BYE FOREVER PAULAPACESETTER!! HELLO PAULA MELISSA – EXCITED NEWS!!

I am very excited to share with you that after nearly SIX years of PaulaPaceSetter, this blog, is finished! What started as my online diary to share the muslings of a passionate teenager, has grown to become a place to share stories, advice and education. I have learnt so much by creating and developing this platform over the years. I have received so many opportunities through this blog and have met some amazing people.

But alas, on to the next thing!

WWW.PAULAMELISSA.COM

Paula Melissa is a hub to feature and discuss real life stories! It still has blog posts written by me but will also feature interviews, videos and podcasts from other people! I am looking forward to this new journey with you all. And do not worry, all my old posts will remain on this site!

All my social media links have also changed to PaulaMelissaXX!

Make sure check it out and let me know what you think!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

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The Battle Between Living Life and Wishing it Away 

I feel like I’m in the middle of two seasons in my life right now.

One season that is definitely not my favourite season. Which is making me strongly believe that the next season will be the best I’ve ever had. Whether or not that is actually realistic is not the point. I’m barely living in and for this season because all my free time and free thought is being spent thinking about the future.

I am essentially wishing away the present.

The Bible says:

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:”‭‭ [Ecclesiastes‬ ‭3:1]

What that means for me, right here and right now, is that there is a reason for where I am right now. I never seem to see and understand the reason behind why things happen, especially while they are happening, but that is what faith is: trusting that God allows things, situations and people around you at any given time for particular reasons.

Through this faith that I am exact where I am supposed to be, and the hope in a future where I continue to grow into the amazing, accomplished woman I’m called to be, I still constantly battle with restlessness about where I am. I want to be accomplished and established now. Now, now, now! But I am also very conscious that I still have a lot of growing and maturing to do so I can’t be there yet.

I guess, life is always going to be the battle of enjoying every season you are in, whether or not it feels good, while still hoping and praying for a better future.

In Steven Furtick’s book Crash the Chatterbox (if you have me on social media you’ll know I’m obsessed with this book!), he presents a letter from an established Austrian poet, Rainer Maria Rilke and a young aspiring poet. Rilke’s words are timely and when reading this section, I felt like they were written for me:

“You are so young, all beginning is so far in front of you, and I should like to beg you earnestly to have patience with all unsolved problems in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms, or books that are written in a foreign tongue. Do not search now for the answers, which cannot be given you, because you could not live them. That is the point, to live everything. Now you must live your problems. And perhaps gradually, without noticing it, you will live your way into the answer some distant day.” (Crash the Chatterbox, Pg 178)

I know he’s a poet so it’s a given to write beautifully, but I cannot believe how spot on this is. It is a nice reminder that through struggles, perseverance is built and by the time you come out at the end, you’ll begin to see why you came through the path you did.

I’ve deliberately kept this post quite vague. Firstly, to keep my business, MY business (lol) but mostly so you can apply it to whatever season you are in. Or if you are blessed and in a super joyful season at the moment, keep this one in your back pocket to bring out when you’re in a not-so-great time.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

#5 CalledOut Music interview – “My creative process revolves around the music meaning something.”

Interviewed by Paula Melissa

Interview date: 15/02/2017

Feature Image by Jonathan Luchow


Despite only joining the UK Gospel music scene as CalledOut Music two years ago, singer-songwriter and musician Samuel Nwachukwu is a firm favourite across all ages. He is known for hits like ‘I Am Free’, ‘My Prayer’ and ‘You’re Mine’.

The name ‘CalledOut’ comes directly from the Bible. In 1 Peter 2:9 , it says: ‘But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praise of him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.’

CalledOut Music takes pleasure in all glory and fame from his music going to God. In fact, that is why he picked the name!

“I wanted something that didn’t remind people of me as an individual. It helps a lot in terms of dealing with pride.”

Although it sounds obvious being a gospel artist, it is worth noting that CalledOut Music’s faith is central to him, his creativity and ultimately his music.

He said: “Being a Christian dictates my life.

“With me, I’m a Christian first and everything else second. My decisions are guided by the fact that I am a Christian.

“My creative process revolves around the music meaning something. I focus on the message and the music comes after.”

With thousands of followers on social media and hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube, CalledOut Music has a dedicated, supportive following.

He feels he has a duty to be authentic, often taking to Instagram stories to break down the meanings and stories behind his songs.

He said: “I always pray that the thing that will make me different is that people see the transparency they get with me. Being transparent in the music and in my speech, makes people more comfortable.

“I make mistakes. I probably flopped yesterday. I’m a human being, who is imperfect. If I’m pressing on every single day, what’s your excuse?”

The vulnerability expressed in CalledOut Music’s songs is beautiful. It reminds fans that just like him, they must always come before God with an open and trusting heart.

“My Prayer. That song is my life. I was talking about me and nobody else.

“But I know people are going through some of the same things I am going through.

“Every song that I write has a Bible verse attached to it. I don’t shy away from that any more. When you’re writing songs, yes you can have your melodies and rhymes but is it Biblical? The Bible is timeless so [my] songs will be timeless.”

As well as the support from fans and friends, CalledOut Music is motivated by his family and his manager, who he especially speaks very highly of.

He said: “My manager provides me with the reality check I need. He always says remember where you are coming from and why you are doing this.

“He reminds me not to do anything stupid! Not to let the devil have any leeway. He gives me real, practical life advice, particularly about the reality of the music industry.”

When asked for advice for those looking to create music like him, CalledOut Music said: “Don’t wait for anyone to do anything for you. Find a producer and just work. If you have been called, be prepared to work.

“Heaven helps those who help themselves!

“I know it is hard, in terms of finance but that is when you need to really apply yourself. Create your own resources. Get on social media, put yourself out there. If you have 500 followers, that is a start. Create official accounts, create a booking email address, learn software to reduce the cost.

“It is tougher if you’re a Christian but put everything in place and work on your craft.”

 

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

What did Lecrae’s All Things Work Together Concert in London Teach Me?

Anyone who knows me, knows I am the BIGGEST Christian Hip Hop fan ever! I love gospel music in general but I have a special place in my heart for CHH.

I’ve been a fan of Lecrae since I first heard of him back in the summer of 2012. It was actually the month after I started this blog lol. I can remember the first time I heard God is Enough so clearly.

I always get swept away by the HYPE and kind of forget that I am supposed to enjoy the concert, like everything else in my life, as an act of worship.

Of course, Crae being an American artist, I never expected to meet him one day. I was content and happy just listening to his music. Rapping along like I was going to drop the hottest mixtape myself.

One blessed day, my friend (shoutout to you, Chude) tagged me in a tweet where Lecrae hinted at coming to the UK (which always means London and sometimes Manchester but never anywhere else😂). I was ready.

As soon as tickets were available to pre-order, you best believe I 👏🏾 JUMPED 👏🏾 ON 👏🏾 THAT 👏🏾 and got VIP (because go big or go home!) with my sister and my friend., Tochu who also share my CHH love.

Anyway, I’m rambling because as you can imagine it was one of the best nights of my life.

As much as I adore Lecrae, CHH and his label Reach Records, I was a little apprehensive as I usually am about going to concerts like this.

I always get swept away by the HYPE and kind of forget that I am supposed to enjoy the concert, like everything else in my life, as an act of worship. You may be like: “But Paula, how is going to a concert an act of worship?????” 

Well, I believe that as humans, everything we do that reflects the glory of God through our words and actions can be an act of worship. Singing, dancing, eating, working etc. I worship everyday by living my BEST and fullest life in God and I wanted this to be another chance for me to do that.

But when you get a bunch of super hyped Christins together, we literally FEED off each other’s hype and it’s easy to get lost in the (spiritual) sauce.

I really enjoyed Lecrae’s set because as I expected he was a great live performer. But what I loved was the talky bits he did in between songs. He touched on some things that felt like words from God directly for me. He quoted a verse of the Bible that I read the night before. I almost cried on the spot.

I just want to leave you with some encouragement fam: Do not give up

Do not give up on yourself. No matter if you keep making the same mistakes. Do not give up on trusting in God for whatever it is you want, no matter how long it is taking. Do not give up on life. Every season is temporary and All Things Work Together for good – that’s the good, the bad, the ugly, All Things!


Enjoy this video of me meeting Lecrae (and totally freaking outttt). He’s literally the nicest guy ever.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

#4 Hannah Ajala – BBC Journalist – “I was obsessed with film-making and story-telling!”

Interviewed, filmed and edited by Paula Melissa

Interview date: 29/01/2018


The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is one of the world’s largest media organisations. A national treasure! It was absolutely amazing interviewing BBC World Service journalist, Hannah Ajala as she talks about her creative journey. Here is our two part interview where she discusses her start in the industry and gives advice about networking effectively.

Part 1

Music: CASS – CAN’T GET ENOUGH (Carlos Herrera Music Remix)

Part 2

Music: Trey Kennedy – Amy

Visit Hannah’s blog and follow her on Twitter and Instagram!

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

#3 Ronke Lawal Feature: How To Start Your Own Business When It’s Hard!!!

Interviewed by Paula Melissa

Interview date 26/01/2018

Pictures by Nuraan Ackers

East London’s very own, PR and Communications professional Ronke Lawal is no stranger to the power of Public Relations, social media marketing and brand management for businesses.

After founding her own PR agency, Ariatu Public Relations nearly 14 years ago, Ronke has gone on to work with and for established businesses and brands all over the country. She specialises in B2C (Business to Consumer) businesses in the entertainment industry, varying from beauty to food.

She has now become a respected name in the UK PR industry and was appointed a director of the Chartered Board of Public Relations (CIPR) last year and officially started this year.

But how did Ronke get to where she is now and what can you learn from her to push yourself closer towards starting and successfully running your own business?


With 90-95% of the PR industry being white, the odds were already stacked high against British-born Nigerian Ronke, but that has not seemed to stop her! She is audacious and bold in her conversations on race; a topic often avoided in the corporate office.

She said: “I don’t see why there should be a problem with being vocal in my blackness and in my womanhood.”

With a large percentage of her clients being Afro-Caribbean business owners, it can be assumed that British BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) people appreciate going to someone who looks and sounds like them for their PR needs.

They value the comfort it brings, knowing their business is safe in the hands of someone who understands their background.  Ronke celebrates this and ensures her clients feel they are getting the best from her.

She said: “I love that I am using my strategic skills. I love doing the work I do and I am doing it well.”

You may be able to relate to Ronke in the sense that you are trying to be a part of a rather exclusive industry. An industry full of people that perhaps grew up very differently from you – how do you intercept an industry like that? An industry which, like very much of the rest of the Western world, generally favours the white narrative.

Well, Ronke has good advice for you: “Put yourself forward in positions you’re not comfortable in. Challenge yourself but being in places and spaces people do not expect to see you in.”

Ronke, herself, did this when she was appointed a Director for the Charted Institute of Public Relations.

“They recognised that there was an issue of lack of diversity and representation in the industry. I appreciate that they were willing to do something about it by appointing me.”

Ariatu Public Relations was started slowly while Ronke was still working in her finance personnel manager job and living at home in London to save to buy her own house. This demonstrates to young entrepreneurs how necessary it is to be realistic with yourself about sacrifices you may have to make.

Being self-employed, being your own boss, sounds fun but business can be hard.

“It was an investment!” Ronke said: “It was a hustle. The tough times have really strengthened my internal drives.

“People expect entrepreneurship to be amazing. It’s great but it’s a journey. Open your eyes to your journey!

“Look at it down on paper: can what you want to do feed you! Be realistic. Don’t quit your job if it can’t.

“There are ups and downs. You have to know if you can cope with the lack of consistent income that can happen with being self-employed.

“Late payments can be a dream killer. Be wise.”

Deciding to leave a stable 9-5 job for your 5-9 (also known as your side hustle) sounds great in theory but do not confuse belief and excitement for your brand, product or service for pure foolishness. In our capitalist society, you need money to exist.

That being said, there are a lot of ways you can start an enterprise with limited resources:

  • Consider crowdsourcing
  • Consider sponsorship from venture capitalists
  • Using free webinar platforms to build a clientele
  • Monetise videos on YouTube or add ads to your site
  • Start somewhere or with someone who will pay for what you do
  • Use social media to shout about your product or service.

Ronke, who has an active following on LinkedIn and YouTube primarily as well as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, is a huge fan of the power of social media, especially for businesses and brands.

She said: “I can use the tools of social media as well as traditional PR skills. My use of Instagram, Twitter and YouTube with brands and clients is significant.

“They are basic, free platforms that can be valuable in projecting clients. People overanalyse the creative process when you can use simple tools and get effective results.”

Drawing on the example of Michael Daapah and his success with Big Shaq’s Mans Not Hot – the comedian-turned-musician used his social media platforms to get his brand out there – you do not necessarily need to wait for media coverage or exposure from a mainstream platform.

Ronke said: “We don’t have to wait anymore. You can just go and make what you want to happen, happen. I love that we can harness social media and get PR out there.”


Thanks to Ronke for the interview! You can see more of Ronke on her website, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

#2 HOW TO BE A CREATIVE!! ALL THE LINKS YOU WILL EVER NEED!! – #CareersForCreatives 

By Paula Melissa

Want a creative career* in Marketing, Journalism, Music or Technology but you don’t know where to start?

You’ve come to the right place!

When I first decided I wanted to be a creative, I did not know where to start! There weren’t many people doing what I was doing. It wasn’t like today where Twitter is full of likeminded people (Why does 2010 sound like SO LONG ago?)

So I decided to make this list of a few links** and organisations I’ve come into contact with over the years. There is a real mix here- from bursaries and scholarships to job boards and internships. I know I would have loved something like this so I’m hoping this is super helpful for you.

*Also, I should make it clear, because I have so many lovely readers outside of the UK, that these links are specific to the UK.

**All links should open in new tab

As always, please contact me with any questions!


General Creative:

Sanctuary Graduates

Guiding graduates through the recruitment process

Graduate Fog

Career advice to help with navigating through the changing career market

We Heart Mondays

A space for creative female entrepreneurs

Foundervine

A community for entrepreneurs

The Middle

A platform highlighting creatives and entrepreneurs in the middle of their creative journeys.

City Career Series

Detailed resources and handbooks on different City careers e.g. Law, Investment Banking and Business

The Dots

A professional network for creatives – like a creative LinkedIn – where you can find creative jobs and brands can find you!

Lively Stones

An online platform for inspired and entrepreneurial Christian students

Pursue Your Passion

Guidance and support through GCSEs, A-Levels, Degrees and Graduations through networking events (FB)

PressPad

Offering free accommodation for journalism students/graduates on unpaid internships

LinkedIn Learning

Thousands of courses on different careers and skills, from graphic design, to personal development

SocialFixt

A Facebook group enabling people to share internal opportunities to make you aware of creative jobs out there that you may have missed! They also organise career events.

Women in the City  (WCAN)

A large group of Black women, both students and professionals, working within different industries across the City (corporate). They provide mentoring, networking opportunities and advertise vacancies.

Creative Access

Present career opportunities for BAME young people in the creative industries: Book Publishing, Film, Museums & Galleries, Music, Newspaper & Magazine Publishing, PR, Advertising & Marketing, Radio, Television, Talent and Theatre.

uptree

An online professional network & careers platform

Livity 

A youth-led creative organisation that do everything, from music to film making to photography! They also offer co-working space and workshops.

Google’s Digital Garage

Learn digital skills to use in business through free training courses

Hiive

A network for professional creative people to connect with people, brands, jobs and opportunities

GoThinkBig

Provide help, advice, work experience and internships for different creative paths

GetMyFirstJob

An extensive database of apprenticeships, placements and internships

Government – Apprenticeships

National apprenticeships in England

Apprenticeships

Help with apprenticeships all over the UK

TargetJobs

Graduate jobs, grad schemes and postgraduate courses

Student Ladder

Job/work opportunities from year 12 to graduate

RateMyPlacement

Reviews on internships and placements with large companies

The Muse

A careers site with jobs, articles relating to careers and BTS on large companies worldwide

employeeREDEFINED

Articles and one-to-one help for young millennial ‘stuck’ in their careers

Creative Toolkit

Advice and information for new entrants about working in entertainment – including your legal rights!

Young Barbican

A scheme for 16-25 year olds, giving them discounted tickets to art and entertainment shows and creative workshops

Girl Got Faith

Beauty, lifestyle and faith blog for teenagers (I’m including this as inspiration for creative ventures and I love the way they run their social media)

Refinery29.uk

Global media company focusing on Women

Amplify

Joining dots between people, brands and culture

LDN_LAB from Facebook

Offering mentoring, office space, workshops and chance to network with key people at Facebook!

Urban Nerds

Culture and Youth marketing agency specialising in influencer, events and content marketing

Black Sisters Network

Space for Black Christian women

Journalism:

Studying Journalism at University [VIDEO]

Here’s a video I made at the end of my second year studying Journalism Studies at the University of Sheffield talking about the course.

Journalism.co.uk

Industry website with information on jobs, placements, courses and other things to help trainee journalist.

The Guardian

A portal for jobs and training opportunities in The Guardian – mainly in London, New York and Sydney.

Media Trust

A media and communications charity connecting media professions with charity organisations to communicate their message with the world.

Media Diversified

An UK-based online magazine focusing on hearing from writers of colour

Black Ballad

An online publication written by and primarily for Black women, founded by freelance journalist, Tobi Oredein.

TCS Network

A 100% publicly funded online news publication

First Employ

Professional development and careers website that advertises jobs but also provides courses and workshops to improve employability

Sky Early Careers

Career opportunities for students and graduates

Clarity Mag

A young Christian female magazine (I included this one as website and product inspiration! Their magazine is beautifully produced.)

Broadcast and Digital Media:

Edinburgh TV Festival – Talent Schemes

Schemes to help you break in to TV (brought to you by YouTube and BT)

VIACOM – Breaks

Work placements and internships with VIACOM and their corresponding brands: MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Channel 5.

news:rewind

Digital media events by Journalism.co.uk

Bauer Media

Bauer Media UK manage a LARGE amount of the entertainment media we see on TV, Radio, Magazines and Online

The Talent Manager

A large database of jobs primarily in broadcast media in the UK

BEBB

An online media platform founded by BkChat presenter and content creator, Nissy Tee

Espire21

An online lifestyle women’s magazine

MoCunks.com

A lifestyle platform founded by online content creator and host, Mo Chunks

Mediaworks

Digital marketing agency that literally do it all: SEO, paid media marketing and content creation

Marketing/Advertising/Graphic Design:

D&AD

A global organisation and forerunners in the creative design and advertising

Adobe – Forums

Discuss design ideas and het help from others

Creativepool

A network and job board for agencies, brands and individuals to showcase their work, connect and look for creative jobs.

Branding/PR/Comms/Publicity:

Adzvice

Content on personal and business branding

We Heart Mondays

Co-working office spaces and social communities of female influencers, freelancers and entrepreneurs in London

FBL Bloggers

F.B.L (Fashion Beauty Lifestyle) Bloggers network connecting bloggers and YouTubers with branding opportunities

Sixteenth

Influencer talent agency

Photography/Videography:

Digital Camera Photographer of the Year 2018

A major photography competition with great prizes and an opportunity to present your photography to professional judges

YouTube Academy 

Lots of courses on how to start and grow a YouTube channel

TriForce Short Film Festival

Film makers competition to have your film played at BAFTA

Scholarships/Bursaries/Awards/Youth Services:

Leweeza’s application handbook

A handbook of CV tips, cover letter, application helps, assessment centres etc

The Amos Bursary

Leadership programs and opportunities for young men of African and Caribbean descent

Amazon’s Women in Innovation Bursary 

helping young women from less advantaged backgrounds fulfil their ambitions of a career in innovation and technology by providing financial support.

Amazon’s AWS re:Start program

AWS re:Start will provide free training and job placements to help 1,000 out of work young people as well as military veterans, reservists and their spouses, to launch a career in technology.

One Pound Something

Content on personal finance, money and saving

UK Youth

National charity providing life services for young people primarily from disadvantaged backgrounds, through local charities and organisations.

Big Lottery Fund

National organisation that provide funding for community groups, charity projects and social enterprises all around the UK.

Royal Television Society

An educational charity working within TV, Broadcast and Film. They have different bursaries and scholarships – I’m actually an RTS member myself!

D&AD Awards

An award for creative branding and graphic design

Elevation Networks

Youth employment, recruitment, training and education

Aleto Foundation

Organisation that runs leadership programmes

Music:

SheSaid.So

A global network of women who work in the music industry, offering networking and mentorship opportunities.

Roundhouse

An organisation helping young artists, primarily in music but also in media and performing arts, with career help, life skills and help with equipment and facilities. They have rooms and studios for SUPER cheap for young artists.

Technology:

Code First: Girls

Free coding and tech lessons for women in tech

Google Internships

Google offer internships and entry level jobs and also sponsored programs

Amazon’s Women in Innovation Bursary 

helping young women from less advantaged backgrounds fulfil their ambitions of a career in innovation and technology by providing financial support.

Amazon’s AWS re:Start program

AWS re:Start will provide free training and job placements to help 1,000 out of work young people as well as military veterans, reservists and their spouses, to launch a career in technology.


Let me know if this has helped you!

Peace&Love

Paula Melissa xx

#1 What’s a Creative?! – Careers For Creatives Series

I often refer to myself as a ‘Creative’. To me, a Creative is someone who creates art in some way. A lot of the time, I use the term to refer to someone in the visual arts such as photography, videography, art, music, literature etc but of course, anyone can be a Creative!

This new series is all about discussing being a Creative and how to make creating your career. I am a firm believer in your passions being your paycheck and so, with some help from some professionals, I hope to equip you with the tools to make that a possibility!

Of course, I am not claiming to be an expert or anything of the sort! I am someone who has always pursued a career in my passion of online content creation. My desire is to help other people walk the road to their passions – there’s enough space for us to all succeed.  I am also currently working in recruitment, so will be bringing some insight from there too. So please share these posts with any of your Creative friends.


 

 What is a Creative? Creatives are…

C – Courageous

Creatives are audacious because we are brave enough to see the world differently. We see the world through our art. We tackle issues by thinking creatively. We create answers, we do not dwell on problems.

R – Radical

Creatives are intense, passionate people. We do not do anything passively and leniently. We go hard. To normal people it may seem like we are over the top, but that is only because we believe it is important.

E – Elegant

Creatives are graceful. We believe in stylish work. Clean-looking work. We aspire to present ourselves and our creations professionally.

A – Ambitious

Creatives think big. We have dreams and goals and we work towards them. Our creations will reach the world.

T – Tenacious

Creatives find strength in their creations. We use that strength to keep going, even when it gets hard. We are determined people. We hold on to our ambitions and bounce back when we are pushed.

I – Ingenious

Creative do not stop. We do not allow lack of certain things, like money, resources, contacts and time to stop us. We use what we have to create what we want. We are not afraid of a few late nights.

V – Vigilant

Creatives are alert, sober-minded people. We are observant and attentive. Our eyes stay wide open, ready to leap at our next opportunity to showcase our creations.

E – Empowered/ing

Creatives are the personification of motivation. The process of creating motivated them to keep creating. And their creations motivate others to create also.

S – Skilful

Creatives are brilliant. We rejoice at situations where we can better ourselves and improve our skills. We jump at opportunities to learn more and to continue to sculpt our craft.

 

Share this on social media with the hashtag #CareersForCreatives!

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

 

Accessibility is our Responsibility – New Feature to the Blog

Happy new year, loves! With this new year, I have some new ideas to implement on this blog 🙂

 


A couple of months ago I was invited to the Premier Digital Awards. I had been nominated and shortlisted for Tweeter of the Year! While, I did not win, it was a total honour to be considered and invited to the black-tie event in London. I thoroughly enjoyed the night, mixing and mingling with people who create digital content like me. There were YouTubers, bloggers and web managers for different Christian organisations. I now have a cute little blue button on the right-hand side of my blog. I am very proud of it.

One thing that particularly stood out for me that evening was one award that was presented: Accessibility Award. I had never consider or given thought to how my blog would be received by someone with partial sight or how my videos would be experienced by someone with hearing loss.

So this year, we want to make a commitment to deliberately thinking about how to make this blog more accessible to everyone who wants to read (and hopefully enjoy) it. One way we want to do this is by adding the audio version of each blog post and descriptions of pictures/videos. While this will require more time and effort for us, we hope this will be beneficial for everyone. You can find the audio player at the top of each page!

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

Closing Remarks – Bye 2017, Hello 2018

This year has been.. a journey, to say the least!

Everyone I’ve spoken to seems to feel the same way – this year was one for the books. This has been a year of pruning and growth. A year of preparation and maturing. And for that we should be grateful.

For 2018, I wish you all joy, peace and hope. I pray for direction and vision to be in excess next year for you all.

Remember, with January the 1st comes another opportunity to reflect on life and reflect on yourself. Another opportunity to make those changes that you continually put off all of 2017. It is also important to note those changes you did make and be grateful for how far you have come.

So here’s to 2018! Happy new year!

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

WORDS TO LIVE BY – WORDS OF SELF-AFFIRMATION ARE IMPORTANT

 

You’ve probably heard that words are powerful so be careful what you say.

I’m here to tell you, you are, or rather you become, who you tell yourself you are.

As a Woman of Faith, it is so vital that I speak positive things over and into my life. I say, out loud or in my heart, my goals and dreams, because this is the first step towards taking the actions to reach them.

I remember the first time I said out loud I want to be an Online Content Creator – not just as a hobby, as a full-time job! – I laughed! I thought it sounded silly and childish to think I could actually get paid enough to live on doing what I have been doing for the last five years.

I laughed every single time I said it out loud to someone, or even just to myself and God, for a very long time. But eventually I stopped laughing and started actually believing it could happen.

This is why what you say about yourself is so powerful and so important.

In the same way positive words work, negative words can carry a lot of weight. Especially when those words are coming from yourself, about yourself. You feel like they must be true because you can’t really lie to yourself, can you?

I’m here to tell you, you are, or rather you become, who you tell yourself you are. Even if you were that negative person before, you don’t need to continue to remind yourself of that and you don’t need to allow yourself to believe that that is all you’ll ever be.

Proverbs 18:21, in the Bible, says “The tongue [mouth/words/language] has the power of life and death [positivity/growth or negativity/stagnation].” (Brackets added)

And Deuteronomy 30:19 (Also in the Bible. The Bible is lit.) says “…I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life…”

I don’t know about you guys, but I choose life. Always.

I choose to speak words and think thoughts that build me up.

One practical way you can get into a habit of choosing life and speaking positivity over yourself is Words to Live By. I got this from this amazing sermon by one of my favourite Pastors and speakers, Pastor Craig Groeschel, of Life Church. I recommend anyone dealing with low self-esteem and negative toughts to give this a watch:

Words to Live By: step-by-step

  • Write a list of positive statements that relate to you specifically. Any areas of improvement you have in your life? You need to be honest with yourself!
  • Find scriptures (or if you are not a person of faith, find motivational quotes) relating very specifically to every statement and write them next to each statement.
  • Every morning (or every night if your mornings are half as crazy as mine!!) say these statements, either out loud or in your heart. And use them as daily prayer points to pray to God.
  • If you are likely to forget, set an alarm named Words to Live By to remind you to say them
  • Write them on post-it notes and put them in places you will see them throughout the day to remind you.
  • As you go through your day, make conscious actions towards fulfilling your Words to Live By.

I thought I’d share a few of mine, just to give you some ideas. Feel free to pinch/adapt them.

I am strong through Christ who gives me strength – 2 Corinthians 12:9

Self discipline is my middle name and hard work does not scare me – 2 Timothy 1:7

God would not allow anything that is stronger than me to try me so I find joy and peace in trials – James 1:2

I shall not be anxious or worry about anything – Psalms 94:19, Philippians 4:6, 1 Peter 5:7

 

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx

HOW A NON-CHRISTIAN MADE JESUS ‘KNOWN’ TO ME

As a Christian, one of my primary beliefs is the Gospel as good news to be shared. I believe I am called to know Jesus and tell other people of Him. It’s my job to make Him known.

Growing up in the UK, most people had some idea (however skewed it is) of who Jesus is – mainly down to Religious Education in school.

But when Jesus is praying to God in John 17:25-26, He is not talking about just being known for the sake of being known. He is talking about the hope and love that comes from knowing, experiencing and loving Jesus, being made known and available to everyone.

I believe as Christians, we are called to tangibly demonstrate the love of Jesus to people around us.

When Jesus says in John 17:26:

“I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

I felt that!

Jesus made God famous when he was on earth and He calls us to do the same!

I know I occasionally struggle to demonstrate Jesus. Sometimes I don’t want to be nice. I don’t want to be helpful or friendly. Sometimes I want to take the easy way out and avoid spending time and effort on people, but in those situations, I have to ask myself; am I making Jesus known?

This is almost my new WWJD.

So this brings me back to a situation where a friend of mine, who happens to not be a Christian, reminded me of the selfless love of Christ.

I was stuck in London after work. I was feeling unwell and very emotional. It was also raining. It was not a great day – to say the least! This friend of mine stayed with me for an hour, while I cried and cried. She called an Uber and waited till I got into it. She missed her train home and got back much later than need be, all because she was trying to make sure I was okay.

This meant so much to me because she hadn’t known me longer than a few weeks then. She didn’t HAVE to stay with me. The rest of our team said ‘I hope you feel better soon, Paula’ and kept it movin’.

So every once in a while when I think about that day, I am challenged to demonstrate love as purely and unselfishly as she did that day. Because, essentially, and as cheesy as it sounds, that is what the Gospel is truly about – love.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa x

You’re doing great, sweetie – Don’t be in a rush, hun x

Pictures by my little sister, Pamela who often doubles as my photographer 😂

I’ve always been too fast and too smart for my own good. That kid that wants to get involved in everything. And now I am at the age where that translates into being the woman with all of the ideas and the mentality that she can do them all. Superwoman, basically.

At the beginning of this year, I wrote a blog post titled YOU DO TOO MUCH!! in which I talked about how I was used to people telling me I have too many ideas and get involved in too many things. It was me saying to the world that I am a passionate whirlwind and I intend on continuing to be.

But let me just tell you what I’ve realised only seven months later – you do too much, and it is not a good thing.

What is the point of dipping your toes in multiple pools but not actually swimming in any of them?

I am reminded of a phrase that I love to hate and hate to love – ‘Jack of all trades, master of none‘. I do not want to be someone who can do lots of things but nothing well. I am not saying I am that person but as of late, I saw myself becoming that person.

Like I mentioned in my last blog post, I have been very overwhelmed by my new job alongside all my other projects. I got stuck in my head after comparing myself and my craft to other bloggers, YouTubers and photographers and kept feeling like I fell WAYYYY short.


I’ve had people near and dear to me encourage me, and I’ve also encouraged myself (shoutout to Donald Lawrence ).

I have come to realise – You’re doing great, sweetie. Don’t be in a rush, hun x

I am doing just fine – all things considered. And the only person I need to be comparing myself to is myself.

Am I the same person as last year? Am I progressing? Am I becoming the woman God made me to be?

That’s the ONLY standard I need to be looking at!


After speaking to my friend Yemisi, who is the Founder of Lively Stones UK, I began to learn practical ways to overcome this feeling of helplessness and feeling overwhelmed. And I thought I would share them with you!

Practical ways to overcome feeling overwhelmed:

  • LISTS ARE YOUR FRIENDS! – write down to-do lists, lists of things you need to accomplish, time tables etc. Basically write it all down! The Bible literally says “write the vision, make it plain”.
  • WHAT’S COMING UP AHEAD? – Plan your ideas and projects by asking yourself what the future for it is. Think about it in terms of time scales: Is this a year long plan, 2 months, a week?
  • BE PREPARED – if you start a new blog/vlog series, try and write or record two or three parts before announcing it. When Yemi said this one, it REALLY hit home because I have stopped so many series’ that I start on my YouTube channel or this blog just because I realised that I didn’t have the time to do it or I don’t realise where it is going anymore. If I had planned ahead and been prepared, I could have avoided that.
  • IF YOU NEED TO TAKE A BREAK, TAKE A BREAK! – this is very much self explanatory! Take a break, have a Kit Kat. Sometimes you just need to step back, block out the noise and keep to yourself for a bit. It is very healing.
  • TO QUOTE MJ, YOU ARE NOT ALONE, I AM HERE WITH YOU! – A couple of weeks after having my lil moment about my blog and channel, I saw someone tweet some similar things to how I was feeling at the time. I was astonished to learn that other people feel the same way I did. Girl. Boy. You are not alone – everyone feels overwhelmed some times. You just may not see it, but believe that it happens. Just do not stay overwhelmed.

If you take anything away from this, remember, everyone gets overwhelmed. Just don’t stay overwhelmed.

Peace&Love.

Paula Melissa xx