Planning for Growth: Self Care Plans

They succeed instinctively because they each know their own temp and recognize it in the individuals and institutions with who they collaborate.” T.D. Jakes

Bishop T.D. Jakes wrote a book on instincts to enlighten the world about tapping into their inner being and living instinctively. The word “instinct” sends our minds to the animal kingdom but humans have natural instincts too.  Animals rely on their instincts for survival or else they become prey for predators. It’s something that occurs naturally and is not taught. Using your instincts is crucial to establishing a good self care plan.

Do you know yourself well enough to live by instincts? Living by instinct requires you to trust that little voice inside. This occurs when you take time to learn yourself as an individual. Intimately knowing self is the core of self-love and self-care. Proper self-care and self-nurture leads to growth. You make time for everyone except self, which stagnates individual instinctive growth.

Your instincts are at the core of your being, your spirit, your gut, your third eye, your chakras, your internal compass. Learning who you are instinctively takes time which means you will need to allow more time for self. Instinctive growth helps you tap into your core, and learn who you are, what you are naturally good at, what you are passionate about, and, how you learn, how you fall, your strengths, your weak areas, and more.  Use the information you discover to create your self-care plan so you can grow instinctively.

Instinctive Growth & Self Care Plans

Instinctive growth involves listening to your inner being to move along the path of self-care. How does one grow instinctively? It requires being in sync with yourself, God (Universe, Higher Power), your environments, your relationships, and your purpose.

The process of instinctive growth includes:

  1. Growing from the inner being outwardly
  2. Adopting or working from a growth mindset
  3. Recognizing constant growth within you
  4. Seeking opportunities to grow

Use stagnation as a tool to measure and review areas in your life for possible pruning. When you are in tune with your instincts you will recognize when you  need to establish boundaries, which helps develop self-discipline.

Path to Purpose and Self Care Plans

The path begins with a decision. A decision to live on purpose, thus making self-care your first priority. Do you believe there is more you could be doing, desire more peace, joy, and fulfillment? If yes, then you are ready to begin your journey, your path to purpose. But this realization also comes with the acceptance that self-care and purpose can be overwhelming, so where do you start?

Great! You decided to move forward with purpose and self-care. Next, learn what it means to live on purpose, how it relates to your inner being, how purpose influences your instinctive growth, and how to use everything you discover as growth steps in your self-care plan. Establishing your path to purpose will touch all aspects of your life through your growth steps, which allows you to implement a self-care plan that fuels your instinctive growth.

Learning to Grow Instinctively

You are born with an instinct towards purpose but may not know how to take hold of it. That’s where growth is necessary. Learning who you are is the first growth step to in your self-care plan. Which may require a fresh start in some areas. You have to open yourself to learning self much like a baby learns self.

For example, babies rely on their instincts for survival and self-discovery. In their first year of life, they discover self first through their five senses. They discover their body through taste and touch, they discover their voice through hearing and speaking and eventually they discover they can move their body on their own, they can sit, then stand, then walk, then run, then talk, and it goes on and on.

Once they have discovered all their natural abilities as a youngster, they are nurtured by their parents, their environment, and they grow! They receive input from their parents, their environments, their connections to people, and their inner self.

But what happens if the child doesn’t grow in this natural process? They become adults with incomplete foundations who don’t know how to nurture and care for self, much less others. As a result, they continue to grow physically but may be stagnated emotionally or spiritually. Your childhood growth pattern determines the path to purpose and self-care.

Growth Step #1: Go back to the basics. Rely on your inner self to learn who you are and use what you discover to grow instinctively.

The Growth Formula

The Growth Formula is designed to assist you with establishing a path to purpose and self-care plan. It involves your whole being and tapping into all resources including your Spirit (God, Universe, Higher Power), your Instincts (Self), and your Focus (Mind). So all are needed because each one brings a different perspective, tool, guidance, and power to your path.

Spirit + Instincts + Focus = Purpose (Growth)

Following this growth formula will fuel you on your path to purpose. It teaches you how to use all your resources to reach your goals. Once you discover your individual design, you will begin to see which resources yield the most return for you.

Realizing the importance of growing daily, where you are stagnate, and what is involved in each part of the Growth Formula is the first step in accomplishing growth and starting a self-care plan. The graphic below shows the Circle of Purpose and how each part of you relates holistically to your path to purpose and self-care. Establishing a path to purpose is the first step in implementing your self-care plan.

circle of purpose, self care plan, instinctive growth, hoistic

Finally, if you are still breathing then you are still growing and living on purpose. Therefore, to accomplish growth you will need to understand how spirituality, instincts, focus, and your mindset contribute to your growth and self-care. Everyday should be an opportunity to practice self-care, it should become like air, you need it to survive.

Contact coach Athena to receive your self-care assessment and planning tool which is designed to help you establish a starting point in your self-care journey.

Living on Purpose: Dr. Ivan Joseph – Skill of Self Confidence


Living on Purpose: Dr. Ivan Joseph

Dr. Ivan Joseph shares how the skill of self confidence is more valuable in process of success and what he looks for in soccer players. He shares ways to build self confidence in those you mentor, coach, or parent.

He defines self confidence as “the ability to believe in yourself to accomplish any task no matter the odds, no matter the difficulty, and no matter the adversity.” He shares valuable tips on how keep your self confidence up as well.

Thank you for sharing your purpose Dr. Joseph.

The Favor Fast

I am a member of Empowerment Temple in Baltimore Maryland. We have done several corporate fasts all of which produced some remarkable spiritual results. I documented my journey during one of our 21-day fasts a few years ago in my personal journal. But this time I decided to share my journey with you.

I was a little confused over the weekend because my schedule is absolutely crazy right now. So Sunday I woke up and was ready to eat a good breakfast (my favorite is pancakes) but I suddenly remembered the fast. I got ready to observe, I did not have pancakes and I also gave up my coffee. Only to learn after church that the fast was set to begin on Monday. Go figure! It was ok though because I got myself prepared for it a day early.

So the morning of the fast is here and I am ready mentally and spiritually. Pastor gave us several options on how to fast even the option to fast from electronics (I did not choose that one). I decided upon a Daniel’s fast, which means I only eat fruits,vegetables, water and juice. I have successfully done this fast in the past but yesterday my body responded quite differently. By the time I got home I was weak and had a headache. I was getting sick. This had happened to me before on a fast, I actually got Lyme disease (go figure). Satan thought he had me, thought I was going to break the fast, but I didn’t. I altered the fast to accommodate my health but I completed the entire 21 days of the fast.

So I will have to alter this fast to ensure that I don’t get sick. Sickness is not from God and is a deterrent to try to get me to quit. I also realize that while I am healthy my body is not the same and my schedule is very heavy right now so I cannot fast in a way that will diminish my strength.

This fast is about favor. We want to open up the heavens and activate God’s favor in every area of our lives. This is ordained because God has said that he would provide for his people even in a famine. Just in case you haven’t noticed we are in a famine. The only ones who are not feeling the pinch of this economy are the rich people who got richer after the so called recession ended. But that’s another post.

God has given the same word to His prophets about elevating his people and prospering us during this famine. This fast for me acts as the next level of activation. Last week I visited another church and had a prophet prophecy that God wanted him to activate my harvest. It was an incredible release and it took me several days to recover from it. But now I am ready to receive God’s favor and I feel GREAT!

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?

Day 35 – Learning is a Key to Success

I love to learn new things. The problem is that sometimes I jump around to many things. I am a naturally curious person and love to know how things work. A friend called me today to ask me to do her taxes. As I thought about it I realized that I have taken so many courses in so many fields.

To date I have been trained to do taxes by H&R Block, to become a Realtor (just did not take the license exam), hold an Accounting certificate, HTML certificate, Life Coaching Certificate, and Business Writing Certificate. Yes I have learned many things over the years.

Although I did not stay in the career paths for some of those professions, the knowledge has proven to be an asset. Little did I know then that all of these courses would end up becoming a foundation for me as I started and operated my own business.

Constant learning keeps your skills sharp and ensures that you stay in the loop with the latest trends in your field. You can never learn too much. You may not have to take courses all the time; you can also increase your learning through reading, trade associations, conferences and workshops.

Constant learning is a key to success. Never stop seeking knowledge.

Day 34 – Time Management is a Key to Success

Time management is the ability to manage your schedule effectively to meet deadlines and accomplish goals. I am a Choleric personality type, which is a natural born leader. This type is goal oriented, loves a challenge, has high expectations for themselves and can be inpatient when learning new things. The Melancholy type is the very organized one who is good with time management. I do like things to be in order but I do not do well with managing my time.

I have become better at it by using tools such as my Google calendar and my Blackberry to keep up with appointments. However sometimes I tend to still get off track and underestimate my time. I have found this journey to be quite a challenge with regards to time management. I did not know going in exactly how much time would be needed to get this done.  I think I took for granted that I could just write at a certain time everyday and it would just be that simple.

Well that did not happen. I started out pretty steady writing mostly at night, but on days when I was tired or when life was going on I would not write. Then I would lose track of which day I was on in the journey. I did not anticipate the level of energy required to maintain such a schedule.

Properly anticipating the time and energy involved in completing a task is important to your success. If you go into the journey with low expectations you may end up missing your goal or accomplishing it at a much lower level. Do some homework or perhaps a trial run of the task prior to committing. Make sure you have the time and energy to devote to the successful completion prior to committing.

Proper time management is a key to success.  Use whatever tools you need to stay organized and manage your schedule. There are many free online calendar tools available such as Google Calendar that will sync with your handheld device. I also send myself reminders so that I know my daily schedule.

Day 29 – Being True to Your Self is a Key to Success

I have been quoting a lot of Bible scriptures in the last few posts. God is always present in my life and the Bible gives me inspiration, direction and peace. I know that not everyone shares that but I am sure there is something that does the same for you. It may be the words of wisdom from a mentor, an author, a motivational speaker, a religious leader, Buddha or other religious texts such as the Qur’an. Whatever it is you should seek it diligently and use it to find the truth.

I gave both of my sons study Bibles for Christmas so that they could begin their journey toward their truth. Each Bible has additional content that is geared toward their age group. I have found myself drawn to my younger son’s Bible. It is the Guy’s Life Application Bible and written with extra text that relate to the issues of boys between the ages of nine to thirteen.  I really liked the scripture on the first page that states:

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12 NLT

Very adequate considering the Bible is geared towards young boys. However this scripture is not about a young boy. It is about a prophet named Timothy who was young in his ministry. Paul admonished him to not allow others opinion of him to lessen his self-confidence. He was chosen for the task at hand and was well equipped to carry it out. But people may look at his youth and think that he was not qualified. Instead he told him to become the standard, be an example in all you do and say.

We can be our own worst critics and may feel unworthy, under qualified or say to ourselves. “Who am I do this?” But I say to you “Who are you not to do this?” Let your light shine! Find your truth, your passion, that thing ignites you and brings a smile to your face and do it. Do it just because you want to, because you love to. If one of your friends or family members looks at you and says, “What are you doing?” Just look back at them, smile and keep going.

This happened to me the other day. I was feeling really good and I like to wear nice pieces of jewelry, different styles not typical ones. Well on this day I was wearing a choker necklace I have had for many years. I never wore it much because I did not have matching earrings. Well a few months ago I found a unique pair of matching earrings. I wore the set earlier this week. It looked good on me and was quite sexy.

Well a family member saw me wearing it and commented. They said, “Is that choking your neck?” “Why are you trying to be so fancy?” I did not comment, I simply smiled and kept going. I felt good in it and it looked good on me. I was not going to allow some else’s negative opinion of it to make me stop wearing it. In fact, I can’t wait to wear it again. I am setting an example and will continue to do so.

I am living my life on purpose, not by accident. I am doing things deliberately and with much passion. It was a decision I made a few years ago when I found myself suddenly single again with three children. The world is mine and before me stands a clean slate. Yes I made some mistakes but they were yesterday. Tomorrow is open for discussion. I want to enjoy my life and seek to do so. I no longer try to bury my passions instead I use them a fuel.

Find your truth, embrace your passion and use it to fuel your life! Get going!

Day 28 – The Ability to Keep Walking is a Key to Success

I wish I could tell you that you won’t encounter scary moments on your journey and that the road will be smooth and not bumpy. But the reality is that you will encounter moments where you may stand still in terror. But you need to have a solid foundation that will allow you to keep walking, despite the terror.

Within the first three years of my business I was hired to produce the 20th anniversary booklet for a local church. It was supposed to be a keepsake booklet. They hired me to do the layout, design the cover and get the books printed. I can’t remember how many books they needed but I am sure it was over two hundred.

I completed the layout and they loved the design of the book. I hired a printer and set out to get the books done. I had to deliver the books for the anniversary service. Well the printer messed up the cover and there was not enough time to have them reprinted. The colors did not come out right and the books were ruined. I was so upset and embarrassed. I don’t like to deliver less than perfect quality in anything I do. Needless to say they were not going to call me back next year. Yeah I can joke about it now but that was one of my terror moments. I was scared that this mistake would end my business. There was a part of me that wanted to go put my head in the sand and quit this business all together.

Find Your Strength

Habakkuk 3:19 says “The Lord God is my strength my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds feet and will make me to walk [not stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual progress upon my high places of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” This was one of the many times in my life I was able to stand on this exact strength and keep walking.

I did not end my business. I went to the Pastor of the church, apologized, gave them a refund and delivered the books, all knowing that they would probably never hire me again. So it was a learning experience for me. A costly one but it helped to define the foundation of my business.

So I say to you, find your pillar of strength. Use whatever source you have in your life to lean on for the strength to keep you going when you encounter a terror moment. The ability to keep walking and not stand still in terror is a key to success.

Day 27 – Cycle of Failure Crushes with Depression

Depression sets in when all else has failed. You have beat yourself up with guilt, beat others up with anger and beat up your mind with fear. Now the weight of all that is crushing you and making you feel like you are not capable or worthy of anything good. You don’t want to or are not able to participate in everyday life. You may be able to do the bare minimum and not doing that successfully but it drains all of your energy. You feel lost in a tunnel that has no end and feel like the end will never come.

Depression can be a deep dark journey and may require professional help. If you feel this way for more than a day or so, you may need to talk to your doctor about getting help. Clinical depression can be successfully treated with medication and therapy. For those who suffer from situational depression, medication and dealing with the issues that are causing the depression will eventually alleviate the depressed symptoms.

Break the Cycle

To break the Cycle of Failure, you first need to identify where you are in the cycle right now. Are you depressed? Are you fearful? Are you angry? Are you feeling guilty? Once you have identified where you are begin to ask yourself some questions about why you feel the way you do. You have to face the situation head on and yes it will be painful but also worth it once you begin to see yourself going down a different path. A path that is new and bright. Let’s revisit the Story of the Pit again to see what happens in the later chapters as she begins to ask questions about why.

            Chapter Four

I walk down the same street
There’s a deep hole in the sidewalk
I walk around it

            Chapter Five

I walk down another street

 As you can see in chapter four she still goes down the same path, she recognizes he pit but makes a different decision. In the final chapter she learns to avoid the street all together. That is freedom, when you recognize the street even before you get to it and go in another direction.

You have to break the cycle one step at a time. You will not be able to conquer all of the steps at once. You have to be able to deal with each issue individually. Only move on to another once you have conquered the first. I spent a lot of time in the Fear stage and quite honestly fear still plagues me. However I don’t allow it to immobilize me anymore. I deal with the fear head on and keep going. I face what I am scared of and am no longer afraid to take the steps I need to. You can do it too. It starts with making a decision to break the cycle. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it. Start with friends and family that you trust. This will be your first key step towards success.

I leave you with this prayer of protection in your journey.

Heavenly Father,

I pray that now and through my life You would strengthen and enlighten me, show me the way Satan and his demonic spirits are trying to hinder, tempt, lie, and distort the truth in my life. Enable me to be the kind of person that will please you. Enable me to be aggressive in prayer and faith. Enable me to be aggressive mentally, think about and practice Your word and to give You, your rightful place in my life. Father I place all of my cares, all of my anxieties, all of my worries and all of my concerns once and for all on You, because I know that You love me and watch over me according to 1 Peter 5:7.

In Jesus Name I claim this victory today according to John 14:14.


Day 26 – Cycle of Failure Immobilizes with Fear

You may have this type of thought pattern: “I am so mad at him for hurting me, why did he do this to me? Why do I have to keep getting hurt? Why do I keep choosing the wrong people/path? I am so angry that it keeps me from allowing others into my life. What if I end up alone because of my anger?”

This thought pattern keeps you going in circles turning the hurt and anger over and over in your head. Then you begin to realize that your anger does affect your other relationships so then you become scared, fearful that you will be alone and keep new relationships from blooming in your life. The fear then takes over and you become immobilized, unable to move in any direction.

You can become fearful of things such as:

  • Fear of acting upon the anger
  • Fear of being rejected again
  • Fear of experiencing the same pain again
  • Fear that you will never get out of this cycle
  • Fear that you will die under the generational curse
  • Fear that your children will suffer from your inability to overcome this
  • Fear of being alone
  • Fear that if you really stood up for what you wanted you would not be accepted, not be loved and end up alone.

The fears begin to engulf you and take over your thinking, your actions and your feelings, which results in depression. To conquer fear you must face it head on and rid yourself of the self-defeating thought patterns. So today I offer you a prayer for mind cleansing and clarity. Once your thoughts are clear you will be able to handle those fearful thoughts and not allow them to overtake you.

Heavenly Father,

I come to you now as humbly as I know how and ask you according to John 14: 13-14, to wash over my mind with the blood of Jesus and cleanse out all darkness and all thoughts that are contrary to Your will and destiny for my life. I ask You to shut any doors that need to be shut whether spiritual or natural, and to open any doors that need to be opened whether spiritual or natural in my life. Father, I ask you to give me clarity of vision, clarity of sight, clarity of thought, clarity of mind, clarity of knowing, and hearing Your voice according to John 16:23.

In Jesus Name I claim this victory today according to John 14:14.