And we’re off…

We must remember, this is not a race and we all proceed at our own pace.

Expressed by: Cassandra Dennis

We are 120 days into 2017 and many of us are off and running with our new year resolutions.  Many have started businesses, joined gyms, opened investment accounts, applied for a passport, working on being debt free, downloaded self-help books and so much more.

Or some of us have lost our motivation and given up or started and stopped so many times that we are disappointed with ourselves.  We must remember, this is not a race and we all proceed at our own pace.  The reasons for setting out to accomplish our goals this year must be personal to us; not because someone believes or feels we should do something.  Our motivation must come from within.

Go back to your goal or get it done list and do this for me:

  1. Review your list and decide is this something you want to accomplish or something someone else wanted you to accomplish, and strike through those goals that you know you will not put forth the effort to accomplish.
  2. For the goals left on your list write out to the side your reason for wanting to accomplish this goal, and write out empowering key words or quotes, build a musical play list or audio books or inspirational speeches to listen to when your’re running out of steam.
  3. Write out a mini plan for obtaining that goal.  Remember, without a plan you have already planned to fail.
  4. Place a picture next to each goal.  If it’s losing weight, put a leaner picture of you or a particular outfit you want to get into; if it’s a trip put a picture of that place and your passport next to it, now you get the picture.
  5. Each day refer to your “get it done list” and encourage yourself with what you have written and your visual aids.

Now, get moving we both have work to do.

Getting beyond the surface..

We begin to easily judge and form an opinion…

Expressed by: Cassandra Dennis

https://getting2therootofit.wordpress.com

Root:  a base or support; a primary source; an origin; an essential part or element.

When we see a tree that’s been uprooted for whatever reason, the many roots that were securing the tree in the ground are exposed. The roots unlike the trunk, branches and foliage of the tree aren’t pretty or uniquely designed; they are caked with mud, soil, insects and even the roots or vines of other nearby trees may have intertwined with that tree, but they serve a great purpose.  It is the roots of a tree that invades nearby areas to create a strong foundation for the trunk of a tree that may grow to over 100 feet tall and support the weight of several branches and foliage.  The roots are also responsible for feeding the tree with the nutrients from the surrounding environment.

Our lives as humans are like the tree.  How we were raised, our environment as a child and our experiences are our roots.  It is those roots that feed how we perceive or understand the words or actions of another human being.  It is those roots that mold who we are, how we respond verbally, physically and emotionally.

Sometimes the many details and distractions of life overwhelm us to the point that we bluntly address the surface issues of ourselves and others. We begin to easily judge and form an opinion (we all have and socially share one these days) about the actions or words of others, because we don’t want to take the time or energy it requires to address what’s below the surface; the beautiful or beastly ideas, disjointed, intertwined, unsubstantiated information, traditions and fears that fuel our thoughts, decisions, words and actions.

At some point in order to bring about continuous healing, growth and a renewed mindset to humanity as a whole we must:

  • decide to be transparent with each other
  • refocus our words, time, energy and love to find out what’s feeding our behavior
  • expose and address the root of the behavior
  • ask questions that helps us to evaluate and redirect the unhealthy behavior to a more positive mindset that will lead to productive behavior.

What’s below your surface that may be hindering you from healthy, productive, joyful relationships or from obtaining the goals you seek each year?  Get to the root of it with productive help from others.

 

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…