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Connectedness

One of my top 5 Strengths from Strengths Finder is Connectedness. This means I am certain that things happen for a reason.

It all started in April when @Shermikathelight posted on Instagram about an event that she would be speaking at in October. From that point forward I knew I had to be in attendance. Shermika and I were classmates in Grad. School. We both had aspirations of starting our own businesses after graduation. I watched on social media as Shermika started her company, going door to door marketing her business. I also had a social media front row seat when things took off for her. I watched in amazement as she nurtured her business into a powerful brand. I knew that in order to successfully and intentionally grow my business on my terms, I needed to gain some knowledge and insight from her. I did just that!

Just over a week ago, I jumped on a flight to Atlanta and I attended #werkprayslay. It was absolutely everything that I’ve never imagined. I mean never, ever. This Women’s Empowerment Conference was one for the books. The colors, the lighting, the details, the information, the vendors, the volunteers, the attendees, the speakers, the hostess, the D.J. and the fabulous visionary @Koereyelle made this a life changing event for me. Before I attended, I had no idea that this beautiful community of women business owners existed.

I have a solid plan for my business now. No more taking bits and pieces of information and trying to figure out how it all ties together. Some of the strategies discussed were, how to land Corporate and Government Contracts, how to Slay Procrastination, how to Change Your Mindset and Secure the Bag, how to Be Your Own Publicist, how to use Video to Slay Your Personal Brand, and so much more! I’m telling you, this ain’t even half of it.

As I said in my previous post, I had a chance to thank @ChefAhki for positively impacting my life after a cancer diagnosis. You can find that post by clicking here.

I can safely bet that I was one of the older women at the conference, but I didn’t feel left out. @Koereyelle and her team did a phenomenal job of making it a safe space to learn and be vulnerable. I even swagged and surfed for the first time ever! (that wasn’t a thing when I attended an HBCU)

Why am I telling you all of this??? Because it matters who you are connected to. My connection with @Shermikiathelight through social media exposed me to a whole new world of confident, brilliant and paid Sistas who are out here doing their thang! It matters who you follow and who you’re connected to.

If you are a female business owner, I highly recommend the @WerkPraySlay Conference. I’m sure planning has already begun for 2020. You definitely don’t want to miss it. I know that I won’t miss it!

One of the top traits of a person with Connectedness as a Strength is having confidence in their gifts, but knowing they do not have all the answers. As a reward for my humility, God made room for me in a place that I didn’t even know existed, and it is a place of overflowing resources!🤲🏾

I won a free Website Copy Audit by Word Stylitz to amplify the impact that I have on my ideal client. April Beverley of @baabwriting will definitely get me all the way together.🙌🏾This brilliant lady is out here commanding coins with the power of her words.

If you are a female business owner looking to connect with a like-minded Sista on the move, email me. I would love to join forces and hold one another accountable to do the #werk!

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Why Journaling Works & How to Do It Better

Do you Journal?  If not, what’s holding you back and if you do, what keeps you going?

A lot of people journal to release emotion and organize their feelings. To be honest, we’re all out here experiencing about 27 emotions daily. That is quite a ride and it’s tough to manage it all. So, what we’re doing is taking the emotion adding to it our daily responsibilities plus the needs and expectations from others and then attempting to get through the day without a method to release. This is the perfect formula for a mental breakdown.

I get it, we want to appear like we have our stuff together with little resistance, add to that this whole self-care trend of “don’t kill my vibe, “don’t interrupt my peace” and “don’t bother me with that”, this leaves us feeling obligated to hold in our emotions.

I’ve found journaling to be a helpful outlet. During those times when I am overflowing with emotions, both positive and negative, journaling helps me to reflect on events, organize my thoughts, release some pinned up energy and even generate solutions. It’s one of the many tools that can be used to re-direct your energy.

There’s another benefit of journaling that very few people notice. Journaling helps you to identify trends. If you journal often and notice a trend of negative or low-energy words and phrases, it’s safe to say you are probably suffering with Imposter Syndrome, self-sabotage and maybe even low self-esteem. If this is you, it’s time for a change in perspective.

I deal with those feelings too. I doubt my abilities, second guess my capabilities and I will overthink a scenario to the very extreme. It’s quite exhausting but I’ve figured out how to manage those feelings.

If you’ve been a member of the Origins of Peace community for any amount of time, you know that our #1 goal is to empower you to get out here and Impress Yourself. There are two reasons why this is important:cropped-origins-of-peace-1-1.png

  1. If you don’t impress yourself, no one else will ever stand a chance of impressing you. This is important for business deals, relationships, money goals, all of that. You must set a standard and stick to it. Example, if you want to be in a loving relationship, you must first love yourself. Impress yourself by doing things you enjoy and going to places that make you happy. This produces impression and excitement. It’s mentally stimulating, and it gets you into the habit of Impressing Yourself so that you will know when others are meeting and exceeding your expectations!
  2. A whole lot of time is spent impressing other folks. You impress your boss when you show up for work and do an exceptional job, you impress your kids by showing up for them daily. It’s time to Impress Yourself!

For the month of November, I am challenging you to use journaling as a tool to change your communication message to yourself! There are 30 days in November. I am giving you 1 word each day to use as a prompt. You will reflect on how the word shows up in your life on that day and compose a journal entry. Your entry can be written or a short video that you keep on your phone. The words that I provide to you should evoke feelings of happiness, bravery, calmness, rejuvenation and friendliness.create-her-stock-office-beauty4

I would love to know how this challenge goes for you. You can find me on both IG and Facebook at Origins of Peace to get the word for the day.

You can leave a comment one either platform to get the dialogue started.

Oh yea, if you’re not on my email list, you should be. Our next gratitude offering winner will be announced on Monday, November 4th. You must be on the list to get included in the drawing! Visit www.melissaarivers.com to sign up. You can see the prize for Monday’s drawing on my IG page.

Let’s connect!

Melissa

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Grace & Mercy Have My Back!

If you are new to my page, my name is Melissa Rivers and I am a Creative Peace Coach! In everyday terms this means I am a Conflict Resolution Strategist. I use my gifts of creativity and communication to teach strategies that provide guidance to achieving mental clarity, embracing self-preservation and prioritizing service to others.

Today we are discussing Affirmation #3 from my Instagram 5 Day Affirmation Challenge –  “I am professing my boldness by trusting grace and mercy to follow me, believing that greater days are in front of me and knowing that God is for me.”

I am on a mission of intention to impress myself in all areas of my life every single day.

Screenshot_20190918-161237The inspiration behind the third affirmation is sheer determination. I am creating a new blueprint for how I manage my wellness dimensions, and trusting that things will be better than they’ve ever been.

If you are not familiar with the Dimensions of Wellness, they are: Spiritual, Physical, Emotional, Environmental, Intellectual, Social, Occupational and Financial.

I am deconstructing each area and authentically rebuilding. I am shaking things up, moving things around, possibly leaving things behind and definitely welcoming new experiences. My faith walk and “works” are in full affect.

I am trusting God to create new opportunities and new spaces for me, but I also understand that my reasonable service is to put in the work to acquire the newness.

I am definitely ready.

Just the other day, I signed up for a personal development class and mistakenly showed up to the venue on the wrong day. I walked into a room filled with women discussing wealth and investments, professing their love of God and sharing personal success stories about their finances. These were definitely my people.

This diverse group of women welcomed me in to their sacred space and made room for me at their table. Grace & Mercy had my back!

Not too long ago, circumstances made it necessary for me to cash in my retirement savings to pay for routine expenses; mortgage, healthcare, groceries, and all those other things you need to survive. This was an extremely uncomfortable time for me because I held the belief that retirement funds should only be used for living expenses during retirement. I quickly learned that “change is the only thing that is constant,” and I now appreciate doing the work to have the funds available when I needed them most.

When the time was right, I began rebuilding my retirement fund. I prayed for guidance and instruction on how to strategically rebuild my account.

In return, God sent me to this group of women who will educate, encourage and support me along the way.

This was a gentle reminder that miracles happen when awe & expectancy intersect. As the affirmation declares, I am boldly trusting grace & mercy to follow me while believing God that my greater days are in front of me!

So here’s what’s important. Everyone experiences times in life when a shift is necessary. If you’ve noticed yourself feeling stuck, stagnant, unmotivated, unimpressed, disgruntled, conflicted or simply not in the mood for alot of *______* (you fill in the blank) it’s time to shake things up.

It’s time to get your energy up, increase your creativity and start doing and enjoying things that add Peace to your life!

So here’s your chance to get involved and start the process of intentionally impressing yourself every single day! I challenge you to take out a piece of paper and make a list of all the people, places, things and experiences that add peace to your life. Be intentional and truthful about what you add to it. Exam your list and take notice of the types of items that are on your list.

Which categories show up the most and which categories are lacking?

For now, just do the work to develop your list and I promise to discuss this process in more detail at a later time. If you have question feel free to shoot me an email at: info@designedbymelissarivers.com

If you haven’t already subscribed to my blog and signed up for my newsletter. I would love to have you join my Peace Community!

  • Simply head over to www.melissaarivers.com
  • When the pop-up form appears, enter your name and email address to subscribe to my newsletter
  • You can subscribe to my blog from the About Me page in the bottom right corner
  • You can also follow me on Instagram at: @originsofpeace and Facebook at: Origins of Peace

My 2020 Vision Board and Goal Setting Circles will start next month. Details coming soon!

Until next time,

Peace, Love & More Peace!

Melissa

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Professional Habits To Maintain in Your 40’s That Will Keep You Feeling Peaceful

As a forty-something female professional, there are habits that you can implement or release that will boost your professional self-confidence and empower you to trust yourself more.

If you’ve been in your current position for an extended period of time, you may feel underwhelmed and uninspired. It may be difficult for you to focus on your work and deliver your absolute best. Unless you work for yourself or you operate the family business, this can be a real problem. Depending on who’s watching, you could find yourself in a situation where management doesn’t feel like you take your responsibilities seriously. If you work for yourself and fail to deliver a stellar product, you could appear as an amateur to those you conduct business with.

When I returned to work after recovering from cancer, I was my biggest critic. I felt insecure about my appearance and I didn’t feel on top of my game because personal development and professional training had taken a back seat to my recovery. I was also well over 40 and the corporate workplace was now flooded with Millennials!

Upon returning, there were several things that I did to boost my confidence. Today I am sharing 3 of my signature tips that will help you operate from a place of grace instead of  a place of constant hustle.

The objectives are to be more polished, to trust yourself more and to feel good about who you are!

  1. Develop and implement a morning routine.
    • Wake up early, spend time in prayer, affirm what you want and meditate on the good, positive situations that you are welcoming into your day.
  2. Release actions that are unnecessary.
    • If you’re a woman who constantly apologizes even when situations do not warrant an apology, Stop. Over apologizing makes it appear that you are unsure you belong in the room. When these feeling arise (Imposter Syndrome) remember; you did the work to be in the room and grace elevates you further than effort ever will, Receive It.
  3. Remain Inspired.
    • If you’re not excited by your work, find inspiration in the daily details. Examine your partnerships, goals, expected outcomes and even your clothing and accessories to find inspiration. I recently found inspiration in a pair of beautiful, hand-crafted earrings which where created by Angelique Car, owner of tha dak brand.

      Check out these beauties!

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Are you inspired yet!?!

I’m inspired by the collaboration and individuality of the materials that were used. Each element has a specific purpose and performs a distinct role in the overall design. These earrings simply make me happy and that’s exactly what our clothing and accessory choices should do.

Here’s what Angelique has to say about her designs:

“Each pair of earrings are unique and one of a kind. I allow my creative wave to do it’s thing in the moment. Sometimes I come up with designs that really show what my mood was at that time. I feel like that’s what makes them so special, they are genuinely made with a little soul and a lot of life! I am at a very happy place in my life right now, and I am grateful that I can birth something that allows me to share that with the world.”

I can’t help but think about the individual gifts and talents that women posses. We are strong, resilient, tender and creative all at the same damn time.

At any given point we have the flexibility and ingenuity to pull from those resources to accomplish our goals and to create something beautiful. When opportunities arise for us to combine our gifts with the gifts of the next woman, we can come together and make a beautiful masterpiece, just like those earrings!

As promised, I have one more bonus tip for you.

  1. BONUS – Find your passion and cultivate it.
    • Peace is my passion. With my passion I choose to teach conflict resolution strategies to women that provide guidance for mental clarity, self-preservation and service to others. I also create courses that empower women to trust themselves more! This is my passion and how I use it. To discover your passion, grab my e-book; Design Your Happy Track To Peace and schedule a Consultation so we can chat!

If you are interested in learning more about Angelique and her upcoming fall collection, check her out on Instagram at: @thadakbrand or shoot her an Email at thadakbrand@gmail.com. You can also find her on Facebook at: tha dak brand.

If you’re a female business owner or simply a female with a positive and uplifting message to share, let’s link up! I would love to feature you on my blog and learn more about what you’re up to.

Create Your Peace!

Melissa

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Affirm To Nurture Your Relationships

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Affirmation #2I am creating true relationships and lasting connections by being grateful for each encounter, providing support without compromising my boundaries and holding space for us to evolve.”

I wrote this affirmation while thinking about the complexities of relationships and how self-love is a direct reflection of how we love others.

I am a firm believer in self-preservation and protecting my peace by properly managing my circle of influence but I understand fully that my relationships and how I show up in them are a direct reflection of how I show love to myself.

If I’m constantly telling myself that I am inadequate or lacking in certain areas, I will feel that I have the authorization to speak those same inequities into the lives of others.

This is completely false.

No one has the right to infuse their personal self-doubt on anyone else.

Affirm to Nurture Your Relationships.

  1. Decide today that you will speak better to yourself, think more highly about who you are and begin to value your own opinion.  By doing so, you create a nurturing foundation that will be the basis for all of your relationships
  2. Set boundaries that create positive encounters. Make a decision to stop interjection your unsolicited opinions in other people’s lives. Nine times out of ten, nobody asked you…so stop. Leave something to the imagination.
  3. Express gratitude when someone shares their time, energy, knowledge and love with you

Remember: Your thoughts, words and actions should be for your greatest good and to be of service to others. Hold thoughts and actions toward others in the same regard.

Create your peace,

~Melissa

 

 

 

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When Good is No Longer Good Enough

Peace Up! It’s been a while since my last post. In my absence I hope that life has been good to you and I hope that you’ve been good to yourself. I pray that you’ve taken time to indulge in things that you love and that you’ve experienced happiness and joy. As the saying goes, “life is not a dress rehearsal,” so get out there and live it!

Since my last post, I’ve turned the big 44. This is a huge deal for me because my birthday signifies another year of surviving and overcoming. Along with my 44th birthday, I celebrate being 4 years cancer free and 4 years free from a troubled marriage.

Life is good.

Life is really good but in this next year, good is no longer good enough. I’m ready for the exciting, adventurous and spontaneous.

I’m ready to start living again and experiencing new things. I’ve been in maintenance mode for far too long. Protecting my peace and preserving my happiness has been defined as making sure problems get solved, ends meet and opportunities are realized. I need a new definition. I need to incorporate things that I love such as: relaxing by the lake, driving to the mountains, hanging with friends and making time for self-care.

This one life that I’ve been blessed with, deserves an overhaul.

I’m sure that I’m not alone. Have you reached a placed in your life that no longer represents who you are or what you stand for? Are you ready to create new memories? Is good no longer good enough?

Now’s the time.

It’s time to choose different and to choose better. Peace is not simply the absence of conflict, but also the inclusion of all the things that celebrate who you are!

Challenge:

  • Make a list of the things that make you happy but you seldom experience. As a child I loved gymnastics and ballet. I haven’t participated in those activities in years but the memories always make me smile.
  • Once you’ve compiled your list, be the first person to send me your list in an email and you could win a free sample of my Peaceful Herbal Tea. Send your email to:info@designedbymelissarivers.com.
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Burnout AF

In a time where chasing the next greatest trend, fad, influencer or improve thyself technique is the thing to do, people are fiercely striving for perfection in their professional and personal lives. This non-stop sprint for greatness has left a majority of folks stressed out, tired and overwhelmed. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared “Burnout” as a diagnosable condition. Their definition of burnout focuses solely on the professional perspective but I believe if we fail to equally consider personal burnout in the definition, we are only examining half of the issue.

 

My personal definition of burnout is: having feelings of exhaustion and extreme tiredness with increased mental isolation from one’s personal and professional  responsibilities which result in reduced productivity.

Many people experience burnout in their personal and professional lives without realizing it. There’s the pressure to attain a certain lifestyle or to achieve a certain social status, but there’s also the pressure to be the one who people can depend on and the one who has it all together.

In the workplace, employees are working longer hours, performing jobs they despise and working through their lunch break to chase the so-called American Dream. Those actions contribute to exhaustion and regret.

Do what you love

If you think you may be suffering from Professional burnout, try incorporating the following actions and seek professional help if necessary.

  1. Establish healthy connections/relationships at work
  2. Unplug during your lunch break; no phone, no meetings, just eat
  3. Schedule quarterly vacation days throughout the year to do something meaningless and fun. Don’t wait until Summer or Christmas break to take time off

Love you

Personal burnout can be a little more difficult to recognize, mainly because no one wants to freely admit when your own life becomes too much to handle. To give you a better understanding of personal burnout, I’m going to extend to you a looking glass into my life.

In 2015, I went through divorce, cancer and job loss all within a 6 month period. I was exhausted, my self-esteem was low, my concentration was non-existent and I was persistently overwhelmed. I did not have a steady income again until November 2016. I was on the verge of losing my home and my sanity. While dealing with all these things, I was raising a teenager, being a supportive daughter, sister, auntie and friend while being completely depleted inside. Personal burnout.

Personal burnout comes from continuously mismanaging your life by neglecting your personal needs and putting the needs of others before your own, neglecting opportunities for self-care and personal well-being and failing to see the beauty in the present moment.

The greatest gift that I’ve learned on my road to self restoration is:

I AM MY PRIORITY.

I’m giving you a few of my top reminders to help you focus on self-care, self-restoration and self-preservation.

  1. Schedule self-care appointments frequently
  2. Unplug from social media often
  3. Use the letters N.O. freely
  4. Don’t lose yourself, trying to save someone else
  5. Live and let live
  6. Always remember: “We each have a life to live and personal burdens to bear. You are here as a support, not a savior.”

For more tips on managing burnout and protecting your peace, subscribe to my blog and newsletter by visiting www.designedbymelissarivers.com.

Peace.

 

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Your Heart Is Bigger Than You Think

I used to think that I only had a limited amount of space in my heart to love and appreciate certain situations, including people. I was convinced that my capacity meter for “stuff” was on the fairly low side. Over the years I’ve been met with unexpected events that challenged my perceived personal truths but also ignited my will to overcome and win. I’ve learned that people are designed to be durable and flexible if we choose to operate at full capacity. Today, I am sharing 3 points of action with you, that will help you create more space in your heart to accept, embrace and handle whatever you find yourself dealing with.

  1. Understand why life has presented you with this opportunity

One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is; Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  From this scripture, I am reassured that unexpected events can actually be a blessing in disguise. When the event is truly embraced, our thoughts aren’t directly centered on our personal needs alone and we are challenged to think higher and to make peace with the situation

2.  Focus only on what you have control over

Focus and take action on what you can control and have faith that the things you can’t control will also get taken care of. I’ve learned that good things are often orchestrated on my behalf simply because I did my part and showed up when it was my time to perform. You can find opportunities to be a blessing to others when they least expect it. Believe that the people you are connected to can’t fully do their work/assignment until you complete yours, and you can’t complete your work until others complete theirs. Things that we don’t have control over aren’t ours to control, they are simply an associated assignment. It’s not yours to handle but it is connected to you

3. Remain present and at peace

Do what you can today in order to accept what you’re facing. Taking small, daily steps toward acceptance will open your heart to new capacities of love and will help you navigate through unexpected change.

Challenge: Think about the most intensive challenge that you are currently facing and decide that you are going to rise to the occasion. What can you do today to embrace the change and release negative thoughts surrounding it. How will you show up? Who will you become after it’s over?

Note: To the Origins of Peace community, “thank you all so much for following the blog and for connecting with me in so many different ways. Effective immediately, blog posts will release once a month on or around the 10th of each month, and the Heal, Recover, Grow Newsletter will release quarterly. The next issue is scheduled to release on July 1st.”

You can always connect with me on all social media as Origins of Peace or by emailing me at: info@designedbymelissarivers.com

Peace In Action,

Melissa

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A Place To Breathe

Good Morning PeaceMakers. I pray that today holds all the peace, love and acceptance that your heart can hold.

If this is your first time on my site, My name is Melissa Rivers and I am a Creative Peace Designer. That means I use my gifts of creative writing & teaching to help others manage conflict and create mental space for more peaceful opportunities in their lives. My motto for today is: “peace starts with a made up mind.”

So let’s get to it:

My intent for this post – I’m writing this morning at 4:30 am because writing/ journaling settles my mind and helps me to organize my thoughts. I guess you could say that I am at peace when I create a short narrative, or inspirational message. Writing is one of my Origins of Peace and my place to breathe. It’s important for each of us to find what helps us breathe deeper and a little easier. The sweet aroma of creativity helps us not to take ourselves so seriously and as adults that can be hard to do.

What’s important for you to know: You gotta breathe. Close your eyes and visualize those activities that you participated in as a kid. Did you dance, sing or take piano lessons. Maybe it was art class or violin practice. Whatever it was, did it provide a few minutes of relief and escape for you? Along with writing, I absolutely loved ballet & gymnastics class. I can remember practicing my back-flip and no-hand cartwheels for hours on end. I’ve never really been great at ballet, but I can remember putting on my pink ballet slippers for the first time along with my white tights and black leotard. I was free to be me.

What matters: You were created to be serious and carefree at the same time. Life will impose it constraints and restrictions upon you but you cannot let that stop your creativity. Your foundational purpose is found in the weeds of your place to breathe and your responsibilities. Intentionally show up for yourself each day in a creative way. If not, you’ll get lost and be afraid of who you truly are. You have too much goodness, purity and creativity to be anyone other than yourself.  Show up for you & breathe.

I offer a session called Peace Mapping where I help you identify areas of conflict in your life and design a strategy that helps you to make different choices and create mental space for a more peaceful lifestyle. I would love to help you find your place to breathe.

To book a session, simply click here to get started.