Monday, August 31, 2009

My Soul Revealed - Lesson #6 Spritual Awakening

Describe how you have stepped out on faith.
Leaving my job at Coach, at my beginning of the economic crisis was an example of me stepping out on faith. That little bit of money I got weekly, helped make ends meet as I was getting paid monthly. I left a situation where I was comfortable and moved into a situation where I was uncomfortable but knew that I was still kept by God. Even though the money's a little funny these days, I know that God is still in control.
How do you look at your life?
There are many times when I frustrated with how my life is going. But I am getting more comfortable with the notion that my life is the way it's supposed to be. If I was supposed to have the things I get caught up looking at, I believe that the Lord would have given them to me. (It's funny that as I'm writing about my life, Live Your Life - T.I. and Rihanna comes on - MESSAGE!)
Do you pray?
Not nearly as often as I should. 
Do you have a spiritual relationship with God? 
I do. 
Describe how your faith has been easily wavered or increased over time. Give details. 
One time when my faith wavered is probably when I lost my job at ESPN and then lost my job at the City of Oakland. I felt like God shut me out of my dream or at least what I wanted. My faith continues to increase when I think about how far my father has made it, even as he struggles with his health. Many of men have died, while my father lives. You can't make me doubt my God. 
Do you call on God only when there is a crisis or do you have an ongoing relationship with God?
I do seem to call on God more when there is a crisis but I do  have an ongoing relationship with God. I feel God's presence in my life and in my heart. I should talk to God more often.

When you're in the middle of a crisis are you able to surrender to God?
I believe that I am. 
Have you faced a health crisis and if so, how were you able to work through it?
I've had a couple. The only way that I could get through it, is to trust that the Lord will bring me through. 
What gifts do you believe God has given you? 
The gift of caring. I am a very caring person. I have a good way with words, and I think I communicate pretty well. I also have the gift of devotion. Until you do me wrong, and sometimes after, I will be devoted to you through thick and thin.
How do you plan to have your gifts work to help your fellow sisters?
If you call on me, I will be there to support you. Give you words to help encourage you through your storm and sometimes not saying anything and letting you get your words out to help you with that release. 

What would you like to bring closure to? What are you most grateful for?
I would like to bring closure to those relationships that were damaging to me. Intimate relationships and friendships have beaten me up pretty bad. But those same relationships that beat me up taught me valuable lessons about other people as well as myself. I'm grateful for that and the ability to forgive.
Revelations Revealed:
Dream big, embrace your challenges, use the power of prayer...
 "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?" ACTUALLY, WHO ARE YOU NOT TO BE"
 When you get to the moment of realization that you are brilliant, gorgeous, talented and absolutely unequivocally fabulous, YOU ARE AWAKE!

My Soul Revealed - Lesson #5 Standing in the Gap of Grace

More Soul revealing by yours truly...
Have you experienced being attacked at a critical point in your life?
I don't know if I can say that I've been attacked at a critical point. I know that I have been attacked different times in my life. Were they critical? Probably not. 
How did you feel during and after that experience?
I don't remember. I guess that means that it wasn't critical because I don't remember. 
Did you abandon your dream?
For some time after I left ESPN, I felt like I did abandon my dream. I felt like a failure.
What lesson did you learn about yourself?
It took some time to learn that, I wasn't a failure as a person, ESPN was a failure as an organization. The people who said they would help me, they failed. I took that personally for a long time. But eventually I have gotten better with it. Now at this point, I can say that I have the power to change lives and help mold better people. THAT is way more rewarding that "making good TV".
How much time do you spend working? Is it often during evenings, days off, weekends and holidays?
The question "how much time do you spending working?" is a very tricky one. It really depends on what you consider to be work. I'm always working on something. Doing something for church, working on this project for the Alumni, I am always doing stuff for other people. Doing things for family and friends, I don't really have much for myself, which creates a sense of resentment and me wanting to be more selfish. It's still not working. 
Who did you surround yourself with during tough times - cheerleaders or naysayers?
I don't have too many cheerleaders on my team. I'm working on recruiting some more. The naysayers in my life disguise themselves as cheerleaders but that's not who they are.
Were you able to focus on the light at the end of the tunnel? Or were you in a fog?
During most times of trouble and distress, things get very foggy for me. There have been a few times when I have been able to put my head down and get to the goal. But lately, things get really foggy for me. 
How do you think it prepared you for your next life crisis?
I don't know.
Give an example of leading under adversity.
Dealing with my father's illness, caused me to be thrown into a role of leadership. At times, my mother doesn't handle stress well, which puts the burden on me. It seems like more times than not, when my father gets sick, I am running point, regardless of what my mother believes. Having my father have to go to the hospital often means that I have to know what's going on with him and his medications. It's a challenge but it's also a task that I will pass on to one of the brothers who will have to step up in my absense. 
How can you eliminate chaos from your life?
The biggest way is to say no and to feel comfortable saying no. A lot of times I get caught up in other peoples drama (as if I don't have my own to deal with). I have to get used to and comfortable with saying no, ESPECIALLY if my sanity depends on it. 
Provide five ways in which you can seed optimism in your life.
  1. Use positive thoughts and affirmations daily.
  2. Surround yourself with more positive, optimistic people in your life.
  3. Believe that positive energy is within you, no matter what the negative circumstance is. 
  4. Look for the positives in all situations. 
  5. Pray, pray, pray! And know that God wants you to succeed and will give you the tools to do so.
Revelation Revealed:
Road blocks will not deter me and fear will not prevent me from living my life in God's grace in a perfect way.

Trying to Get Better

Now that school has started at Berkeley, maybe I'll have some time to blog more. I've been thinking about doing an up and coming blog, but that is something that I would really need to committ to and I just don't have the time to do that. One thing that I do know is that blogging does relive some stress, blow off some steam. One day, I'll get better at this. Maybe I should just set aside a designated blog time once a week, maybe Wednesdays and just blog about everything and nothing at the same time. 

So it's interesting. I call myself on Technology time out - me taking some time away from my vices, Facebook and talking on the phone. One might think that I am pretenous because I have a custom text message that I am sending to people. It basically just says I'm not taking phone calls or text messages from anyone right now and that I'll holla at you in a few days. This has come along because of a couple of reasons. The most important reason is that in conjuction with having really crazy mood swings when my period comes around, one person pissed me off. I'm pretty sure he didn't do it on purpose and I'm VERY sure he doesn't even know that it's his fault. But he makes my head hurt by giving me mixed signals. So right now, I am trying to determine what I'm going to do with the signals he's sending me. It's all a little complex (or maybe not and I'm just being dramatic) but I've decided that I needed some time away from him for a little while. So why take my time out on my favorite addiction, Facebook? The only good reason that I can think of is because it gives me an opportunity to be clear. I can get on Facebook and get completely distracted (after all, isn't that what Facebook is - a GREAT, BIG distraction!?). I need to focus and be clear about a lot of the things that are going through my head and make clear deciscions. I have some big choices to make in the near future and I gotta make sure that I am comfortable and clear. 

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't turn on the TV and don't get on Facebook. So far today - I've started two grad school applications, read to my neice after her first day of school and posted on my blog at least twice. 

I've just needed to be clear with somethings and some people. I realized that a lot of the relationships that I held close to me, should have been let go and purged a long time ago. And maybe they have on the other person's end but not on my end. This is really just some good ole fashion me time with minimal contact with other people. I do have plenty of contact with the people at work but I can't really avoid that either. Even the people I work with, I am evaluating their place in my life. I am really learning not to take too many things personally. That is the big thing, not takng things personally. But that's part of who I am, so that change will not come over night. But like I said, I'm trying to get better.

Making Progress

So once again, I am starting the process of grad school applications. I am pretty excited about the possibility of going back to school. But more importantly, I need a change in the worst way. I am really ready to have my life back for me and not have to worry about other people who seem not to have the good sense that God gave them to take care of themselves. Slowly I am weening my family off of their dependence of me. It has become too much of a burden for me and I feel like my life is in neutral right now. I really need to shift gears, so I am excited and I am making progress.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

My Soul Revealed - Lesson #4: The Process of Self Love

Since I finished the book, I think it'll be good for me to answer the questions at the end of each chapter. When I first started this process, I would read a chapter, then answer the questions. I got to Chapter 3 and got away from that. The good news about doing it this way is that even though some time has passed since I read the chapters (with the exception of the 2 or so I finished tonight), it will give me an opportunity to think and reflect on my answers.

What are you holding on to that you believe needs to be healed?
My heart needs to be healed. It's been traumatized by so many things and so many people. The heart never forgets. The brain may, but the heart - never.

What issues in your past are of particular concern to you? Are you comfortable sharing your past experiences with others?
One of the biggest issues of my past that I'm truly concerned about would be my relationships. I have really been through some shit in my relationships, but haven't been in a real relationship in quite some time. I am comfortable sharing my past experiences with others, especially if I've healed and/or grown from them.

Do you use drugs or alcohol? How does that impact the relationships you have with others?
I do drink alcohol. I recognize what it does to me physically and emotionally, which is why I consume it in moderation. I don't know how my drinking impacts my relationships with others. One thing is that I am notorious for drunk dialing and drunk texting. I have made some bad choices under the influence of alcohol, but I have made bad choices sober.

How comfortable are you with your body?
I would say that I'm pretty comfortable with my body. Am I honest about how my body looks? No. I am getting over how self conscious I am and getting to be more and more comfortable with my physical body.

What pattern would you need to incorporate into your life to improve your health?
I need to make the lifestyle change to incorporate working regularly. My eating habits aren't terrible (as I reach for the candy bar in my purse). My exercise habits on the other hand - not good at all. I used to be athletic, now I'm just lazy.

Describe your closest friends. Are you just like them or do you want to be like them?
This is really a tough question. Some of my closer friends, I describe as extremes of certain parts of my personality. Lately, I would say that I don't have any close friends, which has been very tough for me to do deal with. So many people that I know are in different places in their lives which can cause friction in friendships which is what I am dealing with.

How vulnerable are you to pressure from your peers?
I do pretty well resisting peer pressure, but that doesn't mean that I've never given in to it. There are more times when I have resisted it, than given into it.

How much do you rely on your friends' opinions?
I rely on my friends and their opinions a lot. Maybe that's why there's been such a strain in most of them.

My Soul Revealed - Lesson #3 Soul Survivor

Before I even get into this blog/lesson, I ran away from doing this lesson a long time ago because I was afraid to be honest with myself. That's no bueno! Lately, I've been frustrated about people not being honest with me (which is so many blogs within itself). It's not that I've been frustrated with people, I've been frustrated with friends. Friends are supposed to be there for you, thick or thin, lose or win - they're supposed to be there for you and they are supposed to be honest with you. Lately, my friends have not been that, and it made me feel a certain way. I felt disrespected and betrayed. I know that it wasn't a personal or malicious attack but I can't help but take their actions personally. But in a moment of reflection, how can I be mad at someone else for not being honest with me, when I haven't been honest with myself. THAT is no bueno but it also stops here. Today, I make an honest attempt to be honest with myself, no matter how much it hurts. Pain heals, if you let it. I acknowledge the hurt, now let's try and work through it so we can get on with the rest of our lives.

What are your most vivid memories growing up?
I have a combination of memories growing up. I remember taking Harold and David to school for show and tell shortly after they were born. I remember my mom being sick. I remember the earthquake of '89. I remember my sister shouting for me when I graduated from elementary school (and I remember being embarassed about it). I remember Jamie and Jodie living next door. I remember going to the Traffic Convention at Grand Lake theater and seeing Batman. I remember getting suspended in Jr. High for fighting a boy. I remember my Pink Panther solo. I remember Harold falling off the roof. All of these memories to me are vivid.

How were you treated as a child? Were you treated fairly?
It's very easy to say that I wasn't treated fairly as a child. I was mistreated in the sense that I was held (and continue to be) held to a different standard than my siblings, because "I'm older" or because "I'm a young lady". Is it fair? No. But it is the cards that I have been dealt.

Is there a history of emotional, physical or sexual abuse in your family?
As far as I know, there isn't a history of abuse in my family. If there is, it isn't talked about with me.

What part of your childhood would you change, given the chance?
The most important thing of my childhood that I would change would be me being supported, celebrated and encouraged more. I don't doubt that my parents did their best to raise me, but there are things that they didn't do which have carried over to my adult life. There is a void in my life that I can only attribute to things that my parents didn't do. They aren't bad parents, but they did make some mistakes that have cost me dearly.

What are your survival techniques?
I can't honestly answer this question. I do know how to go with our. I know how to pray. I make lots of sacrifices and can continue to do so if I need to.

Have you received medical attention for mental illness or stress?
Shortly after the Inauguration this year, I started seeing a therapist. There was an incident at one of our sessions which left a bad taste in my mouth and I haven't been back since March. I am going back for an appointment on Tuesday.

What is your main concern or worry about your life?
I have so many and I don't know if they outweigh each other. Right now, I'm worried about how to pay some of the bills that I have. I am worried about my health and my weight. I'm worried about the budget cuts and how it will affect me. I'm worried about what's going to happen next in my life. I am worried about a lot of things.

How do you manage your time? Do you find that you can do it efficiently? Do you procrastinate or waste time?
I am the first to say that I am HORRIBLE at time management. I procrastinate, I waste time and worst of it all, I make excuses. There are some times when I can manage projects well. But for the most part, I am bad at time management. But I do acknowledge that.

What do you consider to be quality time?
Quality time is doing something special for yourself or for someone else without any regrets on how the time is spent. Whether it's laying in bed with your lover for a few hours, sitting on the couch watching television, sleeping in on a Saturday or sitting somewhere and enjoying nature in it's purest form - quality time is enjoying personal time.

Have you been in a violent relationship? If so, explain.
I have not been in a violent relationship but I have been in an abusive relationship. It was emotionally abusive and I was being manipulated. I was also young and gulty of also being the abuser.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Real Quick - I Think I Get It

So you may know that my father had a heart attack some time ago and it really has taken a toll on him, emotionally and physically. It is great having him home versus having him home versus having to go visit him at the hospital or the rehab center.

Recently, my dad bought me a laptop for my 30th birthday (yay - I haven't been able to keep my hands off of it, except now - I am using his - it makes sense to us.) Today when I got home from running around, I wanted to go upstairs and relax, but my dad wanted me to hang out with him. I told him that I had some work to do, which technically I did but he just wanted to hand out. And I kinda now why. He doesn't feel like he has much more time with us, especially after what happened. While I was upstairs in my apartment, I realized that there will be more times when I can hang our by myself, but my dad's time is limited. So for now, I'll (kinda) put what I have going on, on hold to hang out with my dad. I think I get it. He just wants to hang out. Okay, Dad - we'll watch TV. I love you, Dad.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Camille Harvey....on Friday Nights

It's interesting. I was putting together a quiz on Facebook (my not so secret addiction) and I put two questions on there which show a little bit about how I've changed in my "old" age. The questions talk about where you could find me on a Friday night. From 1999 to 2002, you could find me at someone's club (most likely at Republic Gardens - my FAVORITE night time spot of all time) with my drink and my two step. It was a great time. I have many, many fond memories of Republic. Just thinking about it right now brings a smile to my face, Republic was a great time out. My, my, my those were the days. The party was crackin' nothin' like the DC club scene.

Fast forward to 2005. I move back home, to the old stomping grounds. I must confess, the DC club scene is much better than the Bay Area Club scene - or at least what I've been exposed to. I don't really like going out in the City, some of the places that I liked going in Oakland either are shut down or just don't crack like they used to (or how I feel like they used to) - it's just not it. I'm sitting here thinking, trying to understand why. (that's my thing, trying to understand) I try to understand why things are so drastically different. I know that one of the reasons why thngs are so different is that I don't have the same kind of friends here at home as I did when I was in DC. But I don't know if that will change me from doing some things differently.

Instead of spending my Friday nights, drinking and dancing, I now, spend my Friday nights at choir rehearsal. And truth be told, it's a great time out. Tonight, Sweet Pea was rehearsing her solo for Sunday's service. She was in to it, the choir was in to it, Myles the drummer was into it - for a split second, I almost forgot that I was at church. Time and time again, I get to rehearsal and when we're not getting fussed at by our director, I have a great time. Even though I am not a songstress by any stretch of the imagination (I would say that I'm a better dancer than I am a singer), there is something so powerful that happens more times than not at choir rehearsal. It's better than any quick fix high that I get from the club. It is me and my service to the Lord, practicing my ministry weekly and having the Spirit move through me twice a week. It's a good feeling, and it's how I spend my Friday nights.

*Footnote - I want to be clear. Even though I spend the majority of my Friday nights at rehearsal - I still like to get my drink and my two step and I usually do if I don't have rehearsal or after rehearsal. Does that make me a hypocrite? Maybe, but that'll be for another blog at another time*

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Camille Harvey...on Turning 30

So I've been 30 for a little over a week and it feels pretty good. I got off to a rocky start but I think that I am getting the hang of this thing. I had been looking forward to 30 for quite sometime. The back end of my 20s had been tough. Losing a job (or two), almost losing my father, losing my brother to "the system", HPV, it's just been a lot.

It seemed like so many things had been going on and like I was almost spinning out of control. I just didn't know what to do. I was going to church, I had been praying, serving the Lord but things were still out of control. It just seems almost hopeless. It's almost like I wasn't joking when I said I was having a quarter life crisis. Just craziness.

I needed a change, I needed to get out of that 20s rut that I was in and I believed that turning 30 would solve it. So I tried to do everything that I could to get ready for 30. I wanted to have a party, I wanted to go on a trip - so many things that I wanted. It seems like things that you want, may not always be the things that you need. I wanted to go to Las Vegas (didn't happen), I wanted to go to Space Camp (hasn't happened yet), wanted to have a 30th birthday (hasn't happened yet) - just so many things that I wanted. But it seemed like the things that I wanted weren't what was for me and some times that's a hard pill to swallow.

So instead of doing some of the things that I "thought" I wanted to do for my birthday, I wasn't able to do. Some of that was my fault, I got caught up in some situations that I hadn't prepared for (have a plan). But there was some that disappointed me last week as I turned 30. If you know me, then you know that the ONLY day where I am hella extra is May 21. That is the only day that is for me. That day is the only one special to me. Sure other people may share my birthday, but it's still MY birthday. There were people who dropped the ball on that. Before I would have a serious problem with that. But now that I'm 30, I have another approach and another way to handle it. I will always celebrate, with or without someone. I spent the first couple of days of my life as a 30 year old big kickin' it all by myself! And I'm loving it. At first I was down, but I understand that things happen and I should do what I do anyway.

So for me turning 30 was a good turning point. I don't mind where I am right now. Things aren't ideal, but they are. I am on a good side of the living and things are good. We're going to get it! You just don't know...

A Little Inspiration

Well I know it's been a while since I've blogged. I need to find one space and just blog there. I post a few blogs here, a few blogs (notes) there...nothing consistent. But since I have my new laptop (thanks Dad), I should be better at blogging. If my phone would allow me to blog on this website, I might be able to do it, but alas, it's not there yet. I'm just so happy that I got a laptop, I feel like I have a whole new world that's opened up to me. I've nagged my dad for AGES about getting me a laptop (he's the one who buys me the bigger ticket items - my computers, my TVs - I bought my car) and he came through in the clutch for my 30th birthday. I'm really happy about my laptop - it's a little heavy so I won't be taking it everywhere, especially since most of the places that I go already have computers and I have a "smartphone" which allows me some additional freedoms but having this small but big gift has given me just enough inspiration. I'm excited.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


It's amazing. I said that when things got better, I would write more. You know I would start a story and write and never finish it. I started writing stories as early as elementary school. I remember writing a story about a little girl (me) who ended up playing third base for the Oakland A's. What some of you may or may not know about me is that I used to play third base when I played softball and t-ball. I was pretty good at it. I was so good that I thought it was possible for me to play third base for the A's before I turned 16. Oh to be young with a dream. I had so many of them and I would write about them. It's amazing. My degree is in Journalism and I don't write nearly as much as I should. When I lived on the East Coast, I did a lot of writing. I had to. I either had a section to complete for the school paper, a story idea to submit to the plantation, a journal entry about how things weren't how I thought they would be, a shot sheet - whether it was full of errors or not...I did a lot of writing. Now, four years of being home, I don't have anything to write about. If that isn't a damn lie! Writing, is a lot like cooking for me. It is very therapeutic. I think I'm pretty good at it, and others would agree. The same who would agree that I'm good at it, would also say that I need to do it more often. I remember talking to one of my girl friends from undergrad and I asked her what I should make for dinner. She suggested that I make some fried chicken, because she remembered being a big fan of my chicken. She hadn't had any of my chicken in 6 1/2 years but she remembered it. I remember being on campus shortly after graduation and the former dean of my department asked me to sign a copy of the paper where I had written an editorial on "Super Seniors". I am pretty good at this stuff. I have to be, it comes so natural to me. Whether or not it's grammatically correct is not the issue. I try to write in a way that you can hear my voice through my words. My writings should sound like a conversation that you would have with me. I guess that's my style. And when I get over myself, you'll see. One day I'll get back at it. But until then, I'll give a shout out to my fellow Titan who writes WELL everyday, Synitta. Keep doin' what you never know who's reading.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change to Come

While I am thrilled beyond words that Barack Obama is now known as President Barack Obama, I recognize that there is a lot of work to be done. I applaud President Obama. He looked at a situation and decided that there needed to be a change. It's interesting that people look to our President to change and fix all the problems of our nation. That's not going to be the case.

I have friends who went to DC for the weekend. One of them almost got into a fight with someone at a diner who was wearing an Obama jacket. One of them was beaten and robbed at gunpoint while walking to the Metro. You would believe that people in DC who were in town for the inaugural would have been on better behavior. But that would imply that they were about change. Clearly not.

What people need to realize is that the change doesn't come from President Obama, the change comes from within. President Obama is an inspiration. He is truly remarkable but it doesn't come from him. The change that you and I need doesn't come from him. It comes from within us. He saw an opportunity for change and acted on it. There are opportunities for us to change someone in our lives, in our schools, in our communities everyday. Our change has come, not in the form of our President, but in the form of ourselves. Let's work, people!

Monday, January 12, 2009

My Soul Revealed - Lesson #2 - Hold it! The Hold Back Factor

I've been gone a little bad. Just trying to get my thoughts together (sorta) and just been in the mix I guess trying to figure it out. I think this'll help.

What doubts do you struggle with?

I struggle with self doubt. I am an amazing woman, but I don't believe it everyday. But it's a good thing that I have faith in something other than myself.

Explain significant past hurts, misunderstandings and grudges that you feel are holding you back.

Past hurts in relationships hold me back from going to get the healthy intimate relationship, I deserve. The same thing can be said about misunderstandings. Grudges are a little different because I don't think I hold grudges. I remember but I also forgive. I can't say the same for others (those of you in Bristol or have been to Bristol). Having a reoccurring broken heart holds me back from trusting and loving. I'm getting there. I actually want to be there.

What past hurt do you believe is your greatest barrier?

Relationships. Two of the relationships that I had in undergrad have had a tremendous impact on my relationships with men. I forgive them and I believe now is a good time for me to try this REAL relationship thing. I believe I'm ready.

What is the most vulnerable part of your life?

I am very gullible and trusting. I don't guard my heart too tough. Subsequently, because of that I fall victim to having it played with and broken.

What could someone do to make you able to talk about your concerns, anger, weaknesses, pain and struggles?

Someone would really just have to ask and really listen. The problem is that people have so much going on in their lives that they don't really have time to deal with others issues all the time. There are some people who can deal with some issues, some of the time. No one can really deal with them all the time.

Who do you believe has disappointed you or told you a negative story about yourself in your lifetime?

Lots of people, close and distant, have disappointed me. Too many to name...

Is there a relationship that you believe should be mended?

There are some relationships that should be mended. Will they be mended depends on the other person. I am open and willing but it takes two.