Sunday, March 23, 2014

What is Your Vision




Proverbs 29:18
If there is no vision the people will perish






So what exactly does this proverb mean? 
Well, simply put, a dream goal fantasy idea whatever you want to call it has to start with a feeling that turns into a thought that grows into an idea that is fed by a strong urge, which some people refer to as passion that manifests into a vision.

A few definitions of vision I have found:
1. The manner in which one sees or conceives of something.
2. The mental image produced by the imagination.
3. Unusual competence in discernment or perception; intelligent foresight.
4. The faculty of sight
5. Something that is or has been seen.

Imagine our world if Ben Franklin, MLK, Sojurner Truth, The Wright Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Oprah, Steve Jobs...I could go on and on.  Each of these individuals had at some point or another fantacized about their achievements.  Because they decided to leave fantasy island and manifest their ideas, humanity has been the lucky beneficiary.  They have contributed to the evolution of man.  Manifesting their visions caused ripple affects.  Inspiring and igniting more visions for others.  Think about this; Ben Franklin discovered electricity, because of this discovery we are able plug our lights, power up computers, watch tv, toast bread; charge our phones and the list goes on.  Imagine what life would be like if Ben Franklin chose to not honor his vision.  What kind of world would we live in.

Do not be afraid of your vision.  You never know how you might benefit the world you live in. 







Sunday, March 16, 2014

ASK - SEEK - KNOCK


My mind was a little bit blown at church today!  So you know the usually songs, church hype person gets on the mic to get everyone ready for an awesome message (show).  After the hype person gets everyone's energy in a great space, then comes the moment we have all been waiting for...the anointed message as shared by one of the chosen vessels who've answered the call to preach/teach/reach/guide the masses through this beautiful/confusing/frustrating/amazing spiritual life that we've all been granted.

Pastor Mark opened with quoting Matthew 7 (Ask and it shall be given - seek and ye shall find - knock and the door will be open to you.  I have heard and read this scripture at least a thousand times over the years and never truly broke it down like it was broken down for me.

Ok, here is the quick and dirty of each of the three sections of what stuck with me.

1. Ask and it shall be give - Over the years I would read this line and think that I whatever God deemed me worthy of attaining, I would be blessed with.  I didn't always think I was worthy of much, so i rarely asked.  Here is what blew my mind a bit..."you are connected to the wants or lack there of and the consequences of them."  You ask for something deep down feeling you will never get it or you. You are connected to the energy good and bad that you put out there.  You ask for millions of dollars, you have to be able to deal with what comes with the riches.  How will you honor the universe for this gift?  Will you just gift yourself with material gifts or will you take advantage of your sudden financial freedom create wealth by nurturing your purpose?  What will you do when you've been heard? Ask with the intention of knowing you will receive EVERYTHING you asked for.  

2.  Seek & ye shall find -  Remember when we were kids and we played hide & seek?  the best part of the game was finding someone!  Life is a big 'ol game of hide & seek!  Seriously.  Unfortunately, many of us end up seeking and never finding those nuggets of greatness those catalysts that life has to offer.  I have spent many a morning/night asking, pleading, begging, crying to God about what I hoped and kind of believed that I could be given.   The truth is, I only would seek with the thought in the back of my heart/mind that I probably would not find it.  The simple yet mind blowing statement as stated by the preacher today...Seek KNOWING that you will find!!  Wha??!!??  Seriously, all about a state of mind. All about believing.  All about not being afraid of finding what you have been seeking...wow

3. Knock & the door will be open to you - Preacher said...Inspiration without action creates NOTHING!  I have been guilty of this over the years.  I have, over the years, been blessed with some of the most amazing ideas.  You know the kind of ideas that cause you to sit straight up in your bed in the middle of the night searching for pen/pencil to put to paper.  Writing every detail down as it flows from your heart to your brain to your hand...when the last detail has been finally written...sleep finds it's  way back to your body.  That has happened to me a couple of times over the years.  I wake up the next morning ready to take on the world with this new plan.  Ready to present this idea to the "right person(s)."  I get to the front door of opportunity and fate and freeze.  Wondering why on earth this completely out of the box, irrational, unconventional plan would work.  "YOU'RE A MOTHER FOR GOODNESS SAKE!" So i walk away and continue on with life.  I haven't always walked away. On a an occasion or two, I did gather the courage to ignore the rationale and knock on the door...only to find that it wasn't the right door.  My reaction to that...this must be a sign from the universe to not do this. Stop the madness.  Then there was that time I published a book, I drove by myself to DC with 3 kids, I flew to/from Zimbabwe with my son, I landed a job that I thought was out of my wheelhouse of knowledge, I helped a women through labor....the doors were answered.  The truth of the matter was/is that you/I don't have a choice but to keep knocking at every door.  Constantly knocking like my/your life depended on it, because it does!  

And so it is...





Friday, February 28, 2014

You Really Like Me....




Why, of all the words and phrases that have been uttered in Oscars do Sally Field's words stay with us? "You like me, you really do like me!"  Finally feeling loved, respected and most of all validated by her peers.  Although she has stated that her words were parodied from a few lines in her movie Norma Rae, these words resonated deeply with people.

It's human nature to want validation.  It's human nature to want people to like you.  It's not abnormal at all to compromise a bit of yourself to be more likable, compromise a bit of yourself to be validated.
The problem comes in when you start to lose yourself in compromise.  Lose yourself in what other people feel and think about you.  It becomes a problem because now it's no longer about you, but about everyone else and what they think of you.   

What starts as innocent and simple want for validation becomes a necessity.  Becomes the make you make decisions.  Becomes the way you prioritize.  Becomes the way you decide every aspect of your life.  The problem with this...you find yourself not being able to please anybody least of all yourself. You start not liking who you are because you've lost sight of what matters most...you.

"If self love and forgiveness got together, their baby would be freedom" ~ Anonymous

So what do we do to pull ourselves out of this validation spiral?  Take a deep breathe...Start caring more about what you think about yourself.  Start making your opinion count for more than just a confirmation of other people's opinion's of you.  Start forgiving yourself for not showing up in your own life.  Start realizing that your opinion about yourself matters so much more than anybody else's.   Ahhhh...I feel so much better already.  

Great moment at church was when the preacher/teacher said that he wanted to give the congregation a gift: "I don't care what any of you think of me!" He said emphatically, "and I hope that you can take this gift and use it.  His opinion of himself ranks higher than all others.  What an awesome gift.  The freedom to not give a damn about anyone's opinion, because mine is the most important.  


 

"It's not your job to like me, it's mine" ~ Byron Katie

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

THE LONGEST JOURNEY

 The longest distance in the world is from the head to the heart

The head lays out the plan. Making sure to breakdown every detail of every detail of every detail.  The heart on the other takes that idea and confirms the awesomeness of the plan and tells you to GO FOR IT! 

Here is the problem, at least for me;  I get a plan in my head...I get excited about it in my heart...I go back to my head and make this idea so incredibly big and unattainable that all of a sudden I feel foolish for thinking I could make this plan happen.   I mean seriously...What was I thinking?  Then my heart breaks under the weight of the deferred/missed potential.  I am amazed that I've realized any plans/ideas/dreams with this haphazard dance.  It's like walking to the edge of a diving board that you've jumped, flipped, dove off a million times, bouncing just enough to test it's buoyancy, then someone (you) says that it is way too impossible for you to jump off this board.  Didn't you just see all those other people who were much more qualified, had better agility do amazing dives? So you do the sensible thing, ignoring the urging in your heart, and walk away.

Another little ditty i read~
"As long as we maintain a rational perspective on our personal condition, we will remain stuck. In psychological jargon, this is called "isolating". It means walling off an emotionally charged situation and thinking, rather than feeling, it through. No emotion, no investment - no investment, no movement. It's really pretty simple stuff."

So as I think about those moments when I find myself staring into the water at the edge of a board, I guess my conversation in my head is - pause - think - and then listen to your heart.  Doing this exercise has helped me pave a more defined road which leads from my head to my heart.  Because it is an exercise, I don't/won't beat myself up if it takes multiple attempts to take that leap and dive in.  
What do you guys think?  Do you have this same challenge?

thanks for reading...the entry brought to you by the head meets heart experience.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My Daddy

My father passed on November 11.  God that was an awful day.  Hearing/reading the words that my father was dead.  I was driving to work when I heard the news.  I thought I could go on with my scheduled day without issue.  I guess that was the part of me that wasn't really willing to process it.  Just go to work and check in later in the day with the family to make sure everyone is okay.  I really wanted and needed my mom at that moment, so I called her to let her know.  I didn't expect her to breakdown as much as she did.  I expected her sweetness and love and compassion, but not her heartache.  I believe that was the point I talked to each of my siblings.  Each of them feeling the weight of the very sudden absence of our dad.

I spent the next week receiving love and condolences and flowers and more love and a multitude of stories about who my father was to people.  How he affected their lives, how he helped shape who they were how he made them laugh how he supported them through so much of their journey. It was beautiful.  It was a week filled with mourning and pride.  

That week ended with a memorial that my sister Bertha  did an amazing job pulling together. We both unfortunately missed our father's funeral in Zimbabwe.  My mother came with me to the memorial in Ohio.  I thought it would be good for her to make her peace.   See my parents had not seen each other in at least 30 years, so I was nervous and anxious about how she would do at the memorial.  I didn't realize how much I would need her during that time.  

See, during the memorial and actually during the prior week I realized how alone I was.  I knew very few people at my own father's memorial.  I felt completely out of place.  Almost guilty as I sat with my mom.  I held her hand for dear life.  I had to get up to speak and be vulnerable in front of a group of people whom loved and respected my father.  A group of people who knew my siblings well, but did not know me.  My mother was my comfort and the one whose eyes I could look into as I stood behind that podium sharing my story of my dad.  My acknowledgement of our existence together.    

I grew up with my mom in the US and my siblings grew up with dad and my step mom in Zim.  I really just started to get to really know my dad over the last twelve or so years.  Getting to know who  he was.  What he thought was important. How he felt about me. How much he loved his grandkids. Our relationship was new.  I finally had my dad in my life.  

On social media, or phone calls from multiple relatives and family friends to the memorial...It was my painful reality.  I wanted to share my story online and post pictures of my mom and dad.  I had not been an integral part of the majority of my father's life.  For the longest time my father existed to me in my heart and mind and a few old pictures.  I grew up wishing and hoping and praying that one day we would be reunited.  I knew he loved me,  I just couldn't be with him.  I was his American daughter.  

A week after the memorial in Ohio, I went to Zimbabwe with my son.  It was a time to memorialize my father at home.  It was my very first time in my father's home.  His wife, my stepmother, was and has been the most accepting and loving step mother to me.  She welcomed me with open arms.  As I walked in the door and took in the space the once housed my father, my heart broke a little more.  I wasn't a part of it.   I didn't get to grow up in this house.  I walked around taking it all in.  Wishing for my dad to be there.  My sister and brother had been there for the last couple of weeks.  They were handling the difficult tasks that come with the passing of a parent.  They were impressive.  That week I met a large amount of family.  I had seen pictures of some and had random phone conversations with others...this was the first time I was meeting uncles and aunties and cousins face to face.  I was again made painfully aware of how much of my father's life I had not actively been a part of.    Please don't get me wrong, I LOVE my new found family. I love understanding myself more because of my family.  I love them all.  It's because of how they were toward me that made my heart break more.   I wanted my mom so much.  She was my safety.   I could put my head in her lap and cry myself to sleep.  I could talk to her about what our time was like with my father.  I could fully embrace my story.

My father was a great man.  I wish I had had more time with him.  I wish that I had had an opportunity to see Zimbabwe through his eyes.  I'm glad that I consistently heard how much he loved me.  


I miss my father...








Saturday, January 4, 2014

I AM PLEASED TO ANNOUCE THE BIRTH OF...

I started this blog entry a good four or so months ago.  I got as far as the title of this blog entry and the words below in red.  I sat for a few hours just stuck and not able to move past the word like.  How ironic, I finally publish a book, but I had writers block and couldn't write about it.

I woke up with this indescribable feeling in the pit of my belly.  
It wasn't illness or pain or even butterflies...And not the anxious excited butterflies, more like

Today is a new day.  Today I can share a little more about my book.  About my project, that took me an extremely long time to complete, BUT I FINALLY FINALLY DID IT! This was a passion project that wouldn't leave me alone.  

So why this project?  I am a mother who realized I felt like my own story as a mother was not relevant. Having conversations with other mothers made me realize I wasn't alone in my feelings.  Eight years, multiple revisions, ridiculous amounts of fear, a multitude of supporters, and twelve amazing stories later...I have published a book.

Getting women to focus on themselves is not easy, getting mothers to do the same is nearly an impossible task.  I had twelve mothers, including myself write a story about motherhood.  The stories ranged from birth and international adoption to the simple joys of being a parent.  
This work is something I am so proud of.  So incredibly proud of.  These women who were so brave, open and raw enough to share such powerful stories trusted me to do something positive with their stories.  Going into this project, I don't think I realized how important this work was.  

A majority of the mothers who participated in this project let me know after how great it felt to write their stories.  How much writing their own story made them realize how relevant they were.  When they finally allowed themselves to be self-centered for a moment, they felt really great about their stories-about themselves.  

The feedback that I have received from this book is beyond anything I could have imagined.   

A few testimonials -  "Reading Mother's Milk has helped me heal"/ "I have a new understanding mother!"/"I don't feel alone in my story anymore."  

I had started to realize that this work was/is so important and was confused why God gave it to me to create and produce.  When I look back on it, I realize that God gave me this project to heal my own heart.  Help me come to terms with my own story.  Be comfortable using my own voice.  

Although I held the book in my hand, I still couldn't wrap my head around the fact that it was complete. Fast forward about four months later (now), I am finally able to write about it. Today, I was able to let you know in my blog that Mother's Milk is an amazing book that I am responsible for birthing.  Using my author voice. Crazy!   

So please support this beautiful work.  Part of the proceeds go to help orphans in Zimbabwe.

And so it is...

Thursday, January 2, 2014

ANOTHER DAY INTO 2014

One day at a time is how life should be taken.  One moment at a time is actually what gets me through. Today was another day into the new year.  Sometimes the ending/beginning of a year can feel like a ton of pressure.  You either have to get that last bit of paperwork done before the 31st, finally complete your list of goals, get your new year goal list done, start your goals/resolutions/live up to expectations that you've set for yourself in your mind because you think that is what you are supposed to do and on and on and on and on and on....PRESSURE!

One moment helps me not feel so much of that pressure.  That pressure is what is causing me to feel the way I feel right now...weighted down and foggy.  Seeing glimmers of light on occasion and having moments that feel like i'm floating on a cloud...but then my reality sets in and I fall through the cloud and land on what feels like a field of light bulbs.  One moment at a time.  That's what's working right now.

This is my glimmer of light, this writing.  Finally publishing my book was another glimmer of light (i'll get into the more in another blog entry), but you can order it here: http://mothersmilkworld.wix.com/mothersmilkworld.

Making it one moment at a time.

Breathing...




Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HAPPY 2014...

Hi everyone!
It's been forever, I know.  Extreme writers block and maybe life lobbing a whole lotta lemons my way. So here I am icing my bruises from those lemons.  Here's the thing, 2013 has brought a ton a beautiful/powerful "OMG" moments that have helped me realize some of my own strengths and potential.  It's just that sometimes its REALLY hard to celebrate life when someone you love is struggling through it.  It's hard to enjoy my life when someone I love has passed away.  The one who struggling is my mother and the one who has passed on is my father.  The people who are responsible for my existence.  My heart is struggling to feel really good and whole again.

I am grateful for my son, because he gives me the motivation I need to get up and function through these challenging times.  I am blessed to have family and friends because this road would be even more intense.  I will breathe through it all and reflect on the great moments.

That is all I have for now.  This is the most i've written in a long time.  I know it's not much, but it's healing.

Cheers to 2014 being about more writing, loving, traveling and surprising self realizations!