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Embracing Womanhood

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Delta

In just six months, I will celebrate my 30-somethingth birthday :-). 10 years ago, this would have made me cringe … I would’ve thought about how old I’d be and how many things I couldn’t do anymore. Today the thought excites me! I am excited and celebrate because my life truly has gotten better with time and for that I am thankful. My dreams has slowly unfolded, been recreated and come true in ways that could never imagine. I am surer of myself – who I am, what I love, what I cannot and will not tolerate – more than ever before. I love me more and am more forgiving of my not-so-great choices. I choose wisely and am not afraid to change courses. And this year for once and for all, I embrace ALL of the person that I am!

This is significant for me because at various times in my life I have worked hard to still one part of myself or another … my inner wild child or flower goddess 🙂 or inquisitive seeker of knowledge or overzealous academic achiever or loyal girlfriend or intimate lover or peace seeker and the list goes on. Today more than ever I love my complex, complicated, goal- setting and dream achieving self. Today, more than ever I distance myself from those who do not support me in being my best version of me.

While listening to a podcast last week I heard the quote “the way you do one thing is the way you do all things”. This has quickly become my favorite quote of the month – this defines me. I am a dream big or go home type of woman! I love hard and give my all … in every way in everything I do. I am all in and if/when things shift I am done. I am me and I love it all!

Last thought: this past weekend I bought a new tube of lipstick. This may be a small deal to women who have dozens of tubes of lipstick or endless mountains of make-up that they can’t seem to keep organized (or maybe they do :-)). But for me it was a practice in self-care – to put just as much time in my physical health and appearance as I do in academics or soul-searching. It was another small drop in the bucket of being my best self and embracing the process. To me, this is womanhood: growing, learning, loving and finding new ways of expressing the aforementioned – all the while remembering who I am and why I was created!

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Post Hawaii Reflection: These Things I Know for Sure

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HawaiiII

It is just shy of a week since I left Hawaii and I am working hard to maintain the same sense of calm, intention and peace that I felt while I was there. As this semester nears this becomes more challenging so I am taking a few moments to share the gentle reminders I received in Hawaii and what I know for sure at the start of a New Year & season.

  1. I am a late comer to Mike Dooley, but am now a fan of his work and the daily #tut emails. I now know that taking a few moments each day to be inspired is invaluable. A simple email, an affirmation, a meditation or a prayer all go a long way in sustaining my sense of purpose.
  1. For the last few days I have been binging on podcasts by Myleik Teele of #Curlbox. I am usually reading, watching or listening to folks much older than me and attempting to apply their wisdom and insight to my current situations. It has been incredibly inspiring to hear someone my exact age talk about success, goal setting, overcoming challenges and continuing to grow. I now know that I need more of this. Thanks Myleik!
  2. Related to numbers two and three, I now know that I have to indulge in finding new sources of inspiration and encouragement on a regular basis, not just during a break or vacation. I now know that three months is too long for me to carve out time to simply be inspired!
  3. I have to exercise! This is a no-brainer to most, but when my schedule gets hectic my exercise regimen is usually the first to go. Like many of you, I feel so much better and less stressed when I am active. I now know (more than ever) that exercise is a necessity not a luxury.
  4. Alongside regular exercise, I now know that there is absolutely no excuse that is ever sufficient enough to justify eating poorly on a continuous basis. I know better – it is time for me to do better … consistently.
  5. After such a hectic semester last fall, I toyed with the idea of not renewing my license for Crazy Sexy Wellness (CSW). I now know that this is absolutely foolish! CSW is not where I thought it would be when I worked with a marketing professional 7 months ago; I haven’t done nearly what I imagined I would considering my schedule last fall, but it is still my venture. Slow and steady is where we are right now and I am okay with that.
  6. I now know more than ever that my life is purposed and intentional in every way and this is how my time must be spent. I now know that it is okay to honor my feelings about my aspirations in life; there is no need to try to fit in – in places I don’t belong. I now know that honoring me is critical for my mental health and well-being.
  7. In the midst of all this “soul searching” I also have some very tangible and relevant deadlines – finishing my dissertation being one of them :-). I’ve read countless articles and even a few books on the necessity of creating a daily writing practice. I now know that this is: 1) much harder than it sounds and 2) necessary for my success. I’ve created my schedule and am on day six of writing (or reading) for a minimum of 15 minutes each day on something related to my dissertation.
  8. While all of this (#’s 1-8) can be a bit much to stomach on a daily basis, I also now know that I have to remain flexible. Goals change, schedules bend and aspirations are re-imagined. I will be working to remind myself of this.
  9. And finally, I now know for sure – without a shadow of a doubt – that there is no one on this Earth like my friends and I am grateful for this! I was in Hawaii vacationing and visiting a very good friend of mine who I met while serving as a Peace Corps volunteer. We have grown and experienced so much through the years, but she has remained a constant reminder of the beauty of life, how important our decisions are and that dreams do come true. It was a complete honor to be in Hawaii with her for such an extended time and during a new season in my life. I know for sure that I must honor these friendships … nurture them with care.

Monday is the big day! I am back to both teaching and taking class. While I am a little anxious, this last week of vacation has given me time to resettle, create a semblance of a schedule and realign myself in preparation for the semester. I also downloaded Shonda Rhimes’ Year of Yes to listen to during the commute. I am excited about this moment, tomorrow, next week, next month, next quarter … this year! This I know for sure.

Memory vs. Soul

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While thumbing through my drafts folder, I found this post from 2014. I am not sure if I ever hit the “publish” button or even realized that it this post was saved as a draft versus shared with my followers. I do remember this very class – J-term with Dr. Katie Cannon and the guest lecturer was doctoral student Rev. Melva Sampson. The sentiments still ring true so I am sharing … 

Funny thing is that I sat down to type another post and didn’t realize
until a paragraph or so later what I was typing. Guess this is what I
need to get out.  In class last week the instructor started by reading a
poem as part of our contemplative moment. One – probably the only one –
thing I remember from the poem is this sentence: the memory falters, but
the soul remembers. The poem was followed by a discussion on African
American history and the slave trade. We engaged in very rich dialogue
about the African traditions that remain present in the lives of many
African Americans. One of the commentators from the video talked about
specific traditions and practices of which she was not aware of the
origin, but knew it felt familiar.

Although we were speaking specifically about the transference and
adaptation of African culture into African American culture, I believe
this snippet of the poem – this belief – be related to other human
experiences. The essence of this sentence says – to me – that there are
some things our human mind cannot comprehend or explain: why we are
drawn to certain people, places and things; why certain songs touch our
souls so deeply; why some things feel so familiar. In more
recent/relevant terms, I think of how I cannot place specific memories
from my childhood, but when I eat a specific food or revisit a specific
space I feel a kindred spirit. This one sentence describes the power of
the soul … the essence of the soul: to capture and hold dear those
things our mind consciously or consciously forgets.

2015 in review

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We’re two and a half years old … slowly growing, still learning, and committed to continuing to write. Here is my year in review:

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,000 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 17 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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