What Does Your Heart Feel Like?

Recently, I was watching an episode of Oprah Winfreys’ Super Soul Sunday when she  was speaking with Tibetan Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron. The topic was how to end suffering.   Nun Chodron introduced the question, “What does your heart feel like?” and it I thought this was a very powerful question.

And I began to think about how important it is to take the time to assess what’s going on with our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual selves.

Life can be unpredictable and it is consistently changing!

In order to withstand the weight of change, especially one that is self-initiated, it is important to know what you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually prepared to undertake, to know that you’re strong enough to start, see it through and finish spectacularly!

This is where I say I am not a healthcare professional, mental or otherwise.  This is just my practical, common sense approach to honestly assessing our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and creating a plan to be better!

Here are a few questions to begin to answer the question… what does your heart feel like?

Physical-

  • How are you feeling? Any aches or pains?
  • When was your last doctor’s appointment?  Is it time for a visit?
  • Are you updated on all of your medical tests for your age and medical history?
  • How do you feel about your doctor? How he/she make you feel before, during , after a visit?
  • Do you eat well?
  • Are you exercising?
  • Are you getting enough sleep? Check out my mega post The Art of Going to Bed, it’ll help you with this one.

Based on your answers, you’re either good to go or you have some appointments to make and work to do!

Here’s how to get started!

  • Start with whatever is easiest and go from there.
  • Be specific about your goals; dont use broad general statements about what you’re going to do
  • Create a plan measured in baby steps (if necessary)
  • Use credible sources
  • Be Consistent
  • Ask for Help
  • Seek out Accountability
  • Follow through!

Mental/ Emotional-

  • Emotionally, how are you feeling most of the time; happy, sad, anxious, depressed, stressed, optimistic, energetic, exhausted, overly emotional etc?
  • Have you ever wondered that maybe you should talk to someone, psychiatrist, psychologist, counselor etc.?
  • Are your friends or family constantly telling you…”You need to see somebody about THAT?!”
  • Have you ever had a traumatic experience? If so, what was it and have you ever talked about how it affected you with anyone?

Now, look at your responses and decide if you think it would be beneficial to talk to a mental health professional or even  the clergy. Even if everything appears to be cool, it never hurts to talk to someone especially if you think it will make you feel better.

Spiritual-

There is a power source greater than ourselves, whether we call it Spirit, God, Jehovah, the Absolute etc. Learning how to connect and stay connected to that source can provide strength, courage, inspiration and motivation when we need it most.

Here are some of ways I stay connected to Spirit.

1.     Create a morning prayer and gratitude ritual.

  • Every morning before I get out of bed, I verbally thank God for the day and ask that He guides me throughout the day.

2.     Develop simple prayerful practices and habits that you can incorporate sporadically throughout the day.

  • Throughout the day, I say things like,
    • “Lord Be With Me”
    • “Thank you Father”
    • “God is good”
    •  “I’ll see what the Lord says!”
    • “Father, give me the words”
    • When my kids leave the house for school, I say God is good and they in turn say…all the time!

3.     Carry motivational/inspirational material in your purse, pocket, car or phone to refer in times of an emergency of any sort.

  • I carry a little green Bible that I got in college. I’ve been carrying that same Bible with me for almost 30 years now and I really think it saved my sanity when I became pregnant with my son. I’ll share that story at some point soon.

4.     Find a Church or Spirit Family and participate often.

  • If you don’t have a church or Spirit family, look around and see what’s close.  Where do your friends or family go to worship?
  • I attended a local church where my daughters initially attended daycare. They were very, very good to my children and that encouraged me to attend one of their church services. I have made lifelong friendships there. I now practice prayer services at my home.

5.     End the day in prayer/mediation and gratitude

  • Each night I get on my knees and begin my prayers in gratitude for the day and all the goodness that was granted to me and those I love.
  • I ask for continued strength and guidance, grace and mercy
  • I pray for those who truly suffer, that they too, be guided and strengthened and drawn closer to the Spirit of God that abides within them
  • As a form of extended prayer and meditation I often silently chant a pray mantra until I’m calm and relaxed and ready bring my day to a peaceful end.

So that’s it.

Take this time for yourself. Figure out what your heart feels like! Please feel free to share this post with someone who needs it.

21 Questions to Ask Yourself When Nothing Seems to Be Going Your Way

1. Am I grateful?

Gratitude is a great balancing force. It allows us to be kind to ourselves and have a greater perspective of where we REALLY stand.  Find something to be grateful for and remind yourself of it everyday!

2. Are my expectations/goals realistic?
Sometimes we can set goals higher than we can climb at one time. Let yourself off the hook and break down your goals/expectations into smaller more do-able pieces.

3. What actions am I repeating over and over again that never seem to work out?
We can have a habit of repeating certain actions or practices, not because they’re working but because we’re comfortable with them and/or we’re too lazy or fearful to come up with a new way of doing things. Think about it; make a list…find the courage to make a different turn and you may find yourself in a different place.

4. What can I do differently?
Change is scary. But knowledge is power strong enough to beat change into submission…so read up on how to begin to change ONE thing for the better…start with something small.

5. Am I consistent?
Start…stop…start…stop! Successfully accomplishing anything like this is almost impossible! Instead, create mini-plans, each big enough to move you forward but small enough so that you can get it done before you’re tempted to quit!

6. Who am I spending my time with?
A lot can be said about the company we keep. We know full well who the toxic people are in our lives… pull back a little. They’ll be pissed for a while and probably accuse you of thinking that you’re better than they are but guess what, you probably are!

7. Do I speak positively of myself and my circumstances?
I can’t do this… It’s never gonna work…I suck! Instead, try saying this repeatedly everyday…Day by day, in every way with the help of God, I’m getting better and better and better and better!

8. Do I spend too much time complaining?
For some reason, complaining can feel so good! But we know that it’s a complete waste of time and energy. Fight the urge to complain by recognizing the triggers; do you complain when you hear other people complain, do you complain over lunch or when the bills come in or at the end of the day. Instead consciously decide to say the mantra in #7.

9. Do I pray regularly for myself and others?
“Prayer changes you and then you can change things”! Or how about this one, “You have not because you ask not”- James 4:2-3

10. Do my good habits outweigh my bad ones?
Make a list of all your good habits and all of your bad habits, now adjust the scale in your favor!

11. When was the last time I had a good laugh?
Laughter is a powerful thing. It’s said to even have the power to heal. But I know one thing for certain, during that moment when you’re laughing you’re head off or even smiling really hard, you’re not thinking about what’s going wrong in your life, you’re simply enjoying your life NOW at that moment and the more moments you can have like that, the better! Here’s joke to get you started…A snail gets mugged by a gang of turtles. When the cops show up and ask him what happened he replies, “I don’t know. It all happened so fast.” :)

12. Am I taking good care of my physical, mental and emotional self?
You can’t do your best if you don’t feel your best and nobody will take better care of you than you. Fix what’s ailing you!

13. Am I getting enough sleep?
There are those people, like my husband that need no more that 4 to 5 hours sleep tops and they’ll ready for the day. Not me, if I get less the 7, I’m screwed! So whatever your number is, make it happen consistently. And when you find yourself getting tired, stop for a while and start again when you’re refreshed.

14. Am I preoccupied with thinking the worst?
What we think and how we think weighs heavy on our actions and their outcomes. Thinking positive doesn’t mean be unrealistic, it means that once you’ve done all you can, hope for the best… I mean, why not? And one more thing, stay away for from negative thinkers and negative talkers, they are not your friends!

15. Am I a procrastinator?
I think it’s safe to say that we all procrastinate sometimes, some of us more than others! Refer back to #5 about creating mini-plans and schedules to keep yourself on task. And remember, if you fall off schedule, just start again!

16. Do I surround myself with more takers than givers?
Weed out the takers and let them go…slowly if you have to BUT LET THEM GO!

17. Are things really as bad as I think?
Go back to #1- Am I grateful. But don’t get me wrong, I understand that the answer to this question for you may be “Hell Yes!” And if that’s the case, that means you’ve learned a lot about what not to do. Study all the mistakes you’ve made and why and what you should or could have done instead, now do something with everything you’ve learned… write about it, start a blog etc. But most importantly re commit yourself to never making the same mistakes again!

18. Am I a priority in my own life?
Why do we have such a hard time with this? (me included!) Try this, at the beginning of each day, do one thing for yourself first before doing anything for anyone else. Hopefully, this will help you to begin a habit of thinking about you first…this is a good thing!

19. Am I doing the best I can with what I have right now?
When you think about it, can you honestly say you’re doing your best? If so, then be patient, your hard work will pay off eventually and propel you to your next level. It may not look like you think it should so be prepared to accept it however it comes. If you’re not doing your best, ask yourself why, maybe this thing is just not that important to you …maybe it once was, but not anymore. Re-evaluate and start again..try harder this time!

20. Who can help me?
Have you asked for help or better yet, have you asked for help from the appropriate source? Bad advice is bad advice even when it’s met with good intentions. Find someone who has done what you’re trying to do and spend time studying how they went about it; then use their plan as an outline to create a plan specific to your needs and goals.

21. Who can I help?
No matter how bad you think things are, you’re better off than the next guy. Find this guy and help him out. We all have the gift of making somebody’s life better, use it and at some point you may realize that things may not be so bad after all.

(As Featured In Dumb Little Man)

What We Believed for September!

Hi My Loves,

I’m so sorry I haven’t been posting as much this month. I’ve been really busy creating an amazing and powerful tool for you and I can’t tell you how excited I am about the change it will help to bring to your life!

So please subscribe to begintobelieve.com so you’ll know as soon as it is available!

In the meantime, here’s what we believed for the month of September!

newsletter-logo-4Four Keys to Manifesting Your PurposeFocus, Hard Work, Believing & Grace- Pick one and start there; to get anything done successfully you will need to engage them all!I started with grace….

How to Build a Dream-  Would you be interested in helping me with my most important piece of work to-date? How to Build a Dream is my first major ebook you guys!  And I can’t tell you how excited and nervous and happy I am to have been blessed with the responsibility of getting it out into the world!

But I need your help! – If you’re interested in being a reviewer for my new email book, please keep reading!

The Art of Going to Bed– The ART  OF GOING TO BED is one of my mega posts (over 2,000 words) and it is one of your favorites! It’s also full of information on one of my favorite things and that of course, is going to bed!

Genius Lives in the Light of the Early Morning Hours-There are often been many late evening hours when I have wrestled with trying to find solutions to challenges that I have faced throughout the day. But to no success…

DV Awareness Month

Join me for
“A Lily in the Valley”
-The Conversation-
“Let’s talk about Domestic Abuse and How We Made it Out”

On Periscope-@begintobelieve
Sunday- October 16th 
Time: 12:15PM ET

Get Your Copy of
                   “A Lily in the Valley”My True Story of Domestic Abuse & Deliverance… Here!                     So You Can Follow Along!

Genius Lives in the Light of the Morning Hours

Hi My Loves,

There are often been many late evening hours when I have wrestled with trying to find solutions to challenges that I have faced throughout the day.

But to no success!

I run into all types of mental road blocks and creative dead ends. Does this sound familiar to you? Well, it can be pretty frustrating because I really hate having to end the day with unsolved issues floating around in my head!

But what I’ve discovered is this…that genius lives in the light of the morning hours!

It is in the early morning hours when I find that Spirit, creativity and clarity flows most for me.  And it is during these times when I am more likely to realize solutions and discover ideas that were lost to me before.

So try it!

Before you get out of the bed, look into light coming from your window, express gratitude for the day and open your mind to that thing that has been baffling you and watch the genius wash in!

It has never failed me!

DV Awareness Month

Join me for
“A Lily in the Valley”
-The Conversation-
“Let’s talk about Domestic Abuse and How We Made it Out”

On Periscope-@begintobelieve
Sunday- Oct 2nd – 9th – 16th – 23rd
Time: 1:00PM ET

Get Your Copy of
                   “A Lily in the Valley”My True Story of Domestic Abuse & Deliverance… Here!                     So You Can Follow Along!

The Art of Going to Bed

Hi My Loves!,

The ART  OF GOING TO BED is one of my mega posts (over 2,000 words) and it is one of your favorites! It’s also full of information on one of my favorite things and that of course is going to bed!

So, I decided to re-post it for those of you who might have missed it or for those that need a little reminder on how to get a good-nights’ sleep!

—————————————–

The lack of proper sleep can have an overwhelmingly negative effect your mental health, physical health, productivity and overall quality of life.

The Art of Going to Bed celebrates simple steps for investing in the most important part of the day, preparing to sleep! 

Between our careers, families and other important things we care about, taking the time to care for ourselves often takes a back seat.

As a mom, wife and entrepreneur I had to find creative moments  to nurture and sustain my mind, body and spirit and preparing to sleep has become a vital and sacred practice that I award myself with at the end of the day.

This practice helps me to resign the stresses of the day, submit to rest and rise better prepared to face the challenges of tomorrow!

Sleep Basics

We all know what it means to sleep.  And because it’s so easy even a baby can do it, it can be extremely frustrating when we have to wrestle with it every night.  And because it appears to be a simple concept, we can take for granted how important it is to our mental health, physical health, productivity and overall quality of life.

 So before we go any further, let’s start by reminding ourselves of some simple sleeping basics.

  • Go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Pick a bedtime when you’re usually tired.
  • Get 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Avoid caffeinated drinks before bed
  • Stay away from big meals close to bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol before bedtime.
  • Minimize noise and light.
  • Avoid late evening naps.
  • Minimize the consumption of liquids close to bedtime.
  • Exercise early.
  • Some hot teas and warm milk are said to help you sleep better

Mind

The ability to manage everything on your mind is a major task when preparing to sleep. I used to have the habit of settling into bed, staring into the air and revisiting the events of the day. The quiet of bedtime became a trigger for my mind to wonder.  I’d think about what happened during the day, what I did, what I didn’t do, what I should have done and how I’d fix everything tomorrow. And eventually, this became normal.

But what I didn’t realize was:

  • This was becoming a bad habit and a regular unhealthy bedtime ritual.
  • The themes and ideas of these late night thoughts would seep into my dreams.
  • I was allowing my bed to be a place where I rehashed my worries and plans.
  • Worry and planning was becoming the very last thing I did right before I’d close my eyes to sleep.
  • The physical action of getting into bed was becoming a trigger for worry and planning.

All these things contributed to shallow and unsettled sleep while also causing me to wake up super conscious of the stresses of the day before.

Do this instead:

  • Create a Mental Bedtime– a time when every thought & action thereafter is dedicated to preparing to sleep, nothing else!
  • Assign a time prior to your mental bedtime to review the day and plan your actions for tomorrow.
  • Create a trigger to remind you of your mental bedtime- an alarm, a TV show going off or coming on, after your usual phone call with your sister, etc.
  • In the beginning, reward yourself every time you honor your mental bedtime- purchase an aroma candle, new comfy socks, your favorite tea etc…anything that encourages sleep and relaxation.
  • Minimize phone calls, exposure to any electronics and social media that might disturb your mental bedtime.
  • Let your family know your mental bedtime so they can help to support you.

This may be a little difficult at first, keep trying. Eventually it will become natural and effortless. Remember to use your triggers; they can be very powerful when trying to introduce new habits.

Body

There has been many a day when I have gone to bed ready-road! Ready-road is an old fashioned term my parents would use when my brothers and sisters and I would fall asleep in the same clothes we had worn all day!

By not taking the time to honor your body with the proper thoughtfulness and care for what is going in and on your body prior to bedtime, makes it highly unlikely that it will consistently grant you the pleasure of a good nights’ sleep!

Try this:

  • When your mental bedtime has clicked, assess what your bodys’ needs based on the activities of your day.
  • Cleanse your body. Consider a warm shower or bath or whatever you deemed necessary in order to eliminate the residue of the day so that you feel renewed and refreshed.
  • Smell “nice” and feel good to the touch. The feel of clean skin against clean cotton bedding is amazing!
  • Perform your usual beauty routine. Here a simple one. Thoroughly wash your face, tone & moisturize. Brush your teeth, Lotion the rest of your body, don’t forget your feet.
  • Select sleepwear that is loose and comfortable and made of natural fabrics. Natural fabrics breathe and will keep your body cool. Include house slippers or socks
  • Remove any unnecessary jewelry or accessories.
  • Free your face from the imposition of your hair falling across it throughout the night by putting it back with a soft band or scrunchy.
  • Eliminate anything tight or binding. If you prefer to sleep in a bra, it is suggested that it be light weight with no under-wire.
  • Be sure to take your scheduled night time medication. Safely keep them at your bedside as a reminder.
  • Make your bedtime bathroom run. Be sure to do this before you get into bed, there’s nothing more frustration than having to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom if you can help it.

If you treat your body well, it will respond to you likewise!

Bed

When I was a little girl, my Mom’s bed was the best place in the world to be! I felt safe, warm and protected there. And anytime I had a hard time sleeping, it was the first place I’d turn to for rest.  I took note of practices my Mom used to make sure her bed was a haven for sleep.

Try this:

  • Make sure your bed is clean and free from crumbs and clutter.
  • Choose colors that are calm and subtle.
  • Only use your bed as a place for sleep and other pleasurable activities; so that when you enter, your body and mind knows only good things await!
  • For optimal use update your mattress every 8 years.
  • Use cotton sheets.
  • Replace your pillows every two years. Those stuffed with buckwheat hulls, Japanese igusa grass and rubber are said to be the most comfortable for sleeping.
  • Never place shoes at the head of the bed. (I’m not sure why, it’s something my Mom taught me)
  • Keep the area around your bed free of unnecessary debris.
  • Create a decompression space to sit and rest before you get into bed.
  • Be careful who you let in! Your bed is your refuge and should only be accessible to those you love and those that love you!

Senses

What we see, feel, smell, touch and hear right before bedtime can influence your state of mind and stimulate you in a way that may make sleeping difficult.  There was a time when I was so busy and distracted that my bedroom had become my dinner table, office, entertain room and a social space. It looked and smelled like a cross between my local office depot and pizza hut!

Try this:

  • If you must utilize your bedroom for multiple purposes, clean up behind yourself as soon as you’re finished.
  • Store garbage and smelly trash in a more appropriate location.
  • Dust regularly.
  • Use cleaning products that are not too abrasive or heavily scented.
  • Keep your favorite aroma candle lit from time to time.
  • Try not to use this space for arguments or disagreements.
  • Keep your bedroom cool even when you’re not there. It’s refreshing to come into a cool space at the end of a long day.
  • Keep a live, small green plant where it can be easily seen in your bedroom.
  • Let soft music/sounds play in the background from time to time.
  • Open the curtains and let the sunshine in at times.
  • Open the windows from time to time to clean the air.

This can get a little exhausting but if you make even the smallest effort, it will make a big difference in creating an environment that invites sleep.

Ceremony

When was the last time you jumped up in the middle of the night because you thought you forgot to do something important?  Having kids and/or trying to manage all of your responsibilities can cause you to fall asleep where you are, as you are, without first making sure everything else is as it should be.

Try this:

  • Make a list of every important thing you need to do before you go to bed.
  • Create a ceremony out of completing each item, keeping in mind that every task you complete brings you that much closer to sleep. Here are some bedtime reminders:
    • Check on the kids
    • Check the lights
    • Check the stove
    • Make sure the doors are locked and alarms are on.
    • Set alarms.
    • Set timer on the coffee maker
    • Prepare any necessary outfits, lunches etc.
    • Say goodnight
    • Check on the kids one more time!

You don’t have to do all of these things yourself; you can assign some of them to someone else. But if you do them then you’ll know they’re done!   Completing your bedtime ceremony helps to calm your mind, settle the house and lets everyone know the day has officially come to an end.

Spirit

When I lived in my first apartment, I was in a very bad relationship and I learned early in my life to take the time before I went to bed to connect with my higher source.  Reminding myself that I was not alone, that there was an omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient force accessible to me, to guide me through my troubles and gave me the courage to close my eyes and rest. These days, my life is in a much better place, but nevertheless, no matter how tired I am, I never neglect to say my prayers.

Try this:

  • Create a space ideally in your bedroom that you designate specifically for prayer, meditation, etc.
  • This should be the very last thing you do before you get into bed.
  • Here are some suggestions on prayer & meditation
    • Get comfortable so that you’re not distracted by any physical aches or pains.
    • Take a few deep breathes, in through your nose and out of your mouth.
    • Before you begin to pray, concentrate on your breath, the rise and fall of your abdomen.
    • Think on your higher source.
    • First, speak/think of everything that you’re grateful for that day.
    • Think/speak on the things that are challenging you and those you love.
    • Ask for forgiveness
    • Promise to do better
    • Ask for what you need.
    • Pray for the needs of those you know and those you don’t know
  • Taking this time to connect to Spirit;
    • Settles the mind
    • Helps to elevate stress and worry
    • Gives you a renewed sense of hope

Rest

There are the moments between the time you get in the bed, the time you close your eyes and the time when you actually drift off to sleep. Sometimes sleep can come on before you know it but sometimes it can take a while. There are a few little things you can do between these moments to encourage sleep in.

Try this:

  • With each sleepy bat of your eyes;
    • Think on good thoughts
    • Think of gratitude & gratefulness
    • Notice the in and out of your breathes
    • Notice the comfort you’re feeling as your body gives way to the warmth and protection of your bed.
    • Note that at this very moment all is well.

Rise

It used to be a time when I would jolted myself out my bed with a sense of urgency to start my day; like I was already behind even before my day got started!   I was neglectful of the moment. I simply got up and got started!  Over the years, I realized that the way I rose in the morning was indicative of the way I went about the rest of my day.

Try this:

  • Be slow to open your eyes once you know that you’re awake, make a moment of it! You’re alive and that’s a good thing!
  • Look for the sunshine. Guide your eyes to where the sunlight is coming through; this will help to establish a more hopeful spirit for the new day.
  • Be slow to get up just in case there are any cramps, aches or pans that manifested over night.
  • Make a statement of gratitude for the day before you let your feet touch the ground.
  • Say a simple prayer for guidance as you go about your day.
  • Get out of bed, take a deep breath and stretch.
  • Take in some water & morning sunshine to wake-up your digestion and collect a little Vitamin D
  • Go!

The Art of Going to Bed…the end

Practicing the art of going to bed may seem a little overwhelming at first but eventually you’ll realize that these are really just some common sense habits. And when you can do even some of these things consistently, they can make a noticeable change in your sleeping habits and your ability to accomplish other really important stuff!

Good Night…Sleep Well.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the information provided in The Art of Going to Bed should not substitute for or be considered as a medical or mental health tool. I don’t dispense medical advice of any kind. The information provided is general in nature, given with the intent of assisting you in your quest to get a good night’s sleep.

Click here to Download Your Own Free copy of The Art of Going to Bed!

You’ll receive over 2300 words laid out in a 24 page beautifully created pdf!

art of going to bed cell

Do me a favor let me know you’ve got your copy in the comments below!

How to Build a Dream- I Need Your Help with This!

Would you be interested in helping me with my most important piece of work to-date?

How to Build a Dream is my first major ebook you guys!  And I can’t tell you how excited and nervous and happy I am to have been blessed with the responsibility of getting it out into the world!

But I need your help!

I’m looking for a few reviewers/draft readers to give me their input and opinions good, bad or indifferent.  It’s a first draft and approximately 12,000 words/70 pages, it’s short but powerful!

Some of you have been with me for awhile and some of you are new to the family and I trust  you all!  So if you would like to be a part of this journey, please let me know by leaving   a little note along with your email in the comment section or you can contact me directly  here.

Thank you all so, so much!

Four Keys to Manifesting Your Purpose

Four KeysFocus, Hard Work, Believing & Grace

Pick one and start there; to get anything done successfully you will need to engage them all!

I started with grace. Grace has been defined as unmerited favor; goodness or gifts that are bestowed upon us that we have no reason to expect.

The challenge lies not in the lack of grace in our lives but lies in our inability to recognize and acknowledge it.  Acts of grace are abundant and are all around us. Here are a few gifts of grace that you may have lost sight of;

It is by God’s grace that:

  • We can ponder the idea of a life of greater purpose.
  • We desire right and not wrong.
  • We have this day, this moment, right now!

There are many, many people who work really hard to make great things happen but when you can walk in a spirit that is conscious of the grace factor, aware that even if you fall short, grace can not only make its way in and carry you over but it can bring you to the door of divine possibilities!

Make a list of moments of grace in your day to day life, while also making note of those moments when your reward far exceeded your expectations.  Make it a practice to acknowledge these moments.  This habit will humble your heart and make you more worthy than you will ever realize.

Focus-

.. that ability to center our minds on the manifestation of one thing. Some of us are blessed with many gifts and it becomes difficult to choose what to solely commit ourselves to.  But know that if you are truly in line with your gift, no matter what you do, you will always return to it in some way.

Look for this!

Look for whatever that thing is that consistently appears in your life, that thing that you are always being told you’re good at. When people tell you you’re in the wrong business, what are they referring to?  Yeah, that!

Work to begin to narrow your energy and effort to this thing.  When you’re in line with your gift, focusing on it will be something you look forward to and you do gladly!   You just need to create a system that allows you to focus on it consistently and effectively.

Begin with these steps:

  1. Create your plan of action. It should have a small and doable end goal, one with easy action steps that will be easy to commit to. Once you’ve completed it, you will be more encouraged and have the confidence to move forward to something bigger and get even closer to where you’re headed.
  2. Decide when you have uninterrupted time to devote consistently to manifesting your plan of action. The important thing here is consistency; stopping and starting won’t get you there!
  3. Write it down. Keep a journal and pen ready for expected and unexpected ideas and inspiration.
  4. Stay organized.
  5. Find reliable support & resources.

Hard Work-

I think the concept of hard work is relative. On the outside, it may look like you are making tremendous sacrifices, laboring hours upon hours and YOU ARE. But what’s happening inside, is a spirit of excitement, eagerness and purpose!  You love it and in fact you lose all track of time.

Don’t be disillusioned, there will be times when you will want to stop, give up or question whether or not you’re on the right course.  These moments are the hardest.  These are the times when what you believe for yourself will either pick up and move you forward or have you to pack it up and call it a day…more on this later.

So, how do you ensure that your hard work is effective and that you’re not just running around chasing your tail?!

One of the most important keys to making sure your hard work pays off is a well thought out plan. The last thing you want to do is to jump out there and wing it. You will waste a lot of time and energy and open the door to failure and doubt. Know exactly what you’re going to do every time.  When you take the time to plan your hard work effectively, it will always yield good fruit, even if it’s not what you expected.

Five major components of a well thought out plan include:

  1. Goals- Long & Short Term
  2. Doable & Realistic Action Steps
  3. Reasonable Timetables
  4. Reliable Resources & Support Sources
  5. An Dependable Accountability System

Note the use of the words, doable, realistic, reasonable, reliable and dependable.  Don’t get so carried away with getting it done that you sabotage your efforts with unrealistic ideas and expectations.

Belief-

This is where the magic is!  Your belief is what will sustain you when times get tough. Believing has the power to move barriers and can cause the universe to lean in your favor!

Believing in yourself is that part of your Spirit that speaks to what your true purpose is.  Either we listen to it and have the courage to act on it or we close our minds to it because we have yet to recognize and accept our God given potential, our gift!

Your belief system is nurtured and fortified every time you get it right!  When you are in line with your gift, you will begin to experience successes. They may be small at first, but that’s ok, that’s all you need for now.  These successes will validate that you are indeed on the right track.

They may not appear as you expect so be prepared to accepted them however they come.

So, I guess your question now is, what if I’m not getting it right? Suppose I’m not having any success at all?

My answer is to give it some time, only you will know how much.  If your allotted time has passed with no validation or confirmation that you’re headed the right way, slow down or stop all together. Review all that you have done. Reconsider your purpose and intention. Be sure that what you’re setting out to do has a broad and generous purpose and that your intentions are not purely self-serving.Take the best of what you’ve done and learned and redesign/revise your strategy and  your vision and start again.

Time For Prayer & Gratitude:

Thank You for renewing my spirit of hope and encouragement. Sometimes I get tired and it gets hard to stay on the path. These words of direction have strengthen me and I’m ready to go a little farther. Allow me to also be a source of encouragement to someone else along my way.

Amen.