Brave

She stepped outside her comfort zone

Running after it like a dog with a bone

Not worrying so much about being scared

Knowing she would try as hard as she dared

She feared the thing and did it anyway

Stepping into the unknown come what may

Ready to face each new day with a plan

To keep going and saying “I can”

Never caring when someone talked her down

Deciding to wear her own crown

And do what she feels the need to do

Because she does have something to prove

To believe in herself and not be a slave

To other people’s dreams and thoughts

She chose to be brave

~ Carol Blake

#30daysofpoetry

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Brave will stand in for the missed post of yesterday. Trying to get the new site up and running, transferring data and files and stats and followers/ friends, it was just insanity the last couple of days. I thought seriously upon going to buy a thick bottle of my sweet red but said no, it’ll be easier to cut out this stuff come January 1 if I just go ahead and leave it out. Sucks, though. I miss my wine. Still got my junk food and I’m going a little crazy with it because I know I’ll be without it for 31 days. Gonna jump in Jan 1 to this plant-based diet/lifestyle and plant my feet (see what I did there) in it on day one.

So help me test out this new site? Can you maybe drop me a line or two? Wanna check and make sure comments is working correctly, all my subscribers/followers were migrated correctly.

Oh, and I believe that the subscribers do still get the emails in your inbox but I’ve learned that followers only get the posts now in their readers, not in their email box, so if you want to keep getting my daily posts, please click in the subscribe box, type in your email and hit FOLLOW and you’ll stay up to date with the goings on around here.

One last thing… I think now that this is an actual website instead of a wordpress blog, anyone can leave a comment. Before, I believe you had to have a wordpress account. Test it out for me? If you don’t subscribe/follow, can you drop me a sweet line, like “Hey! It does work!” That would be cool.

Thanks, you guys! Y’all rock! Glad to be back and I’ll be posting another poem to make it for today’s post.

Happy for Answered Prayers & Showers of Blessings

 

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Good morning, sweeeeeeeeeet neighbors!!!!  Shweeeet friends!  Happy Thankful Thursday to you and I do hope you have much to be thankful for.

I will spare you the million and one things I usually name that I’m thankful for but I’ll always be adding family as that is my number 1, and my sweet friends out there like you, which are part of my number 1.  And God and Jesus that are not only part of my number 1, but part of everything I am and do.  I’m far from perfect, sooooo far, but I try hard every day to make them glad at me.  I use that phrase ‘glad at me’ as my daughter, Hallie, asked me that once when she was about 3 and I’ve never forgotten that sweet question from that precious baby, “Mama, are you glad at me?”  Oof, I’m missing her like crazy right now.  Wish I could squeeze her, but alas, she’s at school, so I have to wait till 3.  😉

Have you ever stepped waaaaay outside your comfort zone and tried something you could never see yourself doing?  Have I told y’all about my video project?  I have been a little hushed about details as I feel talking about it beforehand sort of jinxes myself.  Perhaps that sounds odd.  I just like to be taking action doing the thing and have some sort of flow going or even be finished with a certain amount of steps before I mention.  But since I did get my first major step completed, I’ll talk a little about it.

I had a vision last year for this project.  It just popped into my little imagination.  It was so clear.  Life gets in the way and all that and it got pushed to a back burner to simmer for a while.  Well, it’s been simmering for a year and certain things came into play within the last 2 months that told me I need to get my rear in gear on this project.

I asked God, “If you want me to do this thing, please show me the way.  I cannot work 46-56 hours a week and do the project, but I do need to pay my bills, so please don’t take away any clients.”

The very next week, my biggest client cut my hours, as she needed to stay closer to her budget.  Nothing too threatening but just enough to allow me to still pay my bills (barely) and have time to go out and engage with people.  A beloved friend donated an awesome video camera for the project – a very generous donation.  Other great friends were praying for me and the project, the questions I’d ask, the interviews, the confidence, calmness, soothing of my anxiety, ’cause I was so sure I was either gonna faint or get sick.  So many amazing people believe in me and this project and it made such a difference in my taking action.  I have to say, I got close to chickening out, because of my fear and lack of confidence but I asked myself, “Do you just want to stay shut up in that house every day?  I mean, writing is awesome and it’s one of your dreams and it’s fantastic but this is a great vision, too.  What if something comes of all this?  What if people actually like it?  What if you can relate to these people on a deeper level and really connect with people?  What if people watching and listening to their stories realize they’re not so alone? What if I can (only as a go between) actually shrink the planet through connections and stories?  How cool would that be?  You can always get back to writing after you have this project up and running smoothly.”

So after 1, 2, 3, 4 rejections, I finally got a yes, and while I was interviewing this sweet person, I received several lookers-on also express interest so I’ll be going back to get more interviews!  What a wonderful interview that was yesterday!  What a wonderful lady I talked with, so deep, so compassionate, so thoughtful.  I feel like I have a bit more faith in humanity.  I feel a bit more positive about people.  I had so many great conversations with these several people yesterday and my jitters were put to rest.  So crazy, right?  I made some new friends, and this project is starting to take flight!

Now to spend the time I need editing.  But at least I have done a bit and have my feet good and wet so I know better about what I’m doing.  I cannot wait to get the videos loaded so I can share them with you guys!!!  Won’t be long now!

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OH, and I’m thankful Hallie had a wonderful Sweet 16 in New Orleans.  I took her and Mama and one of Hallie’s best friends (which I also consider a daughter), Sierra, and we all had a fabulous time.  Hadn’t been in years and it’s only 2.5 hours away!  We walked and walked for miles, all day and night.  I cannot believe my baby is 16.  *sniff*

I love you guys!  xoxo

What are you thankful for today?  What great things have been going on in your life this week?

 

(Photos courtesy of ME – Haha! – www.instagram.com/carolblakesessums)

Get Out of Your Own Way

hiding

Why do you think it is nearly impossible for us to take a risk?  I mean, for those of us who are so talented at procrastination, we’ve turned it into an art form.  Why is it, do you think, we get stuck in going forward, stop trying something new, get blocked with our art — our creativity?  Is it fear?  Is it just fear?  Fear of what?

Is it fear of feeling not good enough?  Are we comparing ourselves to the greats who have accomplished their art forms and are highly successful and how can we possibly measure up?  Do we lack the courage to not only put ourselves out there but hide behind that shield of obscurity because we lack the courage in our abilities, and lack of courage in our very selves?

Were we told as children we’ll never measure up?  Or did we come to that conclusion on our own?

We’ll never be great.  We’re not good enough.  We’re not smart enough.  We lack talent.  Are these things we were told?  Or what we’ve told ourselves?

I know these feelings well.  These words were told to me, taught to me, drilled into my head — but not just by others — by me, to me.  Let me tell you one truth that I am completely 100% certain of and it has taken me decades to learn…

These are lies.

These are lies told to us by others who do not truly know us at our core, and probably don’t even know themselves.  Be it jealousy for whatever reason or better yet I believe it’s their own insecurity as a human being and the need for them to try to place their weakness and lack of courage and littleness onto us.  It’s what angry people do.  Perhaps they didn’t even mean to do this to us, because anger and insecurity and any weakness blinds you to the truth, blinds you to love, blinds you to having anything good in your life.  It destroys you from within and then destroys all of your relationships.  Or theirs.  Or perhaps this is your problem, as well?  Do you project your weakness and insecurity onto others?  Do you notice that you might do this?  Or do you hold it all inside and keep it for yourself?

These are lies we tell ourselves because of fear and lack of self-confidence, lack of faith in ourselves, perhaps lack of faith in a higher power.  It’s lack of many things.  We resist self-improvement, risking exposure, putting our heart into something and then fearing it being wrecked and torn apart, and then feeling left with nothing.

And don’t even go down the road of comparing yourself to others.  You were placed on this earth to be you.  You are an expert at being you and not one other person on the entire planet can do it as well as you can.  You have your own talents and gifts and qualities that no one else measures up to.  We all do.  We are all unique.  And only you can tell your story or do your art in the way only you can.  You are not like another soul on this Earth.  Do what you love in your own special way.  You are not to be compared to anyone, and no one else can be compared to you.  You are special.  No one can take that away from you.  KNOW it.  OWN it.

The time to stop all this self-sabotage is now.

I know, you think, ‘I’ll try later.  Not today.  I have many other important things to do besides work on myself, work on my relationships, work on my art.  I’m busy.  I got stuff.’  Listen.

Really listen.

You have this one life.

You have this one chance to get it right.  I’m not too certain we get another chance to try again.  Oh, sure I have dreams of past lives, experience deja vu, have dreams of future lives, but it’s possible they could only be dreams and this is all we get.  This is our chance.

Why do you think you were born?  God put these purposes into your heart for a reason.  Why do you think he did that?  For you to sit around and wait for it to happen?  Wait for a specific moment in time?  Waiting for it to fall into your lap?  Ain’t gonna happen, my friend.  There are times we should wait for things, time to be still, time to listen, time to rest, time to pray, time to meditate and there are times we need to take action.  We have to move our asses to get what we want in life.  I’m telling you the truth here.  If you want something, get after it and get after it NOW!

Do you realize at what speed this life is passing you by?  Stop waiting on tomorrow.  Stop waiting for something else to happen first.  If you want it badly enough, you have to make it happen.  Believe me, tomorrow will be here soon enough.  And the next day.  And the next.  Then, you are 85 wondering what happened to your life.  Why didn’t you try?  Why didn’t you go after it?  If you tried once, why didn’t you try again?  And again?  Please don’t give in to resistance.  Don’t give into your fear.  Work through it.  Your fear may never fade.  That feeling of insecurity may never go away completely.  But would you rather live with fear, insecurity and the fact that you made your goals and dreams a reality?  Or would you rather just live with fear and insecurity and the wondering of what could have happened if you tried?  And kept trying?

Enjoying the sun

Can you imagine how much happier you’d be if you got what you went after?  What you worked for?  Can you visualize it?   Picture it in your mind.  No, don’t picture the negatives of success.  If you look for the negative, you’ll find it in everything.  I’m asking you to believe in the possibilities, the positive possibilities.  You are a possibility.  Your dreams are, too.  I believe in me and I believe in you.  Time to believe in yourself.  Time to take action today.  Today.  And then again tomorrow.  And every day after that.  Don’t let fear stand in your way of getting what you want out of this life.  It’s time to get out of your own way.  Baby steps.

What fears are standing in your way and are you willing to fight them?

What gives your life meaning — what makes you happy now?  What would give your life more meaning?

What is the one baby step you could take today to get you closer to your main goal?

 

Photos courtesy of:

thejoshuacollective.com

beyondthedream.co.uk

The Future Depends on You

hat“The future depends on what you do today.”
Mahatma Gandhi

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Scary huh?  Time to dig deep and pull a chunk o’ courage out.  What’s one of my all time favorite sayings?  And I really need to meditate on this every day:

mee

Making Room for Courage

Pains and Gains – today’s prompt by The Daily Post.

The idea:  Do you agree with Jane Fonda’s favorite exercise motto, “no pain, no gain?” Is it impossible to attain greatness without considerable hardship?

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I would have to agree with that motto.  Sometimes, life can be hard, especially if you want to get anywhere in life, if you want to get ahead.  Going after your pursuits, your goals and dreams – you have to struggle.  At times, you have no money, so you can forget college, but many times you have the option of loans that you don’t have to pay back till a little later.  And even if you do go to college, sometimes you have to work 2-3 different jobs just to be able to live, pay for your apartment, buy food, and, even then, live on 4 hours of sleep per night and do it all again the next day.  I remember this life.  I did the full time school 8a-2p M-F, then work 3-11p M-F and work weekends, go home, eat a corndog, do homework and papers till 230a, get up at 630a to begin it all again.  I got used to it.  I was younger then.

Then, you realize you really know what you want to do with your life and you finally grow the balls to work toward it, after years of going back and forth (do I really want to put myself out there like that?!).  And it’s hard as hell.  You have taken a few risks.  You quit your 9-5 job working for assholes who don’t give a damn about you.  You quit because you can.  You quit because you searched for opportunities to work from home so you can answer your number one calling of being an active and present parent and actually raise your child.  So, you work from home and you take care of your kid.  You take more risks and reach out and acquire more contracts so that you can earn the money to keep the lights on and food on the table and occasionally go to the theater and sit down in a restaurant.  You’re tired but it’s worth it.

You try to sneak in time for your second biggest dream of becoming a best selling author.  You face your fears of insecurity.  You face your fears of one day becoming a huge success, God willing.  You struggle to find the courage to put yourself out there.  You like people but prefer to communicate through the written word, not so much the spoken one.  I guess you realize the “you” I’m referring to is really me.

If you want anything in this life, it’s not worth having if it comes so easily.  I went through a terrible marriage but received life’s greatest miracle and blessing.  My daughter.  All I ever wanted since I was a toddler was a daughter.  She made me whole.  She filled me with the love and appreciation and celebration I had been lacking all of the 31 years before her.  She made me feel wanted and needed and complete.  Then divorce came and I was thankful.  I was free.  My daughter and me.  No more eggshells to walk on.  Still, it’s a struggle being a single parent.  So many responsibilities.  You have to work hard to earn money.  You have to work in time to clean your house and mow the lawn, cut down trees, trim the hedge, feed all the animals, wash the clothes, get your kid to school, pick her up, get her all of her needs and spend quality time hugging, kissing, talking, laughing, walking, dancing and sharing secrets.  The last part is the easy part.  You have to fit it all in.

And still force in that time to write, which is your second largest dream.  You face your fears.  First, you write for you, because you feel lost without those words, those characters.  You talk to ghosts.  You talk to those in your head, your imaginary friends.  Then, you write not only for you, but to get out those messages from your characters to others, because they so long for their stories to be shared that it hurts your soul to keep it all to yourself.  You want to honor them.  You have to find your strength.  For them.  And for you.  You have to face your demons.  Maybe you won’t make it big.  That’s ok really, since you are still earning money and can pay the bills.  The point is that you tried.  You put it out there.  You put yourself out there.  You attempt to publish and face 100 rejections.  It hurts.  But you keep on.  I figure I’ll stop trying at 200.  But first, I have to actually finish the book.

Then, there’s the fear of success, which is stronger than my fear of failure.  I’ve already failed.  At many things.  I know what that’s like and that’s old news.  I can take it.  No biggee.  I have that experience.  But success?  Oh my GAWD!  To actually make it?!  To be out there and have to do interviews.  I throw up in my mouth a little at just the idea.  I mean, I did drop out of college classes just from my fear of giving 3-5 minute oral presentations.  To have to go out and do book promotion and marketing?!  Talking to people?!  Excuse me while I hurl.  Okay, I’m back.  It’s a potential reality I have to face.  If we want anything worth having, we have to battle it out with ourselves.  We have to step outside our comfort zone sometimes.  And sometimes, we fail.  But if we really, I mean REALLY want it, we don’t stop until we get it.  It may take years.  Years of struggle, tears, poverty, going hungry, going without sleep, going without air conditioning in 111 degree summers – we do it because we have to, because we don’t know who we are without that thing – the level we want to reach.  Fear is only an obstacle.  We work our way over it, around it, under it, or either clobber it to death and go through it, but we get past it.

Fear is only the devil on the way out.  You’re making room for God and courage and strengthening your soul.

Who else is willing to face their fears?

Who will stand with me?