6 Signs It's Time For A Major Life Change
Something that I really like about the change in seasons is they're a reminder that change is not only inevitable, it is very much so necessary. It's necessary for progress. It's necessary for growth. It's necessary in order for all of us to evolve into even bigger and greater versions of ourselves so that our purpose in this life can truly be fulfilled.
That's why I find it odd that so many of us question ourselves whenever we become restless, outgrow a relationship or seriously consider leaving a job or moving to another city—or heck, another country even. While we're out here wondering what's wrong with us, the reality is it could be the opposite; it could be that something very right is happening within. Our entire being is alerting us to the fact that what once was working for us (or at least we thought was working) for us, it no longer is. And so, it is time to take some semi-drastic measures in order to get to what's next.
Sometimes we fight change so much, we try and talk ourselves out of what our mind, body and spirit are trying to tell us. As a direct result, we're not quite sure if it's truly time to make a move or not. But as we're in the last quarter of the year, as we're all moving full speed ahead into—can you believe it?!—2020, here are some clear-as-day indications that changing your life is exactly what needs to good down. Sooner than later, by the way.
You’re Bored Out of Your Mind
If there is one feeling that I think gets pushed back down into our psyche far too often, it's boredom. I don't know where we get the idea that if we're bored, somehow that is being silly, petty or childish. Personally, I think it is one of the greatest indications that some major shifting needs to transpire. After all, when you're bored, it means that you are weary. Weary of what? The literal definitions include "tedious repetitions" and "unwanted attention". That's why I totally get quotes like the one from the French writer Émile Zola— "I would rather die of passion than of boredom." It's a reminder that life is too short to be out here doing the same ole' same ole'…just because.
I also like this quote by author Saul Bellow— "Boredom is the conviction that you can't change ... the shriek of unused capacities."
If you're out here hating your job because it feels like you're doing nothing but watching the clock and collecting a check, if you are a homebody because your city feels totally uninspired, if you are remaining in a relationship simply so you won't be alone and nothing more—all of these things point to boredom. All of these are blaring signs that something definitely needs to change.
Everything Seems to “Cramp Your Style”
There is someone in my world who honestly lives "bigger" than anyone else I know. They are constantly traveling. They are always doing something innovative. Since knowing them, I don't think there has been one year when they've done the same thing, the same way. I've asked them about it before. What they've told me is that while they are not the true definition of claustrophobic, whenever they feel "cramped" by a job or relationship or even within themselves, they take that as a sign that they need to do something different—or differently. For the most part, I like that way of thinking because to cramp something (or someone) is "to confine narrowly; restrict; restrain; hamper". And that makes me think of the Alice Walker quote, "No person is your friend who demands your silence or denies your right to grow." Amen.
While it should go on record that sometimes there's a fine line between your style being cramped and you trying to avoid responsibility (for instance, the routine that comes from being a spouse and/or parent isn't "restricting" you; it's holding you accountable), if something or someone does have you feeling restrained in the sense of being held back, don't ignore that signal. Ask yourself what could by lying beneath the surface of that emotion because, believe you me, anything or anyone that is good for you is going to propel you, not stifle you.
You’re Restless—When You’re Awake and Asleep
Me? I feel like I am constantly metamorphosizing, one way or another. I always know that it's time to make some sort of transition whenever I feel restless; for me, that's typically at nighttime. Although I usually am able to fall asleep easily, I do have seasons when I will wake up, at the same time, for a couple of weeks or so. Medical professionals say that potentially points to needing to alter one's sleep patterns, someone experiencing hormonal shifts or an individual going through a bout of anxiety or depression. But according to studies in traditional Chinese medicine, it could have something to do with your energy fields.
I read a cool article that said, if you have trouble sleeping between 9pm-11pm, it could mean that you're worried or stressed out. If you keep waking up between 11pm-1am, it means that you are going through some sort of emotional disappointment. 1am-3am indicates internalized anger; 3am-5am is connected to repressed sadness and if it's between 5am-7am, there are internal blockages of some sort. Something else that I like about the read is it provides tips on what you can do to shift the energy so that you can get a good night's rest again. But what I think we all can agree on is if you're not able to rest well, some sort of changes need to be made—for the sake of your health, well-being and peace of mind.
Your Gifts and Talents Are Lying Dormant
One of my favorite Scriptures is "For God's gifts and His call are irrevocable. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]" (Romans 11:29—AMPC) It is such an awesome reminder that, what the Most High put us here to do, that doesn't change. Unfortunately, a lot of people end up on their death bed, never really tapping into their fullest potential because figuring out what their gifts and talents are was never a top priority. Paying bills. Finding love. Having kids. Other stuff is what took precedence. But I'm telling you, you are doing yourself, your Creator and the world at large a huge disservice if you don't put aside some real time to discover—and then feed into—your gifts and talents.
If you're not really sure what your gifts or talents are, start the journey of figuring it out by doing some journaling. Write down things like what excites you; what your strengths are; what came easy to you in high school and college; what you would totally do for free; what you would spend your time on if you were independently wealthy. When you see what comes up on that sheet of paper, you should feel a few sparks fly. (Also, if you're a Christian, take a spiritual gifts test; it can reveal a lot about you too).
Since our gifts are irrevocable, they haven't gone anywhere just because we aren't using them. They are simply dormant. But if you feel something tugging at you, it could very well being that very gift or talent that could totally change your life, for the better—the very moment that you decide to stop ignoring it and begin nurturing it instead.
You Keep Pushing Down a Crazy Idea
I am very open about the fact that I'm a huge fan of Hebrew culture. So much in fact that I don't observe January 1 as being the New Year. I celebrate Rosh Hashanah instead; it just happened this past September 29-October 1. The reason why I'm bringing this up is because newness is all about perception. You don't have to wait until four months from now to try something that has been pulling and tugging away at your spirit. Hmph. Let me tell it, if you've got an idea and you keep telling yourself, "I'll do something about it next year", that has little to do with making a resolution and more to do with full-on, straight-up, absolute bona fide procrastination.
And what if you are waiting because the brainstorm that you have sounds totally crazy? First, trust me—live long enough and you learn to accept crazy is relative. And second, it's probably time to adapt a quote by an author named Jennifer Elisabeth— "Don't worry if people think you're crazy. You are crazy. You have that kind of intoxicating insanity that lets other people dream outside of the lines and become who they're destined to be."
For the most part, I like "crazy" ideas. It usually means that it's truly original and creative. When you don't have anything to compare what you're thinking about to, you are on the way to being a trailblazer rather than following someone else's blueprint. And when you stop to really let that sink in, how freakin' cool and amazin' is that?!
Life is too short and meaningful to be second-guessing yourself, simply because a concept comes to mind that you can't compare to anything (or one) else. By stepping out on a crazy idea, not only could it totally change your life for the better, it also may be what someone around you needs to see in order to manifest their own brand of "crazy" too. Doing crazy stuff can inspire others. Let that be your motivation if nothing else.
Your Needs Are Met. But Still, You’re Not Satisfied.
One more. Do you ever have moments when you're asking yourself, "What's wrong with me? I've got a good job, a nice home and really nothing to complain about. But still, something is…off"? You might try and "talk yourself down" by saying that you're just being "extra" or ungrateful. Maybe. Or it could be that your mind is alerting you to the fact that just because your needs are being met, that doesn't mean that there isn't more to life than that. It doesn't mean that there is some part of you—if not all of you—that simply isn't satisfied.
One of the things to always keep in mind when it comes to the definitions of "satisfy" is that one of them means "to fulfill the desires of". If you're currently not satisfied, some desire within you isn't being fulfilled. You shouldn't feel bad or guilty about that; you should figure out what that desire is and how to go about meeting it in the most beneficial and productive way possible. Not someday. As soon as you possibly can.
An Asian actress by the name of Lily Leung (who just passed this past August) once said, "When in doubt, choose change." Don't wait until 2020. Don't get distracted by the holiday season. Shoot, don't even click out of this article without making the commitment to do something—anything—that will help you to get to where change wants you to be.
Change is a good thing. So, if you saw yourself in this article, it's time to change your life. The good news is now all you've got to do is fully surrender to that reality. Then watch how the Universe helps you out—now that you're in full agreement. Enjoy the ride, sis. It's about to totally rock your world and change your life—for the better!
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and felt so deeply connected to them? Everything about the relationship was intense – good or bad? Then you might be in a part of a soul tie.
The concept of a soul tie binds individuals on a level beyond a relationship's physical and emotional aspects; it’s more than a mere connection. You can form a soul tie with anyone – lover, friend, colleague, etc.- but we are discussing romantic partners for this article. Think of you and your partner as an intensely burning flame. The flame can burn passionately to light the relationship’s way or chaotically burn everything in its path. Either way, it leaves an indelible mark on the souls involved.
A soul tie should not be confused with the term “soulmate.” The main difference is that a soul tie can be positive or negative, while a soulmate is a mutual, harmonious connection. Unlike a soul tie, a soulmate relationship is generally characterized by mutual understanding, support, and shared values.
However, the more we learn about soul ties, the more it becomes evident that they are not monolithic; they vary in nature and intensity. As someone who has experienced a negative soul tie, it is crucial to discern whether they contribute positively to personal growth or hinder you from flourishing.
If Your Soul Tie Is Positive
A positive soul tie creates a deep and affirming connection between individuals. One key indicator of a positive soul tie is effective communication. If you’re experiencing a positive soul tie, a shared understanding fosters open and honest dialogue, contributing to a sense of connection and support.
Mutual growth is another hallmark of a positive soul tie. When individuals in a relationship encourage each other's personal development and evolution, it signifies a positive and uplifting connection. This mutual support leads to an environment where both parties can thrive individually and together, contributing to the overall health of the soul tie.
Emotional security is a crucial element in identifying a positive soul tie. In such connections, individuals feel a deep sense of trust and comfort with each other. This emotional security forms a stable foundation for the relationship, allowing both parties to express vulnerability and foster a strong, positive bond. These three indicators—effective communication, mutual growth, and emotional security—underscore the positivity inherent in a healthy and affirming soul tie.
If Your Soul Tie Is Negative
A negative soul tie manifests as a detrimental and draining connection between individuals. One clear sign of a negative soul tie is the presence of emotional turmoilwithin the relationship. When the connection becomes a source of constant distress, causing emotional upheaval and hindering personal development, it indicates a negative soul tie.
Codependency is another red flag for a negative soul tie. In such connections, individuals may become overly reliant on each other, impeding their ability to thrive independently. Codependency often leads to unhealthy dependencies and can result in a toxic dynamic that hinders both individuals' growth and well-being.
A lack of effective communication is a third indicator of a negative soul tie. When there is a breakdown in communication, misunderstandings and unresolved issues can fester, contributing to a strained and unhealthy connection. In negative soul ties, the absence of open and honest dialogue can perpetuate a cycle of negativity and prevent the resolution of underlying issues. These three indicators—emotional turmoil, codependency, and poor communication—point to the negativity associated with an unhealthy soul tie.
Putting Out The Fires And Breaking Your Soul Tie
Unfortunately, my deep, intense connection only caused destruction. And despite the obvious red flags, it took a minute before I broke the connection. Why? Because I was addicted to the relationship, we both were. But it is possible to break a soul tie if and when you are ready because if you are not, pretending you are when you are not is a waste of your time.
Breaking a soul tie requires intentional and purposeful actions. Establishing clear and firm boundaries is a fundamental step in severing the connection. By limiting contact and emotional engagement with the person involved, individuals can gradually weaken the tie and create space for personal growth.
Seeking professional support is another effective strategy to break a soul tie. Guidance from therapists or counselors provides valuable insights and coping strategies. Professional assistance can help individuals navigate the emotional challenges associated with breaking a soul tie, offering a structured and supportive environment for healing.
Redirecting energy toward personal growth is important in breaking free from a soul tie. Engaging in activities that promote individual well-being and create a sense of independence allows individuals to refocus their attention on their own growth and development. This redirection of energy is essential for breaking the emotional bonds of a soul tie and moving towards a healthier, more fulfilling life.
The last step I advise everyone to go through is the mourning period. My partner and I did our song and dance for years before I walked away. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that I mourned our relationship while I healed.
Recognizing the presence and nature of a soul tie in your relationship is crucial to understanding its impact on your well-being. Whether positive or negative, the intensity of a soul tie can shape the course of your personal growth and happiness. Breaking free from a negative soul tie demands intentional efforts, from setting clear boundaries to seeking professional support. Redirecting energy toward personal growth and allowing oneself a necessary mourning period are vital steps toward healing and liberation from the intricate ties that bind.
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