I Cut My Hair Because…

…I wanted to. 🙂

“OMG! You cut your hair!!” and “Why did you cut your hair?” These were the two main reactions from people after I chopped all of  my hair off. The crazy part about it is that this isn’t my first time doing it. My very first hair cut was my Senior year of high school back in 2010. I remember the day like yesterday. I was a relaxed gal back then. For some reason I wanted to get a cute short cut… and I did. I walked into Senior Installation Day like a super star baby. This was my first ever doing something drastic like that so I was really feeling myself. Ladies, yall know we get when we get that new new.

Fast forward to August 2012 when it officially went down. I did the big chop and went natural. I decided to just big chop because I didn’t want to play around with two textures. But, this is another blog post I’ll chat about. 🙂 That time was very different and shocking for me, but this time I feel different with my short hair. I’ve always wanted to go back to short hair but was stuck in between which short style would look good on me and just growing my natural as long as it could get. Truthfully, at times my hair just wouldn’t cooperate with your girl. I kept telling myself to let it grow, but deep down I knew I wanted my hair cut OFF! We battle back and forth with our hair, it’s crazy! lol!

I kept mentioning to my friends that I was gonna cut my hair off again but never did. I knew I would just didn’t know when.

August is my Naturalversary month and this past August marked my 5th year being natural. In July, I wanted to do a protective style so I decided to get crochet. I loved them but I started to get tired of them very quickly and couldn’t wait to take them OUT! I believe I could have been strolling on Instagram or Pinterest looking at cuts when I told myself that I’m cutting my hair when I take the crochet out. Saturday, August 26, roll around and I decided to cut my hair that day. I texted my best friend like, “girl I need a favor…. cut my hair!”

I felt a way back in 2012 when I first big chopped but I really didn’t cherish my TWA. I just cut it for it to grow back in a healthier state. Now, I actually feel GOOD with my short hair. I believe I was made for a short cut..yass!! I finally did something that I truly wanted to do for myself. No shame about it. Yes, I plan to keep my hair short for a longgg time! To think about it a little deeper, this is a nice step and mindset to go about whenever we decide to do anything for ourselves. No shame about it. Do you what you need to do for YOU!

-Jas ❤

 

 

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#BLOGGERSNIGHTOUT w/ Magic City Fashion Week & TheVicStyles

Last Wednesday, I had the opportunity to attend the Bloggers Night Out event hosted by Magic City Fashion Week and with the amazing Victoria Sanders aka @thevicstyles. When I first saw this advertisement, I could not miss this! Reason one being because of Vic and her wisdom as a blogger and reason two because it is imperative for me to attend events like this to not only become a great blogger but to also surround myself with bloggers and their expertise.

I’m no fashion girl, so my main reason in being there was to connect with other bloggers, learn some do’s and don’ts of blogging, and to simply gain as much knowledge as I could from someone who is not only doing it, but is successful in it. I wanted to know how Vic began her journey, how to become successful in the blogging world, and receive straight honesty about that life. You know what she did? Delivered. Vic dropped so many gems that I almost couldn’t keep up.

For some odd reason, I always become timid when someone asks me about my blog and where I want it to go or why I am blogging. That “why” always get me. Even when I know deep down I’m using it as a platform to truly inspire someone in this world. But, my words don’t exemplify that. It shows lack of confidence in my blog. If I am unsure of it, why should someone else take me seriously? Yall, that resonated with me all night.

Here are a few things I left with from Vic:

  1. Always surround yourself with likeminded, creative people. We must feed our soul that will help and energize our minds. Get around those who have common interests as you. In her words, “create a bubble for yourself.” It’s important to keep those who inspire you around, always.
  2. Practice like you want your blog to be a career. She asked me was my blog a hobby or a career and I responded with both. It can’t be both. Why not? Because if I keep calling it my hobby, that’s all it will be. I won’t ever have the mindset to invest in it to become a career. What you speak into it will manifest.
  3.  Being a blogger is hard work. Do not let the pretty, swaggy pictures, likes, followers and quotes fool you. You must have a purpose. You must be consistent. You must do some work for FREE!
  4. Just be you. So simple yet so hard. Being simply yourself will attract more than you may ever imagine.

I left feeling inspired and refreshed from being around people who share a common interest. Being that little ole Birmingham is a little behind with these type of events I am super happy that the guys of MCFW created this event!

Yes, I’m In MY Feelings

Let’s flashback to 16-year-old Jasmine yearning to be grown and doing adult things; clubbing, drinking, engaging in “grown” folk talk, and everything in between. I made sure I had my life planned out the way I envisioned it to be and was very determined to achieve those life goals. I just knew I would be married by 25, kids by 28 and making major coin by 30…ha! Look at how life works. Currently 25 and am nowhere near the life I created way back when. To be honest, I’m in my feelings.

For a few weeks my mind has really been all over the place thinking about what I really want to do with my life to my love life to finances to friendships. As much as I try to reassure myself and to be patient, it’s hard! It’s hard, but it’s okay to let some feelings out. Honestly, it’s a great relief.

My ladies, I know we keep a guard up to prevent being judged by folk. Too many of us are always on our “I don’t have feelings” train when deep down we have SO much built up inside and want to talk to somebody that’ll listen. When did being vulnerable become taboo? Some times that “strong black woman” title has to be let down to heal ourselves. We can only be “strong” for so long.

So, you’re probably wondering where I’m going with this or where did this come about? I am very positive that like my friends and I, you, too have sensitive conversations with your best friends about life, love and above. Although we may have those conversations, there are some small parts of us that can be feel uncomfortable addressing certain situations and battles with ourselves. I am really here to encourage you to let that guard down some time and be open and vulnerable. Now, you don’t have to run and tell every piece of your business to everyone, but if you’re feeling a way let. it. out. Coming to this point does have a lot to do with growth, character and mindset. Not everyone is out to judge you for who YOU are.

I want to be at a point where I speak my feelings confidently. I want to make addressing feelings normal and okay. Everyone needs a listening ear without judgment. Nobody’s perfect, cliché, but true. Be vulnerable. Be open. Let those feelings out. BE YOU!

-Jas ❤

 

True Beauty Lies Within You

There’s always a little fear inside of us to be who we really are. Times where we fake perfect to be liked, wear certain clothing to be noticed, or simply give ourselves up to fit in with everybody else. I’m here to say true beauty lies within YOU.

What is beauty?

Y’all, it has taken me 25 years to truly understand myself wholeheartedly, but I’m still learning because it is a process. I’ve learned how much I love simplicity. I’ve fallen in love more with myself being in my natural state. Don’t get me wrong I love to dress up and put makeup on when needed, but I’d rather be chill every day. In the social media world where trends are popping, makeup is popping, and if you aren’t hip to it then you’re not popping lol. Oh please. Don’t let it overwhelm or make you feel like to have to do what every other person is doing to fulfill your happiness.

My definition of beauty is loving my imperfections and embracing them no matter what. Beauty is love and confidence.  So, I decided to take a few photos in my natural state. I wanted to to be calm and free without having a “beat face.” Some times we never appreciate the simple things. I wanted to feel the grass between my toes and have the wind blow onto my scalp and not worry about being “perfect.”

Let’s point out the things I used to struggle with that I’m proud of now: big lips, chubby cheeks, gap, slow growing hair ( still struggling lol) just to name a few. I’ve grown to love my imperfections over time and it’s crazy to me because I always wanted to have straight, no gap teeth, that nice shape, smaller lips and so on. I always compared myself because I thought those changes would make me beautiful. Nah, I’ll pass on that because my features are perfect for me. I wouldn’t be Jasmine without them.

At the end of the day, do you boo and let no one make you feel bad about what you prefer for yourself. Before I leave, I want to encourage yall to look at yourself in the natural state and see how beautiful you are and to take heed of the simple things.

-Jasmine ❤


Introducing… Books & Brunch!

It has definitely been a LONG time since I’ve written, BUT great things have happened during my not-so-planned hiatus lol!

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this year is #Passion17; 2017 and beyond it is time to go after everything you dream of. With that being said, I am introducing…..

My line sister, Samaiyah, and I have started our very own book club! Although book clubs aren’t anything new, but they are rare down here in Birmingham, AL.

The mission of Books and Brunch is to celebrate our history and culture, while learning more about who we are as a people through books. We plan to bring exposure to books written by Black authors (specifically Black women). Books for us, by us! Our goal is to bring young, millennial women together to empower, embrace and spread Black Girl magic!

To keep up with Books and Brunch be sure to follow us on Instagram @booksxbrunch. We post current books, meet ups, inspirations and we have two segments that recognizes our Black Queens and Kings who are changing our world by writing empowering books.

-Jas ❤

 

My Black Girl Magic Influencers

Black. Girl. Magic. Three words that are POPPING and I’m loving it! It took me entirely TOO long to realize how powerful we are and how we can be a force to be reckoned with in this world. I’m just excited to witness everything #BlackGirlMagic new school and old school. I say old school because women like Erykah Badu and India.Arie have always been comfortable in their skin, taught us to love ourselves, and to never give up on our dreams. With this being said, read along to see who has influenced me to never dim my #BlackGirlMagic light.

In no particular order, I proceed….

Queen Erykah Badu

The past few days I have been on a Badu high. I have been listening to the Baduizm album from beginning to end with zero skips. I have always admired and loved Badu, but never did I sit back and listen to the words of her songs, her demeanor, or her creativity to understand the messages she gave to us. When her songs came out when I was younger, of course I jammed to beat and bypassed the actual meaning behind them. I have so much respect for her staying true to herself and never folding in the entertainment business. We all know it’s harder for “us” in any career. In Baduizm she teaches us about finding and leaving love, friendships, not settling and conforming to others, and being yourself always. This woman is bold, free, and believes in herself. For being that, I love her!

Queen India.Arie

Ohhhh India, my girl!! Like Badu, I remember growing up listening to her music and enjoying it, but still missing the messages. AH! This girl told us to love our brown skin, embrace our nappy hair, and even told us she wasn’t the average video girl. Although not knowing anything about the music industry I do know that is definitely hard being your true self and having to “fake” it most of the time. I decided to revisit her albums: Voyage to India and Acoustic Soul to experience her thoughts. I love how she spoke about simplicity of life, love, being comfortable in your skin, peace, and God. We can get so caught up in “stuff” and the glam that we forget ourselves. I thank her for remaining herself and embracing her Black.

“One of the things that I’ve worked my way out of doing, and I knew I need to, was comparing myself to other people. It all of a sudden determines even clothes you’re going to wear that day or what you’re going to do with the music production or how you’re going to sequence it. It poisons everything. Your real job in the world is to be you. Comparing yourself to other people, I think that hurt me more than anything. Allowing myself to go there so much in my head hurt me.”

“Your self-worth is your job. It’s your sacred space to cultivate cause there’s always going to be somebody who comes along and says you’re not thin enough or your hair’s not ‘that’ enough or your voice’s not high enough, you’re not going to make it in the music industry because you don’t sound like all the others. There always has to be somebody who comes along and says something like that but if you remind yourself that they’re wrong because you know your own path. And one of the things I do know after all the healing work I’ve done is I sit in my journal or meditation time what would I do about this thing, whatever it is– sometimes I think its an opportunity I’m not ready for — sometimes it’s somebody telling I can’t or I’m not worthy — and I sit in my private space and I say, I really just play it all out — I can visualize it or I can write it — and I say… What would I do if I knew I was 100% of this? What would I do?

-India.Arie

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Queen Myleik Teele

On the business side of #BlackGirlMagic, I put boss woman Myleik on the list because she is doing it! She is an example of staying true to your dreams, building your brand and knowing what YOU want to achieve and watch it manifest, with hard work of course. I first discovered Myleik about three years ago from her hair subscription line, CurlBOX. I began to follow her social media platforms and now listening to her podcast as she gives her best advice on entrepreneurship, relationships, interviews other successful entrepreneurs as well as sharing her journey . Her boldness, her honesty, and serve mentality are what keeps me drawn to her. Let me tell you all, she makes sure to drop gems on us women who are seeking entrepreneurship. Most of us weren’t raised in the atmosphere of chasing dreams or making a change to better our lifestyle. She didn’t have a blueprint to this life, but she hustled and worked hard to live the life she dreamed of. She is definitely using her platform and gifts for more #BlackGirlMagic to be made.

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Queen Beyoncé

This woman is the epitome of hard work, passion, dedication, drive, love, and family. What I love more about Bey is her privacy. She reveals her life on her time and is respected for that. Growing up to Destiny’s Child was so much fun for me and my cousins as we all pretended to be one of the girls. Back then they taught us things about love, men (in good and bad ways) lol, being true to your friends, heartbreak, etc. It’s amazing how we sung those songs with our heart and missed lessons!! Today, I am super grateful for her days in DC and as a solo artist. What makes Bey stand out to me is how deep and creative she can go with her music to tell stories. They make us think and inspire us to go back and learn about our history. Little did I know she has always been family oriented and raised to love her Black. Thanks Mrs. Tina! Nonetheless, no one can deny her art, entertainment and lessons she delivers. She inspires me to keep going, to never give up, and work hard for what I want. No idea is crazy. I’ll forever be a fan!

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Queen Solange

Mrs. Tina truly hit us with another gem with this girl here. My love for her began with her song “Losing You” way back when. Still then I didn’t realize how different and motivational she was. Solo was one of my inspirations to rock a short hair cut with my natural hair. Her with a buzz cut was my favorite next to Chrisette Michele. In a world full of women trying to be “perfect,” she has always been her true self. When I say true self, I mean she does not have to fake her life to be make it. There are girls out here, like myself, who once wanted to make sure to be pleasing to others. Always thinking about what other people will approve of instead of being your true, inner self. Solo is confident, vibrant, creative, talented and is very unapologetic when it comes to her life. I believe we should always strive to be that way. Of course when she released ‘A Seat at the Table’ I grew to love her more! She has inspired me to move at my own beat, remain confident in myself, and to just be me.

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There are many other Black, powerful women that I look up to besides these few, but I just decided to recognize them. As I continue to grow and become wiser, I am recognizing that I am great! Black women are powerful, we are beautiful and we don’t have to conform to this world that strives to downplay our abilities. Each and every day let’s spread some #BlackGirlMagic!

& Remember, Love yoself girl or nobody will!

-Jasmine ♥

 

The Power of “No”

The word ‘no’ is such a character word. It’s funny because no one likes or want to hear that “horrible” word. *eye roll* Well, truth be told, I NEVER wanted to be told no or to tell anyone, especially my friends that word. I always wondered why can’t every answer be ‘yes’…ugh. However, that horrible word is so necessary.

Friends, why is it so hard for us to just say no? From a personal perspective, saying no is hard because we are comfortable, want to pleasers and have not grown yet to understand the power of no. People around us are always in expectation of great answers. Better yet, they fear rejection and we do too. “ARE YOU TELLING ME NO?!?” When I hear no, I may think I did something wrong and feel a need of explanation, or when I get turned down from a job, or my friends not participating, etc. That word just hurts. At some point as adults we must appreciate the ‘no’ and keep it moving. As we become wiser and more mature, the understanding of ‘no’ determines the mindset.

Now, I have to say no. I can’t always participate in activities knowing that I’m broke, I can’t help you when you’re aren’t trying to change or help yourself, I can’t always agree with you. Chile the list goes on! I believe in getting serious with yourself and standing firm on the decisions you make. Whether family or friends, they should understand your ‘no’ when you’re trying to become a better version of yourself. In my mind, once the people around you understand the why then they’ll want to get themselves together. For the sake of your happiness and peace, do it for yourself. 2017 and beyond I don’t want to feel obligated to say yes just to please others and down the line have resentment. Let’s be honest, we all know at the time of the proposal, that we may or may not be interested.

Let me remind you all, when I say you, I’m speaking to and reminding myself as well. I am constantly reminding myself that ‘no’ isn’t bad at all. Let’s not become yes-mens, or should I say yes-womens lol!

-Jasmine ♥