With Valentine’s Day just a week behind us and my one-year anniversary approaching, I’ve got love on the brain (Rihanna Voice). For me love was always this movie like thing, butterflies in the stomach, take my breath away feeling. And it was also my healer. The dopamine rush that came from a romantic relationship is what I sought. I wanted someone to complete me.

And while it is something that is truly unexplainable.  Something that takes hold of you and is quite possibly the best feeling in the world. It is not my healer, it is no longer my band-aid, and it is most certainly not perfect!

 

It was the Best of Times, It was the Worst of Times 

Before I got married, I thought things were complicated with my exes because they were not “the one.”  And this is true, they were not the one for me to journey with beyond a certain amount of time. But I thought that once I met my husband, it would be smooth sailing and problem free.

But a year later…I have learned!

giphy-downsized

Love can be difficult. When you decide to journey on this thing called life fully committed to this other human and having this other human fully committed to you, it is just that a journey.

You’re learning and growing with this person, but you are also learning and growing individually. And it’s this constant commitment to meet each other in the middle. It’s a commitment to always checking in. Not to mention life will happen, and you have to deal with those trails together.

Falling for Me

I’ve also learned that you can fall and not lose yourself.  Remember that dopamine rush, prior to this relationship I wanted to so badly to fall into someone. I wanted that man to scoop me into him because then I wouldn’t have to deal with the darkness of me.

But it’s incredibly unfair to both of us to give him that responsiblity. I am responsible for my happiness, I am responsible for my completeness. I am everything to myself. My husband’s love and acceptance is a fortunate addition to aforementioned.

Me Again!

I put me first now. I didn’t always though. I was trying to win wife of the year then quickly realized that only resentment comes with that award. Once I learned to put myself first, it became easier to be there for him. Because I was now operating from a place of surplus. Lisa Nichols says you have to love from your saucer meaning you have to love from your overflow. When you love from your overflow,  you have taken care of your needs and are fully equipped to help others.

It’s only year one, but I look forward to the love and to the lessons.

A Woman in Process

 

 

 

 

“If you do not want to keep starting over, then stop giving up,” she said. My body moved, but my mind froze as she urged us to start jogging. I warmed up; thoughts still halted, I tried to capture this moment. I wanted to take a snapshot of this feeling. I wanted to be able to scroll back to this photo the next time I sought to rent space in the city of the quitting. There live my dreams and yours.

As Autumn Calabrese said those words at the beginning of my Beachbody workout, I felt all the weight of my failing. As stuck as I was at that moment, my mind raced. I thought about how much further along I would be in my fitness journey if I didn’t give up the last ten times? How well would this blog be doing if I didn’t stop writing? Where would Women In Process be if I had started it three years ago? All those “what ifs” played in my mind.

We are at the beginning of the year and with that comes resolutions. It is said that only 8% of people who make resolutions keep them. There are several reasons why we quit, but I’ll focus on two.

Remember that Marvin Gaye song where he proclaimed to Tammi Terrell, “Ain’t no mountain high enough, ain’t no valley low enough” In the song they were saying that their love can transcend the highs and the lows. I believe we quit or don’t even start on our dreams because of the Mountain High and the Valley Low.

1. Mountain High

The idea is too big. How am I going to get from Walk Manager with the Alzheimer’s Association to this world-renowned speaker and author? It just seems too far-fetched. But success is not one giant leap but rather a commitment to do this thing, whatever it may be, the best you can, every single day.

When we first start a project, we see the big picture. And that is great because at least we know what we want the end result to be. But if we allow that big picture to be anything but a guiding star then we are hurting ourselves. We can not let the fear of accomplishing the task consume us. Take it one step at a time, and before you know it, you’ll be there.

The truth is, it might take years. We are an instant gratification generation. But success comes after what Will Smith says, “years of beating on your craft.” Are you prepared for that type of commitment?  Because that is what it’ll take.

2. Valley Low

PictureQuote

Failure sucks. We fear that we will fail or we’ve failed many times already. But the lows, the difficult times, is a necessary component for success. The lessons learned from those mistakes are critical in pushing us to new heights. Just think, Edison failed at the light bulb a thousand times!

 

Let’s start now and be consistent in our pursuit. Let’s not shy away from tough times, knowing that it’ll be the fuel to propel us forward. See you at the top!

 

A Woman in Process

“Looking at a glass that reflects back an image of myself, I talk to a friend
She tells me you can’t fit my Nikes, my pain is too big
Your toes couldn’t touch the soles, my pain is too deep”

Those are words I wrote 10 years ago; the start to my first spoken word poem. I can’t think back on what particular pain 16 year old me sat and discussed with herself that day. But I do remember my love for sneakers. Modell’s Sporting Goods was my high school job, I used my store discount for low top air force ones. Beyond teen emotions and Nikes, I am impressed with her willingness to look herself in the mirror, to sit vulnerable with her.

I did that recently. Here’s what I learned…

It can’t be on again and off again. I sat self-aware, realizing that these days, though smart, confident and capable. I am hella inconsistent.

Below are a few strategies that are helping.

Write + Plan + Act

I can’t stress enough the importance of putting pen to pad, or fingers to screen. Just writing it down can make a world of difference. They say that we have 60,000 thoughts a day. Somewhere among those thoughts are hopes, goals, and dreams. By writing giphy- Jimmy Fallonthem down we go from thoughts to action in that one step. That’s not to say that we won’t continue to think of them, in fact the Law of Attraction says that we must continue to think on them in order for them to manifest. But remember a goal without a plan is a wish.

It has to go beyond me writing,“I will be a world renowned motivator.” There has to be some action steps. Now granted we might not know the “How” yet.  I sure don’t! But what I can write down are the steps that I know will help, “Read daily, listen to motivational speakers all the time, like all the time, blog consistently, practice in front of a mirror ect.” I can also be SMART( Specific. Measurable. Attainable. Relevant and Timely ) about my goals. Now that I’ve written this awesomeness down, its time to act.

Bye Bye Procrastination

I really gotta let this one go! I take the prize, cake or whatever award you are giving out for procrastination. Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing something. It’s the binge watching Netflix or the countless hours on Instagram.

In order to fight it, we have to find out where the mental block comes from.  I believe that mine is rooted in fear of failure. It is easy to say “if I had more time, it would have been better” You see procrastination provides a built in excuse as to why one fails.  to-do-list-nothingI use the app todolist for all things personal and dream related.  It helps me to keep things in order. We are all being pulled in a million directions.  It helps me to prioritize. Not everything has to be done today, I am able to schedule things a week or more out depending. It keeps me accountable. If I write it down, it’s important. When I look at this list and I feel my procrastination saying “just watch Golden Girls.” I look at the task and ask myself why I feel this way. It allows me to look at the list holistically like today  for example I said “you know what, maybe this is too much, I’ll only blog today but I’m going to do it right now!”

A Partner or Two

giphy-baby talking.gifIt’s always great to have people in your corner rooting for you. But it is incredibly beneficial to have at least one that will keep you accountable. Somebody that will give you a call to not only check on you but to say “hey you said you were going to blog every Monday, its Tuesday and I haven’t seen it” This isn’t coming from a place of judgement but rather one of love and concern.

Celebrate You

I told a friend at work about this week’s blog on inconsistency, she said, “I’ve heard you giphy-partysay inconsistency a lot, how about we celebrate all the times you were consistent. How about you think about all the times you followed through.” We need to celebrate and encourage ourselves. Every accomplishment no matter how small, deserves a party!

These steps are not all the answers but they are working for me, give them a try.

 

 

– A Woman in Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple nights ago, I snapped on my two best friends. I don’t think I hung up technically, I did say bye but it was not a good bye, pun intended. They FaceTimed me, which seems to be the only way we communicate with each other these days. Even though they now live together, I’m all the way in upstate New York. We don’t get to see each other as often as we used to. I don’t mind FaceTime but it does require a little bit more effort. It’s just not my go to medium. Anyway, I had an attitude the entire conversation. Looking back I wasn’t upset at all. I did have a busy day and I was still working on a few things when they called. My disinterest for the conversation was merely distraction.  Okay, maybe I was a little hungry…

giphy

Have you had a major temper tantrum about something and when you look back at the moment, it doesn’t make sense? Were you upset or just hungry, tired etc.?

Those old Snickers commercials are a funny exaggeration but they’re not too far off. Dictionary.com defines Hangry as, “irritable as a result of feeling hungry.” For most of us, myself included, that’s an understatement. And it usually results in snapping on the people that you are most comfortable with i.e your besties.

Why does it happen?

The brain is dependent on glucose to function. When your blood glucose levels drop to a certain point your body sees this as a life threatening situation. When this happens your brain sends signals to organs in your body to release hormones that increase the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. Namely the pituitary gland which produces the growth hormone, the pancreas which produces glucagon and the adrenal glands which produce adrenaline. These hormones, specifically adrenaline, are also released in stressful situations. When you are hungry there are physiological things that are taking place that are affecting your reactions.

It may not seem like a big deal but it should make you wonder how many of your reactions in the last week were legitimate. How many arguments, or coworker squabbles could have been prevented? Socrates had a much deeper meaning when he said “know thyself.” But I would argue that it is important to know the why behind all your actions. Especially if they can be solved with a granola bar! Throughout today, truly notice and observe your behavior. Let’s try an avoid any hangry moments.

A Woman in Process

 

 

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQdI18GnHycyWoCYvUODMNJUREwv5yU-OsivGiyPkRwqrs-Xgze
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQdI18GnHycyWoCYvUODMNJUREwv5yU-OsivGiyPkRwqrs-Xgze

 

“New year, New me” yea right, you said that last year and the year before. I’m not pointing fingers because I’m guilty of it too. We get focused, super motivated to tackle something, particularly around the New Year, then months go by and these things fall to wayside. Then we beat ourselves up for not accomplishing them. Can I dare us to be different this year?

What needs to happen for you to live the life you’ve always wanted? What stands in the of accomplishing the things you’ve dreamed of? Quite simply, what is holding you back?

I would argue that much of it is fear. Fear of what it takes, fear of what others might think and fear of actually being successful. Remember it’s the light not the dark that most frightens us. Many times we become content with living our day to day life that doing something beyond our comprehension seems too crazy even for the imagination.

Yann Martel, author of the book, Life of Pi, wrote about fear.

“I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true opponent. Only fear can defeat life. It is a clever, treacherous adversary, how well I know. It has no decency, respects no law or convention, shows no mercy. It goes for your weakest spot, which it finds with unerring ease. It begins in your mind, always. One moment you are feeling calm, self-possessed, happy. Then fear, disguised in the garb of mild-mannered doubt, slips into your mind like a spy. Doubt meets disbelief and disbelief tries to push it out. But disbelief is a poorly armed foot soldier. Doubt does away with it with little trouble. You become anxious. Reason comes to do battle for you. You are reassured. Reason is fully equipped with the latest weapons technology. But, to your amazement, despite superior tactics and a number of undeniable victories, reason is laid low. You feel yourself weakening, wavering. Your anxiety becomes dread…” He continues, I urge you to read the entire quote here Yann Martel – Fear 

He says that fear is our only true opponent. Think of about it, if we were able to silence fear, imagine the things that we would actually do!

Let’s take a look at my 2015 goals. I think by analyzing their “failures” and “successes” we’ll be able to tease out a few more reasons.

IMG_1340

As you can see happiness was on there twice. A year ago, I felt it necessary to make it my focus. Many people know that this year I decided to stop running the rat race. I choose to not participate in life the way society said I should. I choose to instead chase health and happiness. My focus became anything that aligned with the aforementioned. Obviously that comes with a sacrifice, namely finances, but it’s one that at this point in my life, I’m okay with making. I also asked myself, what would you do if you were not getting paid? The answer was write, mixed with a bit of sports and fitness. I vowed to do the things that I loved everyday. I had my bad days but I always wrote even when I didn’t blog, I wrote. It is my therapy and I believe out of it my passion will take shape. I can say today this woman is so much happier that the one who wrote the list above.
Let’s continue down the list, I was suppose to lose 36 pounds by July. In total, I’ve lost 20 pounds but I kept it off which is an accomplishment none the less. I think, I’m a real blogger. I didn’t blog as consistently as I should have though. I’m not a certified personal trainer and I did not start my organizations.

Top 10 Reasons Why People Don’t Reach Their Goals

I stumbled a bit with my 2015 goals. But here’s why, I didn’t stay consistent, I procrastinated, I became discouraged and ultimately I lost focus. But guess what “It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better.”  That is all we can do, keep going. Remember if you want a different life, you have to live differently. Happy New Year!

A Woman in Process

I pride myself on being an open book, believing that my story will be an inspiration to others. But at times my transparency is met with unwanted questions and unsolicited advice. When I feel my truth will be ridiculed, I run. I enter my zone usually taking a step back from those around me, unless I feel that they have proven themselves to be unconditional in their love. There is good and bad to this. The good being that I have to protect my dream and my truth. When one chooses to do things that are against the grain or something that may seem far-fetched; the naysayers will be the loudest voice you hear. Protection is necessary. But I’ve learned that by running, I’m protecting myself, yes but I could be hurting other people too.

Running is a natural reaction. Walter Bradford Cannon described it as the fight or flight response. I think we all remember this from high school or our freshmen year psychology class, the one we took only because it was Gen. Ed requirement. “The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival.” During this time the body naturally does things that prepares you get out of harms way as fast as you can or buckle down and fight. We’re talking increased heart rate, constriction of blood vessels and liberation of metabolic energy sources for muscular action!

https://psychlopedia.wikispaces.com/Fight-or-Flight+Response

 

It makes sense that when I feel someone  is attacking me, my dream or my plan; I’m out! I’m not a fighter, so I’ll just walk away. There is nothing wrong with removing yourself from situations that are fruitless. But if it is not yet fruitless, it is worth a conversation not a fight but a productive dialogue. I’m working on doing that. I have a long way to go. My friends call me a turtle, because going into my shell is what feels comfortable. But life isn’t about doing what is comfortable. It also takes maturity to know the difference between an attack and warranted criticism. If I am hurting people with my running or my isolation, I do not want to do it anymore. I’m working desperately to live my life in Christ and hurting people, no matter how inadvertent, is not something that I want to do. Not to mention, constant running is not necessarily the best way to solve any situation.

A Woman in Process

 

 

 

 

 

 

It seems that this year has been a series of difficult decisions. I may have stuttered in my steps but ultimately I always had the courage to do what was/is best for me. Some how in all the mess of it, I feel like I’m getting back to me. Not that I want to be the old me but I do miss her confidence.  She knew what she wanted. And I feel similar now.

I’m moving back upstate, by next blog post I’ll be back where it all started. I mean it all started in Montego Bay, Jamaica, technically, but Poughkeepsie is home. I used to say that I’ll never go back there. Life sure does have a way of humbling you, I’ve been back twice! Never say never, I guess. I’ll still be working in NYC at least for now, so long commutes on the Metro North will be my new reality.

I won’t love the commute but besides that, I see this as the best decision. Financially it allows me to put myself in better standing, and I feel it also allows me to wholeheartedly focus on my writing. All the decisions of this year led to this opportunity. I won’t lie, I grappled with feelings of failure. And it does feel like a regrouping. But then I remembered , I came here to get a masters degree, I got it. I came here to start a career, I got promoted within 18 months. I’m leaving it all because I am not willing to compromise my health or my happiness. I refuse to participate in the rat race of it. I want to write, hopefully for a living one day but until then I want a low stress day to day living. A life of effortless ease. I’m blessed to have parents that will allow me to do that, at least for now.

Life is going to send you on twists and turns. Through it all, you have to do what you have to, for you. Its never easy to do what is necessary. I had a headache for days before I finally made my decision but immediately after I made it, I felt this weight lifted. We drive ourselves crazy wondering what if. You can spend hours or days wondering what if or you can trust your judgement and go for it. Even if it is not the right move, the experience gained will make it worth it.

A Woman in Process

I spent the better part of last week going through a roller coaster of emotion. My high was short lived and my lows stayed longer than I would have liked. But throughout those moments, it was as if life was forcing me to deal. I was forced to truly dig down deep and experience the emotions. And those of you who know me personally, know that I never shy away from a cryable moment. Growing up I used to be ashamed of my tears. Now I cry because it is a part of how I deal, it is a part of my processing.

On Tuesday, I took the day off to handle some administrative things. As I walked to do my lab test, I tried to multitask and make some calls. I’ve never truly worked a consistent 9-5 schedule or in my case, a 10-6 like I do now. It takes up the entire day, honestly when are people suppose to call doctor or do regular people things. The veteran 9-5ers say, “do it on your lunch break ” but that’s when I eat, duh!! Anyway I digress, I make some calls only to find out that I have a few outstanding medical bills. As you know I was pretty sick this past year, their were some things that my insurance at the time only partially covered.

I started to dwell on the finances of the situation. Here I am on my way to doing this thing that I have to do every six weeks to ensure that my levels are in tact then hearing about these additional medical bills. All of it was just a “you’re sick” reminder. But when I got there, they only take one vial of blood. Please pardon the visual but for almost 4 years I had to be poked and prodded for 4 or 5 tubes, every visit. I used to leave the lab drained and extremely weak. I walked out of this one with a smile. It snapped me back to being really appreciative for my progress.

Fast forward a day or two later, I learn that the house that we live in has been sold and my bestie and I have to be out basically asap. This couldn’t have happened at a worst time. I feel a rush of emotion, upset that we have to move, confused at how it happened so quickly and really sad that once we leave its only a further reminder that the owner and matriarch of this home is really gone.

I reached out to those who are usually there for me. For some reason they just weren’t there, and that’s understandable because we are all going through things. This is what I did, I went to gym, I cried, I wrote, I walked. I did all things that I needed to do for me. I’m no where near over the situation. But I’m very proud of my resolve. That only comes with time and experience. I used to look to my mom, my boyfriend, my friends or whoever at the time to get me through situations. Yes, we can rely on our loved ones for support but it’s unfair to think that in every situation, they will be there in the way we need them, every time. Instead it makes more sense to develop healthy strategies to deal. Because guess who is always there for you? You!

A Woman in Process