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Can mountains be moved?

Can mountains be moved?

“She may be quiet but she’s a warrior and her prayers can move mountains.” – Unknown

 

I flew into San Diego, California this past weekend to be with three of my closest friends and the newest addition to our family.  This trip was well overdue, and after the few weeks I’ve had…I DESERVED IT!

 

As our flight began to descend Into the San Diego airport I raised the shade on my window (because Erykah Badu told me to get a window seat, Get it?).

 

My in-flight neighbor leaned over and said “is that snow on the mountains?” Even though it’s possible I wasn’t sure. Simply because I was focused on something else. How God continuously moves mountains.

 

I thought about my mom, and how much I admire her strength. She constantly reminds me that if you want your situation to be different you are the one to make it happen. That it’s a choice to live the way that you choose to live. She did an awesome job of raising us, and would always say that she wanted more for us than she had for herself.

 

More than anything she’s taught me that moving mountains are possible. God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we can ask or think.

 

I work with young people all the time reassuring them that what they’re facing is temporary, and great things require hard work.

 

I’m inspired by the prayer warriors and individuals that constantly remind me that what you’re going through is only temporary. Release your power to God, and let Him move that mountain.

 

Real Love and Debt Free by 2018.  

 

Xoxo,

RJ

 

What mountain do you need to be moved? Write it down on a sheet of paper with the date that you want it gone. Tape it to your mirror, and watch God move.

 

P.S.S. The Annual #SteeleThankful Challenge is coming. Are you ready. November 1st!

How do you face your FEARS after the age of 30?

How do you face your FEARS after the age of 30?

In our teens we had all the right answers.  You know, when we turned 18, we were smelling ourselves.  Everything that our peers, and parents wanted us to believe or say we rebelled.  Some of us…

The twenties are the time when you’re finding yourself, or the period of risk taking. Right?

Well, what do you do after you turn 30?

You can either decide to play it safe, or GO FOR IT!  Risk it all, or nah?

Traveling with my sister who’s now apart of the 40/40 club, I couldn’t help but glance over to what she was reading on the plane ride.  It was a book challenging self to set and complete bucket list tasks.  I began to think while on our trip how could we put this book to use.

When we spotted a zip line at a local art & wine festival, my sister had the perfect idea.

“Let’s do it, it’s on my bucket list.”

We joked before about zip lining at the zoo but it was over the bears, and we had seen the Katt Williams skit with the lions.  This route seemed a lot safer.

She said it was something about turning 40.  She reached the point of being unapologetic, and understanding that “No” is a complete statement.  I can’t wait until I get to that point. What I did realize in that moment is that the only time that things shifted for me was when I stepped outside of my comfort zone.

Growing up my sister and I used to love a good rollercoaster at a theme park, but the older we got we found ourselves playing it safe.  I was surprised when she suggested that we take on the task of flying over festival patrons.  Why did I do it?  I trust my sister, and I know that we are stronger together than going solo.  Even with all of my projects she is either the EP or Editor.  She has challenged me in ways that she may never know.

It’s so important to have a tribe to reassure you when you’re right, and CHECK YOU when you’re wrong.

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, and overcome those fears.  If there is something that you’ve been waiting to do; put a plan in motion and do it.  Don’t waste anymore time.  You got this!

XOXO,

RJ

 

When to say No to others, and YES to SELF…

When to say No to others, and YES to SELF…

“Reclaiming My Time!”

The statement by “Auntie” Rep. Maxine Waters is probably the quote of the year…or shoot the decade if you ask someone else.

Even though the quote was used during a heated political session it can pertain to so many areas of our lives.

If you were around for previous posts I talk about how much I learned from working in Dallas.  The work schedule was rigorous, and let’s be honest it’s hard to find good help.  There were a lot of sacrifices that were made, but some truly beautiful moments came out of it.  I dedicated that year to crushing personal goals (publishing the first book in the Adventures of Alleykats series, and traveling for theFinal 48 Project) that probably wouldn’t have been achieved unless I was placed in such a low and emotional state of mind.

I finally reached the point of saying No to others in that position for the sake of my sanity, and decided to say Yes to everything that I…yes…that I wanted.

I knew going forward in my next career/position that I would start practicing saying Yes to self.  Now, I’m able to identify the signs of being close to being BURNT OUT!

Living in your purpose has the greatest rewards, but sometimes it gets tough.  When we are out of the will of God we can become distracted with others looking for validation in the wrong places.  When I left Dallas, I vowed to NEVER let any employer or anyone rob me of my joy, and require so much of my time. If it doesnʼt aid in the growth of self I ainʼt participating.

If you donʼt enjoy doing it, it will show. Trust me.

I dedicated the last Saturday of September to spending quality time with my mom (in the morning), and one of my best friend’s (evening).

 

Bestie (Heartbeat) D.B.

 

I closed out my Saturday night with a wine festival located in St. Joseph, Michigan.  It was just what the doctor ordered.

Tank: BAE (Best Author Ever) IG – @browngirlswhowrite

I’m making more time for the things and people that I truly love and care about.

Reclaiming my time.  Reclaiming my TIME!

xoxo,

RJ

#FaveArchivist

Manicure Color: #Flowerista by Essie Polish

 

Sit back, Give back, and Observe: <3

Sit back, Give back, and Observe: <3

The past week I forced myself to chill, and observe everything around me.  I spent most of my time preparing for my current class, and the events that were going on at the work place.

On Friday I had the chance to pour into a few of our seniors that will be graduating from high school in less than two weeks.  Their minds have changed about life after high school, and at times I can relate.  We don’t want to admit it but we can be terrified of the next phase of our lives.

It’s normal.

The seniors ventured from the Boys and Girls Club Teen Center to spend the evening with the 6-8 year olds at the Youth Campus.  They played board games, read books, colored, and I was able to sit back and observe the magic happen.

I listened to the conversations that the seniors had amongst themselves saying, “we were once their size.”  I chuckled to myself and said we all have a starting point, and a place to end.

 

As the teens will transition on to life after high school, and conclude our season together they have taught me a few things.  The feeling of letting some things ride, the power of giving back, and the knowledge that comes with observation.  I’m going to miss my 2k17, but I’m believing that they will all soar to the next level.

 

XOXO,

RJ

 

3 Things I learned about myself in the first week of May

3 Things I learned about myself in the first week of May

After the week I had no one can tell me that you don’t have time to work on your own business, work a 9-5, and have a social life as a millennial with no children.

I was very mindful of what I fed my mind this week.  Matter of fact this past week was one of the most productive weeks that I’ve had in a LONGGGGGGGG time.  It started with an email that I received from Monique Malcolm on Monday morning. I was introduced to Monique via social media, and invested in her Visionary Journal a year ago.  The subject line read, “Start journaling in as little as 5-minutes a day.”  The subject immediately caught my attention, but I became engaged in the content once she broke down what I needed to do every single day.

I found a reason to journal everyday since Monday, and then I began to pick up momentum.  That’s right, I began CRUSHING MY GOALS all because of one email on Monday that allowed myself to be held accountable for my daily actions.

So, here’s what I learned:

  1.  I have to journal at least five times a week (weekdays; morning and evening) with actionable tasks for the day.
  2. I must delegate tasks to others.  I am a one woman show but the quickest way to be burnt out is doing everything by myself.
  3. Be social.  This goes for my personal and professional life.  Step outside of your comfort zone to broadcast who you are from time to time.  Meet new people, and engage your audience.

I went LIVE on my personal Facebook page on Friday during a radio interview, and I had so much fun.  Why?  I have a larger audience on my personal Facebook page, and I don’t always show them the love that they deserve.

This week I’m going to continue to journal with my new pens, and dream in color (using my new pens).

Write the vision down.  I can never say that enough.  Make it plain!  Acknowledge those that continuously support you. They believe in you, and want you to be great.  I’m listening, and I’m still pushing for more great content in the future.

XOXO,

RJ

Sorry…Not Sorry

Sorry…Not Sorry

When is the appropriate time to “disconnect” from your social media, and take a break?

Well, after the last week I’ve had the time has come for me to take care of self, and shut off all communication with social media.

I’m not able to put into words my level of exhaustion.  What I do know is that I need to take some time off.  At times I can over exert myself with my 9-5, and the other projects that I have going on.

I can remember when I resided in North Carolina, I would recharge by visiting my hometown (Michigan).

I plan to spend four days relaxing, and reconnecting with my purpose.

I’ll be back next week to share new revelations, and what activities I participated in during my days of disconnect.

Until then, check out this article on Bustle that features yours truly! <3

I’m dedicated to the #NoBlueMondays movement, so it is necessary that I take some time away from it all.

XOXO,

RJ

 

It’s Your Time – The Right Place at the Right TIME!

It’s Your Time – The Right Place at the Right TIME!

I am less than fifty (50) minutes away from this Monday being over.  I decided to wait until this Monday was almost over in order to find the motivation to push me through the rest of this week.

I planned to have a long post about visiting Michigan State University over the weekend with a close friend, and one of my student’s but that didn’t happen. My friend became ill on Friday, and the plans from my end were then cancelled.  I had high hopes for celebrating a student visiting an institution that was soon to be their home in the fall.  Things happen, and sometimes you must rock with it.

I didn’t have enough sleep last night, and I woke up with a million things on my mind.  I had no intentions of writing a Motivation Monday post until I was on my lunch break.  That didn’t happen either.  I spent my lunch break running errands for work, and the day was slipping away from me.

And then….

It was 5:45 pm.  I was in the lab at work, and a student comes running in, “Ms. RJ, Ms. RJ! Look! Look! I got in! I got in!”

A student that I’ve been working with, and anticipating an answer about his college admissions FINALLY received the response that he desired.  I screamed, and he yelled.  After the celebration I see him put his head down on the counter, and looks up to say, “I’m out of here.”  In that moment that student had the world in his hands.  He knew that the possibility of leaving the hood that raised him to embark on another journey was within reach.  His eyes bloodshot red, and myself trying to fight back tears.

Not in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that I would be in this place.  Assisting our future with college applications, scholarships, FAFSA, military, technical school, and shoot let’s be honest…LIFE.

I am inspired, and motivated daily by the young people I service everyday.  I’ve had people question why I decided to take on the position of working with local teens.  My answer is someone gave a damn about me, I must pay it forward. They invested in me, encouraged me, and motivated me to be the best person that I could be.  I see so much potential in our young people.  You remember the saying, “…it takes a village.”

I learned one thing about my encounter with this student today, when you want something bad enough don’t give up until you get it.

XOXO,

RJ

3 reasons why I will ALWAYS respect the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

3 reasons why I will ALWAYS respect the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

I am going to be perfectly honest with you.  This post would actually be the length of a book because I can simply go on for hours about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  There’s no reason for me to prolong this because it’s simply my opinion, and if you want to start somewhere watch the movie, Selma.

I will be brief and give you three reasons why I will ALWAYS respect the legacy of the Nobel Peace Prize Winner.  In no particular order because I may expand on this topic later.

  1. Sacrifice:  Have you seriously sat down and thought about the sacrifice of Dr. King and his family.  His family shared Dr. King with us at a time where there was complete darkness.  The African American community was tired of being second class citizens.  Dr. King took the leadership role and changed this country forever.  That leadership did not come without sacrifice (especially family).
  2. Leadership: Let’s be honest some of us need a leader.  Someone has to take control of the situation without focusing on titles, or receiving all of the praise.  Dr. King realized that the Civil Rights Movement would not progress without partnerships from those that were willing to take as much risks as he did. Every team needs a leader that is driven by faith, passion, and love.
  3. Faith: There is no secret that Dr. King was grounded in faith. Faith was essentially the basis of his, “I have a dream…” speech.  The faith that with persistent behavior and faith in God that our country would progress in the direction that would be a place suitable for his children.  The dream that future generations would be identified as equal amongst their peers in this nation that was built by our ancestors.  Got faith?

There will never be another Dr. King, but we can also learn so much from his leadership, sacrifice, and faith in a movement that changed the shape of our reality.  Some of us have family members that were present during the marches that occurred during the Civil Rights Movement.  We have family members that were local activists and used the strategies of Dr. King as the blue print to form a collective in order to make the community inclusive of all its residents, and not to exclude anyone.

On this Monday I am spending time with people of my own community celebrating the legacy of Dr. King, and discussing where we dropped the ball that caused the disconnect in order to thrive as a whole in our own neighborhoods.  We have the power to shape the next generation.  Let’s not spend another day focusing on what the community can do for us, but focus on what we can do for our community instead.  When we decide to work together as a community, everyone WINS.

 

XOXO,

RJ

BYE 2016! Bumps, Bruises, Heartaches, and Lessons Learned! ;-)

BYE 2016! Bumps, Bruises, Heartaches, and Lessons Learned! ;-)

What have I learned in 2016?

You can’t do it all by yourself.  As much as we think we can, we can’t. We need a team or a tribe to hold us accountable and essentially help with bringing the bigger picture to life. 

I have items on my vision board that didn’t come to fruition this year, and you know what. That’s okay.  

Vision Board 2016 vs Dream Catching in 2017
Vision Board 2016 vs Dream Catching in 2017

Add on to them or change them.  New Goals, New Year!

I took some trips this year that allowed me to connect more with my purpose. I connected with family members that I never knew existed, and reconnected with some people during unlikely circumstances. 

I overexerted myself in some areas, and simply loss the grip on some in my personal and professional life. 

But. Hey. That’s life. 

I started a new career path, in order to give back to my community, and find peace within my current journey.

I learned that you can be unqualified for a powerful position and still secure the job. It takes guts, and you have to be willing to put yourself out there. You will have naysayers, or as the millennials say “haters” but you can’t worry about them. Do what’s best for you. 

I had to get back to me this year. I’m going to focus more on what works best for my sanity. People won’t always understand what you’re doing, but for those that trust you they will support.

2017 will be a huge year of branding for Steele Lens and what falls under the umbrella of the company. 

The first book in the Adventures of Alleykats series was released, and the support has been EVERYTHING.  Looking forward to releasing book 2 in 2017.

Alleykats Club 2016
Alleykats Club 2016

The Final 48 Project continues to prove to me that the documentary and photography campaign is necessary.  Honestly, take a look at your timeline.  A lot of your friends have suffered a significant loss this year.  We need love and support from each other more than ever.

The annual #SteeleThankful Challenge will be bigger and better and that’s thanks to you all. You trusted me, participated, and we all learned so much about ourselves.

I will continue to keep the faith, and believe that God has some amazing things in store in order to make this world a better place. 

Throwing Glitter and Lots of Love going into 2017!

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Xoxo,

RJ

Rerouting: New Beginnings on the horizon

Rerouting: New Beginnings on the horizon

It’s another Monday!

This Monday is like no other for me.  I am starting a new position enriching the lives of the young people in my community.

It is necessary for me to pour into the community that raised me.  Here’s the funny thing, all of this happened within a week. Had no idea that I would be starting this new journey on the same day that I’m discussing COMMUNITY for the #SteeleThankful Challenge.

Often times we need to take a look around us, and realize that we are sometimes the missing piece to the masterpiece.

I believe this rerouting of my life is absolutely needed.

I’m excited about the new position, and especially building new relationships.

XOXO,

R.J.