My 2016 Lessons and Embracing 2017 With Ease & Grace

IMG_0539_copy_2 2Over the past few days, I began reflecting upon 2016 and what it has taught me. It’s not always easy to sit back and reflect because you discover some pretty fascinating things, but you also discover some not so great things as well. My “Reflection Week:  is a ritual that I do every year. I enclose myself in for a few days, stop talking so much and simply breathe and listen. My goal is to move into the new year without any baggage or overwhelm and with a whole lot of ease and grace.

This year has brought me many wonderful experiences, and some very painful experiences. So painful that all I could do at times was scream. Yes, scream! I’ve cried and I’ve laughed. There were many amazing victories and wins. I’ve met wonderful and amazing new friends, two new adorable grand babies were born this year, I’ve loved on my family and connected in deeper ways with them, my husband continued to love me in ways I’ve never imagined, I wonder as I look at my “not so perfect’ children….whom I see as “perfect.” That’s my right as a mother. I’m grateful for loving and supportive parents whom I love and adore and do my best to make their seasoned years joyful. I am eternally grateful for my Ida and Kandi who lead a powerful prayer team who prays day and night for me, my business and family. There were times when I could feel those prayers going up for me and holding me up when I simply couldn’t hold myself. The power of prayer is amazing. I’ve had some incredible team members who have helped me this year in my business. I’m truly blessed. So yes, 2016 has brought a rainbow of experiences for me and as I reflect upon the past 12 months of life. I can sum 2016 up in one word: “Opportunity”. Opportunity for Growth. Opportunity for Expansion.Opportunity for Acceptance.

I am sure we all have experienced many opportunities this year. How do I know? Because life has a way of forcing us to embrace many of the opportunities that come our way. My opportunity for Growth was both a result of me willing to embrace growth by setting aside times to read, pray, meditate, work with amazing mentors/coaches, attend trainings/conferences and experiencing many soulful conversations.  But then there were times this year when I was forced to grow when crisis and challenges would show up in my life. There were times when I didn’t want to grow.  I wanted to get in my bed the put the covers over my head and hope that when I awaken it all would go away. I would scream, I would write in my journal, I would talk about it to my closest friends and I would cry in my husband’s arms. Yet, when I was finished resisting these challenges and crisis, I would remember who I was and see them as opportunities to grow. The moment I stopped resisting, was the moment I could see clearly the lessons, the opportunities and the growth that was taking place in my life. I never said it was easy…but it was simple.

The next opportunity was that of Expansion. Now you may think that expansion is great. Right? Well for the most part it is, if you are ready for it. I discovered this year that I was not quite as ready as I’d hoped. As opportunities arrived for me to expand my business, there were times when I would resist. Opportunity met with resistance meant there was something deeper going on and I had to identify it. I learned that I was not comfortable with having the spotlight on me. As as former entertainment executive and talent agent, I’ve always played in the background and pushed the talent that I represented to the front. As as a success strategist, mentor, coach, author…it was easy to remain in the background. Even as a radio host and co-host of a tv show, I was interviewing others and spotlighting them.

When the opportunity arrived for me to do more speaking this year than I’ve ever done before, to host of my own national tv talk show, to become a regular on networks such as CNN and to write for a huge national publication, I paused. Yes, I paused. The person who is always pushing others to get out of their comfort zones and here I was not willing to step out of mine. I had created a really comfortable system in my business and I was okay. Doing pretty good in my business. Yet, my wonderful coach Robbie knew that I was playing it safe. LOL. You gotta love him. He left me a voice message and it reached deep in my soul. He saw in me something that I’d never saw before. It was huge, yet it was real and it resonated so deep within me that I could not deny it. Then another mentor of mine, Mr. Washington also left a message on my voicemail and it was as if he and Robbie had spoken. But they didn’t because they don’t know each other. And his message brought me to my knees. I could no longer deny or hide the gift that God had placed in me. In fact, I had become one of the gifts that God wanted to send into the world. This was a defining moment for me. It was the moment that I decided that I would never resist opportunities of expansions again. To expand my gifts, to expand my territories, to expand my business or to expand myself. I gave God an “Unconditional Yes.” I am so out of my comfort zone now that it’s really scary at times. The executive producer of my TV show,  the amazing R & B legend Angie Stone, looked me in my eyes one day while we were shooting and she said, “You’re built for this.” I love this woman for seeing me what I dare not have seen in myself.  You need a strong supporting cast of mentors, coaches and leaders. So here I am…living outside of my comfort zone because this is where I belong. I never said it was easy…but it was simple.

The final opportunity was that of Acceptance. There were so many things that I needed to accept and was not aware. You see, I believe that people can change. I really do. I believe in the goodness of people. I love people. But this year I had to accept the fact they many people simply will not change. Not change for me or live according to my expectations, but change in order to live the life they were meant to live. I had to accept the fact that I didn’t need to rescue or fix everyone’s problems. Even if it was in my power to do so. Because interfering would  rob them of the very lessons they needed for their journey and grow in ways they needed. The final acceptance was letting go of people who no longer served my best interest. This was difficult because I love deeply. I am always looking for the best in others and I will over look flaws.  But there comes a time when these flaws are not just harmful to the person, but harmful to me. I’ve also learn to accept life and not resist the flow of life or try to force the flow of life. Because this causes most of our struggles. As I learned to accept things, I’ve discovered a newfound level of peace and contentment.  A level of serenity that I’ve not experienced before. And it feels great. I didn’t say it was easy…but it was simple.

I’ve tried my best to be honest and transparent with you. Sometimes when you are in the spotlight…lol…I gotta get use to that word. But when you are visible and you are empowering and inspiring others, people tend to think that you have it all together. That your life is perfect and you don’t have problems or challenges. That’s further from the truth. People also expect you to be perfect and I’m definitely not allowing that to happen to me. I make mistakes daily, I miss the mark often…yet, I’ve learn to get back up and start again. One thing for sure, I don’t quit. I will NEVER quit. I don’t put myself down, I don’t get upset because I error. I atone, I ask for forgiveness, I self correct, I shift, I change my perspective and I move forward.  I want to encourage you to take a look at this past year and grab the biggest lessons you’ve learned and move forward into the new year with them.

I tell you all the time how much I want for you to win. And I do. If you knew how much I love you and want the best for all of you, you’d be surprised. I am so very grateful for you connecting with me and being apart of my online community, my tribe and my following. I’m deeply humbled that you would find some good and value in what offer. Because it’s from my deepest heart and soul. Thank you for your support.  It’s my wish that you prosper, be in good health, find true love and be happy in the coming year. And the great thing about this, it’s not only possible for you, it’s inevitable. Happy New Year my dear Awakened Friends. I love you and I’m here for you.

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Time to Stretch!

2579How often do you streeeeeeeetch your outer limit comfort zone?

If you are ready for more passion, excitement, fun and want to come off the same old treadmill…

If you want to express more creativity and spontaneity…If you want to ignite an inner spark so you feel more alive…
If you want more love and more money to come into your life…

Then you need to be willing to take new steps into new territory.
We often hear people say that we need to do something new if we want something new. But what they don’t tell us is “how.” We tend to do the same thing over and over again because that’s what we know. It’s not just what’s comfortable, it’s all we know. I believe we would do more if we knew more. What I’ve learned from coaching couples in conflict is that most of them truly love each other, they simply lack the skills needed to make love work.

As with you. You would have more passion, fun, spark, aliveness, money and love if you truly need “HOW” to obtain it in your life.

What I’ve discovered is that most people don’t seek the help needed because they believe it’s a sign of defeat or it means they don’t know something they should already to know. I say that’s a limiting belief that will always keep you stuck in a rut.

So here’s my question to you. What are you doing right now to learn the “HOW?” That’s your responsibility to find the person or thing that can show you the “HOW.” Then take your next step to make the connection. You life could be radically different in the next 90 days by simply taking the next step to learn the “How.”. You really do have the power to change your life with your next step. What’s Your Next Step? Leave a comment below:

I’m Pregnant with Vision!

Often times I find myself unable to sleep and feeling kind of restless because I can sense something stirring deep within me. It is during those times that I get really quiet and still, so that I can begin to sense, feel and hear what is trying to emerge through me from my deeper parts.

It’s in those moments that I recognize I am pregnant with a vision and I am ready to give birth.  Sometimes I can birth that vision while staying up all night, praying, meditating and writing until clarity comes and the vision appears on paper. Then there are times when I need to solicit the help of my mentor/coach to serve as my midwife and help me give birth to the vision. Whatever it takes to bring forth the vision, I remain open to it.

What I know for sure is that all of us are pregnant and filled with vision. Many of us are aware and many of us are not. For almost 23 years I worked with youth through my performing arts center and served as a youth pastor for many years. I learned so much from the children and teenagers that I served, but one thing remained constant, the kids who were having trouble in school and with disciplinary issues were the kids who didn’t know how to dream or allow vision to come forth through them.

Through many of my result driven programs, I was able to tap into those kids and help them discover within them powerful dreams and vision. As a result, they began to excel in other areas of their lives so much until, school administrators, community leaders and even judges were calling upon me to come and work with their kids.

What I learned from those experiences  was the truth of Proverbs 29:18, “where there is no vision, the people perish.”   This doesn’t necessarily mean to physically perish, but we can perish emotionally and spiritually. As a result, we have men, women and children walking around emotionally dead because they have no vision.

How many of you are filled with vision and dreams, yet you feel that you are overdue?  You have carried this vision with you like a pregnant woman ready to give birth. But you feel stuck and unable to give birth to it.

When a woman is pregnant with a baby, she must give birth when she is at full term, because without this shift of birthing, her baby will die. And so it is with you. You must give birth to your vision.

I want to share with you 3 steps you can take to give birth to your vision.

  1. Be Still:  Many of us are addicted to being busy. We have filled our days with so many things that it is almost impossible to find time for stillness. But in order to become sensitive to God’s Voice and to sense what is trying to emerge through you, it will require times of stillness on your part. I would recommend you carving out at least thirty minutes first thing in the morning and thirty minutes right before you retire for bed. Making this a part of your daily routine will open a space for you to get clear about your vision.
  2. Recognize and Release Fear:  Fear has been the number one reason why  many women remain stuck. We respond to things that have not happened and need not ever happen. To succeed beyond our fears, we must be one hundred percent prepared to release fear and reach for success.
  3. Trust  God.  All that is left to do is trust. Have faith in a God that is greater than you.  The God that causes the sun to rise, that perfectly heals a wound, takes a seed and turns it into an oak tree is the same God that has planted a vision within you.  Acknowledging God helps bring clarity to what  your vision truly can be.

It’s time that we all rise up and give birth to better world for ourselves and future generation. We don’t have another ten years to think about it, we don’t have time to just sit in front of the television to be entertained by the “housewives.”  We’ve got some birthing to do. We’ve got to help midwife a better tomorrow.

Stop waiting on tomorrow or next year, the baby is ready, so go on and push.

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