New Website, New Merchandise—Shop NOW!

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Hey tribe,

I’m so excited to announce that My Vision Book Journal has a new home… and some pretty cool roommates! The new website to shop the latest “I Want It All” inspired products is officially LIVE at myvisionbookjournal.comThere, you’ll find beautiful lounge wear and accessories inspired by my book, and Lessons + Wisdom Merch, including signature BCSTARKS gear, and my classic “Within Me Tee” collection with all new colors and styles for the whole family, including the little ones! Now the whole clan can be fashionably conscious!

Head on over and check it out, and while you’re at it, enjoy $20 OFF your purchase when you spend $100 or more (book not included in offer).

Love,

@BCSTARKS

Manifest Your Goals Using These 5 Steps!

Hey guys!

In case you were wondering what happened to the rest of the video above, there is more!

I wanted to take time out to share with my readers some of the wonderful things that I’ve come across along my journey. In particular, the concept of manifesting goals has been at the top of my list.

Lately, I’ve been experiencing some of the most wonderful things because I’ve been able to apply lessons that I’ve gathered over the years to make my dreams come true. With lots of practice, and much trial and error, I think I’ve gotten this whole manifestation thing down to a science. And that’s what I want to share with you.

When you follow this link and sign up, you’ll get access to the entire video where I speak in detail on how these five steps can help you manifest your goals.

CLICK HERE + SCROLL ALL THE WAY DOWN!!

Once you’ve watched the video, feel free to comment in the comment section with any questions or ideas that you’d like to share. I’d love to hear from you!

Love,

@BCSTARKS

The Perfect Stranger: Encounters that leave a lasting impression

“I had pizza and coffee with a perfect stranger today. It reminded me of my journey and why I must answer the call.”- BCSTARKS

Sometimes we get lucky enough to cross paths with just the right people at just the right time in our lives. The kind of encounters where witnessing the other’s passion and purpose somehow ignites our own. I was so fortunate to have been inspired by the perfect stranger. After back and forth dialogue over pizza about the usual run of the mill (You know, the ‘where are you from-s?’ and the ‘what do you do-s?’), we exchanged stories about spirituality and our purpose-driven quests. And as we did, we saw ourselves in one another’s story.

What I was most captivated by was this stranger’s level of passion and dedication to their love for writing. Needless to say I was reminded of my own dance with writing. I was reminded that I have unfinished business to tend to; that I have a story that has yet to be told. I was reminded that just like this stranger, I must make time for the things that fuel my spirit, even if it means turning off to the world and giving myself permission to say no to the things that distract me from my calling.

Just hours before my encounter, I had listened to a speech given by motivational speaker Les Brown on living one’s purpose. In his speech, he spoke about investing time and discipline into one’s passion and gifts so that they may be of good use to the world. He mentioned how even when one feels like they are not truly where they want to be, one can always make the most of the experience by cultivating habits of success. This shift in awareness and perception would allow one to be ready for when opportunities arise where one can share those very gifts with others. By the time an opportunity arises, one will have mastered or refined the very thing that he or she aims to become.

This is where I can be found in my journey. And in a space that doesn’t fit the bill, I choose to spend my time cultivating the traits and skills that play into my life’s purpose. As a result, I can feel several opportunities on the horizon. And you better believe that I will indeed be ready for them.

Dear stranger, yet kindred spirit… your passion is infectious!

 

Love,

@BCSTARKS

When life calls you to be more, will you answer?

When I started this blog in 2011, I had no real expectations other than it serving as a source of inspiration for those who needed it. Little did I know, I’d be inspiring myself along the way. Although I don’t post as often as I did when I first started this site, the mere thought of abandoning it would sadden my soul… I know, you’re probably thinking,”Is it really that deep?” The truth of the matter is, it is THAT DEEP, and more.

What I know about life is that we all have gifts and talents. And at different phases of life, we are called to use those gifts and talents in ways that will enrich the lives of others and ultimately make us feel more fulfilled. It goes without saying that my gift and passion lies in counseling and inspiring people. These are the very gifts that I take with me everywhere I go, not matter where I go. In every job I’ve ever had, and every friendship I’ve ever invested in, I have always made it a point to bring more of what my spirit calls me to be to every situation. My goal at this phase of life however, is to become MORE of who I AM.

More recently, I have struggled with being at a job that I have zero desire to stay in. In fact, many mornings I feel anxiety at the mere thought of going to work. It’s not because I don’t like working. I happen to have an amazing work ethic, but I wouldn’t hesitate at the option of being a housewife for a few years. Just kidding (NOT! lol)… 😉 It’s just that nothing about my current job makes me light up inside. That thing that I do so well (inspire and counsel), doesn’t stand a chance to survive nor thrive so long as I remain in my current position. My spirit is calling for my return to those things that feed it. And so here we are.

As I write this post, I am filled with gratitude for this job. Yes, I am grateful for it because it is forcing me to be more of myself. How, you ask? Well, because the more I realize how much this line of work is not for me, the clearer I get about what IS. The more I realize what I’m not great at, the clearer I become about what I do so very well.

Oftentimes it is our greatest failures that push us towards our greatest accomplishments. In this moment, I choose to answer the call of my soul to do more of what feeds it. I choose to honor my soul by not allowing what I do not want to overshadow my deepest desires. I choose to allow the light of my soul to shine brighter by being more of who and what I AM without apology, guilt, nor fear. I am answering life’s call to be more of ME, and it is my hope and prayer that you will be inspired to be more of YOU.

When life whispers, speaks, screams and shouts, will you answer?

@BCSTARKS

Manifesting Dreams (Thoughts Become Things)

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The most valuable skill or talent that you could ever develop is that of directing your thoughts toward what you want. –Abraham and Esther Hicks

Today is a day that I will demonstrate what it means to manifest dreams at its core. With a few major moves in the works in my personal life, as well as my career, I am believing in my visions of greatness for myself, and I’m owning the idea that I deserve every bit of it.

As of late, I’ve been on a roll with making my dreams come true. I’m starting to adopt the idea that I am a “MANIFESTATION MASTER”. What I mean by this is that I have long ago discovered my own formula for allowing my dreams to come true. And more recently, I have begun to master this formula, and I’ve pretty much gotten it down to a science. What I’ve discovered along the way is that my personal formula is something that can work for anyone else, aside from a little tweaking to remedy one’s own obstacles to success. Once you discover what it is that keeps you from pursuing your dreams, then you can come up with solutions that could ultimately counteract those thoughts and set you on the path to living your dreams.

A good example of this from my own experience has been my fear of not having enough money. This has been a long held fear as I grew up in a single parent home, where although my family was always well kept and provided for, my mother would often have the hardest time keeping a steady flow of income coming in as an entrepreneur. When I was a child, I was always intensely aware of what was going on emotionally within the people around me. I guess its where I developed a strong sense of empathy for others as I was always able to put myself in their shoes since I could always somehow tap into their energy space. The feeling was even more intense when it came to those I love. As I watched my mother worry about how things would get done and how bills would get paid, I developed that same sense of fear within myself that there just wasn’t enough money to feel safe to do anything outside of surviving. It wasn’t until I was introduced to the concept of the “Law of Attraction” as a teenager that I began to realize how infectious and paralyzing this “lackful” mindset was, and how it had subconsciously kept me from being my best self.

But with any belief system, its not something that just changes overnight. Beliefs are just practiced thoughts that become true for a person over time with enough repetition. I realized that in order to live the life I dreamed of living, I would have to rid myself of those crippling thoughts of “not enough.” I began to address these thoughts by introducing new ones through affirmations, such as, “All of my needs are met,” “I am safe where ever I go,” and “The solutions to my problems always show up on time.” With each new thought introduced, I would find ways to support those thoughts with action whose results would help solidify them as true in my experience. The more I practiced this new way of thinking and supported action, the more confident I became that life was much less scary then I once envisioned it to be. And with this exact concept, you can do the same… WITH ANY CRIPPLING THOUGHT!

It’s still an ongoing process. However, after years of practice, I’ve managed to find myself in a space where I’m able to catch those kinds of thoughts in their infancy stage and completely discredit every aspect of it before I allow it to affect my decision making… Pretty cool huh?! I know, but you can do it too!

I find that through this process, I am able to walk the Earth with confidence and declare that all that I desire can and will be mine with enough courage, work, will, faith, and fight.

And this my friends is how I manage to get out of my own way and manifest my dreams. There are a few more aspects that I can address later, but I hope something here resonates with you. If so, drop me a line below or shoot me an email at bcstarkspr@gmail.com.

Love,

@BCSTARKS

P.S.- K. M., see you soon! 😉 #ItsMine

How to Float Through Life’s Peaks and Valleys

Photo courtesy of bringchange.in

It’s funny how life goes through its peaks and valleys. It’s funny how when we’re in the valley or that dark place, it feels like we’re dying a slow death. And when the peaks are peeking or we are experiencing happiness, we feel like we are unstoppable, unconquerable, and outright powerful! And in those moments, we ARE.

Lately, I’ve been on a cloud of unconcealed bliss. My feelings about my life and this journey that I’m on have brought me to this place of peace within. I’ve gotten to this place where I don’t feel the need to worry, even when things outside of me aren’t looking too promising. I no longer look outside of myself for validation of WHO I AM or WHAT my WORTH is. I no longer entertain those who fail to SEE me as I see myself, to respect my evolution and embrace the whole of me. This space that I am in has been carved out for me by God to take place at this point of my life because it was always God and the Universes intention to use my story as a means of reflecting HIS light.

I now trust that every valley that I ever found myself in was there to teach me how strong and resilient I really am. They were there to show me that regardless of the obstacle, LIFE. GOES. ON. And instead of folding, I learned to bend and flex, and sometimes morph into whatever the moment calls for. I was only able to do this when I truly relied on a SOURCE bigger than me.

Being raised in a Christian Baptist faith, I learned the importance of the Bible verse that says something like, “Lean not on your own understanding, but trust in the lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). Well lets just say that I have acknowledge that I don’t walk alone in this world, even when I am alone. I feel very watched over, and protected, and safe, and secure, and befriended, and loved, and appreciated, and forgiven, and trusted, and… Well, I could go on and on, but you get the point. I feel all of these things even when I am alone because I now KNOW that God is in me, and acts through me even unbeknownst to me. And if I know what I know about God, then I KNOW that he is the creator of all things, and can do all things.

With this knowledge, I know that if HE is in me, then it is also true that I too am a creator, and a conqueror, and that with sheer WILL POWER, I can overcome any obstacle placed before me, and still find PEACE in my heart. I thank GOD for this level of understanding! And you should too! Because we all are being walked with throughout our journeys. We are NEVER truly alone. However, It is only when we consciously decide to “lean not” on our own visual understanding of what we see and experience in life, and instead, step outside of our stories and understand the bigger picture of what GOD is doing with our spirits, that we can experience this most profound sense of PEACE and POWER. It is then that you can let go of the blame, and anger, and frustration, and take control of your emotions, and ultimately your LIFE!

I believe that I AM a Teacher of some of life’s most humbling, yet graceful lessons because of the peaks and valleys that I’ve faced along this journey. But I am ever so thankful for them, and I wouldn’t take any one of them away if I had the chance, because they made me who I am today. And like fine wine, I just keep getting better with time! And if you pay attention, so do YOU! 😉

Peace & Love,

@BCSTARKS

When Asked If I Am Truly Happy, Here’s What I Had To Say…

happiness_quote1I had someone ask me the other day if I am truly HAPPY. Their question was in reference to a picture that I posted of myself on Instagram. I took a selfie of me wearing a new sweater from one of my favorite positive apparel brands Peace Love World. And on that sweater were the words “I AM HAPPY” in big bold white and yellow letters. For a moment I had to pause when I was asked the question, not because it struck a nerve that someone would question my personal satisfaction with life, but because I had to take all of my life as a whole into consideration. My conclusion and response to them was this:

Yes, I AM HAPPY… In fact, I’m probably the happiest that I’ve ever been in my entire life despite what circumstances may appear to be. I’m happy because I now know the truth about life. Happiness to me doesn’t mean that I won’t sometimes think negative thoughts, or feel sad, or cry because things just aren’t going right. Instead happiness means that in the midst of those things, I have the full power to choose how I will respond to every situation, and how I will allow those things to affect me emotionally. I know for sure that no matter what happens to me, no matter how bad or good it may be, I have the power to control my thoughts about everything and ultimately change my experience from negative to positive. I have full control over how I allow things to affect me based on what I choose to give my attention to. I can choose to make things that displease me the focus of my world, or I can refocus my attention on what I love about my life, and how much I’m growing and improving every single day. Both are choices dealing with my thoughts, but one bears fruit of emotional chaos, while the other bears fruit of peace and serenity. It makes me happiest to know that life is not happening to me, but that I am an active participant in my every interaction and experience. It makes me happiest to know that GOD trusts me with this personal power to get back on right track whenever I am distracted and veer off course. I have choices, WE ALL DO! And even when I don’t make the best ones, I can easily redirect my path by making a better one, moment by moment. So yes, I AM HAPPY!

And just as if my answer was somehow part of what resonated with their inner being, they nodded in satisfaction for they too had accepted my truth as their own… Are you truly happy? I’d like to know your take on what it means to be happy. Drop me a line… (that means comment below) 🙂

Namaste,

@BCSTARKS

 

The 3 Gems of LIFE: Self-Esteem, Self-Value, & Self-Worth

There’s this reoccurring lesson that keeps presenting itself to me in various forms of my day to day interactions with others. And for a while I didn’t recognize just what it was truly about. In fact, in many of those instances, I thought that somehow life was playing a cruel trick on me. Yes, even I played the victim role. But it hasn’t been until recently that I had to take several steps back and connect the dots in every single one of those scenarios. From interactions with family, boyfriends, co-workers, potential business partners, employers, on down the list… I had been experiencing what felt like a tug-o-war over how I wanted them to see me vs. how I felt I was being treated. And let me tell you, as foolish as this feels for me to admit, I understand that its all a part of growing up. We all have experienced or will experience such a feeling of being under appreciated, or undervalued, especially when we truly know who we are inside.

The trick to something like this is that it’s never really about the people that you are interacting with. In fact, they aren’t even half of the equation of this battle that you’re facing. From what I had to learn, and I’m still absorbing nuggets of wisdom from, is that:

We teach others how to treat us, by the way we treat ourselves

We show people how to interact with us, by the way we interact with ourselves

We inform the world of how much we are worth, by the way we value ourselves

The world looks at us the very same way that we look at ourselves

When we see and feel ugliness and pain within, the world will reflect that same ugliness and pain to us through our interactions

When we see beauty, love, and kindness within, the world will reflect that same beauty, love, and kindness through others

When we show forgiveness for ourselves for our own shortcomings and flaws, it is easier to forgive others, and it unknowingly makes it easier for them to forgive us

When we stand up for ourselves and become our own biggest champion, others will rise to meet us, defend us, and cheer us on

When we feel amazing, unstoppable, and fearless on the inside, life will give us more evidence of just how amazing, unstoppable and unconquerable we really are

When we understand that we and GOD/SOURCE/UNIVERSE are ONE, we understand that we too possess unlimited power and NOTHING or NO ONE outside of us has control over our lives

YOU ARE IN CONTROL of YOU and ONLY YOU!

These nuggets of wisdom come in handy as I continue to sort through what I feel is best for me within my interactions, and in order for me to live my best life. This includes how I wish to be treated by family, friends, significant others, and so on. I’m understanding my role in all of these interactions and how I am hardly ever a victim in any of them. Its all about learning to love myself on the deepest levels, feeling whole and complete at all times (regardless of what I have or have not accomplished), being confident in the woman that I’ve become so far, setting boundaries for what I will and will not tolerate from others (and sticking to it…there’s no point in betraying what you really feel on the inside, otherwise you will attract experiences where others will betray you as well).

Are you starting to get the point here? If more love is what you desire, then figure out where in your life you are not loving yourself enough. Do you often criticize yourself and the way you look? Do you feel like you don’t deserve certain things, even though you really want them? Or do you feel like others won’t do certain things for you, even though you would really like them to? Do you beat up on yourself when you make mistakes or not so great decisions? If so, this is exactly what you are training others to do when they interact with you. To turn it all around, learn to be kind to yourself. Learn to do things for yourself that you would like others to do for you (remember, they are watching your movements and ultimately following your lead). Know that you deserve any and every good thing that you can imagine for your life. And perhaps the people that you are interacting with are not the one’s to give you what you really need. Instead, they are a reflection of who you are choosing to be in those moments. So when you finally wise up and learn to value yourself, perhaps those same people will either step their game up in how they treat you, or disappear altogether and make room for people that will honor this new and improved version of you.

This lesson is something kinda special. I’m not saying that its easy to do either, because one of the hardest things to do in life is to unlearn bad habits. But with effort, gentleness, and time, you can become anything that you want to be!

 

Namaste,

 

@BCSTARKS

SELF MASTERY: Control Your Thoughts/Actions, Surrender The Outcome (On Every Subject!)

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My greatest task these past several months has been the act of letting go. Its one of the hardest things to do when you’re so used to being a bit of a control freak. Okay… Let’s admit, we ALL do this with certain aspects of our lives. We all want to feel as if we have a sense of control over the things that are going on around us. And to a certain degree, we do. But what I’m coming to know, is that the greatest thing that we should aspire to have control over has nothing to do with anything outside of oneself. It has EVERYTHING to do with checking in with the thoughts and feelings that are behind every action or decision that one may make.

Most recently, I had to deal with relationship disappointment. For me, it was that feeling and supporting thoughts of being deprived or cheated of certain treatment. This is a very typical thing for humans, especially women to endure as we are given so many images and ideas from the outside world about how things are supposed to be. And its amazing how it never fails that the core of all relational conflicts comes from those very ideas about how things are “supposed to be.” And as the saying goes, our ideas about how things are supposed to be are what screws us up most. In fact, I find it funny how no matter what your thoughts and feelings are about something, negative or positive, you can almost always count on some kind of outside validation to support it. It can be in the form of a friend or family member’s advice, a billboard you may see while driving, a song on the radio, a fortune cookie… No matter what frequency you are on, it will somehow be validated and ultimately encouraged to continue… This is something to consider!   

But now consider this: What if it was revealed to mankind that every idea that we’ve ever held about life and how things are supposed to go are false? What if none of it is true, and its all just one great big illusion (almost like a movie), and we are playing the roles that we choose to play with every decision that we make? And what if, as a result of accepting this scenario as true, we are told that our only power in navigating through life is to develop discipline in the mind; that is, be mindful of the thoughts and emotions that pass through your being, and understand that everything that you say and do are the result of what you are thinking and feeling in any given moment. Now, if everything that you say and do will render an opposite or equal reaction, thus creating the events of your life, would it not be a top priority to constantly work at improving one’s thoughts and emotions before or during the decision making process?…

This task for me has been one of great difficulty, as it challenges me to dismiss many ideas that I have about relationships and love, and life in general. Its amazing how many different thoughts and ideas we have about specific subjects that are not our own. They are merely thoughts and ideas that we have learned from the world around us. When we learn to master what controls our actions, we can begin to be more deliberate about just what it is we are trying to accomplish with every given thought and feeling. From there, we can surrender and allow life to unfold profoundly in our favor, rather than against us through negative validation and real-life physical confirmation. This has been one of my greatest revelations!

 

Namaste!

 

@BCSTARKS 

 

 

Late Night Ramble… What I’ve Learned From Emotions

Its been a while since I’ve blogged… at least the way that I was used to blogging when I started this thing. The truth is, life got in the way. A lot of new things have happened since I last poured my guts out on BCSTARKS, and with lots of experiences come lots of lessons. And my readers know how passionate I am about learning from life’s lessons and sharing them.

I won’t go into detail about everything, because that’s never why I share things here. But I will share with you how I’ve felt as of late, and what I’ve learned from my emotional bouts.

Fear… But I’ve learned to do things anyway just to get past it. Although I find myself afraid at times, I’m more fearful of not taking chances with my hopes and dreams than I am of actually facing my fears.

I’ve felt disappointment. But the lesson here is that one should never expect others to fit the mold of what one wants them to be. People are who they are, and have every right to evolve at their own  pace… No one else is responsible for one’s personal happiness, nor should one give others the power to determine one’s happiness. If disappointment creeps up on you, say this affirmation: ” I forgive you for not being the way I wanted you to be. I forgive you and I lovingly set you free.” Forgiveness is always key to having a more peaceful life experience.

Anger and Frustration… are recipes for disaster. These two emotions get you nowhere, FAST! Or more like trouble that you never intended to be in. My lesson with these two have been to acknowledge when something doesn’t sit well with me. Sometimes my best approach has been to do this in writing. I find that when I write things out first I am able to release some of the  initial shock and first impressions on paper. And once I’m past those things, I am then able to better address whatever the situation is, minus the negative emotion. No sense in making a bad situation worse.

I’ve got love. When I surround myself with those who love me unconditionally, and I love myself the same and more, everything else seems a lot less significant. I’ve come to find that being surrounded by love can get one through the toughest situations. Material things, relationships, and circumstances may come and go, but genuine love endures all… It heals all too! Especially when it’s from yourself, to yourself.

Happiness. Its something that I feel often… Especially when I blog. 🙂 I’ve learned to stick with the things that make me happy as often as possible. Yes, even the little things like watching The Lion King with my 5-year-old nephew. It’s a collection of doing the little things as often as possible that equal the sum of a happy life. For me, happiness is a collection of experiencing more good moments than bad. It is possible for all, but experienced mainly by those who make a  conscious decision to be happy in spite of the unpleasant temporary moments.

Peace is what I feel nowadays. I’ve learned to find peace in the midst of chaos. I do this most quickly when I make time to quiet my mind from all the negative thoughts that stir up negative emotions. I tell myself a different story through affirmations and meditation. I give myself time to find relief, which calms me and allows me to reach a state of peace regardless of what’s going on around me. I haven’t quite mastered this yet, but I sure am getting better at it.

Emotions are a major part of the human experience, but it’s how you express them that determines what your life becomes.

Overall, my life is on the UP and UP. I have so much to be thankful for. And it only gets better. And I wish you the same.

Love,

@BCSTARKS