Resting For The New Year

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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.

 

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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.

 

Peace and Blessings

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The Season of Gratitude

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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.

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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.

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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

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A Sister Siesta: Mental Rest in a Safe Place

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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.

Professional

Spiritual

  • Actively practiced walking on blind faith and pushed through my fears in 2017

Physical

  • Increased self care regimen and feel more rested.

Emotional

  • 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

Relational

  • 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

6 Months and Counting

It’s the fourth quarter and 2017 has been good to me. I’ve learned so much about entrepreneurship.  No matter how much research you do, nothing can teach you better than real life experiences. Here are the top six things I learned in the last six months.

Businesses are cyclical. I anticipated my slow season and had a one-dimensional idea of what I could do when it arrived. I wanted to spend time with family and friends. That, however, wouldn’t keep my business relevant or in the minds of potential customers. Since my slow season started earlier than anticipated I had to create a new plan.  That plan included me finishing my book, attending more networking events, vending at conferences and self-educating in preparation for the next season.

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Multiple streams of income are imperative. Yoga and meditation provide meaning and direction. I love sharing it with other people.  I’ve come to understand it is just a gateway to other opportunities.  In addition to mindfulness services, I offer meditation supplies at events along with my book. I also provide Reiki healing sessions. All are elements under a wellness umbrella. In addition, I am still a CPA and work on contract assignments as needed.

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Businesses will sell you anything, including what you do not need. My biggest lessons this year have been related to paying for services I didn’t need. I take accountability because it’s my responsibility to make educated purchases. I quickly came to understand that some businesses will knowingly sell you something of no real value to your business. They are in the business to make money.  I started my business to help, empower and inspire other people which leave no room for misleading others. It’s not necessary.  I believe people are lead to me and I have a spiritual responsibility to handle them with love and care. I learned to do more research on the front end and ask other business owners for referrals.

Leveling up is key.  I’ve been paying my dues and making my rounds. I’ve gotten comfortable in my arena and I’m now starting to see the same faces.  I recently decided it was time for me to find a new circle. My intent is to maintain a presence in the current one but to also put myself in a room with people who can teach me more. This is necessary for my long-term growth and prosperity.

Entrepreneurs

Ask for what you want. I am used to being independent and having to figure it out on my own. Entrepreneurship is all about relationships.  You have to ask for support.  You have to personally invite others to your events.  You have to ask for event and product sponsorships. In the business world asking for what you want is not frowned upon.  This is new territory for me but I am up for the challenge.

The best way to establish yourself as a leader in your industry is to plan your own event. Since I published ’60 Affirmations and Reflections for Entrepreneurs’, I’ve been looking for speaking engagements to promote it. The only roadblock is that I am not known as a speaker,  I am still considered a newbie in this arena. Therefore, I have been turned away more times than I’d like to admit.  I don’t take it personally because businesses have to protect their brand and affiliations. Then one day it hit me, instead of asking others for a seat at their table, why not create my own damn table and movement. If I want to prove I’m a great speaker, then I have to create a speaking event.  This lead to the birth of  ‘Quit Your Job in 90 Days’, an event designed for attendees to walk away with an actionable plan to leave an unfulfilling job. Ever since I made that decision two major opportunities have opened up for other events.  It’s almost like the doors came off the hinges.  Someone actually told me they researched me and they knew my story.  That is the highest honor to have another organization seeking me out to speak to their audience.

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There is no right way to plan for entrepreneurship.  While there are some overall commonalities that entrepreneurs will face, everyone’s journey will also be different. Hopefully, some can find value in my experiences and keep them in mind in their own journey.  Keep what you need and toss the rest.

Peace and Blessings

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Uncomfortable Emotions

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.

Love Is My Religion

 

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I am not a Buddhist but I believe in some Buddhist principles.

I am not a Hindi but I believe in some Hindi principles.

I am not a Christian but I believe in some Christian principles.

I am not Muslim but I believe in some Muslim principles.

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. JONATHAN SWIFT, Thoughts on Various Subjects from Miscellanies

Love is my religion. I believe in a higher power that goes by many names. My religion of love has many faces and messengers.  A few years ago, I researched the differences between the major world religions and concluded that the essence of the message is the same.  Each religion promotes its ideology in a context that’s understandable for their culture. After my research, there was no need to judge which one was better.  I allowed myself to accept and respect all religions. My acceptance and respect are not in contradiction to my own belief system, it actually expanded my perception of who I was and how I fit in the world. My only choice was to make love my religion. Love is a universal concept that’s bigger than my individual beliefs. Love expands my heart so that I can accept who stands before me.

Love is My Religion

Now more than ever we are being asked to exam our belief system. The time has come to eliminate the ideology that keeps the world separated and stagnated. I don’t have to recap current events for this statement to resonate with others.  The only solution is a shift from divisiveness to loving unity.  In truth divisiveness is a distraction, it has always been a distraction from authenticity.  Love does not diminish it actually lights the path to finding your place in the world.

Never be angry with your neighbor because his religious views differ from your own; for all the branches of a tree to not lean the same way.  WILLIAM SCOTT DOWNEY, Proverbs

I had the experience this past weekend of being judged by the symbols I surround myself with. I had a booth at an event in North Carolina. This was my first time in the city and I received an overall positive reception. However, I was also shocked by the response to a Buddha statue head that I displayed in my space. My intention is always to display peace and enlightenment.  In a world with so much noise, I want others to experience love and peace in my presence and in my sacred space.  A couple of people openly voiced their hesitation in approaching me because of the Buddha statue. When I was allowed to respond, I shared what this symbol represented for me. These teachable moments are what inspire me to keep showing up as my authentic self.  Perception is based on either personal experience or lack of exposure. As I continue to walk in love, I allow myself to be used as a vessel to change perceptions.  I accept my mission. I am a spiritual being having a human experience and love is my religion.

Peace and Blessings

 

Who Sent You

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The people I’ve met over the last six months have been very colorful. Not in terms of their outward appearance but rather in terms of their experiences, exposure, and vibration. As I continue to evolve so does the caliber of beings who cross my path. One such being graced my Reiki table a few weeks ago. She entered my space with an honest skepticism.  She explained how she kept feeling drawn to me. She had already done research and hoped the Reiki session could potentially clear up some things in her life. In her search, she felt drawn to me several times until she finally decided to call. Her intuition brought her to my doorsteps and she felt she had made the right choice.

I shared my background with her allowing her to become comfortable with who I was. She was rightfully adamant about who she was allowed to touch her energy.  I explained how during the sessions I get spiritual insight and if she was open I would share it with her at the end.  She was open to the feedback so we proceeded.

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In Reiki, I start at the top of the head and move from chakra to chakra until I reach the feet. Chakras are subtle energy centers that surround the body.  When I got to the third chakra, I started to feel a young kid in her energy field. It was a jovial little girl who appeared to be laughing and playing. She kept swinging her head from side to side. I felt an abundance of love and happiness as she danced around the room. At the end of the session I mentioned the little girl to my surprise she immediately lit up. I said you have a baby coming soon and it’s a little girl. She said she already knew what she would name her and everyone in her family already knew the name. I immediately felt a similarity in our paths. We spent the next hour exchanging stories about our lives and spiritual experiences. When she left I felt a sense of happiness. It reaffirmed that I was truly walking in my purpose and having an impact on the lives of others. It is my belief that no coincidences exist. We are always exactly where we need to be when we need to be there.

Peace and Blessings

I am a spiritual being having a human experience.

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