Last week I presented my workshop The Silence is Too Loud Series I. I enjoyed this opportunity because I could see there are people who had their ah-ha moments and some who chose to only attend briefly and not return. I did not take it personally because either they are not strong enough to receive the information or they are not ready to make changes. As I continue this journey of motivational speaking I am learning more about people as well as myself. You know when people want to grow and move past the obstacles that are keeping them tied down. We can be our worst enemy and the very person keeping us in captive is ourselves. That my friend, is a tough evaluation to make and accept to the degree that you are prepared to do something about it.
So, as I presented my workshop sessions for three days, I had people who were there because they needed to acknowledge their truth and wanted to find ways to heal and move forward in their lives. I found that one of the most intense sections of this workshop is addressing the people who are toxic in your life and walking away from those relationships. When we have a misguided loyalty to others, it can be to our own detriment. I would call this a loyalty that is a tragedy because if we are not careful we find ourselves in an abyss that we can’t seem to figure out how to escape. If we want to become healthy in our thinking and our spirit, we should be willing to evict some people from our personal space and not look back. Often, we believe that if we let go of certain individuals that we are taking a loss and there will be a void created because of the disengagement; however, I believe we would be pleasantly surprised of the weights that are removed in doing so. Perhaps we believe this because we have not fully tapped into our own self-worth and ignore the signs of toxic people who bring no value to our lives. Once we discover and acknowledge our own self-worth, I believe that is a pivotal moment when we are ready to let go and move from a place we were never destined to be.
The lesson that I really want to get across to audience as I present this workshop is the need to identify our wounds and in turn learn how to heal. There are many facets involved with the process and healthy relationships are critical to our healing as they provide us the support we need. Everyone does not fit in our space and we must give ourselves permission to step away from those people so that we can grow.
Last week, I participated in a Holiday Bazaar at work where I could showcase and sell my book, “The Silence is Too Loud.” Though my initial outlook was positive, as the hours passed I begin to feel a bit discouraged and thought about leaving earlier than the closing time. As I was considering my departure a woman stopped by and begin to thumb through my book. Honestly, I wasn’t sure it would result in a sell but I was appreciative for her taking the time. After a few minutes, she put the book down and walked away. Not too long thereafter, the same lady returned picked up the book had her money in hand and was waiting for someone to come stand with her. At the time, I didn’t realize it was her daughter she was waiting on, but she wanted her daughter to look at a couple of the poems. They began to talk and the woman said to her daughter “do you think this would be good for him?” Her daughter answered “yes.” She handed me the money and took the book. I told her “let’s trade, I’ll give you an autographed book and I’ll take that one from you.” She said, “it’s not for me, it’s for my grandson, he has stage 4 cancer and I think this book (as she begins to tear up) would…..” I finished the sentence and said lift him up and she shook her head yes. At that point, she took the book and thanked me as she walked away with her daughter.
This was a defining moment as well as a powerful testament to what was happening right before my eyes. I realized that I had been positioned for my purpose. Had I followed through and left when I initially thought about it, this would have never played out. I would have missed a pivotal moment where I received a blessing. The blessing wasn’t the purchase of the book, but it was the circumstances surrounding the purchase. The fact I could connect with someone based on the words which I had written in my poems was a beautiful experience. Now I understood it was all relevant that I was supposed to be at the Holiday Bazaar to meet this specific woman. We both had something the other needed. She needed to find something to comfort her grandson, while I needed to recognize my purpose I had been positioned for. It wasn’t about how many books I could sell or how much money I could make, but it was about touching someone’s life. I got the lesson and embraced the confirmation of my purpose. Words are powerful and they create emotions that impact us on every possible level. So, writing “The Silence is Too Loud” is not just my own journey, but it is the catalyst to reach those around me. I hope my book can have a major impact on people’s lives and they are empowered, uplifted and stand boldly in the truth.
People who cross your path never show up by accident. They are purposeful and a part of a greater picture. They can help you identify your purpose and allow you to see your destiny more clearly. Your purpose may be closer than you think, look for the signs and walk through the door when it opens. Once you are positioned for your purpose, you will discover it’s bigger than you.
I was pondering the word “survivor” and I begin to feel like the word cheapened one’s experience. It started to feel like you were saying “I’m making it,” “I’m getting by,” or “I’m doing what I can.” All of those statements seemed so mediocre and that’s not what we should want for our lives. So, I thought why not discover what it is to be more than a survivor and begin to release yourself from the mediocracy that exist. Perhaps we dream too small when we say “if I could just….” We kill the thought when we say “just” and lessen our expectation for what we want to accomplish. We go back to “just getting by” when we expect “just enough.” Why are we afraid to dream big and expect it to happen? Perhaps, we want to keep our dreams within what we think is “reasonable.” The greater the dream of what you want to do, the more unreasonable it may be that you’ll succeed, so you hold on to desiring “just enough.” There we go, we’re back in the survival lane and our dreams cannot be realized staying in “just enough.” Give yourself permission to dream great things and do all that is in your power to make it happen as well as speak it into your life. Have your disappointments been so frequent that you have given up on something greater than what you have and it’s a matter of surviving? There are times we allow our disappointments to get the best of us, it seems that they become a regular fixture in our life. Unfortunately, we begin to believe the best we can hope for is surviving the day or having “just enough” to make it. We think what we speak and what we speak begins to manifest in our behavior as well as in our expectations or lack thereof. Lesson number one, stop saying “if I could just.” Know “just” is never going to be enough and is below your standards of what you can do with your life.
I often share my triumph with breast cancer and now entering year 12 of being cancer free, I must admit I have said in the past I am a breast cancer “survivor;” however in retrospect I believe I cheapen the experience of what has happened. I am a breast cancer CONQUEROR who has been TRIUMPHANT in having the VICTORY over breast cancer by the grace of God and that is so much more than “just surviving.” Knowing that, I see my life as much more than surviving which has allowed me to move into a different dimension of my life that is eager, willing and ready to take on whatever challenges come my way. I don’t think about surviving, I do think about having the victory and that entices me to reach the goal. Our power lies in the words that we speak (as long as we speak them in truth); if we can believe it, we can conceive it and we will achieve it. Let’s consider using powerful words to replace survivor, such as conqueror or to say we were triumphant or victorious in our pursuit. Words are powerful vehicles that we build our thoughts upon and can only move when we give them life. The more powerful the word, the stronger we can become. Our thinking and speech drive our destinations whether we realize it or not. When you think about someone saying “I survived the day,” does that sound powerful to you? Does it sound like the person did something noteworthy or simply just made it through? We both know that statement gives absolutely no power to what the person accomplished by surviving the day. If we strive to be conquerors, be triumphant, or be victorious, it sheds a different light and a different feeling about what we have done. Then we can begin to broaden our expectations and heighten our dreams beyond that which is minimal. Our greatest fears are conquered by our greatest accomplishments. Stop thinking about surviving and start seeing yourself as a person of victory. It may take some work, but once you arrive in the space of more than a survivor, you will understand why surviving is not enough.
Today I decided I would maximize the use of my blog by attaching the link of an excerpt of a video at an event where I recited my poetry:
It was September 19, 2015 at the Ladies Inspiration Day at the Germantown Church of Christ. The theme of the event is “Ties that Bind” and as always I knew this would be an opportune time not only to speak to the ladies, but to provide a poem that would cause one to think. The poem on this video is not part of “Poetry in Different Colors,” but it will be in my upcoming poetry book. This is a time of honing my craft of not only poetry but also motivational speaking. It is still amazing to me that I am in a space of time where I am able to do something I have a real passion for. Maybe I knew early on a bit about my talents, but I was apprehensive as to how others would receive them and just to what degree I could be successful. I am not writing this from a place of arrogance as there will always be room to grow and not a moment of “I have arrived” as there will continue to be the next thing. I am writing this to encourage and motivate you to keep working your talent to the next level.
Some of you are still on your journey of determining your talents or abilities. Some may even say “I don’t have any talents” and while I understand the statement, I disagree. Everyone has some type of talent and it may take a bit longer for some than others to figure it out. Finding your talent and honing your craft is not something that is a result of other people validating what you do but rather it’s that one thing you know for yourself. You feel the passion and excitement when you do it and you have a sense of accomplishment when you complete it. Your talent is that thing that makes you move effortlessly and believe that you have given someone the most sacred part of who you are in that moment. When you use your talent I believe you find that you receive something very special back that has no momentary value. There should be a time when money is not the driving force behind sharing your talent or your gift. This is not to say you shouldn’t get paid for what you do; however the reason you share your talent is about the love you have for it and the life it breathes into you when you do it.
Everyone has something to give and remember it is not based on other’s validation. Find your truth in what you are good at and what makes you so uniquely who you are. Take your talent, hone your craft and share it with the world. There is no better high than sharing your talent with the world around you, especially when you can have a positive effect on someone else’s life.
I’m always excited about writing for my blog although it takes me a moment to decide what to share. After scanning through my book, Poetry in Different Colors, my poem “My Friend with Wings” caught my eye and began to stir emotions so I thought what a great poem to expound upon and share some insight.
When I wrote “My Friend with Wings” it was out of admiration for a dear friend who never ceases to amaze me. It’s his zeal for life that I subscribe to, my friend has a unique view of life. When we look at life and how we survive, it is necessary to have an attitude of optimism and for every failure we must have the attitude of how we can do it better and what we should do next. The non-acceptance of failure doesn’t mean we don’t identify with it but our goal should be that we look for ways to turn our failures into triumphs. Never settle for contentment, as it is not your destination but a stage of your pursuit of success. You move from contentment to creation from creation to triumph. The attitudes we have toward our life dictates the time and energy we will provide in the motions of our journey.
It has been quoted that our “attitude determines are altitude” and I am inclined to believe that. Many times I find we become our own worst critics, which in such a state handicaps us from evolving and being risk takers that will ultimately transform us. We spend time talking about our failures and give little credence to our accomplishments. Consequently, when new challenges are in front of us, we are sometimes apprehensive and even fearful of moving forward; however from an eagle’s view such fear is not comprehensible. The height that an eagle flies is incomprehensible. We should aspire to be like an eagle and have strong muscular legs which allow us to bounce back from temporary setbacks and stand tall in the newness of our recovery. If we adopt the eagle’s attribute of extremely powerful eyes, our vision will not always be understood by others; however it will motivate us to succeed. This is an incredible bird that gives wonderful insight on how humans can operate within their space, while recognizing the potential to elevate to a higher level. Our greatest limitations are the ones we have created in our own mind..
Typically when I do a post, I will showcase two poems from my book, Poetry in Different Colors; however today I am only going to spotlight one. My poem, “The Fullness of Hope” is a good topic to explore hope and what that really means to us. When we say “I hope the best for you” or “I hope things get better for me,” what do we think the word “hope” should represent? I’m sure I have some of you thinking of answers that are logical based on your experience of the use of this word; however today I am going to challenge your thinking about hope a word that is often misused.
While the dictionary qualifies hope as a noun, it should be viewed as something where action is required. Hope should be seen as the foundation of an action that needs to be taken and fulfilled. Think about when you say “I hope you feel better,” what does hoping I feel better really do for me? If we say is there something I can do for you such as, pick up a prescription, bring a bowl of soup, or maybe freshen up your bed before you lie back down our hope has created action. Our hope should propel us to act on our emotions by doing something to help resolve, comfort or console the person or situation. Often times we use “hope” as a conversation of comfort and fail to recognize there is something to do be done when we extend the word hope.
My poem, The Fullness of Hope addresses the idea that hope is a catalyst for us to build actions. If we only hope for something and do nothing to create change or movement where does our fate lie? Therefore, hope without action become hopelessness. I sometimes think of hope as someone star gazing instead trail blazing and creating a path that allows him to accomplish whatever the idea may be. Subsequently we cannot exercise the use of the word as just a mere thought without substance. If we were to be honest does it really help us when someone says “I hope things work out”? Do we find ourselves saying “what does that even mean”? Hope should be the beginning of a vision and the vision mix with hope should cause one to move forward. When we move forward on a vision, if we execute it appropriately then the thing we had hoped for has a better chance of coming to fruition. When we embrace hope in its truest form, we will cease to talk about it as a thought and execute it as an action.
Yesterday I had a young lady ask me about writing a book of poetry and what she needed to do. She had been writing poetry for a while and was inspired by my book. She gave me several poems to read and wanted my honest feedback. Well, I was a bit reluctant, and I responded to her with “I am not a professional” as I have not taken any formal writing courses or anything specific to writing poetry. Then I stopped, I began to think about what I said and thought, while I may not be a journalist or what one considered an established writer; it does not diminish my ability to write poetry of substance. Poetry is something that can be felt and expressed from the heart and results from personal experiences and observations. There may be guidelines for writing resulting from education, formal training, etc., but there is no right or wrong about writing what you feel or what develops naturally through life experiences; poetry can pour out of you and just evolve with each word. So, it is become clear to me it was okay to embrace my inner poet.
In reflecting on this journey of my book, I recall where I started and the obstacles I have faced and continued to encounter on this journey. Now, this is just between you and I so listen closely as I share this with you. When I consider what people have told me I would never accomplish, I shutter as I look at my life now. Initially, when I heard such hurtful words, I wasn’t sure how to feel, but quickly realized that my opposition became my strength and reason to move forward. I recognized within myself the talent and ability that God has gifted me with has truly helped me find my way through this process and become fearless in my movement. Above all, I am very mindful to remain humble and grateful for all that has come my way. I know that my gift of writing is not of myself but rather that which was given to me for the purpose of touching people’s lives. I have become a mentor, therapist, (unofficially of course) and a motivational speaker as a result of writing Poetry in Different Colors. These are hats I had no idea I would wear as a result of writing this compilation of poems, but I humbly accept my new attire while wearing them encourage, support and help others express themselves in their journey through life.
I wanted to write this posting to inspire anyone who desires to express themselves through words. When you can identify your talents and couple them with passion, it is time to spread your wings and take flight without FEAR. Do not allow anyone to tell you what you are not capable of doing, or what you will NEVER accomplish. Use those words to shatter the notion, and move past your apprehension knowing true success can only happen when you TRY. Failure has NEVER been about trying and not succeeding, but rather not trying at all. It is time to take your dream and talent to a whole other ALTITUDE. See you there.