To Write Love On Her Arms

Today’s post is in support of To Write Love On Her Arms ‘ mission to help people who are struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.  TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.  They believe that every person was created to love and be loved, to know and to be known and that every person’s story is a part of a bigger story.

My personal story includes multiple bouts of depression and a sometimes constant battle with food addiction.  I’m also a pretty private person, so for me to write this down and share it, in this space, is a huge victory.  See, my goal in 2012 is deliverance.  I desire to be delivered from any and everything that attempts to hold me back and keep me from fulfilling the destiny that God created me for.  I know that He has a purpose for my life and I am committed to healing so that I can facilitate healing in others.

For years I suffered in silence.  I didn’t know what to do, who to seek for help and in many instances I felt like whatever I was going through wasn’t that big of a deal.  I mean, I knew plenty of other people who had things far worse than I did and they seemed to be doing just fine.  As I got older I realized that there was nothing wrong with finding a licensed professional with a good couch and visiting them on a regular basis.  Over the years I’ve been on a therapist’s couch three different times, for three different reasons.  Each time I learned something new about myself and about the mind in general.  The last time I had weekly dates with the couch was a couple of years ago.  He was my first male therapist and his perspective was helpful at times and shocking at times.  At the end of our relationship I walked out of his office with a few shiny new “toys” in my bag-o-tricks and I was ready to conquer the world…or so I thought.  Fast forward three years and here I am writing this.

One thing I know is that mental health issues are not talked about nearly as much as they should be.  There should be no shame in seeking help when it is needed.  Whatever your situation is there is help available; there are even services you can access using a fake name if that will make you more comfortable.

I was blessed that I didn’t require medications and that I could afford the services, but that’s not the case for thousands of others across this nation.  TWLOHA is a national resource that aims to help people understand that they can be free from addiction and depression and that God is still in the business of redemption.  As Oprah said during her final show, “you are worthy because you were born and because you are here; your being here makes worthiness your birthright.  You alone are enough.”  If you or someone you know is suffering with addiction or depression there are resources available and rescue is possible

I wish you much success as you Live, Lead and Love BRILLIANTLY on Purpose with Power, Passion & Prosperity!

Second Quarter: You Can Begin Again, AGAIN!

Ring the alarm!  That’s right, today is April 1st and this means that it is the first day of the second quarter of 2012.  You have another 90 days to make a difference in your life, your business and your community.  The first quarter is in the history books and whatever happened, happened.  If you had successes, great, I hope you celebrated and documented.  If you didn’t that’s great too.  It’s great because you get a do over.  You have the next 90 days of your life to create a strategy for success.

I have three tips to help you start out on the right track.

  • Set 90-day goals.   Why?  Because 12 weeks is a small enough period that you can touch.  There is no time to put anything off; 90 days will be here before you know it.  Setting 90-day goals gives you a tangible deadline that is close enough to activate all five of your senses.
  • Get an accountability partner.  Why?  Because you want to surround yourself with like minded people who are moving steadily toward their goals.  Set up a weekly meeting so that you can check in with and encourage each other.  This is not a typical coffee date, this is a planning session.  Come prepared with an update from your last meeting, share any challenges you’ve experienced and then create a task list for the next week.  This will keep you motivated, encouraged and most of all you will be a blessing to someone else along the way.
  • Invest in personal development.  Why?  If you are not willing to invest in yourself, why should anyone else?  When you are focused on growing both personally and professionally you will prosper.  When you know better, you do better and when you do better you grow.  When you develop yourself you also develop others around you so you have a responsibility to your clients, customers, friends, family and community to do better and be better.

I wish you much success as you Live, lead and love brilliantly on Purpose with Power, Passion & Prosperity!

Quote

“An opportunity of a lif…

“An opportunity of a lifetime must be seized in the lifetime of the opportunity.”

This is one of my favorite quotes.  I often think of this when I feel stuck in moving forward in some area of my life. What about you, what does opportunity mean to you?  What does it look like?  When an opportunity presents itself, what is your typical initial response?  Do you find that you sometimes have to talk yourself into moving forward?

Thanks for reading today.

Live, Lead  & Love Brilliantly!!!

You’re Fired!!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve posted and the truth is that I have no excuse other than the fact that I sometimes will draft a blog and then let fear of a misspelled word or two, or improper verb tense or some other random feelings of doubt or anxiety prohibit me from posting.  Fear has been a headliner in my life for a long time.  We often debate who will get top billing on the marquis, and even when I land the starring role, fear inevitably finds a way to get listed on the marquis anyway.

One exercise I like to do with my clients is called, “What’s The Truth.”  The client will tell me everything they are feeling or are concerned about and then I ask them, “what’s the truth?”  This allows them to acknowledge their feelings, concerns, fears, etc., and gives them the space to experience their feelings alongside the truth.

My truth is that I am really good at what I do.  I don’t have to be perfect, I don’t have to be righteous, I just have to be.  I work hard with my clients and I am invested in their discoveries and breakthroughs.  My insecurities don’t prohibit me from being great at what I do.  When I am in a strategy session with a client I am in a zone.  Fear is checked at the door and I go all out for them.  I know that the session is not about me so I learned to put fear on pause.  Soon after the session is over I can sometimes hear fear stirring awake.  The cycle of negative mind chatter begins again and then before I know it I’m entrenched in yet another wrestling match.  People say all of the time that ‘fear’ is nothing more than false evidence appearing real and I know this, heck I’ve even said it to others.  But, in the end I still let it stop me.

I once read an article about my friend, Crystal Washington, and in the article she said, “I eat fear for breakfast!”  When I read that I was like, good for you, “I wish I could.”  Today, I realized I can.  The buck stops here.  So, in the words of the old, rich man with the suspicious comb over,

Fear, You’re Fired,” effective immediately!!!

P.S.  Another truth is that it took me a couple of hours to post this message.  Why?  Because even though I fired fear, it has been a part of my life so long that there is residue all around.  The lesson for me is to be vigilant and on guard so that whenever I feel its lingering presence I can immediately counter with 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given me the spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind.”

Stay tuned there’s more to come on this journey.

~Chiquandra

 

Sisterhood

Throughout my life I’ve been blessed to have powerful and long-lasting relationships with great women. These ladies have supported me, loved me, vacationed with me, prayed with and for me, laughed with and at me, and demonstrated real sisterhood in a myriad of ways. Today I recognize how fortunate I am to have these connections, but this hasn’t always been the case.

For a long time, I did not want to connect with women. I viewed most women as weak and never understood why a woman would willingly decrease her light in order to make a man feel brighter. I also viewed women as competitors. My first job after college was in an office filled to capacity with estrogen. It was from these women that I witnessed firsthand the manipulative, undermining, fake, and selfish capacity of women. These experiences made me believe that women were evil, conniving, and never to be trusted. Women will say one thing to your face and before you can turn around and walk the other direction they are saying something else behind your back. Some of my experiences were laughable; for example, I was actually told that I should make it a point to visit with my female co-workers and get to know them personally so that the office environment would remain friendly and productive. This was too much. I didn’t want to be friends with my co-workers; I just wanted to do my job. This was drastically different than the experiences I had with male supervisors. They were direct, stated their expectations and desired outcomes and left me alone to do my job.

In hindsight, I realize that women are emotional creatures and that no connections can be made if emotional connections aren’t present. We are all connected spiritually, emotionally, mentally and in many cases physically. We all have issues, challenges, drama and trials. We all have lived, loved, hurt and been hurt. We’ve all been victims or victors and in the end we are all still standing either on our own or with the strength of our sisters.

Several months ago, I shared with a client some of my insecurities and she looked at me as if I had just revealed my alien identity. I didn’t realize how many of us look at our sisters and assume that they’ve got it all together. This got me to thinking. What would happen if we all walked around with our insecurities written on our foreheads? How would we interact with each other if we knew how our sisters were really feeling?

Today I encourage you to take some time to see your sister—I mean really see her. Feel her experiences and be a safe harbor for her. Every woman has a story and in her story you just may see yourself. I also challenge you to recognize the women who have held you close and nurtured you. Pick up the phone, send a handwritten note and tell them how much they mean to you.  Then honor them by looking for an opportunity to support another sister, to pay forward in appreciation of what you have received.

Your sister,

“Live Brilliantly on Purpose with Power, Passion & Prosperity!”

The 2012 Resolution Revolution

Each New Year many of us make resolutions of all kinds.  We resolve to lose weight, stop smoking, stop drinking (so much), save more money, be a better wife, husband, father, teacher, employee, etc.  We also resolve to be more thankful for what we have, worry less, or live our lives to the fullest.  We often have the greatest intentions to reach our goals, but we are not always fully committed to get there. The reason is because we really don’t want to change. We know we should make some changes in our lives, and we probably want to just a little bit. But if we told the truth, we would much rather jump from December 31st to January 31st and revert back to our old habits of over eating, not exercising, and smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.  If we were completely honest with ourselves, we’d admit that we don’t really want to change; we just want the appearance of change. Think about the most recent life change you experienced. Was it a resolution? Or was it a revolution?

Let’s examine both words: Each begins with “R” and they are both 10 letters long.  That is all that they have in common, the only difference is the “s” and the “v”.  A resolution is a resolve or determination to do or be something. We can resolve all day long with the purest intentions, but at the end of the day if there is no action behind that resolve, it will never happen.

A revolution is a sudden, complete or marked change in something. When there is a revolution, the desired action will suddenly grow legs and will begin to take shape.

In mid to late 2009 and early in 2010, I was determined to leave my job.  I had been there since 2007 and I was incredibly unhappy. There were times when I would have to talk myself into getting out of the car and walking into my office.  I was so overwhelmed and unhappy that I knew I was no longer able to have a positive impact on the lives of my students.  On Sunday February 7, 2010, I was committed to resign and work my coaching and consulting business full-time.  I went to work the next day and began the process of closing out my projects, taking the few personal items that remained in my office, home, and organizing files for the transition.  I knew in my heart that I would be resigning soon and I needed to be prepared just in case they wanted me to leave immediately.  That following weekend, I drafted my resignation letter and on Monday, February 15, 2010, I submitted it.  I took one copy to human resources, and I gave a copy to my immediate supervisor and the executive director. As I walked back to my office I felt absolutely fabulous!  I was ready for a personal revolution and it began when I submitted my resignation. What we must understand is that resolution is a one time commitment that may or may not happen.  But a revolution is a transformation, and transformation is an active process.

If you want to live your best life every day and never make a resolution again, then join me for a complimentary 12-week program that will revolutionize your life. This is going to be EPIC! Resolve to REVOLUTIONIZE your life in 2012!

~Chiquandra

“Live on Purpose with Power, Passion & Prosperity!”