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!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Day 15: The Body Speaks...Taking it Easy

After all that excitement and fun this weekend, it was time to buckle down on this Monday. I got up early and was able to get some writing down. I finished one assignment and started on another. I cooked a little and thought I was really going to get down to business...but my body had another plan.

I'm not feeling the greatest and having some...discomfort. It will clear up in a few days I'm sure (I know all the women reading this know what I'm going through). In the mean time, I did what I could, but had to lay down and take a nap. Got up, took a walk and again I cooked, but I really haven't been that hungry. I'm sipping on some green tea now, with strawberry syrup. I also had some strawberries earlier. My aunt, rest her soul, said strawberry anything will soothe the uneasiness. We'll see...

Anyway, just checking in. Still determined to finish my "to do" list today...again, we'll see. Chao!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 14: Tell Us Your Story, We Can Always Learn!!

Today was such an eventful day!! It was all good through and through!! First, my daughter and I visited a new church and it was awesome!! The people were friendly (not to mention I seemed to know alot of people there), the message was great and it felt like a good fit. It has been a long time since my daughter and I attended and sat in church together (normally she's working on the video cameras and I wasn't there). It was a good feeling and the message was good!! I have to say again, it was a nice fit. I'm not ready to make a decision about joining yet, but I will definitely be back.

That was just the beginning of my day, and although it was great, it wasn't even the highlight of my day. I headed over to Elizabeth's House for a production called "Your Story, Writing Memoirs/Writing Plays". It was the completed writing works of some dynamic women who completed a summer writing workshop and today they were sharing their stories on stage. I laughed and teared up hearing these stories. It's the perfect close of this awesome VOICE themed weekend series. It seems like everything that happened this weekend was about our voices, using them to share our stories.

For this reason, I was elated to be in the presence of such great women opening themselves up to share a little piece of them. My favorite story of them all included a conversation between us and our hearts. The lesson I learned is that the heart is always speaking and sometimes we have to stop and listen in order to hear it speak to us. The heart know US, who we are, what we were created to do and how to BE that which we were created to be. Such an awesome display (Great job LaToya!!) of a candid conversation we should all have. Often we're busy doing what we "think" we should and what others tell us to, but our desires, our passion, our heart speaks for itself. It knows where we need to be. Let's listen and see what's next!! It's sure to be easy and fun!! (Right Beth? RIGHT!!)

Now, I know I haven't mentioned the healthy side of the challenges in a few blogs, but let me tell you what I learned today. It was the icing (not literally though...that would NOT be healthy) on the cake of my day!! God is so great and life is so funny...we ALWAYS get what we need when we need it. At the event, I met a woman who is a naturalist guru (she wouldn't accept guru, but she is). Anyway, I asked her about a natural weed killer for my back yard. Her response...

"I don't kill my weeds, I eat them." 

She took a couple of us outside and starting educating us on the edible "weeds" in the yard. I was so tickled to learn this and of course, I tried a couple. I can't wait to make my next salad with what I picked from my own backyard!! That's pretty darn frugalicious if you ask me!! Just sharing, enjoy your evening!! 

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Day 13: Using My Voice and Living My Dream!!

Speaking of voices (from yesterday)...Let me tell you how freeing it is to write this blog and use my voice. A year ago I only thought about blogging, but felt like I wouldn't have anything to share, anything to write about. This 30 day challenge has opened me up to all kind of opportunities to talk and share.

This challenge has given me the strength and confidence to go on and do more things, just so I can share more things!! It's given me the courage to stand up to my past fears and just GO FOR IT!! I would suggest to anyone to do try this challenge as well. It is so exciting!!

Today was no different. A little background...in case you don't know, I'm a voice over actress. I have it on my facebook page, of course my business cards and even...my car!! If you don't know what it is, let me explain. The simple answer, it's the person(s) in commercial you hear, but don't see. My excitement today is because there is this AWESOME animation project I have been wanting to be part of...today was our table reading/casting/rehearsal. You should check out his work, he's a very talented animator/artist: http://www.blackwolf3dentertainment.com/FullBleed_Index.html 

I've known about this rehearsal for about a week, so I was okay at first. Then I started getting nervous about mid afternoon today. I had to tap on my anxiety to calm myself down. (Read about tapping here) LOL Then I remembered some advice my voice over mentor told me about making the characters my own and interpreting the script the way I saw that character. I re-read the script, channeled the characters and made them my own.

So fast forward to the table reading...I decided to conquer the jitters and volunteered to go first. I was prepared to read for ALL the female characters in the script. When I say I was prepared, I mean it. I had a different voice ready for each of the women for which I was going to audition. I only ended up voicing the main two, but I was excited to hear the writer, director, the BOSS say I nailed them!! I received a multiple character job!! YAY!! I felt very comfortable...like I was born to do this. Yeah, I was.

Day 12: I Have a Voice!!

Last night my book club went to see the movie The Help. We read the book a little while back and we were elated to find out it had been made into a movie!! We vowed to see it and we were not disappointed. There were some differences between the two, but there were so many subtleties in the book, there was no way to capture them all on screen. The special parts they did highlight, were done so very well.

Two things stood out for me, as they directly related to my life and why I am who I am and do what I do todxay. Aibileen, a black maid who was the main character, said at one point in the movie…"no one ever asked me how I felt before." This was in direct response to a female writer, who’d come back to their hometown after college, to write a book from the black maid’s (who raised white children) perspective.

Another key point throughout the movie was where Aibileen was shown with the white child for which she cared. She knew early that the child’s mother would not give her a fair chance at life, because of the way the little girl looked. So Aibileen taught her to feel good about herself, having her often recite the words, “I is kind, I is smart, I is important.”

This lesson is one we can all learn. Although she taught the little girl she was somebody, she didn’t feel that way about herself initially. It wasn’t until someone asked her for her opinion, did she realize her words were important too and what she thought and said counted for something. When she was asked to participate in the book, she was given that gift; learning just that. She had an opinion that counted; she had a perspective someone wanted to read; she had a VOICE.

THIS is why I blog and more importantly, why I share it. Everything I learn, I’m excited to pass it on because I believe EVERYONE matters. Sharing helps out someone else, whether we know it or not. Speaking a kind word, giving a little advice and sharing an experience with someone else can make great impacts on the world, one person or group at a time. It encourages strength, confidence and love. I’m reminded of a video of Oprah where she mentioned why she wanted to be a journalist…to give information to people, because sharing it will make the world a better place. I agree with her. I HAVE A VOICE and so do you!! USE IT!! Peace.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Know...and You Should Know Too!!

Today's been pretty laid back. I cooked and we ate leftovers. There were plenty of vegetables on my plate and plenty of green tea in my cup. I updated my budget sheet, mapped out my finances for the rest of the month and even put another load of laundry away. But...confession time: I never did complete my task of getting that dining room tabled cleaned off. I did a lot of it yesterday, but did not finish. I was too tired last night and today I just couldn't get motivated to do it. I am cooking again tonight, so hopefully I can get up enough energy to get it done.

Even though the last couple of days were driven by motivation, I have not been able to keep up the momentum today. I have a couple of projects to finish and I just can't bring myself to do them right now. I don't usually beat myself up because I always get the things done that I need to get done, but I sure would like to do it now!! At least I have my trusty "to do" list, because that keeps me on task. I just need to work on making it my "ta da" list instead!!

I was thinking earlier about what I wanted to say in today's blog, then I realized it's Thursday. Then I thought this is the perfect opportunity to focus on another side of healthy living: HIV testing. If you live in my hometown, then you (should) know that there are walk in hours for FREE HIV testing at the Aids Resource Center. I called in to verify because I was basing this information on some old information I obtained a while back. I'm glad I called because they moved the center!! If you have questions or you want to take advantage next Thursday, check them out: AIDS RESOURCE CENTER

Edited to preach...

If you are a mature adult, young or old, then taking care of your health and the health of your loved ones SHOULD be a priority!! This is ALL aspects of health, not just the ones we hear and agonize about (ie losing weight). I have heard so many excuses advocating the idea of NOT getting tested:

- People are scared. Well don't you want to know? Put your mind at ease. It would be scarier to have something, not know and pass it around. That is also very selfish to put others at risk.

- Negative stigma. This reason is plain stupid and quite frankly VERY immature. There is nothing wrong with you looking out for your own health. If you're adult enough to do adult things (drink, have sex, use drugs, pay to play), then you are adult enough to protect yourself and others. If someone has the nerve to make you feel uncomfortable about getting tested, then PLEASE DON'T MESS WITH THEM!! Oh, and encourage THEM to get to a center!!

I don't care WHAT reason people come up with to not know their status, because ALL of them are BS!!
Although I lacked motivation today, this is something that I decided to move on and and quickly. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly and makes you feel really comfortable!! Shout out to the SUPER cool Jared at ARC Ohio!! Listen, you don't have to wait until you think the worst or until December for World Aids Day. You can get tested anytime you like.



It only takes 20 minutes!!

It's FREE!!

There are no excuses...KNOW YOUR STATUS!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Day 10: A Change in Plans

After an awesomely productive day yesterday, my day's plan was supposed to be spent out in the country watching and brushing horses, but unfortunately, it didn't work out this time...oh well, c'est la vie!! Maybe we'll try again next week...

Anyway, I was still motivated (after a little encouraging self talk) to get up and get moving this morning. It felt so good to get back in the gym. Today, it was one hour of Cardio Mix, which includes a half hour of floor aerobics and another half hour of Zumba. I LOVE the Zumba part and usually get a gust of excited second wind when that part of the class starts!!

So, needless to say, I have had a great deal of water today. I enjoyed some of the sweetest strawberries I've ever had too. In fact, I was so motivated when I got home that I began preparation for tonight's dinner - my own veggie fried rice. I added spinach to the rice while cooking then refrigerated it to use for later (the recipe calls for cold rice). I cannot wait!! This might just be a great meatless Wednesday after all!! I try to go meatless every Wednesday, but I rarely make it. We'll see about today...

Also, I was glad to have been able to sit and chat with a new friend I met in my writing class. She's 70 years old (and does not look it at all) and has the best stories about life: what she's done and where she's been. I had my favorite green tea (goodness, I have been to the coffee shop alot lately) and she had a tea latte, although she's an avid coffee drinker. Our chat was so colorful; filled with laughter and even a couple of tears. We plan to get together on a regular basis. I will be helping her work with the computer and her household appliances and she's advising me on how to do some gardening in my backyard.

I wish I had gotten a pic with us both...next time for sure. I did however document my post workout water break!! LOL Enjoy your day!!

Committment Today: Clean up my dining room and clear off the table. It's my clutter magnet!! I INTEND to complete that task TODAY!! Until next time...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Day 9: Diary of a Domestic Diva: Another Challenge Coming…

It was get my “Domestic Diva” on Day!! Things have been so busy, my house has been the object of neglect instead of affection. I had to change that today. I know you hardworking people can relate. Sometimes you just need to stay at home and take care of business!! In the spirit of all challenges I’ve been doing, this domestic day has inspired me to do yet another one!! Can you believe that? Is the even possible? Yes, and I think it will be a great supplement to this month.

I won’t take on another 30 day challenge to do these things, but I do look forward to sharing my progress within this challenge and in my normal blogging. I know many of you also have a list…what kind of list? The list of things you WANT to do around the house, but you never get around to doing them because of all the normal hustle and bustle and quite frankly, “you don’t have the time”.

Before the summer ends (which is into September, thank goodness), it is my intention to complete most, if not all, of these projects. I know I can get some folks to take on this project with me, so grab a pen and write down all the “unfinished business” regarding your home or car. Here’s the beginning of mine:
  • Hang artwork in my voiceover room (beautiful painting by my artist cousin)
  • Assemble brand new jewelry box I received for Christmas (sigh…I know)
  • Clean out the storage spaces in my basement
  • Find and install a credenza for a vacant space in my dining room
  • Recycle bag of old clothes at Salvation Army for roofing material
  • Clean light covers in the kitchen
  • Whole house dusting
  • Re-caulk the bathroom
  • Get rid of all the weeds in my yard
  • Clean main floor carpet
So, that’s my short list and I’m sure I’ll find more as time goes on. This is the list I’m working on from now until mid September. My accomplishments for today include: four loads of laundry (sorted, washed, dried AND put away), dropped of bag of donations and recycled plastic bags at Goodwill, hung up clothes laying around, took out recycling, did my follow ups and other computer work, cooked and wrote this blog.

On the other challenge note, most of my exercise has been in the form of walking and housework (steps mostly). My veggie and water game was up yesterday and today as well. I’m adding vegetables to every dish I can throw them in!! Today is no different: large salad for lunch, with a turkey wrap with spinach and tomatoes. Then for dinner we’re having steamed veggies and I snuck some spinach in the mac & cheese (I guess it’s not sneaking if the cheese is green.) LOL

It's time for me to take a load off...have a cookie with me!! Enjoy your evening!!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Day 8: Affirm This!!

I'm glad to share today's blog with you, as I just left a very inspiring and powerful EFT tapping session!! What is EFT you ask? It's Emotional Freedom Techniques and it's a healing system and practice that is used for emotional, mental and physical health. The practice of tapping helps to balance ourselves, removing the emotional blocks that come upon us daily. Feel free to do some research. You will not regret it!!

I was first introduced to the Tapping Technique at Elizabeth's_House here in Toledo. There I met Cindy Baker, an Energy Psychology Practitioner, who gave a detailed background of EFT and taught the tapping practice. Want to know more, check out her website at http://www.tapptoledo.com/

Our group started off by tapping to release weight, but it has since evolved into tapping on any blocks that we found came up in our daily lives over the course of 30 days. This is an awesome group of women with awesome stories about how tapping has worked in our lives. From the first time, I was hooked and I was happy to share it with anyone who would listen. I've even shared with an online Sister of mine and she reported back AWESOME results!! That's exactly what we experience in our sessions: results!! The group is growing and every time we tap, something shifts. Healing is there!!

Many of you who know me, know that I'm all about affirmations!! Well, practicing this technique takes affirmations to a much higher level. If you want to see a shift in your emotional, mental or physical life, if you want to break old habits and start new positive ones, or if you just want to live a much more positive and exciting life, start saying and doing affirmations. Learn some tapping techniques and pick up my book recommendation: You Can Heal Your Life by Louise L. Hay.

I literally carry that book with me every where I go. (If you see me, go ahead and ask me...the book is in my purse). She created what she refers to as THE LIST. In this list, she identifies a problem area in your body, the probable cause, then an affirmation for you to use for your problem, helping you to creating a new thought pattern. For instance if you are having:

Problem: Colon Issues
Probable Cause: Fear of letting. Holding on to the past.
Affirmation: I easily release that which I no longer need. The past if over, and I am free.

Whatever you're feeling is addressed in this book. Make sure to pick it up!! I know this was a long one today. Can you tell I'm excited? I am indeed and I am convinced that this works and I want the world to know about it!!

So let's get started (or continue for those affirmation pros). Say it with me...
"I am healthy, whole and complete and I deeply and completely love and accept myself ."

Go and be great, for all is well!!

Day 7: Searching for the Right One

I am really appreciating all that are reading and commenting on my blog!! I really am enjoying these 30 days and I love sharing it with others!! So soon as I figure out how to respond to my blog, I will!! I read all the comments!!

Oh, I neglected to mention before that I have another challenge. It's not really a challenge, but the process could be challenging. I'm looking for a new church home. I decided to visit a new church every Sunday for all of August (actually I started at the end of July). I'm not just picking names out of a hat, I'm waiting to be led to them. I will get the unction to go there, then I'll go. I think this is another way that God is getting me back out in the community, as I have been a bit of a hermit for the last few months.

The last church that I was active in, was a non-denominational church and I have to say, in terms of teaching and life lessons, they set the bar pretty high. It's difficult to sit in a church and not get anything because my old body was light years ahead. I'm confident I'll find the right one though. Anyway, church today was...nice. The people were friendly enough, but it just wasn't home. I already have the next one picked out. I was on a date this evening and, although he didn't know it, he confirmed it for me...he also didn't even know I was doing this. So bizarre...

So, today, has been a great day. Plenty of water and had my new favorite green tea. Umm...I won't talk about the veggie game today...not any at all...I didn't really eat much today. I did do a fair amount of walking though after church. I'm satisfied and I'll make up for the veggie mishap tomorrow!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Day 6: Just a Little Reminder...

This is just a check in. Here I'm drinking Chinese Flower Green Tea with cherry syrup. I really enjoyed it!!

Besides crunching numbers with my Sorors, I really don't have much to share...except MANNERS go a long way!! Say it with me: "Please", "Thank You" and "Excuse Me!!" I was at the coffee shop yesterday and being the people watcher that I am, I was reminded that people do not always use them. This actually gave me an idea about something, but I'll have to share it at a later date. Hopefully, it will be developed enough to share during this month's challenge.

That's all for now, sorry it's late. Stay tuned for today's blog...it's coming later on.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Day 5: The Bigger Picture: Preparation

The message I received today: You have to look at the big picture and start preparing.
Someone told me recently that I’ve outgrown this place…I’ve thought about it, but them speaking it to me, confirmed it for me.

Too many times I’ve noticed that I care…oftentimes too much. I look at people and groups and in general I see mediocrity. I’m not happy with ever just being the status quo. My true friend spoke this time me, and even though we don’t always hear what we want, I’ve realized that she’s right on. Those that live that way are content with living that way and we cannot count on them to do anything different. Sadly, this is truer than I ever imagined.

I know that I’ve personally tried to raise morale with progressive thoughts, but those who are not forward thinking are not going to grasp those concepts. It could be they don’t care or they don’t know. My personal thought…they don’t care to know. That’s okay…it’s fine. THAT’S OKAY!!

My job is not to change anyone’s thoughts or perceptions, but I will challenge them. My focus is to be all that I AM and move forward and upward in my life. The choices we make are for a purpose and it is up to us individually to determine and decide what that purpose is.

My challenge to both me and you: Look at the bigger picture. How does your life and what you’re doing right now fit in with your greater purpose? See the big picture and start preparing. Prepare your mind, your body, your heart for the next thing, for the best is yet to come. Let your focus be on what’s ahead of you and not what was, wasn’t or could have been.

Always let your light shine bright and do what’s right for you, no matter what others are doing. Don’t waste any more time worrying or getting upset because others don’t “get it”. I know we’d all like to take everyone along with us on our journeys, but the fact of the matter is, we’re just going to have to leave some folks behind. Know when you’ve outgrown something and PREPARE to move on. The time will come for us to pick up and go.

If you’re operating in a box, that’s too small for you, then bust out!! Get yourself in order and clear out some space!! I'm dusting and cleaning out my corners and challenge you to do the same!! Get ready, get prepared!! The world is waiting on you!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Focused: Day 4

Today is a pretty quiet one...I found enough time to get cute, as I seem to be more productive that way, but it's been all work today!! Endless research, brainstorming and thinking, writing plans and arranging things to be set in motion.

Yesterday was a good reminder of where I need to be and after chatting with a friend, I know I'm on my way. I'm up for the challenge of wading through the nonsense of life and coming out smelling like a rose.

This was just a quick check in. Above is my focused look.

Oh, and wait, I'm getting in my water in too!!
<-----------------------------This is WATER!!

<-------------- This too!!

I'm on it!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Reflection: Day 3

So, I’m having issues with my internet access at home. I’m very observant, so I have come to realize that this tends to happen when I need to be quiet and still. So, I took this opportunity to do some housework (my exercise today), cook (ensuring healthy eating with lots of veggies) and meditation.
Sometimes meditating makes me sleepy, so you can guess I had a pretty good nap today. Along with this, I had some good reflection time. I like when I get to do this, which isn’t often unfortunately. It allows me to quiet everything around me and that’s a task because there is always something going on in my life. I ignored the phone and just sat to think.
Today was about focus. We always have something to do, but without focus, I find that sometimes I do things in a very haphazard way. In some seasons, I’m okay with that, but right now, it’s not the best thing. I realized today that everything I do, in this particular season of my life, needs to be purposeful. It needs to mean something to me and be related to where I want to go next.
This prompted me to write some goals and make some decisions. I can no longer be concerned with what others think or say about my decisions. I’m doing it because it’s what I need to do, to be where I need to go. I listed my personal, professional and relationship goals down on paper. Now it’s time for me to take the advice I give others, a lesson I learned from author Henriette_Anne_Klauser. Since I wrote it down, it’s time to make it happen.
If you’re feeling lost or like your life is going every which way, take the time to relax, silence your thoughts (and others) and reflect. If you are seeking something, you are sure to find it. We already have it in us. It’s time to pull it out…Namaste.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cute and Free: Checking In - Day 2

Well, it's Day 2 of THE CHALLENGES...at least I'm getting the blog in. Today has been such a whirlwind!!

Walking was abundant, today, but I slacked a bit on the water. Also, I didn't get in the veggie intake I desired, but lettuce and a few tomatoes made it to the palate.

On to some good stuff though. Today was a good day!! I spent some time with my parents and had a great meeting with my Sorority sisters. Throwing around ideas, along with an AWESOME writing class I had yesterday, is really putting me in a creative and positive mood!! The bonus, I looked cute today!! I was comfy in my maxi and wore my very own handcrafted jewelry. See for yourself!!

See told you!! Anyway, I'm signing off, but headed to get my water in...(my Soror just reminded me that she hasn't seen me drinking any during our meeting.) Time to get it in!! CHEERS!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

She's Awakened!! 30 Day Challenges - Day 1

Hello all!! It’s a new day and I’ve decided to participate in several 30 days challenges this month!!

On a personal note, I’m doing the 30 day photo journal. This will be letting you all know what I’m thinking, what’s going on and where I am!! This should be fun…well, at least interesting!! Shout out to Megan Yasu at thekitchensalon.com for the inspiration to do this one!! Check her out at: Thekitchensalon.com
On the Health scene, I’m participating in:

Veggie Challenge – a call out to myself to eat better, drink more water and frankly use up the millions of bags of frozen vegetables I have in my freezer!! Today, has been filled with carrots, corn, peas and even veggie chips!! Water has been plentiful!!

Exercise – this is self-explanatory and it’s the second time I’ve done this one this summer. Every day, I pledge to move my body for at least 30 minutes and report back on Facebook. Want to join in the fun, join here: Health_and_Wellness
This is just the jumpstart I need to get into the swing of things. July was full of ups and downs and unfortunately, so many downs, I couldn’t even bring myself to blog about it. Now, I’m reclaiming that zest for life and I want to share it with you, hopefully sparking something in someone else.

We’re here to live, so let’s do it!!

Here’s my Day #1 photo!! It’s August, I’m feeling free and it’s time to give all of me!! I’m smiling!! Hope you enjoy today!!