The Vision 

I have had all of the materials I needed to complete my vision board since early January.  I was so enthusiastic about getting it done in the first few weeks, and had all intentions of showing mine off alongside all of the excellent examples on my timeline but I got sidetracked.  I cannot tell you exactly what I got sidetracked with because the list could go on forever.  It is now March 22 and I have finally completed my goal!

I read a few articles on Vision Boards, but I mostly just went with my heart and cut out things that meant something to me.  The areas I decided to cover are ones that are important to me.  Last year was the beginning of a transition to being fearless and intentional.  I stopped wishing and started doing.  I left all of the wishing behind and decided to take the necessary steps needed to achieve my goals.

This year has brought me to another level in my spirituality and faith.  I believe that I am where I am supposed to be, and I am going to do everything I said I was going to do.  So my vision board encompasses not just things I want, but people who I aspire to be like, things I want to give to others, and my true desire to travel more.

PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE ME 

This section covers 4 women who are doing exceptional things in the world and I am so inspired by their message and their truth.  I look forward to sitting across from Ellen, telling her how I started #BlackExcellenceSaturdays and how I am using social media as a tool to change the lives of many.

ESSENCE FESTIVAL 2015

I have been trying to get to Essence for years.  It is a very tough weekend to get out of town sometimes, so my plans have fallen through time and time again.  This year I am going to make a strong effort to get there.  I honestly want to be involved in the efforts to spread the word about healthcare prevention and the resources available across the nation. I have already put forth some efforts to make this happen!

MATERIAL WANTS

I am trying not to be focused on material wants, but there are a few things that I am going to enjoy when I obtain them. My husband gave me his car when I moved to Houston and has been driving my big Buick.  He is selling it since he will be traveling for the next year, but when he settles back home I am going to buy him his dream car, an Audi A8 (A4 in the picture, but you get the point).  I also will eventually need an upgrade, so I threw a new Lexus on there for myself.

As I expand my network, opportunities are presenting themselves that require a decent camera.  I have a lot to learn about the world of film, production, and editing, but the right tools are necessary to start the process.  My husband bought me the fragrance Flower Bomb a few years back and it is the best thing I have ever smelled. A new bottle would be greatly appreciated. (wink wink)

My husband and I did not have a wedding or a honeymoon.  We have never really had the money around our anniversaries to do anything special, but this year I want to change that.  We will make 3 years this July and we are planning something meaningful for ourselves, stay tuned.

STYLE

I have not focused much of my time or money on fashion, but I need to focus more on being a tad big stylish when I am out on the scene.  This is a work in progress and will be ongoing, because I struggle with spending money on clothes.  I have always been very practical and only purchased items that were very basic and plain.  It is time to live! Live in COLOR!

OUR NEXT HOME

After being in Houston for the past few months, I realized that I want to live in the city.  The ‘burbs are nice, but the things I enjoy the most are in the city of Houston.  Plus, the specialty schools are amazing in the city and I do believe my child will benefit from these experiences.

TRAVEL

Everyone says that they want to travel, but I am no longer wishing.  I want to be financially prepared for the next glitch fare.  We are actively making efforts to plan trips that will create memories.  My husband will be seeing the nation through his new position, but we plan to see more of the world together.  Kenya, South Africa, Brazil, Australia, Italy, and Germany are all on the lists of places to go.  Just waiting for the door to open and we will be flying through.

HEALTH/WELLNESS

I want clear skin.  Who doesn’t?

I am so unhappy with my current weight and I am struggling to find balance between work and caring for my son to get to the gym.  There are no excuses, but I am actively seeking out the time to get to the gym I want to join and to practice Bikram.  My biggest issue is childcare.  My family and friends don’t live close to either the gym or my house.  I will not stop trying to figure it out, until I have figured it out.

GIFTS/CELEBRATION

I want to use my gifts to help others and I want to be able to give wonderful gifts to those in need and whom I love.

My friends are doing big things here and across the world.  I hope to be able to celebrate with them soon.

This has been an amazing and eye opening experience.  I look forward to sharing my accomplishments that come from this post.  I love my life and cannot wait to do this again, with a new vision in place.

Until then. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Here lies my first vision board: 

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Whenever You Are Ready

i started writing a long blog post about finding my happy place, which then lead me to discussing my financial mistakes and I realized that I have reached a point where I need to put all of the pieces of my life, my thoughts, and my lessons together in a book. I am constantly working on so many things at one time that I put important things on the shelf to do things that are not as important. My longer blog post showed me that I am ready to look at my life from varying perspectives and dig deep to share my truth.

This blog was my therapy throughout the end of law school and while I was searching for my life as an unemployed law grad with two degrees. Although I feel obligated to keep posting and sharing, I feel that this blog has served its purpose and will remain active while I go through the process of writing my book, but will only be used if I feel the urge to get something out that is short and sweet.

Thank you to everyone who has ever subscribed, read, and commented on my blog. This has been a labor of love that I know was worth every minute and has brought me to the place I am at now. The universe is saying to me, “Whenever you are ready.” I am finally ready to respond, “I am ready.”

Be blessed. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Don’t Lose Yourself During A 10 min Storm 

I woke up today on a mission to center myself. I want to get back to my maximum productivity level and make some major leaps by the end of the week. So I woke up today and completed task after task, but half way through my day I saw the storm clouds forming. I knew I could make at least one more stop before the rain hit so I raced from seeing one patient onto the highway to see another. 

As I jumped on the highway I received a phone call that threw me off and put me into auto-pilot. I turned onto the wrong highway and only realized it 2-3 exits in. I immediately jumped off and turned around, but by this time it began to drizzle. My worst fear was slowly coming to life: being stuck on the highway in a torrential down pour between trucks and fast driving people. 

I got onto the right highway and only had a few miles to go when the rain started. It was not just side winds and rain, but the blinding, “I can’t see the car in front of me” type of rain. I turned on my hazards, slowed down, and began to pray. As I started praying I saw the sun right at the exit I needed to get off of, but the rain was still coming down. I took a deep breath and calmed my sprit. I prayed, “God I do not want to die in a 10 minute storm.” God replied, “Well calm down and stop focusing on the current storm, but instead focus on the sunshine just ahead.” I immediately knew this lesson was bigger then me freaking out while driving, but instead a lesson to be applied in life. 

Your day may start off perfect and a passing storm may come through, but it is up to you to stay focused and pass through this storm with grace. Recognize the short storms, settle your spirit, pray and keep progressing. Do not lose yourself over a 10 minute storm. 

Keep driving. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms. 

Wine, Wings and Magazines

A few months ago I had this grand idea to do a huge mid-year vision board party here in Houston at a local restaurant or lounge. The idea came to me after so many things on my own vision board began to come into fruition. I wanted to share the excitement of creating a vision board and sharing the positive experiences that would come as the vision started to come to life. Due to my ability to over extend myself, I have not had the time or energy to truly focus on this project. I reached out to a place I thought would be perfect for the event and never received a returned call. I became discouraged and no longer wanted to follow through with the project.

But today I woke up and decided that I would move forward with the event on a smaller scale, send personal invites, and enjoy the moment. I am always thinking so big that I want every event I am planning to be a grand affair. Besides the cost of a grand affair, there is an extensive amount of stress that comes with big events in big places. I almost missed out on an opportunity to bond with some of my closest friends and to have conversations that are difficult to have in a crowd.

As I finalize the details for this event, I realize that we live on such a macro level that we forget that life changing moments happen on micro levels. There is more to life than events with big numbers, big names, or big bills. As I said in my last blog post, you have to continuously realign your plan with your purpose. Your word is all that you have, so be truthful when you speak and follow through always.  I am excited about this weekend and look forward to wine, wings, and magazines.

Write the vision. Make it plain. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Your Plan versus Your Purpose

There is nothing like having your life all figured out and then a dump truck comes and unloads life all on top of your situation.  Everything that you worked through and how far you have come has suddenly fallen behind the priorities of  your dream. When you sit down and talk about where you want to be in 6 months, 1 year or even 5 years, it sounds good and even looks good on paper. What we never stop to plan for is life itself and we get discouraged when obstacles come our way.

Many times our plan is a part of our purpose, but life happens as a way to guide us and ensure that we do not lose sight of the end during the process. The distractions of society pollute our path and push us away from where we are supposed to be. Our plan starts to look more like a copy cat of someone else’s purpose instead of an original of our own. We start to want what someone else has and to be where other people are. We are no longer involved with a pure heart, but a selfish desire to prove someone wrong, get rich, or to be better than someone else.

Despite all of the twist and turns in life and the many changes to your plan, your purpose will never change. You have to continuously remind yourself of the WHY and make sure that your plan is always aligned with your purpose. The amount of time it takes you to get to the next level is determined by how many times you forget your purpose. We are here for a reason greater than our micro life. We play a bigger role in evolution and have a duty to leave this Earth better than it was when we arrived here.

Evolve. Grow. Learn. Plan. Never forget your purpose. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

What Chains Are You Breaking

There is always something keeping you from taking that big leap of faith. Is it fear, lack of faith, bills, or not remembering why you even started this work in the first place? We sing songs that say that we want to break free from our chains or that we just want to be free, but we have not identified what we want to be free from. You have to be direct about your intentions and free yourself of the bondage that may be holding you back.

I know that I can start my own successful business right now. My apprehension comes in when I start thinking about all of the money I have invested in past projects that have not reciprocated financially. Additionally, I have a large amount of student loan debt looming over my head, heart, and handwork. So when I get energized to move forward in my personal projects I forget about those things, but when I see how much I put out every month to pay my students loans, I lose that fire and start thinking of ways to work harder and not smarter.

We have to recognize situations that drain us and not allow those things to control our thoughts and actions. At the end of the day, no matter how hard I work,  I will never pay off my student loans. The only way that I can ever rid myself of the debt I incurred to get two degrees is to work smarter and not harder. I cannot let the idea of defeat resonate in my mind and drain me of all of my energy every month. I have to pay it and let go of the idea that I could use that money to build an empire. Without my education, I would not be where I am today. I may not see the full return on this investment right now, but eventually I will.

Identify the chains that need to be broken. Name them. Decide that you will no longer be controlled by the thought of these invisible strongholds. Move forward in being excellent. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Plant the Seeds

A young lady reached out to me via social media to ask me about my journey. This broad question was asked in relation to career paths and remaining positive. We had a few hit and miss connections, but we ended up speaking last night for a few minutes and I realized then that our stories are all very unique, but they are the blue print for someone who desires to be where you are.

I fast forwarded through the dramatics of my life and focused more on how to persevere, how to stay positive, and how to plant seeds. Perseverance is not something that can be taught, but a passion or fire that makes you continue towards a goal that seems impossible. I told her how I struggled to pay for college, but no matter what came my way, I never gave up. My goal was to become a nurse, complete Howard, and work at the best hospital in the world and I did all of that because I pushed through the mess. It may not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

Remaining positive when you are not where you want to be is extremely difficult, but it is up to you to see the positive in what seems to be a negative situation. Many times the positive is not glaring you in the face and you have to search for it, but finding it helps put the pieces together that seemed to not fit together before. Another tool in remaining positive is to shut out or quickly compartmentalize any negativity that people may throw your way. You may reach a point where you are comfortable with your circumstances and here comes a negative spirit trying to analyze your situation for you. They may ask you to look around at everyone else your age, or to look at people who are where you want to be, or simply tell you that you should just abandon your dreams. Those people do not belong in your presence and you have to be strong enough to allow your peace to reign over their pessimism.

Planting seeds in life is how you give back to those who are coming behind you. I wish I could have been this introspective at 18, 20, or even 25. I explained to her that somethings in life just comes with time. I feel as if someone may have told me these things years ago, but I did not believe them because I had my own plan in my mind. Even when you feel that someone is not listening, it is still very important to drop those gems of wisdom so that when their heart is ready to listen, they will have something positive to push them through. You can only accept the truth when you have stopped your thoughts and opened your heart. Prayer and meditation is everything.

I always say that, “I am where I am supposed to be.” Even when I do not believe it, feel like it, or want to accept it. Your journey may not look like someone else’s or have a platform as large as another person’s, but you have the power to be the example of excellence for someone else. Someone wants to be where you are, even if you do not think it is the best place to be. There is a place for your voice, your wisdom, and your experiences.

Keep shining light on the good and the bad. The children are watching. Plant the seeds. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

What is Your Soul Telling You

My soul is telling me that my life is my own and I do not owe anyone anything. My soul is telling me that if I do not learn patience, then I will never get beyond where I am today. My soul is telling me that fear is an excuse to keep you from following your dreams. My soul is telling me that the more I pour into others, the more God will pour into me. My soul speaks to me and even when I do not listen, my soul continues to guide me in the right direction until I can finally accept my truth.

The power of meditation and silence allows you to stop going through the motions and truly find purpose in your movements. Meditation gives you an opportunity to explore your yesterday and prepare for right now. Societal pressures keeps us on edge and living with expectations, instead of appreciating and learning from our present place in life. Being in tune with your self, the universe, and your purpose is necessary to match your worldly experience with your spiritual journey. There are not two opportunities at this life, but one that is essential to making the world go round.

I have resisted against my own thoughts on the issues of church, raising my child, and caring for self. I have allowed tradition, how I was raised, and the opinions of others to push me to be someone who I do not desire to be. I tried to attend church weekly and although the structure was good for my son, I did not feel like I was giving him the best experience. I want to teach my son the word through life experiences. When you read Matthew 25:34-40, you begin to understand that God is not in a building, but He is in his people. We talk about serving God, but we refuse to serve his people. We skip over the homeless, the hungry, and the broken to go to church and seek the God that is right outside the church door. I do not judge those who attend church regularly, because there is power in the synergy of like minded people worshipping and praising at the same time. I simply have decided to walk this journey along a different path until God leads me to the church that He wants me to take root in.

I did a short video on my experience with God and in that moment so many of my lingering questions were answered. This woman touched my soul in a place that was hidden behind the chaos of everyday life. She brought me back to a place I have been fighting against, and assured me that I am where I am supposed to be and I was doing what I am supposed to be doing. My mission will not be complete until I do what I am supposed to be doing. I do not seek a following, I do not seek to be an example, I only seek to walk my ordered steps. There is something or someone out there waiting for me and I have to find them and pour into them. My purpose is to serve and to raise my son in a lifestyle of constant service.

My soul is telling me to do the work of the Lord until there is no more work to do. I am now looking forward to Sundays again and taking my walk to another level. This is not about anything but love. That is what my soul is telling me.

#ServiceSundays. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Just BE

How many of us are living the life that has been defined by someone else? How many of us are breathing stale air and reminiscing on forgotten dreams? I continuously question my purpose, my passion, and my place in this world. I decided to stop chasing after the “American Dream” and to focus more on being. Being present, being passionate, being happy, being grateful. I am no longer here to operate in the narrow halls of societies definition of life, but to expand my presence to cover as much space as possible.

We get so caught up in trying to obtain something that we miss out on the experience, the lessons, the journey. We wish for the end at the beginning and refuse to appreciate the process.  The struggle is real, but it is also the place where we grow the most. We plant a seed and we want it to grow right now, but in reality there is an entire process that has to take place before the seedling can even breakthrough the soil.  Even after seedlings have broken through the hard ground, they are not ready to be harvested.  There is still more cultivation of the crop that has to take place.

The work that it took to prepare the ground, till the ground, and protect the crop is tiresome.  If any steps are missed, all of the handwork that you put into the harvest will be wasted.  At every step of the process it may not seem that the work that you are putting in is worth it, but you have to remember why you even took the first step down this road. Be where you are. Be in that moment. Be aware. Be awake. Be engaged. You are here for a reason that is greater than this moment. Just BE.

Every step may not be easy, but every step is worth. Make sure you are walking in the right direction and not going backwards because you cannot see what is next. Take a moment and be grateful. Count your blessings. Express gratitude for your today.

Just BE. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.

Who Are You? 

Nobody could have told me this is who I would be ten years ago. I had to find myself through all of my ups and downs. I had to retreat from the noise and search for the best me many times. I had to look at myself in the mirror and face my weaknesses. No one can tell you who you are. People can speak life or death over your life, but you are the ultimate connection between whether you will succeed or fail.

Never take the words of someone and use them as the catalyst to your success or the excuse to fail. Do not quote someone else in your weakest moments. Listen to what God is saying to you. The message is personal and will get you out of that dark space much faster than quoting others who have succeeded. 

The truth I live is mine to profess and to share. I hope that it inspires you to find your truth, share it, and inspire those around you. Many of us are hanging on to the tailwinds of successful people’s words instead of searching for our own deeper connection. You cannot get to the top off of someone else’s fumes. Create your own path and see how easier it is to navigate to the next level. 

When I ask who you are, I am not asking for physical attributes, personal characteritistics, or family ties. Those things are a piece of the puzzle, but who you truly are lies in your purpose. The greatest and only reason you were created on this earth. You have to find that reason and live it. The confusion we have at forks in the road is because we are trying to follow someone else’s path instead of knowing who we are and following the path created for us. 

I stopped praying for material things many years ago. I never asked God for a house, a car, or money. I asked that His will be done, that favor rain down upon me, that my steps be ordered and for peace and wisdom. These intangibles have opened up more doors than having tangibles that weren’t going to get me closer to my truth and purpose in life.  The material things will come when you are where you are supposed to be. 

Many people want the manifestation of the work before they put in any labor. You want to look the part, but refuse to live the part. Who are you mirroring yourself after? Who are you trying to prove yourself too? Why must people see you? When you have a gift and you are walking in your truth, your gift should be the priority. Like a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. When you are walking along your own path, everyone will be able to see you. When you are walking down the crowded path, you have to fight for attention. You have to talk loud, you have to dress loud, and assimilate to those who surround you. 

I realized I did not have to fight when I was where I was supposed to be. I did not have to break down doors and compromise my vision to be in a room full of shells. I could run in circles of power without feeling uncomfortable about where I was and where I was headed. There was no hierarchy. We all deserved to be here as can only help each other go higher. 

Everyone will not believe in your dream, but the few special people who do are the ones you have to cherish. The amazing souls that can see the flicker in your eye and sense your heart beating faster when you speak are your assets. The company you keep should reflect where you are going, not where you came from. Know who you are and focus on fulfilling your purpose. Everything else is a waste of time. 

Who are you? Who am I? Ask yourself. Accept the answer. Ride to the moon. No limits. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms. 

I am Finally in the Place

I am finally in the place where everything is working together for my good not because I deserve it, or because I earned it, but because I endured it. 

My boss told me to listen to a T.D. Jakes message (Do It) and spoke about how it motivated him to move forward on some major things in his life. I listened to it last week and for the most part it was just a good message. But when the message hit the 57 minute mark, I knew why I needed to listen until the end. It was Jakes’ last point on triumph that spoke to my current situation. The message was so powerful that I had to listen to that message again and again it spoke to my spirit in a special way. 

I can walk through this phase of my life fearless, because even if someone attempts to take my spot they cannot take my place. Although I am careful of who I share my ideas  and future projects with, I know that this is my time and my success does not hinge on someone else’s failure. There is enough room in the kingdom for everyone to prosper, so others may replicate but it will simply be a copy of something that is not going to get you to your place. It is not my battle to worry about others and to simply focus on the task at hand. 

I can look back and appreciate all that I went through was not mere punishment, but God moving me closer to this place.  Those situations were not even blessings, but place markers that show me how far I have come.  I speak often of growing up without my mother, having no relationship with my father, struggling to pay for college every semester and feeling alone even when I was surrounded by people. Every time I asked why, I never received an answer, but I would always receive encouragement that it was all going to work out for my good. So here I am basking in the glory of His promises. 

I never focused too long on what was going on and could not even fathom why these things were going on, but this trip has made me see that Gods plans were greater than my imagination. I told my husband yesterday that no one could have told me this is where I would be at 28, and I know in a few weeks, months, and years I will be in a house that I did not build, in vineyards that I did not grow, and harvesting crops I did not plant. 

It is not always about the specific acts, but the manner in how you carry yourself through the valleys and over the mountains. Sometimes we wonder why our actions don’t lead to results, big we never question our attitude. Your attitude can be your glass ceiling. Fix it and watch how the glass begins to break before you even reach the top. 

I no longer look to be a copy of anyone else’s dream, but an original of my own. I no longer expect anything in return for what I put out, because my expectation can limit my blessing simply because my mind is thinking too small. I no longer worry if it is going to work out, I understand that it is already done, I just need to get to that place. 

Live your truth. Walk into your blessing. Get to your place. Be you. Do you. Tell your own story. On your own terms.