Evaluation

                As I dwell in this time of strife and continue to hold on, I carefully assess relationships. This includes business, personal, and affiliations. Times of strife has always been a time for me to check myself and those that I allow into my mind and heart. These relationships aren’t always good for you. They may also be only for a season, in which that season may have expired. Evaluation is critical if you plan to move things along in life. Sometimes we are so busy moving forward, or working on moving forward, we continue our routine of maintaining these relationships. When in reality, we may be giving the relationships not enough or too much attention. Thus the reason evaluation is so critical.

               The first step of evaluation starts with self and although we are evaluating relationships, we are analyzing our own steps in these relationships. Remember you are not here to change anyone else only yourself–only the way you react to situations that present themselves. This step is so critical as it will allow you to also evaluate the things you allow into your heart. Everything isn’t meant to be there. You can help and love people from a distance, without becoming emotionally involved.

              The second step in evaluation is finding a method to fix the issue. This method should feel good. It should make you feel like this issue is over, it’s in the past, and you’re leaving it there. You should be able to learn, grow, and move on. Learning is important during this step because every life lesson you don’t learn you may have to endure again.

             The third and final step is application and sticking to your solution. Make your solution a new way of life, make it something that will not only move you pass the last issue but make things easier in the future. Many people have decided to adopt a positive mindset. That not only is a quick fix but it’s a long-term fix that attracts positivity into your life. Be aware of the things you do, be aware of the vibes you give out, and be aware of the way you treat others. All of these things help align your path.

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The 4 R’s

 

              I often am asked, How do you do this or do it? I feel as though many really want to ask, how are you not breaking down? Breaking down is a mental pull, there are many things in my life that could have caused me to break down. I’ve chosen to not allow these things to do so. Every situation we find ourselves in, we have created or allowed one way or the other. It’s our jobs to get ourselves out of said situation. With the correct amount of willpower and focus, you can do so. The answer to the question is, I don’t allow myself. Sometimes, some straight up cold hard honesty to myself may be the medicine. Evaluation of choices I made, no one made them for me. Personally owning the error, the reward, the sacrifice, is the first step in creating a solution. Own it! Are you owning the choices you may have made to be placed in the position you are in? Have you owned it? My solutions always start with self. I always address what I did, to get me into said situation or position. This step is vital. This is where things change outlook, opinion, perception.  This is where breaking down is removed. If you can accept what you did, you also have the power to change what you may have accepted.

              Shift your focus, I know you have heard this many times before, however, focusing on the wrong things tends to land us where we don’t want to be. This is why rest is needed, the mind needs to calm down and clear out. This is where shifting begins, a  calm and clear mind. Your mind in this state will allow you to adjust your focus, are you focused on progress or regress. This is a big question to ask ourselves daily, as fun is easy. One of my recipes to my day is 70% work, 30% fun. If 70% of my day has already been drenched in work than I could stand to have some fun. I keep it closer to 85%, the percentage is up to you. What can you handle? Many of my days are 100% work. I wake up working and I go to sleep working, I run errands, during my 20-30 minute break and then I’m right back to it. I work during lunch, I work during breakfast and dinner. I work in the car, I work during rest stops. I feel that I can constantly stimulate my mind in some fashion. Whatever your belief may be or your regimen may don’t allow anything or anybody to stifle it. When we add things to our lives, they should enhance our plans, they should push us harder, they should challenge us to move more confidently, and expand your capacity. Those additions will never be distractions as they are keeping you on task and focused.

            Many people with a loving heart tend to take on the issues of others when in reality, it’s not your concern. If you are one of these people, I challenge you along with myself to break away from any situations that are not pushing you the way you are pushing them. Pull yourself away from things that make you feel inadequate. You are adequate, you have a plan, you have a destiny and your running towards, push those things out of your way. Encourage others and don’t get caught up, lift up others and don’t get pulled in, love on others and don’t wait to be loved back. These things require mental strength that you may have but we all get sidetracked.

Rest your mind, review your strategy, reshift your focus, and REVIVE yourself!

 

Rest, recharge, refocus

I learned today that when you are told to rest. Rest! My planned rest day, that only included lunch with a friend, quickly turned into a busy day. Started working at 7:30 and didn’t stop, other than lunch, until the evening. My motto, there is always something to do, makes it very hard to take a break. Despite the day, rest didn’t happen. This is often the story of my life and as I keep hearing “just rest”, being whispered to me more and more, the harder I’m working. Well, life directs us and you will find out how God speaks to you whether, it’s thru symbols, the word, quiet time, running, etc. Every relationship is different, just know when your being directed and follow the directions.

Over the past year, I have been told to rest in every way shape or form. My personality ignores it, I try to half rest, but I do something else. As the new year came upon us. I began to question my routine. Routines that I started and ended. Routines that I let get away from me, even though the results were great.

On the third day of the year , fell. I make most of my immediate income moving around. Throughout the challenges my family and I faced over the past few months, I let things that I was working on get away from me.  With adding immobility into a long list of challenges, I truly had to rest. I can’t move around as freely and as I regularly as I am used to.  I truly started to focus on the word rest. We mostly associate rest with sleep, doing nothing, watching a movie, spending time with family etc. I started to evaluate my routines. I don’t allow my family time to be cancelled, I consciously try to consistently make time to spend on myself. I started to ask myself what’s missing: development. My development time has been cancelled and pushed to the side.

So all though I kept receiving the word rest, it really wanted me to focus. I needed to rest to determine what was missing. I needed to rest to have reflection time. I needed to recharge and refocus. I needed to get back down to basics, the foundational stuff. Any house without, a firm foundation will always fall, the same goes for your business and your life.

So thru the challenges and thru the unplanned and forced rest, I recharged and refocused. Sometimes we hear a word or choose a word fo the year and it may not be that particular word you are supposed to focus on, that word may open the door for a more important word. Watch your focus, remove distractions, and rest before you are forced.

Everyday you get a chance to make a change thru your choices!

This Strange Feeling

This feeling I have, I’m trying to dismiss.

Yet every way I can push him he doesn’t resist.

He’s sticking around, to me that’s a little scary.

I’m so intrigued in one way however frightened in another.

That L word HELL NO That’s a place I don’t want to go.

However our souls collide and the vibes are right.

And I must admit he’s like a thief in the night he steals my thoughts.

Yet I don’t want this to happen I am losing this battle.

What battle are you fighting? Don’t make up an invisible one.

Are you in actual war and your heart needs to be protected or

Are you at war with fear of letting someone see you naked?

Are you running from happiness?

Are you running from your gift? Are you running from your soulmate?

Are you going to turn your back on this?

Could this be love? Is it real or fake?

These are the many questions we ask ourselves. To trust or not trust?

Is the question itself?

Do you open all the way to be let down again?

Or do you walk away from what could be because fear says don’t let him in?

Washed Up

“Washed up, left for dead, dissed and forgotten, they hoped that I’d be gone, stiff and rotten”, Nas said in Ether. So many people feel this way, men, and women, about past relationships, and the times they have put their hearts on the line.

I’ve placed my heart in the hands of men that didn’t have any good intentions, I’ve planned weddings with people that still had someone on the side, I’ve taken care of people when they couldn’t take care of themselves, while I could barely take care of myself. I’ve been a victim of physical abuse, I’ve been verbally abused. I’ve fought through mental abuse, I’ve been constantly torn down instead of loved. I’ve been his fool, I’ve been used, I’ve been deceived. I’ve even been patient while waiting for him to get it ‘together’. I’m sure many of you have conquered these things with me.

These things are not a mark of dishonor, they are actually a mark of an overcomer. You have overcome despite, being used, taken advantage of, unloved, fooled, the constant challenges, the constant heartbreak, the depression, and strife. These things have made you stronger, not weaker. Don’t be ashamed of the things that you have overcome. For you have gotten over the hurdle. You made it even though. You completed the challenge and continued moving forward. Your heart was broken and you tried again. This time is no different from any other time. You’ve learned a lesson, you’ve gained wisdom and knowledge. You may not be able to see it now, but this made you smarter, it made your actions more precise. We can make it thru this. Your failures are not what defines you, your actions after it is what develops character, strength, and perseverance. That’s what I admire. The perseverance that no matter what, I’m going to get up and try again.

Did you know that horseshoe crabs shed their shells? The process is called molting, this is how they grow. Sometimes, we may feel like we are that shell, hard on the outside and don’t want to let anyone in.  The shell that has washed up on the beach and has been left behind. When in reality we have shed our shell. We’ve taken another layer off, to expand our knowledge, our reach, our minds. We had to shed to grow. We had to go thru the lost to learn this lesson and experience this growth.

Do you know someone is looking up to you? Everytime you get up, someone else decides to get up too, because you tried again. You gave them the strength to do the same. There are many people that didn’t have much it easy growing up, yet they are relentless in their pursuit of success. It’s because they saw their parents/guardians get up and make the most out of every day, regardless of the outcome. It never stopped them.

Don’t let it stop you!

Dating vs Courting

My plan was not to make this blog about dating or being single necessarily, but to discuss hurdles we all may have to conquer eventually. As a single woman in my mid-30s, this topic comes up often. I’ve heard many women ask how to tell whether you’re courting as opposed to dating. Many women who are practicing celibacy state they would like to court not date. I decided I wanted to discuss this to see what your opinions are and if people, in general, have the same opinion.

So I asked FB, lol. If you’re not googling it these days, you ask facebook. I actually received some great feedback. Some of it was expected, some unexpected. My favorite comment so far stated at the end of it that, “dating can become courting and courting can never become dating.” This struck a chord with me as this demonstrated the seriousness and the commitment of courting. This also made very clear that in courting, if you’re not moving towards the goal of a serious relationship or marriage, you’re not even interacting. To me, this speaks volumes and shows courting as very intentional in the growth of the relationship. Most of the feedback said the difference is that when courting, your focus is on the future and on that special person rather than dating which is spending time with anyone available.  I agree with all of the feedback I received.

I can definitely agree courting it is totally different from dating and may be something you may not be familiar with until it occurs. I’m honestly not familiar with it myself. I believe that the conversation is different, the reactions to one another are different yet intentional. You care about the other party’s feelings and opinion. You speak about finances in depth. You speak about health in depth. You speak about families in depth. Discussion of pet peeves and desires, not expectations so much, because you are both in a position where you want to set the expectations together. This is what I believe courting will entail. I also hope for courting to include the absolute want to understand the other party. The need to feel accomplished until they can fully understand thoughts and maybe even actions.

I don’t believe in dating much, as I truly believe it is a waste of time at my age. I believe that dating should be finished after the first or second date. At this point, you should know whether you truly have an interest in this person or not. It may be able to go on a little longer to turn into courting, however, I don’t think it takes that much time to truly gauge seriousness.

How do you know if you’re dating or courting? I still don’t know, however, I’m trying to learn. How can you recognize the difference? Let’s learn to recognize the differences together.

Please leave your thoughts below as this is only the beginning of this topic. Let’s list out the characteristics of courting so that my ladies looking for this will know what to expect.

 

Be Who You Are…

This week I came to terms with a relationship that did not need to be. I confirmed something that I suspected all along, but I would not follow my gut. It only took a few months in this relationship for me to realize that things weren’t right. However, I still carried on to give this person the benefit of the doubt. Of course, as most men do every time I tried to cut ties, he all of the sudden found a way to reel me in.

As I reflect on this situation to learn the lessons that I needed to learn I found several things. First, I have to stop waiting to see what I already suspect. When we suspect something it disturbs your peace. No relationship should disturb your peace. If anything, it should bring you more peace of mind and self- confidence. Second, I realized that you don’t have to give anyone the benefit of the doubt. Do you give your platonic friends the benefit of the doubt? Not as much as those we give in a romantic relationship. Why is that? It’s because we desire companionship. However, companionship is not made of confusion. The third thing I learned is you must be who you are. I realized that in my pursuit to find a companion I have watered myself down. I have softened up, I have become nicer (putting some of my standards aside). I call myself spreading agape love, which we should give to everyone, however, our personal emotions we still must protect. I found myself trying to love someone into loving me. None of this works, ladies, stay strong, stay independent, stay busy. Keep your standards, stick to your guns, and the person you are supposed to be with, will not think you are too much. I must be me at all times. You don’t have to change for the one that is yours. For there will be no hurdles or walls high enough to block what is supposed to be. Many women of our status feel that there is a shortage of men that can handle us, when in fact there are not. We are just giving the wrong ones the benefit of the doubt.

I promised myself, I wouldn’t do a new year, new me, and not going to make this blog that. However, it’s a new year and you need to be who you are. Don’t curve, or bend, who you are to fit someone else’s ego. You only end up with the short end of the stick. Be confident, you are beautiful, you are strong, you are smart, you are desired. You are attractive! Vet your relationships the same way you vet your friendships and don’t take any shorts. You don’t have to. Ladies, you are wonderful! Be Who You Are! Your blessing comes without your mask.

Happy New Year

What does this mean? Many of us wish each other a Happy New Year on January 1st every year. We build this awesome momentum to start the year on the “good” foot. Gym membership is at its highest every year. Savings clubs are booming and folks are eating the healthiest after finishing the year eating the worst. Is this a cycle you want to be apart of? Or do you want to make your change permanent? I recently saw this post on Instagram. I want to challenge all of my readers to stick to it just 90 days, make a lifestyle change.

21-90 rule

In 2018 I’m committing to writing more, I plan to publish blogs 3 times a week Mon, Wed, and Friday. On Saturdays, I will be looking for your feedback, I need you all to talk to me too! It keeps my energy up. How do you keep yourself energetic towards your goal? This is one of the questions I want you to answer over the next 90 days of creating your lifestyle change. I will also start my second book, this one will be more of my personal story, I plan to include how I overcome challenges on a daily basis and stories of how I pushed forward despite any circumstances. One of my routines, is I write in the mornings to clear my mind and start my day with a positive mindset. I’m committing myself to writing every morning whether I feel like it or not. Some people workout in the morning, some meditate, some pray. I challenge you to find what suits you, however, make it a lifestyle change, and start today. Also commit to this routine for 90 days so it becomes a part of you, something that you can’t do without every morning. Cheers to positive and progressive days ahead! I also commit to reaching out to my readers, I want to hear from you, I want to know your challenges, I want to answer your questions. I want to help you as much as you help me. Yes, you help me, you really do! I’m committed to giving you content that helps you, challenges you, and pushes you to higher heights.  I want to know how can I help you. You matter to me!

Last but not least you accomplished a lot last year and you must celebrate your achievements. Whether it was starting a new venture or starting school, or starting towards the path of homeownership or fixing your credit, or adding an extra income. You did it, you started towards something amazing. Let’s look forward to continuing working towards that thing you started and completing it.  I finished my first full year of my transportation business being open, I learned a lot and have new knowledge to apply to the continuation of that business. I completed my first year of completely working for myself, without a regular 9-5, I started this venture in Aug 2016, by no means has it been a walk in the park, however, I did it and I have so many more steps to take. I finally published my book, “Level-Up, The Guide” and started enrollment for the Level- Up Academy, I plan to help 20 business owners start their businesses this year. Many of my achievements were just the start in 2017 and I have much more to do in 2018 and beyond.

Let’s make these lifestyle changes in 2018 together and let’s commit to 90 days to reach the 365 days of new routines, new commitments, new successes and new goals.

You’re Enough!

There are times that many of us hibernate to get thru difficult times. Some say this is not healthy and some may say its ok. Depression is not healthy and hiding in a funk is not alright. However, putting our head down and focusing on the future and nothing else, is not bad. There are situations in life that are going to need your undivided attention. During this time there may not be energy to focus on anything else. Especially when this task may have multiple strains that need to be fixed to get to where you would like to be.

I haven’t written in a while because I  have felt the most unqualified and inadequate I have ever felt in my life. I want to encourage and help others, however, how do you help one when you can’t help yourself. I have angels on my side that have been strategically placed in my life to help thru these times. I’m extremely grateful for each one of them. From them and these situations, I have learned, humility, patience, strength, perseverance, gratefulness, etc.  You must make the most out of each day and what you have. When you work daily towards progress, you tend to constantly feel like its never enough. However, what you have today is enough! I have taught my sons through these times that home is where we three are together. No matter where we may be.  I’m thankful for those that have been supportive, those that have been encouraging, those that have been genuine, those that have been thoughtful. We must even be thankful for those that have been demeaning, sneaky,  disingenuine, etc. Even those that may have turned there back or not been the support you may have thought they would be are to be thanked. For they made you and I push harder and work more consistently.

In these times we gain resilience, we gain ethic, we gain a perspective that broadens your view. For this, we are to be thankful. As this year ends and the challenges continue, I want to challenge you to practice jumping those hurdles that are present and are to come. You have made it this far and will continue to progress. Celebrate your many successes that you have had this year despite the issues.  You are not in the same place as you were last year at this time. That is more than enough to celebrate! Take this time take this season to celebrate you! Your life, your achievements, big or small, your triumphs, and the successes to come!

Time for New Year

This time of year call for many things resolutions, new goals, new strategies, new budgets, etc. This time of year also calls for time to spend around the most important people in your life.

I like to take this time of year to reevaluate the year, relationships, partnerships etc. This is the time to define what this relationship may or may not be based on the evidence of the past year. Has that person been there for you? Especially when there was no cost involved other than time? Did this person have your back physically, emotionally? Is this partner 50/ 50 or 20/80? and are you ok with that? Reevaluation and redefinition starts with the morals that you put in place. Your ground floor standards. The way you treat people and the way you want them to treat you. It’s great to be a giver and be the person that spreads love, however, you must define if this person is the person you are expecting to do the same for you. What does that look like for you? Or are you ok with the one-sided relationship?

I am challenging you all to define your personal and business relationships. Review your investment and your benefits. Sometimes we need to remember that time is money and if this relationship serves no purpose, then you may need to reduce the time spent on it or even eliminate it overall.

How are you going to start 2018?