Cut Yourself Some Slack

Image Credit: Sid Leigh

Can’t seem to get enough done in a short span of time? Do you put more pressure on yourself than you have to? Let’s face it, sometimes, we get stuck in our overachieving mode and can’t find a way to turn it off. Then, and yes, there is always a ‘then,’ we get so stressed, depressed, and quite often obsessed when our goals go awry. I think it’s safe to say that it’s time to take a step, or two, or three back.

Quite often, we tend to back ourselves into the infamous “deadline” corner and can’t come out because we are so overwhelmed with what seems like an endless list of things to do, squeezed into a time frame that looks appealing but is quite deceptive.

I’ve spoken to many people who find themselves caught in the crossfire of setting aggressive goals, and the reality is more than they bargained for. At this point, they forcefully put their foot on the brakes, instead of gradually slowing down to avoid whiplash. We try to hurry up and rush the process, then learn that silly mistakes can quickly and easily sink our ship sailing towards progress. Impatience will certainly lead to disappointments, and at times, disaster.

Try to examine what led you to this place of overwhelm, which makes you feel defeated. It’s not always by someone else’s design, but even if it was, you can still change the narrative. Don’t be in a rush to impress others who probably don’t care about what you’re doing or your well-being. We stress out over stuff we really don’t need to. Personally, I learned I would have fumbled badly and made costly mistakes if I didn’t slow my roll. There’s only but so much time in a day. Your body has to adapt to rest, relaxation, and repair, or you are no good for nothing. Beware of those non-negotiable-looking deadlines because they could turn deadly if you don’t take your foot off the “gotta get it done right now” accelerator. Find the courage to cut yourself some slack and lighten up. If you don’t, you are liable to self-destruct at any unexpected moment. Then what?

Rise of the Yucca Doodle Doo

This title is a play off of cock-a-doodle-doo, an expression to suggest the crowing of a rooster, as in stories for children. As with many of you, nature always surprises me. Last month I was stunned to see one of the small yucca trees in my backyard fully bloom for the first time. Typically in my area, these trees usually begin to bloom near the end of May, and it’s a one-time deal for the year. So to see this transformation occur in April was a pleasant surprise. I’m sure it was due to unseasonable weather conditions.

The crowing of a rooster signals the early blossoming of new life awakening on a new day. I suppose the older I get, the more unexpected attention-getters make me focus on more meaningful, awe-inspiring, and undefined beauty in the gift of nature’s life. The story behind the timing and blossoming of this tree didn’t operate on my timetable, but it responded to its natural, early morning call to rise, to feel, and to flourish. Flourishing is a process that can’t be rushed but is a timely journey to savor. This little yucca made me stop and pay attention to this all-important lesson of responding to “our” personal call in our lessons of growth and development.

Allow nature to surprise you with its early morning delights, and lessons today!

Standing in the Gap

Image Credit: Warren Wong

Are you standing in the gap for someone today? Is it for a family member, a friend, a coworker, or perhaps a stranger? The term, “Standing in the gap” is more associated with Biblical references.

“So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30 (NKJV) Essentially, when the wall of the city was breached, vulnerable to destruction, the only way to secure the city was for people to risk their lives by physically standing in the gaps of the wall to fight the enemy.

But today, I think about standing in the gap for innocent people and for those who are vulnerable to challenges that are tough to deal with on their own. Many times this type of breach may not be in a physically destructible way, but the spiritual aspects of it can be devastating. Sometimes people ask you to stand in the gap by praying for them, particularly when they are going through grief and other life-altering occurrences. We show our support through our love, empathy, actions, and compassion. Sometimes our strength and support, when we stand in the gap, can empower the person we are there for and form a “united front” to defeat or at least make those destructive and challenging forces, back down.

Think about what you can do to stand in the gap for someone who truly needs a support system with a defense mechanism they didn’t know they had. Trust me, all of us need someone to stand in the gap for us too at some point and time. That time could be right now.

Fight or Flight?

Image Credit: cottonbro studio

Recently, I’ve been watching movies made about and based on the life of real people who advocated for change that helped to make things better for those who lacked the means in many areas. These individuals saw the problem and wanted to do something to help fix a broken system. While others felt it wasn’t worth the fight to change the “ginormous” Goliath that stood in their way, they fled while a few brave martyrs decided to take a licking for the cause, while they kept on ticking.

When these stories of fighting for the marginalized or the targeted unfolded, the ugly head of obstruction and corruption was standing there to beat such advocacy back down. Of course, this is the underlying cause of why so much goes undone, preventing what can be changed, left unchanged. People feel discouraged and defeated because their efforts look deflated. As much as the advocates, those fighting for good and positive change feel bruised, beaten down, and criticized, they find some measure of strength to keep fighting anyway.

Those who feel as if they are on the bottom rung of the ladder are only seeking equity, opportunity, and a chance to get out of their condition of dire straits, not a handout or money grab. People tell them to pick themselves up by their bootstraps but what if they have no boots? Then what?

Those movies about actual people, these advocates on the front lines of fighting for justice for people who are too weak or broken to fight themselves, seem to always face some form of intimidation by someone wielding power. When you would think they might say it wasn’t worth it and wash their hands from the situation, they muster the strength to rise up, brush themselves off and make more noise than the intimidators. They continue to fight anyway. These individuals weren’t rich influential people who can write a check in a blink of an eye, and move on. No, there is something about these ralliers who remember the reason why they started fighting in the first place, and they refuse to tuck their tails in between their legs and take flight when the going looks dismal.

The majority of the people I know, many of whom are reading this message right now, are compassionate, sensitive, kind, good, loving, and tenderhearted. You have a genteel spirit, and for those who are too weak and wary of fighting, but try to stand up to the Goliaths only to be smacked down, it pisses you off and makes you spit-fire angry. Many of you know the story of David and Goliath. When we (Davids) realize the power of numbers in standing for what is just, then to hell with the flight. Each of us has the power to lift our voices through numerous channels and in a peaceful, yet powerful way. Find your place where you can serve your purpose to continue building a society that unites and fights, not incites.

I saw a movie years ago that was circa the Gladiator era. While I don’t remember the name of the movie, I remember one of the most poignant messages from it. A bullish, arrogant fighter wanted to fight the greatest gladiator, but this great gladiator refused, even though he knew he could beat him. A little boy who the great gladiator was mentoring, asked why the fighter who was already bloodied and beaten by the arrogant fighter kept getting back up, only to be punched back down to the ground, half-dead, again and again. (Paraphrasing) “Why doesn’t he just stay on the ground? He lost,” the little boy asked. The great gladiator looked at his mentee and said, “Honestly, the bloodied one on the ground who keeps getting back up is the one who actually won the fight.”

Law of the Garbage Truck

Image Credit: Painter06

Law of the Garbage Truck 

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were 

driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a 

parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his 

brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of

the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.

My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really 

friendly. So I asked, ‘Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined 

your car and sent us to the hospital! ‘This is when my taxi driver 

taught me what I now call, ‘The Law of the Garbage Truck.’ 

He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run

 around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of 

disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it 

and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally. Just 

smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don’t take their garbage and 

spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets. The 

bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.

Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, 

so…Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. 

Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it! 

Have a garbage-free day!

– Author Unknown

Don’t Do Something That Can Send You Over a Cliff

Image Credit: Gantas Vaičiulėnas

Sometimes we can derail our life from our own vices. Yet, there is always hope to get back up with confidence, get on track, and ease on down the road.

“The only person who can pull me down is myself, and I’m not going to let myself pull me down anymore.”
C. Joybell C.

“Stop beating yourself up. You are a work in progress, which means you get there a little at a time, not all at once. ”

“Forgive yourself for your faults and your mistakes and move on.”
Les Brown

“Embrace and love all of yourself – past, present, and future. Forgive yourself quickly and as often as necessary. Encourage yourself. Tell yourself good things about yourself.”
Melody Beattie

“If only you could sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person. ”
Fred Rogers

Don’t Think About Starting a Fight!

Image Credit: Papafox 

I’m not even trying to go there, so don’t think about starting a fight because you won’t win…that’s of course, unless you are fighting yourself. Then have at it.

I know many of you have faced and probably will face predicaments where it feels like you’ve been thrown into a fighting ring, and you don’t know who, why, or what you are wrestling, boxing, or kickboxing with. Look yall, people try to lure you into a fight that you weren’t looking to participate in because you didn’t sign up to fight. You were simply minding your own business right?

I realize that somehow, even as you try to steer clear of unnecessary confrontations, someone targets you for their bullish reasons and narcissistic attitudes just to throw you off of your game. Such individuals want to pick a fight with you for some of the silliest reasons, no matter how peaceful of a creature you may be. Do I speak from experience? Yep, you betcha ya! That’s from decades of learning experiences I don’t discount, and from people, I would never have expected such behavior to come from. Yet, these are lessons that prepare me to be on the lookout for the tumultuous signs that pop up from time to time. I wonder why, but I don’t worry why. Neither should you.

Long story short…I’m not trying to pick a fight with anyone. So heed the warning…”Don’t start nothin’ it won’t be nothin’.”

The Riddle with a Reminder

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Here’s a riddle reminder for ya.

Question: Give me a drink, and I will die. Feed me, and I’ll get bigger. What am I?
Answer: A fire.

When you get that burning desire within, the kind of drive and passion that makes you explode with enthusiasm, energy, and excitement, do not allow fear to squelch your courage. You got to get up and try, then say to fear, “Boo!” 

“Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come for miles to watch you burn.” -Anonymous

Many people have attributed this quote to John Wesley, but some theologians and others have researched and found that while this particular quote may have been something John Wesley could have said, he didn’t. John Wesley died in 1791. It appears that this quote showed up around 2001. Still, I like this quote.

But as this riddle alludes to, even though it refers to combustion, I think positive, energetic people have a contagious aura and a burning fire within that emits the flames of a courageous spirit. To stay courageous, you’re going to have to douse fear, not feed it.

What are You Hooking Your Jumper Cables up To?

Image Credit: Daniel @

Typically, jumper cables are used to connect a live battery to a dead one to give it the juice it needs to get the vehicle running again.

But what about your internal battery? When you feel listless, uninspired, or useless what do you connect your jumper cables to that will juice you up, energize your battery and get you restarted and on your way? How do you recharge to get going again? Here’s the thing, all of us get to a point or many points where it seems like we have reached a dead end or probably stalled on the road to achieving something, even if it is simply choosing peace of mind.

Each of us responds differently to various stimuli that will get our batteries recharged. Whatever influences you to get cranked up and get going, as long as it isn’t something that will negatively affect your mind, body, and spirit, don’t just sit there, get up and get make it happen! Time waits for no one. Have a FANtabulous and productive day!

Image Credit: Luis Fernandes