Are You a Passive Participant in your Life?

Dear Readers, 

By now you should be familiar with who I am and what I do. Recently, I posted my welcome video to Conversations with J. R. Floyd, my latest project on my YouTube channel, decided to issues that impact our intimate relationships and explore problems that destroy families. This month ( July 2020)  I am celebrating my 2nd anniversary for my  YouTube channel, and my path to healing years of emotional and spiritual brokenness. At the beginning of 2020, I asked my viewers, readers, bloggers, and supporters to join me in this year’s Theme of writing letters to self. This idea came to me while I was penning my third book, 90 Days of Reflection, Discovery and Renewal. During my journey of journaling for 90 days, I discovered that there were areas of my life that I thought that I had healed, but certain events in my life brought to my awareness that I need to revisit some old wounds that really hadn’t healed completely.   

I have written letters to myself, to people, ( My mother and father), to my supporters, to life, and to love, however, I never sat down and wrote a letter addressed to me. I spent years walking through life in a fog, meaning that my life had no direction nor did I have any good role models to support me. I walked around in darkness and pain, but  I wasn’t aware that I was suffering, I covered up my pain and distress by engaging in one bad relationship after another. I worked out like a fiend and stick to a strict vegetarian diet. I wanted everyone to see that I had my life together, but the truth was I would go home and fall to my knees in tears because wearing masks was exhausting. 

It wasn’t enough that I had worked my way through College, an accomplishment that I never celebrated because I wanted others to praise me and put me on a petals, and when this didn’t happen the seeds of anger were planted. When I didn’t get my dream job or what I thought was my dream,  the seeds of anger sprouted into buds of resentment.  It never dawned on me that I was spewing my bitterness at the wrong people. I didn’t know that I was supposed to create the life I wanted, instead, I was under the impression that life was supposed to bring me what I wanted just by me thinking it. I thought that if I was a “ good girl” and did all the right things, walk a “ good path” that all things good would come to me. So, I wasted years of my life hoping, wishing, praying, crying and wondering when am I going to catch a break? All this time I didn’t understand that I was a passive participant in my own life. It wasn’t until someone said to me, “ you don’t wait for people to give you an opportunity, you make your own” that Was in 2014. Since that time I’ve become an active participant in my own life.

The change didn’t happen overnight and I have had some setbacks, but the lessons and the progress I’ve made in the last three years is amazing. Blogging, publishing my own books, living my dream of singing in a classical chorus, traveling, creating my YouTube channel, and my latest project a new website Conversations with J. R. Floyd. I teach vision board workshops and coach people how to make their visions for their life a reality. I go to bed each night with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Pursuing an intimate relationship is no longer a priority. I surrounded myself with people who encourage and support my life vision and growth. I cherish my new found peace and clarity, and looking forward to the new change in my career as a Case Planner working with children in foster care. My first love will always be teaching, but it is time for change. 

  

Thank you for stopping my dragthepen

        

both of my books are available on Amazon

The Day Will Come

 

Hello, hello, hello, dear readers happy reflection day.

On March 10, myself and thousands of Cuny and Suny employees were told not to report to work. We were put on alert that the entire teaching system will be converted to remote learning. We were given three days to  make the adjustment. During this transition period it was discovered that a large number of students did not have a home computer or the internet.Then bars, restaurants, hair and nail salons closed. Coffee shops, cafes, and any place that people gathered that created a crowd closed. Then we were ordered to shelter at home. I am an introvert, so being confined has not created a mental hardship for me. Because of this crisis people are realizing that we are not conditioned to be isolated, and this situation has created a devastating emotional effect on people. 

To date it’s been 6 or 7 weeks since we’ve been sheltered in place. In an effort to encourage people I’ve appeared each Monday live to discuss several topics that I hoped would give people hope and courage to work through this crisis.  

Week 1: I encourage people to come together in unity,  unity means strength.

Week 2: Reflect on W. I. N..what’s important now

Week 3: How to create and experience peace during a crisis

Week 4: Self- care the importance of taking care of self and family during a crisis

Week 5: How to use this time to create or recreate a new life plan

Week 6: Getting prepared for change. Wanting to go back to normal. Time to move forward

On Monday May 4. I will make my last live appearance on Facebook. On that day I will acknowledge the struggles people are facing the anxiety, uncertainty, and the battles people are facing in their homes, due to the mental and emotional damage this crisis had caused. People are concerned about their future and no one can give them solid answers.  I tried to warn people about the harm they are causing themselves by constantly talking about corona-virus and watching the news. I personally keep a distance from any news or people who are obsessed with having conversations about going back to normal. 

Today, I am here to pray with you, and for you. Yes, prayer. I am not asking people to believe in God. I am simply going to pray. On May 15, it will make 60 days ( 3 months ) since we have been asked to shelter in place. The plan in New York City is to open some business and wait two weeks to observe if the number of corona-virus cases increases or stays the same. Depending on the results the government will proceed to open more business in two week increments. There are a large number of people who are in a rush to get back to normal. I wonder if people are living in denial.

The world has changed and it will continue to change. Many of our favorite places may not reopen. Schools will remain closed until September 2020. No summer youth programs that create jobs for many young people who need them. Some people may not be able to return to their former places of employment. Summer might be cancelled. Meaning, no public concerts, closed beaches, and limitation on the use of public parks. On a personal note, I will continue to shelter in place teaching at home, my 45 minutes daily walks. I shop for food once a week, and work two days a week in a group home as a resident counselor. I have learned to be patient through this process finding ways to be creative. Unlike others I am in no hurry to race back out into society. No, I am not going to live in fear, just going to proceed with caution. My suggestion to others If you need to go out proceed with caution. We still don’t know  the who, what, when or where? There are so many conspiracy theories, and other peoples opinions on what they think is right.  I understand that the economy needs to be rebooted. The ease of social distancing doesn’t mean that all is well.

We may never know when all will be well. 

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen.

 

Join me on Facebook ( Rahshemah Floyd/J. R. Floyd) https://www.facebook.com/rahshemahf

 

What’s Important Now

Dear bloggers,  it’s been about one week since New York City has been slowly shutting down due to the Corona-virus. No matter what state you live in, today, I want to encourage you to remember this too shall pass. I invite you to think about the word WIN, What’s Important Now. Right where you are, think about what’s important now. Since this lock down has been set in place, people have been in a hurry to get back to “ normal” .  I hear people talk about feelings of fear, panic, chaos, depression, anger and confusion considering the circumstances these are all legitimate emotions. 

 

Question, how are you fueling these emotions? Are you a news hoarder?  It’s okay to check in for an update, but it is your Television, Cell phone, I pad, and Radio on 24 hours, so that your mind  is being bombarded with News. Yes, the fear about money, bills, rent, mortgage, car payments and so on are real. How is worry and panic going to solve your troubles? Try to avoid adding more stress and tension in your home during this period of being shut in. 

 

I suggest you try to focus on What’s Important Now. 

 

Focus on remaining as calm as you can. It’s important to maintain structure, make plans for how you’re going to spend the days, weeks maybe months. It’s okay to go out as a family for walks, exercise is important to maintain strength, eat well, avoid loading up on junk foods. Keep a regular sleep schedule. Use this time for self reflection individually and as a family. Maybe now is the time to create a new future for your family, or are you willing to go back to life as you call “ normal” . This crisis will change us as people and as a nation.  Are you going to come out of this crisis with a greater appreciation for family, God, your house of worship, place of employment, health, and home. Or better awareness about What’s Important Now? Will your bond with the people who matter most  be stronger? 

 

 I am thankful that I have a roommate and I am not alone. I am thankful to be able to work from home, and earn a paycheck.  I am thankful for my live Facebook chats to share words of empowerment. I am grateful I can talk to a community of bloggers. I have my life, my health, my family and friends are protected. This is What’s Important Now. 

 

My thoughts and prayers, are with the world.

 

Season of Reflection

 

Dear Readers,

Hello and Good day. We are entering the season of Lent. A time to withdraw into a quiet place for reflection, fasting and abstinence. Most people view this 40 days of reflection as something they have to give up. I encourage you to think about this LENTEN season as a time for prayer and to disconnect from the people, places and things that hinder your emotional and spiritual growth. During this LENTEN season I have decided to disconnect from social media and HULU. Yes, I am a big HULU watcher. However, I will continue to post my Conversations with J. R. Floyd videos. I pray that all goes well for you during this season of LENT.

Moderation Versus Balance

 

Dear readers,

They say moderation, I say, there should be balance in all areas of life. I am 7 days into a 90 day fitness make over. No this isn’t a new years resolution.This is about life. Let me explain. August 2019 I celebrate an entire year of healing emotionally and spiritually. This path to healing began with 90 days of reflection, discovery and renewal through intense journaling, lots of quite time, reading self help books, listening and watching motivational speakers. During this healing process I discovered that I had never given myself over to such an intense path, can you image an entire year of focusing on self? It’s been very rewarding.

Recently, I began to notice that moderation isn’t my problem my new struggle is balance. I sat down and designed a pie chart of my life and discovered that I am lacking in the areas of socialization and health and fitness. What happened or is happening to me I allowed life to get in the way of my balance. I suffer from the awareness of how focusing on one or two areas of life can cause others areas to suffer. At the age of 55 I am 25 pounds overweight, and if I continue on this path it can be a dangerous one because high blood pressure and diabetes run strong in my family, and by the grace of God I have been luck, but I can’t live on luck forever.

This isn’t about weighing myself and playing the number game because my journey towards a fitness make over becomes about the numbers on a scale and not about overall health.
Looking at myself from a few years ago, I use to be a discipline eater, runner and love the game of tennis. But over time the trials of life beat me down. I made excuses why I could not find time to workout. I confess I am a snacker I love all things crunchy and salty. As for my sweet tooth donuts is my drug of choice.
I don’t enjoy being winded when I walk up stairs.
I don’t enjoy having to wear a double spanx under my clothing or ram shacking my wardrobe to find something to hide the imperfections for my love of eating greasy fried foods and donuts.

When I look at myself in pictures I cringe. I make no apologies I understand we live in a society that is pushing for acceptance, meaning love you as you are. I can’t support this idea if its going to lead to me ignoring my expanding waistline, the threat of heart decease, high blood pressure, diabetes, join and pain problems from being overweight.
Moving forward….today is day 7, and although its only been a short period of time, OMG the struggle is Deep.
I have committed myself to three days of 1 hour cardio and 1 days of yoga. My water intake is 32 oz daily, and. I have trimmed the snacking and sugar intake. The toughest adjustments are the portion control and working through the soreness. So join me on my website:  http://www.conversationswithjrfloyd.com/ my 15 day update complete with pictures. I hope I can inspire you to make a pie chart of your life and see what areas are out of balance.

 

 

 

Thank you for stopping by Dragthepen

http://www.conversationswithjrfloyd.com/

 

Now Versus Then

Dear Readers, The information that we gain over time through experiences is what shapes us. How many time have you hear people say, ” I wish I knew then what I know now.” maybe I would have made better choices. I say, what you didn’t know then wasn’t for you to know. We are a result of our experiences whether negative or positive it’s because we work with the information we are given, and sometimes we work with what we think we know on our own. It is never too late to use the new information that we are given in order to make out life better. Thank you for watching and  don’t forget to like this video.

 

 

Sweet Smell of Life

Dear Readers,  I lost everything, or at least I thought I did. Two years ago my life was turned upside down, first, I lost my apartment, and broke off my engagement, in two years I have moved four times into roommates situations. In the progress of moving I had to let go of material items. Things that I put blood and sweat into purchasing. I gave them away to people who were in need, and the most painful of all I had to leave my entire bedroom set in my old apartment because I didn’t have the time or many to put everything in storage.

When life hits you with an unexpected curve ball and in my case several curve balls, you learn how to put things in prospective, at least this is what I did. For the last year I have lived in a beautiful four bedroom apartment with two bathrooms with a great roommate, but I spend the bulk of my time in my room. What I have gained is the knowledge of how to live with less and be happy. In a few months December 1, 2019, I will officially, move into my own apartment, and I am looking forward to starting from ground zero, and living the next half of my life as a MINIMALIST. I live with just what I need and understanding that material processions don’t mean that I have quality of life, its just stuff that I worked hard to acquire, and sometimes don’t enjoy.

Refocusing my means having  time to slow down, experience and enjoy peace at home, and time to rediscovery and discover who I am. I’ve revisited the joys of reading books that have lead to me to understand that I was basically in a fog for years, and that I wasn’t living my best life. In two years, I have traveled, keep promises to myself that I have pushed back for years. I do more impromptu things, I focus more on me, health, and most important  I keep a daily gratitude journal. Yes. I know you have heard this over and over that a good life is a life that is filled with Gratitude. Since June I’ve been keeping a morning and evening Gratitude journal. I’ve practice the habit of starting my day with extra time to sit in peace, listen to a motivational video, journal, reflect, and plan that my day is going to be a good one. No matter how bad I think a day is I look forward to looking for five things that I have to be thankful for that day.

I am literally starting from ground zero with everything. my new apartment won’t be stuff with things, but it will be pretty, and filled with dinners with family and friends. I am refocusing my priorities in the order of important, spending more time on the goals that are important to me like, my next two books, my YouTube channel, Conversations with J. R. Floyd, rejoicing in the release of my new website, Conversations with J. R. Floyd on Squarespace ( October 2019).  I use to think of starting over as a depressing life event, I don’t anymore. I see starting from ground zero as a chance to start fresh and leave the old drama behind. I look forward to each day because I have new goals that will become a reality now that I  know how to prioritize, plan, slow down, keep distractions away.   Sometime an ending and be a new beginning. If this is you, don’t look back,  life is so much better when you look forward.

Here is the five things that I have to be thankful for today.

  1. Today,I am thankful that I didn’t allow the hands of depression to control me.
  2. Today, I am thankful for good health.
  3. Today, I am thankful that I have a chance to rebuild my life from ground zero.
  4. Today, I am thankful to have something to be thankful for.
  5. Today, I am thankful because I can look forward to living my best life.

J. R. Floyd, Dragthepen

I challenge you to list  Five things that you are thankful for?8 ways you gain when you accept change, Tips from Sharvi.

Transition between Relationships

Dear Readers,

What do you  do between relationships, in other words, how much time do you spend alone after ending one relationship before starting another one. Are you one of those people who jump from one relationship to another?  Some people daily routine is to find ” the one” without taking a pause or a moment of reflection in between relationships. It’s saddened me that we live in a society that encourage people to rush to get over one relationship to start a new one. Some people are under the influence of the old myth ” the best way to get over one relationship is to find someone new” BAD, BAD, advice. When you don’t take advantage of a period of reflection between relationships you don’t learn, you don’t grow, you certainly don’t allow yourself time to heal and mature emotionally. This period of reflection should be about you and so much about why the relationship didn’t work. Thank you for watching my video and let me hear from you.

 

Vacation Reflection

Dear Readers,

While on vacation in California between touring the sites of Los Angeles, Beverley Hills, and Santa Monica and chilling on Venice beach, I allowed myself time for reflection. As your reading this you might ask yourself who goes on vacation for reflection? The purpose of a vacation is to take a mental break from the troubles of reality; and to escape into a temporary world where all things are possible.

A vacation means downtime from the regular routine, grind and mental chaos. I ask you to take moment and think about what would happen if you scheduled a little time for quiet reflection.
Reflection isn’t a difficult task versus the task of thinking about all the unsolved situations you left at home. Instead, reflect on certain areas of your life or perform a quick check list of where you are spiritually, emotionally, are your relationships serving a positive purpose in your life, how is your health, finances, career, what does your golden years look like ? Are you living up to your full potential , or stuck in a rut of going through the motions just to get through each day?

How many of us go on vacation to far exotic places only to do a count down of the days until you have to return to ” that life”. You secretly wish that you can remain in the mode of vacation because decision-making is easy, you eat, play, sleep, more fun, eat, play and sleep. On vacation relax time is in abundance there is no rushing to meet deadlines, solve family problems while trying to make time to get to the ” To Do List”.

Here is the truth of the situations. If your on vacation running around trying to cram as many activities you can in a short amount of time; you wake up early, rush to get to the places you want to see. And if your traveling with children you will find yourself trying to solve their problems by keeping them busy. The conflict between you and your spouse because he or she wants to be left alone, but you insist they join in on the fun. Stop. Isn’t this the same chaos you planned a vacation to get away from? If you return home more exhausted, mentally and emotionally drained than when you left for your vacation, it is time for reflection. Vacations don’t have to be jammed packed with ” fun things” to do everyday. What happened to the down time?

Vacations can be perfect time to reflect on why there seems to be too much chaos, and not enough balance between relax time and the busy hectic days of worrying about life. Before my trip to Los Angeles, I planned my days. I traveled with a friend who felt that he too could benefit from a different scene and time for reflection. It was our first time in California, we stayed in a comfortable Airbnb. First full day, we spent the entire day at Venice Beach. The second day we woke late, walked to a coffee spot and enjoyed sitting, talking, and taking our time. We spent the remaining of the day exploring downtime Los Angeles. The third day we woke late and stayed In and did our separate work, I am a teacher, blogger, writer and public speaker. My travel partner is a social worker and he is designing a new website dedicated to social issues. He said the vacation allowed him the time he needed to relax and to focus on his new career. Day four we took a two hour bus tour, dinner and walked the three miles back to our Airbnb.

We both agreed that we where going back to New York City relaxed and in a clearer state of mine. I look forward to my next mini vacation the last week in August before the fall school semester begins. I have reserved a cottage in Virginia Beach.

When was the last time you had downtime for deep reflection?

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A Reflection

Dear reader, recently I embarked on a 90 day journey of reflection, discovery and renewal. I would like to share with you my three-day mental break, not a vacation or staycation, my first ever mental break. Let me explain, its been a long time since I have taken a break that did not include going to see the grandchildren ( the three loves of my life) or visiting my mother who lives in South Carolina. I have had the romantic get away  and the girls road trip. But I have never taken a mental break and go where I wanted and just do nothing. This is the summary of my three day mental break and what I learned.

Its  been years since I have taken a time out and retreated from life with a purpose.  I choose a beautiful space in the country to take for refection, and renewal of my body,  mind and spirit. I needed to get away from the responsibilities of work, writing, blogging, and think about the new direction for the next stage of my life. I have come to this conclusion,  I am going to be patient and stay focused and not allow distractions to take me off my path. I deserve to surrounded myself with pointless people, meaning people who do not support my growth in all areas of my life.

Goal number 1. Complete all writing projects by Before June 1, 2019. Goal number 2. Complete my Masters (I have one class remaining) fall 2019.  Goal number 3. Clean up my finances.  I have stated this journey to reclaim my health, and to reflect  and  begin  a new path in life where I can reap better results.  I am preparing to live the life that I have visioned. The writing projects is for personal satisfaction. Completing my education is about  making a new career goal. Cleaning up my credit reports and focusing on my finances will afford me the money that I need to keep taking mental breaks, better vacations and to move out of New York City, a goal that I have been talking about for years. At this stage of my life my personal life is not important.  I need all my time and energy to achieve my goals , and I seriously need to ponder if I really want to be in a relationship. I need time to reevaluate that part of my life. In the meantime, I must get busy I do not have any more time to waste.

I hope reading this will inspired  you to think about starting  your own journey of reflection, discovery and renewal. Take a step back and think when was the last time you had a real mental break.

What Say You/