I realized about 15 years ago that stress is stress; good or bad, our bodies do not fully recognize the difference between what we would deem ‘good stress’ and ‘bad stress’. I’m not a doctor or a scientist, it is merely common sense and personal experience that has led me to draw this conclusion.

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It is imperative that we work on how we process internal and external forces and energy so that we minimize the intensity of stress so that it doesn’t accumulate and build to levels that make it difficult to manage. Too much stress creates inflammation. Inflammation has been directly linked to numerous health conditions, many of which can be life-threatening. This is why doctors warn us to manage our stress.

Manage your stress or it will manage and bury you!

~Natasha

 

Hey Queens!

I ran across several videos from Derrick Jaxn that I truly believe can help numerous women who are currently in or seeking to be in a relationship with a man.

I always enjoy listening to Derrick’s perspective on things because he never sugar coats his responses to make them more palatable for viewers; you get him as he is—raw and unfiltered. It’s appreciated.

So earlier this morning I was scrolling through my IG feed to get my fill of the positive and inspiring people that I follow, and I ran across Derrick’s most recent post that was in response to a woman who posted online her anger that her male friend (“best friend”) of seven years has ended their friendship to appease his new girlfriend of two months.

Derrick’s thoughts were just like mine. Listen to his response below and form your own opinion:

For those of you who want a man’s perspective on why and when men choose to marry, and to whom, as well as why men choose to cheat (especially when he seems to have all or most of what he needs from his woman) watch this video:

For those of you who haven’t properly set and enforced standards, boundaries, and/or rules of engagement (how a man is to treat and interact with you); and for those of you who ask the question “how do I know this man is serious about me?” then watch this video:

For those of you who feel like you keep running men off—you go from one relationship to the next, and you don’t know why—so you question if it’s them or if it’s you—please watch this video:

Lastly, Derrick shares “5 Signs That He’s Going to Waste Your Time”. Be ready for the boldness ladies. Some of you may roll your eyes while others may gasp in shock. Either way, be prepared. You may be with a time waster this very moment!

There are tons of awesome videos on Derrick’s YouTube channel, these are just a few that caught my attention.

Be sure to follow Derrick Jaxn on YouTube, IG, FB, or Twitter—or heck, if you want, follow him on all of the platforms.

Listen, learn, enjoy, and share!

Oh yeah, and fellas, if by chance you watch these videos and the little ‘hater’ inside of you pops up and rears its ugly head, check it—because that’s a clear indication that maybe just maybe you’re one of the men Derrick’s talking about.

~Natasha

Whenever I hear someone (or myself) say “I’m fine” or “it was fine”, or any other variation of how the term can be utilized, I always giggle to myself.

Why?

Well it’s simple. There’s a line in one of my favorite movies, “The Italian Job” where Donald Sutherland and Mark Wahlberg recite the definition of the word “f-i-n-e”.

Rather than write out the acronym I’m sharing a video recording that someone posted on YouTube (because they also clearly like the scene).

Please watch and enjoy!

So will you think twice before and after saying the word “fine”? Or maybe you will just giggle as I do.

~Natasha

Audio Message

What I’ve shared below can also be heard through this audio message. Click play and enjoy.

I’m sitting here at my desk reflecting.

My reflection is focused upon my life, specifically my love life.

I’m a romantic. I’ve always been. I don’t need the big and grandiose. I love the simple things in life and love. Oftentimes it’s the smallest of gestures that have the biggest impacts, the smallest packages can contain the best of gifts—and that, for me, brings me the greatest joy. A handbag has a price tag and can be damaged, lost, stolen, sold, or given away; sitting by my bedside holding my hand, rubbing my head, kissing me and telling me that all will be well, while I’m in the hospital fighting fear and whatever else—that’s priceless and can never be damaged, lost, stolen, sold, or given away. That time, attention and affection is for me and only me. That is precious and everlasting in my heart and mind.

I just saw a November 1961 Photoplay Magazine interview with actor Robert Conrad, who is quoted as saying:

I neither condemn nor condone the morals of others. I think there are very few, really, whose conduct reflects unfavorably in the rest of us in this mythical kingdom of Hollywood. There are men who need many women in order to bolster their egos–half the time, they don’t remember the girl’s name afterward. But I’ve got a good ego to start with, and I’m too sensitive for a quick relationship with a dame and sex alone would never be enough for me. Marriage is something that goes way beyond the flesh. Each human being has his own need for security …It’s great to have someone to lean on… it’s great to have someone lean on you.

I agree with Mr. Conrad’s statement, my focus being on the last part as it relates to marriage and our need for security, and that it is great to have someone to lean on and to have someone lean on you.

I enjoy companionship and the gifts of sharing and caring, and looking into the eyes of someone who lights up every time they see you. I’ve always wanted a partner, in the truest and most authentic sense of the definition. I’ve always wanted a person who I could be safe from external harm and safe with them—never fearing harm from them. I’ve always wanted to be part of a dynamic duo that other people would sit back and proudly marvel and celebrate—because they could see not only our love for each other, but our love of God.

By looking at us they see God.

Partnership isn’t splitting the household bills, heck a roommate can do that. Partnership is much deeper and carries greater weight and risk. Partnership is a bond that you share with no other but the one you vow to stand beside through hell or high water. It’s that ride or die trying, and I’m a ride or die kinda woman—so I need a ride or die kinda man!

I’ve always wanted to be in a relationship that was built upon the foundation of God, and where through our prayers and actions, we always turned to God to lead our relationship—putting Him first in all things, ways, and circumstances. I’ve always wanted a relationship where we could work together to reach our individual and shared dreams and goals—lovingly pushing, encouraging, challenging, and inspiring each other along the journey.

I’ve always wanted a partnership that would come together to form a union, and through that union a family would be birthed and nurtured—-building upon our shared and individual legacies. I’ve always wanted a relationship that was nestled in the understanding that trust is only possible when there is honesty and honor. When we are not honest and honorable how can the other person trust us to be anything except dishonest and dishonorable?

What I’ve realized over the past several weeks and months is that it is imperative to find, connect, and love a person who you are ‘equally yoked’ with in more ways that one. You need more than a fifty percent connection for you to have a bond that, strengthened with effort and hard work, can then withstand the tests of time, external influences, internal fears, and other forces beyond your control.

We must be secure within ourselves and fully knowledgeable of our strengths and weaknesses to balance each other in a complementary way—not one person leading and dragging the other from behind, but walking side-by-side facing the world and its challenges together; graciously allowing one to stand up and stand in where they are strongest and the other is weakest, so that together we can accomplish what we must to get where we need to go.

I can’t just be with any man, any kind of man. No. Any and all men can’t handle the force and light that God has poured and molded into me. God did not make me to be a shadow or stand in someone’s shadow. God made me to shine and throughout my journey I’ve learned how to use the dimmer switch to adjust my brightness so not to make anyone feel as though they are in my shadow.

Not everyone wants to share the stage.

Some people feel that only they need to shine and that you need to be there to help them shine, and make sure that other people see their shine. That is what I call selfish shining; it’s all-about-you and it’s all about making sure people know it’s about you.  Selfless shining on the other hand is the opposite; it is shining in a way where we all are uplifted—all of our rays cast outward to touch, love and heal each other.

I must be with a man who is secure within himself but not self-absorbed, self-righteous, and borderline if not fully seen as arrogant. I can do confidence and cockiness, but arrogance is beyond a turn-off for me. Growing up as an athlete this was something that was ingrained in me—you can celebrate your accomplishments, but don’t gloat. So I’m repulsed by the person who arrogantly gloats and draws attention to themselves to gain kudos, or who chooses to ignore your advice simply because they feel their mind or abilities are far-superior than yours, so they must be right and you must be wrong.

I want to dislocate my jaw when around the person who would rather turn right than turn left simply because you told them to turn left. For them, even if turning right is the wrong direction, they would rather find that out by themselves than allow a ‘lesser mortal’ to guide them. It’s absolute foolishness and I don’t tolerate fools well.

The man for me must be deeply spiritual. God must come first in his life. His priorities must be God first, family second, career third, everything else falls after. See, if you put God first then you are properly guided as to how to handle the other aspects of your life. When you put your family second then you are considering their needs and they serve as your added motivation when pursuing dreams and goals in your career. When you take care of your career needs then you are free to do everything else.

Do you see the order? Do you see how everything is in balance?

I’m rooted in my spirituality and therefore I need a man who also deeply rooted. We must be like this picture (and no, he doesn’t have to be of African descent), and when we come together we are intertwined within the foundation, being that of our Creator. I refuse to accept less. We must be equally yoked spiritually or we cannot be.

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When I think of a romantic relationship I think of my best friend. I think of the person that I can share my secrets, fears, dreams, goals, and goofiness with—-without judgment. I think of the person who I can be myself with 100 percent of the time; I don’t have to filter, alter, adjust, or morph to accommodate them. With this person I don’t have to attempt the impossible feat of perfection, because in their eyes, heart, spirit, and soul—I’m the perfect piece to their puzzle—my flaws are what create the added character that forms the shape that then fits perfectly to the other side of their flawed piece. We come together as one; one unit, one team, one force.

God has tons of ideas that He pours into me and as I attempt to grasp, process, and pursue these ideas, it requires a man to confidently stand beside me (working diligently at and towards the ideas and things God has placed before him) to see in what ways he can assist me in accomplishing my goals, and being open, receptive, willing, and interested in seeing how I can help him accomplish his.

Neither of us give more or take more. It’s like the perfect recipe. Visualize your favorite meal or dessert. When those ingredients are perfectly measured, combined, and prepared at the right temperature for the right amount of time, your first bite is almost overwhelming. You savor each and every bite, each one feeling more intense than the last. The balance makes it possible. Too much of one ingredient throws off the others. Not enough of one ingredient almost makes it useless.

That is the balancing act that many of us attempt to master. Some get it right, and we stare wide-eyed at those couples in adoration and amazement. Some of us get it wrong; the relationship crumbles as the missing ingredients cannot properly bind. It falls apart, like that disaster cake you can recall making some time ago. Sometimes you rush things or sometimes you let things linger so long that they burn up and become irreparable.

The relationship, just like the recipe, is what you make it and how you make it.

I’ve always wanted to have a relationship built upon the beliefs, values, principles, and expectations that I shared with my significant other—-not society, our families, our friends, or what we see on social media—-nope, just us. This is a difficult dynamic to navigate, harness, whip together, and form. It’s difficult for us to purge or compartmentalize our years of programming that tells us what love is and isn’t, what relationships should be like, and how men and women should act, think, speak, and behave in relationships.

We’re all locked in to these beliefs on gender roles and how they tie into domestic life, business, and the like. It’s difficult to toss those aside or even modify them to align with what you would prefer to do, see, and experience in your own life. There is where we become trapped and that is how we risk our relationships and our inner peace.

So for me, the best person for me is one who can not only think outside of the box, but can reinvent the box—visually and physically reshape it. What’s for me may not be for you, and vice versa—so why be subjected to and confined by these differences? Why can’t you live out your truth in your relationship as you see fit and I be allowed to do the same in my relationship? Why must our truths clash when they can live harmoniously, separately?

For example, some people don’t believe in monogamy. They should only be in a relationship with other people who have that same belief. Why be subjected to the torture that comes from this level of dysfunction? Because let’s be honest, it’s not possible to function properly when you are polar opposites. There are plenty of people in this world who share the same beliefs as you; go find and fall in love with them—-don’t enter a relationship with a person who stands on the hardline of monogamy as a deal breaker and think that somehow you can convince them to stay with you as you cheat on them, or worse, you convince yourself that somehow you can tiptoe around and outsmart them, and they will never know that you are a cheater.

Really?

Why even subject them to that ignorance? Heck, why subject yourself to it? Just go find someone who wants to live as freely as you in a relationship.

It really is that simple. No degree needed. It’s common sense. Free of charge. Yet time and time again we see people selfishly enter relationships that they know their toxic behavior and mindset will ultimately destroy; leaving behind carnage of an innocent victim who didn’t even see the culprit coming.

Love is not easy. It takes effort to love, especially unconditionally. It’s easier with family—blood connects you—there is a bond at birth. Outsiders require more effort and time, and that is a huge risk; you’re more exposed and cautious of your vulnerability. Every time you start and end a relationship you are taking risks. Starting requires jumping on the train and ending requires jumping off of the train. Both jumps can cause severe injury if your timing or elevation is miscalculated.

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This time last year I had resolved that I was done with the bigness of relationships. My heart was hurting and the last thing that I wanted to think about or consider was starting over again, with someone new—-someone unfamiliar, someone who could potentially hurt me, even worse than I already felt. Who the heck wants to jump on another train after jumping off of one? My body, mind, and heart felt exhausted. I didn’t want to jump off of the last train so why would I feel inclined to jump on a new one?

I didn’t want to risk being hurt. But love is a risk.

Love is the strongest, most powerful thing, source, presence, emotion, and energy—and you have to give it fully to receive it fully. You literally receive what you give in return. To receive 100 percent  you must give 100 percent, that is how you can always ensure that you never feel a void when giving—-because you’re constantly being replenished as you’re replenishing someone else. You are both keeping each other’s cup full, recycling out old for new, constantly improving the quality and consistency.

The love you give is the love you receive. God’s love for us makes our cups run over. When you give less than 100 percent then the other person only has to make up the deficit, but you never feel and experience all of them because what remains is mostly you—and quite possibly your past (which is filled with all sorts of ingredients).

Visualize a cup.

If I pour out 20 percent of the contents that make up me, that means to refill the cup you only have to pour in 20 percent of your contents—-but that also means I’m only getting 20 percent of you. The 80 percent of the cup outweighs the 20 percent.

Do you remember what I said about the perfect recipe?

The ingredients must be balanced and complementary. With food we use less of one ingredient and more of others, but we must find the perfect balance to achieve the right level of sweetness, spiciness, boldness, etc. In relationships it’s similar but slightly different—it’s about the ingredients that make up my 100 percent merging with your ingredients that make up your 100 percent. They blend and come together to make a savory experience. The difference between the meal and the relationship is that the latter requires you to give all of the contents within your cup so that you can receive and ingest a full cup; rationing never leads to a perfect recipe.

Most of us experience disconnect because we’re giving and receiving small portions that never create a great enough presence in the cup to contribute to the richness, flavor, and satisfaction of the contents within the cup. It’s like have a 64-ounce container of milk and adding one-half teaspoon of chocolate (melted or powder, it doesn’t matter) to the milk.

That’s not chocolate milk.

It’s milk that now has a shift in the taste, but not significant enough to clearly identify it as chocolate; it’s not a meaningful and impactful merger. Now of course that doesn’t mean that you’re to pour all of the milk out of the container and fill it only with chocolate; that too does not make chocolate milk. You have to find the right balance.

There’s a lot of us walking around as 64-ounce containers of milk with a mere one-half teaspoon of chocolate barely existing within. There’s no risk here. There’s no love. The chocolate has been rationed.

There is a void. When we have a void we begin looking anywhere and everywhere to fill it, oftentimes leading to a disastrous outcome. There are numerous examples of this; countless broken families and broken promises; countless relationships and marriages destroyed.

So as I reflect upon my adult life and the love that I’ve given and received over the years, I can’t help but to smile.

I’m a romantic. I believe in love. I believe in the perfect partnership as designed through the hard work and effort of two imperfect people who deliberately come together to create what works best for them—absent of outside influences, so that they and the family that they create, can live together in harmony. That is bliss in my heart, mind, spirit, and soul.

That is something that I truly believe God has in store for me. That is something that I’m being molded for; and the one who has been called by God is being molded to be my other half, my partner, my right-hand as I’m his left-hand (umm, because I’m left-handed); he’s being molded to be my best friend and confidante; together we will come together as one united force, guided and protected by God.

Love is a risk, but it is a worthy one, as it is priceless, pure, and healing.

Yes, I’m willing to take that risk once more. I’m willing to test my skills to jump on a new train and see what adventures await me. I’m willing to give 100 percent to receive 100 percent. I’m willing to work to figure out the right ingredients and right balance, for him, for me, for us. God’s preparing me. I’m in bootcamp right now. I’m sweating and shedding off the added weight; I’m getting stronger and increasing my endurance and flexibility.

I have to make sure that I’m prepared for the leap and all that comes after I board that train. All that comes, from this point forward, will be based on God’s plan, His timing, and my obedience. I look forward to it.

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

I read this post (featured below) earlier today. It was written and shared by the amazing Dr. Alduan Tartt. It’s about his daughters and his wife, and it’s a message to the men and those raising young boys to be men.

It hit home with me because I understand the importance of having a father actively and passionately involved in your life, as a child and throughout adulthood. I also know that whatever man that I start a family with needs to stand firmly in his role, as Dr. Tartt shares in this post, and I will do my best to support him in his role so that he never feels overwhelmed, weakened, unvalued, unappreciated or under-appreciated.

I share today’s message with all of you so that you might ingest and embrace Dr. Tartt’s powerful message, and share it with others. We need more men stepping up to be MIPs and we need more women as MVPs to allow and support men to serve as MIPs!

Thank you Dr. Tartt for these profound and loving words!

It’s a picture of Dr. Tartt’s youngest daughter wearing a Wonder Woman costume…

“Well…go ahead and take over the world then Supergirl! I realize as a dad that I have keep my Spirit high to pour into my ladies (wife and 2 daughters) because it makes a huge difference.

Today was superhero day at daycare and Trinity just decided to pose and make me take a picture by sitting on this rock versus walking in so daddy could beat some traffic. Parents of multiple kids and those of you with siblings…you know how kids can be as different as night and day.

This girl has her own mind and is unapologetic at 2 years old. I wish I could say it is a phase but this girl has the power of her mother and father and the strong women in both of our families. That is why I am so comfortable with strong women…they raised me and I am surrounded by them in my family on both sides. I pray over her when I take her to school and she loves it. I’ll tape it next time.

Here’s the message, DADS have a HUGE influence on daughter’s self-concept and development (even more than mom’s per the research). That doesn’t mean dads do more (what a joke) but it does mean that the positivity and presence of the man in her life determines a lot.

For the most part, all moms are the MVP’s. This is certainly true in our house. I sit on the bench a lot and let the girls tell me what to do.

However, the M.I.P (most important person) is the dad because his absence is damaging to her self-esteem. Dads, empower your daughters with TIME not just working. This culture is mean to girls and they will need every piece of armor (love, confidence, assurance, attention, fearlessness, character, God-loving, boldness, compassion, standards, etc.) to survive and thrive!

Men, Let’s love out rockstar wives @meccamooretartt and empower our sons (someone has to marry my girls) and daughters to be strong, loving and kind. After all, every super girl deserves a superman!

Rappers (unless it is Christian rap), drug dealers, thugs, players, insecure boys, lazy boys, etc. need not apply! Lol.

Shout out to all the awesome parents this inspires and describes! God Bless! Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way S/he should go; and when S/he is old,S/he will not depart from it.”

~Natasha

Source: https://instagram.com/p/BimjFlSDq7b/

Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.

I just read these words below and decided to create an image that could be captured and shared with others.

We love visuals and memes, and the like. May these words help you and someone that you know—or maybe through your sharing, it helps someone you don’t know.

Have a blessed day!

~Natasha

Today I shared a message on my Breaking Bread With Natasha blog. I had brought back to life a message that I had written on April 17, 2013. Today I added more content, more ‘meat and potatoes’ to the table. I then recorded an audio message to accompany the written one. It’s easier to ‘take it all in’ if you listen to me speak rather than read the lengthy post. Unless of course you love to read.

As I sit back and reflect on a large bulk of the message, I can’t help but to think that the things that I called on people to question, analyze, critique, and ‘check’ about ourselves and others—are the same things that have turned people away from organized religion.

The hypocrisy, lies, negativity, and toxic situations and environments that have been created by so-called religious people, are the ingredients that have grown putrid in the minds and hearts of people who see the hypocrisy, lies, negativity, and toxicity and they say, “how is that a loving religion?” and “how could God allow these people to use his name and abuse his word this way?

I can see why people slowly but surely throw their hands up and choose to not invest time and energy in a religious institution; why they have no desire to spend time in any house of faith—except for the few moments in life when called on to attend a wedding or funeral. I can see why people balk at those who proudly walk around with a religious label or title—-yet they don’t walk the walk of their God, their Messiah, their Creator.

So many of us would say that those who reject the church are blind. But I would say that with all of the darkness found in many houses of faith, those who walk away and choose to have an independent relationship with their Creator, those individuals are actually the ones who can see clearly the difference between dark and light, good and evil, lies and truth. They understand that they do not need man to have a relationship with God. They understand that they do not need man to communicate or translate to and from God on their behalf. They understand that they can ‘tithe’ through giving to charity, nonprofits, or directly to a person or family in their community.

When we put more trust, faith, honor, love, value, and respect in man than God, in the creation instead of the Creator—then we create these toxic environments, these pimping pulpit purveyors, and deceptive practices that stand opposite of the very principles, precepts, and commandments of the religion that was formed and of the God that reigns over all.

We must question, challenge, ‘check’, and call to action those individuals who claim to have been called to lead us, those who have a sworn allegiance to their Creator, and we must hold them accountable to leading through service—ensuring that they take care of first the least of those within their doors and the least of those outside of the doors where their house of faith is nestled—then they walk and lead the service of all others.

It can’t be poverty preaching that keeps us all destitute and rejecting of God’s blessings. That goes against the word as outlined in the Bible. It also can’t be prosperity preaching that tells people that everyone can be financially wealthy if they give more to the church and pray to God to take care of the rest. The Bible highlights that God expects people to work hard for what they want, and He will reward you according to your efforts. We have to plant the seeds, water and nurture them, take care of them, keep the weeds away, and then timely harvest them as we grow our crop. None of that is simple. The harvest is never an easy process. It doesn’t just happen.

There is no better way of knowing and seeing what God has for you, or is trying to share with you, than to stand still in your aloneness, to listen and be guided by what comes to you naturally. What works for one may not work for all, and we can never be sure what actually took place behind-the-scenes for the manifestation of the results that we see. I can have the same seeds as the farmer next door but for whatever reason I’m not producing a crop as big or as yummy as the farmers.

How you become wealthy may not be like anyone else. Maybe someone’s wealth came from having enough of the right relationships with people who opened doors of opportunity for them. While someone else picked the right stock or made the right investment. Maybe someone built a business or a product and later sold it. Maybe someone built their wealth from flipping houses. Each of these people take different routes, exert different levels of energy, and there is no one-size-fits-all. So it is wrong for a person, in the role of leader of a religious congregation, to sell a reality that they don’t even know to be true or right.

Maybe life is meant for some of us to live fully and richly but with less finances. Maybe excess is just that. What if many of us find greater contentment and peace in a home with two bedrooms rather than eight? If your life is full, rich and rewarding, are you not wealthy? Do you not then possess, exude, and live in abundance?

We have turned the pursuit of things as having greater importance than pursuing the immeasurable space of joy and peace. We’re constantly chasing rather than simply being. We have focused on being separate religions of separate denominations with so much division—even internally—rather than being religions of love and inclusivity. We tell people who can and can’t attend our house of faith, join our religion. What happened to welcoming everyone whose heart has been pulled to join?

We have placed greater value in the human leader than the One who created that leader. This idolatry and deification of humans in fancy robes, with special titles, with large buildings–who possess more wealth than most that follow and financially support them—is sinful and disgusting. There’s nothing wrong with becoming wealthy, being wealthy—but at the expense of your congregation, who is also not wealthy, is a sin.

When will we remove our blinders, take out the earplugs, unstrap the muzzles on our mouths—and finally see, hear, and speak the TRUTH so that we can be free, alive, and truly blessed in all ways?

Every day I strive to be a better person, servant of God, and Christian. Every day I pray to leave a positive impression on each person who meets me, reads my words, hears my voice, sees me briefly or for an extended period of time. I am flawed and I make it very clear, publicly and privately. I would rather someone embrace me because of the love and respect that I share than because of the Christian title that I attempt to carry and fall short of being each day.

Jesus taught love, acceptance, forgiveness, grace, humility, kindness, and inclusion. How many of us can say that we live our lives like this daily? How many of us can say that we attend a house of faith that lives and practices this daily? So then who do we think that we are to judge others when we can’t even measure up in our own daily walk? We must be mindful of the people that we follow. We must be mindful of the responsibility that we carry and assume when we make the decision to lead others.

I don’t know about you, but I want to enter four walls that are filled with people who preach, speak, think and practice love of all, not few—all, not some—ALL.

~Natasha