Have you ever had a moment when it seemed that time stood still? Was it a moment of shock and awe or quiet reflection? I’ve had a few of those in my life and each time, whether the experience came from a negative or a positive occurrence, I learned something from it.
Time stood still when I lost my grandmother, Ruby Dicks. I was 9-years-old and I still remember the thoughts that ran through my head at that time. Months earlier, I was with her and as she was putting on her stockings, she had to sit down for a while because she was out of breath. She winched as if in pain. She told me not to tell anyone and I didn’t.
For years, I blamed myself for her death because she was sick and in my child’s mind, I thought that I could have saved her if I had told someone that she was not feeling well and they could have gotten her to the doctor. The truth is, she had cancer and at that point she was beyond treatment and she knew it.
Time stood still again, the first time I competed in a public speaking competition in high school. I froze for a few seconds when I heard my voice because it sounded different when I opened my mouth and said the first couple of words. The voice I heard was not at all the quiet soft voice that I was used to, but a confident young woman’s voice of influence and power.
Those moments when time stood still, it made me pause and take notice of what was going on all around me and in me. They cemented the feelings of grief and gratitude of the opportunities lost and still to be.
Over the years, I have learned to lean into those moments and even journal about them because the lessons are endless. The more I develop as a human and come into a better understanding of my purpose in life, the more these moments speak to me.
This year has brought many such moments for all of us. 2020 has challenged us in ways we never thought possible. As painful as it may be, I encourage you to lean into those thoughts and feelings now. Journal about what you were thinking or feeling and more importantly, what you learned from the experiences.
Here’s what I learned:
* I learned that I am stronger and more resilient than I thought I was.
* I learned that I needed times of quiet contemplation more than I needed to be in a room full of people.
* I learned that I have to take care of my health and wellbeing. No one else can do that for me.
* I learned that innovation is on the other side of inconvenience.
* I learned that my voice is not just encouraging, but vital in teaching and leading others to their purpose.
* I learned that I don’t have the answers, but the answers are inside of me.
* I learned how to call out the gifts of others and stand back to allow them to lead.
As I walk into a new year what I know for sure is that I will be more mindful of my thoughts. Things happen twice. Once in the mind and second in action. What you think develops who you become and what you create. I will be more intentional in my actions and more loving in my deeds.
I will plant more seeds of joy. I will surround myself with images that remind me of the life I want to live. I will surround myself with people with vision, those who build and encourage.
I will hold my family and loved ones even closer. I will relax more, laugh more, dance more, sing more, cook more, praise more, pray more and love more.
Whether time in this new year marches with quick steps or seemingly stands still, I will STAND, PLANT, GROW and CREATE a year like no other.
I declare that 2021 is a year full of possibilities. What will you do with them?