Things that keep you from seeing clearly

You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don’t really listen.
Isaiah 42:20 NLT

How often have we known the right thing to do but we didn’t do it? How often is our judgment cloudy because we aren’t seeing things clearly?

Are you stopping to pay attention? Perception is reality but often our reality is skewed. I found the image below on Pintrest. I know I have done a few of these things before.

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The biggest ones I dealt with were desperately holding on to my plans and self limiting beliefs. When you feel things just have to go a certain way you are really putting limits on yourself. This allows no room for innovation, to switch up or try new things. Sometimes pivoting can be the best thing for you but you can’t pivot it you aren’t paying attention.

Imposter syndrome is a self limiting belief. Perfectionism is a self limiting belief. Imposter syndrome makes you feel like you aren’t qualified for whatever it is you’re doing. You aren’t able to see yourself as other people see you. You wouldn’t be at the next level if you couldn’t do it. Trust the skills you’ve learned, the work you’ve done, the sacrifices you have made.

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We think these thought processes will help us. They are just trying to protect us from being hurt. However self limiting beliefs didn’t help me. Being afraid to take a risk or make a mistake was just holding me back from greatness.

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Another common one is the fear of uncertainty. Being afraid of the future can have you making bad decisions in the present. We don’t know what the future holds, good or bad. We have to trust that God has the best for us.

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Have you let the problem you are having make you forget what God can do?

Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” The Lord opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
2 Kings 6:16‭-‬17 NLT

We have to pray to see things with his eyes, listen with his ears, so we can get the true perspective on things and not our skewed vision of a situation. We have to ask him to remove any hindrances that keep us from seeing a situation clearly.

Until next time,

Dominique

Happy Mother’s Day

Being a mother is the HARDEST job I ever had. I love it though. I love that it made me want to better myself. I love when I go pick him up from the babysitter and he gets the biggest smile on his face when I walk in the door. Every cliche you have ever heard about being a mother is absolutely true.

Truth Lying GIF by Tangina Stone
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If your a mom, take what you need, not just today but all week. Don’t let mom guilt get in the way. You deserve to be celebrated. I limit myself all the time because of mom guilt and I am trying to work on it but it doesn’t always work out that way. If you need help ask for it. If you want to be left alone ask for that. Your partner and support system can not read your mind. I used think my husband was upset with me because I felt like he was “watching” my son a lot. I never asked him, I just assumed. It wasn’t true though and it wasn’t a lot really. I just created that narrative in my head. I work full time so I already feel like I don’t see him enough. He’s fine. He’s well adjusted happy toddler.

Don’t compare yourself to other moms, don’t compare your baby to other kids. I read this article that talked about are we expecting too much out of your child based on age. I certainly was. If you are doing the best you can that is enough.

Remember people are only showing their highlights on social media. Folks rarely show the bad times. Or if they do, they show it in funny ironic ways. They don’t show when their kid has destroyed all the books in their room, or dumped all the clean clothes out of the laundry basket, or thrown their dinner all over the floor.

Your feelings count, your happiness counts, if you aren’t taking care of yourself then you aren’t able to be the best mom you can be.

Is your kid happy, healthy and loved? If they are then you are doing amazing! I salute you this Mother’s Day.

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Until next time,

Dominique

Have you noticed?

If you have been paying attention you would have noticed that I haven’t been doing my post on Fridays in quite a while. I used to feel very guilty about that. I don’t anymore. Times change and that isn’t a realistic goal right now. I still want to make sure I post every month. That’s not something I have accomplished yet in my years of blogging. We are almost half way through the year and I have continued to meet that goal so I feel good about that.

I have been focusing a lot on my mental health over the last year. It has been good. I have made a lot of strides. However as we have often talked about growth is not a straight line and it certainly doesn’t happen on our own time. Over the past few months, I feel like everything I have learned has been put to the test and I can’t say I necessarily passed each test with flying colors.

I will say that I have tried my best. I do recognize that I need to give myself grace. I need to have patience with my own process. Its hard though. My old perfectionist ways just refuse to die!

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I had a lot of mental health stuff I wanted to discuss in April but it didn’t really happen. That’s ok. May is mental health awareness month so I will do it now.

It was hard for me to talk about mental health when I know I was sometimes running to my old coping mechanisms. There is space for that though. April was a good reminder that I am not a constant self improvement project. I don’t have to keep striving to the next thing. I can sit in this space and be satisfied with where I am right now.

I am enough, just because, I don’t have to be producing anything, I can just be.

I just want to remind you that, while you are growing and evolving, take time to celebrate that you aren’t what you used to be. Remember that God put everything inside you of that you need to be the best version of you. You are just peeling back the layers so it can be released. You are just fertilizing the soil so the seed inside of you can blossom.

Until next time,

Dominique

Its blooming season

Happy April and Spring to you!

New seasons are for new beginnings and new outlooks.

I’m extra excited for this spring because last spring was so rough. I feel like this spring will be different. I have been planting seeds, (doing the work) fertilizing the soil, (affirming myself) pulling weeds and pruning my garden (letting go of things that don’t serve me).

I’m excited to discuss how to bloom where your planted in this new season of life. Stay tuned in April as we talk about growth work and how to do it.

Instagram 📷 about.the.good.life

Happy blooming,

Dominique

Great Podcasts from Women

All month we are talking about women and how awesome we are, I thought it would be great to share some podcasts that I listen to hosted by women .

Therapy for Black Girls-Dr. Joy

Podcast — Therapy For Black Girls
The Therapy for Black Girls Podcast is a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed Psychologist in Atlanta, Georgia, about all things mental health, personal development, and all the small decisions we can make to become the best possible versions of ourselves. (from their website)

Jesus Calling-Sarah Young (there is a devotional by the same name. Excellent read! The best devotional I have read to date.)

Jesus Calling: Stories of Faith Podcast - Listen, Reviews, Charts -  Chartable
Every week on this podcast she meets with different guests to discuss faith, courage, encouragement, love and trusting God.

Nona Jones Podcast-Nona Jones

The Nona Jones Podcast – Podcast – Podtail
The Nona Jones Podcast explores how many of the most admired leaders, business executives and public figures turned trauma into triumph and built purpose out of pain to emerge from their greatest struggles undefeated.  from Apple Podcasts

The Suga-Tika Sumpter and Thai Randolph

The Suga – Podcast – Podtail
Each week, listeners can laugh, learn, love and (instead of spilling the tea) share THE SUGA by celebrating sisterhood and motherhood. TheSuga.com

For The Love With Jen Hatmaker

For the Love Podcast - Jen Hatmaker
For the love of … People. Home. Stories. Shoes. Family. Jesus. Community. TV. Accessories. Food. Culture. The New York Times best-selling author and star of HGTV’s “My Big Family Renovation,” invites you to drop by and catch up with her friends as they laugh and share about all the things we love.  From For The Love podcast website

Unlocking Us- Brene Brown

Podcast Recommendation- UNLOCKING US by Brené Brown – MURDERINO READS
Join researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown as she unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted. from BreneBrown.com

Brown Ambition-Mandi Woodruff and Tiffany Aliche

Brown Ambition Podcast – Brown Ambition is a weekly podcast about career,  business, building wealth and living in this brown skin.
A weekly podcast helping you unapologetically build wealth by saving, investing and making smart career choices — on your own terms!

Baggage Reclaim-Natalie Lue

The Baggage Reclaim Sessions on Apple Podcasts
Natalie Lue expands her popular blog Baggage Reclaim into podcast form with a weekly show about how to live and love with more self-esteem by unpacking, decluttering and tidying up our excess emotional baggage. It’s time to reclaim yourself and experience more love, care trust and respect. from Apple Podcasts

Enjoy,

Dominique

Are you asking for help?

📷: @luvvie Instagram

I saw this on Instagram the other day and it really spoke to me. Especially the line, “outsource your life”. I have been notorious for not asking for help. I didn’t often want to ask for help because I didn’t want to look like I couldn’t handle whatever situation I was in. I didn’t want people to view me as weak. Asking for help puts you in a vulnerable position. I have mentioned struggles I have had in the past and people have thrown them back in my face. It may not have been intentional, but I certainly don’t want to be reminded of my weaknesses.

As I was reading the book of Numbers it talked about Moses complaining to God that his workload was too large.

I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, please go ahead and kill me—if I have found favor in your eyes—and do not let me face my own ruin. ”The Lord said to Moses: “Bring me seventy of Israel’s elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the tent of meeting, that they may stand there with you.  I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the power of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them. They will share the burden of the people with you so that you will not have to carry it alone. Numbers 11:14-17

I took a few things from these verses.

1. God gave 70! people do to the work that Moses was doing. 70! Think about all the work that was on his shoulders that he wouldn’t have gotten assistance with if he had not asked.

2. God didn’t take away anything from Moses when he took away some of his responsibility. He didn’t lose his anointing. He didn’t get demoted. Nobody teased him for asking for help. God wasn’t mad at him for asking and he took care of it right away.

3. Many people were anointed based on Moses asking for help. Nobody complained about helping Moses. I bet they were glad to be able to contribute and help God as well. How many people could be blessed by you asking for help?

I have started outsourcing my life in the last several months and it has been extremely helpful. I have a house cleaner come once a month and it has changed my life. It has taken a ton of stress off my shoulders. I felt so bad when I was initially considering it. I didn’t want people questioning what kind of mother I was if I had to pay someone to clean my house. I have since let go of that idea!

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Remember you don’t owe anyone anything. You want to make decisions that help your life go easier. You will be doing you yourself a favor. Don’t feel bad either, its not necessary and it will only slow you down.

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Hello new followers!

I wanted to take some time to introduce myself to my new followers.

My name is Dominique, I am 35 years old, I am wife, a mom, a sister and a friend. I have had always had a passion for helping people but it has only been in the last 5 years or so that I started to hone in on what that really means.

What that means for me is helping people grow. Its helping people discover the God given potential that is already inside of them. This blog has made shifts and changes as I have grown and discovered things over the years.

A lot of people have started following me since I since began this blog in 2017. Its been almost 4 years since I started writing online. I’m not always great at finishing things or sticking with them, so I am proud of myself for sticking with this blog for the last 4 years although not as consistent as I would like.

I reread my about section as I was preparing this post just to make sure that it still aligned with what I am feeling today and it does. I want people, including myself to be the best version of themselves. You can’t be the version of yourself if you don’t have an intimate personal relationship with God.

Developing a relationship with God can be challenging and I am here to help make that easier for people. It also can be hard to lean on God when we are carrying around baggage from our past. That is where the mental health piece comes in. I never knew how much mental health tied into spiritual health until I was angry at God. I know that sounds silly but in years past church didn’t really discuss mental health issues like anxiety, imposter syndrome, perfectionism, boundaries. I was always told if you feel bad about something pray. Which I think is good but we need more tools than that.

I am hoping that I can combine those tools, so we can grow together. I am still a work in progress. I’m not a mental health professional, I am just someone who is dedicated to becoming the best version of myself. Everything I say to you, I have said to myself and I am growing right along with you.

I thank you for reading each post that I write. Please tell a friend and continue reading.

All my best,

Dominique

Stages of change

We talked yesterday about setting intentions and not necessarily sticking with them. You all know that I like microwave growth. When I set out to do something I want the “new me” to emerge quickly. If I decide I’m drinking 70oz of water a day, I want to do that now! Change doesn’t work that way. My therapist told me about the stages of change when I was becoming frustrated when I slipped back into old habits.

TherapistAid.com via Pintrest

Check out the guide above because it has been very helpful.

What stage of change are you in? Are you thinking about changing but haven’t made any moves yet? Have you started to make changes but nothing has really stuck? When I thought about what stage I was in, at the moment I was in the relapse phase. I don’t want you to get hung up on the words relapse. Its not necessarily a bad thing, especially if the change you are trying to make doesn’t involve anything dangerous. For example, I have been working on not over extending myself, that means being able to say no and not just doing things because I feel obligated. When I notice my calendar has started to get full again and I don’t want it to be then I have relapsed. Or if I say I’m not going to get on social media for 21 days, then I binge Twitter and Instagram when the insurrection happens, I relapsed.

Unfortunately, for many missing the mark is a part of the change process.

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Sometimes you have to go through the relapse process several times before you are able to make the change stick. I think the relapse phase is important it shows you can not make the change on your own. It is a good reminder that you not only need God’s help but possibly an accountability partner to help you stick to what you want to do and check on you to make sure you don’t get off track.

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The best goal I kept in 2020 was insuring that I posted every Friday. The main reason I kept that goal because I asked my friends to hold me accountable. I didn’t want to let them down. You also need community to help you with your goals but we will talk about that more next week.

If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Ecclesiastes 4:10

Look at the chart and determine where you are in the change process. Remember to give yourself grace and if you need help find someone you trust, and ask them.

Authentic

Authentic was my word for 2020. I had a few more as well, but when I sat down to decide what I wanted 2020 to look like, authentic was the first word that came to mind. Joy, fearless, inspired and determined ended up rounding out my top 5. I used these words to guide how I wanted to move in 2020. I wrote a prayer and found scripture to back up what I was trying to do. I like having a word of the year because it gave me something to stay rooted to. When I was frustrated with how things were not moving fast enough or if I had a set back, I would go back to those words and that prayer and it would give me something to lean on.

Instead of a rigid New Year’s Resolution, a Word of the Year is your constant—yet gentle—reminder to focus on creating positive change. Use your Word of the Year to help guide your decisions and continue moving towards what you want. The first step to manifesting anything you desire is awareness and intention.

Elizabethrider.com

In my quest to be more authentic I started learning more about my identity in Christ. Who does God say I am?

The answers to those questions have definitely been mind changing. It also lead the way to more questions. Why do I need to know that? Why does it matter? I am starting to discover the answer to those questions. If I know who God says I am, then I am able to know more of who He is. If I know who He is, then I know what I have access to, what I can accomplish and how I should be living.

You can’t really have anything else or be anything if you are not your authentic self. God is not going to bless who you pretend to be. Being authentic can be difficult because it goes against what the world says, however its easier to just be me than it is to be anything else. I am going to continue to work on this in 2021 because I have just tipped the iceberg.

Productivity is the thief of joy*

I make this statement tongue in cheek but follow my logic here.

I say this because on one hand productivity is great. We were made to get stuff done, not lay around all time surfing Netflix and Instagram. On the other hand the constant need to be producing and getting stuff done can be a hinderance. Its a hinderance to rest, to enjoying the Sabbath, to enjoying your family and friends.

Last week was the first week in 6 months that I didn’t post at least one blog post. The work week I had was insane! Insane. I had a massive project that I needed to finish and I only had a week to get it done. So every night I was working late making sure everything was going to be complete by the deadline. It was! I finished with a little bit of time to spare. Unfortunately that spare time didn’t go to the blog. I need to celebrate the small win. Win: I set a goal back in June to post everyday and I was able to exceed that goal. That’s a good thing. I’m going to silence my inner critic. I’m going to give myself some grace for not meeting my goal this week and move on.

I talked about rest a few weeks ago. Toxic productivity knows nothing about rest. How often do you push yourself to get something done? How often do you feel that this thing just can’t wait? Do you enjoy your days off or are you rushing to complete to-do list items? A day off should be a day off. Even the Lord rested one day of the week and He certainly didn’t have to do.

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.  By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.  Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. Genesis 2:1-3

Being a creative and this concept of always producing, always putting out content, it makes the work more difficult. I want to make sure what I give to you is the best of me every time. Not perfect, but my best. That sometimes gets lost in translation, in trying to hit goals, deadlines, get more followers, sell more product or this urge to get stuff done.

@thenapministry Instagram

As we close to the end of the year think about this: Did you spend more time producing or enjoying? Is there a way to do both? Do you believe you get enough rest? If not, this is the time to make those adjustments so you can go in the new year with a new habit in place.