Finding My Voice

I was about two months into my job when I heard God say “You’re going to find your voice.” Find my voice? I didn’t have a clue on what that meant but I had a STRONG idea it would involve me being uncomfortable. Finding your voice is finding a way to connect by expressing your ideas or discovering courage as you walk in your greatness. I thought I heard God wrong because with the role I had at my job , I didn’t see where I could use my voice. As things started to shift, opportunities came for me to speak up . Still to this day , I’m adjusting to vocalizing my opinions at work and am now faced with a new challenge.. Periscope.

Never would I ever THINK of being on Periscope in all the days of my life until I had the idea for a children’s book series called, Ella’s Greatest Adventures. A good friend mentioned the benefits of creating live content a few times but I kept shrugging it off. Eventually, I couldn’t shrug it off because I was surrounded with the idea at business workshops, books, and podcasts. I finally got the nerve to make a video and it was HARD! I looked at it as if I’m giving a presentation in an empty room and as people join it becomes overwhelming. I’m still working on getting better because its not about me.

Finding my voice was never about me, it’s all about God. Of all the things he could’ve gave me as a talent, expressing himself verbally and through writing, are some of the ways he sees best through  me. Everything we say or think he values and I think during this season he wanted to let me know that as well.

 

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Hearing His Voice

You ever been around people that just brag about their adventure and you just want to experience it for yourself? Well, this was me and the year 2015 was definitely an experience to remember. For a couple of years (at least it felt that way) I was desiring to have another type of experience with God. I read about him, sung about him , prayed to him , and felt I needed more. I wanted to hear his voice . I knew God had different ways of getting my attention but I wanted to hear him for myself.
I prayed and prayed ..nothing happened. I turned off all of my distractions..nothing happened. I even went on a complete fast ..and NOTHING HAPPENED! That season was very frustrating ! It’s like calling a restaurant to make an order and no one is picking up the phone so you’re questioning if you even have the right number, lol. I talked with my aunt and her response was to keep waiting . So one fun fact about me is that I’m an introvert ( I wouldn’t say I’m quiet 100% )but my mind stays busy like NYC traffic, which I guess made it hard to hear God.
One day in January 2015, the weather was at its coldest and living in the south with snow was the motivation I needed to stay in from work. I had my t.v off , just finished a meal , and started washing dishes. As I washed the dishes in complete silence it was at that moment I heard his voice. I always imagined I would hear a loud , thunder, manly voice and I’m glad that didn’t happen because I probably would of ran out of my apartment,lol.
The best way I could describe how he sounded to me is similar to my thoughts. A confident, strong sounding thought if that make any sense. If you could imagine hearing your parents speak to you but in your voice , that’s what it was . I knew it was him because I know how I think and talk. He said ” hello daughter , it’s great to hear from you .” My eyes stretched and I felt overwhelmed with joy. The experience I waited so long for finally came and the anticipation was worth every minute. 

Glossophobia

What is glossophobia? It’s the fear of public speaking and something I hate the most.  No matter how hard I avoid speaking , the environment creates a platform that requires everyone to talk . In school, I was the student that would not make eye contact with the teacher. I figured if we made eye contact there was a higher chance of them calling my name. I never liked introducing myself  or presenting to a crowd of people. I’m not sure how I dread speaking in front of groups of people, but I was a cheerleader and jazz/tap dancer, go figure.. Maybe it was the fact I felt comfortable performing as a group rather than by myself. Either way, as I continue to grow I notice there is no escape for public speaking. So instead of hiding it’s time to face the music,awkward stares, and everything else public speaking may bring.

Practice, practice, practice. I remembered practicing my capstone presentation with my teacher after her office hours and it was worth every minute! I was scared because I was not only presenting to my colleagues but to teachers and I had no idea what they were going to ask. My teacher helped me as far as my posture, making eye contact, and not being wordy in my power point. The time spent in practicing  those minor details helped me in a major way the next day when I presented my research.
Engage with the audience. Remember when I said I felt comfortable performing as a group rather than by myself? Speaking in front of people is like a big performance so it’s important to get everyone involved to avoid feeling awkward. I like asking questions to not only take the spotlight off myself but it’s a way get everyone engaged.
Picture everyone_____. Ok I’m not sure about this one lol. People would say if I pictured everyone in the room in underwear or something I would feel at ease. Actually I think it would make me look silly laughing in front of everyone like I’m on medication, no thanks. I heard this works but honestly I just like to get through the speaking so I can hurry and sit down.
Don’t look at everyone in the face. I look for that one person I’m comfortable with and pretend they are the only ones in the room. Focusing on one person vs the entire room help me control how fast to talk and keep my nerves in check. When I was a little girl I had to recite my Christmas speech and I would not look at anyone in the face! Instead I randomly stared at the big church hats, people teeth, and the big clock that hung in the back of the church LOL.
I thought my fear of public speaking would have disappeared as I got older, instead it got smaller which is progress! If you’re like me I’m here to say you’re doing great!  Always remember there’s a platform waiting to hear your voice to gain insight, stay encouraged, and be inspired.
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For The Selective Palate

 

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I’m not sure what brought me to this path of being a picky eater. I could say money was a factor or the fact my mom worked long hours. Truth was, the last thing on her mind was to come home to cook a Lebanese Thanksgiving meal. Even if she did cook like that, I already made my mind up that if it’s not the texture then it’s the presentation of food that will make me cringe. Also, the fact I had people that supported my picky outlook on food rather than push me to try new things.  Why change when you already know what’s best for you, right? Well this all started to change once I got married. For my husband’s birthdays he likes to try new dishes and for some reason I started having the same craving to try new things as well. Rocky start but eventually I became open to new possibilities.

This continued in the workplace as well. My business trip to New York interrupted my comfort level greatly especially with food. We went to restaurants I would probably pass by in order to get some pizza and was served beverages that reminded me I was not in the south.  I did have a chance to visit a French restaurant and for the first time I tried macaroons!  Who would have guessed this picky person would one day open up to opportunities and try something better than the ‘norm’?

The way I am with food is sometimes translated in my relationship with God. I’m very persistent (okay, stubborn at times) and I like to have things done a certain way because that’s what I’m used to. However, I’m also learning that with God his way is better and part of understanding his way requires faith. It’s not easy. It’s like having a plate of some of the nastiest vegetables and your parents saying ,”Eat it, it’s good for you”.  Eventually , your taste changes and you become sensitive to what you eat and open to new dishes. Once you ( including me ) realize God’s hand in your life , you’ll become sensitive and willing to submit to his path.  So for the selective palate, I dare you to go out and explore not only food but God’s will for your life 🙂image1 (2)

emBrace Your journey 

Have you ever imagined accomplishing a goal but because of your age you were ‘too late’? It’s so easy to place an expiration date on something that shows no sign of being ruined soon.

I’m in my late 20’s and I just got braces.. for the second time! Looking back from my first experience, there was a lot of challenges I faced and one was the result of my mom not being able to finish my treatment plan. Little did I know, the setbacks I experienced inspired my appreciation for dentistry. If I didn’t see my mom struggle financially I wonder if my desire to serve in dentistry would be the same? Or If I didn’t have a peg lateral could I relate to others when it comes to self esteem?

It’s like what you’re going through is not just for you but it’s to help others. So it’s very important to embrace your journey by completing it. I knew in order to get the results I wanted from my smile I needed to finish what I started , which was getting braces. So maybe it’s not braces or academics, maybe it’s a business idea and you’ve been hesitating for a while. I’m here to encourage us both by saying keep pushing! Don’t single yourself out because of small circumstances. Someone is waiting be inspired from your story all you have to do is embrace your journey 🙂

 

Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

I just came back from NYC on a business trip and I must admit I enjoyed myself! My coworkers and I attended an event called Supplier’s Day, which included vendors from all over sharing their newest trends in the cosmetic industry. During the free times, I had the opportunity to explore the area.IMG_1294

Now rewind << to my airport experience, very interesting. The last time I rode on an airplane was during 5th grade and I had marshalls so I had no clue of what to expect years later. I printed my boarding pass and the only thing on my mind was the destination. I didn’t have much time to check my bag in so I decided to carry on. As I walked through security, the sensor goes off because of my sequin top and my braids.The lady had to check me thoroughly (including hair). Security recognized liquids in my suitcase and had to throw away my perfume, lotion, etc.  By this point, I was annoyed because I wasn’t at my destination but the process of getting there took a lot of work.  Once I finally got settled on the plane my attitude started to shift.  The transition from the airport to the plane shifted my attitude. I sat by an awesome doctor which was heaven-sent because we had so much in common and the fact she was inspiring. Once we arrived in NY everything started to flow.

I wonder if God shared that day in detail with me would I still go through the process or avoid it altogether?I’m learning to somehow be comfortable being uncomfortable. My heavenly father constantly molding me into my purpose and though I’m not sure of the details I have to be comfortable with that.  I think we all have a ‘destination’ we’re trying to arrive to but we’re still going through a process that’s going to make it worth the wait. Stay encouraged knowing you’re at the right place and trust the process 🙂

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Living Unapologetically

2I7A4780The morning of my wedding and I wanted to jump on the hotel bed with my girls lol. All the planning and frustration ended in my blueprint thoughts the day before. After hearing  Beyoncé “Sorry” played over 7 times on the radio, I felt like I was definitely living unapologetically.

I’m not sure if I could blame myself being an introvert or  just my way of thinking but I was (still am sometimes) living within limits. When I was a kid I remember apologizing to my friends seemed like all the time for something random lol.. but somehow those innocent disagreements created habits for me. I got into the habit of saying “I’m sorry” to the point it seemed like it was a part of my everyday language. I stayed in those limits because I wanted to be liked and I thought if I apologized first it would be easy to move on .

im-sorry-quotes-482290Starting a blog was pretty hard at first. I was used to sharing my thoughts on paper and locking them with a key until my husband kept saying blogging can help me . When I finally took the limits off of my ‘what if ‘ thoughts that’s when IntrovertedFillings was born. There were plenty of times I stayed in my comfort zone especially with food (that’s another story ) and having all of that built in with nothing to do at work one afternoon I told myself there has to be more in life . Do you like to stay in the comfort zone? Do you like to feel like you’re in control by staying in the lines?

Well I do too, but I must admit taking the limits off or ‘coloring outside the lines’ gives me a new outlook on things. For me to actually stop and say “I know there’s more to life than a 9 to 5 , burger & fries, saying sorry for things I didn’t cause” translated to “God I need to take the limits off my actions and I want EVERYTHING you have for me .” I promise after I said that a part of my brain was unlocked with ideas lol.  I still have some ways to go but what I can say there is peace in living unapologetically and I encourage you to try it as well 🙂 .