A Heart of Surrender

There’s safety in not knowing. There’s security in not having it all figured out. I see that now. I’m in a posture of surrender and I’ve given it all to God. Everything. I’ve adopted the mindset that I know nothing. I’m not in control. I can’t do it alone. As much as I wanted to think that I had life all figured out….I don’t. I thought surrendering control would bring me so much anxiety and stress, but it’s actually bringing me peace. I’m finding comfort in The One who knows all and believing that He has it. I trust Him….

I used to speak with my words that I trusted Him, meanwhile my heart was singing a different tune. I would let go for a second, only to find my hands right back on the driver’s wheel of life. I thought I knew better than Him. I didn’t. I thought He needed my help. He didn’t. I thought that if I kept pushing my agenda, everything would go as I planned. I was wrong. I ran my plan and crashed so much until one day I came to the end of myself and decided that enough was enough. I was fighting against a power much greater than I. It was time to surrender and submit….

So here I am, in a posture of humility, submitting to God’s ways and plans. My heart is being transformed and my life is changing before my eyes. I can imagine Him saying, “finally my child, you’ve given it to me….”

It was my heart that He wanted. I surrender all….

~Shavon Carter, The YOU Relationship Coach

The Art of Conversation

What happened to the art of conversation? Why are we so in a rush to get somewhere with our words? What happened to playful banter, mentally stimulating dialogue, and creative approaches to getting to know one another? How did we get stuck on the surface level, settling for connections void of depth and true meaning? Perhaps it’s because somewhere along the way we got comfortable with not requiring it. We resolved that hiding our true selves, clinging to familiar ways of relating, or going with the status quo was just how it was supposed to be. We rationalized that our soul’s desire for deeper connection and intimacy was unrealistic. But at the core of our being, there was a cry for something more.

My soul is crying out for that something more so I’m starting with me. Exploring the inner parts of me without judgment to heal and liberate what’s been hidden and unlock the true essence of me. Having those deep conversations with self that invoke a greater level of understanding and awareness of who I am and was created to be. If I want a deeper experience of relating to others, I can start with enriching the experiences I have with myself. There is depth and range to me and I desire to explore every part. As my friend Shi Hutchinson said in a recent conversation, we can create the type of experience we have with others when we practice it with ourselves. We can be vulnerable, transparent and honest in conversations with others when we’ve gone there with ourselves.

So the moral of this story is, we can get get back to the heart of having meaningful conversations with others when we’re willing to go there with ourselves. If you’re looking for a deeper connection, start with you then go out and practice it in the world.

~Shavon Carter, The YOU Relationship Coach

Perfect Harmony

Harmony…”the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; a consistent, orderly, or pleasing arrangement of parts; congruity.”

My body is rejecting everything that doesn’t align with its design and purpose. It’s cleansing. It’s healing. It’s guiding me to authenticity and truth. It’s working together to create perfect Harmony.

I feel so FREE! Free to be Me! Free to follow the desires of my heart and where it leads me. Free to be me, unapologetically and unashamed. My destiny is stamped. My path is secure. Not even I can stop my life’s trajectory. It’s truly all in my Father’s hands. Knowing that I’m covered in such a divine way is liberating! He’s truly the God of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and nth chances.

I can relax in the comfort of knowing that He’s truly guiding me. There’s security on this journey and for that I am eternally grateful. I am flowing in perfect Harmony. All is well with the world.

~Shavon Carter, The YOU Relationship Coach

I’ll know it when…

I hate going shopping. I don’t have the patience for it. I don’t have time to slow walk through the aisles perusing all the clothes on the rack, just to find the perfect outfit. Instead, I’d rather walk in the store, quickly survey everything in the room and wait for that something to catch my eye. If it doesn’t, I leave and go to the next store. In my mind, I don’t have to spend hours in the mall because I know what I’m looking for and will recognize it when I see it. With that approach, I’m in and out in no time without buying things I had no intentions of getting. As a result, I save time, energy and money.

I’ll know it when I see it….If only I could take that same approach when dating. Just like with the stores, I have an idea of what I truly desire in a man. I can’t quite put it into words, but I believe I’ll recognize him when I meet him. Although I know this to be true cognitively, I still find myself lingering with people who I know aren’t “him.” Similar to shopping, when I meet a guy I can discern pretty quickly that he’s not for me. Yet I still engage and entertain him, only to find out later that I’ve expended unnecessary time, energy, and heart space on someone that I really wasn’t meant to go past an initial conversation with.

I’ll know it when I see it…Waiting for “him” requires courage and strength to sacrifice what may look or feel good in the moment, in exchange for something deeper, meaningful, and long lasting. Otherwise I continue on a cycle of temporary satisfaction and lose out on permanent fulfillment. Expending energy in an unfruitful situation can be exhausting. It’s like releasing pointless breaths or traveling with no destination. It wears you out and makes the journey tiring. But when I take the time to listen to the voice within and follow my instincts, I’m guided right where I need to be.

My quest for 2018 is to be still and listen, so I can be guided into exactly where I need to be. Life is a journey and filled with discovering wonderful things about self. I just have to trust myself and continue to believe that I’ll know him when I see him. And in the meantime, move in and out of things quickly because time is of the essence.

~Shavon Carter, The YOU Relationship Coach

Me Trip!!!

“I did this for you so I could see you smile and see you happy.” That’s what I told myself today after an amazing day trip to NYC.

I remember the day I made the decision to go. I was at work and an email popped up in my inbox about a bus trip to NYC to see the Rockettes. Something within me leaped as soon as I saw the flyer. Prior to that I had made a commitment to myself to start honoring and taking care of me. So when I reacted with excitement to the flyer, I knew that was the little girl in me saying she wanted to go. I listened to her and bought the ticket. Instantly tears came to my eyes because finally I was honoring what she wanted and needed.

This morning I woke up early to make sure I gave myself enough time to get dressed, cook breakfast (another way of honoring myself), and get to the bus. I felt a sense of peace as I drove to the meeting location. However, something shifted once I got there and boarded the bus. I started to notice people boarding with their family, friends, or significant other. I was the only one who came alone. At first there was an empty seat next to me so the lady across the aisle asked if I was waiting for someone. I said no, and then I felt my heart sank. I was alone. I began to regret my decision to not find someone else to go with me. A “Me Trip” sounded like fun in concept but in reality, I had to deal with the feeling of being by myself. My mind was headed down the path of regret, judgment, and sadness but then I reflected back to why I made the decision in the first place….to honor ME. That meant it didn’t matter what the other people on the bus chose to do; All that mattered was that I was doing what I wanted and needed to do for ME. That perspective pulled me out of the emotional valley I was about to wallow in.

I mapped out my plans during the bus ride so I could hit the ground running when I got there. I started to think of all the things I could do during the four hour timeframe we had before the show started. I felt the excitement return. When we got to NYC I got off the bus and began my journey with excitement and adventure in my eyes. My first stop was the Rockefeller Tower so I could go to the top floor and see the whole city. It was beautiful. I took pictures and relished in the moment that I was actually on a trip, by myself, doing what I wanted to do.

I left the tower and just walked around 50th Ave. I noticed a TGI Friday’s on the corner of 50th Ave and 7th Ave so I stopped to get lunch. When I walked in I asked the host for a table for one and he suggested I sit at the bar. I thought to myself, “No! I am having a day of honoring myself so I want a table!” I didn’t share those thoughts with the host, I just politely asked again for a table and he pointed to one that was available by the window. So I sat down without a care in the world and watched the people walking down 7th Ave. I noticed a billboard across the street that read “Find Your Happy”. That’s exactly what I was doing! I ordered what I wanted and ate in peace.

After lunch I had about two hours to spare so I decided to walk through Times Square to the Macy’s. I heard it was the largest one in the world so I wanted to see what the hype was about. It was on 34th Ave, but I figured after eating that would be a good way to work off the food. Lol. I walked down the sidewalk like I belonged. The confidence and strength that exuded from me was empowering!

When I got to the Macy’s I was in awe. I had never seen anything like it! It looked like a mall but it was all one huge store! Each department had its own suite that you could walk into. And as I took the escalator I realized there were 9 floors in the store! 9! I was in complete amazement! It was too exciting and overwhelming to actually shop, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

After being amazed at the Macy’s store, it was time for me to go see the Rockettes show. I walked back to 50th Ave and headed to the Radio City Music Hall. The line was super long but it moved pretty quickly. The inside of the venue was beautiful! I admired the decor as I made my way to the 2nd Mezzanine level. I got to my seat and the orchestra was playing Christmas music. I could feel the little girl in me rising up. When the show started I could barely contain my excitement! The dancing. The singing. The colors. The precision. The storyline. The brown girls in the show. Everything about the experience brought me so much joy! When the show was over I couldn’t stop smiling.

When we got to the bus I reminisced on the day and how much fun I had with ME! I was smiling from ear to ear, not because a man had did it, but because I had planned a whole day just for me! Then the thought came, “I did this for you so I could see you smile and see you happy.” What a beautiful feeling to know that I can bring that kind of joy to myself. That I could care for the little girl within and let her be free. That I could be at peace and one with ME! Ahhhh…nothing else compared. I thanked God in the moment and just looked out the window and smiled. Today was truly a beautiful day.

~Shavon Carter, The YOU Relationship Coach

Me Time 

When I was younger, I remember always wanting to have my mom to myself. I didn’t want to share her with the men she was in relationships with. I just wanted it to be me and her. So as you can imagine, I was not happy when she got married when I was a preteen. I carried that feeling throughout the 20+ years of their marriage and when it ended in divorce, selfishly I figured I could finally have her to myself. However, a couple years later she remarried and the unresolved feelings I had were triggered. 

As much as I would like to blame my mom for my feelings, I recognize that it was a projection of how I felt about myself. The same undivided attention I desired from my mom is the same thing I was craving from me. I noticed it every time I got into a relationship. The little girl inside of me would get jealous and wonder when it would just be about her. Not that the guys were bad, I just hadn’t spent enough quality time with myself to heal that hurting place.

Recently I ended an 8 month relationship because the little girl in me was fed up. She was tired of having to compete for my attention. She wanted to feel loved by ME, not from an external source. She was tired of the short-lived singleness that ended as soon as another man came along.  I started to feel the inner turmoil, which was really her crying out. So in honor of her, I made the tough decision to let go of the familiar place of focusing on a man so I can attend to her needs. For over 30 years she’s been yearning for some uninterrupted quality time so it’s imperative that I take a break and love on her. 

Now I’ll admit that this is a learning process for me but I’m determined to figure it out. I just try to discern when she’s telling me she needs something. Like today when I saw an email about a bus trip to NYC to see the Rockettes at the Radio City Music Hall, I could feel her leap within me. So in honor of her, I chose to book the trip. It brought tears to my eyes because I was practicing honoring what I wanted and choosing me. I’m learning one moment at a time. 

Sis, today I encourage you to listen to yourself and make decisions that support self-love daily. It’s so important because a healthy relationship starts with YOU. ~Shavon Carter, The YOU Relationship Coach 

I’m losing myself…

I’m losing myself. Lost in a relationship that consumes me. Thinking that with him is where my identity lies. Overly concerned with what pleases him and what he wants, while ignoring the silent cries within that speak, “but what about me?”

I’m losing myself. Focused on the image of perfection. Painting a picture for others to envy, while at the same time feeling the deep disconnect within. My heart feels like it’s breaking into a million pieces. Letting go of the need to keep it all together.

I’m losing myself. I’m losing the desire to allow a part of me to dominate my life. The part of me who is comfortable dimming her light so that a man’s light can shine. I’m losing the need to let her keep filling my mind with “you’re not enough so you have to perform for him.” I’m losing the need to live less than my most powerful self. 

I’m finding myself. I’m finding the inner strength to fight for connection and peace within me. I’m finding the pieces of the puzzle that were missing so I can heal. I’m finding patience with me and trusting that where I am is okay. I’m finding the inner love and compassion that I’ve been longing for. I’m finding out that what matters most is that I’m good with me. I’m finding my voice. 

This present journey is chaotic. Seems like a world war is happening within. The fight for ME is so strong, but I’m winning. Resilience. Power. Strength. Boldness. Courage. And the beauty is that I’m not in the fight alone. I feel my soul’s presence and the Spirit of God. He too reminds me that He’s fighting for me and won’t let go. In that, there is no defeat. Even when it seems like I’m losing, I’m winning because every moment creates purpose. Internally it feels chaotic, but to Him it’s perfect for my transformation. What an amazing journey.  

~Shavon Carter, The YOU Relationship Coach