Reach, Grow…GO!!!

Daily Nugget: There will never be a shortage of folks who want to remind you of who you used to be or what you used to do. Can’t outrun that but that’s not your worry or your whole story. Grow anyway…change anyway…become your best YOU anyway. Now breathe, stretch and go do what you need to do. This next chapter comes with its own challenges and triumphs. You don’t have to keep reliving volume one just to satisfy “them”.  Your purpose cannot be fulfilled in the minds of others. It is not their responsibility.  Take hold of your dreams….learn from your past and embrace your MUCHNESS. Your dream should be big enough that it scares you..that’s the point!!! Challenge yourself to take that first step and then another. Naysayers will always be on their assignment, trying to discourage you.

I encourage you to allow the sounds of your heart beating, faith exceeding and goal achieving to drown out that noise. This is YOUR life and yes it is your turn. On your mark, get set…..GROW!!!

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Balancing Act 101

“If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing” 1 Corinthians 13: 3

 

Often, in life, we become overwhelmed with all that we have taken on feeling very depleted and as many of us discover “with nothing to show for it”.  We have to work, our husbands/wives need us, children require our time. We care for aging parents and friends call on us for support. We surrender “me time”, we put off going back to school, cancel gym memberships and rarely tend to our own needs. Does this sound familiar?

One of our greatest challenges in life is finding balance. Time to do the things we need to do and time to enjoy the fruits of our labor. At some point many of us justify short changing ourselves because we feel guilty about not being everything for everyone around us. What if I take that vacation and something happens while I am gone? What if I sign up for school and no one is home when the kids get there? What if I spend that money? What if I oversleep? It is never a blessing to be everything for everyone and yet nothing for yourself.  Should I say that again?

It is never a blessing to be everything for everyone else and yet nothing for yourself.  When we give, let it be from a place of abundance. Give love to others by first having love for yourself. Give time to others by first making time for yourself. You see when we experience the benefit of the gift, we can give it more abundantly. How can you counsel someone if you are stressed out yourself? How can you loan money if all your bills are behind? How can you give love if you don’t feel you deserve love?

I have met some of the most giving, loving people in the world. They will surrender the shirt on their very back but live in misery. Somehow in all their good deeds they feel unworthy of partaking in some of that goodness for themselves.  The relationships we nurture should come from a wholeness and ability to share some of what is in us, not just out of courtesy or “doing the right thing”.  Once you love yourself you will give a love that moves mountains. Once you take care of yourself you will care for others in a way that uplifts, supports and empowers.  Wholeness thereby speaks to your abundance. Think about it when you have a car you love you put in the “good” gas, that represents the way we love others, but when you driving the hooptee any ole gas will do, that represents how we treat ourselves.

How can you put more into being a blessing if you are not first thankful for YOUR blessing? Do you intend to treat your blessings as burdens? You see life is a blessing. Love for self is a blessing.  Balance is a blessing. It is time to embrace our blessings and walk in our truth. Let your motto be “ I am better to you when I am great to me.”  An abundance of love will allow us to give and never run dry. Why? Because we have tapped into a source who never runs short on the supply.

How do you know when your balance is off? You feel it. Too tired to think, overwhelmed and depressed.  Alone and annoyed…depleted.  Balance is key. There will always be just 24 hours in a day, no matter how you look at it. The quantity of time spent will not change the world but the quality of time spent will. Your best life is still waiting for you to receive it. Gain from it so that you may share the abundance with others.

 

“Faith, hope and love…but the greatest of these is love” 1Corinthians 13:13

 

 

The “Independent” Woman — We Have Been Misled!

I was born in the 70s. A time of discovery for women. They discovered wearing pants, became more involved in political processes, and taking on positions that were previously held by men. Being African-American or Afro-American women the time included dashikis, wearing our natural hair and speaking up and out…the louder, the prouder. Being a child in that timeline meant I watched my mother and her friends trade in their aprons and go full-time into the workforce. I was surrounded by single moms who were making their own money, taking care of their families and didn’t NEED a man at all. My favorite commercial back then was one were the women were singing “I can bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan”. Being a woman was GREAT but being an INDEPENDENT woman was greater!

The one thing wasn’t included for me was much discussion about productive relationships or the role of wife and mother in the home. It also didn’t include celebrating your significant other or how to navigate matters of the heart. You see a self-sufficient woman learns how to do all those things. She stands up and steps up for her family in a time of need without making her partner feel less than because of it.  She knows that there is a power in a gentle word, compassion and partnership.

The idea of being an INDEPENDENT woman came to me with all the attitude of “I don’t need nobody”.  But from where I was standing it worked. Right? The women around me who had a husband/boyfriend kept him “in line”. They monitored his every move, set up and conducted successful STING operations, knew what his pay check looked like and were quick to the draw when he didn’t comply with the rules. Sounds like some Charlie’s Angels stuff right there!! I watched these women and I admired them and so many of us desired to become just like them. You see the quality of life we were in pursuit of had to have all the drama and delightful defeat in order to claim the title “Baddest B**ch”.

What do I know now? I know that independence is beautiful, when properly executed. Knowing how to wash my own clothes and cook a meal is independence.  Being able to balance a check book (still not too good at that one) is independence. Taking my car in to be serviced, attending my son’s track meet even if his dad doesn’t..is indepence. Stepping out into this big world and trying something, learning something, doing something new..THAT is independence. However,  the emotional and spiritual beating down of another is not.  Moving through life thinking you have all the answers and everyone better listen is NOT. Controlling someone else, at all cost, is not.  Belittling someone because they didn’t do it your way is not. Oh and no matter what you are wearing or how fine you may be..that still isn’t attractive.

In many of our lives there has or will come a time when a medical professional will use the phrase “quality of life” when discussing the care of ourselves or a loved one.  I have learned that usually has little to nothing to do with the car we drive or the clothes we wear. Nor will it have anything to do with the fear we ignite in others by the meer mention of our name.  Quality speaks to peace, emotional and physical comfort. These things cannot exist in a spirit filled with malice and strife.

Being self-sufficient allows us to see value in others. It breeds compassion and appreciation. Great partnerships are born and amazing love stories take shape.  A self-sufficient woman chooses quality of life over quantity in life. She invests in herself, she motivates others. She has no problem sharing the spotlight. She isn’t the latest trend..she’s legendary.

I’m Afraid of….SUCCESS

I’m afraid of success…sounds crazy right? Well it’s true and I know I am not alone.  You see, most of us are all too familiar with what it feels like to lose. We spend a great deal of our existence getting over losses (relationships, jobs, money, friendships, loved ones, status). What we often run from is the mysterious place called SUCCESS.  I often find myself excited about the potential a project holds. I dream about living in the house of my dreams, driving the car of my dreams, standing in an arena speaking to crowds as far as the eye can see dressed finer than frog hair but then I wake up.  In a relationship, I fantasize about being the pampered princess getting flowers, candy and all kinds of gifts just because I exist. I imagine being celebrated and longed for…adored. Then I wake up.  You see success is, for most of us, very much a beautiful nightmare.  I have been afraid that I would make it to that place (success) and be seated at a table, right next to Oprah, Michelle Obama, Ellen, Queen Latifah and Maya Angelou. I picture them laughing and sharing stories of success much greater than mine. I fear the moment they ask my opinion because I couldn’t imagine being polished enough to have anything purposeful to add to the conversation. I fear realizing, at that moment, I am not a success…just a lucky fool.

Fear of failure is not often the culprit that ‘s keeping us shackled to a mediocre existence…fear of our own greatness is.  Spending too much second guessing where we belong, if we are deserving, what if “they” are better than I think I am are the haunting thoughts that rob us of being truly free.  Looking at ourselves in a warped mirror (state of mind) and finding nothing more than flaws. What do successful people know that we don’t? I figure they know that win or lose tomorrow is going to come and I can try again. Success thereby is more of an attitude..a state of being, than anything else.

Every day I live I get to choose who I want to be. Fear of being great is a smoke screen too many of us have gotten caught up in.  I have dreamed a lot of dreams in my lifetime. All of which are truly achievable. Never have I dreamed I was a fish in the ocean or a bird in the sky.  I dreamed I was great in my purpose. I am prosperous and respected. I am loved and needed. I have friends and family. That is winning..on every level!

What is the lesson here? Don’t let fear steal your joy. Don’t let the enemy throw your dream, your purpose into the black hole of nothingness. You already know what failing looks like. It is time to know what winning, growing, loving and showing is! Once upon a time, this blog was even a dream. Fear tried to kill it, WHO DO YOU THINK WON?

Blessings~

 

The Pursuit of Happiness

Happiness…

Or at least the pursuit thereof. So many times we are looking for the very thing that we do not have; instead of being content in the state that we are in. Yeah, I know, easier said than done. We even search for and make attempts to seek happiness for our children; wanting to provide more for them than what we had. So, let us see what we are really looking for. If you are willing to take this journey with me, know that I am no expert, nor do I have it “all together”. Actually, I am like you, in pursuit of my own happiness. Perhaps we can work this thing out together and grow with one another.

There are several theories of happiness established to identify a qualitative value of how we can measure this mental state of well-being. Now if they could just put it in a pill, perfume bottle, or soap dispenser, then we would be well on our way to the cure for unhappiness. But I am pretty sure the cure for the common cold will be discovered first.

Let us tackle this thing for all that it’s worth, or at least seems to be the thing that greets us every day on our to do list and the same thing we resolve year in and year out.

Definition –

Happiness (noun) is the quality or state of being happy. To be happy is an adjective (a modifier of a noun and not able to stand alone) meaning to be delighted, pleased, or glad as over a particular thing. Let me take you another further: happenings (verb) to befall, as to a person or thing; hap (noun) is an occurrence.

Why you ask did we go thru this grammar lesson? Again, bear with me as we navigate thru this labyrinth of our eternal journey; a journey that crosses all barriers of race, gender, language, and personal beliefs.

This leads us to the simple truth that happiness is based on happenings. So often we are trapped in the whirlwind of life that we do not slow down to realize that we have more to be happy about than we actually realize. How many times have you caught yourself saying “I am not happy with ….” It’s usually because of something that has happened. All of a sudden you aren’t happy with your job, yet 6 months ago when you didn’t have a job you weren’t happy with being unemployed either. Now you can substitute the underlined for anything happening in your life.

Are you going to be happy about everything that life has to offer or throws our way? Of course not! But it’s not necessarily what makes you unhappy, it’s how you manage it and move on from it. You want happiness, take the helm of your own destiny. You want more in life, do what it takes to get your happy. Where there’s a will, there’s a way; if you have the will, then you’ll be able to make a way.

To be, or not to be; happy that is, is up to you…

 

Written and Submitted by Contributing Author: Shanterra Carter-Bruce

Our Thoughts Create Our Reality

To achieve success in any area of your life be inspired to think and speak it. How many times have you thought about something good, bad or indifferent and that thought transitioned into reality? What would happen if you start to claim everything your heart desires? You just may receive it!!

What do you believe is your reality? No matter how much you give of yourself, you never feel appreciated. You have been through some things and no one really understands. Well if they said you cannot do it, then it must be true. Your past has a grip on you that won’t seem to let go. If you truly believe the reality of these thoughts is holding you back, you are probably right. How can expect someone to want more for you if you do not want more for yourself?

Think about this: You have been unemployed for a while and after sending your resume to several companies you finally get a job interview. The position fits your background, has growth potential and most importantly provides you with benefits that will get you back on your feet. The day of the interview you are professionally dressed and fully prepared for every question that will probably be asked. But you left one thing at home . . . your confidence. As soon as the interview concluded, you walked out thinking, “I know I didn’t get that job.” Guess what? You are probably right because you mentally sabotaged yourself and your abilities. In addition, if you carried that negative thought out the door, more than likely you carried it in with you. What would have happened if you had claimed it as your job?

Negative thoughts can hold you back from realizing your potential and sometimes those thoughts include things others have said to you, past experiences and fear. Unfortunately, no matter what you do (good or bad) people will have an opinion. It is human nature. Recognize that those are their opinions and not yours. Don’t claim their thoughts or opinions; claim your own and make them positive.

The definition of past: having existed or taken place in a period before the present. Guess what? You cannot change the past, learn from it and move on. Easier said than done but if you are willing to put in the effort it can happen. On James Fortune’s Identity cd, there is a song that states, “The curse is broken. Your past is not who you are.” Ladies, you don’t live there anymore so do yourself a favor and stop visiting.

 

 

Why be fearful? You are stronger than any fear you are keeping in your pocket. Choose to gain more confidence than you know what to do with. As for fear, it is one of those words you should not claim. So write it down and scratch it out!

Now that you have gotten rid of your fear, let’s identify ways to transition your thoughts and fulfill your heart’s desires.

Dr. Deepak Chopra, Co-Founder of Chopra Center for Wellbeing (www.chopra.com) states in The Law of Detachment, “In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty . . . in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from our past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning.”

  • Make a conscious effort to transition negative thoughts into positive thoughts. This may be a challenge because sometimes you are unable to recognize the positive side of a negative situation.
  • Be committed to making a transition. It is so easy to give up and throw in the towel at the first sight of trouble. But, anything worth having requires commitment and may challenge your every being. However, if you are seeking inner peace, you have to choose your starting point and want it for yourself.
  • Don’t get discouraged when things do not go as planned. Tomorrow is another day, consider it as a do over. (Just don’t have too many do overs.)

Dr. David Simon, Co-Founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing (www.chopra.com/files/newsletter/Jan12/Jan12-David.html) shares how to choose intentions that are right for you. To fulfill your hearts desires, draw up a contract between your physical body, your thought-generating mind, and your observing soul. It is important to get agreement from all three.

  • Body – allows you to experience it and take action
  • Mind – allows you to think about it
  • Soul – is your silent guide

If your mind, body, and soul say “yes” to a choice and you move forward with that option, you are more likely to manifest the desired outcome. Similarly, when your mind, body, and soul send you signals that a particular choice is best avoided – and you heed that message – you are almost certain to avoid distress.

Sister Friends, this is the beginning of your journey towards obtaining inner peace; your journey towards allowing positive thoughts to create your reality. Change does not occur overnight but each day you can get a step closer. Take that first step by investing in you. The curse is broken and the woman of the past no longer exists.

Be Inspired and Inspire Someone                                                                                                                                 Written By: Tina C. Hines, President / For My Sister Friends

       

Roots and Wings

As we walk in our truth, in the pursuit of positive change and growth, we must keep in mind that our thoughts become things. If we think abundance and prosperity, we will live in abundance and prosperity. If we think about failure and defeat, we will live in that as well.  I challenge you to pray about, speak about and move consciously towards the life you MOST desire leaving behind the disappointments of the past. No this is not easy, but who promised it would be?  One of the greatest legacies we can leave is a fearless quest for greatness.  One that will equip our children with a life lesson that keeps on giving. That it is not our falling down that breaks us but, in fact, our getting up will MAKE us.  Our daughters and their daughters should not be afraid of this big world and neither should we.

Our younger selves would probably beat up our current self if she caught us hiding from a challenge. She knows you’re bigger than this moment.  Our truth is a journey into self discovery. It will make us open doors that were closed, turn on the lights in dark places, turn a whisper into a yell and free fall from a high place into an unknown space.

It is our responsibility to give the our girls the two things they need to grow and flourish, ROOTS and WINGS. We can’t make it without them and they won’t make it without us.  Happy trails!!!!

Do you have a positive social support system?

Support systems can give us advice, help us to learn new skills, keep us on the right track, and hold us accountable to do what needs to be done.

 I love that fact the people on Facebook I have never meet or verbally talked with over the  phone but they support our activities of isista, rather on blog talk radio, or reposting my status. The more supportive people you have in your life the more effective your support system will be.

 

How Do you Build a Stong Support System?

Surrounding Yourself with the Right People Will Lead to Your Success

These should be people who know you well and are able to notice when your behavior becomes unusual or unhealthy. They should be positive and encouraging and help you experience more hope, courage and strength.They are the ones that are feeding your mind on a regular basis. Having self-confidence that will never fail is a manifestation of a strong mind. Anything we want to be strong in the future needs to fed in the present.

I realize I have those people, you would think they are your family members or closest friend but they are the people who are striving for success just as I am.

Everyone you invite into your life should make you better.

Have a support system that will hold you accountable without YOU being offended. These are the people who will tell you what you need to hear, no matter how much the truth hurts.

You need people who will be with you, no matter what. When you win, they are happy without reservation. If someone is doing the same thing you are doing and getting noticed or excelling, don’t be upset, jealous, disappointed, and a hater. Haters have decided that their best hope for happiness is to sabotage your attempt to be great rather than stage an attempt of their own.

Avoid enablers those people that tell you want you want to hear, but following their advice always seems to get you in trouble.

Lastly, Be your own best friend, position yourself for success.

Who do you have in your life that can serve as a support?

Tanisha Simpkins, iSista

Rededicating yourself back to you

There are times in our life when we lose who we really are. This can be done through relationships, telling lies, or even through online profiles.

Recently seen a young lady say “ she is reborn” I know reborn meant to be accepting the Lord as your savior, but her reborn was reclaiming her identity.

Have you ever felt like, I don’t know myself or I’m losing myself? This happens when we give ourselves to people and allow them to do what ever in our lives or treat us in any form they feel.

Rededicate is to redeem ….. Redeem yourself back to you …say to the person who treating you like crap, I am not that person you think I am…… say I’m not going to continue living my life as a lie…….Take back your identity ….…Self examine your priorities…..enjoy the things you like to do…..stop catering to others and never yourself…..ask your self the question who am I?

Who ever you truly are be happy being you.

Here’s a declaration

Self,

I choose this day to rededicate my life to Me. I commit my heart, my mind, my words, my actions, everything I have, and everything that I am to Me. I purposely draw close to myself. I ask that You forgive me of all things unlike me. Likewise, I now receive self love, comfort, and guidance. I thank Me for receiving me and for this new fresh start in Me

Tanisha Simpkins, iSista

I’m Every Woman…..So Are YOU!!

Ladies this message has been exploding in my heart all day and I want you to know that the enemy is so treacherous and afraid of the truth that he tried every trick in the book to keep me from sharing (internet connection, FB would not open, password problems and then the first draft of this posting mysteriously disappeared) but that just confirmed for me that I am exactly where I am suppose to be at this moment doing exactly what I am suppose to be doing. I can proudly say to the enemy “U are a liar!” You know you are on the road to a breakthrough when everything seems to be getting in your way sistas. Please know that!

This past week I have spoken to so many of my sistas and have been broken hearted for each of them over what they shared with me. Even though none of their stories were the same they all shared one thing…defeat. Made me wonder do any of us truly know that our personal perception of life starts from the inside and manifests on the outside?

Ladies, let me say that I too am pressing through an issue that is not easy to accept and continues to challenge me. I find peace in the knowledge that this is yet a moment in time and that I have already been placed on a path to the victory I deserve. It bothers me, yes it does, but it does not consumme me. I am a believer that just when we think that our problem is the biggest, toughest, most impossible obstacle in this world we can be reminded that this battle, just as so many before it, is not ours. It does not define your life’s purpose. Sistas we are survivors! We overcome! Truth is we are being polished and we shine brighter everytime.

I hear my sistas say “I know things will get better. God is working it out” However, they are walking around with their heads hung low and their body slumped over in defeat. How an we say we KNOW greater things are coming but carry ourselves as if all we have to look forward to is more pain and suffering? Kinda like wearing a Vera Wang gown with some dollar store chinese slippers. Can you picture that? Do u KNOW the commitment our Father has made to us? He can do all things…except fail! He gives us one another to lean on when our strength runs a little low.

Why, then, do we silently suffer? If our husbands cheat…our children become disorderly….our finances are a mess….our health is is failing…can we not say “sis I need you?” Sistas…can we reach out and take that needing hand and not judge? Can we show compassion?

I challenge each of you to do exactly that…..EACH ONE…REACH ONE!