… let’s be honest

I’m getting back into the swing of coming to this space and emptying my heart a bit.

I’ve written and erased. Written and re-written. Written and chickened out. But, I’m proud of the fact that I’m still writing. Still sorting through my thoughts. Still sharing what I’m learning, my experiences, and life. Still growing through life and committing to doing, being, & living better.

“One day” these kids are going to at their mama doing something amazing, and they’re going to say “Wow! That’s my mommy!!”

Hello. One day is now. They’re going to be so proud of the chances I took. Proud that I choose to live differently. Chose to try something new and keep doing it no matter how hard things got, no matter what was going on.

They’re watching me push past fears. Read books that develop & sharpen skills that help me to lead, mother, communicate, and engage better. Deeper. With more vulnerability.

They’re going to be proud of me not because I “got through”, but because all I have accomplished. Because I live faithfully and trust God big. Because of how my circle, my people, and my team trusts me.

They’ll be proud of my character and discipline. They will say “because of her, I can…”

One of the lies I believe and teach our children is that we are just fine how we are. That if people don’t like us, that’s there problem. And, to a certain extent- I can get with it. But, more often than not, if we are honest with ourselves and our children- there’s some personal development and maturity and growth that needs to happen. That if most people don’t like us, we need to address the common denominator – OURSELVES!

I recognize and accept that who I was 4 years ago (mmmm… today) was not going to be able to be the mom, wife, friend, or business woman the people in my life and on my team needed. And, I’d be foolish to bury my head in the sand and ignore that the hurts, poor communication skills, inability/fear to have tough conversations, & then some will create or have created horrible habits if I don’t address & destroy them. It would be choosing to pass down & begin negative generational mindsets, it would be choosing to live a life of limited opportunities. And, because I would settle, it would make it very very hard for me to raise children who believed they could do hard things. It would be hard to be an incredible helpmate to the man I am praying for. They (likely) won’t be able to ______, because I didn’t ______.

Isn’t it scary to realize that we can only teach our babies what we know? Owwwwwch.

Isn’t it scary to know that we can only lead our teams + families places we are bold enough to go?

We lead in the same way we think. In the same way we believe. In the same way live our own lives.

Y’all. It’s hard. Hard to look in the mirror and accept who you really are. BUT! BUT! BUT! It’s also the most incredible journey to become more than you ever thought you could be. There is so much that we have yet to experience and if we continue to ONLY do what is safe and comfortable, we will never know what lies beyond our current abilities.

Please understand. Growth is tiring. It’s frustrating and it hurts. I get tired of being resilient. I get tired of having to leap hurdles and press on. I’m waiting and highly anticipating the day things are easy…. easier. A life is literal & metaphorical sunshine and my booty in the sand 98% of the time would be very nice. Yet, I don’t want life to be tooooooo easy – I love what the inability to quit is teaching me. I enjoy having to find different ways to hit a goal, failing ain’t fun but figuring out a new & different way to get the job done is rewarding. I want to be the example that says failing forward lands you face first into success. Yes, I know what I’m asking for.. lol have you seen the last few years of life?lol! We’re going places, y’all!!Life only takes us out if we let it. We may have to kick and claw and scrape and tread our way through for a little while, but it doesn’t have to ruin us. Nothing lasts forever. Hardship & heartbreak don’t have to steal our joy. We don’t have to allow disappointment and pain to rip our dreams out of our hands.

Personal growth. Personal development. Choosing to become better through reading books and surrounding ourselves with people that will call us on our isht and (lovingly) demand that we to operate at our highest potential is what’s going to change our life. Not marking 1/1 or 2019 “the best year yet” without choosing to get dirty.

Intentional & unapologetic. TODAY. because the work that will make 2019 incredible has already started.

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Intentional + unapologetic

Hey, y’all, hey!!!

It’s been a minute, but here I am with a few guiding thoughts I’m confident in and excited about.

A bit of background first…….

Many of my shifts come out of thoughts that were ignited by another thought from another category in life that just snowballed and ended up wrecking every area. Things collide, the Lord speaks. And BAM!!! At the concluding thought, nothing makes sense but it all makes sense at the same time.

The concluding thought:

I deserve better. I deserve more. (photo by Rhyann)

Now, the origin. (Remember, none of these thoughts individually lead to the concluding thought. Don’t judge the randomness!! Lol)

1. I earned a free cruise (Celebrity Equinox!) to Key West & The Bahamas. For 5 days, I transformed into someone I’ve never been – a 35 year old who didn’t have to take care of another person…. share her food, wipe a booty, fetch a snack, break up a fight, threaten to spank, or roll my eyes at the mini versions of me who are acting just like me towards me. (Gracious!) It was fabulous, I looked fabulous, and felt fabulous.

See proof below:

2. (completely unrelated to #1) My company launched a 14 day weight loss challenge in prep for the holidays. A way to get a handle on our cravings + eating habits so that we won’t overindulge and gain unnecessary (& tough to lose) pounds over the next couple of months. I dubbed it the “control yo’self challenge” bc that’s what it’ll help us do, whether our goals are to lose weight or not! One of the products in the combo is a whey protein meal replacement/snack. Whey is incredible, if you’re curious as to why, email me and I’ll totally spill all the plant based, quality protein tea for ya!

A piece of this challenge is also fitness…. obviously moving your booty helps you to lose weight, so it only makes sense! I’ve committed to moving my booty a few times a week. Also inviting you (if you’re local + not a murderer) to walk Rice University & have breakfast afterwards. If you’re interested, email me. I’ll shoot ya the deets.

And, it dawned on me.

Why am I waiting to BEGIN working on goals at the start of the new year versus getting started now so that when January 1 rolls around I’m already positioned to win. That’s kinda like Beyoncé beginning to prepare for OTR on the first day of the tour or your favorite basketball player kicking it during all off season then wanting to eat right & workout when the season begins. Or, (last example) your kid’s teacher not giving you a list of supplies until the first day of school. Doesn’t make much sense, right? OF COURSE we aren’t farther ahead!! But we do that every single week, month, & year…….. we wait procrastinate, choose to be lazy, & ‘enjoy a bit more’, and put off til “tomorrow”. We start on the start date. Instead of “rolling through” the starting line; beginning already in motion.

That’s kinda where I am now. And, committing to not walking around looking like a bum 5-6 days out of the week (bc I work from home) & only being fabulous on Sundays or a few days out of the year. I deserve that.

…… and, here’s where the good stuff begins …….

I deserve that, not because my name is Alaina or because I’ve had a really hard past five years. But, because I’m choosing to intentionally work towards it. My girls deserve more, I deserve more.

The girls broke a pair of my favorite sunglasses & I went to pick up another pair before the trip. I initially wanted to find a “sensible” pair, but tossed that idea out of the window because life is both too long and too short for boring. For waiting until a ‘special occasion’ or ‘someday’. for living below our capacity, for remaining in our comfort zones, and not shooting for the big stuff. The hard stuff. The best stuff that is possible to experience when we choose to grow and live boldly outside of our comfort zones. (photo by Logan)

We are in control of so much and we take that for granted. We decide the what and when we’re prepared and if we do the work, and at the right time… in God’s perfect timing….. magic happens.

“Some changes look negative on the surface, but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” – Eckhart Tolle

What do you want?

To be a better conversationalist?

Better health?

Deeper friendships?

Great! So, what are you doing about? Spending quality time? Reading books, listening to podcasts? Asking for help? Doing the things you don’t want to do? Don’t like to do? Don’t feel like doing? So that you can raise your lid (capacity) in those areas and be better??

“The credit belongs to the man in who is actually in the arena……. who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt

(photo by Rhyann)

A rising tide lifts all the boats, right??

Committing to do better in one area, creates discipline that will for sure spill over in others areas of your life…. so, all boats rise. Committing to do better means taking risks, stepping outside of your comfort zone, and doing something new…… which will for sure open you up to other opportunities that you’ll be more willing to take. Opportunities that could essentially change your life.

Have you ever seen the movie Sliding Doors? Gwyneth Paltrow made one solitary choice that changed her whole life. Her new life was definitely worth the scary, hard choice she made.

Think life change isn’t possible? Seriously, do you believe that ‘it is what it is’? Or, are you hopeful? Of course you are…. that’s why we go into every year with the idea that this year will be different than last year.

Don’t you want to truly do more?! What are you shooting for? How do you want to be better?

So, in 2019, we’re hitting goals. We’re going to mature spiritually and emotionally. We’re going to raise our emotional IQ, going to learn how to be better mamas, have tough convos, do new things, we’re going to prioritize ourselves, and take better care of ourselves. We’re raising standards for ourselves and kiddos. Because we all deserve (and are working for) the best.

We’re going to be more than people full of wishes and hopes and, ultimately, regrets. We’re going to work. Going to commit. Going to keep at it. Going to dare greatly and choose a better tomorrow each day. And, we aren’t going to apologize for working hard to end each day, week, month, and year better than we began.

Are you with me?(photo by Rhyann)

Intentional and unapologetic in 2019.

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… I used to run

…. like actually run in Nikes but gave that up when I got pregnant with the twins. Then, I thought I’d be that mom jogging the trails in the park pushing my girls in their jogging stroller. I made a lot of excuses and major life stuff stop me from doing that……. plus, two kids + after run tired = nah, sis.

I look up and it’s been YEARS since I’ve laced up tennis shoes and pushed my body & mind past comfort to not only look completely attractive in all my mom bod-ness naked & dressed in purty dresses & jeans in heels and flip flops with a baby on hip & holding little hands, but to also feel capable, empowered, and strong again.

I also ran from my emotions. And, for someone who feels it all and can do a pretty decent job of expressing those feels, I quit. Literally & intentionally stopped feeling. Or tried to. I stuffed my emotions down deep, as well as my face (thank the Lord for Plexus!), on days I did.not.want. to deal with the junk, defend myself, fight for myself, and just needed a break. When life is happening and it’s all on you, time spent (read:wasted) on feelings are a distraction. The days I did spend defending, pushing, fighting, & trying left me … leave me …. exhausted emotionally and physically and I just can’t with too much.

Feelings left me depleted. Distracted. And, unavailable.

But, the Lord has a way of softening your heart with his love and mercies. with his truths and faithfulness. with his forever acceptance of you no matter how you feel, how often or deeply you feel it. No matter how often you bring it up or how many times you cry over the same thing. Or how long that hurt stings. He gets it and does nothing but continue to love on you and bandage those wounds.

…. if you let him.

… what isn’t exposed can’t be healed.

Without healing there can’t be redemption, restoration, or newness.

And, if there’s anything I want more for my girls and myself, is new life. New joys. New peace. New experiences. New growth.

New. Stronger. Wiser. Deeper. And More Strength. Endurance. Hope. Faithfulness.

….. because I want to be that mom who can connect with her kids, who is deeply empathetic, who isn’t operating to check off tasks but who can see and feel what can only be perceived with the heart to do for others what the Lord has done for her.

Love well, deeply, fully, intentionally, & forever.

What a process. So good though. Long but good. Painful but worth it. The things that are clicking now, I’m so grateful for.

Trusting the Lord with my heart in a way I wasn’t even aware I needed to feels good. And, safe. Which is what I aiming for this whole time.

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