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

Doing the work

We talked before about doing the work and being intentional. What is doing the work?

I would say doing the work is being intentional about being the best version of yourself everyday. Its hard to do.

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Its hard to decide I’m going to make the best choice for me, not the choice that is easiest or the most comfortable. It is deciding that I am going to make decisions today that my future self will thank me for.

It’s planting seeds now that your future self with harvest later.

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I didn’t know I needed to do any work for a long time. We spend a lot of time in life just moving. Completing tasks, going to work, coming home, having a little fun, repeat. Covid is what made me stop and try to evaluate how I was feeling. I knew something was off but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.

I decided to go see a therapist that helped me tremendously. Therapy is not for everyone, but it can be extremely helpful in assisting you in processing your stuff.

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Even though therapy is more common for people to talk about I still felt embarrassed to tell people I went to see one. I don’t see her anymore. I went every week starting last August until January. That was intense.

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I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that for everyone but I needed to get my moneys worth. I was going through Betterhelp and they charge you monthly, and it wasn’t cheap. The gains I got from it were priceless though. I learned how to set boundaries, how to put myself first, how to feel my feelings, how to say no, how not to take responsibility for other people’s choices or try to save folks.

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Stuffing your feelings or numbing yourself is easy. That doesn’t require anything of you. Doing the work, is not easy or for the faint of heart. When I started to do the work, I started noticing more work I needed to do. That wasn’t fun. I also had to remind myself to give myself, grace. I don’t have to have it all figured out.

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Its a process. I know I wanted to work on my baggage so I wouldn’t pass those issues down to my kid. I knew healing from old hurts would make me a better wife, better mom, better leader.

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I knew I wasn’t going to be able to be be the best version of myself if I didn’t open my eyes to what was going on inside of me. Its easier to not notice what is going on in you and just keep pushing. However you owe it to yourself to recognize what is going on and do the work to make it better.

We’ll talk next time about things that keep you from seeing what’s going on.

Until next time,

Dominique

5 months left

Happy August! Summer is almost over. Have you enjoyed it? Did you do all the things you thought you would?

As summer is ending it makes me think about the intentions and goals I set for 2021. A few of them I messed up. One being I wanted to post every month of the year. I missed June though. Its ok. I don’t plan on missing anymore.

One of my words for 2021 was intentional. I have been doing a better job with that. I’ve been saying no to things, I’ve been focusing on what’s important. I’m creating more time for myself. I’m giving myself more grace. I’m reading this book called Self Compassion by Kristen Neff. It has some really good stuff in it. Very helpful.

Where are you in what you wanted to accomplish in 2021? Have you had to modify your goal?

2021 doesn’t look anything like I thought it would. Covid is acting up again, student loan debt isnt cancelled, housing market is out of control

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Galatians 6:9 ESV And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

As we enter into the later part of the year remember there is still time. Time to step it up, pivot or adjust if needed.

You are not accomplishing these things on your own. God is walking beside you cheering you on.

You got this!

Until next time,

Dominique

How to feel your feelings

Feelings can be tricky. I have always had a complicated relationship with my feelings. One of my favorite sayings is feelings lie. Calling someone a liar isn’t a great way to start off a relationship. In the last year though I have started to come around to the thought that feelings are useful. I was a classic stuffer. If something bothered me, I would just stuff it down and ignore it as long as possible. I would distract myself in books or sitcoms until I didn’t feel bad anymore. I used to be uncomfortable when other people expressed their emotions. You start crying around me and I was done! Done!

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This isn’t the healthiest way to deal with things for sure.

Feelings are not good or bad, they just are.

Feelings are just a signal alerting your body to something.

I could only identify with negative feelings, like anger. This I know how to express. Or sadness, like when someone dies. You having a bad day, ha! Suck it up.

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Someone gave me a feelings wheel last year that I found to be extremely helpful. I also use both of these methods that I found online this year.

@justgirlproject

I like this one for justgirlproject because writing things down is helpful for me. The talking to someone part is more tricky because that involves being vulnerable which I don’t always like. Now that I have been doing it more often, I noticed that being vulnerable isn’t all bad. When you are that transparent about your situation or feelings other people tend to be as well.

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I like this one too because its something my pastor says to do. He also says, questions your thoughts. Why do I feel this way? Is it true? Is it based on fact?

As much as I did not like feeling my feelings, I noticed that the more I did, the better I felt. The truth about feelings are if you don’t deal with them now, you will certainly have to deal with them later.

The bible has a whole book that talks about feelings…Psalms. The writers of that book were not afraid to talk to God about how they felt. They poured out their anguish, their devotion, their misery and God responded. Even if you have no one to talk to about your feelings, talk to God. He made our heart, so he understands how we feel.

Resources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/harnessing-principles-change/202010/the-key-skill-we-rarely-learn-how-feel-your-feelings

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/healthy-emotions_b_4856069

https://www.jointheprogressproject.com/podcast/138

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

10 ways to have peace in turbulent times

  1. Start your day in prayer and devotion. This will set you up for success. You can give anything that you are worrying about to God and thank him for all he has done. You can walk into your day/work with a sense calm and strength. This way you can take on anything!
  2. Don’t get on social media during the work day. At the very least wait until after lunch.I know this can be hard because social media typically provides an escape but not right now. Too much is happening in the world.
  3. If you have to go on social media, stay out of the comment section! The comments are were you are going to see the wildest things. People have no chill in the comments and you don’t want to be a part of that. Its going to instantly make you mad.
  4. Remind yourself that you don’t have to teach everyone. We are dealing with adults on a day to day basis, you don’t have to school everybody. You can provide a list of resources and remind them that Google is free everyday.
  5. Consider the source. Before you go and get mad at some random person on the internet remember that they probably don’t know you personally and if they do, this the perfect opportunity to block them. I went and unfollowed a bunch of people that didn’t serve me anymore and it has done wonders to my timeline. I very rarely see things that I don’t agree with. I understand that it is important to see views that are different than my own. However, peace of mind is priceless.
  6. Pray. When do you come across something that makes you angry or frustrated. You don’t have to hold on to it. Release it back into the atmosphere. Ask God to help you get over whatever foolishness you just witnessed.
  7. Find something else to entertain you besides the news and social media. Ride a bike, walk outside, yoga. In the world of COVID-19 we are not able to be as social as we normally would, so now would be a great time to find a new hobby. If you can find something that is free even better.
  8. Journal. Writing how you feel about whats going on in the world is a great way to get it out. You can even write it down and burn it later. I talk about how cathartic it is to burn things in this post, Burn it away
  9. Reach out to a friend or family member to help lift your spirits. Being in a funk by yourself is never a good idea. You may not be able to see them in person but talking things out with someone is better than holding it in.
  10. Watch, read or listen to something funny or light-hearted that will lift your spirits.

 

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This my son LJ and my dog son Hunter. Don’t they look so peaceful.

I know that these are crazy times. Between COVID- 19 STILL running rampant in the streets and the many injustices facing Black people, its a lot going on right now. You have to choose how much you want to be dialed in. Its perfectly ok to step back, take a break, and re-calibrate. There will always be work to do but you can’t serve if you don’t have peace within yourself. That leads to burnout. We don’t want that. Your voice is needed.

Cover image from The Practical Path

What ways are you taking care of yourself right now? Is there anything missing from this list? Let me know.

10 things I’ve learned since becoming a mother

1. Empathy- no one helps. People literally watch you struggle. I never noticed this before. Being a mom has shown me how to express feelings outside of myself and better understand other people’s emotions.

2. Patience- with myself, family, friends, the baby, its crazy. Patience was a big lesson I needed to learn. If I would have become a mother earlier in my life I wouldn’t have gained this skill set. Listening to babies cry or throw their bottle at you, patience is what you need.

3. Dont compare- to my old self, to my husband, to other moms, nobody. I thought the biggest comparison would be to other moms but I was definitely wrong on that. More on this in another post.

4. Be humble. Motherhood is nothing like I expected. I didnt have a ton of expectations but what I thought I knew I definitely was wrong. You can’t find all the answers on Google. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and judge what you would do when it isn’t your kid but having a kid of your own changes things.

5. I can do more on less sleep than I thought. So little sleep. Its insane. I used to love taking a nap but now I just do without. Nap when the baby naps is really a lie. Lol

6. It’s ok to say I dont know what I’m doing or admit I messed up. Once I started talking to people about my feelings I realised I wasn’t the only person going through that or thought that way. Moms are expected to have all the answers and that’s just not the case. Lots of things are intuitive but not everything and it was nice to admit that.

7. I have to be intentional about my self care. Writing, alone time, spending time with my friends, all of it has to be intentional or it won’t happen. I hate to admit but I’m better about spending time with my friends than with myself sometimes.

8. Water truly does a body good. I have heard this but I never tested it out myself until I was pregnant and after. The rumours are true. I had to drink it when I was pregnant and the results were great. I’m trying to get back to that space.

9. I will receive tons of unsolicited advice and opinions. I most often bite my tongue. Ive gotten much better about this than when he was first born. People are just trying to help. Their intentions are good. More on this in another post.

10. Everything has changed. I am ok with that. I have been trying so hard to be the person I was before but that girl is gone. A new better person is emerging.

I am stronger than I think I am.

My son just turned one. The hardest thing to put into practice is the self care. Its so easy to put yourself on the back burner when you have a kid.

I can expand on just about everything on this list. So much of this can be unpacked. I will in the upcoming months.

New kid on the block

I have been working in the same job for the last 4 years. I am a college counselor. I love my job and am I good at it. I recently made a move to a new school this year and it completely shook my confidence.

I have only been there a month but I have learned a lot of lessons in the last 30 days.

1. I don’t have anything to prove. I am good at my job and I don’t have to do it the same way the previous person did.
2. I can not be everything for everybody. I was literally running myself ragged trying to make every meeting, do every presentation, sometimes trying to be two places at once. It was unnecessary. I wasn’t giving anything 100% because I was trying to do too much.
3. I can make mistakes. I am not perfect and that is ok. Nobody is putting any pressure on me but me. I just need to relax and do what I’m good at.
4. Trust is a very interesting thing. I’m going to talk more about this in a later post. I don’t really know the team I am working with that well yet. I am used to being excluded from things and being left off emails so I have been just showing up places. I don’t need to, my counterpart hasn’t left me off anything. He hasn’t done anything for me not to trust him.

Being a new person is not easy for me, nor is change. When I first started it was hard. I was lonely and nervous and unsure of myself. 30 days later I feel more relaxed. I have made some friends and I am learning the lay of the land. This change is exactly what I didn’t know I needed. I am so glad that I didn’t block my blessing by being afraid.

Job 13:15

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.
Job 13:15 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/job.13.15.NIV

This is one of my favorite verses. Many times in my life I thought God was slaying. I didn’t understand what he was doing or why. Sometimes the what would come together but the why would remain elusive. The why doesn’t really matter though. I know I am not going through half the things Job went through and God proved himself faithful then.

I like that I will surely defend my ways to his face. God isn’t afraid of confrontation or our feelings. I like that. It shows that he really wants to be our friend and not just our father. He knows what I am thinking anyway so I might as well get it out.

Things tend to always find a way to come together, better than I thought or could have imagined. God is good All the time.Even when we don’t understand, even when don’t like it, he is good. I’m so glad I have this verse as a reminder. It’s never as bad as I think it is. God won’t play me and he won’t play you either.