Quality Time With Self Is Such a Reward

I’m sitting at my favorite cafe, Mo Joes in the Short North having lunch, doing a little work and taking in the sun. One of the most rewarding moments to being an entrepreneur is the flexibility in my schedule.  I finished three awesome sessions with my clients and I’m treating myself to a window table at the cafe.  My vacation was long overdue and I have come back refreshed and renewed about life, self, family, business and friends. It seems like when I’m away from the office, I take time to really smell the roses and focus my time and energy on realistic tasks.  This is just a little something that I wanted to share today.  What are you doing differently than you’ve before about your life?

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What Really Matters In Life?

Well, we are back from our family vacation and boy, did we need it.  It was an opportunity to truly relax, reflect and appreciate what really matters in life.  We went to Folly Beach, SC and we had the best time.  We went to the beach daily and then hurried back to the house to change and then walk the streets of downtown Charleston.  I didn’t realize how much history sits in the state of SC.  I visited the Slave Mart Museum where the building was the actual Auction Block where slaves were bought, sold and traded.  I toured the Boone Hall Plantation, the only living plantation in SC.  This simply means that they still grow crops there and are sold from this plantation.  One of the most poignant parts of the tour was when I met a lovely lady who was weaving the  sweetgrass baskets at the Market.  When I began talking to her, she shared with me that her grand-mother, mother and she were raised on the Boone Hall Plantation.  I had the honor and privilege to meet an actual descendant from the Boone Hall Plantation the day after my tour and on my birthday, June 9th.

More importantly, this vacation was a time of renewal, rebirth of quality family time, appreciating my life as it is.  I took advantage of the time and read two books.  This is something that I don’t do very often is finish a book in a week let alone, two.  I felt such a sense of accomplishment.  The books were: The Five Love Languages and When God Winks at You.  I couldn’t put the books down.  Could it have been that the books were so interesting or was it that I dedicated time to self-improvement.  This shouldn’t just happen on vacation.  I have to carve out dedicated time for my daily spiritual devotions, reading books more often, knitting, playing with the kids and of course, quality time with my husband.  We had so much fun that I can’t really put it all into words.

I decided that this vacation will continue even here in Ohio.  I will commit to myself that life is too short to allow the little things to pass by.  I will aim to read one book per week.  I will knit daily.  I want to even blog daily on my personal blog because this is therapeutic.  I will schedule my running or walking events to occur weekly and prepare for the Half Marathon. When I write it down, it seems like I’m clearly speaking it into existence and I can even hold myself accountable.

Thank you for listening and being open to my life as a person of strong faith in the Lord, woman, wife, mother, business owner and advocate of causes.  Some of my blogs will be spiritual to encourage, family oriented to relate, humorous, long and sometimes short.

What have you realized lately about your life and the time that you invest in it?

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The Day of a Woman: Wife, Mother, Entrepreneur and Friend

Well, it’s the second day of the working week of the New Year and it’s taking me a while to get focused.  I have so much on my mind that I can’t seemed to figure out where to begin.  Yesterday, I treated myself to a “Me Day.”  I began my day by having breakfast at the kitchen table.  I share this because this is extremely rare for me during the week.  I usually grab a yogurt, a protein drink from Arbonne and run out the door.  I actually sat at the table and had a bowl of cereal and a glass of orange juice.  I then, went to my prayer closet and began my Bible study.  This month, I’m studying the Book of Hebrews.  For every chapter in the book, I read on the corresponding day of the week.  For example, yesterday was the third of January so I read, studied and listening on my Bible Experience audio disk, the same chapter.  Now my closet isn’t some extravagant room in my house where no one can find me but my actually closet where my clothes are. I have just enough room to make my closet feel like my own little sanctuary.  I have a nice warm rug on the floor because sometimes when I pray or I’m reading, I do fall asleep.  But even still, I feel the presence of the Lord watching over me and just smiling because He knows that I’m serious about learning to live for Him.  He also knows that I get so comfortable that falling asleep there on the fall is ok too.  I then went to get my hair done at Charles Penzone.  It’s been a year and three months since I’ve had a relaxer and I love my natural hair.  So I just needed a deep conditioner, a hair trim and I got it flat-ironed.  It felt great and looked even better.  I ran to my business office to pay my lease for January before my 1:30 appointment at the Apple store.  I was there longer than I wanted to be because I still had some “me” things to do like go to Starbucks and get a carmel apple spice and go into Hallmark and purchase a card just to have extras.  I love giving cards.  I ran my office and ran into a friend at the office and we briefly chatted about our New Year weekend and just had great small talk.  Then, it was 3:15, and my son called wondering where was I at because it was time to pick them up from school.  All this being said to just share the life of a woman who is a wife, mother, business owner and friend.  My days are never boring and my life is never predictable.  I even feel better just writing my thoughts on this blog without a purpose, an agenda or motive.  I’m writing because I can.  Thank you for reading my thoughts as I prepare to get focused on the day at hand.  Make a difference in someone’s life today.  I hope I did.   Yvette

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The Unveiling of Seven Circles of Hope

On Wednesday, December 22, 2010, I had the privilege and honor to be in the presence of eighteen women who are currently incarcerated.  This was their Christmas gift to me.  I was more excited about surprising them with gifts and sentimental items that realizing where I was at, didn’t even matter.  We have all made bad choices in life.  The difference is that some of us got caught by the law and the penalty is to be removed from our loved ones and the things that we most enjoy the most like making decisions and choices on our own.  I entered the prison at 11:30 that morning and because I had so many items with me, that there needed to be time for security to review each and every object.  My organization is Seven Circles of Hope, a new nonprofit organization that mentors woman who are currently and formerly incarcerated.  The organization connects individuals with resources that change their lives’ and encourage them to serve.  This is a mentoring sisterhood and advocacy program.  I’ve known this first group of women since March 8, 2010 during Momentum 2010 in Columbus, OH.  This day, we celebrated Women and Girls Day in the state.  I was one of the speakers and the facilitator at this event but we were blessed to be amongst 300 incarcerated women.  That day, I knew my purpose was to serve this population and it was confirmation that my undergraduate degree in Sociology/Criminology was not in vain.  Here I came back full circle to minister to the same population that I so enjoyed studying some twenty years ago.  I’m in my purpose and being with these women truly brings me joy.  We have built relationships of trust, respect and transparency without judgement of one another. Even writing this blog puts a smile on my face.  Thank you for being a part of my thoughts today and I will continue to share certain parts of my life with you that hopefully can bless your life.  Be Blessed!

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Today I Saw Nine Butterflies

Today I saw nine beautiful butterflies.  These were not your ordinary butterflies.  They were diverse with charisma, creativity, curiosity and control.  They were meek, strong, fragile and bold.  I saw nine butterflies. The moment I saw them, they put a smile on my face and I just wanted to hold them, admire them, encourage them and protect them.  They prance, flutter, transform, illuminate and encourage.  I saw these butterflies and I just smiled.  I reflected on the moment I first saw them when they were in a cocoon, so fragile, filled with anticipation, some with fear, some with doubt and others with apprehension.   Even I  glow when I see the transformation of their maturity and desire to bloom with excellence.  I can recall when the butterflies were caterpillars.  They would attach themselves to those who were like them.  This was their way of maintaining safety from within.  I so admire the privilege of witnessing the miraculous transformation of their inner beauty.  They proudly have shed off old skin preparing with anticipating the beauty of their wings.  As their wings become dry and stiff, this represents their commitment and the conviction of doing what is righteous.  These wings are strong yet sometimes still fragile.  These wings are colorful yet transparent for the light to be seen in and through them.  Today I saw nine butterflies colorful, vibrant, creative, innovative and strong. They were so beautiful that they even had names: Anita, Cynthia, Deborah, Do’Rethia,  Jonelle, Lana, Nicole, Nina and Rachel. My sisters, the ministry, the reason for Hope.

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Teamwork In The Marriage

This morning I was awakened to my husband’s voice of his car not starting because he left his keys in the ignition overnight. I jumped up because I knew what this meant, that I would have to take the kids to school. That is usually his task in the morning and I do afternoon pickup. So I jumped up because our initial strategy was to use our jumper cables and get the battery started. I threw on some boots, a coat and left my pajamas on. I looked a hot mess but what are you going to do at 5:30 in the morning? The jumper cables weren’t long enough so I backed my car out of the garage to move closer to his car. It still didn’t work. In the meantime, we called AAA and they responded with courtesy and professionalism in about twenty minutes. We later found out that we needed to purchase him a new battery. It seems like repairs and such always occur when you are ready to trade the car in. So yes, we had to purchase a brand new battery. We woke the kids up, they got dressed and came down to eat their breakfast. We didn’t panic or rush. We just knew that everything was going to work out if we both just worked together to accomplish the same goal. And that we did. My husband turned to me and said “Honey we make a perfect team.” Yes we do!

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Fancy Free, Family, Financial Freedom in One Day

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and it’s so wonderful to wake up on a Saturday morning and not have anything scheduled today. My dogs woke me up this morning at 7:00 wanting to go outside. Instead of me letting them out in the backyard, I decided to give them a treat and walk them around the block. It’s so funny watching our Boxer, Armstrong and our Bichon Frise, Lena walk side by side. Last week, I used the double leash where they are literally connected but Armstrong kept pulling Lena and she was rolling over on the ground. That was not a pretty site. After the walk, I has a boost of energy so I wrote the grocery list, freshened up and cut out coupons. I was on a roll today. I knew in my mind that I was going to clean up those piles of papers that were in my office for months and I also knew that it was going to take all day. I watched the OSU vs Michigan game with the family. I was the only one cheering for OSU. They won 37 to 7. I was very proud of them. I began organizing our bills and finances so that we can become financial free again. I pulled out a binder with tabs, organized our budget and was excited about our game plan from Dave Ramsey. We are on a mission. I encourage you to put your goals in writing and make it plan so that it can be achieved. Make the best out of your time.

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