Category Archives: Daily Inspiration

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

A Yes in My Pocket

My mother always says when God is about to bless you, all hell will break loose.

Bruh, she ain’t never lied!

There have been dreams, goals, decisions that you have made based on the belief that it is God’s will. Maybe someone even spoke a word into your life. It seems that as soon as you step out of the boat on faith, the waves start to rock.

Man, that is the story of my life.

“A Yes in My Pocket,” was the title of a sermon I heard several years ago. I still remember it because the message is still so poignant. It goes a little something like this:

There was a ruler named Jairus who asks Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter. Jesus tells him, yes. He agrees to go home with him and heal the girl. Great news, right? Well, on their journey, other people surround him. A woman with an issue of blood touches him. Jesus takes the time to heal her openly after she touches him secretly. During this time, Jairus is still hanging tight when messengers come into the temple to tell Jairus that his daughter is now dead so there is no need to bother Jesus. When Jesus heard them, he says, “Fear not: believe only.” So, Jesus goes into the house and he brings two of his disciples. The people in the house are weeping and carrying on. Jesus tells them not to cry  and that the girl is merely asleep. The people go from crying to laughing.

After kicking the laughing doubters out of the house, Jesus restores the child back to life.

Jairus is one patient guy. His daughter lay dying and everyone else’s problems seems to occupy Jesus’ time. Jairus did not tell the woman with the issue of blood get in line lady. I was here first. Why, because Jesus had already told him, yes.

The task is moving forward with the same confidence and belief when the obstacles arise as when you received your yes. The challenges will show up. Trust me, they are a’coming. If you decide to eat healthy, someone will bring doughnuts to work. If you decide to save for a house, Macy’s will have a door-buster sale.

That is life. Keep moving forward. If you have received your yes, put it in your pocket because it is a sure thing.

 

The First Book Club Featuring – Ruth’s Awakening: A Love Story

Back in the '90s, there was a hip-hop song, "We're All in the Same Gang". It was a collaboration of West Coast rappers that promoted anti-gang violence. The message of the song is that we are all fighting the same battle so why fight each other. The relationship between women can be as precarious as gang-affiliations. If a new sister enters the arena, she is an enemy first until proven otherwise. I may be getting a little too deep but that has been my experience. Moving from city to city, I have been the new girl more often than not. 

1BC

Saturday, I participated in a newly formed book club at my new church. My novel, Ruth's Awakening: A Love Story, was selected as the first book. I was a little nervous about this meeting. As a writer, I consider my novel my baby. I am very protective of it. I had to overcome the self-doubt that others would find the story as good as I thought it to be. Plus, I am the new girl. I was not sure what to expect. 

We met at a local bakery. I handed out an agenda created to facilitate the conversation. In no time, everyone was opening up, laughing and talking. The characters in the novel became a mirror by which  some attendees could see their own experiences reflected. The experience was revelatory. 

I learned a few things during our book club discussion.

Continue reading The First Book Club Featuring – Ruth’s Awakening: A Love Story

Letter to Self Five Years Ago

The retrospective offers the most precise point of view. You know every twist and turn your life has taken – no surprises here.  Often, I have looked upon my past and only recount my mistakes. If I had only done this or not done that – then . . .  *insert perfect ending*. Evaluating your past successes and mistakes can be a painful process.  Embrace it. Through it, you can make well-planned choices for a deliberate future. Life still happens but it is important to know that you have a choice in the matter. 

To myself five years ago,  I write:

 

Dear Felicia,

1. Enjoy the moment you are in. In five years, you will be in a different state – physically and metaphorically. 

2. This extra weight will be a thing of the past. You will not be at your goal weight but you will have lost 35 plus lbs, have a fitness group of over 100 members, and be lifting weights. 

3. Do not dwell on the past mistakes as much. Learn from them and move on. A choice made is just a choice. Do not torture yourself wondering what would have been if you had made a different choice. 

4. The man you have been dreaming about is just that – a man and a dream. He will disappoint your fantasy of him and that is okay. You are more beautiful and desired than you have ever known. 

5. Life is going to throw you some curve balls in every area – health, family and finances. Know that you are well-equipped for this battle and God has your back. 

6. Please, Felicia, be kinder to yourself. You have accomplished so much already. You will be amazed by what you are going to do. 

7.  STOP, just STOP living in fear. You will curse the chance not taken because of playing it safe. Do not fret too much, you will get another opportunity to prove yourself brave. You will pass. 

8. You will learn that it is okay to love and to lose because the joy is in the experience. Loving without any expectation of reciprocity is the purest love of all. 

9.  Once you have completed reading this letter, do not ponder it too much. Life is lived in the now.

10. Go live!

                                                                                                                                                 Sincerely,

                                                                                                                    An Older and Wiser You

 

 

 

Moving Mountains

This has been a trying week. In the middle of preparing to move to a new state, I was scheduled to work a week in Idaho. Specifically, I was working in the Idaho panhandle. After my 5 hour flight (including layover), it was an additional 6 hour drive (with the road construction) from the Spokane International Airport to Clarkston, WA where my hotel was located.

I didn’t want to eat at the airport because I have been trying to make healthier food choices. I get my rental car and start driving only to realize I am in the middle of the mountains and there are not a lot of pit stops. I see a sign for a Subway and take the next exit.

Back on the road again, I run into road construction. The two-lane highway became a one-lane highway. I was stuck for 30 minutes while the opposing lane passed. This happened twice.

 In the last 30 minute leg of the drive, I had to cross a mountain. The kicker, I didn’t realize I was on a mountain until I happened to look over and see NOTHING. No trees, no guardrails – just a thousand feet drop if I veered to close to the edge. I was driving on the outer lane. I nearly panicked. I felt dizzy. I felt pressure in my ears. I had to quickly refocus and concentrate on the car in front of me.

MOVING MOUNTAINS

Continue reading Moving Mountains

Let It Burn, Let It Burn, 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. 

Girl On Fire

The spoken word is a powerful phenomenon. You can think it in your mind, ponder it in your heart but the moment you speak the word, the universe shifts.  

The Bible puts it this way,

"Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark." James 3:5.

Words spark change in the environment.  Fire destroys what cannot hold up to its heat. Fire also rejuvenates. It provides conditions for new terrain and growth. 

I have been having a moment – an extended moment. This typically occurs when I am in the midst change. I wanted to move to a new city. The moment I let the words escape my lips, I was met with such fiery opposition – friends, postponements, rejections. So much so,  I was beginning to doubt my decision.

Fire is hot yo! It changes your surroundings into the unfamiliar. My first instinct is to crawl back into an acceptable space and remain calm. I long for stability again – homeostasis. I am learning that you cannot take back your words just as you cannot undo a spark once the fire has begun. 

Fire

In order for a hope to be real, it must be spoken. Once the words escape your lips, watch out! A fire can smolder gently or it can blaze. In the wilderness of transition it is uncomfortable, lonely and confusing at times. But, what else is there to do? I will allow the flames to incinerate doubt, fear, and worry. I will be open to the chances waiting beyond the ash –  a new beginning and a new world of possibilities. 

 

Goal Accomplished, Now What?

The best thing about a hard fought race is the finish line. It all begins with an idea which leads to developing a plan. Add some hard work and consistency. Eventually you break that tape. 

The worst thing about a hard fought race is the finish line.  Sweat covered brow,  catching one's breath. The endorphin high gradually fades. You are left pondering – now what? 

2014 was a year of completions. I completed my 2nd 5K. Most importantly,  I finished my debut novel, "Ruth's Awakening: A Love Story".  It was such a relief. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. After the buzz of the initial release, I found myself pondering the question – now what? 

Keep it moving. 

I have to market this baby and grow my platform(s). I have to start book number two. I have to meet Oprah!!! That's what. 

Life is a journey with a a series of land markers. You never really cross a "finish" line. The journey don't stop 'til the casket drop. Even then, I will be forever with my Lord. 

Can the church say, Amen!

It took me seven years to finish this novel. There have been many drafts, rewrites, ending changes, and edits. The finished product is a milestone. A little bump on my road to destiny. I want other dreamers to spy the territory I have marked and, hopefully, it will make their journey that much easier. 

Be blessed. 

 

Felicia Malone, Author

 

1BC

 

 

Forgive and Release, You

The year's end is upon us. Cue the onslaught of reflections and resolutions. I resolve to <insert goal here>. Bring on those rhyming catch phrases, "In 2015, I'm getting in those size 10 jeans." lol

It is what it is.

  1BC

For many, the New Year inspires hope for the future. For others, it can  spark an onset of the blues. I was speaking with a friend who confided that he felt a bit down. The New Year's Blues, I suggested.  I explained that when we reflect on how we have spent the year, often we focus on what we did not do quite right – the shoulda, coulda and wouldas. I found myself in a similar quagmire last night. In addition, a sand truck was dumping on all of the things I still had to do. 

I inhaled and exhaled. Through the simple act of breathing, I began the process of letting go. The more I focused on the air entering my lungs and escaping my body, I relaxed. Every mistake made is already past. I can only move forward. Trying to relive the past is as futile as trying to recapture yesterday's air. 

It came to me, like an epiphany. *cue Chrisette Michele*. I can let it all go and just breathe. 

2015 Right now, I resolve to forgive myself for bad choices. I release myself to make good choices. I also acknowledge all of the things I have gotten right – 40 lbs gone,  MBA received and first book published! Yeah me!!!!

This encompasses money, healthy, relationships, career, etc.  

I would encourage anyone reading to embark on a journey of self-improvement. Read books, join clubs, expand your circle of friends. Empower yourself, through knowledge and experience, to make better choices. Like the old folk say, "You know better, you do better!"

If you are looking for resources, check out the links below.

http://thebudgetnista.com/free-stuff

Get Fit With Fe

Ruth's Awakening: A Love Story

5 Things I Have Learned About Mother and Daughter Relationships

Halloween was two days ago. I never really dress for the occasion anymore. If pressed, I just go as a gypsy. A little extra makeup, scarf and a long skirt and I have nailed it. No extra money spent, so forethought.  As an adult, I understand that free candy is just an invitation to bloating and additional crunches.

#aintnobodygottimeforthat

I liked several Facebook photos of little children dressed as their favorite super hero. Apparently, I am old as I did not recognize half of them. I had to google 'yellow and blue costume' to know that my friend's son was The Wolverine. And, who the heck is Elsa? When I was kid, everyone was either Superman or a Ninja Turtle. The 80s rocked, lol.

Back then, I thought my mom was super human. A super woman of sorts who worked two jobs, fed us, and kept a roof over our heads. She did her best to rescue us from mistakes that she knew would take our lives down a hard path. She spoke to God and actually knew what we children were going to do before we could do it. Seemed pretty super human to me.

As I became a young woman, the mother-daughter dynamic became more difficult to manage. I have learned that the complexity of this relationship is standard. The power-dynamic changes as you get older. A mother no longer needs to or can make all of decisions. I had to move out and grow on my own. As a child becomes a woman, a mother's role must adapt as well. A daughter no longer needs to be rescued but respected. 

1. You cannot be best friends because you are not equal. 

Maya Angelou is quoted as saying, "Only equals make friends. Any other relationship is out of order." I and my mother did not go to school together. We never partied together. We did not raise our children together. Our life experiences are different. We can learn from each other but equal we can never be. She will always be ahead of the game. 

2. Acknowledge mistakes but forgive. 

Through life's ups and downs, I began to see the humanity of my own mother. She made mistakes and was sometimes wrong. That is okay. She is still a great mom and did her best with what she knew. We are still finding our balance. It is easier with me allowing my mom to be human and she seeing me as an adult.

3. Establish boundaries.

"Space – the final frontier." The opening sentence of Star Trek : Enterprise tv series. Exploring the boundaries of relationships is a work always in progress – learning what to discuss and to what extent. My mother remarried and some discussions (sex) still creep me out and are a no-fly zone. Maybe you are more mature than I am. I am okay with that. 

4. Communicate

I talk to my mom almost every single day although there are more than 1,000 miles between us. Sometimes the conversation is less than 5 minutes but I make the effort to connect just to see how her day is going. Other times, the conversation is longer and more in depth. The blessing is that she is still around and able to talk to me so I never get to busy for her. 

5. Laugh

Proverbs 17:22 states, "A merry heart does good, like medicine,
But a broken spirit dries the bones." (NKJV).

We make each other laugh. Our relationship is the better for it. It is the one super power we share. 

How is your relationship with your mother? How can you make it better? Please share.