Transformation of Thoughts

Today I offer you a transformation in thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.  My December 2014 self in comparison to my September 2018 self.  The words flowed as easily today as they did back then…but with a much different perspective on the energy I choose to bring into the world.

I have made seemingly small, insignificant choices over the last 1,400 days that has brought me to a new place…one that is sustainable and deeply rooted.  A place that is more comfortable and equally (if not more) productive and fulfilling.  A place that still takes pride in a job well done or a smile across someone’s face…but does not require me to sacrifice my mind, body, and soul to achieve it…In fact, I am more me than I have ever been before.

I share this with you as a source of hope…that maybe you are not as trapped as you think you are…maybe with some journaling sessions, meaningful conversations with loved ones or bosses and a possible therapy session…small adjustments can begin to be made over time.  Sure some chaos may ensue, but the dust will settle and everyone will adjust around your new normal.  You deserve a life that you don’t NEED to take a vacation from!

Bio picAlicja Carter, MHR, LADC, BHWC, has been working in the behavioral health and addiction treatment field for over ten years.  She is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Wellness Coordinator/Coach for Gateway to Prevention and Recovery in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  Alicja is passionate about pursuing a well life and collaborating with others for the purpose of stimulating positive change in her community.

 

Rock What You Got!

Rock What You Got - Blog Branding

My girlfriends and I took a road trip to Kansas City over the Labor Day Weekend for some R&R and to spend time with my family.  Late Saturday night, we were sprawled out on the bed and floor, talking, reading, and looking up new recipes.  I had found a box of papers from my childhood and was curiously reconnecting with my younger self.  I discovered various journal entries that expressed my love for pizza, sheet music and lyrics that warned of acid rain and global warming, and a remixed poem of people at a mall working together to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.  My favorite was a letter than we were asked to write in the 4th grade (I think) to our parents regarding what they could expect when they attended parent-teacher conferences the next day.

So, what was my take away from all of this?

Sometimes, life feels very big to me.  I can get overloaded with information and overwhelmed with decisions about who I am supposed to be or what I am supposed to do at any given moment.  These readings reminded me that I have cared about certain things and operated in certain ways for my entire life.  These are the characteristics that make me…me.  Of course, I want to stay open-minded to how other people experience this life.  However, I have the tendency to lose myself in the land of infinite possibilities (podcasts, Pinterest, social media, recommended readings, etc.)  At the end of the day, I have to connect with and contend with the passions, quirks, ideas, expressions, obstacles, family systems, geographical settings, and culture that I embody.  My experiences are no more important nor insignificant when compared to my fellow human.

As my friend Aja Owens proclaims so wholeheartedly, it is our right and responsibility on this earth to, “Rock What You Got!”

Take time this week to think about the characteristics that make you – you! u.

Write down 30 facts about yourself and see what surfaces. 

Ask friends to describe you in one word. I wonder what sticks out to others that you are not giving yourself credit for.  It is easy to dismiss the attributes that come most naturally because we don’t have to work for them.  We have trouble recognizing our strengths because they come easy to us and we just assume they come easy to others as well…and therefore are not deserving of a pat on the back.

Wouldn’t it be wild if we took a month off of self-improvement and spent that time just noticing how freaking unbelievable we already are?!?

Ya’ll are amazing and are positive forces for good in this world.  Even on your worst day, we all benefit from your presence.

 

Bio picAlicja Carter, MHR, LADC, BHWC, has been working in the behavioral health and addiction treatment field for over ten years.  She is a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor and Wellness Coordinator/Coach for Gateway to Prevention and Recovery in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  Alicja is passionate about pursuing a well life and collaborating with others for the purpose of stimulating positive change in her community.

 

All Men: When to Challenge

The board room has an attorney, a facility manager, an office systems business owner, a banker, a pharmacist, a trucker, a retiree and me.  They are brilliant leaders in our community and they are in the dark when it comes to digital media.  I love serving on this board and I love that my background is so diverse from theirs – that I am younger than them, and that I am the “girl” in the room.  One thing that sometimes tickles me is that my ideas are often times completely foreign and outlandish to them, not because I am trying to be different but because my lens is just different. It sometimes leads to some ridicule and comments like, “Yeah, hey Randy – go ahead and twit that out would you?”

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Be You, Do Right, Keep Moving

“I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller

Perseverance is vital to long-term success. As the richest man of his time, John D. Rockefeller knew that nothing of importance is built without much hard work. To do so, the work and focus must be intentional and consistent  – no matter the task.

In each of us is the potential to be successful, and with focus, a specific mindset, and a vision of your goal to become truly unstoppable you can tap into it.

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Mentorship is My Purpose

The year is 1995, and I, Rachael Row, enter the WMU dorms on the campus of Oklahoma Baptist University to begin the pursuit of purpose.  I am a stranger on this campus, unfamiliar with the town or the school, but ready to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

Fast forward four years through the track and field career and a Health and Physical Education & Recreation degree, and the entrepreneurial journey begins.  A few career changes, some life experience, and a network of professionals from around the world, and believe it or nor, I am on purpose more than ever!

Because I know who I am and exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life, I will walk back onto the Oklahoma Baptist University campus, this time as a mentor. I am going to share my understanding of my purpose and my personal brand to young women who are finishing the final leg of their college journey.

Tomorrow night I will use and share my gifts and talents. I have been asked to, not only be a mentor for this year, but also to speak at the inaugural kick off dinner of Lydia’s Lamp Mentorship program for young women on campus.  I am very honored to be a leader in the program, which has been titled in honor of Lydia, the influential and successful businesswoman mentioned only two times in the Bible.

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It Can’t Be Just About You

In response to my last blog post, a woman encouraged me to continue this message of unapologetic success and shared her experiences of battling against media and society along her professional journey.  Additionally,  I was encouraged by the number of responses and comments I received through social media platforms.  For that  – I thank you.  Your comments and feedback remind me this message is greater than me, and it is needed.  So we will take this taboo subject and make it streamline – together!

My personal tagline is “I don’t apologize for success or failure,” this is an intentional statement, and I mean it!  More importantly I want you to adopt the tagline in your life.  It may seem radical for me, a believer, to tout a refusal to apologize.  This is not a rude, snotty statement, but a radically honest and pointed attitude I am hoping more women will adopt.  While there are many reasons for this personal statement, a video I recently watched reminded me of the biggest reason of all…. it isn’t just about me.

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Beyonce’ Sings My Thoughts

Sometimes my thoughts come out in Beyonce’s songs and I am not sure how that happens.  Most recently, her song Flawless, brashly and aggressively paints the picture of our twisted support of successful women.  Here are a few of the lyrics that were PG enough for me to post.

We teach girls to shrink themselves
To make themselves smaller
We say to girls
“You can have ambition
But not too much
You should aim to be successful
But not too successful
Otherwise you will threaten the man”

Society wants women to be successful, but not so successful they outshine men, hmmm. We all know this.  We may not want to know this – but we do. We, ambitious women, know it before we are able to articulate it. Academic research, to a certain extent, confirms our instincts.  And a great blog post , written by Rebecca Ruiz earlier this year, confirms no one is immune to these cultural barriers, not even world famous celebrities like Taylor Swift.

Continue reading “Beyonce’ Sings My Thoughts”