Category Archives: Life coaching

SPEAK UP MUCH?

I have a mentee that will periodically text me about a subject matter she wants to see addressed and the second I saw her note this morning, I knew I would be right here writing about it..

Buckle up and hold on..

In recent weeks, I found myself traveling and commiserating with folks from around the country and in usual form, I am open, kind and share my thoughts as needed. Well the one evening, we had to all get in formal wear  for an event and the minute I strolled through the door, my friend saw one of the attendees throwing all kinds of “shade”  my way by rolling her eyes and whispering something to the person next to her.  I didn’t see her because I have learned how to block that kind of negativity from my line of vision.

I knew what her issue was  though.

Name Every -ism women face, and she had me pegged for it. My boldness and bravery made her feel inadequate and she then tried to transfer that feeling to ripping me to shreds with condescension. She didn’t realize that though. She thought she was within her rights to be jusgemental.

How do I know this? It is what I am told by women all the time who often try to coach it around offering “advice.” 
Aside from this being a total waste of energy and space, it is counterproductive to fall in line with them so they can feel better about themselves.

My response? Maybe if we were not so conditioned as women to “know our places,” not be “overly confident” for fear of being seen as bragging, or being labeled as “bitchy” when we dare to speak up for ourselves, we would see the benefits in speaking up and out.

As a direct result, women often lose sleep about demanding a position they are clearly over qualified for,suffer heartburn at the thought of requesting compensation that befits their value, minimizing the ones who step out on the ledge in an effort to find financial freedom and seeking to destroy the few who dare to do what they won’t.

I can’t even begin to discuss how it messes with personal relationships across the board. We hold on and fester about things we can and should discuss, until it becomes toxic and explodes the wrong way from us.

What do you have to lose but your sanity in trying to fit in to what society deems we should or shouldn’t be? Here are a few things that worked for me in removing the “do as I told ” models from my head-

  1. Speak your truth kindly but firmly and do not waver with eye contact. Prep yourself with calming deep breaths.
  2. Trust yourself. No one will trust you more than you. Your gut instincts are there for a reason.
  3. Be okay with not having a ton of fearless people with you as this is often a singular journey of faith.
  4. Celebrate the wins and extract the lessons from the losses.
  5. Keep the naysayers out of your ears. Lord knows they will try too. People who worry about all that could go wrong, never see what could indeed go right.
  6. Find mentors who have already walked the path you are on and heed the advice that feels right to you.
  7. Authenticity is worth more than silver and gold. You may not be appreciated on the moment, but you will be respected long term.
  8. Know when to step up and pull back. Everything doesn’t always have to be a battle.
  9. Collaboration works wonders. No one is an island. Learn to be okay with saying “I was wrong.” Pride goeth before….

All of that and a few more will give you the freedoms and joy to simply BE..
Dueces and mad love.

DivA

Move Like a Ninja

We have all heard the saying-  “You can’t trust everybody with everything” or “everything ain’t for everybody,” and yet, out of guilt, fear or just talking too diggety dang much, we often shoot ourselves in the foot by over sharing goals and dreams with the wrong people.

The painful lessons that results from said over sharing, often comes in the form of losing friends who despise your drive and determination, and counter it with negativity and intended sabotage of your dreams and goals.

So what are we to do?
Learn to move like a ninja. 
How you say?

Allow me to elucidate.

I am fiercely protective and careful of that which is near and dear to me. My children’s names are not uttered online, I almost never share the scope and depth of my work and most importantly, that man I now call husband was a phantom for the entire 5 years I dated him.

I wrote and spoke about him all the time but he was known as the mysterious “Mister.” It became pretty easy to see who the ones would be to quickly judge and began whispering behind my back (so they thought) that he didn’t exist and one very brave somebody, called my mother and told her I was  making up stories about some non existent man.

By the time I unveiled my man and on my own terms, it was exactly 30 days before we got married. Mouths were dropping all over the place because all the assumptions that abound were dead wrong.

People are always looking to criticize that which they refuse to put their own work into. Relationships, careers, raising families and simply being a decent human being, takes WORK.

I have also experienced putting my entire neck on the line to help large swaths of folks only for me to keep getting feedback that some people thought this and that about me. I had to shut that mess down because if the people bringing the bones to bury me didn’t have enough sense to shut that down, they didn’t deserve to be in my most sacred of spaces.

As a direct result, I continue to move like a ninja in certain aspects of my life because I know not everyone will be happy that I work my fingers to the bone to enjoy the fruits/rewards.

And do not allow people to guilt you into dragging them like luggage to  your fruits party. They too must work hard and sacrifice something or you take their rocks out your bags and lay them gently to the side.

So what are you over sharing in your spaces sacred or otherwise? Take inventory, see who the detractors are and then cease and desist. Your very success or failure, may depend upon it.

Because love bugs, everything truly ain’t for everybody.

Dueces and mad love,

DivA

Gratitude Or Grousing..

All kinds of things and events  have been swirling around my space in recent days, weeks and months to the place where I have begun to pay full attention. 

 So when  a friend made a comment that she watched my life change in ways large and small since we met some 15 years ago and she was happy to witness it, I began to delve into the why. 

Why was I able to change and grow in ways that is almost impossible to believe on this end by many including myself some two decades later? Why am I still able to continue to grow and change with each passing day?

The conclusion I came to?
Gratitude.
No matter where I was in each cycle of my life, I maintained a level of gratitude for every morsel of it. Yes, even as I struggled to make sense of certain things and behaviors around me. Yes, as I was ridiculed for daring to dream and then going forth to do just what I dreamt about.

Do you know how I came up with gratitude as the answer?
All around me back then, were people who had the same opportunities and challenges I faced. Those of us who came through and  grew, maintained gratitude. 

Those who didn’t, are still in that same place  all these years later because they groused and complain bitterly about things and always looked toward what they didn’t have, versus what they did

They also were never willing to take the necessary risks needed to challenge themselves and grow. They were content to sit back and watch, all while denigrating the efforts of others, believing it was all pipe dreams. Until those dreams became reality with hard work and determination.

What they are left with, is a pot filled with a bitter brew of anger, jealousy, victimhood, and regrets.

Do not let that be you. Challenge yourself to step completely out of your comfort zone. Never forget to embrace each stage of your life fully, learn the lessons, celebrate the victories and most of all, walk in love and kindness.

And give yourselves a break. None of us are good all the time. It’s okay. You can be both AND. I am always a tad amused by self proclaimed “perfect” people who toe the line, do what they are told and then wonder why life is so, well, boring
That which we declare over ourselves, is that which is manifested. Good or not so much.

So what will it be?  Gratitude or grousing?

You decide.
Dueces and mad love,

DivA

The fear of excellence

Well here we go… 2017 is upon us and with so much spinning, what with a new incoming President for this great country, not to mention life changes seen and unseen, it can feel exhilarating and unfamiliar all at once.

I have been intentionally quiet for a few weeks here because I have begun taking steps so completely out of my comfort zone,  and while I recognize that true change never comes without hard work with lessons disguised as failures along the way, I found myself today, gripped with fear, after enjoying a ten day respite with my husband to clear my head.
It’s time to, as old folks say, piss or get off the pot.  Fear of excellence has crippled way too many. I refuse to be in that number.

I have had a zillion conversations with others about walking fully into one’s purpose and still I find myself wondering how many friends will I lose for my bravery, who will be the ones that tries to undermine my efforts and am I even crazy for going down this path?
What keeps me going, is the knowledge that continuing to follow that status quo or doing what others deem to be acceptable, has never been the road I took my entire life and this is not the time to second guess what could be the best moves to date.

So here we go… one day, one hour and one minute at a time, with constant prayer and an ever vigilant soul, there remains no choice but to keep pressing forward. No matter what.
Nothing comes to a dreamer but a dream right?

I wish for you all a 2017 filled with grace to handle the bumps life sends your way, the humility in dealing with the victories and the kindness that continues to live and support those around you and beyond.
Be the far reaching ripple and the disruptive wave. choose wisely in knowing when to be what.

Dueces and mad love,

DivA

The Season of CHANGE…

Early last week, seemingly out of the blue, I received a phone call from one of my mentors who said she felt the unction to pray for me so she stopped what she was doing and we prayed over the phone.

I couldn’t figure out what that was about because I was cool and life was good… and then, the very next day, running in my bare feet to answer the doorbell, I slammed my left foot into the base of my sofa.

And broke not one, but two toes.

Ouch.

I knew immediately at least one was broken because the searing light I saw as I went down on those fluffy cushions, was a vision of heaven and hell all at once.

But to know me fully is to know this- I’m super determined to do whatever I set out to and so I got up, and went about my business while limping. I was so bold, I walked in a fashion show two days ago, changed outfits 4 times and had 5 inches of heels on and didn’t miss a beat. No one would have guesssd I was in pain at all. See for your self..

โ€‹โ€‹
And it went on for days. Six to be exact, where I went to work and attended events, before my husband forced me to go have my foot x-rayed because we Iced, elevated and taped those toes together to no avail. 

So by the time I got the delightful news that I had done the obvious and they gave me crutches, the ugliest shoe known to mankind, my films and a referral to see a surgeon, it was slowly sinking in that I would have a new normal for the next few weeks.

This is where it got interesting- my phone began to ring and texts came in at all kinds of hours about what folks can do to run errands, take me to work etc and I was simply blown away. We live in a “I’m doing me and you better do you”  society, and yet here I was, the grateful recipient of love in the midst of this change happening around me. 

I’m freaking grateful. Believe that.

I also noticed something else too. And I will be back to address that at another time but this mentor had not a whole week ago, sat me down and said the season of change is upon me and the ones who don’t want that change to take place, will be the least kind or helpful and may even eliminate themselves by finding a reason to disagree about something to create issues.

The thing is this- I have been swirling with the winds of change for a while now and that meant stepping into spaces of discomfort and off ledges of  comfort and complacency.

If we want to fully actualize our purpose here on earth, what other choices do we have? If you are the smartest person in your circle, you need to get over yourself and elevate with people who already are where you are trying to  go so you can learn and grow.

I can see with these broken toes, the lessons in this new season has begun but the beautiful part is simply this- prayer works, the turmoil won’t last forever and the sun on the other side of it all, will be blinding in its splendor.

Never let the challenges deter you from you mission but also cocoon yourself with at least ONE person, that you can call and share with no matter the hour.

To my dogmatic mentor- you know who you are-thank you.


Dueces and mad love,

DivA

Shaken and stirred, but not destroyed…

My husband curled into my back recently as he awakened, and let out a long, deep sigh. I knew what was on his mind and gave him the space to talk while being careful to listen without judgment or forming an opinion.

It was helpful to him and he went to work in a much better place. As wonderful a person as he is, like everyone else, he sometimes questions decisions he made that he wishes he could do over, and watching his consciousness shift into realizing even the mistakes serve a purpose, has been immensely helpful to his own personal growth and well being.

I immediately began thinking of another person who reached out  and contacted me a little over a year ago and was in such crisis, it physically hurt my  heart  to sit in her space and listen as she bravely bared her soul to an almost perfect stranger she knew very little about, but was led in her heart to contact me anyway  knowing I could have said anything but yes to meeting with her.
Her bravery was just the spark I needed as I began to challenge the stories she told herself and asked her  to create a vision board or statement of the things she loved and what was it that made her sparkle at the very thought of doing it.

I could see in her eyes that she wasn’t sure but at that juncture, what else did she have to lose? So she went about the business of putting one tiny step in front of the other even as the winds of life hurled her like a rag doll and “friends”felt like cold rain drops on her tattered soul.

She dug deeply and I encouraged her by supporting her dreams. She makes creative and  excellent fare in a way that has my husband groaning for more which was great sign indeed!! So she made our meals as we needed them and we were never disappointed. She was definitely on to something! I seriously love her meals and everything is made with fresh herbs and spices to perfection.

Today I called her for advice on some rolls and the person who answered the phone was full of life and ideas and had big catering jobs in front of her to do!!

I am not even sure if she realizes  that she chose to find the piece of her soul that would redeem and continue to validate her very existence on earth and that led to the place where she is currently.

We are NOT  defined by our mistakes when we can see them as lessons  that are shaping us to go on the next parts of our journey on earth.  No one said our pots wouldn’t be shaken and stirred from time to time as there is no ying without a yang.

We must give ourselves permission to breathe beyond our mistakes and allow them to define our next moves.

Take the time this holiday season to give the gift of compassion. We could all use a little.
Dueces and mad love,

DivA

The bullet I dodged..

So mister must have sensed I had taken a small break at work because he called and asked if I had a few minutes to chat.Me: sure, what’s up?

Him: If you knew all the things you know about me now, would you have still married me?
Me: *dramatic pause* I mean… in hindsight, I am glad we never lived together or shared bills before we got married because I was spared the delightfulness known as shock-to-the- brain. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It makes sense now, why some of your family wondered about me because I get Things done no matter what IT is AND with alacrity. You are content to just mosey along with not a care in the world unless its robotic in nature.

Him: hey, I was attuned enough to know you deserved to be loved in a most special way and I was just the guy to do it. So do I get points for that? ๐Ÿ˜

Me: jackpot baby. Yes you do.

So the answer to your original question is NO, I would not have married you because I would have been nuts and trying to “fix” stuff which have led to my feeling hopeless and not feeling forever and a damn day.That was NOT my role as your girlfriend but it is as your wife and I am happy to stand right beside you. You are a kind, decent and happy sloth. I love you for so much more beyond that though and dating you for five years helped me to appreciate the total package that is you.

I think he breathed a sigh of relief as he got off the phone to resume teaching๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ I ain’t going nowhere and I am eternally grateful he accepted me just as I am too. 

Our commonalities are greater than our differences and I wish more among us would take on and appreciate the art of dating before getting married instead of the alternative, only to realize you don’t like the creature you hitched yourself to.

And ladies- kill the mother instincts and slow down on trying to fix  our partners. If we were all Perfect people, what would we have to fuss about? A tiny bit of acceptance and understanding goes a long way.

Trust me on this.
Dueces and mad love 

DivA

When emotional growth creeps up and grabs you by the throat.

Something happened that left me looking sideways and I was completely annoyed.

I stewed on it overnight and gave myself every rational angle on why I was justified in being annoyed.

I awakened with a funky attitude just waiting for the wrong thing to be said by the wrong person.

I got in my car and began thinking that maybe this person should feel a dose of their own medicine so they could see what I felt and then I stopped short mid thought and began questioning where my own motives were coming from and was it worth the angst and who would it serve long term for the short time feeling of teaching a lesson. I began dissecting what this person fully meant to my life and that we all make mistakes and in the grand scheme of things, this wasn’t that big of a deal.

Wait- what?  Did I JUST behave maturely? Was I choosing to use emotional intelligence in a way that would bring solutions instead of an argument because my language mattered? 

Yes indeed.

And my soul thanked me for recognizing the shift for the first time solidly even as I spend my life always seeking to be a part of the solution and not the problem.

I gave myself a mental pat on the back and resolved to be a part of making things smooth again. And I did. And it worked out beautifully.

Our emotional growth is dictated by these shifts in our psyche from time to time. We choose our joys and sorrows through our patterns of behavior and staying steeped in what was always comfortable of us to do, means we never move beyond that comfort zone of mediocrity.

always challenge yourselves to do and be better.

Dueces and mad love,

DivA.