Before the beginning of 2017, I vowed to live life on purpose and out loud. It was my desire to try new things and perspectives. I've made some unexpected friends during this time and it has truly enriched my life. When I decided to add Kuinua to my list of new challenges I knew that I wanted to extend the inspiration from View Woman's morning motivation posts. I also knew that I could use Kuinua as an accountability measure. So, how coincidental is it that the same week we launch Kuinua is the same week my Fit Chick workout class starts to plan an adventure that is sure to push my comfort zone limits? That was no coincidence. It was meant to be.
I, along with 10 other women from my workout class, spent a weekend in Fredericksburg, Texas and hiked the largest rock of its kind in the United States - Enchanted Rock.There are a few reasons why this adventure may have been the highlight of my year of 'new things'. These women I know only from spending an hour three times a week from 7-8 in the evening. We chat on Facebook in our workout group and we've become closer than I expected during the year that I have been a part of Fit Chicks. Here's the first major reason why this was huge for me: we shared hotel rooms. There was four of us in each room except for one. That means I slept in a bed with someone other than my husband or my children. I can't remember the last time I shared a room with someone, let alone slept in the same bed! This was major. My personal space was completely invaded, but I didn't die.
The other major reason this trip pushed the limits was that it was an outdoor activity - hiking alongside all of the birds, bugs, amphibians, and reptiles. I don't usually 'do' outside activities. I'm not a fan of nature and I am definitely a little concerned when it comes to the inhabitants of nature. I spent a portion of my Saturday morning climbing a gigantic rock with no hiking experience and the ambition to get it done with other women with the same goal. There was no bickering, no drama, and no jealousy. It pure fun and excitement.
Here's what I know - trying new things is scary. Who am I kidding - terrifying is a better description. At the same time, it can be fulfilling and exhilarating. I experienced both ends of the spectrum and I can honestly say that I would do it again. The best part about my experience is the inspiration we were able to draw from each other while we pushed ourselves to the very edge of our limits. Because of this awesome encounter I am able to possibly inspire someone else.
We are already in the fourth month of the year - 25% of 2017 has come and gone. Have you decided on what new things you want to try? There's still time. Don't wait. Do it now. Take the limits off, step out of your box, and enjoy the moment. You will thank me later.
Until next time in the safe place,
This year my intention was to live my life out loud with no regrets and outside of the box that I had safely built around myself. Once I had decided that this was a definite plan I started making moves. It started with simple things - initiating conversation with people I was unfamiliar with, volunteering for projects at work, socializing with people that I would normally shy away from. Then I had the nerve to think that I could get promoted. I mentioned in a previous post that I started my current job in May 2016 and it is a new career field. The first steps in making my desires known to the right people were made in November and the opportunity came in January.
Here's what I know - making the decision to embark on something new and adventurous can be breath-taking and exciting. After the excitement settles down and you actually start to think about what you've done, things can get a little scary. Who am I kidding? It's terrifying! Anxiety creeps up on you, followed by doubt. You second guess your abilities and wonder why you've put yourself in this situation. I know about this first hand. I started my new position officially on Monday. IT moved me to my new area on Thursday last week. I panicked briefly as I sat at my new desk, but reminded myself of the goals I set in place the previous year.
Venturing out of your comfort zone won't be easy. As a matter of fact, you may call yourself crazy for even considering it. There may be times when trying something new becomes second nature. Then there may be times where you want to revert back to the 'old you.' If the latter happens, resist. Going back to 'business as usual' will not be what you truly want. Who doesn't love familiar and comfortable? Remain focused and don't forget your destination - outside of your comfort zone.
We are three months into 2017. There is still time to change your route. Make a commitment to take on at least one 'out of the ordinary' adventure. Start simple and then build on your momentum. Grab a friend for support. I'll be here - resisting the urge to run back to my normal. We can do this!
Until next time in the safe place,
We are in the third month of the year already! My house has been on the go every Saturday and at least two week days for the last two months. I have two girls and they both play basketball. My oldest daughter started playing when she was about 9 and my youngest daughter played her first basketball game last year when she was 7. This was her second year playing with a team and she was excited to play again. Her first year she seemed to pick up the skills and rules really fast. She was stealing the ball and fast-breaking every chance she got it seemed. When it was time to play this season we all were confident that she would catch on immediately like the previous year, however that was not the case. The first few games my daughter didn't start. She didn't question it and frankly, she didn't even realize that 'starting a game' was something she needed to be concerned about. She continued to play and enjoyed the camaraderie. It was not until their fourth game that she began to shine. In the words of her coach that day after their win, 'a light came on today.' After that game and until their playoff game on Tuesday night, she started every game and played all 32 minutes of each game.
Although my daughter was not concerned about the slow progress, I was. I questioned why she wasn't starting, what she may have been missing in practice, and whether or not she was truly interested. I kept these thoughts to myself, thankfully, and was pleasantly surprised later.
Here's what I know - our goals are usually clear. We have either written them down, voiced them to a trusted friend, or mentally noted what the goals are. What is not all that clear is the path we take to achieve them. The process to get there can be a little scary. It could be that the path is clear initially, but becomes non-existent because of obstacles that are certain to show up.
During the good and the bad there will be a learning curve. Trying to achieve a new goal will be about trial and error - you can bet on it. There will be times that you want to quit. You may quit briefly, but don't stay there. Mistakes will be inevitable and adjustments made frequently. All of this is a part of your process. You will need to trust it.
As simple as it may sound, I had to allow my daughter to fall into whatever groove she needed to turn on 'the light'. I had to trust that she would grasp the concepts and trust her coach and his knowledge about the game and her abilities. I was forced to trust the process.
Our experiences will be different. There will be times that you will be able to share best practices, but don't compare your process with someone else's. Your journey is unique and the life lessons that come from it are priceless. The process is not easy to trust, but it is necessary to move forward. If I had interfered with my daughter's process the outcome could have been detrimental to her growth as a team player and as an athlete.
Trust, embrace, and move forward - remember those things as we push through the next month. Whatever it is you have planned, it is achievable. Trust yourself and the process.
Until next time in the safe place,
Our morning motivation posts are geared toward a quick thought to get you motivated for the day. They are reminders to be kind to yourself, to keep working towards your goal, to keep your thoughts and the people around you positive, and an abundance of other encouraging sentiments. It's been a while, but one of our morning motivation posts said 'be careful how you talk to yourself because you are listening.' It has become common for me to have some type of real life example to share and this post is no different.
I mentioned in a previous post that I started a new job last summer. There were nine people in my training class. There was one particular person in my class that seemed to find something to complain about everyday. Initially, some of the things this person would bring up were legitimate and I understood the arguments. After the first few weeks I was exhausted from listening. I made up my mind that I could no longer entertain this person anymore. Surprisingly, 'the complainer' completed training. That was in early July. What I am about to say is no exaggeration. This person had managed to consistently complain everyday since July. Needless to say, they gave their resignation last week and didn't even finish out the two weeks. Let me also add that I didn't initiate another conversation with this person again after I made up my mind to stop listening while we were in training.
Here's what I know: I can not function properly with negativity around me. This wasn't always the case. I thought I had to tolerate it to keep from being seen as mean or rude. Negativity can also come from within. Either way, it can be harmful to your progress - whatever your goals may be.
We have complete control over who or what is in our space. That person in my training class became detrimental to my success. It was imperative that I discontinued our frequent discussions. Had I continued to participate, negative talk would have remained and guess who is always listening?
Words are powerful. You can frame your world just by what you allow to come out of your mouth. The same is also true with what you allow yourself to hear. Long story short - if it's negative then you don't want it. Be selective when sharing your dreams. Everyone that is around you now may not be ready to take in your 'bigger than life' attitude. And when life happens and causes some bumps along your journey be sure to take it in, learn from it, and keep moving. Give yourself a break and ease up on the criticism. You are further along than you think.
Make sure your conversations are supportive and encouraging - you are listening!
Until next time in the safe place,
In the premier post of Kuinua, I shared my reasons for beginning this journey. My intention is to inspire you to be better. At the same time, I hope to grow and push myself to some limits that have never been touched.
If you recall, last week I briefly mentioned that I had struggled with self-confidence in the past. I would like to explain why. Before I was even 21, I dated someone for several years. During that time he would often make me feel like I wasn't good enough to be with him - like he was doing me a favor. Initially, I didn't realize what was happening. The relationship lasted for several years and each year I stayed around the more I was broken down. There was no logical reason for me subjecting myself to his behavior. I had a great childhood and supportive family and friends. I lost my identity. There were even some that encouraged me to try and save the relationship. Some did it because they genuinely wanted me to be happy and knew that I wanted the relationship to work. Others knew how damaging his behavior was and I can only guess they cared more about what it would look like if we ended the relationship.
I'm definitely ok now, but years ago I was not. How did I get over it? I can't take all of the credit. God truly had to deal with me and it was not easy. All of those years I harbored feelings of being incomplete and uselessness. No one really knew and I absolutely didn't go around spilling my guts. My hurt did not just effect me. It effected everything I was a part of - EVERYTHING.
Although that relationship did contribute to my low self esteem, it was not the only cause. I have to accept the responsibility in some of it. I was player in the game also.
Here's what I know: we are in control of our lives. We have the authority to let people in or dismiss those who no longer belong. Hindsight is 20/20 and just reliving some of those feelings right now reminds me that we also need to be mature enough to be able to see intentions. Life has a funny way of teaching us if we aren't quite ready. I definitely was not ready then, but now I am. Now, being ready comes in the form of sharing my experience to help someone else.
I can't say this enough - be intentional. Make your moves with a purpose and a vision. Your people (those that you consider to be close enough to share aspirations and dreams with) should be intentional also. If they do not add value to your life, tread lightly. It could be that you were chosen to pour into them, but if it continues to be a one-way influence then it may be time to re-evaluate.
Embrace your experience (good or bad), learn the lesson, and move on. It was meant to make you better and not drag you down. Your story, no matter what it is, is relevant. Share it when the time is right.
Until next time in the safe place,
A week or two ago we posed this question in one of our morning motivation posts on Facebook (If you haven't liked our page yet, get to it! You don't want to miss these). Getting dressed for the day can be a little tricky. It can get especially tricky if you are not a morning person or have to multi-task and get yourself and others ready for the day. Throw in preparing a lunch or two and grabbing breakfast on your way out, then it just turned into a bona fide circus.
Usually there is a routine that appears and you begin to do the some of the same things over and over when you are getting dressed. You grab a bracelet or you have on your favorite necklace. Maybe your dressing routine is simply getting clean clothes on all of the correct body parts - trust me, I understand. The point is that you're dressing yourself pretty much the same way everyday.
While we are putting on tangible items we also need to make sure we grab some not-so-tangible items before we leave home: confidence, ownership, accountability, positive vibes, joy...among so many other things.
I had the opportunity to chat with a coworker about a month ago and during our conversation she shared her initial perception of me. Now, just in case you do not know me personally let me shed a little light. I tend to be somewhat serious and the most obvious characteristic is that I do not talk unless I have something to say. In a new environment I am mostly observing and making mental notes. Back to the chat with my coworker - she mentioned my serious nature, but she also said that I was confident and ended with 'there's just something about you that is positive'.
Everyday I attempt to be the best that I can, whether it's at work, at home, and in between. My intention is to achieve the goals that are set for the day and to inspire someone else along the way. Let's be real about this - there are some days that it just doesn't get done and that's ok. I purposely put on a positive attitude which may or may not need to be adjusted through out the day (true story). I grab some self-confidence and make sure I'm walking IN IT and I also get enough to share with my two girls. Ownership and accountability gets slathered on - do you see where I am going with this?
I have struggled with self-confidence for a lot of my adult life. For someone to point it out and acknowledge that they can see it is major, at least for me it is. My coworker saw it because I purposely put it on. Honestly, I can't take all of the credit. God allowed me to recover from some circumstances that have given me a reason to empower someone else. I have put on self-confidence so much that now it's just a part of who I am. Let me be clear, having confidence in myself does not mean that I am exempt from being afraid. It just means I believe in myself enough to take the chance AND be afraid at the same time - HA!
Start checking 'your clothes' before you leave the house or before you get out of your car. Be intentional with what you are wearing and if what you left the house with isn't fitting properly, change it. You may even need to change up some accessories during the day. What you had on before lunch may not be appropriate for that afternoon meeting.
Remember, my goal is to inspire you to be better. If you are already dressing for the day, PERFECT! Don't forget to empower someone else along the way.
Until next time in the safe place,
Welcome back to the safe place!
Last week I had the awesome opportunity to experience 'your gift will make room for you.'. Kuinua's debut was more than I expected. I received so much support that it was overwhelming. Although this is another spectacular example, it was not the experience I was referring to.
I started a new job back in May in an unfamiliar field of work. During the interview I remember stating some specific goals to the hiring manager. During the course of the six weeks of training and the past several months after training, I have been vocal about those same goals to my immediate supervisor plus a few more. The hiring manager has kept in contact with me and we have spoken in person. Guess what came up during our conversations? Exactly! We talked about those goals I had set along with opportunities that were relevant to my future plans. Last week I encountered several people that let me know that my name had come up during some manager's meetings regarding an open position and for a project. My gift had made room for me.
Here's what I know - starting something new and unfamiliar is difficult and just plain scary. You may doubt your abilities and struggle with self-confidence. If you're like me then you may start to question your reasoning for choosing something new. Hello! I have been doing that every since I decided to get on this 'out of your comfort zone' kick! Your super creative imagination kicks in with ridiculous descriptions of failure. Then you start to talk yourself out of your new adventure.
Don't panic! Take a moment and think about your plans. Then remember why you started planning. Maybe you just need to break down your goals into smaller goals to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Commit to seeing this adventure through no matter what. Celebrate the wins and be gentle when things seem to be stagnant. Remember small progress is still progress.
I use the phrase 'be intentional' often when posting for our morning motivation. I really believe in it especially when it comes to my circle. You can not control others actions and beliefs, but you can control who is a part of your life. If there are people around you that negatively effect what you are doing then handle it. Be intentional with who you share your plans and aspirations. The last thing you need is someone or something that does not line up with where you are going.
This first month of the new year will be ending soon. Don't let it end without making a commitment to set and achieve some specific goals. Keep it small and achievable. Set some specific work-related goals and share them with your manager or trusted leader. Is there something that you have been longing to try? Here is your sign - do it.
Don't forget to do your part, push passed the difficulties, and watch your gift make room for you.
Until next time in the safe place,
Kuinua - Swahili word for lift
Welcome to Kuinua!
My sole purpose is to provide you with a safe place to be lifted. If you are a frequent VW follower, then you know that we post something inspirational every morning (except on the weekends or those pesky holidays). Well, Kuinua is just an extension of our morning inspirational posts. My hope is to continue with inspiration and include some life experiences of my own when they are relevant.
Life has a tendency to be a little tough every now and then. Let's just be brutally honest, many have questioned their existence - I know I have. Here's the truth about that - if you are still here then it absolutely means you have some work to do. Your time on earth has been extended to complete your assignment. I hope to provide you with something weekly to take along with you to keep you focused and moving forward.
We have been graced with a new year. A brand new page in our novel to add adventure, drama, mystery, and some comedy. It truly is up to us to make things happen, but know when to take a step back to those things you have no control over. I'll confess - I have a problem with this one. I am a logical thinker. It's either black or white with me - no gray. The need to control things that are out of our reach is the process of moving those things out of the gray area into either the black or white area. In my mind, the gray area is chaos and I LOATHE chaos. So, then I try to handle it when most of the time it is nothing that can be handled. I am learning to leave those things in the gray area. Trust me, I am definitely a work in progress.
Here's what I've learned in the past 2 1/2 years - if I can't control it then I try to focus on the things that I can control. Sometimes the only thing you will be able to control is your attitude. Trying to hold on to the issue will only cause continuing aggravation. You will no longer be productive. Do what you can and then move on.
I hope your time spent here will be encouraging enough to push you to do better and be better. Frankly, you will be pushing me to do better. I have promised myself that I would make my best attempt this year to live outside of my comfort zone. That includes interacting with more people and trying things that I would have never even thought about pursuing. Sharing personal experiences with people I do not know, opening myself up to critique and judgment - yep, I would say this is absolutely nowhere near my comfort zone.
Thank you in advance for your time spent in the safe place and here's to a successful and productive year!