Have you ever waited for something for a long time? I’m not talking about a few days or weeks… but years. I’m there. The waiting can be discouraging. The waiting sometimes resists hope. The waiting some days is disappointing. Life seems at a standstill in the waiting place.
There is a choice to wait in Fear or wait in Faith. Waiting in fear invites anxiety and depression to wait with you. Waiting in fear means preparing for defeat just in case that thing you’re waiting on doesn’t happen. Initially this may seem like wisdom, until your own self-defeating thoughts accelerates you towards the place you’ve prepared…defeat! Waiting in Faith means to prepare for success while in the waiting room. Waiting in Faith builds excitement about what comes next. Waiting in Faith draws you closer to overcoming the waiting place. You attract what you believe. I realize because I still choose to wait in Faith, there is an expectation of breakthrough within my soul. I’m reminded of The Waiting Place in Oh The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss. Everyone in that place was just waiting on something.
THE WAITING PLACE
by Dr. Seuss
Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
Excerpt from Oh,The Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
Then the day comes when it’s time to move forward. The time for new adventures. The time to journey closer to your dreams. If you wait in Faith, the next stop has to be breakthrough.
When is the last time you’ve been on a date? I’m not talking about with another person, I’m talking about with YOU? Many of us have never really dated ourselves. Instead, we spend much of our time getting information about who we are and what we should do from everyone and everything external to our being. I want to challenge you to start the journey of learning and loving you from the inside out.
This process begins by first learning the art of self-awareness. This may seem like a concept that comes naturally; however, in my work as a marriage & family therapist, insight and self-awareness are definitely learned skills. Do you recall a time when you have made a choice and afterwards you thought “I knew better than that.” This is just an example of instances common to many of us, where our conscious being sent a message that we chose to ignore. Additionally, self-awareness includes the skill to identify and process our own behaviors, emotions, and experiences in relationships. Self-awareness allows us to determine how we manage our experiences in life. With self-awareness we begin to identify patterns, generational strongholds, and outcomes from any form of stressors or traumatic experiences. Self-awareness is power. It gives us the power to create new experiences, new perspectives, and new stories we get to rewrite from a place of more resilience and strength than we had before.
Are you ready to rewrite your story? Begin with self-awareness. Who are you? What are your experiences? Your realities? Your likes & dislikes? Your hangups? Your passions? Your desires? What are your goals and dreams? Follow these 5 steps to develop the art of self-awareness:
1. Be Still.
In today’s society we are always moving. From this meeting to that meeting, from cleaning to cooking, from shopping to eating, many of us are always on the go. The first step to self-awareness is to simply be still.
2. Sit in Silence.
Silence is difficult for many of us. Some feel the need to always have some kind of background noise in life. For some, it’s an avoidance of truly being alone with their own thoughts. To develop self-awareness, it’s important to get comfortable with silence and intentionally pay attention to your own thoughts in order to engage in self-discovery.
3. Accept Reality.
In moments of self-discovery and reflection, the true reality of who you are and how you operate comes to light. Sometimes you may like what you uncover, sometimes not. It’s important to avoid judgments, but just accept whatever is presented. Avoid fearful anticipations and anxious reactions. Some of the information learned comes from internal perspectives (your experience of you) and some information comes from external perspectives (other’s experience of you). Take a neutral stance and accept the reality of who you are. Acceptance also means accepting your strengths and limitations in a non-anxious manner. Acceptance is the precursor to change.
Always seeking validation from others is a sure path to self-doubt, disappointments, and low self-confidence. It’s important to validate yourself in ways such as celebrating your own successes, acknowledging your efforts, and prioritizing your needs. Self-validation means learning to value you and treating yourself with kindness. Self-validation eliminates comparisons, self-criticism, and regrets. Self-validation says you are worth-y and worth-it.
5. Plan for Better
Being still, sitting in silence, accepting realities, and self-validation are all the ingredients needed to plan for a better you. We cannot change what we don’t accept. Who you are now doesn’t have to be the same person that shows up tomorrow. Take advantage of every opportunity to grow. You are like a flower, with the right nutrients watering your life, you will continue to bring beauty to the earth.
The Holiday months are the typical time many of us abandon our goals and give up on our journey towards physical health. This year, it doesn’t have to be this way. It is very possible to enjoy the Holiday months and stay committed to your goals. Many of us have been more stagnate throughout this year due to the pandemic, but I am determined to encourage and support good mental, physical, and spiritual health during the last couple of months of the year.
I want to encourage you to get up and move this Holiday season. Getting your body moving does not only affect your physical health, but also helps to combat stress, depression, and anxiety. Getting up and moving also encourages greater clarity of thought to help you visualize and plan better for 2021!
I know for some of us, getting up and moving is very challenging. For some it’s because of a lack of motivation. For others, maybe it’s because your body is no longer conditioned to movement and it may feel impossible. That’s why I have developed 5 (simple) Ways to Get Moving During the Holidays.
Listen…when you make small changes in your physical health, your body celebrates with you by doing things you thought it couldn’t do.
As we finish out this year in the Holiday Season and prepare to enter into next year, think about who you want to take with you into 2021. Do you want to take the person you are now with you? Don’t enter a new year with old habits. Be determined to start something new for you and those that watch you and depend on you.
The goal is not to finish first, but just finish! Dr. TC
I’ve been feeling a strong pull lately to encourage someone to stay the course. The Holidays are here, and as a therapist and ministry leader I have seen many times through my experience, people revert to old ways of behaving and thinking during the Holidays. In many ways, the true test of genuine change is how well the work you have put in on yourself stands up against the Holiday months.
The Holidays are truly what you make of them. I know the context is different…shorter days, less sunshine, more temptations, more family around, financial pressures, more time at home, no school, etc. All of these things can truly have a negative affect on your emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. I encourage you to stay the course. Stay the course towards the better you. Stay the course, finish what you have started even through the difficulty. Continue to pursue your personal goals regardless of obstacles of criticisms. Stay the course. Be better. Do better. Think better. Become better in every area of your life.
Don’t enter into a new year with old goals. This may be an indication of stagnation, little growth, low motivation, lack of genuine desire for change, anxiety or fear. Be determined to win over every circumstance. I know 2020 has been an interesting year to say the least. I can’t tell you how much I have been affected, but not infected by the circumstances of this year. I intentionally decided to stay the course despite every obstacle. I decided to manage my anxieties and not let my anxieties manage me. I decided to press into God, my source of strength, like never before. I decided to watch Him more than I watch the news for direction, strategies, and the mystery of how He is moving in the midst of turmoil. Our 3-year-old said something so profound last night just before sleep, he said, “I just hear miracles all the time.” My spirit was ignited that this little being has an ear to hear God, and he seems to always deliver a message to me just when I need it to help me stay the course.
To someone out there reading this post, I just hear miracles for you! The miraculous ways of God are always in action. He never slumbers or sleeps. I encourage you to stay the course in these last few months of the year. The year 2020 has been a test of faith, be determined to past the test and expect a great reward!
Kamala Harris is Vice President elect of the United States of America. Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States of America. Michelle Obama was First Lady of the United States of America. Malia and Sasha were black children of the First Family raised in the White House for 8 years.
This post is not political. It’s powerful. It’s personal. It’s a moment to process what this means to me as a black woman born, raised, and living in the United States of America. I have often imagined living in other countries where it is not uncommon to see Black people thrive and prosper. For example, I think of countries in Africa where it is not uncommon to see Black leaders, Presidents, Kings and Queens. I think about what it must be like to enjoy the prosperity of your labor without feeling guilty, undeserving, or loneliness. I have personally experienced the looks and the unspoken feelings from the majority when they see me driving a similar car or living right next door or carrying the same shopping bag. It’s that feeling that somehow I’m not supposed to have it, simply because of the color of my skin. Education doesn’t matter. Personal preferences don’t matter. Hard work doesn’t matter. As a Black American, these unspoken feelings have constantly made me remind myself that I am worthy of prosperity, abundance, and God’s blessings just like anyone else.
As I watched Kamala Harris give her victory speech and then experienced the image of Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges, and Kamala Harris displayed above, I did feel hope and pride, but I also felt anxiety. I felt anxiety as I pondered this question: “What is the cost of prosperity as a Black American?” There are disadvantages to prosperity, especially being Black. Because I am a person who is willing to take risks…and not afraid of the unknown, this anxiety does not deter me from pushing myself to prosperity; however, I am honest enough to admit there is some anxiety. In my journey for change, my hope outweighs my anxiety. I know these historical moments for Black Americans is not by chance, but orchestrated by the will of God. For many of us, these moments have raised the bar to what we can be and can accomplish. These moments have added some dreams that we had never even considered. These moments have opened up new possibilities into what we can become. For me, these moments have given greater vision into how I can lead and serve others no matter the color of their skin.
I often wonder why the fight for equality is so arduous? I wonder why equality, something that seems so basic, causes such turmoil? I think I know why. It’s because that is what God desires and the enemy constantly fights against what is just, good, and right for us all. Thank you Ruby, Kamala, Michelle, Barack, Rosa, Malia, Sasha, and countless others for giving me the strength to fight and providing real examples of systemic transformation. I choose to continue the fight for change. I choose to fight with dignity and pride. I choose to continue the fight wholeheartedly with LOVE.
I experienced a spontaneous miscarriage on 6/15/20. I don’t know what I thought this journey would be like. I’ve never been down this road. I think if there wasn’t some kind of desire in me to have a daughter, maybe it would be a little easier. I have continued to process my recent miscarriage, some days unexpectedly. It’s the “life that never was” and the “what if this was my daughter” that is the most painful to accept. A dear friend of mine thought enough of me to mail me a book to aid in my healing process.
This book did it for me. It started the grieving and healing process I probably would have ashamedly dismissed. I am a therapist and this book has become my therapy. One thing that stood out to me early on in the book’s content is its statements on not knowing the real pain of death until it actually takes place inside of you. Yes, any of us can be so full of life on the outside, yet carry death inside of us (sounds like another blog). For some it’s easier to process death that happens externally, but it’s much more disconcerting to process death that happens internally and unexpectedly. The automatic “it must be something wrong with me” looms over every attempt to find peace, understanding, and healing through the trauma.
Trauma. Wow, that’s what I have experienced. I am realizing and accepting I experienced a trauma. My trauma is three-fold; the death of an unborn child, the “potential” of meeting our daughter, and the physical effects of miscarriage itself. I experienced heavy bleeding that led to syncope. I was told I should have received a blood transfusion. I became anemic for weeks after the miscarriage, and I’ve never been anemic at any other time in my life. Additionally, I am also still battling severe acne that occurred as a result of miscarriage. The emotional, physical, and spiritual impacts of miscarriage are never to be ignored or dismissed, but embraced.
I am strong. I am strong because I have accepted my experience and I am willing to do the healing that is needed for my mind, body, and spirit. Through my reading and journaling, I am experiencing God as a true healer and comforter to the broken-hearted. I am understanding God’s pain even the more through my own experience of pain. I have a better understanding into the depths of death. After all, I carried death inside me until it actually left my body. And, I live to tell the story…
Pressure. Pressure is defined as the physical force exerted on an object. Pressure is heavy. Pressure makes you sweat profusely. Pressure feels unbearable and nearly impossible to hold. Pressure feels like every muscle is being stretched to its limit. Pressure consumes your thoughts and tries to take over your emotions. Pressure is painful to your mind, body, and spirit. And this, my friends, is the feeling of faith.
Standing in faith is not a passive position. It’s not easy. When you are standing in faith, every ounce of your being is activated to help you believe what you can not see. Choosing to stand in faith means there is an equal and opposite force desiring you to give up, throw in the towel, and surrender your power. This creates a tremendous amount of consistent pressure, that often intensifies as you get closer to the end of a thing. When you are resisting the pressure to give up and stand in faith, you often have to fight against anxiety, feelings of failure and inadequacy. As you continue to intentionally stand on God’s Word and let His power within you work against your opposition, you develop faith muscles that take you from inadequacy…to enough…to abundance!
This message of standing in faith under pressure reminds me of a diamond. From the web, “diamonds are formed deep within the earth’s mantle. Diamonds are brought to the earth’s surface during violent pressure and change. Under the duress of approximately 725,000 pounds per square inch, and at temperatures of 2000 – 2200 degrees Fahrenheit, a diamond will begin to form.” Extreme pressure and heat brings diamonds to the Earth’s surface. Think about it, we were formed from the Earth just like diamonds. God created pressure and pain, not to break us, but to make us.
Even in my own faith walk under pressure, I’m holding on to my faith. I’m going to prove to myself that my life is not my own, that God fights for me, that the power within me WILL move mountains.
Join me in your own walk of true faith under pressure. Let’s go from inadequacy…to enough…to abundance!
Being GR8 requires consistency. I have witnessed plenty of people who start off GR8 and end up ordinary. GR8 people are constantly striving to do the extraordinary. GR8 people take risks. GR8 people invest in themselves and are found frequently perfecting their craft.
GR8 people demonstrate GR8ness consistently. This means GR8 people remain GR8 even under pressure. GR8 people are resilient and have integrity. GR8 people push the limits within themselves to see just how far they can go. GR8 people answer the question, “Can I do this?” with answer, “I certainly will try!”
The GR8ness in me was inspired to ignite the GR8ness in you for a season. This pandemic has been a blessing and a curse for many. GR8 people can more easily embrace the blessing in these times by focusing on not what is…but the possibility of what can be!
No matter what you are facing or what you have been through, recover well. Don’t look like what you’ve been through. God wants you to come out of the fire shining like pure gold. He wants to make your time in the fire valuable like diamonds. Recover well. When you speak more fervently about what you’ve been through than how you made it through, you continue to give your circumstances more power than your Sustainer. Talk like a winner. Walk like a winner. Dress like a winner. Recover well. Sometimes God takes you through to bring you out! Come out better. Come out stronger. Come out wiser. Recover well.
I’m gaining a new perspective of God being my father, which brings tears to my eyes. You see, I didn’t grow up with a consistent father figure. His inconsistencies and not being there when I really needed him has left me with a deep desire for security from a father/male figure my entire life. I just want to feel taken care of and feel that what I can’t do on my own, somebody cares enough about me to recognize my needs and step in to help me without me even asking. This has been an ongoing need and battle in my life.
Throughout my life, I attributed my perspective of my human father as that of my spiritual father, emotionally disconnected from my true needs and desires. I knew God loved me, but didn’t think He really cared about my needs or desires. Presently, not only is God showing me He loves me, but He loves me so much, it is His pleasure to not only provide my needs, give me some things that I want, but also make dreams come true for me! I am experiencing a powerful kind of love at age 39 I have wanted my entire life. Watching God make dreams come true in my life, dreams I didn’t even know I still wanted, is overwhelmingly joyful.
My message in this is simple…God loves you deeply. He will move mountains for you. He will rebuke sickness and death for you. He will perform miracles just for you. Receive not only His deep love for you, receive His true commitment to you and your well-being.
**If you are reading this and are struggling to connect with God, reach out to me for support and prayer. I’m here for you.**