Living inside my mind

Painting: A Bug Free Mind

Expressed by:  Cassandra Dennis

Living inside my mind can be exhilarating and dangerous.

Living inside my mind intertwines you within my brilliant thoughts and stories or can envelope you in my perversion (altering something from its original course or meaning) and fears of the “what ifs” of life.

Living inside my mind exposes me; my strengths unrecognized, my weaknesses exploited, the untapped gifts I refuse to share because of fear.

Living inside my mind keeps the true me secluded, isolated, untransformed without a renewed mind.

Living inside my mind takes you on a ride that no roller coaster in this world could compare.

Living inside my mind – STOP! STOP living inside my mind!  I want it.  I want more than the pseudo life, the unclaimed life I have lived inside my mind.  The life of possibilities unrealized because there was no effort applied to make them a reality.

I peaked outside of my mind one day and saw a glimpse of my heart.  A vital organ created to supply my body with oxygen and nutrients was showing signs of failure because I filled my vessel with the toxins of deferred hope and untruths by existing in a state of laziness and fear in my mind.

My desire to actively participate in my journey began to grow again as I began to speak my truth, know my worth, expand my knowledge, gain understanding and live my experiences out loud instead of cowering behind them in silence.  I take steps daily toward living instead of existing.

Life, my life is to be lived in motion, not on canvas; and I’ve realized my smiles, tears and fears are to create a living story of my failures and successes, weaknesses and strengths, the empowerment to overcome fear even while struggling with it.  Renewing my mind and taking an intentional step daily allows me to live freely, to love and like me; and that my friend is liberating.

But…

You see, we never actually filled the world with our dreams and ideas;

Expressed by:  Cassandra Dennis

My dreams are beyond images, because I’ve made them tangible.

My inventions are no longer day dreams, because I now hold the patents.

The characters in my head are no longer invisible playmates, because they are now vital roles in my books, plays, movies and television shows.

The rhythm in my head is now noted on paper and being expressed through various instruments.

The body movement and flow I see has danced its way out of my conscious and is now a choreographed number for a major musical.

The good I see in others I’ve now transformed into a movement of #humanitylovinghumanity.

I’m surrounded by so many who are living an imagery of dreams and success, but, yet we have one regret.  You see, we never actually filled the world with our dreams and ideas; but we had good reasons…

  • But I don’t have enough time.
  • But I don’t know how.
  • But I’m afraid.
  • But what if I fail.
  • But it costs too much.

Along the way, the events of life brought us together, and some of us had people to mourn us, but they mourned the wrong thing.  They mourned the loss of the physical body, instead they should have mourned what was loss long ago; dreams not fulfilled, paths not taken, voids we left, stories untold and journeys cut short.

We took time for granted, allowed fear, selfishness, laziness and lack of knowledge to stop us in our tracks, long before death did.  So, our message to you from our final resting place: “The end of your dream is already woven into a beautiful ending, but it can’t happen until you take a step and put in the work to obtain the result you envision. Don’t let that dash between your birth and death become a mournful “but” for those you leave behind.”

It wasn’t clear, until…

…there was a season in my life that devastated me…

Expressed by:  Cassandra Dennis

As I have discussions with people, scroll through social media and read various articles and books I realize I am not the only one struggling with quitting.  I sit down in November or December of each year and I evaluate what I want to accomplish in the upcoming new year and kind of ignore what I didn’t put forth the effort to accomplish in the current year.  I have my list of goals, usually a duplicate of years gone by and become excited about the new me I will see in the mirror at the end of the next year.  On my list I have:

  • a better relationship with God goal,
  • of course I have my lose weight goal,
  • be debt free goal,
  • save money goal,
  • grow my business goal,
  • be a better wife goal,
  • travel goal, etc, etc.

For some of those goals I had a well thought out plan and some I kind of wing it.  So, are you able to guess how many goals I was able to accomplish in 2016?  I accomplished, 3 out of 10 of my goals.  Why?  Because I only put actual work and obtained knowledge and understanding behind the plans I laid out for  3 of my goals.  The others were my, I’ll wing it goals; so I gave up on many of those goals throughout 2016.

So as I sat down to evaluate where I am in my life, I realize somewhere along the way I began quitting many things I set out to do.  When and why did I become a quitter?  My inner core relationships know me as the “come back kid.”  No matter what life throws my way, I keep coming without hesitation.  However, there was a season in my life that devastated me, my divorce.   Maybe not the divorce (2009) by itself but the events (2007-2009) that led up to the divorce.  It really rocked my world and I let go of so many parts of my character that made me, me and helped me to function and accomplish my goals in my life.  Those around me could no longer count on me when I gave my word, heck, I couldn’t count on me.  For nine years, I began a cycle of quitting.  Other than working and focusing my attention on my grandbabies, I was not dependable for anything else.

This year in 2016, I got tired of being sick and tired and fearful, being a spectator of other peoples lives; so I made the decision to change my direction.  I stopped isolating myself, I began to step outside of my comfort zone, I purged some relationships, I surrounded myself with people who were seeking out their passions and acting upon them.  I incorporated new ways of doing things, took classes, served others, and leaned on my husband (marriage restored); all of this was through being obedient to the direction from the Holy Spirit and pushing past easy.

Out of the nine years of my quitting journey I learned:

  • Change requires decisions, sound decisions and actions.
  • I can desire the best out of life, but if I don’t plan and work the plan no matter how hard it gets to have the best, then I never truly desired the best.
  • Know me, know my gifts, seek to know and understand my passions.
  • Don’t compare my journey to someone else and don’t be distracted by the words or actions of others.
  • I must know what I want to achieve. I should not be vague, but be specific enough without being anal retentive in order to create and work a plan.  Does it involve training, a mentor, volunteers, a business plan, what’s the cost, etc?
  • I must be flexible, in case plan A doesn’t work or needs adjusting I need to have plans B, C, D, E & F already laid out to prevent me from entertaining the idea of quitting.
  • I must be willing to purge some unhealthy relationships.
  • Have inspirational quotes, stories, music and like minded people around me to encourage me to persevere no matter the challenge.
  • Most of all, by implementing the above items I have tools to combat the fear of failure.

My life during that time wasn’t clear until I made the decision to get to the root of why I became a quitter and became tired of existing.   This part of my journey led me to a path of truth and transparency.  It is that path that is unfolding opportunities and elevating a restored marriage.  Want to know more?  Keep checking in.

Truth and Transparency…

Man, I was a single parent with two boys to feed and clothe, I wasn’t trying to hear, “Cassandra, we’re going to have to let you go.”

 

Expressed by: Cassandra Dennis

Freedom…. free mindset, free thinking, freedom in the way I speak, free in how I raised my sons.  I even got fired a couple of times from a job, but I went back to work the next day like nothing happened.  Man, I was a single parent with two boys to feed and clothe, I wasn’t trying to hear, “Cassandra, we’re going to have to let you go.”  “Yeah, ok, see you tomorrow.”  I came and clocked in the next day and went on with my shift.  WOW, as I think back to the way I was in my early twenties and thirties, I have a longing for that younger me.  I was bold in my thinking, I lived in motion, there was no such thing as procrastination; if I thought it, I moved forward in accomplishing whatever “it” was.  Lack of sleep, lack of knowledge and lack of money did not hinder me in whatever I wanted to do. I didn’t dwell upon anyone’s opinion, nor did I seek it.  Why, because another persons opinion was irrelevant to the process of me accomplishing what was at hand.  Sooooo….. what happened?

Somewhere along the way my focus changed, I lost my way and I began seeking the opinion of others, and their opinions became the gospel for me.  Why?  At first I didn’t know.  However, as I began to reflect on my life during a period of several years I realized once my sons became young men and I had equipped them to seek God and care for themselves my focus and my drive was gone.  Everything I was previously doing I was doing for them.  So now the question I asked myself was, “Cassandra, who are you, what do you truly like, do you remember your dreams and do you have the unction to accomplish them for yourself?”  The answer was, “no!”

Even though I had not been married long, being married became a chore, so I made it into a project for me.  I began to mimic my parents marriage, tv show marriages and layered in the information from marriage ministry, where we served.  BIG BIG BIG mistake.  I taught myself to wear masks.  I sought the opinions of others and took their opinion of me and dissected myself down to a person I didn’t know and didn’t like.  So I created a walk-in closet of masks; and depending upon the occasion I wore the mask that allowed me to blend in and to become apart of the crowd. What a mess.

Well needless to say, my husband and I began having challenges in our marriage, infidelity, control issues, and so much more.  I spiraled into depression and fear became a big part of my life.  From that time up until this point, approximately 7 years, I’ve allowed fear to paralyze me from living in my purpose, including even seeking my purpose for living.  For the past three years I have slowly begun a sincere relationship with God and an honest relationship with myself.  I’ve gone through a purging of relationships, masks and emotional bondage, PAINFULLLL!!  But it is what it is, it’s life and life is a journey of good and bad experiences.  It’s how I decide to live out and share those experiences that allows me to empower others as I am empowered.

Is fear still there?  Of course, but I have made the decision to live a life of kinetic energy, in motion regardless what’s over the horizon.  This renewed me has new inspiration, bold dreams and the excitement to accomplish it all, with my husband and our family.  Keep your eyes open, some of what’s to be revealed may inspire you to inspire others.  PEACE…