Thursday, December 8, 2016

CH-CH-CHAAAANGES

Learning how to honor your spirit in all of your daily scenarios will change your life and your personality, permanently, and in the greatest way. When your self-esteem is low, you function completely different than when you're confident about your worth, and feeling good about yourself and the decisions you're making. You may think that the way you are now is your true self, but if your peace of mind is shot, you're feeling broken down and defeated all the time, and you're constantly feeling bad about yourself, then you haven't experienced the best you, the you whose disposition will be completely transformed once you learn to tend to your best interests at all times, in the healthiest way.

I say this because I've experienced it firsthand. I'm a completely different person now, as someone who puts honoring my spirit into practice daily, than before I learned why it's so important for a balanced mental state and life, and how to do it.

If you wanna get in on this peace of mind, high self-esteem action, now is a great time to do it. My services are being restructured, so in January 2017, the options will change and the prices will increase significantly. If you've been on the fence about investing in yourself and working with me so you can move through one or more of your life and/or career challenges, then I invite you to take advantage of my current setup and prices, and make that commitment before this month is over.

Remember, if you'd like to see if what I offer is right for you, then you can always do a free Intention and Energy Assessment before moving forward with a service. You can get started on that right here:

Thursday, November 10, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: THE INSIDE CURE FOR THE OUTSIDE MADNESS

It may seem like the time to expend extra energy having conversations with people about the election, trying to convince them of how wrong they were for functioning in this or that way regarding their voting stance, trying to understand why they didn't vote the way you think they should have, or why they didn't vote at all, and blaming them for the results. However, what I'm seeing is that those conversations are largely taking people away from what I feel are the two most important things right now: self-care and life-path work.

I know it's a challenge, but now is the time to turn inward during the struggle, either for the first time (for many), or simply more than ever, and pay close attention to not only how we feel but also what we need to do for ourselves so we can feel good and peaceful [again]. Something outside of you (this election and its results) has separated you from any inner peace and comfort you may have had, and you need it back, but it's up to you to make sure you get it for yourself. Many people are waiting for something in the governmental structure to shift so they can feel loved, safe, protected, valued, worthy, etc., and I gotta tell you that if you're doing that, then you're barking up the wrong tree. For one thing, you can't rely on other people to make you feel any of those things. You can't wait for people to decide they care about you and that you're worthy of their love, resources, time, energy, etc. so you can then feel at ease. I mean, you can do that, but you and your emotions will forever be controlled by those people; and while you're relying on outside sources to fulfill you, you'll be continuing to neglect fulfilling yourself through your own special, unmatched efforts. That is your job, all day, every day: to be vigilant in doing what you need to do for your own peace of mind.

I understand the fears and concerns eating everyone up right now. I truly do. If Trump actually makes it into office (cuz, again, it ain't January yet, and a lot can change before then!), then yes, all kinds of things are gonna get super real. There will be an insane amount of structural change that will likely affect everyone, including me. So, yes, I am there with you about the unknown ahead of us. But what I know for sure is that now is not the time for me to spend worrying about those unknowns, especially since I can't control them and have no idea when/if/how they will happen. What it is the time for, for me, is to buckle down and go even harder in the paint for myself and for my goals and dreams. It's time for me to nurture myself that much more, to spend even more time catering to my state of peacefulness by honoring my spirit in every way I can, large or small. This is what I have total control over: how I take care of me, how I go about providing for me, how I speak to myself, how I treat myself, how I listen to and respect what I feel, and take action on the things that are in my best interest, even if others want me to disregard all of that. This is what I know gets me through the days, makes me feel stable and valuable.

Continuing to do the work I'm here to do, that helps people be and do better for themselves and others, is even more crucial now. It's not the time for me to take a single moment away from that work to engage in fruitless interactions about what life may be like starting next year, because it's all fear-based speculation that won't help me, or help me help someone else, in this moment. It will cause stress and more worry, which will take away from my peace. The best way to prepare for what may come, is for me to make sure I'm doing all that I can to provide peace, support, and emotional stability for myself right now, which in turn allows me to have healthy relationships and interactions with others, so my foundation will be solid in the face of whatever adversity may await.

This is what I'm inviting all of you to do, too. Honor your spirit, now more than ever. If you're looking for the light at the end of what you perceive is a dark tunnel, then guess what? You're gonna hafta turn it on within yourself, first, and light the tunnel up for yourself, as you travel through it. Be the light; don't wait for it. What do you need to do for you, and how can you [continue to or begin to] help others, using your gifts and talents?

Learn more about how you can honor your spirit, and why it's so important, at www.honorthespirit.com

Friday, October 21, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: WHATCHA GONNA DO ABOUT IT?

A lesson in dealing with someone who has habits that rub you the wrong way, and when you experience them, your blood pressure rises and you snap at them, and then things are tense: The challenging thing about this type of situation is that people do not have to change their behavior if they don't want to; and they really won't do it if they don't think there's anything wrong with it. You're welcome to ask them to change, but don't expect it.
No matter how annoying or foul it is, you really only have two healthy options: discontinue your dealings with them, or find a way to deal with the behavior so that you retain your peace of mind. It doesn't serve either one of you if you always react negatively, especially when you already know how the person is. Since you're the one who's always bothered by the behavior, it's your responsibility to figure out how to handle it, and the person, in a way that allows there to be peace between you two. Figure out why the behavior annoys you, what it means for you if the person doesn't stop doing it (What harm, discomfort, or loss does it cause you? Does it scare you?), how you can accept the person for who they are, and then work around what they do, meaning find a response that's neutral. If you choose to keep them in your life, then you have to work it out on your end. It's your problem, not theirs.
*By the way, I'm not talking about someone doing something to you that is harmful, disrespectful, abusive, etc. I'm only talking about behavior that you find annoying or distasteful.
Learn more at www.honorthespirit.com

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

ARE YOU READY TO ROCK?

I was talking to a guy at an open mic on Monday night. He was so moved by my poetry that he said he almost had to "take a moment and step outside to think about it all." I told him I'm also a life consultant, and my poetry is directly connected to that work. We talked about why I'm not a life coach. I explained that the way my system is set up, people get results really fast. His reply was, "Ah, so you're in and out." Yes. Exactly. And the reason is, as I further explained to him, I know from personal experience and from watching others, that when you're truly ready to do the work on yourself and make the changes you need to advance, you take the tools and info you get when you seek help, and you get crackin' ... now, today. Even when doing the work is challenging. All of the people I've helped have been ready to do the work, so when we're done with our consultation, they go and get their results. They don't need me for 3, 6, 12 months, 2 years, etc. I like it that way. I believe it's better that way. You already have what it takes to succeed. The question is, when you get the help you need, ARE. YOU. READY. TO. ROCK?
One of my clients got her results in 4 days; she had been struggling for the better part of a year with her situation. Another got hers in less than 3 months (and that's only because she had no control over the process outside of herself that she had to wait for; but she did her work immediately); she had been struggling with her situation for over a decade. Another client advanced on his path in less than 2 months. These people were ready to rock, even in spite of their fears. One thing about me is I'm not interested in draining your pockets or taking up an unnecessary amount of your and my time. I want you to get in and out and on with your life when you work with me. I want you to not need me when we're done; you are all that you truly need on a daily basis; you just might need help getting tapped in to yourself initially, so you can honor your spirit regularly and therefore advance. Yes, I check in with my clients to make sure they're good. I'm here for them if they need a pick-me-up (this service is called the Refresh Session). I don't just disappear from their lives. But I gotta say, once they get in tune with themselves and start honoring their spirits, they really don't need much else from me, if anything at all.
only wanna work with people who are ready to rock. It's a waste of our time, and your money, if you're not. So, if you're ready, then let's get you those results. www.honorthespirit.com. I invite you to check out the testimonials while you're there.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: SPEAK ON YOUR SLAY!

*This is sort of a shorter version of another, longer post in this blog on the same subject. But I promise, I'm saying something a little different here! LOL!*

If you're not able to toot your horn about at least one skill or talent, then you're really not paying close enough attention to yourself. There is something you're a beast at, and whatever it is, you not only should (yep, I just "shoulded" on you) acknowledge it but it's also perfectly okay to actually speak on said beasting every now and then. If you can't openly embrace your greatness, then why should anyone else?

Throwing your flyness in people's faces 24/7 with no evidence to back it up (as in, you're the only one who thinks you're fly; no one else has spoken on this perceived fact) or tooting your own horn while putting others down, is arrogance. Confidence is knowing your strengths and how you excel in your own right, and being comfortable enough to say it out loud. You're not saying you're better than anyone else or that you're the absolute best; your sentiment doesn't demean or exclude anyone. You're simply paying homage to yourself based on the positive results that you and others see and experience when you showcase your skill.

Prospective Olympians had better damn well know they're great at what they do if they plan on making it into and through the Olympics; and when you're at that level, you "should" be comfortable verbalizing said greatness. They can't even get in if they're not [seen as] great.

If someone's confidence irks you, then maybe it's time for you to get some of your own and step into your right to let people know the ways you slay in this world, especially when your gifts can help people do, be, and live better.

How do you slay? What are you a beast at? Stop hiding or ignoring it. Uncover it and speak on it!

Take good care of yourselves, and always remember to HONOR THE SPIRIT.

Monday, August 29, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: DON'T GET YOUR WIRES CROSSED

We're all born with natural abilities and skills that we develop as we grow. Over time, we discover our myriad interests; and along our life's journey, we may hone those interests and pursue them on some higher level, or we may just keep them as hobbies. We are wired for these things. As we change, advance, learn more about ourselves and our lives, and interact with others, we're introduced to an even larger variety of interests. We even begin to learn about some hidden knacks, things we had no idea we could do until unique situations present themselves and we find ourselves being bad-asses at things that totally surprise us.

Then there is all the stuff in this world that we're not wired for. Being wired for something is two-fold: there has to be interest and ability—and the ability can even be minuscule. But in my experience, I'm gonna venture to say that the element of interest is key in wiring, because without it, there'll be a wall up that will impede you from exploring any ability you may have for a thing. With interest, even the smallest amount of ability has potential to be nurtured and subsequently grown, even if you don't end up being a total bad-ass at the thing. Maybe you're just adequate, but at least you can do it well enough to achieve decent results.

I'm not wired for fancy mathematics. By "fancy," I mean anything outside of the basics of adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing—and sometimes I have to do those things on a calculator, depending on how big the equations I'm working with are. I'll tell you in a heartbeat, "I'm not the math girl," and have no problems with that statement. Why? Because I have absolutely no interest in anything outside of the forms of math I just mentioned. None. Zip. I. Do. Not. Care. As long as I can manage my life doing the basics, I'm cool. When algebra, geometry, calculus, trigonometry, or any other higher form of math will help me balance my checkbook or keep track of what's in my wallet, let me know and I might be able to scrounge up an inkling of interest, enough to get help with learning it. I already know I'm looking like Cindy Brady on that game show when it comes to algebra, because it was a painful struggle for me to get anything higher than a D- in it, in high school, even when my teacher tried to help me. Had I been the least bit interested in it, I might've been able to grasp it better. But my wiring was, and still is, faulty when it comes to that kinda math, and I totally embrace that fact. Lord forbid I ever need algebra or any of its fancy-mathematics siblings at the spur of the moment to advance in my life, 'cause I'd surely be screwed. Oh well!

What I know is this: you are not here to excel or even be good at everything. A lot of stuff just isn't naturally for you, whether you're flat-out uninterested, or you're interested but you struggle with it. I invite you to let that be okay and not find fault with yourself because of it, even if people try to make you feel like you should or need to be a this-or-that wizard. If you find that you need to do something you're not good at, then guess what? That's what the countless other people out there who are good at it are for—to help you when you're in a pinch. The beautiful and fascinating thing about life is that people all over the world are not only interested in but also masters at that things you're terrible at, and you can seek them out when necessary.

While I think it's imperative to grow and do and learn as much as you can in this life, I also feel like it's equally important to accept yourself for who you are, what your interests are (and are not), and what inherent skills you have. It's healthy to know and not resist your limitations. Having limitations is not a bad thing and is nothing to berate yourself over. I invite you to learn to perceive and speak about your limitations in a way that doesn't damage your self-esteem. You can know you're not good at something, you need help getting it done, and still feel good about yourself. You have so many other great attributes you're here to showcase and use for your and others' betterment. That's the stuff that's wise to focus on, develop, and continue to add to, through your everyday discoveries about yourself.

Enjoy doing and being great at what you're wired for. Let everyone else be great at the stuff you're not wired for. Just keep their contact info handy for a rainy day; and have yours ready for those who'll eventually need you to help them over a hump in your field of expertise.

Take good care of yourselves, and always remember to honor the spirit.

Monday, August 22, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: HAPPINESS IS INTENTIONAL

It would be great if happiness were just there for us, without our having to make any effort to achieve it. Many times it is; things happen that bring us joy, and we didn't necessarily orchestrate those situations. But there's another level to the happiness game that requires effort, action, risk, and trust. This level involves the unknown and all of its exciting and sometimes scary elements.

No one ever said pursuing happiness would always be easy. Often, happiness is found outside our comfort zone, where we rarely like to trek. In fact, our greatest happiness is found in our most deliberate choices and endeavors. It's found in pushing the envelope of our perceptions and faith. It's found in our willingness to let go of old ways that are holding us back. It's found in entertaining the idea of rearranging our lives so we can have that thing or experience we've been eyeing for years but have been too afraid to reach out and touch. It's found in ignoring our loud, negative ego that tells us we can't, shouldn't, won't be able to, and will fail if we go for it.

Happiness is that thing we have to decide to have, in spite of naysayers, fears, discomfort, lack of confidence, lack of details, and perceived limitations. Happiness is that thing that sometimes requires us to give up what's mediocre (read: safe) in our lives in order to get the best. It's the big prize whose prerequisite usually involves our passing some tests along the way, ones that show us just how committed to our well-being we really are.

The reality is, you can't say you want happiness but be unwilling to try things. Maybe you don't dive into the whole enchilada head-first, though, if it's too scary. Maybe you nibble on it here and there. For example, if you wanna travel to a place that would take 10 hours to get to by plane, but you're afraid of flying, then maybe you plan a short trip to a place you wouldn't mind visiting that's closer, where the flight is, say, 2 hours. Chip away at your fear bit by bit. Work your way up to a 10-hour flight. If you wanna go into a specific career but you're not ready to chase that dream full force, then maybe you look into doing some volunteer work in the field, or an internship that might pay you. Or, if you can't do either of those things, maybe you seek out people in the field and ask if they can show you around their work environment and provide you with details that will help you assess the option better. If you wanna relocate but you don't know where, then start jotting down the conditions and type of environment you prefer living in, do your research on places that match what's on your list, and go visit. If your dream is to get a degree but the thought of immersing yourself in the thick of school terrifies you, then maybe you start off at a community college and build up those transferable units over time. If you wanna do something like move on from an unhealthy situation or person and you're finding it daunting, then maybe you map out your exit plan by first examining your fears about leaving, and making a concerted effort to quell them enough that you can make a move. Make a pros and cons list about the situation. Write down all the ways staying is robbing you of your peace of mind, and all the ways leaving will bring you peace and freedom.

There are countless scenarios I could talk about, but the point is, whatever you wanna do that you feel will be good for your soul and your health, just know that whether the goal is big or small, you may have to step out on faith and take your chances—jump out of the proverbial parachute, so to speak—and trust the outcome. Happiness is not always gonna magically be at your front door with a bouquet of flowers. There will be times when you'll have to go get it, and you may need to move a couple of mountains along the way.

Happiness is always yours for the taking. The question is: how much do you really want it?

Have a great week, and always remember to honor the spirit.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: THE QUEST IN THE QUIET

I don't know about you, but I LOVE my quiet time. It's mandatory for me. I need lots of it, whether it's for long stretches or in short spurts. I just gotta have it. This wasn't always the case, though. There was a time when quiet time made me super uncomfortable, so I didn't engage in much of it. Instead, I would always have some kind of distraction at hand: phone calls, music, TV, Internet, movies; you name it and if it would keep me from being subjected to the sound of "nothing," then I was using it.

Then, in 2012, when I was struggling with a lot of issues and was feeling like my world was spinning out of control, I decided to get quiet. I just needed to stop, think, and try to figure out what the hell was happening in my life and how to get a grip on things. At that time, for some reason, all the distractions had gotten very loud and annoying, so I cut them off and I spent days in silence. At first it was almost nerve-racking since I had never tried it before. I thought it would be easy when I got started, but I was wrong. It was actually a bit scary and I wanted to quit. But then I realized wanting to quit was exactly why I needed to keep at this little experiment. I realized I was afraid of myself, and that wasn't working for me, especially since I had to take me wherever I went.

Afraid of myself? Huh? Yes. It became crystal clear that I didn't wanna hear everything that was in my head, because a lot of it was unpleasant. There were all kinds of fears, warped perceptions, pressing questions, strange judgments, and negative self-talk piled in there, all yammering at the same time, and I couldn't get away from any of it! Good grief! What had I gotten myself into? I thought I had signed up for relaxing Zen time that would make me feel good, but what I had walked into was a war zone in my mind. I was a mess and it was time to clean myself up.

So I dove in to everything I didn't wanna look at. As I began to examine things, come up with answers to a lot of those difficult questions, pull apart the perceptions and negativity, uncover the reasons for my fears, and assess my desires, goals, and needs, the feeling of wanting to run from myself started to fade. I found myself feeling so much better, lighter, clearer. I felt a real sense of relief. I realized how important silence was, and how much I blocked my growth and advancement because I had been refusing to listen to myself. I realized that putting a muzzle on my mind and then expecting to be able to move forward in my life was the worst form of self-sabotage. I finally understood that in the silence is where all the valuable, crucial, precious information about me and what I need to [do to] feel good about myself and my life, is kept. It occurred to me that all those years I spent looking outside myself for answers was wasted, because I had all of them in my head the whole time. Naturally, I couldn't access them properly because I was too busy drowning them out with noise.

You have the same access to all of the answers about yourself and your life, too. It's in the silence. And if you wanna get clear about who you are, why you do the things you do, what you want, what you need, how you feel, and how to go about making things happen for yourself, then I invite you to embrace quiet time, without any distractions. Pure silence. It'll probably work your nerves at first, if you're not used to being with yourself like that. I suggest having a notebook and pen handy, or your computer, so you can write or type out your discoveries. Something about seeing the clutter in your head, up close with your own two eyes, makes it easier to filter through. Extracting the sentiments and then reading them is empowering. It's like you've finally "got the goods" on yourself, and now you can sort through them and start making changes based on your findings. You can also start crafting a new story about yourself and your life. Write down your goals and intentions. Map out some moves to make toward their achievement. Start planning your upgraded future.

Once you get comfortable with silence and you experience its benefits, I assure you that it'll become one of your most cherished activities. You'll understand that it holds the key to your victory in so many ways. So go ahead. Be quiet. Your soul will thank you.

Take good care of yourselves, and always remember to honor the spirit.

Monday, August 8, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: SMILE AND BE "GOOD"

Did you know that smiling is healthy for you? I know many of you may have heard that it is, but do you know exactly how and why? I just found out recently, in this article. When you have a few minutes, please read it all the way through; it's really fascinating!

Prior to researching the benefits of smiling, I had been taking notice of the fact that when I make a concerted effort to smile at people a lot, I feel good. I can literally feel a shift in my spirit. This shift is especially noticeable when I'm in a negative space mentally, as opposed to when I'm already in a decent space. The energy is a little different. When I'm feeling good, my natural instinct is to smile, as is most people's. Of course, it feels good then, too; but when there's a deliberate effort put into the act, that's when I notice the most benefit. Now that I've read the above article, I understand why. I invite you to challenge yourselves to smile a lot, on purpose, when you're struggling with challenges, whether you smile at people or just find something to smile at when you're alone. Part of honoring your spirit is making sure you do all that you can to feel good, as often as possible. Walking around with a scowling face is almost as unattractive and unhealthy as complaining. No one really feels comfortable around people who don't smile or who frown all the time. You don't always need words to express how you feel. In fact, before the words come out, your face starts telling your story. I know I definitely like to stay away from sourpusses. Their energy is draining and has the ability to adversely affect others in the vicinity.

Another thing I've noticed I do, that also feels healthy, is [smiling and then] saying "I'm good" when asked how I'm doing—even when I know damn well I could be doing a whole lot better. (Sure, if you wanna be super-technical, then it's "I'm [doing] well.") Yeah ... I know, I know ... if you say you're "good" when you're really not feeling good, then you're a dirty little liar, right? Well, maybe to some people, but allow me to share with you a different spin on the concept. In the world of speaking the life you want into existence, it goes without saying that all words matter. (Hey! That's a great quote! Look for an expounded version of that on one of my new T-shirts!) Anyway ... I digress. Attached to the words we speak are our intentions. I don't know about you, but my intention is to feel good as soon and as often as possible. The best way I know to make that happen, in addition to physical actions, is by speaking purposefully about what I want and how I wanna feel, regardless of the crap that's happening in "real life." I'm looking ahead, focusing on my future; and in my future, I wanna be "good." The future starts the second after I speak my chosen words. So, in reality, when I say "I'm good," when I know I'm in the midst of one or more life storms, it's not about being fake or lying; it's about intentionally speaking about myself, and my life in general, the way I want things to be.

Lemme be clear about the fact that I'm not saying you should never tell anyone what's really going on with you. This isn't about skipping around the universe in full-on denial, acting like Mr. or Mrs. Perpetually Happy. That is fake. There will usually be certain people in your life with whom you can speak your truth, which, at times, can also be healthy and is sometimes necessary. But I would strongly suggest limiting that circle of people to those you trust and who have your best interests at heart, as well as monitoring how you tell your stories. Even when telling your truth, I implore you to choose your words wisely. Try not to morph into Negative Ned or Nancy and start spewing your saga using the most dramatic, pessimistic sentiments. Remember: all words matter. This means you still wanna make the effort to speak goodness into your life, even if you're speaking on "the real" of your situation. Try to use the most neutral phrasing you can think of to describe what's going on. Try not to make yourself sound like a victim. Try to throw in some phrases that lend themselves to your eventual victory (e.g., "But it'll all work out"; "I'm gonna be okay"; "I'm gonna get the help I need"; etc.).

This takes practice; I'm not even gonna lie. I don't always succeed, either, especially if I'm overwhelmed and at a breaking point. Hell, sometimes you just need a good breakdown right quick, and that's perfectly okay. You can only hold in extreme upset for so long; a release every now and then is natural. Just try not to make a habit of erupting on a regular basis, especially when you're speaking casually to people who've asked how you're doing. Use those moments for being deliberate in your intention to speak the good you want into your life. And be courteous and always say thank you. No one has to ask how you're doing, ya know.

Overall, consciously speaking about your challenges in the least gloomy way helps move you into a better mental and physical space quicker. It helps attract the scenarios you want in place of the ones you don't. Couple that with all the smiling you'll be doing, and I'd say you're gonna be some appealing, irresistible, abundance-creating mugs!

 Take care, and always remember to honor the spirit.

Monday, August 1, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: BLIND DILIGENCE

So, you decide to pursue that goal. When you start out, you're full of excitement, gusto, ideas, hope, energy, and plans. You're pumped to get in there and fight for your dream. You feel good about the moves you're making. You're all set to tell everyone about your big victory ... you know, because it'll be happening aaaany day now.

And then, any day now turns into eight months. That turns into a year. You look up and it's been a year and a half. You grumble a bit, but you keep pushing, because dammit, you want this and you're committed! Come on, any day now! Where are you?! Next thing you know, two years have passed! What the?? By now, you're super discouraged and confused. You thought for sure that all the efforts you made would've paid off long ago. But somewhere along the way, things took an undesirable turn. You started running into major obstacles. People you were reaching out to for help weren't helping, for whatever reason. Emails weren't answered. Phone calls weren't returned. People started serving up healthy portions of the word no. At this point, you start running out of ideas, steam, patience, and hope. You contemplate giving up, because it appears that this thing isn't meant to be. I mean, it has been two whole years. If "it" was gonna happen, then it shoulda happened by now. There's no logical reason for it to be taking so long ... right? So you should just be out, right?

WRONG. What you need to employ is what I call blind diligence. This is when you stay the course no matter what's happening in the situation, no matter how not in your favor things seem to be. You can't see the big picture, but you keep plugging until it manifests itself. You keep making efforts. You keep anticipating that victory. You keep envisioning your life with that goal achieved. Why? Because you still want it. Because it's still important to you. Because it still drives you every day. Because you can't make it through 12 hours without fantasizing about it. Because it's still in your heart. And as long as it's still in your heart, then you should still be committed. Not for someone else, but for yourself. The commitment is to and for you only. The only time you should give up on a goal or dream is if it's no longer a goal or dream. That happens sometimes. Maybe your life changes or your priorities change, and that goal no longer fits in your world. Maybe you've genuinely lost interest. No problem. Cease pursuit. However, if you cease pursuing something that matters because you're discouraged, lemme tell you what happens: that desire will haunt you. Yep, it surely will. Been there. Experienced that. You think you can run from your heart, but you can't. I promise. I've tried. I failed every time. When I've convinced myself to "forget it," and "move on," I always end up right back in the saddle, because quitting and/or pursuing something in its place never feels authentic; it just feels like a cop-out. You can't successfully hide from and disregard yourself, my friends. Wherever you go, there you are, and so are all the things that matter to you. Front and center. In your face. Looking at you like, "Where the hell did you think you were going without us?"

I have many victory stories, but here's one I hardly ever share. When I was 18, I set out to buy a new car. I had a job at a cafe where I worked maybe 30 hours a week and made well under six bucks an hour. I had no credit. I had no money saved. And to top it off, I intended to get said new car with no cosigner. I went from lot to lot to lot to lot. I got told no, no, no, and no. Some of the people at the dealerships were slightly amused at my boldness. I mean, I was a kid with nothing to put down on a car, no cosigner, and a job that paid me less than $700 a month. To a car dealer, I was a joke—a cute little female joke. Now. The reason having a new car was so important is because when I was 18, I bought a used car from a woman I knew, and it died on me after three weeks. I vowed right then that my next car would be brand new. This goal was huge and it mattered more than I could put into words. The biggest issue the dealerships had with me was that I didn't have any credit. I'm like, in my head, "Duh. I'm 18, you fools. What kinda credit do you expect me to have at this point? Someone has to take a chance and give me credit so I can have some first-time credit." Yet everywhere I went, they threw that issue in my face, along with the fact that I had no money to put down and didn't want a cosigner. They called me unrealistic and told me no one would sell me a new car without these crucial things. But I ignored them and continued my pursuit. Some-damn-body was gonna give me what I wanted, the way I wanted it. Well, it took about 2.5 years of rejection, frustration, and even some tears, but lo and behold, I found my car in a newspaper ad while on my lunch break at work. It was a 1990 Ford Festiva, on sale for $5000. Yes, five grand. A brand-new car. I claimed that car while looking at it in the ad. I got that car. Of course, there's a whole backstory about the how, but the most important thing is, in the end I didn't need credit; my down payment was a $1500 instant rebate on the car; and because I made more than enough to cover the monthly payments of (are you ready for this???) $129.40 (lololol!!!), Novato Ford sold 20-year-old me—brand new—a car (two months shy of my 21st birthday).

Blind diligence. Amid all the rejection, upset, discouragement, and tears. Because I was determined that there was a yes in my future. All I needed was one. That's all you need, too. One good yes from the right person or people will open the door to your perfect victory, and none of the ones that were previously slammed in your face will matter.

Will you continue to pursue your invitation to walk through that door ... even when you can't see the door, no matter how long it takes?

Take care, and always remember to honor the spirit.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

THE HEALTHIEST ROUTE THROUGH THE STORM


Sometimes, what you need is the wherewithal to move through a challenging scenario in a way that allows you to close it out as soon as possible. Maybe it's the best option for you right now or one that you're unable to wrap up in your time-frame preference (because, in reality, you don't always have control over when your breakthrough happens; sometimes you just have to stay strong and be diligent until it does) and there are aspects that are difficult to deal with. If you don't deal with them in a healthy way, you'll not only feel worse but also prolong your issue, because your attitude during hard times is what makes or breaks your advancement.

Many times, the key to your victory is changing your attitude. There may be no more outside efforts left for you to make; it may all hinge on that inner shift. Usually, when you're operating from anger or frustration, you can't even see the best effort to make; it's when you adjust your attitude that you finally do. This is where I come in, with Life Challenge Consulting. I can help you make healthy moves and decisions within your scenarios. If there's one thing I know how to do, it's move through hard times with the proper attitude. I check myself regularly in my own situations. Do I always feel like it? Hell no. But I do it because I know how this works. I know that if I allow myself to sink into negative spaces, I'm only embedding myself in the situation that much more, and I'm opening the door for more strife. Let me be clear: negativity is not how you get out of a situation quickly ... or at all. It keeps you there.

If you're struggling to get through something, to just have some peace of mind and to be as comfortable as possible while you pursue your victory, then let me help you through Life Challenge Consulting. Check out the details here: http://www.honorthespirit.com/life-challenge-consulting.html

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

ARE YOU AFRAID TO COMMIT ... TO YOURSELF?

My life-consulting system promotes empowerment, which means I don't play when it comes to setting you up to rely on yourself to get the results you want, and that means you're gonna hafta take action, not sit around and whine, blame, complain, and make excuses. If you're not serious about committing to yourself through TIME, EFFORT, and MONEY to doing what's best for your physical and emotional well-being, then you shouldn't contact me. My guidance positions you to take action now so you can move forward based on your truth, not mine or what I think you should do.

The people I've helped have all gotten the results they want in less than 90 days (one person got hers in four days), because they were tired of being miserable and serious about making the necessary changes to not be anymore. If you're that person, then I invite you to contact me so we can get it crackin'. If you're looking for the type of session where I coddle and cry with you, say some pretty words to make you feel better and send you on your way with "good luck," then I'm not a match for you. I am, however, always loving and compassionate.

Together, we can determine if you're ready for a new, healthier scenario and if I'm the person to help you get there, through a free 20-minute Intention and Energy Assessment. It's important to me that you're clear about my system and whether or not you're up for the commitment before you spend your money with me. I only wanna work with people who wanna help themselves.

If you're interested in learning more about Life Challenge and Life Mission consulting, and if you'd like to set up an Intention and Energy Assessment, then head on over to www.honorthespirit.com for all the deets.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I'M HIGH EVERY DAY!

When I'm engrossed in doing what I love, which is working with words, I change physically and emotionally. I smile at people a lot; any pain I feel is forgotten; if I was tired before, all of a sudden I'm wide awake; I'm filled with this strange surge of energy that makes me feel like I've guzzled 10 Red Bulls; hunger, sleep, the bathroom, errands, and phone calls get back-burnered for as long as possible (and if you know me, then you know I'm very much about my food!!); and I have no desire to stop what I'm doing ... for anyone. This is a regular occurrence when I'm working. It doesn't feel like work, though. It feels like something that's great for my health. Literally. I feel healthiest when I'm doing what I love. My self-esteem soars. When I'm finished, I remain in a relaxed state of mind and feel totally fulfilled for hours afterward. There is no feeling like this.

Are you experiencing this kind of high in the work you do? Because it's definitely a high, and one you can have every day if you're doing work you truly love. If you're not, then I can help you. Let's do a Life Mission consultation and get you aligned with your purpose and passion, so you can start helping people in a way that incorporates your interests, skills, and talents, and completely fulfills your spirit. Click the link below to learn more and sign up.

http://www.honorthespirit.com/life-mission-consulting.html

Monday, July 18, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: "YOU'VE CHANGED" (BUT WHY?)

In relationships, do you think it's mandatory that you be open to changing yourself to suit the other person(s)? I'm not just talking about romantic relationships; I'm talking about all of them: friendships, family, work, etc. Before I get into the meat and potatoes, I have some questions for you:

1. Do you think that if someone is uncomfortable with who you are, what you like, or how you function, you should be ready to immediately alter yourself so their interactions with you can be easier?

2. Do you know the difference between healthy compromise and doing yourself a disservice?

3. Are you accepting of the parts of you that could use a little fine-tuning, especially if it means having smoother encounters with others—changes that will ultimately make you a better person?

4. When you change because of others' disapproval, do you feel good about yourself, or do you feel like you've just agreed to a fraudulent life, where you're functioning in ways that make you unhappy because they go against your true nature?

Let me start my spiel by saying this: You're never really obligated to change your behavior for anyone, regardless of who it is, how much you love them, or how much they don't like it. HOWEVER ........ let me be clear about the fact that if you never adjust your behavior, there will likely be times when you'll cause a lot of problems for yourself and others, based on how ugly or difficult that behavior is. That will be your choice, and you'll have to deal with the consequences when they come around. That being said, you're always responsible for how you choose to act, but where do—or should—you draw the line when deciding what to change about yourself when dealing with people on a daily basis? At what point do you make a conscious decision to change things about yourself that will affect the people you come into contact with?

The answer is simple yet not the easiest to put into action: You change when you want to, for you. Period. So, what does that really mean? It means that you're here to tend to your happiness and "feel-good-ness" first, and that means there will probably be things about you that people don't like but that in reality aren't harming you or them. Many times it's a personality conflict. Sometimes it can be a moral conflict. Maybe you're totally comfortable doing whatever you do, but your sister hates it. Well, so what? Her problem. But let's say your sister hates it and it's wreaking havoc on your relationship. Now you're unhappy because you're not having the kind of harmonious relationship with her that you truly want. The thing you do doesn't make you unhappy, but it's messing things up for you with her. What do you do? Become who your sister wants so she can be happy? Not make an adjustment and risk possibly ruining your bond with her?

Again, the answer is: do what you wanna do for your happiness and comfort. This means you have to be able to distinguish what parts of you are too important to compromise, and how important your relationship with your sister is (and by the way, you can replace sister with friend, other family member, spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend, boss, or anyone else who's asking you to be or do what you may or may not be comfortable with). The biggest question is: if you change, is it a win for both of you or just a win for the other person? And by win for you, I mean is this change gonna not only benefit the relationship but also feel good for you? Will you be happy carrying out this new behavior on a regular basis (because, remember, the change is usually expected to be permanent unless otherwise discussed)? Is the frowned-upon behavior something you'll feel content with letting go of so your relationship or situation can progress the way you want? Will the new behavior really be something you can be open to embracing fully?

These are questions I invite you to ponder when contemplating changing yourself at other people's request or urging (or, goodness forbid—demand!). Remember that if you're constantly changing to suit others and not yourself, you'll never really be the person you want; you'll always be who and what everyone else wants, which makes you nothing more than a puppet. The bottom line is, whatever you decide has to still be for you first, not the other person, because you can't take responsibility for other people's happiness and comfort. This means you and this person may have to part ways. You might have to go ahead and dip on out of a situation that puts you in a position of chipping away at or turning your back on who you wanna be (even if it's a job or some other super-important situation), no matter what your reasoning is for wanting to be that way. On the flip side, it could also mean you grow because of this change and/or it's actually healthy for you, and you get to have better relationships as a result, which will undoubtedly add to your pot of joy. I mean, who doesn't want smooth-sailing relationships and situations as often as possible?

Only you'll know, through your own deep introspection, what's best for you. It's always about what's best for you. No one can decide what that is but you. Whoever else benefits from the changes you make that you're happy with, is just the icing on the cake.

Take care, and always remember to honor the spirit!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

NANNY, NANNY, NAAAANNY!

Last year, I watched for many months as a friend struggled with finding a nanny for her two sons, so she could tend to her fulfilling but hectic work schedule. I read one agony-filled FB post after another, as she literally seemed to have a new nanny trauma every month. I'm a Life Consultant and Self-Mastery Catalyst. I help people move past all kinds of challenging situations—but I can only help them if they're willing to do the work needed to move forward. Most of the time, the work is uncomfortable because I don't let people get away with lying to themselves, so not everyone's ready for me and my system.

As the months passed and I watched NaTasha become more and more enraged with her circumstances and express various degrees of disapproval for the nannies she had hired, she and I finally discussed doing a Life Challenge Consultation. I told her I could definitely help her find the right nanny, but that she would have to understand one thing first: the problem wasn't the nannies she was hiring; it was HER. I could tell she wasn't feeling that answer! LOL! But I asked her to trust me. I told her that what we were about to do would probably be really uncomfortable, but if she would be open to doing the work, afterward she would be able to find the best nanny. I should also mention that when we finally did the consult, she only had 4 days to find one, as her vacation was about to end and there was no one to take care of her sons.

That was November 2015. She did the work. She found the perfect nanny. In 4 days. I presented her with the tools, and she built a new scenario. She still has that nanny. Below is her testimonial:

"Our nanny, Lili, is PHENOMENAL and is just getting better! [In our Life Challenge consultation], you made me say the things I already knew, OUT LOUD, which in turn made me fess up to myself about what I didn't realize was affecting my judgment in choosing a nanny. I had to take self-inventory and apply 'me' to my situation. I was being VERY picky in the wrong areas in choosing a nanny; I had to see myself as the nanny as opposed to the employer. I needed to find myself in the woman that I wanted and needed for a nanny. It's amazing how all this came to me because the self-inventory and looking for myself happened DURING the interview with her! Thank you again!" ~NaTasha Smith

If you're ready to build a new scenario, then let's get to it. You can find all the info you need at www.honorthespirit.com.

Monday, June 27, 2016

HOW CAN I HELP YOU HONOR YOUR SPIRIT?

I wanna take a moment to remind you of the ways I can help you move forward in your life, through the work I do with Hustle Diva Speaks and Honor the Spirit.

I have many products and services that will not only help you push through challenging scenarios but also give you the tools to take your thinking and actions to a higher level (and keep them there), so you can continue moving through those rough patches with greater ease on your own.

Let's start with my poetry and self-help books, which are the foundation of all of my motivational-speaking services. Whether you're struggling with general life challenges or if you're trying to find your purpose and passion so you can be engaged in work that fulfills your spirit while you help others, I've got you covered. Check out You Are What You Say You Are: Claiming Your Life's Mission & Living Your Dream and Building Faith and Character Through Life Challenges for detailed info on how to tackle those scenarios. Grab a copy of Wisdom Nuggets for that quick but potent mental boost you sometimes need as you're confronted with the many faces of the day. And, of course, my poetry, which you've been introduced to here (and many of you have heard me perform live), is full of both subtle and in-your-face messages that help guide you through those tight spots. You can even find inspiration on my spoken-word CD She Is Poetry.

For a more in-depth spiritual journey, I have Life Challenge and Life Mission consultations, which were borne from their [partial] namesake books, mentioned above. These two services are geared toward working with people one on one, for short or extended periods of time, to knock down the walls that are keeping them from "the other side" of their scenarios, where they really wanna be.

For an equally inspiring yet fun and interactive way to walk the path of self-improvement, I have a special poetry workshop that I created, where my self-esteem-based poetry is used as the foundation for critical thinking, private introspection, and group discussion, which is ultimately designed to give the audience members a new perspective on themselves and the selected topic (presented through a live spoken-word performance by me), and hopefully inspire them to take healthy new action based on what they learned in the workshop.

Lastly, I've got a quick but great way for you to start and end your day on a positive note: my daily mantras that are sure to invigorate your mind. In under two minutes, you can set the tone for a successful day and a peaceful night.

As you can see, there are many ways I can help you "do you" to the best of your ability. Take a look around. See if there's anything you'd like to partake in. If you know people who might be interested in or would benefit from my services, then please feel free to pass the links on to them. I'd love to walk with you (and your friends and family) on your journey to peace and happiness, whether on paper or in person.

Take care, and always remember to honor the spirit.

Monday, June 20, 2016

AVERAGE IS A BLESSING, TOO

A couple of years ago, I was walking down the street on an average, sunny day—so average that I found myself complaining that "nothing" was happening. I pouted for about thirty seconds about my perception that the day was boring and nothing exciting was going on in my life at the moment (read: some of my goals and dreams hadn't come to fruition). As soon as I finished the complaint, the "good voice" in my head told me to acknowledge the fact that what I had noticed was actually a blessing—it reminded me that I was complaining about something that wasn't a given: a completely peaceful day where there was absolutely no drama, accidents, or chaos to deal with, when, somewhere in the world, probably not far away, someone was not having my harmonious day. Even though I was still working on accomplishing this-and-that goal, the real benefit was that I was able to enjoy a fulfilling walk in the sun without any real upset in my life or immediate environment.

At the time, I was in the middle of a writing challenge my colleague started on Facebook, where, for 30 days, we would write at least one Haiku a day. Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry with three lines and 17 syllables total—first line 5, second line 7, third line 5; and it usually centers on nature or perspectives on everyday subjects; but the idea is to arouse the reader's senses or evoke a certain feeling. Because I was in creativity mode at all times during that month, always thinking of the next Haiku, my mental juices were in full swing when I had that revelation, and a great Haiku came to me that I really connected with on a deep level. I titled it "THANKLESS":

Days without mishap
are stepchildren of blessings:
ignored and unloved 


As I thought more about it, I realized there are so many people who move through their days with complete disregard for the fact that they're making it through without incident—just step right over it like smooshed gum on the street. It's like no one cares about those days, like they don't deserve recognition. In fact, it's as if the perception is that if all's quiet on the Western front, it's a problem. The real problem is that we just aren't grateful enough for those quiet days. We're always looking for or expecting the excitement, the joyous moments, and even the unhealthy drama. It's like the day is a total bust without them. But in reality, a quiet, "uneventful" day is a huge success. It reminds me of Ice Cube's hit song "It Was a Good Day." Sometimes, preferably regularly, you gotta take time to give props to those days.

Well, I liked the sentiment so much that I decided to put it on a T-shirt and wear it frequently, as a reminder to praise easy days. Later, I decided I'd like to put more of my Haiku poems on shirts. I didn't actually do it until last week, along with a few empowerment quotes I came up with (right now they're faith-based, but others are on the way), and I'd like to share them with you.

If you see something you or someone you know might like, then please feel free to put in an order (they make great gifts!). And, of course, "Thankless" is among the options. (Please note that if you're using an iPhone or Android, the page is best viewed with your screen rotated vertically.)

Let's try to remember that every day won't be full of fireworks and rah-rah. Sometimes it's good to just enjoy the comfort with which you move through your circumstances, and toast to that victory at the end of the day.

Always remember to honor the spirit.

Monday, June 13, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: IF EMOTIONS COULD TALK

How do you think you would go about making life decisions if regret were a person who had an agenda and could actually tell you what it is? Think about that for a minute. If regret could talk to you about what it really does to you when you make decisions you wish you could change, do you think you would try to make better, healthier decisions so you could avoid it in the future? Would you be as true to yourself as possible, nicer to people, more prudent in your moves?

I'm speaking more so of the choices you make when you're pondering options, and there's that part of you that knows deeeeep down that you should go Route A, but Route B sounds better, seems easier, may get you what or where you want faster, etc., but probably isn't the wisest choice. I'm not talking about when you make a choice and you truly have no idea that it's gonna turn out bad or that you shouldn't do it. Sometimes, we do things based on limited knowledge and information, and we don't know of any other options so we go with what we think is right, and it turns into a "thing" that we wish we had known all the ramifications of. I'm also not talking about doing something completely logical that turns into a "thing" because of someone else's actions, which you can't control.

For example, a friend was telling me that when she was in college and trying to get into business school, she had a slew of tests coming up that she needed to pass in order for that to happen. Long story short, she had a ton of notes and books, and she left her backpack in a car, and someone broke into the car and stole it. She failed all her classes because she didn't have her notes or books. She didn't get into that school. She felt like a failure because of it, and said it was one of her biggest regrets. I told her she didn't do anything to regret. Someone stole her bag out of a car. People leave stuff in cars all the time. The car was locked. It's not like she carelessly left it in a cafe or in a store or out in the streets somewhere. Was it devastating? Sure. But there wasn't anything she could do about that person's actions.

I'm talking about the stuff you do that involves the dark side of your ego, the side that convinces you to do things that aren't good for you or others, and when it's all said and done, you kick yourself for the next decade because it turned into a fiasco that you may not be able to fix.

So, back to my question: What do you think you would do if regret could talk to you? Well, I happen to know exactly what it would say (sort of, hee hee). I'm in a writing group, and we have daily writing prompts. Day five of this month was to write about regret as if it had human qualities. I chose to write a poem in first person, from Regret's point of view, and I'd like to share it with you right here. I hope you heed the message. I had no idea what I was gonna write, but as I took on the challenge, I realized I was coming up with what felt like a pretty accurate description of how regret takes over. The poem is even making me think about how I'll proceed with decisions in the future.

I'd love to hear your take on it and how it made you feel. As always, I hope you enjoy the work, and I hope it helps you advance in your life in some way.

For information about my life consulting services, please visit www.honorthespirit.com

Monday, June 6, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: ARE YOU THE GREATEST?

By now you probably all know that yet another celebrity has left the realm: Muhammad Ali. One of the things that made him so memorable was that fact that, at every chance he got, he publicly proclaimed that he was "the greatest" in his craft of boxing. That was a pretty bold statement to make, especially as often as he did. But I've been thinking about it: He really was phenomenal, and he not only took on but also defeated many opponents that probably should have done him in. A prime example is former heavyweight champion George Foreman, whom Ali snatched the title from during their world-famous fight. Foreman's punches were compared to that of a sledgehammer, and Ali was fully informed of his reputation prior to their fight. Still, he won.

But what makes a great truly great? In Ali's case, it was more than just boxing skills; it was also savvy. He realized that in order to beat Foreman, he would have to use a special strategy. Being great at something doesn't mean you'll automatically prevail without certain efforts. Ali was prudent enough to understand the fact that George wasn't someone he could go into the ring with and easily take out. The consensus was that if he wanted to win, he would need to wear George down physically before he could really make a move that would matter. Ali's body and mind were prepped for the heavy punches he would have to endure. He had a level of fortitude that George wasn't anticipating. As you can see in the video above, it took eight rounds to accomplish his KO mission, and George was devastated by the loss. Ali's combination of skill, wisdom, confidence, ability to accept the reality of the situation and work around it, and his determination was crucial to his victory. It occurred to me that in any situation, those are core elements that, if utilized regularly and together, can take you from average or good to great—and keep you there. (I would also add humility, but Ali wasn't really famous for that! LOL!)

This brings me to you: What are you great at? Can you even be audacious enough to proclaim your greatness at something? While you don't have to go as far as Ali, in the cocky way he trash-talked and boasted, I do think it's important to know what your strengths are, or even find one great strength, and play it up, use it, express it, take pride in it, hone it to the best of your ability. Being great at something is fabulous for your self-esteem, especially if you get to showcase that greatness to the world, and possibly use it to help others. Personally, I think I'm a great writer. I love my work; I'm happy with what I do with my writing. Could I be greater? I'm sure I could. And I strive to be greater. I can tell you right now that I'm not in the frame of mind to run out into the streets and call myself the greatest writer of all time, but I remember when I didn't think I was great at anything, and it made me feel very mediocre as a person. When I stepped into my role as a writer—I mean really embraced it as who I am—and began to work at it, study it, get better at it, and share it with the world, then I started to notice other things I was good and great at. My esteem shot up exponentially. The best part is that these traits and skills are things that no one can take from me, so I feel good about being happy about them, and I feel good about myself because of them.

If you haven't discovered your greatness, then I encourage you to ponder the subject. Everyone's great at something. What's your claim to fame?

Take good care of yourselves, and always remember to honor the spirit!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

THE LIFE-CHALLENGE SERIES: SILENCE IS GOLDEN

Now isn't always the time to speak your mind. Sometimes now is a really bad time. If your temper is out of control, your thoughts aren't totally clear, you've got a string of obscenities rolling through your head that you're close to hurling at someone, or if the one thing you wanna say right now will destroy you, the relationship, or the situation, then ... nope ... now's not a good time.

Sadly, so many times we allow ourselves to "go there," to let people make us snap. We get into verbal altercations that, when over, we truly regret having partaken in. We wish like hell we'd not lost our cool and said that thing; we're mad at ourselves because we didn't take the time to exit stage right and go formulate the best response to a crucial matter; we lament over having let ourselves be emotionally assaulted by someone, without so much as offering three words in our own defense. It's like we forget that we have a choice in the matter, that we can press pause before we move forward (or let people continue to trample on us) so we can make sure things go as smoothly as possible. Many times we get swept away by our ego: "I can't let so and so have the last word so I need to finish this now"; "I won't let so and so talk to me like this"; "If I don't say something—anythingnow, I'll lose the opportunity to have my say."

Communication is so important. Healthy, calm communication is even more important. Words are our most powerful resource and weapon, and when we use them haphazardly, it can literally ruin us and others. Whether they're conveyed in person or not, the words we choose, the time we choose to release them, and the tone we choose for their delivery are truly the be all and end all of how our relationships are played out. I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to kick myself for having "let that slip out," not speaking up for myself (either at all or in the way I would have preferred), or for not waiting until I'd had a chance to calm down or assess all of my feelings first.

When you don't communicate clearly, or in a way or time frame that's best for you, even if the other person disagrees with your methods, it chips away at your self-esteem. Life can be really difficult when your communication skills are not on point. You have to talk to people. You can't avoid disagreements. People will take issue with what you have to say sometimes, maybe even a lot. Healthy communication is an art. It doesn't just happen. You don't just come into the world with stellar skills. It takes being able to get in touch with and be honest about your feelings, being confident in the fact that they matter (even if you're the only one who thinks they do), and learning how and when to say things so that when the interaction is over, you feel good about how you presented yourself. Here's the thing: people don't have to like what you say; in fact, if it's not what they wanna hear, then they probably won't. But that doesn't matter. As long as you state your case as clearly, confidently, and respectfully as possible, then your work is done. It's not necessarily your job to get people to agree with you. Sometimes it's merely about being heard, understood, and respected.

However, like I said at the beginning, sometimes later is a better time to pursue all that. Sometimes not engaging right now is the best, most compassionate thing you can do for yourself and the people involved. Sometimes you may find that not saying anything at all is the best approach, depending on what's at stake. Once an interaction goes sideways, that's it; there's no fixing it. You can apologize, sure, but the damage will have already been done. And if there's one thing people are great at, it's remembering when something jacked up has been said to them, and holding a grudge about it.

Right now, I'd like to introduce you to the concept of the flip side of compassion, the kind that often doesn't look or feel good but that really is the best way to handle a situation in the moment. While in progress, it may not get you any love or respect, but in the end, after you've had time to get your head right, all involved will hopefully see that your silence was indeed a gift. I wrote this poem after I'd had a moment where I chose silence over an angry outburst. It was then that I realized how important that other side of the coin is, and that it's actually a great and necessary thing.

How would you rate your communication skills? Do you feel good about the way you interact with people? How can you improve? Can you see how utilizing compassion in the way I described in the poem could be beneficial? Just some questions to ask yourself. I encourage you to ponder them, your answers, and ways to uplevel your articulation game.

Always remember to honor the spirit!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

NEW YEAR, NEW SCRIPT!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone!! I hope your holiday season was spectacular and you entered 2016 full of gratitude, goals, and guts!

As we kick off this first month of the year, I wanna ask you: What kinds of thoughts do you entertain when you first wake up every day? Are you the ever-positive person who wakes up feeling determined about the day, who makes it a point to only entertain progressive, encouraging thoughts and words, ones that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, excited to race out the door to greet the day? Oh. That's not you every day? WHY NOT?! LOL, I'm kidding. Although those types do exist, the real deal is that many of us are challenged to start the day with a life-affirming script playing in our heads. We're bogged down with so many issues, fears, concerns, guilt, resentment, dilemmas, and confusion that it makes it hard to wake up with bells on, sporting enthusiasm and hope.

I enjoy mantras and affirmations. Some of the ones I've come across have been pretty great, others ... not so much. That said, in 2015, one of my lightweight goals was to come up with a daily mantra track that I could offer to the public, through Honor the Spirit, but that I could also use for myself. I wanted to create something that was succinct—got right to the point without a bunch of unnecessary, hypnotizy fluff—packed a punch with its content, but that also had a nice verbal flow and felt good to listen to ... something I could put on repeat if I wanted to, and have it be so soothing that it could play 20 times in a row and I wouldn't mind one bit, because its message and melody were so effective. Hmmm ... that's a tall order. Or so I thought.

I pondered the subject a bit, asking myself what words I wanted to listen to every morning, that would encourage me and allow me to feel even a little bit excited about facing and pushing through the day. Then I looked at a few of my personal prayers and how I had worded them. I write all of my goals, dreams, and general prayers down, and I look at them every day. I take great care to make sure when I do write them down, they're expressed in the clearest way possible, because what I've learned is that when your desires aren't clear, you can't really achieve them. The bulk of my goals center around the basics in life: money, career, health, relationships (all kinds), and a desire to be blanketed by universal protection at every turn. In truth, I think most people's goals have something to do with those elements, simply because they're "basic." Everyone desires money, good health, supportive relationships, and the ability to glide through the day without incident. Having realized that, I answered the question of what kind of script I'd like to plant in my head every morning ... and close out the night with.

I decided to use those basics as my foundation, then work on the exact wording from there. I wanted make sure the script was as universal as possible, so everyone who listened would [hopefully] feel the content resonated with them on a spiritual level. I finally came up with text I really love, spent quite a bit of time recording and re-recording it, to make sure it had the exact tone and flow I wanted; then I found some great music to accompany it, enlisted my wonderful colleague to marry the two (thank you, Nate!), and by mid-December, I had achieved my goal. I should also mention that before I sealed the deal on its "readiness," I sent it to select friends and supporters, to get their opinion on everything: words, music, and suggested price. Everyone loved it! SCORE!
 
I would like to now take this time to unveil the Operation Superior Life Daily Mantras, available for purchase! I gotta tell you: I've been listening to it pretty much every day, sometimes on repeat, just like I intended, and WOW, it really does everything I envisioned (for me)! I've even noticed that, because I've listened to it so many times, I know the words by heart now, and at random moments in the day, I'll catch the script rolling through my head, which I love, because it not only keeps me focused on the life I wanna have, but it also wards off negative thoughts. I hope you'll all partake. It's a healthy, effective, super-quick way to position yourself for success every day!
 
Take care, and always remember to honor the spirit!