An Open Letter To The Lady Who Prayed For Me

I was one pound down since my check in two days ago. I told the nutritionist working that day goodbye through mumbled breath and she looked me in the eye and said, “I hope your day gets better.

Thank you,” I breathed and rushed as the waterworks I’d become accustomed to started. I ran to my car and at the same time noticed a car pulling up beside me. I was in full on sobs that would not be stopping anytime soon.

Tap, tap, tap,” I heard on the car window.

I looked up and opened the door to see an older woman I had never seen before.

Yes….I’m sorry,” I sobbed through tears.

Are you okay?

I felt my heart drop into my stomach, “I’m just having a bad day,” I continued to cry.

Can I pray with you?

Yes please.

This stranger grabbed my hands and proceeded to pray as tears flowed out of my eyes.

Thank you,” I said when she finished.

I don’t know what’s wrong and I don’t need to know, but I hope it gets better. Sometimes we need a good cry.

And like that she told me goodbye and walked inside.

I haven’t talked much (if at all) about religion on the blog. Not that I don’t have beliefs, but I just have my personal issues with organized religion and have made the decision to separate that part of my life from this one.

I’ve been having a rough time lately with my anxiety, and on that particular day, I was just counting down the hours till I could be in the safety of the office of my new therapist.  I knew if I could make it through the first 12 hours of the day to that 8 p.m. appointment I would be okay. Ultimately the universe had other plans and I became undone in that shopping center parking lot.

This chance encounter got me thinking about lots of things.

Why did I apologize?

I was having a private moment in my car (albeit in a public place) and she was technically interrupting it but I apologized.

I was apologizing for my humanity, for having a moment of weakness when I allowed the private me to be seen in the domain the public me usually rules. The world where I smile while I’m collapsing on the inside. The me that puts other people’s needs above my own. The me who doesn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable with my problems or emotions.

I realize I had no reason to apologize and that this kind stranger probably wasn’t expecting it.

The kindness of this stranger.

So often we are all in a rush and in our own heads. I know I am, if I’m in a public place, my head is probably turned down looking my phone or a book. I’m not proud to say that if the roles were reversed, I would have noticed someone sobbing in the car next to mine and even if I did if I would have felt comfortable asking if they were okay. I would have probably checked my phone to see how much time was left on my lunch break, in fear stopping to check on a stranger might make me late. Horrible to admit but true. I am positive I wouldn’t have thought to offer to pray for them. This interaction made me want to be more aware of the world around me and the pain of others.

The boldness of her belief.

We live in a country right now where we all value our freedom of speech but are just as quick to browbeat someone who has different beliefs or thoughts than us. That being said, even with the best intentions it can be scary to reach out.

For all, she knew I was an atheist or would get angry or even violent by her offer of prayer. This fear didn’t stop her from offering and trying to make me feel better. I respect her so much for that.

It made me want to be bolder in what I believe and not just in a religious or spiritual sense. They say the road to hell is pathed with good intentions but so is the road to hope and happiness. If you are genuinely trying to help someone I have to believe the universe has a way of putting this in the win column.

So to the woman who stopped and prayed with me, thank you for your kind words, your time, your prayer and your inspiration.

To anyone reading this, if you feel low or down there is help out there. Seriously, you don’t have to wait for a kind stranger to catch you having a dark moment. More and more insurance plans are covering mental health care and if you aren’t covered by insurance there are options including 7 Cups of Tea  and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. You are not alone!

The Distraction Keeping You From Your Dreams

A few months ago I ran an experiment on social media. Using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook I asked bloggers and entrepreneurs what their biggest time management issue was and what distractions stopped them from reaching their goals, mastering their side hustle and working on their craft. The answers were pretty much what you’d expect; social media, naps, lack of motivation, Netflix and so on. When really looking at these I saw one common thread: them. The biggest distraction keeping you from accomplishing your goals is you. Unless the answer to that question is “being held hostage” or “divine intervention” you have control how you spend your time. As long as you keep making those excuses and allowing these distractions to interrupt your working time you won’t accomplish your goals.

It’s About What You Want

Have you ever had a friend or family member call you in the middle of a week and say, “Hey I’m going to be in town this weekend? Do you have any time to meet up?

If you’re like me, then the first answer to that is probably, “No, I’m booked solid.

You probably have your whole week and weekend planned out or assigned to other events and people but what do you do? You make time.

You may have a bridal shower, first date and friend’s birthday party that night but you figure out how to squeeze in that surprise guest. Why? Because you want to.

You may be thinking, “but I do want to launch my email course,” or “I want to publish my book, but I don’t have the time.”

Why can’t you make the time? I get it really I do, even if you love writing there will be times where you’d rather watch Netflix then turn off the television and write. Heck, there are nights where I know I need to go to bed and end up watching three episodes of Raising Hope on Netflix, then the next thing I know it’s 12:30 and there is no way I’m waking up for yoga at 5:45. There are times when I say I’m going to put the laptop away and get some sleep and then end up watching some random movie I see on Netflix with “that one guy from that one show.”

We may not think we have the time or that we are too tired to do XYZ and then end up doing something that in no way moves us closer to our goals.

I love television and I love reading, but I know it’s rare that doing either of those things will bring me closer to my goals. Next time you fix your mouth to say, “ I don’t have time to____.” Think back to the day before and count how many hours you spent watching tv, reading for pleasure, scrolling through Instagram or just not working.

If you want it you can have it; you just have to do it.

If you want it you can have it; you just have to do it. Click To Tweet

You Let Yourself Get Overwhelmed

I mentioned in a recent post, 9 Mistakes Bloggers Make Managing Their Time, a lot of times the reason people fail to get started is that they go into overload and freak out at the amount of work required to get their goal done. I’ll be honest, very few goals require one step of work.

For example, your goal may be you want to launch a course. I’m sure you realize that your to-do list isn’t going to be, create the awesome course and watch as the sales roll in. (Trust me I’m in a crazy badass course about all the steps required to launch a course). People make a goal, and it’s exciting and awesome, then they start looking at the steps and get overwhelmed because in my experience not all steps are linear, so it may not be clear which should go first. Remember that little by little becomes a lot. Start by doing one thing at a time and then as you go you will notice things being checked off your to-do list and you will be closer to your goal.  

You’re Afraid Of Asking For Help

When you have a big goal or dream, it is a part of you, and it can be scary to let anyone else hold a part of it. Whether it’s asking for help, feedback or even a partnership it can be terrifying to imagine someone else having a say in it. You want to know that every detail is done the way you’d want it and that it is being treated with the same love and attention you would treat it with. Remember that sometimes asking for help or trusting others with certain aspects of your project is the best thing for it. It’s important to identify what your strengths are so you won’t waste time on things that could be better handled by someone else. If you are really bad at editing video, then don’t waste 4 hours trying to edit video if that isn’t a skill you plan to nourish. When it comes to things you need done but aren’t good at I recommend either asking someone if they’d like to swap services or if you have the budget, hire someone to do it. I tried like crazy to take photos of myself using my camera’s timer, and they all looked horrible. Finally, I asked a photographer friend who is always looking for more chances to take photos, and now I have some beautiful photos.

You Don’t Order Your Priorities Correctly

I am guilty of this. As I’ve mentioned I like television, there are few things as relaxing as getting wrapped up in someone else’s story, even if its fictions. On almost any given night I have one or two television shows I want to watch. I realized I would say, “Okay, I’ll watch Switched at Birth and then I’ll work on that blog post.” The better way to tackle this would be, “I’m going to finish this blog post and then when I’m done I can watch the new episode of Switched at Birth.” I get it we do things to relax, reset and give our minds a break but you still can be strategic with your leisure. Sometimes I get home after 7, I’ve worked all day and then hit up the gym and I need a minute before opening my laptop but deciding to watch 3 hours of television before you finally sit down to work is self-sabotaging.

I know that most nights before bed I like to either watch television or read, so when I decide to watch the new episodes of my shows, work, then unwind with a little Netflix, I end up working less and still staying up later. Try the, “If this, then that” method. (I know a bunch of you use Zapier so you should be familiar with it.) “If I finish writing this week’s newsletter then I’ll watch the new episode of The New Girl.” If you aren’t looking at social media you don’t have to worry about spoilers before you get to it.

You Secretly Don’t Believe In Yourself

I’m not a therapist, but I would bet money that even the most narcissistic and self-loving people are subconsciously their own worst enemy. It’s totally normal to have those feelings of self-doubt, but the trick is to identify them and find the root of them. Anytime I have a doubt or fear in my business I have two choices: get in bed, cry and don’t get anything done or try to decide what exactly it is that I am having doubts about. I do this by asking myself a few questions:

Why do I actually feel this way?

Do I doubt my knowledge, my ability to share it or am I just worried about the response of others?

Am I practicing what I honestly believe is best and right?

Do these fears have to do with something in my past?

Do they really have anything to do with this project?

Am I just holding myself back?

What’s the worst that could happen?

By simply asking myself these questions I can typically realize why I feel the negative feelings I do. To be honest, even in nonbusiness situations, these questions can normally help me calm my shit down a little bit.

Fear is a bit of a self-preservation emotion; it’s our body and mind’s way of saying, “Wait you could lose something here.” Normally we are afraid of losing something when there is something to gain. You might be finally self-publishing that book you’ve been working on for years and you keep holding yourself back because subconsciously you’re worried that once it’s out there, it might not do well and if it doesn’t then there goes the dream of being a successful writer.  Guess what, if you never publish that book you are guaranteed to fail at that dream of being a successful writer.

 

You aren’t going to wake up one day and automatically have endless motivation and be immune to the distractions of the world, but the first step is realizing that you have more control than you think.

What is the biggest way you distract yourself from accomplishing your goals? What do you do to combat it? Tell me in the comments.

February 2017 Goals

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Can I be honest, I am as happy to see January 2017 go as I was to see 2016 go. I’m not going to say it was a bad month but man did it feel like a long one. I hit a rough path with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder this month which in my unprofessional opinion may have been the result of a combination of stress, major change, uncertainty, antibiotics and more. This has resulted in a not so fun month but it hasn’t been all bad by any means. This is sort of a side note but I came across this article on Pinterest and as if God knew I needed to feel less alone. When you think I’m being rude, here’s what’s really going on Fiona at Fiona Likes to Blog. (P.S. How much do you love the name, Fiona?) Please feel free to check it out. I wish I could post this up at work so my coworkers understand my mood changes.  So let’s get into the review of last month.

January 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch TheBalancedSideHustle.com (this won’t be the full course, the official launch date is March 6th. I was hoping to launch February 27th, but I had family and social obligations heavily in February and wanted to give the launch and you guys my full attention).

Personal Goals

  • Read one book

I don’t know if it’s because I was sick or was feeling less social than normal I read 2 books and have started another 2. I read The Big Leap and The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl you can read more about what I thought of those books here.  

  • Purge some of my closets

Haha nope. But it was a nice thought. 

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Continue working on Launch Your Signature Course!

As I’ve said a thousand times. I am so glad to be in this program and apart of this amazing community.

  • Finish the articles for my feature in All Things Trend Magazine!

Any day now I should get my copy of the magazine and I’m so excited. The article took a life of its own but I feel like it is one of the most honest things I’ve ever written.

  • Have 536 Facebook page likes

545! Woot! Woot!

  • Have 3148 Twitter Followers

3155!

  • Have 1115 Instagram Followers

1111. Can a girl get 4 more followers? LOL. 

  • Have 966 Pinterest Followers

968!

  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library

I finally released my scripts for saying no! Check them out here. 

  • Post at least 4 times this month

Yes! Go check them out! 

  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.

My feed has been very Trump heavy so I kind of slacked on some of this from lack of energy.  But I have started doing Instagram stories… I wonder if that’s why I didn’t hit my goal… do you guys not enjoy hearing me sing the hits of the 80s while sitting in my car at lunch?

  • Crush the webinar I have scheduled this month.

This was probably the best webinar I’ve done. It was so much fun and we actually had a decent conversation going with those who attended. Thank you if you joined in.

  • Do one guest post or contributor article.

Can I use the magazine article for this? LOL. I have some stuff in the works besides that just running a little behind.

Health and Fitness

  • Walk 7,000 steps a day

R.I.P to my Garmin. I don’t know that I’ve done this because sadly I lost my fitness tracker. The band has come undone many times. (Even once on a plane where I was sure it was lost but found it when leaving.) It was only a matter of time.

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.

I’ve started a new fitness plan and can say this happened for sure. I have been doing really good on improving my eating habits.

  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.

I went once. I know what the hell? Not once a week, once the entire month. So the above-mentioned antibiotics I was on was for a double ear infection so it’s hard to go to Zumba when you have a fever, headache and vertigo. 

  • Lose 5 pounds. I won’t put my weight but I started a new fitness program and am excited about it. (More details to come.)

So I went to weigh in today and am down 15 pounds. I had someone notice but I still have aways to go. I can openly say I’m proud of myself! This is also why I didn’t purge my closet, I might fit those skinny jeans just yet.

February 2017 Goals

Objective: Launch TheBalancedSideHustle.com and just list build and connect like crazy.

Personal Goals

  • Read one book
  • Get back into meditating
  • Do at least one activity a week for myself that isn’t work related.
  • Do my gratitude/goal journal at least 5 days a week if not 7.
  • Party like it’s 1999 for my grandpa’s 85th! I love that guy. Here is a picture for the hell of it. Grandparents

Blog and Freelance Goals

  • Continue working on Launch Your Signature Course!
  • Have 555 Facebook page likes
  • Have 3200 Twitter Followers
  • Have 1125 Instagram Followers
  • Have 990 Pinterest Followers
  • Create at least one new Resource for my Resource Library
  • Post at least 4 times this month
  • Spend at least 10 minutes a day engaging on each of the above social media sites. That means repinning, responding to tweets of others or seeing what their links are, etc.
  • Do at least 2 webinars
  • Reach out to affiliates
  • Do auto versions on relevant posts. I did my first audio take on a blog post in January. I have been wanting to do this for a while and plan to do it for posts in certain categories.

Health and Fitness

  • Make meals at home 80% of the time or only eat out 4 times of the week.
  • Go to a gym class at least 3 times a week.
  • Lose 5 pounds more pounds

February is going to be an amazing month. GO Patriots and happy black history month! What are you looking forward to this month? What did you accomplish last month? Let me know in the comments.