… ‘tis the season

Christmas magic | hope | joy

This time of year is full of traditions, celebrations, parties, music, themes, joy, and hope.

A time we focus hearts and minds on the “real” meaning of this season while eyes, minds, and hearts and battling with keeping up, Christmas cards, decorations, lights, shopping, spending, dresses, invitations, gifts, wrapping, travel.

….. making sure we feel a certain way when we experience our homes, trees, streets, shopping centers, & movies.

Basically everything around us puts us in a certain mind frame.

All of the holiday things are trying to make us feel happiness. Cheer. Joy. Hope. And, magic.

And, it works really well until it doesn’t.

I personally adore the holidays. I love alllll of the Christmas magic. I love the joy and the music and the scents and the wreaths and the everything that comes with it.

I love how the year ends with happiness and celebration.

I love how it ends with hope that hopes against itself the way Job did.

But what’s hard is when you don’t have it. When it’s not overflowing. When joy and peace and magic don’t have room to expand because hurt, sadness, and defeat are overwhelming.

It’s hard when you have no hope.

And, lack of hope and defeat don’t always look like it sounds. Doesn’t always look like a bowed head and slow walking and talking Eeyore. It can for sure look tired. But it can also look like comfort and overindulgence.

“… because it doesn’t matter anyway,” says hopelessness.

It doesn’t matter because nothing ever changes. It doesn’t matter because you’ve tried before. It doesn’t matter because the last time…… it doesn’t matter no one notices.

It doesn’t matter ….. because we can sometimes feel we don’t matter.

If we believed we mattered and our thoughts, voices, and decisions made a difference in this life, we would make choices (& stick with them!) that could change our life.

Be it how we’re eating. Who we’re spending time with. What we choose to read and watch. How we choose to spend our time. The risks we take, the opportunities we take advantage of, and the work we’re willing to put in in order to change things.

So many people will exit this season in more debt. They will endure this season with little. They will gain weight. Feel like poop. Over eat. Over drink. Feel bad. Want different but not choose to make the intentional choice to do something different to experience life different.

But, not you. Not this year.

It stops with you. Because you matter. Your children matter. The quality of your day and your babies’ days matter. Because we want the more we know exists. But were too scared go after it.

And, I’m proud of you already. For even THINKING about what differences you want and need to make. Then, I’m going to be proud of you for taking the steps to move from a thought to an action based on the circumstances you thought about. We’re moving. Taking one step at a time – not in a circle, but forward.

2019 is going to be an incredible year…. because we are making the choices that lead us to better.

And, I’m excited. You deserve it. I deserve it. We deserve it.

If you’ve seen what I do and why I do it and love it…. email me. (unashamedgrowth@gmail.com)

If you’ve seen how my life is different and you want your own turn of the page and start of a new chapter, email me. (unashamedgrowth@gmail.com)

We can end this year and and start next year in hope.

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… let it go

It’s so funny how ONE thought & decision has a such an impactful domino affect on your entire mindset. I say ‘funny’, but I know that it’s the Holy Spirit leading to where we are supposed to be and molding us into who we are meant to be. I believe that because every single one of these ideas are connected to something the Lord previously taught & is teaching me. They build upon each other & are affirmed by so many people in so many ways. And, I’m moving in a very non-Alaina way which further lets me know that this ain’t a flesh thing. There’s something much bigger unfolding.

Now, we know that I’ve very seriously committed to being intentional and unapologetic about everything in my life. Some ways are easier, some are a bit harder….. but at the end of the day, I know that if I want my life to look a certain way, it’s up to me to make better choices that will lead me to that place. Step 1: When your friends call you out on something…. listen. process. & deal with it.

We can’t become better without being willing to accept who we are (the “us” we don’t/can’t always see) and being willing to do the work to change what’s holding us back.

After a convo with a friend, she called me out on some stuff and I processed. We talked again. I processed some more. Repeated that a couple of times until I understood the why behind the what.

One of the realizations: I’m a hoarder…… It’s not so bad that the qualifications are met for the show, but enough for me to think about why I am keeping so many…… memories. I tend hold onto stuff for a narrowed down couple of reasons.

1. I have (& am working through) a scarcity mindset. Now, this stems from quiet a few places, but I’ve held onto clothes/shoes that I haven’t worn in years. Clothes/shoes that I will legit never wear. And, even forgot about. They’re useless…….. And, they’re just taking up space.

2. I felt that by holding onto stuff, it meant I deserved what I had, added to my value, or didn’t take the effort for granted. This goes for the girls’ school work to teacher gift packages/cards, old purses to shoes…. just stuff that really no longer held value to me, but I kept it because it meant I had value for even having it.

Ex: I have a little nook that had two years worth of the girls’s school work & daily notes daily y’all) from teacher. Which I first began stashing it, I planned it get one of those clear, plastic boxes with dividers to store work in……. I didn’t want forget anything. Eventually, y’all the amount of papers just piled up in that area was shameful. But, I couldn’t. After I kept asking myself ‘Why?’ after I hit a new revelation about why I keeping pictures of colored apples, numbers, and animals was because I felt that by holding onto this stuff, it proved that I was truly grateful for their lives. Yup.

So I got rid of it.

A ton of shoes, baaaaaags of clothes, the piled up school work, and the bouquets of dead flowers.

Yes. I went through a stint where I loved dried roses. But, they’re dead. So, I got rid of them, too.

More doesn’t mean better. Or fuller. Or worthy of anything.

Holding onto things just means there’s less physical space, mental, & emotion room for you to receive what you really want and could actually use.

I literally love the feeling of getting rid of things. I love the feeling of having more options because you’re able to see what you do have that you actually enjoy…… the space is less cluttered so your mind is also clear. It feels good to donate. To give things way. To let go of old things that were purposeless & taking up space. Along with a physical clean up, I’m also being very intentional about my emotional space + mindset. Clear boundaries, goals, desires & the undesirables are set in place. I’m leaving space for those things to continually develop & become more and more clear. Growing past old thoughts, habits, & mindsets and THAT feels good. It’s freeing. I refuse, refuse, refuse to allow dysfunction, hurts, thought patterns rooted in insecurities, fear, & limits guide my life. There’s just so much more available to us and we can’t access it stuck in hopelessness that’s masked in certainty.

I’m determined + committed to roll into 2019 already working toward what I made my mind up to accomplish.

Ready & making room for overflow and abundance.

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… 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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