I’m pretty sure I have officially hit my burn out stride. This week has been intense on so many levels. My energy level been off and I’ve been feeling the need to bury myself under some covers with my feet up. I had a semi full schedule planned for this week. Yesterday I decided to cancel or reschedule most of my plans. Often times our bodies and minds will speak to us before we reach complete exhaustion. I’ve been so consumed with the upcoming year that I haven’t given myself much time to reflect on the closing days of the current year. I also started a short-term contract position which is further propelling this need for a disconnection from the real world. So I apologize in advance for my shadiness in the coming days.
On a brighter note, I decided to get back into ballet. Although I’m still at a beginners level, I felt like an old pro my first day back. Ms. Lauren, the instructor, yelled my name at the end of the class. She couldn’t believe I had returned. It’s been almost two years since she last seen me. Ms. Lauren is my favorite instructor because she’s so patient and nurturing. I could feel her eyes from the front mirror checking my plie, a ballet posture where the dancer bends and straightens the knees with the heels together while the feet are turned out. I wasn’t even sure if she would remember me. It felt good to be back home. I have been feeling this overwhelming sense of bringing back some of my adventures from 2016. I spent a majority of 2016 taking horseback riding and ballet lessons. I felt very happy and centered that year. Those experiences actually pivoted me to find the courage in this year. I had no experience in either at the time. There is something about staring an 800-pound horse in the face and showing up to a class with no experience that teaches you really quick about courage and facing the unknown.
I was in such a good mood afterward so I stopped by my favorite bookstore on the way home and got much of the same response. The employees were happy to see me and wanted to know where I’d been. It felt good to be missed and to reconnect with old friends.
If I combine the best of both years and sprinkle in the newness of 2018 then the incoming year should be amazing. I deserve a streak of good years especially after recovering from a series of pretty tough ones. By the time I started this blog, I definitely had my share of heartbreak and disappointment. I open my arms to receiving more of the goodness that was intended for my life. The only caveat is I can only reach full capacity with some rest. So I’m figuratively canceling December with the intention of getting some rest over the next three weeks. My intention is to fill my days with self-care, meditation, reading, ballet and hopefully a little horseback riding if the weather permits.
Orlando – Shiva Dance
Peace and Blessings
It is officially turkey day and never before have I felt an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I am pretty sure this blind faith mindset has a lot to do with my feelings of gratefulness. I have always believed myself to be a spiritual person but like most I believed my Creator could cover me until… Until can be any limitation you think is bigger than what is possible for your life. What do I mean by that? I mean that in my mind I put limits on what was possible because of the things I had seen or not seen happen in other people’s lives. For a long time, I didn’t make the connection, that the Creator operates from a different space and has a different set of plans. I also learned that just because you want something or think you deserve something does not mean it’s always for your highest good. I think you are always provided with your highest good. The seeds you have sown also play a role in your harvest. In some instances, there are some things you have to learn to be properly equipped to maintain that harvest. Once the harvest comes if you have no means of transporting or storing the rewards, then it becomes wasted effort. Since the Creator’s vantage point is better than mine, I have to trust the process more often than not.
A month ago I created a list of all the situations that at the time I didn’t know how I would resolve them. I immediately had 8-10 examples of situations which worked out better than I could have imagined. The moment I stopped worrying and start allowing, forward movement occurred. That’s not to say those things happened overnight. When I look at my pattern, my resolution timeline is up to two years. That means from start to finish, it can take up to two years for a resolution to appear. Most situations clear up in less time than that but rarely has it been over two years. Patience and gratitude come in handy in the stillness. I’ve learned to take up my ‘do nothing’ posture while the universe moves mountains on my behalf. My prayers and meditation are reaching the ears of those capable of helping me to bring forth what’s for my highest good. When I’m praying I try to end it with some variation of “whatever is of the highest good for myself and all those impacted by this request”. There are times when I am afraid that these things won’t appear. There are times when I get impatient. There are also times when I remember to just be thankful for, however, it turns out.
As I create my vision for 2018, I am also reminded to just be thankful for what already exists. I am reminded to take a moment and reflect on all the good things that have occurred thus far. I also reflect on those areas that were truly meant to teach me a lesson. I can now reflect on the times I got it wrong. I try not to see negative experiences without reflecting on the positive aspects of them. When you interpret an experience as negative only, you miss the bigger picture and will most likely repeat that experience. Repetition creates a pattern and patterns can lead to stagnation. Purposely being thankful for the season is what attracts more things to be thankful for in the coming seasons.
Peace and Blessings
A Sister’s Siesta: Mental Rest In A Safe Place is a monthly platform for connecting women of color to discuss relevant issues in our workplaces and other settings. Every month is a different theme to tackle.
I attended my first A Sister Siesta event last night which was an open discussion on our accomplishments for 2017. I honestly didn’t know what to expect but it ended up being the most empowering two and a half hours of my year. I sat at a table with Jasmin, Certified Professional Career Coach and at least fifteen women. We were tasked with taking some time to write out our accomplishments in the following categories; professional, spiritual, physical, relational and emotional. Although at the end of the year I write out my accomplishments, it never dawned on me to break them out into these categories. However, Bianca K. Hughes, Associate Professional Counselor, and facilitator pointed out most people only focus on professional accomplishments while the other areas remain in the shadows.
As I was writing I realized I had so many first in 2017 and all of my accomplishments for this year were a direct result of having the courage to quit my job and step out on faith. My family and friends have been overwhelmingly supportive and share how proud they are of me, however, this was the first time I actually sat down to take inventory of my success. I came from an era and culture where sharing your accomplishments was seen as arrogance. As a woman, I also learned to dim my light to keep other people from feeling uncomfortable. This is an old mentality that no longer fits who I am. I want others to know that finding your path and purpose won’t allow you to stay hidden from other people. I’ve gotten into a space where I want to tell anyone who will listen and my truth has nothing to do with anyone else’s life. My truth is meant to reach, inspire and motivate those that look like me and anyone who aspires to find their happy. Our ‘happy’ might not look the same but it only takes one person, message, or thought to inspire change in someone else. If my courage and journey only help one person then my work here is done. My legacy is forever etched at this time because I had the courage to follow my spiritual promptings and walk out into the unknown.
So when the facilitators asked who wanted to share their accomplishments I damn near stood up and pushed the table over. I was that excited and I wanted to be heard. In my head, this task was all about me. I’ve gone from hardly sharing anything to wanting to authentically sharing everything. That alone is an accomplishment. Below is a partial list of what I shared with this group.
- Actively practiced walking on blind faith and pushed through my fears in 2017
- Increased self care regimen and feel more rested.
- Gained insight on areas I still need to heal especially as it relates to my immediate family
- Allowed my family and friends to support me, previously I was very private and wouldn’t ask for anything. Now I chose to share my journey with them. I choose to be open to them supporting me spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially.
- Connected more and for longer periods of time with family and friends
- Reconnected with someone from the past. I am open and available for love. I am able to verbalize what I want and need and this person has been open to meeting me where I am.
So 2017 has truly been a good year for me. Last weekend I was up writing my vision for 2018 and I got so elated about the possibilities. Everyone must attend an empowerment event like A Sister’s Siesta, it might change how you view who you are.
Peace and Blessings
Recently I have been in contact with someone from the distant past. Some things have surfaced as a reminder to remain consciously curious and vigilant about not allowing past experiences to take the fun out of getting to know someone. Experience has taught me to initially keep my guard up and look for a motive. As I observe my interaction with this person, my normal response seems to be nonexistent as if the guards have somehow gone on lunch break. I find myself tilting my head to the side with conscious curiosity as I try to figure that one out. Conscious curiosity means I slow down long enough to observe my own words, thoughts, and interactions in each situation.
Spirituality has taught me
- There is no such thing as coincidence. People appear for a reason, a season or lifetime. I do believe there is a storyline (purpose) that we agreed to prior to coming here. I also believe part of the journey is discovering or reconnecting with that purpose. The people who appear can either take you closer or further away from your purpose and it’s up to us to stay attuned to who is who. It is up to us to ask the question, what am I supposed to learn from this person? I don’t think everyone you meet you are supposed to continue with. I can call to memory at least one lesson from every major relationship I’ve had with other people.
- Change only comes from awareness. It’s hard to change what you don’t know exist. For years I walked around in a cloud, a protective cloud of ignorance. It was the best thing for me at the time. Some days I wish I could go back to my blissful ignorance, but you can’t make yourself unconscious. You can ignore your conscious, but I’ve learned it only creates conflict that shows up as stress and sleepless nights. I know there are patterns I have repeated and roles in relationships that I have agreed to with my silence. While I have no regrets, I also know that it’s now my responsibility to make different choices in relationships. I have this 60-day rule. The guardian’s post. Where I don’t let an inch of my guard down until I can gauge your intention. Once I know it, even if I don’t like it I know how to handle the situation. I know what category to place the individual in. I never really named them before but I’ll label them as follows; potential, friend zone and not an option. About 80% end up in ‘not an option’. 19% in the ‘friend zone’ and a small 1% end up in ‘potential’. That means if I meet 100 people only 1 I will consider true potential. On occasion, friend zone occupants can make a leap to potential but sometimes the conversion is rocky. The catch is friend zoned is a necessary evil. It’s rare that upon first introductions you go to the top-tier. Some see friend zone as the death zone but that’s not always the case with me. ‘Friend zone’ is where I go to make an assessment of your character and true potential.
- Experience stifles possibility. Sometimes our experiences can leave such a negative imprint that we vow to never repeat. The only catch to that is, it requires us to block all potential. People can show up with really no agenda other than to love you completely. However, pain from the past or an attachment to the possibility of pain can stand in the way. We stop allowing the impossible to be possible. If I can’t authentically communicate what I need, then I run the risk of never allowing another to step up to meet the need. When I can’t authentically be myself, it’s hard for me to stay engaged with another because I’m always hiding a part of myself. This is where prayer and meditation have been my ally. Conscious curiosity has become my state of mind.
The last six months I’ve seen glimpses of past experiences as well as the potential for the future. Some experiences were definite deal breakers while others opened my eyes to new possibilities. I trust that my sacred prayers are being received by the universe and each experience is my confirmation.
Peace and Blessings
We do not achieve self control through the suppression of our emotions, but by being mindful of them and taking seriously the information they convey.. This inner space allows us the wisdom to act upon feelings conducive to our well being and not act upon those harmful to it. The feeling that ultimately comes to occupy this space is a deep and abiding peace. Such peace is the emotional reward of a spiritual life – Thomas Schenk
Emotions are friendly messages from your inner world. During a conversation I became extremely emotional about feeling burdened by family ties. The burden of unwanted expectations and manipulation. It’s almost like I reverted back to an old thought process of ‘if I am taking care of everyone’s else’s needs, who is going to take care of me’. My anger felt fueled by another’s attempt to get me to see it another way but instead of compassion I felt more anger. I felt a need to defend my stance to make clear that nobody’s opinion would sway my own.
To feel bound by the expectations of another is not always easy to shake especially when you are being constantly reminded of it. My response to it is my line in the sand. It creates a boundary that makes it clear where I stand. It provides clarity and consistency. A softer response doesn’t get the same reaction as a passionate hell no. A softer response equates to death to self. Often we are taught to sacrifice who we are for the unhealthy codependent needs of another. There is nothing spiritually, mentally or socially healthy or acceptable about these demands. The demands of others often cut off your freedom and impact your health.
Emotional responses are often associated with negativity or seen as a sign of weakness so we learn to suppress our feelings. On the surface the problem looks resolved but internally we create the pathway to imbalances in the physical body. Those imbalances impact the immune system and can make you vulnerable to diseases. Suppression creates stress that will eventually trigger a need for a physical release from the body. Suppression also often cuts off our communication and connection with others. For me it means putting distance between myself and whomever I no longer feel is a safe outlet. It is not blind agreement that I seek but rather compassion and understanding for what I feel. Spiritual consciousness and emotional intelligence means I have the right to feel how I feel. Even if my response isn’t agreed with.
Suppressing emotions may be a socially-approved…but it may cause negative things to happen that can affect your mental and physical health
Past experiences become a double edge sword even for the spiritually adept. Spiritual freedom allows you to live in the moment yet there is an unconscious part of you always ready to respond to the present moment with past emotions. It takes much practice to stay in the present moment. It takes practice to remember that your current freedom isn’t at risk. Some wounds are harder to heal than others. Awareness and reflection are a part of the healing process.
When faced with an uncomfortable emotional response instead of trying to resolve it, just allow it to happen with no attachment to the outcome. Some family dynamics are hard to explain.