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!

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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

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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“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.

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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

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People are still asking me why I don’t blog as often as I used to. My response is always paused because there are many factors. The major one is time of course. But all of the factors, time included, are really just excuses. It comes down to discipline and habitual effort. I just haven’t caught my grove or learned how to balance the many things that are taking place in my life.

I work full time again, I’m writing my first book and I have commitments to my best friend and her management company, among other things. There are many reasons why after a long day, blogging is just not what I want to do. I just really want to sleep and most days that’s exactly what I do. There is some good in that of course because I’ve mastered how to listen to my body and what I need.

However, there is a pitfall to that as well. Sometimes, will power is needed to force yourself to do something that might cause slight discomfort in the moment but is ultimately necessary for growth. My blog has taught me so much. My dream of writing a book came out of this hobby. A year ago when I started, I couldn’t have imagined the impact that it would have on my life. Back then, I wrote to you because I was in such a bad place mentally. I was frustrated with my job, frustrated about my illness and terribly unhappy with my weight.

But the transparency that developed in dishing my deepest and darkest to you, helped me to learn who I am, who I’m becoming and who I strive to be. I gained the courage to change my life completely. I left the job that made me unhappy. I stopped looking at my illness as a curse and now practice strategies that have helped me to be the healthiest I’ve been in almost four years. Telling you all about my struggle with weight not only led to remarkable weight loss but the number on the scale is minuscule compared to the healthy habits that are now apart of me.

I started to attend church again . My spiritual journey has taught me a lot about discipline. Whatever or whoever your God is, you’ll find that when you choose to live differently, you will be faced with challenges. Your former self will battle constantly with the new you. It’s takes time and strength to develop new habits.

So as I approach my blog anniversary, I’m asking you to bare with me as I transition. I’m working to ensure that this blog, the words that I thought no one would read, the words that catapulted my new way of life,  remains at the forefront of everything that I do. About a month or so ago I made a pledge to blog on Mondays and Wednesdays, that proved to be too ambitious. Hopefully I will reach a point where twice a week is something that I can maintain. But for now, I’ll see you every Monday morning. Because “motivation gets you started but habit keeps you going”
A Woman in Process

  
Last night a friend started sending my roommate and I pictures from our trip to Italy. It was completely unexpected and some how exactly what I needed in the moment. It was great to look back at a time in our lives that we shared, memories that only the three of us would have. There were pictures of the food, the countryside and even the handsome men of Italy! 

Friendship just like any other relationship takes work. They say nothing worth having comes easy. I mean you can have associates that you laugh, chuckle and sometimes go out with. Or you can have true friends that know your deep dark secrets the ones who have your back without judgement. I believe that is what we are working towards. This takes time and most certainly effort.

It’s the willingness to have those difficult conversations. It’s the willingness to at times see past yourself and your emotions. I think often times when we come into relationships, we fail to understand the other person’s perspective. We are all different. In my case, I’ve known one of these girls for fifteen years and the other for two years. Years mean nothing without constant reworking. We are all in process so it’s impossible for us to have the friendship we had even a year ago in Italy. Some areas will be stronger and some not so much. But if you are committed to that relationship no matter what it is, then you work at it.

I had to have a difficult conversation recently, I didn’t want to. But I knew it was necessary for our friendship, it was necessary for me. Historically I have been notorious for running from a situation. I decide that you’ve wronged me and that’s it, I’m out. I’m learning to express myself more, letting my loved ones know how their actions affect me while acknowledging my faults.

My network isn’t perfect but I am committed to keeping the ones that I care about close to me. It has taken me a long time to get here. Just a hint, the first step was letting go of my ego.

Your ego will have you thinking, “your shit don’t stink” please pardon the expression. But we sometimes feel that there is no way we are at fault. Nobody walking this earth is perfect, swallow your pride and build friendships, not Instagram followers or Facebook friends but lasting relationships.

A Woman in Process 

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As I was walking to the gym this morning, I noticed all the parents hand in hand with their children. It’s the first day of school. It made me smile as I saw parents snapping pics and kids shying away from picture number 10, as if to say mom that’s enough!

I really thought about how amazing that feeling might be, to bring children into this world and properly care them. Growing up I didn’t really want children. I didn’t because I thought there was no way I could be as good a mother to them as my mother is to me. I felt a pressure and it scared me. She truly is an amazing woman and has remained the backbone for all of us.

I was going to hold off until her birthday in a couple of weeks to write about how amazing she is. But I can’t wait. I know everyone says this but I have the most incredible mother in the world.

You have to understand what these last 4 years or so have been like for me. At 21-22, when parents hope for their children to have finished college, moved out the house and started their lives; that’s when I was diagnosed. I turned into her baby all over again. I couldn’t get out the bed, I was completely dependent on her. In the hospital she stayed there with me, every single day. She wouldn’t leave until she had spoken with the night nurses and made sure they knew my needs.

Years removed I’m not nearly as bad but you all know I’ve had my moments. At every issue, health or otherwise, I call her. She is there faithfully and always knows what I need. When I made the recent decisions to basically revamp my life, she supported.

She knew that it wouldn’t be an easy road for me. On Saturday I called her, stressed out about everything. Fearing the idea of finding a new apartment and trying to live comfortable in what seems to be the worst of times.

I said to her “why is this happening to me, I did everything right, I have the degrees, I worked really hard. If I didn’t get sick” She stopped me right there and said “I understand that but look how far you’ve come.” She wanted me to remember my progress, she refused to have me give up or even relish in negativity.

And just like that I got up, took a shower and got on with my day. But what gets me is that, she does this for all of us. My brothers and I, with such conviction and passion. She is my source and my strength. Please understand that if I become half the woman that she is the world will be a better place. I love you mommy. Happy almost Birthday!

A Woman in Process