I’m thinking about what I know versus what I “know.” It’s said there is only eighteen inches between my head and my heart. Eighteen inches? That’s less than two feet! This is baffling to me.

db487841-3ce0-4a3b-81a8-67f12e2856bc-3909-00000384239f5c10-1This is how this looks to me: Knowledge in my head refers to things I’ve learned. I read it, I took a class, I heard about it. Maybe its information I have committed to memory. I may not have personal proof, but I believe what I’ve been told. However, when I receive new information, the information I have is challenged causing me to be unsure of what I knew before.

Knowledge in my heart is information I know based on evidence or rather history. For example, you can’t make me believe that my red shoes aren’t going to be comfortable. Every time I wear them, they are comfortable. I can take long walks without my feet hurting. Or, you would have a hard time convincing me that “Ann” is an evil woman. It would easier to believe that maybe Ann had a bad day or possibly an evil twin. I’ve known Ann for thirty years and she’s honest, sincere, kind, patient and loyal. Based on my history with Ann, I know it would take an extreme circumstance to rile her up.

This leads me to my case.

I know I’m great – in my head.

I know I’m smart – in my head.

I know I’m capable of reaching my goals – in my head.

I know I can succeed in business – in my head.

I know what the Bible says about me. I am God’s treasure. I am beloved. I know these things – in my head.

7697b5e3-83d3-43df-947d-b8073518431c-3909-00000384d3582293Then why don’t I live like I know? Why don’t I hold my head up like I know? Why is fear, self-sabotage, and retreat my default response? Time after time, I have this conversation with myself. I have this conversation with others. I journal about it. I write a goal list. I tell myself I can do it. I’m ready to go. Until it’s time to actually go or what we say now: level up.

Also, why do I have more confidence in Ann than I have in myself? Wasn’t I smart to pick a friend like her? Doesn’t that show good judgement on my part? Why can’t I give myself credit for my accomplishments?

Now, it’s a week later, and I haven’t started on the goal I set and I am fussing at myself. The self-condemnation and verbal abuse. The problem with this conversation is it’s counterproductive. Berating myself doesn’t motivate me to do anything different. Even when my peers encourage me, I can’t receive it because the negative things I say to myself is speaking louder in my head than the encouragement and vote of confidence they are offering.

You may say: Wait! Aren’t you the same girl who tells us about declarations and affirmations? Doesn’t that make you a hypocrite?

Well, yeah. Yes, it does make me a hypocrite. I’m a hypocrite in process of change. I recently learned my declarations must be statements that I believe. If it’s something I want to believe then I should repeat it as such. So, I will admit, this revelation has changed the way I do declarations. For example, instead of making the declaration “I am confident.” The new declaration or affirmation is, “I am learning to have confidence in myself. I am learning to acquire wisdom from my losses. I am also learning to celebrate my wins.”

The latter statement is different because it makes me personally responsible for steps to build my confidence level.

As I implement this new knowledge, my goal is to be more consistent in what I know I’m supposed to do; things I enjoy doing.

There’s much unrest this time of the year. Lots of conversation and bemoaning regarding what has or has not been accomplished for the calendar year. For me, it produces anxiety because, without a solid plan, the “discussion” is counterproductive. And didn’t we moan about this last year? Cycles…

So, I take time out to evaluate. And I deal with the why. Why didn’t I do what I set out to do? What about my thinking and sabotaged me into not pursuing my dreams?

What’s the point, you say? I’m reminding us that any successes we have achieved in life means we have the tools to be successful again. If we had the tools to win before, we can win again. Let that sink into your heart. Let’s learn to cheer for ourselves with the same energy we cheer for others.

I have a 7-Day Journey available on this page. Just click the link and download. Please follow and share. Let me know what you think. I think I’ll go back and read it again.

img_0243Hello Overcomer!

Whew! What a week, huh? Yeah, I hear you.

Well, as promised, I have a free gift for you. It’s A 7-Day Journey for the Overcomer. Go ahead and download it!

While you’re here, sign up for my blog. If you are new to this site, WELCOME! Look around and let’s get acquainted!  Feel free to share with your friends as well.

Go ahead and click the link above and enjoy!

I’ve been on a consistent roller-coaster for years. Maybe I should call it a merry-go-round. I’ve not been able to fully embrace healing and freedom because of one thing. Cycles.

Here’s how it looks. I work my plan and I get settled, becoming comfortable. I’m doing great.Six months. One year. Maybe even two years. No anxiety or panic attacks. No cutting. No extended periods of depression anger or picking at my skin. Until…

The problem with until is I don’t realize I’m tumbling slowly down a steep hill until someone says something or I find myself frantically searching for something to cut with. After much frustration, I am forced to reflect over the previous weeks, recognizing the cycle I easily fell into. Isolation, silence, anger, feelings of inadequacy. It looks different, same cycle. Anger because I “should” have recognized what was happening.img_0237

How do I fully embrace healing and progress knowing there might – no, will be another bad day. Another bad week and possibly another bad month. For me, it is disheartening to know that another season will come around. But don’t we all have struggles? Don’t we all have things that we deal with? Of course. 

In DBT (Dialectical behavioral therapy), there’s a practice called radical acceptance. Radical acceptance says, “I accept things I have no power to change.” For me, it means while I prepare for better things, will not stress over where they are now. I am giving myself permission to grow. It’s my response to knowing that depression and anxiety are diagnosis just like high blood pressure or arthritis.32db9a89-6f0f-49ea-b640-cbbd19186185-27583-00001bcc12b45615

What’s the difference this time?

Grace. I’m learning to extend grace to me. What does that look like? Not being ashamed or condemned for how I am feeling. Owning my feelings and working through them. Accountability by letting my community know where I am. Accepting the help I need. Recognizing the progress I’ve made. Reviewing my plan of action and making necessary adjustments.

Grace. Taking a time out when I need it while being intentional not to isolate. I’m still learning not to respond to these seasons with anger and frustration.

Cycles. Unhealthy cycles are made to be broken. I refuse to be stuck in a cycle. Another way to extend grace to myself and break this cycle is by being aware. I must explore what is happening internally, deal with my triggers and learn a different response. Learning my triggers and how to work through my feelings takes the potency out of the trigger.

a9b8ab20-9664-4fa8-b37a-e48a9b90d1c9-27583-00001bcc4a5c4e7dUnderstanding your triggers is like having an emergency fund. A financial emergency doesn’t have the same stress attached to it when you already have the money set aside for the “emergency.” This is the same with triggers. When you understand them, you are already prepared to deal with them when they happen.

My therapist says the healing process is like an onion. There are layers, which means I must give myself grace as I dealt with each one. 

 

Declarations:

  • I am not stuck in a cycle
  • I am an overcomer
  • I accept me for who I am
  • I am valuable
  • I am learning to process my emotions in a healthy way
  • I am learning my triggers – I have power over them
  • God has equipped me with the strength and ability to handle my emotions
  • I take ownership and responsibility for my healing

Here is a portion of the lyrics from the song that helps me:

“This will end like I want it to, I win
The enemy will have to lose again
See, I’m a different fighter now
And I have God to thank
‘Cause His joy is my strength
See the devil will learn it’s a mistake
When I am sure
That I’m not going in cycles
I’m not going in cycles
I’m gonna break these cycles
I’m not going in cycles”

This weekend I did something out of the ordinary. I took a time out. In efforts to protect my peace and make sure I am keeping my cup full, I decided to spend the day at a monastery. The Monastery of the Holy Spirit, is located in Conyers, GA with beautiful trees and landscaping. I was drawn to it for one thing – silence. I needed it. I didn’t have a plan for the day. I took three journals along with an open heart. img_0119-1

My first stop was the sanctuary. The architecture was simple and beautiful. Going on a Sunday was not a good idea since the visitor center, museum, shop and garden were closed to the public. On the other hand, it was an excellent idea few people were there. After walking around for a while, I found a “nook” in a corner, in the shade which had the perfect breeze. I unpacked my journals and sat. I breathed in the silence and waited. I waited to cool off first, then I waited to, once again, still my mind.

Wait! Let me backup to the sanctuary. I wasn’t seated five minutes before my eyes started this random leaking thing. I felt peaceful. I knelt on the floor. I felt like I was where I needed to be in the moment to get direction and clarity. I’ll be honest. I have a great deal of things I want to accomplish in life; many people I want to help – but I want it to manifest NOW. I have many questions and prayers prayed. I was restless for answers. img_0134

The theme of the day quickly came as I sat in the sanctuary:

“Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.” James 1:3-4

I had to submit to that. I had to realize that in order to get where I’m going, the process is unavoidable. I’ve said many times, the lesson is in the journey. I have to heed my own advice. 

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God has equipped me with great strength. There are battle scars, but I am still standing in the strength of God.

This, my dear friends, is the life of an overcomer. We learn our lessons. We give ourselves space and grace to grow. We practice self-care. We reflect and make adjustments. Don’t trust your feelings or your thoughts. You may not “feel” like an overcomer. You may even have the evidence to back up that feeling. Truth remains – You. Are. An. Overcomer.

We work our process. We may kick, scream or cry, but we work, we wait, we grow. 

The process may be slow. It seems like we are waiting an extreme amount of time, but the lessons are worth it. The journey will be worth it.

Think about how many years it takes a tree to grow to maturity. You and me? We’ll get there.

 

I’ve been reflecting about cups. Psalms 23 speaks of our cup running over. I gained a new perspective regarding this scripture when I heard someone say, “what’s in the cup is for you; the overflow is for others.” Or you may have heard the proverb, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

I believe this is what happens in our lives. We are givers. We feel bad when we can’t give. We place expectations on ourselves which leave us void of physical and emotional energy. The premise of the cup is this: you can only give what you have in supply. If you give it all away, what do you have left?

When you’re on a plane ready for take-off, the flight attendant gives you the “safety speech. This is what the attendant says: “In the case you need a mask, put yours on first then help your neighbor.”

What’s in your cup?a55dbf15-e539-4814-bb1f-fcdb631e8641-11758-00000cc346d035cd

You need peace? Joy? Hope? Endurance? Love? Faith? I submit to you that it will be easier to give these things to others when your cup is filled with them. The scriptures say, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Do you see the prerequisite here? You pour from your personal reservoir. I’m going to tell you this: It is your job to make sure your cup is full. 

Yes, I said it. It is your job to make sure your cup is full. I don’t want you to hear me say you should do it by yourself or you can’t give. No, the point is to take care of you with the same fervor you use to take care of other. Use every available, viable resource to keep your cup full. For example, my cup is filled by going to the park talking to the ducks (weird right?). I also enjoy reading, listening to music, talking to a friend and writing. The best thing for me is silence. I sit with a journal, or not, and enjoy stillness. How refreshing!

What can you do to keep your cup full? I want to challenge you to do those things. You can also call this a self-care routine. I promise, everyone and everything will be fine without you for the time you need to regroup and recharge. Have a family? A demanding job? Steal ten minutes here and there. When it comes to your job? If you get sick or hurt yourself and must be off, they will figure it out.

I enjoy encouraging people. When I say enjoy, I mean I become totally giddy when I have an empowering thought and I share it with others. Every week I send out thirty or more texts. Sometimes, they are saying, “Hey! I pray you’re having a grand week. I love you!” The texts are often accompanied by an emoji. When I couldn’t get a positive thought to come to mind, I knew my cup was running low. It’s my job to get my cup full and overflowing again. I have a remedy for that, this weekend, I am going out to a beautiful place, sit by some water, in silence, and reflect.

How do you know your cup is running low? I’m glad you asked! For me it’s agitation, frustration, withdrawing. This week, the weight of suicide prevention month, along with 911 knocked me off balance. I was scrolling Instagram, and found out a pastor had committed suicide. Though I get emotional like the normal person, I couldn’t shake the heaviness. The emotional pain I felt was almost too much. At first, I got angry because I was being so emotional. After a few moments, I realized I had every right to be emotional and sad! There are people dying from suicide. Many people died on 911.

Giving myself permission to mourn is a form of self-care. Stuffing our feelings and pretending we’re okay when we are not is counterproductive.

Please be kind to yourself.
Take care of your cup.
Keep it full.
Allow it to overflow.
When you feel your supply running low, take the necessary time to refuel.

Blessings!

 

Hello, Overcomers!

Tonight I am launching the Overcomers Forum via zoom. If you or anyone is interested, please have them sign up through this link: https://forms.gle/pv8TeBgDoCxuqus17

As you know, my goal is always to empower and encourage.

Let’s chat. What’s on your mind? How can I support you?

Tonight we will be talking about self-care.

I look forward to speaking with you!

Good afternoon, Overcomers!

There’s no one look or reason for depression. For today, I want to explore this particular reason that could happen to anyone.

When you are in a position that’s not what you plan for your life or not interesting to you, you may experience depression. If you are constantly having the thought, “There has to be more to life than this,” there’s a possibility you could experience depression.

It’s normal and it’s okay.

Think about it. You went to school. You got the degree. You followed the plan that would lead you to your goals but you end up somewhere opposite to where you were trying to go.

Your dreams are unfulfilled. You are one “No” away from giving up trying.

Can I encourage you?

Don’t give up. Keep pressing. Keep trying. If you are like me, you’re not really excited about the stories of fifteen failures to get to one success. Without perspective and understanding the process, telling the endpoint is not really helpful.

I’m not going to tell you any of those stories. What I will say is “keep swimming.”

Keep researching. Keep your wardrobe ready. Keep talking to people. Keep asking questions. Keep applying for jobs in your field – even if it’s entry level.

You can do it. I know you can.

Create your own success story. You can do it!
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