The Turning Point

Inspirational

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This year has been one amazing year.  What’s even more amazing is it all kicked off when I decided to embrace my authentic self, move out of my comfort zone, and put some action toward my dreams and goals.

Literally one year ago I encountered the conversation that would change the course of my life. That day I was forced to take an honest look at myself, and be accountable for the role I played in my dreams and goals not being accomplished. That day I made the conscious decision to kick my excuses to the curve and start walking, even though I couldn’t see the rest of the staircase. Now, I’m not only a published Author, but an Amazon Best Selling Author; I’m speaking at conferences across the nation; and I’m a certified Life and Holistic Health & Wellness Coach. Can you say an active year?

Today, I want to encourage you to not give up. No matter how far away you seem to be from your dreams. Don’t give up. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of us changing our perspectives and putting action towards our goals. I’ve said it many times, I had every excuse in the book for why I couldn’t pursue my dreams. In the end, I discovered how to use those very things to be my catalyst. I changed my perspective, and learned how to say, “No,” or “Not right now,” as well as how to better manage the time I do have available. Every minute counts. Although you can’t do anything about the time that has passed, you can make good use of the time you still have.

I hope this short message has been inspirational and encouraging. As always I thank you for stopping by. Remember today is a great day to make a difference in the lives of those around you, so be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love.

Authentically You

Inspirational

As I celebrate my personal National Holiday, my birthday, I sit and look at my life in awe. I remember as a child I would always wonder what I would look like, and where I would be when I was 20, 30, 40, etc. I am so grateful that I have been able to now see all of those milestones.  

In my 20’s, I spent my time hopping on different roads trying to figure out where the heck I was going. In my 30’s, I spent a lot of time being frustrated from all the u-turns I had to make, from all the wrong turns, and turns I missed driving without clear directions. Now at the turn of 40, I am finally on the right road, headed in the right direction, and constantly checking my GPS to make sure I stay on the right route.  

No, it has not been easy, but it hasn’t been all bad either. If I were to speak with my younger self today, this is what I would tell her. First and foremost, embrace your uniqueness, and never trade it in to be a carbon copy of someone else. Dating is cool, but don’t get hung up on it. If he doesn’t see the beauty and value in you, then it’s his loss, not yours. That gift that’s inside of you to write and tell stories, own it and hone it! It was given to you for a reason, and while it may not be the norm and make sense to others, stick with it. It will take you places beyond what you could ever dream.

If you are seated at the table, you belong there even when it doesn’t feel like it. Be confident, yet humble, and always show gratitude. Always be ready to learn from those who go before you, encourage those who walk with you, and teach those that follow you. Don’t fault God for the failures and disappointments of people, they have the right to choose just as you. Keep God as your center and compass, and always, always remember to authentically be you!

As always, I thank you for stopping by. I hope this encourages you. Remember today is a great day to make a positive difference and impact in the lives of those around you by being friendly, showing favor, and giving love! Peace and Blessings unto you!

If You Nurture It…

Inspirational

      

   

“If you nurture it, it will grow.” – T. Lynn Tate

As I sit here today, my heart is filled with gratitude. There are so many things I am grateful for, but today I am going to focus on just one, at least that’s my plan. 

A couple of months ago, I embarked on a journey to write my first novel. Although I had briefly talked about writing a book before, I had never put any real effort toward it. So, up until recently it was just an idea, or rather a seedling. The interesting thing is once I put some action toward the idea almost instantly it began to take root and grow. I went from bouncing around the idea of writing a book to setting deadlines and goals for completing the book, to now being at the end of writing and editing the book. 

It has not been easy. Though the soil was fertile for the idea, there were still some rocks and other inhibitors that had to be removed from the area. The conditions were not always perfect and sunny, but I pushed to nurture and tend to the needs of my idea seedling. To my amazement my seedling not only produced one bud, but another bud sprung up as well. Now instead of one book, I have two books releasing in the same year, one of my own and the other a collaboration.

Just think, had I not put action toward my idea, the other opportunity wouldn’t have been presented. I always talk about the law of attraction, and this is why. As I continued to work on my book, my network circle started to change. I began to meet other authors, editors, investors, etc., that are able to mentor and guide me on this journey.  

So today, I encourage you to stop dreaming and put some action toward your goals and dreams. Even if it’s 10 minutes a day, do something to put you one step closer to your dream. Again, though not easy, continue to push, because if you nurture it, it will grow. 

As always, I thank you for stopping by. I hope this encourages you. Remember today is a great day to make a positive difference and impact in the lives of those around you by being friendly, showing favor, and giving love! Peace and Blessings unto you!

The Next Level

Inspirational

Happy New Year!

Every year about this time, I take an assessment of my life, of where I am, and what I have accomplished. This year, I can truly say that I ended 2016 in a good place. So for 2017, my goal is to take it to the next level. The question I now ask myself is, “What am I willing to do to get to the next level?”

One of the things I am going to do is set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound) goals. SMART goals will help establish the blue print to accomplish your dreams. As you reach each milestone, the feeling of accomplishment will propel you, and build even more momentum to keep pushing for the finish line.

I will purposefully carve out time daily to work on my craft. Regardless of your profession or industry, if you are not putting in time to hone your craft and work toward your goal, you cannot expect maximum performance and results. Athletes work out almost daily, even during their off seasons. Why, because it keeps them in shape and prepared for the next season. Everyday you should be working on something that will put you one or more steps closer to your desired goal.

Last but certainly not least, I will identify and connect with other individuals who have successfully accomplished what I am trying to do. If you are at the top of the food chain in your circle of friends and associates, then you are hindering your growth potential. It is wise to have three types of people in your life at all times, someone you can learn from (mentor), someone you can lean on (peer), and someone you can share your knowledge with (mentee). I can truly say whether it was switching to a more holistic lifestyle, building my business, or even writing; once I linked up with mentors in the areas of my desired goals, I started to see a difference in my success level.

Now I’m not saying this is going to be the end all be all for me getting to my next level, but it is certainly a start. I encourage you to really take time to plan out your strategy to accomplish your goals this year. One of my favorite quotes is, “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” Don’t miss out on all that 2017 has to offer you, because you didn’t have a plan of action.

As always, I thank you for stopping by. I hope this encourages you. Remember today is a great day to make a positive difference and impact in the lives of those around you by being friendly, showing favor, and giving love! Peace and Blessings unto you!

Hidden Commitments

Inspirational

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Sometimes the greatest distance between you and your goal is you. My life has taken a very interesting and active turn of events in the past couple of weeks. Some of you may have already noticed but this blog now contains a link for a campaign to fund my book project. Yes, I have taken the leap and put some action behind my words. If you love or even like the material I share on this blog, please consider and donate to my campaign. Your donations are truly appreciated, and will be put to good work.

So, a week or so ago I reached out to an author friend of mine to purchase a few of her books. After speaking with her for two hours, I had set the deadline for completing my book, picked the title, established the day of my first book launch and signing, and obtained a book writing coach and mentor amongst a few other things. It wasn’t until I got off the phone that I realized what had just happened. I won’t lie, I am both extremely excited and nervous, BUT I am moving forward. Since that conversation, everyday I have a list of things related to this project I must complete. Truthfully speaking, it has been challenging at times getting my daily tasks completed. The amazing thing is I have been very aware of the things that contribute to me being distracted. Let me explain.

Some time ago my cousin attended a seminar in which one of their topics was “Hidden Commitments.” The definition she gave me was hidden commitments are the things that get in the way or prevent us from fulfilling the goals and commitments we make. As I have journeyed through these past couple of weeks, for once I can say I actually took notice and was very aware of the things that distract me and pull me off task when I am trying to accomplish something. It didn’t fail that everytime I sat down to write there was something else that all of sudden needed to be done. Some of it came from outside sources (i.e. family, friends, anybody else needing something), and then other times it was simply me. I would sit down, and all of sudden run through the list of things that I needed to do. If it wasn’t the laundry, it was cooking. If it wasn’t cooking, it was cleaning or going to pick up something else that I had forgotten. I mean everything except sitting still and writing. Normally, I would instantly get up and go do or address whatever it is that came up, but not this time. This time there was something in me that said, “No, it can wait,” and wait it did.

I am amazed at how much I have gotten accomplished by being aware of my hidden commitments, and having the power to say, “No, I will deal with you when I’m done.” Now this doesn’t mean that I was neglectful of my family or my responsibilities. No, no I did, however use wisdom to know when there was something that truly needed to be handled at that time, or if it was something that could wait. I don’t know about you, but too often I put the needs of others before my own. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just shouldn’t be the case all the time. One of the mantra’s I once heard at a business conference was, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” If we are to accomplish any of the goals, commitments, and dreams that we set, we have to set aside time solely dedicated to the tasks necessary to accomplish our goals. Most importantly we have to learn to say, “No, not right now. It can wait.” Today, I challenge you to set aside time each day to work on the tasks and assignments that need to be accomplished in order for you to reach your goal; and during those set times be laser focused on your goal at hand. Be like the Practicing Mind, don’t multitask, and see how much more productive you feel and get accomplished.

As always, I thank you for stopping by. I hope this encourages you. Remember today is a great day to make a positive difference and impact in the lives of those around you by being friendly, showing favor, and giving love! Peace and Blessings unto you!

It Can Be Done

Inspirational

Writers write, at least that is what I’m told.  I call myself a writer, but writing is one of the major areas I struggle in.  Not in the formation of words and thoughts, but more so just in the act of sitting down and doing it.  I come up with great thoughts and ideas quite often.  The problem is most of those thoughts come at a time when I am no where to record or write them down.  So by the time I am in a place to do so, the moment has passed, the thought is gone, and for the life of me I can’t remember it.  I am an awesome, gifted, and influential writer.  Yet I can’t seem to find it within myself to re-establish writing on a daily basis.  Then I sit and cry when I’m watching shows that honor people that are out here truly honing their crafts and making a difference, as well as their mark on this world.  I cry because I know that I should be doing the same.  I cry from the frustration of knowing what I should be doing, but yet am not.  I cry because it is no fault of anyone except my own.

It’s not easy breaking habits and routines, especially when they are seemingly engraved and embedded in your muscle memory.  The momentum is in full swing and you are going at such a fast pace, but now you have to come to a screeching halt and change direction.  It’s not easy breaking habits and routines, but it can be done.   Today, since this blog is called Recognizing the Real Me, I thought I would let you in and observe me as I deal with me. I am going to take a page from Brene Brown, and I am going to be vulnerable and allow you to see what it’s like when I am dealing with myself.

My business mentor called me yesterday to check up on me.  I expressed to him that right now I am in a fight with myself, old self vs. new self.  My old self, based on some current events, is constantly reminding me of how things have gone in the past.  My new self is talking back and reminding me, “that was then, this is now.”  Just because that was how it happened back then, doesn’t mean it has to be the same outcome now.  It is all based on the choices and decisions that I make.   I have the choice to decide to do something different this time.  I have come to the realization that others can encourage me, believe in me, and hope for the best for me; but until I believe it for myself nothing will change.  Today, I am choosing to get up, dust myself off, encourage myself, and move forward.  Then tomorrow, I will get up and do the same again, until my muscle memory has been reprogrammed with the habits and routines that will yield me a life lived on purpose headed to my destiny.

As always, I thank you for stopping by.  I hope this encourages you.  Remember today is a great day to make a positive difference and impact in the lives of those around you by being friendly, showing favor, and giving love!  Peace and Blessings unto you!

Be The Change

Inspirational

“Use your own power to be the change you want to see.”
-Nina Shaw

I love the experience of moments filled with inspiration. To me there is nothing like having the lights come on, and suddenly everything becomes clear. One of the things I have been diligently working on is owning who I am. Not who people want or think I should be, but who I am at my core. The things that make my heart beat, and make my socks go up and down. The things that make me happy, and bring joy to my life, and the things that fuel my passion and help me to feel like I am really making my mark on this world.

In today’s society, it is very easy to get the lines of who you are and who society says you are, or should be, confused.  Especially, when you don’t really know who you are. At my core I love to make a difference. I love to positively impact the lives of those I encounter. By nature I am a nurturer.  I care about the feelings and lives of others even sometimes to a fault, but that is who I am. I am not one who likes to sit around and talk, but one who searches out results. Sometimes I exhaust myself trying to do everything, because once an idea gets a hold of me I am obsessed with it and must research, plan, and figure out a way to make it happen.

As I sat watching the Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards, I started to feel that obsession rise up in me. The final words of Nina Shaw’s acceptance speech stuck to my ribs like glue, “Use your own power to be the change you want to see!”  I mentioned in a previous post that this year I was going to get back to the business of doing rather than just talking. You see my dreams aren’t just made up of visions of fame and wealth, no my dreams include making a difference in my community and eventually the world. No matter how messed up things may seem to be, I want to do my part to bring healing, hope, encouragement, faith and wholeness to those who have been broken by various circumstances in life. Since I don’t like to put limits on my possibilities, that is just the start because I don’t know what this passion will blossom into to after that.

I love her charge, because it is time for all people to stop passing the buck and waiting for others to make the change. We are empowered, and it starts with us. It starts with our choices and decisions. You don’t like how the political landscape looks, then get up, vote, and research your candidates. Stop allowing bias and slanderous media ads to help you determine your candidate choice. Know what they truly stand for before you put your vote in for them. You think children today don’t have enough good roles models in their life, then become a mentor and take time to positively contribute to the molding and shaping of a child’s life. Use your power to be the change you want to see!

As always, I thank you for stopping by, and please know I truly appreciate your time. Remember today is a great day to make a positive impact in the lives of those around you. So be sure to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love

Magnetism

Inspirational

 

I don’t think it’s a secret that I am a firm believer in the law of attraction.  As a man thinks, so is he.  Here lately I have found myself sharing this principle with others to encourage them to change their way of thinking. In the same token, I find myself being challenged in maintaining my thought process and outlook. If you haven’t read my previous mentions, the Law of Attraction simply put means like attracts like.

In most cases you hear people refer to this principle in terms of if you think positive thoughts, you will yield positive results. If you focus on the negative, you will yield negative results. Real simple right? Actually no, it takes daily and continual practice to adopt and maintain a positive and forward thinking mindset. At the end of the day, you have to choose what you are going to focus on. There are times when literally I have to make the conscious decision to focus on the positive rather than the instinctive negative feelings and perceptions that flare up. Does that mean I don’t have moments where I give into the negative? No it does not, but I don’t set up camp in that space. I deal with the negative moment and work through it.  Then I make the choice not to stay in that moment and move forward.

There was a time when those negative experiences and moments would continuously run through my mind like a broken record. Along with the thoughts, came the feelings. When looking back, those negative thoughts and feelings usually resulted in a negative response to events that occurred in my life. I pretty much developed a pessimistic view on life.  However, when I started consciously choosing to take a different more positive outlook on things, I began to see and experience things in my life differently. I started to see more opportunities open up for me and my life began to change. I took control of my 90% in response to the 10% of what was happening to me.

Today, I encourage you to make the conscious decision to take a different outlook on your life. I have a Dove candy wrapper that says, “The more you celebrate life, the more life there is to celebrate.”  If you don’t believe me, just try it. Choose to look at what life has to offer you, rather than what you feel life has cheated you out of. As always, I thank you for stopping by. Remember today is a great day to make a positive impact in the lives of those around you. So in the words of my Pastor, Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love.

Unplug

Inspirational

As a true INFJ, I have discovered that it is of the utmost importance to have some Introvert time on a regular basis.  Now yes it is true that I do have some Extrovert tendencies, but at my core I am an introvert.  About a year ago, I decided to make some changes in my life and lifestyle.  My husband and I embarked on a journey to be healthier and fit.  Since that journey began, and has been tremendously paying off, our lives have taken a serious upswing in our social and family activities.  I LOVE it, especially the ability to participate in more activities with my kids.  The only problem I have had is that with all of this social and family activity, I seem to have people around me “extreme extrovert style” on a regular basis.  OMG, I have NEVER had this many people this often in my space.

I had to take a moment to step back and unplug to figure out why I felt so drained, moody, and seemingly unhappy.  What I found was while my new social life has truly been fun, it had become very draining for me.  I know it sounds like I just contradicted myself, but I really didn’t.  See, I get most of my creative thinking, ideas, meditation, and problem solving done during my quiet introvert time.  I absolutely love my family and friends, and I most certainly love to spend time with them.  However, when I don’t take time to feed my introvert I yet again render myself unproductive and ultimately unhappy.  So the solution I have discovered is balance.

It is necessary to have a social life and to reap the benefits of networking and connecting with others, but it is also a necessity to incorporate regular downtime to recenter and focus.  It’s ok to unplug from people and things from time to time, but I do not suggest you make being unplugged a permanent way of life.  There is something special about the human connection.  Now, what that human connection becomes once made depends on what we choose to make it.

As always, I thank you for stopping by.  Remember today is a great day to make a positive impact in the lives of those around you, and don’t forget to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love.

 

Life Plans

Inspirational

 

Photo Courtsey of wellinla.com

We must let go of the life we have planned …. To accept the one that is waiting for us.
– Joseph Campbell

 

When I was a child, I dreamed of the day that I would become a truck driver.  As I got older and found that I was really good at physics, I dreamed of the day that I would become an engineer.  Then after sitting in the hospital as a teen by myself for hours while my mom’s life hung in the balance, I vowed that I would become a doctor.  I kept up with the Doctor dream well into college, and if you were to talk to a few of my doctor friends they will remind you that I have a great medical mind and it’s not too late for me.  In the background of all of these “dreams,” unbeknownst to even me, there was one that was brewing and had a fiery passion behind it fueling the flames.   It was my love and passion for creating, writing, and telling real good stories.

When I finally discovered this love and passion for myself, I dreamed of becoming a screen and television writer.  For a while, my life was right on track to bring this dream to past. I had my screenplay and tv specs ready, my contacts in place, temporary housing secured, and I was on my way.  Then unexpectedly life happened.  Rather than sticking to my plan, I chose to stay and deal with life at least for that moment.  The opportunity came again.  This time I cashed in my 401k for some added security, and I was on my way yet again, or so I thought.  Unfortunately my plan was deferred once again.  Was this a sign that I should let this dream go?

Over the past couple of years I found myself becoming very angry and unhappy.  I was angry, because to look at where I was in life and where I thought I should have been were two very different places.  I felt trapped, unproductive, and most importantly like a failure.  Marriage yes, kids yes, but working a straight 9-5 with very limited upward mobility in a field that stifled my creative growth, absolutely not.  At times, I felt so trapped that I temporarily convinced myself that maybe I should just settle for the way my life was. Now don’t get me wrong it’s nothing wrong with living a “normal” life. The life where you go to a job for  8 hours (or more) that you don’t like but it pays the bills, you come home  get in what little family and tv time you can, go to bed, rinse and repeat.  It’s just that at the heart of my core I was not designed for that.   I am creative and designed to live outside of the box.  For a person like me it is not only important that I love what I am doing, but it has to stimulate my creative passion and yield fruit (evidence that I am making a positive impact).  My Pastor always reminds us that when you die it’s not about the day you were born, or the day you died.  It’s about what you did in the middle during that dash.  Are they going to talk about the problems you caused or the problems you solved?

Nevertheless, my frustrating time came to a point where I had to realize that by solely focusing on what I felt like I hadn’t accomplished by this point in my life, I was missing out on some of the joys and moments of life that were right in front of me.  Missing out on opportunities to be creative and impactful right in front of me.  No, it isn’t the same as working on a movie or TV set, but it still gives me a chance to write, be creative, and make a positive difference in the lives of those that I encounter.  So if life isn’t all that you had planned it to be, take a moment to step back and really assess and embrace where you are.  There may be some unique opportunities right under your nose that can be just as fulfilling and impactful as the life you planned.  Nothing hardly every goes exactly as planned.  At the end of the day it’s not about how you start but how you finish.   Nope not contradicting, because what you do in the middle determines how you finish.

As always, I thank you for stopping by.  Remember today is a great day to make a positive impact in the lives of those around you, and don’t forget to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love.