Control

Control

Sometimes I tell my husband I am letting go of the idea I need to be in control, he takes a big step back and says he is getting out of the way (because he doesn’t want lightning to strike him).

I try but clearly I am not as successful as I think I am. But there is one thing I am working on letting go of:

The story I told myself about who I am. I have been letting go of it for the past 3 years.

I was telling myself (and others) that I liked to write but I wasn’t a writer.

That I was more of a simple person who wasn’t into changing her hair.

I wasn’t a teacher.

I was completely burnt out by Human Services and couldn’t see myself returning to it in any meaningful way.

But here I am: Looking slightly different, helping men and women start over at a dynamic nonprofit, blogging, publishing articles, writing an E-book journal, speaking, attending inspirational conferences and writing classes and will soon be learning how to fuse my passion for writing and healing others together.

A part of me needed to tell those old stories to lie about how much control I had over everything. But holding on that tight to an old, over told story doesn’t leave room for one thing.

Growth.

Your turn:

What story have you been telling about yourself in order to stay in control?

 

 

Early in the Morning

Early in the Morning

Next week, I have a schedule change that will have me up earlier in the morning. When I was in my early 20’s, I jogged a few miles before class about 4 times a week. During one of my jogs, I fell hard and suffered a bad sprain that took a long time to heal. I never worked out the same again and I quickly gained back all the weight I had initially lost plus more.

With this schedule change, I would like to get up early again to exercise. I have worked out before and after work, off and on, for years since the sprain but I have not been intentional about picking a time, unless it was to attend a class or meet with a personal trainer.

I believe making this change will provide more of the discipline I need to meet my goals. Taking dance class this past month has empowered me. Setting a concrete time to workout, especially in the mornings is a habit I’ve read about for many years and I am inspired to make it my habit.

Vote!

Vote!

It’s cloudy and raining and cold. I ate a big, beautiful bowl of three-bean vegan chili and corn bread for lunch and all I feel like doing is alternating between napping, reading and watching old episodes of The Office. And I don’t feel bad doing it right now.

Because I voted.

I left work and went straight to vote. There is always more that can be done to uplift and change our communities: write letters, protest, preach, pray, volunteer, march, form organizations, create art, mentor and donate money but the least we can do is exercise our right to vote.

I am aware that there are those who believe it doesn’t change anything, especially for the most oppressed of this society and to a certain extent, there is truth in that statement.

But if my vote can help to change even one thing…inch an issue forward in the right direction, especially for those with the shallowest of pockets and the least access to quality education and healthy food and air, then I will do it.

I may not change the world but the next time I complain or huff and sigh at the news, I will know I did more than sit on my comfy couch today. I exercised a right that others before me were beaten, humiliated, harassed, threatened and died for me to have.

What are you built for?

What are you built for?

I submitted a piece this afternoon about seeing buffalo in Colorado. I knew I would write about it when I saw a field of helicopters right before we touched down in Richmond on our return flight from Denver. It seemed incongruent. The beauty of nature I never have the opportunity to see here in Virginia and machine constructed by man to do something we cannot do naturally. If only we could­ will our bodies to take flight. But that’s not how we are built.

There are so many things we are built for: walking, dancing, inventing, running, praying, solving equations, sex, connection, writing, healing, love…etc.

And I have to wonder, especially after this trip…what else am I built for? I know I am trying to bust out of the box I created by writing, publishing and moving myself more often but what else?  Many of our mothers and fathers told us we could be anything we wanted as long as we what? Put our minds to it!

But how do we even know what we want unless we are in a near constant state of curiosity and active exploration? I know who I am now but I can confidently say I don’t want to know exactly who I will be next year.

I want to fundamentally shake this whole notion of Kristina.

Last year, she wasn’t the woman who would take an impromptu trip to Colorado and run a blog. I am glad I didn’t know that in 2016. Neither of those things may mean much to others but it’s more than enough for me. I didn’t have to abandon my community, my faith or fall out of love with my husband to become those things. I just had to be willing to see more of what I was built for.

Over the next couple of months, I will work harder on the health front. I have always dreamed of seeing the Pacific Ocean and running along a beach in California. I will be there mid-January. I may not be able to do it for long right now but that has the possibility to change. I know I am built for the experience.

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Ready to do more to tackle my health challenges in the next three months. California, here we come!

I am curious: What do you believe you are built for and what steps are you taking to make it become a reality?

Celebration

Celebration

Are we wired to stay the same?

I met up with an old friend yesterday afternoon that had me pondering the question today. We had not seen each other in at least 10 years but had known each since we were 12, both of us a little young for the 8th grade. It was nothing but love and laughter. When I saw her face, I kissed her cheeks and left lipstick stains like an old Haitian grandmother. I felt a sense of sadness that we had not worked harder to keep in better touch.

It probably didn’t help that I shunned the idea of social media up until last September when I joined the School of Greatness Academy which forced me to join their private Facebook group. It opened  a new world to me I thought I wanted no part of but ended up with no real regrets about entering.

But back to my question. Are we wired to stay the same? And if we are, is it always such a bad thing? In some obvious instances, change is life-affirming like having a child, getting married, opening your own business or taking control of your health.

As my friend and I stood outside after getting our nails done, laughing, sharing pictures and the details of our realities we had carved out for ourselves as grown women, I felt our 12-year old selves not far behind..giggling in Reading class..taking long walks in the summer heat not having a single idea in the world how our lives would turn out. The core of ourselves remained unchanged. We are two women who love our families fiercely, value our independence and are on the precipice of establishing new fulfilling careers who just happened to be connected for life.

I feel blessed to be wired this way. I am ok with being unchanged if I can still yearn for and foster connection. I am ok with being unchanged if I am not too “cool” to remember what it was like to be silly and young and reminisce about old goofy pictures we took posed at a Wal-Mart.

Although a lot of what I write here is about the journey to change in regards to my wellness and writing, it is also about bringing forth and committing to what is already inside of me. As I write this, I am thinking I have to learn to celebrate that woman, too.

I didn’t think I was going to mention this here but my day did not go so well..minor setbacks that I believe is just God’s way of telling me to work harder on my writing. A message telling me not to slow down because I will be writing full-time soon. I listened and I actually submitted two pieces to a literary magazine this afternoon. I have fears around putting myself out there when it comes to aggressively pursuing my business of helping others with their vows and speeches. But how is that celebrating the woman that I am? Even though I won’t fulfill all the fantasies I had as a young girl (I won’t be soon dancing back-up for Janet Jackson), writing has always felt real, tangible and within reach.

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The young girl in me and the woman I am can celebrate that.