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Sunday, February 12, 2017
Cathy Harris Turns 60 and Loving It
Happy 60th Birthday
Oct. 6, 2016
Why I Have A Birthday Ritual
This is what 60 looks like y'all.
Love it or leave it.
Age ain't nothing but a number.
You are truly as young as you feel.
Life is about figuring things out and some of the answers won't come to you right away. However, if you stay patient and continue to move forward, you will be given all the tools you need to figure out where you are, how you got there, and where life is taking you next.
I finally figured out going into my 60th birthday, why I love nature so much. I thought back about growing up in rural Georgia and how walking in nature literally saved me mentally, spiritually and even physically.
My upbringing wasn't very pretty, so my school life actually saved me. Like most kids who don't enjoy school today, I enjoyed being in school.
When I wasn't there, it occupied my thoughts. I was extremely popular in school with my peers especially in high school. I treated everyone with respect, the same way I wanted to be treated.
In the 11th grade, I won 1st runner up for homecoming queen.
Many people told me I actually won homecoming queen, but because I was raised in the deep south, they could not give it to a black person...not in the 60s and 70s.
In my early years, it was 9 children in my family. Unlike many others today, both my mother and father were in our home. I don't even remember when my two older siblings, ever stayed at home.
My 3 older sisters had each other growing up and so did my 3 younger brothers, but as the youngest daughter, I never had a family member that I could just hang out with.
So I guess you can say that I did in fact feel like cinderalla or an outcast and eventually realize it was called being the family's black sheep.
Even though I never got in fights in school, because I was well-liked, in my home life, it was a completely different story.
I was a strappy little child. This meant I had to fight my sisters and brothers to survive my upbringing everyday.
My sister one year older than me was my father's favorite because she prepared meals for him. My sister 3 years older than me was my mother's favorite because she was the boss of the house in my mother's and father's absence.
I was the youngest daughter, so whatever lie, my two older sisters told my parents, they would believe, so again I had to fight not just mentally but physically.
My older brother, who was about 6 years older than me, use to pick me up and throw me across the room. I would land on a table or the floor, so I avoided conflicts with my 5 brothers because they were just too big.
However, I gave my sisters a run for the money, especially my sister who was only one year older than me, and could not stand the ground I walked on.
Because of how things were set up in school back then, we both had ended up taking several classes together.
I was not just a bookworm but also the "teacher's pet," who was often called upon to pass out test scores, which infuriated my sister because I made really good grades and hers were barely passing.
Because we were so close in age, one year apart, this caused a big rift in my family life when I was young. Not only did the fact that I made good grades in school infuriate my sister, but she was the most dark-skinned child in the family, so I guess you can say she also had a self-hate issue going on.
My brothers would even tease her about this. So by the time I arrived home from school, she was ready to take her resentment out on someone. Since I was the youngest sister, all of it fell on me.
Not only did she jump on me but she had my other sister, which she was very close to, join in and even my mother would hold me and assist with the beatings.
We fought like cats and dogs, hair pulling, scratches, etc., you name it -- you get the picture. It was like something right off "The Jerry Springer Show." My sister even burned my leg and I have the scar today, when she sneaked up on me one day when I was standing too close to the fireplace grate -- and pushed me on it.
They had a big advantage over me, not because it was 3 of them, but they were bigger and taller than me. But let me show you how God or Angels work.
God saw what was happening to me at such a young age, so in order to "level the playing field" as I grew up, and to prepare me for the person that I needed to become, I became taller than both of my sisters.
Once I grew an inch taller than them, it was the last time they ever laid their hands on me.
After that if any conflict rose, I would just grabbed them by the hair and knock both their heads together, just like you see in the movies, then they would just walk away and leave me alone.
But mostly I stayed clear of them. I would always go on these nature walks through our woods back in rural Georgia. I would listen to my echo as I talked out loud about how I would make it through this madness they call childhood, and go on to make something of myself and live a worthy life -- and that I did.
You can never allow your upbringing to dictate your future, because everyone
was put on this earth for a reason. I realized this early on and it stayed with me throughout my life, no matter how hard my life got at times.
I always knew for every problem, there was always a solution, so I just needed to stay focused and keep my eyes on the prize - and that I did.
Back in my 20s, I could not have imagined how I would look or what I would be doing in my 60s because back then, sometimes you just live for the moment, especially when you are young, free and full of energy.
Just some of the things that I am looking forward to in my life include "Laughing in person and hugging both my daughters again; The birth of my first grandchild next year; Meeting more great friends and acquaintances; the release of my next book entitled "Forever Young: How To Reach Your Maximum Level of Health While Looking Good and Feeling Great"; and also the release of my book about my life "My Life, My Journey, My Masterpiece: The Courageous Life of Cathy Harris."
By the time I finish writing a book about my entire life, I am sure the title will probably change and up until now, I did not want to finish the book because I still have a lot of living to do. However, now that I have turned 60 years old, I plan on finishing the book over the next couple of years.
Family has always meant the world to me, especially my two daughters. I feel joy and happiness in my youngest daughter's voice every time she calls me because like me, she has a great amount of compassion for others.
Like me, her empathy for others has reached endless boundaries, so I am proud of her and all her accomplishments. She finally figured out what life is all about. And that's all I ever wanted for her.
My oldest daughter never takes no for an answer and is taking this world by a storm. Her passport is full with stamps of all the places that she has visited all over the world. Next year she plan on having her first child, so she said she is giving up traveling and printing out all her pictures, so they can be reminders for the rest of her life.
Now that's a solid action plan and I am proud of her for making this decision. That's what she wanted for her life and she should be happy.
She told me I needed to go out of the country for my 60th birthday and I told her I did not need to go out of the country because unlike many people today, I see the beauty in everyday things, right here in my own backyard.
I told her I wanted to be near water so I could reflect on my life so I am pretty sure I will be at an ocean looking at the sunset.
Many people are on excursions all around the world trying to find that peace, joy and happiness, and for many it's right here in their own hearts, with all the wonderful memories that they have been fortunate enough to capture in their lives, however, many people will never realize it.
Before becoming an author in 2001 and writing 23 non-fiction books, I was an avid photographer. I even took a couple of photography classes, when I lived in Miami for 5 years and because I love nature so much, I almost became a landscape or nature photographer.
But once I started putting words on paper - writing - it not only lifted my entire soul, but I knew I had found my true purpose.
Writing not only allowed me to change the world through my writings, it actually healed me mentally, physically, and spiritually.
I guess you can call photography my next greatest love, next to writing. So on all my birthdays, I usually bring out all my picture books at home, which I have many of, and reflect back on my life, while I set goals for the next year. And this is how I come up with my yearly goals through my "birthday rituals."
I take this time out to look at where I have been and where I want to go. As an Empowerment Speaker, my mind is constantly in the research mode of figuring things out in this life. I look at three major areas in my life -- "my health, my family/financial life and my business/career."
I don't ask for much in my life so my goals are always obtainable and reachable, but not like some folks who feel they can't be happy, unless they reach for all these unreachable goals.
Some people never set goals but instead they spend their entire lives drifting through life, looking for the next opportunity that might pop up, instead of getting out there and setting "solid goals."
I might have lived like that at some point in my life, but it's been a long time since I did not research my next move in regards to "my health, my family/financial life and my business/career."
On Saturdays and Sundays of each week, I set my goals for the entire week so I set 7 day or weekly goals. Then I look at the calendar and set 2 week goals, 30 days goals, and 3 and 6 months goals again around "my health, my family/financial life and my business/career."
So around my birthdays, I don't do anything for days but just reflect back on my accomplishments in my life and where I need to go from there to bring even more happiness in my life. So happiness for me has always been an inside job.
My birthday ritual is not going to change simply because it is my 60th birthday. But my 60thbirthday is extremely special because on my 50th birthday, on October 6, 2006, after working in an abusive workplace environment for 11 years and retiring in May 2005, I had gotten off track, healthwise.
Luckily, I was able to figure it out and then I got on with the process of living my life to the fullest. However, I will still never forget that time in my life, when I missed my 50th birthday, which was a milestone.
I will continue to use my 50thbirthday as a reminder of how not to get off track again. So around all my birthdays, it's important to set some time out to reflect, meditate and just figure out the direction I am headed in in my life.
I usually ask myself - Am I in the right relationship? Am I paying enough attention to my adult children? What do I still need to tell my adult daughters before I leave this world? Am I in the right city? Do I have the right associates or acquaintances in my life? What do I need to do differently with my business?
Cathy Harris is an Empowerment and Motivational Speaker, Non-GMO Health and Wellness Expert, Advice Columnist at DearCathy.com, Self-Publishing and Business Coach. She is also the author of 23 non-fiction books, including 4 health books and 2 business books. She provides webinars, seminars and workshops through her speaking and training platforms at http://www.CathyHarrisSpeaks.com and can be reached through her empowerment company, Angels Press, CEO, President, Publisher, P.O. Box 800511, Dallas, TX 75380, Phone: (512) 909-7365, Website: http://www.AngelsPress.com, Email: email@example.com.