It is wonderful to see the beautiful art form that is present in this image.

Each bubble, although identical in shape, has its own uniqueness. They come in different colors and sizes; and the camera captures the mystery in every last one of them.

Does looking at this image make you wonder? Does it take you to a visualizing moment about the details of the bubbles in the picture? I wonder.

May is Mental Health Month. The observance of this important topic is simply phenomenal.

On Mother’s Day, my daughter and I went out to blow bubbles. I remember doing this activity in one of my social groups, “Black Women on a Mission”, as an icebreaker. The initial plan for this activity was for one person to blow bubbles and other people would try to catch them. The purpose of this activity was to bring a level of comfort and laughter to the group. And, it worked. To see the smile on women’s faces, made it all worth while.

This activity happened years ago but as a step to celebrate my own mental health, I decided to do it again on Mother’s Day. I wanted to simply enjoy the experience of blowing bubbles, catching them, and blowing them again. It was euphoric. The exciting thing about this experience is that my daughter decided to join me, saying in her own words, “I am not too grown to blow bubbles.” The epiphany of this statement was that blowing these bubbles enabled me to see how much we both have grown. There was emotional, psychological, and social growth in this shared experience.

Smiles all around. It was a wholesome experience as we called it. Blowing the bubbles left us with smiles on our faces and also left us pressing the repeat button, sharing how a simple, inexpensive activity can leave us with an everlasting smile on our faces because we did it. Our ability to smile did not happen because everything was going well in life. We were able to smile even though we were faced with making tough choices in life. Honestly, after participating in this activity, I was ready to make those tough choices to address the areas that needed improvement in my life.

Thinking about the areas of improvement in our lives is an important step to take for our own mental health. It is important to have the ability to identify our feelings and to state our emotional needs. Stress can have a significant impact on our emotions. This can be stress from extenuating circumstances, unforeseen circumstances, or long-term problems and health issues. Positive stress can also impact our emotions as well causing us to have anxiety, fear, etc. An example from positive stress is the birth of a new baby or moving into a new city.

I found that creating goals that address the areas of improvements or as I See You Growing Life Coaching likes to call them, “AOIs” is crucial. Every area in life is attached to our emotions (whether it is something as simple as blowing a bubble or giving birth to a new baby) and feeling strong enough to bounce back from tough situations as well as being willing to feel humble enough to enjoy the less challenging ones are often enough my expected outcomes. It is the search for a healthy and wholesome balance in life.

Contentment. The wholesomeness of the “To Catch a Bubble” experience also included a contented mindset. There were no damaging beliefs in my mind as I completed this activity. My expectations were as natural as the uniqueness of every bubble that was blown and caught. I was free to safely explore my surroundings. I was free to imagine and wonder because there were no right or wrong attempts. I was free to observe the naturalness of my surroundings and to become aware of my actions and my responses to the experience of the activity. The thoughts that I allowed in my mind were positive and anything that would prevent me from having this experience was handled. And to get this goal accomplished, I was able to team up with my daughter; but I was willing to do it alone for my own mental health. And, I would have been just as content.

The things that we allow in our minds matter. I often like to play Sudoku. I used to solve the puzzles in ink because I was confident playing the game on a basic level. When I got to the next level, it was a little challenging but I could still use my pen. As I continued to advance a level, I could no longer use the ink pen because I was putting the wrong numbers in any given block, row, or column. I needed to change the tool that I was using to solve the problem. My new strategy was to use a pencil because I knew if I used a pencil, I could go back to erase anything that I put in there and to try again. Wouldn’t it be nice if we had an eraser for the things that were in the wrong places in our minds so that we could try again, create clean slates, and gain new experiences?

I would have never known how far I could go with the Sudoku game if I was settled with a basic level of skill. Being settled with a basic level of skills and abilities can lead to a damaging mind set. It prevents us from thinking beyond our current situations. It creates damaging beliefs and robs us of the opportunity for resiliency. This way of thinking can often put us in panic and force us to be arrested by our own thoughts and emotions. I imagine challenging damaging beliefs and having the willingness to change our mindsets can provide opportunities for imagination, strategy, and new levels of problem solving.

Community of well-being. As I blew bubbles that day, I saw how freely they moved. They went in every direction before they popped. It is amazing because their rise was carried by the wind. As the bubbles were floating in the air, my neighbor walked by and popped one that came his way. You could see the smile on his face when doing this. This Mother’s Day activity had become one of a small communal experience. I hope that my neighbor enjoyed himself enough to share this experience with his Mother, daughter, sister, friends, etc.

The idea of “To Catch a Bubble” did not stop right there, it was shared in text messages and social media platforms. Mental health is important. Other people in my circle stated their own commitments to blowing and catching bubbles. Maybe the commitments were made because they are ready to imagine, to wonder, and to have a simple and enjoyable experience. Maybe they are searching to improve their emotional, psychological, and social well-being. The effect of having these types of personal and social experiences is like blowing bubbles, catching a bubble, and blowing back into the same bubble to form more bubbles. It is the continuation of a positive experience that is critical to reach expected outcomes.

This also made me think of every emotion, thought, willingness, and connection that are present when goals are created. When my coaching clients create goals, I often ask them, “Who do you need to team up with to get your goal accomplished?” The connections that we have to work on our AOIs are just as critical as the goal itself. I would want someone in my corner to share the experience with me. There should also be a person to aid me in my movement like the wind that carries the raised bubble. I would want someone in my corner who is willing to hold me accountable, to walk me through the process, and to celebrate with me my progress.

If working on your mental health is an “AOI” for you, ask yourself these simple questions; “What goal do I want to work on for my mental health?”, “What is my expected outcome?”, “What are the barriers that stand before me that may prevent me from accomplishing my mental health goal?”, “What are my action steps?….are they S.M.A,R,T,?”, and “What commitments am I willing to make to get to this expected outcome?”



Type 2 diabetes changed my life. Over 30 million people in the U.S. have diabetes. This includes Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. These statistics include children, men, women, and elderly people; and each day the numbers continue to grow (ADA). 15 million women have been diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. This includes Type 1, Type 2, and gestational diabetes; and as you can see, I am one of these women. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2016. A person who is diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes has an A1c or HbA1c of 6.5 or greater. A1c measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months.

If that is not scary enough, I was prescribed medication called Metformin. I had to take this medicine twice a day. Also as a part of my treatment, I had a care team. My care team consisted of doctors, a diabetes educator, wound care specialist, and a nutritionist. My treatment also included monitoring my blood sugar levels each day. I learned a lot with this diagnosis. I learned how to count carbs, the importance of weight loss as an aid to control diabetes, and how the homeostatic effects of taking the medication such as dizziness could happen as a result of my body adjusting from high blood sugar levels to normal blood sugar levels.

If that wasn’t scary enough, in addition to being diagnosed with diabetes, I was also diagnosed with hypertension. Yes. All of this was happening to me at once. When I heard the physician say that I would have Type 2 diabetes for the rest of my life; and there was a possibility that I might have to take medicine for the rest of my life, I panicked. Eventually, I accepted that this was the new journey of my life; and the quality of my health was in question. What was I to do? I had to take control of my life and change my outcome. I created my health goal. I then realized the realities of my health situation (i.e. all of the things that could go wrong if I mismanaged my health care or interrupted the process of my healing). Steps that would allow me to achieve the healing goal to ensure that I would get closer to my expected outcome had to be taken. The outcome for my change and for my efforts is to improve the quality of my life by improving my health.

My healing. I knew that if I wanted better health, the process of healing had to happen without interruptions. The things that I did to restore my health seem simple to do but there can be challenges along the way. I kept reminding myself even through the denial, even through the depression, and even through the fatigue of diabetes care, that I was on a path to restoration. And, I was. At doctor check-ins, I received praise for my changes- I guess as extrinsic motivation. But, I had no thought of quitting. I was trying to reach my weight loss goal, my medication goal, my A1c goal, and the goal to protect my mind and my spirit. I took the initiative to educate myself on my own about managing my diabetes. I ate differently by sacrificing some foods that would spike up blood sugar levels and substituting them with healthier choices. I shopped for my foods differently by looking at how many carbs were included per serving size. I learned how others were managing their diabetes by including myself in diabetes communities. I started taking care of my physical self by moving more and learning how to pay attention to skin care as a diabetic. There were other revisions that accompanied my new lifestyle. I made a choice to work on changing my old habits and to be intentional in allowing my new habits to transform my life and restore my health.

My health. I am still working to improve my health. When I accomplish one healing goal, I create another. I will continue to create self improvement goals until my expected outcome for my health is reached. I have lost weight since my diagnosis. I am proud of my accomplishment but the journey is not over yet. I am grateful that my A1c is no longer in the range of prediabetic or diabetic status. Therefore, I am not currently on medications but this part of my journey isn’t over. I make sure to get regular check-ups and to get my A1c checked two-three times a year. I also encourage other people who have diabetes in their health journeys. We learn from each other.

For me, my journey to good health has been managing my diabetes and to improve my quality of life. I See You Growing Life Coaching conducted a “Healthy Girl” survey to learn about the health challenges that other women may be facing as well. The survey had four questions, some in which multiple responses could be given. They were asked to rate their overall health, to name their condition (s), and to select their steps to restore. Ten women responded. Because I See You Growing Life Coaching surveys do not ask for identifying information, we can not accurately share any details of the demographics of the participants.

How would you rate your overall health? 7 out of 10 of the participants responded that they had fair health. The remaining participants stated they had good health.

Conditions. There are 13 conditions listed in the survey (heart disease, breast cancer, ovarian and cervical cancer, gynecological issues, pregnancy issues, autoimmune diseases, depression and anxiety, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, other, and none of the above). 40% of these participants had none of these. 40% of the participants reported experiencing depression and anxiety. 30% of the participants reported having diabetes and hypertension. 10% of the participants reported having gynecological issues and arthritis. Finally, 10% of the participants responded as other.

Steps to Restore. In this section, the participants had to select the type of intervention or the absence of intervention that applied to them (take medicine, surgery, regular doctor visits, inability to pay to see a doctor, other, or none of the above). 10% of the participants reported that they could not afford to see a doctor. 60% of the participants. reported that they regularly see a doctor. 50% of the participants reported that they have had surgery in the past. 30% of the participants reported that they are currently taking medications. Also, no one needs surgery at this time. And everyone has been to the doctor within the past year.

Steps to Restore. In this section, participants had to select the steps that they were taking to improve their health ( exercising, regular doctor visits, taking medicine, and managing stress ). If any of the participants already had good health, this selection could be made. Any questions about nutrition and mental health were excluded from this survey as an oversight. But as we know, it is just as important. 5 out of 10 participants responded that they have started exercising more. 5 out of 10 participants responded they are having regular doctor visits. 3 out of 10 participants responded that they have started taking their medicine. 4 out of 10 of the participants responded that they are managing their stress. 2 out of 10 participants responded that they have good health.

The goal of the survey was to raise awareness. As we see from looking at the survey data, women are taking control of their health first by knowing what issues they are faced with-if any. They are able to look at their current reality about their own health journeys (i.e. access to health care, healthy choices, etc.). Finally, they are able to applaud their efforts and to continue to have healthy outcomes. I intend to.

Resources. The Office of Women’s Health is a good resource. It covers a multitude of health-related topics that are unique to all women.

If you have diabetes like me, the American Diabetes Association is a good resource for education and the latest issues associated with diabetes.

The American Heart Association is a good resource for hypertension and conditions of the heart.

The Center for Disease Control also has a multitude of resources for different health conditions and diseases.

GoodRX can help with medications and prescriptions

Using a budget to pay for medical care is important if you do not have health insurance. Find out the price of how much a doctor visit costs before you go. Alert the doctor office that you are a self-pay. Apply for medicaid through your state government program to see if you qualify.

As a part of my testimony, taking care of myself required strategy and sacrifice. This included planning for medical care, funding medical care, home care intervention, and a continuity of care. Diabetes came into my life but I decided not to allow it to control my life. And this choice changed my life for the rest of my life.


Statistics about Diabetes. ADA,

American Heart Association, AHA,

Women’s Health; CDC Women’s Health, www.

Directory of Local Health Department,


It is important for empowered women to rely on the tools in their toolboxes to encourage insightful change and to produce achievable outcomes. It has come to my attention that the word, “toolbox” is a term, object, or function that is most prevalent in a male-dominated society but as always, I have a story to tell. And yes, it literally talks about tools to be used to provide a better understanding of the figurative interpretation of the word, “toolbox”.

When I started this life coaching business, I decided that I needed an office. So, I bought a desk. The assembly of the desk was easy enough. I only had to follow the instructions on the instruction manual and use the parts and tools that were provided. The tool that was provided included a funny looking wrench (I think) and it also required a screwdriver. I couldn’t use any screwdriver, it had to be a Phillip’s screwdriver (has two blades in a shape of a cross). I knew that if I wanted to successfully assemble my office desk, it would be fruitless to try to use any other screwdriver on a screw that is designed for a a screwdriver that has two blades and that is in a shape of a cross. Most importantly, the tool (screwdriver) that I used didn’t care if it was handled by a man or woman ( I know. I just personified this inanimate object but you get the gist.) Being a man or woman did not stop the fact that my office desk was completely assembled. My toolbox is unique to me. And the tools that I use from the toolbox are unique to my determination in producing achievable outcomes.

This month’s survey was entitled, “ICU Growing Looks in the Toolbox. The purpose of the survey was to help us to identify the tools in our own toolboxes. This survey was sent to several people but only 3 responses were recorded. If you are interested in completing the survey, click on the link above. The survey consisted of six questions. First question: When you think of a toolbox, what comes to mind? Next question: Do you know the tools that are in your toolbox? Third question: Select from this list the tools that are currently in your toolbox. Next question: Which tools in your toolbox have been frequently used? Fifth question: Which tools in your toolbox have been underutilized? Last question: How has utilizing the tools in your toolbox shaped your life?

When you think of a toolbox, what comes to mind? Of the recorded responses, 2/3 of the participants answered a set of skills or competencies. 100% of the participants answered that the toolbox was something to organize and to carry tools.

Do you know the tools in your toolbox?

Of the recorded responses, 1/3 of the participants answered yes. 1/3 answered no. 1/3 answered maybe.

Select from this list the tools that are currently in your toolbox.

There were 14 skills for participants to choose from. Of course they could choose more than one skill. I think we have both innate skills and acquired skills. Participants also had the option to list a tool in which they possess that is indicated in the survey. The listed skills were intuition, social networking, creativity, humility, linguistic intelligence, emotional intelligence, empathy, accountability, perseverance, respect (including self respect), positive thinking, resiliency, technology savvy, business savvy, and conflict resolution. One of the skills listed for the “Other” category was hope. Yes. There are hard and soft skills present in this list. Of course there are other skill sets that can be included as well. And, the survey says….

1/3 of the participants said they had intuition, humility, emotional intelligence, technology savvy, and business savvy in their toolboxes. 2/3 of the participants said they had linguistic intelligence, empathy, accountability, respect, and positive thinking in their toolboxes. 100% of the participants said they had creativity, perseverance, and resiliency in their toolboxes.

Which tools in your toolbox have been frequently used?

There were varied responses when answering this question. This is natural because we are not all the same. We have different perspectives about life. We have been nurtured by different environments. We have all had different opportunities in life. On the other hand, there may be some commonalities in the tools that we frequently use. Perseverance and creativity were tools that are frequently used by 2/3 of the participants. Accountability, hope, and resilience were tools that are frequently used by 1/3 of the participants.

Which tools in your toolbox have been underused?

Of the responses provided, emotional intelligence was recorded. Conflict resolution was a tool that was indicated but no participant chose this option as a tool in their toolboxes. It is good to know that the tools we use can aid in our problem solving strategies. It is also good to know that the tools we lack can hinder our problem solving abilities. Social networking was another tool that was indicated but no participant chose this option as a tool in their toolboxes. This type of insight helps us to better understand the areas in which we need to grow. If no one chose this as an option, it can infer that when they decide to grow in this area, it will definitely be something that either participant acquires. And if it is something that they desire to pursue, they can take the risk and hone their skill set by engaging in prolific environments that enable them to do so.

How has the tools in your toolbox shaped your life?

They helped me to navigate through life. This is a response from one of the survey participants. When I think of the word navigate, words such as plans, directions, and guidance come to my mind. That is what I See You Growing Life Coaching does. It provides services that help us to plan our lives by understanding our current situations and where we want to go. I See You Growing Life Coaching serves as a guide for insightful change and achievable outcomes.

I have been able to grow, inspire others to grow and change the course of the direction of my life. This is a response from a different survey participant. I can see the parallel in the participant’s response when compared to the other. The benefit of identifying our tools is to know how they shape our lives. That is what I See You Growing Life Coaching does. We encourage every woman to embrace change and to expect growth. We empower you.


Photo by maitree rimthong on

Recently, I watched a show on Amazon Prime entitled, “Suze Orman, the Financial Road Map”. And yes, it was an eye-opening experience. The concepts that were taught to assist in a financial check-up, to serve as a financial elixir, and to potentially increase financial health were retirement road, priority place, emergency fund lane, and the streets of truth and honesty. Well, it was definitely something along those lines. The funny thing is that this episode was a part of the 2015 season.

The things I learned as I watched this episode were simple. 1). It’s not enough just to know how to do something; we must apply what we learn with consistency. 2). Knowing our current reality and patterns of behavior are prerequisites for forward movement. 3). A change of mindset about how I managed my finances in the past was long overdue; and I am ready to embrace this change.

It’s Not Enough just to know how to do something; we must apply what we learn with consistency. You’re like me if you made any of the following statements… I know that it is good to start a retirement account, prioritize my spending, or to start an emergency fund or savings account. You are also like me if you have made such efforts and you were not as consistent as you could have been. Knowing to do something or knowing how to do something is only part of the equation; we must actually put forth the work to get it done. We must be willing to sacrifice some things, some patterns of behavior, and understand where we are so that we can move forward. Uncontrollable finances can cause factors such as stress, obesity, fatigue, working at dead end jobs that can all lead to epigenetic changes in the DNA. IF you want to know more about epigenetics and factors that can modify epigenetic patterns, please visit,

Know your current reality. If you research how much should we put back from each paycheck for savings, you will find suggestions such as 5%-20%. There is a rule of thumb that states that we should have a 50/30/20 rule.This is consistent among multiple resources. 50% of our income should go to expenses; 30% of our income should be discretionary purposes; and 20% of our income should go to savings. I think this is a good optimal goal to strive for if you can clearly see where your money is going. I implore you to figure out a formula that works for you if you are unable to realistically meet this goal. Whatever formula that you choose, let it be S.M. A. R. T.

In order for your goal to be S (Specific) M (Measurable) A (Attainable) R (Realistic) T(Timely), you must truly understand your current reality. Make sure your current reality is visible to you so that it is no longer hidden. For instance, write down all the bills that you are responsible for paying each month. Once you do this, compare this to your monthly income. Determine your debt to income ratio. Will you like what you see? If yes, determine your formula for savings. If not, it’s time to take steps to decrease the debt to income ratio.

I learned that the debt to income ratio represents positive financial situations if it is below 100%. The farther your ratio (%) is below from 100%, the less debt you have. In contrast, the debt to income ratio represents negative financial situations if it is above 100%. The farther your ratio (%) is above 100%, the more debt you have. Then, we can conclude that if our debt to income ratio is equal to 100%, this represents a financial situation that the amount of debt that we have equals our income. The strength of this position is that our debt to income ratio can quickly fall below 100%. The downside of this position is that our debt to income ratio can rise above 100%. Use the current reality of your debt to income ratio to determine your formula for savings.

Changing my mindset. If you are familiar with I See You Growing Life Coaching, then you know that we do monthly surveys. It is important to know how other women feel about topics that are important to women. It is important for I See You Growing Life Coaching to display this data so that we as women can continue to grow from one another. Education is important.

One of the survey questions asked if we knew what it means to be financially secure? 72.7% of the survey participants answered yes, 18.2% answered no; and 9.1% answered maybe. Remember, it is not enough to know something, we have to be willing to have a change in mindset so that we can manage money differently. The participants were also asked if they knew their credit score. 72.7% said yes and they check their credit score often; and 27.3% answered no and they do not check their credit score as often as they should. Knowing our credit score helps us to know our current reality.The participants were asked about the type of debt they currently have. 72.7% of the participants answered that they have credit card debt and student loan debt; 63.6% had medical bill debt; 27.3% had pay-later accounts; 18.2% of the participants answered that they have tax debts or payday loan debt. None of the participants reported that they have fine and legal fees or gambling debt.

Education and support are important. The participants were asked if they knew the difference between gross and net income. 90.9% answered yes and 9.1% answered maybe. The participants were asked if their debt to income was negative, positive, or zero. All participants were employed. 63.6% reported their debt to income ratio to be below 100%; 27.3% answered that their debt to income ratio was above 100%; and 9.1% answered that their debt to income ratio was 100%. The participants were asked to select their retirement accounts. 54.5% answered that they have a 401k; 36.4% answered that they do not have a retirement account; and 9.1% answered that they have a bank IRA.

We are still learning and growing. The participants were asked how much they contributed to their emergency funds. 27.3% answered less than 1% and 1-5%; 36.4% answered that they do not have an emergency fund; and 9.1% answered 5-10%. The participants asked how much they contributed to their savings. 45.5% answered 1-5%; 27.3% answered less than 1% or no savings account.

Growth does not happen without change. The participants were asked what steps they should take to secure their financial future. 72.7% answered they need to pay down debt; 63.6% answered they will start an emergency fund; 45.5% answered they need to start a savings account or find a new means of income; 27.3% answered they need to start a retirement account; 18.2% answered they need to supplement income. 27.3% answered that they need to do them all.

Embrace change. Aren’t we ready to do something different so that we can have something different? Expect growth. It is okay to say that I have outgrown my current reality. It is okay to say that I have outgrown the survival mindset and am ready to pursue a growth mindset. What needs to change about your current reality so that you are able to have more financial freedom in life? What environment do you need to transfer to support your financial growth?

As your life coach, I am ready to reflect and answer these questions. I will examine my responses and be S.M.A.R.T. I will look for help. I will show a willingness to change.

Think ABout it

Recently, I See You Growing Life Coaching had a group of women to complete a survey entitled, “Thinkers Think”. This survey was inspired by a YouTube video, “5 Types of Creative Thinkers”. The types of thinking outlined in the video were lateral, inspirational, divergent, systematic, and aesthetical. The description of each thinking style was also provided in the video.

The participants of the survey were asked to watch the quick, three minute video and then complete the survey. They had only one question to answer, “Which type of thinker are you?”

Understanding how we think about things enables us to become better problem solvers. This awareness releases a type of clarity that may prove beneficial in the long run. One thing that has a possibility for a greater clarity is understanding that each of us are very unique and we have our own ways of approaching problems and other situations. Wouldn’t it be dull if we all thought the same or acted the same? This type of oneness could potentially handicap our abilities for expression.

Think about it….expressions are important for understanding others behaviors, their needs, their thoughts, and their feelings. Before children are able to talk, they point and give other gestures to express their wants and needs. Until then, parents have to use their observation skills to determine the needs of the child.

Think about it….expressions are unique to our own individuality. Our expressions derive from our mannerisms, our experiences, and cultural expectations. They are embedded in our personality types, environmental influences and environmental stressors.

Think about it….the uniqueness of our expressions are often made manifest through our creative styles. This may be seen in our fashion, paintings, music, dance, song, writing, decorations, and relationships. The amazing part of this discovery is that it all stems from our thinking and our imagination.

I can imagine that someone may watch the video and find that they can identify with more than one type of creative thinking style. Choose the type of thinking style that comes first to your mind. What if you found yourself to be one type of thinker but wanted to transform into a different type of thinker? Is this possible? I See You Growing Life Coaching cannot expertly answer this question but exposure may be a step in the right direction. On YouTube, there are thinking games that you can play that will help you to think in different ways, simpler ways, unique ways, creative ways; and that challenge you to not to overthink things.

I See You Growing Life Coaching will make the claim that in order to embrace change and to experience growth, mindsets must change. This sometimes means to change our way of thinking or reframing thinking. Reframing provides an opportunity to change our behaviors. A change of behavior happens when we remove harmful, fruitless thoughts in which we have become accustomed and that hinder our creative thinking. And, we replace them with thoughts that are fresh, beneficial, bring growth, and aid our unique expressions.

Without embracing changes in how we think, our unique expressions (our creative thinking abilities) suffer. We sometimes allow damaging beliefs to keep us stuck in the same position, we become too afraid of change, and we refuse to take risks. Every expression that we make will show how we think.

If you are interested in learning more about your creative thinking style, please visit 5 Types of Creative Thinking.