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!
I’m skilled at several things which makes it challenging to define my craft. What I’m realizing is my craft is to create. I love to look at images of home decor styles and create the look in reality. I love creating new experiences for others that expands their ability to dream for themselves. I love to create new, innovative learning experiences for our son. I create an atmosphere of support as I lead others to total wellness through my fitness programs. I create genuine spiritual encounters as I lead in ministry. I love to create new vegan dishes as I lead our family to better health. I create unity as I intentionally build positive connections with people from different cultural backgrounds. I create new behaviors and new mindsets as I provide mental health therapy. I create businesses that meet needs. I create art with my written words. I create realities from dreams. What’s your craft?
I struggled with this post initially. Why? Because my favorite number is 4. Ha! This is honestly the first thing I thought of when trying to think about what to write about (3). I like nice even, manageable numbers. The number (3) is odd, literally! What do you do with the leftover?
Then I took a small personal journey in (3) steps to increase my understanding:
Step 1-REMEMBERING: I first allowed my mind to remember the first thoughts that came to mind that had anything to do with the number (3). The Three Little Pigs. Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The Three Billy Goats Gruff. (I have a 3 year old! Ha!) The Holy Trinity.
Step 2-EXPLORING: Step 1 was intriguing enough, I started to do some internet research on The Rule of Three. Here are some important statements/quotes I found that caused a visceral and even spiritual reaction in me as I kept exploring.
Three is the…
…smallest amount of information needed to create a pattern.
“The rule of three or power of three is a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader or audience of this form of text is also thereby more likely to remember the information.“
Threes really resonate with the human brain.
The more I researched, the greater my interest to learn more. On a spiritual level, I felt The Rule of Three was much more significant in my life than what I had ever realized. Another intriguing use of the Rule of Thirds was in photography. I learned dividing images into thirds create a more interesting composition. Definitely will try this one!
After exploring, I realized that I was using the Rule of Three without even realizing it. For instance, in my new Total Wellness by Dr. TC program I focus on the Mind, Body, & Spirit. I aim to help others identify the barriers in their mental & spiritual health in order to improve their physical health. In the first week of the program, I have all participants identify (3) goals they will work on throughout the program. Aha!
Step 3-TRANSFORMING: What did I learn that will forever change me? There is something to the number (3). I had prior knowledge of the intentional use of numbers in the Bible, such as 7 (completion) & 8 (governmental order), yet never took a more in depth look at the number (3). My mind and spirit have been transformed with this new knowledge and the psychological impact of the The Rule of Three. In all things mysterious, in all things marvelous, in all things magnificent, I know the power of God (The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit) is at work. The most significant, life changing statement I discovered is this: The power of numbers point back that God exists.
The Story Behind My New Program “Total Wellness by Dr. TC”
I became a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in 2012. Over the past 8 years, I have led countless families to a better understanding of themselves, their relationships, and their world. I have helped people discover their strengths, break generational barriers, and heal from depression, anxiety, trauma, grief & loss. I have had the privilege to help so many start new lifestyle journeys of mental wellness and relational health.
Over the past 8 years, I have also discovered another passion. Supervision. I became an AAMFT Approved supervisor for associate licensed professionals seeking full licensure in 2015. I essentially am a gatekeeper for my profession, helping develop novice therapists, as well as decide who is not a good fit for the profession. I enjoy developing new therapists, assisting them in gaining a better understanding of themselves as well as how they want to serve others through ethical decision making strategies, therapy models & interventions, and person as the therapist. I enjoy building their confidence, helping them overcome their own anxieties, and finding their niche professionally.
Within in the past 8 years, I also married a Bishop of a non-denominational church and became the leader of a ministry. In this role, I have built my faith and ability to serve hurting women from all walks of life and from all over the world. This is where I truly began to tailor my services to women. In this role, I am able to incorporate my therapist and leadership skills to lead a women’s group that truly focuses on developing virtuous women in every area of life.
As a women’s leader, I teamed up with a small group of women within our ministry, and began a modeling/fashion ministry in which we host annual fashion shows celebrating fashion and faith. This ministry is so rewarding, as we accept models with little to no experience, use their faith as strength, build their confidence, and watch their lives change through their experience on the runway. Many of our models have reported a newfound confidence, courage to overcome fear, and increased faith in who they are and how they serve.
Since beginning the model/fashion ministry, in 2019 I had the privilege to check off one of my own bucket list items…become a professional runway model. Through some God connections, I modeled in my first runway show and fell in love with the experience. The experience adds to my credibility as a Model/Fashion Show Director as well as launched me into a second career. Since this first experience, I have modeled in New York Fashion Week, awaiting several upcoming shows (thanks COVID-19) and actively seeking paid modeling jobs. I wholeheartedly know my modeling career is a part of how I have been called to inspire, encourage, and empower women.
So, as God is opening up these doors for me and adding to my services to women, I began to think about how these elements fit together. I realized the majority of my work encouraged women’s spiritual and mental health, and now with modeling, their physical health too! This launched my current tagline #fashionfaithfitness. Physical health has always been important to me since my high school days of track & field. There is a competitive, athlete inside of me that has always created balance in my life. In 2019, after attending a weekly workout class at a church in my local area, I decided to become a group fitness instructor to help continue to lead the women in my ministry to total wellness. That’s it…the birth of Total Wellness by Dr. TC.
Hello! COVID-19. I must acknowledge it’s presence as it helped me find creative ways to continue my ministry to women under the Stay At Home order. The birth of Total Wellness by Dr. TC Online Community happened on 3/1/2020. Through this 8-week program, I am able to combine my expertise in mental wellness, spiritual leadership, and physical health coaching into an 8-week online experience. Series ONE 8-week program ends 4/26/2020. It has been a tremendous success! I can’t speak for myself, but check out my program page and read the testimonies for yourself! https://drtiacrooms.com/total-wellness-dr-tcs-online-community/
I was literally in tears reading the feedback from the participants in the program I developed, that is just simply a combination of my passions in life! What a blessing! I am now continuing these 8-week program series in the online platform that will allow me to serve women from around the world. Our current cohort of women includes a participant from Kenya, Africa! For a small personal investment, you will gain a wealth of knowledge and experiences that will change your life! I am your facilitator and guide and I have a passion to make you better!
Series ONE 8-week program included the following teaching videos and assignments:
🎇Stages of Change 🎇Cruciferous Vegetables
🎇Mindful Eating 🎇Creative Choices 4 Change
🎇Water LOVERS! 🎇Disordered Eating
and much more!
Series TWO 8-week program will include the following:
🎇S.M.A.R.T. goals 🎇Food Allergies & Intolerances
🎇Organic vs. Non-organic 🎇God Nutrition
and much more!
The next 8-week program begins 5/3/2020! Join the community and reserve your spot TODAY! I plan to keep the online community a small group each 8 weeks, so that I may continue to offer one-one-one personal consulting and online group therapy. I want everyone to feel heard and recognized. Therefore, I also have plans to develop completed 8-week series into online courses you can work though at your own pace! Stay tuned for this added resource. Meanwhile…join the community for $5/week! You are worth $40! Your mind, body, and spirit will thank you!
Merriam Webster defines the word slow as “moving, flowing, or proceeding without speed or at less than usual speed.” Today is April 17th, 2020, and most of our world is under a Stay-At-Home mandate to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. In essence, we have been forced to slow down. No more traffic jams on major highways, no more rushing through meals in busy restaurants, no more filling our days with errands and busy tasks, no more stretching ourselves paper thin by cramming as much as we can into an 8 hour span of time, no more half conversations with our loved ones because we don’t have time to stop and listen, no more missed developmental milestones with our children, no more excuses why we don’t have time to pray or read God’s Word daily.
The list goes on. And as many people struggle to adjust to this slow pace in life, I somehow believe this is exactly what God wants…for us to slow down and re-evaluate our priorities in life. I believe this time of isolation and deceleration is designed to produce reevaluation, restoration, and clarification. Personally, this time of deceleration has also produced a huge amount of appreciation.
What if slowing down wasn’t associated with narratives such as stopping, not producing, boredom, anxiety, depression, imbalance, and dissatisfaction. What if slowing down was instead associated with narratives such as rest, reconnection, peace, balance, connection, creativity, trust, and faith. When you think of the word slow what comes to mind? I will admit, going slow has helped me grow. Going slow has created a new narrative I plan to continue for the rest of my life. Going slow has allowed me to not only focus more on my values, but lead more with my values in mind.
I believe slowing down is more than just a method to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s a time to PAUSE. BREATHE. THINK. CONNECT. Recall the story of the Turtle and the Hare. They decided to have a race. The hare moved very quickly to the finish line, but got distracted from the goal and overconfident thus stopped to take a nap. Meanwhile, the turtle maintained his slow pace, was not tempted by distractions, kept the goal in mind and won the race. The turtle’s slow pace was an advantage. After all, not only did he win the race, he was able to enjoy the journey!
Take a moment and recall times when you have been able to recognize something or someone by its scent. Has your partner or spouse ever walked in the house and the scent of sweat lets you know they have been working out? Or the scent that follows children after a hard core playing session outside? They smell like little wet puppies right? What about the conglomerate of scents on a Thanksgiving morning that let’s you know exactly what’s on the menu. As a mom, I have become skilled in smelling the scent of urine from a mile away! “Elliott, did you miss the toilet again?!” Or, have you ever been to a city and the scent of air pollution almost makes you dizzy? What about the scent of a newborn baby? Delightful!
Speaking of babies, I am amazed at how babies can recognize the scent of their mommies as soon as they are born. They have literally learned their mommies’ scent from the inside out. Babies also have a keen awareness of the scent of their mother’s milk, which triggers the feeding & eating hormones and reflexes in both mom and baby.
The Bible gives several references to the importance of scent. In Genesis 27:27, Rebekah tricked Isaac into getting his father’s blessings by dressing Jacob in his brother’s clothing and placing goatskins on his body in various places to resemble the hairiness of his brother, Esau. In those days, the first born son received his father’s blessings. Consequently, when Jacob went in to bring his father Isaac some food, he smelled the scent of Esau and felt the “hair” on his neck and hands and blessed whom he thought was Esau. In verse 27-28, Isaac says, “Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed. May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness-an abundance of grain and new wine.” Isaac the father recognized and was comforted by just the mere scent of his son.
So it is with us, God is pleased by the scent of his children. 2 Corinthians 2: 14 (NIV) says, “But thanks to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” Also in Ephesians 5: 1-2 (NIV), the Bible says, “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” There are many more references in the Bible to scents like these scriptures, to include pleasant and unpleasant scents received by God based on our actions. God uses the sense of smell as a metaphor to the aroma of worship, genuine sacrifice and connection to His Spirit. God wants us to smell like his children. He wants our worship to Him to be pure and genuine in order to send up a sweet aroma to His nostrils.
In Biblical history oils, spices, and herbs were valuable, precious gifts and substances of healing and sacrifice. These were the first essential oils that have grown in popularity in today’s society. Essential oils release powerful scents that have many health and wellness benefits. When I think of the origination of scent in the Bible, I think of God’s master design of creating the most expeditious method of receiving the benefits or harm from a substance…through inhalation.
Take some time today to just….inhale. Breathe in the pleasant scent of spring flowers, the healing scent of lavender or eucalyptus spearmint. Inhale the scent of spices used in a good meal or the scent of a newborn baby. Then evaluate your own fragrance from God’s perspective. Do you smell like His child? Does your worship and service to mankind give the aroma of Christ? After all, your scent is the most accurate, uninhibited communication with God. What does your smell say about you? Sniff, sniff…