Revising The Golden Rule

Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:12 NLT

I’ve always liked this rule. Its simple and straight to the point. Don’t treat people like garbage if you don’t want to be treated as such. Seems reasonable to me. However, as I have gotten older I realized that this concept is a little black and white. It is a good idea to treat people how you want to be treated however, it doesn’t really take into account how THEY want to be treated.

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For instance, my husband and I share a lot of similar personality traits however his love language is different than mine. I can’t approach him the way I would want to be approached in situations because he doesn’t respond to that.

When I was researching pictures to include in this post, I came across an article that talks about what I was just telling you. The man that wrote it is talking about it from a management angle but I believe that it works in all aspects of life. Do you take account peoples personalities when you have a disagreement with them? It doesn’t even have to be a disagreement, but just how you interact with people on a day to day basis.

I had a disagreement with a coworker…but it was really in my mind. If you asked them, they wouldn’t think we had a disagreement. They said some things to me I really didn’t like and I would never say those things to them. I was pretty upset about but I had to stop and think, what was their intention? Were their intentions good? They were. We don’t think the same and that is ok.

I had a friend that asked me for some constructive feedback and I wasn’t able to fully give it to her. I talked about how I don’t like constructive feedback because I am too hard on myself but that may not be the case for her. We all have blindspots and I could have been more helpful, but I was treating her how I like to be treated. I also didn’t want to hurt her feelings because mine would have been hurt if it was me, but this wasn’t about me.

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Finding the balance in how to treat people in a way that works for you and works for them is tricky but doable. Sometimes we get in caught up in our thought process and that is ok as long as your recognize it.

I believe the biggest thing to consider when trying to treat people how you want to be treated is remember compassion, empathy, respect and patience. Those things are universal.

The Golden Rule is a good place to start but its the baseline. If you start with this you will end up in a good space but if you take it a step further, you can probably have a solution that works for everybody.

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
Citrus and Style

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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Making bible study interesting

When you hear bible study what do you think? Boring, hard, work, school, too difficult. Too much. Where do I start?

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I used to feel that way about bible study. Some times I still do.

If you have been reading this blog for any period of time you would say, but Dominique you like to read. True. I do. So that helps. I bet you would like to read if it was interesting and didn’t take a long time. Bible study doesn’t have to be like being back in school. It can be as simple as you want it to be. The internet has made it a lot easier to find a method that works for you.

This is what I do. 

Pray. I don’t mean in any overly spiritual sense. Just ask God to show what he wants you to see.

Think. Think about the things you ask God when you pray. Do you ask God to bless you at work? Do you ask God to help you raise your kids? Do you ask God to help you be a better wife, partner, etc? Do you want to know God’s character or promises? You can start there.

Find. You can do this a few different ways. You can look in the bible app and they have a search option where you can type a key word and it will give you all the scriptures in the bible that relate to that word. So when I wanted to know who God is, I type it in the search box.

Tons of scripture popped up. If you’re old schooling it and reading a physical bible, it hopefully has a topic search in the back where you can look up things by subject. If you don’t have a study bible you should get one. Super helpful. They typically have reading plans to help you get started, so you aren’t just opening your bible and trying to land on something that speaks to you. I definitely used to do that. You could also go to Pintrest or Google and somebody has already did the finding for you, you just have to get your verse for the day.

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Pintrest.com livingfreeindeed.com

Write. Once you find a verse or passage that speaks to what you’re looking for, write it down. It can be in the notes app on your phone, but you want to write down what comes to your head or questions you may have so you can refer back to it later. 

Remember this:

The good thing about studying the bible is that it doesn’t have to be done in any specific way. There are tons of methods out there. 

15 minutes is a great place to start. God just wants your time and attention. Reading the bible is good but it just skims the surface. Devotionals are a great place to start if you don’t have a lot of time.

Pray and write, that’s all you have to do, everything else will fall into place.

The more you study the word of God, unlike Algebra, or OChem, the more you will want to study it and learn more. 

Don’t worry I am here to help. I am going to include  in future posts some more bible study methods and tips that will help.


Resources

Good study bibles-Quest, LifeHack, Life Application  

SOAP bible study method

11 Ways to Study the Bible: Methods, Techniques & Tips

 

 

Waking up

wokeUsing this definition of woke, I think I was half way there. I definitely am fully aware. I am knowledgeable about my community and the world. However, while I am willing to access and critique systems of oppression. I wasn’t really doing it. Not hard enough anyway. I tried for so long to do what the US constitution says about keeping church and state separate. In current day society though, that’s not really a thing. I used my Christian values to let a lot of things slide, but no more.

I don’t know if someone would have asked me would I consider myself feminist. I definitely am not the person blaming everything on  patriarchy.

Beyonce and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Make Feminism Go Viral | KQED

I didn’t really consider myself a feminist either until I heard Beyonce’ say she was. I always thought feminism was a white woman’s thing. 

I don’t need to wear my blackness on my sleeve, its not something I can hide. However in light of everything that has happened lately I wanted to deepen my understanding around Black feminism, the patriarchy, systemic racism etc. I wanted to have the language to speak on things that were happening and use more than just my own experiences. So I have been reading/listening to more books, listening to different podcasts, joining book clubs, just trying to educate myself on some things I didn’t really know that much about.

The experience has certainly been enlightening to say the least. Its great to feel validated and know that you aren’t living in a vacuum. I have also discovered I have my own bias and privilege that I need to process. So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Olu has a whole chapter on checking your privilege that had me shook. Once again I am thankful for COVID-19 because I wouldn’t have time to read/listen to these books if I was going into the office. I would have never read Eloquent Rage by Dr. Brittney Cooper who showed me that the patriarchy is in EVERYTHING because I lean towards fiction when I do have time to read or religious books.

I have been living somewhat in a bubble recently. I used to work in a space a few years ago where I felt like I was the “black representative.” Constantly checking and teaching people how not to be racist is exhausting.

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Once Donald Trump got elected it got even worse. The election of Donald Trump showed me that people are not REALLY ready for change. Once I left that place, I kind of checked out. I thankfully don’t deal with a lot of racism in my day to day interactions anymore. However, George Floyd’s death really changed my perspective on what I thought I knew. I don’t know why his death made things different. Maybe because we are in quarantine and I am at home. Maybe it was seeing the callous and causal look of the police officer with his knee on his neck. 

Whatever the reason, I am glad for this awakening. 

Books I’ve read so far/listened to:

I’m still here-Austin Channing Brown

Eloquent Rage- Brittney Cooper

So You Want To Talk About Race-Ijeoma Oluo

White Fragilty– Robin DiAngelo

Books I’m going to read

How To Be An Anti Racist-Ibram X. Kendi (reading this now in a book club)

Hood Feminism-Mikki Kendall

 I’ll have separate posts talking about these books with what I’ve learned and what I thought.

How are you using your time?

For the month of July I have only been working 15 hours a week so you would thought I would have a lot more time to get things done. Not!

The days seem to go by so fast and I’m chasing down a burgeoning toddler so I really need to use my time wisely. I don’t however. I’m off today so you would think I would have been able to accomplish a lot. I didn’t.

When I wasn’t chasing my son down or keeping him from falling off something I essentially scrolled through Instagram. Not a good look.

I watched a video in my leadership class from this movie with Justin Timberlake in the movie In Time.  Here is a summary but watch the clip. The visual is crazy. Time is currency and he is trying to meet up with his mom. His mom doesn’t have enough time so they are within fingertips of each other but she doesn’t make it. She runs out of time.

The facilitator then asked us, what if the mom was your dream?

Shook! 

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So much time has been wasted on frivolous things, on things that don’t matter. When I think about how much writing and research I could get done when I’m just sitting watching the Disney Channel or scrolling through IG, I know I have work to do. I know we all can do better. Or if you already are using your time wisely, tell us how. I think it goes back to be intentional about keeping commitments to yourself. 

Having accountability partners.  A friend and I had this conversation a while ago about being more productive with free time and I told her how I’m going through all the screenshots on my phone and putting them in folders so I can find them quickly when I need them.

Great idea 💡. When is the last time I did that? We probably had that conversation a month ago or longer. I decided to do it today since I clearly was just sitting here. I didn’t like it much though. It was boring and tedious. I have over a 1000 screenshots on my phone. Its going to take me forever to sort through them all.

Is there an app for that?

UPDATE: I did discover that I can tag the pictures and put them in different categories then I can search when I need them later. Super helpful.

Use your time wisely. With us STILL being in at home its easy to just waste time because all the days seem the same. Don’t do it! Try anyway to push through. Time feels infinite but its not. We aren’t behind. However we could probably be doing more. 

Don’t just chase your dreams, do the work to catch them.

 

6 steps to finding your passion

1. Ask God to help you. The very first thing you should do is pray. We will talk later about taking assessments and quizzes but none of that really helps if it isn’t what God wants you to do.

Lead me in the right path, O Lord , or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. Psalms 5:8 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/psa.5.8.NL

2. Think about what you’re good at. What do you like to do? What are your hobbies? When I asked God to help me find my passion the first thing that popped in my head was writing and reading. I didn’t think those things could be gifts because they weren’t hard. I didn’t have to work at them. I went to see an author speak at a high school in my area and when she talked about how she got her start it was from journaling. I was amazed! I journaled everyday for years. If this lady could use that as her jumping off point to a successful writing career then so could I. I never thought it could be that simple but it is.

For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6 NLT https://bible.com/bible/116/pro.2.6.NLT

3. Take some aptitude tests if necessary. I have done three different types of assessments, spiritual gifts, Strengthsfinder, and the Enneagram. For me, all three assessments were important. I wanted to do the spiritual gifts test because I wanted to know how what I have could used inside the body of Christ specifically. I do feel like most of the things I discovered were similar but that isn’t a bad thing. Finding some of my skills were similar gave me confirmation that I was moving in the right direction.

https://giftstest.com/

Spiritual Gifts Test – Adult Version

https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/strengthsfinder.aspx   (Strengths is not free, but very informative. You could see if your job could pay for the test.)

https://www.truity.com/test/enneagram-personality-test ( This is free and I felt it was the most accurate when describing the type of person I was.

4. Think about your experiences good and bad. This can help you develop your passion by thinking about how you would recreate those experiences for other people. Everything we go through can be used for good not only for us but for others. When I decided that I wanted to take my writing seriously, I wanted to write the things I was searching for and not finding anywhere. I want people to type in a key word or hashtag and find my blog. Eventually, I want to write the books that I have not seen written for people my age.

5. Try something new. Is there something you have seen online that looks interesting? Is there a master class you want to take? Is there something that you always wanted to try but have been afraid to? 

6. Don’t worry if the thing you already want to do is being done. It doesn’t matter how people are doing thing you do. There is someone that needs what YOU have to offer and nobody does it like you. We are each unique and designed with a purpose. A good friend of mine told me to think about how many different types of bread are in the store. Tons! Has that stopped people from making bread? Nope! 

Pursing your passion is going to involve taking a risk. God has put everything inside of you already that you need to succeed. Don’t let fear or fear of failure stop you from giving your gifts to the world.   

 

 

Going off the beaten path

I went on a nature walk with some of my friends that quickly turned from just a walk into a lost in the woods adventure. It was very interesting because we moved off the trail very quickly and did so without hesitation. As we started to walk we ran into some really random things in the woods that we would not have seen otherwise. My friend said if we would have stayed on the path we would see things we would not have expected. When she said that to me, it really struck me. God used her to give a message to me and I don’t even think she realized it.

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How often do we want to follow the the path of least resistance? How often do we think we have to go the same way everyone else went to accomplish a goal? Getting to your dream might not be linear. It probably won’t be. There will be hills to climb and creeks to jump over. You may even get lost. How often when you are in pursuit of your passion do you lose sight of the vision? How often do you go back and check on the goal to insure your moving in the right direction?

I often get caught up in the  how to accomplish the goal that I miss the actually accomplishing of the goal. I get bogged down in the research and laying out the plan. How often do we get caught up in the work that we lose sight of where we’re going? 

We need to embrace the times when we go off course. I get so focused on things have to be done in this order or in this fashion, that I miss the inspiration. This post wouldn’t even exist if I had not have stopped working on another post to start it. I didn’t use to do that. If I sat down to write I had to finish that piece before I started working on another. I would never stop in the middle of something to write an idea down. 

You-Know-Youre-a-Writer-–-Write-Down-Ideas

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I’m beginning to shift my thinking and I am excited about where the road will take me. Don’t put yourself in a box as you are pursuing your passions. Remember that there is no one path to success. Someone told me that we should celebrate the steps, not just the destination. Its hard to do that when we are so focused on the goal. Being willing to go off course, could open you up to a world of possibilities. 

Now that quarantine is over

I am in an interesting space as we come out of strict quarantine and summer is upon us. Summer definitely looks different with COVID-19 and protesting happening all across the country. I saw tons of memes on my social media about if you didn’t come out quarantine having accomplished something then you were just lazy. I just don’t believe that to be true. Thankfully someone agreed because they changed it. This one makes a lot more sense.

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If I am being honest. I have not completed a ton of projects in the 2 months that we were forced to stay. Posting again was one of the things I wanted to accomplish, so Yay me! for getting that done.

I just felt really stuck with not working in the traditional sense, and my baby and husband being here and the days rolling together.

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I had been feeling really off spiritually for a while, and that’s another thing that quarantine helped me get on track. I have attended more Sunday school and bible study than I ever would have if we were not in quarantine.

I felt bad though. I was spending too much time on Hulu, social media and reading books. I was having a mini vacation from the world and seeing other people have something tangible to show for their quarantine efforts really bothered me.

In my noon day bible study that I go to, she told us to go back and read your old journals to see where God has brought you from. It wasn’t really a pleasant experience, like I see God answering prayers but I also see a lot of heartache. I also decided to go back and read some of my old blog posts. There are over a 100 so it was more a skim, but I came across this one. Its one of the first posts I did and it talks about the name I picked for the blog. That was three years ago and I am still having this same problem. I talk about being stuck in research mode instead of just taking the leap and doing the thing you said you were going to do.

I sat down about 6 weeks ago and laid out my plan of my hearts desires. I asked God to be with me in those plans because there a lot of things my heart desires. After I wrote them down and prayed some more I put dates that I wanted to accomplish them. I continued to pray about those things in my quiet time until my Pastor preached a sermon on fear. Click the link. It’s really good you should watch it. It had a lot of great points but the one that stuck with me is we need to quit praying and move! I felt like God had slapped me, like, Hey, I’m talking to you! All this research and worrying, you are not going to get anything done. Just do it!

Then I had a conversation with my friends one Sunday after a nature walk (more on that in a later post) about pursing your passions and how much people pay for content, how to get things done and my mind was blown. I left so inspired! So ready to hit the ground running.

My next few posts will be about pursuing your passions and how to ensure you accomplish the goals you set. Stay tuned!

p.s-COVID-19 is still a thing, wear a mask.

 

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This may have been in March but its still relevant. 

Spiritual check

I know that 2020 has kind of had a dumpster fire of a year especially after having such a promising start. So much is happening in the world, it is easy to lose your faith or struggle with God right now. There is a lot happening with Covid-19. We are spending time in our homes much more than we ever intended, people are reading more, watching more, learning more, trying to make good use of this time. These are great ideas! I am trying to do more of these things myself. I would hope that you would take some of that energy and apply it to your spiritual life as well.

The first three months of the year have already gone by. Have you thought about any spiritual goals you may have set at the beginning of the year? Are you trying to read your bible more? Extend your quiet time? Pray for not only yourself but your, friends, family and neighbors. These are challenging times and it is very easy to do too much of the wrong thing while trying to cope. There are some great resources on the internet right now. Churches are livestreaming, bible studies are online, Sunday school. I haven’t been to Sunday school in almost a year but since it has been meeting via Zoom, it has been a lot easier to go to. Don’t just use this as an opportunity to binge Tiger King or Love is Blind but take in some good things as well.

Brave

Quite a few people have been coming up to me and calling me brave lately. Its funny because I never really feel brave. Often times I am the exact opposite of brave. I have come to a point in my life where I am afraid, but I am doing it any.

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I won’t say that confidence always follows but what I will say is that people recognize the good in me. I was nervous, I was vulnerable, I was worrying about being judged, however when it was finished it turned out well. I was told that I was doing a good job, that I had a gift. I don’t feel like the things I do are a gift, it just is how I am, so I discount it. I shouldn’t do that.

 

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The main reason I don’t want to do things is because I am afraid typically of the unknown. People are saying they can’t blog or talk about their problems because they aren’t brave like me. That’s not true. I don’t feel brave when blogging.

I don’t think it is something that I am going to be doing for years but for now it is something that I needed to do. I could no longer hold in it and journalling was not enough. Blogging can be very passive, especially when you use a platform that people have to find.

I feel liberated and validated through blogging. I know that many of things I go through I am not alone. It has helped me be more honest with myself and other people. Like the other day, one of my friends wanted to go to lunch. My fun money has been tight this summer because I am working part time and I told her that I couldn’t go because I didn’t have the money. The old me would never have done that. I would have went and spent the money and done without for something else later. That is small but its the growth that counts in that. My friend told me something personal things about her marriage and she said she was able to do that because of this blog. I appreciate that. She said she feels like she has to have this public persona because people don’t get it. I have lived that life so it makes sense to me.

I notice how other people are much more in tune with their feelings and even though they seem more anxious they also seem more comfortable in their own skin. Or comfortable being uncomfortable.That’s brave to me. That’s where I aspire to be.

I am doing better. We have these big social gatherings at work and I just don’t feel comfortable. Its just not the way I operate. I am much better in one on one or small group settings but instead of sitting there and worrying about what I was going to say, I decided to remove myself from the situation. It worked out much better. As I drove home today I didn’t have to replay everything I said to make sure I didn’t say something stupid or jerk like, etc. I am happy about that.

If you want tell your story you should. Its therapeutic. Being 100% Authentic is whats really brave. I don’t believe I do that 100% of the time but I am working on it. If I can do it, you certainly can as well. Don’t let fear hold you be back.

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