The year 2020 has been a long winding road for many of us, but you realize that the detours and pitstops are the highlights of your personal growth & evolution with any journey. We only have 73 days left before the New Year arrives, which is enough time to reevaluate how you will choose to complete 2020 on a high note.
However, we have learned lessons this year and are challenged to mix the bitter with the sweet not to repeat 2020. So, below are five ways to finish 2020 on a high note.
Gratitude. Find time to reflect on all the things you can be grateful for in this year.
2. Lessons. This is the best time to reassess the lessons learn and relish in the moment.
3. Stillness. During the pandemic being still has been a new ritual. In what ways has being still served your life?
4. Carpe Diem. Seizing every moment & opportunity is important, how have you made the most of the opportunities presented to you in this year?
5. Letting Go. It was necessary to let go of people, places, jobs & things to realize what was really important.
My story…. I remember the first time I began to travel; it all started in 1998 when I joined the military. I was nineteen years old ready to leave Detroit and start a new adventure. I was working at Kids Foot Locker, but I knew it was more to life than what I was experiencing in Detroit’s inner city. I was ready to spread my wings and find new territory to explore.
My first job assignment was in the Nordic island nation of Keflavik, Iceland. A country known for its astonishing landscapes, hot springs, volcanoes and much more. When I was not working I would explore caves, go to the blue lagoon, hang out with my Icelandic friend, Gunna (who became a sister), party and eat the savoring pieces of lamb. Iceland was a place to explore the great outdoors. And when I think about this experience a smile erupts on my face because I had no idea this would be the beginning of more adventures.
Later on, in my military career, I lived in Sicily; it is a Mediterranean island just off the tip of Italy’s boot. I remember wandering around the island to neighboring cities such as Motta Sant’Anastasia, Catania, and Taormina’s charismatic island. Taormina was an island near the infamous Mount Etna on the east coast of Sicily. It was a touristy area filled with beautiful beaches, clean Mediterranean water, various shopping boutiques, and more. Every time I would escape to Taormina, I felt like I was in Venice. I also travel to Spain, Rome and England.
After completing my military career, I knew I fell in love with the wanderlust of traveling worldwide. And fast-forwarding to now, traveling has become a lifestyle for me. In 2014, I decided to travel to Paris, France, to participate in a writing workshop. Paris is not just a city to do touristy things, but it is a state of mind. It changed my life, writing, and how I viewed the world. I can go on and on about Paris, but I plan to visit Paris soon after the pandemic slows down, and international borders open again for Americans.
So, I want to discuss three ways traveling change my mindset and my life. Also, these three ways can help you gain a new perspective about the world around you.
1. I became a storyteller.
2. Learn about the importance of diversity. Respecting other cultures attitudes, behaviors and way of live help me realize the power of diversity. Diversity is an important part of embracing new ideas, experiences and promotes creativity.
3. Open-minded. My mind was transformed by my traveling experiences. I was open to understanding other people’s perspective and understand if we disagreed in our ideas it was okay. (I’m still learning this concept everyday).
In 2007, I started my journey into the entrepreneurial world when I self-published my first book entitled, Soulseeker. I had no idea what steps to take as a newly published author; however, I knew stepping out of my comfort zone was a start. I was nervous yet excited about this new journey. I made plenty of mistakes, but I learned some valuable lessons along the way.
As I went through the self-publishing journey, I realize the importance of branding your business/yourself, marketing, and building relationships. When social media began, I learn how to get my product in front of a virtual world. In 2009, I created my first business called The Writer’s Block, where I did copywriting, editing, and created content for other creative professionals. I traveled around the United States, getting paid to perform poetry at special events. I would make contracts with my clients explaining terms, conditions, and my fee.
Fast-forwarding to now, I can proudly say I have self-publish six paperbacks, one eBook and gain valuable knowledge on how to help new writers and authors avoid the pitfalls I made at the beginning of my journey. This year I launch my publishing company called Serenity Publishing LLC and working on other business ventures.
Serenity Publishing will provide e-courses for new writers & authors who need guidance on social media marketing, branding, and marketing.
Here are three ways to embrace your entrepreneurial journey & stop putting your dreams of owning your own business on hold:
1. Just Start. You will never be ready. Have faith let go of the fear & leap.
2. Let the fear of failure go. The only failure you can endure is the failure of not living your dream.
3. Believe in yourself. The best way to believe in yourself is invest in yourself whether it is an online course, business/life coach, webinar or seminar.
In 2003, I looked in the mirror and realized I didn’t like myself. I had to confront the fact that who I was pretending to be was making others happy but making me feel unhappy. My world was falling apart because I was collapsing on the inside. I had no clue to who I was because I spent too much time running from myself. If you ever felt like this it is time to face the inner turmoil and heal.
As an ex-people pleaser, I realize how saying yes was my favorite addiction. It was hard for me to say no to people because I desired to make other people like me. However, I realize making others happy cost me a peace of mind. It takes courage to step out of the crowd and be different. Our differences are what make us beautiful, flaws, and all.
Have you ever found yourself helping everyone else, trying to fix everyone’s life, or obsessed with controlling what other people do? If so, you have a terrible case of minding other people’s business. There have been plenty of times I found myself trying to be a therapist, life coach, or psychologist to grown adults. My mission was to be the “fixer” in everyone else life instead of tending to my garden. However, I realize I needed to stop being a trash can for other people’s issues. In the end, I was creating codependent relationships.
In my journey of self-evolution and self-discovery, I have found it refreshing to stay focus on my own life. Staying focusing on my own life has helped me work on my relationship with myself. I have become more conscientious of the things that I can expand in my world. Learning to love my life and myself has given me the grace to let go of the thoughts or ideas of worrying about what other people think about me or what they may be doing. When you begin to mind your own business, you will feel lighter. It takes enough energy trying to cope with your life, adding other people’s issues to the equation causes chaos.
I am still on this journey of minding my own business and becoming the best version of myself. It is not an overnight process but a day to day evolution. Worrying about what others are doing, what people think about me, trying to gain people’s acceptance or validation is a waste of time. When you become connected to your inner world and start creating a life you love other people, life will no longer be a concern.
Below are three ways on how you can elegantly enjoy minding your own business:
Disconnect. Unplugging from social media or putting your phone on do not disturb is a great way to focus on the most important person which is…YOU!
Create a life you love. If you are proactive in producing a life you love, you will have less time being consume with other people’s life. You can find a hobby, write a list of all the things you are passionate about or the things you always desire to do.
Drown Out The Noise: Other people’s opinions about who you are, your life and what you do is not your concern. When you know who you are and what you do then other people’s perception is not relevant.
The Corona Virus issue has made us feel so many emotions with the ebb and flow of uncertainty; staying at home has become the new normal. This new normal has caused America to put everything on pause where being still is the cure. Many schools have closed around the world, people are now working from home, and some people no longer have a job. Although it can seem to be an uncomfortable time for the world, confronted with the reality that this is the time to let go of things no longer serve our lives.
In America, we are taught that being busy and living life on auto-pilot is acceptable. We choose to operate in a world encumber with a fast-food mentality, a microwave vision for our lives. The self-quarantine gives everyone a chance to slow down, saunter, and come to a shimmer. We no longer can follow the crowd but is challenged to do something different. I believe in this time of the shutdown, we will not go back to normal.
This transformation will cause us to become a better version of our self. We can start by self-reflecting in every area of our lives. For me, it has taught me the valuable lesson of living in the present moment.
People’s lives are being transformed because we are now finding our passion, spending time with family, connecting with friends, and doing things we were too busy to do. When the curtain rises off this center stage play we call COVID-19, how will we move forward? Will everyone go back to being “basic” or will we embrace our new normal?
Below are three ways we can release ourselves from the “basic life” to the “extraordinary life.”
1. Write The Vision. While being at home, this is a perfect time to write a plan for yourself to make some changes in your life. (Ex: If you decide to start your business now is the time to create your website, draft a business plan, etc.)
2. Execute. There is no time like the present to start being intention by putting action in your new life. Use this time to start capitalizing on not being at work. (Ex: If you are working from home, let your paycheck build up, so when all this comes to an end, you will have enough saved to live your job.)
3. Live. Before the Corona Virus, many of us were going through the motions of life; however, with the shutdown of social events and going out; we will be more present in our lives. We will have more fun living life versus existing in it.
In the end, I am optimistic the self-quarantine will bring out a better America, where we are healing, there is more joy, peace, kindness & love to spread!
The year 2020 has taken center stage, and everyone has made their goals, resolutions & vision boards. With the onset of January comes enthusiasm to make our dreams into reality. However, once February steps in, the spark begins to fizzle, and sticking to our vision fades. The dust starts to settle as we find ourselves back to the beginning waiting for a new year to create more goals, resolutions & vision boards.
Does this pattern sound familiar to you? If so, then it’s time to add intention to your year. According to Webster, dictionary intention is defined as an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result. This definition can be translated as changing your mindset to create an effect to accomplish your goals. When you are intentional with your new year goals, visions, and more, you can create a year filled with productivity. Many times we go into the new year with the same mindset from the prior year, which generates an insanity cycle. Instead of producing a new year, we produce another monotonous year.
Below I have three simple tips to help you have an intentional 2020!
Transform Your Mind.Before you can have a fabulous new year in this new decade and leap year, you have to be willing to let go of all negative things in your mind. Make a list of your old beliefs that did not serve you then write new beliefs that will help you accomplish your 2020 goals. (Note: Who do you need/have to become to make 2020 a “new” year?)
Declutter without restraint. Letting go is hard, but things flow better when you make room for what you desire. When you declutter all areas of your life, it can help you gain clarity. (Note: Do not resist letting go of people, places, and things that no longer serve your life.)
Take Action. Dreams, goals and visions only become reality when you take action. Small actions eventually will measure bigger actions towards your goals. (Note: Fear, procrastination and making excuses are distractions to keep you from being intentional. Face the fears and replace them will faith and confidence in what you want to accomplish.)
“Learn to pause or nothing worthwhile will catch up to you.” ~Doug King~
The holiday season is here, and many of us feel like we are on the brink of a breakdown. With the extra traffic, Christmas shopping, and everyone running around in a frenzy, the joy of the holidays has become burdensome. The holidays should be a time where the pace of life slows down, the present moment is treasured, and the idea of spending time with family is cherished. However, as years roll by, the holiday season has become congested with commercialization. We have stopped practicing the art of the pause.
The holidays are the perfect time to press pause and start living in the now. When you take the time to live in the present moment, you appreciate the beauty of life. Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year to enjoy the art of the pause. Below are three tips you can implement to start savoring the holiday season!
Take a break from social media. This Christmas commit to being present with your family and friends by disconnecting from social media. When you are not posting every moment, you will savor it and not miss out on making memories.
Take some vacation time from work. Too many people have vacation days but never use them. Don’t let your vacation time build-up without enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Don’t buy gifts. Yes, it is tempting to want to get the whole world a gift; however, spending money you do not have only creates stress. How about this season you give your loved ones the best present of all your presence.
How many times have you looked at your life and realize you are not living the life you desire? Did someone tell you that your dream was unattainable? Or did you let society dictate to you what was more important in your life?
When we are children, we believe we can be anything we desire to be in life. No matter how ridiculous our dreams may seem, as a child, we believe in our thoughts. As we shift into the teenage years, we start to let society dictate to us which journey will be profitable. We begin to focus on reality instead of the desire of our dreams.
The child inside of us starts to disappear because reality becomes more important than our childhood dreams. Our lives no longer hold enthusiasm or passion; instead, our adulthood has made us apathetic. We begin to forget about the vision we had to live a life full of wonder, passion, and excitement. Our dreams have become faint whispers needing a fresh breath. What can we do to resuscitate our passion for pursuing our dreams?
The first step to pursuing your dream is to reconnect with your childhood dreams. When I was young, I enjoyed writing, and I remember my Uncle Dave would always tell me I was going to be a famous writer. I remember in 2003 while living in Sicily, my love for writing reignited when I read Maya Angelou’s poem “Phenomenal Woman” for open mic night. Four years later, I published my first poetry book. The little girl on the inside of me reconnected back with my lifelong dream to become a writer. It was up to me to answer the call!
The second step is to write a list of the the things that stopped you from pursuing your dreams. After you recognize the roadblocks begin to write a list of possibilities of following your dreams. (For example: Roadblock: I stopped pursuing my dream of painting because I didn’t think I was a great artist. Possibility: I can start taking art classes at a local gallery to brush up on my artistic skills.)
The last step is to surround yourself around people who are living your dream. When you surround yourself around like-minded people you are building a community of support. When you have a support system it fosters a life filled with enjoyment, creativity and success.
So pursue the life you desire instead of burying your dreams. Dreams are meant to be lived out loud!!!
Can you really be fearless? Is this concept even possible? In a world that profit off our fears, how can weFEAR-LESS!
One time in your life, you have struggled with or struggle with fear. Fear is something that paralyzes us from living our best life. For the past twelve years of my life, fear was my best friend. I often embraced it to stay mediocre, lingering in my comfort zone. I knew nothing unusual grew out of my comfort zone, but it was comfortable.
I allowed fear to keep me from making decisions because I was scared I would make the wrong ones. However, entertaining fear kept me from living the best versions of my life. I didn’t realize that indecision was a decision I made to live in mediocrity. My fears stemmed from the disappointment of my youngest daughter’s death. I wasn’t living, just existing. But something phenomenal happen, I stopped running from fear and began to face it.
How did I make this shift?
Well, this summer I went home to visit her grave. It was the beginning of self-empowerment, taking my power back and reclaiming my life. When I went to her grave, I no longer felt empty; instead, I felt close to her. For the first time in twelve years, I felt close to her, and this was the beginning of me learning the art of being fearless!
Below are three lessons I have learned on how to fear-less:
Admit Your Fears. Running away from your fears do not serve you, but, when you admit your fears, God can help you face them. Many times we stay busy to stop us from facing our fears. ( I didn’t want to face my grief, so I stayed busy for the last twelve years).
Face Your Fears. When you start to face your fears, you realize that most of the fears you have are not real. F.E.A.R is false evidence appearing to be real. Facing your fears are uncomfortable, but it makes you a stronger person.
Live Life Abundantly. God wants you to live your life abundantly, but you can’t do that if fear runs your life. You have to be willing to let go of the weight for God to carry the burden.
So, I encourage you if you have lost a loved one in your life take the time to face how you feel so you can heal properly. We all have fears but in order to fear-less we have to face the fears head on!