Monday Mantra-I AM Luv

As you begin your week, remember that every one of us may be going through something. People can appear happy and look as if everything in their life is okay but it may not be. Whether someone appears to be okay or not, be luv and extend luv. Extend luv to others and most of all, extend luv to yourself. Whatever that luv is in the form of a smile, a kind word, a hug, or grace, give luv because you are luv. 

 
In Luv and Dessert,

~Leisa Monique

Allowing Others to Grow and Evolve

Every one of us is experiencing personal growth and evolution in some form right now. Just take a look at social media. You will see posts from people expressing how they are loving and taking care of themselves, what they will and will no longer accept in their lives, how they are healing from childhood wounds, and so on. People are setting boundaries for themselves that they are not allowing others to violate. They are honoring themselves and giving themselves grace as they navigate the waters of personal growth. We are all shedding our old selves and transforming into the beings we were created to be. We are not who we used to be.


As we all continue to grow and evolve, it is essential to remember that others are growing and evolving as well. Not only are we not the person we used to be, but other people are not who they used to be either. This includes people you may have had differences with, people who may have hurt you in some way, or people you just didn’t get along with. Often, the version of a person that we remember most and hold onto is the one that we associate with the emotion that stems from a personal experience or something we heard or read about them. This version may no longer exist.


As you continue to grow and evolve, release yourself from previous versions of yourself that no longer exist. But as you do, also release others from the version of them that you remember or knew them to be. Give people the space to grow and evolve and allow them to be the newest version of themselves. Holding on to an old version of a person and judging them in the present based on who they were in the past does not serve us, nor does it serve the greater good.
Let’s remember that we are all growing and evolving into who we were created to be. Holding ourselves and others in the energy of the past inhibits our growth. It’s time for all of us to become who we were created to be and give others the space to do the same.

In luv and dessert,

~Leisa Monique

Monday Mantra: Right Where I’m Supposed to Be

No matter where you are at in your life right now, no matter what you are experiencing, no matter the “challenges,” please know that everything you are experiencing is here for your personal growth and evolution. Nothing has come to hurt you, it has come to help you evolve, develop, and grow. Embrace the space that you are in and always know that you are right where you are supposed to be.

In Luv and Dessert,

~Leisa Monique

Monday Mantra

If you have followed this blog for any length of time you know that here at #EMDF we embrace Monday and use the day to create a magnificent day and week. if you are new to the EMDF family I hope you, too will embrace Monday and use it to set the tone for the rest of your week.

I am super excited to kick off #MondayMantra, a weekly affirmation that you can use to get your Monday started. I will post a new Mantra every Monday in an effort to get more people to embrace the beauty of Monday rather than dread it.

In Luv and Dessert,

Leisa Monique

When the Teacher is Ready…

We have all heard it said that when the student is ready the teacher shows up. I was in a conversation recently with my BFF Sandra Dee and I was sharing with her all of the opportunities that I have been getting to be a panelist and speaker for various events. There have even been amazing career opportunities that have presented themselves. Its been pretty exciting for me. As we talked about it I recalled a time when I was frustrated because I wasn’t getting these opportunities. I’ve had this brand for over 10 years and have been in this space of inspiration, activism, self-worth, and self-luv for all of them. And though I have served as a keynote speaker and been a panelist countless times, it is only now that the opportunities are pouring in.

“What do you think the difference is,” she asked me, and as I thought about it, I thought about how I felt when presented with these opportunities in the past vs. how I feel now. Suddenly the light bulb turned on and I realized what was different. My confidence! In the past when I was asked to speak I would get extremely nervous. Oh, I would do it and do a great job but the process was almost excruciating. To the point where I would be tempted to pull out of the engagement. And I have done that too. I have canceled events that I had planned, had family emergencies so that I didn’t have to go through with a speaking commitment, or serve as a panelist or be in front of people. I was operating from a place of fear.

I have now reached a point in my life where I have learned to trust myself and the Spirit within me. I trust that I am capable of. I trust that I can execute. I trust that what I have to say is what is needed at the moment. I trust in my purpose. I am confident in the wisdom of my words. I am confident in ME. Getting to this point in my life has been a long and arduous process. It has been a beautiful process though, filled with all kinds of experiences. Some that still incite tears when I think about them and some that brought the badass me that I didn’t realize was there. There were some that brought sadness and despair and there were some that required me to develop my talents, skills, ideas, and strategic thinking. All of them played a role in me becoming the confident woman that I am now.

“Ah”, Sandra Dee said, “when the student is ready the teacher shows up.” But what I heard was “When the TEACHER is ready the students show up!” And that is was resonated with me. Students were showing up to hear what I have to say because their teacher is now ready. And ready she is!!

In Luv and Dessert,

~Leisa Monique

YOUR Journey

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LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD-BY JONATHAN MEAD

I loved this piece from Jonathan Mead, author of Illuminated Mind, so much that I wanted to share it with you!  Enjoy!

Right now, you have a choice. You can live life partially closed or wide open.
You can spend each day feeling completely spent, knowing that you gave everything. Or you can hesitate, hold back, and obstruct what you have to give.
The first path is where you let your heart guide you, immersed in a deep curiosity and with a sense of exploration. You smile at what you have yet to do because you know that each step will be joyful and deliberate.
The second path is filled with second-guessing, what-ifs, and seeking approval from maps and nods of others. You cringe with each step; you feel tense and unsure.
One way leads you to feeling thoroughly used up, knowing that you gave everything and held nothing back. Like at the end of a good run, you’re tired, yet energized.
The other way leaves you with a feeling of fragmentation; a sense that part of you has been closed off and bottled up. You feel twisted and jammed, as if some part of you is being pinched off.
They have a saying in sports to “leave it all on the field.” It means: Hold nothing back, put it all on the line. Don’t end the game feeling like you could have given more. Don’t leave feeling like you played it safe when you had the opportunity for something greater.
If you give everything, there will be no questions about what you could or might have done.
I definitely relate to this when I’m running the San Gabriel trails in my backyard. Most of the time I don’t run all the way up the steep climb to the top (an elevation gain and drop of about 4,000 feet over 7 miles), but when I stop to walk I hear a call somewhere in me asking if I have anything left to give. I ask: Jonathan, is there anything left in there? And even though my lungs are on fire and calves are burning I always find that the answer is Yes, there’s something more to give.
It’s easier when I’m on the trail. I’m only thinking about the next few steps in front of me; the next bush, the next turn… just a few more feet. In life I find it to be a bit more tricky. The path isn’t always as clear. Goals change as you move toward them; life can be messy and unpredictable.
But I find the goal to be the same. Give everything, hold nothing back. Unrelentingly feed love into everything that you do, in every interaction, every step. Even the smallest things can be done with great love.
Of course there will be days where you stumble. Sometimes you will make things out to be bigger than you are and forget what matters. Something on the path will distract you and deter you from the direction you want to go. But then you will remember to retrace your steps and take notice.
And when you reflect you’ll remember: give everything, hold nothing back. End each day thoroughly spent.
That’s the way I want to end each day. How about you?

RIGHT WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!

As I sit here and watch the sun rising I realize that at this moment, there is no place that I’d rather be! There is nothing that I’d rather be doing but sitting here in the stillness of the early morning marveling at the purplish, blue sky that is reminding me of the intelligence of the universe and that everything is as it should be because the Divine is as it should be. There is no place I’d rather be!

I haven’t always felt this way! There have been some days when I got off center and looked around me and saw my life and started to think that I should be much “farther along”‘ than where I am. A few days ago I was talking with the luv of my life and listening to him as he shared some of the disappointments that he has with himself. He expressed disappointment with some of the choices that he has made in his life and how he feels that these choices are responsible for his not being farther along in his life.

As I quietly listened to him express his thoughts my heart began to ache for him and for the countless numbers of people in the world who for whatever reason feel like they should be somewhere else in their lives; who feel like they should be doing something different than what they are doing.

I remembered feeling that way. I remembered the guilt and the sadness and even the embarrassment that came along with it. But what I remember the most about that place is coming to the realization that the choices and the decisions that I had made in my life up to that point were precisely the reason that I was who I was at that moment! I remember talking with God and expressing my own disappointment with some of the choices I had made and Him gently showing me that through all of those experiences that came along with those choices, I had become a better person! I had experienced growth from the pain of those decisions! I had evolved because of those decisions! I had learned from those experiences! Those “bad” decisions and choices had played a major part in shaping my character!!

Through the pain and suffering that came with some of the choices that I have made in my life, I have become more compassionate, more loving, more understanding and more tolerant of people and where they are in their lives. I have become a person of great character and I attribute it to the experiences of my life that those choices and decisions brought with them.

Perhaps you are looking at your life and thinking that you should be in a different job, have more money in your bank account, own your own home by now or are regretting a relationship that you had and if only you had not made THAT decision you would be much farther along in your life right now. But I’m here to tell you that YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!!

God doesn’t make mistakes! And if we begin to look at our life and at the “mistakes” that we have made along the way we will see that we have actually learned from them. How many times have you done something that has not turned out to be that great and you realized that it is something that you will never do again?! You learned from that “mistake” and therefore can’t call it a “mistake” at all! Its a life lesson! Even if you have found yourself doing the “same thing” over again there is still growth to be made from it.

Let me use the anology of lifting weights to drive my point home. Whether you are beginning a weight lifting routine or are experienced in the area, stay with me now, and are moving up to “heavier weight” there will be pain that comes with that heavy weight. Lifting weight actually tears your muscle fiber and anyone who has ever had any experience with working out for the first time or moving up to heavier weight than they are used to can tell you that major soreness sets in a couple of days later. The pain sometimes causes you to rethink and even regret the decision to exercise at all or to “go heavier.”

But it is in THIS pain that your muscles actually “grow”. It is the tearing of the muscle fibers that the weight causes that also causes the growth! How you ask? When your muscle fibers are torn your body begins the process of healing itself. Your body draws on the protein stores that is has to rebuild the muscle that has been torn from lifting the heavy weight. The result of the “healing” is that your muscles grow bigger because protein is being added to repair the torn muscle. That is why body builders are willing to go through the temporary pain they will experience from the heavier weight for they know that the growth they are going to have far outweighs the pain they feel in the ensuing moments.They know that the potential to be bigger and in their eyes, better, is there and they are willing to go through it to be bigger and better.

What does that have to do with you and where you are in your life? The “bad” decisions that you have made in your life, and will continue to make if you are human, are your weight! It will be these decisions that often bring pain and suffering with them that will also cause you to grow and to evolve. Does that mean you should just go around making bad decisions in order to grow? Of course not, but what it does mean is that on those occasions that you do make a decision or a choice that turns out to not be so good, understand that it will be from those decisions that you will also experience growth.

So instead of looking back on your life with regret, look back and marvel at how far you have come! look at the amazing person that you have grown to be! look at the character that has developed from those decisions! Look at the compassion that you now feel for others! Look at the wisdom that you now have! Look at the lessons that you have learned and the better choices that you will now make because of those lessons!

Hold your head up high, forgive yourself and flex the spiritual muscles that you have developed from the pain of the weight that you have lifted in your life. Know that at this moment everything in your life is as it should be and had it not been for those decisions you would not have grown into the person that stares back at you in the mirror of life. You are magnificent! You are marvelous! YOU ARE RIGHT WHERE YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE!

BE STILL AND KNOW…

Its Monday again; my favorite day of the week!! Its my new beginning and a day for a fresh start.

I got to bed late last night and overslept this morning. I missed the Sunrise which is my favorite part of the day. Instead of waking up the Sun smiling at me and to birds singing and trees rustling, I awoke to the sound of my blackberry chiming! I heard the noise of many cars and trucks driving by and voices of people. ARG! This is not how I want to start my morning!

I was tempted to immediately check that blackberry to see what those urgent messages were! My mind quickly turned to thoughts of concern for all the things that I have scheduled today: meetings with strategists, fundraising meetings, my bank account, my light and gas bill that is due, am I going to renew my lease and how much money I am going to need to do all of the things I need to do…you get the picture. See, I began to worry! Oh yes, even I get to a place of worry sometimes especially when I wake up late and don’t make time to sit in silence.

So that is exactly what I did…made time to sit in silence and just be!  I locked my door so that my children don’t come barging in, ignored that chiming blackberry, and tuned out the world. I turned to the things that I do to quiet my mind: meditation, prayer, and writing. This is my DESSERT, and I had to make time to eat it first instead of jumping right into my day.

As I sat and turned my attention to my heartbeat, the worries that I had previously began to fade away. the familiar peace that I know so well came back, and the words ” BE STILL AND KNOW” filled me! I focused on these words, and as I sat, I meditated on them. As I breathed in, I mentally said them! As I breathed out, I mentally said them! I held on to them, and I knew that this was the Divine telling me there is nothing to worry about!

Although I let go of being a  religious person a long time ago, I still love the Bible. The wisdom that it contains guides me. The words Be Still and Know… are from Psalms 46:10. This is the message that I want to give to you today: When you are tempted to worry, just be still and know! Know what you ask? Know that you are loved and that everything you need you already have. Know that everything will always be alright and if things seem to not be going your way, KNOW that the Divine has a much better plan for you! Something better than you had ever imagined!

So take time this Monday to be still. Find a place where you can go to just sit quietly and listen. Be grateful for this day and all the opportunities disguised as challenges that will present themselves to you today! I call them opportunities for growth! Instead of looking at them as problems, change your perspective and see them as opportunities! This is your time to evolve! this is your time to grow! This is your time to BE STILL AND KNOW that everything will be alright!

In luv and dessert,

Leisa Monique