There’s a very distinct feeling you get when cruising on the highway in new city. You’re experiencing it all for the first time. That feeling you get is the feeling of being totally present. There’s so much surrounding you to take in you don’t want to miss a beat of it. But all of these cities look and feel the same. There’s nothing new here. Same road paving, similar sky scrapers, same industrially polluted air.
If you live in an urban area, it’s not different than where you’re coming from. So how do you get that same high in your own city? Become more present in your own city.
I notice that that same feeling comes over me when I pause my thoughts and just take in the city as I’m pulling in on I-83. There’s still so much to take in here. Every day, a new thing. It only feels familiar so we become distracted with everything else.
What pockets of life do we neglect to fully experience because they have become too familiar and thus we are no longer present to the beauty and newness of them as they evolve every day?
Be present to what is happening now. Our surroundings are ever evolving. What’s old to you, is actually new with every breathing moment. Take a look.
I handle microagressions much differently now than I once did.
They used to cause me stress; anxiety even. I would spend hours trying to devise a plan of retaliation or just mope in sadness about how hard this person was to deal with. We end up dimming our light and slowing my momentum worrying about how to address the oppressor. Now I choose to use that same energy to shine brighter.
When you know your value, you realize that they (microaggressions) only exist because the deliverer has reason to be threatened by you.
It’s basic primal behavior. People only feel the need to intimidate what intimidates them.
For that reason, I see microagressions as a compliment.
I don’t even address it any more. You’re beneath me. Move.
Thanks for acknowledging my superiority.
Keep that head high, shorty. Don’t shrink.
They are intimidated by you. Your mere existence is a threat to them. Do nothing. You already win. You’re above them on the food chain.
“They go low, we go high.” It applies beautifully here.
Remain pleasant. Remain joy-filled. Remain on top.
I don’t know the research. I don’t have a clue what others are doing. But this has been working for me.
I’ve come across a series of posts, statuses, videos over the last two days that speak to this notion that women live their lives fulfilling a bunch of roles. Someone’s wife, someone’s mom, someone’s this, someones that.
Behind every title is a person. A person with a very unique identity and gifting meant to be shared with the world. And if we mask that person with a series of roles, then the people who benefit from you filling that role never get to experience the real you. They miss out on so much that you have to offer. And you’ll find yourself transitioning out of roles and feeling very unfulfilled.
Focus on finding you first so that when you leave a role or the position becomes less valuable to the beneficiaries, your identity does not suffer as a result of it.
You should be so aware of who you are and the value you offer that your light shines brightly from within in every season even without the title.
I’ve been on this mission to figure out the formula to shortening the grief process and I’ve found that the more of it you allow yourself to feel, the quicker you get through it. It’s like a stone, a weight that shrinks the more you feel it until it finally dissolves. The memories don’t go away but the pain lessens.
The answer is quite simply to go through it. Failing to do so only prolongs the pain. And it taints the joy you may hope to experience later when it turns to bitterness and resentment.
Whether loss of love, disappointment, death, or some other tragedy, not allowing yourself to grieve properly will inhibit the fullness of your future joy.
I believe proper grieving purifies your joy.
I’ve celebrated a lot of big wins in the last few months and the joy of them was pure because of the thorough grief process I allowed to take place prior to.
I became a Baltimore City homeowner just 2 weeks after having an armed assailant carjack my roommate on the porch of where we were living prior to my move.
I celebrated this milestone without the partner who I had built the last 2 years of my life around next to me.
But I celebrated, with tons of joy. Because I grieved. I didn’t just get back up. I grieved until it was fully processed and I had gotten from it what I needed to.
And I’ll grieve some more if I need to. Tonight’s one of those nights that I need to. So tonight, to the tunes of John Legend’s Evolver album, I grieve. So that, in the morning, as I prepare to welcome guests for my first ever housewarming, I will have the purest of joy.
“If you tell the wrong people about the right idea, your idea will die too soon.”
Who are you talking to?
Our insecurities surrounding the launching of our ideas or projects tend to come from the people we surround ourselves with. After leaving conversations with the wrong people, you start to doubt yourself and the idea that once brought you so much excitement.
There are always two types of people:
Those that want you to succeed no matter what and those who don’t want you to succeed before they do.
There are also those who are indifferent. You don’t want those people speaking into you either because they can mislead you with advice that does not align with your true design because they simply do not care enough to see you win.
You absolutely must have people around you that celebrate harder than you do. These people will make you feel like the sun shines out of your rear end. You’ll never have to question their loyalty. They will have your back when you’re up and when you’re down.
Ask yourself these questions:
What is their stake in the matter?
What are their motives?
What do they stand to gain or lose by you implementing your idea?
Who are you when you’re around them? Are you your highest self, or do they make you feel small?
The thoughts, energies, prayers of those you tell in the early stages should act as an incubator of your idea pushing it forward it and nurturing it to its fullest potential before it its released to the rest of the world.
Surround yourself with the right team of people who will nurture it with you. They will invest in it and in you not withdraw energy from you with their negative perspective.
Don’t let your idea die before it comes to life. Choose who you tell wisely.
We are trained from birth that sadness is bad and expressing it should be avoided at all costs.
I say from birth because even as an infant, we witness parents go into panick mode when a baby is crying. As a toddler, we’re told to stop crying. As adults we are made to believe it makes us weak.
But what if our avoidance expressing the pain and sadness we feel, is the very thing keeping us sad. What if I told you at the bottom of that emotion, is a lesson or an opportunity for breakthrough. Avoiding it only keeps you in the cycle. How many toxic relationships and work environments have we remained in long past their expiration because we wanted to avoid the sadness that came with moving on? And how many fresh and new and beautiful opportunities are we passing up because of it. How many lives are we missing the chance to impact because we won’t face the pain, heal and move on?
I posed this question to a friend recently, “how many people are dying for us to get healed so that they can too?”
I learned in my most recent coaches training course that there is new energy to be created at the bottom of our emotions. That new energy can be channeled into forming new ideas, pursuing new projects, or simply catapulting us forward.
Picture diving to the depths of the sea and coming back up with pearls. The only way you reach them is by getting to the bottom of it.
Stop avoiding your emotions.
What are they trying to tell you?
What new seasons will they take you into once you’ve learned those lessons.
What new joy can come of getting to the bottom of your pain?
And how many people will be touched when you do?
Side: In my e-book “The Black Woman In Leadership’s Survival Guide,” I recommend scheduling time to cry, lest you get bitter and it affect your leadership. (Check it out on the Resources page)
Schedule time of stillness to sit and feel any emotions that may be lingering at the surface today. Process how what happened made you feel. Don’t run when painful memories surface. Ask yourself, what is this telling me? Get to the bottom it. Get it out, whether out loud or on paper.
If you have trouble doing this alone, seek a counselor, friend or coach.
Get to the bottom of it. The world is waiting on you!
Well I was awake, but it was basically a dream. Freshly emerged from slumber, I rolled over to begin my daily devotion with sleep still in my eyes, so I was basically still asleep. It usually takes about 3 attempts to really start the devotion in the first place. Ha! But it’s my routine.
During this first attempt, I got this vivid image of a huge green reptile like object in the middle of the garden. The garden looked like what I was consider the Garden of Eden to look like. And right there in the middle of it was this huge green thing. It was wide and round like a big oak tree in the forest. Surrounded by lush green shrubbery and the rest of the garden. It was certainly out of place. I pictured it being the huge hoof of a gigantic dinosaur. But it was just stood there.
I got the sense that it was symbolic of something standing in the way of my progress. Something blocking my blessing of God’s promises. Something that must be defeated. So immediately, I began to pray. And in praying and worshiping, I am visualizing myself hacking and stabbing at this thing that is clearly my enemy. Not much is happening. I am penetrating the flesh of this stagnant creature but its not budging.
I get to go take a shower and I continue with my devotion playing and humming a tune about peace that had dropped into my spirit. I figured I would try a different approach by stepping back and letting Christ handle the battle. I’m meditating on different scriptures of warfare in the hopes that they will activate something in the spirit realm and defeat this sucker.
While in the shower, I finished up a few chapters of audio Bible and switched to actually playing the song “PEACE” that had come to me. It’s a Hillsong Young & Free song on their new album “III.” I let the rest of the album play and it starts over. By the time I get out of the shower its on to a more upbeat song. So I get to dancing as I am drying myself off, and I remember the enemy reptile in my dream. Clearly the devil, right? So I get to doing graceful “dance moves” to the beat of the song that mimic me hacking and puncturing this thing from every side.
And then I pause to see if anything is working. Was it even close to toppling over? To my surprise, not only was it still standing, but it didn’t have a single wound. In fact, it had completely transformed. No longer did I see a threatening reptile figure. What stood before me now was a tall (and wide) leafy green plant-like structure. Reminiscent of the stalk in Jack and the Bean Stalk. Now instead of being fearful of the object, I was curious. What does this all mean?
Here’s the revelation I got. It’s simple.
The thing that comes to challenge you will be the very thing that gets you to your blessings.
At the top of that green stalk are the very things I have been praying for, my giftings and purpose actualized, prosperity riches.
Don’t be intimidated by the thing that sets you back. Attack it. Conquer it. Use it to elevate you to your next level. It was there for a purpose.
What does this mean for me in real time? I have been trying to build this brand but neglecting the pain and struggles I had to overcome to get here. Stories of failure, rejection, depression, anxiety, abuse, poverty, experiencing the loss of a loved one, the list goes on. Those very stories are the ones that make my brand unique and will open the door to more speaking opportunities, my niche audience, and from there my prosperity through awareness and sales and book ideas.
I went from feeling a dark cloud of fear over me to feeling clarity focus and sunshine this morning after getting to the end of this visual exercise, if you will.
What does this revelation mean for you?
Where is your bean stalk leading you?
What pain have you neglected that is the very thing that will be used to get you to prosperity?
Write it down. Then allow God to bring it to life for you as well.
I celebrated my Birthday, a week ago on Labor Day, and it was a blast. I don’t do birthday parties often, well, ever. But I had a lot to celebrate, so I went for it. Did it on a REALLY tight budget, but based on the feedback I’ve gotten, you would never have guessed it.