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Season Reason or A Lifetime

Sometimes our seasons last so long simply because of the meaning we place on them. Things that could be temporary endure far beyond their intended time because we hold on to them with our beliefs.

When we learn to just state the facts and find the blessings in each season, we may find that we will pass through some seasons so quickly.

Here are some common “seasons” that we may hold on to unnecessarily:

1. My whole family is overweight so I’m probably always gonna be fat.

2. All the women on my my dad’s side of the family are diabetics so I will likely have it, too.

3. The economy is really bad so this is gonna be a really bad season for my business.

4. I am knocking on 40 and still haven’t found ‘Mr. Right” so I’m probably never gonna get married.

The truth is that the first part of the sentence may be a fact, but the last part of each of these statements is merely an opinion. Just as much as the expected projection could be true, a whole different truth that was not predicted could be possible if we don’t put that meaning on the facts. These could be just as easily true:

1. My whole family is overweight, so I am very committed to healthy eating and working out. I am going to change the course of my family’s health and wellness.

2. “All the women on my dad’s side of the family are diabetics, so I focus a lot of energy on wellness, exercise, and diet. I’m going to be the exception to the rule.”

3. “They say the economy is really bad right now so I am looking for ways to offer my customers more value at a lower cost.”

4. “I am knocking on 40 and single. I enjoy my own company and I’m open to meeting someone special.”

 

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Posted by on May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

When You Know How It Feels

 

 

 

View on Facebook! Marc and Angel Hack Life - Practical Tips for Productive Living

Saw this pic on Marc and Angel’s FB page today and it brought back a powerful memory. Check out their page! Marc and Angel Hack Life – Practical Tips for Productive Living

This is VERY true. The other day, I was in the post office and the woman before me did not have enough to pay the postage for her letter. She needed less than a dollar if I recall, and told the cashier she didn’t have enough. I immediately went in my purse to search for the change she needed.

See, I can remember being in her exact position, at a post office in DeKalb searching my car for change to mail whatever it was I had that day. I don’t recall if I found enough money that day…. I also remember, one of my most empowering memories… a memory that reminds me that no matter how “broke” the enemy would like to convince me I am (and I refuse to receive that nonsense), I am WAAAAYYYY better off than I was a few years ago.

I remember a particular day. I was a little over six months pregnant and we had no food in our apartment. And when I say “no food” I mean NO FOOD. I left our place determined to bring food home, to make a miracle. I knew that if I could go to the Walmart that was next door, with the change I had, I could make a meal for my family. My plan was to buy ONE pack of shrimp ramen noodles and a box of generic saltine crackers. The ramen there was always 17 cents and the saltines were fifty cents. I had just enough to cover my TWO items plus tax.

I was so proud and excited that I figured out a brilliant plan to create a meal. So I walked out into the hot Marietta, Georgia sun, with my swollen ankles, in some run over Family Dollar flip flops (the only shoes I could tolerate at the time) excited! Got to Walmart, grabbed my ONE pack of ramen noodles, headed to the cracker aisle, only to discover SALTINES HAD GONE UP TO 75 CENTS! I was devastated. I stood there staring at the crackers, hoping I was just looking at the wrong ones. I mean, they had been that price forever, they were that price just days prior. How could this be?

So, I took my change, went back to the ramen aisle and grabbed another pack, walked to the front of the store and got in line, and held back the tears as best I could. Focused my energy on overcoming the embarrassment of having to count out my pennies to pay for the ramen, and left a drop of energy for gratitude that we would eat that day.

Marlene Dillon, author of I’m Proud to Be Natural Me!
http://improudtobenaturalme.com/thebook Order your autographed copy today!

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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Something in the Struggle

Why does a woman who desires children more than anything struggle to get pregnant, while another conceives from a one-night-stand? Why does the most giving man, who is loved by everyone he meets get prostate cancer, and the most evil, abusive, and lecherous individuals live free and clear?

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My theory? It must be something in the struggle. It’s just my theory, but I wonder if I would’ve reached, or even seen, my full potential had I not experienced the “rough patches” of life. I am not saying that I am an angel in any way, or that I have achieved all that I was created to achieve, but most people who truly know me will say that I am a “good” person, who wants to see others achieve their best. Maybe you are that kind of person—one who always thinks of others but still seems to get the “short end of the stick” from time to time. My new belief is that maybe there is something—a lesson, a blessing :), some depth of character, or even strength in a way or on a level that you never knew existed that provides a reason for why we “go through.”

I remember one of my mentors, Rev. Leroy Mitchell, preached this life-changing sermon many years ago. He spoke of how sometimes, “God presses on us to get the good stuff out.” He went on to use the examples of how you must press grapes to get wine and squeeze oranges to get orange juice. He explained that the pressure is necessary.

Maybe the struggle brings more out of you than you ever knew was there. Maybe the struggle helps you define what is and is not important to you. Maybe the struggle helps you weed out who your good friends are and who is just hanging around taking up space. Maybe the struggle helps you decided what your goals are and how important it is to you to achieve them. Or maybe the struggle simply helps you to see that you are “going against the flow” of life, and provides redirection.

As I stand in faith with a friend who desires so desperately to have a child, I remain unshaken in my belief that our Creator does not find joy in making our lives difficult. The pain and disappointments she has experienced on this journey seem so pointless to me, when “God” could simply “hear her cry” and answer her prayer. And maybe you too are currently feeling squeezed by life, or have experienced situations that seem to have “cut” you to your core. I know how that feels, even without living your specific situation. Ultimately, pain is pain, regardless of the details. But one thing I also know is that when I look over my own life, I see how much richer I am for what I’ve been through and I think to myself, “it must be something in the struggle.”

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UPDATE 05/06/15 

Last Mother’s Day (2014) the friend in this story was frustrated and wondering if she would ever be able to conceive. Late last night, less than a week from Mother’s Day 2015, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl. You never know how close you may be to your breakthrough. Don’t give up on your dreams. Miracles happen every day. Continue to see it coming true. It is possible.

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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From Negative to Positive

How I Used Improv Shift My Thoughts from Negative to Positive in Seconds

by Marlene Dillon, author of I’m Proud to Be Natural Me!

If you’ve read my post Scared Great, you know that last year I took an improv class that changed my life, called the Fear ExperimentUsing the concept behind an awesome improv game, that was taught to me and my peers by the amazing Pete Aiello, I switched a totally self-defeating thought into an empowering one by correcting myself with a better thought/perspective. 

In the game “Should’ve Said”, the actor has to change their last statement for a better one every time the moderator says, “should’ve said.” For example, “I’m so glad we’re skiing in the Alps!” (“Should’ve said.”) “I’m so glad we’re skiing in the Bahamas!” (“Should’ve said.”) “I’m so glad we’re skiing down this mountain of spaghetti!” The crowd laughs. The moderator is satisfied. The actor continues his story.

So the other day, I (unintentionally) swapped “should’ve said” for “should’ve thought” and totally changed my perspective from negative to positive in like 5 seconds! For example, “My boss gets on my nerves.” (should’ve thought) “My boss is irritating.” (should’ve thought) “My boss is providing me with A LOT of great reasons to go back and get my degree.” and so on… By simply swapping out the negative statement for a more empowering one, you can switch from positive to negative in seconds. Try it! Hope this helps you!

If it works for you, please share your story below!

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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I Honestly Don’t Know

What do you do when you have a million and one things pulling you in every direction? Your desire is to move forward and any path can take you where you want to go. What do you do when you honestly have no clue what to do next, or first, for that matter?

Courtesy of gettyimages.com

I have been blessed with the unique opportunity to be the funnel through which every gift in my bloodline has flowed. I can write, draw, design, do hair, sing, write songs, speak, motivate, encourage and a HOST of other things. Sounds like an awesome gift, right? Well, not really. Lol. It is a confusing mess if you don’t know which thing to do for the rest of your life, or better yet which to do first. If you suck at art but are brilliant at math, becoming an accountant seems kinda easy. If you can create brilliant choreography in your sleep, but faint at the sight of blood, you’re likely not gonna head down a medical path. But what if writing advertisements comes easy to you, visions of haute new fashions come to you in your dreams, and in one sitting you wrote a book that will likely help millions of children embrace their natural beauty? How do you make peace moving toward one, when the gift is equally strong in many other areas? This is my conundrum.

Which way to go

I’ve tried the whole “just pick one and stick with it” thing. Sounds good in theory and it’s definitely the most responsible thing… I guess. But when the other gifts won’t let up, I find myself wondering, “What if I’m supposed to do ALL not one?” Sounds impossible. Feels impossible. Likely is impossible… if I believed in the concept of impossible. I believe that anything is possible, even if inconvenient, unsustainable, or unconventional, the possibility may still exist…

So I’ve said a whole lot of nothing or maybe something, lol. All I know is, right now, I find myself moving forward with a big question mark as to what is next. Maybe you’ve been there and in time you figured it out. Standing still is not an option for me so I’ll keep doing the undone tasks, keep making progress on all unfinished business, and continue to write down and record the inspirations that come along the way. Hopefully in my moving forward I will one day look around and realize I have achieved my dreams and had a blast along the way.

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

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The Joy in Letting Go (Reclaim Your Dream Part 2)

Passion. Heart. Faith. Joy. All these things mean nothing in isolation… at least not to me. I have spent most of my life as a tight clenched fist hoping for good to come into my life. But when you walk around uptight all the time, being a control freak and perfectionist, there is no room for the ease of good energy to flow. In the last few moments of 2013 I had an epiphany. The most joyful times of my life did not arise from perfectly executed plans; my most memorable moments have all been the result of letting go.

"I give myself permission to let go."—Louise Hay

“I give myself permission to let go.”—Louise Hay

A few months ago, I started a fundraising campaign to help me accomplish a previously aborted dream. In essence, I left school with a degree that was, in my opinion, less than the one I set out to attain. It’s haunted me for years and I decided it was time to go back and “reclaim my dream.” I did everything… well mostly everything… I could to make it happen. I was determined to return to school and get that degree, even though many of my mentors assured me that I did not need a second master’s to become a life coach. I still wanted it and still pursued it, aggressively. With all that work, I was not getting closer to my goal. I finally decided to step back and say, “Am I taking the long road to my dream? Do my mentors have a valid point? Why am I really pushing so hard to do this?” After some soul searching, I accepted that my plan was not working, but was too afraid of people’s opinions to abandon it. Many days I thought to myself, “What if I just go back later if necessary, but for now do a coaching training course? I’ll be so much closer to my goal and it will cost WAY LESS.” I went back and forth in my mind until, just days ago, I decided to drop that uphill plan that just wasn’t panning out. I came to realize that changing my route was not equivalent to giving up on my dream. 

It has been my desire since the days of Growing Pains to one day open a private counseling/coaching practice. I assumed the only way to do so legitimately was as a licensed therapist. I felt that I needed to have a degree in counseling in order to be “official.” This is where having good friends comes in. I mentioned that point to my dear friend, Danielle Navonne, and after allowing me to vent, she lovingly reminded me that I ALREADY HAVE A MASTER’S DEGREE IN COUNSELING. I was so committed to my plan to get my LCPC license that I was ignoring that I already have credentials. I also know firsthand that being a licensed counselor is not the only way to support, or produce lasting results, in the life of a client. I have a life coach who has transformed my life, and a dream coach who is responsible for me taking my life to the next level. Neither of them have degrees in counseling, They are however amazingly gifted and well-trained for what they do. So…. guess what? It’s time for me to drop the story that I’ve been telling myself about the one and only route to my dream.

Which way should I choose?

The amazing blessing of all this is that by changing paths I am so much closer to my dream. The process of attaining my license as a therapist was going to take me at least three years! Going through a life coaching training program will take me a few months and cost fraction of the price. Now, the money I have raised through my FundRazr, coupled with the money I have saved on my own, is nearly enough to pay for my coaching training! Doing it this way has been nagging at me for weeks, but I refused to let go of the story I was telling myself about how it must be done—that one and only route to my dream. I am now realizing that sometimes the plan we have doesn’t work out, or feels completely uphill, simply because there’s a much better way, possibly one that we’ve been ignoring.

“Do not confuse your route with your dream.”  

So what’s the point? 🙂 I’m writing today to tell you to be careful of mistaking the route for your dream. There may be numerous paths to get you to where you desire to be. Tony Robbins teaches a very successful strategy for accomplishing goals. One of the steps is simply, to look at the results you are getting, and if what you are doing is not working, try something else. Why continue on a path that’s not getting you closer to your goal? Let go of the story that there is only one way to accomplish it. Likely there are multiple routes. Don’t be too embarrassed to try something new for fear of what people will think. Anybody who supports you will want to see you succeed. If the new route will help you arrive at that success faster, why wouldn’t they support that? It’s just a matter of communicating the new plan, if necessary. (Some people do better with less information. Just show them the end result. 😉 )

If you’re on the wrong path, and you know it, it’s time to meditate, pray, get clear in some way on how to get on track. Do not confuse your route with your dream. Changing paths does not mean that you’ve given up on your destination. The blessing of our dreams is that there is often more than one way to get there—or at least that’s what I believe. If you’ve been following a path to your dream for a while now and it feels like you’re not really making progress, it may be wise to consider another route… or at least leave room for the possibility that there could be a better way. I feel such a relief for no longer ignoring all the signs that this route is not “it.” I am truly overjoyed at the thought that I am now closer to my goal because I simply let go of what I thought was the only way.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

 

Reclaim Your Dream

“Maintain your vision, no matter what it looks like.”

A few years ago, I gave up on my dream and it’s been haunting me ever since. Those words brought comfort to me this morning; they came to me in a dream. It’s scary to abandon reason and change paths when you realize the one you’re on is not taking you toward your goals. Now, as I embark on a new journey—a road I traveled before—I have a new determination. 

The short version of the long story is that in 2008, I graduated with a master’s degree in counseling ministries. It is a great degree if you plan to work in religious institutions and don’t want to open a private counseling practice. It is the degree I convinced myself was “good enough” after talking myself out of the degree I really wanted. Insecurity and one too many haters posing as supporters worked to rapidly erode that dream. I began to believe I just “didn’t have it in me.” I sat in my counseling classes thinking, “I’ll never have a private practice, where will I get clients? I’m terrible at marketing and direct selling; look at my Mary Kay business!” I constantly compared myself to my classmates who seemed to be ridiculously passionate and excited about finishing the program, while I was shaking in my boots! THEN, I met the man I knew I would marry. I had every reason to get the heck out with the quickness. With all those excuses constantly on my mind I rushed out of there in pursuit of my M-R-S (Mrs. if you missed that, lol) and left my MACP (Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology) behind. I convinced myself that my dream was too big for me, and not my dream at all. One of my “supporters” told me early on about the shorter degree program, and I decided that one was right for me. I couldn’t have been more wrong….

Well, now in hindsight I realize what a mistake that was. Through this blog, I’ve come to realize how much inspiring others drives me—how partnering with others toward discovering pursuing their passions energizes me. Through my children’s book, I have discovered my love for motivating through public speaking. The more I learn about myself the more I realize that a private practice is exactly what I want. My dream is resurrecting. I want to be a life coach. I’ve wanted to be one for years, and truth be told, if you know me at all, I’ve been doing it informally for years. 

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If you prematurely buried your dream, dig it up, and give it a chance to live.

Now, I’m strong enough now and clear enough about what drives me. I know that I cannot go another day without reclaiming my dream. So a few weeks ago, I decided I’m going back to school to get the degree I left behind! 😀 I’m so excited. I am choosing to do what I need to do for me regardless of anyone’s opinions about it. I know some people will say, “You already a master’s degree, why are you going back to school?” And others will say, “You have a young child. You are a single mom. Where are you gonna get that kind of money and how will you do it by yourself?” See, I’ve already thought about all that, and my mind is still made up. I trust God will provide for everything I need to make this happen because He inspired me to do it.

I didn’t go to school on a whim. I had an actual vision in 2005 that led me to school. I let insecurity cause me to forget that and abort the mission. But now I see, that a dream never really dies. You can try to “pull the plug” on it but it will keep fighting in the background, waiting for the moment you will believe again. It will keep resurfacing in various forms around you, nagging at you to give it a chance to live because our dreams are often a huge part of our purpose for being here. Just because others have let their dreams die doesn’t mean that you have to do the same, or worse, let them talk you out of pursuing yours! I finally accept that truth… that my time has not passed. I’m still here. I’m still moving, shaking, kicking. No reason for my dream to die while I’m still breathing. I’m determined to do it. And I won’t be going alone. I’m going to prove my strength and be an example to my daughter as she witnesses me going after my dream AND accomplishing it.

How can I tell my child, you can be anything if you’re willing to try, and walk away from my own dream due to… you pick the excuse? The blessing of all this is that I’m doing this for me. I’ve always put everyone else (even if it was just their opinions of me) ahead of myself. Now, I’m choosing me BUT everyone benefits! I’m choosing to be my best self and that will allow me to be a better mom, a better friend, a better speaker… and so on. This is not a selfish move, even though I’m doing it just for me. 

So, what’s your excuse? Your dream is still alive. Are you going to continue to throw dirt over it or dig it up? What if instead of listing all the reasons why it’s too late, you open yourself to the possibility that it’s not over, yet? IF it was possible to resurrect your un-dead dream, what would be your next step toward making it happen? I challenge you to take that next step. I mean, you have nothing to lose and all to gain.

Maybe you can relate, maybe you gave up on your dream. Please support me as I stand in courage reclaiming mine. http://fnd.us/c/0dg5f/sh/6waf0

Maybe you can relate, maybe you gave up on your dream. Please support me as I stand in courage reclaiming mine. http://fnd.us/c/0dg5f/sh/6waf0

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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