Call me crazy, but I love storms. I hate driving in them and I despise going out while it’s storming, but the best feeling is being nestled in your bed, your lights off, and just enjoying a sense of peace from the pecks of the rain hitting your window and the rumble of thunder in the background. It’s the best sleep ever.
I understand that it’s quite common for people to fear not necessarily the storm aspect but the results of a bad storm. Whether it’s a tornado or a hurricane, obviously storms can create hazardous situations. It’s been many times that people have found themselves seeking shelter in a storm room, hallway, basement, or even a bathroom when storms threaten our safety, but I can honestly admit that I’ve never felt the need to “take cover” during a tornado or thunderstorm. I can find all of the comfort and protection I need wrapped in a blanket with my head buried underneath a pillow in my bed. Slightly crazy, but for me it’s a blissful feeling.
How do I find peacefulness among all of the chaos that’s going on outside my bedroom window? I don’t think that I’ll ever have a logical answer for that question but I do have an explanation that may seem wacky to most people. Weather storms are relative to the constant storms that we all face in life. If I could gather one thousand random people from multiple demographics, ethnicities, countries, and religions they would all have one thing in common: dilemmas in life. No one is exempt from struggles or storms. That’s what I like to call them.
Growing up, my mother always told me, “You’re either entering a storm, going through a storm, or coming out of a storm.”
That is the true circle of life, Lion King!
When she would say this, it would make me feel some type of way because if you overthink the statement, it can have an underlying morbid theme. However, when I became older and started to face these storms alone, I was able to understand the hidden message behind my mother’s words. “How are you going to handle your storm?” Where are you going to find your peace?
I find my peace spiritually and through my faith. Without having something to trust in, I can easily get trapped in the storm that’s coming toward me. If I don’t seek shelter within the arms of God, then my personal “storms” will immediately grab me and absorb my life.
Instead of focusing on the storm, I have to remain focused on the promises of God and the hope that he has for my future. Spiritually, God is my bed that I can snuggle in my blanket and rest my head on while the storm attempts to destroy my life. I can rest peacefully and know that he replenishes, provides, and protects me through everything.
Ultimately, this is why I enjoy storms. It gives me the opportunity to rely on someone greater than myself. It’s like a faith building strategy too, if you must add something logical to this message. However, I’m a free spirit and a believer in the unexplainable, which is why it’s easy for me to believe in a God who would create tumultuous tornados yet you can find peace within the eye. It’s just another way for nature to be a testament for our life.
Since it is Women’s History Month and we live in a world where women make at most 77 cents for every dollar that a man makes, it is important that we stay encouraged and continue to fight for what is rightfully ours. With that being said I just wanted to highlight three young ladies all under the age of 20 who are stepping out, speaking up, and showing that age is truly nothing but a number.
Zendaya Coleman- The 19 year old singer and actress has always made it known what she believes in and she refuses to allow anyone, especially a “dude in a suit,” to change or rearrange her dreams. She has called out a magazine for photoshopping her without permission and has released a Barbie doll featuring her dreads and all. She has proven that feminism is about fairness and she has taken steps in her career to get women that much closer to equality.
Amandla Stenberg- The 17 year old actress known as Rue from the Hunger Games, has had a lot to say about Women of Color and has encouraged young girls to take an interest in STEM. She even won Ms. Foundation of Women’s Feminist Celebrity of the year.
Rowan Blanchard – The 14-year-old actress from the Boy Meets World spinoff, Girl Meets World, has had a lot to say about women’s right. She wrote a powerful essay about the intersection of women and how White feminists rarely consider the needs of Women of Color and Trans Women. She has always used her voice and knowledge to lift and educate others, which is commendable for someone so young.
I say all this to say that you are truly never too young or too anything for that matter to make a change. It is easy to think that you are not capable of making a difference because of your age, race, size, gender, or situation. However, that is simply not true. It is never too late to get up and just go after it, whatever IT is.
I have been blessed beyond measure. As I prepare for the next year- I am reflecting on all that has been achieved this year and the many years before. Within this year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing people, being promoted twice, getting married to my best friend, and I am finally finding true peace on my journey. Walking in purpose for me was more than a desire or wish, it was a necessity at a very early age. I can’t recall that moment that something clicked in me that purpose matters— but when it did, I followed with all that I had. It is a beautiful thing to not only discover purpose in life, but to live in your purpose.
If you’re looking for your purpose, here are some things that helped me along the way, that I would like to share with you:
- Find out who YOU are Where your Source Resides
Among finding your purpose, we must first recognize the core of you.Who are you? Truly. What’s your truth; when you’re most authentic, most comfortable, most aware and filled with freedom? When this place is discovered, purpose can be found. As you find out who you truly are, it’s inevitable to overlook your Source of being. I realized that when I placed my source on tangible things or earthly things– my happiness and joy became dependant upon that tangible source, which made me extremely unstable and unable to plant myself in true security of knowing, “I am safe, here in my truth.” For me, it’s God. It was hard for me to find my purpose and passion and not seek Him first.
- Ask yourself, “If I could do anything in this world with no limitations, what would it be.”
This for me was discovered, when I was a child– and my mother noticed it. I loved talking and I craved relationships. I make friends very easily, I still do (now with a wisdom-guided compass). I LOVE relationships. Not just the good things but the moments of growth that many people consider to be the downsides of relationships. It is in those moments, that we grow into our authentic voice and relationships become deeper than the superficial connections. I can also talk a lot (my love for both birthed my desire for writing, so I’ve always kept a journal to release the things that I felt wasn’t ready to be spoken in the world). Fast forward years later into adulthood and I’ve studied Communications and Management, worked at my childhood dream job, stumbled into Public Relations, used social media as my core skillset– made a decision to switch to marketing, and now building on that foundation through building an organization’s greatest asset; their people. All of this involves those two things of communication and relationships.
Find your passion. Truly ask yourself this question and embrace your soul’s response. We think that we fear failure but often times we fear the success that follows if we pursue our dreams. Dare to dream and have the courage to move toward that dream.
- Become a student to life and to all you encounter
It would be total deception to believe that my purpose was discovered and fulfilled on my own. It’s not true. The first person who helped me was my mother and there are MANY others along the way. After graduating from undergrad, I had all the passion but I was very naive to the importance of being teachable. I thought that my passion was enough– and it was not. Passion is not enough. It is an important key but there are other keys to walking into purpose. The door of my unthinkable didn’t truly open until I opened myself up to truly becoming a student to life. I was already great at being an academic student but there were people in my path that succeeded at the things I wanted. It wasn’t until I allowed my soul to learn from those people (through humility and a welcoming spirit).
Passion can most definitely get you there. However, developed character and integrity will help keep you there. These two things happen through adverse times or the wisdom of others. The path we take can sometimes be up to us.
It blows me away that all things I’ve dreamed about as a child and as a teen have been manifesting before my very eyes– and to think that it’s not close to being over is astonishing. There’s no luck here– only abundant grace–from God, and intention– from myself. You can do the same and I hope that this article helps spark the internal conversation that’s needed to shift your life to you mind-blowing life journey.
I love how it feels when the Holidays roll around. There is always that magic in the air. Even though Christmas can stir up some feelings of missing family and friends the magic and spirit seems to cover all of that with a blanket of thankfulness. I love that. People are kinder, and everyone is more generous.
Then the year comes to a close, and often people choose one of two avenues.
- Same old Same old path
For some nothing changes. They continue their habits and choices and routine without missing a beat! And that is ok for some!
- Pep in the Step
Many See the new year as something to Attack! They go full force into a completely different life style and uproot all they know to be better, stronger, healthier and more successful in the new year!
Both of these CAN be good. But in many cases people in the first group never feel that pump in their heart for the year that could be the first of many years that creates life long POSITIVE change!
And the Second group are the Cliche Burnouts. The people who crowd the gym for the first two months of the new year and then you see them less and less each year.
What if there were a few key thoughts that could guide your steps to creating POSITIVE change in your new late that would last and domino into the next year…… BUILD and domino even MORE POSITIVE change in to the next new year!
And so on!
I believe that these 5 focuses are a good start to that avalanche of goodness!
- Reflect on the Year
I am a firm believer that we cannot embark on anything new without reflecting on what had past. This is especially true when trying to tweak your habits, and lifestyle for the better!
Some things to take into account are:
-The good things in the year (Things you over came, habits you formed, weight you lost, friends you made, businesses you built and the relationship with The Man Upstairs you invested in)
-The not so good things: Things you let slip through the cracks (The goals you set for the year, bad habits that resurfaces, mistakes that were made, and decisions that were made, the lack of time spent with friends, family or most importantly The Father!)
- Set New Goals
Setting new Goals is a great way to create excitement and passion going into the new year! Having big dreams is only sweet when paired with goals that make baby steps to achieving those Big Mama Dreams!
- Set Deadlines
Setting dates and specifics next to each Goal is so key to keeping your eyes on the prize. This is also a good tool for those inevitable times when passion cools, and when we get a little off track! Knowing that that date is creeping up on you helps to get your head right back in the game!
- Find an Accountable Partner
No one likes to admit that they are off track or not making the best decisions when they know they can do better! So confide in your spouse or reliable friend your goals… and yes the deadlines! This will ensure that you keep the heat tuned up!
- Be involved in Your Home Church
This was a curve ball wasn’t it? All of your Goals, Dreams and Talents are blessings and callings from the Lord. So naturally we need to bring them back to The House of The Lord to put it into its biggest and most useful outlet. And honestly I envision it being exactly that: an Electrical Outlet! Plug into the House of the Lord and you have a non-stop flow of encouragement, accountability, prayer and of course The Holy Spirit to guide your way!
These 5 Steps are a great tool to start you 2016 with VIGOR! I think we all know that those hard times in each year come and go. However, if we have the back bone to our lives; which is non-other than Christ Our Lord, Eyes fixed on our Goals, and Our time plugged into The House of The Lord then it is guaranteed that you will gain ground in this next year! So Lets pray for those bad habitual tendencies to be broken, the passion to never die out, CLARITY in what you’re called to do on this Earth, and Generosity with your time and investment into the lives of others!
So What do you say? Are You going to have enduring VIGOR this New Year!?
Have Grit Sweet Ones,
I am not sure what it is about a new year that makes people want to change their life around, but like many people it happens to me every year. And by February 1st I have already given up on everything I said I would change. However, this year I decided to approach my New Year’s resolution a little differently. So before 2016 started, I decided to pull out my journal, grab a poster board and my computer, and began reflecting on all that 2015 has taught me. Then I thought about how I am going to use the lessons learned to make 2016 a better year.
Now this time my “new year’s resolutions” are a little different. Instead of making resolutions that were extremely unrealistic, I tried to write down statements that would help change over time. Then instead of just making a list that I would forget in a week, I decided to make a vision board, so I am reminded of my goals everyday I start morning. I have always been a fan of vision boards, but this was the first time that I made my own and it was quite rewarding. Everyday I am reminded of what I need to accomplish and how my life will look once I do.
Here are my goals for 2016:
- Put myself outside of my comfort zone as often as possible.
- Less fast food, more home-cooked and balanced meals
- More quality time with God
- More me time: Reading, exercising, writing
- Try new things and visit new places.
- Save, save, save
- Don’t allow toxic people or things in my life
So, for anyone that is sort of stuck in the New Year rut, I seriously recommend reflecting on 2015 and making a vision board for what you want to accomplish in 2016. You got this, even after the month of January!