Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Gnat in My Glass

Recently, I was having a glass of wine on a work night. I was already tired and emotionally drained from the day, so I started to feel the effects pretty quickly. I knew I was reaching the tipping point and should probably stop drinking. But I didn't WANT to. So I kept on, trying to finish the glass. And finally, when I was more than halfway done, I decided to just toss back the rest and go to bed. But as I raised my glass for that last time, I saw it. A gnat floating in my glass! Gross! But clearly I needed a more tangible sign that it was time to stop drinking.

Signs are all around us. Some are very deliberate and universally recognized--"Stop! Slow down! Dangerous curves ahead"...others are less literal, suggested...hints. They can be external, but very often we get internal signs too. Red flags, signals, behaviors...our internal voice, conscience, spirit, telling us the same things as those blatant external signs--"Stop! Slow down! Proceed with caution." There's something that needs to be put away. Something is going on that's happening way too fast, and our instincts are telling us to tap the brakes, but very often we pummel forward anyway. We rationalize, excuse and laugh off everything that tells us there is danger ahead. We know there are people, places and things in our lives that it’s time to cut our ties with and move on. And despite those things standing right in front of us, announcing with their presence or their actions (and sometimes actually SAYING out of their mouths!) "I'm no friend to you. I don't love you. I don't have your best interests at heart."; we still don't leave. We settle into "It's comfortable", "It's the way it has always been" and "It'll get better". The truth is though, it's about to get real uncomfortable, it's time to shake things up, and it isn't going to get better until we take inventory of who and what is in our lives and whether or not they're supposed to be there. Until we ask ourselves if what we are allowing in is in line with who we are, what we believe and what we want out of this life, things are only going to get worse, the signs are going to get bigger and the voice is going to scream louder--until finally, something happens that rocks us to the core and shakes us awake, and makes us wonder why the heck we didn't take the hint before the collateral damage had piled so high.

It can be an unfortunate part of the cycle of life--the out with the old--but it is important for us to purge things that we no longer need for our journey, so that we have room for new things that will serve us better in the next phase. While we can love those old things, and keep fond memories of what they taught us, we just can't keep everything or our loads would become too heavy to bear. So I'm working on learning to see the signs telling me to release the things that are no longer good for me, and embracing the signs that point me in the direction of all that is peace, love, joy and learning. No more pesky gnats in my glass ;).
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Thursday, August 27, 2009


Part of our divine right on this planet is to be loved, and part of our universal power is to give love--abundantly/unselfishly/unabashedly. As women, we're designed to love as mothers/ sisters/friends/wives/ girlfriends/teachers/neighbors--you name it. We're supposed to give raw/unfiltered/unedited love that heals/cleanses/supports/uplifts/consumes/creates and re-creates. And we do. We allow ourselves to be open, raw, emotional and vulnerable. We cloak those surrounding us in love and hope that they keep the circle going so the love comes right back to us...

But what do we do when that doesn't happen? When that raw emotion becomes a sore so deep it leaves a gaping hole in our souls? When butterflies flutter so furiously in our stomachs we can hardly eat? When our hearts thump so loudly we can't hear ourselves think. When the hurt/betrayal/manipulation run rampant, confusing us, clouding our judgment and cutting off our breath? How do we navigate out of the darkest places in our beings that we retreat to when it all just becomes too much?

Maybe we just keep believing in love. Believing that no matter how much it hurts right now, it won't hurt forever. Believing that when we get cut off from one source, we'll find love flowing more abundantly in another stream. Believing ourselves worthy of reciprocal, unconditional, sugary sweet, soul shaking, understanding, hand-holding, stress reducing, forever kind of love that doesn't lie to us, steal from us or eat away at our spirits. Believe ourselves to be strong enough to survive either way--cause we're made like that too. Our armor might crack but we never break, and we never give up halfway through the battle. We know that there's learning and growth in the fight and that there is "better" on the other side of the battlefield.

I've felt weak, hurt, lied to, misunderstood, betrayed, and cheated. But I am strong, loving, honest, communicative, loyal and resilient. I refuse to let any set of circumstances make me be untrue to any of those things. Cause they are what define me. They tell my story. Unabridged. Uncut. Raw.
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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Price Must Be Right

One of the keys to happiness is accepting that everything has a price. It’s up to you to determine if what you think you want is worth the price. There is a price to being in a relationship, and there is also a price to not being in a relationship. There is a price to being a working mom and a price to being a stay-at-home mom. Either pay up or let it go. You won’t know if you are willing to pay up until you have a realistic view of the cost implications and rewards. In other words, what are you willing to sacrifice and why?

We don’t always want what we think we want. Many of us spend so much of our lives seeking recognition, never developing or using the benefits of the things we do naturally. Many people dream about owning their own business, only to find out that they don’t like the demands and responsibilities of being their own boss. Perhaps you think you want to marry a rich professional basketball player until you experience the lonely side of being married to someone who’s away from home 80% of the time. It’s so easy to romanticize someone else’s situation and glorify all the things that you don’t have, but how many people can truthfully say that they know what it takes to acquire and maintain these things? Moreover, do the things you want truly align with who you are and your divine traits and talents?

Often, we think we want things because of the validation and approval we think we’ll get from sources outside of ourselves. If we would stop chasing other people’s dreams, we might find that we have our own ideas and abilities that can lead us to our own unique abundance. Whatever you spend your life's energy doing, you must be willing to give it your all through the ups and downs and the uncertainty. Yes there is always a price, but if you are investing in things that you are passionate about, you will always be rich and the flow of possibility will be limitless. The more of yourself that you put into your hopes and dreams; the greater the reward.

Are you dreaming about attaining things that you have no desire to roll up your sleeves and work for?
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Hey Nia!

I am such a huge fan of Nia Long. Nia has been featured on television and in movies since she was a teenager and she has always held her own with her radiant smile, beautiful brown skin, full flowy hair and great figure. I used to try and emulate her when I was younger--I cut my hair like hers (remember the cute bob “Cat” had on All My Children?) and tried to do my makeup like hers in college with the smoky eyes and the purple lipstick, lol. Outside of her looks though, she just seems to have a beautiful spirit that radiates from the inside out and makes me feel drawn into whatever it is that she’s doing. She’s been showing up on red carpets lately looking absolutely fab—including this look from the In Style "Summer Soiree". Just thought I would share. We black women are so gorgeous aren’t we?!
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Thursday, August 20, 2009


I will stop judging myself to be not enough.

There was a time, not very long ago, where I found myself trapped in a constant state of “not enough”. I felt I wasn’t pretty/skinny/educated/rich/savvy/talented enough. I felt like “less than”. I compared myself to others waaay to often. “I’m not as fabulous as she is. I wish my relationship was like theirs. I wish I had as much money as she does. She’s prettier than me. Her hair is so much longer than mine.….” It was never ending.

I think I’d started using other people as a mirror or a key to what I thought I should be when I was in middle school. I was always the younger girl who had skipped two grades, trying desperately to balance fitting in with being myself. It continued (and probably got worse) in high school and right on through college. I was in a constant state of metamorphosis, trying to create in myself what I saw in others or what I thought people wanted me to be. And I carried that mess into adulthood—even spilling over into relationships! I can’t count the number of times I thought or said, “Well, I’m sorry but I can’t. I just don’t have the capacity.” UGH! Such limiting words, “can’t” and “don’t”. I was setting myself up for failure without even realizing it. I made everything in my relationships about me and everything in my life about my lack.

What I have discovered though, in the past couple of years, is that I am enough. I had to be broken down and stripped of everything I thought was important. I had to lose and lose and lose and lose in order to make a decision that I didn’t intend to live life as a loser. It was time to figure out who I was, what I wanted, and how I was going to get it. The days of comparing myself to others were over because I realized they weren’t going through my struggle and I hadn’t gone through theirs. I realized that I am completely unique. My thoughts/words/talents/hair/legs/arms/life lessons are all uniquely mine. No one can have more of them or be better at them than me--just as I can’t be successful at trying to be like anyone else. What I know now—through continuous prayer, meditation, yoga, reading, exercising and writing—is that I am enough! I am pretty/intelligent/talented/financially secure/funny/fabulous enough! Just enough. I am the perfect me and that IS enough. It’s enough for me and enough for anybody who dares to love me.

My life and my journey are not about what anybody else says/thinks/feels about me. I get to choose: how hard I work, how far I stretch, how often I push; I get to choose success over fear of inadequacy. I get to choose peace in my heart over judgment of my situation. I get to be true to myself every day all day, and to act on what I believe to be true about myself. Nobody else’s opinion really matters. All that exists is what I see in me.
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Reflections of a Mama

The life of a mother is one of sacrifice and naked, unwavering devotion. If you are a mama, play the role of a mama or were raised by a mama, you have felt the rippling effect that mothers have on every generation that comes and goes. A huge part of my identity is defined by my role as a mother. It is the most intimidating and rewarding endeavor I have encountered in this life. I am challenged and honored to be the mama of two beautiful, lively kids.

I feel a common bond with fellow mothers who, like me, regard this mission with the utmost humility and passion. No matter how different our beliefs, mothers have kindred hearts that speak a common language. Mamas know how it feels to hold a tiny hand and guide a child through life's vivid spectrum of joy and pain. Cheering, protecting and disciplining, we make every effort to prepare our children for the turbulence of life. "Always do this...Never do that...Pay Attention...Keep your head up...Watch your back....Mama knows!" We've lived it, felt it, and don't want our babies to have to go through it. We make decisions we never knew would be so hard to make, while second-guessing and praying for direction at every turn.

The passage of time is so apparent in every moment as I watch my children grow, and I try to commit every stage of their development to my memory. My daughter's 3 year old munchkin voice, my son's 7 year old mini-muscular frame, their sloppy kisses and incessant questions. How they look to me for comfort, assurance and safety. I watch them in awe as they sleep, walk, laugh and play. And as they develop their personalities and gifts, I feel overwhelmed with a joy that comes from places in my heart that I never knew existed before becoming a mom. Children are drawn to this joy that comes from the same source of Love inside of us that created them. Who knew that my children would teach me to understand the meaning of unconditional love? I learn so much from them. I watch my kids and smile from everywhere as they shine their love light so effortlessly! When children are born, all they know is Love and Truth because these are the seeds that bring forth the miracle of life. They are not given the spirit of fear; all they know is eternal love. Their eyes sparkle with an awareness that adults often forget due to the unpredictable nature of the world we live in:

"The Light of God surrounds us
The Love of God enfolds us
The Power of God protects us
The Presence of God watches over us
Wherever we are, God is
And all is well."

They remind me of how it felt to be a child and feel eternally protected and safe. Somewhere along the way, I lost that feeling. As my children teach me how to love, I make my feeble attempt to teach them to stay ingrained in this Truth no matter what they encounter in this life. I don't have to have all the answers. Ironically, my kids are my greatest teachers.
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Monday, August 17, 2009

Me Me Me

It can seem like a difficult pill to swallow sometimes, but there's really no one on earth who can make us happy. We get trapped into thinking "If he would only..." Or "Why doesn't she?..." but the truth is, even if they did all the things we wanted them to, we could still be unhappy. No matter how hard they try to please us, people are always going to inevitably disappoint us--not intentionally, but simply because they are human and because they are an external by-product of our happy. Happiness, peace, positivity--all these states of being start on the inside and, as our attitude reflects them, they manifest outwardly in our lives. So we have to learn to be happy even when the people we thought would make us happy, end up falling short.

And it is equally important to learn to self-sooth when people inevitably do disappoint us. We have to find our "happy place" inside ourselves and spend a little "me time"--doing the little things that bring us pleasure and move our focus from outward to inward. It can be anything from reading a good book, to watching a repeat of a favorite show, to taking a hot shower, painting our nails, a quick yoga session in the living room or just sitting in silence. But whatever it is, we have to be the ones to bring comfort to ourselves. We have to take on the hefty charge of being solely responsible for our own happiness. It's just too big of a job for anyone else to handle.

"Happy and unhappy belong to your mind, not to the world."
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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stormy Weather

Nights like this I wish that raindrops would fall. I envision black clouds casting their shadows over every corner of my life, and out of habit I brace myself for the rain that will surely come next. Sometimes I find myself in darkness, and I resentfully pout and resign myself to spend some time there when the light switch is within my arm’s reach. Oh, the drama. The internal soundtrack has certainly been melancholy today.

As I was riding home tonight, listening to 808s and Heartbreak, I decided to have a good cry. Every woman should have one from time to time. I probably get a knot in my throat at least once a day, because I’m just a sappy girl and everything touches me; but nothing cleanses my heart and purges my emotions more than a good cry. And why do I secretly revel in having the right music to accompany my sorrowful mood? It sounds so contrived, right? Acceptable or not, I have to tell it like it is. Honesty and vulnerability are powerful healers, and tonight my spirit needs healing

In the last couple of days, I have not had enough sleep or healthy meals, almost no time has been dedicated to quiet prayer or meditation, and I have not picked up a book or written a soul-cleansing word. My routine has been completely off, and family circumstances have been emotionally draining. Energy is going out and it’s not being replenished. For me, all of this adds up to the perfect storm. No wonder I didn’t see the simulated clouds darkening my doorstep. I know what my physical and spiritual bodies need in order to thrive and when I don’t meet those needs, my defenses go down. I need to exercise my body, mind and spirit in order to ward off the willies, the lonelies, and the if-onlies. (That’s code for fear, doubt and regret.)

I have these moments where my mind knows my loss of perspective is irrational, but I’m too caught up in my own hype. I’m deep in my feelings and detached from the facts. The beautiful part of this particular stormy night is that I finally know what I do and why I do it. I can see my stuff and call it out. I know and accept that it has to rain sometimes, and I don‘t have to let myself be washed away. Even further than that, there’s no need for me to create my own virtual storms in my head or fret over things that I can’t control. Rain or shine, faith reminds me that I am protected and equipped to handle any weather.

Singin in the Rain
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Morning Meditation

Good Morning,

Prosperity is my divine birthright. I believe that the universe showers me with abundance--a wealth of love, family, money, peace and joy--and that as I give these things, I receive the same in return. Life is a cycle--I know that everything I put into it, is what will manifest itself back to me.


*I deserve prosperity.
*I have plenty of time and money.
*The Universe showers abundance upon me.
*As I express my needs, they are met.
*As I give, I receive, receive and receive.
*There is limitless supply and it is mine.
*There is plenty more where that came from.
*Money is simply energy that I exchange for what it is that I need.

-Sri Laxmi, the goddess of good fortune--wealth that is manifested through personal diligence, generosity and pure intention. Courtesy of
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Never Say Never!

I told myself for years that I would never, could never do it! And then I did it. I started growing out my relaxer.

It started out as just an experiment really. I kind of accidentally noticed that I was going for longer and longer periods past my previous 6 weeks without getting a touch-up. I would go 8-10 weeks and realize that my hair was still manageable. Then I'd go 12-14 weeks...and finally I asked myself, "Do I really need this? What would happen if I just kept going?"

I remember what my hair used to be like when I was a little girl--thick, healthy, long and full. And ever since I've been relaxed my hair has been different--brittle, temperamental, short and unwilling to grow. Even under the constant care of a stylist, it would grow but at a snail's pace. So I wondered, "What if I didn't get that touch up? Would my hair grow healthy and strong like it used to be? Would the texture be different—in a good way? Would it be manageable?"

And so I decided, "What the heck--I'll try it. If it gets too out of hand, I can just relax it, right?" At first I didn’t even tell anyone because I wasn’t sure if this would go well. But, it has been 8 months and I haven't looked back! I'm about halfway through my transition. My natural hair is growing rapidly and it is fuller and stronger than the relaxed hair at the ends. There’s not a huge amount of difference in the length yet because of continuous trimming, but it has definitely gotten much thicker. I can shampoo and blow dry and still get my hair soft and straight if I want to. During the summer months though, I've been wearing it curly--roller sets, twist outs and flat twist outs--and a whole new world of hair care ease has been revealed to me! In these styles, I don't have to worry about my roots being bushy while my ends are straight, I don't have to put a ton of heat on my hair, nor do I have to stand in the mirror for hours round-brushing and straightening. I can co-wash and set the night before and just pull my curls out in the morning and I'm out the door (no small feat for someone who takes as long to get ready in the morning as I do!).

Like I said, I'm about halfway through my transition so I still have a long way to go (my good friend keeps trying to encourage me to go for the BC, but I prefer heavy trims every 6-8 weeks to slowly cut the relaxer out). I also try to keep my hair moisturized and minimize the amount of heat I put on it--including blow dryers. One of my favorite moisturizing/low to no heat routines right now is to co-wash with Herbal Essences Totally Twisted conditioner, add Cantu leave-in from root to tip after towel blotting dry, scrunch the hair with Smooth n' Shine curl activating crème gel and then flat twist, sealing my ends with Qhemet's Amla & Olive Heavy Cream and rolling them. In the morning, I add a little Organic Root Stimulator Olive Oil Gloss and gently pull out my curls. This routine keeps my hair soft all day and keeps it from tangling or drying out.

I guess the most important thing to note is how this transition is affecting more than just how I style my hair. To start, I've stepped outside of my comfort zone to do something that not only have I never done before, but that I said I never WOULD do! I didn't feel that I was "earthy" enough to pull it off, and was worried that my hair would be too coarse and wild and ruin my polished look (and I have this weird hang up that I look like a boy with too short hair, but that’s another story for another day). Surprisingly (or not really) neither of these things have mattered! I'm more than happy with the texture of my hair and my self-esteem has not suffered--it has been boosted! I feel healthy inside and out and I feel free from defining myself by the cookie cutter standards that were issued to me by....who? Society? History? Other races? My own race? It doesn't even matter because I know whose standards I'm living by now--my own. And now that I’ve stepped over the imaginary line once, I’m free to keep doing it again and again and again because I know that there are amazing experiences outside of the box that I lived in for so long. I understand now that a little bit of discomfort for a little while can lead to a whole lot of peace down the line.

I’ve also discovered the joy of doing things without the expectation of any particular result. I’ve just let my hair grow and flourish however it likes and am just loving it and caring for it no matter what it decides to do. I’m not over-analyzing the length or the curl pattern or anything else—I’m just allowing myself to be pleasantly surprised at every little thing it does and I just smile at it in the mirror like a proud mama.

It’s amazing how the smallest day-to-day experiments can lead to the biggest life transitions. I’m super excited to see what my new hair and I will do together. Stay tuned.

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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

“Almost always it is the fear of being ourselves that brings us to the mirror….”

I’ve never liked my toes or my knees…I have my reasons. My arms and hands are so long that my fingertips are ridiculously close to reaching my knees when I stand with my hands at my sides. My forehead selfishly stole a good inch from my scalp that it really didn’t need. I’m in my thirties, but I still have acne-prone skin. And somewhere inside there is still a 13 year old, insecure girl who wants bigger breasts, clearer skin and smaller feet. This girl in me wills me to compare and contrast myself to other girls and wonder what it feels like to have all the physical qualities that I have told myself will make me feel more desirable. I know this girl very well. We go way back.

I have recently acquainted myself with a newer part of me that is spreading a different attitude and becoming the Girl to Watch among all the little girls that make up the woman that is me. Word on the street is that nobody can do what I do quite the way I do it. My long body, sensitive skin and big head are mine to love and carry with grace. I’m finally believing the idea that there is no benchmark for beauty and that how I feel about myself determines how I look. It’s my business to feel good on my own terms without apology or fear of judgment. This is the hottest trend , the fashion must-have, the magical beauty secret of all fabulous women: Believe you are beautiful and beautiful you will be.

Let’s not make it more difficult than it needs to be! Who is the fairest of them all? The one whose mirror reflects self-love, self-awareness and the boldness to live out loud.
The New Girl in Town
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Thursday, August 6, 2009

Just a little bit of thanks...

It' s so easy sometimes to get caught up in all the things about life that I wish I could change...all the things that I want to do, all the things I wish I had time to do, all the things I could do "if only", all the things that irritate or upset me.....When those negative thoughts start to overwhelm me, I try to combat them with positive thoughts of all the things that are perfect just as they are. I try to remember all the things that I have to be thankful for. So to that end, here is my list of "thanks". It reminds me that I can find good in every aspect of my life, because even if it doesn't seem to be good at the moment, I know it will be for my highest good in the long run.

"I give thanks for peace and joy and family. I give thanks for my little boy's too big feet and too long toe nails kicking me under the covers, because it means he is alive and healthy and strong. I give thanks for my mother's too honest words, and too many questions, and gentle too nosy prodding into my life--because it means she loves me and wants me to be thoughtful. I give thanks for the recent three long days of crazy family drama I had, because even though it was annoying at the time, it means that I have a family--a history and a future and a support system. No matter how much there is disagreement from within the group, I know I've got a powerful unit backing me against any external opposition--not everybody has that. I give thanks for the tears I sometimes cry, because they mean that I can still feel and that I'm not bitter because of any negative thing that I've experienced. I give thanks for these few extra pounds that I can say I want to lose, because it means I can afford to put food on my table. I give thanks for the job I dread going to every day, because it forces me to examine myself and figure out what I really want to do with my life; what will allow me to feel fulfilled through proper use of my talents, unique gifts and my education. I give thanks for my dreams, because they bring forth the actions to make them come true. I give thanks for the healing comfort of writing to release my pain or to unleash my plan. I give thanks for deep cleansing breaths, because they help to clear my mind. I give thanks for rest and reinvention. I give thanks for the beauty I can find in anything. I give thanks, quite simply, for life and the ability to do anything at all."

What things are you thankful for?
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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Sistaaah, you've been on my mind...

"Oh sistahhhhh, we’re two of a kind sooo…sistahhhh, I’m keeping my eye on you…"

In the past few days, I’ve been noticing articles, facebook updates, emails and conversations about women, particularly black women, and our love/hate relationships with each other. I feel particularly engaged by this subject because I'm a firm believer that women need to support each other in order to reach our full potential. I would go crazy without my girls! Who understands the headwinds we face each day better than another woman? The tension between women comes from the damaged self-image we have that tells that we should feel threatened by anyone who has something we don't have. Instead of looking at each other and seeing ourselves, we look at each other and see what we are not. And just like that, in the flash of a side eye, judgment is passed: "She thinks she’s cute" / "She’s ghetto" /"She’s weird" /"She’s a hoe" /"She's stuck up" . We look for flaws in other women to make us feel better about ourselves. We believe the hype that most women are dishonorable and can’t be trusted. We try to avoid hate by hating.

Here comes the conspiracy theory: I think this miseducation is a strategic plot against us. Why should I hate my sister? Is she not made of the same stuff that I am? Why should I cancel her out and write her off? So we can be weakened and divided by fear, that's why. If just one of us is able to disassociate from the fear stories that tell us we should judge each other in order to feel safe, then that one person can start spreading a new attitude and enhance the unity of the whole group.

Some women have been so traumatized by toxic female relationships that they won't even speak to you or look you in the face. I walk past these women on the street and in the hallways and I smile in the face of their fear. I try to see through the armor. My blues are like yours. My tears come from the same kind of pain. The stories and the characters are different, but the search for joy and fulfillment is the same as mine. Instead of writing these women off, I wonder what they've encountered in their lives to make them afraid of their own reflection. I'm not saying that I need to make friends with every woman I encounter, but I do need to share some positive energy even if it's just a smile or a hello.

We can begin to heal by loving each other as God loves us. We can compliment each other. We can reach out and support the new girl at the job instead of feeling threatened by her. We can put aside our judgments and our ideas of good and bad, especially as a measurement of how to treat people. We can feel proud of a beautiful woman walking past us on the street with class and grace instead of assuming that she thinks she's better than us. We can pray for the woman who spreads rumors about us. We can show each other respect and kindness regardless of social status, sexual orientation or occupation. We can overcome the stereotype that women can't get along. We can learn to encourage, strengthen, and nurture each other.

The more I love and accept myself, the more I am able to love and accept ALL my sisters. Unique and beautiful, talented and strong...when one of us succeeds, we all succeed.

"I’m somethin….I hope you think that you’re somethin too…"

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Sunday, August 2, 2009


Faith. Positive thinking. Hope. Optimism. A glimmer of possibility like the sun peeking out from behind a cloud. Like the sun, blessed assurance is there and it shines brightly even when we can't see it because of the clouds in our lives. It is what gets us out of bed in the morning and gives us the strength to keep getting up when we fall.

I recently read the following excerpt from The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale about channeling negative feelings into positive attitudes leading to inner peace and real accomplishments. These five reminders are great affirmations to increase your faith and confidence. I thought these were good reminders to print out and stick somewhere.

1. Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold onto this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop this picture. Never think of yourself as failing; never doubt the reality of the mental image. That is most dangerous, for the mind always tries to complete what it pictures. So always picture "success" no matter how badly things seem to be going at the moment.

2. Whenever a negative thought concerning your personal powers comes to mind, deliberately voice a positive thought to cancel it out.

3. Do not build up obstacles in your imagination. Depreciate every so-called obstacle. Minimize them. Difficulties must be studied and efficiently dealt with to be eliminated, but they must be seen for only what they are. They must not be inflated by fear thoughts.

4. Do not be awestruck by other people and try to copy them. Nobody can be you as efficiently as YOU can. Remember also that most people, despite their confident appearance and demeanor, are often as scared as you are and as doubtful of themselves.

5. Put yourself in God's hands. Believe you are now receiving all the power you need. Feel it flowing through you. Affirm that "the kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17:21) in the form of adequate power to meet life's demands. Remind yourself that God is with you and nothing can defeat you.

In it to win it

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