authentic artistry

This post is really just another reflection. I've been in a reflective state as of lately which I've mentioned in my previous posts. I've been still trying to put myself in this box that I can't seem to fit it. You know, the one that identifies who I am and what I do? Labels. Labels stress me out. Being labeled stresses me out immensely. We live in a society that tells you to pick one thing and stay with it until you die. Don't ever deviate or you'll be labeled "indecisive". I wonder how other artists feel. Are they like me and don't know if they want to go by author, writer, influencer, mom, entrepreneur, millennial; are they confused?

Does that mean that I don't know what I want or like? I strongly believe that it means the exact opposite. I do know what I want and I'm okay with having it all. Sometimes we don't give ourselves permission to have what we want because we feel that it's too much. Trying to fit societies idea of a "good life" has made it hard for me to progress and flourish as an artist. It has stifled my creativity.

Not too long ago, I felt like I was in a rush to play catch up, but didn't know who or what I was catching up to. I've had to ask myself, "why are you listening to these "experts" on social media Chrys?" I felt rushed to create, so I began to create. Creating to compete. Again, why? I know myself better than anyone. I know what I'm capable of and what brings me joy. I understand that you can not rush true artistry. The focus should always be on the art itself and how you want it to be received. Not on what we hope to gain from it.

I want to create from an authentic place. My writing should flow from my heart and mind. I do not wish to write things that feel forced. I like to be called or led without barriers. Barriers restrict my artistic ability. It might not make sense to others but it doesn't have to. That's okay. Sometimes, when the exchange of currency is linked to the art, it can taint the beauty of the process and ultimately the outcome. At least for me that is. I've noticed that about myself and how I create.

I've been asked when would my next project be released, and quite honestly, I love the art too much to rush. I love my readers and myself too much to put anything out into the world that I wouldn't be proud of years later.

As I wrote this while sitting in a park, the thoughts flowed and it all made sense. Then as I sat down to type what I'd written, Lauren Ash of BGIO posted a quote on Instagram that read:

You are not the work you do, you are the person you are.
— Toni Morrison

My advice to myself and you-dear artist, is to take your time and only create from the real parts of you. As artists we are often misunderstood and underrepresented. We feel like there isn't anyone like us within close proximity and we struggle with finding our safe-place. That is when you create art. That feeling births some of the best words, pictures and sounds that this world needs-that we need. Channel your energy towards creating beauty. Know that there is a community of human beings who are waiting to embrace you-the real you. Go where you are loved. Be what and who you are, and only be that; for being anything else would be a great disservice to the world.

Girl Power is STILL relevent

It's been exactly 1 year, 2 months and 18 days since the launch of my debut title Girl Power 101. I just recently decided to dive back into the contents of my book and read it for myself. I honestly had been planning to reread it for a while, but I never made the time to. I guess you can say I felt led to do it at this moment. For a while I didn't really want to promote the book anymore. I was over it. I know you're probably thinking, how could I get bored with pushing a book with such a powerful message? Well, considering my history it's no surprise. Just like with everything else, I get bored easily. I'm the girl who sets a goal, crushes it, then it's on to the next. I can't say that is a bad thing, but in some instances, it's best to just slow down and ride the wave.

As I was reading, I was reminded of the joy I felt when I initially wrote this book. I remembered why I wrote it and who it was for. It all came back to me as I turned the pages of my most prized possessions. I remember being so proud in the moment when I first held my book in my hands. I remembered who the book was for. I recall the numerous texts, emails screenshots, testimonials, re-post's and DM's. Those aha moments that my readers had. I thought about it all and it all came back to me. And I became grateful. It was in those few short moments that I realized that this book, this message of girl power is still relevant. This movement is necessary.

In a conversation with one of my closest and most amazing friend Jasmine, who is always ready to point, aim and shoot at me whenever I need a dose of reality. She told me that, the book isn't about me. It has nothing to do with me. It doesn't matter that I had outgrown the moment. There are still thousands of girls who haven't heard my message. I needed that. Everybody should have a Jasmine in their life. We need those friends that will be honest with us, hold us accountable and push us towards our destiny.

There are so many amazing things that took place because of Girl Power 101. This little book of 150 pages was and still is able to inspire sisterhood, growth, love and has pushed so many young women to follow their dreams. How could I turn my back on something that has the power to change the way we think and promotes solidarity among woman in everyday life and entrepreneurship?

Girl Power is still relevant because there are still so many of us that are underfunded, struggling, that haven't grasped the principle that we are a powerhouse when we work together. Girl power is still relevant because so many women and girls don't know that this project even exists! There are little baby girls being born every single day, and they need to be ushered into the world knowing what true girl power really is. This message is still relevant because Donald Trump is our freaking president!

It is my duty to share this message, so I will. If I don't, then I'd be doing the world a huge disservice. If you have read Girl Power 101, share a review of the book here or on Amazon and then pass your copy along to someone else so that they can receive something from it. If you haven't had the opportunity to read the book, get yours here.

Lastly I want to thank all of my supporters from the very beginning all the way to right now in this very moment. Whether you've been with me for the past year or have just stumbled upon my journey today, I appreciate you being here and sharing this space with me. I'm always in the mood to meet new faces, so connect with me on Instagram @AllThingsChrys.

july: notes to self

This year I learned about the true value of time. I believe that is something that all of us acknowledge the older we become. When the year first began, I didn't know I'd go on an unplanned journey of which I'd explore my past, present and future self. Though this year has not gone according to the plans that I made back in 2016 when I wrote out all my goals on a small piece of paper that I'd torn from my journal, I've come to appreciate every single moment. What I want most is to be better. Better, requires growth. Growth happens through change and sometimes change hurts. I get that now.

I've grown in areas that I didn't even view as important at one point in time. With half of the year gone, I'm now in a place of evolution. This space involves constant reflection and mindfulness-a concept that I had never considered before. This new space has become a state of being for me. Though I'm not sure for how long, I wish it to be forever.

As I continue my writing and revisit my previous works, I see where I have evolved. I see where I had accepted my voice and have given the world the true me. I don't think that I had to find myself or my voice. Both my voice and I have always been present. I just needed to accept. In each stage of our lives, we shift and we change. A constant theme for me has been to be light and authentic. At the surface, that meantjust to be myself and to be positive. Digging deeper, (through exposure and experience) I see that these two things are intentions that have to be carried out by action. To be light I must do the work. (Whatever that means for me.) I have to actively aim my energy to the fulfillment of bettering myself totally. To exude positiveness, I must be able to release and flow. There lies more work-a process that I must surrender to and immerse myself into fully. I made a list of reminders; little notes I felt that I needed as I journey through the rest of this year.

Notes to self:

*Be mindful of everything you do, watch, drink, eat, say, read, allow.

*Be present in nature and become one whenever you can with it.

*Do your very best.

*Produce authentic art.

*Respect the process.

*Allow yourself to feel.

*Slow down and take your time.

*Keep your head down; focus.

*Be light, be an example, be gentle.

*Express yourself.

why I decided to get locs + 1 month update

For quite some time, I'd be saying that I was going to start my dread locs when I turn 30 years old. Why 30? I have no idea. The number just came to me and I felt like at that age, I'd be settled in who I truly was, i'd have the success I always imagined and by then I would've experienced all the other hairstyles that I wanted and could commit fully to the loc journey. I also felt like my hair would be at a length that I was comfortable with which meant i wouldn't be walking around with locs that I hated. To top it all off, I even envisioned myself being extremely physically fit (I'm talkin snatched) wearing a black swimsuit, sunshades while sitting on a yacht with the sun beaming down on me with bra-length locs. The vision was so clear!

Then I turned 27 and I wanted to do something with my hair, something drastic. I had gone through so much this year and I wanted a change badly. I saw some banging haircuts and I wanted to be about the cut life so bad, but I had just grown my hair out from the last cut. Then again, I didn't think my hair was long enough for the locs but I got tired of waiting. One day, I had the thought that life could end for me at any moment, and locs was a life goal that i didn't want to miss out on. So I did some research, found someone to start them and I did it!

Originally, I wanted to go to one of Houston's most popular loctician's but he was booked two months out. So I posted on Instagram asking for recommendations and I just went with the first person who's work looked good and had availability for that same day. (Thinking back on it, that probably isn't a good idea. Do your research on the stylist and their products.) I guess it was meant to be!

June 16th was my one month loc anniversary. Starting my locs has been one of the best decisions that I have made in life. I got them because I wanted to feel a sense of freedom. I wanted to be free. For so long, I've felt like I had to change my hair with my mood which varied depending on what was happening around me or what I was plugged into. Having locs has forced me to accept myself, even in the "ugly phase" that people seem to despise. In just one month, my locs have already began to flourish. My locs are starting to "bulb" which gives them a fuller look than before. I was also able to get clips during my retwist, so they appear tighter and they last longer. I don't know if they really grew much, but it looks like it. (Note: I'm still learning all the fancy terminologies, so don't judge. Help a sister out!)

I think many others who have a real connection to their locs will attest to the fact that there's this emotional connection that you get with them. It's more than just hair. For years I have known myself to not finish was I start. I would get excited about something and jump all in, then after a while I'd drop it and be on to the next thing. I wanted to prove that I could stick with something. I wanted to prove that I could be committed.

Starting my locs has pushed me to let go of my insecurities and to do away with superficial fixes. Now that I think about it, I let go quite a few superficial things. I changed up my style, cleared my closet by donating clothes and shoes I no longer wore and stopped wearing makeup simultaneously. I didn't intend for all of this to happen, but I'm so glad it did. I like to think that God causes certain things to happen in order to steer us towards our destiny. Becoming this brave, emotionally aware, superNATURAL , self-loving woman is all a part of my journey.

I'm reminded to embrace the journey as I move along this ever-changing life of mine. Just as my locs will continue to change, shape and develop into something beautiful- so am I.

Issa Podcast!!

Well that escalated pretty quickly. After only two installations of Mommy Monologues here on the blog, I've decided to let it manifest itself into something bigger. Here I am. The girl who swore up and down that she wouldn't launch a podcast is now launching a podcast. So here's what it looks like.

The first episode of Mommy Monologues podcast released on June 9th, which is my beloved daughters birthday. I created the podcast because I felt that there needed to be a space created for us as women of color and by us. This does not exclude anybody. I definitely want to encourage sisterhood and all its shades and allow this space to involve and impact everyone. However, when I searched for podcasts on iTunes that were solely about motherhood, I didn't see any black or brown faces. Why is that? I know that we value motherhood just as much as anyone else. I also know that our motherhood truths are different than others. This is why I had to create the space for Mommy Monologues to exist.

Becoming a young mother was a life-changing experience for me. As I get older, that experience has turned into a series of daily revelations that I consider a journey. It's ongoing. Up until now, I never really embraced this concept. I talk about how I used to view motherhood in a previous blog post, which you can find here. It hasn't been easy, but getting to this place has allowed me to welcome my reality and embrace everything that I've allowed myself to look at as being a struggle; and now, I am able to help other women navigate their journey with this podcast. Talk about a full circle moment!

On the first episode of Mommy Monologues, I had the pleasure of talking to my good sister-friend, Chakayla Taylor. She;s such a beautiful soul. We discussed motherhood, systems, goals and manifestation along with some other things. Have a listen to the first episode on iTunes or Soundcloud.

New episodes are added to the podcast every Monday! Follow us on Instagram @Mommy.Monologues to be in the know of upcoming guests features, content, interview and partnership opportunities. If you enjoyed the first episode, we'd love to read your thoughts. Comment below and tell us your favorite moments from my conversation with Chakayla. Oh, and if you want to join the guest lineup, pitch, to!



Growth: Five Lessons I Learned From My Daughter

As of today, my daughter is a five year old. She's not my little baby anymore. I can’t believe how fast the time flies. I remember walking out of my moms house when she was just about 6 or 7 weeks old to go to my job and show her off. I hadn’t returned to work yet and needed to get out of the house desperately. I dressed her up in a huge OTT (over the top) hairbow with a matching outfit then got myself together for our day out. As I was headed out the door, my mother said, “Chrystallynn got a baby!”. I think it hit her for the first time that I (the youngest of her three children) was actually a mother now. And, I was doing a pretty good job at managing my new role.


That time was so long ago. Now I have this charismatic little girl that I get the opportunity to watch grow up day after day. As she becomes another year older, I reflect over the years on things that I’ve learned as a mother. Some things about her, others about myself. For each year, I’ve written down one thing that I’ve learned. Here are five lessons in motherhood that I’ve gained over time.


1.     There is a reason for everything. Becoming a mother at 22 was not a part of my “life plan” but I do not regret my decision to bring her into this world. There is a reason she is here and though everything hasn’t been revealed to me, and times can get hard, I realize every day just how special she really is. She’s so talented, well-mannered, gentle, kind, smart and she’s so much fun to be around. If I had not allowed myself to be the vehicle to bring her into this world, I would have done the world such a disservice.

2.     Let it go. When she was about two years old, she was infatuated with the movie Frozen. She had a microphone stand and she would yell at the top of her lungs singing, “let it go, let it goooo, the cold doesn’t bother me anymore.” That song has so much meaning. Even for us adults. I’m sure she didn’t know what she was singing, but just by being herself, she was pouring into me. That little song reminds me that nothing is as major as it seems. I’m in control of how I view and respond to things. Whenever something gets to be too much, just let it go. If there’s a grudge that you’re holding on to, let it go. Life is meant to be lived abundantly.

3.     I am magical. Being a mother (especially a single mother) means you have to make things happen. When no one else is around, you still have to provide for your child. They don’t understand when you don’t have the money to buy the toy they randomly ask for in the store. They don’t understand why you can’t take them on expensive play dates.  Raising my daughter has shown me that I can do some pretty good tricks. Never has she gone without and I thank God daily for His grace. She depends on me and I depend on God. Together, we make magic happen.

4.     Submit to the process. In a previous blog post, I talked about my journey into accepting motherhood. For a while I rejected my role because of the changes I had to make and the guilt I felt because I became an unwedded young mother. It wasn’t until I fell deeply into my role as a mother that I was able to enjoy the pleasures of the gift of motherhood. Raising her taught me to submit, stop running and to stop trying to be in control of things I couldn’t control. This mindset shift worked across the board. No matter what area of my life is demanding me to shift, I’ve learned to submit fully to the process.

5.     I mean the world to someone. Being a single mother, it’s perfectly normal to feel like you don’t matter or that you’re not enough. After having a failed relationship with her father, it was easy to slip into the idea that no one really cares about me. Even when it comes to social media status, competition, climbing the ladder in my career, it’s hard to stay positive and feel like your work is relevant or that you have a place in the world. But when I am fully invested in my daughter; whenever I’m feeling low, I know that there is someone who thinks I am all that and a bag of chips honey! That person is my daughter. I could do no wrong in her eyes. She depends on me and I am here to be all that she needs. That is what makes being a mother so worth it. Having someone who believes in you no matter what makes my worst days turn bright.


This weekend we overdosed on candy, popcorn, cake, sherbet, fruit and then some. Now that my daughter is older, she was able to really understand and enjoy her birthday celebration. We had a pool party this year and there was a water fight too! Check my Instagram feed and stories @AllThingsChrys for photos from the party.  I’m so grateful that God allowed us to see another year with her, to celebrate her life and the lessons that have come along with her. Happy 5th Birthday to my big girl!


peace + blessings.


Mommy Monologues 002: Mother's Day

A week ago, emotions ran wild for so many people. I came to understand the pain filled reality of the hearts that time hasn't healed. Mother's Day was much different this year than it was almost five years ago. I felt the pain of the young children who's mother's are no longer here. She participated in the arts and crafts with the rest of her class with no mother to hand her gift to then receive the hug accompanied by a smile of affirmation. My faced became blank as I felt the energy transfer of the adult who tried to mask their pain due to the loss of their mother. Knots filled my stomach as I could now relate to the feeling of losing a child that was born too early.

In another way, on the same day, I allowed for others to make me feel less than. There was no love given to me from the men who helped me to create my babies other than a text that read "Happy Mother's Day" and a phone-call asking if my daughter could go along with him (her dad) and his mother (her grandmother) and whoever else for mother's day. Usually I don't let things bother me. Especially things that are trivial. But wasn't this day created by man to celebrate all mothers? Am I not a mother as well? Does this day not apply to me? For the men in my life, it didn't apply to me. I felt belittled, insignificant, lonely, hurt and sad.

It was hard for me to watch husbands cherish their wives, boyfriends cherish their girlfriends and soon-to-be mommies carrying their babies to term anxiously counting down the days while at the same time being showered with "Happy Mother's Day" salutations that I would not be receiving. It was hard seeing the baby-mama get a brand new car from her baby-daddy even though they aren't together. It was difficult to see the level of respect and honor these men had for the women who birthed their children and not know what that feels like for myself. Having to be in that moment alone inside my head, in silence, was difficult. I imagined for things to be different on mother's day. I expected nothing and something at the same time. With five men standing in my life; my dad, my brother, my brother-in-law and the two men I mentioned before surely someone would "get it". Nothing.

By choice, I let everything in my life serve as a window of opportunity to learn and grow. This experience wasn't any different. I learned to accept responsibility for the part I played in choosing the men I had allowed to love me to this place of hurt and abandonment. I also chose to release that thought once I'd accepted it. I learned to allow myself to be human in whatever feelings that I may find myself having. Have those feelings. Be in that moment and think. Let what's real visit your mind and heart then give yourself permission to be free. I didn't try to suppress what I was feeling. I didn't lash out onsocial media. I chose not to acknowledge mother's day publicly at all. Why? Not because I'm bitter. Not for any reason at all. I'm fortunate to have my mother still here with me. I chose to give her the love and appreciation that I was missing. I chose to not allow her to feel the emotions that I had permeating through my entire being. Instead, I chose gratitude. I chose my daughter. I chose self-love and self-care. I realized that my worth is not determined by some man-made pagan holiday. The only badge of honor I needed was the one I gave to myself.

With full intent, next Mother's Day wont be celebrated either because it isn't necessary for my life. I realize and fully accept that my motherhood journey isn't going to look like anyone else's and that's okay. A beautiful young woman once spoke to me and said,

"Stop personalizing what people do to you. If they aren't in your life, it's because God didn't want them to be.",

and it was in that moment that I connected the dots that were still standing alone on this journey of self-love and self-evaluation. By choice I celebrate mothers day every day that I am given the opportunity to parent the little girl that God has trusted me with. I am a mother each day that she calls me "mommy". This truth that I live can not be condensed into one day of celebration. Motherhood for me can not be minimized.