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.

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The Misconception of Womanhood

Over the past few weeks I have met some amazing women who are doing spectacular things.  The further I go in life, the more excited I am to be around successful women who are living out their dreams and creating their own lanes.  Society has focused on the conversation “Can Women Have It All?,” while women are out there having it all and some.  I have rarely walked into a room full of powerful women who were ever complaining about not having it all.

Yesterday I had the deepest revelation of my role in my marriage.  Despite the fact that I feel like I do so much, I realize I am able to do it and still enjoy everything in life.  I am able to balance motherhood, being a wife, cooking, cleaning, handling our finances, thinking for the future, all of my personal endeavors, and a few fun activities every now and then and never miss a beat.  Instead of resenting my ability to juggle it all, I am accepting my power and taking pride in who I am.

I have come to accept that who I am as a woman is not a burden or a strain, but how I was designed.  One of the faults with societal pressure is that all women are forced to feel that their lot in life is to do certain things, but in reality everyone was not created that way.  I applaud and admire any woman who decides not to be a mother, to not get married, or to live life outside the box of social norms.  That is their choice and they took control of their narrative instead of walking down an assumed path.  That does not make them less of a woman than me.  We are both as powerful individually and even more powerful together.

I am releasing the pressure to live within a box or to see the women around me as different because of the choices they have made.  Motherhood is amazing, but so was life prior to motherhood.  Being married is amazing, but so was the summer when I moved back to DC single and free.  We lived that summer honey. Juggling life is amazing, but so are quiet moments in the bed doing nothing.  No one writes the agenda for women, we are writing our own and taking pride in our decisions.

Women have been marginalized in so many areas of life, but as we break through barriers, glass ceilings, and kick down doors, everyone is starting to realize we always belonged in the room in the first place.  We are no longer asking for a seat at the table as a minority, but creating our own circles of power with women of like minds and spirits.  We have our own table. You can’t sit with us.  We are reclaiming our power and doing whatever we want.  There are no limits to who we are as women.  We were not made in a shadow, but in an image of greatness, excellence, and power.

I am who I am because I rejected the guilt of not being someone I was never designed to be.  I am where I am because I love myself for who I am.  I am going to another level because I am working with women who are fearless, flawless, and fierce.  We are woman, hear us roar.  This growth and connection is so natural.  We are not taking over, but stepping into our rightful places.

We are the history makers of tomorrow. Let’s make history. Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Shifted Energy

I started off 2015 with a very sound routine.  I would wake up early, use my prayer beads to meditate and pray, listen to NPR or a podcast and absorb some new information.  Then I would do a quick social media scan and start my day.  When I started my mornings this way, my life and day seemed to go a lot better.  I was balanced and focused on the task ahead.  I found a morning ritual that would work for me and I loved it.

When I started this routine, I did not have my son here at the time.  It was very easy to do when I was alone, but once I brought him home I slept less, woke up later, and could never find a rhythm.  I did not try hard enough to get back focused and disciplined, so my ritual fell to the wayside.  I allowed myself to be swept away from the very thing I knew that I needed, a morning ritual. Discipline.  Structure.  Consistency.   As I started to get off kilter, things at work began to also veer far from where I wanted it to be and I could barely handle it.  My patient care never suffered, but my professional interpersonal relationships did.

I usually voice my opinion face to face and allow the other person an opportunity to reconcile at that moment, but this particular time I decided to send an email in the heat of my fury and waged war on a few people.  This very direct discussion spread quickly to those who were not directly involved, and a phone call was made to me that solidified my desires to part ways with this company.  Although I made the decision to find employment elsewhere, I did not let go of how that person made me feel.  I carried that weight around with me, and that on top of recurring issues in the workplace shifted my energy negatively.

I have not been centered since receiving that phone call.  The unbalanced way in which I operated meant that I was easily thrown off even when I thought I was prepared for battle.  Small issues became major issues because my vision was skewed towards this negative energy that I allowed into my life.  I never released that moment to then reflect, grow, or correct the other party involved.  I received the negativity and held on to it for too long.

I was so focused on that moment that I could not see the bigger picture.  I had to be forced by God to take a step back and understand that our ways are not His ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts.  Although I thought I was going to be in a place for a longer season, He has a plan that is greater than the eye can see.  I am able to be so open and reflective, because God is not allowing me to wallow in my mess but forcing me to go through it and step out of it without any traces of residue or damage to who I am and where I am going.

This was simply a pit stop to a higher place, but I almost missed out on my blessing because my energy was jacked up.  I was walking along the balance beam and faltering, but I never got off.  When life has hit me time and again, I have stumbled, fallen, and been hurt in the process, but I never got off.  The road to success is not wide, it is not straight, and it is not easy.  You have to believe that everything will work together for your good.

I know that everything is working together because in a matter of days I have been blessed beyond anything I could have ever asked for or imagined.  You have to walk along your own path, centered and balanced as you move towards your goal.  Your energy is what attracts your blessing.  Never allow a moment or man to shift your energy so far that you are off balanced and distracted from your path ahead.

Stay focused. Be grateful.  Positive energy.  Balanced.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Balancing Being Selfish and Selfless

I spent my entire summer absorbed in my own mess and conflicted dilemmas.  I stopped working on all of my projects to focus on studying for the Maryland Bar and barely took a moment to even think about anyone else and their feelings.  I shut myself off from the rest of the world, because the only important thing to me at that moment was passing the Bar exam.  Looking back on that time, I cannot decide if that was a right or wrong decision.  I thought I was making the right decision at that time, but in hindsight I became someone who I never wanted to be; completely self-absorbed in myself.

From the end of May to the last week in July, I only had enough space in my head to think about myself.  Honestly for the past 11 years, some of my family members feel as if I have only thought about myself.  I went off to college and rarely came home.  I spent more holidays and summers with friends instead of planning activities with my family.  Coming home was always a chore and being there wasn’t always an enjoyable experience, so I kept it short and sweet.  Although I did not think I was being selfish, some feel that way and today I can start to see why.

Being selfish is always looked at as a negative thing.  It is viewed as a character flaw instead of a strength.  After having a 2 hour-long conversation with one of my favorite cousins, she said to me, “I finally understand why you left here and never looked back.  You have to be selfish sometimes to get where you want to be in life.”  She gets it.  Although she is my favorite cousin, we have not had the best relationship over the past few years.  We always seemed to be on the same side of things until recently.  Suddenly I was enemy number one and she became the voice that was going to bring me back to reality.  She learned that I don’t allow those type of relationships to burden me and I silence voices that aren’t here to help or encourage.

During our last conversation she finally began to understand that being selfish is not a character flaw, but a calculated decision to be focused enough to get to the next level instead of being stagnated by the opinions of others.  There are times in your life where being selfish is a form of survival.  Many people give until they are empty and have nothing left for themselves.  Being self-less can be a greater character flaw than being selfish.  Your emptiness can be more detrimental than being fully focused on your goals and dreams.

I can finally admit that I am selfish.  I can finally admit that I can be self-less at times, but I am mostly selfish.  I am learning to accept that as an asset and not a flaw.  I am doing what I think is best to be balanced, but you cannot always stop and explain to people why you do what you do, but most importantly you just have to know that what you are doing is in your best interest.

Right now I am in a self-less mode.  I am trying to change the world.  Literally.  I am still working on my own personal ventures, but most of my energy is going to initiatives that are greater than just me and mines.

Being balanced is hard.  It is truly a constant process.  I am a work in progress.  Pray for me on this journey. Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Listen to The Silence, It is Telling You Something

I rarely watch TV because I cannot take the noise.  Between my son, the dog, the iPad and everything else that is going on in my house and in my head, I am very sensitive to unnecessary noise.  Despite desiring a quieter environment, I fill my quiet space with social media and news that keeps my emotions high and thoughts constantly running through my head.  Although I think that I am relaxing, I am actually creating more tension within myself by attempting to think through so many of the issues that are happening daily.  My spirit kept telling me that I needed to fast from social media, but I did not see social media as a reason for me not being able to decompress and think through some very important personal issues.

So, today I decided that I am going to take a break from everyone’s updates and adventures and just listen to the silence.  I woke up early this morning to let the dog out and ended up not being able to go back to sleep.  I immediately filled this quiet time with social media updates that I had missed while I was sleeping.  Much of what I read was humdrum, a few thought-provoking posts, but most of it was not going to help me solve much of what I am dealing with at this moment.  I realized that I spent an hour just thumbing through the various sites and could have used that quiet time to pray and think.  I closed my applications, turned over my phone and went into a moment of prayer and meditation.  I dozed off and woke back up still very tense, but those few moments told me that I needed more quiet time.

My husband always says that I spend too much time in my phone, but I take his comments lightly because I feel he is being judgey.  While in law school, he saw my levels of productivity when I took a break from social media and my levels when I was actively engaged in social media.  He has a perspective that I don’t and instead of me being open to his opinion, I talked myself into thinking that I was perfectly balancing my consumption of social media and my quiet time.  His opinion has some validity, but I had to get to this place on my own time and own accord.  So, today I am here, listening to the silence.  I am allowing the words of my mind to run its course without having to fight against the images or updates I am reading.  I am taking a step back from the flow of life and taking a deep breath.  I am inhaling strength, power, and self-control.  I am exhaling stress, doubt, and fear.  I am inhaling success, favor, and productivity.  I am exhaling failure, missed opportunities, and laziness.  I am inhaling patience, kindness, and empathy.  I am exhaling impatience, bitterness, and selfishness.

I am releasing the toxicity that has been built up and cleansing my soul for something new.  Greater may be ready to enter into your life, but you may be filled with so much noise and negativity that there is no place for the energy needed to get to the next step of your journey.  Everyday there are new lessons to be learned but there has to room for them to take root in your heart.  Many of those lessons cannot be learned from listening to others but listening to the silence.  The silence is speaking and it is telling you something.  Do you hear it?

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