Monday Motivation: Who are you vs. Who you are suppose to be…

Recently I have thinking about how many of us me included have or have had a really hard time during our lives trying to differentiate who we are compared to who we are suppose to be. It’s one of the those internal struggles that one can often get lost in and even defeated by. When I was younger I really struggled with: Who was I suppose to be? What was suppose to do? How am I suppose to act? Even, How am I suppose to look? Really, who decides these things? We do!

I have to realize after I got older that it was not anyone else’s opinion about who I suppose to be or even who I was it was mine. In getting to the who we are suppose to be we first must examine who we are and understand that it in order to get to who we are “meant to be” is a growth process. Understanding who we are as individuals is how we develop into our destined selves. Truth is the entire concept of “who are you suppose to be” is nothing more that a distraction.

Most of the time if we are trying to do what we think or what someone else told us we were suppose to do we are just on a mission to please someone else family, partners, teachers, spiritual leaders, or even God. I got to the point where I believed that I was suppose to be what other’s wanted me to be and my own innate skills and interest were wrong. Once I got older and started to embark on a journey where I worked and developed my skills, interest, and gifts I realized that I wasn’t meant to be what other’s wanted me to be. I was meant to be what God had created me to be (why do you think he gave us those gifts). But what was really important, I realized that it was truly all about the journey.

During that journey of chasing all of the wrong outlets, people, and careers was how I realized that I was already “who” I was suppose to be and “where” I suppose to be. So though I may not always enjoy the journey I understand it has allowed embrace that who I was “meant” to be was always in me the entire time.

Enjoy the journey,

Lou Hargrove

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Monday Motivation: Know Your Power (guest post)

We often second guess ourselves in an attempt to make excuses of why we can’t accomplish any of our goals. Whether the goal is a career change, a scenic change, even financial stability, there is always a huge excuse standing in the way. Don’t deny it, we all have been there. Too many woman believe that they are inferior. Now, I’m not trying to be the next Stacy Dash, but I wouldn’t be considered so open-minded if I didn’t take into consideration some of the points she made, or at least what I felt she was “trying” to make. I felt as though she was saying, as a woman, even though statistics are against her, she is still in control of her future and will not let anyone put a limit on what she could achieve. Yes, the execution of her statement was a bit shaky but don’t sleep on it.
Women are powerful beings. Unfortunately, many of us tend to forget this because of what we are told. But, today is a new day. Today you must remember that your accomplishments have no limits and the big excuses standing in your way are just a figment of your imagination.

To help get things started here’s my top ten quotes, spoken by powerful black women, to help inspire change this week. Jot them down and place them in places you can always refer back to when you need that little extra boost.

1. “Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.” – Alice Walker

2. “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” -Oprah Winfrey

3. “Always be smarter than the people who hire you.” -Lena Horne

4. “No person has the right to rain on your dreams.” -Marian Wright Edelman

5. “We may encounter many defeats but we must not be defeated.” -Maya Angelou

6. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” -Alice Walker

7. “I have a lot of things to prove to myself. One is that I can live my life fearlessly.” -Oprah Winfrey

8. “The greatest gift is not being afraid to question.” -Ruby Dee

9. “Faith is the first factor in a life devoted to service. Without it, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible.” – Mary McLeod Bethune

10. “Defining myself, as opposed to being defined by others, is one of the most difficult challenges I face.” -Carol Moseley Braun

Sources:
http://www.forharriet.com

Yolanda Hargrove
Follow her blog at beyoncepostermain (2)Simply Stated yhargrove.wordpress.com

Monday Motivation: My First Book

Actually I’m not quite shore if this is Monday motivation or a personal post, but I hope it motivates someone just the same. This weekend I announce the release of my first book of poetry Passion & Turmoil a collection of love poems. I am so excited because this is not only a book release but it is also the official launch of Red Butterfly Publishing and this is just the beginning. I am amazed at how much you can accomplish if you just believe in yourself. I know have full understanding now when people say “God isn’t going to bless you until your ready.” During time it took me to get the nerve to write this book and publish I admit I have grown so much as a woman, writer, business owner, and individual. We all get to a point in our lives when we realize that we must do what we were meant to do in order to be happy. So just as a moment of reflection I want you to think about what are things that make you happy or what is the career that you want that you keep putting on the back burner? Those still small voices are inside of us for a reason and we have to take the time to stop and listen.

Lou Hargrove

Monday Motivation: Don’t Allow Fear to Hold You Back!!!

OK. I know that this has been said so much that it has almost become a cliche. But it speaks so much volume into the importance of living life on the other side of fear. I for one am a complete scarey cat, and I allowed fear to control my actions for so many years that it is ridiculous. I wasted time and energy that could have used becoming the force in this world that I know I can be. I lost precious time not living the life that I truly deserve and one thing is for sure lost time is something that you can never get back. Life is about taking chances and not taking those chances only leave you with regrets and the never ending shoulda, coulda, wouldas. Which we all know are never cute or cuddly. I remember reading awhile ago that when it comes to realizing your dreams the bigger the fear the larger your reward. Even if things don’t work out exactly the way you want them to no experience is ever lost. I have learned the most about myself during the times that that may have been considered failures to most. Now I realize my only real failures are when I don’t do anything at all. Not acting on the things that I have burning inside of my spirit, not allowing myself to grow into the women that I was meant to be is not only a disservice to myself but also to others. We are not put on this earth only to serve ourselves. God puts us here for a purpose and that purpose will always relate to something that is deep down inside of you. I have found that many times in helping others I have also helped myself. When I started doing stage performs I scared to death, for awhile when a friend of mine asked me to do it I wouldn’t until I realized that the performances weren’t about me. The content and the material being received and the message getting across was what was important and that motivated me to step further outside of myself.
So right now I am currently in the process of writing my first book of poetry about love, passion, and broken hearts. A lot of these poems are about some very personal experiences to me, so it feels like I am putting my soul on paper for the world to see. Many things of these poems are composed of words that I have been too afraid the say in person to those that I am writing about and that resulting in failed relationships and a lot of hurt feelings. So you can see why the concept of actually releasing this book petrifies me. At times it is almost paralyzing, so much so I have been working on this book since 2008. There are a lot of poems that I am not going to include because in the being I was so scared my writings came across as scared, and there were a few years in between that I didn’t write at all. Then I heard a speech about fear and one of the things the speaker said in regards to unrealized dreams is “not to die with that book still inside you.” The truth is I don’t know how this book may sell but if it reaches someone who needs it that’s all I really want. Of course I would like it to be a success but I will be a lot better when I get it on a shelf and know I did not die with this book still inside me.
Whether your fear is of heights and its keeping you from taking that dream vacation or writing your first novel. You will never know what is on the other side of fear until you do it. You will not have what that experience will bring into your life. You have to think positive, listen to your instincts then do the things that are stirring within you. You’ll never know what the outcome will be.
Lou HargroveIMG_1972.PNG

Monday Motivation: Discovering Who You Really Are.

When I first started this blog I talked a lot about how from July 1, 2013 to my birthday July 10, 2014 I decided to go on a self discovery journey. I wanted the year to be dedicated to self-improvement and gaining self-awareness. Though I still have a whole lot to improve I learned even more about myself. I wish that I could say that the year was full of prayer and fasting that brought me to a space of peace and enlightenment but it wasn’t. I still prayed as I usually do but what I really changed was how I see myself. I wanted to learn why I believed in and did some of the things that I did so I could change my mindset about them. Now one important lesson I realized is that if you prayer God to reveal certain answers to your questions you must be prepared to receive them. So a lot of tears and a few melt downs later I began to meet myself for the first time in a long time. There were things about me that I had covered up and hidden from myself, things I have forgotten about me. See one thing this journey taught me was what other people were trying to tell me and that was to slow down. I been so busy for the last five years or so with work that I was beginning to lose track of what was important in my life ME. I got lost in the outside roles that I played, titles that I had never asked for. I even began to remove some of my crutches, things that I didn’t even realize that were crutches but I used to hide my insecurities, what I felt like were flaws. I began with my wigs and weaves, I realized that something was wrong because the idea of wearing my natural hair out almost gave me a panic attack. I was so used to wearing the wigs and weaves that I was actually afraid to show my natural hair to the public. Why? Because I so used to allowing other people to validate my beauty based on their approval or disapproval of my appearance thought compliments or comments. I know ask it again. Why? Because I had not took a long look in the and see myself the way God had created me and really appreciate love it. During the process I had to make sure that any changes for me had to my for me and not because it was a trend or because I wanted to be acknowledged for it but because it was something that I wanted to do.
As I began to grow more comfortable with who I was on the outside I also was able to feel better about myself on the inside. I then took other steps to slow down my life and think about what I really wanted, enjoyed, processed what dreams and desires I had given up on. I even decided to release my first book of poetry coming June, 2015. This book was created from me processing how I am with love and relationship. Writing it out allowed me to see the good and the bad in my past relationships differently. Resulting in me becoming more open to love and gaining a better understanding of how to love. I’m still trying to learn how to allow myself to be open and vulnerable in a relationship but of course I am still a work in progress.
I feel like just learning who I am as an individual and as a black woman in my 30’s opened up brand new vision of who I am. I have discovered skills and talents that I never thought I had. It has also opened the door for me to research old interests that I had abandoned for the sake of busyness. The tears and scary moment of this journey has been well worth it. The most important part I did it as a personal private adventure. No one knew about this journey until I started writing about it during the week before my birthday. I am not saying that anyone should do it the way that I did but it is so well worth it to develop your own self-awareness assessment. It will grow you in ways that you wouldn’t have thought of.
Lou Hargrove (Red Butterfly)

Monday Motivation: Moment of Clarity!

Have you ever had that moment of clarity when you wake up and look in the mirror and realized that you have changed? Not bad change but you realize that you are not the same individual that you were a few months ago or even a few weeks. Your not even quite sure when the exact moment came and it may have happened over time. But to your surprise you actually like it. That feeling is amazing! Recently I have noticed this for myself.
Now for the last 15yrs I have been a huge weave queen and though I loved the convenience of it because of my hectic schedule I had gotten to the point where wasn’t comfortable with anyone seeing me differently. Then I realized I had started feeling the same way when it came to how I dressed and my nails (which I always kept very long and colorful). It had gotten to the point when people always expected me to look a certain way and looked forward to see what I was doing with myself. Now that don’t get me wrong it felt great. For a few years I loved it because I never expected to be that women who people loved my style. Then I got tired of the same ole thing I needed a change but I still kept my hair and nails a certain way and never dressed in sweats because I didn’t want to appear frumpy or appear to not be keeping myself up. But then it got hot outside this summer and all that extra hair was no longer working my me, so I decided to cut my hair and wear it natural. For a while it was one of the hardest things that I had ever done. In the beginning I was really self conscious and hated it but for some reason I couldn’t allow myself to to go back to my old habits. Once got comfortable with it I started receiving compliments all the time about my new hair cut. Though I noticed that I didn’t get approached as much by men as a natural girl I can definitely live with that. Because I am proud of myself for making that change. I am constantly looking in the mirror surprised at myself for no longer being worried about when other people thought I should look like and love what God gave me. I love my natural look and so does my wallet.
In the process I have realized I don’t owe anyone a particular look. I even took my nails off a few weeks ago and though I will probably put them back on I’m not in a rush I still like the way my hands look. In the past I have told people that my individual style is part of me being a artist and expressing my creativity, so not feeling like I am not expected to keep certain looks is such huge relief for me. Though now I realize that it wasn’t really others expectations of how I looked it was my own insecurities. It was me using my hair, nails, and clothes and crutches make make me feel better about myself. I realized that people will comment on what ever I do, some will like it and some will not, however I don’t owe anyone anything when it comes to how I look or express myself as a woman. In the end it all boils down to loving who I wake up and see in the mirror each day.