Day 14: “Where are you?”

Happy Valentine’s Day! So you made it to this sometimes over glorified Hallmark holiday, but let’s face it, you feel a lil more lovey dovey than usual right??!?! You can’t help to see the smiles around today, women walking down the street with flowers in their hands, kids holding balloons, all smiling. That’s what holidays are all about, finding the break in the monotony and appreciating what you have and sharing your love.

Day 14: 2/14/16

While the rest of the romantic lovers in the world are spewing their hearts out on cards and giving extra-long hugs I can’t help but think about the people who while with the one they love, are somewhere else, partners asking "where are you?" You know what I’m talking about, not being present in the moment, somewhere else thinking about the stresses that normally get their head stuck out there in the universe.

On this short 24 hour holiday I encourage you all to be IN IT. Be in the moment with the people that you love, if you go out tonight, turn off the phone and look a lil longer into your partners eyes, don’t let them look away just hold it and reconnect and try to remember the first time you saw those eyes and what you felt. Focus on the love you can share today, and remind yourself that this silly holiday could be a beautiful day if you decide it to be, if you want to be the person with the big heart, and give as much love as you can because we all know the love you take is the love you make! Starting today and give a lil more love to every person you see. 

Day 13: “You don’t get to pick em!”

Your family is the very first opportunity you have in life to learn the ups and downs of love. Many didn't have a leave it to beaver childhood, leaving only to question “what was I supposed to get out of all this again?” Family can be confusing and challenging, but in the same breathe hilarious, comforting, constant and loyal.  Family is your heart, and like most hearts they are sometimes loving and confusing. How do you work through the confusion and stress to get to the love? Gotta get your cope on! 

Day 12: 2/12/2016

I believe therapists, spas, hotels and airlines wouldn’t be in business without families….as all of these are needed to appreciate the love a family can give.

Therapist: Let’s face it, we can’t blame our parents the rest of our lives for why we are the adults we are today. Get to therapy, unpeel the layers of why you are the way you are but more importantly walk away with a new understanding of how to process and get some coping skills on how to react,  or not to react, to family and all their FUN quirks.

Spas: After therapy do some self-soothing at the spa. If I learned one thing from my therapist is that I need to stop looking for comfort from others, comfort myself as much as possible, even if it’s just a $10 foot rub, it all helps. Healing hands make the world go away, and walking out you can feel like the world, your family, all of it is a lil more bearable.

Hotels: If you can afford it, you might want to think about staying at a hotel when you’re visiting your family OR if you live with your family maybe a night away will give you some clarity and peace. Hotels can create these healthy boundaries that are sometimes appreciated especially over the holidays

Airlines: Go home, and go home often, and if you live far away from your family collect those frequent flyer miles!

No matter what your family dynamics are, I hope you accept and love every one of them, as you don’t get to pick them, you just learn how to love them. 

Day 12: "Let's not make it a big deal this year"

I get it your broke, well like American broke…where you still got some cash to burn, the bills are paid, your sticking to your budget but now Valentine’s Day is here and your partner is expecting you to pull out the stops… ok they said “Let’s not make it a big deal this year” but you know they want a lil somethin something.


Here are a few budget friendly options that will still be special and not break your bank! Time to get creative!

·        Butterfly conservatory at the American Museum of Natural History, splurge on the $35.00 ticket and see all the exhibits, make a day of it!

·        Take the Staten Island Ferry(FREE) and walk to Enoteca Maria, Zagat rated best Italian food in Staten Island, where they change their menu daily and have great drink specials every day of the week!

·        Buy your roses from Costco, seriously 20 bucks for 2 dozens. You can’t get a better deal than that in this town! Don’t have a membership? That’s ok, scout the people walking in, find a cool chick and ask if she can help out a romantic and please purchase the roses for you and slip in an extra 20 in there for her to buy her own roses!  I promise 99& of the time anyone who has a heart and understand the love of Costco saving will do this for you!

·        Cook Dinner and write a poem. Seriously it’s THAT EASY!

·        Movies & Pizza nights rent/download your partners 2 favorite movies and make it a cozy night in under a blanket on the couch. The key here is going out of your way to find their favorite movies and pizza!


Day 11: “How many best friends do you have?”

Gaining friends has never been a problem for me, keeping them has been a challenge especially with my nomadic ways, but releasing friends from a place in my heart is not my strong suit. Maybe because in my adolescent mind I thought more friends=likeable… but as I see in my adult life more friends=stressful juggling act. My cousin once asked me “how many best friends do you have?” as every story started with “My best friend <Enter any of my many best friend’s names>……..”.

Day 11: 2/11/16

Friend: Noun \’frend\  A person who you like and enjoy being with; A person who helps or supports someone or something. 

Now that sounds pretty darn easy right? Until your heart gets involved, life stresses, egos, and sometimes those strongest bonds can be put on the line in the most vulnerable of places in your heart. Once the sting wears off your then left with what was the fundamental need in that friendship that I was learning or growing from? Sometimes that answer fades away with time as we grow as people, into new and different individuals with new or different needs.

One of the wisest women I know gave me a great piece of advice and I really wish I could have saved that text from 2 cell phones ago, but she told me in response to a “friend breakup”, and I’m paraphrasing this “release them with love, and pray they grow stronger bonds with the friends that help and nurture them, and now allow that space in your heart to be available to you or a new friend who can help support and love you.” Honestly, she said it a lot better than that, but you get it, we only have so much heart space… time on our hands…. why not focus on those that nurture and love you, because there are so many GOOD friends out there that want to do just that.

It’s nice to know that the friends I have released are totally ok without my friendship, and as I hope they are… thriving in life with their now supportive and loving friends.  I recently had a surprise breakfast party for a friend, and I looked around the room at 8am on a Wednesday morning and thought “every single one of these women I trust with my heart” and what a lucky girl I am to have friends I love, support and trust and vice versa.

Are you sharing your heart and time with friends you can fully trust? As you are nurturing and loving them, are you feeling nurtured and loved back? 

Day 10: "Repetition creates routine"

"He doesn’t need to be in the flesh in front of you to pray for him!"

Day 10: 2/10/16

Most mornings when I am on point I sit and I have a lil one on one with my Lord, I go through praising him, thanking him, asking for guidance, then I pray for family, friends and my husband. Yes, my husband. Now just to be upfront, I am 100% single, but I still pray for my husband…Why? Because I believe he is out there, waking up getting ready for his day too and I pray for the Lord to bring him wisdom and clarity so that he may learn to be a better man today….then one day that man will be full in the spirit and trust in the fact that he knows the Lord and know I am his wife.

My Godmother is coming into town tomorrow for my baptism this Sunday, she has always had a way of spiritually guiding me so it means the world to me she will be here for my special day! A few months back she challenged me to not just pray for my husband, but to get it down on paper in a letter to the Lord. Now looking back at Day 8 of the DateNight Planners 14 Days of Love is Intention, I truly believe this is something powerful about writing it down, seeing it on paper, letting those words sink in and then doing it. I went one step further than writing my letter to God about my husband, I wrote a letter to my husband, talking about what challenges me today as a single woman and how I could see the space in my life and heart for him. If you read back to my other blogs you will find my love of writing letters, so I haven’t stopped at just one letter, I write often to him about small things that are the big things and I visualize him one day reading these letters and amazed just how much I always cared for  him, even before we met.

So single lady or single man, trust in the fact that you are whole today or working towards a place of wholeness, and trusting in the Lord with the timing, place and future spouse.  Doing this  will take the pressure off your back and only allow you to fully love yourself better each day, getting the opportunity to grow into yourself, love yourself before sharing  it with anyone else, but more importantly giving you the time and foundation of your relationship with the Lord before anyone else.

Write your letters today, as we know repetition creates routine and before you know it you will be doing it when your spouse comes into your life and then on every opportunity you get to tell them how much they mean to you, how thankful you are and how much you love them. 

Day 9: "See them happy."

Finding bliss could be as easy as doing something you don't like to do. 

Day 9: 2/9/14

There is something about a basketball court that will always remind me of my father, the sounds of the heavy thumping of a dribbling ball, the constant movements of players all moving together, but probably mostly because of the smell of sweat. I was a brat as a kid, a super tall 10 year old brat, and a smelly sweaty gym was not my idea of a good time.

There was my dad, still trying to bask in the glory of his basketball past, trying to motivate his mija every way he could. I remember him coaching this defiant lil child in me raging against every drill or huddle, and there was my father, still trying. The last day I played  I fell apart on the court, I can’t remember why, but a whole lot of yelling, gut yelling tantrums right there in front of my team and the rest of the tournament and all my father could do was let me walk off the court, somehow coaching the rest of the game with a smile on his face. As an adult now, I could only think  of the embarrassment he felt,  wanting to crawl under a rock, but he never brought it up again, this concept of his daughter playing his favorite past time, and I never picked up a basketball again. 

It will be 20 years since my father has passed, and there isn’t a February that doesn’t pass by where he is always in the forefront of my mind, especially on his birthday 2/27, finding comfort in watching a game on TV and think about my father’s excitement and how much he just wanted to share his passion with me. I still remember him being like a child himself when he took my sister and I to the LA Forum to see the Lakers play the Bulls, “Mija, Jordan playing MAGIC…this is history, a game you will never forget!” and I haven’t. It’s still a memory, even if from the nosebleed section, that my father lived to share with us.

We never get to choose these passions our loved ones have, passions we can not relate to, but sometimes sharing the passions they love gives us the chance to see them happy. In those sharing moments with my father I always thought of him as happy, and those are the memories I will always hold dear. 

Day 8: "Action begins somewhere."

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Chinese New Year for me was always this reminder that I was a month into this western New Year and a time to gauge how I was feeling so far... and so far, for 2016 I would say I'm sticking to my intentions! Yes, no resolutions...just intentions. 

Day 8: 2/8/14

Every Sunday night I sit down with my passion planner and map out the week ahead. The first few minutes are always the easiest,  its a lot of "copy/pasting" my intentions from the weeks before. Writing down an intention makes it real, visually something you can't ignore and now its a plan, something for you to cross off your list with a sense of accomplishment, because action begins somewhere! My copy/pasting intentions are simple things like Work out, Check in(that's a reminder to pray half way through the day, my person check in with the Lord), Blog, Read, and Sleep. Yes, Sleep.... I know I am a much better Jema when I get my sleep...and sometimes those Netflix binges take a hold of me, so seeing Sleep on my planner reminds me that I too need to put my rest and well being first.

Take the time this Chinese new year and really think about and make a list of your intentions for love this year. Look back on my previous blogs for suggestions like sending letters to the people you love, making time to love your self, saying a heart felt thank you, or cooking a meal for the one you love.  

Now here is the game changer, Now go and put that list into your schedule throughout the year put it in your google calendar as an event. As months go by see that pop up reminder saying "Tell your wife Thank you today for being awesome... and hot!"  These intentions, with actions behind them, will fuel your inner fire monkey!  More importantly, they will remind you in the chaos of life to refocus on your heart and giving MORE love with well intentions.

Now go order some soup dumplings for lunch!  


Day 7: "Thank you!"

Have you ever counted how many times a day you say the two words "thank you"? Lets just assume its a lot! As it should be, your polite and you say you please and thank yous, good job! But with the many times a day we say these two words how often do you tell the people you love most Thank You for ALL they have done in your life? 

Day 7: 2/7/2016

The basic fabric of love is appreciation, acknowledgement and gratitude. Being thankful and grateful is love manifesting in your heart, transforming a need or want into a beautiful humble space where your own heart is ready to accept some more. It is all a beautiful game of give and take isn't it? 

My favorite "thank you" is the one to my Lord.  I find myself in moments I am overwhelmed with so much thankfulness I grab the closest people next to me, ask them to pray with me and we just give it up to the Lord. Today I had the best  Volunteer Crew at Renaissance Church, and every single person was just THERE to work, in this hearty service focused attitude, we had the work done faster than normal and we were all happy to be there. Right there and then I grabbed them all around and thanked the Lord for such awesome people to work with, and for giving us an opportunity to serve Him and support such an awesome Sunday Church Service that could have changed some lives today! 

Saying "thank you" is a moment to praise whoever is on the other side of the thanks, but more importantly an opportunity to be humbled and grateful for all the very big things in life all the way to the lil moments that you will always hold dear. 

I challenge you today to call the person who raised you, your best friend, or higher power, even if its just a moment alone in your own head and heart and tell them "THANK YOU".  Giving props is a beautiful opportunity to spread some love today!