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 Do not quote someone else in your weakest moments.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. 

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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. 

What I Had to Go Through

People see you at various points of success within your life, but very few people see you in the midst of the process.  They see you as you enter into a challenge and many times won’t see you again until you are exiting that challenge. All of the tears, late nights, self-doubt, and conversations of quitting are not put on a display for the world to see.  Based on the images of the beginning and the end, many people assume that you have something special about you that others may not have.  Despite this perception and misconception, the only thing that makes me different from the next person is that I went through what I had to go through to get where I wanted to be.

Many times people ask for something and as they enter onto the path to get what they asked for, they self-destruct.  People turn around to go back to their comfort zone at the first sight of handwork, adversity, or stress.  Every person that is extremely successful today had to go through some dark moments.  Even those who we think woke up and had it all, still had to endure life to get to a place of peace, joy, or love.  We measure the success and happiness of others based on the materials that they possess instead of the characteristics that they have obtained.

I try to be as open as possible on here to share that this process is not always pretty.  Many times you try to smile through the pain, but it becomes overwhelming.  I am not perfect, my life is not perfect, and I am not done going through rough times because life will not stop because you remain stagnant.  Although I am in a happy place right now, this place has come with its own set of challenges and sacrifices.  I have wanted to turn back and return to my comfort zone, but my calling and my amazing support system has forced me to push through.

If you are truly yielding to your internal instinct and living life to the fullest, you are going to have to endure some painful moments.  You can never prepare for these moments, but you have to believe that they will pass.  If you get stuck in the middle of your journey, because you feel that your current state is your future state, then you will never make it to your next destination.  We assume that life will wait on us, but know that if a seed is placed in your life and you do not care for it, God will take that same seed and sow it into someone else’s life.

What I had to go through may not be what you had to go through, but we both had to go through something.  As we fight through this life to get to the next level, build people up as they navigate through their journey.  When you tear another person down when they are struggling to get to the next level, you are only removing the rungs from your own ladder and hindering your own progress.  You may never see what  I go through, but just know that I had to go through some things to get where I am.

This thing is bigger than me and because I am only a piece of the bigger picture I must remain diligent and steadfast.  Don’t focus on everyone’s picture perfect beginning and end, respect that there was a process even if you did not see it.  Don’t criticize what others have when those are the exact things that you want.  Get off of the side lines spectating at everyone else’s success and do what you have been called to do.

Your success is waiting on you. Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Don’t Be The Hold Up To Your Blessing

Desiring to be at a certain place at a certain time, prevents us from being at the right place at the right time.  When we are not where we want to be at a certain point in our life, we turn and begin to point fingers at everyone and everything that could have possibly prevented us from accomplishing our goals.  We complain and validate ourselves instead of taking time for introspection.  We waste time defending our credentials instead of yielding ourselves to the process of being humbled and learning patience.

The time we spend refusing to listen and learn is time that could have been used to get through and to where you are supposed to be.  Our posture is preventing us from passing through this phase.  We refuse to be broken down, we refuse to cry, we refuse to scream, we refuse to get on our knees and pray, so we suffer.  Our strength becomes a barrier to our heart. We want the blessing but we do not want to change who we are, how we think, or increase our faith.  We feel as if what we have been doing is good enough and anything more is simply icing on the cake.  But if you want to get more, you have to give more.

You can’t move higher in any area of your life without increasing your sacrifice, your skills, and your stability.  Many times we give just enough and end up with more, but there comes a point where you can only exude excellence and your sacrifice to get there, remain there, and grow from there is great at all times.  You cannot be running around wasting money, time, and your talents and expect to get to the level that many others never even get to see.  You can want more but if you do not give more of yourself and invest into your dreams, you will continue to gain but never achieve your ultimate goals.

Many people are very talented.  Therefore, when you proclaim to be talented and want to be recognized for your talent, you have to continuously refine your skills, take notes from the greats, and increase your value.  People are not going to simply see your talent and elevate you, but they must see that you are passionate, progressive, and punctual.  Timing is everything.  If you don’t see the urgency in being better than other people won’t rush to ensure that you are given that crucial moment to prove yourself.  Once you set yourself apart others who SAY they are great, you will be recognized as the one who can stand among those who you have looked up to your entire life.

Being stable has everything to do with being able to focus on the prize and not being swayed by the popular or easy choices.  Being stable has to do with being mentally prepared to go through some anguish, lonely nights, and potentially a road of many failures before achieving success.  Being stable is not selling yourself short because you want more now instead of the grand prize later.  You have to possess the fortitude, patience, and drive to keep going even when people stop believing in you, stop supporting you, or start to talk about you.  Your mind has to be prepared to not begin to be consumed by doubt, fear, or negativity.  You have to be stable and be able to steadily walk the road to the end.

We are the only person that can get in the way of our blessing.  We think that it may be others that hindered us but we are the ones that allowed those people to be in our lives past their expiration date.  If someone is weighing you down, no matter who they are, you have to separate yourself from them or they will drain or deter you from getting to that next destination.  Many people don’t even know they are being used by the enemy to prevent you from reaching your goals, but it is not their job to recognize their role, but yours and you have to be prepared to remove them from your life expeditiously.  The longer you allow those to leach on to and drain you, the longer it will take for you to be able to focus on what matters.

When we look back at the mistakes that we have made, we have to be ready to see ourselves for who we are and not what others tell us we are.  People may say that you are strong, driven, and passionate, but only you know where you have fallen short.  You know where you are weak and although your strength, drive, and passion may have been good for the level that you are on, the next level requires more.  I have learned to stop allowing my past to be my reason for not having great credit, for being so deep in debt with student loans, or for not being where I thought I should be.  If I did not go through those things, I would not have met the many angels that God has used to assist me along the way.  If I would have had a different life, then my compassion, empathy, and outlook would be different.

So I am learning to embrace my past and present and use it as my stepping stone instead of my shackles.  I have got out of my comfort zone and become okay with being uncomfortable.  I have decided that my path to greatness may not look like everyone else’s but I will get there when I am supposed to be there.  I have learned that the only person that is hindering me from receiving my blessing is me, myself, and I.  I no longer desire to be at this level, so I have decided that increasing my sacrifice, refining my skills, and working on my stability is what I am going to focus on until I get there.

Stop pointing fingers at others or your circumstances.  Instead focus on you.  Do not be the hold up to your blessing.  Be you.  Do you.  Tell your own story.  On your own terms.

Live Life on Purpose

If everyone’s life ended peacefully, then we would forget to live life purposefully.

Live life on purpose; that your echo will continue to be heard many days after you have left this earth.

May your works change the lives of many, inspire others to continue your legacy and your loved ones beam with pride when they hear your name.

There will be a point where there will be no more “Im sorry,” “I love you,” “We can work on that tomorrow.”  So share those words now and do those things today, because they will forever mean something to the person who receives them.

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

If You Want It All, Go For It and Don’t Quit

Society wants to dictate to you what you can have.  They throw statistics around without any context and run anecdotal stories filled with extreme examples of people who are forced to choose or those who quit before they accomplished their goals.  I am a living witness  on how prayer, determination and hard work will guide you through and to your destiny.  When you have to weigh your options, quit now or keep pushing through the pain, you realize that you really don’t have a choice.  If you quit right now you won’t be happy and will end up further behind than you would have been if you kept pushing through.

Before I had my baby, I dreaded going back to school.  I knew that physically I was going to be challenged and I did not have everything in place as I had expected.  I am a control freak and very type A.  I needed a tangible plan with back up plans in place.  That was not happening.  I cried and cried and begged Adam to let me quit but he said the same thing every time, “You have come too far to quit.”  I knew he had my back but the unwavering support I received from my classmates, friends and local family was unforeseen.  Everyone rolled up their sleeves and sacrificed their time at various points over the past two years to help me get through.  My co-worker who had just retired watched baby Adam for the first few weeks for free.  The days she couldn’t watch him, my classmates allowed me to bring him to class or watched him for me on their breaks.  My co-worker was scheduled to watch him for six weeks but as the weeks passed by, I had no idea of who was going to watch my son permanently.

As life would have it, I ran into a classmate walking down the street and she suggested I ask another one of our classmates.  Through her I was able to find an amazing sitter who has taken care of my son since he was 3 months old.  When I leave my son with her, I never have to worry if he is being cared for.   I am always exhausted, always running, always busy and my schedule is hectic but it was all worth it.  My son survived. My marriage survived.  My personal finances are a little tattered but I am great at getting things in order, so I will fix them.  But most importantly I survived and achieved what I set out to get done.  I could not have planned for all of these things to have worked together.  They did because I was where I was supposed to be.

Bottom line.  Never stop dreaming.  Never stop believing. When it gets hard keep pushing through the pain.  Ask for help when you need it.  You are stronger than you even know.  Don’t let expected or unexpected obstacles overshadow your purpose.  Don’t ever quit. God will provide.  The universe knows what you need.  Live in your truth. Be you.  Tell your story.  On your own terms.

Advice to My Little Cousins

“What do you want to be when you grow up” is a common question posed to younger children and young adults.  Instead of simply guiding our children toward careers we have have a duty to guide them towards their purpose just as aggressively.  We should be asking our children, “What is the job or activity or hobby that you could do happily everyday for the rest of your life?”  That is essentially their purpose.  The difficulty comes in the means.  How do I make my purpose profit?  Some are able to follow a “traditional” path; get a degree and work your way up the ladder.  Others may have to save up or find investors and then take that leap of faith.  Many people find their purpose in the field they are working in.  The road to finding your purpose is full of twists and turns but once you find your purpose, you have to nurture it.  Educate yourself, read various articles or other blogs on the topic, do a market analysis, find a mentor, reach out to others who are doing what you want to do.  There is so much more to life than those who you see on the main screen.  The production team is the one with the most power.  In every industry we assume the money is with the face of the project but in reality it is in the background, leading up to the grand finale.  Choose your position and play it well.  Perfect your craft, be professional at all times, be strategic, stay humble, don’t be afraid to work hard to get to the next level.  It is important to have a career but it is equally, if not more important to find your purpose.  You owe it to those who came before you and those coming behind you, watching your every move.

Finding Your Purpose

In this age of technology we have become so connected to others that we are disconnected with ourselves.  We know what everyone else is doing and wearing, what the hottest trends are, the newest fads, yet we don’t know what steps to take to be a player in the game of life instead of a spectator on the sidelines.  So we hear some great advice and go and try it, then hear some more advice and go and try that, get disengaged with it all, take a poll, an online quiz, a Buzzfeed aptitude test, yet this doesn’t get us any further than we already were.  We search for this deep revelation, life changing “aha” moment and lose out on the time that could have been used on doing what matters most.  There is no blog, YouTube video, Buzzfeed quiz that will tell you what is right for you.  In the complexity of technology, we feel that the simple answer is the wrong answer.  The thing that makes us the happiest is clearly not going to make us rich.  But that pure, effortless and authentic joy that comes when you are doing what you love is why you are here.  The activity that makes your light shine the brightest, that inspires others and makes you feel excited to be around you.  Self-help books are not psychics but words that help you process your thoughts and emotions and elevate your thinking to another level.  They are discussing ways to get to your dreams.  Fasting, meditation and bucket lists are examples of ways to get right back to where you already knew you wanted to be.