Joy Story!

I heard a woman from Kenya describe her upbringing in truly terrible conditions. She had endured horror after horror: hunger, rape, kidnapping, prostitution and barely escaped being trafficked. But nothing in her voice or body language suggested anger at everything she had experienced or despair over the environment she grew up in. In fact, the joy she felt at having earned a degree and finding her way to Chicago emanated from her being.

It was a powerful reminder that we are not our circumstances, we are not what we’ve been through, and we don’t have to let our experiences define us.

“Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:9, MSG

Inhale Resilience, Exhale Resignation…
Inhale Persistence, Exhale Powerlessness…
Inhale Joy, Exhale Despair…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe

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Training Superwoman

I get a lot of “you’re so strong” comments, mostly from white women, occasionally from other women of color…almost never from other black women. Our Black Girl Magic, SuperWoman training starts early. Be Strong…Be Tough…Don’t Cry…are lessons we are taught to prepare us for a world that doesn’t permit black girls to just be girls.

I sometimes wonder if we are responding to reality or creating our reality…

He told me not to cry…He taught me to be strong…Tough girl is what I had to be…” ~ Beyonce, Daddy Lessons

Inhale Strength, Exhale Isolation…
Inhale Resilience, Exhale Loneliness…
Inhale Boundaries, Exhale Barriers…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflection With Renita

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Resilience

When I think of some of the people I most admire, people who are applying their passion to a solving a problem in the world, it’s usually not just because of the amazing work they are doing. Or even their demonstrated courage to step out and live their dreams.

I admire the people I admire often because they’ve overcome obstacles to achieve their dreams. Some have overcome low expectations, some have escaped the prison of poverty, and others have survived near death experiences…and their experiences seem to have made them stronger, resilient…fearless.

Out of massive suffering emerged the strongest souls; the most massive character are seared with scars.” ~ Khalil Gibran

Inhale Difficulty, Exhale Defeat…
Inhale Adversity, Exhale Inaction…
Inhale Suffering, Exhale Stopping…
Just Breathe

#JustBreathe
Reflections With Renita

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Discipline

Do or do not, there is no try.” ~ Yoda, Star WarsThe Empire Strikes Back

Most people only decide to make a lifestyle change when some aspect of their life becomes too painful. Once the pain subsides, they often revert to the original behavior, only to experience the pain again, sometimes even more severely than before.

Making a change that sticks requires the belief that you can do it, the commitment to your choice and the daily discipline to do what you’ve committed to.

The road to life is a disciplined life; ignore correction and you’re lost for good.” ~ Proverbs 10:17 The Message

Inhale Resolve, Exhale Regret…
Inhale Tenacity, Exhale Regret…
Inhale Resilience, Exhale Regret…
Just Breathe…

#ReflectionsWithRenita

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