Saturday, December 30, 2006

Gearing up for 2007 - Day Ten

So here we are. It's the last day and even though the last month of 2006 is almost at a close, I'm glad that we stuck with it. I have really enjoyed reading your responses and writing my own. They all put alot on my mind and for that I am grateful. No man is an island and I thank each of you for contributing to my growth as a human being. With that said, our final quesion:

What do I want my theme to be for 2007?

This was an easy one for me. I knew even before 2006 had come to an end what my theme for 2007 was going to be. 2007 is my breakthough and breakout year. God was doing some serious work on me in 2006, putting me in a position to do some very big things in 2007 and I can't wait. So I am breaking through and breaking out .....

Friday, December 29, 2006

Gearing Up For 2007 - Day Nine

Almost there, guys! It's day nine and it's going to be heartwarming to see some of the answers. Today's question:

For what I am grateful?

I am grateful for so many things: God's grace, family support, a challenging career, decent health, etc.

But there are four things that I am particularly grateful for; four incredible males in my life that are the motivating factor for everything that I do. I am head over heels in love with all of them and appreciate them for the wonderful human beings that they are. Nothing is quite as special when they are not around. And I am so proud to be their mother, his daughter, his lover and bestfriend.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Gearing up for 2007 - Day Eight

So we're rolling on to day eight - with the passing of Coretta Scott King this year, today's question seemed kind of fitting. Why? Well, her husband Martin Luther King, Jr. faced some seemingly insurmountable challenges and was able to successfully overcome most of them. So today, let's talk about:

What were my biggest challenges? How did I overcome them?

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gearing up for 2007 - Day Seven

So now we're at day 7. And this was one for the journal. I actually started thinking about it yesterday and still am a bit perplexed. I answered it but then the question seemed to beg for a response with a deeper meaning. So I scrapped the original answer and thought some more. Let's see how you do with this one.

What did I do right?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Gearing Up For 2007 - Day Six

I'm back with more questions that are designed to put us in the right mindset for the new year. We are relating, reflecting and releasing!

What were the fun things I did? The not-so-fun?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Gearing up for 2007 - Day Five

So we're halfway there and you guys are doing very well! A+ for your contributions.

What were the three most significant events of the last year?


If I could wish a wish for you,
it would be for peace and happiness
not only now,
but for the whole year through!

I wish that there always be food on your table.
And that you always remember those less fortunate.
May you always take time to share,
and thank those who share with you.

I wish for time, so you may reflect
on the blessings that you have,
and that you express your love
to those who are dear to you.

May you never feel lonely,
because there are those who care.

That you realize:
you are special,
you are unique,
you make a difference,
not only at Christmas, but all year!

I wish for your thoughts to be positive ones,
that you never quit,
that you never give up,
and that you continue to learn.

I wish for the love, peace, and joy
of Christmas be yours always,

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Gearing up for 2007 - Day Four

We're almost to the midway point of our reflection exercise. Thanks to all that participate. Today's question is a good one so here we go.

What did I complete or release?

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Gearing up for 2007 - Day Three

We're rolling on with day three. And our question is: (DRUM ROLL PLEASE)

What would I have done differently? Why?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Gearing up for 2007 - Day Two

So, today is our day to brag. Don't hold back. I'm sure you'll be surprised like I was all that you were able to get done in 2005. Write it down, then give yourself a big hug! I'm proud of you!

What did I accomplish?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Countdown to a New Year

As January 1st looms in the not so distant future, many are already plotting and planning their new resolutions for 2007. We all want to create commanding goals that have the power to propel you past every obstacle so below are ten steps to make sure that you’ll be unstoppable.

1. Know Your Purpose -- Above all, for a goal to have motivating power, it must be meaningful to you. Write out a Purpose Statement for your goal. Know what’s in it for you. What will it contribute to your life? In addition to what you expect to gain from the outcome, think about how the pursuit itself will benefit you. What skills will your goal call on you to stretch or acquire?

2. Map Your Route -- It’s become a cliché because it’s true: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Know the mileposts between you and your goal and have a detailed plan for reaching the first one. As you near the first milepost, begin to develop details of your plan for reaching the next one. The lure of the next milepost will whet your eagerness to keep going and fire your enthusiasm for wrapping up the current one.

3. Keep Your Focus -- Be one-pointed in pursuing each step of your goal. Energy flowing in a focused channel can create a Grand Canyon. Without focus, it creates a swamp. Mentally review tomorrow’s steps before you fall asleep at night; repeat them as you start each day.

4. Create Momentum – Utilize Newton’s First Law: A body in motion tends to stay in motion. Get moving on your goal as soon and as often as you possibly can. Don’t wait until you think you have ‘enough’ information or time. Begin where you are, with what you have and what you know. The road will open to you as you go.

5. Ask Questions -- Ask yourself questions about your goal constantly. Ask if there’s a straighter path. Ask how else you can look at it or what else you need to do or know. Your mind will automatically produce or lead you to answers. Ask kids how they would approach the step you’re focused on, or people wholly outside your field. Explaining your question to them will help you understand better what you’re seeking, and their answers may trigger new ways to look at your situation.

6. Read Goal-Related Material Daily -- Capitalize on the fact that you live in the information age. Every day find at least one more nugget of data about your goal. Seek out the top-notch experts in your field, study what they say and do, and apply what you learn.

7. Have an Idea Catcher Handy -- Good ideas pop up suddenly and evaporate as quickly as they come. Be prepared to catch them. Record enough details to let yourself recapture the idea later. A single word or two that seems significant at the moment may look nonsensical later. Set aside time every day to transfer all the ideas you have collected into one central file. Not only will that keep good ideas from getting lost, but it will program your mind to continue producing and elaborating on them.

8. Talk It Up -- Ruthlessly guard your self-talk. Delete every doubt instantly. Choose to believe you can achieve your aim whether the way is apparent or not. Learn to craft affirmations and use them continuously. Mastering your mindset is the one essential to achieving your goal.

9. Ramp It Up -- Use the Power of Two to invigorate yourself. Stay at a task for 2 minutes longer. Add 2 more ideas to your file. Make 2 more contacts. Ask 2 more questions. Increase the quality of your focus by 2%. Do routine tasks 2% faster. Every day find something you can improve by a factor of 2. It’s just enough of a challenge to give you the winning edge.

10. Empower Your Goal with Gratitude – To keep your enthusiasm high, consciously practice gratitude for your goal, for the fact that you have it, for all it is doing to give purpose to your life, for the ways it is nourishing your personal growth, for all it is teaching you and allowing you to explore.

Gratitude empowers your vision and provides you with the humility you need to stay open. It adds passion to your will to achieve, keeps you operating from your heart and gives meaning to the smallest task. By all means, give thanks, and travel in its joy.

But let's also evaluate not only what we want to accomplish next year but what we have acheived this past year. It's a ten day countdown to the New Year and each day we will celebrate with a new question. I look forward to reading your response. See below our first question. All the best!

What did I learn in 2006?

Monday, December 18, 2006


Yep, I had to come back and revisit the whole forgiveness subject.

I guess my challenge is that to some degree I'm a people pleaser. I'm sensitive to others feelings and want everyone to be ok with themselves and with me .... to a certain degree. There does come a point when all of the good vibrations fly right out the window. I don't ever wish anyone ill because I believe in Karma and don't any bad stuff to float back my way because of some pettiness. I don't like being mean judgemental or standoffish and it sometimes causes guilty feeelings to cut someone off, even when the person has done something worthy of extreme measures like banishment. I strive to forgive and forget BUT, that doesn't mean that I will allow you access to my emotions or trust ever again.

Thank God that the universe always gives all of the necessary tools just when you need them. I was waging a mighty war this morning against negative thoughts and feelings due to my being unforgiving and just when I felt I was being overcome, I saw the perfect reminder of what I was missing on a blog.

Just a note: Failure to learn a lesson the first time doesn't mean that God marches you to the back of the class and sits you there with a dunce cap on your head only to eventually forget about you. Failure to learn the lesson just means that you will repeat the class until you truly get it. Failure to "get it" also reminds us that painful experiences--in relationships, at work, in life--are not always an indication of our weakness, lack of intelligence or poor judgment. It just means God will continue to give us lessons designed for our growth, designed for our greatest good.

I'm in the front row taking notes. Consider this the cliff notes version on the Book of Forgiveness:

Forgiveness isn't condoning the behavior.
To forgive isn't saying, "what you did is okay." It's saying, "the consequences of your behavior belong to God, not to me." When you forgive, you transfer the person from your own system of justice to God's. To forgive is to recognize that the wrong done against you is a debt of sin, and all sin is against God. Therefore, in forgiving, you transfer the debt from your ledger of accounts to God's, leaving all recompense in his hands.

Forgiveness isn't forgetting what happened.
It would be foolish to erase from mind some of the wrongs done to you. If you did, you'd never learn from your experiences and would relive the same situations, and consequently, disappointments. What can eventually be forgotten are the raw emotions associated with the event. When you forgive, the terrible memories and feelings gradually diminish.

Forgiveness isn't restoring trust.
Trust is earned. To blindly trust someone who's hurt you is naïve and irresponsible. If a person's a thief, it's foolish to give him a key to your house. If he's a pedophile, you'd be derelict to hire him as a baby-sitter. As such, forgiving a wrong does not mean extending the person an invitation of sin again.

Forgiveness isn't synonymous with reconciliation.
It's a necessary step toward reconciliation, yet reconciliation isn't necessarily the goal of forgiveness. In fact, there are situations where reconciliation is not a good idea. If the other person's unwilling to reconcile due to bitterness or denial, you can still forgive. But it's silly, if not dangerous, to seek reconciliation when the other person is unrepentant, unchanging, or unwilling.

Forgiveness doesn't mean doing the other person a favor.
In Judaism, forgiveness isn't required unless repentance is demonstrated and pardon is sought. But Jesus raised the standard, commanding that you forgive even those who remain unrepentant.

Forgiveness isn't easy.
But if you desire to be faithful, you must follow in the footsteps of God, who has forgiven your great offenses. Hopefully by understanding what forgiveness is not, you'll be better able to honor this great command.

God Bless

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Daddy's Little Girl

I am a big ole Daddy's Girl and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Always have been and always will be. He is my hero; larger than life to me and still what I want to be when I grow up. He was my first love and has set a very high standard for every man that has followed. He's a charmer always quick with a smile and even quicker with words of wisdom worthy of his 70 plus years.

That's not to say that I don't recognize his weaknesses as well. He is certainly not the emotional sort - his mother died when he was a little boy. He and his younger brother were raised by their father until he remarried when my father was in college. So Daddy is not familiar with the emotions of a women, they seem to baffle him more than most but that never stopped him from loving my mother, older sister and myself as hard and deep as anyone could imagine.

Daddy is large in size - standing close to 6'4 and tipping the scales at 230 but he he is larger in spirit. He provided well for his family, exposing us to as much as possible without spoiling us. He pushed his daughters hard but never failed to express the importance of enjoying our success. He ruled the house with unquestionable strength and unshakeable focus. He never seemed uncertain of anything. His belief in his family was unwavering and I treasure that most. We were his priority, his reason for doing all that he did. He taught us that character and upholding your word meant more than the amount of money you made or accolades that you garnered. He showed up how to live life without regrets by taking calculated risks throughout his. And he showed us what it really meant to be a husband and a father.

We ate dinner together every night, went on family vacations three times a year and spent quality time together more than most. Even with all of the good times and fond recollections, there are two memories that for me, make up my father.

My fondest memory is going to to my father's softball league games - the crack of the bat, the muffled sound of the ball hitting the glove, the laughter, cheers and good-natured bickering all set to the backdrop of the smell and sounds of the Budweiser Brewery are as vivid now as they were when I was ten. Best of all, it was usually just me and him and I basked in my father's love.

The second memory of my father comes much later, when I was in my early 20's. After the rape, I was gripped by depression and I honestly didn't think I would make it through. My mother would call me at home while she was at work and if I didn't answer - she would come immediately home. My father never seemed to doubt but at one particularly low point, when I was sitting on the floor in the basement crying hysterically - he stormed down the steps, pulled me to my feet, and wrapped his arms around me. "I am your rock," he told me. "Hold on to me. I will never let you fall." And he never did. Once again, it was just me and him but this time - it was his strength that I drew upon.

Those are the memories that dancing through my mind as I sit by my father's hospital bed. He had major surgery on Monday and this is only the second time in my life that I have seen him ill enough to be hospitalized for any length of time. And even as he sleeps, groggy from pain medication and dwarfed by the hospital bed - he is still larger than life. He is still my first love.

And I will always be Daddy's Little Girl.

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And with that, He gave me my Dad.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Thanks for the support!

Whew! Y'all sure know how to overwhelm a sister! Thanks to all of those who came by the chat to support me and all of the other authors in the house. I appreciate it so much! Don't forget there is a full day of chats tommorrow so if you have time ... stop through and say hey!

Continued blessings!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Join Me At The Author Jamboree!

Author and Promotions Guru Donna Hill came up with a great idea: Invite a slew of authors from all genres, self-published and those with major houses, male and female and have them hanging out in a chatroom all day long for a week. Each author gets an hour long slot to talk about their books and field questions from readers and writers alike. It has been information and most of all a ton of fun! I've been privileged to chat with Lolita Files, LA Banks, Dee Savoy, Deatri Bey King, Shelia Goss, Michelle Monkou and many, many more.

Big Kudos to Donna Hill for pulling off such a big endeavor with her usual grace and style!

With that said, I invite you to drop by and join me as I will be chatting live about my novel, Easier Said Than Done, and upcoming projects among other things. Prizes will be given away and drinks have been known to be served.

My chat is TODAY at 3pm Central. That's 4 on the East Coast and 1 on the West.

I would love for you to stop by and show your support, simply go to Donna Hill Promotions; click on the right side bar link that reads: DH Promotions Chat Room, Also be sure to check out the remaining authors this week: Tarik Moore, Justin Thomas, Brandon Masse, Marlon Sanders, Michael Key, Kim Robinson, Candice Poarch, Angie Daniels, Alicia Rice, Deatri King Bey, Jonathan Luckett, Tanisha L Herrin, Dwayne S Jospeh, Larriane, Jade Alex, TL Gardner, Janis Susan May, Marti Tucker, Harold L Turley, Maureen Smith, Linda Hudson Smith, Mari Atherton, Sheila Lipsey, and Noire.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Thought for the day .......

"If your life is a campaign against things, the things you fight will expand."

If there is something in your life that you don't want?

If so, then stop worrying about it and stop talking about it. You may not realize it, but the energy you put into fighting the issue, keeps it alive. Whenever you agonize over something, you breathe life into it.

Happily, the reverse is also true. Withdraw your energy and focus and the issues shrinks, until it goes away. Its time to give yourself the relief you deserve.

Decide to truly let go of what you are fighting, emotionally, and watch as it evaporates and no longer robs your spirit.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Moving Beyond Appearances: Softening Judgment

It is our natural inclination to judge people, since it happens without our even thinking about it. We take one look and summarize a whole person-overweight, pretty, stylish, sloppy. This habit comes from the mind's need to categorize the world in order to be able to function without becoming overwhelmed. When we judge, we are looking for pertinent information, trying to determine whether the person approaching is a threat, an ally, or someone we don't need to worry about. This way of looking at people makes sense in a dangerous context, but in our daily lives it leads to an overly simplistic reading of the people we meet.

If you have ever judged someone dismissively, only to have them become a dear friend once you got to know them, you know the hazards of the judgment cycle firsthand. An experience like that may have led you to soften your natural tendency to believe your first impressions. We will always notice things about the people we meet, but as we become more conscious of the shortcomings of judgment, we won't be satisfied with our surface observations. We may notice that someone is driving an expensive car, but we will decide whether to befriend her based on getting to know her over time. We will not rule out a friendship with someone with messy hair, especially if he turns out to have a great sense of humor and a kind heart. Liking or disliking a person is a choice you will naturally make, but it will be after you have gotten to know them.

Case in point: I met a woman through an online group that I participate in. We'll call her Judy. Now, Judy told us right away that she worked as a stripper and even thought she didn't particularly like it - she had bills that needed to be paid. Immediately, another lady - we'll call her Trish - started voicing judgements about Judy based on what she did for a living and promptly dismissed her as unworthy of her friendship. It was unfortunate because if Trish had spent just five minutes listening to Judy - she would have seen what a beautiful person Judy is, honest, open and wanting to make a change. Judy was looking for direction, not judgement and Trish shortchanged herself out of an opportunity to help someone else.

So next time you notice yourself judging somebody, try to send love, light, or blessings to the person you were judging. Then try to listen to them openly or look them in the eye and learn something about them. If this is not easy for you, remember not to judge yourself either. Trust that with practice, you will successfully disable your habitual patterns. As you do, you will find a whole new dimension of perception opening up to you, allowing you to see beyond the surface and into the essence of the people you meet.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Free To Be Me

Today, I'm simply going to post a quote that I discovered earlier this morning by Muhammad Ali. It really speaks to the way I'm feeling on this blustery December morning in Chicago.

QUestion for ya: Why is it so challenging for others to be happy at someone's success because it's not their own? I'm so sick of others who are so limited in their vision that they hate to see others doing well. I'm extremely tired of those narrow minded people who only want to see you contained in a tiny box of their making. It infuriates me when someone wants you to mold to some cookie cutter shape that they've created.

I will not be contained.

I will not be held back and I will most certainly not bend to someone else's standards just so they can feel better in their own skin. It's the closest thing to insanity that I've ever experienced.

Today, I dare to fly like Maya Angelou and do it "my way" like Sammi Davis. I'm gonna float like a butterfly and sting like a bee just like Ali. So if you're not with the program then you bettah get out the way, 'cause you just may get hurt.

Tell 'em how you feel Your Greatness: "I know where I'm going and I know the truth, and I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want."

Amen, my brotha. Amen.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Today is World Aid's Day!


You may or may not be aware that today is World AIDS Day. I know. . . we hear so much about the global AIDS epidemic that it's easy to get desensitized to it so I want to bring it home for you.

--In Africa, 6,600 PEOPLE DIE OF HIV/AIDS. . . EVERY DAY. Think about that. . . 3,000 people died in the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001. More than twice that many people will die in Africa today. . . and tomorrow. . . and the day after tomorrow, etc.

--Or put it this way. Every single day, more people die of HIV/AIDS in Africa than the total number of U.S. soldiers lost in the Iraq war. And every week, more people die of HIV/AIDS globally than the 58,000 U.S. soldiers lost in Vietnam. That's staggering.

--And that's just the fatalities. 15 million children worldwide have lost a parent to AIDS. Oftentimes, these orphans are left to fend for themselves. . . or older brothers and sisters have to raise their younger siblings.

But there is some good news:.

--Aggressive awareness and prevention campaigns have slowed the spread of HIV. Uganda is a great example. 21% of the adult population in Uganda was HIV positive in 1991. Today it's only 7%.

--Other countries that have reversed climbing AIDS rates include the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Rwanda, Senegal, Thailand, and Zambia.

So what can YOU do? One of the coolest things you can do is sign up to sponsor a child affected by AIDS. But there are other ways to help too. World Vision has a fantastic website that lists 12 ways you can join the fight against AIDS. Take a minute to check it out."

Also, today, remind your coworkers that it's World AIDS Day. And when they give you a blank stare and ask why you interrupted their Fantasy Football discussion to talk about AIDS, tell them about the 6,600 people who are going to die in Africa today. . . and then tell them that for the same amount of money they're going to drop at Applebee's happy hour after work, they could sponsor an AIDS orphan for a whole month. Then, have them check out this photo montage that the "L.A. Times" did for World AIDS Day. . .

And if that doesn't thaw their calloused hearts, maybe share a few quotes on the subject. . .

--COLIN POWELL: "No war on the face of the Earth is more destructive than the AIDS pandemic. I was a soldier. But I know of no enemy in war more insidious or vicious than AIDS. . .

--"Will history record a fateful moment in our time, on our watch, when action came too late?"

--BONO: "What is happening to Africa mocks our pieties, doubts our concern, and questions our commitment to the whole concept of equality. . .

--"Because if we're honest, there's no way we could conclude that such mass death DAY AFTER DAY would ever be allowed to happen anywhere else."

--RICH STEARNS, president of WORLD VISION: "I believe that this could very well be looked back on as the sin of our generation. I look at my parents and ask, where were they during the civil rights movement?

--"I look at my grandparents and ask, what were they doing when the holocaust in Europe was occurring with regard to the Jews, and why didn't they speak up?

--"And when we think of our great, great, great-grandparents, we think how could they have sat by and allowed slavery to exist?

--"And I believe that our children and their children, 40 or 50 years from now, are going to ask, what did you do while 40 million children became orphans in Africa?"

--NIKKI WOODS, regular joe: "Now that you KNOW the problem, what are ya gonna do about it?"