Verb: RUN

I want to run a 5K. (GASP!) Coming from a girl who views the sport of Track as competitively running in circles, this feels like Mission:Impossible. Not only do I want to run a 5K, I want to accomplish it the Plain Jane way. And by that I mean I don’t have money to hire a trainer, buy the special shakes and organic foods, or get the fanciest shoes that should practically do all the work for me. But what I DO have are apps! With the exception of the running shoes, there are many free and/or cheap resources available to the average Jane to get in shape (Google, Couchto5K, Learn2Run, Black Girls Run, etc). So this is now my Mission:POSSIBLE.

First things first: EQUIPMENT
With it being the holiday season, I was able to snag some great deals!
Neon shorts: $2 (originally $32)
Compression/dri fit capris: $15 (originally $50)
Looking and feeling like a bad ass legit runner: Priceless!

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-AM

©2012 by Alexandria Dotson and Ayana Martin

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Verbs: GROW and MATURE

In the past year, I have totally revamped how I form and grow relationships (platonic, romantic, or other). During this process, I have learned one very important thing: everyone may not want to hear my perspective. Even after I have diligently listened to their perspective, they may have no interest in hearing mine. And that is OKAY. It doesn’t make me or my perspective any less valid. If anything, it makes me the bigger person because I am the one with a mind open enough to respect and observe perspectives outside of my own.

This morning’s scripture of the day came from James 1:19. It directs a person to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger. Funny how well it resonates with my process. I have always been a good listener. But I was not always so slow to speak, and I can definitely admit I was never slow to anger. I assumed that if a friend was divulging their woes and cares on me, that they automatically wanted to hear what I had to say in response. On occasion, this caused a wedge of disagreements. They were not open or ready to hear my persepctive, especially if it did not sympathize with their plight. Then one day, a conversation with one of my mentors enlightened me. I had just finished relaying my woes and cares to her. She acknowledged my troubles and responded with a soft question: “Would you like to hear my perspective?” Initially, I was bewildered by this response. Then, an overwhelming sense of gratitude washed over me. Gratitude because my feelings were the priority; because I now had the option (or control) to decide what I wanted to do about my situation: continue to sulk or open my mind to resolutions I had not previously thought of; and gratitude that whatever I decided, we both were okay.

By growing into this kind of maturity, I have been able to form better relationships with my current friends and familiy and ease into (and away from) new relationships with people I encounter every day.

-AM

©2012 by Alexandria Dotson and Ayana Martin

Choose Wisely

Beware of insecurities and jealousies in your inner circle.

I have been working hard on several projects: planning and executing experiments, writing a proposal for PhD Candidacy, developing our first InsertVerbHere travel project, and working on launching the InsertVerbHere non-profit organization. This is way too much work for just one person to handle. My secret to accomplishing so much is: my inner circle. These are my friends and family that I trust the most. I talk with them about my plans, my progress, my short-comings, and more. They give me affirmation, perspective, constructive criticisms, and resolutions. But they are not perfect.

Lately, things have been starting to take shape and become more real, which should be exciting, right?! Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case with everyone. I have been sensing that someone in my inner circle just isn’t happy for me. Their feedback has been waning and laced with feelings of being “left out”. And their listening skills have been disinterested.

It hurts to know that a friend cannot genuinely share in my joy without needing to personally benefit from my efforts. The vision propelling my efforts is bigger than us. So now it is very important that I choose wisely what information I choose to share with this individual, and simply love them from a distance.

-AM

©2012 by Alexandria Dotson and Ayana Martin