Category Archives: Daily Inspiration

Cut It Out – My Surgery

Dave Coulier played Joe on the immensely popular sitcom Full House. He would say the  quip, “Cut it out,” while simultaneously doing the hand gestures simulating the act of cutting it out.

I am having a benign tumor removed tomorrow. It is something I noticed 8 or 9 years ago. I had started my weight loss journey and weighed myself every morning after I got out of the shower.  I remember looking in the mirror and noticing something on my back. I strained my neck as much as I could until it was clear that I was not imagining things. There was a big lump on my back.   Every doctor who looked at it said that it was just a common lipoma and I should leave it alone unless it starts to bother me.

My weight loss journey has been a roller coaster ride. An unexpected move, career anxiety, and a breakup caused a serious setback for a recovering emotional eater. I decided to really hit the gym hard and weight lift. I got a workout plan and committed. The more I worked my shoulders, that benign tumor became a literal pain. What the doctors called harmless was impeding my progress. Despite my initial fear of surgery, I made the decision to have it removed.

I was listening to a Pastor Jeffrey A. Johnson on Youtube. He told the story of an eagle who was killed by a fish. The eagle had grabbed the large fish and took flight. A storm came and the eagle began to fall. He could not let the fish go as it had become stuck in his talons. That benign fish, that should have been an easy dinner, was his downfall.

An ex, a behavior, an activity may seem benign at first. A lump that you have grown accustomed to having. This metaphorical lump is hindering your progress. Anything that keeps you from flying is a weight that you must let go. If it seems stuck to you, do like Dave and “cut it out”.

 

Choosing Love and Happiness

Holding on to something you have instead of going for what you really want is a recipe for unhappiness.

Let me say it again!

Holding on to something you don’t really want instead of going for what you truly desire is a recipe for unhappiness.

EMPLOYMENT

People stay in jobs they hate due to a number of reasons. One being tradition. They saw their parents work at a company for 20, 30 years and retire. They stay because it pays the bills. Maybe there are kids, a mortgage, sick family members who need health insurance.

I GET IT, BUT . . .

What is your happiness worth?

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22 NIV.

 The migraines, colds, lethargy could be due to your own unhappiness.

How do you get to career that fulfills you? Take a class to improve your skills, join a professional group to network with professionals, start a side-hustle that you LOVE.

RELATIONSHIPS

There are people dating/married to men/women who cheat, mistreat, deceive, etc. They stay out of convenience, fear of being single,  or something other than true love. Deep down, some believe that they do not deserve any better. Your happiness cannot be gotten from someone else, great relationship or not. However, being with the wrong person can lead to stress, angst, mistrust – all of which contribute to unhappiness.

Let it go

LET IT GOOOOO . . . but have a plan.

That’s right. Plan for your happiness. Imagine it. Create a vision board. Look at it everyday. Locate the dream job. Find out it’s requirements. Work to become qualified. Network with professionals in your industry . .  and BAM! You are doing something you love.

Go to the gym. Get a meal plan, Read books. Become that interesting irresistible person the man/woman of your dreams will be attracted to . . . and BAM!

Happily Ever After!

You can have love and happiness but you have to let go of what you really do not want. Have faith and go after what you really want.

You deserve it.

Running for My Life: There Are No Shortcuts

I am about to disclose some embarrassing, slightly TMI, info to you, because I trust you.

I few weeks ago, I started jogging. I joined Black Girls Run Indianapolis, bought my Hoka shoes and officially geared up.  My trail excursions began as walk/run intervals. I have graduated into a very slow, Cecil Tortoise kind of stride. Saturday, I was feeling pretty ambitious. I decided to challenge myself. I jogged about 30 minutes nonstop, rested, and did intervals back for 30 minutes. My fellow trail-mates saluted me with a thumbs up as I passed them, one by one.  The sun was shining. I am sweating buckets. I have maybe 15 minutes left before I traverse my door’s threshold when I started feeling an uncomfortable pain down yonder.

You see, I had a pair of exercise pants that are a tad too small. I figured I could shimmy them on and make it work. I had not done laundry yet and did not want to wait for a full wash/dry cycle, so I took a shortcut.

I had a admirable goal. To become a runner for health and fitness is what I aspire to do. That is indeed formidable, right. The major problem was that my pants were too tight. During the run, the fabric started to rub my inner thighs. I started chaffing with 15 minutes left in the game.

Those were the 15 most agonizing minutes due to the friction of the fabric incessantly rubbing against my skin. The pants also kept slipping causing skin-to-skin friction as well. I had no choice but to endure it. I could have completed a laundry load and wore my good capris. But no! I was suffering because I took a shortcut.

Reminds me of life. Does not matter how good your intentions are – if your methodology is flawed, your results are going to suffer. It is three days later and I am still suffering. I am thankful for the suggestions made by my runner’s group to prevent and treat the chafing. I am slathered in diaper rash ointment as I type this. I know, TMI.

Lesson of the week: take your time and do it right. Shortcuts catch up, eventually.

Your Art Will Not Be Perfect

Art is subjective. It is the truest representation of beauty being in the eye of the beholder. One man’s art is another man’s trash. I can go on and on with the cliches. The use or misuse of cliches can also be seen as art. Art does not have to be perfect to be present. We all strive to put our best foot forward; however, if you wait until every “i” has been dotted, you could be waiting forever.

When I published my first novel, Ruth’s Awakening: A Love Story, I agonized over the roll-out not being perfect. There were mistakes made. Ironically, the mistakes taught me how to become a better writer, editor, and publisher. I have met many contacts in the literary world and garnered incredible opportunities. These opportunities never would have materialized if I had not published my book waiting on perfection.

Any form of waiting to act can easily morph into procrastination. Fear of failure can halt the creative process. Throw caution to the wind (cliche) and write, act, go to school, workout, learn a language – just freaking do it. The failures that come are a blessing if you learn the lesson.

Do not wait to become perfect. Act and then perfect the process. RuthsAwakeningALoveStory.jpg

Inner Thoughts

What if we told the truth?

“I like you but I think you make dumb decisions. Are we still gonna be friends or what?”

“I wish you were someone else but you’re here so do you still wanna be my boyfriend or not?”

We are all liars to some degree.

To tell the truth is risky. To bare one’s soul and risk being judged, being left, being seen.

For who we really are.

Who are we? Beings holding on too tight to relationships that tear us, break us. Bleeding not to be alone.

Truth is, alone is where God wants us – sometimes.

It is the only place where he can speak through burning bushes, on quiet mountainsides. Destiny is foretold in isolation.

Truth be told. I am growing tired of the silence. I cannot stand the noise. Perhaps, I need to climb higher or sit and be still.

Does He know that I am listening, intently?

Am I telling the truth?

A Most Powerful Prayer

There was a season in my life when I felt like a lioness spiritually.  I could check several things of of my how to be righteous checklist. My prayer game was strong. Check. I had completed reading the entire bible. Check. I paid my tithes on time. Check. My life was so full. I had church, singing, school, family, and friends.  No idle time for the devil to make a playground of.

I was truly asking, believing, and receiving. Feeling self-assured, I decided to ask a bold prayer:

  1. God reveal to me those who are not for me.

It was a prayer that I felt I already knew the answer to. At the time, I naively, believed that I had no enemies. To me knowledge, I had not mistreated anyone. So, I expected nothing to happen.  And then something happened. People started to fall away from my life. I am talking about folk who I thought were my day ones, my ride-or-dies. I look back on it and wonder – wow. It was swift and exact like a two-edged sword.

God will answer your prayers so be careful what you ask. Your frame of mind matters. Ask from a pure heart and not spiritual arrogance, as was my case.

I am older now. I have gone through a process of forgiving, even when the the person has not acknowledged or asked for forgiveness. I realize that Christ has forgiven, and keeps forgiving me without adding each offense to my account. Isn’t that a beautiful thing – grace? All of it stems from God’s love for me. It is infinite and complete. One of my goals in life is to love completely.

Image result for dorothy wizard of oz road

Twenty years older and wiser, I have decided to edit that prayer. I now pray:

  1. God reveal to me those who truly love me.

The good people God allows in our life are a gift. I don’t want to overlook anyone in my life who may be feeling unappreciated. Like Dorothy in Oz, we can spend our lives on an a wistless journey to find favor of impotent wizardly friends. People who we feel that if we can garner their favor they can provide access to some secret loyalty or treasure that has been kept from us. Family and friends – these are the true treasures of life. If you have people who truly love you, you are rich.

 

A Strange Thanksgiving Ritual

The candied corn has not even grown stale and Christmas decorations are all over Indy. The lights have been strung from the top of Monument Circle. Christmas music is playing on radio stations.

Attention people! You will put some RESPEK on Thanksgiving.

Image result for respect thanksgiving

And, why not? In our materialistic and selfie-driven world, Thanksgiving allows us to focus on so many people and trappings we take for granted.  It is the time of year in which we are advised to make a list of things for which we are grateful. Some familiar tropes come to mind;  family, employment, home, safety, the usual suspects.

For an unusual ritual, how about being grateful for the issue that causes you the most angst. What is it that you must overcome to be faithful to the thing you love?

I was an avid reader as a child. I would read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I remember a family friend gave me free access to his bookcase. I selected the thickest set of books I could find. It was Victor C. Andrews, Flowers in the Attic series. As an adult, I understand that this not exactly classic literature. Each book was over 400 pages and I saw completely each one as a challenge.  Those tales intrigued and frightened me. Words on a page could elicit such strong emotion.  This love of reading grew into a desire to create stories that would allow my readers to feel – love, longing, courage, gratitude.

I love to write. It is my calling and my passion. My biggest hindrances to writing as a career are time, work/financial obligations, fear and self-doubt. How can I afford health insurance if I am a writer? What if I am unable to sell my books? What if I reveal too much and people judge me? The struggle is real. The love of writing compels me to sacrifice for the thing I love most. My obstacles push me to not give up. I fight for time to create.

The truth is your problem serves a purpose (courtesy of TD Jakes). If I did not have financial obligations, I may not launch a marketing campaign large enough. In essence, I may just play it safe and small. When the odds are against you, you have to play big. Challenges can be the springboard to success. Ask yourself, what can I learn from this hardship? How can I use it to my advantage.

I am grateful for the struggle. I know I cannot take one second or opportunity for granted. I know I must be ready and not ‘getting’ ready when the big break presents itself. It is hard but that is the point. If it were easy, everyone would do it.

What challenge are you grateful for?

 

 

#whyIwrite

I wake up in the morning, pray, and grab my phone. I read a scripture or online devotional and then, I check my notifications. I may be a just a bit addicted to social media. Pray for me.

I am swiping up, in the Twitter app this morning and I see the hashtag #whyIwrite. I suppressed the urge to shoot off a quick 140 characters to hop on the trend. I thought, this will require some introspection.

Writing my debut novel was a lot like giving birth, cliche as it may sound. I felt I had the story that had been building in me for years. I was swollen with characters, plots, and exposition. The stories of the myriad of women and men I have encountered through life provided DNA segments building the unique personality of each character. I had begun the Ruth’s Awakening: A Love Story nearly a decade before. The idea, the dna, all brought together in the love making created a life that built up inside my mind. I just had to bring it forth.

Image result for writing is making love

Everyone always asks, when is part two. The truth is, I have allowed life to distract me from the art of love. Love is action. Love is deliberate. I am learning to write as a discipline. It is my passion. Some days, I am so wiped out, I do not feel the burning in my soul. It is like a marriage that way. I guess. I have never been married. But, I have read that you must choose to love your spouse even when do not feel like it.

My fingers are vessels carrying my thoughts to the keyboard. Words and writing – love in the making. Love making. There I go again.

So, why do I write? I write for love.

Let It Burn

*Cue Usher*

I burned my right index finger Monday night attempting to turn chicken with a short fork. I reached into the oven just a little to deep a YOWZAA! My index finger has a grill mark.

I immediately put a cube of ice on it and the pain subsided but as soon as the thing melted the pain rebounded. I started looking for a quick remedy. I slathered antibiotic ointment on it. That made it worse. I got another cube of ice and the ointment congealed. I was in a bigger mess trying to avoid the pain of my little mistake in judgement. Note to self:  always use a long fork when testing food in the oven. It’s like cooking 101.

Waves

Finally, I just lay in bed. I began to try a mind over matter approach. I thought intensely about another part of my hand. It worked temporarily but I kept reverting to my darn finger. It was not the worse pain I had ever felt but geez did it hurt.  Noting the futility of my efforts to minimize my suffering, I had new thought – just ride it out. I reasoned that the pain could only last a few minutes or maybe even an hour. I knew for certain that it would not last forever.

A funny thing happened. I went to sleep.

The next morning I hardly remembered the burn on my hand. I saw the scar – a reminder not to do something so stupid again – but the pain was gone.

Pain is our body’s response to trauma. The nerves fire off intensely warning you to stop what you are doing. As my skin touched the heated metal coil my hand instantaneously jerked back. My body’s instinct kicked in to protect me.

God has equipped us physically to avoid the damaging things that cause us pain. It will come. Loss, heartache and disappointment are a part of life.  Pain is inevitable. You can lament your fate or evaluate the root cause and learn the lesson. Avoidance only leads to chaos.  Numbing it with substance abuse or other quick fixes leads to worsening of the initial condition. Ride the wave. No matter how high the crest, waves always crash. Pain does not last forever.

Standing in the sun outside of my office. I realized the heat is necessary. I closed my eyes and let the sun sink into my pores. I needed a vitamin D mood boost. The scar on my finger is shiny and brown. I have learned the lesson and the pain is gone.

 

Report from 2015 – Talulazoeapple.com http://www.talulazoeapple.com/apple/2015/06/let-it-burn-let-it-burn-let-it-burn.html