May is my birthday month. Yes, my age changes, but I’m more concerned with maturing spiritually, mentally, intellectually, socially, financially, and relationally. I called for an inventory of what things need to be modified and what needs to go away.
As a good deal, I’ve read from life coaches to listen to your “gut” or “internal voice” I found it challenging to act thus. Why? I allowed my emotions to run amok and speak louder in situations, thus overruling and distorting my perception. But I told myself for the month of May I wanted to do something different and I did. Yes, my emotions bucked because they were used to ruling the roost. But I made myself sit quietly and allow my emotions, their say, and then when they wound down I said four words – PRESENT, PROTECTED, PRAISE, & PEACE.
Now mind you I learned this meditation technique from Richard Miller, PhD founding president of the Integrative Restorative Institute. The following exercise has greatly aided in calming my mind and easing my soul into a lying state. It didn’t matter the surroundings, I was in I still was able to do this technique. At work, on the bus, walking, and in my car now, it works. As you practice this exercise you will notice unresolved past hurts enter your mind like a New York marquee sign. It’s tiring and nerve-wracking but believe it or not, it’s a good thing. The more unresolved issues that are elevated to the surface means it’s time to release or modify. Too, this exercise assisted in discovering the little voice to identify which one that I needed to perform.
As you answer the following questions pay attention to how they make you feel. Start with your first knee-jerk response. Don’t think long or you’ll think wrong. You desire that “what feels good” solution.
1. What is my deepest desire for practicing meditation?
2. How many minutes each session am I truly willing to dedicate to the practice?
3. How many days a week am I truly willing to meditate?
4. With respect to a particular meditation session, what is my deepest desire for and during this session? (For instance, isyourgoal to welcome a particular sensation or to remain undistracted by what’s arising in your awareness, and instead to experience and abide as awareness?)
“Then, express each intention as a concise statement of fact in the present tense, as if it’s already true. This enables your subconscious mind to register your intentions as actualities instead of possibilities, giving them greater power to materialize. For example, instead of saying, ‘I will meditate five days a week for 20 minutes each time,’ affirm, ‘I meditate five days a week for 20 minutes each time.
Next, pick one, two, or even three intentions and shorten them into simple, easily remembered phrases. For instance: ‘I meditate three times a week for 10 minutes each time’ can be stated as ‘Three and 10!’ ‘I’m kind and compassionate toward myself’ becomes ‘Kindness!’ And ‘I speak truth in each and every moment’ becomes ‘Truth!
Finally, repeat your intentions internally to yourself at the beginning of, throughout, and at the end of every meditation practice. Always affirm your intentions with deep feeling and certainty, with your entire body and mind.”1
Phamily, practice this exercise and reply below if it helps you as a good deal as it has served me. Here’s to your excellence in soul (intellect, body, emotions) health!
Listen to one of my favorite “brave” warriors – Brene Brown. She has challenged me to get back up when I fall. And each time I do I am intentionally being brave!
“There is no shame in falling. It’s only when you don’t get back up you allow shame to win.” LMH
1 Richard Miller, PhD, “The Staying Power of Intention – How setting the right intention can help you stick with a meditation practice,” Yoga Journal May 2016: 34.
According to Dictionary.com unleash means, “to release from or as if from a leash; set loose to pursue or run at will; to abandon control of.”
As of late I’m noticing it more in realms of healing, health, energy, movement, growth, spirituality, and technology. These headings are interchangeable and can be subheadings under each subject. But unleash is the common denominator that each share and is applied to a motion.
Recently I was hired for a new assignment with a major corporation. Admittedly I was excited after a twelve-year lesson that tore down a shoddy foundation. And yes, I am still being built, “over, again, another.” Daily I’m unleashing energies that I inherited from wounded souls and some I accepted as my own. And those traits I don’t necessarily care for that will possibly remain I am learning to walk with. Hate it. But the entity Peace is the goal for my soul. That is the energy I choose to abide in and with.
I know you’re probably wondering what does this have to do with my new assignment. Well, I’m in an environment that literally has systems in place that care about their employees, emotional, physical, social, relational, and educational well-being. I’ve walked into what I knew from being in the opposite, a place of what a business culture should be built upon.
Have you ever waited for the other foot to drop? That’s how I feel sometimes but each time I walk through the door I’m greeted with a hearty ‘Good Morning’ and a smile from ninety-nine percent of the employees including upper management. Wow! I sat in Orientation thinking asinine questions like:
1. Do I deserve this?
2. Can I really perform in this position?
3. Can I handle all this information?
4. Is this the place I’m supposed to be?
5. Can I bring value to this position?
6. Will I be promotable in six months?
I mean I’m sitting there and all of these questions and more are running through my head. I’ve had to tell myself daily that they wouldn’t have hired me if they thought I couldn’t do the job. So come on girl, let’s do the job. You would think the last twelve years I had time to release negative beliefs. But it seems a portion of them have been hiding and waiting for this golden moment to rear their ugly heads. AGH!
Then again, maybe it was divinely appointed for them to rear their heads. I needed to see them, identify, thank and release them, and tell them their services are no longer needed. The last twelve years of being in the wilderness came with a mindset of social and relational skills to survive in isolation. Connecting with people again, and not just in a corporate environment is overwhelming at times. I’m taking it slow and making sure that I breathe. That’s very important. Breathe. Unleash. Breathe. Unleash.
“I’m worthy. Breathe. Unleash.
I deserve to be here. Breathe. Unleash.
Go your speed. Breathe. Unleash.
This place is not your past. Breathe. Unleash.
You’re in a new place. Breathe. Unleash.
Smile. Breathe. Unleash.
Good Morning. Breathe. Unleash.
At times, we have to travel in our illustrious past to see the courageous women who paved the way for us to be in settings we only dreamed of. My sister friend and blogger Couture Purpose does an eloquent job of paying homage to women who sometimes go unsung but their deeds live on. Check out her blog where “Couture Purpose is ‘designed to make statements.’”
Now that we are springing forward know that you are moving in new places, spaces, and atmospheres! It’s because you’ve paid the cost and deserve to be there. Now go further!
Please sit back and enjoy my theme song for 2016 by Rachel Platten, “The Fight Song.”
I hope all is well with you and those you love! We’ve now experienced the first week of the new year. Was it a good week? I hope it was. Mine has been a culmination of emotions, situations, cleansings, and expansions but, all in all, they have been needed. Change, Removal, Restoral, Transformations, Elevations are all a part of breakthroughs. Be ye physical, emotional, mental, or in your soul, they all come with their own unique manifestations and mechanisms for us to be more authentic in mind, body and soul.
Well, on to what I’ve been revealing on my new Facebook page, “Author Lana M Hooks.” Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I post vignette’s of “Breakthroughs” that I want to happen in the near future. So I write them down as if they’ve already occurred. It’s my way of acknowledging my growth, my expansion into new areas of my life, my emotions healed and living my dreams. We need to know that we won’t be the same person tomorrow if we do the work needed now to change. I honestly believe if we remember, recognize, remove, and restore our authentic emotions, thoughts, and voice we will live our lives authentically and our dreams will manifest themselves.
I know some people may not be Facebook users or just taking a break and I didn’t want you to miss out on the vignette’s I posted this week. I am posting them all today in my blog and would love to hear back from you some of your “Breakthroughs” that you’d like to have happened in your life. This does not replace my bi-weekly blog this is in addition to it that I will post beginning next week on the same days I post on Facebook. I just don’t want you to miss out on you being a part of the #Breakthroughseries2016! I have friends who’ll be assisting you in your breakthroughs! Read my friend Neil Vermillion’s blog. He gives divine insight to propel you along further on your journey!
Please join me in sharing your “breakthrough” vignette’s by leaving them in the comment section. The more we write our dreams down and read them on days when it may not necessarily be going so well I believe they will lift up our spirits to keep pressing and don’t give up! Okay, Phamily, see you next Saturday with “Uncreating Contracts.” Have an excellent and breakthrough week!
Remember you are not alone! And sweet sleep and angels keep!
Ok Phamily, last I shared I wanted to be more open about my emotional awareness journey. Well, being aware and mindful about my behavioral reactions to situations have led me to accept a sickness, but not own it, it is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Honestly, those who have been through any perilous situation have PTSD to some degree. I’ve been reading about our veteran’s who serve the country and come back with this disorder because of how they’ve had to survive from lack of sleep, being gun ready to shoot, having shot a child or an adult first for fear of their lives being taken, patrolling territories that are bombed constantly, etc., I mean the list is endless. After reading the symptoms over and over again, as well as being told by a dear friend that when certain trigger words are said to me, I react in the same manner as a veteran challenged by PTSD. I concur.
If you’ve been through any consistent traumatic settings that are volatile from your childhood to young adult you have been in a war. Surviving in a home that was verbally or physically abusive will keep you on edge and constantly wondering when the next bomb is going to go off. You learn a different language altogether suffocating your authentic voice. It is imperative to find the exact words to keep your abuser at bay. You tiptoe around the home like a church mouse to throw off your location so your abuser can’t find you. Change in the home is dynamic in nature. Situations are always occuring that after a while are predictable in form to know what the outcome will be. Preparation for an event is rare because the mood of an abuser is unpredictable. Trying to guage an attack is fifty-fifty at best. You want to have control over an incoming explosion, but really you feel out of control, especially if you are a child living in an emotionally unstable hazardous environment.
At work today I was notarizing a lady’s document and she began to tell me about her relationship with her mother who transitioned in 2014. Listening to her she made several statements that reminded me of my childhood. For a minute I felt that I was looking at me talking about how verbally abusive my home was growing up. But what came next out of her 60ish mouth was this, “My mother never told me that she loved me. It was not until the day before she died that she told me that I was right. She finally admitted that she had never said those words to me.” She watched and heard her mother praise all of her friends but for her it was shame and ridicule. All she wanted from her mother was acceptance, but instead she greatly feared her mother because of her verbal whip that lashed out at her and said, “you aren’t good enough.”I sat there listening to her but in my head it was replay of me and my mother a week before she transitioned in 2007. Isn’t it amazing that so many years later, no matter the age, that what was not spoken or shown can possibly affect an adult in her relationships with herself, children, and others.
If what I’ve said has resonated in you like Big Ben the clock then you may have PTSD. Now to what degree only you can define that measure. And I will add don’t be afraid to seek help, you only have two modes you operate from in a traumatic situation, survival, or, you revert back to sucking your thumb. You need someone who doesn’t know you, like your friends (it’s a lot for them to digest and more than likely they have their own issues as well), who can give you options, choices, and another unbiased perspective. These are the very things you didn’t have as a child and you grew up as an adult/child with the same belief system. I’m saying these things because I’m right here with you. I’m not telling you anything that I am not going through myself.
Isn’t it amazing how mature you can behave in one area of your life but in another you need a pamper. Traumatic events leave traces of those same exact emotions and feelings in your mind and cells. Your body literally is held hostage or frozen in time when you encounter a similar situation as an adult. It’s like you’ve never left that scene. Different people but same sh#t. We forget or sometimes don’t know that really, we are adults now. I know for me I don’t know that I’m an adult in certain situations, like when I have to confront someone who is extremely aggressive or a bully. This is my hurdle to overcome. But the truth is we are all battling something. So the question becomes what are we going to do besides seek outside help?
Well, I have a few suggestions. I came across a yoga program for the veterans called iRest Yoga. You can go on YouTube and type it in and several video’s will pull up with the practice, as well a,s Dr. Richard Miller of Integrative Medicine who created the program. In my last blog I talked about falling in love with Yoga and how it has helped my body begin to heal and nerves unwind from Sciatica. It is wonderful. Now I am adding to the list iRest Yoga to see if it helps me sleep better and release stress. Try it! If it doesn’t work then seek Divine help to see what is your “thing” that can help you not just deal with trauma and stress but let it go. I believe it can leave it just may take some time. Like I said in the beginning I accept PTSD but I don’t own it. It was never mine in the first place. It was placed upon me like it was upon you. And you can send back that energy to the sender anytime of the day. I have a mantra that I say each time I feel the need to. It goes like this:
Father, this day I reclaim my energy from all past and present relationships, family, culture; their words, behaviors, and looks from those that I misappropriated my ignorantly taught, misaligned perceptions and beliefs about relationships, family, culture, religious and educational affiliations, and business and social connections! This day I choose to own MY energy!
My wall in front of my bed is my “Inspiration Wall,” (see picture below, apologize for the size). These sayings are the first thing I see when I wake up. I say them even if I don’t feel it. That’s when I say them with more passon and fervor. I have scriptures, pictures, covenants, and art work, “Psalms 23.” God is carrying the lamb on His shoulders with hands afixed around his hoofs. The lamb is looking at Him assured that he is protected by the Great Shepherd. I add to it as needed when a quote touches me in my soul. I have one from “Pretty Little Liars,” or one of my anime shows, “Soul Eater – Not!” Wisdom knows no bounds. (Don’t judge 😉
iRest is just a suggestion that I will see if it helps as well. I hope it does. Remember healing is always available just maybe not in the way we’d like it to be like – NOW! But it is available and just because you are diagnosed with a sickness or disease doesn’t mean you have to own it. I choose to find the real culprit of the malady. This is just a question I’m throwing out to you phamily. Have you ever wondered how is it that someone can either go through what you went through or even worse but emotionally, seemingly, they are not damaged? In fact they are confident, kind, assertive, yet humble. All I know is I WANT WHAT THEY’RE DRINKING…LOL!
But this was just one of those da-m-rn days that I wanted to share with you and I hope it helped you in some way. If it did please subscribe to my blog and tell a friend. We are all on this journey together living, learning, and sharing. Please share with me “things” you do to release the stress and trauma of yesteryear or day. I would love to know in the comments!
I hope this note finds everyone well and enjoying this spring weather soon to be summer. Here in Atlanta it hasn’t been that hot but I know we will have some of those days in a minute or so. Well, I know I haven’t written anything since February and I owe you a huge apology on several levels. One, I discovered some things about myself that admittedly I didn’t want to face, two, time. It felt like I never had enough time in the day to get things done (mis-management). And three, I was to embarrassed to share them with you. Yes, I am sitting in the corner and I’m giving you the “I’m sorry” stare. How can we talk if I’m not willing to share the most inner parts of my life, that quite frankly, I’m sure we all go through. So I am revamping my site, accepting all my stuff (you know I will say that word alot:-), being honest with myself, and most importantly with you guys. Forgive me, please? 🙁
Just to give you the rundown of what’s been happening and I will share more later. One, I am losing weight and it has been a helluva challenge for me. I’m an old school thinker of losing weight but my fifty-three year old body is saying, “Damn girl, you can’t do that aerobic s#&t like you used to.” So I’m having to regroup, and rethink how to lose weight for my temple in its present state. Now mind you I’ve lost 55 lbs. since last September!!! YAY!!! But I barely exercised, I just started cooking and laying off the fast food, or little to no food. Being told that anything I ate was going to make me fat, I HATED FOOD. I was AFRAID of food. This belief system had to go. I profusely apologized to my body of how I deprived it of nutrients that it needed from food. I starved her. Yes, starved her and still weighed in the two hundred plussssses! It can happen, trust me. I am mending my relationship with food and falling in love with her by cooking her for my temple to receive what she needs. FOOD NETWORK is my soap opera…lol!
I am doing YOGA!!! Yes, Yoga. I stretch forty-four minutes, four days out of the week. Don’t you dare laugh (it’s okay, I laugh at me too). My body needs that stretch to pop out the kinks. This is what you have to do when you don’t have a man…lol! Okay, I digress. Then I follow it by STRENGTH training, about twenty minutes. I have really fallen in love with resistance bands. They are the bomb. Better than a five pound weight in my hands. Then I do CARDIO on my elliptical machine. Now mind you I’ve had this machine since 2004. I see you laughin’ yo’ tail off and I deserve every snicker of it. This machine has sat in my den (when I had a home), storage space, and now living room in my apartment right beside the dinette table. I know it is in shock from seeing me climb on with my timer and do an intense twenty minute workout. And finally, I do CRUNCHES! I’m up to fifty crunches and I increase ten each week.
My weight has been my Achilles heel since I was ten years old. A belief system I breathed and believed in me regarding my weight that was yelled at me has lived in my psyche and cells far to long. I have used it as an excuse to stop living and exist on the periphery of life. I have a been a bystander and watched other people live and believed it was not for me – BULLSHIT!
I WANT TO RIDE THE ROLLERCOASTERS AT SIX FLAGS AND BUNGEE JUMPING!!!
This is the summer and really year of “TAKING BACK MY LIFE!”
My temple deserves to live out the rest of its life in excellent health in every way. I owe my temple from all those years of carrying unnecessary words (since the age of ten), other people’s stuff (their problem with their own weight and life choices), and physically not allowing anyone to help me lift heavy items (sometimes I had to when no one else was around/and afraid of men). So phamily I’m losing weight and weights of things that no longer serve me. Like “letting go” of old scenes, situations, and people by FORGIVING them and FORGETTING the emotions, the feelings of whatever offended me, and I them, too. It’s been a crawl pholk, but worth it. And lastly, I want to be married before I forget what it feels like to have a man in my life. I don’t want to be a spinster, an angry, embittered female who blames men for all her ills. That is so unfair to the brothers who are doing the right thing. But nor do I want to be with just any man to say I have one. No. I want to be with the man that God really created for me and I for him. So phamily this is just a tidbit of what is going on in my world. I haven’t even got to the economical belief system that needs to be thrown out and revamped. But I can tell you this it is also tied to my weight – go figure. I will have more to tell you in a little bit. I may put one more blog on here just to give you an update with pictures of me. We’ll see 😉
LASTLY, (for real)
I’m looking at how to make the site more interactive, fun, and inclusive. If you guys have any ideas please share them with me in the comments section. I’d appreciate any and all suggestions. And if you wanna be a guest blogger, by all means, introduce yourself by emailing me on the CONTACT page. I guess that’s it for now. I will see you when school starts in August. So for now everyone enjoy your summer, do something fun, and plunge into it with all of your being!