A Moment – Happiness is an Inside Job

There are times in life where we just need to take a moment. Sometimes we realize it right away, and other times it takes us a while to actually get that we need to take a break. Then there are those times where we feel as if we can’t take a break because of all that is going on around us. However, it is imperative that we take a moment or a break at different times in our life’s journey.

I can honestly admit that I have been a tad bit overwhelmed these past few weeks. There is just so much I need to get done, so much I want to do, but limited time. The life I see myself living forever, is not the life I am currently living. I am most definitely on my way, but there are times where I just see so much more for me, those around me, and those I’ve been called to lead that my desire to tackle them becomes overwhelming. Lack or results and a cluttered mind caused me to make a decision to limit my social media usage. Social media really takes up a great deal of a persons day. I’ve decided to start off with the week, jump back on on Sunday’s to do our weekly Spark Sunday, browse for a few, and disconnect once again. One day, I just deleted every social media app I had. Can’t say that I was 100% off this week, but it was still successful, and I am going to continue this weekly.  It’s so important to disconnect every once in a while to get yourself aligned. We have so many thoughts, that sometimes, it pushes us off of the track or path that we are on. I can attest to this. We don’t always allow life to happen. We get to a point where we try to make things happen. Things that may not be meant to happen at this moment. Things that are to come along our path, after we have learned a particular lesson, or experienced a specific thing. (It took me this very moment to remember this. The power of taking a break!)

I had a meeting today (Saturday afternoon) scheduled in Bryant Park, to discuss Take A Moment, which will be hosted next month. After the meeting, I decided to take a moment and sit in the park alone. My laptop, music, a notepad, and bread (I’m hungry!). Before going back to work for the event and even writing, I decided to take a moment. I sat and took in the scenery and enjoyed the warm weather. I needed to clear my head. Ministry, events, work, Lovely Miss Jones, relationships have all been on my mind heavy lately. Most of these areas produced some sort of conflict. Which tugged at my peace. And I wasn’t the happiest that I could be. Almost as if I was unhappy because of all that was going on around me. However, as my notepad says, Happiness is an inside job. Our happiness isn’t dependent upon outside sources. I’ve felt the most misunderstood in these moments. All the more to disconnect.

All breaks or moments won’t look the same. Maybe sometimes you need to just sit, on a day like today. Sit alone in a park, take in the moment, and release your thoughts. Or maybe you need to disconnect. Take a break from social media, limit your phone usage, be less social. Just disconnecting to realign and get back on track. When we try (key word) to continue to move in the moments where we need to take a break, we become overwhelmed and even frustrated. No real results and a cluttered mind. Which can leave us in a place where we aren’t our happiest. In order to get the results we desire and be at our happiest, taking a moment is required. Be sure to take your share of breaks on your journey!

-xo Miss Jones

2014 Overview Part II: The Closure

This has been an incredible year, to stay the least. I can honestly say that this has been one of the best years for me. It’s brought many joys as well as hurts. But through it all, it’s produced great growth. I’m stronger than I’ve ever been.

Coming into this year, I had great expectations. I knew last year was all about transition and growth. I took a leap of faith and finally began doing what I loved. I wasn’t as consistent as I’d like to be, but it was a start. I knew something great would be produced, however, I’m amazed and forever grateful for this journey. It’s been an incredible ride. To have my gift recognized by people, has blown me away. I’ve barely reached the surface, but for me, this means a lot. To sit back and think of the quiet girl I used to be, never wanting to be seen or heard; it’s overwhelming to see where I am now. To have built my personal audience. To the many messages I’ve received of how I’ve encouraged someone through my writing. To have been featured on different websites, web radio interview, and become a blogger and journalist for two websites. To the connections that I’ve made for collaborations in this coming year. It’s just mind blowing. 2014, has literally changed me forever.

I can’t say it’s been all joys though. I’ve been hurt many of times. I’ve had my back against the wall more than I can count. There’s been many times this year, even in these past few days, that I’ve just wanted to go into a little bubble and say forget the world. But I realized that I can’t do that. There’s so much I need to do, so much I need to share in order to impact the lives of others. What I’ve been called to do. But it’s not easy at all. Especially when you’ve been hurt by people. In the past I’ve experienced this hurt and I didn’t expect to revisit it in this year. I’m such an emotional person, so I feel like I’m effected by things on a whole different level. I always said, it’ll be understandable for me to not trust anyone with the hurt I’ve experienced, but that’s just not who I am. I can’t fault everyone for the mistakes of others. So I go all in when it comes to friendships and building with someone. And in more cases than one, I feel like I’m in it more than the other person. There’s been times I’ve felt like I’ve been taken advantage of, wasn’t given the respect I deserved, and just wasn’t taken seriously. All reminders of my past. I’ve been put into situations I never thought I’d be in. And I stayed, as I did in the past. Wanting to make changes, but not receiving much support from those I called friends. Thankfully, I finally realized I needed to isolate myself from certain people. I needed to withdraw for a little while. Although I had grown, I still struggled with insecurities. I’m not saying all of the people I experienced this with were horrible people, I just didn’t see myself for who I really was in some cases. I’ve been in situations this year, where I felt like I just wasn’t good enough. And that’s one of the worst feelings, especially when you’ve began to grow and start to believe in yourself. But, I was able to come back. In removing myself from certain situations, I took from it what I could. I used it as a learning lesson. I grew enough strength to say, I can no longer stay where my growth is stifled. I had to consider not only me, but the lives of those I have help.

Every single situation I experienced taught me something. And I’m grateful for the good and the bad. I’ve learned how to love me for me. I’ve accepted me for who I am. I’m less concerned with what people think of me. And I know I’m worth more than I’ve accepted before. Aside of being hurt, I’ve experienced great struggle. But I’ve learned to master the art of reflection. When you sit back and think of all you have and how far you’ve come, you can’t help but be grateful. Your focus begins to shift and what should make you sad, turns into what makes you happy.

This year was about building. Building my relationship with God, building my strength and confidence, building relationships with people, and building my empire. I’ve got a ways to go, but this foundation is now strong enough to withstand what I’m going to face. I have a better outlook on things, which will help in the success of all areas of my life. I’m going into this new year better because of what I experienced. It all pushed me to grow. It pushed me to be strong. It pushed me to prayer and thanksgiving. I’ve embraced it all and accept all that’s about to come on this new journey in 2015.

So I encourage you today, reflect on this year. All the good and unpleasant things as well. Embrace it, and see how it’s made you who you are. It’s taught you something, and you’ll be stronger because of it!

~XO Miss Jones image

“Dreams Won’t Work Unless You Do”

As I thought these past few days what my next post would be, I somewhat drew a blank. My last two posts were reviews, and I have interviews and features scheduled, but I wanted to share a post that was inspirational through a personal experience. Which is the central theme of my blog. I’ve written two potential blog posts, but I just didn’t feel as if it was the right time to post them. One on Friday and another last night. I have plenty of topics I could possibly write about, but I continued to contemplate if I should post them.

So today, I had a scheduled interview that we ended up rescheduling for tomorrow. It was better for the person I’m interviewing and myself travel wise; and I thought it would be a great chance for me to work on my next post that I definitely wanted to post today.

As I began to skim through Instagram, one of the first pictures that caught my attention said, “Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do.” Immediately I said to myself, this might be good. I then took out the latest issue of Essence Magazine to see what I could find. Essence has always been one of the places I find the most inspiring and motivating pieces. So I wondered if I’d get inspired from one of the articles. The first article I read was an email written by a fifteen year old girl. She shared her story about how she was accepted into the yes we code hackathon at the essence festival this past July. Her mom was struggling to find a way for them to get down to New Orleans. They weren’t sure if they’d be able to afford a hotel room and plane tickets. After they were told they’d be able to have a dorm, they only had to worry about the tickets. However, they were too expensive. Her mother tried her best to get this done for her daughter by going to the bank and trying to get an increase on her credit card, but she couldn’t. At that moment she felt like a failure, she felt like she couldn’t deliver. Her mother then chose another option and they decided to drive. While they were down in New Orleans, the young girl worked the hardest she’d ever worked with her team to come up with an app that would help stop sex trafficking. On her way back she learned that her team had won for best social impact.

After reading this great article, the pieces began to come together. We can have all of these dreams, but it will never work for us if we don’t put in the work that’s required. And after we’ve encountered disappointments, it’s our job to find another option. Change the method, but not the goal. And the end result will be great.

These past two years have shown me this. I’ve discovered how passionate I really am about my writing. In that, I’ve created a few goals for myself. I would like to reach as many people as possible, create change, build my audience, as well as build my credibility as a writer. Now all of these things require work. If I sit back and expect things to fall into my lap, it’ll never happen. As I begun to really put in the work, things are beginning to happen. I made a decision to write more consistently, which has drawn more readers. Because of that, I’ve heard many people say how encouraged they’ve been because of it. In order to build my credibility as a writer, I made goals to share my writing as much as possible through other outlets aside of my own blog. This could only be possible if I continued to work on my writing and submit samples here and there. Things won’t always be peaches and cream. There will be disappointments when you don’t get results immediately. But when you keep working, success will come. As I continued writing, I began to get recognized for my work. My work was able to speak for me. And in that I am now doing a weekly blog in the wellness section of the online magazine, Everything Girls Love (everythinggirlslove.com). Which was one of the personal goals I set for myself. People have also begin to reach out to me for services regarding my blog. And this is just the beginning of my dreams being unfolded. Had I been asked two years ago if I’d be here or going down this path, I don’t believe I would’ve said yes. But because I realized that work is required in order to make things happen, I am.

So I encourage you today to put in the work. Whatever your dreams are, it’s possible for you to fulfill. But you have to do something in order to make it happen. When things come up against you that lead to disappointment, don’t stop. Keep going and see where it leads you!

20140909-150423-54263292.jpg