Many of us prefer noise to silence, because in the stillness of silence we are alone with our thoughts and feelings, while at the same time closely if not fully aligned with our highest energy Source—our Creator. That massive power can be intimidating to many people. It reflects your greatness as the creation, and it shows your smallness in relation to the One that created you.

Here’s a great quote from Mother Teresa:

It’s easier to avoid the realness and deepness that is required in silence, when we instead hide in the chaos of noise caused by technology and human chatter.

In my opinion there is nothing more beautiful than those brief moments of silence. That’s why I love “sensory deprivation” pods and chambers, especially the ones that allow me to float in water; as they blot out sight and sound I’m free to tune in to self. The energy that flows through you is exhilarating and restorative. I feel centered and truly “woke” beyond human description. You don’t need any devices or routines. Just sit or lie in silence, breathing naturally, and listen. Researchers stated that these chambers and pods simulate what life is like for a baby in a womb. It’s an absolute state of peace if you allow yourself to surrender to the experience.

To those with active auditory and visual capabilities, you may think that you are at a greater advantage than those who do not possess those capabilities. On the surface, yes you can see and hear what others can’t. But when you go below the surface, below your limited human comprehension, you realize that those who don’t possess the auditory capabilities to hear sound as the majority of human populations, actually have a deeper awareness of and connectivity to that Energy within because they live in that active “silence” each day—hearing, feeling, and speaking with our Creator. Remove the additional capability of vision, and the depth expands. The experience becomes richer.

While you think they may envy you, and some may, the irony is that the absence of the stimuli we are obsessed with and consumed by is a blessing to them. They are free from these hindrances. You can actually say that they have almost distraction-free conversations with God every day. I say “almost” because our internal mind chatter and ego can get in the way. But other than that, the internal link that I’ve described is like having a wifi connection that never weakens or breaks. All you have to do is tune in.

For the rest of us we have to fight to disconnect from the countless visual and auditory stimuli, then get out of ‘our heads’ so-to-speak, relax our breathing, and then turn inward in silence. If we can….

Ponder that….

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

It is with great honor that I share this press release from Morehouse College:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Mrs. Lavonya Jones

lavonya.jones@morehouse.edu

Office: (470) 639-0319

NSLS pic

MOREHOUSE COLLEGE WILL SERVE AS HOST CHAPTER FOR REGIONAL LEADERSHIP RETREAT EVENT FOR NATION’S LARGEST        LEADERSHIP HONOR SOCIETY

ATLANTA, GA July 2018 – The Morehouse College Chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success – Sigma Alpha Pi will host the NSLS’s Regional Leadership Retreat. The two-day event (July 13th and 14th) expects to attract over 150 NSLS Chapter Leaders from around the nation. The event will kick-off with Charles Knippen, President of NSLS, serving as keynote speaker.

Attendees network in an engaging, experiential environment, participate in personal and professional development workshops, and connect to build strong chapters and communities. The 2018 event theme is “Community Engagement,” and event workshops include Diversity & Equity, Team Management, Public Speaking, Conflict Management, and many more! Attendees will also participate in a service learning project with local community garden, Truly Living Well.

“As a new chapter, we are ecstatic to be chosen to host the first Regional Leadership Retreat for this year,” says Chapter Advisor, Lavonya Jones, “and as we continue the legacy of alum Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., give our fellow Society Leaders a glimpse into what community engagement looks like for us here at Morehouse College, and within the city of Atlanta.”

The National Society of Leadership and Success – Sigma Alpha Pi was founded in 2001 to build a community of like-minded, success-oriented leaders who come together to help one another succeed. Today, the Morehouse College Chapter is one of more than 500 college and university campuses nationwide, and serves more than 800,000 members. The Society provides benefits to help members on their own personal success journey. The Society also serves as a powerful force of good in the greater community by encouraging and organizing action to better the world.

 

I don’t know how you spent your weekend, but I spent mine having fun.

Saturday: Movie and a Teddy Bear

Saturday was all about movies, hot dogs, warm pretzels, a teddy bear named Besos, hat shopping and relaxing. We went to see the movie Adrift, which I truly loved. I love hot dogs and warm pretzels, and I was so happy to nibble on both while watching the movie.

Adrift is not just a love story, it’s a life story. It’s based on a true story that serves as a reminder for all of us—when life hits you with a storm you have a choice: give up or fight to survive. Either we have hope and faith to persevere and make it through, or we don’t. It is also a reminder of how powerful our minds are and the balancing act we strive to master.

I love how the story was visually depicted. It drew me in and made me feel as though I was there. Kudos to the writer, director, and crew for a job well done.

Besos

My new buddy Besos entered my life while browsing stores. He was hanging out with other teddy bears and when given the option to choose, I chose him—even over the huge ones that were there. I simply liked his look and how I felt when I looked at him. I felt like a teenage girl, and that feeling made me light up and giggle. So he was the one, and I named him Besos—which means “kisses” in Spanish. I chose his name for personal reasons—reasons that I’m sure will keep me smiling like a teenage girl for many years to come.

Sunday: Hiking and Crashing Waves

Hiking

My Sunday started off early with a 7am rise, yummy breakfast cooked for me and with me in mind, and an hour drive to one of Georgia’s newest state parks to go for a 2-mile roundtrip hike. It was a short hike but still beautiful and sensory-teasing.

We saw a snake zoom past us on the path. It was hurrying to get out of our way. Since I was walking in the back I didn’t get to see it in its fullness–just the tail-end as it hid in the brush, which was a bummer. I enjoy capturing glimpses of snakes, seeing their skins, especially when the sunlight hits them just the right way. Have you ever seen one sunbathing? It’s such an awesome sight.

They are beautiful creatures, to me—even if some of them can kill me with one strike—it doesn’t take away from their beauty, at least not in and through my eyes.

I thought often about my doggy Bishop and how much fun he will have hiking on these wooded trails, through creeks and streams, and up rocky hills and mountains. I’ve been exploring various state parks for the past two months so that I can see which ones are dog-friendly so that I can return with him, and he too can have some fun.

Wave Runner on the Lake

After leaving the park, we drove to Lake Lanier where we rented a 2-seater wave runner. We ate yummy sandwiches during our drive up, so by the time we reached the lake I was sleepy from the food, sun and heat, and the drive. But it didn’t stop me from climbing on the wave runner, for the first time on a lake (my other experiences have always been in the ocean) and for the first time ever I chose to be a passenger and not captain—yes, I allowed someone else to navigate the wave runner while I held on and felt the splashing water soak me. It was unnerving at times because when you’re the one steering the wave runner you can brace yourself better when a wave approaches, you can navigate the wakes, and you’re holding on to handles for stability.

When you’re the passenger, you have to trust the captain and you have to pray you don’t somehow lose your grip and go flying off the side or back of the vessel. There were times when we caught major ‘air’ and we were soaring high above the water. There was also a time when while up in the air a big wave came our way and without notice (because I’m in the back and couldn’t always see what was going on in front) that wave came crashing over our heads as we were heading back down into the water. It literally felt like we were a submarine for a second. I squealed and then laughed like a child. We were drenched and loved it.

A windy day means choppy water and choppy water means tons of dips and dives on a wave runner.

Swimming in the Lake

As we zoomed, jumped, and glided across the lake we looked for shallow areas where we could jump off, weight down the wave runner, and go for a swim. This was also another unnerving experience for me, because I can’t recall ever going swimming in a lake. I’ve been in canoes, kayaks, sail boats, yachts, and small boats on a lake. I’ve never been on a wave runner in the lake, and I’ve never swam in the lake (if I did, I was a small child and the memory escapes me).

I’ve always felt grossed out about what’s floating in the lake. I guess because the water is less active than the ocean I somehow feel as though there are more things just lying in wait to grab my feet, entangle me, or whatever.

Which is strange when you think of it.

I’ve swam in the ocean where there’s sharks, eels, stingrays, jelly fish, and all sorts of creatures and contaminants from oil rigs, waste dumping, and leaking sunken boats and ships—all of which can kill me—yet, I’m scared of the lake—no real logic there. Just fear.

What I realized in a matter of moments is this: You have to trust fully and completely whomever you are with, especially whenever you are facing a fear. Yesterday I put my trust in my faithful companion to gently hold my hand and guide me into the lake, and swim with me away from the shoreline. Before long I was so comfortable that I looked up and began floating on my back. Then I felt a hand on my feet, as I was slowly pulled farther and farther from the shoreline. The sensory deprivation of having your eyes closed and ears under water makes you feel as though you’re being pulled fast, when the reality is, you’re barely moving—that’s the power and magnificence of water.

After spending quality time swimming around and looking at the scenery, it was time to swim back to shore, unweight our wave runner and jump back on for more fun. Boy howdy did we have fun.

Fun Even While Lost

At some point we decided to ask the coast guards for the time and we were shocked to find that we had been in the water for almost two hours. It’s funny how time flies when you’re having fun. It was time for us to head back to the dock and return our rental.

We had a small dilemma.

We couldn’t remember exactly where we were in proximity to the dock.

We had been zigging and zagging all over the lake and lost our frames of reference. We headed in the direction that I was feeling drawn towards and we then stopped and asked a couple to point us in the right direction. Thankfully, we were going the right way, we just needed to get around the islands that we were next to—which was also heading in the direction where my beloved ‘captain’ had also pointed. In a matter of seconds we were back to hitting waves and soaring high above the water, and I was squealing and laughing all the way back.

I did wonder a few times, “how long after I slingshot off of here will my absence be noticed?” and then I was always reassured when I would hear, “are you okay back there? Hold on tight. I have you…” and I trusted those words to be true, smiled, and held on.

We made it back to the dock with plenty of time. We asked some passersby to take photos of us. My hair was wind blown but I didn’t care. I hope to never forget those memories from my three firsts.

Wrapping up With Lunch

We went and scarfed down some food at a nearby restaurant. Oh how yummy it was. Since it was a hot day, I chose a cold sandwich (a huge triple decker) with sweet potato fries (that were some of the best I’ve ever had), a glass of water, and a mango-peach smoothie (with a juicy pineapple slice hanging on the side).

The cheeseburger that was staring at me from the other side of the table was mouth-watering and looked oh so delicious, so did the house chips–two of which were placed in my mouth with a touch of ketchup—and I savored bite after bite.

After lunch I changed out of my now-almost-dry clothes and slid on a sundress and flip flops, and then climbed back into the plush SUV that drove us home—as we listened to music, sang songs, and reflected upon our amazing day together and how much fun Bishop will have with us at the lake.

What a weekend I had. I’m so grateful that we had great weather so that we could experience fun both on land and in water. Georgia’s weather can be wishy washy. I’m also extremely excited about what we have planned for the next three weekends. One adventure after the next. I’m focused on having a summer and year filled with new experiences, numerous adventures, and long lasting memories.

I hope that you’re making the most out of each day and not just letting time slip by, opportunities pass you, the past restrict you, and life move forward without you. Seize each moment of every day!

Love,

Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

This a beautiful song on forgiveness, sang by Matthew West. I needed to hear this at the very moment I pressed ‘play’.

Thanks to SecretAngel for sharing the song on their blog, as part of a post they wrote on being unforgiving.

Please listen to the song, take it in, let the words and meaning resonate with you. Then share this post with others who may need a dose, so they can let go and finally be free.

Hopefully you too will make the choice to live free through forgiveness than be a prisoner who chooses to wear the shackles of “unforgiveness”.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman. Some Rights Reserved.

Thanks to my sis-in-love Arleen for sending this to me yesterday. Please take a moment to pause, read, reflect, and fully ingest this message:

Source: Unknown

This is a call to action.

Get up, get out, live fully and intentionally, do something positively different, heartfelt, encouraging and inspiring. What are you waiting for? Bye!

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

There’s a quote by an anonymous author that perfectly describes the relationship between fear and faith. It reads:

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. No one was there“.

When we walk by faith, fear has no place near us let alone in us.

It’s like the deadbeat loser who rings your doorbell and sees through the window Mr./Ms. Awesome walking towards the door to answer. Deadbeat loser isn’t going to wait and be confronted by awesomeness. Deadbeat loser doesn’t want to be further embarrassed by the lack he/she possesses, so they quickly run away from the front door and they dive into the nearby bushes to avoid detection. The deadbeat loser is no match for Mr./Ms. Awesome.

Since I was a small child I’ve been reciting the famous quote, “fear is false evidence appearing real” and in many instances I’m able to face my fears and walk through a situation. There are some instances that involve creepy crawly bugs where I haven’t yet walked with faith to stare down those fears. But I’m getting there [*smile*].

There are times in my professional world as well as in my personal life where I’ve allowed fear to conquer and enslave me. I’ve been running from some major fears for the past few years and now they have grown so large, and I’ve been running for so long, that I’m tired of running. I wasn’t made to be a punk. I wasn’t raised to be a punk. So why am I acting and living like one? Fear is a punk yet I’m allowing it to have dominion over me, how idiotic is that?

Yesterday, I finally made the decision to stop running and to instead turn around and walk towards my fears. I’ve decided to face each and every one of these fears that have been chasing me.

What’s the worst possible outcome of my challenge? I know for a fact that none of my fear bullies come with a death penalty, so maybe I get a few bumps and bruises, or I fall down and get injured—all that I need to do is get back up, brush myself off, and keep on swinging (translation: “fighting”). I have enough faith to believe that I can at least do that. I’m not sure if I will be victorious but I’m willing to fight anyway. “…Faith of a mustard seed…” isn’t that the minimum of what Jesus said we need?

Fear is like kryptonite, it’s present and part of the environment that we occupy but if not managed and properly handled, it can destroy you.

When we walk with faith in our heart and mind we have a reinforced armor of hope, courage, and confidence. Fear can’t handle faith. Fear can’t penetrate that armor. The only way that fear can conquer us is if we take off the armor or never wear it.

So rather than continuing to run from our fears, why don’t we put on our armor and walk towards our fears! That my friends, was a statement not a question. Consider taking at least one step today and see if you can get a reaction from the deadbeat loser who’s standing at your door.

Have a super awesome day!

~Natasha

Copyright 2018. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.