I remember that little girl…


It’s been quite a while since I last wrote an entry.  I decided today was the day to share some of my self reflections.  It’s almost like a poem, but not really.   It’s the only way I could share my story so bare with me…

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When I was a little girl

I had such a small voice that never seemed to be heard
too afraid to yell or tell
because her threats were very persuasive
and the reason why I tried to be evasive
whenever I was in her presence
because she was stealing a child’s innocence
never once did she stop to think
how that would affect me years later
and oh, how I tried not to hate her

And He liked to touch me, too
every chance he got
a massage to my shoulder
a caress to my thigh
as a developing young girl
I never understood why
my body had begun to deceive me
I was still a child, couldn’t they see?
but my body swelled in areas that seemed to attract
hands and fingers from her, him and them and I could not keep them back
But why?!?
what had I done and how could I make them stop?
my mind had yet to catch up to my growing body
often I cried and asked why me

my legs where shapely and athletic, bronzed from playing in the sun
jumping rope, playing kickball or whatever was fun

my hips and breasts were becoming firm and round
resembling that of a grown woman
but, I was only nine, ten and eleven

yet, the seeds had been planted
and each new experience would only fertilize the grounds
that allowed me to question my morality
and for which I had once based my sexuality

However, on this day I confess what I have only disclosed to a few
I will no longer be held in bondage for today I start anew!

Thank you, Lord, I have forgiven them: she and he

I am tortured no longer, finally, I have been set FREE!!!

ilovemyself

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The Master Cleanse Journey – Embracing a new way of thinking!


I recently decided to perform a Master Cleanse. I hadn’t contemplated doing it before I saw a Facebook posting from a friend. She termed it the “Beyonce Diet”. At any rate, it caught my attention. As I began to read the postings of women who listed their reasons for participating, I decided that I would join in as well. I had heard of the Master Cleanse years ago, and know of people who have began, but never completed the program. I quickly went to Google to do some research.


What is a Master Cleanse?

The Master Cleanse is a Detox Diet. It is a simple program. First, squeeze Fresh Lemon Juice, then add Grade B Rich Maple Syrup, and Cayenne Pepper into Pure Water. Drink a minimum of six to twelve glasses throughout the day whenever one is hungry. Take a laxative, morning and evening; or instead of the morning laxative, you can do the Salt Water Flush. According to the information I read, every day of The Master Cleanse that you overcome the psychological need to eat, you feel a growing sense of control that motivates you to complete the process.

Why Now?

Honestly, for the last 8 months I have been “getting ready to get ready” to make healthier eating choices and to consistently engage in physical activity, but I kept falling short. My excuses where bigger than my desire to start and complete any program. However, the day I tried on 5 outfits and none of them fit like the last time I had worn them was a major blow to my self esteem. It was like a cloud that followed me everywhere I went. The feeling of being overweight again and physically out of energy was beginning to really get to me.

What is My Truth?

What I know to be true for me when it comes to gaining and losing weight is this: weight gain is a symptom of greater issues going on behind the scenes in my life. Weight loss is an indication that I am taking better care of myself, eating healthier and exercising. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercise regimen is a sign of my commitment to living and working at optimal performance. I have to choose to eat wisely and not allow my emotions to fuel my drive toward food.

The group of women whom I have chosen to join in the Master Cleanse pursuit are from all walks of life and geography. There’s a lot of funny stories and encouragement being delivered and it makes me feel good to know that I have support and to feel the collective positive energy. My goal is to complete 10 days of the Master Cleanse. That’s 3 days longer than the group has decided. I know I can do it because I am a post-op gastric bypass patient – February 3, 2003. After my surgery, I was on liquids for about 4 weeks before I transitioned to soft foods like yogurt and egg salad. Another benefit of this cleanse is that it will reset my pouch, and return my control over cravings. The gastric bypass surgery worked really well for me because I worked “it” I changed my eating habits and exercised consistently. That dedication yielded me a 140 pound loss.

Lessons Learned

After losing 140 pounds and regaining 40, I have been reminded of the consequences of making poor eating choices combined with a sedentary lifestyle, which also included unhealthy relationships with people. I am reminded of the promise I made to God while on the operating table that if I lived through the surgery, I wouldn’t allow myself to return to that state of living again. And, I won’t!

As I move through Day 1 of this cleanse, I thank God for allowing me yet another opportunity to honor my temple. I have severed a few unhealthy relationships and this is the next step in living healthier. And as I experience the cravings and desires for food, I will lean in that much closer to Jesus. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

“Enjoy the Journey… right where you are”


Well, it’s been a little while since I sat down to blog and I’m really feeling the need to share. I am feeling so grateful right now. I’m truly living in the present and it feels so good! This type of living requires you to be plugged in spiritually. And, I mean fully plugged into The Energy Source. When I am “plugged in” the rush of energy that I receive from the Most High is incredible, I have more clarity, I have more humility, and I am most useful to others. I am Present. I can reflect on my past, pray for guidance in creating my future, and walk more confidently by faith.

When you cease playing the procrastination game your world opens up to you – it expands. 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV “For we live by faith, not by sight.” I am committed to staying in forward motion, refusing to believe what the circumstances may suggest. I am a witness that miracles and blessings are intertwined and still occur in everyday life, regardless of what your eyes are showing you. Even if the circumstances have been self-inflicted, God loves us so much that He can and will still bring you through any situation. I can think of many instances where I had inflicted negativity upon myself. Being somewhere I shouldn’t have been, having negative energy in my circle and doing nothing about it but complaining, making decisions that I knew would reap a negative outcome. I could go on and on, but my point is this… I am here, stand corrected and continue to move forward.

“Thought is cause: experience is effect. If you don’t like the effects in your life, you have to change the nature of your thinking.” – Marianne Williamson. How powerful is that saying? It’s very real, too. Changing my thinking has definitely changed the effects in my life. And, if and when I resort back to my old habits and thinking, guess what? The same negative effects manifest in my life. I’d rather not live that way any longer so I purge my thoughts of negativity daily, heck, some times hourly!

I remember as a young girl searching for and living for my Destiny! I have since realized that the journey is far more exciting, empowering and worth the effort than the arrival of your destiny. I believe that being present in the moment while enjoying the journey is my destiny. I am here, in the now, and that is truly a blessing! I am learning to enjoy being a better servant to the Universe. It’s not always easy, fun and immediately rewarded, but the return of the energy flow is always a constant and always a blessing. I pray that whoever reads this posting will stop and think about where you are in your journey. Are you enjoying the journey… right where you are?

Fire Alarms and Horror Movies


Lately, I have become more attuned to listening to the soft voice of my spirit.  Do you listen to that voice?  The one that whispers an idea, a warning, a gentle nudge forward.  The one you hear just before that LOUD and OBNOXIOUS voice SCREAMS and says NO, WAIT, UH OH YOU CAN’T.  It’s the voice of doubt and hesitation with its cousins chiming in signing the chorus of FEAR!  We have become accustomed to  listening to the loudest voices we hear and following suit with their instructions.  Most times we end up with regret and say something like “I KNEW I should have just…” or “I KNEW I shouldn’t have…”  When that happens, why do we continue to listen to that voice?

If you are sitting in your office at your place of employment and the fire alarm goes off do you get up and look for the source of the fire?  Do you walk around hoping to smell smoke or see a flame before you evacuate the premises? Or, is the sound of the alarm enough to suggest to you “exit the building… NOW!”  Have you seen a horror flick where a woman might be walking home at night, decides to take the scenic route through the woods, hears the crack of a branch behind her then turns around and asks “Who’s there?”  She proceeds to walk in the direction of the sound and well… I think you know what happens to her, right?  You are sitting in the chair screaming “RUN GIRL GET OUT OF THERE!!!”

I believe that the first voice you hear is your soft “alarm”.  Not necessarily only warning you of danger, but also guiding you along your journey toward your purpose.  I believe it is the voice of God whispering and guiding you.  The more “still” you become, the clearer and louder the voice becomes to you.  If you believe that you are a child of God and that He has unconditional love for you then you will begin to trust that He will guide you in the direction in which you should go.  If you are always talking,  moving and listening to the tones of chaos how can you listen for His guidance? 

I am practicing my listen skills.  I am learning more about the Creator so that I am able to understand how He works and moves in my life.  I simply refuse to take the scenic route through the  woods, following those cracking sounds of braking branches that ultimately lead to my demise.   I am still, asking for guidance, listening, receiving and following the Light.

I Just Had to Open My Big Fat Blog….Again!


Okay, so it’s been a little while since I posted about my Health/Fitness journey.  And, there is a very good reason for the delay.  Would you like to read about it? Well, here it is…….

I am challenged with maintaining multiple balls in the air, consistently.  That’s always been true for me.  However, I am always working on and looking for ways to improve myself.  If my heart is devoted to one or two areas in my life, I’m all in, but some of my other loves may be neglected.  As is the case with my health/fitness journey.  I didn’t fall completely off the wagon, but it had taken a back seat.  I was experiencing some unhappiness in other areas of my life and I began consoling myself with my favorite drug — food.  Then there were the holidays, the after the holiday treats, the “snowstorm oh well I’ll hibernate” eating… ugh!  Can I say that I have an intense dislike for the winter months in Ohio as well? 

As is typical for me, I am now beginning to feel the budding of spring time and there is a stirring in my belly.  Couple that with a more flexible schedule since I am finally full-time self-employed and I feel excited by the possibilities.  Needless to say I am a warm weather baby, although I was born in November.  I have never fully embraced the winter season because I feel like I am somehow imprisoned.   I know that this is a state of mind, but still…  When it’s cold outside, but sunny, mentally I feel better.  However, when it’s cold, gray and 12″ of snow waiting for me outside my door AND I have to drive to work in those conditions, I feel imprisoned and a bit depressed.

Well, I have decided not to fret, but to act.  I am taking steps each day to add one more healthy act to my regimen.  Just one, not two.  This way I won’t feel overwhelmed.  Drink that additional 16oz. of water, choose whipped cauliflower over whipped potatoes, use no sweetener at all, etc.  And, when we finally have warmer temperatures, I will begin biking again, walking outdoors and naturally eating less because that’s what I always do.  It’s nice to fine tune my behaviors while recognizing and promoting my positive health/fitness patterns.  I don’t have to overhaul everything I do at once, just fine tune some areas. 

Above all, the single most important thing I will continue to do without fail is — Love Myself No Matter What!  I am so grateful that I am able to love myself more today than when I was 20.  So many years of self loathing really could have done a job on my future, but I refuse to allow my past to dictate my future.

A friend of mine said to me yesterday and I concur, the confidence that one experiences from personal development is the Ultimate Sexy!  Loving yourself from the inside out will allow others to be attracted to the authentically Sexy You!

What is it worth to you?


I am my single most important investment.  It has taken me years to completely embrace this idea.  I spent many years investing in my outward appearance.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that it isn’t important to be presentable and dress nicely.  After all, your first impression is what people see.  What I am saying, however, is that it is as important, dare if I say more important to invest in yourself as it relates to your authentic self, and nurturing your spiritual and personal growth.  As I pondered my thoughts while writing this, I had to consider what I deemed important at different stages of my life.  A nice purse, a sexy pair of shoes, my nails and hair immaculate, of course.  Whether I could afford the “real” thing or not, it would “look” as if I could.  Let’s consider these next few items…


This could easily be an investment of $349 for this Coach purse.


This investment is approximately $870 – Louis Vuitton Marbella shoes.

 


A decent Mani/Pedi is about $70.

 


Weaves, well they can cost upwards of $1,000 or more!

Investing in yourself is P•R•I•C•E•L•E•S•S!

 

How do you invest in yourself?  Well, I invest in myself by purchasing books that expand my base of knowledge, challenge me and enlighten me.  I attend conferences and seminars that will enrich my life experience, my business or my skill set.  I have more recently invested in a monthly coaching program.  I also invest in myself by making sure I have the kind of people I respect, admire and can learn from are in my inner AND outer circle.  Another way to invest in yourself is by listening more and talking less.  This is a freebie! Lastly, I invest in my spiritual development.  I have a spiritual family that includes my church family as well as those friends who are pursuing their spirituality in other forms.  I participate in spiritual activities and surround myself with spiritual people whenever I can.

When you begin to invest as much money and time IN yourself as you spend ON yourself you are well on your way to becoming a total package.  What is it worth to you to invest in yourself?

On March 1st, my Compass business will offer a new MAP (monthly action plan) that will be an amazing experience for those who decide to join me and hundreds of other ladies.  “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up:40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth” by Dr. Iyanla Vanzant, the bestselling author of Acts of Faith and In The Meantime.  “One Day…” has been broken down into 3 months of 2 to 3-minute daily online coaching sessions, 5 days a week.

I extend the offer to every woman who finds herself reading this blog post to invest in the next 90-days of your life by joining me for this MAP.  The experience will be priceless!

If you are curious about the contents of this book, take a sneak peek here.  If you are ready to enter your Soul, sign up here.

Now, buckle-up and hold on tight!!

72 Hours of No More “Must Haves”


On Monday, I decided not to wear any makeup to work.  I have never done this in my entire life.  Well, that’s not exactly true.  I didn’t wear makeup when I was a young girl.  But, I was always fascinated with cosmetics.  Eyeshadow, eyeliner, mascara, lipliners, lipsticks, gloss, foundation, blush, highlighters, etc.  A menagerie of products that would make you over.  Fabulous, right?  I still remember the day that I decided to “arch” my eyebrows.  I believe I was 11 years old.  I reached in to the medicine cabinet and picked up my father’s razor.  I proceeded to shave off my right eyebrow in its entirety.  As soon as I realized what I had done, my mother walked in to the bathroom.  She was mortified!  I can still remember the look on her face!  For the next month my nickname was “scotched eyebrows”. Yes, she used the name scotched as a noun, but that is besides the point.

I have worn some form of makeup since I was 16 and I’m 44 years old.  If I didn’t have on full makeup, at the very least I would have eyeliner and lipstick in the 80s and 90s.  I started to wean myself from eyeliner in 2000.  It was a major process, too.  I felt so weird without it.  I had to get to know myself again without it.  The color around my eyes began to lighten soon after I stopped wearing it and I began to look fresh-eyed.  I would wear eyeliner every now and then, but I never fell in love with it again.  I would go through these phases where I would wear makeup everyday and then wean myself from it because I felt like a slave to it.  It wouldn’t be fun anymore.  It was like I HAD to have it.  It was a Must Have everyday.  I can’t go to the store without makeup.  I can’t sweat while working out because my makeup will melt.  Wait, don’t kiss me, my lipstick will come off. Geez! That sounds so silly now, but I did say those things.

I admit that as I’ve matured and fallen more in love with myself, I have let go lots of hang-ups that used to run my life.  Although, I had come to a place where I could go outside without lipstick and just wear lip balm, I hadn’t come to the place where I would allow anyone to see me without my eyebrows filled in.  You see, my eyebrows never quite grew back after my first arching.  They were never full like Brooke Shields’.  Each and every day I would rise and fill them in before leaving the house.

Monday, I decided to wash my face, put on my moisturizer, spritz and dry my hair, put on some lip balm and walk out the door.  I had a slight panic attack when I pulled into the parking lot at work, but I took a deep breath and kept it moving.   I needed to follow through on my decision.  My reasoning for this act was to prove to myself that I am good enough, beautiful enough to go anywhere without any makeup, completely natural.  When I walked into the building and arrived at my office I went about my day as usual.  My supervisor and I talked as though nothing was different.  I did, however, point out to her that I didn’t have on any makeup, which she acknowledged, but it wasn’t a big deal to her.  We discussed it, laughed about it and went on with our day.  On Tuesday, I decided to try it again.  Again, no big deal.  I did have a little anxiety once or twice but it quickly went away.  I began to realize that people treat you like you treat yourself.  If you act “as if” it’s a problem to be natural, then that’s the vibe you will receive.  The first 48 hours went so well that I decided to repeat it on Wednesday.  Again, no big deal.  I feel that I accomplished my goal and overcame a private fear this week.  Today, I tweezed the extra hairs from my eyebrows, pulled out my eyebrow filler and began to shape them.  I added a little bronzer to my forehead and cheeks.  I finished my look with a little clear lip gloss.

I looked in the mirror and smiled.  You see, with or without makeup I am beautiful.  Beautiful faces are those that wear whole-soul honesty there!

Believe in the Power of You! – DeLores Pressley 1/29 @ 8aET


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DeLores Pressley, Motivational Speaker and Personal Power Expert, is one of the most respected and sought-after experts on confidence, motivation and personal power. She is an international keynote speaker, author, coach and the Founder of the Born Successful Institute and the CEO of DeLores Pressley Worldwide. She helps individuals increase confidence and use personal power to activate their ideal life.

Her story has been touted in Glamour, Washington Post, Black Enterprise, Success, Essence, New York Daily News and Ebony. She is a frequent media guest and has been interviewed on every major network: (ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX) including America’s top rated shows; OPRAH and Entertainment Tonight.

DeLores has spoken to thousands of people in over 77 major cities and countries. She is the author of Oh, Yes You CanClean Out the Closet of Your Life and Believe in the Power of You. She has received many awards and recognitions for her work including Top Ten Business Owners by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) & Key Bank Corporation, Outstanding Community Service Award from the University of Akron and ATHENA Finalist sponsored by Inside Business Magazine.

DeLores created Speak to Grow Your Business, an educational program teaching entrepreneurs, speakers and coaches how to speak and grow their business. She serves as the President of The ABCD, Inc. Board and Treasurer of the Ohio Chapter of the National Speakers Association Board. She is the Co-Host of radio show; “Wriggling in the Middle” heard on WHBC 1480am.

You are cordially invited to join us for the TOTALPackage™ Weekly Women’s Forum on Saturday, Jan 29 @ 8am ET. We will be discussing the topic “Believe in the Power of You”, hosted by our featured guest speaker, DeLores Pressley.

My Year In Review – 2010


I have had an amazing year! As I reflect over the last 12 months, I have stretched and challenged myself in ways that drew from my well of emotions.  I am grateful that today, I can identify more than 2 emotions.  I used to believe that my emotional well was dry, but it is not.  I’ve just learned to better identify them which, for me, enhances my life’s experiences.

  • Optimism / Disappointment
  • Love / Remorse
  • Submission / Awe
  • Joy / Surprise
  • Fear / Sadness
  • Delight / Excitement
  • Affection / Empathy

I ended 2009 a bit despondent.  My dear friend/sister, Christine, came to visit with me and that gave me a new perspective.  She gave me new hope and encouraged me not to quite pursuing my dreams.  She left me with a book entitled, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  What I took away from that book was  living in the now is one of the truest paths to happiness and enlightenment.  I realized that I hadn’t learned how to live in the now.  I had been reflecting on the past or working toward the future to the degree that I was detached from the present.  That was a light bulb moment for me. Wow!

Interestingly, 2010 began with me opening my heart to a relationship with someone from my past.  The person was someone whom I would never have thought could or would ever become a mate because he and I were good friends.  However, I decided to test my open-mindedness and allow myself to color just outside of the lines.  I love a challenge, especially when I am challenging myself.  The friendship advanced toward a relationship, but I decided that I am better suited being single for the time being.  SSF! (Single, Sexy and Free).

By mid-year, I was feeling restless again.  Life began to feel like the ebb and not the flow.  It was time to stretch some more.  I began to take a look at ways to increase my physical health and began a boot camp fitness program.  It was rough in the beginning, but I had anticipated that it would be since it had been quite awhile since I had challenged myself physically.  My sister Arlene had embarked upon a lifestyle change and I wanted to experience some of the results that I witnessed in her.  It was the beginning of a new relationship with her as we encouraged and supported each other.  Pounds began to shed and our sisterhood went to a new level. 

I also began to further define what I wanted to do with MineYourSoul™.  I enrolled in a branding seminar that shed light on the steps I would need to take in order to take this idea to the next level.  It was a lot of information that I had to digest, but I was grateful for the exposure.  That’s when I decided to begin this blog.

Christine and I decided to start a weekly women’s forum entitled TOTALPackage™, which was designed to assist us (women) in Taking Ourselves To Another Level by consistently cultivating a healthy mind, body and spirit.  The creation/development process was amazing, and an experience that I will never forget.  I couldn’t have done it without her and I am honored and blessed to be able to co-host these calls with her each week.  This experience stretched me in all the right ways.  I began to walk the talk more consistently as I entered a new chapter in my life.  When you step outside of yourself and your comfort zone in order to help others, you will be amazed by your growth.

Shortly after launching the TPForum, I had to make a decision that was not very easy for me.  It wasn’t easy because after investing quite a bit of time and resources into a business opportunity, I was presented with another opportunity that was more aligned with the woman I had become.  It felt right.  It felt real.  I couldn’t ignore that the time to ACT was now.  I discussed this with my close confidant and decided to walk down the aisle with this new opportunity.  How ironic was it that the company’s name is Compass?  A personal development company dedicated to helping women live their best lives!  Making the decision to partner with Compass became the springboard that I needed to leap from where I was currently (with all of my life experiences coupled with new, richer resources) to a place where I could truly help those whom God placed in my path.  Talk About Amazing!?!?   Taking a step into the unknown had many benefits.When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.”  That just about sums up my year.  Taking one step at a time into the darkness of the unknown and being taught to stand or how to fly.  Facing my fears and doubts is uncomfortable, but so very rewarding.

Lastly, I lost a very special person in my life on December 4, 2010.  Her name is Geraldine Chalklett.  Although she was in my life for a short time, she was rooted in my heart.  She has left me with a lifetime of love, laughter and memories, and a deepened desire to be of service.  I am grateful that I had a glimpse of an Angel right here on earth.  They do walk among us and if you are not careful, you will mistake them for just an Extraordinary person.  But, if you take a closer look, you will catch a reflection of who you, too, could become.  It was a privilege to have known you, loved you and learned from you.  Rest in peace Geraldine Chalklett (December 3, 1945 – December 4, 2010).

I Just Had To Open My BIG FAT Blog! #2


I CAN BE FAT & HAPPY, RIGHT?!?!? 

Let me stop right here and explain why I use the word Fat in my blogs.  This word triggers all sorts of feelings for me.  It brings back memories and not all of them are warm and fuzzy.  I use the word because it is how I defined myself  at different weight points  in my life.  I thought I was fat when I was 60 pounds, I was fat at 130 pounds, I was fat at 289 pounds (although doctors considered me morbidly obese), and to be quite truthful, I feel fat today.  I consider fat a state of mind.  How can one person be fat at all of these different weights.  Truly it isn’t possible.  So when I use the term fat I am not only speaking of my weight, but my state of mind.  After climbing to 289 pounds and then dropping 140+ pounds do you think I should have considered myself fat when I pulled on a size 4 pair of slacks?  NOPE!  But I did (at least that’s what I told myself). 

I have had a love-hate relationship with my weight for a very long time.  I am happy that I can look back at my journey over the years and see how far I have come.  I only have a “love me” relationship now because I choose to love myself at any weight.  It is truly mind-over-fat.  There I go again!  But remember, it is a state of mind.  So, it’s mind-over-mind for me. 

It has taken me years to understand that the battle with my weight is won in my mind.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t “think” myself thin.  On the contrary, I made a “decision” to have Gastric Bypass Surgery on February 3, 2003.  That was my “rebirth” date.  On that operating table, I was given a tool that was as mighty as having a hammer to construct a house.  It was with that decision that I began to understand that fat was a state of mind.   The above picture depicts how I can see myself when I look into the mirror if I am not aware of my thinking and if I don’t ask myself if it is true for me today.  I won’t discuss the image of the man… that would require an entirely different post *smile*

Losing the weight revealed more than I had anticipated when I set out on my weight-loss journey.  I realized that I could no longer hide behind the curves.  I had to begin the process of finding out how I had come to that place before discovering how not to return.  Almost with each pound lost came the reality that I had some major work to do outside of the gym.  It has been almost 8 years since my rebirth and I have managed to keep off roughly 110 pounds of the 145 pounds that I lost.  Not bad, I tell myself some days.  On other days…….

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