Back to Light: 3 Tips to Pull Yourself Out of Darkness and Into the Light.

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I must confess that I haven’t been operating as my best self.  This past couple of weeks, the challenges that I have faced have left me faced down in the mud.  I have cried in secret, found myself increasingly obsessing about changing my physical space, I have operated in a daze, lost my cool with my kids more than once, had a full-blown argument with my husband (our 2nd ever), all the while posting to my social media tips about how to reign supreme in your life daily.  Talk about irony.  Normally, I would allow myself to dive into a full-on pity party-dwelling on how terrible I have behaved, how much I haven’t accomplished, feeling like I am a fraud and not cut out to perform the work that I KNOW that I have been commissioned by my God to do.  I have experienced a complete spectrum of joy and pain in such a short time, but why?  Why am I experiencing life in this way, in this space and time?  How did I get here? God, what did I miss?  Questions that need answers.  As I was feeling the devastation of my present disposition, it occurred to me that I am fully in control of how long I remain in this unpleasant slump.  I was reminded that as easily as I relinquished my thoughts, actions, and feelings to the dark, I can most assuredly pull myself out and back into the light!

I offer you 3 tips to do the same:

1. Stop and say thank you.  One of the most powerful actions that we can take to moving ourselves from darkness back to the light, is to stop and be grateful.  I shared this week how I was feeling so overwhelmed with life’s challenges and in the midst of my crying my mind shifted to the fact that God has made me strong.  I literally started repeating, “thank you for making me strong.” The more I recited this simple thanks, the faster my mind and body began to shift from overwhelmed to ‘I’ve made it through this before.’  It was a powerful, yet simple action.  It’s easy to think of all the negative shit that we have going on: lack of funds, tension within the family, that endless to-do list, but deciding to stop and choose gratitude, shifts our minds from the negative back to what we’ve already overcome.  Life’s happenings don’t stop, but we can stop and shift our internal messaging by simply saying thank you.

2. Pray and revisit.  Once I moved from the place of being overwhelmed to a place of gratitude, I instantly felt physically better and I felt a mental relief.  Mind you, I was experiencing all of this alone.  Sometimes, it is not for us to bring in someone else (unless danger is imminent), but it is for us to practice and reengage in the work that brought us into light in the first place.  For me it is prayer.  My prayers are not beautifully scripted and sometimes sound a lot like rambling, but nevertheless, I pray.  There are times that my prayer is a simple thank you and other times it’s God, it’s me!  I have learned that God doesn’t need me to be able to recite scripture or even remind Him of what he’s done when I pray, He just needs the invitation to come in comfort and remind me that He made me strong.  Not only do I pray, but I revisit the very things that helped to guide me to light in the first place.  I revisit old journal entries, I look at photos, listen to songs and reread parts of books that were life altering.  What got me to a place of joy can get me there again.  One thing that I am mindful not to do is to go looking at other people’s joy because this most assuredly breeds comparison.

3.  Take one small step.  In order not to make the work of getting back to joy and to light overwhelming, we have to take small steps.  I do this by engaging in something as small as doing a 30-second plank or making a cup of coffee and sipping it in silence.  I read for a few minutes, go play with make-up or check-in with a friend or loved one.  All of these simple actions put my mind at ease so that I can then focus on the deliberate steps that I need to tackle the issues that put me in a dark place.  The time I take to sip that cup of coffee, allows me to focus on one thing that’s going to turn a dark situation to one of light.

There’s no shame in falling into darkness, the shame is choosing to stay there.  Light awaits us every day and so does darkness.  You have the power to choose where you want to dwell.  May you choose the light over the darkness!



Fall For You

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If ever there were a time of year where life slows down for all the right reasons, it is the fall.  The name itself is indictive of winding down and settling in.  The days get shorter and nights longer, the trees are in their final dress rehearsal before the winter’s rest.  The world seems to shift as people prepare for the great gatherings of family to eat and be merry, and just truly enjoy each other’s company.  This is time of year calls for the generosity of strangers and displays of loving thy neighbor and is topped with the celebration of a new year.

As I reflect over this year’s highs and lows, I am full of gratitude.  It seems with every trial and tribulation, some how a spirit of thankfulness wrapped me in the warmth of peace, even as I watched life’s chaos rage about.  I am thankful that my family is intact and with it came the blessing of holy matrimony to the man God custom made for me.  Thankful for provision, in that my school created a position for me that allows for me to flex and grow as an educator and the compensation is more that enough.  Thankful for the peace and serenity that true friendships and sisterhood bring.  My whole world up to this very moment has kept me in a state of gratitude.  I find myself whispering, “thank you for love.” “Thank you for my life.” The theme of my journaling is gratefulness.  I have found that saying thank you seem to attract more reasons and opportunities to give more thanks.  Unexpected blessings seems to be around every bend.  I feel as if every heartfelt thank you that my heart utters brings me into alignment with abundance.  I declared at the beginning of September that this was the month of abundance-I have yet to see a day that it has not come into fruition.  From a beautiful wedding day to finding an extra $10 bucks in the washer-I count it all!

This season, I am pushing myself to do something new.  There are exactly 100 days between now and January 1.  Starting today, I am challenging myself to fall in love with the woman I am.  Not becoming, but who I am right at this moment.  It is so easy to get caught up in the vision of who I could be or am becoming, that I forget that I am already a beautiful version of my best self! I accepted long ago that growth is beautiful and a necessary process.  We should all be striving to learn something new that will help us to evolve and live better, more fulfilling lives-but one should never neglect that we exist in the now.  The present is all that matters anyway.  The future is not guaranteed.  Shit happens everyday that turn our well laid plans and intentions to scrap.  That’s just life.

Starting today, September 23, 2018 it is Queen Season.  The next 100 days are dedicated to the intentional practice of self-care and gratitude.  I will be showering myself with love and finding a reason to be grateful. I will be intentionally reminding myself that I am a Queen.   I don’t know what’s going to happen in the next 100 days and it really doesn’t matter.  What matters is that I am falling for myself.  I intend to let myself know everyday that I am enough and that I determine my worth.  I define who it is that I say I am.  I make my own declarations and affirm myself-not for the world to see and say, “oh how great thou art,” but it is to remind myself that my existence is a testament to how great my God is and that loving myself is the best thank you.  Self-love opens us to all that’s good in this world.  It attracts this life’s best light and helps us to shine when our days become dark.  It reminds us to always be grateful.

I invite you to take the next 100 days to practice gratitude.  Instead of complaining or dwelling on the negative, find a reason to be thankful.  I welcome you to indulge in loving yourself intentionally for the next 100 days.  Drink more water.  Learn a new stretch.  Play with a new style.  Try out a new lip color.  Read a sexy novel.  Unfollow a toxic social media account-whatever you do that’s good for you.  Finally, journal about it.  There are truly immense benefits of journaling.  This will be an opportunity to focus the experience.  It is an investment in yourself that will give you a great return.  This season, fall for you.