Easy Tip to Block Negativity

How can I stop negativity coming at me from other people? is a question I hear a lot.  Most of the time what is really being said is "I'm not negative, other people are"...It's much more comfortable to blame others that it is to take responsibility for our personal 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...]

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...]

10 Maya Angelou Quotes That Teach and Inspire

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...]

Check Your Judgment Meter

    Check your judgment meter before it's on empty. Good judgment is based on our ability to form an opinion objectively and with some knowledge and insight. However, often our judgments are based on everything except objectivity, knowledge or fact. This was certainly the case with me on a recent trip to the supermarket when I noticed a young woman on her cellphone. That day, my judgment meter was running on empty. One of the things that will drain my judgment meter is seeing someone talking on a cellphone in public places. It seems everywhere I look someone is on a cell phone. And I often judge them to be rude, inconsiderate and uncaring individuals. I have no interest in hearing the details of last night's … [Read more...]

Self Awareness is Key to Empowerment

  Self awareness is the key to preventing the emotional drama that guides your reactions to situations and other people. Knowing your strengths, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, thoughts and feelings is a big step towards knowing who you really are. Without such knowledge, we end up vulnerable, frustrated, inauthentic, unmotivated and often unsuccessful in achieving our dreams. Here are some quick self awareness tips to motivate and inspire you:   Slow down  Have you ever noticed how fast you breathe when you are rushed or in a hurry to get somewhere?  Most of us rarely engage in mindful breathing and consequently we are in a state of anxiety most days. Learn to notice your breathing by setting aside a few minutes each … [Read more...]

5 Audacious Agreements that Empower

Unlike written or verbal contracts we make to provide a service or product, sometimes we make agreements with ourselves and other people that we are not even aware we made. And, when our expectations fall short of our desired outcome, we become angry, disillusioned, frustrated and confused. For example, you may live with an unspoken agreement that conflict is to be avoided at all cost by not speaking up when there is a disagreement or difference of opinion. You may soon discover that avoiding conflict never gets anything resolved – just shoved under the proverbial rug. Instead of going with the flow and operating from agreements that limit, define and get in the way of being your true self, here are 5 audacious agreements that empower … [Read more...]

A Dream Deferred

Black history month is celebrated in February to bring attention to some of the world's greatest African American poets, writers, inventors, and entrepreneurs. As we pay tribute to these talented artists, I want to share with you one of my favorite poems by Langston Hughes. His poem, "Harlem" (also known as A Dream Deferred) was the title of a  play, A Raisin in the Sun, written by Lorraine Hansberry and debuted on Broadway in 1959.  A Dream Deferred is a short poem but it's filled with deep introspection and thoughtful questions.    If you're not familiar with the poem, I'll share it here: What happens to a dream deferred?       Does it dry up       like a raisin in the sun?       Or fester like a sore—       And then … [Read more...]

Make Commitments Not Resolutions

At the beginning of a new year, most of us focus our attention on how we can make meaningful changes in our daily lives (e.g., wipe the slate clean and start afresh) by changing some aspect of who we are - what we do, how we do things, when we do certain things and exploring why we act and respond in the ways we do. You may call this process of introspection as making a new years resolution or you may call it something else. I prefer to look at this process as making a commitment rather than a resolution. The beginning of 2013 is the perfect time to refocus, think deeply and make a commitment to be the real you. I believe a commitment is stronger than a resolution because you are the central character and the commitment is a pledge or … [Read more...]

Let’s Do Something About Sandy Hook

In light of the tragic events that happened in Newtown, CT this post is different from what I usually write about. Please bear with me as I try to make sense of this senseless tragedy. On Friday December 14, 2012, the lives of twenty children and 6 adults brutally ended when a shooter armed with an assault rifle entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. Among those killed was a 6-year old angel, Ana – the daughter of Nelba and Jimmy Greene. I’m sure Friday morning was like any other school day. Parents lovingly deposited their children in what they thought was a safe, secure environment. By mid morning, the scene was anything but idyllic. No bright yellow school buses stood  waiting. No throng of … [Read more...]