Beauty Inspiration: Timeless Boxed Plaits For Protective Styling

Jada Pinkett-Smith

For me, this style never gets old. I’ve worn boxed plaits since middle school as a way to give my hair a break from everyday styling and grooming, which would sometimes be too much for my hair. It was definitely a style that gave my mother a break during the summer when I would travel and do all kinds of activities that would wear and tear on my hair (such as swimming among other things).  While browsing the net, I was inspired to try different styles with my boxed plaits and decided to post some beautiful pics of women we know rocking them… Yes, including ME! 😉 Check them out and be inspired.

Solange Beyonce and Solange
@BCSTARKS
@BCSTARKS
Lashontae “Tae” Heckard
Christina Milian
Christina Milian
@BCSTARKS
@BCSTARKS
@BCSTARKS
@BCSTARKS
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To have what you want, you must match your desires! #TeamDreamChasers

Happy Sunday dream chasers! I was inspired to blog about a topic that I have dealt with as I continue my own journey to becoming my best self.

For starters, we all have hopes, dreams, and desires for our lives. And oftentimes we wish and pray for these things to manifest, quickly. While that’s all great, we should not forget the key ingredient to having it all… Becoming a match to what you desire. That is, if there’s something that you are wanting in your life (i.e., better relationships, financial health, fancier lifestyle, finding your soul mate, etc.) there is a price that will always have to be paid in order to achieve any of those things. The price that you will have to pay is the “what or  who” it is that you must become in order to attract those things.

“Who or what do I need to become in order to have the things and experiences that I wish to have?”

A few months ago I came across a YouTube video of one of my favorite authors and motivational life coach Tony Robbins in which he discusses this from the standpoint of attracting one’s ideal mate. In this video he explains how one should prepare for being in a most fulfilling relationship by first becoming the best version of one’s self. If you are what you attract, then you must position yourself to attract those people, places, and things that represent your best version of yourself. Whatever that means for you.

Face it, you can’t be the person that wants to attract the most attractive, intelligent, and successful mate if you don’t become the kind of  person that an attractive, intelligent and successful mate would want to date. As Mr. Robbins suggests, one could start by creating very specific lists of his or her desires for whatever area they choose to focus on for the time being. The list must be clear about as many aspects  of the thing as possible. For example: I would love  a mate that is adventurous, loves sports, is philanthropic, loves family, and secure in his being. The next step would be to create a list of the things that I need to become to be the ideal mate for the mate that I wish to attract. Which based on the list above would go something like this: adventurous, at least tolerant and supportive of sports, care a great deal about the wellness of others, be well grounded with my own family (or at least have a strong desire to do so), and love. honor,  and approve of myself no matter what others may think or ask of me. One cannot ask of another what they are not willing to do or be themselves!

And honestly, all of these things take time, so be gentle with your process. You’ll get there!  You just have to be willing to do the work.

So what is it that you wish to attract? Are you willing to become a match to those desires. After all, it is the only way that you can truly achieve those things which are genuinely fulfilling.

Check out the video that inspired the blog below.

Love,

@BCSTARKS

Words of Wisdom: Stay Open… (via @TheDailyLove)

“After a few (or many) bad relationships, it’s so easy to shut down, give up, and stop believing that the right person is out there for us. Our hearts yearn to fall in love, but our minds insist it’s not possible, and we enter into a tug-of-war with ourselves. It’s as if one part of us is screaming, “Yes! I deserve a great relationship!” while another part insists, “I’ll never find him or her.” When our beliefs contradict our desires, we experience an inner conflict that not only paralyzes us, but can actually prevent us from recognizing the possibilities for love that exist all around us.” 

 
– Arielle Ford, author of “The Soulmate Secret” & “Wabi Sabi Love”

True Soulmates and Expectations

Soulmate

Hey there lovies!! I’ve pretty much spent the past week and a half on an adventure. That’s right, I’m doing what I call “gettin’ me some life”. And its been ahhhmazing so far. The the thing I love most about travel and quiet time is that you learn so much about yourself and it gives you time to reflect on whats really important. Which brings me to the topic of relationships…

A few weeks ago I came across the image above on Instagram and I could sooo relate. I’m such a firm believer in relationships shaping and molding us into who we are supposed to be. That is, if we can avoid becoming resentful and bitter by looking beyond the surface of things and finding the lessons instead.

A Course In Miracles presents the idea (also described by author Marianne Willamson in “A Return To Love”) that soulmates are merely a spiritual assignment given to us by God to face the parts of ourselves that we would often ignore otherwise. And contrary to common belief about just who a soulmate could be, ACIM presents the idea that every single relationship that we have in life, whether romantic, platonic, familial, etc… we are all soulmates here in this lifetime interacting with one another for the purpose of somehow advancing mankind towards its original source. LOVE !

Sounds like a bit much to swallow, I know. I thought the same thing.  But as I began to reflect on my life’s journey and started to look back for the beauty of even the most dreadful situations, I realized that they all contributed to the woman I am today. The best version of me yet! And like fine wine, I get better with time… and so do you!

Relationships have taught me that when we are forced to be vulnerable in our interactions and peel back the layers of ourselves that can sometimes be embarrassing and even quite painful to bear, we allow our true transformation to occur. And by embracing that transformation with peace and gratitude, we send signals into the Universe that indicate that we are ready for the next great lesson that will bring us closer to our true selves: the infinite, loving, limitless, all-powerful, and masterfully created spirits that God created us to be.

But when we don’t embrace that transformation; when we are resentful and bitter because things went awry or we refuse to accept our our own or another’s growth and evolution; we find ourselves stuck in a pattern of what seems to be the same relationships replicating themselves through different people and interactions. And we’ve all been there!

The great news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. A mere shift in awareness and the dedication to allow yourself to patient with your  life’s process, as well as respecting the life process of others changes everything. You’ll become so good at this until one day you will realize just how much of a co-creator of relationships you truly are. Then finding the soulmate of your dreams becomes that much more possible.

On that note, check out this phenomenal video by one of my favorite authors Abraham and Esther Hicks on finding a soulmate and the power of expectation. Super inspiring!

Love,

@BCSTARKS

Featured Dream Chaser: Khari Burke’s NFL Dreams Makes Him Ball Hard, Study Harder

Khari Burke, #7 CB for MTSU

Meet Khari Burke, current junior and Corner Back for the Middle Tennessee State University  Blue Raiders. GO BLUE!

This featured dream chaser is near and dear to my heart, mostly because I used to change his diapers… and, he’s one of the most humble and unknowingly wise people who I know. Yes, he’s my kid brother, but that’s not why he’s featured in this post. A few weeks ago he came home for winter break and I couldn’t help but be inspired by his dedication to working hard at his craft , even in the off-season. Early morning workouts with fellow teammates, beach runs on the sand… You name it, he was on it.

Football has been a major part of my family as I have relatives that have played in the NFL and brothers that have played football from the time they were in middle school, until college. With Khari, football is something that he became passionate about as early as elementary school. In fact, I remember when he was in middle school and he begged our mother to let him play in a local optimist league, and she declined. Finally he got an uncle to agree to sponsor him, and the rest is history. All throughout high school he would get an earful from me as his big sister to make education his #1 priority. As the first in my family to graduate college, I wanted to set the bar high and show those that followed how important and attainable an education is (not only for the sake of a degree, but for the sake of learning will power and the priceless experiences and relationships formed along the way). Well, I always assumed that my words fell upon deaf ears as they typically do when little brothers feel that their being preached to. That could not have been further from the truth.

Khari Burke
Khari Burke

Back in 2009, Khari had transitioned from optimist to high school football where of course around the same time he was hit with the “what do you want to do with your life?” question. His response, “play football…” From there he made the decision on what path he wanted his life to take, of course not without a few bumps in the road. And ever since, the Universe has conspired in his favor. As a broadcast journalism major in college, I used my editing skills and resources to help him put together a highlight tape during his junior year.

I even introduced him to my good friend and schoolmate New York Giants safety Kenny Phillips for a bit of inspiration. My oldest brother, who had been a top college football recruit before experiencing career ending injuries, orchestrated a plan that would take Khari from a no-name highschool player (then, no player from his school had been given a football scholarship in years) to a nationally ranked and highly scouted cornerback. His only requirement for such cooperation was to give it everything he had every time he touched the field and make sure that his grades were excellent. He kept his end of the bargain, and so did we. Just a few weeks after uploading his highlight film on YouTube our mailbox was flooded with recruiting letters from top Division I universities. Khari now had options to choose from, and MTSU was at the top of the list. He even caught the attention of local media, and managed to make his way onto the All County First Team, and also played in the Dade vs. Broward game.

All star

These days he’s hitting the books harder than ever and has made the dean’s list just about every semester during his college career. Against all odds, Khari continues to show just how far hard work, dedication, and belief in one’s self can take you. He puts the “student” in student athlete as he is now a red-shirted sophomore on academic course to receive his Master’s degree before leaving college. Those things, coupled with the power of God and the workings of the Universe, make for one heck of a recipe. Kudos to him for leading by example and being an inspiration to others, especially his big sis.

Khari Burke and @BCSTARKS
Khari Burke and @BCSTARKS… sibling love! xox

Check out the film that started it all below, and keep an eye out for this quiet storm. 😉

Khari Burke Junior Highlight Film

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXI6kdzdtak

Khari Burke Senior Highlight Film

Love you KB and may all your dreams continue to come true!

@BCSTARKS

Words of Wisdom: Choosing Happy

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self- gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.” — Helen Keller

“How we feel about ourselves, the joy we get from living, ultimately depends directly on how the mind filters and interprets everyday experiences. Whether we are happy depends on inner harmony, not on the controls we are able to exert over the great forces of the universe.” – Mihaly Csikszentmihaly

“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.” — Groucho Marx

“The most important question to ask on the job is not “What am I getting?” but rather “What am I becoming?” ~ Jim Rohn

“There is only one cause of unhappiness: the false beliefs you have in your head, beliefs so widespread, so commonly held, that it never occurs to you to question them.” — Anthony de Mello

 “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”– Frederick Keonig

“The basic thing is that everyone wants happiness, no one wants suffering. And happiness mainly comes from our own attitude, rather than from external factors. If your own mental attitude is correct, even if you remain in a hostile atmosphere, you feel happy.” — H.H. the Dalai Lama

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” — Albert Schweitzer“So often, we blame other people when, really, the problem is right down in here. I’m not happy. I don’t know what’s wrong. If I just had another job, I could be happy. If I just get married, I would be happy. Well if I just wasn’t married, I would be happy. Well, if I just had some kids, I’ll be happy. I’ll be happy when these kids finally grow up and get out of here. If I had a bigger house, I would be happy. Well, I got a big house. Now if I just had a maid to clean, I’d be happy. Well, now if I just had a maid I could get along with better, I’d be happy.” — Joyce Meyer