She says it looks desperate and lonely!
Why do we have to feel susceptible to being transparent or honest? Why can’t we talk about our feelings, expectations or desires publicly if it doesn’t offend anyone especially the creator? Love and Success is healthy and Powerful, right? As long as you don’t abuse it, right? The last I checked, desperation is a state of despair, typically one that results in rash or extreme behavior. When one chooses to feel comfortable in their skin and appropriately embracing positive things, we should be comfortable in our skin to let them speak freely without associating it to negativity. If a hurt person still believes that love exists that’s strength, not weakness, right? If a person who has several failed attempts at success and they embrace moving forward and encourage others, that's strength not weakness, right? What has our mentality narrowed down to, where we make positive thoughts negative? What has our mentality narrowed down to, when we begin to associate uplifting others daily as being redundant? We teach people that if they say too much, they look suspect! Interesting and disturbing I might say! Transparency shouldn’t make an individual feel like they need to shift who they are to accommodate insecurities. You guys are sadly confusing people. I think those who contradict what’s good and bad are insecure individuals who truly want to speak more than they are on mute. Don’t mute yourself for ANYONE except God. Set yourself FREE!
B. Watkins, M.Ed.
Author, A Search For Her New Beginning
Are you aware that YOU are indeed Phenomenal? What are the skills and attributes that you possess that allow others to see you in your best light? These last few months I have realized that I know some of the most Phenomenal people in the world. There just aren’t enough words to describe the impact that they have had in my life… and for that I am eternally grateful. As we go about our days we have to work to embrace and uplift one another- we have to tear down barriers that block our blessings and stop us from really connecting to people.
My aunt has always told me that I should never let my “Blessings carry me where my Character can’t keep me” She simply meant… be Phenomenal in all that you do and blessings will follow you. I encourage you during this spring season to go out and be absolutely Phenomenal! Never settle for less, step out there and do what makes you happy and along the way make sure that you encourage someone else to do the same.
As I end this blog I want to take a moment to list a few of the Phenomenal people that I know, each of you have blessed me. Thank you.
To my Dearest Ashley Browning, so brave and so loving…thank you for being Phenomenal and blessing this Dayton community. You are a game changer. Love you.
To Yvonne, Stacey, Joey and Robyn all women of power and influence, walk in and embrace your best life, I would be lost without each of you in my life. You are Phenomenal.
To Kurt, you have inspired me more than you know. Thank you for being a phenomenal person in my life.
Psalms 32:5 NLT
“Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.
I recently found myself in a place where I unpacked in guilt city. I allowed myself to revisit my past and focus on what I had done, who I had done it with and was beating myself up about it. It’s caused quite a bit of discouragement and disappointment, because I found myself asking those hard questions. “How could I continue to give my body to those men who didn’t deserve it and who weren’t my husband?”
“How could I let him treat me like that when I claim to be a Queen who does Queen things?” “How could I talk inappropriately when I claim I’m educated?” “How could I be mean and impatient when I claim I’m a child of God and made in his image?”
All of these hard questions came to mind because I’ve never confessed any of these things to God. I’ve always sinned, asked for forgiveness and moved on. I never allowed myself time to go before God to really heal and deal. When I truly became intentional about living my best life and chasing after God wholeheartedly I realized that it was going to take some work. Work that not only included being a better me today and in the future, but work that included me addressing those things of my past that I’ve tried so hard to forget. I’ve learned that the past is the past and regardless of what terrible decisions you’ve made and who you’ve made them with, you cannot change it. You can avoid it and act as if it never happened, but there will come a time where you’re faced to deal with the things you’ve tried so hard to forget. I’ve learned that it is better to address, heal and deal than to ignore, hide and run. The most amazing thing is that you’re connected to the plug...God! There are some things in my past that I will take to my grave that even my closest friends or family members will never know about. However, I also recognize that it still needs to be dealt with so that’s when God steps in and does his best work, because he knows EVERYTHING!
God loves us and the moment we confess with our hearts, he forgives us. However, learning to forgive yourself takes work as well, but it is necessary. Part of dealing with your past is learning how to forgive yourself and then walking in that forgiveness. I can attest to the fact that it is easier said than done, but there’s nothing too hard for God. You have to be willing to accept the things of your past, be willing to trust God and trust the process of dealing with your past and be patient because it’s not an overnight process. Truthfully, there’s no time limit, just an on time God. A wise woman once told me, “It happened, now what?” I believe that this statement applies to the things of our past. It happened, you can’t change it, but you can overcome it. Your past is not who you are, so overcome it and live your best life!
“The past cannot be changed, forgotten, edited, or erased. It can only be accepted.”-Artist Unknown
Do you have the power to say sorry? And even more so do you have the ability to forgive?
Today, I was reminded that my pride was standing in the way of my ability to say that I was sorry to someone that I had wronged. So stubborn in my ways, I was allowing my pride to hold an anger about something that I had done wrong! Isn’t that crazy?! As humans, we will surely make mistakes that will undoubtedly hurt the feelings of another person- its just how life is and as we live and continue to grow we must “check” our actions and deeds. I was wrong. So, I swallowed my pride, got my thoughts together and I sincerely apologized. I knew what I said could have been said better and I needed to admit that and ask for forgiveness. If you know that you have offended your brother/sister GO! And ask for forgiveness. Release what you feel about it and do the right thing.
Now on the flip side, we also need to have the mindset to forgive… not that we would ever forget but we need to place our hearts open to those who want to say, “I’m sorry”. Sometimes people think if we hold the apology over someone’s head or we don’t accept the apology, we still have the right to be mad or make that other person beg for our forgiveness. Let me tell you by experience, if that is something that you have done, or you are currently doing then you are only hurting yourself. Forgive. For It’s truly the gift that you give yourself.
My point is that we as people can be just as stubborn to say sorry as we are to forgive. The next time that you are offered an apology, receive it, and whether you accept it or not- please be mindful that one day you too will have to give someone else an apology for there is not one of us without flaws. Live in the power that God has given you- treat others how you want to be treated and God will honor that.
What have you done to empower another person? Webster defines empower as : the act or action of empowering someone or something : the granting of the power, right, or authority to perform various acts or duties. When we have the courage to push someone else into their God given destiny, we also empower ourselves to do better as well. There is no one person on Earth, that operates solely on their own. We all need one another to get through this life. Today I had a conversation with a friend that empowered me to stand up for myself and protect what is important. While he was talking I felt a complete sense of fear take over me… internally I thought “How can I stand up for myself? & “What if this doesn’t work?” By the end of the conversation, even though I was still nervous… I was also empowered to take a step that I otherwise would have not done. I see empowerment as a form of encouragement- a simple step to tell someone “You can do it”. This next week or so take time to empower not only yourself but someone else as well, you just never know- you could be the person that helps move a person into their destiny.
Hey Good People!
I'm going to start by asking you a few questions. Are you a giver or are you a receiver? If you are a giver, how often do you give? If you are a receiver (as in you don't like to give), if so, why? Some people are both, and that's fine... You'll see my purpose for the questions shortly.
I am a giver! I'm naturally that way and sometimes it can be a gift and a curse. I give of my time, my resources, my love and many other things. Because I am a giver, it's hard for me to say no. This is where the curse comes in. People try to take advantage of that. The bright side is they can only take advantage if I allow them to. That was a lesson I had to learn over the years.
Being a giver is a great thing! Don't allow people turn your giving/kindness into something negative based on their actions. Also, don't allow your heart to be tainted in the process. Giving should be something you want to do without wanting a return on your gift. The Bible says, "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV
Do you give because you want something in return? If so, try giving just because. It doesn't have to be money. Volunteer at a shelter. Give a bottle of water to your mail carrier. Those are just some small examples. However, don't expect anything in return and see how blessed you become for doing so. I love the scripture, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV
We are told that when we give, we will receive just what we are giving. Please understand, that doesn't always come back in the form in which we gave. So, you can give money but your blessing may not come back in money. Keep that in mind. Just know, your blessing will come back!
If you are a receiver who does not like to give, ask yourself why you have become that way. Maybe you feel like now it's your time to receive for a change. People have used you up and you want to be treated for once. I get it! I truly do! But the Bible reminds us, "But ye, brethren, be not weary in well doing" 2 Thessalonians 3:13 KJV. It's alright to be tired of being used. And it's even alright to say no. But don't get to the point where you no longer have the heart to give. Your good deeds will not go unnoticed so don't be weary in doing so.
We all know that in a few hours, the year 2018 will be among us! What will you do differently this year? Will you allow others to dictate your actions, or will you take control of yourself and your reactions to others? Don't give people power they do not deserve!!! God loves us so much! The last thing He wants is for us to be hard hearted or turn a blind eye to those who need the Kingdom.
You deserve love, you deserve happiness, you deserve to be joyful and you deserve the fullness of life! Don't allow anyone to take those things from you. On the flip side, don't take those things from anyone else. Give to the best of your ability, and God will take care of you beyond what you expect! Don't give only in hopes of receiving. Be that cheerful giver and see what you receive unexpectedly!
Happy New Year and MANY blessings to you! ️
What do you see? Is it the hurt? Is it the pain? I chose the series topic for the month to be “Self-Love Is Love”. We now live in an era where you can pay to look like anybody. You can pay to be skinny, you can buy hair, you can even change your eye color. You can buy babies, sex, love, I mean some even pay for friendships.
The one thing however that money can’t buy is Self-Love. Just because the outside appearance may change, it does not change how we really feel on the inside. What do I mean by the inside? I am talking about the real you that you see when you look in the mirror. Those scars, those bruises, that heartache, that abandonment those are you. Things that Money can’t change; and these are the things that I will address during this series. While also sharing my personal Journey and Discovery of Self-Love.
Where does it Start
My theory childhood. I have met many adulthoods chasing in their adult lives everything that they have missed in their childhood. For example, some may only wear expensive or branded shoes now because as a child expensive shoes were not afforded to them. For me it was 3rd grade, definitely 3rd grade. I remember in front of the entire class, asking me why my grandmother was so involved. She asked was it because my mother didn’t want me? For me my journey started there. Though my mother loved me circumstances beyond my control as a child, prevented us from being together, but my teacher in 3rd grade started my journey at just 8yrs old.
Something so innocently spoken created a uproar of hell in my inquisitive spongey 8yr old brain. She spoke to the real questions that I asked in the mirror behind my matching bows, latest toys and hottest posters. It can be beneficial at times to sit and journal. Think back on your journey of identity, where did it start? Those questions in the mirror where did they start? Those feelings of rejection, where did they start? I know many may reflect on a life loss, or maybe even something as recent as heartbreak, but for some like myself it may go back to childhood. It may be an absent parent, childhood bullying, or maybe just a seed planted by a dominant adult in your childhood, that could be family, teachers or clergy.
This type of transparency is great for your journey. At some point we have to rid ourselves from the insecurities or the dead weight of secrets. Though the hardest part is embracing what we see as flaws and failures it is the first step to improving the image in the mirror. Don’t be afraid, know that everything bad you’ve went through can be turned around and used for the good.
Just A Little Bit More
By the time we most reach mid age we have all for the most part identified our strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to relationships, whether that be romantic, friendships, or family. We have for the most part basic clarity to our abilities. Still focusing on Self-Love, I encourage you to do just a little bit more. Where am I going with this? Follow me.
By now we all know how to make “Bae” happy or to try to attract a “Bae”. We see something we know “bae” would like we grab it. “Bae” birthday coming up we make elaborate plans. I mean let’s be honest “Bae” knows there isn’t anyone rolling with him like you. “Bae” knows you will never leave and that they hold the #1 spot. But at what point do we start ensuring our own happiness? I’m not here to bash looking out for “Bae” I’m here to encourage you to do just a little more for YOU!
For some “Bae” may be him, her, them, or it. I know for me when I see something my children need, I just throw it in the bag. When it’s something for me I may just say, “I will wait until next time”, or “it needs to be on sale I can wait”. I remember when “it” was my family. I just wanted to please them, look like them, and just make them proud. I wanted to be “watch this” Just what they wanted me to be. I mean I had no clue of who I was or what I wanted to be. I remember when “it” was church. I went every week and to every function I didn’t even know, nor did I even believe in God at the time. I received every Sunday School student of the year, student of the month, visitor awards, accolades, and I was always there.
Last but not least, I remember when “Bae” was Bae. Everything I thought I wanted, he made me feel so good. That feeling where you would give up everything just to see that person happy. I know everybody may not be able to relate but I know some who can. That love where you do everything together, you share your thoughts dreams, and ideas. Come on you know “bae” the one we always understand. I mean you know everybody is not perfect right, we know every excuse for them, the troubled past, everybody who did bae wrong, and it’s you and bae against the world.
But happens when we have given everything to him, her, them, or it, then we don’t have anything left for ourselves? If your “Bae” is addiction, what happens when the money is gone? What happens when the children leave, the church closes, and you realize “bae” don’t really love you like you love “Bae” and your heart is broken and your cup is empty? Devastating, right? Exactly why we have to learn to give a little, and save a little to be able to give to ourselves a little bit more when we need. We have to be our own “bae” sometimes. Do a little bit more for you today. Stop hesitating, everything that you need is inside of you. You are enough, you have to be because you never know when you will be all that you have.
How do you start, here are a few suggestions, Take yourself to dinner, order whatever you want, put on that outfit that you like, style your hair or don’t style it. The point is to be who it is you need to be for you and for your own happiness. Go the extra mile for you. Don’t be afraid to love who you see in the mirror. The hurt, the pain, the bruises, don’t stop until you love what you see in the mirror. In spite of what you see right now; remember you can change what you see, it starts by doing just a little bit more for you.
Stand in the mirror, who do you see looking back. What do you hear as you stand and stare at you in the mirror? I remember a time when I never looked in the mirror and I hated taking pictures. I would take pictures and people would say, what’s wrong it looks nice. There were also those who innocently yet carelessly spoke to say things like It looks just like you. What goes in come’s out right? For me I never looked in the mirror because like they said it looked just like me, like the pictures I seen, the hurt, the pain, the reflection of failures, defeat and everything negative I’ve ever experienced.
I encourage everyone reading this right now, to write down 5 things that you want to do for you. Stop focusing on all the things that you can change and list 5 things that you can work on right now. Then make a list of 5 Things that could stop you from achieving the 5 things on the first list. Once that is complete I want you to list five things that you’re going to do to prevent anything from stopping you. Start working on your lists, and during those moments of self-defeating thinking remind yourself you knew the hard times were coming and implement your action plan and do what it takes to not give up on you. You deserve to love the person looking at you in the mirror. That’s the real “Bae” Remember Self Love is Love.
Help is defined as to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; cooperate effectively with; aid; assist:
How many times have you needed help and were afraid to ask? Whether it was a spirit of pride, fear of embarrassment or any other reason I came to remind you that it is ok to ask for help. For the greater part of my life I have been very independent preferring to do things on my own. Looking back it was a mixture of pride, fear of rejection and having the person loom their help over my head. When people ask me if I would ever change anything about my life I always reply that I would have asked for help sooner.
Growing up there was a song that I loved to hear and the lyrics are very simple. The lyrics state that we are many members but one body and we are all one in Christ. Whether or not you realize it you have been blessed with a collection of great people who are able to help if you’d only ask. There were times where I would worry myself down with trying to finish several tasks at one time but that weight was lifted when someone asked me if I needed help. I can remember it took me several days to even accept the help but it was beneficial to my life. God allows situations to come sometimes where we have to ask for help. I realized that when you ask God for help it may not come in the way you expect it but believe me it is coming.
My life motto is that we are helpers one to another and that help stretches outside of spiritual help. If you see your brother or sister struggling reach out and help them. In every person there are gifts and talents specifically assigned for that person to work with and to help others. In all of your gifts remember not be selfish in your abundance of gifts. You would be surprised at how a simple offering of help could change the life of someone else.
Romans 12:5 reads that so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. This read to me that when you refuse to help someone in need you are refusing to help the collective body. That collective body goes beyond your family, friends and associates! The person you may be assigned to help could be a literal stranger but you should offer the same amount of enthusiasm in your help to a stranger as you would someone that you know well.
Refusing to ask for help when you need it is refusing someone the chance to be helpful – Ric Ocasek
NO is OK
Saying no is great and sometimes hearing no is even better.
I learned in more recent years that the people who are the busiest are also the people who get requested to do the most. This is because they are seen in many cases as reliable and they are the ‘go-getters’ that everyone wants to work with. The problem with being one of those people is that some days saying “no” can feel guilty. I do not consider myself a people pleaser but I do consider myself a supportive person. I always want to be there for my friends and then there is the work aspect where I like to keep myself aware of the happenings around the city and support others endeavors. I have literally been building a brand over the past few years where the entire goal is to support others, so yes, I believe that I need to show up. The problem arose when I got sick earlier this year. I literally said yes until I was sick and couldn’t trying to be everywhere supporting everyone. Ignore the signs of your body if you want to but eventually your body will win. It is okay to say no, when it’s the only day out of the month that you don’t have any commitments. It’s okay to sit on your couch and do nothing! It’s okay to say no, when there are overlapping events so you are leaving early or arriving late. It’s okay. I realized that I could support in other ways such as simply sharing the information with others that were looking for things to do. Your presence is amazing but your health (mental and physical) by far is more important.
Now when it comes to hearing, no, most people don’t like that. It means we are not getting our way. The simplest way to view this is that every no gets you closer to a yes. Sometimes hearing no, puts the fire under you that is necessary for you to grind that much harder.
All you have to do is believe that NO is a complete sentence, you don’t owe anyone an explanation and be okay with hearing it.
If there was not anything that I always wanted to do, it was to get an education. I was always reading and carrying a journal with me as a child. Learning and retrieving more knowledge was always more intriguing to me than pondering my life away in a menial job. When I graduated from high school, I took my first step in continuing my education and attending Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. During the spring semester of my second year at Alabama State University, a representative for the Walt Disney College Program made a presentation on campus recruiting students to become interns for the Walt Disney College Program. After a call home to Ohio, getting the “ok” from mom, I was then headed to Orlando, Florida to work as an intern for the Walt Disney World College Program.
I arrived in Orlando, Florida in August and ended up extending my program for a second internship, as it was truly a once in a life time experience. After returning from the program in May, I attempted to return to Alabama State University, yet I was denied. My loans were in default, and apparently, I had owed Alabama State University for classes that I pre-registered for in the spring for the following fall semester that I did not attend. I was totally devastated. I had begun to get calls about repayment of my loans, but I was not even finish with school. I really just wanted to return to school.
I returned home to Ohio and began working at Burger King. I eventually went to school to get my STNA license and I worked for a STNA for five years, yet wanting to learn continued, the yearning for and education did not cease because I was unable to pursue it at the time; it made me yearn for it even more. I was introduced to Ashford University through a co-worker at a nursing home where I was working. Although it was not ideal, was not according to plan, and was not conventional, Ashford University gave me the opportunity to complete my Bachelor’s degree. One word, faith.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hope for, the evidence of things not seen.
What is faith? Faith is belief in the unknown. Faith is accepting something that you know with your intellect could not possibly be true, and through faith its true. Through faith we do not set aside our intelligences or ignore the research of science, yet we rely on the interrelationship between faith, hope, belief and trust. Faith is not giving up when the road seems so shallow and the intricate workings of life seems so bleak. Trusting in the Lord Almighty, believing that his will be done is faith. I’ve stepped out on faith. I’ve walked through faith. I continue my walk through faith.