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  • Writer's picturealexispjordan

Purpose Driven: Five Life-Altering Convos to Have With Yourself in Your Next Self Care Car Journey

“The creative process is mysterious; a conversation, a ride in the car, or a melody can trigger something...” - Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu

Photography by Debonair Visuals

Internal work, what a love hate relationship…

In being in quarantine for nearly a year (10+ months at the time of this post), I’ve recognized a ton of triggers that have consumed me in the past starting to reappear unwelcome. Growing up with a lack of resources in a single parent home has resurfaced to now feeling a scarcity mindset when we’re on the hunt for toilet paper and paper towels. Being in the house for the majority of my childhood to take care of my younger brother has resurfaced in the form of feeling discomfort staying in the house for months on end due to the fear and responsibility of fending off the Coronavirus. Social events are not the same now, but getting through the holiday season during a pandemic, as someone who has suffered from seasonal depression, it has been a TIME. While I can recall the challenges and situations that I would much rather not relive, the emotions from them have begun to manifest during a time where I was not fully equipped with my normal support system. There are no more moments to get to the office to “take my mind off of things”, no more after work happy hours to laugh freely with the crew, and even getting to church and praising the Lord in worship with others has been (fortunately!) transported to virtual service and being alone in my living room. My defense mechanisms in times of crisis have been significantly altered, and paired with multiple new uncertainties and challenges that have arisen as a result of the pandemic as well as racial tensions, this insanely close election, the insurrection of the Capital, and then all other happenings, life just feels…harder. Am I getting burnt out again?

I remember one of my fondest memories growing up was when my parents used to drive my younger brother and me around at night to try to put him to sleep. We’d have some R&B playing to try to soothe him into his slumber, but we’d ride through some of the most beautiful, new developments that would be inspiration for our next home. We’d ride through neighborhoods that had perfectly manicured lawns, and comment on houses we thought were more impressive than others. We’d listen to old school Christmas songs in the holiday season as we drove through these neighborhoods with nearly million dollar homes and admired the lights and decorations. Taking a ride with nowhere to go still has been one of my favorite things to do when I need a moment to myself. Sometimes I’ll ride to the city and take the scenic route home to enjoy the detailing of the architecture. In my younger years, I’d ride past old flames’ homes to get the closure I needed without them needing to be a part of it (don’t judge me, sis). I’d visit old homes of mine, old commutes to old jobs, and remember the stress or excitement I’d feel when I was on my way to the office. I’d allow myself to feel the emotions that were causing my blood to boil and address those triggers head on to find some kind of resolve. On days that I’m not as strong willed, I may just want to get out of the house for a pleasant adventure, just to enjoy the weather and get some sun. In being alone in the car, it’s the perfect opportunity to pray, to cry, to sing, to scream, without judgement or fear of anyone’s opinion. It was just time for me, and me alone…

In discussing with one of my church members that they’ve used their car as a prayer closet during quarantine, my ears perked up; this was an idea I could get with to have that privacy and intimacy I was yearning for with my praise and worship. & Once I saw that Mattie James also would take a car ride as a form of self care, I knew this was something worth trying that would get the weight off of my shoulders that I was looking for.

This summer in the pursuit of finding the perfect location for future photoshoots, I found myself on an unintentional tour of many of the parks in my area. Somehow these parks were within miles of each other, some of which connected to the next, and with it being a beautiful, sunny day, I just enjoyed the ride. I put on some of my favorite albums that evoked memories and emotions, and I truly relished in the view with this customized soundtrack to my life. This was a different form of tapping in, okay! But getting closer to nature and seeing how the leaves were changing as the season transitioned from one to the next, it was breathtaking. I sang along, I prayed out loud, I yelled at the top of my lungs, and I finally exhaled, and after letting it all out, once I got home, I felt exhausted, but refreshed. I felt like all of that weight was lifted from me, just like that.

Doing the inner work is intimidating, but having the space to be alone in that vulnerability is necessary. During quarantine, it’s been triggering not getting the quality time that I’ve grown accustomed to with traveling and meeting with friends consistently during the week and on the weekends. You know from my last article that brunch with those I care for is my ultimate love language. Phone calls and FaceTime calls can be helpful, but there is nothing like that face to face connection, and in missing that, I’ve found my stress levels bubbling over. These emotions needed to be RELEASED immed’jeatly. I recognized that while this summer drive was an impromptu errand, if there was a time to dive in while I was feeling these emotions, this was it.

If you do decide to take the car ride to engage in some self reflecting, here are a few recommendations before you go:

  1. Be comfortable. Sometimes we want to look cute, which is absolutely okay! Beat that face, put the lewk on, all of that. But be sure that with your bomb outfit you’ve got some driving/walking shoes. There is no torture like driving for hours in heels; remember you are on this road for yourself. You may even want to get out of the car to enjoy the scenery, or pull over during more emotional times. Keep the cute shoes in the car just in case you need to get out and remind someone of who you are, okay! But definitely be sure to be comfortable.

  2. Stay safe. Ensure that while you may want to blast that music the loudest it can go, be sure that you can still hear if there are any instances of distractions on the road. In your most emotional and vulnerable moments, be sure to pull over and get out of harm’s way. Do not allow your self care session to be an instance where you become the danger on the road because you can’t see past your tears. Take a breath, stay focused, and remember you are still driving a vehicle. Make sure your gas tank is full enough to get you from point a to point b, that the roads are in a safe drivable condition, and that your phone has enough of a charge so that you can enjoy the music, the podcast, or just have it in case you need to contact someone for help. Let loose, of course, but stay responsible.

  3. Be free! I know we often don’t allow ourselves the time to do the self care we need internally, but remember this is your time for yourself to do just that, take care of your self. You may want to take a notebook on the road and pull over to write down those thoughts as they flow through you. Feel free to pack a lunch and pull over into a park. Treat yourself to your favorite food dish and have a picnic for one. Set up the things that will bring you joy and comfort while on the road. This is your time to do with it what you please. Make sure you are making the best of it, it is for you.

I am on a journey of becoming the complete woman of my dreams overall. I am the only person who can determine that, so I need to ensure that I am in alignment with where I see that I need to be. I, and we, need to be purpose driven. Over the years I’ve had to have some tough conversations with myself. I found the following five conversations to be recurring themes that present themselves, and the longer I put these off, the longer it will take before I identify my destiny.

1. What are your 3 month, one year, and three year aspirations? What are your plans and steps to achieve them?

This is a simple, oldie but goodie. When is the last time you’ve checked these? I don't just mean new year’s resolutions, I mean actual plans and steps to move forward in the goals you want to achieve short term. And if it’s been a while or not, how are they going? Where are you along your three month goal journey? Do you have more or less to do where you are now? What are your next steps? We’ve talked about goal setting in Rose’ & Rose Goals and how it is not only wanting the work done, but actually putting forth the work to do it. Who are your accountability partners, and are they actually holding you accountable, or have you not spoken with them in a while? What will be your reward for doing all the hard work to get these goals accomplished this week, this month, this quarter? What gets measured gets done, are you even keeping track? You may be further along in your journey than you give yourself credit for. Take a look during this time and identify what you’ve been up to, and what you need to do. Then, get to work!

2. What do you want to be known for? When people say your name in rooms, what do you want them to say? What do you want your legacy to be?

This can be related to anything and everything: your work, or your work ethic, your attitude, whether strong-willed, pleasant, passionate, all of the above, are you giving that off in all that you do? If you want to be known for the quality of your work, how much work are you showing, and what’s the quality? How can you be better? Are you practicing what you want to preach? Are you putting forth the effort to not only learn what the best in your industry have done to get that top rating, are you implementing the lessons learned and doing what you were taught to do? Time to get to it girlfriend! “The person who talks most of his own virtue is often the least virtuous...” - Jawaharlal Nehru: No more talking about it, be about it. Are you talking or are you doing? How will you teach these things to your friends, colleagues, children? This is how you build a legacy, by being consistent in what you set out to do, so much that your name is associated with your behavior. Bonus points if you are doing so well that you inspire others to do the same. Don’t stay in that funk too long, it just may become who you are known for, or even who you are…

3. What do you want to do with your life? What do you want to accomplish in life?

I hear you saying that this is kind of similar to 1 and 2, but hear me out. We can talk about what you want to accomplish in the near future, and how people will know you, but this is specifically asking what do you want to do with your life here on earth? What is your purpose? What is your passion? Is your passion your purpose? How do you know? How does this play into your legacy?

Often times we hear that the things that excite you and come easy to you are tied to your purpose, is it something you want to enjoy solely, or something you want to make into a business to be paid to give to others? For the longest time I thought I just loved hosting, and never thought that I could have others pay to host despite me not being present. Bourgeois Living has been my lifestyle since birth. How fortunate am I to be able and willing to turn it into a profitable business. I have other passions that speak to me, and while I’m not interested (yet) in making them profitable, the ones that come easily to me with options available I’m more than willing to take the steps necessary to tap into them to fund the life I want in my future. Death is inevitable, and I don’t want to get to the gates and look back on my life and see that of all of the ideas and plans for my life that I was too distracted surviving, or too afraid of pursuing, to actually live out that purpose. Not only for my comfort and my future, but my legacy is on the line. Your legacy is on the line. We have work to do.

4. In what areas do you want to be more vocal? Need to be more reserved?

Are you biting your tongue, or are you talking too much? Here’s what I say to both:

Stop biting your tongue, you are battling yourself internally and it is doing nothing but damage. You festering and allowing the negativity to grow will not aide you, you will grow resentful. Don’t allow that negativity to build muscle and get stronger. If something is on your mind, speak on it, whether in the moment, or if you take a pause to gather and structure your thoughts, let it out. Even if you’re wrong, at least you’ve gotten the answer in real time rather than pondering over what could be and might have been. Keeping your thoughts in will not allow you to truly enjoy the current moment with something lingering over your head. Don’t you want to be truly happy on your vacation rather than having the need to discuss the bills that are past due that keep piling up, or this work project that you shouldn’t be responsible for solely? Can you imagine having these thoughts in the back of your mind with the need to discuss the second you come home after you’ve worked all year to take that vacation? You just stripped yourself of a complete and total opportunity to refresh and recharge, and with self care at the top of our new year’s goals , that is now you being unfair to YOU. They will respect the risk taken in your transparency and honesty of your feelings, and even if they don’t, at least you can say that you took it and got it out of your system! This is something to be proud of!

If you are outspoken and struggle in that, take the time to think before you speak. Does what you have to say need to be said, does it add value? Is your delivery practical, or can you consolidate so that your thoughts are to the point and not easily misconstrued? If you are often the only one to speak, practice allowing the thoughts in the room to be heard before providing your input. Listen to the other perspectives to give them a fair shot and an opportunity to be heard. Your opinion is valid, but ask God for the spirit of discernment to know when to speak and when to listen. There may be a voice that is too timid to speak out, if you notice others in your team are often quiet, invite them to gain more insight to their perspective in a more personal setting like a 1:1 virtual coffee chat or a small group discussion. You may be inspiring others to speak out their truths, so don’t completely turn off your voice, instead identify when you need to turn down the volume.

5. What does happiness mean to you? How do you make yourself happy? Are you doing enough to bring more happiness into your life as well as the lives of others?

Happiness is so much more than just saying “I want a good…”, what does “good” look like to you? Get specific in the things that you enjoy that bring a smile to your face. Those things that light up your heart and put a fire in your spirit, do more of that. Begin researching interests and apply effort in spending time in those interests. Identify the things that spark joy in your life and do more of that. And keep going deeper into it so that you do not remain stagnant or “basic”, keep going in your interests. If you enjoy cooking, have you tried the more rare or expensive ingredients? What about baking? If you draw, have you explored any other mediums? Paint, charcoal, clay? Keep going and keep exploring, you will not know what lights your life until you are exposed to it. This is a large reason for Bourgeois Living, to provide exposure to affordable luxury that many of us are unaware is available in our lifestyle now. Find out what makes you tick (and if you haven’t yet, please watch Disney’s & Pixar’s movie Soul because it is a treat!). We need your gifts, but we also need you to enjoy your life to provide those talents to those in need.

Self care comes in many forms, and we often harp over not doing “enough” to fulfill our purpose, but we have the capability and the responsibility of taking the steps to get there. Our purpose is not tied directly to work only, but also to appreciating the lives we live and encouraging others to enjoy theirs as well. These are not the toughest of questions to ask yourself, but they are important in establishing how you will maneuver through life going forward. Dig deep and identify the things that drive you. If 2020 taught us anything, it is that the unexpected can occur at any moment. Get your life in order by doing the inner work, and speak nicely to yourself when you do, one day you will look into the rear-view mirror at your life, and your future self will thank you.

Proud of you!

Speak Easy Playlists

“I started to use music almost like a therapist, where it's like, everything that I don't really dare to say or speak about, I can sing about...”

Tove Lo

In speaking to yourself you may need a break to listen, or some background music to set the ambiance. Check out my Speakeasy playlists featuring these ten songs plus more through the Spotify links:

SHOUT! (Gospel)

🙌🏾Anthony Brown & group therAPY: Testimony

🙌🏾Brian Courtney Wilson: I'll Just Say Yes - Live

🙌🏾Chance the Rapper ft. Jay Electronica & My Cousin Nicole: How Great

🙌🏾Erica Campbell: Well Done

🙌🏾Fred Hammond: When You Praise

🙌🏾Gene Moore: Ask for Rain

🙌🏾Hezekiah Walker: Every Praise

🙌🏾Kim Burrell: Thank You Jesus (That's What He's Done)

🙌🏾Tasha Cobbs Leonard: Put a Praise on It - Live

🙌🏾William Becton & Friends: Be Encouraged

Smooth Talk (R&B)

🕰 Amerie: Talking to Me

🕰 Ari Lennox: Speak to Me

🕰 Brent Faiyaz: Talk 2 U

🕰 Bryson Tiller: Let Me Explain

🕰 Erykah Badu: I’ll Call U Back

🕰 H.E.R.: Say It Again

🕰 Jhene Aiko: Speak

🕰 Kanye West: Say You Will

🕰 Khalid: Talk

🕰 Teyana Taylor: Request

Talk that Talk (Rap & Hip Hop)

🥃 Fabolous ft. Meek Mill: Talk to Me Nicely

🥃 Future & Lil’ Uzi Vert: Over Your Head

🥃 Jadakiss: Keep it 100

🥃 Juice WRLD: Conversations

🥃 Kanye West: Can’t Tell Me Nothing

🥃 Migos ft. Drake: Walk it Like I Talk It

🥃 Moneybagg Yo ft. City Girls & DaBaby: Said Sum - Remix

🥃 Pop Smoke ft. A Boogie Wit da Hoodie: Hello

🥃 Teyana Taylor: Wrong Bitch

🥃 Young Dolph: To Be Honest

Pop Off (Pop)

✨ Bruno Mars: Talking to the Moon

✨ Chris Brown: Yo (Excuse Me Miss)

✨ Destiny’s Child: Say My Name

✨ Doja Cat: Say So

✨ Majid Jordan: Body Talk

✨ Mariah Carey ft. Snoop Dogg: Say Somethin’

✨ *NSYNC: Bye Bye Bye

✨ Outkast: Hey Ya!

✨ Plain White T’s: Hey There Delilah

✨ Timbaland ft. Drake: Say Something

Welcome to the Speakeasy...

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