Necessary Solitude

Finding a quiet space when you’re a part of a large family can be difficult but necessary when you tend toward introversion. I have always been an avid reader; as a child I would take my latest biography and try to find a hiding spot where I could lose myself in someone else’s life.

Of course, I didn’t have the awareness to know I was an ambivert or the words to explain why I needed to be alone and I seldom had the agency to not have to explain. I just knew I needed time away from younger siblings, chores and homework and felt relieved when I had quiet time and frustrated when I didn’t.

Inhale Instinct, Exhale Hesitation…
Inhale Awareness, Exhale Uncertainty…
Inhale Action, Exhale Frustration…
Just Breathe

#Awareness
#JustBreathe

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OBE

A question, a plan, an issue is Overcome by Events (OBE), when things happen that answer the question, void the plan or make the issue irrelevant. An example is the question reporter Bill Simons posed to tennis G.O.A.T. Serena Williams during a post-French Open-match press conference.

After stating that Donald Trump suggested after the 2004 Wimbledon final (won by Maria Sharapova) “that you were intimidated by her supermodel good looks” he asked Williams “Have you ever been intimidated by anyone on a tennis court, and what are you thoughts about that occurrence?”

Fourteen years and 19 wins against this “rival” not to mention her record breaking 23 Grand Slam titles, most in the Open Era…this question was OBE. The premise for it was racist and ridiculous and Williams had already answered it…on the court. I guess he wasn’t paying attention.

Inhale Present, Exhale Past…
Inhale Awareness, Exhale Oblivion…
Inhale Relevance, Exhale Irrelevance…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Irony Deficient: Part 5

Without irony, awareness, or even a smidge of consciousness, some of us tout American exceptionalism while supporting a president with no moral compass, no discernable skills or desire to actually do the work, and no appetite for acquiring what is required.

“Most statements of “American exceptionalism” presume that America’s values, political system, and history are unique and worthy of universal admiration.” ~ Stephen M. Vault

Inhale Honesty, Exhale Hypocrisy…
Inhale Awareness, Exhale Alternate Reality…
Inhale Consciousness, Exhale Willful Ignorance…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Evolution

I was looking through a carefully constructed album of pictures of me put together by my mom and I noticed how my smile seemed to evolve over the years.

The introverted book worm who felt compelled to read everything, even cereal boxes, evolved into the ambiverted cheerleader who needed to express herself through movement, who turned into the military officer known for smiling, actually laughing loudly and frequently.

And since all of those versions of me sill exist, maybe the evolution was my confidence in and comfort with all aspects of my personality.

Inhale Growth, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Awareness, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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True Self

I’ve seen firsthand that being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.” ~ Michelle Obama, FLOTUS.

It’s so interesting to me that people continue to be surprised by #45’s actions. I mean … it’s not like he appeared out of nowhere or just started demonstrating the behavior we see now. He’s been living in the public eye since the early 1980s, being his authentically racist, sexist, elitist, boorish, etc. self. He’s just being who he has always been…

When people show you who they are, believe them.” ~ Dr. Maya Angelou

Inhale Knowing, Exhale Unconsciousness…
Inhale Reception, Exhale Rejection…
Inhale Insight, Exhale Ignoring…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Applied Experience

Our own experience is crucial to our development. The positive experiences reinforce behavior and the negative experiences teach us what not to do, if we are able to learn from them.

But it takes awareness to recognize the patterns that lead to negative outcomes and see the possibility of something different.

It takes courage to take responsibility for the choice and choose something different.

It takes hope to understand the consequence of the choice and want something different.

Inhale Awareness, Exhale Oblivion…
Inhale Courage, Exhale Status quo
Inhale Hope, Exhale Despair…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Development

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Emotions

Our emotions are there to tell us something about the way we’re processing our experience. How we respond to our emotions says a lot about who we are…we get to choose.

Positivity is one of my strengths and I usually choose to be positive. Not always, but I work on it. I do things that fill me up, like getting still to pray and meditate and getting physical through exercise and eating healthy. I try to limit my exposure to negativity…be it people, experiences, or lies masquerading as news.

And when I do experience negative emotions, I process them. I cry, I read favorite passages…I get still to feel what I’m feeling. I go to my favorite healing places, like Lake Michigan or when it’s winter in Chicago, I listen to the sounds of the ocean and imagine I’m on a cruise ship or lying on a beach. I let the emotions flow through me like water…and then I focus on the blessings in my life.

We cannot selectively numb emotions, when we numb the painful emotions, we also numb the positive emotions.” ~ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection

Inhale Emotion, Exhale Stoicism…
Inhale Feelings, Exhale Repression…
Inhale Awareness, Exhale Numbness…
#JustBreathe…

Reflections With Renita

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Discovery

There are all kinds of assessments out there to help you understand more about yourself, whether it’s to understand how you make decisions, how you prefer to receive information, or how you can lead effectively. In fact, I’m convinced that knowledge leading to greater self awareness is the key to effective leadership, to include leading yourself.

Of course, that’s only true if the knowledge informs your behavior. For example, knowing you have the analytical ability to ferret out all the factors affecting a decision is great however, if your analytical strength prevents you from making a decision, then it could be considered a liability.

If you preach, just preach God’s Message, nothing else; if you help, just help, don’t take over; if you teach, stick to your teaching; if you give encouraging guidance, be careful that you don’t get bossy; if you’re put in charge, don’t manipulate; if you’re called to give aid to people in distress, keep your eyes open and be quick to respond; if you work with the disadvantaged, don’t let yourself get irritated with them or depressed by them. Keep a smile on your face.” ~ Romans 12: 6-8

Inhale Awareness, Exhale Unconsciousness…
Inhale Recognition, Exhale Rejection…
Inhale Insight, Exhale Ignorance…
Just Breathe…

#Awareness
#JustBreathe

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Authenticity

People treat us the way they see us treat ourselves.

If we respectfully reject disrespectful behavior aimed in our direction, our action conveys a sense of self, maybe even an inward calm.

If we are comfortable asking for what we want and consistent in our refusal to accept less, we will attract more of what we desire.

There is a risk in demanding what you desire, what you deserve. It could mean you loose what you have. But it could also mean you get what you want.

And isn’t it better to be without, than to settle for less than what you really want?

The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Inhale Awareness, Exhale Disregard…
Inhale Authenticity, Exhale Safety…
Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Detachment…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Authenticity

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