The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame: Tenishia B. Lester

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Ms. Tenishia Lester!

img_0746Tenishia B. Lester is a Certified Destiny Life Coach/Mentor for individuals who need assistance in finding their purpose in life. Her goal is to become licensed in Marriage and Family Counseling. She is a retired United States Postal Worker, where she served for twenty-three years. She was born and raised in New Jersey but currently resides in Georgia. Tenishia is her mother’s only child and the oldest of her father’s children. She is the proud mother of one son (another preceded her in death) and a grandson.

I felt a connection with Tenishia because our stories are similar. Speaking with Tenishia was a breath of fresh air. Starting off a little shaky which lasted four seconds, Tenishia took a deep breath and dived in like a champion!

Let’s get into the conversation:

Me: Tell me about Tenishia.

Tenishia: I don’t like being lied to or underestimated. I have a big heart. I will give to others, sometimes to my detriment without thinking of the consequences up front. I will help anyone. I’ve always been an introvert, but I’m learning to come out of my shell which began to happen when I joined a tribe at my church. (shout out to ANWA-ATL!)

I am good at leadership. I am trustworthy, compassionate, diligent and detail-oriented. I am serious, but I am also silly. I am tenacious!

img_0749Me: When you hear overcomer, what does that mean to you?

Tenishia: Survivor. No matter what I’ve gone through, I am not what happened to me. No longer seeing my history as shameful, but the ability to see purpose to help someone else. I see strength. Overcoming, for me, means purpose.

Me: Tell me about something you’ve overcome.

Tenishia: Unforgiveness and fear. Although I still have moments of fear, I am not as fearful as I used to be.

Me: How did you work through unforgiveness?

Tenishia: I had to understand that forgiveness is not for the person who committed the acts towards me. I thought it mean you gave them permission to do something else. I would forgive to a degree, but not forget. And that is not what the bible says. I also had to realize that holding on to grudges, and unforgiveness was doing more damage to me than any of the acts they committed against me.

There’s a local ministry in Atlanta that offers courses img_0751focused on healing. Going to these classes gave me a deeper understanding of forgiveness and a deeper understanding of my hurt. Along with that, I learned compassion and to extend the grace I’ve received – the same grace God gives me when I do something wrong.

I also wrote letters to the people I had offense with. I made phone calls, had the hard discussions, offered forgiveness and repented for my part in the situation. This is important, because we mostly remember what was done to us, not taking responsibility for our role in the situation whether great or small.

Me: I can see how walking through this process destroyed a level of fear.

Tenishia: Yes, fear and anxiety rise up because you’re apologizing for something you may or may not have done. I had to apologize or offer forgiveness even when it’s not reciprocated. You’re facing an apology you may never get. You’re calling to say, “I’m sorry for the role I played in this situation.” The chances of the other person apologizing is a 50/50. So, you have to go in not expecting to get an apology and be okay with it.

However, it’s a bonus when you get it!

Me: You recently release a book. Tell me about it.img_0747

Tenishia: My book is called Arrested Development: A Journey to Purpose and Identity. It chronicles my life of having been abused. How I discovered my purpose and identity through the abuse and as God sees me, not as I identified myself.

For anyone who reads this book I want them to know:

  • Just because things happen to you, it doesn’t define your identity.
  • It is possible to go through such egregious things hurts, pains, abuses, and still come out on the upside, knowing who you are or finding who you are. Your identity can be solidified in Christ and you can operate from a healthy place versus a broken place, which is what many of us do for the majority of our lives.

I want to be to others what I didn’t have. I wish when I was growing up there was something like this I could have picked up and referenced. Something that would have let me know it was possible to come out healthier on the other side.

This time next year I see myself coaching, flourishing, more speaking engagements, more products, more healing – as I help others, I receive a deeper level of healing.

img_0752I am a Certified Life Coach & Mentor and speaker. I specialize in walking with those who have endured childhood trauma realize that what happened to them does not define them; Nor does it have to continue to prevent them from moving forward boldly in life. I am the Author of Arrested Development: A Journey to Purpose and Identity. Beyond the Book Media Author of the Year.

Tenishia is launching a Mentoring Program soon.
For more information, you may find Tenishia on:
FB: @Tenishiablesterceo
IG: @tenishiablesterceo
Website: http://www.tenishiablester.com

The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame: Marissa Wilson

Don’t allow others to dictate how your journey should look. Marissa Wilson

Meet Marissa Wilson:

Marissa moved to Atlanta from South Florida. She has been married twelve years. She is a Mompreneur, and mother of five children (four births).

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Marissa and her husband, Jerry

This article is about family, marriage, mommyhood and pursuit of destiny. I use mommyhood because Marissa is not just a mother, she’s a mommy, involved, loving, and all the mushy things mommy’s represent.

Marissa exudes confidence. She was always ready with an answer, and gave me the liberty to go off script and ask extra questions. I felt there are many mothers who would benefit from what Marissa had to share. Despite her nervousness (by her admission), Marissa showed up ready for the party! No standing on the wall for this Mompreneur. She got out on the dance floor! And we had a ball! (Get the reference? Too much? Okay.)

Without further ado, let’s get into this chat:

Me: Alright ma’am. Tell me about Marissa.

Marissa: I am integral, a daughter of the king, sincere, authentic, quirky and goofy. I love to laugh. I remind myself every morning that I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me. I am loved by God. I can accomplish anything as long as I have God. (start of preaching then, sis!)

Me: What does Overcomer mean to you?

Marissa: Someone who is triumphant. Through struggle or circumstances, they come out victorious. Whether physically, mentally, or emotionally.

Me: Tell me about something you’ve have to overcome?img_0712

Marissa: Although I didn’t know about postpartum, I struggled with depression during and after all of my pregnancies. I was very young and I didn’t have the language for postpartum or what people would call the baby blues. I didn’t have any extensive knowledge of it the way I do now. When I look back on what I went through emotionally, I realize what it was. In today’s society mental health is talked about more and I can go back and pinpoint those low places and understand now what I was going through at the time.

I dealt with a level of shame by family members and people in ministry. I was made to feel I had done something wrong. I carried that into each pregnancy and dealt with it after having my babies.

Me: But you were married, right? (not that it matters, but y’all know…)

Marissa: I was not married with my first child. We were married within two years and by the time my oldest was three, I was pregnant with the second one. With each pregnancy, someone had something to say. They reminded me of our financial situation.

We were shamed because, although we were doing pretty good for ourselves, we weren’t well off and sometimes needed a support system from our families to help with the children. They felt we shouldn’t have them. It wasn’t so much about money, we needed emotional support as well. Periodically we would need a sitter or someone to pick up one of the children.img_0708

When we fell on hard times, we had friends who laughed at and mocked us because we had so many kids. They said they didn’t want to be like us. My husband, Jerry (who is an entrepreneur), had gotten hurt. At this time, we had two children and I was pregnant with the third child.

Me: How did you overcome that?

Marissa: It wasn’t until I had the last baby and we had moved away that I had to deal with those emotions. I didn’t realize how much it affected me until after I moved away. I started going through counseling and deliverance. I had to revisit those pain points.

I discovered I was hiding behind family. I was not confident and struggled to embrace having five children. Even going places with our children; being out in public was something I had to work through.

I had to learn to see myself and my family through the Father’s eyes. I had to see what the family unit should look like. Knowing His purpose and plan for me. Those were the things I had to accept and know He had blessed me with it.

I had to change my perspective on a lot of things. I had to embrace it because this was my life, this is where God had me and what He has for me. If He saw fit to bless me with my family then I had to know God would provide and take care of us. I had to know my family was pleasing in His sight.

Me: For those who are preparing for marriage and family, what advice do you have for them? Or for those who are in the early stages of marriage and family?

Marissa: Be confident in one another. Confident in God.

Find God’s purpose for your household. What is God’s plan for your household? Once you find out, grab hold of it and don’t let go.

Once you find out God’s plan for your family, grab hold of it and don’t let go.
Marissa Wilson

Don’t allow anyone to make you second guess or feel like you’re doing something wrong. When God gives you a mission and purpose for your house, you take it and run with it.

Me: In other words, your relationship is between you, your spouse and God.

Marissa: Exactly. Make sure you and your spouse are strong. Make sure you can communicate about anything you’re feeling.

When it comes to advice from people, I learned to eat the meat and spit out the bone. That means take the advice I know will apply to me, and what doesn’t apply to me I discard it. I don’t take it seriously. People give you their opinions based on their views and experiences. However, what they experience may not fit the mold of what your experience is.

For example, I was an only child. My mother doesn’t understand certain dynamics of multiple children and my household. She couldn’t understand how we ran out of groceries so fast or why we had to spend so much on groceries. She would try to give advice, but it didn’t work because her experience was different as a mother of one child.

img_0683Me: Tell me about your business and what you hope to achieve?

Marissa:  I am a Mompreneur offering admin support and consulting for businesses. I assist businesses in establishing processes and systems for their business as well as help them scale their business. This means if you already have systems and processes in place, I can help you scale them in order for your business to expand and grow.

My ultimate goal is to hire other moms who want to commit more time to being home while being able to work. I want to bring on other mothers like myself so they can experience financial freedom as well. So they can have the flexibility to integrate work/home life.

Me: In starting this business, what is the major hurdle did you overcome?

Marissa: Stepping out on faith. Trusting God that this is what He wants me to do.

A year ago, I started blogging and working on my business. Financially, things got scary for a while, so I made the decision to go back to work. I allowed some people to influence me so I went to work full-time. I took a job where I was working a lot of hours. We struggled more as a family while I was on the job than when I was working on my business and working from home.

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Marissa’s blog

I had to allow God to process me in that season. My husband travels a lot with his business. One particular contract called for more extensive travel, and I had to make the decision to leave the job. It was frustrating for me because I didn’t realize how addicted I was to doing things on my own – even if it wasn’t working.

Trusting God to walk away from the known and into the unknown was the hardest mental block for me to overcome. It took me thirty days to decide. Although I wrestled with the Lord, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Being a Mompreneur makes more sense and is easier for my family.

Me: Tell me about the process? What practical things do you do to motivate you?

Marissa: I had to learn to believe in myself with daily affirmations. There’s something profound about getting up in the morning, and reminding yourself who you are. Whether you create positive statements or scriptures, it’s something powerful. You take ownership of your day when you speak over yourself and speak love to yourself.

I notice the difference in my day when I do this. When I’m not focused it’s because I didn’t take the time for my morning reminders.

I intentionally take moments to settle my mind. Anything clouding my mind, I would set those things aside. I would clear my mind and be silent. Maybe take a walk or just sit outside. The battle we have is in our minds. I also practice meditating.

Me: When making these huge decisions, how did you overcome fear?

img_0713Marissa: I did it scared. I know we hear this phrase a lot, but that’s how it’s done. If I try to rationalize it, I would have talked myself out of it.

I followed the steps. I wrote a business plan. I submitted my plans to God. I got the revelation on how to do things. I was still scared. Something could go wrong.

Just so you know, nothing is going to go 100% right in business. It’s never going to all be right. Something will always go wrong.

With my husband being in business, we have experienced every possible nuisance. We have experienced many things, so I decided I would just do it. I’m going to rock with it because I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.

Me: So, you’re saying that just because something goes wrong, it doesn’t mean it’s not supposed to happen.

Marissa: Right. It’s like this, when you’re already full steam ahead…When you’re eight centimeters, there’s no turning back. You may as well push! The baby is coming whether you like it or not. We already out here. Why not?

Take the leap! We already out here. Why not? Marissa Wilson

Me: Tell me about your family support? What does that look like?

Marissa: I take full advantage of the days when the children are not at home. I have a schedule. My mornings are used to take care of the home. There’s time blocked for business, and when they’re home in the evenings I try to make sure my time is dedicated to them. There are some Saturdays when I have to put some work time in, and we adjust as a family. I make sure all immediate needs are taken care of and conduct business.

My husband, Jerry, is really helpful by taking them outside or doing things to keep them occupied. As long as all the children are in one piece and there are no trips to the ER, it’s all good.

The key ingredient is communication. I have good communication with my family, a plan for my day and making good use of my time. When the children get home, I’m not so overwhelmed that I can’t be involved in their lives.

Along with being a Mompreneur, Marissa is a blogger and an aspiring author. She is working on her first manuscript. 

Blessings on your journey, Marissa! Thank you for allowing me to interview you. I pray blessings and long lasting success for your life, business and family!

Marissa can be found:
Facebook: Marissa Bell Wilson or
Marissa Wilson Admin Consultant
LinkedIn: Marissa Wilson
Website: www.marissawilsonva.com
Blog: Mom Voice

 

The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame: Khas Dock

“Trusting God will have you out here winning in a losing season.”
Khas Dock

Khas Dock is originally from Newark, NJ and has been in Atlanta for about six years. Although he always wanted to move to Atlanta, he didn’t want to move as soon as he did. However, on a whim, he made the move. Khas says his career is a God thing. He is an author, ghost writer, and business consultant. And though he didn’t mention it, he is also a speaker. Khas says, “I do operations and project management. I’ve planned tours and hosted events, organized conferences, done a lot of consultations from a branding and marketing perspective. These are the things I dabble in as it relates to my purpose and career, passions and all those good things.”

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“I am what I am, by the grace of God.”

I am excited about what you will learn from this interview. I was not prepared for Khas’s story and the level of healing and confidence he displayed during this interview. Sometimes chuckling at his answers, sometimes taking a few seconds to pause and think, Khas spoke to me as a man who, despite what he’s been through, knows who he is. As I reflect on this interview, I can think of one word: refreshing.

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Khas Dock:

Me: Tell me about Khas, the man.

Khas: At my core, I am a lover of people. I often refer to myself as a grace agent. The concept behind that is I think a lot of people deal with silent battles and they are wrestling with something internally they don’t ever really speak about. I remember often walking around wishing somebody saw me, that somebody understood. Wishing somebody would say something that would make my world a little bit better. As a result, I’ve taken on the position to be intentional about extending love and making sure when someone is in my presence they feel a glimpse of God; a glimpse of grace.

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pose, then!

I am a people person; I am super down to earth. One of my biggest passions in life is to serve and to serve people. At the core of who I am is a servant. I’m a normal guy (I can hear the smile in his voice). I enjoy music, food and I’m adventurous. At almost thirty years old I am coming into myself more than I have at any point in my life. I see things a lot differently. Life is much different to me now. On this journey of self-discovery, I’ve done a lot of inner healing and learning who I am. I am owning it, and am okay with whatever that looks like.

Khas, the Overcomer:

It embodies strength and tenacity. When I think of overcomer, I think of a person who thrives through obstacles. (Wait! Did y’all see this? Thrives! Not just survive, but thrives! Okay, carry on.)

At the age of six years old I was placed in foster care where I remained until I aged out at twenty-one or twenty-two. This has been my biggest hurdle in my twenty-nine years.

Being placed in foster care introduced me to a pain I didn’t have language for or any concept of. At six years old, the only thing that causes pain are minor things like not being able to play a game or go out with your friends. This experience complicated life in a way I didn’t know was humanly possible. It introduced me to identity issues, feelings of abandonment and rejection. I wondered why my parents didn’t want me; why isn’t anyone coming for me? I had emotional trauma I didn’t understand until my teen years and early adulthood.

My life over the past couple of years has been dedicated to sorting through a lot of those layers. Recalling myself at six years old, not understanding, and not having language for what was going on, I had to deal with it. I didn’t get a say in the matter. So, I had to deal with. I had to adjust and learn to be okay with it – which I don’t think I’ve ever become okay with it. It was hard. For a long time, it made me angry.

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Confidence

I realize no one’s life is perfect, but it introduced me to a plight I wasn’t prepared for. As an adult, I can see that, for many different reasons it was necessary. While I was in the thick of it, I couldn’t see it. All I felt was pain, and it was terrible. On the other side of it I can look back and say, I kind of get why it had to go that way.

There’s a sense of ownership for that struggle. I can talk about it proudly and own it because I can see the beauty in it. I couldn’t see it then, because I was so blinded by the hurt and the trauma. I can proudly say I’m glad it happened. Wouldn’t want to live through it again, but I’m glad it happened and I was able to overcome it.

I have friends and people I grew up with who went through the same thing and their life turned out much differently. In all of it, there was a grace that sustained me. For that, I am grateful.

Community and Conversation (sound familiar?)

Khas attributes his success to God first and foremost. He says conversation and community has played a vital role in his process.

Khas: I remember times, especially once I was older, as I transitioned out of my adolescence into my adulthood, I was around people who had their own experiences. There was a commonality. Even though our plights weren’t the same, we had all experienced some type of hardship or trauma. We were able to gather around that commonality and offer strength through conversation. We were able to share with each other and say what we went through, how it made us feel, and how we overcame it.

Although none of our stories were identical, the similarity was that we all struggled and we had different things we had to overcome and journey through. I found out there is a great deal of healing offered through community and being around people who know what it’s like to go through something, you’re given the opportunity to sort through things that have been left underneath the surface for years. Once you begin to bring those things to the surface, you can now deal with it.

Community and conversation won’t heal everything, but it’s a great starting point. It can point you to counseling. It can point you to church. It can point you to wise counsel. Community will also be there for those processes, because once you start counseling you will still need a support group. You will still need somebody who can rally around you. You will still need people that understand. The biggest thing for me has been to find safe spaces which is sometimes found in a group and other times with one person who understands.

While community and conversations have helped me, it’s also been a hindrance because it hasn’t always been something I was open to because I felt like I had my vulnerability snatched from me years ago without me having any say so in the matter. It’s amazing that community and conversation is the thing I would depend on in order to journey through certain experiences.

Me: Tell me about Decoding the Creatives? What do you want people to know after reading it?

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Khas says: Trust your dopeness!

Khas: Decoding the Creatives is a book that gives language to people who are creative and for people who want to understand creatives. It’s a term that is widely used and sometimes misused. It is not a lot of definition surrounding it, so this is my attempt to explain it. One day I randomly wrote a Facebook status that was a combination of experiences in my journey as a professional creative and I wanted to put it out there. It got a lot of crazy traction. It seemed simple to me because I was venting. I didn’t realize at the time other people were looking for this type of language. People who are creatives as well as people who are surrounded by creatives. The consensus among them was it helped them to understand the creatives around them whether it be a friend or a child.

This is a book based on my experiences. At the end there is a letter from me to the reader and the message is to trust your dopeness. It’s my way of encouraging people to understand we are all different, even our creative abilities are different. There is something that unlocks when you hone into the uniqueness of who you are.

One of the things I’ve noticed about creatives is even though we’re widely gifted and can do so much, there’s nothing a creative cannot do when we put their mind to it. However, even in our awesomeness, there is this doubt. There is this fear; there is this shrinking back or dumbing ourselves down to magnify others. We will promote others before we promote ourselves. The root of it is this idea that we’re good but not amazing. It’s this tainted concept of how awesome we are. It’s something I’ve had to own myself and I figured it’s something, that if it’s a battle for me, it’s a battle for other people. That is my biggest desire for people to walk away with the knowledge as a creative or understanding one.

I want creatives to get to a place where they can say, “I am really gifted. I own this and I’m going to walk in it.” Khas Dock

Me: I thought you were quiet, but lately, I have seen another side of you. You’re more vocal. Tell me about that?

Khas: For the last two years I feel like I’ve been extremely muzzled. That’s not to say there’s always something to say or a need to say something, but I’ve been extremely laid back and didn’t say much. Some of it was because of work related stuff or stuff I was going through personally. I was also in a space where I felt like I didn’t have anything of value to say, or feel like I was saying something that everyone else was saying – if it’s a common thread or common trend, why would I need to add my input to it? So yeah, I had a muzzle on for about two years straight.

I’ve learned that language can solve a lot of problems in life. Sometimes people are feeling things and they are frustrated because they don’t have language for it. I understand because that was a lot of my frustration. One of the reasons I follow the Friends (The Pastors of All Nations Worship Assembly – Atlanta) is because every time I’m in their space they say something, oftentimes is unintentional, which gives me language for where I am and where I need to be headed. This is my thought, it may be insignificant to you, but nine times out of ten, there is one person who can benefit from it and we have a responsibility to share. It’s not always comfortable for me. I actually hate it, and would rather be quiet and in the background. I am learning to own the responsibility, which is why I’ve been more vocal.

Me: For this, we are thankful. For years, I have been one who has wrestled with my voice. I remember hearing, “Your voice is assigned to somebody.” The crazy thing about the world is, there are billions of people. You may say something and people won’t hear it. I will say the same thing and they will respond as if I’ve solved a great mystery! No, I’m just repeating what he said.

Khas: Exactly, I believe we have assigned audiences.

Me: And your audience is waiting. Khas, your life is blessed. I’m glad to know you. I’m glad to see the transformation in you. Its palpable. It’s beautiful. I am excited to see what happens in your future.

Khas has penned two books about grace. Shades of Grace and The Grace Factor. His most recent release is titled Decoding the CreativesThey can all be found on Amazon.com.

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Khas is a Business Consultant, Author, and Ghostwriter, Editor and Speaker.
He can be found on all social media platforms under Khas Dock.

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Feel free to follow, like, and share.

The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame: K’la Fleming

Greeting Overcomers!

I am embarking on a new project called The Overcomer’s Hall of Fame. The purpose is to highlight people who are pursuing their purpose in the face of tragedy, trauma, and the obstacles that come with life.

Meet K’la Fleming, the Author. K’la recently released her first book titled, WOW: Woman of Worth.

I had an awesome time speaking with K’la. Here is the highlight of our conversation:

Nicole: Tell me about yourself?

K’la: I took a step of faith and moved to Atlanta two years ago from Norfolk, VA. I didn’t initially want to move here but I had a dream that let me know moving was in my best interest. Although it has been a journey, I have embraced my new life as well as experienced tremendous growth. These past few years has taken me on a path to self-acceptance.

I light up a room with my loud personality. I am loving and I love people. I am also spontaneous.

Nicole: What does being an overcomer mean to you?

K’la: In the face of obstacles, it’s the ability to step over, go around or use them as a stepping stone. Keeping the boxing gloves on and polished. Being equipped with the armor of God. Letting go of something that would hinder your progress.

Nicole: The boxing glove is a great analogy for an overcomer. What have you overcome?

K’la: Saying yes to everything, being a people pleaser, low self-esteem and fear. Feeling uncomfortable because I was often accused for being extra. Not knowing at the time people will accuse you of being extra when they’re not comfortable with themselves.

Nicole: How did you overcome these obstacles?

K’la: I had to learn to stop dumbing myself down.

When I’m in a room with other creatives, I have to resist the notion to hide and decide to speak up. I realize I have something of value to add.

I had fear of moving here because I didn’t want to lose friends, having to navigate what’s next and tackling a big city.

Also, my safe space is my room. Learning to have the same confidence in a public setting that I have at home. Being able to notice things I love to do and display confidence without minimizing herself.

When I feel like shrinking back, I remind myself what God says about me by listening to recordings or reading something I’ve written. I choose to face and embrace those feelings and push past it anyway.

I remind myself to embrace who I am. I embrace my laugh which is unique and contagious. I celebrate my personality because it is big. People connect to me because my personality and laugh is contagious. It’s scary at times, but being confident that it’s how it’s supposed to be.

I have to get over assumptions, what I’d think people think about me. As a result of my assuming, I would shut down or remove myself from situations in order to avoid uncomfortable interactions that may happen.

Nicole: Tell me about WOW? What is the message you want your readers to know?

K’la: WOW is inspired by a conversation I had with a friend in April 2018. After the conversation, I began writing from the words that were coming in my head.

The purpose of WOW is to highlight God as father. It’s about transformation from a woman of insecurity to a woman of worth. In my mind I saw a vision of God as father and Him being available and letting me know I am worthy of His time and everything he has to give.

You may find K’la at:

IG: _worthsaving_

FB: K’La Marie and @WondrouslyWorthy

WOW: Woman of Worth can be found at:

From your head to your heart

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.

My Gift to You

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!

Cycles

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”