Sunday, November 5, 2017

Swimming In Victory




We have all had to roll with lifes punches to the gut. Some of those punches have connected and took the wind out of our sails, much like depression where you just can't get out of bed or even take a shower. Other punches have stung us enough to cause us pause, like an anxiety attack in the grocery store in the middle of the day or a traffic jam on the interstate causing you to be more than late. Many of lifes gut punches have left us brused and battered mentally. Ever heard the saying, sink or swim? Are you sinking or swimming?

I'm not a swimmer in the literal sense. You won't hear me say, I'm going for a swim. Why? Around the age of 11 or 12  I almost drowned and that feeling of helplessness in a body of water was horrific. I was literally drowning. My family was in Portland, Oregon for a family reunion. My mother pressed and curled my hair. She told me that I could go to the park, but don't get in the pool. It was hot and at this time I loved swimming. Did I mention it was hot? Well, I made up in my mind since it was hot as fish grease, I was going to get in the pool and I won't get my hair wet, and I will be dry before I get back to the house. Bright idea gone bad. Did I mention I had my bathing suit on? As I was enjoying the pool that I was instructed to not get into, I suddenly could no longer stay afloat. I couldnt dog paddle, breast stroke, nothing.

I was in the deep end and going down, alone. I tried to swim but kept going down. Panic crept up and shook my little brain. I could see the side of the pool, but I don't remember seeing anyone. To make this short, I bobbed up and down a few times and suddenly, I was at the side of the pool. I was horrified. No one helped me because no one was there in the area of the pool that I was in, and the people that were there either did not see me struggling or Lord forbid didn't care that a little girl was drowning. I got out of that pool and I have not been in a swimming pool since. Hottub, yes. A pool, not a chance. I've tried but the anxiety I face has been stronger than my desire to swim.
Nothing could have prepared me for the horror I felt and I surly was not going to share that event with my mother.

Living life is like unprepared events that will gut punch you. You will get that gut punch by life's circumstance and lay on the ground in dispare and agony, dread, heartbreak, and sometimes fear. Fear of standing up to fight again. But fight you must. It's the sink or swim tactic. Events can cause you to be unlovable, unappreciative, and down right nasty to anything or anyone that resembles joy and peace, especially during a crisis when all you want to do is magnify all that is wrong in your atmosphere by complaining until you are blue in the face. The world today is full of complainers already, don't be one of them.

The key to treading life's events is staying afloat and maneuvering with precision. It's about being laser focused on your end and not your beginning or even the during. It's knowing deep in your gut that God has equipped you with everything you need to reach the finish line. You must swim those laps of life like a master, breast stroking, breathing with calm, holding your breath for a time, and breathing again as you glide to your victory.

My brothers and sisters, today I'm still not ready to swim again, but my desire is growing. I am building my faith muscle so that one day I will jump in, even if it's a cute belly flop. My prayer for you is that your faith muscle gets stronger. There is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you hold the power and ability to swim for your life. There is nothing that can hold you down but you. Your inaction should not be the sinking end of you and the greatness that is within you. It doesn't matter how many times you get hit and go down. What matters most is how many times you get up and hit back. So suit up, jump in, and swim towards all that God has placed in you to be VICTORIOUS in all that only you can do and be for the world to witness. Let your faith muscle keep you afloat.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Fighting False Strengths - It's Mental



Self Development for me comes in many forms. Mostly through books,  watching people, and shear failure. My reading taste is huge as one can not rely on one avenue for growth and healing. The detrimental problem that I see today is that many fail due to not investing in themselves, not trying, not seeking, not being hungry for better. It is somehow accepted to complain, blame, and to keep dragging the muck around like a stubborn dog on a chain. People seem to forget when the car was first built, that there was a blueprint. They forgot that the only way they could have graduated from high school they had to go to class, study the books, do the lessons, and pass the tests even if it was by sweat and sleepless nights. Fear will sideline you and will leave a fowl taste in your heart for those who are unencumbered and growing . There is no failure if you don't try. The failure is in not trying. What side of the pendulum are you on?

I myself refuse to stay in a state of mental chaos for too long. I'm not one to complain or keep talking about all of the bad things, but I do spin around in my head like a spinning top. I repeat to myself, it is okay and not as bad as aI can create the situation to be. I remind myself that I am the key holder as to what I will think about. I no longer want to hit the replay button on what was or what should be. Or on who did  what or what someone didn't do.  Why? Because I must get to the other side. Everything we do or not is a result of the information we received be it negative or positive and the choices we make. How valuable is that knowledge?

Mental illness is no different. Mental illness is manifested by the information we have seen, heard, or felt. Pain unaddressed leads to the heart and mind being over powered by the reactions to that pain. What pain? Pain of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Pain of your true love being snatched away as the one you loved abandoned you. Pain because of those who you thought were your friends weren't and your family members who treat you like trash. Pain of fighting a wars you did not create or sign up to fight, killing unknown men, women, and children. Look at the Vietnam War. How many men and women do you know who went to that war sane and came back home unrecognizable? Its still happening today, but now there is a name for it, Post Traumatic Stress. Pain of stuffing every hurt, real or imagined and replacing it with a false sense of strength. Alcohol,  false strength. Drugs, false strength. Promiscuous sex, false strength. The greed of money and material things, false strength. Dressing to the nines to look good on the outside and totally obliterated on the inside, false strength. Yes, these false strengths and more can cause the mentally sane to become insane. I know because I was a part of the false strength club. Wore the the shiny badge and blinking tiara. Thank God for His grace and mercy.

Generational curses and dysfunction rises up and goes forth, generation after generation until it happens. The it is the sudden realization that your current state is not where you imagined yourself to be. But, realizing it is one thing, changing it is another because without making the change, there you will remain. In the pit. Making a change is no easy feet as with any new thing, it takes will power, desire, and a determination that announces to the world, I ain't going down like that. We must make the  choice to either lay down and give up, or square our shoulders and  for fight. Isn't your life worth fighting for? Do you truly like where you are right now?  If not, prepare for battle.

And how do you prepare for battle? Acknowledging your current state of living. Mind, body, and soul. Analyze where you are and determine where you want to be if you don't already know. Let me tell you this, you already know you just have to push into that thing and put that foot forward. The next foot is clearing out the attic, this is where you have stored everything good or bad. It is your mind. To do this is to replace the bad with good. For me, I read and research what I am struggling with. Reading stories of those who have walked the road of dysfunction and learning how they changed their lives or not is helpful in so many ways, especially when the result is a ray of sunshine and emotional freedom. Emotional bondage to me is worse than any physical bondage. So I ask you, what are you really doing for yourself? Are you in the fight of your life? Have you settled for the diagnosis or have you determined that, nope, Im not going to lay down and wither away? I say GET UP! You must do the work no matter how hard it will be. Isn't your life worth it? Don't you owe it to yourself to be the best that you can be? Remember, self love means doing everything within your power to present your beautiful self to the world? Yes, you ARE worth it.

My brothers and sisters, there is noone like you. There is noone who can do what God has specifically created and ordained you to do. Self Developement is scary yet easy to achieve. None of us can go back in time to change things, we only have the right here and right now to press the play button instead of the replay button on our lives. And if you do happen to hit that replay button a few more times, listen to it, deside to learn from it, then ERASE IT so that you can get to the best part of you because you are absolutely worth it.

Be Encouraged

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Personal Reflection



Praise God to whom all blessings flow. As I reflect on the current events with experiencing my first hurricane here in Miami, Florida, it has really opened my eyes and heart. What is life if you don't learn anything that will take you to a higher level? In a blink all that we work for and our lives can be snatched away. We strive for material things, but do not have true love and compassion for the human race. We turn our noses up at situations we don't understand or fail miserably at trying to understand, all the while convinced that we somehow have made it. We walk around as if we know the keys to life all the while living in generational chaos. Wisdom and correction is ignored by the so called smart ones. My mother used to say, there are fools and educated fools knowing so much but knowing nothing at all. Those that have so much to say but saying nothing. Look around you and take a few steps back. Be about God's business.

Being one who struggles with clinical depression and anxiety, this Irma event SURLY could have taken me out, I was concerned, but not afraid. Anxiety tried to roar on all cylinders, but it spun itself into exhaustion because I kept before me the many promises of God. Oh yes I had a moment of spiritual and emotional  turmoil. I cried tears of, oh God. I had thoughts of running for higher ground or running back to the dark abyss I left behind in Tacoma, Washinton asking myself, why did I end up in Miami, Florida? One answer, God. So, I kept my thoughts on God and in check. This is a Victory in and of itself and anyone who struggles knows exactly what I'm talking about.

We complain, bad mouth, and lay claim to an imagenry self relience that in the end will mean nothing if we do not have wisdom. For me, hurricane Irma has set my mind more eagerly on the things of God and His will for my life. Yet I fail him daily, God never fails. Yet I stumble, God never misses a step. Many say that the natures of life are God's way of saying, get it together. Well listen up, God's love letter, His word has been our warnings and our directions, and those 66 books of life's lessons is more than enough for me and I PRAISE God that yet I am a flesh being perplexed and pressed, my spirit and soul yet rejoice.

Wars and rumors of war. Pestilence and genocide. Every dark thing that roams this earth to kill, steal, and destroy is nothing more than an opportunity again and again for God, The Great I Am, the Alpha and Omega, to show up and ultimately show out on the behalf of His chosen.  For me, I will continue to stand strong, unwavered, not compromising for the so called good things of this world, to stand up in the face of an unseen and sometimes seen enemy and say, that footstool, the heap of coals are all ready setup and placed. As Irma came in and uprooted millions of trees, I'm even more determined to be like a tree planted by the water of God's grace, not moved.

As I reflect back to continue to move forward, I've had many people come into my life. Most had their own agendas and it did not involve love, consistency, appreciation, or honesty. I've been lied on. Looked down upon and talked about behind my back. I've been devalued by those who should have seen true value. I've been abandoned emotionally and physically. For all of that and more, I'm grateful. For that, I'm glad that God saw fit to eliminate connections that served no greater good. For all of the hardships I faced I continuously offer up forgiveness and I still love. You see, when you really look at your life and accept responsibility for your parts or even the lack of, you will be able to see clearly the road of peace. You will be able to understand your value and worth. For all of it, I PRAISE God for His protection even though I may not have understood it at the time. Saved by grace.

My brothers and sisters, get it together. Look around you and most of all
look within you and determine that you will not be moved, except by the hands of God. High minded and hautiness will be your destruction. The proud who say it could not happen to them, they should think again. Remember, your journey is yours, don't expect understanding or gratification. Dont seek validation from anyone, seek the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you, Gods gifts. Do everything in honor of God. Change is needed. Love is demanded. If it were not so Jesus would not have said so.

Be Encouraged

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Eliminate To Elevate



Often times we allow some of the chaos that enters our lives. We either focus on things of no purpose and ignore the importance of the things that can enhance our lives. None of us are exempt from this, but what we can do is turn up the volume on getting balance and ushering in productivity to move is forward to our best selves.

Those who have not experienced mental illness can not relate to a person with any form of mental illness, who struggles daily to get it done. What's the it? What is the root cause? How can we balance? Be still. Get clear, and geting focused is a place to start. In this place of evaluation are the keys to standing in upright balance.

Psalm 120:5-6 nlt says, The Lord himself watched over You! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade. The sun will not harm you by day, not the moon at night.

Get still. Everyday at all times many are consumed and distracted by cell phones, television, and worthless conversations and connections. Only participating in some connections as to not appear anti-social. Being still in the moment and ushering in silence reduces your heart rate. Being still will allow you to focus even if it is for a few minutes. Look around you, do you see areas in your home that you have neglected? Start there. Get your house in order, one room, one corner or closet at a time.

Get clear. How does one get clear when so much of the unimportant is taking up your time?  Shut it all down. Disconnect and unplug. Journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out of your head. Write about how you feel and why. Write about your desires and jot a few things down, action steps if you will, that will get you closer to your goal. What is your goal? Where do you desire to be in 2, 5, or 10 years? Think about it.

Get focused. This one here is very hard for a depressive, but it can be obtained. In order to get focused, YOU MUST TAKE ACTION. If you don't do It, it won't get done. Take your mental health for example. Do you want to struggle out of control for the rest of your life? Do you want to continue to cut yourself as a distraction? Do you want to stay in your bed of emotional darkness for the rest of your life? Do you want to take medication as a never ending cure  all, to only mask the issues? I shout No.

Here are a few of my many steps in getting balance, clarity, and focuse. I don't win everyday, but I do make every effort to keep myself in forward motion.

I say no. This is important because most times we say yes to things that don't serve especially for the good of ourselves or others. We do not have to a participant in everything.

I listen to music. This is my get out of my head card. Music lifts me up. I start to sing and the next thing I realize is that I’m dancing. Toe tapping and head bobbing.

I get quiet. I love the silence. I'm sure this is part of the cause of being an insomniac, I love to be up when the world has slowed down.  With cell phones, television and a host of other distractions, we can not quiet our minds. Shut it all down and get quiet.

I read. Reading is my passion. I hear many say, they don't read. These people scare me. I’m like what knowledge do you have between your ears outside of word of mouth and social media? A very helpful thing you could do for yourself is to read books on your condition. You will be surprised at how much information and tools that are available to help you understand and use for your healing. I know it can be hard, like falling asleep while reading. Been there. But read anyway. One page or chapter at a time, read for 30 minutes to an hour. Just read. Trust me, you will be glad you did.

I journal. Yes. Yes. Writing is a powerful tool. Pick up an attractive notebook or journal. Grab a fine pen that is catchy to the eye and write. Write about how you feel. Write what angers you. Write about your day and what you’ve seen that intrigued you. The main point is to write your feelings out and get them out of your head. Trust me again, you will be surprised how valuable this small action can change your mood, especially if you read it and laugh. I love this one.

I stay active. Yes activity is important. Taking walks or running, get up and get busy.  Get your heart rate up and the endorphins moving. The weather determines my activity. I try to get walking as mush as I can. Before I relocated to Florida from Tacoma, Washington, I was always on the move. I joined a walking group called Girltrek, and it was a blessing to meet  like mined woman who are focusing on health and fitness. Who usher in unity. I miss that. I'm  still looking for the connections here in Florida. Visit Girltrek.com for information and groups in your area. Sorry fellas, there is not a trek group for the men yet, but hey, you can grad your friends and get moving too.

I recently found myself in a situation that triggered the depression and anxiety in me. For weeks I fought the good fight until one day, the window in my emotional state cracked and the glass shattered. I took a position that was to be one thing and it turned out to be another. I wanted to win so I continued. And just recently an incident with the company’s  client slammed me to my core, tears, diarrhea, and more. Still, I tried to win all the while my soul was screaming GET OUT OF THERE. I heard what I needed to hear. I learned where I stood and was shown how much I mattered. Still, I didn't want to quit. I’m not a quitter. I finally quit and I'm glad that I did, for me. Here is the point; our realities can be clouded by the shear fight to win over something that is not meant for us. We can become afraid and stuck. Stuck and afraid. God allows situations to get so chaotic, the only thing we can do if we listen is to GET THE OUT. It is called positioning. Are you in any situations that you know, that you know, that you know, that you need to get out of? Check mate that thing and get to the good part of your life. Elimination and Elevation.  You may be dispensable to others, but you are forever indispensable to yourself. Remember that.

My brothers and sisters, I can’t stress it enough how important it is for you to do the work required of you to be healthy, happy, and whole. I can’t stress it enough that you are not alone in your journey even though you didn’t pick the ride. My desire is to encourage you with my stories of my journey with depression, anxiety, and my life as I live each day to be my very best. No, it's not easy and no I’m not wearing the mask of shame because of mental illness. We must raise our voices because silence only keeps us invisible. Remember this, it is not always about us. It is about who sees us. Someone is always watching, and they need you and your story.  Live out loud one day at a time. Don't be afraid to take you seriously, because if you don’t, no one else will.  You got this!

Be Encouraged

Monday, July 31, 2017

Access Granted



For the past few weeks the desire to write and share is like sitting in a dentist's chair. I loath dentists. They are evil but necessary. Going to the dentist sends my anxiety into overdrive, and I have even broke out in tears in the middle of procedures. You see how difficult writing can be for me who struggles with clinical depressive and anxiety? Am I the only artist who gets an access denied reply when attempting to get in creative motion? Okay, it's just me. Am I the only one who struggles with depression and anxiety who has desires to do a million and one things, but push past the thinking gate?  What we as artists face is not so much of a block, I prefer to call it a temporary moment of, access denied.

Our mental health is fashioned the same way. We want to do this or that, access denied. We need to clean and cook, access denied. We need to shower and spiff ourselves up, access denied. You see your children running a muck, access denied. Is that poor house plant in the corner on its last leaf? Access denied. Just getting out of bed is extreme, access denied with sirens and fireworks. If we get real, we all can relate and admit it, right? No matter how much desire you have, all of the red flags are popping up, ACCESS DENIED. So, you stay in your comfort zone behind closed doors. Even answering the phone is an act of congress. It's just me right?

What about having granted access to all that you need and desire? What does that look like for you? What about stepping out of your unfulfilling and imagined comfort zone by force? What about not cutting your arms or legs? What about not planning your suicide? What about not pulling your hair out by the roots or scratching until blood flows? Our emotional well being has many layers. The key is to allow the layers to be pulled back, to reveal the gift that's inside of you, to allow your gift to be revealed to all who desire to experience the access that you grant them to your authentic beauty.

My brothers and sisters, no matter what  your gifts are, if you are not revealing them to the world, the world misses out on your authentic beauty. Be it writing, painting, dancing, or playing an instrument, all of these gifts and more are the catalyst to allowing others access to your greatness. These priceless gems of who you are is exactly what the world needs from you. Though we will experience rejection, we must reject the idea that we are not enough or needed. We must actively ignore the naysayers and embrace the one or two or even hundreds who say yes to us and embrace us unconditionally. You must say yes to yourself because you deserve it. If you are surrounded by rejection, remove yourself, UNAPOLOGETICALLY.

You deserve all that God has just for you. God's word tells us that, "no weapons formed against you will prosper." The weapons will come, but if you fight, you will eventually win. So, brush yourself off, turn off the distractions and make your move. No matter how small your move is, each step forward moves you further away from where you dont belong and moves you closer to where you are required to be. Take action and let action fuel you.

I made my move forward and you are reading it. Access was granted.

Be Encouraged

Saturday, July 1, 2017

I Won't Complain


After a few work days of buses not showing up for their scheduled stops, me getting home close to 2 hours later than normal,  and no good sleep I'm reminded still, how good God is. Even the periodic snaps of depression and anxiety haven't caused me to forget how good God is. The key is encouraging myself because all storms pass.

It amazes me to see so many people unaware of the true effects of mental illness. They tell you, get over it. They are the ones who have no debilitating physical or educational knowledge of the struggles. They don't understand the fight everyday to remain in a visual normal state of mind with tending to the tasks requiring your presence. They can't understand why you cry for no apparent reason. Unaware that some wish to lay down at any given time to sleep hoping to never awake again. Unaware that at any moment a fuse can blow in ones mind and all hell can be unleashed. Unaware that they may see beauty or bronze, while a depressive is seeing and feeling disgust, frustration, anger, and many more emotions because  of the many triggers. Unare that someone is plannimg to end their life while smiling. Unaware that a depressive just placed cuts on their body to distract them from the chatter in your head. Oh no, they have no idea the magnitude that mental illness has on a soul shouting under water, unheard. Unaware that there is no such thing as, getting over it.

Since my diagnosis in April 2016, I realize my limits and I don't apologize for them. I know when, what, and how when it comes to me and my journey. Noone can tell me how I should feel. The sad thing is, I often times feel ousted, abandoned and socially inadequate. Though I know who the few are that remain a constant in my life, I see the fear in ones eyes due to the stigma. I see the concern in their eyes when I talk about my journey. I also see the shock as they seem to not want to believe that I struggle. Because I smile, laugh, and encourage others. The thing is, I have struggled long before a clinical diagnosis.  I've struggled since a very young age, I just didn't know what it was at the time, so I pushed, stuffed, ignored, and move on in life until, there was no more room and the wall showed up smack dab in my face, clinical depression and anxiety.

I won't complain because I have learned many valuable lessons, and of them remains at the forefront of my awareness, the God I serve is always present and because of Him alone, I rise up and show up with my best for each day. I no longer jump on band wagons and trends to remain relevant or in touch. I've limited my intake of other people's chatter especially when it has nothing to do with me and my journey,  especially when I absolutely see gnats and no fruit in their lives. I'm like yeah, I hear you, but do you know what God says? Boom, I slammed the door of my conscious and not allow doubt, fear, or another's doubt and fear to throw me off course. Don't  get me wrong, I hear the conversation I just just don't co-sign the conversation. I do get overly concerned and frustrated mainly because I'm a thinker. I think about thinking and then I think some more. Let me think about that. Giggles.

My brothers and sisters, there is no perfect and absolute way of walking out your journey. There is no feel better quick scheme to push you to the other side of the dark cloud, but there are action steps to take each day to ensure that you don't remain stuck under that dark cloud. You just have to be hungry for peace and balance. Shine your own sunshine. Music and taking a walk helps me. Keeping the negative and duldrum at bay is powerful when you are in tune with who you are is one of many keys to peace and balance. Knowledge of your journey is very important, educating yourself will give you the tools to fight. After a year, I have become much better at keeping myself in check, and not complaining is my super power on this journey. So get up and show up for yourself and watch God show out on your behalf because you are loved and needed. You matter.

Be Blessed

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Conquered Love


5 am. I was sleeping and the Holy Spirit ushered me awake and this is the blog post that results from that obedience. I don't feel much love. I love me, God loves me, and I know few who love me, but what I give in my understanding of love, my cup is half empty. I'm not sad about it rather, I'm elated that if I can't have authentic and genuine love, I don't want the worthless  alternative. I'm not talking about man meets woman and they fall in love kind of love. Im talking about a genuine and true compassion, a fulfilling type love. I'm talking about the encouragement and motivation type love. I'm taking about like minds marching towards a purpose type love, together. Is that even possible without selfishness and conditions? I don't see it. I'm talking about true and authentic love. Oh, many claim and start, but they seldom finish only to change tracks in the middle of the journey.

As the years pass, I now see people for who they only have their capacity to be. I dont always speak on it, but because of the inate awareness, I can see the jagged edges early on because I too was once a severely jagged edge. Torn and tattered. I have learned that what love is to one is not necessarily the same love for another. I have learned that loyalty for many is only contingent on what they can siphon for themselves, draining the other emotionally and taking the other for granted. My early years took on an exhilarated jaunt around love not truly knowing what love was until I listened and studied not just The Holy Scriptures, but material related to the art of love. Knowledge is powerful when used.

1 Corinthians chapter 13 sheds the largest beckon of light on what love IS and what it is NOT. It is the foundation and precursor to the arrival of Jesus Christ and his message; Love your neighbors as you would love yourself found in Matthew chapter 22. Oh how broken hearted Jesus would be, angry as when he flipped the sellers tables in the synagogue square seeing the lack of love. Seeing the hatred, selfishness and greed that is the normal of today. Seeing the high mindedness of the nations. Seeing many claim to love God, but have no love for their fellow man or woman regardles of how they desire to live. Seeing brokenness, homelessness, hunger, abuse, abandonment without one thought. Quick to reject, but failing to provide. Jesus however in spirit sees it all from the right hand seat of The GREAT I AM who also sees and know this, just as the names can be added to the Book of life so they can also be removed, blotted out.

What I have painfully experienced is that a person can be rejected and ignored due to differences without getting clarity and without listening to understand instead of listening to respond. Family is like toilet water flushed down the drain of separations to unknown degrees. Parents not understanding and respecting their children. Children ignoring and disrespecting their parents. No values, boundaries or limits. No accountability or accepting responsibility. Sex is the motivator  and destroyer for those unaware of their value. None of this is secret as Timothy so eloquently warned in 2 TImothy chapter 3. I thank my big sister Vernice for sharing this valuable scripture with me when I was around 17. I didn't know it then, but she laid the foundation for what became a powerful lens into human kind and the warning God provided so many centuries ago. It has come to pass.

My brothers and sisters, I don't know who these words are for, but I sense the urging to share that this selfish type of love and living must end and we must, one man and one woman at a time, get back to true love. Love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We must position ourselves for that which will last and not the earthly that will desintergrate and moths will eat, knowing that we take nothing with us with that last exhale. I encourage you to read Matthew chapter 20. Evaluate what should be important and take action immediately as we know tomorrow is not promised.

Know this, the blessings and curses of God are both sure.

Be Blessed

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Be Grateful On Your Journey



There are so many things to be grateful for. The skies in blues and sometimes grays, the oceans and it's unpredictable  movement. The glistening of dew drops on green grass in the early mornings. The smile in a childs eyes unaware of life. Yes, gratefulness is all around us, if we look for it.

Colossians 2:7 - "Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were inatructed, and overflowing with gratitude."

I couldnt let another day go by without saying "Thank You" to each of you who have taken the time to visit, read, share, and comment on The Unique View. This blog is therapy for me as I use it to one, share what God placed on my heart, to give a glimpse into my world as I experience and view it, and to encourage those who may feel alone , lost, and invisible, because I have felt that way too. Until one day, the light from the Lord poured down on me and exposed the gift of what you now have in the blessing to partake, The Unique View.

Each and everyone one of us has a gift, and to sit on and hide that gift is a disservice to the many souls who need  to experience our gift, that glimmer of light. The soul is not awake until the gift that is in each of us is released to brighten a day, usher in a giggle, or to summon many  tears. The soul is on pause until we realize and release that gift. Are you holding your gift? Set it free because it is not for you to keep.

My brothers and sisters, be humble and not proud or concetted. Do not  brag or boast. Dont complain and grumble, but REJOICE. Since I have relocated to Miami, Florida, I am in full throttle mode. I've had some sputtering moments, but I'm excited to see all of the blessings that God has just for me, and to be able to use those gifts to not only encourage myself, but you too. I am learning a new way of freedom, and most importantly, I am renewing my mind to think a new thing and have new thoughts.

Get on up and go look in your mirror. Take a long deep look into your own eyes and say, I AM worthy, I AM loved, I CAN do all things through Christ which gives me strength.. Because you are and you CAN. Know this, trials will come. Storms will blow. You will feel like checking out and giving up on your gifts. Don't do it. God is right there with you and He is expecting you to show up so that He can show out. No matter what, show up.

Be Blessed

Friday, May 12, 2017

You Have It In You



It amazes me to listen to people talk about the negative more than the positive of life. I mean really, is their concept of life and living so clouded by adversity that they can not see anything positive? Has life for them been so dark that anything resembling light is foreign?  The state of the people saddens me and it should sadden you too.

I find myself not wanting to talk nor listen. My spirit gets jaded when I hear so much talk about how this or that is wrong, how he or she did so and so. It's like there is nothing in the world, around the world to discuss other than addressing every negative aspect of living. Don't get me wrong, we should address them, but while doing so let's come up with solutions. Oh wait, that's work, hard work so no, solutions is not in their discussion.

Negative participation escalates depression and anxiety.  Constantly focusing on, and addressing the negatives increases anger, heart break, and most of all anxiousness and feelings of suicide,  cutting or other self harm, harm of others and so on. Allowing constant negative vibes to enter into our spirit serves no real purpose or solution. I understand for some, it is easy to see all these things, talk all these things, even participate in these negative activities. Everyday I tweek the negatives that show up in my thoughts, ideas, and conversation, this moves me closer to where I deserve to be. Peace. I try to catch myself when I start the negative rollercoaster. I slip up, but I check up. Choice. Self care. Self awareness.

I am a thinker,  watcher, and processor of every thing I see and hear. I hear so much, at times I have to demand myself to shut up and not respond. Not that I don't have anything to say, but because I hear that small voice telling me, it's a waste of time and energy, and I have neither to waste. I have moments of anxiety that forces me to take flight, and for me that is going for a brisk and sweaty walk and a half run. I have moments when the dark cloud of depression seems to be persistent in it's attack on my psychi, but I'm aware of it and that opens the door of opportunity to either whine, complain, scream , cry, or attempt to destroy some breakable objects. I digress. I take charge because the God in me and His grace for me becomes more and more powerful the more I seek His face and eliminate the negatives and all that serves no purpose. I win because He won. Jesus won that victory on the cross. That's my POWER. That's my ROCK. Do you know Him? Start with the book of John, and get to know Him.

There comes a point where you must sit down and quiet your surroundings. Shut off the electronics and other distractions and go within yourself. Listen to your heart beat. Center yourself and make adjustments. Many will not allow for silence, watching nonsense on television, reading and scrolling social media, entertaining meaningless conversations. All of this and them some are counterproductive to peace of mind and spirit. Many will not research, study, and use the positive tools availabe to heal and grow. Ignorance really is not bliss. Time wasters. Energy zappers. No real purpose at all. In order to see anything change, it starts with one. You. Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Are you so out of touch with yourself that you have lied to yourself, and you believe your lie? You have it in you to rise above, one action step at a time with consistency and  determination. You got it.

My brothers and sisters , there is work to do. You are needed up front and center. You have a story that's needed. You have gifts that's needed . Don't get stuck in the idea that it's all about you, that narcissist mentality.  Noone owes you anything, but you do owe it to yourself to be the best that you can be without apology or approval. Take the class and do the work. Clean your house; your mental house, your emotional house, your financial house, one floor, one closet at a time. Renovate you. Implementation is key. As one of my Facebook Queens, Toy Parker says,  ignight your life. You have it in you. I know I do.

Be Blessed

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Unencumbered


Over a week ago, I was sitting in a waiting room waiting for my sister friend who had an appointment, I was going over in my mind how far I have come by the grace of a good God. Though I read several books at a time, one book has my full attention, The Motivation Manifesto by, Brendon Burchard and let me tell you, this book gripped my face with full palm at the first page and chapter. I feel free to move unencumbered. Free in mind, body, and spirit. Free inspite of Clinical Depression and Anxiety, inspite of Cervial Spinal Stynosis, inspite of Osteoporosis and Degenerative Disc Disease trapessing through my bones. Oh yes, I'm free because I choose to see God's  healing instead of human despair. Change was the catalyst.

Making any change can be paralyzing to many, especially to those who struggle with Depression and Anxiety, fear, uncertainty, and laziness. Every step forward is coupled with numerous fears. Fear of failure, fear of rejection, abandonment, and fear of success. Fear for a depressive is no laughing matter, but for a great portion of the human race, it is also the catalyst for change. They are doing "it"afraid. They are doing "it" with transparency. They are not making excuses, but rather they are grabbing at solutions to be unencumbered. Is this You? Are you living the life Jesus Christ died for, for you? Abundance, fulfilled, loving, generous? Or are you allowing the enemy to do it's job; to kill, to steal, and destroy, YOU?

Since my move from Tacoma, Washington to Miami, Florida, I can't tell you that I have not struggled. I can't tell you that a depressive episode has not covered my head or creeped up from my toes and lodged in my throat. I also can't tell you that my struggle is over. What I can tell you is that due to my move, I'm lighter in spirit. I'm no longer in an environment that ushers in depression. Beings that Washington State is one of the state's with a high rate of suicide,  I'm grateful that I'm still present, breathing, and moving forward. Moving forward. MOVING FORWARD. Im encouraged to know that I serve a MIGHTY, AWESOME, AND OUTSTANDING GOD, Who has a rule book of love, comfort, and strength  that I can glean from and use in my walk on this dark earth with its dark people and circumstances.

Some of us need help in finding balance with depression and anxiety and many of us refuse to take action because it takes determination, it takes a process of elimination, tenacity, and drive. Many rather sucomb to the effects of mental illness, whine and cry, and seek attention with the pitty party and woe-is-me mantra.  Now, I'm not saying that the effects of depression are not real, they are very real, and the severity is different for each man, woman, and child. What I will say is; we do not have to lay down in defeat. There are to many resources, to many people who want to help you get to your destination, and that is the destination of balance, peace, and authenticity. A better you. Do you want it? How bad do you want it?

Here is something from the pages of, The  Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Bruchard, "A small percentage  of the public does not have the faculties of a healthy mind; clinical mood and mental disorders can prevent people from consciously directing their own thoughts and feelings on a consistent basis. Therapy and medication can help in such cases, and should be sought. We must not discount the challenges faced by those with real disorders and biological issues that prevent their progress in life."

My brothers and sisters, our stories and journies are not the same, each of us are individuals with individual scripts. The words we speak, the actions we take, the people we accociate with, the places we go all affect our healing. There is so much that we will need to remove ourselves from when it comes to our healing and balance. There is also more that we will need to add to our lives for our healing and balance. NegatIve or positive. The process will be painful yet joyous. My question to you is, what's more painful being in the dark pit of nothingness or living unencumbered, free, and alive? You are the only one who can make the decision.

I highly recommend that you get your copy of The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard at http://brendon.com under books.

Be Blessed

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Grab Hold Of Your Balance


One year ago, today, is a day that I don’t want to forget. I will be forever reminded of just how fragile we are as human beings. Our minds and bodies were not meant to take on all that we often allow causing us to spiral out of control and unknowingly crash and burn. It’s when we feel the flames of life that we realize we are burning. The embers sizzle, crackle, and disintegrate into ashes of crushed emotions.  Mental illness is the ember that burns for so many. I don’t want to forget because that is the day the Lord had my full attention. That is that day that I became new and full. That is the day I realized that the masking of pain shattered. For that day, I am grateful and humbled.
On April 6, 2016, I crashed and burned. The heat of life started at my feet and rose into the pit of my stomach dragging my mind down into the form of Clinical Depression and Anxiety. Throughout the following year, I took medication, attended counseling, and made drastic changes. I immersed myself into material to gain knowledge of what and how to walk in what many call the, new normal. What is normal about being emotionally devastated and mentally exhausted? In vain I searched for an outlet, a drastic change is what I desired. God had other plans. God in His infinite wisdom kept nudging me, prompting me, sending messages, until one day, I heard Him loud and clear, "be still and know that I am God." The Holy Spirit remained the “present help” at every turn I tried to make and every thought I tried to think warning me, that’s not it. I couldn’t catch any air, I couldn’t think, I didn’t want to speak. I smiled to hide the brokenness inside of me. I shut myself off from living as best as I could, still had to go to work and grocery shop. I didn’t want to leave my house or answer the phone. There were days a shower and toothbrush were the enemy. I couldn’t write let alone read. My bed was my closest friend.
Crashed and burned. I cried, I screamed, and I shouted. Then the process began, God’s process of peeling back the layers of what I held onto. He peeled and peeled. I cried and I shouted. After a few months of medication, counseling, and serious soul searching, I heard Him. I seeked Gods face in everything and God sought me in my dreams. In these dreams, I received the message of Jeremiah 29:11 that says, “For I know the plans I have for you, “says the Lord.” They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. I started moving furniture, cleaned out closets and drawers. I organized and planned and planned and organized. I prayed and prayed. After listening to Pastor John Gray and his sermon called, Dominion, something got into me, or should I say, Someone got into me. I listened to this 4 CD sermon so many times, back to back. I took notes and I read those notes every day.
What I gained from this journey is that I must surrender it ALL to Him or this life will take me out. I had to give ALL my cares to Him. I had conditioned my mind and heart to just deal with it and move on. I had conditioned myself to not feel the pain of loss, abandonment, anger, and the lack of trust. I trusted no one to stay, to be honest, to be authentic, or to care. I didn’t trust myself to trust. I stuffed every experience into a black hole and God used that black hole to show me that we are to trust Him and Him alone. With everything else it is a roll of dice and we must take that roll at face value. Everything has a cost attached to it. Our choices, cost. Our lack of attention, cost. Our words and our actions, cost. We bankrupt ourselves just by refusing to acknowledge and accept responsibility. We bankrupt ourselves by living outside of God’s means for our lives.
My brothers and sisters, today is April 6, 2017 and after all that I have fully experienced and learned in the past year, I have moved from Tacoma, Washington to Miami, Florida. I am listening to my Heavenly Father and trusting myself again. Though the storms in my life are not over, I am praising through them and living again in balance and total surrender. I am trusting God do just what He said He will do and I'm  standing on Jeremiah 29:11. If you are reading this blog and you are struggling know this, all of us have a history and because of our history, we must stand firm and fight. We must not hide our scars and we surely cannot ignore the flaws. Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to hide. For generations, we have been taught to “suck it up” well hear me, speak up for your healing. Speak out for yourself and those who have lost their voices. I know many who will not share their story out of fear, there is no fear in God. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not defective. You are not a mistake. You are however, a child of the Most-High God and you were created in His image for a purpose. 
Take the steps to become healthy and whole.  Let God peel those dark and musty layers off of you to reveal the beautiful and magnificent blessing that you are. If you don’t change something, nothing will change and it will be no one’s fault but yours. You hold the key and God has the power to do abundantly above all that you can ever imagine. So, with that, bounce back one step at a time towards who you were created to be. Authentically and outstandingly amazing.

Be Blessed

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Stop Hiding Your Flaws part 2



In my last post, I talked about our flaws and why we shouldn't hide them.

When I say flaw, I do not mean to insinuate worthlessness. No, I am pointing out that what others may see as a flaw, God created as a masterpiece, unique and particular. Yes, everything about you is unique and that is why I express the importance of not hiding.

The definition of a flaw: a mark, fault, or other imperfection that mars a substance or object.

Our lives are filled with many flaws. Unable to give birth,  unable to read or write, unable to drive a motor vehicle.  Deeper flaws of the physical and emotional are disfigurement,  physical disability,  missing limbs., mental illness.  These are all unique. Why do I say unique?  Because each of the above mentioned is an open door to revealing much more than the flaw itself. It is an opportunity to share and enlighten someone who needs to hear your story and see the winner before them. Courageous. Not defeated or defective.

As I continue to balance my life with depression and anxiety,  there are many things that I am not in control off, and I am still learning to choke my desire to walk in a codependent fog. I no longer have a desire to be a fixer. I'm learning to be selective with my time and I'm learning to say no with no explanation.  I am learning to walk away from situations that do not bring growth and balance. I pay attention to the red flags that warn me to back up. 

My brothers and sisters,  our lives are stories for the world. Not like a reality show, which I think are destructive.  More of a testimony and praise. Look at popcorn. When I was a child, my mother put some oil in a pan, poured the popcorn in and let heat up. Once it got real hot the popping began, the shaking of the pan began. The kernels stretched away to reveal a tasty treat. That is our life, the layers of stuff tjat reveal the beauty behind the flaws.

You are a masterpiece,  stop hiding your flaws. Share them with the world.

Be Blessed

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Stop Hiding Your Flaws


From a young age I always felt that something about me was different. I am the youngest of 5. The age difference  between myself and my sibling above me is 10 years, imagine the age of the others. I did not connect with many, and those that I did feel a connection with seemed forced or maybe  tolerated. Throughout  my young life I experienced emotional pain. At the age of 7 I learned to retreat within myself and vowed to have no expectations of any kind out of fear. This is also the age when codependency was formed in my mind though I didn't realize  that until I was in my 30's. Abandonment, flaw.  Rejection, flaw. Trust issues, flaw. Broken relationships, flaw. Fear of being hurt, flaw. Fear of failing, flaw. Fear that someone would figure out that I was flawed, major flaw. Feeling inadequate and undesirable, flaw.

Many of you are hiding just like I did. Hiding out in your own protective cage due to the fear of someone noticing and rejecting you, or ridiculing you for what they might assume is a flaw. You don't attend functions or make commitments due to what you perceive as a flaw, that you won't fit in, and if you are like me, you put on that protective mask hoping it doesn't crack and fall off and yell, SURRRRR-PRISE, I'M FLAWED. Guess what? You are not your flaws, drop the mask.

Millions of men and woman struggle with depression and anxiety, physical, mental, and emotional abuse, drug and alcohol addiction, sexual abuse, abandonment, and some even cause self inflicted pain to try and distract themselves from other pains of the heart and mind.

God's word tells us that "we are fearfully and wonderfully made".

That alone should be enough to encourage you to not settle on the residual of what has happened to you. That should act as a constant remimder that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.  That's the first action step , accepting the truth of God. Second, accept  that you are in a fight for you life and then get busy with getting to a better you, a happier you, the beautiful and authentic you. God orders our steps, our actions, and our prayers. It will take an active and determined approach on your part to break out of the cocoon of emotional bondage and to fly out victorious. Oh I know, you want to hide. You want to stay locked away. You want to do anything to not be noticed. You must not do that because you and your gifts are needed. Your love and kindness are required.

My brothers and sisters,  get up and get connected. Get busy by taking the steps towards your self care. Nothing that happened  to you or will happen to you is your fault. Take the medication, go to counseling. Get healthy physically, mentally and  emotionally.  Find a support group and if you can't find a support group, create one. I am confident that if you share your beautiful flaws you will learn that someone is struggling too, and it could be you and your beautiful flaws who will show them the light of Christ.

My greatest joy and freedom is reading and writing. I have been journaling for many years and I could not imagine not being able to write. I write to get the clutter out of my head and once I do, I feel lighter. Embrace all of who you are dear hearts, count it all joy and remember, you are not your flaws, stop hiding them.

Come on back for part 2.

Be Encouraged

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A New Season In The Stillness



As of October 2016, I have made some major changes in my life. Some would say, girl, I would not do that. Well, get this, you do not know what you will do until the situation presents itself.

I have been living with family. I quit my job of 6 years. Now, I am letting the winds blow through my afro. Yes, I am on a mini retirement or sabbatical.  I don't have an agenda and I am not pressed for time or sleep. Well, I am still an insomniac,  but that's getting better.  Most importantly,  I am being still and really surrendering my heart, mind, body, and soul to the Lord. I struggle with depression and anxiety.  There are times when the sadness sets in and my joy is snatched,  but all Praises to God for His comfort and peace. Though the storm rages, I know the One who calms.

Many say, "I don't hear God".  Guess what? God is speaking, it's that your emotional and physical noise level is to loud for you to hear Him. Psalm 46:10 NLT says, "Be still and know that I am God. I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout  the world". See, even God, our Creator, knew that His creations, you and I would get caught up in the world in which we all live. Be still.

The past few years have been a hot mess and I thank God for 2017. I thank God for newness. I thank God for His fresh anointing. I thank God for His mercy that is new every morning.  In this second month of this brand new year, I am stronger and wiser. I am free from toxic baggage  that I emotionally  dragged around. I have a new pep in my step. I am dancing to a new drum beat. 

My brothers and sisters,  you too can get clear. You must be still in the presence of God. You too can take a few seats and more steps back. Start by speaking God's word back to Him in prayer. Start with Psalm 91. Shut your life down as much as you can and get very still and specific.

YOU are needed and someone is watching YOU.  We are waiting for YOU to show up. 

Blessing to each and every one of you.