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Surviving Distractions: How to identify them and how to stop them

By Felicia Clark 
I sit down to do a write-up with my deadline for completion in two days. After showering, I change into my pajama bottoms and an oversized shirt. I grab a glass of wine, chips, and my laptop. My blanket and pillow are on the sofa. My rain sounds are going. I decided that everything's in place. I plop onto my sofa and proceed to write. All of sudden, PANDEMONIUM. “Ma! Can you please bring me a towel?! I forgot to grab one!” One of my sons yelled from the bathroom.
After grabbing a towel and handing it to an awaiting hand sticking out the slit of the bathroom door, I sat back down upon the sofa and proceeded to write. 
Ring! Ring! Unh unh, not answering. The phone stops ringing. Ring! Ring! Same number. Not answering. Then it rings AGAIN! Same number, belonging to my bestie. She’s called 3 times in a row. She never does that. Something must be wrong. I decided to call her back and try to make it short; no more than 10 minutes, tops

Thirty minutes later, she’s just get…


A very good friend of mine gave me some advice once. He said, "Laura, you know you get stressed over all these people and their problems. It's too much weight. GIVE LESS OF A F#$K. " At the time, I thought he was being extremely dismissive. Like he must not have heard what I was trying to say. 

I had another conversation with a family member about a year later,  we were faced with an extremely dramatic family situation. It was then that my family member told me, " Laura, you will do nothing, you have too much to lose, focus on YOUR life. Seriously do nothing." 

SistaGurls, when I tell you, I could never be a "do nothing" person, please believe me. However, what he meant, was different from telling me to lose drive and ambition, it was more like STOP TRYING TO FIX EVERYTHING. Even the things that aren't your problem. Especially the things that aren't your problem! 

I am very certain that a lot of you are like me, silent superheroes' fighting for truth, justice, and other's people's MESS. Walking around with an unchecked duffle bag full of baggage that isn't even yours right? The motivational speech would start here normally, but this is the end of the year, so we're going to be more transparent.

I wish I could say that those 2 conversations awakened a "New Laura", but truthfully, it took about 36 years and over a million conversations to realize that I, Capt SistaGurl, had taken on too much. I first had to dissect and triage my issues to decipher which ones I had "inherited" from years of problem-solving; and which ones were my own. The problems I THOUGHT I was solving were COLD CASES. A series of unsolved trauma, guilt, and insecurity,  that I allowed the people around me to dump on me. I wasn't really fixing anything, I was simply allowing the people in my life take up storage in MY CRIB Some figuratively and some literally. This wasn't their fault, this was mine. NO one, literally no one had any idea how much of their pain I internalized. 

Furthermore, when you sign up to be a superhero, you accept the turmoil because of the PERKS that come from the cheers and adoration. "Thank you, Laura. ", "I appreciate you. " You are so amazing."  "How did you get some smart!?!?" Oh SistaGurls, how I reveled in it! But, like the famed Superman line, "With great power, comes great responsibility". If you follow DC you know that Superman died SEVERAL TIMES. Doomsday and a few other gnarly guys HAD HIS NUMBER. He was on many a cover a bloody disheveled mess with poor Lois devasted. 

Was there an arsenal of civilians banded up to save Superman from DEATH? No friends. He had to crawl up out the rubble get to some sunlight and GET HIS SHIT TOGETHER ON HIS OWN. He chose this life. 

I'd like to think the same for myself. I chose to be the ear, shoulder, back brace, and everything else in the lives of others. None of this was wrong but it left very little time and headspace for me to take care of myself. It got so bad that when someone asked me, "When is the last time you did something for yourself? " I was left without an answer. 

Motivation Time 
Ladies and Gentlemen, I want you to know that it is very okay to practice the following in 2020. I worked on all these things simultaneously in 2019 and I am a much better person because of it.  They cost you zero dollars and you can do them RIGHT NOW if necessary. 

1. SAY NO - If you're not 100% down with doing something and it doesn't directly impact your livelihood, do not do it. (If you haven't mastered "No"s yet, try via text, or just don't pick up the phone.) 

2. REST - Seriously, regardless of what career you have or how important you are at work, if you do not rest, eventually, your body will feel the burden that you frequently carry on a daily basis. 

3. SET GOALS (JUST FOR YOU) - For those of you who have families or are responsible for businesses, or multiple people, this one might be challenging. I personally had a hard time with this, but I'm working on it DAILY. Jot down simple things you want to do for yourself, then every quarter, add more. When you've completed a goal add another one.

By the end of 2020 you should have at least 20 things on your list and at least 10 you have completed. Lisa Nichols advises, that we should set small goals weekly. That way you're going to get used to the idea of writing down your vision and the benefit of seeing it to completion. 

4. LAUGH - Don't take yourself so seriously all the time. Find something to laugh at every day. Coach V said, "If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." 

5. SPEAK UP - Yes friends, this is very important, if you don't like something, if it doesn't feel right, if you want something, SAY IT. We spend a lot of time worrying about how our thoughts will be received by our loved ones or the public. Truthfully, concealing your thoughts and desires, aren't helping anyone. 

BONUS: Not an action, just a statement. YOU DESERVE THE BEST. When we look back at our life, usually we think about how we've been wronged, what steps we didn't take, how we treated someone, but everyone and I do mean everyone deserves good things. You deserve to be around people that don't bleed you dry, you deserve to have love, trust, intimacy, and consideration. Don't waste any more time looking backward. Just let it go. Seriously. I release it from your life right now. It's gone. Let's move on shall we? 

*** I should note, there are side effects to making changes this drastic, the crowds that cheered you on might be thinner, and there could be murmurs that you're acting brand new. But guess what, YOU WILL FEEL SO MUCH BETTER! You will have more FREE TIME and VISION. 

2020 is a new decade, and within a few hours, you will be a witness to a new day. It's all about your vision in 2020. It's about what YOU WANT. It's about where you're going, what YOU NEED, and how hard you are willing to work to take what's yours. We can always claim the typical "New Year, New Me." motto. It could work. But some habits are very difficult to break without considering how they became habits in the first place. Maybe instead of trying to be a newer version of yourself, plan to be a better one! Accept yourself, flaws and all, and make an effort to LIVE. YOUR. LIFE. 

I wish you nothing but success, health, love, and light, this year and always. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! #vision2020 *** Use this hashtag and tag The SistaGurl Blog on Facebook and IG. We want to track your progress! So if you celebrate a win, or you've renewed your focus let us know. 

XOXO - Capt SistaGurl


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