Friday, December 31, 2010

Design of a Decade: An Epic Year in Review

75 days ago I began a commitment to making a daily declaration that I wanted to see manifest in my life. I had no idea that the things that happened during that time would completely set the stage for my life. I mean sure I wanted it, but I was totally unprepared for what was to come.

10 years ago I couldn’t even see myself at this point today. There have been times over the past decade that things just haven’t gone so well. I’m sure EVERYONE can attest to this. The lessons that I have learned, the wisdom that I have gained, the strength that has come…no matter what has happened it has all been essential to me being who I am today.

I have lost some great people during this time; of most importance would be the man that I called Daddy. I could not tell you that I have ever known anyone who loved like him. He was the greatest man in the universe in my opinion and the day that he left this earth my world was truly shaken. Our connection was what some would call unique. I simply say that it was designed by GOD and my Daddy was the greatest example of God’s promise to be whom and what you need when you need it. Although blood did not unite us, spirit and love did…I was his daughter, his baby girl…and he was my father, the greatest man on earth. Daddy I miss you and I hope that I am making you proud.

Other friends and family members have passed away and with the loss of those various relationships I have learned to try to cherish every moment that I have with those in my life. Every moment rather filled with anger or with love creates a memory. Let’s learn to create good memories.

I have experienced an insurmountable amount of God’s favor over the years. Crisis of health, faith, finances…yet God has been faithful. My heart is overwhelmed when I think of how awesome His love is and how He cared enough to keep me through it all. My love for God has been deepened and I honor Him.

2010 has been the greatest year of my life to date. I started this year determined for it to be that way. I declared some things that I wanted and I acted on them. I had some great people to encourage and support me along the way and I honor each of them. Some I have known all of my life, others I have met at various phases along the way, some I have just recently met, others I have not met at all, and some I have been reunited with after decades of separation.

My dear friend, Jamison Antoine, and I made a commitment to each other this year that 2010 would be a better life for us, that we would be living different by the end of the year. We were hungry for change and desperate to ‘live on purpose’. When something wasn’t working out we would sit down and come up with a “new plan A”. Our foundation for every move we made was birthed from 2 Kings 7: 3-4…what do we have to lose? If we do nothing we “die” because we aren’t doing what we want to be doing, and if we go for it we may fail. Our consensus…we’d rather go for it and fail than to sit and be miserable and unproductive.

So here we are at the end of the year and we both are able to say MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! With an abundance of God’s favor and His divine hand guiding us along the way, “it’s a different life already”.

As I prepare for 2011 I am expecting so much greater. I am looking forward to further growth and development. I am ready to receive the challenges that are guaranteed to come with open arms. I am prepared to shed some habits, mindsets, and insecurities. I am determined to continue to live out my potential. I will not run from my emotions or my problems. I am motivated to pursue greatness and not settle for less. I am empowered to reach my destiny. I will continue to live on purpose!

I hope you will do the same!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Are you living on purpose?

Honestly, when you sit with yourself and have those mental conversations about where you are in life and where you want to be, can you say that there’s a method to your madness? Is your vision laid out? During a season where people all around the world are talking of what they will do differently in the coming year, what can you honestly say that you will put in motion with strategy and intent?

A few weeks ago I spoke about making declarations and expecting them to manifest. I personally believe that a declaration far out weighs a New Year’s resolution hopeful. You can fall off the diet, quit going to the gym, renege on minimizing your spending habits…but DECLARE your destiny and watch the manifestation of purpose!

This year has been one of the best years of my life as I made the conscious decision to live on purpose. I stopped apologizing for not wanting to settle. I created a vision board and began to employ every ounce of my ability, while yielding totally to God’s plan, to achieve every goal. I have been surprised at how some of them have manifested, unprepared for the magnitude of others, and at times just down right blown away by the fact that this is my life.

So, I hope that you will include a destiny declaration with your new year’s resolutions. In so doing I encourage you to never be afraid to follow your heart and pursue your passions. I admonish you to "take some time and enjoy the view" (in my Barbara Walters voice…*giggles*). Live on purpose, in THIS moment, for tomorrow NEVER comes; it only exists in descriptive terms, and can not be traced...every day that you wake up is TODAY. Don't take your dreams to the grave with you, invest in your legacy, and most of all believe in yourself.  

Friday, November 12, 2010

Great Expectations

After last week’s post many of my friends, supporters, and followers took action and began to make their own declarations. It was humbling and inspiring to see others charging their atmosphere with the power of their words. I salute you all! And, I admonish anyone who has yet to employ the principle of commanding your destiny to START NOW!

In a recent conversation with a friend I was reminded of another foundational truth about the power that we posses. He said to me “I realized through your declaration that I can declare something all day, but if I don’t expect it to happen…the declaration is ineffective.”  

So you’ve made your declaration…but are you expecting it to happen?!?!?!

To make a declaration and not expect it to come to fruition is like walking around pregnant and not expecting to give birth. Just as a woman’s womb is impelled to contract at the time of birthing, your atmosphere is mandated to push forth your destiny when you command it with expectancy! *Queue the band, R. Kelly sings….If I can see it, then I can do it. If I just believe it, there’s nothing to it…*

If you don’t EXPECT greatness, it won’t ever come. Again, God is responsive…NOT reactive.

If you need some inspiration, this is my Mantra:

The contractions have started. I feel the pressure of the birthing of a new me...As my labor pangs increase and the pains of purpose and promise bear down on my womb to birth out my destiny...I encourage you to see me for who I am becoming and not for who I am now; for if you look too closely at MY NOW you won't recognize ME later.

***Please share your declarations below. You never know how your determination could inspire others to lay claim to their life. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Are You Saying?

 “Watch your words; they become actions.” ~ Unknown

One of the biggest downfalls people have is not realizing how much power we possess to command our destiny.  We have reduced to mere cliché the foundational proverb that Death and Life are in the power of the tongue…’ (Prov. 18:21 - KJV). And for those of us who are fully aware that our words have power, rarely do we use it.

Two weeks ago I committed to making a daily declaration for the remainder of the year. Every day for 75 days I was to devote one Facebook Status and one Twitter post (also known as a 'tweet' for the Twitter challenged *giggles*) to releasing into the atmosphere a demonstration of the power of words. On that first week, everyday, before I did anything else...I posted and tweeted my declaration.

The first week was absolutely awesome. Despite personal challenges I maintained a calming peace. I was victorious in most things, and for the things that didn’t quite turn out the way that I had hoped I was able to realize they were not a part of “the plan”. 


Much like I had the week prior, I woke up and fell into my routine. The only difference was that I said I was not going to post or tweet all day on that Monday. #EPICFAIL!

Can I just tell you that no matter how many cups of coffee I had, jovial songs I listened to, or friends I reached out to...the day was a mess! I was all over the place. Unfocused. Emotional. I just could not get it together. (Sounds kinda like PMS huh?) I needed “Coach” to pull me aside and give me a pep talk
for real!

Immediately I realized that this experience was a lesson. It wasn't punishment for not making the declaration, it was affirmation that WE HAVE THE POWER TO SET OUR ATMOSPHERE. What you release is what you get back. In my case I released nothing so I got nothing...I was stuck in the Twilight Zone somewhere between hope and despair.

Too often we reject rather than affirm, speaking negatively - what we can’t do, what we don’t have, who we can’t be. We toss around “impossibilities” as though they’re candy at a parade, but rarely do we take a stance to speak affirmatively in Faith and invoke the universe to action. God is responsive not reactive.
So with just shy of 60 days remaining in 2010 I challenge you to make a daily declaration that will awaken your destiny from its comatose state.

It's simple... What are you saying?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Goodness is Free, but GREATNESS will cost you…

In our individual “Pursuit of Happiness” how many of us are willing to go to extreme lengths for the possibility of success? Can you go a day or two or five without eating… surviving solely on your drive and the calories in the free coffee offered in the public library; which also happens to be the place where you are the overnight janitor? Could you stay up studying until 3am knowing that you have to be up at 5 if you’re to be on time to catch the train since the ‘Repo Man’ came to visit last month? And by the way, the studying that you are doing is from the books that line the shelves of the library where you’re the overnight janitor; and those 2 hours of sleep are obtained on the floor between fiction and non-fiction since last week was the date of your eviction. In an effort to breathe the vapors of success are you willing to downsize your life, going from a guaranteed source of income to a part time hustle and an internship?

Just how far are you willing to go to get to where you are going?

To be good at something you simply have to have a nice combination of skill and knowledge. To be great at something you have to want it as bad as you want your next breath; be willing to push through the pain as you bench press the weight of your goal to build the muscle of hope; and know that while you wipe the tears of discouragement with one hand you have to keep fighting the battle with the other. Oh, and you also need a nice combination of skill and knowledge.

You see the illusion of success is that it is limited to those with great pedigree, education, or just plain luck. The reality is that success is limitless and can be attained by all who are vested in its reward. Add to that the belief that what God has for you is for you, and you can EXPECT nothing less.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Audacity of Tenacity

Tenacity can sometimes come across as desperation to those who witness your efforts to accomplish your greatest goals. The difference between being tenacious and being desperate is confidence vs. compromise. The two often look identical, but with a closer eye it is evident that while they share the same source they are clearly fraternal.

When you’re desperate you compromise who you are and the sacrifices that you make are often foolish and unprofitable. You do things that will only temporarily satisfy and very seldom turn out good in the end. Desperation can lead you in the path of destruction and end in your demise, much like the unsuspecting moth drawn to the flame.

When you’re tenacious you will stand in the face of a challenge with an “all or nothing” approach, confidently prepared to fail. *Record scratches* FAIL?!?!? Yes, FAIL! Tenacity is the instinct that causes you to approach the edge of impossible, fearlessly step off the ledge, and all the while saying “if I perish, I perish”. Tenacity is the energy drink of perseverance that keeps you awake at night; the Kleenex of hope that wipe your tears of frustration; and the Band-Aid of faith that covers the wounds of discouragement.

When you are desperate you operate in fear and you settle for what is “good enough”. You are always in survival mode and there is no pleasure in your pursuit. Focus escapes you. And in the name of passion you become a predator to your goal, ultimately ambushing your purpose, and sabotaging your success. When you are desperate it is sensed by those around you giving them the subconscious “green light” to take advantage of you.

When you are tenacious you are fearless... and bold…and ready! You don’t settle for less than you KNOW you can have, you approach every opportunity with a “Can Do” attitude, and you leave everyone wondering “where did they come from”. When you are tenacious you act in faith with confidence that your “gift” will make room for you and bring greatness to you. But do not get it twisted, the “bull dog” mentality that comes along with tenacity can often result in you moving too quickly and having to pull at your reigns.

Here’s the deal breaker…you have to learn how to possess a healthy balance of both…you have to be desperately tenacious. This is when you are focused on your goal and will stop at nothing to accomplish it; you take calculated risks with the understanding that “what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make”; you are humble enough to be open to any opportunity that comes your way, but confident enough to say NO to those without promise; and you rise up to meet every challenge, embracing the lessons in your mistakes, and leave the mark of a quiet storm that no one ever saw coming.

The opportunities that I have had thus far have been great! I have gone after every one of them with a relentless determination, for I am desperate to live out my potential. I have sacrificed greatly for some of the opportunities, so much so that I have even given myself the ‘side eye’ at times…but I am tenacious in my pursuit. I refuse to give up! I have met MANY challenges…but I know if I don’t quit, I’ll win. I have not been too good for any role, because sometimes your breakthrough moment comes in cleaning up someone else’s mess. God has allowed me to connect with some of the greatest in the game and for this I am both grateful and humbled. I am even more grateful for those He has placed along the path to help keep me going: those who doubt that I am going to succeed and those who won’t let me give up; those who scoff at my efforts and those who help me up when things don’t go so right…after all, He did say let the wheat and the tare grow together.

Monday, August 30, 2010

New Beginnings

I remember when I learned how to ride my bike. I was excited, and I wanted to ride, but I DID NOT want to fall! I was so afraid of falling that I was always looking for someone’s hand to be on the back of my seat and making sure that they hadn’t let go. Quite naturally, I fell a few times, because there were a few concepts that my fear of falling had caused me to not grasp…like balance, control, and pace.

I mean clearly I didn’t think that I would ever get anywhere with someone holding onto the back of my bike, or that I could expect to always have someone there to hold me up. But that didn’t matter…I WAS AFRAID TO FALL. And so much so, that at times I CHOSE to fall simply because it felt like I was beginning to fall; and of course in my mind if I fell on my own it wouldn’t hurt as much. (Starting to sound familiar? *Wink*) There were even times when I would fall while someone was holding on, which often resulted in them being wounded as well, because I was trying to go too fast. I had not yet determined that in those times when I felt myself falling I should shift my weight to gain my BALANCE. It had also not occurred to me that it wasn’t the person holding onto the bike that controlled whether or not I fell, but in fact it was ME who was in CONTROL because I was holding onto the handle bars. Much to my surprise once I learned how to ride my bike, I also learned that when no one was holding onto the back…my PACE was up to me.

The challenge of a new beginning can be much like the experience of learning to ride a bike…it’s a FAITH WALK and we are all afraid to FAIL. Conquering the fear of failure is perhaps the greatest challenge to overcome. It is the one thing that paralyzes most people from moving forward with anything that they seek to accomplish. The fact of the matter is that failure is inevitable. The few times that we fall while learning to ride our bikes is “in essence” failure, but it’s the determination to learn that gets us back on the seat again.

My journey continues as I pursue new opportunities. It has not been easy and at times I have wanted to just give up. There is so much uncertainty that comes when you decide to get out of the boat of mediocrity and trust God to form the waters of purpose under your feet. Don't think that this is easy just because I don't complain or seem worried...I choose to walk in peace on this journey because I can not afford to let my emotions take over. I have embraced the truth that no matter what happens along this journey, God steadies me with His guiding hand on the back of my seat when I begin to lose balance; He has empowered me with the resources I need to maintain control; and my pace….well, He’s redeeming the time and I’m moving full speed ahead.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 15

This journey has been one amazing time. It has come with challenges, blessings, wonders, miracles...AND POWER! The infusion of hope that I have gained, just by challenging my spirit to believe in MY GOD GIVEN ability to achieve greatness, has been empowering. I continue to learn that the role that I play in the movie of my life IS THE LEADING ROLE; directed by THE ONLY Director who has received more honors than Steven Spielberg...GOD.

In 15 days the promises of God have been evident and the favor that follows...simply mind blowing. He won't lie, and when it's your time it's your time. (Numbers 23:19-20) Sometimes things seem like they get held up or fall into a coma with no signs of a turn around. It's in these times that the greatest work is being done, and usually a "Macedonia call" is being heralded. (2 Peter 3:9) It is also in these times where the blessings that we least expect, the miracles and wonders...literally the sound of heaven...will manifest. For it is when we have reached the "point of no return" that God can then perform (2 Cor 12:9).

I invite you to read the references that I have outlined, and be encouraged. I hope that you too are infused with a hope that will invoke you to pursue your purpose. I also invite you to join me in the declaration and confessions of faith as it is this that manifests the determination it will take to stay the course. AND "Faith comes by hearing"...speak it so you can hear it so you can see it come to pass.

“The earth shall know my POWER and it must cooperate with who GOD has called me to be.”

Stay tuned for the next edition of Destiny Digest until then....

Be Bold. Be Confident. Be Free.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Be Bold. Be Confident. Be Free.

June 19, 2010

30 years ago today God’s plan for my life began here on earth. It was His perfect time, I wasn’t too early, I wasn’t too late…time and purpose passed each other in the halls of the spirit and He said it is time. Today I reflect on the things that I remember of the last 30 years of my life and I am TRULY GRATEFUL. I am blessed. I am highly favored. I am alive. It has been an interesting journey up to this point, but I know that God has a plan for it all. I have learned so many things from so many of the people that I have encountered…good, bad, and indifferent…my life has been forever changed.

The last decade of my life has not been the easiest for me. I have had more than enough challenges with my health. I have seen the insides of doctor’s offices, clinics, hospitals, and testing labs enough to probably have my picture on the wall somewhere. Through it all, I can honestly say that I KNOW that my GOD lives and He is a healer! I don’t know why He chose this path for me, and for a while I was devastated by the things that I have experienced. Don’t get me wrong, I am still human and when things happen to me I am still emotionally affected by them; however I no longer allow things to control my life.

The last week has been one of the most amazing times in my life. I have been amongst what some would call the Kings and Queens of our time. I felt the love of God each time I was embraced by the likes of Idris Elba, Taraji P. Henson, Tichina Arnold, Erica Wright, and Lynne Whitfield who reverberated His voice with the words…”You are so beautiful”. It was an honor to be in their presence, but I was in no way confused that I was really walking out the word of God and His promises to me. The Bible says that your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men.

As I mark this, my thirtieth year of life I am truly humbled and grateful to God for the amazing plan that He is unfolding in me. I am grateful that I have embraced myself and learned how to accept me for who I am. I am grateful that I have found my strength and learned the priceless value of my inner beauty. I am grateful that I have a will to live and to no longer be limited by the fallacies of life. I am grateful that I am a mountain climber, not afraid to pick it up and move it if I need to, and when I can’t I use the dynamite I possess through prayer to simply blow it up. I am grateful that I choose to live and pursue destiny and will not settle for less than what God has said I can have.


This is only the beginning. The birthing process is over. On this day, June 19, 2010 the weightless and immeasurable twins Destiny and Purpose were born, along with them came an unexpected, yet powerful birth of TIME.

Life is calling…it’s my season; it’s my time… to LIVE!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Journey Begins

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

- William Ernest Henley

Welcome to THE JOURNEY. Here you will find accounts of my own life as I travel the world with the sole purpose of LIVING. Living...we all do that, right? NO! The truth is that most of us simply EXIST...with the right combination of trial, defeat, and misfortune we absolutely forget that we have value, purpose, and THE RIGHT to an abundant life. Abundant living, not just in wealth and fortune, but more importantly in JOY and PEACE.

The past 10 years of my life I was among the ones who merely existed. In fact there were days when I would wake up and sincerely ask God "Did you really have to do this today? Wasn't yesterday bad enough?" I was over life and it's "series of unfortunate events" that always seemed to find their way to me.

After being diagnosed with Alopecia Areata, a disease that has caused total and permanent loss of ALL of my hair, I had no idea what was to come next.

Now while my issue is cosmetic in nature, and to some MINOR, it was enough for me to lose my confidence and send me into a 6 month seclusion from the outside world. Since birth I had been known for my long, natural hair, and striking beauty. I had built my image around being compared with the likeness of TLC's Chili and enjoyed nicknames like "Little Indian" & "Pocahontas" affectionately used by my peers. I was very sociable, "never met a stranger", very involved in organizations, and my future...I was to take over the world, one Smile at a time.

So now what was I to do?

I had no I did NOTHING. I CEASED TO LIVE...and became very intentional in my attempt to exist in the background of my own life. I submitted to living well below my potential because I did not know how to embrace this devastating change that had "just happened" to me. And of course if I couldn't accept it, how could anyone else?

As you have read this up to this point you are probably thinking "I don't get it, it's hair." or even something to the effect of "Is it really that serious? Put on a wig...everybody's doing it anyway." And today, you would be right. AND when it is your CHOICE to do so, that's all well and good. But to a 21 year old, conservative young woman, who did not have a can be a little difficult.

The point that I bring to you is...for years I "benched" myself because I did not know how to "win" with the hand that I had been dealt. We ALL at some point have something that comes along and blindsides us...but we can recover if we don't give it power over us. Living beyond your fears is possible, when you determine that you are only defined by your WILL and PURPOSE TO LIVE.

As I retire my seat on the bench of my life, I invite you to get back in the game with me. No matter what YOUR "Alopecia" is...YOU are still the Quarterback of your life and with the divine guidance of God as your coach...this game is dependent on YOU.

Be Bold. Be Confident. Be Free.