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Just Keep Moving!

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Sometimes things will happen in life to let you know you’re on the right path. This radio interview was definitely one of my clues. So, allow me to go to the beginning and tell you how all of this came about.

My friend and neighbor, Deshonda was telling me about Wes Hall, who’s an educational consultant, motivational speaker, and author. She filled me in on his workshop, then she told me about his book, “You Are the Money.” That alone piqued my interest enough to run to Amazon for a quick download. It took me about a week to read it because I was busy taking notes on every single chapter. Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The message alone was life-changing. Think about that for a moment, “You Are The Money.” Really let that sink in.

Done? Powerful huh? One of the main points I got from the book is investing in your moneymaker which is you. Tiger Woods is the product that generates his millions. Oprah Winfrey is the product that generates her billions. You get it? They invested in themselves (time, finance, sacrifice, and education (which can be formal and/or informal). Stop waiting on outside sources to generate your income. Learn all you can, grow as much as you can, so that people are willing and ready to pay top dollars for what you have to offer.

So enough about that, but you can download the book if you’re interested in reading it You Are The Money Now, back to my story. I enjoyed the book so much that I talked about it on Twitter. Wes read what I’d written, no surprise there since I tagged him LOL! Anyway, he sent me this message.

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It didn’t take long for me to accept that offer. Of course I wanted to be on his show! His book was awesome and he’s doing exactly what I hope to be doing one day, traveling around the world speaking and selling books. (Side note: When you have a clear goal in mind the smartest thing to do is learn from those who are already doing it.)

Well, I emailed Wes and waited for his response, which never came. However, as God would have it (I don’t believe in luck), Wes came back to Louisiana to do another workshop in Deshonda’s school district. I learned from Wes that as soon as he walked in the room, Deshonda told him that he knows her friend. When she told him it was me he was floored. How is it possible that Wes, who lives in California, from his knowledge has no family or friends in Louisiana, could possibly know Deshonda’s friend? (6 degrees of separation!)

Deshonda and Wes called me, and we I finally got a chance to talk. Wes scheduled our radio interview for that upcoming Thursday and can you say EXCITED! I was going to chat with Wes Hall, whose mentor is the one and only Les Brown. I love me some Les Brown by the way. Les’ book “Live Your Dream” was the first book my dad gave me when I left for college. I still have that book and refer to it often.

So, back to the show. The day of the interview I was so nervous. I’ve done countless radio interviews, but for some reason this one felt different. I can’t explain it, but something inside of me told me this was going to be the beginning of something BIG, and I still believe that. It’s been my experience that every opportunity God sends always leads to something even better than I imagined. This one will too. Just wait and see 

Well, now that you’re all caught up and understand how this interview came to be, below is the recording. I come in around the 21 minute mark. Enjoy and tell me what you think.

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Radio Interview with Wes Hall

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4 Ways to Keep the Holidays Happy

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“Hey there, what are you up to?”

I can hear his voice just as clear as my own.

“Nothing much, just prepping my ingredients to get ready to cook.” Would be my response. He’d call around the same time every year for one request and one request only.

“You’re making a pound cake?” He’d ask already knowing the answer.

“Of course I am.” I’d smile at the knowledge of how much he enjoyed him some pound cake.

Cooking for my daddy was one of the greatest joys of the holidays. Seeing him sitting at our table enjoying the food I’d prepared and served to him. That was the highlight of my Thanksgiving, but last year that call didn’t come. It didn’t come this year either, and it’ll never come again, not from him.

Now understand this isn’t my first rodeo with this feeling. I had it in 1990 when my mother passed, then again in 2012 with the loss of my daughter. It’s not like the rest of the year is a breeze when dealing with grief, but the holidays seem to add an extra dose of sadness… if you allow it.

The lessons I’m sharing aren’t  from reading articles or performing interviews. These lessons come from real life experience. How I learned to keep the happy in the holidays.

Lesson 1: Recognize it for what it is.

If you’re sad, irritable, frustrated, and just not in the mood to deal with people, especially around this time, it could be that you’re grieving and don’t realize it. The funny thing about grief is it has a way of sneaking up on you and making you feel like you’re crazy. Your emotions are all over the place. Take some time for you. Listen to your feelings and don’t dismiss it as nothing. Allow yourself the time to grieve. Pushing it down won’t help. Cry if you need to cry. Scream if you need to scream. Slap someone if you….okay maybe that’s going too far :), but you get the point. Don’t brush it off.

Lesson 2: Talk about it.

These last few days I found myself feeling “blah.” I didn’t know why, all I knew was everyone was working my last nerve, though they probably didn’t see the eye rolls or hear the deep breaths… hopefully :). It wasn’t until I talked to my friend that I realized I was most likely feeling this way because the holidays are here and I’m missing my dad. After I talked with her, I felt so much better. My daughter even said you seem different. You’re acting goofier than usual LOL! Which takes me to my 3rd point.

Lesson 3: Try to be happy

During this time you have to try harder than normal to be happy. After you’ve cried or screamed, and talked to someone, then you put in the extra effort to be happy. Yesterday I joked around with the children and their laughter caused me to laugh. There’s something magical about laughter; you should try it. Find a funny movie or some funny Youtube videos. Before you know it you’ll start to feel lighter. It’s as if the laughter pushes the burden of grief right out of you. I’m serious it works, try it and see.

Lesson 4: Surround yourself with people

People feel like they’re down and they don’t want to bring others down, so they decide to stay home alone. BIG MISTAKE! Instead of going thinking you’ll bring others down, go with the attitude that they’re going to pull you up. Open yourself to receiving their energy instead of exerting yours on them.

I really hope these tips help you to have a happy holiday season. Remember that your happiness means more to your loved one than anything else. My parents and my baby were happy people. I’ll honor their memory by living the happiest life I can.

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My Experience With Kim Fields

 

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On Saturday, October 1, 2016, my son’s birthday, I had the pleasure of attending the Houston Short Film Festival. Wasn’t quite the birthday celebration my fourteen-year-old had in mind, but he understands the goal. Anyway, I sat in the auditorium at Houston University, and I listened in awe and admiration as the presenters poured their knowledge of script writing, directing, and producing into my brain. Yes, I’m an author, but my plan is to go as far as the road called “possible” will take me. I’ll stop grinding once I reach Impossible Avenue.

So, back to the festival, hours passed, and the last set of presenters talked about acting and landing acting gigs. Though I don’t foresee acting in my future, trust me I know my lane and I’m okay staying in it, however, what I’ve learned about good presenters is they can make any situation fit your life, and that’s exactly what actress, director, and producer, Kim Fields, did. Kim shared a story with us that I’ll always remember. She talked about the time she auditioned for the role of Tootie on the 70’s hit show The Facts of Life. Kim told us how her agent sent her on the audition even though the role was written for a 12-year-old girl white girl, which clearly Kim is not white and wasn’t 12 years old, she was only 9. Kim told us how she was very short for her age, so playing a 12-year-old was going to be a challenge. Kim did not fit the description that the director saw when it came to the role of Tootie. I put that word in bold for a reason so stay with me. Kim said she walked into that audition and she owned that part even though she knew she wasn’t the look or height they wanted, she didn’t let that discourage her.

As we all know, Kim did land the role of Tootie. Of course, they couldn’t make her a white girl, but they could make her look tall enough to play a 12-year old by having her wear roller skates. Kim told us, “what God has for you is for you.” The director planned for someone else, but God planned for Kim.

See? Told you I had a reason for that bold print. Now aren’t you glad you kept reading? :).

The message I got from Kim’s story, and the one I hope you’ll get as well, is to never count yourself out without giving it all you got. You never know what God has planned for you.

Perhaps, this has already happened to you. If so, please share in the comments. We’d love to hear how man saw someone else, but God chose you.

 

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The Biggest Mistake We Make in Life!

 

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When I was in middle school my mother passed away from lymphoma  which is a group of blood cancers that develop in the lymphatic system. Three years after my mom’s death, I wrote a story called “The Day I’d Never Forget.” In this story I told about the day she passed away, a day I can still remember from beginning to end. Every little detail of that day is engraved in my mind, so telling the story was no problem. I simply wrote what I remembered, which was everything.

My teacher, Ms. Kim, read the story and was amazed at how well I was able to tell the story and how descriptive my writing was at the time. She said she felt as if she was right there with me hearing the news of my mother’s death. She told me how she cried because she felt my pain through my words. Ms. Kim urged me to submit my story to the Louisiana Young Author’s contest. I did and during that time and for many months after, Ms. Kim encouraged me to keep writing. She saw something in my writing that I really didn’t see for myself. I knew stringing words together to form sentences came with ease for me, but I definitely didn’t consider myself a writer per sa. Well, my story won first place in the state. I was so proud, but it wasn’t because I won, it was because others had read about my mom. For me, it was a way of keeping her memory alive.

Well, after I left Ms. Kim’s class and ventured on to the next grade, I had the honor and privilege of learning under Mrs. Gloria Davis. Ms. Davis had been teaching for many years, and coming from a very small school, I’d already heard all the horror stories of being in her class. I was so afraid that I’d asked to be placed in another class instead, but that request was rejected, and I thank God that it was. That was a lesson for me that I still live by to this day, “always judge a person based on your own experiences with them, not someone else’s.” Mrs. Davis turned out to be my favorite teacher. She knew English like I knew my name and she taught it to us well. When I’d write papers in her class, she constantly told me I should really consider journalism. Mrs. Davis also saw something that I didn’t see at the time. I was a writer.

I graduated from high school and went on to study Elementary Education at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. Every English teacher I sat under encouraged me to keep writing. They all said I should really consider journalism, I should write for the school newspaper, they wanted me to perfect my craft, but I wanted to teach.

Little did I know that all my English teachers were right, but so was I. Writing is my gift, it is the tool that God has given me to use for His good, but so is teaching. I know this because of the list of parents who would request me as their child’s teacher. I was meant to teach and I was meant to write.

The biggest mistake we all make is missing the cues. We spend so much of our lives searching for something that’s been with us all along. Our purpose isn’t something we have to seek out. We just have to be open and listen to what others are saying about us. Don’t dismiss it as just something you like to do, perhaps that something is the reason God chose you.

My plea to you today is don’t waste time looking for something that you already possess. Take time to sit still, listen to the chatter of others, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be just like me, and realize your purpose has been there all along. You were just too distracted to see it.

I’d love to hear your story of how you discovered your purpose or if you feel you still don’t know, share that too. Tell me about yourself maybe we can figure this thing out together 🙂