Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Time to Clean the Pipes & Clean Up the Life

You gotta love being a home owner. It's empowering and gives you a sense of accomplishment. Sometimes when I am cooking or cleaning, I pause to take in the fact that this is my home. I am so grateful for it and I find myself thanking God a great deal for this beautiful place. It's so wonderful to sit in it and say, "this is mine".

Along with all the wonderful feelings of it being mine, comes the challenges a house brings to my life. The issues and little things that give the house character are equally mine. From the yard, the basement, the landscaping, the crevices and the pipes...speaking of the pipes, mine are kind of old. I've only been in this house a little over two years and I've had a plumber here about 5-6 times...For everything that uses the pipes, I've had a maintenance call. Kitchen sink, bathroom sink, toilet and most recently the shower...

I believe there is a lesson in everything that happens to us and when I had a stopped up shower, the plumber had to come and snake the drain. He did, cleaned it out and now there's a leak. I called them again and the owner said something that was profound; sometimes when we clean old pipes, there's a leak. The only thing that was keeping the pipe from leaking before was the old stuff that was stuck. Something like that, I'm paraphrasing.

That hit me harder than thinking there was a clog in my life. See, I've recently started studying Feng Shui. They say that Feng Shui experts can visit a person's house and see exactly where people are doing well in their lives and where they are not doing so well. My own experience; I see what I don't like and I can draw my own conclusion. No need to pay someone to tell me what I already know.


I have gook I need to clean up and clear out of my life. I think this has to do with some anxiety about the future. Many people may not tell you this (or maybe they will) but getting laid off of a job, even one that you hate, is an emotional roller coaster. I still believe it is a great opportunity to find out something new about yourself and try a new field, but it's also a test of what you're made of.

In the quest to be open and available to learn new things, I have gotten away from my goals; my specific and tangible goals. What I've been putting on random pieces of paper are too general and most of all, unfocused. This pipe cleaning experience has awakened my soul. It has put a new fire in me to clean up things in my life and in my mind and truly go after what I really want. I took a lesson from my college self, where I was the most goal-oriented, achievement driven person on the earth. 

I remember my goal sheets then were divided into sections of my life. There were goals, action steps and deadlines for each specific target. So, I decided to do the same thing now. I broke up my life into 8 sections with 5 goals each and working to accomplish these 40 goals in the last 40 days of 2011. They are the following in no particular order:
- Health & Beauty
- Spirituality
- Family
- Career
- Home
- Friends/Socially
- Travel/Leisure
- Creative

I am a firm believer that you don't have to wait until January to make up resolutions. You can resolve to be THE BEST YOU any time of the year; in fact, it should be EVERY TIME of the year. Are you truly living your best life? Do you have a clogged drain in your life? Do you fill your life up with junk and get lost in the mess? Are you afraid to move forward? If you answered "yes" to any of these, perhaps you should pull out a pad and jot down your goals too. We can do this!!

Oh yeah, can't forget the affirmation(s),


My respect & Love for Life reflects in my actions & reactions toward Life.

and

I know my Life has meaning and I make it meaningful every day.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

This Ending is just the Beginning!!

OMG!! Where do I even start? It’s now past the end of the month and I have completed my cooking challenge and I’m reporting back now. It was a success…but I didn’t cook everyday. I still ended up dining out a few days, I think 6-7 times this month. Mostly, it was due to poor planning and fatigue. I’m okay with my results though because I have again learned more about myself this month.

Sometimes the challenge you set out to do is not the only lesson you’re apt to learn. There were some down days…where restless sleep was abundant, but there was some encouragement along the way, to GET UP and GET MOVING!! I did not spend very many days in the gym and did not rake one leaf, but did get the chance walk a great deal. More than usual.

Career-wise…things began to flourish. I got away from writing during this restless time, but my thinking and creativity increased in other ways. I had the most awesome conference call that set some things in motion for not only me, but everyone else on the call. Great things to come!! That’s just one aspect. The ideas I received on other projects were both phenomenal and confusing.

It was not all cherries this month though…I had to have a serious talk with myself. I HAD to change my thinking about what I’m doing and myself. So, I pulled out some trusty tools to assist me. If you don’t already have this, I suggest picking up a copy of You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay. It is the Affirmation Bible, as far as I’m concerned. I also have a loan of the Movie, from the library. It is a MUST SEE. My constant reminder in October was “Change your thoughts, change your world.”

It is as simple as that. You want to see some changes in your life, then change the way you think. Start and keep up with your positive affirmations. Speak them in present tense and EXPECT life to BE better!!

I had some fun “me” time stuff going on this month too. I trimmed my own hair and made my own hair and body butters. All natural, all healthy. I gave away almost every single hair and body product in my toiletries closet. No longer need them, I am sold on my own products!!

So, that' pretty much it in a nutshell. I've started two more challenges!! These things keep every aspect of my life in front, so I can put my focus where it belongs!! One should never stop trying to improve herself.

So...to help me professional, I am a first time participant of NaNoWriMo. It's National Novel Writing Month and I've entered the challenge of writing 50,000 words in November!! I'm not sure if mine is a novel, but I have developing characters, so we'll just have to see.

Personally, I decided to do the 31 Days to Reset Your Life Challenge November 2011 Edition. It's already been a challenge, but in a good way. It's not too late to join if you're interested!! On my journey to being an eternally Happy Black Woman!!

My mantra this month “I LOVE and APPROVE of myself! I am loving and lovable just the way I am!! I chose it because I often do affirmation work and it’s the one I use the most, because it helps me the most. It gives me the courage to do something I hesitate on doing. 

My song is Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. It has ALWAYS inspired me and it reminds me I have yet to write my full story and I have so much to accomplish and share in life. It keeps me motivated!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 14: The Story of Your Life

My life is a perfect blend of art and creativity. Creative things keep coming my way and in everything, I am inspired. I want to do so much, I feel like I'm always in a whirlwind. You ever feel that way? Even right now, writing this, there are a million things going through my head and I can't seem to write or type fast enough to get everything down!! I think I know how Tyler Perry feels when he's in the midst of writing a new piece....WILD!!

I could probably use a lot more focus and organization right now, but I don't think that's where I'm supposed to be in this moment. I'm on a natural, artistic high and I don't mind riding it as long as possible. I just would like to get some things out there!! My planning skills could use some work, everything seems so jumbled. LOL

So, yesterday was great!! I gave my sorority sister her computer lesson and we worked on internet navigation. I helped her set up her first email address, where I learned WE HAVE THE SAME BIRTHDAY!! Wow, that is amazing!!

She invited me to be her guest at the Masters Series Reception and Speaker at the museum. The museum was excited to have a newly acquired painting Van Campen Family Portrait in a Landscape by Frans Hals. Hals, along with Rembrandt and Vermeer, is considered to be one of the three greatest artists of the Dutch Golden Age and TMA had been seeking an example of his work for 40 years. A true testament, that hard work and persistence does indeed pay off!!

The speaker, an expert curator from The Netherlands, was very colorful in his storytelling, taking us on a journey through some of Hals works and giving us the background stories. I never found history that interesting when I was in school, but hearing life stories are just fascinating to me. Maybe it's the reason I find such comfort in blogging...I love telling a story just as much as I love reading one.

I've learned that everyday we're writing our own stories...it's colored by our experiences, our ups and downs, the people we meet along the way and by the decisions we make. What page are you writing about your life today? I hope it's worth reading!!

Today's Affirmation: "Everything that I do, always leads me straight to my passion."

P.S. I forgot to do my fitness check...a few days ago I got in my closet jeans. You know the jeans that don't quite fit, but you don't dare get rid of them because you KNOW you'll get back into them. Well, I pulled mine out and put them on!! They fastened nicely, while I was standing upright (no pulling them up while sprawled across the bed on my back LOL)!! WOOOHOO!!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 13: Updating you on Destiny

Hello everybody!! I’m checking in and it’s been a while!! Well, as the saying goes, “no news is GOOD news!!” I can honestly say, I’ve been busy and in a very good way!!

Anytime I’m behind the mic, I am in heaven and that’s some of what I’ve been up to. I ended my last blog over last weekend and didn’t get the chance to share my creative Sunday. I wasn’t able to get to church because of my recording, but I’d like to think anytime I’m using my God-given talents, I’m honoring Him and the gift. The animation project I spoke of in August has now reconvened and we were testing mics and recording characters. I had a lot of fun with one particular character, trying out my bayou accent. As long as the writer/director liked it, I was good. It was fun to put my voices to work.

Okay, so besides being on that high, I was still very excited about the Writer’s Workshop I attended on Saturday. So I have been busy writing, writing and writing. I have some new ideas of what I want to go next and I also decided to participate in a 50,000 word challenge in November. This will be in honor of National Novel Writing Month at www.NANOWRIMO.org. I will be creating and building some characters I’ve already established for a project. I really didn’t know where those characters were going until this past weekend. Now they will take form in November.

On the exercise front, I’ve only found a little time to walk, so I haven’t been to the gym all weekend and probably won’t again until Monday. I do have my Turbo DVD at home…although I haven’t used that this week either. So walking will have to do. I’ve been walking in the neighborhood, parking lots, stores and even some serious movement at home. I will be tackling these leaves this weekend too, so you already know that’s a workout. My pop (or soda, for those not in my area) intake has been kinda steady…I promise I’ll do better though. I am still getting my tea in though.

I have been doing some cooking, but we’ve been invited to eat other places several times in the last several days. Plus yesterday was my daughter’s 19th birthday. Go ahead and gasp…yes, she’s 19!! LOL We went out to eat and I didn’t eat all my food, like I usually do. I had some to save for later (which my daughter ATE)!! LOL

My last thing to report is that I have been spending time with one of my oldest sorority sisters and she is such a joy. In addition to her wisdom, I am learning patience. She’s 78 and asked me to teach her how to use the computer. Even though she’s filled with wisdom and has taught me so much, I admire her for being so willing to learn from someone else. So I helped her make a card for one of her oldest friends that turned 100 this week. It was cute to see how tickled she was when that card printed. So we’ve been working on her typing and getting on the internet.

As I proofread this particular blog, I can’t help but say, “Thank you Lord”. My life is truly blessed and when I say highly favored, I really mean it. All the trials and tribulations life throws at us NEVER compare to the great days we have. My good days far outweigh the bad ones. We can always point out what we’re not and what we don’t have, but I am so grateful for where and who I am now, for it is better than it used to be. Everyday we have the capacity to get better and I strive to do that daily. I wish the same for you.

Today’s affirmation is about being grateful for the life we live.
“I am grateful for all that I have, all that I am and all God has created me to be.”

P.S. I started on dinner early today!!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 9: A Creative Update

Wow, it has been a whirlwind of a week. The last few days flew by and I didn’t even have time to get online most days. It has been a creative weekend though, one that has sparked my interest and soared my motivation to do MORE than I’m doing now. I’m so excited to be getting on with the life I want and deserve to have.
In the last couple of days I have become so inspired by the many people I’ve met, as well as some people who I met all over again. By that I mean, I already know them, but after hearing them pour out their dreams and aspirations, I met a new side of them. Because they were so open to sharing ideas with me, my own ideas and visions have been stimulated.
I did some healthy things in the last few days, but most of my time was devoted to my creative career. So healthy first, I still haven’t dined out. Okay, let me take that back. Saturday, my daughter and I participated in a parking lot sale. We were rushing so much that morning I only grabbed a banana and water. I sent her back home for hangers and she ran to get herself something from McDonalds, who is doing their annual Monopoly game; we got an instant win for a Quarter Pounder. I had that for lunch. Why? Because I was running and didn’t plan well. I shouldn’t have, but looking on the bright side, at least I didn’t have to pay for it.
I still cooked that night, finally making those pork steaks, rice and veggies. It was very tasty and I was happy to finally have a fully stocked kitchen, after two months. Yes, Lord, I finally got to the grocery store and maxed out the budget I set at the beginning of the month.  The next night, I ate salmon croquette and rice at my Soror’s house. Both days I got in my walking time. Both Thursday and Friday, I walked for my exercise of choice, mostly because that’s all I had time to do.
Now Saturday…it was not the best eating day, not horrible either, just not great. I did have some water but absolutely no exercise. I just didn’t have the time. What I did have time for fed my soul, as it was creatively charged and I felt so alive in it. Saturday morning, I attended the Northwest Ohio Writers Forum’s Write Brain Workshop and it was AWESOME. I met some great people, learned about mind mapping and even found out I’m interested in writing other genres. After meeting extraordinary blogger Karen CL Anderson and hearing her story, I am convinced I’m in the right place at the right time. If you are looking for motivation in self-acceptance, check out her blog at http://www.kclanderson.com/.
Meeting people with diverse backgrounds and walks of life is truly a testament of how remarkable the world is. We are all so different, but met together for a common goal we all have: to be better writers. I loved that the atmosphere was so warm, inviting and just simply kind to all that attended. There were no negative critiques because we recognized that all have a gift; the unique ability to tell our story or tell another story from a perspective of our choice.
The stories didn’t stop there for me today, because I took away so much knowledge and curiosity to see just what else will come out of me. Stay tuned, I’m getting ready to stir up the gift and pour it out into the world!!
After a short break, I attended the film screening for a great film project I participated in last year. I was nervous to see what we all produced together creatively. I was very happy with the finished projects. We had our constructive criticism, but we all agreed we can correct and adjust those things for the next project. It’s such a blessing and a gift to see your dream come to fruition; to watch it be birthed right before your eyes; to sit back and see the fruits of your hard work. Not only was it entertaining, it also encouraged us to keep dreaming and continuing writing. Congratulations and shout out to LaPala Crawford for your first project’s progress from thought, to paper to film!! Thank you for the opportunity!!
One thing I’ve learned in life…If you want your dreams to come true, help someone else’s dreams come true!! You will receive it back 100 fold!!

 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 5: Got In Both "Me" and "We" Time

Well, I had the very best intentions, but I was pooped out. After all the work yesterday, I was too tired to actually cook that dinner I described yesterday. I promised my daughter I would cook it today, as she was very excited about the pork steaks. She must have been too tired after getting off work too because she went straight to bed (even though, I know she ate at work). So, I ended up eating the leftover brown rice/spinach…I did not realize I made so much; it lasted three meals.

So today is another day and it started off early. Got up to update my budget sheet and write my plans and “to do” list for today. I am loving the effects of moving my body. It is giving me great energy and I can’t wait to get to my workout. Today it’s a class called Crazy for Cardio. It used to be Cardio Mix divided into two parts: Floor aerobics and Zumba. Now it’s three parts: 25 minutes of Step aerobics, 15 minutes of floor aerobics and 20 minutes of Zumba. It’s awesome and there’s NEVER a dull moment.

I was running around so much today and my Mom called and told me my Dad was barbequing and for us to come over to eat. So...I got out of cooking again today!! LOL I had chicken and hamburger, potato salad, baked beans and green beans. Good thing I had my flaxseed and green tea earlier...

I totally cheated on this picture because I forgot to take one. Grabbed this one from the internet. It LOOKS like my Dad's chicken!!

Anyway, it was a good time over my parents house. We talked and laughed for a few hours. It's nice to just spend time with the ones that took so much time to help mold me into the person I am today. We caught up on our lives and "the stories". Did anyone else see today's episode of The Young and The Restless!! O-M-G!! I was crying!! LOL My Dad is not into that so he went to take a nap, but me and Mom were in there chatting away and shhing my daughter who wanted to talk during the good parts (which by the way today was the ENTIRE hour)!!

So, I'm just winding down now and able to get online to post. It was a good weather, good hearted day. The food choices could have been better, but oh well. At least I didn't overeat and I got in an awesome workout this morning. Now off to do some more writing and planning. Big weekend coming up!! Good night!!

Today's affirmation is about family:
"My parents accept and Love me for who I AM and all that I AM."

...and for that I am grateful!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 4: Awesome. Clean. Grateful

Today was beautiful outside, and although I got the chance to see some of it, I spent most of the day inside working. The first part of the day was pretty domestic getting food and running errands. I got meat on sale and was able to use a church pantry to replace what I wasn’t able to get from Angel Food Ministries last month. I called them to chat about AFM to see if there was another program like it and they invited me in. I’m truly grateful!!

So I finished my menu for the rest of the week and today we’re having skillet fried pork steaks basted and seasoned with garlic, honey and barbeque sauce, seasoned rice and veggie medley. For dessert, we’re having Jello and fruit.

Breakfast was the usual toast and tea. For lunch I had the leftover brown rice, veggies and tomato slices. I’m feeling pretty good and this challenge, as well as all the comments, are keeping me motivated to stick with it. Exercise was nothing fancy, just plain old housework. I did some deep cleaning, window cleaning, lifting and moving, sweeping and dusting.

Side bar: If you really want a deep clean, you can skip the high priced stuff and go straight to any Dollar General, Family Dollar or Dollar Tree and pick up a bottle of AWESOME!! It's only a $1.00 and you will NOT regret it!!


Then I decided to follow up on some calls and paperwork. I started the list by calling to dispute a Red Light traffic violation I received in the mail. I KNOW I can turn on red, since there was no sign saying I couldn’t, so I had no intention of paying it!! I called and spoke to a very kind and helpful woman who told me about the ticket. Did you know you can view your red light violation video online? OMG!! That is sweet!! But if it proves you owe $120.00…it’s not that sweet. I didn’t come to a complete stop and if I had, I would not have received a ticket…I was a little upset, but I am grateful because I will have no points on my license and it will not be reported to my insurance agent.

Cleaning got me to thinking and I was so humbled today. I am also grateful for the things I received free this week:
-          beautiful vase with faux plants (great for my dining room d├ęcor)
-          food to replenish my cupboard
-          knee highs (it was a free gift to my Mom for an order she placed)
-          wi-fi thanks to the library

Whew, I really needed that that pep talk and cleaning spree. What a waste of money (the ticket that is)!! Lesson learned!! Well, at least my kitchen is spotless and I picked up my clutter and all the surfaces are clean!! Ahhh...good night!!

Oh, didn't want to forget today's affirmation:

"Life always deals me an easy card, and I gratefully receive it."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 3: Glad to Do Something...and Progress!!

Hello all!! I got up early and did some meditation, a practice that I have placed on the shelf for quite some time, so you can only imagine how difficult it was to sit still (or in a comfortable position) and just listen. My mind wandered off several times, but I realized it’s just part of the process…meditation takes practice. I have been listening to this book on CD called Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert and it is a great story about this woman’s year long spiritual journey as she traveled through Italy, India and Indonesia. She describes her thoughts in such detail and I can relate on so many levels, so experiencing my mind go in each direction on my first try back to the journey, makes me chuckle. I don’t take myself too seriously and guess what, I did get some “movement” directions for today. Everything happens for a reason.

After jotting down my notes and ending my mediation session, I had breakfast. It’s one I’ve had for the last few days, partially because that’s what is already in the house and because I’m really enjoying it. Also, not that I’m consciously omitting it, but it actually feels great not having meat in the morning. I probably need to research some protein replacements though…and I don’t like eggs!! So, two slices of 12-grain toast with strawberry preserves and flaxseeds it is. Oh, yeah and my Tazo Tea.

Then I dressed and headed to my one hour Zumba class!! It was a GREAT workout today. My body is getting used to moving again because I noticed some changes. First, I had no back pain, which usually starts 15 minutes into the workout. Then, I noticed I didn’t do as much low impact as usual and I was EXCITED to keep going!! Lastly, and this one is more significant than the rest, I was able to do real lunges. That may not mean anything to anyone else, but for me…lunges have always been an issue and I could never get low because it hurt me so badly. I was in deep lunges with no pain. Praise God!! WOOHOO!!

So, those are my triumphs today; glad to have been able to turn some past defeats into a victory!!

Lunch today was a tunafish sandwich and chips...should have had some fruit too, but maybe next time. Now, for tonight’s dinner, I’m making a spicy brown rice/spinach dish with shredded meatballs and a side of veggies. Here’s a photo of the ingredients because I won’t have time to post later. (Oh, I forgot the hot sauce…oh well). I’m sure it will turn out fine. I love rice!!

Our affirmation is a question we can all ask ourselves. I ran into a friend at Zumba and in our chat today she mentioned every morning she asks herself: "What can I do, for an hour, for my health today?" Great question...We can always do SOMETHING!! Enjoy your day!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 2: Walked it Out!!

What a beautiful Sunday!!

After a good night's sleep, I got up late...so I ended up skipping church. I figured I could get some work done and look for new opportunities.

Still haven't been to the grocery store yet, so...PB&Jam it was for breakfast. LOL I added flaxseeds to my sandwich and drank some Organic Chai black tea again. Yesterday was my first time trying it and I loved to enough to have it again. I'm an avid tea drinker and since it's now chilly, it makes it so much easier to drink.

Sidenote: If on your travels you decide to get me a souvenir, please make it tea from that native land. Thank you!!

As far as career, I am still hammering out some plans that I have on paper. Everything's all jumbled right now, but I know it will come together. Working on the focus to make that happen.

So dinner was "Soul Food" style, meaning: AT MY PARENTS HOUSE!! LOL It's a great way to relax. We had baked porksteak, greens and cornbread. I skipped the yams...yuck!!

Exercise: After dinner, I took a walk around their neighborhood for 30 minutes. It was probably a 0.7 miles and I had to mentally talk myself through the first 15 minutes. Seriously, my calves were tighening up and my lower back was hurting. Once I was on my way back, things were much better. Walking always makes me feel good (after I'm done) and it helps give me clarity. I had my little walk with Jesus...

That's really all to report today. I did make some decisions about what's next. I'll share when I get started. Have a great week and here's our affirmations for today:

"My career is taking off like a rocket. I always contribute to my body in healthy ways."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 1: Gratefully Starting off Well!!

First off, let me just send out a big THANK YOU for all those who read and responded to my blog yesterday!! Seeing your responses and getting your inbox messages truly touched me and I really appreciate your words!! They are motivation for me to keep moving forward!!

I got up this early Saturday morning feeling grateful for life and family, my home and vehicle and the changing season. I am also thankful to be on this journey because I know only good things can come from it!! So, I am proud of myself today and let me share why…

Breakfast: 2 slices of 12-grain toast with strawberry preserves with sprinkles of flaxseeds on top. I also had organic chai black tea with honey.

Then I began writing a few scattered thoughts. I will have to go back to them…

Called the gym, but wasn’t interested in the classes for today, so I pulled out and dusted off (not really…LOL) my TurboJam DVD!! I put it on and started my workout. It was only a 20-minute workout, so I did one 10-minute part twice. I was pumped and renewed. I completely forgot how much I LOVE TURBO!!

At the gym, I used to use floor aerobics and Zumba to get my body back in the groove of moving, then I would build up to Turbo. That was simply an excuse not to push myself…I won’t use it anymore because today I was able to keep up and keep moving the whole time. I have no more excuses because the low impact option is always available.

Snack: Cut up apple with peanut butter and of course…sprinkled flaxseeds

Today is leftover day. Yesterday…I made the best spaghetti I have ever made!! It was so good!! I was sure to season the ground turkey and sauce well. I used seasoned salt (no MSG), basil, oregano, minced garlic, jalapeno peppers and juice, spinach, flaxseeds (at the end) and just a little bit of sugar. I never used sugar before, so this gave it a little extra taste. It was the perfect blend of sweet and spicy sauce. Here’s a photo:

So we’re there’s enough for today and maybe even lunch tomorrow. Yummy!!

Here's our affirmation for today:

"God gave me a healthy body and in gratitude, I take care Good of myself."

Friday, September 30, 2011

New Thoughts...Looking for a New Direction

I’m feeling stuck again. Over the last few months, I have come to notice that when I am feeling this way, I need to indulge in written therapy. Yes, that’s right…I need to write it out. Whoever thought about journaling, was brilliant. Many times we’re not sure what is going on in our lives, but if we just sit down and begin to write, many ideas, projects, extrordinary can come out that session.

I have so much to say because I feel so much. Sometimes I don’t express it or feel like I can’t express it. Although I have felt the unction many times to go forth and do something, I don’t always give into that feeling. It’s when I get the "fed up" point, where I feel low, that I actually move to do something about it. I want to get out of that. I want to move right when the idea hits me. I want to get in the habit of immediately planning and implementing my thought. Many times it has proven to be a good way to go. So why don’t I just do it then?

I have made to do lists, hibernated and shut myself off from the outside world, but only SOMETIMES do I emerge better than when I started. I want that to change. I want to make a difference EVERY day, not just when I get myself together. I’m a work in progress and I don’t mind that. I have learned not to beat myself up over procrastination, but now, things are just ridiculous…this is me talking to myself. There is so much to do, so much to accomplish, so many people waiting. What am I doing? Why am I wasting time? Why don’t I just DO IT?!!

It’s time. It’s time. It’s MY TIME!! I’m ready to do it.

Part of this process is learning some real discipline. I wish I could fast, but I’m not there yet. However, I can participate in a modified Daniel fast. In this case, I'm not only changing the foods, I'm also giving up other things so that I can focus and concentrate on getting to a higher level. In October, I plan to do just that. I have to buckle down in areas of finance, food & health and career. I’m beginning to practice Feng Shui too and that can only enhance my journey. It is fascinating and I enjoy the practice. It has been working for me thus far.

In September, I was upset to find that Angel Food Ministries was not having a September distribution. Then later found out that was permanent and they closed. I refused to go to the grocery store, vowing we would eat only from our kitchen and cupboards. So for the last weeks of September, I mapped out a menu and cooked. We also ate leftovers. October’s grocery store run will be a doozy, as I haven’t been since August 5th. I literally used everything I could find to make up meals. Good thing I stored up staples like rice, veggies and bread. I even implemented meatless Wednesday with veggie fried rice, but I digress…(I could talk about creative cooking FOREVER!!) Even with all that cooking, we still managed to dine out way too often and that must change.

So, in October I have taken on two major challenges:

1) Cook all month, which could possibly be 3-5 times per week depending on leftovers and eating with family. I have to be strategic about eating when out of town though…The second challenge is

2) Exercise daily; 30 minutes per day. I never thought 30 minutes a day would be challenging until I failed at it in August…I’m ready to try it again. I can do this!!

I wrote ALL this to say…I’ll be blogging about it again!! Yes, I find that when the whole world is potentially watching, I better get on it. It’s my motivation to get busy!! I also need your help and suggestions. I want to implement healthy lifestyle tips. I would love to hear what you have to share about being healthy on the inside and outside. Will you join me?

To help myself and you (if you're interested), I thought it would be a good idea to accompany each daily post with a positive affirmation. Here's today's to get us started (well two actually; one for health and the other for career):

"I have a healthy spirit, mind and body. I AM an expert in my field and I receive the perfect pay for my expertise."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Productive 'Til the End: Day 30

Today has been a wonderfully productive day!! Got up today determined to get some things done. Since I am interested in more writing, I decided to write SOMETHING every single day. Thankfully with this 30 day challenge, a new habit has been formed, so the transition should be seamless. I'm a little sad the challenge is ending, as I had some really enlightening experiences this month with this project. Thank you again for joining me, reading this blog and commenting here, on facebook and face-to-face.

So, I wanted to go to Yoga, but after writing a full piece this morning, I no longer had the urge to go. It wasn't because I just didn't feel like it, I just felt a release from the feeling of participating. I'm learning to be easy nowadays. If something doesn't feel right, I'm not beating myself up to do it. What I did instead was go on a complete mission of sorts:

- gathered all the recycling in the house and took it out
- started preparation for dinner since I knew I had a meeting later
- bagged up some items for freecycle
- put misc things that were out of place, in their place (stuff like pens, paper clips, cards, etc.)
- FINALLY cleared off my dining room table!! PRAISE JESUS!! (Another item checked off my DIY list)

I was up and down the stairs, moving here and there. I was determined to clean off that table before leaving the house. I ate a healthy breakfast and lunch with plenty of water and veggies too. I may not have gone to yoga, but I did get both a workout and peace of mind. A bonus: While rummaging through all my junk today, I found TWO gift cards!! FREE MONEY HONEY!! Abundant living!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Day 29: Abundantly Happy!!

Oh happy day!! Oh happy day!!

It was good one. Started off on a good note with ZUMBA!! First, had a yogurt with flaxseeds and two bottles of water. Headed to the gym for a great class!! Then, got a little work done and drank some more water.

I spent some great quality time with my parents today too, chatting and watching the soaps (well me and my Mom anyways). We caught up on some things and of course Daddy was telling jokes and giving advice.

Once I left there, I got some more writing done, updated the budget sheet and wrote my Abundance Check. Want to write yours, check it out here: Abundance Checks

I also got in some reflection and gratitude time. I think I’m finally out of this mourning stage…I fully released the people I was holding on to and leaving stuff in the past!! It was a happy day indeed!! The word for today was indeed ABUNDANCE!! Abundance in life, health, love and happiness!!

Then, I got an unexpected call… J

See what happens when you release the old? The new steps in place!! Hey!!


Here I am holding my beautiful silk pillow/quilt I got from China. The detail is so intricately gorgeous and it always reminds me of wealth!! It’s no surprise I picked it up today!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Peace is Here and Change is Coming!!

Spent most of the day DELIBERATELY setting some things into motion. I tackled my ongoing "to do" list with a vengeance I haven't had in such a long time.

I cleared some space: took out the recycling, the trash, cleared out old stuff including mail and emails.

I cooked and ate a healthy menu full of water, vegetables, flaxseeds and whole wheat. I had much energy today!!

On the financial front, I updated my August budget sheet and started my September one. Planning is key!!

Finished several projects and started on some new ones. I even had the chance to really sit down and meditate today. Just listening. It was peaceful bliss: no phone, no other distractions. I even got in a nice nap (which typically happens to me when I meditate), so I'm wondering was it really a nap or an elevated level of consciousness...whatever it was, it allowed my body and mind to rest and be rejuvenated.

I really cannot describe this feeling today. It is good; true peace. I know what that means...something is indeed stirring in the pot and getting ready to come forth. I'm elated to see what comes up and I'm inspired to move to the next level. I'm seeing some things that need changing and I'm up for the challenge. Are you?

Happy Manifesting!!

Deliberately on a Mission: Day 27

Even though I felt like a hermit most of the day, I met someone who reassured me of some things I was unclear on. There are still nice guys out there. Great conversation; nothing shallow, yet it was still light. The initial courtesies, as usual, but we were both surprised of the reaction, or non-reaction of the other. I think this will be the start of a cool friendship.

After taking care of some business and personal stuff, I spent most of the evening and night in quiet reflection. It was just time. Time for a break from the outside world and its influences. Very deep thought. I couldn't move, speak or even write anything. Just listened.

The word I kept getting was DELIBERATE. I was reminded of a sermon I'd once heard about being deliberate. So many times we want things and think we should just sit back and wait for them to come to us. I have to admit, FAVOR does work in my favor a great deal, however sitting around is not really the choice we should make if we're actively seeking something. I'm not saying movement should replace listening; in my opinion, it should, in fact accompany it.

Set goals, write down the action steps and DELIBERATELY move. If you want to do something, start doing it. Practice, practice, practice. Every chance you get, do it. I believe the reason I heard this word is because this is a challenge to me. Have I been doing all I can to get to where I want to be? I cannot say that I have. I'm an idea person, but implementing the ideas has always been a challenge for me. (This is also why FOCUS has usually been a challenge for me too.)

I think it's time to change that. I want to make a major move in 2012 and its time to set the plan into motion, not just say it. In the next couple of months, I will be making some really important decisions and I declare they will be EASY to make (my affirmation for myself). I am deliberately going forth to be who I'm called to be. Please do join me!!

Update: Good on: water, walking Not so good on: veggies (not much)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grateful Now, Searching for More

Let me preface today's entry with the following gratitude sentences.

I am grateful for another day. I am happy to have loving family and friends. I am blessed to have food on my table, clothes on my back, a roof over my head and a sound mind. I really love my house and learning new things about myself.

With all that said...today I am just not feeling it. I don't even know what "it" is. Something is bothering me though. This is my "not feeling it today" pic...


Fast forward to later on today.

I have taken a step out on faith and submitted for something I've wanted a long time. I won't reveal it now, but when it comes to pass you will know!! It was bothering me that I couldn't think of how to do this, but it is done!! Time to do some more digging though...I'm searching for something...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 25: New Day, New Outlook

What a difference a new outlook makes!!

I overslept today and had a hard time getting up. Then I dragged and dragged. I felt like I wasn't in a good mood. Not really sure why. Yesterday, I felt melonholy, today it was irritation. I knew I didn't want to feel this way all day, but I just allowed myself to feel it anyway. I just wanted to play it out, maybe I would learn something more. Finally, I decided to get up, take a shower and washed my hair.

Have you ever had a the perfect shower? One that seemed to not only wash the dirt away, but also wash away the bad thoughts, the irritation (whatever it was), the bad attitude? That was my experience today. I think by deciding to look better, I decided to feel better. I remember repeating one of my favorite affirmations to myself, "I deeply and completely love and accept myself". Those words alone combat the urget to feel fear, anxiety, insecurities and complaints.

I know many people believe that "life happens" (or sugar, honey, ice tea happens) but it really is true that we create the life that happens to us!! I challenge everyone, including myself, to use affirmations. If you already do, use them more often. I'll share a few, but the more personalized and specific you make yours, the better the results.

Money issues: "Money comes easily and frequently!!"

Health issues: "I am happy and grateful now that my body has restored itself to its natural state of health."

Doubt: "I now release all thoughts of limitation and I live my life freely."

Insecurity/Self criticism: "I love and approve of myself and see myself through eyes of love."

Fear: "I love myself and trust the process of life."

I think I even see a little glow in my pic today!! New outlook indeed!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Random Thought Wednesday - Day 24

Hello all!! I can't think of anything significant to say today. So I guess this is just Random Thought Wednesday...I did try a couple of new things though.

This was a meatless Wednesday - veggies galore!! Carrots, peppers, spincach, dill potatoes, black beans, rice, guacamole.

I think guacamole is my new favorite food. I will eat anything guac and drink anything peach.

I made a new recipe: new potato salad with mustard instead of mayo.

I really need to go through my business cards and do some follow ups.

I'm excited about this Writing Forum coming up in a few weeks.

Part of the day was kinda meloncholy, thinking about someone in my past.

I took a short nap today, after watching Phat Girlz (that movie always cheers me up).

I really want to get a dog and I'm thinking of names.

Thinking about a move in about 12.5 months.

Judgmental people truly amaze me...I wish they could see their judgment is merely their own insecurities.

I really like this hair hand. Thank you Petronella!! Come to think of it, I really like this picture too!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 23: Get Busy Writing Your Story!!

What a beautiful day today!! It was sunny and and perfectly warm. I attended a funeral today and it was a beautiful celebration of life.

Normally, I'm not a fan of funerals at funeral homes, as they typically seem so dreary, but this one was just the opposite; very nice. It was serene and bright and all the attendees were there to support the family, as well as celebrate with them. They were all smiles. I'm so not surprised. This was the funeral of the husband of an old friend of mine. I had not seen her in a few years, but she was just as vibrant as ever before. She even delivered his eulogy and did a beautiful job.

One thing we typically do when we attend funerals is reflect. There were so many nice things said about this great man. See, he battled with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) for 11 years. Through many stays at hospice and nursing homes, he continued to live his life: ministering to others and being a great encouragement to all that sat in his presence. Even when he lost the ability to move his limbs, he did not complain and even when he was no longer able to speak, he would smile.

It's a great time to take inventory of your life, when you can celebrate the life of someone else. It can be a sad time, but it can also be a joyful one because you have more days on the earth. Days to live a good life and be an encouragement to someone else. A good question for all to think about...what will people say about you when you leave this earth? Will they exceed their two minute limit at the funeral going on and on about you, or will there be silence?

Get busy living and writing your story!! Smile at someone today. Say a prayer. Write an inspiring note and leave it where someone is sure to find it. Visit someone who lives alone. Call up someone you miss and tell them you miss them. Enjoy a meal with someone you don't know well or even someone you don't like. Get to know their story and let them be part of yours.

My wellness check in: My efforts must be paying off!! I was feeling so good today and I definitely showed it!! I believe you have to LOVE yourself to wellness, not hate and hurt yourself there. This dress is a size 22 and fits well now!! A couple of months ago I was in a 26!! In case you didn't know or couldn't tell, I'm REALLY enjoying and loving my life!! Hope you are too!! *MUAH*

Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 22: Art on My Mind

This is just an update day. Nothing really big to report or truly deep to share. I did do some pampering though, because women need to do that from time to time. I didn't get to the hair last night, but I had a great deep conditioning session this morning, then I got my nails done. I received a discount on my nails...didn't ask for it, so I call that FAVOR!!

I've gotten in some walking and some water today. Also, a few veggies. I'm cooking though and will veggie up the plate tonight!! I think I'll do some cleaning and goal setting tonight. I have a few things to do this week that need a bit of planning on my part. Overall, it's been a really laid back day.

One interesting thing though, I received a booklet in the mail from a local community college with all of the upcoming theatre shows. I'm elated that I'll be attending a couple, including an opera in October. I am always inspired by the arts and I know these shows will not disappoint. I'm very excited about that. Also, Les Miserables is coming to Toledo in November on it's 25th Anniversary tour!! My little diva and I will be in the house!!

Also, I think I'm getting the itch to take a new class...
Belly Dancing comes to mind...

Day 21: In Hibernation

After a long, tiring but enlightening weekend, I was determined to get my focus together. Deadlines for project had come upon me and I was a little bit behind.

So, this Sunday was spent in hibernation. I was tackling tasks and crossing things off my "to do" list like crazy. I had very little interaction with the outside world. I was in a hiding place; typing away, following up, finishing the many projects hanging over my head. Even though I don't like that I waited until the last minute, the rush of being under the pressure kept me fueled to FINISH the list. So, I'm able to start off this Monday on a new set of goals this week.

Checking in: Plenty of water. Very little veggies. No significant exercise. No church. I did tightened up the screws on my cabinets and chairs. That's a check off my DIY list.

My last task of the night...tackle this hair. Time for a wash and a deep condition. Ciao!!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Day 20: Giving & Receiving: Onto Another Level!!

So, I was helping one of my greatest friends pack up her things, as she is moving out of town. It's been a two day process, but it has been a great time for us and very enlightening. In fact, after this weekend, I think we reached a new level in our friendship.

So we are chatting as we're sorting and packing. If you saw my FB status yesterday, you know I was having a great time with those space vac bags. Watching the bags shrink was seriously, so fun!! Anyway, we talked about everything from men to kids, gossip to God and everything in between. She kept thanking me for helping, but to me it was a given. That's what you do for friends; you're there for each other, you help each other when they have a need. Plus, she was just helping at my daughter's graduation party in June!!

She mentioned that she was used to always being the giver, so receiving had been difficult for her. I could give her an "Amen" on that one ten times. I told her I used to be the same way and that it's okay to receive, ESPECIALLY because you're a giver. We continued on with our work, laughter and chatter.

As we're finishing up loading my car with the items she was donating, I slammed the trunk closed and walked back into the house. Then I realized...I think I locked my keys in the trunk. I had them on my waist loosely...I think they fell in a bag. I'm franticly looking outside, inside and hoping and praying we find them somewhere else. Nowhere...I begin to panic, very upset with myself for this. Now, she's calm and saying we can take care of this, we can work together to get a locksmith. So we're calling the 24 hour locksmiths and getting ridiculous quotes up to $160. I don't have $100+ to throw away or want to because I was so careless (my insurance company would have reimbursed it, but still)!! She was offering it, but I just didn't want her to come out of the money either, especially when she's moving...

Finally, we're sitting waiting for the locksmith and she took a personal call. He asked if my seats folded down...YES and my doors were unlocked!! DUH!! Why didn't we think of that? Men are so smart!! We rushed outside snatching the bags through the backseat and found my keys in the one open bag. Called the locksmith and cancelled, saved a bundle and let out the biggest sigh of relief!!

The most touching thing about this though...she turned to me and said..."See, next time just trust your girl." She was so right. We talked about her earlier, but now it was my turn. I still have some learning to do when it comes to receiving too. She's my girl, of course she would have helped me with my situation!! So grateful for friends like her and we learned such a valuable lesson in friendship. It's okay to "LEAN ON ME".

Friday, August 19, 2011

Updates and A Change...MUST COME!!

Today started off a little slow because I went to bed so late, but woke up to a great day indeed!! I forgot to mention yesterday that I completed another task on my DIY to do list: I de-cluttered and took a bag of “bad” clothing (stained, ripped, etc.) to Goodwill. I wanted to take them to Salvation Army, but their line was always busy and I didn’t want to make an uneventful trip, so I called Goodwill and found out they ship “bad” clothing to third world countries instead of throwing them away. I’m good with that.

I started off the day with another task completed. After having breakfast and adding flaxseeds to my waffles, I dusted the entire first floor. This included the furniture, all my windows, blinds and light fixtures. Now just as quickly as I finished these things, I added two more things to my list: tighten all the screws in my drawers and chairs, do the treatment on my living room furniture. I was supposed to do it every six months, so I’m a little overdue. I’ll get to it before summer ends though.

Now, I just want to chat about some observations that will need actions!! Yesterday, I stopped in a gas station and was dumbfounded by a magazine I saw there. I was shocked and offended; just couldn’t believe my eyes. It was called High News, and the front cover was covered in “herbs”. I asked the attendant about it, and she said simply and nonchalantly…”oh, that’s a magazine about weed.” *serious side eye* Umm…I thought she was joking and that it was fake, especially with headlines like, “grow big bunches in small places”.

I was so outdone...especially because this woman was defending this magazine and she went on to say it informed people on different flavors and would be no different if there was a magazine about different scents of shampoo. The DIFFERENCE is it’s not illegal use shampoo. Even though marijuana is used for medicinal purposes, you have to have a prescription and can’t just grow your own herbs. Isn’t that right or am I missing something? I did not care I was holding up the line looking at her in disbelief…I was so done talking to her and just decided someone needs to be written about this. I later went online and could not find a website for the publication…imagine that. Now, I’ll have to go back to the store and get the contact info…that is a mess…

Now, today, must be a writing campaign day, because I was appalled to hear that a private CATHOLIC school in my hometown was ordering a returning student to remove her Sisterlocks before starting school on Monday. While I agree with some styles being a distraction to the learning environment (unnatural hair colors, etc), Sisterlocks is NOT one of them and sounds to me like blatant discrimination, mainly because non-ethnic people are not aware of ethnic groups who celebrate culture, hair diversity and natural textures as a standard for beauty.

If this was a business, I might yell for a boycott, but when it comes to a child’s education in a place that may or may not want her there, BUT accepts government funds to allow certain students to be there, this is a cause for other tactics. She is approaching her senior year and it should not be sprinkled with rhetoric implying that she is not good enough. Why should she be treated differently and unfairly because she’s being her natural self? There are plenty of professional men and women who wear sister/brother locks and dreadlocks alike. It does not take away from their intelligence or professional demeanor. In fact, it enhances both, having a proud, confident and competent person working there or attending that function.

My challenge to all, make your voice heard!! If a cause is important to you, call, write and once you have all the correct information, put the situation on blast!! Blog about it and tell someone. This school policy and any other policies violating our rights to be who we are, but more important, this attitude behind the policies is what must change. We are all people, eligible and worthy of acceptance everywhere we walk. You don’t have to like my hair, but you will respect it. Stop allowing policies, in the name of Jesus, to berate and mistreat us, and the children we raise to be proud of whom they are. We should be proud of who we are, what we look like and how we treat other people!! PEACE and LOVE!!

Love yourself today!! ALL of yourself!! I LOVE me and I LOVE my hair!! Help our little brothers and sisters know it's ok to love theirs too!! Let folks that don't appreciate OUR hair know too!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thinking about them...Day 18

Have you ever had one of those days where everything you saw, heard or did reminded you of someone? Then, on top of that not many things seemed to go quite right? Well, it was one of those days…

I didn’t really have a bad day, it just wasn’t one of my greatest. Don’t get me wrong, any day on this side of the dirt is definitely a blessing, as well as a possibility for great things. But today…first I woke up to terrible cramping that pretty much lasted all day long. I couldn’t get myself together, still staring at the same couple of sentences from last night and I didn’t feel like doing anything.

I did manage to finally make some breakfast, which I added flaxseeds to, so I was happy about that. When I turned on the stove, I was reminded of a name…I started drinking my water and I drank that all day long. I did spend some time with my parents, which was good, since I haven’t seen them all week. Dad shared his cucumbers so I was getting in some veggies. While watching tv with them, I heard a name…

All week long I’ve been reminded of a friend of mine that I haven’t spoken to in a while. Several times this week I kept hearing variations of this person’s name, even though they weren’t talking about this person…they didn’t even know this person. It finally hit me when I was reminded of the date. It was their birthday. Unfortunately, I only have an email to reach them, so I sent one, hoping it would get to them soon…

I don’t know why this person is on my heart so heavily. Most people would say, he/she is really not my responsibility. Today was a reminder to me to think about others and say a prayer if you can. It never hurts and it certainly can help. When you get a feeling or unction about someone, contact them somehow. Give them a call, a text, an email or even sit down and write them a letter. You never know how their day or even life might be going. It could brighten their day…

I hope I hear from them soon…

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's "Do Whatever I Can Wednesday"...

It’s a great report day!! Confessions first, though, I missed my gym appointment, but my body got plenty of movement walking, dancing and working throughout the day. I wanted to start off the day writing, but nothing would come, so I started cleaning and putting things away. I sat down to write again, but still nothing, so I went on to gather up some items to declutter.

Decluttering is the process of getting rid of items no longer needed, wanted or loved. It always helps me clear my space, as well as my thoughts. So I gathered a couple of bags and freecycled them, including clothes, food and coupons. They no longer had a place in my house or my life, so I gave them away. So, what was next…yes, went back to the computer.

Sigh…still nothing, so I grabbed my screwdriver and completed the first task on my DIY (Do It Yourself) to do list that I wrote about last week. I opened up the boxes, took out the screws, read the directions and put together my jewelry box. It was a Christmas present and I actually need to have been using…YESTERDAY!! I won’t even tell you all the places I have my jewelry scattered around this house. Every time I need a pair of earrings, a necklace, a bracelet, or that one pin, I ALWAYS have to look for it. No more!! Everything will have a place!!

As far as the other challenges go, I can say today has been a good one, quite frugalicious, I might add. I spent no money today, did very minimal driving and I cooked and ate all meals at home. I found a new recipe in a cookbook I received for my housewarming two years ago and I will be making an improvised version of it today, using what I have on my shelves. It’s all about the creative cooking ya’ll!! Try it, you’ll like it!!

After all this today...I'm FINALLY on the verge of writing something...it's only a couple of sentences and a concept, but it's a start.

Enjoy your evening!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Healthy and Abundant Living...Thank You!!

Hello everyone!!

Today was a much better day than yesterday. I'm feeling better and not quite as weak. I have been drinking water and juice all day, but not much to eat. I did get in some tomatoes and lettuce, but that is the extent of my vegetable intake. No real energy for any exercise, although it was my intention to get to Zumba. Definitely plan on getting there tomorrow morning.

One thing I'm happy to report is that I did get some rest and due to the quiet atmosphere, I was also able to complete a few more tasks and writing assignments. I got out of the house, had a successful meeting with my Sorors and wrote out some plans for next week. It felt pretty good.

I just wanted to stop and have gratitude. I love looking out at my backyard. It's full of green and lively plant life. I look at it everyday and I think sometimes that we are programmed to always improve what we see. Today I looked at it and noticed all the "weeds" and greens growing and thought something different. It reminded me that just like my backyard, I am abundant and full of life. For that, I am grateful. It was a great reminder to stop a complaint mid sentence and just give thanks. Thank you Lord.

Good night all!!
P.S. I Love My Z-Phi-B!!