This week I’ve been tuning in to my social media networks, and having an ongoing conversation about the need for focusing 100 percent on our health and wellbeing. We’re only born with one brain, one heart, one stomach, and one body. Yet we abuse the heck out of them. Let’s not even go there with the other organs that we neglect and mistreat.

Shouldn’t we take care of them? We usually think about them when we’re in excruciating pain or facing hospitalization. We think about mental health when we see someone else suffering with issues.

How can we achieve goals, visit far places, and spend quality time with loved ones—if we aren’t here to enjoy all of it?

Stress is nothing to play with.

Let me correct that. Bad stress is nothing to play with. Good stress, like winning the lottery, competing in a game (or sport), or having sex—those are pretty cool experiences. Bad stress, that comes from trauma in our life, like: injury, illness, death, high consumer debt, crappy credit score, joblessness and homelessness (or the risk of either, or both), or anything else that causes our life to be so disrupted, that we can’t help but to think that it’s a sick, twisted joke—or somehow our punishment for being a fool in the past.

So, that means, a recovering workaholic like me—has to be mindful that although I have HUGE goals that I want to achieve, I need to be alive to successfully claim them. That means, being more productive with less hours in the day. I was experiencing too many bouts of burnout—and close-calls to the hospital—trying to maintain a 90+ hour work week. Last year, I actually thought that I was about to collapse and die. I was under so much stress, trying to deal with personal issues, my desires for my career, and not having the billions of dollars that I need to serve all of the people that I want to help. Okay, the last part wasn’t a stressor for me. I just wanted to lighten the mood. Did you visualize the billions of dollars? Good. So did I! But seriously, there were a few times last year that I was scared that I wouldn’t make it long enough to one day see my great-grandchildren. I didn’t think I would live to see 2019. I felt worn out!

Honestly, there have been some moments, this year, that I’ve had to tell myself to slow down, regroup, and get the heck out of my head. My mind doesn’t ever slow down. It never stops chiming in. My confidence began to wane—drastically. I felt depression trying to rear up and take over. It took everything in me to double-dutch myself out of the trap that was coming.

Children double-dutching in Chicago (1973)
Source: John H. White, 1945-, Photographer (NARA record: 4002141) – U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

I’ve recommitted to working out at least 6 days a week. I’m learning to say “no” to more people and to more things that will require more energy than I have to spare. I’m speaking up and sharing my reality, my pain, my fears—with some of my family members and friends. Not everyone can handle the load that you carry, so you have to be mindful of what you share and with whom. I learned that the hard way.

Something else that I’m working on, is accepting that I can’t rely on anyone or anything—other than God. For me, He is my absolute. There’s no doubt. There’s no question. He’s kept every promise made to me. I can’t say that about His creations. Go ahead, laugh. You know that was funny, and the truth. The only guarantees I have is with and in Him. No one and nothing else. So that is what I’m choosing to roll with. That way I can stop being disappointed when the dirty diaper hits the fan, and splashes all over me. I mean, isn’t that how it feels when life blindsides you? That’s how it feels for me. It’s a gross but effective visual.

Check Me Out. Chime In.

Check out my Instagram videos that I posted this week. Chime in. Let me know how you re-balance, decompress, readjust, and realign. How do you make the most of work days, when you’re bound to set schedules and small windows of time? How do you change your environment to clear your mind? How do you refocus, so that you’re not overwhelmed with the periphery, or with the stuff that you know you can’t handle or solve right this very moment (or no time soon)?

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday…

After teaching my Human Resource Management class, I made a late-night announcement for my company, Foreman & Associates, LLC. Some of the things that I shared include: the launch of an Online Business Course, a Business Podcast, and a Webinar that will provide insights on the course and other service offerings, such as Coaching and Training.

Check out the in-car announcement below.

Yesterday…

Following our updated marketing plan, we re-engaged with our neglected social media accounts. I take full responsibility for their underuse. I did something that I always tell business owners not to do: allow my personal accounts to overshadow my business profiles. They should compliment and help to drive traffic to my business profiles. It’s not good enough to use the excuse that, “I had my personal accounts first”. I know what’s needed. I also know how difficult it is to come from behind. So I will be working hard to ensure that Foreman & Associates has as great, or even greater, presence than my personal brand.

Today…

This morning, we shared the name of our podcast, and details about what the podcast will be bringing to listeners.

//www.instagram.com/embed.js

What’s Next?

I want to thank those of you who have supported me from the start. I want to thank those of you who are new supporters. Thank you for having a desire to start and build a relationship with me, even if only virtually. On May 11, 2011 I launched Foreman & Associates, and there’s been highs and lows, and moments when I wondered why in the world I was still trying to make this evolving idea (in the form of a company) a successful one. My personal life has caused me to pause, step back, run in circles, realign, and make reactionary moves. I told myself that I don’t want to be in that position any longer. I don’t want my company to be in that position anymore. I have to do better in order to have what I desire most. I have to do better, so that Foreman & Associates can provide the types of services that you have asked for, in the ways that you need, and with the quality and care that you and I both desire.

So, what’s next?

I guess you will have to wait and see what other details will be shared over the next several days and weeks.

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2019. Natasha L. Foreman. Images are Copyright Protected by Foreman & Associates, LLC.

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.