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34 years…34 life-changing moments

34 life-changing moments

Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him.”
Aldous Huxley

There’s something about getting older that brings about reflection. Today I celebrate my 34th birthday and I decided to reflect on 34 life-changing moments that played a major role in my development and who I am. I firmly believe every experience whether good or bad molds us into our best selves. Everyday I’m learning to appreciate every moment.

1. The moment I was born.
2. The moments I didn’t have a care in the world.
3. The moment I was introduced to God.
4. The moment I knew I could have it all.
5. The moments I walked across those stages.
6. The moments I doubted my existence.
7. The moments I wanted to give up.
8. The moments I gave up, made me better.
9. The moments I thought I knew it all.
10. The moment I wanted to end it all.
11. The moment when I realized that God’s plans for me were bigger than I could ever imagine.
12. The moment when I decided to just be myself
13. The moment when I realized that no one could stop me but me.
14. The moment when what used to matter to me really didn’t matter anymore
15. The moment I stopped comparing myself to others because who they are isn’t what it’s cracked up to be anyway.
16. The moment I was heart broken.
17. The moment I embraced my individuality.
18. The moment I let go of my past hurts because it’s not worth holding on to.
19. The many moments I made mistakes.
20. The moment I embraced the process.
21. The moment I started praying extravagant prayers.
22. The moment God heard me.
23. The moment I got fired.
24. The moment I knew my worth.
25. The moment I felt good enough.
26. The moment I realized happiness was tied to people, but joy was found within myself.
27. The moment I experienced real love and said yes.
28. The moment I knew motherhood was one of the toughest yet rewarding jobs I will ever have.
29. The moment I started this blog.
30. The moment I walked in faith.
31. The moment I felt fulfilled.
32. The moment I discovered my purpose.
33. The moment I jumped.
34. The moment I started living my dreams.

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Don’t limit your exposure.

exposure

What is a Spark?

 A spark is your passion, something that excites or ignites you. A person’s spark can be a quality, career, or talent. Some people have the ability to find their spark early in life. For example, many singers when asked knew they wanted to be professional singers very early in life, and worked hard to perfect their craft for many years.

 My Spark

 Every Halloween for three years I wanted to be a doctor, when I was in high school I wanted to open a daycare center, as a freshman in college I started out as a Marketing major, and I ended my undergraduate career with a degree in Textiles, Apparel, and Merchandising.

 One day I sat in a development meeting at work listening to a couple of guys discuss the type of work they did and suddenly I felt my spark. I was suddenly ignited with passion to pursue something I hadn’t thought about in years. I went around and around to end up right back to my original passion, which was marketing! I went back to school and received my MBA with a Marketing concentration…. Whew! If it wasn’t for exposure I might have missed it all together or delayed my passion even longer.

 For many of us such as myself our spark has to come through exposure. 

 “It is only when the mind and imagination are enriched from exposure to the world of beauty, that artistic creativity and inspiration truly becomes manifest.”

― Mark Woollacott

 Your Spark 

 To find your spark you have to expose the wire.

What’s your wire?

What would cause your life to spark if you exposed it?

Is there something inside of you in which you have forgotten about that could change your life?

 I realized that most people are underexposed. We tend to get into our circles and we stay right they’re nervous to branch out into the unknown.

I want to challenge you this week.

 The Challenge

 1. Follow 5 new people on Twitter that have interests similar to yours outside of your comfort zone or like 5 new pages on Facebook.

 2. Find one new musical artist outside of your normal genre to listen to.

 3. Read, Read, Read articles, blogs, newspapers, magazines etc.

 4. Sign up to attend a local conference or networking event.

 This is also a perfect time to assist our children in finding their sparks. Expose your child to multiple experiences and opportunities to widen their view.

How will you enhance your exposure and find your spark? If you’ve already found your spark, how did you do it? Leave me a comment below, I want to hear from you.

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Losing yourself to find yourself

Can you believe there are 83 days left in this year? This year is flying by! The kids have returned back to school, the weather is changing, and I have an entire list of things to complete before this year is out. This week Taylor lost her 1st tooth, exciting right?! I never knew how emotional I would be over a little tooth! When she was around 3 years old and her older cousins were losing their teeth, I remember her crying because she hadn’t lost her teeth yet. Well the other day when her tooth finally fell out, instead of her being as excited as she was 2 years ago, she was kind of disappointed because she missed her baby tooth. We began to explain to her that in order for her to have a newer, bigger tooth, her old tooth had to come out first. Isn’t life sort of the same way? We have to clear out a lot of old things, ways, and mind sets to make way for something bigger and better.

Check out the definition of Find:
verb (used with object)
1. to come upon by chance; meet with
2. to locate, attain, or obtain by search or effort
3. to locate or recover (something lost or misplaced)

A lot of people are constantly trying to find themselves, their purposes, and as we wrap up the year, I wanted to share my thoughts with you on the subject.Have you ever considered that If you want to find yourself, you might have to lose something first.

1. The first step to finding yourself is to first consult God. Pray, fast, read your bible, and start a relationship. How can you know where you are going if you don’t know who God created you to be and the plan to he has for your life (Jeremiah 29:11). Die to self daily and seek direction, the worst thing you can do is to seek to find yourself without God only to find yourself somewhere you were never meant to be in the first place.
2. Know who you are. On the road to finding yourself, it is sooo important not to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and being influenced by your surroundings, because you will end up chasing dreams you were never meant to chase and wasting time finding someone else other than yourself. Look into your past, things you are interested in, and your personality, all of these play an important role in your future.

3. Find out what missing or what needs to be lost. As stated in the definition in order to find something you have to first acknowledge that it’s missing or in the case of life,something needs to be lost or removed in order to find yourself. Reading or studying could be missing, a lack of focus could be missing, making time could be missing and the list goes on. You may need to lose certain relationships, friendships, or habits that are holding you back.

4. Make room for your new self. As we told Taylor, when your new bigger tooth grows in, you have to be sure to take care of it and not to eat candy because it has to last you a forever. Same way with your new self, now that you have this new outlook or new purpose, be sure to take care of it, do what’s necessary to maintain and not to fall back into old habits or routines.

Who has your kids attention?

Happy Monday! I hope you have a great and productive week!

“We do learn and develop when we are exposed to those who are greater than we are. Perhaps this is the chief way we mature.”
Madeleine L’Engle

Many times growing up I heard sayings like, “you are what you eat” and “birds of a feather flock together”. It wasn’t until I became an adult I realized that who you are surrounded by truly has an effect on your determination, drive, and focus. We grow and are inspired by who we associate ourselves with, places we go, what we read or watch on television, and what music we listen to. It’s amazing how those things have the power over how far we strive and even our mood. Have you ever been in a sad or solemn mood and listened to a really sad song, and started feeling worse?

So I ask, who has our kid’s attention? What are they watching? What music are they listening to? Who are they hanging out with? Who is giving them advice?

A report says that teenagers listen to on average 2.5 hours or more of music every day. This means that on a daily basis at a minimum of 2.5 hours a day, kids are listening to sexual references, drug references, and references of negative behavior every single day. This does not include the time spent watching music videos of the same type, movies, facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest, myspace, and interacting with FRIENDS. Out of all of this time, how many hours as a parent or mentor are we spending pouring into their daily lives, with all that we have going on.

Let’s be sure as adults that we monitor what our kids are watching and listening to. It is so important even before the critical teenage years, that we are exposing our kids to positive images and positive people that will inspire them to want more and to be more. With all the images in the world, let make sure that the primary influence for kids are positive images of successful adults living their lives purposefully and successfully. Let’s not let Lil Wayne and Drake raise our kids and form their thinking and actions. Let’s show them the right way!

Get out of my way!

Get out of my way!!!! Sorry…..I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to myself.

“A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.”
Denis Waitley

As I get older, I really begin to realize that the only person that can stop me from being successful or completing things that I am working on is……ME. How many great ideas has God given me? How many opportunities have I passed up, because I didn’t speak up? How many opportunities have I missed out on. The answer is A LOT! Fear is a crazy thing, we will pray about stuff and ask God to move and when he gives us the green light, fear steps in and stops us. As the quote states, your decisions cause your rewards and consequences, and I want to stop talking about chasing my dreams and ideas, and actually move to the place of action and eventually completion.

I have to stand up and make the choice to stop playing defense with myself, and allow myself to get to the hoop and score. I have the tools I need, I have the help, the only thing is missing is for me to get out of my own way and sit down and watch God work. I think for many people it is a fear of being successful, all the “what if” questions that we plague ourselves with. For others, it could be complacency, we stop reaching for more and become comfortable right where we are.

Here are a few tips for getting out of your own way:

1. Pray about it. Give everything that you fear to God. Pray that he leads you in the right direction and don’t be afraid to move when he gives it to you.

2. Stop thinking about the “what if’s”. Thinking about them never got anyone that has a successful track record anywhere.

3. Find an accountability partner. Link up with someone that you don’t mind sharing your goals and struggles with and have them hold you accountable.

4. As Nike says, “Just do it”

What is it that is in your way? Whatever it is choose today, to get out of the way.

Major League Moms #2

Last week, in our Black History Month series Major League Moms we looked into the life of Marian Wright Edelman the Founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund and the first black women admitted into the Mississippi State Bar. This week our Major League Mom is Cathy Hughes the founder and owner of Radio One, the largest black-owned radio chain in the nation, which has over 70 radio stations and owner of the TV One television network.

Cathy Hughes began working in radio in 1969 for KOWH which lead to a job offer from Howard University where she was a Lecturer and Assistant to the Dean of Communications; eventually she became the manager of Howard University’s Radio Station. In 1979, Cathy and her husband attempted to start their own radio station but was declined by 32 banks, finally a loan was granted and they purchased a small radio station in D.C. (don’t tell me that’s not determination!). She was determined to have a talk-show formatted radio show on her station, but the bank wanted her to host an R&B music station. After much determination, she compromised with the bank to allow her to have a talk-show during the morning hours and played music during the day. After the start of the station, she and her husband divorced leaving her as a single mother to her son. Following some financial hardships with the station and buying her husband’s shares of the station, Cathy was forced to sell her home and to live in the station with her son. As a result of her hard work and determination she experienced success through her talk show platform and is the mogul that we see today as the first women-owned station to rank # 1 in any market and her success through her TV One television network along with her son Alfred.

We can all learn from Ms. Hughes’ tenacity and her willingness to fight to see her dreams manifested. She is truly a “Major League Mom”

Her favorite quote is: “It is not enough for you to do your very best. You must do what is required of the situation.”

Don’t get distracted!

At the end December and the beginning of January everyone is buzzing about their plans to be better in 2012 and around the 3rd week of January many people start to lose momentum and get distracted from the goals they set in the beginning of the year. How do I know? Because I am guilty of it! The pressure is on to do all of these things that I wrote down that I would accomplish this year and guess what! It’s not easy! So here is our wake up call!

Don’t get distracted from the goals you set in the beginning of this month, don’t let your dreams and your list fizzle out by February,  wake them up and let’s get to work.I have realized that in order to be successful this year, you have to make up in your mind that you are going to be successful on purpose and intentionally set out to finish. It is easy to start, but it is hard to finish something. So this week sit down and look at your list again or if you don’t keep a list, start one and think about all that you want to accomplish this year and break those goals down into smaller more attainable goals that are more realistic. This way you won’t feel overwhelmed and end up quitting them before you even get started.

Don’t be distracted by anything or anyone, get focused on the ultimate goal and start checking those items off of your list. Being successful is a choice, it just doesn’t happen on accident or by chance. You have already made up in your mind that you want it, now let’s go get it!!!!!!!

What are some of your goals for 2012? Thoughts? Leave me a comment

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Does having kids kill your chance for a successful career?

Ever since Beyoncé announced her pregnancy in August at the VMA award’s the streets have been buzzing about whether having a baby would ruin her career. (on a side note) Congrats to Bey and Jay on their new baby girl Blue Ivy Carter born yesterday. This comment not only came from men but mainly women expressing disinterest in having kids or others having kids because their career would suffer. Being a working mother of two, I have to admit that it’s not easy working, going to school, and having kids….but it’s life for me. In my mind I can be only as successful as I allow myself to be. My question is why do many people have this misconception about having kids and careers? It’s not as if we haven’t seen healthy images of working women throughout our lifetime. Did you know that in 2010 61% of moms or moms-to-be were in the workforce and women owned 29% of all businesses in the U.S.? I just believe that women should be able to work, stay at home, run five businesses, run marathons, sing, help with homework, run for political office, preach, change diapers, write books, blog, model, rap, back flips, swim, teach, or whatever else they choose to do and be great mothers.

In the words of Sister Beyoncé…..

Who run the world? Girls

This goes out to all the women getting it in,
Get on your grind
To the other men that respect what I do
Please accept my shine

Boy you know you love it
How we’re smart enough to make these millions
Strong enough to bear the children
Then get back to business

What do you think? Does having kids kill your chance for a successful career?

To laugh often and much; …

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

(People say were living on the dash, what will you do with yours? Who are you inspiring, helping, leading, mentoring, saving, leading to Christ, calling, sacrificing for, helping up, guiding, making smile, affecting, motivating, sparking, touching, loving, parenting, impressing, infusing, provoking, swaying, influencing, rising, informing, stirring up, evolving, teaching, You get my drift!) -LaChaya Terry (inspired to inspire)

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