Friday, December 31, 2010

Reflecting On 2010

As I reflect back on this year, I am grateful to all who have positively touched my life. I had seven major accomplishments this year. They were from the simple: to exercise regularly and take care of my health to the more complex: write a book, and become a published author.

Thus, my goals this year were to be healthier, walk straighter, smile brighter, love deeper, dream bigger and to BELIEVE!

Happy New Year! I wish you all a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2011.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oprah's Favorite Things

The joy of giving and receiving.

Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. Deuteronomy 15:10

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Hanukkah

As this year's celebration of Hanukkah comes to a close, it is the perfect time to reflect on miracles. Hanukkah is the observance of the miracles that G-d can provide.

The Maccabees miracle was because they had oil was sufficient to light the Menorah only for one day. By G-d's miracle, it continued to burn for eight days, until new oil was made available. That miracle proved that G-d had again taken His people under His protection.

By having absolute faith in G-d I know that miracles do occur.

Do You Believe?
To me every hour of the light and dark is a miracle; Every cubic inch of space is a miracle. ~Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

World AIDS Day

Let us not forget all who have fought and won or lost their battle to AIDS. In memory of my brother and all of those who are no longer with us, I bow my head with loving thoughts to their brave battle against this insidious disease.

Today I ask you to say a prayer or meditative thought for those who courageously live with the virus.

If you want to do more check out God's Love We Deliver

AIDS can destroy a family if you let it, but luckily for my sister and me, Mom taught us to keep going.
Don't give up, be proud of who you are, and never feel sorry for yourself.
Ryan White

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Externally Grateful…

November was a month filled with thirty days of thankfulness. I have so much to be grateful for. If I said thank you as much as I have been blessed they would be as countless as the stars!!!

I urge you to think about giving thanks all year and not just around the holidays. Create a new habit and make it an important part of your life.

Just as you make time to dream and to play, make time to smile and be grateful. Take a moment of your day to give a playful wave to the Universe, and be thankful in that moment.

“Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something bigger and better than your current situation.” Brian Tracy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Play Time

Okay so my posts have been so serious lately. As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, it is the best time to relax, hang out, and play. So go on have some fun. Do you want to play with me?

Oh Jolly Playmate

Come Out and Play With Me
And Be My Jolly Friend
Climb up My Apple Tree
Slide Down My Rainbow
Into My Cellar Door
And We'll be Jolly Friends Forever More

Monday, November 22, 2010

Walking Through the Fog

When we are going through rough times in our lives, the way can look so foggy we may not know what direction to move. Sometimes we just stand still, paralyzed in the moment and so we stop and can't even catch our breath.

It is hard to see through the fog. Nevertheless, have the confidence to know that there is clearing up ahead and just keep on moving. It takes extreme courage to move through the fog. Be brave, and even if fear is gripping your throat… Walk On!

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshinin' day
It's gonna be a bright, bright sunshinin' day

Sesame Street:Song: I Love My Hair

Sing Along & Embrace Who You Are!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Loving You

Loving ourselves regardless of our perceived imperfections can sometimes prove to be a challenge. We look in the mirror and compare ourselves to the mythical perfect being. For some strange reason this nonexistent person gets most our attention as we try to live up to someone else's standards.

When we compare ourselves to others, we often feel less than and thus go on that endless quest to be somebody that we are not.

Sesame Street released a new video about the Black muppet who embraces who she is and sings about how much she loves her hair.

When we stop comparing ourselves to others is when we can see the perfection in ourselves. Today love yourself as the beautiful human being that you are.
Dare to Be the Person You Want Be!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Wishing On Stars

Early this morning I had a magical experience watching the Leonid Meteor Showers. Breathtakingly beautiful, this meteor show was magical in the early morning hours. I was surrounded by pure peace, and I was able to witness the energetic cosmic bursts of light.

I first gazed upon this spectacular meteor show in 2001, when I had the opportunity to view them with my mother. She has since died and yet in the early quiet of the morn I felt her calming presence among the stars as once again, God put on his fireworks display.

As I watched the stars fall and listened to the quiet I was able to hitch my dreams and goals among those stars. As I lifted my eyes to the heavens, I knew that my dreams were shining as bright in my mind as they were in that pre-dawn sky. I Believe!!!….Do You?

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Crazy Ideas Bloom Big Dreams

I have always been a fan of the "I Love Lucy Show." Lucy always had a wacky idea that seemed so out there that everyone wondered what was in her brain. The creators of the show seemed to top the ideas as the show went on. This show from the 50's is my constant inspiration of nothing is too outrageous to try.

I recently said to a friend just think of me like Lucy. She looked at me incredulously and said, "Lucy? You're Lucy? Oh, NO because if you are Lucy, then I am Ethel, and I am not going to go down whatever road trip you're on." We both started laughing as she had read my mind, I WAS about to hatch nutty idea.

You see what made "I Love Lucy" work was Lucy's ability to drag her friend into her dreaming and into her schemes. If you keep your ideas only in your head, they cannot grow.

Let's face it out of crazy ideas bloom big dreams. Do you have a friend who always has a crazy idea or are you the crazy friend? Today, share your dreams…laugh and play yourself into a new reality.

Ricky: Lucy's actin' crazy.
Fred: Crazy for Lucy, or crazy for ordinary people?

Ethel: There's lots of things you're good at. Lucy: Like what?
Ethel: Well, you're awfully good at...uh... You've always been great at...
Lucy: Those are the same ones Ricky came up

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Asking for Help

One of the biggest lessons I have learned this year is that it is okay to ask for help. I know that I am not alone in having that particular fear of reaching out and asking for help when in need.

I, like so many have an aversion of hearing the word no. The word no has been a painful word for me. In the past it would cut me to the quick until I realized that no won't make you bleed. What the word does do for you is to look around for other options and to ask again.

If you have a particular need, I urge you to ask and keep asking until you get the help that you seek. After all what is the best that could happen, that person may just say YES!

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (Matthew 7:7)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Clearing Up Misperceptions

I had the chance to watch the Oprah show yesterday in which she celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Color Purple. What struck me was the conversation between Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg at the beginning of the episode. They spoke about how they cleared up a perceived misunderstanding they had when each thought the other one was upset with them.

I was impressed at the honesty of the moment and thought how many of us go through life and we do not clear up misunderstandings. We waste years on holding grievances, when a clear and direct question "Are you upset with me" or "Did I do something to offend you" would clear the way for honest dialogue.

One must be really brave to ask that question. Because what if the person answers yes, you offended me. How do you handle that? You have to stay strong, and just listen to them. To the best of your ability, make a sincere effort to clear up the misunderstanding. It takes even greater courage to say I am sorry.

Today, I encourage you to take that brave step and have an honest conversation.

In some families, please is described as the magic word. In our house, however, it was sorry. ~Margaret Laurence

Monday, November 15, 2010

Pursuing the Dream

I have been off the blogosphere and I miss all of you. I am glad to be back and want to share with you what I have been up to. I finally finished the book that I had been writing about my mother called In Memory Of a Saint: Lessons from My Mother that I Didn't Pay Attention to Until She Died. As you know, I have written many posts about her and as a result, I wanted to capture her spirit in a book.

The journey has been marvelous as I have been able to put into practice what I preach which is to strive for your goal and to go for your dreams no matter what. I also had the opportunity to take part this summer in Jack Canfield's Breakthrough to Success Training and was able to be among others dreamers.

Today, I hope all of you are pursuing your dreams with passion!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

In Memory of a Saint-Honoring Mom

In memory of a saint, I honor my mother today. Usually it is customary to use a white flower to honor a deceased mom on Mother’s Day. I choose to pay tribute to my mother today with a red flower because her spirit is alive and well.

Everything that I am is because of the strength of my mother. People have asked me through the years where did I ever get my unwavering belief of self and faith in God. The answer is simple, my mother.

I keep her memory close to my heart and with great admiration for her joie de vivre. She was a great lady who took risks in life, and had a faith that was unshakeable. For someone who was small she was soooo mighty.

I am honored to be her daughter. I hope to one day leave a legacy that is half as great as hers. So with the greatest of love and respect, today I remember my mother, a saint in my eyes and my heart.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Power of Forgiveness

During this season of Lent, I have been working on the lesson of forgiveness. I have to say that this hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world. With ongoing health issues, I made the conscious decision to release the negative toxins in my mind that can exacerbate pain.

I have come to the realization that yes, although I have been emotionally hurt by people, they have no power over me if I don’t let them. The choice is really mine. Now I am not saying that it is easy to release that pain and let it go. However, my perspective is that if I leave this earth, I can say that I worked on it.

The true power of forgiveness was demonstrated recently when a man forgave the drunk driver who plowed into him and he subsequently lost a limb. For the entire story: Weymouth man forgives drunk driver who cost him his leg. This man was an example of divine mercy. He has shown a grace of spirit and compassion that most of hope to achieve in our lifetime.

I am working on the seventy times seven principle and I urge you to do the same. Ironically, one of the Greek definitions for forgiveness is "let go.” Are you holding a grudge against someone, or has someone hurt you and you find it hard to forgive them. Today I encourage you to LET IT GO! I know I have long way to go but hey that is what living is all about. Have a joyous day!

“Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?’

Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.’” Matthew 18:21–22

Monday, March 29, 2010

Saying Goodbye

This weekend, I had to take my cat Boo Bear in to be put to sleep. He was a wonderful animal and had lived a long full life. He was 16 ½ years old when he died.

I am left with wonderful memories and the comfort that he lived well. His journey with me was now at an end. I realized that grieving is for the living and not for the one who is gone. I knew I had to make the decision to either let him linger in pain or assist him peacefully on his journey home.

As I sit here, reminiscing of the times we shared, I am able to reflect on the wonderful gift of unconditional love and friendship that he gave me. I give thanks for the memories and wish him eternal peace.

“I believe cats to be spirits come to earth. A cat, I am sure, could walk on a cloud without coming through.” ~ Jules Verne

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Weathering Perspective

I am so enjoying the change in New England’s weather. We are finally drying out after a deluge of rain hit the area. So many of us are still dealing with the aftermath that to see the sun has put a smile on everyone’s face.

I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and the damp weather often takes a toll on me and believe it or not can make me irritable. I decided I needed to get out of the “ain’t it awful club” and be grateful for every bit of rain and every ray of sunshine that God has bestowed upon us. At least I have hands that hurt and I have legs that although they may ache, they still function.

This shift of perspective and the feelings of gratitude reminded me of BJ Gallagher’s poem about the weather and I thought it was apropos. We often say, “We weathered the storm, or weather it out.” Enjoy the weather wherever you are and be grateful.

BJ Gallagher

"Any day I'm vertical is a good day"...that's what I always say.
If you ask me, "How are you?"
I'll answer, "GREAT!" because in saying so, I make it so.

When Life gives me dark clouds and rain, I appreciate the moisture that brings a soft curl to my hair.

When Life gives me sunshine, I gratefully turn my face up to feel its warmth on my cheeks.

When Life brings fog, I hug my sweater around me and give thanks for the cool shroud of mystery that makes the familiar seem different and intriguing.

When Life brings snow, I dash outside to catch the first flakes on my tongue, relishing the icy miracle that is a snowflake.

Life's events and experiences are like the weather they come and go, no matter what my preference.

So, what the heck?! I might as well decide to enjoy them.

For indeed, there IS a time for every purpose under Heaven.
And each season brings its own unique blessings.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Bossiness is not being a Bitch

I have been told that I am bossy. I have been told that I can be a bitch. I have been told that I am too opinionated. It is interesting to me that people define a woman's strength as bossy, or bitchiness whenever they assert themselves. Yet those same traits in a man are deemed as courageous, bold, a leader. Why is that?

I have decided that I am going to wear that label as one of honor and not a defect of my DNA. No, I am not a female dog. Yes!! Dammit I am a leader. I stand before you proud to be forthright, direct, bold, and sometimes even bossy.

I do not need to step on people to get ahead. That is not the trait of a leader but of a dictator. However, I will use my intellect and my mouth to forge my own path.

I have been told that I am a dreamer. I have been told that I am passionate. I have been told that I march to the beat of my own drum. What labels are holding you back or giving you the strength and determination to blaze your own star trail?

Be Bold! Be Proud!

Dare to Be the Person You
Want to Be!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Finding Your Rhythm in 2010

We are officially finishing the first month of the New Year. Has the newness worn off for you? What about the resolutions you made? What have you done? Studies show that less than 10 percent of people who make New Year resolutions actually keep them.

A friend sent this email to me "the 2010 Handbook". This is a much healthier way to set your goals and aspirations for 2010. Find your own rhythm and commit to being a better you.

2010 Handbook (Origin unknown)

1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants.
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm, and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009.
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minute walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead, invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't overdo. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree...

25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything.
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful, or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come...
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lessons of Hope

The Haitian earthquake has brought attention and compassion to a country that has lost so much. Every day we hear about the death and the plight of the Haitian people. What impresses me most is the hope and faith of Haitians in the midst of utter despair.

This is a lesson in what it means to have faith and hope. When life is at its darkest, continue to hold on. I watched the news as they pulled a man from the rubble, and he was praising God. His shouts of joy and gratitude after being literally buried alive for almost a week are the stories of the miraculous.

The countless incredible stories of survival in the midst of the Haitian tragedy made me rethink my situation and those who are struggling. I was recently asked how it was going for me in this tough economy. I started to answer by going down the road of the “a’int it awful club.” I did an about face and corrected myself. I stated emphatically that I am doing well. For you see when I look at what is happening in Haiti, I have no reason to complain. I have the basics of life: food, water, shelter and I am alive! Trust me that reality check really puts things in perspective.

I am confident that the Haitian People will survive this, as they are a strong, independent, and faith-filled people. Haiti was the first Black republic in the world and the first country in the Western hemisphere to abolish slavery completely. Haiti is a country that can inspire the rest of the world to have hope.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

¿What gifts do you share?

Today is the Feast day of the Three Kings. They were the three wise men who came to honor the Baby Jesus. In days of old; frankincense, gold, and myrrh were precious and they honored him with their presence and their gifts.

It made me wonder about the gifts that we have, and how do we honor our spirit and our selves. Do you have the gift of laughter, the gift of comfort, the gift of joy, the gift of sharing, the gift of truth, the gift of friendship? Whatever your gift I hope you are sharing it with others so that they may fully experience the wonder that is you?

Use your gifts, spread your wings, and let those around you know that you honor them by sharing a bit of yourself? The feast of the three kings is a great reminder to use our gifts wisely.

You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."-Kahlil Gibran, philosopher-

Friday, January 1, 2010

Dreaming into Action 2010

I wish you all the best to make 2010 an amazing year. The first of the year is filled with so much promise. I ask you to make this promise to yourself…. to take action on your dreams. This is the year to achieve your goals.

I encourage you to move in a positive direction, and dare to be the person that you want to be. The slate is clean. Make the commitment today to take action on your dreams. There is no obstacle in your path but you. Let the history of your past be your motivation for your future. Many of us start the year with New Year’s resolutions and then forget about them. Don’t do that this year.

Your future is bright. Your dreams that are shimmering in the distance are waiting for you to grab them, Go for It!
“Reach high, for the stars lie hidden in your
soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”
Pamela Vaull Starr