Pushing the Boundaries

So I did it! I did my first live stream this past weekend and I’m going to be honest, I did not hit it out of the park. I wasn’t necessarily planning to hit a home run here because if you know anything about me then you know I am terrified when it comes to doing something new, in particular something new that terrifies me in the first place. I’m never eager to fail at anything but I have been doing some growing these past few years, both spiritually and mentally, so I get that in order to succeed at anything there are going to be a few failures along the way because perfect is not a realistic goal. Could it have gone better? Yes! Do I regret doing it even though I feel I could’ve done much better? No! Just in the way that I felt terrified when I started my YouTube channel about being on camera to begin with but then gradually adapted to it and even liking it.

Sometimes doing things that we don’t necessarily want to do can end up being the best thing that we’ve ever done and if we just focused on the fact that it scares us then we would never much of anything.  It’s scary to grow past the box that you have learned to maneuver yourself in. You get accustomed to things being just the way you like them and in a way that doesn’t require you to have to learn anything new or do something you’re not used to doing and in my case, someone who has extreme anxiety and OCD and a nearly paralyzing fear of change, it can feel pretty good to know what to expect out of every day.  But then you never end up growing if it stays that way and to succeed in life with anything there has to be growth.

It’s something that I’m learning along this journey and something that definitely makes me feel uncomfortable. I suppose we all have two choices in the ladder of success. We can hold on to the rung that we’re on with the knowledge that as long as we hold on tight we won’t fall, we’ll stay right where we are. Or, we can have faith that if you just carefully move forward and grab one rung at a time, even knowing that there is a possibility of falling, that God will always be your safety net, thus remaining cautious yet still in motion. 

We can’t hold on at the same level forever, not if we ever expect to get anywhere. Success lies in the ability to reach for the next rung of the ladder and having faith that you won’t fall and if you do that God will be there to catch you and get you back on track. We can’t live in our comfort zones forever, and I’m not sure we should really want to even if we could.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeCourageous #BeBrave

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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The Patches in Our Quilts

I was listening to an old Tyler Perry acceptance speech that talked about his grandmother’s quilt and how at first he was ashamed of the quilt his grandmother had left him because it wasn’t appealing to the eye. He spoke about learning how to eventually appreciate the patches in his grandmother’s quilt because he had to come to realize that every patch that went into making the quilt she left him told a story of an area in her life and her quilt was the overall story of her life and she was leaving that to him. Initially he hadn’t even understood the enormity of the legacy she had left him. It made me think about whether or not we always understand the value of our patches.

I have often at different points in my life of course, felt shame for some tough lessons I had to learn the hard way. I’ve felt regret for opportunities that I have been too afraid to take and for decisions that I couldn’t take back.  Now that I have just crossed into my forties and I have spent the last few years growing both spiritually and mentally, I have come to believe that those moments in my life that I used to want to take back have made me who I am, for better or for worse.

While I would have loved not to have learned some of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way I wonder if I would have ever learned them otherwise.  Would I have ever been pushed forward without the hardships that I’ve had? If I hadn’t been knocked down so many times would I have developed the tenacity and persistence to be able to keep getting back up and pushing harder for what I want?

All of our experiences in life give us something to take into the next phase of our journeys’. They prepare us and toughen us up for what will undoubtedly be a bumpy road to the success you’re striving for.  The failures that you’ve had in life are not what you should dwell on because those failures mean that you actually tried. One thing is for certain and that is that you can’t succeed at anything without ever having tried. 

My mistakes are what have strengthened me and they are patches in my life’s quilt. I am very proud to sew them together and see just how far I’ve come even if I still have quite a ways to go.  I hope to be able to pass the quilt of my life down to my daughter so that she can then be able to know my story. Perhaps she will add her own patches to the quilt to pass down to her kids in the future.  Everyone needs to be proud of the patches that they have in their quilts and not just proud but understand the value in every single patch.

Until next time… #BeBold #BeFearless #BeGateful

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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We Can’t Judge Someone Else’s Walk

When someone dies, celebrity or otherwise, there is always a slew of prayers and condolences going out to the family and a wave of Rest In Peace’s throughout social media. It’s the ordinary person’s way of expressing their sadness for the loss of life and I think it’s wonderful that we show that expression of sorrow and compassion for the family and friends that are left behind. What I don’t understand is those who will judge that person’s lifestyle and assume to know what their relationship may or may not have been with God (thus making ignorant claims that the person isn’t going to heaven because of the life they’ve lead) as if they were somehow privy to all of their private moments.

One’s relationship with God is their own and seemingly private and I think that it annoys me when people quote parts of the bible without remembering some of the other crucial parts of it. Now I will admit that I can not quote nearly any of the bible other than some of my most favorite scriptures but I know that in the bible it makes it clear that God loved both sinners and saints equally and that he is unbelievably forgiving to those who have been deemed “unredeemable” to the rest of the world.

I don’t make a practice of trying to figure out what someone else’s relationship with God is, for one because I’m still working on strengthening my own. I know that each person will have their own special bond and only God knows what’s in someone’s heart. I just question where some get the nerve to judge the life anyone has lead and determine for themselves where they are going when their spirit leaves this earth. I also distinctly remember the bible saying (and I’m paraphrasing here) ‘judge not, lest ye be judged’ so I think that we should spend more time concerning ourselves with our own walk in life and making sure that what we’re doing is what we perceive is the right thing to do for us and our own journey, spiritually, personally, and professionally. 

We spend far too much time judging other people for things that we can’t possibly know and frankly for things that have absolutely nothing to do with the path that we are currently on. I think I spent far too much time myself, in my younger years, worrying about what everyone else was doing in relation to me, instead of just focusing on my journey, and what I was doing and how I was going to get to where I needed to be. We get sidetracked trying to determine what other people are doing with their lives and where they might go at the end of it and really it’s not for us to say.

When we lose someone, or when someone we love or admire and are inspired by passes on I would hope that we focus on the wisdom they imparted and on the gifts they gave to the world (I don’t mean material or monetary gifts) and how they enriched our lives. I would hope that the worst things or mistakes we’ve ever made in our lives would not be the way that others judged the legacy that we leave behind. We should always strive to remember the best that someone had to offer this world, never the worst.  I hope that you always think before you judge the walk of another person.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeEncourged #BeGrateful

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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A Little Repositioning Can Change Your Perspective

I’ve spent the last several weeks getting new items to redo my office area. Now my home office is positioned in a small area in my master bedroom so it’s not a whole room I’m working with, just a section of my room. Now I bought a new, larger, desk which gives me more space to work with for my laptop and also for when I do any hand writing or whatever else I want to do that’s not on the computer. 

So when I bought the new desk I also had planned on just revamping my whole area to be more efficient and allow me to be more productive. I wanted to get some things I’ve needed for quite some time now and for that I had to also reposition the way things were already to make room for those new things and to make a more professional set up. In doing so I realized even more that sometimes changing the way things are situated, even in the same exact area as they were before, can often change your attitude and your efficiency as well. It can sometimes bring a new perspective to things.

I have been writing for most of my life so I never needed a specific set up to simply do what I do as easily as I breathe, however, there is something to be said for having a professional setup (at least what I deem in my mind as the professional setup for a writer lol) that makes me truly feel like this is the business that I’ve been setting it up to be. Even though I’m not finished putting the final touches on everything in my newly revamped space (which you’ll see soon on my YouTube channel linked below when I upload my office redo) but I’m typing this post now in that area and I already feel different about my work and my productivity in this space.

Now my true dream office setup would require an entire room but seeing as though my daughter has decided to wait until the Spring of 2022 to start college (she feels she’s not quite ready to go straight into college just yet) there won’t be a whole room available anytime soon.  I think that I’ve created, or have started to create, the ideal setup for the space I have to work with now and I love it so much. I feel different sitting in this space already and it’s amazing how just simply shifting some furniture around and adding a few necessary items can change how you feel about the work that you are doing.

If you are feeling a little burned out or as if you are not being as productive as you could be, then perhaps all you need is to shift some things around in the space that you are in. Even if it’s just buying a few new trinkets or items to spice up your office décor that is still something that can make you feel like you’re writing in a brand new space which can allow you to have a completely new feeling about the work that you are doing.  Try switching things up a bit to make you feel more productive. You have to make things work in the best way that you can because productivity is all in the eyes (or rather fingers) of the person getting the work done.

Until next time… #BeIntentional #BeProductive #BeMotivated

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Are You Heeding the Call?

I do daily devotionals and have done a pretty good job of making a habit of reading my devotionals and my bible readings for quite some time now. It is a welcomed part of my spiritual journey and growth and something that I had convinced myself at one point in my life that I didn’t need to do. Yesterday after listening to a message from my Pastor about obeying God’s will I read in my devotional about answering the call that God has placed on our lives and obeying the voice of God and not the whispers of Fear.

It got me to thinking about how many times we dismiss the gifts that we inherit from God and how much time do we waste ignoring what we know we’re called to do and fighting that calling. More importantly it made me contemplate how many people’s lives do we miss the opportunity to touch and what that means because we didn’t act soon enough?

When I was younger and realized that writing was my passion and my gift I thought that it was mostly because it was the outlet I needed to release some of the emotional pain I had to deal with in my childhood. Not that I don’t write for the readers and to of course tell the stories living in my head but I felt very silenced as a kid and that was my way of using my voice. I’m not sure when it was exactly that I realized that my writing actually helped other people but at the moment that I did I shifted the way I thought about what I wanted my writing career to do.

I had one major goal prior to that realization and that was to make the New York Times Best Seller List. However that has shifted to how I can use my words and my writing to effect change in the world, or in people generally.  Now, yes my writing is still and always about the stories I tell, but everything that I do within my writing career is about what it can do for others and how I can help others. With my YouTube channel, with my magazine, with my up coming podcast, with the products I’m creating to sell, it is about making other people understand that someone sees them.

I can’t imagine what it would have been like if I hadn’t realized early on what my calling was and if I had just ignored it. It wasn’t like I didn’t think of other career choices when I went to college and I do after all have a Master’s in Psychology and a Bachelor’s in Communications so it isn’t that there aren’t other avenues that I could have taken, certainly they would’ve provide more financial stability. But I knew what I was put on this earth to do and while I had to figure out exactly how my calling could make a difference in the world, I knew that I wasn’t going to give up on what I truly felt God put me on this earth for. 

Have you realized what you were called to do? Have you been wasting too much time fighting that calling? Have you been listening too much to those whispers of fear? Don’t let fear stop you from doing what you were meant to do.  You have a gift that can help change and improve this world. Don’t waste any more time ignoring it.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeMotivated #BeFearless

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Are We Creating the Right Habits to Accomplish Our Goals?

I did a YouTube video last week talking about my process in between writing projects, well specifically, novels. It made me think about the different routines that we have for different phases in our lives that we get through and how varying those routines can be depending on which phase of the creative process we are in.  I have a routine for when I’m writing, albeit a routine that could use some fine tuning.  I have a routine for when I’m taking a creative break from things altogether. I have a routine for if I’m just conducting research for a particular project. Interestingly enough, as organized as it may seem to have all your bases covered no matter what stage of creativity you are in it can be counterproductive. Or maybe it’s just me that is starting to feel like having a different routine for everything is just a way to not have a concrete routine overall.

I’m currently reading (or rather listening to on audiobooks) Atomic Habits by James Clear and he talks a lot about creating systems that help you to achieve your overall goals but not relying so heavily in the goals. I haven’t gotten that far yet but so far his theory is that if you use the same system to achieve things then you can start to rely in your system that you set up and not necessarily the goals because inevitably following your system is going to get you to the goal anyway, just maybe not at the speed in which you have set up in your goals. What I understand so far is that creating habits that you can stick to and do instinctively without really thinking about them is more valuable then having these bullet points for goals that oftentimes seem unattainable and out of reach.

Now he wasn’t saying that you shouldn’t have goals at all anymore, but rather that you should have formed habits and ways of getting to those goals. For instance, I have a book that I’ve been trying to republish since last year and for one reason or another it is proving to be a longer process than I initially thought. But is that because my goals are off or because my habits in getting those goals accomplished are off? I should have a proven system that is going to allow me to produce more of what I need to do in order to get those goals tackled. I can have all the goals I want to have and they can be lofty or they can be relaxed but without the methods and a system put in place to actively get to that goal, then the habits have to be consistent.

What are your systems or habits for achieving what you want out of life? Are you practicing those habits consistently? Take some time to think about whether you are setting goals just to set goals or if you are actually taking steps and forming habits that will help you fully achieve those goals. Having goals to strive for are great. Having routines to get through your different creative phases is wonderful. But having habits formed and being consistent in keeping up those habits is what will get us to the point where we can say we accomplished those goals.

Until next time… #BeMindful #BeProductive #BeConsistent

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Exploring Every Inch of the Road in the Journey

The day we cease to explore is the day we begin to wilt. ~Cicely Tyson

Good or bad, life is nothing but a bunch of experiences. We have really good moments and we have really bad moments, and oftentimes the bad moments start to feel like they are more present than the good.  Where am I going with this you ask? Well, just that mistakes and hard times are simply apart of the exploration that we do throughout our journey. We can’t avoid them and in all honesty we should probably be welcoming them.

This thought process came to my mind because of a zoom call that I had with some wonderfully creative girlfriends of mine. We were getting together (virtually) to discuss Cicely Tyson’s book and other extraordinarily talented black creative artists. Of course the conversation ventured over to discussing our own creative endeavors and what our vision was for the things we were working on. I was singled out, and rightfully so (because they know me so very well), for often being afraid of stepping outside the box and exploring things, mainly for fear of making mistakes.

I have expressed here many times over the years this really tiresome dance that I do with my fear and how I strive to move past that and I’ve made strides and every now and then I realize I hadn’t let go of all of these fears as much as I would like to believe.  Don’t get me wrong, I am way better than I was years ago in terms of dealing with my constant fears and the obstacle the fear itself presents itself to be. I just have a ways more to go. On that zoom call I was reminded of advice from other successful people throughout history which is that the more you fail or rather make mistakes, the more life experience you have to put into your work and the better you can make the next attempt.

Not exploring things, not exploring life, is in many ways not allowing yourself to experience both successes and failures in various magnitudes and to use those learning experiences to fuel your drive and motivation to power forward.  Without exploration we don’t really learn what works and what doesn’t work, what we like and what we don’t like, and we simply don’t learn much of anything about who we are. 

If you are letting fear hold you back or keep you in that place of comfort, stop holding yourself back from experiencing every aspect there is of success, and that includes the moments in which you will undoubtedly making mistakes. It is not failing to get things wrong and to mess up. You only become a failure when you cease to explore at all. Never stop exploring every inch of the road you will walk on your journey.

Until next time… #BeCourageous #BeInspired #BeFearless

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Is There Still Hope for The Dream?

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say today but I knew that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was going to be the subject of this post. So I went to pull up the full “I have a Dream” speech on YouTube because it’s been a long time since I’ve heard the speech in its entirety. As I sat there listening, it was mind blowing just how relevant and powerful his words still are to this very day.

Now I don’t know if that is telling to the staying power of his words or to the sadness that they still ring true. In essence, we may have come far but within these last few years we seemed to have taken several steps backwards.  I guess you would have to listen for yourself to determine which one it is for you. For me it’s a bit of both. Yes of course those words he spoke that day still matter, even more so now, because before the last four years we were starting to see some of those dreams manifested and brought to fruition. Or were we?

We thought that we had started to see some change with President Obama because he was someone who truly took those words of Dr. King’s to heart and he embodied them and strived, with much opposition, to make those dreams a reality. We thought we had come farther, but within the last four years we have seen certain strides that were taken being walked back immensely. It makes you wonder, had we really even made any change? Was it all surface accomplishments but underneath, the roots, were still very present and had not yet been weeded out enough to allow sustainable growth?

That day on August 28th of 1963, Dr. King said that America needed to pull itself out of the quicksand of racial injustice in where people of color lived on an island of poverty amongst a vast ocean of material prosperity. He point out that America had not kept its promise to us and that it was in for a rude awakening if it expected things to go back to business as usual.  I think that he would be disheartened to see all of his words continually quoted by people who clearly have no deep understanding of what they actually mean because if they did then they would see that we only seek “the riches of freedom and the security of justice.”

I think if he were still alive that he would find himself having to repeat those same words he spoke to those gathered around the Lincoln Memorial that day. I think he would feel obligated to remind the entitled groups of people who think the rules don’t apply to them that equality is not wrong, it is not unreasonable, and it is not unattainable.

I think he would also turn to those who have grown weary and tired, and yes complacent amongst those who would like to revert back to a time that our ancestors struggled so hard to lead us out of and tell them to keep moving forward. I think he would tell them that we cannot be satisfied with the status quo and we most certainly cannot leave this country in the fragmented state that we find ourselves in today. I think that he would remind people who are angry because we’re still explaining that we just want equality that they have to continue to strive for freedom but not by “drinking from a cup of bitterness and hatred.”

The song that plays at the very beginning of the recording of his speech is “We Shall Overcome” and as I listened to the words in that song, and replayed the words of his speech, I have to say that even in the current state of this country, I still have hope that we will be okay. I still think that Dr. King’s Dream is going to come true, someday, but we can’t give up, and we have to keep moving forward, until we are all Free At Last.  

Until next time… #BeFearless #BeBrave #BeRelentless

Jimmetta Carpenter 

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Peace Within the Storm

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.” ~Philippians 4:11-12

The bible verses above touches on a brief point mentioned in the message this past Sunday that really hit home with me given the struggles that I’ve been dealing with lately. It made me really look at things from another angle and realize that I spend far too much mental and emotional energy on being stressed and worried about things that I simply cannot control. Now recently I’ve symbolically thrown my hands up in surrender and have just come to grips knowing that I’ve done everything humanly possible for me to do and I had to leave the rest of the miracle work that I am going to need up to God because he’s the only one that can do the impossible.

After that realization I felt a sense of peace come over me and a friend of mine had asked me how I was not balled in a fetal position somewhere. I simply said because I put in the hands of the only one who can handle any and everything and I just have to let it go. Of course that doesn’t mean that I have forgotten that I have this huge issue that I’m dealing with that eventually has to be handled in one way or another. It just means that I realize I can only control the things that I can do physically myself and I can’t perform miracles so continuing to dwell in it only brings about more stress.

When the pastor this Sunday had made a statement regarding being content in life no matter where life takes you and not letting the ups and downs of life ever have control over how you feel and how you go about living your life. In many ways it tied in with the peace I felt of letting go. I hadn’t even realized, or come to terms with the fact that that was what I was doing until he made that point. Too many times we let whatever is going on around us control what goes on inside of us and that can lead a person to a point where they never truly feel any peace. Let’s be honest here, life throws obstacles at us on a consistent and steady basis and the chances of a world with absolutely no chaos is unlikely to happen in this lifetime.

The thing is figuring out what will be your source of strength to get through those chaotic times without losing your inner peace and joy along the way. Whatever your source of strength to find a way to deal with life’s curveballs, just make sure you aren’t afraid to draw on that source whenever you need to so that you don’t get so caught up in trying to figure out how you’re going to fix everything that you lose sight of the joy of what you already have right in front of you. For me I have started to read more of the bible and doing devotionals as well as leaning on a friend who motivates me spiritually as well as creatively. I am content where I am because even if everything falls apart I am still here to put it all back together again. Until next time… #BeContent #BeinFaith #BeatPeace

 

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Just a quick reminder…

Write 2 Be Magazine wants to be a part of your plan for promoting yourself and your work! Find out more about our promotional campaign by clicking on this link

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Also, if you have just finished your book and you are looking for an editor or even just someone to proofread find out how I can help by clicking on this link

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Finally, I will be releasing the first ebook in a 4 part series before the end of this month specifically to inspire and motivate writers who struggle with self-sabotage and I’ll provide more information on that by the next post. If you would like to contribute to my self-publishing efforts this year here is where you can make a donation to the dream https://www.gofundme.com/f/book-project-for-write-2-be-media

Right Before the Wall Breaks

“You will be the most tempted to quit when you are closest to your calling” ~Steven Furtick

For the last, I don’t even know how long, I have been feeling like everything that I’ve been doing has ended in an epic fail. I’ve been striving towards this dream of mine, in one way or another, for what seems like forever and it keeps feeling like I’m never going to make it. So why do I keep trying to beak through that wall of success then? Because as I’ve mentioned here before, I don’t quit, and I am not going to be that person that gives up right before that wall breaks.

I think my biggest problem has always been the doubt that has not only been heaped on me by others but worse, the doubt that I have bestowed upon myself. I’m not sure why but somewhere along the way I had convinced myself that I wasn’t worthy of the success I craved and then when I felt this call for the purpose God placed in my heart I felt even more doubt, as if maybe it was too big of a call for me to handle and that I might not be equipped enough to see that purpose through and I would second guess that call.

Then a couple of weeks ago when my pastor started on the new series we’re currently in and he got to the lesson about seeing yourself through God’s eyes and not just seeing all of the flaws and the things within yourself that need to be worked on. He pointed out that while yes we all have flaws that need to be addressed, it doesn’t erase all of the good that is dwelling on the inside of us and that we wouldn’t struggle to see that good in ourselves if we could just see ourselves the way that God sees us.

I think that it’s one of the ways that we sabotage our own success and our progress. We tend to think of all of the ways things won’t work and make sure to highlight everything that we’ve been doing wrong or failing at when in reality that’s not where our focus should be. Sure you have to know where you’ve gone wrong in order to make sure that you don’t repeat those same errors, but just that fact right there makes the mistakes you’ve made worth so much more than you realize.

The fact that you get the opportunity to have that wisdom of falling (and yes I did say opportunity), getting back up and moving forward, but this time with knowledge that you didn’t have before so that you don’t keep stumbling into that same obstacle over and over again. The only thing is you can’t waste time beating yourself up for those mistakes because then you miss the clarity that they can give you. The next time that you start to doubt yourself or dwell too much in the mistakes that you’ve made along your journey to achieving your dreams just remember that those mistakes are also lessons. One’s that you might have had to learn the hard way, but one’s that you will definitely never forget and that will prepare you to take on whatever might try to trip you up next. Until next time… #BeGrateful #BeOpen #BeinFaith

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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Also, if you have just finished your book and you are looking for an editor or even just someone to proofread find out how I can help by clicking on this link

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Finally, I will be releasing the first ebook in a 4 part series before the end of this month specifically to inspire and motivate writers who struggle with self-sabotage and I’ll provide more information on that by the next post. If you would like to contribute to my self-publishing efforts this year here is where you can make a donation to the dream https://www.gofundme.com/f/book-project-for-write-2-be-media