Running Shoes

“Hmmm…I see you have your running shoes on Rainbow.”

That was my thought earlier today before climbing out of bed. It had been a minute (not too long) since I felt like I had a good reflective moment with the Lord. As of late, I’ve been grappling with this thing we call a job search. Funny thing is-it varies in format, duration, and hoops per industry. My current industry is Student Affairs and I have begun to realize that I run a marathon daily from myself and the conditioning required to become the person I desire.

So, you know this comes with a story. Always.

Recently, I have become sensitive to how many times I am corrected on the small things like speech, sayings, and other mannerisms. It’s during times like this that I want to run full force back to Corporate America. Keep in mind-inclusive practices reside there as well. But, I recently had some discussions with a colleague about words such as gip (could be linked to gypsies) or redneck (could be offensive in description). We also discussed absence of something (prayer or religious overtones) does not create inclusion (but there is responsibility to do no harm).

It’s during these moments in which I find myself struggling over sensitivity. Where are the days where people pulled it together and kept things in context? Perhaps I do not belong in this world. I have sat in countless meetings with that thought running wild. I also began to ponder about a job opportunity (s) that I am looking towards and fear snuck in. Perhaps, I’m not cut out for a world of idealism in which there is a problem with everything.

Then it hit me. Take your hand off the escape button and put your running shoes down. See, I had already began planning my escape route without much thought. Things are becoming hard to navigate and I wanted no parts anymore. Reality quickly took root. This is what it looks like when God prunes away your impurities.

During your in between stages-there is a constant pruning away of the person you once were. As I continue my job search, I realize my current professional direction pushes me further and further away from my roots or past. I cannot think the same and embrace inclusion. I cannot look back without tripping in the present. I have to let my old self die so that the new self can journey safely towards whatever destiny that awaits. It’s only when discomfort raises its head that a flight schedule appears in 2.2 seconds.

But I need this discomfort. It signals that I’m on the right path and there’s exposure waiting for me. Exposure to new things and access to deep seeded impurities that need to be removed. It doesn’t happen with ease or in the good times. This phenomenon occurs when your patience runs short and when insecurity perpetrates as your new best friend.

So, as  I take a seat…I take a bow to fear-not in support but acknowledgement. I almost took a wrong turn today.  Fortunately, my inner spirit spoke and those running shoes are back on the floor.

Letting Go with Both Hands

fafinette diva

Seems like I might have started something. If so, I’m glad for obedience. Last night I was sitting down to relax when I heard the Spirit tell me to write. The spirit wouldn’t let up. I had been there before and knew-that was my grace. Shock of my life. I received some great messages from friends that took time to read my post. It sparked so many valuable conversations as well as a greater level of enlightenment. Of course, in my head-I thought that was the gist of it. Wrong.

Remember in the last post I was speaking about a book entitled “Fake Talk” by John Stoker. The book is uncovering so many layers. I had no idea the level of peeling that was about to occur. See the message below that I rattled to some friends over facebook early this morning in between work errands: (no edits-appears as written)

Good morning-i have to share a God blessing with you all this morning. Y’all know i’m a perfectionist and I place a lot of pressure onto myself frequently. But through reading, learning, and you all i’m getting better at letting go. Well long story short-i’ve been avoiding my boss b/c of fear of negativity with my search. This morning she pops over-of course im praying like ugghh-God take the wheel. She actually brought my blessing. She supported me and my search. She reminded me that last year I quit my search early worrying about my staff and she didn’t want me to do that again. She does not want me in Oct. to feel like-I passed up on a good thing. I couldn’t hold my face. I had to whisper “can i hug you?”-and we both cried. I was need in of support and couldn’t ask for it. See i built a mental pic in my head that folks are judging me b/c im judging myself. You have no idea how relieved I feel right now. I feel like i have a second chance to take my search slower but actually do a knock-out job applying for something real.

That moment could not happen until I let go. I mean let go with both hands like you are 7 years old on the bike that you have finally mastered to navigate without hands. It’s an exhilarating feeling when you can allow yourself to feel instead of numb. Hurt instead of hide. Cry instead of shame. And finally, laugh instead of complain. Everything is not right in my world right now. But, I’ve spent so many days as of late not really devoted to Jesus or anything healthy. Bogged down in feeling left behind or not good enough. Funny thing is-if you just let go (you fill in the blank) -see what God does in his own timing.

You can’t make a job hire you. You can’t make an estranged person love you. You can’t make yourself matter to a (fill in the blank) if it is not in the cards. But you can matter to yourself. When you matter you can forgive and not one up people. You can let a debt slide and know that good will find its way to you. You can hold your tongue and offer mercy when someone lashes out at you. You can even say a prayer-when someone smothers your voice in a moment of dire need to be important.

What you cannot do-is create a self-fulfilling prophecy by limiting yourself and others with what happened yesterday. FEAR will eat away at your soul, let alone your dreams. I was just speaking Fear all through my future last night-until  heard my own words. I realized the future didn’t or wouldn’t have a chance until I found the courage to let go.

I will continue to add to this message of letting go and forgiveness but it is my prayer that where this message finds you-you will be able to take what you need and add to it. And if it adds a blessing to your moment please share. It’s not about me. It’s about the beauty of healing.

Courage to Move

A lot has transpired within the past three months. I have seen dreams crash and burn. I have also seen old dreams awaken after decades of sleep. One thing that is without fail, when God gives you orders to move-it would behoove you to do so. See, His grace is for an appointed time.

I believe my experiences I have taught that once we start getting lost in our thoughts and not following that inner prompting to move on what is right, we lose that opportunity. What is for you is indeed for you. But, obedience and timing do make the difference.

I have to admit I question my small voice just to experience the regret of finding out that voice was right. I was reading a book called “Fake Talk” today and it unravels the mystery of emotional intelligence and where irrational thoughts thrive. Short and sweet, it’s interpretation. Sometimes what we see is more of what we interpret. That’s what makes that small voice safe. It isn’t analytical and it is not ego based. That small voice, spirit, intuition, etc. has the pulse on opportunity as well as your passion.

So, do yourself a favor today. Silence the noise and distractions so you may hear your next move when it is speaking to you!

lift every voice

Funny, earlier on June 10 I was reflecting on how I lost my drive to write. I felt like my voice had no value or no one simply shared the things that I find value. But, it was a frustrating moment that brought me back to post and it sparked my memory that I have a story to tell. Sometimes, I’m off kilter and other times I am spot on. But, I do this for the kid, teen, adult, senior citizen that loses their way but uses their inner voice to find home. Thank you for triggering my inner voice on a day where my physical voice just wasn’t enough.

One day though-one day, there will be room for everyone’s voice in the conversation.

Blessings to all-Rainbow

Moment of Silence

There is a re-occurring theme in my life called silence. Sometimes the silence is therapeutic and allows me to meditate through my thoughts and take in the goodness around me. Other times, a moment of silence will allow me to listen twice as hard as I talk so that I can understand the world we play. However, there is another type of silence that can be the most debilitating drug in the world. It is when you find yourself silenced. Silence can occur when the needs of others outweigh the interest of both. Silence also happens when others have the privilege to not consider anyone outside of themselves. Most of all, silence occurs when we do not honor the space and boundaries of others verbally, physically, or mentally/emotionally.

Recently, it has come to my attention that I have piss poor boundaries. Keep in mind I am a perfectionist-so piss poor is like average so to speak. Truthfully, my mentor told me I would find my truth this year and I have. I am laid back, easy going. I like structure but I can flex with the best of them. I know the value of balance and order. I use them both daily. But dating back to some old stuff that I was not ready to look at before now-I am not good with boundaries. And not being good with boundaries will lead to being silenced.

How so you ask? About an hour ago I was in a conversation and at some point the conversation transitioned into a monologue. Suddenly, there was no room for my voice. Don’t you hate when that happens? That moment when you have something to say but because you are wired differently and you don’t spit out an encyclopedia. However, you do have valid logistical, experiential points but there is just no room to be heard. The quest to be right becomes dominant! Somewhere in the fodder of a “I might as well stop talking because there is no value in my voice”-I realized that I was enraged. I was angry because this isn’t the first nor will it be the last that my voice was trampled. And it was my fault. See, I have not established the right boundaries. I’m just now being able to put my finger on what is causing me to grow cold when I am silenced. It is not related to being right or winning. It is about someone taking the power of my voice and putting their hand over where my voice use to be. It’s nullifying the worth of my thoughts in exchange for a debate win.

Silence is also someone taking liberty with your space and not asking permission to enter in. It is forgetting to ask questions or seek invitation. Everyday, we all are on the receiving end of silence. However, I am on a new mission to win back my voice and my boundaries. I will no longer be taken for token. Nor shall I be silenced so rudely like what has occurred in the past by non-suspecting individuals in my home, on the job, or in my personal life. I will take a moment of silence. It is time to begin putting the leg work on some much needed boundaries. It is time to hold myself accountable for not being silenced anymore.

Taking back my voice, Taking back my boundaries, and acknowledging self-worth.

The new Ism

So our world has a long list of isms that we have to fight on a daily basis. Unfortunately, privilege is haunting us all and a new ism a new reality is on the forefront. There is a wave of individuals who constantly remain entrenched in their own privilege that they are not aware (aka they do not see/acknowledge) of others.

Let me  provide some tangible examples:

1) When some choose to conveniently step in front of others in line without regard to value of time, order, or decency. Now that my friend is the surface layer. It’s even more frustrating when there’s time to reflect on the fact that this happens between economic/ethnic statuses frequently. If you question the rude person,  they will quip about not seeing you there. But of course, you don’t see anyone but yourself or those like you. See when we wear the mask of privilege you down have to look around to observe others. That same mask will allow you to not even have to regard others. Hence it’s a mask. It’s supposed to block or serve as a partial barrier. A daily example of this is standing in line at a gelato shop and people not paying attention to signs/directions. Then said ignorant persons steps in front of you as if your money is not green, as if your time is not valuable, and as if they were supposed to step in front of you. Happens more frequently than I dare to imagine and that’s how I was able to spot the trend!

2)When some dole out credits and discredits to race based on isolated incidents. I was home about a month ago when an ethnic woman was on the phone and her voice carried through the earring section of JC Penney. Another customer of a different ethnicity chose to ignore my dignity as a person and lament to me (as if I was step and fetch it) that woman on the phone is a sure ‘credit’ to her race. Appalled, I looked back and scolded the comment. I asked what race had to do with being rude? Of course, the eager beaver repeated the same comment as if I was supposed to be proud that I was not in public discrediting my race by being proper and in my place.  So, my social justice hat was on fire at this point and I properly informed this privileged stranger that race has nothing to do with behavior. It is down right offensive and racist to credit or discredit anyone based on such an arbitrary idea. Somewhere in that statement the genius made a dash for the exit.

3) Anytime we seek to isolate or shun others with an attitude of someone being beneath you by cutting/interrupting conversation. I am not talking about a small interruption.  That’s a habit I long to break. I’m talking about that moment when those who feel like they know better take a conversation,  project, idea, thought from another. How does that happen you say? It happens when your verbal and non verbal behavior shuts down the freedom of another. It happens when you intentionally disrupt another’s harmony in your “i’m right” moment. It happens when through words or tone you send a message that an idea, opinion, or voice is not warranted. It happens on the job, in relationships, and in places of learning quite frequently.

So what is my point? Simple, no one is invisible. If you want a fruitful life, community, and world-we must acknowledge, recognize, and see one another. Social justice only works when what we believe, think, say, and do all add up the same. Want to know if you are congruent or treat others as if they are invisible? Just ask the tough question: “Do you feel like I see you?” Hit me back if you take the challenge. I will. The answers may vary and may even hurt or shock. But we can’t get better without looking in the mirror or asking for honesty.

Living life out loud on purpose

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