Musings by ME

<< February 2024 >>

2024 Jeffries Cross Baptist Church Black History Month

 

Hosthe the Black History month program allows me th opportunity to share my other talents, history, organization, and planning

 

This year's theme focus on the Blood being timeless and traveling the journey from the beginning of the founding of the church, creation of auxiliaries and much more.

This year with cooperation of others, everything came together

<< January 2024 >>

<< New image with text >>

<< December 2023 >>

"Reading with Santa" @TownofGreenLevel

 

Years ago, the scene was the same with me being the young kids awaiting the arrival of Santa.  The concept of a man climbing down a home with not chimney to deliver presents was a stretch but it kept children engaged in the fantasy of asking and receiving certain gifts. 
 

The amount of faith in this fantasy was reminiscent of things to

come and the loss of this belief equaled the loss of assurance that what you ask for you would get.  I never wanted to lose this dream and have attempted to hold onto it for my own children .

 

My willingness to share with children the "story" of Santa Claus was an effort to keep the spirit of dreams alive.  It also helped to encourage of bringing life to words in a book.

As a participant @alamancechamber @LeadershipAlamance Class of 2024, our #economicdevelopment day was filled with hearing from City/County officials about the Economic Development in their respective areas.  

We also had an opportunity to hear from some #smallbusiness, #Empirical Health, #HawRiverMushroom and #HAAND which is a local pottery/dishware business located in Burlington. 

We were invited to attend their Sip and Shop and with some hesitation after a long day, I decided to stop by.  What a joy and blast of nostalgia as this business repurposed the same building that my mom used to work in @BurlingtonIndustries in the 1970s.  Walking inside flooded with so many memories and was amazing to see how they took something old and made it useful again.

#MusingsbyMe

It's beginning to look alot like Christmas?

 

This Christmas, I made a conscious decision not to stress over dragging a huge 7 foot artificial tree out of storage with its many branches and worrying about what anyone would think but to create a simple gesture through the purchase of this smaller version of Christmas tree.

 

Scaling down the pressure of the Christmas season simplified the usual concerns and allowed the focus to remain on the "Reason for the Season".  I am grateful for the gifts not just those that go under the tree but the gifts of Love, Joy and Peace. 
 

I am grateful for family and friends and the opportunity to celebrate this season as it serves me and my own peace of mind.  I pray for those who may be struggling this season that they also find this same peace with a simple gesture of not dragging out what does not serve them.  

#MusingsbyME

<< November 2023>>

Happy Thanksgiving to you

 

Backdrop courtesy of Jeffries Cross Baptist Church,  My daughters are an expression of each aspect of myself with one displaying her disgust and the other one expressing her delight .

 

Each one offers an opportunity of acknowledgment of the importance of individuality and understanding.  Gratitude is the act of gratefulness and I am reminded the amount of gratitude that God has given me both grace and mercy. 
 

Through the pregnancy and birth of these two, I am reminded of how he is able to make barren land produce.  With the growth of their hearts, bodies and minds, I am reminded of how God is able to take seed and grow it and make it flourish no matter the soil.  I am reminded of how God is able to take a hopeless situation and turn it around.

 

If you ever doubt God and his abilities, ask

me and I can tell you what he has done for 

 

#MusingsbyME

 

<< October 2023>>

<< September 2023>>

@EmbassySuites Greensboro for 2023 NCATOD Conference 

 

My arrival was uneventful.  Was able to unload and get set up before the first wave of attendees.  
 

I enjoy marketing and promoting for my organization and myself as I present on the topic of Counselor Burnout. 
 

Burnout can stem from many things and being aware of how it can affect you is key to your success and survival in this field.  I learn more from the group than I believe they learn from me.  Just being around my peers helps break the monotony of everyday.  
 

I am grateful for the opportunity. 

Good evening

 
I appreciate the opportunity to share my journey which I have named “The Longest Shortcut” after the journey of the children of Israel.  
 
My journey begins with a similar “bondage” as I was an adopted child of an alcoholic who came of age way earlier than most. My childhood consisted of my mother who I deem as “my One Trusted Adult” a term learned as I have studied the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACES.
 
As a student at UNCC, I learned that a child of an alcoholic has less of a chance to finish school and many other obstacles that will derail their future.  I learned that a high number of ACES will lead to many challenges that can be overcome with the support of One Trusted Adult, my adoptive mother.
 
My mother, now deceased taught me I could achieve anything that I set my mind to do which is the support she gave when after many years of working full time for Mecklenburg County, I decided to return for my Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling.  However, during that time I experience the loss of my father, my paternal grandmother and had two miscarriages.  In response to my grief, I kept working, attending college and opened my business Trinity Counseling Services in 2005.  It was a hobby turned business and allowed me to fulfill a vision to provide substance abuse education, enriching activities and enlightening opportunities.  
 
However, shortly after opening my business, I learned that I was being removed from the Master’s of Mental Health Counseling program for performance.  Basically, after ten years of being a counselor, I was informed that I wasn’t very good at it.
 
One day, while home bemoaning my fate, I received a phone call from a University of Phoenix representative who shared that I had completed an information request and there was a possibility that me, a human services major could enroll and possibly graduate with a Master of Business Administration degree.
 
I doubted the possibility but because of my upbringing I was encouraged and motivated to succeed.  I was told that I would be on academic probation and once I completed at least two courses with a passing grade of 3.0 or higher, I could continue the program.  Not only did I pass but my final GPA was either 3.75 or 3.81.
 
With each class, I was able to learn what was needed to move my business forward;
 
Including marketing strategies, strategic implementation and other pertinent information that I was able to utilize in maintaining my business for 19 years Mecklenburg County, NC, opening a second location Alamance County, NC; being able to secure several contract positions, some consultation opportunities, participate as board member of several organizations, maintain a non profit organization focused on Outreach, write several SOPs for organizations, and a host of other service related endeavors with the most recent as being accepted in Leadership Alamance 23/24 class.
 
Many years I felt defeated and incapable, wandering aimless without any directions but utilizing what I’ve learned along the way has helped me to grow and succeed.
 
I am grateful to share some of my journey which allows me to share my Why. 
 
Melissa Enoch
 MBA, MS, LCMHC, QS, LCAS, CCS
MelissaEnoch.com
TrinityCounselingCharlotte.Com
WomenofStrengthNC.com

 

#NationalBlackBusinessMonth

 

I obtained my Master’s of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix Charlotte, Whitehall campus, not because it’s what I wanted, not because it would be beneficial in running my business Trinity Counseling Services or because it would help with my non profit @WomenofStrengthNC but because at the time that I learned of the possibility of getting enrolled; I had been overlooked four times at my employer once for a position that I was originally hired for, I had been told that I was not a good leader, nor was I a good counselor or therapist, I had just been “kicked out” of another Master’s program, I was grieving the losses of four deaths within a three year period, and when the phone rang I had buried myself in my bed Depressed, Alone and Lost. ?

 

When I say my business is rooted in grief and despair, it is because I did not want anyone to feel what I felt, thought what I thought and did what I did in order to cope with Challenges in work, relationships, goals and dreams

?My mission statement/vision is found Proverbs 3: 5,6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. through Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding  Education  Enrichment Enlightenment

 

?Once you are educated about the situation or challenge ?then you realize the value of the experience 

?your enlightenment will help others through the sharing of your experience, whether by written word, song, poetry, dance or whatever means you choose which is why if you peruse my website you will see a list of 52 Businesses that will include the ones you’ve observed and the ones you didn’t know.

 

Check them out and come see me September 22 as I share about the Effectiveness of Community Involvement 
 

<< August 2023 >>

Mi familia. 
 

No, I don't speak Spanish, but it seems when you say it that way it gives more emphasis. 
 

Our bond has grown from birth to the present for more than 14 years.  We have seen many things together and as we go forth bringing these young ladies into adulthood, we are committed to their growth and well being.  We have gone on so many adventures and have travelled miles and miles seeing the world.

 

I am grateful for the chance to be a difference in their lives. 

@HipHop50 @LiveOakPavilion @Wilmington

 

In keeping with the celebration of Hip Hop 50 years and my birthday, we decided to drive to Wilmington and attend this concert.


Excitedly, was able to take the girls to their first concert and share this experience with friend, Carla who had never visited Wilmington before.

 

We were able to witness #KRSOne, the teacher who wanted to teach us the elements of Hip Hop, Big Daddy Kane (who actually stayed in our hotel), Doug E Fresh and Slick Rick.  We missed hearing Rakim, but gratefully we were able to share this moment with the girls. 
 

Making memories is key.

My new found Love 

 

My friend suggested that we attend The Final Lap Tour that was going to be in August and I was like that's close enough to my birthday. 
 

I didn't know there were meet and greet tickets to be had, but I purchased the book Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter on the possible chance that I would meet 50 cent.

 

When we got to the show, excitedly I had my book ready for his autograph and a couple of questions just in case.  Well, they would let me get my book signed but I did get a hug and this memory. 
 

Next time I have the opportunity, I'll bring all of my books and hopefully have a chance to ask questions about how to make me a better business person, what happens after you fail, and how to know when a relationship is at its end

 

https://www.audible.com/pd/Hustle-Harder-Hustle-Smarter-Audiobook/0062953834?source_code=GPAGBSH0508140001&source_code=GO1GB547041122911M&gclid=Cj0KCQjw6KunBhDxARIsAKFUGs-Y230iGNl6Hlsn-psu87hMASR0DtVr1xi9z0JmouayJZMSauPTUvcaAmpREALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

Early Birthday celebration.  In preparation of seeing 50 cent The Final Lap Tour, I purchased Hustle Harder, Hustle Smarter, listened to the first album and watched countless interviews.

 

What I didn't do is listen to the second album ? And when the crowd went from hype to solemn, I started listening to the song that was playing.  I couldn't understand everything that he was saying but I heard "Too much on my mind right now I'm on the grind right now Looking for me, sucker, then I need to be found right now" and some more lyrics that need censoring and IMMEDIATELY downloaded it onto my phone and have been listening to it on repeat.

 

This song speaks from a mind focused on making a better way of life for self and family and things to consider as you are on your grind.   I have gained a greater appreciation about 50

cenr aka Curtis Jackson that helps me realize the things I need to do to accomplish my goals

 

<< July 2023 >>

Early Birthday Celebration included attending two Hip Hop Concerts; The Final Lap Tour and Hip Hop 50.

 

Each one was special as it allowed me to reminisce on times past, dancing and singing along to music that encouraged creative expression. 
 

Originally a fan of Leaders of the New School

and A Tribe Called Quest; I faithfully worked, saved money and planned to attend concerts of my favorite acts.  I also enjoyed watching Arsenio

Hall who would bring acts on and clearly remember when Busta Rhymes flipped his hat during his rap and thought flipping the hat was like flipping a switch. 
 

I only learned during his speech at the https://www.bet.com/article/en9r1b/bet-awards-2023-busta-rhymes-lifetime-achievement-award-tribute-memorable-moments#:~:text=Legendary%20rapper%20Busta%20Rhymes%20was,hip%20hop%20and%20the%20culture. that he was "kicked" out the group

and thought how hard it must have been to lose your friends and something that you had built together. 
 

I enjoyed seeing him and wish one day to

meet him and ask about the many lessons learned.

<< June 2023 >>

Return to the "scene of the crime" October 7, 2019, was a day/night I could never forget. 
 

Earlier that day, I talked with my mother as I drove to Charlotte and heard her nearly wreck her car.  I was caught off guard as she has been driving for many years, taught me to drive and was always very careful. 
 

I didn't know at that time that she had nearly wrecked the day before and that

she would leave home and get lost coming back.  I didn't know that she had suffering from a silent, deadly killer brain mass for some time as she showed no signs until she had signs.  
 

I didn't know any of her struggles until that afternoon I received a call telling me that her hair was disheveled and has parked erratically. Then to be told that she had a 10 cm glioblastoma, needed surgery immediately and would never be the same.

 

Fast forward to this year, I had to bring my daughter to this same hospital and had to be strong for her only but to be reminded why I had not been back.  I walked this labyrinth then and I walked it again praying for the same strength that allowed to care for my mother that I need to carry on without her. 
 

I am saddened about returning to this place as I am grateful that I am

allowed to give thanks for what God did then, is doing now and will do.

August 2023

@JuneteenthFestival @TownofGreenLevel 

 

52 Vendors, Food Trucks, Community Partners and others attended the 3rd Annual Juneteenth Festival, Alamance County.

 

This event is significant as allows me an opportunity to give back to the community in which I was raised what I have gained over the past 30 years as a substance abuse and mental

health professional.  I have been able to share initiatives such as increasing literacy through providing Little Free Library and access to reading, offer scholarship for young woman attending both community college and state colleges,  share mental health information, and business insight.  
 

Prayerfully, as this event grows, more and more people will acknowledge the neighborhood as an ideal place to live, prosper and thrive.

My love for Labyrinths 

 

My love for labyrinth came at a time of great sorrow.  The first labyrinth I ever encountered was the one located at UNC near their Cancer Center.  
 

When my mom was brought to the hospital, I had no one to talk to (2 am) and I was so distraught to know that she would never be the same.

 

I walked out of the building and under the moon and I walked the labyrinth praying the whole way.  God answered my prayer and now whenever I stumble upon any variation of labyrinth I am brought back to that moment that in the still of the night or day, he will hear my prayer. 

<< May 2023 >>

<< April 2023 >>

My trip to Lake Junaluska

 

APNC decided to host their conference at Lake Junaluska and I was excited to go only to find out I had confused it with Lake Lure. ??‍♀️

 

Anywhoo.  Me and my girls took off from Charlotte and drove down 74 West thinking we had enough time to get there even stopping in Shelby to eat.

 

After losing one hour, we finally made it there late and GPS brought us in on a side where we could see, it was dark ame creepy.  When we pulled up to the hotel, it looked like it was straight out of a horror movie. The Shining, Friday the 13th.

 

I immediately alerted my friends and decided to wait it out to see what would happen in the morning. And this picture is what I found.  Needless to say, we stayed, enjoyed our time in the mountains and made it back home safe. 
 

Moral to the story?  Waiting brings wonders.

Visited @NorthCarolinaMuseumofArts and witnessed this display of creative expression by this young man.
 

 

Apparently, there was a fixation with Tuskegee Airmen and rather than revere the fact that they were allowed to fly, he became more despondent about the challenges they had to face as black men.
 

 

With his demise, we are left with his work and our own interpretation of what it meant, but observation evokes the feelings that he had on that subject.
 

 

All we will have left is what we leave and only we alone can tell our own story.
 

 

Hopefully, what we do today will give others insight of what we think and how we feel by what we do.

<< March 2023 >>

What I am Grateful For

 

Usually in March, I travel to @APrettyPlace to reset for the next quarter, but this year I had to do the responsible thing.

 

As bummed as I was, I accepted that things would always go the way I want them to but I must maintain a heart of gratitude.

 

This trip was no exception as I traveled with my girls

towards the mountains of North Carolina, I did my usual and stopped to early in the trip and ended up losing a lot of time.  
 

When we arrived, it was dark and scary and the only thing I knew to do was to resign myself to my fate and accept that this would be my location for the next three days. 
 

When we awakened, it was still dreary and I was feeling even more despondent resorting to anger and frustration per usual until the Sun/Son arose.  As soon as Sun/Son came out, I was rewarded with a beautiful view and was assured that the next few days would be amazing.

 

Depression and Anxiety will quickly overtake you and you must do all you can to seek and find the best of every experience.  With that your faith and hope will increase and you will be blessed.

 

I am grateful for my journey. 

You know I am watching and listening

You know your kids are watching and listening to you.

You know your co-workers are watching and listening to you.

You know that we see and hear everything you are saying.

You know that we hear your hypocrisy.

You know that we see how you respond to certain things and how it varies from situation to situation.

You know your words speak volumes.

You know your silence does too.

You know that we are watching and listening and hear the discrepancies in how you treat situations including something as simple as a gesture.

You know the internet remains undefeated in exposing the continual depictions of racism as evident by the comments that we read.

You know I wish I could promise my girls that things are getting better for them as young African American women with opportunities to succeed in any area that they desire but then I see and hear the differences in the treatment of these two young women and I have to return with a resounding sigh that things may change but things stay the same.

You know I am watching and listening.

Living, He loved me Dying, He saved me Buried, He carried my sins far away Rising, He justified freely forever One day He's coming back

Glorious Day

#JustBelieve

All I’ve heard with the women teams playing in the final four is the word Believe and that they play according to the Will of God.

 

That speaks volumes of the coaches, trainers and mission of these schools.  It sounds like these young ladies have identified the many obstacles that they face and they are being taught how to overcome these same obstacles. 

 

I have enjoyed hearing the testimony of these young women and pray that they continue to hold onto this face not just throughout this game but throughout their lives.

 

I don’t watch the sports but love the message.  Go women!!!

Proud to serve as North Central Representative APNC 

 

Area includes Surry Stokes Rockingham Caswell Person Vance Granville Guilford Alamance Orange Forsyth Chatham 
 

This has given me an opportunity to become familiar with the concerns facing those areas regarding alcohol and drug use.  Although my time will close December 2023, I have appreciated the knowledge that has been bestowed upon me.  
 

March 1998  Was a day to remember, it was the day that I fully committed to life as a Substance Abuse Counselor.   I had struggled with my identity as a Helper and sat on the fence between living a normal life, hanging out and being with my friends to choosing to walk a higher path as dedicate my life to change.
 

March 2004 Was a day to remember as it was the day that I completed my first book “The Strength of Her Words”, which led to the beginning of Women of Strength, a non profit dedicated to helping women As after 10 years in the field of Substance Abuse, there were few resources for human services professionals when they encountered challenges.

 

March 2005 Was a day that I decided to walk into a new venture, Trinity Counseling Services LLC, one that I had carried for many years inside my head and inside what was known as my brain in a box.  
 

March 2020 Was a day to remember as it was the day that the world changed as we knew it be, having to pivot into unknown territory.  Many of us, including myself learned what I wanted and did not want for my future. 
 

March 2023 apparently I’m celebrating a work anniversary but also a life anniversary, 25 years life changes and 18 years in private practice. I am excited to celebrate 30 years in the field of substance use and mental health disorders August 2024. I am excited for what this new chapter will bring.  Happy New Year!!!
 

Would love to connect with those in my regions as #LCCNC Region 2 Representative and #APNC Regional Vice President North Central #Surry #Stokes #Rockingham #Caswell #Person #Granville #Vance #Warren #Franklin #Durham #Orange #Alamance #Guilford #Forsyth #Davie #Chatham #Randolph #Davidson #Rowan #Cabarrus #Moore #Union #Montgomery #Lee #Johnston 

Maya Angelou, original name Marguerite Annie Johnson, (born April 4, 1928, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.—died May 28, 2014, Winston-Salem, North Carolina), American poet, memoirist, and actress whose several volumes of autobiography explore the themes of economic, racial, and sexual oppression.

 

Born in St Louis, Ms Maya Angelou grew up in Stamps, Arkansas.

 

Before she turned eight years old, she had been raped by her mother’s boyfriend and after she told, the man was “mysteriously” killed. 

 

She developed a condition, selective mutism, stemming from trauma and did not speak for five years.

 

She believed that her words are what killed the man. 

 

For the next forty years, she worked in many jobs, including waitressing until she was selected for a scholarship to begin performing and dance.

 

Her first autobiographical work was not completed until 1969, I know why the Caged Bird sings, when she was 37 years old. 

 

1966, she wrote Black, Blues, Black (aired 1968), a 10-part television series about the role of African culturein American life. 

 

1972, she wrote Georgia, Georgia (1972), becoming one of the first African American women to have a screenplay produced as a feature film. 

 

She also acted in such movies as Poetic Justice (1993) and How to Make an American Quilt (1995) and appeared in several television productions, including the miniseries Roots (1977).

 

1981 Ms Maya Angelou, without a college education, became a professor of American studies at Wake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemNorth Carolina

 

Taking from her examples

  1. Write your story 
  2. Embracing your past will be what will heal you
  3. It is never too late

Mary Jane McLeod Bethune (née McLeod; July 10, 1875 – May 18, 1955[1]) was an American educator, philanthropist, humanitarian, womanist,[2] and civil rights activist.

 

She was known as "The First Lady of The Struggle" because of her commitment to promote better lives for African Americans.

 

She was one of seventeen children of her parents, leading me to believe she was able to get along with others, different personalities

 

She observed her parents being able to purchase through hard work, learning commitment, focus and dedication.

 

She helped her mother and found books and became inspired to learn and then teach others

 

As the result of her life as a teacher, she expanded her foundation into the development of a school and other accomplishments for the advancement of women.

 

Taking from her examples, when faced with adversity:

 

1.  Learn to understand different individuals present different personalities and appreciate each one

2.  Maintains values of commitment, focus and dedication 

3.  Develop focus on ways to make life better for self and others 

I write when I am happy
I write when I am sad

I write when I am upset
I write when I am mad

I write to share my mind
I write to share my heart

I write like I breathe 
I write as an art

I write to communicate
I write so you will learn

I write because I have to 
I write so I don’t burn

I write when it’s quiet
I write when it’s loud

I write this day today
I write this because of this cloud

I write as a way to share
I write to inform

I write and I write 
And I write.
I write

<< February 2023 >>

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<< New image with text >>

<< January 2023 >>

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<< December 2022 >>

#MusingsbyME

Annually, I create a vision board for the year and include snippets of what I want to see for my life for the new year.

As I close out 2022, I share some of goals that have been fulfilled

✅Leaders create Leaders, I completed my first year as Regional Vice President of North Central Addiction Professionals of North Carolina (APNC) and as a board member A New Page

✅ Road Trip, I have traveled to Asheville, Wrightsville Beach, Greensboro, Winston Salem, Martinsville, VA, Durham and even close to home Mebane, NC to Find my Place in my career as both a workshop presenter and a on site disruptive event consultant/clinician

✅Take Control and Unleash your potential, with encouragement, I have learned to take control through enacting the word No, maintaining self care (nearly daily nap to recharge) and learning where my strengths lie so that I may be more effective.

My goals for 2023, are
1. Keynote Speaking
2. Professorship
3. Completion of Current Book Projects
4. Increased Engagement
5. Greater Visibility

I am grateful for the strength my mother left me to help me move forward into the future.
https://www.MelissaEnoch.com
 

<< November 2022 >>

#MusingsbyME

?One of my all-time favorite movies is The Road to Perdition, with Tom Hanks, a story about how A mob enforcer's son in 1930s Illinois witnesses a murder, forcing him and his father to take to the road, and his father down a path of redemption and revenge.

?As the story progresses, there is the one scene where The son Peter Sullivan asks one of the other mob guys, Why are you always smiling? And the mob guy answers;  Connor Rooney:  Cause it's all so f—-' hysterical.

?In this situation and in life there will be situations that will unfold and will be difficult to manage or even understand. There will situations that seem to go beyond black and white and mingle so far into gray areas that many will become frustrated, overwhelmed and depressed.

?This movie line has helped me so many times in these situations and has allowed a reprieve from trying to save the world and solve everything and reassess and realign to remember my purpose, my why.

?When I am asked was it my intention to spend nearly 30 years helping others in the field of substance use and mental health disorders will watching the continual evolving of the field, I continue to smile and my response is similar to that line it’s so f- hysterical. Not funny in the sense of laughter but funny how the laws change but many things stay the same.

??My purpose of providing substance and mental health education, offering hope through acknowledgment of the value of the situation and continual encouragement of individuals embracing their stories remains the same.



 

<< October 2022 >>

#MusingsbyME

You need to post on a schedule.

I do, but my thoughts that come to my head are not on a schedule.

Today’s conversation and time to think has prompted me to ask, what accommodations does one need to make their career, their marriage, their relationships and their lives better?

This conversation began with an early morning discussion with my 12 and 13 years about whether or not there could be a blind doctor? My youngest(more logical and rational) said NO!!! Emphatically, and went on further to question how? My oldest(more sensitive and empathetic) at least tried to think through the possibilities.

Of which we learned that 1912, there was indeed a blind doctor of medicine who was one of the top in the heart/lung. This lesson showed me that despite what would be considered a limitations could be modified with accommodations made based upon the identified need. No sight, but skilled hands then pair with someone with sight and unskilled hands. Through communication and patience, two become one for the greater good.

Wish we as a community could do the same.

#MusingsbyME

The Power of One Voice

As I have shared my grief journey, I have learned many things since the passing on of my mother, my one trusted adult. Losing her was the most difficult as she supported me in nearly endeavor.

From the moment she adopted me until her very last words, she encouraged me and let me know that my voice was important. But in her life, she taught me that there would be times when the community would need to help and become one voice and one purpose, especially when she believed that she had exhausted all her abilities.

When I needed etiquette, she turned me over to Ms Morris, who showed me how to walk, how to stand and how to sit with grace and elegance.

When I needed organization, she turned me over to my aunt, who showed me how to organize everything from groceries to bills.

There are so many more examples, but I share this, because, I have observed that this art of collectiveness, community and need for One Voice, is being lost and “that’s not my job, that’s not my responsibility” is causing a tremendous fracture in society’s fabric and many are being lost and left behind as a result.

However, I am so grateful to have the Wisdom, Knowledge and ability to share and instruct others on what that one voice looks like for the good in the clients I serve, the spaces that I go into and the community in which I live.

If you are interested in my sharing the Effectiveness of Community Involvement as a #KeynoteSpeaker

#MusingsbyME

I am a Professional crier.  

When I tell people that, the responses are between shock and concern.  I repeat and explain how I attend funerals mostly of people that I don’t know, either in regular attendance of singing in a choir.  And sometimes without prompting, I cry.

When I am asked why, I simply remind them of my mission in life which is Education, Enrichment and Enlightenment or Wisdom, Knowledge and Instruction.  

As a therapist, I have learned to become more in tune with my own emotions and am now able to share this with others.  I have witnessed people fail to begin their grieving process believing that they “need to be strong” for everyone else while suffering in silence without realizing that the grief process has several stages that must begin so that it may end in healthy acceptance.

This was confirmed through a statement that I heard that says in times of loss, there will be people who will dictate how you are supposed to grieve, but you need to say with clarity that “you will have days when you are simply not okay”, but that’s okay. 

I am grateful for this message, ministry and mission to help people be better. 



 

#MusingsbyME

 

The thought of entering the holiday season filled hosting events with family, friends and fellowship can bring with it feelings of gladness and joy; however for those without their loved ones whether by death, incarceration or estrangement, it can bring feelings of sadness and pain.
The first few years that I have celebrated this season without my parents and grandparents, I’ve had to learn to break tradition and to do what brings me joy, which may or may not include what many may believe is traditional celebration.


I am grateful for and hope others who are in similar circumstances are able to do the same for whatever helps their spirit to grow during this time. If you struggle with knowing what to do, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your therapist, your trusted friend or someone that can help you be confident in whatever decision you make for this season.

#MusingbyME

 

Over the weekend, I’ve had a chance to reflect and have learned that what I believed was impossible, is possible. It came from a conversation and was said with little conviction, but carried a powerful message. It was said nonchalantly as if it was supposed to happen as long as you had a little time, money and energy to invest in it. The outcome would lead to a reunion and life would be made complete. As I reflected on this conversation, I was reaffirmed that with an investment into myself the outcome may not be the same but would carry me to my goal. This thought alone is enough to stave off any negative thinking that would have me to believe otherwise.

#MusingsbyME

 

Nothing good comes out of the hood

 

They say, I mean statistics say, I means some people say nothing good comes out of the neighborhood, more specifically, my neighborhood, more specifically Green Level, Ruby Doo , the GL or whatever name is given to the small area wedged in between the Town of Haw River, the Town of Mebane and the City of Burlington.  
 

This community now town founded back in the 1960s (or earlier) from a developer that purchased farmland from Ben Mebane, created a space for working class African Americans to live including my grandparents and parents.

 

Although the area has had its share of crime, drugs and death; many people managed to grow up, move on and even return to this space.  I have a sense of pride that I can boast that through it all, I managed to obtain education, entrepreneurship and independence and now have an opportunity to share this with my daughters.

 

Good can come out of the neighborhood with focus, determination and courage and I am prepared to share the formula

#MusingsbyME

 

i don’t know the MCU or any other series, but I do like trends. So, after seeing the first Black Panther (@MichaelBJordan ❤️) I felt that it was only fitting that I would actually attend the showing of Wakanda Forever.

 

What I was not prepared for was the multitude of thoughts and feelings that I would have during this viewing. I think of my mother daily (who passed August 28, 2020) and cannot fathom the amount of fortitude that the ones who had worked with @ChadwickBoseman and the effect that he had and the ones who felt his looming presence throughout the filming of this movie.

 

it made me wonder how much of an investment did the production staff, studio, director make in grief counseling for them before, during and after filming this movie.

 

it also made me wonder many other things from the beginning to the ending to the credits.

 

if you haven’t gone to see this movie, because of lack of interest, lack of connection or even lack of concern for the more intricate issues, then attend for the support of representation, empathy and by all

means read the credits and see how many people that it took to pull off that $330 million. It is a testament to what can happen when there is collective trauma, collective grief, collective need to overcome and work as a team for the greater good.

 

I am excited for the future and grateful for knowing what the active definition of Resilience can do.

#MusingsbyME

Spring Equinox 2023 March 20, 2023

Fred Symmes 

 

As an annual event, started March 20, 2021 as a new ritual of acknowledging the change of seasons, I discovered the Fred Symmes chapel via tik tok.  Feeling like I wanted a "Mecca" to travel to and pray and seek peace, I ventured forth.

 

Year One was spent explaining why I would want to awakened at 330 travel nearly three hours away to a mountainside to view a sunrise.

 

Year Two was spent learning from the first adventure to  leave earlier, be prepared for the cold and to expect the unexpected.

 

As I prepare for Year Three not just to travel forth but to also understand the mistakes from years past, I decided to dig deeper and found this "the period of struggle between darkness and light, death and life. It occurs when the night and day will be equal, and the journey of the Sun to actually get there also signifies the journey of the Universe.

 

I learned just as I suspected that there was a spiritual meaning to this change and like my job as a substance use therapist, a mental health professional, a purveyor of knowledge; my quest is to continue to appreciate the ability to sit between light and dark; past and future, and life and death and to show the benefit and detriment of each in a manner in which anyone could understand.

#MusingsbyME

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go.

With only a few more weeks left until Christmas and the end of the year, I thought I would encourage those who maybe struggling with burnout, depressive thoughts and other concerns as we close this year.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real disorder that affects many when the time is shorter. And with it comes feelings of disappointment, disgust and despair.

You have never seen a tree bemoan the fact that it is losing it leaves as it knows that it will flourish again come spring. It spends the Winter ensuring that it has all that it needs to thrive and loses that which takes away its energy to live. Be like those trees rather than the evergreen that is expected to withstand all of the harshness. But if you must then, like the evergreen, just know that you will need to adapt. Your choice.

Be encouraged that you will make it through this season.

#MusingsbyME
With the change of the season and the change of the clock, let’s consider the changes that need to be made in other areas of our lives.

Change in our thoughts
Change in our feelings
Change in our behavior

Change in our values
Change in our attitude
Change in our opinions

The revolving of the earth around the sun and the moon around the earth gives us the outline of how change must happen let us do the same.

Conserve energy
Get rest
Allow that which is dead to fall and be used as fertilizer for our growth
Hide the light until it’s time to shine bright
Hibernate until the winter has passed

One a week
Once a month
Once a year

I have an opportunity to reflect on times past, choices made and the results of living a life without a clear purpose.

Then, I am reminded that my literal essence and purpose was assigned from my very beginning with my moniker, my name Melissa determining it for me.

Melissa is Greek for “honey bee” whose “job” is to impossibly fly with wings that are not designed to hold me, traveling great distances to obtain the pollen aka knowledge and to bring it back to flowers to create fruit.

To desire to see the literal fruits of this labor is impossible as there is and has been no way to measure the effect pollination has on actual production of product because the area to measure is too vast and the variables are too many to calculate with any accuracy.

So, like the bee I just not be discouraged by the journey but being encouraged by the faith in knowing a difference has been made.

 

A Story of Love would be the title of my story which is how my mother told me at the age of four about my adoption.  She shared her struggles of infertility and how she and my father made the decision to adopt me from the North Carolina Children’s Home Society, then based in Charlotte NC.  She told of how two young people had discovered that they were having a child and instead of abortion, they offered me up for adoption through partnership with Dept of Social Services.  At the time, having a child out of wedlock was considered taboo, their whole lives would be ruined, not able to attend college, being an embarrassment to their families but instead of ending it or hiding me, they demonstrated an act of love for me to have a better way of life to a family that had a lot of love to give.  For that I am grateful to be able to share my story to anyone who was adopted or is seeking adoption. 

Was it worth it?

 

Was it worth it?

One second of being upset

One second of anger

One second of rage

 

Was it worth it?

One minute to pause

One minute to wait

One minute to leave

 

Was it worth it?

One hour to think

One hour to wonder

One hour to know 

 

Was it worth it?

Now they are lost

Now they are gone 

Now they are dead

 

Was it worth it?

Now life has moved

Now life has changed

Now life has finished 

 

Was it worth it?

 

RIP Takeoff 2022

The day was not very life changing
Had spent much of the past few days
Wandering aimlessly with no direction
Too afraid to reach out
Out of fear
Out of shame
Out of guilt
 

 

I traveled home in silence
A trip I had taken so many times before
But this one was so different
A little fear
A little shame
A little guilt
As always no questions was asked
It was a normal day
A normal time spent wondering
More fear
More shame
More guilt
With loving arms wrapped around me
I felt loved, supported, appreciated
No longer having to be alone
Fear, gone
Shame, gone
Guilt,gone
The day my life began.
Again.

The Real Meaning of ‘When Two or Three are Gathered’ in the Bible
 
  • Talk to him (or her) privately about it.
  • If he refuses to repent, grab two or three friends — people you trust — who will back you up when you talk to him a second time.
  • If he still refuses to say sorry, take your friends with you and speak to the church about the issue.
  • If the church confronts him and he still refuses to apologize or make things right, then you have permission to have a bad opinion of him and never to have anything to do with him again. In other words, you can symbolically kick him out of the church.
 
 
“Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness.” Deuteronomy 17:6
“One witness shall not rise against a man concerning any iniquity or any sin that he commits; by the mouth of two or three witnesses, the matter shall be established.” Deuteronomy 19:15

Too Old to Care

 
A New phrase that I have embraced for 20/20. 20/20 was a mantra adopted by many to describe their focus for the New Year. After some research, it was realized that only approx 30% of people have actual 20/20 vision and in order to obtain it, others have had to augment their eyesight to gain this vision.
 
The motto Too Old To Care for me stems for me need to eradicate the many years of people pleasing. This behavior or addiction has caused me to reflect on the many that I had and failed to pursue, because of my fear and desire to be a people pleaser. Lost dreams and visions of various businesses, goals, places and things that I could have accomplished, gone to and done.
 
People pleasing is defined as the desire to please people so much that you find yourself conforming to their values and beliefs while abandoning your own. Children of alcoholics finds themselves adopting this behavior as a coping mechanism when dealing with a parent who is an alcoholic and addict or as today’s language states being raised by someone with a substance use disorders.
 
When you are young, you learn this behavior as method to keep the peace. You care about not making too much noise as it may wake them up. So you learn quiet activities. You care about not expressing displeasure, crying or becoming angry when the parent does not do what they said they were going to do.
 
As you get older, your people pleasing abilities help you fit in most groups or cliques easily adapting to their rules and never being to fully develop your own value system. You find yourself attending the schools of your friends’ choices, participating in the activities of their choosing whether safe or not and oftentimes finding yourself in situations out of tour own character.
 
As you mature, these adopted characteristics frame your choice in relationships, careers and dreams. However, when you finally decide that you no longer want to participate in this behavior, you are often met with harsh criticisms.
 
You age and find yourself wondering how did you get to this place and feel resentful, hopeless and angry at the many choices you made due to this unspoken addiction aka habit aka defense mechanisms aka behavior aka choice.
 
Being too old to care comes from a place of no longer being willing to allow a thing to control tour thoughts and feelings. You have a right to say no. You have a right to pursue that thing you want to do despite what anyone says. You have a right to put yourself foot down and say I will not be subjected to your opinions and whims. You have a right to say you will not take my voice. You have a right to say you will not silence me due to your uncomfortableness. You have a right to say “I am no longer that eight year old afraid” “I am no longer that thirteen year old insecure” “I am no longer that 23 year old anxious” “I am no longer that 32 year old depressed” “I am a half a century relic built and designed by an expert that holds a value and is irreplaceable and worthy of honor and respect”.

No words

No words can ever explain away
The hurt that I feel today
The sadness that envelops me
The pain in knowing that my life
Just changed

 

No words can ever explain away
The loss of a loved one
The grief that encompasses me
The emptiness that surrounds my life
Just happened

No words can ever explain away
The thought that they’re gone
The anger that eats away at me
The frustration that now consumes my life
Just now

No words
No explanation
No loss
No One
Nothing

A word can explain away
The hurt that you feel
The sadness that envelops you
The pain in knowing that life just changed
Love

A word can explain away
The loss of your loved one
The grief that encompasses you
The emptiness that surrounds you life
Honor

A word can explain away
The thought of they’re gone
The anger that is eating away at you
The frustration that consumes your life
Faith

Three words
Can explain
That with loss
There is SomeOne
Something
@Melissa

#RIPKobe #RIPGianna #allofyou who died on this fateful day 1/262020

Writings
 
One cup of coffee
 
One cup of coffee
Only takes two minutes
To prepare
Only takes five minutes
To brew
 
One cup of coffee
Only takes one minute
To pour
Only takes one minute
To fix
 
One cup of coffee
Can be carried
Away
Can be consumed
Home
 
One cup of coffee
Does not sound
Like much
Does not seem
Like much
 
One cup of coffee
Gives me enough
Time
Gives me enough
Strength
 
One cup of coffee
It may be the only
Time
It may be the only
Moment
 
One cup of coffee
It is my chance
For peace
It is my chance
For patience
 
One cup of coffee
Give me my one
Cup
Give me my one
Of
 
Coffee
Peace
Quiet
Moment
Time
Patience
Joy
Hope
Strength
 
Thank you
 
One cup of coffee
 
@2019 Melissa Enoch
I have a story to share with you about a seed.
 
This seed was planted nearly fifty years ago. When this seed was planted it was planted on shaky ground. God saw this and realized the need for it to be transplanted to a more fertile ground.
 
Once this seed was transplanted this seed flourished in many areas, education, morals and love. However during this time many storms arose tossing this seed and its ground to and fro.
 
At this point God provided sun and rain to continue to allow this seed to grow. This seedling grew and outgrew its original ground and was moved to ground further from its original location.
 
This move was somewhat tumultuous as it was unknown and was much larger than seemed comfortable. Yet this seed prospered it grew larger and was capable of developing roots that were strong enough to sustain it.
 
However, this seed multiplied and the need arose for it to return to its original ground to allow its seedlings the opportunity to grow in the same fertile ground of which it began. The desire was for it to allow its seedlings the same opportunity as it had.

And then
There were drugs
Not just any drugs
But all of them
Sex,alcohol,weed
Cocaine, heroin, greed
Drugs
My mother loved me
My mom hated me
My father was present
My dad was not there
Drugs
I got all the attention
I was ignored
I played sports, music
I was very bored
Drugs
I was bullied
I was called names
I was accepted
I received fame
Drugs
Now I am older
Now I am more wise
Making better choices
Have done many things
But near my demise
It's no surprise
Drugs
Melissa Enoch @2018

Think about times in your life when you have not been as succesful as you wanted to be.  How did you react?  What helped you overcome the problem?  How can you best deal with setbacks in your basic helping skills training?  What feelings do you have as you start this process?  

 

This journal entry was written during the first time that I entered into the Counseling program UNCC.  We had completed an assignment that describes the many changes that an individuals goes through in the beginning of the learning and helping process.  It also encouraged the use of supervision in the development of helping skills.  The learning skills of helping were necessary to create and sustain the professional growth as a counselor.  It is interesting to look at one's own personal beliefs and motivation for entereing and remaining in the helping field.  

 

For me the receipt of poor marks was equal to failure of lack of success.  I learned to self evaluation in order to identify what created difficulties in my life and how to compensate for it.  I applied this in my educational, professional and personal life.  I learned that patience, commitment and willingness to accept responsibility, take risks and being self-motivated was necessary for personal growth.  I learned that communication, listening and goal setting required time and patience.  Finally, I learned that failure was necessary to help produce better results.  Failure was expected and created an opportunity to maintain the standard set for myself.                                                                                                                                 

I was able to establish the boundaries that I needed to establish my own definition for success instead of relying on the views of others.  If I am going to tryly practice things such as empathy and positive regard, then I must accept my own limitations as not failures but opportunities of growth.  I believe that mere acknowledgement of this struggle will help me to proceed in this process.  I feel confident that I can overcome this struggle through supervision and consultation with others.  

 

 

Think about some key friendships in your life.  What is it that has made them so important for you?  Compare your feelings of closeness in your friendship with your feelings about favorite teachers you have known.  For a relationship to be productive, do you think that emotional closeness and liking are essential?  

 

This assignment caused me to reflect on my thoughts about relationship.  Immediately, some of my besties came to mind.  The relationships of individuals that I count as my best friends are few.   Many of things relationships have lasted over several decades.  Each of these relationships was forged upon the characteristics of Trust, Respect and Commitment.  The boundaries that were created were based upon similar qualities, values and upbringing; but also transcended time.  In these friendships, the expectation that there wil be some type of reciprocity of the same aspects as were offered.  Whenever these qualities did not exist, then we learned how to ask for what we needed and developed healthy relationships based upon these needs.  The ability to do so has helped to create the understanding needed within the helping profession in allowing others to understand the qualities needed to develop not only friendships, but lasting relationships that allows the opportunities to help others fulfill their goals for the same.  

Think for a moment about an important friendship in your life.  Reflect on the ups and downs in the relationship and the stages that the relationship has gone through.  What is it that makes this relationship special?  

 

The goals of this assignment was to examine what limitations occur in a relationship.  Acknowledgement of one's own limitations helps an individual become more accepting of otehrs.  I had a family member that had an unusual personality.  This personality caused him to think differently.  I learned that he only seemed to relate to me versus others and wondered why.  I later learned that he only identified with me, would not carry on a conversation with others and only talks with me and shares whatever he thinks of.  This relationship helped me to become more open-minded about the thoughts of others.   When I tunnel vision on topics, I stop and remember this relationship and how important it is to identify with the thoughts of others causing them to be more open and willing to share.  

Let us suppose that a client met you and then immediately asked for a different helper because you were not of the same nationality, culture, age, sex or for some reason related to outer differences.  How would you react?  What issues would it raise for you?  

 

First of all, I would research helpers from all nationalities, cultures, ages, sex and other outer differences to assure that there was a different helper of the same outward appearance.  Afterwards, when it was deemed that there was no one available that fit their criteria, I would then question what difference would it make to have someone of similar quailities.  I would acknowledge that there were differences, but also similarities through self-disclosure.  I would share how I would feel being counseling by someone who did not look, talk or act like me.  I would then share how open-mindeness, willingness and honesty would be traints that I would seek in a helper.  I would also share how being understanding, a good listener and accepting are other important traits that would help build the relationships.  Once the individual seemed to be more at ease, I would attempt to reach a basic agreement that these would be traits that would be exhibited in our counseling relationship.  

Don’t you hate it when…

Time seems to stand still

But continues to pass you by

You feel there is no end

Only to reach the sky

 

Don’t you hate it when…

Life seems destined for

Failure untold

Offering so much promise

Only to reach that goal

 

Don’t you hate it when…

Love seems to elude you

But follow you day and night

Denying the Peace within you

Only to increase its might

 

Don’t you hate it when…

Thoughts seem to repeat

But quickly fade away

Threatening to drive you insane

Yet makes you whole anyway.

 

Melissa Enoch 3/1/1996 

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