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Passion Living Out Loud

Find Your Passion and Run With It…

Month

April 2013

Purging

empty roomTo purge means to become free of impurities; to rid self of unwanted/unnecessary distractions in our lives.

The word ‘purge’ has recently become a very regular part of my vocabulary. I’m coming to the close of my process of moving from one residence to the next. The process itself has been very daunting and in some cases discouraging. I’ve had to make list after list of things I need to get done before the move. I’ve been packing practically every day for the last two weeks. If I never see another cardboard box in my life, I’ll be grateful. However, I hope by the completion of my move, I’m able to look back on the process and just laugh or something close to it.

So, now I’m sure you’re asking yourself what the heck does my rant about hating the process for moving have to do with purging. I guess there is one aspect that I’m appreciating about the process. I could perceive to make things easy on myself and just throw everything in a box or bag; stuff it away without thinking twice about getting rid of it; take everything with me to my next destination. Or I could do what I’ve been doing so far and review what actually needs to move forward with me in my life.

I’m slightly a hoarder of some things by nature. I hate getting rid of paper, be it mail or letters from special someones. I consider most everything in my life a memory that I never want to let go. Because of that hoarding nature, I can build up and hold on to a lot of things that I probably should let go of as soon as I’ve seen it once. Since I’ve been throwing things away there’s been a rippling effect of mental freedom for me. My mind is more open and a little more clear. The purging of old things is actually going to make my move easier. It’s going to make the actual move more efficient. There will be less for me to carry on, less for me to find a space for to store it away in my new residence. In some respects, it’s going to cost me less in the end. When I move, my mind will be more free to focus on the things that really matter to me like my family and my passion. And all because I took the time to purge some things from my life.

Purging is necessary in our lives. Without doing so from time to time, your life will be cluttered from self-imposed actions. There is a cost for cluttered living. You sacrifice your state of mind, your happiness, your relationships, your level of efficiency, your capacity to take on things head first in life. Have there ever been moments in your life that left you feeling cluttered, distracted from your main purpose or goal? Find out what you can make room for. Maybe there are some areas in your life that need purging, freeing. Don’t let the lack of purging limit your possibilities of happiness.

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PASSION LIVING: IN LIVING COLOR: CHRISTINA WEBB

christina with bunThis week’s interview has to be the most special interview I’ve done thus far. You know how they say you come in this world alone? Well,  that’s not always true. I am blessed to say I was born a twin to this week’s interviewee, Christina Webb. We came in this world together! Well…technically, she slid in twenty-eight minutes before me, but I’ll always say we came here together. I love this girl so much and I have been afforded the opportunity to watch her grow into an intelligent, beautiful woman the past thirty-one years of my life! If following your passion was a gift, I’d say Christina definitely has a gift. Check out her interview on her passion and why I feel she’s living it OUT LOUD!

What is your passion?

My passion is track and field.

What are you currently doing to display your passion?

I am currently coaching one of the top track teams in the state of Tennessee, Northeast High School!

I’ve seen them run and they are definitely tough competition for any team. Did you always see yourself coaching? Did you always consider it to be a passion?

I have been coaching since 2001. I didn’t always know that I would be a coach and that I would enjoy it so much. I began participation in track at the age of 13. I fell in love with the sport at that time. I enjoyed being a part of a team environment and then my competitive edge began to kick in. But even with all of that I never foresaw myself being involved in the sport long-term.

It’s amazing how passions develop over time. They are birth out of inconspicuous moments. What are your most proud moments as Coach Webb?

Today I enjoy working with young kids and seeing them improve as athletes and as leaders. I am glad when I know that I have played a role when an athlete feels special because they just got a new personal record or that an athlete got a college scholarship to run and it helps to alleviate some of the college expenses.

Photo by Tammy  Williams Kelly
Photo by Tammy Williams Kelly

As a coach, how do you determine the best workout routine or the best way to develop your team?

I look at how the workouts have progressed over the week and review what the goals have been from week to week. I try to realize what their strengths are as individual athletes.

So, who inspired or what inspired you most to begin coaching track?

My parents and coaches inspired me the most to live out my passions. They each pushed me to be the best and to never give up. My personality has an obsessive component to it and so once I start something I can’t stop. I can’t stop right now with coaching and working with young people.

Do you hope that you inspire any of your athletes to develop a passion for coaching ?

I really just want them to develop a passion for something in their life. It doesn’t have to be coaching. I just really hope for them to have a passion for something positive, whether it be a doctor, teacher, or whatever they decide. I just want them to be passionate about something.

In ten years, what do you hope to be doing with your passion as Coach?

I hope that I am still coaching and that my team, wherever I am coaching, has won several state championship titles. I hope that many of my athletes have gone on to college whether for track or academics and maybe one or two will be competing on the professional level!

I am proud to say I know this passionate woman and can call her my twin sister, but better yet, it’s always good to know people who’s passions are positively influencing the future! Kudos Coach Webb and keep LIVING YOUR PASSION OUT LOUD!

Passion Block

writersblock1I remember the process for writing my first novel. There were some days that I could just write and write and write. The ideas would flow from one sentence to the next. Sometimes it would be hard for my typing speed to keep up with my thoughts. There would be an overflow of my passion flowing through my veins. Then there were days that I could hit my head against a brick wall to come up with ideas for the novel. I would start a sentence with maybe just two words and nothing else would come. I’d feel unproductive and dissatisfied with my progress.

Talk about frustration. I would reluctantly close my laptop and accept that those days were the ones that I just wasn’t going to be able to give my passion 100%. I had no words. No thoughts. Nothing to share. After having a few of those days, the frustration began to leave. I had to accept that some days just weren’t going to be my most passionate days. But I also had to keep in mind that  I would have more 100% passionate days to come again. I’d have more words to come to my mind, more juicy plots and insightful story-lines. And I needed to relish in those days and truly appreciate them.

Maybe you live out your passion every day. It could possibly even be your paid job, but you may not always be 100% feeling it. We’re human. Every day won’t be a 100% day. It may just be a 90% or 45% day. The great thing about that is that it’s ok because every day won’t always be less than 100%. There will be somewhat of a balance. Those less than 100% days can be your moments for rejuvenation. As the bible explains, after creating the heavens and the earth, God rested on the seventh day. Even He took a break from His passion for creating life. You’re no different. Even though those days off may not be by choice, they just may be necessary. Take those opportunities to revive your passionate spirit! Don’t ignore your passion block, but accept the block as your resting space before you go 100% to the next moment!

 

Faster Than You Can…

tortoise and hareThis morning was definitely an interesting one for me. As a first time mother with a five-year old, inquisitive, and relatively mature for her age, daughter, she definitely had me a bit stumped this morning. However, a great thought came to mind that I wanted to share. So… here’s how my morning went as we prepared for school and work.

 

Me: “Baby, go brush your teeth and come to me when you’re finished.”

Daughter: “Yes, mommy.” She goes to brushes her teeth and comes to me afterwards as instructed. “Here I am. What next?” She looked a bit strange, standing with her arms tucked away under her breast bone as if she had something under each arm.

Me: What’s under your arms?

Daughter: Nothing.

Me: Why are you holding your arms like that?

Daughter: “Nothing.” I reach out to her arms to pull them upwards as I was determined to see what she was trying to hide. To my surprise I still couldn’t see anything.

Me: “You’re holding your arms like that for a reason. What’s wrong with your arms?” I began to see something protruding from each side of her underarm, but in her shirt.

Daughter: “Ok. Ok. Ok. It’s a bra.”  My eyes bucked widely as I tried not to laugh.

Me: “A bra? Why do you have on a bra?”

Daughter:  “Because.”

Me: “Because what?”

Daughter: “Because I want to wear a bra. My friend Mariah at school wears a bra.”

Me: “Well baby, it’s not time for you to wear a bra so go take that off. When it’s time, we’ll both know and you can wear one then.” Talk about a conversation I never imagined I’d have almost four years prematurely. She walked away and obediently took the bra off and placed it where she’d found it, but she wasn’t too happy about it. She actually cried tears of disappointment that she couldn’t wear the bra, more than that, she later explained that she was sad because she didn’t have breasts. We had a long conversation while I combed her hair this morning about how all things happen in due time. In the end, she felt better knowing that the time would come for her to wear a bra and she had something to look forward to.

My interesting conversation with my daughter this morning initiated this post. Sometimes we can want something so badly, but the time to receive just isn’t present. I thought about how I so badly wanted to publish my first novel, “Enough Time” at least six years before it was actually carried out. I used to toil over the fact that maybe I wasn’t supposed to be a writer. Maybe I was just wasting my time with my passion and that I’d never be able to share it on a more grand scale. The real truth was that it wasn’t time for me to publish my book. I had a lot more developing to do as a writer. The story, itself, wasn’t even ready to be shared. It contained its own set of flaws; more re-writing and re-writing was necessary. The avenue for the way it would be funded hadn’t been developed. I hadn’t even met my editor at that time to help edit the book to make it close to perfect. The same way she wants to have breasts or wear a bra at five is the same premature thoughts I had about publishing my book. There were things that had to be set up, put in place, and developed before I could publish.

Everything happens in due time. That’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from following my passion. Sometimes you just don’t get things because the timing isn’t right. Keep following your passion knowing that when the time is right the avenues for expansion or public display will occur (that’s if that’s your goal). Passions have to be developed. They have to be nurtured. That development may be a lot slower than you desire, but more than likely, it will be best developed right on time. You can’t make it happen any faster than it is supposed to. Don’t rush the development of your passion. Take your time. Don’t rush getting it ‘out there’ until there is an unmistakable sign that the time has arrived.

As always, until the next post, live passionately and live it OUT LOUD!

Stirring the Pot…

stir the pot“That looks and smells so good. Let me taste what you’re cooking in that pot you’re stirring. Better yet, let me use your spoon so I can stir my own pot.”

Have you ever been at someone’s house or even your own and the food that was cooking just smelled so good? You couldn’t wait for the food to be ready. You may have even asked to taste a little bit of it. Heck, you could have even been the person cooking and just couldn’t wait to serve the food, so you tasted the goodness of what was in your pot before everyone else.  Your passion is your pot of happiness. It is the outlet in which you can find refuge to encourage and motivate you. When you begin to live your passion out loud, your happiness will flow so heavily that others will see the difference in your life. As a matter of a fact, they will want some of what is making you happy. They may ask to borrow your spoon, or your happiness. That’s part of the point though. We are created to help others, to positively influence the lives of others.

When you follow your passion, you are more whole than ever before. You begin to understand that you hold the key to your happiness. In the case of this post, you hold the spoon to stir happiness in your life. The daily living out of your passion is like stirring your happiness up; keeping your life from becoming sticky or undesirable. Similar to how you have to constantly stir pasta so the individual strands don’t stick to each other and become lumpy. Your passion and how it relates to your happiness in life is no different. You have to constantly stir your passion around, keep working at it, keep perfecting it.

Just think about how good spaghetti is after you’ve stirred it and it is blended with the rest of its ingredients. The other ingredients can be considered the people around you. Maybe your children, your spouse or significant others, your church or organization’s family. Because of how well you’ve stirred your pot, they want to be apart of your journey. They see how tender the strands are, or how happy you have become from living out your passion. They may even want to create their own pot of spaghetti. They will want to get in on the goodness you’ve found. Because you’ve created an environment of happiness, you can better interact, involve, and influence others in your life.

Stir your pot and don’t stop stirring. Your happiness will rub off on others to find their own!

PASSION LIVING: IN LIVING COLOR: MALIK “M.K.J.” JOHNSON

MalikThere is something very special about this week’s ‘Passion Living: In Living Color’ interviewee, Malik “M.K.J.” Johnson. I chose to interview Malik for two main reasons: 1) he is a young man living his passion out loud, and 2) he is man who stands for his convictions and beliefs in Jesus. I often say there are no limitations to living your passion out loud and Malik exemplifies every piece of that thought. It takes a strong person to follow his passion and truly work to impact the eternal lives of others.

Check out his interview and find out how he’s living his passion out loud!

What is your passion? 

Bringing the GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ, especially through GOOD MUSIC!

Have you always been in tune with your passion?

Always. Been apart of me my whole life.  It’s who I am.

Can you recall when you first realized it was your passion?

It’s been a while, but when I first heard rap music, especially Gospel rap, I would listen repeatedly; at least a million times. Then I would start to recite their lyrics. I eventually started to develop my own flow and style and I have been rolling ever since.

Who/What inspired you most to live out your passion?

Many artists that have come before me and the ones who have actually taught me the music game inspired me. But at the end of the day, JESUS CHRIST keeps me rolling and motivated.

What have been some of your greatest challenges, if any, in following your passion? How did you overcome those challenges?

My greatest challenge has been probably just being alone with this. I have run with many artist, people, etc., but I’m still the last one standing. It has been a challenge trying to stand out all by yourself in doing this ministry, but what has kept me going is that I have remained FAITHFUL and CONSISTENT, which has taken me to many places and has allowed me to reach MANY, MANY people. Plus, my Savior Jesus Christ has been and always will be faithful to me and He never changes.

What are some of your past or current projects that display your passion?

Well I’ve released 3 mixtapes and I’m about to release my very first album this summer. There’s at least 1 song on each of my mixtapes that I have the most passion on such as “I’m a Keep On” (The Motivation Mixtape), “Limitless” (M.K.J. The Exclusive-Mixtape), and “Keep It LIVE” (Feel the Vibe-Mixtape)

Have you been able to expand your passion into other things?

Absolutely. I’ve done shows throughout the Mid-south, producing music, theme songs, etc for schools, and churches. I have been featured on other artists’ albums and mixtapes nationwide including Mr. Del’s “Holy South Reloaded” which is under the Universal Christian Music Group. I’ve even done a couple TV interviews. So yes, definitely. It’s been awesome!

What do you hope to be doing with your passion in ten years? 

Really just having my city, Memphis, TN., on lock and fully captured by Jesus Christ’s love because I LOVE my city. I love the youth and the people in it. So just expanding if not outside of Memphis, definitely Memphis permanently.

Well folks, there you have it. Malik “M.K.J.” Johnson has been living his passion out loud for a long time and his convictions say he won’t be letting go anytime soon! Be blessed Malik! And keep living your passion out loud!

Molding the Clay

molding clayI thought a unique way to consider following your passion(s) was to think of it in terms of molding clay. Think of your favorite decorative vase that sits in the center of your coffee table or that flower pot that holds the plants that you work effortlessly to keep alive. The time it took to make the vase or the flower pot was extensive; tedious even. The person that put their muscle into shaping it to be the admirable piece that you love had to be patient. They had to be diligent and persistent in shaping it to perfect form. If they wanted to see a complete and finished product, they couldn’t give up. Even when the clay seemed to remain stubbornly uneven, without the consistent molding of the clay, the vase or flower pot would never be.  During each stage of the molding, the potter may find themselves re-molding portions of the clay they’d already formed. There is an end to the process, but the process itself includes refining the clay at various points.

Defining and refining your passion is so important in terms of finding your happiness in life. You may have determined what your passion is; be it cooking, dancing, writing, singing, or helping others.  You can always refine your passion. You always have the opportunity to continuously develop and shape your passion. Yes, you may have found your happiness, but life can so easily bend us and try to reshape us into forms we desire not to be. Every day you should be re-evaluating your passion, reviewing it, studying it, making it better than before. Don’t be discouraged when following your passion reveals some challenges. You will have to smooth out the areas that may sometimes leave bubbles or air holes in your life. Following your passion is no different.

Continue molding your passion. Make it your best work yet!

My Passion on Display

Hi All! I want to sing and dance! Today is Friday, the end of the work week for me, and I am too excited! Why? Because the weekends are usually the best days for me to take advantage of working on my passion-writing. This weekend I’ll be doing just that, whether its writing a new story, preparing interviews for this blog, or doing production on my latest screen write.

So… what is this post about today? I’m going to put my passion on display. You can check out a few of my past and current projects below. Since 2010, I’ve been like a tornado; consuming and exuding all that my passion is within me.

Blog Cover PageFirst up… In 2010, I entered the ‘blog-sphere’ and started my short fiction blog,   “Is It Real?”. On the blog, each reader can find short fiction pieces that I’ve written. There used to be about fifty listed, but then I got the great idea to turn those short stories into one of my upcoming books! That being said, now you can find about ten or so short, fiction stories on the blog. The blog was initially my way of being continuous in my writing; attempting to become more proficient in my passion. I wanted to get better at my writing, by putting my thoughts on the screen with little editing to see what I came up with. I wanted to see my writing as raw as possible. The other purpose of the blog is to create a space where readers can be entertained by the short fiction, but also positively affected to the point of wanting to be more introspective and become better individuals. It’s titled “Is It Real?” because I feel life should always consist of substance. It’s easy for individuals to be caught up in false importance in life, but it’s more rewarding to live by what truly matters. By late, 2010, I was able to reach a larger audience and build a small fan base! You can visit my blog, “Is It Real?” at www.isitarealone.blogspot.com!

book (2)Secondly, in 2012, I finally self-published my greatest work to date (or so I consider it to be), “Enough Time”. It’s a fiction novel that follows the lives of Rhea Dudley, Julian Jones, and Sonja Tremmel. While their stories follow very different paths, they all are seeking redemption; looking for the newness in themselves and lives. Rhea Dudley, a young, married teacher is used to appeasing other, but not giving herself what she deserves. While trying to find her voice throughout the pain and hurt that is thrown her way, she learns she is more independent and stronger than she’d ever believed. Julian Jones, is a top finance executive, that was once rejected by his family based on his chosen lifestyle. He finds himself trying to fill his paternal void in all the wrong places and because of that, learns a lot of lessons the hard way until he is able to forgive and move forward. Lastly, Sonja Tremmel is a young mother that is struggling between addictions, lack of trust, and betrayal from friends, family, and the like. Once she decides she wants a better life for herself and her child, the doors for redemption push her into a world of redemption. “Enough Time” is available on www.amazon.com in print and also in eBook versions by any online eBook retailer. For more details about the book, to include a book trailer, excerpts, interviews and more, visit my website @ www.christinwebb.com!

photo(1)And lastly, as if the first two weren’t enough (especially when considering I maintain this blog as well), I’ve been able to expand my passion into producing my first screen write titled, “Last Call”. Here’s a quick synopsis of the short film: “Last Call” follows Kyris, a single mom who is at the crossroads of life, as she embarks on a trip that will change her and her son’s life forever. Will the decisions she makes set the both of them on a path for a bright future…Or will they lead to a deeper darkness… This is my second time producing a film and definitely a new-found love that I will be sure to continue in the future. “Last Call”, filmed in Memphis, TN, is due to be finished in 2013 and will be submitted to multiple film festivals! The trailer for “Last Call” can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XdZ7TcACO5A.

Well, that’s about it! There are a few other things that I’ve got going on outside of my passion, but these should keep me pretty busy for now! Hope you enjoyed the quick promos and will follow, share, or comment about any or all of them!

Until the next post, LIVE YOUR PASSION OUT LOUD!

To Believe Is To Be…

BelieveHey readers! It’s an extremely rainy day here in my hometown of Memphis, TN. The forecasters said it would be an 80% chance of rain. And so, far they are right. It’s so rainy, that I pulled my bed covers over head this morning and ignored my persistent alarm. I’m sure most of you can relate to that feeling. Rain has a tendency to make you just feel ‘blah’. As I finally sat up in  my bed, after hitting the snooze button for an hour, it hit me that rainy days can have an effect on my mood and my perception of what kind of day I’ll have. It can make me feel like the day is going to be a drag. It can make me believe that I’m going to have an uphill battle. What’s crazy about the thought is that it doesn’t have to be true.

OK… so what did I do about that feeling this morning? After my normal routine of devotion and then a good glass of orange juice, I began telling myself that today would be a good day; a productive day; a stress free day. I began to believe it would be the opposite of the mood the rain was putting me in. Did you catch that? I began to believe…

I say all that to point out how believing in your passion is no different. Your happiness lies within your perception. When following your passion, you have to believe in yourself. Others may doubt it. You may even have days that you are unsure if following it is even worth it. Whether sharing your passion to yourself or publicly, you will only be successful at it, if you believe in its purpose despite your surroundings or circumstances. Webster’s dictionary defines belief as a state or habit of mind in which trust or confidence is placed in some person or thing. Believe in your passion(s)! It never has to be a rainy day for you!

No matter what the circumstances are around you, your belief of a positive outcome will truly define how those circumstances affect you. Your belief in yourself and your passion determines your very being. True, it is raining today, whether I do a reverse rain dance or not, but I made a point to believe I was going to have a great day and in my world (my head), the sun is shining brightly! So far, it has been a good, productive, and stress free day and I believe it will continue!

Believe in you and watch the sun come out every day!

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