Reconnecting: A Year in Review

Greetings!

I haven’t posted in quite some time, so I wanted to take a moment to catch up with my blog site followers! What have I been doing, you ask????

(1) Well, if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I had a baby in July of 2012, which means I now have a 17 month old toddler!!! Those of you who are parents know how demanding this age group can be, however I can honestly say my little girl has been the best challenge I’ve ever had to face, as she’s taught me so much about what really matters in life. It’s amazing how we adults complicate things and make life more burdensome than it was meant to be. The keys to happiness as taught by my princess: naps (proper rest), cartoons (laughter), snacks (proper nutrition), play time (working out), learning and improving new skills (work/career), and lots of hugs and kisses (love). Everything you do each day should fill your life with joy. Anything contrary should be eliminated immediately. This isn’t to say you won’t have hurdles or unhappy moments (temper tantrums), however it is to say that even in your darkest moments, you remember the light that exists within.

(2) In February 2013, I received my LLC status from the state. In March 2013, I completed my training as a Certified Professional Life Coach. In April 2013, I officially launched my life coaching practice, Infinite Fortitude LLC. Since then, I have been promoting my business and establishing my brand. I’ve met some wonderful people along the way and I’m excited for all that is in store as I continue to build. Take a moment to visit my website and if you or someone you know is looking for personal and/or professional development, as I’d love to partner with you and become your Life Coach! www.infinitefortitude.com

(3) In June 2013 I became an independent partner of Traci Lynn Fashion Jewelry. Yes, I have 2 businesses. 🙂 Years ago, I had a successful jewelry business and opted to begin again because I loved the connection I made with the women with whom I crossed paths. And I looove jewelry! I’m also a firm believer that we should never only have one stream of income. If you or someone you know is looking for some fabulous jewelry to add to your collection, you’re interested in earning free jewelry, or you’ve always wanted to own your own business, visit my website to learn more! www.tracilynnjewelry.net/shanikaw

(4) I became a blogger for Pull Magazine, a publication for emerging leaders. So yes, I have been writing (just not as often for this blog)! To peruse my pieces in addition to the writing of others, visit the website! www.pullmag.com

As you can probably tell, my life is pretty much baby and business! 🙂

While I’m not here as often as I would like, I appreciate you for taking the time to follow this blog and I would love to remain connected to each and every one of you! As such, please feel free to “like” my page on Facebook, as I offer daily empowerment, motivation, and inspiration there. www.facebook.com/infinitelyshanika

Also, I was given the AMAZING opportunity to interview with Vanessa Bell Calloway, a very talented actress who’s work I’ve always enjoyed. She has a blog talk radio show entitled, “That’s so Very Vanessa” and the show on which I am a guest will air this Sunday, December 29th at 6pm EST. Take a moment to listen, as we will be discussing tips on how to stick to those New Year’s resolutionshttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/vanessabellcalloway  

So, those are the things that have been consuming my time. What have you been up to?

Thanks for your support and blessings for a Happy and Joyous Holiday season!

Sincerely,

Shanika fbcombologo3

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The Cost of Forgiveness

At what point do you decide when you will forgive a person who has hurt you? How do you decide who is worthy of your forgiveness?

I am amazed at the number of people who consider themselves Christians and yet they have a problem with letting go and forgiving someone who has wronged them. Well, I guess I shouldn’t say I am amazed, as some self-proclaimed Christians consistently engage in behaviors contradictory of their supposed beliefs, but that’s a different post for a different day.

Think about the worst thing a person has ever done to you. The WORST thing. Think about the feelings you felt during that time (and possibly still feel) and let’s assume because of that event or series of events, that person is no longer a part of your life (whether by your choice or not). Fast forward 10 years and this person reaches out to you. Perhaps they send you a message on Facebook or gives your their new contact information through a mutual friend and asks you to give him or her a call.

What do you do? Do you respond or do you continue to ignore them?

Over the years I have deleted several people from my life for a number a reasons. Sometimes it was because I didn’t believe they were the type of friend to me I was to them and as a result they didn’t deserve to be a part of my life. Consequently, they were deleted as an attempt to surround myself with selfless, true friends. In other cases, I deleted people who wanted to confine me to their idea of who they thought I should be. Anyone who truly knows me know I HATE that. I love being free to be who am I, despite what others think so when I am in a situation in which I feel limited by another’s complexes, fears, and/or shortcomings; it’s time for me to move on. The final group of deleted folks are those whom I simply outgrew (or maybe they outgrew me), where no hard feelings existed. It just so happens that we were at different points in our lives and needed to separate in order to fulfill our purpose. These people often have a cyclical presence, as I’ve learned they often show up again at some point. I think this is God‘s way of testing our growth.

At any rate, in the instances where “something happened,” I hold no ill will towards these former “friends” and truly hope they are happy and doing well in life. I have forgiven them and moved on. For me, forgiveness is about the ability to continue to grow and develop into who you were created to be, learning from each and every experience. In situations where we haven’t forgiven, there is a preoccupation which often leads to limitations. Ultimately, you forgive so that you can move on. It’s not about them. When we allow those feelings of hurt and betrayal to take root in our hearts and minds, then we allow the person who hurt us to have way more power over us than they should. You basically become their slave. They are the puppet master and you are the puppet, each move they make directs yours.

Ask yourself where would you be without God’s forgiveness. We have all done things that hurt others, whether intentionally or unintentionally….and yet God still forgives us. To take it a little deeper, we sin against God constantly, which is the ultimate slap in the face, and yet He still forgives us. If someone who is perfect in every way can forgive, who are we in our imperfections to not forgive?

How do you know when you have truly forgiven someone? When any interaction with them elicits none of the feelings you felt when they hurt you.

Cyclical

I don’t understand why so many people complain about how Black women are portrayed on reality television when the same people who complain are the ones patronizing the shows!!!! These shows are a business and in business, everything is about the bottom line, therefore, if it’s not making the company money; it will go away. The more you tune in, the more ratings they will have, which will lead to more money. It’s simple mathematics. Supply and demand. No matter how you slice it.

So the real question becomes, “why do you watch it?” Those who know me know I haven’t had cable in over 2 years because when I returned to school I decided to rid myself of it because television became nothing more than a distraction. The deal I made with myself is that I would not sign up for cable again until after I graduated. Well, now that I’ve graduated I still can’t logically convince myself to pay for cable. Anything I really want to watch, I can watch online for free. Hell, all I really have to do is look at my Facebook timeline and I know exactly what happened. There isn’t much substance on television today and I don’t think many would argue with me about that.

You call it guilty pleasure. A way to release from your everyday life and unwind with something that is completely ridiculous and will allow you not to use any brain cells. I get that, as I’m guilty of the same. What I DON’T get are the people who complain about it week after week after week. It’s like complaining about how much a broken bone hurt and yet not going to the doctor to do anything about it.

If you’re going to watch it, watch it, but don’t then get on a soapbox platform and discuss the ills it creates for the image of Black women, especially if you’re a Black woman contributing to the increasing of its bottom line.