Wisdom Quote: You Are Powerful

Inspirational Quotes: Do You Stand By Your Decisions

Self Improvement: Is Your Foundation On Solid Ground

Are you built on a solid foundation?  I was engaged in a conversation recently about being successful in our relationships and in our life.  I remembered something that stuck in my mind from years ago,  What stuck in my mind was simple, “If it’s not build on the right foundation it won’t stand.” That applies to relationships and success.

I started thinking about myself and the many people that I’ve encountered over the course of the years.  Some of my relationships/friendships have withstood the test of time and some were temporary.  I know that those that didn’t last weren’t build on the right foundation, at least not for me.  I teach this concept when I’m mentoring and while I’m leading my family and staff.  I teach it because we must be a cohesive team and our values must jell; otherwise, there will more than likely be discord.  I’ve adopted this concept and here’s why:
  
I see my house, me, as having 3 major components. The first is my foundation. My foundation is what keeps me standing.  It’s what allows me to bend, but not break. It’s what allows me to be able to weather storms when they hit. My foundation is my values that I’ve worked to develop over the years.  My values change, but they have always allowed me to remain steadfast and there are many that I will not waiver on.  Here are a few of my values:


  • Assertive – I have learned to assert myself over the course of the years.  I’ve worked on speaking my mind, but doing it in a tactful way.
  • Open-minded – I’ve learned to accept people for who they are. They may not think the way I do and they may not live their life the way I do, but I’ve learned to let people be people.  I don’t need to socialize, be friends or have a relationship with them.  People are going to be who they are and I just don’t expend time and energy trying to change one thing about them.  I don’t sleep with them nor do I depend on  them for my lively hood, so they can kick rocks.  I just remove myself and continue with my life.  
  • Faith – It’s important that I believe in someone other than myself and I never waiver from my Faith.
  • Self-Reliance – Self-reliance is important to me and one that I don’t waiver from.  I want to be able to sustain me and mine, and never have to rely on other people to keep a roof over my head, feed, cloth or sustain me in anyway unless it’s my husband.  Since I don’t have one, I work to take care of me.  I have the ability to do just that, so why should I take advantage of other people to do what I can do for myself.  If I’m going to teach others to be self-reliant, I must practice what I preach.  
  • Honesty – Another value that I will not waiver on.  I believe that a person’s word is their bond.  If you can’t live up to your words, it falls into the same category as being unreliable. You can’t be trusted, so what’s the point. 
  • Diligence – Remain steadfast and never give up.  This attitude will lead to you achieving your goals and ultimately your success.  
  • Resourceful –  You must build resources in order to be successful.  In my opinion, you build resources so you can build comrade and create great things together or assist one another in reaching a common goal.   
  • Real – The only fake thing that I like is the gel coating on my nails.  Other than that, I’m real and will remain real for the rest of my life.  If you can’t be real, you can’t show people who you really are.  You can count on what I say, and you can count on it being the truth.  At least my truth.  

My second level is my frame.  I’m robust!  I’m thick enough where I can’t be snapped.  Within my frame is my goals, my decision making skills, my education and training.  Basically, my repertoire. My skills for survival and success.  The lessons and skills that I use to raise and assist my family as well as mentor and lead others.  I work continuously to enhance my skills.  The world changes constantly, so it’s important that we all stay on our game.  Education is the key to success.  It doesn’t have to be a formal education, you can educate yourself.  There are many who have been successful without a college degree, but having one certainly helps.  You don’t have to have a 4 year degree to be successful.  You can obtain an Associates and do great things in your life.  It’s all about your ability to seek and obtain.  


My frame also includes my personality and how I see the world.  My approach to life and my belief system.  I have set high standards for myself and I work everyday to maintain what I have accomplished and continue to reach for what I haven’t.   


Last is my frame out.  How I present myself, my frame and my values to the world.  You can acquire education and possess skills, but if you can’t put it together for the benefit of yourself, your family and make a contribution to society what good is it.  I’m thankful that I have worked toward everything that I have.  It empowers me to assist others in receiving theirs. When you feel good about yourself, the sky is the limit. 


How are you built?  What is your foundation built on and what do you include in your frame out? Everyone doesn’t have to be built on the same foundation nor do we have to have the same frame or frame out.  That’s what makes us individuals.  Just make sure that your foundation is solid and it won’t crack when you encounter a storm.  


Photo courtesy of clipart101.net


Happy Mother’s Day: A Feast For Queens

I had the best Mother’s Day ever!  How was yours?  We actually celebrated Saturday instead of today.  My daughter was home, so we decided to celebrate a day earlier since she has a 5 hour drive home today.

The weather was perfect and so was our time together.  We actually had 4 generations present, my mother was there to celebrate as well.  In this photo we have 3 generations, my granddaughter, my daughter and me.  Not my most flattering picture, the photographer didn’t say cheese, but how wonderful is that.  This was the first time that my daughter and I have spent Mother’s Day together in 6 years.  Since we have quite a distance between us and Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, she usually spends it at home with her family.  


My son-in-law decided that he would bring us together this year and all we would be required to do is sip Moscato, chat, play with the children and just relax. He would prepare a feast for the queens that we were.  The other men were suppose to assist him, but he ended up doing it all. My heart is still full.  My favorite food is seafood.  There were 3 different salads, Caesar, Pasta and Seafood.  He prepared to 2 different dishes of Salmon and in addition we had crab cakes and shrimp.  We worked from morning to evening preparing everything and it was delicious.  He set the table, which was beautiful and my 6 year old grandson blessed the food.  We believe in establishing faith early.  


We had a wonderful time and enjoyed every morsel.  The men allowed us to eat first and once we were about to explode, they took their places.  It was first class treatment all the way headed up by the best son in law in the world.  





This is a picture of my sister and mom who where also present.  The dinner was actually a tribute to the women in my daughter’s life who made her who she is today.  It was a wonderful experience, especially since my mom is getting up in years.  


It was also to let me know that she hadn’t forgotten my struggles as a single mother and that she understood that it takes a village to raise a child.  My sister played a major role in my daughter’s upbringing.  She made sure she was taken to school each day and kept her on some week-ends when I needed a break.  My mother stood by me during my struggle to empower, educate and rise above my situation as a single mother.  They made sure that my status as a single mother was simply that, it did not define who I was.  I can said that I had assistance, but my daughter was raised by me not other people.  Because you work outside the home, that doesn’t mean that other people are raising your children.  It’s as simple as setting up a schedule, getting organized and doing what you need to do as a mother.   

My daughter gave me a beautiful poem that basically stated not until she became a mother did she truly understand me and my determination to survive and give her a life better than mine.  In truth, my life wasn’t that bad.  She understands that I want her to do better than me, and the key to success is education and making sound decisions.  There is no room for excuses or blame for what happens in a person’s life after a certain age.  Being an adult means you take responsibility for your life and those in it.  She understands that we must work for everything in life, and when it is achieved it empowers.  I knew this week-end she understood my teachings and examples, and she would continue to stand on the foundation that I laid.  This was one of the best Mother’s Days ever, I am truly blessed.  

Lupita Nyong’o Redefining Beautiful

America has a new image of what is beautiful!  Yes, a dark skin African American woman is gracing the cover of People Magazine.  It’s quite refreshing for me as an African American woman to see Oscar Winner, Lupita Nyong’o taking her place among the likes of Julia Roberts , Cindy Crawford and Halle Berry.  I will always remember how beautiful she looked on the red carpet for the Golden Globes.  I thought the color of her dress against her skin color was breath taking.   (See Lupita in the bottom picture). 

Unfortunately,  women of color are rarely seen as beautiful. Like it or not, this is the truth.  Sure we’ve had Vanessa Williams and Halle Berry, but never a woman who is the color of milk chocolate and has natural hair, a wide nose and full lips.  I don’t purchase People Magazine, but I will purchase this particular issue.  I want my granddaughter to know that she can be seen as beautiful and not have blond hair, blue eyes and white skin.  Not that I don’t see women who have these attributes as beautiful, it’s important that our daughters have roles models in all colors, shapes and occupations too and we need to start promoting more of them.  After all this is America.  A melting pot of diverse people.   

 

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but as an African American we struggle to find beauty within ourselves.  We never see it on television and we rarely see it in magazines or books.  I think Lupita summed it up nicely, she said she first equated beauty with what she saw on television too, “Light skin and long, flowing, straight hair,” She says. “Subconsciously you start to appreciate those things more than what you possess.”  Her statement couldn’t be more true.  It starts to affect your self-esteem and who you are.  You start thinking that you will never have those attributes, so you must be ugly, unlovable and the list goes on.  

I decided that I would work on  my granddaughter’s self-esteem early as I did with my daughter.  I told my daughter that she must constantly tell Zarriah that she is beautiful and praise her regularly.  She must grow up to be confident in herself just in case the world doesn’t see her that way.  If you’re not a woman of color, you may not be able to relate to this; however, it is an important issue for mothers and grandmothers of color who are raising daughters and granddaughters. 



I was elated when I found out Lupita will also be promoting Lancome Paris products.  I spend tons of money on Lancome as it is my make-up of choice, so it’s nice to see the Brand reaching out to a more diverse clientele.  We have a long way to go in this country in defining what is beautiful, but we’re off to a nice start.  

Photos courtesy of People Magazine

Inspirational Quotes: A Walk In My Shoes

When You’re At A Crossroad – Listen to Your Instinct

Do you know the difference between intellect and
instinct?  I hear you grumbling, who doesn’t know that right.  Our intellect
is information that we have gathered and retained over the course of years;
however, our instinct is what drives us to put that information to use.  Bishop T.D. Jakes says “Your intellect tells you to load the gun, your instinct tells you to pull the trigger”.  

Most of us ignore our
instinct better known as  a “gut feeling”.
 You know that funny feeling that you get
about something or someone.  Sometimes our
instinct tells us when something could possibly be wrong, but it also tells us
when something could be right.  So many
times we end up in bad relationships or miss out on opportunities because we ignored
our gut feeling.  When we look back, we
realize all the signs were there.  We
stomp and get angry because we ignored what saw or heard and tell ourselves
over and over, I should have listed to my gut. 

Your instinct could lead you to your passion or better yet
your destiny.  At this point in my life,
I’m not sure if I have arrived at my destiny, but I have arrived at quite a few
of my passions.  I have arrived in a much
calmer place and I’m able to see things clearer.  I arrived here because I learned to listen to my instinct and than connect to my intellect.  Once I
connected to my intellect and instinct, I learned to sit still and think about
what I’m feeling and why.  Know that
you’re feeling some kind of way for a reason. 
Think about what you may have seen or hear or if you’re happy, sad or
fearful.   

Because I’m now in tune intellectually and emotionally, I
have learned to remove myself from unhealthy relationships.  I have learned to say no, I need to take care
of me and not feel guilty.  Here’s how I
learned to empower myself:  

1. I learned that what someone else is doing may not be my destiny.  I have learned to use my creativity and make things work for me in my way and style.

2. I thought about what I liked and what I wanted to do.  This helped me to develop a map and determine the roads that I needed to take to arrive at my passions.  I am still working on my destiny.  

3. I started asking questions and answering them honestly.   This
will help you decide what direction you should go in.  You may need to leave a relationship, company
or situation and at the very least change some things in your life. 



4.  If you’re not feeling good about your relationship, job or whatever you’re involved in you may need to reassess it.  Don’t second guess yourself, it’s your institution talking to you.  You should be happy or have a feeling of satisfaction about what you’re doing or involved in.  If not, why do it or stay in.     

Photo courtesy of stockvault.net

Is Your Child A Cyber Bully



Why aren’t more parents monitoring what their children are doing on-line?  The answer most parents give is because they are intimidated by the computer.  They lack computer skills, don’t have a smart phone and they really aren’t interested in learning how to use one.  As parents, we must be involved in what’s happening in our child’s life, especially in the age of modern technology.  From one mother to another, I think it’s imperative that we get involved in our children’s activities and stop thinking they’re doing the right thing and don’t need to be monitored.  

As parents we all want to think that we’ve raising angels and our children know right from wrong.  We’re shocked when we get a call to come into the school for inappropriate behavior from our child, when we receive a call from jail to bail them out or the cop knocks on the door to deliver bad news.  We all think that these things couldn’t possibly happen to us, these situations happen in other people’s homes.  So why should we concern ourselves.  How many times have you heard, my child would never do that!

I can give you a few reasons.  Did you hear about the Florida teens, 15 and 16, that were arrested for setting up a phony Facebook page that was X-rated several years ago.  They were charged with pasting the face of a school mate, whom they didn’t like, on a nude body and filled the page with foul language.  They thought it was a joke. They were charged with felony stalking.    


How about the young lady that committed suicide last year because she was bullied.  We must overcome our fears.  A blogger recently experienced cyber bullying with her daughter.  As a matter of fact her blog was down for most of a day because it was hacked. Bullying is real, and it wrecks havoc on families.  A teen in my neighborhood committed suicide a few years ago.  If we as a parents won’t face our fears, how do we encourage our children to face theirs?  


Here are a few suggestions on how to overcome the fear of the computer and how you can get involved to help stop cyber bullying:

  • If you don’t consider yourself to be technically savvy, take a class or better yet get your child to teach you.  They love showing off their computer skills.  
  • Ask questions about your child’s friends and what’s happening in their life.  Follow them on sites popular with teens and make sure you have access to their accounts.  
  • Ask other parents, aunts, uncles, sisters and brothers to stay involved with your children on-line.  We can’t monitor our children 24/7, but you can recruit family and friends to assist.  It takes a village to raise a child.    
  • Computer etiquette starts at home.  Have conversations with your child or children on what’s appropriate or inappropriate to put on-line.  If they’re minors, you’re in control and you need to let them know you’re ruling the roost.  They must follow rules that you have set for on-line activities.   
  • Discuss the consequences of cyber stalking and the legalities of posting inappropriate posts. It’s illegal and the consequences are certainly worth a conversation with your child. 

Do you see the importance of keeping up with your child?  Better yet stay in front of them so you can lead.  If you can’t stay in front of them stay beside them.  Taking a class is cheaper than paying a lawyer to get your child out of a felony for on-line harassment or other effects from bullying.  Would love to know your thoughts on this post and how you monitor your child’s on-line activities.    


You may also like:     15 Tips to Detect If Your Child Is Being Bullied

Photo compliments of www.stockvault.net

Cancer Patients Can Fly Free

Cancer patients can fly free to cancer treatment centers around the country free regardless of age.  Corporate Angel Network works directly with patients, family members and corporations to coordinate travel needs for cancer patients. Corporate Angel Network is the only charitable organization in the USA who arranges travel for cancer patients to treatment centers, using the empty seats on corporate aircraft flying on routine business. Patients can fly free aboard corporate jets that have empty seats as well.
My father passed away from cancer years ago, but it still seems like yesterday.  Fortunately, we live a few hours away from two of the best medical centers in the country, John Hopkins University and the University of Virginia. We utilized John Hopkins during his surgery and treatment.  My the grace of God, we were able to cover the medical expense that was not covered by his insurance.      


I know that everyone is not as fortune, so I think it’s important to share information so those who need assistance can have a resource and can seek help.  During my father’s journey, I met so many incredible people from around the world who had traveled to John Hopkins for various reasons. Many would be in debt after their struggle, but they were willing risk everything for their loved one.  


I know the feeling, that’s why I think it’s important to tell you about the Corporate Angel Network. The program is open to all cancer patients, bone marrow donors, and bone marrow recipients who are not in need of medical support while traveling. Finances are not a consideration, and patients may travel as often as necessary.  

Five hundred of America’s top corporations, including 100 in the Fortune 500 have partnered with the Corporate Angel Network.  More than 35,000 flights have been coordinated since it’s founding in 1981. Patients needing air transportation may call (866) 328-1313, a toll free number, to register within three weeks of an appointment at a recognized cancer treatment center. You may also email Corporate Angel Network at info@corpangelnetwork.org. Provide a phone number in your email where you can be reached. The organization can’t guarantee a flight, but they work diligently to assist you.

This service may not be needed by you, but it could be worth a million dollars to someone that’s following you or in your circles.  Please share this post.  We wish all who seek assistance the best in their endeavors.


Photo courtesy of stockvault.net

                                                                  






You Are Not The Father

You are not the father!  You are not the father! I lost count of the number of times that I heard this statement while watching daytime TV today.  I know that it was more times than I heard You are the father.  I know I should have been spending my time more productively, but I just didn’t feel like it.  Do you ever have those days that you just want to do nothing?  I’ve been having quite a few lately.  


I digressed back to the show.  One lady had been on the show 14 times for a DNA test, 14 times.  Now I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be all innocent.  I’m not, and I have problems with people who can’t be real and be truthful about who they.  I’ve had a good time throughout the years, but I do wonder how a woman would not know who her baby’s daddy is.    


I watched these young ladies state they are 150% sure they know who the father is, but the DNA test proved otherwise.  Not only were they told the young man who stood accused was not the father, they endured being called out of their name by the young men.  There were young ladies who slept with brothers, fathers and sons, and some who didn’t know who they slept with because they were in a drunken stupor.  Now the party is over, and reality is hitting them hard.  Rather this show is real or not, incidents like this occur everyday.  


I decided to switch channels and found myself in a court room watching a judge determine if the men standing before them were the fathers of children being displayed on a screen.  There were more DNA tests, but there were slight differences from the other show.  Some of the people in the court room were married couples and the wife strayed.  There were men and women some who had hooked up years ago, but never married and the child was now seeking the truth about paternity.  

Between the two shows, I started thinking about all that these young ladies would have to endure as a single mother and all that they would endure through their parenting journey.  I started thinking about the young people who had gone through a part of their life not knowing the truth about who their father really was because of their mother’s poor judgement.  I also started thinking about how important DNA tests had become in today’s society to determine paternity. Have we made a wrong turn in society to the point that we need a test to determine who our children’s fathers are? 

Are we not teaching our children about birth control or waiting until they are married?  I understand women have found a new awakening, and they don’t have a problem getting their freak on. This includes young ladies who aren’t really responsible enough to take on such a huge responsibility.  I can relate to being a single parent and all the struggles as a young mother.  For this reason, I stressed the importance of protecting herself and not becoming a single parent to my daughter.  As mothers, we want support emotionally, financially, and physically, but if a man is not your husband they can’t be depended on to help provide those things for us.   


One thing that I noticed was although the young ladies had sex with these young men, nobody was calling the young men out of their names.  Some things never change, it’s the women who are looked down on.  I also understand why young men want DNA tests, it seems that young ladies give themselves so freely and they do so without thinking of the repercussions.  There’s enough blame to go around.  As a parent, I didn’t preach absenteeism to my daughter.  The chances of your child remaining a virgin until marriage are slim to none.  If you’re successful in achieving that goal, my hat is off to you.  I did preach about the struggle of being a single parent and the importance of protecting herself from disease and an unplanned pregnancy.  I stressed the importance of educating herself, traveling and achieving her goals before she took on the responsibility of parenting.  Having these conversations with you child is so important.  You can’t just have them in passing, it must be a constant so it can take hold in your child’s mind.  


Are you discussing sex with your child?  How are you approaching it or how do you plan to approach it?    


Note:  Photo courtesy of stockvault.net.