Tuesday Thoughts: What A Difference A Year Can Make!

Picture courtesy of Thai Language Tuition

This will be short and sweet but I have to Thank God for where I am today, as opposed to where I was last year around this very same time.  Last April, I was laid off but this April is bringing a brand new opportunity, with a nice pay increase and the ability to work from home.  Last April, I wasn’t happy with my gas guzzling car, this April I have a new, fuel efficient one.  Last April, I wasn’t happy where I was living, this April I am moving into a bigger and better place in a great location that I absolutely love!

My point is, God restores and He restores abundantly.  Stay strong, faithful, determined, and patient.  The storms do not last forever.

~ Mara Prose

Dating Tales: Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse” by Nancy Jo Sales

Picture Courtesy of Urbanette Magazine

I find this Vanity Article by Nancy Jo Sales so disheartening.  How empty and shallow the world has become.  I was really turned off by the way the men boasted of their sexual conquests in this article .  However, I am not surprised because it is just the way our world is right now, and I do not see it getting any better.  When people claim someone is talented based off of their ability to exchange a few text messages and wind up in bed with a total stranger – it is no wonder we elected someone like Trump into office.  SMH! ~ Author Mara Prose

It’s a balmy night in Manhattan’s financial district, and at a sports bar called Stout, everyone is Tindering. The tables are filled with young women and men who’ve been chasing money and deals on Wall Street all day, and now they’re out looking for hookups. Everyone is drinking, peering into their screens and swiping on the faces of strangers they may have sex with later that evening. Or not. “Ew, this guy has Dad bod,” a young woman says of a potential match, swiping left. Her friends smirk, not looking up.

“Tinder sucks,” they say. But they don’t stop swiping.

At a booth in the back, three handsome twentysomething guys in button-downs are having beers. They are Dan, Alex, and Marty, budding investment bankers at the same financial firm, which recruited Alex and Marty straight from an Ivy League campus. (Names and some identifying details have been changed for this story.) When asked if they’ve been arranging dates on the apps they’ve been swiping at, all say not one date, but two or three: “You can’t be stuck in one lane … There’s always something better.” “If you had a reservation somewhere and then a table at Per Se opened up, you’d want to go there,” Alex offers.

 “Guys view everything as a competition,” he elaborates with his deep, reassuring voice. “Who’s slept with the best, hottest girls?” With these dating apps, he says, “you’re always sort of prowling. You could talk to two or three girls at a bar and pick the best one, or you can swipe a couple hundred people a day—the sample size is so much larger. It’s setting up two or three Tinder dates a week and, chances are, sleeping with all of them, so you could rack up 100 girls you’ve slept with in a year.”

He says that he himself has slept with five different women he met on Tinder—“Tinderellas,” the guys call them—in the last eight days. Dan and Marty, also Alex’s roommates in a shiny high-rise apartment building near Wall Street, can vouch for that. In fact, they can remember whom Alex has slept with in the past week more readily than he can.

“Brittany, Morgan, Amber,” Marty says, counting on his fingers. “Oh, and the Russian—Ukrainian?”

“Ukrainian,” Alex confirms. “She works at—” He says the name of a high-end art auction house. Asked what these women are like, he shrugs. “I could offer a résumé, but that’s about it … Works at J. Crew; senior at Parsons; junior at Pace; works in finance … ”

“We don’t know what the girls are like,” Marty says.

“And they don’t know us,” says Alex.

And yet a lack of an intimate knowledge of his potential sex partners never presents him with an obstacle to physical intimacy, Alex says. Alex, his friends agree, is a Tinder King, a young man of such deft “text game”—“That’s the ability to actually convince someone to do something over text,” Marty explains—that he is able to entice young women into his bed on the basis of a few text exchanges, while letting them know up front he is not interested in having a relationship.

“How does he do it?,” Marty asks, blinking. “This guy’s got a talent.

But Marty, who prefers Hinge to Tinder (“Hinge is my thing”), is no slouch at “racking up girls.” He says he’s slept with 30 to 40 women in the last year: “I sort of play that I could be a boyfriend kind of guy,” in order to win them over, “but then they start wanting me to care more … and I just don’t.”

“Dude, that’s not cool,” Alex chides in his warm way. “I always make a point of disclosing I’m not looking for anything serious. I just wanna hang out, be friends, see what happens … If I were ever in a court of law I could point to the transcript.” But something about the whole scenario seems to bother him, despite all his mild-mannered bravado. “I think to an extent it is, like, sinister,” he says, “ ‘cause I know that the average girl will think that there’s a chance that she can turn the tables. If I were like, Hey, I just wanna bone, very few people would want to meet up with you …

“Do you think this culture is misogynistic?” he asks lightly.

“Sex Has Become So Easy”

‘I call it the Dating Apocalypse,” says a woman in New York, aged 29.

As the polar ice caps melt and the earth churns through the Sixth Extinction, another unprecedented phenomenon is taking place, in the realm of sex. Hookup culture, which has been percolating for about a hundred years, has collided with dating apps, which have acted like a wayward meteor on the now dinosaur-like rituals of courtship. “We are in uncharted territory” when it comes to Tinder et al., says Justin Garcia, a research scientist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. “There have been two major transitions” in heterosexual mating “in the last four million years,” he says. “The first was around 10,000 to 15,000 years ago, in the agricultural revolution, when we became less migratory and more settled,” leading to the establishment of marriage as a cultural contract. “And the second major transition is with the rise of the Internet.”

People used to meet their partners through proximity, through family and friends, but now Internet meeting is surpassing every other form. “It’s changing so much about the way we act both romantically and sexually,” Garcia says. “It is unprecedented from an evolutionary standpoint.” As soon as people could go online they were using it as a way to find partners to date and have sex with. In the 90s it was Craigslist and AOL chat rooms, then Match.com and Kiss.com. But the lengthy, heartfelt e-mails exchanged by the main characters in You’ve Got Mail (1998) seem positively Victorian in comparison to the messages sent on the average dating app today. “I’ll get a text that says, ‘Wanna fuck?’ ” says Jennifer, 22, a senior at Indiana University Southeast, in New Albany. “They’ll tell you, ‘Come over and sit on my face,’ ” says her friend, Ashley, 19.

Mobile dating went mainstream about five years ago; by 2012 it was overtaking online dating. In February, one study reported there were nearly 100 million people—perhaps 50 million on Tinder alone—using their phones as a sort of all-day, every-day, handheld singles club, where they might find a sex partner as easily as they’d find a cheap flight to Florida. “It’s like ordering Seamless,” says Dan, the investment banker, referring to the online food-delivery service. “But you’re ordering a person.”

The comparison to online shopping seems an apt one. Dating apps are the free-market economy come to sex. The innovation of Tinder was the swipe—the flick of a finger on a picture, no more elaborate profiles necessary and no more fear of rejection; users only know whether they’ve been approved, never when they’ve been discarded. OkCupid soon adopted the function. Hinge, which allows for more information about a match’s circle of friends through Facebook, and Happn, which enables G.P.S. tracking to show whether matches have recently “crossed paths,” use it too. It’s telling that swiping has been jocularly incorporated into advertisements for various products, a nod to the notion that, online, the act of choosing consumer brands and sex partners has become interchangeable.

“It’s instant gratification,” says Jason, 26, a Brooklyn photographer, “and a validation of your own attractiveness by just, like, swiping your thumb on an app. You see some pretty girl and you swipe and it’s, like, oh, she thinks you’re attractive too, so it’s really addicting, and you just find yourself mindlessly doing it.” “Sex has become so easy,” says John, 26, a marketing executive in New York. “I can go on my phone right now and no doubt I can find someone I can have sex with this evening, probably before midnight.”

And is this “good for women”? Since the emergence of flappers and “moderns” in the 1920s, the debate about what is lost and gained for women in casual sex has been raging, and is raging still—particularly among women. Some, like Atlantic writer Hanna Rosin, see hookup culture as a boon: “The hookup culture is … bound up with everything that’s fabulous about being a young woman in 2012—the freedom, the confidence.” But others lament the way the extreme casualness of sex in the age of Tinder leaves many women feeling de-valued. “It’s rare for a woman of our generation to meet a man who treats her like a priority instead of an option,” wrote Erica Gordon on the Gen Y Web site Elite Daily, in 2014.

It is the very abundance of options provided by online dating which may be making men less inclined to treat any particular woman as a “priority,” according to David Buss, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin who specializes in the evolution of human sexuality. “Apps like Tinder and OkCupid give people the impression that there are thousands or millions of potential mates out there,” Buss says. “One dimension of this is the impact it has on men’s psychology. When there is a surplus of women, or a perceived surplus of women, the whole mating system tends to shift towards short-term dating. Marriages become unstable. Divorces increase. Men don’t have to commit, so they pursue a short-term mating strategy. Men are making that shift, and women are forced to go along with it in order to mate at all.”

Now hold on there a minute. “Short-term mating strategies” seem to work for plenty of women too; some don’t want to be in committed relationships, either, particularly those in their 20s who are focusing on their education and launching careers. Alex the Wall Streeter is overly optimistic when he assumes that every woman he sleeps with would “turn the tables” and date him seriously if she could. And yet, his assumption may be a sign of the more “sinister” thing he references, the big fish swimming underneath the ice: “For young women the problem in navigating sexuality and relationships is still gender inequality,” says Elizabeth Armstrong, a professor of sociology at the University of Michigan who specializes in sexuality and gender. “Young women complain that young men still have the power to decide when something is going to be serious and when something is not—they can go, ‘She’s girlfriend material, she’s hookup material.’ … There is still a pervasive double standard. We need to puzzle out why women have made more strides in the public arena than in the private arena.”

Continue reading the rest of the article at http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2015/08/tinder-hook-up-culture-end-of-dating

Tuesday Thoughts: Confidently Lost by Sabrina Claudio

My daughter turned me onto Sabrina Claudio’s music this morning.  Sometimes, the lyrics of a song accurately reflect your soul – and this song really describes where I’m at in life.  I am a new fan for sure now.  Be sure to check out her song, Confidently Lost. ~ Mara Prose

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song.  No copyright infringement intended.

[Verse 1]
I’m alone but I’m not lonely
Comfortably indulging
And trying to get to know me

I’m just an outline of what I used to be
Constantly evolving
Steadily revolving

[Hook]
I am confidently lost
I don’t need you to find me
You don’t define me
I am confidently lost
I don’t need you to find me
‘Cause I’m not hiding

Anything
Anything

[Verse 2]
Made up of hope and meditation
Love, imagination
Water my creations
Baby it’s amazing

All the days I’m facing
Nothing seems to phase me

Cause I

[Hook]
I am confidently lost
I don’t need you to find me
‘Cause I’m not hiding
Anything
Anything
Anything
Anything

[Bridge]
Thinking about where I’ve gone
Where I’m going
And I wouldn’t change it for the world

Thinking about where I’m from
If I belong there
But I wouldn’t change it for anything

(I wouldn’t change it for anything)

Anything
Anything
Anything

Mara Prose Monday: Is Facebook Bad for Your Mental Health? by Allison Abrams

Picture Courtesy of HealthGlu

I decided to continue with the theme of Logging Out – cutting back on frivolous and pointless social media activities.  We recently purchased my daughter a new IPhone, but it started to malfunction only a few weeks after receiving it.  We sent it back this past week for an exchange, and for the first few days, she was absolutely miserable.  However, yesterday, she said “Mom, let’s take Maddie (our Yorkie) and go to the park.”  We laid out a blanket and enjoyed the cool breeze, watching the little kids chase the ducks by the pond, and exercising our little dog.  My daughter then told me that the past few days, she has really come to enjoy not having her phone.  She said she felt like she was able to just enjoy the present and no longer missed checking her Instagram and Snapchat every few minutes.  She did miss texting with her friends though, but the fact that she did not miss those superficial applications tells me that we really do appreciate more authentic interaction with one another. 

While in research for this week’s Mara Prose Monday post, I stumbled across Allison’s blog post and wanted to share it with my Prosers.  I encourage everyone to really start focusing more on the present and putting their phones down more.  I admit, there are still many times I reach for my phone to post where I am at, what I am doing or how I feel about something.  However, I remind myself that the moment at hand is meant for the individuals presently in it and not those clicking away behind their computers who probably could careless where I am or what I am doing, LOL!  Now, I tend to only post when I want something saved to the memory function of Facebook so I can see it next year, it is directly Mara Prose related or I want to share my pride in my children by posting pictures of them.

You may ask why the sudden change and I have thought about that myself.  I think it is the simple fact of maturity and the fact that I no longer need to prove anything to the world.  I do not crave acceptance, validation nor do I desire to have anyone idealize my life.  Everyday, I grow more and more private and feel the need to keep more and more to myself because it just feels good to me to do so.  It is simply a matter of being in a really good place in life with so many positive things on the horizon, that I do not want any negativity clouding all my happy vibes right now; less is definitely more at this point in time.

Enjoy Allison’s post below! ~ Mara Prose

Is Facebook making you depressed? If so, you’re not alone. According to a recent study (link is external) by UK disability charity Scope, of 1500 Facebook and Twitter users surveyed, 62 percent reported feeling inadequate and 60 percent reported feelings of jealousy from comparing themselves to other users.

I’ve heard similar complaints from friends and I’ve felt it myself on a bad day. Most frequently, I hear such statements from those who are struggling with depression. It makes sense that if you are already in a low mood or not feeling good about yourself, having pictures of happy couples and smiling babies pop up on your screen on a consistent basis may make you feel worse. The same is true if you tend to generally have a negative outlook on life.

If Facebook posts depress you, the solution is simple. Here are four things you can do today to help you cope:

  1. Deactivate your Facebook account (you can always reactivate it later)
  2. Unfollow your most (seemingly) happy and successful friends
  3. Remember that Facebook isn’t a representation of reality
  4. Turn off the computer and go make your own annoyingly happy moments

Should you really take the four actions above?

In a 2015 study (link is external) on the effects of Facebook use on mental health, researchers at the University of Missouri discovered that regular use could lead to symptoms of depression if the site triggered feelings of envy in the user.

“If it is used as a way to size up one’s own accomplishments against others, it can have a negative effect,” said Professor Margaret Duffy, one of the professors who co-authored the research. She explains that if it’s used “to see how well an acquaintance is doing financially or how happy an old friend is in his relationship – things that cause envy among users – use of the site can lead to feelings of depression.”

However, those who use the site primarily to feel connected do not experience the negative effects. In fact, when not triggering feelings of envy, the study shows, Facebook could be a good resource and have positive effects on well-being.

Further studies have shown that the majority of social media users tend to edit and post only their most attractive pictures, or ‘put a rose-tinted gloss over their lives’ in an effort to idealize themselves and, researchers believe, to improve others’ impressions of them.

To avoid Facebook-induced depression, users should be aware of the risks of using the site as a tool of comparison. Furthermore, users should be aware that most people are presenting a biased, positive version of reality on social media. Finally, if you’re still feeling down, angry, or generally disillusioned because of the positive news shared by your Facebook friends, on or offline, you should question why you feel that way.

Barring clinical depression or a recent life setback, is it really such a bad thing to see another human being enjoying life, especially if it’s a friend- or at least someone you tolerate enough to accept as a Facebook friend?

With all of the suffering and pain in the world, wouldn’t it be a tragedy if people stopped sharing joyful events for fear of making someone else jealous? Imagine if people only discussed all of the negative things that surrounded them. Especially over this past year, don’t we have enough tragic posts appearing in our newsfeeds 24/7?

Given that there will always be someone who’s taller, richer, better-looking, who has more friends, a better job, etc., we can either allow ourselves to fall into the dangerous trap of comparison, or we can choose to remember that regardless of what others around you appear to have, everyone is grappling with their own struggles. For every promotion, book deal and Tony nomination, chances are, the recipient has experienced equally or more significant life setbacks.

Also important to remember is that for every person that seems to have more, there is another with less. For each individual whose qualities you covet, there’s someone out there who wishes they had what you have. If we can’t change our outer circumstances, at least we can try to change our perspective and learn to be grateful for what we have. We can also learn to celebrate other’s successes. Sharing in other people’s joy can often lift our spirits.

“Be aware of what others are doing, applaud their efforts, acknowledge their successes, and encourage them in their pursuits. When we all help one another, everybody wins” – Jim Stovall

These suggestions may be difficult, especially if you’re struggling with low self-worth or depression. If that is the case, seek help from a friend or a professional. Whether it’s reaching out for support, practicing gratitude or simply surrounding yourself with more of the positive, you owe it to yourself to make the best out of this life.

Stop torturing yourself by comparing your life with everyone else’s positively biased representations of theirs. Seek to improve your own life in a realistic manner. Choose to look at the positives and to celebrate your wins… as well as theirs.

Thursday Thoughts: Logging Out: More Real Time, Less Fake Time

Lately, I have become less and less interested in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  These platforms lack very little substance and I am bored with the selfies, the hateful comments and the overall nonsense that is so prominent in these places.  While I can never absolutely disconnect due to my Mara Prose promotions, I can cut back and live life in the present more often.  After listening to others that I know feel the same way or they are simply giving it up for Lent, I decided I would follow suit and here is why.

More Time With God and His Purpose For Me

My morning walks where I pray and meditate are so peaceful and relaxing.  They really center me for the day and I just feel so consumed with God’s love.  However, I feel like I have been tarnishing these moments by checking in daily on Facebook with the status that I was walking, praying and meditating.  I finally decided, why does anyone else need to be a part of this moment?  What do I really gain by allowing the world to know that I am spending my time with God?  I have carved out that time for Him, so let it just be about He and I!

Mara Prose Time

The time I was wasting on social media, posting, checking in, reading articles and scrolling through comments, could very well be devoted to Mara Prose.  Now that I am working on book 2 for The Davenports series, developing a script and promoting my poetry, I do not have time for things that do not add any value towards my pursuit of a writing career.  Even with the cutbacks on my frivolous social media past time, I still struggle with managing to find time to accomplish all the promoting I need to accomplish; which is all the more reason to re-prioritize.

Seeking A Deeper Connection

I find it really rude to be on your phone constantly in a social environment.  I have been guilty of this as well, but now I am really tired of it.  If I am having a conversation with you, I want to have a conversation with you without looking at the top of your head while you type something into your phone.  If you are too busy to actively participate and stay focused on the conversation, then we simply do not need to waste each other’s time hanging out.

I am also tired of being around people who cannot listen to what you are saying because they are too busy trying to talk over you, as if what they have to say is so much more important than what you have to say.  I really attribute this behavior to people lacking social skills due to the dominance of social media interactions.  I have found I have a much better time with people who rarely get on Facebook and who are not overly concerned with what others are posting.

40 Focus

I was chatting with a friend of mine, and she was explaining that around 40, you begin to simplify and realize less is more.  You also really start to look at your friendships and focus on the more meaningful ones – the ones that make you feel good, where you can be a 100% authentic and you don’t just continue with them because you have known each other for a long time.

There are several people in my life who regularly keep up with what I am doing solely based on my Facebook posts.  There are others who act like a friend, but are just being nosy about my life from my posts.  Whatever the case may be, disconnecting eliminates this annoyance, removes the fake friends and leaves me with only the TRUE friends who willingly make time and effort towards our friendship.  When the only avenue towards a connection with me is phone calls and plans to meet up, it is interesting to see how many people fall right out of your life.  I have even decided to cut back on my responses to texting since it is still a very lazy method at keeping in touch.

I am still in the very early stages of changing these habits.  It is going to take some work not to overshare when I get excited about positive things in my life.  I also like to check into places, but it is going to be so freeing to be able to just go wherever I want to go and simply enjoy the moment without a broadcast.  I am all about making lifestyle changes right now, and I believe this one is going to bring a lot of peace of mind.

~ Mara Prose

Dating Tales: Dear ‘Broke’ Men: Don’t Punish A Woman for Not Wanting to Date You by Shantell E. Jamison

Picture Courtesy of NaijaNewsPlus

have standards; step up or step out.” – Steve Maraboli

You ever meet someone, man or woman, romantic or platonic, real or fake, that makes you feel bad for having standards? I’m talking about those folks who take “humility” to a whole other level (i.e. one that shouldn’t ever be reached)?

Yeah…

Recently, I was talking to a male friend of mine who isn’t in the best—but also not the worst—situation financially. We were talking about the qualities we’d like for our significant others to possess and the usual characteristics came up. You know, stable employment, a kind and generous heart, someone who is funny, intelligent, consistent and faithful, etc. Then he went into self-deprecating mode:

“See, that woman right there [insert random acquaintance he knows] is my type of woman. But a man like me can’t get a chick like her. She won’t date a regular dude. She wants a dude who has it all together.”

Whenever my friend gets in this mode—which I still have yet to determine if jealousy or a self-esteem issue is the culprit—I cringe. It’s like a combination of complaining, not being confident enough in what he brings to the table and judging women based on their preferences equate to this annoyance of a concoction. He says things like, “She needs to get her a regular dude” or “That type of woman won’t mess with a blue collar guy. She’s probably all about the money.” Keyword: PROBABLY. In other words, he counts himself out of the race for her heart before the “Go!” shot is even fired.

Each and every time I ask him to elaborate on why he feels this way, it all goes back to how she looks, how she dresses and the life that she appears to live from the outside looking in.

I’m not going to sit here and pretend like we all don’t want that ride or die mate. But perhaps, if you are running into women who aren’t interested in dating you due to your financial status, maybe you should work on becoming a bit more stable in that department.

Granted, gold-diggers do exist, but every woman who does not desire to “struggle” with a man does not fit into that category. I’m not saying that blue collar men struggle. I’m smart enough to know that your intelligence, connections and work ethic—not the type of work that you do—is what truly leads to wealth and success. But it seems like a growing number of men, hell people, don’t seem to know the difference.

My friend is one of many men I’ve encountered who thinks a woman won’t date them because they’re not rich. In their minds, not being wealthy means their “broke,” which just isn’t the case. And while this may be true in some instances, sometimes a woman has already struggled with a man. Sometimes, a woman knows how her heart is set up and she will end up taking on said man’s emotional, physical and financial burdens instead of functioning cohesively as a unit in the relationship. And honestly, sometimes she doesn’t want to revisit the “land of hard times.” It’s usually no different than any other preference someone has regarding a potential mate.

Let’s revisit my friend for a second. The problem isn’t his paycheck, it’s his confidence. Granted, for the most part, folks do well by staying in their lanes, so to speak. He’s decided to date women he believes will date and accept him, “broke” and all—and acceptance is a big part of a healthy loving relationship. Requiring that which you are willing to give is also a key factor.

But then there are those who do not allow themselves to be defined by “lanes.” Usually, confidence is a big determinant of where you fit.

Women aren’t obligated to date a man who is struggling. If we prefer someone who is more financially stable, that does not mean that we are heartless, gold-digging and superficial. It simply means that maybe your paycheck isn’t the issue, but your character and confidence is. A woman isn’t always disinterested in you because of your pay grade. Sometimes she just isn’t interested. And instead of finding reasons to discount yourself or calling her greedy, fake and/or selfish, maybe you should remember that she doesn’t owe you an explanation.

Shantell E. Jamison is a digital editor for EBONY. She moderates various events centered on love, relationships, politics and wellness and has appeared on panels throughout the country. Her book, “Drive Yourself in the Right Direction” is available now. Keep up with Shantell via her website, Facebook, Twitter @Shantell_em and Instagram @Shantell_em

Mara Prose Monday: A Day With The Girls – Pearland Chico’s Spring Fashion Show

Image courtesy of Chico’s

I have always loved fashion and have been known to be a shopaholic, like most women.  Chico’s is hands down is one of my favorite stores.  I have been a faithful shopper since 2003.  After my layoff last year, I interviewed with A’Cynthia Villery, who was the assistant manager at the time, for a part time sales associate position and was hired on the spot.  Since that time, A’Cynthia has been promoted to the well deserved position of manager and has hosted three fashion shows – all of which I have been in attendance to show my support.

This past Sunday, she held a Spring Fashion and when she asked me to blog the event, I happily accepted.  We had an amazing event where various vendors sponsored their services and products; and I was allowed to showcase my writing.  Here are a few of the many highlights from the event.

If you see an item of interest that you would like to purchase, be sure to call the Pearland Store at 713-340-1368 and ask for A’Cynthia www.chicos.com.

While you are certainly welcome to order online, please remember that Chico’s offers FREE style appointments – which provide you with a one on one experience with an expert stylist to help you select the best fit and colors so that you always, always look your most amazing self.

Girlfriend Theme
For the Spring Collection, Chico’s has implemented a Girlfriend theme.  We all love to shop with our girlfriends and this inspires camaraderie amongst all females.  This was very evident based on the numbers that turned out for A’Cynthia’s event.

chicos 1st lookHere, model Erica, is wearing the Francis Fringe Poncho in Chive Green.  She has paired it with the popular Girlfriend Crop Pants.  These pants are sell quickly because they are so flattering and comfortable.  They have a lot of give and are very slimming.

chicos girlfriend skirtModel Kim graced the runway wearing the Chico’s Tribal Border Off-the-Shoulder top, accompanied with a Denim Girlfriend Skirt.  This is a nice, cool and comfortable outfit for a hot, summer day.

More amazing looks from models Katherine (Katy), Sarah and  Roz
chicos 3                                           chicos 7                                      chicos 6

A’Cynthia also loves to pay it forward and extends a special thank you to the following sponsors:
chicos sponsor party of 2   chicos 2
Owned by Demetra Mitchell – who beautifully planned and coordinated the event.  Visit her website for more details http://www.partyof2designs.com

chicos cake
Owned by Nina Fitzhugh  – who supplied the beautiful and delicious Italian Crème Cake you see above.  Visit her Facebook page to place your order https://www.facebook.com/cakeandeatittooinsiennaplantation/

chicos sponsor  chicos dips 2  chicos dips.jpg

Tastefully Simple Consultant Nicky Watson – sponsored tasty snacks from the new TS Catalog.  Contact her today to find out more preparation and inquire about her easy, quick and affordable meal preps.  https://www.tastefullysimple.com/web/nwatson

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Author Paula Drew-Fleming (our associate) and her co-author Alexis Thal Yancey introduced us to:  Divorce. Wilderness. Peace and conducted a mini workshop to discuss how their book helps women overcome and heal from a recent divorce.

Last but certainly not least, I showcased my blog and the prologue and synopsis for my coming novel, The Davenports: A Battle of Wills.  I now offer social media marketing, blogging, copywriting and copyediting services at affordable prices.  I also mentor and coach aspiring authors, so please feel free to contact me for more information.  maraprose@icloud.com.

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Remember:

If you see an item of interest that you would like to purchase, be sure to call the Pearland Store at 713-340-1368 and ask for A’Cynthia www.chicos.com.

While you are certainly welcome to order online, please remember that Chico’s offers FREE style appointments – which provide you with a one on one experience with an expert stylist to help you select the best fit and colors so that you always, always look your most amazing self.

~ Mara Prose

Friday Preview: Here is a snippet from my debut novel The Davenports: A Battle of Wills

The Davenports Synopsis
Intro to the Davenports

I receive a lot of inquiries about my upcoming novel, especially after reading the prologue.  I decided I would give my Prosers a little preview from one of my chapters.  The Davenports will grace us with their presence December 2017!  Thank you for remaining interested and supportive! ~ Mara Prose

Deep in her soul, she had a yearning to bring justice to those responsible for her brother’s death. She never believed it was an accident; wouldn’t allow herself to accept that fate would be that cruel to her.  She was furious with her father’s cold disregard of the passing of her beloved brother.  Since Cale had been her father’s pride and joy, she had expected him to honor her brother by launching an additional investigation after the ruling of accidental death was made.  Much to her dismay, Makhail simply isolated himself and moved on as if her brother had never existed.

The pain from these memories still burned strongly within her. She had never been able to let it go, and nothing she did allowed the wounds of her loss to heal.  This trip home was imperative to her future – not only for healing but for vengeance.  Alessandra wanted the world to pay for the void left in her life, and the first person to suffer would be her father, Makhail Davenport.

Dating Tales: Do men prefer a Scarlett O’Hara or a Melanie Wilkes?

ImagePhoto courtesy of http://www.popmatters.com

Not long ago, Gabrielle Reece, the world famous model, volleyball star and wife to pro surfer Laird Hamilton, sparked controversy with her new memoir “My Foot Is Too Big For The Glass Slipper”.  In her memoir, she claims that ” to truly be feminine means being soft, receptive, and submissive.” It just so happens that around the same time, I was enjoying a day full of watching old classic movies. One of my favorites is Gone with the Wind. When I heard about Gabrielle’s controversy, I immediately thought of the stark differences between Scarlett O’Hara and Melanie Wilkes.

The question is, do men prefer a Scarlett or a Melanie? Let’s use the Scarlett and Melanie characters from the movie as a basis for a comparison/contrast to the modern woman.

Scarlett O’Hara

scarlett ohara

She truly has to be one of the most popular characters in cinema and classic fiction.  Even if you have not seen the movie, most are familiar with the characteristic traits of Scarlett.  She was spoiled, ruthless, conniving but a survivor.  However, she was not always like that.  In the beginning, she was hopeful, in love and plotting a future with a man she felt she loved.  It was the harsh realities of the war that changed her and made her cold, calculating and money hungry. She became fiercely independent, despite her many marriages.  In the majority of those marriages, it was obvious that she was the one to wear the pants.

Melanie Wilkes

melanie wilkes

Melanie is the polar opposite of Scarlett.  She is sweet, indulgent and self sacrificing.  She puts her husband’s needs and everyone else’s ahead of her own.  She is so submissive to her husband, that she even participates in his self perpetuated illusion of a world that allows him to avoid facing reality due to his cowardice.  Despite being drawn to Scarlett, Ashley knew she was too much for him and chose Melanie because she was more like him.  Melanie is still a pillar of strength, similar to Scarlett, she just goes about it in faithful and loyal manner.  The Melanie’s of the world are the homemakers.  They take great pride in their families.  They allow their husbands to lead and they don’t mind being the background to their foreground.

scarlett vs melanie

This leaves us with the question, who would make a better wife- Scarlett or Melanie?  Which one do most men seek out?

I believe there will always be a debate about whether or not a woman should be submissive to her man.  A lot of women view submissiveness as a detriment to their independence.  Yet, there is the other spectrum that believes wholeheartedly the man should be the head of the household.  In Gabrielle’s memoir, she felt the reason her marriage is such a success is due to her submissiveness.

Is this why so many women are choosing to remain single; because men are really seeking the meek and mild?  I would love to hear what others think about this topic.  Feel free to leave your comments to spark up a discussion on this topic and remember to keep it respectful!

~ Mara Prose

 

 

 

Just for clarity’s sake…

It’s a reblog kinda day for Tuesday Thoughts! Enjoy! 🙂

Author Mara Prose

Beyonce_Lemonade_Depression

I really appreciate the positive feedback  pouring in from new followers to my blog.  It is very motivating to be touching the lives of so many across the globe.

I have come to realize that some of my recent blog posts have cast a negative impression on past events in my life.  So just for clarity’s sake, let me redirect my readers to the true purpose of my writing.

Writing is second nature to me.  It’s a cleansing that allows me to reflect, relate and release.  I like to share my insights and experiences with others because there are so many people that desire to be understood.  Our society encourages people to walk the same walk and talk the same talk.

My rebellious nature cannot stand for people to put me in a box and define me by our society’s rigid standards.  Many are drawn to me and then easily flustered.  These…

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Listen, She’s Not Into You, Okay?

I found this very interesting and thought I would share it for Thursday Thoughts. I would love to hear what others feel about this topic.

IMG_2543 (3).PNGWhen I say the word “no”, I mean it. Unless someone is offering some of their food, because in that case I’m just trying to be polite. But in almost every other situation, the word no means what the dictionary says it means. No is equivalent to no, a definitive denial or refusal towards, for, or about something. This principle of saying the word “no” and meaning it applies to everything, except interactions between a man and a woman when she says she is not interested. When a man is pursuing a woman either romantically, sexually, or both, it seems like the word “no” and the phrase “no thank you” or even the utterance of “no I am not interested” is hardly taken seriously. Apparently in our society “no” means “yes sir, keep trying, I’ll come around.”

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Wednesday Wisdom: Harsh Lessons (A Mara Prose Poem)

Picture courtesy of Truth Follower

At this time last year, my world was unrecognizable.  It was turned upside due to back to back hardships.  I took some time to reflect on all of it and thought to myself ‘Wow’, I have come a long way.  I had trouble verbalizing my amazement, so I threw it all into a poem.  Enjoy! ~ Mara Prose

It took something extreme
to bring me to my knees
It took a great fall
and losing it all
for me to stall
and simply crawl

My ego took blows
and I completely froze
Everything I had taken for granted
left me stranded
due to being reprimanded
by Life, by God, my own Foolish Pride

I looked back at this time last year
and accessed all my fears
and took note of all my tears
and somehow I persevered

They say God will humble you
and boy, did He ever
I don’t know why I thought I was so clever
I don’t know why but I know I will never
Let myself return to those silly ways
I have set the bar higher and must continue to blaze

The lessons were harsh
but they made me smart
and gave me a new start
They helped me set myself apart
and I was forced to depart
From people who meant me no good
From those who always misunderstood
From the things that were in excess
From the things that just caused distress
So I could simply evolve and be blessed

There were times I didn’t think I’d make it through
There were times that I was oh so blue
Oh, if you only knew

But I found my inner strength
For my children’s sake
And now I can be an example
since I’ve handled, dismantled and unscrambled
and took lots of gambles
But for now, let me stop this ramble since I am no longer in shambles

I’m proud but in a new way
I’m proud because despite the dismay
I overcame, I slayed and made up for those days

All because of harsh lessons…

Tuesday Thoughts: Waiting (God’s Call) A Mara Prose Poem

Picture courtesy of DeanRoberts.net

Waiting until I hear my name
Waiting because I have something to gain
Waiting because I’m in no hurry
Waiting because He says I have a new journey

Waiting because my career is taking off
Waiting because there’s a big payoff
Waiting because He gave me a new focus
Waiting because He said only small doses

Waiting to hear His call
Waiting because He told me to start small
Waiting because I see a new mission
Waiting because I need His permission

I’m waiting on God, He guides my every step
I’m waiting on Him, because he knows what is best
I’m waiting on God, because He is always reliable
I’m waiting on Him, because His favor is undeniable

I’m waiting…

Mara Prose Monday: Your Name Is Not Failure by Jena C. Henry

I have been enjoying a mini – vacation from the blog, my usual social media commentary and now I am happy to be back at it!  Around this time last year, I met Jena via twitter and asked her to be a guest blogger for me.  Since that time, she has not only become a fellow blogger, one of my favorite authors, but a friend as well.  I was so pleased when she agreed to write a guest post for me again.  Her subject matter in this post is so relatable and inspirational for all those who are going through or have been through a recent layoff.  Enjoy and be encouraged! ~ Mara Prose

 

Your Name is not Failure

“I’m a failure!”

“Why?” I asked. “What happened?”

“I lost my job.”

I took a deep breath and thought a moment before I replied. Then I said-

“You are not a failure! You are a wonderful recipe of many unique skills and

talents. You are YOU. And your name is not Failure!”

Most of us have either said I’m a failure! or have had a similar conversation about

failure. We’ve comforted ourselves or our friends after a disappointment or a

setback.

When I think about failure- I think about things. Machines fail- think of all the

appliances you have owned that have broken and that you have had to replace.

Tires fail- you can see truck tire shreds on any highway. Your car won’t start, your

pen leaks on you, you break a heel on your shoe. Things fail and companies spend

millions on research to learn why their products fail and how to improve the

failure rate. Machines fail and their purpose is over- there’s nothing left. You fail

and you keep on going. It doesn’t define you. We aren’t tossed out after one goof,

error, or mistake.

Speaking of definitions, I came across a quote that was trying to make my point.

“Failure is a verb, not a noun.”

In fact, according to the dictionary, the word failure IS a noun, but I get what they

were trying to say. Yes, failure is a noun, a part of speech, but it’s not a whole

person. It is not YOU. It’s something you did. A machine breaks and fails. You are

so much more- you keep going!

Let’s get more specific. Instead of failing– did you take a wrong path? Did you rush

a decision? Maybe you forgot to do something or you didn’t check your work. I

like the word faux pas or false step- meaning to commit an embarrassing social

mistake. Call yourself a Faux Pas, not a failure the next time you let yourself

down. Doesn’t a little humor take the sting out of a sad situation?

One of my favorite quotes is by Calvin Coolidge.

“Press On! Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence.”

Or how about this gem from Winston Churchill.

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

And here’s something I found on Twitter.

“When a child is learning how to walk and falls 50 times, they never think to

themselves, “Maybe this isn’t for me!”

Yes, because of your actions or non-actions, you may need to apologize, you may need

to rethink your goals and make a new plan. You may need to cry or laugh and start all

over. But you are still YOU! Wonderful, capable, adept, marvelous YOU!

Your name is not Failure.

Jena C. Henry

2017

Website- http://www.jenabooks.com

Twitter- https://twitter.com/jenabooks

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/jena.c.henry/

Flipboardhttps://flipboard.com/@jenabooks/jena%27s-world-tudr1h89y

 

Paralysis – Poetry Reading by Mara Prose

Here is the performance of my poem, Paralysis! I am so very proud of this accomplishment! Huge thanks to the festival for poetry!!

POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film.

Poetry performed by Geoff Mays

Get to know the poet:

What is the theme of your poem?

The theme of my poem is inspiration during difficult times.

What motivated you to write this poem?

I am always second guessing and questioning my decisions, and this poem reflects how I feel about it.

How long have you been writing poetry?

I have been writing poetry for 6 years now.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Jesus

What influenced you to submit to have your poetry performed by a professional actor?

This poem really resonated with a lot of people and I loved the idea of an actor bringing out the emotions in the poem.

Do you write other works? scripts? Short Stories? Etc..?

Yes, I am working on my first novel. I also manage a global blog, http://www.maraprose.com and freelance for various…

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Thursday Thoughts with Mara Prose: 10 Quotes to Inspire You (Reblog)

Thank you for all the love and support you continually bring to Mara Prose.  For those who have sent me messages, I miss you too!  I am still on hiatus from the blog so I can focus on other writing projects and developing material for upcoming contests.  However,  I will return with new material on March 6th.  In the meantime, I will reblog posts from some of my favorite bloggers daily.  Enjoy! ~ Mara

Hello my beloved reader! I hope you are doing amazing out there today. Truly hoping that you are playing in the rare-air taking bold risks and living your life to the fullest. I hope you are on the journey of continuous development of heartset, mindset, soulset and healthset! Today, in this bundle of inspiration, I share with you……

via 10 Quotes to Inspire You! [2 min read] — Aditya Shukla

February 2017 – Read the best of NEW POETRY from around the world.

I decided to reblog this post in honor of my Paralysis poem being selected as of one of the best new poems in February 2017. It will be performed by an actor and I will post the video as soon as I have it. Please be sure to support the other talented poets listed. Grateful and blessed! ~ Mara Prose

WILDsound Festival

Read NEW poem from poets from around the world for the month of February 2017. The best of new talent online today: 

SHE CRIES, by Odonko Ba
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/she-cries-alone-poetry-by-odonko-ba/

HEARTBREAK, by Shalana Pace
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/heartbreak-poetry-by-shalana-pace/

LOST, by Grim Angel
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/lost-poetry-by-grim-angel/

WHAT IF, by Cindi Walton
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/what-if-poetry-by-cindi-walton/

CONNEMARA, by Christine Emmert
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/connemara-poetry-by-christine-emmert/

PARALYSIS, by A Mara Prose Poem
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/paralysis-a-mara-prose-poem/

DEAR PAIGEY, by Astroleuth the Poet
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/dear-paigey-by-astroleuth-the-poet/

FOREVER, by George W. Knox
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/forever-poetry-by-george-w-knox/

CODA, by Forrest Jamie
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/coda-poetry-by-forrest-jamie/

HOW TO KILL YOURSELF, by Emma Miles
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/how-to-kill-yourself-poetry-by-emma-miles/

THEY ALWAYS BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS THEM, by Sofia Kioroglou
https://festivalforpoetry.com/2017/01/30/they-always-bite-the-hand-that-feeds-them-poetry-by-sofia-kioroglou/

ENJOY, by Guillermo Rocha
https://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2017/01/30/enjoy-poetry-by-guillermo-rocha/

HAPPY, by Samrat Rudra
https://wildsoundfestivalreview.com/2017/01/30/happy-poetry-by-samrat-rudra/

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Wednesday Wisdom: Is Instagram Ruining Our Female Friendships? by Amy Leak

Picture Courtesy of Tom’s Guide

This article: Is Instagram Ruining Our Female Friendships?  by Amy Leak is everything!  I honestly could not have said this any better.  I think we have all been guilty of this at one time or another.  The key is to admitting to our envy and working to fight against it.  We all need to stop looking at these small moments in time captured by Instagram and Facebook, and realize they do not equate to a happy life.  It only takes a few seconds to smile for the camera and what is not captured, is all the hidden traumas, insecurities, and life challenges that every individual is going through.  I find people who stalk other people’s accounts looking for some sort of evidence that they are not alone in their misery very sad.  I also find it sad that people post seeking validation or purposely trying to incite envy in others. 

We all have problems.  We all have things we are going through and none of us are perfect.  Yet, no matter how many times you repeat that, people still fail to grasp that concept and will continue to compare their lives to others.  It is true that misery loves company but if you find that you practice that often, you have some re-evaluating to do.  Sadly, it is simply the world we live in.

I think we all need to take some time and disconnect and self reflect.  I say that a lot in my blog posts but it is true.  Stop pretending to be someone that you are not.  Try to really be honest with yourself.  It is a hard thing to do but it can bring you so much peace of mind.  For me, I don’t see a lot of my friend and family’s post because I have filled my Facebook and Instagram timelines with stuff I like to regularly see – such as news articles, anything about writing and celebrity gossip, lol!  All my social media is very Pinterest like; I follow things that appeal to my intellect.  I say this because it might be a solution for someone else who has difficulty feeling inferior about their life due to other people’s posts.  If someone gets under your skin, just un-follow them.  There is no need to criticize them or roll your eyes about whatever they share, just simply remove yourself from their page. 

Please take the time to read this fantastic article and take it to heart. ~ Mara Prose 

In case the link above does not work for you, here is Amy’s Huffington Post article:

The familiar envy-inducing selfie. Many of us can agree we’ve wasted many morning commutes erratically scrolling through aspirational images of our female peers with a sinking sense of depreciation.

The Ugly Truth

Why do we look at these selfies? Aspiration. Motivation. #Goals.

What does this actually achieve? Comparison. Self-criticism. Envy.

Envy is an ugly thing. We don’t want to admit we feel inadequate or that we are doubtful of ourselves. Instead we feel envy that stirs up feelings of competition in all of us. She has something we want.

Competition is a defence mechanism for inadequacy. The truth is, we’d rather feel a sense of competition than admit she has something we want. And what does competition lead to? Individualism.

Now don’t get me wrong, individualism is good. However, there is a sort of individualism that produces a false independence, a fear of social intimacy, an unfounded assumption of others. The sad thing about the individualism that I’m talking about is that it is one that is immobilised by insecurity.

Let’s be honest, we are never going to achieve the exact same success we see on Instagram. Everyone’s measure and nature of success is different. More concerning still, these images are deliberate reconstructions and are not always authentic or achievable. As a result we’re breeding inferiority amongst women.

The Ugly Cycle

Why do we upload these selfies? Recognition. Affirmation. Achievement.

What does this actually achieve? A search for an identity on other people’s terms.

This is a losing battle.

Rather than sitting back and voyeuristically judging other women and ourselves, we should be forming real connections and relationships.

We can all build ourselves a digital avatar, an online personality through a carefully manipulated lens, a reward system based upon a reliance of others. What Instagram is actually doing is setting us apart more. It’s manufacturing a cycle built on destructive individualism and competition between women.

“My life is better than yours.”

I’m not saying you shouldn’t be able to share your lives with your friends. But there is such thing as a balance and sharing intimate snaps for the right reasons. We shouldn’t feel the need to find an identity in relation to others.

Rather than sitting back and voyeuristically judging other women and ourselves, we should be forming real connections and relationships. Instagram makes it very easy to become passive, detached from reality and unsatisfied.

I’ve got a few pieces of advice, my fellow females. Next time you meet someone (virtually or physically) that begins to stir up envy, just think:

She is an individual who is more than her image.

She has insecurities of her own, like you.

She has helped you understand more about what you might like to achieve in your own way.

You will fulfil your own personal ambitions on your terms.

Stay awesome and support each other, Ladies.

Tuesday Thoughts: Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds, And That’s Okay by Pardis Alia via her blog Thought Catalog

I felt this was perfect for Tuesday Thoughts, enjoy! ~ Mara Prose

unsplash.com“Time heals all wounds.” We’ve heard it before. It’s the saying that we’ve held close and hoped would tend to our hurt. We’ve put the bandages away. We’ve tucked the polysporin back into the medicine cabinet. And we’ve hoped, however in vain, that the days passing further away from the moment life cut into us…

via Time Doesn’t Heal All Wounds, And That’s Okay — Thought Catalog

Mara Prose Monday: Obedience (Bible.com – YouVersion Devotional)

I begin everyday with a series of devotionals.  Today, I thought I would share one that really hit home.  ~ Mara Prose

Everyone hates being told what to do. “What right does so and so have to give me advice and telling me how to live my life? They have no idea what I am going through….You’re not my mom!!!”

One of the hardest things for people to accept is advice, yet sound, biblical advice is life-changing. All of the best advice will ultimately drive people back to one thing…obeying God.

Too many people want microwave answers to slow-cooker issues. They want to get immediate relief for the pain that took months or years to create.

You have to get real and realize that if your way worked, you would not be in the situation you are in. Free will on the other person’s part may play a big part of that, but realize that you had a hand in the matter too. They are not 100 % at fault, if you are willing to be honest.

In this world, obedience can be misinterpreted as control, manipulation, or fear. In God’s world, obedience means boundaries, protection, and love. When you live obedient to God’s direction, you will feel the safety that only He can give.

When you choose to be disobedient to God’s life-giving direction, you are choosing to be a slave to the way of the world, which results in pain and hurt. Being obedient to God will not be easy, but it will bring you the healing you need.

Prayer

God, today I choose to obey your Word and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Help me to stay strong each day as I follow You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Friday Frankness: If I Was Who I Am Today…

I have been thinking back to who I was and who I have become.  If I was who I am today, a lot of people would never have been in my life.  There is a lot of nonsense I would not have entertained.  There are a lot of decisions that would have been made differently.  There are a lot of relationships that would have never existed.  My path would have been entirely different.

There are people who did not deserve my kindness.  There are people who did not deserve my tolerance.  There are people who did not deserve my love, and there are people who didn’t deserve my trust.

However, there were also good individuals who did not deserve my wrath.  There are those who did not deserve my callous treatment of their feelings.  And there are others who did not deserve my false friendship towards them; still others who did not deserve my neglect.  There are many people I pushed away, that I probably shouldn’t have.  But if I am honest with myself, I don’t miss them.

I do not like to regret things.  Everything that has happened to me up to this point, had to happen so I could become who I am today.  If I regret these things, that would equate to me regretting who I have become.  I have no regrets because I am who I am.  All the things that have taken place in my life and the decisions I made were decisions that I felt were in my best interest at the time.  They were not always the right decisions to make but I made them and I have wholeheartedly accepted the good and bad outcomes.

I feel like my life is just beginning.  I have an entire new lease on life; a life that better suits my personality.  It probably doesn’t make sense to the masses, but it makes sense to me.  I wake up everyday renewed, refresh and eager for what the day will bring.  There were many, many years that was not the case.  So if I was who I am today, I may not have arrived at this place of serenity.  And that would have been a tragedy.

~ Mara Prose

 

 

Thursday Thoughts: When Waiting Becomes Breathing (A Reblog from boy with a hat)

I felt this was perfect for Thursday Thoughts! Enjoy!

boy with a hat

girl by the lake peaceful

There are times in our life when we have to wait, whether we like it or not.

We may be in a line, stuck in traffic, or on a school bench, waiting for a career.

We may be at work, waiting for the day to end so we can return home.

We may be in a hospital, waiting for life to resume.

We may even be waiting for a date under the shadows of unease.

How do we wait?

Do we fiddle with our phone, tap our foot, roll our hair around our finger?

Do we sigh?

Do we look at the person next to us and roll our eyes?

Is that a good way to wait?

Life’s made up of too many moments of waiting for us to be impatient with them.

Sometime it’s good for life to slow down:

Every moment of waiting is an opportunity to relax,

Even in…

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Tuesday Motivation: Appreciate the Lessons…

I remind myself of this daily, especially when I encounter disappointments.  My best friend always says everything happens for a reason and it truly does.  You may not like the lesson that you learned from a hurtful situation but it is necessary so you don’t repeat the same mistakes.

Today, I say take it all in stride.  You will experience setbacks, disappointments, hurt, pain and so much more.  The key is to never look back, only look forward.  Take the time to analyze and see what you are supposed to take away from every situation you encounter and grow from it.  It is hard and you won’t always be able to handle everything so logically and rationally, but just keep on keeping on.

~ Mara Prose

Mara Prose Monday: What Does It Hurt?

Picture courtesy of Mom’s Inspired

One of my biggest pet peeves has always been ‘know-it-alls’.  I used to abhor people who felt the need to tell me what to do and how to do it because their way was supposedly superior to my own.  It would burn me up inside and I would always make it a point to push back and do everything I could in an effort to prove them wrong.

It always felt like the ‘know-it-alls’ were trying to control me.  However, I have learned that there is a lot more to a ‘know-it-all’ than meets the eye.  A lot of it stems from insecurity on their part, but there are some who simply want to be heard for once.  So I am now of the opinion, what does it really hurt to allow them to have their ‘know-it-all’ moment?  Does it really cost me anything to sit back and listen to someone tell me something I already know?  Is there any real harm in allowing someone to feel like they are guiding me when I already know where I am going?  Especially when it comes to your loved ones; it is simply who they are so why not accept it?

It was probably my own insecurities that had me opposing the ‘know-it-alls’ that crossed my path.  Maybe I had to be the only ‘know-it-all’ in the mix, who knows.  For whatever reason, I am certainly glad I have outgrown that type of mentality.  It really is a waste of energy to constantly challenge individuals who feel like they are helping you.  I have no qualms about sitting back and listening to unsolicited advice that I may or may not take to heart.  I now respectfully listen and then I quietly come to a decision that I believe is in my best interest.  It saves a lot of time, headaches, petty arguments and frustration.

I have always been a very contrary person, but the older I get, the more I realize this is not a big deal to me.  It is so much easier just to sit back, allow the ‘know-it-all’ to have their moment and respectfully accept that this is just a part of their personality.  You are never going to change them, so why bother trying?

Self preservation is the key to everything in my world right now.  There are so many things I formally expended a lot of energy on, that are simply not worth my time.  Let me leave you with this thought:  Why not embrace all personalities, nurture the needs of those you love no matter how irritating, since it doesn’t cost you anything?  Because really, what does it hurt?

~ Mara Prose

Friday Frankness: SweetSexySavage Intro ‘Understand Me Better’ Lyrics by Kehlani

Don’t you just love when song lyrics speak to you and touch your soul?  I decided to listen to a recommendation sent to me by Spotify.  The following Intro is from the artist Kehlani’s new album, SweetSexySavage.  I had never heard of her before today but I feel as if she read my mind with her intro.  I always appreciate those who make the effort to understand me better. ~ Mara Prose

Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song.  No copyright infringement intended.

My condolences to anyone who has ever lost me, and to anyone who got lost in me or to anyone who ever felt they took a loss with me, my apologies for the misunderstanding or the lack there of
I’m sorry you missed the God in me and I’m sorry you missed the light, I’m sorry you forgot the way I arose like the moon night after night with the burden to forgive, eager to feed you, everything

See, I’m a holy woman
I know what it’s like to give life to a being without ever needing to press skin against one another
I’ve practiced how to hold my tongue long enough, I’m afraid I forgot to say goodbye
I’m afraid you’re under the impression that I was made to please you
I was under the impression you understood me better

The truth is, I’m a superwoman, and some days I’m an angry woman, and some days I’m a crazy woman for still waiting, for still loving harder even if I’m aching, for still trusting that I’m still worth the most, for still searching, for someone to understand me better
(Understand me better)

 

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