March 2011


In case you were wondering and didn’t know, my star sign is Capricorn. It is mostly referenced to the goat-like mentality. Many see the goat as stubborn and the animal at the petting zoo that will have NO problem with chewing on your clothes if you got close enough to it. Though, I don’t chew on clothes, the stubborn mentality may not always be a bad thing. You can reframe that stubbornness as ambition, the refusal to give up and quit despite the odds stacked against the person. My motto is to “keep moving forward despite it all.” This brings me to the reason for this blog.

When I was younger, there was a gospel song that I always heard on the radio while riding to school with my mother or father. The song was “Shake it off” (I’m not sure of the artist, but if you know it please let me know) and it told of a prized goat that fell into an old dug well. The farmer realized that his goat was in the well and tried to rescue it with a rope with no success. He decided to give up and to give his goat a decent burial by shoveling in dirt on top of the goat. He didn’t realize that though he gave up, the stubborn goat never gave up it’s ambition to be free and to live. The farmer would shovel dirt in the well, but when he would check in after a few shovels, the goat was still alive. He then realized that the goat would simply shake off the dirt, and pack the dirt under his feet. The farmer kept shoveling, and the goat kept shaking it off and packing dirt under his feet. As he did that, he kept rising higher on the mound of dirt until he was able to jump and scamper out.

The moral of this story is that no matter how much dirt you have that has been shoveled upon you by friends, family, business relationships, bosses, or yourself, you have to be like the goat and shake it off, stamp it under your feet, and rise above it all. So many times we choose to carry the dirt that has been shoveled upon us: “you’ll never meet your goals; you’ll never lose weight; you will always be single and alone; you will never find a satisfactory job; you are worthless.” Even those that try to misuse you and take advantage of your kindness can be seen as dirt shoveled on you. Anything that is negative in my eyes is dirt. Yet, it is useful dirt because as with the goat, we can use the dirt to build mounds in the dark wells we’ve dug ourselves into and climb out.

Today is your day to make the decision that you will no longer have a pity party in a dark hole and mourn for your own funeral. You are not the farmer that tried one option and deemed that life is over because that one option didn’t work. You are more like the intelligent and creative goat. The goat may be seen to many as a stubborn animal, but as we see in this story, the goat is quite ambitious. There is a method to it’s stubbornness, and that is to succeed by any means necessary. What is your means to succeed? One way is to realize that your life is not over when you fall in a hole and your first option didn’t work. Be stubborn like a goat and try a second, third.. 50th option. It doesn’t matter your star sign, just take on the goat-like characteristic of never giving up on yourself! Shake off the dirt that you say to yourself and others say to you that you can’t succeed. You can succeed. You can rise above it all. Shake it off and pack it under your feet!

If anyone really knows me, my number one fear is of mice/rodents. Dead or alive. If it’s in the vicinity and I know it, I’m gone like a flash of lightning. I’m also slightly afraid of roaches as well. Yes, those things that creep in the night do indeed scare me, and a lot of times we try to hid those fears because it makes us seem weak. But as Jazmine Sullivan says in her song “Fear”: We all afraid of something here cuz you aint human without fear.”

The fact of the matter is, as one of my friends Joslyn Anthony used to preach in her sermons is “Everybody have roaches.” Everybody have roaches and rodents that creep in the night, some have a lot of them, some have just a few or maybe one big one that wakes them up every night. We are so afraid sometimes to admit that they are there, and try to hid them from visitors and friends. But if those visitors and friends spent the night, and stayed around, they may see one of the roaches crawling up our wall. They will truly see that yes indeed, you have issues and things to be feared in your home! How uncomfortable for a visitor to see rodents or roaches in your home. It truly makes you appear vulnerable, which is something most of us really can’t stand.

There are even times when we think that we are free from those things that creep in the night, until one night we feel something tickling our legs, and there it is!!!! A large roach (or water bug as we call them in the South). Yuck!!!! And don’t let it be one of those flying ones. OMG!! I can’t take it!! So now we are aware of the issue/fear that is in our home…Hmmm…what to do?

I remember that once my father cut down a bunch of woods around our house and because of that the rodents had no place to go but our house!!! So, I would sit up at night, with the lights on if I heard any little scratch, and would be petrified. I decided I would run to my parents room if I saw my fears scamper across my floor. I was afraid my fears would crawl in bed with me and bite me. I was afraid of my fears touching me. I was afraid of how my fears may carry other infections and lead to more hurt. I was afraid of something that would scamper from me if it saw me (unless it’s was a NYC rat, then that’s something else ENTIRELY different!).

So, those things that creep in the night, those fears and issues, are they really necessary? I mean, are they really justifiable and founded on facts. Yes, mice carry diseases, but as my father would say to me when I was afraid “Girl, those little things are just as scared of you as you are of them.” My father had the wisdom to lay down traps for the things I feared to eradicate them. Why don’t we do the same? Why don’t we exterminate those fears and issues that may keep you awake at night or from achieving your dreams?

I remember I was too afraid to get out of bed to go to the restroom because I felt one of my fears would run across my feet. But, I realized that my urge to go to the restroom was much stronger than my fear running across my feet, so I would shoot out of my bed to the restroom! I made my goal and did not see any of my fears around in the restroom with me!! Sometimes, in order to eradicate and exterminate our fears, we must indeed jump feet first into the fears to disprove that they are real.

In psychology, we call this flooding. You’ve heard of those with phobias and how they would require in vivo/exposure therapy to prove to them that their issues and fears are just concepts in the mind that hold no true validity. For others it may be more helpful to step slowly in, maybe by doing the imagery of being around the feared thing and then actually experiencing it. I know for myself, I just had to jump out, but imagine me visualizing: “Ok, there might not be a mouse under my bed and the mouse may not run across my feet. I can see myself walking across the floor and no mice running across the floor. If there is, it will only give me more speed to get to the restroom!”

In conclusion, when you find in your life things you fear that you will fail at, such as being healthier or even starting that career you dreamed of, eradicate that fear by:

1. Recognizing that you may have fears and most of them are typically unjustifiable and unrealistic. Yours
might be included.
2. Realizing that you have the power within yourself to make a move away from those fears.
3. Ignite that power by visualizing your dream being a reality. Then put your dreams on paper.
4. Take action of your dreams by either jumping in feet first, or making small steps, i.e. to live a healthier life,
you will stop drinking soda for a week or stop eating potato chips. Small steps towards your dreams is
better than staying in one spot petrified.

As you progress in this, you will realize that things that creep in the night are not necessary to be feared, that you can easily flip the switch, expose them, and sweep them out the door. Maybe I should just get a pet rat to get over my fears, huh? Maybe not!!!

Remember, EVERYBODY has roaches… just some of us decide to exterminate instead of living with them. Make a choice today on which you will do.

~ FitBody FitLife

Disclaimer: I do not encourage the killing or murdering of rodents and roaches. Just that they are not found in my house or around me. I agree with them roaming a field or countryside. Not my bedroom or kitchen.