Allowing Others to Grow and Evolve

Every one of us is experiencing personal growth and evolution in some form right now. Just take a look at social media. You will see posts from people expressing how they are loving and taking care of themselves, what they will and will no longer accept in their lives, how they are healing from childhood wounds, and so on. People are setting boundaries for themselves that they are not allowing others to violate. They are honoring themselves and giving themselves grace as they navigate the waters of personal growth. We are all shedding our old selves and transforming into the beings we were created to be. We are not who we used to be.


As we all continue to grow and evolve, it is essential to remember that others are growing and evolving as well. Not only are we not the person we used to be, but other people are not who they used to be either. This includes people you may have had differences with, people who may have hurt you in some way, or people you just didn’t get along with. Often, the version of a person that we remember most and hold onto is the one that we associate with the emotion that stems from a personal experience or something we heard or read about them. This version may no longer exist.


As you continue to grow and evolve, release yourself from previous versions of yourself that no longer exist. But as you do, also release others from the version of them that you remember or knew them to be. Give people the space to grow and evolve and allow them to be the newest version of themselves. Holding on to an old version of a person and judging them in the present based on who they were in the past does not serve us, nor does it serve the greater good.
Let’s remember that we are all growing and evolving into who we were created to be. Holding ourselves and others in the energy of the past inhibits our growth. It’s time for all of us to become who we were created to be and give others the space to do the same.

In luv and dessert,

~Leisa Monique

Monday Mantra-I AM

As you begin your week, there may or may not be challenges that present themselves. I hope that you will remember that challenges are really opportunities, opportunities for your expansion, growth, and evolution.

I hope that as you move through your week, you will operate in and remember that your I AM’ness is greater than any challenge. May you embrace your I AM’ness and move through your week with ease.

In Luv and Dessert,

~Leisa Monique

4 Questions to ask yourself before making your New Year’s Resolutions

I’m sure you have seen them already. Friends’ social media posts about New Year’s resolutions and how 2021 is going to be their best year ever. You probably are thinking about your own resolutions and what you want the new year to look like for you.

If you’re like many of us you have made resolutions in the past that have not been fulfilled. After all, it is believed that 80% of people fail to achieve their new year’s resolutions. There are many articles about why we fail to fulfill new year’s resolutions and I myself have written about this in the past. So, if you want to be a part of the 20% of people who actually fulfill their new year’s resolutions, here are four questions to ask yourself before you make your resolutions for the new year. Being honest with yourself and really thinking about these questions just might get you on the path to fulfilling your resolutions so that you can truly have the best year of your life.

  1. Why have my resolutions failed in the past?

Being honest with yourself and digging deep to find out why previous resolutions went unfilled is one of the best ways to ensure you fulfill future resolutions. There are many reasons we fail to fulfill resolutions and sometimes it’s because we didn’t change the behavior or our thinking. Fulfilling resolutions requires making changes within ourselves. If we take the same thinking and behavior into the new year, we can be sure that whatever we resolve to do will turn out the same way as in the past.

2.  How did I decide on the resolutions I made?

There are many reasons why we make the resolutions that we make. Asking ourselves how we decided to make those resolutions and understanding their source can go a long way in helping us fulfill future resolutions. Ask yourself did you have a healthy sense of self-worth when you made previous resolutions or were you operating from a place of low self-worth? Were your resolutions rooted in fear? For example, if you have experienced financial challenges and you feared not having enough money in the future and you made a resolution to save more money, if you have not dealt with the thinking and behaviors that caused you not to save in the past (maybe you’re an emotional spender or you haven’t set a budget) you are bound to repeat the behaviors that prevented you from saving in the first place and your resolution to save more money will go unfulfilled

3. What did I change about myself to help me fulfill my resolutions?

2020 presented us with many opportunities for personal growth and development and to make changes within ourselves. 2020 challenged us to think about how we treat ourselves and the people around us. It presented us with opportunities to evaluate how we live our lives,

4. What process can I put in place to support myself and keep me on track to fulfill my resolution(s)? 

Having a process or “system” in place to support yourself and help you work through challenges is one of the best ways to ensure your resolutions get fulfilled. I write about it here. Having such a process in place not only helps you work through issues and builds you up, but it can also help you stay motivated and on track to fulfill your goals. Whether it’s a Spiritual practice that consists of meditation, crystals, prayer or it’s something else like daily desserts and positive self-talk, having a practice in place that you rely on when you are feeling doubt and/or fear that threatens to derail your resolutions can help get you back on track.

There you have it. Four questions to ask yourself before you make your new year’s resolutions. Asking these questions of yourself and answering them honestly may be just what you need to make resolutions that you will be able to fulfill. Whatever resolution(s) you decide to make, remember to give yourself some grace and some space and understand that life is going to happen as it always does. Know that this doesn’t have to throw you off track to achieving all that you resolve to achieve. So go ahead, make your resolutions, and look forward to having one of the best years of your life.

In luv and dessert,

Leisa Monique

Self-Worth In The Age of Sexual Assault

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Many of you who have followed my work know that I have been an advocate for women and girls my entire career. It’s why I write this blog. What you may not know is my work in domestic violence and sexual assault prevention. It is something I have done for many years in addition to my political career. I serve on boards and commissions whose work it is to not only bring awareness to the issue of DV and Sexual assault, but to advocate for policy and programs to serve victims.

Four years ago, R & B singer R. Kelly was due to appear in concert here in Las Vegas. You all may now be familiar with the years old accusations against him which include sexual assault of underage girls thanks to the documentary Surviving R. Kelly produced by Dream Hampton which recently aired on Lifetime network. Though the world was shocked to learn of his treatment of women and girls, some of us have been familiar with these accusations for many years.

In an effort to shut down the concert, I launched a coalition of concerned women who worked diligently to bring awareness to the singers alleged atrocities committed against women and girls and to shut down the concert. Though we were not successful in stopping the concert we were successful in getting media coverage and bringing attention to his alleged crimes. I’m proud of the work that the coalition did to stop the concert and I’m proud of the work we continue to do on behalf of women and girls.

Considering the documentary Surviving R. Kelly and the work I helped spearhead to stop his concert four years ago, I received calls from people asking what I had to say about the documentary and was I pleased that it aired. Rather than speaking on the documentary I have chosen to direct my energy to what is most important to me and that is doing the work to ensure that young women and girls (and boys too) understand their value and worth. I want to make sure that we are providing spaces and tools for young people to develop a healthy sense of self-worth and value. If you have ever experienced domestic violence or sexual assault you may feel like a part of you has been stripped away. You may feel like you have no value. I want to tell you that though you may have been victimized you don’t have to take on a victim mentality. Your experience does not have to become your story or your identity. Your experience of assault is not who you are. It is part of your experience, but it is not the totality of you. Your power is internal and comes from your Divinity. It can never be stripped from you nor can it be diminished.

If you need to, please get professional help to guide you through your healing process. Get whatever support you need to get healthy. But whatever you do, always know that no matter what your experiences are in life, they don’t define who you are.

In luv and dessert,

Leisa Monique

Same S@#& Different Year?

Depending on your perspective (and what I’ve seen on social media) 2016 was a challenging year for many folks. From the deaths of loved ones to career changes to the elections, many people were just ready for 2016 to be over. Personally, 2016 was a glorious year for me. I too experienced the deaths of loved ones including my youngest brother Rocky but for me, 2016 was one of the best years I have experienced for many reasons.

What made the year so glorious for me is my perspective on life. For one, I refrain from labeling anything “good” or “bad”, “right” or “wrong”, “better” or “best.” For me, these labels introduce judgment, judgment of our circumstances of life and judgment of the space that we are currently in. If you have followed my writing for any length of time you know that my perspective on life is that we are always right where we are supposed to be and that whatever is happening in our lives at any moment is exactly what is needed for our growth and our evolution into the person that we were created to be.

We tend to look at the events of our lives and try to categorize them or explain them instead of just allowing them to be and looking for opportunity in them. We compare our lives to the lives of others and how we think our lives should look instead of how they actually do look. This is the point where judgment and emotion comes in. We ask the question “Why me?” and “What did I do to deserve this?” We take things personally.

Whether you consider 2016 to have been a challenging year for you or whether you consider it to have been a great year, understand that 2017 will bring many of the same experiences with it because that’s how life works. People are going to die, careers will change, relationships will begin or end, and pain may be experienced, but so will joy.  It will be up to you to decide how you view these experiences. Will you view them through a lens of challenge, or will you view them as an opportunity to grow into your best self? Perspective is everything and it will determine whether your 2017 is much like your 2016 or if it will truly be the best year of your life.

We are imbued with the power to create the life that we want. What’s important to understand is that in this process of creating, any beliefs, fears, practices, or patterns that we hold onto that will hinder with our creation will be challenged. For example, if your desire for the new year is to save money, then whatever belief or practice that you have had in the past that has prevented you from saving money is going to come up in order for you to work through it to get to the place where you can save money. If you desire a romantic relationship but have experienced nothing but heartbreak in the past, then whatever beliefs or relationship habits that you have that have contributed to your heartbreak are going to come up so that you can work through them. Understand that it is for your good and comes up to help you get to the place where you can attract a partner that you can be happy with and sustain a relationship with. It is not here to hurt you.

When these things come up embrace them and know that you are right where you are supposed to be and that what is here for you in any particular moment is just what you need in order to get to the place you want to be.

2017 CAN be the best year of your life but it will be up to you to take the necessary steps to make it so. Making plans, setting goals, creating vision boards, journaling, and the like are all great ways to help create what you want for the new year, but they are only a part of  the plan. Understand that you will experience emotions, doubts, fears and many of the same things that you did in 2016. Also understand that it’s OK. Putting a system in place to help you through these times is one of the best things you can do to help make 2017 your best year.

I recommend a solid spiritual practice as part of the system you create for yourself to help you make this your best year. Whether that system includes meditation, prayer, writing, music, dancing, working out, baths, making luv, or sitting still (Daily Desserts is what I call them), work to put something in place to help you manage the challenges of the upcoming year because they will come! Remember our motto here at EMDF: “Live and enjoy life FIRST because the problems of life will always be there!”

Whatever you decide to put in place make sure it includes starting your day off with a Daily Desserts to help you get in a positive mindset to get you through the day. This is part of my personal practice and I can assure you it helps tremendously when life happens! Just remember that everyday is what you make it so while working to make this your best year ever, make ever day of this year your best day!

In luv and dessert,

Leisa Monique

Magnificent Monday-Recalibrate Your Life

Already this morning I’ve seen the “Manic Monday” and other posts about how horrible Monday is for some. This always baffles me because I look at Monday as the beginning and a perfect opportunity to decide what kind of week you are going to have. I look at is as a perfect time to calibrate your week.

I know it’s the first day after the weekend but that is the perfect time to move past your previous week and start over on your goals and desires. Maybe you didn’t get done all that you wanted to get done in the previous week; Monday is a perfect day to decide to finish it. Maybe you experienced some challenges in the previous week or over the weekend; Monday is a perfect day to move past those challenges. It’s a perfect day to decide that you are going to have a productive week. It’s a perfect day to decide that you are not going to have the same kind of day or week that those around are you are having. It’s a perfect day to decide that YOU are going to live the life that you want to live.

 If you have traditionally dreaded Monday and looked at it as the worst day of your life, I implore you to recalibrate and change your outlook on Monday. It’s the beginning, a clean slate and you and only you get to decide how your week is going to go. Regardless of how those around you are behaving, choose to be happy today. Choose to be in peace today. Choose to be an example of what Monday can really be.

In luv and dessert,

Leisa Monique

Photo source: weightwatchers.com

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Treasure

Yesterday was one of the most challenging days of my life. After an accident that sent a pedestrian to the hospital I began to question a lot. I felt absolutely awful about what happened and kept wondering why did it happen in the first place. I have learned that life gives us experiences that we need in any given moment for our growth and evolution but I gotta tell you, this one sent my mind wondering and even feeling a little down.

In my meditation this morning I was reminded of who I AM: Luv. I was reminded of all of the times that I have demonstrated luv including at the scene of the accident yesterday which turned out to be a tremendous blessing mostly because of the people that I met. During my meditation, this tune erupted in my Spirit and once again, I was reminded of who I AM: a Treasure of the Divine.

 I want to remind you that no matter what happens in our daily lives we are luv’d. Don’t allow the events of daily life to cause you to question who you are at your core. We all are presented with challenges and sometimes make decision that causes us to wonder “what the hell was I thinking,” but none of that changes who we are at our core.

We are human and in our humanness we don’t always do things the way we think we should. But just be reminded that inherent in every challenge or problem lies the solution or the answer. Look there. For surely you will find your treasure.

LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD-BY JONATHAN MEAD

I loved this piece from Jonathan Mead, author of Illuminated Mind, so much that I wanted to share it with you!  Enjoy!

Right now, you have a choice. You can live life partially closed or wide open.
You can spend each day feeling completely spent, knowing that you gave everything. Or you can hesitate, hold back, and obstruct what you have to give.
The first path is where you let your heart guide you, immersed in a deep curiosity and with a sense of exploration. You smile at what you have yet to do because you know that each step will be joyful and deliberate.
The second path is filled with second-guessing, what-ifs, and seeking approval from maps and nods of others. You cringe with each step; you feel tense and unsure.
One way leads you to feeling thoroughly used up, knowing that you gave everything and held nothing back. Like at the end of a good run, you’re tired, yet energized.
The other way leaves you with a feeling of fragmentation; a sense that part of you has been closed off and bottled up. You feel twisted and jammed, as if some part of you is being pinched off.
They have a saying in sports to “leave it all on the field.” It means: Hold nothing back, put it all on the line. Don’t end the game feeling like you could have given more. Don’t leave feeling like you played it safe when you had the opportunity for something greater.
If you give everything, there will be no questions about what you could or might have done.
I definitely relate to this when I’m running the San Gabriel trails in my backyard. Most of the time I don’t run all the way up the steep climb to the top (an elevation gain and drop of about 4,000 feet over 7 miles), but when I stop to walk I hear a call somewhere in me asking if I have anything left to give. I ask: Jonathan, is there anything left in there? And even though my lungs are on fire and calves are burning I always find that the answer is Yes, there’s something more to give.
It’s easier when I’m on the trail. I’m only thinking about the next few steps in front of me; the next bush, the next turn… just a few more feet. In life I find it to be a bit more tricky. The path isn’t always as clear. Goals change as you move toward them; life can be messy and unpredictable.
But I find the goal to be the same. Give everything, hold nothing back. Unrelentingly feed love into everything that you do, in every interaction, every step. Even the smallest things can be done with great love.
Of course there will be days where you stumble. Sometimes you will make things out to be bigger than you are and forget what matters. Something on the path will distract you and deter you from the direction you want to go. But then you will remember to retrace your steps and take notice.
And when you reflect you’ll remember: give everything, hold nothing back. End each day thoroughly spent.
That’s the way I want to end each day. How about you?

Day 5-JUST FOR TODAY…

What if, just for today, you let go of the need to know everything happening in your life?!

What if, just for today, you released your idea of how things should be and accepted things just as they are, as they unfold right before your eyes?!

What if you didn’t try to solve every “problem” that came up today but allowed the solution to emerge from the problem since with every problem comes a solution?!

What if, just for today, you decided to step into the realm of the unknown and trust that everything has already been worked out… for your good?!

What if, just for today, you decided to let go of the stress and worry created by attempting to control the flow of life and allowed life to flow…effortlessly?!

What if, just for today, you believed that there is a Divine power orchestrating the dance of the Universe and that it wants to dance with YOU?!

What if, just for today, you allowed yourself to experience all the wonder and all the splendor and all the mystery and all of the magic of life that is occurring around us at every moment?!  What if…what if…what if…JUST FOR TODAY!

In luv and dessert,

Leisa Monique

RIGHT WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!

As I sit here and watch the sun rising I realize that at this moment, there is no place that I’d rather be! There is nothing that I’d rather be doing but sitting here in the stillness of the early morning marveling at the purplish, blue sky that is reminding me of the intelligence of the universe and that everything is as it should be because the Divine is as it should be. There is no place I’d rather be!

I haven’t always felt this way! There have been some days when I got off center and looked around me and saw my life and started to think that I should be much “farther along”‘ than where I am. A few days ago I was talking with the luv of my life and listening to him as he shared some of the disappointments that he has with himself. He expressed disappointment with some of the choices that he has made in his life and how he feels that these choices are responsible for his not being farther along in his life.

As I quietly listened to him express his thoughts my heart began to ache for him and for the countless numbers of people in the world who for whatever reason feel like they should be somewhere else in their lives; who feel like they should be doing something different than what they are doing.

I remembered feeling that way. I remembered the guilt and the sadness and even the embarrassment that came along with it. But what I remember the most about that place is coming to the realization that the choices and the decisions that I had made in my life up to that point were precisely the reason that I was who I was at that moment! I remember talking with God and expressing my own disappointment with some of the choices I had made and Him gently showing me that through all of those experiences that came along with those choices, I had become a better person! I had experienced growth from the pain of those decisions! I had evolved because of those decisions! I had learned from those experiences! Those “bad” decisions and choices had played a major part in shaping my character!!

Through the pain and suffering that came with some of the choices that I have made in my life, I have become more compassionate, more loving, more understanding and more tolerant of people and where they are in their lives. I have become a person of great character and I attribute it to the experiences of my life that those choices and decisions brought with them.

Perhaps you are looking at your life and thinking that you should be in a different job, have more money in your bank account, own your own home by now or are regretting a relationship that you had and if only you had not made THAT decision you would be much farther along in your life right now. But I’m here to tell you that YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!!

God doesn’t make mistakes! And if we begin to look at our life and at the “mistakes” that we have made along the way we will see that we have actually learned from them. How many times have you done something that has not turned out to be that great and you realized that it is something that you will never do again?! You learned from that “mistake” and therefore can’t call it a “mistake” at all! Its a life lesson! Even if you have found yourself doing the “same thing” over again there is still growth to be made from it.

Let me use the anology of lifting weights to drive my point home. Whether you are beginning a weight lifting routine or are experienced in the area, stay with me now, and are moving up to “heavier weight” there will be pain that comes with that heavy weight. Lifting weight actually tears your muscle fiber and anyone who has ever had any experience with working out for the first time or moving up to heavier weight than they are used to can tell you that major soreness sets in a couple of days later. The pain sometimes causes you to rethink and even regret the decision to exercise at all or to “go heavier.”

But it is in THIS pain that your muscles actually “grow”. It is the tearing of the muscle fibers that the weight causes that also causes the growth! How you ask? When your muscle fibers are torn your body begins the process of healing itself. Your body draws on the protein stores that is has to rebuild the muscle that has been torn from lifting the heavy weight. The result of the “healing” is that your muscles grow bigger because protein is being added to repair the torn muscle. That is why body builders are willing to go through the temporary pain they will experience from the heavier weight for they know that the growth they are going to have far outweighs the pain they feel in the ensuing moments.They know that the potential to be bigger and in their eyes, better, is there and they are willing to go through it to be bigger and better.

What does that have to do with you and where you are in your life? The “bad” decisions that you have made in your life, and will continue to make if you are human, are your weight! It will be these decisions that often bring pain and suffering with them that will also cause you to grow and to evolve. Does that mean you should just go around making bad decisions in order to grow? Of course not, but what it does mean is that on those occasions that you do make a decision or a choice that turns out to not be so good, understand that it will be from those decisions that you will also experience growth.

So instead of looking back on your life with regret, look back and marvel at how far you have come! look at the amazing person that you have grown to be! look at the character that has developed from those decisions! Look at the compassion that you now feel for others! Look at the wisdom that you now have! Look at the lessons that you have learned and the better choices that you will now make because of those lessons!

Hold your head up high, forgive yourself and flex the spiritual muscles that you have developed from the pain of the weight that you have lifted in your life. Know that at this moment everything in your life is as it should be and had it not been for those decisions you would not have grown into the person that stares back at you in the mirror of life. You are magnificent! You are marvelous! YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!