Water & Sun.

Water and sun. They are so rejuvenating. If you’re ever feeling lost, or like the world is caving in, spend time in water near water, watching water the movement of it, the sound of it, even drinking water can be so necessary…

It’s so needed for the soul , spirit and preservation of our bodies. Perhaps that’s why we are surrounded by it on so many parts of the earth. Perhaps that’s why it has such a quality of drawing people near it, and we yearn for a sail upon it, or to swim in it. To take showers daily. To bathe.

Water is essential for living.

And even without sun, our days are dreary, and uneventful. Gloomy and discouraging, if you will. It’s not until the sun comes out we again, have vigor and satisfaction. When the sun comes out even on a cold wintry day, I am enlightened and I have hope. Sun is necessary for an essential vitamin we need to thrive . Vitamin D. Imagine that, a vitamin, made out of of the biggest lights in the sky. Someone thought of a your need – on a level you were not even fully aware of, with longevity .

This summer was so special to me. I spent a lot of time outdoors , and on the beach in quiet contemplation and in meditation with the elements of sun and water. Together, they taught me a lot. As I attempted to find answers to some things about life, it was near water where I learned to acquiesce. To let go of some thoughts and feelings I could not understand, even somethings I had trouble accepting about myself. I was able to release them. There was such a cleansing of my soul as I whispered thoughts and prayers to my Maker. Spend time in the elements of water & sun.

They were made for you .🌺

Lead. Tell

Brene’ wrote that.

She is awesome because of how she uses her mouth. Her words.

Your life story leadership is your story. Yes and getting past the vulnerability of all, is the challenge.

Think about where you lead.

If you don’t lead, think about where you would like to.

Then, listen to someone else’s story and see how and why they lead.

The Reasons are embedded in the lessons learned; in the heartache…

And the joy found in letting it all go.

It will give you some insight.

how i harnessed myself through covid.

So when I decide to endure difficulty, I manage to “harness myself.” It’s a process.

And of course, I am not an easy person to manage. I once had someone tell me I was “high maintenance.”

I consider that a compliment. They just didn’t understand me. Looking back… I realize I was I literally a person of influence, and that “becoming” wasn’t my fault – they just didn’t understand how influence was made.

Influencers are complex. And it’s ok. I dont have to “become” like anyone else. I can be unique, and its ok.

Life in the wilderness….

If you look up one of the definitions of the word HARNESS in the dictionary – you will find these words:

Harness” – to bring under conditions for effective use; gain control over for a particular end: to harness water power; to harness the energy of the sun. Archaic.

 to array in armor or equipments of war.

So deep. “If I am preparing for a war…” I harness myself. I get all the right tools. Amazing.

I felt the grief of this war. It was saddening… painful. Yet freeing in many ways.

War… in fact means : “a state of armed conflict between different nations or states

or different groups within a nation or state.”

Fits perfectly.

I feel like this was what CoVid taught me to do: TO HARNESS myself.

Effectiveness is not taught always… sometimes its endured.

Other definitions are: to rein in, to “tackle, belt or fasten…” sounds Like a trip, right? )Haha)

Well… its interesting that when CoVid began I surely felt like I was on a journey. I knew if I didn’t arrest myself and begin to think about this as a journey, I might not make it through the journey. So… I put on my belt, and I endured.

Buckled up.

Prepared to be ‘sacked’.

Tackled some things.

Some I managed well.

Others… broke me totally apart.

Here are a few things I did for perspective:

I prayed hard.

I took the focus off myself.

I sat in complete quiet for an hour or more.

I napped a whole lot.

I talked to friends I loved.

I lamented with others who were hurting.

I prayed for “them”- whomever ‘them’ were…

I sat in the Sun.

Opened windows.

Went on snowy Walks.

Watched a lot of comedy.

Played with babies.

Prayed some more.

Talked to friends on the phone, & Zoom. {Zoom mostly}.

I cried.

Got lost in worship. {the most freeing…}

I went to random spots to eat, even while nervous.

I held a group on purpose.

I lamented to God and my husband, some more…

I spent time with old pictures.

I tried so hard to journal, …but it was hard.

I stayed up all night.. just writing and making new projects.

I prayed for everyone hurting from the death of George Floyd.

I prayed for George.

I cried some more.

I prayed for black men everywhere.

I prayed for the black men in my family.

I prayed for the 3 new baby boys in my family.

I prayed for their parents as they raised them.

I prayed for ways to find my voice amidst the pain.

I lamented to God.

I allowed myself to feel the hurt.

I thought deeply about hate… and how it kills.

I took care of my parents.

I focused on quality and not quantity.

I practiced gratefulness.

I took pictures with my camera.

I thanked God for the little things.

I changed my diet.

I thought a lot about my future.

I spent time working on projects.

I prayed for my enemies.

I trusted God and asked for a harnessing of my soul.

I am sure I did a whole lot more… but these things helped me quite a bit.

Selah.

4 Reasons Not To Live with Regret.

So… I remember a time in my life when I was really  indecisive.

I remember I was trying to please others so much, I forgot about myself.  In that process, I  made  a lot of decisions that  didn’t give much regard to my life, or  emotional safety. What I wanted out of life, was on the back burner.  I basically lived for the enjoyment and delight of someone else, because I thought that was how you show you love someone. I was so wrong. I had love all confused. And because of that, I had so much inner conflict, insecurity and so much doubt inside of myself. Discord was often in my relationships, and I just had no peace with anyone, so I stayed away from people, mostly. As long as they were not talking about my life, then I was okay with them. I didn’t want anyone telling me what to do and if they offered without my asking, then I was ready to run from them, even those close to me, and who mean a lot to me.

When you don’t have peace inside, everything you do or don’t do, feels like a mistake. You second guess yourself all the time, and you cannot trust your instincts. And when you ignore your instincts, man… you are in T-R-O-U-B-L-E!  I operated in this way so often, I didn’t know who I was , or whether I was coming or going. That means I was lost. After a while, I became so hopeless, I just lost hope altogether. I was just existing. I apologized for everything, I had many qualms with people and the places where I was in life. I carried resentments and as a result, I was just plain miserable. I was annoyed to the point that accepting annoyance was how I lived. But I was so blind to this fact, I simply endured it. It became the norm. I was living with regret. When I looked up the word regret, I found in the thesaurus these words: ” to prey on the mind…have a weight on the mind; leave an aching void.” That’s what regrets feels like. Sorrow, pain, hurt – all the time, and guilt.

Growing up in an alcoholic family, I realized this was the norm for me, ( living with annoyances) which is why I didn’t recognize it when it occurred in a daily basis in my life and relationships. (I know, crazy… right?) But we  do this, because we tend to go with what’s familiar and yet become so comfortable with it, we consider it to be  normal?  How does this happen? You recognize you were annoyed and miserable, yet every single day you find comfort with it? I think deep down inside I knew I was miserable, but I didn’t want to admit it.  I was living with a denial and a numbness that honestly, felt very good, because if I didn’t have to acknowledge it, then  I thought  it was not bothering me. But then, after 11 years of depression, it finally caught up  with me. I was at my wits end. My mental health took a toll on me and I knew I had to change something.

One day my spirit cried out to God, and revealed I was  living with sorrow. I had much so much REGRET about the  situations I found myself in life, the  decisions I had made and  I was suffering from so much sorrow. I was  sad about my life  and I felt trapped. I felt responsible for things I wasn’t even responsible for. The adults in my life blamed me and I took on their issues and their grief to the point, I had no resolve, no contentment and no harmony in my life. It took a lot to admit I was sad. I was really depressed and I had chosen to live like that for  several years. Living in regret.

I remember one morning I spent the entire morning with God in prayer on my back porch.  I was angry, bitter and I was hurting. I was also very stubborn and God used a lot of my grief to help me to recognize  some of the things I held on to were because of pride. I remember  crying out to God with so much pain and  telling God I was  ‘fed up’ and I wanted a new life, and new hope, and a new way of being and doing. As I sat there,  I had a vision in my head of the  image of the woman in the  Bible with whom they  cast stones . (John 8)   These people brought her to Jesus to be condemned. Jesus response  to her accusers was to write on the ground. No one knows what Jesus wrote. But her accusers all left after Jesus  wrote on the ground. He then said : “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”  I envisioned Jesus as I sat on my porch (with my eyes closed);  write in the ground for me.  As He  wrote, He basically wrote some things  that only I saw, of course.  But what he wrote reminded me of what He desired for me to have. His promises.  I saw that He had much greater intention for me to have good, in my life. I believe it was like that with her accusers, as well. What was important was not what He wrote, but what He said and how what he said, made me feel.  I didn’t feel sorrowful any longer, I was no longer troubled, I was no longer hurting and burdened deeply with regret, and  I  became decisive. I knew instantly that I deserved more, I wanted more and  that I could have more; and I made the decision to do it.

 John 8:7, 10,11 “But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.” NASB

Jesus dealt with this woman with such tenderness and grace, that she was in awe.  All the accusers surrounding her also  were also surprised, but they must have understood, because they left too. If we condemn ourselves, with LIVE WITH REGRET.  My relationship with God has taught me I am not worthy of punishment for the  decisions I have made.That’s why he died for us. Once I repent, ask God for help, receive it, then move on. then  comes release. Just like it did for the woman in John 8. This is very important. It’s necessary for living with a clear conscious.

That day on my back porch, I contended with Jesus, in my soul . But I learned three things after my wrangling with God:

1. I had to let go of my past.

2., I couldn’t live in the condemnation, because if I did, I would accept the guilt and regret from my past.

3. I learned I had to move on, because HE didn’t condemn me, and so I had to stop condemning myself.

4. I had to forgive myself.

When you cannot forgive yourself, you don’t remember to be kind, nurturing and self-loving. You forget to forgive yourself. It took years for me to forgive myself for things in my past, even after I made a decision to live a better life and leave those things behind, I knew I was worth more, I knew I deserved more, but it didn’t make me leave the situation or change anything. Here’s what made the difference: accepting God’s forgiveness and allowing His love for me to redeem me.  For me, this was what unraveled the love confusionI learned that if I accepted God’s love first and allowed this to be my foundation for loving others and BEING LOVED… then I would be alright.  Once I was certain God has forgiven me and wanted more for me, I began to move towards freedom, and I never looked back. I fond resolve. But I have to give God my regrets. 

People are often amazed by how much peace I seem to have.  Let me tell you, I am not perfect. I still struggle, even. And although I have peace , now…  It took a very long time to get here. After I  got through the muck and the mess of my own regrets, I was able to stand again on my own two feet.   Of course,  some of the way, God carried me to be honest. But I made it to the other side. Now that I am here, it ‘s pertinent I tell the story of how I made it here, so others could be set free as well.

Amen & Selah.reflection

Embracing & Seeking Insulation, Not isolation.

We all need to learn how to embrace a bit closer those we love. I’m just going to say this: Two people of meaning and great value to those I love , shockingly died this week.

I’m not even sure when you listen to my podcast below things will change for you in any way; however – Consider this:

There is a ‘seeking’ within, that is quite relative in this day and time. Seeking insulation preserves the soul.

In a day where “ suddenlies” happen frequently – we all need to consider the state of our soul. (Our mind, will and emotions. ) Knowing what we think, feel and believe about every aspect of life is critical to our well-being . Take a few seconds of every day to remain present to our lives, remain aware and being grateful.

I have never found such a need to be so ‘aware’. Awake. Pensive. Considerate of my life, of those around me, those I love, of where I fit in, and how I maintain my lot, as much as I am aware, today. Maybe it’s due to ‘Covid happenings’, maybe it’s a need for a connection with myself. Even the awareness of needing to communicate my love to loved ones matters , as well.

To Embrace means: :

1) a close encircling with the arms and pressure to the chest especially as a sign of affection : HUG 2: grip, encirclement /3: ACCEPTANCE.

Take some time to embrace. Take in your surroundings, spend time on your mama’s or friend’s porch, Practice acceptance in light of everything that is going on around you.

Everything matters.

It always did. Especially now that we realize a loved one can be here today, and gone tomorrow.

Read my podcast on “Seeking Insulation not Isolation”. – https://anchor.fm/iamjennrene/episodes/Seek-Insulation–Not-Isolation-ec68jr/a-a1qic2v

She Rocked This.

She rocked this. Christine Mason Miller, that is .

What makes someone want to do this? I think I am going to ask her and then come back with her answer. This is awesome.

Sending messages around the world that are significant thoughts and contemplate change.

Selah. *( Pause and calmly think of that.)

Here’s her answer: “Snail mail has been one of my super powers for a long time. And this tradition of sending out small messages to anyone who needed one started years ago.. I find it especially potent these days with most of our lives taking place on a screen.”

My Flavor of Being …Happy

NikonCoolpix
Facebook thoughts…

Happiness has been a journey for me. I wrote this on my post today , and boy …was I surprised what I wrote!

I didn’t expect to write about the “flavor” of my happiness. I laugh inside because I didn’t expect “Happiness” to have a flavor… (haha) … But it does! Happiness has a taste of butterscotch ice cream or almond…or vanilla amaretto (for me)… It’s a savoring kind of taste. something that makes you wants to taste it, like, forever.
I have tasted happiness but not so much until I reached fifty-something, on a consistent basis.

I attribute this to hard work. Hard work involving “working on ME.” I have being doing tons of self-evaluation lately. I had a group of women it began with; yet I ended up doing most of it involving me doing it alone. And I’ve been consistently over the past maybe fifteen years working on it with deep, digging , introspective work.

Here are the words that I feel like deserve some applause:

🌸Confidence

🌸Self-Love

🌸Motivation

🌸Self-Trust.

🌸Settled.

🌸Placed.

🌸Courageous

These words helped me to step out of my comfort zone. Amazing how “one-word” reflection can help you to become intentional. If you’d like to be involved in a group bot individual process for this, let me know and I’ll coach you through the process .

Seeking Normalcy in a Pandemic

I have been thinking about self -love and self-care and why others have such a hard time with it, sometimes . Lately, in the pandemic, I’ve been way too busy. I’ve been a caregiver for parents, I’ve been a mental health therapist, I’ve been a concerned friend. But I haven’t cared for me , like I should. I’ve placed others’ needs above my own and thought less of mine .

When the racial protests happened I felt bad I couldn’t walk with them, because I was trying to be safe from the Corona virus. I compared my suffering to that of others and thought about the consequences; feeling guilty I was not as involved as a activist for social justice issues like this. Yet then, I realized as long as I had a voice my voice would matter , my sharing and transparency mattered, and so did my attention on…

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