Saturday, May 30, 2015

Launching - The Next Phase of the Journey

So I have successfully raised two daughters as a single parent into adulthood.  It has been a challenging, but rewarding 19 years and wouldn't change it for anything as I experience great joy in watching them become amazing young women.  However, now as that phase of my life is done, it is time for me to figure out what it it that I am to do next.

A word that a friend of mine has been using to describe this time in my life is LAUNCH.  My girls are launching into adulthood and I am launching into a life without children.  What does this look like?  The definition of launch is to propel forward, to set into motion, to enter energetically, to make a start.  So I ask myself - what do I want to launch into?

I have been at my current job for 16 years and it has helped me pay for all the necessities of life. is it my calling, most definitely not!  So what is?  I have been on a "heart journey" for the past several years in discovering healing and who I am from the inside out.  I have learned what it means to listen to my heart as I navigate through life.  I know that anything tried by the heart is possible, so where is my heart leading?  What is my passion, where do I get my deepest satisfaction, my peace, my joy?  I know the answer,but am I brave enough to launch into it? Am I fearless enough to venture into this next phase of my life energetically?  These are questions that I am asking myself regularly as I look deep within myself to start fulfilling the dreams within me that I have had for along time.

As I sit here writing this blog, I am at the precipice of launching, of setting into motion the next phase and that is to share my journey.  I have been told numerous times in the past several years that I should write a book.  In fact, this blog was started at the suggestion of a friend to chronicle my journey to draw from later for the said book.  I have started this project more than once with no success,  I have delved into my past (not fun) thinking that is where I start, it is not.  I have pulled excerpts from this blog, but with no coherence so scrapped that as well.  It is through these efforts that I have come to realize that I need to get my head out of the writing and to listen to and follow my heart.

So here I go, I am going to follow my heart and make a start.  I am going to "listen" as I write each word.  I have shared from my heart in a conference setting twice with success and both times I just followed my heart in sharing what I have walked through with raw honesty and vulnerability.  So it is with this same spirit that I will sit at my laptop and share my story in hopes that what I have learned in discovering my greatness and learning to live life wholeheartedly will help others to do the same.  As I write I will also share here how it is going and what I am learning along the way.

Welcome to my journey.  I hope you enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Hello and Goodbye Moments

Hello and goodbye in the same moment in time…think about the implications of this in your life.  There are times that I struggle with who I am, whether or not I am living authentically, if the words coming out of my mouth are really reminiscent of the life I am trying to live.  I shared this with a friend and her response was how courageous and vulnerable I am as I share my story, my journey.  How I am leaning into the pain, the uncertainty of my past and not running away, and then moving forward into the future and all the new possibilities…hello and goodbye at the same time.
The emotions of hello and goodbye are very different.  One is the signature of beginnings, the other is an end.  Most people love the hello and all the possibility that comes with it -the birth of a baby, seeing a good friend, meeting someone for the first time, a new job.  All of these experiences hold the expectation of hope and what could be.  While there may be some fear, it usually subsides very quickly as we settle in and enjoy the experience. 
Then there is the goodbye, which usually signifies an ending.  Someone leaving, a change in location, ending a career, sometimes this can be a good thing, but how many times have you said, or heard the phrase, “I hate goodbyes.”   We get comfortable with what is now and at times fear what is to come, the change that is about to take place, sometimes chosen, sometimes not.
When you are on a journey from your head to your heart, to discovering your greatness, the hello and goodbye can both be equally daunting.  There are times the hello is to an emotion or feeling that has been buried so long that you didn’t know it was there and it can knock you right out of your heart!  Other times, it is to a new way of thinking, a new default within yourself, a new way to living life, which can be overwhelming and make you question your very existence.   On the flip side, the goodbye can be one of the most freeing things you will ever say and you allow yourself to lean in and feel deeply to heal, then breathe deep and forge ahead into all you were meant to be.  Yet in truth we often hate the goodbye due to the familiarity of what it offers even though it has served no purpose but to feed the WMD’s (worry, misery, doubt) in our life.
The hello and goodbye practices on your journey to greatness are on either side of a very fine line.  It is necessary to choose the side of the line that brings hope and healing into our lives to propel us into the greatness we were born with and that leads us into our hearts.  This choice is both the hello and goodbye at the same time, the letting go and moving forward at the exact same moment.  I believe this is one of the most courageous acts you can do and you choose to live a life you never know existed. It is the 18 inch journey from head to heart, and discovering you are enough, no matter how dark the present moment.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fueling the Victim Fire or the Greatness Fire - It's All In the Details

Almost anyone who gets to know me will tell you that I am very detail oriented and remember almost everything!  I can be counted on by friends to provide information of events that happened months prior and can recall conversations and situations as well with flawless detail!  You might think to yourself - what a gift, I would like to be able to do that.  While it may come in handy at times, let me tell you it can also be a downfall...that is unless you know the path to your heart.

There are times, more often that I would like to admit that as I think about my past that I fuel the fires of the "victim" in me and start to blame what has happened to me on what I am feeling, what I can't accomplish, that I am broken and what started out as maybe the flicker of a flame becomes a bonfire that seems insurmountable!  I will go over the details of the past in my mind and justify all that I am feeling in that moment.  I sometimes will stay there for a while and as I do I find myself deeper in the victim role than I want to ever be.  I let the old portfolio of my life have power over who I am today, I give it to much of my time and attention and it overshadows where I am now.

So how do I get out of this and put out the bonfire?   It is by looking deep within my heart and remembering the details of my greatness, As one friend would say to me my "I AM" statements!  I allow myself to become vulnerable,  to feel deeply, but at the same time move into my heart, to tackle the bonfire and douse with the greatness that I know is within me.  I allow the details of good (I am strong, I am inspiring, I am whole, I am brave, I am still standing, I am confident, I am empowered), versus the words of the old portfolio that disputes all those things have any power.

This is how it is done, by living in the NOW, by breathing in who you truly are and your greatness in this very moment.  To not get mired down in the details of who you are not and your old portfolio, but to celebrate who you are now and where you are headed.   Allow the details of your I AM statements become greater in your heart than the statements of who you are not that are in your head.  That fire can only grow if you fuel it by being a victim, instead put out the fire with your greatness instead!

So what are your I AM statements?  Take a moment today and in the week to come to list them out, to fuel your fire of greatness and to douse the fire of victim in your life.  Easy - not always, worth it ALWAYS!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Unlikely Path to Creating Calmness

I have been taking an E-class with Dr. Brene Brown this Spring and last week's lesson was on calm and stillness.  I used to think that this meant being quiet, having nothing to do, sitting still, but I have discovered that it is much more than that and as a result have been in a place within my heart that I have not been in for a long time!

What is it that brings calmness into your life, brings stillness into your life?  Over the last week I have asked myself this question numerous times on a road to discovery of myself and how I maintain calmness on a daily basis.

I have previously written about my energy and how scattered it can get and I have been working on being more centered this year (boy did that open an emotional can of worms, but more on that another day).  So with that in mind and knowing how overwhelmed I can get I began creating a space for calmness.  However I discovered it in the most unlikely place which was surprising as it is not quiet at all!

As most of you know I am a runner and I usually run in solitude with no music, just me and my thoughts. This most times is okay, but other times can leave me feeling not only spent physically, but emotionally as well.  A friend of mine challenged me to start running with music. So I accepted the challenge and with the help of my daughter created a running play list. This was only the beginning!  I realized that for the past several months that I have pretty much cut music from my life except for an occasional song here or there.  However, as I listened to a lot of music of all varieties this past weekend something awakened in me that I have not felt in a long time!  At first I could not put my finger on it and then after some time I realized it was calmness!

Music is powerful and can invoke many emotions.  I discovered that music was a path to my heart!  As I listened to song after song, a feeling flowed over me I have not felt for a long time, I felt centered.  A range of emotions washed over me, such as peace, happiness, joy, clarity to name a few.  It was as if someone took a sweeper to the path from my head to my heart and cleared out all the clutter! I felt calm, I could hear my heart. I did not feel so overwhelmed, I could relax.

If someone had told me that I would discover a way to calmness through music my first thought would have been but I don't really want to listen to elevator music.  But that is not what I was listening too, this was upbeat, positive music that was anything but elevator music.

So I ask again, what is your path to calmness?  Anything goes, it does not have to be a quiet, solemn activity.  It could just be something that wants to make you move, to go outside, to enjoy life.  Take the chance and make the discovery for yourself!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Touching Hearts With Greatness

As you take a journey to wholeness and discovering your greatness there are many diversions along the way. You get to one milepost and think to yourself, yes, I have made it, only to see there are many more mileposts ahead in the distance.  You are going along great for a while, and then hit a bump in the road and start to question, have I really done anything at all, only to dig deep and see that what is in your heart is larger and more powerful than what is in your head.  So with this knowledge and belief you keep going, knowing that this is a journey and not a destination.  You daily choose to see greatness, to filter life through your heart, to stay true to yourself and all you know, to carry on and live the best life you possibly can armed with the knowledge of who you truly are in your greatness. All this is done with a conscious decision on your own with no input from others, but what happens when people are added to the mix and you discover the decision you made to make the journey has an impact on others, what happens next?

I have recently been involved with a person that my life, my journey hit a chord of hope in them that life can be different.  That there is hope, that there is greatness and a life that is amazing is possible.  The impact my life had on this person hit me straight to the heart when they wrote to me the following...

"You never knew while going through your challenges that you would save an African American young woman from being shipwrecked.  By being your strong resilient self you would give me hope.  By being your brave warrior self you would give me someone to look up to.  By not allowing yourself to be broken by your challenges and not taking your life, you would save mine."

As I read this again my heart is overwhelmed that my decision to change my life would someday have such a huge impact on another.  But in reality, isn't that what greatness is all about?  That as we make a journey to discover who we are with the greatness that we were born with that we can in some way touch the life of another.  That we can make a heart to heart connection with others and that they too can discover what greatness is all about?

So it is with this resolve that I write that even though I may have a long way still to go on this journey and that each day I am discovering new areas in which I have to grow and learn that I will choose to live a life that makes a difference.  That I will face each day fearlessly knowing that I have greatness and it is this greatness that is to be shared with others.  I can do this, I have the courage, strength and ability within my heart to live this life.  I will choose people to be in my life that will challenge me to keep growing, to keep learning and I will also choose people that believe in me and will come along side me in this journey.

Living a life of hope, of courage with fearlessness is an amazing, challenging way to live.  However, when you see that your choice to live this life may also lead another to want it, every tear, every hard place, every challenge is worth it as you help someone else discover how to make the 18 inch journey into their heart.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Energy of Greatness - Being Centered

I am discovering this truth, no matter how far you have come, how much you have learned, or where you think you should be, there is always more to learn, more ways to grow.  Your greatness is not measured by how far you think you should be. Who you are is not measured by what you feel is a setback, in fact it is not a setback but another opportunity to grow.  To look into your heart and hear what it is saying.  So stand tall in your greatness and listen to the whispers of your heart.

I have had to read this several times this week to remind myself of the truth.  Words I have written and shared in a presentation this past summer, but had forgotten as this has been a week of questioning for me, which all started with a challenge I got from a friend last week.

Let me explain.  I have an energy about me.  Anybody who knows me, or has met me has probably figured this out.  However, the energy I have is BRIGHT NEON and scattered all over the place.  As I walked through this journey, my energy became more intense, but not centered and at times can be overwhelming. The times I focus and pull it into cohesion are powerful and draw others in to hear what I have to say about their greatness and how it can change their life.  So as I went to my friend and shared with her how I was living with intention she challenged me to focus my energy.  To take it from neon to a cool calm blue/green (my analogy) and to draw it in and channel it and then watch what happens as it becomes more powerful, but focused!  So I thought about this and accepted the challenge thinking I can do this, easy!  But I discovered this week it is actually easier said than done (she kinda warned me about this as well).

Here is what has happened that led me to the excerpt above...I tried to channel my energy from a logical standpoint and did not allow it to flow out from the heart, in the process I started to feed myself all sorts of negative self talk about why I have not already gotten here, why another growth process, shouldn't I be done with this yet?!?  So where did I end up...anywhere but in my greatness!

I have stayed here for about a week and not allowed myself to move back to my heart.  While it has been painful to stay here, it seemed even harder to fight through it to allow myself to feel these feelings. My friend said the "storm" would hit, she was right.  I discovered that when I channel my energy into a cohesive, streamlined, calm state, you have to feel more deeply.  When I allow it to be scattered, the feelings somethimes stay at a surface level, thus never reach to the depths of the heart, but when you "draw in" your energy, you feel deeply and completely which can be an intense place. I spent about a week "taming" my energy from a logical standpoint (my head) and it felt easy, but I soon realized I had to go deeper and that is when it started to hurt!  But here it is, when you are looking to make a change that is truly from the heart, you cannot do it on a surface will not get to where you are supposed to be!  True change starts within the heart and works from the inside out.  I cannot truly center my energy by just subduing my physical expression, or logically making a decsion to do so, but rather letting the calm settle into the deepest crevices of my heart and manifesting from there.  It is in this place that the true calm, the energy in a positive way will flow with cohesion and cease to be scattered.  It is also in this place that what starts out hurting, ends up as a new level of growth that I know will lead to new levels of greatness as well!  Funny thing is I spent almost a week in a "funk" as I had one friend tell me and talked a massive amount of neagative self talk in the process and she was not shy in telling me so, but I needed to hear it!

So today, I will "reset" and allow myself to feel deeply, to hear the whispers of my heart and to settle into the familiar place of greatness that I know who I am and the truth.  In this place, I will cease to strive for the calm and just listen to my heart instead, it this easy no, it is worth it definitely!  While it is rough going at times, I am glad I have accepted this challenge and in the process the growth that will come with it.  I know that this piece of the journey is going to lead to bigger, greater things, and in fact already has with the opportunity to share my journery with several others.  Sometimes this journey to greatness is a love/hate relationship, but in the end greatness will always prevail if you allow it to.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Living Intentionally

A couple of weeks ago I made the decision to step in up a notch in my life and to live intentionally.  I have been on the "18 inch journey" now since December 2011 and have seen dramatic changes in my life, both in how I approach life and how I look, but I questioned at times, was I applying all I have learned?

As I asked myself this question and pondered it in my heart for several days, some interesting things happened.  Quite by chance the opportunity arose to share pieces of my journey with several people.  As they listened what intrigued me most was their response that I seemed happy.  While this was nice to hear, it was what they followed up with that hit home to my heart...they retracted the "happy statement" and instead said, that it was not happy, but more than that, it was a positive energy, one that could be felt, touched. This is when it hit home in my heart, that my life, my everyday living in my greatness, of filtering life through my heart versus my head was impacting others.

It was in this place of realization that I knew that all the work I have done has finally taken taken root and my life-normal day to day life (nothing dramatic) was an example of what living in your greatness, living intentionally was all about.  At this time, I also came to understand that was time to pass the torch in a manner of speaking.

The passing of the torch has come about in that I have been approached by people who have watched me from afar via social media, some for quite some time and others more recently.  They have seen what has taken place in me, and have now approached me ready to start their own journey.  The same statement is made to me over and over, they "feel" the positive energy, see the changes and want it for their own life.  It is in these conversations that I know that living my life intentionally is making the choice I have spoken about many times throughout the course of this blog to filter life through your heart-no matter what happens, and to know your greatness and who you are each day.

I like to say that through all of this that I have no setbacks and that each day is "perfect", but I would be lying!  This way of life, of living is not some magic potion I take each morning, some magic words I say, but rather making the conscious decision to know who I am, in recognizing my own greatness, and then to recognize the same in others. Living intentionally is just that-having intention and following through with what you know to be true. That when you stumble and make a decision to react, to reset yourself and start over. Is it failure, no, not in any way, it is just part of the journey.  The true joy comes when I get to share this with others who are seeking and to watch as they discover their greatness.

So what is next?  This is the question that is now in my heart.  I am sure that I am called to share my journey with others in several ways, a book, presenting in person, and maybe even in a one on one setting.  I do not know the how or when, but I know that this is what I am supposed to do.  The exciting part will be to watch as the next year unfolds and to see where this "18 inch journey" takes me next!