Monday, July 21, 2014

Have I Told You Lately That...

I love Berhane and working out with him?


Berhane and Me!

Berhane is not only an awesome trainer who accepts no excuses, but he is also a good person. I love working out with him by myself, because it is theraupetic. He has helped me to see things from a different perspective, he is patient, he is kind, he is non-judgemental, and he cares about my health just as much as I do; I wouldn't take nothing for Berhane

I love where I live?


View from my balcony

I absolutely love my condo, my balcony with the rocking chairs, the City of Alexandria, Washington DC etc. I love this place. The possibility of things to do is endless. Museums, plays, festivals, concerts, parties, happy hours, biking groups, running groups, nearby beaches, nearby national attractions, countless numbers of restaurants etc. Living here is like being on vacation all of the time... I LOVE WHERE I LIVE!

I love early morning cycling workouts?


My cycling friends

Yep, I do. I normally meet my teammates Patti and Tina about two days a week around 6am for some sho 'nuff hard workouts. We talk, laugh, are supportive of each other, have great conversation, and if we are lucky like today, after our rides, we go to a local coffee shop for coffee. I love those morning cycling workouts.

I love not working in the summer?


Summer Time Fun!

My people, to have the stress of work off my back for about nine weeks is really heaven on earth. My Sundays are no longer days where I am a little uptight, because I need to prepare for work on Monday. Sundays are relaxing days just like Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday......The peace that I feel right now is soooo good. I have time to think and evaluate and work on me with few pressures. I love extended time off like for real!

Not sure if I have told you these things lately......

Happy Monday, My People!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rapha Women's 100km Bike Ride DC

Girl Power!

The Rapha's Women's 100 was a movement to try and get women around the world to ride together and complete a 100km ride.

To participate in this journey, women cyclist in DC met at The Joan of Arc statue in the wonderful Malcolm X park! (How awesome was that?)


Joan of Arc Statue



Malcolm X Park!

We rode approximately sixty-eight miles through the streets of DC and Maryland.....

We had great fellowship during our rest time....


We had an even better time during our post-ride dinner at Matchbox, a great restaurant in DC....






My people, my heart and soul are happy!

What did you do today?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Intentional Thursday: Become Someone's Miracle.....

Rehoboth Beach: Where I spent the day reading, meditating, and in complete
amazement of the greatness of our God! He is amazing....

From last Thursday until today, we were suppose to spend time doing some type of meditation. This week confirmed to me how important it is to do some type of calming of the mind and/or having purposeful thoughts regularly if not everyday.

For the past week, I either practiced mindfulness and/or had purposefully thoughts everyday except Sunday. And, Sunday was the day that I needed it the most. I would either be present with my thoughts or I would declare something like "I am mighty." My people, let me tell you that this stuff works. With mindfulness it was so helpful to see how many thoughts that we can have in fifteen minutes and how important it is to quiet those thoughts. With purposefully thoughts, I felt so powerful to know that I can determine my mood by my declarations. Thoughts are soooo powerful and are just thoughts. We must be intentional about keeping them in check.

So, I am planning to continue to meditate and/or do purposeful confession everyday forever, because it works.....

I started reading a daily word by Joel Osteen called I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life. Everyday, I declare something for my life and read the brief illustration of that declaration. Today, my declaration is "Today I will live as a healer. I am sensitive to the needs of those around me. I will lift up the fallen, restore the broken, and encourage the discouraged....." (Helping others actually heals us according to Harville Hendrix in his book Getting the Love You want.)

So, this week, let's intentionally reach out to people with a heart of empathy without giving unsolicited advice. Let's be present with every person who we are in contact with this week, and try to walk in their shoes completely. Joel states in I Declare, that "our job is not to judge. Our job is not to figure out if someone deserves something, or to decide who is right or wrong. Our job is to lift the fallen, to restore the broken, and to heal the hurting."

This week, let's intentionally become someone's miracle... and heal ourselves!

God is Awesome, Ain't he.....

Happy Intentional Thursday, My People!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples (20th Anniversary Edition) by Harville Hendrix


If you are married, single, want to be married, about to get divorced, divorced... regardless of your relationship status, Read this book!

If you are single, this book may add a little clarity to why we date who we date, but at the same time it may scare you or make you feel overwhelmed with the effort that it may take to have a conscious relationship.

If you are married, you may have the same feelings as the single person, but I do believe that this book will help couples to have a more intense, conscious relationship. Once we are true to ourselves, then we can be true to others????? (Not sure about this, but it sounds good.)

If you are anywhere between married and single, you should also read this book; we can always work on becoming better people for sure....
"When you direct your energy away from yourself and toward your partner that deep-level psychological and spiritual healing begins to take place." (Deep right? However, complicated at the same time when we are taught to look out for our own needs first.) 
The basis of this entire book is agape love which is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love: the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. Agape love describes the kind of love that Jesus has for his Father and for his followers. (Oh Boy!)

1 Corinthians 13:4-8
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

I know, I know, I know that I say often Read this book, but REALLY Read this book!

My people, READ THIS BOOK....

Check out Harville's website here. 

My next read is On the Road by Jack Kerouac.






Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Race #7: Giro di Coppi


Race #7, Giro di Coppi, was held in Barnesville, Maryland on Saturday. Barnesville is about one hour from my house.

Giro di Coppi was a road race. This meant that for my category of lady racers, we were going to ride about three loops of 12.5 miles of hills.

I got to the race early with my teammate, Tina. We did a few warm-up laps, and I felt good. I've been doing a lot of training, and I am a lot stronger so, on that day, I needed to trust the training. (Yaaaaa Me!)

The whistle was blown, and I took off with the pack. Those first few hills wore me out, and I was dropped by the pack but not by much. They group took a turn, and I missed the turn. (Oh boy!) I ended up riding about four miles of hills out of the way, and I had to ride four miles of hills to get back on track and decided that I was finished. I was ok with that decision.

When I got back to the finish line, quite a few of the other ladies were on the sideline as well. I must admit that I felt relieved. I was not the only girl who did one lap and either stopped or got pulled from the race. My teammate, Tina, also made a wrong turn and gave up after the first lap. (Misery loves company sometimes.)

I hugged the other girls, we sat around and talked, and Tina and I drove home....

Even though I took a wrong turn, I felt good about the race. I burned quite a few calories and had a ball. I even laughed out loud when I realized that I had missed the turn.

My people, from this race I learned that s@#$ happens, and we move on.....

I am still training and working to get better, and I am finally enjoying this journey.



Until the next time..........






Saturday, July 12, 2014

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


I would recommend that a person read Things Fall Apart by Chinua Acheba and follow it up with this novel, Purple Hibiscus.

Things Fall Apart is a novel that is set in the late 1800s early 1900s in eastern Nigeria. The novel does a great job of explaining the Igbo tribe and their traditions. It also does a great job of explaining what happened when the British started to bring Christianity to Nigeria. Purple Hibiscus is set during a time when a lot of the people of Nigeria had converted to Christianity. This novel shows the struggle between the traditionalist and Christian beliefs in a Nigerian culture.

Chimamanda tells this wonderful story from the perspective of Kambili Achike, a young girl who lives with her brother, father, and mother. Her father, Eugene Achike, is a strict Catholic and has adopted the Christian belief totally. His beliefs causes him to be quite severe with his children and his wife, and it causes him to turn his back on his father who was a traditionalist.

Kambili and her brother, Jaja, have a loving yet fearful relationship with their father. He punishes them severely if they were not top of their class and when they did things that went against his beliefs and Christian beliefs. Eventually, the father has a tragic ending that tremendously impacts his family.

Reading this novel I thought a lot about the idea that we MUST include diverse literature in our classrooms if we want a world where people are culturally sensitive. Things Fall Apart and Purple Hibiscus gives the reader insight into Nigeria in a manner that is both informative and captivating. We need more books like this to dispel myths that we may have about other cultures and to possibly create a culturally sensitive society.

This is the third book that I have read by Chimamanda, and her books should be read in classrooms around the world. The other two books that I have read by her are Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah.

Read Chimamanda's books and learn and grow!


Happy Saturday...It's Race Day!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Intentional Thursday: Meditation

Vegas Baby!

So, it's Thursday....

Since last Thursday, we have been working on being intentional about not judging! 

How did you do?

This allowing people and things to be, without judging, was very eye-opening for me. I realized that we will look at things and people and judge them, but we can redirect our thoughts, and we do not have to verbalize everything that comes to our minds.

I"m in Vegas right now, and the line for McDonald's at the airport was super long. I normally look and think "Why do people eat at McDonald's?" However, this time, I just looked at the long lines and instantly redirected my thoughts to something else. (Peace!)

There was a man at the pool in Vegas with his shirt off and his stomach was BIG. I looked at his stomach, wondered if he was with the slim lady next to him, and directed my thoughts to something else. (Peace!)

Being conscious of my thoughts really helped with not being judgmental. I was conscious when people would make comments about other people and things, and I tried my best to not co-sign. Now, no one that I was with said anything vicious about other people, but people would say things like "Why does she have that on?" and I would try my best to redirect the conversation or not add to the comments.

Please don't think that I did not fall off the wagon a few times this week; I did. But one thing for sure, I was conscious of falling off, and I know that being conscious means a whole lot.

Oh, what we can change when we are at least conscious!

Now, let's get to Meditation.

Meditating is very personal and there are so many ways to meditate. I was introduced to a form of mediating that is called mindfulness, and it really works for me. Mindfulness was explained to me like this: you are sitting beside a running stream of water, and the the running stream is your thoughts. You want to be conscious of the running stream, but you do not want to get in the stream. In other words, when my thoughts start to run out of control, I bring them back by focusing on my breathing. It's about having thoughts but not allowing them to overtake me. I normally will sit for about 15 minutes, set my timer on my phone, close my eyes, and be present with my thoughts. Doing this can become a habit, and we can be at peace with ourselves without our thoughts running us crazy. Thoughts are just that: thoughts! Also, I spend time thinking about what I am feeling because of my thoughts, and this has given me much needed insight into myself and peace.

This week while in Vegas, I listened to Joyce Meyers, television evangelist, and she was talking about having purposeful thoughts. From my understanding, Joyce advocates that God gives us enough grace for each day. She used the example of the people that Moses was leading to The Promised Land. God would give them manna from heaven every day, but if they tried to save some for the next day, it would spoil. God gave them new manna everyday. Joyce went on to say that the manna was grace, and that God gives us grace for each day.

So, Joyce proposes sitting everyday, and I would say for about 15 minutes or less, and purposefully determining our day by confessing something like: "I will trust God." "I am happy." "I will remain calm all day." "No weapon formed against me shall prosper." Pick one confession and say it over and over. Sounds awesome right?

The purpose of doing some type of mediating for the next week, and hopefully forever, is for us to experience being one with ourselves in peace. The results from meditating can become a part of who we are, and we can live our lives in a state of peace and not being controlled by our thoughts, which are just thoughts.

There is no one that I love to spend time with more than myself. But, it's not fun to be with me when I am not calm and peaceful. I know that mediation helps to calm us and helps us to enjoy being with ourselves.

Now, I have given you two suggestions of ways to mediate, and you can also research and do whatever form of meditation that works for you. However, let's intentionally be with ourselves in harmony and peace....

I can't wait to hear how this goes!

Happy Intentional Thursday, My People.....


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