Attention: What Sustains?

I am currently on vacation. I purposely took a week off from work and planned a 5 day stay at the Beach. My two teens are with me and as teenish as they are, I am often left alone. The Ocean wore them out and I find myself drawn to check my phone and emails—wanting someone to want me, need me. I have never had a problem being alone. I prefer it…I prefer quiet. My levels of growth and healed segments of my life are increased and reveled in when I am alone. Yet, last night as all was quiet except the therapeutic roaring of the ocean, I was unable to write, unable to read. I surmised that it has only been 24 hours in which the phone did not have my attention. In all honesty, I worked yesterday, remotely. So, in not writing, nor reading I am focusing on the best way to help all patients… I am strategically casing while on vacation. Seriously.

        An Undeniable Bond
#myBrutus and #PrincessMonster
An Undeniable Bond
#myTeens

Okay, let’s talk: Attention, what does it mean to you and why has it become a phenome to accept deeper connections through social media and not human contact? We text more than we call. We scroll more than we touch. We deviate more than we plan and grow. I sit here and I people watch…rarely does anyone make direct eye contact. One female is walking for exercise while on her phone. A model is having her pics taken by a photographer…I digress. My plan for vacationing was to write, to read and to relax. I was only able to do that for a full 24 hours before my attention was diverted to everything but my personal goals.

I think with each phase of life our desire for attention levels out and begins differently. I ask not to be self-critical nor to minimize the affect how Life and why God has impacted my journey just so. I analyze, I overthink, I reflect…I ponder, as I become this great individual that I’ve pursued for the longest time.

  • What type of attention are you seeking?
  • What parts of you need that type of validation and why?
  • Why aren’t you able to write, Writer?
  • What are those fears that keep you searching?

I think my own diversion to attention seeking is due to my having to work all the time for any and everything I’ve wanted. I’ve been placed in Life-Roles when I had no clue, no voice in how things should be, yet I continue to do right by those that are in my life. I know that the way my life is set up I am required to go, do and be. Rarely, am I given the opportunity to focus on myself…to breathe –to understand where I am. At times, restoration is scary, fearful and quite intimidating. I love how my phase is unfolding as I am writing this…. God does exactly what He wants for His love is greater for us than any plans we’ve wished and prayed for. He never stops listening. Cosmically, this is the calmest the Ocean has been since we arrived.

“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.” ~Doe Zantamata

Therapeutic Reflections
#NoObstacles

I encourage you to re-evaluate your actions and analyze your why…soon the reveal or revelation you seek will hit you in the most deserving way possible…your needs not theirs. Keep with what sustains you…even if it seems to have blurred. I am a therapist’s therapist and an awesome mother. I believe the remainder will fall into place; its impossible to thrive in lack.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

©

Graced For More

Committing to writing has always been an adventurous discipline for me. Forgive me for not posting as quickly as my experiences occur. I am ever so grateful for the way Life is treating me and faithfully attuned to how God stands in the gaps of my unknowing.

August, my birthday month has been revolutionary! My 49th year began with decisions, doubts and quiet fear. Those things I kept to myself, internalizing the eternal. My last post I detailed my journey in participating in #31DaysOfPrayer; which generated a great deal of evolving. The Spiritual growth process is unusual and unique, rather intimate. My spiritual life has been enlightening, very different than assumed. We’re all given foundations, taught standards and one or several events will set us on a meta trajectory with our own beliefs changing and/or becoming more.

I gifted myself a spa treatment. I’ve never had one before and expected service like that of a standard massage treatment. My time there was/is unequivocally a required life-essential. The care I received increased my strength in becoming better in my love of self—acknowledging the existence of how I’ve allowed abuse, sadness and humanness cause a permanence of take-aways.

The outside doesn’t appear as much to look at yet the facility is tranquil once you enter. How do you treat yourself? Is the first question prompted within the waiting area. I was greeted with warmth, kindness and served Watermelon Basil Water. #fancy I chose the Summer Scrub Treatment followed by a facial treatment. Yes, I still have acne!! Which blows my mind for I never had acne issues as a teen or during pregnancy.

I’m directed to this beautiful room where water is running slowly in a copper tin tub. The room is soft, full of earthy colors: browns, creamy white and greenery. I’ve yet to relax. There’s a great deal of anxiety even with expecting this type of care.

The process was gentle. The care exceptional. I’ve never been cared for in such a manner. #Sisters, we serve everyone. We are nurturers. It’s what we do, how we are. As I explained to my eldest: “My first 7 years I cannot remember but no one has ever washed me. Ever. I’ve taken care of others, washed and massaged them. No one has ever cared for me in such a way. It solidified that I want to be wealthy with life. I want to be able to do those type things for myself.”

Him: “It must be hard for you. To know that you were never loved in that manner. I mean I can’t remember but I know that I was cared for in that way because you tell me. Grandma told me. I know I was loved, am loved. But to know that you were not. Man, Momma. You should be able to do that at least 2x a year.”


My attendant requested permission to wash my stomach…4 babies, 6 surgeries, numerous stretch marks, c-sect scar, weight gain…I cried, silently. Every negative thing, thought, image was lifted away from me. How shameful I’ve treated myself. It’s all connected—our mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. Soul-neglecting has to be our greatest betrayal of self. How unknowingly cruel we are, can be.

As I returned back into my work week, I experienced some soreness, tenderness when I moved. Not painful but just enough to remember the experience as it transpired. We’re not here to just touch others’ lives, to serve others. Be mindful of how you’re representing your soul. We’re not created to take in everything and hold on to it. How are you treating yourself?

Don’t confuse self-care with maintenance, those things we do to maintain a “finished” look. I am uncomfortable yet grounded…forging and purged…leveling up. I’m unsettled in settling. That makes my soul smile. {Ecclesiastes 3}

#BeAWholeMovement

“Trust me when I say, You’re capable of anything imaginable.” ~Anonymous

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

siSTARS on Motherhood

A new platform! I am so excited about this collaboration. I wanted my intro to this Trio– I am a part of to be grander and greater. Yet, I cannot think of gifting you our #Us in such a phenomenol way. Take time to watch the video….we are authentic and so raw in our love. Totally unbiased. I think it is a very powerful introduction to my SiStars and a great way to reflect and be encouraged this Mother’s Day weekend. Also follow Doc @kwoted.wordpress.com and Lady G @seekthebestblog.com.

K E Garland

I promise we didn’t plan this, buuut this video comes just in time for Mother’s Day in the US! We each talk a little bit about what motherhood/parenting means to us, and of course, each is different based on our own background.

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For She Loved Much

This weekend I am off (this is so rare) and I sat on my patio…felt the breeze of the wind on my skin, I did not have to rush anywhere. No counseling, no assignments. The weather was unexpected– cooler than it has been. I noticed the blue of the sky, the green of the leaves on the trees…my recently planted peppers are starting to bloom, my flowers not so much. I breathe. I smile. Daily I commit to reading my Bible, as well as some different devotional books. In reading the excerpt in the Bible of Jesus raising a Dead Girl and healing a Sick Woman, Matthew 9:18-25, a couple of things placed me in a thoughtful mode. Women are powerful and oftentimes how we are is marginalized or interpreted less than positive. During my reading, I tend to analyze and associate my life with the lives of the women in the Bible. Not perfect but faithful. I am far from a Biblical Scholar; however, I am forever a student.

Nowhere in the Bible was a woman isolated –left alone. Even when Hagar ran—ready to give up, desperate to get away, to die even with her child: God sent her back. He promised her better yet He did not explain how it was going to get better.  He was sending her back to what she was running from. She went back; she obeyed…blows my mind each time I read it.

Of my experiences, I know abuse of any kind left unchecked will affect different levels of our lives within different phases. Our childhood despite great parenting may and will dissipate; melt into an intangible, become creased with pain, often sadness will occur, coupled with unworthiness and suspicion. What we learn and what we know due to our experiences will become a part of us –it all keeps us—often we use “it” as a protective barrier.

We, women, we isolate a lot. We pull away. I know I keep the broken pieces hidden well. Through the years and yes it has been years I am learning that transitioning from the emotions of girl-like deadness to continuous healing, to vowing to live and love complete is work. #soulwork I am learning that I have learned to accept rejection –my way, with my own definition. It is difficult to re-frame, remove and grow in your healing. There are different aspects, camouflages we self-incorporate in order to mask what we know, what we will not acknowledge as well as to what we hold on to. #heartwork

“Don’t be so loyal to your suffering that healing doesn’t stand a chance.” ~ginamoffia.com

In the times of our deepest pain, the assurance of God’s presence can provide comfort, a comfort that without our knowing commensurate with current and past pain. He is All-Knowing. The great thing is even in our moments of desperation, we tend to develop a genuine confidence in our Higher Power, certain of His power to heal, to make things better. Within my desperation, my faith is undeniable; faith is my driving force regardless of my circumstances. I was told once that my faith was wonderful…this weekend I am leaning towards believing that.

Back to the strength of women, we are nurtures, we love: the woman with the issue of blood, her condition is desperate both for medical reasons and because of its social consequences; her ostracism would extend even to her private life, she was alone, isolated in her being, within her illness.  Yet, her faith trusted her to not make herself known, not to call for Him but to press forward within a crowd of people to touch,  just touch the hem of His garment. Her faith, her belief in the possible was her healing.

I encourage you to push pass any significant pain that causes insecurity, anything that is less befitting of your future. All may not go as we plan or how we hope—do not allow confusion to outweigh your perhaps. Press forward, hope for greater and above all keep going. Pursue your healing, evolve with His promises…allow healing to persist and remain present. Be better in getting better, for we love much. {Luke 7:47}

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

His grace

Let grace surprise you. His grace is consistent. His grace is sufficient.

Remember where you are at this moment is not by accident, nor mere coincidence. The plans you have, the goals achieved, they are guided by something greater—no matter where you are in your belief. There is a Force. There is God. There is Jesus. There is the Holy Spirit…and whatever, whomever it, they, them are for you…Our Father created, planned, purposed for our greatest good. Continue to think big and then think bigger than that. There are no spiritual rules; there are Spiritual Laws, Spiritual principles. (Romans 3:27)

I am learning the shortcomings, the mistakes, the “I failed” are learned lessons that simultaneously uproot and tug at my heart –bleeding and encouraging my soul to shine anyway. Feel it. Understand it and grow with it. There will be, there are people who will continue to change on you more than they change with you. I apologize for the hurt you feel, for the pain you have endured. I encourage you to not stop being whomever you are asserting yourself to become. I will appreciate you…this you that you are. Allow God’s grace to surprise you. With it comes peace and a hope that may diminish every now and then yet your faith, our faith does not waiver. The world is deserving of all of you. Do not hide the good parts. #selflove

His favor protects, heals…fall for the healing more than the pain. Fall for the healing until you are assured that your faith is unfailing. Each time we forgive, I know that God grows in us; we have to make room. Make room for the unfamiliar as you do for the pain. #heal
Miracles are not heavy yet they are precise, evenly attributable to your plan, your pain, your problem, your faithfulness. Miracles are every day. God’s gonna do what He said. You openly, expectantly allow God’s grace to surprise you. I plead that you anticipate the best. It matters that you know what it looks like. Discern. Be wise. Grow. Believe so that you can see.

Intimately worded,

Michelle

COPYRIGHT ©2018 [amichelleexperience.me] All rights reserved.

My Ragged Bible

my ragged bible

Sunday mornings are my love.  I am ashamed that I haven’t written this year. Forgive me. As I sit here meditating, reading the word, and other reading tools that help me go deeper into God’s word I notice my Bible. I notice how worn it is, how the tears, nicks and picks have crept in over the years. I notice how the binder has completely ripped and the back of my Bible, my ragged Bible is falling apart. I notice how the faces of the women appear bubbled, out of focus and I smile. Well I tear up and smile.

The appearance of  my Bible is a replica of my worn-torn, war –wearied, heartbroken-heart and healed/healing soul. God has watched over me. God has pushed me; He has talked to me and He has loved me because He promised He would. His capacity to love us without the pull of guilt or you owe keeps me hinged to Him. God gives value to our souls.

In reflection, I purchased this Bible on July 7, 2007 and inside I wrote, “To understand God, you have to spend time with God.” (How God works.)  I began studying more of the Word in an effort to save the beginnings of a crumbling marriage; we had not made it to the seven-year mark. I wanted to find solace in the One Belief I trusted…if I just prayed hard enough—I would not break my vows. God could still trust me with the big things. I yearned for the big things. God will turn our selfishness into His greatest opportunities. Oh, how things got worse the closer I became to God. We were divorced two years later. Nevertheless, my Bible was still intact, still looked new.

My journey to return to school as a Business Major, older and as a single parent of four was challenging. Many a night, this Bible was read, yet not felt. We are required to read, to study, to show ourselves approved. I cannot tell you when the binder ripped but it hurt when it did. I refused to tape it, to add anything to it to fix it. I let it be —I just carry the pieces together. (How God works.)  Recently, my Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling was granted on March 1, 2018. You would think He and I are even…that I have done the work and all is now within the realm of completion. The master’s program journey was devastating. It tore me apart and put me back together so different than I expected. My thought, let’s let the blessings flow, Jehovah. (Laugh) Nope, smh. I have submitted my application for certification in Clinical Pastoral Education—to be educated in spiritual care. I am not a minister…yet my gift is to care for those who are.

I am so far out of my comfort level. Shoot, I have been for years. These next steps of my life are huge and I am terrified. I am alone. This past week, I have endured so many attacks, spiritual attacks. It has been a whoa-Jesus kinda week. So much so that my deceased parents have visited me in my dreams. My mom, “You’re taking care of everyone else. Don’t lose sight.”  My Dad, “You’re’ not alone. Stick with it, Michelle.”

Yet, my ragged Bible, this ragged Bible, my, “Aspire, the new Women of Color Study Bible.” My ragged Bible is in pieces, tattered, pages bent, filled with love notes written by my kids; highlighted words that hem my heart…written for purpose of guidance, written for purpose to encourage, written for the purpose to build, written for the purpose to heal…my ragged Bible, is written for the purpose to initiate and cultivate purpose.

Our need, our individual want to prosper, to be better in life, to live brighter than yesterday cannot be done without Him. I encourage you to find your niche and allow God to incorporate the work, the journey; the balance required to live your greatest life. Again, I write, “To understand God, you have to spend time with God.”

Each time I read the story of Jesus healing, the man born blind I receive a number of different insights. My favorite verse, John 9:3, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might displayed in his life.” This had to happen. Our things had to happen. Our must go through is required. Know that what has become increasingly clear to me is that without self-evidence, without the pain and heartache, without the disappointments, the hurt, without the journey, without painful, historical insight I could not share with you that prayer —our relationship with God —is the very breathe of our greatest human existence. Spend some time with Him, your way.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle