3 Ways to Understand Your Journey

A few weeks ago, I finally did one of things I’ve been wanting to do for over a year now: climb the mountains. Why did I want to do that? I really don’t know because I was out of breath 80% of the time and my body was sore for 3 days after. But going into it, I thought “wow, I’m really going to do this!” I also didn’t know about the journey was going to be that brutal. It was definitely not what I expected and wanted to give up numerous times but the end view was worth the climb. But one thing I noticed about myself throughout the entire journey, I kept trying to rush it and was wishing I was already at the top.

Now envision the mountain as your life. You want so bad to be at the finish line and see yourself there that you forget there’s a journey there that you have to endure. When I first started climbing that mountain, I had NO idea that it was going to be that challenging nor did I know it was going to take 3.5 hours to get to the top. I just knew that my goal was to make it to the top. Many times, I wanted to give up and actually wanted to settle for the view I had when I knew the view at the very top was going to be better. Why? Because I was tired, hot, and regretting that life decision.

Though I had those many thoughts racing through my head, I was able to really see what God was trying to tell me about my life and it was why I need to stop trying to rush things to happen.

  1. Understand that it’s God’s timing, not ours

The whole time going up, I kept asking “how much longer” or “are we close?” but no one had an answer because most of us had never taken that journey before. That’s how it is with life. We want to know how much longer we have until we reach the place that God has designed for us but God isn’t going to tell us “oh you have 2 more years until you become a millionaire” because then we’d become anxious for those 2 years to come. Instead, He just sits back and lets us take the journey in order to develop other skills that we won’t even notice we need until … we need it.

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Look at it this way, when you’re an entrepreneur while still working your normal 9-5, you want to know when your side hustle will become your full time job but sometimes we don’t realize that our 9-5 job is teaching us management skills, communication skills, or even better customer service skills that will be useful for your business when you least expect it. Just remain patient and let everything unfold on His timing.

2. Listen when God says “No, higher”

There were two occurrences that I stopped and actually was content with where I was for the simple fact … that I was tired. When everyone else in the group said “there’s more” I wanted to cry, literally. That’s how we are in life. We fight and climb and get to one point where the results are satisfying and unfortunately get comfortable with that level of success when God has so much more in store for us. We often fight back by saying “no, I’m good here” because we don’t want to have to endure another level of pain or stress in order to achieve what God has in store for us. But that’s the thing, God would never have us go through something if there wasn’t a higher level of purpose. When I got to what I thought was the top and found out it wasn’t, I would have rather turned around and miss the amazing view at the tippy top than deal with another hour of climbing.

When you’re comfortable, don’t rest in it. Challenge yourself to see what more you can handle because truth be told, you can handle a lot more than you might want to believe. You’re equipped for this and don’t ever let anyone around you make you feel like you aren’t. Your past does not compare to what your future is going to look like. My position on this is to always stay uncomfortable, at least then you’ll know you’re on your way to something greater.

3. Understand that nobody is rushing your life but YOU

I’m not ashamed to say that I was in the back of the pack by the time we all got to the top. We all started off as a group and as the trail went on, I saw myself slowing down from majority of the group and actually felt a little weird about it. The others that had went ahead didn’t care that there were some going at a slower pace because they understood that everyone wasn’t used to it. However, I found myself criticizing myself for not being able to move as fast as them and keep up.

img_6634That’s what we do in life. Trying to keep up with everyone so much that we beat ourselves up for not doing so. At the end, we all made it to the top no matter the pace. You’re going to make it to the top. Whether it takes 4 years or 6, if you have a little patience, you’ll make it there and everything you went through will have been worth it. The view at the top was amazing and I’d do it all over again just to see one of God’s creation (in like 6 months though because honey, I’m still a little traumatized).

 When it’s all finished and settled, you’ll truly appreciate the journey. You’ll actually be amazingly proud of yourself that you accomplished something so great and beautiful. All of that hard work and you can now rest knowing that you didn’t take any shortcuts and you trusted God to the finish, even when it sometimes didn’t make sense.

Alexa, play “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus.

 

 

Friends in Adulthood: The 3 Types You Need

“If you look around your circle and you don’t get inspired, you don’t have a circle, you have a cage.”

-Ruben Harris

Having a friend you’d consider a sister is more important as an adult as it was as a child. If you’re fortunate enough, you’ll have that person from your childhood into adulthood. However, as you begin to find yourself, you’ll notice that your desires and needs within a friendship will change and no matter how much you’d hate to admit it, but the friends you surround yourself with will have to change according to your needs. Sorry, not sorry.

The first friend I made as an adult was my freshman year of college roommate Kayla and let me tell you, thats my girl five-ever! We’ve literally cried together, prayed together, gotten angry and made up with food together and she definitely fits my needs of a friendship. We don’t even talk every single day but we both know that if we need each other, just call. That’s how it should be for any friendship.

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We are all grown and have different things going on in our lives so we aren’t required to check in with them everyday like you’re in a relationship. It’s not like how we were when  we could go home from school and talk about the events of that day, every. single. day, which isn’t realistic in present day. The definition of friend transforms into sister at that point. Think about it: any sibling you have, how often do you speak to them? How many times do you call them just to bounce ideas off of them because you know they will gladly listen with no problem? Use those standards when it comes to your friendships.

I truly think the toughest part about growing older is that you realize that all your needs in a friend will most likely not come from a single person. You’ll only end up disappointed when you’ve tried so hard to make that one person in charge of all your needs in a friend.

When going through life, here are the types of friends you need in your life to truly help you flourish and why:

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The Goal Friend

Setting goals for yourself is something that should become apart of your daily/weekly routine, period. In order to grow in the many aspects of your life, you have to push yourself to achieve those goals and when it gets too tough for you, you should have that goal friend you can call to help push you and keep you accountable for your actions. Whether it be business related, personal, or spiritual, that person will test your limits. (Kayla is about to get goal friend added to her title and doesn’t even know it yet.) We are both business women and as we both progress in our businesses, I need her by my side to keep me in line and she knows I’m doing the same for her.

The Dependable Friend

No matter what it is, you can always depend on her for anything! Her loyalty is unmatched and she cares deeply for you. She will travel near and far to be there for you and she’ll always call just to check in and make sure everything is going okay. You never have to question if she’s a real friend because her actions show the genuineness of her personality.  This friend would also be down to go with you to do something totally crazy but she wouldn’t care because she’s just that ride or die and you’re her bestie.

The Honest Friend

This is just what it sounds like, the friend that will keep it completely honest with you about everything, even the things you don’t want the truth about, she’s going to tell you. Whether it be your eyebrows are uneven or you’re in a situation that need to get out of because you’re better than that. She doesn’t come from a place of hate or trying to belittle you, she just wants the best for your life (and eyebrows). She may have a horrible approach to how she says things but you know the love is there..deep down inside. When you need a good talking to, you go to her before anyone because you don’t want anyone to sugar coat it; she takes one sentence to say what someone would take 15 minutes to say.

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When it comes to finding these friends, just let it happen naturally and don’t force it to become a relationship. You want those around you that will voluntarily cheer you on from the sidelines and support you without you having to say anything to them. They simply do it because they want to and are genuinely proud of you. They should be there to lift you up and motivate you when you feel like giving up and they snap back into reality, with no hesitation.

I hope this helps you realize the importance of having the right energy around you and how they can help you elevate to the prosperous woman God designed you to be. Cherish  these women in your life, pray for them daily to keep them safe and show appreciation every once in a while, it goes a long way.

Until next time friends, stay blessed.

Be The Light In A World of Darkness

“We can’t take credit for our talents, it’s how we use them that counts”
– Misses Whatsit, A Wrinkle In Time

Side note: That is my favorite movie and is actually really powerful if you look beneath the surface.

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Photo by Tarzine Jackson on Pexels.com

Most people in the world have hidden talents and don’t even know it or are just afraid to use it. However because of that, it goes to waste. In most cases, if we aren’t using our knowledge of something, we tend to lose the ability of doing it or become less interested it. We were all created for a purpose in this world, so why are we not acting on that purpose?

Short story: going into my junior year of high school, I was told by a few of my cheer mates that I should tryout for a captain/co-captain spot. Automatically, I shut it down. They, however, did not want that nor did my coaches because they also suggested I do it. Scared and nervous, I did it and actually gained a spot as one of the co-captains. I continously thought “Why? Why was I selected for that position?” I was quiet, kept to myself and would never think to be in a place of leadership. It wasn’t until I saw that some of the girls would come to me when they needed help and I took the time to help them out or that they appreciated when I actually practiced with them instead of just telling them what to do that it made sense as to why I was where I was.

Had I stayed in denial about the whole thing, I would’ve been one to complain about how captains aren’t practicing with us, like we did the previous year.
I was the change I wanted to see.

Use your talents to create that change you NEED to see in your community. Use that gift of talking to work with children or whatever age group you want to work with. Use your passion for cooking to cook a couple meals and feed the homeless around your city. There are so many things that could be changed in this world but it all starts with you.

I recently decided that I wanted to be more about what I’m speaking about on my blog and actually get out there with a wonderful mentoring program located here in Charlotte by the name of EmpowHERment. They hosted their annual youth summit and I volunteered as a group leader to a few high school girls. I’ve always said that I wanted to be looked at as a person who will be completely honest with young girl growing up if they ever had any questions and that’s what I did. My role was just a small start to where I want to go with my talents but being able to just talk to those young ladies really made my day.

I want to help as many young ladies as I possibly can because I know and have seen the impact that a little support can do for someones life. Imagine if we all shined our light into someone else’s darkness? Do you know how bright the world would be? All it takes is one light to start up the flame of greatness, don’t be afraid to be that light. Be the leader you longed to have or see around; step up and be great because your greatness gives permission to others to be great ( Hannah Hasan, poet). Allow the thought that YOU could be what the world needs to ignite your flame.

What’s Next?

 I did a thing.

In my previous post, I talked about my spiritual journey thus far. This post begins my spiritual journey moving forward.

I had been searching, long before I decided to fully make a comeback to the church actually, for a place that I would like and feel at home. Countless google searches, Instagram stalking and wondering led me to nothing. I knew what I wanted when it came to finding a church home but struggled so bad when trying to find it, which I thought was weird considering I live in a pretty big city.

The night I had my come to Jesus moment was the night I started my search again and was basically going to refresh my memory of one of the ones I was going to settle on. But this time, another church popped up and to my surprise, was exactly what I was looking for! Non-denomination like I wanted and a younger atmosphere; a place where I know everyone would be on the same path as I.
I stalked their Instagram and fell in love even more through videos and pictures. I couldn’t wait until the next Sunday to finally experience what it was like in person. My intuition was telling me that it was going to be a right fit.

From the moment I walked in, I knew I made the right choice. Everyone was welcoming and inviting and really warm hearted. The praise and worship team did an amazing job with setting the atmosphere and at one point, I felt all the emotions of why I returned to the church rush into me and man, was it an amazing feeling.

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When the Pastor got up to speak, he felt on his heart and began to manifest into everyone’s’ lives over so many things; things I in particular needed to hear. Even as he read through his sermon, I felt it was created just for me. It reminded how much I couldn’t do life by myself and how much I truly need a foundation.

Then it happened.

I rededicated my life and it felt so good. I felt free and happy and now I know I’ll forever have someone in my corner when the going gets tough. That’s the important part that I often forgot. I thought that because I was saved, my life would be rainbows and cotton candy all the time. No, it wouldn’t and I have to keep telling myself that so I won’t ever have to question my spirituality again. It just means that I forever have someone in my corner, forever knowing that everything happens for a reason and to not stress. That I will forever have someone to talk to when I’m feeling down and out.

So that’s where I’m at. Feeling secure about everything in life. And though things won’t go in my favor, I know it’s going to be for the best. Now I ask myself, what now?

Stay tuned.

Let’s Start Here

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The start of my spiritual journey probably starts like how many of yours; growing up in the church and not having a choice of if you wanted to go or not. My father is the deacon and I have many other family members that had various titles in the church so me saying I wasn’t going to church because I didn’t want to would never happen. However, just because I was in the church, that didn’t necessarily mean I was receiving the message. I felt like I just went to say I went and to see my best friend and cousin. We sat in the back of church and passed notes the entire service. Sad, but its true. I didn’t understand anything and felt that it was customary to go on Sundays.

As I got older, our church got a new pastor that wanted to focus on the youth and get us excited for God. She made it her priority to reserve two rows for us to sit at in the front of the church so that we wouldn’t get distracted. She really just took the time out to help us understand the importance of having a relationship with God and that helped me a lot, but I still wasn’t all the way committed or “impressed”.

I moved away and began attending a different style church and found a newfound love for the church. Everyone was welcoming, I made friends that I still speak to til this day, and just really enjoyed the atmosphere. But again, notice I fell in love with the church, not God himself. I still struggled with a lot when it came to my spiritual journey but wasn’t quite ready to fully commit myself for whatever reason (I think it’s because I thought it wasn’t “cool”).

My faith was tested whole heartedly when it was time for me to go off to college my first year; it was expensive and I couldn’t afford it and unfortunately had to leave after one semester. I was heartbroken because that was my dream school and all I spoke about the months leading up to it. However, I started to just give all my problems to God and moved forward to just starting over and going somewhere else for the coming year.

Ran right into another road block.

I thought it was completely over for my hopes of going to college until I just began to pray and God showed out and blessed me in way I would have never thought. But after I got my blessings, I tried to stay on track but slipped away, for a long time. I’m talking 2 years slipped away. I don’t know what it was but I just didn’t feel compelled to work on my spiritual life. Everything was going well in my life and didn’t see the point in going out my way to focus on that.

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But though I felt likeeverything was okay on the outside, I wasn’t on the inside. I was dealing with a lot mentally that I didn’t want to confront or face that it took a toll on me. Friends and close family noticed but didn’t say anything and I still wanted to paint the picture to everyone that I was still the “strong friend”. But the truth is you can only be the strong person for so long before you have a burnout, which is what I had.

I had never confronted my mental enemies until the start of 2018 and I took them on headstrong, but without my faith. I just used logic to try to figure out where my issues came from and understand it and get through it. I started leaning back towards spirituality and purchased a book by Sarah Jakes Roberts and wanted it to help empower me but not on a spiritual level. It was as if I was reading just to read and not to understand it.

It wasn’t until recently that something just sparked in my head that I need my relationship with God back because where I want to go mentally, spiritually and physically, I realized I can’t do it on my own. I needed a foundation and I’ve finally accepted the challenge to follow His path for me to follow. I realized I’m finally ready for it and I’m truly excited for this journey.

I have a new mindset about everything and just ready to see where I go when I rely fully on God. This new segment of The Sister Journal will consist of my ongoing spiritual journey and just explain how no one is perfect in their walk but want to just be a support shoulder for all of my sisters out there.

5 Easy Steps to Turn Your Dreams into Goals

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I know I’m not the only one who stares off into space about a life I could only dream about and then quickly have to bring myself back to reality because there is no way I could ever get there. And if I could get there, how? Want the obvious truth? Work for it, sis. Everything that you dream about having is possible because it exists.
Read that again.

We’re told that God often reveals things to us in our dreams while we’re sleeping but who’s to say that us having that vision isn’t Him showing us where we will end up in life as well? Sometimes it’s okay to listen to that voice inside your head telling you to take that leap of faith and just do it. I’ve come up with a little list of things you can do to jumpstart your plan to turn your dreams into goals.

1. Manifesting
Make it clear to yourself what it is you want and write it down. Put it in a clear spot that you will see everyday! It could be a post it note on your bathroom mirror or in your car, a lock screen, or even a vision board. I created a small one at an event and it sits on my night stand so its the first and last thing I really see in the day and it helps. This will help to create and instill a mindset of “I’m getting everything coming to me”.

2. Your surroundings
What you surround yourself with is what you become. Now I know most of us don’t personally know any millionaires but we all know someone who is trying to get there like you. Befriend them and make them your accountablity partner, meaning ya’ll will check on each other from time to time to ensure you’re both still doing what you can to reach that goals. Make sure everyone in your life is a positive force and want to see you excel. Give yourself a little area in your house where you go to focus on accomplishing all that you set out to do.

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3. Invest in yourself
Unfortunately, we live in a world where to better yourself, you have to push out some coins but that’s okay, if it’s what you truly want, it’s worth it. Get the book about changing your mindset or work ethic or pay the $15 for a webinar hosted by a successor because they will give you tips on how to really get to the top. Spend time really researching the topic, understand the ins and outs and don’t be afraid to ask for help. People are out here who started where you are now and they’re offering their help, take it.

4. Patience is key
A little clichè thing I always tell myself is “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. It keeps me grounded when I feel like things aren’t moving or going fast enough for my liking. I want to be like New Orlean native Supa Cent and make a million dollars in 90 minutes with her beauty collection but in order to get there, I have to be patient and put in the work and wait for my time to shine.

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5. Self Motivation
You’re your biggest supporter and only you understand how bad you want it. You can have all the goals in the world but the second you stop working for them, it becomes a dream again. When you go to work for someone else, you’re making their money. When you get home, you need to begin working on how to make your money. If you don’t, you’re just simply uninspired and unmotivated.

These little tips are just building blocks to your success and can be used in all aspects of your life, not just business wise. If you’re struggling mentally, this can help. Students who are also struggling, let this be an encouragment to you as well. We all want what’s supposed to be ours and I’m going to make sure we all get there, one step at a time.

It’s Graduation Szn

As we begin to start 2019, we have to reflect back on the previous year or even years to say the least and realize that it was all just a stage full of lessons but I think it’s time we make up in our mind that we need to graduate and use what was learned in the “real world”. Now don’t get me wrong, we’re bound to face something every day for the rest of our lives but it’s how we handle it that keeps us going strong. I’ve pieced together a short list to things to remember as we take on this new year and I hope these will help you too!

1. Going through a storm is necessary.
Each storm you go through opens up a necessary part of you that needs growth in some way, shape, or form. Growth is vital to life because we don’t want to stay stagnate with life, we don’t want continue living with the same mindset while trying to start a new chapter in our lives. It won’t work. Accept your storm as a lesson and begin to ponder on the idea of “what is this teaching me?” or “Is this the area of my life that I need growth in?” God does everything for a purpose, just allow it to happen and look forward to the reward that is to come.

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2. Understanding Your Purpose
So often, we might find ourselves trying to discover our purpose on this earth when in reality, we need to let it find us. Think about it: how many times have you or someone you know has changed their major in college? Or have a degree in one thing but has a career in something completely unrelated to their degree? You’d probably question what it is you’re supposed to be doing but my simple answer is to just take time to learn yourself and let it reveal itself on its own as opposed to forcing yourself into something and trying to make it your purpose. We’re all put here for a reason, take time to discover what that reason is.

3. 10 minutes vs. 24 hours
Don’t let a bad 10 minutes constitute to a bad 24 hours. There’s no need to linger on it longer than what is needed. Had a bad customer? Accept that they probably had a bad 10 minutes themselves and don’t take it personal. Someone said something rude to you? Accept that it has already been done and move on. What does holding on to those words going to do you for your mind? Absolutely nothing. Accept and move forward… accept and move forward.

4. Let Them Go
Listen sis (and bro), if you have to force it, that ain’t for you. If your gut is telling you something about a person but your mind is trying to find the good in the situation, follow your gut and let them go. That’s God telling you that their season is up and something better is coming. This could be friends or relationships. Everything in your life should occur naturally and if you feel it isn’t there anymore, buh-bye. My pastor said once that you’ll be more tired when you get to the top if you’re still dragging those were meant to be dropped off awhile ago than if you just release them now. Take that advice and use it.

5. Pray and Mind Your Business
Remember when your parents used to tell you mind your business while trying to be all in “grown folks business”? It’s more important now than ever, I promise! You know what happens when you do that? Your mental wellness can begin flourish because you’re not worried about what everyone else is doing and trying to compare what they have going for them to what you have going for yourself. Instead, begin to pray more and talk to God. You know what happened when I began to pray and mind my business? My edges grew back stronger. I’m not joking, I have edges again because I minded my business. Trying to mind other peoples business can cause a small amount of stress and hinder your growth. It’s not worth it.

Well you’ve made it! Congratulations Class of 2018, it’s time to enter the real world and apply everything life has taught you in the past years and begin to flourish into the King and Queen you know you are destined to be. I pray that 2019 brings you an abundance of joy and happiness and you begin to build on the foundation that you have set over time. I pray you come to terms with patience and when the waiting is over, it’s everything you prayed for and more.
Cheers to 2019.