If you’re anything like me, you’re a little shocked that it’s already mid-October! Seriously, where did this year go? As the Autumn leaves change, I’m reminded yet again, “time flies when you’re chasing PURPOSE.” This year flew past and has been life-changing, and yet there’s still much to be done! When I look at my “To Do List” for this year, I feel proud and a little overwhelmed surveying what I’ve accomplished and what’s left to be done. However, instead of getting flustered and feeling rushed, I took some time to pause over the last couple weeks to assess what I’ve completed and prioritize the tasks that remain. This way, I know what deserves my immediate attention and energy.
In addition to prioritizing my remaining tasks, I also make a conscious effort to look at my goals and desires realistically. What can actually be done in these last few months? What can I set aside to tackle at the top of 2016? For some, this may be difficult or disappointing, but I’m learning to go with the flow and let things develop organically. Instead of being upset about what’s incomplete, I suggest using your energy to complete the tasks that are most pressing. There’s no need to be hard on yourself as long as you’re consistently and diligently working towards your goals. Trust they’ll be complete in the time they are meant. At this place in my life, I’m praying more and more for God’s DIVINE TIMING, because I never want to move outside of His will. The results are NEVER favorable and the hassle of getting back on track is just not worth it.
As you review where you are at this point in your life and this year, be loving and kind to yourself. Instead of considering the opinions of others and what anyone else is doing, be considerate of what you need to do first! These are your goals, plans, dreams, and visions! Remember: You are responsible for ALL you do and become. Use your energy wisely! You reap what you sow and if you want a great return, you have to put in a great investment. YOU are worth it!
LIGHT and LOVE,
If I could say one thing to you it would be: find your SMILE. Find the place within yourself that no matter what’s going on, you can smile anyway because you know that no storm lasts forever. Even when hard times come and the rain seems like it will never end, remember it will! You can never see the light of the sunshine if your head is held down in defeat. Trust me, I know times get hard, but times have been hard before, and you will make it through this-as you always do. I wanted to take this time to encourage you in case no one else does. I want to remind you to acknowledge the rhythm that continues to pump inside your chest despite any opposition you face. And when the tears cloud your vision sometimes, remember we walk by faith not by sight! No matter what you do JUST HOLD ON. Believe that you can make it and trust that when you do, you’ll gain strength that you never thought you possessed, and yet it’s been right inside you all along.
Just a quick letter to YOU.
LIGHT and LOVE,
YOU are as POWERFUL as the words and thoughts you choose to believe about yourself! Your PURPOSE is shaped by what starts in your mind and should be reflected in your words, thoughts, and actions!
Over the years, I’ve learned many things about myself and what I need to make it through this journey called LIFE. One thing I’ve found, I always need an outlet and a positive way to process my thoughts, the words that are constantly on my mind, and most importantly MY PURPOSE! As a young girl, I was introduced to journaling by an elementary school teacher. My life has NEVER been the same and if you integrate some of these exercises into your daily routine, yours may change forever as well! First, let’s address what a journal is and some its benefits.
What is a journal?
A journal is a written record that contains your observations, experiences, thoughts, and anything else you decide to write about. Many people don’t care for writing, because it can seem tedious and intimidating. However, journaling can change your life in ways you never imagined. Writing in a journal frees you from the rules of “formal” writing! Most importantly, your journal is for your eyes only, unless you decide to share! This gives you the opportunity to freely express your thoughts, feelings, and fears without judgment.
Use your words & thoughts to lead you to your purpose!
As we all know, WORDS are powerful! Imagine what could happen if you kept a record or list of positive, self-affirming, encouraging words with you at all times?
EXERCISE: On good and especially bad days, I suggest taking some time to write down all the words that come to mind that you feel GOOD about.
REMEMBER: We must remain conscious of the words we speak and accept about ourselves, our lives, and most importantly our PURPOSE.
WRITE IT DOWN: Clearly outline your THOUGHTS and VISIONS!
DOCUMENT your journey! ASSESS your progress. Once you write down your thoughts and ideas, they become goals that you can see and measure your progress towards. Having your goals in front of you is like a roadmap of the PATH to your PURPOSE! Use this to your advantage!
EXERCISE: Free Write- 30 Seconds: WRITE non-stop, don’t lift your pen or hands from the device. Just WRITE everything that comes to mind during this time!
Free Write-30 Seconds: WRITE words that are POSITIVE, encouraging, and self-affirming about your day.
Free Write-30 Seconds: WRITE the first words that come to mind when you think about your day!
Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Allow your thoughts to flow & as you do….WRITE IT DOWN!
GET IT OUT: Make a record of what’s happening, what’s gone right, and what’s gone wrong! This gives you the opportunity to identify your strengths and weaknesses. It gives you the chance to review what’s happened- your LESSONS. Now, you can make corrections. Now, you can GET IT RIGHT!
EXERCISE: WRITE to get it out! Some days are GREAT, others not so much, but it’s ALWAYS better to get those thoughts and feelings out! We don’t always feel comfortable sharing with others and that’s OK, but what you write in your journal or device is for YOU!
Acknowledging your thoughts & feelings this way allows you to move them from the front of your mind and frees you to take the next step. Now, it’s time to pursue what’s on the pages!
LET IT GO: Once you write it down, it’s out there! In “BLACK & WHITE” as my mother would say! Even when it’s a ROUGH DRAFT or just a few words, it’s a start! You’ve unleashed your words and thoughts, now what?! PURSUE YOUR DREAMS, despite fear!
REMEMBER: You have EXACTLY what you NEED on the pages in front of you, use all the lessons and details you’ve recorded to guide you. Use them as the roadmap to your PURPOSE. You’ve already taken the first step, and it all started with YOUR WORDS!
EXERCISE: The path to your purpose is shaped by what starts in your mind. The words we believe and accept about ourselves are VITAL.
I suggest WRITING as often as possible. Your words & thoughts about your life matter most!
No matter how often you choose to write, make sure to ALWAYS use your words and thoughts to lead you to your PURPOSE!
LIGHT and LOVE,
“Establishing, then committing to, and maintaining daily spiritual practices is crucial. They form the painful and truly necessary process of surrendering your life into God’s hands.” –Iyanla Vanzant
Here we are roaring into the third week of August 2015! Here at STRONG we have many things to be excited about and much more to share with you! With only four months left in this year (times flies when you’re fulfilling PURPOSE) have you found yourself feeling like you need an extra boost? Many of us are going into the last quarter of this year with plenty of accomplishments under our belts, but in need of a little more to make it toward the finish line of our 2015 Goals List! If you’re anything like me, sometimes you just need to switch up or add something to your daily routine to get fresh energy flowing! This year, I changed A LOT, but the most beneficial change came from my inner-work to feel stronger and more grounded within.
Recently, I’ve felt the need to strengthen my core and I don’t mean this hidden six-pack! I mean beneath the surface, on a spiritual level. I’ve always felt the need to pray, but as I’ve matured I’ve developed a need to go deeper. I started to find that bowing my head with requests and some thanks a few times a day wasn’t enough to keep me fueled spiritually and prepared to navigate the battles that we all face daily! When you want to make significant changes in life, in order to manifest changes on the outside you must first make changes within. I realized it was time to take my daily spiritual practice to the next level internally so that my life would follow externally.
Think about it, there are so many things that require our time and attention daily, but if we are not properly fortified to handle these issues and circumstances, we can find ourselves struggling through life as we know it. This is truly unnecessary and leads us to operate in a way that doesn’t support our highest good! While attending my alma mater, Central State University, I started journaling my prayers so that I would remember to pray daily. The benefits far exceeded my expectations and over the years I’ve found adding components to my routine has strengthened me in ways I never thought possible! It is my sincere hope and suggestion that you will schedule time daily to strengthen your core- your spirit.
I consider this dedicated act core strengthening, because these steps improve your life from your core outward! I use this time to spend time with God, fill my heart and mind with His Word, and most importantly LISTEN for HIS directions-uninterrupted by my thoughts and desires. Prayer, reading scriptures along with devotionals, and meditation has taken my faith and spiritual endurance to heights that allow me to focus on higher things! (Colossians 3:2) Focusing on the bigger picture and what GOD has for you will give you the strength you need to continue accomplishing GREAT things with the remainder of 2015!
Every day. Literally, every day GOD wakes you up. Stop, and spend dedicated time with Him. Pray. Read scriptures and devotionals. Meditate. This is ALWAYS the FIRST thing on my To Do List every day. If I miss a morning, then I make sure to end my night with this routine. Do you have a daily spiritual practice? If not, I challenge you to try the one outlined above and/or create your own. Commit to maintain this practice for at least 7-days and be sure to let know me how you feel afterwards!
LIGHT and LOVE,
Mind Over Matter
Have you heard the saying, “mind over matter“? I used to wonder what d this phrase even meant. I’ve learned the mind is where everything starts and ends! As soon as an event happens, you start the process of responding in your mind. You assess the circumstances and then decide what to do from there. This can happen in a second, or over an extended amount of time, but despite how long it takes, you are left with your thoughts to make an appropriate decision on what to do next.
On a daily basis, we all experience a variety of different situations; some pleasant, others not so much! During the unfavorable times, I try to remember that if there is no benefit from what I’m considering doing or saying, then a negative response is just unnecessary and unhelpful. I remind myself that negative energy doesn’t travel far. Most times, you’re left with negativity lingering in your mind long after the situation is over. I’ve come to realize placing yourself in that mental space is NEVER worth it and creates a vicious cycle of unhappiness and negative energy!
So, what happens if you find yourself in a situation that requires your attention, but the other parties involved are being confrontational and negative? You could respond in the same manner, perpetuating the cycle of negative energy, or you can rise above the situation and decide that you won’t engage in a way that will disrupt your peace of mind. Make the decision to remain positive while addressing the issue if necessary. Your mind is so very powerful, life can be very pleasant when you use it to remain positive and preserve your peace! Remember mind over matter.
You aren’t always in a position to control what happens to you, but you are in control of what goes on in your mind! Don’t help anyone or anything hurt you! You help people hurt you by contributing to or engaging in negativity that WILL eventually affect you. YOU are comprised of energy that can neither be created nor destroyed, just transferred from one form to another. Be mindful of this when receiving and sending energy out into the Universe. While interacting with others, remember that if it hurts them, eventually it will hurt you. Regardless of the form or where it comes from, what you send out ALWAYS comes back to you!
All of this can be managed, controlled, and even avoided altogether when you use your mind to assess situations, consider your values, and use your heart to guide you to do what feels right before you engage in anything! If it doesn’t feel right to you, then it isn’t right for you to do! Consider ALL factors of what makes you who you are- your mind, body, and spirit should all agree. When you live from a place that fosters harmony and authenticity, you can feel good as a happy, healthy, and whole woman that lives your truth without negativity! It all starts with a thought and what you believe. Remember: Mind over matter, because this journey is all a mind thing!
LIGHT and LOVE,