Are You Like Samson?

Are you exhausted emotionally? Physically? Mentally? I find most people are one or all three. It occurred to me the other day that I am too. No matter how much sleep I get and I do consistently get 7 hours per night. But no matter how much I exercise to release stress, and no matter how much I take time outs throughout my day, I can feel exhausted.

I believe we are exhausted from the demands of life. I started the other morning full of energy, what I describe as a full gas tank but by mid-morning, I was exhausted. I had so many pulling at me rather through email, text, or phone calls that I was not seeing they were depleting my fuel. Each time we allow a source to pull at us by meeting their demands, crisis, etc..we are giving away our strength.

Remember Samson from the Bible was a man of strength but because he became distracted with Delilah and became intoxicated in what he thought was her love for him, he lost his strength to do what he needed to do for himself, to do what he was called to do. He lost his purpose, his mission, his calling. Are we losing ourselves by allowing others to manipulate us to their demands?

The only way I see that we can survive and thrive is to have boundaries. Boundaries that protect our strength and energy. Boundaries protect us, walls keep others out. We don’t have to keep others out by dismissing them but we have to protect ourselves by first not becoming distracted, like Samuel did. Two, we cannot allow others to manipulate us to their demands, crisis, or needs. Three we must say, I am not available right now, I will get back to you when I am. That my friend is called a personal boundary. It lets others know that I am not ignoring you, I am not mad at you, but I am not allowing you to take my strength.

I encourage everyone to take the first step, a baby step, and tell just one source today, I am not available right now, I will call, text, and email you back when I am able. Tell one source that I am not emotionally able to listen to you or I am not able to do it on your timeline but I can do X, Y, Z. And if they don’t respect your boundary because they are losing control of their lives, that is not your issue. They can act like the world is falling apart, well it is already falling apart so what is one more thing? Protect your strength, guard your heart and mind, stay on course, and don’t become distracted or manipulated by thinking they love you.

You Are On the Clock

If you haven’t been under a rock or become completely desensitized to “Breaking News” then you know Atlanta had an active shooter situation this week. Although the situation was several blocks from me, the fear of the unknown gripped me more than I could ever imagine. I would go as far as to say it changed my life.

Unless you’ve been in a similar situation and I pray you haven’t, you cannot imagine the fear of knowing that no matter what you do you are not safe. It makes your world come to a complete stop and makes you reevaluate life very quickly. It’s different than a medical emergency like a stroke or heart attack because there is someone a phone call away to help you but when there is an active shooter in your backyard, you have nobody to protect you. You depend on walls, locks, doors, and security systems at best.

It’s traumatizing, to say the least. And the level of fear for those with loved ones directly affected and children in school is in no way comprehended. At the moment all you can do is pray for protection but prayers only give you hope, prayers never make you believe you are invincible. God says he is “no respecter of persons”, which means he does not favor one person over another. He does not protect one and not another. There is no favor! We are all equal in his sight. I know I have a risk of being killed or dying just as much as anyone else.

It’s a scenario that happens daily in this country. It’s getting normalized like a car accident, like a traffic jam, like just another day. We are traumatized and desensitized. Do we have any idea what is happening to our children and young adults? How do we say, “I missed that news!” or “It happened again!” It is a mentally unstable person with a gun who can shoot whomever they want and nobody can stop them.

It’s not about fighting the person vs the gun. I don’t care if you blame the mentally unstable or the gun, the bottom line is it’s happening, it’s going to continue to happen and it’s only a matter of time before it happens to you, your mother, dad, spouse, child, grandchild or loved one. What are you going to do about it? There is no protection, no insurance, no prayer that can save you. Starting now, you are on the clock.

Let the Wind Blow

Last year was one of the best years of my life. I embraced it and still relish in all of it but truth be told January 1st all hell broke loose and my life went from sunny skies to a tornado touchdown or at least it felt that way. I thought for about 60 days I was drowning in the waves of life. I’m not 100 percent sure that I’m out of the storm but I am 100 percent sure I have faith that no matter what happens I’m going to survive.

My shrink told me often “People think strong people don’t bleed.” How well I know that to be a true statement. I take responsibility for my lack of vulnerability in not being able to say, “I’m drowning or I need help.” I’m working on that childhood wound that tells me I cannot show weakness or some may think I’m failing by judging me. Ironically even though I’ve stayed strong, kept the faith, pushed onward, and not dared shared my pain, I’ve had more people bless me in the last 60 days than I can recall in a long time.

Strangers and acquaintances have become friends and have blessed me financially and with words of encouragement even though they knew nothing about my situation. And you know I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe it’s just a reminder from God that he sees all and knows all. He sends the right people to us right on time. Right when we need someone to say that one thing we need to hear. Right when we think we cannot survive another day.

And when we embrace the “haves” instead of the “have nots” it’s a game changer. It will make you dilute the storms of life and give you an attitude of gratitude. Storms always bring in new, new seasons, new growth, and changes. Storms wash away the old and disrupt things that need to be rebuilt. If we accept that our storms in life bring newness then we can rest assured that relationships will change and people will leave us in the storm but new people will come. We cannot grieve the losses if we stay focused on the new.

I encourage you today to allow the storm in your life to bring a new freshness to you. Stop trying to hold on to things and people that are no longer meant for you. Stay focused on the new season coming in your life. Be thankful for the “haves” and stop worrying about the “have-nots”. Let the wind blow.

Nothing is as Scary

I’ve done a lot of scary things in my lifetime. I left home when I was 17 years old with a brand new job and brand new bills all in the same week. I was scared to death.

I had a baby after unknowingly getting pregnant on birth control pills. The delivery was an emergency cesarean 24 hours after my water broke (again unknowingly) and the baby was in fetal distress. I thought I was going to lose him. Again scared to death.

I’ve started multiple businesses and with each one the fear and anxiety were overwhelming. From cash flow to profit to making major decisions.

But none of these scary moments I have shared is as scary as deciding to change. To get unstuck and push yourself like a seed planted through the soil of life.

Taking the step to grow is scary because you’re leaving behind all that is familiar. You are starting a new life and that can encompass many things. It can include walking away from unhealthy relationships including family, leaving people who benefitted from your pain for their purpose, and/or moving to a new city or town and starting fresh. Holding boundaries while reinventing yourself and sitting with pain is very scary.

It’s not the scared I want you to focus on it’s the courage and the bravery. It takes real strength to say “I’m not where I want to be or I don’t like myself, and I’m changing.” It takes commitment to check your list every day and stick with what’s best for you. If that includes holding boundaries, self-awareness, mindfulness, meditation, exercise, or whatever it looks like for you, that’s courage. Leaving the party when it’s fun to keep your commitment takes strength. Leaving relationships you’ve outgrown takes courage.

Finding your real superpower of strength and courage must be recognized and celebrated. Tell them not to be sad because you left town, because you ended the relationship, or sat with the pain while they partied but instead tell them to celebrate you. If they don’t celebrate you then it’s because you’ve already outgrown them. Move on and find a replacement who will celebrate your superpower.

God in Drag

I heard an interesting podcast the other day and there was a statement that made me stop and think, research, ponder, and meditate. The statement was “Everybody is God in drag.”

To be in drag refers to the performance of exaggerated masculinity, femininity, or other forms of gender. So aren’t we in drag when we as women are exaggerating our bodies by snapping pictures of our feminine parts and displaying them on social media for others’ entertainment? Aren’t men in drag showing off their masculinity in the gym and posting on social media for our entertainment? Aren’t we exaggerating ourselves with filters? Forget the LGBTQIA community and just think of the definition.

And if you believe that we are made in the image of God and his spirit lives in us then we are all God in drag. God does not see male, female, black, white, brown, Jew, Christian, Muslim, skinny, overweight, or any label that we continually put on people.

What he sees is our heart. He sees our intentions and our level of love and compassion. We are measured by our gifts given and are we utilizing those gifts by giving to others? We have the responsibility to be the vessel, the gateway, the faucet to allow the flow of God’s wisdom to flow through us as a divine purpose. That is our purpose, it is not to judge, label, condemn, expel, hate, ban, and destroy people because their choices do not align with ours. Leave that up to them and God. The Bible says in Philippians 2:12 to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” That means mind your business!

I know the homophobic, the self-righteous and the narrow-minded believers are not buying this but I’m not in the selling business. I’m in the business of letting all know we are one. We are created in the image of God and he lives in us. We are all in disguise and we are ALL here for each other. Yes! Everybody is God in drag.

The Snake Dream

Several weeks ago I had a nightmare. I usually don’t meditate much on dreams but this keeps occurring in my mind so I’ve decided to share it with you and what I believe is its meaning.

I’m wading in muddy creek water. The water is hitting somewhere between my mid-calf to knees. All of a sudden I see a bright green snake with a wide mouth. Almost as if it’s illustrated but it’s real in the dream. The snake sees me and I am panicked because I know if I turn my back to get out of the creek the snake will attack me. It’s then I see a large branch maybe about 6 to 8 feet long. I grab the floating branch as a weapon to protect myself from the snake. As I grab it and point it in the direction of the snake, the snake attacks it. Its viper-like teeth clench onto the branch and won’t let go. As I keep walking backward and backing up in the creek to find my way to land and a safe place, I can hear my intuition saying “If you’ll just let go of the branch, the snake will hold its grip while you make your way to safety.” I know it in my mind but my body cannot release the grip of the branch. It makes sense but my fear is too great to trust that if I let go I will be safe. And it’s then I woke up.

I know the dream could have multiple meanings but as I interpret it, I feel that the interpretation is that I need to let go of something I’m holding onto. I need to trust my intuition, my God-given central intelligence, and believe that I will be safe when I let go. I believe I need to understand that the attack is harmless and it’s only my fear that is standing in my way.

I need to trust that

“No weapon formed against you shall prosper,And every tongue which rises against you in judgment. You shall condemn.” Isaiah 54:17

Trust myself and have faith in God that I will make it to safety. I will make it to dry land. I will not fail, falter, drown, or be attacked.

Feeling disrespected or dismissed can be a particular kind of trigger for complex trauma survivors. – Use Your Damn Skills

Complex trauma survivors often have this complicated relationship with visibility.  On the one hand, many of us have learned over the course of our lives that to be seen isn’t particularly safe.  Many of us consequently go through adult life trying hard NOT to be seen.  It makes us anxious when attention is drawn to…
— Read on

Same Old Same Old

I asked someone the other day, “How are you doing?” They replied “Same ol’ same ol’.” We’ve heard that reply or something similar at least one hundred times. I’ve said it and you probably have as well. But listen and watch what you say, “Same old same old” equates to nothing changing. And if nothing changes, it’s stale, it’s stagnant, it’s stuck, it’s boring.

I realized the other day that I’m coming up on a year of living in my new home. As I reflect and social media reminds me of “memories” I think about what I was doing this time last year. My life looked different. Nearly every aspect of my life has changed. My address has changed, my relationships have changed, my lifestyle habits have changed, my daily schedule has changed, and all that has changed confirms to me that my life is shifting. It’s not stagnant, stale, or boring and I’m not stuck.

We tend to get caught up in life and sometimes don’t stop to realize that our life is shifting. We get focused on who and what we lost instead of the shift of what’s coming. The losses we talk about look like this…”Why did he ghost me?” “That friend never connects with me anymore!” “I lost the account/sale.” “That customer didn’t tip me.” But why we are focused on “the loss” there is something else coming. There’s a change, a shift that’s happening and it’s so slow that we don’t feel it moving or see it happening.

And if we look back and nothing has is the same old same old with relationships, finances, and our lifestyle then we need encouragement to find out why we are in a stagnant season. Stagnant seasons sometimes mean the timing isn’t right but it could also mean we are stuck. We need to examine “Are we stuck or are we just waiting on the timing?”

I’ve been in stagnant seasons too because I was stuck in the past of what I lost, who I lost, stuck in my trauma from my childhood, stuck on who abandoned me, stuck on what who left me, stuck on the job I didn’t get, stuck on the issues that haunted me.

I pray and encourage everyone reading this to examine their life. Look back on this time last year, look at your social media memories, and reflect on where you are now versus where you were this time last year. Are you growing and is life shifting? Are you stuck or waiting on the right timing?

Expectation is the Root

One of the most challenging lessons I believe we keep repeating because we are not getting it is “Expectation”. Expectations are attachments to outcomes from people and things.

Every day I tell myself “Don’t expect” because I know if I expect then I have an attachment to how I want the outcome. And if the outcome isn’t how I envisioned it then it’s only my disappointment that I must endure.

And if you’re thinking I’m not a positive thinker then you are correct. I’m a hopeful reality thinker. Reality is knowing that we cannot change or control anyone or anything but ourselves. Reality is knowing that folks are not going to always live up to what we need.

“I can’t be frustrated by things I don’t expect.” ~ T.D. Jakes

Expectations can also lead to resentment. We go from expecting someone to fulfill our want, need, dream, or desire to disappointment because they did not fulfill it so now we are angry because they didn’t do as we expected them to do. And depending on our health level that anger can turn into bitter resentment and unforgivable behavior.

Luke 6:35 “Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return…” 

There is also the controlling side of expectation. We are controlling the outcome and not allowing it to be bigger or better than our ceiling. If a man asks me to bring him a box to hold his million dollars cash, I’m going to bring him a box to hold 2 million or 10 million because I’m hoping he gets more cash. I’m not expecting that’s all the cash he has or will receive so I bring him a bigger box.

Hope attaches to faith.

 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”  
Hebrews 11:1

We all need hope and to remain hopeful but release ourselves from expectations that will only lead to the root of our control issues, disappointments, heartbreaks, anger, and resentments.

The Reviews Are In

In February of 2022 when I applied for a scholarship at Enneagram Georgia I was so excited about the possibility of getting a scholarship. When I tell you I prayed, I prayed every day and I watched my email every day, all day to see if I was a recipient.

When I finally got the email, it was a Saturday morning in my bed. I thought I was going to tear my bed down from jumping on the bed with excitement. That’s how much I wanted it. And because I received it I knew it was a gift and gifts are not to be put aside, they are to be utilized and used to help others. I knew it was my responsibility to share it with others.

And that I did in January 2023. After graduating in November 2022 and receiving my certification in the Enneagram, I decided to put myself through an internship to learn more about each type by having sessions with every Enneatype. We can read and study all the text we want but hands-on experience is the real teacher.

I asked for help through friends and social media and found seven people who said they would support me in my efforts to learn, teach, and coach while I passed the gift to them to discover.

It’s been 3 months and I believe I’m safe to say we have all learned a lot. It’s been an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. It’s helped me so much to learn about the following Enneatypes: One, Two, Three, Six, Seven, Eight, and Nine. I’m still searching for Four and Five.

Here are a few of the reviews on what the participants have said.

I am so appreciative of every review. It makes me so happy to know that the Enneagram gift has been passed and has helped others in their healing journey and answered lifelong questions.

They say you never forget the first dollar you ever made, well I’ll never forget these 7 participants that helped me plant my seeds to do what I feel is a calling in my life and that is to help others on their journey.

Thank you to all participants and their families for sharing them with me in the evening via Zoom.

I look forward to the next group of participants. If you have an interest in being a participant or questions about Enneagram sessions please reach out to me via social media or