Gratitude

Subject to Change

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.” ― Leo Tolstoy

There are a lot of opportunities  that I have missed out on  because things were not perfect. I missed out on truly changeembracing motherhood because I was single and too young to be a “good” parent. I ignored my zeal of writing because I would never be considered one of the “greats” because of my lack of formal education.  I eliminated myself from being a successful person because of my sordid past. I counted my self out for true happiness because that never  happened to black girls like me.

Perfection is the second cousin to procrastination. If we wait until something is perfect to make an action, we would never get anything done because our situations are constantly changing.

Just last year, I was getting ready for Christmas with a smile on my face because my mentor decided to sponsor my family’s Christmas. She not only took me shopping, but she made a loaf of pumpkin bread from scratch and equipped me with a gingerbread house kit. My children and I gathered at my mother’s house and decorated the gingerbread house while eating most of the candy in the process. It was a great Christmas and a very promising New Year.

Then, the seasons changed…..

Since June of this year I have been unemployed after being ‘separated’ from my former employer. As months passed, I dedicated myself to helping at my daughter’s school, blogging and my newest venture- I.N.S.P.I.R.E .Though these embraceactivities bring me joy, they are not very lucrative as of now and I had no clue of how I was going to keep my light bill paid to even think about Christmas.

Things are far from perfect for me at this moment in my life right now, but I have never been more joyful. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, just last month I was bugging out about the aforementioned  things and more. But, this month has been a grand experience of the joys of love and family for me;  there are so many things that I can and will be thankful for. If I wait for things to get better or be perfect, I will miss  some of the most wonderful things that are taking place right now for myself as well as my loved ones.

In her Tedtalk, The Power of Believing that You Can Improve, Professor Carol Dweck motivates us all to relish in The Power of Yet– where we are in a growth mindset instead of a fixed mindset.  She encourages us to stand firm in the face of adversity and to put more effort in the things that we do.  She persuades us to engage with our errors so that we learn from them and correct them. She rallies us all to praise the process of improvement instead of allowing ourselves to be beaten down by life’s circumstances.

banksyThough last year was better for me economically, I seem to be so much happier with the direction that my life is taking. Yes, I miss being able to indulge in some yummy pumpkin bread and build a gingerbread house,  but I would not trade my freedom to create and be myself at all times for anything in this world.  Though I have less financial independence, I am not excluded from being productive in my household and community. My separation empowered me to breathe life into situations that I did not have time to nurture because I worked. I have the ability to be more involved in my daughter’s life and the luxury of writing all day if I so desired. I have been presented with the best opportunities to bring change in my neighborhood, and honey I am seizing each and every moment.

Basing our happiness on temporal things will always keep us in a rut. When we decide to be content no matter our situations we thrive! Shine on urbanites! 

* Images found on http://www.google.com

 

 

 

Advertisements

Thank You (Yes, YOU)

When I started this blog, I had already made up in my mind how many followers I was going to have in the first month. I just knew that when people read my posts they were gonna flock to my blog like bees to a honeycomb. Well, they didn’t. And that discouraged me. I began to question my skills and my worth. My Jonesitis kicked in over time and I was ready to give up (after that first month). But, as I continued to forge on, folks began to like my posts.

Thank you! Thank you for reading, commenting, following and encouraging. Thank you for helping me conquer this nasty ailment of Jonesitis and allowing me to be original. Thank you for refraining from  leaving any negative comments on the posts that you didn’t like. Thank you for helping me get one step closer to my dream.

 

With tremendous gratitude,

Helen Rachel Ladson

Oh The Joy

“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.” Og Mandino

One thing that I’ve always been interested in doing is photography. I visualize myself behind a lens, capturing everyday life life Gordon Parks or Cary Mae Weems. Though I’ve always daydreamed about the thrill of being a photographer I never followed through on my desires.

parks original

Parks orginal

It wasn’t until I became employed with my previous employer that I came close to acting out my dream. Though my job title was administrative assistant, I had the opportunity to wear many hats. One of my favorite duties was to take pictures of visitors and speakers and come up with stories to accompany the pictures for the company’s blog and Facebook page. The director of the organization taught me how to download pictures and I would e-mail the finish work to the editor. This experience paved the way for me to start my own blog, but I still had the desire to have my own catalog of pictures, instead of finding all of my images online.

Today during morning worship, the pastor began to compliment the worship leader on her photography skills. This praise of her works sparked an interest within me; I decided that after service I would ask her for some advice on getting started.  I am happy that I made that decision!  Not only did she advise me on a great starter camera, she gave me her contact information to share insight in the future.

weems art

Weems original

If I had not been willing to be a student, I would have missed out on valuable information to help me advance  towards a part of my vision.

In life it is easy to feel let down by people; when we are faced with these difficulties our hearts can become calloused.With each let down, we have the tendency to  become more for self, trying to shield our hearts from pain. This defense mechanism makes us more secluded and less willing to reach out for information in fear of vulnerability.

Instead of allowing that fear to chase us into the corners of ignorance, let us embrace the light of learning something new. As Confucius says, “He who asks a question is only a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool  forever.”

 

*Images found on http://www.google.com 

 

Top Ten

Here are the top ten reasons FindAWay is thankful today:

1. Mothers– God couldn’t be everywhere so He created mothers.  They pray for you, cry with you and encourage you to keep pressing. Thanks mama!

2. Education– There is more than one way to learn. If you don’t like to read, you can always watch a documentary.

3. Music– One song can change your mood. We recommend ‘On Your Face ‘ by Earth, Wind and Fire.Ewf

4. Maya Angelou– Her words touched souls which sparked thought, feeling and action.

5. Fear– Without it we would never experience the joy of overcoming an obstacle.

6. Mentors– You never know what a 30-minute session with someone can do for the both parties involved.

7. Real  friends– After a while they become so close that they become family.

peter8. Family Guy– Peter Griffin is an idiot!

9. Internet Access– We have the world at our fingertips. If we use this power for positive things, we have the opportunity to effectively connect with others and maybe make some extra loot!

10. Being employed– It’s a jungle out there: for every 1 job opening there is 5 people applying for that position.

 

 

What are you thankful for? Send us your list: