Vacuum Your Floors

If the last task you do when you are cleaning your home is vacuum your floors, you’re doing it wrong.

I know you’ve heard that foundation is key in supporting, maintaining, and building upon anything. You wouldn’t dive into a relationship without establishing boundaries and expectations – and if you have before, then you know how important they are – nor would you put walls around a home without a sturdy substructure. You wouldn’t do these things because order of operations have proven them unsuccessful.

This fact applies to multiple facets of life.

A new year is coming and everyone will soon begin planning and posting their resolutions and “new year, new me” cliché memes. It always amuses me that the majority of the world feels because they wait until January 1st, their aspirations will magically be fulfilled. There is a beautiful magic in changing your life for better, but it has nothing to do with the date on which you change. The magic is in you. You believing. You wanting. You working. You setting and building upon an intact foundation.

I will not perpetrate and act like I have never waited until the new year to change my ways. But I found each year I revert to my old behaviors. It was because I wasn’t truly ready to change. That makes no sense right? I decide on my own that something needs to be different and I even go as far as setting a date, waiting patiently on this date, and acting on this date and multiple days thereafter, but I actually wasn’t ready? Let me ask you this: have you ever been excited about doing something? I mean deeply excited? Bone marrow, Earth’s inner core, center of a Tootsie Pop deep? That “Wyd?” after midnight text, wake up on payday morning, driving off the lot in your new used car excited? If you have, then you know you didn’t wait for a generic day in a different year to make your moves. You acted right away and you were serious about what you were doing.

Our priorities determine our actions; and our priorities are established in our personal foundations.

Whether you’re cleaning your home, or cleaning up your life, you have to remove everything off the surface and start from the bottom. Once you are able to move freely in a space without having to constantly look down, rearranging and disposing and adding what is necessary will be a breeze and significantly more effective in adding value and purpose to your life.

Vacuuming, sweeping, mopping – whatever – when done first sets the mood for the rest of the cleaning. Sometimes this literally means vacuuming, or it could mean ending toxic relationships, no longer procrastinating, or putting yourself first. It does not too much matter when you make these changes, but instead ensuring they are set in the core foundation you have developed for yourself.

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Where have I been?

Oh my gosh – IT’S BEEN SO LONG!

First let me say, if you have been checking the site for new posts, I apologize for the absence. I haven’t been blogging for a few reasons honestly. The main reason is because I started a new job in August and then I moved into a beautiful new apartment in September. Between learning and adapting into my new position, getting my home together, and being a full-time football season participant, I just haven’t been able to sit down. The other main reason that’s been holding me back is I cannot decide on what my “thing” should be.

I don’t wear makeup, I don’t have children, everyone is natural these days, and I’ve been struggling to settle on a topic that will set me apart from the rest.

By the grace of God I am back! I’ll say about two weeks ago I prayed for focus and direction in my blogging, because this is something I want to take further than just this platform. Over the past two days, THREE people have contacted me asking why I stopped blogging or have told me they enjoyed my page and to keep going with it. It might not seem significant to you, but my relationship with God and how I receive his answers to my prayers always seems to work like this. This is a sign it’s time for me to get back to work!

I have new ideas that I am going to be working on soon and I’m extremely excited. This holiday season has a lot in store for me and my future in blogging! Stay tuned!

The Window Seat

This past weekend I had the absolute pleasure of accompanying my aunt to the White House state dinner, where President Obama honored the Prime Minister of Singapore, and his wife, for the 50 years of work their country has done with the United States. Beyond my excitement of tapping champagne glasses with some of the most important personnel that run the county, which I can assure you I will write about in a future blog, I had the opportunity to travel this astonishingly beautiful world once again.

I cannot recall the last time I had a flight were I did not have a window seat. It’s one of my preferences on my Orbitz account because I love to see the world, I love seeing the journey that leads to my destination. Unfortunately, all four planes I traveled on stuck me with a middle or an aisle seat. And all four planes I took carried people who sat in the widow seat with the shade down.

Now I understand many people travel on a weekly basis for career purposes or are just too tired to care about anything other than a two-hour ride where they don’t have to worry about getting to a destination safely and would rather take a nap. But how can you sit in a wonder seat with the shade down?

Do you not want to see the world underneath your temporary metal wings, or the tiny cars that look like Hot Wheels driving endlessly on the city rug? Do you not what to count how many houses have built-in pools in the neighborhoods below before they are too far gone to see? Or find what you once saw as the tallest buildings Downtown now looking rather small? You don’t want to see how the country is actually shaped by perfectly sectioned green squares, or the many rivers and streams that run amongst us unnoticed? There are so many things to see in the window seat but some people keep the shade down.

I was watching The Color Purple a few weeks ago and the character Shug said, “I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.” And I couldn’t agree more. You look at the sky and become miserable by the suns heat, while I look at the sky and become warm, gaining energy from the very source that powers our world. You seek shade, while I seek ways to peek right at it before it notices and makes me blind. You see an unkept lawn, while I see mini rainforests filled with life. You see a mosquito, while I see a life that begins and ends, developing fully in less than 10 days. Could you imagine living your whole life in one week, from birth to death? If you had only 10 days to live, would you look out the window then?

Maybe that’s it! Maybe people feel like they will have another chance to see what’s out the window, to see the colors that paint the world, and the monuments that mark the city. Maybe they think on their returning flight they will have a chance to see the streams filled with fish that think they are in an ocean, and the cars below driven by some people that have never crossed the state lines they were born in. Maybe our average life span of 75+ years has made people so oblivious to the beauty in the world that they think nothing of sitting in the window seat with the shade down.

I will never get tired of seeing what’s below me when I’m in the sky because when I am on the ground I can only see what immediately surrounds me. If you have never flown into Phoenix, AZ, I would highly recommend it. I’ll never forget seeing that volcano-like mountain right in the heart of the city, with houses sticking out from its sides, surrounded by neighborhoods inside of neighborhoods right next to other neighborhoods, with pools and schools and stores and busy people. If you have never flown into NYC at night I would highly recommend it. I’ll never forget crossing over the dark ocean and then my vision being struck by light and life from the city that never sleeps. But I would have never been able to share these memories if my window shade was down. I wouldn’t have been able to see. I wouldn’t know how heavenly it looks flying over a bed of clouds making me wish Cloud 9 was a real place. I would have never wondered why the lightening in the storm cloud below us didn’t bother striking upward as we were closer to it than the trees beneath. I would have never realized how many millions of people aren’t at work at 1:30 in the afternoon, and instead on the road busy with places to go. I would have never known if my window shade was down.

I was on a plane, on my way back to Houston as I wrote this, next to a man who had his shade down. And maybe he had been reading over my shoulder what I was typing, I’m not too sure, but as soon as we began to descend he pulled his shade up and gazed out the window, then turned to me and asked if the sunlight was too bright. I could have cried, then kissed him, but I just simply said “no.” Then we both gazed out at the world beneath us until we safely landed, me in the middle, and him in the window seat, finally with the shade up.

Stop killing them, please.

Stop killing them, please.

They are our fathers.
They are our sons.
They are our brothers, our cousins.
They are our husbands.
They are our boyfriends.
Our sisters and our mothers.
Stop killing them, please.
They peacefully, with permission, sell CDs because they all aren’t the deadbeats you make them out to be.
Stop killing them, please.
They drive, licensed, and move to get out of your way.
Stop killing them, please.
They just love skittles and iced tea, that’s not a crime, sir, so stop killing them, please.
They are our protectors.
They are our best friends.
They don’t want to hurt you, sir, they just simply cannot breathe.
Stop killing them, please.
We need them.
Our families need them.
Our kids.
Their bosses need them.
Their friends need them.
Stop killing them, please.
We cook for them.
We clean for them.
We forgive them and we live for them.
Stop killing them, please.
They are ours.
In a world where we have nothing, they were ours and you took them.
Stop taking them.
They are ours!
Stop killing them, please!
Their Mamas brought them in this world and they are the ones that are supposed to take them out.
But you don’t understand that.
You don’t know them.
No, not like we do.
So, stop killing them, please.
They are going to figure it out.
Their potential, that is.
They will become educators.
Litigators.
Policy makers.
CEO’s.
They will take your job, officer.
One day, when they figure it out.
Their potential.
Because we will help them.
We will push them.
Support them.
We’ve been doing that and we will not stop now.
Because of you.
Thank you white officer for refocusing, re-energizing, and redirecting them.
Thank you for turning them into hashtags.
Into memes.
Thank you.
Because the rest of them, the ones that we still depend on…
They are coming for you.
But not like how you’re coming for them.
See, they don’t see you as competition.
They never really did.

How To: Stop Reading How To’s…And Find Your Purpose

About three weeks ago I moved to Texas. This was an opportunity I could not let pass me by as I have always wanted to move out of state (from Florida). I love traveling and I love experiencing new things, so when the time came, I terminated my lease, packed my car full of my most important belongings, and took the 14 hour drive West. I wouldn’t necessarily consider myself a  control freak but I like to have a plan and I like for that plan to follow through as expected. Unfortunately,  the jobs that I had lined up and were supposed to be guaranteed fell through. Thus leaving me in a new city with no family or friends, no source of income, and a lot of time to think about everything that drives an idle mind insane.

Most disturbing my mental was the idea of purpose, life purpose.

Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing to help others be better? To help myself be better? Of course the fact that my dream jobs had slipped through my fingers – for reasons I assure you make no practical sense – have made all this “purpose” obsession worse for me.

For weeks I have been talking with close family and friends lightly about my thoughts and gratefully, they have encouraged me to follow my dreams, etc. But what I keep thinking is I AM following my dreams! I’ve applied for more jobs than I can count and no one is biting – yet, fingers still crossed. Anyways, I felt like I needed more advice; I needed to see what other people have discovered who were and/or are in my same shoes. So straight to the internet I went!

Night after night after night I’ve stayed up reading articles online about “How To” accomplish the ideas I had in my head at the moment. Perfect. Found out how. But something was preventing me and to be honest it was the idea of looking stupid if I failed. So more weeks have now gone by and I still haven’t done the things I said I was going to start last week.

About an hour ago this purpose obsession popped back up in my head. So much so that I was seriously contemplating that I am having a quarter-life crisis (I’m only 23). Not the case. While my boyfriend and I cuddled in bed watching some Tom Cruise movie I wasn’t capable of comprehending because I was so focused on my purpose, I rolled over, grabbed my phone and typed “whats your purpose” in Google. An article called “7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose” popped up and I clicked.

While I was reading I asked my boyfriend some of the questions and he answered some but I could tell he was more interested in the movie, as he should be because this is my journey. He knows his purpose at the moment – play football and finish school. I am the one losing sleep because I can’t figure out the reason for my existence. But that was when the first piece of all of this hit me. This is my journey. I, in a large part, have control over what my purpose will become. So I rolled back over and finished the article. Then I went back to the search page and read another How To. Then another. And another. Then I saw a quiz on how to determine your purpose but I didn’t click that. I didn’t need to. I didn’t need any more How To articles telling me how to figure out my calling. I already knew.

If you know me personally you will know I have a lot of goals and dreams. Most bigger than typical aspirations but all manageable. Unfortunately, most of the time when I share my goals people respond like “oh, but I thought you wanted to do…,” which I now feel may have subconsciously affected my goals. My idle time was filled trying to figure out why ONE of my purposes had temporarily feel through. Just one of them. But I have many. Everything I want to do in my life has something to do with helping others, nothing specifically for me. I think my idea of purpose was singular and when the one thing I was focusing on didn’t succeed, I got lost.

It’s possible to have more than one purpose. Think about it. All the people we interact with, all the roles we play in life, all the activities we are involved in, we have more than one purpose. Maybe one takes up the majority of our day and attention, yes. But that’s just one.

I am typing this blog on top of my boyfriends stomach while he still watches this movie and its so funny because he just said “you’re typing really fast” and then turned his attention back to the television. Yes, yes I am. Because I am excited. Reenergized. Relieved. One because I will probably be able to actually get some rest tonight. But also because I have been reassured that I am not a waste of space and a pretty face!

We have this perception about life that we see on television or read in “How To” articles that taint our views of ourselves ultimately. We don’t have to be like others and we don’t have to live by the rules that are published on the internet. If you seriously live in the world we live in today and think you are here for one and only one reason, you are sadly mistaken my friend. There are so many more reasons, and reasons you probably have not yet discovered, nor considered.

I am here to help other’s find themselves, ironically. I am here to help others better themselves. Help them see things they never thought they would want to see, do things they never expected they would find themselves doing. Push people, help people. The only thing I want to do for myself is life life with no regrets.

I am glad that I turned to the internet for guidance on finding myself. It helped me. It helped me realize that no article, no test, no other person other than myself can tell me about me. I cannot fail at doing that things I love unless I do not try. No list of questions or list of steps can tell you what your purpose is because there is no purpose, but purposes.

Why I Started RaéChel Lizabeth

This is not my first blogging attempt, lets make that known. When I was earning my Master’s, we had to make weekly posts about our teaching experience that week, new methods we came across, content reviews, etc. on a blog we created to document our experience through the program. That blog can be found here if you are interested.
RaéChel Lizabeth was created for me to share my experiences gained through my life so far documenting anything from my travel opportunities, to my career journey, and everything in between.

Three weeks ago I moved to Texas and my down time so far has been spent watching countless videos on YouTube and reading the blogs of others. I shared my interest in creating a blog with both my mother and brother, both who encouraged me to go for it. I used to be extremely creative, and while I still am, I realized I have been so focused on working and maintaining my lifestyle that I lost my ability to see the beauty in everything. Juggling relationships, school, family, friends, and work took a toll on me mentally. I took time to rid myself of toxic people and situations in my life and one day I woke up and felt rejuvenated, creative again, but I didn’t have an outlet to express my vision – until now.

I want to inspire. I want to be inspired. I want to learn from others, while cultivating a place for others to learn from me. I want to see things I’ve never seen, and show others things they may never have an opportunity to see. I want to network and collaborate with others in ways that will change our lives. I want others to know I was here and when the day comes that I have to go, I want to leave knowing I did everything I never thought I could do.

Please believe me when I say I have a lot of great projects in the works for my blog that you will not want to miss!