The importance of a plan

It seems obvious that we should plan our lives out, right?

Of course it does, but common sense isn’t so common.

Like many, I have all these (self-proclaimed) great ideas floating around in my head. I tell myself I’ll get around to it and rarely do these ideas come to fruition. Everything else seems to get in the way or appear more important than my creative goals.

I came across this little note on my Pinterest and for whatever reason, it stuck out. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t tried planning my life, it just never seems to work out. Knowing that almost thirty awaits me at the end of this month, I’m ready to give it another try.  I need to set clear goals for my day and if that means having countless alarm clocks to force me to acknowledge my plans, so be it.

Late last year I told my friends that all major life events were being placed on pause for the year of 2017. Now here it is May, one friend has had a wedding and another is now seven months pregnant. I give up. I know it was silly to even suggest in the first place- and selfish- but everything just felt so overwhelming.

What I know and have known for some time, is that life doesn’t stop for anyone.

Ergo, we must plan around it.

Big goals are scary, but daily goals that move the bigger objectives forward are (or should be) manageable.

Until Wednesday,

Celestial Nicole

Song of the Week: “Playing God” by Paramore

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Listen here!

Happy Viernes! It’s another rainy day in beautiful Newark, NJ. I woke up around nine this morning, was a little productive, then took a nap around 1 p.m. Now I’m trying to focus on this post while my roommate indulges on reality television. Really bad reality television might I add. I would never voluntarily watch this show, but I have to admit, a few cackles have escaped.

Well that’s been my day so far, what’ve you all been up to?

I picked “Playing God” for the song today because Paramore is back!!! They’re my favorite Pop- Rock group and they’ve finally come out of hiding! I love their new song! Their reemergence made me take a walk down memory lane with some of their classics. This one just happened to stick out!

Peace out,

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Celestial

Maybe To-later

It’s what my three year old nephew says when he doesn’t want to do something right away. I like it. Mostly because I’m feeling one hundred percent maybe to-later today. I have nothing for you guys: no epiphanies or spiritual awakenings. I have drained words of honesty to offer, but that’s about it. I’m always tired, but yesterday and today especially, I’ve been a walking personification of exhaustion. I’m on leg two of three for today and thank God this last flight to Nashville is only an hour and five minutes.

Since I relaunched my blog back in February, I’ve been dreading today. I knew it would come because it always does with me. My fingers are heavy as they graze over the keyboard, but I’m trying to power through. I had already halfway made up in my mind that I would skip out on posting today. I have no material, not much time to come up with anything, and I know the moment I get to my hotel room, I’m going to pass out.

But if I allow days like today to defeat me, I know I won’t make it very far. Days when I think I’m too tired, lacking in energy, depleted of mental capacity to do the things I’ve committed to. I promised myself that this time I would prove to myself that I can be consistent. Reliable. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays are the days I post on “Soul Bare.” Period. If I don’t post today because I don’t feel like it, I’m taking ten steps back that I’ve taken too many times over again. Even though I know the WordPress community is not going to protest, or even notice if I don’t post today,  it’s still important that I do. I’m doing it for me. Hashtag selfish.

I only have eleven minutes and thirty seconds left on Chicago O’ Hare’s complimentary wifi, so I’ll wrap this up. Today’s post means nothing and yet, for me, it means so much. It means that I’m learning to fight past my feelings and emotions. I’m pushing beyond my boundaries to do the things I know need to be done regardless of if I’d rather do them later. This feeling of wanting to skip out on my commitment will reemerge, but I’ll have the ammunition to combat it. I’ll have today. I’ll remember that I didn’t feel like it, but I did it anyway.  When I wanted to fall asleep I forced myself to stay awake and do the work.

Maybe some of you feel the same way today. You want to abandon responsibility and slip away into a deep sleep. I hope this post will at the very least, encourage you to push through. I know you’ll be glad you did. What’s funny is that, as lethargic as I am right now, writing you all (and myself) has given me a boost of energy I wouldn’t have thought possible had I chosen to dismiss my commitment today. I think that’s part of the answer. We have to teach ourselves to ignore emotion and find the strength in doing it anyway. I know, easier said than done. But true.

To-later is the easy way out and it feels good for a little while, but when tomorrow arrives, later becomes regret. My three year old nephew doesn’t know any better and I pity him on the day he realizes that some things have to be done today. We however, have expired the luxury of tomorrow.

The answer is today.

14 Pick-me-ups to Inspire Your Writing

Dictionary.com slideshow

Unless you’re a masochist, the idea of self inflicted pain is more of a deterrent than it is a motivator. Yet for many of us, writing does exactly that.  It stabs its way through our insides, slicing and butchering, relentless in its search for truth. It’s like the pain of an exposed nerve: raw and vulnerable.

So why do it? Why engage in an activity we know has the power to harm us?

Because, if we allow it to, pain can be food to our souls. Hardships are what strengthens and prepares us for battles that lie ahead. The lessons we learn through our pain are nutritious to our souls. However, we often hold onto the waste derived from our afflictions, creating sepsis of the soul. Infection cannot exist in one part of the body without spreading into another.

Writing is a way of detoxing the residue of our pain. It digs up the microscopic dwellings that often begin the infection. It’s a dark and uninviting alley that rids us of the mental and emotional toxins we sometimes harbor.

And even though it’s frightening and we’re afraid of what we might confess in that alley, we must go.

What if I write something I don’t mean, or worse, something I do? 

It’s okay. Getting those feelings out is the first step to dealing with them. Wrapped up in our pain is creativity, courage, love, encouragement, and understanding.

So whatever is holding you back, don’t let it any longer. The only way to overcome the fear that inhibits our writing is writing.

Song of the Week: “Salt and Light,” by Lauren Daigle

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Listen here!

Today’s tune is not typically the song you want to blast as you’re speeding out of your work parking lot, but I think it’s appropriate. It’s a worship ballad that completely complements this week’s post on being Contagious.

I love this song because it speaks to our reliance on God. We depend completely on Him to guide our steps into becoming the salt and light of this Earth.

Contagious

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It’s undeniable that Julia Roberts’ has one of the most mesmerizing smiles. Coupled with her high-spirited and infectious laugh, she’s a human dose of endorphins. Her lively personality is like butter on bread. We are (or at least I am) the bread. When I hear her laugh, the sound of joy spreads itself thick on my soul and I become a portrayal of light to pass on to the next person.

Contagious.

We are each responsible for the emotions and spirits we choose to send out into the world. Popular culture has bought into the idea of returning to others exactly what they give to us. But if someone hates you and you decide to reciprocate that hate, who then is responsible for spreading love? Whatever we want out of life is also what we must be willing to put into it. If we want to be accepted, we must learn to accept. If it’s love we crave, we must comprehend the sacrifice of the ultimate love. Our emotions are like boomerangs, what we toss out will always return.

Today, I worked a quick flight from Denver to Chicago with a sweet woman named Lori. We briefly exchanged formalities before commencing the boarding of the completely booked flight. She was kind, but most of my flying partners are, so I thought nothing of it. Once the flight took off and we began our service, I had the opportunity to observe her a bit further. Something about her was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I felt it. Her demeanor abounded in kindness, sincerity, and humility. Mind you, I picked up on all these characteristics from a woman who was slinging cokes and spicy tomato juice. On my own, I’m a pleasant person, but seeing Lori’s comportment made me want to be even better. I thought,

Wow, that’s the kind of radiance I want my life to exude.

I decided then that once we finished the service, I’d ask her the only question that made sense.

“I knew it!” I beamed after I confirmed that Lori is a Christian. It was God in her that I didn’t initially recognize. She wore his love like a silk dress that clung to her every move, flowing in and through her.

As believers, it’s our responsibility to be a beacon of God’s love. The world is watching us, whether we (or they) realize it. They want to see if having God truly makes a difference in our lives. If we respond to life with anger, fear, cynicism, and negativity, what sets us apart from the world?

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I had no idea what I wanted to write about today until I met Lori. I knew right away that I needed to remind us of the importance of walking in full faith as sons and daughters of Christ. He has called us to be the salt and light of this Earth. 

Julia Roberts, a woman I don’t know and who doesn’t know I exist, makes me happy when she laughs. That’s insane, but the reality is these types of impacts are a huge component of human relation. Everything we say, what we feel, and how we carry ourselves are all contagious. It’s not just those that are closest to us who absorb the remnants of our choices. The stranger in the park or the man behind us in line at Target also have great potential to be influenced by our seemingly common handling of everyday life. 

We should be spreading the love of God in every aspect of our lives. So much so that we would become so full in Him that His love would have no choice but to overflow out of us and into this world. Giving into defeatist attitudes because life doesn’t go our way is not the will of the Lord. Instead, it’s our steadfastness in the face of trials that is going to spread faith in God. We do not answer to the powers of this Earth, but to our heavenly father. People need hope, they need God, and they need us to show them that a joyous life is attainable. For with God, anything is possible.

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

10,000 Times

 

Bruce-Lee

-Bruce Lee

 

Hello friends, here we are again! I hope the weekend treated you all well!

Since I’ve become a Flight Attendant, it seems like today is always chasing tomorrow and yesterday is fighting to become today. To me, Saturday and Monday feel the same, which is a good thing. God knows I don’t miss the days of waiting for the weekend to feel alive. 

Any who, I was listening to a T.D. Jakes sermon the other day where he spoke about dangers of comparing ourselves to others because we each are blessed with our own gifts. One of the points he made was that many times, we don’t commit to a purpose long enough to see if it’s actually meant for us. Instead of giving ourselves time to blossom in a particular area, when the going gets tough, we get going. Did I say that right? 

Impatience is one of my biggest flaws. If I start something new and it doesn’t instantly work out, I can become easily discouraged. I’m working on that. Like now, I’m trying to do twenty million things at once: keep up with this blog, learn Spanish, read the entire Bible, write music, learn how to invest, pay off my debt, and work, work, work.

Just know that this sentence was extremely close to being a Rihanna, “Work” gif.

Anyway, as a result of spreading myself too thin, none of the aforementioned areas of my life receive my undivided attention. I clearly would not have been on Bruce Lee’s list of people to fear. However, if I were to choose one area of my life to pour myself fully into, I would no doubt, master it.

I’d rather be outstanding in one thing, than mediocre at everything, but as is with life, these things are always easier said than done. I say things too much. Yet another thing to work on. The idea of committing myself to only one project makes me want to load my figurative gun. But how dare we demand results knowing that we haven’t put in as much as we expect out. Before we so readily give up and profess inadequacy, we have to give ourselves time. 

Pick something you like, love, or think is interesting and do it 10,000 times before you decide to flunk yourself out. We may surprise ourselves with how much we can improve with time, dedication, and room to grow beyond our self-imposed limits!

Happy Monday,

Celestial