Life after prison can be uneasy.
Where was I going to live? How was I going to support myself? What was I going to do with my life?
This new found freedom was overwhelming, especially when trying to decide what to do with the rest of my life.
Let’s face it: few people know what they want to do with their lives. The pressure of finding my passion and stepping into my purpose was enhanced after prison. It wasn’t a want. It was a genuine need.
I had to dig deep into the essence of my being to see who I was. I used this introspection to put the pieces of my life’s puzzle together. Doing this helped me discover my passion and step into my purpose.
Here are three introspective things I did that allowed me to step into my purpose after prison.
I let go of my dissatisfaction.
Misery will help you find your purpose.
Many people believe dissatisfaction is a bad thing. We’re taught to do everything possible to avoid it. So we develop habits to mask it. We take pills. We plaster on a fake smile. We buy something new. But what many don’t consider is that our dissatisfaction is actually a good thing. It’s our subconscious calling out to us for help. It’s a sign that we’re meant to be doing something. It’s the path that will lead us to our purpose.
The problem with these negative thoughts is not so much the thoughts themselves. It’s actually the repetitious cycle of thinking this way. The reason we think this way is because we don’t see a viable strategy for happiness. In order to create a viable strategy for happiness we have to turn our negative thoughts into positive actions.
After prison, I did everything I could to conceal my dissatisfaction with myself. I soon realized masking my misery wouldn’t help me heal or find my way in life. So I embraced it. I prayed, I sought counsel from others, and I looked for guidance everywhere. Eventually, my misery pointed me in the right direction.
Acknowledging my dissatisfaction allowed me to step into my purpose of uplifting others.
I left my comfort zone, again.
Being uncomfortable will help you find your purpose.
I was abruptly forced outside of my comfort zone at a critical point in my life when I went to prison. I was scared, withdrawn, and so very uncomfortable. But being there opened my eyes up to my unwavering spirit and intense power. As a person, I had changed.
After prison, I went back to partial normalcy and routine. This did me a huge disservice. I became comfortable, again.
When we become comfortable it means we’ve let our mistakes and setbacks define us. We become afraid of being vulnerable and potentially looking foolish. So we accept mediocrity. We proactively avoid challenges that increase our ability to be successful.
Deep down I knew if I ever wanted to be successful, I’d have to leave my comfort zone. In order to find my purpose, make it my passion, and walk in my destiny, I’d have to try new things. Even if that meant struggling to pay the rent.
Because the path to your purpose is going to be filled with potholes. But you must be strong enough to know that finding your purpose will bring you success.
I embraced my gifts.
Understanding your natural abilities will help you find your purpose.
Your natural abilities will guide you towards your purpose.
Do you like math? Are you a great listener? Do you have a knack for building things?
These things are your natural abilities. They’re your God-given gifts. They’re great clues for discovering your purpose.
Your natural abilities walk a fine line between what you’re good at and what interests you. Unfortunately, this line doesn’t always lead directly to your passion. It often zigs and zags. So figuring out what your gifts are can be difficult.
After prison, I asked myself what I was good at doing. I decided to make a list of activities that interested me and that I excelled at. What did this list reveal to me? That I had a gift for motivating others into action using my words.
The gift was like a little seed planted inside of me. I didn’t realize it was there until after I asked myself. But for it to grow I knew had to use it. Finding this little seed inside of myself shortened my path to finding my purpose, and it bloomed into my passion.
Our inaugural Sisterhood Expo & Conference was a huge success, with over 100 attendees, 25 vendors, 5 speakers, and 4 featured authors. Building on those achievements, we are tirelessly working to make The Sisterhood Expo & Conference bigger and better in 2016 and we invite you to be involved in our success!
This years Conference is being held on June 25, 2016 at the Ontario Science Center. The combination of a vendor marketplace, panel discussions, fashion show and a vision board party is sure to provide a day of education, live entertainment and enjoyment for women of all ages.
20 women-owned and women-focused businesses will display a wide range of products and services targeted specifically toward women. The Expo also features demonstrations and presentations on such topics as wellness, fashion, beauty, finances and business opportunities.
The Sisterhood Expo & Conference was created to encourage women to connect, encourage, and empower one another.
Anyone who follows the Activate Movement knows that we have love and support power movements led by powerful women, for powerful causes. Here’s just 9 of the thousands that represent influence and impact to the world.
Please follow these movements and feel free to post information about your movement in the comments. Not only are these movements trending they are changing the world in which we live, work and serve. Post your movements Hashtag below.
#LIKEAGIRL Is a movement that focuses on helping girls globally keep their confidence by reclaiming the common comment and insult “like a girl” as a description on female strength.
#ASK4MORE Launched by Levo League, a platform and resource for young professionals, this movement encourages women to request higher salaries and end the gender wage gap.
#LOVEYOURLINES Two moms created an instagram account, @loveyourlines, promoting body positivity. Their movement is about photo images of women showing off their stretch marks to celebrate the changes women’s bodies go through.
#NMMAKESOMENOISE Neiman Marcus’s movement supports women by providing opportunities for through social media to celebrate the accomplishments of bold women with bold voices.
For some, the road to success is paved with gold or graduate degrees. For Lucinda Cross, it was glitter and cardboard.
It has been a road with detours and potholes, plans hatched and revised. But if you ask where Cross got the idea for the business that would one day land her in the pages of Essence Magazine and on NBC’s “Today” show, she’ll tell you, without shame or drama: Inspiration came to her in a jail cell.
“Whether you look at it from a spiritual or scientific aspect, this world is a huge vision board. Everything that’s here is because it started as an image someone had in their mind. You want to call it a blueprint, or a business plan? Fine. But first, they had to think about it and draft it. So a vision board? It’s like selling our own ideas to ourselves.”
Read more at: http://nypost.com/2015/03/14/the-woman-whos-made-a-career-out-of-vision-boards/
Article Written By Mackenzie Dawson
I am constantly amazed with the things my son does. He can take some items out of my purse and make a fort. Have you ever noticed what happens when you give a group of toddlers some random items to play with? Things get pretty zesty.
They end up drawing or creating something that they are extremely proud of. They end up putting some pieces together to see what awesomeness they can create or build. Their creative wheels begin to turn and their imagination just runs wild.
What do you think happens when you give the same box to some teenagers? Things go from zesty to testy. The teenagers begin to question what’s in the bag, is it silly, dumb or childish? They are no longer focused on being creative. The focus in on image and appearance. They either wait to be told what to do, or they refuse to do anything at all.
Now give the same bag of random items to some adults and they won’t know what to do. They will begin searching the bag for instructions. Looking to see what should be done or how. There is no zest, no test just where are the instruction so I can do this the “right way.”
Three mistakes most people make when creating a vision board are:
Mistake #1. Thinking that you are making a mistake is a mistake. Don’t focus on a perfect layout or the perfect images. I challenge my attendees to make the best board they can with what they have in this moment. I constantly remind them that there is no mistakes, no right way to do it. Just create without rules. Leave the perfectionist and control freak home.
Mistake #2. Being embarrassed by not reaching previous goals. Just like the toddlers with the bag of random items. If what they are creating doesn’t work, they find another way, and another way, and another. Don’t be embarrassed by putting weight loss on your board for another year. Be honest with yourself and be free.
Mistake #3. Setting no intentions but expecting results. Creating a vision board is not like waving a magic wand and the life you want magically appears. It takes work, a high level of persistence and tenacity. Let’s use the example in Mistake #2 with the objective of losing weight. The goal is to paste inspirational words and images of living healthy. Which means that you may have to cut images of friends smiling, words that speak to loving yourself, anything that will support you in living a healthy lifestyle. I encourage you to also be specific on how much weight you want to lose. Looking at salad on your post board every morning may not motivate you, but looking at a salad next to a picture of nice fit body, a handsome man, a picture of your favorite vacation and a bathing suit, just might trigger some positive energy. The more specific you are the better. Pick images that will trigger an emotion into an action.
When your visions are supported by a “why” that has meaning, you will find the “how” to bring them to reality. #Activate2K15 #ActivateYourVision
Check out the amazing feature of Lucinda Cross in January 2015 issue of Essence Magazine. Page. 85 on manifesting your vision boards for 2015. For interviews please email Nye Scott email@example.com.
Sign up for the Activate Your Vision Board Party Tour in Florida Feb. 7, 2015. http://lucindacross.com/trainingcourses/visionboardparty/
BECAUSE WE ARE WOMEN
by M.J. Waldock
Because we are women
We keep deep inside
The hopes and the dreams
We think we must hide.
We strive to be best
Make the top of the heap
Because we are women
The climb is so steep.
“Just as the spider unfolds its web from
within its own being, so we must unfold
grace, wisdom and power from within
our own being.”
This past weekend I was able to sit back and reflect on the awesome job that the A-Team has done for the first annual Activate Conference held on Friday Sept. 20th, 2013. The team has been diligent and consistent in spreading the word and build the hype. After moments of consulting with Stephanie Voong of SV Consulting, she had us set up with a Twitter Page, Instagram and she was posting on the Facebook fan page.
With a team of Activate Ambassadors the Activate conference was a complete success, thanks to Neoshi Green and Ke’Aundra McIntyre. The vendors were trained and cared for by Coach Nic on how to work the crowd. Not to mention Monique Smith-Person from Maryland, this phenomenal woman had the audacity to charter a bus of 50 women who were hungry for Activation, and there’s more to be announced.
The point that I am making here is that we can try to get it done on our own but you are a powerful force when you have a powerful team. Just as the spider unfolds its web from within, we must be willing to work on building a team from within. In order for us to see greater results in the outer world, we have to do the inner work first and it starts with you and within your team.
Every great successor has a team.
Every powerful leader has a team.
One plants, another waters and God gives the increase.
Here are 3 things to do to start building a team.
1. Ask for help. First you have to know what kind of help you need. This artist by the name of Neo sings this song: “I’m a movement by myself, but I’m force when where together…you make me better”. Drop all ego and pride and ask for help. You have not because you ask not! Get rid of the I can do this by myself attitude, it will keep you stagnated.
2. Share the bigger picture. Since people are not mind readers you have to be willing to expose the bigger picture in order to keep the team motivated. People buy into the vision, so go deeper than book sales and speaking gigs. Tell your team how you want their support in impacting the world.
3. Set clear and concise goals. Prepare an agenda for your team. Make sure you are able to answer the Who, What, When, Where and most importantly the Why? A team dream-killer is when you start relaxing and chillaxing on the task at hand. This is your vision and you have to take full responsibility by showing up, answering questions, checking in and making connections.
If you would like to join the A-Team inbox me for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to see highlights from the Activate Conference please visit the fan page at http://fb.com/activateconference
P.S. Always give the team incentives. Everybody like to be rewarded.
For bookings contact Iris at email@example.com
Reason #9 to attend the Activate Conference:
It’ time to replace fear with ferocity.
Look out behind you! There’s something lurking and if it catches you, it’ll be a disaster! It’s a four letter word…F-E-A-R. Run, girl, RUUUUUUUUNNN!
Fear is like a big, ugly monster waiting to claim you as its victim. It hides and sneaks up on you just when you think you’ve conquered what you’re afraid of. It can stop you in your tracks and make you second-guess and doubt everything you want to do. But you must remember, you can fight back! You have to attack your fear with ferocity.
Admit it. You’ve stopped your progress on several occasions by letting fear take over your actions. You’ve told yourself “I’m not ready for that yet“ or “I don’t think I can do that”. And whether you believe it or not, those statements are full of fear. The Activate Conference with Lucinda Cross will compel you to face, address and conquer your fears.
When you’re afraid, you need to be comforted and you need to feel empowered. The women at the Activate Conference have faced their fears and are able to show and tell you how to face yours. What’s even more dynamic is that some of the attendees are still running from their fears. BUT they’ve made a decision that they and fear will both arrive at the Activate Conference, but only one of them will walk out alive. Can you guess which one it will be?
Your ferocity is trapped underneath challenges, resentment and self-sabotage. The Activate Conference will help you remove those layers and unleash ferocity which is so bold and so powerful, it’ll make fear run away from you! If you know it’s time to replace your fear with ferocity, then you need to attend the Activate Conference.
This countdown blog has been provided by Shannon Baylor-Henderson, your “Start-Up Coach” from ImShannon.com.
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