Who Created Molds, Anyway?

Recently, I’ve been listening to an awesome podcast called “Lead Stories.” Jo and Steph, the presenters,  do a great  job at transforming leaders and they particularly did a good job on this podcast, inspiring me.

They were defining molds and how they get created, in our lives. Molds are what gives something influence, form or shape. In many ways it begins with family and friends as influencers.  Yet there are many other influencers.

But her s another definition: “something that has influence in determining. ” I think about molds that cast a facial form or an image. What that object will become – has everything to do with what people think about the image of it, and what form is cast through that image.
Here are som other intriguing words:

A Frame
a Precursor ( subtance by which another is formed ;

A Predecessor
to Persuade
to Influence
to Change the mind
to SUBDUE (to overcome, quiet, ot bring under control ( conquer or defeat) suppress)
Yield
Cleave
Engrave

So…what do molds do?
Well. there’s a ‘good side’ they say: they cause us to CHANGE
CAUSE US TO BE DIFFERENT; & THEY PROVIDE NEW OPPORTUNITIES.

Molds can be cast from :
-titles
-expectations
-gender
-age
-race
-backgrounds
-family systems
-roles
-disabilities.

But how can they yet practically and tangibly fit into who we are?
(They ask on the podcast).

They also ask: Who were you before someone told you were to be something else?

And…”What have we “written off” because we didn’t fit into that mold?”

Here are a few statements made that make me think about how my identity matters as it relates to moving outside of myself:

1.”Molds aren’t bad unless there is only one single story. “

Molds tel a story. (What’s yours? ) So in other words – if you have more than one story to tell about breaking molds, you’re evolving, you’re coming into your own identity, you are becoming.
2. Molds can hold us back from our potential. If we stay within the frame that says :” this is who I am and who I’ll always be,” then we sell ourselves short.
3. Molds hold us back from new opportunities.

I think the most enlightening mention was this: “We often cannot see “the new thing” because it’s not in the mold!!”

I just came out of a season of having to make several decisions about my career and future. It’s changing. And looking back, I realize I was in a mold. A mold that had me thinking, believing and trying to determine my influence on another level. Trying to die outside of a construct that had influenced me for years. I was dining a new passion, searching my heart to determine how this new call on my life would impact the Kingdom; and decide whether I really wanted to say yes to it.

The mold hindered my vision.

I had to do a lot of self-evaluation and listening within to know where I was to go, and what I was to do. I had to talk to mentors and re-evaluate with my partner and with friends who understood my plight. If they didn’t understand and couldn’t pray with me, then I wouldn’t share. I needed to transition and change smoothly.

The more I listened and spoke to God; the more my heart broke for God’s will and His ways.

But I will admit, God speaks with a still small voice . Hearing my friends voices of encouragement and praying with them helped. so much.

“We Are All Like Trees.”

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“We Are All Like Trees.”

I’ll never forget how her face lit up when she said these words. I was in South Africa, Kuma, South Africa, in fact. I was teaching in a classroom of South African teenagers, and I was on cloud nine, (naw ….101..)

Her words were so simple and freeing.

Powerful, yet pensive, contemplative yet colorful.

Description causes me to attach meaning to sometimes things I barely notice. I know I’d always loved trees. Yet the trees in South Africa spoke to me. I remember having spoke to this classroom brill of teenagers and then coming back to a Johannesburg and spending time with my new friends  and their friends. I stood quietly in the backyard just thanking God for the experience of being in a South Africa, eating dinner with such focused and thoughtful people. There was a tree in that backyard that spoke to me.

Inlistened to her words all over again: “We are all like trees.”

And  then it hit me: Our strength. Our endurance. The people we are, and continue to become. We dream, we hope, we encourage , we teach.

And yes, I am one of those Trees.

Yes indeed I am.

 

Identity in My Community.

Last night was amazing. I spent an hour and a half in community with folk in my church community. Some were members  of my church, and others were not.

We all had three things in common: Purpose, Passion And Potential. Our desire is to reach for this, collectively.
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Some just wanted to be in a like-minded community of women. I’ve found community rests in sometimes taking risks. Being around people we don’t know – and spending time listening and sharing stories and perspectives. I’ve found this to be my peace and my passion.

Most recently I stayed in a spiritual community for two years that nurtured me , something awesome. It’s called Propel Women. (Propelwomen.org) I spent two years with this group and decided only recently I’d begin my own group  of like-minded women, and impact another community through my church.

Last night we did this, and I fell in love again with the “spirit of community “.  only this time I led the community. How empowering and enlightening to be on the other side. Last night I gained new wings. Again. Yet perhaps that’s what happens when we take risks. Again.  We learn to fly, or better yet, SOAR.

We learn how to navigate the skies.

I’ve been in other communities that have helped shape my character. I’ve spoken about them here and here. The one most prominent was where I met my husband. This was in a loving community full of people of color who were seeking to unravel the pieces surrounding our identity and my history as a ‘people’ in America. We were seeking empowerment, and it came from unraveling a philosophy burnt deep in the fibers of slavery and how slaves were made. Every time I spent time in this community, I was transformed. With a passion, every year I found refuge there. (I really don’t want to take time to reference the document, because that identity is no longer my identity; but it set the stage for my ancestors who suffered abuse and neglect and disenfranchisement at the hands of it’s slave owner.

Unraveling those pieces with my sisters and brothers helped me to see my true identity. Recognizing I could begin from square one, helped me sort out  and filter the lies and deceit that were embedded deep in my psyche & my ancestors believed; then released me to live a life empowered with my own significance and influence, and recognize the places within that needed healing, nurturing and were long forgotten and ignored.

Once I realized this, I was born again. It set the precedent for what I allowed to be in my life. And ‘whom’ I allowed myself to be in relationship with. My old identity didn’t exist anymore. Only what God saw in me, and I allowed myself to partake of -was my identity. Selah.

So here’s what I now know:
This side of life – is only half of who I am. Doesn’t make me a half of a person, just makes me realize that wholeness is a journey, and I CANNOT DO IT ALONE.

I am not the same.

Now, my hope is, the women in this photo, will not be the same, either.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Love on Yourself a little, today.💕

Is I have committed this year in 2018 to writing about 💎 Diamonds my online course and writing about the gems therein. To make it even more exciting, I’m challenging myself to write a book on how I got to the “Other Side” of pursuing me.”stay tuned as I share more on this journey, & eventually provide links to the course.

Memories from My Moves: The Value of Writing During Life Transition.

I have moved  approximately nine times in my life.  I  know it sounds like a lot, but  several of those moves were  within state and  needed for job transition .

Doesn’t make it any any easier, nor  does it make it  less of an issue.  I  have to admit – I don’t really lke moving per say, but I have  enjoyed  learning  new cultures and new places and people where I have lived.

I have moved to  get a  new start on life maybe  three times.  The others were due to the fact I was running,  I  just did not like my life there anymore, and three  times I have moved with issues  surrounding “a man”. I never wanted to follow a man, but I  twice moved once because  I  wanted to “get away ” from  a man; and I must’ve learned from it;  because the other I’ve involved wanting  to be ‘near’ a young man, and that man eventually became my husband. And that was a  really good move.  To Texas.  Texas enlivened me.  I  flourished there. I had  friends I had never had  anything like before, and  they were supportive of me.

Moves are hard though if you’re a introvert. I’ve found that getting involved with groups helps me spread the love around and have a more active social life.

backlight grapes.jpgWith every move,   I  have had, ‘journaling’ has  given me a sense of place and  recogniton of the move and  resolve and acceptance. Writing became my mainstay. I later found  it to be a way I coped with transitions.

Here’an old post but good one  that reminds me where  I  find  resolve with  my every  move.  It was never publlshed, just  something I found in an old newsletter   I’d  made.

I Will Be Transitioning!

 I have found value in my writing lately.  I am  in a transitioning phase.
At the end of this week, I  will be moving to a new home. I am a bit sentimental,  and have begun to take pictures as I transition for this home, to the next. Thusly, I’ve been doing a lot of writing.

One of my last sessions  this past summer, we spoke about the  value of journal-keeping. Lately that has been a struggle for me, in terms of consistency, but I have been  keeping a voice diary. It’s like a journal, but  just easier. Stay tuned for examples of  my e-course I am making and my Soundcloud voice diaries I keep,  and desire to share or you to think about rest easier. Though my course isn’t finished yet, I do desire you hear the diaries to think about  the perspective I have on the relationship we need to have with rest for our soul-care.
 
Journal writing has several values.While studying these facts, I discovered why the act of writing  is such a consoling practice for me. I literally believe keeping a journal has SAVED MY LIFE. I am sure some of you can relate.  Here’s what Peg Nolan,  has found as  a few truths:   

1. “Journal  writing  brings me clarity.” – It helps me to see myself and acknowledge my fears, so I can begin to work on them.
2. “Journal  writing  helps me focus.” Nothing better than knowing that my mind can settle because I now have it now on paper, and can return to that thought, and it won’t be caught out in oblivion.
3. “Journal  writing is for my own personal  accountability.”  – Sometimes if there is no one to tell that dream to, it helps to be accountable to myself by writing it down.
4.“I can yell in my journal and no one will hear me raise my voice.”  – And I do yell – mind you, with LOTS of exclamation points for those things I struggle  to comprehend.
5.“ Journal  writing  increases my self-awareness.” (Oh yeah,. and my self confidence…)
6. “Journal  writing reduces my stress.” It keeps my blood pressure regulated. I believe once it saved my life. Kept me sane…
7.“ Journal  writing a place to sort through my struggles.” I am always focused on maturing my SOUL… it’s an ongoing battle and I need it in order to be self actualized.
8.“Journal  writing gives me peace of mind.”  And an ability to listen intently to my thoughts, and  to  talk  softly with God about them. (Love it! I am such a deep thinker!)
9.“Journal  writing  a vision illuminator !”-  My dreams grow and incubate and simmer… some more…and  then they do something else…they  ‘crystallize’ – which when defined means to become definite or clear . I  found this with every move, to be true. 
10. ( This one is mine! )…I can hear God speak, when I write: I believe God is ALWAYS speaking, we just aren’t quiet enough to hear Him.
11.“ Journal  writing is an idea incubator.” –  Man oh man, I have so many ideas, I could write about a book about ALL OF THEM!!
12. “Journal  writing is a judgment-free zone.” –  You’re  definitely  not  going to find anyone peering over your  shoulder – unless you give them  permssion  – to  look, or   leave cause for that to happen…) And no one can give me feedback and I can sit with myself and my own thoughts and keep them as private as I want, til they are born and put into practice…OR NOT.
 

Developing An Identity is Like Making HUGE Spiderwebs.

Spiderwebs
A Brighter Light. by JennRene Owens

Sometimes finding our selves is like making a spider web. It’s intricate, detailed, contemplative and sometimes involves a lot of work.

I think I began this journey quite honestly, at a young age. Maybe even before age eleven. Eleven was when my life changed. My Dad decided to live differently. To become a man and dare to love and trust his family. I became an aunt, (of two) in 1978, that summer I turned eleven. It’s the year o began being an example for the next generation. And at eleven my father came home a new man. He stopped drinking. And I stopped crying myself to bed every night living in fear of what might happen.
Eleven is the number of inheritance.
Ironic? (Nah.)

We have hallmarks of our identity: the first time as a young lady you get your period; the first time your graduate; the first time you get a real boyfriend; the first time you get your own apartment; or marry someone , or have a baby and become a parent…
But what about when you first “do the work?”( What work? – yet they say actions speak louder than words, right?)

Doing the work looks like becoming emotionally , mentally, and physically responsible. Sometimes it means creating emotional safety, in order that you cultivate safe relationships, with the people surrounding you, as well.
What does that look like? Developing trusting relationships, being forgiving and having forgiving friendships; and tolerating and loving on folk we don’t even like. It involves being spiritually mature about things, because it is  the right thing to do. Choosing to being honest in accepting  others and being open enough to hear the truth about ourselves and tell others the truth, choosing to speak the truth, in love. I used to have the hardest time dealing with conflict. Then I took a few courses and learned about the skills I needed and began to practice them. To my surprise, they worked!☺️

And the journey to my road of personal growth and development began. I must admit, it’s taken years to pull the layers off. Yet my age has helped me develop into someone “ I “ can trust. And if I can trust me, and my actions, that’s true empowerment. But I will l never let anyone treat this soul negatively again. Stomp all over this mind, this will and emotions til they die again. No, not I.

This woman arose again.

She figured out when she left this country, touched the hearts of youth and  led   them to dream again, she had purpose.

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She found out when she traveled over 8,115 miles to chase her dream and GOT THERE, she was on to something. That life and purpose was worth pursuing and she through these actions could BECOME ALIVE.

And help others to keep living too.

When she looked in the eyes of those young people, heard their pain and hurt, and complete desperation, see he youth follow her around as she was hope; when saw them living without parents and brothers lost in other countries saying:”I’ll come back for you”– trying to make a living to help them survive- but never return… these 13 & 18 year-old youth – thriving in their communities, despite the threat of their peers committing suicide daily; and seeing THIS woman come from another land and tell the miracle of her journey, and how God really DOES fulfill our dreams… and believe her….

It was time to LIVE.

And build that “web”. That meaningful large, connection that harnesses hope, no matter how far you are apart in the world, and speak the same language that helps people believe, past themselves. Webs that carry weight, identity, purpose and ingenuity, strength and capacity. Webs that offer hope, healing and love.

This trip to Africa changed my life , and purposed me further into my destiny and my identity. I went home and began establishing my business. It had gone international, and I was beginning to share that I had spent time with youth and encouraged and mentored them through my business: OtherSide Enterprises, LLC. ( See Africa video here.)

And so Identity wins. It speaks loudly, and saves lives, it rids desperation and offers us hope, it fuels our purpose and “makes our name great.”

( Genesis 12:2 )

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.”