the whole you project

Finding Your Balance: Mind, Body and Spirit


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Exit Stage Right

th[1]I once heard an actor say “Knowing how to exit the stage is just as important as entering the stage.”  I never fully understood that statement until I had to make an exit myself.

Case in point: After nearly two decades in radio broadcasting, I found myself unemployed during the Recession of 2009.  My replacement: an automated jukebox and a syndicated talk show.

Needless to say, I was pissed.  More than that, I was hurt by how all those years of service (not to mention blood, sweat and tears) were so easily cast aside by people I considered to be friends. My invitation to leave the company was sent via email.  So much for friendship.

As I walked into my former employer’s office for my exit interview, I had my game face on and was ready to do battle if necessary. I listened as he explained the company’s financial woes and how wonderful an employee I was and how he just knew I would find a better job (which I did), and that I was to vacate my office by the end of the week.

I sat there thinking how best to respond to this back-handed compliment. Should I clown, curse, cry or scream?  Should I calmly leave all while plotting my revenge to blow up the place?  Both seemed like good ideas at the time, but thank God I knew better.

In the midst of it all, I remembered that how you leave a job can have a huge impact on your future. Sure, I could have caused a major scene but in the end, I’d still be unemployed or even worse, thrown in a jail cell with somebody named Big Sal. Also, news of workplace drama travels fast so you have to consider how your retaliation might keep you from landing another job.

It’s important to remember that we have a choice to play the victim or the victor, and I chose to be victorious. It wasn’t easy though.  My co-workers whispered and questioned; my bosses were cautious, especially when I thanked them for the opportunity to work with them (there were some good times). But I was determined to redeemed my time by being the consummate professional. My goal had always been to leave the place in a better state than when I found it, and I was determined to walk away with a good reputation. Besides, you never know when you’ll cross paths with these  people again.

So if you find yourself in a similar situation, remember the actor on stage: when it’s time for your final curtain, take a bow, thank the audience and exit the stage with your head held high. But don’t go far. Your next act is about to begin.

Love to you, and enjoy the balance of your day.

Andrea


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More Than Enough

more_more_more_main_a2“You’re not smart enough. You’re not talented enough. You’re not cute enough.”  These are often the words you hear from that little nagging voice in the back of your mind– just as you are about to take a step of faith in a new direction.  They try to make you think that you don’t have what it takes to succeed.

This method of self-sabotage has stunted the personal and professional growth of so many people, and it always seems to come at a time when you are preparing to move outside your comfort zone.  While many people take heed to these thoughts, many others have been able to stop them dead in their tracks before they ever take root.

How do they do it?  What makes them so special, or what Super Power do they possess that you don’t?

News Flash:  They are no different than you.

Romans 8:37 tells us that “… in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

For those who believe, the answer is just that simple.  You either CHOOSE to believe it or you don’t.

THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.

You will never move forward in life on a “maybe” and you can’t have both faith and fear.  One has got to take hold in you mind, and your life will show which thought won.

So my Sisters…whether you think YOU CAN or whether you think YOU CAN’T….You’re right.  It’s all matter of what you believe.

I will tell you that any new thing takes practice, and to truly make something a habit, you need to do it for several days.  If this is new thinking for you then I suggest repeating this to yourself as often as you can:

I AM MORE THAN A CONQUEROR BECAUSE GOD LOVES ME.  GOD MADE ME MORE THAN ENOUGH.

You have it within you to do, be or overcome that thing– whatever it is.  Just don’t stop believing that you are more than enough.

Love to you always, and enjoy the balance of your day!

Andrea


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A Piece of Your Mind

From the time you wake up until the time you go to bed at night, somebody somewhere is trying to get a piece of your mind.  You know: get you to do something for them that you really don’t have to do.  Companies, advertisers and even politicians spend millions of dollars to get that coveted ‘piece of your mind’ because they can then influence your actions, whether spending, voting, etc.  The same concept holds true for relationships.  “Let me get that phone number.” “I just need a place to crash for a day or two.” “Baby, can you loan me some money?”  “Let me hit that tonight.” As life coach and motivational speaker Iyanla Vanzant once said, “Where the mind goes, the behind will follow.”

So, who’s leading your behind around?

We’ve all fallen victim at some point, and found ourselves doing the “walk of shame” because we got played by someone who didn’t deserve the privilege of our company or consideration.  There’s no point in beating yourself up over it if it’s already happened. But you can make the decision not to let it happen again.  It’s as simple as asking yourself three questions before you respond to them:

1)  What does this other person get out of it?

2)  What do I get out of it?

3)  How will this decision affect me in the future?

When it comes to you and your personal life, you have to think long-term.  That piece of your mind (or piece of anything else) you’re about to give up could cause you major problems down the road.

How well do you know this person?  How much do you trust this person? If you’re a parent, how will your child be affected by this decision?  It goes deeper than you think.

Since we all know that a mind is a terrible thing to waste, be careful of who you give a piece to.   If you’re doing all the giving and getting little in return, it’s time to cut them off and get your mind whole again.

I know from experience that this is not always easy because your feelings are deeply involved.  But once you get your piece of mind back, you’ll also have your peace of mind again.

Love to you, and as always, enjoy the balance of your day.


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The Elusive Prince Charming

Cinderella.  Snow White.  Sleeping Beauty.  We’ve all heard the fairytales about these princesses, and the how they all lived happily ever after with their respective Prince Charming.  This guy became the standard that most little girls dreamed of when it came to love and romance.   I, like many other single young women, found myself waiting for my prince to come along.  I even kissed a few frogs along the way hoping they’d turn into that handsome, sensitive, well-built, perfect man who would be the answer to my prayers.

After a series of disappointments that left me questioning my own self-worth, it finally occured to me that I couldn’t find Prince Charming because I didn’t even know what he looked like.  Has ANYBODY ever seen this man before?  I then realized that this ideal man of mine simply didn’t exist. He was just a figment of my imagination; a character in a story that I’d been telling myself over and over again. Then came the harsh truth:  Any relationship built around a fictional character is nothing more than a work of fiction itself.

I didn’t want the fantasy; I wanted what was real.  I sized up my two-dimensional version of Prince Charming and pictured that pretty face, those sparkling straight teeth, a chistled body, and a man who just magically knew what I wanted without me asking, and delivered it all the time….

YUCK!  This fool was totally boring.  He was so NOT the guy I really wanted.  And truth be told, my Single Sisters, he’s not the guy you really want either.

Here’s what I like to call MR. REAL:   He’s the guy who makes you laugh when you feel like crying.  He may not hang on your every word, but he hears what is most important.  He doesn’t have the perfect body and may not even be pretty, but there’s something about his swagger that makes you look every time he comes around.  He loves God; he loves his mother, and he appreciates a woman’s worth.  He may not KNOW everything you want, but he CARES enough to find out.  This guy is not the man of your dreams; he’s the guy who wants to be there when you wake up- seeing you in your doo rag, dragon breath and all.

Since every woman has her own version of Mr. Real, the rest of the description is for you to fill in.  But remember, he’s got to be real- no more fairytales, okay?

Love to you, and as always, enjoy the balance of your day!

Andrea


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I’ll Be Happy When…

“When I get married, when I find the right job, when I hit the lottery, when I get a new home…I’ll be happy.”  You’ve probably said something like this at some point in your life– I know I have.  So many people get caught up in this mind set.  You work your butt off trying to achieve a goal that you think will make you happy, only to find that when you achieved said goal, something was missing.  You may have felt happy for a while, but that accomplishment soon began to fade and you went looking for some other diversion to give you that happiness fix.

How is it that people who have very little seem to be so content with their lives?  Is it wrong to want more? Of course not.  But our lives do not consist of the abundance of the things we possess.

Simply put, Happiness is a choice.  I believe it is the state of positive well-being and contentment we feel when we can appreciate what we already have–rather than lusting after what we do not have.  The truth is, when you decide to happy, you put yourself in a position for the success you’ve always wanted.

I had always wanted to be married, thinking that my husband would complete my life.  It was only after I made the decision to be happy with my life- whether I was married or  single- that my love came along.  And by then, I was in no rush because I already had what I was looking for:  I was truly happy-  Husband just added to it.  This gave me the motivation to find that same contentment in other areas of my life.  It isn’t always easy, but its never boring!

Here’s what I’ve learned about being happy even when you’re dealing with a challenge:

  •   Get the focus off of yourself.  Go do something nice for someone else and notice how much better you feel.
  •   Reflect on the positive things that happen to you each day.  Even the smallest things can have a great impact.
  •   Excercise.  Physical activity releases endorphins into your blood stream which make you feel better.
  •   Take mental health breaks daily.  Get by yourself for a few minutes, close your eyes and breath deeply.
  •   Surround yourself with things that make you smile.  Pictures of family, friends, favorite places, funny sayings-  take time to look at these things and appreciate the joy they bring.

I’m feeling happier just sharing this with you, and I hope that you can pass these tips along to someone else who may be having that pity party for one.  We can truly be happy but like anything else, it takes time and practice.  I hope your journey to happiness is a good one.

Until next time, stay well and enjoy the balance of your day!

Andrea


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Life from the Rearview Mirror

Hi friends!

I had an epiphany why driving on the freeway yesterday, and felt the need to share this with you about how your past can distract you from moving forward in life.

While heading downtown, I happened to look in my rearview mirror and noticed a red sportscar irratically switching lanes at a high rate of speed. I know I’m supposed to keep my eyes on the road ahead, but something about this car had me slightly distracted. Perhaps it was the idea of seeing which direction the driver would take next….who knows, but I for some reason my focus was not where it should have been. As fate would have it, traffic in front of me slowed down, and SCREECH!! I looked ahead just in time to hit the brakes before causing somebody (and me) to have a really bad day.

As I got my bearings and reached my destination, I found myself talking about the incident to several people at work that day.  Then, the epiphany struck. It suddenly occured to me that I was giving too much time to this experience. I think people in general have a tendency to dwell on the stuff that happened in their past, be it a few hours ago, a few days or even years ago.  Just as you can’t drive a car forward looking in the rearview mirror, you can’t move forward in life dwelling on past mistakes, failures or even successes. This stunts our growth toward reaching a fulfilled life because we miss the new experiences (or in my case, the open road laying before me) because we’re too busy focusing on the old ones. How many times has an experience in your past kept you from seeing what was before you? Has the memory of an old boyfriend kept you from finding love again? Is the loss of a job causing you to lack confidence in your talents and abilities? This is the kind of stuff that can really cause you to miss out on opportunities that can take you where you want to go!! I have a much deeper appreciation now for why the rearview mirror of a car is so small in comparison to the size of the front windshield. We need to spend more time looking forward and pressing forward in life rather than being distracted by anything in our past, good or bad. Learn from mistakes and failures, but don’t dwell on them for very long…they could cause you to crash and burn like I almost did.

Now, let’s try to put this into play.  Have a great Sunday, and enjoy the balance of your day!

Andrea