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.

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.”

Seeking Normalcy in a Pandemic

The Blessedness Of Being.

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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Mesmerized By The Skies…

Since I was a child I have been mesmerized by the skies.

I’m not sure if it was being raised by parents who just placed in me a sense of wonder and joy, or just had professions where they absorbed the unreachable. Mom was a teacher so learning was her best thing. Mom could teach you , while at the same time cut up peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in front of you and it was the best classroom ever, right there in the kitchen. Often at the table …why I asked her pensively, why the sky was green or why people were so mean inside. One thing for sure, I listened to all this answers and they formulated opinions in my head about how to treat others, myself.

Dad … on the other hand, was a librarian. (Another major absorber… ) sometimes I would see Dad with a book in his hand , reading.. but not often . He mostly seemed to like the interaction with others in how he brought the books to others and the thoughts related to engaging with them. He liked the sense of wonder and conversations that arose from those books. And I think he secretly like also the way I’d visit the bookmobile he drove daily and grab nearly 15 to 20 books every week and get stocked up on my next few that I’d settle into for the next week or weekend.

(I believe both of my parents were grateful they were raising a book nerd, to be honest… maybe I’d stay outta trouble..)

Evening skies. July 2020

Yet Dad nurtured that sense of wonder the most, when he took us on rides in the country . Every Sunday, he would grab his family and we’d go for a Sunday drive. Just looking out our windows, feeling the evening breeze on our cheeks, rising in the breeze and remembering how soft and free it felt on our faces.

I think perhaps I loved it the most.

I was the baby of the family, and I’d get excited, skip and laugh to get in the car. My siblings on the other hand would have scowls and frowns on their faces .. that was until they got about five miles outside the city, and they too would feel the nostalgia.

And everyone would just.. relax. The car would get quiet, we would all get contemplative and just watch the skies. Or… fall asleep.

To this day my siblings and I send each other photos of the sun going down or beautiful skies and photos of nature.

So the nostalgia continues …

Even in our older age.. we are mesmerized by the skies…

Selah.

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 friends who were suffering the same.

“Even our pain and hurt should not be compared and ranked .” (Brene’ Brown)

These were Brene ‘ Browns‘  soothing words while experiencing crisis. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a range of emotions during this ” stuck at home time.”

Brene encourages is by saying: “Don’t ration love.” We need to up the ante on self-love. Self-love is not something I often think about ; but oh do I need more of it!

Though it’s hard sometimes, I find the need to just stop, slow down, and take morning baths. Why? Because morning baths are soothing, relaxing and set the tempo for the rest of my day.

I also read  on self- development and  how to be my best self,  take notes and meditate on learning points through the week. Why? Because knowledge is always present , and I am ever- evolving. And I need this meditative , contemplative part of me to be a sanctuary for a sound mind.
I have other self- soothing tips during this season. But self-love is an ‘acquired taste’ for me, and it takes thoughtfulness , meaning-making and time to pause.

“We need to attend to our own emotions, so we can be also present for others.”

I am not certain I’ve been very consistent with this. There are times I didn’t want to even think about how I felt. Being numb and not thinking much, just felt safer. But then I realized “there’s safety in a multitude of counselors.” (Scripture) And this safety is wrapped up in the arms of those who comforted me and believed I wasn’t alone. With them in my life,  life is just better.

We should never compare our suffering, emotions or affect with other-suffering. We should not deny or double down on our feelings. This invites shame, says Brene’ Brown.

Listen in to the Unlocking Us Podcast with Brene’ Brown, here. 

 

 

Giving from a deficient place.

I’m reading a devotional , and in the devotional it speaks about giving from a deficient place. And I that deficient place, it says more shall be provided than you’ll know. Interesting that ‘lack’ can have an almost amazing fulfillment.

It makes me think about how my esteem used to be really low. But then, I’d go to school with my mom who was a teacher.

And I was famous for a day.🌺

It’s So odd how true truth rests in how we perceive and how we are received. Receiving unexpectedly, like being in the right place at the right time, makes you feel valued. As a spiritual principle, being valued can exceed your imagination .

It gives you strength, affirmation , acceptance, worth. Wholeness …smiles, warmth.

And most of all, LOVE.🌺

When I was younger, my moms would take me places . She’d give me all these new experiences . I’d go to the beach, I’d travel to the library, I’d take days off to go on fields trips with her school, and her school children. She was not just my own Teacher. She was THEIR teacher . And some of the kids would just STARE at me. Like wishing they could go home with her too.’ Like … ‘what made HER so special that she hung out with my teacher?’

I learned from my Momma the power of making people feel special. It made you famous . Well.. sorta. Lots of people like you when you make them feel worthwhile. And make them smile.

Not that life is all about that, but… YOU feel good too when you make them smile inside . For this reason, I thought I wanted to be a teacher, too.

Then I changed my mind once I was in a room with a bunch of kids. Couldn’t handle it.

Decided I’d spend maybe a few hours with them, yet still be their teacher . How could i do that?

Oh! ( Be a school social worker!)

And that was my longest job.

I learned so much about kids and how to water them and make them grow. I learned a lot about myself, too. And what I needed to grow.

Value yourself , today🌺.

You deserve it.

And don’t settle for anything less.

Quite longingly… they would look…as if I were special. So i began to believe I was. 🌺 And they’d desire to play with me and be my friend, and sit right next to me. They knew I wasn’t a student in their class. And they knew I was a pretty special girl, if I’d come to their class, and belonged to Mrs Cox.

Q

I always wondered why it felt so special to be there .To experience the class as an outsider. As I think about that special feeling; I now know what they saw. Value.💜

Read more about Value, here on my podcast, ShineBaby Shine!🌺

For me to see from a deficient space.

To see opposite of what everyone else saw. To see from a deficient space, and give from that special place.