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Stay Faithful and Remember Your Worth

There’s something magical that happens when we put our prayers and dreams into words. Putting them down in printed black and white is even more special.

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I came into my office tonight to just simply be. It was clear earlier in the day some writing was manifesting, but what shape the words would take was unknown. As I came across these journal entries from early 2017, a flood of emotions hit me hard. These beaten up pieces of paper and pieces of my soul brought me to my knees. Sitting childlike in the floor of my office I began to write.

I have been faithful in prayer to the items listed. As mentioned in previous posts, over the past few months, I have become closer to God and closer to my own needs than ever before. I have become rooted in my worth on every level.

2016 came crashing to an end, following the wake of having to make some bold decisions in regards to finances, fitness, and business. The 2017 New Year began with a quiet night in strategically mapping out the dreams and desires of the single girl. The last 6 months have been dedicated to rebuilding my philosophy in those areas. The purest form of blind faith one can imagine. I made space and I surrendered to new possibilities and opportunities in all areas. This season of change proved to be one that was soul shaping and is now coming to an end.

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Including recognition for the little blog that could. After 6 years of pouring my soul onto this site, I was thrilled, honored, elated to find out I was a recipient of the CoVa Biz BOB Award.

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Staying on track for a love of all things marketing and social media, a new position meet me head on in my path. I am excited to announce I have accepted a position with Cox Communications as the Event Marketing Specialist. Something I never even knew existed, let alone knew I wanted. Aren’t those serendipitous moments the best anyways?!

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 With my hands still firmly planted on this blog keyboard, it is an exciting time to expand my brand and share my gifts and talents for all things marketing and social.

The Summer of 2017 has surely changed me. I have transitioned into a new chapter and tonight I was reminded just how much more I am receiving than an award or a job title. More than I prayed for or journaled on this paper. More than I even knew was a possibility or an option.

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The Daniel Plan

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A few weeks ago I was invited to share my love and expertise of both faith and fitness with members of my childhood church. I began attending Great Bridge Presbyterian when I was 5 years old. I still very much consider that church to be my home and while I don’t visit every Sunday, I feel extremely comfortable there after 32 years.

This summer, the church provided an opportunity for members of the congregation to learn and even take part in living Daniel Strong by way of the Rick Warren Best Seller, The Daniel Plan. You may be familiar with the author from his well known book The Purpose Driven Life. Each of these books have been extremely important in my life and I have read or referred to them in one season of life or another. The Daniel Plan has been broken down into a 4 part series. Week two was all about fitness and provided me a platform to share. Here are the highlights from The Destination Daniel Strong workshop I put together for the group.

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We opened with reference to the following verse.

 1 Corinthians 6:19, 20 “19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”

I shared my interpretation of this verse and my testimony from when I first realized how much faith and fitness actually went hand in hand. It was on a Nicaragua mission trip nearly 15 years ago. During my discussion, I described the fitness and faith levels I witnessed demonstrated by the Nicaraguan people. Their day went something like this:

PRAY|EAT|WORK|PRAY|REPEAT

Living in more privative conditions with limited technology and innovation, they don’t think…they just do. They physically haul buckets of rocks up and down the hill to fill paths, complete projects, and undertake construction. When Americans picture hauling buckets of rocks in the way of fitness we picture a CrossFit competition or some episode of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge. I realized it was because of their faith that the Nicaraguans were able to accomplish such feats of strength and in fact may have been the originators of this concept.

In The Daniel Plan Book, Warren refers to 10 principles to becoming Daniel Strong. I took those, shook them up a bit and came up with 5 elements that you can implement now. Because 5 is more digestible and attainable than 10.

1. HAVE FAITH OVER FEAR: This is the most important and should be considered first in your health and fitness journey. Consider these questions: Are you practicing your Christian Faith when it comes to your own health and fitness? Are you praying about it? Why do you want it? We pray for family, finances, and relationships daily. Why would we not pray for our own health and fitness. It is because of our ability to live healthy and fit that we in turn are able to share our own gifts and talents.

  1. WHAT: Determine what do you like to do to be active.  Be ageless with this and kinda selfish. Do you like running, weight training, swimming, dancing? Try something new! It should not be what your husband, wife, child does to stay active – unless you truly enjoy it too. Fall in love with it. Let it become a daily/weekly habit. Then, you are ready to increase the intensity level or regularity of it.

  2. WHERE: The possibilities are endless. Where do you like to do that active thing you do? God’s surroundings can be the prefect backdrop for fitness. Get outside and hit the trails, beach, backyard! Gyms can be great and can foster a great environment to get fit, but the air outside can’t be beat. I don’t know about you, but the idea of a stair climber or a stationary bike indoors sounds more like work than fun. It can certainly be an option, but it could become a chore that is short lived. Also, are you being mindful of what you are listening to? Positive music is proven to uplift your attitude and increase your energy.

  3. WHO: Once you have said your prayer, picked your preferred fitness activity, and determined where you want to do it, you might want to add in a buddy for extra support. Having a buddy in your corner can be powerful. I run with a large group of other runners twice a week. Knowing others are out there chasing the same healthy lifestyle and goals motivates me to continue, even on the toughest of days. I also talk regularly with those fitness friends throughout the week. Sharing challenges or hopes from my own journey makes me feel supported and encouraged.  We share our prayers with friends and family because we believe in the power of prayer. Use that same philosophy here.

  4. WHY: We know that exercise is good for us, but do we understand how important that is. Exercise alleviates depression, increases energy, keeps weight in check, aids in decision making, increases heart health, and is a proven mood lifter. Walk through this visualization exercise. Picture the fittest person you know. What do they look like? Study their physical attributes. Are they smiling?  Now picture the most fit version of yourself. What do you look like physically? How do you feel? Spiritually? Emotionally? What are you wearing? What are you doing? Is this a future self vision? Or a vision of you from the past? What is stopping you?

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 More From The Destination Daniel Strong Workshop

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This Summer Starts With A Little Sweat And A Lot Of Gratitude

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I have had a definite feeling since the early Spring, that the Summer of 2017 was going to be one that would change me. I have worked for it. I have dreamed about it. And most importantly I have prayed about it. It was today when I went to say my morning prayers…which I often do while blowdrying my hair :)  it truly hit me…

I start my prayer time first by acknowledging my blessings and reasons for gratitude. Today, I realized I was saying more prayers of thanksgiving than prayer requests. And because my prayers have been answered more than I ever could have dreamed, I must share part of my story with you to encourage you to stay faithful in your routine and pursuit as well.

As you know if you have been keeping up with this journey, the past few months, I deliberately stopped chasing things I couldn’t catch and starting paying attention to the things that were chasing me. I realized if I wasn’t catching something, chances are I wasn’t supposed to. Stopping the chase did not mean I was giving up on my dreams or goals. It meant realizing what the universe was lining up for me in a bigger and better way than the thing I was chasing!

SUMMER 2017  Week 1

Day 1 | Wednesday was the Summer Solstice and if that day is any indication for the tone of the summer, I am in for a treat. The best way I can describe the day is with the words warm, safe, settled. Starting with coffee in the morning and wrapped with yoga on the deck of the Lesner in the evening. I have so much gratitude for Studio Bamboo for being one of my safe spaces from the past year. The staff greets you by name accompanied by a friendly embrace. They remember and are in tune with your unique body idiosyncrasies and they selflessly offer their gentle hands in a welcome and encouraging assist as needed. The hour under the sky nestled between 100 other yogis, many friends, left me feeling grateful.

Day 2 | Beginning the day with all things good including a decadent Morning Bun and Burnt Honey Latte from Commune. This slower, sweeter pace is one I am savoring these days. On tap for end of day was a group run with members of my bad ass lady gang as we celebrated Global Sports Bra Day. I am finding value in bookending my day with people and things that bring me joy. It makes that middle not as messy.

Burnt Honey Latte, Commune

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Day 3 | Popping bottles and drinking champs! I have been off of the bubbles since January but when you receive good news, great news, excellent news in a matter of a few days…more to come on that…there is only one thing to do! Break out the Veuve! Thankful for a friend who insisted on doing just that this past Friday to help me celebrate some landmark wins!

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Every summer has a story…and this one is just getting started!

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Shedding Weight Before Summer

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Welcome summer. We’ve been patiently waiting for you. You bring with you a reminder…in case we needed one…it is time to shed. Shed all that is dead and does not serve us.

Our planet seems to know how to do this inherently and execute the process flawlessly. Quite seamlessly actually and often without much notice. We see it in nature with the turn of the seasons. Leaves fall, rains wash, and waves roll.

Leading up to Summer… this particular time of change… my body has been preparing. Uncertain yet promising future opportunities float through my mind restlessly bringing butterflies in my belly and sleepless nights. Somehow this summer I feel lighter and warmer. Qualities of nature take their shape in my spirit. The process is natural as seasons change around the planet and in our own life.

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Today is the first day of summer. The first day of a new season. It is also the Summer Solstice and International Yoga Day. Perhaps another reminder. A reminder to be gentle with your spirit. A reminder to give gratitude to your surroundings and even to Mother Earth herself. A reminder to breath. We breath automatically but the need for deep, clean, calm breathes is something we must make an effort to do. Our bodies need oxygen as a nutrient. When we make an attempt to breath first, we remember to take care of ourselves. We remember to settle down. We remember to prioritize our health, starting from the inside. This will set the tone for the outside…be prepared for that results that will follow. It will rock your world.  Inhale deeply and take all that you need from the air, exhale everything that doesn’t serve you.

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The pictures that Heidi captured last week, physically show what I have shed. Weight. The weight in my chest, the weight of the past, and because I spent time dealing with the weight of those things first…even a little weight from my psychical body was lost as well. Bringing me back to a healthy, strong self that I and my tribe recognize. Lighter in every sense of the word.

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Fitness Photo Session: Heidi Calma Photography

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It has been three years since my last photo session for the blog…besides my regular Instagram and Facebook posts. Since then, my fitness philosophy has evolved, developed, and matured. When it comes to my brand, it is time for my graphics to match my content and mission.

Owning a business isn’t just about knowing your industry. It is very much about how you present yourself, how you work with your clients, and how you deliver your product.  For me I am surrounded by many talented women in the entrepreneurship community. My client and now friend Heidi Calma owns her own photography business and I knew immediately she was the one that I could trust to do the session. Heidi has a special gift for working with families and newborn babies, so I knew she could handle me.

From the moment we scheduled the shoot, she put my fears at ease and honored every request. Fitness photos can be tricky. They can borderline on the too sexy or too showy. I wanted more of al lifestyle shoot that reflected my personality, what I like to do, and where I like to do it.  A time to be a little playful and a little sporty!

We opted for sunset at The Brock Environmental Center, a place I run often and feel completely comfortable.

She brought out so much of my personality organically with her fun comments, stories, and suggestions. When I first saw the proofs I had no words. She had exceeded my expectations and captured everything I wanted and more. Here are a few sneak peeks from the night.

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To book a session with Heidi for yourself or your family, click HERE.

 

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