What picture are you painting?

Painting [blog post image]

What picture are you painting in your mind about yourself? Anytime we paint a picture in our mind that’s not authentic or represent who we really are, it leaves an indelible imprint.  It's an image that we constantly try to emulate, assimilate and redefine based on someone else’s picture. Recently I attended a paint party.  Paint parties are popping up all over the United States.  They are sometimes held in restaurants, bars and private homes.  Wherever they are held, the atmosphere is jovial and there is always plenty to eat and drink.  The whole idea of a paint party is to have fun while a professional artist guides novices (like me) in creating our own unique work of art. Like anything we try that’s new, I was apprehensive and … [Read more...]

7 Warning Signs of Depression

7 Warning Signs of Depression

The world was saddened this week by the death of Mr. Robin Williams, an iconic comedian, beloved American legend and accomplished actor. Mr. Williams reportedly suffered from severe depression. He appears to have taken his own life.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Williams family. Depression is an insidious mental health disease effecting millions of people every year. Severely depressed individuals are at high risk of suicide. Symptoms of depression can be tough to detect in someone close to you and even harder to detect in yourself. On occasion, most people feel a little sad, anxious or gloomy. These feelings are quite common when they are the result of a significant life change (e.g., loss of job, divorce, illness, work … [Read more...]

How Well Do I Listen?

Most of us have experienced the frustration of having someone not listen to us or felt that same frustration when someone says you're not listening to him or her.   But, before we get all bent out of shape and accuse someone of not listening, we must first ask ourselves the question, "how well do I listen"? You must learn to be a good listener if you want others to listen to you.  That means putting down the smartphone and giving the other person your undivided attention. A smartphone is no substitute for meaningful connection Listening is so much more than hearing the words that are spoken. Listening involves paying full attention to the person speaking, taking note of the tone of voice, gestures, body language and making eye … [Read more...]

Who do you think you are?

Authentic Quote - Dr. Brene Brown

Who do you think you are is a refrain that fear whispers in my ear regularly. The only purpose for fear landing on my shoulder, whispering my ear, "who do you think you are" is to stop me dead in my tracks, so I won't take the next step toward realizing a dream or doing something that will bring me joy. You may not even realize fear has you in its clutches until you are gripped with immobility, indecisiveness and self-doubt.  By then you've put aside your dreams, your aspirations and lack the energy to move forward. In other words, you're the passenger not the pilot in your own vehicle. How do you silence "fear talk" when she whispers in your ear,  "who do you think you are"? You silence her the same as you would any other … [Read more...]

Easy Tip to Block Negativity

Stop Negativity

How can I stop negativity coming at me from other people? I hear this question a lot and most of the time what is really being said is  "I'm not negative, other people are"... It's more comfortable to blame someone else than it is to take responsibility for our thoughts, actions and responses. While you certainly can't control negativity in speech or behavior from other people, keep in mind you are in control of your own thoughts, feelings, behaviors and responses.  When you start to recognize that you control what you think, your behaviors and responses to situations, people and events will shift dramatically. When a negative statement is made in your presence, first, you want to take 2-3 really deep breaths before your respond or … [Read more...]

Light my Fire

4th_July fireworks

Talk about "light my fire"! I recently participated in a riveting 30-day challenge - "Reclaim Your Sass" - with awesome, Jennifer Boykin. I was faced head on with the reality of my fears, self-doubt and indecisiveness in a most gentle, caring authentic way that resonated deep within me. I usually shy away from these kinds of challenges because I get bored, think they are too hokey or require more time and energy than I'm willing to invest but something about this challenge peaked my interest. I had already started the process of probing deeply into my fears and transparency,  which I shared with you in an earlier post.  So Jennifer's challenge resonated with me in a profound way. I completed the 30-day challenge on Sunday and  this … [Read more...]

Woman in the Mirror

Woman in the mirror

The Woman in the Mirror poem appears in several versions.  While each is a little different, I have to give credit to those authors who have claimed ownership, including some “unknown authors”. The poem is also very similar to the message in the late Michael Jackson’s song “Man in the Mirror” where he says: "If you wanna make the world a better place Take a look at yourself and then make the change"   I found this version of the Woman in the Mirror hiding out in my quotes folder and want to share it with you. The Woman In The Mirror: Author Unknown When you get what you want in your struggle for self, And the world makes you Queen for a day. Just go to the mirror and look at yourself, and see what that woman has to … [Read more...]

Fear Bites the Dust [Video]

Fear is a tricky subject for me because there are so many other words that I use to disguise fear. I sometimes substitute the word procrastination for fear or tell myself things like "I'm waiting for the 'right' time, place or circumstance" before I make my move. Not true. Most of the time, when I make excuses for not doing something, It's really that I'm fearful of the outcome. That's the kind of fear that ultimately immobilizes me to the point of getting in my own way and giving up. In my  last post,  I'm Back from My Fear Trip,   I shared with you one of my fears.  For the next few weeks, 'll be sharing more on the subject of fear and transparency. In this short video,  I show you how another fear bites the dust.  Please … [Read more...]

10 Maya Angelou Quotes That Teach and Inspire

Dr. Maya Angelou

No doubt prolific American author, poet, actress and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou was a phenomenal woman – a woman of wisdom, grace, charm and talent. She died May 28 at the age of 86. Her wise counsel will be missed. Among my collection of quotes and poems, my most prized ones are these 10 quotes by Dr. Maya Angelou that have uplifted and inspired me over the years. “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain.” 'Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.' "You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them." "Nothing can dim the light which shines from … [Read more...]

I’m Back From My Fear Trip

I'm Back From My Fear Trip! You're probably wondering what's a "fear trip"? A fear trip is one of those trips that mires you in inertia, keeps you from moving forward and creates an atmosphere of doubt and deception.  It's like being stuck in your own personal time warp and you have the key but can't open the lock. A funny thing about fear – you can go along thinking you’ve conquered it and bam! It rears its ugly head when you least expect it. I thought I was long over the fear of sharing my writing or speaking in a public forum. So, what happened? I won’t bore you with all the details but family, illnesses, “anything that gets-in-the-way-of-writing mishaps” and other related incidents kept me off course for months. In … [Read more...]