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…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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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…

#JustBreathe
#Strengths

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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…

#JustBreathe
#Relationships

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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…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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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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Sometimes It IS About You…

In this semi-retired phase of my life, I am privileged to have fulfilled my dream of becoming a fitness instructor. And I’ve noticed that no matter how large or small my classes are at the Bar Method, no one is really paying attention to anyone else. In fact, some days, some clients are barely paying attention to me!

Of course, I’m looking at everyone to ensure each client is in the best possible form to get the maximum benefit from every exercise. Everyone else is primarily focused on staying in the present moment, staying in his or her own best form and staying in the exercise.

Most importantly, there is no judging anyone else, no comparison to anyone else, just encouragement to be the best YOU…

Inhale Self-Reflection, Exhale Pretention…
Inhale Self-Care, Exhale Neglect…
Inhale Self-Awareness, Exhale Unconsciousness…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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It’s NOT Always about You…

A few years ago, I got a protective hairstyle to guard against the Chicago winter and let my stylist talk me out of my plan and into longer hair. I immediately realized my error and went back the next day for a corrective cut. In response to a query from another customer, I explained that long hair did not fit my life style, which she interpreted as a knock against HER long weave.

It is human nature to interpret external data through our personal lens, but it was fascinating that a person I did not know would react to my decision about me as somehow reflecting on her. I immediately thought of the second of “The Four Agreement”s by Don Miguel Ruiz:

1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best.

Inhale Perspective, Exhale Personal…
Inhale Global, Exhale Naval-gazing…
Inhale Universal, Exhale Individual…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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Knowledge

Each of us has different gifts and talents…things that we’re naturally good at that can be used to serve our purpose. To attract those who might offer a perspective that could be beneficial to our growth and achievement of our purpose, we have to be open to the notion that there some things we do not know, some tasks we’re not good at and some people with legitimate and different perspectives.

Because…“If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

Inhale Difference, Exhale Conformity…
Inhale Diversity, Exhale Uniformity…
Inhale Disagreement, Exhale Homogeneity…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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Bonds

We sometimes struggle trying to force family connections not of our creation fit some expectation of what we think they should be, ignoring the reality of what they are. And the reality is, the bonds that bind us together are often blood but could be shared backgrounds or might be based on similar interests and experience.

If your tribe is your family, that’s great. But if your crew is created with those who have chosen to co-journey with you, that is grace.

Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest, it’s about who walked in to your life, said “I’m here for you,” and PROVED it.” Author Unknown

Inhale Bonds, Exhale Shoulds…
Inhale Bonds, Exhale Have-tos…
Inhale Bonds, Exhale Musts…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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