All week, I have stumbled upon blessing after blessing. It’s like God’s little winks letting us know we are on the right track. I just love how He does that! I call it living in “flow”. This morning someone sent me this AHHHHH-mazing video and of course, I had to share it with all of you. As a confidence builder, affirmation addict (hence, #Tiffirmations) and advocate for empowering women to live their most authentic life– this video gave me chills, brought tears to my eyes and fueled me up for the day ahead. Please do yourself a favor and watch it, but not only watch it allow the message to sink down into your spirit.
P.S. Will I see you at Stix & Brix on March 25th? I hope so! There’s still a few tickets available HERE!
It was an honor to chat with podcast king Joel Boggess again on his hit show ReLaunch and share my heart about RHOD, marriage in Hollywood, our faith foundation, my purpose and more! Grab a cup of coffee and listen tonight when the kids go to bed or when you’re on your commute to work.
I’m just going to ramble for a minute. This has been on my heart this past week and I thought you ladies would be encouraged by it too.
Last week, a cool guy friend of ours – Jeff Peters – made a simple yet profound statement to me while Aaron was playing at a gig. The place was packed and everyone was engaged in my hubby’s performance. That’s what every entertainer wants, right? I was explaining how happy I was that the place was filled with loyal fans then my friend said something to the effect of, “Yes, that’s great, but we should all be more concerned with the audience of one” then he pointed his finger to the sky. God was who he was talking about.
WHOA!!!!!!!! The place went silent and this hit me like a ton of bricks for a few seconds.
Don’t you love it when people around you are truly iron sharpening iron?!? (Thanks Jeff!!) This resonated with me all week. We live in a world where so many people are trying to warp the perception about themselves on social media and make us all believe they are something they are not. They are more concerned with how many followers they have and…so….
Are you more concerned with impressing people than you are about impressing God?
The silly thing is God knows who you are so it’s a slap in His face when you are being the fake, inauthentic version of yourself to the world. He created you to be exactly who you are with all your gifts, shortcomings, talents and flaws. He must shake His head when He sees someone put out a fake representation of themselves. I want to make Him proud. Don’t you?
As an influencer, I pray daily for God to enlarge my territory (Prayer of Jabez) which means, yes– grow my social media, but there is a mission and purpose behind it. Are you more concerned with feeling “popular” or are you more focused on the amount of people you could add value to? Again, God knows your heart!
Summer is behind us and as we head into Fall, take a look back at your 2016 goals. Have you hit them or missed the mark a few times? You still have time to create the best year yet!
I encourage you all to set your intentions toward impressing God more.
Photo taken by me in Santa Monica. One of the highlights of 2015- going back to California for the first time since our move.
Sista, my prayer for you:
May every single day of 2016 be filled with the wonder of God’s special love for you.
I pray for your happiness, but also for a greater sense of fulfillment in your career and purpose, an ease of communication with those you love, and a sense of satisfaction in all that you have accomplished. Above all, may you rest secure in the knowing of God’s presence. Regardless of how lonely you feel or how difficult a situation- you are never alone.
I pray for you to be happy and expectant about what is on the horizon in 2016.
I pray for smiles and love.
I pray for friends that are true and authentic.
I pray for kindness and compassion.
I pray for unexpected moments of joy and laughter.
I pray for you to be at peace.
I pray you walk taller and shine brighter in the new year. I pray you shake off any self-defeating thoughts and truly own your beauty. I pray you are healthy and whole- body, mind and spirit. I pray you stay spiritually centered.
Sista, I am grateful you are on this journey with me and I picked up my favorite scented candle by Voluspa in honor of this final blog post of 2015. I lit it and wrote this prayer for you tonight.
May God keep you in touch with all that you are and all that you are meant to become. May you have the strength and discernment to remove any toxic person who does not celebrate and encourage the woman you are becoming. Keep believing. Keep moving forward. In His mighty name, Amen.
For the past 15+ years, I have soaked up the wisdom and spiritual insight of Marianne Williamson. The first book I read of hers was A Return To Love: Reflections of a Course in Miracles and it forever altered my life. It was pivotal in helping me get on the path back to God. I’ve made reference to it many times here on SOS and if you still have not read it I encourage you to buy yourself a copy today!
Yesterday, I stumbled across the above video from the Super Soul Sessions and had to share it with you. Even after all her years of teaching, Marianne still gives aha, eye-opening insight on spiritual healing and growth. I’ve been dealing with challenging relationships lately and love how God leads you to the exact message you need.
I realize the holiday season is crazy and you may not have much free time, but please take a moment to watch if you crave some soul food. I guarantee it will fill you up!
Who is excited for Thanksgiving week? ME! We get a short work week, quality time with those we love, yummy food, naps without guilt and time to focus on what we are truly grateful for. I’m looking forward to sitting on my mom’s couch, turning off my brain and catching up on magazines together. Have I mentioned how much I love being in Texas and able to jaunt down to Houston to see my folks? This Thanksgiving Day marks our 2 year anniversary living in Dallas.
Time has flown.
So much has happened.
Amazing doors have opened.
My heart is full.
I have to say, this is one of the greatest gifts I am grateful for this week. Like any big move, we’ve had our share of wonky moments- but Dallas has become home and we are grateful for the beautiful souls in the city who have embraced us with open arms. It proves stepping out into the unknown is always rewarding.
Thanksgiving week is the perfect lead in to the holiday season and end of the year. What’s better than ending the year full of gratitude?!? This mindset and practice will set you up for success in the new year. Hello 2016!
Does expressing gratitude come easy to you or do you find it difficult to focus on your blessings in the midst of your burdens? Practicing gratitude has become a daily part of my life, but it wasn’t always that way. I was a chronic complainer and my life was a reflection of it. I was a mess, my life was a mess and my thoughts were a mess. It all starts with your thoughts so if you need a little help getting started on living a life of gratitude and changing the way you think- keep it simple with an A to Z list. We all have so much to be grateful for and the more you focus on those things, you’ll unlock an abundance of blessings to flow to you and chase you down.
Join me in creating a fun list. I am grateful for:
A- Accessories. They are my obsession and add an exclamation point to any outfit.
B- Bible. My favorite ‘self help’ book! Joyce Meyer has a great amplified version:
C- Coats. They keep us warm on chilly days like today. (If you live in DFW, please drop off your gently worn coats to the Campbell Agency on Oak Lawn & Blackburn for their coat drive)
D- Dogs. My little Zoe has been the best companionship. She’s also been in a pain in the butt, but I love her. She’s a bundle of love.
E- Encouragement. Just this morning I received the most heartfelt email from my Spiritual mentor. Not sure what I would do without her encouragement! #GodSend
F- Faith. Without it, we remain in a hopeless state. Being filled with Faith gives you strength to face each day.
G- God. Without Him, I would be a drug addict, dead, depressed and totally defeated.
H- _________________( fill in the blank)
I- Independence. At times I can be too independent, but I’m so grateful my parents raised me to be an independent woman. It’s important to know you can rely on yourself!
J- _________________(fill in the blank)
K- Kale. It makes my morning smoothie super yummy and packed with antioxidants.
L- Love. My life is overflowing with it. #Blessed
M- ________________ (fill in the blank)
N- Naps. I love them and will take them any time I can!
O- “Oceans”. My all time favorite song by Hillsong.
P- Patience. I’m always running low on it, but getting better with age. Being patient takes away so much stress!
Q- Quinoa. It’s healthy, yummy and a great rice replacement.
R- _________________(fill in the blank)
S- Sisterhood. The women in my life who love me just as I am, call me out on my s@&*, help me shine brighter and pray for me when I’m weak are the sisters God let me choose. Also, this SOS Sistahood has changed my life!
T- Truth. Authenticity and honesty in people are the most attractive attributes to me. I’m always so grateful for people who keep it real!
U- Underwire Bras. Go ahead and LOL… gravity is taking over and they help the “girls” stay cute and perky! Here’s my favorite daily bra by DKNY:
V- ________________(fill in the blank)
W- Walks. My natural anti-depressant. I started taking long power walks around 12 or 13 when I was approaching my treacherous teen years. Helps keep me sane and organize my crazy creative thoughts.
X- ________________(good luck with that one..fill in the blank)
Y- Yellow. One of my favorite colors. Brightens even the most dreary day.
Z- Zzzz’s. Did I mention I love to sleep? I’m so grateful when I can catch up on sleep on the weekend.
You’re probably thinking,
“Only on Tiff’s blog can you talk Bibles AND Bras !!”
Hey, I keep it real. They are 2 things we can’t live without.
Please share your ideas and what you filled in the blanks with!
How fast did January fly by? We’re wrapping up the first month of 2015 and have gotten back into the groove or perhaps you’re trying to create a new groove for the year. With the hustle of life, women easily and willingly shove their crowns in the back of the junk drawer. Where is your crown these days? (Yes, I’m referring to your invisible metaphoric one, but if you want to rock a real tiara- go right ahead sista!) How is your “queendom” looking? How are you feeling- body, mind & spirit?
I want to encourage you to make your “self-care” a top priority and treat yourself like the queen that you are. You are not a martyr, you are not a slave, you are not a pauper.
YOU ARE A QUEEN! THIS IS YOUR CALL TO ACTION FOR 2015!
Beautiful miracles open up in your life when you pamper, respect and love yourself. Too many women view this as selfish or self-indulgent. Moms, if you are taking good care of yourself, you are setting an example for your children to do the same. It goes the same for the opposite. If you are neglecting yourself, you are setting that negative example for your kids.
Everyone’s life is different so the various levels of self-care will be different for every woman, but here are a few ways we can all make self-care a priority this year:
BE SPONTANEOUS. Take a break each week and do something totally spontaneous. I know this sounds contradictory to plan spontaneity, but we gotta do what we gotta do, right. Basically, it’s giving yourself free time each week and sometimes even that has to be scheduled. For example, on a day that has a light schedule, go do something totally fun. Last Friday after a morning meeting- which I had blocked off more time for than was needed- and when the meeting ended sooner than expected my girlfriend (who was also at the meeting) and I headed to the mall, grabbed a Starbucks for shopping stamina and went hunting for boot sales! Totally spontaneous and just what the doctor ordered after a very busy week.
ASK FOR HELP. This is a big one because we don’t like to “put people out” or bother anyone. I admit to being really weak in this area because 1. I’m a control freak and 2. I don’t like to bother people. As my schedule gets crazier and I have more responsibilities, I am forcing myself out of my comfort zone and asking for help. A queen allows people to do things for her. She’s not a B@&*# about it and she’s not demanding. She simply knows her queendom will run more efficiently when she delegates and isn’t afraid to ask people to do things that they are probably much better at than she is anyway.
WEEKLY PAMPERING. Create a “Just for me” cash stash and go blow it on yourself every single week. Yes, I said every week not every few months. Get a mani/pedi, massage, facial, body wrap or treatment, etc every week. Maybe put the money toward an empowering seminar you’ve been wanting to take which pampers your spirit. I admit, I still do my nails at home every once in a while for convenience, but I started a “just for me” cash stash a few years ago and it is one of the best ways to practice self- care. I can no longer use the excuse of lack of funds for neglecting myself.
The list really could go to a hundred ways to take care of yourself, but these 3 things have stood out to me recently between my private lifestyle mentor clients and girlfriends. Don’t wait until you have chronic migraines, resent your family for spreading you thin and you begin to feel like a doormat. Start today. Set your intention on rockin’ that crown proudly.
I wanted to share one of my favorite Oprah quotes and just googled it to find there was more to it. I’m excited to add this to the post:
Be A Queen by Oprah
Be a queen. Dare to be different. Be a pioneer. Be a leader. Be the kind of woman who in the face of diversity will continue to embrace life and walk fearlessly toward challenge. Take it on! Be a truth seeker and rule your domain, whatever it is—your home, your office, your family—with a loving heart.
Be a queen. Be tender. Continue to give birth to ideas and rejoice in your womanhood… my prayer is that we will stop wasting time being mundane and mediocre… we are daughters of God—here to teach the world how to love…
It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through, where you come from, who your parents are—nor your social or economic status. None of that matters. What matters is how you choose to love, how you choose to express that love through your work, through your family, through what you have to give to the world…
Be a queen. Own your power and glory!
Cheers to my fellow daughters of God!
Please leave a comment and share if you’re going to dust off your crown and make sure to share this with your friends who need this call to action as well.
You are a rare specimen. I know that’s a random way of starting this blog, but its true! The fact that you are alive is confirmation that you have purpose. Out of MILLIONS of sperm and hundreds of thousands eggs, YOU WERE SELECTED TO BE HERE. This is simply amazing. In case you didn’t know, it only takes 1 sperm, and 1 egg to create a baby, and in that particular moment, you were created. This is phenomenal. There is a specific reason why you are here, and your purpose is directly linked to your passion.
Let’s talk passion today…
We all have our passions & interest. The problem comes when we fall into a hypnotic rhythm of imitating the lives of others, and fail to realize our own uniqueness. Those who are truly great and legendary are the ones who pursed their curiosities even when it was contrary to what everyone else was doing around them. They did not fear the opinions of others, they simply acted on their hearts desires and in turn, they made a significant contribution to the world. The problem with mass media and social media is that when you are so focused on the lives of others it can be a distraction and distort your thinking, making you believe that you are supposed to be in a position that you are not.
you are right where you need to be and as soon as you take your eyes off everyone else’s purpose you can start pursuing your own.
Don’t be afraid of your own happiness or success.
The world NEEDS that authentic thing you have to offer.
Imitating the masses is a sure way of neglecting your true calling. Dig deep to find your OWN creative voice. Copying is easy. Many people can do it and it makes money, but there is no rewarding feeling at the end of it. When you pursue your passions, that “rewarding” feeling is worth more than any dollar amount.
Take some time to revisit the things that captivate you.
The things that make your heart skip a beat or have you up for hours, researching, studying, dreaming etc. When you are really excited or passionate about something that is a green light that you are headed in the right direction. Some people have a misconception that discovering your purpose is supposed to be a drawn out struggle. It is actually the polar opposite. You are co-creating this life with the ultimate creator (God) and he has instilled a gift in you that will spark your interest.
It is important to act and dive deeper into even the most subtle passions that may seem random and pointless. For instance, if you have a passion for drawing on the ground with chalk, you may be able to start a campaign writing positive quotes on college campuses. As crazy as it may sound, extraordinary things happen when you take time to learn what drives you. God didn’t create anything that is not gifted. Master who you are, instead of being pre-occupied with everyone else.
As we head into the new year, I want you to rediscover your passions. Take some time to reflect back on what interested you as a child, and be confident on your pursuit of purpose. I can’t stress enough how living your purpose truly serves the world.
If your passions don’t line up with all the degrees you have received or career path you’ve been on, do not fear. It’s better to start now, than to look back 30 years from now, realizing you let all your passions die.
So…join me in re-discovering our passions and unwrapping the beautiful gift God has given us. #GettingMyLife #PurposeGoneWild (Hashtag! I want to see your success & progress.)
Dawn walking in the “Dress4Yellow” fashion show, which celebrates cancer survivors.
Bad hair days. Ugh! We’ve all had them, right? You spend 45 minutes drying and curling your other-wise stick straight hair and single-handedly deplete a portion of the ozone layer with hairspray to keep your ‘do in place. Then, you walk outside only to be greeted by Mother Nature who whips up the wind and challenges the humidity to reach an all-time high, and you can almost hear her sarcastic laugh crackling in the wind as you feel your curls succumb to the elements.
Yep, it stinks.
But, everything is relative.
What if your bad hair day began when you took wig tape and stretched it across the perimeter of your bald head while you prayed the tape would be strong enough to withstand Mother Nature? Losing your curls to the humidity is one thing. Losing your wig to the wind is…well, a nightmare.
And, the bad hair day continues as you try to recreate the eye brows you once complained about having to wax so often. The cu-de-gyres, of course, is gluing false lashes to your eye lid without the guidance of a single eye lash. You get so frustrated, you consider giving up until the thought of continuing to look like an alien surpasses your urge to quit.
I wish I could tell you I’m describing a scene from a bad movie, but the truth is I was the star of this real-life nightmare. I was 46 years-old, married to my soul mate and husband of nearly 25 years. Together, we were raising our12-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son, and I was enjoying a successful career as a fashion stylist. Then, one day I woke up with a lump on my sternum. It, literally, grew overnight. I had been to several doctors prior to that day because I was having difficulty breathing and received a series of inconclusive diagnoses. But, this time, I knew something was wrong, really wrong.
Dawn & her family shortly after diagnoses.
The next day I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and had about a quart of fluid drained from my lungs – fluid that wasn’t draining through my lymphatic system because it was no longer capable of doing its job. Instead, the cancer-filled lymph nodes formed a 9-centimeter mass between my lungs, and the lump on my sternum was the outward manifestation of that mass. Within a week, I underwent a biopsy of the mass, a biopsy of my bone marrow, a PET scan, and had a port placed underneath my skin through which I began my chemotherapy treatment. I was given a 70% chance of making a full recovery.
Eventually, I had a 100 hours of chemotherapy treatment. It rid my body of cancer and, simultaneously, it rid me of my femininty and my dignity.
As a fashion stylist, I’ve often said, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.” So, what does a 9-centimeter mass of cancer-filed lymph nodes positioned between your lungs look like? I don’t think anyone wants to know the answer to that question.
Yet, despite everything I’ve just written, the most ironic thing happened to me during the first few months of my treatment. Although I was on a sabbatical, I decided to attend a book-signing party given in honor of one of my clients. A woman, not just any woman, a 6-foot-tall, redheaded fashion icon, said to me, “You look radiant.”
With supportive husband, Jon.
I was speechless. I just stared at her until her very polite and intuitive husband broke the awkward silence between us and commented on..well, truth be told…I don’t know what he said, but his voice was exactly what I needed to hear in order to find my own voice.
Radiant. Now that was an interesting choice of words, I thought to myself. You see, she didn’t know about my diagnosis, she didn’t know I was wearing a wig, she didn’t know how it took every ounce of strength I could muster, mentally and physically, to be standing in front of her at that very moment.
Then, of course, I told her. Our conversation from that point forward is one I will always treasure for many, many reasons. But, perhaps, the most important reason is that I came to realize the deeper meaning behind the advice I had been dishing out all these years.
With beautiful daughter, Erica – rockin’ her wig.
Despite the fact that I was a cancer-filled mess, standing a death’s door, and fighting for my life, I was spiritually stronger than ever before. I felt the presence of God in a way that I’ve never really been able to capture in words. I felt like I had been chosen – like so many of the biblical figures I’d grown to admire – I’d been chosen to glorify God. He knew that I would credit Him for healing me; I would lead others to Him through my unshakable faith; and I would be a living example of His power and grace.
A toast to good life at the “Eternally Grateful” party Dawn & her family threw for everyone who helped them on this journey.
Dawn speaking at the 2013 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon – sharing her journey and encouraging others to give to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
So, I was radiant after all. Radiant from the glow of the Holy Spirit shining so brightly that even my wig, my penciled-in eyebrows and my false eye lashes couldn’t overshadow its glow, and shedding a new perspective on the adage, “The way you look on the outside is a reflection of who you are on the inside.”
Dawn with her family, including her mom, at the 2014 St. Valentine’s Day Fashion Show & Luncheon when she received the “Heart of Gold” award.