Alaina O.

It’s taken decades, a gracious loving God & lots of inner work to step out of the shadows of insecurity…

To stand confident in the light of who I am, what I want & what I’m called to do in the world.  

Emotional dis-ease, limiting beliefs, and a warped identity had me locked up on the inside like a prisoner.

I was voted Most Likely To Succeed by my classmates my senior year in high school because of who I “looked” to be on the outside.  An honor student, violinist, student council leader &  homecoming queen, I was told I could “write my own ticket…”

But it never matters how prosperous you appear to be on the outside when you’re emotionally poor on the inside…   

All the accolades & busy work were temporary disguises masking a broken heart.

I kept going through the motions after graduation because I didn’t know what else to do.  I went to college ‘unconcentrated’.  I changed my major 4 times before finally declaring a Child & Adolescent Development major ’cause it was the one that would hurry up and get me outta there.

Having no idea what to do with myself didn’t seem to matter anymore after landing that “good government job” at the post office my junior year.  My new purchasing power hypnotized me, it took me years to realize that I’d walked straight into a trap.

5 years in (or so) I did see it, but it took 9 more for me to muster up the courage to move on what I saw.

I so believed I needed the house on the corner lot in “the neighborhood”, the Lexus, and labels in my clothes to “be somebody”, the idea that I could leave the dreaded job that afforded me those things was unimaginable.

And it all looked awesome from the curb.  But behind the plantation shutters was a scared & confused little girl desperately trying to mask a poisoned identity with weekly trips to the beauty shop.

Broke and broken on the inside for years… my façade started cracking in 2004.  I’d just finished just my master’s degree in human resources, and I was all ready & hopeful to finally be somebody.

I had big dreams to land a corporate training & development gig somewhere (anywhere) with 70% travel and my nameplate on the desk… but that dream died a horrible death.  I never even got an interview.

I ached everywhere: my money, my pride, my hopes, my ego…

I  grew sick in my body.  Dis-eased and hurting.  Emotionally.  Literally.  My heart went from broken to hard.  I felt victimized & mocked by my own dreams.  The hope that sent me back to school slithered silent, like a snake, into a deep depression.

Shame & self-pity grew up together as I watched my women-friends, family, classmates, coworkers (even enemies on Facebook) live the life I couldn’t figure out how to buy or educate my way into.  They were getting married, having babies, building successful businesses & careers and I was dying on the vine.

14 years after the Most Likely To Succeed vote from my peers, limiting beliefs, emotional baggage & dis-eased identity had me living on loose ends in a prison of my own (subconscious) creation.

The chameleon breaks through…

I was sick & exhausted from changing with the environment.  Because I feared rejection (given or received) I didn’t know the option of not being a people pleaser.  My choices were ruled by what I thought “they” were thinking or felt like they were feeling.

Authenticity, individuality and confidence were what my soul was thirsting for but those concepts were as foreign to me as a Swahili translation of Greek.

I longed to reconnect mySelf & my voice…. What I needed was personal development.  I needed to bridge the gap between what I wanted to do & say and the conditioning that had me trained in trapped responses.  I wanted my power back.  I wanted to feel I had “a right” again.

I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, you know?

And then…..

One night while I was cleaning out my study of all that grad school clutter, Creflo Dollar came through my 13″ black & white television preaching on the love of God.  I didn’t wanna hear that, but I couldn’t find the remote.   I was ticked to no end when I realized my only option was to physically get up and change the channel.

I rolled my eyes, freed myself from the paper pile, switched the channel & went back to purging.

Now, I didn’t know then that the Lord could be a gang banger when He’s trying to get a point across, but it didn’t take long to figure that out.  Less than a 1/2 hour later, the Love-of-God gospel according to Creflo Dollar was coming through the tube again on that channel, too.  The coincidence hit me like a ton of bricks.   I tuned in to every word.

“It” happened that night…

I got “saved” at 9, the day my Grandma had me stop playing my solitary game of Go Fish to pray the sinner’s prayer, but this was different… waaaay different.  This was something I could “feel”… and it was definitely something I wanted more of.

I found myself searching the Word of God hungry for its jewels & wisdom.

I could feel “It” feeding me.  My guard was coming down.  OMG, I was taking the Bible personally!!!

It wasn’t just about what God had done for Abraham, Sarah & Ruth anymore…

The Scriptures were suddenly about His possibility & potential for ME!  

What God was able, ready & willing to do in my life!

For the first time in my life I was facing my demons and doing my inner work.  I wasn’t just asking God anymore for what I wanted, I was asking for what I needed.

I was asking God:

  • For His understanding & deliverance on how I was & who I was…
  • For Him to help me see me the way He saw me.   
  • To be transformed into my God-made self again.
  • To help me stand in my God-given power & glory for Him.
  • To show me how to rewrite my old negative beliefs & conditionings into soul prosperous ways of thinking & being …
  • To help me release my old beat up emotional body for the new wineskins & wine of Christ’s abundant life.

Underneath the masking, coping & defending, the real Alaina was finally coming up for fresh & open air.

I “saw” myself as the one making all the choices (even the uninformed ones).  That was my turning point.

It wasn’t really true that I lacked power…  What was true was I’d been misaligned in the use of my power.  I’d been using my power to manipulate myself into postures of compromise & victimization.

I had self abandoned in so many ways.  I was finally taking the initiative to take me back from all the places I’d left her.  I was finding my Self… finding my voice.  The chameleon was shedding her skin.

Here Are A Few Highlights From My God-made Self Journey:)

  • First step, abstinence.  Lord have mercy.  Huge.  He showed me how my search for love & intimacy was aligned with the world, not the Word.  He meets us where we are, praise God.  I remember saying “Ok Lord, 6 months.  That’s it”  (smh)  It’s been 10 years and I’m STILL waiting.   So, errrr-uhhhh, if you know a good single Christian man who is a generous-creative-visionary please have him email me at Alaina@… Ahem, just kidding…( kinda sorta  😳 )
  • Started writing again in ’05 after Grandma passed in February and in July ’09 I published my first book Slow Running Honey first born poems of salvation.  
  • Wanted to act since the first time I saw Gone With the Wind as a child… I started acting classes at 32 years old commuting from Greensboro, NC to Atlanta for those first classes… that experience was a dream come true.  Done a little stage & some independent films here & there since ’06. 
  • The Lord led me away from the post office one day in July in 2008.  Had no plan, 19,000 bucks to my name (which was really no money because I had no plan) and a humongous lump in my throat.
  • In January 2009 I moved to NYC (on a whim) to study acting at William Esper Studio.  After paying my first & last month’s rent and half my tuition, I  had $130 left but I KNEW was God was leading me to go.  He sustained me there for 13 months…. major mountains moved on that one!!! (click here to read an older bio)
  • My house foreclosed in April, 2010.  Click here (link this to African Queen post) for an old Blogpost I wrote about about the experience.  May seem strange that it’s here as a highlight, but it’s my biggest one.  I’m not saying it was easy… it was rough, and hard, and ugly having my heart & ego broken in pieces like that.  I LOVED that house and its contents.  Living through being pruned of something I thought I’d never survive losing bore new fruit in me.  When the shards were all swept & gone, I had a completely different self & God valuation.  My need for a pretty edifice with bells & whistles to prove I was “good enough” was gone.  God stripped me of an idol & simultaneously positioned me to see the stunning truth of just how dependent on Him & cared for by Him I really am.  

Drum roll, please… for the big kahuna!!!

It might not look like it, but I did not intend to write a little baby ebook and call it a Bio 😯  … but I figure if you’ve read this far, you might enjoy a brief recap of the YES that changed my life  😆

Somewhere back in my 20’s I became obsessed with the idea that when I got married, my husband & I would drive cross country for our honeymoon.  (And no, it never dawned on me that he might not be interested)… So bless God for the epiphany that came on my 39th birthday!

“Girlfriend, what are you waiting for?!?!”  

“Why are you using your creativity to come up with ways to avoid something you really want to do (and have the power to do) by tying it to some other event you have absolutely no control over?”  

The ton of bricks were hitting me again!  Operation Hubby was gonna go down in God’s timing, not mine.  There wasn’t any reason for me to keep putting my desire on hold waiting for him.

Right there between “make a wish” and the big blow, I gave myself permission to follow my desire to discover a little more of America.

  • January 30, 2012, I stuffed Katharene (my 13 year old faithful GS 300) to the gills, hopped in & struck out for a cross country drive from Pleasant Garden, NC to Whidbey Island, WA where I “lived” the month of February.  Straight shot there… long way home.  No map.   Just me, my GPS & Jesus.  When the right front ball joint went out my first day, first state, on the road, the Lord kept urging me forward.  I was feeling pretty dumb & defeated the next day still driving in the opposite direction of home, but I “felt” Him leading me toward St. Louis’s Griot museum.  They were closed, but directly across the street was the garage of a third generation alignment & suspension mechanic named Joe.  When a Utah snow storm & cross winds hit so hard it felt like I was gonna topple right off the mountain, Jesus said “Keep going”… another hour and 1/2 up the way, the night turned clear again.  When I went through a fear & loneliness I can’t describe in words on that two day trek over the deserted backroads of Nevada’s desert (they had a nerve to call them highways), Jesus wiped my tears and held me close out there in the barren eerie dark.

Bless God for making the gifts far outweigh the challenges.  For making us fit for the journey, then calling us to it.  I’d wanted my husband to take that trip with me because deep down I knew those challenges were out there waiting on the wild wide frontier of my dream.

I’d been afraid of facing that kind of adventure alone ’cause I wasn’t sure I was woman enough.  

And you know what?  

I wasn’t…  I wasn’t until I went.

I met a new side of myself out there taking in the rippling landscapes of Wyoming, jagged snowcaps of Washington state, and rocky cliffs coastline of Oregon.

I played in the streams of Northern California, fished bare handed for salamanders in a Sedona, Arizona creek like I did in South Carolina when I was just a girl.

I stood awestruck on the ginormous rim of the Grand Canyon overlooking a beauty the spoken work just can’t do justice to.

The whole thing was THE experience my dehydrated soul had been thirsty for for years.  It changed me.  It shaped me into more of me.  It showed me how stepping out on faith into the adventures that use our hearts to beckon us is what makes a woman’s essence shine.

Giving myself permission to accept God’s invitation to take that 46 Days, 27 States, 8,867 Miles Expedition was the best & most beautiful gift I’ve ever given myself!!!  

It was like saying YES to that was saying YES to EVERYTHING!!!

So How Can I Help You?

I’ve been so transparent about where I “came from” and what I’ve experienced as a result of following God outta there because I know He’s no respecter of persons…

Your opportunity to manifest your version of a more fulfilling life & Self awaits you, too!!!

There’s something about making the decision to embrace an attitude of YES to your cultivating heart’s desires that’s absolutely positively guaranteed to uplevel & expand you & your life.

Your contribution to life will be made BY YOU through your creative efforts:  the business you start & grow, the book you write, the talks you give, the people you guide, the love you share…

Whatever it is you desire to do creatively, professionally, entrepreneurially, relationally, spiritually…

The common denominator is YOU.  

YOUR TOTAL FULFILLMENT begins the moment you set your intention to become the woman God created you to be by acknowledging & following the pathway of your heart’s desires!!!

Being a legend in your own mind isn’t nearly as cool as watching your beliefs of who you could be & what you can do actually start coming to pass!

I secretly thought I might could probably maybe hold my own in New York City with talented actors from all over the world, but the thought paled in comparison to the reality of being & growing on stage with them.

God put your dreams inside you for you to take and cultivate yourself into a bigger, better, greater, grander version of yourself.

Cultivating your God-made self is the most important work you could ever do this side of Heaven.

Let me coach you…

Serve you,

Guide you past your blocks and into BLOOM!!! (BLOOM is inspired action, in case you’re wondering;)

you on ways to make “it” happen

& Hold you accountable on following through.

WILL help you get into action doing that “thing” you may have been wanting to do for years! You’re done dreaming about it, you’re done standing on the outside of it… you’re ready to turn your dreams into your reality!!! 

And as we work together, your “stuff” WILL surface as blocks, resistance & self sabotage.  I’ll be there to help you see it, name it & use it as fertilizer boost to help you grow.

I know the status quo isn’t working for you.  If you’re anything like I was, it’s killing you.

NOW is the time to take back your power, your voice, your choice, your dreams & your possibilities so you can start manifesting your potential today!

Here’s another GUARANTEE…

When you muster the courage to say YES to birthing your dreams, your dreams will birth you back!!!

The life Christ came so you could have is bountiful, glorious, fulfilling & abundant…

Cultivate it! 

Your total fulfillment & journey of a lifetime is waiting on you!

Say Yes!!!

The woman God created you to be is unique, wonderful, radiant, powerful, adventurous…  

Cultivate her!!!  

She’s yours to lead!!!

 

I look forward to serving you…

Blessings & Strength On Your Journey,

PICT0010 copyAlaina Sign 001

 

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