ONCE YOU LEAVE THE OFFICE, LEAVE IT ALL AT THE OFFICE

7C

I read somewhere that you can tell a lot about a person—both male and female—by 3 things. The way they keep the inside of their car, their closet, and their microwave. And I have to say that although I never thought about it, I agree. It’s the little things that make a big difference and quite honestly, they also speak the loudest.

Different realm; same aspect…

I also recently read an article which talked about a person's daily life: the professional one vs. the private one.

One of the first things it said: “A person should always keep their office keys separate from their home keys!” True.

Keeping your personal life separate from your professional life is extremely important, even with keys. Your demeanor at work and the one at home are most likely two different people—just like keys—they may look identical but they function differently.

So I started thinking about the ways I’ve tried to keep my personal life separate from my professional life and the times when I actually intermingled both together; my conclusion:

SEPARATE THE TWO & KEEP THEM APART!

I’m not saying true friendships can’t evolve out of a work-base level; it does happen. What I am saying is—usually—that isn’t the case.

Co-workers, for the most part, are in your life because they work with you. How often do you call or text or hangout with someone from work, after hours? Would you invite your co-workers to your wedding? Would they be notified when your baby is born? Would they get an invitation to an important family event or your child's nuptials? Do you vacation together? 

((( THE ANSWER IS PROBABLY NO )))

These people are called professionals for a reason—and sure you all may do the occasional fun-lunch, happy hour or Friday night shindig—but that doesn’t mean you should eagerly involve them in your personal life.

And this doesn’t eliminate other aspects in your profession, like EMAIL. It never dawned on me how much of my personal emails intertwined with my work emails until I took PTO and found myself—unintentionally—mixing the two.

Nowadays everything is electronic. In fact, at times, our smartphones are utilized more often than our computers so it isn’t hard to get caught up sending personal and professional emails at the same time. That’s the multi-tasker in us; the nature of the beast. But it has to stop.

It’s bad enough your employer already knows too much of your personal information, don’t voluntarily or accidentally get your personal emails caught up in your work life too.

Privacy at work is non-existent. Remember, anything you write can be read by the company; NO MATTER what they tell you.

And let’s talk SOCIAL MEDIA. It doesn’t matter how close you think you are with your co-workers, even your boss, do not accept that friend request.

As much as you’d like to think that it’s all in good fun, social media can be more dangerous to your work environment than you think; not because you have anything to hide but because you may become vulnerable to your employer/co-workers. And betrayal—well—let's just say it isn't biased. It can hit you when you least expect it, from the people you least expect; and that's your fault for letting them in.

Your personal life is personal for a reason, keep it that way. And once you leave the office, leave it all, at the office.

THE PERFECT STORM

To find the answers, still the mind. (Psalms 46:10) Don’t be in such a rush to figure things out. Embrace the unknown and let God surprise you. And I hope that at the heart of whatever it is you are looking for—you find Jesus there too.

Because there is so much glory and beauty when you go into the perfect storm with God, and rather than fighting Him, you come out more in love with Him than when you first went in. For a storm is simply a struggle, a pain or a trial.

The perfect storm is a struggle, a pain or a trial—blessing in disguise.

7C

NEXT STOP, CHICAGO

In a few short weeks, my family and I will be boarding a plane and heading to Chicago. We will spend 4 glorious days in the windy city, with an itinerary that screams, I LOVE CHI-CA-GO (we're such tourists).

We've matched up plans to some of Chicago's best eateries and restaurants, infamous landmarks, and we're even catching a Cubs game—hat in tow—among other things.

But before anything, I have to make sure I pack every detail needed for this trip. From snacks and more snacks (because I love to eat)... to headphones, electronics and chargers (because I cannot leave home without my chargers)... and a pillow (I think).

Stay tuned on TRAVEL DIARIES... as I will document this trip from the moment I get on the plane to the moment we head back. The good, the bad, and the ugly. 

LET ME TELL YOU A SECRET

Never try to impress a good woman with who you're not; she will expect you to [always] be that person, after all, that is who you made her believe you were.

If you really like her, and she's right for you, let her fall for the real you, not the man you want her to think you are.

For a woman, one of the worst feelings is meeting a man she truly likes, only to meet the REAL HIM later in the relationship.

A good woman is really hard to find these days; and as men, you know a good one from a bad one. Don't be him! Don't be the man who let's the good one get away because of lies. 

LET

ME

TELL

YOU

A

SECRET

We are all a complete wreck—no one will tell you this; some people simply know how to crash and burn beautifully.

Another words, she's nervous too, she just plays it better.

But if she gives you the real her, do yourself a favor and give her the real you; because if you tell the truth in the beginning, you won't have to explain yourself in the end.

BECAUSE I'VE EARNED IT

Every single day I wake up sore. I workout 4 times, maybe 5, a week and I give myself no breaks. Not even today with this nasty head cold I'm fighting. I have to be tough on myself. I'm not getting younger and I have to hold myself accountable for my health. Don't get me wrong, it's a bitter-sweet pain—but as tough as it is—it's one of the most rewarding feelings. In a way it solidifies my dedication. It's at that moment, when I'm getting out of bed, that I realize every uncomfortable joint in my body is working for the better of my years. I have a lot to live for and that in itself makes me tough; it gives me drive and motivation.

Today is my birthday and I'm eating cakenot to say I never eat cake—but today I'm relishing the moment. I love to eat and I make no apologies for it. Food is one of the greatest pleasures God gives us and I enjoy every minute of it. But with each bite I take, I workout even harder because for me, it's a give and take.

Here's the gist of what I'm trying to say, it doesn't take athleticism to workout; it's the fire in your soul to want it bad enough. It's that feeling you get when you see yourself in the mirror, and although your age says you're getting older, you look and feel much younger. It's not fun, but the results are forever life changing.

So today I started the day with my running shoes, as I always do. And by the Grace of God, I will end my day another year older; with the people I love, great food, chocolate cake, birthday candles, and my beautiful Cinderella heels—as I call themBECAUSE I'VE EARNED IT.

Seventh and Cherry™

MANIFESTING, I TRULY BELIEVE IN THIS

When you want something—really, truly want it—it’s worth [everything in you] to work hard for it. After all, if it's meant to be, God will provide the way—that's how it works, His will, not yours. —Proverbs 19:21

Manifesting is a daily thing for me. I practice and preach it without awareness, and it [partially] inherits the credit for the peace in my life—partially because I give God the glory. It has taught me patience because I didn't always have it. Self-love, because I didn't always do it. Gratitude, kindness, compassion, generosity, it's an endless list of what manifesting does for the soul. In time, it has literally made [me] a better person. It reintroduced and changed my perspective to all of the things money cannot buy. But beware, for every single thought; your beliefs and the things you tell yourself, the good and the bad, they come to life. So manifest good things, and don't just say it, think it and write it, ACT IT. Act as if though you've already received the thing(s) you've been manifesting.

For thoughts become things. Things become reality.

A manifesto is a written statement that describes your goals, objectives, and opinions on a specific topic, issue or thing(s) in life.

Today, I manifested on how I represent myself to the world. I wrote myself a few questions about Seventh and Cherry, the brand —vs.— Me, the creator of Seventh and Cherry.

My objective was to see if who I am—as a woman—was different than who I am as the brand. What I found was that my strengths genuinely equate each other, but the brand shined a little more. I'm a little more of an outspoken, extrovert in my branding and more of a mysterious, introvert in my private life. But my representation overall—the same.

Who are you when no one is watching? When you're not at work. When you're not surrounded by anyone and you're all alone. When your electronics have all shut down and it's just you. Are you the same person the world sees? Who are you?

A manifesto—an incredible way to finding the person in you. 

A NEW RELATIONSHIP

Relationships have truly gotten a bad rap. In fact, they're frowned upon by many because they actually tend to hurt, more than they help.

Sad but true!

Monogamous relationships aren't the majority anymore. You know like they were back in the day when people actually cared about a person's heart. When a gentleman, or a woman, vested their time in someone because they genuinely loved-love. And if, or when, things went wrong they fought to make things right; they fought for each other because love conquered all. 

These days, people enter relationships for all the wrong reasons and when the relationship goes sour, THEY BAIL. They move on to the next person who, inevitably, will help them continue the cycle of dead-end romances. And after years of attempting to find love, they're left with broken hearts, misguided connections and spite toward the opposite sex. But what people fail to see isn't that relationships are bad—because they're not—what they fail to see is that the problem lies within themselves.

Stop playing the blame game and grow up. Break yourself from outside reality for awhile and allow yourself some 'me time'.

I know—I get it—cliché, but you really do need time.

Buy yourself a journal—men+women—and document your journey. Unless you allow it, no one will see your words or read what you write; but God. Write down everything that is missing in your life; what you want in someone else and what you, personally, need. This will help transform the way you think about dating, the way you think about other people, and most importantly, it will open your eyes to the greatest gift—it will show you that you held the answers to your happiness all along. It's during this time of transformation that you realize how worthy you are and why you can no longer settle for just anyone. And that is a beautiful thing.

Before you begin a new relationship, here are 3 things, I think, you must successfully complete before dating:

1. THE PAST: The past is gone! If your last relationship has ended—mourn it—because like death, ending a relationship means you have to grieve. Cry over it, talk about it, resolve it and close it. Wash your hands from it, it's done; it's over. Accept it and move on. If you can't seem to do that, then you have no business dating. That is one of the most selfish things you can do to someone else. No one wants to be the rebound—let alone fall for you—when your heart is somewhere else. So if it's completely over, end it! And then give yourself some time, plenty of time, before jumping into someone else's life.

2. THE PRESENT: The present is about you—rip jeans and all. You will never, ever, ever, find true love until you learn to love yourself first. When you get to a point, in life, when you genuinely love yourself, you learn how to say NO to things that aren't worthy of your time, and that includes people. Love yourself enough to know that you deserve better than one-night stands with humans who want nothing more from you than a temporary feel. 

3. THE FUTURE: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." —HEBREWS 11:1

How awesome is the bible? It gives us the answers to life, all we have to do is open it, read it and believe it. God is the key! Make sure your relationship with The Lord is where it needs to be before you begin a relationship with anyone else. 

Every single day I talk to God; all day throughout the day, I'm constantly in his ear. In fact this morning I woke up around 5ish and as I laid in bed I looked up and said, "Are you awake God? Because I'm awake." My relationship with Him is rock solid and I cannot function in life without His guidance. I wasn't always this person. It has taken me years to get to where I'm at, not because I didn't believe, but because I didn't know better. Now—there is nothing I won't do without his instruction—and this includes dating+men.

Don't get stuck in a rut with the wrong person or people. 1. Let go of the past. 2. Love yourself. 3. Get good with God. He knows what you need. And when He feels you are ready for that blessing, He will make it so evident, you will not know what hit you.

There is someone out there praying for someone like you. 

...but before you two can meet, you have to be aligned with the right things in your life. You do the possible and allow God to take care of the impossible. Then wait your turn and wait your time, for it is His will, not yours.