5 YEARS TO FREEDOM: MY WISH CAME TRUE
Five years ago I was headed to open my first storefront, Stylish Consignments.
I was so excited, proud, nervous, and ready; ready to embark on this journey as an entrepreneur with real estate. What a responsibility!
My first customer was Ms.Yvette. She was actually a manager at the largest consignment store in the area. I was so nervous that I couldn't figure out how to swipe her card. She found a $5 bill. We later decided to frame it because it meant so much!
Later, I launched Design Your Destiny Conferences for Women to share information and resources to help them start and connect. I immediately fell in love! I loved seeing women come alive.
Thanks to Tory Johnson from Good Morning America, I was invited onto a bigger platform, Spark and Hustle to share my advice. I began traveling and soon became a national speaker for women in business. While I loved it, something was missing. The success rate for women was disturbing. I realized that my success with little startup support had been an exception, not the norm. I didn't want to see women continue to fail. I began to question my purpose, my message, and my overall priorities in life.
A trip to the Grand Canyon changed my life. My entire spirit took a shift. I began to slow down and pay attention to my spirit. That summer, Ms. Oprah Winfrey followed me on Twitter and our connection began.
I was a Lifeclass student yearning for all I could get.
I had so many questions. I had fewer answers. Iyanla Vanzant would later make me ask myself the tough questions that I had not even known how to ask before then.
After a dream-come-true trip to Los Angeles for Oprah's conference and a special lunch with her and other OWN Ambassadors, I came home ready to embrace my next chapter.
I sold my storefront, which was unheard of in this economy, and I was financially able to truly take time to prioritize and hear my spirit. I analyzed my relationships without the blinders, accepting the good, the bad, and the ugly.
What began as a pause, became a journey; a quest for truth, for inner power, for strength beyond myself. I sought clarity. I needed answers. For if only God would make it plain, he already knew I would listen. I was obedient, so I thought; however, during my pause I realized that I had been doing things my own way, with my own strength, reaching for answers from others instead of listening to what was within. I was creating my life in a way that was out of order. I was doing what I thought was right. I was doing the best I could and knew how to do at that time.
I would soon fully understand the power of a pause.
Over several months, I became my own project and it was truly liberating. I had jumped off my spinning wheel to seek and trust God completely. Superficial relationships would soon end. The conversations that I had avoided and suppressed now had room to come to surface and my spirit began to sing. I know that those of you who have done this type of work on self can attest that it feels so amazing!
I began journaling and jotting down my thoughts throughout the day. After looking over these notes to myself every so often, I realized that they were meant to be shared with others.
There must have been divine intervention taking place because I would have never chosen to tell anyone to pause. I would not have chosen to write about being still. I thought that was for yoga and Zen enthusiasts. The woman who started her first candy business in elementary school and a gift basket company in college was now being still and saying no to projects and proposals that once ignited her spirit.
Sometimes we feel that we have to make the choice to do things either one way or the other. I had looked at life from that lens; either I was going to be a doer and high achiever with a million projects and goals or I was going to be laid back, flowing with life, and not really pressured to figure it all out. I could not see a middle ground.
Pausing allowed me to accept that there was space in the middle. I could celebrate being a high achiever, a doer, a giver; with the clarity and confidence to know when I needed a break, when I needed to take time alone, and how to say no or request more time before making a decision. Pausing taught me to hear my conscience, to follow my intuition, and to listen for the intent of conversations rather than the words being spoken.
While my book was initially titled The Power in a Pause, it recently became The Power of Peace in a Pause. This change resulted from the transition out of my pause to moving into celebrating my climb with strength, wisdom, and love. I realized that the propelling force was PEACE.
That was the missing piece of the puzzle.
Those of us who are on the frontline, giving, doing, raising families, building businesses, ministering to others, volunteering, and showing up, are sometimes in need of simple moments of stillness and peace. Peace of mind allows our thoughts and spirit to flow. Peace allows us to know when something is working against us. And nothing or no one is worth losing your peace.
As I embark on my next chapter, I invite you to join me. We will never have all the answers, as that would contradict the beauty of life, but I encourage you to explore your heart and dream a new dream. Take out a blank sheet of paper, without considering your present or your past, and simply ask God for your highest dream. When your answer is revealed, flow towards it in peace.
To read more journal entries, click here