Birth

Today I am grateful for the birth that gave hope to the hopeless. In this season of birth and renewal in the midst of confusion and fear, I am praying for sufficient strength to be hopeful, effective faith to believe, and enough compassion to be loving…

“For a child has been born—for us! The gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.” Isaiah 9: 6-7, MSG

Inhale Creation, Exhale Suppression…
Inhale Inclusion, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe…

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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
Reflections With Renita

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Positive Energy

One of the first lessons I learned in the Air Force was the power of my energy to positively impact or negatively infect those around me.

It happened quite by accident when I brought the funk one day and infected everyone in my workspace. “Hmmm…why is everyone so grumpy” I wondered? The next day, I was feeling better … and so was everyone else. “Could it be…?” I pondered.

So over the next few days, I conducted a little clandestine social experiment. My hypothesis was confirmed…I was affecting the energy!” You may be thinking “Durr” but it was a Big AHA moment for me. That lesson impacted how I led then and continues to influence how I chose to present myself to the world – appropriately positive!

Inhale Energy, Exhale Lethargy…
Inhale Positivity, Exhale Negativity…
Inhale Readiness, Exhale Disinterest…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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New Connections

One of the speakers offering tribute during my parents joint 80th birthday party was Gloria Cobb, who my Mom refers to as her “claimed child”.

Gloria has gleaned wisdom from my Mom’s experience raising five children and my Mom has acquired an adopted daughter who loves and looks after her in her adopted Orlando home.

Embracing change, changing relationship patterns, being open to new people and activities are some of the ways my parents stay engaged in life. And engaging in life is how to keep enjoying life.

Life gets sweeter when you open up from a place of peace and continue to expand your circle.” Oprah Winfrey

Inhale Change, Exhale Stagnation…
Inhale Newness, Exhale Sameness…
Inhale Connecting, Exhale Rebuffing…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Acceptance

I believe our God given gifts and talents and personality are to be used to achieve our purpose. But whether or not we use those gifts, apply our personalities or achieve our purpose is up to each of us based on our personal beliefs. It’s no one else’s business

Grace says you have nothing to give, nothing to earn nothing to pay.” Charles R. Swindoll

Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Rejection…
Inhale Embrace, Exhale Tolerate…
Inhale Grace, Exhale Judgment…
Just Breathe…

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To Be Known

We say we want to be known but then make those closest to us guess our inner thoughts and feelings. But if we tell those we say we love exactly what we are thinking and how we are feeling, they wouldn’t have to guess; they would know and could react accordingly.

And we would get what we want.

And they would know us better.

I’m just saying…

Love is the essential existential fact. It is our ultimate reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.” ~ Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles

Inhale Love, Exhale Frustration…
Inhale Love, Exhale Impatience…
Inhale Love, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe…

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Older

I was accused of being set in my ways because I chose not to do something I didn’t want to do.

While it may be true that some people get “set” or stagnant as we age, I believe many of us get wise…we know more about who we are, we understand better what works for us, and we avoid what gives us gas.

We learn how and when to say no.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,” Proverbs 3:13 NIV

Inhale Wisdom, Exhale Wavering…
Inhale Understanding, Exhale Uncertainty…
Inhale Confidence, Exhale Confusion…
Just Breathe…

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Shared Values

A week before I was scheduled to conduct a day of workshops for multiple leadership teams at a government agency, I was asked if I was going to laugh. The question might as well have been, “Are you going to breathe while you facilitate the workshops?”

I laugh loudly, uniquely and, as I age, with increasing frequency. But in this instance, my laugh, a reflection of my positivity, one of my strengths, was perceived as a weakness.

Trying not to laugh made for one of the longest, most exhausting, miserable experiences of my life. So I decided that in the future, I would only work with those whose values I share, one of which is, there will be laughter!

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” ~ Victor Borge

Inhale Authenticity, Exhale Repression…
Inhale Positivity, Exhale Restriction…
Inhale Fearlessness, Exhale Restraint…
Just Breathe…

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Reality

What we refer to reality is basically our perception fueled by our past experience or what we interpreted from a past experience. When we filter the present through what has happened to us or how we perceived what happened to us, we often respond in ways that actually limit us. What IS real is God’s love and His plans for us.

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11 MSG

Inhale Conviction, Exhale Illusion…
Inhale Trust, Exhale Perception…
Inhale Reality, Exhale Story…
Just Breathe…

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Sight

A young activist, whom I’ve grown to respect, recently spent some time traveling outside of his south Chicago neighborhood. The experience opened his eyes, impacting the way he viewed his neighborhood, leaving him disillusioned…desiring more for himself, his family and those he has worked so hard to help…dreaming of a better life.

You can’t be what you can’t see.” ~ Marian Wright Edelman

Inhale Vision, Exhale Confusion..
Inhale Desire, Exhale Delusion…
Inhale Dreams, Exhale Illusion…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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