The Wait

The start of a new year is always filled with promises of re-dedication and re-commitment. These promises are often linked to specific goals that are expected to change our lives for the better: improved fitness, healthier eating, time management, repairing relationships, etc. While committing to something fully after doing the complete opposite for 365 days straight leading up to deciding to make a change is difficult enough, the true challenge comes in the form of the wait.

Whether it’s waiting to see improvements, waiting to save enough money, or waiting to meet the right person, our recently established commitments somehow shift from being about achieving goals and implementing permanent change in our lives to reaching a date on a calendar or seeing a number on a scale decrease. Until any of those things happen, we simply wait and then use time as a measure of success. But what if the waiting has a greater meaning?

Throughout 2017, my main focus was on the concept of restoration: personal, social, relational, and spiritual. 2016, while extremely exciting for me, was also extremely draining and didn’t leave me with the holistic feeling of satisfaction that I had hoped for. So I set a ton of goals for 2017 and went on a journey to look for what I need in order to be fully restored for the first time in…well, forever. However, while I made lots of great strides and reached a ton of goals and milestones, the majority of my year was spent (you guessed it) …waiting. I spent so much time waiting for conference and article submission deadlines, product samples, new employees, etc. that I didn’t realize that I was slowly being rejuvenated and restored while also being transformed.

Now that we’ve started a new year and things are once again moving quickly and new goals and tasks are being added to my to-do list, I find myself both more patient yet less willing to overlook unaccountability and a lack of effort in others, more organized yet less rigid about incorporating fun in to everything I’m doing, and more self-aware yet less personally judgmental…all at the same time.  When I took time this past week to really think about it, I realized I had found the greatest gift in my willingness to wait: balance.

So while I’m slowly making consistent use of that gym membership I’ve had for the last 3 years and am finding myself more comfortable with accepting that some things can just be done tomorrow in order to spend more time with people and in places that matter, my time of waiting actually gave me back what I needed most: Me. And I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

What are you in need of for this year? How much are your goals/resolutions aligned with what you’ve discovered you need to truly make yourself a priority? Let’s talk about it!

Happy 2018!

LaKeitha

Behind the Scenes

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“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” - Job 13:15

Many times we have reasons to be frustrated and bewildered at the sudden loss of everything or nearly everything we have. Disasters have came my way twice in my lifetime, that have affected me in different way: one by way of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the other in the form of the EF3 Tornado that hit Eastern New Orleans area in February 2017.

When Hurricane Katrina hit, I was surrounded by my beautiful mother and my amazing daughter. But when i learned of the devastation of the tornado that hit my neighborhood, I was all alone. Mother had went home to be with the Lord a few years before and my daughter was many miles away on a business trip.

So you see, trusting God was all I had to hold on to to keep myself together when the unexpected happened. Putting your faith and trust in God will carry you through any situation or circumstance. There are times when disasters come and people see nothing but material loss. Material possessions can be replaced, but the loss of life cannot.

Through all I experienced, my faith remained intact and unwavered. I stood back and looked from behind the disasters and realized God kept me and my family safe from hurt, harm and danger.

We can’t always see the marvelous hand of God working out His purpose, even through trials and tribulations that come our way. By trusting in God we can more readily accept the difficulties of life and have full and complete confidence that He is in control and allows things that happen in our life to work together for our GOOD and for His GLORY.

You don’t have to always show your hand; show your HEART. And if you’re “Behind the Scene” with God on your side, “YOU WIN!

So, let 2018 be a year of “PRESSING ON” and “LEAPING FORWARD” into what God is calling you to be and do both in your personal and professional life.

“LET’S TALK ABOUT IT”

 Amanda

 

“It's Worth Talking About”

One of my favorite sayings of all time is “That which does not kill you makes you stronger.”

When I think about this saying, it reminds me to stand strong when tested and that every bad situation is an opportunity for you to turn the situation around if God allows you to live to see another day. However, let me let you in on a little secret: Life comes with challenges, and thinking that you can click your heels together like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz and wish yourself back home isn’t the way it happens.

I have learned that you have to pray hard, work harder and seek help from qualified and helpful individuals when you can’t sort things out for yourself. It’s ok to talk things over with professionals where there’s NO JUDGEMENT. Asking for help when you need it takes a lot of courage and shows that you want to improve your life circumstances for the better. COURAGE is that inner voice that says to you, “I will try again TOMORROW” when in actuality you really just want to throw in the towel. Even after fall and failing, you can get back up again, and that’s what it takes to achieve your wildest dreams and live your best life. If at first you don’t succeed you try and try again until you see light at the end of the tunnel.

Difficult roads sometime lead to beautiful destinations. Stay the course. God has a purpose for your pain, a reason for your struggle, and a gift for your FAITHFULNESS.

NEVER GIVE UP! STAY FOCUSED, STAY POSITIVE, AND STAY STRONGremember “IT’S WORTH TALKING ABOUT.”

Amanda

Cheers to 2017: Who Needs Resolutions When You Can Have Joy All Year Long?

2016 was definitely a year to remember. We held a successful Open House for the practice’s new office space (YAY!), I defended my dissertation and became Dr. Poole (still seems so unreal...whoa!), and I got to witness the incomparable magic that is Beyoncé’...twice! Talk about an action-packed year!

When I think about these sort of things that have happened for (and to) me all year long, I recognize how much of an impact they have had on my perception of what having joy truly means. Before this year, everything I did seemed tied to fulfilling some goal or aspiration that, in the moment, seemed impossible and like a chore. Developing a 100+ page document that kicks-off your career in academia, learning how to be a ruthless, motivated, female business owner when it contradicts everything that you’ve embraced about being an empathic, soft-spoken counselor, and finding time to practice regular self-care by staying true to the travel bug that sets your soul afire was a major balancing act that occupied much of my mental capacity in 2016. When it was all over, even though I was extremely exhausted, I could not have felt more proud of the things I had accomplished and the future opportunities that would result. Nevertheless, I also felt completely depleted: physically, mentally, and interpersonally. I needed to be recharged. I was happy, but I needed to find joy.

So, around August of this year (a little late, I know), I committed to only doing things that I was passionate about and that would somehow always come back around to offer fulfillment for the effort that I had exerted. I committed to this new mantra in my friendships, my work environments, and through practicing good self-care and spiritual renewal. This intentional, mindful approach helped me to put so many things into perspective and allowed me to trust that no matter what circumstances I faced (presenter or future), I am already equipped to overcome them and remain in a place of gratitude and joy. While one might assume this way of thinking would seem natural to a therapist’s mindset, I sometimes forget that in order for me to best serve my clients I, too, have to be mentally and emotionally well and know when to take time for myself and/or ask for help from others. So today and all year long, no matter what happens, I choose joy. I hope you’ll join me.

Happy New Year!

Until Next Time,

LaKeitha