What Are You Craving?

What Are You Craving?

We all know women who are fanatical runners or joggers. We know ladies who are dedicated to working out every single day. Zumba class, Pilates, jazzercise, yoga! Some of them eat organic, some are vegetarian, vegans or they are on forever diets. Fad diets, Atkins, South beach, Keto, Weight Watchers, Mediterranean Diets, Paleo Diets! These women, of course, are attempting to address their physical well-being.

But we all know fitness goes far beyond the physical, and some of us are simply not wired for the gym. And even if we were, there are so many other factors that affect how we feel about ourselves. Putting the physical aside, think for a moment about your spiritual and mental sides, because these components greatly affect how we feel about our outward physical selves.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Though we travel the world in our search for beauty and nobility, we will not find it unless we carry it in ourselves.”  To be well-rounded women, we must be willing to become introspective. We have to be willing to take a reflective look inward to scrutinize our own views and emotional states. However, self-questioning and scrutiny can be stressful, painful and fearful.

Each of us have elements starting from childhood that form how we feel about ourselves. Maybe you were a bit over weight as a youngster and someone called you fat. Maybe your parents were divorced, and you yearned for a complete family like everybody else. Maybe you felt alone, afraid, abandoned. Maybe you felt over looked and insignificant. I can remember someone making a nasty comment about my acne and to this day, I am self-conscientious about my face.

Tragically, we push these things down deep inside because we don’t want to face our fears. In truth, we are in pain, and we are afraid to ask the tough questions. We forget that God made each of us in His image. He intended for us to succeed, to thrive and to be happy. We choose self-condemnation, and we put up emotional walls to protect ourselves. Some of us beat ourselves up at the gym while others become emotional eaters. Food brings them comfort. Some women pretend to be happy on the outside when in truth, they are dejected and lack spirit.

My grandma used to say, “Stop making mountains out of mole hills.” We all tend to do that from time to time. We turn the smallest things into absolute tragedies. We forget to have faith, and we choose negativity. We self-judge ourselves … we lose our peace.

For me personally, having been married for so many years, I am starting to realize that I have become complacent; I have lost my own identity and my own voice. I have forgotten that I am responsible for myself and my own happiness. I cannot change someone who does not want to change. I have, in ways I didn’t even recognize, lost my own voice and my own identity. And somewhere along the way, I lost my purpose. And in truth, my body is rebelling.

I imagine there are many women who have lost their purpose. We spend so many years being wives and mothers, and we take care of everyone around us and one day, it hits us that we didn’t take care of ourselves. We didn’t nurture our own bodies, minds and spirits. We have become so emotionally deficient that we have forgotten that love and the Faith of our Father has to be the one guiding light toward our spiritual understanding.

Self-examination isn’t easy. Neither is learning how to stop suppressing your own feelings and needs. Ask God to come into your life and ask Him to help you control your fears and show you the path to peace. Psalms 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid?” Our inward tempests are far more perilous to our souls than the external ones. It is up to each of us to put one foot in front of the other and figure out where we want to go.

To find out more about what you are craving and how to get fit both inside and out, tune into Warrior Divas, Episode 11 at www.divasimpact.com/podcast.

Setting Yourself Up for Success

Setting Yourself Up for Success

You know, as women we often get side-tracked with our everyday lives. Raising children, helping our husbands climb their own corporate ladders and working at our own jobs. Taking care of our parents, helping out the PTA, volunteering at church. Supporting your child’s sports activities, cooking, cleaning, and going to Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts and piano lessons. We are like those squirrels in our yards that never seem to have a real plan or direction.

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about here. We tend to put our own hopes and dreams on the back burner for those we love and care for. We are busy. We are so immersed in everyday life that we forget about the things that really motivate us. We forget about our own goals and what our own purpose is. We stagnate.

In short, we are not in alignment with what our true purposes in life may be. We have forgotten what truly motivates us. This is the point where you can ask yourself what really motivates you. Ask yourself if you are the person holding yourself back from your goals. Do you surround yourself with friends who hold you back or push you forward toward positive growth?

Maybe you have a yearning deep inside to start your own business or write a book or sell crafts. Years ago, I wanted to start my own advertising agency, but I was scared and doubted myself. But along the way, I discovered that my goal had value. It was important to me. It was a powerful goal, and it motivated me to find a way to make it happen.

In truth, it became a high priority for me. It was worthwhile to me. It was something that became an “I must do this,” or I will feel like a failure situation. It was a dream that became my major desire and goal. I was focused on accomplishing my goal. And I focused on my own talents, the talents of those I wanted to join me in this venture, and created a plan to obtain the resources I needed to make this happen.

It isn’t always simple to get started on the right path for your own success. It can be stressful. It can be overwhelming. It can make you want to just go to bed and cover up your head. But, it is a journey worth taking, because life is too short for us to ignore our hopes and dreams. You can align yourself with those who will help you and push you forward when you just want to give up.

Ladies, we have the ability to think beyond where we are and achieve our highest dreams. We can and should think big. Think beyond today. Look to the future. What does that look like to you? Are you truly inspired and focused? Do you have people in your life who push you toward greatness? Do you have the assets you need to actually achieve your goals or start your own business? Do you have the correct strategy to achieve your professional, financial and spiritual goals?

Goal setting and getting on the right path to success is so much more than just wishing something would happen. You actually have to stand up, dust off your boots, put on your big girl pants and make something happen. You have to set attainable goals. You have to write down your plan and stick to it. You have to surround yourself with friends who will see your potential and help you get there.

Ask yourself today if your dreams, your goals are worthwhile? Are they motivating? Does it spiritually move you? Are you actually setting goals that have the highest importance in your life? Will it be important to everyone? Are your goals smart and will they benefit others?

It is important to align yourself within all the areas of your life. Find a way to move along a path that sets you up for the accomplishments you are seeking. Figure out what it is you are truly called to do. Find your purpose. Go where you really want to go. Set yourself up for success. The biggest danger you face is falling into lethargy and doubt. Believe in your dreams! Believe in yourself! Do not be lukewarm when it comes to your goals! Aspire to those things that motivate you and give you purpose. Let your heart sing!

Today and everyday have a plan to move forward and lift up yourself with self-confidence. And rely on your faith to move you forward to do what you are truly called to do.

To learn more about how to set yourself up for success, tune into Warrior Divas, Podcast 10, Align, Activate and Calibrate.

Recognize What is Within You

Recognize What is Within You

Ladies, we have all been in situations that can define us, label us, transform us, break us, humble us and even lift us up. Life is such that it loves to throw us curve balls. And as women, we have to not only recognize our place in the universe, but we have to learn to understand it.

As children, we learn how to please others … our parents, our grandparents, our teachers, our coaches. We believe in fairytales and unicorns. We grow up looking for prince charming and the wonderful castle he lives in. But alas, along the way, we find out that life is not perfect. We learn that our homes are not perfect. There is no perfect job, no perfect child, no perfect family and no perfect parents. And to be sure, we are all far from perfect.

Unfortunately, life never seems to turn out the way we think it should. We tend to get overwhelmed with insignificant things. We become judgmental and self-centered. We can become smug and irrespective of our spouses. We begin to feel superior, and we forget that there are times when we should walk away without speaking.

The truth is, however; we often let pride get in the way and we attack. As women, we frequently put up with mental abuse, and then we turn around and throw it right back. What many of us forget is that in order for peace to exist, it is often more prudent to make no noise at all. As women, we all have a dynamic power within us to use our voices when prudent and then to do what we are called to do.

We all have gifts inside that the world is waiting to see. These gifts, your callings are preordained. You just need to dig deep inside and find out what is really inside of you. Understand that you can do better; you can be better. You can set your boundaries, lift yourself up and in doing so lift up those around you.

Ask yourself what you think your greatest gift is. What are you genuinely passionate about? Do you want to paint? Do you want to teach? Do you want to write? Do you want to be a nurse?  Do you like to cook? Whatever you are yearning for, do not dismiss it. Do not stop growing and evolving into the strong, independent woman you are destined to be.

As strong women, we have everything we need inside and out to become awesome mothers and passionate partners to those we have married. We can care for ourselves and for all things around us. We have all been tired, worn out, damaged and sickened. But the great thing is, we have the ability to slow down and seek the change we need to make a lasting impression on this life we live.

Today, you have the ability to put yourself on the path you were destined to follow. In truth, once you reach down inside to find your true calling, you will realize that the things in your world will never be the same again. You will never be the same again. In truth, your gifts belong to the world. To be sure, the task before you is great, but the benefits you gain will be even greater.

You have a choice to live in a trapped existence or to thrive in glory. You can choose to live in passion, live with purpose and live in love. Recognize that where you are must change. Seek out the ever-changing world and live in joy. Choose to dig deep inside yourself and bring light where there has been darkness. Surround yourself with peace. Remember that everything you do is infinitely important.

As women, we can recognize our own problems and troubled attitudes. We can learn to accept our problems as assets. Because through adversity, we can find opportunities. We can seek God’s guidance to bring us through our darkest hours. We can persevere, learn to give grace to those around us and achieve victory for all of the tomorrows ahead of us. What we give to the world will inspire and encourage those whom we work with, live with, and love.

To learn more about recognizing what’s within you, tune into Warrior Divas, Podcast 9.

Choose a Peaceful Life

Choose a Peaceful Life

As women, wives, mothers, we have all had moments when we have felt uneasy, scared and unsafe. The world as we know it today can be terrifying and unpredictable. Our hearts are often heavy with regret and fear. We do not feel safe and secure within our own environments.

For each of us, there are times when we ache for inner peace. We have faced strife, domestic turmoil, sickness and death. We worry about our loved ones, our children, our grandchildren, our spouses and ourselves. And we watch the news every day and let’s just be honest, the news is not going to give us inner peace.

Is it any wonder that so many of us are riddled with fear, stress, sleeplessness, and anxiety? J. B. Figgis said, “The essence of peace is God; the secret of peace is trust.” And while we may know God is there watching over us, we tend to not find that trust that will direct us to lead less stressful and more peaceful lives. We get caught up in all the situations of life that derail our peace and security.

Perhaps you have suddenly lost a parent. It doesn’t matter how old you are, your world has been shaken, and your life will never be the same. Life throws curves at us that can grip our souls and devour our inner peace. Think about all those women you know who have lost their life-long spouses. They don’t know how to deal with their grief or the days ahead of them without that one person who they have depended on for a lifetime.

Consider for a moment the women you know who have had their lives turned upside down by an illness or cancer. These women have to find a way to dig deep in to their souls and find a way to just survive. Some of them will choose to say, “Why me?” Others, will have a split second of anger and shock. Then they will choose peace over fear, walk through their grief and move on toward a positive attitude. These are the survivors. These are the women who have achieved peace and are thankful for life.

For many of us, there may have been a sudden reality check when the person you have been married to for a lifetime becomes a person you no longer recognize. Be it from illness, depression, Alzheimer’s or other factors, it can rock your world. It can steal your peace and security. It can affect our own emotional health and give you a total loss of purpose. It can become a threat to your everyday peace. It will invade your heart and soul. It certainly can create fear within your heart and mind. It can cripple your daily existence.

This is the time when you have to ask yourself if you want to stay in this dark place of insecurity. Do you want to stay in this place and suffer in silence? Are you okay with the fact that your life is empty and totally deprived of anything worthwhile? Are you content with becoming a doormat? Someone to be used and abused?

John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you … Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” So through faith, we can choose to stop the yelling. Stop the cycle by setting boundaries that are going to be acceptable to ourselves. Find ways to bring that inner peace back into your life. Remember that you cannot be responsible for someone else’s happiness. You are only responsible to yourself and your personal well-being.

So much of what we do in life is based upon what we think is the right thing. Maybe because we have been brought up a certain way. Maybe because we think we have to be in charge to take care of someone who doesn’t take care of themselves. Maybe because we are just plain scared.

But ask yourself, “Are you letting that angry, ungrateful person affect your life? Are they causing you to put your life on hold and invade your life?” If so, your stability and emotional well-being is at stake. You have to learn how to put yourself first, empower yourself, grow and evolve back to the person you used to be.

In short, arm yourself with positivity. Take one step at a time toward a future that lifts you up, gives you strength and focuses on a more peaceful, secure life. Let peace flow through your soul and ease your fears. Learn how to effectively handle the burdens and hostilities that are affecting your daily life to become your best self, to love yourself and to find true happiness. You are, after all, in charge of your own future and the next road you travel down.

To find out more about what threatens your peace, tune into Warrior Divas Episode 8 available at www.divasimpact.com/podcast.

Counting the Costs

Counting the Costs

 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” Luke 14:28

When I worked for the church, this was one of my boss’s favorite verses. After all I worked in the business office for the church and he was an accountant. While, I had examples set for me throughout my life about how to manage my finances. One thing I began to realize while working at the church was the financial cost was not the only cost you had to be aware of. 

I was meeting with small church leaders, and non-profit leaders, as well as those who dreamed of starting a church or non-profit. Since the common theme to these entities is to bring in tithes, and donations, many of the people I would sit with would have a “business” plan for how to handle getting and spending the donor dollars. The one thing they over looked was the cost of their time, their energy, and even the cost of relationships that building these things cost them. 

The same can be said for entrepreneurs, if you are focused on the sale, and not the relationship, you are missing a huge cost that could destroy your whole business. 

But let’s get personal, are you trying to build yourself up to be something you are not? Are you living a life of fake it til you make it, just hoping you will make it before you are discovered you are faking? 

Counting the costs does not just work in the non-profit or for profit world, it works in our everyday life. Where we spend our time, our energy, and our money. 

A mentor once told me that one of the things he noticed while he traveled around to meet with high net worth individuals, was that the bigger the wealth the small the TV’s and the bigger the libraries. Another words, the higher wealth individuals were not concerned with what was going on with reality TV, or even the news, instead they were focused on learning more, and improving themselves. They were not caught in a game of comparisons, hoping not to get caught faking it. Also, because their life did not revolve around Netflix and chill they were able to see with a broader vision of where they were going and what they were doing. 

Whatever journey you are on today, I challenge you to count the cost mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually and monetarily to truly understand what your journey will cost you.

Daily DIVAS Challenge:

  1. Do a self Assesment of where you are and where you want to be?
  2. What is the cost of achieving your goals?
  3. Begin weaning yourself off of the the things that are distracting you from your goals.