Getting Stuck In The Meantime of Life

There’s meantime and then there’s purpose.

The majority of activities that take place in our lives are likely to unfold in the ‘meantime’ moments of life. When you set goals, you’ll find there are days and periods when you have time to relax, do something fun, or even sleep. These are meantime moments. Even the 9 to 5 job you go to everyday, although it may have been the same one for years, could be the meantime of your life. Meantime moments are meant to be temporary, some to be endured longer than others, but it is always important to recognize what is ‘meantime’ in your life and what is purpose.

For many, it is a good thing to live a life with an expected routine that includes family, children, and a steady job. A daily routine has kept many of us in control of time management, chores, daily goals, and has even helped some refrain from making bad decisions. But even for the one who has perfected the daily routine, it is important to not get stuck in doing just that. There is always something more for us all to strive for, something that serves the purpose of helping others and making a difference for the better. Yes, your meantime moments will include opportunities to be a blessing to others, whether it be through a kind word, finances, or favors. But these moments are only stepping stones to the greater purpose of your life. Don’t get stuck in believing that this is as far as it goes.

The danger of meantime moments in our lives is the comfort zone therein. It’s always easy to settle in a routine, especially when everything is flowing with ease, no problems, loved ones in good health, and bills are being paid. Thank God for times like these but notice, these blessings are only about ‘us’ so even still, there is a higher calling on your life than just living with all being well with you and yours. Also, in meantime moments, there can be boredom, idleness, and unhealthy thinking, especially in the routine of life. And when we have these experiences but not careful with them, meantime moments can become what we are and who we are, driving everything we do.

So, although we have no choice in having meantime moments, it’s important to make the best of them. It’s important to make the best of the routine in our lives so we don’t get lost and forget to keep striving. It is not meant for any of us to simply live ‘meantime’ lives. But the only way to stay in control of the monotony of living is to set goals, discover purpose, and reach. Yes, CIAA is upon us and for most, this is a meantime moment to have fun. So lets do that. Let’s be safe and enjoy the moment. But when it’s over, let’s get back to the business of purpose.

Tawana R. Powell

Growth Sometimes Calls for Drastic Changes

It all depends on how determined you are to experience growth and see change take place in your life. It all depends on your ability to reevaluate every part of your life and compare the differences between time periods. Taking the initiative to reevaluate every area of your life will sometimes demand making drastic changes when growth has come to a halt.

Sometimes it takes a moment to even realize you’ve gotten off course with your desire to grow, but once you realize the depth of distraction that has taken place, a change must be made. Sometimes the change may be small, sometimes drastic. Your determination to grow will determine which needs to take place. The challenge with one’s desire to grow will always be confronted with the question, ‘how bad do you want it?’. You will constantly have confrontation with the distractions of people and things that take your mind too far away from your safety net too long.

When the time comes to make a change, what might seem drastic to someone else may not seem drastic to you. No matter what level of change needs to take place, you get the most benefit from changes when you apply less time explaining to others the changes you need to make. Your ability to grow will need little to no opinions from others on the changes that need to take place. Only you know best what and who distracts you. Only you know best what changes need to be made. When making changes, the most concern should be directed towards what will be lost and what will be gained. Your goal is to get refocused. Decide what changes need to be made that can get you there.

It is mostly when you’ve allowed yourself to get too far away from a place of focus that you are likely to have a need for the more drastic changes. When it’s been too long since you’ve seen the gym, you may need to completely revamp your weekly schedule. When you’ve spent an excessive amount of time on the couch or across the bed, you may need to make a conscious decision everyday to stay away from both, at least during the day. When you’ve been too preoccupied with the overload of information via social scenes or social networking, you may need to get away or close it down, at least temporarily.

These changes may seem extremely drastic to some, but in order to experience any real growth in your life, the person in the mirror deserves your direct attention to the things that occupy your mind. You cannot allow the mind to stray too far too long because your journey doesn’t typically include directions for those unexpected places that your mind decides to visit. Get a grip every moment you can. Make the necessary changes, even drastic ones. The sooner the better. Although these moments may come around often, there’s not a more profound moment in your journey than the ones that help you realize it’s time to refocus. For it is at the peak of these moments that you will decide to either throw in the towel or make some changes, even drastic changes. Know when to say when.



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Happiness. We all want it and some spend a lifetime trying to find it. My take on it is that happiness cannot be found but instead must come on it’s own. But how can we be sure that it will come? Search for your purpose in life and dwell in the fulfillment your purpose brings, and in the midst of that fulfillment will lie the happiness you’ve always longed for.

It is true that our purpose in life will always be equipped with ways in which we make life better for others and will also allow us to make a difference in our lifetime. Our purpose brings gratification because of that opportunity it allows for us to help others and such gratification leaves us fulfilled. However, it is also important to understand that our purpose is not only meant to help others but it also plays a very important role in our own lives. When we discover what our purpose is, live in it, and apply it in our life, we will find that there is a light in our life that cannot be explained. Our purpose brings out our best. It draws others to us. It makes us peculiar and draws an abundance of interest and curiosity from others. When we’re at our best, we will find that everything and everybody around us will receive the proper nourishment they need, which will in turn, add the happiness we deserve.

Living in our purpose allows us to experience the highest esteem a life can display and we all know how much love a high self-esteem can draw. In the midst of our purpose is where we will experience that highest esteem, allowing so many other things to fall into place. Other things like happiness, fulfilled relationships, and peace of mind.

So don’t search for happiness. Happiness will come on it’s own and in so many ways once you’ve discovered the most important aspect of your life….your Purpose.


Is Your Story Working for You?

Usually, it’s interesting to listen to a story about how one came to be where they are today. Yes, we all have a story and we should. Most stories have good moments, bad moments, mishaps and celebrations. It’s called life and all of the experiences we’ve endured over time somehow allow us to put together the perfect answer to the question of why we are who we are.

As a part of Oprah’s life class, Iyanla Vanzant recently discussed how our story affects our growth or lack thereof. The major point she made was in regards to how we get stuck in our story and become addicted to that story, telling it again and again. Not only have we perfected the story for others, but we’ve also ingrained that very story deep in our own conscience, and have allowed it to be the reason or more truthfully, the excuse of why things turn out the way they do. Not only have some become stuck in the story they’ve lived thus far, but some are even stuck in a story that really doesn’t belong to them. Some of us live telling Mama’s story; “Mama was always sick, that’s why I’m always sick.” And unfortunately many also live telling Daddy’s story; “My daddy didn’t raise me, so I’ll always have a hard time with relationships”. So eager to live as Mama’s child or Daddy’s mistake, too many never learn to embrace their own true story. It’s always easier to accept the way we are, especially when we can find an excuse for it and the worst excuse anyone can ever live by is the quote that’s been patented by many; “That is just the way I am”. Some have also found a dangerous comfort in other quotes as well such as: “I tell it like it is because that’s the kind of family I came from”. “I don’t hug or say I love you because I didn’t grow up with that”. Excuse after excuse, all of which become unproductive comfort zones that many never escape.

Even as parents, it is important that we realize how much we spearhead the story our children will tell about their lives and who they are. Most parents fall into one of two categories. There’s the parent who teaches a child all the don’ts in life, the parent that teaches from their own fears; Don’t think you’re something you’re not. Don’t try to aim too high. Why are you trying to do all that? Don’t think too much of yourself. You didn’t come from much so not much is expected. And these very lessons become the guide for children in everything they do, or more importantly, everything they don’t do while the parent never understands why that child doesn’t accomplish much. You also have the parent who teaches all the do’s in life; Know that you can do anything you put your mind to. Work hard and always do your best. Know that you deserve the best. You’re a beautiful person and you have a lot to offer”. Simple words, but because they come from a parent, can almost move mountains.

So yes, we all have a story and it is not that we should never tell our story, but what’s more important is that we continue our story. The difference between a story read in a book and the story of a life is a book already has an ending. As long as a life is still being lived, a new chapter is always due. Know your story but don’t get stuck in your story and allow it to hinder progress. Have your story but make sure it’s your story and not a story only passed on to you. If you sound like Mama, it’s a good chance you’re telling Mama’s story and not your own. If there’s been too much deception in your story, start a new chapter. Even if you’ve live a story that has hindered you in being who you really can be, as an adult you do become the new author and inherit all the rights. You can continue to tell the same tired story that leads to no progress or you can add on or change it altogether.

Maybe you’ve never realized how much your story has held you back if perhaps it has. I know that when I heard Iyanla say so many have become addicted to our story, it was a spark for me. Unfortunately, our story can become our excuse. We’ve learned it so well, memorized every moment, and can tell it to perfection, even well enough to gain pity from others. Too often we’ve spent too much time trying to help others understand who we are and all the while knowing we’re much greater than that story we continue to tell. For many, our story has become a comfort zone that protects us in the worst way. It keeps us hidden so we don’t have to be concerned about who’s watching and waiting for us to fail. And it keeps us hidden from others who long for something that could actually be provided, had we chosen to discover our truth.

At any moment that you do become completely comfortable in your story, that simply means its time for a new chapter, especially when you become comfortable with and accept living with all that holds you back. Also, know that new chapters might include new characters, different locations, and most importantly a new purpose for your story altogether. In whatever direction your story moves, know that with God, you are the author and the finisher.

Tawana R. Powell

Jealousy & Envy

Two of the worst shortcomings an individual can embrace are the ones called jealousy and envy. Too many times, they destroy relationships, friendships, business deals, and most importantly, character. We hear about the damage all the time. We talk about the damage all the time, especially when we see it in others. But do we really know the position they hold and why they really exist? When we know for sure, we can win the battle, yes our own personal battles when we endure such darkness.

If you can take a moment and go back to a time when you may have felt envious or jealous towards another individual, you will find at the heart of that moment the old soul-snatcher called fear. You can never experience envy or jealousy without the presence of fear and because the feelings that go along with jealousy are so strong, it’s easy to not even realize you’re actually afraid of something. But when you can place your finger on that fear, the question then becomes, ‘What am I so afraid of?’ and if you can answer this question with resolution, you’re less likely to have so many experiences with jealousy and envy, feelings we all know as some of the worst to experience.

So why do we allow ourselves to envy negatively and what are some of the reasons we find ourselves jealous of others? Sometimes we think..’She looks better than me. ‘He likes her more’. And men sometimes think, ‘He has more’. ‘All the women want him.’ ‘He has more access, more pull.’ On and on and on. And guess what? These will sometimes be the case at some point. Learn to accept them and know that it’s okay. Why? Because it is never our duty to be the exception of these opinions or even prove them wrong. Neither do any of these actualities have any real or worthy impact of our own being.

What exactly is the truth about jealousy and envy? More than the energy we give to others with these feelings, we are rejecting ourselves even more. The fear that ignites such feelings simply say, ‘I’m not good enough, I’m too far behind’, ‘I don’t have what it takes’. The truth is that when the majority of these experiences occur, they bring to our own realization that we’ve been slacking, yet always wanting what others have; a reality that is painful to accept and sometimes even denied as the truth. Jealousy and envy also teach us that it is always important that we balance work & play in our lives because while we’re playing, somebody else is working. And although play time is quite worthy of the hardworker, even still, time is dispensed.

Although clearly unwanted, moments of jealousy and envy we experience may be some of the most important moments we endure. The key is to understand it’s never about the other person. The question is never ‘why do they have’, but instead, ‘why don’t I see what I have’, that will help you overcome. People come with qualities and attributes that you can do nothing about and it is never the expectation that you should, unless you place that expectation upon yourself. The more you improve upon your own abilities, the more accepting you will become of others and even pleased with what they have to offer.

Fear not what others have but be very afraid of the lack of clarity you have in your own life.

Tawana R. Powell

Lance Armstrong…what can we learn?

Anytime a major story breaks, whether it be a headline for the entire country, or even on a much smaller level, such stories are a primetime opportunity for others to learn lessons. Of course the obvious is to scrutinize and decide what the individual should or should not have done. As for Armstrong, some may say, ‘he didn’t invent the culture of doping in the sport of cycling, he just took advantage of it, as did many. At least he won’, some may say, adhering to the saying -if you choose to do wrong, at least have something to show for it-. Should we have more of a problem with those who doped and didn’t win anything? So many sides, so many opinions, yet the most important, the opportunity to learn something, to gain wisdom, most will fail to accomplish.

If cheating on a level as prominent as the level Lance Armstrong experienced can bring disaster, shouldn’t we take heed in our own personal lives? While in the moment, whether that moment be years, as with Armstrong, or over a few months, or even in one night, cheating is cheating and we do live in a universe of reaping and sowing. But maybe we already know that, we hear it all the time. Could the lessons be much more deeper than the understanding of what cheating brings?

There was a story that mentioned Armstrong’s resentment of his biological father leaving when he was 2 years old. Armstrong said he never asked his mother about the past. They never discussed his father. Wow. Could that be where the root lies? To even mention such a revelation at the age of 41 must mean something. As a society, have we become too comfortable insisting that once people become adults, they should be able to get over what took place or didn’t take place in their lives beforehand? Are we blowing off one another too much? Forgive and move on? Why doesn’t that seem to be working?

While Armstrong may have had many many many opportunities to fess up, come clean, and change the game, he didn’t. Not only did he continue his web of lies, he continued to present himself as being adamant and frustrated with the so called lies of others. It’s easy to questions how anyone could live that kind of life for so long. Where does that come from?

When we don’t address the most fragile issues of our being, they eventually take a life of their own. While all may not be on the same level as Armstrong’s, some of these abandoned matters show up in other areas that may not appear as brutal. Some could be hidden in overweight, physical illnesses, the detrimental use of the tongue, among many other facades. It even becomes easier to hide behind these unnecessary facades than to admit to ourselves that we are indeed worthy of the truth that God sees in us and then actually live that truth.

Although authorities, parents, and those who have any kind of authoritative position in our lives at any point can abuse such power, the negative issues that result must be addressed ‘in the mirror’. For those who experienced these years with Armstrong, whether they be teammates, family members, or any level of work, personal redemption will not be found in Armstrong’s confessions and apologies. No matter how bad we want anything, as adults, we do become responsible for our own actions, which is why it becomes of the utmost importance that we address the fragile issues of our lives. And while we’re cleaning up our own truth, it would behoove us to also learn how to alleviate from passing on so much ignorance to those behind us; the ignorance of remaining so hush about the issues in our lives.


Living With Clutter

Some say an environment of clutter is the perfect atmosphere to get things done and make things happen. The need for papers and other materials all over the place seems to create a comfort zone that also presents the opportunity for accomplishment. Clutter, or quiet confusion, is what they prefer to have as their typical surroundings.

For most, the evidence of clutter in one form is likely a representation of clutter in some of the more important areas in life. Mental clutter hides fear that you rather not face. Physical clutter hides responsibilities that need to be taken care of. For me, when I feel as though I don’t have control over a particular area in my life as much as I’d like too, I am quicker to leave papers lying around the house, more likely to leave piles of clothes left unfolded longer than necessary, and will sometimes find myself ignoring other things that need to be done. For me, physical clutter around the house is a sure sign that I am not pleased with a more important issue in my life that may be presenting a struggle for me.

However, when I force myself to handle the physical clutter around me, take the time to get things in order as I normally would, I feel the door to clarity begin to open a little more; clarity on how to handle the more serious matters I may not have complete control over. When my house is clean, I am more willing to think more positive thoughts. I am more hopeful. I can breathe. My will to take a look at the struggles I might endure begins to take over. I begin to make the effort to really take a look at the changes I need to make. Tidying up not only strengthens the patience I need, it also strengthens my ability to endure.

The truth about clutter is that such an environment allows you to find satisfaction in only doing the very least that needs to be done, enough to get by. Clutter covers up the things you don’t want to see, the important matters that need your attention the most. It gives you the excuse to put off that which needs your attention because you become so preoccupied with the physical clutter that stares at you everyday. When you allow the physical clutter to exist so long, you may even become completely oblivious to any form of clutter in your life and resort to finding comfort in denial.

Cleaning up your life in general requires going through the clutter; the physical and the mental. Anything and anybody that blocks clarity and the opportunity to stay on top of responsibilities should be dealt with sooner than later. When you finally do decide to fiddle through your clutter, the pain you experience while cleaning will not be found in the actual act of cleaning. It will instead be found in the realization that you would’ve avoided many of the setbacks that now exist due to your fear of not facing that clutter. Finally getting around to cleaning your space will always show you things were not as bad as the piled up clutter made them out to be. But as long as you choose not to face the fear and anxiety lying underneath, the piles will continue to grow.

If for no other reason, clean up so that you have no excuse for not seeing what’s really taking place in your life. Whether your clutter involves papers and bills lying around, too many people in your ear, or an overload of ideas on your mind, clean up to find clarity. Keeping a clean house or environment is directly related to having the ability to avoid mental clutter and living a life with clarity. One is always a reflection of the other. If you really want to know how much mental clutter you are living with, look around and take note of the people and things in your physical environment. The two have a connection that is stronger than any other.

Tawana R. Powell