“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
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 them 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. I 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
It’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.
I told a friend at work about this week’s blog on inconsistency, she said, “I’ve heard you say 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
I can’t wait to get to the other side. I want to go through all this learning stuff and come out a better version of myself already! But I have to remember that life isn’t about rushing through the moments; it’s about living every moment, whether those moments are good or bad.
I started this new position four months ago and it’s had its fair share of challenges. Though I have varied skills that have prepared me for this moment, I’ve flat out never done it before. As a Manager for three Walk to End Alzheimer’s events, I’m working in this cycle of fundraising.
Though I’m becoming very comfortable in the role, every month is met with unique experiences or phases of the cycle that I’ve yet to go through.
Today as I sat to write this post I couldn’t help but see the parallels between my career and my personal life. I’ve never been here before, personally either. I have never been 26, back home, single, learning a new career, family sickness, issues with my own illness, friendship struggles; everything that culminates this particular moment is a new challenge.
Most days I’m up for it, and others I whine. I throw a good ol’ fashion temper tantrum.
I scream(usually to myself) how unfair it is that my body won’t cooperate or I yell about how I need more hours in the day.
On Saturday I had a great talk with a friend, though we aren’t close we have stayed connected throughout the years, much more now that I am back in town. She is even a member of my planning committee for one of my Walk events. Saturday, she gave much of her day to help raise funds for this devastating disease. We decided to grab dinner after. We talked about men, school and career. This conversation reminded me that many of us in our mid twenties are going through the same life struggles. The circumstances might be different but we are all trying to figure it out.
Others might seem like they have it all together but most likely they don’t. Even if they do, its not about comparisons anyway. It’s about living your life and following your true path.
After having this great conversation, I became motivated to write again. I want to continue to share my story in hopes of connecting others facing similar battles.
But there has been times that I have been motivated over the last few months but I just haven’t put pen to pad. Sunday, I woke up feeling nauseous and just plain sick. We had sushi for dinner so I texted my friend and asked how she was doing. She said she felt fine, so ruling the sushi out, I thought maybe it was the cold stone ice cream I had after sushi that was my problem. No Cold Stone after sushi, note to self!
Forced to stay in bed, I started to write. So the above rambling is just a long winded way of saying, I’m back. See you here every Monday morning 😘
A Woman in Process
Bob Marley famously sang, “Don’t worry about a thing, because every little thing is gonna be alright.” I can picture him now; guitar in hand, locs flowing, the sun beating down on his face as he thought about those words. They are simple but difficult to master. I think we all have this incessant need to worry. We worry what our boss thinks of us. We worry how we’ll make it through this fight with the bae, bestie, or whomever. It is something that happens to all of us but when it does, do we have to give in?
A few posts ago, I mentioned that I was reading the book, Fearleass by Max Lucado; well, I’m still at it.It’s a great read but I have this terrible habit of starting a few books all at once, naturally it takes me a while to finish.
About fifty or so pages in, he shares his “worry-stoppers.” I’ve put most of these strategies into practice, I am not worry free but it no longer rents space in my mind. Here are a few!
Pray, first. “Don’t pace up and down the floors of the waiting room; pray for a successful surgery.” Here he says, don’t let worry consume you, take it all God in prayer. I understand, not all of us may be at a point where prayer feels comfortable. For me, it wasn’t until August of last year that I reconnected. Or maybe, you’re not a believer. Whatever your reason, it does not stop you from shifting those moments of worry to that of meditation. Stop, breathe, control your thoughts and let positivity guide you.
Easy, now. In this one, he urges us to slow down. Many of us are going a mile a minute. It is no wonder that we are worried about this thing or that thing. What if my car breaks down? What if I don’t get that promotion? All these thoughts running through your head. Easy now, and assess the problems as they arise.
Act on it. “Be equally decisive with anxiety.” This one has been the hardest for me and requires constant effort but its been the most rewarding. Lucado says, as soon as a moment of concern surfaces, just deal with it. Don’t sit there and let worry take over. “Don’t waste an hour wondering what your boss thinks; ask her.” Why waste time?
Compile a worry list and Evaluate your worry categories. Write down all the things that take up space in your mind. What troubles you? As you compile this list, “highlight themes of worry.” This will allow you to gain insight into where exactly you put your concern, then you’ll be able to deal with them specifically. Is it, “what people think of you, finances, global calamities, your appearance or performance.?” What are you spending your valuable time worrying about?
Lastly, Focus on today. I would even argue, focus on the moment. We have no control over what is coming. All we have is this moment. When you focus on being gracious and appreciative for every moment, there is no time for worry.
I leave you with Bob.
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!
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
I had the pleasure of helping my best friend the other day, Allison Dayka. She is a visual artist and graphic designer. Hope you enjoy!
I just got back to me. As such, I started to write. I’m a spoken word artist but I haven’t truly put pen to pad in years. To commemorate my new found inspiration. Below please find an oldie but goodie. It’s met to be spoken but I hope you can still feel the words.
She had a date with Mr. Man
In preparation she decided to hold a meeting between her lips and the bottle
As rum burned the insides of her insides, the butterflies died
No longer nervous she approached the situation with calmness and lack of inhibition
She had known him for couple months but this was first true meeting of the minds
She wanted to crack open his skull, chisel away until she unlocked every memory, want and desire
She wanted to know him and in turn he know her
Wanted him to swim along the waves of her every thought, Hold picnics in the central park of her being
She had no idea where the relationship would lead but became fond of exploring the possibilities
Because you see there were these qualities
That he possessed that would send chills up the spine of a paralytic
Rich dark chocolate skin and lips that looked soft to the touch, and eyes that were focused and driven on taking Corporate America by storm
In her young life she had never met anyone like him, as cliché as it may sound it was the truth
She had never met anyone that seemed so in tune with the plan that she saw for herself
Now let us remember she held no expectations, she was just in awe of the manifestation
As if God was showing her representation that He was out there
Her soul mate, her knight in shining armor, her Matthew McConaughey in every romantic comedy
He was out there, and she became excited, giddy like a school girl
Even if Mr. Man was not the one, there was hope that ones like him still existed
The plan was to spend the night together bring in the light of a new day together
She hoped their minds would connect on the most intimate of levels and a friendship would be born from their passion
They sat in the room and talked for hours until the darkness inside the room matched the one outside the window.
And flickering light from the television matched the stars of the night sky.
She was enjoying the chatter and foresaw no physical embrace that moved beyond the locking of tongues or the meeting of lips
Needless to say she was not ready for what took place in the coming moments
Their lips touched and his lips were just as soft as she envisioned, his hands ran the curves of her body
Her hands felt the shape of his every muscle
He assisted with the removal of every garment
His brown skin pressed against her brown skin and their naked bodies danced in ways that were met for the grown and sexy
He moved in and out never once removing his lips from hers
They played out the words of a romantic novel until the climax
Once the deed was done they laid in bed, she inched as far away as she could
She did not feel regret but there was an emotion that came over her
She had just let this man accomplish the most amazing of feats and she was not sure it he was worthy
Fear manifested as goose bumps on skin of her body
But he pulled her close to him and they slept the night into morning
She awoke inside his arms; he was holding her as tight as if protecting her from the outside world
She felt safe and wanted
She knew there time together was coming to a close, but his eyes reassured her that this was not their last meeting
As they parted ways she felt like the female lead in every romantic comedy, Cinderella at the ball and the lady to his knight