Will today be a day of healing and REST from emotional/racial/spiritual/mental exhaustion, or further shock at the militancy of white supremacists' using scriptures as their cloak?
Will the incoming administration get the prayers (not witchcraft) that was demanded and encouraged for the outgoing administration? Or was the capital debacle a test run and now we begin a 2nd civil war that destroys our country and targets gays, women, minorities, legal aliens, democrats, and even some republicans?
Will we be so busy justifying, defending, and rationalizing our way of thinking that we continue to alienate our neighbors and fellow Americans that do not share our perspective that we cannot operate in grace, compassion, and love?
To paraphrase quotes of the proud boys, evangelicals, and even pastor Locke: "We gone see. Just wait; it ain't over yet."
As Jesus said to HIS disciples ready to call down fire (paraphrased): You don't even know what spirit you are of... Do you know which spirit promotes hatred, rage, and bitterness?
Millions of Americans are experiencing trauma and mental anguish (Covid-19, politics, deaths, job loss, no school, SO MUCH CHANGE) and the ONE PLACE they knew they could ALWAYS GO TO has lost most of her credibility among those millions. So shaken (focused) are evangelicals with the government credibility that they may not have realized 70 million plus are equally shaken with the church's credibility. Did the church get caught focusing on the lesser victory?
Some will read this and say, "F- 'em. They cheated. They supported abortion and voted in a pedophile. They get what they deserve." Which communicates they are not worthy of God's grace, mercy, and salvation. But Jesus was heartbroken when He cried out 'O Jerusalem, Jerusalem..." And when he looked at people who needed Him, he was moved with COMPASSION. I hope this morning that we all walk humbly before God and move in compassion and grace. No Koolaid and Jim Jones jokes, no classless taunting, no wide mouths at people who do not feel this is a day of celebration.
To my neighbor who feels this is the death of America and that the sky is falling, who feels comfortable enough to share his lament with me, I will sit with you through your tears and disappointment, and I will offer comfort and remind you of God's Love. I will not even try to say why something happened or explain. I will just walk in peace and do my UTMOST to show love without blame or arrogance.
And I hope others who see Christ as their example will do the same.
Do you know what spirit you are of? Luke 9:55
This. Please read this especially for those who get tax returns. This may be your last year getting it for a while. Make a plan that is not contingent on what the government will do.
Please. Self proclaimed patriots dealing with things minorities have dealt with for my whole life are willing to destroy everything via threats, violence, and subterfuge because they didn't get their way. Imagine if every athlete that felt like he got fouled assaulted the red and charged the AD's office. Or every Marine/soldier destroyed the barracks and/or refused to follow orders because he/she felt like they received unfair treatment. Do we really believe EVERY court official in different states woke up and held a meeting saying, "How can I pervert justice? How can I intentionally risk my whole career and go against the principles that have governed my personal and professional, public and private life?" Including the ones appointed by the person crying foul?
I implore everyone to take 3 days and not react, not act out, not demonize people who may not share your viewpoint...but instead breathe, breathe deeply. And look at WHO God has blessed you with: The son who has his first crush, the daughter who wants to spend time with you, the spouse who enjoys just being in your presence, the grandchild who still laughs at peek-a-boo, -ALL of these things are accompanied by peace and love. Not rage, not anger, not destruction, not unforgiveness. Peace, and LOVE.
If you want to see change, BE change. Run for office. Learn the rules of political engagement.
You can be in office by 2022 affecting change directly.
Because I understand being dismissed, lied on, being overlooked, and treated as a second class citizen, I will not tell anyone:
She should of just complied
If you do not like it leave
There is a time and a place to protest
You are a degenerate, deplorable, etc.
Pull yourself up by your bootstrap
Get over it, that election was in the past
Run them over
Shoot them all
You are a waste of air
They drank the Look Aid
If they voted for Biden/Trump, you have set yourself against the Lord and His Anointed
Or any of the biting and devouring words Americans have increasing uttered over the past 12 years. Words have created reality and contempt undermines even the most passionate of prayers. We are sitting and living in what our collective words have created.
The good book says, pray for peace in the land you live in (Jer. 29) and if My people who are called by MY Name, will humble themselves, pray, seek MY face, turn from their wicked ways, then I will HEAR, FORGIVE and HEAL. That 2ND Chronicles is a four-parter. It requires all four components to activate that promise. Or as the video gamers would say, to unlock that move.
Lastly, for those who are laughing at Trump, Patriots, Republicans, protestors, or any who may appear to be on the losing side of this election: You are mirroring the very poor and counterproductive behavior that was appalling and 'poor form' fours years ago when Trump was declared the winner. Two wrongs do not make a right and fighting fire with fire only leaves a pile of ashes.
May this post help you prepare for and create your 2021.
This post (above) was written in response to a repost by David Noble on Facebook: His repost was: You graduate college with 100k in debt, people clap and cheer for you.
You get married and spend between 5-50k for one day, people will clap and cheer for you.
You take a 200k loan from the bank to buy your first house, people will clap and cheer for you.
You take a loan for 40k for a car (a depreciating asset) with an interest rate, people will clap and cheer for you.
Thats 500,000 in total debt that MOST people are living in, and somehow they are feeling good about it because people are congratulating them for it.
Now, go and tell those same people you spent a few hundred dollars to start your own business......
“Are you sure?”
“What if it doesn’t work?”
“Can you get your money back?”
“What if people laugh at you?”
Picture a bucket full of crabs with no lids. The moment a crab tries to get out, the other crabs will literally rip its legs off.
This year, pay attention to who you’re surrounding yourself with and who’s speaking into your life.
Repost Al Cole Jr. by way of David Noble
The global pandemic left US medical facilities, regulatory agencies, and supply chains everywhere scrambling for cover this year. Don’t let it happen again and pick up a copy of ‘WILD: The Pandemic’ for expert knowledge on stopping a virus in its tracks!
P4, the union of four American experts skilled in the areas of Sterilization, Reprocessing, Business and Leadership, have released a new book called ‘What I Learned During the Pandemic’ or ‘WILD: The Pandemic’ reflecting on the wild year that has been 2020, deconstructing its challenges and guiding readers like you towards future improvements.
Click the image below to buy your copy now.
The launch of the book coincides with the end of one of the most challenging years in recent global history, a year which shook the American way of life and exposed many of the flaws and shortcomings in various social, community and government systems.
As such, the four career leaders behind ‘WILD’ have released this book in order to better understand the exact challenges the pandemic presented and thereby provide you and other current and future leaders with an empowering toolkit to take a more proactive approach to the next pandemic, or similar catastrophe.
Particularly, ‘What I Learned During the Pandemic’ is designed for Sterile Processing Professionals and those in healthcare leadership or management who have been put on the front line during this crisis and who are looking to better understand how the pandemic impacted critical, yet often overlooked departments. The book likewise considers how other novel viruses may similarly impact healthcare workers and services in the future.
The dynamic read also features key sections on best practices in healthcare, emergency use authorizations as well as strategies for navigating difficult transitions.
The intention of ‘What I Learned During the Pandemic’ is to empower you to recognize that while the pandemic has irrevocably altered the fabric of American society it can also be an opportunity for learning and for future preparedness.
P4 is comprised of four notable industry voices: best-selling author and sterilization advocate Sharon Greene-Golden, healthcare consultant and author Karen Cherry, sterilization educator and author Lila Price, and leadership and human behavior consultant and author Sharyn Combs.
A spokesperson for the collective said that they believe ‘WILD’ can directly assist as “we all look to one another to apply the valuable lessons learned to help tame future beasts.”
Still reeling from the year that was 2020? Pick up a copy of ‘What I Learned During the Pandemic’ and start doing your part to help foster a safer and healthier 2021.
Ready to meet the challenges of the pandemic? Click on the link above to see how you can become an agent for change!
This year has been so...exciting.
I know many will choose other adjectives to describe this year and I understand. Such much transition, so much shock, so many changes, and so much loss. Mental health and COVID-19 Fatigue has hit everyone from school age children to seasoned public figures. Polarization over political perspectives, BLM, George Floyd, NBA and high school sports postponed, familiar restaurants and community staple businesses closed permanently. It has been exciting, and all of the other adjectives too. Being transparent, I still have mixed feelings about the year.
For me, it has been such a pivotal year- personally and professionally. As a speaker and human behavior consultant, my itinerary went from, "When is your next engagement?" to #fullstop. I was shocked, uncertain, nervous, and...truthfully, frustrated. After the fear of course. I had scheduled the Emotional Intelligence Intimate Evenings book tour, arranged my corporate clients in a way that would allow me to travel, and was set up to move forward with my UCDI/DSD Scholarship Fund... until life said otherwise. :)
I often share with my clients and audience that being a subject matter expert in any area does not make you exempt from life. Its ups and downs will hit you, and you will feel some of those hits more than others. The key is, and always has been, HOW WILL YOU RESPOND?
In my simple and small case, I knew I could not control how the government or the regulatory agencies were going to respond to the novel coronavirus. No matter how much I wanted to scream into the air, or sometimes at people, I knew that that is a counter-productive approach and only prolongs my time in an uncomfortable position. Although blame and anger are common responses to fear, uncertainty, and change- it does not mean blame and anger are the best approaches. So I looked to see WHAT I COULD DO TO HELP.
Uncertainty loomed large, but when I looked around I saw that many people needed hope, direction, and credible information so I started going LIVE at 6:23 daily to help my network and loved ones navigate transitions (so many simultaneously) and vet information (so much info, so little fact checking). The response was overwhelming and within a month we were hosting an online show called Knowledge or Nonsense.
Three primary points to this email, maybe even to life:
1. Even when everything is shaking and you do not know what what is going to happen, still do your utmost to help others. To add value to others.
2. Scarcity feeds WIIFM, and WIIFM feeds scarcity. Say no to scarcity.
3. Communication, business, and LIFE is about others. It is never meant to be ALL about you (or me).
And one question: What will YOU carry over?
Stay safe and stay kind.
May I help you with forward movement? Set up a call here.
As humans, we have a flawed tendency to judge others by their actions and then ourselves by our intentions. But when you think about it, our intentions often do not align with our actions.
If you’ve ever tried to follow a physical training program, diet plan, or a course syllabus — and failed to keep up after the first few days — then you’ve already experienced the damage misalignment between intentions and actions can do.
This misalignment is proof that your intentions can and do lie to you.
As a result, you end up developing counterproductive behaviors and schedules that don’t get you anywhere closer to your true goals. It’s like driving a car with wheels out of alignment, everything gets worn down and you risk crashing in the end.
Luckily, there’s a lot you can do to keep your intentions and actions on the same page. Over the next few weeks, we will look at HOW intentions and action can be misaligned and certain errors of thought that undermine progress and goal realization.
On the other side of decision there is peace, DIRECTION, and focus. Many live in the limbo of what if, what about, when this does that, etc. and the whole time LIFE keep passing them by. Winters become spring turning into summer falling into fall; perpetually. The perpetuity of life for these individuals IS this fixed state of paralyzed limbo. My heart breaks at this state. It literally gives me reverse butterflies.
Because I have been there. I have been stuck. Imprisoned. Living with the ever-present whispers of it will never be and they are all going to laugh at you. It was torment and it is torment still for those occupy (reside in) that mindset. For me, and many others, most of what was feared never materialized. And if it did, we overcame it.
What life has taught me is that the what ifs, what abouts, and when states are not designed to be states of existence but of occurrence. These occurrences test us. Our strength, our innovation, our resilience, our beliefs, our character, our humanity. They test our norms and the ‘why’ of them being our norms. They expose our deficits, our abundances, our biases (also known as prejudices), our strengths and our vulnerabilities.
So bump it will never be. Bump what if you get it but can’t keep it. Cease living in fear of success- or failure- because of image, or what people will say (judgments), or even of falling short. Fall, just fall FORWARD. LIFE is for living. Life is to experience and enjoy the wonders of our brief time here.
If you don’t want change to occur, or everything is just right the way it is; I get it. And I bless your decision.
But stay clear of UCDI, Do Something Daily, LLC and The Set Crew. Because we LIVE on the other side of decision.
We occupy differently. We dominate occupy. We’re the other side. Join Us.
Distractions come in MANY forms, MANY mediums, and MANY times. But you can minimize those distracting times by setting your gauge and direction for your day. How you ask... By IMPRINTING. Imprinting uses your creativity, the reticular activating system, and helps you to see the items that directly influence your day- good or bad.
As stated yesterday, this TOP Focus series will go over the tools necessary to help you finish this year strong!
The Carla Palmer Show with UCDI's Sharyn Combs talking about staying motivated and focused on our goals the second half of this year. It’s JUNE y’all!!!
Let’s keep making these moves!
Subscribe below to the YouTube page for the FULL TOP Focus Tips series!!
#FOCUS #DoSomethingDaily #THINK.onPurpose #Holdyourform #UCDI
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Can YOU stand? Today is Monday, September 10th and over the past week (and year) there have been several conversations focused on standing vs kneeling, and vice versa. What's interesting is how absolutely CONFIDENT people are in the 'rightness' of their opinions. It's quite amazing actually.
As I said, today is Monday. A day when many report to jobs they despise, to work with people they dislike, and complain about situations that they are unwilling to work to change. And these are the precarious and deceptive positions from which most stand. Basing decisions on the latest memes and facebook post they've seen. Listen, I respect the right of Americans to stand and the right to kneel. It's one of the many benefits of being an American.
I would like to ask a question, though... Are standing and kneeling polar opposites? Or are they to be done in tandem?
I'd like to submit that 'standing' is more than a physical action, and encompasses more than social media would have us to discuss. As does kneeling. In fact, the best stands come from a position of kneeling. The amazing part is Nike narrated this beautifully with their recent series of ads (whether you agree with them or not). Colin was making his stand before he started kneeling, but kneeling resulted in the goal of his stand being met- which was to have a conversation about the disparities of how law enforcement treated various groups.
When you have something that you care about deeply- be it family, a vision, a business- in order for you to stand for that something, somewhere there has been kneeling. In prayer, in fatigue, in defeat, in some posture that confirms the price of the stand. Some may say it even strengthens the stand.
I think about my walk of faith, and the moments when I was so spent I had to kneel. Oftentimes to simply whisper, "God." because the pain, anguish and weight of something caused me to cry out for help. And in those moments, I could sense the hope refreshing and the vision refocusing and faith began to blow on embers that may have died had I not kneeled. And as faith blows, I began to strengthen the knees and shake out the arms, and STAND. Even as I am kneeling. How do you stand without the kneel?
To think of stand and kneel as polar opposites, or solely as a buzz word for injustice limits the power of the stand, and of the kneel. They are not enemies, they are spiritual business partners.
Some of you will read this and only think of today's headlines. You will have missed the point. The connection between kneeling and standing is more about destiny that dicussion. What is your destiny? What is your why? What is your purpose? And when was the last time you knelt on behalf of it?
I wonder if Nike knew? If they knew what they were really tapping into?
“…like a lamb that is brought to the slaughter.”- Jeremiah 11:19
During my time in the US Navy, there would be prolonged times at sea; beautiful times of calm waters, a cool breeze over the weather deck, and even swim calls where we would swim and splash carefree with our shipmates. But this was not always the case. Calm was not a constant, and each sailor held an understanding and a healthy respect for the ocean. We were aware that what appeared calm and cool at one moment, could shift into a life or death situation in another moment. It was during one such time I was introduced to the term 'expendable' as it related to human capital.
Our extended time of addressing COVID-19 is beginning to ring eerily similar to that time for the unknown essential workers, namely sterile processors. This group of professionals are what those in the know refer to as 'the heart of the hospital.' They may not be at your bedside or getting you crushed ice, but they are diligently working, now fighting even more to ensure that the equipment, scopes, and instruments that the doctors, nurses, and scrub techs are using on you, IN YOU, and for you are not only clean, but sterile. They are diligently fighting infection and working countless hours in decontamination so that when the surgical instruments are needed, they are free from gross matter and bioburden- sometimes even cement and other adhesive agents that were used to facilitate a successful procedure prior to yours.
The same holds true for bus drivers, train operators, facilities personnel, truack drivers, etc.
Which brings me to the cautionary tale in the making and the question, “Has essential become synonymous with expendable?”
In reference to the time I mentioned earlier, our ship was caught in a typhoon that hit the island of Guam. Due to the size of our ship and the speed of the storm we were unable to outrun it. We are unable to outrun COVID-19. The storm came with a ferocity and an intent to destroy for which we were not prepared. Neither our healthcare, financial, education, social nor government infrastructures were prepared for the impact of COVID-19. The storm nullified radars, radios, rendered over half of the crew unable to function in the normal duties, and demanded flexibility and an ‘all hands on deck’ approach. COVID-19 had restructured our daily freedoms and demanded all of our resources.
Our chain of command reminded us during the storm that should any of us be swept overboard, they would not be able to send rescue workers into the turbulent sea to save us. We understood; because we knew and had agreed to the dangers. Dangers that were both known and unknown. We knew we were expendable (it was communicated in Basic Training), we knew what benefits would go towards our future, and our families should tragedy strike.
Not so with the not as visible- yet still essential- healthcare workers. Governors and executives are asking this category of essential workers to work in decontamination without PPE. Someone has to raise the alarm and use their voice. Someone has to say, ‘this isn’t risking infection and cross-contamination, it’s practically guaranteeing it.’ To those not familiar with sterile processing, there are many bugs, bacteria, and other dangers not visible to the naked eye. Although they are not as notorious as COVID-19, they are just as deadly.
Hear ye, hear ye: Sterile Processors donned PPE before COVID-19 because they were already working against harmful pathogens. Essential does not need to be expendable. To use words that communicate essential while practicing processes that communicate expendable further promotes the disparity and departmental division that many fight so hard to remove. To all who are champions of sterile processing and infection control, these essentials are trusting YOU; to all who have passion and resources to be the voice of those that go unheard, please use your voice and influence to speak for these essential workers that do not readily come to mind when the average American thinks of healthcare. Families and futures depend on it.
It has been a good year thus far. Transition, growth, opportunity...yes, it has been amazing!
But I believe it can be even more so.
It's only the second quarter of this year; which means the possibility for the rest of this year is WIDE OPEN. I encourage you to FOCUS. When we streamline our time and maximize our minutes, even the sky is not the limit.
THINK. On Purpose.
The world is big. Social media has made it smaller. And self-justification has made it the smallest.
In the time of self proclaimed expertise and the season of 'my way is better', I sat down with Employee Liaison, Dee Lewis, to discuss the top reasons people are overlooked for promotion and opportunity.
The reality is leadership sounds good and trendy- and many claim to want it-but it has a level of work and sacrifice that is invisible to the untrained eye. Apart from the expected difficulties associated with timelines, deadlines, scheduling, deliverables, budgetary oversight, headship transitions, changing regulatory guidelines and the shifting marketplace. Those are expected difficulties; we are focusing on the sacrifice that may not be often discussed.
This is leadership 101. These are really the basics; the fundamentals of sustained and best practice leadership.
These are real things that happen with leadership, management, and definitely in business -but if it was easy everyone would do it. Because anyone could lead- BUT NOT EVERYONE DOES.
Leadership expert John C. Maxwell says that: "...the price tag of leadership isn't for everyone. It's for those who KNOW and EMBRACE their ability to make a difference in the world around them." People like You.
Are you really being overlooked? Or, are you overlooking the requirements?
‘Tis the Season
It’s holiday time again! The time when Mothers worldwide see children that they may not have seen for months, grandchildren get more gifts than they can open in one setting, and all of us, and I do mean all, eat WAY MORE than we should. It’s a good season. Even as I write this I am smiling as I listen to laughter from up the hall. Stories of “Remember when,” and “Can you believe?” Stories and change and transition. Moments of quiet reflection as we think about those that are no longer with us (R.I.P. to Theresa, Mary, Ben, and many others).
However for some, there are other sounds that may be heard during this season. Sounds of jealousy and envy, bitterness and unresolved anger. What reminds some of love and gingerbread hugs, reminds others of pain and emptiness. It hurts. For some people the holidays flat out hurt.
PLEASE PERMIT ME TO BYPASS TO THE USUAL NICETIES IN ORDER TO GET STRAIGHT TO THE POINT. SET YOUR FEELINGS TO THE SIDE AND LET'S EXPLORE WHAT YOU GET TO DO.
Typically on Monday's it is acceptable for people to grumble and complain as if Monday should be glad we stopped by. I don't think people realize this actually establishes a tone for the week. Let's celebrate what we get to do! We live in an awesome country. Perfect -no, but pretty dang good. We live in a country where if you do not like your status, your class, heck-even your gender, you can change it. There are so MANY things we GET to do!
Stop moaning and complaining. Instead, what do you GET to do today? Most things complained about are first world problems anyway. Too Much Ice in your soda? Too Much Heat in your coffee? Not enough room to park your second Lexus? THESE ARE NOT PROBLEMS! :)
Hey, if you HATE where you are in life, make changes. Begin to make a plan to direct you (i.e., your life) to where you want to be. If not, you will be even more miserable next year and so will those around you. If you love them, make a change. A long and short journey have this in common- they both start with one step. UCDI stands for YOU CAN DO IT. We are here to help you make the MOST out of your life. Let's Go, let's go. Let's Get It, let's get it!!
“My husband needs, my wife needs, my kids need…” are words we hear every day before we even leave the house. Often before we even fall asleep the night before. Everyone needs something. It can feel like we are pulled in ninety different directions within ninety minutes.
All of this before you’ve had your Monday morning coffee. You arrive on site and awaiting you are 4-7 fires that the weekend has left for you. Some cases delayed, three physicians unhappy, and God forbid something was cancelled. Off to the races, you are- refereeing personality conflicts and mediating finger-pointing contests. We have not even touched the your workload, meaning, you still have meetings with Infection Control, EOC, Risk Management, the Executive Team, and the list of vendors, suppliers, and various sale reps vying to get on your calendar.
“Good Grief, Charlie Brown!”- Lucy
This time of the year can begin to rub at even the most proactive people. members are navigating back to school transitions with holidays and school expenses using mental real estate. Volumes begin to increase as patients begin to schedule procedures to accommodate insurance timetables. Not to mention the very competitive nature of healthcare.
This can be an overwhelming time of year. It’s the season, and though I cannot (honestly) give you a 4-step plan to avoid it, I can share real time tips to navigate it.
Here are a few tips to “Whip the Whelm!”
“When feeling overwhelmed, we usually react by being frantically busy, by procrastinating, or by doing things clumsily or inefficiently... When a person is experiencing the paralysis of procrastination, he or she is suffering the pain and consequences of inner conflict. This pain is the product of helplessness, apathy, psychological paralysis, and a disconnection from one’s intelligence, self, and will…”- Peter Michaelson
Something that often happens, yet is not readily acknowledged, is the fact that procrastination affects you even when you are not the party that procrastinated. This can create feelings of resentment, and sometimes an unwillingness to assist the habitual procrastinator(s)- which leads to the inner conflict Peter references. However, that is not the focus here. 😊
The focus is recognizing when we are frantically busy. When overwhelmed, if you don't RECOGNIZE you are overwhelmed, the probability is you will remain in a state of overwhelm-ness. A state of off-the-cuff decision making, firefighting all the time, running from this to that- unable to maximize your time. RECOGNIZE this state. And then…
Take a breath. Take two minutes and just breathe. Once you recognize the feelings, emotions, and activities that come with “overwhelm-ness,” take a moment- 5-10 seconds or 5-10 minutes to just clear your head. A clear head gives a clearer picture. Get a clear plan, make a clear checklist (whether you write it out with pen and paper, type it into your device, or speak it into your phone’s voice recorder). Technology IS YOUR FRIEND. Although it may seem counterintuitive, the time you spend doing this saves you time and removes you from the proverbial hamster wheel.
NOTE: It is important to use clear and concise language when creating this list. Use the language that reflects how articulate and intelligent you are, and that will drive you towards the accomplishment of the listed items.
i.What needs to be done right now?
Look at what you are/were doing. Is this going to help you accomplish what needs to be done today? If not, stop allotting time to it. Honor what needs done TODAY.
ii.What needs to be done this week?
Follow the format for question 1, but line up the week instead of one day. After you prioritize the week (which may seem an eternity away), smile and get to work with question 3.
iii.Who/What will it involve?
Will this involve other departments? Will you need to arrange/schedule a meeting room? Does it need to work around the surgery schedule? Who will reserve the room? Who will send out the invite?
These quick tips do not mean you will never be overwhelmed, flabbergasted, flustered or frustrated. It simply means you will not live there. Moments of being overwhelmed can actually strengthen you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. However, continual and extended periods of being overwhelmed are unhealthy at best, and destructive to personal relationships that are meant to bring life and refreshing.
Deadlines and due dates are a part of life, sometimes converging all at once. Focus on what you can influence today. And if you find yourself unduly irritated with your spouse, mad at your staff, and eating back to back pints of Ben and Jerry’s- RECOGNIZE you may be overwhelmed. Breathe… and STOP. Deadlines should not be deadly.
Life is too short to miss.
Another executive order signed. Another fight involving Chris Brown. Another unarmed black man shot, another armed white man not...or vice versa. Whatever IT is, its goal is to gain your gaze, and to get you to focus on worthless ways.
My birthday was last week, and instead of partying and raising the roof -did I just date myself? ;) -I chose to slow down, get still, and reflect on the full life I have been blessed to experience.
Now, depending on what you are focusing on currently, the fact that I believe my life to have been full and blessed could cause you to smile, or it cause cause you to sneer. You may feel as if I am not concerned enough with the injustices that are constantly pushed down our throats, or that I am stirring the pot because I even mentioned an unarmed black man got shot. Again. :(
But that is not the topic here.
The topic HERE is that things are constantly pulling for our attention and trying to get our gaze to turn towards events, activities, and results to be our fuel for current and future decisions. And sometimes I want to let them...sometimes, I LONG to let them. Sometimes I long to scream in the face of practices and perspectives that are dismissive of my pain, to tell people what it feels like to be me when I get stopped at 1 am in Rattan, OK (in a Mazda CX-5) after referreeing four basketball games in Broken Bow and then have the officer ask me if I have any weapons before he asked my name, or for my license and registration. Some will say, "Well, he has to protect himself and he may be afraid." To that I say, "Am I not? Alone on a country road with absolutely no witnesses and an officer who clearly has lied about me going 30+ miles over the highway speed limit?" Whoo! I still feel the sting of that thing.
But I can't let it hold my gaze or become my filter. I can not. I will not. I refuse to. Because in reality, that is just another hand trying to turn my head.
And steal my gaze.
So what is my strategy? My response?
I choose o hold even more tightly to the One that holds me. And not let go. To peer through His lens and let IT influence me.
"LORD, turn away my eyes from worthless things." There are so many beautiful things to be seen.
So when the culture SCREEEAMS for your attention and demands that you react to its tantrums, and built-on-sand systems, I encourage you to deny its demands. To wipe your hands of foolishness and say "No," to practices, promotions, and pursuits that do not line up with who, and Whose, you are by re-adjusting and focusing your gaze on things that are gaze-worthy. And I'll do it with you.
Have a wonderful week!
Feel free to share!
"Therefore sent he horses, chariots, and a great host: and they came by night, and compassed the city about. And when the servant of the man of God was risen early, and gone forth, behold, a host with horses and chariots was round about the city. And the servant cried to his master, "Alas, my master! how shall we do?" And the master answered and said, "FEAR NOT, FOR THEY THAT ARE WITH US ARE MORE THAN THEY THAT ARE WITH THEM."
This section of scripture (2 Kings 6:14-17) is a reminder and a promise at the same time. As we come off of a time a family gatherings, hope and celebrations-it is easy to be blindsighted and held hostage by what we see in the natural. But hold your form, and deviate not from the process.
See, I have been this servant (more times than I'd like to admit), caught up and distressed by what I saw as overwhelming odds and insurmountable tasks. And try as I might, I couldn't see the 'more with us' that the boss, leader, friend, motivational speaker, or even my pastors could see. I mean, I tried to! I told myself there are more with me, I spoke to the fears, "be gone," -but it wasn't working; it just made me even more worked up. And it was PARALYZING.
Until I cried, "Alas Master!"
By focusing on the chariots and horses, or in more simple terms- the expectations of others, the what ifs, the comparisions, the bills, the belittling words of naysaysayers, etc.- I would remain paralyzed. Trying futilely in my own strength to emotionally hype myself to see the vision. But 'Alas Father' and the simple key of crying out shifted my perspective. And that shifts everything. Every. Thing.
You know how someone runs through a troop? They run through. They don't run to a troop, they run through. Their focus is on the other side. When I cry out, my focus shifts from my bumbling attempts to make something to partnering with what God has already created- a way out, a method, or even better, good works created beforehand for me to walk in.*
So alas friend, when stuff looks crazy, the water is choppy, and you want to cover your ears and eyes and hide; cry out and fear not.
Then Run Through.
* Ephesians 2:10
A few years back, during a family gathering, a father was questioning his eleven-year-old son about the son’s behavior on a team trip. Apparently, the kids stayed up making late night runs to the vending and ice machines throughout the night. Initially the son was attempting to articulate valid reasons WHY he would be running in a hotel hallway (at age eleven), but eventually he could only state a description: “Dad, it was a wild weekend!”
Game. Set. Match.
Although the father, nor any adult bystanders cracked a smile or laughed aloud, we ALL understood immediately. We’ve all jumped on a bed, chewed gum in class, eaten ice cream after ten, or even (gasp!) ran down a hotel hallway. I remember being proud of the father, for remembering the thrill of adventure, autonomy, and new experiences all rolled into one and recognizing that THAT is what his son was communicating.
On March 16, 2016, UCDI hit the publish button on our website (including the blog you are now reading) and I was so excited! We were going live! If I had an image to describe it, it would be like a store owner switching on the OPEN sign and standing behind the counter barely containing himself while waiting for the millions of hungry customers to rush in with mirrored excitement. A year later; I am still excited, and grateful. My “why” is still my why, and I am absolutely amazed at the things that have happened since we hit that go live button. Here a are few:
Of course, there were some moments that I was completely overwhelmed, too excited to be any good at the actual work, and very naïve regarding the competitive nature of humanity. I published YouTube videos that were not as polished as some desired, I was more transparent in blogs than some considered wise, and there were a few times that I, too, stood in front of my Father trying to articulate valid reasons. Anxiously trying to validate me running down hallways- when I should be resting, making noise- when it was time for silence, or following- when I knew I was called to lead.
There really were none, other than my wide-eyed excitement and the belief that anything is possible. But before Him I stood. And every time the anxiety and searching for reasons melted into peace, focus, and contentment.
I’m glad He is so gracious.
It’s been a wild weekend! Only in this case, weekend means year. :)
Love, La Sharyn
GUWYWU (pronouced G-you-Y-you). Get Up When You Wake Up. Time Management 201. I am continuing my 2016 time tool of getting up when I wake up until ALL of my sleep thoughts bow to my God given authority to master my thought life in all areas. Like a well trained K-9. Why? Because...
One day, after almost six solid months of working late into the evenings and still not having enough time, I began to feel increasingly overwhelmed. I began to believe that it was not enough time in the week for me to accomplished the items I desired to accomplish. What a disheartening feeling! And a counterproductive one! I began to look for shortcuts and settle for less than my best. As a Life Coach, you cannot exist in that space and still help your Clients. After three months, I noticed I was turning away new Clients because I was in this ‘space.’ I was hitting snooze several times everyday because I felt I was losing and wasn’t going to get everything done anyway. Plus, for about a month, I was even waking up BEFORE my alarm would go off! It was horrible!! I was praying asking for help, but in the same breath, I was complaining that it wasn’t enough hours in the day!
On one of the days I woke up pre-alarm, I was about to force myself to go back to sleep when I heard, “Get Up.” I remember my natural mind immediately saying, “No, I am going to get this sleep.” Why would anyone get up early for no reason? I used to wonder about people who would say they couldn’t sleep; I always felt as if they weren’t trying hard enough because I could will myself to sleep. Or so I thought anyway. But that day, as I lay wrestling within myself over whether to get up, it hit me. Simply and like a ton of bricks at the same time. "You. Are. Already. Up. If you choose to use this time for sleep, then sleep is your goal. But recognize that this, daughter, is TIME."
THIS was the time that I kept saying there wasn’t enough of, yet I was wasting anywhere from 60-90 minutes a day wrestling over 'faux' sleep every single day. That is over 300 hours a year! How many books, speeches, and workouts could be accomplished with that time? How many house projects checked off or vacations gone on? God had been answering me for over a month (at least), and I was complaining too much to hear Him. Yet He still blessed me with the simple answer of GUWYWU.
What mindset areas are YOU mastering this season?
The odds were stacked against Chinaza Duson from birth. Born in Buffalo, New York, her mother was a prostitute and her father was a pimp. Duson soon found herself in a youth home. However, being taught discipline and the value of never allowing yesterday to define today fueled her desire to overcome her rough upbringing.
She received her MBA and BA in business administration from Stayer University and after surviving some bumps in her career path, she eventually became a top network marketing professional. But the job closest to Duson’s heart is serving as founder and chair of the SheSpeaks Worldwide Foundation, a platform which empowers women, children and anyone with a dream to live to their highest potential and be a pillar in their communities.
SheSpeaks does amazing work creating programs that educate budding female entrepreneurs and uplifting various communities. The foundation gathers some of the wisest, fiercest professionals to speak life into women yearning for mental, spiritual and financial enrichment.
In Her Own Words
I was an executive working at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). I walked into my office on April 14, 2010, and they dropped a bomb on me. Literally the day before, I received the Top 40 Under 40 [award] in Mass Transit Magazine. The next day, they said “We’re sorry, but in six months, your position will no longer exist, but you’ll be fine.” I said, “Excuse me?” I was a single mom with two children and at that time, I had a Facebook friend who inboxed me. I was known for posting things empowering people, but my energy had dropped. So he said “What’s going on?” and I told him life as I knew it had changed. I made a total of $20,000 over a total of four years. But in 2013, I got into my stride. I literally woke up one day and I went full speed ahead to get to where I am now, in the No. 1 position.
I began to tell it (my story) little by little and realized people were being liberated and wanted to understand that if you can do it, I can do it. When I saw my story was serving as an inspiration and point of healing, I said “Wait, there’s nothing to hide anymore.” It freed me. Whenever I tell my story, I stay free, and when others are empowered to tell theirs, they get free.
Dr. Kathy Martin PhD., Coach, Author, Conference Facilitator and Keynote Speaker, Wife, Mother, and more. Dr. Martin takes great joy in helping others discover the hidden possibilities that often lie dormant within individuals, and training them in the practices necessary for sustained success. Her dedication to transformation is evident in her book, 'Transformational Prayer.'
For more information, visit http://www.possibilitythinkingconsulting.com/services.html
Dr. Howard Hatcher has worked with the Bureau of Prisons and is the founder of Color Free America (CFAM), an international reconciliation program. His work has been examined by Universities and colleges in thirteen countries as well as being utilized in the United States public school system and educational systems in South Africa. His most recent initiative, the Joseph Project, counters the effects of systemic dysfunction and poverty biases nationwide.
Apostle Hatcher is the Senior Pastor of International Outreach - Ministry and Training Center (IOMTC) in Tulsa, OK, and serves as a consultant to many Pastors, Apostles, and church leaders worldwide. Mr. Hatcher also serves as a Business Consultant and lecturer for colleges, high schools, business organizations, and public events both civic and private, including a previous appointment by the Kansas Governor to a state commissioned task force. Relational grounding and organizational impetus for divinely inspired growth are his specialty. For more information, please visit www.iomnetwork.org.
Huge thank you to Ms. Karen Cherry, successful business woman and motivational speaker. Karen started her first company with one worker (her) and a volunteer (now her CAO). Since then, that company has grown to over 100 employees and she has expanded her interest into commercial leases and residential properties. She is the first of this month's It's Possible selections to get you motivated and encouraged to keep moving forward. :) You Can Do It! -LaSharyn C.
For years I've asked those close to me,"How are you living?" Initially they would give me a safe and surface answer that they were living well and everything was good. I would usually smile and ask again, "How are you living?" At which point they pause and look at me like "what do you mean? I just answered you." -Bear in mind, I only asked this of people to whom I was close and who knew my heart.
Experiences and social norms have groomed us for specific responses and typical actions. But those actions are not always reflective of how we are living. Life is what happens when no one is looking. When I saw the video below, it made me think of these conversations with a beautiful soul named Trish. When we initially had this conversation, she was taken aback by the question but she rolled with it. #warmsmile4Trish I went on to share that most of life occurs when there is no audience, and in some ways, is a more accurate depiction of how we're living for real. Our life flows out of us and has an impact on our immediate circle and every circle that connects with it. Do we care how we treat people if no one knows about it? Do we lie and gossip to divert attention from our own (in)action? Are we honest about the (mis)perceptions we hold as it relates to this melting pot we call America? How about our own internal battles and insecurities? Is it even safe to acknowledge or mention?
As many know, I confess the name Jesus and try my utmost to be governed by biblical principles. I rub some the wrong way when I ask questions that are designed to identify how we are really living. And today I am asking, you and I, this very question. We may not be as close as the ones I've asked previously, but in today's climate it is a questions that warrants asking. The responses will vary from, "How dare you?" and "Who do you think you are?" to "Hmm, how am I living?" If your response veers toward the former, I submit to you there may be some contempt influencing the response and it is difficult to pray God's will over someone or something for which you have contempt. If your response veers toward the latter- kudos for being willing to look but make sure your reflection includes the Holy Spirit (no condemnation). :)
Here's the thing, I'm not asking how we are doing. I can wash dishes and still be angry about it, or come to work and hate every minute of it. I am asking how are we living? The question is just that- a question. It is not meant to qualify or disqualify.
That being said ...how are you living?
A few years back I attended a youth function that showed a DVD focusing on hip hop music and the youth culture. The video was very strong and persuasive. It made you think that any song outside of Amazing Grace equals SIN, SIN , SIN!!! Even I, an adult, was looking over my shoulders and praying I wouldn't die that night. :) Ninety percent of the youth in attendance threw away CDs, books, and vowed to not watch several TV programs. I mean, I definitely agreed with some parts and asked the Lord to run His Gaze over and through me; I even cleaned stuff (I needed to) out of my house. But, after the video, after that evening, there was not a life change like what normally occurs when I've heard REAL truth. Not for me, and not for the teens. The teenagers went through a period of tremendous condemnation for not being able to keep their self-willed vows. And my heart broke. There is a difference between a scare tactic and the fear of the Lord. The Fear of the Lord honors God versus just being scared that I'm going to miss him or go to hell.
The Cookie Jar thievery example highlights the difference between not stealing cookies because it's wrong, and not stealing cookies because I might get caught. Not wanting to get caught has no effect whatsoever on my heart (which God looks at); it makes me legalistic and kinda tell-ish like the Pharisees ("Jesus,they don't wash before eating!"). Or, it makes me envious like the older brother in the prodigal parable. A key point in my walk with God is the scripture, "perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment." My desire to not want to steal from the cookie jar holds regardless of whether if I would get caught or not. I want to not steal because that is settled in my heart and I understand I don't have to steal from My Father.
If I, or anyone for that matter, am spooked that any or every move might be just the move that gets me kicked out of the Lamb's Book of Life, I am not walking in faith. That walk is in fear- and definitely not secure in the very secure promise that I am accepted in the Beloved. I would lack Joy, real Joy, -which results in me becoming a skittish, insecure believer since the joy of the Lord is my strength.
On the other hand, if I have joy because nothing wrong goes in my temple, then I might begin to take credit for "my righteousness" or begin to thank God that I'm not like other people because I fast twice a week and I give a tithe of all I have, etc.
So here's what I think: Any thing that corrupts is dangerous, but I don't believe that fear that should control you. Only the love of God will keep you, and compel you to do more and go deeper. Not the threat of a whupping. Hmm, perhaps Paul meant it when he said, "For by grace you have been saved through faith... not your own doing; it is the gift of God."
But hey, this is my take... :-)