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Showing posts from 2010

A Brief Reflection

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Our JibJab Holiday Card

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http://sendables.jibjab.com/view/MrMK27e785vgxn6C

Merry Christmas to you and yours!



A Quick Hi

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Thoughts Over Coffee

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It's a brisk 37 degrees out and I'm sitting here in Starbucks thinking about a sad dream that I had last night.  I was at a big Christmas party and everybody was smiling, laughing, and having a great time giving gifts to each other.  Everything was fine until people started handing some gifts to me.  I then felt very sad that I did not have something to give in return. In fact I balled like a baby.

Upon waking, I spoke with a dear friend of mine who said the sweetest of words.  He said, "maybe it's because you give of yourself the other 364 days of the year that you should not feel sad about accepting those gifts without having something to give in return".  That's an interesting way of looking at it.  I do give of myself in various ways throughout the year but I never really think of it as "giving gifts".  I'm definitely not the type that keeps a tally on what I do for others.  In fact I abhor those who do.  I give what I can and I g…

I'm Thankful

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I can't believe the holidays are upon us already.  This year has flown and we're just days away from Thanksgiving!  If there's one thing I have been mindful of over this year it is to never wait for a specific day to give thanks. Don't wait for a national holiday to show gratitude to those in your life who have been there for you or for the simple but ultra important things like waking up and air to breathe.  Be thankful each and every day for all of your many blessings.   For some this is a traditional time for family reunion and to get caught up with distant relatives and friends.  For others this time of year is not so easy or may even be painful so my heart really goes out to them.



The challenge for all is to realize that no matter what may be going on in your life, you always have something to be grateful for. But  please keep in mind that there are those who are less fortunate. Keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Never stop thanking those around you for eve…

Life = Risk

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Pass It On

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Do you sometimes feel like people in our society are getting more and more disrespectful, rude, or insensitive? Well I recently saw a TV commercial that touched me from the Foundation For a Better Life.  The Foundation for a Better Life promotes positive values with the belief that people are basically good and just need a reminder and that the values we live by are worth more when we pass them on. I believe this too!

Check out a few of my favorite Pass It On commercials.

Integrity


Good Manners


Including Others


Good Stuff



Respect





What do you believe is most influential in the development of today's values? FamilySchoolChurch/ReligionFriendsTV View Results
Create a Blog Poll
You can check out more TV spots at Values.com and don't forget to PASS IT ON!

It's Election Day!

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Today is the day to vote in the mid-term elections. Thanks to all who fought for the rights of women and people of color in the passage of the 15th and 19th Amendments which makes it possible for me to exercise my right this morning.


Please exercise YOUR right to VOTE today!


Happy Halloween!!

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Beauty

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How do you define beauty? Do you think that you really know what beauty is? Or do you let the daily barrage of what is fed to you through media define beauty for you?  Every culture tends to define it a little differently but textbook definition is that beauty generally is what is pleasing to the eye. That can vary from person to person. We should all know that true beauty goes beyond the skin's surface. Here is a good video called "The Evolution of Beauty". It shows how a woman is prepped for an ad campaign. I think it's very important for people to see especially young people who struggle with the whole notion that beauty should have a certain "look". Trying to model yourself up to images in the media can be a dangerous practice. Beauty comes in many forms.


I like the video's message that every girl should feel beautiful. It's important to remember that not everything you see is truly as it appears.  My message is that beauty may be in the…

This Too Shall Pass

Whenever I'm in an unpleasant situation I always try to remember the popular proverb, "This too shall pass" as a reminder that it is a temporary setback and to keep the faith. But the other day a friend of mine sent me this clever video of a song with that as their title.  I'm thinking it could have also been titled 'chain reaction'.  :-)
Check it out below.

Making a Way

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Talk about making something out of nothing!  At the age of 14 a young man from Malawi, Africa found scraps and built a windmill to generate power for his family home.  The windmill he built was able to power four lights and two radios. Then he wrote an award winning book called"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope" on how he was able to do this.  It's an inspiring story about the will of a young man who used his brains and what little resources around him to improve his family's living conditions.

I think about how I hear so many people complain about what they don't have instead of appreciating what they DO have and utilizing the resources around them.  Take a look at William Kamkwamba's speech in the video below.





Kamkwamba's success story got a lot of press resulting in many organizations offering to assist him with future projects including malaria prevention, a deep water well for clean water, solar power, and an…

Time for a Short Break

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Sometimes in the midst of a hectic hustle and bustle of the day it's nice to take a little break and smile.  Taking a few minutes away from work can help protect our body from exhaustion and fatigue. It also helps to boost motivation and productivity.

Here are a couple of feel-good videos of folks getting down to some music that made me smile.  Enjoy!
"I Gotta Feelin" - by Black Eyed Peas


Also, Kim MacGregor launched a grassroots movement to unite and inspire 1,000,000 women around the world to recognize the amazing women in their lives.
Love the lyrics...
"I Believe" by Yolanda Adams
They said you wouldn't make it so far ah ah And ever since they've said it its been hard But never mind that night'cha had to cry Cause you had never let it go inside You worked real hard and you know exactly what you want and need so believe And you can never give up You can reach your goals Just talk to your soul and say...
I believe i can I believe i will I believe i know my d…

"Waiting to Exhale" 15 Years Later

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On a recent segment of Good Morning America, Terry McMillan, author of the best seller made-to-blockbuster movie "Waiting to Exhale" was interviewed about her new book "Getting to Happy".  This is a sequel story using the same 4 women but occurs 15 years later so it shall be interesting to see how they have evolved.  McMillan describes it as a story about forgiveness, recovery, reclaiming your power, and reinvention.  This is exactly where I am in my life right now.
Check out the interview here:



I'll be picking up a copy of this book for sure.  Would be nice also if the characters from the original movie could come back to do a movie sequel.  We shall see.

Woman Endures Acid Attack /**Update** It's a Hoax!

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** Update 9/17/10 ** There has been a recent report that this woman filed a false report. She was not attacked by acid but inflicted the wounds upon herself.
She obviously has serious issues and was just looking for attention. There seems to be quite a bit of that going on these days. Some people will do any and everything to get it.  I truly hope that she gets the mental help that she needs.  And as far as everything I said in my previous post, I'll have to take it all back because she's a fake!





 **Original post**

I normally post "news" on Newz_Junkie's Blog but this story touched me in more than a current events way.  When 28 year old Bethany Storro was met with an acid attack to her face she endured great pain and emotional damage.  But even through this she is showing a lot of strength.  She speaks of how she normally does not wear sunglasses because she does not like them but just minutes before the attack bought a pair and had them on which saved her eyesi…

Refocus your Energy

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We are living in some trying times right now.  It's understandable that a lot of people are struggling in some way shape or form.  Some are struggling in multiple areas.  But have you thought about where your focus is?  What I mean is, are you giving all your power to the troubles that you are having?  I have found that this causes the majority of stress.  I have learned that if you want to reduce stress in your life you will need to take the emphasis off of all the bad things that may be going on.  It isn't easy at first but with practice you will find that it is possible to have many many more good days despite what is going on.  
Here are some ways that I refocus my energy:
Release the "I am the victim" mentality
Okay, things can and do happen to us BUT you have to know when to let go and move forward.  Being stuck is one of the worse things you can do to yourself.  Remember that being stuck is a choice.  Choose to release yourself.
Forgive
Forgive others and more imp…

Make Less Money to Have More

I am going through a transition where right now I am making less money but I am much happier than I was when I made much more.  Sounds odd I know but it's true.  Yes, it has been an adjustment but not nearly as painful as I thought it would be.  Take a look at this video on how you can actually end up making even more money in the long run by doing work that you love.








"Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears."
- Les Brown









Destination Unknown

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I wonder what's down the road.  I wonder what is around the corner.  I wonder where my efforts will lead me.  There are times that I wish I had a crystal ball to give me at least a hint or glimpse of the future.  I'm excited about the possibilities but am trying to live in the moment...taking each day, each hour, each moment at a time.


Follow Ups

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This past week I have been busy with the business of follow ups.  I have had business contacts to follow up with, my life coach to follow up with, and job interviews to follow up with.  The important thing about the follow up is to bring clarity to a situation as to next steps or in some instances, closure.  The other important thing about the follow up is the exchange of valuable feedback.  I especially like it when this is possible because I always want to know if there are ways that I can improve myself or offer suggestions to others. For the most part I can say that I have had some successful communication these past few days.  Some people and/or companies are better than others.  There are three businesses that were supposed to follow up with me that I have yet to hear from with next steps but in those cases I did not let too much time go by without sending out my own communication just to keep myself top of mind with them.

Right now I am playing the persistence-patience game.  It…

Hope

I'm posting these videos for a very special friend of mine who is going through some serious challenges.  Joyce Meyers speaks on "The hope of seeing change".  If you are going through something and are feeling like you are losing hope please invest time to watch.  Joyce delivers a great message as always. 






Never give up hope!

Tony Robbins' show "Breakthrough"

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Self help author and motivational speaker Tony Robbins has a new TV show called "Breakthrough".  I believe that it was great timing to launch a show like this when we as a country are going through so many challenges.  Tony Robbins inspires and helps to show people how to take back control of your life.  He finds ways to help trigger the shift in people so that they can live a fuller life despite what they're going through.
If you haven't seen the premier, check it out here...


"The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in control of your life. If you don't, life controls you." - Tony Robbins

Our Peru Vacation Days 4-8

We did quite a bit of exploring. We checked out some of the things right around our hotel (yes the casinos, clubs & bars) and then spent the day at LarcoMar which is a large upscale shopping area full of restaurants and bars. While there we had lunch and then went for drinks at TGIFridays and watched the World Cup! Viva Espana!





After spending the day there we got lucky and met a friendly cab driver/tour guide named Francisco who spoke very good English.  Although my Spanish isn't terrible, it was really nice to run across him. He offered to give us a city tour which we took him up on on Tuesday.  But before that, on Monday we went on a trip outside of Lima to an area called Paracas via Cruz del Sur luxury bus line and toured Paracas Reserve...



Then on to a little fishing village for lunch called Lagunilla. The contrasting views of the desert meeting the sea were breathtaking. We even got a chance to see the famous area where "Planet of the Apes" shot the shocking end s…

Our Peru Vacation Days 1-3

Excitement had been building for months and we were finally set to take off on our Peruvian adventure. It turned out though that we ended up in Atlanta for the first 2 days of our trip due to lack of seats available on the flight. We discovered that there is just one Delta flight that goes down to Lima and when flying standby it's a gamble as to whether you will make it on.
The good part about being in ATL for a couple of days is that we got to spend time with family which was fun. We did dinner and drinks on both nights to officially start the pre-Peruvian fun. By the time day 3 rolled around it was "3rd times a charm" and we made it on board... 1st class baby! And boy was it awesome!! There's nothing like an international 1st class flight. Comfort, fine food, pampering by flight attendants, drinks, and more drinks. Thanks Cuz!!!





Our flight touched down at just before midnight and after making it through customs we were off to our hotel in Miraflores. Miraflores is a…

Dr. Ian Smith's 'Happy'

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It's the start of another month and we are in the thick of Summertime.  The heat is on!  I've been staying cool though and taking each day in stride.  Choosing my battles and trying to remain balanced in all things.   This morning I saw a segment on Good Morning America with Dr. Ian Smith.  He has a new book out called "Happy".  This is a topic that I have posted about a few times.  I know there are a lot of people going through some tough times but you CAN be happy in the midst of challenges.  Here are some boosters from his book that I actually already practice that will help bring you happiness.
Commit 5 Acts of Kindness Each WeekKeep a Gratitude JournalWrite Someone a Thank You Letter and VisitSpend Money on Someone ElseStrengthen and Deepen Personal RelationshipsDevelop a Spiritual LifeForgive
YOUR HAPPY PLAN Each week perform three of the above happiness boosters.Each week read an article about a person, place, or thing that you don't already know.  Each mon…

"Brighter Day"

I heard this song on the way back from my workout this morning.  So inspiring!



"Brighter Day"
When I close my eyes and think of you And reminisce of all the things you do I can't imagine my life without you It's like paradise now I know that it's real (um) It's a mystery for someone to give their life just for me Whatcha did on Calvary makes me wanna love you more [Chorus] I never knew I could be so happy And I never knew I'd be so secure Because of your love, life has brand new meaning It's gonna be a brighter day, brighter day
Never thought that I would smile again Never thought the dark clouds would end Never thought that I would have a friend That would keep me never leave me alone Jesus you're my everything The only one that makes my heart sing (heart sing) Now I know what real love means its everlasting, lasting [Chorus times 2] Nothing can compare to the joy you bring And everlasting love affair Jesus my life will never be the same I found someone who truly care…

Excitement is Building

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We just got word about our Buddy Passes to Lima so the time is drawing near for travel!  Chris has been working really hard and I'm so glad that he will finally be able to have some down time to rest, relax, and enjoy himself. He deserves it! I know in these economic times it isn't easy to take time off for a vacation but there are some real health benefits of travel even if it's to a nearby destination.  Travel breaks the monotony, relieves stress, creates memorable experiences, enables you to meet new people from around the world, exposes you to new cultures, and provides quality time with your partner.  These are all things I look forward to whenever we have the opportunity to get away.  We will be on a shoestring budget but it doesn't matter because we will make the most of it.  I thank God for every opportunity we get to travel.  It's an exhilarating experience to get out of your usual daily routines and do something totally different in a totally different en…

Missing Michael

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the passing of Michael Jackson. I posted about this over on my other blog but after sitting here watching several video tributes from YouTube, I shed a few tears and decided to post a couple of those tributes here.
Rest in peace Michael. You are missed by many.

Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009)



The Happiness Test

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I just took 'The Happiness Test' over at Oprah.com and scored a 90 out of 100!  If I had taken that test 7 months ago I can assure you I would have scored much lower.  So what changed?  Well, other than removing myself from a toxic environment, I changed my attitude.  I changed the way I look at things around me and stopped giving up my power.  Changing my perspective and focus has been a major factor in my happiness.  I view happiness as a choice rather than a condition.  Do you want to see how you measure up?  Take the test here and get 10 scientifically proven methods to increase your happiness.





Get Organized!

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We've made it to another Friday and I am in my cleaning mode working on organizing lots of things.  How many times have you said to yourself, "where did I put that information?", "I wish I had a better memory," or "if my head wasn't attached to my body I might forget IT!"  I have said all of those things dozens of times. In our busy lives it seems to be a never ending journey to stay organized and on task. Well, I have discovered 2 of my favorite new ways to help reduce the clutter and assist me in remembering all things big and small. One is called Evernote and the other is Dropbox. Now they both do similar things in that you can store all sorts of documents on a cloud.  For all of you non-geeks out there a cloud is where you store and even back up data so that it's digitized off of post-it notes, scraps of paper, or off of your computer to organize, free up memory, accessible from any computer, and even sharable with others. Information …

Sleep Paralysis

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Last night I had one of the most terrifying bouts of sleep paralysis that I've ever had.  Sleep paralysis occurs in healthy adults when you wake in the middle of REM (rapid eye movement) state, but body paralysis persists. You are fully conscious but unable to move. This paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes and you can hallucinate or hear sounds as well.  In my particular situation, I felt a presence in the room behind me.  It completely creeped me out!  I heard little noises as it was was moving things around on my bed table.  This went on for quite some time and I knew immediately that I was in sleep paralysis because I've had this before.  What made this experience even more terrifying is that after hearing the noises, I felt this presence get into bed behind me and put an arm over me and I visioned a ghostly hand dangling off my shoulder.  That is when I freaked, shut my eyes (at least I dreamed that I shut my eyes), and forced myself back to sleep. …

My Emancipation

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So here I am at the 6 month mark since my "shift"...freeing myself of my prior career and of self limitations.  I am now moving towards living my life with greater purpose.  What are some things that I know now for sure?



I am not my job or job title. Meditation promotes peace.Time is truly a gift and every moment counts.My self worth cannot be measured by any salary amount.Giving is fulfilling.There are no mistakes in life, only lessons.Being rich has nothing to do with money.People mean more than things.There is no such thing as coincidence.My intuition is usually right.Emotions are okay, just don't let them rule. Love is bountiful and FREE.Celebrate my authentic self.Put God first in every decision and have blind faith in His guidance.There is always a way even when there seems to be no way.
Not that I didn't know or believe any of these things before.  I've just had more time to focus on how true they all really are and place more value on them.  It's a heal…

Happy Friday!

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Here is my first video post.  I will try a few more of these in the future.

My Latest News

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Time flies when you're having fun.  It has been a few days since my last post.  I've been keeping busy.  So let's see, what have I been up to?  I've spent some time with Mom.  She had her second eye surgery which seems to have been a success.  She'll be on her post-op meds for the next couple of weeks until her next followup appointment.  I'm happy that her vision is on it's way back.  Hm, what else?  Oh yes, I have stepped it up a notch in my networking and job prospecting.  Yes, I'm ready to get back into a tighter work routine although the freelancing has been very nice. I have also really been into watching the NBA Finals.  My favorites are of course the Orlando Magic for the East Coast and Phoenix Suns for the West Coast.  Both teams have been underestimated for quite some time and it's been great seeing these teams rally.

As for not-so-good news, my personal website was accidentally deleted.  As I was editing it the Wix.com server crashed.  I am …

Great Lessons

Here is "The Last Lecture" given by the late Randy Pausch from his 2007 appearance on the Oprah Show. Very inspirational!!


"We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand."  - Randy Pausch



Randy Pausch's Page

Displaced Anger

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Have you or someone you know ever had an over reaction in anger to a seemingly minor situation?  I admit that I have and have experienced this from others many times.  I saw this news story today of an extreme case.  Click below to check it out...

This type of anger is a sure sign that there is much that lies beneath the emotional surface.  It's almost always about something else and not that particular situation at hand.  That is when your anger is “displaced".
Recognizing this in yourself is the first step to correcting the behavior.  Step back and self examine.  Look deep inside yourself and the things that are going on in your life and know that this is not the best way to react for yourself or others.  A better way to react may be to try distancing yourself as to not take things out on others.  Practice taking deep breaths to calm yourself to see the situation as it truly is.  If you catch yourself in the midst of bad behavior, then immediately acknowledge it with the othe…

"Undercover Boss" Inspires

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EVERY BOSS SHOULD WATCH ALL OF THESE EPISODES AND FOLLOW SUIT! Take note of your hard working employees and give them credit where credit is due...and I don't mean just a pat on the back. Truly reward them, show them their value, and retain them! 
"Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others. It is not an opportunity to satisfy personal greed." - Mwai KibakiYou can catch all of the past episodes at http://www.cbs.com/primetime/undercover_boss/Logo & photos from CBS.com

The Passing of an Icon

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The legendary singer and actress Lena Horne died this past Sunday at the age of 92. She was an inspiration to many because despite the many barriers put before her, she used her talent and will to push forward and be a great success.


Lena Horne was the first black woman to be signed to a long-term contract by a major Hollywood studio. She helped break racial boundaries by acting alongside white entertainers, however she was segregated on screen when those movies ran in the South.


In the 1950s, she was blacklisted because of her friendship with Paul Robeson and W.E.B. Du Bois. In 1963, Lena Horne took part in the March on Washington alongside Harry Belafonte and Dick Gregory and was part of an activist group, that met with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy movement against segregation. Horne went on to have an impressive 60 year career of singing on stage, television, and on film.



"You have to be taught to be second class; you're not born that way." - Lena Horne

For mo…

Having an Off Moment

As I write this, I have been in and out of what I'll call "off moments" today.  Most days I am upbeat and positive.  But today has been a struggle of listening to the wrong voice.  That little voice of doubt that can creep in and say things to you that cause feelings of doubt.  I refuse to let that little voice dominate my entire day.  Instead I ask myself, where is it coming from?  Is it because I've taken a few days to relax and not work hard towards my future goals?  Maybe.  Sometimes we're our own worst critic.  I know I am!
Well, the day is still young so I haven't and won't declare myself defeated.  I will keep turning my focus back to the positives and get through these "moments" successfully.  It's up to me to do that.
Here's a video of Positive Affirmations that helps me to refocus...



"Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself no…