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.
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!