Don’t let your awareness end simply bec

Don’t let your awareness end simply because #FosterCareMonth is over. Many Foster Children still need your support. http://ow.ly/NFavg

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The Greatest of These – #Love is #Happiness #WorthIt

“Until ‘you’ FULLY embrace who ‘you are’, no amount of money, no person or external things will EVER make you happy or bring you peace.”  ~ Yvonne Pierre, The Day My Soul Cried: A Memoir

What did you get yourself for Valentine’s Day? I hope it was something special. Maybe you got yourself something nice enough to share it with your family or that special person.

Love YourselfThe important thing is that you woke up with you as your first love.

The second most important thing is understanding what true self love is about. In a world of selfies and looking out for number one, it is easy for people to mistake narcissistic behaviors such as these for self love. That’s not so say that putting yourself first or taking a selfie are always neurotic behaviors. The press of this thought is thought is that true self love is deeper. It goes drastically deeper than the shallow things that other people can see.

True self love seeks light, in spite of the appearance of darkness in your life. True self love is a firm and stable foundation to support your mission in life. You can’t reach your life destiny without a well lit path.  Loving yourself honestly creates the light of achievement.

There are wealthy, well dressed, famous, influential people that haven’t learned to love themselves. That reality is just not as obvious. We speak poorly of the young woman or man that disrespects themselves in their dress code, appearing look more like a prostitute or homeless person than a person that is due respect. We can see externally that they need to love themselves better. There are the obvious examples of people that use drugs, sex, or alcohol to numb their heart and mind so they won’t have to feel the hurt of not having their first love. There are even the people that have felt so much pain from abuse or not having an example of love that they have no idea how to love themselves. But just as sad are the people that were given cash and material goods in lieu of love. They spend their life walking in that dark definition of love and always knowing that they are missing something. They seek happiness in a lifestyle, the approval of others, or bullied respect. But when they find themselves alone, after the selfies and self promotion, they find emptiness.  They are often lonely in crowds and alone surrounded by people.

Self Love – The Greatest Love of All – gives you internal strength. It gives you joy whether or not you are having a good day. It is the single element that takes all of those motivational speeches and inspirational quotes to the next level of internalizing and achievement. Self Love doesn’t regard the physical appearance and looks as the greatest asset. Time will change the external, but internal love and strength is timeless.

When you love yourself, your greatest asset is self appreciation. You know that life itself is the greatest gift. So no matter if your family life was tremendous or a tragedy, the presence of life is the presence of hope. When you love yourself you understand that your existence matters. You are created with purpose and when you fulfill your purpose, you take your rightful place in the beauty of human achievement. When you love yourself, you look at everyone first with a heart of compassion. When you love yourself you can not be defined by anyone else. You take the strength of faith and hope to build yourself. You accomplish things.

If you find yourself in a cycle of disappoint, unhappiness, or unrest – maybe the thing that’s missing is love – TRULY LOVING – yourself. You are worth it.

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Assassinate the #Positive – The #Joy Factor of #Success

You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind. ~Joyce Meyer

I feel one of the most shameful traits of modern society is the widespread acceptance of Positivity Assassination. What do I mean by that?

  • You see public figures doing a good deed. They are actually doing something that has a verifiable positive impact on an issue or community. The immediate response by far too many is to bring up every thing in their past to prove “their not that good”.
  • A teen is highlighted for a great accomplishment. Rather than take the time to recognize and celebrate that one teen, the shortcomings of many others is made more public, inadvertently teaching young people that this IS what we expect of your generation.
  • A greater and personal example – Foster and At-Risk Youth. The bar to positive expectations is set very low. A great number of people have a base expectation of academic and career failure. When you rise above the expectation there are the Assassins ready to remind you that your start wasn’t great – therefore you can not become great. They sometimes even go as far as to attempt to victimize your mind with the pains of your past.

NO!   The understanding of a developed positive mindset opens your mind and spirit to joy and self-determination.  It start with the unapologetic commitment to follow your own productive path to personal fulfillment. Not selfishness…just “putting the mask on yourself” so you’re whole and able to be effective in your contribution to others. Positive and secure enough in your own growth and independence that it doesn’t even occur to your to respond with a negative comment or thought when you observe a productive act.

THE CHALLENGE: Catch yourself. The heart of that behavior is jealousy. hate or self-reflection. Jealousy: In this situation, feeling like someone else’s accomplishment will get them attention that you crave. Hate: No matter how much love and positivity is introduced into the world, hate will never be fully conquered. Out of hate, many people will put in work to discredit anything positive that comes from the target of their poison. Self-Reflection: Sometimes, it is the guilt when someone knows that they can and should be doing more. Rather than take the rise of excellence or positive living, they resort to the destruction of another person castle. The best that you can do is make sure that your castle isn’t built of sand. Be Genuine. Be Strong. Be Positive!

“Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.” ~William James


Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive ~ Johnny Mercer (click to hear)

You’ve got to accentuate the positive

Eliminate the negative

Latch on to the affirmative

Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum

Bring gloom down to the minimum

Have faith or pandemonium

Liable to walk upon the scene

The best resources you have for positive living in your heart and mind.

The best resources you have for positive living are your heart and mind.

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Penny Candy and Pigtails – The #Resilience to #Win

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”  ~Nelson Mandela

What is your earliest life memory? Last week a colleague and I took  a few minutes to take that walk down memory lane. I don’t know what causes certain moments to stay in your mind, but if you’re blessed you get a few memories that you can apply to your life forever. You get to cherish those memories like an antique that can’t be lost.

I have two favorite memories that can make me smile in even the worse times. They were all about candy and play dates. Although, they were not call play dates back in the day. From those memories I gained the key to resilience. Choose joy. In every situation, look for the good and before long it will become a natural mindset. In those years, my life was frequently anything but pleasant. The years to follow because more dark. But for me, I remember vividly the sound of the candy man rolling down the street. I recall the white push cart with the bell that he rang as he strolled down the street. In my memory, the sun was always shining and the craving for my favorite candy fills my mouth. I was a fanatic for orange slices. Strange thing about that memory. One  would think that the sight of orange slices would trigger that piece of nostalgia. But it only happens when I’m taking the time to reminisce about my life and goals. For me, the penny candy memory is my reminder that life can be sweet.

The other is the pigtails type-casting. I sported two pony tails often. I’m sure because it was easiest for the great-grandmother to brush my hair in that style. Everything in our upstairs flat was arranged so that she could be very independent although blind. I’m sure the basis of my resilience and personal strength came from watching her as my first role model. But, on to the pigtails. There was a kid that I played with often. I think his name was Micheal. He had Cowboys and Indians dress up gear. Cowboys shows were popular on TV and toy guns were a hazard to the health or life of children in those days. I always had to be the Indian. I remember him saying, very vividly, that I had to be the Indian because I had the ponytails. As I look back, I wonder if he would have had a different reason if I did not have the ponytails to justify the vest and bow & arrow set. In one way, I could see it as a time in my life that I let someone else define me. Instead, I see it as a time that I had a friend whose playtime was not complete until his dependable friend would come over to play. That costume was mine. That place in his life was mine. It was good to have someone know that they could trust you to be there for them. No matter what. I still enjoy the satisfaction that comes with giving support to others. I find joy in bringing joy.

The way you look at things in life is up to you. It will dictate what you get out of life. A lesson I’ve learned by experience. While I do have recollection of so many other horrible events that lead me through foster care, to adoption, and eventually to independence at 16 years of age, these two sweet memories are the only ones that come with sight, sound, and touch. I remember them that well.  You become your point of view. 

Look for the joy in life, you will find it.

Jung Quote

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#Success is Simple #Truth #Growth

“Freeing yourself was one thing, claiming ownership of that freed self was another.” ~Toni Morrison, Beloved

(Original publication Dec 1, 2014)

Yesterday I recognized two great new truths. 1) Gary was right. 2) My independence has great limitations. The point of today’s thought is the understanding of the need to be truthful to yourself. That is the ultimate key to growth in life.

Sometimes, in the delusion of being “true” to ourselves we get caught up in the pursuit of what we want our life to be. We often hold on to the past issues that form our current reality. We frequently support our actions or reactions based on the actions, words, or failures of others. The fact is, when we are truthful to ourselves it helps us to release everything that holds us from reaching our potential.  Simply stated, personal ownership.

“I realized early on that the journey is the reward, so I don’t focus on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow … at the same time, what you believe determines what you will achieve. Your beliefs can either help you or hinder you.” — John McLelland, USAback from our fullest potential.

I some of my past thoughts, I’ve mentioned my love for the quote by Audre Lourde compelling us to define ourselves. But the quote does nothing to address honesty in your self definition. Some of those things that you believe about yourself have to faced and erased – because they are laced in illusion. Taking ownership of yourself helps. It’s like being determined to race a compact car in a formula one race. You can do it, but you can’t expect to win. If the race is based on other factors, though, like fuel efficiency – you stand a chance. You just have to understand your strength and your limitations.

Which brings me to, who is Gary? Gary is a former Director that I worked with in my County career. We used to discuss how much I wanted to go camping. His adventures seemed so fun. I would sincerely comment about how much I really would love to go camping, take in the scenery, wake up to the sounds of nature. My romantic version of the event always made him laugh. What he knew, that I wasn’t taking ownership of in this ‘vision’ was that I’m not fond of uncomfortable sleeping arrangements, not fond of insects, not fond of the thought of touching fish or other things that you would do during a camping trip. Fact is, I’m more of a Hilton Resort girl. Gary was right. Camping is not for me. I can exercise my independence and go if I want, but I won’t be successful.

Taking ownership is more than simply accepting your situation or taking responsibility for the decisions that have brought you to this place in your life. Taking ownership also means that you are committed to taking action toward resolving the challenges that you’ve identified as barriers to your personal success. Taking action may involve getting help from a doctor, a pastor, a friend, or from anyone who has the knowledge and skills to guide you toward a path of self-reliance, self-acceptance, and an improved sense of self-worth.

If more people would put the same level of energy and enthusiasm into taking personal ownership of their lives as they do in blaming, complaining, and finding fault in others or in “the system,” just imagine how much more meaningful their lives would be. Imagine the sense of fulfillment they would enjoy.

Unhappy/low-ownership individuals focus on

* making excuses
* getting even
* having others help them out
* asking, “What for?” or, “What’s the use?”

Happy/high-ownership individuals focus on

* making progress
* getting going
* finding answers to help themselves
* asking, “Why not?” or, “What do I need to do next?

Leading a Life of Personal Ownership by Richard Gorham

Success is as simple as Honest Self-assessment and Action. 

With that and a firm defeat of your fears – you are well on your way.

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Your Failure has a Name, Your #Success has a #Face

“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.”  ~Yoda

I kinda got on a Yoda roll yesterday and had to complete the thought. I blogged about the need to ‘DO’ and push through to be self-fulfilled. The other side of that thought is that many fall short because of fear. Sometimes evident and sometimes hidden.  The biggest barrier to excellence is fear. Simple summation of today’s thoughts: Name, destroy, and bury your fears. Face it and replace it with a plan to excellence. 

What is the name of your fear? Is the unknown, embarrassment, success, failure in the attempt of success? Maybe you don’t even know it’s name, but your failure has one. No one actually  seeks any position of inferiority. Contrary to what many believe of the impoverished and less successful, no one is comfortable with low life standards or failure. Often they fear that their reality if the only truth. Why risk better, only to realize disappointment that leaves you feeling depressed and still in the same life situation.

True Life: If you lift your had to a dog and smack the dog each time, it won’t be long until it will cower in fear no matter how loving you approach the dog. Point being, The reality of life can do a lot to cause fear too be ingrained in some peoples lives. I’ve personally seen this in many children that have grown up in the system or with under-performing parents. They can often grow up expecting nothing more than what life throws their way. They often don’t know how successful lifestyles, education, relationships, or careers should look. But children that have grown up in disagreeable circumstances are not the only people susceptible to hidden fears that challenge their access to success.

True Life: Your success is greater than fear. So much so that it not only has a name but also a face. You know your what success looks like. Your business, your marriage, your vacation in the Caymans…you know what those things look like in your heart. Other people may think they know what it looks like, but in your vision for yourself is clear. Even if you’re attached or married to something else that looks like your success, you know that your heart belongs to something else and what it is. Don’t live married to things that favor success, missing out on truce definition of success.

Some people have blinded themselves to the reality of their fears. This is the testimony of the average youth that hides behind a gun for strength. Fear of their on failure is the testimony of person that would rather “hate on” someone else that is doing their best, than try and test the waters. Often they fear that the achiever will reach their goal and cause the ‘hater’ pain of knowing that they haven’t realized their dream.

Overcoming your fears is one of the most important things to improve yourself and grow. If you don’t you will just get stuck. But how do you do it? Well, first, as Yoda says, you have to stop avoiding your fear. You have think about it and see what is you really fear.

After you have brought some clarity to the situation, ….you can overcome that fear. (http://www.positivityblog.com/)

START A SUCCESS PLAN LIST:

  1. What does your dream life look like? (Personal, career, and recreational)
  2. What would it take to make them reality? 
  3. No Excuses…what must you CHANGE to start the move to success. {ex: Mindset, training, self-esteem, finances, health, your sense of self worth, etc}. If you keep working on this list you will have named your fear.
  4. What would you need to do to defeat your named fears?
  5. Set a liberal and honest time-frame to realize your dream, including a walk through each item to allow for realistic accomplishments. Don’t let ANY real world issues divert your push to get through the list. If you get off track forgive yourself and keep moving. You’re worth it.
  6. Work daily to move closer to the target. Even if it is one small building block, but ALWAYS shoot for more. 
  7. Breathe and celebrate along the way, but don’t get a penalty for over celebration. You can find yourself distracted and content, causing you to stop your progress. 
  8. DON’T AVOID THE HARD WORK. It’s the only way to make it happen. Period
  9. DON’T STOP WHEN YOU FAIL. Fails and falls will happen if you’re progressing. The hits will cause fear. But if you cherish and seek understanding, these fails and falls can be the most important steps in your ladder to success. 
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Don’t Try, Do! Your #NewYear #Resolution is #WorthIt

“Do or do not… there is no try.” ~ YODA

Luke: I can’t believe it. Yoda: That is why you fail.” 

In my current life journey I’m learning the meaning of “less is more”. I picked today’s quotes because it demonstrates this truth. I don’t know much, okay nothing, about Star Wars, except these simple but very profound words of Yoda. At the moment that the writer took on ‘Yoda’ to pen his dialogue I feel he channeled Wisdom.  No one has every said more with less words than Yoda.

Because the capitalistic American traits that taint my blood are real, I’ve long tried to hide my core belief that less is just…less. Who really wants less money, success, adventure? If you knew you could have, without fail, any or all of those things if you just opened your hands, who would honestly reject or object.  Truth be told, I think no one.

I found another gem of cinema this weekend, which is great for me given the low number of movies that I watch. The movie, “The Inevitable Defeat of Mister & Pete”, lifted up a different shade on this “less is more” moment. All summer, two young children chose to go through hell in an attempt to avoid the fear of a group home after losing their mothers to the streets. They knew the hell that they were experiencing. Why give the home a chance? Given the rumors, they stuck with the familiar of starvation, abuse, illness, loss of their electricity and hiding from the police. In the end they lost…everything…including their perception of freedom. But at the moment that they lost everything, they gained all they needed, including the main character regaining his mother who had cleaned up and was ready for better.

My take away from this is that in their spirit they didn’t understand that they were Worth It. ‘It’ being better. Every year people resolve to do things that will improve their life. Whether it’s improve their financial situation, get in shape, pursue their dreams – people will resolve and try, and joke in February about the failure of the attempt.  Failing your goal isn’t funny, you’re worth it. Stop trying, do it. Pressing to the goal is the only way to defy the odds and BE the person of your dream destiny. No matter what, you will reach your destiny. Whether or not it’s filled with regrets when you get there is up to you.

Just because you’re moving forward does not mean you’re moving in the right direction. This is the reason so many things we resolve fail. You see the vision of the prize and don’t stop long enough to chart the course or prepare. In the movie, Mister saw the prize as just staying free until his mom got back. Then, everything would be okay. His excuse was that he was just a kid. He didn’t know she’d be in jail so long or the wisdom of the streets. So his bridge to goal fell short. He had no real plan and was not prepared. He was worth everything being “okay”, but what he was doing to get there was all wrong.

You are (I am) worth the body, the success, the joy of life that you resolve to have. No matter how many times you’ve resolved the same things and failed to achieve them – those are the elements of your dream destiny.  The things that chop away at the bring are fear, lack of discipline for the sacrifice, unwillingness to look foolish in the eyes of others, no plan.

25 Million motivational speeches later – the only thing you need to know is that you are the key to open the door. Need a catch phrase: Alter your Attitude – Heighten you Altitude
Address yourself as though you were someone else that you love and DO. Even if it’s a little victory on the day. Forgive yourself for steps off path and get back on it. You only enslave yourself to failure when you get comfort in the phrase “I Tried”.

You Jump

How do you trust a path you’ve walked along so many times before?

How do you reach to go inside in hopes that there’s an open door?

How do you climb when odds of falling are too great to be ignored?

How do you believe that faith is all your spirit needs to make you soar?

You Jump…and know that Love is there to catch you way up high

You Jump…and believe your strengths will be the wings to make you fly

If you’ve learned from what went wrong, don’t sit in defeat for long

Let wisdom guide the vision inside

Let faith be your stride and keep your focus on the prize

Don’t let the fear of the leap separate you from your destiny

Don’t hesitate to try again, although life has no guarantees

Except the truth that you’ll regret every chance you don’t try

You’re fear of heights will keep you grounded, but if you jump…you just might fly.

jj2015

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