Here We Go Again…

When it rains, it…well, drizzles? I was planning on being all melodramatic,  but then realized it’s really not all that serious. At least not yet.

I had to make another trip to my favorite place: the emergency room.  I’m so sick of ER’s. But, as my mother reminded me a while ago,  I need to be thankful I have access to one.  So, I will be.

Anyway,  I have pain radiating from my neck all the way down my shoulder to my hand.  I assumed I slept wrong, and that is part of it, but the x-rays showed a lack of a curve in my neck. According to Dr. Google this can be serious and could explain the frequent headaches and migraines I’ve suffered with for years.  According to the ER doctor, whose job is to keep you alive and send you back to your primary doctor, I need to see an orthopedic specialist.

I’m choosing not to worry about it, and doing what I can to get better in the meantime.  Which means that I need to cut down on my computer time, and since I’ve got to use the computer to make a living, that leaves this blog.

It’s not forever, it’s temporary. I’ll still post occasionally, but Inspiration365 is on hold.  I don’t consider this a failure,  although you guys already know how I feel about failure. I consider it a momentary challenge, that I know I’ll overcome.

Until next time,

Faith❤

 

P.S. Please excuse any typos. The doc gave me drugs and I’m typing this on my phone. 😋

 

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In Memphis? Let’s Meet Up!

Hey, y’all! This is my first time promoting something like this on my site, but I have to keep you guys in the know about what I’m up to. In the very near future I’ll be co-presenting a writing workshop here in Memphis. My partner for this event is fellow author Indianna Tuggle and we’ll be walking aspiring Christian authors through the process of writing and publishing their first book. So if this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out the flyer below.

Hope to see you there!

P.S. In the future, I’m thinking of hosting a free meet and greet type of event. Stay tuned for deets about that!

Go Faith! It’s Yo’ Birthday! Get Busy! Go! Go! Go!

If you’re a true old school millennial, and a product of the 80’s, then you totally get the title reference. Today’s my birthday and I’m glad about it! There’s so much to be grateful for, and so many blessings that I know I don’t deserve. But isn’t that what grace is? God’s unmerited favor, given to us over and over again.

That being said, I’m not a fan of winter. So, I typically choose to celebrate my birthday in March. Because of that, I don’t have any out of the ordinary plans today. I’ll complete a video interview for a contract I’m seeking (blazer on the top, pajama pants on the bottom all the way), take two online tests for another, do some homework and my mother’s hair. Tomorow, I’ll go out to eat with my extended family to celebrate my mama’s birthday (ours is 10 days apart), and that’ll be wonderful. But that’s it, nothing special.

The difference is that I’ll still feel special because XX amount of years ago, I entered the world, sans fingernails with my hair sticking straight up, just like Don King. Do I know how to make an entrance or what? I was a month early, eager to begin the adventure of life here on earth, and I’ve been a wide-eyed dreamer ever since.

I’m grateful to still be a dreamer, even after living through so many nightmares. I love my optimism and faith in the face of opposition. That’s what I’m celebrating today. I’m here, decades later, still believing that hope springs eternal. Still believing that the good always outweighs the bad.

Still believing that this is going to be my best year ever!

Rest Shouldn’t Be a Dirty Word: Why I Take My Naps Seriously Around This Piece!

I don’t know why we have such an aversion to rest in Western culture these days. Maybe it’s all the productivity tips and goal setting books, articles and Instagram posts. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with seeking success. But sometimes I think that our measures of success are way off base. Are you really successful if your bank account is full, but your life is empty? I’d quickly answer that question with a hard no.

For the past 18 months I’ve learned how to rest. You’d think that would be something that I wouldn’t need to learn, since we come into the world knowing how to do it. Somewhere along the way in my path of life I decided that rest was optional. Something to be done when I had the time to spare. Other stuff took priority, and I can’t even say that the activities that drew me away from rest were always productive.

I put myself last in so many ways. I felt overwhelmingly guilty if I took time to “laze around”. That’s how I viewed rest. Either I was being lazy, or I literally kept going until I collapsed. That black and white thinking pattern is typical of people like me (more on that in another post).  Going until I dropped was the only way I could justify the simple act of taking time to rest.

It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disorder of the thyroid (which explained why I was so inexplicably tired for a looooonnnnggg time) that I finally slowed down. Medical professionals have concluded that the type of health challenge I have is brought on by years of stress, both physical and emotional. I realized that in my case, the cause was also the cure.

I gave myself permission to sit down somewhere and chill out. My rest became sweet because it was no longer stifled by unnecessary guilt. My body, mind and soul breathed a sigh of relief because this was what all of me had been craving for years.

Isn’t it funny how God allows situations in our life to bring us to the place where He would have us? I truly believe that my life, the good and the bad, are orchestrated by the One who created me and set a path of His will before me. Even the bitter things are sweet if they bring about growth, knowledge and an expected end.

Making rest a non-negotiable factor has improved my well-being dramatically. The best part is that when I rest the way my body was designed to, I’m able to accomplish a lot more than if I pressed through the signs of fatigue and kept going. Besides that, the process of completing what I set out to do is much more pleasant.

I don’t share my thoughts and life experiences on this site because I’m a narcissist.  I share them because I know that there are some of you who might read this and have it resonate with your spirit. And maybe, it’ll change a mindset and therefore, a life.

Just paying it forward!

How do you balance your to-do list and your well-being?

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Office This Morning #Mindfulness

Something kind of weird happened to me today. I got a pretty late start because I had a late night. Sometimes I have issues sleeping, so that’s not uncommon. I woke up around noon-ish (don’t judge me. I’m an artist and we do that sort of thing), ate breakfast or rather, brunch, and played with Pooh, my little toddler friend for a couple of hours. Then I headed to my office to put in a little time at my customer service gig. When I went to log onto my computer, without thinking, I keyed in the password to my old work computer…a computer I haven’t touched or even had access to in almost a year.

It freaked me out! First of all, it was just plain strange. Second of all, I typically make every effort not to think about my old job or anything related to the company because my experience with them at the end left a bad taste in my mouth. But the unusual occurrence of completely operating on autopilot got me to thinking; What else am I doing out of habit, with no regard to my circumstances in the here and now?

I don’t think I’m alone in having the habit of operating in a reactive space based off past experiences and future concerns. To some extent I think it’s safe to say we all do. But what if that habit is about more than passwords, routes to work or getting a cup of coffee first thing in the morning? What if it’s about how we move in and experience this world? What are we missing if we don’t actually live in the present moment?

I’ve been enamored with the concept of mindfulness for years. To paraphrase, mindfulness is practicing the art of being fully present in each moment. Many of us spend our time fixating on the past, or worrying about the future. So much so that we miss what’s happening in and around us in the here and now. Our focus on the past and the future, whether consciously or unconsciously puts our bodies in a constant state of stress. Many times, the past memories our minds automatically wander to are not good ones, and future dwellings are about what can go wrong. When we focus on the present, we send a message to our bodies that we are safe and everything is OK right now.

Our nervous system and our brain synapses can relax, giving us the peace we crave. Stress hormones decrease, along with our heart rate, while our detoxing and digestion abilities increase. Living in the now gives our bodies permission to let go. Mindfulness doesn’t have to be a big production of meditating and being still, although it can be if you want it to. Mindfulness to me means slowing down. It means letting ourselves live as children do: without regard to time, or agendas, or limitations. It means being. Being in the moment, mind, body and soul.

I hope you give yourself the gift of being in the moment today. You deserve it.

Just breathe…and be…and smile. 🙂

What do you think about mindfulness and meditation?

If you practice, what benefits have you noticed so far?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Confessions of Faith: When Time Stands Still

It’s hard to know what to do with yourself in the wait. Time seems to drag and your shoulders rise from the tension of long held anticipation. Wonder has long faded and you’re left with anxiety and doubt at war for space in your mind. This is the kind of waiting that feels like torture. Time seems to stand still, which leads to thoughts questioning the point of it all. Does it really matter? Will it make a difference if I give up? Who am I to think that what I want so desperately is even mine have?

In case you can’t tell, I’m familiar with this kind of waiting. It’s not the kind God would have for us. I can hear some of you asking if there’s any difference in the way we complete the act of waiting. I think there is. Have you ever waited for someone who’s late? Have you noticed that how you feel about the person you’re waiting for changes your attitude towards the situation? When it’s someone whom you perceive as a powerful benefactor, what you want from them may trump your inconvenience. When it’s someone that you’re doing a favor for by meeting with them, you may be indignant and put out. When it’s someone you have affection for, you may shake your head and wait patiently. The amount of time that you spend waiting is the same, but your perception and attitude changes based on who you’re waiting for.

When we’re in a season of waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises, the best thing we can do is to remember who we’re waiting for. Our trust in God and His timing should make waiting less of a challenge and more of pleasure. Our affection for Him, and our understanding of His towards us, can serve as a comfort in the wait. It’s not all up to us. Once we’ve done our due diligence in preparation, it’s out of our hands, and firmly in His.

Relax in that knowledge. Breathe it in. Allow your shoulders to fall and your jaw to unclench. Choose to serve at His pleasure, and to wait with patience, confidence and peace for His timing.

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31, NIV

 

 

Holding Hope in 2018 #HappyNewYear

Here we are. Day one of 365. I’m sitting here at 3:03 in the A.M., after having braved the cold to ring in the New Year with my family, because you were on my mind. Yes, you. I don’t think you really know how much you mean to me. Every one of you matters. Whether you visit this blog only once, or are a regular guest in my space of creativity.

I’m thinking of you in the wee hours of the morning (not in a creepy way, I promise) because I want you to hold hope in your hands as you arrive in 2018. Open up to the possibility of more than what you see. Reality is only as concrete as our perception.  When we allow ourselves to look to the future with excitement and anticipation, we give ourselves the gift of hope.

I went to church on Christmas Eve last week and the pastor spoke about hope; how we’re left with nothing if we don’t have it. The message echoed the thoughts I’d been having for months as I thought about what I’m left with after losing more than I wanted to. Hope was at the top of my list, and because of it, what wasn’t on the list mattered less than I thought it would. I have hope, therefore what I look to is so much more important than what I see right now.

That’s the gift I want to give to you this brand new year; what we see is not all there is, and what we’ve lost is not all there will ever be. There is always hope. ❤

I’m hoping to maintain joy this year. 

What are you hoping for in 2018?

 

P.S. I’m silly, so here are some pics of my 3 AM shenanigans. She ain’t got no worries, or eyebrows, lol. 🙂