Unconditional Self-Love

Do you ever beat yourself up for what you haven’t done, yet? Do you ever feel bad for the gifts, callings, visions, and ideas that are in you nagging to be birthed?

Image of an orange, black, and white monarch butterfly on a yellow flower. Text states I love myself unconditionally—all I was, al I am, and ALL I am becoming. Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist mdillondesigns.com

Today, I needed a reset. I stepped away from my computer with my journal and new gel pens and after a few brief words I found myself waking up. 😆 I’ve learned and experienced enough to know now that sometimes that is a way for us to clear energy and reset, and I love a good restorative nap. (It was less than 15 minutes.)

When I woke up, I felt new but not quite clear on my next steps for the day, so I decided to follow an urge to sit at my computer and just write freely, whatever came to mind. The following is what came to me. Not something I typically share, but I felt that it may resonate with a few and help you to let go of some things so you can move on with your life. Love and blessings. Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

These words came to me intuitively….

“Time to FORGIVE YOURSELF. You did nothing wrong. You are on track. It’s ALL okay.

You’re under the false impression that you are pivoting because you were going the wrong way. No. You are pivoting because it is now time to change course.

It has nothing to do with you being wrong, doing it wrong, being in the wrong. You did what you were supposed to do THEN with the knowledge, focus, goals, priorities, etc. you had THEN. And NOW you have different knowledge, a different focus, different goals, and different priorities.

Stop making yourself wrong for choosing a new path. Stop making yourself wrong for revisiting and old path when you now have what it takes to walk it. Maybe you weren’t ready.. prepared to handle it then.

Maybe it’s time to look at yourself differently. Maybe it’s time to accept that you’re allowed to ebb and flow like everything else in this universe. That you’re not wrong for breaks and pauses or even perceived regressions.

Maybe YOU get to be human, too. Maybe you get to allow yourself the grace you offer to others. Maybe it’s time you forgive yourself for doing nothing wrong and allow yourself to see YOU as one who gets to change paths, too.

No one looks at a butterfly and says, “Stupid. Why were you a caterpillar all that time when you had the potential to be a butterfly? Duh. What a waste of time.”

The length of time that you are as you are is irrelevant. It’s time to embrace this present moment and say, “Okay so what do I want to do, now.”

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist#Proud2BNaturalMe

Letting Go of the Past

Image of a winding road from driver's perspective. Trees line the sides of the road. Text states: The past is over. What are you going to do with the present? Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist mdillondesigns.com

This is not a “suck it up and get over it” post. I hate those. They are emotionally damaging in my opinion. This is an “it happened and now we are here, so how can we heal or use it?” post.

Things happen in life that we wouldn’t have chosen, or that we chose when we had less information. We get to decide what happens next. We can put the car in park, for a while or indefinitely. We can keep driving and see how far we get by staring in the rearview mirror. Or we can, like the GPS, reroute and decide where we go from “here.”

Sometimes we experience setbacks, losses, and temporarily paralyzing events. We get to have a human response. At some point, however, we get to say, “That happened, and it didn’t take me out, so how do I heal, overcome, or use it?” “What can I do now?” “Do I put this in my trunk as baggage, or in my tank as fuel?”

I choose to believe that if it didn’t take me out, I can get beyond it. I have some hurts that still grip me now, but I’m healing so I can let them go. I have others that I can’t simply drop because they are outside of my control, but I get to choose my mindset regarding them. I am currently learning things about myself that I wish I knew as a child. Nothing I can do about that, but decide what I do with that information, now.

Sometimes we get the opportunity to heal by teaching our children what we learn in adulthood, so they don’t have to suffer and struggle for decades with the same issues. Sometimes we get a second chance to live a dream we let go of in the past. Sometimes the best we can do is choose to seek help to endure our present or release what happened to us long ago.

Let’s choose to do what we must to heal, or release, what we can from our past so that we can live a more full present. Whether that’s making an appointment with a therapist, getting that checkup, taking a class online, getting your GED, taking dance lessons, pouring your heart out graveside, writing a healing letter of forgiveness and burning it (safely), apologizing to your child, friend, parent, or spouse…. (if that’s what’s best for all involved).

We’ve all got stuff we’ve been dragging around, things that have been holding us back for too long. We get to choose. We can continue to stare at the wound, or heal it. Let’s let some stuff go. Let’s give ourselves a better today, and tomorrow. Let’s let go of yesterday. We have a choice. Stare at the wound, or attempt to heal it.

The past is over. What are you going to do with the present?

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist #Proud2BNaturalMe❤️💜💙💚

Intuitive Nudges

Today, at my neighborhood store, my daughter and I met a mom with the cutest little girl. Beautiful little chocolate girl, full of light, with a gorgeous afro. She couldn’t have been more than 2 or 3 years old.

Image of heaven, bright sky with clouds and streams of light from center. Text states: We are all connected. Follow intuition. Don't hold back. Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist mdillondesigns.com

She was so adorable that I couldn’t help but tell her mom. She graciously thanked me and we exchanged a few words about our love for our natural hair. We went our separate ways, but when I was ready to check out, I saw them nearing the counter, as well. Her sweet girl was happily trying on sunglasses nearby. When I got to the register, she seemed to gravitate toward us. She was looking up at me and my daughter and smiling. Even her mom was amazed at how drawn she was to us and I jokingly responded, “We’re connected.”

From when I first saw them I felt a nudge to tell her about my children’s book. I ignored it, a few times, but as I looked at her beautiful daughter, with her gorgeous curly hair, I knew she needed to have my book. I used to keep copies on me, but haven’t since the new revision so I hesitated to tell her since I didn’t have one to gift her. The nudge did not stop so I finally spoke up and told her that I am a children’s author and that I have book called I’m Proud to Be Natural Me! I told her that it’s a children’s book filled with little girls just like hers—beautiful little girls, of all different complexions with curly hair.

It felt like it’s the kind of book that her mom would want her to have and I know that seeing little girls like herself affirming her beauty is so powerful.

I began to tell her about my book. (Many years back a description of I’m Proud to Be Natural Me! just flowed out of me. It was completely inspired and I’ve used those same words ever since to describe it.) I began, “It’s the story of a little girl who was teased about the texture of her hair….” and before I could continue, the mom said, “My daughter went through that…. it ended in her taking her own life…. She was 12 years old.”

I cannot describe the rush of emotions and thoughts that filled me instantaneously. I was stunned silent. Shock, sympathy, empathy, sorrow…. I felt so compassionate toward this mother, and looked at my own tween daughter and expressed my deepest condolences. I knew instantly that I was led to meet her. That those nudges were guidance ensuring that we met and had that exchange. In the midst of that deep sorrow, I simultaneously felt so grateful for following the leading to reach out to her. I knew that I was chosen to encourage her in that moment and provide her with a resource that may support her little one to have a different experience of self-love.

I shared my information with her and told her I’d keep her in my prayers (and I ask that you also add her to your prayers)…. Sometimes we don’t realize the power of following an intuitive nudge. Sometimes we don’t value our creations. Sometimes we question if our little decisions truly matter.

I got to see in that moment, that my decision to go to that particular store, rather than the other I was considering, at that exact moment, allowed me to be in the right place at the right time. Because I followed the vision in my head, rather than the overthought plan of going somewhere else, I was able to connect with someone I didn’t even know existed and we were mutually blessed.

I learned how important it is to follow those nudges, and I was reminded of how valuable the message of my book really is. We receive periodic nudges to go, do, say, create…. Far too often, we allow that critical inner voice to talk us out of following intuition. We ignore them, or change the plan.

The longer I live the more I realize, we are all connected. I now believe that our inspirations are other beings’ requests. It’s time for us to turn down the critical inner voice and begin to go where we feel nudged to go, do what we feel inspired to do, say what we feel compelled to say, and create what we feel led to create. I will never forget this experience. I will never forget that mom, or her beautiful little girl, or her 12 year old daughter who I didn’t get to meet.

I will forever look at I’m Proud to Be Natural Me! and think, “What if my book could save a life?”

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist#Proud2BNaturalMe❤️💜💙💚

Please keep them in your prayers.

Press Pause on Your Inner Critic

Image of a river shore. Text states: Inner criticism is not an excuse to quit. Stop letting that fake friend talk you out of your destiny. Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist mdillondesigns.com
Inner criticism is not an excuse to quit. Stop letting that fake friend talk you out of your DESTINY.
Hear the voice and do it anyway. — Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist

I was working on my blog and had a flood of distracting critical thoughts. “Why’d you choose that word?” “They’re not gonna understand it if you say it that way.” “You should say _________ instead.” I got so frustrated editing while typing, even though I know better than to do that. I just kept listening to that annoying inner critic. I was backspacing and rewriting ’til I was so frustrated I just closed the tab.

Even as I’m writing THIS, those same, annoying, “You should say…,” “Don’t use that word,” “That should go at the end,” critical thoughts are present. For a second, I was listening to them automatically and editing as I wrote. Hence the writing tip at the end of this post. 😆

What I’m realizing right now is that we have to learn to treat those thoughts like a mom with a chatty toddler. The mom saw the butterfly go by and knows that the child wants to tell her about it, like the other 14 monarchs they’ve seen that day, but she’s in the middle of a serious conversation. She feels the toddler tapping on her arm and hears them saying, “Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom….” but she knows that what they want can wait.

We need to develop an inner, “Just a second, Honey,” and keep our creativity flowing. Interrupting thoughts can wait. We get to stay in flow and double back later. When we keep stopping to engage with that distracting inner voice, the quality of our work gets watered down.

Since today’s original blog got scrapped, I got to see how important it is to be aware of this tendency to listen to the persistent distractions and not follow the path of intuition. Major shifts begin with simple awareness of the little choices we make that are often trajectory-shifting.

Let’s begin to pay attention to how our thoughts guide us toward, and away from, following intuition. It’s in these little choices we make internally—our choices of what we will focus on—that guide our emotions, decisions, and our lives.

Marlene Dillon Empowerment Specialist#Proud2BNaturalMe❤️💜💙💚

Writing Tip: Don’t edit while you’re writing. Your best work will come straight from inspiration. Write from your heart. Just ignore that voice and let it flow. You can edit later. Just get all your thoughts out, then make a copy, and edit the copy. Never edit your original. (See. Sometimes the interruptions are beneficial… but they can wait.) 😘

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