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Tag Archives: motivation

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?

oranges

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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The Sweet Spot

Special thanks to Getty Images & awesome photographer Colin Cooke for use of this image.

I am the last person on earth who would ever do a post on watermelon. Honestly, the history alone makes it difficult for me to even eat it in public. However, it is the best fruit for describing what I am calling, “rinsing the sweetness out of life.”

A very dear loved one of mine has done this thing, that I personally think is really odd, but to each his/her/it’s own (whatever the phrase is, lol). I’ve known her since childhood and every single time she eats watermelon, she stands at the kitchen sink and holds each slice under the cold running water.  I have watched her standing there for what seemed to be at least a half hour, rinsing piece after piece before eating them. The whole time shaking my head, looking on with utter disbelief. In my opinion, watermelon’s sweetness is its gift, but for her, it’s just “too sweet.”

This morning, I had a huge epiphany. I’ve come to realize that in some aspects, particularly in regard to my career path, this is exactly what I’ve done with my life. I have been gifted with the most amazing creative abilities—most of which I don’t use because I’ve felt they are too sweet for me. I have watered myself down, with limiting beliefs like that’s something other people do. People who are more talented than me, more passionate than me, more confident than me, or simply born into a different environment than mine are the only ones who can pursue something like that. I could never be a fashion designer. I could never make and sell my own jewelry. Who would ever take me seriously as a songwriter? and so on.

You know, this morning I woke up early with a vision of the most outstanding shoe design. It was for a bridal shoe that has the most amazing button closures going down the back—a high stiletto that would make the average shoe fiend go bananas, and what was my first thought? You’re never gonna make that. What’s the point of getting up to sketch it. So many times—more than I could ever count—I have listened to that voice, which I call my inner critic. She has been standing at the “sink” probably all my life, trying to rinse all the sweetness out. Without even realizing it, I have been sitting by watching her do it. But now that I am aware of it, I won’t let any more sweetness go down the drain… 

So my question to you is, what is your sweet spot? What area of your life are you ignoring because it just doesn’t fit with who your sweet thief says you are? An ever better question is how long are you going to stand by and be robbed of your sweetness? Take a step today and share your hidden sweetness below. I’d love to hear about it. (Just FYI, I nearly didn’t get up to type this blog. The sweet thief strikes again.) 

 

Check out my promo video for my children’s book below. Thank you for your support!

 
 

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Marching Forward Into 2012

Today’s date (1-2-12 ) is indicative of what this year is about for me. I’m all about progress—almost to a fault. If I’m not making progress, I’m irritable, short with everyone, and generally not the best person to be around. Progress energizes me. It’s better to me than your best cup of coffee. Coming off of a year like 2011—where I experienced more heartache, loss, and transition than anyone should at one time—I believe that if I survived all that, I better march into this year like someone chased me out 2011!

I have no reason to be looking back and living in the past. So when I got up this morning and said today’s date to myself, I heard it differently. I didn’t hear “one, two, twenty-twelve”, I heard the rhythm of the individual numbers, “one, two, one, two.” And as I sat here journaling, I began to picture myself in a parade with a marching band behind me. You know, you never see people walking in a parade looking back at the float to see if it’s following too closely behind them. They just keep marching steadily forward, “one, two, one, two,” trusting that whoever is behind them is doing the same.

That’s how I want to approach this year, as if I am at the front of that parade, with the marching band behind me, “one, two, one, two.” I have to keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other.  I can’t look back. I’ve gotta keep my eyes in front of me, all the while hearing that gentle rhythm, “one, two, one….” Can you hear it? Can you hear that gentle rhythm pushing us forward into this amazing new year of possibilities? If so, then march with me. “One, two, one….”

If you like this post, maybe you’ll like some of my other work.

An empowering way to start this year off right is to set a reasonable resolution that you can keep, and post it somewhere that you will see it every day. This is why I created these customizable beverage mugs. 2012 Resolution MugI have a great example of a reasonable resolution printed on this mug. It states, “I resolve to do more of what energizes me and less of what drains me.” You can use this one or create your own and have it printed directly on your mug! It’s not too late to set your resolution and march steadily throughout 2012. Click the image to order yours today!

 

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No Apologies

The Creator designed each of us with different finger prints for a reason. It’s as if “He” was giving us ten constant reminders to be the individuals He created us to be. But we spend so much time trying to fit into a mold of who our friends want us to be, who our families want us to be, and what we believe society expects us to be. The reality is that self acceptance begins with… you guessed it, yourself. The only way to live a life of true joy and freedom is to be the real you, the person you were created to be, with no apologies.

Today, I created a design for a t-shirt that I have been fighting against creating for some time. I kept thinking to myself, “who am I to say this” and “who am I to think I can just create a word and expect it to become a movement?” People are going to be questioning my intelligence and saying to themselves, “That’s not even a word.” But today, I got up and said to myself “2012 is the year that I am unapologetically me.” I thought to myself as I was posting my design on my facebook page, “Beyonce’ created a word (“bootylicious”), Lil Wayne coined the term “bling bling” and Martin Lawrence has the whole globe saying, ‘You go, girl’, why can’t I say  “unapologetically me?” And with that thought, I decided to stop holding back. If I’m not willing to do me, how can I tell anyone else to do it?

So that’s the story behind this design. Of course, there’s a part of me that’s still a little self conscious about it, but the greater part of me wants to be free to do what’s on my heart regardless of people’s responses. I definitely hope you will like it, but more than that I hope you will embrace the message—that life is not about everyone else (in the sense of fitting in). Life is about being who you really are and sharing that great truth with the world around you.

This is my first big step into my new outlook for 2012. I resolve to make 2012 the year that I am me, with no apologies. How about you?

P.S. Here’s the tee. 🙂

"Unapologetically Me" Tee

Live life authentically, with no apologies.

 

 

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