Category Archives: On Thriving

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.

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.

Clarity.

On the beach in 2019

Clarity.

It’s not easy to achieve. I mean should we even make it a goal? When 2019 happened, I initially didn’t desire clarity. I asked for something else. In fact, that word is a slight misnomer now, because Clarity assumed its position and took a hold of my destiny like none other .

“For sure, you’re wrong”, I said. “It’s not time yet, “ I mentioned as I wrestled with the change and let go of several valuables and said goodbye to friends in the state I couldn’t believe I was moving to nine years ago..

Sometimes Clarity happens so unexpectedly. We ask for it, then we’re really not ready when it comes because it capsizes our entire world.

Or at least it did. mine.

It was my one word for the year, you see. I didn’t intend for it to bring all love and light to pass. To highlight the love of family and allow me to make sacrifices that involved severe change. To move me out of my comfort zone and say: “ Welcome to this New Evolving Space!” Yeah, rhat was Clarity . But she’s become the friend I didn’t realize I had.

When I asked the Universe to give me clarity, God opened the heavens and said: “Take a risk.

And at first, I said “No.” I thought I wasn’t ready, so Resistance spread her wings and tried to escape. But Clarity brought her silence and reminded me how “life really isn’t all about Lil o’ me.” Sometimes the people we love and the lives we love take precedence, as so it was.

Clarity revisited . 2019

So this year, Clarity – my one word – was sort of disruptive of my peace; yet freeing…surrendering, cautious, yet unconditional , loving and necessary, enlightening and freeing. Yeah… Freeing.

Yeah, but it has yielded great results , already. The lesson leavened was to let go of the things we hold unto so tightly because they could free us, almost unexpectedly, if only we were ready for change .

Clarity . (title) On Lake Ontario, N.Y.. in 2017

being intentional about being present .

I have found rest in some of the smallest uncozy spaces . And then when I see this frustrated, restless self of mine, I regroup.

My rest often hides in spaces I haven’t been in a while . I am finding rest in books. Books titled “Present Over Perfect.”

I’m learning here, in the book self care involving being intentional about being present with those i love , and letting them know it.

being intentional about being present with those i love , and letting them know it.

I mean, when the last tim

I mean, when the last time you looked your loved one in the eye and said :”You know I really, really love you, right – and here’s why…” and you tell them.

And then I find myself sleeping in late; maybe until nine, or ten sometimes on weekends. Or I walk a bit in the woods; or laugh at myself and sing some old songs or I listen to jazz because “ good jazz” makes you dance and get ‘all the way’ down.

Photo by You Are So Beautiful Photography

Maybe the moments of rest are within our souls: capturing everything we normally miss… when we blink. When we hear those voices deep down in our heart speaks and whispers “Tell them…” and then you hesitate and say it – not because it’s just senseless, but because there’s a chance by saying it , it materializes into a deep truth,& a deep comfort for the one whose ears received it.

This is being present over perfect.

And that all matters .

New Occupation, New Name.

Chaplain Jennifer. That’s what they call me. I’m still getting used to calling myself that. I’m learning everyone that’s in the hospital is not here just for physical healing. Mental, emotional, spiritual and other kinds of healings exist, as well. There is in forgiveness, emotional pain, and other kinds of relief we need to deal with, in order to maintain the proper perspective. It’s all important.

Before you wind up in a medical facility bedridden , take care of yourself and get some daily and weekly self-care. Invest in yourself. It’s important for y’all.

It’s your legacy. If you teach yourself how to do this, you leave a healthy and lengthy  legacy  for your children.

Chaplain Life

Supplication. /Chaplain Contemplations 3

I had chapel yesterday at work , and I shared on the power of supplication. I shared from my book, Red Sea a Situations.

Supplication is that Dee prayer that sets your hearts desire before a living God. That deep, earnest sincere and affectionate prayer that brings you close to Gods heart. Taking our cares and concerns to God when we are burdened in a very intentional heartfelt manner, and rolling those concerns over with every fiber of your being is important. God reaches back when you take the time. I’m a witness.☺️God longs to hear your voice and your feelings about your life & even more, He longs to comfort you. God peace is supreme it passes all understanding. Don’t worry about having the rt thing to say; just say it,& talk it out with Him. He longs to hear your heart.

#supplication #thepowerofsupplication #prayer #chaplainlife

Intuition & Love… How Did I Get Here?

How did I  get here?

Ever ask yourself that  question?

I once  thought  about writing on  Intuition and Love a while  ago.  But I  wasn’t ready.  I had to decide how transparent I wanted to be.

Then I realized that I needed to see how the two overlap. I didn’t have enough knowledge.  Or so I thought…  but I DID have the experience.  I mean, this is hard  writing, I thought…  where is my capacity to   speak on this? 

How  can  I speak on this without  true experience?

Then I thought  about it. I guess true experience is the BEST  teacher, sometimes.  I  had to go deep within myself to find answers,  but  I think mostly  I had to  ask myself, first – how  did I get here?  When we ask ourselves  honest  questions,  sometimes we  get  honest answers.

I was in a relationship  that went  south. I mean  all the way south.  Like worse than cheating.  It was humiliating.  And I had to pick myself up with all   of the dignity I had left and determine within myself  and ask myself:

Did I ever want to be in relationship with this person  again?

Did I trust   ever again  being able to trust this person with my  well-being, my life, my friendship?

And the answer was a resounding “No.”

Not to  say that person  couldn’t change one day,  but I had been in hell with them, and they basically let me sink to the bottom of the pit.  People like  that  don’t deserve my trust.  That’s what I determined in side.  Even my dreams  spoke to it.  I mean, I asked God:

“Show me his heart.”

So  check this out –  Spirit showed me this – once I was still enough:

This was the answer to my request:

I had a very vivid dream I was in a car ,  and my  significant  other was driving the car…. (this was before all of the  stuff went down –  and you  know I didn’t want to say stuff,  right ? I’m  just being polite.) –   and so in the dream he drove both of  over a cliff, he got out of the car and saved himself, and I kept  drowning.  In the back  seat though, was the most kindest and  most  beautiful person I had ever known – my brother- and he represented for me: GOODNESS in my life. 

I  found out through this dream, God was speaking to me.  Because Goodness  saved me.  And  Goodness was  what I had been neglecting in my life, all along.

jen

So now here’s what’s true: Without introspective  questions, I would have never  kept my life so sacred. This sacred act of self-inspiration SAVED me.

And sacredness was what I was all about, in that season of my life.  I had to find myself again.  And in the true essence of who I was, I had to determine where had I lost my soul.  My mind – where was it? My will  –  why did I  give it away?  And my  emotions  – why did they numb out ?

That’s  what  I did when I lost my soul, My ability to decide… I lost my thought life. I gave away  what was most sacred – my own personal opinion and thoughts  – to  someone else.  And THAT  was NOT OK.

My whole life had been  turned upside down because I put all my trust in one person.  And I thought: ” How had he become my God?

I had not been intuitive. I had not  thought about  the love I was   NOT  experiencing.  I  just wanted to  be with him.  Not  in love, not loved,  settling for less, and   not living up to my own expectations.  Not , I wasn’t perfect,  but I sure was using my best wisdom, sure wasn’t’  seeking advice from my smart sisters,  and I sure was isolating myself from every one I lived.  How did I get here?

I know. I ignored myself, my needs, and I didn’t listen to  not determine what I wanted, and  GO after it.  Yet this perceived ‘failure’ was  teaching me to respect myself in the future. To ask myself what was important first, then LOVE that, And only that, because it was God’s life first,  and then my own, to decide.

Selah.

This is  a writing on the  “12 Gems” stories .. this one is on Intuition, and I am taking all year to focus on what it means to “”Receive” and  basically,  take a look within.  To think about how I got to the other side of life’s circumstance, and really began living. 

And so here am I. 

Looking Into The Windows of my Soul…

Sometimes I look deeper..

Deeper within.

‘Cause I hope you know that Vulnerability is an eye to the window of your soul.

I remember a time when I knew I had skills; yet I didn’t use them.

I took no risks.

It wasn’t until I began to “call myself a photographer, that I truly became one.”

It wasn’t until I began to “call myself a writer that I became an author.”

And it wasn’t until I began to find my voice and project vision, that I ‘knocked the socks off’ my listeners with my speaking.

I am somebody.

How do I know? I sow seed and it produces some thirty, sixty, one hundred-fold.

I am Enough.

I Trust enough.

I Lead enough.

I Pledge to BE excellent enough…

I Thrive enough.

I excel enough.

I am God perfect plan to bless the earth with His Goodness , His Mercy, His Light.

The sky is the limit,

The earth is my classroom,

And God people are my prospects.

Let’s Go!

Sharing The Window Of Your Soul

What is your soul, actually?

Your mind is precious and should be given the utmost consideration as to “who” you allow to influence it, and “how” they influence it.  For instance, spending time with people who complain, are envious or talk down to you makes you feel vulnerable , and doubt yourself in such a way that it affects  your esteem and confidence.

Your will is the part of your soul that has everything to do with your motivations, and your heart. Unmotivated? Listen to your heart. Think about what’s near to you and dear to you. What challenges you? Where are you inspired? It’s likely you need to find something passionate to work on, or find someone that has similar passion and match that same attitude.

What moves you to  make the decisions tou do? Ever thought about it? Sometimes those are “inner vows” we make to ourselves and in regard to our past and where we determine to go in our  futures.

Our emotions are simply how we feel. Paying close attention to how you feel around influential persons is key to preserving your soul. Who you allow to influence you, and share with you in such a way they respect your feelings or ignore your feelings is key to maintaining healthy relationships. How you even treat yourself, when you’re feeling down or upset helps to reveal whether you care for your emotions accurately. For instance, do you eat junk food when you’re upset, or do you go for a walk in nature and drink more water and meditate?

It’s time to consider ‘who’ you are vulnerable with, and why?

Are they closer to your heart than they should be?

How do my relationships influence my soul positively?

What are their ‘negative’ qualities – or are there hardly any at all, and do you respect them as a person, or do you just tolerate them?

I’m continuing the conversation on Vulnerability, as a part of the 12 Gems  series and course I am  writing here at Pursuing Life. My hope is as you seek the principles here on this blog you will evolve to a greater part of you.

Peace, JennRene

Settling.

Greener Pastures: (My post on Better Self-Worth& Esteem)

Psalm 23:1

The Lord is My Shepherd. I lack nothing.”

I’m learning to appreciate everything these days….. And I am blessed to be able to be living in a place where I’ve been for seven years. It’s been a journey of acceptance; yet also esteem.

Approximately 13 or 14 years ago I was in a flux… trying to decide whether or not I should relocate to a new state, (D.C.) -and begin all over again. I decided I would begin there again …and get a new start. That has been one of the biggest and grandest decisions of my life. It has matured me. Encouraged me to be a grown-up! And to learn how to “live life” again after deep sorrows. Once I mastered living in DC; My husband found me. Only problem was…(He lived in Texas!!) I remember his words before he got out of my car and few back to TX that long weekend we shared at the African Heritage conference: “What would it take to get you to move to Texas?”

I paused, thought about it and said: ” I’d have to be getting married or have a really GOOD job.” He said: Okay… I’ll work on that.” I smiled. But had no huge hopes….heck, I’d just finished another trip down ‘marriage lane’ , and was not in any rush to do it again.

Can I say this man mapped out a really good plan? I believe that’s how I knew he was the one. He sent for me a month later.. & within six months I was in Texas with my own apartment! One year later, we were married.

Texas was home for for 4 years… and then we shifted to our destined place; Tulsa, OK. – & I fought being a mid-westerner with all my being….”Ole Okie” kinda grew on me.

I can truly say Oklahoma has brought me greener pastures and as been a beautiful journey to better esteem. ❤️

I’m not a cliche’ person who believes that esteem comes via a mans influence on a woman… but I’d venture to say , if he is truly the one.. and he ‘models’ excellent esteem, he can sure make a woman feel quite worthy.

Worth comes from loving yourself and cherishing what you bring to the table. This man and his long talks had me convinced he’d found his ” good thing”. Since being married to Tim, I’ve invested in my self-worth and delighted in being encouraged by a husband who encourages this as a lifestyle.

Everything from giving me books to read on self-care; feeding the ‘goodness’ with my personality; encouraging positive friendships; being creative with my hobbies; starting women’s groups; exercising; going on trips; encouraging my spirituality… the list goes on.

I feel worthy today.

And “settling” was not in the plan. It wasn’t always my dream. God changed that. He had to make me feel worthy of this kind of settling, then changed my heart, my soul and my mind.

And now I’m on a journey to feeling complete . And a healthy marriage encourages this lifestyle.❤️

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, & shall eventually provide links to this course.