Inspirational Thursday

Inspirational
It’s that time again!  Time for me to share something that has inspired me.  I found this while browsing Pintrest this morning.  I certainly believe it rings true.  

What about you?  What has inspired you this week?  Well, as always, I thank you for stopping by, and wish you a safe and wonderful day!

Making A Difference

Inspirational
Today is a great day to make a difference and a positive impact in the lives of those around you!
I used to say that all the time.  I had it on my answering machine greeting, and even had it posted all over my desk.  I didn’t just say it.  I lived it as well.  I was a mentor for young women and teens.  I did outreach ministry at the men and women’s shelters.  I partnered with a teen parenting program, and did empowerment speaking in the county schools for teen parents.  I actually practiced what I preached, or at least I tried to. 
My family dynamics have changed since then, in a good way of course, and unfortunately I don’t have the opportunity to do as much as I used to.  But, I still maintain the desire to positively impact the lives of others around me, and make difference.  I have just found other ways to do it.  Sometimes it may be through a donation, monetary or clothing.  Other times I may volunteer to serve with a non-profit organization in some type of capacity. Either way, I still manage to find some way to help out.  So often people talk about the problems, but do very little to contribute to the solution. 
Although everyday is a great day to give back in some way, the month of October highlights a lot of non-profits as the Combined Federal Campaign, which includes the United Way, begins their annual donation drive.  Yes, this is primarily for Federal employees and federal contractors to donate.  However, the website is accessible to the public.  So if you are having a hard time finding non-profits in your area that fit your interests to volunteer or personally donate to, this would be a good resource.   
In this day and time, there are so many people that could use the loving, helping hand of others who are passionate about leaving a positive impression on the lives that they come in contact with.  So in the words of my Pastor, Dr. Chad Carlton, what will you be most known for, the problems you caused, or the problems you solved?

As always, I thank you so much for stopping by.  Remember… Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love, because today is a Great Day to make a difference and a positive impact in the lives of those around you.

Thankful

Inspirational
I know this is going to be a little different, but sometimes less is more.  So today, I simply want to say, I am thankful for another chance to get it right!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a safe and wonderful day!

Unguarded Passion

Inspirational
“The Key to writing is writing.  The first draft comes from the heart, and the second draft comes from my head.”  Yes, I am noticing that every day I find myself in some way reciting that quote.  I honestly need it rooted in my spirit.  When you are passionate about something. You eat, sleep, and breathe it.  That’s where am I right now.  My passion is being restored for the one thing that I loved to do, and was very good at doing. 
I remember a time when I did eat, sleep, and breathe writing.  I would work the swing shift, get off at 11:30 at night, come home, and write until 3 or 4 in the morning.  I could sit down and just write like it was nothing.  I would write at work, write at the park, I have even sat in a bowling alley during rock and bowl with the loud music and black lights writing in between my turn to bowl.  I was a writer, and writing is what I did.  Thinking back on those times gives me that feeling some people get when they walk through a house and smell the savory flavors of their favorite childhood dish; and at that moment they feel like they are literally right back at the place when their senses first came in contact with that smell.  Yeap, its like that.
The other day I was sitting at home watching TV, and I came across one of my favorite movies, Finding Forrester.  I chuckled at myself a little, because I found myself taking notes on the advice Forrester was giving Jamaal, hence the above quote that I have been stuck on.  I had forgotten how the movie ended, and I found myself crying at the end.  The problem was I couldn’t stop crying, and I didn’t understand why.  It wasn’t until my catch up chat with my Resident Psychologist that the light bulb came on, and I got the revelation on why I was crying.
I cried, because the very thing that Forrester warned Jamaal about happened to me.   In my quest to hone my skills and become a better writer, I came across some people that didn’t understand nor believe that writing was so natural and easy for me.  I didn’t fit in the box and the formulas that they had come to consistently train other writers.  In the end they took me, and my raw natural talent, and shattered me.  Slowly, but surely I shutdown, until eventually I stopped writing altogether. 
The funny thing is, I had experienced and successful writers encouraging me to directly pursue employment as a full time writer.  They told me, “Don’t do the programs.  Don’t take the classes.  Just write.  You can do this.”  The problem was I saw other writers “on my level” that were applying to the programs, and taking the classes.  So since I was scared, and slightly insecure; I did the opposite of what I was advised.   Watching that movie reminded me of my love for writing, and how I have been separated from it for the last 6-7 years.  What a price to pay!
I don’t know what it is you’re passionate about, or what natural gifts and talents you have; but what I do know is that you should always keep them guarded.  There is a difference between constructive criticism and “I’m trying to hurt you” criticism. You want those things that are going to correct while still helping you build, not things that rip away your very unique foundation.  The last thing you want is to be forced into a box that you weren’t even designed to fit in.
Well, that’s my note for today, and yes there will be more to come.  But until then… I thank you for stopping by, and I wish you a safe and wonderful day! #365

Path vs. Destination

Inspirational
“Don’t confuse your path with your destination.  Just because its stormy now doesn’t mean you aren’t headed for sunshine.” – Unknown
I ran across this quote on Pinterest.  Unfortunately, I don’t know whom exactly gets the credit for it; but I do know this is definitely a mistake that I have made at various times in my life. 
Today I want to encourage you to take a moment and refresh your perspective.  Sometimes life’s circumstances can become so overwhelming that we take our eyes off of the ultimate goal, and begin to magnify the molehills until we convince ourselves that they are mountains standing before us.  Before you know it, you’ve settled within yourself that your life is never going to be more than struggles and hard climbs.
But today, remember the quote.  Your path is meant to take you through to your destination.  It is not the place for you to stop, settle, and make your home.  The path may take you to high places and low places along the way, but the stops are only temporary.  Seasons do change.  And after you have suffered a while, he (God) will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation (1 Peter 5:10). Your destiny still awaits you!  So again I say be encouraged!  Don’t give up, and please don’t give in.  Press, because the prize of the victory is well worth it at the end!

As always, I thank you so much for stopping by, and wish you a safe and wonderful day!

Day 3

Inspirational
I love it!  I got a text message this evening that said, “Blog???” That’s what I’m talking about, check on me and hold me to my 365 days.  I appreciate it!
Do you know it took me three hours to get home today?  Traffic jams and detours everywhere!  Every alternate route I took to avoid the traffic turned out to be just as bad.    I was tired, hungry, and at times just wanted to cry from the frustration.  It wasn’t until I finally got home that I realized what was really going on.
See earlier today, I had the pleasure of talking with my friend the “Resident Psychologist,” and we had one of our many “Are you the patient or am I the patient” sessions.  It was good shooting the breeze and catching up with her.  We talked about some good stuff.  No worries, I am going to fill you in a little later on another day.  Anyway, one of the things that we talked about was my 365-day blogging; and how challenges to stick with it would surely arise.  And no soon as I get off from work, I run into my first challenge. 
I was so drained when I first got home, all I wanted to do was put my feet up and close my eyes for a few moments to rest.  I knew I needed to blog, but the more I thought about it the more comfortable I got (my second challenge).  Then that text message came through.  All I could do was laugh.  So, I pressed my way to get up and WRITE. 
Now that I have overcome the odds for today, I’m going to go rest up and prepare for tomorrow.  Thanks for stopping by, and you all have a safe and wonderful night! #365

Inspirational Thursday

Inspirational


Hear ye!  Hear ye!  Announcing…. Inspirational Thursdays! 
Thursdays will now be the day when I share with you someone (famous or not), something, or someplace that has come to be an inspiration to me.  So, without further ado…
This week’s inspiration is a person.  She has no idea that I am doing this, but I hope it is a pleasant surprise to her.  She has been a friend of mine since childhood, and through ups and downs we have managed to maintain our friendship.   
She has birthed three beautiful children, served our country in the Armed Forces; she is a published author and poet, an entrepreneur, and a warrior at heart.  She has definitely had her share of trials though.  She became partially handicapped, and lost her 2nd child at the tender age of 3 weeks old from a severe car accident, which was followed up by a divorce from her husband during her rehabilitation time. 
Although she managed to pick up her pieces and press forward, she continued to carry the weight of the loss of her son; being a single mother of now two children; having a handicap; and toeing the line between allowing her children to have a drug addicted father or no father present at all.  Oh and let’s not forget having a bout with Post Partum Depression, and the discovery that she had developed PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) .  But still, she pressed on even while those around her passed judgment. 
I chose Lycretia Davis as my inspiration today, because no matter what life has thrown at her she still presses on.  She could have used her circumstances as an excuse to throw in the towel and give up so many times, and I’m sure she wanted, but she didn’t.  Instead, she reached out for help, and wrote her way out.   She took what comes natural to her, and used it as a healthy way to process out her pain.  Now she has two published books and a third on the way.  She has even started several side businesses to generate an inheritance, and show her children what it means to have multiple streams of income.  For that, she inspires me.
Today I salute you Lycretia Davis for your strength, dedication, love, and relentless spirit.  I dedicate to you Ready Aim by Mali Music.  
As always, thank you for stopping by, and remember today is a great day to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love to those you come in contact with.  Have a safe and wonderful day!

Reset

Inspirational
        A good friend of mine has this bad habit of clicking an icon on her computer, and when the system doesn’t bring the item up fast enough; she’ll start impatiently double clicking on other icons.  Of course the computer freezes up, because of all the extra commands that she has now sent to the processor.  I just stand shaking my head and watching as she further frustrates herself fussing at the computer, and slamming the mouse down.  In the end, we always have to press the reset button, and reboot the computer for it to start working properly.
Today I have decided to hit my Reset button.  My processor has been in a frozen state, and rightfully so.  I have been so busy trying to “Do Something”, that when one thing doesn’t seem to work or produce fast enough, I immediately come up with something else to try.  For months I have been stuck in a patterning of “thinking” and “meaning to” with no action or follow up.  So just as with my computer or cell phone when it freezes up during a process, I’m hitting the reboot/reset/restart button.  Now don’t get me wrong most successful people got to where they are from multiple trials and errors.  However, as I am learning there should be some type of lever that as new things come in, something else, especially those things that truly aren’t working, should go out or be dismissed.  Otherwise you will become overwhelmed, exhausted, and distracted from the very things that you should be doing. 
        So in an effort to reset, I have shut everything down outside of the necessities, and am now refocusing only on those processes that should be running.  Since blogging is one of those processes, I have decided to embark on the 365-day project.  I got this idea from a friend who took on the Photo 365 challenge.  He wanted to work on his photography skills, but could never seem to find the time to work on them consistently.  So he committed to taking a photo everyday for 365 days.  Now I know, that is a tall order to fill, but hey I’m a writer and writers are suppose to write.  So blogging for the next 365 days is what I shall do. 
        The key to my restart will be to avoid “tasks” and “processes” that are simply meant to be distractions from what I really should be doing.  For as the Bible says, and I am continually learning, while all things are permissible, not all things are beneficial.  I told you guys earlier this year that I am working on making life-changing habits.  I’ve been told that it takes 3 weeks to make a habit.  Well by the end of these 365 days, I will have one heck of a writing habit.  Now writing/blogging will not be the only process I restart, but it will be one of my main focuses. 
So what about you, do you need a Reset, or have something that a 365-day Project could help you with?

As always, thank you for stopping by, and remember today is a great day to Be Friendly, Show Favor, and Give Love to those you come in contact with.  Have a safe and wonderful day!

Breaking the Cycle

Inspirational


Ok, so I have come to the realization that I need to break the cycle of thinking of new material to post, but not actually posting the new material.  So for today, I will leave with this…
“Laughter is good for the soul, and keeps the light shining bright in your eyes, while making memories for a lifetime.”
Wishing you a safe and wonderful day!

Going Against The Grain

Inspirational

I know that I’ve been silent for the last few weeks, but believe me it hasn’t been on purpose. I’ve had every good intention to write and share what’s been on my mind, but life seemed to have its own set of plans for me.  Since my last post, I have literally been challenged on almost a daily basis to maintain a renewed mind, and uphold the principles of the Law of Attraction.  Did I think that I wouldn’t be challenged?  I absolutely knew that I would be.  I have to be honest though, in the beginning I was like one of them inflatable punching toys that the kids have, where you hit it and within seconds it bounces right back up; but I found that after a week and a few days of consistent pounding my “bounce back time” got a little extended.  Nevertheless, I pressed and as you can see… I got back up. 

So let me give you a little back story.  See as the New Year approached, I did a serious examination of myself, and found that I didn’t like the person I had become; and some things had to change.  I know that New Year’s resolutions are what most people might have put in place here, but honestly I think New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken.  I mean seriously, I can’t think of one single solitary resolution that I actually kept throughout an entire year.  I was looking for a lifelong behavioral impacting change.  That’s when I started being reminded of how to renew my mind.  I also came to the understanding that I needed to grow up, face my fears, and leave the past in the past (good or bad).  So I stepped outside of myself, and reached out for help.  I opened up to someone that could counsel, mentor, and help coach me out of my rut.   As I have worked on implementing these changes, I can see the shift of things for the better in my life.   BUT the “behaviors” that I was/am working on didn’t develop overnight.  Some of these things have been with me for months and years, and are now like second nature to me.  So they are now taking turns challenging me saying stuff like, “You didn’t really think I left you,” and “You won’t ever get rid of me, I’ll always be right here waiting for you.”  Oh and here is the best one, “Look, you right back where you started, and you thought things were changing.” 
As I said before, at first I bounced back quickly from these challenges, because I was able to quickly identify them as distractions due to my decision to change some things.  I looked at the challenge dismissed it and moved on.  But then they kept coming, each time with more and more impact.  So my response/dismissal time slowed, and before I knew it I looked up and I was falling back into some of the same habits.  It’s funny, because I remember being in this same place one time before.  That place where you’ve been taking beating after beating, and you have to decide whether to get up or stay down.  The last time, I thought about making the decision so long, the decision made itself.  Oh but this time, I decided that moment by moment, step by step, day by day with every fiber in my being I am getting up.   I have to, because it’s not about me anymore.  It’s about my children and those watching my life to learn and gain an example of how to navigate through theirs.  Now, that’s not to say that I don’t want to experience a prosperous and joyous life.  That I do, but I am to do my best to lead by example along the way – Spoiler Alert: I’m not perfect; I will sometimes get it wrong, but I will do my best to get it right.
I said all of that to say, hang in there.  Don’t give up and GET UP!  Going against the grain and setting new patterns and habits is not easy.  You will be challenged, but you don’t have to be defeated.  It takes work.  You know that age old saying, “Practice makes perfect.”  You might not make the basket every time, but keep working at it and make adjustments as needed.  Before you know it, you’ll be getting it right more than wrong.  Ok, I think I have given myself a good enough pep talk for the day.  As always, I thank you so much for stopping by, and I wish you a safe and wonderful day!