GRATITUDE

Dear Lord,

I come to you asking for help. Asking for help to find myself. Asking for help to get to where and who I’m suppose to be instead of what I’m suppose to be. I’m slowly starting to understand all the signs you’ve been sending my way. All the messages meant to guide me. 

I cannot thank you enough for the capability to understand them and the directions they have lead me toward. Being a coach is not the same as BEING a coach. It is not something or someone to be, it is just someone who is. I‘ve been trying hard to follow your guide, but my humanity keeps letting me fall short, or maybe my humanity just reminds me that I am a coach, because I am human. My humanity is one of the things that enable me to be ONE.

MINDFULNESS, I say often, but now I understand what it truly means. I understand now what Jay Shetty meant. I don’t want to be the coach who is good but doesn’t know it. I want to be the coach that excels not for reasons of the flesh, but for reasons of the spirit. I understand now that is only possible if I acknowledge my human-ness and stay mindful of its entirety through every stage of the process. 

I promise you, I will be more aware of my surroundings. Wisdom helps others, but it has to help me too. I will continue to listen to my body, mind and spirit and connect it to YOUR purpose that I am affirming for myself, connect it to you, and all you are, and how you protect and guide me. I am your creation, I will care for it like you have cared for me from the day you birthed me.

Thank you for great relationships, help me to be more mindful of my contribution. Thank you for the children, help me to be more mindful of their joy. Thank you for the man I love. Help me to be more mindful of his spirit. Thank you for my gifts, help me to be more mindful of how I use them.

Sincerely

Your daughter.

Lifestyle change

It’s been a journey worth more than words can tell. It starts slow, scheduled exercise days. With your mind and body in resistance mode, it takes much to comply, but you understand this is the hardest part, so you push yourself, will yourself, and dang near force yourself to keep your commitment!

Eating habits are not exempt from this struggle. White rice switches to brown, and whole grains more often than before. Salads become lunch regulars and before you know it, you enjoy finding creative ways to make them tastier. For snacks, grilled veggies, fruits and nuts become so much more appealing than sugary or salty processed temptations. Eating cut off time becomes 8pm instead of 10pm, of course there are occasional days you splurge. Life has to be lived too 😊.

Food is not just calories; it is information. It talks to our DNA and tells it what to do. (quote from Instagram – ConsciousVibrancy).

Suddenly, your body starts to tell you it is happier. Energy levels go up, Joy heightens, mental clarity doubles and your clothes graciously take the curve of your body. All these, grace you with a recharged sense of existence and a boost in confidence.

Midway there, your mind and body have made a truce, they are no longer fighting against, but they are now more powerful than your will, and on the other side pulling you forward. The consistency graph peaks. Everything is now more purposeful, and more conscious, such that even the unconscious and subconscious states join in.

Workouts are now equally as important as the air you breath, the food you eat, and the water you drink. You are no longer living to eat, but eating to live. You know that it is about what you eat, but it is also truly about HOW you eat. It has become a LIFESTYLE. A year later, you look in the mirror and all you see is transformation. Not just physical, but mental and spiritual. Life is just not the same and you can’t imagine going back.

Start somewhere, anywhere, change can be hard especially when a lot about you will fight it. Small changes are what lead to bigger ones. In the words of @tribestrong “Your body is not Amazon Prime, it’s not going to show up in 2 days”. You have to make it, will it, dang near force it to accept your lifestyle change, and I promise you, it will be worth it.

A Bicycle Ride

With everything going on in the world right now, and how emotionally drained I sometimes find myself, I can certainly use some stress relief. A year ago, I made the lifestyle change to consistently include purposeful workouts. Today, the thought of my treadmill literally depletes my motivational battery. Recently picked up biking to relieve my knees from my frequent runs. So I decided to just Nike-up for a quick four-mile bike ride.

On the road, the wind blowing on me automatically relaxes my body. I am attentive to what I am doing now. Stretch one is about a mile uphill. Going steady, maintaining the rhythm on gear 6. Halfway up, my legs are burning, and I self-criticize as thoughts of giving up consume me. Why am I being so hard on myself? Growth is not an easy journey, why feel defeated? No work, no gain. It doesn’t matter if it’s running or biking, let it go, Nettie. That’s all it took. Almost felt surreal, as my motivational battery instantly recharged, determination set in, I’m more positive, engaged and purposeful with my strides. All this, just from one positive affirmation. 

I’m turning the corner for the next stretch, I’m pumped, and the universe works to assist me. Listening to Ella Mai’s ‘Easy’, while going downhill, how perfect the synchrony. She sings ‘love is easy, easy, easy, so don’t you make it hard’ but I’m fully owning the moment, all I hear is LIFE “is easy, easy, easy, so don’t you make it hard“. I scream along without a care, in unison to express the message in my heart for all those hurting today from all the injustices in this world. The same wind that created resistance going uphill, relaxes me almost as if to thank me for experiencing multiple reasons for its creation. How sweet the duality of life. My motivational battery is fully charged. I feel connected to everything around me, and start to appreciate just how every home, church, tree, garden, fence, and school I pass helps to build a beautiful neighborhood, and along with it, afford this pavement I’m graced to be riding on. I ride past a lifeless bird on the grass, and the first thing that comes to my mind is the loss of a spirit. Not a bird, but a soul. 

Stretch three. I’m going uphill again, the load is a lot lighter than in the beginning. Is it because my muscles are now conditioned, or that my current aura affords me full control? I always pick up speed here, almost to remind myself that life will suck , but only to help us work for the greater times ahead on the horizon. Adrenaline-high, HR pumping but going uphill is much easier this time, simply because my affirmation kept me going. 

Stretch four. I assess the journey realizing just how much life I lived during this ride. I experienced a vast array of emotions, and in many ways than I can express. My ride started with a mix of emotional trauma, stress, moodiness, pre-workout school teacher exhaustion, and then journeyed through doubt, pain, perseverance, resilience, kindness, empathy, affirmation, motivation, peace, joy, awareness, connection, gratitude, assurance, relaxation, and finally, clarity. If it took just one positive affirmation to start a chain reaction that led to such energy balance, imagine what many would do.

We are human and emotion is our unspoken language. Without it, we are not whole. Every emotion is purposeful, the goal is to use them to grow, even the unpleasant ones. Let the lessons from your circumstances be the very reason you do. It can be the difference between a mediocre day, and an impactful one. Find something that will serve to rebalance you, and when you do, remember that a positive attitude is a choice, and most importantly it is free, you do not need permission from any person to be positive. And just like everything else, If you cultivate it, it becomes your fall-back when things are difficult. Cultivate the skill of choosing to stay positive in your daily routines, make it your fall back.

Awareness

Being self-aware is about knowing where you are in     relation to who you are, and why you are there, accepting your imperfections and strengths. 

Ask yourself:

Who am I as an individual?

What are my strengths, opportunities, and obstacles?

Am I at my personal and professional capacity?

Do my goals and values align with my strengths and skills?

What is holding me back and what are the deeper roots of these barriers?

It is impossible to be your best self when you are not aware of who your current self is.”

Having a developed sense of self-awareness, allows you to

  • know and understand your feelings, emotions, and desires. 
  • know what you value and why.
  • Helps you separate your personal and professional roles when needed. 
  • Keeps you aware of issues of bias and self-interest.
  • Understand how to control, correct, or compensate for any shortcomings.

One major factor that prevents people from becoming self-aware is Fear.

  • Fear of having to accept things about ourselves we are uncomfortable with.
  • Fear of knowing that we might need to change certain things about ourselves we aren’t ready to face. 
  • Fear of how change might affect our relationships and our lives in general. 

But recognize that being self-aware is one of the most freeing states to be in. You are free from overdependence on how the world wants to receive you, so you truly live how the world should accept you. Accepting yourself for who and all that you are at any given moment, will improve your chances of understanding your capacity to adequately work toward finding your solutions and building your relationships.          

What Helps? Practicing —->

Mindfulness, by focusing with your full attention on any given moment without judgment, to help you connect yourself and your surroundings. 

Self-reflection, by minimizing mindless personal and external distractions, and looking inward, focusing on your current thoughts, emotions, and consciousness. 

Internal validation, by avoiding a dependence of approval from the outside, but rather from your independent internal meaning.

Awareness is a main foundation that influences how we pursue our goals, build solid trusting relationships, control our destinies, and enable positive change. 

Be Glorious!

You don’t necessarily need a PhD to fulfill your purpose. But you can, and WILL, definitely be a PhD after journeying to and through it.

We are all uniquely great and atypically gifted with many talents in this life. With intended nurturing, they become a part of our nature. We grow to recognize them, and become naturally identifiable by them. Understandably, the pressures and stressful influences of life often create barriers in the way of owning and experiencing them in their truest forms. Whatever it is, don’t take it for granted. Respect it, and use it to elevate your life in any and every way, for it is one of the things that make you superhuman.

Core values

Our core values are significantly influenced by our immediate environments, play a major role in the choices we make, and the directions we take. As adults, we have earned both rational and emotional maturity to reassess our core values, keeping what serves us most, while adding or editing others to form values more suited to who we have become. Entering this realm of your life means you have the freedom of choosing to alter your future.

Your body and mind might resist, but your spirit will not allow it. Trust your intuition, have faith in your capabilities, and as paradoxical as it may sound, be ready to feel authentically uncomfortable.  Just like every system is built, your energy will gradually shift you in appropriate doses to sync your innate abilities with your state of mind. You will inventory everything you have learned as far back as before it became muscle memory to you. There is a reason it comes naturally to you, it is evolved, ripened and ready to freely co-exist as a part of who you are.

Realistic goals

If you still need a little time, plan on realistic goals, persevere, remain passionate and resilient, it may take a month or lifetime, but it is the start of something impactful.

Fully embrace it, find your balance, allow your mind and body the time needed to adapt and transition, and free your spirit to the endless possibilities of the journey ahead. Now release your will to your purpose, and start building your dream. There is no losing here, either way it is a win-win. Remember that you have already experienced falling and rising, and journeyed through different variations of this dream. You have just been comfortable ordinarily relating to it, even though you undoubtedly know it is something that makes you extraordinary.

Heck, if not for anything else, do it for the joy of it. Own it, don’t let it own you from afar, or by any other means. Owning it is not being prideful, it is simply appreciating it. You are gifted, so you are ahead and are already inspiring even without knowing. If it moves you to share it, study it, understand it, down to it’s molecular nature within your capacity. Nurture it, and give it in it’s elevated form. No pressure, it isn’t going anywhere because it is a part of who you are, it is a part of your story. 

Grow

Feedback or setbacks are meant to stimulate deeper connections and elevate it even more, not discourage it. You are your best expert, and have to trust your opinion above any. So, as critical as our world might be, be vulnerable and brave to venture, having faith in the reason for your purpose and the difference it makes in your life, and the lives of others. Knowing that you are truly living a life not free of fear, doubt, or pain, but full of authenticity, wholeheartedness, and meaningfulness. 

You don’t need to change who you are, YOU are the primal prerequisite and have everything needed to feel, live and breathe your evolution. It is a gift from the universe so actively affirm it to conspire assisting your WILL, and center you to fully connect with it.

So I urge you to give yourself a chance, and strap on for the ride of your life towards a PhD in yourself, AND something else.

Be Glorious! 

 

It takes a village

I constantly work to understand why we tend to be biased with a mindset that seriously favors raising our children based on our childhood.

We fail to understand that this is their own childhood, that times are constantly changing, normalcy keeps evolving, and enlightenment is heightened. Parenting, mostly guided by modeling one’s childhood, can sometimes allow bias, and suppress our ability to empathize with the changing times.

By restricting our children, we are restricting ourselves too

As parents, our childhood is the favored contributing factor, and in most cases, the ultimatum, in our approaches. We fail to understand that by restricting our children, we are restricting ourselves too. We are meant to be parents, and they are meant to be children, but we are also created to spiritually connect with them, as people closest to our reality.

My rational judgement keeps guiding me to understand why raising my children cannot be discriminately dependent on my childhood.

For one, they are raised in a multitude of cultures and communities. The challenge of adapting to these different cultures and communities, is inevitable.They have to balance a fusion of their ethnic African, African-American, European-American and blended families’ cultural uniqueness, values and realities, all while facing an ever-growing technologically advanced society. And, undoubtedly, the frightening unknown of the world we live in.

As parents, we need to be understanding and accepting

In the middle of forming their identities, they have to maintain and forcefully integrate their true selves into this woven piece of different environmental influences. Given how times are ever changing, we as parents need to understand and accept that utilizing the best of our childhood to guide them is just as important as celebrating their successes, and guiding them through their challenges and struggles in adopting and adapting, as they journey through living their own childhood, making their own memories, and creating their own values in the process.

In a world growing in diversity by the minute, the African proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is one we will constantly learn, and collectively incorporate into our lives.

Human Connection

From a young age, human interaction and connection has been a very organic experience for me. I am what was labeled the very bold and daring girl child, if you go to an all girl’s boarding school, or happen to be raised in a biased African culture. As I got older, this affected my balance and living my purpose as a human, daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, and friend became challenging. I even punished myself with isolation but would feel the opposite of the effect I so desperately imagined would allow me to fit in, and it sucked for my spirit.

To many, I may be a people person, but I remain a citizen of humanity to all. Life experiences, emotional maturity, and spiritual growth over many years helped me understand why I was created this way. My life story has had its curves, but I mostly remember it being full of so many interconnected, teachable, favorable, and positive moments.

My nature has taught me that it is rare to walk up to someone in good faith, or with enthusiasm and not receive positive energy. That you can only understand someone better if you give them the opportunity, and that it is hard to hate someone up close. Energy has to move and flow, and one bad transfer can cause ripple effects so extensive it changes you.

The benefits of good energy and the abundance of love, guidance, and acceptance that one receives means more to give back. We are partly nurtured by the magnitude of energy we receive from our immediate environments, an external influence affecting our physiological, emotional, mental and spiritual growth.

The ability to understand and inspire human connection is a gift, and I embrace and own it. It has enriched me with an extensive library, and provided me with the appreciation of what it means to inspire. Remember the purpose of giving extends your blessings to enhance not only others, but yourself, even when it is not reciprocated. For when we open our heart, mind and spirit to truly touch another’s spirit, that by itself is a gift to our spirit.

I have understood that loving and giving consciously, is equally as important as doing so unconsciously. That every human interaction and connection is unique, and provide us with opportunities to grow. Take every human interaction as a lesson, connect and learn something different, feel something unexpected, add to your library of human connection, and reciprocate honestly and authentically as best as you can.

Open your heart when connecting with people, and you automatically live em-pathetically. Energy is the unspoken language that feeds the spirit, give and receive consciously.

Happiness

While playing the card game “Our Moments” today, my card read:

‘What does being successful mean to you?’

As a society, success has many meanings, especially linked to environmental factors. We create so much pressure for ourselves and, especially, unconsciously on the younger generation.

I took a deep breath, waiting to hear what my family had to say.

My 14-year-old says: ‘Success is going to the High school Grand Nationals Band competition last year, it was the best experience of my life so far’.

Her five-year-old brother said: ‘Success is sharing’. I literally beamed inside. For my 11-year-old, ‘success is passing gifted class exams,’ and my seven-year-old said ‘success is being kind’. Then my partner seals it, just as I imagined, with, ‘success is happiness’.

Indeed, success to me is HAPPINESS.

Happiness from WITHIN ourselves before incorporating that from without.

It is knowing that life will constantly change, and we can be glorious and smart, and kind, and sharing and hardworking. And when we are sad, and vulnerable, and insecure, and selfish, and unkind, we will remember that happiness is constantly present and thriving within us.

This, surprisingly, is what we need to source the power necessary to learn from our mistakes, forgive ourselves, and acknowledge that our negative energy is there to motivate shifting our vibration back to Happy ones.

Happiness is a state of consciousness influenced by everything that adds to our growth journey. Knowing this means understanding the value of all your collective experiences, hence fortifying your ability to live through them as purposefully and benevolently as you were created to.