What We Believe Determines Our Outcome

Eagle and the Chickens

The Eagle and the Chickens

A long time ago in a remote valley, there lived a farmer. One day he got tired of the daily routine of running the farm and decided to climb the cliffs that brooded above the valley to see what lay beyond.

He climbed all day until he reached a ledge just below the top of the cliff; there, to his amazement was a nest, full of eggs.

Immediately he knew they were eagle’s eggs and, even though he knew it was profoundly un-ecological and almost certainly illegal, he carefully took one and stowed it in his pack; then seeing the sun was low in the sky, he realized it was too late in the day to make the top and slowly began to make his way down the cliff to his farm.

When he got home he put the egg in with the few chickens he kept in the yard. The mother hen was the proudest chicken you ever saw, sitting atop this magnificent egg; and the cockerel couldn’t have been prouder.

Sure enough, some weeks later, from the egg emerged a fine, healthy egret. And as is in the gentle nature of chickens, they didn’t balk at the stranger in their midst and raised the majestic bird as one of their own.

So it was that the eagle grew up with its brother and sister chicks. It learned to do all the things chickens do: it clucked and cackled, scratching in the dirt for grits and worms, flapping its wings furiously, flying just a few feet in the air before crashing down to earth in a pile of dust and feathers.

It believed resolutely and absolutely it was a chicken.

One day, late in its life, the eagle-who-thought-he-was-a-chicken happened to look up at the sky. High overhead, soaring majestically and effortlessly on the thermals with scarcely a single beat of its powerful golden wings, was an eagle!

“What’s that?!”, cried the old eagle in awe. “It’s magnificent! So much power and grace!It’s beautiful!”

“That’s an eagle”, replied a nearby chicken, “That’s the King of the Birds. It’s a bird of the air… not for the likes of us. We’re only chickens, we’re birds of the earth”.

With that, they all cast their eyes downwards once more and continued digging in the dirt.

And so it was that the eagle lived and died a chicken… because that’s all it believed itself to be.

~Author Unknown

 

How many of us have these FAKE friends? You may say that they were only chickens and eagles, how could they be fake friends?

Although the birds may not have looked in the mirror, they knew that the eagle was different, the he did not fit in with the rest of them.

They also were very aware of what an eagle was, quickly differentiating themselves from the soaring eagle above ~ The KING of the birds.

Why would the eagle never soar?

The Eagle was Born to Win, but Conditioned to Lose

The eagle lived with the chickens, enjoying his time with his friends. His friends were proudly birds of the earth, and wanted their eagle buddy to stay with them. They helped him learn and grow in the chicken community, never suggesting or encouraging him to be an eagle. Instead, likening him to a chicken when another eagle soared above.

The Eagle Never Knew Anything Different

In his lifestyle, the eagle didn’t’ come across any other eagles, except the lone one that flew above. He only knew the lifestyle of the chicken and felt that he could only be a chicken. Unfortunately, his FAKE friends didn’t tell him otherwise.

The Eagle Had Fake Friends and Didn’t Know It

FAKE friends are ones that don’t want to see the best in you or want the best for you. They are the ones that see you are an eagle, know that they aren’t, so they don’t want you to soar. They are working out of jealousy, ignorance or even just their desire to not lose their friend to the sky. The chickens would prefer to have the eagle dig in the dirt next to them than to be a great King of the Birds.

 

So, the question is…

Do you have FAKE friends?
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Are your friends working to convince you that you are a chicken or are they willing to let you soar?

Now, if you have friends that you like to hang out with or just have a good time, that’s one thing, but you may have to reassess your friendships if they are the ones that encircle you.

Whether your “friends” convince you to stay in a bad relationship, tell you that you aren’t smart enough to get a degree or pretty enough to find a husband, none of them are not worth your time.

You may need to get rid of the things that are holding you back. Sometimes those decisions are hard, but when it comes to some friends, especially longstanding friendships, they are downright awkward.

Don’t let those around you hold you back.

You may just have to let the past go. Be the champion that you need to be. Diva in the now.

 

 

Come linkup and join us weekly for The 1 Word Blog Linkup hosted by The Golden Spoons, Blogitudes and Confessions of a Mommyholic on Wednesday Mornings at 6 am EST.  This week’s wordsFAKE & QUIET.

This post was inspired by Essentials for Godly Living – Session II: Matching your desires to your outcome.

References: Phil 2:12-13; Hebrews 12:1

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Begin with the First Step

Last week, I called an old friend of mine, who’s also my son’s Godmother. She’s a hardworking woman who’s been in the trenches of teaching since graduating college. She jumped right in working in the inner cities of Baltimore. Over the years, she has become tired, tired of the uphill battle that she seems to be facing as time goes on. The younger children are falling farther behind and the older children are just plain giving up. Parents aren’t helpful either and many leave it up to the teachers to do all of the educating.

The conversation lasted over two hours, but somewhere in the middle I asked her…

What do you think would help teachers succeed in class?
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Where do we begin? Her response… “If all of the children could read.”

As heartbreaking as it is, so many children in this country cannot read. Sadly, in some areas, there is only one book to every 300 homes! Can you imagine living in a home with no books, no reading material of any kind, except maybe a gossip magazine? Can you imagine wanting to come home from school and read something, anything, but there’s literally nothing to read.

As much as we talk about fast food restaurants in low income areas, we rarely talk about the low number of libraries in those same regions. If you have multiple children and no car, how likely are you to brave that trip?

As a mother to three young ones, one who reads way above his grade level, another learning to read (and who loves to “read”), and a third who flips pages through books all the time, even I think going to the library is a struggle. In an age where we have story time, toddler areas and interactive computers, there’s still a push to stay QUIET. Picking out a book for a toddler can be such fun, yet trying to keep them quiet is another chore… then you have two who want to run in different directions to see what the library has for them!

Let’s just say, I don’t find the library a family friendly place. If I make sure my library trips are cut down to less than 10 minutes, pre-planning the books we’re going to get, strapping the kids in the stroller as to not disrupt other readers, how many people who have to get their kids on a bus do you think will be willing to make that trek?

What about after a long 10 hour day at work (including commute)?

I’m not making excuses, I’m trying to show compassion, understanding and a possible solution.

It got me thinking. What can I do to change this? As I mentioned last week, I’m part of National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Each year, they host an annual Community Baby Shower where they inform new mothers of what’s to come and provide them with some of the essentials, like diapers and car seats. (If you’d just like to donate to this cause, shoot me an email spiritedlife {at} gmail.com).

Then I had an idea… a doable idea… a place to begin… a small piece that I hope will make a huge impact.

I would like to collect 500 books for the mothers (families) who attend this baby shower!

On average, we get between 100 and 200 mothers since the beginning of the shower, and we have not outfitted them with baby books or any books, but I’d like to change that this year. I would like to send every mother home with 3-5 books apiece.

Would you like to help?

I’m looking for new and gently used books for ages newborn through young adult. Often the siblings and relatives also do not have books, thus the littlest one can feel out of place being the only one reading. Think how we treat Christmas gifts! We don’t only give to the one child!

I will personally be collecting books in the Palm Beach, FL and the Baltimore, MD areas. If you’d like to help me collect books in your area, I can work to help you get them into the hands of those youth in need!

Thank you to Lisa from The Golden Spoons, who challenged myself and other bloggers at the start of 2015 to The 1 Word Challenge.  This weeks words were: Begin, Surprise, Forever.unnamed

This post was inspired by a message on Lioness Arising entitled Dangerous and Fully Awake by Lisa Bevere and part of my personal “Be Uncomfortable” challenge.

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Be Ready for the Opportunity

As we grow up, learn, and work to succeed, we realize there are a lot of things that we could of done differently.

Some would call this regret.

I don’t like regret. In my mind, regret means that you wish you did things differently. For me, the problem with wishing things were different means that the good things that you have now may go away, not just the bad.

Yet, with all of the regrets that we have, how can we minimize them in the future?

In short, you must put yourself in the right position.

What is it that you want for your future? Do you want a family? A career? A business? A better relationship? Be in better shape?

It’s time to start taking yourself seriously and know that there’s no day like today!

I must prepare myself

I am part of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, first in the Orange County, California chapter, now in the West Palm Beach, Florida chapter.

While in the Orange County chapter, I was part of our program, Creating Wealthy Women, the foundation for the business that I’d like to create.  In this school year long program, we took high school girls and talked to them about college, jobs and their future. Our President, Lori Anne Hayes, chose this as our mantra:

I must prepare myself to be ready for the opportunity when it presents itself. ~Lori Anne Hayes 
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Athletes, some of the highest paid talent, spend hours working on their skill. Basketball is made up of three major offensive components, shooting, ball handling and running. Yet, basketball players will spend hours shooting free throws just in case they have to shoot a free throw. It’s the one place there is no opposition to the shot, which means it’s the only shot they can plan and practice exactly the way it would be in the game. Free throws are not even a guaranteed part of each players game. The players most likely to have to shoot free throws are the players that are not good at them because the other team knows that the person hasn’t practiced the skill.

Opportunities are all around us. It’s up to us to practice, to get ready, to prepare and plan. Whether it’s a better job or the perfect partner, they are out there! But have you moved to position yourself to receive it?

If the perfect man came up to you, would your heart be open enough to love him?

If the perfect job found you on LinkedIn, would you be able to say “YES” today? or would you have to get some more training, prepare more, learn something before being confident enough to accept the position?

Even in this time of tight budgets and ever increasing costs, sometimes you’ll have to spend a little to gain a lot or you’ll have to do a lot of free work. You just have to consider what you’ll gain in exchange for your time or money… because remember time is money.

You may have regrets in your past, but don’t regret your future.
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Thank you to Lisa from The Golden Spoons, who challenged myself and other bloggers at the start of 2015 to The 1 Word Challenge.  This weeks words were: Paradise, Alone, Regret.

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What Does Tomorrow Hold? {Free Printable}

I woke up Saturday morning with my to do list running through my head. I often only have weekends to get “me” things done…and every week that list starts with a couple of things and grows to about 20 by the time Saturday rolls around.

This Saturday, I was also invited to an event, one that promised to discuss the mind-body connection, renewal of the mind, and breaking old patterns. All of these things I need as I move forward trying to build my business.

I wake up most days tired, not only from my girls not sleeping through the night, but from my mind racing of all the things I want to do, beyond my regular to do list.

Getting there was another issue, having to get some cleaning done before I left the house. I was a few minutes late, but right in time to get into it.

One of the activities we did was to figure out what was standing in our own way. What mental blocks kept us from making progress. What do we need to release in order to add more to our lives? The group list ended up something like this:

Release:

Resentment – Jealousy – Hurt – Fear – Worthlessness – Procrastination – Mistrust – Anger – Sadness – Judgment – Meekness – Despair – Unhappiness – Past – Debt – Impatience – Absence – Addiction – Loneliness – Wandering – Pity – Last

Receive:

Love – Trust – Value – Integrity – Courage – Happiness – Peace – Joy – Strength – Freedom – Respect – Patience – Comfort – Acceptance – Honesty – Kindness – Presence – First

 

What I noticed was that no one wanted success, wealth or fame! Life has broken many of us and we aren’t able to get past our past.

I used to work for a business development company and they would say

The number one reason that a business doesn’t grow is because
the owner fails to get out of their own way. Is that you? Click to Share

For others, their past is not getting in their way, but they are not as productive as they could be. The session continued discussing all of the things we have to do each day.  How many of these are needs and how many are wants? How many will we actually get to in one day?

You can start off tomorrow being more productive. Here are some tips to help you!

Get it Done Challenge
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One Change
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Thank you to Lisa from The Golden Spoons, who challenged myself and other bloggers at the start of 2015 to The 1 Word Challenge.  This weeks words were: Tomorrow, Guilty, Confused.

 

 

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Being Challenged is Inevitable, Being Defeated is Optional

I’ve been in a funk. I’m not sure why. I feel like everyday is on repeat…

Being Challenged isWake up…

Take care of my girls…

Clean house…

Pick up son…

Cook dinner…

Put girls to sleep…

Go to sleep.

REPEAT.

Throughout the second half of last year, I lost 30 pounds. I was on such a roll and a high that I vowed that this year I would hit my goal weight once and for all.

I started walking every day (one goal) and eating pretty decently… until the evening. I got two GIANT bags of Boom Chicka Pop popcorn from Costco and I love popcorn… I like to eat a lot of it and it’s really one of the worse things you can eat when you’re trying to lose weight. You can eat a TON and feel like you haven’t eaten a thing.

Did I mention it was on sale at Costco? It’s like buying the giant tub of popcorn (with refills) from the movies, for $4! It’s been on sale the last two times I went.

Then the yummy animal crackers… oh, just a hint of sweetness, it satisfies my carb craving.

Of course, all of this sounds a lot better with a glass of wine.

It doesn’t help that I eat dinner around 6 or 7, but don’t go to sleep until 11… and if you’ve been eating every couple of hours all day, that 4 hour stretch before bed gets hard.

So, of course, the logical thought is don’t have a drink, then don’t eat the junk and take my behind to sleep at a decent hour, right?

Yeah right.

So, I can do this. God does not want me to be unhealthy, and I shouldn’t mess up my progress.

God wants to work within you before he’ll work around you! #CFQuotes @CFimpact via @theaprilnoelle  Share on Twitter

What has you feeling defeated? What is challenging you today?

Almost every week, I go to church, and I get a LOT of the sermon. For a long while, I’ve been meaning to put it all into words on paper… not notes, but how I plan on applying it in my life. There will be some tidbits of the sermon, and sermon notes, in case you want to study further. 

1 Sam. 16: God took an imperfect person, David, and anointed him. David, at the time, was a lyre player for the court, not in any high ranking position. Yet, in those times, before he became King of Israel, David took the opportunity to learn how the court worked for when he would take the lead, he knew what he was doing.

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