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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Flying unattached

I am flying unattached. Unattached because I am not in a relationship and unattached from outcomes. Yesterday was Valentine's Day and when I got to the office flowers were on my desk. Not from a secret admirer like last year (yes this is the second year in a row that I got unexpected flowers on Valentine's Day), but from a person that I have just been friendly. I speak to him every day at work and listen to him tell me about his life. The things that I do normally with no expectation of a reward. There is no romance there. Just genuine friendship. 

I also applied for a job that feels way out of my comfort zone. I have the qualifications. I was not going to apply but really did not have a reason not to. So I did. I am not consumed with apprehension over the selection process or even if I make the final round. I may get the job and I may not. I put my best foot forward that the rest is not up to me. 

Then a potential opportunity came my way.  I tried to play it down when a friend told me that it was time for me to fully appreciate my worth and ask for what I truly deserve. This required me to do some research and actually ask for fair market value for my services instead of allowing others to determine and decide that for me. At first, I was very uncomfortable in the process. I found plenty of reasons NOT to give myself a fair assessment. Then I realized that I would be incredibly angry if someone else did that to me. So I asked for what I am worth. I may not get the gig, but I have set the precedence for myself. I am unattached from the outcome. I did my best. And it is interesting how many others in the same position do not ask for what they are worth out of fear of rejection. I get it, I am just not in that space anymore. 

So, my friends ask fair market value for your services regardless of what others say. Always do your best and do not sweat the outcome. 



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Flying, a little bit

henri meilhac from unsplash
I define flying as succeeding so I am probably flying. It just does not feel like it so much today. Actually it hasn't for a few days now. I could blame it on the weather, the moon, the fact that my knee hurts, or a host of other things. I could, but I won't. I need to own this. I need to unapologetically own this. I do, only I am not exactly sure what I am owning. I guess I just simply call it 'my stuff'. Okay, I am owning my stuff.

I do not feel compelled to dive deeper so that I can provide you with an explanation of my stuff. And that alone is empowering. Over the weekend during my 200 hour yoga teacher training (I am more than halfway done, thank goodness) we did an exercise. We had to lie on our mats with our eyes closed and our partner lifted one of our legs. The partner was supposed to notice any sensations while lifting and we were supposed to explain what those sensations could be. For instance a few people said those sensations were memories, thoughts, and things like that.

When it was my turn to have my leg lifted, I would not allow my partner to lift it. I think I tried, but I would not relinquish control. The issue was that I did not feel safe. I acknowledged that. I did not feel the need to explore why I did not feel safe. I was just fine not feeling safe with my eyes closed on a mat in a vulnerable position having someone who normally does not touch me and vice versa lifting my leg. I refused to answer the probing questions about what was going on in my mind. Why? Because it wasn't anyone's business. Because that was a brief exercise conducted by untrained persons (myself included) who were not equipped to move further or deeper.

It was empowering knowing that I felt unsafe. I own that. I guess that was progress. Defending my choices is progress. Removing toxicity from my life is progress. Being unapologetic is progress. And progress is success no matter how tiny or how slow. And success is flying. So I am flying even if I do not feel the wind in my hair and I can still see the ground. I am flying even when I do not get it all done and find myself gasping for air.

Flying is not just the act of succeeding, it is the feeling. The feeling of being lifted while my feet are firmly planted on the ground. I get that. It's all part of owning my stuff.
 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Flying in the power of change

I was honored to sit on a panel titled: She the People: Women of Color Leading the Way in Savannah. Every time I think about this my heart swells. I honestly did not think I was making that big of an impact in Savannah. And I had no idea that people were actually paying attention. I remember reading something somewhere that said to be careful what you do because you never know who is watching. I feel amazing.

What was more amazing is that I shared the space with greatness. There were women who have been moving things in Savannah and other plans for years. I met a 91 year old woman who just got engaged! So, perhaps there is hope for me. Maybe, but I have stopped holding my breath long ago.

There were younger women who were thirsty to drink up our knowledge and experience in hopes to make this world a better place for all of us. We talked about change. We talked about how we are living in the change-good, bad, or indifferent. We talked about what it feels like to be agents of change, because we all are in one form or another.  We talked about next steps. Sitting and talking is a start, but it is not nearly enough. We need action. We also honored the voices not in the room whether through death, incarceration, distance, or other reasons.

We talked about coalitions. We talked about legislation, due process, voting rights, education, discrimination, work-life-balance, self-care, books to read, books to write, family, gender, inclusiveness, exclusiveness, majority, minority, reproductive rights, and so many other things that it made my head swim. And it made me so proud to be amongst women who are not about toeing the party line. I was with women who hunger to take the lead, support the lead, follow the lead, and do whatever it takes to get things done.

I learned the power of the ask. Ask for what you need. There is no shame in that. There is plenty to go around if we share or not take what we do not need. And if we give freely.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Flying a bit concerned

Mark Cruz
I pride myself on being open-minded. Generally I think I do a good job of listening (or reading on social media) people's words without getting too offended. But lately I have seen things that are making me question my disposition. I know that silence does not mean consent. I mean, there are comments that just do not warrant a response from me. Like the reply-all thing. I simply delete.

I am now wondering that if I should go all out ballistic on some folks. Not all, just a few. Okay, maybe just two. I am not sure it would do any good. It is difficult to change the minds of those who only want to look at things from the ivory tower. I tried looking at things from their vantage point and I still don't get it. Every time I see/hear someone say she/he wants to take his/her country back I cringe. I want to reply that the only people should be talking about taking their country back at the Native Americans (I hope that is still how I should call them, if not please accept my apology).

How did we get here? Actually, I know how we got here. I am more curious about why we are still here. Haven't we all proved our worth? I am speaking as a person of color. What more do we have to do to prove that we are valuable members of the universe?  George Washington Carver and peanut butter should have been enough. But there are countless others. Sarah Goode invented a folding cabinet bed, George Crum created crisp chips (potato chips), Granville T. Woods invented the multiplex telegraph, and it allowed dispatchers and engineers at various stations to communicate with moving trains via telegraph, and Elijah McCoy invented the automatic oil cup. The list goes on. Oh, let's not forget about Dr. Charles Drew the renowned surgeon and pioneer in the preservation of life-saving blood plasma. And then there are those who every single day of their lives strive to make the world a better place for all of us.

I just don't get it. How can anyone think that skin color makes you better or worse than someone else? Or that what is between our legs allows us to dominate others? What happened to mutual respect? What happened to just being kind?

Friday, January 12, 2018

Flying with the return of Thurday's Word

Thursday's Word


Dreams Do Come True!!

I started this Blog years ago when I wanted to encourage a friend who was going through a very rough time in her life.  She wanted me to send her Scripture that was uplifting and encouraging. She knew I was a write and she said..."Send me an email" so I can read it whenever I need to. I did and she started to feel better, and asked if she could pass that same information on to her other friends who she felt needed the same type of encouragement.

One email address led to another and another and before long...Thursday's Word was created. Why Thursday?  I felt that Sunday was when you got your fill of the Word at Church. Most people attend Bible Study on Wednesday night. Friday is always a busy end of the work week day, so Thursday was the day before all of that started.  It carried you on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday you got your refill!

I dreamed many dreams of becoming a published author and the Lord has blessed me to write my very first book, Thursday's Word Devotional.  Yes, I am honored to tell you that it is currently being printed and will be available in stores, and online for purchase soon.  The asking price is $17.95 plus shipping will be a total cost of $21.70.   You may send your request to Thursdays Word, Box 405, Franklin, TN 37064. If you enjoyed reading my Thursday's Word encouragement email each Thursday, then you will enjoy this book. All the information was taken directly from our shared emails and my Thursday's Word blog.

Dreams are those heartfelt yearnings that God places in your heart. They are so big that you know He is the one who has to make it come true. God loves giving us the desires of our heart. He longs to make us happy and fulfilled.  What are your dreams? What would you truly like to do the rest of your life?  What are some of the yearnings that you have and you are afraid to step out in faith to do?

Do not be afraid to taking that first step.  God will lead you all the way to fulfillment.  I started out with an email, then a Blog, then articles in Christian magazines, then note cards, now my very first published work.  God can and God will help you fulfill those yearnings in your heart....your dreams.

God bless you always is my prayer

Brenda C. Smith
Author

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Flying covered

I live in Savannah, GA and last week snow happened. Not just a powdered sugar dusting, but actual go outside and make a snowman snow. Not to be confused with North Dakota snow or Washington state snow or Alaska snow. But snow nevertheless.

It was sort of dreamy. I mean, everything was covered in a fresh blanket of fluffiness. I almost wrote whiteness but that would bring up associations and connotations that I do not mean. So fluffiness it is.

Everything could be looked at from a different perspective. And that was the best part. Ordinary objects were cloaked in ways that we do not normally witness. Normal tasks were a bit treacherous. I almost fell walking to my car because of the ice.

The ice was deceptive. That clear coating made simple walking a chore. And some of it was buried under the snow making driving harder. It was easy to tell who respected the snow and who simply did not understand that law of nature.
I did not mind it. Only because I was safe and warm inside my house. I had food. I had power. I had coats. I had no where I needed to be. My place of employment was closed and my salary was not impacted.

I could afford to marvel at my southern city being wrapped in a cold snap. And I do not take that for granted.

I did not make snow cream. I know how, but you are supposed to wait for the second snow. And admittedly we barely had a first.

I think last week we all (or at least most of us) looked outside our window and saw the same thing. Philosophically we were united in the beauty of this act  of nature. People seemed amazed and perhaps a bit more kinder to each other. We were unarmed just a tiny bit under all of our layers of stuff. We all shared similar plights. It was like that Christmas morning glow.

I enjoyed seeing the good in people. I always do. And while I hope that goodness lasts forever, I would be grateful for a few more days. A few more days of goodness. Is that too much to ask for?

Monday, January 1, 2018

Flying into the New Year unapologetically

Joseph Chan
I am not sure what happened the last month. I did not post at all. I honestly have no recollection of what kept from here. I know that I meant to write. I always mean to write. Life just happened, I guess. Or maybe I was just incredibly lazy or maybe I simply forgot. It could have been a combination of all of those things and it could have been something completely different. Perhaps I will remember one day. 

What is important is that I am here now and my intention is to be here every single week. I did not do any resolutions. At the urging of a friend, I chose a word. It was difficult choosing one single solitary word to propel me through this year. I had several floating around in my head. I thought about fierce, powerful, strong, steadfast, brave, and fearless. I almost chose fearless because there is a Mantra Band that I want with that word on it. Almost isn't good enough. Oh, I also almost chose enough and even brazen. Instead, I chose unapologetic

Unapologetic. I will be unapologetic about the space I occupy. I will not apologize for the spaces I create and hold for others. Also not apologizing for living my authentic life. I am not apologizing when someone feels intimidated, uncomfortable, or any other kind of way by my presence or my essence. No, nope, nah-it ain't happening this year and hopefully not ever again in my life. 

Maybe it will be like red meat. I used to eat it. Then I gave it up for Lent and have not been able to stomach it when I tried to eat it again. So for the past 15 years or so I have not eaten red meat. I will admit that I am always tempted by a great smelling cheeseburger. 

Anyway, Happy New Year to one and all. I hope that all of your hopes and dreams become reality and that you can gracefully handle that success. I wish that for all of us-the ability to appreciate and celebrate the success of ourselves and each other.