The Waiting Place

 

One of my all-time favorite books is Dr. Seuss’ Oh the Places You’ll Go.  It is an inspiring poem that more so connects to adults although it is a children’s book.  The over-arching message is one of redemption.  Regardless of life’s challenges, you are going great places far and wide. But what I love most about this liberating tale is how honest it is about life’s journey.  In the portion of the story I quoted above, it discusses the “The Waiting Place”.

There are high moments in life.  Happiness is everywhere.  Everything is showing up sunny.  Blessings are boundless, and things are going your way.  Then, there are the quiet seasons.  The waiting seasons where it is silent and still. Feelings of loneliness are insurmountable.  With nothing but your thoughts, your mistakes, and yourself, you are forced to face all the consequences of your choices.  You are forced to wait for the next big thing that may or may not come.  What does one do?  How does one cope?

The “sunny-side up” in me is going to sell you on the positives of the waiting place, because that’s my job (insert smiley emoji), but not before I honestly fill you in on the realities of this very humbling place.  It sucks.  It sucks ass. You feel defeated and deserted…helpless.  It, however, can be a very empowering place.  Yes, empowering was the right word choice.  As a waiting place pro, I speak from experience.  The waiting place most times is necessary, and here is why:

 

 

  • The waiting place gives you something that can be seen as a blessing and a curse (depending on how you use it).  Time.  Time to grieve the old.  Time to plan your next move.  Time to reflect.  Time to rest. Time to be still.  Time to rebuild.  Facing yourself is never easy, but it is the only way you can see the things that need to change which will only make you stronger and wiser.  The waiting place gives you time to do just that.

 

  • It forces you to change paths.  Now the waiting place can be painfully brutal, but it is often far better than the path that led you there.  The waiting place, in some ways, saves you from continuing a painful situation.  It protects you from further damage. It removes you.

 

  • The waiting place opens you to possibilities you may not of otherwise been open to.  A friend of mine lost her job (the job was horrible, and she needed to change paths, for sure).  She is now in the waiting place.  But the amazing thing is now she is open to, and looking for jobs that she wouldn’t of otherwise looked for.  Jobs out of state.  Jobs that are befitting of her qualifications.  Jobs that she probably wouldn’t of considered a year ago.  When you are not tied to anything, you are open to everything.  The waiting place helps you see all the opportunities ahead of you and plan for the future you want.

 

So, whether you are waiting on the next job, or the next relationship, or the next 10 pounds to lose, or the next opportunity, know that there is a divine and vital reason for being there.  Find the lessons in the waiting place, so you don’t repeat the mistakes.  Find the peace in the waiting place, so that you can bring joy, light, and a whole self in life’s next stage.  Know that the waiting place is temporary.  You won’t be there forever because just like Dr. Seuss says, “you’re off to great places”!

 

Have you ever been in the waiting place?  Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below.  I would love to hear from you!

 

Love WITHOUT Fear,

Veronica

Paying Into Your Legacy

In a recent conversation with a close friend, the discussion of leaving a legacy became the focal point.  We shared our stories of lessons learned, the high and lows of life, and the importance of building traditions and a character that will have a lasting effect on the lives of our family and our world.  We talked about how one builds a legacy that lives far beyond their life here on this earth.  I was reminded of some people that have transitioned from this earthly life.  How impactful their deeds on earth were, how their accomplishments, their character have proven significant far beyond their years on earth.  They were intentional with decisions they made.  They made a difference.  Their actions contributed to our world leaving it unalterably changed. 

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Now, I know what you may be thinking.  Really, Veronica?!?!  A Legacy?!?!  That isn’t something that anyone less than 60 should be thinking about, but you should.  No one knows the how many years they will live beyond the present.  Each and everyday is a blessing with the next one not promised.  Moreover, I am coming to realize that your daily decisions are shaping your legacy rather you want them to or not.  How you treat people, the memories you create, and your choices are creating how people will remember your earthly life.  Being mindful of the legacy you want to leave is imperative because it enables you to focus on your life’s purpose, goals you want to accomplish, and the lasting footprints you want to leave.  

 

Earlier this week, Tahlee (our resident travel guru) talked about creating a vacation fund for future adventures.  In the same way, we can think of our legacy as an account that we are building.  With each decision, each relationship created, each goal set and accomplished (or lack thereof), we are paying into our legacy.  As I continue to build my legacy reserves, here are some things I am pondering and working towards:

 

Reflect.  How do I want to be remembered?  Thinking about this question can seem a bit morbid, but it is a great way to think about and be more mindful of goals you want to accomplish during your earthly life.  It will manifest itself in how you treat people (most times…everyone is allowed some “off” moments) and decisions you make.  Great and impactful legacies are created from lives filled with self-reflection and a driven purpose.

 

Pay it forward.  Support the people and causes that are important to you.  Showing up and being present in the lives of others is an awesome way to create a life that will be remembered as impactful and meaningful.  Service is an attribute that changes lives, and inspires others.  And what’s so awesome…it is something we can ALL do!  Finding opportunities to pour into someone else in some small way each day is what great legacies are made of.

 

Mentor.  In the light of paying it forward, mentorship allows you to impart your wisdom and lessons learned in the life of someone else.  In my own life, I can recall those that advised me professionally and personally.  Their commitment to helping shape my life, changed my life for the better.  It also etched them forever in my memory.  It is their legacy to me.  We are given blessings to be a blessing, and mentoring most certainly can bless someone else and ensure that your greatness lives beyond your own life.

 

 

Go for yours.  There is nothing more uplifting than someone actively pursuing their passion.  Someone stepping out on faith to actively work towards making their dreams a reality (win, lose, or draw) is their legacy.  It allows you to pursue your purpose and destiny, and it gives others permission and encouragement to do the same.   You want to be remembered for doing something great?  DO SOMETHING GREAT! 

 

Be better.  It would be nice if we could play all our life, but legacies are created from intentional choices to be exceptional.  Commit.  Prioritize.  Be kind.  Set goals.  Crush goals. Everyday try to improve the person you were the day before…your legacy depends on it.

 

Life is like a book.  It's not the amount of chapters, but the words that fill the pages that makes for a cherished story.  How will you fill your pages?  What legacy will leave? 

 

What do you do to build your legacy?  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

 

 

Love WITHOUT Fear,

Veronica

The Fruits of Failure

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

 

I am still on a high from the events of the 2016 Olympics.  It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly talented these athletes are.  My favorite part is learning the stories behind how they each got to this grand stage.  One story in particular really stood out for me.  In the women’s 100m hurdles, the United States swept at the award's podium when Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, and Kristi Castlin took home gold, silver, and bronze metals respectively.  Black girl magic killed it.  Never before had the United States swept in this event.  What was even more astounding was the person NOT in this race.  Kendra “Kenni” Harrison did not make the Olympic team.  A failing performance during the Olympic trials, shut her out from Team USA in Rio.  However, at the IAAF Diamond League in July of this year, she broke the world record when she competed and won the title against all of the placing women from the Olympic competition.  Watch her epic performance here.

I started thinking of what it must take to stand again after you’ve fallen.  Kenni succeeded in the face of her competitors (who had previously defeated her).  Instead of seeing her performance in the Olympic trials as an indicator of her potential, she used her previous loss as momentum to propel her to setting a world record.  Amazing!

Failure is never easy.  You prepare.  You practice.  You give your blood, sweat, and tears, only to not reach your goal.  It can make you feel embarrassed and inadequate.  It often is one’s greatest fear.  But, in thinking about things that you’ve succeeded, failure is often part of the process.  It is the catalyst that often transforms a business or even a relationship.  Failing is necessary and inevitable.  To never fail is to live so carefully that you never take risks or chances.  That, some would argue, is a failure in itself.

 

So, let’s think of failure as a seed.  If watered and nurtured, it will bear fruit.  In my own life, I have experienced failure.  Relationships that ended.  Friendships broken.  Professional hang-ups and bang-ups.  Each disappointment was that seed that made me better…stronger.  Every person, every business venture, every relationship needs to experience failure, and here’s why:

 

Failure triggers a change.  When you fail, one or two things will happen.  You will lose motivation, and spiral down a road of despair.  Or, you are propelled to a greater place of triumph.  The great part is you decide!!  Let’s take Kenni, for example.  She could of stopped preparing and training after the Olympic trials. Instead, she took her previous loss as an opportunity to reset her plan.  This launched her on a different, necessary path, and led her to (some would argue) a greater success.

 

 

Failure allows you to reflect.  Humility and introspection don’t often come when you only succeed. It’s nothing like a shift in plans to take you back to drawing board.   When we initially launched our blog, Besties and Brunch, we had very high engagement.  We were soooooo excited!!! Until….we saw our levels of engagement for the proceeding weeks.  It was significantly lower.  We had to reflect on new ways to engage our audience.  In that process (which is still ongoing), we learned invaluable lessons that will ultimately make this project better.

 Failure turns the “lightbulb” on.  In my profession (I am an educator), my best moments with my students have been when the lightbulb turns on.  Finally, it clicks! You can see it all over their faces…it’s the “aha” moment.  Failure creates an opportunity for the “lightbulb” to turn on.  It allows you to see an idea you couldn’t before.  It creates new knowledge!  All of sudden, things are clearer, and you’ve got it!

 Losing can feel like a setback, and sometimes it is.  It, however, can also be a SET UP for something greater than what you may of initially planned (Preach!).  Instead of quitting, use failure as your seed.  Refocus, reset, rebuild, and watch your fruit grow.

 What are your “fruits” in failure?  What lessons have you learned from failing?  I would love to hear your stories!

Love WITHOUT Fear,

Veronica