Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review


Well...What a year! For most of us, this year had many difficulties, curveballs, and the roller coaster ride of a lifetime. Did you struggle this year? I know I did.

Yet I am here to share with you that there is good news within the struggle. I know I survived the year that WAS. For many of us changes in the economy affected our livelihood and what we came to define as ourselves. Yet the one thing that remained true for me was my faith.

A family member told me I was crazy to have hope and faith. However, I believe in the power of God. I knew that no matter what the outward circumstances were, my faith and my belief in something greater would get me through any situation.

This is the year that I thank all the angels, those who walk on the earth, and those guardian angels that invisibly supported me. For you see, the times we think we are alone, there are many who are praying for us, sending up a good thought, a positive vibration, or just a smile.

As we get ready to ring in the New Year, I encourage you to define your own reality. Stay strong in the New
Year and be confident that you are a positive being of light and you are not alone.
I wish all of you peace and love!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas


Wishing all of you a blessed Christmas season. May your days be filled with joy and wonderment as we reflect on the awesome power of God’s peace and goodwill. Please enjoy this wonderful rendition of “What Child is This” by Andrea Bocelli & Mary J. Blige that was featured on Oprah.
¡Feliz Navidad!

video

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day. Please take time to send a prayer, thought, or donation to all those who are living with this illness. Until we have eradicated this disease across the world, we must continue to fight for a cure. I lost a brother AIDS, so this cause is very near and dear to my heart. By the way, did you know globally over 50% of AIDS victims are women and children?

Half of all children living with HIV will die before their second birthday . . .unless we act. A few simple measures can dramatically reduce a mother's risk of passing HIV to her child. But far too many moms lack access to care that can prolong their lives — and protect their children. (World Vision). Please think about giving to http://www.joinred.com/Splash.aspx or http://www.worldvision.org/




In the spirit of love and a cure... Peace!

video

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Letter


In these challenging times, we need all the encouragement possible to be loving, encouraging, and forgiving to ourselves. This was posted on the Ripples Project and I thought I would share it here. Peace!

I promise you that I will help you whenever you are troubled.


I will do everything in my power to make things better for you.


I promise you that I will be there for you whenever you need me.


I will help care for you and keep you healthy.


I promise you that I will get up every day with a positive outlook, with my chin up and I'll never deprive you of hope.


I promise that I will love and respect you and never take you for granted.


I will remind you each day that you are a child of God, that there is a purpose for your life and will spend my life helping you discover that purpose.


I promise that I will listen to you when you need someone to talk to, I will not pass judgment or condemn you for mistakes you make.


I promise that I will always forgive you and I will not let past problems overshadow our relationship.


I promise that I will be a true friend to you and love you always, no matter what.

Love,

Yourself YYY


-written and submitted by Mary E. Bentley

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Healing From Hurt


When you are hurt emotionally, how do you heal? The other day I looked at an old scratch on my hand, which I received from my cat when he was a kitten. The scar had faded into the skin but it is still there. It got me to thinking about the emotional scars that we carry around with us. I realized that I had emotional scar tissue that needed to fade into the background.

When we are hurt we put protective barriers around are emotions so that others won’t hurt us the same way. We build emotional scar tissue. One of my favorite phrases use to be “Oh, I’ve forgiven them, but I will never forget it. The reality was that every time I said that phrase I built more emotional scar tissue around my heart and refused to let it fade.

It is something that I am working on and it isn’t easy. However, when we release the pain from our minds we are able to free our hearts. Our hearts are able to pulsate easier. We breathe better. We sleep better. Our minds are free and can grasp the lessons that we have learned. For out of every storm comes a new ray of light. Use it to purify your soul. Truly forgive the people who hurt you, release their spirit to the universe, and move on to a new day.


“In our lives there is bound to come some pain, surely as there are storms and falling rain; just believe that the one who holds the storms will bring the sun.” Unknown

Friday, October 9, 2009

Childhood Dreams into Inspiring Reality


This morning as I watched the Today Show the video below wowed me that it is never too soon to start on your dreams. Ten-year-old Amiya Alexander had a dream to start a business. The amazing part of this story is that her mother encouraged her to follow her vision. This young entrepreneur has patented her bus, created an interesting business model, and at a young age learned the most important lesson of all to turn your ideas into action. We should all be motivated to go for it!

video

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Oath of Positivity


I recently spoke to a group of young women on how to be positive in these challenging times. As so many of us have been sucked into "the ain’t it awful club", I thought I would share with them and you what was once given to me when I was a teenager. I hope it inspires you!


Oath of Positivity

as read by Pearl Bailey, Live on NBC By J. Morris Anderson


My physical appearance will always reveal my positive mental attitude toward life.


My head held high will indicate the mental and spiritual strength that lives within me.


My straight, cheerful manner of walking will exemplify the positive direction my life has taken.


My eloquent manner of talking will always relate the positive mental, spiritual and physical forces that reside within me.


My illustrious smile will always express the pleasure I receive from living.


The positive look in my eyes will always indicate the self confidence and positive spirits inside me.


THEREFORE:

I CAN perform any task;


I CAN sell any product;


I CAN succeed in any job;


I CAN cause any relationship to thrive;


I CAN overcome any obstacle;


I CAN accomplish any objective.


I AM a positive mental, spiritual and physical person.


I AM spiritually capable of succeeding.


I CAN successfully compete on any mental level;


I WILL succeed on any physical level of activity in which I engage.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Empty “Sorries”



Lately the news has been filled with stories about politicians, celebrities, and athletes apologizing for bad behavior or inappropriate comments. It occurred to me that these apologies are empty. The truth is more likely than not, they are sorry they were caught, or sorry that other people didn’t like what they did. These weak apologies are often followed by even weaker excuses for bad behavior. Just once, I would like people to stand behind their bad behavior and not give out an empty sorry.

As a child, I learned this lesson from my mother. She would never accept just sorry as an apology. She would ask the question, “What are you sorry for?” When the question is posed in that manner the truth really comes out. Usually I was sorry that I was caught at whatever I was supposed to be apologizing for but I really wasn’t sorry for what I said or did.

This childhood lesson has really helped me as an adult. A sincere apology comes from the heart. The feeling of remorse and the sense that you caused true emotional pain to another person affects your spirit. When you apologize you should mean it from the core of your being or don’t bother to offer it. Sorry really is the hardest word.

Never ruin an apology with an excuse. ~Kimberly Johnson

Saturday, September 12, 2009

¿Are You Somebody?


Recently, I taught a class and afterwards a student asked me, if I had resource name to back up a statement I made. I said, “Yes, that resource is me.” He then asked me if I could quote somebody who was famous, a celebrity, or well known. I reiterated, “yes, me.”

He was so shocked that I confidently stood beside my name and my statement. I said yes, I am somebody. You can choose to heed my words or not, the choice is yours. I am my credible source because the story is mine.

He was so startled that I said that I was somebody; he did not have a comeback. I thought to myself that so often we look for validation on who we are from other people.

Boldly and confidently, declare to the world
you know who you are.
You are somebody!


"I am larger, better than I thought. I did not know I held so much goodness."-Walt Whitman

Monday, August 31, 2009

¿What’s Your Legacy?


Listening to the memorial tributes of Senator Ted Kennedy, I realized the impact of his legacy. There was many a tale of him assisting the person on the street with whatever was their particular concern. He helped my family with immigration, Vietnam veteran issues, and even donated his staff to work on one of my charity events.

You know they say that dead men tell no tales. This makes me pose the question, what will be your legacy?


“I may be here for a short while, gone tomorrow into oblivion or until the days come to take me away. But, in whatever part you play, be remembered as part of a legacy...of sharing dreams and changing humanity for the better. It's that legacy that never dies” author unknown

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Angels in Our Midst


When we least expect it, angels appear to get us through the murky causeway of life. Angels walk in human form and help us on our path. Whenever we think we are alone, their healing presence warms our spirits, our minds, and our hearts.

I am truly grateful for the angels who constantly step out, scoop me up, and embrace me in their universal message of love. The angels who walk among us have blessed me time and time again. Whenever, I have stepped out on faith and asked for God’s guidance and eternal blessings on what next to do…. An angel appears.

Angels are watching over all us and for that, I feel we are truly blessed.

Through dangers seen and unseen, there's protection all around.
Under the refuge of God's wings, security is found.
For there are angels watching you to keep you in all of your ways,
keeping you from stumbling, so don't be afraid.
God's appointed angels watching over me,
angels watching over me.
Angels watching over me, angels watching over me.
Unseen hands, guiding me, through my storm and through my rain.
Healing hands, holding me, through the darkness of my pain.
Wings of love encamped around me, so I will not fear, for I can feel thier
presence hovering near. Nothing but... Angels watching over me All night, all
day, angels watching over me my Lord.
All night, all day, angels watching over me.
All night, all day, angels watching over me my Lord.

Angels watching over me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nature’s Traffic Stop


I witnessed something today that truly put a smile on my face. Rush hour traffic came to a standstill because a flock of Canadian Geese decided to cross the road. What was interesting to me was that people who normally honk ferociously if you are not moving fast enough, yell cuss words out the window if you slow down on an amber light, and generally are mean spirited during the morning commute because they have somewhere to be; did none of the usual morning behaviors.

This morning, none of that happened because nature provided its own traffic calmer. In an instant, all cars stopped and patiently waited for the geese to cross. I immediately thought of the Goose Story allegory, which is below. Have a Great Day!


The Goose Story
by Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes

Next fall, when you see Geese heading South for the Winter, flying along in V formation,
you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way:
as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following.

By flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

Whena goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to takeadvantage of the lifting power of the bird in front.

If we have as much sense as a goose,
we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.

When the Head Goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs with people or with geese flying South.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

What do we say when we honk from behind?

Finally, and this is important, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshots and falls out of formation,
two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection.
They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly, or until it dies.
Only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.

IF WE HAVE THE SENSE OF A GOOSE, WE WILL STAND BY EACH OTHER LIKE THAT.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

¿Dream Job?


Recently clearing out an old file, I ran across a description on what I was looking for in an ideal job from my youth. Idealistic, Naïve, or Impractical…? You be the judge.

I dream a world of togetherness, a job that is not work. It is cliché to say that making a difference is what I want to do with my life. The job I want should not just be a job, or a career, but a vocation.

I know that I am destined to be a revolutionary leader. A revolutionary leader holds the vision of an organization in their head, making it possible for others to share the same dream. Respect, encouragement, and motivation are my biggest leadership assets. I enjoy supervising others with the point of view that you cannot micromanage someone and help them to grow. We all make mistakes. The best teachable moment occurs when you give someone the opportunity to spread their wings while providing safety nets.

I want to work in a collective organization where being a part is part of the whole. This is an environment where colleagues come together to inspire each other daily. I know that when work stops being stimulating or fun, we should stop the madness and no longer go into a toxic place. The workspace should have an atmosphere that encourages laughter and tears, for both offers worlds of support. Some days working is hard but sharing the fun and the pain gives you the courage to continue for another day.

I am an extraordinary leader who looks behind and people are not only following me but they are developing into leaders themselves. My dream job is out here. I know this to be true because we are building a new society of visionary leaders who get inspired just the way I do.

I must say that reading this made me smile for my idealism, and for the jobs, I loved along my vocational journey and saddened me for opportunities missed. It occurred to me that in today’s challenging world, most people are scared to articulate what their dream job is. Should we be running so scared from our dreams and ideals that we drift aimlessly into thoughts of I will do it someday, maybe tomorrow, or worse yet, the chance opportunity is gone. The question then becomes, if not now when?


¿What is your dream job?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thank You


Recently, I called someone I had done business with to tell them thank you. I wanted to let them know that they had done a great a job and that I had really appreciated their efforts. The response was one of utter delight and surprise. She was quite taken back and kept telling ME thank you.

So often, we call a company to voice our dissatisfaction with their product or their customer service. Yet, when something goes well we are often silent. The old adage says, “Have something good happen tell one or two people, when something goes wrong tell ten to twenty people.” Worse than that, we embellish the story beyond belief. Why is that? Shouldn’t we shout from the rooftops when things go well and tell as many people as possible?

A simple and heartfelt thank you cost you nothing. It is free and the payoff is great. Today, I urge you to appreciate someone.


Thank You…Two simple words that go a long way.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Faith is Free


I was chatting with a client who was absolutely terrified on taking a step, and scared to utter words that would empower her. Her comment to me was, “I can’t do that. What will they think of me?” My response was they would think that you are fearless, self-confident and that you have your act together.

She sighed….I sighed with her. For you see her lack of self-confidence showed fear. I told her to have faith in the process, to have faith in who she is, to have faith in her abilities, simply put have faith. Because guess what…..Faith is free.

Fear has a cost. When we are fearful, our anxiety level goes up. We are paralyzed body, mind, and soul. We become powerless in thought and in our actions. Fear creates stress, more worries and ultimately puts you no closer to your goal. So why spend the energy in fear? Spend your energy wisely in faith. Faith is free. Faith is the abundance of hope.
Fear and Faith
cannot coexist at the same time. Choose One!
Book of Love ~ Kathleen McGowan


Choose Faith. It is Free!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

A Humble Walk


Yesterday I was walking through Boston during a rainstorm. This in itself was a difficult feat for me because I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was achy and hobbling downtown with my bag and a cup of coffee. I was not in the greatest of moods.

That changed after an experience humbled me and gave me a new perspective on life. As I was hobbling along, I passed a homeless man sitting on the wet curbside. I glanced his way but truth be told did not want to make real eye contact. I was not in a position to give him money at the moment and frankly I was also feeling a little sorry for myself as I walked with difficulty through the rain.

Then it happened. This gentle man turned to me and said “sister friend, you take care of that leg of yours okay". Wow, that powerful statement from a man that most of us deem invisible moved me to tears. In that moment, I recognized the spirit of God and the light that shines in those who society has forgotten.
“There is so much good in the worst of us and so much bad in the best of us, that it doesn’t behoove any of us to speak about the rest of us."

Monday, July 6, 2009

Field Of Dreams

This weekend I had the pleasure of watching one of my all time favorite films Field of Dreams. This movie struck such a cord with me on its main theme, how the world perceives people who strive for dreams that others find unattainable. More often than not, people who are dreamers, inventers, philosophers, artists and the like are called, crazy, in denial, and generally unstable because they march to beat of their own drum.

James Earl Jones’ character in the movie, comments on a passion so intense to that it can barely be articulated into words. The truth is often our dreams sound unintelligible to others. However, as long as you can keep your eye on the prize— the dream in your heart and don’t let go, you are more than half way to accomplishing your dreams and deepest desires.

I realize so many of us give up, because of the naysayers in our lives, “dream stealers.” The people who tell us that we are unrealistic, that it will never work, or even worse...wait…. until time, money or resources are better.

I love the movie's tagline
“If you believe the impossible, the incredible
can come true”


Keep Dreaming!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Celebrating Independence!


As we come together to celebrate the 4th of July — Independence Day in America, it occurred to me that we should all be celebrating our own independence. What have you done lately in your life that has inspired a feast, fireworks, and an all out celebration?

If you have not done anything, Today is that day. Light the sparklers in your eyes, heart, and mind. Let that brilliant radiant beam shine for the whole world to see your true worth. Today is the day to celebrate your spirit, your light, and your truth.

Happy Independence Day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

¿Why Are you Special? Me Is Not an Answer


I was chatting with a colleague and she was intrigued by my question that I had posed to her as to why she was special. She was so perturbed by it that she went on to post that very question online as to what about friends in her online community made them special.

In a later conversation, she said “Sandra most of them replied because I am me. Do you get that a lot, she asked.” I laughed because that is a standard response when we are uncomfortable with our own introspection. It is often difficult for most of us to look inward and articulate an answer.

Many of us have been taught that if we talk about ourselves in too positive a light, we are being braggadocios. We are advised to be modest and to be humble. The worst part is we are told not to say anything but to let people discover what is special about us on their own.

Honestly if you cannot proudly cry out to the world why you are special, no one else will be able to either. An ineffectual answer is because I am me. A dazzlingly response is I am special because and shout from the rooftops how special you really are.

Stay tuned as I collect answers and look for it in my upcoming book, "Why Are You Special". So, I have asked it before and I ask it again…

¿Why Are You Special?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Celebrating Daddy

Yes, I was Daddy’s Little Girl. I miss my father very much and as we approach Father’s Day, I thought I would take a moment to honor his memory. People tease me and tell me that I often call my mother”the saint,” but I don’t talk enough about my dad. He is a hard man to describe or fit into a stereotypical box.

My father was the epitome of a strong, proud, Jamaican male. His wisdom and insight was something to behold. He was never one to suffer fools lightly. However, as his youngest child, he always made time for me. Some people might even say I was his favorite and I would have to agree.

One of my favorite memories was the time he got me out of school early to go to a Red Sox game. It was total father daughter time, no moms allowed. He showed me by example, that a man should adore a woman, treat her right, bring flowers to make her smile, or hold them out as an apology, and read everything and anything you can get your hands on.

No, he wasn't perfect… but let’s be real, who is. When a man can cherish the time he spends with his daughter, it helps to set an awesome foundation. And for that, I am eternally grateful.



I love my father as the stars - he's a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart. ~Adabella Radici

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Where Charity and Love Prevail


As many of you know, I am a fan of the Celebrity Apprentice. I was so happy with this year’s outcome. Joan Rivers won and was able to win oodles of money for her charity God's Love We Deliver.

However, what was really nice about this win was that it wasn’t based solely on money raised. The other criteria included the integration of the charity in the event. That truly was the highlight of the evening. Joan embraced all the workers and volunteers of her charity to help to pull the event together. More importantly, she held an event with a silent auction that allowed full participation from celebrities and regular folk. I have seen so many auctions that are overpriced and only the very wealthy are able to participate.

By Joan keeping it affordable, she allowed everyone involved to feel good and to be able to donate to the best of their ability. God's Love We Deliver http://www.godslovewedeliver.org/ delivers meals on wheels to those who are sick and home bound. Check them out. I urge you to day to give what you can afford, whether it is your time, talent, or treasure to the charity of your choice.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

In Memory Of a Saint II


Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! This holiday celebrates the spirit of motherhood. As someone who believed that she had the best mom in the world, I honor her memory today. This is my way to say thank you to her even though she is no longer living and to give testimony to her courage and character as my mom.

In my mother’s imperfection lay her perfection, for all that she was and what she instilled in us to be. She never shied away from taking a risk, from going forward, for choosing to fail at something, and she did it with gusto.

You see the greater good was that she showed us by her example to be fearless. To go after what we wanted and if we didn’t succeed to try again. Yes, my mother was amazing and I thank her for her courageous spirit and a life full of joy!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hunger’s Hope Is You!



In these challenging economic times, there are so many of our neighbors who may be going hungry, in order to pay their bills, keep a roof over their head, while striving to provide for their families.

Today, I ask that you do your part to help those in need. There are simple ways to do it. You can volunteer at your local food pantry or donate several food items to a local food bank.

Want to make a greater impact? Be a silent angel and find someone in your community who may be in need and give a gift card to a grocery store or a bag of groceries anonymously.

Count your blessings for what you have, for even if to you it may seem little…. to others you may have much. For within your ability to do your part, you have given hope to those in need.
Peace!


If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one.” Mother Teresa

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!!!


In recognition of Earth Day, I ask you to do your part to make our world a better place. It’s up to all of us to take care of our planet.
The earth is yours so treat it gently with kind and loving care!


“The earth is what we all have in common.” Wendell Barry

Monday, April 20, 2009

Kaleidoscopes


I love kaleidoscopes! When you look through them, you see all sorts of designs that have interesting shapes and vivid color. Shouldn’t life be like that? So that when you open your eyes to the unforeseen, your mind is able to see things you would never have imagined.

I urge you to take a walk and look around you and keep your eyes open for the unexpected. I can guarantee that in a daily walk around your neighborhood, your home, or even through your own mind, you will bump into something new. Look with wonder for all new possibilities!



At the height of laughter, the universe is
flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.
Jean Houston

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Living Her Dream Out Loud




I know many have seen the video regarding Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent. Feel to free to click the link that has it here in its entirety. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lp0IWv8QZY

As thrilled as I am with her performance, I am utterly annoyed with the media. One of the judges sheepishly admitted that that the audience was against this woman when she walked on stage. She has been described as frumpy, never been kissed, unlikely contestant, unkempt, and the list goes on.

This woman LIVED HER DREAM OUT LOUD!!! That fact should be the only thing we are buzzing about with such fervor. How many of us ever get the courage to realize our dreams boldly and fiercely?

Her song choice was so appropriate “I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Miserable.

So I ask You Will this make you Live Your Dream
Today?

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year


2009 Welcomes YOU! With your entrance into the New Year, you crossed over into a world of new promises, paths unknown, and a road to new horizons. May your year be filled with all your hope and dreams. Peace



We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day. ~Edith Lovejoy Pierce