A Motivational Meal of the Week- Do Your Something

Aleppo.

Donald Trump. 

Vladimir Putin.

Police Brutality. 

Racism. 

Homelessness. 

Climate Change.

This dismal list goes on and on and it appears that it grows each time you log into your social media accounts or turn on your television. Another person of color becomes a hashtag, more evidence surfaces that proves Russian interference in our election, more homeless people, more unpresidented (fix it, Jesus) tweets, snow in Hawaii, I mean it’s truly a lot to process, right?

You grab your cape… 

Only to realize that you don’t know where to start. You’re only one person, how could you change the world? If you’re not careful, you’ll cave under the weight of trying to fix everything for everyone.  And you’ll miss an opportunity to do your something.

Do your something. 

As someone who has a heart for helping others, I completely understand how easy it is to want to fix everything for everyone. We see a problem and naturally we want to play a role in identifying the solution. But what happens when you try to assign yourself all of the world’s problems to solve? You burn out. You get overwhelmed. You lose your focus and thus misplace your power. Instead of going with what’s behind Door One, let’s select a different approach.

What if we focused on our something?

Your something can be as simple as you need it to be. For example, maybe your something is giving every stranger you meet a compliment. Or maybe it’s organizing a food/clothing drive for a local homeless shelter. Your something is personal and it’s your contribution to humanity. It’s your way of saying, “I see this, it is wrong and I want to play a role in making it right.” It’s important to note, again, that your something can be simple. We often think that our somethings, our contributions, have to be these elaborate sacrificial offerings and that’s just not true. Instead, I believe that the force of individual somethings is great enough to shift the direction of our world.

We are moving into a year of unknowns. People are afraid. All over the world, people are hurting and they rise each day from these hurt places searching for hope. They rise each day from these hurt places searching for a reason to trust in the goodness of humanity. Our individual somethings are their hope. Our individual somethings can save someone’s life. Our individual somethings can tell someone, “I see you, I see your pain, it matters and I’m going to love you through it.”

Do your something. The world is counting on it. 

A Motivational Meal of the Week- Jump!

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“If you want to be successful, you have to jump, there’s no way around it. When you jump, I can assure you that your parachute will not open right away. But if you do not jump, your parachute will never open. If you’re safe, you’ll never soar.” -Steve Harvey

Jump. 

Look pass the what ifs, mute the doubters, stop creating excuses to keep you within your comfort zone.

Jump. 

Contrary to popular belief, some of the best decisions you make in life are made when you don’t have all the answers; when you haven’t planned out every detail and assessed all of the risks. It’s true. Some of the best decisions are made when you trust the unknown.

There will never be a perfect time to jump. Fear will always try to talk you out of jumping and there will always be distractions. Jump anyway.

Jump because you’re tired of just existing. Jump because you’re tired of settling for crumbs when abundance is your birthright. Jump because you’re determined not to allow complacency to suffocate your greatness. Jump because you’re afraid of waking up one day only to realize that you’ve drifted through life unfulfilled.

There is a dream planted deep down inside of you. A dream that seems impossible. A dream that scares you. A dream that is whispering, “Jump already!”

In the picture above, I am the one wearing the fashionable elephant floatie. Do you see the look of excitement on my face? I couldn’t swim one bit, but I was fearless. You know why? Because I trusted that elephant floatie with my life- literally. I wasn’t afraid to jump, because I knew that floatie wouldn’t allow me to drown.

God is our elephant floatie.

And He will not allow us to drown. When you jump in faith, you cannot fail. This I know for sure. When you jump in faith, when you say, “My dreams are worth it. I am worth it,” you can be as excited as I was in that kiddie pool, because you know that what you’re jumping into will be so much better than what you left behind.

A Motivational Meal of the Week- Check Your Garden

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Your mind is your garden. You determine what grows there. 

When’s the last time to checked your garden?

What’s growing?

Have you allowed your fears to till the fertile soil of your mind?  If so, pull the weeds disguised as excuses, doubts and imposed narratives of who you are and what you’re capable of becoming.

The weeds choke your greatness. And deplete your garden of the nutrients it needs to produce an abundant harvest. Aren’t you tired of living in scarcity? Aren’t you tired of settling for crumbles while others enjoy a feast?

Stop envying other people’s gardens. You have the same fertile soil. You have the same greatness inside of you. What grows in your life is produced in your own garden, no one else’s.

So get out in your garden, assess it, don’t be afraid to pull things from the root even if they were planted by people you love. You’ve all given people, situations and/or circumstances the shovel to plant negativity, fear, doubt in our garden. It’s okay. Just start pulling those things from the root and replacing those bad seeds with good ones.

This is your garden. This is your mind. You protect that shovel and you plant those seeds that will bring you joy.

 

The Tough Issue- “No More Band-Aids”

I live in Charlotte. This city has been home to me since 2007. As a Charlotte resident, and as a Black woman, here’s my opinion on what’s happening in Charlotte right now…

Everyone wants to criticize the methods and no one is talking about healing the broken spirits.

Tell me.

How many media outlets showcase positive images of black people throughout the year? When are we not depicted as threats?

Then. Tell me. Why would we consider the media a credible source of telling our story?

Now.

While I do not promote violence of any kind, I think it is incredibly bold and insensitive to tell hurt people that they’re wrong for expressing their anger in ways that we deem inappropriate.

And then what?

They’re supposed to go sit in timeout and think about what they’ve done? Just like the judicial system tells them to just sit in jail whenever they make a mistake.

So what am I saying?

I am saying that it’s easy to criticize, the real work is in developing solutions. I am saying that we need to address the pain, we need to provide safe places for us to process our hurt.

I am saying that the same redeeming grace you sing about at church on Sunday applies to each and every human being. Grace is not conditional. Grace is not earned. And we are all equipped with enough grace, love and compassion to overcome the evil that’s in this world.

The Tough Issues- Food For Thought

A child is fatally hit by a car while playing outside.
No one tells the parents, “Well, if your child had not been playing outside, they would still be alive today.”

A black man gets shot by police. A black woman gets shot by police.

And people say, “If only they had followed the officers’ instructions, they would still be alive today.”

That sounds a lot like, “If only they had listened to their Massa’, they would still be alive today.”

A white man kills nine black people during their bible study. And the police treat him to lunch at Burger King.

People say, “He had a troubled past riddled with mental health challenges.”

An extremist plants an explosive device in a dumpster. Gets in a shootout with police and is wheeled out in a stretcher to receive medical attention.

People say, “We need to understand his motives.”

You cannot tell us how to “stay alive” when you share the mindset of those who keep killing us. You don’t get to discredit our pain because you know “several good cops.” Please ask them what they’re doing to eradicate police brutality. I’ll wait.

If your first reaction when a person of color gets killed is, “What did he/she do to deserve it?” You are a part of the problem. Own that. And if you’re not willing to do the personal work to change your views, don’t say anything at all.

Why Are The Facts So Important?

Why is it important to know all of the facts before you extend compassion and love to people who are hurting?

 

Will the facts help you determine if that person deserved to die?

Will the facts help you determine if that person “looks like a bad dude?”

 

And whose facts are you trusting?

 

Because George Zimmerman taught us

That facts can be manipulated

To protect and serve the guilty

 

 

So really… why are the facts so important to you?

 

Will the facts help ease your guilty conscience?

Will the facts relieve you of your responsibility to take action?

 

Have you ever lost a loved one? Someone whose life mattered to you?

 

Did you need the facts before you mourned?

Did you need the facts before you cared?

 

 

The facts will never resurrect lost lives.

And the facts do not exempt us from practicing the most important rule which is to… 

 

 

“Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”

 

 

A Motivational Meal of the Week: Every Opportunity Doesn’t Elevate You

While I understand the value of an opportunity, I also understand the value of being selective. Trust me, I’ve learned this lesson through experience. Over the last several years, I have been presented with many opportunities and, up until this year, I’ve accepted them all.  And some people would tell you that’s the way you move up in the world- you accept every opportunity, work hard, sacrifice your sleep, just grind until you make it.

I don’t subscribe to that philosophy. And here’s why… 

A mentor of mine once told me, “You can be very busy doing nothing.” And that’s so true. You can sit on committees, serve on boards, have seven different companies, work full-time, rescue kittens from treetops, etc. and still find yourself asking the question, “What is my purpose?”

You can grind every day and sacrifice your sleep and well-being to achieve your vision of success. And you’ll feel good about it until you burn out. You’ll feel good about it until your loved ones become strangers and you’ll find yourself asking the question, “Was it worth it?”

Every Opportunity Doesn’t Elevate You

Without a vision for your life, you’ll confuse opportunities that will distract you for opportunities that will elevate you. When you have a vision that’s backed by a strategic plan, you’ll be able to vet your opportunities to determine if they align with your vision. For example, if you desire to become a real estate agent, and you’re presented with an opportunity to intern with a media firm as a editorial assistant, you’ll be able to quickly determine that this opportunity isn’t for you. The same is applicable for business. If you’re an entrepreneur and you’re presented with an opportunity to work with a new client, you don’t want to jump into a business relationship without vetting that client. You have to make sure that the customer is a good fit for your business before entering into a contractual agreement, right?

It’s Okay To Be Selective

And I mean truly selective. If you’re like me, you’ll try to justify exploring new opportunities, even when  you know they don’t align with your vision and strategic plan. Time after time after time, I’ve found myself overwhelmed and frustrated, because I was too afraid to say, “Thank you for thinking of me, but this opportunity is not a good fit for me.”

Eventually I had to learn that every opportunity isn’t my opportunity and I cannot be everything to everyone. I have not perfected this, but I am setting the intention to get better at it every single day. I am recognizing the fact that people don’t seek to over-commit, we have all been taught that our purpose is wrapped up in the doing, so we do so much that there’s no time left to live your life and that’s unacceptable.

What Is The Vision For Your Life?

Be clear. Really use your imagination. Think and dream big. What is the ideal vision for your life? Once you have it written down, establish a plan. What are the steps you can take to make this vision a reality? What kind of opportunities do you need to attract to make this vision real in the natural? With that insight, you’re able to screen each opportunity to ensure that you’re pursuing the opportunities that will elevate you versus distract you.

One last thing, take care of yourself in the process. Rest, exercise and relax. I promise I’m preaching to myself on this one. I have two mantras for my life, they are, “What you seek is seeking you” and “You have the power to create the life you want to live.” Understanding these things to be true, we don’t have to obsess, we don’t have to burn ourselves out. You don’t earn badges for that. Remember, in order to enjoy life you have to be around to live it.