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  • Writer's pictureA'Leeyah Ponder

Be sweet to yourself & REST

Hello Family,

Happy Black History Month!

I hope that this February will be both reflective, revelatory, and transformative for you.

Take a moment to silence yourself. Quiet your thoughts, get somewhere with not a lot of noise, and get as comfortable as you can. Breathe with me...

Inhale. hold it for 3 seconds. Exhale. 

When was the last time you took a nap? The last time you said, “no”? When was the last time you set a boundary and honored it? The last time you sat with your emotions and allowed yourself to feel all the feels (in your solitude)?


In America, our society revolves around hyper productivity. How much can you do in a day? As I push myself to get everything on my to-do list done in a 16–18 hour days I find myself setting myself up for burn out. When I've set a boundary, and don't hold on tight to it, I set myself up for stress. When I say "yes" when my body, mind, soul, and energy says, "Now you know you don't have the capacity.. say no", I set myself up to be mishandled.

One of my good friends often says to me, "Be sweet to yourself". I didn't know what that meant in practice until I began to recognize all of the ways I was not being sweet to me. When I didn't perform well on an exam, didn't hold true to my boundaries, forgot a deadline, or made other "mistakes" I'd practice negative self talk and I would beat myself up about it. I've spent so much of my personal, professional and academic life being HARD ON MYSELF.

What does being so harsh and mean to yourself really do for you? for anyone?


I carry that reminder with me now and I hold on to it, tight; because it helps me get through the rough patches when I end up in things that "I should've known better" than to engage in. The reality is... I often "don't know better", which is why I made the mistake or decision in the first place.

Rewriting the stories, and reworking the narratives you tell yourself about your life choices is one step you can take to become more gentle and kind to yourself.

As I find the words, language, and actions that align with a life that personifies wholistic wellness I want to encourage you to choose you and rest also. Sleep. Drink water. Eat. Take care of yourself in whatever ways you know how. The world will be here. Your to-do list isn’t going anywhere. There will always be something else, someone else, or somewhere else demanding your time and attention.

How different would our lives be if we "filled up" at the top of the day by pouring into ourselves?

Yes, people need you. Your family, friends, coworkers, romantic partners, children, and others who you probably have yet to meet, need you; but most of all, YOU NEED YOU.


If we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of anyone. So, as you go into this month, this weekend, and prepare for the next week, I encourage you to resist the hustle and bustle of life and lean into (REST)toration. Find the things that bring you joy, ways to quiet your thoughts, and recharging activities that you can easily add into your daily or weekly schedule.


You get one body, one mind, and one heart. Remember that you're one person and you deserve to be cared for too. You're doing a great job! You're doing the best you can with what you have! You're learning as you go, and you're growing as you learn too. Pat yourself on the back or take a moment to celebrate the WIN wrapped up in all of the progress you've made. You are not in this alone. We are all finding our way in this world the best we can. Be sweet and gentle to yourself. Love yourself with intention.

I love you. Jesus loves you MOST. Love and BE LOVED

Hang in there. Keep your head up, and if you can’t that’s okay too.

Stay encouraged. Be Fruitful.

XOXO Miss Ponder

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