“You are smart…you are enough.”

I was recently presented with an opportunity to work alongside a cohort of professionals on one of my organization’s internal projects. We’re in the very early stages of this project, where the foundation is being laid. Key questions are being asked and the work that is fundamental to the identity of this project is being executed.

As with any project, the work is being divvied. My friend drew the lucky straw of drafting a few statements to represent the groups purpose.

After reading these statements, I was left a bit perplexed. Thesaurus-laden buzzwords and corporate jargon had drowned out the message. I asked my friend to rewrite the statements in plain English. Though she knew I had good intentions, she was offended.

I wanted her to see that her message, the one she believed in, the one without the colorful language was enough. Adding colorful language not only took away from the message, but it made the reader work harder. In fact, I had to read the statements more than once to deduce what was being said. And in the end I was still confused and frankly, frustrated.

But this also created a great opportunity for feedback. While, my colleague wasn’t happy with my feedback, I had the opportunity to follow up with what was in my heart.

My feedback had less to do with the message and a million times more to do with what I believed, and what she needed to believe, about herself.

I had an opportunity to tell her that she was smart and that she didn’t need to rely on anyone else to tell her that. She didn’t need the “extras” to impress anyone. Simply being who she was was enough. And when she delivers her message from her heart, that would be enough.

I had an opportunity to tell her that she was, and is, enough.

 

 

Affirmation

Today, I repeat this message to you. You are enough. Give yourself the gift of relaxing the security of who you are. Stop trying to outfit yourself with the proverbial colorful layers — fancy clothes, an extensive vocabulary, multiple degrees, or the pursuit of the seemingly “perfect life” — to gain the approval of others or even yourself. Don’t water down the magnitude of who you are. Be you.

The Bible says that you were fearfully and wonderfully made. Who am I to disagree with God?

Take off those layers. Life is a lot lighter and much clearer without them.

Until next Wednesday,

RP

Tell someone they are enough.

Share this message and tag them in it. I can’t wait to hear how you’ve made a positive impact on their life. Be sure to add the hashtag #beaffirmed on IG, Twitter, and FB so I can see how you’re inspiring others.

ON THE SOCIAL MEEDS…

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2013 was the year I joined the team; the brand online team, that is. My boss was pregnant, lived in France, and was soon (very soon) to go on maternity leave. Little to my knowledge we were in the middle of a very big project.

This was the 4th site redesign I was involved in, and I was confused.

“How did I get to this place? How did I get in the middle of another site redesign.” I was in the middle of the restroom and those were my thoughts.

Soon I would be spending hours upon hours including late nights and sometimes weekends on this redesign. By the end, I’d had it.

Daily View - Work/Life Balance Planner
Daily View – Work/Life Balance Planner

But I’d also developed a habit, the to-do list.

Lists and more lists

While I’ve always been a “list” person, I noticed my dependence on a list intensified as the project intensified. I was beyond creating the occasional project list that lived with it’s respective project or the daily to-do list that may go on to the next day. Instead, I was at a point where lists were coming out of my wazoo.

There was the project (or projects within a project) lists. There were the priority lists. There were the red flag lists. And then there were my infamous lists…the monthly, weekly and daily lists.

I had literally started writing out monthly, weekly, and daily lists. And over time, I noticed the beauty. The beauty I found lied in 2 things…

1) Successful prioritization. As I saw things more holistically, I was able to better prioritize what was on my plate. And pairing that list with my daily calendar, I was better equipped to not tell someone yes or no, I was able to help put requests in their place, whether it was request for task work or requests for meetings.

2) Self-care. During this time, I also realized a need to take care of myself. Like I said, I was spending a ton of time working. Therefore, I had to make concerted efforts to take care of myself. Whether that was to exercise, sleep or simply turn off for the weekend, I knew I needed to find work/life balance.

Additionally, thanks to a friend, I’d been introduced to printables on Pinterest. (Printables are essentially cute to-do lists, life planners and so on.) While I printed these lists for a while, I felt daily printing was a waste. I also didn’t feel the printable I enjoyed using was the most professional design.

Because of this, I moved on to writing out these lists on a monthly, weekly and daily basis. As you can imagine, this got old. And this is when the planner process began; mid 2014, I started designing the planner.

Single chicks don’t want a mommy planner, but moms and pops can use this too

This planner was designed for a unique type of person. It’s not a mommy/family planner. It’s not a date/appointment keeper; we have phones and other devices for that. It’s for the boss lady or man; the person who is focused on successfully managing a hectic personal and professional life while also making a commitment to take care of themselves.

This planner is for:

  1. People who get ish done without going crazy operate on to-do lists and successful prioritization.
  2. People who want to know what to say yes to and what to decline.
  3. People who know and value the importance of making time for family, extracurriculars and others, and
  4. Most of all, people know that to be the best they can be, they have to take time to take care of themselves. So if they have to be deliberate about self-care time, so be it.

 

Find out more about the work-life planner and pre-production by following me on Instagram and Facebook.

And starting next week, you’ll be able to order online. In the meantime, take a look at (or order) some of the pre-releases.

I’ve been going through a very trying time; both at work and personally. To put it mildly, my stressIMG_0006 level has been on 10. From managing a potential relationship to dealing with parental issues to working on a pretty intense project, the concept of fun and games has been pretty low. Add a wedding that’s less than 30 days away, a bridal shower that just passed, an upcoming bachelorette party, and surviving a car accident that happened literally 14 days ago, and you’ve come across a pretty frazzled chick. BTW…I had no idea all this stuff was going on in my life. And the list doesn’t end there until reflecting while writing this. But I digress.

And with stress comes a couple more things…depression and anxiety attacks. And if any of you are like me, you may have silent anxiety attacks. At least that’s what I’m calling them. They’re the attacks that don’t paralyze you. You barely even know they’re happening. But when you stop to think about it, you realize you’re having an anxiety attack. Yep…totally had one of those today…accompanied with internal shaking and anger.

One thought. Meds and sleep.

But I took a different route.

I hit the treadmill. I was determined to literally work out the aggression.

30 minutes. Aggression still there.

41 minutes. Anxiety and anger still there.

And it wasn’t torture. I even started dancing on the treadmill. (Don’t try that at home.) I took pics, recorded a video, and had a couple of conversations via text. And let’s not even talk about my Twitter timeline.

Then I wrote my mom, “I want to back slide.” I totally wanted to revert to old habits – at least the one where potty mouth was in effect. Swearing was my thing prior to living for God. And boy, could I go in. I told her I needed prayer and holy oil plugged into me via IV.

She responded with the most profound comment of the day:

“OK, just hooked up the prayer iv line up; I think I found a good vein and there flows the blood of Jesus.”

My goodness. Those are shouting words (as we say in the black community). I mean…do you get it. The blood of Jesus is available to me. He took stripes, suffered, and died specifically for this. And now, I have access to this grace freely. My goodness. Or should I say His goodness! (SMH)

***I have to stop just for a moment of praise. God is so good!***

I tried to do so much to make it right, but God…

Anyhoo…to the title of this. The reality is some things have to go. Toxic relationships are an example of things that need to go, especially when you’re living in a fantasy.

So, today, I say farewell to a fantasy. Sorry, guy, but i have to let you go. (Not the guy I referred to in my last post.) You have to live your life and I have to live mine. I love you, but it’s doing more harm than good. I now realize I am whole. I have a perfect life. And I’m okay with the way it came out. The experience was enlightening and definitely worth it – and because of it, I now have another story to share…to uplift and shine light on situations like mine.

I realize the experience had its purpose. But a fantasy is just that…not real. Thanks for all you’ve done. I will now go on with my life. Whole and a pretty darn cool chick.

In the voice of Kirk Franklin, “I smile.”

Life. It’s a funny thing. Kinda like the mind. There’s ups, downs, twists, and turns. And some days we are just super discombobulated. If you follow my blog, you get to share my life adventure with me. You’d know life is not all cherries and peaches. But you know what I have learned? I’ve learned that it’s a learning experience.

Part of my learning experience is learning how to be okay with myself. Being okay with my hair, my skin color, my sense of being, etc. This can be an extremely difficult thing. As you can see, my self esteem issues are mostly superficial/external. I am more than confident about my abilities, intellect level, etc. and believe me, I have a pretty high sense of self-worth. I am a God-send, because He sent me (notice where the acknowledgement went. To God. He sent me and while sending me, I have a purpose and a destiny. So yeah, I’m a God-send.) However, I digressed.

I would like to proudly report that my self-esteem has gone up, and while this may seem superficial and may even be, I find that when I look good, I feel good. But it’s when I THINK I look good – when I feel confident. (Notice this id all in the mind.) And frankly I feel confident in a hoody and in heels. I feel confident in a hat and or a messy up ‘do. I’ve found that confidence comes from within. While others can help build your confidence, confidence also comes when you feel comfortable, and I mean comfortable with yourself. Trying to follow trends and people will make you unhappy. That doesn’t mean you can’t find inspiration from people who are like you or like the you in which you desire to be. But if u try to be them, you will fail.

I remember something my pastor once said that at one time Kobe Bryant was asked if he would be the next Michael Jordan. His answer, “no, I will be the next Kobe Bryant.”

I say this to say, you will never be the person you’re comparing yourself to. That’s okay. You weren’t meant to be. Don’t put that pressure on yourself. You were meant to be the only [fill in your name here]. I mean think about it. How many people do you think are pretty? You can probably name a few. Now think, how many of them actually look like each other? Not many. But they are all what you consider pretty.

I started this article by saying invest in yourself. Invest your time, energy, and money on yourself. From makeup to adjusting my wardrobe to simply changing my stinking thinking, I invest in myself. And the makeup isn’t because you aren’t pretty. If this is what you need to increase your confidence do it. Don’t let thoughts of I shouldn’t have to wear makeup to feel pretty hinder you. If u like how you feel in it and don’t have any personal convictions, wear it. I actually find it to be fun… A hobby in fact.

Style your hair the way you like. Wear the clothes that make you feel good. Do you. As people say, confidence is an attractive quality. Do embrace confidence. Embrace the new you.

(forgive any typos. Typed on my iPhone.)

“Depression hurts.” ~ commercial on TV

You may have laughed when you saw this commercial, but this is an uderstatement for those living with depression. And not only does it hurt those living with it, but it also hurts those affected by it – the loved ones who don’t know exactly how to deal with it, and even those who have accepted it and found some way to cope with it.

Simply because you have found a way to cope with it doesn’t mean that it’s still not a daily battle.

I know because I’m a survivor and deal with it on an ongoing basis.

Yes, I make light of it at times, but that’s because I choose to. I choose to not let it hold me in a imprisoned within my own mind. I have made conscious decisions to walk while I’m wounded. Heck, I run marathons while I’m wounded.

See, the Bible says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against power an principalities in high places, and that faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. (Ephesians 6 and Hebrews 11:1).

When you see me on the exterior, you may see a beacon of strength – a strong, ambitious young lady, but what you don’t see are the breakowns, the prayer going up for peace and deliverance, and all the lives affected by it. You don’t see loved ones embracing me and telling me it’s going to be okay…and even telling me that I don’t have to always be strong..that it’s okay for me to show my emotions. You don’t see Regina in her weak state. But in my weakness, He (God) is made strong.

I am a living witness of what it means to walk and run while wounded. My heart may hurt, but my fight will not go away. I will maintain faith that I will make it to the next level, because He has brought me this far, and there’s only many more milestones to achieve. So I won’t give up; I don’t give up. I will just look up for the support and grateful for those he has put around me.

*If you suffer from depression, anxiety, panic or any other mental illness, don’t give up. Let someone you trust know what you’re going through. You can even email me at regina.r.patterson@gmail.com. Maybe I can point you in the direction of a resource that would be just right for you. Whatever you do, please, please, please keep the faith.