Carla M. Brown |Speaker| Writer|Educator|Coach|

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Try Breaking the Ice Like This…

  • niceice

Ever been on an ice rink?  With ice skates?  It can be challenging.  Ever been on an ice rink, without ’em?  They have.  Don’t worry.  They didn’t desecrate the rink, we made sure to get permission.  Invited to a private party, these boys took advantage of a rare opportunity to do the unexpected.  While there was a previously determined mode of operation, they struggled a bit.

But while many others went with the standard, they broke out of their comfort zones and considered the possibilities.  What a way to break the ice! What transpired next could be only be categorized as relentless excitement; pint-size, but pleasant pandemonium – and an adventure to remember.

So often, we find ourselves in situations that may be foreign.  Perhaps, your background is not the same as your peers or associates.  There are certain elements that you recognize, but maybe you struggle a bit.  Perhaps your challenge lies in the fact that you haven’t considered the possibilities beyond face value.  Maybe there’s another way you could look at it, that would still give you the leverage to excel.

Am I saying break the rules?  No.  I’m saying, explore your options.  Think differentlyPursue diligentlyStrategize incessantly.  Sometimes it’s not asking questions that matters.  It’s the questions that you ask!

I enjoyed a wonderful conversation with a friend on yesterday whom I’ve known since elementary.  He’s a passionate, prolific family man who has a wonderful career and a beautiful wife and children.  While he’s done considerably well in his profession, he’s pursuing another lifelong passion that he placed on a back burner while life happened.

Unregretful of his decision to table it earlier, he’s now ready to pick it up and move forward. So he’s preparing!  My favorite part?  He’s conditioning himself mentally for his new pastime/future career in a manner parallel to how he prepared himself as a middle school, high school and college athlete.  He’s molding his mindset.

He’s allocating designated time to dedicate to the development of his craft.  He’s researching, studying and practicing for perfection…because he has an end goal in mind.  I’m convinced he’s going to get there…because he’s not afraid to step out of his comfort zone and get on the rink with an approach that perhaps others – haven’t seen yet.

If you take a moment to consider success stories you’ve seen and heard, rarely do they achieve the unthinkable by majoring in the mundane.  They think differently.  They pursue diligently.  They strategize incessantly.   I’m positioning myself to do the same in order to catch my dream.  Are you ready to catch yours, too?  Break the ice…and Leap with Me.  Adventures await… #imsmiling

#pursueyourpassion, #betheone, #catchyourdreams, #Leap2017, #breaktheice

Caption:  Brown Boys shattering the status quo.  Mommy Brown to follow suit…

 

 

 


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May He Wash Away All His Fears…

Cleanse

So I’ve been purging.  Sometimes, cleaning various rooms, making the hard decision to separate myself from student papers that are older than some of my children; parting with items that I can no longer validate holding on to; removing relics that I recognize my husband was right in gently sharing with me that they were fairly purposeless and collecting dust, and for very brief moments – trying to soak in some sun, celebrating the most beautiful days, when the heat is not unbearably sweltering.

I’m still working like a queen bee, hovering over countless tasks, enjoying the work.  I’m thrilled about new ideas, blossoming relationships and enthused clients, but I’m still trying to remember balancing business with bolstering memories.  It’s been challenging; in part because the media of late has swirled with realities that I find heart wrenching, and while I want to remain informed, I toil with severing my connection to the tube.  I feel it has betrayed me, offering me more opinions and slanted views than facts and fairness.

Nevertheless, irrespective of my entrepreneurial priorities, I was easily compelled to shut down my office the day after I received my own earth shattering news:  my three year old was going on his first field trip…to Discovery Green.  It was time to celebrate.

Interestingly, when I allow myself to submerge beneath the surface of conversational courtesies and pleasant exchanges of political rhetoric, I engage in quite a bit of self-talk.  I ask myself reflectively for answers that sometimes remain unearthed.  More importantly, I consider the impact of the world in which we live, or rather the decisions we’re making while in it.  And in my queries of how deeply I’m affected, I find myself consistently turned towards those who’ll remain long after we’re gone.  Our children.

It reminds me of countless things, but I’m opting to share a few – some out of mere adoration and others, out of unspoken obligation. Acutely aware that you may find a connection from a vantage point that I’ve not considered at all, it is my hope that my thoughts will at least tickle your fancy, and if not, then perhaps you will still find something for your enjoyment.

That being said, I am reminded first of the purity of love.  Amazing, isn’t it?  That it comes in so many shapes and sizes?  That we can love our spouses; our children; our siblings; our parents; our families; our friends; our pets; our passions.  That it is encompassed in a word so simple, but espouses such emotional depth…it leaves me speechless.

I watched three of my four boys (as the youngest turned four months last week) with incessant affection as they ran through the cooling waters that cascaded over their soft, brown skin.  And all I could think about was how much I loved them.

I think they loved…getting wet; the carelessness of their disposition.  The fact that they had no responsibilities, requirements, regrets, rebuttals.  They were enjoying the soothing spheres of liquid joy and savoring the signs that pleasure was plenty.  And I was elated.

For a moment, I also remembered the plausibility of pain.  I jumped just a bit if they got too close to someone else’s child, hoping there would be no unnecessary confrontations.  I worried that they might stumble or fall on the concrete beneath the water and injure themselves badly.

I was anticipating their disappointment when I’d tell them we’d have to go, knowing they would stay until the park had closed if they could.  I  worried that despite my best efforts, they’d still want to do more than the fun-filled day I’d already planned.  And then I thought a bit more broadly.

I thought about the confrontations I couldn’t guarantee they wouldn’t have – in life.  Not because of how they look, but really because of what they are – human.  And as humans, we will always have conflict.

I thought about the obstacles and incidents that I won’t be able to protect them from years from now.  I thought about when they’ll fall, and I won’t be able to pick them up.  And I won’t be able to hold their hand.  And I won’t be able to kiss their knees or rub their broken hearts, or make the pain go away.  And I felt – scared.  And helpless.  And vulnerable.

But  I also remembered, what my husband and I are teaching them.  I know what we believe.  I know in Whom we trust and how far His reach extends beyond what we could ever understand.  And that comforts me greatly.  Quite frankly, I don’t think I could have peace without Him – because I don’t have all the answers.  And as much as I’d like to be Superwoman, sometimes I think I have more kryptonite than kudos.

I have no idea what will be the future of my Final Four Brown Boys…but I have high hopes and great expectations, whatever their choices may be.  I know life will have its share of obstacles, and I’ll endeavor to do my best to help them through each and every one; but when I can’t, I will pray.  And when I can, I will still pray…because I believe we should pray without ceasing (smile).

And I hope that the love and patience and kindness with which we’ve raised them will wash over their fears of tomorrow.  Moreover, I hope that what they’ve learned from us, they will inherently share – and change the lives of others with the faith that moves mountains.

I savor everyday that they linger in innocence, and I hope they take their liquid joy and let it rain over their future.  I think we could all benefit from more of this kind of rain.  It’s time to use it to raise a generation that recognizes what we need most…

Caption:  When loving and laughter are pure and simple. #itstimetocleanseourminds

#catchyourdreams, #betheone, #pursueyorpassion, #cleanseyourmind

 


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Soothing Sorrows with Sun-Drenched ‘Morrows

Look at the Sun

A friend I love called me with an unexpected request last night – a blog post with a cure for a broken heart. I am humbled and taken aback – and feel compelled to pause.  I can’t say that I have the answer to the heart’s ills, but I do have some opinions.

Our hearts can be broken for so many different reasons.  Some that I’ve heard within the last few weeks were wrenching.  Spouses, significant others, siblings, children with dying mothers and fathers, supervisors, friends, and countless others who simply felt devastated by the emotional damage sustained.  It hurts, and while you feel the pain sharply, you are unable to touch it to make it feel better.  Nevertheless, I think sometimes, you can soothe it.

When I recall the many instances where I was on the other side of pain, I am thrust into the dark days when I didn’t want to crawl out of bed.  Tear-soaked pillow cases and dreadful mornings were my norm, and I frustrated myself with endless questions for which I had no answer; but, I learned very quickly that mulling over what went wrong and what wasn’t right didn’t make me feel better – it made me feel worse!  I was deepening my anguish just by replaying my catastrophes in my mind’s eye without allowing myself to breathe.  I was feeling – suffocated.

So, I peeled myself out of the bed and decided to get some sunshine.  Not just the kind outside, but the kind that emanated from me before I had allowed someone to shatter my dreams, which I was otherwise so eagerly pursuing.  I forgave (and still forgive) the people who hurt me most – because hanging on to the baggage is so lethal.  It allows contempt, hatred, and fear to stew like a viscous poison.  I don’t have the emotional capacity to be so seared by someone else’s poor decisions.

I believe that God loves everyone, which elates me.  However, I think we must also love ourselves.  Quite honestly, it took me a long time to grasp that because for many years, after believing mean children over loving parents, I was convinced that I had little for others to love.  So much so that as a young girl, I considered quite seriously taking my life – because the pain inside was so overwhelming.  But I didn’t…

…because I still believed I had something to look forward to.  I wanted to stand in the sun-drenched tomorrows.  I knew that even though there were those that had hurt me, there were countless others who loved me; believed in me, and thought I could conquer the world.  I wanted to know if they were right.  I wanted to see in me what they saw, but it took a while for my vision to come into focus.  Even now, when I do something “great,” I find myself in disbelief while others seem to think it was at my fingertips.  For me, greatness sometimes still seems faraway.

If your heart has been broken, you may wince many years from now as there are pains that are hard to heal, but first – forgive.  Let go of the resentment you may have towards the one who hurt you in the first place, whether intentional or non, disallow it to affect you in a way that infringes on your happiness.  Step Two – Love you!  Indulge in things that make you so happy that you allow yourself to stretch the momentary joys of savoring the simple things.  And who knows what you like better than you?  No one.

Step three:  Surround yourself with those who don’t break your heart and do love you – because they see the real you even when it’s buried under despair…and they don’t care…because they love you just the way you are.  They can be great sources of comfort.  I am happier today than I’ve ever been – even with a few days of rain.  And if you’re looking for love, relax.  More likely than not, you really are a great catch.  Shed your anxieties so you can allow love to find you – and continue to love yourself until you find that dream.   They’re out there.  Pray about it.  Your healing love may just be looking – for you.

#sendmesomesun, #drenchthepain, #loveyourself, #doyou, #catchyourdreams

Picture:  Capturing the sun that can drench the pain, even when it seems the blocking branches would get in the way.  It still seeped through and made my day.