@Fleurdelisspeaks from Instagram Shares How Handwritten Self-Love Notes Have Changed Her Life

On January 9, 2018, life came crashing into me out of nowhere and rocked me to my core. Literally. I was hit from behind in a motor vehicle accident on my way to work that morning, sustained a concussion, and a traumatic brain injury. And I haven’t been the same since… It’s crazy hard. To type. To read. To accept. To share with the world. But, it’s true. Honest. Transparent. MY Reality.

I had to figure something out. FAST. My life was falling apart at warp speed and I had no clue how to even begin to pull myself back together. And without realizing that I’d be learning a lesson about anything, I set out to adjust just a little: how I saw myself, how I loved myself, and how I took care of myself, because I knew I’d been doing a pretty poor job of it for so long. And because now, I had the time. And because if I didn’t set aside some of that time for myself every single day, that time would be devoured by tasks and appointments and obligations and cooking and carpooling and cleaning and mom-ing and wife-ing and friend-ing and ‘who knows what else-ing.’

I set out to do one thing for myself every day: to honor and nourish myself by writing a self- care note. That’s it. Five minutes. Just one little note- and I’d post it on Instagram for accountability because otherwise I’d find any reason not to write that note and because I knew the “InstaThugs” would totally call me out on it if I didn’t. #eyeroll The more notes I shared, the more comments, DMs, and emails I received from people I’d never met. Sharing their whole life stories, their hurts, their struggles with mental health, their failed friendships, their marriages that were coming to an end, their childhood traumas and the paralyzing guilt that came with attempting to prioritize themselves and to practice self- care. And that’s how Fleur de Lis Speaks was born.

I was born and raised in the heart of Cajun country in New Iberia, Louisiana. Yup, all the crawfish etouffee, gumbo, red beans and rice, poboys, french bread, and king cake you can eat! Annndddd, I can cook it all.

I’ve survived swamp tours, massive mosquito attacks, and wrestled alligators. I am a Vanderbilt University educated school counselor and mental health therapist, a baker and pastry chef, and a food blogger, who shifted to writing notes on little pieces of torn handmade paper and authoring 2 guided journals that teach the transformative power of self- care and self- love.

I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with my jack of all trades husband and extremely bright and inquisitive daughter who are happy to serve as my lifetime taste-testers. When I’m not cooking, reading, or writing, you can find me watching Scarface (favorite movie), Rocky IV, Guys Grocery Games, or documentaries on infamous mob bosses and drug cartels. #obsessed

I appreciate Southern manners, a nice string of pearls, sweet tea, and I say “Bless Your Heart” a lot. I’m an excellent trivia partner as I know lots of random and useless facts. I took penmanship for a grade until middle school, so my handwriting is on point, lol! I love soccer, I don’t understand American football (I’m in charge of the snacks), and I still cry when I get shots at the doctor’s office. I love to read so I’m currently in the middle of about 9 different books! I am the proud author of Because You Are Worthy: 90 Days of Transformative Self- Love and Because You Have Purpose: 90 Days of Encouraging Self- Love. I enjoy advocating for mental health, speaking at women’s retreats, conferences, and workshops, and coaching others to discover and live their truths.