the naked truth enables us to do this. Have you done this? Looked at yourself minus the clothes, the hair, the makeup, etc. and wondered who you really were? Don’t get me wrong, I love all those things that make me feel girly and pretty but I also never want to lose touch of my essence, my naked truth. Take a moment and check out her video and tell me what you think.

Ciao for now Bellas!

Met Gala 2017’s Best Dressed

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Halle Berry. Hallelujah!

So, I know I’m a couple of days late after the event but between finishing up two projects for paying clients and work, I still wanted to weigh in on the costume party of the year with my best-dressed picks.  On May 1, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art opened its doors for the Met Gala, the annual invitation-only fundraiser to benefit the museum’s Costume Institute, and a launch party for its spring exhibition.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced the new theme for its 2017 Costume Institute exhibition and Met Gala 2017: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons.” Opening on May 4, the show will be the first monograph show at the museum to focus on a living designer since its Yves Saint Laurent exhibit in 1983.

While this annual event indulges the attendees’ wildest imaginations and creativity, here are my favorites. For the sake of time, I didn’t bother to pick the worst-dressed because they were, well you know, “meh!”

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Zoe Kravitz is simply gorgeous with her perfect pixie and pink gown.

La-La-Anthony

LaLa Anthony is classy and risqué at the same time.

 

Rihanna MET

Rihanna is in full bloom.

Tracee Ellis MET

Only Tracee Ellis Ross can pull off a look like this.

Cassie and Diddy

Cassie and Diddy.

 

The Met Gala 2017

Serena Williams, baby bump and fiancé Alexis Ohanian

 

Zendaya

Zendaya, having fun as usual!

I’m With Her!

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Yesterday, I proclaimed that May is the month of miracles and manifestations.  We’re in the second quarter of 2017 and if you’re on track to meet some personal goals, awesome.  If you’re not, then what are you waiting for?  Take a moment to reassess what those goals are. Are they written down somewhere?  If not, write them down.  One of my main goals is growing professionally, creating shelter for my spirit, traveling and shrinking weight-wise.  This Winter was brutal and I was doing a lot of eating on the run and of course I know better.  So, now that my work has stabilized, I can better plan my workouts and my meals. So you could say I’m taking control.  When I’m off kilter health-wise, everything is off kilter for me.

Speaking of control, guess who’s making a comeback after having a beautiful baby boy and splitting from her fine hubby? Janet Jackson. Ms. Jackson, if you’re nasty.  Check out her announcement below of her “State Of The World” tour.  I’m feeling inspired by her comeback and getting back to my old #fitandfabforlife self.  What about you?  Are you planning to go to the concert?  I’ve seen her in concert years ago and she puts on a phenomenal show.  I’m betting she’s about to get super tight and shed all those clothes she was wearing to cover up and possibly honor her husband’s wishes.  We’ll see.  It’ll be interesting to watch her as she moves into this next phase of her life as a 50-year old woman who doesn’t have to gave any “dambs!”

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It’s May!

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MayMay is the month of miracles and manifestations. Here we are in the fifth month of 2017. What are you hoping to come to pass in the following months? Is it written down? Are you speaking it on a daily basis? Can you see it? Can you feel it? Everything is possible. Anything is possible. Here’s to unlimited miracles!

Social media detox

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Art courtesy of Melia Hotel Bahamas

 
Blame it on the sunny beaches in Bahamas that left me wanting to travel even more, see the world, discover new artists, and read books again. My social media hiatus has been long overdue and six days in, I’ve managed to not check my accounts as much so I haven’t totally checked out but I did delete everything from phone forcing me to go through my browser. 

Besides taking more vacations this year – Vegas, D.C., a Beyoncé concert with my sister, and Jamaica, I’m endeavoring to become more mindful. Slowing down a bit has its rewards.  Learning how to balance my time on social media with real life demands is the goal. I love technology especially since this WordPress app allows me to blog from my phone but I don’t feel the need to capture every moment on my phone and post it. My selfies are at an all-time low right now but I’m working on myself – changing my underemployed status; finding work in my field; finding my niche and building my brand; learning how to have an impact; enjoying the challenge of writing for others and working on my next book; maintaining my health and fitness; purposely showing love to my family and friends; focusing and remembering how much God is really in control and His love continually keeps me; and discovering myself as I age fearfully and gratefully.  

I’m excited and have joyful expectations about this next chapter and I’m here for it. My friend said it best “sometimes you have to step back, to go forward!” Until next time, be well! 

It’s OK to say “NO!”

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Say-NoHappy Spring Bellas.  It’s April and it’s a rainy day here in Michigan but I’ll take the rain over snow which we had a couple of weeks ago.  I’m still fighting a cold and since getting caught in the rain is what got me sick in the first place, I’m sitting still for now and working on my day off for “Fran, Inc.”  I started a writing business earlier this month and in my zeal to get started, I took on a client that I “thought” I could handle along with everything else I had going on.  When we initially met, everything that this person required seemed possible but what seems good in theory is not always good in practice.

He needed a personal assistant, a cheerleader, an accountability partner and a social media specialist and I realized I can’t realistically do  everything he is required and tend to my own goals and dreams.  I heard what he needed and I was providing him with some pretty viable solutions.  The problem is that person wasn’t meant to be me because I needed the same things he needed plus daily foot rubs.  This experience helped me become very clear about what I wanted to do regarding my business.  I didn’t want to take long term clients that required more of me that I was willing to give and lose myself in the process.  So, a week later, I “quit” and the moment I did I felt better immediately.  I realized I wasn’t interested in managing someone else’s affairs.

I tend to become distracted at times with the noblest of requests and truth is, I can’t afford to get caught in the crossfires of someone else’s stuff.  It’s OK to be selfish and it’s OK to say “NO.”  It doesn’t mean you’re not strong.  In fact, your strength lies more in your ability to access the situation and if it’s going to be more taxing than you anticipated, let that “shet” go.  When I’ve said ‘NO,” people managed to survive without my help.  That’s not to say that I’m not a badass as far as my skills are concerned but I have nothing prove to anyone taking on more than I need to.  Time is precious and I’d rather do things that allow me to be at peace with myself and not at odds.  Being fit doesn’t mean just working out and eating right although those are important.  Being fit also means managing you and your stress and quickly reducing anything that will stress you unnecessarily.  My mother used to always say that “all money ain’t good money” and it’s true.  I was looking forward to that weekly “stipend” but I realized it wasn’t worth the headache.    It’s OK to say “NO” and it’s OK to change your mind.

Until next time, be good Bellas!

 

 

 

Dear Toni,

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toni_morrison140-dc25518d186d40d484101cd8a2db487825428dca-s6-c30Dear Toni,

It’s been 3 years since I wished you “Happy Birthday” via my blog.  The sentiment is still the same.  Honoring you as the woman, the writer, whose legacy of words shall enrich us all well beyond your birthday of birthdays.  Happy Birthday Toni!

With Love,  An inspired writer

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Check out my post from 2013. https://slimchick.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/happy-belated-birthday-toni-morrison/

“Paradoxes of Prayer”

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It will be four years since my mother passed away.  We haven’t completely packed up her things as it is a painful yet necessary process that eventually leads to healing on some level.  The paradox is the things you discover about a deceased parent in the process like this poem I found in her things entitled “Paradoxes of Prayer.” I’ll hold on to this piece of paper because it’s a piece of her. The bolded parts of the poem as these words were emphasized on the copy she had.  Be well. Be loved!

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.

I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.

I asked for health, that I might to greater things.

I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches, that I might be happy.

I was given poverty, that I might be wise.

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.

I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.

I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing I asked for, but all I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.

I am among all men, most richly blessed.

 

 

Freedom and Forgiveness

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We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Happy Monday Bellas and here’s to a great start of your week.  I was supposed to start my fast giving up coffee for a month but I failed terribly.  So, today is the first day of my 30 day fast from coffee.  I’ve done it before and I can do it again – fix it Jesus! Super Bowl Sunday is behind us. 50 years of Super Bowl football.  What a feat!  I was so rooting for the “Cars” as my niece would affectionately call them, seeing the Carolina Panthers’ abbreviated name on the screen.  I was rooting for Cam but a whole lot was going on and he’s young and he’s still number one.  A Super Bowl win is in his future if he keeps pounding  with his cute self.

Halftime show was awesome from Beyonce to Bruno Mars and Coldplay in between.  I love Chris Martin but he just seemed to get sandwiched and outshone by the other two.  That’s just me.   The colors were simply jubilant and happy-evoking.  Believe in love baby!

Earlier in the day after service, someone had approached me and said, “I don’t think I’ve ever asked for your forgiveness!” That statement totally threw me because quite frankly I had forgiven that person.  I obliged and let them know that I already forgave them but I think this act was necessary for them to come up to me and tell me this.  Forgiving someone and asking someone for forgiveness are truly courageous acts that yield freedom otherwise unknown to you when you don’t forgive.  Forgiving someone for me is a truly selfish act because I’m not interested in staying bound due to someone else’s offenses and I really want to be forgiven as well when I’ve done someone wrong. There is liberty is letting go and releasing folk.   I thought that took a lot of courage and according to my sister no one knows how I’m really going to respond – LOL.  Truthfully, I’m quite approachable even if I don’t allow you in my circle, I can still forgive you.  I don’t know about you but I can’t afford to block my blessings nor allow unforgiveness to eat at me like a cancer.  It’s just not the fit and fab way.  I choose forgiveness and therefore, I choose freedom.  Who do you need to forgive or who do you need to ask for their forgiveness?  Get it right so you can move on and be free!

Don’t forget to grab your ticket for my vision board party.  I’ve got a woman of wisdom, grace and spiritual prowess gracing us with some serious knowledge to take our lives to the next level.  She’s had plenty of success with vision boards and I’m looking forward to her sharing with the group.  Get your tickets here.  https://www.facebook.com/events/1061176123946414/

 

 

More Please!

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Royal blue stand down!

Last weekend I had the honor of serving as the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Royal Detroit Gala – a black tie gala and fundraiser to benefit Detroit Crimestoppers. All the beautiful people showed up and showed out and I had fun because I come alive when I have the mike.  It’s like breathing (thanks Oprah for that line) for me because it comes so naturally.  I’d like more opportunities like this and I am sending that out into the universe. Also, I’m available to speak and/or emcee future events.  Was that a shameless plug? LOL, it was!  A lot of my blog this year will be devoted to me manifesting my goals as laid out on my vision board.

Coincidentally, this opportunity came on the heels of me writing a vision statement in September, 2015.  I took this same vision statement with me to a vision board party I attended in December, 2015.  Rather than waiting on more opportunities, I’m creating opportunities. Now that I’ve completed my vision board, I’m interested in helping others complete their vision boards.  I’ll talk more about starting a goal group to assist in reaching our goals.

Until then, check out my event “Envision with Fran – Vision Board Party!”  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/envision-with-fran-vision-board-party-tickets-21308916543  and get your ticket. Special thanks to George Page Photography for capturing me in this photo.  I certainly felt royal in this blue gown by Ralph Lauren. I never met a dress I didn’t like.  I just love dressing up.  Don’t you?  Be well, be loved and get your ticket.  Ciao, baby bellas!