Quit Holding Your Breath! By Tasha Richardson

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Holding Your Breath“Now is just not a good time, I have so many other things to take care of first.”  “I just don’t know what happened!  I just woke up one day, and here I am…it would be too hard to change now.”  “It’s no use!  My life won’t get better until ______ happens.”

Do the above statements sound familiar?  These statements should be termed ‘holding your breath’ statements.  This is because the person who says them is holding his or her breath until the perfect moment occurs.  This perfect moment exists in the future or it is tethered to the nostalgia of the past, which the person wishes could be recreated.

Recognize the areas of your life where you run from the action that the present moment is calling you to.  Where is it that you have been reminiscing about the past, dreaming up the future, and remaining paralyzed in the present?  Identify one area where you have noticed this and take action today!  Your action can be big or small–just do something.  In the words of poet June Jordan, “We are the One’s We’ve been Waiting for.”  That moment, person, situation, or circumstance will never come–even when it seems like it has or will.  Your life is waiting for you to accept it as it is, embrace the present moment, and ACT in the way you see fit.  You can do it–you are so amazing and awesome!  Just try it–the worst you can do is fail and choose to go back to the way you’ve always done things.

Helpful Readings:

  1. Time Warrior by Steve Chandler
  2. How to rid yourself of analysis paralysis
  3. The Secret to Defeating Analysis Paralysis (and Why You Don’t Do It)
  4. 11 Ways to Overcome Analysis Paralysis
  5. You Have To Start Somewhere: 4 Steps to Eliminating Decision Paralysis

Best of luck on your journey!  May you live a whole life and greet the world with your light, no apologies necessary!

It’s More Than Hair–Being A Role Model

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“Young girls can’t aspire to be something they don’t see.”

—India, from My Natural Sistas 

This quote totally resonates with me and reminds me of an experience I had to a few years ago.  I had the pleasure of working with youth in an after school/ summer day camp program a few years ago. This was before I converted to Islam and began wearing the hijab.

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Vanquish Mental Clutter and Create Space for A Purpose-Filled Life by Tasha Richardson

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When we live tethered to the past or worry about the future, we clutter our mind.  This makes it hard for us to spend time doing those things which allow us to live our lives full of purpose.  A cluttered mind is a distracted mind–and distracted minds cannot fully meet the world and the present moment with all of the strength, humility, awe, gratitude and abundance that the occasions call for.  

One of the biggest worries that a cluttered mind could have is the fear that ‘there is not enough for me” or “I am not worthy/I don’t deserve x or y.”  This fear suggests the belief in scarcity and a lack of abundance.  When in the grips of this fear nothing is or ever will suffice.  Worrying effectively locks us into paralysis. Author Steve Chandler explains worrying the best.  To Chandler, worrying is a ‘“misuse of the imagination,” a futile exercise that we engage in when we want to avoid taking action.  

Believing the lie that there isn’t enough or that one is not worthy or deserving automatically puts a true life worth living on the back burner.  This lie displaces those helpful thoughts and affirmations such as, “Life happens for me, not to me” and “I have everything I need, and I want for nothing because there is a lot to go around.”  How much more powerful could you be if you recognized this tendency within yourself?  Take notice of the ways that you willingly clutter your mind–and then take action.  When those thoughts come forth, short circuit and weaken them by performing an action–especially an act of service and/or finding something for which you are grateful.

Check out these articles below about mental clutter and what we can do about it!

  1. 5 Steps to a Clutter-Free Mind (& Life!)
  2. Decluttering Your Mental Clutter 
  3. Clearing Out The Mental Clutter
  4. Permanent self-motivation: Getting started
  5. Three Causes of Mental Clutter
  6. 3 Types of Mental Clutter and How to Eliminate Them
  7. 5 Steps to Clear Mental Clutter

What are the ways that you engage in worrying and other forms of mental clutter?  How has this ‘pastime’ distracted you from your true purpose?  How do you ‘clean house’ when mental clutter strikes?  Comment below!

Life is awaiting you!  Embrace it! Seize it!  Thrive!  Live boldly, confidently, and passionately!  Here are some great words of wisdom about life:

A Psalm of Life

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807 – 1882

What the Heart of the Young Man Said to the Psalmist

Tell me not, in mournful numbers,
  “Life is but an empty dream!”
For the soul is dead that slumbers,
  And things are not what they seem.
  
Life is real! Life is earnest!
  And the grave is not its goal;
“Dust thou art, to dust returnest,”
  Was not spoken of the soul.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
  Is our destined end or way;
But to act, that each to-morrow
  Finds us farther than to-day.
  
Art is long, and Time is fleeting,
  And our hearts, though stout and brave,
Still, like muffled drums, are beating
  Funeral marches to the grave.
  
In the world’s broad field of battle,
  In the bivouac of Life,
Be not like dumb, driven cattle!
  Be a hero in the strife!
  
Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
  Let the dead Past bury its dead!
Act,–act in the living Present!
  Heart within, and God o’erhead!
  
Lives of great men all remind us
  We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
  Footprints on the sands of time;
  
Footprints, that perhaps another,
  Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
  Seeing, shall take heart again.
  
Let us, then, be up and doing,
  With a heart for any fate;
Still achieving, still pursuing
  Learn to labor and to wait.

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths

Philip James Bailey

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives
Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
And he whose heart beats quickest lives the longest:
Lives in one hour more than in years do some
Whose fat blood sleeps as it slips along their veins.
Life’s but a means unto an end; that end,
Beginning, mean, and end to all things—God.
The dead have all the glory of the world.

 

Lesson #5: Get Off the Bus–Knowing When to Let Go and Move On

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A few months ago, I was waiting for the bus by my house.  I was on my way to an offsite workshop for work and so had to take the bus to the last stop.  While I was waiting, a bus that would only take me half way to my destination arrived.  I got on the bus since I was familiar with the driver, since I often rode his bus in the bus in the mornings.  Once I got on the bus, I checked my bus tracker app and noticed that the bus I needed was only two minutes away.  So I got off the bus after only traveling two stops.

This experience inspired me to write this lesson.  Sometimes in life, we may be comfortable and familiar with a relationship we have with someone or something.  When that person or thing can no longer support us on our journeys, then it’s time to get off the bus.  I was familiar with that bus driver. We would greet each other every time I took his bus.  But he couldn’t take me where I needed to go.  I had to let go of the familiar in order to reach my destination.

Another important caveat that I took away from this ordeal was that it is better to let go immediately when you notice that a relationship is no longer serving you.  If I had gotten off the bus much later or at the halfway point, I would have had to wait much longer for the bus I needed and potentially arrived late to my training.

Once I realized that the driver was nice to me but couldn’t take me where I needed to go, it was time to abort.  I am by no means suggesting that you drop someone out of your life immediately because you are going through a trying time.  However, I do advise you to assess the situation.

 

Ask yourself:

Can this relationship contribute to my growth?

Will this habit help guide me to where I want to go?

If the answer is no, then it’s time for you to “get off that bus!”

 

When have you realized that it is time to let go of a thought pattern, person, or habit?  How did you handle the situation?  Let us know in the comment section.

 

Love always,

Tanika Monique

Always & Forever

Forever & Always