FINALLY, After Months of Promising….

WE HAVE A NEW STORE!!!!!!! I have been working NIGHT AND DAY on creating hundreds of new designs for our shop. So far I only have a few of the designs uploaded to our shop, but I am adding more each day. It takes a while to add each product, to get their sizing and placement correct which means my next several days will be filled with the task of getting the already created designs uploaded onto our products. Once I have all of those up, I will be working on several more designs as I have a multitude of ideas and plans for more designs.

Check out our new shop here: Phoenix Goddess Shop

When I created this company and then this blog, my plan was always to have a shop. In the beginning it was laziness that kept me from created a shop.  I had tons of motivation for the company, but I became me own worst enemy. I started out strong with tons of posts, tons of effort, but because I wasn’t getting the response I had hoped for, I found myself discouraged and dismayed. I started making excuses for my lack of posts, for my lack of effort, for the passion I had once had. It wasn’t all laziness though, as living life as a spoonie is exhausting and wrought with challenges. It can be incredibly difficult to stay motivated, to stay focused, to maintain consistency. Life got complicated, it got stressful, and painful for a while there, I went through massive life changes and needed to take some time to myself, to heal, to recover, to find myself. I spent the last several months doing major healing, major work on myself, on my soul, on so many aspects of my life. Aside from the laziness and battles with mental health, the other biggest component that kept me from creating this shop and our products was my lack of experience/ knowledge on how to create products and designs, on where to sell said products and designs, on where to even begin. I allowed my lack of experience and knowledge to convince myself that I wasn’t good enough to even sell products, to create designs, to have any sort of shop. However, after YEARS of struggling financially, of bouncing from idea to idea from company to company, of failing, of learning, of growing I decided to really buckle down and give this a real shot. My designs are incredibly simple for now as I am still learning, but despite their simplicity I am immensely proud of myself for creating them in the first place. I am in the process of teaching myself Photoshop and will be teaching myself Illustrator so that I am able to create even more complex and beautiful designs. For now though, I hope y’all enjoy the designs I have created! Be sure to check the shop daily as I have a plethora of designs to upload!

 

As Always My Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses,
I Hope You Have A Magical Day

Shattering Societal Norms and Expectations

Earlier today I got to talking with a very good friend of mine about societal expectations vs reality, especially for those of us whose lives dwell somewhere on the mental health spectrum. We specifically were touching on work and sleep patterns, how society expects us to be one way, but how we are creating and living life on our own terms, in a way that not only works for us as people, but also within the confines and limitations of our mental health. Society has very strong opinions about how people should live their lives, we see it reflected every day in movies, media, posts online, within our families, and beyond.

For some they are in the mindset that having a college degree automatically sets you up for success, that somehow that degree makes you smarter, better, more reliable. However, for those of us with mental health, college may not always be the best avenue for success. Between the pressure and expenses of college, it can become very overwhelming very quickly. I am in no way knocking college nor am I denying the benefits of having a college degree, but rather saying a degree doesn’t necessarily guarantee you success. Several of my friends have various college degrees across many subjects, but few of them actually work in the fields in which they have those degrees for. Instead, they have mountains of debt, but are unable to enter their desired field due to various factors such as a lack of the necessary experience, an over saturation of prospects vs positions available, and more. Then there are those who work within their desired fields, but it is not enough to make ends meet, or they are working so much, they have little time for a life outside their jobs. I tried the college thing a few years ago, but mentally I wasn’t in the place to be dealing with the stress that comes from college. A part of me would love to go back to school, but the money required is a major hindrance for me, as I already have an exuberant amount of medical debt, as well as a lack of consistent income which I will touch on later in this post. Times are far different than when our grandparents or even our parents pursued higher education, as the cost of living and tuition have gone up significantly while the minimum wage hasn’t risen enough to account for the rise of expenses of everyday life

For others, they have the mindset if you are not working a full-time job, you are lazy, you are a plight on society, you are worthless. Yet, for those of us with health conditions, and even those without, there are a plethora of reasons for why we may not be working. For myself, and others who live with mental health and/or chronic illnesses, we are unable to work full time or even part time hours. Many of us have to rely on friends or family to survive, use programs such a SNAP/Welfare (which comes with its own strong opinions from society, we will touch on this later), or we have to start our own companies or get creative with ways to make money. I did the working full-time thing, for quite a while, I was even working 2 jobs at one point, but was still hardly able to afford my bills and worse I was putting my health in serious danger. Eventually after pushing myself so hard, after putting my health on the bottom of my list, I broke. I found myself in my mid 20s physically and emotionally broken and unable to work. I tried to apply for disability, since I live with severe mental health, but was denied more times than I could count. Despite having a lawyer and years’ worth of proof, they still kept denying me. I also applied for programs like SNAP and state insurance, but that only covered groceries and left me less than desirable options for doctors. That didn’t help me with my regular expenses like shampoo, conditioner, rent, etc. Then there were the comments and the looks you get anytime you pulled out your EBT card. People would scoff, they would call me lazy, they would say that I am abusing the system, they would tell me to just get a job like everyone else. So many more comments were made, but you get the idea. Then there are those who want to or even are able to work, but there are no jobs available for them. To which most people respond with, “Just move to an area with jobs,” yet they fail to grasp the fact that moving is expensive and it isn’t always a viable option.

Since, I stopped working in the manner in which society expects me to work, I have bounced from one work from home job/idea to another, with little to no success. I have had idea after idea for ways to create income, for businesses to start. I have even tried starting a few businesses but have once again have little to no success. You see, when for those of us who live with mental health or any chronic illness, we live life by a whole different set of rules. The never-ending struggle and battle is to find/create a job that works for us on both a monetary level, but also within the limitations our health conditions places upon us. To the outside observer, I may look flaky and unreliable, I may look flighty, I may look like I am unmotivated, or even lazy. Yet, few realize how hard I am working to create consistent income. Few take the time to understand, that each of these ideas, each of these attempts, each of these businesses are my efforts to create income. While they may fail or it may seem like I give up too quickly or easily, that is rarely the case. I have lived with my health for long enough and spent far too long getting myself to a more stable place emotionally and physically to risk my progress for a job/company that will ultimately do more harm than good. Initially the idea, may seem viable, but as time progresses, I may come to the conclusion that for one reason or another it isn’t actually as viable as I had hoped, predicted, or expected it to be.

For those of you, who wish to comment something along the lines of, “just suck it up and stick to something,” as I said above, I REFUSE to risk my well-being for money. I did that before, and it nearly cost me my life. I vowed to myself I would never do that, I would never put myself in those sorts of situations, I would never put money above my health. That, however, doesn’t mean I am giving up on creating consistent income either, as anyone who knows me, knows that I have an abundance of ideas for creating enough income to give me the financial independence I seek. I will exhaust every idea until I find one that works for me. There are also those who think, I am okay with my life like this, that I just sit on my ass all day doing nothing. Yet they do not understand how hard it can be to just get out of bed some days, they do not see the massive amounts of work I am doing on myself, on my health, on so many things. Many fail to realize just how exhausting life is with mental health, or even how much work it is to function more days. MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT, THIS IS NOT THE LIFE I ENVISIONED FOR MYSELF, NOR AM I HAPPY WITH HAVING TO RELY SO HEAVILY ON OTHERS. What people do not see is the hours spent on my computer writing, working on business ideas, researching viable work from home jobs, working on myself and my health, growing, and more. Every single day I work towards my goals, even if some days they are small steps, even if I get knocked back several steps, even if I fail at one idea, I refuse to give up.

For others they have the mindset that if you sleep all day, once again you must be lazy, yet for many of us, especially once again with mental health ailments, sleep quite frequently alludes us. For many of us, like myself nighttime is when we are most active or when many of our diseases are at their worst depending upon the day. I personally have tried just about every remedy, idea, medication, and solution out there for getting consistent sleep, but sleep still alludes me a lot of days. I am far from lazy, but insomnia has always been a massive issue for me. For years, I have tried to force myself to get on a more “regular” or “acceptable” sleep schedule, to absolutely no avail. It may work for a few weeks or even a few months, but eventually I revert back to my wonky schedule. Most nights, I was/am lucky if I get an hour of sleep, which is spread throughout the night, depending upon the day. A few months back, I decided to stop fighting my sleep schedule, to give myself permission to find a sleep pattern that works for me, society be damned. Let me tell you, that was the best decision I have ever made. While, I may be sleeping my day away according to some, I am getting real consistent and restorative sleep for the first time in my life. By allowing myself to go with the flow of what works for me I am no longer fighting sleep, I am no longer forcing it. I find myself falling asleep easier and staying asleep. This is not to say there are not days where I still struggle either, but I am getting more sleep than I have had previously. Small steps in the right direction are something I will always take. Part of this is due to discovering a new CBD which helps to manage my pain, anxiety, PTSD and other health ailments while I sleep, but part of it is also due to allowing my body to work at its own schedule. Here’s a little fact for you as well, for those of us who are considered “night owls,” this is not on accident, but rather a leftover biological response to the times of cavemen. Back during those times, we had to have someone watching the village/livestock/family 24/7 to prevent attacks from others, from predators, etc. For those of us who find we work better during the night, we never fully evolved out of that mindset, that need to be awake to protect. While my sleep schedule may not be societally acceptable it is a schedule that works for me, far better than anything I have ever tried, and for me that is more important than anything.

Far too many years of my life, far too many days, far too many nights, were wasted worrying about what others thought, were wasted trying to fit within the limiting societal expectations, molds, and boxes. I spent so much time risking my health, my life, my peace of mind, and more trying to be what everyone wanted me to be. Little by little, I started fighting against those expectations, I started breaking free of the mold, I started making myself the priority. Over time, I have started caring a whole lot less about what people think of me, what they say about me, what they expect of me, and a hell of a lot more about what works for me, about what is right for me, about putting my health and well-being first and foremost. I’ve stopped trying to justify myself, the way I live my life to others, because quite frankly, I just don’t see the need in it. I still try to educate people, but I no longer take what they say or think so personally. I think that is the most difficult thing for all of us, but especially those with invisible, chronic, or mental health ailments. There is something incredibly freeing about not caring though.

As always my Beautiful Badass Unicorn Phoenix Goddesses/Gods,

I hope you have a magical day!

LAZY DAYS VS HUSTLE DAYS: Finding the BALANCE

I am here to tell you, IT IS OKAY TO HAVE A LAZY DAY, in fact I insist on it. When we hear the word lazy it is often associated with things like a lack of motivation, a lack of drive, a lack of determination. It is a word strife with so much negative connotations that, if your anything like me or like I was, you fear any moments of laziness, which means; you push harder, you work longer, you have all these little busy projects. Yet, in the end this does far more harm than good.

As you are all aware, we are all about balance here and it is something so many of us struggle with. I won’t sit here and tell you that I have found the perfect balance in my life, that I am this master of zen, that I don’t struggle with it myself. That would be a flat out lie, which is not how I want this business to be run or even my life for that matter. I want y’all to see that even the “experts” struggle, even they lose their way, even they have their moments where they forget what they teach. For me, my greatest hurdle I am working on is finding the balance between working on this business while also allowing myself the time and space to just be in the moment, to rest, to relax. Especially as a new entrepreneur we want our business to be as successful as it can be, we want to have everything be perfect from our websites to our programs, we want to start making money as soon as possible. Yet we lose ourselves along the way, we focus so much on the business, that important aspects such as health, family, and sleep fall to the wayside and all the reasons we started this business become distant memories. Many of us go into business for ourselves to have freedom, to have more time with our families, to be able to go on vacations, to not be under the rule of another, but then we end up putting ourselves through so much more stress.

We have been raised in this mindset that we must always work harder to achieve what we want in life, but I am here to tell you that is bullshit. You do not have to work harder, you have to work smarter, you have to work with balance, you have to find the system, the rhythm, the things that drive you, that work for you. Please understand though, in my opinion there is a difference between HUSTLE and OVERWORKING. In my community the word hustle has become somewhat of a taboo word, because people think that when you are hustling you are overworking, yet when it is done right, hustle can be your best friend. When you have that balance between the HUSTLE and REST you will achieve so much more. Also, don’t get me twisted here and think that you don’t have to work to manifest your desires, you still have to put in the time, in the work, in the effort. Without it, you will not progress.

It is more about the way in which you approach it. Instead of working 7 days a week, 12+ hours a day, set a schedule for yourself (I know we left our jobs to get away from schedules, but they are helpful), and stick to said schedule. Pencil in relaxation time, pencil in time with your family, pencil in time to take for just yourself. BUT actually follow through with it, don’t make an excuse for why you can’t do it, your work will still be there when you are done with your relaxation. Don’t set these unrealistic timetables or deadlines to achieve things, we all have a limit, we all have only so much we can accomplish. Working within those confines doesn’t mean you’re inadequate or less than, this is just simply who you are. Please don’t look at this as a negative thing, use it to your advantage. Get help, do not try to do everything yourself. We are not the all seeing, all powerful Wizard of OZ, if y’all remember he was just as lost and scared as the rest of us. We all need help, just as he needed Dorothy and as she needed The Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion and the Tin-man. Automate what you can, it will be a lifesaver y’all I am telling you. This will allow you more freedom and time to focus on what makes you happy, on what drives you, on what fuels you.

As always,

HAVE A MAGICAL DAY MY BEAUTIFUL BADDASS UNICORN PHOENIX GODDESSES!