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.

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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.

My Life Your Entertainment

Who I was when I began this blog is not who I am today.  Over the past year I have transformed into someone I never knew existed or would have believed existed.  The transformation that has taken over my life is indescribable.  I thank God daily for my struggles and my triumphs, because all of it has created this cosmic energy of compassion and love. I do not do any of this for others, but for a greater purpose that I am only beginning to understand.

I have been through some very high highs and some very low lows.  I have been blessed to be able to process and absorb so many lessons, because I am not ashamed of my circumstances or hiding behind who people think I am or who they want me to be.  I convey my shortcomings and downfalls with very little to buffer the reality. I am a constant work in progress and I hope that people are bold enough to love me for me and foster my growth through this process.  I love me so much that no external dislike towards me or my journey can fill any space in my life.  There is no room for negativity.

I am not where I want to be, but I have a vision.  I move with a purpose, for a purpose, and on purpose.  I have spent this Lenten season focused on my energy and understanding the process of attracting what I want and need in life.  I am careful about who I allow in my presence, because it is important to maintain a certain level of energy in the work I do daily.  Keep watching because I will not stop until I have completed my assignments.

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

Marriage Matters: What Marriage is Really Like (The Video)

I spent the last hour and a half having a dynamic conversation with some amazing women! We let our guard down and discussed the inner workings of a marriage and how we are dealing or have dealt with various issues in different stages of our relationship.  It was powerful to hear things about each other that we did not know.  It was powerful to hear how so much of our life has intersected at various points when we really didn’t even realize it.  We were vulnerable and we helped ourselves through our words and helped each other.  We went longer than I expected, but every moment was time well spent! Take a few moments to listen to various parts and share any feedback you may have! Marriage works, but it takes work.

Marriage Matters: What Marriage is Really Like 

When I first got married I thought that I had failed and made the wrong decision. Everything was so difficult to get through and we argued about everything, and by everything I mean everything.  I would ask, “Can you take out the trash?” He would respond, “The trash doesn’t seem to be full.” I would take his response as him saying, “No,” instead of it being a simple observation. I would explode into a firestorm of criticism about how I don’t ask him to do anything and all he had to do was take out the trash. He would respond in kind with, “It wasn’t that serious,” and shoot a firestorm of criticism at me. It was an intense time and things only got better once we realized it was miscommunication and not pure evil. 

On the other hand before we got married if I asked him to take out the trash, he would do it without any questions. Hence the bigger issue of just being together and being married.  There is something about the bounds of marriage that intensifies everything. I think there is a fear that if you let go of this one issue then you will lose every battle in the future. As silly as this sounds, the fear of being controlled by another person is a valid fear to have. 

After catching up with a long term friend and having many conversations with my girlfriends about their marital journey, I realized that many of us are going through some of the same things. No matter who our husbands are, where they have come from, or what they do for a living, there is a common thread that connects us all to the struggle.  Marriage is hard and either we talk about it openly or we assume that we are the only ones going through it and feel worse than we need to. 

A group of friends who were engaged or married discussed our biggest issues and we settled on trash, dishes, and laundry. Although these things seem so minimal, they ended up in very explosive discussions and tension between each couple. Things build up over time and something that may be so small can be overly analyzed because we refuse to back down over something completely unrelated. Our strength comes from being patient with our spouse and ourselves.  This thing takes some work! 

I am very excited to launch this new Google Hangout Series, Marriage Matters on March 3rd at 8:30c/9:30e. http://youtu.be/wpBBaJ3gudY.  This series will feature a very open discussion with women who are married, engaged, deeply committed, and divorced. We will be discussing our biggest issues, our reactions, and how we deal with issues as they arise. The maximum is 10 participants and everyone must be set up for Google Hangouts prior to that day.  You can also watch live and comment throughout the discussion. 

I am expecting great things to come from this discussion. 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.

This Little Light of Mine

When I was going through a huge moment of spiritual growth, I began to learn about the inner light.  The inner light is the glow of your spirit that shines even when you do not speak, illuminates a dark situation, and radiates and attracts people to you in ways you cannot understand.  That light can be so powerful that it attracts great things, but at times it can attract people or situations that want to steal or dim your light.  Your light is your power.

I always loved people and being around people, but learning about my inner light allowed me to permeate into the lives of strangers without them even realizing that they let me in so quickly and so deeply.  As a healthcare provider, it puts families and patients at ease when they are in your care, your colleagues trust you, and you leave an impression no matter how long or how short you are in a place.  Your light is your power.

It is hard to put in words how I discovered my light, but once I understood it, embraced it, and used it naturally, I had to learn quickly that I had to protect my light.  Light does not only attack good things, but it also attracts negative things and people.  I went through a rough period where it seemed that life was trying to dim my light.  It was one bad situation after another bad situation, and yet even if it dimmed for a minute, I centered myself and allowed my light to shine through my situation. Your light is your power.

I have interacted with people who have tried to dim or turn out my light, but I learned how to detach from those who sought to snuff out my light and recognize those characteristics early.  Many times it is hard to detach, because the light thieves are the ones who should be protecting your light or teaching you how to protect your light.  Relationships, jobs, and financial situations can all come as darkness and overshadow your light, but when you know your power, purpose, and position you remove those things or you remove yourself from those situations to ensure that your light is always illuminating at its full capacity.  Your light is your power.

I have met some of the most amazing people in the past 3 months.  I have reconnected with many amazing people I met growing up and all that remains between us all is that they don’t overshadow or attempt to steal my light, and their light is shining just as brightly as mine.  The power of presence is within your light.  Everyone has a light.  How brightly you allow it to shine is up to you.  What you put out in life will always return.  Light will produce light.  Darkness will produce darkness.  Enhance your light by putting out light.  Protect your light by disengaging with darkness.  Your light is your power.

This little light of mine.  I am letting it shine.  My light is my power.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Jealousy and Envy

Daddy issues. Mommy issues. Color issues. Self-Image issues. Body image issues.  Inferiority complexes.  All of these things spew out of our hearts with disdain for others, when in reality we are jealous and envious of what they may have.  I used to see people with their parents and hate the way they took them for granted.  I would think, “If that was my mom, I would…” or “If that was my dad, I would…”  I hated myself for not having those relationships, and I disliked others who did not understand how great they had it.  There are many people who have Daddy Issues, a lot of people who have Mommy Issues, and then the smaller group of us who have both.  The concept of being parentless is so painful and exclusionary at times.  You feel that you do not have an anchor or a home base, because you are not connected to at least one of the people who brought you into this world.

I pitied myself and self-loathed for being a sort of orphan and wore my wounds externally.  I constantly poured salt into my own wounds and made sure that my pain was visible.  I carried myself as a victim of circumstance and clung to the concept of being different for all of the wrong reasons.  All of this boiled down to being jealous and envious of people for reasons they could not control.

Rehashing this sounds so silly, but as a child that longed for connection, it was my reality.  Although I did not battle long with my color issues because I went to a HBCU where I was surrounded by multicultural and multicolored beauty, I did look in the mirror and tear myself apart.  I longed for a sense of perfection that made me say, “You are not pretty enough,” “You are not tall enough,” “You are not short enough,” “You are not skinny enough,” “You are not thick enough,” “Your hair is too short,” “Your face is too round,” and it played out in times of failure as if any of those things were connected to my outcomes.  I look back now and long for my college physique, but at that time I felt that certain aspects of me kept me from achieving my goals.

I am not sure where my epiphany came, but I remember getting into a friend’s car my Sophomore year and she said that I looked different, prettier, happier even.  My inner self had changed and I had accepted me for who I was and that allowed my inner beauty to enhance my outer beauty.  Prior to this moment, I had failed to realize that my self-doubt and criticism of irrelevant things were the only thing keeping me from achieving my goals.  I had nothing to lose, but my personal, self-imposed chains.  The freedom that came with acceptance allowed me to change my energy and attract light with light.  I no longer yearned for what I did not have, but I highlighted my strengths and let them overshadow my weaknesses.

Life is a learning process and it takes time to become the best us.  There is always a better version of us waiting to be tapped into.  The depth and complexity of who I longed to be was tied to many things, but released by the power of love.  I had to love myself enough to know that I was more than enough today, and will be more than enough tomorrow.  I appreciate my experiences more, because I am able to connect with those who may be going through a similar situation.  I can now give hope to those who may feel that the lack of something is a stumbling block, when in reality it can be used as a stepping stone.

Jealousy and envy is more than just wanting someones lifestyle or material items, it can go deeper than that.  The desire to have what someone else has or had will not bring those things to you, but accepting your circumstance will allow those voids to be filled with the things that you need.

You will not get what you want, but you will get what you give.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Learning How to Love

I thought I knew what love was.  I do not even know what I thought, but I thought I knew something at every point of my life when I proclaimed to love someone.  As the years go by and I evolve each day, I realize that I know nothing about love and I have so much yet to learn.  Learning what love is and how to love is key to maintaining long-lasting relationships that surpass distance and time.

I have friends that I have known for years who are all very different, yet our relationships have withstood distance and time because we love each other.  Many of them were my first friends in college and we never let go of each others hands as we walked along our separate journeys.  Because we have been friends for so long, we eventually learned AND accepted how each person wanted or needed to be loved.

Some people need to be told that they are loved often, some people need that intimate connection, while others know the genuineness of your bond, and the only thing that matters is that you are present when needed.  Although we enter into intimate relationships with this knowledge, we make the road difficult by expecting love to be present and automatic.  Love is not a feeling, but the bond that is built between two people.

Looking back on my long-term friendships, I see that we did not love each other in the beginning like we love each other now.  We learned how each person wanted to be loved and learned to respect that persons love language over time.  As a wife I am learning that how I loved my husband year 1 may not be how my husband needs to be loved in year 4.  The most important thing is to allow your love to be fluid and encompass your partners current needs, instead of simply loving the same way because that is all you know.

Change is uncomfortable, but it is necessary for growth.  I am learning so much and accepting that I have so much to learn.  I won’t be the same person tomorrow as I was yesterday, because I am progressing in every area of my life, including learning how to love.

Love is our superpower.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

#BlackExcellenceSaturdays: A Lifestyle Movement

We can never go back to where we were before the death of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Mike Brown.  We knew that we were in trouble.  It was evident by the economic stress of many within our communities; the changes in Federal regulations that disqualified many minorities and low-income families for Parent Plus loans, the amount of debt that students are graduating with, along with the leveling of pay for professional careers despite inflation increasing the cost of everything.  The lack of trade schools or opportunities to learn trades in high school.  The cost of early learning programs for our children have skyrocketed.  Our mental health and substance abuse resources continue to be defunded, closing programs that are vitally needed in many communities.  The writing was on the wall and it was only a matter of time before the pot boiled over.  So here we are, in the middle of an uprising with a heart for change with the need for sustainable plans to continue the path to progression.  Hence the birth of #BlackExcellenceSaturdays.

My goal is for us collectively to take control of our narrative and stop waiting on someone outside of our communities to tell us how to rebuild our communities.  We know how and we can do the work together.  Here is a way in which we are going to work together to support and connect with Black businesses:

  1. The 50 people that I have ultimately connected with will help me find 3 Black owned businesses in their city.
    1. An eating establishment/bar/lounge
    2. A business that provides a good or service
    3. A cultural/health focused activity
  2. We are going to use our social media connections to promote these 3 businesses/activities and encourage participation on that designated Saturday of the month.
  3. We are going to do this for 12 months.
  4. We are going to show up on that designated Saturday and support that businesses with our dollars.
  5. We are each going to bring our family and friends and ask them to bring their family and friends.
  6. We are going to network with each other and share our personal business ventures.
  7. We are going to rebuild our community connections in person and have knowledge of the businesses in our community and those who may be able to help us in our own ventures.
  8. We are going to build the movement by posting pictures on our social media outlets using #BlackExcellenceSaturdays

The goal of this initiative is to eventually subconsciously patronize Black owned businesses and local businesses in our community that support our community.  We hope to inspire and encourage other entrepreneurs to open and establish businesses in our communities because they know that they will have our support.  This is not an organization but a lifestyle.

Suggested Attire:

Whenever possible, we encourage those attending to be dressed to the 9s, including our children.

Purpose:

  1. To bring positive attention to the movement
  2. You are more likely to compliment and easily connect with someone who is dressed up
  3. To honor our ancestors who used every opportunity to celebrate our beauty

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Here are some suggested looks but we encourage you to celebrate with us however you feel comfortable:

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