Posts by Shannon

Bloom Where You’re Planted? – 8/52 Blog 2020

Posted by on Mar 5, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

As a born optimist, I lived by the popular cliché, “Bloom where you’re planted” until I experienced a circumstance myself which contradicted everything I believed in.

Bloom where you’re planted means a person should take advantage of the opportunities they have in their life and be grateful for the present situation.  While I strongly believe in being grateful for opportunities, I now believe you can be miserable in opportunities, but the grateful part is the lesson you learn.

Imagine trying to fit a round peg into a square hole, as you attempt to force it to go into the square hole over and over again, it won’t fit and you end up damaging the peg and reshaping the square hole, which is also damaged.  Now take a flower seed and bury it in rocks, or in the desert, or in soil overgrown with weeds and insects, or in a swamp, or in a pot with sand.  As much as you water that seed, do you think the flower will ever grow from a seed, or better yet, even bloom?  Nope.  Therefore, the answer is to not bloom where you’re planted because it’s impossible.  Solution is you don’t change the flower; you change the environment.

There are times when opportunities just don’t fit us, and as much as we can try and want things to work, it will make us miserable in the process.  Our futile attempts to turn things around leave us saddened, angry, and confused.  We won’t understand what we’re doing wrong, why the situation isn’t working, and we become consumed with fixing it.  But guess what, it will never be fixed, because it’s not us, it’s the environment.  Friend, a flower doesn’t change….EVER!  A rose is a rose, a sunflower is a sunflower, a daisy is a daisy, a carnation is a carnation, etc.  You can’t change what it is, or who you are.  But what you can change is the environment a flower grows in.  You can change the environment you grow in. 

Recognize when things are working well, and when they’re not, understand it’s not you.  It’s the environment.  Negativity, a bad boss, a bad relationship, a harmful friend or family member, a precarious situation to your good mental health….you must remove yourself.  Life is too short and time is too valuable to waste it on people, places, and things that will never allow you to grow into the best version you can be.  There will be environments where you just don’t fit, so I pray you don’t stay in that situation for years as you attempt to fix you or the situation….that will never serve you well.  So, for you to live your best life, don’t change the flower and bloom where you’re planted, change the environment and bloom into what you’re born to become.  You Matter!

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Forgiveness – 7/52 Blog 2020

Posted by on Feb 21, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

Here’s the BLUF – you will be hurt by others.  Tears will be inevitably shed because none of us are alone in this world, even though some of us wished we would be. 

The hurt, pain, heartache, and crying could be from the culprit who directed their intentional misconduct your way.  Let’s agree to label that cruel person a jerk!  Or, from a person with a misguided error who didn’t mean to cause anyone harm, but unfortunately did.  Bless their hearts!  Or, the mishap could have been from a clueless human who just wasn’t aware of their wrongdoings and/or surroundings.  That’s when you try to be like Jesus when He was on the cross.  Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”  Luke 23:34

In these three different instances, you have some options on how to move forward, but no matter what forgiveness is the common denominator.  Forgiveness isn’t for them, especially if they didn’t deserve it.  Forgiveness is for you because it releases resentment, bitterness, and pain.  When you release the darkness, you automatically become lighter in body, mind, and spirit. It’s medicine to your soul.    

Let’s talk about forgiving the jerk!  You can definitely forgive them, yet not want anything to do with them.  It’s called self-care for your mental health protection and intellectual and emotional preservation.  These jerks need to understand that forgiveness is for past reconciliation and not for future consideration.  You can treat them like a human being with kindness if you see them, but, in all truth, you don’t have to socialize with them ever again.  You can love them from a distance.  You can accept their apology, if there is one, but understand words are cheap, changed behavior is the result everyone should seek.  Boundaries are real, so create, enforce, and don’t second guess yourself with the things you need to maintain a healthy you. 

For the bless their hearts and the clueless human….their unintentional err was just that – unintentional.  You can choose to hold a grudge, or you can help them not make the same mistake twice.  You can voice your heartache and pray they hear and understand so another person never has to feel how you feel.  Your decision to help them when they don’t deserve it is called grace.  If more people extended grace, there would be less resentment and revenge in the world.  After grace is extended, you can decide how you want to proceed.  Give them a second chance to turn their wrong into right, hold them at arm’s length, or decide to not put yourself into another opportunity to be inadvertently hurt. What a precarious position!  Only you can decide which way to go, so don’t allow anyone to force you into doing something that you don’t want to do, or you’re not ready to do. This is your life, no one else’s. 

Like all of you, I’ve been intentionally hurt, betrayed, lied about, taken advantage of, and talked about in a bad light.  Some by those I Loved. Trusted.  Needed.  Believed in. And, none of them deserved forgiveness, but bitterness and hate are qualities I don’t want to energize me.  I choose love.  To let go.  Overcome.  Peace.  Kindness. Spending time on things that matter.  Surrounding myself with people of quality.  I choose to forgive…because I am forgiven.  You can do it too!

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– When you know what’s right and still choose wrong – 6/52 Blog 2020

Posted by on Feb 5, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

Decisions are the navigation for the direction of our life, and where we end up is based on how we choose.

If we were honest with ourselves, we would freely admit that we are selfish, insatiable people. We want the perks – enjoyment, fulfillment, happiness, love, contentment, money – now. We don’t want to wait; we want to fill the emptiness with the longing of our hearts desire. The sad thing about our unwillingness to wait is we will usually suspend the greatness we could have later for the mediocrity of what we get now. Then regret begins to form and we get mad at ourselves for giving into the cravings of our flesh. It’s an unhealthy never-ending toxic cycle, and if we truly want what’s right for us, we must break the cycle of what’s wrong with us.

It’s not hard to do what is right, but we make it so. We know we should eat the broccoli instead of the cheeseburger. Listen to a podcast instead of music with profanity and nasty lyrics. Read a book instead of gossiping at the lunch table. Being kind to the people who treated us unkindly. Staying away from the jerk who is no good for us and going nowhere in life. Standing firm in our boundaries even when others try to make us feel guilty for bettering our future. It’s hard. But, it’s a must. How we treat our body now will better protect it from disease and illness later. What we fill our mind with now will better preserve our thinking and development. How we allow others to treat ourselves will be an open door to pain or a closed door to joy. Who we love will make us better or make us worse, smiles ready to chase our dreams or tears with doubt, hurt, and insecurity? Sadly, I’ve seen more people choose what’s wrong for them and they live in hardship having to fight battles that could have been avoided. Regret then becomes their outcome as they reflect back at what could have been.

So, let me help you choose what’s right. Here are a few tips: 1. Your awareness level must be focused on the environment around you, because the second you stop being attentive is the second you may end up where you never wanted to be. 2. You have to choose to love yourself for the long haul. When you love yourself, you will stop treating your body, mind, and heart with disrespect, dishonor, and disliking. 3. You have to choose you’re worthy of what’s right. Many times, we think we aren’t worthy of the best so we settle for what is instead of soaring to what could be. Please don’t settle anymore. There’s only one of you in a world of 7.6 billion people, that number tells me you’re pretty special. 4. Stop choosing to fill a temporary want of insatiable happiness when the permanent feeling is what you really need. Sure, it may take more time, work, energy, and even money, but it is permanent. 5. No more wanting when your needs are met, because a need is something you aren’t willing to compromise on. Wants are fleeting, but needs are a must have. Decide your best life is a need you aren’t willing to compromise on. It’s never too late to begin choosing what’s right. Start now. Your future is depending on you!

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Boundaries are a MUST have – 5/52 Blog 2020

Posted by on Feb 1, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

God created me with a naturally happy demeanor….full of life, smiling, pep in my step, birds chirping when I wake up, sun is always shining mentality.  I’m very thankful.  To help keep my joyful spirit in check and maintain my spark, I also created healthy boundaries in my life. 

Coming from an unhealthy childhood and it beginning to weave into my adulthood, I had to make a choice.  Interact with loved ones even though they were a detriment to my health; or to love them from a distance.  I chose the latter.  There are many people who won’t understand why I don’t interact with my family, but it’s not for them to understand.  I know what happens when communication takes place…the light I have slowly begins to suffocate from the darkness, anger, and toxicity.  It’s not their fault, and it’s not mine. We are different people going in different directions, needing different things to survive.  Just like the basics, food, water, oxygen to survive, I would add good mental health to the equation.

I also try to avoid certain situations and the amount of time I spend with people that aren’t aligned with my life direction.  It helps maintain the standards I’ve set for my life and for a healthy mindset to ensue.  It’s not that I think I’m better than anyone, it’s because I know how my heart is conditioned to love.  I tolerate more than I should, forgive more than I should, and expend more energy than I should while trying to keep peace….and it’s tiring. Therefore, in order to have life tranquility, calmness of mind, and no drama, boundaries are the best offense mechanism to have in life other than prayer. 

I would offer to anyone to try and create boundaries for your life, try it for a day at least.  You will see a calmer you, more positive mindset, and less stress.  By knowing what you need (write a list) to live healthy, you will proactively create an environment for you to grow into your best self.   This allows nothing or no one to cross your needs and if they do, then you must deal with their consequences. 

You deserve a great life, so don’t allow it to be compromised.  You Matter too – remember that!

Boundaries = Stronger You
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2020 BLOG – 4 of 52 – Tomorrow Isn’t Guaranteed

Posted by on Jan 27, 2020 in Blog | 0 comments

None of us know when our last day, hour, or moment will be so I pray we all live each day to the fullest. I pray we look at life differently – appreciate how precious each day truly is – because tomorrow isn’t promised.

My heart aches. An imperfect man who was one of the greatest basketball players of all times suddenly perished along with his beautiful young daughter today. It’s a tragedy for his wife and 3 other daughters. It’s utter sadness for the NBA, devastation for Los Angeles fans who rooted him on for the 20-years he played with the organization, disbelief for fellow basketball players, and an awakening pained shock for the United States. His death is an agony we all feel, and I can’t even begin to comprehend what his wife is going through. She lost her husband and a daughter. It wrecks my heart for her.

In honor of Kobe, I pray we do all we can today and not put anything off for later. I pray we have full lives, and when we take our last breath, we will die empty. I pray we give everything we have, do our best with excellence as the result we seek, and we inspire others to take tangible steps towards their dreams. I pray we love others beyond measure, forgive those who wronged us, serve more people than ourselves, and don’t settle for an average life. I pray our names are in high regard when spoken or thought of by others. I pray we are example of integrity, kindness, courage, servanthood, and honor for others to mirror. I pray we all know Jesus. I pray we use the gifts and talents we are blessed with and, in turn, we sow generously onto others. I pray for those who need healing to no longer suffer from loss, hurt, sadness. I pray for those who feel alone to feel a warmth of hope wrapped around them. I pray for hearts to have peace.

Please do yourself a favor – start living each day likes it’s your last. No regrets. Don’t compromise your life journey for a temporary destination. Focus on significance not success. Build a legacy not a name. Enrich your life with quality – people, circumstances, and memories! Life goes by fast and each day above ground is a blessing not to be wasted.

You Matter – believe it – so you will live it.

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