Welcoming The New In 2014

Living From The Heart Days 16-30

It is interesting to me that we categorize periods of our life by seconds, minutes, hours, days, and months. There really is no time per se… It’s all right now. I guess it’s easier for us to manage things when we think of things in a smaller picture rather than the larger scheme of things. It makes things less overwhelming in our mind.

I think that what we are looking for the most when we categorize our life in fractions or moments in time is the essence of a “new start”. That’s why we always say, “tomorrow I am going to do this” or “next year it’s going to be different.”

But what if we looked at every moment as an essence or a feeling that we want to embody. The time “2014” is just an indication of you being ready to welcome the new. But why wait until 12am on January 1st to welcome that “New Feeling” or “Fresh Start”; you can do that right now. It’s all right now. Just give yourself permission to be what you want to be right in this moment.

The End Of 2013

I don’t have a a lot of words to describe 2013. 2013 is just a collection of my past thoughts and actions. What I am more interested in is welcoming the new. So I have collected quotes that I have arranged in a gallery to welcome the new year which is also welcoming the “new me”.

I will end this post with a few things that I wish for you for 2014. As you allow yourself to open and be more of who you are without apologies, I am sure all of your deepest longings will come true. Even if you are one of those people out there that has lost faith or hope in something, just know that there is someone out there that is wishing the best for you, even if you can’t find the space in your heart to believe it so.

My Wishes For You

My heart wishes blessings for you, joy and love for you, new opportunities for you, mended relationships for you, stronger bonds for you, open doors for you, peace of mind for you, new beginnings for you, abundance for you, easiness and stability for you, moments that take your breath away, and things that enter your life that are so amazing that they leave you in awe.

I hope your year is filled with all the things that your heart desires. I pray for your mind to be renewed and for you to see life through a loving perspective. I hope this world shows you things you have never seen before and I hope you are able to unveil beautiful pieces of yourself that you never thought imaginable.

Remember sometimes there could be things going on around you, but when you realize what you are made of you will have the strength to sit in the middle of it all and reveal your power. You aren’t meant to struggle your way through this life. You are meant to graciously accept the things that come your way while keeping your eyes and heart on what you would like to experience the most. If the negative can come your way, how many more positive things can come your way with just a small adjustment in the way you look at things.

Keep your head up, know things will get better, and take it one step at a time. You’ll do just fine.

finished-heart Nay

Happy Happy Happy New Year All!

Awesome Book Review: Journey Through Sattara

Journey deep into the heart of the Sattara Jungle where the story of two rival tribes (the Ja’Ka Tribe and the Ya’Tu Tribe) is captured.
Journey deep into the heart of the Sattara Jungle where the story of two rival tribes (the Ja’Ka Tribe and the Ya’Tu Tribe) is captured.

Another Great Book Review for Journey Through Sattara!

4-5

4.5 out of 5 cupcakes is awesome!

Thank you Skeptical Reader for reviewing Journey Through Sattara and for giving your honest feedback.

To see the full book review by The Skeptical Reader please click the link below.

Review | Journey Through Sattara by Renee Brooks.

To see the full book review by Book Gossips please click the link below.

Review | Journey Through Sattara by Renee Brooks.

Sign

Order Your Copy Of Journey Through Sattara Today

Sign

review-submit-button 

Getting Naked & Vulnerable

20130324-sss-brene-brown-quotes-1-600x411

Living From The Heart Days 12-15

Honestly for the past few days I just could not bring myself to get on the computer and type anything on WordPress. Writing from the heart (for me) is all about inspired writing. Over the past few days I just was not inspired to write anything. I guess a few things had to happen in order for me to get the inspiration to write – so here I am. The past few days have been interesting. I want to speak a little bit about presence today. I’ll start with a short story.

The other day I went to purchase my Christmas tree. When I got it home I literally hugged the tree and felt its presence. I know it sounds crazy to say that I connected with the tree, but I did. Its presence just felt like home to me. I am not talking about the homes where you grow up with nana and pop-pop or the homes where your mom and dad raise you; I am talking about that bare unforgiving presence that just demands your attention {now that’s what I call HOME}.

It’s an internal feeling of home. That feeling of being naked, vulnerable, open, and adored anyway. It is just a tree, but it brings such a spirit of comfort to my home that I cannot even adequately explain the feelings in words. It has a natural, peaceful, stable presence that just fills my home with love. I look at the tree now – all dressed up with the ornaments, lights, and shimmery garland  and I think to myself… it doesn’t even need all of that stuff for me to feel my connection to its presence.

The Same Is True About Us

We don’t even need all of that stuff. The makeup, the cars, the jobs, the clothes are just a mask hiding the real us. I realized that if I could just be truly comfortable with who I am – my true presence would shine through. I loose confidence in my real self because the false self is the one that gets the credit and recognition, while the real self remains hidden.

I am in no way shape or form saying that I am an impostor sitting here writing to you, but I am saying that I hold back sometimes. Sometimes out of fear of sounding stupid or awkward. I shape my words so that they will make sense to others. I try to dress the articles up with pictures and quotes that make sense and that are appealing. The truth is, people are just looking for honesty. All that other stuff is just the icing on the cake.

For some of us we feel too open and too vulnerable in our real presence. There is something wrong with our real presence we feel. Let’s be clear… there isn’t really anything wrong with being open and vulnerable it’s just that so many of us are paying attention to our false sense of beauty that we forget what our real beauty is.

Our real selves have no drama attached, no bias, no gossip, and juicy details to share. Our real selves have no makeup to hide behind, no calories to count, or things to want. Our real selves have the nerve to just be what they are. Not to fit in – not to get checks – not for more likes or approval, but our true selves have the goddamn audacity to stand in a room and say, “take me as I am. I am not catering, shifting, or molding myself to fit your ideal image. I was simply born to be.”

How bold and beautiful is that outlook?

Now, How Do I Get Closer To That Presence?

I’ve figured it all out. Not! I have one small step. Just one little itty bitty baby step that might lead you in the right direction of becoming more authentic, living naked, and telling people to shove it {joking}.

Simply do what you believe is right.

The other day I had someone really test my character and my beingness. I had a very hostile experience.  I will try to make this story as short as possible. About a month or so ago I created an art site on Tumblr featuring ebony art paintings. My intention was to draw attention to beautiful black art and have the people who followed or viewed the site take a detour to the art sites and see what appealed to them. Unfortunately, me posting from their URL’s didn’t work properly so it looked like I was taking art photos and just copying them to my page without giving the artists any credit. SO FAR FROM WHAT I WAS ACTUALLY TRYING TO DO…

Anyway, some people started a blog attacking my whole character and calling me a thief. They said I was stealing black art, putting it on my site to basically get views, and not giving credit to the appropriate art sites. To make a long story short, the theme I chose for Tumblr did not link back to the original sites so I could see where their assumptions came from. Instead of informing me of this they posted nasty messages on my Tumblr site and just basically were acting completely inconsiderate and hostile.

A Test Of My Real Character

I was mortified. Not only was that some kind of attention that I definitely did not want to attract, my reputation was also on the line. How would I look? What would people think? Would people take my image and connect it to the title “thief”. My defenses immediately went up. I thought about lashing out on them, but something stopped me. I thought to myself, “who am I and would that response be representing me in the best way?”

I stopped, took a deep breath, and posted a :::Keep Calm & Carry On::: picture to my site on Tumblr. I then wrote a message apologizing to all the followers who had to witness such ridiculousness. After that, I wrote to the hostile critics and directed them to the post that explained exactly what happened and what my intentions were so that they could get the real truth behind what was going on. I thought that would calm their assumptions, but apparently they didn’t believe my story and kept attacking my character. After that, I went to each picture and placed in the comments the credit source to where to find the art. I then gracefully bowed out of that argument. I knew from their constant continuation (even after I had explained myself) that they weren’t out to rectify things, they were just out to attack.

Let’s be clear… I am not going to argue just for argument’s sake. It doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

I simply corrected the situation by adding the credits as I originally intended to do and I let the rest of that drama rest. I simply did what I believed was the right thing to do.

Now the “small me” would have tried to hide their comments, delete what they said, or would have deleted the blog all together, but the “real me” said, “here’s a chance to show your true character.” The “small me” would have avoided the hostility at all costs, but the “wise me” said, “you have nothing to hide here. You know what your intentions were, just do your best to fix it up the best you can.”

It was a small step, but I was happy that I stood up for myself and didn’t let what they said about me bully me into taking down the Tumblr page.

I want to end this story with a quote…

You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to. {Author Unknown}

I Want To Share This With You

I want to share a wonderful video with you. A little while ago while visiting the NeuroNotes Blog I was introduced to a researcher named Brené Brown. Brené is famous for her TED Talks on Vulnerability and I would like to share one with you. The video will be at the end of this post.

In Closing

We have the chance in every moment to be more of ourselves, to be naked, to be true to what we believe in and are. This video is all about the journey to that authenticity. Brené speaks crazy talk about “reserving seats” for your critics and about embracing them. Boy did I ever have to do that these past couple of days. In addition to that, she talks about the right to be yourself even regardless of what they say.

I am learning how to do that step by step. As I learn – I share because I know that I am not the only one on this journey through discovering our true selves.

We are all trying to figure out how to be better people and how to find home (that internal feeling of being at peace with who you are and unapologetic for it) within ourselves. Do what you believe is right. No one can take that from you. It’s not a prop, a mask, or a costume, it’s who you are. Embrace it.

I will leave you with a quote.

The ache for home lives in all of us – the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. {Maya Angelou}

Thanks for reading and here’s the video!

finished-heart Nay

Thanks For Commenting, Subscribing, & Sharing!

The Power Of Introverts

introverts

Living From The Heart Day 11

Today’s post from me will be short and sweet. I came across a very uplifting video about the power of introverts today. I just wanted to share this with you because too often us “introverts” go through life thinking that we have to fit into a certain mold. It is the truth. I have experienced it in previous work experiences, schools, and out in the world at large. I can completely relate to this video.

I remember being in a training class about introverts and extroverts in my previous job. The teacher asked, “what are introverts good for?” The guy answered, “nothing, they are pretty much a waste of space.” Wow, what an intelligent and broad opinion that gentleman gave {sarcasm}.

The number one thing that I pulled away from this video is that… It’s Okay To Be Yourself. Sometimes in society I feel our unique “introverted” skills aren’t being given a chance. We are expected to be loud, rowdy, talkative, apart of a team spirit, and take charge leaders when we want nothing more than to find strategies that work, give attention to detail, be compassionate to the deep rooted needs of others, and take care of the things behind the scenes that build strong foundations and loving relationships.

Susan Cain takes this subject and brings light to it in the most beautiful way. Take a listen and let me know what you think.

finished-heart Nay

Pieces Of My Writing Heart

Pieces Of My Writing Heart

Living From The Heart Day 10

Sometimes I don’t know what to do with this mangled heart of mine. There are pieces of me that were crushed by things that you would consider small. Pieces of me ripped away from their sense of security and belonging. I ask God sometimes, “what do you want with me? What can you do with these shattered pieces?”

In me resides broken dreams, unanswered prayers, and deep longings. Some of these things are hard to remember in detail, but I still feel their ghostly presence. I hear the faint whisper from them encouraging the most discouraging thoughts. There are also pieces of my heart that I cannot let go of. Those things are not easy to forget. They travel along with me everywhere that I go.

It is luggage that I carry along with me, and in return – refuses to get lost. They are remnants of that last good-bye that I never got to say, missed opportunities, failed relationships, and unhealthy exchanges. I can’t seem to shake some things loose. I see the things that I couldn’t fix as failures.

What To Do With These Pieces God?

I have many times tried to delete them – like I do to files on the computer that I no longer want.

But time after time again, life has proven that these files are un-deletable. Delete Delete Delete. Damn it; it doesn’t work.

For those of you who are out there trying that same method , let me save you some trouble. You can’t just get rid of the pieces of your life and heart that you don’t want. I’ve tried it.

So Again God, What To Do With These Pieces?

God responds to me in a gentle tone. I call this voice God because it just seems friendlier than my normal. Easier and more tenderhearted and approving of my missteps.

Well, you’ve always liked writing. Why not be vulnerable? Why not say what you feel? Why not let it out on some pages? There is relief and healing in expressing…

God Then Continues

You’ve always liked hearing inspirational stories. Why not create a few of your own?

You’ve always liked to talk around those you are most comfortable with. Why not write your heart out and let those who are comfortable with your essence find you?

You’ve always loved beautiful things. Why not create a space where you can observe beauty, the things that inspire you, and make you see the other side of the world? A space where people who feel just like you can go to take their mind off of their trouble, if only for a few moments a day. It will feel like eternity to them.

Don’t Try To Throw Yourself Away

You don’t have to throw your pieces away. They are the makeup of you.

They are what built your compassion. What helps you relate to what other people are going through.

Your struggles are what help you find solutions for those just like you who have felt lost.

But What If They Don’t Want My Pieces?

What if they don’t want to hear what I have to say? I am no expert or celebrity.

Just let your light shine anyway. No matter how small you “think” it is. Anyone can write words that people read. Maybe I am sharping your tools so that you can write words that people “actually hear”.

So Why So Many Tears God?

Tears water the soil.

Why Do I Feel So Sad Sometimes?

Sadness helps you feel joy after a while.

I Should Be Happy All The Time?

I am in a great position to express. Why don’t I feel that way all the time?

Because you want so bad to fit in, when all I want you to do is spread out.

You may never know whose watching. That one follower could know a lot of people. That one *like* could be the one that needs you or the one that you need.

God Finishes

Keep writing from your heart, and I will see to it that your broken pieces are mended. It may not always be in the way that you want it, but it’s always in the way that is needed.

{Love God}

Sign

I wrote this article to show you why I write down what I feel and why I share these stories with you. It is healing sometimes for me to put a story to something that has broken my heart or to my feelings. Hopefully by seeing these stories you can take something away from my experiences. It’s not easy living from the heart at first. You are naked and feel like an baby that’s in a big new world. This is me, taking the things that hurt me the most or that fulfilled me and recording them. I am shining a light on some of my pains and some of my successes.

I don’t claim to be a guru or anyone that could even help you with your problems, but what I do know is that many days in my life I was in a very dark place. There were many times when I wanted to throw myself away. Literally, I wanted to end it all. There is a part of me that doesn’t want me to go yet. Not holding on to all of this pain in my heart. So everyday God shows me new pieces.

Pieces of my own shattered heart. God shines a light on them, which helps me write about them. My writing might not mean anything to anyone else, but it means everything to me. It helps me breathe. It helps me feel like I have something to share with this world and it helps me {even if for only a few moments a day} make sense of the pieces that I sometimes want to throw away.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this.

finished-heart Nay

Any Stories? I Would Love To Hear From You!

Leave A Reply Below

Dear Under-Appreciated Mom

 

Image

{A Love Letter To All The Moms Who Feel Unappreciated}

I am coming to you from the hearts of your children and your husbands. From the hearts of those who don’t tell you how special you are. This letter is from the heart of them – to the heart of you. {Love Renee}

 

{From Your Child or Children}

Dear Under-Appreciated Mom,

I want to take this moment in time to say… 

You Are Appreciated

I know you get tired of cleaning and running and cooking all the time. I know that you worry all day long about our safety and security. I know even when you tuck us in the tightest, you still are thinking of ways to make life even more comfortable for us. 

I know that you long to keep us as babies forever. To see the joy in our eyes when you walk in the room. I am here to tell you mom, if you haven’t seen that joy – don’t take it personal. It’s not you. 

The world is difficult for us sometimes. You mom, are the only one that gives us hope sometimes. We are spoiled with your love. The truth is, we are looking for the world to comfort us like you do. To hold us like you do. To care for us like you do, and when the world doesn’t do that, we take it kind of hard.

I want to say…

I’m Sorry

{From Your Husband}

To my wife, who is stronger than anyone I know. I love you with all of my heart. You are a good mother even though I don’t say it all the time. You are not only a contributor to the household you are the rock on which our house was built. I see you look into our child’s eyes sometimes and I only wish you could look at me that way. I know, it’s selfish, but you don’t know how it feels to receive that kind of love from you. 

I ask you my wife, to be patient with me. Even when I don’t show my appreciation – I ask that you to remember this note. This note that was scripted from the heart of me and sent through a messenger. A messenger who wrote down the words I couldn’t say. A messenger who knew how I really felt regardless of what I tell you. When you feel under-appreciated, try to remember all the reasons you fell in love with me and our child/children. 

We don’t mean for you to feel under-appreciated. We sometimes don’t know how to give you the love, compliments, and praise that you are worth. You are big and we need you. So remember this letter if ever you shall forget. 

Sincerely,

Your Family

 

Break Any Addiction

Image

Living From The Heart Day 9

I like coffee; I really do, but some people cannot live without it.

Coffee is not my drug of choice.

Coca Cola Is What I Was Addicted To

There really is no difference between coffee and coke. You, the coffee drinker and I, the coca cola drinker have a bad habit. I know how it feels to reach for that substance that gives you the feeling that you want. It’s instant gratification, pure bliss, love in a can, or a coffee cup – in your case. Indulging is not a bad thing when done every once in a while, it’s when you can’t sleep without thinking about that thing, person, or substance that there’s a problem. It’s when you start giving that substance or person the power to make you happy that there’s a problem.

When coffee, drugs, soda, lovers, etc become an obsession, it’s probably about time to admit there is a problem.

Getting To The Heart Of Addiction

To put it plan and simple, when we are addicted to something, it’s not the substance that we are reaching for. It’s the feeling it gives us.

Think about the lover you know is no good for you, but you keep going back to him or her. Think about waking up at 7 am and reaching for the bottle of Whiskey that you left on the counter from the night before. Think about those 4 cups of coffee that you drink during the day. All these things have something in common. They are temporary fillers.

In order to nip addiction in the butt you have to ask yourself.

What feeling is this substance giving me, that I feel I cannot conjure within myself?

You are saying to yourself – I cannot conjure this feeling without this substance. The substance is just a symbol for a need that is not being met internally. People always say to look within. I must admit, that very phrase use to drive me mad. What the hell are you talking about… look inside? Do you know how many times I’ve closed my eyes and saw blackness. I didn’t find anything there damn it.

I’m being a little dramatic, but you get the point.

Looking Within

My interpretation of look inside means instead of reaching for someone or something to fulfill you from the external world, you have to find the qualities within yourself that make you feel valuable, powerful, satisfied, and alive. I use to reach for coca cola when I was stressed. It was something about popping that can open and feeling the instant relief from the fuzzy suds hitting my throat. I just love it. However, the underlying cause of me reaching for that substance was me wanting to feel relief.

Now why couldn’t I conjure up the feeling of relief without that soda? Maybe I was being too hard on myself and all I had to do was forgive a situation that I may have been going through. That would be conjuring the feeling of relief within. I wouldn’t have felt the tension and then I wouldn’t have had to reach for the substance to satisfy that temporary negativity.

Addiction could be in another form too – how about being addicted to holding onto the past. For some reason we find it so hard to forgive ourselves. We take it hard that someone has hurt us or left us. We, as in human beings, get hurt so easily. This hurt and pain give us the reasons to believe we are less desirable, unwanted, unfulfilled, stressed, and powerless. Those unwanted feelings then cause us to reach for something that we think we want instead of addressing the unmet need inside. Think about being overweight. We are using the weight to hold onto something from the past that hurt us. Why accept that weight as an excuse not to love yourself. That behavior stems from us holding onto something someone said or did to us. That too is an addiction. I am not saying that everyone who is overweight is refusing to let go of something, I am just saying that there are a lot of people who are.

I Am Here To Say – It’s Time To Let It Go

Whatever the addiction may be.

Image

If you mess up. So what, try again. Don’t put too much thought into it. Understand what addiction is. Understand that you have the power within you to fulfill yourself by your internal thoughts, by conjuring feelings of worthiness and power, by seeing the good in yourself even when your “inner critic” calls you a little devil.

I am not saying not to indulge or get what you want. I am saying that it shouldn’t be an obsession, a distraction, or a temporary filler. There is a way to fulfill yourself without reaching for an external substance or circumstance. There is value inside of us to discover. There are parts of us that we don’t know about yet. There are pieces of our puzzle that have yet to be found. It’s such a bigger high to dig within and find internal value than to give credit to something that had very little to do with the equation at all. There is so much value within. We are more than we “think” we are. There is a way to fall so in love with yourself that you will never need a substance to make you “feel” a certain way again.

Everything is energy. Everything! The next time you reach for your drug of choice – be it soda, coffee, a lover, etc – ask yourself… Am I using this as an excuse not to look within?

finished-heartNay

Thanks for reading, commenting, subscribing, and sharing.

Any Thoughts?

Leave A Reply Below