Building a healthy relationship with yourself and with others

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

If God is directing you to it, He has already prepared you for it.


Every morning before I say my morning prayers. I have three things I say out loud. One of those things is, “Entrust Me with More.” Saying this is my way of saying, “Lord, I know if you bring MORE to me, You have already equipped me to receive it.” In my latest book, Live Now, Die Later, I emphasize the importance of living life now. So many people are breathing, but they are dead. “Death” is caused by fears, holding on to past mistakes,  living your life based on other people’s expectations, believing you are under a generational curse, etc.

Allow me to say this about generational curses. I know the Bible mentions “generational curses” in several places. God warns that He is “a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me”, but Ezekiel 18 assures us God doesn’t punish children for their parents’ sins. God clearly says, “I will judge you, each one according to his ways” When I think about Generational Curses, I think of something I read that said, “When a father has a sinful lifestyle, his children are likely to practice the same sinful lifestyle.” It’s the PRACTICE that represents the generational curse. Okay, now back to subject at hand 😊

Do you feel…no, do you BELIEVE God is leading you to something, but you have convinced yourself that you don’t have what it takes to succeed in what God is leading you to? Do you trust Him? Do you trust yourself? Have your fears become bigger than your faith?

As a GenXer, I am often amazed by the things I see Millennials doing. I sometimes ask the question, “What is it in them that makes them feel fearless, like they can accomplish anything?” Millennials are those born between 1981 and 1997. Forbes magazine stated, “Where baby boomers are loyal to their company and Generation X are more loyal to their careers, millennials’ loyalty lies with their community. They see work as a calling instead of a job, or even a career. Although subtle, this distinction does change the expectations they have of their jobs. Millennials show up looking to make an impact, be part of a team and do meaningful work — work that makes a difference in the world.” Yes, Forbes was referring to difference when it comes to work, but one thing stood out to me, Millennials’ loyalty lies with their community. They see work as a calling.

If you look up the definition for calling it says, “a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.” A strong inner impulse toward a particular course…accompanied by conviction of divine influence.  Divine Influence.  Divine, by some definitions, mean, “of God”.

Your calling will always find you. It may whisper in your ear. It may send random strangers to plant a seed. It may be that thing you find yourself constantly gravitating to, but for whatever reason, you won’t follow it. But please keep this in mind, If God is directing you to it, He has already prepared you for it.

Link to hard copy of Live Now, Die Laterhttps://www.amazon.com/Live-Now-Later-Nicole-Turner/dp/0988756919

Link to Kindle version of Live Now, Die Later https://www.amazon.com/Live-Now-Die-Later-Created-ebook/dp/B078R6BNC5

Dating vs Relationship


If more than one person asks me a question, I think it’s time to address it. A lot of people are confused about the difference between dating and a relationship. So, instead of giving my own definition, I decided to do some research. This may be a little long, but I want to do my part sharing the differences. The information shared from this point is a compilation of various research.

Dating itself can be incredibly confusing, much less, defining what your relationship status is. The difference between dating and being in a relationship can be subtle. It is important to discuss relationship boundaries with the person you are dating and be clear in your communications with them.

The difference between dating and being in a relationship is commitment. If you are going out with someone on a regular basis, and you and your partner have agreed to date only one another, then you are in a committed relationship. However, if you are dating a person and neither of you have agreed to date exclusively, then you are not in a relationship and you are both free to also date other people.  The main difference between dating and being in a relationship is that people in a relationship are connected by a mutual commitment to each other. You and the person you’re with have agreed, either officially or unofficially, that you’re seeing each other exclusively and are in a partnership together.

There are different stages to dating.

Casual Dating

What is it: Casual dating is the first stage of any relationship.  It is characterized by people just dating for fun without any expectation of commitment or exclusivity.  It’s a “getting to know you” phase where we’re not likely to invest much in the relationship or worry about how we feel about the relationship as a whole.

Stresses: Because of the lack of commitment, we’re also more likely to worry about what our dating partner is thinking.  Whether our thoughts are “what does she think of me?” or “where does he see this going?” we are uncertain about the future of the relationship. We may find it easy to be open about some things during casual dating, but because we haven’t developed a relationship of trust, we may also hold back and keep select information from our date.

Why Do It: While casual dating is not very secure, it is a great way to meet new people and explore our options. This type of dating helps us understand ourselves and our likes/dislikes when it comes to relationships.   But once we find someone we really connect with, we might quickly find ourselves in the next stage:

Exclusive Dating

What is it: Exclusive dating is when two people begin dating with the expectation that partners will not date others.  This is more serious and sends the message that “I like you more than other people I’ve dated and feel like we have a special connection.  I’m interested to see where this relationship can go.”

Stresses: We often begin exclusive dating relationships because we feel that we’re not likely to find someone we want to be with more than our new partner.   We may still keep our eyes open to other potential partners, but we will likely find it more difficult to find someone we feel is a better fit for us. Therefore, commitment becomes an important part of the relationship. Because we’re interested in building a relationship, we begin to invest in the relationship more, including opening up a little more and sharing more about ourselves.  However, we’re still uncertain about the future of the relationship, so we may still feel nervousness around our partner and worry about what they’re thinking and where they want the relationship to go.

Why Do It: Exclusive dating helps us feel loved and wanted by another person.  Such dating also gives us an important support system for other stresses in our lives.  Once we do build a satisfying relationship of trust with our partner, and connect at a deeper level, then we’re likely to enter the final stage of dating:

Serious Dating

What is it: Once we begin a serious relationship, we’re sending the message that we’re happy with our relationship and want this one to last.  We begin to think more long-term about the relationship and consider our options for the future.  When we’re in serious relationships, we may find other people attractive, but we are not likely to think about others in terms of potential relationship partners.  Since we’re happy with our current choice, we then begin to invest even more in the relationship.  If we feel satisfied in our serious dating relationship, then we begin to discuss the future and make plans for making our relationship more permanent.

Stresses: When we feel a greater sense of commitment in our relationship, we are less worried about our partner wanting to leave, so we feel safer sharing more with them.  At this stage, we may share some of our deepest feelings and fears.  We feel more comfortable around our partner, so we might start to let loose and show some of our quirks more.  However, with that disclosure comes a stronger fear of rejection and what the loss of the relationship would mean.  We may fear a break-up and the emotional turmoil it would cause.  Our lives may also be intertwined with our partners, making the prospect of leaving very anxiety provoking.

Why Do It:  Social science research has long documented the benefits of serious and long-term dating.  Those that stay in such relationships are often healthier and happier than people who only casually date or remain single.

(Now back to my input) If there’s one main point I want you to take away from this, it’s this, Dating lacks element of commitment. This is where the lines get crossed for some people – they assume that because you two are dating that there’s a certain level of exclusivity you two should have. If you both want exclusivity, then you should decide if you are ready tto be in a committed relationship. But please keep in mind that dating is an essential part of a relationship.  You don’t just jump from hello to commitment – there are stages/phases.

Enjoy the dating period. It gives both of you the opportunity to see if you really want to be in a committed relationship with one another, while at the same time, giving you the opportunity to “explore” other people.  Sometimes what we think we want isn’t really what we want or need – dating allows you to find that out.

Who Are You?


We’ve all heard the expression, “Know Thyself”. Over the weekend, I was interviewed and the first question I was asked was, “Who is Nicole L. Turner?” Even for a person like me who is high on the self-awareness scale, I struggle with that question.  Many people will answer that question by saying, “Nicole L. Turner is a Detox Strategist, author, consultant, etc.” That describes what I do – not who I am.  Who I am is what leads me to do those things.

Do you know who you are? If someone asked you that question, what would you answer be? If you could peel back the layers, what would the seeds of your soul, your core look like? Do you see yourself differently from the way other people see you? Are you in a trap of self-delusion or self-deception?

I read somewhere that, “Much of our behavior is driven by unconscious processes. It’s been estimated that every second, our five senses take in eleven million pieces of information. We know this because scientists have counted the number of receptor cells on each sense organ and the nerves that go from these cells to the brain. However, we can only consciously process about forty bits of information a second. So large parts of our experience are unavoidably unknowable to us as far as conscious awareness is concerned.” After reading that, you may say, well if large parts of our experiences are unavoidably unknown to us consciously, can I really know myself? We may not need to be conscious of every behavior, but it is important to know what influences the behavior.

To help you better understand who you are, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What do you believe is the meaning of your life?
  1. Do you believe your destiny is pre-determined or in your hands to shape however you wish?
  1. What is your biggest self-limiting belief?
  2. What is your highest core value?
  3. What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind?
  4. What do you believe is possible for you?
  5. What do you fear most in life? What do you think drives that fear?
  6. What have you done in your life that you are most proud of?
  7. What activity in your life lights you up with joy?
  8. How does your being here change humanity for the better?

Yes, I know some of these questions require you to really think, but their purpose is to make you look deeper into yourself and answer the question, “WHO AM I?”

Relax, Energize, Slumber, Timeout (REST)


When you’re in the office on Monday morning, many people will ask you how was your weekend. You respond and then they usually have a follow-up question, “What did you do?” I don’t know why, but the “what did you do” tends to annoy me. Perhaps it’s because there is an expectation that someone has to always do something. Has society programmed us that life has to be filled with constantly doing?

Yes, I am one whose life is, from time-to-time, filled with activities, but I am also someone who has learned to appreciate REST – those moments when I am doing absolutely nothing, and if I am lucky, my mind also gets to rest (which, by the way is a rarity). I started to notice that over the last couple of weeks, I was short-tempered, easily irritated, and the introverted side to me had taken over. Why? Possibly because I wasn’t getting enough rest, not physical rest, but mental rest.

Rest is also so the ability to take a mental break from everything and everybody. If you are like me, you have people constantly pulling on you or dumping on you – co-workers, family members, and friends.  It becomes a bit too much. You get tired of hearing people complain about work, complain about finances, complain about relationships, complain about life…complain, complain, complain. If these are people you care about, their burdens become your burdens. You want the best for them, but at the same time, you realize that in order for their complaining to stop, they have to want what’s best for them.  If the people in your life don’t care enough about you to stop making you their dumping ground, you have to care enough about you to stop allowing them to dump on you.

It doesn’t make you a bad person if you choose your own peace of mind over other people’s problems.  I will share something I often say, “You are the ONLY person you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with.” Do what’s best for you and don’t feel guilty about it.  Physical and mental rest are good for the soul. It provides you with the opportunity to relax, energize, slumber, and take a timeout.

“Why settle for good when I have best waiting for you?”


I was watching a YouTube video discussing the question, “Does God choose your mate? Is this the one?” In the video, the husband talked about how he was previously engaged to another woman. He mentioned that it was a great relationship and she was a wonderful woman. He was set to be married, but he asked God about his romantic future because he wasn’t sure and God said, “You can have good or you can have My best – what you have right now would be a good choice, but it is not my best for you. And God said to him, “the choice is yours.” God left it up to his own free will. Our own free will – that’s a topic I will dive into on another day.

As I was watching the video, it made me ask, “When it comes to a mate, how do we know when it’s God speaking, our own emotions speaking, or the devil speaking?” I wish I had an answer to share with you, but I don’t. I’ve heard stories and know people who instantly knew that person was the one and they did, in fact, end up being the one.

But many people are so focused on being in a relationship – it’s not really about the person. It’s about being in a relationship. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone and although they were a good person, something about the relationship left you with a feeling of uncertainty? Have you ever justified staying with someone because they are a good person? No? Well I have. I stayed in a relationship or two longer than I should have and I rationalized it by saying, “he’s a good person with a good heart.” Perhaps I was fearful I wouldn’t meet another good person with a good heart. Who knows.  The irony is that more times than not, every person after that person ended up being better than the last, and it made me grateful that I didn’t stay with someone just because he is a good person with a good heart.

If a life partner is what you seek, I encourage you to not settle for good when God has best waiting for you.

“Everyone wants something real with someone real until they meet someone whose real standards challenge them to be real consistent, real considerate, and real committed.”


When I first read that quote, it stood out to me because most people want something real, but not everyone is READY for what comes with something real.  Real comes with standards. Real comes with consistency. Real comes with expectations.  Real comes with commitment. Real takes effort, and a lot of people either don’t have the desire to put in the effort, the bandwidth to put in the effort, or the “know how” to put in the effort.

I once read something that said, “They say be his peace, not his stressor, but I can’t be his peace if I don’t have access to his pieces.” When you are in something real, it means sharing parts of yourself that you may not be so comfortable sharing. Real means opening up and letting someone in. Real means being vulnerable.  You can’t have something real with someone if you limit the parts of yourself that you give to or share with that person.

If you truly seek something real, here are some tips to help you be successful in your relationship:

(1) Know what you want in a relationship. It all starts here.  If you are just trying to fill a void left by someone in your past, or you are lonely, chances are you aren’t seeking a real relationship. A real relationship is one where both people are fully invested, respect each other as equals, and want the same things from the relationship.

(2) Commitment. Both people need to be committed. That doesn’t mean have one foot in the relationship and one foot out of the relationship. Relationships don’t thrive off one person putting in their best effort while the other reaps the benefits.  If you’re both committed to each other, it will work

(3) Communicate regularly. Good communication is essential to a successful relationship. When people stop communicating, they stop interacting and connecting with each other. Make sure you take time to discuss any issues that may need resolving between the two of you. One of the worst things that can come between you is built-up resentment or hurt feelings that haven’t been expressed. Be willing to admit when you’re wrong or when you’ve been neglectful – or even when you feel neglected. Expressing feelings not only increases intimacy, it allows a couple to know each other better.

(4) Listen to your mate. Listen to what each other is saying. If they’re sad, listen. If they’re hurt, listen. If they’re upset, listen. The worst thing you can do is ignore or show that you don’t care when someone you love needs you.

(5) Don’t take each other for granted. Taking your partner for granted is a sure fire way to make him/her feel dejected. Yes, relationships take work and require maintenance, and that also means paying attention to, and being aware of, each other’s needs, feelings, and states of mind.

(6) Be flexible and open to change.  This is probably the most difficult for some people. Change is inevitable in life. Relationships are no different. In order for relationships to flourish, it is necessary to be able to adapt to the changes. In a successful relationship two people grow together through the good, the bad, and less eventful times.

Don’t fall back into depression


As we all know, time falls back tonight/early hours Sunday morning.  According to statistics, the depression rate increases around this time of the year. It is referred to as seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It has been said that the onset of SAD coincides with shorter days and longer, dark nights. Focusing on your blessings instead of your burdens helps you avoid SAD.

Focusing on your burdens instead of your blessings can leave you feeling stressed, tired, depressed, and physically ill. Here are five tips to help you focus more on your blessings:

  1. Start your day quietly in prayer. Wake up a little earlier each morning to spend a few minutes in prayer. Starting your day with prayer or reading a devotional sets the tone for your day.
  2. See every moment as a blessing. I often say, “Any day above ground is a good day.” Each day that you are here on this earth is another day to turn a negative into a positive. That means also giving thanks for the “small” blessings. Some people don’t recognize a blessing unless it is something bold and big. That day you were in traffic and you were frustrated with the car in front of you because the driver was in the left lane driving like he/she was in a funeral procession, but as you progressed on your route, you saw a bad accident that happened just minutes earlier. Putting that slow driver in your path was a blessing. That job that you just had to have – you know the one you thought was a perfect fit for you, but you didn’t get it. Months later, you find out they had massive layoffs or the person you would have been working for is a horrible boss, which would’ve made your life a living hell. Not getting the job was a blessing.
  3. Keep a gratitude log. There’s a quote by Henry Ward Beecher that says, “The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.” There is a direct link between our gratitude and our overall well-being. If you start to feel sad or depressed, pause and write down three things you’re grateful for. Keep a list on your phone, your computer, or in a handwritten journal.
  4. Change your focus. We tend to focus on the negative aspects of our lives and we forget the blessings that we all have. When you change your attitude to one of counting your blessings you will find you will experience less stress.
  5. Be mindful of what you read, watch, listen to, and who you hang around. What you take in has a great impact on your mental health. Watching the news can be depressing.  Watching TV shows with a lot of drama can lead to feelings of stress. Hanging around people who are always negative, critical or in a “woe is me” state of mind have an impact on you mentally.

May the last two months of 2017, be the plot twist you’ve been waiting for


We’re in the last two months of the year and you may feel like 2017 has not gone the way you had hoped. Don’t get discouraged. As we see often, things and life can change in the blink of an eye. But I must be honest, one of the reasons this year hasn’t gone the way you thought it would is because you have been living a life of default.

When you get a new cell phone, tablet, or computer, do you stick with the default settings or do you change the settings to your personal preferences? Most people change the settings. When you live a life by default, you are basically accepting what’s already been selected for you. We all know people who seem to experience the same set of challenges or obstacles over and over again, or who have the same or similar negative life events happen to them, regardless of where they are or what they are doing. You are a co-creator of your experiences and when you have internal stress, frantic pressure, and a doom or gloom mentality, your life reflects that back to you.

There’s a quote that says, “If you don’t live a life by design, you will live a life by default.” Living life by default means that you are just passively accept things the way life is showing up for you. Here are some ways to tell if you are living life by default: (1) Do you constantly have a feeling that something is missing? (2) Are major aspects of your life decided by happenstance – things like your what you do on a daily basis, your career, your friends, your dating life, etc.? (3) Do you wake up each day and feel like you are simply reacting to what life is throwing at you? (4) You have no idea of what will truly make you happy. If you answered yes, you may be living a life by default.

Here are five tips to help you live a life by design instead of living a life by default:

  1. Get clear about what you really want out of life. That means defining what makes YOU happy.
  2. Now that you are clear about what you really want out of life, create a life plan. That means setting goals and achieving them. They don’t have to be big audacious goals. People think that their goals have to be something big to make a difference, and when they don’t reach the big goal, they feel unhappy, stressed, depressed or out of alignment. Small goals are just as important. It’s that practice of achieving the small goals that lead to even bigger goals. Achieving small goals build confidence to aim higher.
  3. You need purpose. Your purpose is your why. It’s that “thing” that makes your life fulfilling. It’s something that resonates deeply within your heart.
  4. Learn to be in the moment. According to a Harvard University study, almost half of our waking hours are spent NOT living in the moment. Half! Living in the moment is also associated with mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present, aware of where you are and what you’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around you.
  5. Live a life of gratitude. I will ALWAYS emphasize the importance of being grateful. Gratitude makes us happier. Research shows that gratitude increases mental strength, strengthens our emotions, increases our self-esteem, reduces aggression, improves psychological health, and improves physical health.

Have you ever been so close, but so far?


As I continue on this journey called life, trying to figure it all out…connect the dots, I can actually see the number of times I was so close, but yet so far. So close to that actual breakthrough – that one thing that was going to catapult me into success (my own personal definition of what success looks like for me). It was so close that I could almost reach out and touch it, but…..in the very center of my blinking eye, it appeared so far away.

I’ve had the opportunity to share a stage or be interviewed with people I now see on Primetime TV or in magazines or with hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. I mean like we were, at some point in time, on equal playing fields, but then….when they pulled back on their slingshot, they landed in the RIGHT place at the Right time. I pulled back on my slingshot, and it’s as if it was broken.

Have you ever been so close to that ONE thing…you know THAT thing, but it seemed like the Universe was teasing you? You could visualize it. You could darn near taste it, but you just could never seem to be able to hold it in your hands. I have experienced this in various areas of my life: my career, my business, my romantic relationships, my finances. I would find myself saying, “This was almost it, so I know the next one will be It”, but ummm the next one wasn’t it.  It’s hard to not get discouraged, especially when you see other people thriving, but you seem to be standing still.

I want to share a few tips with you that will help you stay encouraged and make you unstoppable:

  • Don’t be motivated by something external (e.g., money, fancy things, prestige, etc.). There are people with money, big houses, fancy cars, etc., but they are still miserable on the inside. Yes, they keep pushing themselves to get the things society tells them they should have, but the light within them is dim. Stay true to who you are, and use the gifts and talents YOU were blessed with. Live life on YOUR terms.
  • Remember CONFIDENCE is your greatest strength. If you’re not confident, you will never put yourself out there in the first place. When you’re confident, you don’t care how many times you fail, you’re going to succeed. And it doesn’t matter how stacked the odds seem against you.
  • Always be prepared. Become a master of your craft.
  • Always work on your mental strength. “Mental resilience is arguably the most critical trait of a world-class performer. ~ Josh Waitzkin
  • Never be jealous or envious of someone else’s accomplishments. Being unstoppable means you genuinely want what’s best for everyone — even those you would consider your competitors. Jealousy and envy are the ego, which operates out of fear. You are in control of you and you are different from every other person. There is no one who can do exactly what you can do. You have your own superpower with your own unique ability to contribute, and that’s what you’re going to do.
  • Start before you’re ready. Most people wait. They believe they can start after they have enough time, money, connections and credentials. They wait until they feel “secure.” Not people who are unstoppable. Unstoppable people started last year. They started five years ago before they even knew what they were doing. They started before they had any money. They started before they had all the answers. They started when no one else believed in them. The only permission they needed was the voice inside them prompting them to move forward, and they moved.
  • Set goals that far exceed your current capabilities. If your goals are logical, they won’t force you to create luck. Being unstoppable means your goals challenge you to be someone more than you currently are. As Jim Rohn has said, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.” “You need to aim beyond what you are capable of. You need to develop a complete disregard for where your abilities end. If you think you’re unable to work for the best company in its sphere, make that your aim. If you think you’re unable to be on the cover of TIME magazine, make it your business to be there. Make your vision of where you want to be a reality. Nothing is impossible.” — Paul Arden
  • Respond immediately, rather than analyzing and stalling. Just do it. Train yourself to respond immediately when you feel you should do something. Stop questioning yourself. Don’t analyze it. Don’t question if it came from God or from yourself. Just act. You’ll figure out what to do after you’ve taken action. Until you take action, it will all be hypothetical. But once you act, it becomes practical. Richard Branson said it best, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
  • Never stop learning. Ordinary people seek entertainment. Extraordinary people seek education and learning. When you want to become the best at what you do, you never stop learning. You never stop improving and honing your skills and knowledge.

(Tips were extracted from the article, “30 Behaviors That Will Make You Unstoppable”)

“You may not end up where you thought you were going, but you always end up where you were meant to be.”


We all have plans for our life – the type of career we are going to have, the type of mate we will marry, where we are going to live, how many kids we are going to have, etc., but sometimes life doesn’t pan out exactly the way we thought.

When I was in high school, I said I wanted to be a lawyer. I went to college, I majored in English. My last year of college, I took the LSAT (law school admissions test), got a pretty decent score, started applying to law school, and then something hit me – was this really what I wanted to do or was it what was expected of me. So needless, to say, I didn’t go to law school, but I had no idea what I wanted to do next. I worked a couple of jobs after college – none of which had the potential to lead to an actual career.

One day, I decided I was going to leave Mississippi. Mind you, I had no plan and no money. Just a desire. I went to Atlanta for about two weeks – wasn’t for me. Then I drove to the Washington, DC area – mind you, I had no plan, no money, no job, no family, no friends, and really no place to live. Funny, how the decisions we make in our mid 20s are very different from the decisions we would make 10, 15 years later.

I’m not going to go into a long story of how my life has unfolded as a result of me taking a totally different path from the one I had planned in high school. Oh, I must say this, I had ideas of what I thought my life would be once I got settled in the DC area, and let me tell ya, the reality doesn’t match the plan. Okay, now on to you. 😊

Sometimes you have a plan for your life, but God has a different plan for you. Yes, you may have mapped it all out, and could actually visualize it, but all it takes is ONE thing to completely change the trajectory of your life, but as you reflect back on the journey, you see how all the pieces of the puzzle fit together.  The person you married is nothing like the person you thought you would marry, but he/she is the best person for you. The career you have is not the one you went to school for, but it fulfills you – it gives you joy. There are so many aspects of your life that may not have gone or may not go as YOU planned, but they worked out or are working out for YOUR good. It’s VERY important for you to be open to the fact that YOUR plan may not be HIS plan. You may not end up where you thought you were going, but you always end up where you were meant to be.