#FlashbackFriday Prove Yourself Right.

Hey Family! Sometimes we have to be reminded of the reason that we should do things. Flashback with me to 3 years ago when I shared the reason to prove yourself right.

 

I never thought about the after story for the little boy who cried wolf until recently. You remember the old childhood story where the little boy kept lying to the townspeople that the wolf was coming. As a result of his lies when the wolf actually approached the village no one came out to save the little boy. He was eaten.

I wonder what would have happened if he was never eaten and decided to turn over a new leaf. Would anyone believe that he was turning over a new leaf? Would they just assume that when he opened his mouth that a lie would just fall out?

The problem is that when we repeatedly disappoint someone their ability to believe in the change is hard. A lot of my clients experience this problem in recovery and they say that it has made them want to go back and use drugs again. Some of them believe that if someone is going to believe the worst about them then they should just go back to that life. Then there are those who believe they should “prove them wrong.”

The problem in both of those situations is that they both are dependent on someone else rather than themselves. My son got upset with a teacher who didn’t believe he had turned over a new leaf in turning in his work on time. He had the same thought as my clients. He said, “…so I’ll just prove him wrong.”

My heart sunk and I became emotional because I immediately thought of my clients. I could imagine the defeat…no…I felt the familiar defeat. I’ve said those words before. Then God allowed me to share with my son how it is fruitless to prove someone wrong. This is a lesson that I just learned this year after hearing from a high school counselor that I would not make it in college. I stayed and struggled through on my toughest days to prove her wrong. I gave my power away without even knowing it.

prove yourself right quote

I tried to help my son to understand that proving someone wrong is not a goal that he should try to reach. That person may not even be present when he reaches his goal and probably could care less. I encouraged him to prove himself right. It is far more rewarding to work hard because it’s important to you than it is to do it for someone else.

No one can take away your personal victory and they cannot hold it over your head. If you fail it’s not because they were right. It is because you made a mistake. If you succeed it’s not because you wanted to smash your greatness in their face. It’s because you did what was necessary to achieve your goal. Don’t prove them wrong. Prove yourself right.

Just another day’s journey of learning to prove myself right. Peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grieving Change and Moving Forward

Hey family.

Does anyone want to be honest about change being a challenge? How is it that most people have a hard time adjusting to change when it is what we as humans do all day every day. Our bodies and minds are changing every single day. We get older, wiser, wider, thinner and so on but no one makes a sound but the moment that something outside of us changes, we want it all to stay the same. 

We don’t want anything to change because we are comfortable. Keeping things the same helps us to have some type of certainty in our lives especially since we are dealing with an everchanging body and mind. We need our jobs, family, politics, church, education systems to stay the same. Unfortunately, all these things change and we have to decide if we are going to stay stunted or grow.

An organization that I belong to made a major change about two years ago to move all of it’s education from paper to an all-digital format. Although there have been some hiccups along the way, the new program ran similarly to the old program. Long time members have complained about things are not the same and therefore they no longer want any parts of the new thing. A lot of them didn’t even give the new thing a chance. There are some who for the past two years have stayed to complain about how the new system is of no value and it is the worst thing since lip-syncing at a live concert.

They didn’t give the new thing a chance. Their argument was whenever they were challenged on their perspective was that no one was listening to them. They didn’t feel heard or seen. What they were really saying is that the organization did not agree with them and they felt like they were being left behind. No one wants to feel like they no longer have value or what they have been doing is outdated. 

Change feels like it moves your personal experiences aside in favor of the new experiences. The truth is that change honors the past while moving forward. Sometimes we are too busy ignoring our grief over the loss that we cannot see it in the moment. Everything feels like it’s moving so fast that we don’t get a chance to acknowledge the hurt and the pain over time once lived.

I have had my own battle with change. Sometimes I deal with it and sometimes I hide from it for as long as I can. Because of the work that I do in therapy change sometimes feels like its on steroids. LOL Acknowledging the loss of a person, place, or thing that has been a part of my life has been heavy at times. It’s been so heavy that I have cried fresh tears for the loss. 

Our country is changing. Our world is changing and most of us have not taken a moment to grieve what was. Most of us have not taken the time to grieve a change in our expectations. You’re not angry with your neighbor about their audacity to believe something different or expect change. It’s grief. Acknowledge it. Cry fresh tears. It’s ok.

After the tears honor your past by choosing to move into the future. Make adjustments along the way and give yourself permission to miss what was while still moving forward. Peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s Not for You

Photo by Perry Grone on Unsplash

Hey Family! I pray all is well with you this week.

Recently I joined a book club that is more than a book club. Let me explain. I expected to join a book club for women and discuss the book of the month. What I got was a group of women who are uplifting, encouraging, supporting, and asking questions about almost everything under the sun. It feels so comfortable and easy. Dare I say that it feels like a peaceful place. 

I believe with all my heart that the group leader and her admins pray for this group to have an atmosphere of peace and safety. I found myself vulnerably sharing truths that I would never share in any other place. Somehow I was comfortable enough to share my truth without covering up. I’m good at covering up by hiding behind words like “you and your”. I didn’t do that this time. As a result, I learned some new things about myself. I even began praying before responding to some questions within the group because I wanted to be intentional about what I was sharing and because being vulnerable can be draining and scary.

At one point without thought, I began to share something super personal. Sorry, I am not ready to share it with you yet but I promise that I will one day. I hesitated hitting post. I hesitated to share and then I clicked post. I know that was God because internally, I was screaming, “Girl! What!” I also almost deleted it, too.

As God would have it, I needed to share that super personal thing in that particular group because that person needed to know that she was not alone and that she could heal. She needed to know that she could overcome it. She needed to know that she could become healthy and whole because I was where she had been and did it. A real living breathing person, not some far off unreachable storybook perfect person. 

That interaction reminded me that we are not alone in the challenges that we face even though it feels like it. We are not the first nor are we the last to experience that pain, that loss, that guilt, or that shame. And we are not the first nor the last to survive it. We didn’t break even if we fell apart, we’re still standing. 

If you think that your story is for you, it’s not. Someone needs to know that they can make it another day. Someone needs to know that there will be another job, another opportunity, another business idea. Someone needs to know that they will find new ways to thrive in their new normal. Someone needs to know that they can build again and still honor their loss. They can start over, again. Someone needs to know that it’s not over. That this is just the beginning. They will only know it if you share your story. 

Are you willing to share your story? Encourage someone today. Peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Give Yourself a Break!

Photo by Nijwam Swargiary on Unsplash

Hey family! I just want to show up and be consistent today. This journey requires my full commitment.

 

What happened in the journey that was a life lesson?

I learned that I am human with flaws and failures that cannot break me. I don’t think that I could have understood Brene` Brown’s Gifts of Perfection more clearly than a few weeks ago when I wrote the draft for this blog. I failed multiple times and I do mean MULTIPLE times. I failed so many times within a short time frame that I almost quit. That’s my go-to. 

I rationalize to myself that this is not a good fit for me. The truth is it was was a human moment that got stuck on repeat for a short time. The old me before therapy would have concocted a story that was believable enough to me to be the reason that this particular situation was not working. I would have convinced myself that I needed to quit but for a change, I stuck with it. I worked through the discomfort. I worked through the embarrassment. I worked through the shame and I survived.

I broke my habit of being a serial quitter by choosing to acknowledge that I was having a bad moment. A MOMENT! I acknowledge that I was having a hard time. I owned it and asked myself or challenged myself to grow. I acknowledged that the absence of being challenged or feeling frustrated about being imperfect was being stuck and I was unwilling to UNDO the work that I had put in. So I WORKED THROUGH it.

 I even laughed a little at what felt like a comedy routine of mistakes. You know the one where someone is trying to go somewhere and they left their keys or lost their glasses that were on top of their head. It was one of those moments. The routine where the character gets angry looking for those keys that they just had in their hand that’s jingling loudly. That was me. I completely missed something so obvious and so apparent that was “sitting on top of my head.” I was seriously having a meltdown while trying to maintain my professionalism. I mean there were tears in my eyes as I was trying to hold it together with my client realizing my comic relief moment. It wasn’t funny in the moment that it was happening but thinking about it, now. Hilarious with a tinge of anxiety.

I wished that you could have heard my internal dialogue, “maybe this isn’t a good fit. I’m so messed up. They must think that I am stupid.” Then shifting into, “it’s just one of those days.” I audibly said to my client that I needed to go back to sleep and start all over half laughing and half-serious. The client laughed and I laughed and then something strange happened. I realized my humanity.

I am not perfect and neither are you. We all mess up and we get to choose how we will respond to our imperfection. We get to choose our next move. Will you shut down like I used to or will you allow yourself to stay connected? Will you quit doing whatever it is that you were doing or will you challenge yourself to keep trying? Will you talk down to yourself or will extend yourself the same grace that you extend to others when they have messed up?  Will you choose to keep moving forward? Will you choose to see the lesson? Will you accept that you are an imperfect person living in an imperfect world with imperfect people experiencing imperfect situations? Give yourself some compassion.

I’m still kind of tickled about my mistakes. I think that next time I see a comedic routine in a sitcom or comedic movie, I will laugh with a full belly laugh knowing that I can finally fully relate. We are human and will make sincere mistakes. It’s ok.

Give yourself a break. This journey is real. Have fun being imperfect. Peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

You Were Born Free!

Hey Family! Happy Juneteenth! Got a bonus for you this week. Enjoy and share.

 

Juneteenth feels more like a time of reflection than a celebration for me. I cannot imagine what it was like to have realized that you were physically free after being in bondage from birth and I don’t want to know. Just the idea that someone decided that their need for free for skilled labor and profit margins was more important than the lives of their workers’ rights makes me angry.

 

I remember the first time that I heard the history about Juneteenth and how the slaves in Texas learned that they were free two years after the rest of the nation. Two years more of FREE slave labor to harvest crops and other things for people who knew the truth. Two years more of beatings and conditioning for a thing that no longer existed. Two more years of local leaders, not national leaders conspiring to keep the status quo for the wealthy. Two more years that new children were born into a system that told them that they were less than human and not worth the dignity of being considered anything more than property for someone else’s use. Two more years.

 

In two years a woman could have been pregnant 3 times and given birth twice to full-term babies. In two years, an entrepreneur could have built a company from the ground up and receive a profit. In two years, someone could have earned their associate’s degree in accounting, completed a nursing program, or earned their master’s degree. In two years, someone could have led a productive life that added value to themselves and their family that sets them up for life. Two years.

 

Juneteenth 2020 means so much more to me this year because I realize that in the course of two years my ancestors produced for someone else without knowing that they were free. It was one thing to produce for someone while they were legally in bondage but to continue to produce at the same level and the same pace without compensation and they legally were free… I don’t know. This challenges me to think about how can I produce at a higher level with the knowledge that I am free no matter how this world treats me. 

 

I read in an article on the PBS website that some former slaves didn’t know how to behave after they received the news of their freedom. Some were afraid and continued work as slaves for their masters in the same conditions as they had before learning the news. They still received beatings and harsh treatment despite the change in the laws. I guess the slave masters didn’t know how to behave either regardless of the fact that the law told them that their continued behavior was illegal.

 

Despite all that was going on, there were freedmen and freedwomen who learned how to be free. In my mind, they must have already felt in their hearts and minds that they were mentally free before they became physically free. Every great thought leader says that the shift starts in your mind and apparently it did for the newly freed people. Making the leap from being a slave to a free man or free woman was easy because they were always free despite their conditions. It also made it easier for their youth to accept it because they saw examples of what it means to live free even before they actually were free. They became what those who came before them had dreamt about. Free.

 

This Juneteenth I am challenging you to become more of who you were created to be. You get to define that for yourself and no one else. If you don’t have an example of what living free looks like in your life, find one. Surround yourself with people who want more than to be comfortable with the lifestyle that you have been living. Staying a slave to your past because you are afraid of your next is not an option especially since you have been free all along. 

 

Get up and make your ancestors proud. You were born free! Let’s go! Peace!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Unshackled, Unburdened, Uncensored

Hey and welcome back. This new journey! Whew!

 

If you live anywhere on planet earth, hopefully, you are are aware of what’s going on in the world. While this seems to be normal to some, for some reason, these events hit me differently. I seemed to have a new awareness or connection to them that I had never had before. My heart breaks whenever someone dies senselessly or is involved in an exchange that becomes racially motivated unnecessarily but recent events have just felt different. 

 

Fortunately, I had therapy in this midst of this meltdown so I think that I got a handle on this thing. For the last few years, I have been working on finding my voice in therapy. I have been learning to speak up for myself and defend myself in every area of my life. This journey has been scary yet fulfilling but recent events made me aware of an area untouched by this growth journey. My blackness. 

 

I am blessed that I was able to process with my therapist in real-time while I had this crisis. I talked about feeling overwhelmed and confused. I talked about feeling fed up with feeling like I have to perform a certain way when I am around white people. I talked about feeling like I had to edit myself and my conversations. I talked about not feeling like I could be 100% me in most situations that involve someone who does not look like me. During therapy, I couldn’t figure it out.

 

Fortunately, I usually journal after a tough session and what I discovered was that my growth was at odds with this area of my life. Stick with me. My blackness is the only place where I did not have a boundary. I could no longer understand the reason that I didn’t speak up for myself in this area of my life. My blackness is the only place in my life where I chose to be different to make someone else feel comfortable. My blackness is the only place where I still cowered rather than stand tall. All of those things are in direct opposition to what I was learning about and how I was growing as a result of therapy.

 

The ending result was my crisis and in the moment I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to do. My default response of shutting down or running away or quitting was unacceptable but I also didn’t know what to do. Crisis. Then I realized that the work that I was doing in therapy was working and this was THE biggest challenge to date. I had to make the choice to no longer self-edit or censor my conversation or my feelings around someone who is white to make them feel comfortable. I had to make the choice to no longer censor my life so that they would perceive me in a certain way. If I was learning to do this in every other area of my life, I had to honor myself and do the same as it relates to my blackness.

 

I didn’t realize just how much I did it until recent events. A dog walker weaponizing a birdwatcher’s blackness for calling her out on not having her dog on a leash in an area that would have affected his ability to watch the birds. A man murdered while running on the planet Earth by regular citizens. And a popular celebrity having to leave a commercial rental because one of his neighbors and the landlord assumed that he was doing something illegal in his leased space. Each of these events are things that I enjoy or take for granted. I walk/run in a predominantly white neighborhood. I am a rule follower and want to enjoy whatever I am supposed to enjoy without rule breakers destroying my ability to do that and I try to make sure that I don’t look suspicious so that I won’t be seen as a threat as a Black woman. (yes, it happens) I am tired and I am no longer willing to edit or censor myself for the few who have already made up in their minds that I am something that I am not without so much as a “hello” to begin a conversation. 

 

My stories are valid. My truth is valid. And I don’t have to prove that to anyone. Experience me right where I am — warts and all. I don’t have to be the smartest person in the room or most well-traveled. I don’t’ have to be the most experienced or the most upwardly mobile. I don’t have to be the happiest or most unbothered. And I certainly don’t have to be the most well behaved by someone else’s standards. These things have nothing to do with my blackness. I have been wearing this burden for so long that I didn’t realize that it was one. My husband put it this way. I was “burdened by my burden and didn’t even know it.” Today, I choose to be unburdened. I choose to not wear the bigotry of someone else who does not respect or care about my boundaries. Boundary — drawn. That’s YOUR stuff AND I refuse to wear it. Unshackled. Unburdened. Uncensored.

 

May your journey be as unshackled, unburdened, and uncensored as you need it to be for you. Peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tough Conversations

Hey family!

 

My pastor preached a sermon recently about the day of Pentecost in which the people began to speak in many different languages that they had never spoken before. He lifted from the text that it was one of the ways in which understanding and compassion could happen. People who normally would not be able to have a conversation because of language barriers were able to have one with a clear understanding. He shared that somewhere along the line, we lost the ability to understand even when we speak the same language. It made me ask the question, who taught you not to have tough conversations? 

 

A few years ago my husband and I began marriage counseling to learn how to have tough conversations. Before counseling, in our almost 21 years of marriage, we have had two conversations that would be considered tough. I don’t say that out of pride but of great sadness. We avoided the tough conversations in our marriage because we thought that we were keeping the peace with each other and within ourselves. What was really happening is that we were building up resentment and frustration because we didn’t share what was really on our minds.

 

We learned in counseling that we have to be willing to have those tough conversations. They would actually save our marriage rather than damage it. Having tough conversations leaves less room for a misunderstanding because we talked about whatever it was that was bothering us. We learned to discuss the good, bad, and indifferent about the things that mattered most to us. A skill that I wish that I could share with people who shy away from taboo topics such as race, religion, money, and so on. 

 

We avoid these topics like it’s the plague and then wonder why we haven’t progressed further. If we attempt to have these conversations, some accuse us of race-baiting or too religious or playing victim to name a few. When the truth is we are just trying to have a healthy conversation about our lived experiences. This reminds me of attempted tough conversations with my husband before marriage counseling. Our accusations were more of the silent kind. I felt unheard and eventually unmotivated to share my truth. 

 

My husband never had an opportunity to learn about my fears, frustrations, or concerns because I was conditioned to believe that this was unwanted. On the other hand, I never had an opportunity to learn about his fears, frustrations, or concerns because he was conditioned to believe that this was unwanted, too. If two people who love each other dearly and willing to put their lives on the line for the other are feeling this way, imagine how a nation of people or a world of people needing to have tough conversations and avoiding them like the plague because we have been conditioned to believe that this is what’s wanted feel.

 

The truth is, everyone wants to be seen and heard. Ironically, it feels like no one is talking TO each other, and therefore no one is listening. The result — no one is heard. How do we learn what is needed if we avoid talking? How do we know what’s wanted if we avoid tough conversations? 

My husband and I learned that part of the reason that we avoided tough conversations is because of our love for each other. Neither of us wanted to hurt the other nor did we want to feel rejected or unheard or worse misunderstood. It was easier to just avoid it until it was unavoidable. Sounds like what we are experiencing in the world, right now? Hmmm?

 

Yes. I know that conversations about race and religion and finances are tough but they are necessary. Tough conversations require being vulnerable. Who wants to bare there soul to someone who may not listen or worse, uses those words against you? Then we are just back to square one. No one listening and believing that this unhealthy way of having a tough conversation is the reason that we should avoid attempting to have a healthy conversation.

 

WE have to discuss the hurt, the misunderstanding, the frustrations, the everything from both sides. Yes. BOTH sides. Before marriage counseling, I thought that I was the only one feeling the weight of our marriage challenges because I express myself differently than my husband. Marriage counseling taught me that my husband had a voice, too. He had concerns and frustrations, too. Believe me, it was tough to accept but necessary to move forward. I had to learn how to have tough conversations with my husband and he had to learn how to have them with me. This required a lot of listening to understand rather than listening to respond. It also meant that we had to be a safe space for each other to share without judgment. Many of those tough conversations were made possible by our marriage counselor in the beginning. For that I am grateful.

 

Do we need counselors across the globe teaching us how to have tough conversations in safe spaces without judgment? Conversations that are seen as off-limits could be seen as welcomed opportunities to grow in our understanding and compassion for each others’ lived experiences. Tough conversations could bring a certain amount of respect for differences rather than minimizing or dismissing them. It won’t be perfect but it would be nice to start.

 

It’s been a few years since we had marriage counseling and my husband and I are still getting comfortable with this process AND it’s worth it. I see my husband differently. I’m pretty sure that he sees me differently, too. WE have a new found love and respect for each other because we are choosing to have tough conversations. I can’t speak for my husband but I’m pretty sure that the feeling is mutual that we know each other better. We talked a lot before marriage counseling but these conversations are different. They feel more connected. It’s like I’m seeing him for the first time not just as my husband but as a man who is experiencing life much like me. Although he has the same worries and concerns as I do, his perspective is different because of how he experiences them. I can see that now.

 

Who taught you not to have tough conversations? Are you ready to listen to understand rather than listen to speak? Are you ready for a new conversation that felt off-limits so that we all can grow? Let’s take the journey together and have a little talk. Go ahead and have one of those tough conversations. Peace.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why Should You Participate in Building Your Community (My500)

Day 11 of the 500 Word Challenge. Persuade Me

Dear neighbor,

It has come to my attention that you prefer the comforts of your own home over our community rather than getting involved. I get it. You don’t really like socializing with anyone outside your circle but did you know that crime rates are lower in communities where the neighbors know each other? Did you also know that knowing your neighbor also stabilizes your neighborhood for at least one if not two generations? Did you know that home values are positively affected by stable neighborhoods? Did you know that neighborhoods with a strong sense of community has strong businesses and brings new neighbors who look out for each other?

Neighbor, I know that you don’t want to come out to the block club meetings but what we do affects you. We want you to have a fair opportunity to share your opinion about our needs to present to our local officials. Haven’t you noticed the new street lights, the garbage pick up times have been changed and the new corner planters? Those were all thanks to the club.

Our enthusiasm has infected the surrounding blocks and they have all begun to receive the same things. The latest thing that we want to address is the flooding after the rain. Our local officials don’t go to each block in their district so we are their eyes and ears. It’s much easier for us to contact them and tell them what we need than for them to assume.

Our local high school almost closed due to low attendance but thanks to growing community involvement, they are reconsidering it. Mrs. Jones’s husband who retired from that publishing company is volunteering with the school’s paper and Ms. Bennett volunteers with the arts program. They along with a few other retirees or people with flexible schedules are filling in the gaps for the school which is attracting new students. Neighbor, we need you, too.

We even have helped the aging church with updates. A lot of us are not members but we offered to help them paint the school side of the church. Some of the neighborhood kids attend their youth programs and the pastor wanted to give it a youthful appeal. They have programs there to help the kids with their homework and parenting classes for parents who just want help.

The building manager at the senior building started a cross generational program for the community that mentors anyone willing to come including married couples, parents and young people. The residents really love it since some of them never had families of their own or they have died. There’s a ton of wisdom to be shared there, too. Not to mention that it helps them to age in place. They have had fewer residents to move to nursing homes as result of this program.

Neighbor, no one is asking you to make friends with anyone although I would challenge you to make friends with at least one person. It’s kind of hard to avoid. People are very respectful of each other’s privacy and still look out for each other.

I would be lying to you if I said everyone gets along but there are so few of those. Why focus on the negative? There are more positive stories that come out of our little community than negative. Like the vacant building that was on the corner of the boulevard was purchased by the community. Did you know that? Yep. The city was going to tear it down but a few of the leaders decided to figure out how to save it and rehab it. That is the future site for The Center.

We are so proud of how far we had to go to get the work done. Instead of co-op apartment, it’s a co-op community center. We will pay dues for upkeep and charge outsiders to use the facilities a nominal fee. We aren’t trying to get rich. We just want to be able to maintain it and pay the staff that will care for it. It’s ours.

Now neighbor doesn’t that sound like a good reason to get involved. We can do so much more together and you get to choose how you do it. Think about it and get back to me. Thanks for your time. Peace and blessings.

Here’s to rebuilding our community one person at a time.

Just another day’s journey of playing a role in building my community.

Posted in 500 Word Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Why I Write (My500)

Day 10 of the 500 Word Challenge. Write about writing.

I cannot believe that I have been at this for 10 days already. Writing in a journal for 10 days straight is one thing but completing a writing challenge with no edits is an entirely different ball of wax. This has been somewhat cathartic as this has caused me to dig deep and share whether I am ready or not. I know that I chose this format but it was necessary to keep me accountable to the full challenge.

My favorite part of writing is the ability to discover new perspectives and thoughts that I am able to empty out on the page. I am an analytical person so putting my many thoughts down has actually helped me to rest better. Writing has also helped to develop new ideas and concepts to share further down the road.

Ironically the thing that I hate the most about writing is sharing my thoughts. My classmate lovingly shared with me once that I needed to dig deeper in my writing. In short, I needed to be more transparent. I can be awfully cryptic in my writing sometimes so remembering to be more personal can be a challenge. I struggle with knowing just how much to share and not to share.

Funny enough because I am looking to serve people who are as private as I am, I agonize over following through for their sake. I imagine that there is another me somewhere who always encourages everyone else and acts as if she has it all together but secretly struggles with needing the same level of encouragement. I imagine that she needs someone to push her as hard as she pushes everyone else. I imagine that she needs someone in her corner telling her that people will be ok if she says no and chooses her first. I imagine that every single thing that I need to hear for myself that she gets to read it for the first time because I chose to be as transparent as I need to be for both her and myself.

The reader that I write for most often is me because if it speaks to me, I know that it will speak to someone else like me. Do you know your why?

Here’s to the writer and the reader who finds each other!

Just another day’s journey of remembering why I write.

Posted in 500 Word Challenge | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Overcome Fear with Confidence (My500)

Day 9 of the 500 Word Challenge. Teach something.

Today was my first day returning to learn how to swim. With determination and little nervousness, I walked into the women’s locker room to change into my swim clothes. I walked did this weird walk on tip toes because I didn’t have on pool shoes or flip flops for the cold pool floor. Everything in me was screaming run yet I had this peace in me that decided that the time had come to return to the pool and try again.

My teacher, a very sweet, caring and patient woman instructed me to get in the pool. I saw what looked like she might jump in so I eased in to avoid getting splashed before getting used to the water temperature. After telling me that I was the only student, she jumped right into teaching. Step by step she made me feel more and more comfortable in the water.

I was doing pretty good until she wanted me to combine the things that I had learned all into the next step. She wanted me to push off from the wall, then blow out the air and kick. I was doing good doing them individually but together…I wasn’t ready or so I thought. I was so terrified that I almost cried but then my teacher quoted part of one of my favorite scriptures Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

That took me back to my lessons on the pavement so I decided to push through. I told myself don’t think about it. Just do it. I went back through the beginning steps of putting my face in the water until I was comfortable and I pushed off. Proud moment for me and my teacher. She had me to repeat those steps and encouraged me to do the same things to prepare me if I needed to. I did a few times and I made it!

Is there some goal that you want to achieve that is scaring the crap out of you? Do you want to overcome your challenge? Conquer a goal? Stop overthinking it and do it. What’s the worse that could happen? You might fail or it may not come out perfectly but you would have accomplished it.

One of my business mentors told me last year that confidence comes from doing the thing that you are afraid of consistently and repeatedly. I can tell you without a doubt that he was right because after a few times of running that swimming drill, I felt more confident. No. I am not swimming the length of the pool but I will.

What can you accomplish by doing it afraid consistently and repeatedly?

Here’s to you accomplishing your goals that scare the heck out of you!

Just another day’s journey of learning how to overcome my fears with confidence!

Posted in 500 Word Challenge, Lessons From the Pavement | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment