Depression & Holidays

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Christmas is around the corner and even though for most it is a time of shopping and celebration…for others it is time of sadness, a reminder of what they don’t have or have lost.

And I for one experiences so many emotions during this time of the year – I have lost, I have experienced sadness and loss of hope and it can be a difficult time. Through my life, I have had not so great Christmases and so when the time comes around I begin to sink into a bit of sadness – remembering the times that were not so wonderful.

But starting this year I decided that this time was going to be a time of reflection. I will allow myself to experience the emotions but only for a moment; I will give myself a moment to reflect on what is going on inside of me but I won’t stay there; I will give myself a moment to cry – to feel; I will give myself a moment to be human…Because, you know what, it’s okay.

And this is what we all need to understand and know – it’s okay to take a moment and feel and cry and get angry (but sin not) and just be human. When we truly realized that it’s okay, we will stop holding and repressing what God has given us – and that is feelings – and instead allow ourselves to be in the moment. When we give ourselves permission to BE, there…that’s where we will learn to LIVE – live each moment, live each second, live each minute, live each hour, live each day. When you repress and hold onto the negative emotions; in the end it will surface and in a way that we don’t want to express it.

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How do you live in that moment? Simply step away to a quiet space, close your eyes and breathe. Inhale all of the negative emotions and then exhale it out – allow the voice of God to comfort and console you through this moment and feel the weight of the world be lifted off your shoulders. When you exhale the negativity, you allow God to take it. See, what naturally happens is that when we are experiencing sadness or any negative emotion we don’t breathe – this is where hyperventilating takes place – we are holding and repressing all of that poison and it stops our breathing. DON’T!!

Inhale…take it in THEN Exhale…breathe it out

And continue to do this until you feel yourself calm down. And…do not breathe fast, but slow breaths, controlling them because the one thing I want you to remember is that YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

But one the most important things I do during this time of the year is give…give…give. When you allow yourself to be in the space of serving others, you will not think about what you are going through but focus on using what you have experienced to help them make it through their difficulties. You begin to look at your life differently and see that God is using you as His soldier to witness to others the love He has for them through you.

If you are going through tough times this Christmas, remember that it’s okay. Take time and allow yourself to be in the moment, breathe through it and remember that YOU ARE IN CONTROL. Talk to someone and express what you are feeling, don’t repress or hold back but be honest in yourself…give yourself a moment to feel and then give yourself permission to live.

If you know someone who is going through tough times, be a light during their time of need. Give them words of encouragement and most importantly a feeling of hope because even though weeping may endure for the night, joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

Have a blessed Christmas everyone!!!

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I Hate the Comfort Zone

Wow, that’s a strong statement…you are probably thinking! But it’s true I hate the comfort zone.

The comfort zone tells me that it safe to not be me; to be what I think others think I should be, do or say. And that is why I hate it. It keeps us in a box that we have allowed others to place us in, keeping us blocked from our blessings. It’s hard to see what’s on the outside when you are closed in – it causes anxiety, frustration, anger and one to be overwhelmed! Being inside that box keeps us stuck…we think it keeps us safe from the “what ifs”, but it actually keeps us from the “what we can become.

The Comfort Zone tells me to conform to the thoughts and ways of the world and not that of my own – of what God has placed in me. Because of that we tend to missed out on what God has for us. Being in the comfort zone causes us to be paralyzed in fear, scared that if we don’t conform we won’t be accepted. But it’s not about being accepted, but about fulfilling your purpose, your purpose of being!

Stepping out of the comfort zone is actually stepping out in YOU! It’s where you are most powerful and bold. And the enemy knows this, that’s why he uses others to hold you back from your destiny. It’s time to break…let me rephrase that – DESTROY barriers!!

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What Makes a Woman Beautiful?

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What makes a woman beautiful? She is God’s Creation…

Her vulnerability

Her love

Her strength

Her sensitivity

Her smile

Her eyes

Her lips

Her voice

Her scars

Her curves

Her laugh

Her cry

Her dedication

Her faith

Her wisdom

Her inspiration

Her humility

Her insecurities

Her hardness

Her softness

Her unselfishness

Her creativity

Her spirit

Her soul

Her body

Her pain

Her imperfections

Her perfections

Her children

Her husband

What makes a woman beautiful is simply that SHE IS BEAUTIFUL!!

Memory Lane

I just want to take a moment and take a trip down memory lane.

I want to go back in time when I first started working in retail and how I fell in love with serving women in their vulnerability.

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When I first started working in retail I was in college going to school for Early Childhood Education and was introduced to it by one of my peers. No experience but gave it a try and from that day I loved it!!

At first it was because I simply love clothing, but when I made my first HUGE sale I began to realize that it was more than picking nice outfits for customers. It became more about allowing her to be vulnerable in her insecurities with me to help her find clothing that not only fit and flatter, but helped her feel more self-confident about her body.

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Of course, working in retail you will meet many types of women who are searching for clothing for many different reasons. And even though it was fun to help women who were shopping for an outfit for a party, event, etc…but the women who touched me the most were those who came in naked (I don’t mean lack of clothing, but true to her feelings). These women shared their stories helping me understand why they feel the way they feel or think the way they think – and that vulnerability allowed me to truly know them. I was more than just a sales associate/assistant manager helping them but I was their beacon of hope. It was an experience that I would never forget. When they left the store, they were different than when they left. For me that was my way of ministering to them how beautiful they were both inside and outside.

See, what I do is more than just choosing cute outfits…what I do is help women find herself, love herself, and BE herself.

www.latonyaknox.com

Work In Your Faith

So I was just getting my daughter and myself ready for bed and, as I always do, began talking to God (my Father) and he said this to me:

Stop working for faith and start working IN faith.

Yes! I said it!

Religion tells us to work for our faith, that the only way to be blessed is to work for it. If I want to receive my healing I have to make sure I attend every service in church, be an usher, sing on the choir, read my Bible religiously, etc. etc…Because remember it is written that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-26). Yes that is true.

We can’t work for blessing or work to be loved by God. The work has already been done. The work He is referring to is moving and acting as if it has already been done. For example, if I say I am healed…then I must speak, move, and act like I am healed – that is my work. Going to church, being an usher, etc. will not heal me, my faith will and when I work in my faith I have already received my healing.

Nothing you or I do or will ever cause blessings to flow…God blesses us not because we are good or because we do good things, He blesses us because He is good. But if we are planting seeds of iniquity, death, hatred; we will reap that harvest. So that is where the stopping of blessings come in. Not because we didn’t go to church, but because we planted a death seed. Remember you reap what you sow.

God is an AWESOME God and His love for us is beyond our comprehension or understanding. So stop trying to work for your blessing and starting working in your blessing – work in your faith. The work was done on the cross 2,000+ years ago. So what are you doing?

 

New Venture

New Venture

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Hey guys!! I am excited to announce to all of you my new business venture. I have created an online clothing store of inspirational clothing.

With all the negativity and hate that is flooding the world, I wanted to bring about something to inspire others to continue to have hope and that Love still exists. I believe that in order for there to be change it must start with us.

I plan to expand Agape Love Clothing and Accessories into more than just inspirational tee shirts for women, but also shirts for youth and men, jeans, skirts, dresses, etc.

Here are some of my shirts:

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Check out my online business HERE. Spread the word, share the love!

Leap of Faith

Leap of Faith

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As I was cleaning my house (from the disaster my children left it, well actually my soon to be 18-month-old daughter) last night I began thinking and talking to myself (yeah I do that alot) or shall I say talking to God because I know He is listening. I was just thinking about the phrase ‘leap of faith’ and what it really means.

I have come to realize that leap of faith for one is not the same for another, but it doesn’t make one BIGGER than the other. The emphasis is on FAITH. The leap part is easy but it’s the believing and trusting God that can be difficult. Building up the courage and having the confidence to leap, that’s where it is. Each of our level of faith is different and the areas in our lives that we are weak in faith is different which is why each leap of faith is different.

So as I said your leap of faith will not be the same as my leap of faith. Yours may be to quit your day job and start your dream career, while mines may be to create videos to introduce my business, another person’s leap may be to introduce themselves to one person a day. Each different but big in their own way.

No one leap of faith is bigger than the other and no one leap of faith is smaller than the other. They are all significant, unique, and fit the faith-er.

SO…for anyone doubting or wondering or even scare to take that leap of faith…remember the leap isn’t the hard part, just believe and trust that what God has set before you is meant for you and YOU CAN DO IT!! His plans are great and you are not alone….TAKE THAT LEAP OF FAITH!!

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What is Fashion?

What is Fashion?

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What is fashion? Meriam-Webster defines fashion as a popular way of dressing during a particular time or among a particular group of people; the business of creating and selling clothes in new styles. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fashion)

How do I define fashion? I believe it can’t be define, but it can be described – fashion is beautiful, inspirational, fun, creative, abstract, art, expressive.  We are surrounded by fashion…nature, animals, buildings, automobiles, people, land, literally everywhere!

Fashion is more than just the material (clothing) that you put on your body. Fashion is a way for each and every individual to express themselves, be true to their uniqueness. It’s a way for you to embrace YOU. Fashion is opinionated…it’s not exacted, it’s not concrete…it is what you make it. Fashion is in your breath, your smile, your eyes, your heart and your soul. You should never be afraid of fashion.

My love for fashion is more than just how it makes others look…My love for fashion is how it makes others feel. It can easily transform a shy, timid person into a bold, confident person. But in reality it isn’t a transformation but a revelation – Revealing the true spirit of that person.

I could go on and on BUT

Beyoncé said it best:

Beyoncé accepting the CFDA Fashion Icon Award (2016).

 

FASHION IS…..

Tell me…What is Fashion to you?

 

 

Hugs and Lots of Love

Hugs and Lots of Love

I thank you to those who liked my last post…it was my real and honest feelings and sometimes I believe it’s okay to express ourselves. Life isn’t always roses and ice cream (yeah I know that makes no sense…LOL!), so why pretend it is, right? So to those who let me vent my frustrations I want to give you all HUGS AND LOTS OF LOVE 🙂

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It’s okay to be our feelings sometimes, but just don’t stay there…it’s time to pick up, dust off and keep moving. So with that being said I have restructured my business Diamond Beauty by LaTonya C Knox into an Image and Etiquette Organization for young women, and decided to create my image consulting business under LaTonya Image & Consulting.

After lots of praying, meditation, talking with God I had to make major changes and I am excited to say that I am excited to tell you all about it….BUT you will have to wait. Until then…Okay, Ladies now let’s get in formation!!!!

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Don’t Believe Me Just Watch

Don’t Believe Me Just Watch

This post is a little emotional, but I just want to get real and raw for a moment. So just sit with me and bear with me as I vent my frustrations.

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*Disclaimer: If you are here to judge or to be negative, please leave now. Thank you.

As I sit here typing I just realized that it’s easier to pour my heart out on my blog than it is to a family or friend and to me that is actually sad…it is TRUTH but yet still sad, And I don’t know if anybody else is in the same situation as me…but if so I hope you know that you are not alone.

Here I go:

Since I started my business, I have been very excited but there have been days when I have expressed my excitement and felt so alone because I lacked support from those I thought should be my backbone…but instead I got “When you start making money, that’s when I will get excited”(this is was later said to be a joke)…But I always noticed when I talk about my passion and my business plans I noticed I get NOTHING. And so I began to realize that it’s because my passion is something that some people think is not needed, therefore I cannot be successful in it – Yep Sharp blow there. And if I am going to be honest with you, that is the reason I pulled back from starting my business…I felt totally alone. I began to not believe in myself or my dreams. I became frustrated, mad, depressed.

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I have two children and I don’t want them to EVER give up on their dreams…I want them to look at their Mom and see that no matter what – KEEP BELIEVING AND KEEP MOVING IN FAITH.

Just the other day…

A revelation came to me: (Read below)

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The people who are closest to you are the ones who doubt you the most. They think they know you, they think they know what you are capable of….they hold your faults against you, they hold your mistakes against you. So be careful when telling those who are around you what your plans are, for they will laugh and scoff. (Just a little tip: if you confront them, they will deny and may say things such as ‘I support you in my own way.’ Hmmm….questionable don’t you think) They always hold what you did and describe you in those terms but never in the words of God. Now I know what it means when people say “They called me every name in the book but the child of God” That is exactly what people who know you do. But one thing we should take note on is that Saul became Paul – who he was did not determine who he became (if you don’t know this biblical story, you have to read it – it will change your life). Don’t allow the words of others to hold you back from your dreams…those dreams are not illusions, they are specifically given to each one of you because God know that you are made for something greater than what the eyes can see. Hold fast to what God has placed into your heart, no man can tear away what God has put there.

I have learned this the hard way and trust me, it hurts…but as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger! And what one says about me doesn’t define WHO I AM…God has already told me WHO I AM- a Queen, a child of the Most High…and no matter what mistakes I make I am the righteousness of God through Jesus Christ and NO MAN on earth can change THAT!!

So for all of my naysayers…You are my motivation and you, just like Judas, are pushing me into my greatest destiny!! I will go through the taunting, the doubts, the ‘throw my sins (faults and mistakes) in my face’…but in the end….I won’t say anything else…I will let Bruno Mars say it for me:

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So with that being said…To those of you who have stopped dreaming; join me as we begin to LIVE OUT LOUD OUR DREAMS!!!

Are you ready?? It will be a bumpy ride, but I am so excited to see you on the other side!!