Monday Motivation

Monday Motivation: Who are you vs. Who you are suppose to be…

Recently I have thinking about how many of us me included have or have had a really hard time during our lives trying to differentiate who we are compared to who we are suppose to be. It’s one of the those internal struggles that one can often get lost in and even defeated by. When I was younger I really struggled with: Who was I suppose to be? What was suppose to do? How am I suppose to act? Even, How am I suppose to look? Really, who decides these things? We do!

I have to realize after I got older that it was not anyone else’s opinion about who I suppose to be or even who I was it was mine. In getting to the who we are suppose to be we first must examine who we are and understand that it in order to get to who we are “meant to be” is a growth process. Understanding who we are as individuals is how we develop into our destined selves. Truth is the entire concept of “who are you suppose to be” is nothing more that a distraction.

Most of the time if we are trying to do what we think or what someone else told us we were suppose to do we are just on a mission to please someone else family, partners, teachers, spiritual leaders, or even God. I got to the point where I believed that I was suppose to be what other’s wanted me to be and my own innate skills and interest were wrong. Once I got older and started to embark on a journey where I worked and developed my skills, interest, and gifts I realized that I wasn’t meant to be what other’s wanted me to be. I was meant to be what God had created me to be (why do you think he gave us those gifts). But what was really important, I realized that it was truly all about the journey.

During that journey of chasing all of the wrong outlets, people, and careers was how I realized that I was already “who” I was suppose to be and “where” I suppose to be. So though I may not always enjoy the journey I understand it has allowed embrace that who I was “meant” to be was always in me the entire time.

Enjoy the journey,

Lou Hargrove

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Inspiration

Artistic Rejuvenation?

For the last month I have been working nonstop. Last month I did a pretty big book signing (though it never really feels like work I had to put in quite a few hours in planning) and I been putting in a ton of overtime at my 9-5 so it has been an exhausting few months for me. However, since I have been working on a part 2 to Passion & Turmoil (available on Amazon, Kindle, and redbutterflypublishing.com) I really need and artistic boost of energy. I have been doing so much that I don’t feel like my brain ever stops for a nap, so since its so awake and active I need to rejuvenate it with some art, love, and sensuality and my go to place was what I really expected.
So I took a day trip to the City of Brotherly Love (Philadelphia), where is my go to when I just have a few hours to escape. I started my day early enough to spend some time in the park, take a stroll around Center City and do a little people watching. I even made a few pit stops on Chestnut St. to do a little shopping. Though a few new items play with always thrill me, it still was not helping my case. Off to the park I went, first I went to Love Park to see if I could glimpse a few couples strolling through or see any artist outside playing and their was the usual tourist taking pictures, skateboarders, and a few locals just hanging around. No groups mixing each one separated into their own corner. It was kind of sad there such a dryness in many of the individuals especially the locals and it was heartbreaking. Even the fountain was turned off and drained. There was such an obvious difference between the two groups while the tourists where happy to take pictures the love statue the locals seemed to be barely existing. The atmosphere was very thick and heavy, which is a huge example to so many things that are going on and so many changes that needs to be made, then my mind started spinning, working, and wondering. Then I remembered what this trip was for, though it gave me so much to write about it just not what I was look for today.
So went across the street and outside of The Sip with a Love Park Lemonade and watched two toddler boys play in the shooting water, laughing, splashing, and running. And there it was, innocence! Carefree innocence, the stuff your not allowed to have as an adult, that’s why its such a precious gift for a child something the must have an opportunity to have. For some reason, at that thought I relaxed then and calmed for a bit and allowed myself time to just be in the moment. Which is sometimes hard for me. I am glad that I took the time to take a break from everyone and everything. However, though I didn’t come back home with a new spring in my step or a super amazing love poem I did see a lot to write about.

See you Soon,

Lou Hargrove

photo by: Yolanda Hargrove

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Monday Motivation: Relax, Reflect, and Refresh…

Today marks the official end of summertime fun, though the sun is still high and shinning school is back in full swing and most summer vacations are over. Hopefully, everyone took some time this summer to reflect on their plans for the fall and leading into the new year, but this should not be the end of an occasional breaks and vacations.
The older I get the more I realize that it is important to take the time to relax, reflect, and refresh. Continual moving isn’t healthy for anyone. I am very guilty of moving constantly and never taking a break to reflect and think with an unclouded mind. Even when I say that I am taking time off I usually just dive into to new projects. A few years ago I realized that I had a fear of appearing lazy. For whatever reason I have noticed that women without children are expected to have these busy lives to make up for not having children or they are considered just “lazy”, which we all now is very far from the truth. Last year I finally realized that my busyness wasn’t at all healthy no matter how productive I thought I was. I made that discovery around the same time I discovered that I was no longer concerned with what people thought. With or without children we have our own lives to live and we are in charge of how we live them and those that are on the outside looking in and taking the time to care for ourselves and our well-being is very important not to just our physical health but also for our mental health as well.
This summer I actually took the time to spend some time on the beach, cut back on my work schedule, and try to spend more time with friends. Though I will discuss it in another post I have seen a lot more information about the unhealthy consequences for women who don’t rest or take the time out for their bodies or their mental health. I remember reading articles about how taking a break was for women only involved a 5-10 minute bathroom break, or a hot bath. Our break does not need to revolve around our necessities. Its only right that we are aloud to be able to nurture ourselves while we are in the world nurturing everyone else. It is very important to take care of yourself in order to keep taking care of everything else.

More info coming soon,

Lou Hargrove

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Birthday Randomness and annoucement…

Today is my birthday so what better way to begin my day than with a random little blog post to celebrate Red Butterfly Chronicles 1st year as well. I started this blog last year as part of my turning 35 journey. Now 35 has come and gone but the journey of life and writing will still continue for me. I must admit it has been a very blessed year and I have grown so much both personally and professionally. It has been amazing!

Recently I have been doing a lot of think about beginnings, newness, and especially new years. Though the calender changes and a new year begins for everyone, birthdays are our official personal restart date. This year it shocks me when I think about how much I have changed in the last 12 months, how I think differently and want different thinks. Life has a beautiful way of opening our eyes even if we don’t think its so beautiful at the time of reveal. However, I see myself much differently than I have before. I have closed a lot of doors, ended some unhealthy relationships, began new projects, published my first book, and began to brand Red Butterfly Publishing. I’ve a long way and still have a long way to go on my continuing journey.

As we all know we always have to let go of something to allow something else to grow, so I have decided to let go of redbuttaflydiva.com. It was my first blog and my baby but I am just now feeling it anymore, and honestly it’s not getting any attention anymore. So this will now be my only blog and I have a good feeling about it.

Lastly I would like to thank everyone that has been here from day one to my last subscriber and reader. I really appreciate the time you take to read this blog.

Lou Hargrove

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Bringing sexy back

Last week I made a post and I mentioned getting my swag back. For some reason I didn’t take into consideration that I was self-publishing and actually had to go out and promote. I had gotten so comfortable in my tights and sweats now that tax season is over, it took me off guard when it was time to reach into my bag of tricks and bring it together for press, promotional pictures, open mic events, and interviews. I actually had that moment of “I don’t feel like it”. It had been awhile since I had gotten dressed to go anywhere other than work or rehearsal, and with working and trying to finish the book it was just way too much to do more than shower and jump into some clothes to go about my day. However, once I started spending more than 10 minutes in the mirror I remembered how nice it was to actually take the time to slip into something pretty and sexy. Taking that few extra minutes in the mirror does a lot to add a little boost to my confidence as a woman. Now don’t get me wrong I wasn’t necessarily feeling a lack of confidence, to be honest I had been working so much over the last year or so feeling feminine and sexy just was no longer a priority. There was so much on my plate that I ignored myself as a sacrifice to get things done. I was surviving on 2-hrs of sleep a day and as much as I needed make up to hide the bags under my eyes I just didn’t have time, not to mention trying to maintain my natural hair I wore a turban or a bun any chance I could just to make sure I would be out the door as fast as possible. (Isn’t amazing what part of ourselves we give up to make ends meet.)

Thankfully those time are not behind me and while I am still in the midst of an extremely busy schedule I am also forced to look at myself twice in the mirror, especially now that I have to be conscious of my brand and I want to be seen. Now I know it’s nothing wrong with being lacks at times but now when it doesn’t feel natural and most times I was too tired and worn out to feel feminine or sexy. But today is new day and I know that it is never too late to create change and why not start in the spring where everything is fresh new and beautiful. So I will be keeping in touch with a few new purchases, hair, nails and even an occasional OOTD or OOTF. I can’t wait to see how my own progress will move into the summer months.

See you Soon,

Lou Hargrove

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Updates, Thoughts, and What’s to come…

I just wanted to stop in and let you know what’s been going on and what’s been coming up. Over the last month I have been making a lot of changes. If you read my last post or follow me on social media you already know that I just published my first book of poetry titled Passion & Turmoil (available on Amazon and Kindle). The book shares a journey of passion, lust, love, and vulnerability. Lately I have been promoting interviewing and marketing this and I have also been working on a few other projects that I will be announcing soon. In the meantime I have also been thinking about different ways to enhance my presence here on Word Press and social media. So you will be seeing a lot more of me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Tumblr. Please stay connecting because it will definitely get interesting.

On a more personal note! Writing this book have meant a lot of changes, I must admit that I am not the same woman that I was walking into this project. I have learned more about love, myself, and about my talents as a poet/writer. I will discuss this more later in a separate blog post but it has given me a great deal of motivation for the ideas that I listed earlier. I admit that it is a very wonderful filling when you realize what you are really here for and how all of the questions in your heart and mind have been there for a reason so I will be sharing a lot of that here on this blog.

Also I have realized that I have gotten a lot lazier over the last few years when it comes to my appearance. I have been working so much that I was just going with the flow of things, however now that I am doing different promotional events and working to brand my business I am going to have to step things back up a notch, so please stop by redbuttaflydiva.com for info on my little shopping sprees and beauty finds. You can watch me get my swag back. Also email me at redbutterflypublishing@gmail.com with any blog ideas you would like to read.

See you soon,

Lou Hargrove

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Monday Motivation: Know Your Power (guest post)

Red Butterfly Chronicles

We often second guess ourselves in an attempt to make excuses of why we can’t accomplish any of our goals. Whether the goal is a career change, a scenic change, even financial stability, there is always a huge excuse standing in the way. Don’t deny it, we all have been there. Too many woman believe that they are inferior. Now, I’m not trying to be the next Stacy Dash, but I wouldn’t be considered so open-minded if I didn’t take into consideration some of the points she made, or at least what I felt she was “trying” to make. I felt as though she was saying, as a woman, even though statistics are against her, she is still in control of her future and will not let anyone put a limit on what she could achieve. Yes, the execution of her statement was a bit shaky but don’t sleep on…

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