Albert Einstein said this:
“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. The good man is the friend of all living things. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”
I love nature.
I didn’t love it very much until the earth visited ME. And that happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma or I should say when I moved out west . It was after a time of grief , as well. I was seeking solace , and happened upon a place that called to me.
Colors in the woods and cool sounds . (Even at midnight. )
I lived near a river, and the river became my beautiful place of refuge. Not being near the river any longer has shown me I took it for granted, somewhat, and also the spaces that I could have visited often .
Texas afforded me the same grace. And perhaps Texas was where it all began. I lived in a really cool home where I could see a great expanse, and I could cows watch cows over my back fence.
I believe our west the sky is brighter and there’s often more sun. Especially during the fall and winter months. During these prominent years, of growth and introspection, I grew quite a bit, and nature was my “go to” for self-care.
Once I lived right above the river , and the photo above was often my space of contemplation. Now I have new spaces for contemplation .
The spaces sort of vary, and are not as much woods and countryside , now that I live here in New York. We moved last year to prioritize family needs. And now, my space and time ventures back and forth between family, and activity and animals, and love .
Willow brings smiles to my face even when she doesn’t mean to .Shes a funny pup that loves water so much, they bought her a small pool. (She’s my brother’s dog. I haven’t gathered up enough courage to befriend a dog yet); however Willow is my go to when I need a little play. And boy, is she playful. She loves water and drinks very little of it, and prefers cooling off in it.
I am Enough Because I am Authentic
Being Authentic requires some self awareness, some grit, and intuitive knowledge about who you really are.
Authenticity requires you to be entrusted with something that people can depend upon with consistency; yet also its an innate ability to trust yourself, despite yourself. When you are truly authentic, you shine. You determine your limitations with skill, you know when you are well, and when you aren’t . And when you aren’t you decide : ‘its okay,…I can put this aside for now, and just be. ‘ I can spend a little time with myself and just decide I can plan a time out, or I if need a vacation, and I can plan it and go spend sometime with myself too.
So here are a few tips I have gained from being and practicing authenticity within:
- It’s an innate attempt to reach for Clarity.
- It’s taking the time to: Think.
- To Still Still in Quiet.
- To Receive Mindful Meditation.
- To Rest because you’re soul needs the Rejuvenation.
- To Celebrate Myself.
- To Validate & Encourage Myself, Especially when no one else does.
- To learn how to ‘Be’ with another who doesn’t mind sitting in quiet contemplation.
- To Forgive Myself.
- To be Patient with Myself.
- To find Hope even when I don’t feel like I can.
- I’ve learned to trust myself.
- Remember what’s genuine and ‘sound’ about me in my soul.
- To be self-aware: to ‘find a place for all those negative thoughts & the ones that are not good, throw them away – quite intentionally & consistently.
- To practice Self-Care.
Authentic people are:
Dependable, Honest, Convincing, Sure (about somethings & especially themselves… ) Believable, Persuasive. Present.
And… most of all…they LIKE themselves.
I have learned to like myself. Eventually, then transfer that like to self-love… during the hard times in life, you sort of need it like a life preserver .
I learned I am one who endures… it’s in my nature to thrive. So i do t have to worry about falling and not getting back up.
I am one who also manages to figure out how to love myself and see hardship, disappointment , difficulty, pain, and discouragement – frankly, as something I can cherish, once I can see the lesson on the other side . And even then, when I can’t see it, I am still built to get through it. For me, that’s courage, that fidelity to myself, and it’s winning.
If I can figure out how to win – and still be honest with where I am, and be okay with the struggle of it all, and even not okay, if that makes sense… then I am a pretty authentic person.
Brene Brown says – being authentic is: ” to show up and let our true selves be seen.” I have been showing up for several years.
I suppose this is me. Thanks for letting me share.
Identity & Worth . It’s a subject my sisters are discussing at Mentor My Sister. My platform online, that strives for authentic women and authentic connection. Identity-what gives me identity
What I spend time with – tends to give me identity . We can desire material wealth, cars, … to be in relationship with people and we can make idols out of all of them.
I have value in relationships, so I will share what comes up for me as I make mention of my value of several relationships I have, currently. Mainly they’ve been friends family and my spouse; but also mentorship .
My Family has given me identity. Now that i live closer to them, I have more opportunity to be influenced by them. You see, whether I cherish them or not. It’s up to me to decide if I’ll carry out a legacy of good or evil.I always say, if there’s good, make it better . And if it’s not good, make it exceptional. My Spouse is one who influences my identity . How we make decisions together, dream together… LIVE together makes a difference and influences my identity .l and my children’s identity as well. Friendships influence my identity . Whether I choose mentors, leaders, friends who live models lives or just have the challenge of daily survival, I can learn from them. I make space for mentors and people to influence me. I need leaders to pour into my life, so I find out where they are, and I serve, or join them in their discussions, or create them. Mentorship . Being mentored and mentoring others has brought great value in my life . I really enjoy having conversations about life with other leaders, friends and women who desire authentic relationships. Here are a few mentors in my life
Here are three places I’ve learned from other in my life : 1. Trees . I was in South Africa in May, of 2003 and i was teaching in a classroom about dreams. A teenager said to me: /“We Are All Like Trees.” I resounded after that encounter , because I realized I’ve always loved trees. The strength , growth and resiliency tees represent inspire me. I have never seen trees the same , since. 2. My African Heritage Family. I found identity in my African Heritage family. There’s a woman I know named Joyce Shabazz. She created a forum of people and a platform about people regaining their culture and heritage and finding value in what they see and experience, again. I attended for five, maybe six years a platform that help me transcend racism, my thoughts about my identities as wife, female, being oppressed, internalized oppression, my inadequacies and experiences about African American, and I re-claimed myself. The process and journey has been amazing. I’ve gained new international friends and I’ve learned new experiences I’ve gleaned and kept treasures forever sealed in my heart. I’ve come up a lot, and now I mentor others on perspective. 3. My Worth –
Where have I found worth and value?
What foundations have I established my worthiness upon? For years I pondered this. Growing up in an alcoholic family, My vision of myself and who I was was altered. It wasn’t my truth. It was an attempt to destroy my truth . I once was a girl of low self – esteem, insecurity and felt very inadequate . However I no longer espouse those characteristics . And today, I have evolved. I was determined to change the depiction of what my worth and value set as a template from birth to 20 years of age. Once I gained a determination of the will and had mentors in me that saw in me the greater good, and encouraged it- I realized I could truly be my best self. I reached for opportunities to be better: attended a historically black college , Howard University, experiences ethnicity in a new way, was determined to learn about my heritage, visited South Africa, ignored and distances myself from hate, and envy and people who represented this at all costs… and read books galore on the subject of identity , esteem and intrinsic value. And maybe my trips back and forth down the road to African Heritage, or a constant re-evaluation of my life purpose ; or maybe my trip to Africa all influenced me in major ways. Or maybe it was the fact i did t allow Opportunity to pass me by. Perhaps I reached for it with eager anticipation, and it became my friend. My mentor . My tutor. Yes, Opportunity became my Teacher.
I’ve had my share of unhealthy relationships. I believe the hardest part during this season of life for me was discerning was what was really “unhealthy”. I don’t really know that Ii had been taught that by example.
I believe I was simply unaware. Looking back, I wish i had spent more time with my younger self to determine who I was and what I desired in life, in order to have clarity about what I needed in a relationship.
I had not defined for myself what I needed, and valued and had not committed completely and wholeheartedly that those values were essential for me to thrive and to grow & thrive, in life .
Looking back: I am thinking of my journey saying to myself:
“What in the world was I doing?!”
Yeah, and it makes so much sense now that I know who I am …what my self -worth needs in order to thrive and be connected to another human being. I know what it means to be loved, and ‘in love.’
So I am going to share some thoughts on being in a healthy ‘vulnerable ‘ relationship, that helps us to thrive and be our best selves in our relationships .
I have decided to approach it from a vulnerable place, because I just like to be transparent . Vulnerability requires trust. And if you love someone vulnerability should be an essential part of helping that relationship to grow completely as individuals and also as a couple. Vulnerability with your partner should never be considered a weakness. You should continually be moving towards fruitfulness and transparency and greater love.
Here are a few things that being vulnerable in a relationship teaches you:
- Vulnerability teaches you to ask for help. You increase your connectedness to others and learn to empathize with them. It’s essential for growth.
- Being vulnerable teaches you the unknown parts of yourself. You develop a sense of resiliency and it challenges your authenticity – your heart mind and soul. It also helps you to be more self-aware.
- With vulnerability, you develop a new appreciation for self-care. Self-care is essential to a certain level of awareness and patterns with yourself. Being able to address them with honesty, help you to grow in vulnerability.
- Vulnerability teaches you to walk in realness. There’s a level of authenticity that comes from sharing honestly with others and you choose to listen, share and engage differently.
- Vulnerability teaches you to connect better to your emotional self. Knowing “why” you’re angry; “why “ you’re sad, and why you’re emotional and choosing to do continual, intentional self-evaluation – helps you notice yourself on another level.
- Being vulnerable allows you to have a better relationship with Grace. Not everyone understands grace and how to live in congruence with it; but what vulnerability teaches you is that grace is something we can ‘expect ‘ and ‘choose’ and live with intentionally, despite how we feel about life and how they occur- that things will get better, we will overcome ; and life can depended upon to operate in a full circle, that’s complete .
- Vulnerability teaches you to be grateful and share your thankfulness. Appreciation comes in several selfless acts. When you share openly, of what you’re thankful for you’ll find people appreciate you, and consider the same blessings . Is this something that is reciprocated in your relationships? If not, it’s something to consider.
- Vulnerability teaches you to be patient with yourself . When you push yourself past your limitations and you learn how to deal with successes despite being frustrated. You teach others how to be patient , as well.
- Author and spiritual leader Spencer Kimball says that “Humility is royalty without a crown.” Humility is learned by truly being vulnerable. Being able to acknowledge your weaknesses and to grow in wisdom and grace daily with intention, are life’s truest blessings.
- Vulnerability teaches you the most meaningful thing in life are learned by “pacing yourself ” through life. When I ‘slow my roll’ , I am informed, I am clear, I make room for more. Vulnerability leads me into the experience of “more”…
- Vulnerability teaches you to release. It helps you to recognize when you’re burdened or heavy, and that relationship , or situation needs to be let go. Maybe you’re carrying more than you should, if you have not yet recognized the value of letting go. When you choose to really ‘ think about what you’re thinking’, choosing to let go of weight that causes anxiety and stress helps us find a way to cope with our inadequate thoughts and insecurities. That’s truly being vulnerable.
Well …. we’ve come to the end of this segment. what have you learned that’s new today? Take one element of vulnerability and commit to trying something new in your relationships and trusting yourself to grow just a bit more.
I already know… one of my lifetime goals is to help women pursue purpose through deciding to love themselves, lead and leverage the playing ground by how they navigate the world before them. To live authentically, and experience Carpe’ diem! (Seize the day!)- via self expression, finding their voices and creating their own self-laws. Let me tell you… we cannot do this ideally with our identity suffering. There are many identity blockers that challenge us to think, behave and believe differently, every day of our lives. If we believe the things our minds tell us sometimes, then we will truly fail. And just because we have heard it a lot, doesn’t mean it’s actually true. In my dream, I desire to challenge women to be more of their ideal selves than who they really imagined themselves to be. I realized after working with so many women overtime – either through therapy, through small groups I’ve created for writing groups, book clubs, or mentoring groups that we all essentially desire to get to know ourselves, better when we are in the company of other women.
And better is good… because it helps us to stop and drive forward for our best selves. Just take time to notice and meditate on how you allow any of the identity blockers (above) to alter your course, in life. If you notice a few, ask yourself whats one way I can notice someone with the exact opposite ( of that identity blocker ) and ask them to share their story , or mentor me in some way, So I can learn that skill, too? I was just sharing with my mentoring group how I struggled a bit trying to determine what was right for me; as I began to wield my “two edged -one word”. I chuckle within myself, because My ‘one word’ for 2020, has become a focus of intentional regard and expression as I reach for this new identity !
I am finding the more I, seek for meaning with my word, the more I get invigorated to say more. And then I smile, because ‘asking, seeking and knocking’ are all concepts to help us grow and evolve. They are all principles that help us to manifest and develop into our best selves.
Are you truly asking, seeking and knocking for opportunity? Because the promises attached to this saying says : If you “ask it shall be given unto you, seek you and you shall find, and knock, and the door shall be opened unto you. (Matt 7:7)
ASK: “to challenge , to inquire to be on the hunt for…
SEEK: this one means to answer, pursue, and track down.
KNOCK: Did you know to knock means to ask again? It also means to seek. ( haha!) Isn’t that interesting.. we are asked to ask and then ask again… and seek some more… (Never stop asking or seeking!) There’s EXTREME benefit in it. Pretty deep huh?
Manifesting you’re dreams is good, I suppose . Just be mindful to not always set out with an intention to show off your gifts. Begin with purpose, ride the wave… and then you will end up surfing into another plan, another opportunity and another way to manage your gifts with lots of supporters around you; asking : How can we be a part of this thriving community!?
One day, I was in the woods, and I freed my soul. I attended a retreat, and sometimes that’s how you have to actually FREE yourself, you know, in nature…you go to those kind of places to retreat, and to hear yourself think, speak and and ponder. I really cannot recall the exact wounded soldier story; but perhaps this one fits. I did some soul work at this retreat. I came back feeling so invigorated.
It was in. It had autumn and to be honest, I was wounded. I had to get to the cool in the mornings, and I was trying to rejuvenate my soul. I was soul-weary. Just tired. The kind of tired you can be when no one else can understand it, kind of tired.
And here’s what I heard in my spirit: “No longer wounded, are you, soldier.” (Here’s a story that goes along with it, though…)
It was a fierce battle even for a soldier as seasoned as he was. No one knows for sure how the events transpired as they did. When it happened, it was almost over before it began. The soldier has had a lot of time to reflect on the battles leading up to this one. It had taken years of faithful duty for his commander to put him in such a front line position. The soldier had been decorated many times for standing strong against the enemy. He was not one of the ones who had to be coaxed into battle. He had seen first hand the destruction left in the wake of his enemy. He had seen the destroyed lives. He cannot remember the countless times he had talked so many through tough and difficult decisions in their own battles. He had relayed countless messages from his commander to others who were looking to find a place of safety against the onslaught of enemy weapons. He knew the importance of being prepared for battle. He had seen a lot of others who were not well prepared fall in the fight. He had always tried to make sure every skill and weapon was razor sharp. He knew his life and the lives of others depended on it. There had been times when he was amazed that he was still standing when the day of battle had ended. He had encouraged many a young warrior to stand strong and not faint at the fierce attacks of the enemy. There were occasional times when he was allowed to get some much needed rest but usually his life was spent being in a state of alertness and total awareness of everything around him. It was very seldom there was a lull in the enemies attacks. Usually if he wasn’t fighting on his on lines he was helping a brother soldier not be swamped by the enemy. There had been several times when he had to call for reinforcements and there was a special squad his commander kept in store to send to every soldiers aid. This special squad was terrible in their strength. Nothing could stand before them but the brunt of the battle was not given to them. Those were horrible times indeed but he thrilled at the way his commander had taken care of him. He would gladly follow wherever he was commanded to go, without question. I suppose in hind sight he had been able to see the attack coming but it looked like the same kind of battle he had fought so many times before and he wasn’t overly concerned. After all, hind sight is twenty/twenty.”
During the retreat, I noticed the weariness of my soul.I didn’t quite know it was weary til I really took the time to pull away and spend time on myself.
Alone. Yet observing Self.
From the outside looking in.
Well, if you read the story above- you will understand the place where I was. Sometimes, our souls can become weary because of ourselves. We then find ourselves without aid or assistance even we are really in a hard place.
I never want to be there, ever again. So we were given this exercise on the retreat asking us to nurture and care for our wounded soldier by walking out into the woods and comforting her. Taking time to empathize with her and tell her that she had every right to protect this space inside of her and to stop fighting fires and putting out other battles but to learn to fight our own battle, and not feel guilty or alone any more about doing it. So sympathize and empathize with our need for self- compassion and herald the battles we have fought, but also congratulate ourselves for a job well done. And for having the COURAGE to endure.
We were encouraged to take time to HEAL.
And I made a declaration in the woods, that day that I would build my own fortress and support my own cause and begin to herald my own work before I supported another’s cause.
And I was set free.
Like a bird, I flew that day in the woods.
Since that day, many things have been born. And I am grateful.
So even if you don’t have time, today, read that story, ( either here, or above).
And herald your own cause, fight your own battle, and save yourself.
Listen. To Yourself.
Be With Yourself.
You’re so worth it.
“I see you.”
It’s a phrase that several in my small family of African Heritage people ( I spend time with as a second family), say often.
Sometimes I hear people who really get a lot of pouring o to the lives of others … say often.
To be Seen.
What does it really mean?
I’m shall articulate as best as I can what it means to be noticed by someone… Authentically.
To be seen means to be heard.
To have someone hear your heart.
To have someone know you and understand you.
To be noticed and valued . Cherished.
To have your voice be validated.
To be trusted.
To be honored.
To be accepted.
To be learned of; develop interest in.
To inquire of.
To visit with,… delightfully.
To prefer .
And I’m certain there’s more.
But trust that you are in authentic relationship with someone if you have, and know and can perceive and BE in this type of authentic relationship of great value while spending time with a person as delightful as this.
The Rhythm Conscious Life is my Self-care course you can manage and develop on your own , online.
Enjoy new ideas to establish a new routine at home .
Find yourself & make your happiness a priority, in your heart, soul and mind.
Consider a new and invigorating perspective .
Honor the time, your talents, your perspective and your well-being in a new way.
Trust your intuition .
Consider and value yourself, differently.
I just thought this quote was phenomenally simple yet brilliant .
Perhaps it’s the reason reason why I advocate so strongly for self- care and healing.
Truth is, I haven’t said it so clearly, and so simply as this:
But y’all – Healing and seeking to be healed is not the easiest thing to do, but once you get there… it’s awesome attractive.
I mean to know yourself and have self-awareness and to have a partner who is the same- to have insight and understanding, helps you to thrive and grow even more.
I’ll come back to expand on these thoughts but for real.. I’d like to hear from you …
How has your reaching for healing changed your life and made you more attractive?