Writer’s hurdle

I usually love writing. This is actually why starting a blog initially appealed to me when I was examining ways to improve my income largely to account for anticipated family court attorney expenses. Still, I think – no – as a matter of fact I know that 2020 threw us all for a huge shock. We are well past the halfway mark for 2020 and I personally set a goal for myself financially that is definitely a huge stretch; yet, I believe it is entirely feasible.  This is how faith in yourself works. You must believe without a single doubt in spite of being stalled on writing for weeks. Even, if your belief in yourself starts as small as the size of a mustard seed for any particular day or moment.  The belief will undoubtedly grow.

So, what is the true reason for my writer’s block or, as I prefer to frame it, writer’s hurdle. The true reason is because I enjoy being social. Social media has never daunted me because I have never been afraid to speak my mind. It’s been easier to post and create a 2-5 minute video off the top of my head than to plan a structured article. Speaking my mind has always been a preference for me whether virtual or in person. Now there are times when I was taught to dim my light and not share the words that I felt would help her others. So, wouldn’t a blog be the perfect place for that overcoming that limitation?

The fact is everyone emphasizes your audience. We all need help and the truth is we’re going to resonate with those (that pesky audience) who understand us best. The funny thing about that is those who understand you best may not necessarily be your family and sometimes not even your closest friends. The reason for this is that we all change daily. Some changes are small and others are huge.  Being social has changed and become more virtual than in person. Yet, we all crave that in-person a.k.a LIVE connection. Live interaction is necessary to our health and wellness. So, choose carefully who you connect with and make a choice to adapt and embrace your daily changes.

Taken at a local Cakery in Chicago called Eméché

This leads me to the buzzword for those who are on the front lines of dealing with COVID-19 and appearing as leaders is pivot. What does pivot really mean to those of us who have always adapted to change? Pivoting is nothing new. Pivoting simply means you adjust to your surroundings. Yes, you may have a signature style or signature talk that you display at the ready within the confines of a virtual world. However, the definition of who you are changes daily at times in huge ways and at times in small almost invisible manifestations so that signature adapts as well, via whatever medium you feel most comfortable delivering it on. Music is the method for composers, musicians, DJs. Books are the method for authors, academics, or even new entrepreneurs.

So, as I write my first blog post in what for me is far too long – I give myself a break on getting the writing done to my idea of perfection because evolving or going through this daily change.  There is no need for me to bring you scientific research right now. For some of us that evidence is important. The fact remains science has its place and life experience has its own too.  Experience teaches us that each person and moment serves a certain and specific purpose.

One of my constant affirmations is: “I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.” So, this has simply been a writer’s hurdle that I’m clearly overcoming as we all adjust to the uncertainty created by a super-virus and racial unrest.  This worldwide pandemic has changed us all as well as our environments. Still, what remains most amazing is that we are still here to share our light with the world. Remember that no one has the right to take away your happiness or your peace of mind. And I write this simply to encourage us all. I hope it resonated with you.  LITE your path and I’ll cheer you on.

Big smiles from my little guy and I to spread good cheer and positive vibes only 😘

My Top 3 Methods for Sifting Through the News Amidst COVID-19 by TeMeka C. Williams

3 Tips for Sorting data

I have to admit that lately my default has been to truly practice living in each moment as it comes. This is not in alignment with my Type A past. Seriously, I am a graduate of Duke University land of Alpha personalities and overachievers. Several life events forced me to – as I like to describe it: “tone down my Type A.” Yet, I have also been known to say recently that I feel like I am drinking water from a figurative fire hose of information while attempting to move at the speed of light and the last time I checked that’s not humanly possible. Given our current world state of affairs how are we to manage the plethora of information being presented to us – especially without feeling overwhelmed? There are 3 methods that work best for me: stay in the moment, conduct my own research, and be kind to myself and others. So let’s get started on how we all can move forward.

Graphic image yet feels fairly appropriate for what I’m trying to describe too.

I’m an avid reader. So the first books that come to mind when it comes to how I’m coping are:

  1. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
  2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
  3. The Four Agreements by don Miguel Ruiz
  4. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Like I said at the start of this blog article, I have to take pause and focus on the present moment. And, the first book listed was actually a gift to me from one of my best friends whose field of study has always touched on human behavior. She started as a social worker who holds a LCSW and now she has a master in Behavioral Analysis. Needless to say I value and appreciate all her knowledge she shares with me just because she loves me and has known me longer than she has had those degrees (funny yet very true!). Also, Eckhart Tolle was featured as part of Oprah’s Book Club and essentially he teaches mindfulness is the best way for me to describe it a nutshell. Now we all know anything Oprah touches usually turns to gold so I forced myself to pay attention. Please note, I am a much bigger fan of fictional work so it was truly a labor of personal development for me to get through this book and his follow-up book which was also part of my gift set. At first, it was not easy to stop planning ahead or reflecting and reviewing on way to improve on my past actions. Then, as I made a more conscious effort to implement his teachings, it gradually became easier. So, when the flurry of information about the Coronavirus started to feel overwhelming or appeared to be a constant influx of often times faulty information, I simply reminded myself to reset my mind. Rather than allow anyone else’s panic to infiltrate my life, I would again simply focus on what was right in front of me. Luckily, that was usually my children especially once Chicago Public Schools and day care were shut down by the IL Governor Pritzker or it was work for my corporate employer. Equally important, I enjoy both my babies and the sales and marketing career I’ve built so the reset is much easier than it would be for a person who is a bit unhappier with their current station in life. I’m sure you can guess what I enjoy more, right? Well, in case it is not obvious, I enjoy my family life with my children immensely and will passionately love and protect them especially from what feels like a huge world crisis right now with the way the information regarding COVID-19 has rolled out.

My children playing at a park near our home in Chicago

This also easily leads me to the passion I learned from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Her own journey through a life transition stirred my soul in ways that are hard to put into words. Yet, her book came to mind as a reminder on how to sort the information because she was also working as a writer as she traveled ate her way through one country, meditated her way in another, and fell in love in the final leg of the chapter of her life which she was illustrating for us. She was doing her very own first-hand research. This is what I encourage all of us to do as well! It shouldn’t be hard to do with the easy of smart phones, tablets, and voice-activated gadgets we all have in our home. And, if your anything like me and feeling like you practically live in your kitchen while eating non-stop (thanks again coronavirus LOL), then you have all the incentive in the world to put down that yummy food and get to work ensure you have validated the source. The Snopes website: https://www.snopes.com/ even does that work for us so we can get back to eating faster. I jest. Still, I did share with you all that I am a proud Blue Devil hailing from the research-based institution with a renown winning basketball team right? The library, printed sources, and reputable websites if you insist on relying on only internet information will help you to not spread the vicious cycle of misinformation we have all been experiencing as of late. I can not forget how when the virus first hit and I felt like my family was inundating with news and gossip they had heard trying to push me to the grocery stores. They were well-meaning but needless to say I was frustrated at stretching my planned grocery budget well beyond its means not to mention the amount of cooking I had to do to ensure food did not go bad. LOL They say the road to a hot place is paved with good intentions and I get cold easily so perhaps I should go down that path. Again, I am joking so I hope you can bear my style of humor.

With that in mind that leads me to my last tip and point of reference. Laughter is so critical to my life. I can not count the number of times I have had to laugh to keep from crying. So when I reflect on what I learned from the Four Agreements is that most people stay in their own heads and can actually be pretty harsh with his or herself in their. So again be kind. I will even bonus you all with 2 quotes this time:

“Be kind; for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Plato

“The World is a Tragedy to Those who Feel and a Comedy to Those Who Think.” Horace Walpole

source: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/horace_walpole_163240

It’s too easy to be hard on yourself especially when it feels like your surrounded by chaos. Still, the best way to stay focused on the right data also means you must choose the words you spread carefully. And this is the reason why I brought up Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. Admittedly, I haven’t finished his book because remember non-fiction is harder for me? Still, I remember him describing how Honest Abe turned around his political career. Honest Abe meaning our former president Abraham Lincoln who is from my home state of IL (bonus points if you know what number president he was)! Hopefully, you understand my parallel. And just in case, here’s the gist of all this information I shared in picture format.

This was a long one but hopefully you made it to the end and will like it enough to leave a comment here or via one of our social media channels. And, thanks so much for taking this journey with me!

TeMeka C. Williams
TeMeka C. Williams

A woman constantly learning for myself & about others whose also a proud mother of 2 beautiful angels. I’m passionate about my loves – all of them. Cheers to the living our best life.