Life exfoliation

I have come to a realization.

Bad times are good.

What?

Bad times are good if you use them to your advantage.

If you choose to learn from them.

If you choose to lean into the pain and find your strength.

If you choose to not be a victim.

See a theme? Your experiences are YOUR CHOICE.

A few weeks ago, something snapped in me. Not a good snap.

I stopped working out.

I stopped eating well.

I stopped meditating regularly.

I stopped doing my devotions regularly.

I stopped being me.

Why? Honestly, I hit a thick brick wall.

I have been exhausted. Thyroid exhausted. If you don’t know what that means, you are blessed.

But…I can’t blame my thyroid. For a while, I was working out for a group of people, not for me. I was hype focused on results, not the process.

So, when the pounds and inches didn’t melt off, I was disappointed. I gave into self-sabotage. I CHOSE self-sabotage.

Why?

I was out of alignment with my soul. You see, for me, working out is a mental thing. I work out to clear my brain. I work out to push my body further today than it was able to go yesterday. Working out is my therapy.

So, when I CHOSE to quit working out, everything else fell to the wayside.

Including my messaging.

You see…I love speaking. I love public speaking. I love adding value to the world through both the written and spoken word.

A few months ago, I did a Facebook like that was completely my voice. I said everything that was on my heart to share. I mean…it was GOOD STUFF.

But, I allowed (MY CHOICE) someone to tell me that what I said wasn’t right…that it shouldn’t have been said.

Since then, I’ve shied away from FB lives.

Even though I know I have a message to share with y’all.

So…through my choices, I’ve been the conductor of the hot mess express…destination Crazyville.

When you aren’t walking in your truth, nothing goes right for you. You’re tired. You’re cranky. You’re depressed. You eat crap. Your sleep isn’t deep.

Last night, I did a really raw live.

And this morning, I woke up different.

I felt comfortable in my skin. Fully alive, fully me.

I looked at myself in the mirror after my shower, and I felt hot, I felt sexy.

The past few weeks have been hard. Rough. Shitty.

But…I feel like the rough times were a life exfoliation. I feel like dead things were sloughed off so that new things can spring forth.

So…if you find yourself going through a hard time, know that something is being broken off of you so that something new can spring forth.

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Posted in calling, challenge, change, emotions, empathy, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, faith, God moment, grace, heart work, hope, Introspection, iwasmade4this, mindset, raw | Leave a comment

Have you ever had a day that was so chock full of emotion that you are completely, emotionally hungover the next day?

Well…that is me today.

Yesterday my niece graduated from high school.

I may be weeping under those sunglasses…but you can’t prove it! 😍😍

To say that I am proud of her is the understatement of a lifetime.

My niece is one of the sweetest, strongest, most beautiful inside and out, hilarious teenagers you’ll ever meet.

Sitting through convocation and graduation, one word kept running through my mind.

The word STORY.

You see…we all have a story. When we’re children, our stories are largely out of our control. When we get to a certain age, though, we find the pen in our hand.

You can no longer blame your parents.

Or your teachers.

Or the bullies.

Or the mean girls.

The story is YOURS.

The valedictorian of the class talked about how she had to get out of her comfort zone to address the graduation crowd. She talked about how her grandparents had to leave the comfort of their country to afford her family the opportunity to hear her speak.

If you’re reading this, YOU are the author of your story.

Yes, I know that God is the ultimate Author, but He gave you free will, so get your religious panties out of their bunch and follow me.

YOU have a choice of how you will react to circumstances presented.

YOU have the choice to increase your talents of bury them.

YOU have the choice to continue lingering on me telling you to un-bunch your panties or to learn something.

Last night, after the high of seeing my niece and the WHS Class of 2018 graduate, I dealt with some really strong, STRONG challenges.

I had to be strong when my knees wanted to buckle.

I had to allow people I love write a chapter of their story that I wanted to carry as my own.

Even as I type this, tears sting my eyes and my head is pounding.

I can’t unsee the fear, the helplessness.

I can’t un-hear the guttural screams of deep disbelief and fear.

I can’t un-feel the agony I experienced as I was utterly helpless to help write this next chapter in the life of someone else.

You see…the highest of highs and the lowest of lows are what makes our stories our own.

Without darkness, you cannot truly appreciate the light.

Without deep sadness, you cannot fully appreciate utter bliss.

Until yesterday, I never understood just how proud God is of the things that make us proud.

Until last night, I never understood why God allows bad things to happen.

Until last night, I never understood the depth of grief God feels when one of His children suffers.

Until right now, I never truly understood the depths of God’s love.

Emotions are not meant to be controlled. Emotions are meant to show is the heart of the Father.

The outrage you feel at injustice…is how God feels about injustice…times infinity.

The love and pride you feel when someone you love succeeds…is how God feels…times infinity.

The helplessness you feel when you can’t pluck grief or fear from a loved one…is how God feels…times infinity.

Have a teachable spirit. Don’t run from your emotions. Don’t numb your emotions. Lean into them. Look them in the eye. Validate them. Hear what they’re saying.

As much as I hated the way I *felt* last night, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

It’s part of my story.

What’s your story?

Posted in "the conversation", calling, challenge, Christianity, connections, death, dreams, emotions, empathy, encouragement, faith, family, Fear, God moment, grace, heart work, hope, Integrity, Introspection, iwasmade4this, life, mindset, ministry, NJ, purpose, raw, real life, the call | Leave a comment

Coming alive

There is a dream that has been inside of you for your whole life. It’s lingering just below your consciousness…every once in a while it bubbles to the surface, but you bury it out of fear.

Then…you pull it up to see it, and laugh at it, writing it off as a childish dream, nothing that can be reality.

You’re not even sure it is REALLY your dream because it’s so blurry.

So you go through your days, half alive, going through the motions on auto-pilot.

Then, one day you make in seemingly rash decision…one that changes the trajectory of your life.

It’s labeled as lunch.

It’s labeled as a meeting.

But it’s so much more.

It’s a collision of what you most love and desire and possibility.

And then an explosion occurs.

Scales are torn viciously off your eyes like a bandaid off a skinned knee.

The rawness of all of the feeling, desires and possibilities and are within grasp are on the surface, no longer hidden by the thin veneer with which you’ve covered them.

All of these things the result of a rash decision.

But that moment was orchestrated.

By the universe.

By God.

Before the formation of the heavens and the Earth.

Suddenly, all those “bad”decisions you’ve made are understandable.

The dots are connected.

The wounds suddenly have a positive meaning.

The tears, held in God’s hands as diamonds have a lot more sparkle.

You seen, by the standards of some in my circle, I’m a slow adopter. I’ve been allowing fear and love of discomfort to keep me in my lane.

The stories of my family play out, BY MY CHOICE, in my life.

After my chance meeting…after seeing the possibilities…after seeing myself in someone who is already amazingly successful, yet completely humble…you see…I was given courage.

Forget that. I wasn’t GIVEN anything.

I made a choice.

I made a decision…that today would be different.

Today, I decide that the stories I’ve been telling myself, while they protected me and got me to this moment, sitting in a coffee shop in small town America, are no longer mine.

The little girl in me who loves playing small, because it makes her feel safe, and it makes people around her accept her, well, today she’s putting on her big girl panties and breaking down walls.

As I write this, I feel resistance pushing against me, which means that I’m on the right track.

Today…be brave. That dream that seems too crazy to pursue…do it. If you can’t do it right now, start visualizing it. Journal about it as if it were finished.

Life is too short to play small. You only live once. This is not a dress rehearsal.

If you’re afraid, imagine me looking at you, telling you that you can do hard things. I’m looking at my reflection in my laptop telling myself the same thing.

You. Can. Do. Hard. Things.

Get out the pen and paper and start.

Posted in adventure, call to action, challenge, creativity, dreams, emotions, empathy, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, faith, goals/vision/plans, God moment, heart work, iwasmade4this, mindfulness, mindset, ministry, mission | Leave a comment

What is YOUR story?

Today, waiting for the bus, I met the most delightful woman.

“Have you been waiting for long?”

That’s public transportation code for I want to talk.

She was coming from the doctor.

Lawd Jesus…she was so wonderfully refreshing. I wanted to bring her home so that I could talk to her all day long.

You could’ve knocked me over with a feather when she told me she was 96 years old. 96 YEARS OLD!

Taking the bus. Living on her own.

She looked 70 at most.

I asked her the secret to looking so good at 96. She told me she never got married and never had kids.

She has 10 godchildren…but she doesn’t spoil them like most people do.

I’m not always going to be a bus person. But I will always be a collector of stories. I will always be that person who strikes up a conversation in line at the store. Or with someone who needs a smile in a coffee shop.

In a world that values social media and instant gratification, we need to take snippets of time to be human.

Put down your phone.

Shut off Facebook. And instagram. And twitter. And snap chat.

Sit in a park with a real book.

Make a tech-free coffee date with a friend and have an actual conversation.

There are people all around you who just want to tell you their story. Hear the story. Tell your story. Let your stories intertwine…and watch your life change.

Years ago, a friend told me that my life is a tapestry. I always thought that the tapestry was my experiences. Now I realize that it is a collection of the stories that I am collecting.

Tell me one of your stories…let our tapestries connect.

Posted in "the conversation", empathy, encouragement, faith, God moment, grace, Introspection, iwasmade4this | Leave a comment

Comparison is a waste of time

Have you ever found yourself wondering, “what does he/she have that I don’t?”

I’ve found that question arising a lot lately in a personal situation.

Tonight, I finally figured it out.

You’ve got nothing but problems, woman.

You see…I’m holding my own here.

I support myself.

When I go to sleep, I know that, at the end of the day, I’ve done right by every person with whom I’ve come into contact.

I’ve not intentionally hurt anyone. I’ve not lied.

I can’t compare myself to you. We each have our own story.

I know who I am…and I know Whose I am.

I am a powerful woman who uplifts those around me.

I am a sexy, attractive person who knows that to be true with or without makeup, in a fancy dress or workout clothes.

I am timeless…a woman that intimidates others merely by her presence, not because of arrogance but because of the power that emanates from me.

I am an anomaly…I am not easily defined.

You see…I am a Mount Everest woman. There aren’t many of us left.

You…woman…reading this…I am you and you are me.

You are powerful.

You are sexy.

You are vibrant.

You have a purpose.

You.

Are.

Amazing.

Don’t forget it.

And for the love of everything good and pure…

DON’T LET ANYONE CONVINCE YOU OTHERWISE.

Stop comparing yourself to someone not worth of owning any space in your head.

You are incomparable.

If you’re a man reading this, appreciate the Mt Everest woman in your life. You can’t tame us. We are wild and breathtaking and dangerous. And we will not apologize for this.

Posted in "the conversation", acceptance, call to action, calling, closure, commitment, emotions, empathy, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, God moment, grace, heart work, inspiration, Introspection, iwasmade4this, mindset, ministry, mission | Leave a comment

Treatise

I understand why I’ve attracted the people into my life that I have.

I take responsibility for the energy that I’ve put out into the universe to attract the people I have.

That being said…my energy is shifting.

I’m not tolerating the same bullshit I have in the past…because I’m not the same person I was when we met.

I have bad days, but I refuse to focus on the bad parts.

I have tolerated receiving less than crumbs, but I now realize I deserve a seat at the banquet table.

I have served to be seen in the past. Now my greatest desire is to serve without being seen.

People are my #1 priority. The business that I’m launching will actually help people…not just bamboozle them out of money while I’m laughing at their naivety.

I know I deserve to be healthy, and I won’t give myself permission to expect any less than that for myself.

You see, I’m the head, not the tail.

When I get honored, because I know I will, it will not because I victimized people. It will be because I helped people when they were at their lowest.

I am going to fund the rescue of women and children from slavery.

I am going to fund the prosecution of those who victimized the women and children, including the men who bought them to abuse them.

You see…I wear a mask of weakness…because I have been afraid to walk in my power.

Why? Why am I afraid to walk in that power?

Well…a long time ago I went on a mission trip. On that trip, I walked in my full power. Lives were changed because of the way that God used me. Dare I say destinies were changed when I walked in my power.

When I got home, an evil woman heard stories of what happened…and she did everything in her jealous, manipulative, Jezebel power to destroy my power, to erode my confidence, to isolate me.

And I allowed it.

I allowed it.

I ALLOWED IT.

Here I sit, nearly 20 years later, extending my withered hand to Jesus, asking him to heal me.

I’ve been afraid to be healed.

Why? Because I feel the power vibrating just below the surface.

Picture a fault line, cracking, the red glow of lava just below the surface.

My withered hand being healed is going to mean the fault line explodes open and 20 years of unfulfilled destiny comes bursting forward.

I’m not holding back.

I’m not going to stop it.

My voice will be heard.

Lives will be changed.

My life will change.

This weekend, I told a friend I tried to blend into the crown. She said, Deneen, I can think of many things to say about you. Blending isn’t one of them.

You see…I was never meant to blend.

You were never meant to blend.

Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

Lord, here is my withered hand. Please heal it.

Lord, here are my scaled eyes. Remove the scales that I may see.

Lord, here are my deaf ears. Open them so I may here.

Lord, here is my muted voice. Please give me the boldness to speak my truth, Your truth.

Lord, here is my broken life. Make it whole, and let my story empower men and woman all over the world.

Lord, here is my broken heart. Please heal it.

Lord, forgive me for walking around with my withered hand for so long, wearing it as a badge of honor, being too prideful to ask for healing.

Lord, I pray that everyone who reads this receives a powerful revelation over their life. Show them their truth, their power.

Amen.

Wow…that is not what I expected to come of this blog.

Drop me a line if i can pray for you…or just let me know how you’re doing.

Posted in "the conversation", acceptance, call to action, calling, dreams, empathy, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, faith, God moment, grace, heart work, hope, Introspection, iwasmade4this, mindset, ministry, mission | 1 Comment

Stop editing yourself!

So this morning I woke up angry…and feeling like the powerful woman I am.

Why was I angry? Well…I realized a trend in my life.

Whenever I walk in my power, there is one person…never the same person because that would be way too obvious…who takes it upon herself or himself to edit me.

Deneen…you know when you said xyz…well…yeah…this is what I think about that.

Deneen…don’t you think that was harsh?

Deneen…can you watch your language?

I have a vast vocabulary. I can write posts here that would require people to google half the words…but that’s not what I’m called to do.

Nor is it my intention to impress you with SAT words.

Nor will I write shit that makes you comfortable.

Because…well…that Deneen is on life support and I pulled the plug. There is a glimmer of her who gets revived when I edit myself to make you comfortable.

I love that little girl who wants to please people…but she and I got into some trouble along the way.

You see…while she was making sure I was safe, and you didn’t get mad at me, the core of who I am was atrophying.

Do you know what it feels like to be dying on the inside?

If you’re reading this, I suspect you do.

You go through the motions of life, smiling with a smile that never reaches your eyes.

Boring conversations that don’t challenge you in any way.

Using big words and wearing flashy watches to convince people you’ve arrived at some random destination that they should admire.

I’m not here to tell you how to live your life. You do you.

I refuse to be a part of the status quo, and I refuse to edit myself to ensure your comfort.

I’m going to fucking swear.

I’m going to turn over sacred tables that are peddling shit that defiles what I hold sacred.

And you know what?

I think you need to find YOUR voice, your true, unedited, unfiltered voice and do the fucking same.

Do the work.

If you find yourself consistently inconsistent…and you find me triggeringly endearing…then I have a treat for you coming within the next week or two!

Until next time…be well. Drop a line to let me know how YOU’RE doing.

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My own personal Narnia

The best part about having an autoimmune disease is that it builds a level oh humility in you that is unparalleled.

I mean…one day you feel like a million bucks. You have a decent amount of energy; you sleep like it’s your job; your whole body is working in synergy.

The next morning you wake up at 2:30 am and you can’t fall back asleep. Then you get a giant cystic pimple on your face. You have the energy of a 97 year old woman on life support. Don’t get my started on the rebellion of your whole GI tract.

A few years ago, this would have put me into a tailspin of depression. The perfectionist in me would have had her panties in a bunch, mad at herself for being weak, inconsistent.

The new, enlightened me just laughs through the exhaustion and the roll of Scott tissue that is being used at an alarmingly fast rate.

There are things I can do to change my circumstances. And I do them daily. Meditate. Journal. Eat well. Try not to allow stress to consume me.

But…my body is a prick. My body is a prick because when I was younger and healthy I didn’t take care of it. I didn’t appreciate it.

My body is the way it is because there are so many parts of the core of my being that I suppress that I feel like my truest self is on mothballs.

It’s funny. I signed up for a course to learn how to break the internet…how to find my true self, figure out what I have to offer, and to offer it to the world.

I’m doing so, I’ve unlocked closets in myself that I forgot were there.

Do you remember the scene in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe when Lucy discovers Narnia? I feel like I’ve found Narnia.

Aslan is on the move. Shit’s getting really real. Things I’ve desired for a long time are starting to come together. Finally. Suddenly. Spring is coming.

Until next time…be well. Drop me a comment and let me know what’s going on with YOU.

Posted in "the conversation", commitment, dreams, emotions, empathy, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, heart work, Introspection, iwasmade4this, mindset | Leave a comment

Does it really have to be hard?

Somehow, from a young age, I was taught that things have to be hard and unattainable.

My dad is a hard-working man. He’s worked well over 40 hours a week since he was 17 doing back breaking work. I honor him…his blood, sweat and tears have fed two generations.

The lessons he taught me enabled me to be successful in the “real” world. Show up early. Work harder than anyone else. Stay later than anyone else.

If I were striving for normal, these would be the indelible rules I’d follow forever.

At my core, I’m a rules and formula person. If you follow the rules, eventually you will achieve some certain level wherein you have a corner office with a level of antimony and jealousy for those higher in the corporate ladder than you are.

The problem with that…is that if, at heart, you’re not a corporate person, that shit will fucking kill you. At first, it presents as anxiety. Then autoimmune diseases. Then a wheelchair ride to the ER.

Enter a summer chasing dreams riddled with self-doubts, again, trying to fucking conform to a formula that makes you want to throat punch the charlatan who created it. And more anxiety. And depression.

You see…I’m really a non-conformist that is held prisoner in a good girl. I strive to make people comfortable. I don’t want to rock the boat…because…what if you don’t like me? What if you think less of me! What if…

What if you found out that I’m not as vanilla as I appear? That I can see through your bullshit, and that everything inside of me wants to save you from your bullshit?

What if you found out that I honestly don’t give a fuck about social norms…that I love Jesus with my whole heart, but that I don’t identify with His people, because I find that most of them aren’t living His truth let alone their own?

I find myself digressing…

You see, I’ve chosen to work with two mindset coaches that are rocking my world in vastly different ways that are achieving the same goal.

They are showing me that it doesn’t have to be fucking hard.

The hardest part of life should be the simplest.

BE WHO YOU ARE. UNABASHEDLY.

When you own who you really are, beneath the shitty masks you wear, then you’ll find that life gets easier.

You’ll find that some people fall by the wayside. You’ll find that some people you thought would be removed from your life are magnetically attracted to you.

And you’ll find that new people arrive in your life that you never saw coming.

What I’m learning is that wearing the mask of people’s expectations is actually harder than being authentic.

As for me, my mask is cracked, the veneer is broken, and I fucking refuse to repair it.

I know that it doesn’t have to be hard. My heart leaps when I hear that. My ego…my inner little girl that keeps rising up to “protect” me…she and I need to have yet another talk.

While I appreciate the protection, my ego’s protection is suffocating me. Killing me not so softly.

If any of this resonates with you…keep reading. Subscribe to the blog. Something amazing is about to transpire. You don’t want to miss out.

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You have ACES, baby!

We are all dealt a hand of cards when we’re born. Genetics. Family. Geography.

But…how you play the hand is up to you.

Last night, I was watching a poker game. Everyone at the table plays a certain character at the table.

The old dude who is extra chatty and drunk.

The aloof guy who pretends not to know what he’s doing.

The guy with the big stack of chips.

They all have one goal in common…to win more chips than they lose. To win more hands than they lose.

You and I can have the same hand and see/play it completely differently.

Want to know a secret? We’ve ALL been dealt a pair of aces.

You see…you have the power to play your pair of aces like they’re a pair of aces…of you can play them like they’re a pair of fives. No one at the table knows the difference…it’s all about your energy and how you approach the situation.

I can hear your doubts.

I don’t know your life.

I don’t know your circumstances.

I don’t know what you’ve been through.

You’re right. I don’t.

But what I DO know is that YOU have a superpower inside of you. You were born with it.

THAT IS YOUR PAIR OF ACES.

What is something that you love to do…even if you don’t get paid to do it?

What is that you love to do that other hate to do?

What is something that is so fucking easy for you that it is just a part of you?

Tap into THAT shit.

That there is your pair of aces.

If you want help finding your superpower…keep following along. This ride is going to get exciting.

Posted in dreams, encouragement, entrepreneur, entrepreneurlife, inspiration, iwasmade4this, real life, soul mate work | Leave a comment