Are you asking for help?

đź“·: @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.

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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.

Self control

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Galatians 5:22‭-‬23 NLT

The word I am focusing on this week is self control. As we are getting close to holiday season it made sense for me to focus on self control. The biggest area I need to focus on is my mouth, not just what I put into it but what comes out of it. The delicious food is going to be tempting me as well as the conversations that are being had. Being around family can make self control difficult, sometimes being around the people we love can get under our skin and make us eat or say things we would not normally eat or say.

How is your self control? I am not really an impulsive person so I didn’t think I had a self control issue. As I am trying to eat healthy and truly make a lifestyle change I noticed my self control needs some work. Portion control for me is a definitely a problem. Now I am going to give myself a little slack on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I will feel better about that slack though if I tighten up my eating habits on a regular basis. I certainly don’t follow the national guidelines.

Healthy Eating Plate

I heap food on my plate and almost always go back for seconds unless its something healthy. I thoroughly enjoy the taste of food and have a hard time telling myself no when it comes to food. They don’t call it comfort food for no reason. I spend more money on food then I do on most things. I am not sure why that is. It’s like a little crack and once I open up the floodgates I can’t stop.

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Self control with my mouth isn’t much better. Having to always be right is a problem as well as getting the last word. I have gotten better but it is still a problem. Why do I have to be right all the time? I honestly don’t know. It is so hard to hear somebody make a blanket statement and not respond to it. Like, all men do (insert whatever stereotype you want) and it makes me so mad. Or hear someone say something I don’t agree with in general. Or when someone says something I know is not right. Do I have to correct them? What do I get out of these debates? Nothing. What difference does it make what they think? In the grand scheme of things, none. I am probably not going to change their minds and it’s only going to make me upset.

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Oddly enough, controlling what comes out of my mouth is easier for me than what goes into it. I am only trying to engage in conversations that help me grow, make me think differently, and change my thought process. I need to have this same thought process about food. Its hard though because food is SO good. If I want to be the best version of myself, I know I need to work on it. My next goal is consistent exercise. We’ll work on that in 2021, lol.

Letting go of what doesn’t serve me

I was listening to a podcast the other day, The Suga. Its a podcast for black moms but most of the conversations I think would be relevant for any woman. One of the thing the host said that really struck me was, “I’m letting go of things that don’t serve me.”

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I felt that in my bones, but its easier said that done. I have been working really hard on making sure I am doing things because I want to and not out of some weird obligation that I put on myself. Some days I am successful at it and other days I am not.

I really wanted to dive deeper into this concept. I have talked about this process a little in the post Unlearning. Unlearning is all about letting go of thought processes go that no longer serve you. I feel like this is the next step in that process. Letting go of activities that no longer serve me. This to me is harder because in unlearning you can immediately see the benefit and it impacts nobody but yourself. I don’t want to appear selfish by saying no or not helping at some function or attending some event.

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I have to remind myself that self care is not selfish and letting go of things that don’t serve me is only going to help me feel better.

How do know that something no longer serves you?

How do you feel when you leave that event?

How do you feel when you complete that activity?

If you don’t feel like you gained anything then it may be time to do something else. By gained I mean, do you feel full? Fulfilled? Satisfied?

Or is it just something to check off your list?

Are these (whatever your thing/s is) pouring into you?

When I was dealing with FOMO, I said I was only going to pour into people who poured into me. It helped me a great deal in dealing with missing out on activities or feeling like I needed to be invited somewhere. I am going to start applying that same philosophy to my calendar as well.

Another good reminder that I got from the Joyce Meyer book I just finished was, just because this thing I am doing is great, doesn’t mean that it is great for me. I have to learn to let go.

Resources

This guided mediation was pretty cool. I didn’t use everything they said, but they were definitely some great takeaways.