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 am struggling with this thought…”I’m not good enough.” It’s a conflicting place to be because deep down I know that I am. I know what I have to offer is great. I know what I can accomplish is endless. I know how I serve can be far reaching. But…it hasn’t happened.
I sometimes feel like that huge elephant in the room that no one pays attention to…unless you are in need of an elephant. And…how often do we actually need elephants? Most of the time we only pay attention to the elephant when the elephant has literally pushed our backs against the wall and we have no choice but to say, “Ok elephant…I see you.”
I actually made a note to myself a few years ago to take risks with no fear, go after my dreams, and live on purpose daily. I even led others to do the same. For the most part, I have maintained this tempo and I love who I am and how I serve. I am just stuck in feeling like I’m in this place of holding. I sense a big break…daily. A break from my present circumstances that are so emotionally debilitating it almost makes me want to give up. But, I don’t. I keep pressing towards the mark…some mark that seems to shift and move and I have to constantly seek to find where it went next.
It is difficult to be multi-talented because it’s hard to decipher what you should focus on. What is your niche. Where is your true passion. I make mental notes to myself that it’s ok to be in this place. I keep sensing one day soon it will all make sense. All of it will come together into a uniformed package I can more confidently sell. Or maybe my current package of multi-talented pieces is enough. After all…you can reach in and find exactly what you need when you need it. Like a woman’s purse.
I make note. I make note of how I serve others. I make note of their testimonies in response to something I did or said that changed their lives. I make note of that rewarding feeling I get, that feeling of purpose that gives me strength to continue being me.
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.
Music is in my soul. I have always loved music. I played the clarinet in middle and high school and was drum major for 2 years of high school. Our band marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade. I will never forget my first music concert with my big sis, Kid -n- Play! Boys II Men is my absolute FAVORITE boys singing group. I’m still a groupie! I cried when they split up. I teach our son with music. I believe music is healthy for brain development.
Once I became a Christian, I just simply switched genres. I primarily only listen to Christian songs, but from many different genres. I also enjoy jazz, oldies, and a little soulful music as well. Music speaks to me. Music comforts me. Music gives me words when I have no words. Music moves my soul. I dedicate this post to music. I don’t have a lot of words to express my sentiment for music. I simply want to share this next song, along with the lyrics, with you. This song has always been my favorite tribute to music and describes EXACTLY how music has served me and continues to bring balance and a solid foundation to my life. I hear music everywhere all the time. No matter what I’m going through. I can find a song that speaks to my heart. Oblige me…listen to this song and help me celebrate, music.
~ Always In My Head ~
You’re like a cool breeze, on a summer’s day
You are a river running through the desert plain
You are my shelter, from the pouring rain
You were my comfort, even before the pain
I can hear the sound of five drummers in the wind
The leaves blowing in the breeze, ring out like guitars
A tin can rolls across the gravel like a tambourine
I am but a vessel, so I sing, because you are
In my head, you’re always in my head
In my dreams, you’re always in my head
In my pain, you’re always in my head
In my peace, you’re always in my head
A rainbow of rhythm stretches across the sky
An airplane in the distance, plays a beautiful cello line
It’s no coincidence; it’s in tune with the music in my head
If you were a shoulder you’re where I would rest, but I am your vessel so I hear, you
In my head, you’re always in my head
In my fears, you’re always in my head
In my joy, you’re always in my head
In my tears, you’re always in my head
You’re like a cool breeze, on a summer’s day
You are a river, running through a desert plain
You’ve been my shelter, from the pouring rain
You were my comfort, even before the pain: ’cause I hear you
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!
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…