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Passion Living Out Loud

Find Your Passion and Run With It…

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February 2016

Rock or Sponge?

Sometimes it takes a particular message being said a particular way that makes it stand out and truly have a great impact to your understanding. This past Sunday I sat in my Sunday school class and one of the resonating questions the leader asked the class was did we want to be rocks or sponges. Read it again. Do you want to be a rock or a sponge? The two materials simply put are just words, but when linked into that question became powerful and important for me to reflect upon.

I have always considered myself a learner; a life learner. I enjoy workshops, classes, and studying for various lessons. Yet, if you know me well, you know that I have just a itsy-bitsy bit of hardheadedness. The learner in me makes it easy for me to be ready to soak up any knowledge that I surround myself. The hardheaded piece of me, makes it easy for me to block out valuable information for my life; whether I see it to be that or not. So, when I heard the leader ask that question, I immediately wanted to stand up and shout in front of the class, “I want to be a sponge!” Yet, I also wanted to put my head down in shame because I am undoubtedly the rock at times.

I want to be the sponge because I want to always be in a position to become greater; learning more; gaining more ground in my life. I want to be the person that is open and approachable. I want to have learned so much that I’m able to share with others and be open to them sharing with me. I can’t be the sponge if I allow the rock in me to be front and center at any point in my life. Being the sponge doesn’t mean I don’t have the ability to decipher and disseminate information, take a stance, or think for myself. It means that because I do allow others to feed into me, I am able to do those things even better. Being the rock means that the experiences and knowledge that surrounds me never penetrates my life. I grow at a slower rate or no rate at all. I choose to be a giver and receiver of life. Thus, the sponge.

Today, I pose the same question to you. Are you a rock or sponge?

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Pray, Prepare, and Proceed

You sit at your office desk or favorite place in your house to get your day started. You, like most, begin to think about the tasks that you know are ahead of you on that date. Some of those tasks are work related, some may even be personal. Whichever category those tasks fit in, the inevitable can happen. You walk out the house to head to work and meet your car with two flat tires. Ouch! Talk about a slow down to your day. It was unexpected and definitely undesirable. You have two choices. You can start cursing at the top of your lungs, kicking the tires of your car or take a deep breath and begin praying. Why pray? Well for one, you weren’t driving that car while it could have possibly had a blowout. Secondly, getting all uptight about the unexpected situation definitely won’t solve the issue. Heck, I’ve seen where the wrong attitude exacerbates the issue. Praying is a way of re-focusing your thoughts, becoming more in tune with what is important, being thankful for the situation not being any worse than it could be, and getting answers for how you should proceed next.

True enough, the tire example is a simple issue in most cases. It could be that your boss walks into your office and drops a huge project in your lap on top of your already mounting work. You may be called to your child’s school because they were misbehaving for the day. In life, there are some unexpected circumstances that can have much greater impacts on our lives. Loss of jobs, family, or deterioration in health. Whatever the impact is, I’ve learned the only effective approach is to pray about the situation, listen closely to how I should prepare in addressing the unexpected, and move forward. Nine times out of ten, I’ve seen this process work and work well. Is it an easy task? Absolutely not. I even laugh when I think of the answer to that question. By no means, is it easy to consistently face adversity and keep a cool head. However, it is possible to be cognitive of our ability to do so and work our hardest to do just that.

No matter what today presents to you. No matter how long that ‘To-Do’ list was and how much you’re not able to actually get done on it, just stop, pray, prepare and proceed in knowing that the unexpected will happen, but your unwavering faith will get you through!

Until the next post, keep living out loud and do so passionately!

 

A Letter to a Little Girl

I think we’ve all done it. Wished we could go back and talk to our younger self. I wish I could’ve told little Chris how resilient she’d become; how no matter the pain or hurt she’d experience the resonating rainbow would diminish it all; how the obstacles she’d create or encounter would become testimonies for those who looked on from afar. I wish I would’ve been able to tell little Chris that her dreams could be realized, actualized, and mobilized into her every day life; that her heart could be more open and more transparent than even she’d want it to; that her struggles simply become her strength; her lessons become leadership and fuel life into herself and others; her guard become her guide to truth and release. Little Chris had no clue who she’d become. She was unaware of what was in the making; in the plan; from the beginning of time before even her mother knew who she’d be. Tonight I was reflecting and felt a tremendous thankfulness for who I’ve become. Thankful that little Chris has become grown woman Chris; faithful Chris; unafraid and unashamed Chris; driven and purposeful Chris. Hopefully a Chris that even little Chris would be proud to become.

Perfect Timing

The List:

  • 2007 – Interviewed for a job – did not get the job
  • 2008 – Wanted to move to a desirable area of town – was not able to afford the rent
  • 2009 – Wanted to publish a book – could not publish the book
  • 2011 –  Interviewed again for job from 2007 – GOT the job
  • 2012 – Wanted to move to a desirable area of town – ABLE to afford the rent
  • 2012 – Wanted to publish a book – DID IT; published my first novel
  • 2016 – Want to keep progressing in life – WILL

This list isn’t about showing off or boasting about accomplishments, it simply speaks to the importance of timing. Not just timing, but perfect timing. I was in a conversation a few days ago with a co-worker. It started out about lifestyles, then moved on to careers and happiness of the job, and somewhere in the course of the discussion we talked about how some people race to complain about their current situation. “I should’ve gotten that job.” “I deserved that more than they did.””I wish I had this or I’d be happier with that.” Truth is we are where we are for a variety of reasons, but we have to accept that the ‘right now’ factor is not the ‘coming tomorrow‘ factor.

I’ve been guilty of the ‘right now’ mentality and have to make conscious efforts not to get caught up in what my now looks like. How do I do it? It’s in no way easy, but I try to remember the ‘once upon a times’ and how they became my ‘coming tomorrow’. There are so many of those moments. Sometimes I literally have to make a mental or physical list to remind myself that my ‘right now’ is no different than my ‘once upon a times’. Your right now is clearly a transition; a catalyst made up of time as you head to your ‘coming tomorrow’. It’s all about perfect timing. What isn’t reflected in that list is all the minute growing pains and gains that took place. What one can’t see from that list is the burst of maturity, the acceptance of change, and the faith to know the difference. I think back to what was going on in my life when I was facing a ‘could not’. I remember who I was during those times and let’s just say I’m thankful that I received them all; even as unfair as it may have seemed then the timing wasn’t for me. Now isn’t always the time for some things to happen. That’s why patience was created. We have to have it. We have to accept it. We have to live with it.

It’s imperative that at the front of our brains we keep the ‘GOT’, ‘ABLE, and ‘DID IT’ present. You don’t ignore that there was a ‘did not’ ‘could not’ or ‘not able’ , but be positive knowing that they are only temporary and with faith, growth, and maturity the best is yet to come. Try making you a list today or any day that you start questioning your current situation. If you notice, the last thing you should ALWAYS have on your list is the ‘WILL’. The will to be faithful; to make the right decisions; to accept growth; to know that forward is all you WILL accept.

 

Keep forward with the WILL passionistas! Your ‘coming tomorrow’ is just around the corner!

 

Can’t Solve an Emotional Problem with Logic

My dad and I had one of the best relationships I’ve ever had with another individual in my entire life. We could talk for hours and hours at a time. I could listen and listen to him talk for hours and hours at a time. He would fill me up with the most inspiring and encouraging words that it could take an army to try to tear down my confidence when he was done with me. I pretty much hung on to his every word. Even since his passing almost ten years ago, I still do. The one saying that he spoke that REPEATEDLY sticks out to me, especially when dealing with other people is: “You can’t solve an emotional problem with logic.”

While some people’s motives may make a little sense, there are others whose actions have absolutely nothing to do with nothing. It’s so easy to spend time trying to figure someone out; trying to know why they may have offended you; why they make less than smart decisions; why they do things that you know just don’t make sense. Save you, your brain and your heart some energy and remember that often times, people’s actions are merely a mirror of their emotion, not of their logic. The actions aren’t necessarily well thought out or even thought about to begin with. We are emotional beings battling making rational actions most every minute of our lives. Some people are more successful at the task than others. And guess what? You can’t spend much time trying to make sense of their battle. Just remember this saying when you’ve been wronged, confused, or left uncertain as to what made someone do what they did. It’s not for you to figure out!

I haven’t had anything recently happen that motivated my pen to this point, however, as I did my daily reflecting it hit me. I wanted to share with my readers that your valuable time in life should be spent pondering life’s wonderful moments, people, and things. It allows you more time to spend towards your passion; towards you.

I thank my dad every day for dropping that invaluable nugget into my conscience. I’ve never forgotten and it makes it easier for me to focus on what really matters in life.

Share this short nugget of living life out loud, on your terms and not bound by anyone else’s.

They Don’t Have to See What’s Being Built

The other day I drove down a familiar street. A street that I travel quite often; sometimes three or four times a week. It’s a street that’s existed for all of my life, yet on one particular corner of this street, I spotted an unfamiliar building. When I saw the building, I had to do a double take. I just knew I was seeing things or that my mind was playing tricks on me. I was surprised to see it because I hadn’t seen it before. The building wasn’t such a uniquely built building. It had no glass stained windows, or creatively designed structure, but for the first time in what I learned was months, I realized the building was there.

In today’s voyeuristic society, most people believe that if you can’t see something it’s not happening; it doesn’t exist. People will go as far to make this myth a truth when it comes to you building your dreams or following your passions. If you’re not posting pics of the process on social media or in every conversation giving them the inside details on your future plans, some people assume that you’re lying dormant; not making any headway to becoming the greater you. Oh, but the contrary. The building I clearly didn’t see being built for over six months existed before the day I saw it. It’s foundation was there. It’s supporting frame was there. All of its ancillary pieces stood right along with it. Heck, the business was open and people were going in and out of the building like it had never, not existed. Just because I didn’t see it being built doesn’t take away from the actuality of its formation. I’ve run into people that assume I’ve given up on certain aspects of my dreams just because they don’t hear or see the buzz, but I refuse to let their disbelief define what I see as my greater me. Don’t let others’ doubt or need for proof define the progress of your plan. Move at your own pace. Continue along the path that you have prayed about and are laying out step by step. It matters not if they can see what’s being built or not. Once you’ve finally laid that foundation, connected all the framework and even started moving the furniture in, those same doubtful and disbelieving individuals will be the same ones asking you can they come in. Oh and when they do, go ahead and let them.

 

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but just know that I’m still building regardless if you can see the bricks or not. Keep being passionate; about life; about your dreams; about you. Until the next post, Live Life Out Loud!

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