Empowerment

Pardon “My” Progress

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6D40ECFA-86C1-4621-9434-10CE7EB5C7BCI notice over several weeks going into my office building a sign that was posted on a door leading out to the parking garage. This sign simply said, “Pardon Our Progress.” The more I would read this sign coming in every morning for the past several weeks, the more it begin to resonate in my spirit. I begin to think about how that simple message has so much profound meaning. The phrase made me think about myself and what kind of progress have I made. Sure, this message was on the door in lieu of the entire building going through various stages of construction but I could not help but think to myself, “Pardon My Progress.”

But it doesn’t make sense right? Because the meaning of Pardon is: the action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense and when I think about some of the things I have changed in my life for the better, I don’t owe anyone an apology for that! So it’s really a little play on words. To define Progress means forward or onward movement toward a destination.

I am familiar with seeing a sign of this nature especially when some kind of work or construction is being done and it would normally say, “Pardon The Mess,” which made more sense. But the phrase, “Pardon Our Progress” is intended to state that this mess that you see now, is a work in progress towards something greater, an improvement, an upgrade. (WHEW~ That BLESSED ME!)

One major change I made on April 11, 2018 was purchase an Apple Watch to keep me accountable with my physical activity and to commit to a workout time that would best accommodate my busy days. For the past 2 months I have been getting up at 5am Monday – Friday doing ‘fasting’ cardio for 30 – 45mins to kick off my day. This change has made a major impact on my life in multiple ways: My energy levels are up and when I get to the office I am ready and alert for work. I love coffee but I don’t feel like I have to depend on it to perk up my mood. I feel better and my body, along with watching my food intake, has resulted in a stronger, healthier body as I continue to slim down gradually.

This change physically has also changed my time management. I wasted a lot of time after work watching several hours of television leaving only a few hours to read and to work on more constructive projects. I really desired to get in more time reading but also time to work on some personal business goals for myself. As a result of staying more active during the day, it helped me to focus longer in the evenings without feeling too tired from the work day. Talk about a huge CHANGE for me! Progress should be measurable in order to be effective meaning you should know what you should change, create a record and test through trial and error. Progress always involves risk. “You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” ~quote by Fredrick Wilcox

Look at it this way also…Progress does not only just involve all of the positive changes you have made but mistakes and failures are also progress! Especially if what you have learned has taught you what not to do! This result gets you closer to a solution or destination in your life because the goal is to be able to look back over your life and witness to progressive changes of yourself. There is a quote by Muhammad Ali that says, “A man who views the world the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

Let that marinate….

So, let me give it to you All Black, No Creamer, No Sugar, No Honey…

You have talked yourself into thinking a little change isn’t worth the effort because you looked at the end result from the end instead of looking at the end result from the beginning…the bible says to not despise small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..(Zechariah 4:10). Progress is Progressive….it doesn’t go from 0 to 100…it’s 99 other steps that you missed or ignored. Take it one step at a time until what you desire is present.

So “sorry not sorry” for how I have progressed in a little over 2 months. I don’t owe anyone an apology but I owe it to myself to do whatever I need to do in order to present my BEST self. #unapologeticallyPROGRESSING…..are YOU?

Xoxo Charlene Evans

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Beyond A Title

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Several weeks ago, I was asked to be a panelist for a “Girls Who Rock” STEAM event in Spartanburg, SC. STEAM is an acronym for Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics. The original STEM program decided to add the ‘A’ because ART brings a sense of balance coupled up with Technology which aids innovation! Creativity and Technology are not distant cousins but more like brothers and sisters and I believe that acknowledging the ARTS was making it ‘official’ even though it has always been a part of the technological advancement of science and engineering. I hold a dear place in my heart for every component of STEAM so if you could only imagine, I was delighted when a good friend of mine referred me to be a part of this event.

I was aware of the nature of the event but I did not know anything about the ‘company I would keep’ as one of the 5 panelist. Even though I am an engineer and poet, my role in this forum was to represent engineering. When I received my itinerary through email I begin to look over the list of panelist and something stuck out immediately—I was the only person there that was not a Doctor. My immediate thought was Wow…..Then I stared at the itinerary for several minutes as my mind ran a million thoughts…One of those thoughts were, God I am familiar with the challenge of obtaining a Doctorate and I know several people in my life personally who are ‘Dr.’s’ of their respective fields so I don’t take it lightly…God…just please…represent in me when I open my mouth! (ha! Yes, that was my prayer)

But let me tell you what happened ‘in’ me while I was sitting in the mist of what I deem a ‘powerful panel of very intelligent, not only smart on paper but through life experiences as they opened their mouths” people….I had a lot to contribute as well without the DR. in front of my name. You see, I had a moment where God flashed my ‘past’ before me as I looked out into the sea of people waiting on me to ‘speak’. Sometimes I don’t think about all of the wonderful life experiences I have lived unless God brings it to my remembrance because of something happening in that moment or if I am asked to speak about my past. The Holy Spirit begin to remind me of the part all of those experiences are playing in this moment.right.now.WOW.

Please hear me…I don’t want you to leave this post saying it’s not necessary to get a Doctorate because I think that its admirable and has its place in your career goals and objectives. I just want to encourage someone who feels like they are not ‘worthy’ on paper. God has ‘kept’ you through some good and not so good life experiences that are worthy of mentioning in the company of people who may have more accolades and degrees.

There is a PLACE for your STORY and God will put you on a platform to tell it! AMEN….

And for me….I didn’t feel like, “Okay, maybe God is trying to say I need to get a Doctorate because why would He put me in the mist of all these Doctors?!?!” LOLOLOL! See, some of y’all probably thought I was going to go there but nope, my spirit didn’t unction that to me AT ALL….that moment for me was special. It was powerful and humbling. It made me appreciate my education AND my life experiences up to that moment in time. Things change and life has a way of coming back full circle to reach someone who is listening and living your life experience in that moment. That was confirmation for me as many parents and young girls came up to me afterwards to say how inspired they were by my story. Wow…..

So I say, be obedient and courageous. Speak your truth because God has created you to be a blessing to the world BEYOND A TITLE.

xoxo Chiccy Baritone

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