The Friend Zone: What Male Friendships Can Teach You About Self Love.

One month after heartbreak, the reality sunk in. I fumbled out of bed. Slowly walked to the bathroom and stared at my puffy eyes in the mirror. Silently, I whispered, I miss my friend.

For the past six months, my best friend was Tyler (or at least that is what I will call him for now). Tyler was an enigma to say the least. The mix of his social nature and spontaneous personality made him easy to love. We were both in our own weird post break up process. It was tough, but he made it easier. Most of the time, we would just share a spliff and cruise down PCH (Pacific Coast Highway for all my non-Cali folks). It felt good to be free and laugh again. The situation began with shared adventures, escalated to a few giggles, and eventually led to a kiss which, in time, turned into multiples kisses.

On one beautiful night, the multiple kisses stopped abruptly. I said “Tyler”. He said “Mhmm”. I simply nodded my head. That night we became one. I will never be able to explain how it felt. The experience was more than physical. It was spiritual. My first thought was

“Have we done this before?”

When fall ended, Tyler informed me that he was moving back home, but our situation would remain the same. I was for it, because I believed sometimes true love must suffice from a distance. As the seasons changed, so did our love. The new season brought a new woman into his life. Unfortunately, Tyler failed to inform me of the change. When all the secrets and lies came to light, I was devastated to say the least.

We stopped talking for months. As much as I loved the first kiss, I regretted everything that came after it. I didn’t care about the intimacy. I would have given that all up just to go back to the days when we were simply friends sharing energy and taking trips to the stars. Today, we are cool, but it pains me to say that we will never be as close as we once were.

It made me reflect on my thought process towards the opposite sex. Why was it that whenever I am introduced to a male my initial thought is “Is he my husband?

It didn’t make sense, so I spent the last year intentionally cultivating and strengthening genuine male friendships. My clique of bros supported me, protected me, paid for me when I was broke and most importantly empowered me to discover what real love is. Through these relationships, I learned a few things about loving myself. Here goes:

  • Genuine connections don’t come from unrealistic expectations. I was on a search for love. If he didn’t fit the mold of my future husband, I would instantly dismiss him which made me miss out on a lot of genuine male friends. Eventually, I learned in every encounter whether physical, spiritually, momentary or whatever it may be you have to cherish the person in that moment without expectation. Don’t let unrealistic expectations block you from the opportunity to meet someone who can inspire your growth. In learning to enjoy men as friends rather than jumping straight to romantic partner, I met some really dope dudes who helped to reveal the light hidden within me.

  • Take Your Time Sis! You don’t have to go with the first man that gives you attention. The one thing I love about my bros is that they don’t settle. When discussing relationships, I often roll my eyes, BUT I always crack a smile when they say she is a good woman, but she isn’t my wife. They understand what they want and even better they don’t settle. My boys taught me to wait until you are ready, keep your options open and be patient. No need to rush. There are a million and one people in this world. You will find YOUR one.

  • Focus on yourself first. We all want to build the best life for ourselves, but our approaches are completely different. Men tend to focus on career first and family second. Women tend to do the opposite. One day one of my boys sat me down and said

“Tiff, why are you so concerned about a family right now. You can barely balance your checkbook”

All I could think was “damn bro, you right”.

I was focusing so much on having the “American dream” that I forgot to focus on becoming the best woman I could be. It was inconsiderate to even attempt to incorporate someone into my life, especially when I was still trying to figure it out.

  • Last thing, they taught me that I AM AMAZING AF! Leave it to your friends to always see what you can’t even in your darkest moments.

Is it possible that one of my boys could one day be my husband? Maybe. Who knows and honestly who cares? I am just blessed to have them in my life. So, this goes out to my boys all across the world. You have and continue to shape me as a woman. I am so grateful and blessed to have your love, your support, and your protection. I am because you are.

So, tell me in the comments all the AMAZING men in your life who push you, empower you, and support you in becoming the best version of you!

Rediscovering Roots Pt. 1

mooie-samenstelling-met-palmbladen-op-gele-achtergrond_24972-68 copy.jpg

Recently, I have been on self-love journey that includes rediscovering my roots. Growing up in a place that was culturally deficient, I realized there is a lot I don’t know about the history of my people. The most I know is that I am black and a teensy part Irish.

I started wondering how can I love the pieces of me that I know nothing about?

The search to get closer and learn more brought me to Sade, the founder of Roots of Resistance. Recently, we had the chance to sit down and chat about the history of afro healing ways. I learned so much. Like, did you know that Westerners used to purposely poison slaves so they could learn their healing practices? I know you are probably thinking the same thing I was. “Damn, what the ?!?!”

Anyway watch the full video by clicking the picture below. This is part 1 of many and if you want to know more Sade holds workshops and classes. You can learn about those by contacting her at boogiedown2soultown@gmail.com or checking her Facebook page.


You are a dope person! Start acting like it!

mooie-samenstelling-met-palmbladen-op-gele-achtergrond_24972-68.jpg

You are a dope person! Start acting like it.

Up until a few years ago, I did not think highly of myself. 

I never thought I could run my own business.
I never thought I could facilitate workshops for young girls.
I never thought I was deserving of real, unconditional love.

On top of that, I had all these fears constantly circulating in my head. 

What if I fail?
What if I go broke?
What if I never live up to the expectations of the ones I love?

After rising and falling, again and again. I learned the most rewarding things in life take hard work, dedication, and most importantly faith. 

I am not talking about faith in the Universe or God. I am talking about faith in yourself. You have to believe in YOU, before you start this journey. Trust and believe, if you don’t believe in yourself no one will. 

I have curated a small but mighty list of people who have pushed me to believe in myself over the years. If you need a little more of a push, no worries. I got your back! Simply contact me to schedule a FREE coaching consultation and I will help you to get on your way. 

Alright, now let’s check out some of my faves: 

 
 “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

For me, this is where it began. In his best-selling book “The Alchemist”, Coelho reminds us that we all have a purpose in our lives whether we want to believe it or not. It is up to us to follow the omens in order to fulfill our personal journey.  From here, I learned to listen to my heart over my mind. Sometimes, my mind leads me to believe I am failing, but my heart always reassures me I am on the right path. 

If you are currently struggling to find a deeper meaning in your daily life. Trust me, this book is for you! 

 
 Photo Credit: shesbeautyandthebeast.com

Photo Credit: shesbeautyandthebeast.com

My sister Tracy G is dropping some powerful gems through her audio vision boards. She speaks life when it comes to self-love, relationships, purpose, and (of course) securing the bag. It only takes a few minutes a day, but she will leave you feeling like you are the Queen of the world. You can find her albums on Itunes and Soundcloud!

 
 “Acts of Faith” by Iyanla Vanzant:

“Acts of Faith” by Iyanla Vanzant:


The process of believing in yourself is daily battle.  Some days I feel I can conquer the world and other days I feel completely helpless. Acts of Faith is your daily armor to save yourself from the blows of self-doubt and insecurity. Stick to a page a day and watch your soul start to fly. 

Last thing, YOU GOT THIS! Don’t every let anyone (including yourself) make you think any differently. 


With Love, 

Tiffany Lit’Shae 

Boss Up! by learning to be more selfish.

mooie-samenstelling-met-palmbladen-op-gele-achtergrond_24972-68.jpg

Boss Up! by learning to be more selfish. 

For a majority of my life, I was the definition of selfless. I was always doing for others with the expectation of nothing in return. Need a ride? Call Tiff. Need money? Call Tiff. Your boyfriend breaks up with you at 2 AM in a drunken fit? Call Tiff for advice.

You can check out my full story here, but it was something ingrained since birth. The women in my family always gave their last. The world smiled upon them and they would often hear phrases like “God is going to bless you”, but I saw the other side of God’s blessing. It was continues hurt, anxiety, and strain that a lack of appreciation does on mental health.

On December 31st 2016, I made my first selfish move. We will talk about that later, but it opened me up to the beauty of being selfish.  On my journey, I learned a few things that I want to share with all the selfless women in my life.

Understand that is okay to be selfish: I was taught as a kid that God loves a giving heart, but we take that sentiment a little too far. We must learn that life is about GIVE and TAKE. It is totally okay to take time to love and appreciate YOU! When we allow ourselves to replenish, we place ourselves in a better position. I want you to say this mantra 3x.

 

“I am valuable to the people in my life. I am giving to myself so that I can better give to others in the future.”

 

Set Expectations: My first problem? I had high expectations for myself, but none for those around me. I gave without expecting anything back, but what I didn't now realize is that people in your life who love you and care about you will see how much you give and will step in to help, simply because the love you. There will be no need to ask or beg, They will see your selfless nature and want to pour into you.

Weigh Your Options: So, take a pen and write this down, because I want you to remember this right here. YOU ALWAYS HAVE OPTIONS. Before you commit to any situation, weigh YOUR options and make the best decision for you and your dependents. I did a lot of things in relationships and friendships that didn't suit me. I let others make decisions in my life for me. Everything was divine in the end, but next time I am avoiding all.

Anywho with all that said, go be a selfish boo!

giphy.gif