INTEND. AFFIRM. MANIFEST.
For years, I’d like to say I felt confident. I felt I believed in myself “enough”. I felt, I was doing just as I should have been doing, given my current circumstances. I was accomplished. In the eyes of the world at least, I’d be considered, ‘accomplished’. I purchased my first home, on my own, as a single mother by the age of 32. I earned my Masters in Public Administration at the age of 31, and my Bachelors in Criminal Justice at the age of 22. I’d held a career for over 13 years with county government and prior to that I held a position with the Federal Government while in college (yes, in the midst of my back and forth commute to school from Miami to Fort Lauderdale, this was that time). While living at home I helped provide for my family, and when I moved I’d send money home to my mother to help her pay her bills, as is accustomed in our culture. You always take care of home, even while juggling to take care of your own. Later on, I along with my hardworking husband, invested in stocks and IRA’s. We set ourselves up into retirement, or for the right investment opportunity… whichever came first. And we did just that, took a big chunk of those funds and invested in a business. We had accomplished that much. So, needless to say… I thought I believed in myself enough.
Fast forward to a less than fruitful business investment. The crushing of our spirits. The disappointment in ourselves. We were broken. I didn’t understand the power of intentionality and thinking positive thoughts until this very moment. In our upbringing, to some extent, we have been bred to believe in spirituality. Whether it’s Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Catholicism, you name it, the focus was always to believe in a power greater than oneself. Where in, we sought in those times of difficulty, that very power that would pull us out from the depths of despair. Praying to that mighty power, for strength and understanding. That’s what we did. We prayed, and prayed, and prayed. Certainly, delving back into that spiritual place was comforting, as always. But I felt I needed wisdom and better understanding. I needed more to help me put the pieces of my shattered spirit together. I read up on Buddhist practices; on his holiness, the Dalai Lama, the practices of sage burning, on crystals provided by Mother Nature and their meanings. On becoming one with the very things that the Lord has blessed us with… the beauty of nature, and our surroundings. This aromatherapy and delving into natural based practices is what led me to create the ability to BELIEVE that IN ME, there was GREAT POWER. Not that I didn’t “somewhat” already know that. Just not to this extent.
The more knowledge and understanding I developed, the more in tune with myself I became. The more I started to see the signs and hear His voice. The more I was nudged in the direction of the very things I’ve kept pushing aside all my life. My love for reading, my love for writing, my need to escape into the wonders of the outside world. And so I found solace in traveling alone. If somehow my day took me near the beach, I’d make it a point to visit the beach and bury my toes in the sand. Transfixed by the rolling of the waves in awe of His works. To focus on even the smallest things like the shrubbery growing out of the beach dunes. The birds soaring in the sky. I intentionally sought out quiet creative earthly places. Visiting local gardens, reveling in the masterpiece of all that He has created. In finding all the goodness around me, even during a bike ride, or a walk around the block. The notice of a red robin that kept appearing each day at the same time, as if to catch my attention. Leading me to create a safe haven for them, where I could marvel in their majesty each day, so I got a bird feeder. I became more in tune with my surroundings. Focusing inward, and vowing to remove myself slowly from all the outside distractions. This, awakened me.
I started to visualize that which I did not previously see. My knowledge continued to multiply, as I came to understand my purpose. My true purpose. See, with my current position in the community, I already knew that my calling/purpose was to serve. But it wasn’t until I was in this enlightened state of mind that I realized that serving for me was going to multiply in a myriad of different ways. With use of my talents, my skills, my resources. In this walk I met many people. Those people I know, were divinely placed. Yet another confirmation that I was on the right track. Just the thought of it made my heart skip a beat (thank you Lord). So I continued to pour all attention to those very things that were guiding my path. I learned that I need to set my intentions, affirm what I want, and in turn it will all manifest. So I did that, by way of creating vision boards. Seeing those very things on the board come to fruition brought me life. I’m on track! I created specific goals for myself, then looked back at those very goals to see what I had accomplished. YES! Another win. I removed negativity from my life. THIS raised my frequency, and allowed me to rise to the highest version of myself (as learned from the great Jen Sincero, in You are a Badass). https://jensincero.com/shop/#0
All it took was some reprogramming of my brain, the need to overpower deeply rooted beliefs that even I was oblivious to. Wow! What time with yourself will do. I created a daily spiritual practice to develop the keen discipline I now knew I was going to need on this journey. I learned that, we don’t need more, we just need to do more with what we know. That daily intention setting made my day more meaningful and reminded me that I, at the very least, should not harm others. I also learned that once I set new intentions I needed to hold myself accountable, and go back and re-evaluate old ones. (from the Book of Joy, By H.H., the Dalai Lama, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu). https://www.dalailama.com/books
I asked myself these questions:
- How do you want to feel?
- What things would you like to experience?
- What personal qualities/strengths do you want to develop?
I then created affirmations to accompany those thoughts Like: I feel… or I have… affirmations that pulled me into a connection with the positive things I wanted to see reflected in my life. For instance, I feel happy, healthy, whole, confident, positive, blessed, worthy, etc. Even if you don’t 100% feel those things. Put it out there that you do. And you will. I have opportunities flowing in abundance; I have the means to bless others; I have an amazing support system, etc. This puts you in the position to create opportunities for those things you want to have in your life. You can even get very specific with this. In fact, I’ve learned, that the more specific you are… the better! I have, a million dollar writing deal. I have, a house on the hill in Ireland, etc. The same can be done with I am. I am, wealthy. I am, gifted. I am, talented. Have fun with it. This is your chance to dream.
The potential of your power, is determined by the strength of your power source. READ THAT AGAIN. The potential, of YOUR POWER, is determined by the STRENGTH of your POWER SOURCE. What are you giving power to in your day to day? When I had a bad day I’d repeat this mantra- “He loves me and is for me, this fills me with joy and confidence.” This redirected my thinking. Bringing me back from what could have been a dark place. I vividly remember being asked by a friend as I counseled her through a difficult time, “how do you remain so positive?” Well, this is it. Redirecting my thinking. Remembering WHO’S I AM, and what HE has for me.
Affirm all the things you think you are not. Open the door of opportunity to become all that you want and are destined to be. The word says it so in Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good, and acceptable, and perfect.” Can you say, POWERFUL?! He led me right to that. He also led me to people like, Kendra Justine. You may know her as Pretty Boss. I found her in my journey of self-discovery. She drew my attention at the time I was seeking understanding about crystals and the burning of sage. If you follow her journey you’d know she is so much more than what the many thousands of YouTube videos she’s made showing her prophetic talent depict her to be. But did you know she was ridiculed for the mere act of denouncing all which she thought was good, which turned out to be evil? Her very following turned on her, some… not understanding her true calling. Others like myself, seeing that as yet another AHA moment. She too was leading me to where I needed to be. I saw it unfold before my very eyes. Her vulnerability was inspiring. Her willingness to stand by her beliefs despite possibly losing what she’s built for so long. Talk about COURAGE! (Standing ovation). I participated in one of her many “Breakthrough Challenges”. Looking to challenge myself in ways I did not know but was willing to explore. One of which was to create a blueprint- literally. Yeah, like the ones the architects create in designing a structure. As she explained it, “create the blueprint for something that you truly desire and deserve. Claim it. Draw it out, put your creativity on paper. Visualize it. Create a vision board.” And furthermore,“write your goals down. Read them morning and night.” (Kendra Justine, Pretty Boss) https://kendrajustine.com/
Guess what I did? Just that. And each day I saw my attitude change, my dreams grow more vivid, my attitude get bolder, and my spirit joyful.
Today, I’m finally living out the life I was destined to live. One not at all concerned for the opinions of others, or the stares, and the judgements. I am living my life, just as He designed it to be… purposeful. After all, as best explained by the greats Ralph Waldo Emerson and Eleanor Roosevelt herself,
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
“… to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
Hope that blessed you. If it did. Drop a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
About your experiences, your hardships, and your journey of self-discovery. Then… go, Dream, Believe, Manifest, and Repeat!
It’s the FOCUS for me.
Now that we’ve been enlightened. How do we stay that way? Life throws us many curve balls along our journey. You could be in a total state of enlightenment and BOOM, here comes a boulder. Its careening down the steep mountain and coming your way. How do you find the motivation to keep going?
It’s hard to describe, but stay with me… I’ll try. You ever been to your local fair, a carnival, or amusement park? Ever get on that UFO ride? The one that spins and spins and spins so much it adheres you to the walls? You can’t move. You’re stuck. Then the ride starts to slow down. As it slows you start to feel your limbs, little by little. You can move your face now, your fingers, your arms, then your legs, and your toes. By the time it comes to a complete stop, you have a sense of stillness. You may be dizzy, but you’ve got this serene sense about you. Now you’ve got to get the rest of the earth to fall in line with where YOU are. Your legs feel like jello, and you feel like Bambi, learning to walk again. That, ladies and gents, is what it feels like to be enlightened. The UFO ride is the world trying to keep us from our greatness. All the things that trip us up. Our fears, our insecurities, our past, our families, our kids, fake friends, and for some of you… your exes (sorry, couldn’t help myself LOL). The list goes on and on; the list of all the things that jump in our paths looking to bulldoze over everything we’ve worked so hard to build.
Here’s the good news though. You’ve now got a variety of skills you’ve armed yourself with. Meditation, intention setting, affirming, and manifesting will ricochet those things right off of you. Like a superpower. It’s like wearing some blingin’ impenetrable armour (appeasing my sci-fi fans out there). https://www.gamesradar.com/25-useful-super-powers/
Your mind will play tricks on you. You’ll go back to your self-defeating way of thinking. If you’re focused, it will only be for a brief second. If you’re struggling, this may take a day or two, at most a week. But you bounce right back. In reality, you’re indestructible. You’re able to withstand any pressure, pain or weight that comes your way. It may not feel like it in the moment, but think about it. No, SERIOUSLY… think about, all the things you’ve been through. The very things you didn’t think you’d ever be able to get over. That first heart break, the lost job, the failed test, the car accident, the house fire… you name it, it was horrible. You didn’t see a way out. But YOU DID make it out! You made it through. You’re here, NOW, reading this. Won’t HE do it?!? Just like that.
Unfortunately, we beat ourselves up way too much. We think one failure is going to jeopardize our whole plan. What we didn’t know was, that moment was destined to be. You ask, how can something “bad for me” actually be meant to be? Have you ever considered looking at things from this perspective? Let’s say, (real life example here people), you’ve planned your entire day. You’ve made a list. A to-do list with a host of things you’ve got to accomplish today. This list, is in chronological order. In order of priority; of importance. You get two things into the list, and someone throws a monkey wrench in your plans. What do you do? Initially, you get frustrated. You start a mental run down of that list. You get even more frustrated now. You begin to play Tetris with these items in your head. Can you still catch up? And guess what… you drive yourself crazy. Now, you’ve got an attitude. You’re frustrated. That whole moment stole your joy. But why? Instead of thinking in reverse, think in fast forward. What things could this “inconvenience” just have removed from your path? Slow down. What do you actually have time to do now that you DIDN’T put on your list? Breathe. Think. Pray. Turn up the music. Reduce the velocity. Realize how seeing through rose-colored glasses gives you a new perspective?
You’ve heard this one before, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” The sum of our beliefs, both positive ones and negative ones make up our mindset and thus our idea of reality. https://medium.com/swlh/why-limiting-beliefs-hold-you-back-in-life-what-to-do-about-it-e877f6e36bd2
It literally changes your view on almost everything in life. It can also be a reflection of our strongest beliefs. Sometimes our thoughts are shaped by what we think of ourselves. What we think we are or are not capable of accomplishing. We force ourselves into this tiny little box. We’re accustomed to thinking that everything we do must be done inside this six by six foot frame. We suffocate ourselves. Why not consider stepping outside the box. Breaking it down, laying it flat, rolling around on it, now sit back, look up at the sky. Yes, now you’re exposed, but guess what? Now you’ve got more room. To think, to breathe, to stretch. Yes, it’s just that easy. It’s different, but doable.
Michelle Obama said it best in her book, Becoming, “Move in forward motion, evolving and reaching continuous progress toward a better self.” https://becomingmichelleobama.com/
Never letting yourself stay immobile for too long. Always looking for growth. In that moment. In each moment. Look for opportunities to improve your own being. You were not meant to be stagnant. You were meant to grow. So push yourself. Even when it’s uncomfortable. In fact, especially when it’s uncomfortable. For that is the environment in which growth strives. Rumi said it best, “Very little grows on jagged rock. Be ground. Be crumbled, so wildflowers will come up where you are.”
Today, evaluate your mindset. Consider all the things that could go right in your day. Then consider all the things that could go wrong. Are you equipped to handle it? If you are, kudos to you grasshopper. You’re well on your way. If you’re not, hun… we’ve got some work to do.
Be FEARLESS, in the pursuit of what sets your soul on FIRE.
What sets my soul on fire? Hmmm Well, if you haven’t figured it out by now… for me, it’s serving people. I know that now. Like, I really, really, 100%, positively now know, that this is my purpose. I mean, serving others in many ways. Whether it’s with my volunteerism, my speaking engagements, within my career, as a mentor, in my community, personally… or to my friends and family. My passion is, serving others.
For years I was tripped up about my purpose. I got to a point in my life where I’d actually asked myself that question. What’s my purpose? Am I living out my life as I should? Am I doing too much, or doing too little. Is there more I can do with the talents I have? Should I be less focused on people, and more focused on myself, on my family? All these were burning questions that in many ways kept ringing in my head. I don’t know if any of you recall the big discussion that was spiked on this topic with the release of the book, “A Purpose Driven Life,” by Pastor Rick Warren. I couldn’t locate the original, but here’s the link to a new and improved expanded version https://store.pastorrick.com/expanded-purpose-driven-life-book.html
Oprah Winfrey did a full special on this. She interviewed the author, and just like that… the whole world was turned on to the book. Was it a practice? A belief system? Not sure, as much as I keep telling myself to read this book, I still haven’t gotten around to it. I believe I’ve read similar books that probably express similar sentiments, but it is definitely on my must read list. (If you’ve read it, please leave a review below) But I digress, the point is… I had to narrow it down, or, did I? What was my purpose?
I sought ought to find it. I’m an observant person by nature. Within my surroundings and even more so within myself. I do a lot of evaluating of the SELF. My own behaviors, my reactions, and my thought process. I think it’s important to do this to understand who we are. If you don’t know you, then, how do you expect others to? So, in this soul search, I kept being nudged in the same direction. If you saw my LIVE with D’Symone on March 18, 2021 I mentioned this. (If you didn’t see the LIVE you can catch it on my IGTV on Instagram) https://www.instagram.com/tv/CMlFPzABnKd/
I’ve also touched on this pretty much from day one of the launch of this site. There are several things I’ve always been pulled towards; my love of reading and writing, and my love of people. It took a lot for me to even agree that I loved people. Because, my husband would laugh at this but, for a period of time I used to say the exact opposite due to disappointments in dealing with others. So, in my personal life, I pretty much kept to myself. Maintaining a safe distance from those I considered had “shaky” personalities. I was, and still am to an extent, really private for that reason.
In my professional life however? I dove right into serving. I volunteered in the community, helped develop mentorship programs, accepted opportunities to speak and encourage others, as well as took on a lead role to advocate in general. I’m an advocate by nature. There are a number of different causes that are near and dear to my heart, but in general, it’s the realness of just helping people through tough times that draws me. The ability to help someone see outside of their dark moments. For those that are simply struggling with transitions in life, and need some guidance. I like to see the growth in people. I’d say it may be attributed to seeing and feeling the growth within myself. Such an amazing feeling, I want others to experience it as well.
Needless to say, I’ve always been intrigued by the human mind. The way it works, the way we think. I remember it like it was yesterday. The 1990 episode of the Oprah Winfrey show where she interviews a woman with 92 Personalities. This woman suffered from Dissociative Identity Disorder caused by years of sexual abuse of which began at the age of two. I attach the link for those who are interested, but I warn you, it is a graphic depiction of the woman’s struggles with this disorder. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0zZmh-JFyM
I share that because it’s one thing I recall in my childhood where I combined my genuine compassion for others and writing. I went on to do a writing project in school on the topic of Multiple Personality Disorders. I was nine years old guys, NINE. In fact, I was so moved by the issue I still have the report to this day. No exaggeration there. I’m certain I can go in my closet and find it right now, or somewhere in my garage. Point is, I remember submitting it and thinking, “I wonder if my teacher is going to think I’m weird for picking this topic to write about?” But I didn’t care. It was an issue that concerned me. Needless to say, I got an A on this report. But I realized even then, that there are so many people hurting out there that have serious traumas. They struggle, and I just want to find a way to help. Whether it’s with my writing, my counsel, my presence, my encouragement, or my inspiration. I just want to help.
My passion… HELPING OTHERS. I was asked during that LIVE with D’Symone, “How do you do it? How did you get here?” I’m asked that more often than you know. Like they say, if I had a nickel for every time… And my response always is, “but by the Grace of God.” I know it’s Him. I’m also major India Arie fan. Some years back I discovered this song of hers, “Thy Will be Done,” It’s been the soundtrack to my life ever since. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CIa1e731HE Find more of the amazing India’s work at http://soulbird.com/ I hope it blesses you too.
So, all that to say… that sometimes, just sometimes… we have signs from very early on in childhood. The things we’ve been drawn to, the things we like, the things we don’t like, the things that bring us joy, the things that make us extremely uncomfortable, the opportunities that present themselves, the jobs we’ve lost even. All these things and more, combined into one big pile represent that which you’ve been guided towards. Mind you, I’m well aware of how life works. We have dreams, desires, ambitions that we seek or would like to seek out. Life gets in the way. We have obstacles. We have other things that become “priority” over our dreams, desires, and ambitions. But we keep getting that tap on the shoulder. That opportunity that comes out of nowhere. The person who you barely know that sends you a message, an article, a flier (this happened to me) nudging you in the direction of your dreams. PAY ATTENTION! And go for it. That’s how you know. Those are the things that fuel your passion. It sets your soul on fire.
And you already know, it wouldn’t be a fitting end to a blog post if I didn’t end with a quote. In the words of the great Bishop T.D. Jakes, “Destiny is the push of your instinct, to the pull of your purpose.” http://destiny.tdjakes.com/
Instinctually, your destiny is already awaiting you. Surrender to the PUSH, and you’ll see just how far that PULL will take you.