Being intentional

We have talked before about being intentional, about how we use our time, how we take care of ourselves, how we talk to our signifcant others. Intentionality is important. I set my phone on DO NOT DISTURB for the first time ever last Friday. I had never done that before. It was very freeing.

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While I was figuring out how to put my phone on do not distrub, I noticed how many notifications I get from different apps. I get 44 notifications a day from Google. 44! That is insane. McCaffe Security sends me 41 per day, about what, I have no idea.

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I didn’t even know that I could stop this. I never looked into, never even thought about.

I feel that’s how people go about their day. Just dealing with situations as they arise vs setting aside time to map out how they want their day to look. Are you living out of habit or intention?

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How do you start your day? Are you waking up everyday checking social media or the news? Are you asking God to lead you as you move through out the day? Are you praying or meditating?Are you eating breakfast? Drinking water?

I think a lot about balance and try to be intentional about the choices that I’m making but sometimes I don’t do it. Its harder to be intentional when you are tired, stressed, hungry or bored. What are your triggers? What keeps you making the best choices all the time? Identifying what keeps you from making good choices can help you in the long run.

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I like this list because if you try you can do these things despite your circumstances. If wake up everyday and decide that nothing is going to disturb your peace you are going to make decisions to ensure that your peace isn’t disturbed. You can do that with anything in your life.

Intentional living is letting God know that you are ready and available for what he needs you to do. Being intentional helps you grow and not be stagnant. It helps you stop for a moment and reflect on how and why things are happening.

Being intentional is waking up everyday and deciding to live on purpose. Not just letting life happen to you but you impacting your life.What choices are you making today that your future self will thank you for?

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.

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Happy blooming,

Dominique

A note on Fasting

My pastor Dr. Keith A Troy shared this on Facebook.

I saw this on my pastor’s Facebook and I think it is a great reminder if you decide to fast for Lent or anytime really. You can’t decide to fast because you want to get closer to God, hear his voice or get answers to prayer but then continue to act the same way you have before.

Fasting is supposed to change something on the inside of you, if you are acting the same way you were before then you are on a diet, you are not getting the transformation benefits.

Walking around like your having a bad day while your fasting isn’t goimg to help you in your quest to get closer to God or get the clarity you are seeking.

What things do you need to work on? Where are you trying to take your spiritual growth this year? What goals are you trying to accomplish? What have you left unattended in your life?

The biggest thing about fasting is connection. Connection to God and also connection to yourself. Don’t just use this time to give up something but really take time to reflect, listen and grow.

Happy First Day of Lent

I was going to write a new post about fasting but I really like this one that I wrote two years ago in leading up to Lent February 5, 2018.

I’m not Catholic but with Lent coming up on February, I have been trying to think about things to give up for 40 days. I like fasting oddly enough. Even though its hard when I first start, I appreciate the clarity it brings and the focus that I have on God during that time period.

Fasting is something you do for you, not God, it clears your mind so you can focus on him. Often times people believe that fasting has to be food, but from my experience but I don’t believe it has to be food. You can fast anything that is going to be a challenge for you, something that is potentially distracting you from God. Food may not be it for you. I tried to do the Daniel fast once, it was a disaster! With the Daniel fast you can’t eat meat or carbs or drink anything but water. Its pretty restrictive. Check out this website if you want more information.

ttps://draxe.com/daniel-fast/

The problem I had with the Daniel fast is that I was focusing more on the rules then I was on God. I had completely missed the point. I was becoming more frustrated and making the process more legalistic, the exact thing Jesus tells us not to do. Relationship is more important than rules, that’s the whole purpose of the new covenant.

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Fasting is something that I have been doing a lot of lately. I am waiting on God for a blessing and I don’t want the world to distract me and I also don’t want to start worrying about when it is going to happen. To stop myself from doing those things I have cut out distractions.  I just finished a 21 day fast. I fasted secular fiction books. This may not seem like a big deal but I LOVE to read. It is my most favorite pastime. Its how I unwind, cheer myself, distract myself from the world. However, its also a way for me to hide and not explore my feelings or answer tough questions. I’m not reading any books, I’m also not looking at much social media. Its been crazy! I have noticed how much more free time I have and how much more I read the bible.

This is the second time I have done this fast. I also did it for 21 days in September. I have certainly noticed changes and things that I need to watch out for. Fasting can put you in a spiritual bubble, which really is the purpose. I do it so I can show God I am serious about what I am asking for and that I am ready to make a change.

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Lord, I want to be closer to you. Amazing things are about to happen and I want to be ready for them. I believe what you told me and I just don’t want to waver. I want to be  desperately be better but I just don’t know how. Help me please! I think that I am a good wife but I want to be better. If I am a better wife then I will be a better daughter, sister, aunt and friend. I want to seek your face and not your hand. I want to be closer to you.  Amen.

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

Hitting reset

Happy Friday!

First week of 2021 has been a week.

Do you wish you could hit reset?

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I do. I am. My week started off pretty rocky. It certainly started off rocky here in the United States. How did it start for you? You may have had some intentions that you were not quite able to stick with. I know I had planned on not getting on social media which I was doing fairly well with and then that exploded. lol. I saw several posts on people’s dry January plans had gone belly up or their fast on MSNBC was a wash.

It can suck to start something and so soon get off track but remember the good news. God’s mercies are new everyday. We can start over. I started today. I put timers on all my social media apps and I am replacing that with more writing and reading. I feel lighter.

So don’t get mad if you haven’t been able to attack your goals the way you wanted to. Start over. Its better to start again then get mad at yourself for messing up. I pray for my country, the United States and for you as well that we are all able to hit the reset button.

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.

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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.

Ways to go from planning to action

I hear a lot of people who talk about they read something good in a book, or heard it on a podcast or YouTube video but they don’t know how to execute it in real life. It can seem overwhelming when you have learned a lot of information but you are unsure how to implement it. Here is a list of things to try. The list is long so you can figure out what works best for you, it may be on thing or a combination. Keep trying until something sticks!

Write it down-Hearing something is not always enough. Jot a note in your phone, in a journal, somewhere you can reference back. Your brain remembers things better when you write them down.

Do one thing at a time– You probably hear good stuff all the time. You can’t do all the things, at the same time. Pick one good thing you heard and see if it works.

Carve out time with yourself -How busy are you? Have you set assign time to get things done? Are you exhausted after work? What changes do you need to make to give yourself more free time?

citrus and style: How to Make Time for Yourself in College
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Change your thought process– even if you have started and stopped before, believe that this time will be different. You are different. You are coming at this with renewed energy and focus.

Treat yourself how you would treat a friend-Give yourself a break. Remember you are doing the best you can.

Set timers/alarms on your phone-this is a great way to get an external reminder. I set an alarm on my phone for 3pm everyday to write. I don’t need it anymore but it was great in helping me establish a routine.

Put post its up in your house or car to remind yourself of the things you learned

Make a Note to Do Great Things! — The Memo
Being Mary Jane

Get rid of distractions-Set blocks on your phone for notifications. I put my Instagram and Facebook on a timer and when my time is up thats it. My friend just completely deletes the app off her phone. Whatever it takes.

Get to the root of the problem what are you afraid of?

The fear of success and the fear of judgement are REAL — Brigitte Linford

Only person stopping you is you. Do you think that it won’t Really happen? Is what you want Gods plan or yours? You may need to double check. Do it despite how you feel, the more you do it you’ll start to get used to it.

The key thing with all these strategies is being intentional. Its waking up everyday and deciding that I am going to do better than the day before. You already did the first part which is the research. You were able to look into resources, that’s a good thing. Celebrate that small win. Now you just have to do the next step. The harder step, which is putting in the work. I believe in you. You got this!

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How to get out of your own way

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NLT https://bible.com/verse-of-the-day/2ti.1.7/17250

@marcinevin Twitter

When I look at this list I see a lot of things that I have done in the past or still continue to do. Do you see anything that you do?

Do you want to be better disciplined? Ask God to help. He gave self discipline to us as a gift when he gave us the Holy Spirit. Its inside of us waiting to be used, we just have to ask. Everything you need to be great is already within you.

I think all the things on this list boil down to Fear. Fear gets me every time. I’ll have an idea that I like but I will scared that it will fail, that people won’t like it, that its not good enough. God didn’t give us a spirit of fear. He tells us all the time to that he will be with us. If he is with us what do we have to be scared about? I’m sure you see all the time, do it afraid. My girl (in my head) Joyce Meyer, just wrote a book called Do it Afraid. I haven’t read it, but I’m sure its good. lol

That’s how you get out of your own way. Do it anyway. Stop trying to be in control of every moment. Stop thinking of the worst possible outcomes. Start thinking of all the things that could go right. Reward yourself along the way. Don’t stop just because it gets hard. If you get off track, get back on. Its never to late to start over, change your mind, switch it up. Be kind to yourself.

These are the things we have to do if we really want to tap into our greatness. We can’t do it on our own. You can’t stop years of wrong thinking by deciding to just start thinking more positively. We have to ask God to help us. To walk beside us. We need to tell him I’m ready. I’m ready for the challenge, I’m ready for the pain. I’m ready for whatever you want to give me, however you want to stretch me until I’m operating at my best capacity. Until I am doing what you called me to do.

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Prayer

Lord, You died for me to live life to the full. Your children shouldn’t have imposter syndrome we are daughters/sons of a king. Everything I need to be great you equipped me to do. Because you love me. You decided what you wanted me to do before I was born and then put together the entire thing while I was still in my mothers womb. Help me get out of my own way. Help me water the seeds of greatness you already planted inside me. Help me stay steadfast and rely on you, not on me. In Jesus name. Amen


Resources

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/tired-of-self-sabotage-how-to-get-out-of-your-own-way/ https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/10-ways-get-out-your-own-way-and-get-things-done.html https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-finesse/202006/how-recognize-and-defuse-self-sabotage

All I do is win

I use a lot of DJ Khaled gifs in my writing. I don’t know why it just seems appropriate lol

I don’t want people to be mistaken and think that I’m bragging on myself. I’m not. I wouldn’t have anything, I wouldn’t feel this good if it wasn’t for God.

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If you have read this blog long enough then you know it wasn’t always like this. I had many years when I suffered for the most part in silence. I’m not saying my life is all sunshine and rainbows because it’s not. The difference is my perspective changed. My perspective changed because I decided to try God’s way instead of my way or the world’s way. My way wasn’t doing anything for me. I felt even worse because now I added guilt om top of all the other things I felt.

People ask what’s the secret. How can they feel like this too? I go to church, I read and study my Bible on my own, I go to Bible study in a group, I cut back on my secular tv shows and music. I do all those things because I need God all the time in all the ways I could get him.

That’s not sexy or interesting though. Its not fun or fast. It can be tedious at times.

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I didn’t always do that. I thought once I had my baby I would be cool, my suffering is over, God answered my prayers. That happy feeling didn’t last long.

Once I went back to work my happy bubble burst and I had to figure out how to get it back. That’s why I worry so much about maintaining the momentum. I’ve been on the other side of this feeling and I don’t want to go back.

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I continue to work on finding a balance on being in the world and my relationship with God. Spending more time with him definitely helps with that. Age has helped with that, the pandemic has helped with that too. I am not telling you it will be easy, or fast, but it will be worth it.