Have you ever been given a second chance? Or maybe third or tenth chance for something? I’ve recently accomplished a goal and the concept of chances came up for me. The goal I accomplished wasn’t a new goal, it’s a goal I’ve actually been working on for years. Over the years I’ve hit the goal several times, but somehow found myself right back where I didn’t want to be.
This time…something felt different. My mind shifted in a new way that will not even allow me to go backwards again. I realized the amount of chances I’ve had over the years for the same thing and felt sickened thinking about going down the same road again. I realized this is the moment I’ve been striving for over the years. It’s over. I’m done. I made it and there is no looking back.
My gratitude went through the roof as I realized if not given all those chances over the years, I would never be where I am right now. I realized the Creator of chances deserved my heart of gratitude and words of thankfulness for finding me worthy of chances. Chances allowed me to grow and mature until I was ready for the next phase. Chances didn’t mess up any of my future opportunities, but just allowed more time for me to catch up to the future already planned for me. Whew! Got choked up after writing that one. 🙌🏽
My future is brighter because of chances. I’m more grateful because of chances. I’ve gained more peace and freedom because of chances. I thank God for every chance He has given me to bring me to the future He had already planned. 🙏🏽
What is it about this phrase that kicks me into action? I serve my circle of influence and community with all things health and wellness. From leading a group fitness program, online total wellness support group, to providing skincare education and products as a “clean” beauty consultant with Beautycounter, I have realized that health is truly wealth. There are so many more opportunities afforded to you when you are in good health. Good health is not just what you eat, but also how you live. The mind, body, and spirit are so intertwined that what occurs in one area spills over into the next. The Bible says this about health…
I assume (and hope) most of us have been thinking more about our health in the past year since the pandemic manifested. Good health (in your mind, body, and spirit) is vital to abundant living. Good health is a shield and a ticket. Take heed when you hear the phrase “It’s for your health…” If it’s good for you, it’s worth your time and investment.
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 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…
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?
Have you often wondered why you are “different”? If you are not a “different” kind of person than you wouldn’t get it. If you have ever been told that you are “different”, but never really told what that meant, then you understand exactly what I am trying to portray. I have been told that I am “different”. I never doubted it, I don’t believe, I just never really grasped what it meant to be “different”. In my recent reflection times, the concept of “different” continues to emerge from my unconscious mind to my conscious mind in my efforts to discover my “niche” in the world.
One thing that I am sure of is that I am creative. I have a creative brain, and that very well can make me “different”. It’s hard to describe how my creative mind words on a daily basis, and it is even more difficult to describe to others exactly how I “work”. The most sure thing I know is that I get bored with monotony and I have to constantly find new ways of “creating” something new. This itch for creating can be resolved internally or externally. I can create new perspectives, new insights about myself or the world; or, I can create new programs, services, or written works to satisfy my creative itch. I also enjoy using my influence to create something new in others. After all, it’s an art form to change lives. I came across an article of 25 inspiring quotes for creative people and began to process these quotes through my own reality of creativity. (And, to know me means to know that I LOVE quotes. Quotes are a sure way to ignite my creative juices.)
“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” -Ayn Rand
Creative people just want to know that the colors and patterns they chose have developed into a beautiful canvas. Has my work made a difference? Has my vision come to pass?
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” – Albert Einstein
Creative people are always imaging the next project, developing the next vision, working towards the next goal. A creative brain cannot rest. It has to create something…always. I love creating new experiences and opportunities for myself and others. Whatever it is I desire to do in life, I don’t apply for it, I create it. I find a way to start a course of action that moves towards that desire, which leads to the next reality…
“An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.” – Edwin Land
I’m not afraid of failure, I just don’t like it. I take risk, I utilize faith, and I am not afraid to be the one to try something no one else has in my circle. Again, a creative mind wants to achieve, that is our greatest success, to create something that works, that is effective for the purpose it was created for. Whoa…I just had an intrusive thought…isn’t that just like God?
“Clean out a corner of your mind and creativity will instantly fill it”. – Dee Hock
There is no empty space in a creative brain. It always fills the space with something new to develop. Creative people do not like feeling “stuck”. Why? Because being stuck means you are not using your creativity to grow, develop, and move forward. Creative people create paths that don’t exist. Creative people see color on blank canvases. Creative people create worlds from nothing. Now, that’s God!
“An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” -James Whistler
Whew…this quote resonates deep within me. The visions I have are so mind blowing, so beyond what I can do, yet seem so achievable I can’t rest. Vision. vision. vision. My vision is clear, the journey there is muddled. The journey is sometimes discouraging, the vision is always awe inspiring. Creative people can not let go of vision. Creative people always see what is not there and create the reality of it, first in their minds and then in reality. Creative people are problem-solvers. Creating solutions is a great reward.
If these words resonated with you, fit your personality in some way, then continue to dare to be different. The world was created by the Creator of creativity, the master Creator. Your creative mind can take what seems like nothing and create something great. Your creativity helps solve problems and create solutions in the most beautiful, colorful way.
The state of motion or activity. At this time in life, living in quarantine, the tempo of life certainly has slowed down. I have written previously on my appreciation of the slow pace. My experience is different from others around me who are eager to get back “to normal life”. I’m more eager to figure out how to keep this same tempo when everything else starts “moving” again.
It’s interesting because I love living in fast tempo cities where there is always something to do and something to see. It excites me. I don’t get bored. I can find “something” to do even when there is “nothing” to do. Nevertheless, I am realizing how much power I have to create a new melody that complements, not competes with the tempo around me. I can create a polyphony, which is, “the style of simultaneously combining a number of parts, each forming an individual melody and harmonizing with each other.”
As the world is seemingly preparing to “reopen”, I challenge you to decide your tempo. What tempo in life is most productive? What tempo sparks the most creativity? What tempo brings your mind, body, and spirit the most peace? Although some may choose to live a more fast paced tempo, I do believe all of us need moments of “rest” to refocus and recharge, no matter the tempo we choose to live.
Instrumental Moments…A Time of Reflection and Appreciation
This post is for someone somewhere! Someone needs to stop and take some time to reflect on those instrumental moments in life that have made you who you are at this very moment. Maybe you are so focused on your present you have not taken the time to reflect on where you’ve come from and where you are going. Maybe your current circumstances feel hopeless and stagnate. Maybe you are not sure what to do, how to think, how to act next because it seems as if every action leads to detrimental outcomes.
If this is you…I want you to get in a quiet, still place and just allow your mind to reflect on those instrumental moments in your life that motivated you, strengthened you, encouraged you, or maybe pushed you into your destiny. If you have any age on you, there are so many moments you can reflect on. But, when you lead this reflection time with your heart and not your head…your spirit will guide you to the exact moments God showed up BIG in your life. Your body will remember the shift in your life caused by these moments. You will know exactly which moments were instrumental on your life journey.
I will take the journey with you. I will share some of my instrumental moments as a model for your work. Here we go…
Instrumental Moment #1: Affirming Me and What I Could Be
I attended an elementary school in a rural area and experienced racism in the manner of verbal bullying at a very early age, triggered by my intelligence. I was too smart to be so black. This was the moment I could have told myself I am not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough to really be anything. With the confident support of a God-fearing mother and my second grade teacher who believed in my abilities and affirmed who I was daily, I know I would not be where I am today personally or professionally.
Instrumental Moment #2: Developing Self-Worth and Self-Confidence
I was a thumb sucker, which caused bucked teeth. I also have an astigmatism and needed glasses at the age of 4, maybe earlier. Well you know…back then, cute glasses for kids did not exist. So, here I was with bucked teeth and Coke bottle glasses during the prime years of social development…middle school. I had just moved to a new area where my mother and I knew absolutely no one else in the entire county. We had a raggedy station wagon with a shattered windshield as I entered the first day of middle school in my new city. At some point in 6th grade, I got braces. I don’t remember having really deep identity issues based on my appearance. However, I do absolutely remember the day I had a HUGE boost in confidence when my braces were removed after almost 3 years, and getting my first pair of contacts just as middle school ended. I do remember how it felt to walk down the hall with straight teeth and no Coke bottles glasses in my way. I actually had people that were so used to seeing me in my Coke bottle glasses, they were adversed when I started wearing contacts. Really? This is when I really begin to pay attention to my sense of self-worth and self-confidence regardless of what others thought. I liked who I was becoming and that was all that mattered.
Instrumental Moment #3: Being OK with loss
I have always experienced a lot of fear and anxiety with just the mere thought of death. Growing up in a single parent, mother-headed household, I remember constantly crying to my mother and telling her “I don’t want you to die!” Losing people you care about was the the biggest fear for me. It would cause me to to react physically and emotionally to just the thought of death. Then…I experienced loss. My most instrumental experiences of loss actually started in college. I loss a group of friends that were instrumental to me, in a way that was unexpected. I think that is what made the loss so much deeper…I couldn’t understand what exactly I did wrong and why this was happening. I have always at least tried to be a good friend and still feel confident in my relational skills, however, I definitely now understand loss has no respect of person. It took years for me to accept the fact that I loss what I thought were going to be lifetime friends, mainly because I kept begging God to replace what I loss and he didn’t…at least not in a way I could initially understand. I am now developing a greater sense of the vision God has for me that makes me OK with the loss and more open to God’s choice of friends at this stage in my life. (Just sent out thank you messages to my tribe! 💞)
Losing my grandmother and my first cousin were other more recent experiences of loss that affected me deeply. Losing these two family members really showed me how much God is in control. I have always had a close relationship with my grandmother and still have fond memories. The last couple of years, right before her death, threatened my fond memories as Dementia changed her personality and my desire to be around her. It is very difficult to interact with someone who is completely different than your previous experiences. Since her death, I have definitely had my personal moments to reflect on the good times, to cry, and pray God lets her know in heaven, just how much I appreciated her presence in my life.
The loss of my first cousin was also difficult and is still fresh. She was the oldest of the 5 first (female) cousins, who all have names beginning with the letter “T”. We call ourselves the “5 Ts”. The difficulty in this situation was finding out how deeply she was suffering physically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually…within 24 hours of the funeral. I knew her story and her journey in life were difficult, I just didn’t know the magnitude of her challenges until after her death. It’s heartbreaking to feel as if you could have helped or should have helped sooner, but didn’t! Guilt tries to creep in, but then I have to remind myself, “you can only get in where you are let in!” Dr. TC
The privacy of her life did not allow me or anyone else to have the ability to help but so much. It’s hurtful to watch someone suffer and you can’t do anything about it. Again, this was a loss that showed God’s sovereignty and full control in some of the most painful moments in life.
Ok…so I’m going to end my journey here as I could write for days. I hope my reflections of some of the instrumental moments along my journey inspires you to do the same. I am moved emotionally and spiritually in writing my own truths. Some truths are painful, yet necessary.
Take the journey! Playback your instrumental moments like beautiful elevator music as you move up and down your journey of life. It makes the ride much more pleasant.