a quick update

hello friends!
i hope you’re having a great week so far! i wanted to give you a quick life/blog update. when i started polish my crown over three years ago, i never imagined it would be a place where i would continue to share well into my mid-twenties. it’s been such a blessing for me to have this little place on the internet and to write and learn and grow. the purpose of the blog is to encourage people to live their best lives possible, to view themselves as queens. this, of course, never means to be bratty and stuck-up, but instead, clothed with strength and dignity, that flows from the inside out. i hope this blog is one you bookmark for the days you are looking for an added boost of inspiration and encouragement, a place where you are reminded that yes, you are enough and yes, everything will be okay.

that being said, real life, in-person me, the life-outside-of-blogging me, hasn’t been able to catch up. i wish i could tell you i have blog posts written and scheduled and tons of awesome new content to share, but i don’t. i’ve been traveling since early march and on another trip this week. my little sister gets in town on friday {!!!} for a week. i just haven’t had a chance to sit down and write and don’t forsee having a ton of time to write in the next week or so. rather than scramble to put something together, i’m accepting that it’s okay to take a little bit of a mini blog vacation during the next couple of days. it’s always been important for me-in-real-life to not sacrifice unhealthily for me-in-the-blog-world. this blog, one of my happy places, always has been important to me, but not at the sake of my personal wellbeing and my friends and family. i promise i’ll be back soon sharing more and more with you, but for the next few days, i’ll be off the blog.

until i’m back after this short hiatus, here’s a few old posts and series that i recommend reading if you’re looking for some love. you can also follow my adventures on instagram here!

inspiring women to read about and learn from – you will love each and every one of them!

how to do adulthood well

habits of happy people

there is enough time

thursday thankful list – if you’re looking for lots of reasons to appreciate right now.

key to success

on people pleasing

All of my life I’ve only ever been able to feel truly happy when all who surround me are happy as well. I am a bonafide people-pleaser. Some may even go as far as to just call it like it is: codependency. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, codependency is defined by Darlene Lancer, MFT, as, “underdeveloped self-esteem (dysfunctional boundaries) combined with an inappropriate caring for others (invading a boundary), and an inappropriate reliance on another’s response (having poor boundaries), in a negatively reinforcing loop.”

People-pleasers put everyone else’s needs before their own. Now, when displayed in a healthy way selflessness is an amazing trait! Yet, for codependents it is less about selflessness and more about an unhealthy need to make sure all of those around us are taken care of and satisfied. Underneath everything is fear of rejection and a yearning for outside validation. It’s about wanting constant approval from others and the overwhelming desire to be wanted and needed.

If you are reading and wondering if this describes you, here are a few warning signs to be looking for in your own life:

Self-neglect. As the tendency to people-please works its way back into our lives, one trademark sign is the tendency to neglect ourselves in order to care for others. By that I mean, We lose track of our own needs, own dreams, own happiness. We lose sight of the things that matter most to us, and set them aside to make sure everyone else is happy.

The need to say “yes” every time. This one stems from the need for constant validation. People-pleasers fear that if they say no they will be looked upon less favorably. We love feeling capable and needed, so we say yes to one more thing, one more favor. We overcommit, give away too much of our time and, to be honest, are often in serious risk of being manipulated and walked over by the stronger personalities among us.

Excessive stress about the well-being of others. Empathy is truly a beautiful thing, but there is a fine line between empathy and codependency, and the people-pleaser walks that line constantly. Of course, we want our friends and family to be happy. Of course, our hearts are saddened when they are going through a hard time. Of course, we want to love them well and help them get better. However, empathy and concern become unhealthy when we move from genuine love and care to finding ourselves overstressed and overanxious about the needs of others.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being a loving, selfless and helpful friend or family member. But, for those of us who struggle with codependency we need to realize that we simply cannot control the happiness of those around us. We can, however, make the choice to be happy within ourselves. We can set boundaries, learn to say no and be attentive to our own needs and desires. When we are taking care of ourselves like this we have so much more energy and love to pour out to others in a healthy way.

Because, at the end of the day, isn’t that every (recovering) people-pleaser’s dream?

article found and shared via Darling Magazine


the deeper business of being beautiful inside

Lupita Nyongo’s Oscars speech gave me chills. I wanted to share her beautiful words with you here and hope you’re equally inspired!

I received a letter from a girl and I’d like to share just a small part of it with you: “Dear Lupita,” it reads, “I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me.”

My heart bled a little when I read those words. I could never have guessed that my first job out of school would be so powerful in and of itself and that it would propel me to be such an image of hope in the same way that the women of The Color Purple were to me.

I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin, I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

And when I was a teenager my self-hate grew worse, as you can imagine happens with adolescence. My mother reminded me often that she thought that I was beautiful but that was no consolation: She’s my mother, of course she’s supposed to think I am beautiful. And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. A celebrated model, she was dark as night, she was on all of the runways and in every magazine and everyone was talking about how beautiful she was. Even Oprah called her beautiful and that made it a fact. I couldn’t believe that people were embracing a woman who looked so much like me as beautiful. My complexion had always been an obstacle to overcome and all of a sudden, Oprah was telling me it wasn’t. It was perplexing and I wanted to reject it because I had begun to enjoy the seduction of inadequacy. But a flower couldn’t help but bloom inside of me. When I saw Alek I inadvertently saw a reflection of myself that I could not deny. Now, I had a spring in my step because I felt more seen, more appreciated by the far away gatekeepers of beauty, but around me the preference for light skin prevailed. To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.

And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away.

And so I hope that my presence on your screens and in the magazines may lead you, young girl, on a similar journey. That you will feel the validation of your external beauty but also get to the deeper business of being beautiful inside. There is no shade to that beauty.

orange harp

launch i love: orange harp

I recently had the privilege of sitting down with two smart and inspiring female entrepreneurs, Anbu Anbalagapandian and Kacie Gonzalez. These women founded Orange Harp, a mobile app that is a curated marketplace of handpicked, socially conscious brands. The brands are not only reducing their carbon footprint, but are shattering the misconception that conscious products are boring or unstylish. The app is beautiful and easy to use and is updated on a weekly basis with new partners and products. One of my favorite {dream!} items is this insanely beautiful, handmade labradorite druzy wing necklace {pictured above} from Love and Piece Jewelry. I also discovered the L.A.-based designer Jessica Faulkner and love her mindful products, especially the Sabrina tank!

The coolest thing {in my opinion} is that not only can you buy products right from the app, but you can learn about the different brands and their founders. Each business in Orange Harp is featured in a story, so you learn more about the individuals who created the product itself.

I’m constantly deleting apps from my phone, but Orange Harp is one that I think you won’t regret downloading and keeping on your phone. I know I’ve been checking it every few days to keep discovering socially good products and purchase {soon!}. If you want an account, email with subject POLISH MY CROWN and they will give you instant access to the app. XO!


orange harp