Tag Archives: self-awareness

Respecting Your Mamas Wisdom About Relationships


womencircle

I know, it’s hard to believe that our mamas actually had a bit of wisdom to pass along to us. It seems that once we reached those teen years suddenly we knew more than she did. Or so we believed.

But if you take time to really examine that perception you know without a shadow of doubt that we were full of ourselves and discrediting the wisdom that resided in the woman who birthed us.

So lt me as a couple of questions and I hope you’ll take time to really think about your answer before you respond. After all the person it benefits the most is….YOU.

First, are you finding yourself repeating a familiar yet uncomfortable cycle in your relationships?
Secondly, when it’s just you and your heart is broken again, do you quietly say to yourself…”Mama Said”?

Remember you must be honest. Besides I will if you will. Over the years as I’ve gone through relationships my Mama’s words have come back to haunt me. Had I taken her nuggets of wisdom to heart I know I could have avoided a lot of disappointment and would not have had to deal with:

Low Self-Worth

  • Low-Self-Esteem
  • Physical and Emotional Abuse
  • Embarrassment
  • Frustration

I can readily admit that when I reached my teen years I suddenly woke up one morning and decided my Mama didn’t know what she was talking about. Besides it had been a long time since she was a teenager. Mama’s advice for avoiding unhealthy relationships was old-fashioned I thought. The rules she lived by didn’t apply to me. How wrong was I!

Mama’s advice for avoiding unhealthy relationships was given because she wanted me to not experience some of the things she had. She wanted me to learn from her…

 Now that I’m a mother and a grandmother, I find myself in her same position. I’m sure my children and grandchildren have those moments when they think to themselves, ‘Mama Said’ or ‘Grandma Said’.

Yes, it’s true that we all have to live our own lives, however, if we take the time to really listen to what our Mamas tried to teach us about avoiding unhealthy relationships we could have avoided so much pain.

Sometimes it seems like we’ve learned from the “school of hard knocks”!

The five nuggets of wisdom that my Mama tried to share and I was too stubborn to hear:

Nugget #1 – Know You Better than Others Do and Know Your Worth

Nugget #2 – Carry Yourself with Dignity & Respect

Nugget #3 – Education is Important for Success

Nugget #4 – You Can’t Change another Human Being

Nugget # 5 – “No” is Not a Bad Word

The interesting thing is that we don’t have to always learn things the hard way. I’m grateful that before my Mama passed she knew I’d learned the above lessons. I hope you’ll acknowledge the wisdom of the Mamas and Mothers in your life. It’s never too late to put it into practice. So go ahead give her a hug and a kiss and say thank you Mama. Hopefully, one day if you’re blessed to have a daughter of your own you too can pass on your nuggets of wisdom.

The Burning Question… Who Are You?


On this Fresh Start Monday, I have just this one question…Who Are You? Now before you begin to answer this question let me set the scene for you: You’ve just entered a room full of very interesting people. Everyone is smiling, laughing and talking animatedly about a variety of subjects. You stand there observing as you’re trying to decide which group you’d like to join. Of course there are butterflies in your stomach and you’re fighting the urge to run and take flight in the opposite direction. But you hold your ground.

You tell yourself, “I can do this. I can make conversation with anyone.” Right before you take that next step you spot the way to the ladies’ room and quickly make your way in that direction. Once inside you stare at the person looking back at you. You think back over the last 20 – 30 years of your life and wonder where did all the time go? In your mind’s eye you see your children from the moment they were placed in your arms until the day you saw them off to college, the military or just across town to their own place. Fleetingly you think about the son or daughter you witness get married and begin a whole new life with another person. On that day you were filled with joy and dread.

Joy, because you’re so happy to see your child all grown up and beginning his/her own family. Dread because now you wonder, “What shall I do with all this time I now have on my hands”? If you’re blessed to still have someone to share your life with you still have that same question, “What are we going to do, now that the house is empty except for the two of us”?

Does this scene sound familiar to anyone? I’m sure it does, I know long before that time arrived I made a decision that has served me well. I decided that though I had a responsibility to my children and of course to my husband. I also knew I had a responsibility to myself as well. This meant I couldn’t totally wrap myself in the lives of my children or spouse for when the day came and they weren’t around what oh what would I do with myself.

Finding interests or hobbies outside of your immediate family takes work and it’s a process of trial and error. You don’t know what truly fuels your imagination or fill you with wonder and amazement until you try it. So you have to have an adventurous spirit. For me I discovered that I love to read, I like running, I love puzzles and I like acting. Not a whole lot but enough that I tried out and participated in a few plays in the drama ministry at my church.

In the back of my mind I also knew that still wasn’t enough. I needed just a bit more. It was then that I looked outside of myself and found my greatest fulfillment! Helping others gives me the greatest joy and when people ask who am I I can readily answer in any number of ways depending on the circumstances.

The point I’m making on this Fresh Start Monday is that each of us should know who we are. Not who others think we are, or base our answer on what we think we should be but exactly who we are. The best way to answer that is to ensure you don’t become stale and bored with yourself. If you’re bored with yourself, I promise others will be as well.

 

For me being a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-n-law, aunt and friend are just a small part of what makes me who I am. I’m a complex individual with likes and dislikes as anyone else may have. But I’m unique to me. I can be happy with just my own company or I can be relaxed and comfortable in a room full of diverse people. I have opinions about the world around me and I have causes that are dear to me. I’m a writer, published author, speaker, workshop/seminar facilitator, evangelist and life coach. Together it all makes a whole me.

So what about you? What makes you tick, what fuels your passion? Do you have a cause that’s dear to you? Have you taken your life lessons and developed them into a new chapter filled with opportunity and promise? Have you ventured outside of your comfort zone and made new friends and developed new relationships based on mutual respect, trust and understanding? If not are you ready to? Do you need a little coaching and encouragement to make that transition? If so you just may be the perfect candidate to join a group of like-minded individuals participating in ‘From Adversity to Passion, A Guide to Your Divine Destiny and Joy’. If that’s the case visit the Fresh Start for Women event page and sign up. You won’t be disappointed.

Come on join the movement so that the next time the question is posed you can answer without hesitation. ‘I am ….’

Happy Fresh Start Monday everyone!

 

Spend Time With Yourself


praisinghim[1]Have you found yourself feeling overwhelmed with all the holiday activities? Does it seem as if you need another eight hours in the day in order to get everything accomplished? Do you feel pressured to get the perfect gift for loved ones and others? Have you lost the joy you used to associate with this time of the year? if your answer is yes, then may I suggest you put a halt to the madness and spend some time with yourself?

Too often we allow the commercialism to overtake us and forget the real meaning and purpose of this time of year. It’s not about any one particular faith that I’m speaking to. So let’s not pound the keys in response. Everyone has their own ideal of what the season means to them. It can be what has been passed down through family tradition, faith, environment and the like, Regardless there’s one person who is  intimately involved and that person is you.

So why not get off the train and spend some time with yourself? Here’s a wonderful recipe and I know it works.

1. A quiet room lit by candlelight

2. Soft music playing in the background

3. Soft and warm blanket to throw across your shoulders

4. Hot chocolate or something stronger if you prefer

5. Old pictures you haven’t looked at in years to stir the memories

6. Journal to write your musings or just to jot something down you may want to revisit again

7. NO TV, NO RADIO, NO COMPANY, NO NOISE……JUST YOU

8. Later get a hot shower to wash the remaining stresses of the day away and get you in the mood for a good night’s sleep

9. Early to bed with a smile on your face

10. Early rising with thanksgiving in your heart and a new resolve to enjoy the moments as they come

Now don’t you just love yourself? And when you get really good at it share it with a very special someone. Oh the joy! Gotta go! Honey I’m on my way home!!

9 Steps to Determine Where You Are


Where are you in life both personally and professionally? Sounds like a very simple question, doesn’t it? But what exactly does that mean? First you’ll need to revisit the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year. You’ll need to assess whether you’ve made great strides, been side-tracked or had to make adjustments. Once you determine that then you can answer the question, “Where are you?”

I’m sure you’re wondering why is this question important. For me I’ve always taken time at the beginning of the year to set goals for myself. The purpose of these goals is to give myself a road map leading to success. Many people do it at the beginning of the year. They call them, “new year resolutions”. The problem, however is that 80% give up on those resolutions before the three-month mark. I used to be in the category as well until I made a change.

That change started with me changing “new year resolutions” to, “committment” instead. Commitment to me meant I was taking responsibility and ownership for the plans I made for myself. This commitment didn’t allow me to easily give up should I fall short instead I was encouraged to make adjustments in order to be successful if my initial plans did not produce the results I hoped for.

Have you ever made a commitments to yourself? How did you go about setting those commitments? Do you take time throughout the year to assess where you are? If not may I offer the following tips:

Write it Down – Commitments or Goals are specific, measurable and time bounded. Write your commitments or goals so that they reflect all three components.

List Your Personal Benefits – Identify exactly “why” you want to achieve this goal.  List all the ways you will benefit personally.

 Analyze Your Current Position –  Success is information dependent. You need integrity in your information. Identify your specific strengths, weaknesses and opportunities as it relates to achieving this goal.

 Identify Obstacles and Risks – List everything that could possibly prevent you from achieving the commitment or goal you’ve set for yourself. Identify Investments and Sacrifices.  List everything, including time, money and sacrifices that you can anticipate.

Identify Knowledge Requirements – List what additional knowledge you need to acquire or have access to.

Have Support Team  List the people, groups, and organizations you may need help from as well as the specific role each one plays.

Develop Your Plan – List in chronological order each activity and their corresponding target date for completion. Use all the information gathered in previous steps to develop your plan.

 Set a Deadline – Determine on what date you will achieve this goal.

Reward and Celebrate – Identify your reward for the achievement of this commitment or goal. You deserve it! But don’t just rest on the successful completion, start again and make it even better. I can guarantee you won’t give up at the three-month mark.

For a test run you have 3 months remaining in 2014. Set at least 2 things you’d like to accomplish by the end the year then follow the above to see it to completion. This will set the stage for you to make a year long commitment in 2015. Go for it, you deserve to be the best you there ever was.

 

Who is in Your Corner


If you haven’t taken the time since this was originally posted to examine the status of the people currently in your circle of influence then I encourage you to do so. Each of us in order to be our best self must have people who add substance in our lives. To have otherwise to diminish the effectiveness we have in our own lives let alone the ability to be a positive influence in the lives of others. No matter how much we may believe we don’t need others he opposite is the truth. In recent months I’ve concluded I need fresh insights that can only be achieved by making some changes in my associations. How about you?

Fresh Start Mondays

Oftentimes we find ourselves seeking a fresh start but somehow confuse it with needing to change the people in our lives to suit the new direction we want to take. This is a huge error and can only lead to heartache and disappointment. The “Fresh Start” is for you and as such it is not your concern about the people in you life. Why? Because it’s quite possible that the ones currently in your life may have to be let go. Let me say that again, it’s quite possible that the ones currently in your life may have to be let go. Now this doesn’t mean that as of this minute everyone currently in your life has to be let go. Not at all for there are 2 types of people that fall under the category of “Let Go”. Some must be let go immediately and others gradually. All of…

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While Renewing the Inside Don’t Forget the Outside


We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on the inside. Reviving your spirit, letting go of things you’ve held on to that have caused you pain and harm has been our task for several weeks now. I encourage you to continue with all the good you’re doing for in the end the new you that emerges will be strong, powerful, positive, and determined. But in all this transformation don’t forget about the outside.

It’s easy to overlook because you may think “well there’s nothing wrong with the way I look”. Are you sure? Let me ask a few questions and then you decide.

1. When you give yourself that one last look in the mirror before you walk out the door are you smiling?

2. Do you look with excitement and anticipation to the day ahead?

3. Do the clothes you wear reflect the new you you’ve been working on?

4. Do you look up and not down when you’re going about your business.?

5. Do you greet people with a smile and/or a nod of hello?

6. Does the physical you reflect a person focused on being healthy as well?

I ask these questions because if there’s been a transformation on the inside it should reach the outside as well. The new you should exhibit an air of confidence and assurance that you know exactly who you are. At first it may seem strange and out of character bit why should it? Haven’t you worked hard to let go of things that have weighed you down? Then your new walk should reflect your new air of lightness. There should be a sense of purpose in every step and a determination that lights up your face.

I’ll never forget the time last year when the months of February through July were not kind to me. I was in a lot of physical pain and there were more than one day when it took everything I had to get up in the morning and make it to work. I had an ankle that put me in the hospital for three days only to still not resolve the issue. I’ll never forget the day I was at work and when I got up to go to the restroom I could barely move. A co-worker actually pushed me in my office chair to the restroom. Instead of feeling embarrassed I joked about it and laughed but made sure to thank her for her kindness.

I can remember what used to take me an hour to get dressed and ready now took an hour because with a shattered left wrist and a right side that was swollen, black, blue and green from a horrible car accident I struggled to do simple things like put on a bra or pull up my pants.  I was blessed to have a wonderful husband who helped me get through it all. Not only did he help me to get dressed but we went through my clothes to find things to wear that would require the least amount of effort. Then he’d take me to work and pick me up in the evenings, fighting Atlanta traffic 4 times a day.

During this time I had clients depending on me to encourage them as they made decisions to be safe and happy and in healthy relationships so I didn’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I think the fact that I had so much to pay attention to helped me from falling into deep despair. Don’t get me wrong there were days I wasn’t sure I could make it but I was determined to not give in. So the outer person I presented to the world had to reflect that determination I had on the inside.

MY clothes were clean, even if I had to wear them more than once, my hair was always together and most important of all I wore a smile and it was one that reached my eyes as well. But it wasn’t just my smile; I have been accused of having a larger than life laugh and it served me well during my healing.

Why am I sharing this? Because I want all of you to prosper so if your thoughts and actions have changed then be sure to let the physical reflect the new you as well.  In other words if you used to dress provocatively but your inside is transformed then that dress code no longer works with the new you. Put it down and take on a new look.

If complaining, and feeling sorry for yourself used to be the norm but now you’re hopeful and full of joy then let shine in the new words you use and the new way you approach a problem or any situation. The old way is poison  don’t let it infect the new you.

Okay don’t worry, I’m not about to get on a soapbox as the older generation would say and start preaching but I am going to encourage you to do a few things:

1. Get some exercise – walk, bike or join a gym if you can afford it, either way don’t let money or the lack of money keep you from improving your physical health.

2. Eat more fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water while cutting down on sugar and empty calories.

3. Get a new wardrobe one that reflects the new you and again don’t let money or lack thereof prevent you from making a change. Use your creativity, you’ll be surprised what you can do.

4. Let the joy on the inside be reflected in the face you present to the world. Smile more and often, and greet people with a genuine look. Don’t be surprised if you get them back in return.

5. Make a promise to yourself to love you enough to give the above a real try.

Today is the last holiday of the summer enjoy it with family, friends and loved ones. Most of all I encourage you to enjoy it with the new you you’re creating from the inside out.

 

Who Are You?


On this Fresh Start Monday, I have just this one question…Who Are You? Now before you begin to answer this question let me tell you that you’ve just entered a room full of very interesting people. Everyone is smiling, laughing and talking animatedly about a variety of subjects. As you stand there observing you’re trying to decide which group you’d like to join. Of course there are butterflies in your stomach and you’re fighting the urge to run and take flight in the opposite direction.

You tell yourself, “I can do this, I can make conversation with anyone.” But, right before you take that next step you spot the way to the ladies’ room and quickly make your way there. Once inside you stare at the person looking back at you. You think back over the last 20 – 30 years of your life and wonder where did all the time go? In your mind’s eye you see your children from the moment they were placed in your arms until the day you saw them off to college, the military or just across town to their place. Fleetingly you think about the son or daughter you witness get married and begin a whole new life with another person. On that day you were willed with joy and dread.

Joy, because you’re so happy to see your child all grown up and beginning his/her own family. Dread because now you wonder, “what shall I do with all this time I now have on my hands”? If you’re blessed to still have someone to share your life with you still have that same question, “What are we going to do, now that the house is empty except for us”?

Does this scene sound familiar to anyone? I’m sure it does, I know long before that time arrived I made a decision that has served me well. I decided that though I had a responsibility to my children and of course to my husband. I also knew I had a responsibility to myself as well. This meant I couldn’t totally wrap myself in the lives of my children or spouse for when the day came and they weren’t around what oh what would I do with myself.

Finding interests or hobbies outside of your immediate family takes work and it’s a process of trial and error. You don’t know what truly fuels your imagination or fill you with wonder and amazement until you try it. So you have to have an adventurous spirit. For me I discovered that I love to read, I like running, I love puzzles and I like acting. Not a whole lot but enough that I tried out and participated in a few plays in the drama ministry at my church.

But in the back of my mind I also knew that that wasn’t enough. I needed just a bit more. It was then that I looked outside of myself and found my greatest fulfillment! Helping others gives me the greatest joy and when people ask who am I, I can readily answer in any number of ways depending on the circumstances.

The point I’m making on this Fresh Start Monday is that each of us should know who we are. Not who others think we are, or base our answer on what we think we should be but exactly who we are. The best way to answer that is to ensure you don’t become stale and bored with yourself. If you’re bored with yourself, I promise others will be as well.

For me being a wife, mother, grandmother, sister, sister-n-law, aunt and friend are just a small part of what makes me who I am. I’m a complex individual with likes and dislikes as anyone else may have. But I’m unique to me. I can be happy with just my own company or I can be relaxed and comfortable in a room full of diverse people. I have opinions about the world around me and I have causes that are dear to me.  I’m a writer, published author, speaker, workshop/seminar facilitator, evangelist and life coach. Together it all makes a whole me.

So again I ask, who are you? if you have to think too long then it’s time to do some work. Start discovering what makes you tick. See what interests are dear to you so that you too can walk into a crowded room and know without a shadow of doubt exactly who you are!

Happy Fresh Start Monday everyone!