Self Reflection? The Soul Searching Power Of A Checkers Game

How one match of checkers turned into a very valuable life lesson

One rainy Sunday morning, I stopped by my Uncle’s house for some coffee, breakfast, and a game of checkers with my Grandmother. Being the reigning checkers’ champ in my own home, I had no doubts whatsoever that I would walk away with the “W”.

Four games later, my Grandmother had four consecutive flawless victories.

No matter what strategies I tried I couldn’t beat her. I was making moves that I felt were clever, adept, and unsurpassable yet and still, my Grandmother was always 1 step ahead of me leaving me awestruck and dumbfounded. Throughout our games, she’d give me helpful tips: pay attention, look at the board before you make a move, and most importantly, concentrate. Seemed like easy enough advice to follow but, try as I might, I kept goofing up.

“You don’t concentrate,” my Grandmother told me, “there were times when you came close, and I was sure you had me beat, but you couldn’t see it because you weren’t paying attention”. Her feedback tripped me up because I was truly and genuinely oblivious to this fact. Of course, I was paying attention! Well, wasn’t I?

Valuable Life Lessons

This experience made me realize that I have a lot of growing to do. You see winning streaks have a tendency to stroke the ego and, for a long time, I was undefeated in the game of checkers. Then, my Grandmother came along and revealed all the chinks in my armor.

She showed me that:

  • I’m overly confident
  • Anxious
  • And quick to rush to judgment

These tips go beyond our checkers’ games. In life, one false move could make or break you. Taking your time and concentrating before executing your movements could be the difference between success and failure. I’m certainly guilty of moving too fast or not doing my best due to my anxiousness, but they say slow and steady win the race, something I should have taken into consideration during our checkers’ games.

The Bottom Line

Look, there’s always going to be someone bigger, better, faster, or stronger than you, but please don’t take it personally. Being beaten at your own game is not a testament to how much you suck, but instead of how much learning and growing you have to do. Therein lies the difference. Don’t cower away or let a bruised ego get the best of you. Instead, use these moments as opportunities for education. Internalize them and ask yourself,

  • Where are you going wrong?
  • How can you be better next time?

I’ve always been told that, in order to be the teacher, you have to be one hell of a student, to be a leader you have got to learn how to follow, and to beat your Grandmother at checkers, apparently you have to pay closer attention.

There are a lot of people running around with unchecked egos and, I personally think, nothing is more dangerous or damaging to your mental growth. Once you give up on learning and growing as a person, you stunt your own potential.

Remember that there is always room for improvement and life moments like this are a reminder of that. Do you feel that you can grow and improve as a person? If you answer no, I’d recommend doing some self-reflection. Pay closer attention to your errors and mistakes, notice any patterns?

Do you find yourself making the same mistakes over and over? Start there and see where it leads you.

As for me, my Grandmother and I have another match of checkers coming up. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Find Your Spark: The Findings of a Lost Soul

Read on to find out how I went from being a “lost soul” to suddenly finding my spark

I was 31 years old when I got my spark. For those of you who have NOT yet seen the movie “Soul”, a spark is your life’s purpose, your inspiration and reason for living. It happened when I was watching HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”. This episode featured a young couple who were looking for their first home together. The coffee shop owners found a home for less than $100K and used the remainder of their budget to renovate their home and give it the personal touch they needed to make the home REALLY theirs. Your girl Joanna did her thing, like always! During the last shot of the couple in their home, they were welcoming friends over and telling the camera crew how delighted they were with their starter home, and that’s when I felt it, that twinge of “I want that“. The feeling of “this would make me happy” was shocking to me, you see because I always thought my life’s purpose was Writing.

By the time I was a teen, I knew I wanted 2 things out of life:

  1. To make enough money to live in one of the most expensive cities in the World
  2. To entertain people.

I have been on a quest of fulfillment ever since. That quest has caused me to start working at age 13. Since then, I’ve made my way through five industries and 12 jobs, all of which left me feeling unfulfilled. It didn’t matter whether they were reputable (some of them were) or if they helped me move out on my own (some of them did), none of them made me happy. That’s because I was making moves for all the wrong reasons. Your job isn’t supposed to be your happiness. Your happiness should exist outside of external instruments. Your life should make you happy and your life should not start and end with your work.

It took me up until now to realize a life of working isn’t living and it’s all I’ve been doing up to now. Investing all of my time and energy into my work and having no air around me. No time for fun, friends, or family just duties and then one day you look up and realize it’s all you have. I don’t want a life of completing tasks. I want to be able to conduct science experiments with my daughter, or to lay in bed with my Husband and talk about the theories of the Universe, or call my best friend and laugh and talk for hours, or visit my Grandmother on a Sunday morning and play checkers while we have our coffee. THIS is living folks. These moments are life.

I’m not telling you to quit your job, I’m encouraging you to make sure you exist outside of it.

Hey, we all have to make a living and frankly, I quite like being a Writer. I enjoy helping and entertaining people with my words but it’s not my life’s purpose because working isn’t living. Rapping JCOLE’s “Can’t Get Enough” with my Husband off of our terrace at 1 in the morning is an example of living (that’s a hook right thurr). Talking to my Mom about recipes I found on Pinterest is living. Reading books with your children, catching up with friends, and taking walks outside are all examples of living. Take the time to be alive. I hope you’ve found your spark. And if not, no worries! As the lovely George Eliot once said:

It’s never too late to be what you might have been

George Eliot

What Life is Like On Vacation

Want to live your life like you’re on vacation? Read on to find out my recommended tips of how you can bring the feelings of the Bahamas right to your own home plus, exclusive footage of me on my most recent family vacation


Woo! It’s day 1 of my vacation… and life is great. I have no complaints like I normally would. I’m not worried about money or bills or any of my day to day stresses. I’m just happy the sun is shining and as far as I’m concerned, the world is my oyster!

Or so it seems. ::ponders::

What is it about vacation mode that makes us feel so…liberated?

Being on vacation makes me want to capture every moment and only occupy my time with things that bring me joy.

Capture every moment and occupy your time with things that bring you joy #vacationmode

Being in a constant state of bliss gives me the energy I need to manifest my destiny: remember you need to feed it as much energy as you can. With my energy tank on full, my cup runneth over allowing me to pay it forward and transfer energy unto others!

With my energy tank on full, my cup runneth over #payitforward

People say life on vacation is different. That it can’t doesn’t translate to real life. Don’t be friends with these people. Un-invite them to your parties. When they ask why, tell them it’s because Ky said so.

I challenge the concept that life can’t replicate what it’s like on vacation. Why not!?

Why can’t I fill my life with things that bring me joy and uplift my spirit!?

It gets to a point where you realize that you’re not living the life you want. And it sparks something. It ignites a change.

That’s all it takes: inspiration.

Before you know it, your life is reaping benefits on a regular basis.

You’re able to have:

  • improved physical & mental health (click here for tips on how to improve your mental health)
  • increased will power (click here for tips on how to increase your will power)
  • better bonds with loved ones
  • and general well being:

These are the real life side effects of vacation according to expert, Psychologist Shannon Torberg.

You can read more about the benefits of taking a vacation here: http://www.allinahealth.org/healthysetgo/thrive/importance-of-taking-vacation

Here’s what I propose: think about how life is when you’re on vacay.

Pay attention to the things that you can do without or anything you choose not to give energy to.

For me: it’s talking and/or thinking about my job; I want to give as little energy to it as possible until I will it out of my life.

I’m trying to succeed on my own! I have plans for me! And there’s nothing I wouldn’t sacrifice to achieve it!

On the flip side, think about what being on vacation brings out of you!

Maybe you make an active decision not to be on your phone as much, or you’re inspired to conquer a fear, or just put on a nice ‘fit and dance the night away!

For me: I’m usually kinder, a lot more patient and have a willingness to say “yes” that I would love to incorporate into my everyday life.

I’d love to hear from you:

Is there an aspect of you that only comes out during vacation mode? Think about how this can be applied to your everyday life and tell me how you think it could benefit you.

Drop it in the comments below.

Here are some exclusive clips from some past vacations with yours truly ^_^

Until our next adventure…


Family Vacation on Carnival Cruise circa 2019


Baby girl’s first time on an airplane ^_^



Whether on land or at sea, I always bring my dancing shoes



The views from the Atlantis Aquarium took my breath away ❤




Build-a-bear experience! I just LOVED our Cruise Director, Cookie

E*N*E*R*G*Y

The key to success is and has always been ENERGY. Read on to find out what energy is and how you can use it to improve all aspects of your life


I’ve read my fair share of self-help books, “The Secret“, “The Power of Now“, and “You Are A Bad-Ass At Making Money” to name a few.

They all have the same bottom line: if you want to succeed at something, you must feed it energy.

“If you want to succeed at something, you must feed it #energy”

What is Energy?

What IS energy? 

Simply, it is the effort you dedicate to an idea in order to bring it to fruition.

By literal definition, it is “the strength and vitality required for sustained physical or mental activity“. The two keywords in this definition are “required” and “sustained“.

This means energy isn’t optional, It’s a prerequisite.

Energy is the difference between completing a task right away and putting it off until tomorrow, between a business taking off and it never leaving the drawing board, between a dream and a goal. (My definition of a goal is, a dream + energy + money.) 

Seems like a really simple algorithm, doesn’t it? It’s harder than it seems.

That’s because a key component of producing energy is self-motivation and being self-motivated is something you have to constantly work on.

It’s very easy to falter or be distracted when you’re the only one doing the pushing but, I’m here to tell you, it’s worth the effort.

Where you may be going wrong

Lack of energy is the reason why you’re still at your 9 – 5, stuck in the dreaming phase instead of doing your dream job: we’re still giving entirely too much energy to things that don’t matter to us.

When you choose to give your energy to your day job instead of your dreams, your dreams are being starved. 

Think of your dreams like a plant and the energy its life source; give it the energy it needs and it will flourish. Deny it? It will dwindle and shrivel up until there’s nothing left. 

I’m not saying to up and quit your job as you read, what I’m saying is, you want that dream life? That dream house? To reach a certain amount in savings or to travel? 

No matter the goal, give the idea energy and see how much of a difference it makes. 

  • Talk about it. Every chance that you get and in as many ways as possible.
  • Think about it. Have it in the forefront of your mind. What does it look like? Feel like? What would you do if you had it? 
  • Write about it. Make it real by putting it into words. Try journaling, a diary, a To-Do List or a Not-to-do-list. 

#talkaboutit #thinkaboutit #writeaboutit

 *Here’s one I found online: Click to access Not-To-Do-List-Printable.pdf Instead of looking at the things I NEED to do, I did as assessment for what I DON’T NEED which made space for the things that matter. Like my dream of being a Writer!

The Bottom Line

What ever it is that’s occupying your energy and preventing you from achieving that special goal, let. it. go. (I call this releasing. ) 

So, what are you willing to release?

Start by asking yourself what you can do without so that you may apply more energy to your dreams and make them a reality.

How much or how little is entirely up to the individual but, I decided that there’s nothing that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice to achieve my goals and here I am writing for you ^_^ 

 How many of you can say the same?

Here’s a look at my Not To Do List! As you can see from the eraser marks, it’s been updated a few times. Thats a sign of growth! ^_^

I’d love to hear from you:

What aspects of your life do you think could improve by giving or taking away energy?

Let me know in the comments.