Thursday, May 29, 2014

Instincts: The Power to Unleash Your Inborn Drive by T.D. Jakes


So, you know that I am not a person who watches TV often; however, one night I was flipping through the channels, and I came across T.D Jakes on OWN talking about his new book Instincts with Oprah. Looking at the show that night was like witnessing what happens at many African American churches when people are given a sho' nuff good sermon. People were waving their hands, crying, and shouting.

I was totally captivated by listening to T.D. Jakes speak, and I knew that I must read his book titled Instincts. 

T. D. Jakes opens this book by stating that "Our instincts are the treasure map for our soul's satisfaction. Following our instincts can make the crucial distinction between what we are good at and what we are good for- the fulfillment of our purposeful potential." T.D. Jakes proposes that we all have a natural instinct that tries to guide us if only we would listen.

Reading this book, I was excited the entire time, because every word of this book spoke to my heart. It made me think about times when I have been lead by instincts and lead by my emotions. For instance, I have learned, through a very long process, to quiet my mind and see what comes to me, and when I do that, I tend to make decisions that are good for me. However, every now and then, my old self will revisit, and I will make decisions based on my emotions, and I will spend quite a bit of time cleaning up the mess that I made when I was being led by my emotions. I've learned, and is still learning, to sit still and listen to my instincts, otherwise known as the voice of God.

Many times my instincts will tell me something that goes against the status quo, and sometimes I have been fearful to state my thoughts or to act, but this book confirms that sometimes our instincts will lead us to uncharted territories, and we must follow if we are to maximize the gifts that God has given to us.

T.D. Jakes poses four ideas:
  1. What are you going to do with what you have been given?
  2. We will be evaluated on how we increase what we are given; our natural talents.
  3. We must move beyond fear and into exposing our talents, and 
  4. We must not wait for someone to command us to perform our best and increase our abilities; that must be done intuitively. 
T.D. Jakes goes on to say that this is not either-or!  "You can start a business and keep your career. You can explore your passion for music and start a family. You can remain on the corporate ladder and pursue completing your college degree......"

T.D. Jakes is on to something with this book....

READ. THIS. BOOK.

I was left with the idea to Never Be Afraid to be Myself......

My next read is Things I Should Have Told My Daughter by Pearl Cleage......Join Me!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

REPOST: In Honor of Maya Angelou


REPOST from February 12, 2013!
Originial Blog here!

A few weeks ago, I was honored with the opportunity to hear Maya Angelou have a conversation with Johnnetta Cole. Maya talked about courage, and courage has been on my mind every since.

I have thought a lot about the Lion from The Wizard of Oz. The lion was going to the Wizard to ask for courage. The lion "attacks so quickly that the victim does not get any time to protect itself. It attacks the big animals like wild buffaloes and giraffe from behind and then tears them apart with the help of its paws and teeth. Due to this quickness and power, it is known as The King of the jungle."  (http://www.thegeminigeek.com/)

So, why would a Lion, who is known as the King of the Jungle, need to ask for courage?

Did the Lion not know that he is The King of The Jungle? If he did not know, why did he not know?

A lion may not be born with courage, just like many of us, but once he kills a small animal, and then a medium animal, his courage should start to grow.

Whenever we take that first step, the courage may not be there, but as we take more and more steps, our courage should start to grow.

For instance, I have been teaching for about fifteen years and every time that I get up to teach a class, I always feel a bit of nervousness and have some doubt, but as the years progress, my courage continues to grow and grow and grow.......

Maya Angelou stated that people like her, some of our American icons, had to develop their courage; It was not always present...

It takes the first step and courage for a person to leave a relationship that is not working, for a young man or woman to leave their home to become a soldier, for a person to change their entire diet, to publicly confess love for a person when you do not know how that person feels about you, to not react, to run one mile, two miles, a half or full marathon, to give up coke, to give up fast food, to have a courageous conversation, to finish a degree, to bury somebody whom you love with your whole heart etc.

We already have the courage; we just need to develop it by taking the first step.

It took one step and courage for Nelson Mandela to get out of prison and forgive the people who imprisoned him. It took one step and courage for Dr. King to leave his house when he knew that death was lurking everywhere. It took one step and courage for Southern me, who had never been in an inner city school before, to teach in inner city Detroit. It took one step and courage for my Dad to sue Alabama Power Company for Discrimination when he could have been fired, and he had ten mouths to feed. It took one step and courage for my mother, in her 70s, to decide that she would start a new life in a new town. It took one step and courage for many of you to decide that you would give up something this month when a whole lot may be working against you.

However, I have not heard one person, who made that first step, say that he/she regretted taking that first step......

I am thinking about the people of The Montgomery Boycott who had to be concerned with how they would get to work if they did not ride the bus. I know there were some Black people who rode that bus because of the fear of how they would get to work, to the grocery store, across town to shop. BUT, there were others who took that first step and a neighbor dropped by to walk to work with them, and the next day someone borrowed a car to pick them up, and the next day there was a private taxi service that came to pick them up, and their courage grew and grew.

To try and stop the boycott, Whites turned to violence, but by this time, the people's courage was so high until they "would not let nothing turn them around."

After a year of courageously not riding the buses, the buses were finally integrated. However, the trouble did not stop: buses were shot at, and homes were bombed. However, the scare tactics no longer had an effect, because the people's courage had grown.

This is no different than the small things, compared to segregating a bus system, that we are trying to give up. The first day may be difficult, but each day our courage will get stronger. If there are people in your home who are trying, consciously or unconsciously, to stop you; eventually, they will be no match for your courage, and they may even join you. My Dad use to say "If people can't beat you; they will join you."

Just like the Lion, we do not need to ask for courage, we already have it......



Maya left a huge legacy behind, and we can do the same!

Let's Get Busy, My People.....

Happy, Hump Day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

How Bad Do You Want It?


How bad do you want joy, peace, happiness, a new career, to know your purpose, a relationship, good health....

Well, you may have to work, get out of our comfortable zone, be uncomfortable etc.

Champions are MADE!!!

Happy Thursday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb


Oh, the places you can go when you read!

So, I just got back from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, and I was there from 2009 to 2012.

While in Pakistan, I experienced what happened when the Taliban started to terrorize the people.

Most of the Taliban toughest sanctions were against women. One of the sanctions that really disturbed a little girl named Malala was the band on girls going to school.

Many women in Pakistan are uneducated; however, Malala's father wanted her and other children to get an education. So, he opened a school.

However, the Taliban started to blow up schools, but Malala and her father persevered.....

For Malala to be educated meant that she had to risk her life, but she persevered......

She published her journals and also allowed herself to be filmed in order to show how difficult it was for her to attend school.

Eventually, she was shot in the head, by the Taliban, while riding a bus home for school, and this still did not silence her....

My people, this is a story of courage in the face of adversity, and I highly recommend that you read.

Sometimes, we must STAND UP and be heard!!!

Oh, the places we can go when we read......



My next read is Instincts by T.D. Jakes; join me!

Tuesday Nights.......


My social life and cycling have become completely intermingled, and I am loving it. There is nothing like spending time with people who share a common interest. Also, cyclist are some of the nicest people in the whole wide word, for real..

Well, a bike shop in the area has started it's every Tuesday, hilly ride. I've been doing this hilly ride for two years; however, this year is different...

I've met quite a few people through racing, and we have connected through social media. I was invited to meet quite a few cyclist at a person's house near the bike shop, and we climb those hills. Afterwards, we sit around and talk, drink beer, and eat snacks. Those hills ain't so bad when the treat at the end is our social time. (I must make the disclaimer that I do not eat the snacks nor drink the beer just in case Berhane, the Greatest Trainer in the World is reading this blog.)

Here is a glimpse of our post-ride partying so to speak:






I love Tuesdays...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Malcolm X....

The Gifted and Talented Malcolm X

Thanks to social media, I know that yesterday, May 19th, was the birthday of Malcolm X...

And, I thought about Malcolm a whole lot yesterday...

I thought about his autobiography that I have read several times, and I feel a urgent need to read it again..

When I read his autobiography, as told to Alex Haley, my respect and admiration for this man grew like wild flowers: A Self Taught Man!

A man who believed in a cause so much, until he was willing to risk his life for it, and also a man who was humble enough to see some of the errors of his ways and be willing to BOLDLY and PUBLICLY change...

If you haven't read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, I am highly recommending that you put it on your summer reading list.....

I downloaded it this morning, and I will be reading it soon...

Happy Tuesday, My People....

Friday, May 16, 2014

SHOW UP!



My People, I have not been blogging a lot, but I sure have been thinking a lot....

For instance, today is Bike to Work Day, and when I woke up, it was raining cats and dogs. No, I was not planning to cycle to work today, but I was well aware that today was the day.

Megan, one of my cycling buddies, was going to be at one of the stops for Bike to Work Day in order to help the Washington Area Bike Association hand out freebies to people who were cycling to work today.

Well, I stopped by the stop where I knew Megan was going to be just to add a little support and to see if they were giving out any bike lights.  And, yep she was there, and several other people, to hand out freebies to people who were courageous enough to bike to work on a very, rainy day.


I started to think about WHO MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND?

And, I decided that is is people who make no excuses and SHOW UP.....

Megan, and all of the other volunteers, could have not shown up, because it was raining, and then there would not have been a Bike To Work Day.

I thought about group bike rides, and why do they occur? They occur because not only does someone organize, but people SHOW UP and ride. Yep, many people make no excuses, and they SHOW UP.

I drink a latte from Dunkin Donuts quite often, and I normally get there between 6:30 and 7AM. And, every time that I SHOW UP, the lights are on and people are there working; they SHOW UP! Yep, they are getting paid to be there, but I am soooo grateful that they SHOW UP and get the show started and most of the time, they are smiling.

Church services would not happen if people did not SHOW UP, school would not be school if people did not SHOW UP, we won't have our lattes in the morning if people did not SHOW UP. Most things could not take place if people did not SHOW UP!

So, next time that you and I make a commitment to something whether it is verbal or non-verbal, remember that things will not happen if we do not SHOW UP!

AND, sometimes SHOWING UP is not about US at all...................

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Race #4: The Bunny Hop


My people, race #4 has me doing a whole lot of soul searching......

I got to the race early.

I warmed up for about 30 minutes.

I used the restroom.

I rode the course a few times.

I was feeling pretty good: physically and mentally

The whistle was blown, and I took off with the pack.

However, before long, I was no longer with the pack, I was loosing ground quickly, and it was just another lady and myself, and she soon passed me as well.

Yep, I finished the race, but to be honest, just finishing the race is not enough....

I want to stay with the pack, even if I am at the back of the pack, I want to be in the pack until the race is over.

So, my mind has been busy: "I've been working with a personal trainer for three years, and I should be able to keep up with the other cyclist;" "I am overweight; I need to lose weight;" "My racing jersey makes my stomach looks big;" "Maybe, Berhane is working my legs to much and that is causing them to get bigger;" "I'm afraid to feel the pain that is involved with cycling;" "I need a cycling coach;" "Maybe racing ain't for me" and on and on and on......

Well, I know for sure that I am not giving up, but I am going to talk to Berhane, the Greatest Trainer in the World, and get his thoughts. I am going to be more mindful about everything that I put into my mouth, I am going to commit to cycling six days a week, and I am going to seriously  consider getting a cycling coach.

I want to do a whole lot more than just finishing the race.

Feeling really crazy about racing today....

PLUS...I got some PMS stuff going on!  (Oops, sorry about the mistake.)

I really need to go and read a book or something...

Until the next time......


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