return from hiatus

The Hiatus on Double-Minded Island

Good day mate!

I am back from my hiatus on Double-Minded Island. Double-Minded Island, is an Island shaped like a hand and is a place people end up who are in the valley of decisions.

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On the island, as I was reflecting about life and where I wanted to go from this point, a memory of a time come to mind. It was 11 years ago and I had been applying to different alternative teaching programs around the U.S. and internationally. It was a very confusing time. I had been praying for clarification because every opportunity that came appeared to be a good idea, but as we know, not everything that is “good” is of “God.”

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So one day, I was in an old building I used to rent for a business we owned. The new owners had made the building into a used book store that I frequented from time to time. As I stood in line to purchase a book, a man came behind me that looked like a character from a Canterbury Tales novel.

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As I was standing in line, taking my wallet out for payment, the gentleman behind me asked about a picture in my wallet of a family member. After providing some insight about that person, he went on to ask me had I been trying to make a decision lately about moving? I was surprised because I had been trying to decide on whether or not to move.

He told me to hold out my hand, he wanted to use it as an analogy. He held up my pointer finger and said, “This is your who, the middle finger is your what, the ring finger is your when, the pinky finger is your where and your thumb finger is your why.” He went on to say, “Never make a decision to do anything, unless the why makes sense. The why functions like your thumb and without it, you won’t grip very well, or hold on to anything for long.” He told me praying about it will help me make sound decisions.” Afterwards, I thanked him and he mentioned he had to go walk to the store up the road to get medicine for his wife. It was super cold outside that day, as it was circa October 2007, so I was surprised he was walking. After I paid, I went outside to make sure he was ok and there was no sign of him anywhere.

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I got into my car and sat there thinking at how much God must really care to send a man to tell me something like that when I really needed hear it. As I prayed and reflected on the positions I vacillated between; I thought about my hands, my fingers and my why. As I did this, things became much more clear. I began to ask myself, “Self why do I really want to go to these places?” I began to realize a lot of the why was not for me per say, but for the opinions of others.

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We end up on Double-Minded Island because of discontentment. Discontentment usually comes from comparing ourselves to others. It can start small, walking by someone and noticing their designer watch or bag. Trolling through Instagram, FB, or Twitter, and seeing smiling faces on vacations in nice restaurants, water skying and such. It could even come from chatting with a friend and hearing about a really great experience they’ve recently had. All of these happenings could lead to discontentment and unhappiness.

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I am so glad I had that memory after my hiatus to Double-Minded Island because it reminded me the importance of knowing my why behind each decision I make. If you are trying to decide between a decision, and end up on Double-Minded Island and remember:

Pointer Finger – Who

Middle Finger – What

Ring Finger – When

Pinky Finger – Where

Thumb Finger – WHY

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This will get you back on the Boat of Contentment, which is a much joyful and peaceful place.

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I leave you with these last word of encouragement.

Rejoicing in Trials

James 1: 6-8

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Have a peep of my Schoolspiration book! It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald
emotional vampires, life hacks, sound advice

Identify the Emotional Vampires in your Life

When you hear the word “vampire” the images that may come to mind is Barnabas Collins from “Dark Shadows”

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or Edward Cullen from “Twilight”.

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But I have come to inform you that vampires are quite real, maybe not in the sense of these characters, but when it comes to certain individuals we have in our lives, they could very well be Emotional Vampires and if they are, you need to run the other way, fast!

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Now in order to run from the Emotional Vampires, you will need to be able to recognize them. So I will list six ways to identify these horrible creatures.

  1. Emotionally Draining – The first thing you will noticed about this type of individual is how emotionally and physically drained you feel after being in their company. I am not talking about the occasional time when a particular family member or friend share their issues with you and you feel slightly tired after listening to them. I am talking about the individual who does it the emotional vampire way. Instead of sharing a small problem, they bombard you a plethora of  them while sucking you dry of advice and emotional responses ALL THE TIME, barely stopping to allow you a word in edge-wise. You may ask, “What is wrong with doing this? Plenty of people do this, even I do this!”  But that is not what I am referring to. I am talking about feeling like your head is literally spinning after you finish a conversation with them. #abnormalfeeling

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2. Negativity Overload – After the conversation is long over with the emotional vampire in your life, you still experience this nagging negativity hangover. It is like taking a Benadryl too late before bed and waking up feeling the groggy brain-fog, after-affect.

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You probably did not realize until now, but that cloud of negativity was not coming from you; it actually came from the words of that emotional vampire you have been surrounding yourself with.

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3. You feel better when they are not around – Picture yourself listening to the individual; while listening to them you feel bad, after listening to them you still feel gloomy. It isn’t until you have gone a few days, weeks or months, without talking/listening to this individual that you start to feel somewhat normal again. This is because while conversing with them, they not only unload a lot of negativity on you; they also tend to not actively listen to anything you have to say, hardly ever. So going on a detox from this individual may show you just how good life could be without them. So go ahead and press the “Reset” button, for lighter and happier times ahead. #letitgo

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4. Simplicity goes out the Window – Another sign of an emotional vampire is when having, what you believe to be, a simple conversation with them, ends up leaving you in a ball of confusion.

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What starts out as a simple statement, ends with the emotional vampire taking things completely out of context; leaving you disoriented and wondering what in the sam hill went wrong. Communication gaps happen, yes, but in the case of the emotional vampire, they are inevitable because the vampire is usually busy being negative, playing mind games, refusing to give straight answers or being overly defensive of their “uncalled for” behavior. This is definitely a trait that you should be on the look out for because simplicity is certainly a thing of the past with them. #byebyesimplicity

5. They make you feel deflated – These emotional vampires tend to deflate everyone around them. They cannot stand to see anyone thriving in anything because they are debbie-downers, and want to make others feel that way too. #downerslovecompany

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A true friend would like for you to be happy and celebrate with you when things are good, and comfort you when things are bad. An emotional vampire does the complete opposite covertly, they do not bring comfort; nor do they celebrate you. They only do it if it serves themselves in some form or fashion. Most of the time they appear to only “tolerate” you being in their lives. They are really not into you or what you have going on but keep you around for their own purposes. So ask yourself again, why do you entertain such a person? Inquiring minds would like to know.

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6. You have a sneaky suspicion the friendship isn’t quite real – With emotional vampires, they only put up with you because a) they need a sounding-board b) they need someone to put down so that they can feel better about themselves c) they need emotional responses to what they are saying [in these cases they will have multiple people they run to for this because your response alone will not be enough] d) they need your energy to empower themselves.

Notice how all of these reasons are about them and not the friendship? This is normally the case with these creatures, I mean, emotional vampires. Once they get the energy and attention they crave, you will be out of sight and out of their narrow minds, until they need another energy fix again.

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What to do if you have been bitten by an emotional vampire:

  1. Establish the no contact rule, this is important because they are sly creatures and can usually lure you back into the friendship before you have time to think about it. Cutting ties will allow you to get back to emotional freedom sooner than later.
  2. Do not try to reason with emotional vampires, it will not work. You will just become tangled up again in their web of deceit.
  3. If you work with the person in a common organization, separate yourself and only deal with them professionally. Do not meet up for dinner, or talk on the phone. Keep everything strictly work related, and AT WORK ONLY.
  4. Develop a support system of people who care about you, and who are willing to talk and actively listen. This marks a healthy relationship.

Well Wishes!

Have a peep of my Schoolspiration book!

It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

Journey, Blogging, Be Inspired, story time

SOS, Abandon the Flaky-Ship!

I randomly decided to look up what “SOS” stood for and was surprised to find that it did not stand for anything at all. It simply was chosen as a signal because it could be easily transmitted in Morse Code during distress. So that’s what it is, a signal.

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Some of us right now are knowingly or unknowingly sending out distress signals. We could do this by having a short temper, crying a lot, not eating or eating too much, losing interest in a thing called “life” and becoming reclusive to name a few. We may be distressed about our jobs, distressed about our families, distressed about relationships, distressed about organizations we belong to or volunteer for, distressed about friends or frenemies, distressed, distressed, DiSTRESSED! So in the event of this happening, what should one do?

They should asked for help and communicate with someone but what we tend to do is keep everything bottled up until we one day go bonkers!

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So instead of going bananas, go ahead and send out an SOS; reflect on what has been distressing you and plan to abandon the flaky-ship altogether. By Flaky-Ship, I mean Flaky-Shaky-Relationships with family, friends, jobs, and organizations. Do like the guy below and leave the Flaky-Ship behind you. Yes, it looks sturdy, and seems solid, but it is not. It is full of distress, so off you go!

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Definition of Distress

dis·tress
dəˈstres/noun
1. extreme anxiety, sorrow, or pain.
“to his distress he saw that she was trembling”
synonyms: Anguish, suffering, pain, agony, torment, heartache, heartbreak
2. give (furniture, leather, or clothing) simulated marks of age and wear.
“the manner in which leather jackets are industrially distressed”
Just reading over this definition lets you know that being in “distress” is no cake walk.
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So if you are in a situation that is causing you anguish, torment, pain, anxiety, heartache and sorrow; it may be time to abandon that particular thing FOR GOOD.
Do you ever wonder why it is so hard to exit a bad situation? I mean, you would think it would be quite easy to walk away considering how unpleasant it is for you, but it does not always work that way, does it?
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The reason it is hard to exit bad situations is because we become used to them. We become comfortable feeling the pain, anguish, anxiety and sorrow in our lives; and began to wear them like an old hat. They become our norm. So we walk around knowingly or unknowingly sending out SOS signals, while doing absolutely nothing to address them.
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This has got to stop, I wrote this blog as a reminder to you that it is time to break out the composition notebooks and take inventory of your lives. Are you going to continue on in a distressed state of mind (unhealthy well-being) or a joyful state of mind (healthy well-being)? The choice is yours.
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Family
When it comes to your family, you cannot necessarily “abandon the Flaky-Ship” per say, but you can abandon negative patterns that may occur between you all.
For example, if you tend to argue a lot with a particular family member(s), choose to react in a different manner than you would normally would. Once the argument starts, do not retort with the normal sarcasm.
Instead, allow the person to say their piece and simply say you respect their opinion but have nothing further to say (even if you do).
This way, you are choosing not to argue with them on that day and will leave them perplexed and wondering what in the sam hill just happened.
**This is a great way to throw off the argument pattern.
After a few times of choosing not to engage the family member(s), you will eventually change the argument pattern completely for the better. This method truly works because I have read about it in real-life case studies and it has drastically improved peoples’ relationships with one another.
Please do not get me wrong, I am not saying avoid the pink elephant in the room; I am simply saying, the middle of a heated argument is not the right time to point out the pink elephant. It is best to discuss issues when both parties are not upset, and are ready to listen, offense will be less likely occur at this time.
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It takes two or more people to argue, so if you remove yourself from the equation, the argument cannot occur.
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Friends
When dealing with friends, it can be tricky. There is not a one size fits all method when deciding to abandon a flaky-friendship. This will have to be done on a case by case basis but if you have people in your company that produce constant feelings of pain, sorrow, anguish, anxiety and distress in your life, you may want to consider abandoning that flaky-ship.
Why? Because it is not healthy, and will cause yourself heartache in the long run. Some  of you have been losing sleep, not looking your best, overeating, carry bags under your eyes and nursing constant headaches, all because you have the wrong associations/attachments. Is it really worth it?
*Remember, the reason behind this blog post is to identify, decrease and eliminate “distress” in your lives. 
Organizations
Some of us are linked to organizations that does nothing but bring anxiety, drama, sorrow and pain into our lives. Initially you may of joined for a good cause but “the cause” seemed to have left the building a long time ago.
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When you want to leave, you may be bombarded with these thoughts:
“I may as well stay because it is like this everywhere” or
“I have been in it forever so I can’t leave” or
“my family was in it, if I leave, I will break tradition” or
“I have an important position in this place, I can’t leave my position.”
You get the picture, there will always be something or someone trying to convince you to stay in something, but again, if it is causing you constant “distress”, and your body is sending out SOS signals all over the place, its time to unapologetically, abandon the flaky-ship.
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I hope you all were taking notes in your composition notebooks and are planning to truly reflect on all of these areas in your life after you finish reading, because it is amazing how your body will began to heal itself once you start eliminating rubbish from different areas in your life.
Life is too precious to remain stuck in an unpleasant story, so go ahead and close that story book and began a new one. ~Kamina Fitzgerald

Have a peep of my Schoolspiration book!

It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

Let go of the "Past" Bomb

Letting go of the “Past” Bomb

I was reflecting on a book I read over 17 years ago about getting people, past events and regrets out and making room for the right things instead.

How often are people living a low quality of life because they choose to live in the past by allowing something or someone the permission to have a “seat” in their lives, who should have been asked to “please get up and leave,” a long time ago?

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The good news is, that there is a thing called choice, and we all have access to it.

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We can choose to continue providing a seat for past regrets, situations, humiliations, and toxic people; or we could choose to asked them to “please get up and leave,” so that we can make room for the present and the future. Think about the Charles Dickens’s Christmas Carol. Ebenezer Scrooge was allowed the luxury of learning exactly how his past would affect his present, and doom his future. What a wonderful opportunity it would be if we too, could have the same ability. Unfortunately, we will more than likely not get to but we are wise enough to know that if we hold on to, provide a seat for, wrong things; our present and future will be very bleak.

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Can you tell I have an infinity for Charles Dickens? lol I did get to meet his great, great grandson once at a Dickens’s Holiday event, it was lovely. 

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I want to preface this by saying I am not only referring to people. I am also referring to habits, occupations and organizations we belong to. Some of us are still working in positions that we should have left a long time ago, but because of job security, decided not to step out on faith.

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Some of us have habits that are unhealthy, unproductive and/or expensive, that we need to give up so that we can make room for something better. Some of us are apart of organizations (civic, volunteer, congregations, frat/soro, etc…) that have run their course in our lives, but because of a sense of cause, duty, or validation, continue on in them. This is not to say, do not belong to any organizations, it is to make sure you are apart of the right organization; one in which you are a proper fit.

We have to be willing to let go of the wrong placement, in order to make room for where we are supposed to be. Otherwise, you will look like the illustration below.

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From this day forth, view the bad parts of your past; and all that encompass as a ticking time bomb that will soon explode, and end up destroying your present and future. This may seem a bit melodramatic, but what else will it take to finally decide on letting go? Some of us are collectors of useless things, and eventually, if we continue to take care of those “useless unproductive things,” our energy, time and most importantly space will be unavailable when something better is introduced and what happens when you are looking for a seat, and all are taken? You keep moving. This is what good things that are supposed to be in our lives will do if we stay full of rubbish, it will keep moving.

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Reflection

Get a notebook, iPad, or Notepad on your phone. Write down these categories:

  1. People
  2. Organizations I belong to
  3. Habits
  4. Hobbies

Underneath each category, write down The Three P’s:

  1. Productive
  2. Positivity
  3. Passionate

At this point, I would personally choose to pray about this, but overall the objective is to evaluate the categories and see if the items in them should continue having a seat in your life. If you find you are no longer passionate, productive and it no longer brings positivity into your life; then I suggest asking it to “please get up and leave.”

After doing this exercise you will free up time, energy and space for something better to come into your life and you will appreciate it, when “something better” comes along.

You may actually be the person holding yourself up, you may be your worst enemy, so don’t be afraid to “Let go of the Past Bomb.”

past is bomb

Have a peep of my Schoolspiration book!

It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

genuine people, inspirational

21-day Genuine Challenge Results

Good night everyone, this will be short and to the point. The 21-day Genuine Challenge was more difficult than I anticipated, especially when people were a bit cheeky.

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I have found that it takes making a “conscious decision” to be kind and genuine, it does not happen organically.

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It is easy to make sarcastic, negative remarks behind someones’ back, it is also easy to smile in someones’ face while having a frown in your heart towards the person, but it is hard to be REAL.

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When I make the statement to “be genuine” I am also saying to stop being the opposite: a fraud, counterfeit, sham, imitation, hoax, when dealing with yourself and others. This is good advice for all of us.

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  1. If you are not feeling well, it is ok to say that when asked how you are doing.
  2. If you do not like being around a certain group and/or person, it is ok; politely stop being around them and don’t talk negatively about them. Sometimes friendships fade.
  3. If you no longer like the direction your life is going, don’t act like you do just to impress others, or because you think something is expected of you; instead, make the necessary changes you need in order to have a healthy well-being.
  4. If you are around a group of people who are always talking negatively about others behind their backs, but smiling in their faces, separate yourself! This is a quick way to be classified as not being genuine.
  5. If you feel lead to do or say something you know is wrong, decide not to so that you could avoid negative consequences.

I challenge everyone to try the 21-day Genuine Challenge, it will definitely make you think before you do.

Selah

Have a peep of my Schoolspiration book!

It is FREE on Kindle and only $2.99 on other tablets:

https://www.amazon.com/SchoolSpiration-Sprinkle-Wellness-Creating-Inspire-ebook/dp/B076DHB5HB

parents

Parent Education Night

Come join Cumberland County District PTA at Lake Rim Elementary School for Parent Education Night May 17th 2018 @5:30pm!

I will be giving a presentation on “Understanding EOGs & The Value of Homework” and will also be giving out information about things parents can do in the summer to keep their precious little ones learning!

After I present, I will be adding the information to my blog so that it can be shares with others

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Have a peep at my Schoolspiration Book!
It is FREE if you have a Kindle and $2.99 in other tablets:
Schoolspiration, be inspired

Schoolspiration

I came up with the word “Schoolspiration” for a newsletter idea at work. I was surprised when I put the word in google that it did not exist, so I decided to title my newsletter “Schoolspiration”.

Working in a high school as a school teacher at the time, and trying to decide what my newsletter should be about, I decided I wanted it to be short, informative and inspirational.  Although the word “School” is in the title, it is not only for those in the field of Education; it is also for those interested educating themselves on varying topics.

The concept of Schoolspiration came about my fifth year of teaching after I was placed on the “School Climate Correlate”. The Correlate utilized surveys and brief interviews of faculty/staff to continually monitor employee morale. The information gathered allowed the Correlate to get an overall feel of the emotional climate within our school. My personal task on the Correlate was to write a monthly newsletter in which I included short inspirational stories, quotes and wellness tips.

Considering the busyness of school personnel, I aimed to keep the newsletter short. The following year I relocated to another school district, and several colleagues from my old school contacted me suggesting I publish what I had written. I did, and you can find it on amazon.com but in the spirit of continuation I also decided to create a blog so that I can share Schoolspiration with more people!

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Have a peep at my Schoolspiration Book!
It is FREE if you have a Kindle and $2.99 in other tablets: