Homework: Self Study💕

In reflection this Sunday morning: My day off…I am still off my routine of things. It was struggle to enjoy my mani and massage pedi. I mindfully had to make myself sit and be taken care of— for they are doing great work.

I’m noticing that I’m struggling within the easy parts of my life. My self maintenance is priority —yet even in that I’m resolved to what is the point. What is the point in all I’ve worked for and towards to be told that “there is something there.” I’m not professing hopelessness or helplessness. I’m still trying to figure out what I did wrong. I believe I’ve had to do something wrong that requires punishment. Right?Right.

Thursday mornings are my spiritual companionship times w/ my Spiritual Advisor. We’ve been together over a year now and I would say she knows me better than most. She affirms me in who I am, how I am, how I love and how I want to be loving. She doesn’t push unless she recognizes that I am not present. She gets me, all of me. Although, this Thursday morning was a struggle too—to hear her, to want to be there. Through this tough time that I am struggling with…I am fussing and complaining about mistreatment towards me, towards others, how this world is cruel at it’s best and it’s worst; I fuss about friendships, about abuse; about it all. She quietly asks me to “overstand, to know that not everyone has your gift.”

I chuckled silently and think, I’m struggling to inner-stand, understand where I am. I acknowledge that, no one is holding space for me. Deep sigh. I am committed to surviving with thriving–this in-betweenness is difficult. This week’s wins: I woke every morning with purpose. I reached out to patients outside of working hours due to their hurts along their journey. I took two vacation days without working and finishing notes. I am planning for workshops in 2022 with strategic hope. I daily connected with my children and spent time with my granddaughter. I talked to my sister and my biological Aunt Shirley. My Koda is without a doubt the most loving furbaby ever.

What I am learning: we love easier when we allow our changes to come softly. When it feels the most is falling apart…maybe the transitions bring all we’ve wanted to fruition and all is coming together. It all looks different, fearful. We’ve never been in this position before. I never expected love throughout this type of season. Redefine Love for yourSelf. My father told me once: “Michelle you’re just running in the field of flowers.” Of course, there was an hour long lecture about relationships after that. I was a teen.☺️
It’s 30 years later and I get it. I comprehend those wisdom highlights more so than ever. I miss him.

I anticipated and wanted “Love” happy, without sadness, without work. There are consequences to our choices. Undoubtedly, there are benefits to our choices as well. Every rejection, disappointment, their “no” can possibly set us on an extraordinary different path. Stop attaching your future to leftovers, to what is left. You’re dodging bullets left and right, Woman! Rise up. Level up. Do you. Protect yourSelf with love—be loving– intuitively. This is…this betterment is actual; it is what is tangible, intangible. This journey, our blessings are necessary. Our lessons learned. Our experiences personal. Everything is happening for your good—-even the current pain of right now. Choose You again and again—intimately and faithfully.

Words for thought: Scripture: Luke 22:31-32

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

Sundays…

#Sundays, remain my favorite day of the week. I am setting a goal to write weekly and post to my blog. I miss writing and I miss the blogging world. I’m unsure if I have introduced our newest family member: Koda, he is a husky and is 15 months old. He has been with us since he was 8 weeks old. That’s him fussing in the pic below because he wants attention and I was working. He is a bit much and we love him so; unconditional love at its best.

I’m in my head this early morning. Coffee, Christmas Decor, writing, reading and some good rest will be my day. I am reflecting on past relationships and friendships and who I was, became and wanted to be in them. It is Christmas time and in the past years I use to think that I was lonely; this year not so much. This year has been a lot of mishaps with meeting others on dating apps and one actual “real life” face to face human. That did not work out well either; I question humanity and common decency more than myself. I am unsure of what to expect of love. What I know is what I want and I am willing to work with all of it when love comes. I am thinking of what time type of relationship person I am. I want to ask: what type of relationship person are you?

When it comes to friendships and dating relationships: I encourage you to stop analyzing why the important and most loved ones walk away. I encourage you to release them without bitterness and in your most loving way possible. Alas, let them go seek what they believe to be true.

Love, to want love is the same for everyone. How to love and in which ways to love is different, quite different. Focus on the rarity it requires to meet your person. Everyone does not get “It.” I’m learning the “It” of it requires simplicity and less difficulty. I love Love. I want creating a space, a place to enhance life a bit more easy peasy, lemon squeezy.

 Trust in your ability to love and make room for better, not only healing your past. I love you. May your Sunday be of good love and sacred rest. I pray your week is productive and beneficial for you.

Intimately Worded,

Michelle

“There is something there…”

Vulnerability: November 2021

Prelude: I am flowing not forcing. I reflect, smile and I asked God for more writing days.

My days, my months, this year has been divine, purposed, productive, exhausting and loving days of hallelujahs. I am living to “do no harm” to anyone and thriving in my authenticity to be my truly different unique self.

I purchased a gym membership and I show up 2x a week at 5:00 am. I am loving it and finally seeing results after 2 months. I’m closer to entrepreneurship: professional headshots, website. My Tribe is flourishing. As an employee: I’m excelling, scheduled months out and there are bonuses that I forgot about. I witness the healing that will benefit individuals as well as generations and I am in awe of God’s purpose in my life.

Friday, day after Thanksgiving, I show up for my second imaging mammogram. I’m nervously strong, I think. Of course I’m completely turned around due to nerves. I’m in the Breast Cancer Center not Imaging. Mentally cuss the lady that left a voicemail without an address. Now I think I’ve completed a faux pau of predicting my future. Nice lady gave me directions to the Imaging Center.. I walk, yes walk, to the other building. My day off…no coffee, full of lostness and anxiety. #Michelle #DeepSigh #EarlyMornings

Second imaging is the worst. Painfully so.

Her: “Breathe. Stop breathing. Move to the left. Face me. Breathe. Stop breathing. Look forward. Look out the window.” Pain. Pain. I gasp.

Me: “Is it suppose to hurt like this?

Her: “Breathe. Stop breathing.”

My thoughts: “What have I done? Why am I here?”

She sits me in a quiet area. She comes back.

Her: “Your left breast is clear. We need to do an ultrasound on the right.” I’m still confused. Really confused but I say okay. She does the ultrasound. I realize she taking the longest time. Her: “I’ll go get the doctor.” I stop breathing. He comes in, black framed glasses and white coat. He’s real. He starts examining, searching. I don’t think I’m breathing. There’s nothing in my head. No sound. No words. He speaks: “There’s something there.”

I disassociate. I hear him. My tears fall silently as I listen. My voice whispers, “What now Jesus?”
She places back in the room. I cry. I cry for awhile. She places me in another room. I do not breathe as we discuss procedures. Her: “Do you have insurance?” My thoughts: ”What if I did not? What happens if you do not have insurance? Does it just remain there? Growing?”

I’ve never had the greatest relationship with my breast. I was a 36C at 16 and my mother was a Southern Baptist Mom to her heart; everything was covered. My breasts drew attention: Middle school boys, older men…they eventually became strangers to me. The alienation continued through childbirth and breastfeeding. I did the self-exams, my annuals they were always healthy, heavy, covered (no pretty lace bras for me) …yet they defined my femininity. They are purposeful, necessary, required. They are mine.

I ask for your healing prayers as I go in for a biopsy 12/23. Currently, I’m crying a lot. Thinking a lot. Putting their future ( my Tribe) in perspective. Trying to think…unsure of how to process any and all of this. My Tribe knows. The youngest walks away as I am telling my older two sons. I question him later. He responds: “I heard December 23rd. You’re not dying from cancer. That’s it. We’re not losing you to breast cancer.”

My sleepless nights….strange. I feel strange. Unfamiliar. I wake up crying throughout the night. I now sleep with a security blanket…I wake up holding it. I’m 51. I feel doubtful. Hopeful. Worried. My breasts —alienated. The right one seems more dominant….it never has been…they are disproportionately different in size yet it feels the heaviest. I’m scared. Prayerful.

Life has taught me and taught me well. I stopped believing in my fairytales a long time ago, without bitterness. Nowadays, I see how God places me in the center of my unbeliefs and strengthens me to wait and see, to heal. I am trusting Him for that yet wondering what if it is too big of an ask. Healing?

A few months ago, I silently asked for more writing days, for more “Me” days, for the ability to take more moments to do other things I love: soft launch of private practice, creating a woman’s support group, certification as a group psychotherapist, seemingly my goals, my wants are coming to fruition….all of this I am working on. Trusting Him for those things.; the tangibles. What I know, He answers our prayers His way.

Intimately worded,

Michelle

Persistent: December 2021

#Mammograms #Breasts #MyBreasts #BlackWomenHealth #Mass #Growth #Treatment #Biopsy #Healing #BlackWomen #Therapy #SpiritualHealth

​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 

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

©

Pause Mode: Cooking, Music, Saturday Reflections

“Keeping the devil down in the hole:”  https://youtu.be/9k9FMGp7oGU

I love creating in the kitchen. When life events become perplexing deciding what to prepare for breakfast, lunch, and or dinner based on what is available in the kitchen is a joy. #mindbliss

When it all gets complicated, keep it simple. Wait your turn it is all coming around, know that for every unanswered reason and all the unbelievable whys will make sense. Remain confident in where God has you. If He doesn’t have you where you are go and find Him.

“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

See the pics of creations below:

Skillet Deliciousness
Heated Rosemary Garlic bread topped w/ fresh sauteed mushrooms, onions, jalapeno peppers topped w/cheese and fresh tomatoes. Yummy!

Skillet creations II
Eggs over easy, sauteed green peppers and onions. My new favorite. 

Happy July! Be grand in every endeavor you are lead to or have to take. It matters.

Creatively yours,

Michelle!

The Power of Not Knowing

books and laptop pic

My Sundays after worship service are quiet…well the majority of them are unless I plan a coffee meet or lunch date with my circle of friends. It is a day and time I love, Sundays.

At this moment, my little bosses are asleep. My daughter has her latest book beside her head, glasses on. I remove them and cover her up; she snuggled a little deeper under her covers. I smile, proud that she devours books as much as I did at her age. My Brutus fell asleep playing his game. I turn it off. He immediately reaches out to hug me, eyes closed. I carry him to the sofa and cover him with my favorite blanket.  He mumbles, “Love you.”

For that reason, I decide to write about this moment, pushing aside the two books I am reading, savoring the peace, the solitude. Given the aftermath of all the national tragedies of lives being taken out of fear, out of anger, out of confusion …and we are still stuck without resolution, without solidarity. I smile today for I have hope, still.

I have friends. I have family. We are be it big or small affected when humanity continues to unravel, in such a way. I have adult sons. I have two young children. I have me. I do not like what I see in this world. What I can do is not react selfishly, nor ignorantly. So within these four walls, I pray. I believe. I write. I pray some more. I read. I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner for my children. I love on my baby grand when she is here. I dream. I educate myself. I hope. With hope, I plan the monthly prayer circles for my extended family.

As mom, sister, auntie, counselor-in-training, as an individual, I teach the idea of love by being proactive in love…not to some but to all. Others, irrespective, may twist the act of love, love on, the right way.

I revel in not knowing, yet faith-ing for everyone’s better. Continue to find the sacredness of peace, of being alone. You are the better for it.

Big hugs,

A.Michelle!

That Publish button…my bloggy blog statement

IMG_20140911_034409

When I write….It all passes through me. I see more in black and white than what’s in my heart. I can fix this…when I write.

​ My feelings, emotions are more coherent. They are tangible, loud. Emotions feel, taste, they bite. My tiny voice is loud, substantial, coherent no longer misunderstood…when I write. I’m strong, powerful, vulnerable and so transparent. It scares me, still…when I write. 
When I write, there aren’t any rules. There are no, “You can’t.”  No incorrect grammar rules (ok, I have to make sense) but I can make up words within my own writing context, “uncourageous”— (what a wonderful word) and you as the reader know exactly what it means!  As a female raised in the South, no rules is a new phenomenon and the release is pure ecstasy.
(Don’t get too deep with the latest intonation. lol)

My heart seems to have no rhyme or reason but my words bleed truth, bleed, reveal my  soul. ​ My matters of the heart are not without healing, when I write. The invincible is plausible, the impossible is reasonable. ​​ I can do more, achieve more when I write. I am more than super; I am a wonder, when I write.  I feel normal yet I know this writing is unique, a gift, my very own gift. It is mine….and it frees me….it connects me…it heals me. It is me, all of me.​

My tears spill over into smiles or a  “Wow. Now I see” ​ confirmation begins to develop new ideas. ​ My joy, the kind no one can take away centers me. God meets me write there…..and quite simply, “There” is an intimacy experienced–no longer an imagination…when I write.

Vulnerably yours,

~A. Michelle!