Our Thoughts vs. Reality

You can do so much in life, things you’ve never imagined yourself doing. But there are those moments where you want more for yourself and those who follow your platform. You can have all of the ideas in the world, but if we are honest with ourselves, sometimes we don’t know where to start.

Everyone doesn’t deal with things the same, but there are some of us who began to feel like failures when we aren’t executing. There are some of us who beat ourselves up because we weren’t as consistent as we’d hope to be. There are some of us who tend to take a step back, because we genuinely feel like we don’t know where to start or where to pick up from that moment we left off.

It’s not always easy starting something and trying to keep up with it. Is it possible? Absolutely. Then life happens. Other things come into play. And our thoughts and feeling are attached as well.

Since August, I feel like I haven’t produced much, to be honest. I decided to start a vlog, something that I’ve thought about for a while. Then I got the urge and push to do so in July. But since publishing video number one, there’s been nothing. But to be honest, I actually recorded two more videos. But because of life and situations, I’m unable to post them. And trying to figure out how and when I can post another.To the point where I feel like maybe I should’ve waited until I could be sure I can be consistent.

Starting a business isn’t easy for everyone. Trying to crunch numbers and do things by the book doesn’t come to some as easy. Some of us almost need someone else to take over that aspect of the business. The real business side. The financial reports. Crunching numbers. Etc. We have scholarships winners, but we haven’t given the award as of yet. Trying to ensure they get the most possible, I’ve prolonged it. To the point that I want to hold off until next semester. And I feel like a failure because of it. Why didn’t I just leave it in December when I could have more time. Was I too impulsive thinking I could do it in August. Did I allow my milestone year to push me to get it done then.

All thoughts that run through my head. I’m constantly second guessing myself. Wondering if I moved too fast.

I constantly wonder what my next move is. Like many of us, we want to keep going. Project after project. But for some of us, that just doesn’t happen. There are dry moments. Moments where we wish we are moving. Moments we wish we are producing. Moments we wish we are constantly creating. Moments we wish we are consistently moving onwards and upwards. But that isn’t always the case.

Even in other leadership positions, I question its success. In ministry as well. It’s not always easy being a leader and see what you truly feel at times. Or see execution. And sometimes that can make you feel like a failure.

Just because we feel like we are, does it mean that we truly are failures. Of course not!!

As I wrote this piece Saturday, I couldn’t finish. However, Sunday I figured out the reason why. The sermon that morning was titled, “I’m going through, but I’m good.” Great topic. There were three points that Shalonda Robinson used to encourage the congregation in their “going through.” I immediately knew those three points would complete this article.

Step 1: Remember. Remember means to preserve the memory of something. The important thing to take from this is to reflect back to where you used to be in life. As mentioned earlier, personally, I’ve done things that I never thought I’d ever do. I’ve gotten over my fears and I’ve been able to do things that are bigger than Krystle. In other words, if you’ve gotten through certain situations and circumstances before, then why wouldn’t you be able to get through something now. We may not know where to start now, but we didn’t know where to start before and we were still successful. Whatever idea, project, or dream you have set in front of you; remember, it can be done. It’s been done before, and it can be done now!

Step 2: Accept. Accept where you are now. Accept where God has you now. Accept what God allows in your life. Often times, we don’t like where we are or situations we encounter, or even our standstill moments. However, we must remember that everything happens for a reason. Every moment we encounter in our life is necessary. It’s all necessary for our development and our growth. We learn from every experience.

Step 3: Trust. Trust means having confidence in something. First, we must have confidence and trust in God. He has us where we are for a reason. Two, we must trust our process. Everything won’t always be peaches and cream. We have to struggle in order to learn and reach success.

In closing, just because we feel as though we’re failing, doesn’t mean that we actually are. It’s the season of your life at that particular moment. You’re going through, but you’re good. You’ll be able to shift your thoughts and realize you’re good after you remember, accept, and trust. So I encourage you today, although you may be going through, believe that you won’t get stuck there. You’ll get through and be better because of it!

You Are Enough

These three simple words have been with me for quite some time now. I am enough. You are enough. I have posted on social media last night that we are so quick to psych ourselves out. We put in our own head that we can’t do something. We make ourselves believe that we aren’t good enough to do something, or we just don’t have what it takes. Trust and believe, I’ve been there. Probably on the frontline of the group. There have been many instances where I told myself that I couldn’t do something. However, I have grown to see how untrue our doubts and unbeliefs are.

A few weeks ago I registered for a workshop. I am currently in the process of trying to push myself to write more and essentially finish the book that I started. I went to this workshop and everyone who attended had already written at least one book. Finished and published. One had already published seven or eight books. And here I was with just the beginning stages of my book. I was comfortable sharing the beginning stages of my book with the instructor, because well, I was obviously there to get help to finish my book. So as the workshop started, we discussed writing a synopsis for a book, a back cover, and a summary. I initially thought the task at hand was going to be for us to write a synopsis for our book. My synopsis (back cover) of my book is already finished, so in my mind I thought I was good. But little did I know, she had something completely different in mind. She told us that she would give us a general scenario and it was up to us to zone in on it and create a synopsis of a novel. She gave us very vague details, and it was up to us to create a character and the scenario/storyline. Most of the writers in the room were novel writers, so I knew this was something they’d done before. I immediately told myself, girl you are not a novel writer. You’re a non fiction writer, how are you going to do this. But as my pen touched the paper, my creative juices started to flow. To my surprise, I got it done and I shared it with the room. When asked how we felt about this task, I was transparent. I shared that it was difficult because I’m not a fiction writer and I thought it was something I couldn’t do. After, the woman who wrote seven or eight novels said, “listening to you read what you wrote, I couldn’t tell that you aren’t a novel writer. It was good and left me wanting more.”

I shared this to say that we shouldn’t be so quick to doubt ourselves. Just because it’s something we’ve never done before or aren’t used to doing, doesn’t mean that we are incapable of doing it. We have to push ourselves, step out, and do it anyway. Something good will come from it.

One more quick story. I have been planning to start a team for my business. I have been reaching out to one of my mentors to get advice before I have the meeting. Life happened and she had gotten sick. And I put myself in a box, saying I couldn’t do this meeting without her being there or without meeting with her first. Funny story, I never got to meet up with her before my planning meeting. And she wasn’t able to attend. The planning meeting didn’t go as planned because of things out of my control, but it was still a success. I was concerned that I wouldn’t be prepared, or what I had written out wouldn’t be good enough. You know. Psyched myself out of what I’m capable of doing. I am now building a solid team and moving forward with my company. One step at a time, but it is happening.

I’m sharing all of this to say, all that we think we need is literally right inside of us. We think that we need outside sources or compare ourselves to people who have done things that we haven’t done. But what we fail to realize is, if we just step out and do it, it can be done! Sometimes you just have to stretch yourself. In these moments, it reminds you of who you are and what you possess. All that we need to fulfill our calling is right on the inside of us. When we take that step, we pull it out. So I encourage you today, to believe that you are enough. Believe that all that you need, you’ve already been given. Stop doubting yourself, and get out there to ensure that you get that job done!

-XO Miss Jones

Pasture Experience

As I read my daily devotion yesterday morning, I was blessed by the words. Although it’s something that’s been heard before, sometimes you’re in a particular place where a word meets you right where you are. Or you can receive a word that will prepare you for what’s to come. I am reading a devotions series called Wait and See. It speaks on the waiting process.

Yesterday’s devotion was entitled, ‘Pasture Experiences.’ It talked about David in the bible. For those who aren’t Christians or aren’t familiar with the Bible text, the lesson talked about how David was anointed King. He was young, he wasn’t ready or experienced, but his time and experience as a shepherd prepared him to be king.

The devotion went on to talk about things that were promised over our lives or things that we were called to do or be. Things don’t always come in an instant. They don’t come right away. Most times we have to go through a period of waiting. We are all aware of this, but some times we don’t always like to go through the waiting process. Or sometimes the process is longer than we’d anticipated. It’s normal for us to get frustrated or even begin to doubt as we wait. But what this devotion encouraged was not to give up. Without even realizing in those moments or during the periods, we are actually being built. And everything that we go through, that we don’t always like, is giving us the experience that we need to be exactly who we are called to be, and to do exactly what we are called to do.

In the devotion, the lady shared how one of her friends knew she was called to write a book. But it took her years to actually make it happen. So many things came up against her and many doors closed, but it was necessary for her book and for her message.

It’s funny, but I can relate. I was called to write a book long before I began blogging. God called me to write, I was told to write everything, no matter what others thought (family and friends alike) and how this book would be successful and be a blessing to others. I was straight out of college. And I thought, if God wants me to write it, let me get started. One Sunday, it all came to mind what I should include in a book. So I went to work. But it wasn’t working for me. My computer crashed three times and it became so difficult to write it all out. I reached out to authors, received advice. I even had a meeting with an author who published two or three books to lay it out and get the advice I needed to be a successful author. But after a while, I was still stuck. I just couldn’t write this book. So I stopped. I gave up on it. But something wouldn’t let me give up on writing altogether. I began to blog and realized I needed to continue my book. Years later, and I’m here. I’m working on a book or two, but I know it wasn’t time to complete it. In the years after I was called to write a book, I experienced things I’d never thought I’d experience. I mean never. I was in places I could never see myself in, at the time I was called. I can now see myself reaching a new audience because of what I’ve experienced. Not everything needs to be in this particular book, but I know my experiences will help me to get to the place that I’m meant to go. I know my experiences will help me to share a message I’d never been able to share had I wrote the book at that time.

One thing I haven’t always done in my waiting that we must do is keep working. Keep doing good. We have to continue to work in the other areas in our lives, never giving up on what we know we’ve been called to. As well as working towards what we’ve been called to. I may not have finished that book or books I know that are in me, but I’m writing. I’m still tending to the area of my calling. I’m still reading, I’m still researching. The work isn’t dead.

In your waiting season, be sure to work. This is just your pasture experience. All that you experience between the time of your calling and the time of your promise, is building your character. Which help you carry out the promise. So I just want to encourage you to work while you wait. Always tending to the area of your calling. Don’t give up and don’t give in. Journey on!

-xo Miss Jones

What Did You Feed, In 2017?

When I looked back on this year, I celebrated those who have accomplished much and had a great year. Genuinely. But when I first reflected, I didn’t necessarily feel like I had a good year. This year, I struggled with depression, losing myself, trying to regain and pick up the pieces of who I was, and failure.

I was unhappy, but tried my best to mask how I was really feeling. I tried to push myself beyond my feelings, but in most cases I couldn’t. I was legit miserable. Came into this year, thinking I was living my best life. Living free. But I wasn’t Krystle. Which often left me feeling empty. Which pushed me towards depression.

I often wanted to give up in every area. I felt unaccomplished at work, in the beginning. Applied for grad school, but got rejected. I was dropped from Writing for EGL. I was on a roller coaster of emotions. People were in and out of my life. Those I thought I could depend on, weren’t there when I felt I needed them. I felt like I was alone in a sense. Like there was no one in my corner. No one who really cared, so I stopped talking. And often shut people out. I often felt that people didn’t care enough anyway so why even bother. I was disappointed. Failed as a youth leader. Failed those I was supposed to lead. Because I was constantly stuck.

As I began to reflect, I realized I gave too much life to those negative places in my life. I only spoke on those times, not as a way of encouragement and reflection like I am now, but just to highlight or pinpoint them. I was so stuck in those moments, that that was all that would spew out. I rarely looked at the upside of things. I barely wrote. I pushed myself to encourage, but not as much as I knew I could. I sometimes felt like I was too off to even write. To even share words of encouragement.

But in between all of that, there were high moments. In January, Lovely Miss Jones became an official company. Something I had to push myself into doing. I was asked to speak to the students at my alma mater, Seton Hall University. Anyone who knows me, or knows my story, knows how big of a deal this was. I often share of my shyness and insecurities. This engagement forced me to go beyond my comfort zone. And the response was rewarding. I was literally on the verge of tears to have heard how the students were touched by my workshop. That same month, I returned to a high school to speak for the third time. (A consistent engagement. Which said that I was doing something right.). I had an idea to have an event for women’s health month in May. Somewhere in my mind, I told myself I couldn’t do this alone. So I reached out to someone I consider to be a mentor to collaborate. She then introduced me to someone else. When we got together, the ideas came together. And we were able to pull off a successful event. The room was full, and people left with information, inspiration, and encouragement. It was amazing. The help that was sent my way was great. And I definitely felt as if I needed it. I couldn’t have pulled it together without them. But in that, God showed me that I was capable of doing this. He literally spoke to me and proved to me that I can’t continue to doubt myself. When I rely on Him and trust what He’s given me, I can do what I thought was impossible. In July,I was able to experience a new culture in Cuba. Only the second time being outside of the country, but I was grateful to be able to travel, experience a new culture, step outside of my comfort zone, and making myself comfortable in areas I wouldn’t have done at another time in my life. I celebrated LMJ’s third anniversary in August, along with my 29th birthday. The last of my 20s. Which was big for me. And I celebrated it the way I wanted to, with the people I wanted to celebrate with. The people who I want to be in my life. There were some bumps a long the way that month and the months that followed, but those people remained consistent in my life and showed me that they were for me.

Again, I’ve realized is that I put too much life into my low moments that it sunk me in deeper. I was allowing myself to go deeper in a depression, go further away from who I really am. Rather than pushing myself in the direction of positive change.

I didn’t look at the positive sides to this. Maybe I wasn’t ready for graduate school. Maybe I needed to experience all that I’ve experienced with my job. The low points, being unfulfilled. Maybe it was meant to teach me something a long the way. Maybe I could gain more experience after I survived those moments. I was upset after I was no longer writing for EGL.I gained so much by working with EGL. But I needed to be in a place where I wasn’t obligated to anyone else’s business if I wasn’t putting 100% into my own. Those people who were in and out of my life, I didn’t need them anyway. It was my connection to them that caused me to lose myself. No it wasn’t their fault, but those connections weren’t healthy for me. Which caused me to be something I wasn’t.

I keep seeing this post circulating Instagram, “God broke me down this year. I needed that.” I can relate. Although I may have felt like this wasn’t a good year at some points, I was going through a process. I was being broken down. It didn’t always feel like it. And yes some things that I went through was because of Krystle, I was still broken down after. And I did need it. Didn’t feel like it in the moment, but I’m seeing that I did. It’s setting me up for something. Whether it be a message to show who God is, to show others that they too can make it through, a word of encouragement, and simply a testimony to others.

I knew for a fact that this was what I needed to share after hearing Joel Olsteen this morning. He said we have to stop feeding certain things. Stop feeding the hurt. Stop feeding hate. And stop feeding betrayal. This year I fed those things that I was going through. I gave them way too much life. And I kept getting stuck. Over and over again. Sometimes we have to just let some things die. When you don’t feed it, it’ll die out. But when you keep feeding those negative things, it’ll keep living. I just want to encourage you, in 2018, let’s stop giving life to things that we need to allow to die. Let’s stop feeding our hurt, our pain, and pushing ourselves into a depression. Let’s look at the positive and keep feeding those things. Then we can flourish. The more we feed into the positive, the more positive we will begin to see. We will have a year of fulfillment when we feed the positives rather than the negatives! Wishing you all a Happy New Year, filled with giving life to things that will push you towards greatness!

-xo Miss Jones

Don’t Miss Your Moment

Often times we allow certain moments to escape us and we end up with feelings of regret and wish we’d made the right moves.

I’ve been so caught up on many things, that in a sense I’ve neglected my writing. I told myself that today would definitely be a day that I got back to my personal blog and posted a new article. As today is the day that I lost a bro one year ago, I finally was able to push myself to listen to a video with his voice in it. I began to realize the reason why I hadn’t been able to this entire year that he’s been gone. I’d subconsciously put myself on a guilt trip because of our last conversation. Him and I spoke, and I was supposed to call him the week he was going to Miami. Not knowing that he wouldn’t come back alive, I allowed myself and so many other things to get in the way, and making that call escaped me. I beat myself up because our last conversation could’ve been a little different. As I’ve written before, I lost my grandmother last year as well. And during that process, in a way I did the same thing. I wished I was able to make more memories, but it was too late.

As I sat and thought about all of this this morning, my writing wheels began to turn. Not only do we allow the possibility of making memories with people pass by, but we do this with opportunity as well.

There’s so much inside of us, and so many times we allow ourselves and other things, some of which isn’t really all that important, get in the way of us doing what we should be doing or hopping on an opportunity that would help us excel.

To avoid putting yourself through unnecessary guilt, which can cause you to become stagnant, just learn to do what you said you’d do. I can’t say it any plainly. We have to learn to follow through in all areas of our lives. As a result, we won’t regret lost time as often and we’d take advantage of every opportunity that we encounter.

I’m sure we all have that one thing or that one area where it’s been a little difficult to completely follow through. Sometimes we get in our own way, sometimes we allow outside sources to get in the way. Other times it’s fear and insecurities. Once we put things into perspective, prioritize, and see the importance of that particular thing, we’d be able to get done what we’ve set out to do.

I just want to encourage you all to take advantage of opportunities that are in front of you. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Don’t end up regretting or putting yourself on a guilt trip because you didn’t follow through. We can live a life of fulfillment when we get whatever “it” is done. Don’t miss your moment!

-xo Miss Jones

Check Your Emotions

Often times we experience a myriad of emotions. Emotions that come from real places. We all have our fair share of issues, circumstances, and situations that we go through. Some situations that may sway us and cause us to feel different emotions. However, how we react or respond is ultimately how it’ll continue to play out in our lives.

 
I’m the type of person who wears her emotions all over her face. If I’m dealing with a situation, it’s usually hard for me not to show it. I would typically allow things to frustrate me more than it usually would if I wasn’t going through. Over the course of a few months, I’ve been dealing with a few things. Seems like I’ve been come up against in every area. And for some reason it just kept feeling like I was going deeper and deeper into circumstances. My emotions were all out of whack. I found myself distancing myself more, talking less, and subconsciously submerging myself further into all of my issues.

 
A few months ago, this particular post came to me. I literally heard: check your emotions, watch your disposition. It was at that moment that I realized the reason why things seemed to have gotten worse. It was me. I continued to stay in my feelings, which caused me to think negatively in a sense. Which brings the thought “I’m probably going to stay here forever.” When you constantly submerge yourself in your issues, you start to think that you’re the reason for all of your problems and to beat yourself up. And it becomes a never ending cycle. And you end up staying right where you are.
Lets backtrack for a minute…notice I said months ago these words came to me. I’m sure you’re wondering why I’ve waited two months to post this. I’ll tell you why. How about because it took me months to write it. I’m not the perfect person, so sometimes it takes me a little while to get out of certain places. And I’m telling you, it’s been hard to check my emotions. Especially since things have been coming from every area possible. When I tell you every area of my life, I mean that very thing. Family, home, relationships, my career, education, my ministry. Everything. However, after prayer, conversation, powerful services (the word), time, and a decision, I was able to refocus.

 
It’s not always easy to do things on your own. And it’s ok to seek out help. There are a few things that have helped me to check my emotions to the point that I can not worry so much about what I’m going through, but focus on the positive and how it’ll help take me to my next level. My solutions may not be your solutions, but it’s imperative that you figure out ways to help you check your emotions. Something that can hold you accountable for watching your disposition. Prayer, my circle (good company only), recognizing when God sends people or a word for you, taking some time, and making that decision to no longer stay in the situation you’re in. These are a few things that have helped me to shift. No I haven’t completely gotten out of my situations, but I refuse to be stuck there. That’s where the decision comes in. I refuse to constantly wallow in my circumstances. I’ll allow myself a moment, but I can’t get stuck. The way you react or respond to trouble, plays a huge part in how it’ll effect you. I promise you, checking your emotions and watching your disposition in the midst of what seems like chaos will bring about peace and positivity.

Editor’s Note: My Moment

Hello to all of my lovely supporters. It’s been a little while since I’ve posted a story or an article. I know there are some who have been waiting for something new. There are several reasons for my absence, and it’s necessary that my followers and supporters know.

I’ve been experiencing some difficulties within these past few months. It’s been a few months of  transition, seeking out, and trying to take a moment to figure out where I was, where I need to be, and how I plan to get there. This figuring out process has not been easy. At all. I realized the importance of taking a moment to focus and put my full attention on one specific area. Have I done the best at doing so? Absolutely not! But I’m a work in progress. So I believe as I begin to get my priorities in order, this will come with it.

I have many obligations, and I have not met them all. Simply because I still struggle with balance. Yes, me. The person who has wrote articles on balancing and focusing on one specific thing at a time. I write from experience; meaning, what I share with you all may very well be something I myself struggle with. So balance and focus are some one my biggest struggles. I tend to get overwhelmed at points and don’t always know where to start. I struggle from different areas as well. Which cause me to be stagnant. By no means am I using my struggle as an excuse. Truth be told, I should be able to acknowledge my struggle, but push anyway because my purpose is greater than that. However, I’m still human, and I’m still working towards becoming a better person.

Over the the last few months Lovely Miss Jones, LLC (have I made the official announcement here? Well, we’re an official company! Which means, so much more is on the way.), decided to collaborate on an idea. Still Becoming, Inc and GLLOW, LLC came into help out with Take A Moment event. A women’s health event that encouraged women to take a moment to be sure they’re well in every area; mental health, physical wellbeing, nutrition, etc. This event far exceeded my expectations. It was amazing! And I was able to learn so much from it. Which is why that won’t be the last! Look out for the next one.

 

In this process of figuring things out, my plan is to come up with what’s next for LMJ.  I have many article ideas, business ideas, project ideas, etc. It’s now time to move these ideas from just being ideas. There’s work that needs to be done. Proper planning that needs to be in place. And the faith that it takes to execute it. So I’m taking this time to build myself up. I have to build myself up spiritually to ensure that my desires align with God’s plan and will for my life. I have to be sure that my faith and confidence increases. And I also need to build and solidify good/beneficial relationships.

 

I’m learning the importance of taking a moment to make sure that I’m well, so that I can be as effective as possible when I use to you what was given to me. I’m just asking that you bare with me. I promise that what’s coming will be far greater than what you’ve gotten from LMJ so far. The greatness comes through the process. I’m so glad to have you all on this journey with me. This journey of discover, growth, success, and changed lives. I’m looking to have at least one, maybe two, articles for you this week. Thanks for sticking with me on this ride, there’s so much more to come!

 

Much love,

-xo Miss Jones

Take A Moment: Feel Your Best, Be Your Best

Lovely Miss Jones, LLC, GLLOW, LLC, and Still Becoming Inc. presents:
Take A Moment

Feel Your Best, Be Your Best

Often times as women we run endlessly. We have many obligations, and we wear many hats. We give in so many different areas. But how often do we stop for a moment to take care of ourselves?
Friday, May 26th we set out to have an evening of educating, networking, and exploring ways to keep ourselves in a healthy space; which in turn will help us to be our best selves. It’s difficult to be effective when we aren’t wholly healthy.
We’ll have a panelist of women in the heath field, covering areas such as: medical health, psychotherapy, mental health, sexual health, and holistic health. We will engage in a panel discussion and Q&A.
Come out and enjoy a night of connecting, performances and amazing discussion! All for the purpose of healthy living and effective giving! 

Panelists:


Dr. Kelita Alston -Jones is currently a Regional Medical Director and Clinical Consultant in Oncology for the largest company in the nation, for which she is the youngest and only African American female to hold the position. 
Founder and CEO of Healing Hands Medical Group, which provides workshops and medical referrals to aide the community in increasing awareness of common diseases and providing access to affordable care. She also owns her own health and wellness business called Get Healthy with Kelita, that provides all natural supplements and alternative ways to keep your physical body in optimal health. Kelita is a motivational speaker and a dynamic preacher of the Gospel. 
She believes in the empowerment of women and is the founder of Daughters of the King Ministries. She currently holds monthly empowerment sessions, mentorship classes and one o one sessions that help women to “take of their masks” and reveal the truth of who they are, while healing the deep wounds that may hold them back. Kelita is the co-host of the Ladies First Radio Show on WBJL Gospel.  

Chanel McCord is the founder and CEO of Oasis Wellness Group. Chanel received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Seton Hall University and a Master of Arts in Professional Counseling from Liberty University where she graduated with distinction. Chanel is licensed as an Associate Counselor (LAC) in the state of New Jersey and is in the application phase of obtaining her Professional Counselor clinical licensure. She holds several certifications including CPR/First Aid, Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI), Psychological First Aid (PFA) and Posttraumatic Stress Management (PTSM). Having settled several years of counseling experience under her belt, Chanel seeks to restore and assist in the healing process of adults, adolescents, children and families through counseling, psychoeducation, mentoring and wellness initiatives targeting the physical, mental, social and spiritual paradigms of one’s life. Education, empowerment, encouragement, enrichment and hope are aims that Chanel seeks to share with others.


Jasmine Marie Utterback is a passionate and engaging public health professional whose work is focused on building community partnerships to deliver sexual health education and training. She has worked with incarcerated women, college students, youth experiencing homelessness, and adults with developmental disabilities. Her topics of interest include building healthy relationships and safer sex communication. Jasmine’s motto for life is, “Together we are better.” Together we can develop the skills needed to protect our sexual health. 


Shelley Chapman, EdM is a nutrition educator, weight loss motivator and wellness workshop facilitator. Before stepping into those roles she received her Masters in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University and her Bachelors of Arts from Spelman College. She also spent ten years overweight as a Compulsive Overeater and starved, binged and mistreated her body for years. In her commitment to heal, she learned about healthy eating, how food production affects the body, and the dietary lifestyles that reverse disease and turn on the healing switches in the body. She also addressed her emotional traumas that played a role in her eating disorder.

As a result, she went from a size 12 to a size 2 in one year. She now creates health curricula and travels throughout the country teaching workshops on how to shift from emotional and stress eating to mindful eating and how to integrate healthy behaviors into busy, modern lifestyles. She has worked with a variety of companies and institutions including Food Network, National Institute of Mental Health, Teach for America, New York University and Emory University. She is the author of the Amazon Best Seller Tantric Tastes and she also produces health focused web series and cooking videos for her YouTube channel, ShelleyWellness. You can find her online at BodyFoodFreedom.com and on all social media @ShelleyWellness. 

Crystal Fulwood is an Emotional Health Advocate and a Certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor, teaching the general public about mental health awareness. Crystal is also the founder of f.l.a.w.e.d., which is an organization that connects, equips and supports women on their journey to wellbeing. 

You don’t want to miss this event! May 26th! An evening of education, discussion, and ways to keep ourselves healthy as a whole. Register today! Takeamoment526.eventbrite.com!

 

Pursuing Your Passion and Purpose in the Face of Adversity

Two weekends ago, I had the opportunity of returning to my Alma Mater to facilitate a workshop. This is something that amazed me in so many ways. Not only was this personal growth, but to see the impact this short session had on these students blew me away. Weeks have gone by, and I still haven’t been able to get it out of my head. If you know my journey, you’re aware of the reason why this is so huge to me. Growing up, I was beyond shy. I didn’t speak to many people at all, I was unsure of who I was, I never thought I had much to offer, and I didn’t know what my purpose was. Fast forward to now, I am aware of my purpose and I’m passionate about helping others find their purpose and passion. I’m passionate about sharing in order to create positive change in the lives of others. To see my progress and certain things unfold right before my eyes often times leave me speechless. Sometimes I can’t even believe how I’ve developed as a person. And because of it, I’m able to relate and reach others.

Being that this is still fresh on my mind and had the impact that it had, I figured I’d share the workshop/session with you all. The title or theme of the workshop was, Progress over Perfection: Pursuing Your Passion and Purpose in the Face of Adversity.  I started out with sharing a piece of my story then gave them ways to pursue your passion and purpose through the face of adversity.

When I entered college, I thought I wanted to be an accountant. I honestly liked the look of a businesswoman. In my mind they looked so powerful and successful, and that was something that I wanted. I sparked an interest in money, and became a financier in my church during high school. So I assumed that was the path for me. A few semesters down the line, I started to struggle in school. I failed a class and was put on academic probation. I then was forced to change my major. Coincidentally, this same semester was the semester many different people came to me for advice. Also the year, I realized there was something to my writing (although I didn’t share until after college). My failure helped me to find and recognize my passion. I was passionate about people and helping them. Something I realized at that point, and my major was changed to sociology. Failure promotes growth and progress. Something I had to learn. I was forced to look beyond and find my passion, because I clearly wasn’t living it.  I spent many nights crying and struggling in school. After I was faced with those papers, I soon realized accounting wasn’t my purpose. I could’ve just given up and thought school wasn’t for me all together. But deep down I knew there was something in me, I had purpose on my life and I had to take that moment to figure out the direction I needed to go down. There was something there, even in the face of adversity. I began writing a book after college, but my computer crashed different times a long the way. I decided to put the book on hold after that. I wanted to give up the writing thing all together, but something on the inside just wouldn’t let me. I was passionate about writing and something pulled me to share it with others. One day I went on vacation to Atlantic City, alone. As I sat in my room, I just decided that I needed to start blogging. I knew nothing about the process, but I just knew it was something I needed to do. I looked up a couple of sites and found one that I figured would be easier for me. After a few posts I began to get feedback on how my writing was helping others. Feedback confirms what you already know. I knew I was passionate about helping others and writing. The feedback confirmed that I was doing the right thing. Remember this, you’ll get confirmation of your passion and purpose along your journey. And although I didn’t always feel as if I was in the place I desired, I was reaching someone, I was making progress. We don’t have to be perfect to be effective, we just have to make progress.

This was just a brief version of a part of my story. But, I want to share six ways to pursue your passion and purpose through the face of adversity. These are all things that I realized were important on my journey.

  1. Write it out. We’ve all heard of the saying, “write the vision, make it plain’. This is so important when you have a dream or a goal. Being very specific in your desires is what will propel you. Write out what you feel your purpose is, what your passion is, all of your dreams, and how you will get there.
  2. Study and research the ends and out of your desired field. Don’t go into something blind-sighted. You need to know what you’re getting yourself into. although I jumped into blogging, there were many things I wish I knew before starting. There were things that I had to learn along the way, which I feel may have set me back a little. Research will put you in a better position for success.
  3. Take every opportunity you can to learn as much as you can. There will always be opportunities right in front of you that you must take advantage of. An example for me is being invited to different places to do workshops. I know that I’m not the greatest at it and often times I doubt myself, but there’s no way I can grow if I don’t take advantage of these opportunities presented. Even being called into leadership meetings or events. Just being able to allow an atmosphere to help you learn and grow is amazing.
  4. Connections. Who you are connected to is very important. It’s imperative to try to seek out a mentor and connect with people who are in a place that you desire to be in. Someone/people you can glean from. People who are not afraid to share their stories and experiences with you. People who are willing to share their struggle, their path, and how they were able to reach their level of success.
  5. Acknowledging setbacks and adversity. On the other hand, recognizing your purpose and doing it anyway. Often times things come up against us, but we are too afraid to deal with it. Brushing off what comes up against us will eventually cause stagnation. There’s no way we/re able to move if we don’t overcome the things that we face. In the midst of acknowledging the set backs and adversity, acknowledge what you possess. Acknowledge the gifts you were given and realize that your purpose is bigger than anything that may come up against you.
  6. Understand that the world needs you. We’ve all been given different gifts and talents. We posses things that the world is literally waiting for. What you have to offer will have the ability to change someone’s life. There are people who are depending on what’s places inside of you. For this reason alone, we should be compelled to live out our dreams and callings. What we possess isn’t all about us, it’s for the benefit of someone else.

 

Whatever you do, do what it takes to live out your passion with everything that’s inside of you. No matter what comes up against you, there’s purpose and destiny inside of you. We must also understand that everything won’t be perfect. Progress over perfection is what we should seek after. Lastly, if you’re willing to put in the work you’ll be able to successfully pursue your passion and your purpose.

Give Up To Give In

“First day of a new month. The beginning of lent. And the perfect time to take some time to become a better Krystle. Taking time to make sure I can grow and maintain in certain areas. One area at a time. Some won’t understand and others may. Some will judge, and some will wish me well. But at the end of the day, sometimes you have to do what’s best for you. You can consider people your whole life, and miss the mark in areas that concern you.”

These words are directly from my personal Facebook status that was posted the first day of Lent. As we approach a new month, new season , and season of sacrifice; I have personally decided to take some time off in certain areas to ensure that I’m in a certain place in my life. I’m not taking a break from writing and from investing into the business, but there are some areas that need less time. Rather, less of me. Less of me, so that I can put more time and energy into Krystle, and the things that concern Krystle. There are times where we invest so much time and energy into other people and into things, which causes us to lack in the areas of our own  being. I’ve come to the place where I realize that I haven’t invested enough time into Krystle. I’ve done things for Krystle, but things that weren’t always healthy or place me on the correct path. All of the energy that I’ve invested wasn’t always positive energy.

When I initially decided to take a step back, I had one area specifically in mind. But as I began to think within this month, along with the events that had taken places between the last few months, I realized there were other areas as well. I began to notice that a break from certain relationships was best as well. No romantic relationships, for those who had any ideas lol. Back to the point, I realized communication between myself and others just hadn’t been great. Misunderstanding after misunderstanding.  It’s so important to understand that when issues constantly arise, chances are it’s isn’t always the other party. And that should cause you to take a deeper look within yourself, to really get to the root of it.Why is there so much conflict? What am I doing, what’s my approach, what am I afraid of? All questions that rang in my head as I began to think about this situation. We all think we are pretty decent people. I think I am. But I know for a fact that I have qualities that I don’t even enjoy having. Qualities that aren’t always so positive. On the other hand, I’ve noticed there’s built up frustration because in more cases than one, I feel as if I consider others within the bounds of friendships and I don’t always get the same in return. Or am I really just expecting too much? Also, questions that popped into my minds as I realized I needed to take time for Krystle.

There are times when life won’t always be smooth. As much as we would like for it to be, some times we come up against different bumps. It’s just a part of life. However, we have to be wise enough to know when we need some time to reflect. Time to really search and look deep within to find the unanswered questions in order to become a better person. I for one, want to become a better person so badly. I don’t desire to stay on the same level that I’m on now, in all areas of my life. Therefore, I have to take action and do what it takes to become a better me. So as I intend to take time to pinpoint those areas I need to grow in, take time to pour into myself, and take time to grow; I encourage you to do the same. No one is perfect. We all have areas we need t improve in. Let’s not deny them any longer, rather take action to becoming better! Let’s give up some things, so that we can give in to ourselves to grow.