Dr. Maxine Thompson
“Ask, and it shall be given you; Seek, and ye shall find; Knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
Have you ever known someone who spent all her time talking about what she was going to do when she retired, then she dropped dead just before, or shortly after retirement?
How did you feel when that happened? Whenever this happens, I always feel that this person wasted her “today” time, living for “tomorrow”, which never came.
Now how about people who followed their dreams and stopped waiting for that elusive retirement brass ring?
I speak from experience because that’s exactly what I did. On October 31, 1997, due to health reasons, I walked off a high-stress job as a social worker (I had been in this field for twenty-three years at this point,) and have not looked back.
As I was facing these health challenges, life took on a new perspective that went something like this: “If I had one day to live, is this what I want to be doing?” In my heart, I would always get a resounding, “NO!”
I don’t know about you, but 9-11 was also a wake-up call for me. In the aftermath, I noticed in the media where family members reconciled who hadn’t spoken to each other in years. People changed careers and left intolerable situations that they had been tolerating. Across the board, everyone realized that life was short and that they needed to make the best of it.
Don’t get me wrong. It was not an easy path to follow, but it was the best one—when I look back. That first year I left behind my familiar pattern of getting up, fighting L.A. gridlock traffic, and going to work, I felt lost. I didn’t know how I was going to make it financially.
What I learned on the journey is there is never a perfect time to make your move to pursue your dreams. You should save up, plan, but eventually you have to take the leap.
Since that time, I have owned my own Internet radio show at the now defunct www.maxineshow.com, (which I might start back up) and have hosted three other Internet radio shows on other networks, such as www.voiceamerica.com, (March 2002 to December 2005), www.artistfirst.com (since March 2004) (where I still host) and www.harambeeradio.com.
As the owner of Black Butterfly Press, Maxine Thompson’s Literary Services and Thompson Literary Agency found at www.maxinethompson.com, and www.maxinethompsonbooks.com, I also own a nonprofit, Maxine Thompson’s Literary and Educational Services, in order to give back to my community. I was even conferred an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities in April 2005.
I have also negotiated over 100 book deals for other writers as a literary agent and have edited or ghostwritten over 1,000 books. In addition, I am the author of 17 titles. This is the Act III, or my second career in my life. All of these endeavors grew out of my passion, not out of my bank account.
Do I have any regrets? No. I have challenges, but I don’t think I would have lived to this age had I stayed in the job I was on. I’ve heard of many of my former social work colleagues dying over the past 19 years. I’m sure stress had a lot to do with it.
Let’s face it. Too many women often are not living their lives to the full. Many report they feel they are living for everyone else in the family. Although we want to have a life of balance, we don’t know how to get it. As women, we’ve been trained to think struggle and sacrifice for others is what we should do.
Well, one way to bring our lives into more balance is through affirmations. What if we could reinvent our lives through thinking positive thoughts?
More than ever, we are in need of sayings to help give us control over the qualities of our days. Just as our ancestors used old sayings to help them survive—in spite of racism, sexism, ageism, and classism—we need to revisit the ‘old ways.’
Whether we are working as secretaries, working at McDonald’s, or running a company, we need peace.
In the creative arenas, for women filmmakers, writers, publishers, and those wanting to become artists of sorts, there is a need to decode and recode symbols for our culture. If we don’t do it ourselves, it won’t get done.
We need to reclaim our bodies, our souls and our lives. Affirmations can help us get closer to our goals.
In the main, why do we need affirmations? Because today, women are dying from stress. One woman told me, “I guess I have to die in order to get some rest.” And she died shortly after that. That’s exactly what’s happening. We are dying at younger ages and at an alarming rate.
However, the good news is this. We are living in an exciting time, filled with possibilities, so why not take advantage of these times?
One reason is that we now live in an age of spiritual enlightenment, interdependence, and access to information that only the rich enjoyed at one time. We have the Internet, which levels the playing field for everyone. With the Internet, you can start a business on a shoestring budget. You can meet friends on a global level because of the different communities on line. You can start podcasts and alternate medias on Youtube. In fact, you can start your own communities of interest.
Why not become the artist of your own life? Use affirmations to redesign your life and find your joy. Find ways to create multiple streams of income with technology. We now have money that can be made through twitter, facebook, linked in, Instagram, and other social media groups.
For in order to have fun and enjoy life, you have to throw out all the mental “what-I-should do’s” and “must-erbations” and follow your own heart. If you are doing work you love, it will feel like play. Learn to live authentically from your very soul.
Creating a life you love will help determine the quality of your health, your happiness, and sometimes, even your longevity. The benefits from doing what you love and living a passionate life are too many to enumerate. (By the way, my health problems have lessened.)
As an African American female baby boomer, I’d like to break ground for the younger generation behind me. I’d like to disrupt our conventional thinking. Each generation should progress beyond what the generation before them accomplished.
Why not make these the best years of your life, whatever age you are? Never forget that life is tenuous. It can be taken from you without a minute’s notice.
So use affirmations to help heal and to change your life. Start feeling like you’re a co-creator with God, instead of a victim of your circumstances.
Go into 2017 with a new attitude. Don’t put off what you can do today for that elusive tomorrow.
“I will connect with the world through technology for the betterment of humanity.”
Taken from Affirmations and Essays for Melanoid People