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Are You Pursuing Your Purpose or Is Your Purpose Pursuing You?

MANHATTANAre you pursuing your purpose or running away from it? I used to tell myself that I was pursuing my purpose. I felt sure of it. I also told myself that I could not pursue my purpose without depending on things (9-5, no-good ex, no-good friends) that kept me stressed out, depressed and feeling as if the very purpose that I was supposedly pursuing was impossible to achieve.  I was left stuck in a repetitive cycle of simply surviving day-after-day and  believed that I would remain stuck in it for the rest of my life. I was miserable inside my own head with the thoughts of living this way until I was too old to change it, but at the time, I didn’t exactly know a way out of it. I would work all day and go home too tired to do more than make a feeble attempt at working on what I felt was my purpose. My purpose had been reduced to a side gig, then to a side hustle and was quickly reaching odd job status. I was simply going through the motions but had honestly nearly given up on ever actually realizing anything close to what I felt was my purpose.

But, the strange thing was that, although I had nearly given up on it, my purpose hadn’t even thought about giving up on me. At night, in my dreams, during moments of mindless daydreaming and while I was driving it showed up. During just about every action where I let my guard down and allowed my spirit to simply create without the interjection of my negative thoughts, my purpose showed up. It presented itself as flashes of what could be, actions that should be taken or a little voice urging me not to give up. Sometimes I’d listen to it and other times I wouldn’t but, it was pursuing me and I was terrified of it.

Looking back, I can see how my purpose, would try desperately to remove things that should not have been in my life and I see how I would fight tooth and nail to keep them. Now, I can see how it tried to put me on the right path towards it by keeping certain things from me that would have distracted me further. But, instead of being grateful, understanding and attentive, I would still allow my own self-pity over what I felt had been lost, taken or denied to distract me and pull me off course. I was still running away from my purpose. I now see that I was honestly too terrified to truly chase it. I was afraid that if I pursued what was in my heart, I’d fail and be I’d be broke and broken and so, it was easier to work to help someone else build their dreams than it was to build my own.

Purpose… guided by a power that is omnipotent, omnipresent and so much bigger than our thoughts or the minuscule things that we allow to distract us… pursues us even when we have lost the faith to pursue it. The good news is that once we discover that we are being pursued, we can choose to stop running. We can also choose to stop pursuing, but not because we are giving up, but rather because we begin to just allow our purpose to be. When we are honest with ourselves about what we want and about our unhappiness about how things are, we can begin to truly be ourselves. When you are who you’re meant to be, your purpose will instinctively find you because you were always meant to be one with it. So, I ask you again, are you pursuing your purpose or is it pursuing you?

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5 ways to love someone who is acting unlovable | Dave Willis

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

“We all can be hard to love sometimes, but I’ve found that people usually need love the most in those moments when they “deserve” love the least. This true story below changed my life and my thinking about love and I believe it could do the same for you.

My Aunt Laurie is one of the most lovable people you’ll ever meet. She has a contagious joy and her laughter fills the room from the moment she walks in the door. Even now, as I’m writing these words and thinking about her, I’m smiling. To know her is to love her, but she wasn’t always so lovable. In fact, there was a very dark time in her life when she was unrecognizable from the warm and joyful person she is today…”

-Dave Willis

 

Read the full article at the original Source: 5 ways to love someone who is acting unlovable

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Creating a Positive Environment Around Negative People

 

Negative people are everywhere. There’s just no getting away from them, no matter how hard we try. They exist at the places we go to make money and the places we go to spend money. They, unfortunately, can even exist in our very own homes and families. How do you know negative people are around?

Here are some signs that a person is negative:

  1. They are angry a lot.
  2. They seem to enjoy verbal or physical altercations.
  3. The seem unhappy more than they seem happy.
  4. When they are unhappy they want others to be.
  5. They enjoy seeing others involved in drama.
  6. They instigate and encourage others to be upset.
  7. They are rude.
  8. They rarely like those who are different than them.
  9. They are easily intimidated by those they see as superior.
  10. They find it difficult to give compliments or say thank you.

If you know someone who exhibits one or more of these signs they are more than likely negative and should be treated with carefully. Instead of the old adage, “if you can’t beat them join them,” as it relates to these negative people, we must adopt a new motto to live by. Often, we try to change the people around us, and when these people are already prone to negativity, this can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, we should be the change that we want to create, or in other words, “be such a brilliant example of the light that the darkness has no place around you.”

When you are committed to keeping your environment positive, eventually negative people will have only two options. They can either adopt a more positive attitude and remain in your space or they can remain negative and remove themselves from the positive space. I’m a firm believer that good will always trump over evil, and positivity can always beat out negativity. But, more often than not, when there is a situation where a positive person is surrounded by negative people, it is the positive person who ends up either leaving or conforming. This is usually the result of frustration, anger or a lack of a true knowledge of the power of self-positivity.

There are some cases when the negative person may be in a position of authority or power. This situation may make it feel as if creating a positive environment is impossible and honestly, it may be. In cases such as these, especially in cases where there is the possibility of emotional, mental or even physical harm, getting out may be the only means of creating a more positive environment. The bottom line is, every person is entitled to live in a positive environment. If you are constantly around negative people, it’s up to you to make the necessary changes to create a more positive environment.

Here are some tips that will help:

  1. Remember your values and be steadfast in them.
  2. Don’t allow their negativity to make you retaliate against them with the same behavior.
  3. Keep your environment, (home, office, even yourself) decorated and full of scents that enhance positivity. I once heard a man say that it was hard to be angry around a woman who smells good. (It’s worth a try).
  4. Don’t allow them to encourage you to behave like them.
  5. Keep positive music, or words (scriptures, quotes) close at hand so that you can refill your positivity tank throughout the day if needed.
  6. Even though you know that negative people are actually demonstrating weaknesses and insecurities, don’t use this knowledge as an opportunity to degrade them.
  7. Make it known that you do not accept negativity in your space.
  8. If there is ever a physical, mental or emotional threat to your well-being, remove yourself from the situation.

 

– Diathe Garnes

 

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net (franky242)

Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman
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Thoughts = Power: Do Yours Make You Feel Powerful or Powerless?

Thoughts (1)Here’s what I like to call a “maybe” story that could end with two thoughts. A “maybe” story is one that maybe happened or could happen to you or to me and based on how we choose to think during this moment, we define how and who we will be.

Maybe you’re having a bad day and you don’t mind telling anyone who cares to listen. As you drive along in your car, complaining to  your bestie or your boy on your IPhone (via Bluetooth of course), you see a young man walking in the rain, soaking wet and looking very cold.  You drive on a little further and complain a little more. Soon you see a young woman who appears to be homeless, sitting on the sidewalk outside the convenience store you frequent.  You notice that it’s raining even harder than before.

You think to yourself, if they could be anywhere else, I bet they would be. And, here I sit, nice and dry in a car that I am blessed to have and I have never had the misfortune of having to walk or sit alone in the rain. You hang up with your friend. Complaining just doesn’t seem as useful as it had a few moments earlier; instead, you say a silent prayer for both strangers and one of gratitude for your blessings. You actually feel empowered to change your situation.

Or

You think to yourself, they don’t know how easy they have it. They don’t have half the problems I do. Because they have never worked hard to get anywhere or have anything, they have nothing to lose. If they would have tried a little harder, maybe they could have accomplished something…Then, they would know true pain, like the pain I’m going through right now. You roll your eyes at the person sitting in the rain as you pass by and you keep complaining to your friend. You feel even more miserable and powerless than before.

We are all works in progress. Which thought would be more like you currently on your worst day? If you would respond more negatively, why and what do you think could help you change your outlook? If the old you would have responded more negatively, what made you change? Leave a comment.

Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman
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Staying True to Yourself in a World Where Following the Latest Trend is In

Woman in Blue (1)Everywhere we look there is a new fad to follow. This is no longer a fact of life that’s reserved for teenagers and young adults. Because of the popularity of social media, this is now a fact of life for adults and business owners around the world.

It is very tempting to believe everything that you see on social media. According to social media, everyone from your ex-cousin-in-law to the guy who bullied you in the fifth grade has a successful, almost perfect life and every business owner you see is raking in the dough because their business is just that awesome.

So, what do you do? You try to imitate what you see or, at least, give the appearance of doing so. I’m not talking about the creepy, stalker imitation that we see in the movies – which requires one to have some major crazy genes floating around in their gene pool. I’m talking about trying to model your business or your life after others because you perceive it to be an easy or sure fire way to success and happiness.

As a little girl, like most little girls, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. One month I wanted to train horses, the next I wanted to train dolphins or be an oceanographer (probably not a good idea when you’re terrified of water). But, as I got older, probably around the age of 10, there were two things that I knew.

  1. I wanted to write.
  2. I wanted to help others.

Around that time, I wrote in my journal that I wanted to be a psychologist so I could help people understand themselves. Well, life didn’t take me down that path, but that desire in me never went away. So, a few years ago when I decided to become a life coach, I was only tapping into that same desire to help people that started long ago. It’s simply a part of who I am and although I had never really heard of a life coach back then, after researching it, I knew it was right for me.

After getting certified as a life coach, I decided I wanted more than a certification, so I decided to get a Master’s Degree that focused on life coaching skills because I wanted to be the best at what I was doing. When I felt finally ready to leap out there and start helping people, I realized that everyone was doing the same thing. On social media, everyone was a coach. And, even though I had all the training and education that I needed to do it my way, before you know it, I was pulled into the soiree of doing things just like everyone else. Thank God I realized the error of my actions.

It didn’t take me long to remember that God gave me gifts and talents that are not like anyone else’s, just as he gave each of us unique talents. Along with our gifts and talents, we have been given the ability to use them in our own unique way. This is why trying to be like someone else usually doesn’t end well.  Doing so is virtually impossible to sustain.

It’s perfectly okay to do things in a way that has never been done before. It’s okay to write a new manual on how to get that thing done that only you can do. Others will follow you and maybe they’ll tweak your manual and add their own twists. To me, this is the natural flow of things. There is enough success to go around for all of us. But we can only get there on our own unique path. Modeling your life after someone else’s will lead to disappointment and you undoubtedly will miss out on experiences and opportunities that were meant for only you to have.

Do yourself a favor, ignore the latest trends and instead, be a trendsetter. Be yourself no matter what anyone else thinks of it and no matter how quirky or corny it may seem to others.  And, don’t do it so that you will have adoring followers who want to be just like you. Set the trend for breaking trends so that those who have the pleasure of coming across your path will know that it is okay for them to do the same. I truly believe that you can only truly give your very best to the world when it truly is your best and not someone else’s that’s been imitated. Be true to yourself –  ­and the rest will follow. Contact me for a coaching service if you need help getting in touch with your true self.

 

Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman
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Saying “Thank you” – Why it Makes a Difference

thank youWhen I was in the Navy, it was really easy to feel frustrated that none of my hard work mattered. I felt like no matter how much I did, it was never enough to satisfy my superiors. I was angry at regulations that hurt Sailors more than they helped them. I often felt like I wasn’t making a difference like I’d wanted to when I joined the Navy.

One small act by a Sailor in my division changed all that. Before I left the command, he gave me an envelope with my name on it. He told me I could open it and read it if I wanted to. Curiosity got the best of me, and I opened the card. It was a thank-you note. He had written it to tell me how much I had meant to him over the last year. He wrote that I was the only person who always had time to listen to him and try to help him with his problems. He claimed that the kind of leader I’d been was the kind of leader he wanted to be one day. Tears filled my eyes as I read his words. He shook my hand and wished me luck with the rest of my career.

I still have his note years later. Whenever I feel like what I’m doing doesn’t matter, I take it out and read it again. It reminds me that the little things I do for those around me really do make a difference. Because that one little hand-written thank-you note meant so much to me, I’ve tried to pass it on. I let people know how much I appreciate their help. I’ve written notes to old teachers and other coworkers. I hope that they made them realize how important they are.

Is there someone in your life who could use a “thank you”? Please consider putting your feelings in writing. You could even give it anonymously. You have no way of knowing what that person is going through, but your positive words could be the encouragement they need to keep going. I don’t know if that Sailor even remembers giving me that card, but it made such a difference in my life and altered the way I looked at my contribution and may career and, I will never forget it.

By Lauren Raines for Uplifting Woman 

 

**Lauren, thank you for being of service to our country and thank you for being an amazing part of Uplifting Woman! **

 

-Diathe

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of (Stuart Miles) Freedigitalphotos.net

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Paying the Price of Being Authentically You

Authentic Black WomanThere are many people walking around us today who have no idea who they really are. They’ve spent their whole lives trying to be some thing, some body that would be acceptable to those around them. It all started for them when they were children and just as the real them was beginning to form and grow almost ready to emerge as the person that God intended for them to be in that moment, someone around them told them that some part of them was not good enough or was not normal enough. And so, because children are very amazing, adaptable beings. They begin to change. And before you know it changing to conform to what was acceptable or good to others had become a way of life for them. They do it for so long that one day, they wake up and realize that they have no idea who they are!

How do I know all this? Well because, up until about 4 years ago, that was me. A fear of rejection caused me to become an amazing chameleon. Able to fit in and be who those around me expected or wanted me to be. Because I felt the sting of rejection as a child, I was willing to do just about anything to avoid feeling it again. Most everyone has dealt with a fear in their lives. Some very common ones are a fear of rejection, a fear of failing, a fear of being alone, a fear of not having money, a fear of success, or a fear of being too exposed or transparent. If you identify what your fear is, you can probably look back over your life and see how it has caused you to be different than you really want to be. Different than you were meant to be. For years I would envision myself a certain way but I was too afraid to really be that person because I didn’t want to lose the people who were in my life. I mean, after all they seemed to accept and love me that way and at that time that was all I was looking for.

But, regardless of how much I feared the rejection of those around me, there was this aching inside of me that wouldn’t quit. That aching lead me to begin seeking a better way. As my search grew stronger, as I read more, learned more, wrote more, I begin to change. I started to become more of ME. But, it wasn’t easy and, there was a price to pay! People who I just knew were with me for life starting dropping off. Apparently, they couldn’t handle the new me. She was too spiritual and had too many grand ideas about what she wanted to achieve and she made them uncomfortable because accepting the her would mean they would have to consider making changes too. Many of them left me devastated and I questioned whether it was even worth it all. I ended up experiencing the very thing I feared the most, rejection, but still, I kept seeking. Through what I believe was divine intervention, I begin to meet people who would mentor me and teach me and coach me. And for the first time, I not only begin to know the real me, but I accepted her and I wanted to know more about her.

Today, I’m constantly checking in with myself to make sure that the things that I’m doing and saying are authentic. Every once in a while the answer is no because I’ve fallen back into my old habit of conforming and people pleasing. When that happens, I know that it’s time for me to change some things up, maybe even let some things or people go. And guess what, I’m totally ok with that.

I want to encourage you today to be authentically you in all that you do. Look at individual areas of your life and ask yourself are you being totally honest and showing up as who you really want to be in that area. If the answer is yes, great, but if it’s no, change some things up until the true you is represented in all areas of your life. Don’t be embarrassed to get help from a coach or find yourself a mentor. When it’s all said and done, becoming who you were meant to be may mean paying the price of facing the very thing that you feared the most. But believe me, having the courage to be who you want to be, live where you want to live, say what you want to say…is worth the cost!

 

Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman

Image courtesy of (Stuart Miles) Freedigitalphotos.net

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How to Overcome that “I Hate My Life” Feeling

 

I hate my lifeMany of us have had that moment where we look in the mirror and we don’t like what we see—both on the inside and the outside. Somehow, our life isn’t what we wanted it to be. We aren’t living up to our full potential. We’ve lost that spark in ourselves, and we don’t know how to get it back.

If you’ve spiraled down into a depression or you just feel like you’re in a rut, there is a way to get out. Here are some ideas that you should consider. Remember, it’s a combination of little things that make a big difference.

  1. Start exercising – Even just a brisk 20 minute walk a day can make you feel more energized, help clear your mind, and even reduce your risk of heart attack and diabetes! And if you do more exercise, the health benefits increase.
  1. Get a hobby – What makes you happy? Did you like to paint when you were younger? Or maybe you always wanted to learn how to sew. Or maybe you want to try starting a garden. What’s stopping you from doing those things now? Spending a little time doing a hobby each week can help you feel better about all the time you spend working or running errands or trying to keep up with your kids. Search for groups in your area that do something you would like to do. Many craft stores offer art classes, or you could set up a group yourself. Chances are you have people in your life that would like to do something out of the ordinary.
  1. Take a class – Look for community colleges in your area. Most offer continuing education for adults who are interested in continuing their education, but maybe not in getting a new degree. You can sign up for a night class that meets once a week. Or you could do a seminar class that is only one or two days long. It’s up to you! Personally, I joined a community orchestra (I used to play in high school) and a community choir. It cost less than $50 each class, and I absolutely love getting to play my viola and sing each week. I’ve met a bunch of cool people from my area, too.
  1. Volunteer – A great way to help you put your own situation in perspective is by helping the less fortunate. There are many organizations all over the country that would love more volunteers. If you like animals, contact your local SPCA and see what you can do to help. If you want to work with your hands, try Habitat for Humanity. The library or local schools could use help, too. Working for a good cause is a major mood booster because you make a difference in the lives of others.
  1. Meditate and/or pray for clarity so that you can truly understand why you feel like you hate your life. Once you have an answer or answers set strategic goals to address each thing that you’ve identified as being the root of your feelings. Then, one-by-one, make a plan to achieve each goal. Before you know it, you will have created a life that’s not so easy to hate.

These are just a few tips to get you started. Feel free to share your own ideas in the comments and if you know of anyone who may be feeling this way, send them to our site!

 

Lauren Raines for Uplifting Woman &

Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman
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How to Get Past a Betrayal Using One Simple Question

sad womanA good friend of mine is going through a tough time concerning the girl he loves. They were best friends for a year before he decided to tell her that he wanted to be in a real relationship with her. Then she dropped a bomb on his heart: not only was she bisexual (which she had never shared with him), but she also had a girlfriend and had been with her for the majority of her friendship with him.

My friend was devastated, hurt, and angry for two major reasons: First, after he had shared so many personal things with her, she hadn’t trusted him with a huge part of her life: her sexuality. He had other gay friends, so it wasn’t like he wouldn’t have supported her. Why had she kept this secret from him? She was supposed to be his closest friend. And second, why had she never told him about her girlfriend? They had done some physical things together—not sex yet, but enough to qualify as cheating for sure. Her girlfriend didn’t know about him, either, his friend confessed. She also said that she didn’t know what to do—she loved her girlfriend and didn’t plan on breaking up with her, but in a way she loved him, too.

After he finished telling me the whole story, he said that he’s still trying to be her friend and hang out with her, but she sends him mixed signals. She basically acts the same as she did before: she’s still touchy-feely with him, she acts like she wants to be more than his friend, etc. Yet now she flaunts her girlfriend in front of him. My friend goes through periods of intense anger and intense sadness. He wishes he could just erase the fact that he ever met this girl.

I hated to see my friend so torn up. He’s like a younger brother to me. I don’t claim to be any good at giving relationship advice, but I’ve been through enough to feel like I’ve learned something essential in getting over a betrayal.

I told him that he needs to ask himself this question: What will it take to make this right for me? His answer was that finding a way to forgive her and move on was what he felt would make the situation right for him. Once he figured out a way to do that, he would be ready to let the situation go. Answering that one question gave him the information he needed to get to where he wanted to be, which was out of that situation.

About a week later, he came back and told me that he’d done what I said. He decided that in his heart he wanted to forgive her, but she had never said she was sorry that she hurt him or even asked him for forgiveness. It was as if she only felt sorry that HE was upset—not sorry for what SHE actually did. She really didn’t seem to feel any remorse for the way she’d treated him OR her girlfriend (who was still unaware of everything going on). When he confronted her, she told him that she couldn’t do what he was asking because she just didn’t feel the way he wanted her to. So he employed my second piece of advice: he told her that he was taking a step back from the situation and that he didn’t want to talk to her or spend time with her for a while.

While he is still taking things one day at a time, he said that he feels relieved that they are no longer trying to be friends. He doesn’t want to be on that rollercoaster of emotions anymore. We talked about the fact that he told her the truth about how he felt and what he wanted from her, but in the end he could only control his own actions. Since she wasn’t willing to meet him halfway, he needed to be the bigger person and let their relationship go. He now understands that forgiving her is what’s best for him and so he is able to go on.

The one simple question tactic doesn’t just apply to romantic relationships. I’ve used it with friends and even family members. It is vital to look inside yourself and really figure out the root of your pain. Answering this question often allows you to see the root by identifying the remedy or solution. If the solution is unrealistic, then you need to distance yourself from the person or situation that hurt you. Unfortunately, people are often not willing to change or admit that they did something wrong. You can’t control what they do, but you CAN control what you do. By focusing on that, you can choose to move forward. Chances are there are already people and situations in your life ready to fill the void that is created when you leave the negative behind.

So, the next time you’re faced with a betrayal ask yourself the question, What will it take to make this right for me? Listen to the answer and then determine the best way to make it happen. With an open heart and a willingness to do what may not be easy, it works every time.

By Lauren Raines & Diathe Garnes for Uplifting Woman

 

 

 

 

 

Image courtesy of  [Nenetus] at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman
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Creating a Real, Fresh Start In the New Year

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Check Out the Podcast Version of this Post Here


It happens every year. The New Year brings with it reflections on the familiar, past year and resolutions for the unknown, new year. I mean, that’s what life is all about right? Every living thing is propelled by the notion of a new beginning-a fresh start. Many animals hibernate and take a well deserved rest after long seasons where their survival often hung in the balance, only to awake later, refreshed and ready to do it all over again, hopefully better than before. Plants obligingly die or trade their bright leaves and blossoms for the dull, withered remnants of their former glory with the hope that the next seasons blooms will be brighter and bolder than before.

For human beings, we look to the periods in our lives where there can be a change in direction, thought or action that can lead us to the new beginning that all of nature seeks. Unfortunately for us, new beginnings don’t mean that the mistakes of yesterday magically vanish or that we can’t still feel the sting from past pains. But, fortunately for us the reflections that come during those periods often lead us to want to be, do and think better. Looking back over missed opportunities lead us to want to dream bigger, try harder even if we fail and be more impactful.

To heck with resolutions. They don’t work because they are often made out of a desire to change something about ourselves that didn’t come from our hearts and that only includes superficial change. For instance, loosing weight or doing better with finances are great resolutions to make. But, often there are other more deeply rooted changes that we need to make in order to take these resolutions from shallow goals to realities.

So, I have some questions for you. What is it that you can do this year to truly make this a fresh start? What changes has your heart been telling you it was time to make? Which ones can you fully commit to? What things can you do for yourself, your family or your business that simply can’t wait any longer? If you died tomorrow, what things would you regret not doing the most? What changes will be most impactful in getting you on the path to being about the business of change and progress in 2016?

Diathe Garnes- The Uplifting Woman