Alternate Plan

After planning and executing a few high profile events, I briefly considered event planning as a post Air Force career option. Then I discovered the stress of a demanding career and single parenthood had contributed to a diagnosis of thyroid disease. I recognized I hadn’t handled my busy life as smoothly as I thought I had.

So I reconsidered my phase two career options, resolved to live a more balanced life and reduced activities and acquisitions to what was absolutely necessary to live on purpose.

And so far, so good…

Inhale Reflection, Exhale Rejection…
Inhale Resolution, Exhale Ego…
Inhale Redirection, Exhale Stubbornness…
Just Breathe

#Awareness
#JustBreathe

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Representing

The kids on Haviland Drive integrated Harlan Elementary long before busing was mandated in my small hometown of Florence AL. The concept that my behavior was a reflection of my family was stressed and understood by me from a young age…and while I don’t remember a direct conversation, I somehow knew that, to my white teachers and classmates, I represented how Negro children behaved.

Pretty heavy stuff for a third-grader…

“Don’t embarrass me in front of these white folks.” ~ Black Mother Saying

Inhale Represent, Exhale Embarrass…
Inhale Reflection, Exhale Separation…
Inhale Respect, Exhale Disgrace…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Representation

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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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In Memoriam

This weekend another young black male died violently, this time on a college campus, allegedly stabbed by a white male member of a hate group. This newly commissioned Army officer, on the precipice of a “limitless life” had sworn to “support and defend the Constitution” of his country…this America where he is hated and hunted because of the color of his skin.

And I grieve for what has been lost, for his family, his classmates and his fellow Americans who understand that America is great because of people like Richard W. Collins III.

As a United States Army Officer who gladly puts his life on the line everyday…there’s no greater conflict within me.
How do I feel about my country? And how does my country…feel about me?
Are we only to be Americans when the mood suits you?
Lawrence Fishborne as Lieutenant Colonel Benjamin O. Davis in the movie, Tuskegee Airman

Inhale Sadness, Exhale Despair…
Inhale Courage, Exhale Cynicism…
Inhale Reverence, Exhale Disregard …
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Retest

The reaction to a test is often to retreat. The business we built fails so we determine we’re not cut out for entrepreneurship. The competition won the contest so we stop training. The relationship implodes so we vow to never, EVAH, as long as we’re black to be in another relationship … oh wait…that was me!

The key to not getting stuck in the story is to realize the lesson, appreciate the knowledge gained and be intentional about not choosing that particular path again. And ask for Divine help…’cause there will be another test…

These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold.” ~ 1 Peter 1: 7 NLT

Inhale Falling, Exhale Failure…
Inhale Growth, Exhale Regression…
Inhale Clarity, Exhale Confusion…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Seeds

At church this weekend, it was all about seeds and growing, reaping and sowing. Even during story hour for the young and young at heart, the pastor shared a fable about seeds that face obstacles to their growth.

In the story, some of the seeds decide to postpone any attempts to grow until the obstacles disappear (they don’t). But one determined seed decides to face possible destruction and fulfill its purpose to become a palm tree with an extraordinarily strong trunk.

“What do you think happened?” the pastor asked the assembled 6, 7 and 8-year olds.

And one brave young soul answered correctly, “The obstacles made the tree grow stronger.”

Inhale Bend, Exhale Break…
Inhale Slowed Down, Exhale Terminated…
Inhale Delayed, Exhale Defeated…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
#Development

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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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Renewal

Today I am grateful for the resurrection that gave hope to the hopeless. In this season of 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…

Inhale Faith, Exhale Hopelessness…
Inhale Inclusion, Exhale Exclusion…
Inhale Compassion, Exhale Separation…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Feedback

Feedback is hard to hear. And it’s not just the negative stuff we have a hard time hearing; studies show that even comments that could be considered complimentary are hard for many of us to accept. That’s because, according to author Shelia Heen, most “people actively seek to verify their own perceptions of themselves”, whether those perceptions are positive or negative. We all want to be accepted for who we THINK we are.

But since we don’t get to hear or see ourselves or feel our energy, feedback can be very helpful IF we can receive it well.

Inhale Listening, Exhale Ignoring…
Inhale Receiving, Exhale Rejecting…
Inhale Accepting, Exhale Denying…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
#Grace

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Hurtful Words

I once dated a guy who would make “jokes” at my expense. When I complained, he would defend himself and accuse me of being overly sensitive. I finally realized his behavior for what it was…abuse.

People who shrug off deliberate deceptions,
saying, “I didn’t mean it, I was only joking,”
Are worse than careless campers
who walk away from smoldering campfires.” Proverbs 26:18-19 MSG

Inhale Honor, Exhale Dishonor…
Inhale Respect, Exhale Deception …
Inhale Integrity, Exhale Duplicity…
Just Breathe…

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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