All posts by The Blessedness of Being.

Hi I’m Jennifer. I am a Self-Care Coach, Educator, Author, Mental Health Therapist, Mentor, Sister & Friend & Chaplain.☺️ Learn more about me here. My coaching website: http://www.owensgroupservices.com I am also a blogger at Mentor My Sister and have a group on Facebook Group for women to share mentoring growth and ideas. Check us out at the links below. I enjoy uplifting & empowering women with hope, help them find their voices and encourage their self-care. Questions & Inquiries About my projects can be directed to jennifer@owensgroupservices.com

January Gems💜🦋

Identity & Worth . It’s a subject my sisters are discussing at Mentor My Sister. My platform online, that strives for authentic women and authentic connection.

Identity-what gives me identity

What I spend time with – tends to give me identity . We can desire material wealth, cars, … to be in relationship with people and we can make idols out of all of them.
I have value in relationships, so I will share what comes up for me as I make mention of my value of several relationships I have, currently. Mainly they’ve been friends family and my spouse; but also mentorship .

My Family has given me identity. Now that i live closer to them, I have more opportunity to be influenced by them. You see, whether I cherish them or not. It’s up to me to decide if I’ll carry out a legacy of good or evil.I always say, if there’s good, make it better . And if it’s not good, make it exceptional.

My Spouse is one who influences my identity . How we make decisions together, dream together… LIVE together makes a difference and influences my identity .l and my children’s identity as well.

Friendships influence my identity . Whether I choose mentors, leaders, friends who live models lives or just have the challenge of daily survival, I can learn from them. I make space for mentors and people to influence me. I need leaders to pour into my life, so I find out where they are, and I serve, or join them in their discussions, or create them.

Mentorship . Being mentored and mentoring others has brought great value in my life . I really enjoy having conversations about life with other leaders, friends and women who desire authentic relationships.

Here are a few mentors in my life

Here are three places I’ve learned from other in my life :

1. Trees .

I was in South Africa in May, of 2003 and i was teaching in a classroom about dreams. A teenager said to me: /“We Are All Like Trees.” I resounded after that encounter , because I realized I’ve always loved trees. The strength , growth and resiliency tees represent inspire me. I have never seen trees the same , since.

2. My African Heritage Family.

I found identity in my African Heritage family. There’s a woman I know named Joyce Shabazz. She created a forum of people and a platform about people regaining their culture and heritage and finding value in what they see and experience, again.

I attended for five, maybe six years a platform that help me transcend racism, my thoughts about my identities as wife, female, being oppressed, internalized oppression, my inadequacies about being African American, and I re-claimed myself.

The process and journey has been amazing. I’ve gained new international friends and I’ve learned new experiences I’ve gleaned and kept treasures forever sealed in my heart. I’ve come up a lot, and now I mentor others on perspective.

3. My Worth

Where have I found worth and value?

What foundations have I established my worthiness upon?

For years I pondered this. Growing up in an alcoholic family, My vision of myself and who I was was altered. It wasn’t my truth. It was an attempt to destroy my truth . I once was a girl of low self – esteem, insecurity and felt very inadequate . However I no longer espouse those characteristics .

And today, I have evolved. I was determined to change the depiction of what my worth and value set as a template from birth to 20 years of age. Once I gained a determination of the will and had mentors in me that saw in me the greater good, and encouraged it- I realized I could truly be my best self. I reached for opportunities to be better: attended a historically black college , Howard University, experiences ethnicity in a new way, was determined to learn about my heritage, visited South Africa, ignored and distances myself from hate, and envy and people who represented this at all costs… and read books galore on the subject of identity , esteem and intrinsic value. And maybe my trips back and forth down the road to African Heritage, or a constant re-evaluation of my life purpose ; or maybe my trip to Africa all influenced me in major ways.

Or maybe it was the fact I didn’t allow Opportunity to pass me by.

Perhaps I reached for it with eager anticipation, and it became my friend. My mentor . My tutor.

Yes, Opportunity became my Teacher.

The Value of Vulnerability in My Life.

As I look back on my life, I’ve had my share of unhealthy relationships. I believe the hardest part during this season of life for me was discerning was what was really “healthy” and what was really “unhealthy”. I don’t really know that Ii had been taught that by example.

I believe I was simply unaware. Looking back, I wish i had spent more time with my younger self to determine who I was and what I desired in life, in order to have clarity about what I needed in a relationship.

I had not defined for myself what I needed, and valued and had not committed completely and wholeheartedly that those values were essential for me to thrive and to grow & thrive, in life .

Looking back: I am thinking of my journey saying to myself:

“What in the world was I doing?!”

Yeah, and it makes so much sense now that I know who I am …what my self -worth needs in order to thrive and be connected to another human being. I know what it means to be loved, and ‘in love.’

So I am going to share some thoughts on being in a healthy ‘vulnerable ‘ relationship, that helps us to thrive and be our best selves in our relationships .

I have decided to approach it from a vulnerable place, because I just like to be transparent . Vulnerability requires trust. And if you love someone vulnerability should be an essential part of helping that relationship to grow completely as individuals and also as a couple. Vulnerability with your partner should never be considered a weakness. You should continually be moving towards fruitfulness and transparency and greater love.

Here are a few things that being vulnerable in a relationship teaches you:

1. Vulnerability teaches you to ask for help. You increase your connectedness to others and learn to empathize with them. It’s essential for growth.

2. Being vulnerable teaches you the unknown parts of yourself. You develop a sense of resiliency and it challenges your authenticity – your heart mind and soul. It also helps you to be more self-aware.

3. With vulnerability, you develop a new appreciation for self-care. Self-care is essential to a certain level of awareness and patterns with yourself. Being able to address them with honesty, help you to grow in vulnerability.

4. Vulnerability teaches you to walk in realness. There’s a level of authenticity that comes from sharing honestly with others and you choose to listen, share and engage differently.

5. Vulnerability teaches you to connect better to your emotional self. Knowing “why” you’re angry; “why “ you’re sad, and why you’re emotional and choosing to do continual, intentional self-evaluation – helps you notice yourself on another level.

6. Being vulnerable allows you to have a better relationship with Grace. Not everyone understands grace and how to live in congruence with it; but what vulnerability teaches you is that grace is something we can ‘expect ‘ and ‘choose’ and live with intentionally, despite how we feel about life and how they occur- that things will get better, we will overcome ; and life can depended upon to operate in a full circle, that’s complete .

7. Vulnerability teaches you to be grateful and share your thankfulness. Appreciation comes in several selfless acts. When you share openly, of what you’re thankful for you’ll find people appreciate you, and consider the same blessings . Is this something that is reciprocated in your relationships? If not, it’s something to consider.

8. Vulnerability teaches you to be patient with yourself . When you push yourself past your limitations and you learn how to deal with successes despite being frustrated. You teach others how to be patient , as well.

9. Author and spiritual leader Spencer Kimball says that “Humility is royalty without a crown.” Humility is learned by truly being vulnerable. Being able to acknowledge your weaknesses and to grow in wisdom and grace daily with intention, are life’s truest blessings.

10. Vulnerability teaches you the most meaningful thing in life are learned by “pacing yourself ” through life. When I ‘slow my roll’ , I am informed, I am clear, I make room for more. Vulnerability leads me into the experience of “more”…

11. Vulnerability teaches you to release. It helps you to recognize when you’re burdened or heavy, and that relationship , or situation needs to be let go. Maybe you’re carrying more than you should, if you have not yet recognized the value of letting go. When you choose to really ‘ think about what you’re thinking’, choosing to let go of weight that causes anxiety and stress helps us find a way to cope with our inadequate thoughts and insecurities. That’s truly being vulnerable.

Well …. we’ve come to the end of this segment. what have you learned that’s new today? Take one element of vulnerability and commit to trying something new in your relationships and trusting yourself to grow just a bit more.

I’m Still Here.

Still transitioning.

Months later . A cross country trip; two months off of work, and just trying to adjust to cold weather. I’m convinced cold weather just isn’t my thing. Maybe it’s for the very tough people who can handle the whipping winds, the blowing snows, the windy rain, and the breezy and cool evenings.

The wind is so very different in New York than in the Midwest. I used to know when’s the wind spoke to us in Oklahoma, because it was usually at its highest peak, around April and May. It’s seasonal and expected.

Wind here comes suddenly, and unexpectedly, and sometimes it really moves me inside when I don’t want to be. In fact, sometimes I’m downright angry it’s so windy.

On another note, …I’m looking for the right hat, and I’m so frustrated I haven’t found it yet.

Well, I guess I’m over my rant. One thing I can appreciate about the weather now is the beautiful trees and gracious hills of New York, and the beautiful fall colors. I’m learning the beautiful views exist in everything. Even if it’s the not-so-kind weather .

The picturesque skies of NY

I don’t remember being quite in awe about a drive through the country as I was, about a month ago. This view just captured me through my car window.

So…I’m still here.

I’m recognizing there’s beautiful moments in small things and being home again after 15 years or more- is about fun with the family . I mean , I can’t take back moments like this ( below) , with my siblings ,and parents. I celebrated my birthday this week. I’m fifty two . And this is what fifty two looks like on me.

Me. On my birthday, 10-4-19.
My sibling closest in age to me, Jeff
My eldest sibling, Dee.

So I’m not complaining, just grieving some of the old. And maybe some of the things I took for granted. Like the sun always shining, mild weather that often made you feel snug and warm inside, and I lived near a river and water and anytime I needed to breathe, I’d go right outside my window and breathe .

I loved the Tulsa, Oklahoma weather more than I knew and the mellowness of the skies and wind, obviously – after the Spring storms came through and blessed our space with tornadic storms.

I’m learning loving means leaning on the good and making the meaningful moments count, despite it all….

So ,…I’m still here. Just have to find myself in nature, again.

Fairport, New York

Fairport is a beautiful place. Just one of the beautiful small towns in New York.

I love these small towns because they are small. Quaint. And picturesque. The colors match the sky . Very unintentionally.

And on a good day… you can listen and hear ‘summertime’ in the air , no matter what season it ’tis.

If you get a chance to experience New York, don’t just go for the city; there’s so much more, out there.

 

Blessedness.

Blessedness : the state of being blessed with divine favor.

I’ve been creating more of an ambiance of peace. It involves yoga, meditation, practicing stillness, and quiet. I’ve learned when I take care of my being; I thrive. I become my best self.

I’m not certain anyone told me this, it just occurred. And so I’ve decided the best way to be should involve : care of my soul. My mind , will and emotions . You see, I used to be really depressed. And I found out when I placed everyone’s well-being before my own, I faltered. I became stressed out, depressed, depleted, and downright sad. So I decided to change that a few years back.

And I did a lot of following of blogs and people – mostly women, who wrote about it and just followed their lives and expressed it with purpose.. It was intentional. One wrote about photography , which I loved, and another wrote about her spiritual life and I considered those two to be most priority at the time. All were authors .

What Is it about my mind will, and emotions ? Well, all are pretty important . And all three are attached to my heart. I suppose that’s why I consider them to coincide with my internal peace, so well.

Loving this life I’m living in a blessed way. Join me as I settle into it, with great expression.

Selah.

Identity Stories…

Once , when I was in South Africa, I was exhorting a class on their King & Queendom history and saying how proud I was to finally be on African soil, because I was now home. And I told them how I felt it was a privilege to meet them, and how much they were blessing my life to be present with them. A young lady spoke up in this class with while teaching & proudly informed me – quite “prophetically” and ingeniously that “We Are All Trees.” She was speaking to our strength and endurance as an African people and speaking very proudly of her heritage and inheritance. Every since this day occurred in May of 2003; I haven’t been the same.

I stand a little taller, I teach a little firmer, I smile a lot more, and I speak up for myself. I haven’t lost my voice. These four words have transformed my life. And perhaps it’s why I love trees so much .

One day while in the woods in Tulsa, Oklahoma- I merged two photos and this photo came to be. I believe spiritually, it was a reminder of my Strength, Resiliency. Depth, and Virtue . I’ll never be the same .

Mountains… or Hills?

I am in Dansville, New York today. Just left a really pensive session about family, & what it means to me. I admired the atmosphere; being surrounded by mountains on each side. I kept taking in the views, and exclaiming how beautiful the mountains were, and one of the residents of the community said to me: “Oh those aren’t mountains, they’re hills.”

I smiled and said to myself…”They’re mountains to me.” You see, whether they are mountains or hills depends on the person. The power mountains give us – and the power the hills give us – they may be the same … or not .

I recall a time enduring a very difficult season and it was like my drives in my car during this season of my life were instructing me. I was traveling through a small town and there was this particular part of town where I noticed once – that the mountains had reduced in size!

I wondered to myself : “How did that happen!?” And I realized internally, my perspective had shifted.

Just like that.

Sometimes the life seasons we endure cause us to shift and change (snap!) just like that.

Driving those those small towns I had being enduring a really hard season in my life. And the trees and the mountains were so meaningful. They reminded me of how powerless I am, in comparison to the beauty of this world, and God’s power. God was teaching me. Informing me of my perspective. Stretching me…molding me… shaping me and causing me to shift.

I love mountains and I love hills.

The point is, no matter whether they are mountains or hills, they still encourage me. They still inspire my soul. They still make me think about the wonder of this world and how small I am in it,.. and sometimes my perspective, too.

Thank God for shifts.❤️

Oh, and mountains…☺️

Intuition & Wide Open Spaces

Ever need to just stop and think?

Get away from the hustle and bustle in life and reflect?

I do, quite often.

I had some epiphanies about my intuitive power this week, because I spent a lot of time alone.

I went on a business trip with my husband and was in a foreign city; a place I was unfamiliar with, but loved the space and experience it offered me.

People walked down the street, and I decided: Do I stay on this side of the street, or cross over? I felt vulnerable. I took Lyft, for the first time. It felt safe. But it was a first. As I experienced Lyft, my driver joked: Do I look like I’ll hurt someone? ( I thought to myself: “What does looking like you’ll hurt someone look like?“) And then I checked her license plate number. Yeah…she was old and about 85, but I still took precaution, cause I was in a new space, and this was my life.

I have significance .

I have worth.

Truly…It wasn’t about you.

Sometimes it’s not about them, it’s about us.

When you’re in a wide open space, ( i.e. feeling all alone, isolated, or a bit off track …) ; you don’t have to many familiar faces;… everything feels uncomfortable, and life presents different realities… and sometimes you have to breathe, relax , and just take it all in.

Think about what you really want

Think about what you really need…

Then do that next right thing; make that extra effort, do one more thing in that positive direction to help catapult you reach the next intuitive state in life. Think higher… be better… demand more.

I felt this way, over the course of the past four days – on this trip where I needed to make good use of my time… And though vulnerable as hell, I took care of myself and I was safe. Self-doubt tried to creep in about some decisions I’d made in regard to safety; but then I thought: ” I’m worth making this safe step. Err on the side of safety, Jenn. Even if it does cost ya, a bit.”

My intuition spoke to me.

It spoke to my worth. My value.

Your intuition will speak to you.

Do you listen to it, or do you choose not to listen in those vulnerable spaces?

Do you block it our with rationalizations and self-judgements? Or other-judgement?

Or do you lean in, and evaluate those thoughts and…think again?

Your intuition is your spiritual self . And everyone has a soul, a body, and a spirit.

Do you linger there enough to listen?

You might just learn how wise you really are.

What Makes Me Smile.

Outside Poughkeepsie, NY

I have been thinking lately of what makes me happy.

I’ve decided not to settle for less than what genuinely makes me happy. Eating well, spending time with friends, traveling, talking to friends and catching up especially if I haven’t seen them in quite some time…

And laughing.

I decided laughing isn’t underrated. I just need to find stuff that makes me laugh more.

I was sitting in a room today at breakfast time , in public and the laughter of a little kid just reminded me that I don’t giggle enough . And also- how much I love the laughter of little ones.

Stopping and choosing to smile is a conscious decision, these days. I chose to smile with great intent when I joined my church, when i married my husband, when I found two special friends who made me smile… a lot. I chose to smile when I sat in this beautiful garden space this morning.

Choosing to set myself in places that make me feel happy, and comfortable and loved, are important. So I must commit to more. Join me as I think about what makes me happy, daily, weekly… if you haven’t asked yourself very intentionally – “what makes me smile?”

Then you need to begin.

But giggle a little too… be giddy.

It’s quite alright.☺️

Taking Care of My Soul.

img_9604-1It’s so  very interesting how patience plays into our care of the soul. Almost two months ago, I left Tulsa Oklahoma, tense and overwhelmed and anxious. Across country moves just seem to impact me in that way. I’ve done two of them, in my lifetime. And as much as I plan to be calm and take time off in advance, it just doesn’t work out that way. There’s always something to be concerned about:

Will there be enough income  for the transition ?

Will we like where we are going?

Will totally dislike  the cold?

Wil I make friends easily?

Will I enjoy my job?

So I’ve been out of work now for almost two months. I didn’t plan on that. Just took them a month to have me approved. It’s like, really?  (They don’t manage  job contracts as smooth as  they used to .)

Okay, so now I’m in this place of much more calm and grace and gratefulness. It seems like no matter the amount of time it took, it took this ‘much needed ‘ time to  rest and rejuvenate and re- order my steps.

Everyday I’ve tried to stop and be grateful for at least one thing, then I’d acquiesce ll over again . And breathe. When I’m anxious and uptight , I tend to forget to breathe , and I tend to forget to express thanks for where I am.

Perspective matters.

I really didn’t think I  needed this, but apparently my soul knew I needed it. I’m currently in central NY in a beautiful hotel for the past few days – soaking up sunny days and  breathing in fresh fall air.  Enjoying time as the trees change into their beautiful autumn hues. And I have time to do this, so I’m thankful.

So the next time you’re complaining about how long something takes, just stop and think about where’s the grace in it. What are you grateful for?

Where does your soul align with the process?

And how much are you frustrating grace in the process?

Receive the good, and abandon the eat that isn’t quite helpful.

My soul aligning with “the process”.Receive your new beginning.

Selah.