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How Self-Aware Are You? Part 1

Please bear with me as I switch up my original format. Today’s post is meant to assist others in self-evaluation motivated by my personal experience. I am not a professional and the following advice is not a substitute for licensed opinion.

Today’s topic is an important one in the realm of self-improvement. Stepping up to the plate and acknowledging our behaviors takes courage. But bravery alone doesn’t get the job done. It takes work. That work begins with self-awareness. It is an ongoing process with reward. Before we dive into the most important aspect of growth, let’s define what it means.

Seld awareness graphic

Self-awareness is the conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motive, and desire.

A simple definition with loads of personal responsibility. Let’s elaborate and break it on down, shall we?

In life we learn there is only one thing we can control and that is our reaction to situations. In order to obtain that control one must be aware of their own feelings. For a semblance of order dispersed across the board, one needs to be aligned with their motives and desires.

True intentions come with a bagful of surprises if we aren’t aware of why our outcomes aren’t what we expected.

Desire is the motivator of intention. It is the driving force masked behind the action. It is important to evaluate this definition because while it’s simply read, it packs a punch. And if you are at the beginning of a self-improvement journey, it’s vital that it begins with the knowledge of your responsibility in the process.

Life is a journey, not a destination

Ralf Waldo Emerson

Are You Ready to Start the Work? Good because that’s the first step!


Let’s get out a notebook (or your journal) and start putting things down. The process of actual handwriting and creating lists makes us 40% more likely to remember the content. This is some important work we are embarking on so we’ll take all the backup we can get!! So grab your pen and paper, I’ll wait 😉

Define Your Character

Character is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual. What qualities do you consider unique to yourself? This doesn’t mean that others don’t share certain qualities it just means that these are guidelines that govern you. These are things that you stand by, your definite, your no-go’s. Get specific. These can be characteristics that you are proud of or a list of characteristics you want to work on. I think it is important to list both as that shows true self-awareness (personal opinion).

Keep in mind while reading my examples that these are present-day examples and characteristics I have developed over time with commitment, determination, and stubbornness. My list looked far different in the beginning. The importance is to be brutally honest with yourself and then use kindness to improve.

Personal examples:

1. I do not allow others to skew my reality for the benefit of their own. I expect others to hold themselves accountable just as I hold myself. If I make a mistake, I own it without beating myself up.

2. I do not join in on gossiping. If and when the conversation is turned to me, I consciously shift the conversation to the subject matter at hand, the underline problem not a particular person. And if that isn’t possible I point out that we all possess less than desirable traits and that I cannot speak to anyone else’s character defaults as I have my own to worry about.

3. A character default I used to have was overgeneralizing. I still struggle with this one a little but I’m not as attached to it as I once was. I used to be a pretty black/white thinker. It either is or it isn’t but I’ve grown to learn that depending on the circumstances things can be a little grey instead. This one requires that I work on broadening my view. And I do my best. I am still pretty much a yes or no person.

4. If asked, I tell the truth despite popular consensus or the possibility of hurt feelings. If not asked and there is a possibility it goes against the grain, I do my best to keep it to myself or withhold my opinion because that is all it is, my opinion. I work to keep the unsolicited advice to myself.

Those are a few examples of my mental character that I am proud of but continue to work on. A list of my morals would look like this:

1. I am compassionate, always

2. I am fair, always

3. I am not judgemental. As far as I am aware I am not, however, I do judge and to not sway myself with my own opinion, I work hard to shift my perspective to view each circumstance objectively.

4. I am on a continuous path of growth and I show my gratitude by encouraging others to do the same. I share my lessons with honesty and suggestion keeping one aspect in mind; kindness.

5. I mindfully aim to be patient. Previously, I considered myself impatient. I thought that was how I was and that was forever. I learned differently.

Baby's breath graphic


Feelings are defined as an emotional state or reaction. Writing these down serves a purpose when you arrive at a crossroads or when processing. We aren’t going to list our feelings today because they are constantly changing in response to stimuli. However, having a list of feeling words written down to reference or as a key for tracking is a suggestion.

The important work in self-awareness and feelings is to align yourself with how you feel. Can you separate feeling from a given situation to make a decision? Are you capable of recognizing when your emotions are responsible for undesirable results? Can you identify when you are overreacting based on past experiences?

Feelings are a tricky subject. They can guide you to do good or land you in a bind. There is a delicate balance you should aim to achieve by allowing your feelings, acknowledging them yet not being controlled by them. Our feelings are valid but they should not be the driving force behind decision-making. Making decisions is a skill set not everyone is equipped with so it goes to note that the two can be a tragedy waiting to happen.

To be self-aware is to be conscious. This consciousness allows room for one to acknowledge yet not become what they are feeling.


Just as with all areas of self-improvement we can elaborate but learning the basics is the goal of this two-part series. Coming to understand our role in our evolution is critical for growth. It is a never-ending task but one well worth the effort.

Stay tuned for part two of the discussion where I expand on motive and desire. Until then create a list of the characteristics that need improving. Also, take the time to acknowledge how situations make you feel and focus on not allowing the feeling to determine your result. The two of these are a great starting point for becoming self-aware. You’ve gotta know where you come from to know where you are going. What better way than having a written record to reference when you reach the top?!?!

I hope you found this discussion informative. Let me know whatcha think in the comments. Are you new to self-improvement? How self-aware are you?


And I Get Back Up

Keep’n On

Back in the Saddle

I fell off the proverbial horse. I relapsed in confidence. I back-tracked into self-doubt. I am an easy target for my bullshit and have been my own worst enemy my entire life. But this struggle I conquered. I have. And I refuse to stay stuck in this wake of comparison!

I am fallible. A newcomer to genuine self-love. Each day I remind myself that I am worthy but some days, I fail miserably. I am prone to comparison yet deep down I know I am unique. No better or no less than anyone else. However, this massive feat I wrestled to overcome sometimes rears its ugly head and gets the best of me. Fortunately, I can see it for what it is but it isn’t always transparent.

Recently I got down on myself for not generating an income with my blog. I went as far as to label it hobby blog as though that is a tragedy. It isn’t and I do apologize if I offended anyone who runs one. I am fully aware of why I do not generate an income. And I am ok with the obvious, most days. I regret having published a post that seemed ungrateful. That is the furthest from the truth but sadly my fears blinded me from those truths.

I am super proud of my little space on the internet. It’s mine. I am a self-taught blogger who despite my low self-esteem is impressed that I have almost five years of blogging under my belt. Sure, I’ve ventured into territories that were too big for my britches but I didn’t quit. I’ve changed things up a few times. Doing so taught me valuable lessons. My blog makes me feel brave in many ways. And pride on most days.

A girl graphic Revenge of Eve

It is of utmost importance that I recognize my setback so that I can move on. I continue to battle with perfectionism although I know such doesn’t exist. These old pesky ways dominated me for nearly 42 years and the grip is unrelenting yet once I become aware I am hostage, I can loosen the grip with gentleness.

For days following my post, I beat myself up. How could I be so ungrateful when the opposite is true? How did it slip through my radar? The how’s and why’s flooded my days until I acknowledged it as a mistake. A simple mistake. A setback in my recovery. That’s all. Nothing irreversible, permanent, or damaging, although it may have caused a few readers to question why they bother reading my posts 😒

I wasn’t sure how to approach the situation. I wanted to offer an apology to my readers for sounding ungrateful but that didn’t feel right. So I went with my gut and I showed up just as you’ve read; authentic. More importantly, with compassion for myself. I am learning. Like a newborn learning to crawl, I am loving myself, accepting my shortcomings, and putting one knee in front of the other.

I send tons of love out to every one of you who reads this. I love me too. Lots I attribute to learning from you. If you have been around here for a while, thank you for seeing me through. And if you are new, welcome to my humble, intimate space. Thanks for the support along this journey life I find myself on ❤️

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Creative Magic



Isn’t a command

Magic lends no hand



She flicks her wrist

Without a brush is only a wish

She double-checks her circling motion

Curious if it was a mistake she opt-out of concocting a potion


This time tapping her foot


She demands

Nothing but a puff of soot

Taken back, she takes another look


Opening the spellbook her spidey senses are shook


In not so fine print it warns,

Creativity is free. Not to be cast upon thee

Scoff, how has it missed me?

Just Like That

Rewinding time to 2019. Care to join me?

Lighter than a Feather

Sometimes it’s as simple as getting something off your chest that opens up space for better things to enter. I feel that today. Yesterday I was able to push past fear and the result was immediate. Like letting go of a balloon, I let go of the pain I have begrudgingly carried for 17 fuck’n years.

I realize I do not have to carry that kinda weight. Sometimes we just have to accept certain situations for what they are meant to be.

Life takes care of the rest.

It’s moments like this where the universe is nudging me in the right direction that I used to ignore. I knew 2019 was going to bring change. I wasn’t expecting it to be only 4 days in. Normally I want an answer but today it’s ok to not know and its ok it took me so long.

The relationships (2) that I have let go of have reached their expiration date. I am taking the lessons I learned from the two of them and moving into the next chapter of my life. No doubt in my mind they will forever hold a piece of my heart but I no longer allow them to negatively affect me. What was once thought of as lifetime friendships, has come to an end…


I feel a true joy that doesn’t come naturally to me and dare I say I think this is what proud feels like. I also decided there is no reason to waste my time with someone I know is no good for me. Blocking that number added to my sense of liberation. No need to be tempted. With him, I was able to see an unhealthy pattern that I have repeatedly ignored about myself until now.

Learning about myself doesn’t have to be difficult. If I take it all at face value it is simplistic. Stepping out of my own way may become a trend in my life. “It is what it is”, a common phrase that is used, sums it up. Things are the way they are without explanation or reason.

When I sat back in silence and allowed myself to fully feel what has happened I literally sighed relief. I evaluated the possible answers for why I would hold onto something that brought me pain and the only answer I came up with was the fear of losing our friendship. Although we have been estranged going on three years, I have only recently mourned the loss of our close relationship and this finalized it. Maybe that is what brought such relief. The ends were finally tied and burned.

I try not to discuss in depth the circumstances surrounding my child. One because of shame; I am an alcoholic mother and the stigma attached to that is enough to make someone take their life, and two not to give a one-sided perspective. The friendship I have discussed today is the one I had with her father and the pain of him cheating on me, while I was pregnant, is what I have carried. My father disowned me because my child is biracial and in the moments of hearing him say, ” I am mentally prepared to spend the rest of my life in prison for the death of you and your unborn child”, I felt secure because of Kid’s father….until I was told he was cheating on me. My world was shattered, to say the least.

Many years have lapsed and life has treated us kind as parents. He is a great dad and that’s all I need from him. Despite his opinion today, he and I raised an amazing young lady to the best of our ability. We were young, selfish, and wild but our child never went without. She was taught respect, morals, self-love, compassion, and most importantly she knows she is loved.

Funny thing is I feared him finding out about my blog and little did I know he is a fan… he didn’t use those exact words but he did say he has read all of my posts and if I’d say so myself, that’s a fan (he told me I need to get a life, ppsst) 😉 Hi Anthony, Hello Sam.

Life is opening up for me and I for it. I want to step out from behind the curtains and not be ashamed for who I am. I am becoming and that is a beautiful thing. I owe it all to my beautiful, talented, rotten, sassy, smart mouth daughter. She has taught me what unconditional love is. Seeing her love herself is the most inspirational display of courage I have ever seen. She isn’t afraid to talk about her feelings, she doesn’t sweep them aside. She stands up for herself if someone has crossed her boundaries and she forgives wholly. In my eyes, she is the epitome of perfection in its rarest form here on earth. She is balanced and rounded at the same time. Not only does she know her limits, but she also respects them. I speak highly of her not because she is my child but because she is my most influential teacher. All too often when others meet her they want to give all the credit to me and her father but I won’t accept that. She is an observer and with her little eyes has formed her own opinion and character and I couldn’t be more proud. I only hope to become half the woman she will be.

Candace Lynne - Revenge of Eve




Now that I titled my post Discipline, it is imperative that I acknowledge this as exactly what I lack. Have always lacked. There. I said it. Ugh!! *as I air kick – my infamous brat gesture*

The concept of discipline, I understand. The results, rewarding. I get it. Decades ago, prior to the birth of my child and until she was 10 (she turns 19 in February), I were regimented. From fourth grade and throughout my first three years of college, I trained in dance. I received a, paid in full tuition; including books, scholarship. So … I am familiar with adhering to a strict schedule.

In February of 2002, I traded in my dance shoes for mom sandels. Instinctively, I knew the importance routine plays, in the life of a child. I found our groove and we stuck to it until my “functional” addiction broke loose and wrecked havoc on our robotic life. The last shred of disciplined evidence can be traced back to 2012-2013, thanks to my one year stint(s) in and out of inpatient rehab *sigh*.

The difference between then and now is motivation. Dance was introduced at such a young age that I considered it part of my life. I belonged to competition teams therein lie the motivator. Free college for doing what I love?!?! Sure. Motivation. Then of course, my daughter. Someone who relied on me for everything. I wouldn’t change it for the world, although, short lived.

I find myself in a which came first scenerio; the chicken or the egg? Is motivation a requirement for discipline or are the results of discipline the motivator?

I try to wrap my mind around forcing myself to do something when I do not want to but dare I say that ship sunk to the ocean floor? My only child works two jobs (her choice and strongly discouraged against), attends college full time and my dancing days, I save for my living room. Self-motivated isn’t an adjective I use to describe myself.

Same Problem Everyday

Once again my problem is solved with the ever elusive balance many obtain and I seek. Psst. Like … Whatever! 😬

… Nonetheless persistence prevails a priceless achievement!! I bet you never guessed I would conclude with an accomplishment, did ya?!?! Well surprise, surprise! After a solid year of organizing, reorganizing, combining, avoiding, stashing, and trashing, I have finally created an inspiring, orderly home studio!!! My most proud aspect is the probability for productivity. The set up is actually that; a purposeful arrangement.

By no means is it easy to conquer a room dominated by paper, stocked to the brim with the necessary tools to operate an at home craft business but … I did it!!

My accumulation of tools and supplies piled on layers to a sense of defeat that encompassed me yet without a systematic approach, I am doomed to flop. So … I constructed a plan, kept it to myself despite how it appeared and I began.

I quit adding to my stash and began collecting organization containers that suited my needs. While I had plenty of Instagram worthy display containers, I fell short on shelving. By the same token, glass isn’t what I consider to be functional, in terms of stow away organization. Easy on the eyes, yes, but limited on actual storage of.

Begin with what you know!

By beginning with the knowledge that I require a few sizable containers, for 12×12 papers as well as vintage magazines which are taller yet more narrow, I established a starting point.

Purchased from Wal-Mart

The flat storage containers that slide under the bed made the cut. I purchased four of this style with the handle clasp lid closure. Savings tip: Purchase containers in this size in August. It is the time of year for sending young adults off to college and all of the sturdy Rubbermaid products go on sale. You’re welcome 🤭

Staying with my black and white asthetic, I took advantage of this yearly sale (the cash in my pocket helped) and purchased two large file baskets. They are plastic and sturdy for $6.00 (each). FYI: I am a budget shopper, however, I do not sacrifice quality where it is necessary.

Plastic file box

Learning to be gentle with myself

This gave me the momentum to begin. Then I hit a mental road block. Complete and utter overwhelm. I couldn’t enter the room. By this point I felt ungrateful and consumed with self-doubt for not being able to create amongst the chaos that was. After several failed attempts, I called in backup aka my Ma ❤️ She came through like a sargent. She knows how to handle me 😂😳. I “yes ma’am” -d my way through for the sake of my sanity and dignity. I’ll be the first to admit that I need help every so often and maybe I need it more often than others and that is okay. Progress is progress.

Over months time I purchased small, medium, and large clear plastic refrigerator trays, ten in total. Every so often I would purchase one or two while on sale at the dollar store or grab some when I had a few extra dollars from Walmart. They make perfect project bins. My final purchases came from the Dollar Tree. These were spontaneous purchases. The style and size are perfect but the quality lacks. My vision was to store 6×6 paper pads and small cardstock. The design aspect that appeals to me is the carrying capability which these totes offer, however, they are more suitable for lightweight items. I adore the concept and the price point, unbeatable. I will utilize them just not how I imagined.

Dollar Tree tote

Moral of the Story

I am super proud of myself for tackling this feat. Could it have been accomplished in less than a year? Sure. But I doubt to my satisfaction.

Life in 2020 changed me. I will say for the better. It exposed my ugly. It strengthened my soul. A gentle side resurfaced. A part of me I wasn’t sure I’d ever reach again. The results being a more forgiving version of myself. This post is proof. Forgiveness is about oneself. It is easy, habitual realistically, for me to be extra critical on myself. But today, I am mindful that I too deserve forgiveness.

Personal insight alert

Roughly 14 years ago I got a tattoo on my left collar bone. It is backwards so it reads correctly in the mirror. It says forgive. I would be lying if I said I see it or if I knew the weight of it’s positioning, meaning, and depth when I got it. Ironic? Perhaps not.

Happy Holidays, Y’all ❤️


Letter143 is a series of letters written to myself, my loved ones and anyone else who wants to read ’em!

Pain. It’s relative.

Individuals with individual tolerances

For some, childhood emotional pain prevents them from conquering what it means to adult

And others exhaust personal pain with to-do lists, appointments, work

Add a dose of us who live daily with mental illness

And…what we, isss… (yes, Gun n Rose’s lyric)


Yet in my world,

I am at peace

Speaking in terms of today,

Of course


Letters written to myself and loved ones…and anyone else who will listen.

Pandemic Peace

Not once in time, can she define a moment her mind unwind.

In fact, it turn on the dime.

Except…This time.

Amidst pandemic confusion, or is it an illusion?

She assume unprecedented numbers choose delusion.

She nestle her fated conclusion.

Embracing her Queen deep within, she seek to invite anew begin.

A slate so fresh and so clean, its time she shift her lean.

A moments encounter is all it took.

A glance.

A side-look.

She shutter.

A shadow she’d not met

mimic her,

distorting her silhouette.

A mere reflection

of the darkness

her being


In disgust,

she shook.




This were conditioned,

created and enabled

by a

sickened society’s






unsolicited opinions

replace Respect and


An abused child





Open your

Fuck’n eyes

When does it stop?

Man burdening others,

demanding secrets remain concealed.

Generations of lies.

Perhaps the current pandemic is the universe’s way of suggesting we all take a look.

A response to the immense pain our society covet.