​Take Your Moments

Happy Merry Tuesday! This is not a Christmas Post.

I’m trying to do my best in re-entering my blogging world. Life is throwing us about swiftly and profoundly in so many different ways. I continue to pull my hopeful heart together with slippery fingers. Working from home is a good thing; truly a heart’s desire. I’ve always wanted to be home with my kids. This CoVid Year allowed for that. At the end of October, I transitioned from two year employment to a new corporation. I experienced and continue to experience therapy-patient separation; a month in and there is less guilt and more certainty of my choices. You haven’t seen less of me due to life, there’s less writing when my heart overflows. Truthfully, it is a bit of fragility and intimacy— 2020 has been more than enough and then some.

I am a professional working entrepreneur. I smile as I write this, not putting myself in a box. I think as we visualize we’re more apt to find our way. I love how this new corporation gives a weekly analysis of my work habits. The analysis generates a live video and statistics of where my time is effective, productive and self-care could use more input. I love that I don’t have to have a meeting to be told to pull back. I’ve always wanted a career role or life status as to where I can be home with my children. I have that now, I’m settling within my transitions. I’m entering the kitchen more. Cooking has always been a comfort for me…it grounds me in so many different ways. Most days, I prepare lunch during my lunch hours. I love pulling vegetables out, chopping and sautéing. I love spices. Lately, I’m craving cilantro. I’m unsure of why. I think for how green it is, it’s difference among the herb family. I’ve always moved away from it until now. This link gives great insight as to why cilantro has my palette’s interest: https://tastybite.com/2016/04/5-things-you-didnt-know-about-cilantro/

When I cook, I normally cook with the home quiet. I like the chopping and the sizzling that happens. Most recently, I’m listening to music…good music, soulful music…it gives breath and breadth for me make room for thoughts o goodness and grace. Jon McReynolds has become a great favorite of my #PlayList. This song, “God is Good”—- the lyrics grab me up each time: “May your struggles keep you near the cross. And may your troubles show that you need God. And may your battles end the way they should. And may your bad days prove that God is good. And may your whole life prove that God is good.” When you make time, take a listen.

I encourage you to take your moments and to stay present within your moments. Work through what is working you. We’re graced for more. Life’s a lot more different than this new normal. Go further in love. You deserve every good thing. #BeAWholeMovement

Intimately Worded, 

Michelle 

Grace and Relationships

Photo taken: November 2020.
Live less out of habit and more out of intent.” ~Anonymous

I haven’t written about earthing my 50th birthday in August. I am not going to excuse myself by stating I am too busy. As I reflect, I have realized its all been rather intimate, personal and my experiences unearth my vulnerability and leaves my heart wide open. This shifting has been grand, wonderful, unexpected and at times the most painful.

Grand….I was able to treat myself to a mini getaway from home without travelling out of state due to CoVid. This beautiful Caribbean themed B&B, located here in Charlotte, NC: http://www.mselsies.com/ The owner was so welcoming, comforting and soulfully-bossy. Just the type of “love” I needed. I’ve never taken a getaway alone. I have always travelled as a couple and/or with my kids. All of this was new to me. I was nervously excited and my soul weary.

Wonderful.…I was nurtured, pampered, fed—my palate was amazed. I was the only guest during my stay. I was fussed over just enough yet left alone with as much space I required. My soul was cared for and some healing took place. My spiritual self required rest yet yearned for more of this. Not only was I fed well –the conversations, the prayers and wisdoms of Life were like Nature’s own medicine.

Unexpected…My core beliefs for my independence was shaken. This ability I have of taking care of myself, of knowing that I have to do this alone was a comfort for me. Although, I’ve always hoped for a love that is comparable to how I love, it did not seem to be in sight. I believe the glimpse of being loved scared me, of the the unexpected places where I sought solace, solitude and sacred rest my Michelle was uprooted.

“Michelle, you’re judgmental in your personal life and only in your personal life. You need to hear what you need to hear not what you to want to hear. Your independence has taught you to make it, to push through. You discern and that is a gift. You’ve forgotten how to be taken care of.” ~Cheryl Watkins, Ms. Elisie’s Granddaughter and Owner of the B&B. She told me this in our introduction. It hurt to hear. My initial plan for my mini-retreat was to reserve a upscale spa and my mind was changed to this intimate oasis. I don’t believe our meeting was happenstance.

I’ve been working this singleness and motherhood with grace while allowing Grace to lead me through graduate life and being a therapist. I haven’t dated in years; no one has approached me in a nurturing, chivalrous manner that would require me to date. During this time, a guy entered my life unannounced and with genuine effort. He paid for my second day at the B&B. He arranged a spa day after hearing of the difficult work day I experienced. He wanted to know if I ate, took my vitamins, was I smiling, was I protected. The more we talked and the grand gestures he carried out was healing old hard wounds. I don’t fall easily. I cannot afford it.

As I live and love within my 50th cycle love is frightening; we lose people either by choice, their actions or inactions, yet mostly consequences will pull us away from others. The extension of grace requires understanding, forgiveness for peace and growth. What I want isn’t always what it seems no matter how conscientious I am. I am learning to move forward with all that I am and that incudes: authenticity, truth, grace and love. I am doing well in my wait. I remind myself that my self-work gives tremendous value to my self-worth. #BeAWholeMovement #FreedSoul Singleness Relationships His plans

I encourage you to trust how you give, learn that rest is sacred and your ground is too. Stand your ground. #LoveGives #ShineAnyway

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

*Please note that since our meet she sends reminder texts: “How beez u?” She happies this heart of mine.

Healing: Necessary Work

I know I haven’t blogged in awhile. As this world continues to be lopsided, broken and undergoing intense psychological warfare on Humanity; I find myself consistently in a weird wounded type of movement. Open, learning, yearning yet not passive nor suppressed….Defiantly Intimate.

The Process of Unlearning

Since last post, I completed my required 3000 hours under my deadline goal of two years—I completed them in 18 months. I have submitted my application for approval for full licensure. I have improved my selfcare with purchasing fresh flowers for my home, just because I like the idea of them. Even with this quarantine, I remain available for my children, my grandchild and my patients. I’ve tried to date….men are exhausting. That’s a whole other ordeal. #MyLife

Living Black does not leave me disconnected from any of the News, the headlines, the atrocities. Racism, the hate isn’t new. The resurgence of the Black Movement is painful, magnetic, intense and divinely necessary. This is more than a moment. Do your work, you matter. #SystemicAwareness

I want to write about the process in healing. When healing, you’re not moving pass it. You’re moving through it. Healing requires acknowledgment before insight and foresight are gifted. How are we to reconcile when the hurt is not recognized? This is where its not about “how you made me feel” takes root but rather having the capacity to self-advocate with, “You hurt me.”

I understand that we do not like conflict. Yet, it is divinely irresponsible to limit the pathways toward your healing. This is where you begin your work. We tend to rationalize reaching down or reaching backward for the very same systems, person or people that broke us.

Be willing to overturn and unlearn systems that benefit from the crushing of Humanity: WE are a powerful people. Good wins; it should. Allow people to leave when emotional maturity is lacking, when spiritual identity becomes foggy, distant, unreciprocated. Give space —huge amounts of space to those who are incapable of making room for you. Move differently. You are worthy of healing.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Writer’s Favorite Work: Lion’s Den and the vulnerability of Belief is one of my greatest written work to date. Take a read or re-read.

July: Healing Humanity

Our 2020 has gut punched seemingly on a weekly basis. I’m proud of how we’ve endured and persevered. WordPress sent me a congratulatory notification two days ago stating that I have been blogging for 5 years now. Wow! I am appreciative for the courage to share my thoughts in such a creative process. Thank you to all who like, follow, share and comment. I value each of you.

This year has had me in such a weird place that writing seems foreign to me. I haven’t been neglectful in writing—there just doesn’t seem to be an easy flow of writing to where readers will be empathetic to comprehend my soul pieces. I hope that makes sense. The political disconnect (truthfully it has always been there), CoVid19 continues, Systemic Racism (woundedly, it remains), Police Murders of Black Lives (#GeorgeFloyd) was not the first and the revolutionary resurgence of Black Movement. #BlackLivesMatter

#Spiritual Wellness…I made major moves this week. I’m doing a lot more focusing on the things I want and requesting those things that I require. I expected some push back on this one request and I didn’t receive it. In a talk w/ a colleague, “Michelle I’m not sure why you expected push back. You are the most sought out therapist here. Look at your location. Every location I visit you’re the only therapist that remains booked. Yeah. No, you’re not going to get any push back.” 

I looked at her strangely. I didn’t get the big head. I became even more humbled. There are times I have no clue where I am in all this. Oftentimes, I miss me. This week was a Monday’s Monday–every day of the week: I listened to a patient apologize yet defend their idea of “All Lives Matter while Black Lives do not matter.” (Actual words: “Black Lives do not matter.”) The more they talked to their Black Female Therapist, the more racist they sounded. I wrote three individuals out of work—mental health has become an issue for the majority; I was threatened “jokingly” while in session and I reported my first case of child abuse to DSS.

 This ‘work” just doesn’t leave me yet it doesn’t become a part of me either. It all causes me to pause and reflect. I move into gratefulness. I think who I am and how I am leads me toward the moments of difficulty, gives me strength and causes me to recognize where my strength comes from. I think if  I had the ability to shake it or become numb I wouldn’t be who I am as a therapist. I believe serving as a therapist has to be one of the most difficult things I had to do…and become. We’re always becoming, evolving; trying to be better than yesterday. This role as therapist is difficult while being purposefully rewarding; so many pieces of me are required. 

In my personal reflection, I notice how we neglect ourselves to make ourselves available for other people. One previous Saturday, I woke up unsure if I was getting sick or if I was just worn out–mentally and physically. I was more apt to believe in the first option, that I was getting sick. In wearing these masks my face has begun to breakout, coupled w/ stress I think it’s natural to assume illness. I needed to rest and reset. I’m going to find my space in this. I’m committed to finding my space in this. I continue to make room everyday as well as set new boundaries. I am selfish with my peace.

I pray that in our moments —those moments that we find difficult to get up that we move towards our wholeness. As we continue to be whole there is no stopping point of movement, of increase. We gain ground. Continue to gain ground. In your grounding: you may have to Reground, Reframe, Reset, Process, Breathe…Love Anyway. 

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Facing Our Monsters

January has been the most difficult concerning my therapeutic life. It was a rough month. This hurt; this stuff hurts. Its not all due to the therapeutic experiences alone yet hearing certain isolated stories of pain caused me to look at some pockets of pain in my life. We are not just facing traumas…to work in a mental health profession, with #mental illness is upsetting, its great, its wonderful, its inspiring, motivating, its painful.

Its painful to see the things we have to see; its hurtful, soul wrenching and heartbreaking to hear the horrific things people go through and the things they want to do…its haunting. What I have learned this year, what I am learning this year: its not that I need to do more or that I need to be more intentional: I need someone.

I’ve set my life up to the point of wanting someone but never will I need someone…that I will ever need someone and that is hard for me to come to terms with. Those are the monsters I’m talking about. The emotional, self- protective modes we come up with because everything becomes very hard, very difficult to deal with. We imagine that no one could possibly understand our journey. So when the monsters show up we don’t know what to do. We stop learning how to let those things go. We don’t know how to process those things. We forget how to not be afraid.

Yet, it amazes me how the Universe flows towards us and never against us. Its great to have someone to ask about your day. Of course, I do not share particular travesties with those that call and check on me…there’s a responsibility in what we leave with people, what we hand over to them. My children surrounded me during this past week. My eldest popped in for a weekend visit, my granddaughter wanted to spend the weekend and she loves her Umi. My heart healed with having all my children under one roof. Monday I sent them a group text:

“Being a therapist has been icky these last few weeks. I don’t tell y’all all of it because it’s ugly very ugly at times. This weekend was what I needed and by far one of the greatest moments of being your mother. I’m so proud of each of you. Being with you does my soul & heart well. You are what I need…always what I wanted and you’re always loved. Your Mom. ” They are what I need.

“Spiritual progress is like detoxification.”

We have to face the monsters. The monsters show up whether we want them to or not; whether we’re ready or not. We have a base, we have home plate—a foundation. It’s not for you to just be okay, it’s for you to be better. Trust your growth process. Understand the experiences for what they are, understand your humanity, understand your heart for whenever the monsters show up its not as scary. For they come, they show their ugliest. Life is difficult…yet we are given the strength to face the monsters. Learn to be gentler with yourself. Love is reciprocal…allow the greater to #evolve.

I’m learning to process so that I can progress and man does that hurt. It becomes easier to trust the Darkness when that’s all we see and hear. Our monsters become bigger when we operate from places of patterns—comfortable patterns that we’ve band aided. There’s Light wherever we are even when we have become the glimpse, a fraction, the source of the Light.

Psalm18:28-29: “You , O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into Light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.”

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Post Thanksgiving: Gratefulness

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving. They were huge for me; I have a huge family and love was indicated, felt whether it was what you needed or not. I laugh now, isolation was never an issue. I have 3 brothers and 3 sisters. I am a middle child. Our parents are now deceased and as the years go by their physical presence …the want to hear and be with them on this day in particular intensifies. Life has a way of giving us what we need the most and lovingly reminds us why we were in need of that something or someone.

The days after #Thanksgiving, I believe should be of recovery time; moments of healing. I pray your time after is that of gratefulness, without guilt. I pray that the tinge of loneliness, if any encourages you to create a new tradition or make that call to a friend. Do not dismiss the power of extending grace. #MoveForward

http://borninprovidence.com Please check out her “Friends-Giving” post. Working w/E on our Self-Care Strategies for the Holidays was and continues to be an exemplary example of two therapists’ heart. What I learned while working with her— listening to her is that she is an unproblematic enthusiasts and a genius in her field. She loves what she does and oh what a giving heart. Here are a few personal takeaways from our Zoom collaboration:

  • Life is better shared, yet when we’re not open to sharing its more than okay to self-advocate what you need with grace.
  • Intimacy is to be treasured not out of self-created responsibilities. We don’t have to feel less than to not be a part of something that’s become so difficult.
  • When the opportunity arises Choose Yourself More. Trust when the need for implementing healthy boundaries is necessary. Learn and continue to learn what that looks like for you. Consistency is often underrated.

As December storms itself into our lives, I am certain there will be more storms that will impede on my pathway of gratefulness. E and I will have another Holiday Zoom Live December 21. We will discuss wellness for those facing Transitions. Please reach out to either one of us if you have a topic of transition or change you would like us to touch on. We enjoy you!

What I am sure of…grief gets complex and there are different aspects to every transition. I think that gratitude is a state of mind, a divine guide towards our more. I am grateful, knowing that when I accept my blessings and when I am receptive of grace has brought me exactly where I am—at peace. You’re not wrong when you choose yourself with grace.

“Most decisions don’t require extensive research…It takes a considerable amount of self-awareness and self-control to resist the temptation.” ~Gretchen Rubin

Intimately Worded,

Michelle