Comfort Zone

Inspirational
Have you ever had something that you just couldn’t bring yourself to part with?  I mean like that old pair of worn out tethered jeans, that holey pair of socks or T-shirt that you know should have hit the trash months, if not years ago.  How about that friendship, relationship, or job that you know isn’t fulfilling and not at all contributing to your personal growth?  There are so many things in life that we hold on to simply because they are comfortable.  They really don’t serve a purpose in our lives anymore, they are just comfortable. 
I was watching TV the other day, and I came across this quote by Neale Donald Walsch, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”  I took that in, and had to chew on it for a little bit.  As I pondered how this potentially applied to me, I realized that I have really gotten comfortable with some things in my life.  I mean some things honestly I should have pulled the plug on a while ago.  I have gotten comfortable with the routine of waking up, going to work, coming home to homework with the kids, games on my phone, and TV until I fall asleep.  The only problem with that routine is I have goals I have set and must accomplish.  Where did my workout/gym time go, or my brainstorming and creative time?  Where did my writing time go?  Oh wait, it got lost between games on my phone and watching TV until I fall asleep.  There once was a time when I would literally come home and not change my clothes until I got everything I needed to accomplish for the evening done.  My husband would ask, “why haven’t you changed your clothes yet?”  My response was always, “because if I change my clothes I’m going to get too comfortable and not get anything else done this evening.
Today I am reminding you to snap out of the trance, and step out of your comfort zone.  There are so many good opportunities and connections waiting for us, if we would just take a leap of faith and step out of our comfort zones.  Now my daily routine is a light example of stepping out of your comfort zone.  Please don’t misunderstand, I know that there are more challenging comfort zones that some have to tackle.  You could be in a bad relationship.  You don’t like it and know you deserve more, but you’re comfortable because you have accepted the way things are, and have come to know what to expect.  It could be a job or career field.  You’re not fulfilled or challenged, but you’re comfortable because you can do it with your eyes closed and it pays the bills.  You could be grieving a loss you encountered many  years ago, and have become comfortable in your grief and afraid to move on with your life.  You know what your comfort zone is, and you know what you need to do to change it.  There’s a whole life of new adventure and accomplishments waiting for you.  The question is are you willing to take the step? 
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. 

10 vs 90

Inspirational

Life has truly been interesting for me these past couple of months.  I have embarked on several new adventures, and I must say a few of these adventures have been mind blowing.

 

One of the new adventures I embarked on is a new job.  While it still isn’t my ultimate  dream career, it is something that will allow me to gain a new valuable skill for when the time does come for me to take possession of my ultimate dream job.  Yes, I know many of you may feel like I am being very vague, but in all fairness if you have read any of my other post you should know that my dream job is to be a full time writer.  Although I must admit my actions don’t always indicate that as my dream. 

 

One of my favorite audibles right now is Steve Harvey’s, “Think Like A Success, Act Like A Success.”  Although I have the book as well, I love the audible because I can listen to it while in traffic, which helps to reduce my stress and road rage significantly.  Anyway, one quote that Steve often says is, “Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% what  you do about it.”  Chew on that for a minute.  Now think about the various things that have happened to you and made you feel like that was the end.  What did you do in response?  Did you take the outcome as the end, or did you figure out how to move past that moment and make the best out of the situation? 

 

I will admit, at various times in my life I have in fact been that one who felt like things kept happening to me, and there was nothing I could do about it but accept what was dealt to me.  It often triggered me to expect and accept far less than I should have.  Then I blamed everything that happened to me on everyone and everything else.  It was always someone else’s fault why I didn’t get the promotion, why my finances weren’t in great shape, why I kept choosing the wrong mate for relationships, and why I wasn’t able to really move forward in life the way I wanted to.  Then I was introduced to the word accountability. 

 

Sure there were some unfortunate things that have happened in my life, and it wasn’t all someone else’s fault.   Some things I actually contributed to, but just because it didn’t work this time doesn’t mean that I should give up.  Maybe it wasn’t the right opportunity (job, relationship, car, etc.), or maybe it simply wasn’t the right time.  Most successful people fail many times before they make it to their “big break.”  When they fail they simply dust themselves off and get back up and try it again.  It doesn’t mean that their failures didn’t hurt or disappoint them.  It simply means that they got back up and tried again. 

 

So today ask yourself, is my life being controlled by the 10% that happens to me, or the 90% that I am doing about it? As always I thank you for stopping by.  Remember to be friendly, show favor, and give love!

The Season Is Changing

Inspirational

Today is a great day! The wind is in my hair, and the sun is shining on my face. The season is changing, and I’m not just talking about the weather. I have been silent for most of the past few months, and honestly it wasn’t on purpose. It’s just before I knew it days turned into months, and nothing had been written. Today that is changing.

 

For the first time in a very long time, I actually feel like myself again.  I actually feel free to be me. I don’t know about you, but sometimes circumstances and situations can make you feel a little off balance.  I’ve been in that place for a while now, survival mode. That mode where literally you keep your nose down to the grind so much, you don’t take the time to look up and take in what’s happening around you.  The seasons are changing and you don’t even know it, because you are focused on surviving.

 

Surviving what you ask? It could be surviving financially, emotionally, physically, or mentally.  For each person, their “survival mode” could be different.  I’m sure almost everyone understands the financial survival.  You’re basically just trying to make ends meet.  As my former Pastor would say, “You got more month left than you do money.”  Now I think emotional and mental survival go hand and hand.  Emotional survival can make you play Jedi mind tricks on your ownself sometimes; and sometimes you can get so emotionally over whelmed that you feel like you are going to suffer a mental break.  Then there are times when mental survival simply can stand on its own.  Sometimes you can be emotionally stable,  but have so many things coming at you at one time, that mentally you become stressed and overwhelmed, again feeling like you may suffer a mental break.  So to avoid all of the above you go into a numb place called, “Survival Mode.”

 

Today though, I am making a conscious effort to stop, look up, and take in what’s going on around me.  I’m so glad that I am, because the season is changing in my life, and I don’t want to miss it.  I don’t want to miss the chance to breathe easy.  I don’t want to miss the opportunity to see just how much my children are growing and blossoming.  Most of all, I don’t want to miss the chance to experience my own growth and development.  I want to live and truly enjoy what life has to offer me.  Despite how close or far my life seems to be from “my ideal” dreams, goals, and accomplishments, I am grateful for my life and the blessings that I have received.  Could somethings have been done differently, absolutely!  Could somethings have been better, absolutely!  But, it doesn’t change the fact that I am still blessed.  I can now say for sure that life is what you make it.  There is an up and down side to everything, but its up to you which view you choose to focus on.

 

As always thank you for stopping by, remember as you go through your day to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love.

 

Do Your Part

Inspirational

The other day, I sat and watched as Baltimore City experienced pure chaos, wondering if my friends and family that lived there were ok.   Many of the areas affected, I have been through at various times during my visits to the city. I can only imagine the heart break the residents were feeling as they watched their neighborhood businesses be looted and practically burned to the ground.  I was glued to the TV unable to disconnect.  I watched as some expressed their anger, others their dismay, and others take a stand against those rioting and looting.  I listened as this one woman cried out, “Where are the community leaders?  Who is in charge?  Why aren’t these community leaders down here?”

 

The interesting thing is toward the end of last year, I found myself saddened as many of the few remaining civil rights activist passed away.   A lot of the history, determination, and civil fight went with them.  I thought to myself then, “Who is going to pick up this torch now?  Who is going to lead us through the next wave of the new civil rights movement?”   In this day and time, there seems to be a huge disconnect between where we’ve been, and where we are going.  I remember once reading a quote that said, “If you don’t know your history, you are bound to repeat it.”  With this disconnect, I feel like we are finding ourselves repeating some of our history.  There are lessons and wisdom that should be passed down from generation to generation, but some where along the line some of these very vital bits of information got lost.  And please let me be clear, when I say “we” and “us”, I am talking about we the American People. 

 

While I realize I am definitely not destined to be a community activist, I do have a role and a major part to play in bridging the gap.  What is my part?  Educate, mentor, counsel, and nurture those who come across my path, especially those of the younger generation.  I was so relieved and inspired when I saw how much of a difference one day made in Baltimore.  Religious leaders of all different faiths, community leaders, street leaders, all came together to try to bring peace and educate those who were angry and eager to get their point across.  I loved that they opened their doors to bring people in and show them, this is how you protest, this is how you keep the conversation on the heart of the matter.  Other cities are joining in and protesting in their own home towns.  Now, we are rising as a people, an American people to say, “Enough is Enough!”

 

So what is the point of today’s post?  The point is do your part.  You may not be the lead, the understudy, or the co-star.  You may be a prop or a stage hand, but whatever  you are, you are a part of the supporting cast.  Find your place, and do your part.  Our society and children need you.  As always thank you for stopping by, remember as you go through your day to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love.  

Looking Forward…

Inspirational
As another year comes to a close, I look back to see how much progress I have made.  My goal is always not to find myself in the same place as I was the year before.  I can honestly say that I have seen some growth.  There are some things I wish I had improved on a little more, but hey those things can be the focus for the new year.  
I said when I first started this blog that I was looking to make lifelong changes, and that’s exactly what I have been working on.  However, lifelong changes don’t usually happen overnight.  Over the past month or so, more often than not, I hear my Grandaddy’s voice ringing in my ears saying, “It’s not about how fast you get there, it’s that you get there.” So I have been finding my pace, and moving along the way.
This past year for me has really been about my dreams and purpose, but it was the foundation that was the main focus.  I can’t tell you how many people I have encountered this year whose focus was on living out their dreams.  I can’t say that I achieved my dream, but I can say that the wheels are turning and I am headed in the right direction.  I honestly had to reacquaint myself with my dreams and purpose.  I had allowed myself to get in settlement mode about to settle for far less than my share of the pie, all because of a few disappointments and what seemed to be missed opportunities.  
I’m so glad I came to my senses, because that would be a miserable life. At the end of the day I realized that I have to stop making excuses and pursue with all that is within me. By pursue I mean take “wise” advantage of the opportunities that are placed in front of me. The bible says, “All things are permissible, but not all things are beneficial.”  I want to take advantage of the opportunities that are beneficial. 
So in 2015 I strongly encourage you to work toward your dreams as well.  Please don’t let them die.  Let’s not find out what happens to an unfilled dream.  Until 2015, Happy New Year, and dream on! Thanks for stopping by, and Remember to Be Friendly, Give Love, and Show Favor.

Who’s In Your Way?

Inspirational
I had the pleasure of guest speaking on a motivational conference call a few days ago, and it was amazing to find that almost everyone on the call could relate to the topic I was sharing.  What I realized half way through the call was that I was not only talking to them, but I was talking to myself.  I based my talk on my blog post, “Getting to Know You,” but the talk itself took a turn that I wasn’t expecting.  I found myself being more vulnerable with this group of people that I barely even knew, than honestly I was comfortable with.  Nevertheless, it was good for me.
In changing courses with this group, I was required to take a trip down memory lane.  I had to revisit some places that not only provided me with some triumphant moments, but that also dealt me some devastating blows; the very places that caused me to question whether my vision was really my purpose & destiny, or simply an illusion.  As I continued to share my personal testimony with the group, it became clearer and clearer that the vision really was my purpose and destiny.   I also faced the truth that I had very much played a role in sabotaging my own success through my lack of esteem, insecurity in my abilities, and unconscious fear of what success would be like for me.
For years people told me that I had a fear of success and that I was the only one in my way; and for years that just didn’t make sense to me.  I mean why wouldn’t I, of all people, want me to succeed?  That could only work out in my favor right?  Yet, as I shared my story with the group, I saw where every time I would get to the point of take-off, I, not anyone else, would find something to deflect with, and talk myself into why it wasn’t a good time to move, or why I should do the opposite of what professionals in my field would mentor and advise me.  All of this clearly flashed before my eyes, as I was leading a call to encourage and inspire others. Wow!
Well today I have road rage on the express way to my purpose and destiny, and I am honking and yelling at myself, “MOVE!  GET OUT THE WAY!  I HAVE SOME WHERE IMPORTANT TO BE, AND YOU ARE MAKING ME LATE-R! YOU CAN SUNDAY MORNING DRIVE ANOTHER TIME!”

As always, I thank you for stopping by.  I hope you have enjoyed today post.  Remember, today is a great day to make a positive impact in the lives of those you come in contact with.  As my Pastor always says, Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love… Mission 33!

Getting to Know You…

Inspirational
Over the past few years, I have really taken the time to get to know myself.  By nature, I am regularly reassessing and evaluating myself, my circumstances, and my current position.  For me, it is important that I am moving forward, growing, and being productive.  If at any time I find this is not the case, I want to know why and what adjustments need to be made.  Now this is not to say the adjustments are always easy, some of them take time and consistent effort.
So in my quest to get to know myself better, I completed the StrengthFinder assessment, and the Myers Briggs personality test.  I am pleased to say that I am an INFJ, with the Strengths of Responsibility, Connectedness, Relator, Restorative, and Belief.  I was amazed at how on point each description was as it pertained to me.  While reading the book StrengthFinders, there was one point that still sticks with me today; and that is how we spend so much time trying to make ourselves better in the areas that we are weak in, rather than concentrating on and operating in the areas that we are strong.  It was something so simple, yet so “deep.”  I know a lot of people, including myself, who have spent a lot of time trying to make themselves better at the things they stink at, rather than focusing on the things they are good at and excelling in those areas.  I believe if we did so, we would be a lot more fulfilled and happy. 
When I got to the personality test results, I had to laugh at myself.  The very job it said was not a good job for me was the very job that I had.  However, I understood why it wasn’t a good fit for me.  When I look back over my resume, the jobs I seemed to be most passionate about and fulfilled in doing, were the same types listed in my personality results.  Although I am good at my 9-5, I’m not passionate about it or fulfilled.  I’m good at what I do, because I find ways to operate in my strengths.  No, I’m not contradicting myself, I’m just adding an addendum, “Operating in your strengths matched up with areas you are passionate about, will lead you to be more fulfilled and happy.”  The interesting thing is most people don’t even know what their strengths are, nor have they taken the time to really assess what they’re good at.
So today, I am challenging you to go on a journey and find out who you are.  Don’t spend the rest of your life randomly selecting what you think might be a good fit for you, or being miserable trying to make yourself good at what you obviously wasn’t created to be good at.  Our weaknesses help us to rightly connect with others who are strong in our weak areas.  It’s like a jig saw puzzle.  When we match our strengths with another person’s weaknesses and vice versa, in the end we all work and come together to make the whole picture.    It’s not your job to be strong in your weak areas, but it is your job to find out your strengths. 

As always, I thank you for taking the time to stop by.  If you’d like more information on the StrengthFinders assessment, you can go to www.gallupstrengthscenter.com; and for more information on Myers Briggs personality test, go to www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test. Remember today is a great day to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love.

Home

Inspirational
For as far back as I can remember, writing has been something that I loved to do.  Even as a child, as long as I had a pencil and some paper, I was good.  I would make up stuff to write, from fake math equations, to words that didn’t even exist.  I just needed to write.  Unfortunately, during my elementary school years, I switched states and schools; and while I was thriving in my departing school, in my new school I struggled heavily.  I think the biggest setback for me was being put in remedial math and reading.  It messed with my confidence a lot.  I have to admit though, it was my own doing that got me put there.  How so?  Well my mom had moved to a different state, and I remained behind with my grandparents until she got on her feet.  A year or more had passed, and I was still living between my grandparents and my dad, and to my surprise a holiday visit with my mom turned out to be a permanent stay.  Naturally, I loved my mom and missed her very much, but I wasn’t ready for that type of move.  So when it became clear that I was going to be staying with her for good, she went to enroll me in school.  I was required to take a placement test since I was coming from a different state.  My creative mind decided if I purposely failed this test, then they will have no choice but to return me to my grandparents.  Not so.  I failed the test, and it landed my smart behind in remedial classes.  I didn’t recover from this dreaded mistake until middle school.
When I got to middle school, a whole new world opened up to me.  Whatever I put my hands to excelled.  I joined the news team as a camera girl, and then moved my way up to anchor.  Yes, my school had a live broadcasted news show that was shown in every classroom every morning.  I got to write my own news stories and deliver them on air.  I think it was called the “A.M. Eagles”.  From there I joined the drama club, and I got to write and act in skits that I and my teammates wrote.  The biggest moment for me though, was when I wrote an essay about a tragic killing that happened in our area.  It wasn’t an assignment for class or anything.  I was just angry about the way things were going in our neighborhoods at the time.  So, I took to writing to get my anger out.  Somehow one of my teachers got their hands on what I had written, and the next thing I know I was standing before an auditorium of my peers and teachers reading what I had written.  Wow! 
Of course there is much more that I can share, but the point that I’m chasing right now is that since my early years, I have had a love for writing.  Without understanding the drawing that I had to it, I continuously worked at, and it has taken me to some amazing places.  For me writing is home, and now that I know this, it’s a matter of finding my way back.  The void that I have without it gives me an insatiable thirst that nothing else can quench.  I can’t just visit from time to time anymore.  I have to find a way to consistently “be” at home.

As always, I thank you for stopping by.  I hope this tid bit will help you remember what home is for you.  Remember, today is a great day to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love!

What Did You Do With Your Talent?

Inspirational



I was recently reminded of the biblical parable of the Talents. Yes, I’ve heard the story many times before; but this time it really stood out to me. It made me ask myself what did and am I doing with my talent?
So in the parable, three servants were given an unequal portion of money.  The two with the most money went out and “traded”, and doubled their money.  The one that had the least money went and literally buried his money, because he was “afraid”.  When their master came back he was very pleased with the two that had doubled their money, but angry with the one that had buried his (Matthew 25:14-30). 
Wow!  Now the interesting thing is the parable is about money, but when I heard this story instantly I saw how it not only applied to the way that I looked at money; but also the way that I handle my gifts and talents.  So my short meditative thought for you today is are you burying your money, gifts, talents, or strengths; or are you utilizing them to multiply your return?  Just a question.
As always, I thank you for stopping by, and I wish you a safe and wonderful day!

Do Over

Inspirational

I know it’s been a while. So much has happened in these past few months. I’m telling you, it is so easy to lose track of time. My internet went down and before I knew it days turned into weeks, and weeks turned into months since I had written anything. 

Needless to say the clock totally resets on my #365 project. I’m going way back to double-dutch on the playground days, and crying, “Do Over!” I need another chance to get this thing right.

In the spirit of getting things right, I am so excited and thankful today to be celebrating not just another day of life, but another YEAR of life!   It certainly could have been another way, but today I get to try and be better than I was yesterday;  and I get a chance to make this upcoming new year of life better than my last.  Learning from mistakes, and applying the lessons I’ve learned.  DO OVER!

Well, that’s all for today.  As always, thank you for stopping by, and I wish you and yours a safe and wonderful day!