I value love, responsibility and wisdom. Through education, focusing on personal development, I strive to empower people, particularly African-American youth. To uplift my community to break socio-economic cycles that has created a disparity in the standard of living in urban areas. I cannot create positive change in my environment without first taking care of myself and I will appreciate the vessel God has given me. Life is not a destination, but a journey and I will make thorough efforts to seek silver linings. I chose to not be negatively influenced by adversity and to look to the hills for help.
January: I had a very relaxed Christmas break. Lots of time alone, with my thoughts. No cable, internet, or unpleasant interruptions. It WAS awesome, until classes started. I was determined to make this semester different, to work harder and to be more focused. Didn’t happen. I kept putting off completing my intern hours and in general struggled with motivation. However, my motivation to live a healthier lifestyle was starting to pick up.
February: Things begin getting a little foggy in all areas of my life. I began a 28-day fast in conjunction with my church, but mainly for myself for spiritual growth and my health. I started off juicing raw fruits and veggies and eventually included minimally processed foods.
March: Still juicing. Now exercising regularly. Lost 6lbs. and 3 inches and I’m too excited, but everything else is slipping. Of course when the fast ended on the 18th I incorporated some of my former favorite foods like pizza and milkshakes. I can’t accurately say how many pounds I’ve gained but I’ve gained an inch back. Now I’m feeling awful physically and mentally. I’m emotionally drained. I recognize what’s going, I have an epiphany. And now I have to take it to the next level. Time to hit the gym, pray/praise harder and implement some self-care strategies. I’m being tested, a breakthrough/blessing must be approaching.
There’s a problem in my office. With the
cleaning supply room bathroom that staff uses. For some reason everybody just can’t wait to get into this room. So much so that no one EVER knocks and waits. One day, Papa G (“seasoned” male co-worker) spoke to me in an agitated tone. He said “Can we do something about the staff bathroom? Can we get a sign or something? That says knock before entering? Cause I’m tired of people walking in on me, SHIT!” I nodded and said okay, anything just to appease him so I could laugh my ass off out of his face. And I did. Work week over. Monday morning, the sign was up and Papa G was appreciative. He then jokes about the different instances he’s been walked in on, by whom and how many times. Papa G has one of those old grandpa/deacon voices so anything he says sounds funny. But anyway, we both continued to laugh. But what I was really doing was laughing my ass out. The days rolled by and it’s now Thursday. I close out my projects, grab my purse and coat to head to the door. Then I realize it’s not a good idea to drive on a full bladder. So I rush to the chemical storage room staff bathroom. You need a key to open it, but once inside you can’t lock it from the inside. So I literally have to tackle the door to make sure that it can’t just be pushed open. I’ll spare you the details about my bathroom procedure, but you’ve seen that episode of The Tyra Banks Show. I heard the lock move. I yell “Someone’s in here”. Then, the door opens and I’m like WTF. I wasn’t even finished and in the door is my co-worker Bubba (middle-aged white dude). In this situation most people would have closed the door immediately after sensing someone in the restroom. What’s worse than having a coworker walk in on you in the restroom? HAVING TO TELL HIM TO CLOSE THE DOOR😐 What a pervert! Door closes. I laughed out of embarrassment and then I realized what happened. I became furious and he did right to avoid me. I grabbed my things again to clock out and here comes a student apologizing on Bubba’s behalf because it was he that rushed Bubba to get the bleach out the storage closet causing him to not read the sign and thus not knock on the door and wait for an answer. Then here comes Bubba with his hands in the air like “my bad”. So the next morning, I tell Papa G and Keke about the incident and he laughs and asked “Did he close the door slowly?” Ha ha ha. To make matters worse, Bubba has had his work schedule changed to mornings effective immediately. So now I have to see this perv for my whole work day. Moral of the story, make sure you lotion daily.
I’ve learned a lot, mostly that a lot of my actions were based in fear. I let fear of failing enslave me.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us…”
I enjoyed creating a life map the most (from my values in action). Had fun just playing with the graphics, but having it in diagram format helped me to clearly see my next steps. I struggled the most with creating my mission statement. I’ve been called a perfectionist before, but I’ve always dismissed it, all the while acknowledging mild OCD tendencies🙂. My thought pattern has been that if I don’t have all the tools, if didn’t start right, then it won’t done right and then I can’t do it. Basically, telling myself that everything should be perfectly aligned and timed a certain way for me to be successful. Everyone knows that perfect doesn’t exist. What I’ve learned from this exercise is that in most things, I see the big picture, I “get” the big picture, easily. However, I get hung up on the details.
“…We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” – Marianne Williamson
Although I have the financial flexibility and professional network to live and work anywhere, I choose to use my assets to positively affect my hometown. I live in a four bedroom home with large picturesque windows and open floor plans. I own several businesses here and residential properties throughout the United States. I earn a living by doing what I love, helping people in need to attain resources for a better life. I spend half of my days managing a non-profit organization that provides a variety of services (personal development workshops, after-school recreation, mentoring, housing assistance, job placement, etc.) to the community at no cost. I spend the other half of the day taking care of my family. I have healthy relationships with my family and friends whom I communicate and fellowship with often. It’s important to me to create joy filled memories, so I make an effort to celebrate good news with my loved ones. I don’t want negative situations to be the only uniting factor. Being fiscally advantageous and responsible with my profits has allowed me to travel the world and vacation twice yearly. I spend my leisure time exercising and reading, staying abreast of current events and volunteering. I also take dance and art classes.
Am I currently living out my values? What do my values look like in action?
Knowledge/wisdom/truth/spirituality – 5
I gave myself a 5 here, because I could be doing more to educate myself formally, like pursuing a MA MFT or enrolling in a Clinical Psych program. I just feel like I’m not there yet, spiritually. I guess that test is on it’s way. Attending Bible Study and reading more philosophy and history books would be a good start.
Family – 8
There are members of my extended family that I would like to have a closer relationship with. I need to reach out to them and position myself to be of help when they are in need, but I think it’ll take more than a phone call or even a visit. Facebook, that’s it! I’ll flood them with game invites and tag them in all my pics!
Community – 5
I do service projects and donate a lil something something. I need to renew my membership in my neighborhood association and attend city council meetings to stay abreast of what’s going on. I need to donate more of my time.
Financial Security – 1
I can’t lie. I’m not doing enough here. Get a second job, save more and invest, consolidate school loans. All things I need to do ASAP.
Love – 10
All I can do is be lovable, the rest is up to someone else and I believe I’ve done that quite well. I love completely and hard, that’s got to count for something, right? Can’t say there’s a single person that I hate or even strongly dislike.
Advancement/progress/health – 5
Let’s see. I’m doing this 31 day life reset. It’s really helping me to organize my thoughts and outline my goals. I could eat better, move more, and care less.
Fellowship/laughter – 5
I can find the humor in almost everything, I’m always laughing. Just in case I can’t, I can always watch old episodes of Wipeout or It Only Hurts When I Laugh. Gotta explore the great outdoors and spend more time with the homies.
Responsibility – 10
I hold myself accountable for my actions, almost to a fault. I have no problem acknowledging when I’m wrong.
Peace – 7
I tend to worry a lot unnecessary, nothing a lot more me time can’t fix. I just need to spend a couple of spring days relaxing, gazing upon water and the sky (preferably from the shores of a beach resort) or slow dancing with myself at 9:00am on a weekday morning with the music blasting.
Creativity – 3
I admit. I’ve neglected my crafts and some are yet to be discovered. I used to be so heavy into graphic design. I kept it up for two years and never quite used it again. Never finished learning the piano either, I was too inpatient and never mastered reading music. I sing to myself all the time. No one ever tells me to shut up except my dad and sister (but they’re just hating) so I guess my voice is tolerable. Even if it isn’t, I’d still sing. I’ve always wanted to take up dance. Guess I should start looking up those
pole dancing Modern Dance classes. I never thought of myself as the creative type.