Episode 132: Terrorists Storm the Capitol Building

I want to introduce a new segment called Make it Make sense. Make it make sense episodes are where I’m going to give my opinion on things that seem painfully obvious to me, but for one reason or another the rest of the world has not caught up or has no desire to see the truth. 

It doesn’t take a genius to see that my choice of topics 2021 is off to a rocky start…

First, let’s discuss how the white supremacists rioted the Capitol building and committed domestic terrorism during their failed attempt at a coup detat. See how direct I was in stating exactly what happened? They weren’t protestors, they were terrorists. Everyone all over the world saw the same event. However, how one processed that foolishness seems to vary based on race and/or one’s willingness to admit the truth. Americans who are still in denial or confused about what white privilege is, literally saw it in action last week. It’s being able to commit a crime like storming the Capitol building and not get shot nor get punished. 

I’ve been in quite a few buildings in Washington, D.C.  When I was in high school, I was invited to attend a young leaders’ academic workshop. So I was able to go inside many buildings and areas that are normally off-limits to the public unless you have clearance; lucky for us we did. I will NEVER forget the amazing amount of security that you have to go through in order to get inside that building. Because I have been inside the Capitol building before, I know the terrorists had to have had help getting inside. 

So when I saw white supremacists like Elizabeth from Knoxville Tennessee puts it, “We’re starting a revolution; and, they were literally able to enter the Capitol to create all sorts of criminal acts I knew the police were in on it.

I wonder if these white supremacists will spend the same amount of time in  jail that Trump was pushing for when people of color were protesting, emphasis on protesting.  The protest that Black people started was literally a simple request. Stop killing Black people, especially when they’re unarmed.

Clearly, this request is doable. The mere fact that Trump did not feel threatened by heavily armed white terrorists, with pipe bombs and more security equipment than the actual Capitol police security team did in taking over the Capitol is evidence that Trump and his evil minions should have felt even less threatened by an unarmed Black man or woman. These unarmed Black men or women were no threat to the government security and yet Trump had all sorts of security present army, national guard, regular police, secret service police, FBI, even folks detaining people that didn’t belong to identifiable agency, etc. These folks were ready to kill whomever they wanted.

Again,I, like every other Black person in America and now the entire world —-KNOW— that the police allowed those white supremacists terrorists to storm the Capitol building. There’s no way in the world that a failed coup took place without the police playing a starring role in this drama. In fact, the FBI was warned that there was a possibility of this happening.  

There is no doubt that the Capitol security was in on this coup. There are videos confirming how police were literally welcoming in the terrorists and taking pictures with them. It really did remind me in a  weird way of what I imagined a redneck family reunion would look like. These police were on super friendly terms with people who were literally smearing the walls of the Capitol with their own feces. Once the Karens, young and old, felt like they were ready to vacate the premises, I watched videos of police gently ushering them down the Capitol steps. Because after all the Karens of this world are so delicate and could never do anything wrong like commit an act of domestic terrorism on TV or could they?

The most frustrating part about watching this craziness play out was knowing full well that if any of the Black Lives Matters protestors, even attempted to do what these racists jerks did they would be massacred. Then the criminals with badges would get exonerated for killing an unarmed Black person and celebrated as a hero. 

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Compare the photos. Look at the photo of what security looked like for a Black Lives Matter protest. Then look at what security looked like for the failed white supremacist terrorist coup. When the white supremacists terrorists stormed the Capitol building, security was nonexistent.

Now, look at the security in the Black Lives Matter protest photos. 

Let’s just use one in particular, protecting the Abraham Lincoln statue. Notice how heavy the security was for protecting a statute! Not a human being. There were literally thousands of police and national guards called in and one of the main areas they went to protect was a statute.  During the protests in D.C. Black people suffered all sorts of mistreatment. They were tear gassed, had rubber bullets shot at them, etc. All this was done just so that moron Trump could pose with a Bible that he clearly never read.

Last week, what happened was that the very police who supposedly protect and serve Americans decided to show their true colors. They joined forces with their terrorist racist cousins. It frustrated me to no end to hear the media and other people (mainly white) describe what happened at the Capitol. They try to water down the actions of these white terrorists by saying crap like, “ This is a dark day in America,” “I can’t believe that happened,” or “America is in such a bad place,” and other nonsense as if all Americans were a part of that mess.  

BEST BLACK TWITTER MEMES ABOUT THE CAPITOL RIOTS

Newsflash, what you saw was America, but it’s the part many try to keep hidden. America has always been what you saw on display last week, but now it’s on display for the entire world to see. If they want to see it…Then the media and other people (primarily white) proceed to ice skate over the fact that if a black or brown person dared to act the same way, they would be shot dead.

This is precisely why many Black and Brown people create or own content, have their own media because otherwise our stories would never be heard. 

Honestly, I, like many other Black and Brown people were not surprised one bit by what we saw. You can’t help but laugh and cry at this statement because it’s true.

Click here to hear. the answer…😂

This is the America we’ve always known existed. The beauty of this failed coup is that now everyone in the world gets to see the ugliness behind the sheet…pun intended. Black people have unofficially been spelling Amerikkka with 3 k’s for awhile now.

In this video, terrorists are dragging a DC Metro Police Officer out of the Capitol and attack him.

The double standard that was on display was insane! I roll my eyes every time I hear someone white state, “Black people just need to do this or that and then they won’t get shot,” is simply not true. You literally saw right before your eyes poor and wealthy white people literally out there living their best felonous life having fun committing their acts of terrorism. 

What really got me was the FBI’s plea for assistance from the public. When the police want to find someone Black they dedicate an entire police force to find them. But, when it’s someone white the FBI appears to rely on crowdsourcing to get the job done. The terrorists were so bold that they didn’t even bother wearing masks. There are photos of terrorists being actual police officers and flashing their badge so they could move freely among their terrorism spree. The terrorists even said their name. They took selfies and even held interviews. It’s ridiculous.

Again, it’s amazing to me how many people are so quick to defend these terrorists. The media is already attempting to spin a defense for why the white terrorists are the victims. Make no mistake terrorists are not victims. They are terrorists. Trump supporters prove that racism not only exists but are praised and rewarded by Trump. These redneck lowlife terrorists did not try to hide their evil. Mainly, because they know that their fellow criminals with badges the police will pardon them. 

What upset me even further is seeing the one lone Black Capitol officer (Eugene Goodman) trying to fend off the terrorists in order to save the lives of government officials that clearly could care less about him.  I encourage you to read, see the video, and read about how terrifying this event was from the perspective of the Black Capitol Hill officers.  I guess blue lives matter only matter when you’re a white officer.

Eugene Goodman

However, let’s be real. It was never about law and order. It was about the desire to keep an organization that literally evolved from slavery. One of their main goals was to track down runaway slaves (check out Episode 127 for more details). These redneck terrorists are afraid of seeing Black people continue to soar over every obstacle they purposely built to keep them down. 

The ironic thing is that the white terrorists were rioting because they just couldn’t imagine how the system they designed and rigged backfired on them. The Electoral college failed them, the voter suppression tricks failed them, the years of redlining failed, etc. and the list goes on…Black people really are magical. Despite all the obstacles we still continue to rise. So what you witnessed was basically white folks throwing a temper tantrum because they were unable to process why they weren’t successful in their attempts to hinder Black people’s success. 

They were relying on Cheeto Satan aka Trump to save them. Trump is Satan in human form. His only intention is to divide and destroy people including the very fools that follow and try to protect him (like Mike Pence and the rest of his evil minions). So please spare us with all the phony indignations and resignations. You had 4 years to remove this monster and you instead decided to further empower his nonsense. When someone shows you their true colors, it’s in your best interest to believe them the first time.

During Trump’s campaign trail he literally left his losers stranded with no way to get back to their cars. Just look at all his failed marriages and businesses that this moron has never been successful. Everything about Cheeto Satan screams failure. Yet, the terrorists still find ways to make every excuse in the book to explain away his behavior and lack of leadership skills. All throughout this episode, I’ve made it a point to call these people what they are…terrorists. Why? Over the next couple of weeks, I guarantee that the media will go above and beyond “humanizing” these terrorists so you can sympathize with them. 

However, the media is very quick to demonize Black people who to this day have never committed domestic terror. You know I came across a very poignant picture that showed two Black men cleaning up the mess that the terrorists left at the Capitol building. The symbolism in that video spoke volumes to me. Black people are constantly in situations where we’re left to clean up a mess while the white terrorists and their accomplices don’t even feel compelled to pick up a broom. 

Other articles/ videos I highly recommend:

@KevonStagestudios @thatchickangel @joshygonz

THEY Stormed the Capitol | #HeresTheThing (Bonus Snippet)

The jarring, revealing video of Black men cleaning up the Capitol

Footage of terrorists

Even Most “Good White People” in Power are Incapable or Unwilling to Truly Confront the Threat of White Supremacy.

Chicago police union president: Saying riots are ‘treason’ is beyond ridiculous

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. If you enjoy listening to Hustle in Faith and would like to support the show, please consider sharing it with your friends, leaving a review, donating, or making a purchase at  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!

Episode 131: How to Create a Life Worth Imitating

Welcome to Hustle in Faith. This podcast is dedicated to helping you find your trail to a happier healthier you by discussing topics regarding Christianity, health & wellness, beauty & so much more! I’m your host Tosha Johnson. 

This is Episode 131: How to create a life worth imitating 

Happy New Year!

 I can’t believe we are starting Season 4 of this podcast! I want to wish everyone a very happy, blessed, and prosperous New Year! I’m not big on resolutions. Many times New Year’s resolutions are broken. This shouldn’t come as a surprise but a goal without a plan is just a wish. 

In the past four years, I can honestly say that I’ve been truly crushing my goals. Because I created SMART goals, I have been accomplishing many of the goals I set for myself. SMART is an acronym that stands for Smart Measurable Achievable Realistic and Time-bound. I create my goals, I look for correlations within those goals, and then choose one word that I can easily remember that will serve as my theme for the year. 

For example, when I was creating my goals for this year, I decided that my theme for 2021 will be the word ELEVATE. I’m not going to go into my method in how I do this in this episode so be sure to check out the Hustle in Faith website for further information on SMART goals and to download the free grateful notes and goal setting planner.

Now, the reason why I picked ‘elevate’ to be my theme for this year is because of so many situations that happened to me last year. Despite the chaos that occurred throughout last year, I have never been more at peace with my life. When I say the year 2020 gave me the most peace I have ever had, I am not saying I did not have any problems with people or difficult situations.

What I am saying is that none of these things defeated me and/or brought me down. The reason being, I kept reminding myself of something that my mom always says, “Put God first and the rest will fall into place.” What her statement means is that we are to always pray and request God’s help before making decisions. In doing so, God will give us whatever we need, whether it be strength, courage, or wisdom to get through the tough times.

Applying my mom’s wisdom along with my determination and consistency, the year 2020 turned out to be a very successful year for me. Despite all the chaos in the world, I was able to accomplish my goals. Mainly because I was and still am fiercely protective of my time. Negativity is a thief that not only steals your time but it also destroys your goals.

I protect myself from this thief by protecting my time. I don’t allow anyone or anything to occupy my time unless they add value to my life. This is one of the main reasons why I don’t watch mindless TV or hang out with a lot of people.

My main goal in life is to be more consistent with cultivating the talents God gave me.  Focusing on this endeavor has really placed me in a position to create opportunities not just for myself, but for others as well. I truly enjoy helping people gain the skills they need to achieve their goals. A comment that I have grown accustomed to hearing is, “Tosha, you’re so lucky.” I just smile and laugh because I know what they mean.

However, the success I’m currently experiencing isn’t luck. I didn’t just all of a sudden arrive with the attributes of Christ (ie joy, peace and happiness). Whenever I respond, I make sure to tell them this. I want them to know that in life we have to intentionally work towards our goals and we start first by allowing Christ to lead.

My success and happiness are products of many years of determination, blood, sweat and tears. Wait, let’s not leave out trial and error, and a whole lotta praying!  Throughout this process, I developed two mottos in life: 

  1. I work to live, not live to work. This means to have a balance in life.
  2. I work down here but live upstairs. This means I live life based on God’s perspective, all of which helps me to rise above the obstacles and petty people that Satan sends to defeat me.

I must admit, it took me a while to really understand the last point. My focus was distorted. I was trying so hard to please people that I lost sight of God and eventually I became lost. With that said, this is why I don’t base my time and energy on pleasing people is another way Satan robs us of our time. I just put Christ first and proceed in living my life.

My way of life, “Put Christ first and everything else falls into place,” has gotten me recognition at work and in my personal life. I was just thinking back to all the compliments I received from those at work. I never thought in a million years that anyone would be watching me, let alone thinking that I’m worth imitating. 

One co-worker in particular stood out in my mind. She explained that she loved my presentation style. She then took notes on how I presented. This person’s comment reminded me that we never know who may be watching us. Now don’t get my comment twisted.  

 We should not care about what other people think about us. What I am saying is that we should do our best to live our lives in such a way that it can serve as a role model for those without someone in their corner. 

As we start this brand spanking New Year, I want you to ask yourself, “Are you creating a life worth imitating?”  Your honest response to the next 5 questions will help you to see what type of life you are truly producing through your actions.

Where is my focus?

This question sounds easy enough to answer, but living it out can be an entirely different matter; especially, if you say that you believe in putting Christ first. If you are constantly comparing yourself to other people as well as trying to please people, your focus is not on Christ.

Whenever I am feeling defeated and unsure about things and people, my mom would always ask me, “Tosha, where is your focus?”  Although I would readily say with Christ, through my self-examination I could see where I veered off course. I had replaced Christ with people and things around me. Hence, why I was feeling defeated and unsure.

As I have gotten older, my mom’s advice was right, “The only way you can win in this world is by focusing on Christ.” It took years of wavering back and forth and then essentially having my life fall apart before I really, really took her advice seriously.  At that point, I had nothing to lose, so I decided to listen to my mom and put Christ first.

 My mom’s comment and many more Bible studies, which we still have to this day, is why I’m on fire with crushing my goals. It’s all because I shifted my focus to the Source (Christ) and stopped looking at my resources.

Am I looking for a blessing or am I being a blessing?

I know this may seem like a trick question, which is why you may immediately say, “I’m doing both.” Through an honest self-examination, can you really say you are doing both?

What many of us fail to realize is that when God gives you a blessing, He expects us to share it with others. I’m confident that one of the reasons that I have been so successful is because I have no problem sharing the wealth (blessings).  I look back at all the dark, poor times in my life which taught me how to share with others.  I can understand people better because I have been there and done that.

I’m slowly but surely turning into my mom. She has truly been a blessing to me and now I am paying it forward by helping others that I come in contact with. Regardless of how hard things got, I have and always will take time to help other people. Seeing others achieve their goals genuinely makes me happy. If I can play a small role in providing the assistance needed to make that happen that’s just like icing on a cake for me. 

Following God’s rule of sharing wealth is why I’m not only successful, but I am also able to enjoy my wealth. As you know many people have wealth, but they are miserable. Mainly because they did not get their riches and/or possessions the correct way and/or they are selfish like the rich man who only cared about himself (Luke 16:19-31).

 In such a case you can possess wealth, but you won’t enjoy it. A curse comes with such wealth whereby the owner is miserable.  Sadly, poor people that are happier than those with wealth. We’re to be a conduit. God gave us gifts and talents so they can overflow into someone else’s life. This is why I am always looking for opportunities to help people. Success does not have a quota. I’m a firm believer that if you put God first, we can ALL win.

Are you consistent? 

1 Thes. 5:19

Success doesn’t come overnight. It comes from building habits and routines that will position you mentally as well as physically with whatever tools your need to soar over any obstacles that come your way.  This is what happened to Joshua.  No one was able to stand up against him (Joshua 1:5-9). By always putting God first, Joshua became strong and courageous. Joshua’s blessings helped him to lead his people to their inheritance.

Joshua stayed consistent in life because he kept his focus on God and not people. As a result, he was a blessing for many. In order to be consistent we need to decide what type of life we want to live and work toward that outcome.  This is why I  literally end each episode of this podcast by saying, “ Remember, if you’re everything to everyone, then you risk being no one, you never know who you will inspire.”

I created this phrase many years ago as a reminder to myself that my opinions and decisions may cause me to make enemies. However, if I know I’m trying to please God and I feel like I’m doing the right thing, I could honestly care less about what others may think. If your words and actions are constantly being tossed around like waves in the sea, you’ll never make it to shore.

We must have a benchmark in life. You will never be able to see how much you have grown if you don’t have a benchmark. I’m very big on keeping journals and checklists in order to help me keep track of my progress. It’s little habits like this that keep us consist and stay the course  we have carved out for ourselves (1 Thes 5:19).

 Do you have peace?

In a world filled with chaos, peace is a precious gem that you must fight to obtain. Without the attributes of Christ, life is not worth living. This is why I make sure I start my day by reading God’s Word, prayer, and exercise. This routine is how I stay sane and prepare myself to face the challenges that lie before me.

As someone who spent a great deal of their life worrying, I have learned the hard way that worrying destroys our peace and other attributes of Christ. (Matt 6:27). Worrying about a situation doesn’t change anything. Worrying is a futile action that doesn’t produce any fruit. This is why the word of God constantly warns us against worrying.  As a result, I have learned this technique.

I literally make a list of pros and cons, I make my decision, pray about the matter and then I throw that list away. The list literally landing in the trash can represents me literally turning the situation over to God. I then do my best to not worry about it anymore because it’s in God’s hands.

Are you humble?

I am grateful when I receive compliments but I’m the absolute worst at taking them. I genuinely feel uncomfortable accepting compliments. Mainly because I know it’s all God, not me. If you knew the hoops I had to go through in order to get to where I am today, you would definitely know and agree that my success is due to me putting Christ first in my life.  

 Once I made the decision to let Christ use me to further His will, my life really did a complete 360. Now I’m not one of those crazy people yelling, “Praise Jesus,” every 5 minutes so that I can make a spectacle of myself (Luke 20:46). I believe in keeping my thoughts in their proper place; meaning, it’s all Christ. With this in mind, I’m a quiet, yet confident person.

 I’ve been told that my demeanor is a mystery. Being quiet people think they can take advantage of me.  When someone attempts to come at me crazy, they quickly realize that being humble doesn’t mean you are a coward.

Now keep in mind that you won’t always receive accolades in life; however, when I do, I always silently say, “ Thank you God,” knowing that my blessings come from Him and not the person who handed them to me.

If you keep all of the aforementioned in mind, your life will serve as a testimony to others. Your life is an advertisement so you need to ensure that you’re doing everything in your power to represent God’s brand in a light that would compel others to wear Him as well.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. If you enjoy listening to Hustle in Faith and would like to support the show, please consider sharing it with your friends, leaving a review, donating, or making a purchase at  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!

Episode 130: How to be a butterfly

Wow! This is the last episode of the year. Thanks again for taking time out of your schedule to listen to the Hustle and Faith podcast. If you haven’t done so already, please be sure to rate and leave a review about this podcast in order to help others to discover it as well. Your support is very much appreciated! 

I just want to take a moment and reflect on 2020.  I know this year was a curveball for all of us.  No one expected life to change to this degree. I know for so many of us, 2020 has been a difficult year.   

My hope is that the Hustle in Faith podcast was in some way shape or form of help and encouragement to those who needed someone in their corner. I created this podcast because I know how helpful and encouraging it is to have a cheerleader in your corner.  Having someone to speak words of life and wisdom can make a huge difference during those dark, lonely periods in our life.  

With this in mind,  I created this podcast in order to share my life experiences as well as my victories for those who need to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am fully aware that not everyone has a built-in cheerleader like I do.  When my life was dark and cloudy, my cheerleader is my mom. She has always been there to strengthen and guide me to the light (Christ).  Christ has all the answers and solutions to our problems.

As we come to the close of 2020, a year that no one will ever forget, my hope is that you properly use this pandemic for self-care as well as self-improvement. I encourage you NOT to focus on the negativity but use this time to shape and redefine your heart, soul, and mind. In other words,  use this time to align your character to the image of Christ. This pandemic can be a point and time whereby you can build up your relationship with Christ.  

Our time spent in seclusion can be a transformation that is as radical as a caterpillar. Consider how a caterpillar starts out in life. It is a pitiful, slimy, little bug that crawls on the ground. With God’s help, it morphs into a beautiful graceful butterfly. This same radical transformation can apply to us if we properly use our time in seclusion. In other words, we too can emerge from our cocoon (aka this pandemic) with the ability to fly above all the obstacles that once psychologically and emotionally trapped us. 

If we focus on improving our relationship with Christ, we would be just like the butterfly that no longer allows life’s obstacles to keep them down. Just like the butterfly is free to fly high above all the obstacles that once distracted and hindered them as a bug, aligning our life to Christ can produce a similar metamorphosis in us. In fact, this radical and miraculous transformation was God’s original purpose for allowing the Israelites to spend time in seclusion (in their case it was the wilderness). 

God’s goal was for the Israelites to morph into holy beings so they could live above Satan’s psychological and emotional bondage (Ex 19:5-6; Lev 11:44; 20:24; 1Pet 1:15-16; 1Thes 4:7). If the Israelites viewed and accepted isolation the way God intended, their stay in the desert (away from heathen nations and worldly distractions) could have been the perfect place for them to spiritually grow and emerge as holy beings with a close relationship with God.

My hope is that you properly use your time in seclusion by building up your relationship with Christ.  This way you can emerge from this pandemic a stronger and wiser person ready to achieve every goal you have in your heart so you’re in a position to be a blessing to others.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. If you enjoy listening to Hustle in Faith and would like to support the show, please consider sharing it with your friends, leaving a review, donating, or making a purchase at  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.


Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!

Episode 129: How will you be in the driver’s seat of taking control of your health?

We are so close to calling it a wrap on 2020. This has been a challenging year for so many of us. Many of us have had our lives turned upside down by the Coronavirus. Yet, the devastation that this virus is wreaking havoc on seems to vary depending on what country you live in.

I have a unique perspective in being able to see firsthand the differences because I teach English online to adults overseas. So I’m able to hear firsthand the accounts of what they tell me. It’s been an eye-opening experience. The country that really impressed me the most was Germany. I did an episode not too long ago, Episode 122: How has Germany handled the Coronavirus? where we were discussing some of the differences in how this crisis was being handled.

So, I’m back again today to not only discuss the differences but to provide people with more information about how Germany’s healthcare system is set up and suggestions that we can use to stay healthy. I am NOT a doctor so please take the advice that we provide as a reference and always do your own research.

The advice that we are sharing are things that have worked for us so we’re just paying it forward on the off chance that it may help you as well. Without further adieu, let’s get started!

Additional episodes/articles referenced in this episode:

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. If you enjoy listening to Hustle in Faith and would like to support the show, please consider sharing it with your friends, leaving a review, donating, or making a purchase at  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!

Ep. 128: How to be thankful during a pandemic

Now I know, some people may think I’m nuts for saying that statement “How to be thankful during a pandemic.”  The reason why I can say that we can be thankful during a pandemic is because I learned that although we cannot control our circumstances, we can control our reactions to them.

As someone who has definitely had her fair share of ups and downs in life, I know for a fact that my focus on God and His blessings/promises were the only way I made it through life’s storms. Since this state of mind helps me, I encourage you to do the same. Keep your focus on Christ’s promises.

Now, let’s be clear, I’m not one of those so-called “life coaches” that just says stuff that sounds good because they heard someone else say it. I’m literally giving you advice based on my own experiences.

Despite all of the chaos that is currently happening in the world, racism, the Coronavirus, the economy, I want you to choose to focus on Christ and His promises. This is how I make it through this crazy thing called life.  I can honestly say, I have a very happy and successful life. MY LIFE IS GOOD!

One of my absolute favorite songs is Here Today by Aloe Blacc. I kid you not, it’s like he wrote that song based on my life! I know what it is to lose a loved one, job, savings, the list goes on…  

Yet, I am also fortunate to experience what it is like to be Back In The High Life Again which is another favorite song of mine by Steve Winwood (check out the songs/lyrics on my site). 

Anyway, those tough times put me in a position whereby I’m able to truly enjoy my life. Like Aloe Blacc’s song says, “ We ain’t promised tomorrow, so I’m gon live for today.” Realizing that life isn’t promised to you enables you to truly place emphasis on the people and things that do matter. 

Trying to enjoy Thanksgiving during a pandemic is not easy. Nonetheless, I want to challenge you to think of at least three things that you have to be grateful for in your life. With me, I am thankful for developing my confidence, God giving me a life whereby I have plenty of free time for hobbies, and last but not least, technology.

Confidence

The reason I am so happy with me developing my confidence is because when I was growing up, I was afraid to speak up for myself.  I was fearful. I wanted everyone to like me, so I would go out of my way to avoid confrontation. I tried to keep the peace at all cost; even at the point of allowing my reluctance to defend myself to eat away at my self-esteem. 

As I got older and entered the corporate world, I realized real quick that not everyone who smiled in my face had my best interest in mind. I’m a very creative person, so I’m always coming up with ideas. Out of jealousy, there have been instances throughout my career where I’ve actually had managers ask me to dumb down my ideas or not share so many of them.

After constantly being confronted with these types of people, I turned my reluctance to defend myself into pure anger and courage.  My mom helped me to see that nothing is worth losing your self-respect and pride. She taught me that I must be happy living with myself; not the people who want to destroy my confidence and possibly me myself. I am sorry to say that I was sort of slow in applying her knowledge and wisdom.  Anyway, I learned the hard way that she was right. These people are literally in your life for a short period of time, so why allow them to ruin your life?

I now can truly say that I have learned how to maintain my confidence by saying, “No.”  The word ‘no’ has increasingly become my favorite word.  There used to be a time I was afraid to say the word, “No.” Now, I’ll say no to anyone–LOL  i=If I don’t want to do something, or if I don’t feel comfortable doing something, I will say no without any hesitation. Titles mean absolutely nothing to me. You can be my boss or the President of the United States and I can confidently say the word NO to you.

Now do not get me worry, I believe in helping people by going that extra mile. My pet peeve is that most people want to treat nice people, like me, as a doormat. They want to take and use up all your resources and then toss you aside like a dirty rag. I have even had people who would not even say thank you after I helped them. I do not let this bother me because there were many people that Christ helped and only one or two were grateful enough and said thank you.

I am thankful that I finally learned that not everyone is like me. I am always grateful for whatever help I receive and express this fact.  My point is, I am so happy that I finally developed my confidence. I do not spend my time with people or doing activities that will waste my time. 

Time is the only resource on earth that you can’t get back. Therefore, I’m fiercely protective of my time. If you’re asking me to do things that don’t align with my goals or hang out with people that do not add value to my life, expect me to say, “No.” Which brings me to my next topic that I am thankful for “free time for hobbies”.

 Free time for hobbies 

I’ve got a lot of energy. So Netflix and chill is not how I have been spending the majority of this pandemic. I think I may be the last person in America that still hasn’t finished the Last Dance documentary and I’m from Chicago!

I’ve never been someone who watches a lot of TV.  I truly enjoy learning and doing different activities. I recently took an Adobe Illustrator bootcamp class because I have a desire to further develop my design skills. This is something that is not only going to help me with creating even more innovative presentations/ infographics at work but also create more detailed t-shirt designs for StarenguCrew.

I am thankful because I work from home and so I don’t have to worry about commuting. This has given me even more time to explore other interests and develop other skills. I don’t have to wait until the weekend to do these things. Here are some of the hobbies I plan on looking into even more are:

  • Further developing my photography/videography skills 
  • Learning more about nutrition and natural medicine
  • Perfect my ability to create earrings
  • Create my own soap 

This is just a tiny fraction of the activities that I would like to accomplish while we’re going through this pandemic. Again, you have two choices: You can either complain about being bored or you can channel that time and energy into an adventure of a lifetime.

I know the pandemic can be a difficult time for everyone. Unfortunately, it can be more difficult for some than others. Nonetheless, if you start focusing on what you have instead of what you lack, you’ll quickly realize that you are much more resilient and resourceful than you thought. I encourage you to utilize this pandemic time to learn and/or build up your God given skills. This brings me to my last but not least thing that I am grateful for and it is living during this era of technology.

 Technology

I am so happy that the pandemic hit when we are experiencing a boom in technology. Many of my activities that I enjoy would not be possible without technology. Since I properly channel my time and energy, I do not feel any of  the loneliness that I hear and/or have read that most people are experiencing.

Thanks to technology there is so much to do and explore. I encourage you, instead of sitting back feeling sorry for yourself, get busy enjoying all the possibilities technology has to offer. That’s exactly what I did and why I’m so incredibly grateful and fortunate that I am able to work from home.  Working at home gives me even more time to explore my adventures. It is absolutely astonishing when I read about people complaining about working from home. This will never make sense to me and I go into all the reasons why in Episode 119.

Again, I feel so fortunate and blessed to be in a position to work from home and it’s all thanks to technology.  Technology has allowed me the opportunity to connect with people in ways that I never I never in a million years would have imagined. One of my students, who by the way is now one of my friends, was looking for an English tutor for her son. One of my audience members who listens to this podcast and also happens to be a fellow podcaster one time shared with me that he has experience in teaching kids English.

One day my student explained how she desperately wanted a English teacher for her son. Since I have always been taught to not just look for blessings, but to actively look for opportunities to be a blessing to someone else, I was able to connect my fellow podcaster and my English student together and everything worked out perfectly for them.  It is situations like these why I am so thankful for technology.

I’ll never forget my student was taking a class with me while my fellow podcaster was teaching my friend’s son.  It was so funny, during a teaching session, my friend shared her laptop so me and her son’s new tutor (the fellow podcaster I referred her to) could all say hi. It still blows my mind that all four of us were literally in 3 different locations; yet, able to communicate as if we were in the same room.  That moment could not have been accomplished without technology. 

I’m big on education, so when I’m not working or teaching English, I thoroughly enjoy taking classes that will expand my mind. I’ve been teaching English online since 2013 and taking Spanish classes online for almost 2 or 3 years. Next year, my goal is to take courses in product management and UX design. I foresee the concepts in both of those fields playing a major role in my career in the future. 

I know there are pros and cons to remote learning, but as an adult, I LOVE it! I love being able to take part in a live session and then have the ability to review the class in case there are parts that weren’t as clear to me. In my opinion, the success of remote learning is contingent on how engaging the instructor makes the material. Speaking from firsthand experience, I go out of my way to make sure that I’m using materials that convey the concepts I want to share  without boring you to death.

When you’re able to take classes that expand your mind, it only makes sense to align your mind with your body. Taking virtual exercise classes has been a tremendous mood booster for me. I make sure that I’m able to support my favorite dance/boxing instructors by attending as many live classes as possible. I normally teach dance classes and was in the process of pursuing my AFAA certification so I could *officially* teach kickboxing/boxing  (my AFAA certification is on pause thanks to the Coronavirus).

During the first couple weeks of this pandemic, I was super concerned with how I was going to be able to function without a gym. However, I slowly but surely managed to turn my living room into a functioning home gym. My goal is to look as fit as possible once we’re past this pandemic. The virtual classes I have been fortunate to take are all on YouTube and/or accessible via Amazon Prime or Netflix. Virtual exercise classes are not only helping me to achieve that goal but also puts me in a position to have enough energy to work on my hobbies.

When you change your perspective, you’ll be amazed how fast time goes by and how much you have to be thankful for even during a pandemic.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s episode. If you enjoy listening to Hustle in Faith and would like to support the show, please consider sharing it with your friends, leaving a review, donating, or making a purchase at  StarenguCrew, our new fitness apparel shop.

Be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Pinterest. Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who will inspire you in the next episode!

Here Today by Aloe Blacc

[Verse 1]

I’m a long lost wandering soul tryna find where I belong

And I’m lookin’ for a place where it feels alright to be wrong

Just a loud-mouth, hard-headed, fool-hearted stubborn old son of a gun

Chip off the old block with a chip on my shoulder that weighs a ton

All I know for sure is that nothin’ is forever

And all that matters is how we get along together

Life gets harder every day that I get older

Hope I figure out why I’m here before it’s over

[Chorus 1]

‘Cause we’re here today and gone tomorrow

We’re here today and gone tomorrow

Lead the way, never follow

Here today, gone tomorrow

[Verse 2]

I been stuck at home alone on nights when no one calls

And I’ve had nights where I can take my pick or have them all

And I had those days where I search my pockets for a nickel and a dime

And I’ve had those days where tryna make money was a waste of my time

I’ve had shiny brand new leather patent loafers

And I’ve had torn up bruised old teddies handed over

All I know for sure is that nothin’ is forever

And all that matters is how we get along together

[Chorus 2]

‘Cause we’re here today and gone tomorrow

We’re here today and gone tomorrow

Through the joy and the sorrow

We’re here today and gone tomorrow

[Verse 3]

We ain’t promised tomorrow

So I’m gon’ live for today

Been from 5 star hotels to cockroach motels

And rode day-whole drive retails to thrift store re-sales

I’ve had chauffeured town cars to an old broken down car

It ain’t what happens to you it’s what you do about it

[Chorus 1]

‘Cause we’re here today and gone tomorrow

We’re here today and gone tomorrow

Lead the way, never follow

Here today, gone tomorrow

Here today (hey)

Here today (hey)

Here today (hey)

Here today (hey)

Back in the High Life Again by Steve Winwood 

It used to seem to me

That my life ran on too fast

And I had to take it slowly

Just to make the good parts lastBut when you’re born to run

It’s so hard to just slow down

So don’t be surprised to see me

Back in the bright part of townI’ll be back in the high life again

All the doors I closed one time

Will open up againI’ll be back in the high life again

All the eyes that watched me once

Will smile and take me in

And I’ll drink and dance

With one hand free

Let the world back into me

And, oh, I’ll be a sight to see

Back in the high life againYou used to be the best

To make life be life to me

And I hope that you’re still out there

And you’re like you used to beWe’ll have ourselves a time

And we’ll dance ’till the morning sun

And we’ll let the good times come in

And we won’t stop ’till we’re doneWe’ll be back in the high life again

All the doors I closed one time

Will open up again

We’ll be back in the high life again

All the eyes that watched us once

Will smile and take us inAnd we’ll drink and dance

With one hand free

And have the world so easily

And, oh, we’ll be a sight to see

Back in the high life againHigh life

High life

In the high life againWe’ll be back in the high life again

All the doors I closed one time

Will open up again

We’ll be back in the high life again

All the eyes that watched us once

Will smile and take us in

And we’ll drink and dance

With one hand free

And have the world so easily

And, oh, we’ll be a sight to see

Back in the high life again

High life

(Back in the high life)

Oh, we’ll be back