Stop with your tantrums

I am still trying to process what happened in Parkland, FL this week. I cannot comprehend how a man would even get the thought of taking a weapon and gunning down a school. I couldn’t even kill a mouse in my apartment.

Being who I am, I want to get to the root cause of the tragedy. What led this sociopath to become a sociopath? Where were his people, his community? I am certainly not blaming anyone but him…but these questions beg to be answered.

Unfortunately, tragedy brings out the very worst in Americans. Instead of grieving, engaging in dialogue, trying to figure out why and then enacting change, we start YELLING AT THE TOP OF OUR LUNGS ONLY WANTING OUR OWN VOICES TO BE HEARD.

GUNS ARE EVIL! GUNS KILL PEOPLE!!!!! 

DON’T TAKE AWAY MY GUNS!!!! I NEED MY GUNS!!!!!

MOMMY, I WANT THAT CANDY BAR RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

America, please stop with your temper tantrums. If you would breathe and listen to the other side, you’d find that we all have the same end goals.

  1. We all want to feel safe.
  2. We all want to know that when our kids go to school, that they will come home alive.
  3. We all want existing laws to actually be enforced.

Does anyone disagree with those 3 line items? It’s not a comprehensive list…but I hope it can be a starting point for a logical discussion. Common ground is necessary for dialogue to begin.

I know that this is just a bunch of words written on a social media platform. Some people will read what I’ve written and attack. Some will applaud. I hope that everyone who reads this takes a step back and realizes that, though we may have different ideas on how to get to the end goal, as long as we have the same goal, we can have a conversation.

em·pa·thy
ˈempəTHē/
noun
  1. the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Empathy will win every single day if you employ it.

 

 

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Posted in "the conversation", call to action, calling, change, community, empathy, encouragement, forgiveness, Introspection, life | 1 Comment

Love Day

Here in the US it’s Valentine’s Day. This day has always been a thorn in my side. Why? Well…because I’ve never had a good one. And because when I’m in love, I show my love daily, not on a day designated by a company to drive sales. (Jaded, much?)

Part of my struggle is that, until recently, I didn’t really practice self love. I liked parts of me…my intelligence, my sense of humor, my inner martyr, ready to die for others. I didn’t like my sensitivity, my body, the struggles that I had experienced and overcome. I actually hated those things.

I knew the love verse from 1 Corinthians 13…but I didn’t realize that I had to apply it to myself. I wasn’t patient or kind with parts of me. I boasted and was very proud about the parts I liked…and envied those who had more of what I liked. I dishonored myself and my body by abusing it with food, alcohol and other things that I won’t name here. I was always angry, seeming the next thing to numb me. And man…I could give you a list of my faults and mistakes that would turn Satan’s head.

Can you relate to any of that?

This morning, my guided meditation was a self-love practice. Part of the practice was to tell myself, “I love you. I hear you.” When I was saying those words, I saw the seven year old me. Her eyes were alive with wonder and excitement. She hadn’t been hurt by anyone yet. She was full of confidence and exuberance. She hadn’t experienced loss or heartbreak. All she knew was unconditional love.

I wept when I saw her.

Why? Because I honestly didn’t know that she was still inside of me. She was so excited to be seen…to be acknowledged. Not because she’s needy or naive…but because all she knows is how to love without fear.

Today, I challenge you, just as I challenge myself. Love yourself fearlessly. Love yourself like you’ve never been hurt before. Love yourself unabashedly.

Only then can you truly love someone else.

Own all of who you are, all of your perfect imperfections and love it. If God loves you that much, you owe it to yourself.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

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Surrender

Yesterday was one of the most difficult days that I’ve had mentally in a long time. I woke up and I was just depleted of all of my energy. I felt empty and cracked and hopeless. I was standing in quicksand and sinking quickly.

quicksand

Fortunately, God had other plans for me.

 

He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. Psalm 40:2

I am blessed to have people in my life to whom I can turn, and who turn to me, when we are in the weeds, so to speak. I was challenged to sit down and write a clear vision of what I want for my life. So…I sat down and wrote out what I want…in business, where I want to live, what type of relationship I want, how I want my perfect day to look. I needed to do those things to bring hope and vision back into the equation.

fire

Today is a new day. I woke up with a fire in my belly. If God isn’t allowing me to go backward, then that means He has something for me looking forward. I don’t know the how, but I do have a clear vision of what I want.

You see, I truly believe that God put these desires in my heart. The dream that I have had hasn’t changed since I was a kid. I’ve always wanted to help people…I wanted to be a teacher, a doctor, a pharmacist, a psychologist, a missionary, a pastor. All of those things have one theme…they help to educate and heal people in some way. Those seemingly different vocations are actually all pieces of a puzzle that is starting to come into clarity.

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Despite the fact that I spent half of yesterday weeping and scraping myself off the floor, I trusted that God was working. If I trust Him and praise Him on the good days, I have to trust and praise Him on the bad days too.

Today, I choose to relentlessly pursue the desires of my heart. I may have to release things that I love to get that which I most desire…but you know what? I’m okay with that.

Father, today I cease resistance and I submit to Your authority. I may not know the how or when, but You do.

surrender

Let’s do this thing!

Posted in calling, challenge, direction change, dreams, emotions, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, faith, Fear, goals/vision/plans, God moment, grace, heart work, inspiration, iwasmade4this, joy, mindfulness, mindset, mission, raw, real life, sadness, the call, Trust | Leave a comment

Sadness and fear

When I encounter sadness or fear, I’m usually very mean to them. I see them as the enemy and try to squash them.

Today, I’m trying something different. I’m having coffee with them, telling them how much I appreciate their roles in my life, and discussing with them how we can work together.

*Did Deneen fall and bump her head? Is she under the NFL’s concussion protocol?*

Hear me out before you call 9-1-1.

Fear’s role is to protect us. It protects us from harm…both perceived and real. It is only harmful when you allow it to keep you from doing the work you were placed on earth to do.

If you can change your paradigm from “fear is bad” to “fear is a barometer showing you something you SHOULD be doing”…then it becomes powerful for good.

I’m petrified to sit down and start writing the course, the coaching program and the book that’s on my heart. If I choose to succumb to fear, there are lives that will not be changed. If I use the fear I feel to propel me forward, lives will be changed and there will be an exponential blessing on a multitude of people as a result.

I’ve always tended toward somber and intense. It takes effort for me to be light and airy.

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of my Oma’s passing. I had commitments yesterday, so I couldn’t be sad. I told sadness to sit down and shut up. Sadness listened until my eyes started leaking walking down the street on my way home.

This morning when I awoke, sadness was sitting on my chest, swatting my face, requiring my attention. I tried to ignore her…but she needed some time.

So, I whipped up my Bulletproof coffee, and sadness, fear and I spent some time together. I cried for my Oma. I told sadness how much I love her and thanked her for being my companion all of these years. I told her that I needed her to take a backseat, but that I need her to come on the ride with me.

Instead of loathing that part of me, I realize that the darkness, sadness, helps to highlight the brightness. Any beautiful painting has a juxtaposition of dark colors and bright colors, and the same is true of the tapestry that is my life.

I also addressed fear. I thanked fear for trying to keep me safe, but I let fear know he wouldn’t lead me anymore. I explained that I need him to push me forward instead of making me hide in the shadows.

For so long, I’ve seen sadness and fear as weaknesses. They’re not. They are part of what makes me Deneen. Today, I befriended my adversaries and made them partners in this journey I’m taking. I’m the captain of this vessel…and it’s in my power to use the emotions that once crippled me as tools.

How can you change your “weaknesses” into tools to help propel you forward? Let’s take this journey together.

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Valley of the Bones

sunrise

Today is the last day of January 2018. I can’t believe we’re a month into the year already.

The phrase that I am hearing today is “new beginnings.”

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19

This is a season of healing and restoration. This is a season wherein dreams we thought were dead are brought back to life. This is a season wherein broken relationships are restored. This is a season wherein we do the hard work, look deep within, and allow light to shine on the dark areas of our lives.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord. Thus says the Lord God to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live.And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord.” Ezekiel 37:4-6

This week, something is stirring in me. I am really excited to see what is coming…it’s almost like there is a huge gift sitting in front of me, waiting for the time that I am allowed to open it. The gift is dusty, because I’ve been avoiding it for a long time…much longer than I would like to admit…but the dust is being blown off, and the shiny gold wrapping paper with the bright red bow shine brightly.

For so long, I’ve been cloaked in shame…about so many areas of my life. The things that I have allowed to hold me back from ripping that gift open are being transformed into the story that will be told that will help others shed their shame and walk forward into the life that God has designed for them.

If you can relate to any of this, take heart. 2018 is a year of restoration. If you are willing to do some hard work and focus your efforts, this will be the best year of your life.

tony robbins

Posted in calling, challenge, change, dreams, empathy, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, faith, goals/vision/plans, God moment, grace, heart work, hope, life, love, mindset, mission, purpose, the call, Transition | 2 Comments

Walking through it

img_1376

Let me set the scene for you. This weekend I headed to NYC on the Megabus for an unscripted weekend. I didn’t know how long I was staying, or what I was doing, so I packed for two nights.

I get a text message from the fella telling me where to meet him. I googled the address and discovered that it was a walkable distance from where I was sitting, so I set forth on my journey.

As I’m walking, I am heading in a familiar direction. I’m feeling really good. Then I walk over 5th Avenue. Cool. I’ve read about 5th Avenue, and I’ve been in a Uber on that street.

Then I walk over Madison Avenue. I’m starting to get butterflies in my stomach, feeling slightly uncomfortable.

Then I walk over Park Avenue, and part of me is grinning like a crazy woman while another part of me is starting to feel out of place, like I don’t belong here, that I’m not enough.

 

buddha healing

Coincidentally, I’ve been participating in a workshop that has to do with intimacy, success and abundance. I was challenged to dig deep within, to determine my needs when it comes to different areas of intimacy in my life; to look at the masks that I wear, and what benefits I am receiving from NOT having the intimacy, success and abundance I desire.

I have a lot of wounds in my past that I have allowed to keep me from the things that I need in my life. Sticking my hands in those wounds is the scariest, the most painful and most freeing thing that I am doing right now. It is amazing how many masks one wears…and how exhausting it is to maintain them.

My walk to the hotel is much like the journey to healing deep wounds.

At first, you are on a familiar path…either you’ve experienced it or read about others who have taken the journey, and their results were magical.

The deeper you go, you start to feel a bit uncomfortable, question whether this is something you actually need to do.

Then, when you cross the last road to your destination, you get frightened. You don’t think that you deserve this freedom, this healing. Your shitty, festering wounds are comforting. Yeah, they smell and are painful…but they’re familiar…they’ve convinced you that they are your friends and that they are helping you.

Ultimately, you must choose. You can cross Park Avenue, enter the hotel and live the life that you were meant to live, or you can head back to the Megabus stop and head home, missing out on the blessed healing, the beautiful room and the sweet view.

This weekend changed a lot of things for me. Between the workshop and the conversations that I had, I came home a different person. I was reminding, on a epic level, that God has better and bigger plans for me than I can even conceive of right now.

The same is true for you. What would your life look like if you took the time to examine your wounds, work through them and walk out on the other side, clean, fresh and renewed? Would you be interested in learning how to do these things?

 

Posted in acceptance, adventure, call to action, calling, dreams, emotions, empathy, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, faith, heart work, hope, mindset, real life | Leave a comment

Adventure

At heart, buried beneath my love of routine, is an adventurer.

When I think about the times that I have felt most alive, I was heading into the unknown.

Life has gotten in the way of exploration. Work. Stress. Money worries.

Thus I’ve found myself wanting.

The times that I’ve been the most creative have been the overflow of the above mentioned adventure.

My heart and soul long for adventure. I want to do something wholly irrational and out of my nature. Hop a plane to a far off land solo. Move to a city I don’t know and become a local.

Right now, those things are in the cards…just not at this moment. So, I’ll take mini-adventures here on earth and grandiose adventures in my mind…on paper.

I’m heading off to find my creativity ✌️✍️

Posted in adventure, balance, challenge, creativity, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, God moment, inspiration, iwasmade4this, mindfulness, mindset, passion, the call, writing | 2 Comments

Creativity

I’m listening to the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. If you haven’t read/listened to it, and you are a creative person, stop what you’re doing and seek this book out.

I’ve always seen myself as creative. I am a writer. I love putting words to paper, even in the form of a letter to a friend or family member.

I have a dream of writing a novel.

What stops me? So many things…mostly self doubt.

Do you ever wonder why so many people wrote one great novel…but nothing else? Elizabeth Gilbert said that she wished that someone had pushed F Scott Fitzgerald or Harper Lee to keep writing after they wrote their flagship novels.

Today, if you are a creative, as I am, I challenge us: put pen to paper, fingers to the keyboard, and get working.

Posted in creativity, raw, real life | 2 Comments

Joy comes in the morning

Yesterday was a rough day. I felt off kilter from the moment I woke up. I had everything planned in my head, but everything was off by half a step…from my commute, to my working interview, to the rest of my day.

I’m not gonna lie…I was so disheartened, disappointed, disillusioned. I mean, I had a plan.

I gave into despair yesterday…I sulked like a kid denied a lollipop.

In the meantime, I set up a meeting for this morning. I went in cautiously optimistic.

The meeting went well…so much better than I could have ever anticipated. It went so well that tomorrow I have another meeting set up.

Today, I want to encourage you. If you are feeling hopeless, disillusioned, disappointed…hold on. Do not lose hope. God is working in the background. Just trust.

Posted in acceptance, closure, faith, God moment, grace, heart work, hope, Introspection, iwasmade4this, mindset, mission, raw, real life, work | 2 Comments

Love conquers all

sunflower heart

When you love someone, love them where they are, at this very moment in time.

Love should be unconditional, affection with no limits or conditions.

Loving people teaches a lot about oneself. The people who are attracted to us in different stages of our lives are mirrors of where we are/were at that point in time. I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe in divine appointment.

 

fingerprint

Every single person on earth…from the most pious to the most heinous…is imprinted with the fingerprint of God, imago dei. We all literally have God’s UPC symbol printed on our spirit.

Some of us really show it, while others of us need it dusted off. And, if we’re honest, the dust can settle pretty quickly so don’t get to comfortable being shiny 😉

How do we love people unconditionally?

I’ve gone through a lot. My mom had two forms of cancer at the same time. My grandmother got diagnosed with terminal lung cancer shortly thereafter. I’ve lost family members over the stupidest crap. I lost my last grandmother nearly a year ago. Walking through all of that shit has taught me the most valuable lesson a person can learn: empathy.

When my mom was sick, people fed me the lines required. She’ll be ok. God’s got her. Not one person asked me how I was. Not one person held my hand while I was falling apart, while the woman I loved most in the world turned yellow and lost all of her hair, and at times, her will to live. And you know what? I’m grateful no one asked about me. Huh?

darkness

You see, that taught me how to love people during the darkest hours of their lives…as their loved ones are dying, as their marriages are falling apart, as their kids are completely off the rails.

You see, I learned what people need during the darkest hours of their lives. They need a life preserver. They need a genuine, kind word. They need a hug. They need someone to sit with them, let them cry, and just say, “Wow, that sucks.”

jesus wept

Do you want to know the most powerful verse in the Bible to someone who is going through hell? John 11:35. “Jesus wept.”

All of the yuck that I’ve gone through has taught me how to love in a different way than I’ve ever known. The more deeply I love and accept myself, the more deeply I can love and accept others.

We are all works in progress until the day that we die. You may have successfully conquered one area of your life, but there are thorns in your side. Don’t judge other people by the progress you’ve made. Help them through it…just as there are people helping you through your struggles.

Love conquers all. I really believe that.

love conquers all

 

 

 

Posted in empathy, faith, friends, Friends and Family, love, mindset, raw, real life | 2 Comments