Posted in Education, Empowerment, Life, Wellness

Doing Different-Take 2

Year 3 of teaching on deck…I’ve realized I can do all the research in the world, all the planning, idolizing my teaching heroes, borrowing from other teachers but ultimately, if I DON’T DO DIFFERENT? Nothing will change.

I was on to something this time last year when I realized that I was expecting others to support me when I was unwilling to support myself!

I had a great plan and then…everything changed. Nothing went the way I thought it would go.

So how do you handle when change comes your way and all the plans you had, go out of the window?

I cannot lie, I haven’t been the greatest in handling curveballs life throws me. SO much happened last year that I could have never planned for…getting unexpected expenses, my car getting totaled, and my budget being shot to tell. And all the self-care plans went out the window when I was thrown into survival mode and I had to make a move to give myself some breathing room.

Now that I was able to make that move, I can’t yet say I’ve fully exhaled, but I can say that I realize plans being made are only one part of the solution to doing different.

Mindset, is EVERYTHING. How can I shift from surviving to thriving, without my income increasing? Thriving is all about MINDSET, not income level.

So, how can I shift in lean times and still thrive?

I’m in the process of discovering how to do that now. By committing to something even in the hard times, even when I want to quit. Mastery and thriving doesn’t happen overnight…rather, it is a series of intentional decisions to keep at something until you are doing well.

So how can I shift in lean times?

By sticking to my commitment in the face of adversity. By shifting my means of getting to a destination even when the unexpected hits. It means having a Plan A-at least G. By committing to self-care even when things go haywire and not allowing anything to keep me out of being in the zone.

I’m learning how to thrive. And that, is a huge part of doing different-committing to thriving.

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Posted in Empowerment, Life, purpose

Before I Let Go…

When I sat down to write, I just said a prayer that my words would be those of comfort, healing and peace…because it’s what I want for myself!

What happens when you end up in a place you NEVER saw yourself?
You let go of the life you thought you were going to have and embrace where you are now.

For the last couple of years that has been where I am. And I’m ending this year no differently. I’m once again in a new city, a second year teacher,  and it’s nothing like my move to Houston in SO many ways. Atlanta is its’ own place. And boy has it been an adventure.

One thing I’ve realized, I’ve dealt with alot of anger over the last 18 months. Alot of sadness.

And after entering a rough patch, I have decided it’s officially time to let go. Time to let go of the narrative of what I’ve believed in the past about myself.

It’s time to let go of limiting beliefs. It’s time to let go of the lies, of whatever doesn’t serve me.

Time to let go of the life I thought I was going to have. Time to let go of the life I thought I was worthy of.

Time to embrace where I am now and the life I’m meant to have.

But before I let go…

Let me fondly remember where I’ve been and the growth that has happened as a result.

Let me be reminded that I am more of my authentic self than I’ve ever been thanks to the valleys I’ve found myself in. I could not appreciate the peaks if I’d never ended up in the valleys. The valleys are where I found out who I really was, where I developed character, where my strength grew. Where the words came pouring out of me to help others become more of themselves and heal the broken places.

Before I let go…let me look back fondly and express gratitude for where I’ve been. All of that led me to right here.

Somehow my purpose and destiny is directly tired to the places of my deepest hurt, the lowest valleys.

Before I let go, let me be reminded that the bad was also accompanied by the good and that letting go doesn’t mean you forget. Letting go means you forgive, you hold on to the good and release whatever doesn’t serve you.

So as 2018 wraps up, it’s officially time to let go.

It may be gradual. I may have to let go a little at a time.

But either way, I’m letting go.

Posted in Empowerment, Life, Wellness

doing differently-a lifestyle!

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I am super close to beginning my second year of teaching, I am using these last few weeks and retrograde period to reflect on this last year or so and use it as a springboard in year two to build upon it.

If I can think of ONE word to sum up what I need MOST in year 2 in order to be an effective teacher?

SUPPORT.

SUPPORT would be that word.

My first year of teaching was CRAZY and AMAZING all at the same time. I had SO much going on, personally, that affected me professionally. But an ongoing theme for me was SUPPORT. There were MANY times I just didn’t feel supported (even though I was…another story for another time).

My colleagues struggled just like I did, but not as much. Their idea of support, was different from mine. and they were upfront about me having semi-unrealistic expectations.

And man, they were right.

As I eagerly and anxiously await the start of my second year of teaching, I am approaching this with a different mindset.

in many cases, it helps to be what you want to attract. For me, that means if I WANT support, I need to not just ask for support, but create support for myself too.

That starts with simple things, like an early bedtime. A healthier diet. Consistent and simple exercise. Some kind of outlet to relieve stress.

SELF CARE IS SUPPORT! It’s MUCH NEEDED SUPPORT! I need to be at my very best in every way, in order to provide support for my students and colleagues.

that’s just basic level support.

For me I also have to add in a second level. For me this means possibly hiring a fitness trainer, someone to help with meal prep, finding a mentor who is a current (or former teacher).

This also means getting a therapist and seeing them regularly.
that one for me is a big one. I haven’t been to therapy since Fall 2016, when I first separated from my now ex-husband. LOTS has happened since then-new city, new career, new chapter in life-and in order to really get support? I need to find a therapist. That is a MUST.

I know some of this may seem like a DUH moment for y’all to read this, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this serious about a career in my life. I don’t think I’ve ever thought this way PERIOD, when it comes to my life, in at least 3 years.

I’m aware that I’m in a very critical season of transition (just like I was last year) and I don’t want to feel like I’m drowning again.

So cheers to figuring out what I need and making a plan to ensure that I have the support I need to be the best ME I can be in this new chapter of my life.

Posted in Empowerment, Life, purpose

Run Your Race

I have a confession…

I’ve suffered from achievement envy the last few years.

Crazy, I know.

But Deidre, you’ve accomplished alot.

I know, and it still doesn’t feel like enough. It still doesn’t feel impressive some days.

Some days, I feel like I’m JUST Kiddo’s mom. Or JUST a daughter, sister, friend.

Some days, I seriously forget what I have, and what I’ve accomplished.

Crazy I know.

I’ve accomplished ALOT in 31 years. I have to remind myself where I came from.

A graduate of one of the poorest urban districts in the country, I still graduated in the top 17% of my HS graduating class, and already had a semester’s worth of college credits under my belt.

I have THREE degrees (Associates, Bachelor’s, Masters). I have won numerous awards. I’m a member of the MOST Illustrious Sorority on Earth, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Incorporated, a goal of mine I was able to achieve while being a wife, mom, full time employee, full time graduate student and STILL managed to graduate with a 3.52.

I forget the numerous professional accomplishments I’ve racked up. And now that I’m shifting lanes professionally, I get to set new goals and achieve those.

And yet some days, I look at those younger than me, or the same age as me, or older than me, and feel like they’ve accomplished so much more.

But we didn’t start at the same place. And we weren’t given the same set of tools to work with.

We all had different advantages or disadvantages. We all have our own unique toolboxes, with different gifts and talents, different starting points, different things that give us an edge. None of us really started at a deficit, no matter how much we may feel so. We all encountered obstacles, that we had to overcome to get to where we are. And some of those people we envy, had their own challenges and load to carry.

I say all of that to say, I was reminded today that we must run our own race.

“I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”

Ecclesiastes 9:11

And that’s it right there. How can I run the race given to me if I’m so busy looking at the person next to me (or on an entirely different track)?

I was graced to do what I do. And if I’m being completely transparent, I have been so busy looking at the person next to me that I didn’t run my race. I didn’t do the best that I could with what I’ve been given.

But it’s okay. I have this moment right here and right now.

I must run my race. There’s something to do in this very moment.

Like write this post and share it with you all.

I have been examining what I want lately and why. I don’t want to desire something simply because someone else has it. That envy is a clue, and I look deeper.

Maybe I recognize part of myself in the people I envy. Maybe I realize there’s something in them that I admire and instead of being envious, I can develop that trait or characteristic in myself. Use it as fuel to do what works for me.

I’m determined to run my race, with blinders on. I want to cheer on others with no envy, but instead pure joy because they are running their race and winning at it. Because I want others to do the same for me.

And to be honest, who am I really without all the accolades, achievements, accomplishments?

I’m still Dei.

Still worthy of love.

It’s not about what I have or what I have done. It’s about who I am.

Run your race.

It’s been given to you for a reason.

Posted in Empowerment

Dear Kings and Queens

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Dear Kings and Queens…
Be patient with yourself. Rome was not built in a day. Your purpose has been in you since day 1, but the fullness of it doesn’t need you to be perfect; it just needs you to accept that you will be imperfect and rely on grace. Then when you learn to rely on that grace, you’ll learn to extend it to others.
The more YOU try to do on your own, the less you activate the power of grace and the magic of forces beyond your understanding.
Stop trying to make things happen. Let it be.
Dear Kings and Queens, kingdoms were ruined off ego, but elevated because of grace, wisdom, and purpose.
You are royalty, perfect in all your imperfections, walk around as if you are always wearing a crown…because you are ❤

Dear Kings and Queens, you are powerful just as you are right in this very moment. Own it!

Signed,

Queen

Posted in Empowerment, Spirituality

Nothing is Wasted

There’s nothing like making mistakes…like investing all of your time, money, talents and attention…just to see something fail. Something you worked your BEHIND off for. Something you’ve wanted for the LONGEST. And, it wasn’t at all what you thought it would be. In fact, you could take it all back. You wish it had never happened.

Folks say you shouldn’t regret anything that happens in life, but you definitely regret this. It’s got you wondering ‘Okay, now what?’ Or maybe it’s got you feeling like you missed an opportunity, like you missed your blessing. You’re not where you think you’re supposed to be, and you’re convinced that you basically have to settle for second best, or third best, or basically left overs and scraps, because you’ve screwed up.

You weren’t supposed to lose that GREAT job. You know, the one that paid more money than you had ever seen in your life? The one that allowed you to get the nicest car you’ve ever driven? Your marriage wasn’t supposed to end this way. You and your child’s father were supposed to live happily ever after. But he left, and you’re convinced that it’s your fault for being with him in the first place. So you won’t get that happily ever after. And you’ve decided to accept that. Or maybe you haven’t, and you’re struggling with your mistakes.

I remember some mistakes I made back in 2004. I carried the guilt

But when are you going to forgive yourself for being wrong? For making what you thought, was the best decision at the time? Or maybe you knew it was wrong all along and figured, you could always undo it later…only you discovered too late in the game, that you couldn’t fix it. What’s done is done.

When are you going to let yourself off the hook? When are you going to recognize that, God has already forgiven you, and already has something GREAT lined up for you, in spite of? See, many of us have been sold a bill of goods. Many of us believe that, if we do everything JUST RIGHT, that we’ll be blessed.

But what if I told you that blessings aren’t for those of us who do everything JUST RIGHT? What if your destiny, your purpose INCLUDED your mistakes? I believe the bible when it says that God numbered all of our hairs on our head…so He definitely KNOWS us.

Any of us who are parents, or have a significant other, or even have a good friend that they KNOW inside and out? We often know the decisions and choices they will make before they even make them! And, God is the same way with us! He KNEW we would make mistakes! And what’s crazy is, He decided to include those mistakes and turn them around and use them for HIS purpose, HIS glory!

I’m writing all of this to say, nothing is ever wasted. Even if we feel like we’ve wasted time, money, resources, opportunities…God can open doors that no man can shut. He can’t replace the time lost, but He can set things up to where things happen for us twice as fast, where blessings come sooner than expected. He can help us to maximize time we have left, and give us double the things we lost before, no matter how bad we thought we blew it.

There is POWER in your mistakes, your blown chances. Love your story and own it, all of it…good, bad and ugly. Especially the bad and ugly. Because, it’s likely that the very thing you hate will end up being the very thing that God uses as a vehicle.  to bless you. Nothing is ever wasted. Ever.

Posted in Empowerment

It’s All In Your Head

I’ve finally, FINALLY realized why I write. And how I write. And who I write for. And, it’s caused a little apprehension each time I push the ‘new post’ button and begin to type. It is even more nerve-wracking when I hit the publish button.

Will someone be able to relate?

Will I be looked at funny?

Will I be judged?

And it takes a ton of courage sometimes, to push that publish post button.

But I realize I’m doing myself a great disservice if I just write what folks want to hear. I’m also doing others a disservice.

There are a few books I’ve refrained from writing at the moment. Because of the pressure that comes along with being a Christian who writes.

Suddenly your life is on trial. It’s an open book for all to read. Even if you don’t disclose every little detail, your every move is watched. Every post on facebook is scrutinized. And even every tweet/retweet is read into.

It is enough to make an introvert like me hyperventilate.

I realized enough was enough one day when someone questioned what I put up on a status. And I was silly enough to defend/respond.

I vowed that would be the last time I did it.

Part of being a writer involves reading. There are lots of great bloggers and writers that I look up to, and ironically, it’s because they’re not afraid to be themselves. They are human. They’re far from perfect. They own up to their mistakes. But they are unapologetically themselves. And people love them for it.

And here I am, comparing myself to them.

“Oh my goodness. I can’t post this. What will people think?”

“I can’t retweet that. People will stop reading what I write if this has a curse word in it.”

The pressure has gotten to be too much.

Then I realized that it’s all in my head.

The pressure comes from within. I know who I am. I know where I am in my life. So does God. And yet, he still gives me words to encourage. To empower. To inspire. I write with the goal of sharing myself and encouraging myself, and yet, I constantly hear from others how much it helped them.

So, why am I tripping? My worth isn’t caught up in the number of people who read my blog. It isn’t in what others’ think of me.

How many times have you discounted what you have to offer because you felt like you didn’t measure up to someone else’s standards of ‘good enough’?

How many times have you second-guessed yourself and your testimony because you knew it was far from perfect?

How many times have you kept quiet because you were ashamed?

I understand. Because that’s been me forever.

But someone out there needs for you to get out of your head. Stop thinking so hard and just DO. SAY. BE.

Someone out there needs to hear what you have to say.

Someone out there needs to see what you do.

Chances are, there are others out there saying “Oh my goodness, me too!”

There will always be critics. There will always be people who don’t get it.

But the people who don’t get it? Your message/story is not for them.

And that pressure you apply to yourself because you’re imperfect, because you make mistakes, because you don’t have it all together?

It’s all in your head. God knows. God sees. God hears. And wants you to share yourself anyways.

How else can others get free if you stay in your head?

Step out and be brave. So others can be brave too. And be free.

But you must liberate yourself first. And know that it’s okay to be yourself. It’s okay to be YOU.

You’re uncommon for a reason. Because, there are others out there who are also uncommon and need to know they’re not alone.

So go ahead. Be free to be YOU. And stop telling yourself stories that are merely fairy tales. Because there’s no such thing as a perfect human. It’s an oxymoron. It’s a lie.

Be You.

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So, FYI…I’m FINALLY releasing my book this year. As of now, the release date is slated for May 2014. More info will be forthcoming! But, this blog entry was definitely a preview of what the book will be like!