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2018: Take a Chance, Make a Change

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Chance. Change. What’s the difference between these words? Simply one letter. The chance you take. The change you make. What’s the difference? Simply one step. These words and concepts have been on my mind as we transitioned from one year to the next. 2017 was the incredible year that I proclaimed it would be. I’m now focused on my “what’s next” for 2018. Recommitting to my weekly blogs seemed like the perfect place to begin, especially today.

 

You see, 5 years ago today, I finished my last chemo treatment. Wow! My breast cancer journey was nothing like what the written treatment plan dictated. From the very first surgery (which was supposed to be “one and done”) to that final chemo session (chemo was extended by an additional year due to complications), all I can say is, “Wow!” Scratch that. I should also add an AMEN! I’m here because God has work for me to do.

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From the day the doctor called with my biopsy results, I knew that there was purpose in my diagnosis. Mind you, it took some time for me to figure out what that purpose included. I had to take a chance and think about the bigger picture. I made the change and stepped outside of my comfort zone. As a result, the puzzle pieces are coming together as I connect with people who will assist me in the process of manifesting my divine assignment – “to speak a word in season to him who is weary.”

I’ll celebrate my 7th “cancer-versary” in June. WooHoo! I’ve met and befriended amazing survivors and healthcare professionals. I’ve also been given the opportunity to have some amazing experiences such as making a nationally televised commercial, appearing in international print ads, singing and speaking in front of celebrities, mentoring and encouraging others living with cancer, as well as creating events to increase cancer awareness and prevention. All of these doors opened as a result of a cancer diagnosis. Even with the doors opened, I had to take that step of chance in order to make a change in my life and the lives of others.

healthI guess it’s just the teacher in me, but the more I learn about health and wellness and its connection to chronic disease, the more I want to share this knowledge with others. What we don’t know is making us sick or worse, killing us. I don’t want to lose another family member, another friend, or another fellow survivor. Did you know that many of the diseases that plague our communities can be avoided with lifestyle changes? We CAN do something about the things that we are eating, as well as the things that are eating us from the inside out (i.e. stress, unforgiveness). We CAN increase our physical activity. We CAN, but we don’t or we won’t. Why?

It breaks my heart to see people negatively impact their health with what they are eating, drinking, and/or smoking. We’re surrounded by the warnings and research studies. We’ve heard the testimonials of people whose lives will never be the same again because they neglected their health. These habits have become vicious cycles that keep us going around in circles. Unfortunately, some of these cycles are also being transferred to the next generation. Experience is not necessarily the best teacher, but definitely a hard teacher. Again, the question is why? I wonder if this is the frustration Moses felt as he proclaimed year after year that it was going to rain. No one listened to or believed him until that first drop of rain fell. By then, it was too late.

step-by-step-hiIt’s not too late for you, or those you love, to improve the quality of your life and possibly extend your quantity of days on Earth. It’s a new year. There’s still time to create a new you. All it takes is simply one step – the decision to start your wellness journey. 

To me, there’s a difference between living and existing. I believe that most people are doing the latter. My plan is to live life to the fullest – with an exclamation point and not a comma, a period, or a question mark. 

In 2018, what chance are you willing to take so that you can make a change?

 

be NspireD!

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Mindset Matters

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You don’t have to look far to find information about mindset. Topics connected to this subject can range from growth and fixed mindset, to scarcity and abundance mindset. Because it seemed that I was constantly being bombarded with the term, I started to think that these repeated occurrences were not by happenstance, but by design. So, I decided to take a deeper dive into the word.

Mindset is defined as a set of beliefs or a way of thinking that determines one’s behavior, outlook, and mental attitude. After looking at the composition of the word, I also believe that mindset is literally where you set your mind. Thinking about it this way, the location where your mind finally lands, or sets itself, really matters. Why? Because of the domino effect – thoughts impact words, which become behaviors, which become habits. Gandhi took it further by stating that habits become values which eventually translate into destiny.

mindset words

My word for 2017 is “incredible.” I use it to create an expectation about each day, and it speaks to the experiences that I want to manifest, as well as those that I want to create in the lives of others. In order for me to experience “incredible,” I have to adjust my mindset. It’s a conscious decision that requires effort throughout my day. As a result, I’m learning to let go of things that are not within my control.

 

Regardless of the circumstances, I strive to maintain a positive disposition. For example, I let it go when that driver jumps into the parking space I’ve been waiting for with my turn signal on. I keep it moving after the person who agreed to help me pulls out at the last minute without warning or explanation. Trust me. It’s not always easy, but doable. (By the way, it helps to do a lot of deep breathing. Woosaa!)

The bottom line is that mindset is all about the ongoing, individual choices that we make. What I’ve discovered in the process of minding my mindset, is that there is now more room for priceless things like joy. I reap benefits when I monitor where my mind lands. My joy is precious. I’ve been through too many things and worked too hard to allow negative comments to steal my joy.

 

nothing changes

After beginning treatment for cancer a few years ago, I decided to make a change and live life with an exclamation point – not a period, comma, or question mark. I cannot and will not allow the questions that others have about me and my gifts, talents, skills, or abilities, to become questions I now have about myself. I cannot and will not allow someone else to insert a pause or a period in my life story, when I know that there are so many more chapters and books to be written.

Change isn’t easy, but it’s necessary for growth and development. Take the time to self reflect and answer the following questions. What is your mindset? Where are the places that YOU let your mind land? (You certainly don’t want one of those locations to be a landmine.) Today, I encourage you to be intentional about the locations you choose. As you move from thoughts to destiny, remember, where you set your mind really does matter.

 

be NspireD!

Name2