The nerve…. I’ve developed several of those in 2014. Not in the physiological sense, but more so in the realm of enhanced confidence. Growing up I had my battle with confidence, and my being skinny and donning both glasses and braces for most of my early years did not help matters. But at some point in my late teen/early twenty-dom…confidence developed in such a way that I’ve been able to navigate through life mostly unscathed and in a manner in which I’m comfortable. But recently things have changed, and I don’t know whether this change should be attributed to the new year or my turning the big 3-0. Independent of the cause, there has been an increased drive in me to unapologetically pursue every dream and passion that God has placed in my heart. Like….it’s so not a game. To place this into context, I’ve traded my more luxurious car for a stick-shift beater that I taught myself to drive in a little over a week and have since moved into a home I’m renovating that’s maybe a step above being a former crack house* because both decisions will further propel me towards my endgame. Needless to say, both decisions I consider to be sacrifices, and have garnered a bit of negative attention and critique from those closest to me. Honestly, I completely understand their concerns…I do. But fear of the unknowns and ‘what ifs’ are minimal in my perspective relative to the tremendous gains to be made.
Fear & Self Doubt:
I’ve been reading a book recently entitled ‘Sun Stand Still’, and a line in the book really stood out to me. The author wrote: ‘Time can talk you out of your dreams. Routine can weaken your propensity towards audacity’. I reflected upon those two sentences and realized that if I wasn’t careful, it would be easy for me to drift towards a life of mediocrity and predictability rather than one that was passion-filled and required an immense amount of faith through which to navigate. That and I was finding myself becoming increasingly bored and unmotivated with where things were in my life. I quickly assessed my situation and realized there were things within my power that I could change……but then I realized that those decisions might require some discomfort on my part. And on top of that, what might people think? Thankfully those doubtful thoughts lacked staying power, and I was able to move forward with a renewed albeit somewhat out there plan, and I can say that I’ve been enjoying the process. It’s a little bit scary, yes. But also incredibly exciting and encouraging knowing that I’m being further propelled towards my purpose, and doing so in a way that requires that I have faith in a power greater than myself. This process has also shown me that I’m a pretty audacious chick-a-dee! That word has stuck with me, and will reflect my theme for the remainder of the year. I plan to have an amazingly audacious year, one that is extremely bold and fearless, and will be using this blog to document my experiences (the ups and the downs) with completing projects and my ultimate pursuit of passion and purpose. Who’s with me?
It’s Christmas Eve – the day before the big day! I’m finishing up some last minute shopping before hitting the road to visit my fam, (majorly procrastinated this year!), how about you? Hopefully you did the complete opposite and completed all of your tasks super early and are now able to chill-ax (i.e., chill + relax). I’ll get there one day….actually, scratch that – I look forward to not having to get there one day. And by that, I mean that I really want to institute some different Christmas traditions among my close friends and fam, ones that deviate from the consumerism normally associated with this time of the year and instead focus on what Christmas really is about. Honestly, I have everything I need….and a lot of what I want – and would be completely fine with not receiving gifts, and instead having that money (& shopping time) allocated elsewhere. Now I’m not sure how on board other’s would be about my seemingly radical ideas – but here are some that I would like to see done, collectively, one year:
Kiva – If you’ve never heard of Kiva before, consider yourself informed 🙂 This organization is the world’s first online lending platform connecting online lenders to entrepreneurs around the globe, to help fund business ventures and alleviate poverty. You can select the borrower of your choice and lend as little as $25 towards their efforts. It’s an easy and impactful way to spend Christmas funds, and you will receive your initial loan back to re-lend to another borrower, to donate to Kiva for operating costs, or you can withdraw via Paypal.
Adopt a family – There are formal as well as informal ways to accomplish this category. Formally, there are organizations in place that will connect you to families in need, like the Salvation Army’s ‘Adopt a Family’ Program. Some churches also have a formalized process for giving to families. Informally, you could also organize a more personal approach to give to a family that you know – in the form of paying a needed bill or buying Christmas toys for children. If this is the desired method, having a clear means of communicating with the family about their needs and reaching an agreement about the need that will be met is a good starting point.
Volunteer – Dosomething.org is an excellent resource for volunteer opportunities, from serving in a soup kitchen, to helping out in an animal shelter, picking up trash, etc. Wherever your interest lies, you might be able to find a volunteer opportunity that fits. But if not, you could always create your own volunteer experience by connecting personally with an organization that fits your interest.
Random acts of Kindness – Ok, technically, this category should extend to the entire year and not just during the Christmas season. But random acts of kindness are just that – doing something kind for someone else. Are you like G. Garvin in the kitchen (the crush I had on that man……or maybe the crush stemmed from the fact that he simply could cook….and if I were with him, I wouldn’t have to….WINNING!)? If so, whip up that dish and give it to someone you know who would like it – just because. Standing behind someone in the check-out line who seems stressed over a bill amount that you know you could afford? Offer to pay for their purchases! I witnessed this very act this week, and to call it beautiful would be an understatement 🙂 Now random acts don’t have to be uber-expensive either. They could be as simple as holding the door open for others longer than what would be considered normal, returning your cart after shopping to the inside of the store *gasp*, or saying ‘Hi!’ with a genuine smile to everyone that you come across on a given day….something I would’ve considered (more) weird before moving to the south. Actually, out of all the things my sister and I have done for my mom for her birthday, the one that she reminds us of the most was also one of the simplest – the year we snuck home when she and my dad were out of town and cleaned the entire house. So yeah, simple random acts of kindness and consideration can go a long way and majorly brighten someone’s day!
I’m looking forward to stepping up or starting to act on these areas for next year! However you’re spending your Christmas, I hope that you are continually reminded that you are loved 🙂 Have a fabu Christmas Eve.
Good Morning & Happy Monday! I hope that you all had an amazing weekend, mine was pretty good – though I’m still processing the events that took place on Friday. Tragedies such as the one that occurred in Connecticut have a tendency to stick with me, but rather than trying to understand the “why” behind the events, I tend to focus in on the importance of life itself. It’s easy for me to get on “auto-pilot” with my life, as there is a lot that I would like to accomplish. And while I don’t see anything wrong with having ambitions, I do think it is equally as important to appreciate the small pleasures that occur, sometimes outside of our awareness, every single day. Yeah it can seem frustrating to not be exactly where you want to be, or to have to go about the hustle and bustle of the day. But in spite of life’s frustrations, there’s always something that happens, some bright spot throughout the day, that is worthy of appreciation. For me, it’s finding a great parking spot, or seeing that my dog didn’t poop on the floor before I’ve had a chance to take her out in the morning, or hearing Michael McDonald’s ‘I Keep Forgetting’ as the first song on my Pandora station (I love that song!) – a friend of mine says that God is winking at me when moments like these occur. Bottom line, we all have things to be appreciative of, and no matter how sucky life may seem for you now, find some semblance of good and allow that to motivate you beyond the bad. And enjoy every moment of this precious life that we’ve all been given 🙂 Have a ridiculously amazing day and rest of the week!
I love hearing stories of people who are truly selfless in the sense that they are motivated to make a difference in the life of someone else, and who are ballsy enough to believe that they can make a difference as evidenced by their taking action. Such is the case when it comes to Sheen Matheiken of the Uniform Project, who was inspired to challenge herself to an exercise in sustainable fashion (which is very much in line with my minimalist desires) and successfully raised thousands of dollars to educate underprivileged children in India in the process. Stories like Matheiken seriously begs the question: “What ideas do you have that could make a tremendous difference in someone’s life…..including your own?” I have an idea that I’ve been mulling over that I hope to launch next year, and will continue to highlight stories of people who inspire & motivate me and hope that you too receive inspiration. Have a fabu Monday & rest of the week!
It’s the first Monday in December, which means the official countdown to 2013 has begun! Wow, this year has literally flown by for me, and there are still things that I planned to accomplish this year that I have yet to do. Maybe you can relate, and if so, we have 29 days and counting to complete our tasks. Who’s with me? I’m tasking myself with creating a (realistic) list to check-off once I have done everything I set out to do. I need the visual reminder, and will share said reminder next week. In the meantime, be inspired to give your all to finishing 2012 strong with one of my fav songs by Goapele. Her hair is so ca-yoot! Have a fabu week 🙂
One of my fav places on the interwebs is Tumblr, there are so many cool finds including this site: http://movemequotes.tumblr.com, where I found the inserted pic. It’s Monday….which can signify one of two things – angst or excitement over the start of a new week. I don’t know about you, but I’m going to choose to be excited about this week and the things that I look forward to completing. I hope that you too find this week ripe with possibility that you’re eager to take advantage of!