Whole and Hopeful

A recent episode of Iyanla, Fix My Life left me awestruck by the amazing awareness evident in young men who had been abandoned by their parents and abused in the foster care system. They had no business being so articulate about their traumatic upbringing yet there they were, communicating their pain and becoming more conscious, more hopeful … more themselves right before my eyes.

It was a powerful demonstration of the resilience of the human spirit.

“Each experience we live through and grow through is a vitally important aspect of spiritual growth.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant

Inhale Wholeness, Exhale Hopeless…
Inhale Articulate, Exhale Confused…
Inhale Consciousness, Exhale Dysfunction…
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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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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A Grown Woman

In 1944, 19-year-old Lauren Bacall starred in the movie “To Have and Have Not” with Humphrey “Bogie” Bogart in the lead role. The pair sizzled on screen and then off and nobody questioned their age difference or thought the pairing was odd or decried the loss of her adolescence.

That’s because in the eyes of post WWII society, Lauren Bacall was grown.

It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” ~ Ann Landers

Inhale Developed, Exhale Delayed…
Inhale Mature, Exhale Immature…
Inhale Fully-Grown, Exhale Over-Indulged…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Oath of Office

I first experienced the Air Force Academy graduation “March On” in 2013. I was there for the graduation and commissioning of my cousin, Wes Cobb, and I still remember that moment of giddiness during the ceremony when I realized the graduates were going to MARCH TO THEIR SEATS!

Cadet Wes Cobb and me!

Yesterday, as I watched the 2017 Academy graduation, saw the precision execution of the “March On”, listened to the call for excellence, I thought about Army 2nd Lieutenant Richard Collins. Killed before he could serve his country, lynched, according to some, for being black, Collins is another victim of the violence perpetuated on people of color in American.

And I wondered how the almost 300 officers of color commissioned feel about their oath to “support and defend” a country which doesn’t always provide a safe space for them…

Inhale Equality, Exhale Supremacy…
Inhale Humanism, Exhale Nationalism…
Inhale Progress, Exhale Regression…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Fool Me Once

Have you ever justified staying with someone or in something that is not working for you because of the time, treasure or talent you’ve already invested? Have you ever been wrong about someone you trusted but unable to admit it to those who knew and tried to warn you? Have you ever doubled-down even in the face of overwhelming evidence that what you believe is untrue?

Our level of denial often reflects our level of commitment. The more committed we are, the harder it is to admit when we are wrong.

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.” –Mark Twain

Inhale What is, Exhale What is not…
Inhale Evidence, Exhale Illusions…
Inhale Reality, Exhale Delusion…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Faith

I’ve been an up close and personal witness to what stepping out in faith looks like.

I’ve seen how limitless our dreams are when we understand why we are dreaming what we are dreaming…how intense our passions when we direct our energy to our purpose…how impactful our purpose when it’s in service to something other, something greater than ourselves.

But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.”  Luke 17:6 MSG

Inhale God’s Promises, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Belief, Exhale Doubt…
Inhale Faith, Exhale Doubt…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Manifesting

You are co-creating your life with every action. Do you like what is manifesting in your life? If so, keep doing what you’re doing. If not, make different choices, choose different actions, and act intentionally to manifest something different.

What are you waiting for?

Inhale Empowerment, Exhale Weakness…
Inhale Empowerment, Exhale Uncertainty…
Inhale Empowerment, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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World Vision

What is your vision for your world? What does the world look like when you are serving in your purpose? The world is waiting on you…what are you waiting for?

When I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” ~ Audre Lorde

Inhale Vision, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Faith, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Belief, Exhale Fear…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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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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