Living on Purpose: Ernestine Shepherd World’s Oldest Female Bodybuilder

Living on Purpose: Ernestine Shepherd

If you are not inspired by this woman, then you just are not capable of being inspired. Breaking not only the Guiness Book of World Records, she has broken barriers related to age, as she brings to life the saying “age ain’t nothing but a number.” I originally learned about Ernestine on CBN and shared her story a few years ago as an inspiration to my followers. I am also on a similar track as I realize that I must be healthy if I want to live all the years God has for me, so that I may continue to live on purpose. Ernestine will be 78 this year and she still looks awesome! So watch the video and I pray you are inspired to do better with your physical health. Who says that you cannot be fit and live a healthy lifestyle at any age.

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Ernestine Shepherd Picture from www.ernestineshepherd.net

Ernestine has also turned it into a brand. Determined, Dedicated and Disciplined! Exactly what we need to live on purpose because the path may not always be smooth, clear, or easy. But with determination you will have the incentive to keep going. Through dedication you will stay committed to your goals. Discipline will become your best friend as you develop new habits and ways of accomplishing things. I encourage you to read her book and glean some pearls of wisdom from her journey.

Thank you Ernestine for showing us how to live on purpose and sharing your story with the world.

Living on Purpose: Kandice Sumner

[ted id=2616]

Living on Purpose: Kandice Sumner

Kandice boldly speaks out about the challenges of educating students in today’s public school system. Having been given the opportunity to get a “better” education as a result of mandatory desegregation and busing she shares her story and her passion for making education fair and accessible for all students. Living on purpose is about being passionate and seeking to make a difference even when the odds appears to be stacked against you. As an educator her purpose has nothing to do with making money or making a name for herself. It is all about “her” kids all 696 of them.

Thank you Kandice for living on purpose.

Video and picture courtesy of TED talks at ted.com.

Purpose of Life: Are You on a Focused Path?

As part of my new endeavor, in May 2010, I continued blogging with a new purpose under Free in the Spirit, which has its own history, as this blog originated before I became a Life Coach. I spent the past five years honing my skills and shifting my focus because I realized that it was easy to become a Life Coach but not so easy to establish a niche, as the market is huge.

So here I am again blogging but not under Free in the Spirit. This blog is intentionally related to my niche and my destiny. But I purposely included some of my old posts here as well. When I wrote 40 Days of Success back in 2010, it was my first attempt to write on purpose. I have known since I was a teen that I was a writer but I failed to focus my craft over the years.

As you will see in those posts, there were some days when I did not have a clear focused topic. But I published something anyway because the goal was to write for 40 days straight. I will admit that it was not easy either. There were days when I did not want to continue but I knew if I quit, then I would not be successful as a writer.

Never confuse activity with productivity. — Rick Warren

Focused for a Purpose

I was being proactive but was I really being productive? No, I was attempting to become productive but during that 40 days I did not produce much. Why? I lacked focus. My writing did not have a focus. I wrote about random things which as a collective did not amount to one solid piece of work. I realized this when I attempted to rewrite the series into a short e-book. Upon careful review, I found that in the entire 40 days I only produced five consistent pieces that I could bring together into one solid e-book, called The Cycle of Failure. I did have some decent posts in the last ten days, as I became more focused and deliberate about the content. But during that time the purpose of my writing was to create discipline as a writer.

Lack of focus will have you spiraling in all directions, always starting things but rarely completing anything. I continued to write sporadically until 2013, when my voice went silent. I was silent because I did not have focus nor a purpose for the blog. I allowed God to pour into me and I began a five-year journey towards purpose. I went back to school to focus my craft of writing and Life Coaching as I knew this was my destiny. But I also knew that I would not be effective in either unless I allowed God to show me how to use them purposefully. It was a long journey and it took much discipline because I had to shut people out as I became purposeful in the use of my time and energy.

Focus Feeds Purpose

Today is quite different for me. As a result of my purposeful endeavors I am focused. I have been writing consistently now for two years. I completed a book, write poetry daily, and am currently working on two other books. I write on my phone, my tablet, in many notebooks, on my computer, and anything else that will allow me to record. I now have enough content to write several books. I launched out into the world of fiction writing and now maintain two blogs producing focused, deliberate content on a weekly basis. Very seldom do I sit down and struggle to find something to write about because knowing why I am doing this empowers me to create.

My purpose for writing is to be the voice for the voiceless, to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, and empower them to live on purpose. Writing is the vehicle God has given me to uplift others by sharing my journey and by showing others that anything is possible when you believe, in God first, then in yourself. Allowing God to shift your focus is the first step towards living on purpose.

Speak out on behalf of those who have no voice,
and defend all those who have been passed over.
9 Open your mouth, judge fairly,
and stand up for the rights of the afflicted and the poor. – Proverbs 31:8-9 (Voice Translation)

Living on Purpose: Crystal Oertle Herorin – Addiction, Recovery, and No Shame

Living on Purpose: Crystal Oertle

Crystal’s story is not rosy, it’s not exactly what many want to hear. She is a recovering heroin addict, something that usually brings about much shame. But she courageously found herself on a stage in Columbus, OH, recording a TED Talks segment, sharing her story of addiction and recovery. She tells her story candidly and honestly with hopes that it will help at least one person, just one person make the decision to get clean.

Her journey doesn’t end on that stage. Crystal went on to live on purpose using her voice to help others break free from their addictions with “No Shame” through her blog Erase The Shame.com. Her decision to give back and help others was a decision to live on purpose. Devoting her recovery to encouraging others to follow her path and get clean with no shame. She is breaking barriers and stigmas so that more will be brave enough to come forward and get help.

Living on purpose requires healing our past hang ups, hurts, and fears so that we can help others do the same.

Thank you Crystal for living on purpose.

Living on Purpose: Bishop T.D. Jakes

Living on Purpose: Bishop T.D. Jakes

A true visionary and entrepreneur, Bishop T.D. Jakes exudes purpose. Not just when he is in the pulpit but wherever he is, he commands the attention of his audience and inspires them towards purpose. Bishop Jakes is a producer, minister, author, and talk show host. In everything he does his purpose is always the same to uplift people and help them live better lives.

Carolyn Brown from Black Enterprise Magazine originally shared Bishop Jakes’ 11 Principles to Succeed in Business and Life. 

“Here are some of the top lessons the bishop has learned about operating a business and living life authentically:

  1. “You can hire intelligence, but you cannot hire instinct. Instinct can tell you what, why, and when to do something (such as when do you launch a product).”
  2. “Intellect loads the gun —but instinct pulls the trigger.”
  3. “If you have no records, you’re a hustler, not a business person. Data is a tool.”
  4. “Every opportunity I’ve ever seen came dressed as an obstacle.”
  5. “We are aborting too many thoughts prior to birthing them—all success starts as a thought.”
  6. “You are so busy with people who drain you, you don’t have time for people who build you.”
  7. “When what is in you is bigger than what is around you, you have to crack out of that shell.”
  8. “I refuse to be a slave to who you think I am.”
  9. “Find people like you in work ethic, but different in talent. Hire someone to complete you, not compete with you.”
  10. “I’m not afraid to die. I’m afraid of not living first.”
  11. “We all have a destiny. Find the courage to drive past the challenges, pains, and even the shortcuts of life.”

Why Christian Coaching?

Christian coaching:

  • Uses God’s word and the Holy Spirit to enable you to discover and live God’s purpose.
  • Keeps Christian faith in the coaching process.

The following story demonstrates how Jesus helped a man refocus his life and walk into his destiny. A man laid at the side of the pool of Bethesda for 38 years seeking healing. Jesus asked him “Wilt thou be made whole?” The man said that he could not get healed because no one would help him get in the pool. Jesus told him Yes You Can, Today and healed him directly. He then told the man “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (John 5:6-8 Paraphrased) Jesus restored healing to his body and focus to his life.

Nothing Missing Nothing Broken

“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.”

Third John 1:2 (AMP)

 

Yesterday I sowed a seed to a ministry. I do this often but this time it was different. This is a test of my faith. I know what level I am supposed to be living at yet I find myself with much less. I am not accepting this by any means. I know that it is simply a stepping-stone.

Did you know that as a child of God you are promised a life of prosperity and wealth? I don’t necessarily mean wealth in money and material things. There are many people who have a lot of “things” but are poor in their spirit and in other areas of their lives. I recently learned that rich means being fully supplied in all areas of your life. You are lacking nothing. Look at your life. Are you rich?

When I first heard this I felt a sense of relief because I have always had a wealthy spirit. I find accepting less is not comfortable for me anymore. When I got laid off, I moved in with family members. I did not understand this especially since I knew that I did not have to live this way. God has made ways for me in impossible situations before; surely he could have done the same this time. But here I am and it has not been okay. Now don’t get me wrong I am not ungrateful and am very thankful because he is taking care of me. However, I know the standard of life that God has for me and once you live it you don’t settle for less than that.

I am now looking to move on and I realize that I can’t go back to the life I lived before. God has set a standard for my life and by faith I expectantly look for him to provide for me according to that standard. I sowed my seed on behalf of my family that we would have the following:

  1. A strife-free home
  2. God will put me in the center of my assignment (purpose)
  3. God will give me a financial Boaz

I received this from Mike Murdock yesterday and it was as if God had crafted this just for me. These are the three areas I am poor in right now. Therefore I am expecting abundance in these areas because God said that I am not supposed to be poor in any area of my life. I am slapping poverty in the face and speaking abundance that will follow my children and their children for many generations to come.

Yesterday I visited a web site for a company that sold insurance. The parent company has been in existence since the early nineteen hundreds and on the site they represented the lineage of those who ran the company over the years, there were at least three or four generations. This is the type of legacy that God wants us to have. He wants us to get back to the days when we were able to pass the torch on to our children like Abraham did and keep the blessing going. That is what I am expecting.

What are you expecting?

Procrastination Stops Here

Procrastination Slows You Down
Procrastination Slows You Down

There really is no reason why I have not written since January. I have attempted to write several times only to end up with nothing. Procrastination, hmm what a sneaky thing that creeps up in your path. It keeps you from moving when your mind is saying GO. It makes you say I will do it tomorrow then tomorrow you say I will do it tomorrow. It creates a never ending cycle of tomorrow that never seem to come to an end.

I am not professing to be perfect as I know I never will but I am professing to do a lot less procrastinating. I have been working on it since the beginning of this year. As I looked at my blog again today. I started to say that I would post something tomorrow. Instead I started typing. I am a writer by nature, if there is any such thing. So why don’t I write? I have been journaling more lately, which is very good because I had been blocked with that for so long. But now it seems much is pouring out of me. I have a new book idea and actually started writing it. At first I thought it would be an article but it really is much more than an article. I may decide to blog it first then turn it into a book.

I have not reached out to you all in a while but I wanted you to know that I am still here and love you all dearly. I cannot promise to post everyday, but I am committing to posting something at least once per week. I would love to here from you to know how you like my blog. I opened up comments without registration. So feel free to connect and let’s start a conversation.

I have many exciting things coming up and want you all to be a part of it, so keep visiting.

Day 40 – My Success

Today is the last day of the Forty Days to Success journey. So I know you are asking was this a success or rather what is my success? Yes it was a success, because I finished the journey. Success is finishing what you started. But let’s take inventory of where I started and where I am now.

Forty days ago I was immobilized by fear. The fear of so many things not exactly because the fear was real, most are not. But just fearful of the unknown, today I have embraced those fears and I am moving forward. I made quite a few confessions in the past week about my real desires and did not allow the fear to stop me.

I realized that I am really at a great point in my life. I stand here at this crossroad ready to go over into an area I have been trying to get to for most of my adult life. My business is successful because in the past week I have had three new inquiries for web projects that are going to become paying clients, two have already signed. I also have another prospective client to jump start my business coaching. I am preparing to launch my final website and to officially publish my first book.

But this is about more than business. This is about living not just waking up everyday and going through the routines, but really living. Enjoying each day good and bad. Not being afraid to take the chances even when it may look like the odds are not in your favor. But if it makes you happy and brings you joy, why not?

I saw For Colored Girls today and cried through most of it because yet again here was another movie that I was able to relate to in too many ways. But the truth is that I am tired of living that life, tired of being afraid because of the things that happened to me. The truth is that they did not succeed. I am still alive, breathing, loving and growing. I am not sick, crazy or depressed. I have three beautiful children who are flourishing and happy. I am in love with myself.

This is my success!! Thank you for reading my blog and following me on this journey.

Love, Peace and Prosperity

Athena

Day 31 – The Eve of a New Year

It is New Year’s Eve and I want to share my day with you today. I started my day with the intentions of going somewhere tonight. I did not want to sit at home for New Year’s. I really wanted to be in the sanctuary of my church in Baltimore. But I cannot drive my car right now; therefore I was trying to get two of my friends to go with me. I asked earlier in the week. I was not upset when it turned out that they would not go. One of my girlfriends moved into her first home this week. I am so happy for her and was not upset at all that she was tired.

So I sent out a text message this morning to about ten people to see what their plans were. I was really trying to text one person but it went to ten. Six people responded. All had wonderful plans. I was happy to hear that they were going to be bringing the New Year in with people they loved. I was going to go with one of my other girlfriends to a gathering at one of her friends house.

I took the children bowling, which seemed to be such a big deal. I don’t know why I was so emotional, so edgy, so just not there. We got through the bowling. The excitement wore off half way through the first game, that was not good since I had paid for two games. We painfully got through the next game and needless to say were very ready to go. But the trip was good for the children; everyone fell asleep in the car on the way home.

So I connected with my other girlfriend, the new homeowner. I want you all to know that I am extremely proud of her for achieving such an important goal. She really deserves this and the many more blessings she is due to receive. But she even offered to go with me this evening to the gathering because I did not want to be a third wheel hanging with my other girlfriend and her man.

I was still very undecided about what I really wanted to do. By the time I got home I was very emotional and did not really want to be anywhere but in Ohio. See I know where I wanted to be tonight and with whom I wanted to bring the New Year in with. But I knew that I was not able to be with them. This made me very sad and disappointed. I felt it very hard when I returned home.

So I ended up home and about 8:30 pm it was sealed that I was not going anywhere. So I turned on my computer and watched my pastor preach. His sermon was entitled “I Need a Break”. God was waiting for me. The words that he said came right out of my heart and out of my mouth just about an hour earlier. I said those very words “I need a break” and why does everything have to be a challenge for me.

The words blessed me so much and I got some much-needed answers. I was not meant to go anywhere but right to the alter tonight. As the tears rolled down my cheek, I did not realize my heart was so heavy. I could not take notes, I could not talk, all I could do was cry. But there is so much peace and excitement in knowing that God listens to me and knows what I need before I do.

I am ready for my new year and excited that I can leave these tears in 2010. I can look forward to new beginnings, double portions and peace. The word my pastor spoke said that I would never have another year like 2010. So as I look forward to 2011 I am glad to say goodbye to wandering, to feeling lost, to having less than what I am entitled to, to disappointments from the same people, and to faithless people.

Happy New Year!