Truly Woman

Truly Caribbean Woman is the inspirational blog written by TrulyCaribbean.net creator Nerissa Golden.

Breakdown to Breakthrough

NG-Herald08That was my first thought this morning and it took me back to this story. I went chasing the past and found stacks of old newspaper clippings of myself and my clients but this one was what I’d been after.
It came out a few days after I’d been afraid. Frightened enough to run and leave my children. Lost enough to know I didn’t know how to help myself but wise enough to ask others to help me.
It was actually quite funny at the time. I was safely reading the paper and the comments, answering emails from friends who wondered if I’d snuck off on a romantic jaunt.
It also signaled the end of a new life I was trying to create after my divorce. All my community and professional work mattered. My rep was in shambles and I couldn’t get work. But God wasn’t interested in my rep or brand building. He wanted me to stop being afraid. Stop running from my mistakes and my issues that I was covering up by focusing on other people, being busy, hiding behind caring for the kids.
It didn’t change overnight but it did. When I stopped caring what others thought about me, stopped acting like I had it all together, stopped pretending to be something I was not and leaned on my friends. It freed me to stand up for me and my children.
Most times I feel like a chicken but I long to know what would happen if I just followed this idea in my head.
I still have moments when the fear gets me and it makes me freeze and I chase my own tail, I speak but don’t follow through, I’ll talk without believing.
But it’s breakthrough time. I’ve already dived off the edge why not see if I can fly?
— feeling daring.

Beyond the Mess

There’s a crazy and wonderful thing that happens once you get beyond the mess.
Magic.
Miracles.
Call it what you will but it only shows up when you don’t let your mess keep you stuck.
The woman with the issue of blood in the bible comes to mind. The story goes that she was bleeding for 12 years and couldn’t get relief. She’d already tried every natural and scientific method known to man at the time but her problem only got worse.
She was basically an outcast according to Jewish law. Once a woman was bleeding she couldn’t be part of everyday activities. Imagine never being able to be with your family and friends, living life on the fringes.
She heard about a man coming to town. Jesus.
This man was said to be doing miracles, feeding thousands with a handful of fish and bread, healing sick people and raising the dead. She wasn’t dead yet but probably thought I am pretty close to it as this is not living.
She had two options, give up and expect never to be well or break tradition and Jewish laws and get into the crowd and see this man.
The story says she thought if only I could touch Him I would be whole. The Hebrew word for whole is the same as peace. A better definition is “Nothing missing, nothing broken.” She wasn’t trying to have a conversation or tell her story. She just wanted to touch this man because surely that would be enough. She’d already told her story, everyone knew her business and all about her non-life. If this man was anybody of note, he wouldn’t need her story.

You’ve got to get tired of the story. It becomes the excuse, the reason why you don’t progress. You get addicted to telling the story and getting the commiserations from others.
She broke through the resistance in her own mind and her need to keep a distance from everyone. Her desperation to be healed was greater than her need to keep the law and to keep accusing eyes far away.
She must have been smelling. Her clothes may have been soiled. She didn’t care. She was already broke and had no relationships left to lose. She was out of options.
She touched Jesus and the story goes that immediately the blood leakage stopped. Jesus felt that someone had tapped into His power and He questioned who touched him. She confessed to what she’d done. He went further and declared you are whole (nothing missing, nothing broken). He not only healed her body but she also received a restoration of her relationships and resources.
You’ve been bleeding for a long time.
Your finances are a mess.
Your home life is in shambles.
You have maintained the façade long enough that you got it together. I know. They say “never let them see you sweat.” Don’t listen. Some situations will require you to sweat, cry, or bleed your way to victory.
Don’t worry about what they will say. Don’t mind the eyes on you accusing you of being someplace you shouldn’t be. Press in. Let them see you bleeding. Expose the areas of hurt, not so they can inflict more pain but so you can receive victory.
You have nothing left to lose.
Beyond the mess of your current circumstance is a miracle. It will be received when you make yourself vulnerable to the very people who have the most power to hurt you. It comes when you no longer care about maintaining an image or reputation and you hunger for freedom and victory more than the accolades of man.
The magic happens when you let go of trying to find your own solution and you surrender to the power of the Almighty to bring about victory in a way that restores and elevates you.
All of creation is waiting to do you good.
Believe.

Just Breathe: Snorkeling with Aqua Montserrat

I seriously considered telling Vita what she could do with her HD goggles and snorkel gear after trying several times to breathe through my mouth and stick my head in the ocean at Little Bay.

It wasn’t why I’d come to the beach. Sunday was for Imani, my second girl, about to turn 13. I was looking for cool mom points and ensuring she and her friends had a nice afternoon. Anxiously waiting for cake. Getting in the water was not a priority and certainly not snorkeling.

Although I’d put it in on my mental to-do list that before school holidays ended I wanted to snorkel I hadn’t given it any thought beyond that. This would be one more thing I would put on that list that I don’t go back to but it wasn’t to be.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The kids were after me to try it after their first round with a couple from Coral Cay Conservation, who’d come to help out. Vita, the owner of Aqua Montserrat, suggested in passing that I should try it before the day was done.

I got my gear on and listened to the instructions and learned the signs. The idea of shutting off air to my nostrils and breathing through my mouth was where I was stuck. “I should know this,” I thought. “Think about labour” but that got me more stressed. I tried several times to put my head in but freaked out at the thought of not being able to breathe. (The secret is breathing in and out…not just in 🙂

Vita kept at it and said just imagine the stress leaving your body. I took a few breaths and I felt my body literally get light. My shoulders sank and I felt like I was already floating. “You know I can’t swim,” I told her. Seriously what the heck was I doing out here. I should leave this for the kids.

Nia (my eldest) comes up to ask me if I hadn’t put my head in yet. Talk about kiddy pressure. They were all swarming in a bit and wondering what was the problem. Vita shooed them away and I am sure it was the thought that they would call me a chicken when this was all over that got my head under the water.

I’m glad I did it.

Before long, we were heading out towards the rocks and the ground fell away. I couldn’t touch the sand anymore and my breath started to catch as I momentarily panicked at the thought of something going wrong. It really is pretty effortless once you get the breathing right. Your body seems to naturally know what to do, to move you through the water. As I kept focusing on breathing, and moving forward I realized I was okay and that it was much better to be looking at the fish.

In the end, it was worth the moments of doubt to dip my head in the water to see one of the most amazing places that God created.

If you live on Montserrat or ever come for a visit, be sure to check out Vita and the team at Aqua Montserrat. They’ve created a very simple but memorable way to enjoy our waters. Be sure to stick around for the seafood cooked outside and there is always some local fruit available on the bar for free.

* I was not compensated in any way to write this post. Just a very happy customer.

Photos by the Aqua Montserrat team.

10 Questions on Empowering our Girls with Life Coach Patricia Evers

Life Coach Patricia Evers is also the Editor of I Inspire, for girls.
Life Coach Patricia Evers is also the Editor of I Inspire, for girls.

Life coach Patricia Evers answers 10 Questions about her passion for empowering girls.

1. Who is Patricia Evers?

Answer: Patricia Y. Evers was born on the beautiful island of St.Maarten in the Caribbean; she is the CEO at Inspired Living consulting, she is a Life coach, Motivational speaker, Mentor, Author and Change Agent. A wife and mother of two teenage boys who is passionate about seeing people develop a positive way of thinking and speaking about their situations.

2. Why life coaching?

Answer: After 19 years at the Federal Tax department and many interactions with both adults and youth, I had developed a passion for seeing lives transformed, which prompted me to leave my job to pursue a career as a life and personal development coach. I also embarked on one of my dreams to start an online girl’s magazine. Through many experiences and hardships I learned how to recognize and respond to the changes in my life and to allow the power of God to transform me from the inside out. I am reaping the benefits today and that is the message of change which I offer to the world.

3. There is this push to hire coaches for different aspects of life. Why are coaches important?

Answer: A life coach I believe is the missing link for many in the successful advancement of their lives. A coach will challenge you to utilise and enhance the gifts and abilities you already possess to be able to live the life you want to. A coach will motivate you, encourage you and push to excel beyond what you believe you can achieve. A coach will teach you to set smart goals so you can achieve your dreams and your desired success.

4. Why focus on girls?

Answer: My focus is on girls and young women because I believe as women we are gifted with the power of influence and learning how to use this gift through understanding who they are and having a vision of what they want out of life is important to them having that impact on society.

5. How did your childhood prepare you to mentor young women?

Answer: My childhood was filled with adventures and what I believe was self-discovery. Yes we were taught early on to be responsible. I learned to believe in myself and also that I could do anything I put my mind to do. Back then it was just about competing with my brothers as I was the first girl after four boys. I quickly found my voice and knew very well how to speak up for myself to avoid getting undeserved punishment.

6. How important is faith in your goal to mentor and coach?

Answer: For me my faith is the key to my success, understanding that in myself I do not possess sufficient abilities to be able to assist anyone in their situation. God makes me sufficient. He gives me wisdom and knowledge and understanding of situations that I may not have experienced, but am still able to give wise counsel in them. When you understand also that you can’t take someone where you’ve never been before and having the necessary faith in my situations allowed me to trust God with the outcome.

7. Are our girls more prepared to handle adulthood than previous generations?

Answer: Some of our girls are very strong willed and determined to succeed and I believe they will be a force to be reckoned with in their adulthood; however there are some that need some extra guidance and an extra push in the right direction. Like I said earlier they need to better understand who they are and what they truly want out of life before they can make their mark and leave an indelible impact on society.

8. What will it take to change this?

Answer: I believe in education and personal development and this doesn’t necessarily have to come from a classroom. I believe our girls and young women need more positive role models that are willing to devote some of their time to speak life into this generation. I believe we spend more time talking about the problems with our youth and far too little time investing our time in them so we can take them from a place of perishing to flourishing and from death to life!

9. What are three things that each of us can do to mentor others?

Answer: Three things each of us can do to be a mentor to other is to simply (1) Be genuine and truthful about your intentions. (2) Be an example of what you speak and a positive role model. (3)  Being a mentor requires sacrifice, be ready and willing to make them.

10. How can we connect with you?

Answer: To connect with me visit www.facebook.com/inspire2life | Email me at inspire2life@gmail.com
To get a copy of my book visit: amazon.com/author/p.evers-inspire  | Twitter: @PatriciaEvers |  Skype: patricia.evers40

In Life as in Dancing – Go Full Out

This summer the kids have turned our living room into a dance studio. It’s been a while since they’ve done this so I’ve been enjoying the show. This time around they are focusing on their version of ballet and a mix of other techniques which brings them before a panel of judges Show You Think You Can Dance style.

Needless to say it has been a comedy of errors and fun as they battle it out and take turns judging the next.

Yesterday I heard my eldest daughter tell her youngest sister “You’ve Got to Go Full Out.” I had to pause and take note of it and it reminded me of another moment when another dancer said the same thing.

May 2011, and my YES Caribbean conference is wrapping up. My friend and one of the most remarkable dancers I knew Susan Barnes (now deceased) and I were discussing the dance performances we’d seen over the evening.

“Something is missing,” I said. “But I don’t know what it is.”

“They are not completing their lines,” she responded. Flashback to my first YES conference in 2006 on St Maarten, where Susan taught a dance course and I can remember being all confused about these invisible lines running through our bodies. Dancer/choreographer Clara Reyes of St Maarten had said a similar thing to me another time too but I was no clearer then.

Now, watching my children dance and hearing them give guidance to each other, it was beginning to make sense.

I can only recount what I got from Susan’s comments this way. The dancers were not executing the move fully by not extending their hands, legs, body all the way so you could see and feel the fullness of the move and the line that is created when done right. So lines that were to be straight were bent in the middle or at the end. Even when you didn’t see them physically you felt the incompleteness.

When a dancer doesn’t go full out the audience is left not merely wanting more, but unable to fully connect with the story the dancer wanted to tell. I literally get frustrated and bored and wish for them to hurry up as I am not motivated to give them my time and commitment to watch what is clearly unfinished.

Over time I’ve come to see that dancers can only ever go as far as their teachers can take them. If the teacher has limitations then he/she can only give the student what they know. It is not so much that the teacher must know all but they must encourage the student to be forever seeking knowledge, finding other teachers who can add new dimensions to the art of dance or whatever the subject.

In life it is the same. We have to decide to go full out into our journey. Choosing to love just enough to meet our needs but never fulfilling our partner is not love. Choosing to shine just bright enough to light your own path but not that of those behind you waiting for direction, is not living full out. Choosing to do only good enough to meet your daily needs but never enough to help others is not living full out.

When a dancer has captured my attention I literally feel a part of the dance. As if, I become an extension of that arm reaching toward me. I feel the pain expressed in the frustrated moves of her legs, arms, head, and body. I feel the dancer is me and I am them.

In life, when we live full out it will draw others to us. Living full out in love surrounds you with more people who can pour into your more of the love you release to others. You are emptied and refilled in one fluid moment. Turning your light way up illuminates your path and emits beams that transcend time and space. Long after you are gone, light waves are showing others where to go and how to get to the place of joy, peace and purpose which you found. Making it a life’s purpose to accomplish more than just enough enables us to support others who without our help won’t make it.

It is a daily choice to do this. I watch the kids get bumps and bruises from dancing around the living room but they keep coming back every day. I’m on hand to give cheers as they finally execute the move the way they wanted to and I’m none the wiser as to whether it should be better or not. You and I get to assess each day if we are living full out. We know inside whether we’ve given our best. Not because someone else said we have but when we know we can be at peace with what we’ve accomplished and we can see a new day or courage ahead to allow us to do it again tomorrow.

I hope you chose to live every area of your life full out. Love is waiting.