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Back to the Basics

Before I begin, I would like to thank everyone that took the time to read my last post. I am still new to this blog thing, so any encouragement and feedback from any reader is appreciated! :)

Today was one of those tough days. Work has been and is becoming more and more stressful lately. I am thankful that I have steady employment and that I work for a good company. The stress of my workload is what really gets to me at times. Especially now that I've watched a documentary on stress on the Discovery Channel. It really opened my eyes as to how it can affect your life. Did you know that your body will shut down your non-essential systems when you live a high stressed lifestyle ? Bottom line: Stress is not healthy, and should be managed at all costs. I highly encourage everyone to watch it. If you have Netflix, it is available to watch on demand. 
Because I've had a stressful day, I fought the urge to want and to grab some chocolate or ice cream( my favorite) and go to town. I decided to just relax and have some "me" time.  As I sat and relaxed the word "simplicity" came to me. So, wrote a poem about it.( Which was quite refreshing for me because I haven't had the inspiration to write a poem in a while) Just as I finished my poem, I had another thought--- Back to the Basics

Remember when " Reading, Writing and Arithmetic " were the basic subjects in school?

Reading
  • There was a time that I spent a good portion of my time reading.  I used to finish 700+ page books in a few days (Good 'ol V.C. Andrew novels).
  • I still have an insatiable urge to read and obtain knowledge. I am currently reading "Write it Down, Make it Happen" by Henriette Anne Klauser and "Eat the Cookie buy the Shoe" by Joyce Meyers
  • Bible. Do I really have to say more? The instruction book on life and the answer to so many questions.
So, what does that mean? I can and should  spend more time reading and learning more about how to face challenges and mange stress.

Writing
  • There are times I gain insight on problems when I write them down. 
  • Writing a 'to-do' list also helps me not feel so overwhelmed with all of the things that I have going in life.
  • Writing has always been my number one way to express myself for as long as I can remember.
Simply, I should make writing a priority for me again. I should also make writing an achievable "to-do" list each day.

Finally,

Arithmetic
  • Too many items on my plate = Stress ;therefore, I should subtract some of the items to reduce the stress. :)
  • Smile more , frown less = happier days for me and those around me
Its simple, if something becomes too big or too heavy, subtract.

So going back to the basics for me, is spending more time doing things that I love. Not getting too caught up with things that won't matter in 5 months or 5 years from now and focusing more on the things that will matter in 5 months or 5 years.

Krys

P.S. If you like what you read, please follow me.

Disobedience

During this time of year, I love to sleep with my windows open at night. The air is crisp, clean, fresh and the sound of the leaves rustling on the ground relaxes me as the cool breeze chills my body. LOVELY
I was awakened at 8:28 this morning, and I immediately  began to make a checklist as to how many things I 'had' to do today. Some of which are things that I didn't get around to yesterday. So as I began to stretch my aching and tense body, He told me that I should go and take a jog or walk. My initial thought was to say " I'll do it later" and " I have to finish cleaning this house... blah blah blah... " , but there His voice was again " Get dressed and go for a walk" , Finally I obliged and got dressed kissed my husband and went about my way.
So, today is the first day in a LONG time that I've had a morning walk with God and focused only on Him.
One of my first thoughts that crossed my mind as I walked with Him was a question that I've asked myself , "Krystal, why are you disobedient? Why do I question so many things that God has asked me to do?".. If you follow me on Facebook.. you'll see my post this morning questioned how far we'd go if we just obeyed instead of questioned.
The first thing that came to mind when I asked myself this question was, I don't always do this purposely
Ok.. how are you not purposely disobedient? When your earthly mother or father instructs you to do something, their instructions are loud and clear, and you definitely know it was them that instructed you to do something. You can touch them and you have them right there in front of you to hold you accountable. They are there to discipline you when you are disobedient and  you can see the disappointment or anger on their face when you don't listen. So, what's different when it comes from God?
Many of us don't recognize His voice. (I include myself with the 'us' that don't understand-- this is something that I am still working on at this very moment). Why is that? As I began to ponder this , the following came to mind,
God lives in our hearts..  How often is it that your heart tells you to do something, more specifically something positive. The voice from your heart is sounds clear and pure. An example of this is God telling me that I should write and get back in shape. (Which you'll see I'll have a post about getting back into shape later today). I found every reason not to work out and eat healthy. I even convinced myself that there was nothing wrong with over indulging in foods that I "deprived" myself from for "soooo"  long. I even felt that it couldn't be God telling me to get back into shape. I said that I didn't have time, although I made time to watch my favorite television shows or walk around the craft store.
I've been told CLEARLY several times that I am here to write, inspire and teach. I even had a dream that told me to BLOG , but I found every excuse not to make the first step until now. I had the dream in 2006. Yes, I know I am bad. I am sure that I am not the only one, and hopefully there is someone out there that can take something from this. Even when I began to BLOG, I found every excuse to stop " No one is ever going to read this..." " You are wasting you time.. " " Your writing has lost its edge" .. " Your writing isn't as good as everyone else's". ---(oh... there's a statement that deserves its own post :) ) So clearly I've been pretty disobedient.
Back to my original answer of not knowing how to recognize His voice. God, never leads us in the wrong direction. He ALWAYS knows whats best for US better than we know for ourselves. We don't control ANYTHING! NOTHING! I think that once we get that through our thick skulls ( Including myself once again), I think life may become an easier ride. Think about when you used to ride the merry go round in elementary school. You had no control as to how fast or slow it went or even when it started or stopped. You could beg, plead or even try to stop it yourself, but ultimately you were at the mercy of who ever was spinning it. Right? The only thing you had control over is how you embraced or handled the ride that the person took you on. You had limited control as to whether you got sick or dizzy. Its the same concept as to which God controls our lives.
How often do we disobey our hearts, where God lives, and end up with heart ache? How often do we cry to God and wonder why He allows us to go through the pain? And despite the fact as to whether or not we obey Him, He's always there for us. Think about it, remember the time when you drank too much or ate too much, and as you cried out to God because your body was suffering the consequences of your decisions. (hmm... maybe another post as well :) )
Do you remember a time when you were younger and you knew exactly without a shadow of doubt what you wanted to do in life. Most of our hearts were pure and didn't have to question our desires. Me for example, I remember being excited about teaching others and there was a time that in church I had to explain what a bible verse meant to me, I was happy to explain (although I was shy), but I was always happy to play church and be the preacher or the teacher.. -- **DING DING DING** . One of my favorite hymns that I used to love to sing was a song that went " If I can help somebody... then my living will not be in vain".. **Ding ding**  A few years ago I felt on top of the world when I went to mentor young women in rehab.... I can't describe the feeling I felt when I was hugged and thanked as they left ---**DING DING DING DING**
So, why is it so UNBELIVABLE to me that I am here to teach and inspire others?  And the above examples are only a few examples of what I call "DUH moments"
One more thing, FEAR. FEAR is something that I speak about ofen and I even have a blog post dedicated to Comfort and Fear alone. But as I was walking this morning, I got an overwhelming sensation to close my eyes as I walked around a curve of the sidewalk in the park. There was no one around me and I was in no danger. Trust me I checked all around me and no one for miles. Despite the fact that I know that there are those that are sucking your teeth and rolling your eyes, I will continue to tell you what happened. There was a section of sidewalk , in the park, that I was told to close my eyes and trust that I'd stay on the path. I did it. Although, fear had me opening my eyes to check, but I stayed on the path and made it the 10 paces that I was asked to do blindly. Imagine what would happen if I blindly trusted God with all things in my life.

Looking forward to sharing more experiences of my walks with God , and I hope that I've encouraged you to go on a few of your own.

Be Blessed & Make it Great Day!

Krys :)

Life in a Flash

This week has truly been a week of reflection for me. On the way home today, I noticed a bed a flowers that I've never seen. Why, have I not ever noticed them? They are so apparent.  Normally, I am in a rush to come and go , and I am sure I've missed more than a bed of flowers in my path. If I am not too busy reading emails or updating my Facebook status, I am in daze thinking about the million and one "to-do" items I have on my agenda for the day. Why do I take myself through this? Why must I pile my plate so high, that taking another bite sickens me and the thought of another bite makes me anxious? Yet, due to my glutonous ways, I continue to pile. I am the textbook case of a workaholic. Seriously, I should be standing in a room of people and saying

"Hi, I am Krystal I am workaholic, and have been since the age of 16."

Yes, my problem started that early. In fact I am almost inclined to believe that it may have started before the age of 16. Let's see at the age of sixteen ( a junior in high school), I belonged to the Beta Club, took a full load of honors and AP classes, in marching band, a yearbook editor, a part of CCGM (worked as a teachers aide 1/2 a day at an elementary school, and finally worked full time as a master trainer for the restaurant. Which, at times kept me working until after midnight. (Much to the disapproval to my mother). Who gets in trouble for working too much and doing too much at school? By my senior year ( 17 year old)  in high school, I was a manager at that same restaurant and added color guard to my list of activities. Sounds crazy huh? But, what will really amaze you is to me that sound normal, in fact I am sitting here doubting as to whether or not that my load was really a significant load to carry. I know, I am that  bad! In fact, I may be leaving other things out.

I wasn't working because I had to help my mother pay the bills or anything. I just loved the idea of independence. I didn't have credit cards or anything to pay. The most that I had to pay for was gas (which it was about the time gas ranged from ninety seven cents to 1 dollar) or cd's. That's it. So I really don't know why I worked so hard. In fact I tried to get a job at fifteen and was upset that I couldn't find work. But the key point is that I didn't have to work that hard.

So, fast forward to my life now, I now carry the responsibility of being a wife, a step mother, I serve on 6 committees and 2 of which I am the chair in charge, the president of a developing non profit organization, owner/ceo/president of 2 other companies I've started, full time student ( that strives to make nothing less than A's ), ohhh..and I work full time as  an orthopedic analyst.  Which alone could require 40 plus hours of my time. Still yet to me , it doesn't sound like too much. In fact I want to add full time writer and blogger to that list. Which the only thing holding me back is the time and the clear mind to do so.

Speaking of writing, I love to write. Its one of my many passions, but here lately I feel that I haven't been as genuine in my writings. Which may be a result of my jam packed schedule and the lack of clarity of my mind when I chose to write at 10 pm or later.  I mean I used to spend hours writing poems which, I feel were written in my 'prime'. Although, I haven't changed, I feel my writing has. And it almost feels as though I am trying to hold onto my prowess for writing as though I am trying to hold on to a fist full of sand. ( Almost impossible to do).

I use this blog as a type of therapy at times, and more often than not I leave or fall asleep most often ( because I write so lately at night ) feeling enlightened. Its almost feels as though I am rediscovering me by writing about me. Ironic, yes this I know.

Like today for instance, or this week for this matter, I've been having the thought lingering that perhaps I should give myself a break and cut out one of the major activities that consumes a majority of my time. Work and school, and the latter is not an option to cut. I love learning and education is an insatiable thirst that I don't will ever be quenched. Nor do I want  my thirst to be  ever satified. I love it way too much and when I learn something new, its as if it 'tickles me pink from head to toe'. I get so excited that I can't wait to either teach or apply it. So that leaves work on the chopping block, which financially I can not fathom doing. I get a great deal of satisfaction out of what I do at times. I love presentations and helping people when I can. Plus I get paid well, and I can't thank God enough for the blessing that He's bestowed upon me. So where do I go? Do I have FAITH and do what the voice is telling me ? Or do I continue to miss the little things that I am in too much of a rush to see? Do I allow my life to continue to by in a flash?!

Hmm.. What do you think?


Wake up and smell the roses...

I am reading Henriette Anne Klauser's Write It Down, Make It Happen. Excellent book on the importance of writing down your goals and the importance of goal setting.  I am also a big fan of Showtime's new show The Big C. A show about a forty year old woman recently diagnosed with cancer, and rather than sulk in pity, she starts to live life. Both the show and the book have inspired me to challenge things in my own life.
As I was shopping in the grocery store, yesterday, I stopped and glanced at the floral section and  a vase of  calla lilies, my favorite, caught my eye. I started to admire the different varieties of flowers and literally stopped to smell the roses. I WANTED THEM!!   A saying that my late grandmother used to say immediately popped in my head.. "... buy me roses while I can still smell them." and just like that,  I had to the urge to buy the dozen rainbow roses I saw. But, then doubt started to overcome me.  I came up with every excuse as to why I SHOULD NOT BUY THEM... " no one buys roses for themselves..." , " it's no special occasion".. " they're just going to die anyway... " .. etc etc etc..
But, just as quickly as the thoughts came, God spoke to me and reminded me that everyday that I have breath and  living is a day to celebrate. I am someone special and I can show myself appreciation.  Rather than waiting on someone to have the urge to surprise me or show their appreciation for me.. I can award myself. What's wrong with that?! If you won't pamper or love yourself , who else on this earth will? You deserve it! So many people rely and wait on others to make you happy when you have the power over your own happiness.

Plus the roses were on sale, which I assume that if they weren't purchased that they would be thrown out. Why not enjoy the beauty that God made.. they were only $3.99!?

I absolutely love the feeling that I have waking up and falling asleep to the smell of fresh flowers. Its something that I will continue to do for myself. I will still have just as much appreciation for my husband when he  decides to surprise me with flowers or other gifts or any other person for that matter. But,  I will no longer hesitate to treat myself.



My Lovely Rainbow Roses... My camera didn't do them justice..

Comfort & Fear

Here's an old blog post ... ( I often refer to my concept of comfort and fear)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Comfort & Fear

Current mood: contemplative

Category: Life

What is the first that crossed your mind when you read the title of my blog? Maybe wondering what I am afraid of or what I am comfortable with. I've just been up thinking and analyzing life and decisions that I've made in the past.



So many times people , like myself, seek to accomplish great things... things like that job that pays you well or that brand new car.. or even a successful relationship with that right person,right?



But as I am sitting here thinking... what are the main things that keep us from going for things that we think that we want. I say "think" because a lot of times when obtain things that we "think" we want..we do know how to handle them. More or less because we aren't as ready as we think. But that's another blog for another day.



Once we receive the thing that we "think" we want..fear steps in. What do I mean? How many times have you met that perfect mate for you, but yet somehow they seemed too perfect? I mean he does everything and much more than what you could ever ask for. Now speaking from a female point of view.. how many times have we have a good man after us, but yet b/c we are afraid that he's too good.. we chase the emotionally unavailable man. We chase the man that only return your calls on occasion and throw our hands up at the man thats "too" nice. But let me get back to fear. You've got the good guy then fear rears its ugly head.. and all of a sudden you are looking for all the imperfections in him or that person. Right? I know that I have been a culprit of this myself.



Doesn't make sense does it?! No, it doesn't. I don't know how many times that I wished and prayed for a man that would hold me without me asking or someone that would just do thoughtful things for me. When this person presented himself to me.. what was the first reaction. Fear of getting hurt again...Hmmm.. but that's what I wanted,right?



Fear.. fear will keep you by yourself wondering why? Why can't I get the job of my dreams or own my own business..



At some point one has to recognize all the voices of fear and learn to conquer them. Stomp the voice in the back of your mind that's telling you that you could never do this or that. Or the voice telling you that you can't trust people or that all men/women are the same.



Now.. where does comfort come in to play with all of this? Fear will keep you from doing something, but comfort will keep you in a situation in which you know that you could be doing better. Comfort doesn't just have to physical it can be mental as well. You may get comfortable with being average and setting the ceiling for yourself. Which makes you comfortable. It keeps you in the same old job.. hanging out with the same old friends.. doing the same old things.. even in the same old relationship.Which in end gets you the same results and leaves you in the same place.



Yeah you may know in the back of your mind that you can do better, but you're comfortable right?! You may feel that you have to stick to what you are comfortable with, b/c that's what you deserve right. Then that's when fear pops up. Then comes the what if's..



We all know how that goes.



So what's my point of all this? Well.. I've gone through tremendous changes this year and still going through some. It took a couple of people to put the mirror to my face to help me some things about myself and a lot of self evaluation/soul searching to get to this point.

Do I still have more work to do? Yes.

If I have learned anything this year is to know and recognize fear and my own comfort level and not let it get in my way anymore.

Never thought I would..

I actually watched Julie&Julia tonight. I must say that it was very inspirational for me. The message in the movie provided empathy and confirmation of things that I am feeling at this moment. When I ran across the title on my Netflix instant queue, my first mind was to watch it, however, I figured that it wouldn't be my "type" of movie. I am not normally a "chick" flick type of girl, in fact I used to pride myself on not being the "girly - girl " type and that I was the cool chick according to all of my guy friends. It felt as though someone smacked me over the head with a shovel because it was EXACTLY what I needed to see / hear.  I mean within the first 15 minutes of the movie, I identified immediately. In fear of being to cliche or too vague, I'll explain briefly. Julie was a almost 30 year old in the beginnig movie and  was wading her way through life with a job that didn't fulfill her "purpose". Her super supportive and loving husband gave her the idea to blog about her completing all the recipes in a cookbook. Cooking for her was her escape from all the things that was going wrong in life.  But I am not here to write a review about the movie, which was great by the way. However, the Julie was the type of person that started a book or novel and didn't finish because she was rejected by a publisher or something of that nature.But, one of her statements really struck a nerve with me . I ,just like Julie am at a point to where I want to stop procrastinating  and never finishing things that I start. Like her, I feel like I have ADD at times.  I just  had a conversation TODAY  with a good friend and mentioned the same thing. I am at tough spot in my life to where deep down I have a burning desire reach my MAXIMUM potential with life. Life is too precious to just make it just to work and pay bills. God didn't put each and everyone of us here for that. I started a book about 8 years ago ( I just shocked myself when I actually thought about how old I was when it started) and I have nothing but lame excuses as to why I haven't finished the book. Maybe its just sheer comfort and fear ( Another blog for another day). Years ago I had a dream and the letters L O G B  appeared to me as clear as day. I spent several hours googling "LOGB" .. thinking that it stood for something. Not until recently did I figure out that LOGB could actually mean BLOG and that it was a message from Him for me to start one. I know that with out a shadow of a doubt that my main purpose for being here is to write. I mean I just told  my dear friend today that I was afraid that I would fail at becoming a "Recognized Writer",and that it would  be so much easier to get a for sure job like teaching or being a corporate trainer. (Both careers that I think that I would enjoy). However,  I know  that I have to step out and just try it. I've already started, I am afraid that I'll never have readers  or subscribers to my blog, but I continue to blog anyway.  I have a feeling that I am going to find a way to shake things up a bit with my life. A change is definetly coming my way. Part II coming tomorrow.. Much love Krys

How to...

In the midst of a conversation with a group of my co-workers, someone made the comment, " I didn't see that... I am going to look it up on the Internet.." I then jokingly said, " What did we do before we had the Internet to google everything?".
Pretty much these days you can learn anything about almost anything as long as you have someone that has deemed themselves as knowledgeable about the subject. I must say that YouTube has been my main source of information in regards to learning about natural hair. :)  I don't feel that there is anything wrong with wanting to share ideas, thoughts and education with others. However, I found myself just today , in fact I told myself that I wasn't going to blog just to research this, googling " How make a living as a writer.. " and different variations of that subject. I found myself getting caught up in all the links and how many links led to advertisements of some sort. I even found myself becoming a little frustrated with all the "crap" that people put out there. But, then again look at the source, anyone can make a website and can post anything that they want on it, its up to you as an individual to make the decision on whether the source is credible. I stopped googling the subject at height of my frustration and thought about what I was actually doing.  Why am I relying on someone to tell me the quickest , easiest and the most efficient way to get from point A to point B? Heaven forbid if I actually fail or fall while trying to make it. :) I know that advice is sometimes priceless and hearing stories from others that have been or where you are is also very helpful as well. Like I said YouTube has been instrumental with my ups and downs of growing my natural hair. Its very beneficial to see haul videos and product review videos to get a feel for what the product is like based on other's opinions. But, in the end it is always my decision on what I chose to be best for me. I came to the realization that  I've become lazy and too reliant on other's experiences rather than taking the risk and  experiencing things on my own. I've never been the type to be afraid of hard work and trial and error. At 16 I never googled " How to become a Chuck E Cheese Master Trainer by 17".. when I wanted sought after a promotion. Hmmm..
 Obviously the Internet can be very valuable in some situations and sometimes you need that direct path from point A to point B, my point is that it becomes a problem is when we use the "how to" on the Internet as a crutch. Sometimes it just takes a lot of faith from God and confidence in yourself.