Be Back Soon…

Hey Everyone,

I’ll be going off the grid for the next week, due to some well-deserved travel.  I am taking a week off!! I’ll be doing nothing but relaxing…and eating of course!

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I hope that all of you have a wonderful week, and continue to bask in your blogging bliss.

~FreeBryd

Image#1: http://www.au-au-au.com/

Image #2: http://www.livescience.com/

Qualities In A Mate//Fix My Relationship

Morning Cyber Family!

How often do you consider your values/standards when considering a mate?  Is this a no negation type of situation?

Sometimes we can’t help who we’ve grown attached to. Maybe this person completely took us by surprise, and now we are left with a list of qualities that we believed we needed in a potential mate, but isn’t as necessary as once before.

I strongly believe that it’s important to have an idea of what you’re looking for. You need to be comfortable enough to know what you’d be willing to put up with. Even if you’re new to dating and haven’t figured out the specifics yet…you can eventually decide then what comprises you are willing to make for love.

I normally live a pretty structured life. What I mean is that I have an idea of how my weeks will look like. This helps keeps me grounded. Relationship wise, I could not be happier. The both of us had general standards that we used to make the decision of whether or not we’d even be interested in one another long-term. Initially, we had similar plans for the future, enjoyed one another’s company, and were and continue to provide support, love, and laughter for one another.

In honor of the Fix My Relationship series, a few people were able to provide me with some feedback on what it is they look for when considering entering into a new relationship.

Here’s the results from the mini interview I completed with those willing bodies. 

In my mate, I am looking for someone who is…

*God fearing, secure (don’t want nobody that’s not confident in themselves), comfortable to be around, funny, intelligent, goal oriented, and attractive.

*1.Intelligent (and by that I really mean insightful ) 2. Beautiful 3. Moral 4. Loves black people and culture. The 4th things is important because I may make personal/ career sacrifices to help black folk, and I would need a significant other who was cool with that.

*God-fearing, family oriented, has good morals, a job/career (LoL), has goals set for himself, someone who has a sense of humor! Someone who is spontaneous! Someone that I know can help me grow as a Christian! Someone I can talk to and confide in…The list can go on and on lol!!

*I would like for my mate to be supportive, trusting and family oriented with an ambitious never settle attitude. I’m a guy who wants to build an empire.

*Believes in God, well-mannered, smart and intelligent, has goals, respectful, humorous, handsome, well-kept (dresses nice).

*Takes a while to figure out the right formula. After a lot of trial and error…I think I have a pretty good list. I look for someone who on the same page with education and career goals. I look for someone who is intrinsically motivated to succeed not just get by. I look for someone who treats me well and makes me laugh. Someone who I can bet self around. If I’m not comfortable enough for you to see me without mascara and wearing a headcap…you’re not the one lol! I’m looking for someone who I can have a conversation with, not just a physical relationship. Someone who has similar interests and family desires. Preferably someone who is physically fit. Race doesn’t matter.

How likely are you to stand by your ideal qualities in a mate?

Did your current mate match your pre-determined list?

~FreeBryd

Image: http://www.wikihow.com/

On My Nomination…

Hey Everyone,

I was nominated twice (in less than a week) for the Liebster award. This just means that some very lovely blogger friends of mine have taken the time to connect with beginning bloggers such as myself.  The award was created to give recognition to the nominee and thank them for their inspiration to others. I love this because it helps build relationships…something that I am already passionate about. So, thank you Cheyanne and Kerril for thinking of me :-).

I know there are specific rules for accepting this award (answer 11 questions, nominate 5 more bloggers), but I’ve always been a little bit rebellious lol. So, I plan to answer a few questions from each person who has so graciously nominated me. Also, I’ll keep my eye out for awards in the future, to be able to spread love and support all of you as well.

Questions:

1.What do you love most about yourself?

I love that I am able to remain optimistic (on most days) and find the positives about my day.  I remind myself constantly that I have wonderful family, friends, a boyfriend who still considers me a gem…I’m on cloud 9!!

2.Are you good at resolutions?  

How do you stay motivated to get them done?

I crave resolutions!! I admit that I feel somewhat unsettled when I leave a task partially completed. It’s a constant reminder that I don’t need to have. I’m motivated to have a clear head, so this is what keeps me pushing forward.

3.Where would you love to travel?

I would love to visit Paris. Anyone who knows me understands my fear of flying. I’m uncomfortable being on a plane for that long…but this is a sacrifice that I am willing to make. Visiting Paris is on my bucket list.

4.What is your favourite movie of all time?

Grease!! Hands down. I love everything about this movie. I love musicals, and I know every word to each song.

5.What is your favourite kind of music?

I love R&B.  Ne-Yo is my favorite artist.  So, if he changed genres…I’m sure I would too. 🙂

6.Do you have kids?

Zero. But, one day I hope to have like 6 of the little rugrats…lol. Ok, maybe like 3. I have five siblings, so I appreciate the relationships that can form from bigger families.

Here are the official rules if any of you are interested in participating in this Liebster award.

Link back to my site (or whomever’s), answer whatever questions you want to answer, nominate more people and create new questions for them.

Thanks again ladies!

Happy Connecting!!

~FreeBryd

How To Communicate//Learn Something New

To follow-up with my previous post on Learning About Yourself (discovering your values), I wanted to continue with this theme of understanding more about ourselves.

I would argue that communication is the most important foundation for any relationship to prosper.

Today, I would like to provide you with the basics regarding the different styles of communication.  If you are not sure what style you are most comfortable with, hopefully you will gain a better understanding after this read.  If you are a seasoned veteran, and are already familiar with these communication styles, than kudos to you! But, a little refresher course wouldn’t hurt, right? 🙂

What do you know about the different styles of communication? Maybe you’re not familiar with the book terms for how you interact with others.  That’s perfectly okay too.

I for one have always heard the different terms being tossed around, but have never actually researched them on my own until grad school.

Here’s some info on the different styles of communication:

anger-management

Aggressive: is a style in which individuals express their feelings and opinions and advocate for their needs in a way that violates the rights of others.

– try to dominate others
– use humiliation to control others
– criticize, blame, or attack others
– be very impulsive

Impact: – become alienated from others, generate fear and hatred in others, and always blame others instead of owning their issues, and thus are unable to mature.

Non-capisco-image

Passive:is a style in which individuals have developed a pattern of avoiding expressing their opinions or feelings, and getting their own needs met.

– often feel anxious because life seems out of their control
– often feel depressed because they feel stuck and hopeless
– often feel resentful (but are unaware of it) because their needs are not being met
– often feel confused because they ignore their own feelings
– are unable to mature because real issues are never addressed

Impact: Increased anxiety, feelings of hopelessness and helplessness

Passive-Aggressive: is a style in which individuals appear passive on the surface but are really acting out anger in a subtle, indirect, or behind-the-scenes way.

– mutter to themselves rather than confront the person or issue
– have difficulty acknowledging their anger
– use facial expressions that don’t match how they feel – i.e., smiling when angry
– deny there is a problem

Impact: become alienated from those around them, remain stuck in a position of powerlessness, and discharge resentment while real issues are never addressed so they can’t mature.

Personally, I am admitting that I would become easily irritated when I felt that I was unable to express myself completely. Honestly, for the majority of my life I’ve felt that I’ve probably gravitated towards the passive aggressive style of communicating.  I kept hearing people say that when referring to me, and still I had no idea what they meant exactly. I assumed this was a funny way of reminding me to check my attitude :-/. Needless to say, I learned a lot about myself.

How-to-be-a-More-Assertive-Parent_Article

Assertiveis a style in which individuals clearly state their opinions and feelings, and firmly advocate for their rights and needs without violating the rights of others.

– state needs and wants clearly, appropriately, and respectfully
– listen well without interrupting
– feel in control of self
– not allow others to abuse or manipulate them
– stand up for their rights

Impact: – feel connected to others, feel in control of their lives, are able to mature because they address issues and problems as they arise, create a respectful environment for others to grow and mature

Once I understood more about my own patterns, I was able to make a decision on where I wanted to be, to get to a place where I could communicate freely. I wanted to be understood, respected, someone whom others would consider when making important decisions, and confident. My next course of action was to do the research on reaching these communication milestones. I wanted to be assertive, and this is the style that I have been practicing for the most part more recently. I still have those days when I fall back into my old pattern (sorry guys). Good thing my family and friends are extremely forgiving :-).

What style of communicating best fits you? Has this changed over time?

XOXO

~FreeBryd

Resources:

If you’re curious about what style best suits you, take this 20 question quiz:HERE.

Full descriptions on communication styles: HERE


Image #1:http://blog.prepscholar.com/

Image #2:http://www.bacweb.org/

Image#3:http://effectivecommunicationadvice.com/

Image #4:http://www.empoweringparents.com/

Learning About Yourself//Heart 2 Heart

I’ll start this post with a few questions for you…

What do you think you’re known for? What do you believe in? What are your goals? What are determined to do with your time?

Values: “A person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgement of what is important in life” (Dictionary.com).

These beliefs are what drives our happiness.  I stumbled across a blog by Kate the other day, @The Importance Of Values. Unfortunately I did not save the link to her blog properly :-(. She describes her experiences with being unable to find true happiness with significant others, due to not yet discovering what she wanted in those relationships.

I want each of us to begin focusing on understanding our values. Maybe you’re unsure of what exactly this may be for you? Or maybe you’re still exploring what’s important to you.

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Whatever the case, I strongly encourage each of you to begin re-evaluating your lives to find the answers to the questions listed above.

How can we expect others to “just get it”‘ if we have yet to figure this out ourselves.  Life would make so much more sense if we began to understand our core values.

Maybe this is the reason for your previous relationships did not make it over that 6 month mark, or the reason why you’ve been feeling so unsettled/unfulfilled in your job/career.  I agree with Kate when she discussed how these feelings can impact your relationships with others…I’ve been there. But not only were my relationships with others suffering, I was also stuck in a cycle of negativity. It was difficult for me to find any positives.  I was living my day, but not enjoying much of it at all.

Denying your values for the sake of others can also put a wedge in your overall happiness and feelings of fulfillment.  How long will you be able to keep up appearances simply to keep the peace? What about what matters to you?

I wasn’t able to begin feeling better about myself, until I decided to truly understand what I wanted for myself long-term. What I was willing to do to see my goals become my reality.

I wanted to be able to speak with confidence when someone asked me a question about what I wanted out of life, and where I was headed. If you haven’t experienced this before, the feeling of not having a purpose, and having very little to look forward to can be absolutely draining. I was miserable without actually knowing the cause, and how to “fix” this.

I started to journal my thoughts more, and reach out to others whom I normally looked to for guidance.  I asked them similar questions like those listed in the beginning of this post.  Their answers were not a specific guide on what I needed to do, but provided me with encouragement on how I could begin answering these questions on my own.

Disclaimer: I know that everyone has their own values and beliefs. So, I’ll spare the specifics of my own to keep the peace on this blog :-). But, if you’ve been following my blog, you have a pretty clear idea on what my values are (self-care, family, strengthening our relationships, and education…just to name a few).

What are some questions you still need to figure out the answers to about understanding your values? Who helps to inspire you to discover these answers? 

Much Love,

FreeBryd

Image#1: http://www.thecrewcoach.com/

Image #2: http://www.twitterpowersystem.com/

Connect With Me//Over a Cup of Coffee

Hey Blog Family,

We had such a great turnout for the last Mix and Mingle…so, it’s time for another one!  Let’s take a moment to say hi to someone new, and possibly gain a long-term friend!

Let’s pretend that we are sharing a cup of coffee (or some other fancy drink if coffee isn’t your thing).  Over this cup of coffee, we will share details about our week with one another.  This idea was inspired by the Writing 101 course that I’ve signed up for via WordPress.

As always, thanks for joining! Now, let’s grab a cup of coffee!

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If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that I’ve recently wrote an Open Letter To My Father.  I’ve never been so transparent before with him.  I was able to share most of my thoughts and feelings that I’ve been keeping safe since childhood.  My father and I have grown much closer over the last couple of years, so I felt that we were in a better place to be able to communicate more freely and open.  In response to the letter, he let me know that I wasn’t actually a headache for him…lol. He shared some personal feelings of his own from these earlier experiences. Nothing but smiles from me! I am even trying to plan for a family reunion…something we’ve never done before with my father’s side of the family.

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that in about a week, I will be traveling to Mexico for 7 days!! I am excited for the well deserved vacation, the food, the activities, and dancing!  I’ve been trying my best to eat healthier, and become more physically active.  I do worry that my healthy lifestyle will suffer…just a smidge, because I’ll be in such an exotic place.  Anyone who knows me, understands how serious I am about my food.  I’ll plan  to do some outside activities to keep my heart rate up…in exchange for eating any and everything, and relaxing on most days.

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d let you know that while I’m away in Mexico, I will miss blogging as often as I’d like.  I’ve honestly grown to look forward to connecting with all of you.  So many opportunities to meet such wonderful people, and become inspired by your posts! But, I’ll be happy to update all of you on how awesome this trip has been when I return!

In recognition of today’s Mix and Mingle, I ask that you do the following:

  1. When you share an update, begin with “If I were drinking coffee right now”.
  2. Leave a link to your blog so others can check out your space.
  3. Want to share this post with others? Be sure to pingback and reblog this post.

*Share as little or as much as you’d like*

Happy Sharing!

~FreeBryd

Image #1:https://www.contentwatch.com/

Image#2: http://www.firehousejavacuisine.com/

Learn Something New//Parenting Through Play

Hey All!

Thanks for joining me again for the new #TeachMe series.  Those of you who have been keeping up with my posts for a while know that the theme of my blog focuses on mending relationships.  I’ve spent quite some time now providing insight, new perspectives, and advice on how to improve your romantic relationships, as well as those between friends and co-workers.

Today, I wanted to shine some light on another important aspect of our lives…the parenting relationship.  Now, I’m no certified expert in this area, so today I include myself in learning something new.

I think many of us can agree that communication is one of the top priorities in nurturing a healthy and successful relationship. I’m sure many of you have mastered the skill of understanding baby talk…but, hopefully you can agree that this alone can become challenging.  Young children appear to have so much to say, and often times they have not yet fully developed the vocabulary to express themselves.  Both parent and child may then become easily irritable.  An increase in emotional and behavioral concerns from the child can take place as a result.

“Play is a fun, enjoyable activity that elevates our spirits and brightens our outlook on life” (Russ, 2004).

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Play therapy is a way for both parent and child to begin learning how to communicate with one another.

“Play relieves feelings of stress and boredom, connects us to people in a positive way, stimulates creative thinking and exploration, regulates our emotions, and boosts our ego” (Landreth, 2002).

Initially, play therapy was created to treat mental, behavioral and psychosocial concerns, with weekly sessions with your child and a trained play therapist.  But I don’t see the harm in using this technique for any child under the age of 10, and with parents who want to improve their interactions with their child/decrease behavioral and emotional concerns. Just be sure to gain as much knowledge as possible in this therapy technique.

I had the opportunity to participate in play therapy, and filial therapy (teaching parents how to use play therapy with their kids) during my grad program.  I absolutely loved this! Now, I know what many of you must be thinking…

  • Why would I need someone teaching me how to play with my children?
  • I already play with my kids…and we have fun!

I completely get that you may have these thoughts initially.  I wanted to highlight the difference between play therapy and just everyday play.  Watch this quick video here on play therapy, to get a better idea of what this entails.

Play therapy helps parents to learn more about their children. Typically, children are unable to express themselves verbally.  For example, as a parent you may not get an accurate account of how your child’s day was (either at school or daycare), through verbal descriptions alone.  In addition to these types of questions, parents can allow their children to take the lead through play, to gain a better understanding on what they are feeling, and what they have experienced.

You have to allow the child to lead completely, refrain from guessing at what the child may be doing during play, and fight the urge to “help” them complete a task that you know they are capable of doing on their own. For example, asking your child things like: what do you want me to do next, where should I sit, what do you want the police officer to say? Try not to assign any names or labels to any of the toys until your child does so first (ie.the car may not be a “car”..may be a spaceship!).

Your child will begin gaining confidence, and learn how to better express themselves. Again, this type of play is separate from your everyday play (30 mins-1 hour, weekly or as often as you’d like).

The toys that are recommended to assist in this type of play expression:

Real Life/Nurturing (baby dolls, phone, money, furniture, clothes for dress up)

Acting Out/Aggressive Release (handcuffs, masks, “scary toys”, inflatable bop bag)

Expressive (paper, crayons, paint, building blocks)

*Board games are not encouraged for this type of play, because they limit expression and creativity.  Other than that, board games are awesome, and are a household necessity!

What are your experiences with playing with your children? How often do you play? 

Thanks for reading! Go out, play, and have fun!

Resources:

Click here to learn more about play therapy: benefits, what this treats, etc.

Click here for a more detailed list of toys to include in play therapy.

Association for Play Therapy

PlayTherapy3rdEdition

~FreeBryd

Image credit# 1, 2 and 3: Google images

Heart 2 Heart//Changing Your Attitude

Kicking off the Heart 2 Heart series with a lesson of love for yourself…change your attitude.

This speaks to me in such a huge way.  I have been somewhat stuck in a cycle of negativity.   I know…how awful!

I started to be short with loved ones, and I had no idea what was happening.  I of course was the last to realize that I was “stuck”.  When I woke up, I made it a point to do something different.  I wanted to change my attitude…in fact, I needed to do this.  I was only torturing myself, and this was beginning to weigh on my soul!

I know that I have been taking many of the things in my life for granted, and that is not how I want to live my life. I

I want to be happy, so why not make this happen?

I want to be successful with my goals, so why not take those first steps to change the direction I want to go?

I don’t want to complain all of the time, about things that I am not willing to change, so why not work on resolutions instead?

This is how I spent my day yesterday.  Yes, this is something that I have done in the past, but I allowed myself to get caught up again.  I wasn’t taking the time to replenish myself, and prioritize my own self-care. To be honest, this was an extremely refreshing day.  I realized that I was sabotaging my own happiness. What I needed was to check my own attitude.

*Sidebar* I always hear people saying that they will treat others how they are treated by those same people…I don’t even want to do this.  I really want to take charge of my own life, and not have anyone dictate my attitude.  Saying you want to be happy, and actually chosing to be are completely different….again, I’m realizing this now.  For such a long time, I knew what it would take for me to be happy, and alter my mood, but have been inconsistent with making this happen.

So simple, but yet I was making this much harder than it needed to be.

I really took the time to count my blessings, and appreciate where I was in my life.  As a result, my day was brighter.  I was less cranky and annoyed, and kept on smiling for just the thought of being in control of my own happiness.

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I am Thankful for…

  • My health
  • My boyfriend returning home safely after traveling for work for the last five weeks (for my own selfish reasons)
  • My family and my friends (for their love and continuous support. Thanks for sharing my blog with others, and encouraging me to be great!!)
  • My career which allows me to pursue my dream of helping mend relationships

What are you Thankful for?

~FreeBryd

Image Credit#1: Found on Etsy

Image Credit#2: Found on google images

Building Relationships//Research Results

In an earlier post, I wrote about finding ways that women could improve their relationships with one another.  If you missed that post, click here to read more about it.

In a nutshell, I’ve realized that it is not often that women can come together to mingle, without the sole purpose being on family.  For example, men typically use sports as a way to connect.  Usually they can meet at a number of local spots, and bond over this experience together…I want the same for women.

Today, I wanted to post the results for those of you who are interested in finding new ways of networking with other women.

women

Here are the questions that I posted earlier to help me obtain this information:

  1. What is currently available to women where they can go to mingle and network (places, activities to complete together)?
  2. Of these places, what is the primary focus (family/relationship/work oriented, etc.)?
  3. What would you like to see women do together, if there are currently no places that meet your needs/expectations on networking with other women?

From Blogger: Ladycamecu

1).Places women tend to go to socialize tend to exclude men like shopping or are centered around things that they are doing with other moms or something like play dates. In my experience I tend to go wine and design classes, dinner dates, find fun races (adventure races) or cheap groupon activities that are new to do together like bowling, spa dates and the like.
2). We talk about small talk to get it out of the way but then we like to focus on each other’s goals, future plans, fun, and how to make those moves. We also like to talk about health and how to change it and relationships are a biggie as I am a counselor but we are in our own right so I’m sure that is a big one for all of us).
3). I would like to see women do more physical activity together, I do not see that as much as I should. I see some walking, but there are other activities that can be fun such as ropes courses, team sports (even casually), mental games like escape houses, photography classes (confidence building) or pole fitness (fun, fitness, and confidence building) etc…

From Blogger: Sammy

1 and 2- the spa, nail shop, beauty salon, SEPHORA!!! I can only think of places for grooming.
3-I’m thinking these places are great for women. But I usually am flying solo or hanging with my friends. These are not really places that women go for socializing with strangers. If these places had lady’s special or nights, they may draw in larger quantities of women and this may result in socializing among women.

From Blogger: Nena

1)I started a Ladies Night that we do each month with some close lady friends of mine. To give you an idea we have:

~Gone to a local restaurant that offered a ladies night deal
~Done a Paint Night where we go to a local restaurant or bar to do some guided painting:)
~Celebrated birthdays at one of our homes and made high-heeled cupcakes we saw on Pinterest and played board games

2) We usually like to just have some fun together since we rarely hang out with just the women. We use it as our time to just relax and get away from the regular routine.

3) I agree with ladycamecu about having more physical activities to do together…for women only. Like having a Ladies Mud Run. Dance classes (like belly dancing) and in the continuing education seminars for my professions.

From Blogger: Daisy

My friends and I did plenty of the typical activities, pedicures, shopping, bars, and restaurants. We talked about going to an art class but it never worked out with our schedules. As I’ve tried to transition into a more active lifestyle and make some changes I try to plan more outdoor activities like hiking or even just a walk. I’d like to try some cooking classes and more active activities like belly dancing. Fun activities that help with my change to a healthier lifestyle.

From Blogger: EGOTist

  1. I’ve been to brunches, game nights, writing sessions, birthday parties, and toy and make-up parties. I feel like most of the networking and hang-out sessions I’ve been to have been organized by women and targeted exclusively to them. Meet-Up is a great way to connect and I’ve been to some interesting events through them. I also find that salons (hair and nail) and waiting rooms are great places to have some amazing discussions. Happy hours are also great places to strike up conversations with other women.
  2. I think the focus depends on where you are and who you’re with. Conversations I have are usually very fluid in their topics especially when you have a mix of women from different backgrounds.
  3. I always like to see more work/business related networking events and I’d like to see more mentoring opportunities and open discussions about sexual and mental health.

Recently, my friends and I have been trying to meet up at least twice per month to have a ladies night out.  Nothing is off the table…lol.  Later this week, I already have plans to meet up with some lady friends for dinner, and to catch up on life.  I am really looking forward to this night! I have also been meaning to start a book club, as well as a bi-weekly potluck, where we can alternate whose house we will be hosting at.

If you have any ideas that could help add to this current list (many ideas gained from other interviewees were already on this list, please provide some feedback for yours truly! 🙂

~FreeBryd