Bruised & Broken

Be careful how your past hurt may be inflicted upon someone who genuinely loves you. The impact of your hurt may cause stress and fear within someone who wants what is best for you, desires to be near you. If you are not careful, your unhealed wounds will infect those who are near.

Don’t miss the journey towards the destination. That’s an ultimate part of life’s dash.

This weekend I was mentally bruised by two men. As a result of my tears, there was an abrupt disconnect. What appeared to be abrasive was a reflection of his feelings that he did not want to uncover at that moment. Actually, ever! Hurts me terribly, but as I reflect upon intent and impact, the intent was to protect himself from exposing his vulnerabilities. He did not want me to trigger what is truly deep down inside of him. I will allow him time and space to contact me. The other gentleman felt disrespected because my intent was viewed as malicious rather than a way of escape, a means to diffuse a disgruntlement, but the impact terminated the beginning of a strong friendship. Or was it? The lesson learned is to hear with your heart and not your head. Keep the goal in mind. Identify the value within the relationship. Is it worth salvaging or trashing? Is anything so bad that it can’t be resolved amongst two mature adults who have one common goal, connectivity, chemistry, oneness? Be it due to pure friendship everlasting or exclusivity.

I empathize with him in terms of the effects of being impulsively disconnected. Fault was admitted and an apology was given, but not accepted. It is funny how, mentally, I think I’m taking the necessary steps to prevent issues and things begin to operate smoothly. Suddenly, an explosion sets everything on fire causing destruction to all progress. What I meant to use in order to calm chaos so that the discussion may be better handled once revisited, negated everything that was given within our time spent because of one or two mishaps. That truly does weigh the strength of what was or what was to come. I remember when Cleo I and were at a wedding. The preacher mentioned if a marriage had been tested and tried and the couple remained within holy matrimony that proved the marriage sustainable and definitely title worthy. You know, bragging rights? Intentional friendships, exclusive relationships take desire, forgiveness, patience and understanding. These qualities will maintain any relation in a healthy manner.

What I find to be fascinating is how some of us allow defeat to abort possibilities, progress, potential. The moments spent mattered, but the moments possible will never be. That is ok and it is not ok. It is ok because what and who God has for me is for me. It is not ok because there was a positive and careful intent behind every action that was made lovingly and willingly. It felt good residing in this newness. However short lived, the lessons learned amongst the two circumstances include; some individuals are bruised, broken, safeguarded, and lack proper problem solving skills. Let’s commit to internal healing all 2022, beginning now. It starts with me. I’ve committed to answering my phone all 2022, beginning today, which was a good start.

So much love to you all!

Pointless

Sometimes when you’re faced by obstacles, life seems pointless. Sometimes when you attempt to live your best life and adversity continues to hit, life seems futile. Sometimes when you are walking in the light and it seems as though it’s cloudy, you begin to feel lifeless, tired, drained, attacked, defeated. Guess what, you’re not.

Everything that seems bad to you is not bad for you. I know you have heard the saying, everything that’s good to you, isn’t good for you. Same thing applies in terms of all things that seem unbearable, unfavorable. We have to go through in order to get through. Sometimes we become complacent in our lives, but there’s greater inside of us and we know this, but do not know what steps to take. We may not believe. We may be gripped with fear. There is more potential inside of us that we will not tap into at times, unless we are coached to do so. That’s all God does. He knows there is vision, there is implementation and there is a gift that needs to be shared with others who do not know how to set themselves free. You are the hope dealer. You are the rescuer. You are the lifeguard. Sadly, if YOU do not operate, no one will be saved.

I was trapped at a job for four years, full of misery and anxiety. Before beginning the job, I was excited, felt pretty blessed to be chosen, filled with ideas and anticipated building relationships and changing lives. Unfortunately, I worked under a controlling dream snatcher who wavered and chastised from an extremely toxic place. I felt stuck, hurt and stressed most of the days working there. While I was in that situation, I knew my future was going to be amazing, but I was anxious. God allowed the discomfort and taught me a lesson on how not to kill dreams, but build individuals, genuinely care. While doing so, it takes nothing away from your present or future. Circumstances may ensue hopelessness but they are there to build your spiritual muscles.

Lifting people up is sure to bless the individual who is doing the lifting. It is an act of selflessness, humility, leadership, kindness, concern. Life may seem pointless when things are unfortunate, but endure the journey. Be present. Learn the lesson. Use the teachings in days to come. Share it with others. Isn’t that what life is all about! Lifting others as you lift self. Go! Live! Love! Laugh! Be for real!

Black girl, Colorful heart

Blessed with so many friendships, black, brown, white. I am attracted to personalities. Unfortunately, we do not discuss racial injustices because it is not the most comfortable for many whites and sometimes myself, but the truth is being black in America has not been the most comfortable due to so many stereotypes. I do not want to overlook the concern from my friends from other racial backgrounds who have expressed genuine concern. I know it is genuine and not routine.

Here are some things you can do to change and heal our world continuously.

• Use your influence, do not remain silent through your social media outlets, email, meetings, etc. It takes bravery and courage, but united we can impact change.

• Eliminate your ignorance, have courageous conversations about what you don’t know and be genuine about it.

• Be in tune in all sincerity
Would you want your feelings discredited? If you were bullied, would you expect for your friend to be a bystander or upstander? When you’re angry with your spouse or your close friend, do you sometime act unreasonable?
I presume you know what the right thing is and you do it!

• Use your imagination, what if you were black in America?

• Search inside of yourself. What did you see growing up in terms of racism? Have you naturally adapted those same habits and views? Are you numb to what blacks have to endure even after you’ve been educated on what the problem truly is?

A colorful heart is filled with love and tender care, unique qualities, an array of ideas, a mind filled with wonder and limitless imagination. The world is full of colorful hearts, those who love authentically. Those who want to learn what they do not know in order to be a part of the solution. No matter if you are used to remaining silent or not, what can you do to change that in order to contribute to healing? Change begins with knowing and continues with effort. This black girl with a colorful heart commits to learning as much as possible about history in order to better our world that we reside in. ☮️ Peace!

Give it All You Got

People may not understand your happiness. People may question your friendliness. People may wonder about your joy. As the old folk say, “This joy that I have; the world didn’t give it and the world can’t take it away.” Perhaps you’re like me and you have fought to feel as blessed and grateful as you feel. Maybe you were near death as a newborn. Maybe you have been drowned by two second trimester losses. Who knows, you may have become a widow at 33 years old. Or maybe you woke up with every activity of your limbs, breathing on your own, you have keen five senses!!! It could be that you are in a wheelchair or on crutches!!! Whatever it maybe, give life all you got! I have been grieving for quite a while. In 2008 and in 2009, I loss my two boys. In 2017, the love of my life suddenly passed away. In 2018 and 2019, I didn’t know most days if I were going or coming. Unbeknownst to me, the blessing was in the pressing. My spiritual muscles are stronger. I am grasping life with both hands and all of my heart.

This is 37!

Today I commit to continuing to be the best me possible. I am thankful. I am grateful. The Lord has truly blessed me. I have a stable mind. I have the activity of my limbs. I have breath in my body. I feel pain. But I also feel healing. I feel hurt. But I also feel joy. I feel disappointments. But I also feel hopeful. Thanks to a mighty good Jesus for allowing me to take my rightful place in the wonderful world of 37 and satisfied!

May 16, 2021, I am going to give it all I got. In this life, I am going to possess the space afforded me. I will love with everything inside of me. Treat folk right. Tell the truth and shame the devil. Continue being persistent, pushy as my homeboy says. Be true to myself and laugh until my belly ache. Love the life you live and live the life you love. Get up, wake up, dress up and stay prayed up! I’m giving it all I got!

The Elephant in the Room

It’s not how much money you earn that counts, but how much money you keep. Furthermore, how does that money give you a return? Financial literacy is an underexposed topic within the middle income market. Families earn money, but lack money management skills. In my experience, families spend more than they make because of 1. Impulsivity 2. Living beyond their means, consuming more of what depreciates 3. Unadvised in terms of financial concepts.

What have you been taught about money? What do you do with your paycheck once it deposits into your account? What is your net worth? Do you have a will? Does your love one(s) or a charity serve as your beneficiaries? How advantageous would it be if your parents taught and left you a financial legacy? Think about it, if one generation has been educated on a subject matter, how wise would it be to influence the next generation? It is the same as a parent attending college and expecting the same from their child. The parent understands the benefit and the foundation that will help build a healthy and wholesome present and future. When you know better, you do better. When you learn more, you’re more empowered to possess more and you are able to bless more. No matter if it’s your children’s children or by supporting causes that you deem important. Frequently I say, meetings would not be so long if someone could write the check. Transformational giving cannot happen if transformational wealth is not being invested and passed through the generations.

Think about this, if you died last week, would your family’s quality of life be the same, better or worse? Would your family have to sell their home? Would your children have to stop attending private school? Would your son be able to continue enrichment programs and sports? Would your daughter be able to attend sleep away camp? Would you have to secure a couple more jobs? Additionally, investing the way you are investing now, are you on track to retire? How much money do you need in order to do so? In other words, what is your financial independence number? Do you understand the meaning of a portfolio? Where do you get your advice from? Do you deem it necessary to gain accurate knowledge from a skilled and licensed professional? Is this important to you? Is it an urgency?

From the I Am app

Learn how to build a financial house beginning with an education and attaining an understanding, followed by implementing the concepts. Procrastination is the thief of progress. My mom used to always say, study long and you study wrong. What does that mean? My interpretation is if you think about something so long, you will illogically and irrationally talk yourself out of something that is necessary, yet unfamiliar to you. It is similar to relocating to a foreign country. Well, it’s a culture shock. You’re unfamiliar and you understand the benefit, but uncomfortable with the process. You have to study the country and language, trust the process, walk by faith, talk to trusted natives, do it afraid. I encourage you to wise up when it comes to building your financial home. Your children do what you do, not always what you say. Once money is earned from working hard and smart, teach yourself and them how to respect money. I know you have been taught to YOLO and that you cannot take it with you. If there is a substantial amount you can take it with you. Take it with you to your next generation. Talk about leaving a legacy! Your grandchildren will forever speak your name. Because of your heart and hope for their present and future. Wise up! Gain a financial education. Talk to a licensed professional. Read wealth building books. You will thank me once you do.

Take off Your Mask

Pressure all around to be someone you are not. Internal tug of war with your flesh and spirit. Temptations all around. Battle between righteousness and happiness. Living underneath a disguise when inside of you screams the truth. Take off your mask. Be who you are, everyone else is already taken. Define yourself when you are solitary so when you are accompanied by others, you are true to self and your counterparts.

What a relief to know who you are, what you like, what you have to offer! Living without a mask heals what you are trying to hide. It liberates you from living a double life, which is always threatening. It’s a threat to your truth. It is self sabotaging. Unmask, understand yourself, undo what is inauthentic! Your superpower lies in knowing who you are.

Ways to be true to yourself include:

  • Know who you are
  • Affirm your truth
  • Say no to negative self talk
  • In terms of self talk, ask yourself this question, would I be pleased if someone says this to me?
  • Compliment yourself
  • Do something special for yourself weekly
  • Write out your good characteristics
  • List your areas for growth and respond with ways to self improve
  • Do not allow others to tell you who you are
  • Find your voice and use it
  • To thine own self, be true
From the Motivation app

Stretching Season

If you are the smartest person in the room, be sure to hang in other rooms. Yes, rooms where people are more educated on various subject matters. What’s one of the most common ways we gain knowledge? It’s from someone else. Assess your circles. What’s the subject matter? Do any of them stretch you? Do any of them challenge you to research more or jog curiosity? Are there ideas in the room? Does this room contribute to your growth? What positive influence does this room have on you?

Healthy relationships promote peace, good decision making and a passion for intentional living. When you are surrounded by those who are driven, self assured, and smart it is contagious. You’ve heard the saying birds of a feather flock together. It is true that you become who you hang around. Do you wonder why you have the habits that you cannot break? Perhaps, it is because there is no accountability and it is the standard among your circle. Is there any discomfort? Is there value in the friendships that you possess? Do you add value? Are you encouraged to become your best just by being in their presence?

From the I Am app

Stretch yourself to your fullest potential by centering yourself around those who you genuinely care about, but you can learn from them and I’m sure there are matters that they may learn from you as well. Stacy Abrams discussed in her book, Minority Leader, how she was recruited into Telluride Association Summer Program. She was totally out of her comfort zone loving amongst brainiacs. She said one young lady had written a book of poems and it served as intimidation because she’d only written a few poems for articles at her school. Think about that, Stacy was the smartest one within her circle, but once she attends this prestigious program she was exposed to those who thought beyond what she has been doing, which were amazing contributions within her territory. Now she was aware of what more she could pursue. She was uncomfortable and fearful. She wanted to go home, but her parents refused because they knew it would stretch her thinking, pull out her potential and shape her into the leader she was destined to become. Like Stacy, we all have gifts to give to the world, so let us not neglect the opportunity to enhance that gift so that we may continue to advance the industry that we have been purposed to shape. So much love to you all.

W.H.Y. – What’s Hindering You?

If you find a why you will figure out what and how. I had the opportunity to share a sensitive space with a young lady yesterday. We discussed faith over fear. When was the last time you accomplished a task afraid? What was the outcome of your task? How did you feel along the way? How did you feel after completion? In my experience when I have a reason for doing something, I’m more focused on the possibility rather than failure. For example, I’ve mentioned before how I’ve failed am exam several times. I shared with the young lady when I have failed the exam, quitting because of failure has not crossed my mind because I have so many possibilities to make my dreams become reality. When I have failed the test, my initial response has been tears and frustration. Undoubtedly, I equate my need to pass to my desires to win in my life. Additionally, it is a teachable moment for my daughters. The lesson includes persistence and perseverance. Since that’s the case, I have decided to keep going because I will not give up on arriving at my destination because of a score. I will not allow momentary failure to detour my desires, purpose and promises. Fear has a way of gripping and crippling. We have to allow our faith to arrest fear and set us free.

From the Motivation app

My why takes precedent over any obstacles. My thought process is if I do not, then my failure and fear blocks my chance to increase my tithes, my mission offering, my funding to my foundation, my desire to internationally travel with my daughters every season, my goal to travel monthly within the states debt free, my push to enlarge my territory with other desires on my success list. Is fear worthy of my goals, my purpose, my passion? Does fear have that much power over an individual? Fear, absolutely should not. I have mentioned it once and I will will mention it again, faith does not make it easy, but faith makes it possible. If you quit, who else are you permitted to quit since you’re the center of influence?

As I sat and listened to the young lady, I reflected on the list of things that I have been designed to do and how grateful I am for finally accomplishing some of those things, such as my blog, my foundation, and my publication. I was able to empathize with her because there was a moment in my life when I thought, I have got to accomplish what I have been designed to possess, particularly because it is inspiring to myself, my daughters and those who are stuck. Proudly, I was able to say, affirm your life, make a list, begin, don’t fret. Move forward in faith. People truly need to hear that they are not the first nor the last to seem stuck and undecided, unfulfilled. No matter the age, people are searching and seeking. People are on a quest to live a self assured and happy life, but battle with what that looks like. Just another reason why the journey is necessary. Just another reason why there is a lesson in the pressing so that that part of the story may have a voice added to it because someone needs to hear the story behind the glory. Keep going until uncomfortable becomes comfortable. So much love to you all.

Mind over Matter

From the I am app

On Career

Every expert was once a beginner. The more you passionately and intentionally focus on something, the better you will become. Visions do become realities once you include prayer, preparation and execution. The Lord sends who you need and when you need that someone. God has designed you for a particular purpose. When you discover the what, you will find out the how, just know why and allow that to motivate you always. When things are not working out in your favor, but God has told you this is your purpose, it will be fulfilled, don’t become despondent. What God has told you in the light, use your flashlight when it’s dark. The purpose remains the same, the road you travel to get there will always alternate. Adjust and keep going.

On Ministry/Outreach

On King David ‘s quest to rebuild the altar, he sought to purchase the foundation, but Araunah insisted he took what he needed since it was for the Lord. King David did not believe that would be a sacrifice, that would not be a burnt offering. He told Araunah that he would not offer the Lord that which cost him nothing. His motive was an act of love, selflessness and intentionality. Love is evident through action and although Araunah was willing to give what was needed for the altar, David insisted on carrying out his motive, which was sacrificial and action oriented. I’m sure some of us would have attributed what Araunah was giving unto him as a “blessing in disguise”, but that was not David’s motive. He was selfless and deemed it necessary to be intentional, he understood denial of self, the royalty and divinity of God. Isn’t that what ministry is all about? Denial of self, moving with an intentional motive and remaining focused on that. He wanted to sacrifice and serve. How powerful is that! How passionate! How loving, noble! Ministry is an intentional and selfless act that mirrors the heart of man. I often remind myself of the scripture that says, “I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” II Samual 24:24b NIV.

On Parenting

Parenting is like roller skating. Have you ever been roller skating, you’re feeling the vibe, dancing, enjoying the time and then KABOOM!!! someone bumps into you abruptly and onto the floor you roll. My goodness, how shocking! After you calm yourself, you get up, dust yourself off and begin again. Parenting my girls has so many strengths and exudes a lot of joy. I would be fooling myself if I didn’t acknowledge the challenges such as the disagreements we have due to our varying viewpoints. I know, I’m the parent and they are the children, but they have opinions and ideas. They understand what negotiable and non-negotiable means in our home. Negotiable means there is flexibility such as dinner plans. If it’s taco Tuesday, they may mention they would rather have Moe’s rather than homemade. A non-negotiable would be Chance asking for artificial nails at ten years old. She may continue to ask, but the answer is inflexible. Getting kids to understand your language gives leverage to parenting. I have learned to be careful with what I say that I will do because it is challenging to deter from plans when the expectation is set, although it happens. For example, if I’m aware of a birthday invitation, the girls are made aware the day of or the day before because it keeps them focused on what is priority for the week, prevents them from constantly asking about the event, and if there’s an interception I do not have to apologize and revert our plans for attending. Parenting is a thrill and I am pretty good about exchanging ideas with other great moms, as this responsibility requires support and listening ears.

On Grief

It’s like an ocean. One moment you’re happy, the next you may be melancholy. One moment you are ready to conquer the world, the next moment you can’t see past your door’s threshold. Prayer, praise, support, planning, and feeling what you need to feel so you may heal is a recipe for growing in grace. Grief does not disappear. In fact, it’s creepy. You may be having the best day ever, arrive home, exhausted and to your discovery your grief meets you in your lethargy. The best way to grip grief is to be prepared to respond when your emotions flare up. For example, sometimes I know I have to ride the wave, some moments, I phone a friend for dinner, other times, I remind myself of what’s to be expected. I’m equipped to get through the moment. One thing I assure myself of is that I will get from one moment to the next because I want to overcome.

On Dating

My affirmations on dating include, “I am patient. I’m not impulsive. God’s timing promotes and protects me.” I’ve met several widows who are content with their singleness. I have met divorcées who are happy with their singleness, so some say. My heart has so much love to give, I am an amazing and caring woman with dreams to fulfill. Jokingly, I say, I wouldn’t dare deprive a good man from a good woman, so absolutely I want to date. Eventually, I want to remarry. My husband has been deceased for 3.5 years and I am finally concrete about my expectation in terms of dating. I anticipate the chance to do so. My experiences have been complicated, but I remain grounded, expectant and so excited about who is to come. Who God has for us (my girls included) is for us. Perhaps, this is the territory you reside in, no matter how it looks, be sure about what is for you. The next person’s horror experience does not indicate what may happen for you. Keep the faith. So much love to you all.

From the I Am app

On Contentment

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11-13 NIV

Legacy

“Before this time another year I may be dead and gone,” words spoken by my late grandmother, Martha Dennis. She lived a life wholesome and without many regrets. She knew there were two things humans were promised, life and death. She was a giver. She was a lover. She was a truth teller. The legacy that she has left us includes her God-given heart. If she saw a need she met the need. She understood the philosophy that it takes a village. Comically, but seriously she would always tell me, Pooh when I die there will be nothing left behind, financially speaking, we will have spent it all.

Because I didn’t grow up understanding how to leave a financial legacy, I was fine by that because I knew her legacy was character filled, which is important too. She knew how to respect others, love others, guide others. As I have educated myself more about legacy building, eventually I understood the importance of wealth legacy and the management of assets. Oftentimes, people live for today rather than building assets and prudently managing what one is blessed to attain because they are of the unadvised and/or selfish mindset that you cannot take anything with you when you die. Perhaps people are of the school of thought that says, I got mine, now you get yours. We are talking about your children or a charity here. I attribute that to the lack of knowledge and fear of not living a full life. People tend to do what they see. You are probably familiar with the saying, you are what you eat. You know, you are who you hang around. If you have five broke friends, you’re likely to be the sixth one. If you have five gossiping associates, you’re undoubtedly, the sixth one.

The Bible says that people perish for the lack of knowledge. What you do not know will hurt you. Applied knowledge is powerful and will impact generations to come. For years, I was unaware of a financial legacy, budgeting, the concept of decreasing debt in order to invest more in retirement accounts and college savings accounts. I knew nothing about interest leveraging. I saved in my bank. When I learned the possibilities and opportunities of legacy building, it made sense to take advantage because I’m interested in living financially independent, but more so than anything I am a living example to my daughters and it is my responsibility to teach them how to respect money. Furthermore, I work and plan too hard not to protect my assets. Net worth equates the value of all of your assets minus your debt. Will your children’s children inherit your debt and doubt or your assets (cash/coins), morals and character? While that may be something to think about, it is certainly worth acting upon.

My financial education derived from my current profession. I am formally an elementary school counselor. Five years ago, I resigned from my position to pursue the financial services industry. As a result, I have committed to learning as much as possible about net worth and financial freedom. Fortunately, I have been centered around financially savvy individuals who have been living what I have recently learned. It makes an impact on self and others when you spend, share and save. Legacy wealth management protects the assets that you have worked so hard to accumulate. I have reputable resources for budgeting, debt elimination, pure life insurance, retirement investments, child savings programs for college, wills and trusts, how to purchase a mortgage, how to purchase an auto loan.

Many individuals are impulsive buyers. Rather than educating self on the mortgage loan buying process, they are eager to purchase and take the importance of an emergency fund out of the equation. Would you agree that understanding the steps to purchase a mortgage is necessary rather than blindly buying one? Would you agree that it is imperative to understand the principal and interest rate included within the mortgage? Would you agree that it is important to consider the mortgage to income ratio? While excitement drives the decision to purchase any large asset, be wise and allow knowledge to guide you prudently. The goal, I assume is to maintain the asset in a comfortable and peaceful manner. Be anxious for nothing, pray and plan about everything. Seek education from a reputable source, before you commit to anything. Once you have attained your assets, make sure you have insurance and a will for management of your assets. Live well, die responsibly. Peace and blessings!