Coming soon will be more blog posts on what to do when in pain, when it’s a slow day, and even when we just don’t wanna.
For now, know that I am here for you. As a one woman show with a chronic illness, not everything is or will be easy.
However, my life’s work and purpose is to join with those experiencing pain, sadness, and grief of a loss of function or time. It doesn’t have to be like that always. My joining with those in pain is to work towards joy. Yes it’s work… yes, it’s worth it.
While I wait for you to say yes to YOU… enjoy these videos of me getting healthier than ever before and increasing my JOY!!! Let’s get JOY TOGETHER!! Information to schedule a FREE Pain-Release Roadmap Call TODAY is below!!
Joy is an amazing source of pain-relief and power. And what happens if it just WON’T come?? Your fixed mindset may be to blame.
Joy won’t come… and then what are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to wait until joy is a part of our life again? Does joy simply… come back?
I have to tell you, joy does NOT come back. Because it never actually left! That’s either amazing news to hear or drudges up an incredible amount of skepticism. Knowing what I know takes some time, yes. However, there are ways you can shift your thinking right now to enable the joy in your life to come forward.
Joy is My Superpower – Combatting a Fixed Mindset
Let’s start with a pretty cheesy-sounding phrase. Did I make you cringe?
Joy is your superpower, as it is released and allowed to be a part of your life. You can do just about anything with joy in your life – which is what I have found to be true.
Why does this resonate so hard with me?
Growing up, I had to bow out of what I felt were a good number of invitations and desires to connect and actually complete things. I felt like a complete and total dud at times. I also knew, deep down, that I possessed a strength not many are able to cultivate. As I became more knowledgeable about the power of the mind, I did indeed begin to cultivate and bring that strength forward. It is something of a spiritual strength; it incorporates my faith and my belief in myself. Yes, that took a while to make fruitful, but I know I am better for not only having this strength and this joy, but also for the experiences that led me to it. Having to believe this seems counterintuitive, and yet it’s really not… it can make you or break you, and letting it “make” you incorporates your calling… your… SUPERPOWER!!
So let’s take that power and create a fixed mindset towards joy, not away from it. You can shift your mindset, and the following 4 examples of affirmations are ones which can encourage the shift.
5 Fixed Mindset Shifts To Make Now
Right now is the a better time than any to shift the fixed mindset you have now. Releasing pain and activating joy may look like this:
I love myself and I give myself love now
Love. One of the most palpable and moving ways to shift to joy. It is also one of the fastest ways to gain that power; the power of joy. Mindset shifting involves the act of love and making note of the implications of both gaining more love and losing the value in loving self and others. Know this: before you can fully love others, you must make a plan for self-love. I am definitely not saying it is easy to put that much value in and on yourself. However, it takes much thought and actually putting in the work. I love teaching how to do this in my coaching and through my own actions.
I find peace in _____________.
What does peace mean to you? That is the first and most valuable question you can ask yourself before repeating this affirmation. From there, it is best to actually decide what that peace involves. Do you find peace in walks through nature? How about the peace found in meditation; guided or self-enacted? Don’t let anyone else tell you what brings you peace – it could even be something physically tiring or loud! Going to a Led Zeppelin concert? Yes, it could be someone’s idea of peace, as it can release the strain from other realities of life. I find nature an incredible yet simple way to release the stress of the day; the hardness of it all. Reminding yourself of the varying ways in which you can create peace – in different parts of your life – is so valuable.
I am grateful for ________________.
You may have heard so many times the importance of a gratitude practice. Welp, here’s another reminder: seek gratitude in any way you can. It doesn’t have to be gratitude for your life, yet find an area within your life that speaks to you in the best possible way. Continue to focus energy on the “why”; the reason you hold passion for something specific in your life. Also, take note: just because you hold gratitude for something in your life does not mean you are not worthy of receiving it. You are more than worthy, and that makes the gratitude a form of inner wisdom and knowing. You can gain a humility and perspective that – without you fully knowing in advance – will create an even deeper sense of gratitude. Move your mind in the direction of gratitude and more of the things you want and need will come with it.
I forgive myself for ________.
Sometimes the thing that holds us back the most is… us. More specifically, it’s a part of our mind that won’t simply let go. We focus on something done in the past – by us or another person – and we blame. We blame and blame and curse and blame. How’s that working? Not great. It starts within; it begins when we find what we blame ourselves for and… forgive. When you affirm your forgiveness, you begin to believe in it fully. Starting affirmations does not require a belief in the statement, but it does require a belief in the change that can be made when repeating these affirmations. Begin with you. Know yourself more fully and then receive every single part of yourself with grace and, yes, forgiveness. I am not perfect. I have to practice forgiveness every day currently. Believe that you can do the same. And then move forward! You got this!
I am confident in my ability to __________________.
It may take a moment (and by moment I mean a good amount of time…), and yet you can and will gain confidence through shifting your mindset. You may have such a fixed mindset towards blame or anger or disbelief that it is hard to come up for air. As someone dealing with a chronic illness, I find myself doubting my ability to be productive – for example -, or make a difference in the lives of my clients. In those moments, I simply must give myself grace and honor my capabilities in that current time, while also keeping a deep knowing that I can move forward with even more abilities as I progress in health, mindfulness, and joy. What do you know you are able to do? Now, what do you kinda sorta think you can do, though you want to do better? Let’s focus on that and find the strength, knowledge, and fervency to do it! Remember also that imposter syndrome is real. You are stronger, wiser, and more capable than you even know right now.
Take care of yourself first, and the joy you have in your heart. In those moments, a mindset shift will be easier than you think.
**I love to work with people with chronic illness who are looking for not only a mindset shift, but also a way to pull out their joy more, with less pain and more time to share and receive love. If you or anyone you know could use that, now is the best time to reach out. Sharing is caring. 😉
In order to find ways to reduce pain, it is first so important that we name that pain. Finding out what it is leads to learning why it’s there and then how to at the very least reduce pain.
Pain has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember. Physical pain, emotional pain, spiritual pain. Sometimes it all comes together and clouds what your purpose and vision are for your life… yes, even at 5 years old! What I have wished for so long is that the pain would fully and completely disappear. Yet, at this point I don’t really know what that means or feels like, or even if I want that. What I do want is comfort, ease, love, and joy! With that, I know it takes some action on my part. Don’t be confused, I have worked towards my joy; the joy is not complete… it is there and it is lovely. So what can you do about pain? Start with understanding and naming the pain. The following are of the ways in which you can name and reduce different types of pain.
Knowing that pain is there is not the same as acknowledgment. Naming the pain and finding the energy to accept the pain are two steps in reducing pain. Acknowledge it is there and then you can get to work!
Naming Emotional Pain
Emotionally, this is so important. I have found that emotional pain is incredibly hard. It was one of the worst pains of my life. I sat in the dark and fought my thoughts and emotions do the very depths of my insides! It
How do we name emotional pain? It is important to know and realize that this is not about fault. Whatever is going on internally for you, you are not the reason any of this happens or is happening. Yes, there may have been a situation that triggered it… and maybe you triggered it yourself. However, going through emotional pain is not easy and it is not because of the issues you have started or created in life; just as the chronic illness you may have itself is not your fault. Yes, there are things you can do, but learning that this test in life is for you to work to reduce the pain is key.
Things You Can Do to Reduce Pain Emotionally
Aside from naming the pain that comes up in your thoughts first, it is important to remember that emotional pain can manifest physically when given the time. You can sometimes catch it early, but if not, remember that your physical pain may need to be handled through emotional healing.
Journal – writing down your thoughts, feelings, and emotions is a great way to reflect and move towards joy
Leverage Distractions – distractions are not always bad! Find ways that you love when you are not in pain to get out of this pain
Listen to Music – there is such thing as music therapy. Besides being a great distraction, music is also a way to express your emotions and work through them to reduce. Find your favorite song to express how you’re feeling and then find the best song you know to make you smile!
Another hard and arduous task is working through spiritual pain. Not everyone realizes that this is pain and can create a great difficulty in life. Remember that naming the pain and what is creating the difficulty for you is step number one. Then understand that there are things you can do. Taking action helps to reduce pain in general and spiritual pain is no different.
Naming Spiritual Pain
Life is what we might all call complex. There is so much diversity and that is awesome to me. Still, difference can come with a price tag… and pain. Pain from other humans, from the systemic woes, and from self. Understand that spiritually, you may be in a place where your faith in self and higher powers has lessened. Know that you are not alone and decide that the pain you are feeling is a spiritual pain. Now what can you do?…
Things You Can Do for Spiritual Pain
Remember that spiritual pain can look – and feel – like other things. Knowing this arms you for spiritual hurt and gives you the ability to create a healing.
Higher Power Understanding – distinguish from physical and mental pain – while spiritual pain is a type of emotional pain, it is not completely the same. Know that what you are experiencing is spiritual and sit in it for a while to reflect. Understanding there is a greater force at work than you and me is actually a big part of reducing the pain that may come from other, hurtful experiences.
Participate in mindful mental-to-body practices – whether alone or in community, spiritual practices like meditation, mindfulness, and mindful breathing exercises are a great way to release and reduce pain – (physical too!)
Yoga, Tai-Chi, and other more mindful physical practices – this is a way to also practice mental strength and love to self while feeling better physically!
Now, you knew I was not going to leave out the most prominent form of pain, right?? Physical pain is most known and thought of when noting pain in general. Before you really feel like nothing is working, name your pain and find some things you can do about it.
Naming Physical Pain
This may seem a bit off, as we know it’s physical pain and there’s nothing else to do, right? Not quite. Where exactly is the pain? Is it caused by something that happened to you or with you? Is it intense? How intense?
On a scale of 1 to 10, how well or hard is it to function with this pain? All this and more needs to be recognized and held before you understand what you need to do to reduce it.
Things You Can Do for Physical Pain
Besides acknowledgement, there are things that can be done for your physical pain.
Get Moving! – the most important way to reduce pain and a way that can be adapted for the ways in which your body allows you to move. Tai Chi and Yoga can be one… so can dancing with your arms or whole body in the kitchen (which I’ve never done… 😉 ).
Remember to Rest – there is a balance between movement and rest. Find that balance and know when your body is calling out for time in the bed or laying on the couch (Post on this soon!).
Hot and Cold – the way our bodies move and breathe and process is impacted by temperature for sure… just think about how we feel depending on where we live and whether it is hot or cold at the time. Heat creates a lowering of pain from inflammation and cold helps to reduce swelling and tension. Use both, one or the other
Ask your doctor about prescription meds – I am not going to sit here and say that prescribed meds should be avoided at all cost. Some meds have gotten me through life and school! Find holistic ways to reduce pain like the above and then ask your doctor if there are medications that will help in the meantime.
Yes, folks, financial pain. There are so many actually hurting out there from the ways in which capitalism and self-doubt bombard us as people. So I am including it here, especially since chronic illness and other forms of pain have been a means to financial pain. So what do we do?
Naming Financial Pain
First of all, let’s call it what it is: pain. Pain in the wallet and net worth can be just as heavy as other forms of pain, if not more. It creates one more way for us to worry about the future and our own lives. Let’s work on popping out of that and deciding that this is pain and we can take action to reduce pain.
Things You Can Do for Financial Pain
These may be things you have heard before… maybe not. However, they are important to say and reiterate… over and over and over and…
Spend less than you make – it is important to remember that you can get nowhere without actually having the funds that you seek. If you are gaining some sort of income, try to save and/or allow for your money to remain with you! You are important enough, do it for you!
Budget – this tends to be the dreaded word that gets a lot of flack. Try not to let the word get to you… call it a Spending Plan, call it nothing at all… just create a written standard for what to do with ALL of your money. It helps Y’all!
Get Support – even if you don’t want a financial advisor or someone who will charge you to do everything with your money, try to find accountability or someone with knowledge about increasing and sustaining financial wealth. You can and should get support.
Educate Yourself – whether you hire someone or not, it is SO critical that you know what it takes to enhance your life financially. As a person with a chronic illness, life can get tiring, and knowing how to create passive income and/or allow your money to grow without too much energy is downright necessary.
It is incredibly necessary to know the ways in which you can reduce pain. Keep going and gain support as you can. My own experience warrants acknowledging this information and I can see the difference!
I am a support for those who want to release pain and gather their energy to move forward. Know that and follow my emails by clicking here as well so you can learn more about what I am offering in the future. There is certainly more to come!
I wanted to spend some time discussing a topic that comes with the territory of releasing pain and activating joy: the pivot. Find ways to change, starting with these 3 tips. Know you are not alone and with this blog in particular, I hope to see you feeling the support and love, in joy! Joy & Mindset Coaching is Here! You will find more in my posts to learn the beauty in joy when living with a chronic illness.
When I was a youngster, I LOVED travelling. I looked forward to family road trips and exciting, new experiences with the anticipation of the amazing memories to be made. I had no concept of the time that went into preparation and shuttling around three or four children for every single trip that included me and my siblings. I was simply finding joy in the fun of things.
By the time I became a young adult, however, it was time for me to be in charge. I had to make the decisions around the ways in which I travelled and where I went. Because I held everything in my hands from that point on, I saw travelling in a new light. Don’t get me wrong, travelling is still an amazing and joyous experience! Still, I have to be mindful of the ways in which it also wears me out and puts a greater responsibility on me. Depending on whether I am planning an experience of excitement and adventure in memories or a period of rest and relaxation, I have to make many specific changes. I must hold and bring forth adaptations to my actions, my expectations, my plans. This, my friends, is one of the many ways in which I have had to pivot in challenging an illness that has been a part of my life for a long time. It has been a force that I also have to reckon with more as an adult.
When It’s Important to Pivot With a Chronic Illness
With a chronic illness – or any painful experience that is imposing in nature -, it is important to remember this one word. It is a word whose experience, whether or not you use the term, will come up often.
If you remember this word and the ways in which it can be used, it will become a part of your joy experience instead of your experience of pain. It can be the way you learn to enjoy your life instead of the way you justify doing, being, and having less in this world.
The 3 Ways to Pivot
Especially as chronic illness warriors, we must understand how strong and effective the pivot really is for those of us who experience pain and loss. Though the pivot is never easy or standard, it is simple and must be practiced with a new understanding; in a new light. Here are three ways I have found to pivot with a relishing for life and less downward spirals:
Stop and Clarify
You cannot believe how often I have raced through life (so to speak, as physical movement has been a struggle…) without a simple thought of where I was going. I spent so much time breathing through pain and then trying to make up for lost time that there was no way I was going to actually experience clarity around my direction.
I am still charting my course in many ways, and yet have found the benefit and beauty in taking some time for myself; for my health and mental clarity. As much as I want to move forward fast and with a fervency that makes up for all the months in the hospital and all the years in pain, I have learned that taking a moment actually helps me waste less time than I originally thought. When I stop and think, even writing down what I want to do next in life, or in the day even, I have found something I never saw before then: I saw an understand. I understand more where life can take me and where I can find the joy. Not only that, I understand what joy is to me and when that comes, the pain that hurts most is not allowed in. Pivoting with clarity is one of the most important aspects of charting a new course.
Write Down Specific Goals Related to Your Illness and Life
Whether you are planning a day, a week, or a lifetime, clarity is not enough. Write down your goals and begin to know them forwards and backwards. Find the time to take your clarity of mind and make it even more tangible with a written statement about that specific area of your life or illness and then the surrounding areas of the same.
Writing (recording or speaking too) holds so much weight for me and for others with whom I work. For that reason, it is something that I will forever recommend. Find the best way for your joy to be represented in a pivot and make it the goal for you moving forward.
Clarifying what I wanted to do in travel, for example, dictated my goal and where it would leave me at the end of the trip – exhausted and exhilarated, or relaxed and charged. How do I want to feel at the end of a vacation? How do I find joy instead of pain or regret at this time in my life? Maybe your pivot will be something different, or mean something new for you. In any case, write down the vision and its clear way of making you smile!
Find a Joy-Filling Activity to Swipe the Anxiety and Pain and Move Toward Action
Once I am clear on the feeling and goals for that vision and feeling, I am ready to put it into action! How many times have you found your goals come to fruition without action? Exactly. For me, the issue was not taking the action, it was finding ways to act without clarity or goals behind it. Knowing what you want and then going for it works together for the joy over pain in the moment and beyond. Now, when I know that this will be a tiring trip with memorable experiences, I can prepare for the rest I will need afterwards. When I take action on a more recharging and boosting trip of relaxation, I am ready to come back to my usual life with the passion I want to have every day; for myself, for my life, for the people I serve. Life is not about pain, I’ve realized… it’s about the joy that is on me to build and the ways in which I must pivot to make that happen.
Why Should This Have to Happen Alone?
The pivot to joy from pain is not one that has to be done alone. Knowing you have the strength and capabilities to do this is only half the battle. Yes, you can do it, no, you do not have to do it without accountability or support. My practice is about guiding, supporting, and loving. Pain and the unknown are two experiences that can keep us from the pivot we must make to get to joy. If you thought going it alone was the only way to do things, that is not so, and I would love to be the person who shows you how and why it’s okay to take on the support for your life.
Reach out for a free “steps to discover the love and joy” call! You are your own best advocate and strength; I simply want you to gain the tools to be the joy, see the joy, have the joy that may be hidden at the moment. Next step? Reach out!! I’m here.
Sometimes we must step outside of our comfort zones. It’s true; it’s incredibly difficult and seemingly impossible at times. Still, on the other side as we step outside of our comfort zones… is more joy than we ever could have imagined.
For that reason, I am doing just that. I am taking the journey to the other side of my comfort zone and making decisions about what I want to do to continue supporting those with chronic illness, those experiencing loss, and those who want more joy in their lives.
Knees shaking, palms sweaty; THAT type of nervous. THAT level of comfort-zone-bordering. I haven’t done anything like what I am doing ever in my life, so of course it will be a bit nerve-wrecking.
Though I believe in myself and what I am doing, it all comes down to this: who needs me and wants to find the change in their lives that will span decades of joyful recognition and life-giving purpose? I believe what I have to give is for everyone, and especially those who desire more, who desire freedom from pain and grief.
What is it I have to give? Well now, what a great question! My next venture is starting… and I am announcing it at the end of my April Showers of Joy email series on Friday! It would be so wonderful to see you there as you subscribe (here), and the excitement is real! This is an opportunity for you as well. Offering support and love to those you know who need it is truly a way to activate and express joy. I will let you know just how to do that in my email and beyond.
First, though, I must say thank you. Thank you for your readership, thank you for your patience as I navigate pain, work, and sharing my journey with you all in short and long spurts and on different platforms. You are my joy and I honor the ways in which you keep me going!
If not in your inboxes, I will see you again soon!! I can’t wait for my special announcement and I truly hope you feel the same.
Because of the joy I gain in inspiring and empowering others, I hope to share my continued health journey with this very intent. Read on!
… and then, Everyone, I found myself backsliding. It was one of those things that was SO easy to do; to just go against everything I was attempting to do in my current situation and my reasons for doing them. What was I backsliding from, you ask? My healthier eating habits. For as long as I can remember I have been completely and utterly enamored with sugar. The powerful flavors on my tongue and the high I got directly afterward made me want to sing sometimes (eh who am I kidding, all the time!). Sugar was the one thing that never got old, that I would never get tired of consuming. Yes, somewhere deep down inside, I knew it was “bad” for me. I knew it had some unhealthy effects on my body… and everyone else’s. Still, I was unaware of the more correct term for it; poison. I continued to overconsume and gift to others, aiding the poisoning of others, and the degradation of the bodies of those I cared about.
This sounds dramatic, I’m sure. But did you know sugar is as addictive, if not more so, as any street drug you may find out there? Well it is! Ever gotten a headache because you didn’t have your daily Twinkie? Or find yourself “hangry”, even after a satisfying meal?? Yeah, me too; because of sugar.
The effects of sugar on my body have been disastrous in more ways than I ever realized growing up. I heard my loved ones instructing me to let go of the grip sugar had on me, of course, especially as I sought to alleviate symptoms of autoimmune illness.
Did I listen? Of course not. I was sucked into the ride of my life. My relationship with sugar was so powerful, I had no intention of ever quitting it.
Let me stop, though, because this post is supposed to be more about what I have decided to do about that. One day, a few weeks ago, I decided to go ahead and see whether I could go without sugar for as long as possible. Indeed, this experiment had been in the back of my mind for years. After, however, a five-hour course by a doctor who reversed her own Lupus entirely (Dr. Brooke Goldner of http://www.goodbyelupus.com), I knew this clearing of my body – going without sugar, among other dangerous foods) – could mean the difference between life and death for me.
I went three days without any sugar and – unwittingly – because of it, my third day was amazing! I felt so good, I walked for half an hour through my neighborhood, did many chores (it is unusual for me to be able to do more than one), and needed a minimal amount of pain medicine. For whatever reason, I had no idea why, but relished that day.
In order to commemorate my good day, I decided to have one of my favorite sugary treats the following day.
That. Was. It.
About ten minutes later, I was in the bed for the rest of the day, with headaches, whole body aches, and a brain fog worse than any other.
I was barely able to move; and it clicked. Sugar!! Sugar was the culprit. My life finally came together with the recognition of this feeling and when it came: usually almost directly after eating one of my favorite treats full of sugar. Cookies, cakes, candy, brownies, pie. It was all fair game as far as wreaking havoc within my body. I kicked myself for the day (figuratively) while lying in bed for being so naive, so unaware. I gave myself that luxury – putting full blame on me and my inability, for a long time, to connect my feelings with my food.
But the next day, I stopped blaming and got to work. I looked back over my notes from the food course and made a decision to carefully and methodically work my way through to an ultra-nourishing eating plan. This includes eliminating animal products, oils, preservatives, and especially sugar. Most importantly, I will be working my way up to about half a gallon to a gallon of purified water every day. I have decided to begin with sugar and adding more water, as I have found that my energy increases more with every day I stay away from sugar. I have gone on to stop eating meat, which I find also helps my energy and slower, painful digestion, which one of my doctors wanted me to take antibiotics for in this situation…
Now we come to the moments I describe in the beginning of this post. Yes, I backslid, which means I ate some sugar again… and then sugar and meat in the same day. After about three full weeks of neither… eating even one was a mistake. Or should I say, a hardship of willpower going stagnant. I am now finding, though, that it is so much easier to make it back on track towards my goals by giving myself grace and loving myself through what I note is an addiction to sugar and meat (among other things). Drinking more water and making the decision to stop is not enough. What is increasingly more important for me is caring about my mental well-being and knowing what I will add, or give myself. Realizing this has been a game-changer. I am making better decisions about what I need and what to put in my body. Why? Because I am simply loving me again. My life is worth it… and yours is too! So let’s MOOOVE!
I am so proud of you and hope to be able to support you, My Reader. Let me know how you feel that would be necessary and helpful. I am creating more and more openings and am also sending showers of emails to my subscribers with joyful notes of goodness!!
This blog has a lot to do with the ways in which I enjoy the release of writing; the ways in which I find joy. And still, this blog is even more about what I hope for YOU! So, let’s discuss that today. I would love your help in getting a greater sense of how I can continue to guide, inspire, and grow our joy together (question for your response at the end)!
I Hope You Dance
Recorded in 1999 and released in 2000, the song “I Hope You Dance” has always been one of my favorites:
I hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger,
May you never take one single breath for granted,
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed,
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens,
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance,
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance.
– Lee Ann Womack, I Hope You Dance
It’s a song of hope and motivation about faith and hope through adversity. In some of my darker moments of illness, I was able to remind myself through music, as well as through my own strength, not to always “sit it out”, but to “dance”. I knew, as I still know now, that I couldn’t always get up and push through the pain.
That, however, is where joy came in. It let me know that even when laid up in bed and unable to do much, I had in my control the ways in which I decided to fight/react to this horrible feeling; this pain. In reading my blog or any other way of finding my content, I hope that you are able to see this in yourself; seeing that your reaction, your love for yourself, finding peace, can get you through some of the darkest moments in life… I’d love to be a guide toward that.
I Hope You Activate Your Joy
In so many situations of loss – loved ones passing, chronic illness, being let go from a job, and much more – we tend to see an end, a dark precipice where there is only one option. What I hope in finding some of my content – stories of my own life and also some guidance for your own – is that you then happen to notice that light that is just within your reach, if only you would stretch a little to turn it on, then step away from the ledge and into your next chapter; your actual destiny.
Joy is about loving, forgiving, peacemaking and keeping, gratitude, and even motivation beside fear. It all works toward the activation of your joy; letting you know that inward joy then extended outward is what leads to your success in life, in whatever way you choose to define it; with passion. I am so excited to guide others on that journey of self-empowerment and fortitude.
I Hope You Understand
I so hope that you can understand something: YOU are amazing, you are able, and you are not alone. Whether it be my full attention and guidance, or simply reading my words – or hearing my thoughts out loud – I want you to get something from me. I want you to notice the goodness inside that is cultivated and getting stronger with each moment you come to realize more and more of your joy.
I love you and am grateful for you, and so I ask the following:
What can I do for you?? I love writing to you – even though I have my own hard times that have kept me away for longer periods than I had hoped. I have begun an April Shower of Joy Series sent straight to your inbox, which you can still subscribe to right here! I am so grateful to be a part of a few speaking opportunities, such as with Mr. Jerome Hurt of BuyBlack4Life, which you can watch here or below! I have been consulting on non-profits and had so many joyful opportunities to work with joyful community-needed projects, which you can learn more about for yourself by scheduling a call with me OR contacting me.
I say all of this because in some ways I want to do a bit more. I would love to get more of a sense of what else I can do with my content. The point of this blog and what I teach on joy is to inspire and to guide towards and with joy. What specific topics would you like to see me write about; whether to email subscribers or here on this blog site? If you do not feel comfortable commenting, please do respond through email, which you can find on this contact page.
Thank you for your readership and for opening yourself to joy!! Until next time…
Finding the joy in using privilege, the joy in defeating and defining hurt, the joy in a new normal
It is now 2021 (as we all know), and many may be feeling the hope to return back to “normal” again, before March 2020, when Covid-19 was not rearing its ugly head throughout the world.
Um… can I ask, though; what is normal? Is normal the privilege of having a place to live and a safe job that you can go to every day and have money to feel and support you and your family? Because for so many people throughout the United States – throughout the world – that was never the reality. For many, the pandemic brought the opportunity to still have a position at work, but do it remotely, spending time in pajamas with family and never really having to leave the house. Does anyone ever remember wishing for something like that? Honestly. Because I certainly did. And boy did we get it…
Still, for others, the pandemic only made things worse than they already were – without a home, without a job, sometimes without a family to feel love and support from. For those without homes and livelihoods, to say the least, there was a pleading with God for anything but normal.
And to be honest, we should be hoping for the same. Not because our lives weren’t safe and positive in many ways, but because the lives of so many others were nothing like ours.
For me, my intersectional existence puts so much into perspective. I am Black, I am a woman, I have a disability and have suffered from depression as well. I realize that I have privileges that many with these identities have never even dreamed about recently. Which is where my contributions come in. Having privilege is no good if you don’t use it…
Yet, doing so must be done out of the joy and love of giving. Loving those in need in a genuine way means finding ways to fight oppression whilst using the privilege one inherently carries. It doesn’t make sense for white people to look down on themselves or be ashamed of their whiteness. This is how they were born, just as I was born Black. They can, however, learn to do something with the privilege of being white for the good of humanity. This would include speaking up to other white people and teaching the love and nurturing aspects of collective thought and communication.
Learning how to do this is as simple as looking deep inside oneself and deciding what would create a more equitable, just, and comfortable environment for self and others in varying situations.
Being anti-racist (over non-racist) is about taking action. Speak up for those who are vulnerable or simply less privileged than you are. It’s really up to you to be the person of your dreams.
I wish everyone so much love. As we close out another Black History Month in the United States of America, please do not forget: US History IS Black History. Love humans of every background every day, for the good…
It has been an incredibly trying month for me. That’s not the point, though. The point is, I could not let the month of history of my community (even though I will celebrate Black people, love, and culture every day of my life!) in the US go by without say something that I hope you, my readers, will take with you. I love you so much and am so grateful for your readership. I am also coming into people’s inboxes! Want in? Reach out, or see my contact page… here!
Learning to give grace to the people, things, and circumstances that try to steal our joy… including ourselves!
For those of us with chronic illness, there are factors in our lives, of our illnesses, that we wish, now more than ever, we could change. Has the following ever been you… with or withou chronic illness?:
You are in another terrible, less-than-desirable situation (for me, it might be losing all of my steam before noon hits and therefore losing precious hours of prime work time by laying down in bed). You know it’s not your fault, really; you do. And yet, here come the subsequent thought patterns leading you back to the familiar notion that it is on you. Guilt and sadness pervade your entire being, and now not only are you paralyzed by the situation (and lying in bed, on my end), but you are also living on an island in your mind, completely devoid of civilization; and you’re there to stay.
Unless… did you know there are way to get out of your head? Control your thoughts and use them to your advantage, not your detriment? You can forgive yourself and your situation while shifting your focus to the positive and to the good.
Take a few minutes every day – preferably in the morning to get a great and powerful start to your day – and write down grateful thoughts, positive thoughts, and thoughts about who or what you need to give some grace.
To be able to forgive yourself, though, is the most powerful of all. Little do we know that a lot of the most difficult and stressful feelings that come out of us spawn from a guilt, a shame, or a simple disdain for things that we have done or believed that are contradictory to our values and/or our life goals.
Additionally, there are times when we don’t even believe we have done anything wrong, but we feel the current situation calls for someone or something to blame, and who is most available other than our own selves?
Remember something for me, please, you are wise and strong and nothing that you do or experience warrants taking away grace. Forgive, give grace, and know that life is here for you to take it with both hands… and LIVE! So, with some writing of your thoughts, a little support, and even some accountability (I can help!), let grace fall into place. Hey! Rhymetime! 😉
I’m not at all perfect in any of this; far from it. Still, it’s a wonderful reminder to forgive and show love to as many as we can, especially ourselves. So I write this to remind myself just as much as you.
Write down a person or situation you must forgive. Yes, no time like the present; do it now! If you’d like to share, you are most welcome to, through comment or email – email@example.com. Always here, always rooting for you!… and me! lol
Especially with the days 2020 seems to have left us, a lot of things have been confusing. Yet, I realize that I have not quite shared much about who I am and what I believe. In part, it has felt like a long and daunting task, even with the contradicting feeling that I am a very simple person!. Still, I want to be transparent about my beliefs, as that is why I have studied at places like Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University School of Social Work, both in NYC and entrenched in social justice work and language. I want to combine an understanding of belief systems with the experience of hearing and pulling out stories, social justice language, and wisdom, putting it all together for the betterment of those I serve, in addition to myself.
It is always good to remind ourselves that we don’t have all the answers… and we’re not supposed to have them all. So please know: whether it be about health, motivation, success, mental health and mindset, emotions, or joy itself; I do not know it all. I am learning and growing every day, and I love that aspect of my life. On the one hand, it can seem shameful and sad to not know everything we want to know all the time. And yet, opportunities to learn and seek information brings us to a place where we never stop moving upward.
The view is way more beautiful than before as we continue moving from peak to peak in our pursuit of knowing. What I do know, though, is that in my 34 years, I have come to see and experience things that have shaped my life in a myriad of ways; that have caused me to readily believe in some things and not others.
I believe in values – that we all have them and that the type of person we become depends, in part, on the experiences that mold us and show us what can be ourselves. They also, in large part, depend on the values that come from within, influenced by those experiences, as well as our own thoughts, ideas, emotions and actions.
I believe in the value of perception. The ways in which we perceive things evokes the good, the bad, and even the ugly in what we think, feel or emote, and then act upon! Did you know your thoughts were so audacious, glorious, and powerful? Keep them squared on and towards your joyful heart!
I believe that health is key and a perfect way to show yourself love. Remember, when putting steps in place to achieve and activate joy, you must care for YOU and put YOU in the picture towards pillar action steps. Otherwise… how will you care for those you serve and love?
Some of the things I believe to the fullest extent possible. Know that I will be here to share more of my beliefs as time moves forward. My health, remember, is coming first this year. I am so excited to share this journey with you, starting with a very healthy, plant-based dinner wrap. Did you know they make plant-based EGGS now? No? You gotta try.
Please, if you are so inclined, let me know one or two beliefs you hold on to tightly. What do you keep in your heart? What do you treasure? You can share below as you are able.