It's funny how you can look up one day and realize that an entire year has pretty much flown by. This year was full of trials, doubts and victories that didn't come in a pretty box but I'm positive that it nurtured growth within us. When I first began thinking about how I wanted to end 2015 on Nai's Visions, I was positive that I would do a "10 things I learned" post like I did last year. However, I found that it would be more fulfilling to get another person's perspective. The particular person I had in mind just so happens to be someone whose journey I've admired for almost two years and I knew that she would have incredible gems to share.


If you follow me on Twitter then you may have seen me retweet blog posts and overall words of wisdom shared by Amber Janae of WhoIsAmberJanae. I was first introduced to her via the #blackgirlswhoblog tag on Twitter and I was immediately drawn to her genuine nature. Not only does is she the creator of an inspirational blog but she is also a self-published author of 3 books. She has gone on to be featured in Marie Claire, on sites such as Twenties Unscripted and has all three of her books available for purchase on the Barnes and Noble website

http://whoisamberjanae.com/2014/10/16/a-tiny-little-feature-thats-a-really-big-deal/

After witnessing Amber stare fear in the face not too long ago, I was convinced that her 2015 experiences and overall perspective would serve as a source of inspiration to not only me but, hopefully, to you as well.

Nai's Visions: What kind of intentions did you set for yourself towards the beginning of the year?

Amber: In terms of intentions, I only had intentions of self-growth. I wanted to focus more on being better mentally and internally. I felt like if my intentions were to become a better version of myself everything else would follow.
 
 Out of the intentions that you set for yourself, which were the most important to you?

The most important intention I set for myself was being mentally strong and stable. I've been fighting a very long battle with mental stability, it has been my goal to focus on staying mentally strong no matter what. 

We live in a time where many of us wear multiple hats. As a blogger, author and a full-time employee, how do you maintain a sense of balance in your life? What are some tips you have for finding that balance?

Organization is key. I would be nothing without being well organized. And not just organized in a sense of my career, I mean being organized within my personal life. If my personal life is confused and in shambles, everything around me has the potential to be. I think the biggest tip I have is, manage your time wisely. If you know you have to work at a certain time, create time in your day to work on a blog post or contribute to writing your book. The things in life that are of importance to us we make time for. It's important to manage our time wisely so we aren't too overwhelmed when juggling multiple hats.

Last month you traveled to St. Thomas and shared how it helped you face your fears. I especially loved the fact that you drew a connection between your experience with snorkeling to your life. What are some things that were going on prior to your trip that made you feel fearful? How have you dealt with fear since then?

 Prior to my trip to St. Thomas, I was mainly in fear of failure. It felt like so many things were going on prior to my departure of the trip and I felt like God was trying to tell me I was going down the wrong path. I realized that upon my return that sometimes things are going wrong in the moment because God is paving the way for things to go right. I left that trip unafraid of any outcome. I dealt with my fear by realizing that life will happen regardless of if we choose to move or remain stagnant. Learning to embrace change or detaching yourself from the outcome of situations will release your fears. It did for me. 

This year you talked about not only trusting the process of one's life but you also talked about learning to trust ourselves and how to live in the moment. When it comes to these things, why do you feel it can be hard for us to embrace them at times?

Speaking from experience, it's hardest for me to trust my process and myself when I am feeling insecure. We all have our own insecurities. It is when I am in those vulnerable states, full of uncertainty and self-doubt that I lack trust in myself. When I begin to doubt myself and all that I am capable of, it creates an instant fear. I believe that the inability to be fully confident at all times makes it so difficult to trust our process or live in the moment.

Compared to the beginning of 2015, in what ways, if any, do you feel that you've grown? 
  
I am constantly praying for the restoration of my mind. I have battled off and on for years with negative thoughts and letting them run my life. If there is one way I have grown, it's been by embracing the change in the way that I think. I feel like we dedicate so much of our lives to changing a lot of things around us. What we fail to realize is, with the same way of thinking we can never fully progress. Our level of thoughts or way of thinking contributes to our everyday lives. If your mindset hasn't grown or developed, your chances of remaining stagnant are greater. My mind has developed which has allowed my heart to be at peace. I can't think of a better way to grow than that.

With 2016 being right around the corner, how are you planning on transitioning into the new year?

I feel like I slowly began my transition months ago. I just don't think too much into the future. Of course, I document the things I'd like to accomplish, pray on them and all of that, but I stay focused on the present. As I've grown older, my anticipation for what's to come has lessened. I truly believe that keeping your momentum going throughout the end of the year makes a huge difference. You don't need a substantial amount of preparation or major transition if you've never slowed down your pace. I was always a firm believe that if you're always ready then there isn't much you have to get ready for.

What are some ways that others can learn to embrace the things they experienced in 2015 and how do you feel they can make room to receive the things they want in the new  year? 

I feel like whatever cards life deals you, you have to embrace them. Good, bad or indifferent. You have to embrace the things that life throws at you. Everything that we've gone through in life has molded us and shaped us into the person we are intended to be. Everything that occurred in 2015 will be lessons and take away's when progressing into the New Year.