The Choice to Keep Going...;

Hey Hey Hey!

Omgee! Where have 5 months of 2023 gone?!?!? This year is surely flying by!

I read this quote somewhere recently, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans". When I read that I instantly busted out laughing (I was crying too, it was a whole scene) because that literally has been the theme for my 2023 so far. I made the plans, God laughed. This month I made the plans, and it seemed that God didn't just laugh, he was like 'Nah Sis, that’s not happening!" I swear I even heard the buzzer noise on a few occasions…. UUURRRRR!!! (Yep, that’s my buzzer noise) Try Again! I said to my niece just tonight, I think we have to be water, soft enough to go with the flow but strong enough to forge our own path when we are ready.

For the most part of this year and especially within the last month, I was unable to see my next steps or a direction for myself and my business. I couldn’t focus. I felt distracted. I was ready to give up, ‘throw in the towel’, and close. Thanks to a few of my Butterfly Tribe Members who reached out with positive and encouraging messages. I decided to stick it out for 6 more weeks and gauge the position I was in at that point and make a final decision then. That’s when I started ‘planning’ and I guess God commenced laughing once more. I must have seemed like a one-woman comedy show at that point. God’s personal jester. Every plan I made was shut down in one way or another, physically ill, unpredicted rain nearly every weekend, no one showed up to the 1 Pop Up Shop I managed to set up for 3 hours before the downpour. It seemed like everything was conspiring to stop me from continuing this journey. I allowed these setbacks to knock me down, make me question what and who I was, question my talent. I started to spiral in a negative way. When I say spiral, I mean spiral!!! Like a top with the black and white swirl pattern, unable to stop or slow down. I projected the negativity I felt towards myself on anyone that came close, it became so bad that I had to take a step away from everyone. Take time to find my way back to me. As a recently 'Certified' Art Therapy Facilitator, did I use my tools that I learned and have developed to help me when I first started to spiral, of course not. All logic had escaped me. It was something I had never experienced before. I allowed the spiral to trap me. I was spiraling so badly; it showed no signs of stopping. I knew what was happening and I just couldn’t find something (or someone) to hold on to that would have grounded me. I couldn’t find that safe space. One evening I was spiraling on my boyfriend so badly, I mean it was horrible, the accusations, the negativity projections the constant nagging (sorry babe), I overwhelmed myself in such a way I felt like I just popped, I started to feel dizzy, nauseous, I felt too much, I turned my phone off and shoved it in a drawer and I must have just fallen asleep (honestly I think I may have just passed out, it was so intense). I was so weighed down by everything I was carrying, and everything I was trying to juggle. It took me about a full day and a half before I was in a place to see through the haze that was surrounding me, a place where I could think clearing and remember my tools. I journaled, I prayed, I manifested. I focused on being proud of who I was, who I am and who I am becoming. I apologized to myself for the hurts I have experienced and for hurting myself with self-doubt, self-sabotage, etc. Then I reminded myself that I GOT THIS! I wrote notes to myself and stuck them on my fridge, I wrote and wrote. Yes, it was at this time I realized that I love to write. I spent that time loving me and focusing on me. Unfortunately, business had to take a backseat. My niece said to me, ‘Everything Happens for a reason auntie; good or bad, I really believe this.” I completely agree with her, everything has its timing. We look at the negative things in our lives and we always frame them negatively and look at them as something we must deal with, heal from, be ashamed off, be embarrassed about. I am not saying this works with every situation, but I can’t do that anymore. I can’t carry those situations as burdens or past hurts, I now look at them as a rock, boulder, stone, branch along the river of life and without that bump into a new direction or that pivot I wouldn’t be where I am today. Is my life perfect, hell no! I am living the life I want, most definitely not! But I am alive. I can take a deep breath. I have a home. I have two of the strangest but most lovable dogs. I have a business that I have built from the ground up on my own and I love what I do. I have a relationship with my best friend that may seem abnormal to others, but I have someone who makes me happy. We are not perfect, but we are perfectly imperfect together. I must be grateful for everything, good or bad, hard, or easy, everything happens for a reason. Everything has a purpose. Everything has its timing. I can’t change the past. But if I could, would I have what I have today, nope, so…

One evening this week, I felt fear and self-doubt starting to work its way to the surface, I jumped in my car head out for a drive to distract myself, to avoid the spiral. It was so strange, I tried to clear my mind, but I could hear a voice saying to me, SET A GOAL, over and over, JUST SET A GOAL, Shaneeka. So, I parked and just sat in silence and thought, what is it that I want? I came up with an answer quickly and honestly, I felt the fear starting to take over with all the things that could go wrong. Next it was making plans but make fluid plans… here’s that water coming into play again. The next thing that came to me was “Make plans that can move, change and are just flexible, and be ready for the plans to go to crap. I realized that all I can do is take it one step and one moment at a time. If I do one thing every day that can assist me with my goal, then I am already a success. If the plan today is to work on my social media presence or create one design and if I only go as far as creating the background, I did 1 thing that got me 1 step further. Life is full of ups and downs, unexpected life changes, I must be able to celebrate every step I take. Sometimes the biggest step I take is getting out of bed. Some people don’t, some people choose to stay in the spiral of fear, anxiety, and self-doubt. But I celebrate that on days when I just feel to ‘blah’ or ‘ugghh’ or knowing that staying in bed is the easiest thing to do, I don’t.

Another huge lesson I have learned over the last few years is that EVERYONE is going through something that we may or may not know about; and it is none of our business to know but I TRY (I am not perfect) to be a little bit more kind. I also learned that everyone has their own version of you and your life and that doesn’t make that a reality or your truth. Everyone’s perception of everything is based on their life and experiences and their values. At the end of the day, you must do what’s best for YOU! Even doctors provide you with their medical opinion (which is based on their education and the understanding they have). Their perception is not your reality. Sometimes it’s great to seek advice but the best advice you can get is from you. Journaling is an awesome way to have that conversation with self and not feel like you need to check yourself in the looney bin (trust a few times this year I thought that’s where I’m heading). I am the first to admit that I am guilty of this, I let everyone, and I mean everyone’s (even people who don’t know me) perception of me, my life, my business, my struggles, and wins define how I felt about them or how I reacted to certain situations. NOT ANYMORE! Like I said I apologized to myself and focus now on loving and appreciating me. Just as I am.

Stay Awesome, Stay Beautiful, Stay Blessed & Stay Safe

Love You!

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