Are you a cheetah or a snail?

Little by little, city by city, state by state, the world is slowly opening again. We are venturing out a little more each day. Many are heading back to work and starting to create a daily routine that involves changing out of pajamas, putting on a bra, and doing something productive with “that hair.” I must admit this extroverted social butterfly has been struggling during these past few months and as a driven and tenacious woman, I am like a pounced cheetah ready to attack in my business. However, when it comes to my personal life, I tend to be a bit more protective, calmer, at peace. It is during my quiet, home time that I feel I am more liken to a snail.
Even though I utilized my quarantine time productively and seized every moment in my days, only venturing out one day a week and for just a few hours, I stayed protected, guarded, and distant, although foreign concepts for me. I felt comforted and safe. So, as I begin this new birth to the outside world on a regular and routine basis, I ask myself both personally and professionally, am I a cheetah or a snail? And which do I prefer?
The undeniable answer is both and to me, both are acceptable. To be a cheetah, fast, determined, ready to conquer…how exhilarating! Yet, consider the snail, taking small strides to enjoy the view along the way, leaving a trail for others to follow.
These past months or so have been many things to each of us, confusing, exhausting, tumultuous, and extensive to say the least. But during this time, I have found some inner workings about myself and my business that I might not have recognized or been receptive to previously. This time has allowed for the clearing of the mind, creative intervention, and made way for all types of emotions, ideas, concepts, and failures, to enter the gateway to my soul and business mindset. What a time for rebirth! It was during this time that I was brave enough to allow myself to suck at something every day, taking on new challenges, working toward fresh dreams, visions, and purposes, learning previously foreign formats and concepts. It is no wonder I feel as a pounced cheetah ready to attack my business. But I do not want to lose sight of the scenery along the way. I wish to enjoy the journey, to not follow a path but create my own. So, I believe it is acceptable to be both a cheetah and a snail.
See, in our newfound discoveries during our lock down, we have planted seeds, made connections in ways we have never done previously. We reached out to more people in different, and creative ways, learned new skills, programs, languages, and instruction. We nourished relationships and appreciated the distance in ways we once took for granted.
And now, now that we are getting back in our groove and creating our new routines, we must not squelch these incredible revelations and relationships we have opened. We must be as a snail and take things slowly, remaining in our protective shell yet allowing ourselves to venture out being still focused as a cheetah, driven, determined to attack the vision that awaits on the horizon.
We must take each day as a new day and find a reason to change out of our pajamas, put on a bra and for God’s sake do something productive with “that hair.” Yet, we must remain filled with gratitude, love, determination, and purpose. We need to embrace our outings, families, and friends often. We should continue to remain considerate, responsible, and safe, to spread kindness and remember to pick up the phone and call rather than hold a grudge.
I encourage each of us in our new lifestyles, personal and professional discoveries, and redesigns that as we remodel our new routine and venture out more often than before, may we not allow a moment to pass without appreciating the face to face meetings and encounters. May we recognize a frown as much as a smile and make every effort to offer a smile in return. May we, more often than not, begin a lifestyle of paying it forward in deed and actions and pay it backward to the car behind us at the drive-through window. May we utilize more of our time in watching sunsets and less in watching television. May we swallow our pride and ask for help when needed and embrace those who may silently cry out.
May we truly grasp the value of a handshake, the gift of a hug, the gratitude of a smile. May we continue to extend gratefulness to our nurses, medical and emergency professionals, and not lose sight of our newfound respect for our retail personnel, and commercial truckers. May we schedule time regularly to reach out to our family, remembering the blessing they are and not take for granted their presence in our lives. May we continue to recognize our neighbors, teachers, service workers throughout our communities. May the voices of churches sing outside of their four walls and shine in actions and deeds. May we not take for granted that a sink full of dirty dishes is evidence of a well-dressed table. And most importantly, may we not forget, like childbirth, the pain and anguish we have endured to reap this beautiful new life we in which we are embarking. May we accept the lessons and challenges of the situation and create our own new normal and pray without ceasing, love without judgment, and truly recognize the daily abundance of blessings that we may so easily have overlooked.
May the connections we have made be sincere and forthright. May we support each other in creative and genuine ways. May our businesses grow richly because we are building genuine, authentic open relationships that provide trust as the source for the need.
Girl, it’s time to focus on the sparkle. As you begin to open yourself up to the world again and discover if you are a cheetah or a snail, remember you can be either or both for both are determined and tenacious to approach their destination.
Michelle Bryant is an entrepreneur, nationally acclaimed award-winning artist, inspirational speaker, self-published author of seven books available at most online retailers, a multi-award winning, published photographer whose work is nationally used for worldwide marketing campaigns and featured on various items including but not limited to apparel. She shines her light and speaks from her heart in an encouraging and transparent manner and offers a message of hope, healing, and victory to any who encounters her or her works. You can check out her multitude of works at: www.divinelyfocused.com.

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