Pathways to Your #Passion: Find Freedom Through Courage

Recently, our FLOTUS shared some words of wisdom that she would have said to her younger self: “…Stop being so afraid! That’s really what strikes me when I look back – the sheer amount of time I spent tangled up in fears and doubts that were entirely of my own creation. I was afraid of not knowing the answer in class and looking stupid, or worried about what some boy thought of me, or wondering whether the other girls liked my clothes or my hair, or angsting about some offhand comment someone made to me in the lunchroom.”

While Michelle’s (I can call her by her first name right) advice is useful for the young girls she was speaking to this advice hold true for those of us walking along the pathway to our passion or actually at a standstill because we’re concerned about how others will receive us and our dream. We’re too wrapped up in the notion that I’m new to this, no one’s ever heard of me, no one else has done it this way. Our fear has us bound and is preventing us from getting to the other side of our passion. Today is the day to follow the Lord’s commandment to Joshua, “Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:9)

Which fear will you tackle first? Share your results as you capture the land. See you on the other side of your passion.

P.S. In case you’re wondering how do I know it will work. Well, here is my testimony. I received an email near the beginning of September about applying to participate in an online conference. I didn’t apply right away because that fear of being rejected because I’m the new girl seized me. I shook it off very quickly and applied anyway. Guess who is going to be a panelist on SORMAG’s Online Conference? 

SORMAG Con Panelist

Pathways to Your #Passion: Connect to Your Source

The pathway to your promise isn’t a straight one. There will be boulders that you have to try and circumvent, there will be tiny pebbles that will appear to be minuscule yet cause you to stumble greatly. There will traffic jams that will make you believe that you will never reach the other side of your passion on time. But time and success are relative when you connect to your source.

I don’t know what your picture of success looks like and I don’t know what date or time you’ve stamped and connected to the moment in which your success will be cemented in the sands of time, but you must know this, “for promotion cometh neither from the east, nor the west, nor from the south. God is the judge: he putteth one down, setteth up another.” Your success isn’t dependent upon all of your elbow grease, your networking, the midnight oil you burned, although those things are necessary factors in the equation. If you want to reap a harvest you have to sow some seeds, but the rain comes from the heavens and heaven is His throne. You must connect to your source to reach the other side of your passion.

Connect to Your Source:

1. Let Him in on your plans and intentions. Be honest with God, He can take it.

2, Let Him in on the timeline you have. Again, be honest with God, He can take it.Psalm 75.6-7

3, Ask Him what He wants and realign (trust me, you will have to realign) the vision you have for your success.

4.  Spend time in prayer and even fasting to get into the heart of God and really understand what it means to walk, run, and ride, to your passion with Him by your side backing you.

5. Then get to marching. Your pathway might look different and you will feel different, but once you’re connected to your source reaching the other side of your passion will be a blessed journey and you will experience success before you experience success. Remember your success is not dependent upon you or anyone else, but in you putting your trust in His righteousness, in His abundance, in His faithfulness, in His provision, and in His vision.

How do you currently connect to your source?  How have you found strength to carry on? Do you feel better knowing that your promotion and exaltation is in God’s hands?

Born at Dawn #Book #Brunch and #Launch #Party

It’s almost time for the release of my debut novel and of course that means it’s almost time to TURN UP and celebrate. The Neophyte Author, Nigeria Lockley would like to extend an invitation to the Born at Dawn Book Brunch and Launch Party.

Book Brunch Pic

 

At the party you’ll have the opportunity to:

Tickets

For tickets to the live party at Pearl Studios click here: Born at Dawn Book Brunch and Launch Party 

For tickets to the virtual party on Facebook click here: Born at Dawn Virtual Book Launch Party

Sponsors Include:

Tyora Moody

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Colette Harrell

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Unoma Nwankwor

Unoma

Please be sure to check out and support the work of these wonderful Christian authors and I can’t wait to see at the party on, Saturday, October 18, 2014.

Pathways to Your #Passion: Make an #Investment

If you want to get from 34th Street to Chinatown you have to invest in transportation to get there. If you want to get from New York to L.A. you have to invest in transportation to get there and your passion is no different. Walking the pathway to your passion involves you making an investment (actually two).

1. Your time. Getting to the other side of your passion is going involve late nights and early mornings. Getting to the other sideInvestment on Pocket Watch Face. Time Concept. of your passion means you can’t be turned up at every event and tuned in to every show. It may mean giving up your lunch break to network, to read and study, and while social media has become an integral part of running almost every business you’re going to have to take some time off every now and then.

Here are a couple of ways to cheat and steal time to:

  • If you commute capitalize on it. Dictate notes to yourself if you drive or type up documents on the bus or train.
  • Social Media Hack: Link your twitter to your Facebook page or vice versa to hit multiple sites at once. Then log off and if you’ve got it bad turn off the alerts on your phone until you’ve accomplished something on your passion to-do list. 

Investing your time will be taxing physically and mentally, but the result and reward will be worth the sacrifice and the same can be said for your second investment.

2. Your money. It’s been said before, “you have to spend money to make money” and it has also been said, “I don’t have any money (that’s why I’m trying to get to the other side of my passion)” So, no one ever said the part in parentheses, but you get the point. Your funds may be limited, however that does not mean you can’t an investment in your passion. The Bible demonstrates in Luke 19:16 that a servant who was only given one pound by his master had ten when his master returned. If you have a dollar you can afford to print a few color flyers at Staples. Considering that every field, profession, and passion may require a different type of investment I’m going to offer some general tips for investing in your passion.

  • invest to energy concept - euro in bulb - piggybank However slim your budget is devote some of it to attending a conference, workshop, after work mixer, etc. The relationships and partnerships you form there will be worth triple the value of what you paid to attend the event.
  • Admit what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are. Spend your money on your weakness. What do I mean by that? I’m not techy, but I knew I could manage setting up a website on WordPress, therefore I didn’t spend any money on that. On the other hand I’m not tech savy or visually inclined enough to create a book trailer, so I invested my pennies on that. I then submitted the book trailer to bloggers and reviewers to in order to set up interviews.

In your mind you can’t afford the investment, but I want you to look around your apartment, look in your closet, and your children’s closet. Are you looking? Count how many items or purchases you have made in the last year that were over $100 and were not essential to anyone’s survival. If you counted more than one item then you have the funds to invest in your passion you’ve just been misappropriating them. Redirect those funds starting now.

  • Simple Investment Hack: Brown bag it for a month and pay yourself what you would normally spend on lunch. Invest your proceeds into your passion.

Do not be afraid to Make an investment in yourself.
Do not be afraid to Make an investment in your passion.

Yes, investment is a tricky, slippery, and sometimes unreliable venture, but this is your passion we’re talking about and when done properly it will garner a great reward. The servant in Luke 19 was made ruler over ten cities because of his savvy investment skills. He did it with one dollar. What can you do with a peso and some passion? Now let’s bring this thing home and think of someone you can recognize, like Tyler Perry who invested all of his money into his plays until he was living out his car and look at him now. Your passion is worth the investment and it is time to start investing now. 

How are you going to invest your time and your pesos into your passion? Which one is going to be the most difficult investment for you to make (start with that one)?

Be blessed and of course, I’ll see you on the other side of your passion! 🙂

Pathways to Your Passion: If You Mean to do This Find a Mentor

There is nothing new under the sun, so regardless of how original your point of view is or how groundbreaking your idea or business concept is there is someone who else who has already charted the landscape and can guide you through the process.

If you mean to live out your passion, if you believe you’re meant to do this then one step you have to take on the Pathway to Your Passion is to find a mentor. You might seek out thisMentoring - Golden Key. mentor in a traditional way or you may be blessed with one that is appointed to you like Paul and Timothy. God linked them to each other and the younger in the faith learned from his predecessor how to lead, how to worship, and how to serve through his appointed position. 

The same holds true for us all whether you bake cakes, write books, or work in the court of law. The passion inside of you that calls you to your profession is an appointment that is divinely anointed and full of growing pains, challenges, and a multitude of options. One of the best ways to navigate through all of this is to find someone who has arrived at the other side of their passion, who is walking boldly, and occupying their territory. 

Depending on the profession your passion leads you in there may be organizations already set up that will help you find a mentor for example, educators may consult their local union or the American Federation of Teachers, doctors can consult the American Academy of Family Physicians if their school doesn’t offer a mentoring program, but us creative folks have to think outside of the box. Attend a conference where you’ll have the opportunity to reach out to others in your profession. Establish a connection with the person you’d like to mentor you and simply ask them. It can be as official or as flexible as you deem, but that relationship is necessary for growth, guidance, and help as you walk the Pathway to Your Passion.

At the 2012 Faith and Fiction Retreat with Michelle Stimpson
At the 2012 Faith and Fiction Retreat with Michelle Stimpson

My mentor is my unofficial mentor, I reached out to her a few years ago for some advice and I haven’t stopped since then. This week as she walked me through an issue I was struggling with both in my professional and personal life it occurred to me how essential the relationship I have with her is to me reaching the other side of my passion. In the Bible there are plenty of examples of the necessity of having a mentor, a leader, a guide to show you how to operate in the Spirit and use your gifts. When I think of the impact that Michelle Stimpson’s work and words have had on me I feel like Elisha, and all I want is for God to give me a double portion of the anointing that is in her, on her, and working through her. 

Find the Elijah of your passion–the one who is doing it greatly and glorifying God and follow him or her. See you on the other side of your passion. 

Pathways to Your Passion: Don’t Dwell in Defeat

So, I’m shaking things up a bit here with a video blog, I guess that’s a vlog (right). Nevertheless, this is the second post in the Pathways to Your Passion Series, “Don’t Dwell in Defeat”. Just press play and rejoice with me today.

 

See you on the other side of your passion!

Pathways to Your Passion: Stretch Out

Everybody wants to pursue their passion. Yes, even that one friend you have who does nothing, but binge watch episodes of their favorite show wants to ascend into another realm of life. But not everyone can and when I say can I mean they are not able to stretch out comfortably, acknowledge their passion, and believe that God is large enough to carry them to the Outdoor sunrise yoga girlother side of their passion. Through the Pathways to Your Passion together we’ll march into a robust life built through fellowship with Christ and the pursuit of our passion. Yes, I said together, I have not arrived yet, but I’m willing to walk with you.

I haven’t decided if this will be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. As a matter of fact I am going to stretch out on God and let Him determine how often I post Pathways to Your Passion. 

There is a way to live and walk in passion. That walk isn’t meager or lowly nor is it an easy pathway to travel on, however it’s a journey you won’t forget. So, let’s take the first step toward you living a life of passion.

Pathways to Your Passion Exercise One

Stretch Out. This exercise will require a small amount of physicality. The muscle you’ll use the most is your mouth. 

1. Have a conversation with yourself. If you really want to hold yourself accountable write it down your answers read them and pick them apart.

Ask yourself: What is your passion? What is it that you desire to do most in life? What do you expect to receive and achieve from this passion?

Desire can be a fleeting thing and you may discover in two weeks you’re just a bandwagon dreamer–hitching your hopes and aspirations on whatever is trending, appears to be glamorous, or is synonymous with great gain. Don’t fret should you discover this. We’re just stretching before walking the path. Repeat number one until you find consistency, a common thread, and peace in your heart.

2. Share This Passion. 

Praying Top ViewGet on your knees and pour your heart out to God. Ask Him to search your heart and reveal your true motivations. Stretch Out on Him. Be open to what Jesus has to say about your passion. Is you passion one that can and will glorify God? Is it good for you? He won’t withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly (that also means if your walk with Christ is a little crooked and one of your legs isn’t shorter than the other then it’s time to get right). It’s time to–Stretch Out on Him. Don’t be your own roadblock.

Don’t stop sharing. Tell your mama, tell your papa, tell everyone you know once you get the green light from God. That can come in many forms for each one of us. I knew I could write when my pastor said, “If you’re going to write a book go ahead and write it time is winding up. Whatever you’re going to do for the Lord do it now before He returns.” So, listen for His voice (it may come when, where, and from whom you least expect it to). It is necessary for you to use discernment in this area there are dream killers, crushers, and stompers waiting to deflate your dream, but if you’re always walking around protecting it then you haven’t stretched out on the Lord yet and you’ve already let doubt suck the passion out of you because you’ve been so busy hiding and thinking about what everyone else thinks that you can’t revel in your passion. 

3. Look in the mirror and remind yourself of your new position.

Say, “I’m comfortably stretched out on God. I acknowledge my passion  fill-in the blank, and I know that the Lord Jesus Christ is large enough to carry me to the other side of my passion. 

Uomo ai raggi x stiramento dolore braccio4. Use the muscles that you just stretched.

Repeat each exercise as necessary and don’t forget to come back and share your progress on the Pathway to Your Passion. 

 

I Need You (Help Me Win Book Cover Contest)

Hello friends, family, and supporters!

I need your help! It only takes a second. One-click. No Fee. No Time. No Hassle.

I have just entered my book into UBAWA’S Best Book Cover Contest. Please help me take home the prize by “liking” my book cover after clicking on the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=657132971039073&set=a.657131251039245.1073741850.100002271297049&type=3&permPage=1

BORN-AT-DAWN-FRONT
I appreciate your support!

More Than Monday featuring Nigeria Q. Rolling-Ford of Couture Cake Boutique

The Neophyte Author is excited to present a woman who went into business to dispel the myth that black businesses have horrible customer service. This week’s “More Than” Monday feature is a sweet treat coming from a mom who demonstrated the characteristics of a Proverbs 31 woman when it came time to provide for her family. Nigeria Rolling-Ford owner of Couture Cake Boutique, LLC shares how to overcome when you feel like giving up and the process of re-branding, which is something important to consider when trying to elevate your business or stand out from the crowd. Not only is Nigeria a great baker she’s my name twin (LOL).

What motivated you to start Couture Cake Boutique?

Couture Cake Boutique began with the realization that my family’s financial needs outpaced what we were currently earning. We would corset cakesoon have a high school senior that would need a ton of financial help and I needed to generate more income by doing something that I loved to do.

Your company recently underwent the process of rebranding–can you explain what that is and what prompted you to do this?

Yes. Rebranding is when a business changes their logo, mission statement, and/or advertising with the goal of taking the business to another level.

My rebranding began in January of 2014.  As I mentioned earlier, when I began this business it was more out of a financial need.  However, Lil Man Bronx Fondant Cakeas my customer base began to explode through word of mouth and social media, I decided to make a real go at it with the hopes of being able to one day leave my day job and focus solely on Couture Cake Boutique.

How do find time for yourself in the midst of running your own business, running a family, and working full-time?

I multi-task.  Those of us who are moms or actually anyone in today’s fast-paced world knows what it means to wear multiple hats.  I have extended hours and am always available to return a request for a quote or question from a client simply due today’s technology.

Has there ever been a moment in which you considered giving up? How did you resist that feeling?

Yes.  I recently took on a job that was larger than I could handle.  This particular job simply did not turn out well and I was crushed.  I wanted to all but hide under a rock.  But, I learned what my limits are.  The very next day my phone began to ring off the hook with potentialruffle cake business.  Lol.  We don’t actually have phone hooks anymore.

What advice would you give to any woman who desires to be “more than”?

My advice to any woman who desires to be “more than” is to simply be more than.  Sometimes if you walk in the actions of what you want to be, you will find that you have become just that.

 

For some custom made cakes, cupcakes, and excellent customer service (trust me I know Couture Cake Boutique supplied the cupcakes for the Born at Dawn Cover Reveal Party) please visit Couture Cake Boutique online at: 

Where are You?

Happy June!!

Welcome to the midway point of 2014! Can you believe that six months have passed already? I can’t either. Now that we’ve arrived at this point in the year this is the perfect moment to do a self-assessment. 

Where are you? Are you closer to your goals? Closer to God? Or have you already given up, given in, and grown frustrated in all your striving six monthsbecause you have not yet seen a result. Now is not the time for that now is the time to make your petition known to God. Now is the time to reassess your goals and make sure that they are aligned with Christ’s will for your life, “for no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” say Psalm 84. Of course that means if we haven’t received what we have sought after we must make sure that what we want is good and that we are walking uprightly. 

So, as you mark your calendar with an x or whatever it is you do to count the days I ask you, Where are you? Where are you in your walk both in the spiritual and the natural? What do you have to do to get where you want to be? There are six months left in 2014 to get there. Let’s Gooo!